2005 CHAMPIONS

OF TENNIS
Our annual awards honor
those who continue to make
this sport a winner
Max Brownlee Q Racquet World
Q Golfsmith Q Tennis Warehouse
Q Bob Patterson Q Fast-Dry
Companies Q Shirley Ruane Q Wayne
St. Peter Q Kay Barney Q Karin
Korb Q John Drew Smith Tennis
Center Q Scalzi Park Q Brookhaven
Country Club Q Baltimore Tennis
Patrons Q USA Tennis Florida Q Lisa
Duncan Q Bob Reed
US Open Player
Equipment Log
“Tennis Service Reps” To
Aid Grassroots Growth
String Playtest
November/December 2005
Volume 33 Number 10 $5.00
DEPARTMENTS
R S I N O V / D E C 2 0 0 5
Contents
November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 3
Contents
4 Our Serve
36 US Open Player Equipment Log
38 String Playtest: Gamma Zo Sweet 17
INDUSTRY NEWS
7 Tennis Service Reps hit the
ground running
7 USTA recognizes 10 facilities
for excellence
7 RSI launches website for magazine
8 USPTA honors leaders in
tennis profession
8 In•Tenn online magazine offers
free subscription
9 Wilson, Nickelodeon offer
SpongeBob racquets
9 Loehr to headline ASBA meeting
in Tampa
10 Eight earn USPTA Master Pro
designation
11 Wilson launches redesigned website
12 Van der Meer honored at
Teachers Conference
12 Prince O3 technology wins
design award
12 Roddick dons new Babolat
Team All Court shoe
15 Völkl launches new Boris Becker
racquet series
SPECIAL SECTION:
40 Tips and Techniques
42 Ask the Experts
43 RSI 2005 Industry Resource Guide
48 Your Serve, by Greg Moran
20 Person of the Year
Max Brownlee
22 Pro/Specialty Retailer of the Year
Racquet World
23 Chain Retailer/Mass Merchant
of the Year
Golfsmith
24 Online Retailer of the Year
Tennis Warehouse
25 Stringer of the Year
Bob Patterson
26 Builder/Contractor of the Year
Fast-Dry Companies
27 Grassroots Champion of the Year
Shirley Ruane
28 Junior Development Champion
of the Year
Wayne St. Peter
29 Sales Rep of the Year
Kay Barney
30 Wheelchair Tennis Champion
of the Year
Karin Korb
30 Municipal Facility of the Year
John Drew Smith Tennis Center
32 Public Park of the Year
Scalzi Park
32 Private Facility of the Year
Brookhaven Country club
33 Community Tennis Association
of the Year
Baltimore Tennis Patrons
33 USTA Section of the Year
USA Tennis Florida
34 PTR Member of the Year
Lisa Duncan
34 USPTA Member of the Year
Bob Reed
On the cover: Max Brownlee, Babolat North America
Reprinted with permission of the Rocky Mountain News.
2005 Champions of Tennis
Our special section honors the people and organizations that are making
a difference in the business of tennis.
hat does it take to be a champion? No matter
the field of endeavor, it takes drive, determi-
nation, sacrifice, hard work, practice, knowledge,
experience, and more. Man, that sounds like a
tough row to hoe. Is it really worth it?
But take even a quick look at any of this year’s winners of RSI’s
Champions of Tennis Awards, and you’ll know the answer. These
people love what they do, and they are successful in proportion to
that love.
But it is also more than a “labor” of love. It’s fun, too. Helping
the game to grow, developing tennis programs for a local facility,
running a CTA, designing and building court facilities, running a
successful retail business—these folks simply enjoy what they’re
doing.
Another commonality of this year’s champions is the belief that
success is all about building relationships. Champions fulfill their
dreams by helping others fulfill theirs. Each champion believes that
what they are driven so naturally to do is of great value to others
in their pursuit of what they do. In a sense, the relationship is the
goal, not the means, of the champion’s pursuit. That’s why so
many champions are so genuine, so nice, and so well-liked. Your
day is better off having them in it than not having them in it.
So, to our 2005 Champions of Tennis, we say thank you for a
job well-done—and well-loved.
Dave Bone Jeff Williams
Co-Publisher Co-Publisher
Peter Francesconi Crawford Lindsey
Editorial Director Editor-in-Chief
Our Serve
The Champion’s Pursuit
(Incorporating Racquet Tech and Tennis Industry)
Publishers
David Bone Jeff Williams
Editor-in-Chief
Crawford Lindsey
Editorial Director
Peter Francesconi
Associate Editor
Greg Raven
Design/Art Director
Kristine Thom
Assistant to the Publisher
Cari Feliciano
Contributing Editors
Cynthia Cantrell
Rod Cross
Kristen Daley
Joe Dinoffer
Liza Horan
Andrew Lavallee
James Martin
Mark Mason
Chris Nicholson
Mitch Rustad
Drew Sunderlin
RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY
Corporate Offices
330 Main St., Vista, CA 92084
Phone: 760-536-1177 Fax: 760-536-1171
Email: RSI@racquetTECH.com
Website: www.racquetTECH.com
Office Hours: Mon.-Fri.,8 a.m.-5 p.m. Pacific Time
Advertising Director
John Hanna
770-650-1102, x.125
john@racquettech.com
Apparel Advertising
Cynthia Sherman
203-263-5243
cstennisindustry@earthlink.net
Racquet Sports Industry (USPS 347-8300. ISSN 0191-
5851) is published 10 times per year: monthly January
through August and combined issues in Septem-
ber/October and November/December by Tennis
Industry and USRSA, 330 Main St., Vista, CA 92084.
Periodicals postage paid at Hurley, NY 12443 and addi-
tional mailing offices. November/December 2005, Vol-
ume 33, Number 10 © 2005 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 sub-
scriptions $25 in the U.S., $40 elsewhere. POSTMAS-
TER: Send address changes to Racquet Sports Industry,
330 Main St., Vista, CA 92084.
4 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
W
RSI is the “official magazine” of the USRSA, TIA, and ASBA
I NDUSTRY NEWS
I NDUSTRY NEWS
R S I N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 0 5
I N F O R M A T I O N T O H E L P Y O U R U N Y O U R B U S I N E S S
ow, all the news and features you’ve read about in Racquet Sports Industry are
available on the internet. In Septem-
ber, we launched
www.racquetsportsindustry.com.
The new website features an issues
index, which lists every edition of RSI with
links to all the stories that have appeared in
the magazine. And if you’re looking for a
particular topic, we include a search feature.
We also have pages that deal with our
advertising rates and page specifications.
And you can even subscribe to RSI, or have
your friends and colleagues subscribe, via
our website.
November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 7
new “national sales force for tennis” may soon pro-
vide help to those who are in the field delivering ten-
nis programs at the recreational level.
Dozens of “Tennis Service Representatives” are being hired
by the USTA sections, with support from the USTA national
office, to help “assess the tennis needs of communities and
help people to do their jobs in the most efficient way possible,”
says Mark McMahon, the USTA’s new national manager for the
TSRs. McMahon, who has been a teaching pro and tennis
director for 25 years, joined the USTA in August to oversee the
TSR program.
“The objective is to drill down directly to the operators—the
people in the field who deliver the programs,” says McMahon.
“The TSRs become a conduit, a facilitator, in helping local ten-
nis programs find what they need to increase participation.”
McMahon says there will be at least 47 TSRs, who will report to the USTA sections to which
they’re assigned. The number of TSRs will vary depending on the needs of the sections—larg-
er sections generally will have more TSRs. As of mid-October, about 30 TSRs had been hired.
The TSRs will be supported by a combination of national and sectional funding. Kurt Kam-
perman, the USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis, says the national office has com-
mitted $12 million over the next three years to the program.
Another aspect of McMahon’s responsibilities will deal with Tennis Welcome Centers. “The
Tennis Welcome Centers should be a rallying point for the industry,” he says. “They should
be a point of differentiation and represent value for the player and the center operator. One
of the goals of TSRs will be to help raise the standards at every tennis center.”
McMahon, who grew up in Australia and learned tennis at a public park in Melbourne,
came to the U.S. in 1979. He’s a PTR member and a USPTA Master Pro, and most recent-
ly was the director of tennis at the Dunwoody Country Club in Atlanta. Prior to that, he was
at clubs in Florida for many years, and has also served on various committees and boards.
“My perspective is built on 25 years of being a teaching pro and club pro,” says McMa-
hon. “This is a real opportunity to put the service back in tennis.”
USTA Recognizes 10
Facilities for Excellence
Ten public tennis centers have been hon-
ored in the 24th annual USTA Facility
Awards Program, which recognizes
excellence in the construction and/or
renovation of public tennis facilities in
the U.S.
The names of the 10 will be inscribed on
a large wall plaque displayed in the
lobby of the USTA National Tennis Cen-
ter, home of the US Open. Each of the
facilities will also receive a one-year
complimentary membership to the USTA,
a certificate of recognition, and a wood-
en wall plaque and large lexan sign to
display on the outside of their facility.
"We are pleased to recognize these
facilities for their hard work and commit-
ment to achieving higher standards …
[and] in helping the USTA to promote
and develop the growth of tennis," says
Kurt Kamperman, the USTA’s chief execu-
tive of Community Tennis. The award
winners are:
Public courts (2-9 courts): Ottawa Town-
ship High School Tennis Courts, Ottawa,
Ill.
Public courts (10+ courts): Barbara S.
Wynne Tennis Center, Indianapolis; Cen-
tro De Tenis Honda, Bayamón, Puerto
Rico; Swim & Racquet Center, Boca
Raton, Fla.
Collegiate tennis centers: Princeton Uni-
versity Tennis Center, Princeton, N.J.
Private facilities that support the USTA
and other growth of the game programs
open to the public: Carmel Valley Athletic
Club, Carmel, Calif.; Carmel Valley Ranch
Resort, Carmel, Calif.; Chad Gamble Ten-
nis Courts, Paducah, Ky.; I'on Club,
Mount Pleasant, S.C.; The Atlanta Athlet-
ic Club & Tennis Center, Duluth, Ga.
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McMahon to Head New Tennis Service Rep Program
Racquet Sports Industry Launches Magazine Website
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USPTA Honors Leaders
in the Tennis Profession
T
he USPTA honored its top teachers, coaches, players, volun-
teers and managers during an awards ceremony at the
USPTA World Conference on Tennis in September. The annu-
al 10-day conference was at the Marco Island Marriott Resort, Golf
Club & Spa in Marco Island, Fla.
Rick Macci of Deerfield Beach, Fla., received the association’s
top annual member award, the Alex Gordon Award for the USPTA
Professional of the Year. Macci, founder of the Rick Macci Tennis
Academy, is known for his success coaching some of the world’s
top players.
The USPTA Star, recognizing teaching pros who make an
indelible mark on their communities through the sport of tennis,
was awarded to John J. “Jack” Foster of Sugar Land, Texas, and
Robert Reed of Lane County, Ore.
Punam Kersten, director of the McFarlin Tennis Center in San
Antonio, received the USPTA Industry Excellence Award. The
award is sponsored by the Tennis Industry Association and sup-
ported by Tennis Tutor ball machines.
The Facility Manager of the Year award was given to Brad
Ellinger, a nonmember in Burlington, N.C., and Mike Woody, a
USPTA member in Midland, Mich. Ellinger is general manager of
the Alamance Country Club, and Woody is managing director of
the Midland Community Tennis Center.
The USTA/USPTA Community Service Award was presented to
Ben Press of San Diego. Press is president of a nonprofit group
that oversees the use of funds to refurbish and upgrade public ten-
nis facilities.
Martina Widjaja, president of the Indonesian Tennis Associa-
tion, was named a USPTA Honorary Member.
Other honorees are: Bob McKinley, New Braunfels, Texas,
Touring Coach of the Year; Peter Burling, Granville, Ohio, College
Coach of the Year; Dale Eshelbrenner, Kansas City, Mo., High
School Coach of the Year; Tommy Wade, Tuscaloosa, Ala., George
Bacso Tester of the Year.
Division Player of the Year honors went to: Anders Eriksson,
Austin, Men’s Open; Kevin Pope, Fremont, Calif., Men’s 35-and-
Over ; Jason Morton, Sun Lakes, Ariz., co-Men’s 45-and-Over; Val
Wilder, Fort Worth, Texas, co-Men’s 45-and-Over; Julie Cass,
Austin, Women’s Open; Robin Keener, Melbourne, Fla., Women’s
35-and-Over ; Kathy Vick, Lubbock, Texas, Women’s 45-and-Over.
USPTA divisions receiving awards were: Texas, Division of the
Year; Midwest, Newsletter of the Year; Southwest, Most Improved.
In

Tenn Online Magazine
Offers Free Subscription
I
n•Tenn, the video/online tennis magazine, is offering a
free 15-month subscription for its new OnLine Edition for
RSI readers.
To access the online magazine, visit www.intenn.com,
click on the “subscribe” button, enter the code rsi920 into
the appropriate slot, click enter, then register. You will need
to remember your ID name and password to log in each
time you visit the site. The free subscription to the OnLine
Edition will end Dec. 31, 2006.
8 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
Korb Wins PTR Wheelchair Honor
K
arin Korb of Atlanta received the PTR Wheelchair Pro of
the Year Award, presented during the PTR/ROHO
$15,000 Wheelchair Tennis Championships, held Sept.
21 to 25 on Hilton Head Island, S.C. Korb, a new PTR mem-
ber, works tirelessly to promote wheelchair tennis and sports
(see page 30).
Korb (below, with, from left, Scott Crosswhite of Quickie,
Julie Jilly of the PTR, the tournament director; PTR Founder
Dennis Van der Meer; and Tom Oleksy of the ROHO Group)
is the program development manager for BLAZE, promoting
sports for the disabled. She’s ranked No. 2 in the U.S. and
No. 15 internationally in wheelchair tennis.
The PTR’s Golden Eagle Award for service to the game of
wheelchair tennis was presented to Harlon Matthews of
McDonough, Ga. Matthews, a PTR-certified instructor, coach-
es many able-bodied players. In recognition of his honor,
Sports Tutor gave Matthews a Tennis Tutor ball-throwing
machine. The Sportsmanship Award went to Bryan Lankford
of Macon, Ga.
Open division winners of the PTR/ROHO Wheelchair
Championships are: Men’s Singles: David Hall, Australia;
Men’s Doubles: Hall and Jayant Mistry, England; Women’s
Singles: Esther Vergeer, Netherlands; Women’s Doubles:
Vergeer and Jiske Griffioen, Netherlands.
Corrections
The Handdri ad in the Sept/Oct issue of RSI had the wrong
phone number. The correct phone number for Handdri is 1-
800-317-2663
In the Sept/Oct issue of RSI, page 38, the chart of new strings
for Fall 2005 had the website listed for Pacific incorrectly. The
correct website for Pacific string is:
www.garrisonsportsgroup.com/
I N D U S T R Y N E W S
November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 9
Wilson, Nickelodeon Offer SpongeBob Racquets
N
ickelodeon's fun-loving, sea-
dwelling sponge brings his enthu-
siasm to the world of sporting
goods in a special line of tennis rac-
quets for kids. Through a partnership
with Nickelodeon and Viacom Con-
sumer Products, Wilson Racquet Sports
created a line of SpongeBob
SquarePants tennis racquets that will
hit stores in early 2006.
Wilson's SpongeBob SquarePants
line is targeted to boys and girls ages 2
to 11 and is available in 19-, 21- and
23-inch lengths.
"SpongeBob SquarePants is a cul-
tural icon adored by kids," says
Sherice Torres, vice president for Nick-
elodeon and Viacom Consumer Prod-
ucts. "Partnering with Wilson is a
great opportunity to use his loveable
character to encourage fitness and get
kids excited about playing tennis."
For more information, visit
www.wilson.com.
Loehr to Headline
ASBA Technical
Meeting in Tampa
J
im Loehr will be the keynote
speaker at the American Sports
Builders Association’s Technical
Meeting and Trade Show, to be held
Dec. 4 to 6 at the Grand Hyatt Tampa
Bay in Tampa, Fla. Loehr is chairman,
CEO, and co-founder of LGE Perform-
ance Systems, a training company for
business executives, professional ath-
letes, and others.
The Technical Meeting offers semi-
nars and presentations on court build-
ing and other topics related to facility
construction and maintenance. The
Trade Show will feature some of the
newest products and services in the
industry.
To register for the conference, visit
www.sportsbuilders.org. For more
information, call 866-501-ASBA.
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10 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
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• Steve Appleton, Micron Technol-
ogy Inc.’s chairman, CEO, and president, won
the 2005 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Achievement
Award, presented by Montblanc and Tennis Week Magazine.
Appleton attended Boise State University on a tennis scholarship
from 1978-82.
• Brad Singer is the tennis national sales manager and business development
officer for Tail Inc., and Andrea Varat is the new customer fulfillment manager.
• Tim Miles is the new regional sales manager for northern and southern Florida
for Gamma Sports. Miles was Gamma’s regional sales manager for Mississippi,
Tennessee, Alabama, and the Florida panhandle since 2004.
• Andre Agassi, playing with a Head Flexpoint Radical OS, reached the final
of the US Open this year for the sixth time in his career. Agassi and
Head joined forces in the summer of 1993, and Agassi has won
seven of eight career Grand Slam titles playing with Head’s Radical
tennis racquets.
• Current No.2 –ranked racquetball player Jack Huczek (right)
will wear Ashaway’s new 500i line of racquetball shoes. Huczek,
the 2004 world champion, consulted on the design of the shoes.
• Jim Kohr, a member of Team Gamma/Fischer, won the Men’s
35 Doubles and Mixed Doubles at the 2005 USPTA Interna-
tional Championships. He plays with the Fischer
Magnetic Speed racquet and Gamma’s Live
Wire Professional string.
Eight Tennis Teachers Earn
USPTA Master Professional
E
ight tennis pros recently earned recognition as
USPTA Master Professionals, the highest profes-
sional rating within the organization. Only about 1
percent of USPTA’s more than 13,000 members world-
wide have achieved the Master Pro designation. The
eight were recognized during an awards presentation
at the 78th World Conference on Tennis in September.
They are:
Q Fred Burdick, Dalton, Ga., owner/director of Moun-
tain View Tennis
Q Jeff Hawes, Gibsonville, N.C., tennis director at Ala-
mance Country Club
Q Will Hoag, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., director of tennis at
Coral Ridge Country Club
Q Dan O’Connell, Nadi, Fiji, South Pacific, Internation-
al Tennis Federation development officer, Pacific
Oceania
Q Albert “Allie” Ritzenberg, Bethesda, Md.,
founder/director of St. Alban’s Tennis Club
Q Paul Roetert, Ph.D., Key Biscayne, Fla., managing
director of USA Tennis High Performance
Q Pat Whitworth, Stone Mountain, Ga., director of ten-
nis at Hamilton Mill
Q David Zeutas-Broer, Worcester, Mass., director of
high performance and junior competition for USA
Tennis New England.
I N D U S T R Y N E W S
November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 11
Wilson Launches Redesigned Website
W
ilson Racquet Sports recently launched a new tennis website with flash fea-
tures and enhanced product, player, and tour information available at
www.wilsontennis.com.
The website features information on top-ranked players and the Wilson gear
they use including Roger Federer, the Bryan Brothers, Lindsay Davenport, and
Venus and Serena Williams. It also features a special flash section and information
on the new W line of high performance racquets for women that debuted prior to
the start of the 2005 US Open.
The W line is a series of frames engineered for women that combines Wilson’s
nCode technology with a new frame construction, added comfort features, and
vibrant cosmetics and patterns. Wilson also plans to add an interactive section
where fans can download screensavers and other fun features along with back-
ground on Wilson.
USTA Offers
“Tennis for Life”
Bracelets
T
he USTA has reached an agree-
ment with Peter Burwash Inter-
national for the non-exclusive
right to use the “Tennis for Life”
trademark on 80,000 bracelets to
promote the lifetime health benefits
of the game. “Tennis for Life,” the
title of a book authored by Peter Bur-
wash and the theme for many of the
seminars he has given, is a registered
trademark of PBI.
“We owe a debt of thanks to Peter
Burwash for allowing the USTA and
our 17 sections to use the ‘Tennis for
Life’ trademark,” says Kurt Kamper-
man, the USTA’s chief executive of
Community Tennis. “‘Tennis for Life’
succinctly positions tennis as a life-
time sport with unparalleled health
benefits.”
12 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 0 5
Roddick Wears New Babolat Tennis Shoe
B
abolat and Andy Roddick teamed up just before the US Open to
introduce the new Babolat Team All Court tennis shoe to the U.S.
market. Roddick, who signed an agreement to wear the shoe start-
ing in 2006, actually began wearing them at the Cincinnati Masters Series
Tournament in August, and then at the 2005 Open.
“I wore them for the first time [in Cincinnati] and they performed
great," says Roddick, who will be working with Babolat on his own sig-
nature model that will be available in the
spring. Roddick, along with executives
from Babolat and Michelin, introduced the
shoe at a press conference in New York
City just before the US Open.
Babolat and Michelin combined their
expertise and resources in developing
the first tennis shoe with a Michelin sole
for sale in the U.S. The Team All Court
($99 suggested retail) is the first in what
will be a six-model line of durable, high-per-
formance tennis shoes sold in the U.S.
For more information, visit www.babolat.com or call 877-316-9435.
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USRSA MEMBER CLASSIFIEDS
FOR SALE: Gamma 6500 Els NEAR NEW.
$300 in EXTRAS incl. Retails for $1,700 +
shipping, but can be yours for $1,300
OBO. Buyer pays shipping, but machine
can be packed in custom crate for safest
ship. Seller located in Davis, CA. (Pickup
also available.) Contact Ed @
edmartinet@ucdavis.edu or 530/400-
5203. Should go fast, don’t wait!
FOR SALE: Tecnifibre TF5500 electronic
stringing machine, excellent condition,
with extra center clamps and cover;
$3800 includes shipping within continen-
tal US. Contact Vince Chiarelli at
727/595-7068 or email: stringa-
long@tampabay.rr.com
FOR SALE: Wilson H Rival, 4-1/2 grip,
strung with Wilson Reaction at 63 lbs.;
used once. Asking: $100. Contact: Don
Donati, donati18@comcast.net or
860/669-6726
FOR SALE: 7 Prince DNA Helix squash
strings, 17 gauge; 3 Prince Duraflex bad-
minton strings, 21 gauge; 1 Prince Exten-
der squash string, 17 gauge. Call Heidi at
310/573-1331 or email: HeidiWes-
sels@earthlink.net for more info
FOR SALE: Prince, Wilson, Volkl assort-
ment of grommets for sale. Huge selec-
tion available! Call Heidi at
310/573-1331 to make an offer
FOR SALE: Available spare and extra
parts for a Prince NEOS 2000 stringer.
Call Heidi at 310/573-1331 to make an offer
FOR SALE: Assorted tennis racquets. Demos
and new frames, including shoes. Contact
Heidi for list and prices at 310/573-1331 or
email: heidiwessels@earthlink.net
FOR SALE: Three (3) Head Prestige midsize
frames, 4-3/8 grips, strung w/Intellistring
Very good condition. Asking: $75. Contact:
Fred Feldman, email: Feldman@bard.edu
FOR SALE: Over 300 sets of grommets avail-
able for tennis, racquetball and squash. Will
make a deal on large quantities and would
like to sell them all. Make offer. I can send
an Excel spreadsheet of the exact items.
Contact: Larry at 303/422-4540 or email:
Larry@coloradoracquetsports.com
FOR SALE: Specialty Tennis Shop located in
fastest growing county in SW Florida in
major business district. Secured accounts.
Established clientele & lessons. Will train
new owner. Secured lease with shop
frontage at major intersection. Financing
available for qualified buyer. Asking: $85,000
US (price dependent on inventory). Serious
inquiries only: 941/629-3398
STRINGERS WANTED – We’re looking for a
professional stringer with experience to work
in our new store. We’re the largest tennis
store in Texas with a large daily volume of
racquets. Come join our Team. Send resume
to Brad@TennisExpress.com or fax: 713/781-
1237
Prince O3 Technology
Wins Design Award
P
rince Sports has received the Red Dot Design
Award in recognition of its design quality for O3
Technology. The Red Dot Design Awards is one of
the largest design competitions worldwide. In 2005,
there were 638 entries from 24 countries in the com-
petition.
“This is the inaugural year for O3 Technology, and
it has been embraced by the tennis community,”
says Linda Glassel, v.p. of marketing communica-
tions for Prince. “But it’s also causing people outside
the tennis world to do a double-take. It’s an honor to
receive such a distinguished design award, and we’re
proud of the team inside our company who created
a racquet so unique that the world is taking notice.”
In other O3-related news, the Web Marketing
Association has recognized the Prince O3 micro web-
site with the 2005 WebAward for Outstanding
Achievement in Website Development. It is the third
award that the micro site has won in 2005. For more
information, visit www.princetennis.com.
Van der Meer Honored at TTC
On Aug. 27, after devoting the day on court for Arthur
Ashe Kids’ Day, Dennis Van der Meer was presented
with the inaugural USTA Faculty Emeritus Award by
USTA President Franklin Johnson at the USTA Tennis
Teacher's Conference in New York City. The award was
presented in recognition of Van der Meer's 35 consec-
utive years giving presentations to attendees at the
conference. Van der Meer (below right) is the founder
and president of the PTR.
I N D U S T R Y N E W S
November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 13
June / July MRTs
Randy Dugan Cincinnati, OH
Nate Engler Grand Rapids, MI
Sharon Hall Athens, GA
Larry Niemeyer Desperes, MO
Baris Sevinc Huntington, CT
August / September MRTs
Adam Arriaga Kyle, TX
Caleb Brooks San Luis Obispo, CA
Jose Castaneda Kyle, TX
Kelly Gunterman Stratton Mtn, VT
Chris Kohl Lebanon, MO
Jorge Mesarina Winter Park, FL
Jesse McNamara San Luis Obispo, CA
Layne Nielson San Luis Obispo, CA
Chris Neutill San Luis Obispo, CA
Darin Norton West Olive, MI
Preston Payton Austin, TX
Chris Patranella San Antonio, TX
Mark Roberts San Luis Obispo, CA
Robert Russett Ocala, FL
Matthew Schrader Ft. Wayne, IN
Steve Smith Cincinnati, OH
Arun Srinivasan San Luis Obispo, CA
Erin Stark San Luis Obispo, CA
Angie Zguna Winter Park, FL
Kim Zylker San Luis Obispo, CA
PTR Sets 2006 Symposium
T
he 2006 PTR International Tennis
Symposium and $25,000 Champi-
onships will be Feb. 18-24. For
those registering before Dec. 1, the fee
is $295.
Registration includes more than 40
presentations, the Awards Banquet,
Recognition Breakfast, three dinner par-
ties, trade show, and more. For more
information or to register, call 800-421-
6289 or visit www.ptrtennis.org.
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The U.S. Davis Cup squad beat Belgium, 4-1, in September to
remain in the World Group and be eligible to compete for the Cup in
2006. Seeded eighth in the 16-team field, the U.S. will play one of the
eight unseeded teams in the first round, Feb. 10-12, at a site to be
determined by the host nation.
>
SlingHopper Inc. and Gamma Sports provided about 20 PTR teach-
ing pros with SlingHopper drill bags during the 2005 Arthur Ashe Kids’
Day of court games and activities. For more information visit
www.slinghopper.com.
>
Martina Hingis led the New York Sportimes to its first World
TeamTennis champions at the WTT Finals presented by Advanta,
defeating the defending champ Newport Beach Breakers 21-18, at All-
state Stadium in Citrus Heights, Calif., in September.
>
Fila announced that it will continue to sponsor US Open champ Kim
Clijsters for the duration of her career. Clijsters has been with the Ital-
ian apparel brand for four years.
>
US Open SmashZone presented by AOL.com, an interactive tennis
experience put on during the US Open, set a record attendance of
145,000 during the two weeks of the tournament.
>
Humanitarian and world-class tennis player Arthur Ashe was
immortalized on a postage stamp when the U.S. Postal Service con-
ducted a first-day-of-issue stamp dedication ceremony under the shad-
ows of the stadium bearing his name. The ceremony took place as part
of Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day activities kicking off the 2005 US Open.
>
Tennis Magazine’s Most Memorable Moments of the Past 40 Years,
a celebration of the magazine’s 40th anniversary, debuted on The Ten-
nis Channel in September.
SHORT SETS
>
Tennis fans who wagered on www.BetonSports.com that Gilles
Muller and Ekaterina Bychkova would upset Andy Roddick and
Svetlana Kuznetsova, respectively, at this year’s US Open cashed in.
A $100 bet on Muller returned $750, while the same bet on
Bychokova earned $650, according to the website.
>
USTA Magazine won an American Graphic Design Award for its
May/June 2004 issue, which featured race car driver Jeff Gordon on
the cover (“Rev Up Your Game!”), and contained a “Come Out
Swinging” section promoting the Tennis Welcome Center program.
>
The Lincoln Family Life Center of Los Angeles will honor former
Wimbledon and U.S. champion Althea Gibson with a tribute via a
Pro/Celebrity Golf & Tennis Invitational Dec. 2-3 at the Ojai Valley
Inn & Spa Resort in Ojai, Calif. A formal dinner will be held Dec. 3.
For information, visit www.lincolnfamilylifecenter.org or call 323-
293-8535 ext.12 or 15.
>
American standout James Blake and former world No. 1 Marti-
na Hingis will join other tennis greats at the 13th annual Advanta
World TeamTennis Smash Hits presented by the Hershey Company
on Nov. 7 at the GIANT Center in Hershey, Pa. For ticket informa-
tion, call 717-534-3911 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
>
The nominations for the 2006 International Tennis Hall of Fame
Induction Ballot are: Patrick Rafter, Gabriela Sabatini, Michael Stich,
Sven Davidson, Christine Truman Janes, Gianni Clerici, and Eiichi
Kawatei.
>
The DecoTurf website, www.decoturf.com, has been redesigned
with a fresh, new look, more technical data, court layouts, and a
unique tennis court colorizer.
W
ilson Racquet Sports’ tennis stars, including Roger Federer, Venus and Serena Williams, and Justine Henin-Hardenne, took an
evening off from their US Open preparations to join the company at its huge launch party for the new W line of racquets for
women.
Wilson says the W line is the first-ever comprehensive line of high performance racquets engineered and designed specifical-
ly for women. The line combines Wilson’s nCode technology with a new construction and distinct cos-
metics in a series of nine frames that hit retailers in October.
“The W line represents a new concept for the industry by developing a line of racquets
exclusively for women taking into account playability, performance, look, and feel,” says Brian
Dillman, v.p. of Global Marketing for Wilson. “We are the first company to address the needs of
the athlete first and then take individual style as a very important criteria in selecting a
racquet.”
Former No. 7-ranked player Barbara Schett, who emceed the New York launch party, is
the spokesperson for the W line. Schett, 28, retired in 2005 after 12 years on the tour.
The W line is categorized into three headsizes. Suggested retail prices range from
$199.99 to $269.99. The line also features accessories that correspond to the racquet
design including bags, visors, caps, and trucker hats. In association with Wilson’s Hope
line, for every purchase from the W line, Wilson makes a donation to the Breast Can-
cer Research Foundation.
In other Wilson news, Federer, playing with the Wilson nSix-One Tour, successfully
defended his US Open singles title this year. And in an all-Wilson doubles final, Bob and
Mike Bryan defeated Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi. The Bryans play with the nPro
Surge and Bjorkman and Mirnyi with the nSix-One 95.
For more information, visit www.wilsontennis.com or call 800-272-6060.
Hot NYC Party Marks Debut of Wilson “W” Line
14 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 15
I N D U S T R Y N E W S
Völkl Launches New Becker Racquet Series
V
ölkl Sport America’s newest product line is a series of frames
designed by, and played with by, former champion Boris Becker.
The new Boris Becker (BB) line will consist of racquets for every
type of player, along with a series of equipment bags and grips.
Over the next year, a total of four BB frames will be
launched: a game-improvement racquet, a “tweener” frame, an
entry-level frame, and the BB10 performance racquet, for play-
ers 3.5 and higher. Völkl Tennis Vice President Chris Pearson
says the BB10 has been out on the international market since
early summer and already is the company’s best seller.
The BB10 is available now in the U.S. It has a 100-square-
inch head size, a strung weight of 10.9 ounces, and a head-light
balance. Suggested retail is $160 (with a minimum advertised
price of $139).
The line is the first racquet series to carry the Boris Becker name.
“I have put all my personal tennis knowledge and many years of expe-
rience into the creation and development that you will find in this new
racquet series,” says Becker, who is also a co-owner of Völkl Tennis
GmbH. “From the recreational club player to the tournament-level play-
er, every style will find a suitable racquet in this new range.”
The BB series is designed to complement the Völkl DNX racquet
series, says Sarah Maynard, director of marketing and promotions for
Völkl Tennis. “DNX racquets are still a very large focus,” with minimum
advertised prices (MAP) of $150 and higher, she says. “The BB line will
have MAP prices between $100 and $150.”
For more information, call 603-298-0314, email tennis@volkl.com,
or visit www.volkl.com.
November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 17
I N D U S T R Y N E W S
Tenni s I ndust r y Associ at i on
UPDATE
CARDIO TENNIS
The official consumer launch of Cardio Tennis (www.CardioTennis.com) took place dur-
ing the US Open, with fitness guru Denise Austin, Mary Joe Fernandez, Wayne Bryan
and his sons, Bob and Mike, the Cleveland Clinic, plus many media representatives. Arti-
cles and ads are set to appear in many consumer publications. To date, 3,000 DVDs
have been requested and distributed to teaching pros and facilities across the country
and more than 800 facilities have gone through the approval process to become an
official Cardio Tennis site. A partner’s website was designed for the industry to use—
www.Partners.CardioTennis.com—which includes a tools section with web banners,
logos and marketing material; curriculum section with animated drills and video, plus a
Health Beat section with a health & fitness guide.
CARDIO TENNIS WORKSHOPS
TIA Staff and Cardio Tennis Speakers Teams have presented 25 workshops to nearly
700 tennis teachers. The four-hour training sessions include seminars and on-court
demonstrations and approaches. More workshops are scheduled for the remainder of
2005, including Michigan in November and Fort Lauderdale in December.
TENNIS WELCOME CENTERS
With great exposure of www.TennisWelcomeCenter.com during the US Open and US
Open Series, in addition to the continuing industry support on racquet hangtags, tennis
ball cans, shoe box inserts, etc., the Tennis Welcome Center website saw a record num-
ber of hits during 2005 and facilities reported an increase in consumer interest. A toll-
free nationwide customer service line was added and improved website enhancements,
giving TWCs an opportunity to provide program information and receive feedback. An
email postcard feature allowed TWCs to receive a record 8,000 direct contacts from the
consumer. The renewal process for 2006 begins in December with a new marketing
campaign under way and lesson plan: Learn to Play Tennis Fast.
GROWING TENNIS 50/50
More than 100 entrepreneurs took advantage of the extra marketing dollars available
from the USTA/TIA Co-op program to help promote tennis to new adult and junior play-
ers. Approved facilities can receive $500 to $5,000 in matching advertising/promotional
dollars to reach new players. Visit www.GrowingTennis.com.
TENNISCONNECT.ORG
In one seven-week period alone, more than 100,000 online court bookings took place,
and the testimonials continue to roll-in on how the player-match engine, court sched-
uler, program calendar and online registration system have been successful additions
for both members and facility operators. Visit www.TennisConnect.org.
TENNISWIRE.ORG
Featuring industry news fromTIA members and affiliates, www.TennisWire.org has
expanded its frequency and is electronically distributed to more than 12,000 industry
contacts in addition to tennis writers and publications.
RESEARCH
The most comprehensive single-sport participation study—the U.S. Tennis Participation
Study—is under way for the fourth consecutive year. With 25,500 telephone interviews
starting and follow-up interviews with 1,500 players, former players and non-players,
Sports Marketing Surveys and The Taylor Research & Consulting Group have combined
efforts to produce the largest report of its kind to measure tennis participation in the
United States.
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Tennis Groups Rally
For Hurricane Victims
M
any associations and companies
involved in tennis donated to
relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina
victims. The USTA announced that it will
donate $500,000 from the US Open pro-
ceeds to the Red Cross effort. In addi-
tion, donations were taken on-site from
fans. Other relief efforts include:
Tecnifibre has donated racquets,
string, grips, bags, and tennis balls to
the Tulane University men’s and
women’s tennis teams, which have
relocated to Texas A&M University.
“Our teams got out of New Orleans
essentially with overnight bags and the
clothes on their backs,” says David
Schumacher, Tulane’s head women’s
coach. “Tecnifibre has generously
offered what we need to get back in the
game.”
Prince Sports has donated nearly
$50,000 worth of apparel to hurricane
victims, and the manufacturer also has
launched a program through its dealers
called "Demo For Relief,” in which par-
ticipating dealers who require racquet
demo fees have been asked to donate
the money. "We encourage all tennis
enthusiasts to demo a racquet and help
make a difference in the lives of those
affected," says Prince USA President
Doug Fonte.
USPTA is asking for donations to
assist its member tennis-teaching pro-
fessionals and their families. Many not
only lost their jobs, but they also lost
their homes. Donations may be made
at the www.uspta.com. Donations of
cash or assistance with temporary or
permanent jobs will be accepted by the
USPTA World Headquarters and distrib-
uted by the USPTA's Southern and
Florida divisions and districts. Employ-
ers with job openings should contact
Fred Burdick in the USPTA Southern
Division, at usptaexdir@alltel.net.
The USTA Southern Section is
donating at least $100,000 to help with
tennis-related relief and recovery
efforts, including the rebuilding and
repairing of damaged facilities, assis-
tance to displaced tennis pros and the
re-establishment of adult and junior
USTA programs at temporary sites.
Community Tennis Development Workshop
Set for California in February
T
he theme for the 2006 Community Tennis Development Workshop, “Heroes
Among Us,” is designed to honor those who have shaped community tennis. And,
if the last few years are any guide, the upcoming CTDW will continue the tradition
of shaping tennis in communities around the country.
By many accounts, the CTDW, which will be Feb. 3-5 at the Renaissance Holly-
wood Hotel in Hollywood, Calif., is one of the most impactful in terms of educating,
informing, and inspiring those who actually deliver tennis programs at the grassroots
level. For the last few years, the event has been growing in popularity and atten-
dance. Last year, the CTDW, held in Destin, Fla., brought in nearly 700 people from
around the country. Now, officials at the USTA are realizing how important this con-
ference is—and can be—to growing the game, so they’re planning on ramping up the
promotion of the event.
The 2006 CTDW will feature a full lineup of educa-
tional sessions, designed for anyone who is involved with
Community Tennis Associations, tennis facilities, public
parks, teaching and coaching tennis, and more. Negotia-
tions are pending at press time for keynote speaker Jim
MacLaren (who also spoke at the USA Tennis Teachers
Conference in August in New York), a motivational and
inspirational speaker who appeared on the Oprah Win-
frey Show in September (right).
Registration details were still being worked out at
press time, but visit www.usta.com for more information.
U
S
T
A
20 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
Brownlee is not a flashy character. He seems to like letting
others receive the credit. But as the driving force behind
Babolat in North America in terms of sales, marketing, and
distribution, Brownlee has overseen, even choreographed,
what many industry-watchers say is a “phenomenon.”
The French company Babolat was the first to make
strings for tennis racquets, back in 1875, and the brand has
been well-known in the U.S. and globally for its popular VS
Gut. Racquets were added much later, first in Europe, then
in the U.S. market, and that’s where Brownlee’s genius
comes in.
The Babolat Pure Drive frame was introduced in the U.S.
five years ago, and from having no market share in rac-
quets in 2000, Babolat “is closing in on 19 percent” market
share today, says Brownlee, the fastest growth ever in the
U.S. market. By any measure, that is a phenomenon. Just
before this year’s US Open, Babolat introduced its first ten-
nis shoe to the U.S., partnering with another longtime
French company, Michelin.
But Babolat’s story in North
America is about more than just
product that appears to jump off
retailers’ shelves. As the compa-
ny’s front man in the U.S., Brown-
lee is well-respected for what he
does within the industry, for pro-
tecting his retailers, for controlling
product distribution. And for 2005,
Brownlee is RSI’s Person of the
Year.
Brownlee’s involvement in ten-
nis began decades ago, as a USPTA teaching professional.
He was with Wilson Racquet Sports for nine years, then
with Prince for 14 years. He joined Babolat North America,
which is headquartered in Boulder, Colo., in 2000.
Brownlee is typically modest when recalling that launch,
attributing the racquet’s success to two words: “Andy
Roddick.”
“We were very fortunate when we introduced the rac-
quet, because Roddick started his phenomenon at the same
time,” says Brownlee. “People would say, ‘Andy’s doing
well, and he’s playing with a racquet we’ve never heard of.’
It brought so much awareness that junior players started
calling us.”
At that time, Babolat had about 150 dealers in the U.S,
says Brownlee. “We weren’t a racquet you could easily find
in the marketplace. At the beginning, the Pure Drive
became known as a junior racquet. It took a couple of years
for the Pure Drive to become a real name out there,” he
says. Gradually, more top players started using the Pure
Drive. (Currently, Roddick, Rafael Nadal, KimClijsters, Mar-
iano Puerta, Ivan Ljubicic, Nadia Petrova, and Fernando
Gonzalez, among others, play with Babolat frames.)
The Pure Drive racquet, after its introduction in April
2000, spent nearly 2-1/2 years working its way to No. 1 in
terms of dollars in pro/specialty stores in the U.S., accord-
Nax Brown¦ee 's
Q Build a solid foundation that
stresses long-term growth and
success.
Q Support the people, and retailers,
that supported you early on.
Q Do your homework before intro-
ducing new products, so as not
to overwhelm retailers.
TlPS lOR SUCCESS
TAlK TO TENNlS RETAllERS
and others ìn thìs busìness
about Babo¦at North
Amerìca's genera¦ manager,
Nax Brown¦ee, and the same
phrases keep poppìng up:
¨proíessìona¦,º ¨honest,º ¨hìgh
standards,º ¨great products,º
¨man oí hìs word,º ¨ìndustry
¦eader.º
November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 21
ing to data from Sports Marketing Surveys USA. It hit the
top position in September 2002 and, over the next three
years, has held a firm grip on No. 1 (with the exception
of two months: February 2003 and April 2005)—an
unprecedented 34 months as the top-selling racquet at
pro/specialty shops.
Behind the scenes of the racquet launch was Brown-
lee, controlling the distribution,
working with marketing director
Marc Pinsard, and protecting both
price and, at the time, his relatively
small but loyal retailer following.
Industry-watchers say the slow
buildup and sustained peak in sales,
atypical for racquet introductions
today, was due to a couple of factors.
First, Babolat was new to the racquet
business in the U.S. and Brownlee
was carefully building up his network
of top-quality distributors. Second,
and possibly more important,
Brownlee kept his efforts—and that
of his retailers—focused on the Pure
Drive; he didn’t bring other racquet
models to the U.S. market.
“Max truly understands how to
market his racquets in this country,”
says Mark Mason of Mason’s Tennis
Mart in New York City. “By opening
up only a few accounts the first cou-
ple of years, Babolat became so
important to each account that we all
felt the need to give it maximum
exposure. I love how he views Babo-
lat as a specialty-only brand, and
how he understands the need to
have every account hold prices.”
And when it comes to holding prices,
in particular a man-
ufacturer’s “mini-
mum advertised
price,” or MAP,
Brownlee is a cham-
pion among special-
ty retailers. MAP
policies allow local
retail stores to main-
tain margins and
compete against
larger stores and
internet retailers.
Babolat recently
won a court case
against a California company that went against Babolat’s
MAP policy, and Brownlee says they’re currently pursuing
another U.S. company. “We have an advertising policy, and
we’re a strong believer that if you have one, you should
enforce it,” he says.
Babolat now has more than 700 authorized racquet deal-
ers in the U.S., says Brownlee. “We’re a very profitable
brand for retailers,” he says. “We don’t change our racquet
line on a frequent basis, and that’s been very important for
retailers. [Company President] Eric Babolat and senior
management [in France] have entrusted in me when we
feel we need to bring racquets into the U.S.
“This summer, we
didn’t introduce any rac-
quets in the U.S., while all
the other brands did,” he
continues. “Our philoso-
phy is that unless there’s
a reason to introduce a
new racquet, we won’t.
Dealers appreciate that.”
This “cleanness” of
product line is appealing
to retailers. “Max goes
against the norm of the
way the business has
tended to operate,” says
Dale Queen of Your Serve
Tennis in Atlanta. “As far
as distribution and price,
they keep the product
very clean, and they stay
with product longer, pick-
ing and choosing dealers
that will represent their
product favorably, as
opposed to just being
sold on price. If other
companies had [the Pure
Drive] racquet, they’d
have gotten rid of it or
changed it somehow.”
Brownlee says the
company is taking the
same controlled distribu-
tion approach to its new
shoe line that it did for its
Pure Drive racquet
launch. “We now have a
little over 125 dealers in the U.S. for the Team
All Court shoe,” he says. “In 2006, we’ll intro-
duce a slightly larger line, and expand to about
300 dealers. We’re taking it slow because we
want to make sure Babolat shoes are going to
be received well by the retailer and con-
sumer.”
Industry insiders say that under Brownlee,
Babolat is forcing other manufacturers—
whether consciously or not—to take a hard look at how
they’re doing business in the U.S., and how they relate to
their retailers.
“Max,” says Queen, “is certainly a leader in this busi-
ness, not a follower.” —Peter Francesconi
M
i
c
h
e
l
i
n

N
o
r
t
h

A
m
e
r
i
c
a
B
a
b
o
l
a
t

V
S
22 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
vHEN lT CONES TO OPERATlNG a small business, con-
ventional wisdom says success is all about location. But you
don’t have to convince specialty retailer Leon Echevarria of
Racquet World in Miami. A decision to relocate his shop has
turned an already successful business into one of South
Florida’s tennis retail meccas.
Racquet World’s growth has led it to become so well-
respected and successful—its merchandising, customer ser-
vice, community outreach and promotions are
top-notch—that it’s been named RSI’s Pro/Specialty Retail-
er of the Year.
Three years ago, however, the business was at a cross-
roads. “In order to really take a step up and make a differ-
ence in the business, we had to make some changes,”
Echevarria says. He opted to shake things up and relocate
his business from its old home in the far corner of a strip
mall to a location about a mile away, just off of Highway
US1, and its thousands of potential drive-by customers.
“I thought to myself, I can either stay at this level my
whole life or try to make a move to
the big time,” says Echevarria (at
right in inset), who owns the store
with his brother, Felipe (left). “I am
getting smarter as I go.” The new
locale allowed him to up the size of
the shop from 1,800 to 2,800 square
feet and add about 30 percent more
merchandise to the sales floor.
But Echevarria didn’t stop there.
To further heighten Racquet World’s
profile, he asked one of his cus-
tomers—who happened to be a marketing executive for the
Nasdaq-100 pro tennis tournament—about potential part-
nership ideas. Today, Racquet World is the official store of
the Nasdaq-100 (Racquet World operates a 1,500-square-
foot retail space at the tournament site), with an exclusive
deal to sell racquets, strings,
bags, and accessories during the
event.
“This also brings a lot business
to the store year-round, and it
gives us a lot of credibility,” says
Echevarria, who sponsors or
donates prizes to a bevy of small-
er tournaments and leagues
throughout the year as well. “So
many people from all over the
world are in the area, we just had
to be a strong part of the event.”
For further branding, Echevarria gives away a free T-shirt
with every purchase during the Nasdaq-100, which creates
customer loyalty.
But Echevarria also goes beyond the big pro event. Rac-
quet World—whose website, www.tennisplaza.com,
launched recently—also is the official stringer for the
Orange Bowl Junior Tournament. And the store, in con-
junction with some of its vendors, supports 12 to 15 leagues
and local tournaments.
“Leon runs an effective business and he really under-
stands customer service,” says Greg Mason, the director of
marketing and pro/specialty sales at Head/Penn. “He’s also
one of the nicest guys you’ll ever
meet.”
Inside the shop, however, is where
Echevarria truly shines. A knowledge-
able, exemplary, full-time staff of
nine, a focus on customer service, and some unexpected
personal touches keep his customers coming back.
Racquet World makes keeping its customers happy—no-
hassle returns, warranties, and even restringing for free are
standard policies—a priority, right down to the snazzy, per-
sonalized peel-off labels with the store’s logo that come
with every string job. “It looks very professional, and peo-
ple are always impressed,” Echevarria says.
“We take our stringing business seriously,” says
Echevarria. “It’s the foundation of our store. A happy string-
ing customer has to come into the store once to drop off the
racquet then again to pick it up, so you have two chances
to interact with him.” Racquet World strings about 50 rac-
quets a day, on three Babolat Sensor machines. Echevarria
himself is a Master Racquet Technician.
For one industry insider, though, the “how” of Echevar-
ria’s success is a no-brainer. “I’ve seen a lot of retailers
come and go,” says Ana April, sales rep for Prince in the
Southeast, who’s worked with Echevarria from the day he
opened his doors in 1990. “He’s got one of the most suc-
cessful businesses I’ve ever seen in Florida, and he’s built it
up from ground zero. He’s the best.” —Mitch Rustad
Racquet vor¦d's
Q Do everything within your
power to please customers.
Q Partner with vendors to support
local leagues and tournaments.
The exposure you’ll gain could
be immeasurable.
Q Great merchandise displays,
and a clean store, will keep
customers coming back.
TlPS lOR SUCCESS
November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 23
SAlT 8 PEPPER. BEN 8 JERRY. GOll 8 TENNlS'
Though often still linked by their country-club rep-
utations, golf and tennis aren't exactly the yin and
yang items they once were. More often, they seem at
odds with one another these days, competing for their
shares of America's recreational dollars, television rat-
ings, and overall popularity.
But don't tell the folks at Golfsmith—they won't
hear a word of it. In 2003, the San Francisco-based
golf retailer acquired six of the area's best-known
chain stores, Don Sherwood's Golf and Tennis World,
with an eye toward expanding their Bay-
area business. Ironically, Golfsmith believed
that its ideal doubles partner—or should we
say twosome?—was tennis.
“Tennis is a natural complement to our
national golf business,” says Jim Thompson
(right), president and CEO of Golfsmith, a
portfolio company of Atlantic Equity Part-
ners III, L.P., a fund operated by First
Atlantic Capital, Ltd.
And Thompson isn’t kidding. By fall
2005, 32 Golfsmith stores across the coun-
try were showcasing the finest tennis products on the mar-
ket, part of a new store-within-a-store concept to
adequately show off the sport. The ultimate goal? “To
become the Home Depot of specialty tennis retailers,” says
Matt Corey, the company's vice president of
marketing.
Golfsmith’s growth and commitment to tennis—along
with its customer-friendly features such as certified racquet
stringers, 24-hour stringing services, a demo racquet pro-
gram, Golfsmith Gift Cards, and special financing pro-
grams—have earned the company RSI’s 2005 Chain
Retailer/Mass Merchant of the Year Award.
Looking into 2006 and beyond, company officials
are convinced they can bring a specialty retail
approach to a nationwide consumer base.
“We believe the tennis retail market is very simi-
lar to the golf retail market in that there is a strong
base of dedicated players, a fragmented national
retail market, and the absence of a true national spe-
cialty brand,” says Thompson. “After serving tennis
consumers for decades in the San Francisco Bay
Area, we are convinced that this is a viable national market
with real revenue-generating potential.”
“Nobody does it all at a national level,” says Corey.
“There are some great local retailers, but our real goal is to
become the first multi-channel tennis specialty retailer in
the U.S.”
For now, Golfsmith has stores in 14 states. “We already
cover a lot of metro areas,” says
Corey, “but it’s not like we have a
thousand stores across the coun-
try. We’ve got a lot of room for
growth. Eventually, I’d love to
retrofit tennis into 100 to 200 of
our existing golf stores.”
But perhaps more importantly
for the sport of tennis, Golfsmith
is clearly interested in being a
good industry citizen. “I’ve been
super-pleased with Golfsmith and
the way they’ve been reaching out
to the tennis community,” says
Kevin Kempin of Head/Penn.
Golfsmith’s recent participa-
tion in the Tennis Industry Associ-
ation meetings during the US
Open shows “they’re not just
coming into tennis with just a profit mentality,” says
Kempin. “They want to understand the sport and support
our initiatives and help grow the game.” —Mitch Rustad
Go¦ísmìth's
Q Go beyond the business and
support industry initiatives to
help grow the game.
Q Customer-friendly features, such
as a demo program, certified
stringers, and 24-hour turn-
around for stringing, go a long
way to building customer
loyalty.
Q Get the best employees you
can. “We’re a specialty retail-
er,” says Corey. You have to
have the best people, so they
can really explain the game to
customers.”
TlPS lOR SUCCESS
24 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
PASSlONS RUN HlGH vHEN TAlKlNG about online
retailing in the tennis business. Many traditional brick-and-
mortar store owners who are not also selling on the inter-
net obviously feel it cuts into their business, while those
successfully selling online see internet retailing as a logical
extension. But there is no denying that online retailing can,
indeed, be big business in this industry.
Those successfully selling online are doing
more than just moving product,
though. They’re changing the
nature of retailing in the tennis
business. And no online retailer has
had a greater impact than Tennis Warehouse, which is why
the company based in San Luis Obispo, Calif., has been cho-
sen as RSI’s Online Retailer of the Year, the first time we’ve
given an award in this category.
Tennis Warehouse was started by Drew Munster in 1992
as a 500-square-foot specialty tennis shop in San Luis Obis-
po, where TW still maintains a storefront. Prior to that,
Munster (above) had founded ComputerWare in Palo Alto,
Calif., which became the largest Apple Macintosh-only deal-
er in the U.S. and earned the No. 5 spot on Inc. Magazine’s
1990 list of 500 fastest-growing companies in America,
with a five-year growth of 21,900 percent.
“Tennis Warehouse really started more or less as a soft-
ware project for me,” says Munster, the owner and CEO,
who wrote the software that continues to run TW. “The idea
was to sell the software, rather than grow the business that
ran it, but at a certain point I saw more of an opportunity in
the [Tennis Warehouse] business than in selling the soft-
ware.” In 1995, www.tennis-warehouse.com was launched,
and full online ordering was made available in 1998.
Now, TW has up to 120 employees during high season.
And TW offers more than simply the ability to order rac-
quets, shoes, apparel, and other equipment online. For
instance, TW has a racquet demo program that consumers
rave about. Customers can demo up to four frames for a
week, paying just the two-day freight costs. “It offers con-
venience and selection that you can’t find anywhere else,”
says Munster, who came up with the program.
TW also does all its own racquet and shoe playtests and
does its own measuring and specifications for racquets.
The company uses string test data provided by the U.S.
Racquet Stringers Association, and at any one time, there
are more than 20 Master Racquet Technicians on staff,
with new stringers coming up the ladder, their sights set
on taking the MRT test.
Consumer education is a big deal for TW, and the web-
site’s “Learning Center,” created and constantly updated
by TW’s president, Don Hightower, is packed with infor-
mation, from how to customize a racquet, to proper
footwear and apparel sizing, to understanding the latest
racquet technologies, and more. “People come to Tennis
Warehouse as an information source, as much as to pur-
chase product,” says Hightower.
Also important to Tennis Warehouse—and to its web-
site visitors—is “Talk Tennis,” which the com-
pany says is the most active tennis
equipment message board in the world,
with an average of 10,000 posts per
month and more than 30,000 page views
per day. “A big part of what we do
is listen to our customers,”
says Hightower, adding that
that’s simply what suc-
cessful brick-and-mortar shops do, too.
But Tennis Warehouse, and other online retailers, are to
some extent forcing change on the tennis retailing business.
“We react very quickly to changes in the market,” says
Munster. “I think we’ve simply increased the pace in which
business is done. The whole point
is to build a better mousetrap,
and that’s what we’ve tried to do.
“It all comes down to execu-
tion, at all levels,” he continues.
“We try to have the right prod-
ucts and do a good job with peo-
ple’s orders. As unglamorous as it
may be, it’s a simple execution
model at all levels: details, details,
details. We’re more interested in
what our customers think of us
than what our competitors think
of us. Ours is a story of momen-
tum, rather than of overnight suc-
cess.” —Peter Francesconi
Tennìs
varehouse's
Q Actively interact with, and lis-
ten to, your customers.
Q Be an information source for
your customers. Help them
understand the new technolo-
gies, the details about racquets
and customization, etc.
Q At all levels, pay attention to
the execution of your business,
and pay attention to the
details.
TlPS lOR SUCCESS
November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 25
TAlK TO BOB PATTERSON ABOUT stringing and one
thing is immediately clear. “Everything we do is built on
consistency,” he says. That word—“consistency”—sneaks
in everywhere. Patterson, of Birmingham, Ala., even has
his customers using it.
“The consistency is wonderful,” says recreational player
Jim Perry of nearby Hoover, Ala., of Patterson’s stringing
expertise. “You know that when you take your racquet in,
it’s going to be exactly the same every time.”
Patterson has been stringing racquets—consistently—
for three decades. And it’s his consistency in all aspects of
the business that has earned him RSI’s 2005 Stringer of the
Year honors.
Patterson says he kind of fell into stringing. “My first job
out of high school was overseeing the public tennis courts,”
he says. “Players there wanted to get their racquets strung.
I knew nothing about it, but I got some information,
ordered a stringing machine, and started stringing.”
After graduating from the University of Alabama at
Birmingham, he kept stringing because he couldn’t find
anyone to string his own racquets. “I invested about $1,000
in a machine and string, and I was overwhelmed with busi-
ness,” Patterson says. “My plan was to recoup the costs in
a year, but I recouped it in six weeks.”
In 1992, Patterson, at the urging of his wife, Pam,
moved his growing business out of the house and opened a
retail shop, Players Choice Tennis (which last year was
named RSI’s Pro/Speciality Retailer of the Year). Later that
year, to differentiate between the retail shop and the string-
ing business, Patterson created a racquet customization
business, RacquetMaxx, which shares space with the retail
operation. Currently, he has three Babolat stringing
machines in the shop and three more that he and his team
travel with.
Patterson estimates that RacquetMaxx does 7,000 to
8,000 frames a year. Patterson
himself will string 75 to 80 rac-
quets each week, and he’ll pull in
personally trained racquet tech-
nicians when business is heavy,
or for stringing at pro events and
other tournaments. Before Rac-
quetMaxx technicians ever touch
a client’s frame, they’ll string
well over 500 racquets. “We have
a pretty extensive, 12-week train-
ing program,” Patterson says.
“Then we have the new techni-
cians stringing all the demo racquets.
“During training, they hear the word ‘consistency’ so
much that they probably want to throw something at me,”
he adds. “The finale is to prepare to take the Master Rac-
quet Technician (MRT) test from the USRSA. Everyone who
works for Players Choice and RacquetMaxx is either an
MRT or in training to be one.” (Patterson also administers
MRT tests in his area.)
Helping the RacquetMaxx team, especially when it
comes to matching racquets, are the USRSA’s Stringer’s
Digest and online tools available to USRSA members at
www.racquettech.com. “That website is pretty much up on
our computer at all times,” Patterson says.
RacquettMaxx (www.racquetmaxx.com) not only has
tons of local business
(normal turnaround
is 24 hours), but
players also send
him frames from
around the country,
even internationally
(generally, Patterson
says, the frames ship
out within 24 hours).
Fees vary according
to string type, but
labor, without string,
is $18, sometimes
higher at tourna-
ments. “We never
discount strings, and
we never discount
racquet service,”
says Patterson.
“When I first
started, I decided that to be the best I could be, I was not
going to try to be competitive based on price—there’s
always someone willing to do it cheaper,” he says. “That
didn’t help things take off real rapidly, but over the years,
it’s paid dividends.”
And, of course, “It’s all about consistency,” Patterson
says. “I have guys who want to join the team and tell me
how fast they can string, but I want to know if they can
repeat the results time and again. And that comes from
being methodical, even down to the most ridiculous
nuance, which customers do notice.”
Some of those nuances, says Patterson, include always
mounting the racquet with the butt cap facing up. “We also
put a sticker on the frame, in exactly the same place every
time. And we put the racquet in a plastic bag.” Patterson
uses a Babolat RDC machine extensively, including record-
ing the string-bed deflection on each freshly-strung frame.
RacquetMaxx also keeps a database on clients and their
racquet and string specs.
“Whether they’re a recreational player or a top touring
pro, they want to get the most out of their equipment,” Pat-
terson says. “And that’s where consistency really counts.”
—Peter Francesconi
Bob Patterson's
Q To help service your customers,
keep a thorough database on
your clients and their equip-
ment.
Q For stringing and customization,
take full advantage of the tools
offered by the USRSA.
Q And, as if you need to ask, it’s
all about consistency.
TlPS lOR SUCCESS
26 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
lOR THE lAST-DRY CONPANlES of Pompano Beach, Fla.,
it's not just about family values, it's about valuing the fam-
ily. Steven Dettor started the business in 1981, and now,
with three of his five sons involved in the company—and a
good chance the other two may join soon—the business is
booming.
“It's great to have my sons involved,”
says Dettor. “It makes everything a heck
of a lot easier.” But family involvement
isn't the only thing that makes the Fast-
Dry Companies a success.
Fast-Dry's quality of work, customer
service, and well-trained staff all add up to
a business that many court construction
firms should emulate. All those reasons,
and more, have led RSI to pick the Fast-
Dry Companies as our 2005
Builder/Contractor of the Year.
As its name implies, Fast-Dry is actual-
ly two companies. Dettor (right) started
Fast-Dry Corp., a nationwide court supply
company, in 1981. (Prior to that, he was
the general manager of a paving company
based in Fort Lauderdale, where he had
started a tennis division.)
“After I started Fast-Dry, I saw a
tremendous need for construction,” says
Dettor. “There just wasn't a lot of quality
work going on at that time. So three or four years later, I got
heavily into construction.” And that’s when he started Fast-
Dry Courts Inc. Now, the supply company employs about
30 people, and the court-building side has about seven.
“Everything that I do has to
do with people,” Dettor says. “I
have four really great foremen,
all of whom have been with me a
long time. And I have a tremen-
dous salesman in Frank
Froehling, who’s been with us for
four years.
“But also, I’m fortunate that I
have three of my sons in the
business right now,” he adds.
The oldest son, Steve, recently
received his MBA from the Whar-
ton School of Business and is
considering coming into the fam-
ily business.
The next oldest, Todd, is the
company’s vice president of
sales for hard and soft courts.
Trimmer is the vice president of the supply division, David
is a superintendent in the field, and the youngest, Daniel, is
in his last year at the University of Central Florida.
“The sons are very involved in the business,” says Randy
Futty, the director of sales for Lee Tennis. “They’re just a
great group of folks, and really quality-driven, too.
“I’ve been with Lee Tennis for 12 years, and Fast-Dry
has consistently been one of the best builders, if not the
best builder, in the country,”
Futty adds. “They do great work,
they have great follow-up sup-
port, and they have a really well-
trained, experienced staff.”
Dettor says that Fast-Dry does
between 100 and 150 courts
(including the courts at Woodfield Country Club, shown
above), and about 80 percent of them are clay, with the rest
hard courts. Currently, they’re working on the 15 clay
courts at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club in Florida.
“Fast-Dry is a perennial winner in our ASBA awards pro-
gram,” says Carol Hogan, executive vice president of the
American Sports Builders Association. “And the Dettors are
well-respected by their peers. They say what they mean
and do what they say.”
“We have great products,” says Dettor. “There’s no
question that we have a tremendous relationship with Lee
Tennis, NovaSports, and RLS Lighting, and that has helped
make us successful.”
But for the patriarch of the family, it all boils down to
one thing: “We have what you would call ‘experience,’”
Dettor says. “We know what to expect and how to save the
customer money that others may not know about. That’s
the No. 1 thing we’re really selling.” —Peter Francesconi
last-Dry's
Q Success is all about attitude.
“You need to like what you’re
doing,” says Dettor.
Q Stay with it through both the
good and bad times, and you’ll
usually end up on top.
Q Be upfront and honest with cus-
tomers, and give them a realis-
tic construction schedule.
Q Create a partnership with cus-
tomers. “We don’t want them
as a one-timer,” says Dettor.
“Over the long term, we want
to sell them supplies and take
care of their courts.”
TlPS lOR SUCCESS
November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 27
lN PARTS Ol THE NAVAJO RESERVATlON in the South-
western U.S., tennis is an esteemed sport to the area’s char-
acteristically athletic population. Shirley Ruane, a Page,
Ariz., tennis teaching pro and coach who has worked with
many Navajo youngsters, sees the future of tennis in the
reservation’s youth.
“They are so athletic, and so interested,” says Ruane. “If
they have the opportunity to be trained, we’ll see them at
the US Open.”
For nearly a decade, Ruane has played a key role in
bringing tennis opportunities to this expansive yet under-
served population. For her dedication, Ruane has been
named RSI’s 2005 Grassroots Champion of the Year.
Ruane’s history with tennis began in earnest in 1996,
when she and her sister, Barbara Campbell, responded to
an advertisement inviting anyone interested in tennis to
attend a meeting. The sisters thought the meeting would be
about tennis lessons, but it turned out to be an organiza-
tional meeting for the Lake Powell Community Tennis Asso-
ciation, of which Ruane is now president. To learn the
game, Ruane and Campbell took private tennis lessons and
attended clinics. Four years later, Ruane became a certified
teaching professional with the PTR.
Today, the LPCTA’s programs draw excited youngsters
from Navajo reservation communities and other locations
within a 50-mile radius of Page. Particularly popular is the
free “Before-School Tennis” program held on Wednesdays
(with the exception of rainy
days), when up to 30 children can
be found on the public courts
across the street from the Page
High School, where Ruane is also
the coach of the boys’ and girls’
tennis teams.
With such an enthusiastic fol-
lowing, not even cold weather
and snow will stop morning play,
per request of the children. “I
remember one morning when
the court was covered with ice, so
instead of playing tennis, we
skated on our shoes,” says
Ruane. “They just want to be
there. They just love it.” Ruane
brings coats, some donated and
some she has purchased herself,
to the court for children who
arrive without one.
Ruane also has focused her
energies on outreach to the youth
of Navajo communities not served in Page. This past sum-
mer, she presented tennis clinics in six communities on the
reservation, with support from the USTA’s Tennis in the
Parks program. To each location, Ruane brought cases of
balls, racquets, nets, reading material, and videotapes.
“What we bring stays there,” she says. “Tennis in the Parks
donated a lot of the equipment.”
The outreach activities have left a mark on the commu-
nities Ruane visited. Today, two of those towns, Kaibeto
and Tuba City, are working toward constructing tennis
courts. And Ruane, with help from volunteers including
some of the high school students she coaches, strives to
keep a tennis tradition growing. “When we go out on the
reservations, we focus also on the adults so that they can
teach the young people when we’re not there,” she says.
Ruane received the 2004 USTA Eve F. Kraft Community
Service Award for her grassroots efforts. “The thing that
impressed me is that she’s doing what she’s doing for all
the right reasons, and that makes me feel really good that
we have people out there like Shirley,” says Kirk Anderson,
the USTA’s director of Recreational Coaches and Programs.
And while Ruane’s efforts provide a sturdy foundation
for tennis development on the Navajo Reservation, she rec-
ognizes that it will take even more to help the population
leave their mark on the sport, including facilities and other
trained individuals to work with them. “That’s what we are
struggling to get out there,” she says. “It’s going to take
interested outsiders that have money that can contribute to
the development of the sport.” —Kristen Daley
Shìr¦ey Ruane's
Q Collaborate with community
organizations that have connec-
tions to your target audience,
such as schools and youth
groups.
Q Seek support from your USTA
district or section—they can
point you in the direction of
grants, workshops, etc. to help
advance your program.
Q For help with obtaining equip-
ment for your program, contact
organizations with resources
allocated to support public
parks tennis and tennis for
underserved populations.
Q If you don’t have permanent
courts to work with, create your
own using portable nets.
TlPS lOR SUCCESS
28 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
vHEN lT CONES TO JUNlOR TENNlS PlAYERS, there’s
no doubt that Wayne St. Peter knows what he’s doing. Over
the past 11 years, he has worked with about 8,000 young
tennis players. And it’s due to his dedication to junior play-
ers, and his influence on the growth of the sport in south-
ern Maine, that RSI has chosen St. Peter as our 2005 Junior
Development Champion.
St. Peter has been coaching tennis since 1986, when he
volunteered as assistant coach of the Portland High School
men’s team. “We took a 1-9 team and turned them around
to a 9-1 team in one season,” says St. Peter. “At that point,
I knew I wanted to get into coaching.”
St. Peter is the founder of St. Peter’s Grand Slam Tennis
Camp, which serves about 400 juniors and 250 adults each
summer at 12 locations in southern Maine. “We not only
have our own facility, but we also travel to outside areas
because it’s important to be seen and be noticed,” says St.
Peter, adding with a laugh, “It’s a traveling road show.”
The week-long junior camps for players ages 8 to 18 run
between three and six hours a day, five days a week, and
offer lessons and match-play opportunities. The goal of the
program, St. Peter says, is not only to teach children the
game, but also to make them eager to keep playing. The
program, he notes, has attracted players not only from
Maine, but also from as far away as Florida and Kentucky.
In the mornings, there is a focus on player development
through drills, games and other
techniques, before campers go
to eat lunch with the pros. “In
the afternoon, we give them
organized play,” says St. Peter.
“They naturally like that com-
petitiveness.”
One of the keys to St. Peter’s
success is persistence. “You
always have to find a way to
improve what you do,” he says,
adding that he allows his
instructors to use their creativi-
ty in the camps. “Once you
have a closed mind in this
sport, then you have a prob-
lem.”
“Wayne is an innovator,”
says Dan Santorum, CEO of the
PTR. “He likes to try new
things.” In the junior camps,
“Tie-Break Wednesdays” are
popular among participants.
Pros do a tie-break exhibition
for campers in the morning, and then teach them how to
play it in the afternoon. “It’s absolutely amazing what
they’ll take and remember,” says St. Peter.
Another popular program is a tournament play camp,
designed for high school tennis players looking to break
into the upper echelon of their varsity team. “Coming up
with creative ideas like that is what makes us successful,”
says St. Peter.
St. Peter says one of his greatest rewards has been
watching his own daughters, Amanda, 24, and Kristen, 22,
create their own paths in tennis coaching. Amanda is head
coach of the Portland High School girls’ tennis team, and
Kristen oversees the Grand Slam Tennis Camp’s Pee Wee
division for children ages 4 to 7.
St. Peter is Maine’s only PTR Teaching Professional with
a Pro4 rating. In addition to running his camps, he is a ten-
nis pro at the Portland Athletic Club in Falmouth, Maine, as
well as the assistant men’s coach at the University of South-
ern Maine. As head coach of USM’s women’s tennis team
for 11 years, he led his team to 23 singles and doubles titles
at the Little East conference championships. In 2005, St.
Peter was named the PTR Member of the Year for Maine
and received the TIA/PTR Commitment to the Industry
Award.
“Wayne has got a lot of passion for what he does,” says
Santorum. “He’s a hard worker, and he gets a lot of people
to participate in tennis that might not otherwise do that.
He’s well-known in the community, and that’s because he’s
so active in the community.” —Kristen Daley
vayne St. Peter's
Q Volunteer your services in pub-
lic, such as in schools and at
company wellness fairs.
Q Be consistent with name
recognition in marketing your
program.
Q Get your name out in the com-
munity. Utilize free advertising
outlets, such as public access
television channels and news-
paper bulletin boards.
Q Don’t be afraid to ask questions
of the experts, such as the TIA,
and take advantage of the
resources they offer.
Q Develop relationships in the
community with local business-
es, recreation departments, etc.,
which may be able to help you
with your program.
TlPS lOR SUCCESS
November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 29
vlTH A NlX Ol NORE THAN 100 specialty retailers and
seasonal accounts across Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming,
Head/Penn Racquet Sports district sales manager Kay Bar-
ney says compulsive responsiveness is the key to staying
organized.
Barney, of Littleton, Colo., returns phone calls promptly.
He arrives at appointments on time with thoughtfully pre-
pared presentations. He takes elaborate notes before, dur-
ing, and after meetings in his day planner, which he carries
with him everywhere. And he follows through on promises.
A self-described “nothing fancy guy,” 45-year-old Barney
takes pride in sticking to the basics.
That is precisely why clients like Steve Vorhaus, owner
of Rocky Mountain Racquet Specialists in Boulder, Colo.,
enjoy doing business with him. Barney’s reputation for fair-
ness and industry excellence has also been acknowledged
in the form of awards: 1993 Sales Rep of the Year for
Prince; 2001 Sales Rep of the Year for Head/Penn Racquet
Sports; and 2003 inductee into the Head/Penn Sports Sales
Hall of Fame.
And now he can add another accolade: Barney is RSI’s
2005 Sales Rep of the Year.
“Kay is the paragon of what a professional sales rep
should be,” says Vorhaus, who has worked with Barney for
more than 15 years. “One of the reasons I do as much busi-
ness with Head/Penn as I do is because of him. Kay under-
stands the tenuous relationship between working for a
manufacturer while keeping the customer happy, and he
represents both parties honestly. He’s really interested in
the success of the industry.”
Greg Mason, director of sales
and marketing for Head/Penn,
agrees that Barney’s attention to
detail sets him apart. “Without
question, he is the best indepen-
dent sales rep I’ve ever worked
with,” Mason says. “He never
drops the ball on anything he says
he can do.”
A sales rep with Prince for
about 11 years prior to joining
Head/Penn in 1999, Barney has
been calling on some accounts for
his entire tenure in the tennis busi-
ness. Over that time, he says, he
has developed solid relation-
ships—many of which have
evolved into friendships that have
endured long after the sale has
closed—with buyers by treating them as business partners
rather than sources of commission, especially during the
years when the industry has dipped. He also reacts quickly
to problems and concerns, copying clients on emails to
keep them constantly updated and repeatedly posting a
multi-step item on his revolving list of tasks until it is fully
resolved.
“It’s not only my job to take an order, but also to make
my buyers’ businesses more profitable so they can grow,”
Barney says. There is a social aspect to his sales calls, but
Barney is more concerned with maximizing his clients’
time with a clear meeting objective, customized new prod-
uct presentation, and as much time for listening as his buy-
ers desire.
“People don’t naturally tend to be good listeners, but
that’s how you gain tons of information,” he says. “It’s
important to key in to what their needs are, instead of
deciding for yourself without knowing the full story.”
Since time is a premium for all involved, Barney careful-
ly evaluates a client’s needs and individual business cir-
cumstances before arriving at a meeting armed with a
pre-printed order form. Barney says he gladly takes on this
extra step to speed and simplify the ordering process. His
clients also appreciate the option of either immediately
signing or being able to adjust the form on the spot, he
says.
Having earned the confidence of buyers like Vorhaus,
who says he would “trust him with my life,” Barney is com-
mitted to shouldering the resulting responsibility. After all,
he says, that’s one way in which so many business associ-
ates have become good friends over the years.
“It’s not about one quick hit, loading up a client with
products to make a quick commission, because I have to
walk in that door in a few weeks and a few weeks after
that,” Barney adds. “It’s important to really understand
your buyers’ needs and make a plan for years to come. Fill
that need, and you’ll be successful.” —Cynthia Cantrell
Kay Barney's
Q Return phone calls the same
day.
Q Do everything you say you’re
going to do.
Q Be honest, ethical, and sincere.
Q Keep a day planner, continually
highlighting an item until it is
resolved to prevent it from
falling through the cracks.
Q Approach sales meetings as a
two-way dialogue rather than
a sales pitch. You just may
learn something that shapes
your sales strategy—and suc-
cess—for years to come.
TlPS lOR SUCCESS
30 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
KARlN KORB DlDN'T PlCK UP A TENNlS RACOUET until
she was 27 years old. Yet, a year later, she was among the
top four women wheel-
chair tennis players in
the world and playing in
the World Team Cup, the
Fed Cup of wheelchair
tennis.
When you see the
energy and determina-
tion that Korb, 37, radi-
ates, it’s not surprising
that she made it happen.
“I’ve always just had a
passion for sport,” she
says. She was a gymnast
and aerobics instructor,
among other things,
before a fall while vault-
ing left her paralyzed at
age 17. Ten years after the accident, Korb found herself
looking for a sport to provide a new outlet for cardiovascu-
lar exercise. An able-bodied
friend introduced her to ten-
nis. “My entire world
changed,” she says.
“Karin brings a lot of profes-
sionalism, a lot of enthusiasm,
boundless energy and a big
heart,” says Dan James, product
manager of USA Tennis Wheel-
chair High Performance. “You
put those things together and you have someone who is
going to move the meter in our sport.”
Korb has a graduate degree in sports management from
Georgia State, and she now serves as a program develop-
ment manager with BlazeSports America, a comprehensive
sports and fitness program for individuals with physical dis-
abilities. And while Korb is modest about her accomplish-
ments, those who know and work with her are quick to sing
her praises. “You’re not going to find a player with a work
ethic like Karin’s,” says her coach, Kari Yerg.
Adds James, “I truly believe Karin doesn’t recognize how
amazing she is.” —Kristen Daley
lN +o8o, THE JOHN DREv SNlTH TENNlS CENTER was
dedicated in honor of a legendary Macon, Ga., instructor
who had recently passed away and had been instrumental
in the development of the 24-court facility. Smith would be
proud to know how far the tennis
center that bears his name has
come.
The facility is a haven for all
sorts of programming for juniors
and adults, and it is renowned for
hosting local, state, and national
events. The activity is so extensive,
and the atmosphere is so conducive
to tennis, that RSI has named the
John Drew Smith Tennis Center our
2005 Municipal Facility of the Year.
“They do a great job of programming,” says Kirk Ander-
son, the USTA’s director of Recreational Coaches and Pro-
grams. “And the whole place is all about tennis. It’s a real
friendly place to be.”
“For a city our size [population 97,000], we have a huge
number of programs,” says Carl Hodge (right), tennis direc-
tor at JDS,
which is home
to the Macon
Tennis Associ-
ation. For
instance,
Hodge and
Program
Coordinator
Sarah Wither-
spoon run an
after-school
program with
a homework component, along with a
Player Development Program. They’ve
also partnered with schools, organized
Rally Ball, and even run a church program
that brought 120 people to USA Tennis
1-2-3.
“I started to look at organizations and ask, why can’t we
market to them?” says Hodge. For Hodge and the JDS, the
answer always seems to be, “We can.” —Mark Winters
D
a
v
i
d

K
e
n
a
s
Karìn Korb's
Q Look at each day as a whole
new adventure.
Q Constantly challenge and push
yourself, and make an effort to
get out of your “comfort zone.”
Q Stay positive; forgive yourself
your mistakes and move on.
TlPS lOR SUCCESS
John Drew Smìth
Tennìs Center's
Q Be as creative and innovative as
you can be.
Q Let quality, not quantity, be
your motivation.
Q Be persistent and stay the
course.
TlPS lOR SUCCESS
lN ±oo¬, BROOKHAVEN COUNTRY ClUB will be 50 years
old. In that time, the Dallas facility—the largest and oldest
in the ClubCorp
organization (which
currently consists
of about 200
clubs)—has certain-
ly learned how to
do things right,
says Ross Thorn-
brugh, the club’s
manager.
Brookhaven’s
38 courts are
impeccably main-
tained, its tennis programs (for juniors and
adults) are active and alive, the staff is
well-trained and oriented to customer ser-
vice, and the pro shop is one of the best in
the country. All of which are reasons why
Brookhaven is RSI’s 2005 Private Facility of the Year.
Director of Tennis Billy Freer (left) has been with
Brookhaven for 12 years, and he insists that he has one of
the most qualified staffs around. More than 15 pros take the
time to get to know each of the 1,200 tennis members. “It’s
all about building relationships,
getting to know your members,
and enriching lives,” says Freer.
“When new members join, it’s our
job to quickly integrate them
because it’s good for business.”
Brookhaven’s success is due in
part to its “superior programs and
match availability,” says John
Gilpin, vice president of Adult Pro-
grams for the Dallas Tennis Associ-
ation.
The club’s pro shop is one of
the largest in north Texas. “We do
about $500,000 worth of business a year and carry about
$120,000 to $130,000 worth of inventory,” Freer says.
Says Wilson rep David Blakely, “Their forward thinking,
professionalism, and attention to customer service is what
every facility should strive for.” —Cynthia Sherman
vlTH THE NATlONAl PUBllC PARKS Tennis Champi-
onships coming into town in July 2005, the Greater Stam-
ford Tennis Association in Stamford, Conn., wanted to put
its best foot forward for the tournament and the host city.
And in doing so, the GSTA made huge strides in revamping
a popular public tennis facility, with a $400,000 renovation
of 12 courts, lighting, and fencing that took less than a year
to complete.
Scalzi Park is the hub of public park tennis in Connecti-
cut’s lower Fairfield County, but it was looking a bit run
down. Through a contract with
the City of Stamford, the GSTA
was made a general contractor of
the renovation project, allowing
them to put it out to bid. Stamford
accepted the final renovation as a
donation. “It was a little bit unique
in that sense, but a great example
of a public/private partnership,”
says Laurie Albano, Stamford’s
superintendent of recreation.
“The city government was as
committed to getting it done as we were,” says GSTA Pres-
ident Tim Curry. For both the unique process that allowed
this to happen, and to a first-class result, Scalzi Park has
won RSI’s inaugural Public Park of the Year Award.
The city pitched in more than $100,000, and various
departments helped oversee the improvements. An addi-
tional $84,000 came from the USTA’s Public Facility Fund-
ing program, and funds came from USA Tennis New
England and public and private donations. According to
Curry, word-of-mouth was one of the most significant
means of spreading the news of the renovation.
To Marcia Bach, coordinator of Park & Recreation Ten-
nis for the USTA, the Scalzi Park renovation “was a template
full of cooperation within a community structure.”
—Kristen Daley
C
h
r
i
s

N
i
c
h
o
l
s
o
n
Brookhaven's
Q Provide an atmosphere of
superior customer service and
attention to detail.
Q Build a qualified, knowledge-
able staff and superlative
programs.
Q Impeccable court and facility
maintenance is a must.
Q Keep a well-stocked, competi-
tively priced pro shop.
TlPS lOR SUCCESS
32 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
Sca¦zì Park's
Q When it comes to renovations,
explore whether a pub-
lic/private partnership will work.
Q Convince the city that a healthy
park tennis program is good for
the community.
Q Spread the word about the ren-
ovation project.
TlPS lOR SUCCESS
November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 33
AS DlRECTOR Ol PROGRANS for the Greater Baltimore Ten-
nis Patrons Association Inc. (BTP), Lynn Morrell (below) says
the key to growing the game is twofold: making it affordable
and accessible for kids and adults.
The BTP—based in Towson, Md.,
and with former pro player Pam
Shriver as its honorary chairman—
has succeeded in both missions.
Since it was founded in 1973, the
BTP has served more than 100,000
youth, adult, senior, and wheelchair
players in over 70 communities.
Committed to improving the
quality of life for children and fami-
lies recreationally and educational-
ly, the BTP uses tennis to teach life
values including self-discipline,
physical fitness, sportsmanship, and
respect for diversity. And for its efforts, the
Greater Baltimore Tennis Patrons is RSI’s
Community Tennis Association of the Year.
“The Baltimore Tennis Patrons has
played a huge role in the suc-
cess of all TIA and USTA pro-
grams by introducing tennis to
thousands of juniors and adults,”
says Chris Mireles, national coor-
dinator for the Tennis Industry
Association. “Hands down, Lynn
Morrell and the BTP staff run one
of the best organizations I’ve ever
worked with.”
In 2004, the BTP registered 60
neighborhood courts, schools,
and parks as Tennis Welcome
Centers. This year, the BTP is
focusing on growing Cardio Ten-
nis and continuing its commitment to underserved youth
through homework support and free, year-round tennis class-
es. Instructional programs, team tennis, competitive leagues,
and tournaments are also offered.
“We pride ourselves on providing programs that fit the
needs of everyone who wants to live and breathe tennis,”
Morrell says. —Cynthia Cantrell
EACH Ol THE +¬ USTA SECTlONS STRlVES to stand out.
But being the best comes about through a combination of
creativity, ingenuity, and originality, among other attributes.
“With us, it’s been a building process,” says USA Tennis
Florida Executive Director Doug Booth. “We don’t want to
be a good tennis association; we want to be a good non-
profit organization.” And USA
Tennis Florida has made novel
and revolutionary strides, which
has led them to RSI’s 2005 USTA
Section of the Year Award.
“We relocated in Daytona
Beach a few years ago, forming a
partnership with the city that
resulted in a 24-court tennis com-
plex,” Booth says. “Our board of
directors had too many people to
make quick decisions, so they
voted to go from 40 members to
22. We reduced our by-laws from 15 to five pages.”
Booth then traveled the state and discovered, “We don’t
do a good a good job of giving the newspapers information
about the tennis
specific to their
community.” The
section runs a
host of programs,
leagues, and
more, and getting
the word out
became a priority.
So last spring the
section created
the new position
of communications coordinator.
And in yet another innova-
tive move, “We reduced our 19
districts to eight regions to
make things more manage-
able,” says Section President Don Cleveland (above left,
with Booth). “Also, we’ve made a concerted effort [to
enhance tennis in] public parks and schools.”
All of this is good news for tennis players, and potential
players, in Florida. —Mark Winters
l¦orìda's
Q Increase local support by hiring
community tennis coordinators.
Q Provide innovative grants to
spur development of new pro-
grams and reinforce old pro-
grams.
Q Have a board of directors that
strives to be visionary and is
not afraid to try new things.
TlPS lOR SUCCESS
Ba¦tìmore Tennìs
Patrons'
Q Before designing programs,
survey new and existing players
about which programs they
enjoy and which ones are
missing.
Q Make classes and programs
accessible in terms of length,
time of day, number of weeks,
etc.
Q Embrace partnerships. Like
the BTP, team with your local
park and rec to maximize
participation.
TlPS lOR SUCCESS
34 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
AS EARlY AS KlNDERGARTEN, Lisa Duncan had decided
to follow in her mother’s footsteps and go into education.
Then, at age 12, standing outside the tennis courts unable
to afford lessons, she added another goal: making tennis
easily available and affordable. It was the start of her love
affair with the sport.
“Lisa’s knowledge of teach-
ing principles and of tennis is a
powerful and effective combi-
nation,” says Dan Santorum,
the CEO of the PTR. “When you
add in her passion, inspiration,
and enthusiasm, you have
someone who is quite special.”
Duncan’s philosophy is sim-
ple. “For people to really learn
tennis, they have to be actively
engaged and moving and playing games,” she says. And
they need to have fun, which is what Duncan has provided
to thousands over the last 35 years. But she also teaches the
teachers—as a USA Tennis National Trainer for Recreation-
al Coaches and a workshop developer for the PTR. And for
all her efforts, Duncan, of
Lancaster, Pa., is RSI’s
2005 PTR Member of the
Year.
A sought-after clinician
and guest speaker for the
USTA, PTR, and other
groups, Duncan has written
five “Teaching Tennis” cur-
riculum books. In 1999 she
received the International
Tennis Hall of Fame’s Edu-
cational Merit Award, and
in 2005 the USTA/PTR
Community Service Award.
Currently, Duncan works
for the Twin Valley School
District in Pennsylvania.
For Duncan, though, the thrill is in knowing that the peo-
ple she teaches will go out and affect the lives of thousands
of children. “It’s all about the relationships,” she says. “Ten-
nis is a vehicle to get to people.” —Barbara Long
BOB REED Ol EUGENE, ORE., was enjoying a comfortable
career as tennis director of the Eugene Family YMCA about
a year and a half ago when he was inspired by the movie
“The Pianist” to make changes in his lifestyle and profes-
sional direction. The social
studies teacher considered
returning to the classroom, but
opted instead to refocus his
energy on the hands-on work
that he believes is the founda-
tion of community tennis pro-
gramming.
Since that time, the 49-
year-old Reed has worked as
an independent contractor to
implement tennis programs at
eight park sites in Lane Coun-
ty, five of which he directs
himself. He also helps run the
junior program at the Willow Creek Tennis & Sports Center
in Eugene, coaches the Springfield High School boys’ tennis
team, offers free weekly clinics at an alternative high
school, runs a Saturday evening
family lesson program, and
oversees low-fee tournaments
four times a year, proceeds from
which fund tennis program schol-
arships and purchase equipment
for those who couldn’t otherwise
afford to play. And for his selfless
dedication to the sport, Reed is
RSI’s USPTA Member of the Year.
“Bob is the pied piper of com-
munity tennis not only here in
Eugene, but in the whole Pacific
Northwest,” says Tom Greider, a
fellow USPTA pro. Reed recently
was honored with USPTA Star
award.
“I have a pretty conservative lifestyle so I can make it
work,” Reed says of his seven-day-a-week devotion to
empowering young people with self-esteem and life skills
through affordable—or free—tennis programs. “Every time
I reach a child, I succeed big time.” —Cynthia Cantrell
Bob Reed's
Q To stimulate participation in
parks programs, Reed slashed
prices, lowered the minimum
age to 4, and offered multiple
classes.
Q To teach pee-wee classes,
recruit high-schoolers in
exchange for free participation
in the junior/adult class.
Q With the help of volunteers,
Reed provided eight weeks of
free parks summer tennis
lessons.
TlPS lOR SUCCESS
lìsa Duncan's
Q Take time to understand what
students’ needs are.
Q Have students actively engaged
at least 90 percent of the time.
Q Establish a safe learning envi-
ronment so learners can take
risks and learning is actually
realized.
TlPS lOR SUCCESS
PLAYER EQUI PMENT LOG
MEN
Round Racquet Racquet String
Rank Reached Player Name Country Brand Racquet Model Headsize Brand
1 W Roger Federer SUI Wilson nSix-One Tour 90 Wilson/Luxilon
2 3 Rafael Nadal ESP Babolat AeroPro Drive 100 Babolat
3 DNP Marat Safin RUS Head Liquidmetal Prestige Mid 93 Luxilon
4 1 Andy Roddick USA Babolat Pure Drive Team + 100 Babolat
5 SF Lleyton Hewitt AUS Yonex RDX-500 90 Babolat/Luxilon
6 F Andre Agassi USA Head Flexpoint Radical OS 107 Luxilon
7 2 Nikolay Davydenko RUS Prince O3 Tour 100 Polystar
8 Q Guillermo Coria ARG Prince O3 Tour 100 Luxilon
9 Q David Nalbandian ARG Yonex RDX-500 MP 98 Luxilon
10 2 Mariano Puerta ARG Babolat AeroPro Drive 100 Luxilon
11 1 Gaston Gaudio ARG Wilson nSix-One 95 Kirschbaum
12 4 Richard Gasquet FRA Head Liquidmetal Instinct 100 Luxilon
13 3 David Ferrer ESP Prince Shark DB MP 100 Luxilon
14 3 Ivan Ljubicic CRO Babolat Pure Drive Team + 100 Luxilon/Babolat
15 2 Thomas Johansson SWE Dunlop M-Fil 2 Hundred 95 Luxilon/Babolat
16 2 Radek Stepanek CZE Volkl Tour 10 Mid V-Engine 93 Pacific
17 4 Tommy Robredo ESP Dunlop M-Fil 3 Hundred 98 Luxilon
18 3 Fernando Gonzalez CHI Babolat Pure Storm Plus 98 Luxilon
19 4 Dominik Hrbaty SVK Fischer Pro Extreme FT 95 Kirschbaum
20 2 Mario Ancic CRO Yonex Ultimum RD Ti-80 98 Luxilon/Babolat
WOMEN
Round Racquet Racquet String
Rank Reached Player Name Country Brand Racquet Model Headsize Brand
1 SF Maria Sharapova RUS Prince Shark MP 100 Babolat
2 Q Lindsay Davenport USA Wilson nTour 95 Wilson
3 W Kim Clijsters BEL Babolat Pure Drive Team 100 Babolat
4 Q Amelie Mauresmo FRA Dunlop M-Fil 3 Hundred 98 Babolat
5 4 Justine Henin-Hardenne BEL Wilson nTour 95 BDE
6 F Mary Pierce FRA Yonex Ultimum RD Ti-80 98 Luxilon
7 Q Venus Williams USA Wilson n4 110 Wilson
8 SF Elena Dementieva RUS Yonex RDX-500 MP 98 Luxilon
9 4 Serena Williams USA Wilson n3 110 Wilson
10 Q Nadia Petrova RUS Babolat Pure Storm MP Team 103 Luxilon
11 4 Patty Schnyder SUI Head Liquidmetal Prestige MP 98 Kirschbaum
12 1 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS Head Flexpoint Instinct 100 Luxilon
13 3 Anastasia Myskina RUS Head Flexpoint Instinct 100 Kirschbaum
14 1 Alicia Molik AUS Dunlop 300G 98 Luxilon
15 4 Nathalie Dechy FRA Head Liquidmetal Prestige MP 98 Babolat
16 4 Elena Likhovtseva RUS Wilson nSix-One 95 95 Wilson
17 3 Jelena Jankovic SCG Yonex Nano Speed RQ-5 105 Luxilon
18 2 Ana Ivanovic SCG Wilson nTour 95 Luxilon
19 3 Daniel Hantuchova SVK Yonex Nanospeed RQ-7 100 Luxilon/Babolat
20 DNP Vera Zvonareva RUS Fischer Pro No One FT 98 Kirschbaum
36 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
What a tournament! The 2005 US Open provided some of the most exciting tennis ever. Despite the fact
that Andy Roddick bombed out in the first round, the men’s draw got a big push from Americans Andre
Agassi, Robby Ginepri, and James Blake. Of course, it was pretty exciting for champions Roger Federer
and Kim Clijsters, too. Here’s what the top men and women players used at this year’s Open.
String String Footwear Clothing
String Model Gauge Tension Brand Footwear Model Brand
Wilson Natural /BB Alu Power Rough 16L 55/50.5 Nike VAPOR S2 Nike
Pro Hurricane 15L 53 Nike Air Max Breathe Free II Nike
Alu Power Rough 16L - Adidas Barricade II Adidas
Pro Hurricane +/ VS + Team 16 73 Babolat Team All Court Lacoste
VS Team/Big Banger Alu Power 16L 56 Yonex SHT-304 Yonex
Big Banger Alu Power 16L 66 Adidas ClimaCool Feather II Adidas
Energy 16 55/53 Diadora - Diadora
Big Banger Original 16 52 Adidas Barricade III Adidas
Big Banger Original 16 64 Yonex SHT-304 Yonex
Big Banger Original 16 59.5 Babolat Team Clay Babolat
Super Smash 16 59.5 Diadora Protech DA2 Diadora
Big Banger Alu Power 16L - Adidas Barricade III Adidas
Big Banger Original 16 - Diadora Speedzone DA2 Diadora
Big Banger TIMO / VS Team 18/16L 57 Diadora Speedzone DA2 Diadora
Alu Power/VS Touch 16L//16 59.5 Adidas Barricade III Adidas
Tough Gut 17 61.5/57 - - -
1 Big Banger Original 16 51 Sergio Tacchini - Sergio Tacchini
Big Banger Alu Power 16L 55/59.4 Adidas Barricade III Adidas
Touch Turbo 17 61.6/57.2 Lotto ATP Machine speed Lotto
Alu Power/VS Touch 16L /17 57.2/55 Nike Air Max Breathe Free Nike
String String Footwear Clothing
String Model Gauge Tension Brand Footwear Model Brand
VS Team 17 64 Nike VAPOR S2 Nik e
Wilson Natural 15L 63/64 Nike Air Zoom Thrive Nike
VS Touch 16 66 Fila X-Point Fila
VS Touch 16 57.2 Reebok - Reebok
- - 57.5 Adidas Barricade II W Adidas
Big Banger TIMO 18 61.6 - - LeJay
Wilson Natural 16 65 Reebok VESW DMX Reebok
Big Banger Alu Power 16L 51/48.5 Yonex SHT-304 Yonex
Wilson Natural 16 67 Nike Nike
Monotec Supersense 16L 61.5 Adidas Barricade II W Adidas
Touch Turbo 17 55/53 Adidas ClimaCool Feather W Adidas
Big Banger Alu Touch 16L 53/50.5 Fila X-Point Fila
Super Smash Spiky 17 56/52 Nike Nike
Big Banger Alu Power 16L 55 Adidas Barricade II W Adidas
VS Touch Natural Gut 16 - Asics Gel Enqvist Lacoste
NXT 16 50.5/48.5 Wilson Crossfire SL Wilson
Big Banger Alu Power 16L 52.8/50.6 - - -
1 Big Banger Alu Power 16L 49.5/46.2 Nike Air Zoom Vapor Speed Nike
BB Alu Power/VS Touch Nat. Gut 16 22.5/21 Nike Air Zoom Vapor Speed Nike
Super Smash 16L 55/53 Adidas ClimaCool Feather W Adidas
November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 37
38 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
playtested to date (in Durability, Spin
Potential, and Tension Retention). Not sur-
prisingly, the overall score is also well
above average.
Four samples broke during play, one
each at four hours, six hours, 10 hours,
and 20.5 hours.
Gamma Zo Sweet 17
string
PLAYTEST
Gamma Zo Sweet is a 17-gauge hybrid
that combines Gamma’s Zo Power coated
monofilament polyester in the mains and
its TNT
2
nylon in the crosses. According to
Gamma, Zo Power is an ultra-playable
polymer alloy, manufactured as a co-
extrusion fiber with a wear-resistant sur-
face surrounding the high-energy core.
The TNT
2
has an Elastalon center core and
outer wraps, with a “pearl” coating to
enhance durability. Each of these strings is
enhanced by Gamma’s TNT
2
technology.
Gamma claims that its proprietary TNT
2
process changes the highly-aligned chains
that normally occur in string material in such
a way that millions of new intermolecular
bonds are created among the long-chain
molecules, creating more cross-linking for a
stronger, tougher, and yet more flexible
material.
Gamma designed Zo Sweet for players
looking for a softer feel than that generally
found in an all-polyester stringbed, but with
more durability and stiffness than that gen-
erally found in an all-nylon stringbed. This
target group are usually the intermediate to
advanced players with fast swing speeds.
According to Gamma, the addition of the
TNT
2
cross strings softens the stringbed so
that, without sacrificing all control, a player
will still be able to generate additional
power yet have a string that is easier on the
arm.
Zo Sweet is available only in 17 gauge in
white/natural. It is priced from $15.95. For
more information or to order, contact
Gamma at 800-333-0337, or visit
www.gammasports.com. Be sure to read
the conclusion for more information about
getting a free set to try for yourself.
IN THE LAB
The coils measured 23 feet 7 inches (Zo
Power mains) and 21 feet 5 inches (TNT
2
crosses). The diameters measured 1.22 mm
(Zo Power) and 1.26 mm (TNT
2
) prior to
stringing, and 1.19 mm (Zo Power) and
1.19 mm (TNT
2
) after stringing. We record-
ed a stringbed stiffness of 75 RDC units
immediately after stringing at 60 pounds in
a Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 95 (16 x 18 pattern)
on a constant-pull machine.
After 24 hours (no playing), the string-
bed stiffness measured 70 RDC units, rep-
resenting a 7 percent tension loss. Our
control string, Prince Synthetic Gut Origi-
nal Gold 16, measured 78 RDC units imme-
diately after stringing and 71 RDC units
after 24 hours, representing a 9 percent
tension loss. Zo Sweet added 14 grams to
the weight of our unstrung frame.
The string was tested for five weeks by
34 USRSA playtesters, with NTRP ratings
from 3.5 to 6.0. These are blind tests, with
playtesters receiving unmarked strings in
unmarked packages. Playtesters were
instructed to install the poly (white string)
in the mains and the nylon (natural string)
in the crosses, and that the string was to be
installed at normal tension. Average num-
ber of hours playtested was 22.9.
Most of our playtesters told us that Zo
Sweet is as easy to string as other strings,
with the rest just about evenly split as to
whether they found it easier or more diffi-
cult than normal. For some reason, the Zo
Power mains feel much thicker than the
TNT
2
crosses, even though it is thinner.
Being polyester, the Zo Power mains are
stiff, but not difficult to install, and it knots
up nicely. Installing the TNT
2
crosses is
wonderful. The string is soft and pliable, so
it weaves around the mains easily, and the
ends don’t mush out, so blocked holes are
no problem. It’s also convenient that the
tension can be set the same for the Zo
Power and the TNT
2
, as it’s one less thing
to deal with.
One playtester broke his sample during
stringing, four reported problems with coil
memory, two reported problems tying
knots, and none reported friction burn.
ON THE COURT
According to our playtesters, Zo Sweet 17
is a solid all-around performer, scoring well
above average in Playability, Durability,
Power, Control, Spin Potential, Tension
Holding, and Resistance to Movement.
These scores include three top-ten finishes
for Zo Sweet out of the 96 strings we’ve
EASE OF STRINGING
(compared to other strings)
Number of testers who said it was:
much easier 1
somewhat easier 6
about as easy 21
not quite as easy 5
not nearly as easy 0
OVERALL PLAYABILITY
(compared to string played most often)
Number of testers who said it was:
much better 3
somewhat better 6
about as playable 10
not quite as playable 10
not nearly as playable 4
OVERALL DURABILITY
(compared to other strings
of similar gauge)
Number of testers who said it was:
much better 9
somewhat better 10
about as durable 12
not quite as durable 1
not nearly as durable 0
RATING AVERAGES
From 1 to 5 (best)
Playability 3.5
Durability 4.3
Power 3.5
Control 3.6
Comfort 3.2
Touch/Feel 3.1
Spin Potential 3.5
Holding Tension 3.6
Resistance to Movement 3.7
November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 39

I played in a 4.5 tournament and loved the playability and feel of this
string. I would string it two pounds lighter. The string is still in the racquet,
and still plays good after 40 hours.

4.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.2
strung at 62/59 pounds CP (Gamma 18)

Really good string. Can’t wait to
find out what it is!

4.5 male all-court player using Head
Radical Trisys 260 strung at 64
pounds LO (Gamma Advantage 15L)

Plays exceptionally well overall. I
am very impressed with the comfort
and overall playability. The comfort
and feel aren’t as good as my
normal string, but not bad at all. If
I were looking for a durable and
good-playing hybrid, this would
be it!

6.0 male all-court player using Wil-
son nTour strung at 58 pounds CP
(Wilson NXT 17)

Great string for playing and teaching. This string is surprisingly
comfortable with good pop. The durability is incredible, especially with the
18 x 20 pattern in my racquet, and it holds its tension very well for a
polyester string.

5.0 male all-court player using Wilson nPS 95 strung at 61 pounds LO
(Wilson Reaction 17)

Nice surprise! Not what I expected. Feel isn’t on par with my nor-
mal hybrid, but this is rather good. I’d give it a second try.

5.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Head Liquidmetal Pres-
tige strung at 54 pounds CP (Luxilon/VS hybrid 17)

Great durability, not bad playability.

5.0 male all-court player using Prince O3 Red
strung at 68.5 pounds CP (Babolat Touch 16)

The string seems to be a 17-gauge, but is
more durable than my normal 16 gauge. Even
though it is thinner, it is not more lively, which
I like. It seems to have poly mains, and I think
it is easier to work with than other polys in
hybrid sets.

5.5 male all-court player using Dunlop 200G
strung at 62 pounds CP (Wilson Sensation 16)

This string has quite a nice feel with no
harshness. It is more powerful and springy
than I would have suspected. The crosses han-
dled quite well and seemed to hold up quite
well. Only minor complaint is the string move-
ment, but the racquet has a very wide pattern (14x18) so this is
almost expected. I would use this string if it is at a good price point
and the durability keeps up.

4.0 male all-court player using Tecnifibre T Feel 290 XL strung at 60
pounds CP (Klip Excellerator 17)
For the rest of the tester comments, USRSA members can visit RacquetTECH.com.
“For a hybrid, it
really surprised me.
I love how much spin I can get and how
long it lasts. It isn’t hard on my elbow
like some other stiffer hybrids. I’d defi-
nitely recommend it to tournament
players. I’ll switch to it myself.”
5.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using
Prince AirStick OS strung at 56 pounds LO
(Wilson Sensation NXT 16)
(Strings normally used by testers are indicated in parentheses.)
CONCLUSION
Clearly, not every member of our playtest team falls
into the category of “intermediate to advanced players
with fast swing speeds,” although you’d hardly know it
from the overall scores they awarded Gamma Zo
Sweet. The scores probably have more to do with
increasingly better string technology, which offers such
a wide range of performance that even less advanced
players can appreciate the characteristics.
Hybrid strings do make it easier to experiment with
differences in tension between the mains and crosses,
but strictly from a stringing point of view, it’s nice that
a durable hybrid such as Zo Sweet allows you to use
the same tension throughout, even though the mains
are polyester and the crosses are nylon.
If you think that Gamma Zo Sweet might be for
you, be among the first 500 to fill out and return the
coupon, and Gamma will send you a free set to try.
—Greg Raven Q
FREE PLAYTEST STRING PROGRAM
Gamma has generously offered to send a free set of Zo Sweet 17
to the first 500 USRSA members who request it.
To get your free set, just cut out (or copy) this coupon and mail it to:
USRSA, Attn: Gamma Zo Sweet 17 String Offer,
330 Main Street, Vista, CA 92084
or fax to 760-536-1171
Offer expires November 15th, 2005
One set of free string per USRSA membership
Offer only available to USRSA members in the US
FREE! Gamma Zo Sweet 17!
Offer expires November 15th 2005
Name:
USRSA Member number:
Phone:
Email:
If you print your email clearly, we will notify you when your sample will be sent.
TESTERS
TALK
then count how many crosses I have left
to do. Then, I pull that number of lengths
of the remaining string across the middle
of the frame, plus two more for insur-
ance, and cut off the excess.
5 sets of Forten Dynamix 16 to:
Bob Tuttle, MRT, Freeport, NY
BUMPERGUARD SAVERS
For years I’ve recommended to my cus-
tomers that they use head tape on their
racquets, as it would save them a lot of
bumperguard replacements. Typically,
however, they never get around to buying
the head tape, let alone putting it on their
racquets.
Then I found a local sporting goods
store that sells hockey stick tape in a vari-
ety of colors, usually at about $1.75 per
roll (each roll contains 30 yards or more
of tape). After I finish re-stringing a rac-
quet, I apply the head tape for them as
part of the racquet tune-up.
My customers get the head tape they
stencils that can be tossed around without
worrying about breaking or tearing. I use
the plastic covers from old three-ring
binders. The material lies flat, and can be
cut with a razor knife. You can make two
stencils from one binder, but I prefer to
make two identical stencils, and attach
them on either side of the string bed using
Velcro strips, so I don’t have to move the
stencil from one side to the other.
5 sets of Klip K-Boom 18 to:
Todd Volker, Ottawa, IL
SPEED UP YOUR CROSSES
String sets these days are much longer
than they used to be, averaging 40 feet,
and sometimes they’re even longer. This is
much more than you need for a normal
racquet, which means you’re dragging a
lot of extra string against the mains when
you’re installing the crosses.
To eliminate this wear-and-tear on the
mains and speed up the weaving of the
crosses, I weave the first couple of crosses,
and TECHNIQUES
FINGER PROTECTION
If you string a lot with poly, your fingers
can really take a beating. Rather than
using tape or bandages, I now use Nike
Finger Sleeves. Developed for football
linemen, the sleeves are lightweight yet
offer great protection. They are about 2
inches long, come in different sizes, and
cost less than five bucks a pair.
5 packs of Unique Tournagrip (packs
of 3 overgrips) to:
Scott Warren, MRT, Seattle, WA
HEAVY-DUTY STENCILS
If you’re like me, you want heavy-duty
Readers’ Know-How in Action
40 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
tips
November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 41
MARKETING
FREE STRING SAMPLES
After stringing a racquet, I normally have
two or more feet of string left over.
Instead of throwing the string away, I cut
the string into six-inch sections. I then
place these samples into containers
labeled by string brand.
When a customer asks about a certain
string, I can go directly to that container
and let him see the sample of the string
that interests him. Not only can the cus-
tomer feel the differences in stiffness and
texture, but also he can feel the differ-
ences among the available gauges.
By being able to touch the string,
instead of being separated from it by
packaging, my customers feel as if they
are making more educated choices.
5 sets of Wilson Reaction 16 to:
David D. Rogers, Elizabethtown, NY
—Greg Raven Q
Tips and Techniques submitted since 2000 by USRSA
members, and appearing in this column, have all been
gathered into a single volume of the Stringer’s Digest—
Racquet Service Techniques which is a benefit of USRSA
membership. Submit tips to: Greg Raven, USRSA, 330
Main St., Vista, CA 92804; or email
greg@racquettech.com.
need, I haven’t had to repair or replace
any bumperguards, and I haven’t had
any complaints. In fact, they enjoy the
color the tape adds to their racquets.
5 sets of Ashaway Composite
XT Pro to:
Bob Langevin, Great Falls, MT
BIGGER BUILD-UPS
WITH BEVELS
Building up grips one full size is no
problem, as the grip maintains its shape,
and the player can still feel the edges
between the flats and the bevels. But
sometimes I have to build up a grip two
sizes. In these cases, I “cheat.” After
building up the grip one full size the
normal way, I cut strips of Add-On
Grip’s (www.addongrip.com) self-adhe-
sive sheets the same width as the flats,
and apply them to the handle only at
the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions.
Even though there isn’t a second layer
of build-up material on the bevels, you’ll
still come out with a grip that’s two
sizes larger, and it won’t be rounded
off.
5 sets of Tecnifibre X-One
Biphase 1.30 to:
John Hunter, Suitland, MD
STARTING THE MAINS
WHEN USING ADAPTERS
I use the Prince load spreaders with the
head and throat billiards on my stringing
machine. I found that if I thread the two
center mains first, then put the adapters in
and tighten the billiards, I never have a
problem finding the grommet holes, which
can be masked by the adapters, making
threading those strings much easier.
5 sets of Silent Partner Headspin to:
Gaines Hillix, MRT, Marietta, GA
EASIER CROSS STARTING
Weave your first cross string before you tie
off your main string(s). It’s easier to start
the crosses this way, because oftentimes
the first cross string hole becomes blocked
as you tie off the mains.
5 sets of HEAD FiberGEL Power 16 to:
Bob Tuttle, MRT, Freeport, NY &
Paul Wong, Kihei, HI
the EXPERTS
ask
DOUBLE PULLING
WE STRING BOTH TENNIS and rac-
quetball frames in my shop. For ten-
nis frames, we always pull each string
individually, and we never have a complaint.
For racquetball frames, we sometimes have
to double-pull — pull two strings at once —
from the head. If we pull at the customer’s
desired tension, he often feels that the rac-
quet is not strung properly, is “weak,” the
strings move and need to be adjusted after
each shot. I’ve found, however, that I get a
much better string job if I set the reference
tension 2 pounds higher than the customer
requests. My machine is properly calibrated,
so why is there such a difference?
ANY TIME YOU ATTEMPT to pull
around an angle, you lose tension due
to friction. You can demonstrate this with
some string, a dowel, and a weight. Tie one
end of the string to the weight, and then
wrap the loose end of string all the way
around a dowel. While you hold the free
end of the string, observe how little effort it
takes to keep the string from slipping as
you lift the weight. Now, slowly unwind
the loose end, and observe how you must
increase the effort needed to prevent the
string from slipping around the dowel.
When tensioning two strings at a time,
the friction is enough to produce dramatic
reductions in the tension on the string
that is farther away from the tension
head. The only tension that is “trans-
ferred” from the string closer to the ten-
sion head to the string farther from the
tension head occurs when the friction of
the string going around the outside of the
frame is less than the internal friction
(a.k.a stretch) of the string. That is, if it’s
easier for the string to stretch than it is to
overcome the friction where it contacts
the frame, the string will stretch and no
tension will be transferred to the other
string.
Increasing the reference tension does-
n’t compensate for this tension loss,
although it may mask it enough that your
customers don’t complain.
SQUASH TENSION LISTINGS
I'VE BEEN GIVEN A PRINCE TT War-
rior Squash frame to string. The
frame specifies a tension range
between 20 and 35 lbs; the Stringer’s
Digest has the following entry:
20-28 (S) 28-35 (H)
What do the (S) and (H) refer to?
THE “S” AND “H” REFER TO “soft”
and “hard,” respectively, and are
designations of the type of ball used. His-
torically, squash was played with both
hard and soft balls, but around 1990 the
U.S. Squash Racquets Association (USSRA)
switched to soft balls for their main cham-
pionships, so soft-ball squash is now the
more common ball type in the United
States. We publish both specs because,
depending on your location, your cus-
tomers might be using either one.
—Greg Raven Q
We welcome your questions. Please send them to Rac-
quet Sports Industry, 330 Main St., Vista, CA, 92084;
fax: 760-536-1171; email: greg@racquettech.com.
Q
A
42 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
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A
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November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 43
10-S Tennis Supply
1820 7th Avenue North
Lake Worth, FL 33461
P 800-247-3907
561-547-1772
F 561-547-3371
Email: sales@10-s.com
Web: www.10-s.com/
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
7335 SW 104th Street
Miami, FL 33156
P 305-667-1228
F 305-667-6959
Email: agile@bellsouth.net
Web: www.agilecourts.com/
Alpha Sports
7208 McNeil Drive, #207
Austin, TX 78729
P 800-922-9024
512-250-1499
F 512-279-9454
Email: info@alphatennis.com
Web: www.alphatennis.com/
ASBA
(American Sports Builders Association)
7010 W. Highway 71, Suite 340
PMB #312
Austin, TX 78735-8331
P 866-501-2722
512-858-9890
F 512-858-9892
Email: info@sportsbuilders.org
Web: www.sportsbuilders.org/
Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co.
P.O. Box 549 / 24 Laurel Street
Ashaway, RI 02804
P 800-556-7260
401-377-2221
F 401-377-9091
Email: sales@ashawayusa.com
Web: www.ashawayusa.com/
ATS Sports
200 Waterfront Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15317
P 800-866-7071
412-323-9612
F 412-323-1320
Email: tennis@corp.atssports.com
Web: www.atssports.com/
Classic Turf Co., LLC.
437 Sherman Hill Road
PO Box 55
Woodbury, CT 06798
P 800-246-7951
203-266-4862
F 203-263-0275
Email: sales@classicturf.org
Web: www.classicturf.org/
Douglas Sports Nets & Equipment
3441 S. 11th Ave.
Eldridge, IA 52748
P 800-553-8907
F 800-443-8907
Email: sales@douglas-sports.com
Web: www.douglas-sports.com/
Dunlop Sports (Focus Golf)
25 Draper Street
Greenville, SC 29611
P 800-235-5516
864-271-0201
F 864-271-3258
Email: halls@focusgolf.com.com
Web: www.dunlopsportsonline.com/
Edwards Div. of Collegiate Pacific
13950 Senlac #100
Dallas, TX 75234
P 888-566-8966
F 888-455-3551
Email: Pam@colpac.com
Web: www.cpacsports.com/
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc.
634 Wallace Avenue, P.O. Box 136
Chambersburg, PA 17201-0136
P 800-511-7272
717-263-4950
F 717-263-2969
Email: evgtennis@comcast.net
FancyPants, div. of TheLBHGroup, Ltd.
18700 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90504
P 800-421-4474
310-768-0300
F 310-768-0324
Email: kcurry@lbhgroup.com
Web: www.lbhgroup.com/
Fast Dry Companies
1400 North West 13th Avenue
Pompano Beach, FL 33069
P 800-432-2994
F 954-979-1335
Email: info@fast-dry.com
Web: www.fast-dry.com
Forten Corporation
7815 Silverton Ave., Ste. 2A
San Diego, CA 92126
P 800-722-5588
858-693-9888
F 858-693-0888
Email: sales@forten.com
Web: www.forten.com/
Fromuth Tennis
1100 Rocky Drive
West Lawn, PA 19609
P 800-523-8414
610-288-5024
F 610-288-5040
Email: fromuthtennis@fromuthtennis.com
Web: www.fromuthtennis.com/
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
200 Waterfront Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
P 800-333-0337
412-323-0335
F 800-274-0317
Email: tsr@gammasports.com
Web: www.gammasports.com/
Gosen America (Sportmode, Inc.)
5445 Oceanus Street, Suite 113A
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
P 800-538-0026
714-379-7400
F 714-379-7099
Email: sales@gosenamerica.com
Web: www.gosenamerica.com/
HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports
306 S. 45th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85043
P 800-289-7366
602-269-1492
F 602-484-0533
Email: askus@us.head.com
Web: www.head.com/
K-Swiss, Inc.
31248 Oak Crest Drive
Westlake Village, CA 91361
P 800-938-8000
818-706-5100
F 818-706-5391
Email: ksmktg@k-swiss.com
Web: www.k-swiss.com/
Klip America
13088 Caminito del Rocio
Del Mar, CA 92014
P 866-554-7872
858-755-6174
F 720-559-3253
Email: info@klipstrings.com
Web: www.klipstrings.com/
LBH, div. of The LBH Group, Ltd.
18700 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90504
P 800-421-4474
310-768-0300
F 310-768-0324
Email: kcurry@lbhgroup.com
Web: www.lbhgroup.com/
Lee Tennis
2975 Ivy Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
P 800-4HARTRU
434-295-6167
F 434-971-6995
Email: hartru@leetennis.com
Web: www.leetennis.com/
Lily’s of Beverly Hills, div. of The
LBH Group, Ltd.
18700 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90504
P 800-421-4474
310-768-0300
F 310-768-0324
Email: kcurry@lbhgroup.com
Web: www.lbhgroup.com/
NGI Sports (Novagrass)
2807 Walker Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421
P 800-835-0033
423-499-5546
F 423-499-8882
Email: info@novagrass.com
Web: www.novagrass.com/
Nova Sports USA
6 Industrial Road, Building #2
Milford, MA 01757
P 800-872-6682
F 508-473-4077
Email: info@novasports.com
Web: www.novasports.com/
Oncourt Offcourt
5427 Philip Ave.
Dallas, TX 75223
P 88-TENNIS-11
214-823-3078
F 214-823-3082
Email: info@oncourtoffcourt.com
Web: www.oncourtoffcourt.com/
Power Key
PO Box 11092
Burbank, CA 91510
P 800-442-3389
818-569-3076
F 626-969-0236
Email: contact@straightstrings.com
Web: www.straightstrings.com/
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Prince Sports, Inc.
One Advantage Court
Bordentown, NJ 08505
P 800-2 TENNIS
609-291-5800
F 609-291-5902
Web: www.princetennis.com/
PTR (Professional Tennis Registry)
P.O. Box 4739
Hilton Head Island, SC 29938
P 800-421-6289
843-785-7244
F 843-686-2033
Email: ptr@ptrtennis.org
Web: www.ptrtennis.org/
Putnam Tennis & Recreation
P.O. Box 96
Harwinton, CT 06791
P 800-678-2490
F 860-485-1568
Email: info@putnamtennis.com
Web: www.putnamtennis.com
Sportwall International
5045 6th Street
Carpinteria, CA 95108
P 800-695-5056
805-745-5559
F 805-745-1021
Email: tomw@sportwall.com
Web: www.sportwall.com/.
Tail, Inc.
3300 NW 41st St
Miami, FL 33142
P 305-638-2650
F 305-633-7439
Email: amyb@tailinc.com
Web: www.tailinc.com/
Tecnifibre
272 Columbine Drive
Clarendon Hills, IL 60514
P 877-332-0825
F 630-789-0714
Email: sales@tecnifibreusa.com
Web: www.tecnifibre.com/
Unique Sports Products
840 McFarland Road
Alpharetta, GA 30004
P 800-554-3707
770-442-1977
F 770-475-2065
Email: sales@uniquesports.us
Web: www.uniquesports.us/
USPTA (US Professional Tennis
Association)
3535 Briarpark Drive, Suite 1
Houston, TX 77042
P 800-877-8248
713-97-USPTA
F 713-978-7780
Email: uspta@uspta.org
Web: www.uspta.com/
USRSA (United States Racquet
Stringers Association)
330 Main Street
Vista, CA 92084
P 888-900-3545
760-536-1177
F 760-536-1171
Email: usrsa@racquettech.com
Web: www.racquettech.com
USTA (US Tennis Association)
70 West red Oak Lane
White Plains, NY 10604
P 800-990-8782
914-696-7000
F 914-696-7167
Email: info@usta.com
Web: www.usta.com
Volkl Sport America
19 Technology Dr.
W. Lebanon, NH 03784
P 800-264-4579
603-298-0314
F 603-298-5104
Email: tennis@volkl.com
Web: www.volkl.com/
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
PO Box 7770
4501 Old US Hwy 41
Sun City, FL 33586
P 800-282-4415
813-641-7787
F 813-641-7795
Email: custsvc@welchtennis.com
Web: www.welchtennis.com/
Wilson Racquet Sports
8700 W Bryn Mawr Avenue, 10th floor
Chicago, IL 60631
P 800-272-6060
773-714-6400
F 800-272-6062
Email: info@wilsonsports.net
Web: www.wilsontennis.com
Wimbledon, div. of The LBHGroup, Ltd.
18700 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90504
P 800-421-4474
310-768-0300
F 310-768-0324
Email: kcurry@lbhgroup.com
Web: www.lbhgroup.com/
Yonex Corporation USA
20140 W. Western Avenue
Torrance, CA 90501
P 800-44-YONEX
310-793-3800
F 310-793-3899
Email: support@yonexusa.com
Web: www.yonex.com/
E QUI PME NT
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Alpha Sports
Dunlop Sports (Focus Golf)
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Fromuth Tennis
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HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports
Prince Sports, Inc.
Tecnifibre
Volkl Sport America
Wilson Racquet Sports
Yonex Corporation USA
Squash Racquets
Dunlop Sports (Focus Golf)
Fromuth Tennis
HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports
Prince Sports, Inc.
Tecnifibre
Wilson Racquet Sports
Racquetball Racquets
Edwards Div. of Collegiate Pacific
Fromuth Tennis
HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports
Prince Sports, Inc.
Wilson Racquet Sports
Badminton Racquets
Alpha Sports
Dunlop Sports (Focus Golf)
Edwards Div. of Collegiate Pacific
Fromuth Tennis
Prince Sports, Inc.
Wilson Racquet Sports
Yonex Corporation USA
Strings-Gut
Alpha Sports
ATS Sports
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Klip America
Prince Sports, Inc.
Unique Sports Products
Wilson Racquet Sports
Strings-Synthetic
Alpha Sports
Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co.
ATS Sports
Dunlop Sports (Focus Golf)
Forten Corporation
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Gosen America (Sportmode, Inc.)
HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports
Klip America
Prince Sports, Inc.
Tecnifibre
Unique Sports Products
Volkl Sport America
Wilson Racquet Sports
Yonex Corporation USA
Strings-Hybrid
Alpha Sports
Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co.
ATS Sports
Dunlop Sports (Focus Golf)
Forten Corporation
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Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Gosen Racquet Strings
HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports
Klip America
Prince Sports, Inc.
Unique Sports Products
Wilson Racquet Sports
Yonex Corporation USA
Accessories
10-S Tennis Supply
ATS Sports
Dunlop Sports (Focus Golf)
Forten Corporation
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports
Klip America
Power Key
Prince Sports, Inc.
Tecnifibre
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Volkl Sport America
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44 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
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November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 45
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ATS Sports
Edwards Div. of Collegiate Pacific
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports
Oncourt Offcourt
Prince Sports, Inc.
Tecnifibre
Unique Sports Products
Wilson Racquet Sports
Arm Bands
ATS Sports
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Unique Sports Products
Wilson Racquet Sports
Knee Bands
ATS Sports
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Unique Sports Products
Ankle Supports
ATS Sports
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Unique Sports Products
T E NNI S AP P ARE L
Men’s
ATS Sports
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
K-Swiss, Inc.
Prince Sports, Inc.
Wilson Racquet Sports
Wimbledon, div. of The LBH Group, Ltd.
Yonex Corporation USA
Women’s
ATS Sports
Fromuth Tennis
K-Swiss, Inc.
LBH, div. of The LBH Group, Ltd.
Lily’s of Beverly Hills, div. of The LBH
Group, Ltd.
Prince Sports, Inc.
Tail, Inc.
Wilson Racquet Sports
Wimbledon, div. of The LBH Group, Ltd.
Yonex Corporation USA
Children’s
ATS Sports
Fromuth Tennis
LBH, div. of The LBH Group, Ltd.
Wilson Racquet Sports
T-shirts
ATS Sports
Dunlop Sports (Focus Golf)
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Prince Sports, Inc.
Tecnifibre
Volkl Sport America
Wilson Racquet Sports
Yonex Corporation USA
Socks
ATS Sports
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
K-Swiss, Inc.
Prince Sports, Inc.
Tail, Inc.
Volkl Sport America
Wilson Racquet Sports
Hats/Caps/Visors
ATS Sports
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports
K-Swiss, Inc.
Prince Sports, Inc.
Tail, Inc.
Tecnifibre
Unique Sports Products
Volkl Sport America
Wilson Racquet Sports
Yonex Corporation USA
Wristbands
Alpha Sports
ATS Sports
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports
Klip America
K-Swiss, Inc.
Prince Sports, Inc.
Tail, Inc.
Tecnifibre
Unique Sports Products
Volkl Sport America
Wilson Racquet Sports
Yonex Corporation USA
Tennis Panties
ATS Sports
Fancy Pants, div. of The LBH Group, Ltd.
Fromuth Tennis
Sports Bras
Fancy Pants, div. of The LBH Group, Ltd.
Fromuth Tennis
Custom Cresting
Fromuth Tennis
Tail, Inc.
Embroidery
Fromuth Tennis
Tail, Inc.
Unique Sports Products
Team Business
ATS Sports
Fancy Pants, div. of The LBH Group, Ltd.
Fromuth Tennis
LBH, div. of The LBH Group, Ltd.
Lily’s of Beverly Hills, div. of The LBH
Group, Ltd.
Prince Sports, Inc.
Tail, Inc.
Wimbledon, div. of The LBH Group, Ltd.
Apparel Other
Dunlop Sports (Focus Golf) (Tournament
T-Shirts)
F OOT WE AR
Tennis
10-S Tennis Supply
Fromuth Tennis
K-Swiss, Inc.
Prince Sports, Inc.
Wilson Racquet Sports
Yonex Corporation USA
Other
Fromuth Tennis
Prince Sports, Inc.
Insoles
ATS Sports
Fromuth Tennis
T E NNI S L I GHT I NG
Outdoor
10-S Tennis Supply
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
Classic Turf Co., LLC
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc.
Fast Dry Companies
Putnam Tennis and Recreation
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
Indoor
10-S Tennis Supply
Classic Turf Co., LLC
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
Other
10-S Tennis Supply
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
COURT E QUI P ME NT
Court Surfaces
10-S Tennis Supply
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
ASBA (American Sports Builders Associ-
ation)
Classic Turf Co., LLC.
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc.
Fast Dry Companies
Lee Tennis
NGI Sports (Novagrass)
Nova Sports USA
Putnam Tennis and Recreation
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
Maintenance Equipment
10-S Tennis Supply
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
ATS Sports
Edwards Div. of Collegiate Pacific
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc.
Fast Dry Companies
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Lee Tennis
NGI Sports (Novagrass)
Putnam Tennis and Recreation
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
Surface Repair Products
10-S Tennis Supply
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
ASBA (American Sports Builders Association)
ATS Sports
Classic Turf Co., LLC.
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc.
Fast Dry Companies
Gamma Sports/Fischer
Lee Tennis
NGI Sports (Novagrass)
Nova Sports USA
Putnam Tennis and Recreation
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
Fencing
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
Classic Turf Co., LLC
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc.
Fast Dry Companies
Lee Tennis
Putnam Tennis and Recreation
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
Tennis Nets
10-S Tennis Supply
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
Alpha Sports
ATS Sports
Douglas Sports Nets & Equipment
Edwards Div. of Collegiate Pacific
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc.
Fast Dry Companies
Forten Corporation
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Lee Tennis
NGI Sports (Novagrass)
Nova Sports USA
Oncourt Offcourt
Putnam Tennis and Recreation
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
Tennis Posts
10-S Tennis Supply
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
ATS Sports
Douglas Sports Nets & Equipment
Edwards Div. of Collegiate Pacific
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc.
Fast Dry Companies
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Lee Tennis
NGI Sports (Novagrass)
Oncourt Offcourt
Putnam Tennis and Recreation
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
Scorekeepers
10-S Tennis Supply
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
ATS Sports
Douglas Sports Nets & Equipment
Edwards Div. of Collegiate Pacific
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc.
Fast Dry Companies
Forten Corporation
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Lee Tennis
Oncourt Offcourt
Unique Sports Products
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
Water Cooler Stands
10-S Tennis Supply
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
ATS Sports
Douglas Sports Nets & Equipment
Edwards Div. of Collegiate Pacific
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc.
Fast Dry Companies
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Lee Tennis
Oncourt Offcourt
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
Windscreens
10-S Tennis Supply
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
Alpha Sports
ATS Sports
Douglas Sports Nets & Equipment
Edwards Div. of Collegiate Pacific
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc.
Fast Dry Companies
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Lee Tennis
NGI Sports (Novagrass)
Oncourt Offcourt
Putnam Tennis and Recreation
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
Backdrop Curtains
10-S Tennis Supply
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
ATS Sports
Douglas Sports Nets & Equipment
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc.
Fast Dry Companies
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Lee Tennis
NGI Sports (Novagrass)
Oncourt Offcourt
Putnam Tennis and Recreation
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
Netting
10-S Tennis Supply
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
ATS Sports
Douglas Sports Nets & Equipment
Edwards Div. of Collegiate Pacific
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc.
Fast Dry Companies
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Lee Tennis
NGI Sports (Novagrass)
Oncourt Offcourt
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
Ball Retrieval Equipment
10-S Tennis Supply
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
ATS Sports
Douglas Sports Nets & Equipment
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc.
Fast Dry Companies
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Lee Tennis
Oncourt Offcourt
Prince Sports, Inc.
Unique Sports Products
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
Ball Machines
10-S Tennis Supply
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
ATS Sports
Douglas Sports Nets & Equipment
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc.
Fast Dry Companies
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Lee Tennis
Oncourt Offcourt
Prince Sports, Inc.
Putnam Tennis and Recreation
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
Backboards
10-S Tennis Supply
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
ATS Sports
Douglas Sports Nets & Equipment
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc.
Fast Dry Companies
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
NGI Sports (Novagrass)
Oncourt Offcourt
Sportwall International
Putnam Tennis and Recreation
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
ADVERTISEMENT
46 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
ADVERTISEMENT
November/December 2005 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 47
Teaching Aids
10-S Tennis Supply
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
ATS Sports
Edwards Div. of Collegiate Pacific
Fast Dry Companies
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Oncourt Offcourt
Prince Sports, Inc.
Sportwall International
Unique Sports Products
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
Water Removal Equipment
10-S Tennis Supply
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
ATS Sports
Douglas Sports Nets & Equipment
Edwards Div. of Collegiate Pacific
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc.
Fast Dry Companies
Forten Corporation
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Lee Tennis
Oncourt Offcourt
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
BUILDERS & DESIGNERS
Court Contractors
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc. (South Florida,
Carribean)
ASBA (American Sports Builders
Association) (All of U.S.)
Classic Turf Co., LLC. (All of U.S.)
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc. (Eastern US)
Fast Dry Companies (USA, Carribean,
Bahamas)
Putnam Tennis and Recreation
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc. (All of USA)
Facility Planners/Designers
Agile Courts Construction Co. Inc.
Classic Turf Co., LLC.
Evergreen Tennis Services, Inc.
Fast Dry Companies
MI S CE L L ANE OUS
Books
ATS Sports
Oncourt Offcourt
Computer Software
Oncourt Offcourt
Gifts/Trinkets
ATS Sports
Fromuth Tennis
Unique Sports Products
Nutrition/Food
Fromuth Tennis
Sports Eyewear
ATS Sports
Fromuth Tennis
HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports
Prince Sports, Inc.
Unique Sports Products
Sports Watches
Fromuth Tennis
Sun Protection
Fast Dry Companies
Sunglasses
ATS Sports
Fromuth Tennis
HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports
Unique Sports Products
Tournament Prizes
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Unique Sports Products
Towels
Fromuth Tennis
Videotapes
ATS Sports
Fromuth Tennis
Oncourt Offcourt
Water Bottles
ATS Sports
Fromuth Tennis
Gamma Sports/Fischer USA
Associations/Certifications
ASBA (American Sports Builders Association)
ATS Sports
Fast Dry Companies
PTR (Professional Tennis Registry)
USPTA (US Professional Tennis Association)
USRSA (US Racquet Stringers Association)
USTA (US Tennis Association)
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
Educational Workshops
Fast Dry Companies
Welch Tennis Courts, Inc.
Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation
1. Publication Title: Racquet Sports Industry
2. Publication Number: 347-830
3. Filing Date: 10/15/2005
4. Issue Frequency: Jan-Aug Monthly, Sep-Dec Bi-Monthly
5. Number of Issues Published Annually: 10
6. Annual Subscription Price: $25
7. Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication:
Tennis Industry Inc., P.O. Box 428, Hurley, NY 12443
8. Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General
Business Office of Publisher: Same as #7
9. Full Names and Complete Mailing Address of Publisher
and Editor: Publisher: Jeff Williams, 79 Madison Ave, 8th
Floor, New York, NY 10016. Publisher: David Bone, 330
Main Street, Vista, CA 92084. Editor: Peter Franscesconi,
937 Post Road, Fairfield, CT 06824. Editor-in-Chief:
Crawford Lindsey, 330 Main Street, Vista, CA 92084
10. Owner: Tennis Industry Inc., P.O. Box 428, Hurley, NY
12443. USRSA, 330 Main Street, Vista, CA 92084
11. Known Bondholders, Mortgages and Other Security
Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total
Amount of bonds, Mortgages or Other Securities: None.
12. Tax Status: Has not changed during preceding 12 months.
13. Publication TItle: Racquet Sports Industry
14. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: Sep/Oct 2005
15. Extent and Nature of Average No. No. Copies of
Circulation Copies Each Single Issue
Issue During Published
Preceding 12 Nearest to
Months Filing Date
A. Total No. Copies 15,250 17,000
(net press run)
B. Paid and/or Requested circulation
1. Paid/Requested 13,724 14,509
Outside-County Mail
Subscriptions Stated
on Form 3541
2. Paid In-County 46 46
Subscriptions Stated
on form 3541
3. Sales Through 0 0
Dealers and Carriers,
Street Vendors,
Counter Sales, and other
Non-USPS Paid Distribution
4. Other Classes 0 0
Mailed Through USPS
C. Total Paid and/or 13,770 14,555
Requested Circulation
D. Free Distribution by Mail (Samples, complimentary and
other free)
1. Outside-County as 613 613
Stated on form 3541
2. In-County as 0 0
Stated on Form 3541
3. Other Classes 0 0
Mailed Through the USPS
E. Free Distribution 80 580
Outside the Mail
(carriers or other means)
F. Total Free Distribution 693 1193
G. Total Distribution 14,463 15,748
H. Copies Not Distributed 787 1252
I. Total 15,250 17,000
J. Percent Paid and/or 95.2% 92.4%
Requested Circulation
16. Publication of Statement of Ownership Printed in the
November/December 2005 issue of this publication.
17. Signed, Jeff Williams, Publisher, 10/15/2005
I certify that all information furnished on this form is true.
and complete.
Your Serve
Getting Things In Shape!
I
’ma fitness fanatic. I work out several times a
week, keep an eye on what I eat (most of the
time), and amforever looking for newways to
get that workout high. Over the years I’ve tried
everything: running, stair-climbing, elliptical,
yoga, Pilates, weights—you name it. If there’s a
way to break a sweat, I own a book about it,
have bought the equipment for it, and have
given it a shot.
Of all the forms of exercise I’ve tried,
though, nothing—and I mean nothing—has
satisfied the workout-aholic inside of me as
much as running and hitting tennis balls.
That’s why I’m such a proponent of Cardio
Tennis, which I predict will revolutionize
both the tennis and fitness industries.
Cardio Tennis is the brainchild of Jim
Baugh. The president of the Tennis Industry
Association, Baugh has dedicated his career
to encouraging people of all ages to play
tennis and adopt a more active lifestyle.
And that’s becoming more and more impor-
tant every day. Look at some of the statistics
I came across recently:
Q The percentage of Americans that are
either overweight or obese has grown
from 47 to 65 percent in the last 20 years.
Q The number of extremely obese American
adults—those who are at least 100
pounds overweight—has quadrupled since
the 1980s to about 4 million. That’s about
one in every 50 adults.
Q In December 2001, U.S. Surgeon General
David Satcher blamed obesity for causing
some 300,000 deaths annually in the U.S.,
warning that obesity may soon overtake
tobacco as the leading cause of pre-
ventable deaths.
Q 60 percent of American adults don't get
the recommended amount of physical
activity, and over 25 percent of adults are
not active at all. When polled, the No. 1
reason people gave for not exercising is
that they “don’t have enough time.”
Today, thankfully, fitness is beginning to
creep into more peoples’ lives, but they’re
only willing to set aside so much time for
exercise. They want to get in, work out,
and get on to their next activity, so they
tend to use the easily available cardio
equipment at their gym, take aerobics
classes or lift weights. They generally
don’t think about tennis as a great fit-
ness opportunity. But Cardio Tennis can
change that.
Cardio Tennis classes are conducted
on a tennis court by certified tennis pro-
fessionals. Each class includes a short,
dynamic warm-up, a cardio workout
that includes a combination of drill- and
play-based exercises (where the pro
feeds balls to players based on their abil-
ity and fitness level), and a cool-down
phase. Simply put, Cardio Tennis is ten-
nis’s entry into the fitness industry. And
it easily can—and should—be an impor-
tant program that you need to offer to
your players.
I attended a Cardio Tennis workshop
at the USTA National Tennis Center
hosted by Baugh and Michele Krause,
the program’s national manager, and
couldn’t have come away more
impressed. After a brief classroom ses-
sion, we strapped on heart-rate moni-
tors (recommended so participants can
monitor their heart rates during exercise)
and took to the courts. By the end of
the hour, I’d hit hundreds of tennis
balls, gotten a tremendous workout
and, above all, had one hell of a good
time. I walked off the court convinced
that Cardio Tennis is here to stay.
Not only does Cardio Tennis provide
a complete workout in a short period of
time, but also it offers players an enjoy-
able social experience. And your tennis
can’t help but improve. Participants hit all
the shots and make all of the movements
they would during singles or doubles, but
the focus is on getting a great workout,
not beating an opponent. And the pro-
gram allows players of all levels to work
out together.
Both Baugh and Krause feel that the
program can be a boon for the tennis
industry. Existing players who may do sup-
plemental training at their gyms can now
get a full-body workout by taking Cardio
Tennis. Non-players who work out will see
the program as a viable fitness option and
give tennis a try.
The hope is that Cardio will bring peo-
ple who have quit tennis back to the
sport. Studies have shown that players
who have tried and stopped playing tennis
did so for two main reasons: They could-
n’t find the time to devote to the game
and they had difficulty finding a playing
partner. Both issues are answered with
Cardio Tennis.
Cardio Tennis was launched to con-
sumers at the 2005 US Open, with fitness
guru Denise Austin leading the charge. If
your facility is not a Cardio Tennis site,
you need to visit
www.partners.CardioTennis.com to
become one. It’s the future of your busi-
ness, and it’s the future of our sport. Q
We welcome your opinions. Please email
comments to rsi@racquetTECH.com or fax
them to 760-536-1171.
Award-winning teaching
professional Greg Moran is
the director of tennis at the
Four Seasons Racquet Club
in Wilton, Conn. He is certi-
fied by the PTR and USPTA
and has written for a variety
of tennis publications and
appeared on television. He is the author of two
books, with his latest scheduled to be released in
January.
48 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY November/December 2005
“I walked off the court
convinced that Cardio
Tennis is here to stay.”
A longtime tennis director says Cardio Tennis will revolutionize
the sport, and your business.
BY GRE G MORAN