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March 2013

Volume 41 Number 3 $5.00
Construction &
Maintenance Guide
w Facility Design
w Post-Tensioned Concrete
w Annual Maintenance Planner
w Certified Court Builders
w and more
Industry Mourns Loss
Of Tim Heckler
Cardio Tennis Drives
Play in Australia, UK
Construction &
Maintenance Guide
w Facility Design
w Post-Tensioned Concrete
w Annual Maintenance Planner
w Certified Court Builders
w and more
Industry Mourns Loss
Of Tim Heckler
Cardio Tennis Drives
Play in Australia, UK
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R S I M A R C H 2 0 1 3
7 Industry mourns loss
of Tim Heckler
7 Davis Cup Legacy
Program in Jacksonville
7 Wilson launches ‘Spin
Effect’ demo tour
8 Five new Dunlop frames
hit market
8 New Rafael Nadal
smartphone app
10 Peoplewatch
10 USTA offers NJTL regional
training sessions
10 K-Swiss sold to South
Korean company
11 GSS announces name
change to IART
12 Short Sets
13 Isospeed introduces
Black Fire string
13 PTR and Head continue
14 USPTA partners with
Tennis on Campus
4 Our Serve
7 Industry News
16 TIA News
19 Retailing Tip
20 Finances
38 Ask the Experts
40 Tips and Techniques
42 String Playtest: Ashaway MonoGut ZX Pro
44 Your Serve, by Denny Schackter
22 Intelligent Design
When designing a new facility or mak-
ing changes to an existing one, ask the
right questions.
24 Concrete Thinking
Post-tensioned concrete slabs are prov-
ing to be longer lasting and more resis-
tant to cracks.
28 Maintaining Order
Use the Annual Maintenance Planner to
keep your courts looking and playing
their best.
32 Annual Excellence
The USTA’s Outstanding Facility Awards
Program recognizes excellent facilities
every year.
34 They’re Certifiable!
The ASBA’s Certified Tennis Court
Builder program strives to raise profes-
sional standards.
35 Marketplace
Here’s a quick look at some of the
court construction and maintenance
products available for 2013.
Our Serve
(Incorporating Racquet Tech and Tennis Industry)
David Bone Jeff Williams
Editorial Director
Peter Francesconi
Associate Editor
Greg Raven
Design/Art Director
Kristine Thom
Contributing Editors
Robin Bateman
Cynthia Cantrell
Joe Dinoffer
Kent Oswald
Bob Patterson
Cynthia Sherman
Mary Helen Sprecher
Tim Strawn
Corporate Offices
PO Box 3392, Duluth, GA 30096
Phone: 760-536-1177 Fax: 760-536-1171
Office Hours: Mon.-Fri.,8 a.m.-5 p.m. Pacific Time
Advertising Director
John Hanna
770-650-1102, x.125
Apparel Advertising
Cynthia Sherman
Racquet Sports Industry is published 10 times per
year: monthly January through August and combined
issues in September/October and November/
December by Tennis Industry and USRSA, PO Box 3392,
Duluth, GA 30096. Periodcal postage paid at
Duluth, GA and at additional mailing offices (USPS
#004-354). March 2013, Volume 41, Number 3 ©
2013 by USRSA and Tennis Industry. All rights
reserved. Racquet Sports Industry, RSI and logo are
trademarks of USRSA. Printed in the U.S.A. Phone
advertising: 770-650-1102 x 125. Phone circulation
and editorial: 760-536-1177. Yearly subscriptions
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RSI is the official magazine of the USRSA, TIA,and ASBA
It Starts With a Court
hen we talk about growing the game, often it’s
about participation, or equipment sales, or
leagues and lessons. But when you think about
it, growing the game starts under our feet… on the tennis
court itself.
It sounds basic, but you need a court to play this game. I know, you
can start kids playing on temporary courts in driveways, on playgrounds
and parking lots, in gyms, etc. But eventually, you need to get them onto
courts designed for tennis—whether 36-, 60- or 78-foot courts. And to
create the frequent players that this business needs to sustain itself and
to grow, you need courts for them to play on—for them to play in
leagues, take lessons and clinics, participate in round-robins and Cardio
That’s why it’s so important to this game to keep facilities updated,
renovated and playing and looking their best. For tennis centers, it’s
important to give your players the type of surface that will keep them
enjoying the game and coming back over and over. And a well-main-
tained court is inviting. When you see a court with torn nets, sagging
windscreens and cracks in the surface—who’s going to want to play in
those conditions? Not only is it unappealing visually, but it can pose haz-
ards to players.
When courts aren’t maintained, they probably don’t get the use they
should. It also is easier for management—or your local park and rec if it’s
a public court—to make a case for getting rid of that court. And fewer
courts aren’t what we need for this industry.
These are some of the reasons why we’ve done an annual Court Con-
struction & Maintenance Guide for many years, along with running other
construction stories throughout the year. This is a topic that all tennis
providers need to know about.
There are a number of resources available to help you maintain your
courts—and to help in building a tennis facility, too. One of the best, in
my humble opinion, is “Tennis Courts: A Construction & Maintenance
Manual,” which is co-published by the USTA and the American Sports
Builders Association. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit my
bias toward this manual: I worked with an incredibly talented “Joint Edi-
torial Board” of court builders and designers to help update the current
edition of the manual.
Our Court Construction Guide references topics and chapters in the
manual, and we even reprint the “Annual Maintenance Planner” that
appears in the current edition. Make sure you use this handy resource to
keep your courts in top shape.
Your players, and this sport, deserve it.
Peter Francesconi
Editorial Director
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Davis Cup Legacy
Program to
Renovate Jax Courts
The USTA will refurbish courts at
the Clanzel T. Brown Park tennis
facility in Jacksonville, Fla., as a
part of the USTA’s Davis Cup
Legacy program. The program,
begun more than a decade ago,
is designed to leave a perma-
nent tennis legacy in the com-
munities which host Davis Cup
ties in the United States.
To further develop Youth Tennis
in Jacksonville, which hosted the
Davis Cup World Group First
Round against Brazil, one court
at Clanzel T. Brown Park will be
converted into four permanent
36-foot courts with fencing, nets
and center straps. Seven other
courts will be resurfaced and
have 60-foot blended lines
placed on them. The $42,000
projected is jointly funded by the
USTA, the USTA Florida section
and the City of Jacksonville.
“We are pleased with the way
the community has embraced
tennis and the Davis Cup,” said
David Haggerty, USTA Chairman,
CEO and President. “The USTA’s
mission is to grow tennis and
give all people of all ages access
to the game. We are proud to
work with the City of Jack-
sonville to achieve this goal and
leave a permanent footprint
with the Davis Cup Legacy.”
"This is a great example of how
investing in sports and enter-
tainment can create a lasting
investment for our community,"
said Jacksonville Mayor Alvin
Brown. The U.S. team defeated
Brazil in the first round in early
R S I M A R C H 2 0 1 3
Industry Loses Former USPTA Chief Tim Heckler
im Heckler, the former chief executive officer of the USPTA, passed
away Feb. 4 in Houston after suffering a heart attack. He was 71 years
“We are shocked and saddened by this loss,” said USPTA President Tom
Daglis. “He will be sorely missed in the industry as the single largest con-
tributor to the USPTA in its entire history. Our deepest condolences go out
to his wife, Renee, his children, and the rest of his family.”
Heckler retired from his position as CEO of the USPTA in December,
after 30 years in the position. He began playing tennis at age 3, attended
Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, on a tennis scholarship and played
on the international circuit, including Wimbledon in 1959 and 1961, and
the U.S. Open in 1960. He started his tennis-teaching career in 1970, the
same year he joined USPTA. He was elected president of the USPTA Texas Division in 1974 and
served as national president of the organization from 1980 to 1982, when he was tapped to be CEO
of the organization.
"Tim had a major impact on the game throughout his life, and this reached into every area of
tennis,” said TIA President Greg Mason. “His leadership and passion made the USPTA into the
organization it is today. Anyone involved in tennis has been impacted by Tim's commitment to
both the game and the organization he loved.”
“Tennis has known very few who were more dedicated or committed to its growth and long-
term health than was Tim,” said USTA President Dave Haggerty. “He was truly one-of-a-kind and
will be sorely missed by his many friends and by the sport to which he dedicated so much of his
The USPTA honored Heckler in 2000 by naming him a grand inductee in the Association’s Hall
of Fame. He also received the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Tennis Educational Merit Award
in 2002 and was inducted into the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2008 he received the
USPTA’s highest honor, the George Bacso Lifetime Achievement Award.
“His passion and commitment to tennis and the USPTA were inspiring,” said current USPTA CEO
John Embree. “The industry has lost a true giant.”
Arrangements were still pending at press time, but to make a donation in Heckler’s name, visit
Wilson Launches ‘Spin Effect’ Demo Tour
ilson announced its nationwide “Spin Effect Tour” that will visit retailers and
consumers in more than 200 venues, showcasing the brand’s Spin Effect Tech-
nology. Taking place through June, the Spin Effect Tour targets avid players and
will also be featured at leading junior developmental programs.
Wilson’s Spin Effect Technology racquets are the Steam 99S and Steam 105S. The com-
pany says they both increase spin for consumers of all levels, enabling players to add more
than 200 RPMs on their shots without needing to change their swing.
On the Spin Effect Tour, Wilson will take players through the “TrackMan” experience, which
tracks ball rotation, height and arc of shots and was used in the development of Steam S rac-
quets. Players who participate will have an opportunity to win an autographed Roger Federer
racquet and Victoria Azarenka racquet. For more information about hosting a Spin Effect Tour
event, contact
M A R C H 2 0 1 3
Five New Frames Hit Market From Dunlop
unlop has unveiled five new frames in 2013—three for the 5.0 Series and
two in the 2.0 Series. The company says it’s made significant design and
technology changes to the new frames in an effort to “boost control and spin
potential” without sacrificing feel.
“The new 5.0s are powerful frames that add significant control," says
Hunter Hines, director of marketing and product for Dunlop Racquet Sports.
"Starting with the F5.0 Tour, which Nicolas Almagro will begin using this year,
we went back to the drawing board with these three new frames and built
something from the ground up, delivering a brand new experience to
As part of Dunlop's new racquet naming convention, the Dunlop 500
name has been dropped and the new racquets are called 5.0s. The 5.0 Series
includes the F5.0 Tour, M5.0 and S5.0 Lite. The new 2.0 Series, formerly the
200 Series of frames, includes the F2.0 Tour and M2.0
(the M2.0 has a 16x19 string pattern).
Changes to the frames include a new, rounder
head shape and a new tapered beam which,
according to Dunlop, reduces drag and produces
faster swing speeds, for more power on serves
and groundstrokes.
The frames also have new Biomimetic technolo-
gies, such as a reconfigured surface texture to help
reduce drag and a new dampening system, BioFibre,
comprised of natural fibers woven throughout the throat
and handle to more widely distribute shock at impact,
says Dunlop. Another new technology is the use of molyb-
denite particles in an all-new grommet system, enabling
easier string movement and reduced string friction.
For 2013, Dunlop has renamed all its new racquets to
help make the selection process easier. The main change
is the addition of a letter prior to the racquet number. Each racquet name
starts with either an F, M, or S, signifying a player’s swing speed and style:
Fast/Full, Medium/Moderate or Short/Slow. The numbers have been changed
from hundreds to a decimal system to signify the new molds.
For more information, visit
LoveAll Apparel
Offers New Catalog
oveAll Apparel, based in Arlington, TX, was
started in 2009 by avid tennis players Kim
Cleary and Shelia Bishop and specializes in
uniquely designed clothing for all ages. The
company, which recently updated its catalog,
prints its shirt designs on acid-washed,
burnout fabric.
The 50/50 cotton/poly blend T-shirts are
double-dyed, double-
needle-hemmed and
finished with 3/8-inch
ribbed collars. Pre-
shrunk ladies’ pants are
designed with stretch to
flatter curves. For guys,
there are 100 percent
microfiber tees that fea-
ture moisture wicking
and covered seams for
a smooth feel. The
company also has pro-
duced “Strong is Beauti-
ful” shirts for the WTA
Tour that pros such as Samantha Stosur, Li Na
and Caroline Wozniacki have worn.
Bishop says LoveAll has about 150
accounts in the U.S., Canada and Europe and
continues to grow (the company recently
moved offices from a 300-square-foot space to
900). She adds that the company is also look-
ing to expand its sales rep force. Visit or email
New Nadal Tennis Academy App Available
he new Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy App, powered by Vstrator and available
at the iTunes App Store, is for all recreational players and allows them to learn
directly from the 11-time Grand Slam champion. The App offers exclusive, in-
depth tennis tutorials of Rafa’s strokes, along with Vstrator’s easy-to-use video
coaching tools so players can instantly capture their strokes, analyze their
games, and compare their technique side-by-side with Rafa’s.
Fans, players, and coaches simply open the App, record or import video from
their smartphone’s camera, then “Vstrate” it using the drawing tools, which
allows them to highlight the video so they can zero in on any part of their game.
They can then frame the video forward and back, and compare their technique
to Rafa as well as other players. Then the Vstrator video can be shared via social
media, email or text with friends, family, coaches and other players.
The Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy App features 9 tutorials of the tennis
champion’s serve and returns with a host of future tutorials of all Rafa’s strokes,
along with exclusive insights from Rafa himself on what makes him one of the
world’s best tennis players. Members also can upload their own videos as well
as their own Vstrated coaching sessions to the Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy on
M A R C H 2 0 1 3
• Novak Djokovic, playing with his new YouTek
Graphene Speed Pro, became the first tennis pro
who captured the Australian Open three straight
years. He beat fellow Head player Andy Murray to
win his sixth Grand Slam title.
• Australian tennis great Thelma Coyne Long, who won a total
of 19 Grand Slam tournament titles, will be given the highest honor in the
sport of tennis—enshrinement into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Coyne Long, age 94 and living in the Sydney area, will be honored in the
Master Player Category in the Class of 2013. The Enshrinement Ceremony is
scheduled for July 13, 2013, at the Hall of Fame in Newport, RI.
• Erik Kortland is the new National Coach, Junior Development, based at
the National Training Center-East at the USTA Billie Jean King National Ten-
nis Center in Flushing, N.Y. He’ll coach players in a new “Feeder Program”
for boys and girls ages 9-13. Kortland was head of player development at
the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.
• Victoria Azarenka won her second Australian
Open title in January, playing with a Wilson Juice
100 frame.
• The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum
and the International Tennis Federation presented the 2013
Golden Achievement Award to Geoff Pollard, the past-president and chair-
man of Tennis Australia and a current vice president of the ITF. The
Golden Achievement Award is given annually to an indi-
vidual who has made important contributions interna-
tionally to tennis in the fields of administration,
promotion, or education.
• Mary Heath has been named to the new position of
chief marketing officer at the International Hall of Fame &
Museum. She has been the senior director of sales & partnership marketing
for the Hall of Fame since 2008.
• Patrick Kearns of Charlottesville, VA, is the new executive director of the
USPTA Mid-Atlantic Section. Kearns has served in a number of capacities
including Head Tennis Professional at Farmington Country Club from 1995-
2012. He is currently the Executive Director and Owner of 4 Star
Camps, in Charlottesville.
• Linda Mojer, the former managing editor of Rac-
quetball Magazine, has been named social media
manager for Head Penn Racquetball.
• Tracy Lynch is the new director of sales for Har-Tru
• Larry Novenstern is the new vice president, integrated partnerships, for
Tennis Channel.
• Gertrude “Gorgeous Gussie” Moran, who played the 1949 Wimbledon
Championships in a dress that revealed her lacy underwear, died in Califor-
nia in January at age 89.
• Former USTA President Hunter Delatour passed away in January at age
95. Delatour served as USTA president from 1983 to 1984. In 2011, he
received a USTA Service Award for 40 years of dedicated volunteer service.
• Longtime Trinity University tennis coach Clarence Mabry passed away in
January at age 87. Among his many accomplishments, Mabry was a founder
of the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch and its predecessor, TBarM.
• Paul Flory, longtime tournament director and chairman of the Western &
Southern Open in Cincinnati, died in late January.
USTA Offers NJTL Regional Training Sessions
he USTA is offering two-day NJTL Regional Training sessions that combine tennis, edu-
cation/life skills, and organizational development and feature experts and partners
from NJTL National staff, USTA Serves, USTA Player Development, and USTA section staff.
The USTA/National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) invites all NJTL and CTA/NJTL
Chapters to attend the comprehensive sessions. The first will be held at Oglethorpe Uni-
versity in Atlanta on Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10.
The training sessions include a USTA Player Development Workshop open to coaches
and volunteers who work with youth players; the ACE Curriculum and Organizational
Development Workshop, which focuses on creating and funding sustainable year-round
tennis and education programming for underserved youth; and USTA Serves, which will
demonstrate fundraising, grant-writing, and best practices for organizations. Attendees
also will have the opportunity to receive focused assistance and obtain tools needed to
increase their impact and reach.
Registration is $49 per person, which includes all workshops, materials, and lunch on
both days. Contact the USTA for more information. The current schedule for NJTL Region-
al Training is:
w March 9-10, Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, GA
w April 13-14, Fred Wells Tennis & Education, St. Paul, MN
w May 4-5, Trenton, NJ
w June 1-2, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
K-Swiss Sold to South
Korean Company
outh Korean apparel distributor
E Land World Ltd. agreed to
acquire footwear company K-Swiss
in January for $4.75 per share in
cash. K-Swiss was founded in 1966,
went public in 1990, and saw solid
growth, especially between 2000
and 2006, when shares rose from
about $3 to $35.
Revenue, nearly $500 million in
2005, fell to $216.8 million in 2010,
before rebounding to $268.4 mil-
lion in 2011. But the company was
unable to regain its niche and has
not had a profitable year since
2008. In recent years, K-Swiss was
frequently trading below its net cur-
rent asset value.
Nominate for
RSI’s ‘30
Under 30’
ominate now for
RSI’s “30 Under
30” honors, recog-
nizing some of the
young movers and
shakers in the tennis
industry. The 30
individuals we pick
will be featured in
an upcoming special
Anyone can nom-
inate potential hon-
orees (you can even
nominate yourself),
and nominees can come from any segment of this industry. Nominees can even
be volunteers in tennis; they don’t have to be employed in this industry. The only
restriction is that the nominee cannot have turned age 30 before June 1, 2013.
To nominate, send us a brief email by April 1 describing your choice for “30
Under 30” honors. Also include the nominee’s birthday (month and year is fine) if
you know it, and contact information for both you and the nominee. Put “30 Under
30” in the subject line and email
GSS Announces Name Change to IART
rand Slam Stringers officially became the IART, International Alliance of Racquet
Technicians, on Jan. 1. “We are a global organization with a primary focus in
hands-on training for racquet technicians of all levels,” says founder Tim Strawn. “Re-
branding the organization to better reflect our global initiative was a natural progres-
sion in the growth of the company. We’re also working with industry manufacturers
on an ongoing basis to provide discounts to our membership.”
IART now has a worldwide membership of nearly
150 racquet technicians from 18 countries who par-
ticipate on the website at In
2012, the organization completed its sixth training
symposium at the Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa.
During the symposium a new sponsorship was
announced by Ashaway Racket Strings. Vice Presi-
dent Steve Crandall revealed the new program that
would give IART members a 10 percent discount on
all strings purchased from the company. “Ashaway
is delighted to work with the IART to help them ful-
fill their mission” said Crandall.
IART’s most recent member sponsorship comes
from Alpha Racquet Sports based in Austin, TX.
Members can get a 10 percent discount on all
Alpha/Topspin strings as well as a 5 percent discount on all stringing machines and
diagnostic equipment priced above $750.
IART is planning its seventh Symposium, to be held in September in Florida. For
more information, visit or call Strawn at 540-632-1148.
M A R C H 2 0 1 3
The U.S. Davis Cup team defeated Brazil,
3-2, in the first round of the 2013 World
Group in early February in Jacksonville, FL. The
American team next faces Serbia, April 5-7, in
the World Group quarterfinals, which will be
played at the Taco Bell Arena on the campus
of Boise State University.
The Pacific X Fast Pro received props
recently from gear editor Justin
diFeliciantonio as a racquet that “was possi-
bly the most powerful baseliner’s stick I’ve
ever played with.”
The ATP and Tecnifibre have announced a
new five-year partnership, through which Tec-
nifibre becomes an Official Partner of the ATP
World Tour. The Paris-based global manufac-
turer will provide the Official Racquet, String,
Bag and Accessories of the ATP World Tour, as
well as becoming an official sponsor of the
Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, through 2017.
The American Sports Builder Association
(ASBA) has become an Alliance Sponsor of
PHIT America, the new national educational
campaign to combat the obesity and seden-
tary crisis seriously affecting health care costs
in the U.S. This non-profit, started by the sport
& fitness industry, will promote grassroots
programs and new legislation to influence
Americans to be more active, fit and healthy
through the consumer website PHITAmerica
The “Hybrid Open” will be the first tourna-
ment to be played on a dual-surface tennis court,
in which one side is clay and the other is hard. The
Men’s Division event will be March 29-31; the
women’s tournament will be in the fall. The
unique hybrid court is in Myrtle Beach, SC. The
tournament is open for all players and costs $60.
Contact Tournament Director Renata Marcinkows-
ka at
The USTA New England Section has named
the Marshfield Tennis Club in Massachusetts as
Community Tennis Association of the Year for
Tennis Australia announced a five-year exten-
sion of its partnership with official Australian
Open outfitter Lacoste, through 2018. Lacoste will
remain the official supplier of tournament apparel
to linesmen, ball kids and chair umpires. Also, Kia
Motors has extended its multi-million dollar part-
nership of the Australian Open through 2018.
Wilson has launched two new premium balls,
the Tour Clay Red and Tour Clay Green, which fea-
ture Element Guard technology, which the compa-
ny says will help maximize performance and
Barry Ford, the USTA’s
director of public affairs and
advocacy, is featured in a
new book titled “Expanding
Minds and Opportunities:
World TeamTennis Season to Start July 7
he 2013 schedule for Mylan World TeamTennis will start on July 7, with
59 matches scheduled throughout the month. The 38th season of WTT
concludes with the Mylan WTT Finals on July 28.
Eight teams will compete in two conferences during the regular sea-
son; the top two teams from each advance to the Conference Champi-
onships July 25. The 2013 Mylan WTT Finals will be contested on the
home court of the Eastern Conference Champions.
Team schedules for the three-week regular season will be announced
in early March. The three-time champion Washington Kastles, who won
their second consecutive WTT title last summer with back-to-back unde-
feated 16-0 seasons, will be taking a 32-match win streak into their 2013
season opener.
Each of the eight teams will play 14 matches—seven home, seven
away. Eastern Conference teams are the Boston Lobsters, New York
Sportimes, Philadelphia Freedoms and Washington Kastles. Western Con-
ference teams are Orange County Breakers, Sacramento Capitals, Spring-
field Lasers and the yet-unnamed Irving, Texas-based team, which
recently relocated from Kansas City. For more information, visit
Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and
Summer Learning for Student Success.” Ford
contributed a seven-page article titled,
“Tennis in Afterschool and Summer Pro-
grams – a Winning New Model to Expand
Fitness and Learning.” The book is available
Har-Tru Sports will conduct a Har-Tru
maintenance certificate seminar Oct. 4-5 at
the Bonita Bay Club in Florida. 1-877-
The quarterly, worldwide Black Tennis
Magazine will feature the Australian Open
and coverage of Sloane Stephens and Sere-
na Williams in its spring (March) issue. Since
starting the magazine in 1977, Publisher
Marcus Freeman has endeavored to cover
major tennis events featuring African-Amer-
ican players.
City Sports announced it will be adding
extended sizes to its CS by City Sports
brand, with the sizes catering to plus-sized
“A Backhanded Gift,” a novel by Mar-
shall Jon Fisher, is a funny, moving literary
work with tennis serving as the backdrop
and set in Munich in the 1980s. Published
by New Chapter Press, the book is available
in paperback or as an e-book at Amazon
and via other major outlets.
Tennis Court Hat Now
‘Tournament Quality’
he Tennis Court Hat, which came out in 2007,
has been updat-
ed and is available
in a moisture-con-
trol microfiber. The
hat has an embroi-
dered “cl assic”
emerald “centre
court,” mesh
insert, high-perfor-
mance sweatband,
contrast binding
and adjustable looped Velcro strap. For informa-
tion, call Centre Court Tennis at 203-770-5355 or



Isospeed Introduces Black Fire String
sospeed, the Austrian manufacturer of premium syn-
thetic tennis strings, introduces Black Fire, a co-
polyester string that provides excellent spin and
control for maximum precision, says the compa-
ny. For a limited time, Tennis Warehouse is offer-
ing a “Get 3, Pay for 2” special on Black Fire.
Isospeed is a division of Isosport, which was
founded in 1969 to manufacture materials for
skiing and snowboarding. Using its experience
in manufacturing and post-processing synthet-
ics, Isospeed began producing tennis strings in
1990. Tennis Warehouse is the U.S. distributor
for Isospeed strings.
PTR, Head Continue Long-Standing Partnership
rofessional Tennis Registry and Head announced the extension of their long-
standing partnership. 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the Head and PTR
relationship, which is one of the longest sponsorships in tennis.
“We’re proud to be a part of PTR’s rich history and even more excited to be a
part of their exciting future,” says Greg Mason, Head’s vice president of sales and
marketing. “The teaching pro is still the best ambassador of tennis and we’re
proud to help PTR as they continue on their successful path.”
Along with being the official racquet of PTR, Head will also
gain exposure through advertising and trade show exhibit
space through its sponsorship. PTR members will also get to
take advantage of the contract extension with access to
the PTR Team Head Program.
“PTR and Head are both on an upswing so the timing of our contract renewal
could not have come at a more perfect time, ” says PTR CEO Dan Santorum.
Evolution Teaching Conference Slated for Florida
volution will hold its Evolution Tennis Teaching Professional Conference March
25-26 at the Midtown Athletic Club in Weston, FL. Presentations explore the
needs and development of junior players at different ages and stages, explaining
the priorities at each stage.
The international lineup of speakers includes: Leo Alonso, Argentina; Mike Bar-
rell, United Kingdom; Wayne Elderton, Canada; Craig Jones, U.S.; Diego Moyano,
Argentina; Ronald Pothuizen, Holland; Nick Saviano, U.S.; Butch Staples, U.S.
Rates are $195 for the full two days or $119 for one day, and include lunch. Con-
tact or 786-778-3654, or visit
PTR and GPTCA Sign Partnership Agreement
he PTR announced a partnership agreement
with the Global Professional Tennis Associa-
tion (GPTCA) at a meeting held during the Aus-
tralian Open. The GPTCA, founded in 2010 by 49
tour-level coaches, is an international organiza-
tion dedicated to improving tennis coaches
through education, interaction and networking.
PTR Board Member Leo Alonso (second from
left) and CEO Dan Santorum (second from right)
met with GPTCA officials Dirk Hordorff (left) and Giorgio Di Palermo. Further
details will be released in March during the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.
M A R C H 2 0 1 3
USPTA Holds ‘Open Houses’ for
Tennis on Campus Participants
he USPTA and USTA have partnered to host
open houses to connect USTA Tennis on
Campus participants with career opportuni-
ties as tennis-teaching professionals. The pro-
gram kicked off in January during the USPTA
Northern, Southwest, California and Hawaii
division conventions.
A major objective of the alliance is to get
USPTA pros to partner with local TOC chap-
ters. As such, every USPTA division will invite
registered local TOC club participants to
attend the division convention free of charge.
At these conventions, TOC participants will
get a glimpse into what the tennis-teaching
profession has to offer and will be introduced
to the benefits of becoming a certified USPTA
Pro. They also will have the opportunity to sit
in on all of the educational seminars at the
convention, network with USPTA members
who have made a successful living from
teaching tennis, and socialize with other
“Tennis on Campus represents fertile
ground for the tennis profes-
sionals of the future. This
collaboration is vital for
USPTA to tap into a net-
work of passionate players
who might very well want
to make teaching tennis a
career choice,” says USPTA
CEO John Embree.
The coordinated efforts between the USTA
and USPTA also will include honoring one
male and one female TOC player at the USPTA
annual awards ceremony with the TOC Teach-
ing Award. In addition, the partnership
includes sharing editorial produced by both
organizations that will be featured in the TOC
newsletter and USPTA’s ADDvantage maga-
zine, as well as providing the tools and
resources for USPTA pros to connect with local
TOC clubs and participants, so that the pros
can help mentor those who are enthusiastic
about a career in tennis, and help them pre-
pare for USPTA Certification Exams when they
are ready to take the next step.
Cardio Tennis Helps Drive Play in Australia, UK
ardio Tennis is fast becoming a worldwide brand—receiving promi-
nent play by Tennis Australia (TA) during this year’s Australian Open
and officially relaunching/rebranding in Great Britain
with new initiatives and a new spokesperson.
“Tennis Australia is using Cardio Tennis as one of
its main programs to increase tennis participation in
that country,” says Jolyn de Boer, the executive director of the TIA,
which created Cardio Tennis with the USTA and manages the program
in the U.S. “In Great Britain, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) recently
relaunched Cardio Tennis and committed significant resources to the
program.” Through partnerships and other agreements, the TIA has
helped more than 30 countries launch Cardio Tennis programs.
TIA Cardio Tennis Manager Michele Krause worked with both TA
and the LTA to train their coaches and set up their Cardio Tennis pro-
grams. “Tennis Australia launched Cardio Tennis last year at the Aus-
tralian Open, and they’ve been seeing tennis participation increase,”
she says. “This year, there was even more visibility at the Aussie Open,
including signage on Rod Laver Arena itself. And TA is reaching out
across Australia.”
On the other side of the world, England’s governing body of tennis,
the LTA, officially relaunched Cardio Tennis throughout the country on
Jan. 19 with “three days of madness at London’s largest and busiest
inner city shopping centers” along with other malls throughout the
country, according to the LTA’s Sam Richardson.
The LTA is delivering the Cardio Tennis message, along with the
overall message to help more people play tennis, through a national
campaign driven by the website The LTA also has a
“new face of Cardio Tennis”—Kirsty Gallacher, who is a well-known TV
sports personality in England.
Cardio Tennis was created in 2005 by the TIA and USTA and now
has more than 1.3 million participants in the U.S. As the program has
expanded around the world, it also continues to grow in the U.S., with
enhancements that include Cardio Tennis Interactive; TRX Cardio Ten-
nis, a total body workout that incorporates the TRX training system; a
Cardio Tennis “Authorized Provider” program; new tools and resources
for providers; and more. For more information, including Cardio Ten-
nis training schedules, visit
Host a Kids ‘Tennis Festival’ in March
t’s not too late to boost your business by hosting a Tennis Festival in the
month of March, designed to get kids active and excited about tennis.
Tennis Festivals are a way for tennis facili-
ties, parks, and municipalities to introduce
tennis to kids and provide a platform to reg-
ister children for spring and summer programs. The events provide an
opportunity for kids to experience a variety of tennis activities and
games designed for all ages and skill levels.
The launch of these Tennis Festivals coincides with the annual “Ten-
nis Night in America” celebration at New York’s Madison Square Garden,
which this year will feature Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin del Potro, Serena
Williams and Victoria Azarenka. Be one of the first 1,200 registered ten-
nis festivals and receive an event pack including a ban-
ner and giveaway items for event attendees. Last year, more than 2,000
youth tennis events took place across the country. To host an event, visit
Congratulations To the Following
For Achieving MRT Status
New MRTs
Tim Gibson Eagle, ID
PHIT America
Launches Consumer
Fitness Campaign
n January, leading sports and fit-
ness industry companies and
organizations, as well as other corpo-
rate partners, launched PHIT Ameri-
ca, a year-round, educational,
advocacy, and social media market-
ing campaign designed to reach mil-
lions of Americans to help combat
the obesity and sedentary activity
PHIT America is a new non-profit
which has 118 Alliance Sponsors,
including eight “founders,” including
the USTA. The Tennis Industry Asso-
ciation and many tennis equipment
manufacturers also are Alliance
The consumer website—PHIT—covers topics includ-
ing the obesity and sedentary crisis,
benefits of being active and playing
sports, why physical education is so
important, ways to get active and
healthy, and U.S. legislation that
PHIT America is supporting. PHIT
America will work with its 118
Alliance Sponsors by asking them to
send two or three “news flashes” a
month about various important
The “news flashes” will link to, where there will
be three main “calls to action”:
1. Advocate—to help pass key legis-
lation (PHIT Act and PEP Program)
that will help Americans become
more active, play more sports, and
become healthier.
2. Participate—use the Participation
Database to get active or fit in
local communities for more than
50 sports or activities.
3. Donate—funds will be invested as
grants to support local sports
grassroots and PE programs.
Clay Court Conditioner Available
ejuvenate and renew fast-dry courts with Smith 3C
Clay Court Conditioners, the next generation in
highly engineered/powered equipment to keep fast-
dry courts in like-new condition, says the maker. Man-
ufactured in the U.S., and starting under $3000,
they’re available for immediate shipment. The unit
can scarify a light top-dressing, mill 5/8-inch, loosen
hard-packed sub-surface watered courts, and remove
algae. 805-550-0149/
., census
..& Reta'
.,., "aou
TIA Conducts 2013 Tennis
Facility and Retail Census
Tennis facilities and retailers should soon receive a notice to update information about
their business. Providers will be sent a "snapshot" of the information they currently have
posted in the GrowingTennis System, which supplies consumer search engines including,,, and about
300 other websites.
When you click the link to your provider data, you'll be able to update or add information
on courts, programs, retail, and more. The information posted in the GrowingTennis System
receives more than 4 million consumer queries each month, helping to drive business to
your facility or retail store.
In March, will relaunch with a new look and feel, making it easy for
consumers to get into the game and find playing opportunities, partners, equipment,
lessons, courts and more. This free, "brand neutral" site focuses on increasing tennis play.
Importantly, all the major tennis companies and organizations are supporting
" is a unique site in the sports industry," says Jolyn de Boer, executive
director of the TIA, which now administers the site. "Because it promotes the simple, unified
message of playing tennis, it's a site that every company and organization in tennis can drive
consumers to. Current and potential players will see messaging on product
packaging, in advertising, at tournaments, and more."
On, players can find other players, but also, tennis businesses such as
facilities and teaching pros can promote their court time availability, events, programming,
lessons, clinics, etc. In addition, is a resource for anyone looking for more
information about tennis, including equipment and court locations.
" spreads a simple message that is the core of this industry and that we
all should get behind: We want people to play tennis," says TIA President Greg Mason .
"The new website is designed to help tennis businesses grow by helping
them service more customers, more efficiently. It will help get more people playing,
more frequently."
When the new site launches, it will also incorporate the current Growing Tennis System,
so businesses can register and create content from the same system that users access,
providing a more deeply integrated, streamlined user experience.
TIA Meetings in N.Y. and Florida to . F o ~ c u s on Industry Growth
The TIA will hold upcoming meetings in March around the
BNP Paribas Showdown event in New York and the USTA
Annual Meeting in Florida, focusing on growing
the industry.
The New York meetings, on Monday afternoon, March 4,
will include an invited group of retailers and manufacturers
and focus on the state of the tennis industry and industry
efforts to help boost tennis retail, including a retail division
and retail event promotions. The BNP Pari bas Showdown,
which takes place in Madison Square Garden starting at
7 p.m., will feature Serena Williams vs. Victoria Azarenka
and Rafael Nadal vs. Juan Martin del Potro.
The TIA Board of Directors will meet in Weston, Fla., at
the Bonaventure Resort & Spa on Saturday, March 16,
during the USTA's Annual Meeting. The board meeting
will include research updates on the industry, including
Youth Tennis, along with initiatives and strategies to
help grow the game and opportunities to increase tennis
"We continue to
engage all segments
in supporting industry
grow-the-game efforts,
and we look forward
to promoting further
opportunities to create
more frequent players,
get more people playing
and focus on growing
the tennis economy,"
says TIA President
Greg Mason.
16 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY March 2013 Join the TIA ... Increase Your Profits ... Grow the Game ...
The tennis industry saw positive w holesale dollar growth have increased 124%. Youth tennis racquets rebounded in
2012 with 5% growth in wholesale shi pment units and 10%
growth in w holesale shipment dollars.
i n 2012 in al l equipment categories measured by the TIA-
racquets, strings and balls, including breakout categories
for championship tennis balls as well as red, orange and
green (ROG) balls. The 2012 growth represents a significant
rebound from the challenges the industry faced in 2011.
To help measure the overall equipment segment, the
TIA has unveiled a new measure, t he Tennis Industry
Equipment Index, whi ch aggregates total wholesale
dollar shipments for racquets, balls, and strings. The 2012
index, whi ch is up 7 points over the previous year to 119,
is approaching the pre-recessionary levels seen by the
industry i n 2007 and 2008. Helping drive this growth in
t he index was a soli d overall year for t he youth tennis
equipment market as well as slightl y increasi ng average
pri ce points for the equipment categories.
TIA industry indicators for specialty tennis retai lers also
showed positive results for 2012 over 2011. According to
the latest data released in the TIA Specialty Store Retail
Audit, year-end racquet unit sales were up just over 2% and
were at their highest l evels since late 2008.
For questions regarding TIA research, contact TIA Operations
Manager Ryan Melton at or
(843) 473-4490.
Tennis Industry Equipment Index
In 2012, whol esale shipments of ROG tennis balls grew
38% in both units and dollars. The green ball showed the
most signifi cant growth year-over-year, up 83% in total
units shipped. From 2010 to 2012, ROG ball shipment units
Overall, tMVIII Itrfnp. bells and rHquets showed positi ve growth performance in 2012:
• Wholesale dollar shipments of strings were up 2% over 2011, however units w ere f lat.
• Wholesale dollar shipments of balls were up 6%, units up 1%.
• Wholesale dollar shipments of racquets were up 7%, units up 1%.
Want to see what industry events
are coming up for this year? Visit
Tenni and click on
" view upcoming events" t o be
t aken t o t he unique Tennis Industry
Event Calendar. Click on a day and
it w ill displ ay the industry event;
t hen click on the event to reveal
details, descriptions, and direct
links to registering and for more
information. You can also view
or download a pdf of t he yearly
events calendar (above).
Stay Current With Cardio Tennis
& TRX Training for 2013

Cardia Tennis Training Courses, held at venues across the U.S. and overseas,
are designed to help deliver a consistent Cardia Tennis product. Cardia Tennis
Authorized Providers who complete a Training Course will then be designated a
Licensed Cardia Tennis Professional.
Tennis providers who have attended a Cardia Tennis workshop in 2009 or l ater
are considered current and licensed. If you attended a workshop or training
prior to 2009 and would like to be a Licensed Cardia Tennis Professional,
you will need to attend another workshop, as the Cardio Tennis product and
education has changed significantly since it was introduced in 2005.
Upcoming Cardia Tennis and TAX Cardia Tennis Training Courses are below.
For the most current schedule and to register, visit
F<cb. 74: Windyke CC, Memphis, TN Apnl21: Wheaton Sports Center, Wheaton,ll
feb. 2A: Elite Squad TC, Overland Park, KS May' Van Der Meer TC, Hilton Head Island, SC
MArch 16: Althea Gibson Tennis Complex at Empire May 7 Van Der Meer TC. Hilton Head Island, SC
Park,Wilmington, NC (TRX Cardia Tennis)
..-arC'b 16: las Vegas Hotel & Casino, las Vegas, NV May 11: Forest Crest Athletic Club, Mountlake
Marth 17: las Vegas Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV
Terrace, WA
(TRX Cardia Tennis) Mlly 17: Valley CC, Aurora, CO
tl.11rr:h 17: Dana Hills TC, Dana Point, CA P.ll1y t B: All Season TC, Acton, MA
Marth 2_3: Ivory Ridge Swim & TC, Lehi, UT Jena 1 McCormack-Nagelsen TC, Williamsburg, VA

USTA BJK National Tennis Center, Juna7. The Tennis Center at College Park, College
Flushing, NY Park, MO
4prilfi: The Club at Carlton Woods,
Juna 8 The Tennis Center at College Park, College
The Woodlands, TX Park, MD (TRX Cardio Tennis)
Apr l113. Orlando TC, Orlando, Fl Sonr. 29: TBO, Orlando, Fl
4ptil11t= Wee Burn CC, Oarien, CT Sept. 30: TBO. Orlando. Fl !TRX Cardio Tennis)
Join the TIA ... Increase Your Profits . • Grow the Game ... March 2013 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 17
w Growing youth participation in tennis
with local partnerships with tennis
facilities, and your in-store and youth
and family promotions.
w Partnering with local teaching pros to
promote 10 and Under Tennis demon-
strations, local Play Days and kid’s
This is just a sampling of the tremen-
dous research resources TIA is making
available to specialty tennis retailers. You
can learn more about taking advantage
of and using TIA research for your retail
business by getting the podcast of a TIA
Retail Webinar we gave in mid-February
(email for
more information). w
are $733.
This partial
demographic profile
of a frequent tennis
player allows you to:
w Review your customer list to deter-
mine the demographic profile of your
store’s frequent tennis player—and
benchmark your marketing and
sales plan to attract and build a
client list that matches or exceeds
the TIA profile.
w Benchmark the estimated annual ten-
nis expenditure of the typical frequent
tennis player at $733 and exceed it.
The reasons frequent tennis players
gave for playing more tennis include:
1. Found someone/new people to play
2. Had more time to play this year.
3. Joined a tennis league.
4. Took tennis lesions.
This is great business planning infor-
mation for your store:
w Facilitate tennis players finding other
tennis players at the same skill level
and help to set-up matches.
w Be the catalyst for your customer join-
ing a local league and signing up for
lessons with a local pro.
w Partner with your local tennis facilities
to set-up special membership deals for
your customers.
and Under Tennis
Impact on Retailers:
According to a “quick pulse” survey of
pro/specialty tennis retailers, about a
third saw increases in sales of Red,
Orange and Green tennis balls. These
research findings help support your
store’s vested interest in growing tennis
in the youth market. To help promote 10
and Under Tennis in your community,
you can focus your store’s plan on:
hy do tennis retailers
need research? Great
question! Research has
been the stuff of big retailer strategic
planning and corporate board
rooms. But the speed of change and
the New American Consumer,
empowered by technology, has
made it essential for specialty tennis
retailers of all sizes to tap into and
use research.
The good news is, the cost of
excellent research has plummeted,
and thanks to the TIA it is readily
available to its retail members. Visit
the TIA website,,
click on “Retail” at the top, then
“Research,” and you’ll find informa-
tion on the following reports:
w State of The Industry
w USTA/TIA Participation Study
w Cost of Doing Business
w Consumer Retail Report
The TIA makes these reports
available to retail members at no or
low cost. Contact TIA Retail Manager
Marty Mohar at marty@tennisindus- for details and to order
The TIA State of the
Industry is the place for you to
start harvesting the wonderful and
powerful insights for retailers that
are available for your business plan-
ning. Among the interesting stats in
the 2012 State of the Industry is the
Physical Activity Council chart that
shows tennis’ participation growth
rate from 2000 to 2011, which leads
all traditional sports.
The frequent tennis player profile
offers some revealing data. The aver-
age age of a frequent player is 35
years old; about 52% of frequent
players are women; median house-
hold income is $83,000, and esti-
mated annual tennis expenditures
This is part of a series
of retail tips presented
by the Tennis Industry
Association and written
by the Gluskin Townley Group (www.gluskin-
The next TIA Retail Webinar will be
on March 12 at 2 p.m. Eastern
time, on “Using Assessment Bench-
marks to Improve Your Specialty
Tennis Retail Business.”
How To Use Research to
Help Your Retail Business
over time—has long been used as an
economic stimulus. One hundred per-
cent “bonus” depreciation expired at
the end of 2011. Today, the new law
allows 50% bonus depreciation for
property placed in service through
2013. Some transportation and longer-
lived property are even eligible for
bonus depreciation through 2014.
To be eligible for bonus depreciation,
property must be depreciable under the
standard MACRS system, and have a
recovery period of less than 20 years.
Code Section 179 first-year expensing
remains a viable alternative especially
for small businesses. Property qualifying
for the Section 179 write-off may be
either used or new in contrast to the
bonus depreciation requirement that the
taxpayer be the “first to use.”
The part of the tax laws that imposes
dollar limits on the annual depreciation
deductions for cars and light trucks used
in business operation is also impacted
by the new bonus depreciation rules. If
bonus depreciation had not been
extended, the 2012 tax year would have
been the final year in which substantial
first-year write-offs for buyers of busi-
ness automobiles would be available.
Strictly Business
Among the business provisions in the
new law are:
w Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC),
a tax credit that rewards employers
that hire individuals from targeted
groups, has been extended to Dec. 31,
2013, and applies to individuals who
begin work for the employer after Dec.
31, 2011. Under the revised WOTC,
businesses hiring an individual from
within a targeted group are eligible for
a credit generally equal to 40 percent
of first-year wages up to $6,000.
w Employer-Provided Educational Assis-
tance: The new tax law extends per-
Now, the higher expensing limits in
effect in 2011 have been reinstated for
2012 and extended for expenditures
made before Dec. 31, 2013. Thus, a
tennis business can expense and imme-
diately deduct up to $500,000 of
expenditures in 2012 and 2013. Of
course this is subject to a phase-out if
total capital expenditures exceed $2
million. The maximum amount that
can be expensed in years beginning
after 2013 will, without amendment,
drop to $25,000.
w Computer Software: The election to
expense off-the-shelf computer soft-
ware under Section 179 has also been
extended and applies to expenditures
made before Dec. 31, 2013.
w Real Property Write-Offs: Those tennis
businesses with expenditures in 2012
and 2013 for qualified real property
such as land and whatever is erected
on it can now claim Section 179
expensing treatment for such expendi-
w Qualified Leasehold Improvements:
Those in the industry who had given up
on the prospect of recovering the cost
of improvements to leased property, or
retail improvements over the former
shorter 15-year period, should now
review their capital expenditures for
2012—or think about making expendi-
tures that qualify before the end of
2013. The new law extends the 15-year
straight-line recovery for qualified
improvements made to leased proper-
ty, qualified restaurant buildings, and
qualified retail improvements for
expenditures made before Jan. 1, 2014.
Best of all, the write-off applies to all
property placed in service after Dec.
31, 2011.
w Bonus Depreciation: The tax-break that
allows a profitable tennis facility or
business to write-off large capital
expenditures immediately—rather than
he so-called “Fiscal Cliff” tax
package recently passed by Con-
gress and signed into law
renewed more than 50 temporary tax
breaks through 2013, saving individu-
als and businesses an estimated $76
billion. Admittedly, single individuals
with incomes above the $400,000
level and married couples with income
higher than $450,000 will pay more in
taxes in 2013 because of a higher 39.6
percent income tax rate and a 20 per-
cent maximum capital gains tax.
In fact, employees will find less in
their paychecks in 2013 because the
American Taxpayer Relief Act did not
extend the payroll tax holiday that had
reduced Social Security payroll deduc-
tions from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent
on earned income up to the Social
Security wage base ($113,700 for
2013). It is a similar story for the self-
For the owners and operators of
small- and medium-sized tennis retail-
ers and facilities, there is good news
and bad news in the fiscal cliff tax
laws. First, the good news: Greater cer-
tainty in taxes. The owners and opera-
tors of many businesses have grown
used to many longstanding tax breaks
but they also have had to get used to
the uncertainty of whether they will be
renewed each year. While many tax
breaks were allowed to expire at the
end of 2011, the new tax law renews
them retroactively, allowing tennis
facility operators, retailers and other
business owners to claim them on
both their 2012 and 2013 tax returns.
Equipment and
w Expensing Write-Off: The American
Taxpayer Relief Act extended
through 2013 the Tax Code’s Section
179, first-year expensing write-off.
‘Fiscal Cliff’ Package
Offers Tax Savings
manently the exclusion from income
and employment taxes of employer-
provided education assistance up to
$5,250. The business may also deduct
up to $5,250 annually for qualified
education assistance paid on behalf of
an employee.
w Wage Credit for Active Duty Service-
men: The employer wage credit for
employees who are active duty mem-
bers of the uniformed services now
applies to payments made after Dec.
31, 2011 and before Dec. 31, 2013.
w New Markets Tax Credit: The new law
extends the New Markets Tax Credit
that has helped many within the indus-
try with financing for their operations,
through 2013. What’s more, the new
law extends the carryover of the credit
through 2018 (from 2016). The amend-
ments apply to calendar years begin-
ning after Dec. 31, 2011.
w S Corporation’s Built-In Gains: Although
an S corporation is a pass-through enti-
ty and not usually subject to income
taxes, it is liable for the tax imposed
on built-in gains or capital gains. The
tax on built-in gains is a corporate-level
tax on S corporations that dispose of
assets that appreciated in value during
the years when the operation was a
regular “C” corporation. The new law
provides for a 5-year holding period
for the sale of property with built-in
gain for taxable years beginning in
2012 or 2013.
Estate Taxes Never Die
Always of significant interest to family-
owned businesses, the estate tax has
long been a bit of a mixed bag—the $5
million per person exemption was kept
in place (and indexed for inflation con-
tinued), however the top rate is
increased to 40 percent—effective date
Jan. 1, 2013. This change to 40 percent
increased revenues from 2012 policy by
$19 billion.
Other good news for estate plan-
ning—portability is kept in place and
estate and gift remains unified—i.e., the
$5 million stays in place for gift tax pur-
poses as well. And it is all permanent.
Opportunities Abound
The majority of tennis facilities, retailers
and many other businesses operate as
pass-through entities, such as partner-
ships and S corporations. Profits are
passed through to their individual own-
ers and therefore are taxed at individual
income tax rates. A regular “C” corpora-
tion, with its current tax rate of 35 per-
cent, may become more attractive with
rates rising to 39.6 percent for some indi-
Many popular but temporary tax
extenders relating to businesses were
included in the American Taxpayer Relief
Act. Unfortunately, the Act is not the
grand bargain envisioned by lawmakers
and promised to taxpayers. Despite the
Code Section 179 small-business expens-
ing, bonus depreciation, and the Work
Opportunity Tax Credit, the new law is
essentially only a stop-gap measure
designed expressly to prevent the onus
of the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts
from falling on middle-income taxpayers.
Congress must still address spending cuts
and may even tackle tax “reform.”
The time is now—hopefully before fil-
ing your business’s 2012 tax returns—for
every tennis facility operator, retailer and
business owner or manager to consult
with their accountants and/or tax profes-
sionals to focus on the potential savings
offered by these newly revised, extended
and expanded business credits, deduc-
tions and tax write-offs. w
Mark E Battersby is a tax advisor in
Ardmore, PA.
When designing a new facility or making changes to your existing
one, you need to ask the right questions and think it through.
eart pounding? Perspiration dripping? Concentrating on
your next move? Worrying about the bottom line? Wait—
we’re not talking about a tennis match?
Nope, this is how people feel about the process of designing a
new tennis facility—or making significant changes to the one they
have. Often, owners are intimidated by the whole concept: how
to do it, what to consider, when to partner with someone—and
who that should be. Angst ensues, and one of two things happens:
Either the process gets the bum's rush so the result isn't satisfac-
tory, or nobody wants to make any decisions, leading to long
Take one deep breath and one step back. Designing a tennis
facility is a process. An outline of the facility you need will emerge
if you just ask the right questions. Sometimes it helps to think of
the process as part of a flow chart. The questions you ask, and the
answers you get, will lead you through each step.
Question 1: Number of Courts
Whether your facility is new (as in, being designed from the
ground up), or whether you are contemplating changes to an
existing facility, one of the earliest questions will pertain to the
number of courts needed. The need for more courts in any area
is obvious: Symptoms include loud complaints from players and
pros who want court time and can't get it. But how to decide how
many courts you ultimately need?
The book Tennis Courts: A Construction and Maintenance Man-
ual (available from the ASBA at, recommends
the following:
w Studies indicate that facilities should be planned based on the
number of players within 6 miles or 15-20 minutes driving time
from the site.
w In planning indoor tennis facilities, depending upon the climate,
most markets can support one indoor court for every 10,000
people. Depending on programming, each indoor court, if open
for 15 hours a day, can support the needs of approximately 150
w Court usage should be calculated based upon operating hours.
For example, 30 groups of doubles players (30 x 4 = 120 play-
ers) playing 1-1/2 hours at a time twice a week (3 hours/wk), use
90 hours per week (30 x 3). A three-court facility open from 6
a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week has 336 available court
hours per week (3 x 16 x 7). Therefore, 30 groups of doubles
players use over 25% of the capacity of that facility (90/336
= 26.7%). Lighting extends the playing day and allows
courts to host more players.
w The amount of programming will mean fluctuations in the
number of courts needed. The more leagues, lessons, tour-
naments, etc. to be scheduled, the more courts will be
Question 2: Type of Courts
The type of court, meaning the surface, should be chosen by
considering the following:
w Budget (both money and time) for maintenance, as well as
personnel available to do maintenance work when neces-
w Age of players/previous injuries.
w Playing style preference.
w Geographic location. If the climate is temperate, a soft court
can be open longer in the year; in an area where there are
freeze/thaw cycles, it will have to be closed during winter
and re-opened in the spring. Indoor courts may be the most
logical choice in areas with long winters or wet weather.
Question 3: Player Population
What type of players do you have? This should factor into the
design criteria. Consider the different groups that play at your
facility, or those playing in the area that might come to your
w Adults (in various categories: recreational, competitive, etc.)
w Kids (in various categories: 10U players, high-performance
juniors, etc.)
w Teams (high schools and/or college varsity players may use
the facility, as may college club or recreational teams such
as those in Tennis On Campus)
w Leagues (either USTA leagues or any club or municipal
w Any special populations, such as players in wheelchairs,
developmentally challenged groups and so on (and the
accommodations these players may need)
Question 4: Court Use
What types of programming will
you have? Make a list of current
or planned offerings, including
lessons, clinics, round-robin
play, block time for team prac-
tices, Cardio Tennis and more.
Question 5:
What does your existing facility
have, and what would you like
to add? If building from the
ground up, prioritize the things
you need, the things you'd like
to have and more. A partial list
for consideration:
w Utilities (electricity, water, sep-
tic, etc.)
w Shaded or covered areas
between or beside courts (or
picnic tables, benches or other
furniture for players)
w Spectator areas
w Locker rooms, showers and
rest rooms
w Vending machines or conces-
w Room to store equipment like
maintenance equipment, ball
hoppers, ball machines, pop-
up nets for 10U tennis, etc.
w Lighting
w Fencing (with or without wind-
w Backboards or hitting walls
w Divider nets between courts
w Trash cans/recycle containers
w Scorekeepers
w Whiteboards, bulletin boards,
w Pro shop, registration area or
other conveniences
w Parking
w Public address system
Put It All
Create a prospectus with the answers to the questions above.
Once you have this information in hand, you'll be ready to work
with a design partner.
There are design-specific firms, as well as companies that
provide both design and construction services. One of the most
popular construction delivery methods is the Design/Bid/Build,
or Competitive Bid, approach. In this format, the owner
engages a design firm to devise a facility design, prepare con-
struction drawings, specifications and construction documents
and put the project out for bid. General contractors then prepare
bids based on these documents.
A second process is the
Design/Build construction pro-
curement process, in which the
owner contracts with a single
company that is responsible for
both the design and construction
of the project. Other methods,
such as Negotiated Agreements
and Construction Management
Projects, are also used, but these
are generally reserved for very
small projects (Negotiated Agree-
ments) and very large and com-
plex projects (Construction
Management Projects).
Choosing the
Right Partner
Choosing the correct partner for
either Design/Bid/Build or
Design/Build will be the key to
success. Tennis court construc-
tion is a highly specialized field
and calls for knowledge of the
sport, the products and tech-
niques, the surfaces and all the
accessories and amenities need-
ed. A tennis court, though rela-
tively flat, is not a parking lot,
nor is it simply a floor. It must
be constructed to specific toler-
ances in order to be considered
appropriate for sanctioned play.
Seek out experienced con-
tractors. Check references and
ask to visit projects they have
completed. Contact the Ameri-
can Sports Builders Association
(ASBA) and ask about a directo-
ry of members. In addition,
ASBA conducts a voluntary certi-
fication program, in which indi-
viduals can earn the Certified
Tennis Court Builder (CTCB) des-
ignation. (See page 34 for more information about this
The professional partner you choose will work with you to
design the facility that best meets your needs. That partner will
understand issues such as soil conditions, grading, drainage,
storm-water management and more, and can help you negotiate
the maze of permitting and code enforcement.
The path from drawing board to completed facility is a com-
plex one, but it is not impossible. By bringing as much informa-
tion as you can to the table, you will be ready to be a partner,
rather than a bystander, in the process. w
Fast-Dry Courts, Pompano Beach, FL
Lower Bros. Co. Inc., Birmingham, AL
Tennis Courts Inc., Aylett, VA
More facility owners are considering tennis courts built on
post-tensioned concrete slabs because they’re proving to be
longer lasting and more resistant to cracks.
he game of tennis is played on more surface types than
any other traditional sport. From natural and artificial grass
to clay, asphalt, concrete, wood, acrylics, rubber, carpets
and tiles, the playing surface lends a unique dimension to the
game, which can be challenging and enjoyable. Like a new can of
balls, a newly constructed or recently resurfaced court allows the
player to focus more on technique and strategy and increases the
desire to play more often.
Annually, the USTA Community Tennis Development group
works with hundreds of tennis facility owners that manage thou-
sands of tennis courts nationwide, providing consultation on plan-
ning, design and construction of tennis court surfaces and
supporting infrastructure. A large percentage of those facilities
seeking assistance from the USTA are addressing cracks that form
in traditional asphalt tennis court pavements.
While most hard courts in the U.S. are asphalt, more facility
owners are considering post-tensioned concrete for a durable,
long-lasting tennis court pavement. When designed and con-
structed properly, post-tensioned concrete slabs can remain
crack-free for many years after they are completed.
PT concrete has been a common tennis-court construction
technique in Southern California for many years. “Post-tension
reinforced tennis-court slabs have been a standard for our court
building since 1985,”
says Richard Zaino, pres-
ident of Zaino Tennis
Courts in Orange, CA.
“We discovered in our
earliest experience with
engineered post-tension
courts that were
designed and built due to poor soil conditions, the post-tensioned
concrete courts were performing much better then steel rebar-
reinforced slabs on good soil conditions. So we took what was
given to us by the post-tensioned concrete engineers for specific
sites and made this a standard in all our court building.
“Reinforced slabs with thicker concrete, larger size rebar
and/or thicker sections of base were still not reliable and would
develop cracks,” Zaino continues. “We were seeing such a great
success with the 'cable' courts that we decided in the mid-80s to
make this our standard and promote and build all courts with
post-tensioned cables. Over the years, we’ve developed and
refined this design so we can provide owners with none to very
few cracks. The combination of the properly prepared subgrade,
vapor barrier, concrete mix design and cables will provide the
longest lasting controlled crack slab possible. The post-tension
courts built in 1985 are surpassing all other types of hard courts
for crack control.”
"In the past,” adds Darrel Snyder of Mid-America Courtworks
of Wichita, KS, “asphalt courts have been less costly to build.
Now with the increasing price of oil, asphalt prices have risen to
the point that concrete prices are fairly equal."
Many areas of the country are experiencing an increase in
post-tensioned concrete court construction, due to the durability
and long life of PT concrete slabs. Among the USTA sections that
have seen more PT courts are Intermountain, Texas, Missouri
Valley and Mid-Atlantic.
"Asphalt tennis courts in the Northeast will crack, there’s no
getting around it," says Michael Fortuna of Classic Turf Co. in
Woodbury, CT. "The environment is too extreme. Winters are
cold, summers are hot, and there is a lot of precipitation to make
the soils active and unstable. Post-tensioned concrete slabs are
specifically designed to handle these extreme conditions."
Construction Challenges
With this growth in post-tensioned concrete slab development,
the industry also has seen an increase in slab failures and court
cracking as a result of the designer or court contractor not under-
standing the fundamentals of PT concrete slab construction.
Once the slab fails or significant cracks form, it is nearly impos-
sible to fix the problem areas of the court without significant
investment in replacement or overlays.
“It is vitally important to get the right design from the design-
er and/or builder and hire a builder who has a thorough under-
standing and experience with post-tension cables, concrete mix
design, vapor barrier and site conditions for tennis courts,” Zaino
The ASBA and USTA publication “Tennis Courts:
A Construction & Maintenance Manual, 2012”
includes a chapter on post-tensioned concrete
court construction. To obtain a copy of the manu-
al, visit
says. “Tennis courts are not building foundations and crossover
‘designs’ can be totally wrong. An improper or inadequate vapor
barrier could be detrimental to the concrete curing and surface
coatings. The wrong con-
crete mix design and place-
ment will also have a
detrimental effect to the
foundation and cable rein-
Remember that even
among concrete contrac-
tors, there will be signifi-
cant variations. A local
concrete company with no
skill or experience in ten-
nis-court construction will
not be suitable for the high-
ly specialized work
demanded for a successful
PT concrete court installa-
tion. Problems ranging
from merely aesthetic
(spotting of the surface due
to inadequate sheathing on
the cables) to total cata-
strophic failure can result.
The standard PT con-
crete tennis-court slab con-
sists of well-compacted
subgrade soils, stone sub-
base layer, a fine aggregate
“cushion” layer, polyethyl-
ene-sheeting layers (vapor
barrier), Portland cement
concrete and greased steel
cables. “We like placing a
very tight aggregate base,
compacted to 95 percent
with a smooth drum vibra-
tory roller, then install two
10-mil sheets of vapor bar-
rier,” says Zaino.
The greased steel cables
set in plastic sheathing are
spaced evenly across the
length and width of the ten-
nis-court pavement. After
the concrete is poured, the
cables are stressed, which
places the concrete under
permanent compression.
Like a rubber band, steel
cables when stretched
want to rebound to their
original length. It is the
force exerted on the cables and transferred to the concrete that
keeps the slab from forming cracks during the curing process for
the life of the concrete.
Concrete, when curing, loses water while the concrete
strengthens. This loss of water will shrink the concrete slab, and
if not properly addressed with reinforcing, joints or post-ten-
sioned cables, will result in cracks forming throughout the slab.
According to the Post-Tension-
ing Institute's publication,
Design and Construction of
Post-Tensioned Sport Courts, a
"typical post-tensioned con-
crete court will shorten by
approximately 1/4 inch per 40
feet of length over the long
For a 120-foot-long tennis
court, this would equate to 3/4
of an inch. In order to allow the
slab to move during the curing
process, the contractor should
minimize the friction on the
underside of the slab so that
when the slab concrete shrinks
and cracks form, the cables
pull the slab sections together,
thereby minimizing the impact
any crack that may form
would have on play. This mini-
mization of friction is accom-
plished with fine stone
aggregate and polyethylene
sheeting, typically in two
sheeting layers just below the
Cable Tension
and Spacing
Most tennis courts include net
posts, nets, center strap
anchors, center straps and
fencing as part of the court.
Net posts, center strap anchors
and fencing typically require
foundations below the court
surface for structural support.
Posts and anchors that pene-
trate the post-tensioned con-
crete slab can, if not properly
installed, impede the ability of
the slab to shorten during cur-
ing, thereby defeating the pur-
pose of the post-tensioning
process. A properly designed
and constructed PT concrete
tennis court will include foam
isolation material where a post
or anchor must penetrate the
slab. The perimeter fencing
should, when possible, be constructed independent of the slab
and outside the slab footprint.
As mentioned, the steel cables, when stressed, provide the
compressive forces to hold the court together. The cables must
Courtesy of Zaino Tennis Courts, Orange, CA
Courtesy of Zaino Tennis Courts, Orange, CA
Courtesy Patriot Court Systems Inc., Houston, TX
be spaced close enough so that the cables can pull the weight of
the slab and overcome the friction of the underside of the slab.
Design and Construction of
Post-Tensioned Sport Courts
is an excellent resource
that provides tendon spac-
ing formulas to ensure the
cables can properly move
the slab during the curing
When we’re asked to
review a facility that has
had slab failures, we often
find the tendon spacing
calculations have not been
completed, or the contrac-
tor used spacing that may
have worked for them in
the past without consider-
ing the total length of the
court or slab thickness.
“We have found suc-
cess placing cables closer
than required and using
the higher standard formu-
las,” Zaino says. “The other
practical benefit for closer
spaced cables are the addi-
tional cable intersections
for chair supports, provid-
ing better support of the
cables in the middle of the
slab, particularly during the
concrete placement.”
The major benefit of
post-tensioned concrete
construction over the old
standard reinforced con-
crete is PT concrete slabs
do not need the same
amount of pavement joints
to control cracking. A rein-
forced concrete pavement
will require joints to con-
trol cracking as close as 12
feet in all directions, which
result in joints being locat-
ed within the playing lines
of the court. While a PT
concrete slab does not
require the same joint
spacing as a reinforced slab, metal key joints should be installed
at the net line and between courts of a post-tensioned concrete
slab to allow for horizontal movement.
One misunderstanding we often find of post-tensioned con-
crete construction is that many think PT concrete tennis courts
can bridge over poor soils and therefore proper preparation and
compaction of the soils under the court is not necessary. We
strongly recommend all poor and expansive soils beneath a PT
concrete court be removed
and the soils be properly com-
pacted before the court is
built. As with all pavements,
efforts must be made to direct
water away from the court
pavement so that the pave-
ment sub-base and subgrade
remain dry.
Many contractors in the
industry install a 2-inch-thick
layer of sand under the post-
tensioned slab to provide a
base for the slab and reduce
friction on the underside of
the slab. We have found that
stone fines provide a firmer
base than sand, because the
sand tends to deform when
construction personnel walk
on it to set the cables and pour
and finish the concrete.
While asphalt tennis courts
will most likely remain the
predominant court pavement
throughout the U.S. for the
next several years, a properly
designed and constructed
post-tensioned concrete court
will emerge as the most cost-
effective long-term life-cycle
alternative. w
The American Sports Builders
Association (ASBA) is a non-
profit association helping
designers, builders, owners,
operators and users understand
quality sports facility construc-
tion. The ASBA sponsors infor-
mative meetings and publishes newsletters, books and technical
construction guidelines for athletic facilities including tennis courts,
running tracks, athletic fields and indoor structures. Available at no
charge is a listing of all publications offered by the Association, as
well as the ASBA’s Membership Directory. Info: 866-501-ASBA
(2722) or
Courtesy Pro-Sport Construction Inc., Devon, PA
Courtesy Pro-Sport Construction Inc., Devon, PA
Courtesy Stantec Sport, Boston, MA
Regular care and maintenance is cost-effective and will keep
courts looking and playing great. The Annual Maintenance Planner
on the following pages, excerpted from the “Tennis Courts”
manual, is essential for your courts.
well-constructed and well-maintained tennis court will
offer years of play. To maximize the useful life of any type
of court, facility owners
and managers should develop and
implement a regular schedule of
Regular inspection of the court
and repair of minor irregularities
is more cost-effective than allow-
ing the court to deteriorate to the
point where it requires major
repair or reconstruction. Even
with regular maintenance, over
time, all courts will need some
The most important step in
maintaining all types of court sur-
faces is to keep them clean by
removing debris immediately and
by spot-cleaning spills as soon as
they occur. Practice preventive
maintenance by prohibiting food
and beverages (except water) on
the court area and by prohibiting
smoking on the court. Provide
wastebaskets to encourage players
and spectators to keep the surface
clean. Pick up stray balls, ball cans
and “pop-tops,” which can dam-
age the court surface, become a
tripping hazard and make the
court area unsightly. At the end of
the playing season, inspect all
court equipment and order any
replacement parts so that the
equipment can be repaired during
the off season.
The amount of maintenance
required by a particular tennis facility will vary depending on the
geographic location, the amount and type of use, player conduct
and alternative use, if any. In any
case, the owner should develop an
appropriate maintenance plan, ensure
that maintenance is performed at
timely intervals and keep records of
maintenance procedures and condi-
tions or problems noted. The need for
excessive maintenance may be an
indicator of more serious problems.
The chart on the following pages,
excerpted with permission from the
2012 edition of “Tennis Courts: A
Construction & Maintenance Manual,”
covers maintenance issues for many
types of courts and includes pre-sea-
son, post-season, daily, weekly and
long-term maintenance. However, to
make sure you’re hitting the mainte-
nance bull’s-eye for your facility,
make sure you
have the com-
plete “Tennis
Courts” manual
on hand, which
give compre-
hensive infor-
mation for
ing all
types of
To order or
download “Tennis Courts: A
Construction & Maintenance Manual,”
visit or call
443-640-1042. w
Reprinted with permission from "Tennis Courts: A Construction & Maintenance Manual, 2012"
Reprinted with permission from "Tennis Courts: A Construction & Maintenance Manual, 2012"
The USTA’s Outstanding Facility Awards Program recognizes
excellent facilities every year.
ach year the USTA honors tennis facilities that
meet criteria that includes overall excellence in
such areas as site layout, accommodations, aes-
thetics, amenities and programs that support the growth
of tennis. For 2012, the 31st Annual USTA Facility
Awards program honored seven facilities, and one of
those was selected for special recognition.
The Courts at Gabe Nesbitt Community Park in McK-
inney, TX, was named the USTA’s Outstanding Facility of
the Year and honored during the Awards Breakfast at the
USTA’s Semi-Annual Meeting held in New York during
the US Open. Earlier, that facility along with the six other
Outstanding Facilities were recognized during the USTA
Technical Committee meeting.
Each of the winning facilities were praised for their
implementation of USTA programs, including 10 and
Under Tennis. “We are proud to recognize these facilities
for their continued devotion to the sport," said Kurt Kam-
perman, the USTA’s chief executive of Community Ten-
nis. “The facilities have embraced 10 and Under Tennis
and other initiatives that help grow the game, exposing
thousands of new players to the sport each year.”
To be considered for an award, facilities must be
under the jurisdiction of a parks and recreation depart-
ment, an educational institution, a non-profit corporation,
or private or commercially-owned and -operated facilities
that offer both USTA and public programming designed
to help grow tennis.
The 2012 recipients were selected based on criteria
that included the following:
w Overall layout and adaptation to the site.
w Excellence of court surface and lights.
w Ease of maintenance.
w Accommodations for players, spectators, press/officials.
w Aesthetics: Graphical representation of facility, use of
signs, landscaping, etc.
w Amenities: Casual seating for spectators, food services,
and social area.
w Programs supporting the USTA and the growth of tennis
overall. w
2012 USTA Facility Awards
Program Winners
Large Tennis Centers (11 or more courts)
w The Courts at Gabe Nesbitt Community Park, McKinney, TX
Educational Institution
w Wake Forest Tennis Complex, Winston-Salem, NC
Private Facilities
w Charlotte Country Club, Charlotte, NC
w Ellis Tennis Center, El Paso, TX
w Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort, Tucson, AZ
w Sea Colony Resort, Bethany Beach, DE
w The Haig Point Club, Daufuskie Island, SC
Is Your Tennis Facility
The USTA’s Facility Awards Program, now in its 32nd year, is designed
to acknowledge excellence in design, construction and programming
of tennis facilities. Recognition is not a competition among applicants,
but rather a recognition of those facilities that meet the criteria of the
Recipients will be honored at the USTA Technical Committee meeting
during the Semi-Annual Meeting held in New York City during the US
Open. In addition to a sign to display at their facility, recipients will
receive a free one-year USTA organizational membership, and one
facility will be recognized as the “USTA 2013 Featured Facility,” with
its name on a permanent plaque at the USTA Billie Jean King National
Tennis Center.
For more information on the USTA’s 2013 Outstanding Facility Awards
program, and to find out how to nominate facilities, visit, or email
The Courts at Gabe Nesbitt Community Park
McKinney, TX
Sea Colony Resort, Bethany Beach, DE The Haig Point Club, Daufuskie Island, SC
Ellis Tennis Center, El Paso, TX Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort,
Tucson, AZ
Wake Forest Tennis Complex, Winston-Salem, NC Charlotte Country Club, Charlotte, NC
The ASBA’s Certified Tennis Court Builder program strives to
raise professional standards in court construction.
he Certified Tennis Court Builder (CTCB) program offered
by ASBA is a means of allowing individuals to demonstrate
expertise in the field of tennis court construction. It was
developed to help raise professional standards and to improve the
practice of court construction.
Certification is a voluntary program and is undertaken by an
individual, rather than a company. In order to become a certified
builder, and to use the designation of CTCB, an individual must
meet specific criteria set forth by ASBA, including showing a set
amount of experience in the construction and maintenance of ten-
nis courts and passing a comprehensive exam on tennis court con-
struction and maintenance. To maintain the CTCB designation,
builders must recertify every three years, which can be achieved
by documenting a sufficient level of continuing education activities
in the sports facility construction industry, or by passing the exam-
ination again.
We’d like to give a shout-out to the following list of 66 court
builders who currently hold the designation of Certified Tennis
Court Builder. When looking for a builder for your next court pro-
ject, renovation, or maintenance, consider a CTCB.
For information about the CTCB program—and to find more
complete contact information for the CTCBs listed here, go to, and select "Certification" from the tool-
bar at the top of the page. w
Danny Amonett, CTCB
American Tennis
Courts Inc.
Mobile, AL
David Baird, CTCB
Industrial Surface
Sealer, Inc.
Cleveland, OH
Burnham Beard, CTCB
Peggy Beard, CTCB
Mark Brogan, CTCB
Pro-Sport Construction,
Devon, PA
James Burdett, CTCB
Connor Sport Court –
Sport Court West
Salt Lake City, UT
David Clapp, CTB,
Baseline Sports
Knoxville, TN
John Coll, CTCB
Top-A-Court Co.
Hatsfield, PA
Jonnie Deremo, CTCB
General Acrylics, Inc.
Phoenix, AZ
Thomas DeRosa, CTCB
DeRosa Sports
Mamaroneck, NY
Bruce Dobson, CTCB
Chesapeake Court
Builders, Inc.
Baltimore, MD
Colin Donovan, CTCB
Renner Sports Surfaces
Denver, CO
Mike Edgerton, CTCB
Copeland Coating Co.,
Nassau, NY
Tony Edwards, CTCB
Vintage Contractors,
San Francisco, CA
Jimmy Fox, CTCB
Sport Court of Arizona
Scottsdale, AZ
Adam Fryor, CTCB
Court One, Inc.
Youngsville, NC
Albert Giamei, Jr.,
Copeland Coating Co.,
Nassau, NY
Matt Graft, CTCB
Talbot Tennis
Marietta, GA
Matt Hale, CTB, CTCB
Halecon, Inc.
Bridgewater, NJ
Corey Hardick, CTCB
C. H. Court Tech
Spring Valley, CA
Kevin Healion, CTCB
Century Tennis, Inc.
Deer Park, NY
Dale Hendrickson,
TD Sports, Inc.
Simi Valley, CA
John Henzel, CTCB
John Henzel Tennis
Court Systems Inc.
Tulsa, OK
Shawn Hollingsworth,
Sportsline, Inc.
Exton, PA
Thomas Joseph, CTCB
Coatings, Inc.
Arvada, CO
Michael Kingsburg,
Fowler Construction
Bracebridge, Ontario
Fred Kolkmann, CTCB
Fred Kolkmann Tennis
& Sport Surfaces, LLC
Grafton, WI
Sean Larsen, CTCB
Parkin Construction
Woodscross, UT
Linn Lower, CTCB
Lower Bros. Co., Inc.
Birmingham, AL
Tony Mackay, CTCB
Court Care Systems,
Wantagh, NY
Carla Magers, CTCB
Gerald Perry Tennis
Ozark, MO
L. Bruce Mahler, CTCB
Boston Tennis Court
Construction Co., Inc.
Hanover, MA
Fred Manchester,
Manchester Courts,
Lexington, SC
David Marsden, CTCB
Boston Tennis Court
Construction Co., Inc.
Hanover, MA
Michael McGrath,
Talbot Tennis
Marietta, GA
Miles Minson, CTCB
Renner Sports Surfaces
Salt Lake City, UT
David Moore, CTCB
Cape & Island Tennis
& Track
Pocasset, MA
Paul Fritz Myers, CTCB
Carlos Navas, CTCB
Sport Court Midwest
Bensenville, IL
Herb Osburn, CTCB
Tennis Courts, Inc.
Aylett, VA
Philip Park, CTCB
All Sport America, Inc.
Walnut Creek, CA
Carl Paylor, CTCB
Gordy Pierce, CTCB
Cape & Island Tennis
& Track
Pocasset, MA
Larry Pitts, CTCB
Court Surfaces, Inc.
Green Cove Springs, FL
Bob Pratsch, CTB,
American Systems
Suamico, WI
Ben Rennolds, CTCB
Rennolds Tennis Court
Construction, Inc.
Tappahannock, VA
JR Rockenfield, CTCB
McConnell & Associ-
ates Corp.
Kansas City, MO
Todd Rudolph, CTCB
Sunland Sports
Phoenix, AZ
Bill Shaughnessy,
The Racquet Shop, Inc.
Colts Neck, NJ
Pete Smith, CTCB
The CourtSmiths
Toledo, OH
Darrel Snyder, CTCB
Mid American Court-
Wichita, KS
George Stahlin, CTCB
Evergreen Tennis
Courts, Inc.
Loveland, CO
Scott Starman, CTCB
Renner Sports Surfaces
Denver, CO
Matt Strom, CTCB
Leslie Coatings, Inc.
Indianapolis, IN
Jacin Sutch, CTCB
Sutch Concrete
Benjamin, UT
Michael Taylor, CTCB
Sport Court of Oregon
Portland, OR
George Todd, Jr., CTCB
Welch Tennis Courts,
Sun City, FL
Joe Ure, CTCB
Connor Sport Court
Murray, UT
Mike Vinton, CTCB
Vasco Sports Contrac-
Massillon, OH
Fred Volpacchio, CTCB
Hudson Design Build
Peekskill, NY
Pat Walker, CTCB
Sport Court Midwest
Bensenville, IL
Rob Werner, CTB,
Sportsline, Inc.
Exton, PA
Brian Wright, CTCB
Court One
Granite Quarry, NC
Gerry Wright, CTCB
Court One
Youngsville, NC
Steve Wright, CTCB
Trans Texas Tennis,
Hot Springs, AR
Richard Zaino, CTCB
Zaino Tennis Courts,
Orange, CA
Here’s a quick look at some of the court construction and
maintenance products available for 2013, from many companies
that displayed their wares at the trade show during the ASBA’s
annual Technical Meeting in December.
CourtPro Score Post
Welch Tennis Courts Inc. is featuring the CourtPro line of tennis accessories, including the
new CourtPro Score Post. The all-in-one compact scoreboard has a heavy-duty extruded
body with the traditional two-color design for home and visitors, and it will hold up to even
the most extreme weather. Includes sturdy metal base and hose clamps for easy mounting
to either net post or fence post. 813-641-7787/
Deluxe Courtsider Bench
This 5-foot-long bench, in Open Tournament Blue, is constructed of extruded high-
density plastic resin, making it maintenance-free, weatherproof and lightweight.
From Douglas Industries, the Deluxe model offers more slats for greater stability and
is contoured for comfort. Durable plastic legs can be bolted down for permanent
positioning. 800-553-8907/
DuraPlay Synthetic Turf
DuraPlay’s synthetic turf surface for tennis courts can simulate tennis on hard and
clay court surfaces, lowers maintenance costs and is easy on the knees. Plus, there’s
no need for yearly repainting, says the maker. It comes with five- and eight-year war-
Edwards Classic Round Net Posts
Available for permanent Youth Tennis court installations, Edwards Classic Round Net Posts are
made of 11-gauge steel with 3-inch O.D. Installed at 36-inch height, the posts are fitted with alu-
minum caps with stainless steel fixing pins, welded lacing rods, internal brass winder and remov-
able handle. The posts are zinc-dipped inside and out for rust protection, and the green polyester
powder-coated finish is chip- and fade-resistant. 800-527-0871, ext. 9044
Premium ArmorMesh and Standard Mesh
Enhance your court’s appearance while blocking wind and distractions with Premi-
um ArmorMesh and Standard mesh windscreens from Humphrys-CoverSports. The
windscreens feature heat-sealed hems, a seamless look and no thread breaks. Cus-
tom-made to your fence dimensions, the screens also can be customizable with let-
tering and logos. 800-445-6680/
Pulastic® Comfort Court 50
Now available in the U.S. and Canada is Pulastic Comfort Court 50 surface from
Descol, made of polyurethane and recycled rubber. Distributed by Robbins Inc.
Comfort Court 50 utilizes a prefabricated, recycled rubber base to provide resilience,
coupled with a tough, UV-resistant, seamless polyurethane surface for durability. It’s
available in a wide range of standard colors. 513-871-8988/
Slam Strap Tennis Net Center Strap
Used on courts at the US Open, the new Slam Strap by 10-S Tennis Supply ensures the net is at regu-
lation height. Just align the seam on the top of the strap to the top of the net’s headband then adjust
the strong Velcro fastening strip to align the metal tab with the ground. The internal fastening system
locks in the perfect height and is guaranteed not to slip—with no measuring and no buckles. It installs
in 60 seconds and works on all court surfaces and net anchors. 800-247-3907/
Green Tennis Machine
Use the Greencycle Ball Savers’ revolutionary Rebounces technology to restore dead tennis balls to their orig-
inal bounce. The new Green Tennis Machine extends the life of practice balls and reduces waste. There are
three sizes to meet any facility’s needs. The Greencycle Ball Saver KT400 re-pressurizes 400 balls every 72
hours with a weekly capacity of 800 balls; the KT250 re-pressurizes 250 balls every 72 hours; and the KT150
re-pressurizes 150 balls every 72 hours. 800-247-3907/
Premier™ XS in Open Tournament Blue
The 2-7/8-inch O.D. Premier net post from Douglas Industries is made of 8-gauge steel with a baked-on
polyester powder-coat finish that features Allieds Flo Coat process. The durable post has a jam-free cable
tensioning hardware system with hardened gears and case. The post, which comes with plated steel gear
hardware and welded lacing rods, is easy to operate with a 30:1 self-locking gear ratio. 800-553-8907/dou-
Rebound Ace Rome
Rebound Ace Rome features the shock absorption of an area elastic HARO subfloor,
a Nike Grind underlayment and an acrylic finish. Ongoing development has pro-
duced improvements and options to provide flexibility of speed, playing characteris-
tics and player comfort. Nike Grind materials provide the core of the underlayment,
with wood harvested by FSC-certified manufacturers to reduce the environmental
impact at the production of the HARO subfloors. 407-865-6279/
Ask the Experts
for in the VS brand of string? I
keep thinking of a very old string
Victor Superb.
for its natural gut. Around 1875
when Babolat starting making tennis
strings, it was trying various raw materials
and processes. To keep track, the raw
materials received one tracking letter and
the process received another. As it turns
out, the raw material "V" along with the
process "S" turned out to be the best. The
rest is history.
There also used to be Victor natural gut
strings (including the famous Victor Imperi-
al), but Victor was not connected with
Babolat or with VS.
son’s introduction of the new
Steam 99S, but from what I can
tell, it’s not available in a 4-5/8-inch (L5)
grip. Does this mean it’s only for smaller
global business director for tennis
racquets at Wilson, “We have seen the
demand for 4-5/8-inch grips shrink sub-
stantially in recent years. In an ongoing
effort to streamline our offering and focus,
the Steam 99S is not offered in 4-5/8. If we
determine there is a significant demand in
the coming months we will look at this
string reviews you have not
included an important stat in the
article. You have posted this information
in the past string reviews and I, for one,
appreciated having this information. The
item that has been eliminated is the actu-
al string stiffness number. I think this is
an important feature that allows the read-
er to know if this is softer, stiffer, or basi-
cally the same as the string they are
using, or that they may be looking for. In
the past articles you posted that number.
Please include that little bit of information
in future articles.
the results of our lab tests in each
playtest report, it is not always possible for
a variety of reasons. For lab test results
that become available after the playtest
report is written, USRSA members can
check online here: http://www.racquettech
disadvantages) of using vibration
dampeners? Where should they be
placed in the stringbed? In what sense do
they “dampen” vibration? Will they affect
the way my racquet feels? Ultimately,
who should use them?
choosing tennis equipment that is
subjective, including the use of a vibration
dampener. Therefore, primary benefit is if
the player feels he plays better with a
dampener, he definitely should use one.
Dampeners primarily reduce string vibra-
tions, not frame vibrations. In dampening
string vibrations, they dampen the sound
of the impact, which is probably the
most influential aspect of using a string
The Rules of Tennis are quite specific
about the placement of string dampeners:
They must be mounted outside the outside
main or cross on the string bed, or as the
rules put it, "outside the pattern of the
crossed strings."
on the racquet are actually the
control strings and the crosses are
for comfort. Is this true? If so, then does it
mean that if I were to string my crosses at
a higher tension compared to my mains
(both the same type of strings), e.g. 50
pounds / 55 pounds, would this give me
less control and more comfort?
main strings contribute durability
and spin, while the crosses contribute
power and control. Therefore, the answer
to your question is no. In fact, by increas-
ing the reference tension on the crosses,
you should be gaining control (because the
string bed will be stiffer), and perhaps less
comfortable for the same reason.
Because the roles that Babolat assigns the
strings are complementary instead of con-
tradictory, there is no simple trade-off of
the type you’re trying to achieve, such as
durability vs. control, or spin vs. power.
ticular strings
from the String
Selector Map and have it
generate a new map that
displays tension loss and
stiffness for the selected
of the
String Selector
Map is to give
an overview of
the universe of
strings, looking
at stiffness and
tension loss.
To zero in
on a particular
string (or
strings), USRSA
members can look up the stiffness and ten-
sion loss here:
To find one string based on the stiffness
and tension loss of another string, we do
offer the String Selector:
—Greg Raven w
We welcome your questions. Please send them to Rac-
quet Sports Industry, PO Box 3392, Duluth, GA 30096;
fax: 760-536-1171; email:
Your Equipment Hotline
because most alcohols contain some
amounts of water, from 5%
to a whopping 30%, plus the
moisture picked from the air
(the alcohol is extremely
hygroscopic). Even after the
alcohol evaporates, the water
remains, and rusting may
I prefer the use of acetone
(dimethyl ketone) or acetone-
based nail enamel remover. It
is a much stronger solvent, it
is readily available, and it real-
ly does the job. You do have
to be careful to avoid any spills over paint-
ed or plastic surfaces. You should protect
the surroundings with any towel or cloth.
5 3-packs of Unique TournaGrip 2 to:
Luis De Santis T., Venezuela
Editor’s note: Acetone will indeed clean
metal surfaces, but you do have to be more
careful with it than with rubbing alcohol.
Acetone is flammable in both its liquid and
vapor forms, and you will want to limit
breathing the fumes and skin contact. In
some cases, acetone is said to attack the
central nervous system.
os racqueTs and The
gamma progression ii
Extremely large, oversized tennis racquets
may require the stringer to open the Gamma
Progression II stringing machine’s shoulder
support arms to near their maximum. Addi-
tionally, every once in a while the stringer
may open the suspension arms into a really
excessively wide position. This can result in
the adjustment knob becoming unscrewed
from the suspension arm’s pivot nut. The
result may be an inability for the stringer to
subsequently adjust the support arms up
against the body of the racquet during
mounting. This problem can be corrected by
physically rethreading the shaft of the screw-
adjusting knob back into the threads of the
adjusting pivot nut.
On the rare occasion that this situation
occurs, it is easily resolved by completing
the following actions:
1. With a screwdriver, pry off the top black
Wax on, Wax off
Just a few passing thoughts on the use of
wax lubes on tennis strings (Ask the
Experts, February 2013): Having strung
racquets for over 30 years, I'm a firm
believer in the use of wax in lubing certain
strings in today's racquets. Natural gut
always, and many of the polys also war-
rant this action.
I however do not use bee’s wax. I have
used surfboard wax better known and sold
as "Mr. Zogs Sex Wax." This product can
be found at any surf or beach store and is
very inexpensive. The puck-shaped board
wax also lasts a long time. The other fea-
ture of this wax is the tacky residue left on
your fingers, which
also makes the
string process much
You do need to
attend to clamp
cleaning a little more
often but how long
does this really take?
My clamps are
cleaned after every
fifteen string jobs whether wax is used or
is not used. Today's synthetic strings are
usually coated with some sort of silicone
type lubricant and this builds up on the
clamps and should be eliminated periodi-
cally anyway.
5 3-packs of Wilson Profile overgrip to:
Igor K. Maas, Naples, FL
[Wax] paper chase
To help getting the tie off string into a tight
spot, cut a small piece of wax paper, fold it
in half, and then draw the string through it
as you apply pressure to the wax paper.
It’s an easy way to put a light coating of
wax on the string.
5 3-packs of Klip Python G1 overgrip to:
Don Donati, Clinton, CT
cleaner clamp
The use of “rubbing alcohol” (isopropyl
alcohol or ethyl alcohol) is normally the
recommended agent to clean clamps.
However, it may pose some rust problems
Tips & Techniques
pad that covers the mounting plate.
Once this pad is removed, you will see
four hex head cap bolts. Remove the
four hex head cap bolts and lift off the
arm assem-
bly. Now,
invert the
assembly to
view the
of the shoul-
der support
ments, the
location of
2. Rethreading procedures may require a
further opening of the arm(s) by addi-
tionally turning the adjustment knob in
a counter-clockwise motion. It may also
be necessary to gently, and very careful-
ly, move the shoulder arm(s) out as far
as possible. These two actions provide
the additional space necessary to align
the adjusting knob’s threaded shaft with
the threads of the suspension arm pivot
nut, and thus facilitate the insertion of
the adjustment knob’s threads into the
suspension arm pivot nut.
3. You must not permit the cap nut to
unscrew during the resultant rethread-
ing action. To prevent this, use a 3/8-
inch wrench to hold the nut in place.
Once the threaded shaft begins to
thread itself into the pivot nut, the
shoulder arm will start moving (closing)
back in. After completing, if the adjust-
ment knob now appears loose, tighten
the “underside” cap nut gently but firm-
ly up against the housing, thereby taking
up any slack and eliminating the loose-
ness of the adjusting knob.
5 3-packs of Prince No Sweat overgrip to:
Mathew Calendar, Wellington, FL
—Greg Raven ◗
Tips and Techniques submitted since 1992 by USRSA members
and appearing in this column, have all been gathered into a
searchable database on, the official mem-
ber-only website of the USRSA. Submit tips to: Greg Raven,
USRSA, 330 Main St., Vista, CA 92084; or email greg@racquet-
Readers’ Know-How in Action
String Playtest
(compared to other strings)
Number of testers who said it was:
much easier 0
somewhat easier 3
about as easy 22
not quite as easy 7
not nearly as easy 1
(compared to string played most often)
Number of testers who said it was:
much better 0
somewhat better 5
about as playable 5
not quite as playable 20
not nearly as playable 2
(compared to other strings
of similar gauge)
Number of testers who said it was:
much better 9
somewhat better 9
about as durable 12
not quite as durable 2
not nearly as durable 0
From 1 to 5 (best)
Playability 3.3
Durability (9th overall) 4.4
Power (8th overal) 3.8
Control 3.3
Comfort 3.2
Touch/Feel 2.8
Spin Potential 3.3
Holding Tension 3.4
Resistance to Movement 3.7

shaway MonoGut® ZX Pro is a
monofilament string — like Ash-
away MonoGut ZX — made from
polyetheretherketone, a high tempera-
ture, engineering-grade polymer also
known as PEEK and polyketone. The ver-
sion used by Ashaway goes by the trade
name Zyex®. Zyex molecules form com-
plex chains with three aromatic bonds,
compared to nylon with its simple cova-
lent bonds that tend to break down, and
polyester with its single aromatic bond.
Ashaway claims that as a result of the
better molecular bonding, MonoGut ZX
Pro holds tension better, longer, and
more consistently than other strings.
Ashaway tells us that the Zyex con-
struction represents a revolution in
monofilament technology, offering maxi-
mum comfort, gut-like playability, superi-
or durability, and exceptional power for a
monofilament — all with no polyester.
Ashaway’s target customers are play-
ers looking for a string that has the
power and comfort of natural gut but
with superior durability, at less than half
the cost.
MonoGut ZX Pro is available in 1.22
mm in red or natural. It is priced from
$14.25 for sets of 40 feet. 360-foot (110
meter) reels are available for $125, and
720-foot (220 meter) reels for $235.
For more information or to order,
contact Ashaway at 800-556-7260, or
visit Be sure to read
the conclusion for a special offer from
Ashaway on MonoGut ZX Pro.
The coil measured 40 feet. The diameter
measured 1.21-1.24 mm prior to string-
ing, and 1.16-1.18 mm after stringing.
We recorded a string bed stiffness of 76
RDC units immediately after stringing at
60 pounds in a Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 95
(16 x 18 pattern) on a constant-pull
After 24 hours (no playing), string bed
stiffness measured 69 RDC units, repre-
senting a 9 percent tension loss. Our con-
trol string, Prince Synthetic Gut Original
Gold 16, measured 78 RDC units imme-
diately after stringing and 71 RDC units
after 24 hours, representing a 9 percent
tension loss. MonoGut ZX Pro added 15
grams to the weight of our unstrung
The string was tested for five weeks
by 33 USRSA testers, with NTRP ratings
from 3.5 to 6.0. These are blind tests,
with testers receiving unmarked strings
in unmarked packages. Average num-
ber of hours tested was 27.
During installation, MonoGut ZX
Pro seemed to have “anti-coil memory,”
as it kept attempting to straighten out.
Despite the thin gauge, it felt thick. With
its smooth surface, crosses were easy to
weave. Knots didn’t feel as
though they are cinching down, but they
weren’t loose. Overall, MonoGut ZX Pro
is a great string to install.
Three testers broke the sample dur-
ing stringing, five reported problems
with coil memory, seven reported prob-
lems tying knots, and one reported fric-
tion burn.
Ashaway recommends a 5 to 10 percent
tension reduction compared to nylon, so
we advised our testers accordingly.
MonoGut ZX Pro scored 8th best in
the Power category of the 169 strings
we’ve playtested to date, and 9th best in
the Durability category. In addition, it
was well above average in Resistance to
Movement. As a result, MonoGut ZX Pro
scored well above average overall.
Three testers broke the sample dur-
ing the playtest period, one each at 4.5,
14, and 40 hours.
Synthetic strings that are said to play
like natural gut are not new, but it’s not
often that a manufacturer will make this
claim about a monofilament. Ashaway
has been working on developing Zyex
strings for a long time now though, both
with monofilaments such as MonoGut
ZX Pro and with its famous Dynamite
(tennis), PowerNick and UltraNick
(squash), and UltraKill (racquetball) lines.
If MonoGut ZX Pro sounds interest-
ing, Ashaway has a special offer for
Ashaway MonoGut ZX Pro
(Strings normally used by testers are indicated in paren-
theses.) For the rest of the tester comments, visit
er using Wilson K Six One (16x18) strung at 56
pounds LO (Tecnifibre NRG2 16)

This plays like an average 16 gauge poly.
The feel is a little lacking. Power is above aver-

5.5 male all-court player using Wilson
BLX Six.One (16x18) strung at 50 pounds CP
(Luxilon ALU Power/Natural Gut 16L/17)

With a 5% tension reduction this string
plays too powerful for me. Control is lacking. I
did not notice any extra spin.

4.0 male all-
court player using Pacific Raptor strung at 54
pounds LO (Pacific X Force/Pacific Power Line

High marks for power and feel. Control is

4.5 male all-court player using
Wilson Juice MP strung at 55 pounds CP (Wilson
NXT 16)

Impressive overall playability. Quite power-
ful with decent control and Incredible spin.

4.0 male all-court player using Head MicroGEL
Prestige Pro Mid strung at 50 pounds LO
(Gamma Professional 18)

Massive spin! This monofilament has a
very crisp response with no string movement.
Zero soreness on the arm. Volleys feel firm.

4.0 male all-court player using Wilson BLX Pro
Staff Six.One strung at 57 pounds LO (Wilson
NXT 16)

This string has great combination of dura-
bility and playability. After a short break-in
period, comfort improves and is closer to that
of a multifilament nylon.

4.5 male serve-
and-volley player using Dunlop Biomimetic 600
strung at 53 pounds LO (Gamma Live Wire 17)

In the hands of a more advanced player
this string should provide plenty of power, spin
and control.

3.5 male all-court player using
Prince O3 Hybrid Shark OS strung at 50
pounds CP (Head FXP/Babolat Tonic+ 17/16)

High marks for power and feel. Con-
trol is excellent.

4.5 male all-court player using Wilson
Juice MP strung at 55 pounds CP (Wil-
son NXT 16)

Impressive overall playability. Quite
powerful with decent control and
Incredible spin.

4.0 male all-court
player using Head MicroGEL Prestige
Pro Mid strung at 50 pounds LO
(Gamma Professional 18)

Massive spin! This monofilament
has a very crisp response with no string
movement. Zero soreness on the arm.
Volleys feel firm.

4.0 male all-court
player using Wilson BLX Pro Staff
Six.One strung at 57 pounds LO (Wilson
NXT 16)

In the hands of a more advanced
player this string should provide plenty
of power, spin and control.

3.5 male
all-court player using Prince O3 Hybrid
Shark OS strung at 50 pounds CP (Head
FXP/Babolat Tonic+ 17/16)

More power and spin than my typi-
cal setup. Great durability. Slightly lack-
ing in control and touch.

4.5 male serve-and-volley player using
Wilson BLX Tempest Four strung at 60
pounds LO (Wilson NXT 16)

This is a good string for 3.5 to 4.5
level players. It’s quite durable. It would
definitely add power to a hybrid. Over-
all, this a good string.

4.5 male all-
court player using Wilson BLX Five
strung at 60 pounds LO (Wilson NXT 16)

This string is ideal for players who
want more power and spin. Durability is

5.0 male all-court play-
—Greg Raven◗
USRSA members: One set of MZX Pro
Red and add two free sets for $20
(including delivery). All you need to do is
prepay by check, Visa, or MasterCard
before shipping.
Zyex® is a trademark of Zyex Ltd.
don’t claim to be an expert on father-
hood, since I have never had the
good fortune of being a father. But I
have observed thousands of fathers over
the last 45 years as a teacher, college
tennis coach, teaching pro, industry rep-
resentative, and now as a USTA volun-
teer and part-time pro.
From this unique perspective, I have
concluded that fathers are extremely
important to the stability and continued
growth of the game of tennis. Why?
w Fathers can mold an aspiring tennis
son or daughter to great heights by
nurturing, consoling, disciplining and
encouraging them.
w Fathers have an innate ability to see
the silver lining after a close loss and
build confidence back in their child.
w Fathers can hit with their kids, offering
practice time and bonding, even a bit
of coaching, while keeping things in
w Fathers can be a vital complement to a
coach or teaching pro.
Now … before you jump all over me
for playing up the role of dads in the
growth of tennis, I know it’s a team
effort on the home front—moms are
incredibly important, too, and we can’t
ignore that. But over my tennis career,
my observation is that the father often
can be the catalyst, that intangible force
to help make it happen, and can help
keep kids playing this sport.
I recently attended a conference col-
lege tennis meet where I watched an
interaction between father and daugh-
ter. I happened to know the father and
noticed how, after the competition, a
constructive conversation ensued about
the match. It was only after the daughter
had connected with her father that she
went to hang with her teammates and
I said to the dad, “Every time I see you
with Susan, I quickly see a very tight bond
the two of you have.”
He replied, “If it weren’t for tennis, I
would not have that bond. Even more so, I
don’t think I would have much of a rela-
tionship with my daughters. For every-
thing outside of tennis, they are more
closely bonded with my wife.”
I think we often woefully underesti-
mate the bond between father and child.
Fathers, of course, can really interact and
impart lessons in life to their children.
Since tennis is such a mental game, fathers
can have the ability to have many conver-
sations to bring forth the positive dialogue
players need to have when playing.
We often extol the virtues of tennis—
exercise and fitness, decision-making,
social growth, family sport, fun, etc. But
because of the individual nature of the
sport, we can sometimes be blind to the
bond of father and child.
Many of my former college tennis play-
ers have kids of their own playing in col-
lege now. I have been fortunate to see my
former players as fathers. I am sure they
took on their own persona and took on
some of their own father’s traits. Now, I
see a wonderful bond that both dad and
child developed.
It’s great to see the Father-Son and
Father-Daughter tournaments in action.
The players compete, but they laugh,
cajole, support, high-five. No question,
kids play many times because dad plays
and certainly, many kids rebel because
dad plays. But when they accept the
virtues of tennis, kids often see that the
road to bonding with their dad, and vice
versa, is on the court. That bond is a life-
time glue that cannot be cracked.
As we market our great game, imple-
menting father/daughter/son activities
could be a key to the continuance of ten-
nis growth. The Youth Tennis emphasis
will be well-served by bringing fathers
into a more impactful role that will sus-
tain the attachment between tennis and
families for a lifetime.
If you are in a position of influence,
incorporate dads in your programming.
What can we do to aid this? Here are
some ideas; I’m sure you can think of
many more:
w Lesson formats that are family in nature
could be a starting point. Father/daugh-
ter/son group lessons with other
father/daughter/son combinations
could be fun.
w “Stroke of the Week” clinics for fami-
w A one-day father/daughter/son club
tournament with the emphasis on
round-robin play and fun (rather than
trophies and rankings).
w Teaching dads how to set up driveway
tennis, and conditioning that the family
can do together.
w Going to local college or professional
matches together to watch advanced
Tennis is truly a lifetime sport, and
fathers can play an important role in
making sure it remains so for their chil-
dren. w
Your Serve
The Fathers of Tennis
When it comes to children, let’s make sure we
don’t underestimate the role that fathers play
in the sport of a lifetime.
Denny Schackter resides in Palatine, IL, where
he is the owner of Tennis Priorities, a firm
whose focus is recruiting young people into
tennis teaching. Check out his website or email him at
We welcome your opinions. Please email
comments to