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Fila launches exhibit at International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum to celebrate 100th Anniversary

To celebrate the brand’s 100th anniversary, Fila and the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, R.I., has launched a new exhibit that includes items from players that have worn the Fila logo including Hall of Famers Bjorn Borg, Boris Becker and Monica Seles. “At the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, our mission is to preserve and showcase the history of tennis, with the goal of honoring the legends and inspiring tennis fans,” said Mark L. Stenning, CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. “From Borg’s Wimbledon victories to Seles’ French Open title, Fila has been an integral partner in great moments in tennis history and we are pleased to celebrate their milestone anniversary by showcasing the brand’s rich history to our visitors.” The one-of-a-kind exhibit was unveiled in mid-June and will be changed out throughout the year as part of Fila’s year-long celebration of the centennial anniversary of the brand. The first exhibit showcases the White Line, Fila’s first tennis collection, through design sketches and dramatic tennis photos of Fila players in action. A wooden Fila tennis racquet and polos worn by tennis great Boris Becker are also part of the display. The exhibit will change every few months for a total of four exhibits over the course of the next 12 months. “We are thrilled to bring elements of our archives to Newport for inclusion in an exhibit at the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum,” said Gene Yoon, Chairman of Fila. “Tennis is such a rich part of our brand history and the Hall of Fame is an excellent environment to highlight select items from the archives.” The Museum currently displays Fila outfits from remarkable moments in professional tennis history. In the Grand Slam Gallery, visitors can see the outfit worn by Kim Clijsters when she went from wild card entry to the 2009 US Open singles champion, following her 27-month hiatus from tennis. Also on display is the memorable green Fila outfit that Clijsters wore when she captured the 2011 Australian Open earlier this year. In the ATP World Tour Gallery, one of Bjorn Borg’s iconic Fila outfits is on display. In the Billie Jean King WTA Gallery, Monica Seles’ outfit from her historic 1990 French Open victory is on display.

Sampras thinks Nadal can pass his Grand Slam title mark, possibly Federer’s too

In a press conference with reporters on Tuesday to promote the 12-city Champions Series tennis tour, former world No. 1 Pete Sampras said that he believes Rafael Nadal can outshine his record of 14 Grand Slam singles titles and challenge Roger Federer for the all-time mark if he is smart. “If you break down his game and what he’s been able to do on all surfaces, he’s only 24 and he’s got 10 majors, you do the math,” said Sampras, a winner of 64-singles titles during his 15-year career. “Obviously, I think he is going to pass me at some stage. The all-time record is a lot of work, and Roger can obviously continue to add to his list. But if Rafa is smart with his schedule and plans it out right, he can very well do it. We all know how hard he works.”


Isner accepts wild card into main draw at next week’s Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships

World No. 47 John Isner has accepted a wild card into the main draw at the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, which will be played at the famed International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., starting July 4 and continuing through July 10. Isner, who will be the top seed in Newport, a first for him at an ATP World Tour event, replaces world No. 9 Mardy Fish who will skip the tournament to participate in the United States’ Davis Cup tie next weekend against Spain in Austin, Texas. “We are very pleased to welcome John back to Newport for the third time,” said Mark L. Stenning, Tournament Director. “He’s a great addition to our field, which is a very athletic, competitive group, with players like former world No. 2 Tommy Haas, big-server Ivo Karlovic and young gun Ryan Harrison.” A four-time All-American while playing at the University of Georgia, Isner made his ATP-level main draw debut in Newport in 2007.

Blake accepts wild cards into two summer hardcourt tournaments in Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

James Blake, who is currently ranked No. 102 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, has accepted main draw wild cards into the Atlanta Tennis Championships in suburban Atlanta and the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington, D.C. Following his five-set loss to Marcos Baghdatis in the first round at Wimbledon, the 31-year-old said retirement has not crossed his mind. “It hasn’t crossed my mind yet,” said Blake. “That’s going to be a decision that’s going to take longer than one match and I wouldn’t want to make it within an hour, two hours, or even a day of a loss, especially because your head isn’t where it’s supposed to be at that time. There’s probably been around, I don’t know how many matches I’ve lost over the years, probably about a couple of hundred, and I’d say out of 200 about 198 of them I probably thought I should retire right after those. I’d come back the next day ready to play and ready to get better. I’m thinking this one will be the same.”

Zvonareva commits to WTA Mercury Insurance Open at LaCosta Resort and Spa in California

Tournament officials at the WTA Mercury Insurance Open presented by Tri-City Medical Center announced that world No. 3 Vera Zvonareva of Russia will participate in this summer’s tournament, which will be held from July 30-August 7 at the LaCosta Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.

WTA Citi Open moving to College Park venue

The Tennis Center at College Park in Maryland will be the new site of the $220,000 WTA International-level Citi Open from July 23-31, which was moved there after the Troy Park Tennis and Sports Center in Elkridge was not able to get funded enough to be developed in time to host the inaugural tournament this summer. “We thought we had the financing lined up last December, but the bond markets, the economy is a mess and no one was lending,” said Art Tollick, President of the Howard County Tennis Patrons. “It was discouraging, but we view it as a temporary setback.” Since the park hadn’t progressed as planned, the tournament owner, Donald Dell, a former ATP World Tour and Davis Cup player who is currently a Washington lawyer and sports agent, and his tournament director, Sam Duvall, scrambled to find a site and considered the nation’s capital as a venue. However, Duvall said the idea was to host a tournament in Maryland all along. “The goal was to have this event at Troy Park,” said Duvall. “Unfortunately, the financing wasn’t in place. Things are progressing now, and we’re 100 percent certain the tournament will be at Troy Park in the future. But, for now, we’re having it in College Park. It’s the next best place. We want it to be Maryland’s tournament, and it is still in Maryland.” Israeli Shahar Peer, Australian Jelena Dokic and Americans Melanie Oudin and Sloane Stephens are all slated to compete in the Citi Open next month.

Nadal to skip Spain’s Davis Cup quarterfinal tie against United States in Austin

Blaming the International Tennis Federation’s lack of scheduling consideration, top-ranked Rafael Nadal will not participate in Spain’s Davis Cup quarterfinal tie against the United States from July 8-10 in Austin, Texas. The 10-time Grand Slam singles champion says he needs to have his knees examined and 15-20 days to rest before partaking in the second half of the season including the US Open in New York.

USTA to donate $100,000 to help rebuild Joplin (Mo.) High School and support community

Last Thursday, the USTA announced that they will donate $100,000 to the city of Joplin, Mo., to assist with the disaster relief efforts from the tornado stricken community. The USTA is highly committed to rebuilding Joplin High School and its tennis courts, which were demolished during the storm. Furthermore, the USTA will bring SmashZone, the interactive fan attraction featured annually at the US Open each summer in New York, to Missouri Southern State University on Thursday, June 30 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. CT, in an effort to help boost the spirits of the children and families affected by the disaster. The SmashZone event is free to the public. “The USTA is committed to help rebuild Joplin and assist its tornado victims,” said Jon Vegosen, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “By having our SmashZone Mobile Tour come to Joplin, we hope to provide the community an outlet for a day to enjoy themselves and the sport of tennis.”

Tickets on sale now for U.S. and Spain Davis Cup Draw Ceremony and Musical Performance

Tickets are on sale now for just $5 to attend the U.S. and Spain Davis Cup draw ceremony with a special musical performance featuring nine-time Grammy Award-winning “Asleep at The Wheel”. The draw ceremony will take place at the Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theatre in Austin, Texas on Thursday, July 12 at 12:00 p.m. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. and all proceeds will go to the Joplin Schools Tornado Relief Fund. To order tickets, call (877) 437-9849 or visit the Waterloo Records store in Austin.

Promising American junior player now working with Davenport’s former coach

According to Twitter post by Matt Cronin (@TennisReporters), up and coming American junior player Madison Keys left the Chris Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Fla., six weeks ago to begin working with USTA coach Adam Peterson. Peterson is best known as Lindsay Davenport’s former coach.

Raonic hip injury not as severe as first thought

Rising Canadian star Milos Raonic’s hip injury that he sustained during his second round loss to Gilles Mueller at Wimbledon is not as severe as first feared. In a statement, the 25th-ranked Raonic said an MRI of the injury revealed strained ligaments. He is hopeful to play in Canada’s Davis Cup tie against Ecuador from July 8-10.

Burkitt named Dunlop Territory Manager

Dunlop announced that Todd Burkitt has joined their team as the Territory Manager for North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Southern Virginia and Coastal Georgia. Burkitt, who has over 20 years of experience in the racquet sports industry, once oversaw a 7,500 racquets-per-year retail stringing operation in Atlanta. He has been a USRSA-certified Master Racquet Technician since 1995. “We are excited to have someone with Todd’s skills and experience on the Dunlop team,” said Kai Nitsche, Vice President and General Manager of Dunlop Racket Sports. “With our recent restructuring we have positioned our brand extremely well to manage our steady growth. Bringing in a territory manager like Todd, who has established relationships with a wide variety of accounts, is a great fit for us and Kim’s expanded promotions role will continue to help give better visibility to our brand at grass roots.”

Book Launch Event in New York on June 29 at Opia for “THE WIMBLEDON FINAL THAT NEVER WAS”

“THE WIMBLEDON FINAL THAT NEVER WAS” is the newly-released memoir of Sidney Wood, the former New York resident and member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, detailing his life and times with some of the most famous global personalities, including the unusual circumstances that lead him to win Wimbledon 80 YEARS AGO. David Wood of Queens, N.Y., will be making a casual, low-key public appearance Wednesday, June 29 at 6 pm to 9 pm at OPIA (57thStreet at Lexington Ave.) to sign and personally discuss the book and show off some of his father’s tennis memorabilia, including the racquet he used to win the Wimbledon title in 1931. The cornerstone tale of THE WIMBLEDON FINAL THAT NEVER WAS is one of the most unusual episodes ever in sport when he won the men’s singles title at Wimbledon by forfeit. Wood, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 97, tells the story of how he won the title over Frank Shields, his school buddy, doubles partner, roommate and Davis Cup teammate – and the grandfather of actress and model Brooke Shields – when Shields was ordered by the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) to withdraw from the final to rest his injured knee in preparation for a U.S. Davis Cup match following Wimbledon. He then discusses his “private understanding playoff” that saw his match with Shields at the Queen’s Club tournament final in London three years later be played for the Wimbledon trophy. Wood, who could be called the greatest story teller tennis ever had, also relates fascinating anecdotes and stories that involve some of greatest titans of tennis and such legendary Hollywood personalities as Grace Kelly, Errol Flynn, Charlie Chaplin, Groucho Marx, Gary Cooper among others. Wood also critiques all the best players and all the best strokes for every top player through the years – from Bill Tilden, Rene Lacoste and Don Budge all the way to the modern era of the game. Wood was born on November 1, 1911 in Black Rock, Conn., and was a long-time resident of New York, N.Y., Southampton, N.Y., and Palm Beach, Fla. When he won the Wimbledon title in 1931 at age 19, he was the youngest man to win the singles title at the All England Club – 17-year-old Boris Becker breaking his record in 1985. He still holds the record of being the youngest player to compete at Wimbledon at age 15 in 1927. He was a singles finalist at the 1935 U.S. Championships and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1964. David Wood is the youngest son of Sidney Wood and served as a contributor to the book.

USANA Health Science and WTA launch “Ace Out Hunger” program

In a recent press release, USANA Health Sciences, Inc. recently announced that it will donate $10 for every ace served at WTA events throughout the 2011 season, beginning with The Championships at Wimbledon. The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) will support USANA’s contribution with a $25,000 donation. All proceeds from the “Ace Out Hunger” program will benefit Children’s Hunger Fund (CHF), a global nonprofit organization fighting hunger in impoverished regions around the world. “In tennis, an ace is a point-winning serve that isn’t returned by the opposing player,” said Dan Macuga, USANA’s Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations. “It is considered a demonstration of strength and strategy—qualities that represent USANA. Through this charitable program, we’re able to provide food, nutrients and vital resources to children in need. This is a program that is meaningful to us in many ways.” “When you consider that an estimated 1.4 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day, $10 can really go a long way,” says Dave Philips, CHF president. “We will be tuning in closely to every match, cheering whenever an ace is scored, knowing what a difference that single serve can make. We cannot thank USANA and the WTA enough for their compassion and generosity.” “We are thrilled to contribute to the Children’s Hunger Fund through the efforts of our world-class athletes,” said Stacey Allaster, CEO and Chairman of the WTA. “USANA is a fantastic partner of the WTA and this program will make a real difference in helping children in dire need.” “I’ve had a chance to learn more about Children’s Hunger Fund and am impressed by how effective they are at distributing resources,” said Liezel Huber, former WTA No.1 doubles player and USANA brand ambassador. “About 99% of CHF’s total contributions go directly into their programs. This is a charity that is doing what it promises to do, and I’m proud to support them.” In 2010, over 12,000 aces were scored in the season and as many as 596 in a single tournament. To date, USANA has donated over $11 million in monetary and in-kind contributions to Children’s Hunger Fund. For more information on USANA’s products and company, visit www.USANA.com.

United States Professional Tennis Association’s Buying Show to be held at Saddlebrook Resort

The United States Professional Tennis Association’s (USPTA) Buying Show will be held on September 22 during the World Conference on Tennis at the famed Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel, Fla. Booth space is currently still available for the largest national tennis-only buying show. Exhibitors include tennis equipment, apparel and footwear companies, marketers and wholesalers of hard and soft goods, video analysis, Web-based programs and software, teaching aids, court surfacing and lighting, awards, educational materials, nutrition bars and vitamins, and more. More than 1,500 tennis-teaching professionals, industry leaders and representatives, media and manufacturer representatives are expected to attend. Manufacturers are encouraged to submit booth registrations early to guarantee their space since the buying show sells out each year. To obtain booth reservation forms, visit usptaworldconference.com and click on the buying show menu tab or call John Dettor at (713) 978-7782 or e-mail him at marketing@uspta.org.

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About Justin Cohen
Justin Cohen is a graduate of Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Specialization in Journalism and was a member of the varsity tennis team, where he and his teammates finished as the runner-up at the 2006 NCAA Division II Men’s Tennis Championships. Justin began writing his weekly column, “This Week in Tennis Business with Justin Cohen” in July 2009. The following month, he covered the ATP/WTA Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women’s Open in Cincinnati, Ohio interviewing most of the top ranked players in the world. A lifelong tennis enthusiast who has enjoyed traveling to many professional tennis tournaments, Justin has much experience in the tennis industry. Previously, he worked at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association in Princeton, New Jersey, and also completed summer internships in ticket sales at the ATP/WTA Tour Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women’s Open in Cincinnati and in marketing at the Tennis Channel in Los Angeles.

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