News from World TeamTennis - - February 13, 2007
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2007 Rec League National Qualifiers kick off this month in Bradenton
WTT National Finals returns to Indian Wells in November

The first of six WTT Recreational League National Qualifiers gets underway Feb. 23-25 at the IMG Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

In addition to the Bradenton qualifier, WTT National Qualifying events will be held in Las Vegas (April 20-22), St. Louis (July 20-22), Raleigh, N.C. (Aug. 24-26), Irvine, Calif. (Sept. 28-30) and Wilmington, Del. (Oct. 5-7).

Coed recreational teams are battling for titles in seven divisions in Bradenton: 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, Open, Senior 3.5/under and Senior 4.0/under. Winners in each division advance to the WTT Nationals, Nov. 1-4, in Indian Wells, Calif., where they will face off for national titles against champions from five other qualifying events held throughout the U.S.

2007 WTT Rec League National Qualifying Schedule

Feb. 23-25 IMG Bollettieri Academy - Bradenton, Fla.

April 20-22 Darling Tennis Center - Las Vegas, Nev. register by April 6

July 20-22 Dwight Davis Tennis Center – St. Louis, Mo. register by July 6

August 24-26 Millbrook Exchange Tennis Center - Raleigh, N.C. register by August 10

September 28-30 Heritage Park - Irvine, Calif. register by September 14

October 5-7 DuPont Country Club - Wilmington, Del. register by September 21

November 1-4 WTT Nationals – Indian Wells, Calif.

WTT Pro League schedule announced
Williams, Sampras, McEnroe, Kournikova, Vaidisova and the Bryan brothers sign on for WTT action
Venus Philly 2006 small

Start making your plans for the 2007 WTT Pro League season presented by Advanta. The League announced the regular season schedule and tickets are on sale in most team markets. Some of the greatest names in the game will take to the multi-colored WTT courts this summer, including a trio of former world No. 1 players - Pete Sampras (Newport Beach Breakers), Venus Williams (Philadelphia Freedoms) and John McEnroe (New York Sportimes). Other players confirmed for the season are Anna Kournikova (Sacramento Capitals), Nicole Vaidisova (Sacramento Capitals), and the world's top doubles team , Mike and Bob Bryan (Kansas City Explorers).

The WTT Pro League regular season runs July 5-25 in 11 markets throughout the U.S. The top two teams from both the Western and Eastern Conference advance to the WTT Championship Weekend, July 27-29, in Roseville, Calif. Conference champions will be decided July 27-28, with the WTT Finals set for Sunday, July 29.

Visit www.WTT.com for a full schedule.

Short Sets
Novo Nordisk

WTT is now accepting applications for the Novo Nordisk Donnelly Awards, two one-time $5,000 scholarships given annually to two young people, ages 14-21, who have diabetes and play tennis competitively in tournaments or on their school team.

The awards are sponsored by Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care, and are to be used for education, tennis development and/or medical care.

Applications must be received by May 1, 2007, along with two letters of recommendation and a short essay regarding the significance of diabetes in the applicant’s life. For more details on the Novo Nordisk Donnelly Awards and to download an application form, visit www.WTT.com. For more information, contact Diane Donnelly Stone at dstone@wtt.com or 212-586-3444, x. 20.

In addition to their scholarships, the recipients receive an expense-paid trip to a World TeamTennis Pro League match during the summer of 2007 to receive their awards from WTT co-founder Billie Jean King.

Tennis Tips from Wilson
Wilson updated

The more options you add to your tennis game, the better player you will become. Many tennis players become frustrated because, in my opinion, they spend too much time adding and subtracting from how they play tennis.

They read an article on how to hit a particular shot, which is different from how they learned to hit the shot. Therefore, they “subtract” what they were doing and “add” the new information. They take a lesson from a teaching pro who suggests a different approach to a stroke than a previous teaching pro and so on. Continually adding and subtracting.

The ONLY time I ever have my students stop doing something or subtract a feature from how they play tennis is when it might have the potential to cause an injury. Otherwise, I let them keep what they already know and do. Then it is just a matter of adding more options to how they play tennis.

Let us take a look at some options you can add to your strokes. While there are many more options available than I am suggesting in this article, the following are some of the more common ones I use in my teaching. How often you use a particular option, even if it is only 1% of the time is not relevant. What is important is you have that option to use.


Option A
If I play you in a tennis match and I can hit underspin, flat and topspin for both my forehand and backhand while you only hit flat; then I have two more options on each stroke than you do. If one of my options is not working, I can use the other two. If your one way of hitting the ball is not working then you are stuck with it, errors and all! Therefore, whatever you are unable to do of these three options, add them to your game!

“Spin” is a great option to practice and add to almost any stroke in tennis. Spin provides more control.

Option B
Learn to hit “Open Stance” shots. Almost everyone who has ever learned the game of tennis began on the ground strokes with the traditional closed stance style i.e. Turn sideways and step into the shot. By adding the open stance to your game, you will now have two options on hitting your ground strokes. In addition, as you improve, the better players hit with more pace, which will limit your ability to hit with a closed stance. Ditto on return of serve. The pros all hit with an open stance in part because they do not have the time to turn sideways; the same will be true for you.

Option C
If you have a two-handed backhand, practice a one-handed backhand. As someone who plays with a one-handed backhand, rarely am I forced to hit a two-handed backhand. But two-handed players up to and including those on the pro tour are sometimes forced to hit one-handed, i.e. Having to reach out to return a serve; low volleys, running for ground strokes are just a few examples.

Many tennis players work on adding spin, direction and power to their serves. However, one of the most important yet least practiced options is depth.

We do not want our serves landing in the middle of the service box any more than we want our ground strokes landing around the service line. Even if your serve is not very fast, it can be effective if it is deep. By deep I would suggest at least in the back 1/3 of the service box.

Often tennis players do not play well in matches because they do not practice what will happen in a match. In terms of the volley it would mean when our opponent forces us to play a low volley or those in which the point of contact is below the white net band.

Whether it is with a friend, using a ball machine or from a teaching pro, many tennis players practice the volley standing too close to the net and contacting the ball only when it is above the white net band. There are many “touch shot” volleys played at the net, particularly in doubles, when the point of contact is below the white net band. The next time you are practicing your volley, do so for 10-15 minutes with every shot being contacted below the white net band.

Remember, it is not necessary to subtract from your tennis game! Make a list of what features you would like to have in your tennis game and begin to work on them. Keep adding options and you will be a better player!

Dave Kensler has 24 years of teaching experience with Peter Burwash International (PBI), the most successful international tennis management company. PBI directs tennis programs at 60+ exclusive resorts, hotels 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.

Around the League

SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: Wayne Bryan is having a good year. In January alone, the reigning WTT Coach of the Year signed a new 3-year deal to stay at the helm of the Sacramento Capitals. And it looks like he will have another strong team to coach if he can bring back the nucleus of his 2006 squad. At least based on their performances at the recent Australian Open.

The world's No. 1 ranked junior, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, defended her singles title at the Australian Open juniors. Nicole Vaidisova advanced to the women's singles semifinals before losing a close one, 7-6(5), 6-4 to eventual champ Serena Williams. Elena Likhovtseva teamed with Daniel Nestor (Philadelphia Freedoms) to win the mixed doubles championship. Nestor and Mark Knowles advanced to the men's doubles semifinals before they were ousted by Wayne Bryan's sons, Mike and Bob. The Bryan brothers, who play for the Kansas City Explorers, went on to win the 2007 Australian Open doubles championship.

With the Bryan brothers Davis Cup win over the weekend, February is looking pretty good for Coach Wayne as well.

NEWPORT BEACH BREAKERS: The Newport Beach Breakers have contracted with Newport Beach-based Hoag Hospital Foundation to manage the World TeamTennis Pro League team and be its beneficiary in 2007.

In addition to new management, the Breakers will play in a new venue. The Breakers’ new tennis stadium will be erected in the parking lot of the Newport Beach Country Club, located along Pacific Coast Highway and overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Seating capacity is for 2,200.

Pete Sampras will return in 2007 to play for the Breakers, who lost the 2006 WTT Finals to the Philadelphia Freedoms. Marquee players scheduled to visit Newport Beach include Anna Kournikova, John McEnroe and Venus Williams.

NEW YORK BUZZ: The buzz in Schenectady is all about the return of Pete Sampras to the area for the first time in nearly 20 years. New York Buzz GM Nitty Singh made the announcement at a mid-day press conference and by the time she returned to the office after making the afternoon media rounds, there were already 40 voice mail messages inquiring about tickets to Sampras' match on July 18 when he leads his Newport Beach Breakers to upstate New York.

WTT Corporate League Directors plan for 2007

More than one dozen WTT Corporate League Directors from throughout the U.S. gathered in St. Louis this month for meetings and networking. The hot topic of the day was the growth potential of WTT Corporate League programs. More than 120 corporations now participate and WTT Rec League National Director Delaine Mast expects that number to grow in 2007. "WTT Leagues are a great option for many businesses," said Mast. "Not only does it allow co-workers to get together in a fun, social environment, but it's just the type of healthy, fitness alternative that many companies are looking for provide to their employees."

For a list of WTT Corporate Leagues, visit www.WTT.com or call (866) 752-9988 to set up a Corporate League at your company.

PHOTO: Attending the WTT Corporate League Directors Meeting in St. Louis. Front: Elaine Wingfield, Key Biscayne, Fla.; Annette Broersma, Irvine, Calif.; Angelika Sadar, Philadelphia; Ronita Elder, Los Angeles; Kevin Kurtz, Sacramento, Calif.; Back: Dale Shepard, Phoenix, Ariz.; Mark Platt, St. Louis; Boris Rolnik, New York, N.Y.; Bob Williams, Minneapolis, Minn.; Laura Graham, Cleveland, Ohio; Carol Jory, San Diego, Calif.; Bronwyn Greer, Houston, Texas; Mary Jane Clemente, San Diego, Calif.

Bälle de Mätch offers special deals for WTT members
Yippee oval

Take advantage of the special WTT discount at Bälle de Mätch. WTT members get 15% off suggested retail on Bälle de Mätch Team and Basic apparel at www.balledematch.com.

Bälle de Mätch is the official apparel of both the WTT Pro and Rec Leagues.

Order product from Bälle de Mätch directly online by visiting the special WTT League Player page at balledematch.com. To place an order, login using the WTT League Player user id (wttplayer) and password (playwtt).

Order online or call Bälle de Mätch directly at 1-800-356-1021 and speak to a customer service representative about the program by mentioning WTT League Player.

For the latest Bälle de Mätch merchandise, visit www.balledematch.com.

BJK Fashion Week 2007

Billie Jean King - Supermodel. King was a hit during Fashion Week in New York City earlier this month. King participated in the The Heart Truth fashion show to raise awareness of women and heart disease. King received a standing ovation as she took to the catwalk in a red pantsuit designed by Gustavo Cadile

Photo courtesy of The Heart Truth, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The Tennis Superstore

Tennis Superstore
Gear up for 2007 with WTT specials from The Tennis Superstore.

Visit The Tennis Superstore for WTT merchandise

Coming up:

Feb. 23-25, 2007 WTT Rec League National Qualifier at IMG Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Fla.