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Chris Evert to host re-launch party for sportswear brand Ellesse on September 9 in New York City

Tennis legend Chris Evert will be joined by many friends and industry executives for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on September 9 at Town Tennis Club in the Upper East Side in New York City to celebrate the re-launch of sportswear brand, Ellesse. USTA junior players Whitney Schott and Loulou Revson will serve as Ellesse models during the event, according to the New York Post. Evert, a former world No. 1 and winner of 18 Grand Slam singles titles, long endorsed the Italian brand during her celebrated playing career. Evert has signed on to be a brand ambassador for the newly launched Ellesse North America. The Boca Raton resident will be heavily involved in design, promotion and marketing, as well as making key decision in the development of the signature collection, “Chris Evert for Ellesse.” Founded in 1959 by Leonardo Servadio, Ellesse originally grew popular as a tennis and skiwear company.

Ellesse

 

USTA honors Executive Director of Intercollegiate Tennis Association, former Princeton Tennis Coach

During the USTA Semiannual meeting on September 5 at the Grand Hyatt in midtown Manhattan, Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Executive Director and retired Princeton University men’s tennis coach David A Benjamin was honored with the prestigious 2011 United States Tennis Association’s President’s Award. The President’s Award honors an individual who has given unusual and extraordinary service to the sport of tennis in the public’s interest. Since its inception in 1999, award recipients have included Billie Jean King, Lindsay Davenport, Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan and former New York City Mayor David Dinkins. “David Benjamin has had a remarkable impact on the game of tennis and has been a major contributor in our efforts to grow the game,” said Jon Vegosen, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “Not only collegiate varsity tennis, but also the entire tennis community has benefitted from his incredible passion, dedication and commitment.” Benjamin, who has his office at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association headquarters located just minutes away from the Princeton campus in Skillman, N.J., was a former captain and No. 1 singles player on the 1963 Harvard freshman team that went undefeated. He started coaching at Princeton in 1974, and over the years helped guide seven teams to Eastern College Athletic Conference titles. He finished his stellar career as the Tigers head coach with a record of 339-150 (with an Ivy League record of 178-44). In 1975, Benjamin joined forces with Eve Kraft to set up a special project between the State Department and the USTA, and for two years he served as the first administrator of the USTA International Joint Tennis Teaching Project. This program was the initial prototype of the international player development program that the International Tennis Federation (ITF) would create years later. Benjamin was also invited by the Unites States State Department to serve on a special mission to Togo to establish a national tennis program and train Togo’s best young tennis players. As Executive Director of the ITA, Benjamin has created varsity college tennis into a remarkable experience for both the student athletes and coaches including exciting tournaments, outstanding competition, awards for the players and coaches, an annual coaches convention in Florida, a summer circuit of tennis tournaments throughout the United States and sportsmanship events during Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day during the US Open with its top collegiate athletes. Benjamin has created the ITA to serve as the governing body of collegiate tennis.

 

Steffi Graf and Longines to host Center Court for Kids tennis clinic in Harlem on Thursday, September 8

Steffi Graf, a former world No. 1 and 22-time Grand Slam champion, will team up with Swiss watchmaker Longines to host the Center Court for Kids tennis clinic on Thursday, September 8 at the Howard Bennett Park in Harlem, N.Y. The event is presented by the Harlem Junior Tennis and Educational Program and USTA Eastern and will benefit Graf’s charity, Children for Tomorrow. The special day kicks off at 9 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Howard Bennett Park’s six newly furbished tennis courts. From 9:30-11:30 a.m., the Longines Center Court for Kids clinic will take place. From 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., a public hit around with Graf will take place presented by Longines. The event is part of Longines’ global commitment to support and develop tennis’ superstars of tomorrow. Members of the Harlem Junior Tennis program and Ann Tisch’s Young Women’s Leadership School will interact with Graf and other tennis professionals and receive instruction on sportsmanship, setting and achieving goals, and tips to improve their game.

 

Chris Evert to host re-launch party for sportswear brand Ellesse on September 9 in New York City

Tennis legend Chris Evert will be joined by many friends and industry executives for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on September 9 at Town Tennis Club in the Upper East Side in New York City to celebrate the re-launch of sportswear brand, Ellesse. USTA junior players Whitney Schott and Loulou Revson will serve as Ellesse models during the event, according to the New York Post. Evert, a former world No. 1 and winner of 18 Grand Slam singles titles, long endorsed the Italian brand during her celebrated playing career. Evert has signed on to be a brand ambassador for the newly launched Ellesse North America. The Boca Raton resident will be heavily involved in design, promotion and marketing, as well as making key decision in the development of the signature collection, “Chris Evert for Ellesse.” Founded in 1959 by Leonardo Servadio, Ellesse originally grew popular as a tennis and skiwear company.

 

Agassi, Evert, Navratilova, Trabert to attend The Legends Ball in New York City on September 9

More than 15 tennis Hall of Famers, celebrities and tennis industry executives will gather for The Legends Ball on Friday, September 9 at the Cipriani Wall Street in New York City to pay tribute to the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011 inductees, Andre Agassi and Peachy Kellmeyer. Proceeds of The Legends Ball, which has been held annually since 1980, will benefit the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and support its mission of preserving the history of the game, honoring the legends and inspiring the future. Among the Hall of Famers scheduled to be in attendance include Agassi, Kellmeyer, Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Martin Navratilova, Tony Trabert, Donald Dell, and many more. In addition, renowned sports broadcaster and 13-time Emmy Award winner Dick Enberg will be presented the Eugene L. Scott Award and the Campbell Soup Company will receive the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award, in recognition of their many years of continued support of tennis at many levels. Former WTA Tour player and current tennis commentator Mary Carillo will serve as the evenings emcee. Mark Ein of Washington, D.C., Mike and Becky Goss of Westport, Conn., and Bob Jeffrey of New York City are co-chairs of the event. Several special guests are scheduled to attend including Grammy Award winning singer Marc Cohn and his wife, ABC News journalist, Elizabeth Vargas. During the night, Fila will showcase special displays throughout the room celebrating their 100th anniversary. “During one of the most exciting weeks on the tennis calendar, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is pleased to invite tennis enthusiasts to join us in New York City to celebrate the accomplishments of our recent inductees, Andre Agassi and Peachy Kellmeyer,” said Christopher E. Clouser, Chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. “The Legends Ball is an opportunity to pay tribute to the outstanding contributors to the sport of tennis who have played an instrumental role in its growth, and both Dick Enberg and Campbell Soup Company are at the very top of that list. We look forward to an unforgettable celebration of tennis in support of our mission to preserve the history of the sport, and we extend our appreciation to our co-chairs Mark Ein, Mike and Becky Goss, and Bob Jeffrey for their support and leadership of the 2011 Legends Ball.” The evening will feature a robust live and silent auction including VIP experiences at the finals of all four Grand Slams in 2012, autographed memorabilia from tennis legends including Agassi, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe and others, luxurious vacations, exclusive event tickets, and much more. The auction may be previewed on www.biddingforgood.com/tennisfameauction. A limited number of tickets for The Legends Ball are still available and can be purchased by calling (401) 849-3990 or by emailing mforts@tennisfame.com.

 

Aetna and USTA announce Elementary School Grant Program

During the ICON Awards Celebration on Tuesday, the new “Aetna ICON Grants” were unveiled. This grant program, which will be made available to all 17 USTA sections, will be used to help improve health, physical activity and academic achievement of youth in diverse communities throughout the United States, through integration of tennis, health and education curricula in after-school programs. Through the program, the USTA will provide tennis equipment, tennis lines and personalized training for teachers and coaches. Aetna will supply volunteers to conduct the education and health portions of the program; and the USTA Serves, the National Charitable Foundation of the USTA, will provide the financial grant, program evaluation and oversight. Representatives from the USTA’s 17 sections will assist in passing out the materials to the schools and providing ongoing program recommendations. Schools with at least 51 percent non-white enrollment will be targeted and will not be required to currently provide a tennis program at the elementary school level, physical education or an afterschool program to be eligible for a grant. Teachers and coaches who would like to assist, will not be required to have a tennis background, but must be committed to help supervising the tennis and education program.

 

Nine Tennis Facilities Honored for Excellence as 2011 USTA Outstanding Facility Award Winners

During the USTA semiannual meeting during the meeting of the Technical Committee on September 4 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, nine tennis facilities were honored for excellence as part of its 30th annual USTA Facility Awards Program, which recognizes excellence in construction and/or renovation of tennis facilities throughout the United States. Award-winning facilities must be under the jurisdiction of a parks and recreation department, an educational institution, a non-profit corporation, or private and commercially owned and operated facilities that offer both USTA and public programming designed to help grow tennis. Facilities were judged upon the following criteria: overall layout and adaptation to site; excellence of court surface and lights; ease of maintenance; accommodations for players, spectators and press/officials; aesthetics; graphics (including the use of signs and landscaping); amenities such as casual seating for spectators, food services and social areas; and the facilities’ participation in USTA programs. Nominated facilities were voted upon in the following categories: Public Courts that are either small tennis centers with 2-10 courts or large tennis centers with 11 or more courts; Educational Institutions; and Private Facilities that support the USTA and other “growth of the game” programs open to the public. The Public Courts (Small Tennis Centers – 2-10 courts) winners were Lone Tree Park & Tennis Center in Littleton, Colo., and Kiest Park in Dallas. The Public Courts (Large Tennis Center 11 or more courts) winners were Wagon Wheel Tennis Center in Coppel, Texas, The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs in Steamboat Springs, Colo., South Lake Tennis Center in South Lake, Texas, and Jonesville Tennis Center in Gainesville, Fla. The Jamie Kaplan Tennis Center in Macon, Ga., won honor for the Educational Institute. The River Hills Club in Jackson, Miss. and Centercourt Athletic Club in Chatham, N.J., won for Private Facilities. “These facilities do a tremendous job at providing tennis to the communities they serve,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. “We are proud to honor them for their commitment to growing the game of tennis, and building a foundation for people to continue to play the sport that they love.”

 

Pancho Gonzalez inducted into US Open Court of Champions

Pancho Gonzalez, a tennis pioneer and two-time U.S. National Champion, was inducted into the US Open Court of Champions on Arthur Ashe Stadium during the night session on Saturday, September 3 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. The US Open Court of Champions honors the greatest singles champions in the history of the 130 years of the U.S. Championships/US Open.  The ceremony was hosted by accomplished actor and a founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, Esai Morales, who was joined by New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez for the tribute. Tennis Channel aired portions of the ceremony during its broadcast that evening. “Pancho Gonzalez was not only a great champion but also a true pioneer in the sport of tennis,” said Jon Vegosen, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. “He has served and will continue to serve as a role model for generations of Americans, especially Hispanic-American athletes, and I’m proud that his name will live forever amongst the greatest US Open champions.” Gonzalez, who taught himself tennis on public courts at the age of 12, broke many tennis barriers. A fan favorite throughout the 1950s and 1960s, he won back-to-back titles at the U.S. Championships in Forest Hills, N.Y. in 1948-1949. His passion for the sport of tennis led him to the top-ranking for an unequaled eight years. At 40-years-old in 1968, Gonzalez reached the semifinals at Roland Garros and the quarterfinals at the inaugural US Open. Just shy of his 44th birthday, Gonzalez became the oldest player to ever win a professional tennis tournament by winning the Des Moines Open.

 

McEnroe, Vandeweghe to join World TeamTennis Smash Hits field in Cleveland on October 27

Former world No. 1 John McEnroe and 19-year-old American Coco Vandeweghe have joined the field for the World TeamTennis Smash Hits presented by GEICO, the annual event hosted by Sir Elton John and tennis legend Billie Jean King, which will take place on Thursday, October 27 at Cleveland’s Public Hall. McEnroe and Vandeweghe join an already impressive lineup which includes former world No. 1s Andy Roddick, Martina Navratilova and Amelie Mauresmo, along with WTT veteran Jan-Michael Gambill, who is currently the traveling coach of Vandeweghe. Tickets for the event are currently on sale and can be purchased at www.WTT.com/SmashHits or by calling (866) 994-4436. Corner reserved seats are $25, upper reserved seats are $40 and premium reserved seats are $65. For group sales of 10 or more tickets, call (212) 586-3444. WTT Smash Hits has raised more than $10 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and various local AIDS charities since 1993. This year’s event will benefit EJAF and the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland.

 

Gaston Gaudio officially calls it a career on the ATP World Tour

2004 French Open champion Gaston Gaudio officially retired from the ATP World Tour on August 30 during an interview with an Argentina television station. Gaudio, who has not played an ATP-level match in over a year, said he retired “long ago” but waited to see if he would change his mind. “At first it was complicated, many years playing and many joys and sadnesses, but it passed,” said Gaudio. “I could play exhibitions, but I’m not coming back.” The Buenos Aires native, who turned pro in 1996, reached a career-high ranking on No. 5 in April 2005. Gaudio finished his stellar career with 270 wins and 196 losses, which included winning eight clay court singles titles, three clay court doubles titles and earning just over $6 million in tournament prize money. During his career, Gaudio earned victories over David Nalbandian, Lleyton Hewitt, Marat Safin, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Fernando Verdasco, Fernando Gonzalez, Guillermo Coria, Albert Costa and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Gaudio mentioned during his retirement announcement that he will not rule out becoming a tennis coach.



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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.

One Response to “Ellesse brand to be re-launched: This Week in Tennis Business with Justin Cohen”

  1. Great article!! I remember the brand as a kid and am looking forward to their comeback!!