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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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US OPEN

September 2, 2023

Rich,

Are the price of tickets and drinks at the U.S. Open really a deterrent or is it the product or experience of attending the U.S. Open the deterrent?"  

 

Presumably, they charge $22 for a Grey Goose special because people will pay for it and feel special for paying that much. They can charge outrageous prices for tickets because corporations will pay for them. People expect to get ripped off when they go to NYC, why disappoint them?

 

Why will people who can't afford a pot to pee in pay an exorbitant amount of money to see Taylor Swift and buy a t-shirt to demonstrate why they don't have enough money to buy a pot to pee in?  Maybe I'm missing something or I'm in left field, but it seems to me the USTA is trying really hard to turn the US Open into something that may or may not benefit the sport. Going to a concert is like stepping into a fantasy world.  Same with the US Open?

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

September 8, 2023

Climate protesters interrupting US Open match with Coco Gauff

Rich,

What a clown show this match display was.  I read a portion of the comments in a CBS report. They were not supportive of the protesters.  

 

Today protesters are using the U.S. Open as a place to advance their cause. What is next?  Will they come back requesting to end tennis because players travel all over the world to play, they play on courts made with fossil fuels, and they use equipment and balls that require fossil fuels to manufacture?  

 

It seems like there have been a series of bizarre things happening at the U.S. Open this year - spectators smoking pot, Zverev getting a spectator thrown out for hollering Hitler slogans, someone else asking to have a person removed from the box who wasn't supposed to be there, the injuries, the heat (which has been a problem for years). 

 

This has not been a compelling U.S. Open to watch, although the Ben Shelton and Coco stories have been intriguing.  

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

September 11, 2023

Re: 'The Star-Spangled Banner' missing from US Open finals

Rich,

If this article is correct, then F the USTA. They should take the U.S. out of their name.

https://www.foxnews.com/sports/the-star-spangled-banner-missing-us-open-finals

 

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

September 12, 2023

Rich,

The 2023 U.S. Open did not excite me:

* The decision by the USTA not to play the national anthem. The USTA insulted every US citizen with this stupid stunt.

* Players who do not understand periodization.

* Tournament directors who do not understand they need to protect the players - they are their only asset. Without the players nobody goes to Flushing Meadow to watch the USTA pop popcorn.

* The complaints about pot smokers in the stand.

* The media focused on everything irrelevant trying to find an angle.

* The rude NY fans, such as the one Zverev had ejected.

* The Moderna advertisements. I thought it was appropriate to mention Arthur Ashe. I thought their ad doing that was tasteless.

* They gave all the credit for the women's pro tour to BJK. Gladys Heldman played a major role in that happening. 

* Three out of five set matches are boring. 

* If Taylor Swift's people ran the US Open, it would be more spectacular and would probably benefit the sport of tennis.

 

Based on their metrics, the USTA is to be commended for its accomplishments.  Over the next decade, will the 2023 U.S. Open be recognized as a turning point in U.S. tennis participation? 

 

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

USTA

September 15, 2023

Re: USTA Launches 'USTA Ventures' Strategic Investment Initiative

 

Rich,

Around 1990, the USTA started Touch Tone Tennis. A group of pros opposed it, because it gave the USTA a direct link to the players, i.e. it cut out the pros as the middleman.  The USTA stated that this would be good for the pros because they could spend more time on the court teaching lessons.  This was about power and control.

 

What about AI?  USTA ventures will allow the USTA to get into AI. Do you really want that? Power and control. 

 

Restaurants that want to avoid paying credit card fees give a discount for paying cash or they build the fees into their prices.  When Touch Tone Tennis was started, they required players to use TTT then they charged them a fee for using it. 

 

This reminds me of the saying, "Hi, I am from the government. I am here to help." 

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

USPTA

September 18, 2023

 

Rich,

Under John Embree, the USPTA has not provided professional certification. In the spirit of a free market, they should go out of business or get their act together.

 

I was recently in a meeting with a member of a USTA national committee. She said the USPTA is a mess.   

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

ONE-QUESTION SURVEY FOR SEPTEMBER 2023

QUESTION

Should the USTA and its sections be involved in the planning and running of Pickleball Leagues?

COMMENTS​​

  • Pickleball has aligned itself with tennis to avail itself to their database members. Tennis is the giver, and Pickleball is the parasite. It should form its own associations as it has taken tennis generations to build.

  • Would love to see the Usta take the lead on a true national recreational league for PB

  • They can't help tennis, would they screw up pickleball too?

  • Even though it uses a racquet, Pickleball is a whole different sport than tennis. I don't see the USTA getting involved in Ping pong or Badminton. This is obviously a money grab.

  • First & foremost the USTA should have an agenda to protect the vast majorities of PUBLIC TENNIS COURTS being lost to pickleball. They should promote tennis only.

  • USTA needs to remember they are the governing body of tennis charged with growing and promoting the sport. If they were doing that, we wouldn’t see this problem we’re having with PB.

  • Absolutely not!!! USTA, in building Pickleball and Padel courts at the national campus, have already sold their souls to the "complimentary racquet sports" - reducing the Family Zone. Now they work with dumb sections and districts to promote Pickleball, under the guise of it being a gateway to tennis - absolute nonsense. Those cooperating sections and districts should hang their heads in shame for the terrible job they are doing in "to promote and develop the sport of tennis".

  • We are the USTA, not USPA!

  • I would like to see the Master Tennis group be more active in this venture.

  • They struggle to do justice to tennis

  • They are supposed to be promoting tennis, not frigging pickleball. As usual, it's all about the $$$

  • The do a horrible job with Tennis leagues, why we anyone want them to be involved in Pickleball

  • Why should they mess up pickleball the way they have messed up tennis?

  • USTA messes everything up

  • The USTA is not the pickle ball association. Pickle ballers Need to get Their own money

  • It is the USTA

  • I think pickleball could use the USTA as a model for planning and running pickleball leagues. Pickleball needs its own league system separate from USTA. I also think that pickleball should have a rating system similar to the USTA. I've been involved in tennis for over 35 years, now I'm into pickleball.

  • Pickleball somehow was allowed to invade public and private facilities and nobody or very few would speak up.If it's so good and popular then build their own clubs and facilities.Promote Tennis!

  • The USTA doesn't have a great track record of running anything other than the US Open. Most of their programs are outsourced to other groups anyway. The biggest issue is that the USTA has failed miserably in growing the game. The USTA was only briefly bailed out with a slight reprieve because of the pandemic that helped rally players due to the lack of other available physical activities. There is little reason to believe that the USTA can sustain any growth that was serendipitously put on their plate during the pandemic. The USTA has never really had its pulse on recreational tennis and the areas such as the development of middle school tennis teams that that would propel participation and the growth of tennis. Finally, the USTA is usually well behind public tennis trends and initiatives of other nations. The USTA changes initiatives and programs every few years which they borrowed from other sources without ever knowing if these programs were ever successful or met any defined goals. Many of the executives that were entrusted with developing Community Tennis programs had little or no experience conducting public tennis programs. The is no cogent reason for the USTA to get involved in running Pickleball leagues based on their lack of success in promoting and organizing tennis leagues and the fact they are incapable of running their own programs. Most USTA leagues are outsourced to other tennis organizations who are utilized to report participation number to justify the USTA's existence. This is hardly a recipe for success for tennis or pickleball.

  • Unless the USTA changes it's name, they are the United States Tennis Association!

  • USTA needs to stay in its lane and focus on planning and running quality TENNIS leagues. The Pickleball Association needs to plan and run its own leagues. The T in USTA stands for TENNIS after all.

  • The usta has screwed up too many programs and organizations, including the uspta and ptr. It’s best to keep them away from pickleball.

  • USTA is the governing body of the sport of TENNIS. Pickle ball is NOT tennis.

  • USTA doing that is a joke

  • USTA should invest in PickleBall. PickleBall may end up being bigger than tennis. USTA would then have a sport that people can fall back on when their tennis days are over.

  • Absolutely should not be propping up a rival sport.

  • No. The USTA needs to focus efforts on planning and running tennis leagues. They struggle with trying to get tennis leagues efficient and enjoyable.

  • If Pickleball , why not squash, racketball, padel, real tennis etc. If pickleball is really that popular then let them handle this on their own.

  • They should focus on growing tennis and providing tennis competition

  • HELL NO!!

  • Help control it. Before it gets out of control.

  • Focus should be on tennis!

  • Pickleball is here to stay and now offered at many clubs.

  • There is some crossover between racquet and paddle sports and could be even more if we work together in future. For example: Imagine if the 36 foot court was adjusted to pickleball size. Or if kids learning pickleball are encouraged or exposed to tennis and build their game on the introduction from pickleball (because their first court sport was actually fun to start and not too difficult). Or older players transition to pickleball as they can't play tennis as often, but still want the community/competition/social. I think we all gain if we focus on working together to grow the racquet and paddle sport pie. For sure, easier to romanticize and write in these comments than put into practice.

  • Someone is going to do it and if I’m the USTA I realize it’s a huge financial segment of sport right now so I gobble it up and spin off the United States Pickleball Association. Oh. Sorry. You used the word “should” No. It’s a different sport.

  • USTA league play is way down and they can't stop the bleeding. Since they can't do a very good with tennis leagues, please don't let them near pickleball.

  • Don’t try to be your “ cousins “. Parents

  • Never we are Tennis

  • It’s not tennis, is it?

  • Absolutely! The USTA has the infrastructure and knowledge to run a nationwide league.

  • No more than any other racket sport, it is it's own world and I would think that they also would like to be independent.

  • The Mission of the USTA is to promote tennis . Their mission statement reads "The USTA is a progressive and diverse not-for-profit organization whose volunteers, professional staff and financial resources support a single mission: to promote and develop the growth of tennis" If the USTA is going to promote pickleball, a change to the mission statement would required.

  • Why should USTA contribute to the possible "success" of a "sport" that has spent its time taking away tennis courts? If this "sport" becomes successful, it should do so on its own without the help of any other organization.

  • USTA is a TENNIS association. Grow Tennis, focus!!!!!

  • I am very happy to see seniors and others enjoying pickle ball. It provides a great social and health benefit for the participants. My beef is with the people who promote this sport by insisting on changing tennis courts to multi purpose and in some cases eliminating the tennis courts altogether. A better way would be to build pickle ball facilities that could be built in indoor or covered areas where people could use them more hours of the day if there is such a need. Tennis is considered the most healthy sport to improve longevity.

  • The devil is always in the details. I assume Tennis and Pickleball leagues could both be run by the USTA, but how these two operations coexist is the questions. If the USTA decide to move forward, then there will be some unintended consequences beyond their planned hurdles. It seems like there are still many issues to iron out from the implementation of the 2020 junior structure. I wish they recognized those issues that affect large number of juniors and put their efforts into fixing them before venturing into a new sport. Thank you for sharing your newsletters with me. Sincerely,

  • Is not necesary

  • Oh H no!!!!

  • Does the National Skiing governing body organize the Snowboarding events?

  • Stick to what they do best - tennis - let US Pickleball figure out their own way to do leagues

  • Pickleball needs its own courts its own identity its own channel. If it’s so great and awsome stop stealing from tennis.

  • US Racket Sport Association

  • Should the PPA be involved in running tennis leagues?

  • It is a conflict of interest since our already low inventory of tennis courts are being converted to Pickleball courts.

  • they screw up enough of things

  • It's too much like Ping Pong. ("Pickle" was the name of the inventor's dog.)

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