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THE GOOD

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NEW SOCAL TRANSITION PRO CIRCUIT TOUR

Tour Supervisor says the caliber of play is off the charts

 

CONTEXT:  Aspiring Southern California-based tennis players have few opportunities to earn ATP and WTA ranking points without traveling to South America or Europe. To respond to this player development need, the United States Tennis Association’s Southern California section has announced a unique series of six pro events for men and six pro events for women to take place in Southern California this summer.

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The SoCal Pro Circuit is a transitional tour designed to create a path to the pro ranks for up-and-coming professional, college, and high-level junior players (with all main draw and qualifying wild cards to each event going to American players from Southern California or attending university full-time in Southern California). The first three $15,000 tournaments – part of the ITF World Tennis Tour and USTA Pro Circuit – took place in San Diego County, with the final three events in Los Angeles and Orange County.

SoCal Transition Pro Circuit Tour Supervisor Cathy Jacobsen:

"The SoCal Transition Pro Circuit Tour got off to a fabulous start with the completion of the third event of the San Diego swing. We enjoyed a great turnout, and the caliber of play proved to be off the charts! Both the fans and players enjoyed watching and competing in these combined men’s and women's events featuring Southern California’s future tennis stars. The goal of The SoCal Pro Circuit, which launched this year, is not only to showcase some of the most talented up-and-coming Men’s and Women’s players based in and around Southern California but also to prepare these accomplished young athletes for a career in professional tennis. We are looking forward to the Los Angeles swing of events on the Tour, starting July 27 which includes three tournaments hosted by Jack Kramer Club, Los Caballeros, and finishing up at Lakewood Tennis Center. If you enjoy watching professional tennis at its best, come out and see Southern California’s cream of the crop in action!"

THE HEAD RETHINK PROJECT

Rethink Your Ball Choice

CONTEXT:  Recycling, saving the planet, global warming, and carbon footprint, are all issues on most people's minds nowadays. While we are waiting for tennis industry giants to tell us their game plan to help save the planet, HEAD has made the start and we applaud them for it.

The HEAD e-mail message on 6/21: "We know you care about the planet. That's why we've developed a more sustainable tennis ball for coaches and recreational players. Not only is the package plastic-free, but the balls will last longer, reducing waste significantly. Did we mention the ball itself is also made of 10% recycled material?"

From the HEAD website: The semi-pressurized HEAD RESET Ball is a more sustainable choice for coaches and recreational players, delivered in a 4-ball carton made from 100% recycled materials.

Unfortunately, HEAD Reset balls are only available in Europe right now. Stay tuned for more announcements.

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LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

USPTA World Conference back in the Big Easy September 18-23, 2022

CONTEXT:  Racquet Sports Industry quotes John Embree in their July issue, "We had originally planned to host the 2020 WC at this location but because of COVID, we postponed it until this year. It was helpful that the hotel was flexible to accommodate us this year. We were last here in 2015. And, as you may remember back then, it was a monumental moment in our illustrious ninety- five years when at that World Conference, the Executive Committee voted to relocate our World Headquarters from Houston to Lake Nona. On so many levels, that decision was transformative."

And the USPTA is apparently going all out to provide a memorable event. Besides an impressive lineup of speakers, the event calendar shows specialty courses, merchandise & trade show, general meeting, division parties, awards luncheon, workshops, Creole Queen River Cruise, XGLOSIVE Tennis Party. TE1/TE2 certifications, and (drumroll) two 4-hour sessions of Pickleball certifications. 

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One of the highlights of WC22: The induction of Dr. Jim Loehr and Dr. Jack Groppel into the USPTA Hall of Fame.

Information and registration here.

3 x NEWS FROM CONGA SPORTS

1. First-time participation at a trade show

CONTEXT:  Conga Sports, my new company, is creating a network of players, teaching professionals, and facilities in California with the goal of providing innovative and fun experiences for beginning and existing tennis players. Starting in 2023, Conga is planning to expand to other states with a target of being present nationwide by the end of 2025.

I'm happy to confirm that Conga Sports will be one of the exhibitors at the 2022 PTR International Tennis Symposium on November 10-14 in the Indian Wells area of California. For the first time, we'll be available to explain our strategy for the benefit of facilities and what we can do for participating tennis professionals in our network.

2. SoCal teaching professional Veronica Badon joins Conga Sports Advisory Board

CONTEXT:  The Conga Sports Advisory Board is comprised of professionals from the worlds of tennis, business, and entrepreneurship. I'm very proud of the quality of advisors that help me. Here's the page.

Now I'm very pleased to announce another addition to our Advisory Board: Southern California teaching professional Veronica Badon, owner of the Badon Tennis Academy in Altadena near Pasadena. I'm sure her huge experience working in underserved communities will be a great asset for Conga Sport.

Btw, we wrote about Veronica in this March 2021 article.

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3. Tennis Ambassador - a first of its kind in the U.S.A.

CONTEXT: For the longest time, I've been dreaming about a way to help organizations and players that really need support. A large number of tennis nonprofits do an outstanding job in underserved communities with very few resources and you never hear from them. Their administration costs are tiny, salaries are often non-existent or laughably low, and they still keep plugging away often being the only connection some of the poorest kids have with meaningful exercise and development. I am very happy to report that I secured the help of three industry-leading companies whose executives think like me. Slinger, HEAD Penn Racquet Sports, and Billie Jean King Eye Coach. Under the leadership of Conga Sports, these three companies will supply some of their product to deserving recipients starting in July and from there on every month for one year.

Our press release will go out at the beginning of July but I can already tell you who the first recipient is: The Ace Project of Chicago - and now also Detroit and Baltimore. "Building Strengths, Empowering Communities" is their motto and that's what they're doing really well. Co-founded by Leah Friedman and Executive Director Susan Klumpner, the Ace team believes that "community members inspire solutions." Susan posts on their website, "Ace outmatches the cycles that limit opportunity and success by breaking down barriers for students, families, and schools."

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I will be in Chicago on July 15 to hand over equipment to Susan. If any of our readers would like to help out defray the expenses a little, please do so here: https://gofund.me/a924fdd2. Thank you! This is a unique effort and I'm proud to be part of it! Thank you, HEAD, Slinger, and Eye Coach. Those companies really stepped up for an excellent cause.

THE MODERNIZATION OF TENNIS

'And yet, to fans of Real Tennis, nothing could be more vulgar'

Matthew Willis of THE RACQUET fame is one of the most talented tennis writers I know. His insights into the game, the people, and the tours are invaluable and I often share his analyses with our readers. Unfortunately, he just announced he's going "on hiatus" because he's apparently not enjoying it anymore. Too bad. To celebrate his work, I decided to repost one of his best articles, THE MODERNIZATION OF TENNIS which he published in 2020. It's very long but well worth the read. Enjoy it here.

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THE BAD

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THE GREAT PICKLEBALL WAR

Guest commentary by Bill Patton

CONTEXT: We've been raising the alarm lately about overly aggressive Pickleball advances into the tennis turf. The sentiment of many of our readers is we should not give up tennis courts so easily. I go with Martina Navratilova's opinion and agree with her saying "Go get your own damn courts!"

Then Tennis magazine published their July/August issue with Pickleball tour champion Ben Johns on the cover. That got some tennis aficionados' blood boiling pretty good. I asked tennis professional, high school coach, author, and speaker Bill Patton to comment.

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THE GREAT PICKLEBALL WAR

Before World War One, Winston Churchill, vitally interested in military matters visited Germany to try to convince the Kaiser and military leaders not to provoke a war. In the same way, I would like to visit those pushing Pickleball not to invade tennis courts. Because it will provoke war. I want to challenge the USPTennisA, the PTennisR, and the USTennisA to stick to their mission, and not contribute to the conflict. A house divided cannot stand.

The most recent raw numbers show that tennis has grown at approximately the same number of players as the entire population of pickleball. I’m teaching so many beginners, I can barely keep up. 

 

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I don’t hate Pickleball. I support the idea of sedentary people getting active, but they must get their own spaces! I support Pickleball having dedicated Pickleball courts, it will be better for them. 

I was appalled when a Pickleball player showed up on the cover of tennis magazine. If I had been in that meeting where it was discussed, ‘what should go on the cover of Tennis Magazine’, I would have said anything but Pickleball. I would have asked the question, “What is the name of our magazine?”, or, “Should we consider changing the name of our magazine?” Pickleball, get your own magazine, your own teaching organizations.

 

Pickleball is not a bridge to tennis, don’t kid yourself, but SpecTennis is. Pickleball is where hurt or old tennis players go to play a racquet sport. Marginal tennis talents are now dominant in pickleball, that should say it all. Pickleball, hold your own educational events, and let’s see who attends. Not that I care to take attendance, I just don’t think many people are really interested in learning to teach it. 

Now though it’s time for tennis players to rise up and say there are 24,000,000 of us, and 5,000,000 of you, get your own courts. Tennis courts are being converted to pickleball, displaced tennis players must go to their municipality to convert them back, or ask for new tennis courts to be built to serve the community. I don’t mind if pickle ballers take over old tennis facilities if it facilitates the building of new courts for tennis. It’s time to be less polite, less mellow, because you have to meet pickle-ballers where they are, and treat them like the bullies that they are. Get ready to mobilize in your community and push back.

 

There are some very strong reasons to choose SpecTennis over pickleball: 1. The scoring is the same as in tennis, 2. The sound is not as damaging to hearing. 3. The skills transfer to tennis. 4. There is no kitchen and thus no bathroom squat stance. 5. I hear a lot of anger, frustration, and injury coming from the mouths of pickleball players. SpecTennis is freeing and can be played on a pickleball court. 

 

The current situation is that you the tennis advocate are standing by while a pickleball-playing grandma punches you in the face, stealing your lunch money.  Pickleball ambassadors are beating you to the punch. Now every tennis player better becomes a tennis ambassador everywhere you go or enjoy the slow creep of pickleball onto your once cherished courts. 

 

Speaking of money, there has to be some changing hands behind the scenes, and pickleball leadership is spending well to become a parasite on the mighty beast which is our great sport: Tennis. Some parasites become too much of a burden on their host, and it dies. Action item: call your tennis magazine, tennis teaching organization, and tennis governing body and tell them you want them focused on tennis, not pickleball. 

 

If you see a threat to tennis courts from Pickleball, declare war. That’s what I have done, but I don’t mind if it’s played over there, away from me. Just as Germany ignored Churchill, so pickle ballers will ignore you, so be ready for what comes next. 

Bill Patton ~ Author/Speaker 

YouTuber - Infinite Vision Coach

Master Tennis Coach

SportsEdTV.com - Contributor

SwingVision Ambassador

Oakland, CA 

USPTA IN TURMOIL - EMBREE UNDER FIRE

CONTEXT: It seems the turf war created by the USTA with their unfortunate and disastrous accreditation strategy, born out of the usual desire to control all of tennis, especially since they found themselves almost broke and in desperate need of funds, is raging uncontrolled. Some of our readers have already put John Embree under fire (see LETTERS to the EDITOR) and have started sending us information that is quite astounding. The mentioned number of USPTA professionals certified in 2021 varies from 14 to 21. Many people know something but no one seems to know everything. The fear of retaliation is real and a well-known USPTA method to keep members quiet. I was asked whether the fact that Embree didn't get the call to become the new USTA CEO had anything to do with the latest decision regarding not seeking accreditation. I didn't know and to be honest, I kind of doubt it.

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John Embree June 2 on Twitter. Notice this clearly significant announcement had only 2 comments, 10 retweets, and 11 likes when I captured it on June 21. This begs the question: Is the USPTA losing its relevance?

Certifying only 21 people in an entire year is, of course, pathetic. It basically means there are significant issues Embree has to deal with right now and which surely contributed to his June 2 announcement

  • The annual churn rate of 1,500-2,000 members is creating an avalanche of lost tennis professionals which can not be stopped if he lets the USTA dictate how to run his organization. By now they must be so far behind I doubt they have more than 9,000 members left.

  • The USTA had subsidized USPTA dues for qualifying members in 2021 and for some also in 2022. Those subsidies have not replenished USPTA bank accounts significantly and they are most likely not available in 2023. It is my estimation that the USPTA may not be as broke as the USTA almost is at this point but they certainly have to draw on their $8.5M assets the 2019 tax return showed. Unfortunately, tax returns for 2020 or 2021 are not available yet.

The USTA accreditation did not add value to the USPTA brand.

And now I'm hearing that the USPTA was warned in 2020 to postpone the USTA accreditation until the USPTA, PTR, ITA, high school and parks coaches can work with the USTA to establish standards that will benefit the entire profession. A concerned member pointed out at the time that Embree indicated in talks at division meetings that there was reason to be concerned that when the accreditation goes through there would be an exodus of members who don’t see value in the USTA accreditation. And then the pandemic hit. The combination of this exodus with the subsequent economic crisis decreased USPTA membership even more.

I can only assume how bad the P&L looks like in the 2021 and 2022 tax returns but one thing seems sure: The USTA accreditation did not add value to the USPTA brand. That's why my conclusion is: John Embree and the USPTA Board made the right decision. 

In fact, I would go a step further. I would get together with Dan Santorum and present a list of demands to Lew Sherr and Mike McNulty. Number one on that list: Stay out of the certification process. USPTA and PTR need to own that process!

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The last item on that list: No more ads featuring USTA Tennis Professionals. This needs to be either a USPTA or a PTR pro or it should just say Tennis Professional. The USTA needs to pull its hands out of the teaching cookie jar.

Remember what I wrote in JuneThe number of unfortunate programs that died and have gone to the graveyard of USTA brilliance is endless and I expect Net Generation and USTA certification involvement to go there, too.  And in February I wrote, I also challenge the USTA to give up hopes of total market dominance and figure out how to get out under this mountain of $750M debt rather than spending money in areas they have no business being in.

 

Am I right or am I right?

USTA MISINFORMATION - THE RUSE THAT KEEPS ON DECEIVING

CONTEXT: We have in the past posted countless stories about the USTA executives' favorite pastime: spending money and pulling wool over our eyes. Most often orchestrated what I usually call the "Tag Team Gordon Smith and Kurt Kamperman" who were the masters of spending money like it was growing on trees, the wool pulling and deceiving grew to Olympic size. One tennis friend pointed out that I should really name Katrina Adams as part of that tag team because she was President when they were spending all that money. And I think she's right. But wasn't it Kamperman who coined the phrase R&R for the USTA is "Rip Off and Replicate" as a standard process? Just look at the disaster that developed when they were trying to copy UTR to replace NTRP but gave it their own flair which ended up as the World Tennis Number. The result? Millions spent and NTRP is alive and well with no plan of being replaced. (See also LETTERS to the EDITOR this month)

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When it comes to misinformation, the m.o. is always the same for USTA execs: Either spin a story so it looks positive (like for WTN or Serve Tennis or Net Generation) or don't report at all (like participation numbers) so it appears to be a non-issue.

The latest misinformation campaign the USTA spinmasters have cooked up concerns player development. And I'm not talking about the weekly Team USA email listing all American players in any of the ATP/WTA/ITF events. But it's the Team USA designation that is designed to make everyone believe these players have come up through the USTA Player Development department. Department head Martin Blackman is the figurehead for this campaign and he's doing a great wool job for sure.

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Look, I don't know Blackman, never met him. He's probably a happy guy wandering the empty courts of Lake Nona. Gosh, I would be happy, too, making $600K+ with job protection by the Board and little to no accountability.

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So, MB succeeded to create this enigmatic entity TEAM USA, a title that was originally used only for Olympic and Paralympic teams, and turned it into something you and I are supposed to identify with USTA Player Development-trained future stars. Well, readers of TENNIS CLUB BUSINESS are best able to see through this charade, of course.

I asked someone quite familiar with PD and her answer was: "Of the players they have, they only have one real story, and it is Reilly Opelka. The only reason he plays is that he was the neighbor of one of the Gulliksons and he was also very tall. But if you follow Opelka he himself says that the USTA is a waste and quit them."

Hmm, the only thing PD is offering the U.S. players they like (!) is a place to practice when they're in Orlando. But, ask yourself, do we need a staff of 50+ and a budget of $15-20M a year for that? I would hire a bunch of U.S. coaches for a fraction of that money and I guarantee you, they would run those practice courts much more effectively. And these would be the best of the best, USPTA, PTR, and independent coaches. Do you want me to list some names, Mr. Blackman? None of them would demand $350K and more per year, we could cut 90% of your department and really grow tennis with it. How does that sound?

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Another tool of the Team USA ruse is the awarding of the annual Team USA Developmental Coach of the Year honor. My friend called it "a brazen attempt at associating themselves with success." Using the name of Konstantin Anisimov or Corey Gauff to make sure Player Development gets good PR is not only a brazen attempt but also a sign they may have come under pressure in my opinion. PD is being attacked from a lot of different sides now and I assume TCB is the one with the least amount of clout in the industry. 

Lew Sherr may be in a bigger conundrum than we all think he is. And no, it's not about a new Rolex or his next pay raise, it's the huge mountain of debt the USTA is under. Closing PD would save them, let's say $15M. Immediately. Money they could use right now. But, is fighting the good old boys on the USTA Board and joining Mike Dowse on his pasture worth it? On the other hand, if PD would go away, the courts at Lake Nona would look like the Sahara desert. Maybe that would attract a Saudi Arabian prince to bail out the USTA... 

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The "original Commish" described the USTA's misinformation campaigns: "Repurposing that wool could knit warm socks for the entire homeless population of San Francisco and Los Angeles combined."

I rest my case, your honor.

"Repurposing that wool could knit warm socks for the entire homeless population of San Francisco and Los Angeles combined."

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THE UGLY

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NEW TIA PARTICIPATION REPORT

$1,500 for bogus data? No, thank you.

 

CONTEXT: Every year, the TIA commissions Sports Marketing Surveys USA to create tennis data surveyed from 18,000 individuals during 2021 for the PAC study. I think those terms are all interchangeable and designed to shroud all this in mystery and give it an air of sophistication. I have maintained for years that the study itself is bogus because the numbers are too high and can't be supported by tennis industry trade numbers. However, the USTA pays for it and eats it up because high numbers give the impression they are growing tennis which they haven't for over a decade. When I ask where the ball sales are that support their numbers, crickets. "Ignore the noise."

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The fact that no one ever questions or criticizes my reporting shows me I'm right. Here is the summary you need to know: They surveyed 18,000 people for the Pac Study in 2021. That's 1,500 per month. That number has to be divided into all the sports available (30-40?) and then also into gender, location, age, etc. If they surveyed more than 20 tennis players each month I'd be very surprised.

And here comes the kicker: The survey costs $1,500 for non-TIA members. I can't remember the last time I paid that kind of money for something that bogus. Oh, no, I do: NEVER!

WHY IS TENNIS ONLY AN AFTERTHOUGHT WHEN IT COMES TO TRADITIONAL FAN SPORTS?

Sporttechie Daily reports about any other sport but rarely about tennis

CONTEXT: I have only three go-to newsletters I'm reading religiously every workday: Morning Brew, Emerging Tech Brew, and Sporttechie Daily. The latter is bursting at the seams with the latest inventions, apps, and best practices in all major sports. From fan engagement ideas to crypto payment and reward schemes, every conceivable way of monetizing sports teams, personalities, and events is listed here.

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Now here comes the weird part: tennis is rarely seen in that newsletter. When Serena Williams or Naomi Osaka invest in a startup, or when Andy Murray buys cryptocurrency, or when John McEnroe engages in Time Travel Tennis, those make the news but that's about it. How is that? I think I know why. Because the USTA is not investing in new and revolutionary ways of winning new fans to the sport. They are usually putting millions into lost causes like Net Generation or World Tennis Number. I guess the latest innovation at the US Open is a pricier Honey Deuce? 

The USTA is not investing in new and revolutionary ways of winning new fans to the sport.

IS NUDE PICKLEBALL REALLY TAKING OFF?

Where do you put the balls when you're playing naked pickleball?

CONTEXT: Longtime newspaper humor writer Frank Cerabino is a pickleball player from West Palm Beach, Florida. He's also the author of "I Dink, Therefore I Am" and a contributing writer for the newsletter "Pickler." A reader sent me his article NUDE PICKLEBALL IS TAKING OFF with the comment, "This brings new meaning to the coaches who are advocates for visualization."

You can see that Cerabino has a quirky sense of humor when he writes that "...nudists want more pickleball – just like the majority of people who don’t do their dinking in the raw." Wow. And he continues, "Nude pickleball is beating the pants off its competition." He describes how pickleball developed at Cypress Cove Nudist Resort in Kissimmee, Florida, "...today pickleball is the most popular recreational pursuit at Cypress Cove, with 172 dues-paying nudists playing there seven days a week."

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The nude resort tells people, just bring their tennis shoes. They provide the paddles and the balls.

Cerabino goes on to describe the Alpenglow Ranch, a nudist bed-and-breakfast resort in Bend, Oregon. He says, "Alpenglow Ranch put a pickleball court in the middle of its 50 secluded acres about five years ago. A lot of people book here just to play nude pickleball.” He ends by writing about Eden RV Resort, a nudist camping spot in the Pasco County community of Hudson in Florida, where about 30 people play clothing-optional pickleball every day. I'm not sure if listing three locations can already be called nude pickleball was taking off.

 

But we'll keep an eye on it. Somehow.

And as to tennis at the Cypress Cove Nudist Resort? “Nothing else comes close. Tennis is dying. Most of them have died off or hurt their knees. I think they have eight people left.” Ouch!

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THE WEIRD

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USTA GUIDE FOR TENNIS, PICKLEBALL, AND PUBLIC FACILITY NOT IN LINE WITH USTA SOUTHERN SECTION RULES?

 

FIRST came the news in the Tennis Industry United newsletter

The newsletter posted that "in an effort to provide assistance to decision-makers at park & rec facilities, the USTA in concert with park professionals recently created a set of suggested guidelines regarding tennis and pickleball courts, intended as a resource for park leaders." Go here for the guide.

THEN came the announcement by the USTA Southern Section

USTA Southern Tennis Lines Policy: With the recent USTA National statement of guidance for parks and recreation facilities on tennis and pickleball, please note the current policy in place for events in the USTA Southern Section remains: 

 

“Tennis courts eligible for USTA Southern sanctioned competition, including junior and adult tournaments and league, must contain only lines prescribed by the ITF Rules of Tennis, as set out in the USTA Handbook of Tennis Rules and Regulations.”

 

Courts that include both tennis AND pickleball lines are not eligible to host sanctioned events/play in the Southern Section. We will continue to explore options to collaborate with facilities and providers who wish to offer pickleball and help advocate for the construction of separate pickleball facilities. 

Weird? Looks like it's either saying “Take that, Pickleball” or it was a big fat Southern middle finger for USTA national. Whatever it was, congrats to Southern for being pretty much alone right now standing up for tennis.

STRANGE USTA PRESS RELEASE

"USTA Grants Spark Sport Exclusive Live Television and Digital Rights to the US Open in New Zealand through 2024"

 

CONTEXT: We haven't heard from Lew Sherr since he became CEO of the USTA. Big decisions need to be made to ensure the financial future of the organization and to get the sport of tennis back to where it was a couple of decades ago: organic growth. And this marketing news about a relatively small amount of revenue is worth of him making a statement? "It's the perfect time to partner with Spark Sport in New Zealand, as they continue to grow and prioritize their tennis coverage within an ever-expanding live sports portfolio,” said Lew Sherr, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, USTA. “We're excited for the next three years and are looking forward to Spark delivering a high level of US Open coverage to the great fans in New Zealand."

What's wrong with that man? Is Javier Palenque correct and this is just an overpaid salesman working in an area he is comfortable in? Sales? Don't you guys think this is weird?

Btw, did you catch the title? They added "Executive Director" to CEO. I hope that doesn't mean he's gotten another $253K pay raise.

PICKLEBALL AMBASSADORS KNOW HOW TO GAME THE SYSTEM

Busing in non-residents to demonstrate demand for conversion of busy tennis courts...

 

CONTEXT: In a state where tennis courts are disappearing faster than CNN labeling three weeks old news as 'breaking' we are watching tennis courts being converted to Pickleball in huge numbers. And since tennis players rarely see the need to advocate for their sport, they let it happen. They are too busy playing with the same group of friends and keeping beginners out.

I heard about a Southern California pickleball initiative where the local Ambassador didn’t have enough PB players to convince the city to turn a busy tennis court into 4 PB courts. He riled up the masses and they came from up to 50 miles away to demonstrate at city hall. Needless to say, the city caved. Now, in an area where there were only 4 public tennis courts, it’s reduced to 3. I wonder if the USTA Section could have done something to defend tennis. Did they even know?

USTA SOCAL: TECNIFIBRE OUT, WILSON IN

Wilson is SoCal USTA's "official hard good retailer"

 

CONTEXT: On January 14, 2021, we read in SoCal's Tennis News: USTA Southern California and Tecnifibre are pleased to announce an exciting new partnership beginning in 2021. One of the fastest-growing premium brands in the tennis industry, Tecnifibre will be the Official Ball of the Signature Series, a collection of elite major tournaments on the USTA SoCal competitive schedule.

They also stated that Tecnifibre balls are currently available at most tennis specialist retail and online stores across the country. 

A quick call to many retailers in the SoCal area confirmed what I suspected. None of them was carrying the balls or was even asked to order some from Tecnifibre. I also found out that this agreement seemed quite unprofessional since HEAD Penn wasn't informed or asked to quote on this opportunity.

That much-touted relationship apparently only lasted one season. Now it's Tecnifibre out - Wilson in as the "official hard good sponsor." Not sure who came up with such a weird title. My best guess: USTA SoCal.

TWEETS ATTACKING INFAMOUS TENNIS REPORTER BEN ROTHENBERG

Well deserved, imo. Just ask Doug Adler.

 

CONTEXT: Rothenberg from The New York Times destroyed the career of ESPN commentator Doug Adler during the 2017 Australian Open, lying about what he said about tennis player Venus Williams and calling Adler's comment “racist.”

Rothenberg is quick to judge people and not everyone likes his actions. His attacks on Novak Djokovic's vaccination status are simply embarrassing. Here are some reply tweets I found recently:

@decemberdust1 Jun 22

For anyone who still has any faith in Rothenberg’s integrity, please don’t forget how hard he tried to destroy Novak in Jan, the smear campaign reached an unsurpassable peak. Rothenberg is a liar, a rat, the lowest of dead stinky lowlife.

Jo King @FreeWorldPe0ple

Jun 21Important reminder that Ben Rothenberg, infamous for his sexually implicit questions and comments about male players, and for his unacceptable analysis of Serena's body and genetics, is granted a press pass for #Wimbledon2022 @Wimbledon : how are you going to protect the players?

Jo King @FreeWorldPe0ple

Important reminder to Ben Rothenberg, known as a contributor to @CNN @BBCSport and @nytimes, tennis expert, the epitome of fairness and impartiality, and a leader in investigative journalism, that investigation into a chronic substance abuse in tennis is up for grabs. #Dare

@decemberdust1

Replying to @Korrado77 and @BenRothenberg

Is it important for tennis? Is vaccination status still a thing? I admit if it’s another journalist who asked this question, I won’t be this disgusted. But it’s Rothenberg, who has produced tons of lies to defame Novak. You know what his intention is.

Rashmi @nolefangal

Replying @DanTennis1 @tennis_DPA and @BenRothenberg

My understanding was that records or not he is not willing to get the COVID vaccination… in any case it is now clear. I still think Ben should be the last person to ask any questions from Nole especially after the way Ben behaved during AO22.

NOVAK FAN ENGLAND  #7  @GforceGill

Replying to @DanTennis1 @tennis_DPA and @BenRothenberg

Why is it an excellent question when he has stated numerous times already he is not going to have the vaccine. Rottenberg isn’t capable of asking an excellent question btw!! All he knows is how to (shit) stir.

There are dozens more like this...

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