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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.

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USTA CREATING A COACHING MONOPOLY?

August 20, 2023

Rich,

I'm sure you have seen this USTA After-School Tennis email. At first, this sounds like a good idea.  Most pros I know have after-school programs. Is this another example of USTA competition with the pros' current programs? Should the pros look at this as a continued intrusion on their programs or work to create a solution that makes the tennis industry better?

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

June 17, 2023

Rich,

I taught in the UK for 8 years when the LTA was a monopoly; the only authorized organization to train and test pros for certification. I brought in over 300 pros to the PTR while there, but only LTA pros were allowed to teach at public facilities. This is where we are headed if the USTA takes the same control. I am sure you will have some thoughts on this. Competition is good, but Monopoly is not, Just ask Adrian Stonebridge in the UK. 

 

Andy Durham

CELLPHONES AT TOURNAMENTS

June 17, 2023

Rich,

I went to a WTA/ITF $25k qualifier tournament in Zephyrhills, FL to chart a particular player that a friend is working with. I use RacketStats as you know an analytics app for smartphones. Midway through the match the super came up to me and told me to turn my phone off, that it was against the rules to have a phone or computer on the grounds of the tournament.

This was a golden opportunity to chart this player against an Orange Bowl Finalist and her coach wanted to see how she did. Not sure I understand all the issues with cell phones other than the players can not use them at all, so guess it is because of the betting issue. So at junior tournaments, college matches, and pro events where analytics is carried out by very sophisticated companies and coaching is now allowed. But at the intermediate tournaments where players have little money and need the most help, coaches and parents are not allowed to help. I am sure that betting can be fun and enlightening but to hit coaches and parents at this level seems absurd.

Does baseball, basketball, and football not allow cell phones?

Thanks for digging into this,
 

 

Andy Durham

PTR/USPTA

July 7, 2023

Rich,

I saw the PTR announcement about partnering with CDT/Troon/PBI on Instagram.

It sounds like this might help create more memberships for PTR and could change the way memberships are sold.

The USPTA is focused on a Refer and Earn program with Tennis Warehouse (their version of Green Stamps or frequent flyer miles). PTR has put a membership/certification/education program on the table that could affect their bottom line in a positive manner.

Will the PTR be able to deliver or in a year will this be as ineffective as the USPTA partnerships and gimmicks?

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

July 7, 2023

Re: "Name a USPTA Program"

 

Rich,

The latest John Embree/USPTA stunt to show members they care - "to revitalize efforts to engage with our younger pros!"

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

August 9, 2023

 

Rich,

The USPTA is probably about to fold, try as they may, people are dropping out for many reasons and nobody is joining.

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

MEDIA

August 7, 2023

Re: Fox News - "Paige Spiranac suggests 'case study' may determine whether outfit choice affects her golf score"

 

Rich,

It is interesting that Fox gets by with publishing articles like this without being called sexist pigs.

 

I wonder what a case study like this would look like in tennis.

 

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

August 9, 2023

Re: Inside Tennis

Rich,

Bill Simons will deny it, but the recent edition of Inside Tennis was three times bigger, with four new writers, tons of advertising from national companies, and a gigantic ad on the back cover about becoming a teaching pro through the USTA.  The giveaway was that it was mailed to me, as usual, but this time the mailing sticker noted that it was paid for by a non-profit org. 

I noticed several things, first, a sudden increase in contributing writers, second the advertising was double and much of it from national sources, also, it was 48 pages, he is normally around 25, but as I said, he is not a non-profit org, but the stamp on the mailing label on the front said Non-Profit delivery fees.  

 

Sounds like the USTA and Sinclair have gobbled up another news outlet…the march to own the media and take over all of tennis. 

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

ONE-QUESTION SURVEY FOR AUGUST 2023

QUESTION

Are you OK with the high prices for US Open tickets and the fact that children over 2 years of age have to buy full adult tickets? (Optional: Please tell us in the comments whether you're planning to go this year.)

COMMENTS​​

  • Youth can't afford tickets, I can't afford to fly to NY for a week with lodging much less buying tickets because NY is like California. WE CAN'T AFFORD IT!

  • There is a large bureaucracy to feed and therefore ticket prices must be high. The flashing lights of the gold in their eyes has blinded them from the mission of growing the game. It has become big business. Good for them but saddens me as a lifelong tennis player, lover, enthusiast. I guess I am old school and not managing the changes well. As a tennis professional with over 40 years of experience, one of my great joys teaching when I see the lightbulb go on in my students head and the excitement and joy they find with that

  • Not planning to go

  • Kids should get in for free. Are we not trying to grow the sport with our youth? Compromise - free during day sessions?

  • And outrageous costs for liquid refreshments.

  • I’m shocked the USTA won’t put profits from the US Open into some pickle ball adventure

  • I’ve been to the US Open almost every year since 2007. I went last year for the first time as a parent of a toddler. The grounds tickets are absurd. Went to French Open this year and got grounds passes for €20.00 If tennis in the US had already a socioeconomic issue, it’s now spreading even to attending events. USTA is finding ways of making tennis less appealing to the masses. It’s a sad thing to see happen.

  • i have a feeling that the equal pay for ATP & WTA is ruining the prices for tickets.

  • I am not supportive of allowing five-year-olds or younger to attend the quarters, semis or finals of US Open or other tournament matches. The last thing any (costly) admission ticket-paying fan wants is to be seated near and distracted by a squirming, noisy and inattentive child for the duration of a special match.

  • Not planning on going this year. But yes, it is very expensive.

  • I went last year. The line to get in one entrance for the entire venue was ridiculous. I got there quite early yet still lost one hour of watching matches due to the line. Tickets are outrageous and the traffic to get off the freeway for the last exit to park was an hour. Rude parking attendants. I’m skipping it this year. More enjoyable to watch on TV w/out the crowds and the astronomical ticket prices.

  • The USTA does everything in it's power (and then some) to promote tennis as an elitist sport.

  • It’s almost impossible to get into Wimbledon for any price. Australia is less expensive, just like the cost of living there.

  • Can’t afford to anymore….very sad!!

  • A ground pass the first week should be between $50-$75.

  • The U.S. Open is pricing itself out of mainstream American tennis. It really has gotten out of control.

  • The prices are outrageous! Not family friendly.

  • USTA is controlled by its Chief Coach. US needs a better organization to again put US players in the top 5 ranking.

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