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News from World TeamTennis - - August 30, 2006
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Tennis Center renamed for WTT co-founder
Billie Jean King in star-studded ceremony
 
BJK arms up

The stars were out on Monday night in New York - Diana Ross, Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert, Venus Williams and John McEnroe and many more. They were all at the recently renamed USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to honor the center's namesake in an emotional ceremony.

King encouraged the record crowd of 23,736 to get out and play tennis and enjoy the public park when the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center is located not just during the US Open but throughout the year. "My house is your house -- and this is our house," said King.

For more on the opening night ceremony, visit www.usopen. org.

photo: Fred & Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA


USTA Southwest takes home title at WTT Junior Nationals in San Diego
 
USTA Southwest defeats USTA Mid-Atlantic in finals
USTA Southwest 06

In a battle of undefeated teams, USTA Southwest outgunned USTA Mid-Atlantic 46-25 to win the 11th Annual World TeamTennis Junior Nationals presented by Advanta. The event, which is hosted by tennis legend Billie Jean King and features top junior co-ed teams from throughout the U.S., was held this weekend at the George E. Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, Calif.

USTA Southwest, representing Arizona and New Mexico, and USTA Mid-Atlantic, representing Maryland, took similar paths to their first WTT Junior Nationals championship finals appearance, with both teams posting 3-0 records in round- robin group play. USTA Mid-Atlantic was competing with only two girls instead of the usual three, but the short-handed roster didn’t slow them down as they dominated in round- robin play, outscoring opponents 132-72. In the semifinals, USTA Intermountain looked like they would finally be the team to stop them but USTA Mid-Atlantic rallied with a 37-36 Supertiebreaker win to advance to the finals.

USTA Southwest dominated USTA Northern 46-20 to set up the championship showdown. USTA Mid-Atlantic finally ran out of steam in the final as USTA Southwest got off to an early lead and never let up, winning the championship 46-25. USTA Intermountain finished third with a 38-35 win over USTA Northern.

USTA Southwest, coached by Eric Mitchell of Phoenix, includes Ian Mordaunt of Tucson, Ariz.; Erik Sheldon of Phoenix, Ariz.; Courtney Byron of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Molly McDevitt of Albuquerque, N.M.; Andy Cooper of Albuquerque, N.M.; and Anya Dalkin of Tucson, Ariz.

USTA Mid-Atlantic, coached by Joseph Lizardo of Owings Mills, Md., includes Alexander Centenari of Baltimore; Timothy Lozinak of Churchville, Md.; Jolardo de Guzman of Silver Spring, Md.; Grace Cheng of Columbia, Md.; and Carly Van Hollen of Millers, Md.

Spare Time, Inc. / USTA Nor Cal of Sacramento, Calif., coached by Novak Nash and Carmel Hill of Roseville, Calif., took home the Maureen Connolly Brinker Team Spirit Award for outstanding sportsmanship and camaraderie and a $1,000 check. The team lineup includes Calvin Andrews of Sacramento, Calif.; Antone Bulich and Mary Bulich of Granite Bay, Calif.; Drew Madden of Lotus, Calif.; Amanda Griffin of Granite Bay, Calif.; and Lauren Combs of Fair Oaks, Calif., whose father Ben Combs is a co- owner of the Sacramento Capitals of the WTT Pro League.

The weekend of activity also included a visit from former French Open Doubles Champion and WTT television commentator Luke Jensen, who entertained the players with tales of life as a tennis player at all ages.

FINAL RESULTS:
SEMIFINAL #1: USTA Mid- Atlantic def. USTA Intermountain 37-36 (Supertiebreaker)
SEMIFINAL #2: USTA Southwest def. USTA Northern 46-20
CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS: USTA Southwest def. USTA Mid-Atlantic 46- 25

2006 WTT Junior Nationals
Aug. 18-20, 2006 – San Diego, Calif.
FINAL ORDER OF FINISH
1. USTA Southwest (Phoenix, Ariz. / Tucson, Ariz. / Albuquerque, N.M.)
2. USTA Mid-Atlantic (Baltimore, Md.)
3. USTA Intermountain (Littleton, Colo. / Park City, Utah / Boulder, Colo.)
4. USTA Northern (Fargo, N.D. / Edina, Minn.)
5. USTA Eastern (Harrison, N.Y. / Greenwich, Conn.) - Stephen Cobb
6. Jack Kramer Club (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. / Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.)
7. Youth Tennis San Diego (Temecula, Calif. / Poway, Calif.)
8. Spare Time, Inc. / USTA Nor Cal (Granite Bay, Calif. / Sacramento, Calif.)
9. Zina Garrison Academy (Houston, Texas / Missouri City, Texas)
10. USTA Hawaii Pacific (Honolulu, Hawaii / Lahaina, Hawaii)
11. USTA Southern California Tennis Association / Kern Community Tennis Association (Bakersfield, Calif. / McFarland, Calif.)
12. USTA Pacific Northwest (West Richland, Wash. / Kennewick, Wash./Vancouver, Wash.)
13. USTA Southern (Lexington, Ky. / Benton, Ark. / Lilburn, Ga.)
14. Smooth Strokes (Powell, Ohio / Smyrna, Tenn.)
15. USTA Middle States (Lancaster, Pa. / Howell, N.J.)
16. Pacific Athletic Club (Del Mar, Calif. / La Jolla, Calif.)

photo: Diane Schafer


Rec teams qualify for WTT National Finals
 
Final qualifier of 2006 season in September
Rec 06 STL hug

The final opportunity for recreational teams to qualify for the WTT National Championships is set for Heritage Park in Irvine, Calif. (Sept. 29- Oct. 1). Winners in each division at all WTT National Qualifying events advance to the WTT Nationals, Nov. 2-5 in Indian Wells, Calif.

In the most recent WTT National Qualifier, three teams advanced from the event held Aug. 25-27 at the Racquet Club of the South in Atlanta. They join teams from qualifying events in Florida, Nevada, Missouri and New York in making the trip to the WTT National Championships.

For full results from the St. Louis, Schenectady and Atlanta events, visit www.wtt.com.

For more information the WTT Qualfiers or to sign up for the Irvine event, visit http://www.wtt.com/recleague/national.asp

photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA


Tennis Tips from Wilson
 
LEARN TO PLAY TENNIS FROM NO-MAN’S LAND
Wilson updated

When I began to play this wonderful sport at 12- years old, one of the first comments I heard was, “Stay out of no man’s land!” The implication seemed to be there were only two options: Either you were at the net or the baseline.

As I improved my game, I soon realized how impractical this advice is and how it limited me as a tennis player. Why? Because sometimes we are forced to be in No Man’s Land due to the type of shot played by our opponents and other times we may create opportunities with our shots which allow us to move into No Man’s Land as a way to end or start to end the point.

Now having been a teaching professional for 23 years, I can honestly say I have never given any of my students the same advice I received! In fact, quite the opposite, I have told them they MUST learn to play tennis from what I prefer to call “the mid-court area” because whether they like or not, eventually they will be forced to do so.

When an inventory is taken of the type of shots played from the mid-court area it is quite comprehensive:

*Overhead Smash
*Drop Shot
*Low Volley(Off a low return of serve from your opponent as you come to the net)
*High Volley(Off a high return of serve)
*Half-Volley
*Approach Shot
*Returning a weak serve
*A short, high bouncing ball from your opponent


All the above and probably a few more are often hit while NOT standing on the baseline or up at the net! In fact, I would guess in a doubles match where both teams are trying to get to the net, at least one of those shots is hit on every point!

HOW TO PRACTICE YOUR MID-COURT SHOTS
Most importantly, begin with the attitude it is okay to be in the mid-court area of the tennis court. Points are won and lost based on the results of balls hit, not where you are standing when you hit the ball. Would it be “wrong” if you won a tennis match during which you hit 25% of your shots from No Man’s Land?!

SERVING - If you are one of those players with a big serve / service motion which carries you into the court after contact (but you are not serving and volleying) then sometimes, because of a quick return, you are forced to hit your second shot before being able to retreat behind the baseline. If this happens to you, then practice having to play these shots. To do so effectively might require working with someone who is at or above your level of play so they can take your serve and hit it right back at you consistently.

RETURN OF SERVE - Whether through league play, a regular weekly match or a tournament, if you know you are going to play someone who has a weak serve(First and / or second) or lacks depth with their serve. Then have your teaching pro or friend hit “wimpy” serves to you while you stand inside the baseline to return them.

Other than the serve and return of serve, all other shots can be practiced by using a ball machine in addition of course to a friend or during a lesson with your teaching pro.

GROUND STROKES - I recommend to all my students to practice their ground strokes from 5 feet behind the baseline, standing on or right behind the baseline and 1-3 feet inside the baseline because you don’t always know what type of balls your opponent will be hitting to you. Also, if you play outdoors, the wind can impact where you might have to stand to play effectively. During a point you may “travel” in an area from way behind the baseline to inside the baseline.

VOLLEY - Whether you move or stand still, practice volleying by being no closer to the net than the service line or even behind it a little bit. Anyone who has played doubles while serving and volleying has had to hit these types of shots.

HALF-VOLLEY - In that same regard, again in a practice session, force yourself to work on this shot. Even if you have to stand half-way between the service line and baseline and whether from a ball machine or person, have balls to right towards your feet.

OVERHEAD - So often tennis players work on their overhead only by standing in the ideal position - i.e. half-way between the net and service line. Yet once the match begins, lobs are often going everywhere. Practice moving back and hitting them in the air or after they bounce. Not every lob from your opponent will be right to you and not everyone will be over your head for a winner. It is all those “in between” lobs which you need to practice hitting overheads.

SHORT BALLS - These are shots whether from a return of serve or ground stroke by your opponent, force you to move inside the baseline to hit your next shot. In my opinion, you have four choices at that point, all of which you should practice:

*Approach shot while moving towards the net in anticipation of your next shot being a volley or overhead.
*Point ending ground stroke - i.e., you go for a winner!
*Drop shot.
*Lob - Probably a more common choice in doubles if the other team is in too close.
An easy way to practice these is to set a ball machine to hit short and you can then work on all four of these options!

“No Man’s Land” can be a great place to be!! Add the mid-court area to your tennis game and you will improve dramatically!

Dave Kensler has 23 years of teaching experience with Peter Burwash International (PBI), the most successful international tennis management company. PBI directs tennis programs at 60+ exclusive resorts and clubs in 23 countries and has taught over 3 million students in their 30 year history. For information on PBI tennis destinations and employment opportunities please go to http://www.pbitennis.com/. All PBI Tennis Professionals play with Wilson rackets, use Wilson bags and wear Wilson shoes. The year 2006 marks the 20th Anniversary of PBI Tennis Professionals using Wilson products.


Advanta WTT Smash Hits tickets on sale
 
Roddick, Sampras & Kournikova to play
BJK Elton Smash 04

Long-time friends Billie Jean King and Elton John not only bring out the best in each other, but they bring out the best in tennis each year for their annual charity event, Advanta WTT Smash Hits. Andy Roddick, Pete Sampras and Anna Kournikova top the lineup for the 2006 event, set for Sept. 14 at the Bren Center in Irvine, Calif.

Reserved seat tickets for the 14th annual Advanta WTT Smash Hits range from $45 to $110 and are available at all Ticketmaster ticket centers and the Bren Center box office. For more information, call Ticketmaster at 714/740- 2000 or the Bren Center box office at 949/824- 5000.

Photo: Pat Parsons


Vegas brother-sister combo tops X TeamTennis finals
 
XTT winners 2006

Stan Breland and Candynce Boney, a brother and sister team from Canyon Springs High School in Las Vegas, Nev., won the X TeamTennis National High School Championships earlier this month at the Lower Peters Canyon Park in Irvine, Calif. The event was hosted by the City of Irvine Tennis Department.

Breland, 15, and Boney, 18, were undefeated in the three-day round robin co-ed event and earned the title with a 24-14 win over runner-ups Lauren Combs and Tony Bulich of Del Oro High School in Sacramento, Calif., in the championship final.

Team Breland also had wins over Emily Kelsey of Granite Bay High (Granite Bay, Calif.) and Josh Yee of Davis High (Davis, Calif.), Sarah Geocaris and Martin Park of Sage Hill High (Newport Coast, Calif.), and Rachel Cox and Sam Cooper of Mater Dei High (Santa Ana, Calif.).

Third place went to Tower Hill High School’s Lucy Nutting and Will Martinez of Wilmington, Delaware.

Breland, who attended elementary school at the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas, and Boney will also be special guests at the upcoming Advanta WTT Smash Hits charity event in Irvine, Calif., where they will have the opportunity to meet co-hosts Billie Jean King and Elton John.

The six teams advanced to the Finals in Irvine after participating in regional X TeamTennis events throughout the summer. The X TeamTennis format features co-ed teams competing in three sets - men's singles, women's singles and mixed doubles. The unique format is a version of the one used in the WTT Pro League and includes no-ad scoring, substitution and coaching.

All teams are required to have played high school tennis during the past season. More than 50 teams played in regional events, qualifying six teams to play in the national championships.

The action on the courts was competitive, but all the teams found time to socialize together off the courts as well. Tournament Director Annette Broersma arranged field trips to several local hot spots including In-N-Out burgers, the Wedge (a popular surf spot) in Newport Beach and Fashion Island Mall.

“I enjoyed meeting the players from other areas of the country,” said Sarah Geocaris of Sage Hill High School. “I liked learning about what tennis was like in their areas and their high schools. Everyone was so nice.”

For more information on X TeamTennis qualifying events, check http: //www.wtt.com/xteam/play.asp for area listings.


Bälle de Mätch becomes official apparel for WTT
 
Balle de Match

Bälle de Mätch, the fastest-growing name in tennis apparel, is teaming up with World TeamTennis as the official apparel of the WTT Recreational and junior leagues. Starting in 2007 Bälle de Mätch will also sponsor the 12-city WTT Professional League.

Bälle de Mätch will supply the uniforms for tournament staffing, ball kids, league directors, and WTT staff.

For the latest Bälle de Mätch merchandise, visit http://balledematch.com.


WTT HOT SHOT
 



We are the Champions!

That was the battle cry of the Philadelphia Freedoms who outbattled the Newport Beach Breakers to win the 2006 WTT Pro League title. Finals MVP Rennae Stubbs teamed with the world's top- ranked doubles player Lisa Raymond and men's doubles standout Daniel Nestor to dominate the Breakers in the championship final.

Back row (left to right): Coach Craig Kardon, Jaymon Crabb, Daniel Nestor.
Front row (left to right): Rennae Stubbs, Lisa Raymond.
Photo: Fred & Susan Mullane / Camerawork USA


WTT merchandise available at The Tennis Superstore
 

WTT tshirt back
Check out World TeamTennis Pro League merchandise at The Tennis Superstore for end of season specials.

WTT merchandise at The Tennis Superstore



Coming up:

Sept. 14: Advanta WTT Smash Hits, Bren Center at UC-Irvine in Irvine, Calif.

Sept. 29 - Oct. 1: WTT Rec League National Qualifier, Heritage Park in Irvine, Calif. Registration deadline is Sept. 15.

Nov. 2-5: WTT National Finals, Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif.