tennis academy

On The Hunt: Get to Know 11-year-old Longines Future Tennis Aces Competitor Adam Neff

(May 28, 2013) After winning the USTA Boys’ 12s Spring Nationals last month, 11-year-old Adam Neff has earned a spot to compete against hopefuls from fifteen other countries in the Longines Future Tennis Aces event in Paris, France from May 30-June 1.

One look at Neff and you can hardly believe he is only 11 years old. Having grown ten inches over the past year to a height of 5’8” (173cm), his coach of four years, Lance Luciani, laughs at the thought that his pupil will soon tower over him. In fact, doctors anticipate he will grow to a height closer to 6’5” (196cm) by the time he’s done growing, and according to Luciani, he is looking to develop Neff into a similar body type of former world No. 1 Marat Safin.

Neff’s trip back to Paris, this time for the Longines event, signals a “second chance” for the young player as he attempts to redeem himself. Earlier this year while traveling to a junior tournament with his coach, Neff came down with a bad case of Norovirus, and was unable to eat for 10 days, losing 13 pounds. Not surprisingly, he lost in the first round “and it really hurt Adam because he lost to someone he probably shouldn’t have lost to,” Luciani offered. “He felt bad that it happened, and when he heard about the Longines event and how the winner of the 12s Nationals had an automatic bid, he said that it was his chance to go back (to Europe).”

At the 12s Nationals, Neff didn’t drop a set en route to the title, guaranteeing him the all-expense paid trip back to France this week.

Pupil and coach began working together shortly after Luciani’s ten year stint at the IMG Academies teaching students strategy and tactics, including several current professional tennis players, and Luciani jokes about his already four-year partnership with Neff:

“You can only coach a kid for that long if you like the kid, and Adam is a really nice young gentleman.”

The skills that Luciani has ingrained in Neff as well as Neff’s own goal to become world No. 1 one day, has allowed him to be a player mature beyond his years. Luciani imparts words of wisdom, teaching him that although “you may lose a few battles, you are not losing the war,” and Neff has won 85% of his matches in the past year using that slogan. The absolute trust and respect between player and coach, and Neff’s teachability on court, has only propelled his chances at becoming a future breakout star.

“A lot of coaches are about today, and today’s results,” said Luciani. “I once had a coach, who after Adam’s match, pointed out to him that he had missed his backhand 17 times, and then asked him ‘Don’t you think you should have changed it?’ And Adam said, ‘No, my coach told me this is the footwork I’m supposed to use.’”

“And now, one year later,” Luciani elaborates, “because Adam’s body (after having grown ten inches) matches up with what I wanted him to do back then, he’ll now make that same shot 16 out of 17 times.”

And Luciani continues, referring to the steps in his program: “It may be ugly in the beginning, but eventually it’s going to be beautiful.”

The system that Luciani employs is a self-designed program called “Strategy Zone” which is a “very aggressive system based on Andre Agassi and how he built points … and teaches a lot about footwork, targets, amounts of spin, stances and more.” The first four years are spent working on offense “to get a good base,” adding in several new skills every six months. Because Neff has now been with Luciani just over four years, the second stage of the program — the defense — was introduced this past January and “it’s already starting to show up in his game,” states Luciani. “Defensively, we’re working on slicing a little more on his backhand side, and we have a fitness trainer who is working right now on his movement to his right, so he can get to the ball earlier and go from a defensive situation to an offensive situation quickly.”

Neff’s at-home training includes two hours of tennis in the morning, followed by one hour of a private fitness session with his trainer, and an additional hour of tennis in the afternoon, followed by a recovery session every evening. If you’re thinking that this sounds an awful lot like a professional athlete’s schedule, well, you wouldn’t be wrong. In fact, many pros hold this similar schedule while preparing for some of tennis’ biggest events.

And to go along with the training, Neff’s backyard is equipped with every tennis player’s dream: a state-of-the-art facility and courts.

When Neff and Luciani first started working together, Neff’s father asked Luciani what he needed in order to give Neff his best chance at becoming a pro. Luciani gave some pointers, construction began and now, their backyard in Bradenton, FL has one of the best facilities in the world. Among it are three tennis courts: 1) a European red clay court akin to the surface of the French Open, 2) a slower hard court like that used at the Sony Open in Miami with seven layers of cushion “to ensure we can save his knees,” states Luciani, and 3) a faster hard court like that found at the US Open with eleven layers of cushion.

It also includes a full 2800 square foot indoor gym with a recovery area, including a CVAC unit like that used by Novak Djokovic. In fact, Luciani researched the manufacturer of that same recovery pod and leased a unit for five years to allow his pupil to have optimum recovery after playing. “There’s nothing like it for recovery,” he states. “If you get injured, you get well really quick.”

Neff’s parents are both doctors and have put everything into Adam and his two younger sisters to become the tennis players their kids aspire to be. Though “successful and busy” individuals, “his parents are extraordinarily supportive,” says Luciani. “They don’t get upset at losses; they just brush them off and are really down to earth … They built (the house and facility) so that their kids can grow up and have a chance to do whatever they wanted to do in tennis. His parents trust me because they know I have their kids’ goals in mind.”

With his efforts culminating this week in Paris, Neff will vie for a shot to win the Longines Future Tennis Aces event, and as Luciani reiterates his and Neff’s long-time goals: “We’re on a mission, there is no other goal. Number two is a failure, bottom line. We’re on a hunt.”

Ivan Lendl International Junior Tennis Academy Announces Spring 2013 Class

New Students Hail from 11 States, Four Countries

(HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C.) - Ivan Lendl International Junior Tennis Academy (Ivan Lendl IJTA) – led by the former No.1 player in the world and coach to U.S. Open Champion Andy Murray – announces a spring class from 11 states and four countries.

The new semester for grades 5-12 began Jan. 7 and has students from Bulgaria, New Zealand, Russia and the U.S. Nationwide representation also includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia.

“Ivan Lendl IJTA offers a flexible but challenging training environment for juniors with an incredible passion for the game,” says Peter Orrell, President and CEO of Junior Sports Corporation, owner/operator of Ivan Lendl IJTA. “The Academy’s curriculum is proven and we set ourselves apart with individualized performance programs for our students, including college placement and mental training services.”

The full-time program at Ivan Lendl IJTA is based on philosophies Lendl followed to become one of the greatest players in tennis history and highlighted by eight Grand Slams. The Academy focuses daily instruction on classic fundamentals, leading-edge biomechanics, strength training / fitness and mental preparation.

Lendl and his staff subscribe to a hands-on approach with juniors, instilling dedication, focus, hard work, motivation and overall preparation.

Students attend Heritage Academy, a progressive and diverse academic institution for adolescents pursuing extra-curricular passions. The school boasts 100 percent college acceptance rate for all students.

Classes average eight students — with a maximum of 15 — to promote individual attention. Optional English as a Second Language, College Preparatory and Honors courses are also available.

For more information about Ivan Lendl IJTA: www.LendlTennis.com/info888.936.5327.

About Junior Sports Corporation

Located on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, JSC owns and operates:

Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy is the world’s only academy to combine training, competition and academics for serious junior golfers.  Director of Instruction Hank Haney – coach to winners of every major championship on the PGA TOUR – and his elite staff train junior golfers from more than 25 countries across six continents.

The International Junior Golf Tour hosts 60 tournaments annually and is the only junior golf tour with events every weekend during the September-to-May school year.

Established in May 2011, the Ivan Lendl International Junior Tennis Academy produces the finest tennis training and competition for junior students to ultimately reach the college or professional ranks. Ivan Lendl, former World No. 1 player and winner of eight Grand Slam singles titles, serves as Director of Instruction and is dedicated to the development of each junior tennis player.

Heritage Academy provides progressive, diverse academic instruction for students from grades five to 12 who pursue extra-curricular passions, such as golf at Hank Haney IJGA and tennis at Ivan Lendl IJTA.

Hilton Head Island is easily accessible by most major airlines through Hilton Head Island (HHI), Savannah (SAV), Charleston (CHS) and Columbia (CAE) airports.

Open house at Stadium Tennis Center at Mill Pond Park set for April 16, 17

The Stadium Tennis Center at Mill Pond Park announced today that it will host an “Open House” on April 16 and April 17 from 2 pm to 6 pm at its new state-of-the-art facility located in the shadow of Yankee Stadium at East 152nd Street and the Harlem River.

The agenda for Saturday, April 16 will be geared toward junior players, while Sunday’s agenda will focus more on adult players. Each session will featured free clinics and court time, fun-filled, tennis games and drills led by Gotham Tennis Academy tennis professionals. The inaugural Gotham Tennis Challenge at Stadium Tennis Center will be held on Sunday featuring the tennis-teaching staff and junior and adult players who train at the facility. Prizes will be awarded for fun-filled competitions testing tennis skills, agility, footwork and match play. Players of all ages and levels are welcome. Light refreshments will be provided.

The new Stadium Tennis Center at Mill Pond Park can be labeled “the best kept secret in New York City tennis.” With sixteen cushioned, US Open style deco-turf, hard courts,  including twelve indoor courts which are open for indoor play from October through April — New York City’s newest indoor/outdoor tennis center commenced its first indoor season at the end of 2010. The tennis center is an integral part of Mill Pond Park and the Yankee Stadium Redevelopment Project. Formerly a vacant and decaying industrial site, Mill Pond Park has been transformed by the City of New York into a new 10-acre park, the first significant park on the Bronx bank of the Harlem River in decades. In addition to the new tennis center and adjacent clubhouse, Mill Pond Park features an outdoor classroom, beach area, picnic/barbeque area, waterfront views, a large sunken lawn space, sitting/viewing platforms, historical and way-finding signage, landscaping and an esplanade that unites the site.

The state-of-the art indoor seasonal bubble covering twelve tennis courts at the Stadium Tennis Center is one of the largest tennis bubbles or domes of this type in the world, covering an area of over 4 million cubic feet and a footprint of more than 75,000 square feet. In addition, an adjacent planned clubhouse will be completed in the coming months and will feature a pro shop, café, locker rooms and lounge areas, wi-fi computer access, workspace where children can do schoolwork and read and a tennis library. The excellent lighting, high indoor ceilings and spacious backcourts of the new Stadium Tennis Center are sure to please the tennis playing public and tournament level players.

The Stadium Tennis Center at Mill Pond Park offers a full complement of tennis programs for juniors and adults of all skill levels in partnership with Gotham Tennis Academy, a leader in developing and operating tennis programs in New York City. Through its partnership with Gotham Tennis Academy, the new tennis center has established a team of topnotch, experienced tennis professionals and offers popular junior development and advanced training tennis programs including high performance elite training for ranked juniors. For adult players, fast-paced group clinics and cardiotennis workouts are offered daily, in addition to indoor seasonal court rentals, private lessons, game arranging, leagues and tournament play.

The tennis center can be accessed easily by public transportation as it is located across the street from the 153rd Street Yankee Stadium MetroNorth Hudson line train stop  just a short walk from either the 161 Street-Yankee Stadium or 149th Street-Grand Concourse subway stops on the No. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, B or D subway lines. By car, the facility can be reached from Exit 4/5 on the Major Deegan Expressway (Interstate Route 87). Sixty parking spots are available for patron’s use.

More information about Stadium Tennis Center at Mill Pond Park can be found at www.stadiumtennisnyc.com or by calling (718) 665-4684.

More information about Gotham Tennis Academy can be found at www.gothamtennis.com or by calling 646-292-3511.

ARE MURRAY AND ROBSON THE START OF A GOLDEN AGE FOR BRITISH TENNIS?

By Melina Harris

The start of the Millenium was not particularly memorable for the British public despairing on Henman Hill over Tim’s recent exit in the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2000; but unbeknown to us, a rather talented little gem, aged 6, had moved across to the UK from Australia with her parents Andrew, an oil executive and Kathy Robson, a sports coach and former professional basketball player.

Luckily, nature and nurture (great genes and financial backing) combined forces in the Noughties to produce Britain’s potential star of the future; Laura Robson, who entered a tennis academy aged 7, signed with management company, Octagon aged 10 and subsequently landed lucrative sponsorship deals with Wilson and Adidas aged 11. Winning the junior Wimbledon title in July 2008 crowned her as ‘the new darling of British tennis,’ catapulting her dramatically into the public eye with many tennis commentators hailing Robson as the one to watch.

Our lovely leftie, currently ranked No. 406 in the world aged 15 recently added to her growing army of admirers and fans, including Aussie legend and Wimbledon winner Pat Cash during her impressive performances with fellow Brit Andy Murray, in the Hyundai Hopman Cup in Australia earlier this month.

Although Murray claimed to be “rubbish” at mixed doubles, together, Murray and Robson were a formidable force, blowing opponents away in both their level of play (they were the first Great British pair to compete in the Hopman Cup final) and sheer entertainment value for the Aussie crowd. Despite their defeat in the final to Spain’s Tommy Robredo and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez through Murray’s loss in the singles, it was his behavior throughout the tournament and Robson’s charisma and potential that grabbed the headlines.

A couple of years ago Tim Henman labeled Murray as “a bit of a miserable sod,” however no comment could have been further off the mark as the tennis world witnessed a most astonishing event – Murray’s smile! I doubt I will ever forget the sight of his wide grin to coach Miles Maclagan and fitness trainer Jez Green during his devastating demolition of Andreev in the group stages of the tournament, which Pat Cash claimed was “as good as it could possibly be for any player.”

This sunny disposition continued throughout the tournament and especially during the pair’s mixed-doubles encounters. Significantly, Robson’s coach, Martijn Bok, noted of Murray in a post match interview, “in the first two mixed doubles matches, Andy did really well to keep Laura calm, had time to make a joke and give her confidence. Even here, we’ve seen other teams whose male player looks away when the woman makes a mistake, as if she does not belong out there.” Did we hear correctly: the words ‘joke’ and ‘Murray’ in the same sentence? According to his website and Team Murray, he loves nothing more than a bit of banter, but in the past this has rarely come across on court or in interviews.

In a rare moment of gracious humour,  Murray admitted in a post match interview, “the man is supposed to dominate in mixed doubles but every time I tried to take over the point we lost it, so I just let her do it all by herself.”

Indeed, the way that Murray looked out for his younger partner, joking and smiling throughout the tournament, allowing her to take centre stage, has definitely endeared him to the harshly critical British public and arguably improved his image worldwide. Perhaps he’d taken some advice from his older brother, Jamie – famous for winning the Wimbledon mixed doubles flirtatiously with Jelena Jankovic in 2007 or was it simply due to the infectious charm and charisma of his partner? Whatever the reason, his management company, 19 must be literally jumping for joy with the results gained from this new partnership. Please check them out on YouTube if you don’t believe me!

Never before have we seen this side to Andy Murray and Robson must be congratulated for drawing out this side to his personality, which has often been criticized in the past and even Pat Cash noted, in his recent Sunday Times article Why I’m mad about Laura Robson that “she can make Andy Murray smile, which is no mean feat.”

Murray has definitely started the new decade with the conscious or subconscious decision to show another side to his often surly demeanor. Robson’s mother even went so far as to say “Andy Murray is a good boy, a true gentleman and we all absolutely adore him.” The PR will no doubt help his marketability and maybe even his relationship status (he recently split with long term love, Kim Sears due to his excessive obsession with the computer game ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’ it was reported)- along with half of the male population, I must add.

Although Robson’s coach, Dutchman Martijn Bok admitted “Laura could not be described as a natural athlete…she will need more attention on the physical side of her game than the tennis side,” there is much hope for this precocious talent. If, once her growth spurt comes to an end, Laura can learn from Andy’s dedication to his physical development with his infamous and grueling 400m runs (just one aspect of the vigorous fitness regime set out by Jez Green) and Andy continues to be infected by Laura’s charm and charisma, what an exciting marketing prospect we have on our hands. I cannot help but be exhilarated by the thought of Andy and Laura competing together in the mixed doubles event staged at Wimbledon in the London Olympics in 2012 and the role models they will become for future generations of British talent.

Are the twenty teens indeed the start of a golden era for British tennis? As the Queen might say; one truly hopes so Philip!

Bogomolov Wins Gotham Tennis Academy “Hamptons 20-Ball Open”

AMAGANSETT, N.Y. July 5, 2009 – Alex Bogomolov of Long Branch, N.J. defeated Noam Okun of Israel 20-18, 17-20, 10-8 to win the $10,000 first prize at the first annual Gotham Tennis Academy “Hamptons 20-Ball Open” Sunday at the Napeague Tennis Club. The unique single day event featured first-to-20-point match formats beginning with a ground-stroke feed.

“It feels great to win this tournament,” said Bogomolov, ranked No. 179 in the ATP singles rankings. “I love this format and I challenge anybody to play me in a groundstroke game.”

Bogomolov has never been beaten in this unique competitive format. Last summer in Los Angeles, he won the only other known professional “20-ball” tournament, defeating John Isner in the semifinals and Philip King in the final. Bogomolov used the Hamptons 20-Ball as a preparation for his return to ATP tournament tennis. The bronze medalist for the United States at the 2003 Pan American Games team will play in Newport, R.I. this week in his first ATP-level tournament since the 2008 Sony Ericsson Open and since he underwent surgery on his left wrist late last year. Since his surgery, Bogomolov, ranked as high as No. 97 in 2003, has served as the touring professional for Gotham Tennis and worked with its officials to create the special formatted tournament for this summer at Napeague.

Okun, a member of Israel’s Davis Cup team from 1999 to 2008, traveled to the Hamptons from Winnetka, Ill., where he competed in the Nielsen USTA Challenger, losing in the round of 16.

“We both played really well and it was a great atmosphere and a great event here in the Hamptons,” said Okun, ranked No. 309, but as high as No. 95 in 2002. “Alex was just too tough and too solid for me. This is the first time I have played a tournament in this format, and I enjoyed it. The Napeague Tennis Club is very nice. The courts here are great. They are so even, which is very unusual for a clubs with clay courts, where they have courts that have a lot of bad bounces, but not here.”

The tournament was played simultaneously as the epic men’s singles final at Wimbledon, where Roger Federer won his record-breaking 15th major singles title, defeating Andy Roddick 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14. When not playing their matches, players were glued to the television watching the drama unfold at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

“Andy was outplaying Roger for most of the match,” said Bogomolov, who beat Roddick to win the 1998 USTA National Boy’s 16 Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich. “The match is a different story if Andy wins one of those points at 6-2 in the second set tie-breaker and goes up two sets to love. I think losing that set from being up 6-2 made Andy uncertain about himself for the much of the rest of the match, even though he won the fourth set.”

“It was a great match,” said Okun, who lost to Roddick 6-3, 6-3 in a round of 16 match in Indianapolis in 2005. “I feel really bad for Andy. He played unbelievable, but not well enough to beat Roger Federer. There are no words to describe Roger Federer. He is the best player ever. He is so great for tennis.”

The one-day “20-Ball” event featured many fast-paced and entertaining matches featuring men and women who have represented their countries in Davis Cup, Fed Cup and Pan American Games competitions.

Three women registered wins over men in the co-ed event. Former Slovenian Fed Cupper Petra Rampe, currently ranked No. 375 in the WTA rankings, defeated Napeague member Rick Rudeman 20-12 in the first round before losing to Felipe Meier of Sweden 20-16 in the second round. Former Ukrainian Fed Cupper Elena Jirnova of Kiev defeated Napeague member and film director Mark Levin 20-5 in the first round before falling to East Hampton junior standout Max Hirsh in the second round. Suzanne Sales of Boston defeated Scott Marden in the first round 20-1 before losing to Ytai Abougzir 20-6 in the second round.

Sponsors of the Hamptons 20-Ball include Grand Central Racquet, Tiffany’s of East Hampton, Gubbins Sports of East Hampton, Gone Local, Hamptons.com, Montauk Chamber of Commerce, WHEN Radio and Pop Chips.

The Napeague Tennis Club is located at 2145 Montauk Highway in Amagansett, N .Y.  The club features four immaculately-maintained clay courts and one artificial grass court. The Napeague Tennis Club offers excellent tennis programming at reasonable prices including individual and family memberships, corporate memberships, adult and children’s tennis clinics, tennis parties, tennis camps and private tennis lessons. It is the preferred destination for tennis in the Hamptons because of its relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere, beautiful clay courts, close proximity to the beach, and reasonable prices. “Napeague is a very special place” says Tennis Director Brian Helm. “It’s an oasis of calm with high-level, state-of-the-art tennis programming for players of all levels.”

The mission of Gotham Tennis Academy is to provide friendly, personalized, high-performance tennis instruction in convenient facilities for Manhattan and Hamptons clients. In addition to operating the Napeague Tennis Club in the Hamptons, Gotham Tennis Academy has established a reputation for excellent tennis programming at three Manhattan locations — the Harlem Armory Tennis Center, the Midtown Tennis Club and the Riverside Clay Tennis Association. Gotham Tennis Academy offers tennis programs year-round to players of all ages and skill levels. Gotham Tennis Academy’s goal is to help each player improve all aspects of his or her tennis game. More information on Gotham Tennis Academy can be found at www.GothamTennis.com .

Napeague to host pro tennis in the Hamptons Sunday

A first-prize of $10,000 will be on the line Sunday in the inaugural “Gotham Tennis Academy Hamptons 20-Ball Open” at the Napeague Tennis Club in Amagansett, N.Y. The unique single day event, featuring an action-filled, first-to-20-point match format beginning with a ground-stroke feed, will feature a cross section of professional and other high-level players, including players who have represented their countries in Davis Cup, Fed Cup and Pan American Games competitions.

Play begins at 9 am and fans are invited to enjoy the “Breakfast at Wimbledon” men’s singles final on television with hospitality – including strawberries and cream – while watching the live pro tennis. Fans can also tour the Napeague facilities and learn about the tennis programming offered by Gotham Tennis (www.gothamtennis.com). A silent auction will also be held featuring items such as Napeague tennis memberships, lesson packages and summer camp week packages among others. Admission is free.

The event is open to both male and female players of all levels – professional and amateur. Entries close at 9 pm on Saturday, July 4. For information on entering the event, call the tournament director at 917-428-7154.

Sponsors of the Hamptons 20-Ball include Grand Central Racquet, Tiffany’s of East Hampton, Gubbins Sports of East Hampton, Gone Local, Hamptons.com, Montauk Chamber of Commerce, WHEN Radio and Pop Chips.

The Napeague Tennis Club is located at 2145 Montauk Highway in Amagansett, N.Y.  The club features four immaculately-maintained clay courts and one artificial grass court. The Napeague Tennis Club offers excellent tennis programming at reasonable prices including individual and family memberships, corporate memberships, adult and children’s tennis clinics, tennis parties, tennis camps and private tennis lessons. It is the preferred destination for tennis in the Hamptons because of its relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere, beautiful clay courts, close proximity to the beach, and reasonable prices. “Napeague is a very special place” says Tennis Director Brian Helm. “It’s an oasis of calm with high-level, state-of-the-art tennis programming for players of all levels.”

The mission of Gotham Tennis Academy is to provide friendly, personalized, high-performance tennis instruction in convenient facilities for Manhattan and Hamptons clients. In addition to operating the Napeague Tennis Club in the Hamptons, Gotham Tennis Academy has established a reputation for excellent tennis programming at three Manhattan locations — the Harlem Armory Tennis Center, the Midtown Tennis Club and the Riverside Clay Tennis Association. Gotham Tennis Academy offers tennis programs year-round to players of all ages and skill levels. Gotham Tennis Academy’s goal is to help each player improve all aspects of his or her tennis game. More information on Gotham Tennis Academy can be found at www.GothamTennis.com .

Mark Weil Announces Opening of Junior Tennis Camps in Shanghai, China

Looking to introduce the game of tennis to youngsters thousands of miles away, Mark Weil has announced plans to conduct eight week-long training sessions in Shanghai, China, this summer.

The Shanghai Weil Summer Tennis Camps will run from June 28 to Aug. 21, 2009, and are being limited to just 32 players for each of the one-week sessions. The academy will take place at the Shanghai Xuhui Natatorium in the XuHui District. The Xuhui Natatorium has four championship indoor tennis courts, two indoor swimming pools, full sized fitness gym, four badminton courts and a full dining restaurant.

“I’ve always been excited by the idea of tennis becoming a popular sport in China,” said Weil, who in March was in Shanghai to give three free clinics to 65 youngsters. “I’ve trained players from Hong Kong and Taiwan before and the passion that the Chinese have for tennis is unlike any passion I’ve ever seen from any other country in the world. They just love it.”

He added: “I think up until now the opportunities to become a better tennis player in China has only been reserved for the top, top, top players. One of my goals is to create a whole new generation of Chinese tennis players who have never really discovered how exciting the game of tennis really is. The goal is to create excitement within the Chinese community and to make them aware that tennis can open up many high educational opportunities for the Chinese in America.”

Weil noted that while badminton and table tennis are hugely popular in China, tennis ranks below basketball in popularity.

The Weil Academy located in Ojai, Calif., is the only full-time boarding tennis academy on the West Coast. The program has produced countless numbers of junior and professional champions as well as placed over 250 international high school players in prestigious American Universities like Stanford, UCLA, USC, UC Berkeley, Cornell and Brown, to name a few.

Weil said that world No. 7-ranked WTA player and Indian Wells, Calif., BNP Paribas Open champion Vera Zvonareva spent time at the academy during the spring training.

The Chinese youth will benefit from a 6 to 1 player-to-coach ratio. Some other highlights of the program include:

  • Over 30 hours of tennis training and fitness
  • Access to Weil’s international coaching staff
  • Tactical and technical tennis drills
  • Focused match play (singles and doubles)
  • High Performance fitness program
  • Eight hours of English language instruction
  • Adidas and Wilson Prizes

The following are the one-week camp-session dates. Week 1: June 28 – July 3; Week 2: July 5-10; Week 3: July 12-17; Week 4: July 19-24; Week 5: July 26-31; Week 6: Aug. 2-7; Week 7: Aug. 9-14; Week 8: Aug. 16-21.

Log onto www.shanghaiweiltennis.cn for more information or call 86-21-6404-2171 or email questions to academy@shanghaiweiltennis.cn.

Kendrick Leads Early Commitments To Hamptons 20-Ball Open at Napeague

NEW YORK, June 10 – Robert Kendrick, the No. 5-ranked American tennis player, leads the early commitments to the inaugural “Gotham Tennis Academy Hamptons 20-Ball Open” to be held July 5 at the Napeague Tennis Club in Amagansett, N.Y.

This unique single day event will award a first-prize paycheck of $10,000 and features an action-filled, first-to-20-point match format beginning with a ground-stroke feed in lieu of a traditional serve. The event is open to both male and female players of all levels – professional and amateur. A qualifying tournament will be held on Monday, June 29.

Kendrick recently distinguished himself at the French Open in Paris, becoming the second-best performing American in the men’s singles tournament. Kendrick, who is ranked No. 76 in the world, reached the second round in Paris before losing to Gilles Simon of France. Joining Kendrick as early commitments in the tournament are Israeli Davis Cup star Dudi Sela as well as No. 6-ranked American Kevin Kim and tournament organizer and Gotham Tennis Academy touring professional Alex Bogomolov.

“Gotham Tennis Academy is excited to host this unique and fun event for tennis fans and players at the Napeague Tennis Club,” said Bogomolov. “The single day tournament provides a special opportunity to see professional players up close in a fast-paced, exciting-to-watch format. For non-professional players, this is a very rare opportunity to test skills against top level pros. If you are an amateur player who has ever wondered how many points you could get against a pro, we encourage you to put your game on the line and enter.”

The rules of each match in the high-action, fast-paced competition format are as follows:

* Feed below the waist to start the point, no “second serve” feeds.
* Player starts the point with a crosscourt feed.
* Players alternate feeding five consecutive points, similar to ping-pong.
* Players alternate feeding between the deuce and ad court every five points.
* Sudden death point at 19 all

Prize money will also be awarded to the tournament runner-up, who will earn $1,000, as well as semifinalists ($300) and quarterfinalists ($100). Entry fees are $100 for the main draw and $50 for the qualifying draw.

To enter the tournament, please contact Gotham Tennis Academy Hampton-20 Ball Tournament Director at 646-292-3511 or via email at info@gothamtennis.com. Complimentary transportation will be provided to and from New York City airports.

The Napeague Tennis Club is located at 2145 Montauk Highway in Amagansett, N.Y.  The club features four immaculately-maintained clay courts and one artificial grass court. The Napeague Tennis Club offers excellent tennis programming at reasonable prices including individual and family memberships, corporate memberships, adult and children’s tennis clinics, tennis parties, tennis camps and private tennis lessons. It is the preferred destination for tennis in the Hamptons because of its relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere, beautiful clay courts, close proximity to the beach, and reasonable prices. “Napeague is a very special place” says Tennis Director Brian Helm. “It’s an oasis of calm with high-level, state-of-the-art tennis programming for players of all levels.”

The mission of Gotham Tennis Academy is to provide friendly, personalized, high-performance tennis instruction in convenient facilities for Manhattan and Hamptons clients. In addition to operating the Napeague Tennis Club in the Hamptons, Gotham Tennis Academy has established a reputation for excellent tennis programming at three Manhattan locations — the Harlem Armory Tennis Center, the Midtown Tennis Club and the Riverside Clay Tennis Association. Gotham Tennis Academy offers tennis programs year-round to players of all ages and skill levels. Gotham Tennis Academy’s goal is to help each player improve all aspects of his or her tennis game. More information on Gotham Tennis Academy can be found at www.GothamTennis.com.

Alex Bogomolov Named Touring Professional in Residence for Napeague Tennis Club

NEW YORK, May 20 – Alex Bogomolov, the former top 100 touring professional and bronze medalist at the 2003 Pan American Games, was announced today as the Touring Professional in Residence for the Napeague Tennis Club located in the Hamptons area of Long Island. The Napeague Tennis Club, located in a beautiful, serene setting adjacent to Hither Hills State Park in Amagansett, N.Y., opened for the season earlier this month.

 ”I am excited to share the elite training and coaching secrets and techniques that I have learned through the years this summer in the Hamptons with Gotham Tennis,” said Bogomolov. “I am very motivated and eager to work with players of all levels. I will give each player a candid, professional assessment of his/her current game and a personalized plan to achieve his or her maximum potential. ”

 Bogomolov, who was ranked as high as No. 97 in 2003, will serve as the club’s resident ATP Touring Pro and will be available to Napeague Tennis Club members for private lessons, clinics and other club events throughout the summer. Bogomolov will provide Napeague club members with the same advanced training and teaching techniques that have been integrated into Gotham Tennis Academy’s Manhattan-based adult and junior programs. Bogomolov brings methods he has learned and utilized throughout his junior and professional tennis career. He has registered wins over Andy Roddick, James Blake, and Tommy Haas, among others in his pro and junior career. In 2003, he won a bronze medal in doubles for the United States at the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. At Napeague, he will work alongside Tennis Director Brian Helm to offer a unique blend of engaging tennis programming, lessons and camps this summer.

 The Napeague Tennis Club features four immaculately-maintained clay courts and one multi-purpose grass court. Summer memberships start as low as $950. Napeague club members receive personalized attention from Napeague’s professional staff, unlimited free court usage and savings of ten to thirty percent for private lessons and group clinics. In addition, Napeague offers adult and children’s clinics, day camps, private lessons, and the option of at-home tennis instruction.

 ”Napeague Tennis Club is the preferred destination for tennis in the Hamptons because of our outstanding tennis professionals and programs, relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere, beautiful clay courts, and close proximity to the beach. Our Club is also very reasonably-priced,” said Brian Helm, a Director of Tennis for Gotham Tennis Academy in New York City and the new Director of Tennis at Napeague. “The Napeague Tennis Club is a very special place. It’s an oasis of calm with world-class tennis programming and great facilities.”

 The Napeague Tennis Club, located at 2145 Montauk Highway in Amagansett, is entering its second season under the management of Gotham Tennis.

 The mission of Gotham Tennis Academy is to provide friendly, personalized, high-performance tennis instruction in convenient facilities for Manhattan and Hamptons clients. In addition to operating the Napeague Tennis Club in the Hamptons, Gotham Tennis Academy has established a reputation for excellent tennis programming at three Manhattan locations — the Harlem Armory Tennis Center, the Midtown Tennis Club and the Riverside Clay Tennis Association. Gotham Tennis Academy offers tennis programs year-round to players of all ages and skill levels. Gotham Tennis Academy’s goal is to help each player improve all aspects of his or her tennis game. More information on Gotham Tennis Academy can be found at http://www.gothamtennis.com/.