News from World TeamTennis - - March 27, 2006
WTT Player Draft set for Tuesday, March 28
Follow the draft live on WTT.com
Pete Sampras. Venus Williams. John McEnroe. Anna
Kournikova. Who will be playing for your favorite
WTT teams this summer? That question will be
answered when the 2006 WTT Pro League Player
Draft gets underway at 10 am (EST) on Tuesday,
March 28, in Miami. For the first time in League
history, fans can follow the draft results live online at
The 12 teams will draft in reverse order of the
previous year's final team standings, based on overall
match won/loss record. The New York Sportimes, the
2005 WTT Champions, will draft last. For the
Houston Wranglers, the only good thing about their
2005 record is they get the top spot in the 2006
Players expected to be taken in the first rounds of
the draft include Pete Sampras, John McEnroe,
Martina Navratilova, Martina Hingis, Venus
Williams, Nicole Vaidisova, Anna Kournikova, Mardy
Fish, Anna-Lena Groenefeld, and the
doubles team of Mike and Bob Bryan.
Teams can protect the rights to players who suited
up for them during the previous year or even trade
those rights to another team for a player or financial
consideration. Draft day traditionally includes a few
position or player trades during and after the draft.
The final draft results, including all trades, will be
posted no later than 2 p.m. EST on the website. The
2006 WTT schedule will be released mid-
It's Vegas, Baby!
WTT Rec Qualifier set for Las Vegas, April 28-30
The second WTT national qualifier of the 2006 season
is set for the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas, April
28-30. Teams from several states are expected to
compete for titles in seven divisions and an
opportunity to advance to the 2006 WTT Nationals,
Nov. 2-5, in Indian Wells, Calif. The deadline for Las
Vegas entries is April 14.
Las Vegas registration
Six teams have already earned their trip to the
Desert with wins in Bradenton, Fla., last
Winners from each division at the WTT National
Qualifier in Bradenton, Fla.
4.5: Saratoga Slammers (Saratoga Springs,
N.Y.) (pictured above)
4.0: Game-Set-Match (Key Biscayne, Fla.)
3.0: Ball Busters (Buena Vista, Ga.)
3.5: Plash (Scotia, N.Y.)
Senior 3.5/under: Slow Mo’ (Longboat Key,
Senior 4.0: Beach Nuts (Virginia Beach, Va.)
75,000 racquets provided as part of
Advanta's "Ready, Set, Racquet" program for kids
In 2003, Advanta started the “Ready, Set, Racquet!”
program for children in order to promote youth fitness
and the lifelong sport of tennis. In the program’s first
year, 20,000 free racquets were distributed.
In 2005, the Spring House, Pa., based company
became the presenting sponsor of World TeamTennis,
and free racquets, tennis balls and books were
provided to children who attended any Pro League
match in the country. In addition, racquets were
distributed at the Advanta Championships for the
third straight year, and many youth organizations in
the Philadelphia area and around the country
received free Advanta racquets as part of the
More than 75,000 free racquets have now been
distributed to children by Advanta since the
program’s inception, and thousands more will be given
away in 2006.
“Our hope is that kids will be inspired by these
athletes to go out and start playing,” said Dennis
Alter, Chairman and CEO of Advanta and himself an
avid tennis player. “Recent studies have shown that,
more than most sports, tennis can be sustained
throughout life and therefore yields lifelong health
benefits. We are committed to introducing children to
the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle, both on
and off the court.”
Tennis Tips from Wilson
If you would like to become a doubles specialist,
you’ll need to learn “magical momentum” for a game
that can change like Chicago weather.
You spin in a first serve, waltz tenaciously into
the net, smile at the shallow return, and smash a
volley winner. Your next serve the opponent lobs,
and your partner smashes an effortless overhead.
Another point ensues, with a rapid volley exchange
that ends with the winning volley up the middle.
Doubles induces quick points, and frequent winners.
In a match, a player sometimes goes two, three, or
a whole game’s worth of points, without hitting a
shot. Doubles is chemistry, a shift in moods, and a
game of “peaks and valleys”. Whatever doubles is,
it’s a game of momentum.
Controlling momentum is to the doubles team like
slight of hand is to the magician. A 0-3 deficit
can happen as quickly as a rabbit is pulled from a
hat. The most successful doubles teams gain the
slight of hand through communication and appropriate
shot strategy to help swing the rabbit tricks in
Too often, players act as two individuals on the
doubles court. Successful teams communicate and
recognize when to continue the pace of play, and
more importantly, when to regulate the pace before a
set or match is out of grasp.
If you find that the points of a match are falling
in your favor, keep quick, positive communication
with your partner and continue your strategy.
Dazzle your opponents with your magic before they
know what hit them, and your lead will build.
You will want to slow down play if your opponents
appear quicker, more talented, aggressive, or lack
team experience. Taking your time between points
can keep a more aggressive team out of sync, or put
an inexperienced team into a frustrated
Whether at a quick or slow pace, the magic, or
strategy that your team attempts to create must
constantly be evaluated. If a usually aggressive
style of play is backfiring and the match finds your
team getting burned, take some time with your
partner and cool off your hot opponent. Throwing up
some lobs and mixing up speeds of serves and returns
can be methods of dousing quick fires, too.
If you are the hot team, keep the fire burning with
“kindling” comments like, “Let’s keep it going”, or
simple nods of the head.
Controlling momentum is the experienced team’s
weapon, or “bag of tricks”.
Tip by Jim Burda
Billie Jean King documentary airs on HBO, April 26
The HBO Documentary Billie
Jean King: Portrait of
a Pioneer takes an in-depth look at the
professional and personal life of the tennis legend.
The documentary, scheduled to air at 10 p.m. EST on
April 26, explores King’s life as a trailblazer on and off
the court. Elton John, Chris Evert and Martina
Navratilova are among those interviewed for the
Rec League Director Margaret Dorsey
They put in long hours, often for little more than the
love of the game. They are also the foundation of
the WTT Recreational League. This month, meet
Margaret Dorsey, a dedicated league director
from Chicago, and learn a little more about why she
gives so much back to the game.
How long have you been a league director
for the World TeamTennis Recreational League?
2000 till present (6 years)
Who has been an inspiration to you? Why?
Billie Jean King for thinking "outside of the box"
and forming a playing format that has proven to be a
positive and progressive way for individuals to play
the game of tennis on a competitive but social
What is your fondest memory of being a league
The second year that the Chicago Southside
League was being formed the individual players were
becoming antagonistic about who would be on each
team and the lottery got out of hand. As the
Director I told the group that based on their behavior
we would not run the League. Within an instant they
all straightened up and agreed to follow the lottery
process. It showed me that their real interest was
playing the League but also learning to be fair in the
What is one of the funniest moments/stories you
have as a league director?
One of my fondest memories is one evening most
of the WTT players wore their team shirts and
pictures were taken of them supporting their players
from the sideline. The pictures showed the solidarity
of the teams and the support that had formed by the
fourth year of the League. There have not been very
many funny stories as these players have been
pretty competitive from the start and I am more
impressed with them learning to mesh and play co-ed
What has been the greatest accomplishment for
For a 95% African American World TeamTennis
League to be in place going on six summers and to
see the growth of the League has been a great
accomplishment for tennis on the south side of
What are your visions/goals for your league?
Ideally I would like to have each division play on a
different night in order to expand each division.
Presently 3.0/under and 3.5/under play on Monday
evenings and 4.0/under and 4.5/under play on
Tuesday evenings on four public park courts, which
limits the number of teams to four in each division.
Currently this is the fairest way to play the league so
that all four divisions are represented. Also evening
hours are more desirable for these players and court
availability is limited.
If you could give one piece of advice to other
players in the Rec League, what would it be?
My greatest advice to any Rec League player
would be to spread the word and support World
TeamTennis. It's an excellent opportunity to develop
skills, friendships and an opportunity to travel
together as a team to compete against other local
WTT HOT SHOT
Billie Jean King
holds a bumper sticker that says it all.
(except where noted):
Fred & Susan
WTT, tennis loses a friend with Gene Scott's passing
Tennis Week founder and publisher Eugene L. Scott
died of heart disease on March 20. He was 68. Gene
was a great supporter of tennis and will be missed by
all his friends at WTT.
“As a player, promoter, journalist and ardent
supporter of the great sport of tennis, Gene Scott
brought so much to our world and we all are better
for having worked with him to grow the sport. He
challenged the way we look at tennis and pushed us
to make the sport better for everyone. Gene will be
missed and our thoughts and prayers are with Polly
and Gene’s family.”
Billie Jean King
For more on Gene Scott . . .
WTT PLAYER RESULTS -
continue to leave their mark on the pro tours.
Whether it's the big wins of James Blake
(Boston) and the Bryan Brothers (aka
Mike & Bob) - (Kansas City) in Las Vegas
or Milagros Sequera (Hartford)
doubling up on the championship hardware with
singles and doubles wins in St. Paul, Minn., there
were lots of good news (and wins) for WTT players in
recent weeks. Follow the daily tour results on WTT.com as
WTT players compete in ATP, WTA and USTA
Other recent WTT winners include:
Andy Ram (St. Louis) - Israel (S)
Meghann Shaughnessy (Hartford) - Mexico (D)
Tommy Haas (Houston) - Memphis (S)
WTT Rec League Schedule Change:
There is a date change for the Irvine National
WTT is moving the National Qualifier in Irvine, Calif.,
to the following weekend. The new date of the
Irvine tournament will now be September 29 –
October 1. All play will be finished by 1 p.m. on
Next: WTT Pro League Schedule released in mid-April