2014/08/02

Serena Williams, Azarenka, Bryan Brothers and More To Headline First-Ever Taste of Tennis Week

 

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August 20, 2014 – August 23, 2014

 

Press Release: NEW YORK, NY (July 29, 2014) – AYS, the creators and producers of the Taste of Tennis, New York’s premier pre-US Open experience, announced today the first-ever Taste of Tennis Week will take place from August 20th – August 23th, 2014 in New York City.  In addition to the renowned Taste of Tennis Gala, Taste of Tennis Week will feature even more tennis-meets-food events, including the Celebrity Chef Tennis Challenge on August 20th, Citi Dining Series on August 21st and Party with The Pros on August 23rd.

 

The 15th Annual Taste of Tennis Gala offers guests the opportunity to sample sensational cuisine prepared by the most prestigious chefs in the world, sip on handcrafted cocktails all while rubbing elbows with professional tennis players. World #1 Serena Williams, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Host of Today Show and MSNBC’s NewsNation, Tamron Hall, will be joined by top tennis players, celebrities and a number of New York’s finest chefs and culinary personalities.

 

“The Taste of Tennis concept has proven to be so popular, and we are pleased to offer these exciting new events that provide foodies and tennis fans with unprecedented access to their favorite chefs and pro tennis personalities,” explains Penny Lerner, CEO of AYS.

 

Tickets for the Taste of Tennis Week are currently on sale and can be purchased online via the links below. The complete Taste of Tennis Week schedule of events includes:

  • Wednesday, August 20th -  Celebrity Chef Tennis Challenge, 9AM-12PM (Midtown Tennis Club – 341 8th Avenue): Hosted by Top Chef Masters Finalist Kerry Heffernan. At this exciting event, professional chefs will serve up something a little out the ordinary as they compete in a round-robin style doubles tournament to determine who is the King (or Queen) of the court!

o    Participating chefs include: Marc Murphy (Landmarc), Kerry Heffernan (Top Chef Masters Finalist), Daniel Holzman (The Meatball Shop), Michael Chernow (The Meatball Shop), David Seigal (Cull & Pistol), Francois Payard (FPB, FP Patisserie), Zac Young (David Burke Group), Chad Brown (Davio’s), Eric Gabrynowicz (Restaurant North), Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto), Phil Conlon (Corkbuzz Wine Studio), Alfred Portale (Gotham Bar and Grill), Philippe LaJaunie (Les Halles), Carmen Quagliata (Union Square Café), Floyd Cardoz (Celebrated Indian American Chef) and Andrew Friedman (Cookbook Author)

  • $150 to Participate in the Challenge: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/celebrity-chef-tennis-challenge-tickets-12319053621
  • Thursday, August 21st – Taste of Tennis Gala, 7PM-10PM (W New York- 541 Lexington Ave.): The party that started it all! To celebrate the US Open, AYS created the Taste of Tennis, a one of a kind event featuring fine food prepared by 25 of NYC’s top culinary minds, signature cocktails, interactive sponsor experiences, live music and appearances by the world’s greatest tennis players. Hosting this year’s gala will be Today Show’sTamron Hall, headlining Chef Masaharu Morimoto and professional tennis star Serena Williams. The evening will be a curated culinary evening with US Open stars, the brightest chefs in New York and celebrities who will be on hand to enjoy the slew of offerings with proceeds benefiting City Harvest.

o  Participating chefs include:Headlining chef, Masaharu Morimoto (Morimoto), John Mooney (Bell, Book, & Candle), Marc Murphy (Landmarc), Peter Andino (Heartbeat), Daniel Holzman & Michael Chernow (The Meatball Shop), Eric Gabrynowicz (Restaurant North), Kerry Heffernan (Top Chef Masters Finalist), Bill Telepan (Joel Javier/Larissa Raphael) (Telepan Local), David Seigal (Cull & Pistol), Kevin Sbraga (Sbraga and The Fat Ham), Jimmy Bradley (The Red Cat), Phil Conlon (Corkbuzz Wine Studio), Chad Brown (Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse), Carlos Llaguno (Les Halles), Harold Moore (Commerce Restaurant), Ben Pollinger (Oceana), Zac Young (David Burke Group), Georgeann Leaming (Suppa), Admir Alibasic (Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse), Sebastien Chamaret (Bagatelle), Paul Evans (Secrets St. James, JTB) among others.

o  Participating athletes include: Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Bryan Brothers, Sloane Stephens, Gael Monfils, Aga Radwanska, Dustin Brown and more to be announced.

o  Major sponsors for the 15th Taste of Tennis include Citi, Rado, Guadalupe Islands Tourist Board, The Cheesecake Factory, Jamaica Tourist Board, W New York, UnBurn, Mouton Cadet and Franciscan Estate Napa Valley, among others.

  • Ticket Information: Individual tickets for the event are available for $275/per person; http://tasteoftennisnyc.eventbrite.com/?aff=PressRelease
  • Saturday, August 23rd Party with The Pros, 6PM-9PM (Measure Lounge at Langham Place Fifth Ave.): Guests at the Party with the Pros will enjoy an evening of great food, handcrafted signature cocktails and live music, with some of the top names in professional tennis. This exclusive event takes place a Measure Lounge at the luxurious Langham Place Fifth Avenue hotel. Attendance is limited to 150 guests so get your tickets now!

o    Participating athletes include: Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens and John Isner

ABOUT TASTE OF TENNIS

“Taste of Tennis,” the world’s premier food and tennis experience, brings professional athletes, influential chefs, the entertainment industry and global brands together for a unique tasting event with a sports twist.  The ultimate kick-off celebration to US Open in New York City, “Taste of Tennis” is the perfect convergence of sports fans and culinary enthusiasts.  Produced by AYS, Taste of Tennis and its sister event, Taste of Tennis Australia, have become the most widely recognized and anticipated events on the yearly calendar.  Visit our website at www.tasteoftennis.com.

 

ABOUT AYS

AYS is a full-service marketing consultation and event solutions company. Since 1995, we have leveraged our experience to help clients create successful B2B and B2C marketing initiatives and events worldwide. Our mission is to maximize marketing ROI for our clients. AYS also produces the Taste of Tennis™, which is widely considered the World’s Premier Food & Tennis Experience. Visit our website at www.aysworld.com.

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The Newport Club

International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2014: Nick Bollettieri, Jane Brown Grimes, Lindsay Davenport, John Barrett, and Chantal Vandierendonck   Photo by Kate Whitney Lucey

International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2014: Nick Bollettieri, Jane Brown Grimes, Lindsay Davenport, John Barrett, and Chantal Vandierendonck Photo by Kate Whitney Lucey

The Newport Club

By Jack Cunniff

(July 12, 2014) NEWPORT – With apologies to the late John Hughes.

Five students of the game of tennis – “executive” Jane Brown Grimes, “journalist” John Barrett, “survivor” Chantal Vandierendonck, “coach” Nick Bollettieri, and “champion” Lindsay Davenport – all come from different backgrounds. On Saturday, they reported for Saturday “detention” at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI. At the end of day, by sharing their life experiences, we learn that they aren’t just the executive, the journalist, the survivor, the coach, the champion. We see them for what they are: tennis fans. They are “The Newport Club”, Class of 2014.

 

To look at the resume of Jane Brown Grimes, she’s the consummate tennis executive. President and CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Managing Director of the Women’s Professional Tennis Council (now known as the Women’s Tennis Association). Chairman of the Board of the United States Tennis Association. Professional tennis has always had a fragmented political structure, and it is never easy to get each body to agree on the issues facing the sport. It was Brown Grimes’ love of tennis that allowed her to succeed in each of these roles by moving the sport forward. In her own words, “If you can kind of get on the same page with various groups, really convince them something you think should happen is good for the game overall, if you can back your own ego out of it, I think you can get a lot done.”

It’s easy to label Barrett a journalist. For over forty years, he was the tennis correspondent for The Financial Times of London. He was editor of World of Tennis, and publisher of Wimbledon the Official History. He was the Wimbledon announcer on the BBC from 1971 until 2006. More than this, however, he is a fan of tennis and feels incredibly lucky to have made his life in the sport. Regarding his broadcasting career, Barrett says “I had the best seat in the house. I could comment about the game I loved from an early age and they actually paid me for it! What could be more wonderful than that?” He married tennis as well, taking three-time Grand Slam champion Angela Mortimer as his bride in 1967.

 

Vandierendonck was born into a tennis family. At age 18, tennis took a back seat when she became a paraplegic as the result of an auto accident. Chantal would have to learn to accept life in a wheelchair. How could she survive life without tennis? Her uncle told Chantal about wheelchair tennis. Upon seeing the sport for the first time in Paris, she saw it was “still real tennis”. Her family organized wheelchair events in her native Netherlands, and with her love of practice and hard work, Vandierendonck soon became a champion in the sport. Because of her dedication to tennis, Vandierendonck learned how great her life in a wheelchair could be. She’s not only the first women’s wheelchair player inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame, but also the first Dutch player inducted.

 

The “Coach”, Nick Bollettieri, is famous for many reasons. He has a number of successful former pupils, including Hall-of-Famers Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, and Monica Seles. He partnered with Arthur Ashe to start the Ashe Bollettieri Tennis Program in Newark, NJ, then started the Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, FL. He’s the author of several instructional books. His commitment to tennis continues to drive him. His sponsorship for children’s tennis programs is well-documented, but in Newport, Bollettieri partnered with AARP Rhode Island to hold a free clinic for senior players. As he announced in his induction speech, “I’m just beginning my journey.” This fan of tennis says that retirement is not in his vocabulary.

 

Lindsay Davenport has always been known as a champion. She won regularly in the junior ranks of tennis. Within four months of turning professional, she won her first of 55 tournament titles. After turning twenty, she claimed the gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. And she continued to win on the biggest stages of the sport, taking the Women’s Singles trophies at the 1998 U.S. Open, 1999 Wimbledon, and 2000 Australian Open. It’s been only recently that we’ve come to view Davenport as something other than a champion. Certainly, as the wife and mother of four, she has new responsibilities today. Yet her love of the sport has returned her to the scene as a respected tennis commentator. “I always loved to study the game,” Davenport admitted, “I would spend a lot of time trying to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the players at the very top. I’m a tennis junkie.”

 

The five most recent inductees had been labeled and stereotyped into a role. But after the 2014 Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, we learned that the reason for their success was that they were, and still are, tennis fans.

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Kimberly Yee to Receive National Sportsmanship Award at International Tennis Hall of Fame

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WATCH THIS VIDEO ON KIMBERLY YEE BY CLICKING HERE

 

LAS VEGAS (July 11, 2014) – With Hall of Fame inductees Grand Slam champion Lindsay Davenport and famed coach Nick Bollettieri looking on, Las Vegas’ Kimberly Yee will accept the nation’s highest junior tennis award this weekend at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I.

 

The 17-year-old Odyssey Charter High School senior has been named a recipient of the prestigious Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Award, which is presented each year by the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

 

The award began in 1987 and is given to a “junior player who exemplifies the finest qualities of sportsmanship in tournament play and the finest traditions of the great sportspersons of tennis past and present.” Past winners include current WTA and ATP American players Alexa Glatch, Alison Riske and Las Vegas’ Sam Querrey.

 

“The credit for this award is really for the team that helped me: my parents, my USTA friends from NJTL and the USTA Serves Foundation and all my teammates at NO QUIT Tennis Academy,” Yee said. “Since I was 9 the USTA has been helping my family and made much of what I do possible.”

 

Yee has been No. 1 in the USTA national rankings in the girls’ 12s, 14s, 16s and Top 10 in the 18s. She came through the local Las Vegas NJTL chapter called the Marty Hennessey Jr. Tennis Foundation. She is also part of Team Bryan, a USTA NJTL Excellence Team in partnership with the Marty Hennessy Jr. Foundation where she mentors and tutors children 3-4 times per week and teaches the next generation of players on how to be a polite, kind and respectful champion. She is coached by her father Adam Yee and Tim Blenkiron from the NO QUIT Tennis Academy.

 

“Bob and Mike Bryan have been Kimberly’s heroes since she was young,” said Ryan Wolfington, who started the Foundation 10 years ago as a volunteer. “Like Bob and Mike, Kimberly has always had all A’s, incredible sportsmanship and an amazing desire to help other people.”

 

Yee’s efforts will be honored at the Friday night awards dinner that will be attended by all of this year’s Hall of Fame inductees. On Saturday, Yee will attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies of Lindsay Davenport (former No. 1 player); Chantal Vandierendonck (wheel-chair great); Nick Bollettieri (coach); Jane Brown Grimes (industry leader); and John Barrett (tennis historian/journalist).

 

“Kimberly’s desire to help others is so significant that I was afraid it would interfere with her training,” Blenkiron said. “But then she explained that giving back is what motivates her. I think she wants to do for other children what the Bryan brothers did for her.”

 

Bob Bryan commented in a video done on Yee that, “One of the best things you can do in tennis is win an award for sportsmanship and character,” he said. “She is a great role model and we really look up to her. We thank her for leading Team Bryan.”

 

Wolfington concluded, “I’ve been involved in tennis for the past 15 years, and I’ve never come across a student like Kimberly Yee. “She’s No. 1 in the country; the top tennis recruit. She gets good grades and continually sets an amazing example to others in the Foundation by volunteering and mentoring children.”

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Djokovic To Participate in Johnny Mac Tennis Project Fundraiser

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Novak Djokovic To Compete At SPORTIME Randall’s Island In Support of Johnny Mac Tennis Project on August 21st

World No. 2 Joins John McEnroe, Henrik Lundqvist, Edward Norton, Others For Massive

Pre-US Open Fundraiser at SPORTIME Stadium

NEW YORK, June 26, 2014 – Current world No. 2 and six -time Grand Slam singles champion Novak Djokovic will join Hall of Famer John McEnroe, NY Ranger superstar goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, actor Edward Norton and other tennis stars, legends and celebrities, on Thursday, August 21, for a gala evening of tennis to benefit the Johnny Mac Tennis Project. The benefit night will take place at SPORTIME Stadium on Randall’s Island. In the main event of the evening, Djokovic will compete against another top ATP professional to be announced. The evening will also include pro-celebrity doubles action, featuring Djokovic, McEnroe and their guests, promising junior players from the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, an auction  with all net proceeds to support the efforts of Johnny Mac Tennis Project, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

JMTP provides scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area, as well as introducing the sport to hundreds of new junior players each year in the neighborhoods surrounding Academy locations. JMTP benefit nights in previous years have featured the likes of Bjorn Borg (2011), Andre Agassi (2012) and Jim Courier (2013). JMTP and Sportime Clubs, home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, have already provided over $1.5 million in scholarships and no cost programming to young players in NYC and its communities. Sportime Randall’s Island has been the flagship location of JMTA since 2010.

This is an important night for a cause that has been close to my heart for a long time,” said McEnroe. “I have so much respect for Novak as a person and as a player, which makes me even more excited that he will be the first current top-ranked player to participate in a Johnny Mac Tennis Project benefit match. Fans can expect a night of fun and competition in a great atmosphere in New York, with the likes of Henrik Lundqvist and Edward Norton generously agreeing to be part of the festivities, and with more surprise guests to be announced between now and the event.”

Tickets start at $75. To purchase tickets, and for more information about special VIP packages, corporate packages, or to become a sponsor, please contact JMTP2014@sportimeny.com.

Djokovic has three titles to date in 2014, all in top-level Masters 1000 events in Rome, Miami and Indian Wells. He first reached the No. 1 ranking in April 2011 and has been the No. 1 or No. 2 ranked male player in the world ever since. His Grand Slam singles championships include the Australian Open (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013), Wimbledon (2011) and U.S. Open (2011). The Belgrade, Serbia, native is the top seed at Wimbledon this year and has opened his 2014 campaign with convincing wins over Andrey Golubev and Radek Stepanek.

Lundqvist is one of the National Hockey League’s great goalkeepers, winning the Vezina Trophy in 2011-12 and finishing second in 2012-13. He has 309 career regular-season victories in his nine-year career, plus 43 more in postseason play. This year he helped lead the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup finals appearance since 1993-94.

The prolific Norton is known for his roles in the films Fight Club, American History X, The Incredible Hulk, The Illusionist and many others. He is a two-time Academy Award nominee and a Golden Globes winner. He stars alongside Emma Stone in this fall’s Birdman

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WTA Mobilizes Tennis Community to Support “Rally For Bally”

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WTA – ST PETERSBURG, FL, USA — The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) is encouraging tennis fans worldwide to pledge their support for the fundraising efforts for “Rally For Bally,” a series of exhibition tennis matches staged on Sunday, June 15, in memory of former British No.1 tennis player Elena Baltacha, who was affectionately known as “Bally” by her friends and those within the tennis community.

 

The “Rally For Bally” will feature a variety of current tennis stars and legends including Andy Murray, Martina Navratilova, Marion Bartoli, Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova taking part in mixed doubles exhibition matches across Great Britain at the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club, the Aegon Classic in Birmingham and the Aegon International in Eastbourne. All funds raised will go to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and the Elena Baltacha Foundation, the charity attached to the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis.

 

“‘Rally For Bally’ is a great way to celebrate the never ending contributions Elena Baltacha has made to the game of tennis,” said WTA Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster. “The WTA family is committed to keeping Bally’s dream, memory and legacy alive and through our efforts we hope to mobilize our fan base to give generously to this vitally important cause.”

 

In addition to “Rally For Bally”, the WTA fundraising initiative will see players, tournaments and staff worldwide donating directly to the Elena Baltacha Foundation, the charity founded four years ago to give more children from all backgrounds the opportunity to play tennis.  WTA players will have the opportunity to donate a percentage of their prize money at upcoming grass court events at Birmingham, Eastbourne, ‘s-Hertogenbosch and The Championships, Wimbledon.

 

Baltacha was diagnosed with liver cancer just two months after retiring from professional tennis and just a few weeks after marrying longtime coach and partner Nino Severino. The former British No.1 succumbed to the disease on May 4, 2014, at 30 years of age.

 

Fans worldwide can donate to “Rally For Bally” by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/rallyforbally.

 

Related articles:

Former British No. 1 Elena Baltacha Dies from Liver Cancer

Tennis Reacts to the Passing of Elena Baltacha

Wimbledon Champions Marion Bartoli and Andy Murray Unite at Rally for Bally

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Wimbledon Champions Marion Bartoli and Andy Murray Unite at Rally for Bally

Andy Murray Courtesy of adidas

(June 6, 2014) LTA – Marion Bartoli will share a court with fellow Wimbledon singles champion Andy Murray as part of the Rally For Bally on June 15th.

 

Bartoli and Murray, both of whom lifted Wimbledon trophies at The Championships in 2013, will join with Ross Hutchins at The Queen’s Club, which hosts one of three Rally For Bally fundraising matches all being held that day.

 

The Rally For Bally is part of a national fundraising effort being held in memory of former British number one Elena Baltacha, who died of liver cancer on 4th May this year. As well as a host of fundraising events all over the country, mixed doubles exhibition matches are being held on June 15th as part of the Aegon Championships at The Queen’s Club, Aegon Classic in Birmingham and the Aegon International in Eastbourne.

 

Bartoli, Murray and Hutchins – plus one or more other female players yet to be announced – will entertain the crowds at The Queen’s Club. Anne Keothavong, Tim Henman, Martina Navratilova and Jamie Murray will be in action in Birmingham, and Eastbourne will see Petra Kvitova, Greg Rusedski, Agnieszka Radwanska and Johnny Marray and others all take to the courts as tennis unites behind the Rally For Bally cause.

 

The Rally For Bally, via the Just Giving page, has already raised almost £45,000 in text and online donations. All money raised will be split between the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity (which successfully treated Ross Hutchins last year) and the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis, the charity attached to Elena’s tennis academy in Ipswich.

 

Marion Bartoli said: “Bally was my friend and I want to do everything I can to help the Rally For Bally. She was a lovely person and she always wanted to help other people, so everybody coming together like this is a really great tribute to her.”

 

“I’m looking forward to being back on a grass-court again, especially with Andy. I’m sure it will bring back lots of good memories of Wimbledon for both of us.”

 

A Rally For Bally JustGiving page has been set up, and donations can be made quickly and easily here: www.justgiving.com/RallyForBally. Or, text “EBAL60 £10″ to 70070, to make, for example, a £10 donation via your mobile phone.

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Bryan Brothers V-Grid Tennis Fest To Take Place July 19

Bryan Bros. Dave McKinney, Mark Knowles, Andy Roddick

Camarillo, Calif., (May 20, 2014) – The Bryan Brothers will return to their hometown of Camarillo for the event once again being presented by Alexander Cadillac. The date for the day of tennis, music, food and wine tasting has moved to Saturday, July 19, and will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Spanish Hills Country Club. Similar to year’s past, there will be a Pro-Am, exhibition matches and the day will culminate with a concert featuring the Bryan Bros. Band. All proceeds will benefit the Bryan Bros. Foundation.

More than 50 local wineries and restaurants will be on hand and sponsorships are still available. Once again this year, the event is being run by Spanish Hills Director of Tennis Dave McKinney.

 

Last year’s event was attended by former US Open champion and Bryan twins Davis Cup champion teammate Andy Roddick with more than $100,000 being raised for the Bryan Bros. Foundation, which helps benefit junior tennis in Ventura and Santa Barbara County.

 

The day after the TennisFest, the Bryans will play three home matches of Mylan World Team Tennis action for their new team, the San Diego Aviators, July 20th, 22nd and 23rd indoors at San Diego’s Sport Arena.

 

Tickets and exclusive tables can be purchased through the website, as well as sponsorship availability which can be viewed at www.bbtennisfest.com.

 

For more information on the Bryan Bros. Foundation see the website at: http://www.bryanbros.com/about-the-foundation.html.

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Hall of Famers Monica Seles, Tracy Austin, and Gigi Fernandez, and Rhode Island native Jill Craybas to play exhibition match in Newport on July 13

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NEWPORT, R.I., May 16, 2014 -  An exhibition match featuring tennis legends Monica Seles, Tracy Austin, Gigi Fernandez, and Rhode Island native and recently retired WTA Tour player Jill Craybas has been added to the schedule of events for the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s annual Hall of Fame Tennis Championships and Rolex Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend in July.

The women’s doubles exhibition match will take place on Sunday, July 13 at 11 am at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, preceding the finals of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. While the Hall of Fame hosts the men’s tournament annually, this exhibition match is the first time that a women’s tennis event has been played in Newport in many years.

“It is always a pleasure to welcome Hall of Famers back to Newport, and it is a particularly special treat to have Monica, Tracy, and Gigi on court. We’re glad for the opportunity to host Jill to play before her hometown crowd. The exhibition match is a great addition to our tournament and enshrinement events and we know the fans will have a great time seeing these four women back in action,” commented Mark Stenning, CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Tickets for the exhibition match are on sale now to members of the International Tennis Hall of Fame on HallofFameTennisChampionships.com or via phone at 401-849-6053. The Member Pre-Sale for tickets will run May 16 – May 21, and tickets will go on sale to the general public on May 22 at 10 am. Information about becoming a member is available online or by phone as well. Tickets are $15 for South Stands and $25 for Courtside Seats, with discounts available for members.

Nine-time Grand Slam champion Monica Seles was the world No. 1 player for 178 weeks. She won 53 singles titles and 6 singles titles. At the age of just 16 years and 6 months, Seles won her first Grand Slam title in 1990 at the French Open, defeating then world No. 1 Steffi Graf in the final. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009.

Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1992, Tracy Austin was ranked world No. 1 in the early 1980s. In 1979, at the age of 16 years and 9 months, Austin defeated Martina Navratilova and and Chris Evert en route to winning the US Open. She remains the youngest ever US Open champion to this day. She captured the title again in 1981, and won a total of 30 singles titles over the course of her career. Austin remains highly active in tennis as a broadcaster for Tennis Channel and BBC.

Doubles specialist Gigi Fernandez won 17 Grand Slam tournament doubles titles, including five consecutive French Open titles and victories at all four majors. She won 14 titles with Natasha Zvereva, making them one of the most successful doubles pairings in tennis history. Fernandez won Olympic gold medals at both the 1992 and 1996 Games and 68 career titles in women’s doubles. Originally from Puerto Rico, Fernandez now resides in Connecticut.

One of Rhode Island’s most successful pro athletes, East Greenwich native Jill Craybas enjoyed a lenghty and successful career of 17 years on the WTA Tour between 1996 and 2013. Craybas achieved a career high ranking of No. 39 in singles and No. 41 doubles. In 2002, she won the title at the Japan Open, and over the course of her career she won five doubles titles. From the 2000 US Open to the 2011 US Open, Craybas competed in 45 consecutive Grand Slam main draws. Her best result at a Grand Slam tournament was at Wimbledon in 2005 when she reached the fourth round and defeated Marion Bartoli and Serena Williams. Craybas represented the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and she was a member of the United States Fed Cup team.

Craybas began playing tennis as a recreational sport at age 10. She went on to compete for Lincoln School in Providence for two years, before relocating to Florida. She earned an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, where she earned a B.A. in Communications. As a senior in 1996, she won the NCAA women’s singles tennis championship. She was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008. Craybas officially retired from the pro tour last September at the US Open.

The exhibition match tops off a week of tennis festivities at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event and the only men’s pro tennis tournament in New England will be held from July 5-13. Players scheduled to compete include No. 1 American John Isner and Australian great Lleyton Hewitt. On Saturday, July 12, the highest honor in tennis will be presented to five great champions and leaders of the sport in the International Tennis Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony. The Class of 2014 enshrinees are former world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport, wheelchair tennis champion Chantal Vandierendonck, legendary coach Nick Bollettieri, tennis industry leader Jane Brown Grimes, and tennis broadcaster and historian John Barrett.

For additional information about the events and to order tickets, please visit www.HallofFameTennisChampionships.com or call 401-849-6053.

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Experts, Club Owners Offer Insights at Tennis Owners & Managers Conference

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CHARLESTON, SC (April 10, 2014) — The inaugural Tennis Owners & Managers Conference (T.O.M. Conference), presented by the Tennis Industry Association April 3-4 in Charleston, S.C., brought together leading experts in club and facility management and programming to provide practical information and key “takeaways” to help tennis facility owners and managers become more competitive and profitable.

A capacity crowd of more than 100 attended the T.O.M. Conference, which was held at the Charleston Marriott. They heard from speakers and panelists that included top executives at national tennis and health companies, successful tennis club owners, experts in legal and financial matters, a promotion expert, a retail consultant, club membership and compensation experts, tennis programming and coaching professionals, sports research experts, and more.

The keynote speaker at the conference was Cliff Drysdale, an ESPN commentator, former pro player and 2013 inductee into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Drysdale also owns a tennis management company, Cliff Drysdale Tennis, which now manages 26 locations. He hit on a theme that other speakers and attendees also addressed when it comes to managing a tennis facility: “The main challenge is getting the right people, the right professionals, the right leaders,” Drysdale said. “It takes a very special talent. You have to deal with the politics of the club, you have to be able to teach, and more than anything, you have to be a promoter.”

“The Tennis Owners and Managers Conference offered a full schedule of important topics that tennis clubs and facilities are dealing with today,” said TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “We were pleased to not only have such high-level presenters, but also to get a high degree of audience participation throughout the day-and-a-half conference.”

In addition, TIA “Software as a Service” business partners were on hand to speak with attendees about some of the latest technology available to help club and facility management. Conference participants also attended an evening session in the Legends Sky Suite at the Family Circle Cup women’s professional tournament.

De Boer said plans for a second Tennis Owners and Managers Conference in 2015 are being considered. “The feedback we’ve received for this inaugural conference has been overwhelmingly positive,” she said. “There clearly is a need for this type of information and networking among tennis facility owners and managers, to help them better compete in this business environment.”

For more information about the Tennis Industry Association, visit TennisIndustry.org. To see what attendees had to say about the inaugural T.O.M. Conference, visit TheTomConference.com.

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New Balance Launches Inaugural New Balance High School Championship, Presented by the USTA

new balance

new balance high school championship

 

(March 26, 2014) New Balance announced in early March the creation of the inaugural New Balance High School Tennis Championship presented by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), an event that will offer young tennis players a new level of competition on the national stage. The tournament will be held at the Beren Tennis Center at Harvard University in Boston, July 21-25, 2014.

“We think if you play high school tennis, you’re a tennis player for life,”  Bruce Schilling, General Manager of Tennis for New Balance told Tennis Panorama News.

“We want to acknowledge and pay attention to those athletes that don’t get the attention as other sports do.”

“We are also excited to build relationships with the high school state athletic associations through this new and exciting event and work with them to develop ongoing programs and services for individual players and coaches.”

New Balance developed the event with the goal of supporting and recognizing all high school tennis players and coaches and the dedication they bring to the sport. New Balance sought the USTA’s support for this event because of the strong alignment of both organizations’ goals to promote and develop the sport of tennis, as well as the USTA’s experience managing tennis events.

Boys’ and girls’ singles events will have a 64-player compass draw format, giving players the opportunity to play many matches. Winners of the New Balance High School Tennis Championship will be awarded wildcard spots in an International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior event held in the U.S. prior to the 2014 US Open Junior Championships.

To grow participation among high school players and the event, New Balance is collaborating with the High School State Associations to conduct outreach and work with athletic directors, coaches, and players to acknowledge the importance of the high school game. Other event supporters include Harvard, SJX, and Home Team Sports.

“The real goal of this is to get down into the state level and offer opportunities for every high school player,” Schilling said.

Outside of publicity and the tournament web site, New Balance is reaching out to potential participants in other ways. “We have made arrangements with a number of state federations and those federations are those federations are reaching out to high school tennis associations by reaching directly to the coaches of the kids that win,” Schilling said.

“Harvard was one of the first programs we got involved with immediately, they are very close to our campus. It’s a spectacular venue at a prestigious institution and so there really couldn’t be a better partner.”

More than 355,000 boys and girls participate in high school tennis. At the collegiate level, approximately 20,000 varsity positions are available for top athletes, with intramural and club-level programs providing an additional 40,000 participants the opportunity to maintain their social and competitive connection to the sport throughout college.

For more information on the New Balance High School Tennis Championship: http://www.newbalance.com/NB-Tennis/exp-tennis-event,default,pg.html

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