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the scoop


We have only 3 rules
1. We'll give you the real scoop as we see it.
2. We'll always hold their feet to the fire. 3. we'll always empower the powerless

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A lot is going on both at Tennis Club Business and at Conga Sports. I am glad I signed up with Calendly so people can look at my calendar and book 1/2 hour talks with me. Phone calls or Zoom. Here is the link if you want to get in touch with me.

I had to make one administrative change after the old email address got too much attention from spammers (to put it mildly). If you want to reach me, please use rich (at)


I hope you like the new SCOOP which is combining the previous Publisher's Notes with a bunch of other regular items on one page. Looks now more like a blog with all the advantages of blogging.

Our main values and goals haven't changed, of course. Here is a list in case you have forgotten, haha.

  • We will give you the real scoop whenever we find out what's really behind certain activities and issues. We don't give you fluff like Mainly because we don't accept the USTA as our advertiser. That way we can never become beholden to them and won't have to always post positive stuff about them.

  • We'll always hold the USTA's feet to the fire. It's pretty easy since they decided not to react to anything I throw at them. They call it officially "Ignore the noise." It's a directive given to all employees and the sections are dutifully agreeing to it. So, I keep giving you the Real McCoy, folks. Stay tuned.

  • We'll always empower the powerless. If you're a section employee who has to walk the executive's dog (reported to me from Pacific Northwest) or if you have to disclose to the CEO what you wrote in the confidential survey (reported to me from Mid-Atlantic) or if you are a Captain and the Local League Coordinator encourages other league captains to physically harm you (reported to me from Southern California) then I'll be on your side and expose the offenders.


I am quite humbled that SportsEdTV is considering me a media expert. See their article on their site "Tennis Media Expert Is New SportsEdTV Senior Contributor."I had met with CEO Victor Bergonzoli LAST MONTH IN Miami and like what this man does and his plans for the future. I'm very happy to contribute to that fabulous organization and want to help them wherever I can.

And Victor is coming through with a super offer for TENNIS CLUB BUSINESS readers. Scroll down and you see the big item about SportsEdTV and Victor's exclusive opportunity to get your complimentary annual listing on the SportsEdTV Discover platform (offer valid until the end of July). He says, "This is your chance to increase your visibility within the tennis community and make a lasting impact!"

Hi from Irumva Matutina in Kigali/ Rwanda

Irumva writes, "Tennis has always been part of my life since 2015, I never have family members who played tennis before, it was just me. My parents didn't know about it but after I started, they supported me in every way they could. In 2017 there was a selection to work at the Rwanda Tennis Academy and I won the selection. I joined in 2017 until now and now I am one of the coaches in the Rwandan Tennis Academy and in the national team also. I'm in university now, I will be having my Advanced Diploma in civil engineering next year.


In 2019, I finished high school and I quit playing as a professional. I started my new career as a tennis coach and official but I put myself much into coaching especially training the kids and now I'm working in JTI ( junior tennis initiative). My main focus is on the development of young children (future professional players and coaches) and trying to get them to fall in love with tennis. My goal is to increase the number of girls in tennis 

I teach tennis because it is where I am most happy and I want to make an impact in kids' lives and their tennis game as tennis helped me. In my school, I was studying on a scholarship since 2017 until now and that helped me in my life. I hope I can be that person in developing a junior's career.


I was the national team coach since 2020  and my girls 16&under  won first place two times. I love what I do and I can't wait to continue coaching national teams or academies or at clubs all around the world. Thank you." (Contact Irumva on LinkedIn)


Congratulations to SoCal Tennis Leader Steve Riggs for Another Successful Tennis Seminar

12th Annual Tennis Seminar for Professional Coaches, Assistant Coaches, and Parents
January 25, Marguerite Tennis Pavilion, Mission Viejo, California

Like every year for over a decade, Steve Riggs over-delivered by organizing a first-class tennis seminar. After working for 15 years as the Tennis Director for THE hotspot of tennis in Southern California, the city of Irvine, you would think Steve would take it easy and go off into the sunset of a well-deserved retirement. Noooooo.... the man is busier than ever consulting, organizing, and coaching his kids.

The 12th Annual Seminar was again focusing on high-quality speakers like Rajeev Datt, Brian Parkkonen, Karen Ronney, Mike Gennette, Frank Giampaolo, and many more. Very impressive also: An "Ask the Experts" speaker panel with Bill Patton, Dave Hagler, Dave Borelli, Jeff Benito, and Ken DeHart. The attendee list broke another record: 117 teaching pros and tennis enthusiasts eager to learn and network. Matt Previdi did an awesome job mceeing the event again. Sponsor Sense Arena for Tennis gave away an entire package complete with an Oculus 2 and a haptic racquet to lucky Irvine coach Alex St. Jean.

Giampaolo wrote on his Facebook page, "Proud of coaching these top Southern California professionals. Thanks to Steve Riggs for knocking another one out of the park!"



Western & Southern Open - A Lesson in Throwing Your Own Membership Under the Bus?

Did the USTA hope no one will notice and all will blow over in a few weeks?

I really hate to say those 5 words: "See, I told you so." But everything around the sale of the Western & Southern Open to Beeman Capital is so obvious to me. And I don't think I'm the smartest guy in the world. (After all, I sold my 900 shares of Apple stock in the '90s for around 5 bucks a share because I needed the money!)

Front Office Sports reported: Charlotte City Council has approved $65M in funding for a massive $400 million tennis complex.

▪️ 14,000-seat stadium
▪️ $130M from taxpayers
▪️ $200M from Beemok Capital

The campus could begin hosting the Western & Southern Open by 2026. Full article here.


View from Cincinnati

It’s very regrettable that Cincinnati, which has

Sorry, folks. A Director of Tennis from Cincinnati sent us a really good set of reasons why the tournament should stay in Mason and what he thought of the USTA's actions but didn't want it published, not even under The Commish.

Very regrettable indeed. This guy knew what he was talking about!

View from Charlotte

North and South Carolina have a rich history when it comes to tennis and have traditionally shown strong support for professional tennis. From hosting numerous Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup ties to the Winston-Salem Open and Volvo (previously Family Circle) Open, the Carolinas are not new to hosting professional tennis events.


Charlotte is one of the most underserved tennis markets in the country with its largest public facility being only 13 hard courts at Jeff Adams Tennis Center. In addition to the group looking to build a new tennis center and bring the Western & Southern event to Charlotte, there is another group working to build a 50-plus court facility featuring indoor tennis, hard and clay tennis courts, pickleball courts, and padel courts in a public setting, with the support of the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.


Ben Navarro, who bought the rights to the event, has been a huge supporter of tennis. Obviously, you know his ties to our sport? He creates solutions to challenges on a totally different level than the rest of us.

Scott Handback

Director of Professional Tennis Management (PTM) Program

Methodist University, Charlotte, North Carolina

I am not changing my mind that it's a done deal, folks. Can you see the experienced dealmaker Navarro speaking with novice dealmakers at the USTA who desperately needed his money to pay down some of the huge debt they amassed? He’ll eat those types for breakfast any day of the week and twice on Sundays (as Bobby Riggs used to say, haha).

Why does this entire affair remind me so eerily of the USTA's Southern California section and their sale of the LA Open (formerly Farmers Classic) to some outfit in Colombia despite the reports that Larry Ellison had made an offer that would have kept the tournament in Southern California? To me, this was clear that Bob Kramer threw all tennis fans in SoCal under the bus. Probably for some obscure personal reason. Who knows?

It's also clear to me that the new pastime of the USTA executives, throwing their own members under the bus, has reached new heights in the Midwest!

It's clear to me that the new pastime of USTA executives, throwing their own members under the bus, has reached new heights in the Midwest!


RedClay Report:  Summer 2023

RedClay USA announces discussions continue with Europe’s most well-known coaching "Brand Names”.  These top coaching brands are looking to establish initial full-time academies in the U.S., one’s that can feature the new RedClay® brand surface, available only from RCUSA.


RCUSA is speaking with such world-renown names as Nadal, Mouratoglou and Ferrero, all academies who feature clay-based teaching at their international locations.

RCUSA CEO BJ Osterberg, “We’re locating U.S. facilities eager to join the nationwide growing conversion to RedClay®.  Then we connect various European academies to these American clubs, telling how well the RedClay® performs in all different U.S. climates, and indoors.  And certain U.S. clubs become very interested in being part of a needed "clay invasion" from these European masters. We finally have a clay surface that can make it happen, everywhere."


The growing number of our affordable clay courts all over America, being the ultimate goal, RedClay USA is experiencing growth across the USA, made possible by their new hybrid-court.  It's already so well-accepted that professional tournaments are played on it.  The most distinctive point is its no manual labor "no-maintenance” care, and true bounce.


This summer much attention is focused on the brand new Hackensack, NJ facility, pre-marketed as RedClay Gardens, now being seriously considered by the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy for a full-time facility.

Also, the Magnolia Point Golf and Country Club near Jacksonville, FL is under consideration presently by several international academies for being part of a planned major renovation of the large gated community, that features large-scale all-sport youth training, housing, healthcare, etc. in one complete community. 


Contact RCUSA:  231-622-1869 or


The Tennis Channel - A Lesson in Upsetting Your Customers?

"Tennis Channel Plus - a pay-for-nothing ruse"

I wasn't planning on writing about The Tennis Channel this month but then I saw a lot of content popping up everywhere and people kept sending me little bits and pieces.

The tennis writer everyone loves to hate, Ben Rothenberg tweeted: Tennis Channel Plus feed currently more than three minutes behind live score. #rolandgarros. Hmm, that was kind of odd.

Gotta love all those Tennis Warehouse armchair tennis aficionados. Here is an interesting thread: "Tennis Channel is getting worse." This thread was kinda amusing: Pickleball eating into the Tennis Channel broadcasting.

Pissed Consumer is giving the Tennis Channel a -84 Net Promotor Score and a 1.9 Star Rating. Based on 41 consumer reviews, it says that 71% of consumers rate TC unfavorably. One of the comments: "Tennis Channel Plus - a pay-for-nothing ruse." Read it here.


We're thrilled to announce that through our partnership with SportsEdTV, we are offering an exclusive opportunity — get your complimentary annual listing on the SportsEdTV Discover platform (offer valid until the end of July). This is your chance to increase your visibility within the tennis community and make a lasting impact!

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This listing presents a golden opportunity to attract new clients and showcase your capabilities. With DISCOVER, you can:


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Once your listing goes live, members will have the opportunity to rate your videos. This is your cue to bring your A-game and share your best content on SportsEdTV DISCOVER. The creators of top-rated video content will stand a chance to win exciting prizes and might even be invited to a professional SportsEdTV video shoot in Miami in the future.

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ADWEEK: New USTA Ads Focus on NextGen Players in a Post-Serena World 
There’s a Serena-sized hole in the professiona
l tennis landscape, but marketers aren’t dwelling on what they’ve lost—instead they’re focusing on the next generation of potential scene stealers and trophy winners to draw fans to this summer’s U.S. Open.

Read more here


Sports Business Journal: Just as we’re getting used to the pickleball craze, international favorite padel is also growing quickly in the U.S. 

Even on a Thursday afternoon, as the time for lunch breaks drew close, the cacophony of racquets pelting fuzzy green balls over nets filled an airy Williamsburg warehouse. These aren’t games of tennis, however, nor is anyone playing America’s most-talked-about new sport, pickleball. Instead, this is Padel Haus, home to the only four publicly available padel courts in New York State. Padel is... Read more here




MORNING CONSULT: Why Sportsbooks Face an Uphill Battle to Reach Non-Bettors

Media & entertainment analyst Kevin Tran unpacks the challenges to winning over groups like Gen Zers over 21 and women who are not currently avid sports gamblers.  Read more here


Instagram: Sarah Flood

AJ Chabria described Sarah as a delightful guest. "She is such a good friend, and a great author, coach, and speaker.

Podcast sections:

1. Tennis as a talented, athletic kid in the UK. College tennis in the US!
2. Tragedy. Illness. Loss. #september112001
3. PreMed. Coaching tennis.
4. Inspiring others as a coach, author, and speaker.
5. Play for #pride
6. Amazing encounters as a stats analyst at @wimbledon …. #mcenroe #navratilova #clijsters 



SYSTEM-9: Mini-Course on Supercharging Your Email and Social Media Content Creation with ChatGPT

When Andy Dowsett announced that he had been working with Emma from Smash Sports Marketing to develop a course on ChatGPT for tennis coaches, I became quite interested because I've been dabbling in the use of natural language understanding and generation using deep learning models for a while now. After Gary Horvath sent me the article about AI being able to coach teachers, I took the quick course and have to say: Best $25 I spent in a long time!


Emma Skingley is the narrator of this very insightful course. She has it divided into 4 sections: Email Marketing, Social Media Content Planning, Understanding Your Audience, and Other Ways To Use ChatGPT.

The first 3 sections were already eye-openers for me. The last one named 9 other uses of ChatGPT, most of them new to me. I mean outlining some article frameworks is a no-brainer but letting the system give me ideas for video scripts? Hello! Can you say, time saver? 

My biggest takeaway (besides about two dozen ideas for content) was: ChatGPT is my new (very smart) assistant. I'll call her Ruth. She's very cheap, too. Free of charge. Can't beat that. My only problem is what to do with all the time saved. Oh yeah, there is a new tennis program I'm working on. City Slams. Woohoo!

Btw, I recommend you guys read Andy's article Can Tennis Coaches Use ChatGPT for Social Media Marketing? Very informative!

Take the course here.




Kalindi Dinoffer writes, "I’ll have it all figured out when I’m (insert desired age)…" Great read!

CONGRATS to Andy Dowsett on a new position: Head Coach at Ingatestone and Fryerning Tennis Club. Andy calls it "a lovely friendly club in the heart of Essex." Ingatestone is northeast of London, closer to Chelmsford.

NOW ON INDIEGOGO: RX-T1 Tennis Racket Weight by Ragland Sports

Phoenix Tennis Coach Joe Ragland's invention is both simple and innovative. Here's the Indiegogo campaign.

WOMEN'S SPORTS FOUNDATION: The Women’s Sports Foundation Announces 2023 Annual Salute to Women in Sports® Honorees
One tennis woman will be honored: United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) Chief Executive of Professional Tennis, Stacey Allaster, to receive the Billie Jean King Leadership Award. More here.

BLACK TENNIS HALL OF FAME: 15th Annual Induction Ceremony coming to Richmond, Virginia on September 23.

Purchase tickets here.

CONGRATS to Do It Tennis for sending out a very nice catalog email advertising products for junior players. I just loved the way they put it together! Here it is.

Sports Business Journal: Gigantic new Swing complex in Raleigh capitalizes on the U.S. boom in paddle sports all in one facility


Dr. Elizabeth (Liz) Odera moved back to Kenya

There's a woman with a few accolades to her name: PTR Professional, Black Tennis Hall of Fame Inductee and Board Member, PhD PMP, HSC, Medal of Honor (Kenya). And to complete the picture, Liz was a Senior Project Coordinator at Labcorp Drug Development company in Durham, North Carolina. I wrote about Liz in 2021 and was surprised to get an email from her last week where she reported her move back to Africa. She wrote, "I have moved back to Kenya to re-kindle the non-profit work that I had been doing. I'm committed to using sport to power the lives of boys and girls, once again. Already, in the two months since I got back, I have more than 300 girl leaders as members of the Girl Power Clubs, and there are more coming up. I have also been approached by a couple of schools to consider restarting the Ushindi Boys Clubs, as boys have been left behind in so many ways too, especially in Africa.

Everyone thinks I'm crazy (except my family who know that I am 😀). However, I've never felt so good. It's going to be a rough ride, but I want to make it work.

Dr. Elizabeth Odera Good Photo.jpg

Thank you for being who you are, and taking the time to chat with me. 

All the best with Conga Sports, and keep up the great work in leading consciousness and responsibility in Sport through your writing!


Oh man, Liz, you are a very special person to do that work where it's needed most. You know that I love kids and want all children to have opportunities and happiness in life. Please don't be a stranger and let me know how we can help you in your work with kids!



From Forbes writer Todd Boss

I think the man is dead right with many of his observations. He writes, "Unless you’re well established with a private group, or you play at someone’s house all the time, odds are you’re diving into “Open Play” in Pickleball at your local park or club. And open play means you just never know who you’re gonna be playing with or against. The paddle stack can be fickle and set you with any number of people with quirks or odd tendencies." Read his tongue-in-cheek guide to all the characters we see in open play.


From a USTA Press Release

Cookie Kawaii seems to be a typical example of a "Social Media Star" and singer despite no singing abilities present. She put that 30 sec commercial up on her Instagram page and only achieved 2,711 likes in one week. Wow. Amazing. I just hope the money the USTA spent on this star and the making of the video, wasn't wasted. See for yourself.


The email from Insider Expeditions read, "An 8-day, bucket list tour of Tanzania for tennis enthusiasts hosted by legendary players John McEnroe, ranked #1 in the world at the height his career and his brother Patrick McEnroe, President of the Tennis Hall of Fame. The McEnroe’s serve as lead tennis commentators for ESPN broadcasting Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open.

The tour is hosted by Tanzania Tourism in coordination with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) benefitting the Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP). This epic itinerary provides access to some of the most iconic destinations in Tanzania and culminates in a once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness history in the making, as John and Patrick play the world’s first match in the heart of the magnificent Serengeti. This momentous match will go down in history as the first played in this breathtaking setting—and your clients will have the opportunity to witness it in person." (And have dinner with the President of Tanzania!)

Question: Would you spend a small fortune to play 1 game of tennis with the McEnroes? Between $15K and $41K is the cost without any add-ons. I mean, the trip itself is probably breathtaking but any good travel agent can get that to you for half that price.

I wonder if the trip will even happen. Seems like the much-advertised trip with the McEnroe's to play tennis in Antarctica for between $15K and $50K was canceled. Otherwise, we would be already inundated with photos and videos. Right? Crickets!

NPR report "Pickleball has a noise problem. He's trying to fix it"

A friend emailed me, "When I first saw this article, I was excited to read it. I thought that since NPR was reporting on the topic it might include something newsworthy.  It is more of the same - just reported by NPR.  The featured researcher has started a company,  They put a barrier around the court just like they put barriers around oil and gas wells in Colorado." Interesting. Then he continued, "This noise factor reminds me of housing near airports. People buy homes near airports knowing that the airport is there and planes make noise, then they write a letter to the editor of the newspaper and file a complaint about the noise with the city council. Is the noise factor a deterrent to the growth of pickleball? If tomorrow there were quieter paddles and balls would pickleball grow at a faster rate?"

That is the $50,000 question. Right? (Scroll down to OUTRAGEOUS for more)


I'm on a quest to find the funniest tennis celebrity =============>

This month: Adriana Sabalenka

The caption to this: 24 GS in one pic  - Guess how many of them is mine? 😂😂😂


From SportBusiness

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) has announced the launch of its first comprehensive collection of official apparel and equipment. The merchandise collection, dedicated to serving the more than 85 million recreational tennis players around the world, has been created in collaboration with Tennis-Point, the tour's official racket sports products retailer. Read more here.

Stuff you may be interested in

Summer travel ideas: Six national parks you don’t know about (but should).

Summer book ideas: The 25 nonfiction books you need to read.

Transit art: A curated collection of images and documents from planes, trains, automobiles, and more.

It’s beach-and-pool season: Here’s how to know someone is in trouble in the water.

Grounded: Here’s everything you need to know if your flight gets canceled.



Make those closing years, months, weeks, or moments, be your best and most memorable,
not for just you, but also for your students.


You’ve been on the teaching court for many years and hope to still be on that court for as long as possible.  In many ways, you are at the peak of your career when it comes to insight and experience.  Your analytical skills and ability to find cause and effect have never been better.  So, it’s only logical that you think of yourself as being very well-versed in your profession, and as a result, both desire and deserve to work for many more years to come.  But Old Man Time has something to say about that plan. Read the full article here.



Did you really think that PIF will stop at Golf, Soccer, WWE, and Formula 1 Motorsport?

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) is rich. Over $655 billion dollars rich. That's $655,000,000,000. Very tempting to owners and executives of large sports businesses, the apparent target of Prinz Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud who is reported to control that fund.

While we were all looking at the drama with PGA/LIV in golf and other PIF investment like the purchase of British Premier League soccer club Newcastle United, we speculated about tennis being a target. But we weren't aware that ATP Tour Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi was already in negotiations with them. Front Office Sports reported on June 26 "Saudi Arabia’s PIF Could Invest In Another Major Pro Sport." The article says that Gaudenzi told the Financial Times he’s had “positive” discussions with the PIF about a potential investment. Writer David Rumsey ends, "Should the PIF work with the ATP, a high-profile tournament would likely end up in Saudi Arabia." That's when my brain started to go into overdrive. Many questions came up.

1. Is Gaudenzi a smart negotiator or does he negotiate like a USTA executive? Whatever he's trying to achieve, will he keep control over the ATP Tour? Or will he be totally outmaneuvered by experienced oil negotiators on the other side of the table?

2. Are the Saudis already talking with Djokovic and the PTPA on the creation of a rival tour? If yes, are they just sitting down with Gaudenzi to learn of his future plans and in what shape the tour really is? Would Gaudenzi be aware of such talks?

3. A friend mentioned that it costs a lot less to disrupt and shake up tennis than golf. If their plan is to shake up tennis and create a rival tour, what would they do differently to get more fans engaged and more sponsors with bigger wallets involved?

4. Would any future plans by new owners depend on merging ATP with WTA and only offer big combined events?

5. What do the ITF and the USTA say about all this? Are they working feverishly behind the scenes to get their own piece of that big oil pie? Both organizations are hungry for cash for different reasons. Are David Haggerty and Lew Sherr sharing an Uber to Riyadh?

Coming back to the question of what high-profile tournament would likely end up in Saudi Arabia - I have a feeling there is only one U.S. Masters 1000 event that could be in play: Miami.

I am looking forward to watching the Tennis Soap Opera in the coming weeks and months. John McEnroe already chimed in. And so did WTA CEO Steve Simon "WTA chief says 'big issues' going to Saudi Arabia, but ruling nothing out." (Reuters)


Morning Brew on June 27

Good morning. A healthcare mystery may just have been cracked, and the suspect: Mr. Harold, in the kitchen, with a pickleball racket.

You see, a few weeks ago UnitedHealth Group said more people were using the healthcare system (bad news for insurers), and no one exactly knew what was up. Then yesterday, the sleuths at UBS published a note with a clever hypothesis: Rising healthcare utilization rates could be fueled by…pickleball injuries.

UBS calculated that the game’s surging popularity—among seniors, in particular—will contribute $377 million in medical costs this year for procedures like hip replacements and knee surgeries, Bloomberg reported.

It makes intuitive sense, but this still reeks of Big Tennis.


Has this man not caused enough havoc?

The USTA press release reads, "Haggerty was elected President of the ITF in September 2015 and was re-elected for a second term in September 2019. He additionally serves as the Chairman of the ITF Olympic Committee, the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup Steering Committees and the Joint Media Commission, and is a member of the International Olympic Committee and both its Gender Diversity and Inclusion and Athlete’s Entourage Commissions. He is also a WTA and USOPC Board member and is the Chair of the USOPC’s Compensation Committee. Previously, Haggerty served as Chairman, CEO and President of the USTA from 2013-14 and served on the USTA Board for 10 years."

Clearly a good ol' boy, a company man, a 'yes' man. Understandable why the USTA wants him there. The entire organization depends on those good ol' boys and gals to keep the moolah coming for the executives. Interestingly, the press release did not mention Haggerty's accomplishments as they usually do. Why? Because there aren't any! Here are the three main blunders Haggerty presided over:

  • Complete chaos with a new junior tournament structure

  • Total mismanagement of the boondoggle called the new Davis Cup format

  • Throwing the tennis world into a ClubSpark/WTN/Serve Tennis Chaos

No doubt in my mind that all three failures were either initiated by or done in collaboration with the USTA's good ol' boys and Haggerty tried to please his masters without the right expertise to steer big projects.

Btw, look at the ITF Board. It consists of 17 members. 14 old/older white men, 2 white women, and Katrina Adams. I asked my new ChatGTP assistant (I call her Ruth) to give me one word that describes the opposite of diversity. Her reply: homogeneity. Hilarious? No, sad!

Don't you think it's odd that the USTA didn't nominate Katrina Adams as ITF President? Is she not good enough for them? Oh, yes, she's the opposite of a good ol' white boy. Can't let that happen. Right, Lew?

USPTA HQ: Phone Number Clarification

"This message from Embree shows he is the master of poor communications"

A long-time USPTA member sent me this email blast from John  Embree where he writes, "Dear Valued USPTA Member: It has come to our attention recently that some members have become frustrated when trying to call our HQ and are unable to connect. We take great pride in delivering exceptional customer service, and our membership team takes their job very seriously." He goes on to explain that "Since moving to Orlando in August of 2017, our office number has been 407-634-3050."

I find that almost funny. Maybe posting the phone number in Tennis Club Business will reach more USPTA members? 



This review of the winners and forced and unforced errors for the past eleven years shows the Board should revert to the basics.
Protect and promote the tennis profession!


In January 2024, a different Board of Directors and CEO will usher in a new era at the USPTA. A post-match analysis of the past eleven years shows there are winners to celebrate and build on. The Board of Directors is also accountable for resolving critical issues associated with the forced and unforced errors during this period.

This document includes a short list of challenges facing the USPTA leadership. A shout-out goes to the Board of Directors for addressing these and other critical issues.
Read the article here

  • Shout-Out to  Frances Tiafoe for making his Top 10 debut last month and becoming only the third African American man to rank in the Top 10 since Arthur Ashe in 1973.

  • Shout-Out to  Larry Krieger for being relentless in his pursuit to help restore Historic Woodland Cemetary, the final resting place of approximately 30,000 African Americans, among them tennis legend Arthur Ashe. Check out the Woodland Restoration Foundation and donate, if you can.

  • Shout-Out to Luca Mack, junior men's tennis standout at Valdosta State University, Pawit Sornlaksup (University of Toledo),  and Maissane Aik (University of Indianapolis) for earning the prestigious Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award.

  • Shout-Out to 14 Crusaders (student-athletes of The College of the Holy Cross) and Four Kennesaw State University student-athletes who were named 2023 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholars, honoring their athletic and academic achievements.

  • Shout-Out to Graphic artist @jvycreations who created a mural of Arthur Ashe in New York's Battery Park for @rvaparksandrec in collaboration with @muralmobb, a program that involves local students in public art projects. The mural was painted entirely with tennis balls.

  • Shout-Out to a friend of this newsletter,  Steve Riggs for being recognized by Universal Tennis for his achievements with Team Tennis in Orange County, California.

  • Shout-Out to Scott Colebourne, who joined Tennis Resorts Online as new CEO. (Announcement)




By Ashley Owens

In today's digital age, effective communication is critical to the success and growth of any organization. Tennis and pickleball facilities are no exception. To streamline communication and keep players informed, facilities should leverage the power of push notifications. These instant messages sent directly to players' smartphones can revolutionize how facilities interact with their players. We will explore why tennis and pickleball facilities should adopt push notifications as a primary communication channel.

Read the article here



My quest for finding reasonably priced tickets for a particular day uncovered an unsettling fact: the US Open is not family-friendly!

For reasons unrelated to this story, I had to be in New York around the middle weekend of the US Open. So I decided to search for US Open tickets for Saturday, September 2. For some reason, this seems to be a weekend where ticket prices soar and Ticketmaster, the unfortunate choice of the USTA for managing ticket sales, looks like a common street robber.

While I soon realized that tickets before that date were cheaper, I dug in some more and want to just list some that I found for September 2.



On the USTA website, under "Make the most of your 2023 US Open experience" they state, "During the day, grounds passes are just $70, and a grounds pass gets you into every court and stadium except for Arthur Ashe Stadium. See what I unearthed for September 2.


Note not only the price for the Grounds Pass but also the Ticketmaster fee of $45.71 plus another mysterious processing fee! Now I decided to search for the lowest and highest priced tickets in Arthur Ashe stadium that day. And look what I found.

That $288.92 ticket is up there in the nosebleed section. And check out the $742.50 Ticketmaster fee for the obscenely high best seat in the house. Can you say "US Open for the rich?" Do you not find this outrageous?

Can you say "US Open for the rich?" Do you not find this outrageous?

Then I decided to look at ticket prices for kids. Why? Because I always look out for kids and fight for them wherever I can. And guess what I unearthed: The best-kept secret in U.S. Tennis: The USTA seems to not want kids at the US Open. Look at the ticket policy:


Now look at the other Grand Slams and their kids policies.

Australian Open (where Finals Weekend Ground Passes without arena access begin from $59, while a night ground pass (without arena access) is available starting from $19.)

All persons aged 15 and over as at the date a ticket is presented for entry at the AO may only attend the AO on an adult ticket.

Children aged 3-14 as at the date a ticket is presented for entry at the AO may purchase a Kids Ticket. Kids tickets are $10.00 each.

French Open
Children under 6 years old can enter the stadium for free.
Children and teenagers under 25 years old can buy half-price tickets for the outside courts during the last week of the tournament.


Children over 5 years of age are required to have their own ticket, which will be charged at the full price. A ticket is not required for those under 5.

Is that why they created the Arthur Ashe Kids Day and make kids over 2 pay full price so they don't have to deal with pesky children during the rest of the tournament? My conclusion: The US Open is family-unfriendly! The USTA Board should be ashamed of itself. Arthur Ashe would turn in his grave knowing about this scandal!

Children two years old and older require a full-priced adult ticket.
Is that why they created the Arthur Ashe Kids Day and make kids over 2 pay full price so they don't have to deal with pesky children during the rest of the tournament?

My conclusion: The US Open is extremely family-unfriendly!

Imagine, a working family with two adults and two young children over 2 years of age. They have to go on that Saturday. The parents want to take the kids to the biggest tennis tournament in the world. They can only afford Grounds Passes. They go on Ticketmaster and find the following prices: 

2 Adults $277 ea = $554

2 Kids $277 ea = $544

Ticketmaster fees are $182.84

Total cost $1,290.84

What are the chances that family will come to the US Open? Zero? I think you guessed right.


I figured, if the New York Times writes about a problem, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!

Andrew Keh writes, "The incessant pop-pop-pop of the fast-growing sport has brought on a nationwide scourge of unneighborly clashes, petitions, calls to the police and lawsuits, with no solution in sight."

Keh writes about Mary McKee, 43, a conference planner, who moved to the neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia in 2005 and for the next decade and a half enjoyed a mostly tranquil existence. Then came the pickleball players. It sounded like popcorn warming in a microwave: sporadic bursts that quickened, gradually, to an arrhythmic clatter.

“There it is,” Mary McKee said, staring out the front door of her home in Arlington, Va., on a recent afternoon. She gestured across the street to the Walter Reed Community Center, less than 100 feet from her yard, where a group of players, the first of the day, had started rallying on a repurposed tennis court. More arrived in short order, spreading out until there were six games going at once. Together they produced an hourslong ticktock cacophony that has become the unwanted soundtrack of the lives of McKee and her neighbors.


Photo: Jason Andrew

The sound has brought on a nationwide scourge of frayed nerves and unneighborly clashes — and those, in turn, have elicited petitions and calls to the police and last-ditch lawsuits aimed at the local parks, private clubs and homeowners associations that rushed to open courts during the sport’s recent boom.

There are more examples of people whose lives had been made miserable by the sounds of pickleball action. Like, said John Mancini, 82, in Wellesley, Mass. (“It’s like having a pistol range in your backyard.) Or, Clint Ellis, 37, who lives across the street from a private club in York, Maine. (“It’s a torture technique.") Or, Debbie Nagle, 67, whose gated community in Scottsdale, Ariz., installed courts a few years ago. (“Living here is hell.") Many more voiced their concerns. 

The sounds were even dissected last month at Noise-Con 2023, the annual conference of North American noise control professionals, which featured an opening-night session called “Pickleball Noise.” “Pickleball is the topic of the year,” said Jeanette Hesedahl, vice chair for the conference. The same story, the same jarring sound, has echoed across American communities like rolling thunder.

Read the entire article here.

We had 63 readers respond to the question "How profitable is Pickleball for you? Assuming you teach Pickleball - tell us how it compares to your tennis income. Is Pickleball a profit center in your club?"

Overall, the opinions were split about 50/50 in regard to the profitability of Pickleball. (We made a point to not count replies like "F__K Pickleball" and we didn't count people/facilities that don't offer PB.

The most hilarious reply: "Tennis players are disliked by golfers because they are cheap. Pickleball players make tennis players look like millionaires."

All 63 replies are listed again at the bottom of our Letters to the Editor page.


This month's topics: USPTA, Racquet Sports Magazine, and USTA. Read the page here.

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