top of page
corrected TappS_TCB 660x180px Ad c0a FINALok.jpg




"Award-winning tennis coach directing innovative programs."


My name is Susan Nardi from Los Angeles, California.

I'm the Vice President of Programs & Fun for LA Tennis, Inc. We are the largest concessionaire for the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department with 7 locations. I love to coach tennis to all ages and levels making it a fun experience for everyone. I coach because I want everyone to have as much fun as I do playing the game that I love.


(Susan is the first tennis coach to receive a National Double-Goal Coach Award by the Positive Coaching Alliance. Click on the image above to watch a 3-minute video about her.)

My take: Vic Braden once told me that "in Southern California, tennis coaches are a dime a dozen." He also spoke of a few that were exceptional, like Susan. She's making a difference in every community she serves and that's something I admire.


By Cate Crandell - -

Are you ready to smash your way to success both on and off the court? Well, it's time to grab your rackets and start building your personal brand on LinkedIn! If you’re looking to take your career to the next level, LinkedIn is where you need to be. On this platform you can talk about your skills, network with professionals, and serve up new opportunities you may never have thought possible.


In case you missed the last article, personal branding is who you are, what you stand for, and what makes you unique. It follows you everywhere you go, which is why it’s the key to filling your courts without relying on someone else’s marketing to do so.


LinkedIn is a powerful platform to build your personal brand on because it allows you to showcase your expertise and achievements. Your profile, if properly set up, becomes your virtual trophy cabinet, displaying your skills, endorsements, and accolades. Whether you're a seasoned tennis coach or a rising star, your personal brand on LinkedIn helps you stand out in a sea of competitors, making it easier for potential employers, sponsors, or clients to find you.


But wait, there's more! LinkedIn isn't just about showing off your skills; it's a powerhouse for networking. Imagine connecting with industry influencers, fellow pros, and tennis enthusiasts from all around the world. By cultivating a strong network, you'll gain access to valuable insights, collaborative opportunities, and even mentorship. It's like having a doubles partner who's always got your back!


Building your personal brand on LinkedIn also positions you as a thought leader in the tennis community. When you share your knowledge, insights, and tips through articles, posts, and videos, you establish yourself as an authority in your field, attracting attention and respect from your peers. Who knows? You might even become the next go-to expert for tennis-related media opportunities!


Last but not least, LinkedIn opens doors to new career opportunities. From coaching gigs at prestigious academies to endorsement deals with renowned sports brands, you never know what exciting opportunities might come your way. Recruiters and sponsors are constantly searching LinkedIn for fresh talent, and with a compelling personal brand, you could just be their top pick.


So, tennis pros, it's time to grab your rackets and serve up success by building your personal brand on LinkedIn. Showcase your skills, network with industry professionals, position yourself as a thought leader and unlock new career opportunities. It's time to ace your career both on and off the court!


Now, let's hit the ground running and build your winning personal brand on LinkedIn. Connect with me on LinkedIn to receive free tips on building your personal brand and telling better stories online.

Cate Crandell, Prairie Village, Kansas

Cate Crandell spent the last 15 years building service-based businesses by showing up authentically online. She grew a business in the event industry from one location to 11 nationwide, went viral on Instagram for unique visual storytelling, and led the marketing department for a top-producing real estate team. In 2022 she left her corporate job to fully immerse herself in the racquets industry to help pros grow their personal brands to fill their courts. As Communications Director for the fastest-growing certification program for Directors of Racquets Sports at the University of Florida, she has her finger on the pulse of online certification for professionals of racquet sports.

By System-9 creator Andy Dowsett

Mental toughness is a crucial aspect of tennis, as it helps players cope with pressure, stay focused, and perform at their best even in challenging situations.

Here are some strategies that can help a tennis player become mentally tough:


  1. Set clear goals: Having clear and realistic goals can provide motivation and focus. Set both short-term and long-term goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). This can help you stay committed and motivated and give you a sense of purpose in your tennis practice and competition.

  2. Develop a positive mindset: Cultivating a positive mindset can help you handle challenges and setbacks more effectively. Practice positive self-talk, affirmations, and visualization techniques to build confidence and maintain a positive attitude on and off the court.

  3. Manage stress: Tennis can be stressful, especially during competitions. Develop stress management techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness, and relaxation exercises to help you stay calm and focused under pressure. It’s also important to establish pre-match routines that help you relax and prepare mentally before a match.

  4. Embrace failure and learn from mistakes: Tennis involves making mistakes and facing failures. Embrace failures as opportunities for learning and growth rather than getting discouraged by them. Analyse your mistakes and learn from them, so you can improve your game and avoid making similar errors in the future.

  5. Develop resilience: Tennis can be physically and mentally challenging, and setbacks may occur. Build resilience by developing coping skills, such as problem-solving, adaptability, and perseverance. Learning to bounce back from setbacks and stay focused on your goals can help you develop mental toughness.

  6. Stay present and focused: Tennis requires focus and concentration. Learn to stay present and focused on the task at hand, whether it’s a practice session or a match. Avoid dwelling on past mistakes or worrying about future outcomes. Practice mindfulness techniques to enhance your ability to stay present and fully engaged in the moment.

  7. Create a strong support system: Surround yourself with a supportive network of coaches, teammates, family, and friends who can provide encouragement, motivation, and perspective. Having a strong support system can help you stay mentally resilient and motivated, especially during challenging times.

  8. Build confidence: Confidence is a key component of mental toughness. Build confidence in your abilities by practicing regularly, setting and achieving goals, visualizing success, and reflecting on your strengths and achievements. Celebrate your successes and use them to boost your self-belief.

  9. Develop a competitive mindset: Cultivate a competitive mindset that embraces challenges and welcomes competition. Learn to view competition as an opportunity to test your skills and push yourself to improve, rather than fearing it. Embrace challenges and develop a “never give up” attitude.

  10. Take care of your mental health: Mental toughness also includes taking care of your mental health. Make sure to prioritize self-care, such as getting enough rest, managing stress, and seeking professional help if needed. A healthy mind is better equipped to handle challenges and build mental toughness.

Remember, mental toughness is a skill that can be developed over time with practice, perseverance, and self-awareness. Incorporate these strategies into your tennis training and competition routine to build your mental toughness and enhance your overall performance on the court.

My take: Great set of guidelines for this important aspect of our game!

Met a bunch of really good Tennis Directors there


On April 26 I needed to travel to Phoenix, Arizona for an evening event. Tony Reyes, Executive Director of the nonprofit PASS (Programs for After School Success) had invited me to join him for 'Big Sky Community Kids Day' where kids could experience tennis, hit with college athletes, win prizes, and eat free pizza. Pass is, of course, the recipient of the TENNIS AMBASSADOR package from Slinger, HEAD/Penn, and BJK Eye Coach. I was delighted to see all those fine products in use.


Tony is such a great ED and knows how to engage kids and excite them with the great sport of tennis. He reported that they had 150 participants on 6 courts - 75 kids and 75 college players. Here is a short video of the event I quickly put together.


Cody Kacerek, Gold Key Racquet Club

Six courts and a nice clubhouse with a bar, what else do you need as a tennis player? Oh yes, an Adult Tennis Director who knows what he's doing. Right? Well, Cody Kecerek is such a guy. He came to this club in 2016 working in the pro shop and teaching tennis. In 2019 he was promoted to Adult Tennis Director as one of 4 teaching pros at the club which has about 200 members.


Besides Cody, the teaching pro staff at Gold Key Racquet Club includes Junior Tennis Director Luis Ridaura (USPTA), Cady Maharaj (USPTA), and Katie Beers. Additionally, Matt Toupalik is an ACE-certified Fitness Trainer.

Cody Kacerek is both USPTA and PTR certified. He graduated from Grand Canyon University (Phoenix, AZ) in 2018 with a BS degree in Business Management with an Emphasis in Tennis Management. 


Phoenix Country Club
Steve Edginton is Director of Tennis at this golf-centric, 124-year-old member-owned club. Brit Steve is originally from  London, England, and started his position in 2014.

The Phoenix Country Club has 10 tennis courts, plus 4 permanent and 4 temporary pickleball courts. In addition, of course, to an 18-hole golf course, a 75 ft. swimming pool, a fitness center, and a barbershop. There are approximately 1,000 family memberships including about 100 regular tennis-playing adults, 90% of whom are women.

The Phoenix Country Club is host to an annual ATP Challenger 175 tournament, the 'Arizona Tennis Classic.' It is always being played during the second week of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. That means a good number of top players who lose in the first or second round of Indian Wells can get an entry to the Arizona Tennis Classic. This year, the top seeds included Struff, Berrettini, Bublik, Gasquet, Kokkinakis, Schwartzman, Kudla, Albot, and Monfils!


From a Delia Reynolds article in BOLLYINSIDE


The French tennis federation announced that the technology will be made available to all players taking part in this year’s clay-court Grand Slam tournament.. The French tennis federation said the tool “aims to preserve the players, their mental health, the values of sport and tennis and to banish people who come to spread their aggression and hatred on social networks”. The French Open is taking a firm stance against cyberbullying and harassment on social media by offering all players access to an online tool developed by a French company.


The software, developed by, aims to protect players from the scourge of cyberbullying and harassment on social media, which can have a direct or indirect impact on their mental health. It is an AI that performs moderation in real-time, analyzing comments in less than 200 milliseconds. A team of linguists creates word structures to update the technology in real-time from what is posted on social networks to generate a contextual analysis. The goal is to ensure that nothing is missed while making sure that nothing is censored.

Read full article here.

My take: About time!

Now I know why so many tennis professionals live and work in Northern California


I took a road trip to a part of California I really hadn't been to a lot. I mean, yeah, I've been to San Francisco but hasn't everybody else been there by now? But what about the smaller cities and communities? Are they as pretty as San Francisco used to be? (Not anymore, I hear...) Well, since I hate wading through piles of dog poop, I decided to not visit San Francisco and focused on areas where some of my best connections live and work. Like Palo Alto.


Photo: Watry Design Inc

I had no idea that Palo Alto was such a pretty town with lots of shops and restaurants. The $5.50 cup of coffee seemed a little expensive but parking was free for two hours anywhere I went. In downtown Palo Alto! I appreciated that!

My first stop in Palo Alto, after driving around that enormous Stanford University College for a while and after a coffee stop at Verve Coffee Roasters, I parked in front of 525 University Avenue (photo right). The office of Universal Tennis is on the 13th floor and I was meeting their CEO, Mark Leschly. The former ATP touring professional with a Stanford MBA degree is also Managing Director of Iconica Partners and a Managing Partner and owner of Rho Capital Partners, a venture capital and growth equity firm with over $2.5B of assets under management.

My readers know that I like everything about Mark and Universal Tennis. Not only because I like to be on the side of the underdog but also because I think the UTR system is the right product that came at the right time. I'll be writing about the World Tennis Number at another section of the June Publisher's Notes but I'll tell you right now, they'll have to do a lot more to gain the acceptance and functionality UTR already has.

Mark and I had a good conversation about the future of tennis in the USA and the current UTR activities that are mind-blowing. Picture this: Amazon has invested in Universal Tennis and they are streaming UTR Pro Tennis Tour matches on Amazon Prime. How cool is that?

My next stop was also in Palo Alto: Legendary college coach Dick Gould at his 'Teach Aids' office. Now, meeting someone with Dick's personality and accomplishments is always a treat for me. After reading his book 'Anatomy of a Champion: Building and Sustaining Success in Sport, Business, and Life' I just had to see him and found him as friendly and helpful in person as he always is on the phone. In between family life and a busy schedule for Teach Aids, a non-profit committed to improving global health (currently developing concussion education for athletes, parents, and coaches. Website), he found time to see me and let me record the very first episode of my new video series TENNIS IN A MINUTE with him. Click on the image below his photo.

I liked Dick's sense of humor and his professionalism. He was prepared with a script for the taping. Nice. I wish him all success in the world educating people about the dangers of concussions in sports!


After a quick stop at the beautiful Fremont Hills Country Club in Los Altos to speak with Jim McLennan of Essential Tennis Instruction fame, I drove to Portola Valley to visit Ken DeHart at his (equally beautiful) Alpine Hills Tennis & Swim Club. What Dick Gould is for college tennis team coaching, Ken DeHart is for teaching new and established tennis teaching pros. Whenever he is not at his Director of Tennis post in Portola Valley, you can find him at some conference or convention in all corners of the country as a sought-after speaker. The USPTA Master Professional and PTR International Master professional has been teaching tennis for over 30 years at both the recreational and performance level. He also happens to be a valuable member of my company Conga Sports' Advisory Board.

Ken also let me tape an episode of 'Tennis in a Minute' with him. Enjoy!

Interesting: The Alpine Hills Tennis & Swim Club has a court camera installed covering 8 of their 12 courts. They also have a so-called Purple Air Sensor installed monitoring air quality. Wow!

After crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and a pleasant overnight stay in Mill Valley, I called on another very special person: Rod Heckelman, General Manager of the Mt. Tam Racquet Club in Larkspur.

In 1976, ten years after working at John Gardiner's Tennis Ranch in Carmel Valley, California, and Scottsdale, Arizona, Rod became Head Pro/Tennis Director at Mt. Tam Racquet Club. In 1982 he also became General Manager.

Rod is the most experienced tennis club expert I know. He can explain to you in detail how court surfaces are created and why his surfaces are better for your joints. I am very lucky that he is a long-time writer for Tennis Club Business and proves month after month that he knows our industry like few other tennis professionals.

Rod, too, let me tape an episode of 'Tennis in a Minute' with him. Enjoy!

It was time to travel back home to Los Angeles. But I had one more person to see in Walnut Creek. To do so, I needed to drive across the 5.5 miles long Richmond-San Rafael Bridge over San Francisco Bay and past San Quentin State Prison. It was a sunny morning and that drive was breathtaking.

In Walnut Creek I met with a woman who knows NorCal recreational tennis like the back of her hand. Alison Vidal was on the UC Davis Tennis Team, worked for Barry MacKay Productions and for Major League Baseball followed by a 12-year stint at the USTA NorCal section. Today she is Director of Recruiting and Outreach for Lifetime Activities, a program provider for 6 public tennis facilities in the area.

I enjoyed that conversation a lot and hope I can help Alison grow tennis in NorCal.

The drive back south was only 5 1/2 hours long. Time enough to reminisce and realize why so many tennis people are quite happy in Northern California: The area is just plain beautiful with lush greens and nice bridges over gorgeous waterways. Btw, both times I didn't have to pay bridge tolls. The Golden Gate only requires it when you drive toward San Francisco. The Richmond-San Rafel Bridge only requires toll when you travel westbound. Lucky me.

I look forward to my next trip up north. 

The man who does so much for Chicago's tennis community has one heck of a podcast!


I met Kamau Murray, the man who is best known for coaching Sloane Stephens to the 2017 US Open title, last year in Chicago. Susan Klumpner, ED of the first recipient of the Tennis Ambassador package, The Ace Project, had invited me to visit a large NJTL event with tons of kids at Kamau's facility XS Tennis Village. Since I love smart and successful tennis people, I followed his career and only recently found his podcast. 


So the pro tour is the main topic of Kamau's podcast and looking at his recent guest list, you see quite a few familiar names: 

  • Coach Rob Steckley on Finding His Calling, Guiding Lucie Safarova & Denis Shapovalov, and Pushing The Right Buttons.

  • UCLA Women's Coach Stella Sampras On Building a Winning Program & Developing A Competitive Culture

  • Coco Vandeweghe On Still Competing and Going Against The Grain

  • Luke Jensen's Stories of Roland Garros, World Team Tennis, & Having Fun in the Game

  • Five-Time NCAA National Champion Coach Peter Smith On His Life In The Game


"Kamau Murray is an established tennis coach and community leader who takes you inside the game you love. Tune in each week to hear Kamau interview prolific guests and players, and discuss what really goes on behind the scenes of the tennis tour." (Site intro)

  • Miami Open Analysis & Clay Court Contenders With Craig O'Shannessy

  • Craig O'Shannessy on the Triumph of Carlos Alcaraz at Indian Wells, & A Preview of The Miami Open

  • Brian Teacher: From Australian Open Glory to Changing The Game with the Full Court Tennis App

  • Award Winning Coach & Critically Acclaimed Author Frank Giampaolo On Maximizing Tennis Potential

Here's the link to the podcasts.

My take: I love Kamau's podcasts. He's knowledgeable and asks the right questions!

LA's MountainGate Country Club hosted the finals and became the winning team


MountainGate Country Club was graciously letting us use their courts for the first-ever City Slams SoCal Championships and their team - representing the city of Los Angeles - won it! The other finalist was Studio City, a team that is mainly playing out of Weddington Golf & Tennis. They were fighting hard and it was very close in 3 of the 6 sets played but in the end, it was Los Angeles with the W.


The photo below shows the Los Angeles team with team captain Carlos Yguico (4th from left). The man towering above everyone is Brian Teacher. The 1980 Australian Open Singles Champion not only knows something about winning in tennis, but he was also nice enough to hand out the trophies for Champions and Finalists. He also told us some funny memories of the 1980 Australian Open where he had to withdraw, then was allowed to come back in and finally won the whole thing.


Brian Teacher also let the teams in on his new business. He created an App called FCT (Full Court Tennis) where everyone can connect to the world's top ATP and WTA coaches for in-app virtual lessons, match analysis, free tips, and drills.

MATCHi is a Göteburg, Sweden based complete booking system for
racquet sports venues worldwide

Formed in 2012, MATCHi had been mainly involved in bookings for tennis and lately also for Padel. Their website states, "Our CEO attended the opening of the first European POP Tennis venue The US success sport, POP Tennis, has now officially landed in Sweden. During the weekend, Play Sports Academy opened its doors to the first-ever indoor POP Tennis venue in Europe and our very own CEO, Daniel Ekman, was there to experience it all."


The MATCHi website states, "During the years, we’ve been fortunate enough to help the racket sports we all know and love grow and prosper. Now, we’ve been acquainted with a new one: POP Tennis. A sport that’s widely popular in the US with thousands of courts available across the nation. Its popularity has now seen it travel “across the pond” to Karlstad, Sweden. Being close to our CEO’s hometown, it only felt fitting to let Daniel attend the grand opening of Europe's first-ever indoor POP Tennis venue at Play Sport Academy - who are using the MATCHi platform."

Read article here.

My take: I haven't seen the MATCHi booking platform in the U.S. yet but I'm happy that Mitch Kutner's "POP Missionary" is getting traction overseas now. For me, POP, Spec, and Padel are way better alternatives if I ever have to leave tennis or if my work allowed me to pick up another sport.





Southern California tennis players have no voice at the USTA section and now it seems that the CEO is also throwing thousands of them under the bus!

This article has two parts as if one troubled area of a USTA section is not enough. The first one (USTA SOCAL PLAGUED BY HARASSMENT AND USTA'S INACTION) was sent to me by The Commish and instead of putting it in the Letters section, I decided to feature it here. It was written by The Commish for a reason because I'm hearing that the amount of retaliation the League department is engaged in for decades is astounding. A player wrote me last year that a local league coordinator encouraged team captains to target a complaining captain with bullet tennis balls during league play. I kid you not! I've been saying for a long time that tennis players, especially USTA adult league players, have no say in Southern California. (In my mind, I'm seeing the faces of the CEO, COO, and President in front of me saying "That's right! Why should they have a say?" These people are capable of mind-boggling arrogance in my opinion.)


The second part (IS THE USTA SOCAL CEO THROWING SAN FERNANDO VALLEY TENNIS PLAYERS UNDER THE BUS?) comes from a shocking and blatantly misinformed announcement that looks like one of the unforced errors the previous CEO used to make. Does all this sound very much like the article USTA Southern California - A Legacy Destroyed? Who's coming to the rescue of a sinking ship?  I wrote in July of 2021? Yep!


Let's begin with what looks like a sad state of affairs of a once great section.


By The Commish


USTA SoCal further descends into chaos as harassment and unfair practices marred the experience for one team. After parting ways with a problematic teammate in SFV, the team faced relentless interference from their ex-teammate, who strategically joined a rival team backed by an LA Coordinator. The USTA SoCal failed to address the escalating situation, leading to multiple instances of unfair play and a disregard for player well-being.


The ex-teammate and the LA Coordinator's friends followed the team from match to match, provoking confrontations, manipulating match schedules, interfering with matches, and even threatening baseless grievances. Despite providing extensive documentation, including photos and videos, the USTA SoCal introduced a ban on capturing evidence. The captain's plea for action resulted in a mere suggestion to "lay low" while the USTA SoCal claimed to investigate.


In frustration, the captain announced her final season leading teams, but the harassment intensified anyway. Fake grievances were filed against her, even though there was no evidence of misconduct in any official USTA capacity. Witness statements from over 10 teammates confirming the captain's harassment were dismissed by the USTA SoCal, favoring their own employee and their friends. The captain's warning to involve legal counsel was met with further retaliation as the LA Coordinator assisted a very close friend in filing another grievance over an issue that involved not reversing a defaulted line. The flawed and non-independent grievance process further compounded the team's plight. Additionally, the USTA SoCal’s lack of privacy policies, data protection, and consumer rights safeguards raised concerns about player well-being and safety.


This distressing account highlights the challenges faced by recreational tennis players in the face of harassment and the USTA SoCal’s failure to address grievances in a fair and impartial manner. Urgent reform within the organization is necessary to restore trust and ensure fair play, player safety, and the integrity of the sport.

Furthermore, the absence of basic privacy policies, customer service protocols, and consumer rights measures within USTA raises legal concerns. Under California law, for example, organizations are required to have comprehensive privacy policies in place to protect individuals' personal information. The USTA SoCal’s apparent disregard for these legal obligations casts doubt on their commitment to safeguarding players' privacy and data. Similarly, the lack of customer service policies and procedures deprives players of essential avenues for addressing grievances and ensures accountability. This failure to meet even the most fundamental legal requirements further compounds the frustration and disillusionment experienced by participants in the recreational tennis league.

My take: If you look at the results of a survey among USTA SoCal league players last year, you can understand why that subject is so frustrating. (Trouble in SoCal Tennis Paradise) About 86% of the responses reported they encountered cheating captains and the incidents reported in that survey are more than troubling. I can tell you right now what leadership did after we published the data: absolutely nothing. They probably said "That survey was biased" just to have an excuse to not do anything. In my experience, bad actors in any industry are only there because leadership lets them. You always have to go to the top because that's where it all starts. That was the case in 2006 when I got to know that section quite well, and that is the case today. And the Board of Directors? They must know what's going on in the league department by now because I know for a fact that some of them read this newsletter. But they seem to be as inactive as the rest of the SCTA leadership. Remember? "Ignore the noise"

Leadership probably laughed at my suggestion to give their staff some customer service training but that's OK. I knew they would not take me seriously. Today I'm reiterating that suggestion and adding another area they need training at: De-escalating of issues with players and captains.

Personally, I think there is only one way to ever make some positive changes to that section: Someone needs to file a lawsuit. Or, maybe all those USTA league players need to stay away for a season. When money talks, organizations change.

Who is looking out for Southern California league players?

Not the USTA section!

USTA league players have no voice in SoCal!

we empower the powerless!



By Rich Neher


Throwing tennis players under the bus is not unusual for USTA leadership in my humble opinion. Remember the national Board's decision to not support U.S. college players as other nations' NGBs do? Or the national league department's decision to let Transgender women play on league teams - no questions asked? (When that hits your section and your teams, you can't say I haven't warned you!)

The latest travesty when it comes to the issue that Southern California tennis players have no voice when SoCal USTA leadership makes decisions or when there is reason for complaints but nobody wants to listen: The highly controversial issue of Weddington Golf & Tennis.

For something like 15 years, San Fernando Valley tennis players have been fighting with local residents to keep tennis (and golf) at this property in Studio City. When the owners wanted to turn the entire property with 16 tennis courts into condos, we all stood up, fought it, and won. When the same owners changed plans and proposed to build senior homes where the tennis courts are, we all stood up, fought it, and won. When Harvard-Westlake School, a school for very rich kids, bought the property and proposed a plan to turn it into their athletic center with two football fields, a large 3-court basketball gymnasium, a big swimming pool and, eventually, 8 tennis courts, we stood up again. That fight is still ongoing. And the Southern California USTA section has now injected itself in that fight but not on the player's side! (Surprise, surprise. Players never had a voice in SoCal!) The SCTA always THINKS they speak for the players but their actions always SHOW they are only in for the programs that make THEM money.

The announcement on the SCTA website: Harvard-Westlake partners with USTA SoCal to bring community tennis programming to the River Park reads like a dream come true for tennis players but it is riddled with misinformation and omissions. To begin with, HW was quite the dishonest entity when it came to pulling the wool over the local residents' eyes in regard to that planned 'playground for rich kids.' Much of the announcement is HW-created hogwash, as usual. I don't want to get into anything but tennis right now because otherwise, I'm getting a stomach ulcer before the article is finished. The fact that CEO Kroneman signed off on this and is quoted in glowing style is quite troubling, my friends.

First of all, those "8 brand new tennis courts" will be the result of taking 16 existing tennis courts out and leaving the community with no courts for the duration of construction which is supposed to be up to 3 years!


So, USTA SoCal, you're telling me that taking away 16 courts and, 3 years later, generously giving back 8 courts is something you should celebrate?

Second, how much do you think the public will have access to on those 8 courts? Today we have to already fight with daily HW team practice, the fact that any HW student can book courts anytime and for free, and about two dozen tennis pros to get court time. And today we have 16 courts. Sixteen much-needed courts, Mr. CEO! Did you actually know that?


Here is where the public community access to tennis courts will rank for the 8 planned courts in 3 years:

1. Harvard Westlake School Tennis Team

2. Other Harvard Westlake students

3. USTA League play

4. USTA Tournaments

5. USTA Coaching Development

6. Any other plans HW haven't even told us yet

7. Other teaching pros and their programs

8. The public

That will be the new reality, Mr. CEO. Don't doubt me here. This comes at a time when we players and many local residents are still fighting to keep the 16 tennis courts under the motto "It's not a done deal!" And the CEO signed off on this. He is either blatantly unaware of the good fight we are fighting or he doesn't care and just wants the SCTA in the headlines for some reason. Which one is it, Mr. CEO? Remember your predecessor? She tried a similar stunt with HW. This and other blunders left us players dumbfounded. And now you're going that route, too? You could have, of course, consulted with the affected players, your members, before you stepped into that shitshow. But then again, read below...

Who is looking out for Southern California league players?

Not the USTA section!

USTA league players have no voice in SoCal!

we empower the powerless!



Brett Knight covers the business of sports for Forbes


Serena Williams earned an estimated $45.3 million over the last 12 months, but the lower revenue in women’s sports leagues keeps other female athletes trailing their male counterparts.

Brett writes, "Naomi Osaka set an earnings record for female athletes with an estimated $60 million in the 12 months ending May 1, 2021, enough to rank her 12th among all athletes. The following year, she nearly matched that mark with $59.2 million, coming in at No. 19 on the earnings list. But with injuries keeping her off the tennis court for much of the last year and her pregnancy extending her absence—limiting not only her prize money but also her sponsorship income—she falls out of the ranks of the 50 highest-paid athletes this year for the first time since 2019.

Serena Williams.jpg


That leaves just one woman on the elite list: Serena Williams, who lands at No. 49 after making an estimated $45.3 million over the last 12 months before taxes and agents’ fees, the vast majority from endorsement deals with more than a dozen brands, including Nike, Lincoln and Michelob Ultra.

Read more here.

My take: Good for Serena. She also does smart investing in a lot of startups and gives a lot to charities. I applaud here.



Marija Zivlak of Women's Tennis Blog elevates the topic

Marija writes, "Amidst the cake-gate and silent trophy ceremony at the Madrid Open, the controversy surrounding WTA players has spilled over to the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. Adding fuel to the fire, the Rome tournament raised eyebrows by commencing the women’s singles final at the perplexing hour of 11 pm. This decision left both fans and players in agony, but the drama didn’t end there. Angelo Binaghi, the president of the Italian Tennis Federation, commented on the excessive scheduling of women’s matches on center court, which prompted the crowd to flock to smaller courts, leading to overcrowding and security issues."


She continues explaining that the Italian Open features top players from all over the world but it looks like the current WTA players, including the world No.1 Iga Swiatek, don’t seem to attract enough spectators.

Read full article here.

My take: As a big fan of women's tennis, I feel the WTA needs to do more to bring that sport to the foreground in every country. Barriers need to be removed. Advocates need to be identified. Action plans need to be put in place. (Am I the only person thinking that the Italian Open management looked like a bunch of amateurs?)


Is the USTA throwing the Midwest under the bus?

The situation leading up to the sale of the Western & Southern Open last year was unfortunate but that's the way things turn out sometimes. If the USTA hadn't been in debt to the tune of $726M, mainly because of reckless (Board-approved) spending, they would have probably not dreamed about selling the only asset in their portfolio that was profitable besides the US Open. 

But what's done is done and no one can tell me that the new owner, Ben Navarro of Beemok Capital hasn't planned to move it to Charlotte, NC from before he even approached the USTA.


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times in Cincinnati and Charlotte.

I read that one of the morals of 'A Tale of Two Cities' is that things are not always as they seem. From the outset, we are led to believe that nobody at the USTA had any idea about the planned move of an entire tournament to another state. A tournament that had been in the Midwest for a hundred years and is a hugely popular fixture in the Cincinnati area and beyond. Of course, they knew but they couldn't let that cat out of the bag because of the expected backlash.

Why I'm so sure that the move was planned from before day one? Well, for starters, Navarro only bought the sanction for the tournament which was owned by the USTA. They paid between $250M and $300M for that sanction and it included neither the land nor the facility (Lindner Tennis Center). The other hint is from the Beemok Capital promotional material: "Beemok Hospitality Group is a Charleston-based company that seeks out world-class hotel, restaurant, and entertainment investment opportunities throughout the Southeast." Here we go, folks, it says Southeast and not Midwest. Duh!

And then, of course, there are those beautiful plans submitted to the City of Charlotte for pitching the new "Project Break Point" in the River District of west Charlotte. See images below. 


Ben Navarro was described to me as a guy with a terrible personality but I'm thinking he's also a very successful businessman. For him, this is just another business transaction. But one that would secure his legacy in the Carolinas even more than many of his other projects. His people have now pitched the new project to the City of Charlotte while pretending they are open to a solution that would keep the tournament in Ohio. Baloney. I don't believe that for a minute. It's called pulling the wool over your Buckeyes.

In Cincinnati....

... Politicians make Ohioans believe that a few million invested in the property would turn it into a 2 weeks, 96-draw event capable of making Navarro change his mind.

... Officials seem to make people believe it's just a matter of dollars for the tournament to expand in Ohio.

... People not only believe the move is not a done deal but many really think there's no way someone would do that to them.

... No one seems to seriously planning for the future of the Lindner Tennis Center. It's probably ripe for the picking by the Pickleball Raiders.

... I reached out to half a dozen Cincinnati Tennis Directors and only one replied. Brian Schubert, USPTA, PTR, (Director of Junior Tennis of the Five Seasons Sports Club, and Director of Tennis of the Cincinnati Tennis Foundation sent me the following comment:

I think in Cincinnati, the news of the potential move of the Western & Southern Open to Charlotte has been something that shocked a lot of people. The talking point from some is that a sense of complacency that the tournament "would always be in Cincinnati" with the tradition and popularity it has, could potentially lead to this move. Now, those people are pushed into trying to make things happen to keep the tournament in town, but it could be too late. Obviously, having a tournament of this magnitude has been a huge way of igniting tennis in the community and is why Cincinnati has a lot of tennis players and tennis clubs for a city this size. If the tournament leaves, the trickle-down impact to the community would be big in the upcoming years.

In Charlotte...

... City Politicians are already scraping the $130M together that Navarro is demanding as the public investment into his legacy project with an estimated but most likely to be exceeded $400M

... Most people are looking forward to this project being completed and giving North Carolina a super duper tennis footprint.

... Looks like no one in Charlotte believes this is not a done deal.

... ... I reached out to half a dozen Charlotte Tennis Directors and no one replied.

pickleball component will also be part of the tennis complex

No matter what the decision, one community will be quite disappointed

In the Charles Dickens masterpiece, Sydney Carton takes on a mythical aspect in sacrificing himself to save his friends. He represents the sacrificial hero who is ritually slaughtered of his own free will so that society might renew itself, a prospect he envisions before he dies.

My take: In this case, it seems the USTA, probably fully knowing what Beemok's plans are, has sacrificed the entire Midwest section to get relief from their debt burden so they can renew themselves and keep on wasting good money on obscene salaries. I know it's a term I keep repeating over and over when it comes to the USTA and some of their sections, but to me, it seems they have thrown the Midwest tennis players under the bus. Again.


Can this terrible trend be stopped?


The headline is "West Liberty gets rid of Men’s and Women’s Tennis Programs" and I'm overcome with sadness. Damn it - another one. 

My take: West Liberty University may be a small school southwest of Pittsburgh, just on the border to Ohio, but apparently, tennis was not as important as Men’s and Women’s Basketball; Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track and Field; Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field; Men’s and Women’s Soccer; Men’s and Women’s Golf; Men’s and Women’s Cross Country; Softball; Volleyball; Baseball; Football and Wrestling, Acrobatics & frigging Tumbling.



Not so fast, bucko!

I never really thought Heather Hawkes had a good grip on NTRP tennis ratings. Her LinkedIn profile says that she is still working with the ITF as 'WTN Implementation Strategist' while she's at the same time looking for work. Well, she was invited to speak at the SoCal USPTA conference a few weeks ago and that's where she made that rather audacious statement that WTN will be dominant by the end of 2024 with no way of actually being able to back it up.

Let's be clear about one thing. UTR is still the dominant platform when it comes to ratings where they count: In the college space, for instance. The ITA is working hard to change that but I have my ears to the ground and I hear that college coaches don't give a crap about WTN. They'll continue to use UTR because it's better, it's available, and the players know it well. While ClubSpark is having a hard time making WTN work in the U.S. and hoping people like Heather Hawkes can smooth the waves with a lot of ballyhoos, Mark Leschly is working hard to a) improve and expand UTR and b) introduce new and innovative ways to actually help and be constructive instead of blindly trying to make their system relevant like the WTN folks.

I looked into some of the countries that, according to the ITF, have pledged to use WTN to its full extent. Amazingly, that may be true for countries like the UK, Senegal, Ireland, and Kazakhstan, but where it really counts, there are a lot of question marks. Let's look at some important tennis countries.


The German ranking system is based on what’s called an LK (Leistungsklasse or ‘performance class’) structure and players are classified from LK-1 (best level) to LK-23 (beginner). Regardless of age, everyone has an LK rating - which makes competition exciting at every tournament you play, the player's LK rating is next to their name on the draw sheets. One German coach, when asked about implementing WTN said, Hell no! When I approached the DTB President, he chose to not reply. That should tell you something.


The basis of the French tennis circuit is the classement system, which is everybody's ranking. Quite similar to the German LK system. The more tournaments you play and the more higher-ranked players you beat, the more your own ranking goes up. But the French have also a rating system, ITN, the International Tennis Number, the precursor to the WTN. I have a feeling, there's little chance that France will utilize WTN. They rather stick to using their classement system and the ITN.

Tennis Australia is an investor in Universal Tennis. I assume they will use both systems.


A tennis director from Seville told me that "Spain uses a survival of the strongest ranking system. 1 and only one Ranking for the entire country.  No regions, no age groups, no nothing. One Ranking for all males and one for female players." He had not heard of any other ranking systems in Spain and thinks as of now there is not much interest in a World Tennis Number or any other number. 


Tennis Canada is reportedly all in with WTN although there's nothing about it on their website. I've seen the document NATIONAL COMPETITION STRUCTURE RECOMMENDATION & IMPLEMENTATION PLAN (WTN Challenge Matches – Information for NTC & RTC Coaches). It's a roadmap for WTN implementation.

I think there is a big difference between countries like Namibia sending in their national data to be included for WTN just so they get their annual tickets to the President's Box at the French Open, and Germany where you have to declare war to make them change a system over a million DTB members are happy with. And Spaniards would probably give up bullfighting before they change their tennis system. Time will tell but if Heather Hawkes was right, I will be the first one apologizing for ever doubting her.

I was surprised to see what a 16-year-old student from Wayland, Massachusetts wrote in his student newspaper Wayland  Student Press: Trending on Tennis: USTA’s new rating system is horrible. Give that guy an A+.


No big advertisers and an increasingly irritated crowd of revolting viewers (Just ask Rennae Stubbs!)


Like in the case of the USTA Southern California section, the motto of 'watch what they're doing, not what they're saying' is also applicable to The Tennis Channel. Today I don't want to get into the entire Sinclair Broadcasting/Regional Sports Networks dilemma. According to the Sports Business Journal, Sinclair has rectified this dilemma by moving TC "from the holding company’s broadcast group and under the Sinclair Ventures umbrella. Tennis Channel is now adjacent to the company’s real estate and private equity investments and well removed from the broadcast group and its troubled Diamond Sports regional sports networks." Sinclair CEO Christopher Ripley seems very optimistic when he said, "...we’re very bullish about tennis in the future as [our reach] expands globally.” Good for them.

So, here is my assessment of the situation:

Based on this recent Sports Business Journal article, Tennis Channel's current distribution is 40 million households and Tennis Channel's subscriber fee per month among cable/satellite providers is $0.17. If we do simple match ($.17 per subscriber per month x 12 months per year x 40 million US households, TC's distribution revenue should be approximately  $81.6 million. 

Also, based on this recent Sports Business Journal article, Tennis Channel's distribution peaked at 65 million households. According to online resources, the network's distribution appears to have peaked just prior to the pandemic. Based on the Sports Business Journal article, Tennis Channel's per subscriber fee per month among cable/satellite providers in 2019-2020 was $0.15-$0.16. Again, if we do simple math ($.16 per subscriber per month x 12 months per year x 65 million households) TC's distribution revenue at the time should have been approximately $124.8 million. If TC has lost approximately $43.2 million in distribution revenue in 3 years, is the company really ready for expansion? Or is this article simply paid media to create some positive press during an era of cord-cutting and a difficult time for Sinclair Broadcast Group and Diamond Sports Group?

While Pickleball is all over the Tennis Channel now, it is nowhere to be seen on the TC Twitter feed, and only mentioned once in the SBJ article: "It’s rapidly adding pickleball and padel coverage, too, to fortify itself as the home of racket and paddle sports broadcasting."

Boasting "almost 2,000 hours of French Open live coverage" may also be misinformation. You know that coverage is mostly outer courts, delayed matches, and hours on end of old repeats. NBC and Peacock have the rights to the juicy matches.

Below I have posted a Twitter thread that was started by women's doubles legend Rennae Stubbs. Gives you a glimpse into the public sentiment of some people when it comes to The Tennis Channel.

While I personally wish the Tennis Channel to succeed, I kind of doubt the current CEO has the ability to assess the market and make solid decisions for the channel's future. Time will tell.


Bump Ride McGee 


I’m playing at NTC tomorrow and got a notice that the site will be busy all week because of a pickleball tournament. At the national _tennis_ center.

Rennae Stubbs 


What!? I was going to play there this weekend

Bump Ride McGee 


It's the 23-28th. They are using outdoor courts but I'm unsure how many. I'm playing inside in a program.

APP New York Open — NYC Pickleball

Register here Tournament Dates Starts: 05/23/23 Ends: 05/28/23 Cancellation Dates Cancellation Deadline: 04/25/23 Location USTA Billie Jean King

Tom Smith






three dudes


Dirk Dickens


Sounds like the 2nd Serve show I’ve seen this week on the

@TennisChannel Where they have 2 hosts and a guest and tennis is on in a split screen as background noise to the interview. An odd format.

Marcia M


Did they ever show Gauff-Pegula live in the Rome final? I couldn’t find them on TTC or on TC plus. Unbelievable. And there have been many signal interruptions from tournaments—not sure if this is TTC’s fault, but it’s annoying.


Julie Moore


It is crazy. It is qualification week for RG and there are at least 3 other tournaments happening. And @TennisChannel cannot find tennis to broadcast?

Henry Q


Would be amazing if they could fill that time and show retro matches, especially ones from the 80s and 90s. But I guess ESPN owns those?


Rebecca Winter


That really is the best comparison. It's madness.




Our satellite contract is up this summer, and for years I’ve paid top $ for the package that includes @TennisChannel but I’m exploring a lower level as I just don’t watch it anymore. Pickle ball, beach volleyball? No. @dish


Aaron King


I feel you! They do this a lot and it's INCREDIBLY annoying! #rantaway

Stephanie Preston


I was not into this dual picture thing with matches overlaid with dudes talking.


Tamera Bilicic


AGREED! What is it now? The Racquet Channel? It’s a racquet taking my money when I expect to see Tennis!



So done, also if they want to talk like this they can start a podcast…


Sandra Toulon, PHR, SHRM-CP


I am with you on this one Rennae


Justin Saj


So well said. It’s ludicrous!



And those pickleball experts(?) was commenting a tennis match uggh…

mala lee


I’m glad someone said it…




Analogy spot on


Matt Stillm


The worst




I agree!!!!!



Better than broadcast women's tennis final to broadcast pickleball match wait... they did it already




It's really fallen off hill since you left queen


Reva Nadal


rick schuchman



Dawn Haller



Tim Bray


I agree! I like that analogy as someone who can’t stand pickleball on court next to a tennis match. Putt putt is to golf as pickleball is to tennis


Vital Jungle





Yeah it’s a joke

The Nancer #BLM


THIS MUST STOP! ugh. I SO agree!



HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Go off!!

mike zarra


Gross content. Especially with endless NCAA matches


Rafa, siempre


I played tennis in an indoor TENNIS center last week and by the time I was done this was the scene

paul shmotolokha


Pickle ball on tv is more boring than ping pong on tv


Gwendolyn Watkins


They’re trying to force people to subscribe to TC Plus. Not happening


Beth Hanks


It's bad enough having to listen to 3 or 4 people drone on and on while they're broadcasting matches. But to listen to all the pickleball crap was beyond the pale. I changed the channel.


Kenneth M. Walsh


It’s so disheartening to tennis fans. How do we make it stop? @solo_ken


Lucia Drumgould




Mark Martinez


Seriously!!!! I AM PAYING FOR TENNIS COVERAGE! NOT pickleball!!! WTF?!

The Tennisologist


I have disagreed with you in the past but on this score you are 100% spot on. The amount of pickleball on @TennisChannel is an abomination! Why do they think that people who pay to watch tennis would want to watch pickleball? All tennis, all the time. Please and thank you.


Patrick Flaherty, DO, FACC


don’t even get me started on the disastrous TC coverage of Indian Wells this year. Recently cut the cord from the wreck that is DTV, opting for YouTube, which doesn’t have TC available as an add on. Had to buy 2nd package through Sling, to watch ONE thing! No/min other coverage.


Luis Morejon


TennisChannel Sucks! Twice now they changed coverage terms where you had to go through cable provider to watch men finals, despite having annual subscription!




Thank you, Rennae! I saw that too and, after saying WTF is this?, I turned it off. Tennis Channel is doing some really awful stuff since ultra-conservative Sinclair bought it. Ugh

No Assembly Required


Second Serve has to go. Watching/listening to fifth-rate talking heads yacking about nothing while contemplating the lint in their bellybuttons is just a waste of time. The worst.

leo serrano


What is putt putt ? Nevermind..I guess I have to ask alexa….


Rennae Stubbs 


Mini golf


Raja Vidhun


Why don’t they start a Pick ball channel and leave us alone They convert our courts and now the channels


Amy Cooper


Seriously! It’s really annoying




Renee, tennischannel + is on sale. Use code TcSux for 20% off

Steve Craig


Classic coup tactic: seize the media outlets. It was bad enough when they re-striped public courts.




Tennis Channel is getting worse. We have got to find an alternative


Daniel Brehmer


Lol... gotta love tennis Swim & Racquet Center in Boca Raton... Did a few Charters with Wilt... Shh...


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.

bottom of page