July 3rd, 2015

Friday Tennis Blog: Rafa Shocker; U.S. TV Bonanza Today at Wimbledon

Friday Blog


FTA board 1977

Members of the Florida Tennis Association board in 1977

This weekend we’ll celebrate the U.S. independence from Great Britain as players battle it out on the lawns of the All England Club at Wimbledon, but also another bold move for independence. When the USTA Florida Section proclaimed its independence from the USTA Southern Section 66 years ago, no tea was spilled in harbors or shots fired, unless you count the shots taken to loosen Florida from one of the largest of the USTA’s sections. “The Southern Association (then known as the Southern Lawn Tennis Association) had a conniption fit,” said Gardnar Mulloy in an article in the Tennis News of Florida in 1992. Mulloy of Miami, Hollywood’s Eddie Herr, St. Petersburg’s Edward Turville, and Orlando’s Clarence Varner were among the key movers and shakers that started the movement that resulted in the formation of the Florida Tennis Association. “But we stood our ground. So they made us a district for one year. Then, in 1949, Florida officially broke away from the SLTA and became its own section.” The organization, with a budget around $1,000 (compared to $4 million today) started with three goals: to develop an equitable rankings system, to sanction more tournaments, and to assist member club with developing youth play. In regard to the USTA Southern Section and Great Britain, 66 years later for USTA Florida and 239 years later for America respectively, the rest is history. Happy Independence Day!


Featured_Pathway Release 2The full 2015 Tennis Industry Association (TIA) State of the Industry report is still in the works, but a few tidbits of data have been leaked. The tennis equipment market is struggling, but the good news includes an increase in total participation as well as increases in facility and lesson revenue, and youth participation growth of more than 4 percent for ages 6-12 and more than 9 percent for ages 13-17. Also of interest is “latent demand,” where 14.6 million non-players have expressed interest in playing tennis. Which means we are behind with an industry-wide entry-level format for adults such as Play Tennis Fast or USTA Florida’s Masters Tennis. The conversation will continue at the 8th annual TIA Tennis Forum on Monday, Aug. 31, on the Ballroom level of the Grand Hyatt New York City during the US Open, which is free to attend. The TIA says the forum “will present the latest news about the state of the tennis industry, including participation, equipment sales data, grassroots initiatives, Youth Tennis, updates from the USTA, and efforts under way to bring in more players, fans and consumers.”


PeteThis blog/article by Pete Sampras is the best thing you will read this month…Florida’s Serena Williams and BFF Caroline Wozniacki attended a Taylor Swift concert right before the start of Wimbledon, with Serena getting up on stageRafael Nadal says the Spanish tennis federation needs to get its act together, starting with Spain avoiding a possible exit from the Davis Cup World Group in next month’s playoffs round match against Russia. “A country with many players in the Top 100 should not be in the second division and shouldn’t have to find itself in the situation that probably lies ahead in the qualifier against Russia,” he said at Wimbledon…Aussie fans had a little wind taken out of their sail last week when rising star Nick Kyrgios, who canned his coach and has been struggling his motivation, admitted he ‘doesn’t really like tennis.’…But Nick Kyrgios’ mom says give my son some time to mature…Among other stats, Serena Williams with a Wimbledon win would surpass Martina Navratilova as the oldest player to win a Slam…Florida’s Irina Falconi is blogging for the WTA website from Wimbledon, outlining new amenities this year…Here’s a scary story on the stalkers WTA players put up with that you don’t hear about…Who is 2-0 career against Rafael Nadal? Dustin Brown.

Americans to Watch for Friday at Wimbledon

Serena and sloane(1) Serena Williams vs. Heather Watson (GBR)
(16) Venus Williams vs. Aleksandra Krunic (SRB)
(17) John Isner vs. Marin Cilic (CRO)
Sloane Stephens vs. (6) Lucie Safarova (CZE)
Coco Vandeweghe vs. (22) Samantha Stosur (AUS)
Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs. (30) Belinda Bencic (SUI)

They Said It

bryans rock“’60 Minutes’ came to do a story about the boys several years ago and I told that story. They kind of didn’t believe it, so we went down and found the old Atari. That was probably 20 years later.”
Wayne Bryan speaking to the LA Times on throwing Bob and Mike Bryan’s video game system into a deep gully after finding the twins cutting tennis practice short to play video games

“The USTA openly embraced gay couples by hosting our first same-sex couples tournament earlier this year. We were ahead of the ball, as the Supreme Court passed same-sex marriages nationwide with a 5-4 ruling. Kudos to the USTA staff and volunteers for being ahead of the game.”
— USTA National President Katrina Adams

“God, I hope I don’t [bleeping] lose to Redfoo.”
Paul Wachter writing for Grantland on his experience playing the music artist Redfoo at the US Open National Playoffs

Tennis on TV This Weekend

7am-4:30pm — Wimbledon (live), ESPN

7am-4:30pm — Wimbledon (live), ESPN