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Martina Hingis

Hingis joins coaching ranks at Patrick Mouratoglou Academy in Paris

Former world No. 1 and five-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Hingis has joined the prestigious Patrick Mouratoglou Academy in Paris as an advisor and will help oversee the playing careers of Daria Gavrilova, Yulia Putintseva, Naomi Broady and Sachia Vickery. The Swiss legend will travel to the Australian Open in January with those players, and also play in the Legends event while in town. “Now that she has accepted the end of her career, Martina is ready to move on and coaching is a natural,” said Mouratoglou. “The girls are delighted and are well aware of the opportunity they have. It’s been one month that she has been with us and everything is going very well…We all know about her tactical understanding of the game, her insight on the court.”

John McEnroe to be honored by the New York Junior Tennis League on November 17

At the glamorous Waldorf Astoria in New York City on Thursday, November 17 at 12:00 noon, the New York Junior Tennis League (NYJTL) will present tennis legend John McEnroe with its annual Leadership Award during its 26th annual luncheon. McEnroe, a former top-ranked ATP player and seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, has helped grow the game of tennis in his hometown of New York City by opening the John McEnroe Tennis Academy at Randall’s Island, a part of the SPORTIME organization. Further, McEnroe is a renowned tennis broadcaster on CBS, NBC, ESPN2 and Tennis Channel, and continues to play tennis competitively in World TeamTennis events, the Champions Series Tour and exhibition matches around the globe. The luncheon will also recognize Howard Lutnick, Chairman and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald. To purchase tickets to the event, visit www.nyjtlluncheon.kintera.org or contact Pamela Glick at pglick@nyjtl.org.

Racquet Club of the South agrees to three-year extension to host Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs

On Monday, the USTA announced they agreed to a new three-year contract to host its annual Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs at Atlanta’s Racquet Club of the South, a USTA Certified Regional Training Center. This year’s tournament, which will be held from December 16-18, marks the third consecutive year it will take played at the Racquet Club of the South. “The Racquet Club of the South has been a great host for our Australian Open Wild Card Playoff the past two years. The Atlanta tennis community has embraced the event and we expect interest to continue to grow in the coming years,” said Patrick McEnroe, USTA Player Development General Manager. “The event is a great showcase for our players and promotes our philosophy of having them earn their way into Grand Slam events through competition.” Eight men and eight women will compete in the playoff event with aspirations of earning a main draw wild card into the Australian Open in Melbourne in January 2012. The USTA secured the opportunity through a reciprocal agreement with Tennis Australia where the two national tennis federations exchange wild cards for the 2011 US Open and the 2012 Australian Open. The fields for the event will be announced in the coming weeks. For tickets and more information, visit www.australianwildcard.com. USTA members receive 10% off their ticket purchases by using the promotional code: “usta10off”.

Anastasia Myskina honored with Fed Cup Award of Excellence

Former world No. 2 and 2004 French Open champion Anastasia Myskina was recently honored as the 2011 Fed Cup Award of Excellence recipient by the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and the International Tennis Federation (ITF). ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and Jane Brown Grimes, president emerita of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, presented Myskina with the award on Saturday, November 5 in Moscow, during the 2011 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final between the Czech Republic and Russia. “Anastasia Myskina has been a great factor in the success of the Russian Fed Cup team and an inspiration for the growth of tennis in Russia,” said Francesco Ricci Bitti, ITF President. “In recognition of all that she has achieved and in appreciation for her contributions to the sport and to Fed Cup, we are proud to present her with the Fed Cup Award of Excellence.” Since 2001, the Hall of Fame and ITF have presented the Fed Cup Award of Excellence to a person who represents the ideals and spirits of the Fed Cup competition. It is presented to a person who has been an active member of a past or present Fed Cup team. During her career on the WTA Tour, Myskina played in 11 Fed Cup ties, and was a member of the 2004 and 2005 championship teams. She compiled a winning record of 14-5 in singles and 4-1 in doubles. Myskina won a total of 10 singles titles and 5 doubles titles in her career, and had a career win-loss record of 355-191. From 2002-2006, she finished each season ranked in the Top 20 in the WTA Rankings. She stopped playing competitively due to injury in 2007. Past recipients of the Fed Cup Award of Excellence are American Billie Jean King in 2010; Mary Joe Fernandez of the United States and Silvia Farina of Italy in 2009; Miguel Margets of Spain in 2008; Lea Pericoli of Italy in 2007; Sabine Appelmans of Belgium in 2006; Françoise “Frankie” Dürr of France in 2005; Olga Morozova of Russia in 2004; Larisa Savchenko of Latvia in 2003; Virginia Wade of Great Britain in 2002; and Spain’s Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Conchita Martinez in 2001.

WTA’s season-ending tournament in Istanbul registered highest attendance in 12 years

The attendance for the WTA’s season-ending event in Istanbul, Turkey, the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships, reached 70,824, the highest total in 12 years. The average session was visited by 11,804 fans, and 13,676 packed Stadium Court on championship Sunday to witness Petra Kvitova capture the title by defeating Victoria Azarenka. “The TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships was an historic event in a new market, and having a full stadium of enthusiastic fans supporting our players at the WTA’s crown-jewel finale has demonstrated the global reach and strength of women’s tennis,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA. “Sold-out attendance is also a testament to the Ministry of Sport and Turkish Tennis Federation’s efforts in executing, promoting and organizing this great event.” Record broadcast and digital audience milestones were also set, as the tournament broadcast more than 400 hours of live coverage in 164 countries through 22 international TV broadcasters, the widest reach of a WTA Championships in history. Among the broadcast highlights, the WTA’s longstanding partner Eurosport once again telecast the Championships across its pan-European footprint. The previous high came last year at the WTA Championships in Doha, Qatar through coverage by 19 international broadcasters in 162 countries. Further, EuroSport and ESPN3.com, among others, offered live streaming broadcasts of all matches.

USTA to bring Tennis to Military Veterans and Wounded Warriors

According to a press release, the USTA announced that it has donated two tennis courts to the Charlie Norwood Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Augusta, Ga. for its tennis therapy training programs. The donation of the courts is part of the USTA’s ongoing military outreach efforts to support U.S. military service members and their families, who continue to sacrifice in order to serve our country. Representatives from the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center (CNVAMC), Freedom Alliance and the USTA will dedicate the courts at a ribbon cutting ceremony November 9th.  The two courts, designed and installed by Sport Court®, were built last year to help kick-off First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let Move!” program on the White House Lawn.  They will now be used to help veterans and wounded warriors in their physical therapy and recovery from injuries.  As the only VA facility in partnership with an active duty Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB), Charlie Norwood’s new tennis therapy program will also serve as a rehabilitation space for wounded warriors from the nearby Warrior Transition Unit in Ft. Gordon. “The USTA is honored to provide a resource that will better enable our military veterans and wounded warriors an opportunity to excel in their therapy and recovery,” said Jon Vegosen, USTA Chairman of the Board and President.  “We are proud to partner with Freedom Alliance and showcase how tennis is truly the sport of opportunity.” “We greatly appreciate the commitment shown by the USTA and Connor Sport Courts in promoting the healing journey and recovery of our wounded troops through this very generous donation of tennis courts,” said Tom Kilgannon, Freedom Alliance President.  Through the USTA’s partnership with Freedom Alliance, an educational and charitable organization that sponsors numerous program activities aimed at supporting and honoring our service members and their families, the USTA will be offering training and volunteers for the facility.

Lisicki commits to 2012 ASB Classic in Auckland

Big-serving German Sabine Lisicki, a semifinalist this year at Wimbledon, has committed to playing at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand from January 2-7, 2012 at the ASB Tennis Centre. Currently ranked No. 15, Lisicki made it the second round in Auckland earlier this year after playing her way through the qualifying tournament. “Sabine is a very likable young woman and was a delight to have here. She has always shown exceptional promise and has been one of the biggest movers on the WTA circuit this year as she begins to fulfill her promise. Hopefully fans will get to see her at her best and witness her big serve,” said Richard Palmer, ASB Classic Tournament Director.

Kirilenko to play doubles with Petrova in 2012

Maria Kirilenko will partner with fellow Russian Nadia Petrova next year in doubles in an attempt to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. Kirilenko recently announced the decision at the Fed Cup final last weekend. This past season, Kirilenko played doubles with Victoria Azarenka. Kirilenko has won 10 career doubles titles, while Petrova has captured 19 since turning pro in 1999.

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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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