June-Letters-Opinion.png
Title-Letters.png

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_RS_BOOM_2022_TCB-660.jpg

USTA, RENO DAVIS CUP, WILSON BALLS, ATP/WTA ROOKIES

April 29, 2022

 

Rich, 

 

Thanks for the informative newsletter this month. Many of us who have used Wilson products for decades got excited when Mike Dowse became the ED for the USTA. With his business experience with Wilson and in growing the game at the grassroots level this seemed like a great move. But, as you stated, he realized the wall was too high to climb, and too many staff pushing the ship in another direction. 

 

Your note on Wilson and tennis balls is the reality for all small pro shop businesses. Early on I was ok with Wilson blaming the supply chain but it has now been 5 months since I put my order in for tennis balls (Triniti and US Open) and still no tennis balls. Every time I go online and see the TW and TE are selling Wilson balls it upsets me. It would seem that Wilson has tennis balls but they are bypassing small retailers in favor of customers buying directly from Wilson.com or online outlets. Even local Wilson reps are frustrated that they can't service their own clients.

 

Don't get me started on the Davis Cup tie in Reno. I made the trip with my wife and we met some friends there. There was a quality US team with some great rising stars and a decent Colombian team (minus one of their doubles stars). It was incredibly disappointing to see so few people watching the tie. What was the reasoning behind picking Reno (in the winter) for a Davis Cup tie? I get the indoor fast surface facing a team that likes slow clay surfaces but Reno is a very small tennis market and the town itself isn't great. We stayed in the only non-smoking, non-casino hotel in town. Given that most tennis players are healthy in general Reno didn't seem like the right place. Just walking from our hotel to the convention center we got accosted by panhandlers and homeless people. Maybe the USTA was taking the money and didn't care about spectators. Seat pricing seemed too high and prices for hats and t-shirts were high as well. 

 

I agree the jury is out on Osaka and there are people on both sides. Back in the 90s, the ATP had their rookie school that made players new to the circuit spend a week at the ATP office in FL learning about the tour, how to handle the press, etc. I don't know if the WTA has that but my guess is that ship has passed. Given Pam Shriver's story and the inability of women players to give a press conference without saying "honestly" and "like" 20 times in 5 minutes makes me feel a rookie tour school is needed. I no longer listen to Osaka's press conferences or read them as I can't handle the two words noted above being repeated multiple times. 

 

Keep up the good work that you do. There are two sides to every story, the marketing side, and the right side and I appreciate you bringing the "right" side to the forefront.

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

(To illustrate The Commish's last point, below is what Jon Wertheim tweeted after Osaka lost her first round match at Roland Garros)

JonWertheim-Osaka.jpg

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA ON PICKLEBALL

TCB Mid-May Headline "Build your own damn courts"

April May 16, 2022

Finally after four plus years of pickle ball advocates screaming and whining about converting all tennis courts to "pickle ball only" someone has finally spoken out in defense of tennis courts.

 

Thank you Martina Navratilova for making a statement about this pickle ball treachery. Rich Neher never had the guts to do it.

 

James Anglin

May 15, 2022

Rich,

 

I think USPTA Southern had a conference. I just saw a picture on Instagram that indicated they certified 14 pickleball players in conjunction with the conference.

Interesting business model.  USPTA can offer pickleball training, which the organization knows nothing about, but they have to jump through all kinds of hoops to certify tennis pros, which is something they know about.

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

Professional Tennis Registry PTR

WIMBLEDON BAN OF RUSSIAN PLAYERS

April May 3, 2022

Rich,

 

I think Murray has come out against the ban also.  And I think WTA and ATP have opposed it.  Hope they do something about it?

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/tennis/victoria-azarenka-wimbledon-ban-on-russian-belarusian-players-does-not-make-sense/ar-AAWKVxQ?li=BB15ms5q

 

I haven't seen the USTA take a stance and I'm sure the PTR and PTA will stick their heads in the sand.

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

April 15, 2022

The USTA policy statement on Wimbledon conflicts with their bylaws. Their inclusion statement is on page 97 

https://www.usta.com/content/dam/usta/2020-pdfs/2020%20USTA%20Constitution%20Bylaws%20and%20Diversity%20and%20Inclusion%20Statement.pdf

 

Of course, in their by-laws, they are talking about their world. You would think that if the USTA believed in inclusion in their world they would believe in inclusion elsewhere.

So what happens with the US Open.  Is the USTA going to ban the Russians from the US Open and go against their bylaws?  If the USTA let's the Russians play in the US Open, then why don't they support them to play at Wimbledon?

 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the USTA appears to be a policy of convenience and revenue generated.

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

CourtReserve.png

USPTA - TESTING

May 16, 2022

Rich,

As a PTR Professional in 3 of the 4 pathways (before the USTA meddled in the certification process) and a USPTA Master Professional I am concerned we will have applicants who will complete the TE1 and stop their certification process. The road to full certification is lengthy and costly so I wonder how many will complete it. I suspect they don’t have the time or money and the knowledge of teaching tennis is not there or adequate. Since we don’t have a way to sponsor or verify the quality of applicants I  wonder if the majority of applicants have any teaching experience and or playing experience to accomplish the task to full certification.

The way we are going we may go broke!

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

USPTA - HASSAN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TESTING/CERTIFICATION MESS?

May 15, 2022

Rich,

The Feisal administration has taken pride in the slogan that we want to make tennis and the tennis pros look more like the people around us.  That is meaningless feel-good woke rhetoric.  For example, in California 36.5% of the population is white, 39.4% of the population is Hispanic, 15.5% are Asian, and 6.5% are Black. In NH 89.8% of the population is white, 4.0% is Hispanic, 3.0% is Asian, and 1.8% is Black. 

 

The Big Sort indicates that people live with people like them. Getting a tennis population with demographics that match the state population is impossible. When was the last time the USTA built a mega-facility in a neighborhood where more than half the people were Black? Asian? Hispanic?

 

Feisal's platitudes were not backed up with an action plan. Have you heard the USPTA present a plan for increasing the number of women or minority pros over the next three years?  

I support diversity and inclusion. I find the convenient rhetoric and wokeness to be disgusting because it is not sincere. I think Feisal was responsible for the testing/certification mess.

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

Do you like our content? If you do so, please consider supporting us.  For as little as $1 a month, you can help ensure the long-term future of TENNIS CLUB BUSINESS.

Click here to support and please share this with all the tennis lovers you know.