united states tennis association

Michelle Obama attends the US Open

First Lady Michelle Obama applauded the United States Tennis Association (USTA) for engaging millions of children in tennis, introducing tennis into thousands of elementary schools throughout the country, and building more than 2000 right-sized courts that provide a place for young people to play tennis. The USTA’s efforts were part of its partnership with both the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative to encourage more children to become active and lead healthier lifestyles. The USTA exceeded its commitment.

Mrs. Obama was in New York to participate in a USTA 10 and Under Tennis Clinic at the US Open. She was joined by several current and former tennis champions including Billie Jean King, Serena Williams, John McEnroe, James Blake, MaliVai Washington and Katrina Adams, as she thanked children from the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program for participating in her Let’s Move! initiative.

“I have been trying to get to the US Open my entire life. I am so incredibly excited to finally be at my first US Open, but I am equally excited and proud to be standing in partnership with the USTA and all they have done for hundreds of thousands of kids across this country. You are an example of what we can do when we put our minds to it,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “I am again grateful to the USTA. The courts you build, these kids sized courts, are just amazing. They will break that barrier; they will make tennis accessible to kids…  I am so proud of the USTA.”

Earlier this year, the USTA partnered with the “Let’s Move!” campaign, which helps more kids to get moving, lead healthy lifestyles, and earn their own Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA). The PALA award recognizes kids who stay active for 60 minutes per day, five days a week for six out of eight weeks. Kids are encouraged to play tennis during their program hours and are reminded to stay active at home or in school. PALA’s national goal is to get one million youngsters to take this challenge. To date, the USTA is responsible for providing over 226,634 kids who have participated in and completed PALA through its National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network, Jr. Team Tennis (JTT) League, Community Tennis Associations (CTA), Schools Tennis, Tennis in the Parks, and Wheelchair Tennis programs.

“A Player’s Guide to USTA League Tennis” – Published by New Chapter Press

New Chapter Press announced the publication of the book “A Player’s Guide To USTA League Tennis” – a guidebook for competing in the U.S. Tennis Association League Tennis program or any team tennis competition.

Written by Tony Serksnis of Mountain View, Calif., who has more than 25 years of competing and 15 years of captaining tennis teams in USTA League Tennis play, A Player’s Guide To USTA League Tennis, is an engaging tutorial that explains the ins and outs of being on a tennis team and provides a blueprint for managing and competing within the team structure. The book also provides strategies, concepts and tips on everything from pre-match preparations to maintaining team chemistry. This is not a book on the “how to” of tennis strokes or play, but rather a blueprint for a team to operate effectively towards their goals. The book is a paperback that retails for $14.99.

Serksnis is a 25-year veteran of United States Tennis Association (USTA) League Tennis play and has participated on 53 different USTA League Tennis teams, playing in 343 total matches in 36 total leagues (Adult, Senior, Mixed) and has served as captain or co-captain of 15 league tennis teams. Serksnis began playing USTA League Tennis in 1985 as a 3.5-rated player and in 2009, at the age of 63, earned a 4.5 NTRP rating, making him one of the oldest players to ever be moved from a 4.0 to a 4.5 rating. A resident of Mountain View, Calif., he also serves as the President of the Mountain View Tennis Club.

“I am very proud to share my 25-years of experiences as a player, captain and astute observer of the USTA League Tennis program in this book,” said Serksnis. “A Player’s Guide To USTA League Tennis allows participants of any level of play to understand what USTA League Tennis is all about. Whether you are new to USTA League Tennis, a seasoned-veteran, or a participant in any other type of team tennis, the book will be an excellent tool for how to get the most out of personally helping the team to achieve its goals, growing your own game and maximize your individual experience.”

USTA League Tennis, the country’s largest recreational tennis league, has more than 330,000 players nationwide competing in match play, meeting new people and enjoying the camaraderie of teammates in one of four national divisions (Adult, Senior, Super Senior and Mixed Doubles). Play is based on the NTRP rating system so players will play with and against players of similar ability age 18 and older. USTA League Tennis also offers players a chance to advance from local play to USTA League National Championship events.

A Player’s Guide To USTA League Tennis is published by New Chapter Press – also the publisher of Tennis Made Easy by Kelly Gunterman, Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection by Rene Stauffer (www.RogerFedererBook.com), The Bud Collins History of Tennis by Bud Collins, The Education of a Tennis Player by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match by Cliff Richey and Hilaire Richey Kallendorf (www.CliffRicheyBook.com), Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli (www.Boycott1980.com), The Lennon Prophecy by Joe Niezgoda (www.TheLennonProphecy.com), Bone Appetit, Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog by Susan Anson, The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle by Stewart Wolpin, People’s Choice Cancun – Travel Survey Guidebook by Eric Rabinowitz and Weekend Warriors: The Men of Professional Lacrosse by Jack McDermott, among others. Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press is an independent publisher of books and part of the Independent Publishers Group. More information can be found at www.NewChapterMedia.com.

WTT names Mountford Senior Vice President

New York, N.Y. (September 3, 2009) — World TeamTennis has named tennis industry veteran Bill Mountford as senior vice president. Mountford, who will be based in WTT’s New York City headquarters, will oversee staff in several key areas of operations including marketing, communications, Recreational League and Pro League.

Mountford, who joined WTT in November 2008, will also maintain his current responsibilities of business development, long-term planning and contributing to industry and USTA relations. He will report directly to WTT CEO/Commissioner Ilana Kloss.

“Bill brings a tremendous amount of industry experience and relationships to World TeamTennis,” said Kloss. “His knowledge and leadership will be a great asset as we continued to grow WTT as an innovative brand.”

“WTT has long been an integral piece of the international tennis calendar and as we move forward it will only grow in significance,” said Mountford. “From youth to adults to the top pros, WTT touches every corner of the sport and I’m excited to be on the team. I am equally excited about the overall impact WTT has, and will continue to have, on the American tennis landscape. ”

Prior to WTT, Mountford worked for Great Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association as a member of the executive leadership team, and was responsible for coaches and competitions in the U.K., including pre-Wimbledon and professional events. Before his stint in England, Mountford worked for the United States Tennis Association for a number of years as Director of Tennis at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the country’s largest and business public tennis facility, and was also Director of Player Operations at the US Open.

Mountford is a 1989 graduate of Boston University with a B.A. in English. He and his wife Catherine, reside in New York City with son Jack and daughter Riley.

Safina Stumbles but Survives

NEW YORK – It was not a performance to cherish, but it was one to celebrate. After all, Dinara Safina survived –barely.

Just before becoming the first top-seeded woman to be ousted in the opening round of the US Open, Safina pulled her game together enough to escape a wild-card entry from Australia, Olivia Rogowska. And it wasn’t pretty.

Even Safina called Tuesday’s 6-7 (5) 6-2 6-4 win “ugly,” but added, “I pulled it out, and that’s what counts for me.”
Her “pull” was aided greatly by her opponent’s mistakes and miscues.

Safina is the world’s top-ranked player; Rogowska, who gained a wild card entry into the US Open through an agreement between the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Tennis Australia, is 167th in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour rankings. But they had one thing in common: both were seeking their first Grand Slam tournament title. Now only Safina still is in the running to do that this year.
The 18-year-old Rogowska matched Safina stroke for stroke, even, unfortunately, double fault for double fault in the sloppily played contest.

Never before has the women’s top seed fallen in the opening round at America’s premier tennis tournament. But it appeared as if Safina would do just that as Rogowska won the first three games to begin the third set. The two then took turns breaking each other’s serve before Safina held at love, the last point on her first ace of the day, to level the set at 4-4.

Rogowska fell behind 0-30 with two unforced errors – two of her 65 in the match – before winning the next three points. But her 12th double fault of the day took the game to deuce. Then came one of the most critical points of the day, one that was a glimpse at why Safina won and Rogowska lost the 2-hour, 35-minute battle.

The point began like most of the day’s battles were contested – long-range baseline rallies with both players using the entire court, keeping their opponent on the move while probing for an opening. It was Safina who blinked first, chipping a shot short, bringing Rogowska to the net.

The Australian replied by chipping a backhand down the line with plenty of spin. Safina caught up with the ball and returned a running forehand crosscourt. There was Rogowska, waiting at the net, but she failed to put away the volley and gave Safina another chance.
This time Safina threw up a short defensive lob. Rogowska again failed to hit a winning smash, and instead popped a weak overhead back across the net.

Safina needed no more chances. She rifled a backhand crosscourt pass that caught Rogowska making an off-balance stab at the net. The youngster sat down on the court and both watched the point while it was being replayed on the giant screens atop Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“When it comes like this tight, it’s not easy to swing,” Safina said. “I saw like her volley was not good. I was like, OK, so she’s not so comfortable. First of all, she had an easy smash and she didn’t went for it. Then when I made it, it was like, ‘OK, come one. Make this break now.’”

Yet another forehand error by Safina made the score deuce again, and again Rogowska followed with a double fault. There was one more deuce, earned with a sharply hit inside-out forehand, before Rogowska made her 34th and 35th forehand unforced errors of the match.

Four points later, Safina had a spot in the second round at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center where she will take on Germany’s Kristina Barrios, a 6-4 6-4 winner over Urzula Radwanska of Poland.

“It doesn’t matter how I’ll play, but I will run and I will stay there forever,” said Safina. “I will do everything to win the match.”
In the day matches, two seeded players failed to make it into the second round. Sixteenth-seeded Virginie Razzano of France was ousted by Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer 6-4 6-3, while 32nd-seeded Agnes Szavay of Hungary fell to Israel’s Shahar Peer 6-2 6-2.
Among the seeded players joining Safina in the winner’s circle Tuesday included Svetlana Kuznetsova, Maria Sharapova, Sorana Cirstea, Caroline Wozniacki, Nadia Petrova, Elena Dementieva, Jelena Jankovic, Alona Bondarenko, Sabine Lisicki, Patty Schnyder, Alisa Kleybanova and Zheng Jie.

In the men’s singles, American qualifier Jesse Witten upset 29th-seeded Igor Andreev of Russia 6-4 6-0 6-2.

“Last couple weeks I’ve been playing well and I’m not even sure why,” Witten said. “I’m just going to roll with it.”

Other early winners in the men’s singles included Novak Djokovic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Fernando Gonzalez, Marin Cilic, Tomas Berdych, Fernando Verdasco, Sam Querrey and Viktor Troicki.