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We are allowing anonymous Letters to the Editor because we understand your position and have experienced USTA backlash to dissenting voices ourselves. Please be aware whenever a letter is signed with The Commish it's always a tennis director, a teaching professional, a vendor or a USTA insider who is in fear of retribution. Thank you. We look forward to the day when everyone can voice their opinion freely and without fear.

HEAD Gravity Tennis Racquet


January 13, 2022


Hi Rich

Always appreciate your fearless reporting. However, I strongly disagree that Novak should be allowed to participate in AO. He knew the rules. His obvious attempts at deception are a symptom of his extreme arrogance. He simply expects to be treated differently because of who he is. I do agree that the Australian government didn’t handle this well but the more information comes to light, the more it is clear Novak should be banned from this year’s AO. 

Best Regards 

Don Hightower

January 13, 2022


I have to go with some of the newspapers on this one.  He has had adequate time to be vaccinated, knowing that was the policy for the AO.  This just sends the wrong message.  We teach our players to follow the rules, use good sportsmanship and this says if you have money, the rules do not apply.


Jamie Blatman

January 13, 2022

I strongly disagree with your opinion supporting Djokovic. He acts like he is entitled to an entry in the AO on his own set of rules which he clearly adjusted to suit his needs.  Reminds me of the entitlement Serena felt she deserved when she was called out for receiving coaching. Both bad examples for tennis.

Bill Tritt

January 13, 2022

Novak Djokovic - What a Djerk!

BTW, where we each stand on the vaccination issue has nothing to do with it.  An entire globe of humanity is being exposed to a once-every-100 years pandemic, and the rate of recovery from this intrusion into our lives is dependent on a social contract that goes way beyond the petty, narcissistic attitudes of the uber-healthy, uber-rich morons (Kyrie Irving, Aaron Rogers, Novak Djokovic, etc) who feel that their "immunity" to the needs of society should trump the social duty to band together for the good of all.


Unless, of course, you want to see a return of polio, smallpox, chickenpox, whooping cough, and a host of other viral maladies that medicine has successfully contained/eradicated over the last 50-60 years.

Scott Harris

January 13, 2022

Hi Rich, 

You are entitled to your opinion, but allowing the world's number 1 to ignore Covid precautions simply because he is number 1 is a slap in the face to everyone who isn't a self-entitled jerk and actually shows some concern for their fellow human beings.  How much "misinformation"  do you allow him to get away with? 

("misinformation" comes from his own statement.)

Jim Block

January 13, 2022

Hello Rich,

Rules are rules.

I find his behavior troubling and elitist. He lied on his application,  traveling to several countries within a period when he wasn't supposed to prior to arriving in Australia,  blames his manager, now whines about it.

The fact he is World #1 is the only reason the Aussie government or their tennis association is considering his application. If it was someone else,  the answer would've been No, you didn't follow the rules and lied about it.

There are consequences to these actions, and either Djoko or Australia will look like idiots.

Now all those Aussie tennis players are gonna wonder why couldn't they go home over the last year or so, only to let the Serbian just ignore rules and sail on in, Covid exposed, unvaccinated, and full of himself. 

Stephanie Daniel 

January 13, 2022


The Djokovic situation is sad.  I am tired of the politicization of COVID. It is dividing our country (and the world). I haven't followed it closely. Has the ATP chimed in? The WTA was quick to take on China - have they chimed in on this?  The USTA was quick to endorse BLM several years ago - are they addressing this?  So much hypocrisy.

Interesting information. Thanks.

The Commish

January 14, 2022


I just wanted to say that your newsletters are terrific and of the most interesting content (and I get a lot of emails from various tennis sites). I also appreciate your fair non-woke views and the courage it takes these days to be like that.

Most of all, I really like how you keep a watchful eye on the bloated USTA. I’ve been around long enough to remember the late, great Gene Scott and his ‘Tennis Week’ magazine. Scott was always on the heels of the USTA and exposing them (for many of the very same things you have). After Scott’s untimely death, the magazine became a joke fluff piece and eventually disappeared (as far as I know).

And thank you for your fair coverage on Djokovic and the Aussie Open. I am not vaccinated but do not have any problem with those who are. I consider it a personal choice and my personal choice was not to be vaccinated. But I do run across many who have a seeming obsession with others getting vaccinated. I know a tennis pro in my area who is so angry at those who won’t get vaccinated that he even went as far as to wish a painful death on them (in front of the news camera so that person’s death can frighten others to getting vaxxed). Well, this extremely fit, fully vaccinated, and boosted pro suffered two strokes last month. Two. He can’t drive a car and has to relearn how to walk backward.

Thanks again,

The Commish

January 27, 2022


At this point in the Australian Open, it appears the events number of Google Trends hits will be lower than recent years. Given all the controversy surrounding the 2022 event, one would have thought the number of hits would have been through the roof.

G’Day Mate

The Commish

January 27, 2022

It was refreshing to see the American women perform well in the Australian Open – two in the semis. 

There were also American semifinalists in the Boys and Girls Juniors.

Sadly, the American men received only participation ribbons.


The Commish




December 29, 2021


You do a great job! I enjoy your piercing analysis.

However, today you missed the mark—3 women and 17 men offering greetings?!?!!?!

Enough said.






December 14, 2021

Is there any chance the USTA will stop putting leaders in place from manufacturers or pro tennis and bringing in someone from grassroots!

Stay Safe and Be Well...

Jamie Blatman




October 4, 2021


Good luck with CONGA SPORTS roll-out.

I know that the Covid pandemic was very directly responsible for the changing demographics in U.S. tennis last year.  But I don't think any statistics about USTA operations and effectiveness are more telling that this:

FACT: In 2020 the U.S.T.A. eliminated 110 jobs...a full 20% of its staff. 

FACT: In that same year, U.S. participation in tennis INCREASED by 22%!

Just sayin'. 

The Commish

December 28, 2021

Great article.  As I said in an earlier email, our local USTA is doing the same thing that they did before C-19. The industry is in the fast lane to nowhere. 

The Commish

December 24, 2021

Re: Racquet Sports Industry magazine

Much of the advertising in the second half of RSI was from the USTA and its divisions. Was that paid or in-kind advertising? Is this a USTA publication or a tennis magazine? A case could be made that the intent of this issue is to generate ad revenue. If so, is RSI on solid footing?

The USPTA is advertising its certification types. This is an issue that USPTA is very sensitive about. There is no love lost on this issue. So much for Tennis Industry United!

UTR listed their new club members. It would be interesting to see how many total club members they have from this partnership. One would think that a partnership with the USPTA would result in more members. Does the USPTA really have any clout in the industry?

The Commish

December 30, 2021

Re: Certification

It is my understanding that both R/A are concerned because the new methodology has prevented them from going out and doing lots of testing to bring in new members. That is part of the reason USPTA advertised for certifications in other sports. John is a salesman. He is interested in selling memberships. 

The Commish

Conga Sports

January 20, 2022

(In response to Kim Bastable's LinkedIn post about Julian Wortelboer, first graduate of the University of Florida's Racquet Sports Certification Course.)


The gentleman mentioned by Kim Bastable is the first pro to go through the program. You interviewed Kim Bastable a year ago. According to the post it took him months to complete the program. That is not a criticism of the time frame to learn to be a teaching professional. How is this program different from the USPTA academies that have trained many pros over the years? I am sure this is a good program. How are we going to meet the needs of the industry if we produce one pro a year?

The Commish


December 5, 2021

While I was surfing for thelatest info on Jeff Waters, who is one of several USTA agents who siphoned my presentations in years 1992-1999 for eventual USTA product ("Rallyball morphed to TAUT), I discovered your recent article in December 2021. 


Jeff is still writhing in snakedom!


The dark side continues at USTA and I have research journals, copyrighted materials that prove me founder of the popular 6-12 age group SHORT COURT...TEAM SKILL AND RALLY POINT approach to youth tennis (Rallyball aka....aka). 


I brought this duplicity claim forward to Chris Handy, USTA Counsel (2000)and again Jared Bartie USTA Counsel 2003. I have videos that predate presumed founder Julie Mastromarinos assignment to USTA.  She was hired to morph my material into physical form at the Westside Tennis Club..Reading..PA. I have spoken to her co-coach at Westside, Brian Wardhammer who wanted to spill the beans and may have more willing recall now of who was by her side. Janice Reardon (NE USTA 1995-2000) who made repeated observations of my youth program was mentioned. Julie Mastromarino claims ownership via the shadows of USTA maneuvers....all taken away from my home base of Executive Health & Sports..Manchester..NH in 1995-1998. 


When I suspected "being tagged" and duplicity, I resigned as volunteer over a phone conversation with Jeff Waters (then Executive Director NE USTA). Jeff  responds..."this is not the appropriate time to do so...." (1999).  The innovation of youth tennis "Rallyball" was presented in 2000 as a new USTA revolution at Longmeadow Tennis Club, MA. 


USPTA affiliates, John Pracher USPTA associate and myself watched a very familiar team format presented on short courts...NOT NEW...just taken off the home court in NH...tweaked in secrecy for two years 1997-99 in PA and brought through the dark side of a USTA court....beyond the lines of ethics!


More factual details will be provided if there is interest.  

I assure you, the USTA were out to find "mavens" as stated by Bob Greene (USTA credit card carrying NTRP volunteer) in a presention he offered at the 1998 USPTA Conference.


Yes...maven...unannounced to me. I was their best kept secret!


Maybe that's why Jeff Waters plans to eliminate "volunteers"?  We tend to have the power of truth and are free to tell it!


Donna Jaquith Alexson

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