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By Justin Cohen @JustinCohen44

Novak Djokovic to wear adidas footwear

adidas and top-ranked Djokovic agree to Footwear Deal

adidas revealed a new footwear partnership with ATP World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. The Serbian star debuted his Barricade 7 at the French Open two weeks ago. The deal follows on from Novak’s personal decision to wear the Barricade shoe for many years; with all six of his Grand Slam titles achieved wearing the adidas shoe. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Novak said: “The adidas Barricade is my favorite shoe. I have been wearing it for many years and have worn all the different generations. I have full confidence in the shoe and am very comfortable on the court when I wear it, which is essential for a tennis player. I have very specific dynamic movements, with a lot of splits and slides, so I need to have the right stability in the shoe, but also have an optimal weight and great performance. The Barricade offers me everything – adidas has provided me with the best shoe possible to help me win Roland Garros for the first time.” “It has been more than impressive to see Novak evolve into the World Number One tennis player today. adidas is proud to partner with Novak and will do all we can to help him win more titles in the future by ensuring his footwear is industry-leading.” said Vincent Montalescot, Vice President Global Sports Marketing.

Mt. Sinai Medical partners with USTA and US Open

The USTA recently announced that The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City has been named the exclusive medical services provider and hospital of the USTA and US Open. In addition to providing on-site clinical care for tennis professionals competing in the US Open, Mount Sinai’s team of medical experts will lead the development of policies around injury prevention and will conduct educational outreach to promote the health benefits of tennis. This effort could impact millions of recreational players in the US and potentially draw new players to the sport. The new, national year-round partnership between Mount Sinai and the USTA is believed to be one of the most in-depth relationships between a sports entity and a health care provider. In conjunction with the new partnership, Alexis Chiang Colvin, MD, Assistant Professor of Sports Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the Leni and Peter W. May Department of Orthopaedics and a specialist in the surgical treatment of sports-related injuries of the knee, shoulder, and hip, will serve as the USTA’s Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Colvin has extensive experience treating professional athletes, including the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins, as well as collegiate athletes. She previously served as a consultant to the USTA for the US Open, providing medical care to the players. In her new role with the USTA, Dr. Colvin will assist the USTA with initiatives across multiple divisions, including player development, community tennis, and diversity and inclusion. She will also serve as the Medical Advisor to the U.S. Fed Cup team. “Players will be able to access Mount Sinai’s facilities throughout the year, providing continuity of care and access to Mount Sinai’s core orthopaedic team,” said Dr. Colvin. Dr. Colvin’s colleague, James Gladstone, MD, Associate Professor of Sports Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine in the Leni and Peter W. May Department of Orthopaedics and Co-Director of Sports Medicine at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, will serve as Medical Advisor to the U.S. Davis Cup team.

Freedoms now accepting applicants for Hamlin Family Foundation Billie Jean King Character Award

The Philadelphia Freedoms are currently accepting applications from youth athletes for the Billie Jean King Character Award. This award provides scholarships to ten selected youths, ages 10-18, who are seeking to become a competitive athlete in any sport, to participate in tournaments or on their school team, and who have displayed outstanding character. The top male and female scholarship recipients will receive a $1,000 scholarship and the second place male and female recipients will each receive a $500 scholarship. The awards will be presented to the recipients by WTT co-founder and Philadelphia Freedoms owner Billie Jean King at a Freedoms home match in July at Villanova University. The objective of the Hamlin Family Foundation-Character Initiative and CITRS is to honor the actions of those who have displayed good character, integrity and fortitude in their lives, and prepare recipients to become mentors and character ambassadors. CITRS is the cornerstone of the Hamlin Family Foundation’s philosophy for character education. Applications are due by June 24, 2013 and must be submitted along with two (2) letters of recommendation, a short essay regarding the applicant’s demonstration of character, and a CITRS Character Mini-Assessment. For the award application, visit http://www.philadelphiafreedoms.com/teams/freedoms/pictures/2013_BJK_Award_OnlineApp.pdf

Rafael Nadal commits to play Beijing in September

2013 French Open champion Rafael Nadal has committed to compete in the 10th China Open in Beijing, which will be held from September 22-October 6. The tournament is an ATP World Tour 500 event. It will mark Nadal’s first appearance in four years at the Beijing event.

James Blake to play Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport

Former Top 5 player James Blake has committed to compete in the 2013 Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, R.I., which will be held on the historic grounds of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum from July 8-14. “It will be great to have James back in Newport this summer. He always delivers exciting tennis and we know his New England fans will appreciate the opportunity to see him back in action in this area,” said Tournament Director Mark L. Stenning. “Putting James in the mix with players like John Isner, Sam Querrey, Lleyton Hewitt, and Ryan Harrison sets us up for a great week to kick off the pro tennis summer season in the United States.” In 2002, the former Harvard University star reached the finals in Newport as well as a semifinal performance in 2001.

Michael Chang to host 3rd Tennis Classic in Newport Beach

Former World No. 2 and French Open Champion Michael Chang will be hosting his 3rd Tennis Classic on the courts of the Newport Beach Tennis Club in Southern California from July 26-28. The main tennis tournament is a USTA Sanctioned event including Men’s and Women’s singles,  doubles and mixed doubles with prize money awarded in the Open divisions. Newport Beach Tennis Club is the host site this year and as a special addition to the tournament, Newport Beach Tennis Club will host a Saturday night player party to include dinner and live music. This year’s charitable beneficiaries will be the Prince of Peace Children’s Home in Tianjin, China and The Chang Family Foundation. The Prince of Peace Children’s home was built to provide a loving place for orphan children with special needs. All of the children at POPCH have congenital illnesses, and most are affected by cerebral palsy or Down syndrome. While under their care, POPCH seeks to provide the children with a clean and loving home and to connect them with the best possible medical/surgical care and rehabilitation services according to their individual needs. The Chang Family Foundation dedicates it’s time to community service, and programs that combine sports, family, and faith. Last year’s charity tournament raised $20,000 for Habitat for Humanity and the Chang Family Foundation. Several big name sponsors have already signed on to be a part of the 2013 Michael Chang Tennis Classic, including VantaQuest, Montauk Triguard, Nestlé, Affinity Investments, Babolat, Northwestern Mutual, Iwamoto Kong, and RLH Equity. For more information on this summer’s Michael Chang Tennis Classic or to sign up for the Kickoff Clinic and tournament, go to www.changtennis.com.

USTA Midwest Section announces 2013 Hall of Fame Inductees

Tennis legend Billie Jean King and former USTA President Jon Vegosen will be inducted into the 2013 USTA/Midwest Section Hall of Fame on December 6 in Chicago, Ill. The 2013 USTA/Midwest Section Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at the Chicago Renaissance in downtown Chicago during the USTA/Midwest Section’s 120th Annual Meeting. King won 39-time Grand Slam titles during her career while Vegosen currently serves on the USTA Board of Directors and is Chairman of the USTA Major Construction Oversight Committee.

Tennis Industry Association to offer Tennis Specialty Retail Certification Course

The TIA is developing an online Tennis Specialty Retailer Certification course that will cover key aspects of the tennis retail business and, upon successful completion, allow retailers to be recognized as a “TIA Certified Specialty Tennis Retailer.” The certification course is being developed with the assistance of retail consulting firm Gluskin Townley Group, along with input from the TIA’s Retail Panel, industry manufacturers and organizations, and the USRSA. “We are focused on helping tennis retailers improve their business, and we feel the information and product knowledge that will be offered through our online certification course can help all levels of retailers and their employees serve their customers better,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. The course will consist of eight independent online “modules.” Each module concludes with an online multiple-choice test that can also be taken independently of the module. The eight certification courses include store operations, business technology & reporting, financials, marketing & promotions, customer service, store environment, management and product knowledge. In addition to these eight modules under discussion, short online informational webinars from participating manufacturers about their current products are being considered.

Tennis Tune-Up Campaign Gains Industry Support

The Tennis Industry Association recently re-launched PlayTennis.com to get more tennis players into the game and progress on the pathway to becoming frequent players. Accompanying the re-launch of the site is the introduction of an all-new industry initiative that is gaining support from retailers, manufacturers, and the USRSA—a “Tennis Tune-Up” campaign. The goal of the campaign is two-fold: First, to help educate consumers on the need to be properly fit for tennis equipment and to restring their racquets on a regular basis, and second, to drive customers to tennis retail outlets and certified stringers for expert advice. “Consumers benefit from knowledgeable retailers and racquet technicians to help them choose the frame and string that best suits their game and style of play, and who can help them determine when their racquet needs to be serviced,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “An industry-wide campaign to have people restring more and tune up their equipment will help all tennis retailers,” adds Woody Schneider of NYC Racquet Sports. To help consumers find retailers who participate in the “Tennis Tune-Up” effort, the TIA is currently developing an integrated search function for USRSA Certified Stringers and Master Racquet Technicians on its already existing “Find-A-Retailer” search of the re-launched PlayTennis.com website. In the coming weeks the TIA will be working with the USRSA, industry manufacturers, and members of its TIA Retail Division to develop collateral material for tennis retailers and Certified Stringers and Master Racquet Technicians to utilize in the promotion and delivery of the campaign. Tennis retailers and other providers who want to participate in the campaign and be a part of PlayTennis.com should make sure they’re listed on the PlayTennis.com retail locator, or that their listing is up to date, by visiting PlayTennis.com and clicking “Find a Retailer.”

Longines Future Tennis Aces Titles Goes to Germany’s Rudolf Molleker

Sixteen of the world’s top boys’ 12-and-under players battled for the title of 2013 Longines Future Tennis Aces champion last week, with Germany’s Rudolf Molleker finally taking home the championship in a dominating performance. For the first time, the tournament was played in front of the Hotel de Ville (City Hall) in the center of Paris. Molleker defeated Carlos Sanchez Jover of Spain 4-1, 4-0 in the final in the fourth annual tournament. Following the final match, the two had the opportunity to meet Longines Rising Tennis Stars Ryan Harrison and Sabine Lisicki and teamed with Fabrice Santoro, patron of the 2013 edition of the Longines Future Tennis Aces, and former ATP star Arnaud Clément of France, friend of Longines, in an exhibition doubles match. Longines has been the official Partner and Timekeeper of the French Open at Roland Garros since 2007. For the first time this year, the U.S. representative was selected by virtue of winning the USTA Boys’ 12s National Spring Championships played in Delray Beach, Fla., in April. The Longines Future Tennis Aces tournament is part of Longines’ global commitment to support and develop tennis’ superstars of tomorrow.

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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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