Field set for WTT Rec League National Finals,
Nov. 2-4 in Indian Wells, Calif.
A record 51 recreational tennis teams from 16 states, Puerto Rico and Canada will compete for national championship titles in ten divisions at the World TeamTennis Rec League National Finals, Nov. 2-4, at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif. This is the largest field for the National Finals in the event's 13-year history.
WTT Rec League teams advanced to the national finals by qualifying from their respective divisions in six WTT Rec League national qualifying tournaments held throughout the year. Corporate League teams qualified by winning their local league. The weekend kicks off for the tournament participants with a Wilson clinic hosted by tennis legend and WTT co-founder Billie Jean King on Friday, Nov. 2, with matches scheduled throughout the weekend.
Teams will be competing for titles in ten divisions: 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, Senior 3.5, Senior 4.0, Corporate 3.5, Corporate 4.0, Corporate 4.5 and Open. Follow the action on WTT.com. See the full list of competing teams.
If your team didn't make it to this year's WTT Finals, it's not too early to mark your 2008 calendar for national qualifying events. The schedule for 2008 WTT National Qualifiers is being finalized but here are the TENTATIVE dates.
2008 WTT Rec League National Qualifiers
- February 22-24 in Bradenton, Fla.
- April 18-20 in Las Vegas, Nev.
- July TBD in Midwest (St. Louis or Kansas City)
- August 22-24 in Raleigh, N.C.
- September TBD in Irvine, Calif.
- September TBD in Wilmington, Del.
Tennis stars team up for charity with Elton John and Billie Jean King at Advanta WTT Smash Hits
Back row: Patrick McEnroe, Madison Brengle, Luke Jensen, John Isner.
Center row: Lindsay Davenport, Andy Roddick, Anna Kournikova, Corina Morariu.
Front row: Billie Jean King, Elton John.
Some of tennis' biggest names rallied together, raising big dollars for AIDS charities at the 2007 Advanta WTT Smash Hits in Villanova, Pa. The annual event, hosted by Billie Jean King and Sir Elton John, raised more than $400,000 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Philadelphia-based ActionAIDS.
While the night was about good causes, the tennis was highlighted by a hard-hitting showdown between John Isner and Andy Roddick.
Isner held off Roddick to lead Team Elton to a 20-18 overtime
victory over Team Billie Jean. Roddick and Isner put on a serving clinic for the Philadelphia crowd of 4,156 in the evening's final set. Roddick won men's singles for the trailing Team Billie Jean 5-2, forcing the match into overtime. Isner took the second game of overtime to win the overall team match 20-18 and give Team Elton John its first Smash Hits victory since 2001.
"The quality of the tennis was fabulous and we raised a lot of money for charity," King said. "It was a really great night."
At a pre-match reception, more than $248,500 of the evening's total was raised as King, John and the players participated in a live auction. Anna Kournikova kicked off the auction by buying a package that included tickets to Elton John's Red Piano show in Las Vegas, along with dinner in his VIP suite for $35,000. Advanta Chairman and CEO Dennis Alter capped off the auction by putting in a winning bid for a hit with Patrick McEnroe and Billie Jean King at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
All photos: Fred & Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA
WTT Rec Tournaments Director Jennifer Smith featured
in Des Moines Register
The Des Moines Register recently featured a profile of Jennifer Smith, Director of WTT Recreational Tournaments.
FROM THE DES MOINES REGISTERYou should get to know...Jennifer Fleming Smith
Business description: World TeamTennis, co-founded by Billie Jean King, is the only co-ed team sport with men and women equally represented. The company includes a professional league with franchises in various cities. There is a league that plays at the Aspen Athletic Club during the winter. I work from my home in West Des Moines on the recreational side of the organization by coordinating and running tournaments in various cities in the United States for the winners of our recreational leagues.
Background: I grew up in Des Moines and graduated from Roosevelt High School. I have an undergraduate degree in sports administration from Simpson College and a master's degree in sports management from Western Illinois University. I played tennis for both Roosevelt and Simpson.
Notable achievements: The ability to know and work for Billie Jean King for the last eight years. Through World TeamTennis, I have also had the opportunity to assist in raising money for Elton John's AIDS Foundation with a tennis event our office manages.
Why I do what I do: I have always loved tennis, and having the opportunity to have a career in tennis is a dream come true. I enjoy seeing the hundreds of recreational tennis players at each of my events along with the opportunity to work with some great people. I have also met some current and former tennis pros, and Billie Jean's good friend, Sir Elton John.
What I do to get away from work: I am a huge Cubs fan. I also like to spend time with my family and participate in various activities with my daughter.
How I give back to the community: I serve on the board of the Central Iowa Tennis Alliance. We are a nonprofit organization that provides tennis opportunities to the community.
Words to live by: "Go for it" - Billie Jean King.
The best place in central Iowa to entertain clients or colleagues and why: Other than the Aspen Athletic Club, my clients and colleagues are not in Iowa, so I do not get the opportunity to entertain. If I was given the opportunity, I would take people to an Iowa Cubs game.
One thing I would change about the Des Moines area: I would like to change the image Des Moines has with people that live outside of the state. When I tell someone where I am from, their response is usually "Why?" or "Where is that?"
What Iowa can do to attract more people like me: Des Moines is a great place to raise kids. Continue to invest in their education and the recreational opportunities available to them.
My mentor: My parents and grandparents. They are involved in various organizations and are dedicated to making Des Moines a great place to live. I also have to thank Billie Jean King, as her passion for life and constant quest for social change and equality is inspiring.
If I could do something else: Nothing. I am fortunate enough to be doing exactly what I want to be doing.
If you want to contact me: Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the World TeamTennis Web site at www.wtt.com.
Wilson Tip of the Month:
IS THE OPEN STANCE FOR YOU?
When I first learned to play tennis it was in the traditional mode of "turn sideways, take your racquet back, bend your knees, watch the ball, step towards the net, swing and follow-through." There was no specific phrase to define this position - now it is called a "closed stance".
The impracticality of this system was quickly realized (i.e. "I did not have time to do all those things when my opponent hit a powerful shot at me" and "it was impossible to remember let alone execute all those checkpoints once I was forced to start running to hit a shot"). However, initially it gave me a foundation from which to play tennis.
There is a very good chance you may already hit, without even trying to do so, some of your shots while facing the net or what is commonly referred to as the "open stance." Returning a powerful serve would be one example which comes to mind. Meaning, you only have the time to react with your hand / racquet.
However, if it is not a hitting position you have consciously added to your game, then this article will help you in the decision-making process.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF AN OPEN STANCE?
There are three distinct advantages in my opinion when hitting with an open stance versus a closed stance.
- Recovery steps have been eliminated. In a closed stance, when you take the final step towards the net you also have to take a recovery step to return to a ready position after the ball has been hit. With an open stance you are already facing the net after the shot.
- You are "naturally" in the ready position. Once you swing and hit the ball, you are ready for whatever your opponent will do next.
- It helps minimize hitting late. It is easier to keep your hitting hands and racquet out in front of you with an open stance thereby reducing the chances of the ball getting behind you. When using the forehand groundstroke in a closed stance your hitting shoulder, hand and racquet are behind you in the preparation and early swing stages of the stroke. Over the years I have helped many a student who complained of hitting late by having them add an open stance to their game.
WHEN WOULD YOU USE AN OPEN STANCE?
For groundstrokes it is on hard hit balls; balls hit right at you or so close maybe only one step is needed to reach the ball; and finally if you are tired or simply cannot move around the court very well.
As I noted earlier, I think many tennis players already use and open stance even if they are not trying to do so. Some of the more common situations:
On the return of serve it is when your opponent has a "big" serve.
For the volley, particularly in doubles when all four players might be at the net at the same time, it will be more practical to hit most of the volleys with an open stance because the reaction time is so short. I often tell my students unless they have to take crossover step to reach a volley they should try to hit with an open stance because in part it allows them to keep facing the net and be ready for the return shot. At the net the first reaction should be with the hands and racquet, not the feet.Overall for the doubles, particularly the higher the level, the fast action and quick points will essentially force you to play entire points while facing the net! There is simply no time to turn sideways and then recover to the ready position.
I believe if you add the open stance to your game you will be happy with the advantages it gives you in certain situations. Remember, give yourself as many options as you can to play tennis!
Dave Kensler has 25 years of teaching experience with Peter Burwash
International (PBI), the most successful international tennis management company. PBI directs tennis programs at exclusive resorts, hotels and clubs in Europe, Asia, Indian Ocean, Middle East, the Caribbean, Pacific and North America. PBI Professionals have taught over 3 million students in their 30-year history. For information on PBI tennis destinations and employment opportunities please go to www.pbitennis.com.
Balle de Match offers holiday special for WTT members
Balle de Match is proud to be associated with WTT as the official apparel sponsor. Our goal is to outfit as many WTT teams as possible in the latest in fashionable and technological clothing so that players can not only look good but feel like they can play their best wearing Balle de Match.
We are making a special HOLIDAY package available for you and your families. Between now and Dec. 15, Balle de Match will make available any of its 2007 Fashion merchandise for
35% discount off Suggested Retail! (while supplies last)
Call 800-356-1021 to make your purchase (credit card only).
Please identify yourself as a WTT player/ captain/ coordinator and our Customer Care Team will be happy to tell you what is available in Men's, Kid's and Women's. We are also able to send you electronically a file of existing styles.
Visit www.balledematch.com to view SOME of the product available but there is much more that can be purchased which is not shown on the site.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE SPECIAL HOLIDAY SAVINGS!!
We know you will enjoy wearing Balle de Match apparel. Thanks for your support of Balle de Match and for your enthusiasm for WTT.
Bob and Mike Bryan (KC Explorers)
made history on Sunday, Oct. 28 when they won their 10th doubles title of 2007. With the win, they became first team to win 10 titles since 1996 - when Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde won 12 tournaments. The Bryans topped James Blake and Mark Knowles 6-1, 6-1 to win the Swiss Indoors in Basel, Switzerland.
The Bryan brothers are now at No. 5 among all-time doubles title leaders with 43 titles.
It was a good weekend for several WTT Pro League players. In addition to the Bryan Brothers, several other players posted championship results.
Davidoff Swiss Indoors - Basel, Switzerland
Bob Bryan (KC)/Mike Bryan (KC)(1) d. James Blake/Mark Knowles (Sacramento) 61 61
St. Petersburg Open - St. Petersburg, Russia
DOUBLES FINAL: Daniel Nestor (PHL)/Nenad Zimonjic(1) d. Jurgen Melzer/Todd Perry (SPR)(4) 61 76(3)
Generali Ladies Linz - Linz, Austria
Cara Black/Liezel Huber (DEL)(1) d. Katarina Srebotnik/Ai Sugiyama(2) 62 36 10-8
Samsung Securities Cup -Seoul, Korea
Rik De Voest (NYB)/Yen-Hsun Lu(4) d. Sanchai Ratiwatana/ Sonchat Ratiwatana(1) 63 75
her WTT.com blog
How many 17-year-olds turn pro, hang out with Elton John and Andy Roddick, and play against Lindsay Davenport -- all within a few weeks time? Madison Brengle, for one!
Brengle is one of the top young American tennis players. The Dover, Del., resident, blogs about her appearace at Advanta WTT Smash Hits. Read what Madison has to say about her experience on
Photos: Camerawork USA