April 6th, 2015

Tennis Briefs(3): Florida’s Blackman Named USTA General Manager; More

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Florida’s Blackman Named USTA General Manager of Professional Development

blackmanThe USTA today announced Monday that Boca Raton’s Martin Blackman has been named general manager of USTA Player Development. In this full-time position, Blackman will oversee the USTA’s Player Development staff and partner with the U.S. tennis community to identify and develop the next generation of world-class American tennis players.

“The USTA is lucky to have secured an individual with as well-rounded a background as Martin Blackman,” said USTA Chairman, President and CEO Katrina Adams. “I have known Martin for many years and I am confident that he is the right person at the right time to continue to lead USTA Player Development in the right direction moving forward.”

Blackman, who will report to USTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Gordon Smith, succeeds Patrick McEnroe, who held the position since 2008.

“If you set out to list all of the experience and qualifications you would want in the ideal candidate for this position, Martin checks all of the boxes,” Smith said. “He brings a unique combination of experience and skills to the job. His expansive background in all areas of player development from experience as a player, to talent identification, to coaching at the highest levels gives him a solid platform to build on the great base that Patrick and the staff has built.”

Blackman will oversee both the USTA’s Player Development staff and Training Centers, including its Regional Training Center network and the Player Development facilities at the soon-to-be created USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Fla.

Blackman has a diverse and extensive background as a coach and a player, beginning with his days as a junior, when he trained with legendary coach Nick Bollettieri, alongside future greats Andre Agassi and Jim Courier. Blackman, who won the USTA Boys’ 16s National Championship in 1986 and reached the Boys’ 18s final two years later, went on to become a member of two NCAA Championship teams at Stanford University. He continued his play at the ATP level from 1989 to 1995, reaching a career-high of No. 158.

Blackman then became the head men’s tennis coach at American University in 1998. During his tenure at American, Blackman was named conference Coach of the Year three times, leading American to three conference titles, two NCAA Tournament appearances and its first-ever national ranking. In 2004, Blackman was hired as director of the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md., and began to help build it into one of the premier junior training centers in America.

He was hired by the USTA in 2009 as senior director of talent identification and development, a role that saw him oversee the implementation of the Regional Training Center program, serve as a co-leader of the Coaching Education Department and be USTA Player Development’s leader for Diversity and Inclusion.

Blackman left the USTA in late 2011 to found his own tennis academy, the Blackman Tennis Academy, in Boca Raton, Fla. After only its second year of full-time programming, Blackman’s Academy sent all eight of its graduating students to college on tennis scholarships. Blackman also served two terms on the USTA Board of Directors, from 2003-06, serving on the Audit and Collegiate Committees.

Blackman lives in Boca Raton, Fla., with his wife and their four children. He holds an economics degree from George Washington University.

Florida’s Kenin Wins USTA Int. Spring Jr. Chps. in California

keninSixteen-year-old Sonya Kenin from Pembroke Pines, Fla., won the Girls’ 18s singles title at the ITF Grade 1 USTA International Spring Championships, played last week at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. In the final she rebounded from squandering match points in the second set to defeat 16-year-old Fanni Stollar of Hungary 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-0.

“I didn’t want to lose the whole match just because I had lost two match points,” Kenin said. “It was really upsetting.”

Kenin will now attempt to join Melanie Oudin (2007) and CiCi Bellis (2014) as players who have won the Spring Championships and ASICS Easter Bowl 18s back to back.

“I want to try and win the Easter Bowl,” said Kenin, who noted her mother did not watch the match. “She won’t even watch the live scores. She just sits there and won’t do anything. She gets too nervous.”

Kenin was the No. 2 seed, and Stollar seeded No. 4.

Delray’s Glatch Wins Osprey USTA Pro Circuit Tennis

glatch2Unseeded Alexa Glatch upset top-seeded Madison Brengle 6-2 6-7(6) 6-3 in the final of The Wilde Lexus Women’s USTA Pro Circuit Event, held March 30-April 5, 2015 in Osprey, Fla.

“I thought I might rather take a wild card into the qualifying so that I could play more matches,” Glatch told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “My coach said, ‘No. Take the main draw wild card.’ That was a good call by her.”

The 25-year-old Delray Beach resident, ranked No. 343 entering the event, topped her friend ranked No. 44 on the WTA Rankings. The two warmed up together before the final and “hung out” much of the week, according to Glatch.

Glatch had an 0-3 win-loss record at the tournament before the 2015 edition.

En route to the final she defeated No. 7 seed Lourdes Dominguez Lino, Cagla Buyukakcay, Laura Siegemund, and No. 4 seed Evgeniya Rodina.

“I am just so happy right now,” Glatch said. “Conditions were tough out there. It was hot. I just tried to stay in there and play one more point.”