Long Island Tennis Magazine May / June 2022

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USTA Eastern Conference Returns to In Person Photo credit: Dave Dellinger/USTA Eastern

or the first time in two years, the annual USTA Eastern Tennis Conference returned to an inperson event, as tennis enthusiasts from across the Section gathered at the Sheraton Mahwah Hotel in New Jersey back in March. The event serves as a great way to bring together all categories of the tennis industry in the Eastern Section to discuss the upcoming year of tennis. “We were ecstatic to be able to hold the conference in-person this year,” said USTA Eastern Executive Director Jenny Schnitzer. “Such a major part of the event is bringing members of our local tennis community together, helping facilitate connections.” For the past two years, the event was held virtually, with seminars and panels held over Zoom. While still effective, there is something unique about being able to meet in person

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which allows for even further growth to be fostered, as Schnitzer explained: “In person, you’ll see a tennis provider from Long Island run into a tennis provider from Buffalo. They’ll stop and chat about the different programs they’re running, about what’s working and what they hope to do later in the year. Those connections are such a key component of the conference and something that you really can only get when everyone can gather together.” The Conference once again featured workshops, panels and other seminars, including a presentation by two-time Olympic Fencer Nzingha Prescod. Of course, the highlight of the conference is the Awards Ceremony that takes place at night, as Eastern is able to honor and celebrate those who have made a positive difference in our community over the last year. “We were really happy to celebrate

our annual award winners in person,” said Schnitzer. “The recipients we selected have really elevated the sport in our section, and they’ve worked extraordinarily hard during some undeniably difficult times over the last two years. We felt very fortunate to be able to hold a ceremony to honor them.” The Annual Tennis Conference is a great sailing off point for what is to come in tennis in our area for the rest of the year. “This is honestly such an exciting time for the sport. Tennis participation is up, and it is particularly up in our section,” added Schnitzer. “All weekend, you could feel a lot of positive energy and excitement from everyone in attendance. Everybody knows what a moment this is for the growth of the game, and we're all ready to hit the ground running for the remainder of the year.”

LITennisMag.com • May/June 2022 • Long Island Tennis Magazine

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May/June 2022 • Volume 14, Number 3

Table Of Contents

litennis Long Island Tennis Magazine

Escape from Alcaraz

MAGAZINE

Inside the Spaniard’s meteoric rise

Long Island Tennis Magazine

See page 20

1228 Wantagh Avenue, Suite 203 Wantagh, NY 11793-2202 Phone: (516) 409-4444 • Fax: (516) 409-4600 Web site: www.litennismag.com

Staff David Sickmen Publisher (516) 409-4444, ext. 309 david@usptennis.com Brian Coleman Senior Editor (516) 409-4444, ext. 326 brianc@usptennis.com Joey Arendt Art Director

Photo credit: Garrett Ellwood/USTA

Highlights 4 8 18 24 34 42

Courts & Cocktails Event Series Continues on Long Island Pickleball on Long Island Parsa’s Picks 2022 French Open Preview Tennis in the Hamptons 2022 Junior Player Spotlight: Dahlia Morgenstern, Point Set By Brian Coleman 54 Beyond the Baseline: Neil Thakur, USTA Eastern By Brian Coleman

Marie Santora-Lent Advertising Coordinator (516) 409-4444, ext. 301 marie@usptennis.com Emilie Katz Assistant Marketing Coordinator Barbara Wyatt Contributing Writer Rob Polishook Contributing Writer Interns Joanne Salloum Phoebe Levitsky Ellie Ross Dasha Perfiliev

Katie Kors Sophie Karmazin Rachel Lin Liv Tiegerman

PG 4

Article Submissions/Press Releases To submit any material, including articles and press releases, please call (516) 409-4444 or e-mail info@usptennis.com. 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 info@usptennis.com or check out our Web site: www.litennismag.com. 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.

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28 Advertising To receive any information regarding advertising rates, deadlines, and requirements, call (516) 409-4444 or e-mail info@usptennis.com.

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USTA Eastern Conference Returns In Person Across Long Island: News & Notes from Across the L.I. Tennis Community Tennis History Meets a Cutting-Edge Private Club Concept at The Hamlet Q&A with Dr. Tom Ferraro, Sports Psychologist Pine Hollow: A Picturesque Club on the North Shore USTA Eastern Long Island Region Update Adult League Wrap-Up By Becky Bellino Strawberries, Pickles and Cream? By Steve Kaplan Serve and Volley is Coming Back! By Steve Annacone Summer Camp Pitfalls By Chris Lewit Silent Partner Tennis Ball Machines: The Machine With Muscle Mythbusters: Not All Coaching Advice is Based on Facts…Part Four By Ricky Becker But I Don’t Want To By Barbara Wyatt The Top Ten Tennis Tips of All-Time Part Three: Champions Do Not Fear Success By Dr. Tom Ferraro The Secret to Being Your Best: Balance On and Off The Court By Rob Polishook Court Six: Long Island Tennis Magazine’s Gossip Column By Emilie Katz

Long Island Tennis Magazine is published bi-monthly by United Sports Publications Ltd. • Copyright © 2022 United Sports Publications Ltd.


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ong Island Tennis Magazine continued to host its Courts & Cocktails event series, as Glen Head Racquet Club welcomed young adults for a night of tennis, food, drinks and friends. On court, tennis professionals

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organized drills, games and competitions, with the players moving from court-to-court to switch up the pros and players with whom they were playing with. Players had their choice of lessons, games or match play throughout the evening.

“Courts & Cocktails is an awesome event,” said Lynsey Birnbaum. “It enables you to have fun both on and off the court. You still can be competitive, learn new techniques, perfect your form all while enjoying a drink and socializing with friends both new and old.”

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Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com


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Throughout the evening, players could visit the open bar where bartenders mixed together everyone’s favorite cocktails, including the famous U.S. Open signature drink, the Honey Deuce. The event also featured catered food including pizza, pasta, wings, salads, desserts and more. The Courts & Cocktails series provide a great way for tennis players to spend an evening during the cold winter months. This event series combines tennis with food and drinks in a social environment. The event was sponsored in part by USTA Eastern in partnership with Grow Tennis New York, the 501c(3) nonprofit organization of Long Island Tennis Magazine. “The Courts & Cocktails events have proven to be a success, and we would like to thank our sponsors, partners, host club and participants that continue to make these nights special," said David Sickmen, publisher of Long Island Tennis Magazine. “We hosted our first of

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these events back in January. This was our third event, and all three sold-out, and our most recent one even had a waitlist. Our next event will be on May 21 at Sportime Roslyn. We have a bigger version planned for later this summer outdoors at a country club.

Due to the demand and success of these events, we plan on continuing to run this series into the fall and winter. We look forward to hosting more of these events in 2022 as we continue to grow the game and bring the community together.”

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Across Long Isl John Murphy Wins Title John Murphy, who trains at Glen Head Racquet & Fitness, took home the title in the Boys 12s division at the L6 tournament at New York Tennis Club. Post match, his coach Adam Lee told him: “You’re consistent effort to show up and make everyday count like it’s your last will forever lead you to success. Keep your head down and continue to grind.”

Locals Bielen, Kennedy Earned Doubles Silver Ball at Easter Bowl The best junior players from across the country gathered in Indian Wells, Calif. to compete in the 2022 Easter Bowl, one of the nation’s most prestigious junior tournaments. Huntington’s Jack Kennedy and East Norwich’s Sebastian Bielen paired up to earn a Silver Ball in the Boys 14s Doubles division as the pairing reached the event’s championship match.

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Kathy Miller Retires as Adult League Coordinator For nearly four decades, Kathy Miller has been in charge of the USTA’s Adult Leagues on Long Island. Miller, who is the General Manager of Carefree Racquet Club in North Merrick, is retiring this spring, with Becky Bellino taking over the position. “The Long Island captains have always been receptive and appreciative. And I’ve also enjoyed witnessing the camaraderie, like watching a team win regionals to advance to sectionals and seeing all the excitement from that,” said Miller. “I’ve loved running the leagues. And I love all the people that I’ve met along the way.” Miller will still be a fixture in the Long Island tennis community as she will continue to run Carefree Racquet Club.

Hoo Wins L4 Title

Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com

Carrie Ann Hoo, who trains at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, captured the title at the L4 Sportsplex Championships. Hoo won all of her matches in straight sets to earn the 14U girls singles title.


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… News and notes from across the L.I. tennis community Bethpage Park Hosts Pickleball Open

Ross School Tennis Academy Hosts Pro-Am The Ross School Tennis Academy hosted a Pro-Am at its facility out in East Hampton. The event featured excellent tennis, with Lysander Bouvard & Lucas Freitas coming away victorious in the end.

JMTA Combine Returns in June

Bethpage Park Tennis Center hosted the inaugural Pickleball Easter Classic, partnering with Long Island Tennis Magazine to raise money for the non-profit organizations Serve & Return, Inc. and Grow Tennis New York. The draws sold out in less than 48 hours, and featured Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles divisions.

The John McEnroe Tennis Academy (JMTA) College Recruiting Combine returns to Sportime Randall’s Island this spring as the annual event will be held on Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26. Open to high school sophomore, junior and senior players, the Combine gives prospects access to top college coaches, and gives coaches access to prospects, both live in-person and on a live stream. The Combine includes a panel discussion, match play, tennis analytics and more.

LITennisMag.com • May/June 2022 • Long Island Tennis Magazine

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PICKLEBAL Racquet Sport Report: An Introduction to Pickleball

We have written much in this magazine about not only the growth of tennis, but also the increased participation in other racquet and paddle sports over the last couple of 8

years. There is perhaps no better example of this expansion than Pickleball, the fun, easy-to-learn sport that has become the go-to sport of choice for many. Pickleball was invented in 1965 near Seattle, Washington, the brainchild of thee dads, Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum, who were looking for a new activity for their bored sons during the summer. More than five decades later, the game has grown to feature 4.8 million players in the United States alone. Played on the same size court as doubles badminton, the playing surface measures 20x44 feet, with a net 36 inches high and 34 inches in the middle, and you can create your own pickleball court, or convert a tennis or badminton court into a pickleball court. The ball used is similar to a wiffle ball with about 26-40 round holes. “Because pickleball rules are so similar to ping-pong, it can be easy for practically anyone to learn how to play the game,” says USAPickleball.Org, the governing body for pickleball here in the States. “Whether you're a beginner who just wants to learn a new sport for fun, or you're a seasoned player who craves the thrill of more competitive play, pickleball offers something for everyone.” The game is simple enough for anybody to begin playing and participate in recreationally, but at its highest levels is an extremely fast-paced and competitive sport. That dynamic has made it an overwhelmingly popular activity for people of all ages, and is at the heart of why

Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com


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Photo credit: Steve Taylor/Digital Spatula

Photo credit: Steve Taylor/Digital Spatula

the sport has dramatically seen participation increase over the last several years. Because of this, pickleball courts are popping up all over the place. Local tennis courts in parks have converted to pickleball courts, while more and more clubs and facilities are offering pickleball programming, leagues and more.

APP Tour Announces Three-Year Agreement to Host Annual Event at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center The Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) Tour announced today an historic three-year agreement to stage the APP New York City Open on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. This year’s event will take place May 25-29 and include a prize purse of $125,000, the largest of any pickleball tournament this year and largest in APP Tour history. It will be the first time the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open, will host a pickleball tournament.

“The opportunity to bring the APP Tour to a venue with such rich history and tradition is the culmination of a dream that I had for our tour and players when we launched the APP in 2019,” said Ken Herrmann, founder of the APP Tour. “When we committed to elevating the player experience and investing in the careers of our players, hosting an event at one of the world’s preeminent sporting venues with a record prize pool is the kind of advancement we envisioned.

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P ICKLEBALL ON LONG ISLAND Photo credit: Steve Taylor/Digital Spatula

“For us to be able to stage an event like this in the mecca of American tennis means so much as we continue to grow our sport here in the United States. We are proud to have the incredible USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center serve as the backdrop for our players as they compete in one of our biggest events of the year.”

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“The USTA National Tennis Center is pleased to partner with the APP, the first sanctioned pickleball tour for amateurs and professionals in the United States,” said NTC Chief Operating Officer Daniel Zausner. “The allure of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and the rich history and tradition of our sport sets an example that others aspire to emulate.” The New York City Open is the third of six National Championship Series events on the APP Tour calendar. These important events allow players to compete for an automatic berth to the USA Pickleball Nationals at Indian Wells, Calif., from November 5-13.

Learning More About Pickleball on Long Island with David Radisch When David Radisch first began playing and teaching Pickleball, the sport carried with it a stigma that it was a sport solely for senior citizens. The notion that it was a

Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com


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sport reserved for retirees down in Florida, or older people looking to remain active. But if the last few years have proven anything, it is that is not the case at all. “Things have changed drastically in that regard,” said Radisch. My beginner classes are filled with people in their 30s and 40s, and we are seeing more people who are in their 20s now playing David Radisch as well. It’s pretty mind boggling to see how the sport has transformed over the years. I have never met anyone who has played and didn’t like it.” Radisch is one of the leaders of the pickleball surge we have seen here on Long Island. He is an International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA) certified instructor, and currently runs

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the pickleball programming, including events, tournaments and social events, at Bethpage Park Tennis Center. He also runs the Nassau County-Suffolk County Pickleball Group on Facebook, which serves as a virtual meeting place for pickleball enthusiasts here on Long Island. “We have about 1,600 members now. I love running it simply because of the passion I have for the sport,” said Radisch. “We let all the clubs and facilities post their events or tournaments on the page. I want it to be an open forum, because the more the sport can grow the better it is for everyone involved.” Radisch has been at the forefront of creating and marketing new events for pickleball which have helped elevate the game’s presence. One of those events was the Power Pickleball Tournament, which featured doubles teams from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut as they squared off for state bragging rights. The event was streamed live on Radisch’s Facebook page, and even he was stunned with the amount of eyeballs that tuned in to watch.

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P ICKLEBALL ON LONG ISLAND “We got over 12,000 views for that first event,” recalls Radisch. “We promoted it on several sites and social media pages, but it was amazing to see how many people from all across the country were watching.” The amount of tournaments that are now available for people to play in is remarkable, and the professional events are offering higher and higher prize money amounts. While the professional side of pickleball is certainly growing and expanding, it is the social aspect of the sport which has endeared it to so many different people. It is a welcoming game for athletes of all levels, and people of all ages, creating an exciting activity that keeps people coming back. At most public parks that have pickleball courts, you don’t have to show up with your own group or doubles teams. Similar to finding a pickup basketball game, you can arrive at a park with your paddle, and find new players to create your own game. “Most times they have a bucket set up, and you place your paddle in there, and the rule is that the next four paddles in the bucket, that’s who gets the court,” said Radisch. “You don’t have to have your own group to play; you can play almost anytime, anywhere. Because of this it has become much more than a sport, it’s become a lifestyle. I have had so many conversations with people who have made friends with people of all different ages and walks of life through pickleball.” Radisch has added to the social component of the sport as he runs parties and other events at Bethpage Park Tennis Center. For example, this spring they hosted a 60s-themed event, featuring classic rock music playing, tie-dye shirts, and a banner that read Peace, Love and Pickleball. From beginner levels and social gatherings, to professional tournaments with large prize money, pickleball has arrived and is here to stay. It is an easy sport to get into, but a hard one to let go of, which is the reason behind the staggering number of increased participants in the last couple of years. “I consider myself very lucky that I was there at the right time to become involved with the sport before it really exploded, and used my business and marketing skills to help transform and promote it,” said Radisch. “There is an event or tournament happening on Long Island almost every weekend, so it is really an exciting time for pickleball here in our community.”

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P ICKLEBALL ON LONG I Q&A with Dr. Harry Kent, owner, Pickleball Plus LLC

Why did you create Pickleball Plus? Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country and offers huge health and social benefits to players. I have always been involved in sports, from skiing at age 3 and playing professional baseball at age 17, to being active in 15+ sports throughout my life (and I have six replacement parts in my legs alone to prove Dr. Harry Kent it)! I started playing pickleball about three years ago and realized it made me happy. I had spent many years in medical and dental facility development. In that business, people come in for tests and are terrified that they may, and often do, get the worst news. At this point in my life, I wanted to be able to go to a club where I could have fun playing a sport I enjoy. I love to come to the club to see so many happy people enjoying pickleball. We closed on the property last August and my son, Brian, our partners and I completed all the renovations, inside and out, within two months. We were up and running this past October and already have more than 4,000 members. I am fortunate that I am now able to share my love of sports, and specifically pickleball, with others. What makes the club special? We are the tri-state’s newest dedicated pickleball facility. To me, Pickleball Plus is a facility like no other; it was designed and built by players and for players. Everything we have done, every change or improvement we have made and continue to make, has been based on the requests and suggestions of our members. Our members wanted lots of room between the courts, so we built eight tournament-sanctioned courts rather than squeezing in a many more. We put in special tournament lighting that makes it easier to see the balls. My staff and I have been working hard to make Pickleball Plus a warm and welcoming home for both play and community. We are dedicated to its success as a vibrant gathering retreat for both experienced and new players.

Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com


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What are your plans for the club? The future of our club is member driven. We have already and continue to introduce programs that our members have asked for: ladies leagues, more open and social play, ladders, tournaments, kids programming and much more. Our goal is to make sure Pickleball Plus continues to be a happy place where members come to have fun, enjoy healthy competition, meet new people and enjoy the sport.

Sportime to Operate Pickleball in the Parks Earlier this year, New York State announced that it had chosen Sportime to operate the tennis and pickleball facility at Hempstead Lake State Park. In addition to 18 tennis courts, the facility is currently home to six dedicated outdoor pickleball courts, with additional pickleball courts to be added in the coming weeks, in time for the summer season. The team at Sportime has expanded its pickleball footprint here on Long Island and is looking forward to providing

players at Hempstead Lake with updated facilities, organized programs and expanded court availability, to accommodate the growing number of local pickleball enthusiasts. “We know that the pickleball courts at Hempstead Lake have been well utilized, but as the game continues to grow, and as more people looks for places to play, it is clear that additional pickleball courts and programming at Hempstead Lake will both

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P ICKLEBALL ON LONG ISLAND better accommodate existing players, and welcome new players to the facility and to the game,” explained Joe Siegel, Sportime’s Managing Director overseeing the project. Sportime’s plan is to add four more pickleball courts on the two hard-surface tennis courts adjacent to the existing pickleball center. Sportime will offer both walk-up and advanced reservation options, and will be introducing instructional clinics, private and semi-private lessons and open play sessions. Online registration is strongly encouraged to avoid waiting or disappointment. “When it was first announced that we would be operating Hempstead Lake, there was a lot of gossip and misinformation on social media, mostly reflecting concerns about pricing and court availability,” explained Siegel. “The truth is, there is nothing about which to be concerned. Court pricing is going up $1 per hour per player, Sportime membership is not required, and Sportime’s professional management of the facility, including a new online reservation system that designates some courts for walk-on play and others for advance reservation, is designed to minimize court waste, or hoarding, and to satisfy and serve more players.” Sportime clubs have modified their indoor tennis courts at multiple locations to adapt to the growing demand for pickleball that has been sweeping Long Island and the Country. In addition to running special events at their clubs, Sportime will be running tournaments and clinics, open to the public, at Wantagh Park on May 21, July 23 and September 17. “Pickleball is a game that anyone can learn and start to play quickly. Whether you have played a racket sport, or are brand new to the game, you will have a great time and get a workout,” said Siegel. “It’s a rare game that people can start to play immediately after taking their first clinic or lesson, but with pickleball, this is true for most players: a huge reason why it has become so popular.”

Pickleball Padel Review: adidas RX44

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The adidas RX44 is designed for player’s comfort, providing an excellent feeling in all of your shots thanks to its composition in Fiber Glass. The High Density core will make shots more powerful in every phase of the game, while the Spin Blade technology adds spin to your most demanding shots. The paddle is 16 x 8’’ and is designed for intermediate players. It weighs in around 7.7 – 8.2 ounces and has a great feel in the player’s hand. Overall, the RX44 provides the best of both worlds, both in terms of comfort in your hand and also the power it allows the player to generate. Check out some testimonials from players who have purchased the paddle and loved it: “The adidas RX44 is a great paddle for all levels of players. I really like the grip and comfort of the play of the paddle,” said Lynda Rock in a review she wrote on PickleballCentral.Com. “I brought it to a social match of 3.5 players and everyone liked playing with the adidas RX44. We all agreed on the grip comfort, control, and power. The adidas RX44 is a good all around solid paddle.”

Where to Play on Long Island There is no shortage of places to play, events to participate in, or beginner clinics for you to get started here on Long Island. Below are some of the places we recommend for your pickleball fix this summer: Bethpage Park Tennis Center 99 Quaker Meeting House Road Farmingdale, N.Y. 11735 (516) 777-1358 BethpageParkTennis.com Contact – David Radisch, Radpickleball@gmail.com

Carefree Racquet Club 1414 Jerusalem Ave Merrick, N.Y. 11566 So you have decided you want to try and pick up Pickleball. You know (516) 489-9005 CarefreeTennis.com the rules, but don’t know which Contact – Lori D’Antonio, paddle to use, or which one fits CarefreePickleballBall@gmail.com your game the best. All Racquet Sports is a great source for all of Eastern Athletic Club your racquet sport needs including 854 East Jericho Turnpike pickleball paddles and other Dix Hills, N.Y. 11746 equipments. Below is a product review of the adidas RX44 paddle, (631) 271-6616 EasternAthleticClubs.com which is a great paddle for Contact – Susan Dupre, (631) 271-6616 beginner and amateur players.

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Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com


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Glen Head Racquet Club 95 Glen Head Road Glen Head, N.Y. 11545 (516) 676-9849 GlenHeadRAF.com Contact - Nicolas Schneider Pickleball Plus 525 Eagle Avenue West Hempstead, N.Y. 11552 (516) 550-5700 PickleballPlusLLC.com Contact – Harry Kent, memberservices@pickleballplusllc.com Pine Hollow Country Club 6601 Rt 25A East Norwich, N.Y. 11732 (516) 922-0300 PineHollowClub.com Contact – Alina Volman, avolman@pinehollowclub.com

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Sportime Amagansett 320 Abrahams Path Amagansett, N.Y. 11930 631-267-3460 SportimeNY.com/Amagansett Contact - Hana Sromova, hsromova@sportimeny.com Sportime Bethpage 101 Norcross Avenue Bethpage, N.Y. 11714 (516) 933-8500 SportimeNY.com/Bethpage-Tennis Contact - Maria Kinalis/Mike Ahearne, bethpagetennis@sportimeny.com SPORTIME Hempstead Lake 1000 Lake Drive West Hempstead, NY 11552 (516) 282-7222 SportimeNY.com/HempsteadLake Contact – Joe Siegel/Sharon Rapaport,

www.pinehollowclub.com • New Director of Tennis: Alina Volman • New Pickleball and Padel Courts • Weekly Kids drills/camp • Co ed clinics • Men’s and Ladies Practices • Very welcoming membership with players at all levels • Appropriate coaching for players at all levels ranging from adult beginners and tots to high-ranked juniors and serious adult players • Many extra special tennis events throughout the summer

We have so much going on “on the courts” - it is no surprise that our court usage has increased by 1000% over the past 9 years. Schedule a tour with Heidi today! Contact Heidi Stanya, Director of Membership at 516-922-0300, x115 or hstanya@pinehollowclub.com LITennisMag.com • May/June 2022 • Long Island Tennis Magazine

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ONG ISLAND

PICKLEBALL ON LONG ISLAND

Sportime Kings Park 275 Old Indian Head Rd Kings Park, N.Y. 11754 (631) 269-6300 SportimeNY.com/Kings-Park Contact - Michelle Stoerback, mstoerback@sportimeny.com

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Cocktails, Grow Tennis New York Charity Fundraisers and much more. We are now proudly entering the world of hosting pickleball tournaments. We will kick off the summer by hosting a prize money tournament in The Hamptons.

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The Hamlet 1 Clubhouse Dr Commack, N.Y. 11725 (631) 499-5200 ClubCorp.com/Clubs/Hamlet-Golf-Country-Club Contact – Bruce Moodnik, bmoodnik@aol.com

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Tennis and Pickleball at The Barn 142 Montauk Highway Westhampton, N.Y. 11977 TennisAtTheBarn.com (631) 288-1540 Contact – Barry Altman, info@tennisatthebarn.com

OPEN 2022

Upcoming Long Island Tennis Magazine Events Long Island and New York Tennis Magazines have been running events across the Metropolitan area for over a decade. In addition to our largest event, the New York Tennis Expo, we also operate the Long Island Tennis Magazine Challenge, New York Beach Tennis Tournaments, Kids' Days, Park Days, Courts &

Saturday, June 18 Tennis & Pickleball at the Barn Out in Westhampton, the Hamptons Pickleball Open will be held on Saturday, June 18 at Tennis & Pickleball at The Barn, featuring two divisions of play. The first is a 3.5 Mixed Doubles Division, where winning teams receive adidas Paddles. In the afternoon, the pro division takes to the courts as $2,000 prize money is up for grabs in this 5.0+ Men’s Doubles Division. Register at LITennisMag.com/HamptonsPickleballOpen. Saturday, September 17 Tennis & Pickleball at The Barn Be sure to check out LITennisMag.com for more information. We are planning an exciting announcemnt for this event.

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LITennisMag.com • May/June 2022 • Long Island Tennis Magazine

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PARSA’s picks eal estate in the Hamptons is some of the most sought after property in the world, and many of them are perfect for the tennis lover. With gorgeous landscapes, modern design and private tennis courts, among other amenities, these properties are truly one-of-a-kind. With the help of Parsa Samii of Compass Real Estate, we’re showcasing three of these beautiful homes for sale. Parsa is a former professional tennis player and coach who has transitioned into real estate, with a strong understanding of both the tennis aficionado and the home buyer. As Compass puts it, “Parsa is the ideal professional to navigate the ever-competitive real estate market.” For more information, photos or to see more listings, email parsa@compass.com or call (516) 965-7445.

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15 Watermill Heights – Water Mill, NY $9,995,000 – Eight Beds – 11 Baths – Two Half Baths 15 Watermill Heights Drive is a one of a kind Watermill masterpiece to be completed in 2022. This remarkable home spans 11,000 square feet +/- of living space, features eight bedrooms and ten bathrooms, in three levels of living space. Upon entering the house the double height ceilings open to the living space with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the 50 x 20 salt water heated pool & hot tub and the beautiful manicured grounds. Floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the house allow for natural light to flow through the house and bring a sense of outside living into the interior spaces. There has been tremendous attention to detail and no expense was spared. Adjacent to the living area is the family room overlooking the patio and back yard. The eat-in kitchen is the centerpiece for entertainment at the house with an oversized kitchen island complete with custom cabinetry, countertops, top of the line appliances and custom butler's pantry. There is an ensuite junior master on the main floor. The second floor has five

bedrooms all ensuite including the master suite and an additional family/TV room. The finished lower level has a large entertainment space, two bedrooms and three bathrooms, a movie theater, a wine cellar, a gym and a game room. An elevator can take you to the third floor roof deck where you can enjoy views of the Peconic Bay. Multiple French doors open to the grounds and the fully landscaped yard around the heated gunite pool with tree specimens as well as a private manicured forested area. A beautiful walkway leads the full size tennis court and the guest house cabana of 1,400 square feet +/- with living space, kitchenette, full bathroom and a gym/additional living space on the second floor. Additionally there is a three car attached garage with electric car charger, the option to build a fully green home with solar panels for electrical needs and a backup generator. This beautiful home is a short distance from watermill village and ocean beaches.

Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June LITennisMag.com 18 For more information, photos or to2022 see•more listings, email parsa@compass.com or call 516.965.7445.


22 East Woods Path – Sagaponack, NY $6,450,000 – Eight Beds – Eight Baths – One Half Bath This spectacular Sagaponack estate offers the best of Hamptons luxury lifestyle. The graciously appointed interior, designed by a renowned designer, flows easily to an outdoor living/dining patio, heated gunite pool, hot tub, tennis court and an exquisitely landscaped garden and lawn. The main floor has a living room, great room open to eat-in kitchen, formal dining room, butler's pantry, powder room, and en-suite bedroom.

Upstairs has the master suite, a second bedroom suite with a sitting room and two bathrooms, and two other en-suite bedrooms. The lower level includes two large luxury bedrooms with an excavated window well, a den/media room/exercise room and a staff bedroom and bathroom. Amenities include a fully enclosed lot with driveway gate, an attached two car garage, ample outdoor parking, double laundry room, speaker system, Wi-Fi, and security system.

21 Wildwood Lane – Quogue, NY $5,695,000 – Five Beds – Four Baths This turn-key property is located in the heart of beautiful Quogue and features an array of amenities including a pool and tennis court. The foyer with vaulted ceilings leads into the open floor plan with dining room, media room, living room with fireplace, sunroom/breakfast area, & chef's kitchen with high-end stainless-steel appliances, custom cabinets, & wine fridge.

The first floor also offers three guest bedrooms, three baths, & laundry room. Upstairs you'll find the wellappointed master suite with vaulted ceilings, over-sized en-suite bath, & private balcony overlooking the backyard. The outdoor amenities include ample decking, heated inground pool, hot tub, all-weather tennis court, & detached pool house with bath, kitchenette, & living space.

LITennisMag.com • May/June 2022 • Long Magazine 19 For more information, photos or to see more listings, email parsa@compass.com orIsland callTennis 516.965.7445.


Escape from

Alcaraz Inside the Spaniard’s meteoric rise By Brian Coleman

s he watched his backhand slice drop onto the court inside Hard Rock Stadium and inside the line, Carlos Alcaraz fell to his back and put his hands on his head. After shaking hands with Casper Ruud, his defeated opponent, the Spanish teenager climbed into the stands and hugged members of his coaching team who had been waiting in his player box. At just 18-years-old, Alcaraz had won the first ATP Masters 1000 title of his career, and became the youngest male champion in the nearly four-decade history of the Miami Open. “I have no words to describe how I feel right now,” Alcaraz said as he addressed the crowd in his on-court interview. “I have an unbelievable team with me…I’m so happy with the win.” His triumph in Miami was the biggest of his young and blossoming career, but should come as no surprise to anyone who has paid any sort of attention to tennis over the last couple of years. Someone who has voiced his opinion on Alcaraz’s future is his compatriot and idol growing up. “When you have all that potential and you’re also a hard worker, it’s hard for things to go badly for you,” said Nadal at the Australian Open earlier this year. “You would expect his chances of fighting for the biggest titles to increase as each tournament goes by.” Juan Carlos Ferraro, another former world number one from Spain who is currently a part of Alcaraz’s coaching team, echoed those sentiments. “Obviously, Rafa’s words are really wonderful and much appreciated,” Ferraro said. “I really agree with what he said. The potential he has.” With all of this praise, and now his on-court success, the possibilities for Alcaraz are endless, but the youngster continues to take everything in stride. “Sometimes it is difficult, but I am trying to make it easy,” said Alcaraz as he prepared for the Monte Carlo Masters. “Doing everything for the first time, I am trying my best, trying to manage the nerves of the first time well.” That sort of modesty comes from his humble beginnings. Alcaraz was born in El Palmar, Spain in March 2003 to Carlos and Virginia, and is one of four siblings. His father was a former ranked player and was ranked inside the Top 40 in Spain

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Photo credit: Mike Lawrence/USTA


amazing aussie continued from page 20

Photo credit: Mike Lawrence/USTA

during his playing career. Thanks to that influence, the younger Carlos began playing tennis around the age of four. He grew up watching the greats of the game from his home country, which includes Nadal as well as his

current coach Ferraro, who has made the drastic claim of comparing, sort of, Alcaraz to the great Roger Federer. “It is difficult to compare [anyone] to Roger Federer, of course, but if I had to say one name [in comparison to Carlos], I’m looking for somebody that

is very aggressive and is able to do a lot of things on the court, and Roger is the best in these situations,” he said. “He can play on any surface and can play any type of style.” And it is because of those reasons that Alcaraz has tremendous upside.

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Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com

SATURDDAY JUNE 25 & SUNDAAY JUNE 26, 2022

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Photo credit: Andrew Ong/USTA

Oftentimes with young players, we tend to assign them out-of-this-world expectations that only set that up for failure, and that may be what is happening with Alcaraz in this situation. But rarely have we seen a player so young, so full of talent, and yet still humble and down to earth, unbothered by his or her sudden meteoric rise. Alcaraz is the best of both worlds in that case. He is modest enough to get too high on himself, but still has that killer instinct that is necessary to win on the court, especially in the biggest stages. “His dynamism on the court is his biggest asset,” Ferraro added. “He is capabale of doing what is asked of him and that’s very difficult to get from a player: serve-volley, play high or fast balls, he can do it all. That courage and ability to finish off a point is something I would have liked to have had in my career.” With all the talent in the world, and the proper attitude and coaching team in his corner, there is no telling how far Alcaraz can go in his career. The next step is going deep consistently at the four majors. He reached the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open in 2021, and will look to build on that sort of result and try to make a habit out of advancing deep into the second week of majors. “I’m grateful that people can see that I can be the best in the world, but my team and I know how difficult it is,” said Alcaraz. “I think I’m on the right path. If I stay on it and continue to do things right, I’ll have chances, although that doesn’t guarantee anything.” Alcaraz will try to find success on the clay at Roland Garros, a surface he grew up playing on, but no matter what his results are for the rest of the year, the sport of tennis is in good hands with a player like Alcaraz taking the baton from the previous generation of greats. Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at brianc@usp.com.

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LITennisMag.com • May/June 2022 • Long Island Tennis Magazine

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2022 French Open Preview 202

Photo credit: Seth Sarelson

he second major of the calendar year brings us to the City of Love as the best players in the world descend on Paris for the French Open. The 2022 French Open will run from May 22 through June 5 on the famed red clay of Roland Garros. Long Island Tennis Magazine has broken down some of the contenders, pretenders and sleepers for the 2022 edition of the French Open.

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Men’s Singles - Contenders Carlos Alcaraz Perhaps the hottest player on the men’s tour is the young Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz. The 18-year-old won his first Masters 1000 title in Miami and has shown his prowess on the hard courts, and as the tour calendar enters the clay season, that is where Alcaraz can really thrive. He grew up playing on the clay back in Spain, and with his devastating forehand and unrelenting athleticism, no one wants to see Alcaraz next to their name in the draw.

seems to be on track to compete at the French Open. Djokovic is the defending champion and has hoisted this trophy twice before, so look for Djokovic to make a strong push to tie up Rafael Nadal on the all-time majors list.

Novak Djokovic The 20-time major champion may enter Roland Garros more motivated than ever. We all know the saga of his time in Australia at the beginning of the season, but the Serb

Daniil Medvedev Although he has proclaimed his disdain for the clay, Daniil Medvedev is still the highest ranked player in the world, and therefore will be difficult to topple at any of the majors.

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Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com


022 French Open Preview 2022 French Open Pr two major titles on her record, and those types of players should never be counted out.

He broke through for his maiden Slam last year at the U.S. Open, and now that he has shown the ability to play his best tennis over a two-week span, Medvedev will be out to compile his best showing at the French Open.

Iga Swiatek

Women’s Singles - Contenders Paula Badosa Like Alcaraz, Paula Badosa was raised playing on clay, and is certainly a threat to win her first Slam title at the French Open. The NYC-born, Spanish-raised Badosa has a big forehand and relentless groundstrokes from the baseline. Badosa reached the quarterfinals here last year, and will be eager to improve on that result in 2022. Simona Halep Despite being ranked on the fringe of the top 20, fans should not overlook the possibility of Simona Halep being a real threat to win this year’s French Open. The Romanian veteran has proven her might on tour over the years, and has the ideal balance to her game that makes her a tricky player to face. Halep is a former world number one with

The top-ranked woman in the world? That is Poland’s Iga Swiatek. The 20-year-old has the perfect game to succeed on the clay, and that was proven back in 2020 when she

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The IHC Te ennis Academy offers the best of both b worlds — a kids tennis program for all player levels combined with an incredible suummer camp experience. Our tennis camp is designed to give kids mucch needed fun while allowing our camp culture to help them develop in many ways. Players will have the opportunity to play tennis, experience camp, create friendships and gain a greater sense of independence. The IHC Te ennis Academy is hosted at Camp IHC - one of America’s top summer camps. Located just two hours outside of New Yo ork City our all-inclusive 5 day package is a one-of-a-kind experience for any player looking to develop both on and off the court.

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Personalized Coaching g O coaches work toward creating a space where each Our and d every camper feels both comfortable and challenge ed. We offer group lessons & private lessons with our head coaches.

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LITennisMag.com • May/June 2022 • Long Island Tennis Magazine

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2022 French Open Preview 2022 Frenc won Roland Garros, becoming the first male or female from Poland to win a major title. Between Swiatek’s game and her previous triumph in Paris, Swiatek is the player to beat at this year’s French Open.

Pretenders – Men’s Singles Denis Shapovalov

Alexander Zverev It is hard to call the third-ranked player in the world a “pretender”, but the odds seemed to stacked against Zverev at the French Open this year. It has been a strange 2022 for the German who has multiple outbursts on court which demonstrated his temper, and it will be interesting to see how he fares over his twoweek long stay at Roland Garros. Do not be surprised if Zverev doesn’t make it back to the semifinals like he did in 2021.

Pretenders – Women’s Singles Barbora Krejcikova If you asked many tennis fans who the second-ranked woman in the world, you would be hard pressed to find someone who named Barbora Krejcikova. That isn’t a slight on her, but just a nod to the strong rise she has had up the rankings, much of which is attributed to her win at the French Open last year. She has won just one title since her French Open triumph, and has had an up-and-down season thus far in 2022.

Denis Shapovalov is a talented young Canadian with a devastating lefty forehand, but that has yet to translate to winning a major. The French Open has not been kind to him during his career, as he has never made it out of the second round, a trend that we expect to continue this year.

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Karolina Pliskova Karolina Pliskova has been a mainstay in the Top 10 of the women’s rankings for years now, and that is a testament to her consistency on tour. But Pliskova has yet to breakthrough at a major, although she has gone deep in some of them, including reaching the finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, but the French Open has been her least favorite event over the years. She

Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com


nch Open Preview 2022 French Open Preview

reached the semifinals in 2017 but since then has never made it out of the third round, including second round exits in each of the last two seasons.

Sleeper – Men’s Singles Taylor Fritz The highest-ranked American in the world has had an excellent 2022 season, and despite most of that coming on hard courts, look for Fritz to surprise people and make a deep run on the Roland Garros clay. There is not a lot of precedent to believe that, as Fritz has never made it past the fourth round of a major. But he is older now and his game has matured, and Fritz has demonstrated the ability to beat the game’s best. Fritz

presents the best chance for an American man to win a major, and that could happen in Paris.

Sleeper – Women’s Singles Ons Jabeur One of the craftiest players on tour, Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur is the type of player who gives opponent fits. Jabeur has plenty of variety and hits self-proclaimed “crazy shots”, something that plays well on the clay. Jabeur is currently ranked ninth in the world, and is ready to build off of her fourth-round showings in each of the last two French Opens.

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Tennis History Meets a Cutting-Edge Private Club Concept at The Hamlet Golf and Country Club une 2022 marks eleven years since ClubCorp, "The world leader of Private Country Clubs," purchased the Hamlet Golf and Country Club in Commack, N.Y. and immediately began a multi-million dollar renovation, including improvements to the clubhouse, golf course, tennis courts, fitness center and pool area. Renovations to the Club's bar, dining area and new patio are complete, and the new beautiful Empire Grille, offering an upscale, cutting-edge menu in an inspired atmosphere. ClubCorp's refreshing philosophy of what the modern Country Club looks like is drawing attention from Manhattan to Montauk. The Hamlet's tennis history is a rich one. For years, The Hamlet hosted the prestigious Hamlet Cup Tennis Tournament, the event that was used as a warm up for the U.S. Open for more than 16 years. The eight Hamlet tennis courts have been graced by such world renowned players as Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras, Stefan Edberg and Michael Chang, to name a few. Though the Hamlet Cup Tournament is now a fond memory, The Hamlet can boast new exciting traditions that are being cultivated today through programming for its members and their guests. This programming includes weekly Adult Cardio and Tennis Zones, Saturday morning Kids Tennis Zones, a new Tuesday Night Tennis Ladder and Sunday morning Concierge Tennis. Men’s and Woman’s USTA tennis teams have been added for 2022, as

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well as fabulous holiday events and tournaments and finishing the season with the annual and highly anticipated Club Championships. All these programs and events will be played on the Club’s six immaculate hard courts, as well as the two Har-Tru courts, all of which are lit for evening play. The Hamlet is pleased to announce that Pickleball is our new featured addition at the Tennis Center. Pickleball has taken off across the country and here at The Hamlet it is no different. We have 6 Pickleball courts and myriad Pickleball programming for the upcoming season. The Hamlet's history and current tennis programming make it one of the

Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com

most popular destinations for tennis enthusiasts looking for great amenities in a private country club setting. With such a beautiful environment in which to enjoy the game in mind, The Hamlet has developed new Social Memberships, catering to tennis and pool enthusiasts, as well as young professionals who are just starting to add golf to their busy lives. The Hamlet continues to be top of mind for the most discerning golfer of every skill who are looking for the Country Club lifestyle. If you are interested in learning more about the new, exciting Hamlet Golf and Country Club, please contact Membership Director Hillary Epstein by calling (631) 499-5200 ext 4668 or email Hillary.Epstein@ClubCorp.com.


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Q&A r. Tom Ferraro is a Long Island-based sport psychologist who has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the London Times. He has worked with world renowned professional athletes in the world of golf, tennis, figure skating, soccer, baseball, and basketball. His expertise has allowed him to address things such as yips, self-defeat and slumps, and his book, Unpicking Depth Sport Psychology: Case Studies in the Unconscious, will be released this fall. Long Island Tennis Magazine sat down with Dr. Ferraro and talked with him about the psychology of tennis, and takes us inside the minds of gifted tennis players.

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What makes tennis so unique? Each sport presents the athlete with its own special challenge. Boxing calls for great courage, basketball requires speed, soccer demands creativity and golfers need a steady heart rate. The game of tennis demands that you face down an opponent and have no mercy on them. Tennis places you in realm of confrontation with a rival and says ‘prove yourself’. In the past, we had Navratilova versus Evert, McEnroe versus Borg, Sampras versus Agassi, and most recently Federer versus Nadal. All of these are great rivalries. Tennis is unique in its requirement that you face down your opponent every point. 30

with Dr. Tom Ferraro, Sports Psychologist

What are the common psychological problems in tennis? The most common problem I see in my tennis players is anxiety. The anxiety may be expressed with the yips or with feelings of frozenness or weakness. The yips are caused when one has extreme tightness or tension in the arms or hands. Usually the anxiety builds up over time, the player’s defensive system collapses and the yips emerge. The cause of the yips may be relate to underlying unresolved losses that are building up or a fear of your own aggression and power. Are there any other common problems you see in tennis? An interesting problem that I see in younger tennis stars is what we call regression. When things start to go downhill in a match, younger players tend to get angry and then pout and sometimes cry. This demonstrates the defense of regression when a person reverts to a former stage of development. We need to talk them through this and help them gain a more mature way of handling anger and disappointment. Why is it necessary to understand and treat the athlete’s unconscious? If you try to ignore the player’s unconscious, you are left with providing them with a variety of selftalk and behavioral tips. And these behavioral tips tend to be weak and short lasting in effect. As the saying

Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com

goes, ‘you may be through with the past, but the past ain’t through with you’. One must address the underlying conflicts all athletes have. Despite what people want to believe, the athlete’s past is the ruler of the present. The future of sport psychology will be found in depth sport psychology. Certainly, it is important to provide the embattled athlete with tips to suppress anxiety and control anger but if you don’t get to understand and treat the underlying issues you will inevitably fail in your efforts. That is the weakness of sport psychology in its present state and why I make efforts to educate my patients and their parents and coaches on the deeper workings of the mind. Most people intuitively know this to be true. How is a depth sport psychology different from regular sport psychology? My work as a depth sport psychologist goes further than a regular sport psychologist by providing the athlete with helpful techniques to control anxiety and anger but in addition, helping them to understand why they are self-defeating. We work on establishing self-esteem, improving psychological defenses, helping them to get comfortable with their own aggression and give them insight into what makes them tick. They will often need help with time management, the jealousy and envy from others and how to accept the challenges of recruitment and the pressures and distractions that success brings with it.


Pine Hollow A Picturesque Club on the North Shore ine Hollow is a picturesque private club in East Norwich recently under new ownership. Pine Hollow has over 350 families and is still growing and improving. Pine Hollow is making notable updates to the Clubhouse, Golf Course, and Tennis and Racquet sports area. The Clubhouse has updates such as newly painted card rooms and living rooms, a restaurant patio, remodeled Terrace Room, and more! This year, we hired a new Director of Racquet Sports, Alina Volman, to help us take our tennis, pickleball, and Padel programs to new heights. Pine Hollow currently has seven tennis Har-Tru courts and is building two pickleball courts and a Padel court, a first on Long Island! Padel is a hugely popular sport in South America and Europe, and we are excited to introduce it to our Pine Hollow Family. We are looking forward to participating in the Long Island Interclub League for both our women’s and men’s teams this summer and hosting pickleball interclub matches in our inaugural pickleball season. Our new Racquets Staff, hailing from across the globe, is ready to welcome members, old and new, back for an exciting summer! They will be providing lessons and clinics all season long and showing the members what they can still do in Pro Exhibition matches against other local club pros. These matches will

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bring a big crowd to support the Pine Hollow Pros. Alina is excited to be hosting many fun events throughout

the summer for all of the racquet sports including the Pine Hollow Club Championships.

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TENNIS IN THE

HAMPTO

2

In the summer, people from across Long Island and New York City flock enjoy the sun, while sitting by the pool or ocean, and taking part in an a activities. One of those activities, and perhaps its most popular, is tennis favorite activity for Hamptons-goers, and there is no shortage of tennis c opportunities to play out on the East End, from hitting around at local pa up and playing on a private court in a luxurious Hamptons home. In this feature are just some of the places you can find your game out e 34

Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com


HE

ONS

2022

Places to Play Annacone Tennis Management AnnaconeTennis.com info@annaconetennis.com 865-300-7323 Annacone Tennis Management provides an array of services in the Hamptons, and can help produce programming and consulting for your neighborhood courts, country clubs, tennis clubs, resorts and more. One of the programs offered is MyHamptonsPro, which is a concierge tennis company specializing in providing the highest quality offsite tennis services in the Hamptons. This service is available on your private court, at one of our private courts, or at your tennis facility. Focused specifically on creating the utmost in customer satisfaction, MHP provides comprehensive tennis services from world-class tennis professionals to fit all of your needs. MHP tennis pros specialize in private tennis lessons that are customized to your specific tennis goals, with flexible times and days available to meet your needs. Steve Annacone, Director of MyHamptonsPro, has been a tennis professional and coach for over 45 years. Originally from Sag Harbor, NY and a graduate of East Hampton High School, Steve has been very involved in the tennis community in the Hamptons. By understanding that each player has specific needs and creating a customized tennis experience to accommodate these needs, Steve and the MHP staff will help you get the most out of your time on the court.

Future Stars Southampton 1370A Majors Path Southampton, N.Y. (631) 287-6707 FutureStarsSouthampton.com

ck to the Hamptons, to an array of outdoor nis. It may be the s courts or parks or lacing them

ut east this summer!

In the summer, people from across Long Island and New York City flock to the Hamptons, to enjoy the sun, while sitting by the pool or ocean, and taking part in an array of outdoor activities. Each town in the Hamptons has its own unique feel, with a variety of activities available from simply going to the beach, to kayaking, biking, trips to the wineries or taking in the East End nightlife. LITennisMag.com • May/June 2022 • Long Island Tennis Magazine

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Tennis may be the favorite activity of Hamptons-goers and there is no shortage of the sport in Eastern Long Island. There is no better way to spend a sunny morning or afternoon than getting some exercise on the court with friends. Below is a list of some of the locations to play tennis, as well as where to shop for the latest equipment and apparel, and where to stay. Whether you are in Westhampton Beach, Amagansett or anywhere in-between, we look forward to seeing you on the courts and in the shops of the Hamptons this summer!

Future Stars Westhampton Beach 36 Aspatuck Road Westhampton Beach, N.Y. (631) 287-6707 FSCamps.com

Future Stars Tennis Camp at Aspatuck Tennis Club will offer a premier tennis program that is individually-designed to methodically challenge players of all levels, ages six

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through 16. Throughout the week campers are encouraged to enhance their strokes and strategies via group lessons, skill building drills, organized play, individual attention, video sessions, target training and fitness routines. Campers will receive three to four hours of top flight tennis instruction, including fundamentals, stroke production, point play with strategy emphasis, and match play competition. All campers are carefully grouped based on age and skill level.

Ross School Tennis Academy 18 Goodfriend Drive East Hampton, N.Y. (631) 907-5162 Ross.org/TennisAcademy

The Ross School is a unique and dynamic tennis program for both national and international junior players. It combines an engaging and global curriculum with the highest level of competitive tennis training. The school is the first in the New York City area to have a full academic

Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com


TENNIS IN THE HAMPTONS 2022 program with a complete physical and mental conditioning program. The small, intimate program is designed for USTA/ITF players in grades seventh through 12th, and is tucked away in beautiful East Hampton.

Sportime Amagansett

Sportime Quogue 2571 Quogue Riverhead Road East Quogue, N.Y. (631) 653-6767 SportimeNY.com/Quogue

320 Abrahams Path Amagansett, N.Y. (631) 267-3460 SportimeNY.com/Amagansett

Located in the heart of the Hamptons, Sportime Amagansett has it all. Sportime Amagansett features 33 outdoor Har-Tru tennis courts, one Deco-Turf tennis and multi-sport court, a 1,500-square-foot outdoor swimming pool, a minibasketball court and playground, three natural turf sports fields, two club houses and a camp house, in addition to a pro shop and snack bar. Sportime Amagansett offers dynamic programming and instruction for both juniors and adults, as well as a wide range of tennis and social events.

Sportime Quogue is a year-round, full-service tennis, fitness, summer camp and sports facility located in East Quogue, N.Y., but serves the surrounding towns of Westhampton, Remsemberg, Quogue, Southampton, Hampton Bays, Eastport, Riverhead, the Moriches and the North Fork. The facility features four indoor Har-Tru clay courts and 22 outdoor Har-Tru courts, in addition to an outdoor pool, full-service health and fitness club, a multi-sport court, child care, locker rooms, a full-service spa and wellness center, and café. Sportime Quogue serves tennis players starting at the age of three, and features junior pathway programs, as well as adult tennis.

www.inphormnyc.com

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Tennis at The Barn 142 Montauk Highway Westhampton, N.Y. 11977 TennisAtTheBarn.com (631) 288-1540

daily court rentals available for non-members, and all programming is taught by certified professionals.

Places to Shop Tennis East 73 Main Street Southampton, N.Y. (631) 283-9535 TennisEast.com

Tennis & Pickleball at The Barn offers programming for players of all ages and levels. Whether you are new to tennis or pickleball, or have been playing for years, The Barn has something for you. The facility features six tournament-grade pickleball courts in addition to its 11 Har-Tru tennis courts. There are programs, clinics and lessons for both members and non-members. There is unlimited court time for members,

For nearly five decades, Tennis East has been a staple of

TENNIS TENN NIS NIS FoR FoR EVERYoNE EVER RYoNE RYoNE E ALL SUMMER SUM MMER LONG! LONG! O

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Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com


TENNIS IN THE HAMPTONS 2022 the tennis community on Long Island’s East End. Tennis East offers an extensive selection of men’s, women’s and junior’s rackets, apparel, sneakers, strings and accessories. Tennis East keeps up to date with the latest and most popular products to make sure its customers are always up to date with the newest gear, and it even features a complete line of 10 & Under Tennis equipment, as well as a line of other racket sports, such as paddleball or pickleball. Stringing services and demo rackets are also available.

Places to Stay

village rooms featuring intimate private gardens, and cozy dog-friendly accommodations, Baron's Cove caters to every discerning traveler seeking a relaxing getaway on the East End.

Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa 290 Old Montauk Highway Montauk, N.Y. (631) 668-2345 GurneysResorts.com/Montauk

Baron’s Cove 31 West Water Street Sag Harbor, N.Y. (844) 227-6672 CapeResorts.com/Barons-Cove

The newly-renovated Baron's Cove Hotel is the Hampton's preeminent All-American resort destination. With 67 charming village and harbor-facing guestrooms, gorgeous lofted suites boasting sweeping harbor views,

Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa is a Hamptons icon and the only year- round resort in Montauk. Providing guests with direct access to a 2,000-foot private sand beach, Gurney’s features 146 rooms, suites, and beachfront cottages, all delivering dramatic ocean views. With five unique dining and drinking venues, Gurney’s presents an array of food and beverage options, from

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elegant seasonal cuisine to casual fare to craft cocktails. Gurney’s also offers over 25,000-square-feet of meeting and banquet space, for hosting a wide range of business and social events. Its acclaimed spa is renowned for its healing treatments and ocean-fed seawater pool, the only pool of its kind in North America.

Upcoming Hamptons Tournaments

Long Island Tennis Magazine will once again be hosting part of its summer series out east in The Hamptons, and are excited to be offering three Long Island Tennis Magazine Challenge events this summer. The first tournament will be held on Saturday, June 11 at Sportime Quogue, featuring eight different divisions of play, four Men’s Doubles categories and four Women’s Doubles categories. The event will feature all of the amenities players have become accustomed to at the Long

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Island Tennis Magazine Challenges, including competitive and well-organized doubles play, catered lunch, complimentary happy hour, prizes for winners and features in Long Island Tennis Magazine. You can visit www.LITennisMag.com/LITMJuneChallenge. The next two events will be held on Saturday, July 16, and Saturday, September 10, both of which will also be held at Sportime Quogue. “We are excited to host the LITM Challenges this summer in the Hamptons for the third year in a row,” said David Sickmen, Publisher of Long Island Tennis Magazine. “Sportime Quogue has proven to be the perfect host site as they accommodate our large draws on their outdoor courts, and we are able to bring people the amenities they have become used to on Sportime’s large pool deck. We look forward to seeing everyone back on the courts for fun in the sun this summer.” More information to come on these events, and be sure to visit LITennisMag.com for the latest information.

Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com


PRESENTED BY

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THE LONG ISLAND

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Winners receive prizes and are featured in LI Tennis Magazine!

Men's and Women's Doubles Tournament Check in: 12:30 p.m. Tournament: 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. Round Robin Draw with Playoffs Men's Categories Men’s 7.0 - 7.5 (combined) Men’s 8.0 - 8.5 (combined) Men’s 9.0 - 9.5 (combined) Men’s Open 10.0+ (combined)

Women's Women’s 6.0 Women’s 7.0 Women’s 8.0 Women’s 9.0

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To register, go to LITennisMag.com/LITMJuneChallenge For more information, contact info@usptennis.com or call 516-409-4444


junior player spotlight junior player spotlight junior player spotlight junior player spotlight junior player spotlight junior player spo

Junior Player

spotlight By Brian Coleman

Dahlia Morgenstern Point Set wo years ago, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dahlia Morgenstern began playing tennis with David Nisenson, who runs the junior tennis program at Point Set Tennis in Oceanside. The two also happen to be family friends, as Nisenson’s parents are friends with Morgenstern’s grandmother. “I was coaching her outside during that summer of 2020, and afterwards, her parents said she loves training with you. She didn’t have a one-on-one coach at that time, and was taking some group lessons at the National Tennis Center,” said Nisenson. “They decided to come to Point Set when we re-opened and continue to train with me in our programs.” It’s been two years since, and Morgenstern

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continues to improve. The soon to be 10-yearold has loved to play tennis since the first time she picked up a racket. “I was first introduced to tennis when I was four-years-old by my parents who enrolled me in group lessons,” she said. “My parents thought I would be good at tennis because I had good hand-eye coordination.” Morgenstern is a good athlete who brought that athleticism to the tennis court, which has really given her a great starting point from which to build her tennis game. She competes in travel soccer on a team full of boys, and possesses good hands and quick feet, two important skills for a tennis player. “She came to me with a good foundation to start with,” said Nisenson. “It makes the process a lot

Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com


er spotlight junior player spotlight junior player spotlight junior player spotlight junior player spotlight junior player spotlight junior

easier, and she also picks things up very quickly.” The two have now begun working on applying her technical skills and athleticism into becoming an all-around tennis player. The main point of emphasis is preparing her to compete in matches and in tournaments. They are working on sharpening up her serve, and establishing patterns such as rallying crosscourt and changing direction down the line. “We are in the phase of reinforcing the technical work, but also working more towards the competitive part,” Nisenson added. “She has all the necessary skills, including the work ethic, to become a pretty good player.” Morgenstern has come a long way in her tennis training, and the future certainly looks bright for her

as she continues to grow and improve. She is an admirer of Serena Williams, who she says is her favorite player of all-time, and whom she idolizes because she never gives up and is always trying to get better. She tries to carry that same determination and effort into her tennis game. “I like that tennis is an individual sport,” she said. “I always feel challenged to be my best each time I play.” That desire to get better comes from her love of the sport, which makes training and going to practice a fun endeavor, rather than a chore. She enjoys going to play at Point Set and with Nisenson and his team, and is eager to

continue her tennis development. “David and all the coaches at Point Set make playing tennis so much fun,” she said. “David has taught me almost everything I know about tennis, and is always pushing me to be better.” For a coach, hearing that his or her student is having fun and enjoying working with them is exactly why they do what they do. “To me, it’s all about their interest,” said Nisenson. “Regardless of a player’s level, if the kid is really interested in the sport and coming to practice, that is what gets me and keeps me motivated. Dahlia really likes being on the court and coming here to play, and ultimately that is what it’s all about.”

Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at brianc@usptennis.com.

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USTA Eastern Long Island Region Join Us for National Tennis Month Fun n celebration of National Tennis Month in May, the USTA Long Island Region will be hosting several events to bring tennis into our communities. According to USTA Chairman of the Board and President Mike McNulty, the special monthly designation was created to give providers and others in the tennis community the opportunity “to raise awareness around our great sport and promote it as healthy, fun, safe, and accessible to people of all ages and abilities.” According to McNulty, “tennis has enjoyed some truly impressive growth—all the more remarkable in the face of the pandemic. And during National Tennis Month, the USTA, along with many of its partners in the tennis world,

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will be making a concerted effort to add to the sport’s momentum by providing resources, ideas and support for coaches, facilities, Parks & Recs, Community Tennis Associations, NJTLs, and providers of all kinds to help bring new players into tennis and reinvigorate those who’ve already made this sport a part of their lives.” Happening in May are the following events (more information is available at www.longisland.usta.com; make sure to keep an eye out to our web site and Facebook accounts (Play Tennis Long Island) for additional events planned during the month: 1. “Park Day for the Family” on Sunday, May 22, hosted by USTA Long Island and run by Long Island Tennis Magazine (participants will be gathered in conjunction with the PTA - Adults and Kids) Eisenhower Park, 2:30-4:30 pm. 2. “Courts and Cocktails” Event at Sportime Roslyn on May 21, 7:00-9:30 pm (sponsored by USTA Long Island and organized by Long Island Tennis Magazine) (fundraiser for Grow Tennis NY 501c3). This event is open to all levels of adult tennis players. 3. Suffolk County Tennis Event, hosted by the Suffolk County Tennis & Education Foundation Community Tennis Association, on May 21 (rain date of 5/22) from 2:004:00 pm at Cassamento Park in Bay Shore.

Save the Date: 32nd Annual LI Awards Dinner he USTA Long Island Regional Council is pleased to announce that its Awards Dinner will return this fall, with the 32nd Annual event scheduled for Tuesday, September 20th at Chateau Briand Caterers. A call for nominations will be going out soon, so start thinking about those in your tennis community who deserve recognition. We look forward to seeing you all at this year’s dinner!

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Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com


USTA Eastern Long Island Region Recognizing High School Sportsmanship or the first time, the USTA Long Island Region will be supplying each Nassau and Suffolk public high school with special plaques allowing coaches to recognize one player on their team for their outstanding sportsmanship. During the past two seasons, the Region had recognized Nassau and Suffolk players for their sportsmanship during the girls’ and boys’ Individual Tournaments. The Region also has recognized no-cut teams with colorful wristbands (in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness and Autism Awareness). “High School athletes have shown a great deal of strength, compassion and sportsmanship over the last two years due to the pandemic,” said Michael Pavlides, USTA Long Island High School Rep. “Boys’ high school tennis (as well as all spring sports) lost their 2020 season, and played a condensed season in 2021, due to Covid. This spring season will be the first to be played without any COVID restrictions.

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Our goal is to foster and recognize one person on each team who shows respect to their opponents, teammates and to the game, with this Sportsmanship Award.”

Tennis Events on Long Island ith the warmer spring weather come several tennis events across Long Island, including the end of the boys’ high school tennis season and the various seasonal tournaments and competitions. In addition to National Tennis Month activities, the following events are planned in the next few months. Key dates (subject to change) are:

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High School Competition • May 13-16: Suffolk County Boys' Divisional Individual Tournament • May 19-21: Suffolk County Boys' Sectional Individual Tournament • May 21-22: Nassau County Boys' Individual Tournament • May 25-26: 2022 Boys' Tennis Long Island Championship • June 2-4: NYSPHSAA Individual Championships

• June 10: NYSPHSAA Small School & Large School State Championships Other Events: • May 21: Long Island Tennis Magazine presents Courts and Cocktails at Sportime Roslyn • May 22: PTA Parks Day at Eisenhower Park • June 5: Back after a two-year hiatus, the Robbie’s Run in Merrick is a Sunday morning 5K charity run and kids’ festival. The USTA Long Island Junior Council will be offering kids tennis lessons throughout the event. (www.robbielevinefoundation.org) • This summer, the USTA Long Island Regional Council will host three Kids Days (locations and dates TBD) • June 11: Long Island Tennis Magazine Challenge at Sportime Quogue (LITennisMag.com/LITMJuneChallenge)

USTA Eastern Long Island Regional Council Executive Committee Jonathan Klee, Regional Director Michael Pavlides, Past Regional Director Sunny Fishkind, Vice Regional Director Randi Wilkins, Secretary Neil Thakur, USTA Eastern Community Tennis Coordinator, Long Island/Metro & Manager, School Tennis www.longisland.usta.com • Follow USTA Long Island on Facebook: Play Tennis Long Island LITennisMag.com • May/June 2022 • Long Island Tennis Magazine

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Adult League Wrap-Up By Becky Bellino

STA Adult League teams are registered, courts are booked, schedules are distributed and play began in early May! Long Island will have 187 teams compete this summer in a variety of divisions which include the 18 & Over Men’s league at the 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 and 5.0 levels and the Women’s 18 & Over at the 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0 levels The 40 & Over league has teams at the 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5 levels for both men and women. The 55 & Over league has women playing at the 6.0, 7.0 and 8.0 levels, while the men have teams at the 7.0, 8.0 and 9.0 levels. Last, but definitely not least, we have both men and women’s teams in the 65 & Over league, both with teams at the 7.0 and 8.0 levels. A total of 928 matches have been scheduled, not including playoffs and Regionals. In addition to the above, Long

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Island has gained the interest of not one, but two 18 & Over 10.0 Mixed Doubles Teams. We have used our creative forces and have formed a hybrid league with the Westchester Region who has one team. The three teams will play a series of double headers which will conclude at the National Tennis Center in May to decide who moves onto the Sectionals and faces off against Metro. Good luck to all! USTA Eastern will have the Sectional Championships this year for all leagues. Below are the preliminary dates. Specifics will be available on the USTA website before the end of April. • August 5-7: 18 & Over and 40 & Over (levels and location TBD) • August 12-14: 18 & Over and 40 & Over (levels and location TBD) • August 19-21: 18 & Over and 40 & Over (levels and location TBD)

• September 9-11: 55 & Over Adult Leagues (Schenectady, New York) • September 16-18: 40 & Over Mixed Doubles and 65 & Over Adult (Schenectady, New York) National Championships are as follows (Invitational Dates will be made available by the end of April): September 30 – October 2 • 18 & Over 3.5 – Surprise, AZ • 18 & Over 2.5 – Tucson, AZ October 7-9 • 18 & over 4.5 – Surprise, AZ • 40 & Over 3.5 – Scottsdale, AZ • 40 & Over 4.0 – Tucson, AZ October 14-16 • 18 & Over 4.0 • 18 & Over 3.0 • 40 & Over 4.5 • 55 & Over 7.0

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Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com


October 21-23 • 40 & Over 3.0 Surprise, AZ • 55 & Over 8.0 Orlando, FL • 18 & Over 5.0 Scottsdale, AZ October 28-30 • 55 & Over 6.0 & 9.0 Orlando, FL • 18 & Over Mixed 6.0, 8.0, 10.0 Surprise, AZ November 4-6 • 18 & Over Mixed 7.0 & 9.0 Surprise, AZ November 11-13 • 40 & Over Mixed 7.0 & 8.0 Surprise, AZ • 40 & Over Mixed 6.0 & 9.0 Orlando, FL The Long Island 40 & Over Mixed Doubles league is still playing with winning teams to be determined soon. They will advance to a Sectional Championship in September. The National Championship is scheduled for the weekend of November 11-13. Our 18 & Over mixed winning teams are advancing to the Sectional Championship the weekend of June 3rd in Schenectady, NY. Winning teams from this event advance to the National Championship the weekend of October 28-30 for the 6.0, 8.0, and 10.0 levels and the weekend of

November 4th for the 7.0 and 9.0 levels. Good Luck to the 18 & Over Mixed teams at the Sectional Championship on June 3 – June 5: • 6.0 Deer Park - Captain Jill Bratos • 7.0 Deer Park - Captain Suresh Patel • 8.0 Blue Point –Kara Parker • 9.0 Sportime Lynbrook - Captain Shanon Blue • 10.0 - TBD Back in April, the 18 & Over Women’s 4.0 Tri-level league wrapped up in dramatic fashion. The finals featured Huntington Indoor Tennis captained by Lisa Newell and Tracy Kleinberg taking on Point Set captained by Dayna Coulter and Melissa Thomas. Huntington took the title by winning two out of the three matches and will head to Sectionals up in Schenectady, N.Y. on June 24-26. I’d also like to recognize the 18 & Over 4.5 Women’s Tri-Level league. Lisa Newell’s team from Huntington

took top honors at the Sectionals on February 6 and had the thrill of taking her team to Nationals in Palm Springs. They had a wonderful run for the 2021-22 season and I wish all Long Island teams the best of luck in this fun league later this year! Congratulations to all. Finally, I’d like to recognize the career and dedication from Kathy Miller over the last 35 years. Her official last day as the Adult League Coordinator for the Long Island Region was on April 11. While it will be hard for her to get rid of us, I’d like to congratulate her on her tenure at USTA Eastern and personally thank her for her guidance over the last few months. I know I am not alone in thanking her for all the contributions she has given the region over the years and wish her only the best in her retirement. Kathy will remain as the club manager at Carefree Racquet Club and will be assisting on occasion for our Regionals being held throughout the summer. Looking forward to a great summer of USTA Adult League Tennis!

Becky Bellino is the new Adult League Coordinator for USTA/Long Island. A native of Bergen County, N.J., Bellino played collegiate tennis at Gettysburg College, and currently plays in USTA Adult Leagues. She may be reached at bellino@eastern.usta.com.

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Strawberries, Pickles And Cream? By Steve Kaplan he popularity of Pickleball is exploding. While many have concerns that this will derail the tennis industry, in the long run, pickleball will grow and support the health of tennis It's time for the tennis world to embrace this sport because it reflects an experience that comes full circle, from Quickstart tennis to traditional tennis to Pickleball. To fully understand why Pickleball is not a threat to tennis, it's worthwhile to briefly examine the recent history of the tennis industry to gain a historical perspective We all know that tennis can be a costly sport for players, and it is equally costly for tennis service providers. That is especially true here in the Northeast because tennis courts do not yield high revenue per square foot as compared to many other uses. As a result, tennis operators have long searched for a synergistic partner to bring more income per square foot since the 1980's. Racquetball was first touted as the savior of the industry, followed by indoor fitness workout space. Both of these initiatives required costly facility conversions that were mutually exclusive to tennis use. Ultimately, they failed. The next evolution in the industry was the conversion of tennis courts to soccer or lacrosse fields.

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Enter the era of pickleball to the tennis industry. This sport will help encourage tennis facilities to preserve their tennis courts and not further convert to fields because financially, it's the holy grail of facility enhancement. Two pickleball courts can fit on one tennis court and all the conversion from pickleball to tennis requires are extra non-intrusive lines and a portable net; exactly like Quickstart Tennis. It a low-entry investment for players and facilities, and yields a high return in both fun and utilization. Pickleball can be added to a tennis facility without permanently subtracting tennis and, as of today, pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country. Even if this trend no longer continues, the risk to tennis facilities to embrace pickleball is almost nonexistent. Let's not forget that Quickstart tennis for children is described as a racquet sport with age and skill appropriate equipment and space that is fun, accessible, value driven and easier to

learn and play than conventional tennis. This, of course, is also the concept of pickleball for many adults with the added value of being an intriguing strategic game and thus highly-entertaining. The evolution from playing tennis to playing pickleball, for many, is inevitable. Ultimately, the strongest argument for embracing the growth of Pickleball is it will preserve more tennis courts by solidifying the prosperity and viability of the tennis industry without permanently taking away courts and more remaining tennis courts equals more potential tennis players. Tennis equipment manufactures as well as many facilities are already onboard marketing pickleball. It's time that the USTA weighed in to support pickleball in a big way because it is a natural evolution of tennis and can strengthen the foundation of tennis as the "sport of a lifetime." Pickleball is an ally and best friend to tennis. Supporting this sport will help protect courts, and help grow the sport of tennis.

Steve Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation, and executive director and founder of Serve & Return Inc. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.

Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com


Serve and Volley is Coming Back! kay, I am a little partial to this specific strategy since my groundstrokes have always been average at best and I don’t have that big weapon at the baseline. In addition, running back and forth to hit balls on the run was never my specialty. My brother, Paul, was a little better than me at this strategy and at his best, was coming in to the net on every serve and return of serve- successfully (#12 in the world in singles and #3 in the world in doubles). I am excited to see a lot of players starting to venture in to the netand winning! It is not exactly like back in the day when Arthur Ashe, John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, and many others came in to the net with no invitation. However, almost all of the top players on the ATP Tour have shown more of their game moving forward in the past few years. Even Rafa Nadal, who is known as one of the best baseliners (and players!) of all-time, has been using the serve and volley tactic in quite a few matches during his hot start to 2022. Carlos Alcarez won the Miami Open and, in the final he went 11 for 11 on points serving and volleying. You read that right; he won all 11 of the points he played using this strategy. I have always maintained that tennis tends to go in cycles. There were a lot of great aggressive, moving forward players in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Then there was Bjorn Borg who revolutionized baseline tennis with his quickness, consistency, and incredible strategy. Many baseliners followed in his footsteps-and then, there was John McEnroe. Probably the greatest natural volleyer I have ever seen, it seemed like he could come in to the net at will and win 80% of the points. Ivan Lendl and Mats Wilander turned that around shortly thereafter until Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg started dominating. Michael Chang, Jim Courier, and Andre Agassi were the featured baseline players of the

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1990’s, and then there was Pete Sampras. Pete was great at moving forward but was also great from the baseline-perhaps the best on the run forehand of all time. Roger Federer brought serving and volleying to a new level, although he too could be amazing from the back of the court. We all know about Nadal and Novak Djokovic and how they brought us into the new baseline era we have experienced for the last 15 or so years. Now it is time for the tide to turn again. I always thought Federer could be the player who brought back the serve and volley, chip and charge mentality to the game, but he has had a lot of injuries and we did not get to see that happen. Hopefully, there is still that possibility. Alcaraz did a great job showing that the tactic can still be very successful. Other players will study what and how he used this in the final of the Miami Open and I believe there will be new players who work specifically on moving forward

By Steve Annacone

and will make it their main strategy. Even though the game has evolved, the speed of the ball is faster, and the court surfaces have favored the baseline players, coming in to the net well can still be the difference in the match, especially if the players are evenly matched from the backcourt. My advice for all the avid tennis players out there, all of the up and coming juniors, and anyone who wants to be a part of this new surge towards the net, is to get out there and practice moving in to the net gradually, hitting balls from all parts of the court, volleying (old school volleys, not swinging volleys!), and in general forcing yourself on the opponent with your position. I have confidence that the next big serve and volley player is out there and we will soon be seeing them exhibit that incredible instinct, anticipation, and hand eye coordination we have seen in the past. Be ready—the serve and volley is making a comeback!

Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis and MyHamptonsPro, in East Hampton, NY . Steve is also a tennis professional at Ventana Golf and Country Club in Tucson, AZ. In addition, Steve and Miguel Coelho have introduced the JET (Junior Elite Tennis) program at the Tucson Jewish Community Center for high level players ages 8-18. Please contact Steve at info@annaconetennis.com.

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Summer Camp Pitfalls By Chris Lewit ith the summer camp season just around the corner—and as a high performance tennis camp owner myself—I speak with parents every day about summer camp experiences and expectations. Unfortunately, many tennis players have a disappointing experience at summer camp and their tennis games don’t progress. Let’s discuss some common summer camp pitfalls that parents should be aware of and try to avoid.

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Too Much Technique While most smart camps play lots of competitive matches and give some tactical pointers to kids—or at least they should—many camps mishandle technique.

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A parent recently told me that her daughter attended a very famous camp in Florida known for its technical expertise. The coaches changed her daughter’s strokes and when she came home, her game and confidence suffered. Watch out for programs that are doctrinaire and rigid in terms of techniques. These programs in the summer can really ruin a kid. If a program is very strict and narrow in its pedagogical approach, this could be a disaster for your kid. Oftentimes, players will do their best to embrace new techniques but when they come home, they are not able to maintain the new form and revert back to old habits. So what’s the point of following a new technical system, making big changes

Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com

for a few weeks, and then losing it all when the kid comes home? If important changes are going to be made to technique, camps need to be responsible in making those changes by analyzing if the changes are even possible or realistic given the time constraints of camp, and if the camp can provide continuing followup and support for the player who may really struggle post-camp without help. Too Little Technique At the same time, the majority of camps probably fall into this category. They teach little if any technique to summer players. The reason is that their philosophy is not to mess up the player’s game too much because sometimes technical changes can be difficult and mentally


frustrating for the player. While this is an understandable position, unfortunately many players spend summer after summer going to camps where important technical mistakes are left untouched and very bad habits are allowed to become ingrained. Camps should take a middle ground approach, making a plan to realistically prioritize important changes and provide continuing followup and support to players whom the camp coaches made significant technical adjustments. With planning and support, technical flaws can be fixed and they don’t need to be swept under the carpet summer after summer! Poor Coach Quality and Ratio A camp needs to have knowledgeable coaches and not too many campers per coach if any important changes are going to be made. Many times, because the coaches at summer camps are inexperienced and the ratio of coachcamper is too high (4 or more players per coach for example), camps give up on

really trying to change much. But when the coaches have experienced guidance and training and only 2-3 players per coach, much more can be accomplished. If the coaches working with your kids are low-level high school or college players with little coaching education, for example, how can you trust these coaches with your kid’s development? Most camps hire people like this to save money. Be careful whom you trust with your player’s development! Too Little Fitness This is a very common issue in the summer camp industry currently. Many camps don’t offer professional fitness training from exercise science educated coaches or camps water down their fitness to the lowest common denominator—to the point of being a joke. If your kid is serious about tennis, he or she needs to embrace receiving a good physical education. This means learning about anatomy and

physiology, how to work out effectively and safely in a gym, how the muscles and joints work in tennis, and how to become stronger, faster, and achieve better endurance. Summer camp is a great place to develop this physical education and, too often, camps neglect this subject and just hit balls. Too Much Fitness Parents should also watch out for a camp that offers too much volume of fitness without an injury prevention focus and fitness programs that are not designed or led by a professionally trained coach educated in sport science. If the program is not professionally designed or has too much volume, the risk of injury increases. The last thing you want is your kid to come home injured from summer camp! All-Sport Camps I have seen too many players stagnate at all-sports camps to recommend them. continued on page 52

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summer camp pitfalls continued from page 51

Usually, the camps do not hire the best possible tennis staff and the kids who flock to these programs tend not to be the most serious. The environment matters. If you want your kid to just have some fun, these camps are fine. If you want your kid to really make the most tennis improvement possible, I recommend more serious tennis focused camps that will be more demanding. Large Camps Large summer camps are definitely something to be wary of, if you want personal attention and the best possible improvement. When a camp has hundreds of players visiting, the staff are basically just trying to survive! It’s just too many people to track and manage and it’s very hard to give customized training. Individual planning and training can accelerate the progress of a player in summer camp. When a player is lost in the herd, they might improve, or they might not, but the improvement won’t be as dramatic as in a personalized program. Famous Academy Camps Famous academies do offer elite training and instruction. Unfortunately, the best coaches usually only work with the

annual academy full-time players— rarely with short-term summer kids. Famous academy summer camps are very uneven in their quality and often suffer from the faults of large camps and watered-down fitness regimens. While it’s possible to get great training at a famous academy camp, you need to know somebody at the academy who will give your kid preferential treatment and extra attention, or I recommend the parent actually be onsite to ensure that the player is not neglected and receives the best possible instruction. Psychology? Psychology programming is a new phenomenon in summer camps. While learning some basic mental and emotional management skills is undoubtedly a good thing, I’m concerned that many psychology offerings are pretty basic and take away from other types of training like fitness and court time. In order to squeeze in

psychology training, it looks like fitness and tennis time is being reduced. Consider whether a very limited, generic psychology program is really what your kid needs at camp or if that training could be better provided at home with a personal coach or psychologist. Please also do not run to the psychologist when your player is not fit. A fit player will always be stronger psychologically. It makes no sense to sign up for a weak fitness program and a strong mental program. You can’t be mentally tough without a solid base of fitness because, as soon as you get tired, it’s easy to lose control of your mind and emotions. Conclusion I hope these thoughts give you some additional insight when you evaluate summer camp programs. Camp can be a wonderful opportunity to jump levels, but camp can also be a place where kids stagnate, struggle and are sometimes neglected. Choose wisely.

Chris Lewit is a former number one for Cornell and pro circuit player. He is a highperformance coach, educator, and the author of two best-selling books: The Secrets of Spanish Tennis and The Tennis Technique Bible. He has coached numerous top 10 nationallyranked players and is known for his expertise in building the foundations of young prodigies. Chris coaches in NYC and year-round at his high performance tennis academy in Manchester, VT, where players can live and train the Spanish Way full-time or short-term. He may be reached by phone at (914) 462-2912, e-mail Chris@chrislewit.com or visit ChrisLewit.com.

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Silent Partner Tennis Ball Machines The Machine With Muscle ilent Partner Tennis, a division of Deuce Industries Ltd., was founded in 1989 by Dr. John Bassili. A recreational tennis player and psychology professor, Dr. John had a dream. He sought a reliable tennis partner. One that would play on his schedule and help improve his game. Meanwhile, John's son was progressing through the ranks as a junior. His son needed a partner that could amp up the pace, but was also consistent enough to groove his strokes. So John built a tennis ball machine. Today, Silent Partner Tennis is a leading ball machine company in North America. It has served the U.S. from Buffalo, N.Y. for over 30 years. The company remains independent and family-owned. With advanced features catering to all levels, from beginner to pro, the machine’s portability allows players to put them in their cars and bring them to their local court. The machines are also great for clubs and coaches, who can position themselves right beside their students and control the machine by remote. The machines are especially useful for group lessons, as several lines of players can be fed at once. Some machines come with programmable sequence settings and even match simulation. Because Silent Partner only sells factory direct, it offers a wide

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BEYOND THE BASELINE

BEYOND THE BASELINE BEYOND THE BASELINE

BEYOND THE BASELINE BEYOND

beyondthebaseline

Neil Thakur By Brian Coleman

ver the last couple of years, the sport of tennis has seen a rapid increase in participation across the United States. Here in New York, that growth is being felt in all sectors of the tennis industry. From communitybased programs for beginners, all the way through competitive leagues, the number of people who play tennis continues to rise. Suffice to say, we are in a tennis boom. And helping to facilitate that boom and ensure tennis’ continued growth in

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our area is Neil Thakur of USTA Eastern. Thakur has worked with Eastern over the last several years, and currently serves as the Community Tennis Coordinator for the Long Island and Metro Regions, as well as the Schools Tennis Manager for the entire Section. Thakur’s role has morphed over the years, first beginning as the Tennis Service Representative for the Long Island Region, and he now oversees much of the community-based programming in both the LI and Metro Regions, as well as organizing the ever-

Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com

growing schools programs. “The last year or so has been very exciting, both for myself but also for tennis as a whole in our Section,” said Thakur. “I loved developing relationships and getting to know the providers on Long Island when I first started, and being able to do the same in Metro has been a great experience. I’ve been getting to know them as well as the community organizations in New York City, and I look forward to continuing to grow those relationships and move tennis forward in our communities.”


OND THE BASELINE

BEYOND THE BASELINE BEYOND THE BASELINE

Thakur came to the tennis industry after working in healthcare and sports medicine for two decades. While he had never worked in tennis, he had been an avid recreational tennis player and always loved the sport. “I’ve been playing for a long time,” he said. “I love competing in the USTA leagues. Having a team sport where you are all playing for one another is a lot of fun and creates camaraderie.” Born in London, England, Thakur, whose father was an Indian diplomat, lived in many countries around the world growing up, including India. He moved to the United States when he was 19 to attend college, and after graduation, he began working at the United Nations. “I moved into the healthcare field after that, primarily working in a pain management and sports medicine practice,” said Thakur. “I helped expand the practice into multiple locations on Long Island and Queens. I did that for about 15 years, and really had no intention of doing anything else. That was going to be my career.” Despite never having worked in the tennis industry, the idea of bringing people closer together is something that has always been a part of Thakur. Connecting people from all walks of life is a natural instinct for him. While the global pandemic forced lockdowns and closures, Thakur and his colleagues at Eastern used that time to reach out to more tennis providers and worked on continuing expanding the sport’s reach, utilizing Zoom meetings to connect with more people in a shorter amount of time. “I think the Zoom meetings actually helped us a lot because we were able to do a lot of virtual workshops, and reach a much bigger audience,” explained Thakur. And as a result, tennis has come out of the pandemic in a much stronger and healthier place than it was before, especially here in our area. An example of that can be found in the ever-growing schools programs which Thakur leads. In 2020, there were approximately 90 teachers that enrolled in the Net Generation program, which offers free equipment and curricular training. Last

year, nearly 300 teachers were enrolled, and that number is expected to increase in 2022. “We simplified the process, and I think that made it easier for them to sign-up and get acclimated,” said Thakur. “We had a great year in 2021, and so far in 2022 we already have over 160 teachers in the Section who have signed up. I’m very happy with how that has grown, and excited to be able to bring tennis to many more people.” The schools program is just one of many community outreach programs that Eastern is running to ensure that tennis players of all ages and levels have something they can participate in. With more people playing, there is a greater emphasis on ensuring those new players are having fun and continue to do so. “We are experiencing a tennis boom, and Eastern is trying to offer more programming in the parks during the spring and summer,” said Thakur. “That’s really the easiest place where people can start playing, and then transition into taking lessons or programs at the clubs and facilities. With the amount of people playing, court time at the facilities has become scarce, and so we are trying to do a lot more things in the parks, especially here on Long Island. It’s important that we collaborate with our partners to run events there, and help create the bridge for new players to

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BEYOND THE BASELINE BEYOND THE continue playing.” May is National Tennis Month, and it comes at an exciting time for lovers of the sport here on Long Island. Eastern is teaming with the New York State Parent Teachers Association (NYSPTA) as well as Long Island Tennis Magazine to put on family days at the parks, with events scheduled for both Nassau and Suffolk. Tennis is truly in a great place, and the sport has had such a positive impact on so many people, especially over the last couple of years. There is such a diverse amount of programming, leagues, events and more taking place on Long Island, and Thakur and his team are always working to ensure that the sport continues to progress. “USTA Eastern’s role is to help grow and support tennis as a whole. We have grants and other funds available, so if someone has an innovative idea, or is interested in starting a new program, we’re happy to support that,” said Thakur. “We need to sustain and maintain our current growth. With so many more people out there playing, it’s imperative that we provide a pathway for them to keep their interest. We are all about partnering with our tennis providers to help them deliver the best possible tennis experience for everyone, and are excited for what is to come. At the end of the day, tennis is an amazing sport that offers many healthy and lifelong benefits but most of all, it should be fun!”

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Mythbusters Not All Coaching Advice is Based on Facts, But You Should Certainly Believe In Your Coach ... Part Four By Ricky Becker

present to you the final part of my four part series on tennis coaching topics that there is not necessarily a right or a wrong. There are many tennis strategies, techniques and theories that are debatable, presented as fact by coaches but are in fact opinion. While good coaches feel strong in their convictions, there are many instances where topplayers have taken different paths on a myriad of topics. In previous issues of Long Island Tennis Magazine, I discussed: 1. Should the net player look back in doubles? 2. When should a junior player learn a continental serve? 3. Is it better to play Orange Ball USTA tournaments, or wait until the age you are allowed to play full-court tournaments? 4. When to teach open stance forehands? 5. The importance of confidence vs. technique on volleys. 6. Is it better to slide the back foot up (pinpoint), or keep it back (platform) on the serve? 7. What side should a lefty/righty team return from in doubles? 8. How important is it to play “up” in tournaments and/or practice?

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9. What’s the best forehand grip to teach at a young age? My opinions are: 1. Yes. 2. Once the player can get 75 percent of their serves in with their natural grip. 3. Play Orange Ball. 4. After understanding weight transfer in a closed stance position. 5. Physically and comfort is as important as technique on the volley to a large extent. 6. Whatever the student is more comfortable with, but present both. 7. In high-performance level, the lefty should play ad-side, and at the club level, the lefty should play deuce side. 8. Not as much as people think. 9. The child’s dedication and athleticism play a part in the decision. These are not facts though and no level of confidence by any coach makes them so. Below are three more items that I have heard coaches differ on and have seen great players do

Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com

differently. While I will give my personal opinion and communicate how strongly I feel about it, I realize there are other good coaches out there who believe differently (and the same) as I do. Balance of Building Technique vs. Athleticism at a Young Age Of course both technique and athleticism are important, however, I do think building athleticism is extremely overlooked at a young age. I even admit, I am sometimes afraid to work on athleticism instead of technique at times because I don’t want to give the impression that I am not teaching my student tennis. The fact is there are some non-negotiables to teaching strokes and there are a lot of stylistic differences in successful shots. Andy Roddick started his unorthodox service motion when he was 14-years-old by showing his coach that by pretty much throwing the ball up and whacking it with a short motion he could generate a ton of power. That change did Andy very well in life, but on paper, it’s not good technique. While technique


is especially important for kids under 12-years-old, I do think that coaches and parents get too bogged down in stationary, nonathletic hitting to make things completely perfect. I still remember a boy I used to play against who had the most beautiful strokes. He hit the ball really hard and accurately from the baseline. The problem was he hit the ball about 60 feet out every time. So when he moved inside the court he would hit long and when he had to move deep behind the baseline he would hit short or into the net. Without knowing his practice routine, I bet he worked on technique almost all of the time. It's harder to see the quick benefits of working on athleticism but as one gets older it becomes more important. Most top players hit the ball well. What often makes the difference as one gets to higher levels is how many shots can

somebody get back when they are playing defense. This is largely athleticism. And finally, I think working on athleticism is a lot of fun for a child compared to the non-stop repetition of mastering technique. Fun is motivating. Motivation is desire. And desire contributes to one’s personal best when it comes to success. Dead Ball vs. Live Ball Feeding To explain, dead ball feeding is when the coach throws the ball to himself and hits to the student and live ball feeding is when the coach hits the student’s shots back. I think most coaches agree that the natural progression is to start working on something by having the teaching pro either toss the ball directly to the player, or dead ball feeding from the other side of the net and then, when the player

starts exhibiting the skill (or getting bored of it), the coach would go to live ball feeding. I will come out and say it now: Dead ball feeding is much more energy efficient for the tennis pro. I am a lot more physically tired after six hours of predominantly live ball lessons than six hours of dead ball lessons. I don’t think it’s enough though to work on a player’s shots without returning those shots as well. I notice, with adults especially, that when you feed out of your hand they will do the technique right, but when you rally with them they don’t. The best way to improve the live ball strokes, in my opinion, is live ball practice. How to Handle Cheating This is the classic example of getting different answers from different coaches. And some continued on page 58

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mythbusters continued from page 57

coaches may give different answers to their student based on how high level of a player they are. Interestingly in all my years of coaching this is pretty much the sole area where I have seen students listen to their parents more than their coach. In competition, I advise students to ask “Are you sure?” on the first call they don’t like. We know the answer will be yes, or something sarcastic, but the question sends a message. And then on the second ball call just quietly get a linesman. After that, if the linesman leaves to go back up to the lobby, go get the linesman any time you hit a ball close to the line. In other words, find an excuse to bring the linesman back so you don’t get burned with a bad call at the wrong time. If my student is going against a

player with a terrible reputation or someone who made bad calls in a previous match, I would suggest just getting a linesman on the first close call as well. I have heard coaches say cheat back, cheat back twice, cheat back on an important point or get a linesman and switch the score in that game. This might not be the proper thing to say but while I would never suggest a player cheat back on a line call, as a last resort after

Ricky Becker is The Director of Tennis at Glen Oaks Club. Ricky also coaches highperformance juniors throughout the year and has been the Director of Tennis at three of Long Island’s biggest junior programs. As a player, Becker was the Most Valuable Player for the 1996 NCAA Championship Stanford Tennis team and ranked in the top-five nationally as a junior. He can be reached at rbecker06@yahoo.com, 516-359-4843 or via juniortennisconsulting.com.

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numerous unsuccessful attempts of securing a linesman, I feel satisfied seeing my student change the score of a game if it will result in negating the obviously purposeful bad call by an extremely unsportsmanlike opponent. Ask your coach what their opinion is on these topics. They are all valid questions that will either come up often, or it’s possible they haven’t thought about it yet!

Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com


But I Don’t Want To By Barbara Wyatt

t was wet, rainy, and cold. I did not want to go. The indoor tennis facility would be warm, but so was the comforter on my living room sofa at home. A heavy mug filled to the brim with hot cocoa, complete with white mini-marshmallows, would be in my hands. I could snuggle in and watch flames of orange, yellow, and indigo crackling in the fireplace. A ping jarred me. A glowing monitor stared back at me with a nonstop flow of work emails. As fast as the emails arrived, I answered and pushed send. It was Lucille Ball and Ethel Merman’s chocolate wrapping conveyer belt skit, upgraded to the twenty-first century with emails on a high-speed gigabit fiber internet service. Thirty minutes sped by; six more emails whipped down the fiber to the next recipient. The minutes on the digital timer clicked, edging closer to the final moment to register for that evening’s tennis drills. Only six spots left. Should I register and trudge off to tennis? I was tired. Another email sent. I checked again; only three open spots remained. An inner energetic voice said, “Go to tennis. It is good for you. You will see your friends. It will fill you with endorphins. Hit balls tonight.” I nodded, exuberant swings against yellow balls are good for the soul. A second raspy inner voice interrupted, “I placed the warm soft blanket on the couch for you. It’s folded and ready to be shaken and wrapped around you.” The voice continued,

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“You’ve worked hard today. Forget tennis. Go another day. Rest, eat ice cream, watch tv.” I shook that voice out of my head and typed, “Register Me” for that evening’s drills class. With money on the table, I would not be swayed. I would attend. The second voice imploded and disappeared into silence. Class did not go well—in the beginning. Joints creaked and tight muscles slowed response time. The pro did not abandon hope; she fed balls continuously. My body, stiffened by hours sitting at a desk, became more subtle and flexible. In fifteen minutes, I

was a well-oiled athletic machine. The sweet spot of my racquet slammed balls over the net. I dominated her conveyer belt of tennis balls. At a rest break, my friend and teammate Karyn said, “I was so tired from work and didn’t want to come, so I registered. That forced to me to attend. I am SO glad I did.” She was right. Take Karyn’s and my advice. Go ahead. Push aside the day’s stress and all devious inner voices. Register for a drills class and pound at an endless feed of tennis balls, like the 1952 chocolate wrapping skit. Even when you don’t want 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 email at BarbaraW@iKnowTennis.com

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The Top Ten Tennis Tips of All-Time Part Three: Champions Do Not Fear Success By By Dr. Dr. Tom Tom Ferraro Ferraro

Some players that lose are actually afraid to try harder out of fear they may fail again. We call this a fear of success.

n the Oscar winning film, “Amadeus”, there were two main characters, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Salieri. In the last scene, we see Salieri being wheeled through the insane asylum exclaiming himself to be the “Prince of Mediocrity”. This film demonstrated how champions win and the rest find mediocrity. Champions do not fear success. Champions strive for supremacy, but

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most others unconsciously strive for mediocrity though they are not aware of that. Let me explain. Many have heard about the “fear of success”, but few understand what it means and how common it is. I am sure you have seen athletes who seem to quit at the slightest hint of failure. They become passive, weak, and somber and play as if they are simply going through the motions. And that is exactly what they’re

doing. They have quit and silently wait for failure to arrive. Here is why this occurs. Many athletes, including tennis players, have gone through upsetting losses in the past that have made them feel inferior and weak. And for some ambitious athlete this disappointment is intolerable. So intolerable in fact that they refuse to experience it ever again. Instead, they set up an unconscious attitude of

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never really trying hard ever again. They transform themselves into a weaker player. A young hockey player who was headed for the NHL once told me that hockey is an oval within an oval. Those inside the inner oval were actually playing the game. Those who were on the outside of the oval were on the ice, but were just watching the action and pretending to be playing the game. That is a great metaphor for what I am talking about here. The fear of encountering another loss like the initial one is so intolerable to some players that they inhibit their drive, their power, and their aggression. This is what I call a drive towards mediocrity. The feeling of helplessness and hopelessness was so devastating that they never recover and refuse to give full effort again. The champion rarely loses their aggression, sense of power, confidence or grit. Roger Federer is a good example of a champion that

never quits. This is one reason that he tends to gain momentum at the end of matches while his opponent relinquishes power. You may have noticed that Federer seems humble, not grandiose and isn’t a perfectionist. He accepts failure and is not shattered by it. This allows him to bounce back and keep on trying. Their sense of perfectionism and grandiosity sets players up for disappointment which is unbearable and they avoid all real effort in the future. These are the players who never do well under pressure and who never live up to potential. The secret of the champion is that they have no fear of success, no fear of failure and therefore they give it their all every single time they play. This is a

rare thing and terms like grit, resilience and a never-say-die attitude describe this trait. It is possible to develop grit and play like a champion. If you notice that you seem to lose focus and give up as you play, you may be suffering in this way. This is due to an unconscious unresolved anxiety about losing which you have converted into a fear of trying to win. Look back at your biggest loss, see if it changed you and if so, go find someone to talk about it. Why suffer the same loss over and over again? And why live a life of mediocrity when it does not have to be that way? You may be acting like a Salieri with a Mozart inside of you waiting to emerge

For consultations, treatment or on-site visits, contact Dr. Tom Ferraro Ph.D., Sport Psychologist, by phone at (516) 248-7189, e-mail DrTFerraro@aol.com or visit DrTomFerraro.com.

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The Secret to Being Your Best Balance On and Off the Court By Rob Polishook hat’s the secret to sustained peak performance? Let’s face it … this is the million-dollar

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question! Rafa, Federer, Swiatek, Bodosa and every junior are trying to solve this great mystery. In my experience as a mental training coach, I believe the essential starting point is being in balance both on and off the court, as a person and as a player, and mentally, physically and spiritually. Remember back to a time when you watched a player who got excessively nervous, tight or seemingly just froze during competition. You know that “deer in the headlights” look? We wonder: how can this happen? Especially when the athlete has hit the shot hundreds of times in practice? In fact, if we are honest with ourselves… many of us have experienced that situation when we compete. We know, and even feel, that there is this “little something” that holds us back and gets in the way of reaching the next level. What is usually holding an athlete back is not what’s on the outside. It’s not the part that everyone can see: The athletic talent, strategy, fitness, and technique. These skills can always be improved upon. We all know that hitting an extra basket of serves won’t make a difference if the anxiety that the athlete is holding on the inside pervades and makes him or her tight? In fact, it could actually be counterproductive as bad habits may develop. The key is to look at the whole person. The block might be stemming from, a bad test result, anxiety of losing, an argument with a friend, fear of a reoccurring injury, a break up with 62

a loved one, or any type of trauma, Possibly, the nervousness may also have roots in the player trying to be someone they are not, comparing themselves, constantly judging themselves, listening to other expectations and ultimately feeling that whatever they do is just never good enough. Basically, playing on a roller coaster whereas the results define their worth, their identity and their happiness. But whether it’s a single issue or an accumulation of issues, carrying the weight of an overwhelming load on the court will always impact performance, certainly in the long run. Competitors are not robots, what’s on the inside affects how we play on the outside - it’s one and the same. So what happens if coaches, parents, fans, institutions or even the athlete themselves do not understand the connection between the person and the athlete? To being a whole human athlete and creating balance on and off the court? Unfortunately, we have all seen it, time and time again, however, we just have not named it or its cause. It’s a fast track to burnout, fears, tears and mental health issues. The player will never get the most of themselves because they are pushing, pulling, comparing, and judging so much that they neglect their innate talents, skills and who they are as a person and player. From the Whole Human Athlete, person first perspective, its clear to see that playing tight, slumps, choking, or

even the yips is not the problem. Rather, it’s a symptom to something else that the athlete is consciously or unconsciously holding which overwhelms them. This overwhelm, otherwise known as a “freeze” response is actually an instinctual defensive reaction that is normal and employed by animals in the wild and in humans for self-preservation. However, certainly, a loss of concentration for just a moment in sports can mean the difference in playing well or the eventual outcome. When a player steps on the court, they don’t become a different person, but rather the same person inside and outside the lines. They are a unique individual with a heart, energy and spirit all to themselves. Their authentic self is what makes them who they are. This is where their resilience, determination, motivation, will, and drive come from. This is the foundation on which the athlete should build both their mentality and game style. We all have our own DNA. The key is tapping into this uniqueness, not assimilating to a one-size-fits-all mentality. All players, must remember that they are Whole Human Athlete. From this lens, we immediately see a wider perspective, that of the whole person, not just the performance. Rafael Nadal once said “tennis isn’t who I am; it’s what I do.” This perspective allows us to play free and recognize, the game isn’t personal, rather it’s just a game.

Rob Polishook, MA, CPC is the founder of Inside the Zone Sports Performance Group. As a mental training coach, he works with the whole human athlete helping them to unleash their mental edge (heart.energy.spirit) through mindfulness, somatic psychology, animal wisdom and mental training skills. Rob is author of 2 best-selling books: Tennis Inside the Zone and Baseball Inside the Zone: Mental Training Workouts for Champions. He can be reached by phone at (973) 723-0314, by e-mail rob@insidethezone.com, by visiting insidethezone.com, following on Instagram @insidethezone

Long Island Tennis Magazine • May/June 2022 • LITennisMag.com


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Long Island Tennis Magazine’s Gossip Column By Emilie Katz

Butler Makes Raducanu Coffee

Svitolina Releases NFT To Support Ukraine

As Ukraine continues to be under attack from Russia, Elina Svitolina is trying to help her home country. She created a Non Fungible Token (NFT) that patrons could bid on—an exclusive video of Svitolina signing an acrylic with “Ukraine” following her first match at the 2022 Abierto GNP Seguros Monterrey Tennis Open. The highest bidder won the NFT video, Elina’s signed acrylic, as well as a 10minute virtual meet & greet with Elina.

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler has his own line of signature coffee, and had a stand open at the Miami Open. Butler even took time away from the basketball court to show off his barista skills, even making a cup for U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu. Butler also told Raducanu that she was his daughter’s favorite player.

Ash Barty Announces Retirement Photo credit: Tennis Australia

Kyrgios, Kokkinakis Receive Special WWE Belts Australia’s Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis earned hardware for their Australian Open Men’s Doubles title earlier this year, and the pairing have now added to that collection. WWE Australia commemorated the pair’s victory with their own customized WWE Championship Belts.

At the height of her game, Ash Barty stunned the sports world when she announced her retirement from tennis earlier this spring. Barty was fresh off her Australian Open title and was ranked No. 1 in the world. “I’m so happy, and I’m so ready. I just know at the moment, in my heart, for me as a person, this is right.”

LITennisMag.com • May/June 2022 • Long Island Tennis Magazine

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