August 29, 2015

Nadal, McEnroe, Hewitt Keep Focus On Tennis at JMTP Benefit

Nadal McEnroe at Randalls Island

By Vito Ellison

(August 26,2015) NEW YORK, NY -With drawing cards like 14-time major champion Rafael Nadal, 2001 US Open champion Lleyton Hewitt and the legendary John McEnroe himself, it’s no surprise that the Johnny Mac Tennis Project drew a near-capacity crowd to Randall’s Island on a balmy Wednesday evening for the fifth edition of his Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP) exhibition. The event was held to raise funds used to provide financial assistance to qualified young tennis players.  Sportime Clubs, home of last night’s event and McEnroe’s eponymous tennis academy and the JMTP, have already provided over $2 million in scholarships and assistance in part paid for by this annual event.

Long considered an iconoclast in the sometimes hidebound world of tennis, McEnroe’s mellower side was on display at last night’s event.  He was effusive in thanking his guests, particularly Nadal, of whom he said “He’s done me a huge favor and I owe him one big time,” said McEnroe.  “He’s come here for nothing and it is very, very much appreciated.” In another exchange he added, “When you get to be stature of Rafael Nadal, you expect people to come up to you, even the older players, to pay respect to you. Rafael’s never been that type.”

While McEnroe’s was unguardedly positive about Nadal he adopted a different, more protective stance regarding Nick Kyrgios. With McEnroe’s desire to keep the event and crowd focused on the good work of the JMTP, Kyrgios, who to his credit honored his commitment to attend, was largely relegated to the background. With Kyrgios still under heavy fire in the court of public opinion for his comments in a match against Stan Wawrinka two weeks ago, McEnroe announced to the gathered press that the Aussie would not be playing singles against Nadal as initially scheduled. “Nick Kyrgios is going to be playing doubles with me, along with my brother [Patrick] and Jonas Bjorkman,” McEnroe started. “I made a decision based on some of the ongoing stuff. While I want to be supportive of Nick and think he’s a tremendous talent…It would be better served for him at this particular time to maybe take a step back.”

Top draw Rafael Nadal would instead square off against another former World No. 1 in Lleyton Hewitt for an eight-game pro set.  The match, though just an exo, was typical of the Spaniard’s two steps forward/two steps back season-to-date. Nadal flashed vintage moments including an well-placed ace that helped him dig out of a love-40 hole on serve and a screaming backhand down-the-line winner that brought a big smile to his face and a 4-1 lead on the scoreboard.  The sparkling moments were tempered though by frustrating periods of imprecision.  He gave the net tape a workout at points and seemed to guide more shots than usual long.  The inconsistency left Nadal, who opened up a 6-3 lead in the eight game pro set scrambling to keep the lid on Hewitt in an 8-7(5) win that was closer than the early going would have indicated.

The exhibition was held in advance of the year’s final major, the US Open which commences Monday.

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Althea Gibson Week 8/25-29: TPN Talks to ALTHEA Filmmaker Rex Miller

Photo of Althea Gibson and Millicent Miller courtesy of Rex Miller

Photo of Althea Gibson and Millicent Miller courtesy of Rex Miller

(August 24, 2015) NEW YORK, NY – With the celebration of what would have been Althea Gibson’s 88th birthday on August 25, it’s Althea Gibson Week. This week not only commemorates her accomplishments at the US Open, where she won singles titles in 1957 and 1958, but also the national broadcast debut of the documentary film ALTHEA, on PBS’ American Masters, Sept. 4th, 2015 at 9 p.m., with an encore on WNET, New York on the morning of the US Open men’s final on September 13th.

 

All over the New York City area, special screenings of the film will be taking place, before its broadcast television debut.

 

Tennis Panorama had the chance to speak with ALTHEA filmmaker Rex Miller about what this week means to him. Miller’s mother played with and against Gibson.

 

“For me it’s all about Althea, and our team, we call ourselves “team Althea,” Miller said.

“I was fortunate enough to get great people fired up about this project, they’ve put up a lot of work and personally my biggest enthusiasm comes from the film. We are going to be having four events in Harlem this week, and that’s real exciting because that’s where Althea grew up. We had a goal of helping althea get re-recognized. We wanted to take her to icon status, that may or may not happen, I think she deserves that. But to have her recognized, especially in Harlem is just awesome, in Queens and Long Island as well.

 

“Althea’s story to me is important on several levels,” Miller said.

“For the tennis fan, obviously it’s a tennis story, and a sports story. But it’s also a civil rights story because Althea achieved all of this in the early 50’s. I mean she broke the color barrier in 1950, then she went on to win the US Nationals, Forest Hills and Wimbledon in 1957 and 58. This is the time of Emmitt Till, Rosa Parks and lynchings in the south. Long before Arthur Ashe, long before Martin Luther King.

“She really was heroic in having to break down barriers during this time, way back in the early 50s. She overcame all of these obstacles and her achievements span across many areas.

 

“Not only did she breakthrough in tennis, she also played pro golf – the first female African American to be on the LPGA tour.

 

“She sang at the Wimbledon Ball, on the Ed Sullivan Show live. She was in a John Wayne film, directed by John Ford.” Gibson also made an album. On top of all of this, Gibson also earned a college degree at Florida A&M.

 

“She’s a role model for kids today of any ethnic group,” Miller said. “So her story is important.”

 

There is also an outreach component to the film in which many schools have had screenings of the film which have been successful. “It has worked so well that we are working with our various outreach partners, including the USTA and setting screenings over the next year.”

“We also plan on renovating two Black history tennis sites” – the backyard courts of Dr. Hubert Eaton in Wilmington, NC and tennis Hall of Famer Dr. Robert W. Johnson of Lynchburgh, VA who coached Arthur Ashe.

 

For more information about the film http://www.altheathefilm.com/ Follow on twitter at https://twitter.com/AltheaFilm

 

Here is a list of scheduled events for Althea Gibson Week:

Aug 25 : Harlem Junior Tennis & Education program

The Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program will host a viewing of the Althea at the Harlem Armory where Althea trained and competed. Katrina Adams, Dante Brown, Directors. Filmmaker Rex Miller will join the audience for a Q/A following the screening.

For more info please visit hjtep.org

 

DATE: Tuesday, August 25 2015

TIME: 1:00pm to 3:00pm

LOCATION: Harlem Armory – 40 West 143rd Street NY, NY 10037

TICKETS: Open to all – Please RSVP (212) 491-3738

 

Aug 25 : Films at the Schomburg

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Presents AMERICAN MASTERS, ALTHEA: Remarks by Neal Shapiro, President & CEO WNET and Michael Kantor, Executive Producer, American Masters, excerpts from the film, a discussion and reception with  The Honorable David N. Dinkins, Art Carrington, and director Rex Miller. Talk-back with guests following the screening.

For more info please visit Films at The Schomburg

 

DATE: Tuesday, August 25 2015

TIME: 6:00pm to 9:00pm

LOCATION: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture , Langston Hughes Auditorium – 515 Malcolm X Boulevard NY

TICKETS: Seating Limited Registration Required

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/films-at-the-schomburg-althea-tickets-17953871513

 

Aug 26 : Queens Day at the museum

The Queens Museum presents the Queens Premiere of ALTHEA, as part of Queens Day at the US Open.

For more info Queens Museum/info@queensmuseum.org

 

DATE: Wednesday, August 26, 2015

TIME: 6:30pm

LOCATION: Queens Museum, New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park Queens, NY 11368

TICKETS: RSVP  info@queensmuseum.org or (718) 592-9700

 

Aug 27: US Open Draw Ceremony

 

DATE: Thursday, August 27 2015

 

Aug 27: ImageNation Cinema Foundation presents a screening of ALTHEA.

Doors open at 6:30pm / Screening at 7pm, Q&A with director Rex Miller to follow.

Free! $5 suggested donation.

Please visit www.imagenation.us to learn about the #iLoveSoulCinema crowdfunder.

 

http://www.imagenation.us/

 

ImageNation’s RAW SPACE,

2031 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., New York, NY 10027

(bet. 121st & 122nd)

 

rsvp@imagenation.us

 

Aug 28 : The West Side Tennis Club, Forest Hills

The West Side Tennis Club, Forest Hills, hosts a screening of ALTHEA. Reception and outdoor screening on the grass courts just after sunset. Visit the legendary site of Althea’s groundbreaking 1950 match against Louise Brough, and her 1957/58 US National titles. In the shadow of the grand old stadium, built in 1923 and recently renovated, the film will be viewed after sunset on a 20′ screen. Cocktails available beforehand. Q&A with director Rex Miller to follow. For more info Forest Hills

 

DATE: Friday, August 28 2015

TIME: 8:00pm

LOCATION: The West Side Tennis Club – 1 Tennis Pl, Forest Hills, NY

TICKETS: Open to public, please RSVP as seating is limited

(718)268-2300 Ext 115  Attn: Bob Ingersole

 

Aug 29 : The Jungle: Re-dedication of courts

The David Dinkins Tennis Club at The Jungle presents, “A re-dedication of the Althea Gibson and Sydney Llewellyn courts at The Jungle public courts”, 7th Avenue and 150th St., Harlem, in honor of those who have contributed to the Jungle’s legacy. This year’s inductees will be David Dinkins and tennis great Bob Ryland. The ceremony will start at 10:00 AM. It will be followed by a party for kids and their parents, in conjunction with our weekly “Free 10 and Under Family Tennis/Reading Program.” All are welcome!

For more info please visit The David Dinkins Tennis Club

 

DATE: Tuesday, August 29 2015

TIME: 10:00am

LOCATION: The Jungle public courts – 7th Avenue and 150th St., Harlem NY, NY

*Parking is available up the school’s ramp next to the park at 7th Avenue and 150th St.

TICKETS: FREE – All are welcome!

 

Aug 29 : Long Island Premiere

Long Island Premiere screening of ALTHEA, presented by the Gold Coast Film Festival. Q&A with director Rex Miller to follow.

This premiere is sponsored in partnership with the USTA Eastern Long Island Region.

For more info please visit Gold Coast International Film Festival

 

DATE: Saturday, August 29 2015

TIME: Doors 7:00pm; Screening 7:30pm

LOCATION: Soundview Cinemas, Port Washington, NY

TICKETS: Regular $15 / Student $10

 

TICKETS: http://goldcoastfilmfestival.org/althea/

 

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama

 

Related article:

Althea Gibson Documentary Project “Althea” Selected for Film Festivals

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Washington Kastles Win Fifth Straight World Team Tennis Championship

Aug. 2, 2015; Washington, D.C.: Washington Kastles win

Aug. 2, 2015; Washington, D.C.: Washington Kastles win

From the WTT: WASHINGTON, DC (August 2, 2015) — Mylan World TeamTennis’ historic 40th season closed out today with the Washington Kastles making history of their own by winning a record fifth consecutive championship title with a 24-18 victory over the Austin Aces in Washington DC. It was the sixth overall championship for the Kastles, tying the mark set by the Sacramento Capitals in 2007.

The Kastles dominated the match, winning four of five sets. It was the sixth title for Kastles’ captain Leander Paes who was also named the Finals MVP. “It’s just a beautiful moment to share,” Paes said after collecting his sixth Mylan WTT title — all with the Kastles. “I’ve had a really long career and done some really special things, and this is way up there with the best of them. I’d like to dedicate this MVP award to every single Kastles member, not only on the court but behind the scenes and every single Kastles fan.”

“It’s a dream come true,” said Kastles coach Murphy Jensen. “It’s so different, you’d think this’d get old hat but it doesn’t. It was a bigger challenge because players were coming and going during the season but to get them all to perform the way they did against an extremely tough team says a lot about our organization.”

Washington was in control of the highly-anticipated matchup between the top two teams in the regular season from the start. In the opening set of mixed doubles, Teymuraz Gabashvili and Alla Kudryavtseva reeled off four straight points to win the first game. Paes held serve to even up the match at 1-1. Martina Hingis hit a winner down the middle to break Kudryavtseva’s serve to go up 2-1. Hingis held to give Washington a 3-1 lead before Gabashvili brought the Aces back to 2-3 with a huge service game. Paes held serve then the Kastles got another critical break of Kudryavtseva’s serve to close out the first set, 5-2.

The Kastles boasted the top-ranked women’s doubles team in the league and showed why early in the second set. Anastasia Rodionova and Hingis jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the Aces got on the board with a break of Hingis’ serve. Washington broke back in the next game on Svitolina’s serve to go up 3-1. After a break of Rodionova’s serve, Austin evened up the set 3-3 as Kudryavtseva held serve for the first time in the afternoon. There were six service breaks in the set before Washington pulled out a 5-4 win to extend their lead to 10-6.

Washington seemingly took control of the match in men’s doubles with an early break of serve to go up 2-1. The Kastles took a 4-2 lead on a Sam Querrey ace. Washington closed out the set 5-3 to take a commanding six-game lead at halftime, 15-9.

Querrey continued his strong play in men’s singles with a 5-4 win over Gabashvili, the top men’s singles player in the league, to give Washington a 20-13 edge going into the final set of women’s singles.

World No. 20 Elina Svitolina was handed the task of bringing Austin back from a seven-game deficit against Madison Brengle. Svitolina, who beat Brengle 5-1 in their only previous Mylan WTT meeting, looked in control early on before a controversial call going against the Kastles ignited the Washington crowd.

Svitolina proceeded to fall behind a break, but broke back and, putting continued pressure on Brengle, took the first set of the day for the Aces, 5-3, and triggered Extended Play. The American has played her best tennis in 2015, however, and responded by winning the requisite game off a stunning backhand winner to clinch the historic victory.

For more information, visit www.WTT.com.

 

2015 Mylan World TeamTennis Final: Washington Kastles def. Austin Aces 24-18 (EP)

MIXED DOUBLES: Martina Hingis/Leader Paes (Washington) def. Alla Kudryavtseva\Teymuraz Gabashvili (Austin) 5-2

WOMEN’S DOUBLES: Martina Hingis/Anastasia Rodionova (Washington) def. Elina Svitolina/Alla Kudryavtseva (Austin) 5-4

MEN’S DOUBLES: Leander Paes/Sam Querrey (Washington) def. Teymuraz Gabashvili/Jarmere Jenkins (Austin) 5-3

MEN’S SINGLES: Sam Querrey (Washington) def. Teymuraz Gabashvili (Austin) 5-4

WOMEN’S SINGLES:  Elina Svitolina (Austin) def.  Madison Brengle (Washington) 5-3

EXTENDED PLAY: Madison Brengle (Washington) def. Elina Svitolina 1-0

 

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Taste of Tennis “Week” Returns

 

tasteoftennisny

NEW YORK, NY (July 27, 2015) – AYS, the creators and producers of the Taste of Tennis, announced the lineup of events leading up to this year’s US Open. From Top Chefs battling it out on the Tennis Court, to pro tennis players “serving” incredible cuisine, these exciting events offer something for all tastes! Events include the Celebrity Chef Tennis Challenge on August 26th, the 16th Annual Taste of Tennis Gala on August 27th and Party with The Pros on August 29th.

 

“Taste of Tennis is among the most recognizable brands in the culinary and tennis communities. Each year, our flagship event sells out. To satisfy demand, we have added the Celebrity Chef Tennis Challenge and Party with the Pros. Additionally, in 2016, we are excited to announce that we will launch Taste of Tennis Series in key tennis and culinary markets nationwide. It’s an extremely exciting time for us,” explains Penny Lerner, CEO of AYS.

 

Tickets for Taste of Tennis events are currently on sale and can be purchased online at www.tasteoftennisnyc.com.  The complete Taste of Tennis Week schedule of events includes:

 

  • Wednesday, August 26th – Celebrity Chef Tennis Challenge, 10AM-2PM (City View Racquet Club, 43-34 32nd Place, Long Island City, NY): Hosted by Top Chef Masters Finalist Kerry Heffernan and SNY anchor Michelle Yu. At this exciting event, professional chefs will serve up something a little out of the ordinary as they compete in a round-robin doubles tournament to determine who is the King (or Queen) of the court! Guests will witness action packed matches featuring Marc Murphy (LandMarc), Alfred Portale (Gotham Bar and Grill), Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto) and many other renowned chefs. Guests will also enjoy interactive sponsor activities, and will join the chefs for a delicious post tournament cookout sponsored by Master Purveyors.

 

  • Thursday, August 27th – 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 former Bachelorette Andi Dorfman, headlining Chef Marc Murphy and professional tennis stars The Bryan Brothers. Major sponsors for the 16th Taste of Tennis include Citi, Rado, Jamaica Tourist Board, Lifeway Kefir, Zepp, Master Purveyors, Inc., Mouton Cadet and Franciscan Estate Napa Valley, among others.  A portion of proceeds from this event will benefit Chef Eli Kulp, beloved chef of Philadelphia’s High Street Market who was in the process of opening a new restaurant in New York City when he was critically injured in the recent Amtrak train derailment.

 

  • Saturday, August 29th Party with the Pros, 7PM-9PM (Measure Lounge at Langham Place New York, Fifth Avenue): Guests at the Party with the Pros will enjoy an evening of incredible hors d’oeuvres prepared by Chef David Vandenabeele and signature cocktails while rubbing elbows with some of the top names in professional tennis. This exclusive event takes place at Measure Lounge in the luxurious Langham Place New York, Fifth Avenue. Availability is extremely limited, so get your tickets now! Confirmed players include Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens and John Isner.

 

Special 10% discount for Tennis Panorama News readers for Taste of Tennis and the Celebrity Chef Challenge http://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-taste-of-tennis-tickets-14888080650?aff=erellivorg  – use the code TennisPanorama for the discount.

 

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Mauresmo, Hall, and Jeffett Headline the 2015 Tennis Hall of Fame

Hall of Famers gathered in Newport to welcome the International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Left to right: Stan Smith, Owen Davidson, Jane Brown Grimes, Rosie Casals, ITHF Chairman Christopher Clouser, Peachy Kellmeyer, Pam Shriver, Gigi Fernandez, Vic Seixas, Brad Parks, David Hall, Nancy Jeffett.    Photo by Kate Whitney Lucey

Hall of Famers gathered in Newport to welcome the International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Left to right: Stan Smith, Owen Davidson, Jane Brown Grimes, Rosie Casals, ITHF Chairman Christopher Clouser, Peachy Kellmeyer, Pam Shriver, Gigi Fernandez, Vic Seixas, Brad Parks, David Hall, Nancy Jeffett. Photo by Kate Whitney Lucey

 

By Jack Cunniff

(July 18, 2015) NEWPORT, Rhode Island – The International Tennis Hall of Fame inducted three new members on Saturday afternoon, Amelie Mauresmo and David Hall in the Recent Player category and Nancy Jeffett in the Contributor category.

 

Mauresmo, who could not attend the ceremony due to the impending birth of her first child, was the first Frenchwoman to ever achieve the No. 1 ranking and won two major events in her career, the 2006 Australian Open and 2006 Wimbledon Championships. Her first significant achievement as a professional was in January 1999, reaching her first major final at the Australian Open. The tennis world took notice of her game, a mix of power and grace, and over the next several years Mauresmo added an effective volley and net game to her repertoire. These added dimensions culminated in her most successful year, when she captured two of the four major events in 2006.

 

In total, Mauresmo won 25 WTA Singles titles, including the year-end WTA Tour Championships in 2005. She also represented France in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, winning a silver medal in Athens 2004, and was a seven-time member of the French Fed Cup team, including the 2003 squad that won the championship.

 

Mauresmo retired from professional tennis following the 2009 U.S. Open, but has not disappeared from the tennis scene. Today she is the coach of Andy Murray, the No. 3 ranked player, a rare women’s coach on the ATP Tour. She also successfully coached her countrywoman Marion Bartoli to the 2013 Wimbledon title, and since 2012 has been the coach of the French Federation Cup Team.

 

David Hall of Australia is a former No. 1 ranked wheelchair tennis player. When he was 16, David was involved in a car accident that resulted in the amputation of both legs. Very soon after, he was inspired when he saw a photograph of a wheelchair tennis player. He used tennis as an outlet, and turned a negative into a positive. His incredibly successful wheelchair tennis career includes six Paralympic medals, including a gold medal in Wheelchair Singles in his hometown of Sydney, and 32 singles championships. Hall was introduced by his former coach, Rich Berman.

 

Nancy Jeffett was introduced by Hall-of-Famer Pam Shriver. In her comments, Shriver highlighted Jeffett’s accomplishments, most notably co-founding the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation with “Little Mo” Connolly. To this day, the MCB Foundation sponsors junior tennis tournaments, and helps develop and support junior players worldwide. Shriver also noted that Jeffett was influential in the decision to host a 1965 Davis Cup tie featuring Arthur Ashe in a Dallas public park, foreshadowing the move of the U.S. Open to a public facility.

 

The Enshrinement Ceremony also featured the Hall of Fame ring presentation to Billie Jean King, a 1987 Tennis Hall of Fame inductee.

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Josh Groban to Highlight Opening Night Ceremony at 2015 U.S. Open

Josh Groban

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 09, 2015 – The USTA today announced that singer, songwriter, and actor Josh Groban will perform at the Opening Night Ceremony for the 2015 US Open in Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.  The ceremony will be carried live by ESPN 2 on Monday, August 31 as part of the cable network’s comprehensive coverage of the US Open.

 

Groban, who has entertained fans across the globe with his multiplatinum albums and DVDs (selling more than 30 million worldwide), live performances, and comedic film and television appearances, will perform a selection of songs from his seventh studio album – Stages.  Released in April of 2015, Stages is a collection of some of the greatest musical theater songs.

 

Groban joins the ranks of great artists who have performed at the US Open over the years, including: Aretha Franklin, Lenny Kravitz, Chris Botti, Gloria Estefan, Ariana Grande, Rob Thomas, and many others.

 

In addition to the musical performance by Groban, the ceremony will also feature an appearance by tennis legend Billie Jean King who will join USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams on court to welcome the fans to opening night.

 

The Opening Night National Anthem performer(s) will be announced at a later date.

 

Groban first broke through in 2001 with his self-titled double-platinum debut, followed by 2003’s multi-platinum Closer, and 2006’s double-platinum Awake. In 2007, he became the best-selling recording artist of the year thanks to sales of Awake and his blockbuster Grammy-nominated Christmas album, Noel —  the best-selling album of 2007. At the end of 2010, Groban released the Rick Rubin-produced, platinum-certified Illuminations. All That Echoes followed in 2013, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, Groban’s first No. 1 debut and third chart-topper. All That Echoes racked up a host of positive reviews from major media outlets, including The New York Times, Billboard, Rolling Stone, and USA Today. His global arena tours routinely sell out, including his 2013 All That Echoes tour, which included 60 shows in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and North America.

 

On April 28th, Groban released his seventh studio album, Stages. Recorded with producers Humberto Gatica and Bernie Herms in both Los Angeles and London’s Abbey Road (with a 75-piece orchestra), Stages features songs from Les Misérables (“Bring Him Home”); Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel (“You’ll Never Walk Alone”); Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George (“Finishing the Hat”), Sweeney Todd (“Not While I’m Around”), and Into the Woods (“Children Will Listen”); The Fantasticks (“Try to Remember”); A Chorus Line (“What I Did For Love”); Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Phantom of the Opera (“All I Ask of You”), The Wizard of Oz (“Over the Rainbow”), and others.

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Rafael Nadal, John McEnroe Compete At 2015 Johnny Mac Tennis Project Benefit at SPORTIME Randall’s Island Wednesday, August 26

Rafael Nadal is ousted in the third round by fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in Miami.

Rafael Nadal

NEW YORK, July 8, 2015 – It will be a great night of tennis for a great cause when 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal joins Hall of Famer and fellow former World No. 1 John McEnroe, plus other tennis stars, legends and celebrities, on Wednesday, August 26, for a gala evening 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, the Spanish superstar will compete against another top ATP professional or legend to be announced. The evening will also include pro-celebrity doubles action, featuring Johnny Mac and friends, promising junior players from the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, a lively auction and great hospitality, 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 Bjorn Borg (2011), Andre Agassi (2012), Jim Courier (2013) and Novak Djokovic (2014). JMTP and Sportime Clubs, home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, have already provided over $2.0 million in scholarships and no cost programming to young players in NYC and its surrounding communities. SPORTIME Randall’s Island has been the flagship location of JMTA since 2010.

Rafa has meant so much to tennis and I’m excited that he’s agreed to be a part of this great cause,” said McEnroe. “He is a first-class individual and has proven to be one of the best players of all time. His participation is a perfect continuation of the tradition of this important annual event.”

Nadal, 29, is one of just 10 players to win the Career Grand Slam (nine French Open, two Wimbledon, two US Open, one Australian Open), among his 66 career singles titles. The Mallorca native first reached No. 1 in 2008, returning in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 while finishing in the top three nine times in the past 10 years. His 14 Slam titles tie him for second all-time with Pete Sampras, behind Roger Federer (17).

As ferocious a competitor as tennis has ever produced, steely in his resolve, unwavering in his convictions, McEnroe was a left-hander who played with singular verve and sparkle. A New Yorker with rare talent, his imagination knew no boundaries. McEnroe’s touch on the volley was golden, and his match playing instincts were remarkably sound. He claimed the US Open crown four times and was victorious at Wimbledon three times. He was an American Davis Cup stalwart, and many believe he may be the greatest doubles player of all time.

Tickets start at $75. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.JMTPBenefit.com/rafa.

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International Tennis Hall of Fame Set to Re-open with Roger Federer Hologram Exhibit

From the Tennis Hall of Fame – NEWPORT, R.I., May 11, 2015 – After three years of planning and a $3 million renovation, the Museum at the International Tennis Hall of Fame is set to re-open to the public on May 20, with a ribbon cutting at 11:30 a.m.The museum collection has been completely reinterpreted and the galleries have been redesigned to deliver an entirely new, engaging visitor experience. The intent of the new museum is to draw visitors into the content through interactive exhibits and a cohesive narrative of tennis history as told through the lives and careers of the 243 Hall of Famers who built the sport. More than 1,900 artifacts of tennis history are displayed throughout the exhibit galleries, ranging from Rod Laver’s first Wimbledon trophy to the golden shoes that Serena Williams wore in her first French Open victory.

Multimedia technology is integral to the new museum experience, with a highlight being a hologram of Roger Federer talking about why he loves tennis. It is the first use of holographic technology in a sports museum in the United States.

 

Sneak Peak! The Roger Federer Experience

 

“Tennis history dates back to the 12th century and it evolves with tournaments around the world weekly. There have been extraordinary people and moments throughout the sport’s history – Arthur Ashe’s 1968 US Open victory, Billie Jean King’s Battle of the Sexes triumph, Martina and Chrissie’s rivalry and friendship, the unstoppable Australian Davis Cup teams, and so much more. This new museum at the International Tennis Hall of Fame will share the stories of the sport’s legends with the world in a really exciting way, and it will hopefully serve as an inspiration for the next generation of tennis greats and fans,” said Todd Martin, CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

 

In creating the new museum, the Hall of Fame’s collection of more than 25,000 artifacts, and hundreds of thousands of images, videos, and publications was completely reinterpreted. The museum is designed to appeal to dedicated tennis fans and casual visitors alike, which is achieved through engaging storytelling in the museum narrative and the use of an array of objects including art, fashion, and items of historical relevance beyond the tennis courts.

“Our goal is for visitors to leave the museum feeling educated about and inspired by the rich history of tennis,” said Douglas Stark, museum director. “We designed the exhibits in a way that people could participate in the learning process together – a touch table in which you can ‘serve’ tennis history questions back and forth, video walls in which you can select match highlights and watch together, artifacts from 60 years ago and artifacts from last season so as to appeal to a span of generations, among other aspects. The new museum will provide visitors with a memorable experience in which they will learn about the history of tennis, and its impact on and off the courts.”

 

The new museum was funded through the Match Point Capital Campaign, which was co-chaired by Edgar Woolard and Christopher Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The campaign, which was the Hall of Fame’s first in 14 years, has raised $14.8 million of the $15 million goal. The museum project is a highlight of the campaign, which will also result in a new indoor tennis facility, new office and retail space, new grandstands in Bill Talbert Center Court, and other improvements to the Hall of Fame property, all of which are slated to open in 2015-2016.

 

“The International Tennis Hall of Fame is committed to serving the sport of tennis by preserving and promoting its great history, and the new museum is an extraordinary representation of this,” commented Clouser. “We are grateful to the donors who share in our passion for tennis and supported the capital campaign to make this world-class museum a reality. It would not have been possible without the support of so many who have helped us build the museum content – Roger Federer’s time on the hologram, Hall of Famers who donated artifacts, the ATP, WTA, ITF, the Grand Slams, and our incredibly hard-working staff and the talented museum development vendors. We are set to deliver a tremendous museum experience and we are appreciative to all who have made this happen.”

 

Rolex, a long time supporter of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and a highly engaged sponsor in tennis worldwide, has committed to a new, multi-year partnership with the museum.

The Roger Federer Experience

A highlight of the new museum will be a holographic theatre in which visitors feel as though they are in the room with Roger Federer, one of the sport’s all-time greatest champions. When visitors walk into the theatre, the hologram of Federer welcomes visitors and begins a dynamic monologue about a topic that museum visitors and Federer have in common – a love of tennis. Federer then takes the visitor through his top-10 list of the reasons why he loves the sport, ranging from the athletic beauty of tennis to the challenge of it being an individual sport, all while showcasing a few of his signature shots.

“It was an honor to be asked to be the hologram at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and I was quite happy to take on the project,” commented Federer. “I’ve always had an interest in the history of our sport and I believe we’ve been fortunate to be able to learn from and build on that history. The Hall of Fame does a tremendous job of preserving our sport’s history and celebrating it with the world. I’m glad to be able to support those efforts by helping to create a fun experience in their museum.”

An Interactive Museum Experience

Interactive, educational experiences abound throughout the new museum.

 

Tennis aficionados can test their knowledge of the sport on a five-foot touch table at which they can stand at either end and “serve ” tennis history questions back and forth to each other.

 

The “Call the Match” exhibit offers visitors the chance to record themselves taking on the role of broadcast luminaries like Cliff Drysdale, John Barrett, and Mary Carillo.

 

A large, rotating globe highlights the worldwide impact of the sport. At the globe, visitors can select a nation to learn more about tennis tournaments taking place there in any given week, and about the players and tournaments from that nation.

 

Interactive video walls throughout the museum offer fans an opportunity to re-live classic tennis moments through video highlights of WTA, ATP, and Grand Slam tournament matches.
The Galleries
The new museum tells the story of tennis history from its origins through present-day. Objects throughout the narrative are clearly linked to the Hall of Famers, personalizing their stories within the sport’s history.
The museum is divided into three chronological areas: The Birth of Tennis (1874 – 1918);  The Popular Game (1918 – 1968); and  The Open Era (1968 – Present). 
Themes of focus include the sport’s evolution from medieval monasteries to lawn tennis, the development of early international tournaments and early pro tours, infusion of tennis in pop culture and the rise of celebrity among athletes, the impact of technology on the sport in terms of equipment and media coverage, the dawn of the Open Era ,and the growth of the WTA and ATP tours. The museum narrative also examines the sport’s forays into social matters, including politics, diversity, and the rise of women’s game.
 The Grand Slam Gallery shares detail on the sport’s four majors, their champions, and their most iconic moments. The Global Tennis Community Gallery examines the sport’s broad global impact, with focus on the Olympic Games, Fed Cup and Davis Cup, and Wheelchair Tennis. The interactive globe is a centerpiece of this gallery.
In addition to the three chronological areas, there are two galleries specifically dedicated to the Hall of Famers. The Woolard Family Enshrinement Gallery pays tribute to all 243 Hall of Famers through interactive kiosks featuring photos, videos, and records. The Rosalind P. Walter Tribute Gallery to the Hall of Famers will be a multimedia gallery dedicated to the current year’s class of inductees.
Additional detail on the exhibits and the artifacts within each is highlighted on the Hall of Fame’s website, tennisfame.com. A new Hall of Fame website will be launched later this month.
The Newport Casino’s architecture revealedA primary goal of the museum renovation was to better showcase the Newport Casino, the National Historic Landmark buildings and grounds in which the Hall of Fame is located. Through the renovation, three magnificent fireplaces that had been covered by temporary walls for 25 yeas have been revealed. Additionally, original furnishings from the building, which was built in 1880, are exhibited. The exhibits and display cases in the new museum are positioned within the original design of the building to showcase the architecture as part of the museum experience.

Tennis History Evolves Daily
Tennis records have the potential to be set and broken with weekly tournaments around the world, and future Hall of Famers are constantly adding to their resumes.
As such, the new museum goes beyond focusing on the sport’s past, but also serves as a resource to showcase the sport today and how it is constantly evolving.  The new museum will feature a number of items from current and recently retired player’s careers. Grand Slam apparel worn by Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, and Jelena Jankovic is showcased in the museum, as are the shoes worn by Andy Roddick in his last match, among many other recently acquired items.
The Art of Tennis

From Maria Bueno’s grace on court to Roger Federer’s elegant shot making, it’s not uncommon for tennis to be commended for its beautiful, art-like nature. As such, the sport has served as an inspiration for a variety of mediums, and a range of tennis-inspired art is shown throughout the new museum.

 

A 1538 Renaissance painting that is believed to be the earliest known painting of the sport is a highlight. Visitors will also see an original Andy Warhol portrait of Chris Evert, one of an exclusive series of 10 sport superstars of the 1970s. Prints created by celebrated American painter George Bellows are exhibited as well. A bronze resin sculpture of Steffi Graf capturing her in motion and forever memorializing her distinctive and lethal inside-out forehand is also a highlight of the art collection.

 

Stained glass featuring tennis players, vintage advertising, varied colorful prints, and a display of more than 100 vintage tennis ball cans also showcase the sport in an artistic means.

 

Project Team

A large team of exhibit designers, media producers, and contractors have been working on the museum renovation at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Development of the museum experience was lead by Douglas Stark, museum director. Additionally, a 12-person Museum Committee was integral to the project. The committee was chaired by Katherine Burton Jones and Jefferson T. Barnes served as vice-chair.Exhibit Design: HealyKohler Design, Takoma Park, Maryland

Exhibit Fabrication and Case Work: 1220 Exhibits, Nashville, Tennessee

Media Production, including holographic theater: Cortina Productions, McLean, Virginia

General Contractor: Behan Bros., Inc., Middletown, Rhode Island

Opening the Doors!
The museum will officially re-open on Wednesday, May 20 with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11:30 a.m.
Beginning May 21, the Hall of Fame will return to its normal hours, open daily, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The museum will stay open until 6 p.m. in July and August.
As part of the Hall of Fame’s commitment to inspiring and engaging children with tennis, admission to visit the museum is free of charge for children ages 16 & Under. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for students, senior, and military.
The museum experience is self-guided, or visitors may opt to purchase an audio tour for $3. The audio tour is available in multiple languages, and is narrated by Hall of Famers, adding a fun twist to the visitor experience. In June, July, and August, guided tours will be offered daily at 11 am and 2 pm.
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Serena Williams’ Return Highlights Mylan WTT’s 40th Season Schedule

wtt 40th season
NEW YORK, N.Y. (March 30, 2015) – Mylan World TeamTennis announced the schedule for the 2015 season, which is highlighted by the return of world No. 1 Serena Williams to WTT action for the first time since 2011. This summer, Mylan WTT becomes only the fifth major professional team sports league in the U.S. to reach the 40th season milestone when the season kicks off on July 12.
League officials released the 52-match schedule for the three-week season of Mylan World TeamTennis. The regular season runs July 12-29, with conference championships scheduled for Thursday, July 30, and concludes with the Mylan WTT Finals, on Sunday, August 2 on the home court of the Eastern Conference Champion.
Williams will take the court on July 21 in Washington D.C. for the defending Mylan WTT champion Washington Kastles after a road match in Philadelphia on July 20. The Kastles’ bid to become the first team in league history to win five consecutive titles begins on July 12 on the road in Boston. The Kastles’ lineup also includes returning marquee players Martina Hingis and Venus Williams and American Sam Querrey. Venus Williams is scheduled to make her home appearance in the nation’s capital on July 14.
After finishing at the bottom of the standings in 2014, the Boston Lobsters return with the addition of world No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard, who joins the team July 27 in Boston, July 28 in Philadelphia and July 29 in Washington.
The top-ranked doubles team in the world, Bob and Mike Bryan, will help the Sacramento-based California Dream make their mark in the team’s inaugural season. The Bryans are set for action on July 23 at home followed by road visits on July 25 in Boston and July 26 in Philadelphia.
Madison Keys, ranked No. 18 on the WTA Tour, will join the San Diego Aviators on July 27 and 28 at the team’s new home venue, the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.
John Isner, the top-ranked American who was picked up by the Springfield Lasers in a trade with Boston last month, suits up for a home match at the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield on July 25. The Lasers are celebrating their 20th season in Mylan WTT this July.
Andy Roddick returns to his hometown Austin Aces for a match on July 16 at the Aces’ new venue. The team will play their seven home matches in the heart of Austin at Gregory Gymnasium at The University of Texas.
For the full schedule and links to ticket information, visit www.WTT.com/schedule.
MYLAN WORLD TEAMTENNIS 2015 SCHEDULE (subject to change)
Sunday, July 12
Washington @ Boston
Philadelphia @ Springfield
California @ San Diego
Monday, July 13 
Austin @ Boston
Philadelphia @ San Diego
Springfield @ California
Tuesday, July 14
Austin @ Washington  (Venus Williams – WAS)
Boston @ Springfield
Philadelphia @ California
Wednesday, July 15
San Diego @ Boston
Washington @ Springfield
Thursday, July 16
Boston @ Philadelphia
San Diego @ Washington
California @ Austin  (Andy Roddick – AUS)
Friday, July 17
Washington @ Philadelphia
San Diego @ Springfield
Austin @ California
Saturday, July 18
Philadelphia @ Washington
Springfield @ Austin
Boston @ California
Sunday, July 19 
Springfield @ Philadelphia
California @ Austin
Boston @ San Diego
Monday, July 20
Washington @ Philadelphia  (Serena Williams – WAS)
Austin @ San Diego
Tuesday, July 21
Boston   @ Washington     (Serena Williams – WAS)
Springfield @ California
Wednesday, July 22      
Philadelphia @ Boston
Austin @ Springfield
California @ San Diego
Thursday, July 23       
Washington @ Boston  (Martina Hingis – WAS)
Austin @ Philadelphia
San Diego @ California   (Bob & Mike Bryan – CAL)
Friday, July 24
Philadelphia @ Springfield
Washington @ Austin
Saturday, July 25       
California @ Boston  (Bob & Mike Bryan – CAL)
San Diego @ Springfield (John Isner – SPR)
Sunday, July 26 
Springfield @ Washington  (Martina Hingis – WAS)
California @ Philadelphia  (Bob & Mike Bryan – CAL)
San Diego @ Austin
Monday, July 27
Philadelphia @ Boston (Eugenie Bouchard – BOS)
California @ Washington  (Martina Hingis – WAS)
Austin   @ San Diego  (Madison Keys – SAN)
Tuesday, July 28
Boston   @ Philadelphia   (Eugenie Bouchard – BOS)
Washington @ Austin
Springfield @ San Diego  (Madison Keys – SAN)
Wednesday, July 29     
Boston   @ Washington     (Eugenie Bouchard – BOS)
Springfield @ Austin
San Diego @ California
Thursday, July 30       Eastern #2 @ Eastern #1 – Mylan WTT Eastern Conference Championship
Thursday, July 30       Western #2 @ Western #1 – Mylan WTT Western Conference Championship
Sunday, August 2        Mylan WTT Finals – Western Conference Champion @ EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPION – 11am ET start
Teams/Venues/Websites
AUSTIN ACES – Gregory Gymnasium at The University of Texas, Austin, Texas // www.austinacestennis.com
BOSTON LOBSTERS – Lobsters Stadium at the Manchester Athletic Club, Manchester-By-The-Sea, Mass. // www.bostonlobsters.net
CALIFORNIA DREAM – Dream Stadium at Sunrise Mall in the Sunrise MarketPlace, Citrus Heights, Calif. // www.californiadreamtennis.com
PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS – The Pavilion at Villanova University, Philadelphia, Pa. // www.philadelphiafreedoms.com
SAN DIEGO AVIATORS – Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Carlsbad, Calif. // www.sandiegoaviators.com
SPRINGFIELD LASERS – Mediacom Stadium at Cooper Tennis Complex, Springfield, Mo. // www.springfieldlasers.com
WASHINGTON KASTLES – Kastles Stadium at the Smith Center, Washington, D.C. // www.washingtonkastles.com
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Recap of 2015 Tennis Industry Association Tennis Summit at Indian Wells

tia

From the Tennis Industry Association: RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIF. (March 25, 2015) – A high-powered lineup of tennis, sports and business executives shared their insights, issues, and concerns at the 2015 Tennis Industry Association (TIA) Tennis Summit, held March 17-18 in conjunction with the BNP Paribas Open men’s and women’s professional tennis tournament in Indian Wells, Calif. The event was held at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in nearby Rancho Mirage.

 

Among the speakers at the Tennis Summit were TV sports broadcaster Ted Robinson, sports and performance psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Jim Loehr, USTA President and CEO Katrina Adams, Women’s Tennis Association Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster, ATP Tour Vice President of Marketing George Ciz, Life Time Fitness Founder and CEO Bahram Akradi, Sports & Fitness Industry Association President and CEO Tom Cove, U.S. Professional Tennis Association CEO John Embree, Professional Tennis Registry CEO Dan Santorum, Tennis Hall of Fame coaching legend Nick Bollettieri, tennis management company founder and former pro player Peter Burwash, Mylan World TeamTennis CEO and Commissioner Ilana Kloss, Tennis Magazine Publisher Jeff Williams, and Tennis Channel Vice President David Egdes.

 

“We brought together a terrific lineup of tennis industry executives, legends, pros, coaches and other sports and business personalities to examine the state of the tennis industry and the sport,” said TIA President Greg Mason. “Our speakers hit key topics and themes that will affect growth in every segment of the tennis industry. Plus, attendees were able to ask questions and make comments at a number of ‘Open Forums.’ The interaction produced spirited discussions that will help the sport move forward.”

 

Topics that were addressed at the Summit included:

  • How the sport can remain relevant-and grow-in today’s business climate.
  • The importance of tennis in today’s society and what the sport can learn from other sports.
  • Challenges and opportunities facing tennis, including the key tennis delivery system and teaching professionals.
  • The drive for healthy and fit lifestyles through tennis.
  • The importance of two major tennis infrastructure projects-one in Florida, the other in at the US Open in New York-to the growth of the sport.
  • The growth of the professional tours and how they’re connecting with grassroots players.
  • How digital media is changing the landscape of sports entertainment.

Mason, TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer and sports marketing research expert Keith Storey led off the Summit with the “State of the Industry.” Among the data they presented was the value of the overall “tennis economy,” which was at 5.73 billion at year-end 2014, up 3 percent from 2013.

 

Mason outlined concerns he has about the industry, including the fact that 1.5 million fewer entry-level tennis racquets were purchased from 2008 to 2014. Another concern is the age of the average tennis player is getting older. “We need to make sure we’re doing all we can to attract younger players to our sport,” he said, adding that it also extends to needing to bring younger people into the business of tennis, too.

 

One key to helping boost participation, Mason said, is the industry-wide initiative “Try Tennis Free,” which runs throughout the month of May and is designed to give new and returning players an opportunity to get into tennis for free at local facilities and with local pros. “The Try Tennis Free campaign can bring in large numbers of players, of all ages, looking to benefit from all that tennis has to offer,” he said. Mason urged all tennis providers to register their free program offers at PlayTennis.com.

 

Following Mason and the TIA, Tom Cove, the CEO of the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, identified and defined key trends that will impact the tennis and sports industries, among them that health and wellness will be the “No. 1 driver” of sports participation in 2015 and that “parents want a good experience for the whole family” when it comes to sports and recreation.

 

Cove also discussed the “inactivity pandemic” in the U.S., including how 80 million Americans on a recent survey reported they do no sports or activity at all. “Inactivity has increased 28 percent over the past seven years,” Cove said. “We need to build a culture of activity based on fun sports activities.”

 

Katrina Adams, the new president, chairman and CEO of the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), talked about her priorities for her two-year term, which includes targeting the Hispanic community as a way to give tennis participation a boost in the U.S. Her goals also include finding more and better ways to reach out to recreational high school players, which she called a “huge opportunity” for the industry, and also emphasizing the importance of sportsmanship in tennis. Adams also plans to continue to increase the USTA’s collaboration and partnerships with other groups and organizations.

 

USTA Executive Director Gordon Smith discussed the ongoing improvements to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, home of the US Open. Plans call for spending more than $500 million over the next four years, including construction of a roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium. “It’s important to be the leader, especially in the sports and entertainment capital of the world,” he said.

 

Smith also discussed the major, 102-court facility the USTA will build at Lake Nona, Fla., which will break ground on April 18 and has been dubbed the “new home of American tennis.” The site will serve as a training ground for players and coaches, and will be the home to the USTA Player Development and Community Tennis departments.

 

The professional game was on display with updates from WTA Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster and ATP Tour Vice President of Marketing George Ciz, who both discussed plans for growth of the women’s and men’s tours, respectively. Allaster then joined a panel with David Egdes of Tennis Channel, Ilana Kloss of Mylan World TeamTennis and J. Wayne Richmond of the Emirates Airline US Open Series for a discussion on how the pro tours and their players connect to the grassroots.

 

World-renowned sports and performance psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Jim Loehr wrapped up the Summit’s first day with insights into how the tennis and sports industry can remain relevant to today’s athletes and culture.

 

“There is a lot of competition for kids’ participation in sports and activities,” Loehr said. “Tennis must do a better job of addressing parents to let them know how tennis is different than any other sport. How do we accelerate tennis learning? How do we make tennis friendlier? How do we make learning tennis more fun? How do we awaken the world to the value of tennis in life?”

 

Loehr added that the industry needs to do a better job selling tennis to parents, noting several points that work in tennis’s favor, including how the sport provides a full-body workout, exercises the brain, can be played for a lifetime, and helps to make a better, more fully functioning person.

 

The second day opened with Emmy Award-winning TV sportscaster Ted Robinson, who offered his take on the importance of tennis in today’s society and on what tennis can learn from other sports. “Tennis is unique in that some of the greatest players still talk about tennis and are great ambassadors for the sport,” he said.

 

To bring more spectators and participants into the sport, Robinson said technology was vital, especially for embracing millennials through digital content. “Be proud of tennis,” he said. “It’s a phenomenal activity.”

 

Life Time Fitness founder and CEO Bahram Akradi, named Tennis Industry magazine’s “Person of the Year” for his company’s commitment to tennis, explained why tennis has been a wise investment for his business and how he is looking to help the sport grow through his facilities. Life Time Fitness is the largest operator of indoor courts in the U.S. At Life Time facilities, “Tennis courts change the space from a fitness club to a country club,” Akradi said. “If there’s any chance to put in tennis courts, we will. Tennis is here to stay, and we plan to grow it at every opportunity.”

 

The USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis, Kurt Kamperman, led a panel discussion and Open Forum on the challenges and opportunities of growing tennis at the recreational level. Panelist included the heads of the two main teaching professional organizations: Dan Santorum of the PTR and John Embree of the USPTA.

 

“Millennial parents want more local sports, shorter play formats, and non-elimination formats,” Kamperman said. “We’ve got senior players covered, but we still have work to do with youth players and getting them into the game.”

 

Peter Burwash, a former pro tour player and founder of a major tennis management company, and frequent speaker for Fortune 500 companies, discussed lessons he learned in his personal and professional life in tennis and how they can apply to growing this sport. He gave his list of the characteristics of a good leader: enthusiasm, great creativity, expanding your horizons, empathy and appreciation. “The strongest leaders are lifetime learners,” he added.

 

Immediately following the Tennis Summit, on March 18-19, top tennis facility managers and consultants shared their knowledge and experience at the third annual Tennis Owners & Managers (T.O.M.) Conference, also presented by the TIA.

Coaching legend Nick Bollettieri, who received the highest honor in tennis last July when he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, spoke at a lunch kicking off the T.O.M. Conference, praising tennis and asking what other sport you can play well into your 90s. “Keep your mission top of mind at all times,” he told the crowd, “and don’t be afraid to fail-it’s critical to success.”

 

“As a follow-up to both the Tennis Summit and the T.O.M. Conference, we’re meeting to outline a plan that we hope will go a long way to achieving transformational change within this industry,” said de Boer of the TIA. “These conferences examined the industry and our sport, and where it’s headed, and helped to define ways to ensure growth. We want to make sure we’re on the right path for the long-term.”

 

The TIA plans to present its annual Tennis Forum on Aug. 31 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, as the US Open begins. Details for 2016 tennis industry events will be announced in the near future. Visit TennisIndustry.org for more information.

 

TIA Board of Directors

adidas: David Malinowski
America Sports Builders Assoc.: Fred Stringfellow
ATP World Tour: Linda Clark
Babolat: Eric Babolat
Dunlop Sports Group: Kai Nitsche
ESPN: Jason Bernstein
HEAD Penn Racquet Sports: Greg Mason (TIA President)
IHRSA: Meredith Poppler
International Management Group: Kevin Callanan
International Tennis Federation: Dave Miley
International Tennis Hall of Fame: Todd Martin
Mylan World TeamTennis: Ilana Kloss
Prince Sports: Mike Ballardie
Professional Tennis Registry: Dan Santorum
Sports & Fitness Industry Association: Tom Cove
Tennis Channel: David Egdes
Tennis Magazine: Jeff Williams
U.S. Professional Tennis Association: John Embree
U.S. Racquet Stringers Association: David Bone
U.S. Tennis Association: Kurt Kamperman
Wilson Sporting Goods: Cory Springer
WTA Tennis: Stacey Allaster
TIA Retail Representative: Jim Fromuth

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