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MYTEF’s mission: benefitting tennis at every level

Indianapolis Tennis Magazine Spring 2012

Stan Malless 1914-2012 Fast League • Top local players make IRC league tops for competition News & Notes

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(pro)file

On Court

CITA names new The life and legacy Community Westview Healthplex Consider these strategies Executive Director of a tennis pioneer Sports Club’s Tomas Johansson for doubles success


contentsSpring 2012 VOLUME 6, ISSUE 3

On the Cover: Stan Malless relaxes in his ‘house’, the former Indianapolis Tennis Center. The man whose tennis legacy reached around the world passed away in January at age 97. (Photo by Andrea Melani)

11 Remembering ‘Mr. Tennis’

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He ushered in many innovations at all levels of tennis, but Stan Malless will also be remembered locally for his many contributions.

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Midwest Youth Tennis & Education Foundation

MYTEF’s broad mission benefits tennis at all levels.

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You may never know who you’ll be playing against in IRC’s Fast League, but one thing’s for certain – you’re in for a competitive match.

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Sampras and Martin shine at the Fieldhouse

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Second ‘EntouRaj’ brings the star power

Pete Sampras and Todd Martin return to their old stomping ground for a night of tennis, fun and fundraising to benefit local charities.

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ATP Tour pro Somdev Devvarman and the Indiana Fever’s Tamika Catchings join Rajeev Ram for his second annual fundraiser.

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Ad In – Remembering a tennis pioneer

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News & Notes – Central Indiana Tennis Association names new Executive Director

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(pro)file – Tomas Johansson, teaching pro at Community Westview Healthplex Sports Club

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On Court – In doubles, it’s all about using the right strategies

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18 Where the top players play

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PUBLISHER’S COMMENTARY

Reflections onPublisher’s commentary a tennis pioneer

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aving been a newspaper reporter, one of the hardest things I had to do was write obituaries. Today, nearly everyone’s personal and professional history can be found with a few clicks of a button. But in the days before the Internet, we relied solely on the background information passed along to us by the family via the funeral home. Whether it was a well-known member of the community or the average citizen down the street, it was a question of how to do justice to a person’s life within the space allowed, usually just a few column inches. However, when it comes to documenting the life and times of Stan Malless, there’s never enough space. Regrettably, I didn’t know Stan as well as others in the local tennis community did as our paths only crossed maybe once or twice a year after I began publishing the magazine. But I did know enough to realize that he needed to be featured in the inaugural issue of Indianapolis Tennis Magazine. Locally, most will remember Stan as the catalyst behind the Indianapolis Tennis Center, but few may completely understand how prominently that project figured into the changing landscape of downtown Indianapolis. The Tennis Center’s contributions are highlighted as part of an excellent documentary, “Naptown to Super City”, which outlines how Indianapolis embraced a unique sports strategy to revitalize the downtown area (you can see the documentary online at http://bcove. me/iid396uz). One of the best quotes about the Tennis Center was from Sid Weedman, former executive director of the Commission for Downtown, who recalled the tournament’s large crowds, “Someone jokingly once said, ‘you know, about two-thirds of those people had probably never been south of 38th Street before’. Now, they come downtown and find out they had a good time, and they didn’t get assaulted or mugged, so it turned out to be a great thing.”

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And while the original Tennis Center eventually fell victim to the lethal combination of politics, special interests and changing social concerns, no one can question its contributions in the transformation of the city. Perhaps, when it is all said and done, an historical marker will be erected near the site of the old stadium court as a permanent reminder.

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Probably even sadder is that the current generation of players may only know Stan Malless as a name on an award given out by various tennis groups. They don’t know that his love and passion for the game led him on a journey that included presidencies of the Central Indiana Tennis Association, USTA/Midwest Section, and the USTA itself. They have no idea how he transformed the game on a global basis through his participation on various rules and competition committees, or even how he helped bring tennis to the Olympic Games. There are some people whose lives cannot adequately be summed up in the black and white print of a magazine or newspaper. This time, however, I think everyone can agree on these six words: “Good job, Stan Malless… and thanks”.

Indianapolis Tennis Magazine PUBLISHER Scott D. Cooper Member, U.S. Tennis Writers Association ADVERTISING SALES Ilia Macdonald EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Earl Allen Megan Fernandez PHOTO CONTRIBUTORS Shawn Barney Andrea Melani Hamilton County Community Tennis Association NJTL of Indianapolis TCU Athletics Midwest Youth Tennis & Education Foundation USTA/Midwest Section GRAPHIC DESIGN Nardi Art, LLC – Regina Nardi Bal-Bow Grafix – Terri Balon-Bowden For advertising information, call (317) 374-4995, (317) 918-0726 or email adsales@indytennismag.com

Indianapolis Tennis Magazine is published three times a year by Cooper Media Group, LLC Bargersville, Indiana Contact us at Indianapolis Tennis Magazine P.O. Box 21 Bargersville, IN 46106 (317) 918-0726; (317) 422-4559 fax; or e-mail to scott@indytennismag.com Material may not be used or reprinted without prior permission from Cooper Media Group, LLC. Copyright® 2012, Cooper Media Group, LLC www.indytennismag.com

Indianapolis Tennis Magazine and the Indianapolis Tennis Magazine logo are registered trademarks of Cooper Media Group, LLC. Indianapolis Tennis Magazine is the winner of Media Awards from the USTA/Midwest Section (2007) and Hamilton County Community Tennis Association (2008).

www.indytennismag.com


news & notes TENNIS HAPPENINGS FROM AROUND THE AREA

CITA names Hartzel as new director

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he Central Indiana Tennis Association (CITA) announced today that it has named Kimberly Hartzel as its new Executive Director. After an extensive search, Hartzel was chosen to lead the organization to achieve its mission: “To promote and develop the growth of tennis.” “The CITA is very fortunate to bring in someone as capable and passionate as Kimberly to run our association,” said Mark Rutherford, President of CITA’s Board of Directors. “We are entering a new area of growth, and Kimberly has shown the self-motivation and ability to help us maximize tennis exposure across the 61 counties we serve.” Hartzel brings to the position more than 18 years of experience, with a strong background in tennis organization and senior account marketing management. Most recently, as District League Coordinator, she has created two new adult tennis leagues reaching new geographic areas and promoting growth across the Central Indiana District. Under her leadership, there has also been a 4% increase in Adult USTA League participation. She is an avid USTA League player and credits her parents for introducing her to the sport and the competition and camaraderie that is the spirit of USTA tennis. Hartzel can be reached at kimberly@centralindianatennis.com.

HCCTA’s busy winter includes Super Baskets of Hope

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Drill4Water fundraiser set for April 20

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he third annual Drill4Water, a tennis and music fundraiser benefitting NuAfrica’s effort to bring clean drinking water to impoverished villages in Africa, will be held Friday, April 20, at Carmel Racquet Club from 6-10 p.m.

Dirty water kills more people each year than all forms of violence, including war. The mission of NuAfrica, a volunteer non-profit organization, is to provide basic self-sustainment necessities to impoverished people. In addition to providing clean drinking water, NuAfrica believes that ‘education leads to self-sustainment,’ a second and parallel focus is to provide educational materials. Equipping adults with agricultural training and arming children with literacy, paves their way to self-sustainment. In addition to tennis drills with pros, there will be live music and DJ Idgaf, dinner, cocktails, live and silent auctions, and special guests. Proceeds will help fund the dig for a well to provide clean water for 3,000 residents of an adopted village in Mali, Africa. Early discounted tickets purchased by April 1 are $75 if you wish to participate in the tennis activities and $50 for non-tennis. Prices increase by $25 on April 1. To register or donate online, please visit www.NuAfrica.org/drill4water2012.

Among the HCCTA volunteers joining with former Indianapolis Colts coach and Super Baskets of Hope Chairman Tony Dungy to support Super Baskets of Hope were (from left) George Taliaferro, Barbara Wynne, Carolyn Freeman, Dawn Knight, Sue Harris, AJ Knight, Helen Petersen, Kent Harris, and Judge Viola Taliaferro.

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he Hamilton County Community Tennis Association (HCCTA) joined other local organizations on January 30 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to support the Super Baskets of Hope project. Approved by the NFL and the Super Bowl XLVI Host Committee, the project is delivering gift-filled baskets to 7,000 hospitalized children in each of America’s 32 NFL cities. The outreach project is a collaborative effort of Riley Children’s Foundation, the Basket of Hope program, and former Indianapolis Colts coach, Tony Dungy. HCCTA donated 21,000 books at the cost of $20,000. Five hundred of the baskets were delivered to children in Indiana hospitals. This winter, HCCTA also released five books in its “Champion Citizen” series, biographies written for elementary students by Hamilton County high school teachers and students. The subjects include: Arthur Ashe, James Blake, Gale Sayers, Billie Jean King, and George Taliaferro. The athletes or their families contributed photos and text. Teacher guides and educational activities are also available. HCCTA also supported the dedication of the George Taliaferro exhibit at the Crispus Attucks African American Museum.

(Photo courtesy of HCCTA)

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A CLOSER LOOK AT METRO INDY TEACHING PROS AND COACHES

‘Once upon a time’, a young boy from Sweden ventured to America and turned his love of tennis into a career By Scott Cooper

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JOHANSSON

Tomas

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hen is a hockey rink not a hockey rink? When it’s a tennis court! Growing up in the small town of Höllviken on the Baltic Sea in southern Sweden, Community Westview Healthplex Sports Club teaching pro Tomas Johansson certainly had the opportunity to participate in a number of sports, including hockey, skiiing and soccer. But it was tennis that would eventually win out. “My dad played a lot of different sports, including tennis, and he motivated me to get into it,” he explained. “We used to play on a hockey rink in the summertime, and we’d play long-ways. There was no net, so we had a lot of freedom to really hit through the ball. From there we’d move on to the local courts and eventually into a club.” Tomas also played soccer and skated, and his family would travel to Austria to ski every winter during the country’s annual “sport break”; but as his skills progressed and it became time to make a decision between tennis and soccer, tennis won out. “There were a lot of people on the soccer team, so it really wasn’t up to me what was going to happen,” he said. “I was either on the sideline or on the field with people telling me what to do and where to be. Tennis is a more individual sport and has a lot more freedom.” “Every town has its own tennis club, and they are usually run or subsidized by the county, so there’s the possibly to play very inexpensively,” he added. “And that meant a lot more kids could play than at a private club where the fees would be higher.” Following high school, Tomas had another decision to make – whether to serve a stint in the military or continue on to college. Having already visited the United States through a summer exchange program at his tennis club, and knowing most of his friends had already made plans to study in the states, the choice was a fairly easy one. The fact that he wound up at Vincennes University in southwestern Indiana owed itself not only to a friend who had attended there, but also to the fact that the head tennis Coach, Ron Albers, had a connection with one of his coaches back home, who, ironically, was from northern Indiana. During each of his two years at the community college, the Trailblazers were contenders for the National Junior College Athletic Association national


championship. And when it came time to transfer to a four-year school, he only had to look down the road to the University of Evansville. “We played them each year at Vincennes, so I got to know the coach, which made it easy to write my inquiry letter,” Tomas said, adding it was more difficult at Evansville to compete against some of the other schools in their conference that budgeted more money for tennis. “We had a lot of kids from other countries – Germany, Australia, France, and Argentina – and I enjoyed that. And with the American kids we had, it made for a great mix.” Graduation brought yet another opportunity – this time to stay in Evansville and take over as the team’s coach, which Tomas did for two years before a position opened up in Indianapolis at Healthplex. “There wasn’t an opportunity to teach very much,” Tomas said. “Especially when you’re the coach of a team where the players are more developed and whatever problems they do have are really tough to solve. And you have competition involved, so how to play points was more important than how to hit shots.”

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Photos by Scott Cooper

That changed when he joined Healthplex, where he’s been able to work with a broader range of players, from beginners to juniors and adults.

Tomas Johansson shows a student how to set up for an overhead during a recent clinic at the Community Westview Healthplex Sports Club.

Growing up, Tomas paid close attention Austrian pro and former world number one, Thomas Muster, primarily because of his work ethic. He also followed fellow Swedes: Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg. The teaching philosophy he employs is one that is easily adaptable, depending on the player.

“I like to ask questions, rather than telling a lot of time,” Tomas explained. “I get a lot from the players expressing themselves because everyone learns in different ways. Repetition is very important, making sure the player doesn’t jump from one thing to another too quickly, but I like for it to be a cooperative effort when I’m out there so that the player can feel like they have input. “That can be tricky because each situation is so different,” he added. “But I also don’t believe in

Photos by Scott Cooper

asking someone to do something that I wouldn’t do myself on the court. When I’m in a group setting, I want to be sure and set an example, especially if I’m playing in with the players during a clinic. So, I’d say those two are the most important – making it cooperative, incorporating the student’s input into a lesson, and also setting a good example.” Tomas has been a contributing writer to Indianapolis Tennis Magazine since its inception, sharing some of the drills and strategies he’s learned over the years through the “On Court” feature. However, away from the court, Tomas was already a published author, having released the book When the Doors Close in 2001. “The first person who really taught me about writing was my fourth, fifth and sixth grade teacher,” he said. “I used to write before then in school and it was always, ‘once upon a time…’, and I remember her telling me, ‘That’s not how you start. You start with something that’s happened, and then you get going.’”

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“The junior players give me a lot more chances to teach and correct potential problems from the beginning,” he noted. “I still have that chance with adults, and they tend to be a lot better in giving feedback. And with adults, I can have much broader conversations about a variety of topics while, at the same time, teaching.”

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on court TIPS TO HELP IMPROVE YOUR GAME

Use these strategies and ideas to improve your doubles game! By Earl Allen mong tennis-playing adults, doubles is, by far, the most popular game over singles. Whether that’s due to age, the challenge of doubles strategies, or the “lack of movement needed” (HA!), more often than not, when you see a group of adults getting ready to play, they’re deciding on doubles partners rather than who’s going to square off in singles.

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Whatever the reason or motivation, over the years I’ve come up with several strategies and ideas that I use with my students that will (hopefully) help make doubles more fun and enjoyable for them, as well as making them more competitive in match play.

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• When you are behind in a game or match don’t hesitate to slow things down. Talk to your partner and come up with a strategy that might turn things around. Remember that you’re allowed 20 seconds between points (at the server’s pace) and 90 seconds on changeovers. Be sure to use them wisely! • When playing doubles, it’s important to find the two remaining open spots on the court, so make sure to find the two that are empty. • The serve is the only time when you are in control of both sides of the court, so remember to take your time. Set the play up with the placement of your serve - it matters! A well-positioned serve that puts your opponent at an immediate disadvantage can set your partner up for an easy putaway at the net.

• Be sure to focus on the execution of your shot, rather than the end result. • In addition to formulating strategies during the match, be sure to communicate with your partner on things either of you might notice about your opponents. For example, is there a particular serve or shot your opponent doesn’t return very well? • Doubles is all about geometry. Remember placement over power is still the name of the game, but strong returns are key. • Don’t forget the lob, especially if you have players who like to close tightly on the net. A slice lob will definitely come in handy in those situations. • One of the best times to figure out your game plan is during the warm-up. Be alert to your opponents during the warm up – hit them both high and low volleys to see how they handle them; are they consistently hitting your lob back in play or blasting them out every time; and pick up their serving tendencies. After the warm up is completed, you should convey this information to your partner so you already have a plan for the first three or four games. You would be surprised how many just go up to the line and start serving with NO purpose at all! • Apply pressure to your opponents by the little things you

• One of the main responsibilities of a partner is to find ways to help you be successful on the doubles court. These include being active at the net, which may get you cheap points off your serve; hitting specific spots/sections of the court that allows your partner an opportunity to poach; lobbing the return so that your partner may get the chance to take over the middle of the court for an overhead; or serving down the tee, which puts pressure on the returner and invites the net player to poach.

on court

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• When moving towards the ball, do so at an angle which puts you in a better position to meet the ball in front and not shank it on the end of your racquet.

do: poaching at the right times, constant movement, staying active, tons of fake poaches, changing up your service return stance. All of these small things can add up to a break of serve or a hold of serve.

• Try to pick a partner who complements you on the court. One of my best doubles partners was completely opposite to me: — He was a big lefty serve and volleyer, but wasn’t known for his returns. I served my spots well but had an outstanding return of serve.

— He could blanket the net with his reach and tremendous volleys. I never missed an overhead and could open hit angle passing shots from anywhere on the court. — He provided a high intensity and intimidation on the court, and I could lob us out of trouble!

We were very opposite on the court, but complemented each by filling in the gaps in what each other needed on the court from a partner. One thing that worked well was that we both communicated with each other and sort of saw the court in the same way. So, now that you know my top strategies for doubles, here are five quick tips to keep in mind:


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Get the serve in. Move with your partner and make sure the middle is covered. Failure to do that is the Kiss of Death in doubles.

VELVET TOUCH DRY CLEANERS

Communicate – “mine”, “yours”, “go”, “2 back”, “get out of the way”. Never look behind you. By the time you turn around, your partner may accidentally hit a short ball, which means as you’re turning around you might be eating a (insert brand name here) tennis ball! Go up the line twice after you hit down the line the first time. Go back up the line again as your opponents will assume you are going to go crosscourt - through the middle where the hole SHOULD BE!

At the end of the day, playing tennis is primarily about having fun on the court, and the best teams are able to find that delicate balance between staying competitive and having fun. The more fun you have you, the more relaxed you’ll be, and the easier it will be to find ways to win!

We Our Customers! 6509 N. College Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46220 (317) 255-7309

Earl Allen is a teaching pro at the Community Westview Healthplex Sports Club.

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news & notes CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

Surprise is music to injured teen’s ears

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n ordinary practice day turned into an early Christmas present for Brad Humphrey, the former Crispus Attucks tennis player injured in last summer’s stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair. A few minutes into his regular wheelchair tennis hitting session with Butler coach Jason Suscha, Brad was surprised by ATP Tour pro Rajeev Ram and Colin Atkinson of the Hamilton County Community Tennis Association. Ram and Atkinson presented Brad with a violin, donated and autographed by Dave Matthews Band violinist Boyd Tinsley, as well as a check toward Brad’s medical expenses. The green violin was among the donations Tinsley and the band made toward Ram’s ‘EntouRaj for Kids’ fundraiser. (Photo by Scott Cooper)

Annual conference attracts state coaches Court constructor honored by industry magazine

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pproximately 150 high school coaches from around the state gathered at the Indianapolis Racquet Club last month for their annual three-day conference. Members of the Indiana High School Tennis Coaches Association (IHSTeCA) met at the Dean Road facility to get ideas on drills and training tips from other coaches, announce their annual awards, and conduct business within their districts. Vincennes University tennis coach Ron Albers was the keynote speaker, addressing the coaches on “Combining Physical and Mental Training for Optimal Performance”. Craig Bottorff (boys) and Scott Yarborough (girls) were named Coaches of the Year, with Jim Clark of Homestead receiving the second annual Ed Yarborough Award. Locally, North Central’s Dan Brunette and Brebeuf’s Rick Scotten were honored as the Vincennes University boys’ and girls’ Coaches of the tennis coach Ron Albers Year, respectively, from District 3. was the featured speaker At a breakfast ceremony, Holyn at the annual IHSTeCA Lord Koch, Brian Ritz and Colin conference held last month at the Indianapolis Stetson were inducted into the Racquet Club. Indiana High School Tennis Hall (Photo by Scott Cooper) of Fame.

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eslie Coatings, an Indianapolis-headquartered tennis court manufacturer, has been named one of the “Champions of Tennis” for 2011 by Racquet Sports Industry magazine. Named the “Builder/Contractor of the Year” by RSI, the award honored the company that built its first asphalt tennis court in 1954. The magazine noted that the company has been a pioneer in its industry ever since the Leslie brothers (Jack, Richard and Robert) moved from homebuilders into asphalt emulsion applications. When tennis started booming in the early 1970s, the company began serving the burgeoning sports construction industry. Jerry Gray and David Nielsen came on board with the company in the 1970s and have since become co-owners. Both have also served on the board of the American Sports Builders Association and have become Certified Tennis Court Builders. The company has won numerous honors in ASBA’s awards program, and Gray received the Industry Merit Award, ASBA’s highest honor, in 1997. “When you look at companies that have a real history in the industry, and have contributed so much in so many ways, one of the first that comes to mind is Leslie Coatings,” Mark Brogan, ASBA’s Tennis Division president, told the magazine.


Stan Malless helped transform tennis through innovation, volunteerism, and tireless advocacy e was “Mr. Tennis”, at least in the Indianapolis community, but the reach and influence of Stan Malless literally stretched around the world. Stan, who passed away January 19 at the age of 97, left a broad legacy that touched countless individuals and organizations. “He was just a tremendous advocate for our sport,” said Mark Saunders, Executive Director of the USTA/Midwest Section. “He was an amazing man; such a gentleman.” Stan was probably best known locally for his work in bringing the U.S. National Clay Court Championships to Indianapolis, first to the Woodstock Club, then the Indianapolis Racquet Club, and finally to the Indianapolis Tennis Center downtown as the tournament continued to grow. “That would have been Stan’s legacy,” Barbara Wynne said of the Tennis Center, which hosted events including the Indianapolis Tennis Championships, Pan-American Games, National Sports Festival, United States-Belgium Davis Cup tie, and a litany of concerts. The center was closed and demolished in the summer of 2010. “It’s a shame that ‘Stan’s Corner’ (located in the VIP hospitality area under the south grandstand) is no longer there.” Stan was a huge advocate of junior tennis and sponsored the annual ‘Stan Malless Leadership, Scholarship and Tennis’ awards given out by the Indianapolis Junior Tennis Development Fund. In addition to the myriad ways he helped transform the game at the professional level, if you’re a fan of the

“He was such a great supporter of tennis at all levels, from the grass roots all the way up,” said Jonelle Smith, President of the USTA/Midwest Section. “His volunteerism was legendary, and the Midwest Section and Central Indiana Tennis Association both have awards named in his honor. They’re really the highest award any volunteer can receive in either of those associations.” Stan Malless was married to Mabel Malless, the mother of his three children (Merrillee, Jackie and Stan) and Janie Malless, who ran the press room for the professional tournaments Stan promoted and gave endless support to his USTA and ITF activities. When Indianapolis Tennis Magazine debuted in July 2006, one of our first feature stories was on Stan Malless. The following is an excerpted version of that story, written by Linda Schroeder O’Neill: ____________________________________________________ A glance around the executive offices at The Permanent Magnet Company leaves little doubt its occupant literally has a lifetime of accomplishments. Indeed, the memorabilia – most having been collected over the years by his mother – attest to a litany of highlights, including military service, volunteerism…and tennis. Actually, make that “Mr. Tennis”. Stan Malless has been a driving force on the Indianapolis tennis scene for more than 50 years. Among numerous firsts, he was instrumental in the movement to create the Indianapolis Tennis Center, which was built in 1979, and he was also responsible for negotiating the U.S. Open’s first national television contract.

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By SCOTT COOPER

electronic line-calling system now employed by nearly all tournaments, you can also thank Stan, who helped an Australian company develop an early version of the Tennis Electronic Line-calling system back in the early 1990s.

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Malless has always had a bigger picture in mind, and he’s worked tirelessly to forever change the face of Indianapolis tennis. Relaxed and soft-spoken, Malless’ fit physique and soothing charm belie his aging years and aggressive accomplishments. And although he’s best known locally for his generous service to tennis, his other lifelong attraction has been to magnets. Malless founded The Permanent Magnet Company after returning home from World War II. Today the company, which supplies clients around the world, counts among them the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (editor’s note: the company’s magnets were aboard many of the early NASA spaceflights and moon missions, as well as the Viking Mars probe.) Malless still drives to work every day, and most times you’ll have to call him at the office to find him. But it’s still hard to escape tennis, especially since there’s a court right outside the building. Among the many VIPs who played there was former Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut. Stan gets ready to introduce the recipients of the annual leadership award bearing his name at the Indianapolis Junior Tennis Development Fund luncheon. (Photo by Scott Cooper)

Stan, who was president of the USTA, USTA/Midwest Section, and CITA addresses the audience at one of the annual meetings of the Midwest Section. (Photo courtesy of the USTA/Midwest Section)

Stan’s family moved from Chicago in the 1920s to Indianapolis, where he attended Arsenal Technical High School. “I had a friend in high school who played tennis,” remembers Malless. “One afternoon, he let me hit the ball, and I just loved the way that felt! I knew I had to do that again.”

Malless would go on to Purdue University, where he played both singles and doubles while earning an engineering degree with honors. He started playing tennis at a time when the game wasn’t emphasized like it is today – no tennis clubs, clinics or junior programs in which to participate. Players basically taught themselves while practicing with friends, or honed their skills in tournaments played in Indianapolis city parks. Malless remembers a hard loss in the Boys 15 City Tournament in 1929.

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“I choked,” laughs Malless. “I had him 40-15 and double faulted three times to lose the match.”

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Passion on the court and commitment off the court made Malless a tennis legend in Indianapolis and an ambassador for the sport worldwide. While serving as the president of the Central Indiana Tennis Association in 1950 and 1951, Malless worked tirelessly to bring the U.S. National Clay Court Championships to Indianapolis and helped grow the tournament’s attendance. Malless served as president of the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) Midwest Section in 1964 and 1965 and USTA President from 1974 to 1976. It was during his tenure with the USTA that Malless negotiated the U.S. Open’s first television contract. This was no small feat since he now found himself dealing with power players of a different sort – heads of the television industry, including the presidents of CBS and NBC. Malless took it all in stride, meeting the two networks on consecutive days in the same back room in the same restaurant outside London.

Two pillars of Indianapolis tennis, Stan Malless and Barbara Wynne, at the 2009 NJTL fundraiser. (Photo by Scott Cooper)

This page is compliments of the Indianapolis Junior Tennis Development Fund


The Stan Malless Leadership Award is given annually to a boy and girl during the Indianapolis Junior Tennis Development Fund’s Connie Held Supper. In 2006, Stan was present, along with Barbara Wynne and Spencer Fields, to present the boys’ award to Steven Myers. (Photo by Scott Cooper)

“CBS was already covering the Open, so I had some bargaining power,” said Malless. “I went into the meeting with NBC thinking I’m just going to shoot for the stars and see what happens. The original number I threw at them, I thought was a pretty big one. Bigger than most numbers I could fathom. NBC didn’t bat an eye. I realized then that I was onto something.” In addition to being one of the original investors in the Indianapolis Racquet Club, Stan was instrumental in moving big time tennis downtown in 1979 with the construction of the Indianapolis Tennis Center. “He was the prime mover for the stadium downtown,” notes Ed Brune, Director of Tennis and General Manager at IRC, who has known Malless since 1964. “Even though it’s not on the east or west coast, Indianapolis is now a primary tennis destination, and that’s thanks to Stan.”

In May 2005, Malless received the Indianapolis Community Tennis Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Although he’s received awards from all over the world, this one was especially gratifying because it came from his peers and friends in Indianapolis. And the presenter was none other than Barbara Wynne, Malless’ longtime friend and founder and coordinator of the Washington Township School’s Tennis Program, as well as founder of the local National Junior Tennis League. “Stan is just a great guy. I’ve known him for over 60 years and have always admired him. Some people look at us and call us Mr. and Mrs. Tennis, but I’m honored to be mentioned in the same breath with him.” Though the story of tennis in Indianapolis may not begin or end with Stan Malless, he has helped to write many of its chapters. His legacy will be that he not only helped shape the landscape of tennis in the Circle City and around the world, but also worked tirelessly to ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to discover and enjoy the game he loves so much.

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Working with the International Tennis Federation (ITF), Malless helped standardize the rules and regulations for players in all countries. He was chairman of the technical committees of the ITF and of its American member, the USTA. Today, he is still noted as honorary chairman of the ITF and USTA Technical Committee.

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For 20 years, MYTEF has helped countless youth while transforming tennis programs throughout the Midwest Section By Megan Fernandez

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On the first day of youth clinics offered by the new Waukegan Community Tennis Association (CTA), the young participants from the neighborhood self-segregated by race, as they had been taught to do by their community. And, at the end of the day, they wouldn’t shake hands with those in the other line.

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parents began watching the clinics and, eventually, they pitched in. By the end of the summer, the adults were working and cooperating with each other.

“I must say, we stopped that the first evening,” says Steve Butzlaff, one of the CTA’s founders and a longtime leader in the USTA/Midwest Section.

“That is so powerful. That’s huge,” says Butzlaff, whose office wall displays a picture of three alums of the program—siblings, one now a Marine, one in the Army, and one at Georgetown University on a scholarship. “I firmly believe we changed their lives.”

Kids snubbing tennis’s most sporting tradition represented life in Waukegan, one of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. But life there was about to change, thanks to what was happening on the tennis courts that summer 14 years ago. First, the kids’ prejudices melted away and bonds formed while they learned the fundamentals of the game. Then,

Butzlaff is now the president of the Midwest Youth Tennis & Education Foundation (MYTEF), the charitable arm of the Midwest Section that helps programs like Waukegan’s get started. Last year, it wrote checks totaling $111,354 in the form of scholarships, grants to junior players, and grants to youth-tennis programs with an educational component.

“Tennis happens locally,” says Jon Vegosen, current president of the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) who came up through the Midwest Section and also sat on the MYTEF board. “The foundation is one of the best things the Midwest Section has done. It has helped countless youth, changed and transformed lives, and provided a phenomenal connection between tennis and education.” The foundation turns 20 this year, providing an occasion to appreciate its accomplishments. They range from the expected—helping the section’s top juniors afford to train and travel, and introducing inner-city kids to the sport—to the downright incredible, like fostering the kind of community transformation that Butzlaff has witnessed in Waukegan. MYTEF took shape in 1992 under the section leadership at the time,

The Foundation funds an annual Diversity Player Excellence Camp for participants and coaches from the USTA/ Midwest Section. Those who participated in last fall’s camp posed for a group photo. (Photo courtesy of MYTEF)


MYTEF Timeline 1992 Incorporates as the Western Youth Tennis Foundation 1994 Begins awarding grants 1997 Renamed Midwest Youth Tennis Foundation and buys luxury suite at the US Open to resell as a fundraiser 1998 Establishes Tim and Tom Gullickson Scholarship, awarding $2,500 to one male player and one female player from the section each year

(Photo courtesy of MYTEF)

namely Rick Ferman, Pat Freebody, and Dick Arnold, according to foundation director, Mark Saunders. The USTA was getting more involved with player development, and the section was following suit. It needed to form a 401c3 organization to accept tax-deducible donations because the section itself, a 401c4, could not. (Other USTA sections, Saunders points out, were originally established at 401c3, and don’t need separate foundations to raise money.) Twenty “charter champions” donated its first dollars, among them, thenIndianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut and Alan Schwartz.

“The foundation is one of the best things the Midwest Section has done. It has helped countless youth, changed and transformed lives, and provided a phenomenal connection between tennis and education.” –USTA President Jon Vegosen

In 1994, the foundation began awarding grants with funding primarily from the USTA and a few private donations. In 1997, when Arthur Ashe Stadium opened at the U.S. Open site, the foundation bought a luxury suite and a courtside box. It sells those, mostly to corporations, for a profit.

“At the time,” Saunders says, “the board of directors took a pretty high risk to buy this asset, this suite, and turn around and sell it.” The profits would become a large source of funding for the foundation. In 2001, the foundation awarded $25,382—about a quarter to programs and the rest to individual players—but the word was not spreading that this money was available. “We weren’t getting a lot of applicants coming our way,” Saunders says. The USTA’s addition of tennis service representatives (TSRs) helped. Once TSRs began spending time in the field, more programs and players applied

2004 Renamed Midwest Youth Tennis and Education Foundation to put emphasis on life skills—and appeal to donors, who tend to support educational initiatives 2006 Launches annual capital campaign 2008 Establishes Rick Van Horn Scholarship, a $500 award to one player from the section each year 2008 Holds first Charity Gala, in Chicago, an annual event that has now raised around $315,000 2009 USTA/Midwest Section moves into the new headquarters, with net profits from leases going to the foundation; projects profits of $250,000 per year after USTA pays off the building 2010 Establishes Hooked on Tennis Scholarship, a $1,000 award to one male player and one female player from the section each year 2012 Starts raising awareness of estate donations 2015 Goal of awarding $250,000 per year

• INDIANAPOLIS TENNIS - Spring 2012

Members of the 2011 Intersectional Team, which were funded by MYTEF, were (back row from left) Ronnie Schneider, Edward Covalschi, Coach Mark Faber, Martin Redlicki, and Yale Goldberg; (front from left) Adesuwa Osabuohien, Brooke Broda, Alexandria Najarian, and Keisha Clousing.

2000 Acquires land next to Five Seasons to build the headquarters for the USTA/ Midwest Section, including leasing opportunities to benefit the foundation

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The Foundation gave the Lawrence Township CTA a $1,700 grant during 2011 to assist with equipment, instructors, advertising, scholarships, t-shirts and supplies. (Photo courtesy of MYTEF)

for grants. In 2006, the foundation more than tripled its distributions to $83,912, and the proportion going to programs nearly doubled. More than half of last year’s $111,354 went to programs, including the newlyformed Lawrence Township Tennis in Indianapolis, a community tennis association that used the funds to form a Midwest Youth Team Tennis squad.

“Without funding from foundations like MYTEF, NJTL would not be able to serve the numbers of youth that we do.”

But headcounts can’t begin to illustrate the good that these programs do, in terms of providing kids with a positive and safe environment and teaching life skills like discipline and the rewards of hard work. While programs receive anywhere from $500 to $2,500, the foundation awards grants of $750 to $3,000 to individual players (all grants are awarded quarterly). Rajeev Ram, Lilia Osterloh, and Donald Young were among the players that the foundation supported when they were juniors, and the grants helped them pay for

• INDIANAPOLIS TENNIS - Spring 2012

–Executive Director of NJTL of Indianapolis Nancy Carr

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The National Junior Tennis League (NJTL) chapters in Indianapolis and Milwaukee are among the foundation’s major beneficiaries. The Inner City Tennis Clinics of Cleveland is another, using a grant from the foundation to get off the ground. What these programs have in common is that they all teach children more than forehands and backhands. Each devotes some of the hours with the kids to off-court activities. Bookmobiles and nutrition education are popular. NJTL of Indianapolis incorporates the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital’s Project 18 healthy-living curriculum, a summer reading contest, and an Arthur Ashe essay and art contest. The Cleveland clinics even run a poetry slam. In 2011, more than 20,000 children took part in programs supported by MYTEF. The Indy NJTL has between 1,300 and 1,500 participants alone. “We provide all of our programs far below our true cost, so the funding helps cover that differential,” says Nancy Carr, executive director of NJTL of Indianapolis. “Without funding from foundations like MYTEF, NJTL would not be able to serve the numbers of youth that we do.”

The NJTL of Indianapolis received a $2,500 grant last year from MYTEF to assist with instructor stipends, marketing and a celebration event. (Photo courtesy of NJTL)


travel expenses to compete at elite tournaments. The foundation supports Midwest Section teams traveling to the girls’ and boys’ USTA 18s National Team Championships and USTA 16s intersectionals, and it helps fund the Marian Wood Baird Cup section-wide tournament and the section’s annual Diversity Junior Excellence Camp. And every once in a while, the foundation receives a letter like the one Butzlaff pulled from his pocket and read to a group of donors in December. It was from a child in rural Indiana who had asked friends and family to help him raise money for lessons by collecting aluminum cans before applying (successfully) for a MYTEF grant.

Every December MYTEF holds its annual dinner and auction, which brings in the who’s-who of Midwest tennis to generate funds for the next season. This year’s auction included a pair of tickets to Super Bowl XVLI. (Photo by Scott Cooper)

“‘I carry my old QuickStart balls with me when playing at the courts in my town, and give some to any kids I see playing on the courts for the first time,’” Butzlaff read. “‘I hope this will make tennis more fun for them, and get more kids playing tennis.’” “Here’s a little guy that we gave a nominal grant to who’s basically a tennis disciple,” Butzlaff says. “It’s the power of giving. We really are an avenue for all tennis players and non-tennis players who want to help youth grow as individuals, and through that, their tennis skills. I wish more people knew about us. We’re walking, but I want to be running.”

The USTA/Midwest Section inducted Mark Miles and Carrie Meyer Richardson into its Hall of Fame during its annual meeting on December 3 in Indianapolis. Richardson, the former women’s coach at Purdue, competed during the formative years of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), as well as with the Indiana Loves of the original World Team Tennis league. Miles, who chaired the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee, also served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Tour and was the former volunteer tournament chairman for the Indianapolis Tennis Championships. (Photo by Scott Cooper)

• INDIANAPOLIS TENNIS - Spring 2012

Miles, Richardson enter MWS Hall

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Good and

F-A-S-T… IRC league brings together some of area’s top players

T

By SCOTT COOPER

t’s said that “necessity is the mother of invention”, and that certainly was true in the development of the Indianapolis Racquet Club’s “Fast League” by Joe Alstott and Jim Hammond some 19 years ago.

Industrial League boasted some of those players, but there was no guarantee they’d be on the court at the same time. “Jim Hammond was one of the captains in the Industrial League, and he and I started the Fast League.”

“This is where Indy’s best play tennis,” Alstott explained. “We probably have the best players in Indianapolis playing in it. That’s what it’s about, and that’s what it’s been about since we started.”

The league began modestly with just two singles matches per team match, but then grew to three singles and four doubles, which provided some logistical problems for the club. The league’s name came from the fact that, in addition to being some of the best in the area, the players were also among the “fastest” on court.

According to Hammond, it was Alstott’s intent to create a weekly competition that was both competitive and fun for the area’s top players.

• INDIANAPOLIS TENNIS - Spring 2012

“All of the top players needed somewhere to play, and I just happened to be the one to put the puzzle together,” Alstott said. At the time, although the long-running

18

And with teams averaging about 1415 players each – with both men and women – you never know who you might run up against. There are several club teaching pros involved, as well as the occasional AllAmerican, in addition to some of the top junior players in the metro area. “I would say about two-thirds of the Fast League is made up of former college players,” Alstott said. The majority of the players fall within the 4.5 to 5.5 NTRP rating, and most will keep their teams together for the USTA summer leagues. And, to a player during one weekend session in January, the familiar refrain was the opportunity to go against some of the best local players week in and week out. “It’s the level of competition,” said Mikael Thygesen on why he joined the league. “There are just so many people here who play good tennis, and it’s just so much fun to come out here and have a competitive game. Everyone behaves themselves and just enjoys the camaraderie and competition.” If you’re interested in finding out more about the Fast League or participating, contact Alstott at IRC, (317) 849-2531.

The league is structured so that there’s play of one singles and three doubles matches among the four current teams. A champion is crowned after a playoff at the end of the league season, which runs from Fast League coordinator Joe Alstott October to April and includes 15 looks over the courts prior to the start of the weekend’s matches. matches per team.


Jay Rossello, who played tennis at Yale, warms up with his NCAA teammates prior to his match.

Scott Fosler is a member of a team made up of employees from the NCCA National Headquarters in Indianapolis.

Dave Timble eyes a high backhand volley.

Photos by Scott Cooper

Court Jackson (left) plays a volley as he and Dominic Orlando close on the net.

• INDIANAPOLIS TENNIS - Spring 2012

Attila Janosdeak puts a low volley back in play.

Mikael Thygesen (left) and Kent Lindeman are a blur of motion during their ‘Fast’ League match.

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news & notes CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10

And a freshman shall lead them

I

ndianapolis freshman Nick Chappell entered the spring season as the No. 1 seed for the TCU men’s tennis team. In the first nine matches of the spring season, Chappell went 13-5 in both singles and doubles. He was also named Co-Mountain West Player of the Week on February 15, sharing the honor with San Diego State’s Thorsten Berscht. This marked the first weekly honor for Chappell, as well as the first on the season for the TCU program.

Nick Chappell has made the most of his freshman season at TCU, leading the team as the No. 1 position and rising up the ITA rankings. (Photo courtesy of TCU Athletics)

The spring season also saw Chappell break into the top 100 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings at No. 84. A former state high school singles champion at North Central, Chappell left the Panthers after the 2008 season to finish his studies online through Indiana University High School. That move allowed him more flexibility in competing on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior tennis tour, where he competed at all four grand slams, as well as other international tournaments. These tournaments familiarized Chappell with the pressure and intensity of college tennis. At TCU, where he’s been able to play alongside older brother Paul, Chappell has played matches against athletes with skills comparable to top 500 professional players. “But you can never really simulate the team aspect,” he said. “In a tournament, you’re playing all for yourself, and here you’re playing for your teammates and your school.”

• INDIANAPOLIS TENNIS - Spring 2012

Moderate winter weather let some keep playing outdoors

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F

or those players who frequent the courts in the Indy Parks network, the moderate winter weather was a plus as the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and Indy Parks departed from their usual practice and left one net up on every playable court. Fifty-eight tennis courts in the system were renovated. The 11 parks refreshed in 2011 were: Broadway & 61st Park; Broad Ripple Park; Brookside Park; Douglass Park; Ellenberger Park; Garfield Park; Greene Park; Krannert Park; Riverside Park; Sahm Park; and Tarkington Park. In addition, the following courts will have one net up all winter: Perry Park; Christian Park; Watkins;

Perry Park on the south side was one of the courts available to players during the winter. (Photo by Scott Cooper)

Robey; Oscar Charleston; and Rhodius. Fifty-five of the courts are also striped to accommodate QuickStart Tennis and the new USTA standards for 10 and under tennis. Indy Parks has also released its tennis court rental fee schedule for 2012, which is available at www.indytennismag.com.


Sampras, Martin square off for charity The Indianapolis Tennis Center may be gone, but two of its more popular players returned to the city amid the Super Bowl festivities in late January to raise money for cancer awareness and research. And while they may have been a few steps slower and a little grayer, Pete Sampras and Todd Martin played in the “Match for a Cure”, organized by former tennis pro and cancer survivor Bill Pryzbysz’ Miracle Match Foundation. The first-ever tennis event at Bankers Life Fieldhouse overcame a few setbacks, including the need to find a back-up court when plans for the original fell through just two days prior to the match. With the assistance of the USTA/Midwest Section, an acrylic-over-wood floor was found and overnighted to the site.

The former world No. 1 player was able to show flashes of the form that helped him win 14 grand slams. (Photo by Shawn Barney)

A small, but appreciative crowd – generously estimated between 2,500 and 3,200 – watched as Martin first played a five-game exhibition against Pryzbysz before taking on the world’s former number one in a match won by Sampras, 7-5, 6-4. Sampras seems sure an errant shot during the match was due to equipment failure.

Does my racquet look straight? Martin went oldschool for the last couple of games against Pryzbysz. (Photo by Scott Cooper)

Martin kept the evening light, but also kept Sampras honest during their exhibition. (Photo by Shawn Barney)

• INDIANAPOLIS TENNIS - Spring 2012

(Photo by Shawn Barney)

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Starpower for ‘EntouRaj’ encore Fundraiser brings in $9000 for various HCCTA programs

A

By SCOTT COOPER

fter a successful inaugural 'EntouRaj for Kids' fundraiser in 2010, Carmel resident and ATP Tour pro, Rajeev Ram, upped the ante for the second edition, held in December at the Five Seasons Sports Club. Ram brought in two-time NCAA HOST RAJEEV RAM addressed the singles champion and 85thcrowd at the end of the event, ranked fellow Tour player, thanking them and his guests for Somdev Devvarman, as well as Indiana Fever fan favorite and another successful night. WNBA MVP, Tamika Catchings, for the event which drew nearly 300 fans and raised more than $9,000 to benefit the reading and scholarship programs of the Hamilton County Community Tennis Association (HCCTA). “This is great,” Devvarman said of the event. “Most of the year we’re on tour, and we see friends like Rajeev trying to reach out and give back to their communities. And when you’re asked to help out, I feel like it’s a huge honor more than anything else to be able to give back to tennis and give back to communities. So it’s very special for me to come here, have people see me perform, and raise money for a good cause.”

• INDIANAPOLIS TENNIS - Spring 2012

The night also included Indiana Fever forward and WNBA all-star, Tamika Catchings, pairing up with Five Seasons’ teaching pro, Stephanie Reece, for a QuickStart exhibition against Ram and Devvarman, both of whom had to play left-handed.

22

Ram and Devvarman kicked off the night by pairing up with Dan Bolhouse and Paul Moran for a demonstration of wheelchair up-down tennis. The two pros ended the evening with a singles match, with Ram winning in a third-set tiebreak, 6-3, 3-6, 10-8. The event again included live and silent auctions for various items, including autographed memorabilia and tennis lessons from local teaching pros. The highlight was the live auction of racquets autographed by the top two players in the world, Novak Djokovic ($350) and Rafael Nadal ($800).

THE INDIANA FEVER’S TAMIKA CATCHINGS talks about her on-court appearance, as well as the efforts of her own foundation, with emcee Mark Bey.


DEVVARMAN CELEBRATES a winning point with wheelchair partner Paul Moran.

Photos by Scott Cooper

SOMDEV DEVVARMAN, RAJEEV RAM, SAMEER KUMAR AND RONNIE SCHNEIDER check out the warm-up session for the wheelchair players.

CHASTISED by emcee Mark Bey for hitting too many shots into the net, Devvarman gets 10 pushups as punishment.

FIVE SEASONS SPORTS CLUB provided the venue for the second annual ‘EntouRaj for Kids’.

• INDIANAPOLIS TENNIS - Spring 2012

RAM WAITS AT THE NET while partner Dan Bolhouse serves during the wheelchair up-down exhibition.

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Spring Issue 2012 - Indianapolis Tennis Magazine  

The spring 2012 issue of Indianapolis Tennis Magazine, which covers tennis-related activities and personalities within the Indianapolis metr...

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