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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

COMMENTS ON PNW SCANDAL

September 2021

"... none of us have any board members' contact info. A deliberate attempt to create as much separation between board and staff on behalf of Matthew/China, so they can own all conversations to the board."

"... . the board has been “bought and paid for” so to speak with paid US Open trips, Presidents Box access, and other perks, etc. I doubt any of them who were selected by Matthew and China have any reason to jump off their gravy train anytime soon."

"Saw the great report a month ago about section ED salaries—and wow, PNW was SO out of line… keep following the money! (I do believe I had heard something about PNW hiring a consultant who did hardly anything for the money…"

"I feel like the PNW board hasn’t been doing its job—they MUST exercise some sort of oversight and review process, and it sounds like they’ve just ignored every sign."

"It is great that you are exposing the fraud.  Compared to this, we don't have anything to complain about in our section. My complaints with them are they seem to be content with the status quo and they lack vision."

To protect the senders of those comments, we are not displaying their names.

USTA NEEDS TO START OVER

September 7, 2021

Do you think anyone at the USTA took notice that there are no more Americans left in the US Open?  We are to the quarter-finals, and there is not a single American man or woman left in the draws.  How is that player development thing working out?  New management was brought in to fix things and right the ship.  How is that working out?  Lots of staff were let go not long ago, but the top brass remains.  I have heard (not verified) that the USTA has renewed its investment in the player development program (there was evidence that pros and staff were being hired, and payroll has increased).  How long can we continue to get excited that "player X is the next great hope", and "player X is right around the corner"?  It is about results, and for the umpteenth year in a row, no results.  Canada and other countries have stronger showings than the U.S.  Maybe it is time to scrap the whole program and start over.  Maybe we need to start over with new leadership ... really new leadership (not the same old people doing the same stuff year after year).  Maybe it is time for some accountability at the USTA ... if what they are doing is not working, it's time to find new people ... clean house from the very top-down ... who can and will get the job done.  It is all about results ... and the results speak for themselves.  Will anyone demand and force the necessary changes?  

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

Neuro Tennis

THE 12TH MAN

September 5, 2021

Rich,

 

What a week of upsets at the Open in both men’s and women’s singles draws. Not only great play and stamina from the players but the fans deserve some credit for carrying the winners over the finish line. College football at Texas A&M founded the “12th Man” and the Seattle Seahawks have their own loyal fanbase. Watching and hearing the cheers at the Billie Jean King National Center is reminiscent of the excitement that Jimmy Connors produced during his playing days on Armstrong Stadium court at Flushing Meadow and earlier years at Forest Hills. His famous saying, this is what you paid for…

 

With all the signage and sponsorships throughout the Center, the “12th Man” could be prominently displayed, paying homage to the loyal and supportive fans at the Open. Regardless of day or night primetime sessions, the fans have brought their “A-Game” to support an exceptional effort on the court from wherever the player is from and nationality. Whether you’re a popular veteran, a newcomer, and/or a teenager, the fans have shown their support this week. America and New Yorker’s love a winner and a player giving their best…and then the fans pay it right back with their emotional ovations.

 

With this outpouring of loyal support for the pro's extra effort play, the tennis industry needs to “Seize the Moment” and join the “12th Man” club. This week has been memorable and next week should be great. The USTA can energize the public with their version of the “12th Man” and be recognized as a “difference maker” in victory.

 

Tennis is getting some serious airtime of competitive matches, new faces for a new generation of followers. The message is loud n clear…the “12th Man” is in our court as a new rallying cry. Sign me up for a colorful “12th Man” National Tennis Center logo t-shirt and sportswear apparel. A guaranteed sell-out at the Gift Shops…

 

If this week's TV coverage doesn’t create the tennis bug for kids and families, then I don’t know what will. The pro game is in new generation mode, so let’s get the recreational and everyday player in fun mode at and on the courts.

 

Let’s Go Tennis, Let’s Go Tennis…

 

Leo Estopare

Deuce Something

Wichita, KS

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USTA AND PICKLEBALL

 

September 2, 2021

Hi Rich,

 

Love your perspective.  I was a college player in the late ’70s, a competitive 4.5 tennis player for 40 years, a volunteer, and an advocate for growing the game I loved.  For many years I was on the Board with NETT, a strong Community Tennis Association in the Dallas area and then went to work for USTA Texas in 2006 as a Tennis Service Rep. I worked tirelessly for 6 years to grow the game for recreational players and kids.  I saw from the inside how USTA Texas made decisions. I told the USTA in 2013 they needed to watch how pickleball was going to take over tennis and leadership at that time just laughed.  Frustrating to witness such a self-centered perspective. 

 

I am now one of the people you mentioned in the article who left tennis and moved over to Pickleball where people are open and welcoming to new players. I'm welcoming new players to Pickleball daily now and loving the growth of a new game I love.  Haven’t touched my tennis racket in 2 years and am a nationally ranked, 60+ pickleball ambassador.  USTA lost sight of whom they were growing the game for!   

 

Robyn Raedicker

Arlington, Texas

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