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Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2017 •




he Early Hit Training Center is pleased to announce its 14th Annual Junior Summer Tennis Camp. Our comprehensive program will provide your child with all the resources necessary to reach his/her maximum tennis potential. The Early Hit Training Center incorporates all aspects of the game into our complete program. We begin each session with a nutritionally complete and balanced shake from Court 7, our on-premises restaurant and smoothie bar. After a thorough warm-up, the student will work through the core components of tennis, including stroke production, drilling and physical fitness tranining, before breaking for a healthy lunch. We then move onto playing dynamics and strategy, and reinforce these lessons with focused match play. A thorough cool-down and stretching session completes a world-class day of tennis for your child. With our team of renowned tennis teaching professionals, experienced physical conditioning trainers, movement experts and on-site chef, the Early Hit Training Center offers a unique and total tennis experience. Ask About Campo Mas

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he Early Hit Training Center is pleased to announce it's 15th season of group training. This comprehensive program will provide your child with all the resources necessary to reach his/her maximum tennis potential. The Early Hit Training Center incorporates all aspects of the game into our complete program. After a thorough warm-up, the student will work through the core components of tennis, including stroke production and drilling. We then move onto playing dynamics and strategy, and reinforce these lessons with focused match play. A session starts or finishes with an hour of conditioning. Come experience our team of renowned tennis teaching professionals, conditioning trainers and movement experts. TUESDAY 6:00 pm SATURDAY 8:00 am SUNDAY 8:00 am 3:30 pm

in Jo w! No • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine



Table Of Contents Shunning Maria Sharapova By Brian Coleman

Maria Sharapova returns to the pro tour amid controversy from her peers See page 14

Highlights 18 Your 2017 Guide to Sports Medicine Some of the best in the area at keeping you in shape and on the court, including: Dr. Robert G. Silverman, Dr. Reuben S. Ingber, Dr. Tom Ferraro, Nutrition Solutions PC, Orin & Cohen Orthopedic Group, and Total Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.


22 World TeamTennis Preview: The 2017 New York Empire World TeamTennis action returns this summer to New York, as the NY Empire, led by Mardy Fish take to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for their home matches.

40 2017 Boy’s High School Recap By Brian Coleman Celebrating the tops in 2017 in Nassau and Suffolk Counties and who moved on to make an impact at the State Championships




Across Long Island … News and Notes From Across the L.I. Tennis Community


LITM’s 2017 Summer Series Kicks Off With Long Island Tennis Challenge


Pine Hollow Country Club Hosts Opening Day


Tennis Bubbles: A Grand Slam Victory Over the Elements


Sportime’s El Gayeh Injects Passion Into U10 Tennis By Brian Coleman


“Little Mo” Internationals Return to New York For Sixth Time This Summer By Brian Coleman


The Jensen Zone By Luke Jensen

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JUL/AUG 2017 Vol 9, No 4

Long Island Tennis Magazine


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Mental Toughness on the Tennis Court By Stephen Annacone


USTA Eastern Long Island Region: July/August 2017


Court Six: Long Island Tennis Magazine’s Gossip Column By Emilie Katz

Eric C. Peck Editor-in-Chief (516) 409-4444, ext. 312 • Joey Arendt Managing Art Director Brian Coleman Senior Editor (516) 409-4444, ext. 326 •


Locals Zausner and Siegel Inducted Into USTA Eastern Hall of Fame

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So You Want to Win? By Rob Polishook, Mental Training Coach MA, CPC

Emilie Katz Assistant Marketing Coordinator


HOP On and Into POP By Whitney Kraft


Last-Minute Questions Asked of USTA Officials By Barbara Wyatt


ITF Honors Casal and Sanchez, Murray and Kerber


Potted Plant Parenting By Steve Kaplan


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Sidney Beal III Staff Photographer

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Tennis Injury Prevention: The Most Common Labrum Tear Sustained by Tennis Players By Dr. Charles Ruotolo, MD, FAAOS

Maddie Germano Junior Intern

Kendall Delaney Junior Intern


Adult League Wrap-Up By Kathy Miller

Emily DeAngelis Junior Intern

Darienne Rogers Junior Intern


Long Island Tennis Magazine’s Literary Corner “Ode to Tennis” By Barbara Wyatt

Kristen Scheidel Junior Intern

Kate Berger Junior Intern


Encourage Your Child to Give 100 Percent Effort By Aleix Serrats


Fitness & Nutrition: How to Stop Obsessing About Body Weight By Irina Belfer-Lehat RD, CDN


The Zone Is the Holy Grail of Sports By Dr. Tom Ferraro


College Tennis Spotlight: Thoughts of Two International Division I Players Spending a Summer on Long Island By Ricky Becker


Long Island Tennis Charitable Initiatives


A Chess Match/A Tennis Match By Lonnie Mitchel


Gaining Value From Respect By Jimmy Delevante


USTA/Long Island Region 2017 Tournament Schedule

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Advertising To receive any information regarding advertising rates, deadlines, and requirements, call (516) 409-4444 or e-mail Article Submissions/Press Releases To submit any material, including articles and press releases, please call (516) 409-4444 or e-mail The deadline for submissions is the first of the month preceding the target issue. Subscriptions To receive subscription information, contact (516) 409-4444 or e-mail or check out our Web site: Fax subscription changes to (516) 409-1600. Statements of fact and opinion in Long Island Tennis Magazine are the responsibility of the authors alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of United Sports Publications Ltd. Long Island Tennis Magazine reserves the right to edit, reject and/or postpone the publication of any articles, information or data.


Across Long Isla Palta Wins Bethpage State Park Spring Open

Point Set’s Johnston Named USTA LI Region Pro of the Year

Vinay Palta captured the title at the Bethpage State Park Spring Open in the Boys 12s Division, defeating Krithick Madisetty 4-0, 4-1 in the finals.

Sportime Clubs Celebrate the Spring Season Sportime clubs across Long Island celebrated another successful spring season with endof-the-season carnivals and parties. There were tons of activities, such as Wiffle Ball, soccer, a bouncy castle and slide to honor the kids who put in their hard work during the season’s programming.


Point Set’s Nadia Johnston (second from right) was named the USTA Long Island Region’s Pro of the Year at the Region’s Annual Awards Ceremony. Unfortunately, many Point Set employees and members were unable to attend the dinner, and instead, honored Nadia by hosting their own party in the form of a fundraiser. The money raised was donated to the animal rescue group, Thai Street Paws Rescue, which is run by Johnston’s sister, Tamara, in Thailand.

Ross School’s Christie-Schrank on a Roll

Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

Ross School Junior Tennis Academy’s Paolo ChristieSchrank has had a lot of success in USTA tournaments recently, winning the title at the L1B Boys 12s at the Jericho/Westbury May Challenger and the L1B Boys 12s at Sportime Amagansett. He will join Ross School’s Tennis Academy full-time in the fall.


… News and notes from across the L.I. tennis community HHHE’s Srivastava Captures State Sportsmanship Award

Three Sign Letters of Intent With Hofstra Tennis

Half Hollow Hills East’s Abhinav Srivastava won the Sportsmanship Award at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Hofstra Head Coach Jason Pasion announced his first recruiting class as head coach of the program with three athletes signing their letters of intent: Ronia Dolabany of Florida, Alejandra Ruffini of Italy and Odessa Stork of California.

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Across Long Island Centercourt’s Magid Off to Fairfield University

continued from page 5

NTC Continues Outreach With Free Clinics in Bayside

The Class of 2017 at Centercourt Performance Tennis Academy continues to make announcements of where they will continue their tennis careers at the next level, with the most recent being Allan Magid, who will be taking his on-the-court and in-theclassroom talents to Fairfield University.

Murphy Wins the L1B Sportime Amagansett May Challenger Top-seed Nicolas Murphy (pictured right) of Sportime Amagansett captured the title at the L1B Sportime Amagansett May Challenger, defeating second-seed Adrien Jippov (pictured left) in the final. Murphy won his matches in straight sets until the championship match, when he outlasted Jippov 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 in a thrilling final.

The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center continued their work in the community as their pros visited the Bayside Sports and Health Festival to teach some tennis and encourage folks to stay healthy and active.

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LITM’s 2017 Summer Series Kic With Long Island Tennis Challe

he 2017 Long Island Tennis Magazine Summer Series got underway, as the first installment of this year’s Long Island Tennis Challenge took place at Engineers Country Club in Roslyn. The event once again brought together some of the top tennis players in our area for a day of competitive tennis with a social atmosphere on a crisp, cool afternoon. The Men’s Amateur Division saw a number of familiar faces which made for competitive and heated round-robin play. When it was all said and done, the duo of Chris Colesanti & R.J. Narciso took on Jonathan



Klee & Lionel Goldberg in the one-set final. “They are a tough team to play, especially on clay, with the way they are able to create angles,” said Narciso. “So we knew it was going to be a tough match. The three-time champions Klee & Goldberg opened up a 3-0 lead after the early break, but Colesanti, a former champion of this tournament himself, and Narciso were able to fight back and bring the set back on serve. At 5-6, Narciso notched a big hold of serve to tie the score and force the championship into a deciding tie-break. The biggest point in the breaker would

Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

come with Colesanti & Narciso leading 4-3, when a Colesanti backhand volley spun and landed on the line and out of the reach of Goldberg or Klee. A few points later, Colesanti & Narciso closed things out to win the title. “I think it was mental toughness,” Colesanti said of what pushed them through in the end. “We had a lot of times where we blew some easy shots, especially myself. But we kept fighting through, never gave up and stayed positive.” The two have been playing together since around 2009, and that chemistry is one of the key factors in their victory. “We complement each other really well,” said Colesanti. “He has a good return, and a huge forehand, while I have good net play and a good overhead. We are very familiar with each other and know one another’s games.” It was a family affair for Narciso, who soon after his win, watched his sister Joyce capture the Women’s Amateur Championship with partner Kerri Weingard. The pair defeated Jackie Gaines & April Mongelli 75 in a tightly-contested final. “It was a really great match,” said Weingard. “It kept going back and forth, we were able to squeak it out in the end.” The pair had a chance to serve for the final with a 5-4 lead, but Gaines & Mongelli were able to break Weingard’s serve thanks

Kicks Off llenge

to a wonderful volley by Mongelli to knot things at 5-5. But Narciso & Weingard broke right back, however, to jump ahead 6-5, and Narciso served out the match in the ensuing game. “We have a lot of fun playing together and I think that helps us stay focused on court,” said Narciso. “That’s probably our best asset.” “The tournament was amazing,” added Weingard. “The level was very high all day and everyone here was nice.” In the afternoon, the Men’s Pro Division took to the courts with local college players

Credit all photos to Sidney Beal III & Brian Coleman

from St. John’s, St. Bonaventure, Adelphi, Hofstra, Fordham and Sacred Heart and more which made for an intense and highly competitive round-robin draw. Former champions Dimitar Pamukchiyan & Cory Seltman advanced past roundrobin play and past Roey Heymann & Mikey Nelson to meet Ramazan Nureev & Milo Hauk in the finals. Nureev & Hauk edged Josh Lefkowitz & Fabian Carchi in their semifinal match. The match began with a service game from Hauk, which ended on a volley winner from Nureev to give the duo the early 1-0 lead. The two carried that momentum into

the next game as they were able to break Pamukchiyan in the next game, and Nureev held serve to consolidate that break and build a 3-0 advantage. From there, Seltman & Pamukchiyan were forced to play catch up and were unable to get the break they needed. The net play from Hauk & Nureev allowed them to win the match’s key points in the biggest moments, and the pair continued to serve well to come out on top with a 6-1 victory. “We served well, returned well and volleyed well,” said Hauk. “When we got the early break, we were able to keep it relaxed and it worked out.” • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine


The Hamlet Hosts 2nd Long Isla Tennis Magazine Challenge

he second Long Island Tennis Challenge of the summer took place on the beautiful courts of The Hamlet Golf and Country Club in Commack, as players in five different divisions competed in the exciting round-robin draw on a hot summer afternoon. The morning session saw four different divisions competing across the eight hard and clay courts at the Hamlet: The Men’s Amateur B, Men’s Amateur A, Women’s Amateur B and Women’s Amateur A Divisions battled through round-robin play until there were just two teams standing in each draw. The first final saw Jim Avallone & Gerry Barasso take on Howie Stein & Rob Smith in the Men’s Amateur B final. The excellent net play from Avallone & Barasso, as well as consistent serving, allowed them to get the early break and go on to win the title with a 5-1 victory. “We played against them in the roundrobin and it was 3-3, so we knew we had to change up our game a little bit in the final,” said Avallone. One of the adjustments the pair made was to come to net more often, which they were able to do as they became more consistent with their serves. “We stepped up our serves in the final. We weren’t serving that well in the beginning of the day but as we continued to play both of us improved,” added Barasso.



“The key was being aggressive at the net. We wanted to come to the net whenever we could and that leads to people making mistakes and that’s what we saw.” In the Women’s Amateur B Division final, Debbie Biederman & Adele Bohensky used a couple of early breaks and won the final four games of the match to defeat Lisa Russo & Mandi Jacobs 5-2 for the title. “The tournament was a lot of fun,” said Biederman. “We wanted to come out and enjoy ourselves. Even though we don’t play a lot of doubles together, we get along great and that helped us on the court.” Jonathan Klee & Lionel Goldberg lost a tightly-contested final in the first Long Island Tennis Challenge back in May, but the three-time champions would not be denied this time around, dominating the final of the Men’s Amateur A Division with a 6-0 victory over Edwin Mosquera & Michael Mueller to win their fourth title. “We won the first three, and then we had a gap where we made it to a couple of finals but came up short,” said Klee. “The last one hurt a little bit because it was so close and we had our opportunities. So we were kind of pumped to come to this one. Winning it for a fourth time is sweet.” Mueller started the match serving but was broken after a Klee winner up the middle of the court built the early 1-0 lead. Klee & Goldberg were nearly automatic on

Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

serve, hitting a high first serve percentage which allowed them to hold serve each time out. “We started a little slow but as we got further along our games picked up,” added Goldberg. “We both played really well in the semifinals and finals. It went our way.” The final division to finish up in the morning session was the Women’s Amateur A Division, which played host to an exciting final on The Hamlet’s famed center court, where greats like Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras once played during the Hamlet Cup. The duo of Diann Starcke & Dana Slackman came back from 1-4 down to beat Simone Crames & Sondra Gluck 6-4 and win the championship. “She carried me at times and I carried her at times,” said Slackman. “We never thought about giving up.” After rallying to take the lead at 5-4, Starcke & Slackman produced a great return game on Crames’ serve, utilizing excellent play at the net to put away a couple of volleys, and converting on match point with a net cord winner from Starcke. “We’re not usually net players, but they have really consistent groundstrokes so we knew we’d never beat them by rallying with them,” said Starcke. “We said we had to take over the net.” The afternoon session featured the Men’s Pro Division as the tournament’s top

sland Credit all photos to Brian Coleman & Troy Haas

4X LITM CHALLENGE CHAMPIONS talent battled through highly competitive doubles matches for a shot at $750. When the round-robin play concluded, it was Cameron Silverman & Quinton Vega taking on Dimitar Pamukchiyan & John Cook and Loic Minery & Oscar Van Koch playing Cory Seltman & Sebastian Wernecke in the semifinals. Minery & Van Koch got past Seltman & Wernecke in the first semifinal, while Vega & Silverman outlasted Pamukchiyan & Cook 10-4 in a super tie-breaker in the other semifinal, setting up a thrilling final. The championship would remain on serve through the first five games which

gave Vega & Silverman the 3-2 advantage. The decisive moment of the match came in that sixth game, when a forehand winner from Silverman notched the first break and gave them a 4-2 lead. Silverman consolidated the break by holding serve with an overhead smash to extend the lead to 5-2. Van Koch would hold serve in the next game to trim the deficit, but there would be no comeback, as Vega held in the ensuing game to close out the match and claim the title with a 6-3 victory. “We have a lot of experience playing together,” said Silverman of the pair’s success. “We’ve known each other since we

were 12 or 13 years old so we’ve played a lot over the years. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so we mesh well together.” Silverman & Vega were preparing for a Futures Tournament in Buffalo the following week, and used the Long Island Tennis Challenge as a way to get some competitive matches in before heading up there. “We played a ton of matches today which was really good, the tournament was very well-run,” added Vega. “It was good for us to get some matches under us, work on some things and get ready for the tour.” • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine


Pine Hollow Country Club Hosts Opening Day


ine Hollow Country Club in East Norwich, N.Y. had a great turnout as it kicked off its 2017 tennis season with an opening day meet and greet, bringing together current and new members for a day of tennis. “We probably have about 50 people here … I couldn’t be happier,” said Ricky Becker, director of tennis at Pine Hollow Country Club. “We have a lot of new members and we have the most members we’ve had since I’ve been here. Coming off winning the North Shore Country Club Women’s League last year and our men’s team having their best season ever, I am so excited for the 2017 season and the years to come. I love this event because it is a great opportunity in a casual setting for people to see old friends and make new ones. The members here at Pine Hollow are fantastic.” There were clinics and drills, as well as food and music. “I’ve been here about 50 years, it’s like an12

other home for me,” said Dr. Bob Traeger. “They have all the amenities you need here at Pine Hollow. The courts are fantastic, the food is fantastic, the people are fantastic … there is all kinds of entertainment. You have everything you could want here.” Fellow Pine Hollow member Sandra Sklar echoed those sentiments:

Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

“It’s all about having fun, just being together with everyone and having a lot of positive energy to kick off the season,” said Sklar. “We have a lot of new families here and were able to welcome them with a fun event like this. I’m looking forward to having a great time this season, improving my game, but having fun while doing it.”

Tennis Bubbles: A Grand Slam Victory Over the Elements


rying to figure out a way to maintain your tennis training momentum throughout the offseason? Indoor tennis is a lot more viable than you might think. New York’s harsh winters make outdoor tennis strictly a seasonal sport—unless you can move it indoors. And while indoor tennis may seem like an expensive luxury, The Farley Group keeps the game going year-round by manufacturing, installing, and maintaining tennis bubbles. Bubbles are the ideal solution for indoor tennis—both economically and practically. Tennis has always been a big deal in New York, which has driven the demand for indoor playing spaces for several decades now. With more than 20 bubbles in New York City and the Long Island area, Farley tennis bubbles have helped solidify New York as one of the top places to train and develop tennis talent. By providing a way to train throughout the winter, tennis becomes much more accessible to those that don’t have the means or desire to travel south for the winter.

Compared to other construction methods, bubbles have a relatively short history. Bubbles first made appearances in North America in the early 1970s, and have since evolved into a top solution for sports like tennis. Ralph Farley, founder of The Farley Group, saw how well the concept worked in Europe, and brought it back with him more than 40 years ago. Since then, The Farley Group has built dozens of tennis bubbles around the world. Stepping into a tennis bubble for the first

time is awe-inspiring. No other structure can provide as much space without any support beams or walls. It’s almost counter-intuitive at first sight: “What’s holding up the roof?” Intriguingly, bubbles require nothing but air to do that. Fresh, filtered and conditioned air flows in, giving the bubble its rounded shape, protecting the playing surface and players underneath. A wonderful added benefit is that tennis bubbles can be either seasonal or permanent. Permanent bubbles have the advantage of full protection from the weather throughout the year—cold and snow during the winter, and rain or high winds in the summer— while seasonal domes can go up in the fall and come down in the spring. They represent the perfect solution for outdoor courts. And best of all? Tennis bubbles can be installed for a fraction of what other indoor tennis courts cost. To learn more about how Farley tennis bubbles can help your club members practice their swing 365 days a year, visit or call at (888) 445-3223. • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine


Shunning Maria Sharapova Russian star deals with WTA adversity on the road back to stardom By Bri an C ol eman Credit all photos to Sidney Beal III

efore Margaret Court’s comments on same-sex marriage became the hot topic of discussion amongst tennis players and the subject of many reporter questions at press conferences, the debate over Maria Sharapova’s return to the pro tour ruled the conversation. The former world number one and four-time Grand Slam champion made her 2017 debut in Stuttgart, Germany for the Porsche Grand Prix after missing practically the entire 2016 season following her suspension for meldonium. Sharapova received a wild card into the tournament, something that didn’t sit well with many fellow players. “I’m not here to be anyone’s judge, but I think a situation like this has highlighted a lot of things that need clarity,” said Great Britain’s Johanna Konta. “I’m sure it’s something that will be looked at in time.” Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard may have had the most direct and unfiltered comments regarding Sharapova. “I don’t think that’s right,” Bouchard told TRT World of Sharapova’s inclusion as a wild card. “She is a cheater and so to me, I don’t think a cheater in any sport should be allowed to play that sport again. It’s so unfair to all the other players who do it the right way and are true. From the WTA, it sends the wrong message to young kids: ‘Cheat and we will welcome you back with open arms.’ I don’t think that’s right and she is not someone I can say I look up to anymore.” The WTA has no rule on which players are eligible to receive wild cards, and those decisions are up to the directors of the tournaments themselves. In that case, giving a star with a loyal fan base like Sharapova entry into your tournament is a rather easy decision, a sentiment shared by WTA CEO Steve Simon. “Maria is a star. There’s going to be a big impact,” Simon said ahead of Sharapova’s first-round match in Stuttgart. “There are people on all sides of the fence, but it’s a great story. We wish her success. She served her penalty and we look forward to having her back.” It certainly became the biggest debate of the tennis season and overshadowed whatever was happening inside the white lines. Last


continued on page 16 • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine


shunning maria sharapova continued from page 15

year’s U.S. Open finalist Karolina Pliskova had no problems with Sharapova’s return. “From the tournament’s side I think it’s going to be a big plus,” Pliskova said. “Obviously with Serena being out now, I think tennis definitely needs a star like her. I don’t have anything against it.” However you feel regarding Sharapova or her suspension, it is really a no brainer for smaller tournaments to want her in their venues to generate buzz and put people in the seats. Sharapova is not one to overly concern herself with the opinions of her fellow tour members, good, bad or indifferent, as she

has never been one to try and become best friends with her opponents. “I’m not her friend. I don’t think anyone is her friend on the tour,” said Barbora Strycova, who once faced her own doping suspension. “She doesn’t have friends, I don’t think, because she doesn’t talk to anybody.” It doesn’t help that her agent, Max Eisenbud, alienated some of the tour’s top players such as Agniesza Radwanska and Caroline Wozniacki, whom he called ‘journeymen players,’ which earned him a warning from Simon and only further widened the divide between Sharapova’s






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Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

camp and the rest of the WTA Tour. “It’s my least favorite place in the world,” Sharapova once said of the WTA locker room. “I do my job at the site. I play my matches. I do what I have to do and I prefer to live my life away from the site rather than talk tennis all day.” On the court, few are as competitive as Sharapova and that is either a cause or an effect of her lack of socializing with fellow players. So the criticism and backlash from across the world most likely only served as fuel for a fire that was burning for 15 months while suspended. She began her comeback in Stuttgart and playing a few clay court tournaments in hopes of preparing for a French Open run. She would go on to reach the semifinals in Stuttgart before going to Madrid and losing to her most outspoken critic, Bouchard, in the second round. Her final tournament on clay was in Rome where she retired against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, and awaited the news on whether or not she would receive that wild card to Roland Garros. Because her ranking slipped below 200 while she was serving her suspension, she required a wild card into the main draw or even into the qualifying draw. She received neither. “If there can be a wild card for return from injuries then there cannot be a wild card for return of doping,” French Tennis Federation Bernard Giudicelli said on a Facebook Live

broadcast announcing the tournament’s wild cards. “I’m very sorry for Maria, very sorry for her fans. They might be very disappointed … she might be very disappointed. But it’s my mission to protect the game and to protect the high standards of the game played without any doubts on the result.” So the two-time French Open champion was left watching the two weeks unfold in Paris, as the wide open women’s singles field yielded a Cinderella run by the unseeded 20-year-old Jelena Ostapenko, only adding to Sharapova’s motivation. “If this is what it takes to rise up again, then I am in it all the way, every day,” Sharapova tweeted. “No words, games or actions will ever stop me from reaching my own dreams. And I have many.” With that mindset, the Russian began training for the next stage of her playing career, which is the hard-court season in the United States and the U.S. Open. Due to injury, she was forced to pull out of the entire grass court season, and will not be at Wimbledon, a tournament she would have had to come through qualifying to be eligible for. Pliskova is right when she says that tennis could use her star power. With Serena Williams out the remainder of the year and world number one Angelique Kerber struggling thus far in 2017, Sharapova is the kind of player that can have all sports fans, not just tennis fans, talking about women’s tennis. None of that stuff matters to Sharapova, though. Her only focus is on competing and returning to her winning ways. “It’s not my job to think if the criticism is personal or not. Words, quotes and articles are not what matters in life, and I learned that very well in the past year,” Sharapova said. “At the end of the day, all that matters is what’s on the court, and that’s why I’m here. This is what I’ve done for so long. When you’re in the moment, you try to block everything out and you compete. I’m a competitor by nature, even when things are not working. That’s what I do. That’s when I am at my best—when I forget about everything and just be me and compete.” Brian Coleman is senior editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached by phone at (516) 409-4444, ext. 326 or email



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Dr. Robert G. Silverman Sports Performance Specialist 311 North Street, Suite G1 • White Plains, N.Y. (914) 287-6464 Awarded the prestigious 2015 Sports Chiropractor of the Year from the ACA Sports Council, Dr. Robert G. Silverman, DC, MS, CCN, DACBN, CNS, CSCS, CIISN, CKTP, CES, DCBCN specializes in the treatment of sports injuries and joint pain with innovative, science-based, non-surgical approaches and functional medicine. To help injured athletes get back to play quickly, Dr. Rob offers a wide range of proven treatment modalities, including Active Release Technique, flexion-distraction/decompression, Graston Technique, and cold-laser therapy. He also works with patients to avoid future injuries using functional movement assessment, exercise functional rehabilitation, and personalized exercise programs. Proper nutrition is key to healing injuries, avoiding chronic pain, and getting back to normal activities and sports quickly. With six nutrition degrees to his name, Dr. Rob has extensive experience in helping his patients make simple dietary modifications for faster healing and optimizing overall health. He is an expert in designing personalized therapeutic lifestyle programs for peak athletic performance. Often called the doctor’s chiropractor, Dr. Rob is a contributing writer for many professional and peer journals, including Integrative Practitioner, MindBodyGreen, and Muscle and Fitness. He is also on the advisory board for the Functional Medicine University, a health contributor to Fox News Radio, and has appeared on Fox & Friends, Fox 5, and CBS News as a health expert. He is the author of the bestselling book Inside-Out Health: A Revolutionary Approach to Your Body.


Dr. Reuben S. Ingber (212) 213-0001 or (718) 627-7750 Dr. Reuben S. Ingber is a nationally-recognized specialist in myofascial pain, with 30 years of clinical experience treating pain and sports injuries. He is a double board certified physical medicine and rehabilitation and pain medicine specialist. He combines his medical knowledge with experience in martial arts and yoga, which leads to a unique approach to analyzing and treating sports injuries. He has published articles in peer review medical journals on myofascial pain (trigger points), including one on the treatment of racquet sports shoulder injuries with myofascial treatment of a major rotator cuff muscle. With the use of state-of-the art, scientifically sound, non-invasive methods (and not cortisone), he can effectively relieve rotator cuff tendinitis, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, herniated discs and sciatica. With two convenient offices in midtown Manhattan and Midwood Brooklyn, Dr. Ingber can be reached by phone at (212) 213-001 or (718) 627-7750, or visit

Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

Dr. Tom Ferraro (516) 248-7189 Dr. Tom Ferraro is an internationally-known sport psychologist designated as one of “The nation’s top mental game gurus” by Golf Digest. He has a full-time sport psychology practice in Nassau County, working with elite and professional athletes, including top-ranked tennis players. He is also affiliated with the Winthrop University Hospital Psychiatry Department, where he teaches resident doctors about the history of psychotherapy. He has also worked with professional teams in the New York area as their team psychologist. Dr. Ferraro remains one of the few sport psychologists in the nation who is also a senior level, fully-credentialed psychoanalyst. This allows him to not only use standard behavioral techniques to help tennis players control emotions, but also enables him to diagnose accurately and fully treat underlying issues, such as depression, anxiety or attention deficit disorders that can plague an athlete’s career. He publishes columns and feature articles in the U.S., Asia and Europe, and has appeared on major television networks. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The London Times, Newsday, The Daily News and The New York Post. He can be reached by phone at (516) 248-7189, e-mail or visit Dr. Ferraro’s office is located in Williston Park, N.Y.

Nutrition Solutions PC 705 Middle Neck Road Great Neck, N.Y. (516) 439-5090 Irina Belfer-Lehat RD, CDN founded her Nutritional Solutions firm on the premise that through education, young and old alike are empowered to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. Through her range of professional and personal experiences—which include a 13-year run as a clinical dietitian with the Visiting Nurse Services, an amateur tennis player, and years of providing one-on-one counseling—Irina has gained a broad understanding of how nutrition profoundly affects everything from how we feel every day and our athletic performances to preventing and managing diabetes, hypertension and arthritis. Utilizing her vast knowledge, Irina has developed educational programming, geared towards both individuals and groups, that instills fundamental health and nutrition principles, while making healthy living practical and doable. • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Maga-


Orlin & Cohen Orthopedic Group (516) 536-2800 Orlin & Cohen Orthopedic Group is Long Island’s leading private orthopedic practice with a team of 37 board-certified and board-eligible physicians. The group features orthopedic subspecialists who have completed advanced fellowship training, focusing solely on a single area of concern. This focused approach results in optimum patient outcomes, as the doctors are on top of the latest advances for each specific area of expertise. The group’s highly trained and experienced orthopedists cover the entire spectrum of subspecialty needs, including sports medicine, hip, knee, shoulder, elbow, joint replacements, foot and ankle, spine, neck and back, hand and upper extremities, and general orthopedics. Orlin & Cohen Orthopedic Group has multiple offices in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties, with recently-opened new offices in Woodbury and Garden City. These new state-ofthe-art, full-service facilities address all of your orthopedic related needs, including in-house diagnostic testing, digital x-ray, MRI, physical rehabilitation and fully-accredited pain management/fluoroscopy suites. These sites are part of the Orlin & Cohen network, which consists of eight orthopedic offices, six physical rehabilitation centers, five MRI centers and three fully accredited fluoroscopy suites for pain management. Orlin & Cohen’s team of board-certified, fellowship-trained subspecialists have offices in Rockville Centre, Cedarhurst, Garden City, Lynbrook, Merrick, Massapequa, Woodbury, Garden City and Bohemia. For more information, call (516) 536-2800 or visit


Total Orthopedics and Sports Medicine (855) 321-ORTHO Total Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is comprised of the most respected and experienced surgeons on Long Island. At Total Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, treatments range from conservative to surgical, and Total Orthopedics believes in an individualized approach to treatment determine each patient’s treatment protocol based on their health, lifestyle and goals. The team of specialists collaborates to determine the most effective treatment plan for each patient. For those who do require surgery, the surgeons of Total Orthopedics provide the most innovative and minimally-invasive procedures at some of Long Island’s most esteemed medical centers. Total Orthopedics and Sports Medicine has locations throughout Long Island, and treats athletes from amateur to professional. Specialties include: l Shoulder injuries l Spinal conditions l Elbow injuries l Hip injuries l Knee injuries l Foot and ankle injuries l Hand/wrist injuries l Sports medicine The goal of Total Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is to get all of its patients back to an active and healthy lifestyle as quickly and effectively as possible. For more information, call (855) 321-ORTHO or visit

Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 • • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine


World TeamTennis Preview: The 2017 New York Empire

Mardy Fish Leading the Empire The New York Empire return this summer, bringing World TeamTennis action back to the New York area for a second consecutive year. Leading the charge for the NY Empire will be American Mardy Fish, who will be competing in Mylan World TeamTennis for the seventh time. “Personally, I love it,” Fish said of the WTT format. “For me, especially right now in my life, five-game sets with no ad-scoring sounds pretty good. I love the fast-paced nature of it with the music playing in between. I looked forward to playing it every year during my career, whether it worked out or not.” Fish was on the Washington Kastles roster last year, but injured his foot in the second game of his opening match and was forced to miss the remainder of the season. “I was super bummed about that, so I wanted to come back this year,” said Fish. “I’m really excited to be a part of the New York Empire this season.” Fish enjoyed an excellent career on the ATP Tour, winning six career titles and reaching a career-high ranking of seventh in the world, which included a stint as the highest-ranked American male. He represented the United States in both Davis Cup play and in the Olympics, 22

including bringing home the Silver Medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. “Playing Davis Cups was always a blast, and bringing home the Silver Medal at the Olympics was amazing,” said Fish. “I got to play tennis in places like Dubai, Rome, Paris, London, Australia and many more … you could never dream about that kind of stuff. I played a lot of good matches over the years, but none more special than Davis Cup and the Olympics.” This summer, the NY Empire will play its matches at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, a venue that Fish is very familiar with. “I played my first Grand Slam match there and my last match ever there,” said Fish. “I played some really fun night matches there at the U.S. Open. There is just a lot of tennis history for me there. It’s a place where we, as Americans, always got the best crowd support. I always requested to play on Louie Armstrong or the Grandstand because the fans are right on top of you. They were always so loud while rooting for you … those were the most fun matches.” Fish played his final pro match during the 2015 U.S. Open, where he lost a thrilling fiveset match to Spain’s Feliciano Lopez, but received a ceremonious sendoff from the crowd.

Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

Since retiring, Fish does extensive work with his charity, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, which provides after-school programs to kids near where he grew up in Vero Beach, Fla. “It’s something that’s near and dear to me and my family,” said Fish. “We’re just trying to give back to the community that gave me so much to me when I grew up. We’ve been doing it for about 10 years now. It’s a great thing, the people love it. We’re trying to go as big and far as we can with it.” The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation has its namesake on a Futures Tournament in Vero Beach, with the proceeds of the tournament going to the Foundation. A father of two, Fish also spends some time with the USTA at its new National Campus in Orlando, working with some of the young players, and is looking forward to his return to Queens this summer as he hopes to lead the NY Empire to a successful second season. “I’m excited about the team and the roster we have with the NY Empire,” said Fish. “I’m going to train hard and see if I can get back into shape and do my part. It can get pretty hectic at home with the young ones, so sometimes it’s nice to get on the road and get back to doing something I’m used to doing, and that’s playing tennis. This will be no different than that.”

New York Empire 2017 Home Schedule Marquee players are subject to change. All home matches will be played on Court 17 of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. DATE Sunday, July 16

TIME 5:00 p.m.

HOME (featuring John Isner)

VISITOR (featuring Sloane Stephens and Donald Young)

Wednesday, July 19

7:00 p.m.

(featuring Mardy Fish)

(featuring Sloane Stephens and Donald Young)

Thursday, July 20

7:00 p.m.

(featuring Mardy Fish)

Thursday, July 27

7:00 p.m.

(featuring Mardy Fish and Eugenie Bouchard)

Friday, July 28

7:00 p.m.

(featuring Mardy Fish and Eugenie Bouchard)

Sunday, July 30

5:00 p.m.

(featuring Mardy Fish)

Monday, July 31

7:00 p.m.

(featuring Mardy Fish)

For more information on the New York Empire, visit • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine


Sportime’s El Gayeh Injects Passion Into U10 Tennis By Brian Coleman t this year’s annual USTA Long Island Region Awards Dinner, Sportime’s Jared El Gayeh was presented with the 10-and-Under Tennis Award which is given to the region’s top coach for U10 programming. “That was a really amazing award to receive,” said El Gayeh. “But it doesn’t just go to me, it goes to my entire team here at


Syosset. They work so hard day in and day out. I can’t take credit for it myself, I’m just one piece of the puzzle. I give them as much credit as myself for the award.” That modesty is one of the many things that has made El Gayeh such a revered figure at Sportime. He began working at Sportime when he was just 14-years-old, and through the years, he has coached

hundreds of young athletes in a variety of team sports, including soccer, basketball, hockey and more. He now brings his incredible energy to Sportime Syosset’s U10 tennis program. Although he didn’t play much tennis growing up, his love of sports and desire to teach children has led him to this unique opportunity as U10 Tennis Director:


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Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

“I played a little tennis growing up as a kid but I hated the fact that my coaches had no energy or enthusiasm,” he recalls. “I always told my parents that when I was older I wanted to be a fun coach that makes the sport enjoyable for kids.” El Gayeh would go on to play soccer at Marywood University in Scranton, Penn. where he studied health and physical education, but didn’t give much thought to the idea of teaching and coaching tennis: “I originally wanted to be a teacher. But after going down the road of my college career, I realized that putting me in a class of 30 kids and trying to reach them all with the same thing in the same way was impossible, because every kid learns differently. So I really geared away from that because that wasn’t my teaching philosophy.” While working at Sportime, he began to do lots of training with Mike Barrell, who is known as one of the pioneers and gurus of U10 tennis programming, learning how to conduct drills and group lessons. Combining that extensive training with his personality and desire to work with kids made heading up the U10 pro-

gram at Sportime Syosset a perfect fit. “He is someone who has a dynamic personality and has the ability to motivate kids,” said Mike Kossoff, Sportime Syosset’s tennis director. “I’m fortunate to have someone out there who is able to inspire so many and also lead by example with high energy and dedication. To be full-time and focusing on U10 for just a year and to already win a USTA award is a testament to how talented he is. His willingness to connect with kids of all ages is contagious. The kids he is overseeing are the future of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy.” One of the main catalysts of the U10 program across the Sportime locations is its World Tour event series, which has added a new element and provided the kids with something to look forward to. “It’s a game changer,” El Gayeh said of the World Tours. “It gives the kids the experience as if they were on the professional tour themselves. They get player passes, check in, walk down the red carpet and get their pictures taken. It’s a great showcase for them. It has opened the door for so many parents and kids to go out there and

enjoy the sport, showcase their skills and what they’ve learned in their training and group sessions. It’s a wonderful thing. I can’t explain how powerful this one aspect of our big picture is to these kids. They all look forward to it; it’s a huge deal for them and it’s an amazing thing.” El Gayeh has been a part of the Sportime family since he was a young teenager and has climbed his way up the ladder to become one of its key members. Since he took over, the U10 program has increased from 200 kids to about 350 kids, and is still growing. “Kids need positive people who are going to guide them in the right direction,” he said. “The most rewarding part for me is watching them having fun, enjoying the game, seeing them with smiles on their faces. Those are the times that mean the most, and remind me of how much I truly love what I do.” Brian Coleman is senior editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached by phone at (516) 409-4444, ext. 326 or email • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine


“Little Mo” International For Sixth Time


ne of the most exciting tournaments to come to New York each year is the “Little Mo” Internationals at The West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, where the best juniors in the world come together for top-level tennis done the right way with fairness, sportsmanship and integrity. The “Little Mo” tournament is named in memory of Maureen Connolly Brinker, whose nickname was “Little Mo.” She was one of the greatest women’s tennis players of all-time. “The ‘Little Mo’ was just for Dallas kids in the very beginning in 1977, and then it expanded into all of Texas. In 1998, the ‘Road to Little Mo Nationals’ was created, and then in 2006 it grew internationally,” said Carol Weyman, executive vice president of the Maureen Connolly Brinker Foundation, the founder and organizer of the ‘Little Mo’ series. “We didn’t believe in rankings for the kids at that young of an age, and we wanted them to be focused on having fun as the top priority. You’re going to keep doing something that’s fun, so that was our benchmark, to make sure the kids enjoyed their tennis experience. This will be our 20th anniversary of the ‘Road to Little Mo Nationals.’” Maureen Connolly won the calendar 26

Grand Slam in 1953, winning the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the United States Open, becoming the first woman to complete this magnificent feat. She was only 18-years-old and is still the only American to have won all four majors in the same year. From then on, the San Diego-native, known as “Little Mo,” seemed destined for a lengthy and successful career. But in 1954, she injured her leg in a horseback riding accident which subsequently brought an end to her tennis career. After marrying Norman Brinker, the two moved to Dallas and made a commitment to giving back to the sport that had given so much to her. “When Maureen was starting out as a junior player, the San Diego Tennis Patrons Association saw she had potential and they were able to help her out financially to travel to tournaments outside of San Diego,” said Weyman. “She started doing very well and the patrons association continued to support her for many years. Eventually, they financed her travel to the USTA Girls 18s National Grass Court Championships in Philadelphia, and that was really the beginning of her successful tennis career.” Maureen knew from that point that if she ever had the chance to help out young

Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

players the way she was helped out in her early years, she would do so. When she was tragically diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer in 1966, she turned that dream into a reality with her friend Nancy Jeffett to found the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation (MCBTF) in 1968. “It was originally a girls’ foundation with the mission of helping junior tennis development. There were plenty of opportunities for boys, but girls were just starting to be accepted into sports as this was before Title IX,” said Weyman. “To offer an opportunity for girls to play sports was perfect, especially the sport of a lifetime like tennis.” Maureen would pass away six months later, but her spirit and mission remains the core of the foundation. The foundation began raising money by doing some charity mixed doubles tournaments around Dallas. The first tournaments raised around $700, which helped fund the travel expenses for the top girls from Texas to play in the Philadelphia tournament. The Foundation organized a charity tournament in her honor and Billie Jean King and Virginia Wade and other top players came to the event, and the following year Virginia Slims became the title sponsor. The Virginia Slims of Dallas was the major fundraiser of the foundation for 20 years and attracted top

nals Return to New York me This Summer By Brian Coleman

players such as Chris Evert, Tracy Austin and Martina Navratilova. The Virginia Slims of Dallas, benefitting the MCBTF, became a fixture in the professional tennis world. The foundation ran the tournament until 1990, when it sold the rights, and began looking ahead to its next chapter. Weyman, who came on board to be the Tournament Director of the Virginia Slims of Dallas and had not had experience in organizing junior tournaments, wanted to expand the “Little Mo” tournament, realizing that other young

players around the country could benefit from the “Little Mo” experience. “I was hoping to create something that would be goal-oriented, where players would advance first locally, then regionally, then nationally,” Weyman said. “So that was the year-long three-level circuit that we built. And then, we added the Internationals about 10 years ago to allow U.S. players to experience international competition.” The “Little Mo” would grow to having tournaments in 17 different sections

around the United States, where the top kids would advance to regionals, and from there the winners would advance to nationals. Over the years, Weyman would continue to add new ideas to the tournaments to create excitement and make the tournaments stand out from the rest. “One of the things we emulated from pro tennis was having Opening Ceremonies. I continued on page 28

TENNIS RUSH Come play where the surf applauds every shot. The Seaside Tennis Club at the legendary Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on Hawaii Island. D I R E C TO R O F T E N N I S , C R A I G T. PAU T L E R 8 6 6 .9 7 7. 4 5 8 9 M AU N A K E A B E AC H H OT E L .CO M • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine


“little mo” internationals continued from page 27 thought it was great to see the flags from all the different countries, and have someone singing the national anthem,” Weyman said. “We also added player parties, player gift exchanges, a player welcome packet and goodie bags with t-shirts and other items.” While the tournaments brought the best junior players in the world together, at the heart of its mission was still sportsmanship and kindness, two character traits for which Maureen Connolly Brinker was known. “Sportsmanship is way more important than wins or losses. It is how you carry yourself on the court, your attitude, kindness, character, being fair on the court … this is what matters,” said Weyman. “It comes down to being the best person you can be, not only on the court, but off the court in life as well.” Today, players at the “Little Mo” tournaments are given “Mo Coins” by the umpires for good sportsmanship and kindness as a way to incentivize good behavior, which


they can exchange for prizes during the event. The “Little Mo” Internationals are played in California, Florida and New York, and if a player is able to win all three tournaments, they win the “Little Mo” Slam and receive a six-foot trophy, the tallest in junior tennis. This special trophy was created in honor of Maureen’s Grand Slam win in 1953. “We thought giving out the trophy would be a one-year award, but it became so popular we decided to continue the tradition.” There have been six winners so far. And that is really what the “Little Mo” is all about: Continuing to add new components to keep the tournaments exciting and make sure the junior players are enjoying the sport. Over the years, the tournament has seen its fair share of players go on to successful pro careers, including Andy Roddick, Madison Keys, CiCi Bellis, Ryan Harrison and Belinda Bencic. The “Little Mo” Internationals

Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

has become one of the favorite tournaments for junior players, and it returns to New York once again later this summer for the sixth time at The West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills from August 21-26. “It’s great for the kids to be a part of the Forest Hills history, and being right before the U.S. Open, the kids can go see the qualifying rounds and Arthur Ashe Kids Day,” said Weyman. What started as a means to get kids on the court and take part in the sport of a lifetime has turned into an event that teaches lessons which can be brought far beyond the court. Through the sport of tennis, the “Little Mo” aims to continually shape youngsters beyond the net, instilling traits such as kindness and sportsmanship that can be carried for the rest of their lives. For more information and to register for the “Little Mo” Internationals in New York, please visit Brian Coleman is senior editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached by phone at (516) 409-4444, ext. 326 or email • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine


Nerves and Playing Under Pressure: A Simpler Approach By Luke Jensen s we roll into the heat of the summer of 2017, I thought I would address what separates all of us on the court: How we deal with the heat of pressure. From the first time we compete in any way, shape or form, even as children, it’s the first time we realize we could “LOSE.” It is that starting point where pressure enters our lives. I have always believed it separates us. We all walk on the court with the same goal: Win the match! But only one player or team comes back victorious. It’s the player/team that copes with and even gets to the point where they love the pressure that comes out on top. I feel very fortunate to have been taught


at a very young age by my parents and coaches to love pressure … lean into it and take my best winning cuts at defining points in matches. It was that approach that helped me love the big pressure moments. It was this approach that separated a Jensen from opponents on the other side of the net! I never remember any of the four Jensen kids who played Grand Slam tournaments saying we are or were nervous. These days, I do so many tennis evaluations that I am astonished at the number of players who crack under pressure. I use these few approaches to help players with nerves. First, if you are a competitive player at any level, identify what your goal is. Most players I speak to say: Easy question … my goal is to win. So with that reasoning, you are going all the way to the result and passing over the process. So if your start to lose, the pres-

sure builds because your winning goal is in doubt. I train players to change the goal from “winning” to “competing.” My goal is to compete better than my opponents, have a better attitude than my opponents and play smarter than my opponents. My focus on the competitive process to reach my ultimate goal of winning the match helps me win the small battles within the match that I am in control of. I know that’s heavy, and if you are a fan of the Jensen Zone column, I rarely drill this deep into an emotional part of the game. My second nugget is to have a wellthought-out game plan … even go so far as to put pencil to paper. I have always found a tennis journal or playbook was helpful to track matches, practices and record my post-match notes to help me improve. I would write down what I needed to do first, and then a breakdown of my opponent. That would change as the match went along. Good players never finish a match the way they start. A tennis match is a road full of twists and turns. I would write down those turns of tactics on changeovers. This kept me focused on the here and now of the match, instead of being worried about the outcome of the match. For example, I was coached to be an all-court player. From the time I was 16, my tennis playbook covered four key areas of my attack. 1. Serve and volley 2. Long rallies 3. Drop shots (called Jensens) 4. Smash and crash (attack and come in on opponent’s second serve)


Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

Depending on the opponent, there were even more details on strengths and weaknesses, but I kept to these fundamentals. I would read my match notes on every changeover, and it kept me locked into the match, not fearing losing while the battle was raging. The third and final point that helped me was the ability to control my breathing while playing points and between points. I call it “Tactical Breathing Method.â€? I see many players hold their breath while hitting a ball. There is a ton of tension in that approach. I like to breathe out when hitting the ball, as this keeps my flow going into each shot instead of fighting the shot. I have at least 15 seconds between points. So from the point just finished to the point about to be played, I would close my eyes while I am walking to pick up a ball or while I am walking to my next position and take in a breath through my nose and out through my mouth. Yes ‌ yoga tennis! I was not a yoga guy as a kid, but good breathing was always helpful to me. This helped me quickly lower my heart rate between points and maintain my focus. We all play better when we are relaxed. I found I thought with clarity within competition when I was aware of good breathing techniques between points. I even advise sound, focused breathing for extreme cases of players with restless nerves or bad ball tosses under pressure. I hope this helps you. I could go on and on about pressure and what I’ve learned through my many years of competing with it. I felt my ability to understand and apply pressure was a huge part of my success. Make it yours! Born in Grayling, Mich., Luke Jensen’s resume includes 10 ATP Tour doubles titles and singles victories against Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg and Jim Courier. Jensen and his brother, Murphy, won the 1993 French Open doubles title. Luke is currently director of tennis at Sea Island Tennis Center in Georgia. He may be reached by phone at (315) 443-3552 or e-mail






75$163257,67$2),&,$/ • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine


Mental Toughness on the Tennis Court

By Stephen Annacone t has been an incredible year so far on the ATP Tour. There are many great up and coming players and a lot to look forward to the rest of the year. Obviously, the biggest story thus far is that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are once again near the top of the rankings and have split the first two Grand Slams this year. Although there has been a lot of analysis and possible explanations for why this has happened, I believe the biggest reason for these results has come from the incredible mental toughness that these two players possess. In my estimation, they are probably the two toughest players mentally that I have seen in my lifetime. The following quote exemplifies the attitude that both players seem to exhibit time and time again:


“I try to push myself not to get upset and stay positive, and that’s what my biggest improvement is over all those

years. Under pressure, I can see things very clear.”–Roger Federer Many of the ideas listed below are routinely executed by these two great champions. This is what separates them from many of the great players we have seen. The keys to understanding how to think correctly: l Sometimes, the most important things you do are the things in between points, games and sets, and not during the actual point. l One bad point or game can sometimes result in players losing control of the situation and ultimately, the match. l What you do before and after the points really affects your performance during points. l One point is just one point, yet we can lose control after one bad mistake. l Accept that you will make mistakes … you are not perfect. l Every player who has ever played the

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Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

sport of tennis and will play in the future will make mistakes and play bad points, have bad games and occasionally lose sets. Once you understand these keys, do this during the point: Focus on one basic technique idea, like watching the ball, getting ready early, getting to the ball quickly, or getting set right before contact. Do this between points: Remind yourself of a strategy, like moving forward as the point gets longer, keeping the ball crosscourt and/or deep, hitting three or four good solid shots in a row, or hitting one extra shot when you think it is time to win the point. You are playing against the ball, the conditions, the problems you are encountering on that day, and basically, yourself. Your opponents can only play as well as you let them and they are not the major factor. If they win, you give them all the credit, but you must take responsibility and figure out what you might be able to do slightly different next time in order to change the outcome. The final word Keep things simple and read what Roger stated above … do not get upset, stay positive, and you will play the critical points much better the majority of the time. The better players do these things better! Some of the info used in this article was borrowed from my friend, Duncan Simpson, a sports psychologist who helped me tremendously with our Tournament Players Group at Smoky Mountain Tennis Academy in Knoxville, Tenn. some time ago. He gets the credit for many of these ideas. Stephen Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the director of Annacone Tennis ( For details on lessons and camps in Sag Harbor and throughout the Hamptons this summer, contact or



BENEFITING • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine



LI Honors at 27th Annual Awards Dinner More than 300 LI tennis players and fans celebrated the best in local tennis at the 27th Annual USTA Eastern Long Island Region Awards Dinner held on May 3rd. Awards were given in several categories for juniors and adults; this year’s Prestigious Awardees were: Steve Kaplan, Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award: The owner of Bethpage Park Tennis Center and director of the Lacoste Academy for the NYC Parks Foundation, Steve is also a partner in the Serve & Return Foundation, which provides free tennis lessons for U.S. veterans. Steve has been the longtime coach of hundreds of nationally ranked juniors, state high school champions, NCAA Division 1 singles champs, touring pros and prominent coaches. Anneleis Karp, Vitas Gerulaitis “For the Love of Tennis” Award: A longtime and robust organizer of junior tournaments on Long Island, Anneleis is a Past President of the USTA Eastern Long Island Region Board.

Anthony Brown, Arthur Ashe Multi-Cultural Award: A standout college running back, Anthony played four years for the NY Jets. After retiring from football, he changed careers and has taught junior and adult tennis at Robbie Wagner’s for over 15 years. Anthony runs many school programs for Wagner’s and is instrumental in their 10 & Under program. 34

The Kowalsky Family, Rose Buck Scalamandre Tennis Family of the Year Award: Keith & Laurie, along with children Kevin, Courtney and Rachel, have invested much time and energy into tennis. Keith is very generous in sharing the many photographs he takes of kids playing tennis. Kevin played for Oyster Bay High School. Courtney is a two-time NY State and Nassau County Doubles Champion. This year, she was the Nassau County runner-up in singles, took third place in States and was the Section VIII Sportsmanship Awardee. She will take her talents to Brown University in the fall. Youngest daughter Rachel has a few years before she starts her high school tennis career. Awards dinner special guest tennis great Gigi Fernandez, a tennis Hall of Fame member who is recognized as one of the best doubles players of all time, who offered some remarks and joined all honorees for photos. The winner of two Olympic Gold Medals and an astounding 71 titles on the WTA tour including two singles, 52 doubles and 17 Grand Slam doubles titles, Fernandez offered a special doubles training class earlier in the day at Robbie Wagner’s Tournament Training Center in Glen Cove (pictured above). All photos from the evening have now been posted online at (click on “Photo Gallery”). Photos are arranged by Cocktail Hour, Dinner and Awardees. Please enjoy them and feel free to download and print your favorites. The 27th Annual Awards Dinner would not have been possible without the support of all the organizations that provided sponsorships. Please support our sponsors! Awards Ceremony Sponsor—Stahl Eye Associates Cocktail Hour Sponsor—Katzman Orthopedics Gold Sponsor—Sanders, Sanders, Block, Woycik, Viener & Grossman, PC Bronze Sponsor—Christopher Morley Tennis Bronze Sponsor—Action Sports Medicine 55-inch TV Sponsor—Park Avenue Tennis iPad Sponsor—Bethpage Park Tennis Center Special Raffle Prize Sponsor—Bijou Goddess Collection

Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

U S TA E A S T E R N L O N G I S L A N D R E G I O N In addition to: Angel Tips Salon & Spa (Glen Head), A Little Bit of This, Beautycounter Cosmetics, Bob Coburn, Carefree Racquet Club, Casual 2 Dressy Boutique, Central Park Tennis Center, Cunningham Tennis, Dr. Daniel Hutt, Elite TrainingPro, GF Sports, Grand Slam Tennis, Heartful of Beads, Klee, Woolf, Goldman & Filpi LLP, Kimera Salon, Let’s Bag It, Long Beach Tennis Center, Madison Salon, Nassau Indoor Tennis, Nutrition Solutions, Old Bethpage Equestrian Center, Periwinkle Boutique, Rande’s Vision Shopping Therapy, Robbie Wagner’s Tournament Training Center, Skurnick Wines, Stella and Dot, Stony Brook University Tennis Team, Sportime, Stroller Strides, The Grassmere Inn/Westhampton Beach Tennis, Tennis-NTraining LLC, Three Village Tennis Club, Total Tennis, USTA Eastern, Vito’s of Glen Cove Ristorante & Pizzeria and World Gym Racquet & Sports Arena.

In the Community

Pictured are (from left to right) Gil Bernardino, Circulo executive director and founder; Jonathan Klee, USTA LI president; Fabiana Rezack, USTA LI board member; Sarah Brewster, Circulo chief director, and Tito Perez, USTA Eastern board member. USTA volunteers including tennis pros and members of the John F. Kennedy High School (Bellmore) Tennis Team offered junior tennis lessons to participants in the 12th Annual Robbie’s Run, a 5K race and community event which raises money for two key programs: Placing automated external defibrillators (AED) in all locations where children play sports and providing AED and CPR training for adults and children.

Serve to Serve, started by junior tennis player Justin Suzzan with support from Port Washington Physical Education Teacher and Tennis Coach Shane Helfner, is a tennis outreach program for children. At its first event of five, about 50 participants from Port Washington elementary schools came to learn tennis from volunteers. USTA Eastern Long Island loaned the group equipment to use for the program, along with lots of giveaways. USTA Long Island Board Members Scott Axler, Daniel Burgess and Sunny Fishkind join Eastern Hall of Fame Inductee Dick Zausner (second from left) at the Hall of Fame Ceremonies.

Calendar of LI Events

USTA Long Island Region board members came out to support the Circulo de la Hispanidad at its 37th Annual Gala. Circulo has been very supportive of tennis programming on Long Island.

l July 17: USTA LI Nassau County Kids’ Day (rain date July 24) l July 22: Long Island Tennis Magazine Challenge l August 3: USTA LI Suffolk County Kids’ Day (rain date August 8) • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine


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Former Pro Vahaly Opens Up



self and understand who I am as a person, where am I going, am I happy,” Vahaly said on the podcast. “And I had to come to terms with some things about my sexuality, and that was not easy—especially coming from a sports background.” Vahaly is now married and a father to twin boys.

Kvitova Returns After Attack There have rarely been players, active or retired, on the men’s pro tour to come out as gay. Former top 100 American Brian Vahaly became one of the first to do so recently as he discussed on a podcast with Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim. “It wasn’t until after I had left the game that I really had to come full circle with my-

The Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova made the tennis world very happy as she returned to the court to compete in the French Open in early

June. Kvitova missed six months after being attacked and stabbed by an intruder in her home back in December. She required four hours of surgery following the attack and months of recovery before returning at Roland Garros. She won her first round match before falling to American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the second round.

Agassi Lends Djokovic a Hand

Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker ended their coaching relationship last December, and the Serb formed a new partnership with another all-time great: American Andre Agassi. The two worked together during the French Open. “Many players have called me over the years, but his search is very personal, intense and very easy to respect,” said Agassi. “To come here to get to know him and give me a chance to help, I just followed my instinct. To help Djokovic, if I can, I think is good for the game and everybody.”


Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

Tennis to Return to Video Game Consoles

There hasn’t been a simulation-quality video game in five years, but that will change next year when Tennis World Tour is released by developer Breakpoint Studio and publisher Bigben. The game will be a successor to the Top Spin franchise, and will feature “ultra-realistic simulation that we’ve always dreamed of” according to Top Spin 4 producer Pierre Andre. Stars such as Angelique Kerber and Roger Federer have been announced as playable stars in the game.

Fire Strikes Wimbledon

Ahead of Wimbledon 2017, four fire engines and 21 firefighters were called to the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club to fight a blazing fire that was going on adjacent to the practice courts, near Gate 1. The gate sits near Wimbledon’s Number One Court, where a three-year construction plan is underway to build a retractable roof.

Hamou Tossed From Roland Garros

During the French Open, Frenchman Maxime Hamou, who had received a wild card into the main draw, was banished from the tournament by French officials after forcibly kissing Eurosport reporter Maly Thomas during an interview. Thomas told the French version of the Huffington Post: “If it had not been live on air, I would have punched him.” Hamou lost in the first round to Pablo Cuevas.

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BOY’S HIGH SCHOOL RECAP Written and compiled by Brian Coleman

Nassau County Boys High School Season Recap The Syosset Braves captured its third straight Nassau County Championship with a win over Roslyn

Syosset Beats Roslyn for Third Straight Nassau County Title In Syosset’s two regular season victories over Roslyn this season, the tandem of Zach Chan & Josh Antell came up short in both of their respective fourth doubles matches. So when the duo had the chance to play Jacob Buchbinder & Andrew Lieblich again, this time in the Nassau County Championship, they were ready. “We lost both times we played them this year. The first match went to three sets but the second one at Roslyn was a blowout,” said Antell. “The biggest difference today was just being aggressive at the net and putting away our volleys.” Chan and Antell exacted their revenge with a 6-3, 6-4 victory, which proved to be the fourth point for Syosset on the afternoon, clinching the Braves’ third straight county championship and its 51st straight victory overall in a rematch of last year’s county final. Syosset would go on to win the match 5-2. “It’s a tremendous honor to be the clinching match,” added Chan. “The amount of work this team puts in, to be that clinching match and represent this win is just huge. I think those two losses contributed to us winning today. It was a huge motivating factor.” While Syosset headed into the final undefeated, no one had given them a tougher test all season long than the Roslyn Bulldogs, who were edged 4-3 in both regular season matchups. Kabir Rajpal put Syosset on the board early with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Sangjin Song in a matchup of two big-hitters. “I know if I’m able to make more balls in play, then I’ll be able to win,” said Rajpal. “So the mindset is to just play smart, keep the ball in play. But when you have the opportunity, go for it and close out the point.” 40

The doubles team of Zach Chan & Josh Antell helped lead Syosset to the 2017 Nassau County Championship

Soon after, junior Eli Grossman added to the Syosset lead with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Adrian Tsui at third singles, before Preet Rajpal & Adam Canarick came back from a set down to beat Zach Khazzam & Justin Lempert 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to push the Syosset lead to 3-0. “Adam played out of his mind today,” said Rajpal, who paired with Grossman to win the Nassau County Individual Doubles title. “His strokes, volleys and serves. It helped us push and push and push, and we knew it wasn’t over.” After Rajpal & Canarick’s victory, Chan & Antell heard loud cheers from the other side of the courts while they were still playing, and thought that the team had clinched. But the team still needed one more win, and the pair delivered. “I am so happy for all four doubles teams, because this is the best they’ve played this season,” said Syosset head coach Shai Fisher. “The fact that [Chan & Antell] clinched it is great, because sometimes fourth doubles gets overlooked. Even after they lost twice this year, they were saying to me all week that they were ready.

Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

And they were. Roslyn was tough. It was definitely easier last year. They improved a lot. They took it to us both times in the regular season and we knew we’d have a really tough match today. But our doubles came through. I kept on preaching all year to the doubles guys that they hadn’t played a complete match yet. And they saved their best matches for last today.” The other victory for Syosset came at third doubles as Jeremy Levine & Justin Oresky won 6-4, 7-5 over Jared Cohen & Mikey Weitz. Daniel Weitz won 6-3, 7-6(5) over Neel Rajesh at first singles, and Chase Greenberg & Josh Cohen won 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 at second doubles for Roslyn’s two victories.  “I’m very proud of the team,” said Roslyn Head Coach KerriAnn Jannotte-Hinkley. “It’s our second straight final and even though we came up a little short, I couldn’t be prouder of their effort. We had 11 seniors including nine starters. They have been the core group for years. They leave behind a legacy of hard work and playing the best that they can. I wouldn’t trade this team and this season for anything.”


BOY’S HIGH SCHOOL RECAP Plainview’s Solomon Wins Third Straight Nassau County Singles Title For the third consecutive year, Plainview JFK’s Yuval Solomon proved to be the most dominant singles player in Nassau County, winning the singles title for the third time in a row with a 6-0, 6-0 win over New Hyde Park’s Peter Siozios at Oceanside High School. The defending New York State Champion delivered a masterful performance to become the first player to win three straight Nassau County titles since Great Neck North’s Peter Fishbach did it from 1963-1965. “I really wanted to win this in my senior year,” said Solomon. “I just focused on my game and being aggressive.” After defeating North Shore’s Rajon Vohra 6-0, 6-2 in the semifinals, Solomon

Plainview JFK’s Yuval Solomon captured his third consecutive Nassau County Singles Championship

Juniors Eli Grossman & Preet Rajpal from Syosset en route to the Nassau County Doubles Title

broke Siozios in the opening game of the championship and used that early advantage the rest of the match. “I always try to start the match on the receiving end to see if I could get the early break and get the match in my favor early,”

said Solomon. “Once I get it, I just focus on my serve and try to close it out.” He did just that, not losing a game the rest of the way en route to the 6-0, 6-0 win. continued on page 42

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BOY’S HIGH SCHOOL RECAP One of the turning points of the season for Solomon was a straight-sets loss to Syosset’s Neel Rajesh earlier in the year, his first loss in Nassau County in three years, something he says helped him refocus. “It’s always good to lose, because you can step back and see what you need to work on, what you need to focus on,” said Solomon. “After losing to Neel, I was very focused on beating him in the playoffs; I wanted to get my revenge on him. It made me practice even heard to beat the other top players in the county. Pete is a really good player, and so I just focused on playing my game.” Plainview JFK Head Coach Nick Ventimiglia has had a front row seat to Solomon’s dominance the last few years, and couldn’t be prouder of his development. “Every time I think he is on top of his game, he gets stronger. He played

extraordinary this weekend. He’s a kid that has grown emotionally and physically, but his talent level has really taken off,” said Ventimiglia. “I’m going to miss him. It’s been a pleasure to write the name Solomon on the top of my ticket for so many years.” In doubles, a pair from Syosset captured the Nassau County title for the third straight year. Juniors Eli Grossman & Preet Rajpal continued the Syosset tradition with a 7-6(5), 6-2 victory over Roslyn’s Sangjin Song & Zach Khazzam in the finals. “As the second see we definitely went in the with the mindset that we were the underdogs and that played to our advantage,” said Rajpal, whose brother Kabir won the County Doubles Title alongside Rajesh last year. “We said we were just going to go out there and play our natural game. Eli said we had nothing to lose and we played like that. His volleys in the first couple of games really

set the tone for us. As the points went on, we felt like we had the advantage more than they did, and I think that’s the biggest thing.” After sneaking out the first set in a tiebreaker, the pair built a 4-2 lead in the second set and Rajpal had a chance to serve for a 5-2 lead. It was a long game with a lot of deuce points but it was the Syosset pair who was able to hold serve and keep the Roslyn duo at a distance. “I think one of the biggest things is we were able to come back, whether it was in that game or the set itself,” added Grossman. “We grinded out points. Preet played so well and really carried me.” The relationship between the two dates back to when they both tried out for the Syosset team as eighth graders. “We’ve been rivals, actually,” said Grossman, alluding to when they both made the team three years ago. “But we’ve been

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Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •


BOY’S HIGH SCHOOL RECAP playing and practicing together ever since. He knows my game and I know his.” Syosset Head Coach Shai Fisher has seen the development and growth of his two players over the years. “It reminds me of when they made the team and they didn’t see the time of day on the court,” said Fisher. “The amount of time and commitment they’ve put in since then has shown. They paid their dues. The chem-

istry between them is amazing. They not only complement each other on the court, but off the court as well.” Coming up through the Syosset program prepared the two for success, and the pair made it three straight years that the County Doubles Champion hailed from Syosset, a streak that was started by Dylan Granat & Daniel Shleimovich two years ago.

“Syosset has such a winning culture that inspires us to play hard every time we step out on the court,” said Rajpal. “I think when you put the Syosset jersey on your chest, you’re not just representing yourself, you’re representing a program that’s been established and has a reputation for winning. We’ve fostered a culture that is competitive but not cut throat. And I think that’s really the key to a successful season.”

Suffolk County Boys High School Season Recap Half Hollow Hills East’s Adam Wilck & Tyler London helped lead the team to the Suffolk County Championship in doubles play

Hills East Beats Hills West to Reclaim Suffolk Title Half Hollow Hills West had been on top of Suffolk County tennis for the last two seasons, defeating rival Hills East in the county final in back to back seasons. The Thunderbirds would not be denied a third straight time, however, and reclaimed the Suffolk crown with a 5-2 victory. “It’s nice to be back, especially for the seniors,” said Hills East Head Coach Tom Depelteau, who has guided Hills East to 10 county titles in the last 15 years. “They hadn’t tasted this. And they were a deserving group. They worked hard all year and they came to play today.” It was the doubles play that led the way for East on the hot afternoon. Adam Wilck & Tyler London won 6-4, 6-4 over Tyler Nierman & Tony Zhong in the first doubles spot to help give Hills East the early lead. The clinching win came on the third doubles court, as a pair of seniors, Paul Rhee & Adam Stein, notched a 6-3, 6-4 win over Keshau Khanna & Michael Lombardi. “I think everyone on the team was especially motivated this year,” said Stein. “We have six seniors on this team and we all wanted to leave our high school tennis careers knowing we won the County Championship. So it was a really big deal for all of us.” The duo fell behind 1-3 in the opening set, but were able to regroup and make adjust-

2017 Suffolk County Champions Half Hollow Hills East gather for a photo with cross-town rivals Half Hollow Hills West ments which allowed them to win 11 of the next 15 games and seal the County title. “We tried to poach a little more and be more aggressive at the net,” said Stein. “That really allowed us to get them off guard and gave us some momentum in the match.” Hills East had already built a 3-1 advantage, and Stein & Rhee got a sense that their match might be the clincher towards the end of the second set, as their teammates gathered on top of the hill above the courts. “At the 5-4 changeover we could see everybody standing by our court,” said Rhee. “So we knew it. Both years, Adam and I have been on the team, we haven’t been able to bring home the championship. It feels

good to be able to contribute and play a part in this one.” Earlier, Avi Anand had beat Rahul Mathur 6-4, 6-2 at third singles, and Ethan Ertel notched a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Sameed Awan at fourth singles to build the Hills East lead. To complete the doubles sweep for Hills East, Brandon James & Jai Madisetty won a third-set tie-breaker 7-6(6) in the day’s final match. Hills West senior Jackson Weisbrot beat Abhinav Srivastava 7-5, 6-2 at first singles and Cameron Klepper won 6-2, 6-2 over Sandy Greenberg at second singles for the two West victories. • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine




Huntington Freshman Jack Flores captured the 2017 Suffolk County Individual Singles Championship

Huntington’s Flores Wins Suffolk Singles Title Huntington Freshman Jack Flores captured the 2017 Suffolk County Individual Singles Championship, downing Jackson Weisbrot of Half Hollow Hills West, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.

Half Hollow Hills West’s Cameron Klepper teamed with partner Tyler Nierman to win the 2017 Suffolk County Doubles Championship

Weisbrot had defeated Flores in the Suffolk Division I final the week prior, and Flores was able to exact revenge on the senior, fighting back to win the third set and capture the County Championship. “I came in with a new strategy and stuck to it,” said Flores. “I also never

gave up and fought for every point knowing it was going to be a challenge.” In the doubles final, Hills West’s Tyler Nierman & Cameron Klepper outlasted Smithtown West’s Nick Gajda & Alex Amadio 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to win the 2017 Suffolk County Doubles Championship.

2017 USTA LI Executive Cup Recap Syosset Defeats Hills East to Win USTA LI Executive Cup Syosset, after winning its third consecutive Nassau County Championship, finally got its opportunity to compete against the Suffolk County Champion in the USTA Long Island Executive Cup at The Hamlet Golf and Country Club in Commack. With that mindset, the Braves won for the 52nd straight time, beating Half Hollow Hills East 6-1 to be crowned Long Island’s top team. “We want to grow the sport, and to give the kids the opportunity to play this final match against the Suffolk champion. It was great tennis all around today, amazing sportsmanship. I’m very proud of these 44

guys. They really played their best again. It’s great for the sport,” said Syosset Head Coach Shai Fisher. “Hills East is a powerhouse, we know that. And anytime you go against a Suffolk champion that has their history, you never take them for granted.” Freshman Kabir Rajpal got things started for Syosset with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Sandy Greenberg at second singles to give the Braves an early lead. Playing on the court directly next to Rajpal, Junior Eli Grossman padded the advantage for Syosset by winning 6-2, 6-1 against Avi Anand. “It’s amazing. This is what we worked for all year. We had in the back of our heads that this is the main goal. To be here and win it, I’m truly speechless,” said Grossman. “I told

Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

the guys that nothing else besides this match mattered. The streak doesn’t matter, the win against Roslyn doesn’t matter. If we lose today it was all for nothing. This is where you have to make the most of the opportunity and seize it.” As has been the case all season, the depth of Syosset was on display across the courts with great performances from its doubles teams. Andre Kirkorian & Yash Samantaray notched a 6-4, 6-3 win at second doubles over Jai Madisetty & Brandon James to put the Braves on the brink of the title. Within minutes, Syosset would earn that clinching point, and it would come from its first doubles team on The Hamlet’s center court. Preet Rajpal & Adam Canarick hung


BOY’S HIGH SCHOOL RECAP on to beat Adam Wilck & Tyler London 6-3, 75 to seal the title. “It’s my final year here, so I’ve had the three County Championships. But this is something different, something new,” said Samantaray. “It’s a great way to end it, to have both the County Championship and the Long Island Executive Cup.” Rounding out the doubles matchups was Josh Antell & Jeremy Levine of Syosset who came back to win 6-7(5), 6-3, 10-2 against HHHE’s Paul Rhee & Adam Stein at third doubles. Syosset’s Justin Oresky would win 7-5, 64 against Ethan Ertel at fourth singles in the day’s final match. Abhinav Srivastava came back to beat Neel Rajesh 3-6, 7-6, 10-6 at first singles for Hills East’s lone point. The Executive Cup was arranged by USTA Eastern Long Island, and the coaches and coordinators from both Nassau and Suffolk districts with the idea of ultimately bringing back the Long Island championship for tennis. The first installment of the Executive Cup was played last fall during the girls’ season, when

Syosset was crowned the 2017 USTA Long Island Executive Cup champions at The Hamlet Golf and Country Club in Commack

Abhinav Srivastava of Half Hollow Hills East during his win at first singles during the USTA Long Island Executive Cup

Friends Academy defeated Commack. “We knew that the sport needed it, so we worked together to make it happen,” said Mike Pavlides, USTA Long Island Region’s High School Representative. “This was the perfect way to pilot it to see if there was anything that we missed.” Since the final was played in Suffolk, it went by Suffolk County’s lineup rules of

four singles players and three doubles teams. When the championship is played in Nassau next year, it will switch to the Nassau County’s lineup of three singles matches and four doubles.

2017 NYSPHSAA Championship Recap Plainview JFK’s Solomon Captures Second Consecutive NYSPHSAA Singles Title Plainview JFK Senior Yuval Solomon became only the seventh player from Nassau County to win back-to-back New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Singles Championships, beating Sean Wei of Yorktown 6-1, 6-2 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. “I definitely wanted to defend my title, and I definitely wanted to join that list of the six greats from Nassau County,” said Solomon. “I just had to come out and play strong, serve big and take every point as they went.” He did just that.

As has been the key to his success over the last couple of years, Solomon snagged the early break in the final against Wei, for a 2-0 lead in the opening set. After consolidating the break with a hold, Solomon built a comfortable advantage and would go on to win the set 6-1. Solomon broke to begin the second set and quickly raced out 2-0. But Wei continued to fight and would hold to cut the lead to 1-2, and then won the first two points on Solomon’s serve in the second set’s fourth game. But Solomon would rattle off four straight points from there to earn the hold and keep Wei at bay. “He was getting confident, I saw that,” said Solomon. “It was really big to hold that game, go up 3-1 and keep the break. I didn’t want to give him anything to feel good about and get confidence from.” A few games later, Solomon to wrap things

up, fired his 22nd ace to convert on his first match point and clinch his second straight New York State Title. In the Federation Cup singles final, which pits the NYSPHSAA champion against the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) champion, Solomon defeated Beacon’s Ethan Leon 6-1, 6-1 in the final match of his high school career. “He’s outgrown high school, and is ready for the next step,” Plainview JFK Head Coach Nick Ventimiglia said of Solomon, who will be playing his college tennis at Wake Forest next year. “I’m most proud of the way he has grown emotionally. He was in the consolation final as a freshman, the State Championship as a sophomore and that experience counts for something. You have to have it solid all the way through. He’s developed that. That’s as continued on page 46 • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine



BOY’S HIGH SCHOOL RECAP important as your forehand and your serve. And he’s done that.” Despite losing his first-round match, Half Hollow Hills East’s Abhinav Srivastava continued to fight and came through to win the consolation singles final with a 7-6(8), 6-1 victory over Adrien Conrads of Coxsackie-Athens. In the NYSPHSAA doubles final, Horace Greeley’s Dylan Glickman & James Wei beat teammates Spencer Lowitz & Kenta Togo 6-4, 6-4 to capture the title. “It means everything,” Glickman said. “We’ve been working hard all season and this is why we play, the ultimate goal of playing high school tennis and it feels unbelievable.” In the third-place doubles match, Syosset’s Eli Grossman & Preet Rajpal defeated Roslyn’s Sangjin Song & Zach Khazzam 6-2, 6-4 in a rematch of the Nassau County doubles final. “They switched their positions up a little bit, so that was something we had to adjust to,” said Grossman. “But the main thing was we


Plainview JFK’s Yuval Solomon became only the seventh player from Nassau County to win backto-back NYSPHSAA Singles Championships

Syosset’s Eli Grossman & Preet Rajpal finished third place in doubles at the NYSPHSAA Championships

had to keep our consistency.” The junior duo will look to build off of this successful tournament run in hopes of returning to the state tournament a year from now. “It shows us where we are compared to the

best competition out there,” said Rajpal. “We want to have our names mentioned up there and be called New York State champions, so that’s going to push me and is definitely a goal for us to work for.”

Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •


Distribution scheduled for 08/15/17

This 2017 U.S. OPEN edition will feature: • 2017 U.S. Open Preview • LITM Summer Series Recap • Summer Camp/Summer Events Recap • 2017 Girls High School Season Preview

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2017 U.S. OPEN EDITION Submissions for both advertising and editorial• are due by 1, Tennis 2017Magazine 47 July/August • May/June 2017August • Long Island For more information, please call 516-409-4444 or e-mail

Locals Zausner and Siegel Inducted Into USTA Eastern Hall of Fame Credit all photos to Dave Dellinger


unior Tennis Foundation (JTF) recognized six integral members of the tennis community during the 30th Annual Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame Celebration at the Beach Point Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. Those inducted into the Hall of Fame Class of 2017 included Dick Zausner, director of Port Washington Tennis Academy, who has given thousands of youth and adults the opportunity to try tennis; Steve Siegel, a former ATP player

and director of racquet sports at Plandome Country Club; Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, a USTA life member who has served on several USTA committees and is currently a Senior U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York; and sisters Christine, Patricia and Theresa O’Reilly, former standout Eastern junior players who brought the Duke women’s tennis program to national prominence, then went on to compete professionally. Proceeds from the celebration benefitted

JTF, which provides scholarships and grants for junior and adaptive tennis players throughout the USTA Eastern Section. At the event, two junior players, Akash Mahesh Hongal and Jamila Akhmedjanova, received the David N. Dinkins Scholarship Awards for their accomplishments both athletically and academically. Since its inception in 1979, JTF has provided more than $2 million for programs and scholarships in the Eastern Section.

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Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

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So You Want to Win? Focus on the little things! By Rob Polishook, Mental Training Coach MA, CPC We all walk onto the court wanting to win. The reality is, tennis involves winning and losing. It’s no secret that unless you are in the top five in the world, you will probably lose as much as you win. Even if you are in the top three, you will probably lose 20 percent of the time. The only way around eliminating losses is to play an opponent half of your skill level every day. What do you think would happen? You guessed it … boring! It would be like surfing in a lake. Sure, you would stay on the surfboard, but it wouldn’t be much of a challenge. So, how do you measure success? Defining your game based on losses is selfdefeating. You may even feel personal failure and get angry about it, unable to learn or reflect on exactly what happened. There are certainly times that your opponent played better or you could have done something differently. After a loss, the only way to learn is to separate from the situation, clear your head, and reflect on what

you can do the next time out. Remember, failures are not fatal, they are feedback. On the flip side, defining your game based on winning is equally limiting. John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach, was known to have said, “Don’t try to play better than the next person, just play your best.” When you do that, the results take care of themselves. And even if you do win, you may not have played your best, and the score may cause you to miss a key opportunity to reflect and ultimately improve. There is always something you can learn, no matter the outcome. When working with clients, I often tell them, “Focus on the path, not the peak.” This means focus on what you can control, and let go of what you cannot control. This is about focusing on the next step, the present, not the past or the future. Imagine this … if you are a mountain climber focusing on only the peak, you will surely fall. The key is to focus on the little steps in front of you, the steps you can control. These little steps can add up to big things/wins. As a player, here are three key questions you can ask yourself to help you focus on what you can control while letting go of what you cannot control:

1. Can I control what happened? This is easy! The answer is always NO! If it happened in the past, you cannot control it. For example, if you have lost the first set, are fuming about a lines call, or are angry about a missed approach shot, unfortunately, you cannot control any of these. They already happened and are in the past. 2. What can I control? The answer here is always, “I can control what I do and how I approach things next.” For example, I can control resetting and getting myself in a calm and aware place to play the next point and letting go of the baggage from the past or the future; rather, bringing your focus to the present. 3. What’s “one thing” I can do that I can control? This is the big question! Answering it will help you re-focus on a strategy, mentality or even a technical issue that’s in front of you. For example, after losing a set, refocus on playing your game-style, not your opponents’, being more patient or hitting higher over the net for depth. These specific process-oriented goals will take your mind off the past, future and the outcome. When adversity strikes, take a deep breath and ask yourself these three questions. They will keep you focused on next steps. The next time you are on the court, in your quest to win, keep your focus on the little things that you can control! Rob Polishook, MA, CPC is founder and director of Inside the Zone Sports Performance Group. As a mental training coach, he works with athletes and teams, focusing on helping athletes gain the mental edge. Rob is author of Tennis Inside the Zone: Mental Training Workouts for Champions. He may be reached by phone at (973) 723-0314, email or visit


Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

HOP On and Into POP By Whitney Kraft ver 50 years ago, Dr. Seuss wrote a book called Hop on Pop. It’s 2017, and a lot of tennis players are listening to dear old Dr. Seuss. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to “Hop Into Pop” … POP Tennis, that is. It doesn’t matter if you’re a tennis enthusiast looking for some extra fun on the court, or a facility owner or employee seeking new ways to both attract new clientele and retain current players. POP Tennis is great for everyone, no matter what your role is in the tennis community. Are you a player? POP does not take much if any time to learn—you use a shorter paddle rather than a racket and serve underhanded with a low-compression ball on a 60-foot court. Not only is the learning curve quick, but POP will help your tennis and platform tennis game by emphasizing square contact and using angles at the net … not to mention, sharpen your reaction time! The benefits for tennis directors are plentiful as well. POP does not require additional facilities, it will increase your revenue, increase the action on your courts, provide alternative fun for your patrons and POP allows increased programming for lessons, round-robins and tournaments. Since most clubs have 60-foot courts and low-compression balls already, all you are doing is getting clients out on the court, putting paddles in their hands and watching them have a great time. For those who don’t have blended lines for the smaller court, the USTA actually offers grants to help expedite the process of applying them. This is your opportunity to design a club of the future. You will still have all of your normal tennis programming, this will not be negatively impacted. But by introducing POP, you get to add a fun, easy-to-play


sport that will attract clients who are intrigued, while keeping members around on days they might want something different than their normal hour on the court. At the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, we opened a POP Tennis class this spring and it’s been a hit. This summer will be an exciting one for us as well in the POP department, as we’re hosting the POP Tennis New York Open from July 29-30, one of three national stops for the POP Tennis Pro Series. While there will be a $10,000 prize fund for the event, all levels are welcome. We have both Pro and Amateur Divisions, but more importantly, fun for all. Our player social on that Saturday evening, July 29 is sure to be a blast. Feel free to come by and check out the action even if you’re not playing. The matches will be fast-paced and fun to watch. We’re looking forward to seeing the top men’s and women’s doubles teams compete right here in New York. After winning 11 straight titles, and remaining undefeated, Brothers Scott and Austin Doerner (former NCAA top tennis players) just won their third title in a row in St. Augustine at what was a really amazing event. The 45th Annual National

Beach POP Tennis Championship also drew Michelle Greco, tennis player turned UCLA and pro basketball player (2004 WNBA Champion with the Seattle Storm) and Viviana Rojas de Heil, a former number one junior in Columbia, an all-American tennis player and pro who have a combined seven POP championship doubles titles. Now let’s be clear … POP is not all about prize pools. But the event in St. Augustine had the largest prize pool in history, and now we are topping that mark in July in New York. This sport and its community are growing exponentially. Ready to compete? Go to and enter Tournament ID#: 100147517 for more information. The time is now to listen to Dr. Seuss— he knew a thing or two, and “Hop on POP!” Since 2007, Whitney Kraft has been the director of tennis at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. and director of player operations for the U.S. Open. Previously, he was director of tennis for the City of Fort Lauderdale Park & Recreation Department (1998-2007). • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine


Last-Minute Questions Asked of USTA Officials By Barbara Wyatt ust before a USTA tournament or league match begins, the official walks onto the court and stands near the center of the net. Whether you are engaged in the warm-up or walking onto the court, that is your cue to meet with the official. You will be reminded of the rules: “You have a seven-minute warmup. Make your line calls loud, accurate and immediate. In the event of two-set tie, use the Coman tie-break. Any questions?” Does anyone really ask questions in the last seconds before a match begins? Yes. Some questions are generated by a players’ inexperience at their first officiated event. Others are due to pre-game jitters. Some players engage in a devious master plan to put opponents on edge with their insightful questions. USTA staff and officials are prepared and have heard it all. Here are some questions asked of officials:


serve. You select the side that forces their first service game into the sun. What if my opponent makes a bad line call? Or has a double bounce on their side? Those are your opponents’ calls. Enjoy the game and relax. Most matches have three line calls that players on the court see differently. You have the right to ask for an official. In nearly every case, you are playing against responsible honest people who may have misjudged exactly where the ball touched down near a line on their court. What if my glasses break, my shoe comes untied or my wardrobe malfunctions? You have a reasonable amount of time to tighten, re-tie or replace wardrobe items. Ideally, the items will be in your bag on the court, or perhaps in a bag nearby with a spectator.

How much time do we have at change-over? Ninety seconds. Think of it as one minute to sit and 30 seconds to adjust your socks, gather the tennis balls, and walk over to your side of the court.

What if I get hurt and am bleeding? If you are bleeding, perhaps from the nose or a cut, a trainer, team member or spectator may help you stop the bleeding and clean up the court. Officials will be hovering to ensure the game re-starts as soon as possible and within 15 minutes. If you cannot stop the blood or have a second nose bleed, you must retire and the opponent wins the match.

Can I defer after winning the toss? Yes. If you win the toss, you have three options: Choose the side of the court or whether to serve or receive or whether to defer. With a brilliant glaring sun, the decision to defer may be an advantage. You win the toss and defer. Your opponents choose to

Barbara Wyatt is a writer, photographer, USTA official, and mobile app developer of iKnowTennis!, the tennis rules app. Her poem, Ode to Tennis, an amusing poem on the joys and frustrations when learning tennis, is available at Amazon. She can be reached by e-mail at


Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

ITF Honors Casal and Sanchez, Murray and Kerber


panish duo Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez have been presented with the ITF’s highest accolade, the Philippe Chatrier Award, at the recent 2017 ITF World Champions Dinner. The World Champions Dinner celebrated the achievements of the 2016 ITF World Champions. Among this year’s award recipients were singles champions Andy Murray (GBR) and Angelique Kerber (GER); doubles champions Jamie Murray (GBR) & Bruno Soares (BRA), and Caroline Garcia & Kristina Mladenovic (FRA); junior champions Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) and Anastasia Potapova (RUS); and wheelchair champions Gordon Reid (GBR) and Jiske Griffioen (NED). The duo of Casal and Sanchez received the Philippe Chatrier Award for their services to the game as players and coaches. They first teamed up in 1984, when Casal, then 21, formed a doubles pair with the 19year-old Sanchez at the suggestion of their mutual coach, William Alvarez, thus launching a partnership that lasted 12 years on court and has continued for 20 years off the court.

The team of Casal & Sanchez were one of the leading doubles teams of their era, winning 44 tournaments together including two Grand Slam titles, and won the Silver Medal for Spain in Seoul at the 1988 Olympics as tennis made its full return to the Olympic Games. They finished among the top 10 doubles teams for 10 out of 11 years from 1985-1995, achieving the yearend number one team ranking in 1987. “We are delighted to present Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez with the Philippe Chatrier Award for their contributions to tennis as a successful doubles team and in

the field of coaching,” said ITF President David Haggerty. “Their on-court achievements paved the way for further Spanish success, and in founding a successful coaching academy, they have shaped the careers of several prominent players and the lives of many more.” In 1998, the pair opened the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona. Their idea was to provide a complete education, with a school on the same site as the courts, so that students could train and study at the same time. They were also keen to make sure that, whether the children in their care made it as professional tennis players or not, they became good citizens in whatever they did in life. Casal and Sanchez’s coaching model has flourished, with a second academy opening in Florida in 2012, and last year, a third in Nanjing, China. Their approach and the Academy’s unique training system has produced many elite players, including world number one Andy Murray, two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, Grigor Dimitrov, Daniela Hantuchova and Juan Monaco.

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516-359-4843 • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine


Potted P By Steve Kaplan s a tennis coach, I’ve seen my fair share of “Helicopter Parents,” who nurture relentlessly and hover over their child’s every move. They carefully watch each lesson, practice and match. Some are reinforcing messages, adding their own opinions and even contradicting the coaches’ information. While such behavior is timeless and widespread, it has accelerated in the last several years, as I see more parental hovering on the tennis court today than ever before. Why is so much overzealous parental behavior happening now? In considering this question, we need to examine some complex issues that will be only touched upon here: l Is the community of psycho crazy sports parents growing or are other, larger forces at work? l Has the way parents see their role in their child’s tennis development changed? l Has culture shifted? l Do parents see the role of the tennis coach in their child’s development differently?


As historical context to understanding some of these questions, it’s useful to remember the old English proverb that “Children should be seen and not heard,” which argued for the idea that children should not speak until spoken to, especially around adults. This idea was popular as recently as the 1960s, with the mythology that too much parental affection was emotionally damaging to children, and babies would become spoiled if held too much. Modern psychology in areas of childhood development and developmental biology have debunked these myths. We learn and socialize as a result of the attachment process that starts during infancy. Nurturing by caregivers is critical to the development of intelligence, independence, emotional health and moral development. While Helicopter Parents are almost always well-intentioned and often astute, they can be counterproductively distracting to their child’s learning environment and autonomous love of the game. Groundbreaking new studies suggest that it is parents who “should be seen and not heard” by being around and available to their children with no agenda, no expectation and no pressure. Psychologist Lisa Damour calls such parents “Potted Plant Parents” and her philosophy is supported by a recent study conducted by the University of West54

Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

d Plant Parenting ern Australia which examined 3,000 middle- and high school-aged students. The conclusion of this study is that parents can best help their children to feel safe, secure and empowered by providing a safety net of emotional support by being quietly present. Sometimes less is more, and the value of less direct parental interaction with more passive support is the significant finding of this study. It’s no secret that tennis professionals complain all the time about how frequent parental interference in the coaching process is one of the biggest obstacles to the development of aspiring players. While I agree in theory with this complaint, I don’t blame parents for their concerns. Many parents recognize that they are not experts, but they also do not have great confidence that we as teachers are experts, or even competent and well-intentioned. In some cases,

they could be right. As professionals, maybe we make coaching conclusions before we perform assessments? Maybe we don’t formulate a coherent and carefully-constructed plan? Perhaps we don’t communicate clearly? Do we impose our values which conflict with the values that players receive at home? Maybe we are selfish and full of ego and prioritize selling and promoting over educating and empowering? As tennis professionals, it is our job to teach both parents and players about the achievement of the best road to tennis success. We must facilitate the best environment for players to succeed both on and off the court. We must plan and prepare a pathway of success for our students and must be competent, open-minded, selfless and humble to do this. The time and financial costs to families of providing support to develop a top player is high, and the re-

wards, especially in college opportunities, are great. Failure is more than a missed athletic opportunity: It can mean a lifetime of diminished fitness, education and selfactualization. The stakes have been raised and the educational leaders of tennis must step up. Ultimately, we cannot prevent Helicopter Parents from hovering, but we can steer them in the right direction. Steve Kaplan is owner of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation. Steve has been the longtime coach of more than 600 nationally-ranked junior players, 16 state high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous touring professionals and prominent coaches. He may be reached by e-mail at • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine



The Most Common Labrum Tear Sustained by Tennis Players By Dr. Charles Ruotolo, MD, FAAOS he shoulder is the most mobile, but least stable joint in the body. Because it’s used repetitively by tennis players, special attention should be paid to maintaining its strength, health and function. In order to prevent injuries, it’s important that tennis players educate themselves. One of the most common injuries sustained is a SLAP tear of the soft tissue, known as the labrum that helps hold the shoulder in place.


SLAP tears A SLAP (Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior) tear is a serious injury that sidelines athletes for an extended period of time. In some cases, it can be treated with physical therapy. However, in most cases, 56

it requires surgical intervention. Causes The injury usually occurs during the “early acceleration phase” of the overhand serving motion. With the arm in this position, the biceps attached to the labrum twists and peels back the labrum from the socket. Risks for this are increased with GIRD or glenohumeral internal rotation deficit. This condition is thought to occur from repetitive microtrauma to the posterior capsule of the shoulder with thickening of the capsule and loss of shoulder internal rotation. As the labrum tears, there typically is a loud “pop” and the feeling of a dead arm. Signs and symptoms The following signs might be indicative of a SLAP tear: l Locking, catching, popping, and/or grinding of the shoulder

Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

l Inability to effectively throw l Decreased range of motion Common symptoms include: l Pain l Severe weakness l Joint laxity Swelling and numbness can also occur. Diagnosis Orthopedic surgeons are the most qualified medical professionals to diagnose SLAP tears. Many tennis players with shoulder pain have GIRD and are at increased risk for suffering a SLAP tear. Specific exercises and stretching can help decrease this risk. The evaluation process usually includes: 1. Taking a detailed medical history. Determining how and why the injury occurred provides diagnostic clues.

2. Performing a thorough physical exam. Symptoms that present with certain movements or positions helps diagnose the injury. Assessing shoulder motion and shoulder blade function can help determine if you are at increased risk for SLAP tears. 3. Analyzing medical imaging studies. Xrays and MRIs help confirm the diagnosis. Once a patient has been diagnosed with a SLAP tear, a treatment plan is made. Treatment As previously mentioned, SLAP tears are usually treated using surgical intervention. During the arthroscopic procedure, the specialist locates the tear and then repairs it using suture anchors that reattach the labrum to the bone. The procedure usually takes one or two hours and is done on an outpatient basis. In older athletes or in recurrent tears, better success has been seen with a biceps tenodesis, where the biceps is released from the labrum and reattached at the humerus. Dr. Charles Ruotolo is a Board-Certified Or-

thopedic Surgeon and the founder of Total Orthopedics and Sports Medicine with locations in Massapequa, East Meadow and

the Bronx, N.Y. For more information, call (855) 321-ORTHO or visit • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine



t was Long Island’s year at the 18 & Over Mixed Doubles Sectionals in Albany. Our 7.0 team out of Sportime Syosset, captained by Dawn Schosberg, our 8.0 team out of Carefree Racquet Club, captained by Daniel Burgess Jr. and Kevin Burgess, and our 9.0 team out of Deer Park Tennis, captained by Roz Chua, are all advancing to the National Championship, the weekend of Nov. 3 in Mobile, Ala. Congratulations to all of our Mixed teams and good luck at Nationals! The 18 & Over League, the 40 & Over League, along with the 55 & Over and 65 & Over Leagues, are now underway. We are so happy to announce that the 65 & Over League is growing. Last season, we had the Men’s and Women’s League with teams at the 7.0 Level. This year, we added the 8.0 Level for men. Thank you to Al Silverstein who was not giving up on getting this off the ground. The Playoff, Regional and Sectional


Schedule is below (please check playoff schedule with your captain) Regionals l 18 & Over 2.5 Women—Sunday, July 30 at 9:00 a.m. l 18 & Over 3.0 Women—Sunday, July 30 at 11:00 a.m. l 18 & Over 3.5 Women—Saturday, Aug. 5 at 11:00 a.m. l 18 & Over 4.0 Women—Sunday, July 30 at 1:00 p.m. l 40 & Over 3.0 Women—Saturday, Aug. 5 at 9:00 a.m. l 40 & Over 3.5 Women—Wednesday, Aug. 9 at 7:00 p.m. l 40 & Over 4.0 Women—Tuesday, Aug. 8 at 7:00 p.m. Sectionals l 18 & Over League for Levels, 2.5, 3.0, 4.0 & 5.0+—Friday-Sunday, Aug. 11-13 l 18 & Over 3.5 & 4.5 and 40 & Over 3.0 Friday-Sunday, Aug. 18-20

l 40 & Over for Levels, 3.5, 4.0 & 4.5+ Friday-Sunday, Aug. 25-27 l 55 & Over for Levels, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0 & 9.0 Friday-Sunday, Sept. 15-17 l 65 & Over for Levels 7.0 and 8.0 and 40 & Over Mixed for 6.0, 7.0, 8.0 & 9.0 Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 23-24 The National Schedule can be found on the USTA Web site. Next up will be the Tri-Level and the 18 & Over Mixed starting September/October with the 40 & Over mixed playing after Jan. 1, 2018. Exact start dates and format have not yet been finalized. I hope everyone is enjoying their matches and remember, this is a competitive fun league and good sportsmanship should always be everyone’s priority! Kathy Miller is manager of Carefree Racquet Club and is also the Adult League Coordinator for USTA/Long Island. She may be reached by e-mail at


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Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •


Literary Corner “Ode to Tennis” by Barbara Wyatt eed a quick summer read that will put a smile on your face? Thinking of a gift for a team captain? Don’t spend $20 on a gift card. You’ll find that Ode to Tennis (2017, Wild Creek Publishing Group, $9.95) by Barbara Wyatt with illustrations by Mario Barrera, might just fit the bill. Ode to Tennis is a tennis poem that captures the euphoria and struggles of the game. Using a tennis lesson as a storyline, the poem begins with the player on fire as her balls fly effortlessly across the net and drop into the court.


“I whip it, I flip it, The ball flies deep with spin. No doubt Rafael Nadal Is my identical twin.” Tennis lessons are about recognizing a weakness and listening to expert advice to improve a tennis stroke and incorporate game strategy into the next match. As the teaching pro in the poem delivers instructions—“follow through,” “watch the ball,” “step into the shot,” “bend your knees”—the player hits balls into the net. Again and again. “I chase the ball in tournaments, I compete in the USTA Yet my strokes leave players laughing. I’m more comical than Tina Fey!”

The pro continues the lesson with coaching hints from The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey, the 1970s tennis instructional book of Gallwey’s theories on how to break bad mental habits. The player finally hits a perfectly executed shot against the teaching pro. She jumps for joy, as featured on the book’s cover, and says: “The pro’s college matches are too far past. Tennis teaching certificates be damned! It’s me, the late start player, Who made that ball go WHAM!” Ode to Tennis is delightfully illustrated by Mario Barrera. One clever illustration shows balls piling up on the player’s side and not one ball on the pro’s side of the net. Another includes a halfdozen emojis showing the many faces of determination and frustration of tennis players. This is a poem written specifically to tennis players. It is a first for rhyming poetry to include the words, “inside-out shots,” “topspin backhands” and “USTA” in its stanzas. It’s a clever and quick read that will be sure to bring a smile. This small gift book reminds us that tennis is a game of many brilliant strokes, followed by a few boneheaded ones. Ode to Tennis is available in print on Amazon for $9.95 and on Kindle devices for $2.99. • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine


Encourage Your Child to Give 100 Percent Effort By Aleix Serrats Every athlete wants to achieve good results, but we have to be aware that good results don’t automatically happen because we spend hours and hours training on the court, in weight rooms or sharpening our mental training. The hours you spend have to be productive. In order to be productive, it’s important to stay focused on every task during training and give 100 percent effort. Adults find it easier to think this way, but what happens when you are working with children? The famous sports triangle–player, coach and parents–becomes essential to understanding how we can help

children give 100 percent effort. Inspiring young athletes to give their best effort is both the responsibility of both the coach and the parents. The coach works on all aspects of the player’s personal development, as achieving good results depends on the players growing, maturing and developing a vast range of skills. In order to perform at their best, young athletes need to be motivated. Robert Weinberg and Daniel Gould, in their book Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology, define motivation simply as “The direction and intensity of our effort.” We find that there are two types of motivation: Intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic comes from within, as you get satisfaction from personal improvement, and playing ten-

2013 ETA Recipient “Innovative Tennis Program of the Year” LI’s first Tennis Academy devoted to the USTA’s 10 & under Initiative. Butch Seewagen is a former varsity coach at Columbia University. He holds over 15 national and international titles and is the owner/program director of the Children’s Athletic Training Schools.

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Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

nis beyond what you thought you could. On the other hand, we have extrinsic motivation, which is based on external benefits that the tennis player wants to achieve. The best way to accomplish this is by just playing, doing your best or even winning. So how can we, as parents, work on motivation? l Make sure they have a good time; fun is one of the most powerful motivations. l Accompany them in establishing their objectives. l Help them overcome barriers and obstacles that make it difficult for them to continue playing. l Compliment their efforts and achievements. l Help them be more independent. If they make their own decisions, they are going to commit and give 100 percent. Looking at this list, it is clear that the parents’ role is crucial in helping young players give the best performance possible. Therefore, working together is one of the keys to success for any student-athlete. Aleix Serrats is the sports psychologist at Sánchez-Casal Academy Barcelona. He has a degree in psychology specialization in health psychology and a master’s degree in sport and exercise from Universidad de Barcelona.

How to Stop Obsessing About Body Weight By Irina Belfer-Lehat RD, CDN eaching my clients of all ages, shapes and sizes how to live a healthy lifestyle is what I do every day. Focusing on small changes, realistic goals & expectations; small victories like improving one’s HDL/LDL numbers, Hmg A1C or weight loss. However, lately I notice that people are getting anxious and obsessive about numbers and size, and have a hard time enjoying meals, outings and celebrations. Living your life obsessed with weight and food can become exhausting. It becomes isolating and unnecessary. Think about how much more joy we would have if we simply enjoyed healthy food and stopped feeling guilty all the time. Ask yourself: What was your lowest weight and your highest weight as an adult? There are more chances to stick with the weight that is 10 pounds more than your lowest weight for the long run, rather than focusing on 10 pounds less than your lowest weight.


Who is the leanest person in your family? If the answer is “you,” then you are doing pretty good. Genetics predict many factors and weight is one of them. If your siblings and parents are overweight and/or

obese, you should set your goals more realistically and focus on improving your health, rather than focusing on numbers and size. Remember, no two people are alike, and no one diet will have the same results. However, some rules of healthy eating do benefit all: l Cut out simple sugars l Avoid processed foods l Water first-veggies most l Increase fiber l Don’t eat after 7:00 p.m. (most days) l Limit carbs to one meal-preferable (in the early hours) l Exercise more

“Acceptance of your ‘happy, sustainable weight’ is the most important key in setting one’s goals.” l Get your annual physical exams and know your numbers Irina Belfer-Lehat of Nutrition Solutions PC in Great Neck, N.Y. is a New York State-licensed dietitian and certified dietitian-nutritionist. For more information, call (917) 769-8031, e-mail or visit

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The Zone Is the Holy G

But ho

By Dr. Tom Ferraro he ineffable state known as “The Zone” is the Holy Grail of sports. Every athlete seeks it. Any athlete who has played in the zone remembers the ease, joy and satisfaction of finding this special place. The dictionary defines “The Zone” as “An


area or stretch of land having a particular characteristic, purpose or use, or subject to particular restrictions.” In sports language, The Zone means “Being completely unaware of what’s going on around you as you are into what’s going on in front of you.” The first definition implies that The Zone is a special, unique and distinct psychological space separated from the normal. The second definition implies that, when in

The Zone, one’s focus is so keen that one is oblivious to all but the task at hand. Any one athlete who has found The Zone knows this to be true. So how does one find this magical place and how does one stay there? Virtually all of my work with elite athletes will eventually culminate into an effort to build a path to The Zone. I would suggest that standard sports psychology and/or pop psychology used by coaches has had little success in helping athletes find The Zone. Deep breathing and some positive self-talk will not do the trick. The Zone is that rarified place where the athlete is playing up to full potential, doing so in a confident, relaxed and near effortless manner. To find The Zone, you need to employ the following psychoanalytic techniques that enable the following two things to occur: 1. The building up of mature defenses To find The Zone, the athlete must learn a very specific set of defense mechanisms … defenses which work against the athlete include turning against the self, fantasy about


Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

Grail of Sports how do you get there? winning, acting out and hypochondriasis. Defenses which can help include the mature defenses of suppression, dissociation, isolation, asceticism, displacement, sublimation and humor. Prior to and during a tournament, intense emotions will be felt. These include anxiety, the shame of mistakes, the anger when someone makes an off-handed remark, noise from the crowd, a bad call by a referee, etc. All this and more must be managed throughout a tournament. Good defenses include suppression where the athlete is taught how to temporarily push down emotions. Affects like anxiety, sympathy, compassion, anger and shame all must be suppressed during play.

Another example of a good defense is humor. Novak Djokovic uses humor all the time to let off steam. Displacement is the defense of turning anger into aggression. Steph Curry, the star basketball player, described his use of displacement when he said the criticism he faced as a rookie made him mad and that he used that anger to improve his game. However, all these defenses are only useful when the player is consciously aware of how they work. 2. Overcoming separation anxiety The building up of esteem in order to sep-

arate from the opponent is the second step in teaching the athlete how to find The Zone. We build up sufficient self-esteem and teach them how to psychologically separate from their opponents. This process is especially important in individual sports like tennis, golf, swimming and track. One-on-one sports involve a tremendous amount of social interaction with the opponent and the expectation of being a ‘good sportsman.’ But connection to the opponent is not useful if you want to find The Zone and win. The more you can dissociate from and distance yourself from these social expectations, the more likely you are to enter The Zone. Strong defenses, self-esteem and permission to separate and become silent are the keys to finding The Zone. The Zone is one of life’s peak experiences, and it’s something that can be taught. For consultations, treatment or on-site visits, contact Dr. Tom Ferraro Ph.D., sport psychologist, by phone at (516) 248-7189, e-mail or visit

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college tennis spotlight

Asel Jumamukhambetova

Jorge Alfonzo

Thoughts of Two International Division I Players Spending a Summer on Long Island BY R I C K Y BE C K E R

wo of the pros on my staff at Pine Hollow Country Club, Jorge Alfonzo and Asel Jumamukhambetova, come from similar backgrounds. They both hail from countries that don’t have large populations on Long Island (Venezuela and Kazakhstan, respectively), they both start on the college tennis teams at D1 colleges in Tennessee (Tennessee Tech and University of Tennessee at Martin, respectively), and they are two of the nicest people one will ever meet.


With the college search for tennis players becoming such a daunting task, I asked them a few questions that can give a little insight into their college choice, their growth as tennis players in America, and playing with other internationals players on their respective college teams as they often refer to their fellow teammates.

tennis in college. Since we don’t have college sports in Kazakhstan, I sent videos of me playing tennis to some universities in the United States. When the coach from The University of Tennessee at Martin contacted me via Skype, I really liked him and what he spoke about the program, and I made my decision to attend UT Martin.

Asel, how do you go from Atyran, Kazakhstan and end up landing in college in Tennessee? Asel Jumamukhambetova: When I was in 10th grade, I decided that I wanted to play

I noticed that the team at TennesseeMartin has eight players, all from different nations. How does that dynamic work for your team? Do you all get along? Jumamukhambetova: Yes, we had only


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Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

one American on the team when I got there, but she has since graduated. Now, the entire team is comprised of international players from England, Spain, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Japan, Germany, and I am from Kazakhstan. We are pretty close with one other, and I am very lucky to have those girls around me. It was never a problem that all of us are from different countries. We like learning each other’s languages and cultures, and I think that makes for a healthy team chemistry. Jorge, your team won the Ohio Valley Conference and played in the NCAA Division 1 Tournament this year. How was that experience? Jorge Alfonzo: The experience was amazing. This is the second time we had the chance to go to the NCAA Tournament, and it feels great having the opportunity to play such an important tournament against top-ranked U.S. schools. It was not easy to get to the NCAAs. It takes a lot of effort and teamwork to accomplish such an important goal.

What are other options for high-school aged kids from Venezuela or Kazakhstan looking to continue their tennis careers? Alfonzo: In Venezuela, kids don’t have the chance to play team sports, so the only way to participate in a sport is by being a member of a club or just play for themselves. Jumamukhambetova: Since we do not have high school or college teams for any kind of sports in Kazakhstan, children who want to play tennis have to become professional players or just play for themselves. This is why most of the players have to decide between tennis and education when they reach the age of 18 or 19. Is it hard to assimilate at a university when you are a continent away from your homeland? Alfonzo: It wasn’t that difficult for me, because I came to U.S with a good base of English. My friends and professors helped me a great deal in improving my English. Jumamukhambetova: I had a little trouble at the beginning of my freshman year because of the language barrier. But overall, I have adapted well. Good friends and a good

coach can make you feel comfortable at any place. What would you say to people who think American tennis scholarships should go only to American players? Alfonzo: I would say that is good to give international students scholarships because in one way or another, scholarships should be awarded to the athletes with the best skills, no matter where they come from. Jumamukhambetova: I agree with Jorge. I also think it creates more competition which can help American tennis, and increase the standards for what it takes to become a collegiate tennis player in the United States. Ricky Becker is The Director of Tennis at the prestigious Pine Hollow Country Club and independently coaches high-performance juniors throughout the year. As a player, Becker was the Most Valuable Player for the 1996 NCAA Championship Stanford Tennis Team and was ranked top-five nationally as a junior player. He can be reached at, 516-359-4843 or via • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine


















charitable initiatives MacArthur HS Presents Inaugural Aces for Autism Clinic

The MacArthur High School Girls Tennis team hosted its first Aces for Autism Clinic on the tennis courts at MacArthur High School in Levittown. The Lady Generals put on a tennis clinic for a dozen students in the MacArthur’s Applied Behavior Analysis program (ABA). The team’s captains Kristen Cassidy, Clare Del Grosso, Alyssa

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Breeze and Kaitlin Deegan, set up three stations of drills, at which MacArthur’s autistic students practiced tennis fundamentals. Kayla Schmidt and Melissa Seinberg, as well as head coach Phil Machmer, Principal Joseph Sheehan, ABA Teacher Dianne Drury and members of the MacArthur Boys Tennis teams, also participated in the clinic. Through the sale of baked goods and Aces for Autism t-shirts, $450 was raised for MacArthur’s Autism Awareness program.

Hauppauge’s Lawrence Raises Funds for Developmental Disabilities

this year, the team decided to donate to breast cancer awareness after their teammates, one from the junior varsity team and one from the varsity squad, tragically lost their mother to breast cancer earlier this year. The event raised $2,300, which will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. “This event shows how a community, school and tennis program can come together to help a family get through a very tough time,” said Commack High School Head Tennis Coach Shane Helfner. “Winning is always nice and special, but we learned the importance of coming together for a great cause and helping out our teammates. To me, there is no greater accomplishment a coach could ask for. I could not be more proud.”

ACEing Autism Brings Tennis Basics to Parkwood Tennis

Hauppauge High School tennis player Jill Lawrence hosted her Third Annual “Tennis Serves the Community” event earlier this spring. The event helped raise money for the Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI) in Smithtown, an organization supporting children and adults with developmental disabilities in achieving a lifetime of growth, through exceptional care and innovative, and individualized service. There were 11 girls who competed in the tournament, and in the end, Emma Bender finished in first place, while Dara Berman came in second. The event raised $1,200 in donations which went to the DDI. Court time was provided by Sportime Syosset and the John McEnroe Tennis Academy.

“Tennis With the Teachers” Event Brings Breast Cancer Awareness to Commack HS The Commack High School Boys and Girls Tennis teams hosted its annual “Tennis With the Teachers” event to raise money for breast cancer awareness. In the past, the event has donated the money raised to a school for autism in Commack, but

ACEing Autism held an event at Parkwood Tennis in Great Neck, thanks to Dalia Khakshoor and Richard Spurling of ACEing Autism. A few years ago, Khakshoor took her friend’s autistic son to the tennis court to try and teach him some tennis. After having a tough time teaching him, she decided to call Spurling and they made plans to invite other autistic kids to play tennis. That plan came to fruition at Parkwood Tennis, as parents, teachers and as many as 30 kids of different ages attended the event. The kids were taught how to how to hit the ball and learned the basics of tennis, thanks to volunteers and parents. With the success of the event, there are hopes to start regular sessions in September. “I will never forget seeing the kids’ happy faces and their enthusiasm of learning something new,” said Khakshoor. “I strongly feel that this program is a definite asset to this community.” • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine


A Chess Match/A Tennis Match Get better at tennis by playing chess

By Lonnie Mitchel e all know that tennis is a game that requires an incredible amount of mental toughness, a test of wills and intelligence. Before continuing on with this article, I am going to make some very general assumptions and I realize that making these generalities opens up some opportunities for debate. I am not a doctor or psychologist, just a tennis coach and professional with 30plus years of experience. When two players are pitted against one other of similar skill at the collegiate level, one may have a better work ethic in the classroom. So if it’s 4-4 in the third set, who do you place a



bet on to win the match? I will leave the question open-ended and leave it for your interpretation and not reveal where my bet lies. However, I am confident you have an idea. Having been around the game for all these years, I see the trends. Good habits physically give you an edge. That’s almost obvious, but the brain needs a workout and when you give it a workout, I know it gives you an edge back on the tennis court. Your coaches relay that message to you, and your parents share that, but I am here to tell you when you observe college students on a daily basis, there is a very direct correlation. Tennis is a sport where a match can be decided not just by the muscle memory required to hit a ball, but the level of fit-

Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •

ness, one’s stamina and lung capacity, enter into the mix. What’s between the ears is crucial because a tennis player needs to make complicated decisions in a flash while in a match. There are critical moments that occur which offer a player the chance to take command. Players will exchange moves and shot selection is always important on a tactical level. Sometimes, a player has to make a defensive choice because of their opponent’s previous offensive move, while other times, a player can choose to play more aggressively or more conservatively. This past May, Emory University won the National Championship in D3 men’s tennis, and schools such as Washington, Wesleyan, Williams and Amherst were in the top 10 in both the men’s and women’s

tennis rankings. These colleges and others are all considered top academic institutions. Student/athletes who attend these schools are considered by their admissions departments to be a safe bet to succeed at that college and those same students are considered to be not just some of the best minds, but some of the best collegiate tennis players in the nation. As a sidebar, D1 tennis is phenomenal, but these players who attend such D3 institutions can also compete at the D1 level, but choose to play D3 to balance their academics and tennis leaning. How can you come to any conclusion that intelligence or exercising the brain with critical thinking activities can’t add another dimension to your game? When I coach players at my home college at SUNY Oneonta, I spend a great deal of time monitoring a student’s academic progress. Their academic success is most important, so when I see students making great strides at the academic level, I feel a lot better that they are also giving themselves a better chance to succeed on the tennis court. The desire to succeed is a great tool, and leaving any sense of entitlement on the sideline is a great variable to have in your corner. A student who studies for hours does not take it for granted that they will do well on an exam. Preparation is key to ensuring academic success. They are also preparing whether they realize it or not to be better tennis

players as they give their brains a workout. That sort of mental exercise will pay dividends on the court ... it’s almost a certainty! What I have read on the subject and my observations has done little to change that opinion, but has helped me to actually dig my heels in and take a look at the way I’m coaching. We are losing some matches because of mental errors against some of the best regionally and nationally ranked teams. Our team’s strokes are as good, but many times, the mental edge is the difference between a win or a loss. I am going to introduce the game of chess to my players’ training regimen. Why? Through chess, mental toughness, self-talk and concentration tap into a part of the brain that can be used on the tennis court. I can hear it now, my players will complain and the pushback I will get will be a certainty. However, as a coach, I believe that looking at a player’s match performance gives me the opportunity to critically examine where we both can improve. Does this sound familiar to tennis players? A tennis match tends to develop a rhythm between opponents that has a natural ebb and flow between attacking and defending. The same holds true in chess. Players can have different playing styles and exchange shot selection on a tactical level. In both tennis and chess, you can play aggressively or conservatively. Mental endurance over the course of the match is truly important in both

games. Strong play in the beginning can be taken over when one outlasts the other mentally. Game mechanics, the pivotal role of psychology and mental training, are strong aspects in both games. We teach our players to develop good habits on both the tennis court and in the classroom. Much like a player who has to hit thousands of forehands to improve that stroke, the brain needs its exercise and repetition as well. Give the brain the repetition it needs to become a better tennis player … it’s that simple. Whether you are a coach, parent or player, your game will become better if you encourage your students and yourself to give the brain the workout it needs. My last name is not Einstein or Freud, but my players are in for a surprise next fall when several times a week, we spend some of our practice time with some chess boards and pieces and work on our tennis game. I cannot wait to share my results with you. I know one thing, there is nothing to be lost by this activity that teaches players to think three or four moves ahead, yet staying in the moment with each move. That sounds a lot like tennis to me and could serve to be a vital tool to help players mature. Lonnie Mitchel is head men’s and women’s tennis coach at SUNY Oneonta. Lonnie was named an assistant coach to Team USA for the 2013 Maccabiah Games in Israel for the Grand Master Tennis Division. Lonnie may be reached by phone at (516) 414-7202 or e-mail

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By Jimmy Delevante Having respect for your sport is the most important requirement for becoming a good tennis player. The relationship between respect and value exists in every sport, but especially in individual sports like tennis. In fact, the amount of respect you have for your opponents, your coaches and yourself determines how much value you place on the sport as a whole. A player who does not respect their opponents enough will never gain any value from beating them. The same goes for a player who doesn’t respect their coach’s advice. Without respect for your coach, you will not value their words, and therefore, won’t follow them. In order to gain value from beating an opponent, you have to respect that person and believe that they are a quality player. The more you respect that person and their skills, the more value you will receive if you are able to beat them. The less you respect that opponent, the less value you will gain



from the same win. Ultimately, if you want to become a top player and continue to improve, you have to appreciate who you are beating along the way. If you respect the opponents you have beaten, you will value those wins and begin to gain confidence and believe in yourself even more. In addition to respecting your opponents, you also have to respect your coaches. If you perceive your coach to be highly qualified and knowledgeable expert in your sport, you will value their words and benefit from them. If you believe in the capabilities of your coach, you will trust their advice, follow it and work harder because you think it will work. Of course, the opposite also holds true: Without respect for your coach, you are essentially alone on the court without any help or support because you fail to accept what your coach is telling you. As tennis players, we are all very familiar with the term “cheap shot,” usually referring to an unfortunate bounce or circumstance where a player hits a lesser-quality shot in order to win the point. In my opinion, every legal shot that abides by the

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Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 •



rules of tennis should be respected as legitimate and perceived the same way. As long as your opponent didn’t break any rules when they hit the ball, it is your challenge to figure out how to return the ball. By labeling a shot as “cheap,” or “lucky,” it shows a lack of respect for your opponent and a lack of respect for the game. Finally, it is essential that all tennis players respect the game itself. Tennis is a difficult sport that presents many challenges. However, when someone is able to overcome those challenges, their sense of value is enhanced. One example that all players can relate to is competing in windy conditions. Players who have respect for the game perceive the wind as part of the sport and are able to not only embrace the additional challenge, but also gain more in the end if they are able to overcome it. The same can be said of any condition that makes the game more difficult. The greater the difficulty you can overcome, the greater the reward. Players gain confidence and value from doing things well on the tennis court. Whether that be hitting a good shot, beating a strong opponent or just simply giving 100 percent effort. The first step to improving on the court is to respect all of the challenges and obstacles in front of you. The next step is to perceive those challenges as opportunities to improve and grow as a player. Ultimately, your perception and attitude are what make the difference in how much you gain out on the court. Jimmy Delevante is a USPTA-certified teaching professional and a National HighPerformance Coach. He is the director of tennis at the Suffolk County Junior Tennis League Training Center, a former ATP professional tennis player, and master pro at Sportime Kings Park. He may be reached by e-mail at

USTA/Long Island Region 2017

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE For detailed information on these and all USTA tournaments, visit JULY 2017 Friday-Sunday, July 14-16 L1B Sportime Lynbrook Summer Challenger Sportime Tennis Lynbrook 175 Merrick Road Lynbrook, N.Y. Divisions: Challenger Boys & Girls Singles 78’ Yellow Ball 12 (SE) Surface Type: Unknown Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Sunday, July 9 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail or call (516) 887-1330.

Saturday, July 15 L3 Westhampton Beach Summer Tournament Westhampton Beach Tennis and Sport 86 Depot Road Westhampton Beach, N.Y. Divisions: Entry Level Boys & Girls Singles 78’ Green Ball 12, 78’ Yellow Ball 14-16 (RR) Surface Type: Clay Entry Fee: $33 per player (deadline for entries is Monday, July 10 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail or call (631) 288-6060.

Saturday, July 22 Youth Progression, Orange L2 Sportime Bethpage Sportime Bethpage 101 Norcross Avenue Bethpage, N.Y. Divisions: Entry Level Boys & Girls 10 and Under Singles 60’ Orange Ball 10 (NEF) Surface Type: Unknown Entry Fee: $48.88 per player (deadline for entries is Sunday, July 16 at 11:59 p.m.) For more information, e-mail or call (516) 933-8500.

Friday-Sunday, July 14-16 L2 Ross School Summer Open Ross School Tennis Academy 18 Goodfriend Drive East Hampton, N.Y. Divisions: Intermediate Boys & Girls Singles 78’ Yellow Ball 12 (FMLC) and Intermediate Boys & Girls Singles 78’ Yellow Ball 14-18 (SE) Surface Type: Clay Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Monday, July 10 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail or call (631) 907-5162.

Friday-Sunday, July 21-23 L1 Ross School July Championships Ross School Tennis Academy 18 Goodfriend Drive East Hampton, N.Y. Divisions: Championships Boys & Girls Singles 78’ Yellow Ball 14-16 (SE) Surface Type: Clay Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Monday, July 17 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail or call (631) 907-5162.

Saturday-Thursday, July 22-27 L1B Huntington Heat Wave Challenger Huntington Indoor Tennis 100 Broadway Huntington Station, N.Y. Divisions: Challenger Boys & Girls Singles 78’ Yellow Ball 12 (SE) Surface Type: Unknown Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Tuesday, July 11 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail or call (631) 421-0040.

Friday-Sunday, July 21-23 L1B Point Set July Challenger Point Set Tennis 3065 New Street Oceanside, N.Y. Divisions: Challenger Boys & Girls Singles 78’ Yellow Ball 18 (SE) Surface Type: Hard Indoor Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Monday, July 17 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail or call (917) 991-0088.

Sunday, July 23 L3 UPS July Orange Ball Tournament Long Beach Tennis Center 899 Monroe Boulevard Long Beach, N.Y. Divisions: Level 3 Boys & Girls 10 and Under Singles 60’ Orange Ball 10 (NEF) Surface Type: Hard Indoor Entry Fee: $38.13 per player (deadline for entries is Sunday, July 16 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail or call (516) 432-6060.

Saturday-Sunday, July 22-23 Youth Progression Green Ball L1, Glen Cove Robbie Wagner Tournament Training at Glen Cove 60 Sea Cliff Avenue Glen Cove, N.Y. Divisions: Green Level 1 Boys & Girls 10 and Under Singles 78’ Green Ball 10 (RR) Surface Type: Clay Indoor Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Sunday, July 16 at 11:59 p.m.) For more information, e-mail or call (516) 759-0505.

Friday-Sunday, July 28-30 L2 Ross School July Open Ross School Tennis Academy 18 Goodfriend Drive East Hampton, N.Y. Divisions: Intermediate Boys & Girls Singles 78’ Yellow Ball 12 (FMLC) and Intermediate Boys & Girls Singles 78’ Yellow Ball 14 (SE) Surface Type: Clay Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Monday, July 24 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail or call (631) 907-5162.

Friday-Sunday, July 14-16 L1B Sportime Amagansett July 2017 Challenger Sportime Amagansett 320 Abrahams Path Amagansett, N.Y. Divisions: Challenger Boys & Girls Singles 78’ Yellow Ball 1218 (SE) Surface Type: Clay Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Monday, July 10 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail or call (631) 267-3460. Friday-Sunday, July 14-16 L2 Long Beach Water Lily Open Long Beach Tennis Center 899 Monroe Boulevard • Long Beach, N.Y. Divisions: Intermediate Boys & Girls Singles 78’ Yellow Ball 12 (FMLC); Intermediate Boys & Girls Singles 78’ Yellow Ball 1418 (SE); Intermediate Boys’ & Girls’ Doubles 78’ Yellow Ball 12-18 (SE); and Intermediate Mixed Doubles 78’ Yellow Ball 12-18 (SE) Surface Type: Unknown Entry Fee: $54.25 for first singles, $54.25 for additional singles, $28 for first doubles, $28 for additional doubles (deadline for entries is Monday, July 10 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail or call (516) 432-6060. • July/August 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine


USTA/Long Island Region 2017

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE For detailed information on these and all USTA tournaments, visit Friday-Sunday, July 28-30 L1B Mid-Summer Challenger Long Beach Tennis Cente 899 Monroe Boulevard • Long Beach, N.Y. Divisions: Challenger Boys & Girls Singles & Doubles 78’ Yellow Ball 14 (SE) and Challenger Mixed Doubles 78’ Yellow Ball 14 (SE) Surface Type: Hard Indoor Entry Fee: $54.25 for first singles; $28 for first doubles; $28 for additional doubles (deadline for entries is Wednesday, July 19 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail or call (516) 432-6060. Friday-Sunday, July 28-30 L1B Point Set July Challenge Point Set Tennis 3065 New Street • Oceanside, N.Y. Divisions: Challenger Boys & Girls Singles 78’ Yellow Ball 12 (SE) Surface Type: Hard Indoor Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Sunday, July 23 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail or call (917) 991-0088.

Friday-Sunday, July 28-30 L1B PWTA July Challenge Port Washington Tennis Academy 100 Harbor Road Port Washington, N.Y. Divisions: Challenger Boys & Girls Singles 78’ Yellow Ball 18 (SE) Surface Type: Clay Indoor Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Sunday, July 23 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail or call (516) 883-6425. Friday-Sunday, July 28-30 L1B Huntington Summer Challenger Huntington Indoor Tennis 100 Broadway Huntington Station, N.Y. Divisions: Challenger Boys & Girls Singles 78’ Yellow Ball 16 (SE) Surface Type: Unknown Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Monday, July 24 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail or call (631) 421-0040.

Saturday-Sunday, July 29-30 L2 Westhampton Beach Mid-Summer Tournament Westhampton Beach Tennis and Sport 86 Depot Road • Westhampton Beach, N.Y. Divisions: Intermediate Boys & Girls Singles 78’ Yellow Ball 12 (FMLC); Intermediate Boys & Girls Singles 78’ Yellow Ball 1418 (SE); and Intermediate Boys & Girls Doubles 78’ Yellow Ball 12-18 (SE) Surface Type: Clay Entry Fee: $54.25 for first singles; $28 for first doubles (deadline for entries is Monday, July 24 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail or call (631) 288-6060.

For more information on tournament events, see Editor’s Note: USTA Eastern’s Junior Competition Committee is currently reworking its Junior Regional Standings and it will be replaced by a system similar to UTR and NTRP. The Junior Rankings are not available at this time.

The West Side TTeennis Club Forest Hills, New York August 21-26, 2017 Boys & Girls: Ages 8-12 Singles/Doubles/Mixed Doubles      


Long Island Tennis Magazine • July/August 2017 • • May/June 2017 • Long Island Tennis Magazine


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Hand, Up U per Extremities Walter Rho, M.D. Bennett Brown, M.D. Joshua Mitgang, M.D. Arthur Pallotta, M.D.

Knee Craig Levitz, M.D. Eric Keefer, M.D. Gregory Lieberman, M.D. Robert Garroway, M.D. Eric Price, M.D. Charles Milchteim, M.D.

Orlin & Cohen is Long Island’s leading orthopedic practice. Our subspecialty focus means that athletes – and all patient s – get the h ver y best care from nationally renowned or thopedist s who specialize exclusively in your area of concern: hand, sho h ulder, neck and back, elbow, knee, foot and ankle, and more. Our board-certified, fellowship-trained team features some of the country’s top Sports Medicine subspecialists for expert care of all tennis and other sportsrelated injuries. Available by appointment six days a week, we offer the most advanced orthopedic treatment with comprehensive diagnostic ser vices, including the latest in digital X-ray and MRI technology. Additionally, our pain management and physical therapy and rehabilitation programs will help relieve your pain fast.

Of fices in Rockville Centre, Ly Lynbrook, Cedarhurst , Merrick, Massapequa, Woo o dbur y, Bohemia and Garden City. To T o schedule an appointment , visit w w or call 516.536. 280 0. 98 Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2017 •

Long Island Tennis Magazine July / August 2017  

Sharapova Returns to Tour, But Not Without Controversy

Long Island Tennis Magazine July / August 2017  

Sharapova Returns to Tour, But Not Without Controversy