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TENNIS PROGRAM HEAD COACHING STAFF Numrud Nino Muhatasov - Co-Founder and Director of MatchPoint NYC • Former coach of top WTA and ATP players • Former Captain and #1 Single’s & Double’s player for St. John’s University Tennis Team • Big East Conference Finalist and 2X Most Valuable Player Alona Bondarenko (Featured Coach) • Australian Open Doubles Champion 2008 • Ranked Top 20 in the world in singles & Top 5 in the world in doubles Alexander Demidenko (Head Pro) • Davis Cup Team Member • Head Coach of the former USSR Girls National Team MatchPoint NYC is the sports and fitness destination for the entire family. Spread across 120,000 sq. ft., our premier health and fitness complex features a cutting edge tennis facility with 9 indoor tennis courts and programs for kids and adults of all levels. MATCHPOINT NYC TENNIS PROGRAM BENEFITS • Personalized Training • Private Coaching • Intensive Drills • Match Play • Tennis Specific Fitness • Mental Conditioning SESSIONS The next session starts January 25th, sign up today and FIND YOUR GAME! PROGRAMS • Quick Start Ages 6 and under • Junior Development Ages 7-18 • Beginner/ Intermediate/ Advanced group training • Adult Leagues • Private Lessons • Tournament Training (by invitation only)


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nytennis New York Tennis Magazine

MAGAZINE

New York Tennis Magazine 1220 Wantagh Avenue • Wantagh, NY 11793-2202 Phone: (516) 409-4444 • Fax: (516) 409-4600 Web site: www.nytennismag.com

Staff David Sickmen Publisher (516) 409-4444, ext. 309 • david@usptennis.com Joel M. Berman President (516) 409-4444, ext. 310 • joel@usptennis.com

Table Of Contents

JANFEB 2016 • Vol 6, No 1

Djokovic Sets Sights on 2016 Domination Down Under By Brian Coleman World number one Novak Djokovic looks to build upon a monumental 2015 at the first Grand Slam of 2016, the Australian Open. See page 28

Cover photo credit: Marianne Bevis

Eric C. Peck Editor-in-Chief (516) 409-4444, ext. 312 • eric@usptennis.com

Featured Stories

Brian Coleman Senior Editor (516) 409-4444, ext. 326 • brianc@usptennis.com

30 2016 Australian Open Preview By Andrew Eichenholz The first Grand Slam of the year gets underway, as the sport’s top stars take to the court.

Joey Arendt Managing Art Director Francine Miller Advertising Coordinator (516) 409-4444, ext. 301 • francinem@usptennis.com Matthew Cohen Director of Business Development (516) 409-4444, ext. 306 Emilie Katz Assistant Marketing Coordinator Beverly Bolnick National Sales Manager (516) 409-4444, ext. 316 Scott Koondel VP of Operations (516) 409-4444, ext. 324 Sidney Beal III Staff Photographer Lee Seidner Staff Photographer

Advertising To receive any information regarding advertising rates, deadlines, and requirements, call (516) 409-4444 or e-mail info@usptennis.com. 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.nytennismag.com. Fax subscription changes to (516) 409-1600. Statements of fact and opinion in New York Tennis Magazine are the responsibility of the authors alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of United Sports Publications Ltd. New York Tennis Magazine reserves the right to edit, reject and/or postpone the publication of any articles, information or data.

46 2015 New York City Girls High School Recap A look back at the 2015 new York City girl’s high school season. 48 A Look Back at the Year That Was 2015 By Emilie Katz A closer look at the Grand Slam winners of 2015.

Featured 4 6 8 10 14 16 22 38 56 63 64 65

Hadavi, Cruz Take Home Titles at NTC Indoor Championships Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple By Brian Coleman At the Net With Alona Bondarenko Making Connections on and Off the Court: Jeffrey Appel BNP Paribas Showdown at MSG Fostering the Concept of Sportsmanship By Whitney Kraft The Balance Between Stroke Development & Competition By Gilad Bloom Inspiring and Motivating Your Child to Play By Andres Sanchez USTA Eastern Hosts 29th Annual College Showcase Day By Brian Coleman Stay Low … Hit Up By Bill Longua Tulane’s Koepfer and Ohio State’s DiLorenzo Crowned Champs Local Duo Captures Girls 16s Winter National Title

Featured Columns 18 24 27 36 40 44 52 54 58 60 62 67 68 71

Across Metro New York USTA Eastern Metro Region Update Adult League: USTA Leagues Update You Are Good Enough! By Rob Polishook, MA, CPC Court Six: New York Tennis Magazine’s Gossip Column By Emilie Katz New York Tennis Magazine’s Charitable Initiatives Metro Corporate League Recap Tips From the Tennis Pro By Lisa Dodson Goal Setting for Tennis: Winter 2016 By Dr. Tom Ferraro How to Get Better Players to Want to Play With You By Steven Kaplan The Jensen Zone: Kicking Off the Year Down Under By Luke Jensen New York Tennis Club Directory New York Rankings USTA/Metropolitan Region 2016 Tournament Schedule

New York Tennis Magazine is published bi-monthly by United Sports Publications Ltd. • Copyright © 2016 United Sports Publications Ltd.


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Hadavi, Cruz Take Home Titles

Credit all photos to Brian Coleman

Shawn Hadavi of Columbia gets ready to hit a backhand during his win over Josh Silverstein of Iowa in the Men’s Singles Finals Some of the area’s top players competed at the USTA National Men’s Open, Women’s Open and Mixed Open Indoor Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. The tournament’s finals were played on New Year’s Eve, as players and spectators closed out 2015 with some high-quality tennis. In the Men’s Singles Final, Shawn Hadavi of Columbia took on Josh Silverstein of Iowa in a thrilling championship match. Silverstein, who hails from Great Neck, N.Y., raced out to an early lead by taking the first set 6-2. But the second-seeded Hadavi fought back, forcing a tie-breaker in the second-set. In the tie-breaker, Hadavi turned up

Fifteen-year-old Marcella Cruz sets up during her win over Quinn Gleason of Notre Dame in the Women’s Singles Finals the heat, including the final baseline winner that earned him the second-set win and forced a deciding third set. Hadavi carried that momentum into the third set, breaking early to open up a 3-0 advantage. He wouldn’t look back and went on to win the final set and capture the title with a 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-1 comeback victory. “I had a couple of tough matches previously in the tournament, so I was kind of tired and sore,� said Hadavi. “He had a break point to go up 5-1 in the second set and he missed a few shots, so I tried to just make it interesting and sneak out my own break. I was able to do that and went from there. I felt like I didn’t play my best, but once I was able to hang around and had a

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The St. John’s duo of Gustavo Loza & Vaidik Munshaw captured the Men’s Doubles title with a straight-set win few points go my way I felt like I could get back into it.� In another thrilling final, 15-year-old Marcella Cruz took on fourth-seeded Quinn Gleason, who plays her college tennis at Notre Dame. Cruz, who trains out of the National Tennis Center, held a 5-1 lead in the opening set before Gleason rallied back to win six consecutive games and take the first set 7-5. Cruz fought back and won the second set 6-3 to force the match into a third set. Gleason would turn an 0-2 third set deficit into a 5-4 lead, but Cruz dug in from there. She turned up her intensity and rattled off the final three games of the match to close it out and win the title with a 5-7, 63, 7-5 victory. “I feel I played very well, especially in the big moments. It was a tight match the whole time and I think I was able to pull out some really good tennis,� said Cruz. About her comeback, Cruz said: “Experience definitely came into play. It happened to me just a couple of weeks ago at the Junior Orange Bowl. I ended up losing that match and it was definitely a learning experience for me.� St. John’s senior Vaidik Munshaw paired up with former St. John’s player and assistant coach Gustavo Loza, and the duo knocked off the University of Buffalo’s Ethan Nittolo & Columbia’s Daniel Grunberger 6-4, 6-2 in the Men’s Doubles final. Loza & Munshaw were able to secure early breaks in each set to take control and win the title in straight sets.


at NTC Indoor Championships

Katherine Yau & Taylor Ng of Dartmouth came back from a set down to win the Women’s Doubles Final

“This is the first tournament we’ve played together, but we both love doubles and we are enjoying the competition,” said Loza. “I think today was just about playing solid, making a lot of returns and good volleying. And we were able to do that.” The Dartmouth duo of Taylor Ng & Katherine Yau battled back from a set

Nicholas Bybel finishes up a serve during he and Kelly Williford’s straight set win in the MixedDoubles Final down to beat Rima Asatrian of Columbia & Kelly Williford of Virginia Tech 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the Women’s Doubles final. “We’re teammates in school and play a lot together so I think that contributed to our success today,” said Yau, a Manhasset native. “We are very comfortable playing together, and have played these two in

Men’s Doubles Finalists Ethan Nittolo from the University of Buffalo & Columbia’s Daniel Grunberger both doubles and singles before, so we sort of knew how they played and I think we just needed to stay aggressive.” While Williford fell short in the Women’s Doubles final, she would win the Mixed Doubles title, pairing with Bucknell’s Nicholas Bybel to defeat the Brooklyn duo of Keith Kessler & Jessica Livianu 7-6(5), 6-4.

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Taking a Bite Out of The Big Apple Hungarian Peter Gecse brings his love of tennis to NYC BY BRIA N C O LEMA N decade later. Peter brought the love of tennis he developed in Hungary over to America with him. “I went to hit with an older cousin of mine who, at that time, wanted to have me on the court with Sebestyen Gecse, son of Peter him as a sparring Gecse, getting an early start in partner,” Peter said the sport of how he first got into the sport. “Of course, I said ‘yes’ to Hungarian Peter Gecse during a photo him. I was a comshoot with Loriet plete newcomer to t’s never easy for one to leave their the sport, having never played it before. home nation to start over in a com- However, the more I played, the more I liked pletely foreign land. Having to learn and it.” adapt to a new culture, language, His love and passion for the game eased lifestyle, etc. can be a daunting task. his transition to the U.S. as the sport of tenSo when Peter Gecse came to America nis can open many doors. from Hungary with his sister Andrea in 1997, Peter would play his collegiate tennis at he knew it would be tough from the start. Kingsborough Community College under “I had seen and heard so much about Head Coach Barry Goldsmith. He earned New York City in books and movies and a bachelor’s degree in tourism hospitalthings like that,” said Gecse. “But it was all ity/restaurant catering, and worked as a dinnew and seemed to be a great challenge. ing server at The Lotos Club in New York City It’s called ‘The Big Apple’ for a reason, con- before Goldsmith steered him back into the sidering it offers equal and great opportu- world of tennis. nities to take bites from its ever-growing life “Coach Goldsmith recommended me to fruit. The City offers a fast-paced lifestyle Roosevelt Island Racquet Club [RIRC] to that doesn’t exist in any other part of the come work as a tennis pro and continue to world.” pursue my career,” said Peter. “It is really Gecse had come to the states from Hun- such a special place. The most interesting gary when he was 19-years-old, nearly 10 and unique people and personalities ride the years after his father John had. Hungary was train, and everyone knows everyone, making under Soviet Union control for most of the it a very comfortable place to work.” 1980s, until its regime began to be picked Peter still works at The Lotos Club and apart bit by bit, and in 1988, Hungary be- was offered a larger role there, but tennis came its own independent nation. After a di- was too important to him. He has been a pro vorce, John Gecse moved to America, and a at Roosevelt Island Racquet Club since 2004 few of his children followed suit nearly a where he brings his infectious personality to

I

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New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com

RIRC on a daily basis. “Peter has been an amazing addition to our staff,” said Jason Speirs, tennis director at RIRC. “Not only is it nice to have a diverse staff, but he also cares about the quality of instruction provided. Whether with young or old clients, if Peter is on the court with them, they’re getting a true professional. He will help you with your technique, keep you calm, and is always available for a chat. We wish we had more Peter Gecses at the club.” Peter’s sister Andrea now works and lives back home in Hungary, and his father John also lives back in Hungary, and Peter is no doubt proud of his Hungarian heritage. Especially because the sport he loves so much has grown in popularity back home in recent years. “Tennis, as a sport, has grown over the years in Hungary,” Peter said. “I think it’s due to the revolutionary programs and new organizations that help promote the game. Because of these things, there has been a significant jump in the amount of players. QuickStart and junior tennis are as popular as other sports. This is evidence already in the International Tennis Federation, as the year-end number one-ranked junior girl is Dalma Galfi, and the year-end number three ranked boy is Mate Valkusz, both Hungarians.” Tennis has held a special place in Gecse’s heart over the course of his life, and there is no doubt that will persist. “Tennis is a game that is centered on positive people and has a worldwide reputation, giving something in common to fans and athletes,” said Peter. “That is how it has grown on me and will continue to do as my story continues.” Brian Coleman is senior editor for New York Tennis Magazine. He may be reached by phone at (516) 409-4444, ext. 326 or e-mail brianc@usptennis.com.


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NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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At the Net

With

Alona Bondarenko

Photo credit: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images

ight years ago, Alona Bondarenko paired up with her sister, Kateryna, and won the 2008 Australian Open Women’s Doubles Championship, defeating the team of Victoria Azarenka & Shahar Peer in the finals. The sisters from the Ukraine battled back from a set down to beat the Belarusian/Israeli duo to become the first players from Ukraine to ever win a Grand Slam title. Alona now coaches at MatchPoint NYC in Brooklyn, and sat down with New York Tennis Magazine to talk about their title run and her plans to return to the tour.

E

You became the second pair of sisters to win a Grand Slam title together (after the Williams Sisters). What was it like winning a Grand Slam championship alongside your sister? It was a unique experience being in this position with my sister. We shared our success and all the hard work that came along with it. We trained together, we shared goals and shared a victory. Growing up together in Ukraine, did you ever dream that you would one day win a Grand Slam title with your sister? We fell in love with tennis at a young age and never dreamed of getting this far. When 8

we turned 14, our dreams of professional tennis become more of a reality and we knew that it was possible. What made you two such a good duo together on the court? We always traveled, lived and trained together. We have an excellent rapport on and off the Alona Bondarenko (right) teamed up with her sister, court. We have a mutual Kateryna (left), to win the 2008 Australian Open Women’s understanding. Doubles Championship What are some of the challenges of playing in the Australian Open weather? We came three weeks early before the Australian Open to adapt to the Australian summer. Heading into the 2008 tournament unseeded, how confident were you that you could make a run for the title? We both worked hard to improve our doubles game. We played our best in every match and kept our minds focused on each victory as we progressed. The final win was almost a surprise because of how focused we were on our daily goals. Besides obviously winning the Australian Open Championship, what do you remember most about that tournament? The atmosphere is always very pleasant

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com

and fans were amazing! What was your typical workout routine in preparation for the Australian Open? As your practice starts, physical training must be consistent, and everyone has their own regimen to work toward. For me, in preparation for the Australian Open, these were the exercises that were implemented: Running, cross-training, bike training, stretching and working out with rubber bands, as well as exercises on improving my balance. How much does it mean to you to be the only Ukrainians ever to win a Grand Slam title? That puts me in a unique category that I appreciate and will never take for granted.


What brought you to New York to work with MatchPoint NYC? I had a great relationship with Nino Muhatasov, MatchPoint NYC co-founder, and he played a huge role in me coming to New York. MatchPoint NYC is truly a state-of-the-art tennis facility for a professional tennis player. What are some of your favorite places to go and activities to do in New York? Now that I have a son, I look for familyfriendly places to take him, including Central Park and the boardwalk in Brooklyn. What is the next step in your playing career? Are you pursuing a comeback? I am currently working on a comeback, so stay tuned. I will make the announcement if it all works out. What goals should a player set for

themselves during the offseason? To improve all elements that need finetuning. It’s important to fine-tune even the strong elements of your game and add new elements that would help you have a better season. What is a typical day like during the off season for you? Nino and I have developed a routine that was a mix of exercise twice daily, including swimming two times per week for the first three weeks. Starting with week four, tennis training time increased and fitness exercises decreased. Rest is important, as you must let your body cool off. What does your typical diet consist of? It’s important to understand that each player should have a unique nutritional plan, specifically tailored to their body and physical needs. My typical day started

Nino Muhatasov (left), co-founder and director at MatchPoint NYC, was instrumental in bringing Alona Bondarenko (right) on to the MatchPoint NYC staff

with a bowl of oatmeal, and lunch always consisted of protein and vegetables … staying hydrated was key. When the season ends, the first thing to do is to get rest before the new season begins.

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Making Connections on Jeffrey Appel: The New York Tennis Community’s Maestro

ill de Blasio may be the official Mayor of New York City, but he isn’t the only one who wears that title in the city that never sleeps. Jeffrey Appel is commonly and appropriately referred to as the “Mayor of New York Tennis” because of the relationships and connections he makes and develops between the business and finance world, and the global tennis community “I’ve been called worse things in my life,” Appel said with a laugh. “The origin of that nickname comes from Whitney Kraft, director of tennis at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. “We used to play and organize an open level doubles league which we called ‘Smash Night Wednesdays’. It was by invitation only and was for former tour players and Division I level players. We did this on Wednesdays for a few years together and Whitney started referring to me as the ‘Mayor of New York City,’ and it just stuck.” Appel, a senior managing director at Broadband Capital, has been one of the most influential tennis

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figures in New York City for some time now. He has been instrumental in helping many college and professional tennis players’ transition into careers on a different playing surface: the business world. “In addition to his obvious success as a financier, Jeff is passionate about tennis and understands that tennis is a vehicle for learning values and skills,” said Martin Blackman, the head of USTA Player Development. “As a former coach I understand the concept of mentoring. Jeff has been a tremendous mentor for our American pros, men and women coming off the Tour and looking to enter the world of finance. He’s spent countless hours talking to them and connecting them with educational and internship/job opportunities. Jeff’s support of American players, current and former, makes our sport stronger and gives all of our players an example of what it means to give back.” Brendan Evans, who reached a career high singles ranking of 116th in the world when he

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com


and off the Court

played on the pro tour, added: “I believe that he has furthered the game of tennis in New York by holding events that increase awareness of the sport, while raising money for important causes. At the same time, Jeff has helped tennis players navigate through difficult barriers to transition into careers outside of tennis.” Evans is now an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs. One of those events was the first annual Finance Cup, which Appel organized and captained along with David Anving, a London-based portfolio manager and former Captain of the University of Michigan Tennis team. The Finance Cup brought together some of the biggest names in the finance industry and some former professional tennis players who have moved on to work in the world of finance. Appel’s Team Wall Street beat Team Europe eight matches to one. In addition, Appel has spent a lot of his time helping other tennis initiatives throughout New York City.

Jeff Appel, ESPN Tennis Analyst Brad Gilbert and Bill Ackman at last year’s Finance Cup “Jeff is an energetic and very competitive person on and off the tennis court,” said Katrina Adams, Chairman, President and CEO of the USTA. “He has been instrumental in supporting my National Junior

NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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MAKING CONNECTIONS ON AND OFF THE COURT

At last year’s U.S. Open final, Jeff Appel sat in front of actors Bradley Cooper and Sean Connery in the USTA President’s Box

Tennis & Learning [NJTL] and the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program [HJTEP] by speaking with and placing alumni into the business stream.” Appel was the USTA’s guest at last summer’s U.S. Open final between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, where he sat in the President’s Suite in front of actors Bradley Cooper and Sean Connery. “I grew up in a tennis-centric town,” recalls Appel, a native of Great Neck, N.Y. “At a very young age, I started playing, and at the age of 11, I started to fully focus on tennis as my only competitive sport. I played Jimmy Arias in the USTA Eastern 12 and under Clay Court Championships and that was a humbling experience. Arias went on to become number five in the world. I think I’m one of the few people from my

Jeff Appel captained the USTA Eastern team to five national championships in the last six years 12

l

JEFFRE

era in USTA Eastern that still plays consistently.” And Appel’s playing career is still in full swing. He was most recently ranked number one in the USTA Eastern’s 45+ Division and was ranked 12th nationally. With Jeff as captain the USTA Eastern team out of New York Athletic Club has won five National Open Championships in the last six years. His teams have been loaded with ATP ranked talent including: Sam Groth, Amer Delic, Brendan Evans, Stephen Bass, Cory Parr, Todd Paul, Kaes Van’t Hof, Jason Jung, Adam El Mihdawy, Ludovic Walter, Nathan Healey and Alex Bogomolov. Most of whom he severs as a mentor and or has helped with their transition to life after tennis. “Jeff has been a very good friend and a mentor as I have transitioned from professional tennis into the world of finance,” said Amer Delic, who was ranked as high as 60th in the world during his playing days and retired from the ATP Tour in 2012. Another fond memory of Appel’s came recently this past spring, when he and pal Bill Ackman, founder of Pershing Square Capital Management, flew to Paris to sit courtside as the guest of American phenom Frances Tiafoe to watch him in the main draw of his first French Open. Appel knows Tiafoe through his work with the Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC), and introduced Ackman to Tiafoe in 2013, and the two have been tremendous supporters of Tiafoe since. “Jeff is widely known as the ‘Mayor of New York Tennis.’ Less well-known is that he has placed more young talented players in finance careers than any man alive,” said Ackman. “Finding a man a job is one of the most significant things you can do for someone else. Just as important, Jeff’s placement services come gratis. He does it for his love of the game and to help his fellow man.” Ackman concluded: “I am renaming him ‘The Saint of New York Tennis.’” Helping others is something that Appel takes great pride in, and he knows what he is doing is benefitting many. “It would be great for everyone, including highlytalented people, to have a ‘caring big brother’ or somebody who can give them guidance because sometimes, parents and coaches don’t see things objectively as they often have their own agenda,” said Appel. “I look back at the beginning of my own career and definitely would have liked to have done

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com


EY APPEL: THE NEW YORK TENNIS COMMUNITY’S MAESTRO Jeff Appel (right) with American Frances Tiafoe (left) as he made his 2015 French Open debut

some things a little differently. I know from personal experience that tennis players have spent so much time and have sacrificed so much for the sport, that sometimes they are not as focused on the next step in life. A little guidance or a couple of introductions can go a long way in helping them.” It isn’t just former tennis players that have benefitted from Jeff’s assistance. He helps many college athletes who are currently playing begin that next step of life. “I credit Jeff with providing me the connection to my summer internship which will become my full-time job upon graduation,” said Trey Strobel, a senior on the Stanford’s Men’s Tennis team. “In a world where a connection with others is one of the greatest assets, Jeff is king.” Strobel will be an investment banking analyst at Lazard. Brandon Coupe, associate head coach at Stanford, echoed the sentiments of his player. “I was lucky to have met Jeff eight years ago when I started coaching college tennis,” said Coupe. “In my opinion, he is one of the most caring and helpful collegiate tennis alums I know. His track record in helping college tennis players transition into the professional field speaks for itself.” Dayna Lord, a junior on Brown University’s Women’s Tennis team, has also been helped by Appel. “I met Jeff at a tennis event a few months ago, and within two minutes of meeting him, he believed in my skills and abilities, and wanted to help me find an internship,” said Lord. “Once under his wing, I had an unwavering supportive and highly intelligent resource at hand, with the ability to provide me with friends and connections within the tennis community. Without him, I would not have

had my internship opportunity.” Lord will be an analyst in the Sales & Trading Division of Goldman Sachs this summer. Appel’s work is a prime example of how tennis can be a springboard for many young adults trying to navigate the post-graduate workforce. “He has enormous respect for the challenges and relationship between being in the tennis and business arena,” said Brian Boland, head coach of men’s tennis at the University of Virginia. “If you are a former tennis player with aspirations to transition into business, Jeff is a tremendous resource. He possesses an incredible level of knowledge, persistence and enthusiasm to help those he believes in.” One of Boland’s top players, Captain Mac Styslinger, who just won the doubles title at the ITA All-American Championships, spent this past summer with Appel and his crew in New York. He will be joining Fidus Partners in June when he graduates and a spot has already been reserved for him on Appel’s Finance Cup Team and USTA Eastern National Team. While he is extremely busy with his position at Broadband Capital, he knows how beneficial meeting people through tennis can be and how valuable tennis relationships are. “New York City is the financial capital of the world,” Appel said. “The range of people is so dynamic, and tennis can be a great way to meet very interesting and successful people. Being an accomplished tennis player can open doors in life that may not normally be open.”

Jeff Appel (center) competing at a recent New York City charity event with Bryan Koniecko (pictured left, former ATP Pro and Brown Coach) and Pablo Salame (pictured right, co-head of global securities at Goldman Sachs)

NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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Serena-Wozniacki, to Headline BNP Parib erena Williams, a 21-time Grand Slam champion, will take on close friend and former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, and two-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka will square off with France’s Gael Monfils in the 9th Annual BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden, set for World Tennis Day, Tuesday, March 8. The ninth edition of the BNP Paribas Showdown, which consistently attracts the biggest names in tennis, will follow the likes of Pete Sampras, Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Ivan Lendl, Juan Martin del Potro, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Mike and Bob Bryan, John and Patrick McEnroe, Grigor Dimitrov, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic, Monica Seles, Gabriela Sabatini and Jelena Jankovic, all of whom took part in previous Showdowns and provided unforgettable memories for New York tennis fans.

S

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As in years past, the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden will once again headline a full day of worldwide activities as part of World Tennis Day, a global tennis participation effort. All events promote tailoring the game to players 10 & Under with smaller rackets, lighter balls and modified scoring. Serena captured the inaugural BNP Paribas Showdown held in 2009 at Madison Square Garden with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over her sister Venus. The field also included 2008 French Open Champion Ana Ivanovic, as well as year ending number one Jelena Jankovic. Serena holds the most major singles, doubles, and mixed-doubles titles combined amongst active players and her record of 36 major titles puts her fifth on the all-time list. Additionally, Serena has won four Olympic Gold Medals, one in women’s singles and three in women’s doubles. Serena’s opponent, Wozniacki, is a former world number one who will be making her second appearance at MSG in the BNP Paribas Showdown, having faced Sharapova in 2012. She made her

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com

professional debut at 15-years-old in 2005 and has since won 23 WTA singles titles. In 2008, she was named WTA Newcomer of the Year. “I have been fortunate to play in World Tennis Day events in New York and Hong Kong,” said Wozniacki. “It’s a great day to celebrate our sport. This year will be even more special as I return to Madison Square Garden with Serena. It doesn’t get much better than that.” Wawrinka has won two Grand Slam titles over the course of his career, including the 2014 Australian Open and 2015 French Open title. Additionally, Wawrinka was a member of the Swiss team that won the Davis Cup in 2014 and also won a Gold Medal in the 2008 Olympics. Stan and his doubles partner, Marco Chiudinelli, played in the longest known doubles match when they faced Tomas Berdych & Lukas Rosal in a match that lasted seven-plus hours. “There are certain things in your tennis career that you want to do: Win Grand Slams, win the Davis Cup for your country,” said Wawrinka. “Playing in Madison Square Garden is one of the things on that list so I am excited about the invitation to play in the BNP Paribas Showdown and look forward to walking onto The Garden court.” Monfils, is currently ranked 24th in the world. In 2014, he finished in the Top 20 for first time since 2011 and fifth time overall, and advanced to the quarterfinals of both the U.S. Open and French Open. He made it to the semifinals of the French Open in 2008 and the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open in 2010. In recent Davis Cup play, Monfils went 3-0 in singles to help France reach its first final since 2010. “I have always loved playing for the New York crowd which inspires me very much,” said Monfils. “So coming back to New York with Stan on World Tennis Day will be a great opportunity to play for the fans. We will put on a great show for them.”


Wawrinka-Monfils bas Showdown at MSG

9th Annual BNP Paribas Showdown TA L E O F THE TAPE

SERENA WILLIAMS

vs.

Country: United States of America

CAROLINE WOZNIACKI Country: Denmark

Birth Place: Saginaw, Mich.

Birth Place: Odense, Denmark

Birth Date: Sept. 26, 1981

Birth Date: July 11, 1990

Residence: Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco

Turned Pro: 1995

Turned Pro: 2005

2015 Year-End Ranking: 1

2015 Year-End Ranking: 17

Career Singles Record: 737-123

Career Singles Record: 475-192

Grand Slam Titles: 21

Grand Slam Titles: 0

STAN WAWRINKA

vs.

Country: Switzerland

GAEL MONFILS Country: France

Birth Place: Lausanne, Switzerland

Birth Place: Paris, France

Birth Date: March 28, 1985

Birth Date: Sept. 1, 1986

Residence: Saint-Barthélemy, Switzerland Turned Pro: 2005

Turned Pro: 2004

2015 Year-End Ranking: 4

2015 Year-End Ranking: 24

Career Singles Record: 390-231 Grand Slam Titles: 2

Residence: Trelex, Switzerland

Career Singles Record: 332-191 Grand Slam Titles: 0

NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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Fostering the Concept of Sportsmanship in Today’s World of Tennis By Whitney Kraft The first tournament for a young tennis player is oftentimes quite daunting. Most kids start playing tournaments because they’ve been deemed “good enough” or “tournament ready” by a coach or parent, and come in with an expectation of success. As we know, success in terms of “winning it all” is extremely rare for tennis competitors, whether novice or professional, and based on traditional formats, is possible for only one member of the field. This “99 percent failure rate,” coupled with the incredibly intimidating environment tennis can pose for a young player, would seem to explain the tendency we see in first-time tournament players never competing again. If we are going to reverse this trend, we must focus on de-stressing the competitive ex-

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perience for our young players. At the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, we focus on our culture and environment. Our 10 & Under Program utilizes the “NTC Player 5 Core Promises” as well as the “Player & Parent Code of Conduct” form for all participants and their parents. The value of the 5 Core Promises and the Code of Conduct cannot be overstated, as they provide the participants with realistic expectations of the program and their results. Even if players and parents come from a different area or program, these documents clearly address what we expect from them and what they can expect from us. The most important aspect is that success is framed not by wins and losses, but in terms of effort and sportsmanship. This allows the players to relax and enjoy their court time, knowing that their ability to be successful is 100 percent in their control.

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com

Parent behavior is also clearly laid out in our literature. This is helpful to parents who may be unfamiliar with tennis match etiquette, helping them to better understand what is appropriate and what is not. When players are able to feel safe in the knowledge that adults won’t be yelling at them or their opponent, another potentially scary element of uncertainty is eliminated. Speaking of parents, another important aspect of creating a positive environment and tennis culture is engaging parents in educational opportunities. Even parents with many matches under their belts may need reminding of the “good things to say” and the “not-so-good things to say” after matches. Not-so-good things like “did you win?” or “why didn’t you ..?” are things that parents want to avoid, and instead, focus on things related to effort like, “you played so hard!” or “head sweat check!” If culture and environment are properly addressed, your work is more than halfway done. Another way to de-stress the competitive experience is by taking advantage of non-traditional formats. For example, especially for our more introductory or intermediate play events, we focus on timed round, maximum encounter, round-robin formats. These give every player the opportunity to grow in their confidence and experience, regardless of their match results. Round-robin formats are great, but they can be difficult if you have a large number of players or a small amount of court space. To minimize waiting when our numbers get too large, we use a “four per court singles” format. This is done by having Player A and Player B play two points while Players C and D wait at the back of the court or act as their ballpeople. After the two points are played, Players C and D rotate in and play their two points.


Points are continued to be played in groups of two, and players keep track and continue their game scores after rotations. This allows players to socialize and make new friends, as well as relieve some of the stress of being one of the two very small people on one very large court. Using court monitor volunteers is also a great way to help kids get comfortable and enjoy the competitive experience. An adult on court making sure players call out scores before every point, resolve disputes at the net rather than by shouting across the court, and help with rotations should the need arise helps make players feel confident in their abilities to take part in something like this again. Line call disputes and “cheating” have long been a sticky wicket for tournament directors, parents, and players since tennis competition began. To help alleviate the negatives, it’s necessary to utilize innovative solutions for a problem that isn’t likely to go away soon. New technology is making it possible for players to solve line call issues in real-time with the help of courtside technology. Something we’ve had

success with is allowing each player a “no questions asked” overrule per match. This has had an interesting overall impact as disputes actually drop due to players not wanting to waste their overrule! As mentioned before, if you are able to frame success as effort and sportsmanship, those behaviors need to be reinforced. By recognizing sportsmanship award winners, you are fully reinforcing the message of culture to your players. Recognizing sportsmanship and effort is another way to de-stress the competitive experience because players realize that their success depends on factors they can control. Above is an example from The Forman School in Litchfield, Conn. With their “Honoring the Game” Award, which recognizes one member of their opposing team that best exemplifies good sportsmanship, respect and dedication to tennis. These suggestions are not a cure-all for

every player, club and situation. However, implementing these programs and philosophies has greatly contributed to our participation, growth and young player retention. Since 2007, Whitney Kraft has been the director of tennis at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. and director of player operations for the U.S. Open. Previously, he was director of tennis for the City of Fort Lauderdale Park & Recreation Department (1998-2007).

Competitive Training, World-Class Education Ross School Tennis Academy (RSTA) and Junior Tennis Academy (RSJTA) offer dynamic programs for junior tennis players (grades 7–12) that combine a challenging global curriculum with the highest level of competitive tennis training available.

631-907-5162 TENNISACADEMY@ROSS.ORG WWW.ROSS.ORG /TENNISACADEMY

NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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Across Metro N Centercourt takes second place at National Junior Team Tennis Championships Centercourt’s Marlboro’s Island Grinders placed second at the 2015 National Junior Team Tennis Championships in the 14U Advanced Division at the Lexington County Tennis Complex in South Carolina. The team includes Jack Kosiorowski, Amy Kaplan, Olivia Kharkover, Anthony Prokurat, Juliette Moschella and Ryan Wang, coached by Andre Vagner.

JMTA’s Pilipovic captures title at L1B December Challenger John McEnroe Tennis Academy’s (JMTA) Astro Pilipovic (pictured here on the right) took home the trophy at the L1B New York Junior Tennis and Learning December Challenger at the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis and Learning in Crotona Park. Pilipovic beat fellow JMTA student Andres Fente (pictured here, left) 6-4, 4-6, 10-4 in the finals.

USPTA hosts workshop at National Tennis Center

United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) Master Professional Jorge Capestany, in conjunction with the USTA/ITA National Indoor Collegiate Championships, held a workshop for approximately 30 coaches on the Prince Short Court at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Capestany discussed how to instruct different drills and clinics on the short court, and much more. 18

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com


New York

… News and notes from across the New York Metro tennis community

Stadium Tennis Center’s Levine headed to Duke University Robert Levine, who trains out of Stadium Tennis Center, has signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his tennis career at Duke University. “Robert is a relentless worker, fearless competitor and a lifelong student of the game,” said Duke Head Coach Ramsey Smith. “He has a world-class backhand and a knack for finding ways to win. I believe Robert is one of those student-athletes who will push himself to be the very best he can be, and he will be a competitive leader in college tennis.”

New York’s Evan Lee takes part in Junior Orange Bowl Evan Lee, who trains out of the Gilad Bloom Tennis Academy, went down to Miami to compete in the 54th Junior Orange Bowl. Lee, pictured here with Coach Gilad Bloom, won two of his four matches at the prestigious tournament, and afterwards, headed to Arizona to compete in the USTA National Winter Championships.

Dodson demos ServeMaster at CoachTube Chelsea Piers event CoachTube, a video on-demand Web site, recently hosted its “Play With the Greats” event at Chelsea Piers. Lisa Dodson was on hand to demonstrate how her ServeMaster tool works and to offer tips to beginner and advanced level courses. She was also chosen to be the honorary introducer for CoachTube Founder Wade Floyd, and spoke to 800-plus on hand about how CoachTube has helped grow her own business. NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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Across Metro Ne N Nassau Indoor Tennis under new ownership

Three-time Long Island Tennis Challenge champion Jonathan Klee has partnered with David Brent to purchase Nassau Indoor Tennis located in Inwood, N.Y. The property was close to being bought by another buyer who wanted to turn it into a multi-sport facility, but Klee and Brent wanted to keep it strictly a tennis facility, and decided to keep it that way. “When I found out that the potential buyer was looking to eliminate tennis courts and convert the facility into a multi-sport, I spoke to David Brent and asked him if there was still a great demand for tennis in the Five Towns area,” said Klee. “Both of us love tennis, and with the loss of so many indoor facilities on the

South Shore of Long Island, it was upsetting that another would close without giving it a try. In addition, being that Nassau Indoor is only 10 minutes from Queens and 30 minutes from Manhattan, we both felt that there was an untapped market of players that if they knew of our facility and how convenient it was to them they would give us a try. After evaluating the purchase price and crunching the numbers, both of us thought the facility was more valuable for other uses, but with some improvements, such as reconditioning the Har-Tru courts and new lighting, we could still be operated profitably as a tennis center, and decided to purchase the property together.”

Parties highlight the holiday season at Midtown Tennis

Midtown Tennis Club got into the holiday spirit with one of its recent Tennis Parties. The event was open to the public and featured a round-robin doubles tournament for the 3.5-5.0 Levels. The party featured food and refreshments, and was a great way to combine tennis in a social atmosphere.. 20

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com


ew York New

… News and notes from across the New York Metro tennis community

QuickStart event comes to MatchPoint NYC

For the second straight year, MatchPoint NYC in Brooklyn hosted its annual QuickStart tournament. The tournament split kids up into two separate divisions for round-robin style play. Congratulations to the tournament winners, Ivan Televnyy and Joseph Belenky. “It was really fun,” said Belenky. “I was so excited to win.”

Boca West Country Club brings NYC to the Sunshine State

Boca West Country Club in Boca West, Fla. brought a little taste of New York down to Florida for its “Streets of New York” event. The huge extravaganza featured a little bit of everything, from Katz Delicatessen and Little Italy, to Broadway Theaters and Radio City Music Hall. NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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The Balance Between Stroke Development and Competition By Gilad Bloom One of the first things I tell parents who bring their kids to my program is: “Please don’t talk to me about winning and rankings.” When they talk to me about getting their kid to the top 20, or to make their varsity team, I just shake my head in frustration. Kids have different levels of talent, athletic abilities and mental stamina, and each kid has their own rate of development. Some kids develop fast at an early age and then hit a wall. Some develop slowly and gradually, and their natural talent comes out later. Setting goals based on results is a mistake, it is healthier and more productive to look at your own development as a longterm thing without getting too caught up with rankings. The assumption is that if you work the right way, you will improve, and with improvement, results will come. But, you cannot be down for too long after losses because it’s basically meaningless (in the big picture), especially in the younger age groups (10s, 12s and 14s). The reason I’m calling results in those days meaningless is that in the majority of the cases, the type of tennis that wins matches in those age groups is what I call “opposite tennis.” It is virtually impossible for a young kid to play “adult tennis” at the tender age of 10 or 11. Therefore, most matches in those age groups tend to be “pushing festivals” with long points in which players hit high moon balls to the middle of the court without approaching the net or taking balls on the rise, or playing aggressively. It simply doesn’t pay off to play “the right way” at that age, and since nobody likes losing, 22

kids revert to endless points standing well behind the baseline! In those age groups, the consistent players usually win without needing a weapon or having to step into the court and hitting winners. The danger of too much success in the early ages is that winning can be addictive. I’ve seen kids that had major results at 10-12 playing a 12 and Under style. Once they got the taste of victory in a certain style, it is hard for them to make the transition to a more mature game which means taking a few more risks, coming to the net, playing closer to the baseline, etc. Implementing these strategies in real match situations might mean losing a few matches here and there because of the experimental period that is needed until you learn to use it effectively. Having said all that and with all due respect to stroke development, as a coach and an ex-player myself, I cannot and should not forget that this is a competitive sport where the end goal is to win matches and achieve improving results. Knowing how to win matches is a huge part of the game and this ability should be honed at a young age. As we all know tennis is a mental sport, in essence, having technically sound strokes doesn’t mean much if the child does not know how to construct a point, close out a match and not choke under pressure. The flip side of it is that you can overcome less than perfect strokes with smart playing and a strong mental game. So how does a coach solve this paradox? I suggest the “fusion” approach for practice and the “survival mode approach” for tournaments. In practice sessions, I focus on perfecting the technique, playing the “right way,” step-

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com

ping into the ball, taking it on the rise, working on the net game and on footwork technique for at least half of the session (sometimes more). To get the kids to attack and play more freestyle tennis, I often make the court smaller so they can take the ball on the rise and still make it with a high percentage. I create scenarios and make the kids do the things that they will do when they grow up and almost never do during tournaments, such as coming in, hitting overheads, swing volleys, serving and volleying, and playing inside the court. These drills need to be repetition drills with the coach feeding the same situation repeatedly until it is in the DNA of the player to hit the shot correctly. The second part of any session is always point playing, and during that part of the session, I design games that reward the kids for hitting winners or coming in. Playing situation-specific games forces the kids to use their brains. It’s not enough to simply win the points. I ask them to avoid the middle of the court, force them to serve and volley, make them play games inside the baseline, quick volley games, approach shots games—all the things that never happen in a 12 & Under tournament. When the kids play points and sets during practice, I take my “Technician’s Hat” off and put on my “Tactician Hat.” I speak less (or not at all) about technique and focus on how to play the point—where to hit, when to sneak in to the net, positioning on the court, and all kind of little tricks that every player should know such as mixing up your game and finding out your opponent’s weakness while figuring out the best way to beat a particular opponent.


In those monitored practices I can steer the kids into the right direction and actually make them play the right way at a young age, however the story is different when they compete in official tournaments. When they play tournaments I instruct the kids to go into “survival mode,” meaning-do what you are comfortable with and what helps you win. In a real match, the tennis is going to be a bit more conservative since it’s now all about getting the ball in play, staying in the points, making first serves, fighting, playing smart and staying positive! The mentality is: In practice, we work on our game development. In a match, we work on winning, and even if it means playing scruffy tennis at times, you need to practice winning. Ultimately, there is nothing more rewarding than winning matches. The confidence factor is huge in tennis, and winning is a good habit to have to say the least. I encourage playing “to win” and being competitive, but if it means hitting half swings and pushing moon balls to the middle of the court, it is not constructive at all and will not hold in the higher levels. After a match, I would tell the kid: “Good job win-

ning, but you cannot be too proud of the way you played.” The other extreme is that some kids go the other way and play overly aggressive, going for winners too soon and not building up the point. This is also not constructive or realistic tennis. To those kids, I would say: “Don’t beat yourself up, you want to be aggressive, but consistency and smart play will trump aggressive erratic play any day.” The challenge as a coach is to find the proper balance between the student hitting the ball the right way and playing points instinctively without having to worry about technique. The hope is that after hitting thousands of balls the right way in practice and playing the right way in practice matches, it will transition naturally in a real match situation. Practicing as you perform, and performing as you practice is easier said than done. You don’t want kids who hit like robots and cannot play points well or kids who are “point animals” with homemade flawed strokes. To achieve the combination and produce a complete player, there has to be a shifting emphasis from focus on technique at the

early ages (8-12) playing points and how to hit shots correctly. A coach should know that after a certain age (12-13), it is almost impossible to make major technical changes, so the time to work on a child’s technique is very early on. After the age of 12-13, the students should practice more live ball drills and match play, but still keep working on their technique. It’s basically a never ending story. Everyone has a next level to get to … even Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer need to continuously hone their game to remain at the top. Gilad Bloom, director of Gilad Bloom Tennis, is a former ATP touring professional who, at his peak, was ranked 61st in singles and 62nd in doubles in the world. Five times an Israel’s Men’s Champion, three times in singles and twice in doubles Gilad runs spring and summer programs at the Riverdale Tennis Center in the Bronx, and the Winter Semester at Cary Leeds Center for Tennis and Learning. He may be reached by phone at (914) 907-0041 or email Bloom.Gilad@gmail.com.

NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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USTA Metro Region NY’s Nieh shines at Midwest Wheelchair Tennis Camp

Credit photos to Jason Nieh

The 2015 Midwest All-Comers Wheelchair Tennis Camp took place in December at Purdue University’s Schwartz Tennis Center in West Lafayette, Ind. Nearly 20 wheelchair tennis players from around the country participated in the four-day training camp. The camp was led by U.S. National Coaches Dan James and Paul Walker, and included world-ranked wheelchair tennis players as participants. Wheelchair tennis is one of the fastest-growing wheelchair sports in the world. It integrates very easily with standup tennis, since the only difference is that the wheelchair tennis player is allowed two bounces of the ball. A number of the wheelchair tennis players at the camp participate in tennis programs with regular standup players as well. However, the strategies and techniques for hitting a tennis ball while maneuvering a wheelchair around the tennis court are different from standup tennis in various ways. That 24

is why having a camp focused on wheelchair tennis and training the disabled athlete is so instrumental. In addition to honing fundamental tennis skills, the camp focused heavily on wheelchair mobility techniques, as wheelchair court positioning and turning, getting to the ball, and getting in position to hit the ball well are absolutely essential skills for the wheelchair tennis player. The youngest participant at the camp was Joanna Nieh, a 13year-old girl from New York City, who is also the youngest nationally-ranked wheelchair tennis player in the country. Joanna had a great learning experience at the camp, and is working on applying those new skills in her game as she gets ready for the 2016 wheelchair tennis tournament season. The USTA Eastern Metro Region was happy to support Joanna and awarded her a grant to help cover her expenses. The Metro Region is proud of what she has accomplished already and cannot wait to see her play later this year.

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com


USTA Metro Region Get ready for Junior Team Tennis in 2016!

Junior Team Tennis will begin their Intermediate Division league play on Saturday, Jan. 23 in facilities throughout the Metropolitan area. Matches will be played at the Cary Leeds Center, Cunningham Tennis, Harlem Tennis Center and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Saturday afternoons and evenings. What is Junior Team Tennis? USTA Junior Team Tennis brings players together to enjoy camaraderie and teamwork, providing a fun environment for kids to learn that succeeding is really more about how they play the game—win or lose. Play in USTA Junior Team Tennis involves singles, doubles and mixed-doubles, and is for children between the ages of seven- and 18-years-old. This year, the Metro League will include 10U, 12U, 14U and 18U Divisions.

Intermediate and Advanced Leagues: The cost for the Intermediate League is just $50 (plus a $5.25 Tennislink processing fee for registering) for the season, and USTA membership is required. How to get started If your child is interested in team play, the first thing you should do is contact a Junior Team Tennis coordinator. For the Metro area, the coordinator is Joan Akpan, who can be reached by e-mail at metrojtt@gmail.com or call (718) 258-4730. Teams are forming now. The Highland Park team (pictured above) was one of the top 32 Junior Team Tennis teams from across the country competing for the 18 & Under National Championship in Cayce, S.C. in October. Congratulations to the Hawks for finishing 11th in the nation

Youth Tennis Leagues

More than 100 players are participating in the Fall Season of Youth Tennis Leagues (YTL) at three locations in the Metro area: Cary Leeds Center in the Bronx, Cunningham Tennis in Fresh Meadows, and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows. The Winter Session will begin the end of January and spots are still available for Intermediate players ages

seven through 12 at Cunningham Park Tennis (Sundays from 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., start date of Jan. 23) and the Cary Leeds Center (Saturdays from 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., start date of Jan. 30). For more information and registration, visit YouthTennisLeagues.com, e-mail youthtennisleagues@gmail.com or call YTL Director Joan Akpan at (718) 258-4730.

NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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USTA Metro Region USTA Eastern Metro Board Volunteer Spotlight Christina Bowllan, Junior Volunteer Chairperson

What school do you go to and what grade are you in? I attend the all-girls, The Hewitt School, located on the Upper East Side, and I am currently a 10th grader.

the net. While they were doing this, the instructors would walk around and help them with their form. It was so great to see them so happy to learn how to play tennis and not want to leave!

How did you get involved with the USTA Eastern Metro Region Board? I became involved with the Metro Board because I was interested in volunteering and love tennis. I contacted Jackie Clark about this board back in May 2015, and that was the start of me joining.

Why do you think other high school students should volunteer in tennis? Other high school students should volunteer because when you are a teenager, you are in an exploratory mode. We, as teens, want to know everything about anything, and why not target some of that curiosity toward a great cause? During high school, students are trying to figure out where they want to go to college and what careers they may be interested in, and everything you do outside of school somehow influences this.

Why did you want to volunteer? For the past couple of years, I have wanted to volunteer, but not with just any organization. I wanted to be involved with one that I could work and develop a relationship with. My goal now is to volunteer to see New York through all sorts of perspectives and find ways to help. I have always been interested in seeing New York in all lights, and volunteering has been able to do that for me. What have been some of the activities that you have been involved with through volunteering with the Metro Region Board? I have been involved in all sorts of events with the Metro Region Board. The first one I did was in May, and we handed out t-shirts to players and took pictures at a tournament. Next, the Metro Region Board partnered up with the South Brooklyn Tennis Association (SBTA) and we volunteered for a couple hours in one of their city neighborhood parks. This event was the most memorable for me. It was a hot, summer day in August. There were all sorts of tennis balls flying around and too many kids of all ages to count, but all of them were so excited and enthusiastic to learn tennis! The kids lined up into three groups, and for hours, we would pitch them balls and they would hit them over 26

Who is your favorite tennis player? My favorite tennis player would definitely be Rafael Nadal. The Metro Region Board attended a Rafael Nadal event this past summer, and we were fortunate enough to see him play. This was the first time I ever saw him play in person and I loved it! He was so poised, polite and kind to all of those in attendance, and I was inspired just by watching him. After experiencing this, I recorded all of his U.S. Open matches and when he wasn’t playing, I would watch matches that he played in previous years. Oh, do I love Rafael Nadal! What is your favorite quote? “If they give you ruled paper, write the other way” … a quote by Juan Ramón Jiménez. What does tennis mean to you in a few adjectives? Confidence, boldness and enjoyable.

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com


adult league U S T A L E A G U E S U P D AT E

The Fall/Winter Metro seasons are in full swing. The 40 & Over Women’s and Men’s season are just finishing up, with playoffs coming up in January. Congratulations to the following teams for qualifying for 40 & Over playoffs at their respective levels: Women l 3.0 Level: Karen Johnson & Deborah Fantera l 3.5 Level: Ashley Rowe & Susan Chee and Liz Huttner & Patricia Gould l 4.0 Level: Susan Bacey & Diane Davis, Frederica Ford & Debra Bricker, Lauren Schaffer & Zoraida Rodriquez, and Jean Chin Men l 3.5 Level: To be determined l 4.0 Level: Lynn Brown & Robert Talia, Gabriel Slotnick &

your ISLAND

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David Cohn, and Fred Derman l 4.5+ Level: Ian Katz and Michael Doane The Manhattan Mixed-Doubles season started up in November and will continue through January. The Queens Mixed-Doubles teams are now set, with matches commencing in January. For the first time, Metro Tennis will include 40 & Over MixedDoubles League, with play beginning in February. If you are interested in playing in any of the leagues, e-mail SBricker@MetroTennis.com.

Our charming waterfront villas are located across two miles of pristine white sand beach. Equipped with private tennis courts, Palm Island Resort offers unlimited complimentary play, complimentary round robin every Saturday, and affordable clinics for both adults and kids. Call us today to plan your stay!

941.697.4800 www.PalmIsland.com 7092 Placida Rd,Cape Haze, FL 33946 NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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2016 A

Djokovic 2016 Do Credit all photos to Sidney Beal III

World number f there was any doubt that Novak Djokovic was the best player in the world heading into 2015, those doubts were not only erased, but obliterated from the minds of tennis fans and aficionados. The 28-year-old Serbian put together one of the best seasons in the history of the men’s game in 2015. He won 11 titles overall, including six Masters 1000 crowns and three Grand Slam championships, falling just short of completing the Calendar Grand Slam, losing to Stan Wawrinka in the French Open finals back in May. But 2015 was a pivotal year for Djokovic. Despite his previous success, it seemed he was still lingering in the shadow of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, and his 82-6 record lent a hand in ensuring that would no longer be the case. “The last four years, I managed to win the World Tour Finals, where the best players in the world are playing. For some reason or another, I’ve been playing some of my best tennis after the U.S. Open, in Asia and also indoors, both Paris and London,” Djokovic said during November’s ATP World Tour Finals, which he won for the fourth straight time. “I’ve been trying to really pay as equal attention to the work and recovery, as well, mental and physical. It allows me to have the matches and the tournaments I’ve had in the last couple years. But this sea-

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Australian Open Preview

c Sets Sights on omination Down Under

one looks to repeat success of 2015 son definitely stands out. I cannot say I expected it … not at all … but it obviously gives me a lot of confidence for anything that is coming in the future.” Djokovic put together one of the greatest seasons (arguably the greatest) in the history of the men’s game, becoming only the third player in the Open era to reach all four Grand Slam finals, posting a 93 percent winning percentage and reached the final in every tournament he played in except Doha at the beginning of the year. He finished the season with more ATP points than Federer (number two in the world) and Andy Murray (number three in the world) combined. And the competition at the top of the sport has never been greater, making what the Serb did in 2015 that much more remarkable. Many believe that the sport has never been as loaded with as many top athletes and has never been as physically demanding than it is today. Djokovic very well may have been the most dominant athlete in all of sports in 2015. While his colleague on the women’s side, Serena Williams, as well as the likes of basketball star Steph Curry and golfer Jordan Speith all had phenomenal seasons, none were as dominant from the start of the season through the end, finding success from wire to wire. “It’s hard to play at this pace all of the time … he doesn’t need much,” Federer said of Djokovic’s season and his game. “We’re talking small margins. You don’t win a breakpoint, he does … it changes the whole outcome of the match. You can-

By Brian Coleman

not always be on the winning side. Margins are small at the very top. That’s why Novak’s 2015 was so amazing. Nadal has been there. We both know how hard it is to back it up year after year.” Federer brings up an interesting point, that the margin between victory and defeat in tennis is so small, and that repeating such a dominant year can be extremely difficult. While Djokovic knows how true this, he has set his sights on another big season in 2016 and will try to duplicate his near-perfect 2015 season. “Roland Garros is always one of the biggest challenges I have every year, but it’s not the only one,” said Djokovic, who has never won the French Open. “There are the Olympic Games happening every four years. I will try to do as well as I’ve done in the last couple of years, always peak at the right moments and always try to perform my best at the bigger events.” Each new year presents itself with new challenges and thus new goals. This year, Djokovic will try to reach new goals as he leads his fellow Serbs at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and seeks his first triumph on Paris’ clay-courts. But first, Djokovic will set his sights on Melbourne where he looks to dominate the men’s draw at the 2016 Australian Open. Brian Coleman is senior editor for New York Tennis Magazine. He may be reached by phone at (516) 409-4444, ext. 326 or e-mail brianc@usptennis.com.

NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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2016 Austr By Andrew Eichenholz layers, fans and everyone in between have waited four long months for answers to many of their questions. Could anybody possibly knock off the two players who completed arguably a couple of the best individual seasons in the history of tennis? Will there be a new tier of athletes who rise up to challenge those champions’ throne? What will the world see out of legends looking to make some noise at the end of their careers? In the world of tennis, the Australian Open is always the first stop where many of those questions, at least to an extent, are answers. Melbourne gives players a chance to make their opening statements as they buckle themselves in for the roller coaster that is a tennis campaign.

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The men’s side of the draw Contenders When one thinks of some of the best tennis campaigns of all-time, Roger Federer’s 92-5 2006 season comes to mind along with Rod Laver’s Calendar Grand Slam-winning 1969. You can throw Novak Djokovic’s 2015 season right into that mix as one of the finest in history. The Serbian won three Grand Slam titles, only losing in the French Open final to Stan Wawrinka. Other than that, Djokovic set the record for most ATP Masters 1000 titles in a year with six, won the ATP World Tour Finals and showed the most consistently elite tennis in a calendar year, compiling a record of 82-6. 30

Roger Federer is arguably the best player to ever pick up a tennis racket. But at 34-yearsold, how much does he have left to give? If last season showed the world anything, it is that Federer still has jaw-dropping tennis to bring to the court. From his socalled SABR (Sneak Attack By Roger) in which he would surprise opponents by returning their serves from near the service line to overall consistent performance, Federer was not far off from adding an 18th major to his mantle. Djokovic stood in his way at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, both four-set championship losses, but there is no reason to believe that he cannot threaten again. Stan Wawrinka, 2014 Australian Open Champion, kept Djokovic from the history books in 2015. One may call his 48 winners in the final three sets of the French Open final masterpieces of aggression. A few years back, before Wawrinka entrenched himself inside the top 10, he would not be able to maintain that level for a full match. Wawrinka may not produce the year-round results that Djokovic does, but he has advanced to the quarterfinals or better at eight of the last nine majors. When he gets there.

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com

Pretenders Andy Murray led Great Britain to its first Davis Cup title since 1936. By all accounts, it was a major accomplishment, but it does leave many questions unanswered. Did he put everything in his tank out on the court to win the team title? Will the offseason be enough time mentally to recover and refocus on Murray’s individual goals? Armed with an all-around game that has allowed him to challenge and even beat Djokovic in the past, Murray has the potential to win every tournament he plays. But it is very possible that he will start the year off slowly and not reach his fifth Australian Open final. J a p a n ’s K e i Nishikori burst onto the scene at the 2014 U.S. Open, reaching the finals in Flushing Meadows, and then reached the quarterfinals of both the Australian and French Opens in 2015. But an array of injuries have halted the progress of the talented Nishikori, and despite his top 10 seed, don’t expect Nishikori to make a deep run in Melbourne. Young Australian Nick Kyrgios has proven that he has the game and the confidence to take on the best in the sport. He beat Federer, Wawrinka


ralian Open Preview and Milos Raonic in 2015. But on the flip side, Kyrgios is also 20-years-old and is still developing. Young players are bound to have mental lapses, especially in front of a partisan home crowd—how could that not be distracting? While nobody will be surprised to see Kyrgios threaten to make another second week in Melbourne, losing to a wily veteran early is a more likely option. Sleepers Every few years, all eyes turn to the so-called “next generation” of players who people claim will be tennis’ superstars sooner or later. Most recently, on the men’s side, this generation was said to be led by Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori and Grigor Dimitrov. Nishikori found his way to one Grand Slam final at the 2014 U.S. Open but other than that, none have proven to be a consistent threat at the Slams. Today’s “next generation” is led by a talented group, perhaps more so than the last, consisting of Borna Coric, Andrey Rublev and arguably the best of the three, Alexander Zverev. At only 18, he is firmly inside the world’s top-100, and is only going to move up. Sporting a six-foot six-inch tall frame and clean, crisp strokes across the board, the youngster will have a chance to fill out his body and become a threat off the ground against whoever stands across the net. Now, the German will not win the Australian Open and making a very deep run is probably out of the question, but with no pressure against a top player who has all the pressure to beat a newcomer, do not rule out Zverev. He can play, and will be on the contender list consistently in a few years.

A player who has been on many contenders list in years past is Rafael Nadal. For the first time since 2004, the Spaniard failed to reach a major semifinal. Still rounding himself into form after all of the injuries he has dealt with, Nadal flew under the radar, as Djokovic and Federer put on a show in 2015. Even though he finished the year fifth in the rankings, Nadal is not considered a favorite for the Australian Open. The man owns 14 Grand Slam titles including one in Melbourne in 2009. With that resume, do not be surprised if Nadal makes a deep run.

A player who does not have those same credentials but is always a threat is Tomas Berdych. The topranked man from the Czech Republic, Berdych has too much game for virtually every player on the ATP Tour. Few can compete with the overwhelming pace of his forehand and backhand. Berdych has reached the quarterfinals or better in each of the last five Australian Opens, and is without a doubt a player who can threaten the top guys in the second week. Playing him is like treading water in the ocean—the water will keep coming relentlessly just like his game, unless someone finds enough variety to catch onto the current and ride it safely to shore. The best of the best like Djokovic and Murray are able to take Berdych out of his baseline bashing patterns to control play themselves, but if not, Berdych is a real threat.

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Call 914-907-0041 or E-mail BloomGilad@gmail.com NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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2016 Austr The women’s side of the draw Contenders Serena Williams held the world’s attention on her racket at the 2015 U.S. Open. Two wins. Three sets. That was all that stood between the world number one and her storied pursuit of the elusive Calendar Grand Slam. A winner of four consecutive majors, the younger Williams sister was that close to capturing a fifth consecutive Grand Slam, sweeping the calendar’s four biggest titles. Then she lost. Nobody, including her opponent, Roberta Vinci, thought that Williams would walk out of Arthur Ashe Stadium a loser after the semifinals. But she did. Is Serena done? Absolutely not. While she has laid low for a large majority of the fall, Williams will head into Melbourne as the heavy favorite to capture the year’s first major. Armed with the biggest serve in the history of women’s tennis and an under recognized variety off the ground, the only one who will likely be able to defeat the best in the world is herself. Someone who will try to get in Serena’s way is Maria Sharapova. The Russian missed the U.S. Open, but is on track to make another Slam run when the Australian Open gets underway. She has made the semifinals or further in Melbourne seven times, including her 2008 32

title run. There is nobody in the sport who brings a more intense focus and desire to win point-in and point-out, and few could keep up with her deep, hard-hit groundstrokes. Look for her to stick around and possibly be an obstacle for Serena towards the tournament’s end. Someone who was an obstacle for Serena in 2015 was Garbine Muguruza. The number threeranked player in the world still has not broken through for the casual fan just yet, but this tournament may be where that happens. There is virtually nobody who can trade groundstrokes with Serena, but the Spaniard is pretty close. Despite a shocking loss to Johanna Konta in the second round of the U.S. Open, Muguruza still managed to close her year out on a strong note by making the semis at the WTA Finals. It is hard to argue that anybody will beat Serena down under, but if the top seed is sent packing, look out for the 22-year-old at the bookend of the tournament. Pretenders Czech Karolina Pliskova is one of the most purely talented players on the WTA Tour. She reached a career-high of seventh in the world just before the U.S. Open and looked like she could possibly be the next “unknown talent” to make a deep run at a major. But at the same time, Pliskova has struggled at the majors. The

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com

23-year-old has worked her way up the rankings, but the furthest she has made it at a Slam is the third round, she has done that twice, at last year’s Australian Open and the 2014 U.S. Open. While her ranking and more-than-solid baseline game is conducive to hard courts, experience is valuable. Without having made a second week, the future star will not have enough quite yet to threaten for the title. In contrast, Agnieszka Radwanska has a lot of experience at all levels of the sport. Poland’s top player has reached the quarterfinals or later in a Grand Slam 11 times, including one run to the finals at Wimbledon in 2012. There may be no other athlete in the sport—male or female—who brings as many tricks with them to the tennis court. Radwanska can play defense, use a plethora of slices, create angles around the court and simply confuse her opponents. But there are many players in today’s game who can hit through Radwanska’s defenses. She may be able to get past one or possibly two of those types of opponents, but eventually her run will come to an end. The player most likely to defy Radwanska’s spot on this list is Romanian world number two, Simona Halep. In recent years, she has shown those who may not be weekto-week tennis fans that she is capable of becoming a household name. But


ralian Open Preview at some point, all hot streaks come to an end. From the 2014 Australian Open through the 2015 Australian Open, Halep reached the quarterfinals or better at every Slam except for the U.S. Open. Since, she has lost in the second round of the French Open and in the opening round of Wimbledon. While she did make the semifinals of the U.S. Open, Halep struggled after her run in Flushing. The offseason is meant to refresh players and give them a shot at recovering for a new season. But will that be able to replenish Halep’s confidence? Sleepers Serena’s sister, Venus Williams is as much a contender as she is a sleeper, but somehow, the elder Williams sister has found herself flying under the radar. After closing out 2014 ranked 18th in the world, she defied her age of 35 to put together a strong season. If it were not for her own sister beating her in the Round of 16 at

Wimbledon and in the U.S. Open’s quarterfinal, who knows how far Venus could have gone? Venus looks stronger than she has in years, and if her draw opens up in Melbourne, the oldest player in the top100 stands a chance to win her first Grand Slam since 2008. It is as if the tennis world has forgotten that Victoria Azarenka has won two Grand Slam titles. And news flash … they both came at the Australian Open. Azarenka is still working herself back from injuries the last couple of years, but she has shown that she is not far off in terms of results. At both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, the Belarusian lost in the quarterfinals, to Serena and Halep, respectively. Each defeat came in three sets, and if she gets to the second week again, there is no doubt that one of the best players in the game has the ability to give the top players trouble.

While she is only 18 - y e a r s - o l d , Belinda Bencic has beaten stars, and a lot of them. At the Canadian Open in August, she won the title by beating an impressive list of players—each had at some point in their career been in the world’s top 12. To beat Serena and Halep in back-to-back three-setters to seal the deal made it all the more impressive. The scary part for her future opponents is that Bencic will only get better. If she catches fire in Melbourne, look out. Andrew Eichenholz is a journalism student at Stony Brook University, where he currently is a staff writer for The Statesman, covering tennis amongst many sports. He grew up playing tennis at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, where he learned to love the game, eventually becoming a part-time tennis instructor, working for the most part with the QuickStart 10 & Under Program. He may be reached by email at Andrew.Eichenholz@StonyBrook.edu.

T E N N I S

R U S H

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NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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2016 Australian


Open Preview

New York’s Rubin Gears Up for Aussie Open ast year at this time, Noah Rubin was a freshman at Wake Forest University, on his way to becoming the best freshman in college tennis and an NCAA singles finalist. While the pro tour beckoned, Rubin was focused on the task at hand: Successfully making his mark on the collegiate tennis world, as he prepared for the upcoming spring season. A year later, Rubin has taken on the ATP World Tour and is preparing to compete in the main singles draw at the 2016 Australian Open. Days spent attending classes, studying and juggling schoolwork with tennis have been replaced with hours of on and off-court training at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, as Noah learns to manage his life as a young adult, and his career as pro tour player under the guidance of JMTA directors and coaches, and, of course, of John McEnroe. In November, Rubin secured a wild card into the main draw of this year’s Aussie Open by winning his first ATP Challenger tournament in Charlottesville, where he played eight matches in nine days, including a dramatic comeback in the finals—saving two match points after losing the first set and trailing 1-5 in the second. The victory set into motion a critical action plan for Noah’s off-season training and tournament selection, which Rubin admits was both exciting and overwhelming. “There were no expectations for me going into the final tournaments of 2015,” said Rubin. “I knew what I was capable of and this was another opportunity to prove it. It all took place so quickly, from winning my first ATP Challenger title to being awarded the wild card. I am not yet where I want to be, but this opportunity to train for and play at the Australian Open definitely takes me one step closer.” Professional tennis has the longest in-season tournament schedule of any pro sport, with tournaments scheduled most weeks from January through November , meaning that the off-season is basically a single month, and needs to be utilized optimally by players and coaching teams. This is the only time of the year when fitness coaches have the opportunity to put their players through more rigorous and demanding strength and conditioning routines, with the goal of addressing deficiencies and imbalances in anticipation of the start of the New Year. Rubin discovered just how intense off-season training could be after spending some of November and most of December working through a methodical, yet unorthodox program, designed by

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John McEnroe Tennis Academy Director of Athletic Performance Richard-John Mensing Jr. Noah’s off-season workout focused on both physical and mental components, as well as on the vital role nutrition plays in supporting and aiding his body’s recovery. “I have never felt better in my life,” said Rubin. “It is an incredible transformation as I feel now more than ever that I can walk onto the court and outlast the person on the other side. I also now understand the importance of realizing what my body needs in order to thrive and reach its maximum strength.” Not all of Rubin’s time was spent in the gym and on-court. In order to acclimate him for the blazing temperatures Down Under, he and Coach Mensing spent a portion of the off-season in the sun, heat and humidity of Miami. Ocean swims, sand dune sprints and other unique and unconventional components were all designed to improve Noah’s overall fitness and to increase his capacity to adapt to the grueling elements players historically endure at the Australian Open. Lawrence Kleger, director of tennis at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy and Noah’s long-time personal coach, is very grateful to have Coach Mensing as a fellow JMTA director and in Noah’s corner. “Richard Mensing Jr. working with Noah has made an incredible difference, not only in Noah’s physical condition, but also his mental approach to the stresses and demands of the ATP Tour. Noah has not yet cracked the ATP Top 100, but his work ethic is top 10. Hard work pays off and we are expecting some terrific results in 2016,” said Kleger. Looking back, Rubin knows how quickly things can change. “There is no predicting what the future holds,” said Rubin. “As I learned when I made my run at Junior Wimbledon and at the U.S. Nationals in 2014, and as I found out recently in Charlottesville, everything can change in an instant. My job is to make sure that my mind and body are ready for anything. It is a rollercoaster, but I am thoroughly enjoying every second of it.” Rubin hopes that his hiatus from college will be a long one which sees his dream of a successful career on the ATP World Tour realized. Noah continues to work hard with his JMTA coaches and trainers to educate himself, as he learns what it will take to realize his dreams. Let the 2016 season begin.

NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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You Are Good Enough! From Federer to Curry to Brady to You! By Rob Polishook, Mental Training Coach MA, CPC

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magine this … you just turned pro. You play a few tournaments, and in your first year, your record is 2-3. Okay, fair enough as you’re just getting into things. In your second year, your record is 12-14. You play two Davis Cup matches and lose both and then lose in the first round of all seven outdoor tournaments you entered. You also fail to reach the main draw of the U.S. Open and Australian Open Grand Slams due to losses in the qualification rounds. Okay … so this is going to be hard. Then, in your third year, you lose in 21 out of 38 first round matches! Your season ending record is 27-30. In your first three years as a pro, you compile an overall record of 41-47. Hardly what you expected. If this happened to you, how would you feel about your game? What would you think of your prospects in terms of making a living as a pro tennis player? What would you think about reaching your goals? As a mental training coach, when I ask kids these questions, most say, “It would be rough!” others have even said, “I’d look for another job!” Well, thankfully, the fellow I am talking about above didn’t look for another job. This is the story of how Roger Federer began his professional career. Roger and his camp must have known or believed what others didn’t: That he was “good enough” to do this. Clearly, early in his career, he was not good enough as a tennis player, otherwise he would have been winning more matches. But while it would take time and experience to get traction, he must have had an intrinsic feeling that, regardless of the mounting losses, he was good enough to keep going. This spirit would act 36

“When you bring your spirit, your whole self, and your heart to the competition, the results begin to speak for themselves..” like fuel in a car. It would allow him to persevere, learn from adversity, not overreact to losses and not judge every match as an indicator of his future or if he was good enough. Certainly the rest is history. Federer continues to amaze. It seems at every level he plays, whether he wins or loses, he seemingly doesn’t define himself by the outcome. Rather, his focus is on what he can control: Doing the best he can, bouncing back and improving. Similarly, if we look from the outside in at Stephen Curry and Tom Brady, both of them were not good enough early in their college careers. If people only looked at the stats, no one would ever have predicted the greatness they have achieved. It took time for them to be the superstars they are recognized as now. Somewhere deep inside, they must have believed, “Hey, I can do this.” Seemingly, they were comfortable where they were, being good enough at the present time as a person and athlete, not trying to rush the process to be something they weren’t. Their real game was about learning, improving, working hard and cultivating a spirit of courage, confidence, humility, resiliency and purpose under pressure, especially when others didn’t believe. Coming from this place, even if they found they were not good enough on the athletics field, they could walk away knowing they gave 100 percent. Their score did not determine their worth, and, as people, they were good enough. I know, you’re not Roger, Stephen or Tom

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com

… so what does this mean for you? Just like them, you are good enough! No matter what level you are currently playing at, or whether you win or lose in your next tournament, you are good enough. Don’t let others or the results be an indicator of the future. You are more than an athlete. Knowing this will provide the freedom you need to let go of the results, so that you can stop feeling like you have to prove anything to anyone, and instead, focus on what you need to do to continue progressing and bring all the attributes of who you are to the court. That’s what the players and commentators mean when they say, “So and so is playing within themselves, they are letting the game come to them and are not forcing things.” This is the point where the magic happens. When you bring your spirit, your whole self, and your heart to the competition, the results begin to speak for themselves. Then, even if you lose on the court, you still know you are good enough! Trust your process. Trust in that little voice that says: “I can do this.” Federer, Curry and Brady were good enough and so are you! Rob Polishook, MA, CPC is founder and director of Inside the Zone Sports Performance Group. As a mental training coach, he works with athletes and teams, focusing on helping athletes gain the mental edge. Rob is author of Tennis Inside the Zone: Mental Training Workouts for Champions. He may be reached by phone at (973) 723-0314, e-mail rob@insidethezone.com or visit www.insidethezone.com.


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Inspiring and Motivating Your Child to Play By Andres Sanchez or the past 10 years, I have taught, volunteered and observed at various tennis clubs around the United States. All of these facilities offer 10 & Under Tennis programs for youth tennis players, so I have witnessed firsthand how to run these programs. There are two main challenges I face on a daily basis as a coach, manager and junior tennis director. The first is the education of the parents. The second is keeping the kids motivated to play with the proper sized ball and court for the appropriate amount of time—not when mom and dad see that little Johnny can hit four balls over the net. Many parents focus on a race against the clock to get their child to full court yellow ball tennis. This mindset goes against the purpose of 10 & Under Tennis and the best interest of their child’s development. It’s not to say it’s impossible to develop a technically-sound player using the old style of yellow balls with a full-sized racquet, hitting moon balls from the baseline. However, there is a faster and more fun way of learning tennis in which the chances of a child falling in love with the sport and playing for a lifetime are much greater. There is a stigma that goes along with 10 & Under Tennis that kids and parents say all of the time” “That’s for babies,” “It’s not real tennis” or “When can I move up to the next level?” It is very hard to change a player and/or a parent’s mindset if they believe what you are trying to do is “For babies” or “Not real tennis.” I have given quite a bit of thought to these comments over the years, with hopes to make a change. I decided to tackle the one question I had heard incessantly and had total control over: “When can I move up to the next level?” I shifted my attention to solving this problem, and I worked hard to come up with a good solution. I knew if there was a set of “universal guidelines” for all kids, it would solve 95 percent of the problems and questions I was getting from both these parents and students. The challenge was finding a way to get everyone on the same page to understand exactly what was required of a student to move up to the next level. For the last three years, I have been working on creating and implementing a system that resembles that of martial arts. Instead of earning belts for completing certain goals, I use different colored stripes that go on the throat of a player’s racquet. Each color ball (red, orange and green) has a different number of stripes that a player must achieve before they can graduate to the next ball. Once a player has earned all of their stripes in red ball, they must complete an on-court challenge as a final test. If they complete a series of tasks that demonstrate their full development on a 26foot court with red balls, they can move up to orange ball. This process of stripes and challenges continues in orange ball and green ball until the player has reached full court with yellow balls. With each new stripe a player receives, an arrow is drawn to in-

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dicate what has been completed on the current stripe. For example, one stripe may require a player to get a forehand arrow, backhand arrow, serve arrow and an athletic development arrow. As the player becomes competent with all of these arrows, it is marked off on their stripe. There is also another component to this system … the building of one’s character. There is another stripe that goes along with all of this called the white stripe, which stands for “SAFE,” an acronym for Sportsmanship, Attitude, Focus and Effort. Players must show all of these qualities during the lesson, before and after as well. As they show these qualities, they start to fill up their white stripe. So along with getting arrows to help build their tennis skills, a player is also being taught the importance of being a good sport, having a great attitude, staying focused and always showing effort in anything they do. Back in May, we teamed up with Grips Challenge to implement and combine the stripes program I created with a program Grips Challenge has been doing for years. With more than 600 unique players in red, orange and green ball programs, it has been a

tremendous success with players showing more interest and passion for the game than ever before. Parents have been loving it as well, since it gives them great feedback on how their child is doing in class and how close they are to moving up to the next class and what they need to do to achieve that next level. We call this program the Centercourt Player Achievement Pathway. The best thing that the Pathway does for our program is that it takes the child away from asking that question of, “When can I move up to the next level?” By taking care of that one question, it allows the coach to focus on developing the player to the best of their ability on the most appropriate size court for them. It shows both the player and parent exactly what they need to do technically and how they need to behave on the court before they can earn their way up. For parents and players, it is essential for them to know what they need to do to get to the next level. From a business standpoint, it’s great because it allows the club to promote to the kids that the more you play tennis, the faster you can earn your stripes. My goal is to promote the strength and op-

portunity that has become available through 10 & Under Tennis, and how using an earned advancement system can greatly help your program succeed and grow. My core philosophy is to inspire the imagination of the players I work with every day and this program allows players to be inspired and motivated more than ever. My philosophy has been shaped by my love of tennis and passion working with children. I’ve made it my mission to educate other tennis enthusiasts about the power of 10 & Under Tennis, and I will continue to advocate for children to develop into the best tennis players they can be, using the most effective methods to help them love the game forever. Andres Sanchez is the assistant director of 10 & Under Tennis and Junior Programming at Centercourt Athletic Club. He has been working with children in tennis and a variety of other developmental areas. He has successfully worked on methods that help to incentivize and motivate kids to play more tennis and is a USPTA- and PTR-certified pro and graduated from the USTA High Performance Coaching Program.

Centercourt Performance Tennis Academy (CPTA) is a one of a kind facility dedicated to the development and performance of tennis players. CPTA features eleven hard courts, one red clay court, a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning center, an indoor turf field and an academic center. Our mission is to help every student-athlete realize his or her potential athletically and academically. Our players respect the game, their peers, parents, and coaches. Our curriculum features comprehensive tennis instruction as well as physical and mental conditioning. CPTA offers both full-time and after-school programs 7 days per week with tournament coaching and travel. Both programs have rolling admissions from September 9, 2015 to June 21, 2016. CPTA also offers an 11-week summer training camp, with van shuttle transportation available for players located in the New York area. Contact us to schedule an appointment and discover the place championships come to train!

Centercourt Performance Tennis Academy 65 Columbia Road, Morristown, NJ www.CentercourtAcademy.com

Contact Clay Bibbee: clay@centercourtclub.com NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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courtsix New York Tennis Magazine’s Gossip Column By Emilie Katz Ivanovic and Dimitrov team up for Rolex campaign Tennis stars Ana Ivanovic and Grigor Dimitrov paired up for a photo shoot for Rolex Magazine. The issue was highlighting the watch’s Oyster Perpetual YachtMaster watch, and the two both sported the timepiece.

Isner makes his list and checks it twice Santa Claus met his biggest fan recently, as topranked American John Isner paid Old St. Nick a visit at a local Bass Pro Shops store.

Serena mourns the loss of best friend It was a sad time recently for world number one Serena Williams as she had to say goodbye to her beloved dog

All Expenses Paid Trip A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Jewish tennis players, ages 17 to 19 years old, to train, travel and compete in Israel. • Compete in an ITF Tournament. • Participate in invitational tournaments. • Spend three summer weeks (mid July to early August) training and traveling in Israel.

www.Israeli-sports-exchange.com Call Larry Seidman at (973) 952-0405 or e-mail LBSeidman@msn.com 40

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com

Jackie. Serena got Jackie in 1999, two weeks before she won her first Grand Slam title, and the pair enjoyed a 16-year life together. She posted a moving montage of pictures of her and Jackie over the years on her Instagram page. “Today really is hard for me,” she wrote on Instagram. “My special friend in which I got at 17 (two weeks before I won my very first Grand Slam) left me today.”

Ferrer ties the knot There is much to do in the offseason of professional tennis players, one of which is to get married. Spaniard David Ferrer married long-time girlfriend Marta Tomel recently in Valencia, Spain (pictured here). He wasn’t the only one to tie the knot in recent weeks, as Elena Vesnina and Marc Lopez also married their significant others.

ITF announces partnership with Betway The International Tennis Federation has announced a partnership with online gambling company Betway. The agreement gives Betway on-court branding at all Davis Cup and Fed Cup World Group ties. Despite a lot of public concern regard-


ing a conflict of interest, the ITF ensured that the partnership is “fully compliant with the rules and interpretations of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme.”

Tweets from the pros

Mardy Fish (@MardyFish): I love playing this guy for money. @JustinVerlander

Bouchard and Woznicki ‘balling’ in Miami

Victoria Azarenka (@Vika7): Aloha Friday #lifesizeemoji #squad John Isner (@JohnIsner): Thank you @benfergusonshow for unearthing this gem. What do you think @justingimelstob ??? #thatsmycoach

Eugenie Bouchard (@GenieBouchard): Thank you Nicky B @NickBollettieri for coming out on court this week :)

Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios): #leavingalegacy Both Caroline Wozniacki and Eugenie Bouchard recently stopped by the set of HBO’s hit show “Ballers.” Will we see them make a cameo on the upcoming season?

Serena Williams (@SerenaWilliams): How much fun am I having at the @IPTL? It’s crazy. #ILoveMyTeam

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continued on page 42

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Christina McHale (@ChristinaMcHale): Sister time in LA

court six continued from page 41 Venus Williams (@VenusesWilliams): Enjoyed lunch and art at the Wynwood kitchen today. Food, art and expression make life so much more … Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal): One of the things about tennis is getting to meet interesting people from all over the world … ;)

Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole): Enjoying our wonderful vacation together ... still can’t get a racquet out of my hand. Hi to my #Nolefam

Caroline Wozniacki (@CaroWozniacki): The face you make when you told your friends you are staying in and then bump in to them while shopping … #busted Roger Federer (@RogerFederer): Racing my way from Dubai to India for @iptl

Aga Radwanska (@ARadwanska): 1st match and a win @IPTL #BreakTheCode @RafaelNadal @DodigTennis @MirzaSania @rohanbopanna @fabsantoro72

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New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com

Noah Rubin (@Noahrubin33): I don’t usually wear sneakers but I make exceptions for these @Ferragamo

Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob): Fun getting a one-handed backhand lesson from @TommyHaas13—one of the best in the sport! Ana Ivanovic (@AnaIvanovic): Another day to get better and fitter! #PreSeason


COMING IN MARCH 2016

Distribution scheduled for 03/01/16

This edition will feature: • Guide to New York’s Top Tennis Camps • Guide to New York’s Top Court Builders and Manufacturers • Australian Open Recap • Boys High School Tennis Season Preview

Distribution across New York at 300+ locations: • Indoor tennis clubs • Country clubs • Restaurants and health food stores • Tennis camps • Retail stores • Gyms • Supermarkets and • Many more!

Don’t miss the advertising opportunities in the next edition of New York Tennis Magazine March/April 2016! Facebook-www.Facebook.com/NYTennisMag Instagram-@NYTennisMag • Twitter-@NYTennisMag Submissions for both advertising and editorial are due by2016 February 2016 NYTennisMag.com NYTennisMag.com • November/December • January/February 2015 • New York1, Tennis Magazine 43 For more information, please call 516-409-4444 or e-mail Advertise@NYTennisMag.com


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charitabl NYJTL Raises $450K-Plus at Annual Leadership Awards Luncheon ew York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL) recently held its 30th Annual Leadership Awards Luncheon at the Grand Hyatt New York, raising more than $450,000 to support its free community tennis programs, tournament team training, after-school programming and other tennis and education activities for children and young adults across the city. At the Luncheon, NYJTL presented Leadership Awards to three honorees: Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, photographer, author and consultant; and two-time Olympic gold medalists Gigi Fernandez and Mary Joe Fernandez. Emmy Award-winning sports reporter Russ Thaler emceed the event, which drew 300-plus attendees. “We are grateful to everyone who attended NYJTL’s 30th Annual Leadership Awards Luncheon to support our enduring commitment to transforming the lives of young people through tennis and education,” said Dr. Deborah Antoine, president and chief executive officer of NYJTL. “Our honorees, Jeanne MoutoussamyAshe, Gigi Fernandez and Mary Joe Fernandez, truly embody our values, and are so deserving of our Leadership Awards.” “We hope that by being here today to support NYJTL, we can reinforce the importance of what NYJTL is doing to guarantee that tennis and educational opportunities for underserved youth continue to expand in the future,” said Mary Joe. “Our stories are only relevant insofar as they prove that achieving dreams is possible. We hope to continue to make a difference by working with the USTA to promote Hispanic participation by speaking directly to the next generation of players.” NYJTL also recognized the accomplishments of three of its current program participants. The student honorees were Alex Chiu, recipient of the NYJTL Achievement Award; Tajimarie Preddie, recipient of the NYJTL Character Award; and Eric Blackshear, recipient of the Irwin Askenase Sportsmanship Award. “This thriving organization is a testament not only to tennis and sport, but also an example of what it means to live in America and dream big,” said Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe. The Luncheon’s event chairs were: Lawrence B. Benenson, Peter L. Malkin and Polly Scott, and event committee members were: Peter Bicks, Carole and Donald Dell, Benjamin Doller, Mark Ein, Lisa Askenase Konsker, Dalia Leeds, Suzanne Lengyel, Stacey Locker, Bernadette Longford, Lauren Mallon, Lawrence

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Mandelker, Beth and Josh Nash, Missie Rennie, Gordon Smith and Madan Suri. Every dollar raised at the Luncheon will go directly to support NYJTL programs thanks to the generosity of the event’s Presenting Sponsor Lawrence B. Benenson and The Frances and Benjamin Benenson Foundation, who have underwritten the luncheon for the past 30 years. The Arnhold Family also served as a Presenting Sponsor. Photographer Moutoussamy-Ashe has devoted many years to civic causes in health, arts, education and urban issues. Her work has appeared in many publications as well as in solo and group exhibitions around the world. In 2008 she founded the Arthur Ashe Learning Center (AALC), an educational nonprofit organization. Under her leadership, the AALC raised more than $1 million to support the AALC Inspirational Tour Exhibit. The Inspirational Tour exhibit examines the life and legacy of Arthur R. Ashe Jr. through the lenses of tennis and sport, youth and education, health and wellness, and civic engagement and active citizenship. With 17 Grand Slam titles and two Olympic Gold medals, Gigi Fernandez ranks among the greatest doubles players of all time. Dedicated to developing Puerto Rican tennis, Gigi worked with the island’s Fed Cup and Olympic teams, and in 2000, was named Puerto Rico’s Female Athlete of the Century. In 2010, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Today, Gigi spends her time heading the Gigi Fernandez Charitable Foundation as well as helping aspiring tennis players to master doubles strategy. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Miami, Mary Joe Fernandez first came to the tennis world’s attention as an outstanding junior player, winning four consecutive Orange Bowl junior titles. She went on to become a three-time Grand Slam singles finalist and a Bronze Medalist in singles at the 1992 Olympics. In addition, she won two Grand Slam titles and two Olympic Gold Medals in doubles. Since retiring as a player in 2000 with a 437203 singles record, she has continued her involvement in tennis working as a coach, commentator and advocate for the growth of the sport. Fernandez has been voted the second-most influential Hispanic female athlete of all time by a panel of blue-ribbon voters assembled by espnW and ESPN Deportes.

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com


T E N N I S

M A G A Z I N E ’ S

le initiatives Credit all photos: Matthew Ziegler

Sponsors and donors showed their support at the NYJTL’s 30th Annual Awards Luncheon

Presenters and award winners celebrate a successful 30th Annual NYJTL Leadership Awards Luncheon

The dining hall at The Grand Hyatt in New York City

NYJTL Senior Manager of Community Tennis Programs Scott Daly greets an associate during the Annual Awards Luncheon

Honorees and two-time Olympic Gold Medalists Gigi and Mary Joe Fernandez at the NYJTL’s 30th Annual Leadership Awards Luncheon


2015 New York City

Girls High School Recap Bronx Science Captures PSAL Individual Singles & Doubles Title It was a banner season for Bronx Science as Sarah Rahman captured the PSAL Individual Singles Championship, and the team of Perene Wang & Christina Huynh won the PSAL Doubles Championship

Bronx Science’s Perene Wang and Christina Huynh with their championship trophies The excellent fall campaign for Bronx Science continued past the team championship, as Sarah Rahman captured the PSAL Individual Singles Championship, and the team of Perene Wang & Christina Huynh won the PSAL Doubles Championship. The top-seeded Rahman, a junior, didn’t lose a game in neither the quarterfinal nor semifinal rounds, to set up a matchup with third-seed Nicole Stay of Francis Lewis in the finals. And while she would drop a couple of games in the opening set, that would be all, as she went on to defeat Stay 6-2, 6-0 to capture the PSAL Championship. Rahman only got back into tennis a year ago after taking time off, but the junior has not missed a beat. “Sarah’s growth has been steady since 46

she came back to tennis in her freshman year,” said Bronx Science Head Coach Jeff Menaker. “Her biggest improvement in the last year has been her serve. I see it as a weapon now. She hits a very clean ball, and she’s able to do that from everywhere on the court. She sees the court extraordinarily well in reading the ball and reacting to it.” Rahman said, “This season has been amazing. Winning the PSAL Championship and defeating the defending champions Beacon was immense for us as a team in addition to the undefeated season. Winning the Individual Tournament was great, especially because I didn’t play in it last year, and the fact that the other two singles players [Wang and Huynh] won doubles just proves how strong our team has become.”

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com

In doubles, the top-seeds Wang & Huynh outlasted second-seeds Alexus Gill & Michelle Khaimov of Beacon 6-2, 3-6, 62 to win the PSAL Doubles Title. “For freshmen, their tennis acumen is off the charts,” said Menaker. “We installed a strategic wrinkle in 20 minutes the day before the final. They were able to incorporate it in the third set of the final and it made a big difference in changing the momentum. I’ve coached state champions and finalists, and I’ve never seen a team grasp the doubles game faster.” Cardozo’s Emily Moczulski took home third-place with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Coney Banks of Frank Sinatra, and Leon Goldstein’s Rebecca MacDonald & Kayla Schumacher won third-place in doubles with a 7-6, 6-4 victory over Natasha OssesKonig & Andrea Osses-Konig of Beacon.


Brianna Williams of Bronx Science Named Winner of PSAL Wingate Award

Brianna Williams of Bronx Science was honored with the PSAL Wingate Award, an award honoring the New York City Public High School student-athlete in their senior year for their outstanding achievements. The coaches, commissioners and sport’s coordinators nominate athletes for this award. A committee, comprised of PSAL staff, reviews the nominated candidates and chooses the most accomplished student-athlete in each sport as the recipient of this most prestigious award. Williams made her name in PSAL tennis from her first year at Bronx Science. Williams did not lose a single match representing the Wolverines in the regular season, playoffs or individual tournament of her freshman cam-

paign in 2012, as she took home both the PSAL singles title and the Mayor’s Cup AllCity singles championship. She was undefeated again as a sophomore on her way to another All-City individual title. With her influence on the Bronx Science tennis program helping to turn a last place team into a perennial contender, other young tennis talents began to see Science as one of the elite programs in the city. Several more impact players arrived to join Williams as the team earned the number one seed in the PSAL team event each of the last two seasons. With all the pieces finally around her, Williams captained the Wolverines to their first ever PSAL team title this past October. Known for her booming serve, agility, speed, aggressive style of play, positive temperament, modesty and competitive spirit, Williams was honored with the sportsmanship award at the 2014 New Balance National High School Tennis Championships at Harvard University; an event where she won six of seven matches played on the national stage. “I’m really honored to be named the Wingate recipient this year,” said Williams. “This award is special to me because it sums up my tennis accomplishments both individ-

ually and with a team of amazing girls who have supported me through everything. When I graduate, this award will remind me of my Bronx Science experience.” Faced with a wrist injury that prevented her from defending her Mayor’s Cup crown in the spring of 2015, Brianna managed the following four months of recovery with grace and a determination to help her team. With migration of PSAL Girls’ Tennis to the fall semester shortening the offseason, Williams knew she would not have time to recover use of her dominant right hand before it finished healing. Working with her coach, family and teammates to learn how to play left-handed, Williams went undefeated in PSAL dual match play as a lefty doubles player and even won a singles match playing lefty. “Her efforts this year, playing lefty, nearly outweigh all the titles and accolades of her previous three years,” said Williams’ coach at Bronx Science, Jeff Menaker. “I knew from her freshman year that she would end up one of the greatest PSAL players ever. It’s Brianna’s character and leadership that set her apart in my eyes. Another kid might have given up the season with an injury healing. Brianna looked for any possible way to contribute to her team.”

Beacon Girls Capture Mayor’s Cup Title

Despite falling in the PSAL Championship to Bronx Science, the 2015 fall season ended on a high note for the girls of Beacon, who captured the Mayor’s Cup team

title. Led by senior captains Alexus Gill and Michelle Khaimov, Beacon was able to exact some revenge on the Wolverines of Bronx Science, beating them in the Mayor’s Cup final. “We were very happy and proud to win the Mayor’s Cup against some very strong competition,” said Beacon Head Coach Richard Miller. “First, I must congratulate the Bronx Science team, their players and coach, who had an amazing season. We enjoyed our rivalry with them and they had the better of us during the PSAL season on three

occasions. So, of course, to win the Mayor’s Cup was very satisfying.” The girls from Beacon will now look to build off of this win heading into next season. “That’s always the challenge,” said Miller. “We will miss the seniors that are graduating, not just Michelle [Khaimov] and Alexus [Gill]. But we have a great group of younger players, led by Victoria Sec and Sasha Bekirova. We will work hard in the off season and hope to be able to give Bronx Science and our other competition a great run in 2016. The girls on the team have a strong will to improve and do well, so I am confident we will continue to do that moving forward.”

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A Look Back at the Y BY EMILIE KATZ

2015 Grand Slam Winners

Australian Open 2015 Champions l Men’s Singles: Novak Djokovic (SRB) l Men’s Doubles: Simone Bolelli & Fabio Fognini (ITA) l Women’s Singles: Serena Williams (USA) l Women’s Doubles: Bethanie MattekSands (USA) & Lucie Safarova (CZE) l Mixed-Doubles: Martina Hingis (SUI) & Leander Paes (IND)

French Open 2015 Champions l Men’s Singles: Stan Wawrinka (SUI) l Men’s Doubles: Ivan Dodig (CRO) & Marcelo Melo (BRA) l Women’s Singles: Serena Williams (USA) l Women’s Doubles: Bethanie MattekSands (USA) & Lucie Safarova (CZE) l Mixed-Doubles: Bethanie MattekSands (USA) & Mike Bryan (USA)

Wimbledon 2015 Champions l Men’s Singles: Novak Djokovic (SRB) l Men’s Doubles: Jean-Julien Rojer (NED) & Horia Tecau (ROU) 48

l Women’s Singles: Serena Williams (USA) l Women’s Doubles: Martina Hingis (SUI) & Sania Mirza (IND) l Mixed Doubles: Martina Hingis (SUI) & Leander Paes (IND)

U.S. Open 2015 Champions l Men’s Singles: Novak Djokovic (SRB) l Men’s Doubles: Pierre-Hughes Herbert (FRA) & Nicholas Mahut (FRA) l Women’s Singles: Flavia Pennetta (ITA) l Women’s Doubles: Martina Hingis (SUI) & Sania Mirza (IND) l Mixed-Doubles: Martina Hingis (SUI) & Leander Paes (IND)

ATP Year-End Award Winners, presented by Moët & Chandon

l ATP World Tour No. 1 (determined by Emirates ATP Rankings): Novak Djokovic The 28-year-old Serbian has become the sixth player to clinch the year-end number one Emirates ATP Rankings on four or more occasions, following in the footsteps of Pete Sampras (six years), Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer (five years), Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe (four years). In 2015, Djokovic reached all four Grand Slam finals (3-1 record), eight ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament finals, winning titles in Indian Wells, Miami,

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com

Monte-Carlo, Rome, Shanghai and Paris. He also lifted the Beijing trophy among 14 finals. He closed out his successful season with a victory at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. l ATP World Tour No. 1 Doubles Team (determined by Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings): Jean-Julien Rojer & Horia Tecau The duo won the Barclays ATP World Tour final earning them the year-end number one ranking in the Emirates ATP Rankings for 2015. l ATP Star of Tomorrow Award presented by Emirates: Alexander Zverev This category, in its third year, replacing the player voted newcomer of the year, is awarded to the youngest player in the top 100 of emirates ATP rankings as of Nov. 9. Zverev, who began the season ranked number 136th, broke into the top 100 on May 18 and reached career-high number 74 on June 29. The 18-year-old German reached the Bastad semifinals and the quarterfinals in Washington, D.C. He also won one ATP Challenger Tour Title in Helibronn. l Most Improved Player of the Year (voted by ATP players): Hyeon Chung The 19-year-old Korean climbed more than 120 places from number 173 in the Emirates ATP rankings at the start of the year winning four titles on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2015. He also reach the Shenzhen quarterfinals and is currently ranked at a career-high of number 51. l Comeback Player of the Year (voted by ATP players): Benoit Paire A knee injury and long months of inactivity in 2014, saw the Frenchman drop out of the top 150 in the Emirates ATP rankings, but in 2015, he produced a dramatic resurgence. He captured his first ATP world tour title at Bastad in July


Year That Was 2015 to become the first player since Steve Darcis in 2007 to win an ATP World Tour, ATP Challenger Tour and ITF Future title in the same season. He recorded his first top five win over the number four ranked Kei Nishikori in the U.S. Open first round and went on to finish a runner-up in Tokyo where he beat Nishikori again in the semis. He is currently at a careerhigh number 20 in the Emirates ATP rankings.

dren,” which it does by “Identifying and supporting charities and causes that help at-risk youth survive and thrive. Tennis is at the core of what the brothers’ foundation does, as it “promotes the ideals of sport, and tennis in particular, to emphasize the values of hard work, dedication and perseverance”.

l Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship (voted by ATP players): Roger Federer Fellow players voted Roger Federer as the winner of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship award for the 11th time and fifth consecutive year. He also won the award six straight years, from 2004-2009.

l ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favorite Singles Player, presented by Moët & Chandon (voted by the fans): Roger Federer The Swiss has been voted ATPWorldTour.com fans’ favorite for a record 13th straight year, receiving 65 percent of all votes cast. Rafael Nadal finished second, followed by Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori.

l Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year Award (awarded by ATP): Bob & Mike Bryan The Californian twins have shown tremendous commitment to their off-court philanthropy, with their charitable foundation, Brian Bros, raising money for dozens of beneficiaries. The foundation’s mission is to “Support and grow the dreams of chil-

l ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favorite Doubles Team, presented by Moët & Chandon (voted by the fans): Bob Bryan & Mike Bryan The Bryan Brothers received 35 percent of votes to be named The ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favorite for a record 11th time. Australian Open champions Simone Bolelli & Fabio Fognini came in as the sec-

ond most popular duo, followed by Jamie Murray & John Peers in third place. l Media Excellence Award (awarded by ATP): Linda Pearce The Melbourne-based sportswriter covered her first Grand Slam in 1988. As the long-time chief tennis writer for The Age, she has since covered almost 50 majors, as well as four Davis Cup finals, multiple Olympic Games. She has won multiple media awards as a news and feature writer.

WTA Year-End Award Winners

l WTA Player of the Year: Serena Williams Serena Williams has won the WTA’s Player of the Year Award for seventh time in her career (2002, 2008-2009, & 2012-2015). The year-end number one for the fifth time in her career and third continued on page 50

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A Look Back at the Y consecutive year (2013-2015), Serena held the number one ranking for every week throughout the 2015 season. She finished the season with a 53-3 record winning a WTA-leading five titles in 2015, including three Grand Slam titles (Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon) to take her career total to 21 Grand Slam singles titles. In addition, she won her eighth title in Miami and third consecutive title at Cincinnati. She finished the season with more than $10,582,642 in prize money. l WTA Doubles Team of the Year: Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza The team of Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza ended the year as the number one doubles team after first teaming up at 2015 Indian Wells. Mirza became the first Indian player to reach the number one ranking in April, and remained at the top through the end of the year. The pair won nine doubles titles throughout the season, including Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, losing only one set in both title runs, in addition to titles at Indian Wells, Miami, Charleston, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Beijing.

COME PLAY TENNIS AT THE HOME OF THE US OPEN

l WTA Most Improved Player of the Year: Timea Bacsinszky Timea Bacsinszky was named the WTA’s Most Improved Player of the Year, as the player who finished inside the Top 100 and showed significant improvement throughout the 2015 season. She improved 36 spots from the end of 2014 (number 48 to number 12). Her breakthrough year saw her advance to her Grand Slam semifinal at Roland Garros, defeating number 16 Madison Keys and number four Petra Kvitova en route to the semis, falling to eventual champion Serena Williams. She won her second and third career singles titles in back-to-back weeks at Acapulco and Monterrey (defeating Caroline Garcia in both finals). l WTA Newcomer of the Year: Daria Gavrilova The WTA Newcomer of the Year is awarded to the player who made their top 100 debut or notable accomplishments during the 2015 season, and prior to the current year, had not played in more than six main draw events at tour-level in a single season. Daria Gavrilova finished 2015 ranked 36th in

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the world and achieved her career-high ranking of 35th in the world on Oct. 5. Daria jumped 197 spots from the end of 2014 (number 233 to number 36). The highlight of her 2015 season was her semifinal run at Rome, where she qualified and defeated Belinda Bencic, Timea Bacsinszky and Ana Ivanovic before falling to Maria Sharapova. l WTA Comeback Player of the Year: Venus Williams The WTA Comeback Player of the Year Award is given to the player whose ranking previously dropped due to injury or personal reasons and current season’s results helped restore their ranking. Venus Williams is a seven-time Grand Slam champion who has made several comebacks in her illustrious career, but 2015 saw her return to the top 10 in the WTA Women’s Singles Rankings for the first time since April 2011. At 35-years-old, Venus became the oldest woman in the top 10 since 1995 (Martina Navratilova who was 38-yearsold). Venus posted seven top 10 wins this season, and finished the season at number seven, her highest year-end finish since 2010 when she finished at number five. l Peachy Kellmeyer Player Service Award: Lucie Safarova The Peachy Kellmeyer Player Service Award is given out each year to the player who has done the most for their fellow players. The player can be acknowledged for their efforts made through the Player Council or any other initiative on behalf of the general player population. This award has been voted on by players since 1977. Previous winners include Kim Clijsters, Liezel Huber, Nicole Pratt, Francesca Schiavone, Pam Shriver and Venus Williams. Safarova is a repeat winner of the Peachy Kellmeyer Player Service Award, having received the honor in 2014 as well.


Year That Was 2015 l Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award: Petra Kvitova The Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award is awarded to the player who conducts themselves in a manner fitting of a professional sports figure and observes the rules of fair play, shows respect for others and is gracious on and off the court. This award has been voted on by players since 1978. Past winners include Kim Clijsters, Elena Dementieva, Ana Ivanovic, Lindsay Davenport, Chris Evert and Evonne Goolagong-Cawley. Kvitova won the award in 2014, as well.

Players who retired in 2015 Mardy Fish American Mardy Fish started his career in the year 2000 and won six ATP tournaments overall. He reached the finals of four Master Series events: Cincinnati in 2003 and 2010, Indian Wells in 2008, and Montreal in 2011. He couldn’t make a mark in the Grand Slams, as his best performances were reaching the quarterfinals once each at Wimbledon, the Australian Open and U.S. Open. One of the greatest achievements of his career was earning a Silver Medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, losing to Nicolás Massú.

titles. She became the first Italian player to be ranked number one in doubles in 2009. Her major achievements in doubles were winning the WTA Finals in 2010 (teaming with Gisela Dulko) and winning the 2011 Australian Open title (again with Dulko). Michael Russell At the age of 37, Michael Russell decided to call it quits and retire in 2015. Some of his career highlights include the number one ranking in the U.S. Boys 18 & Under in 1996. He was named NCAA Rookie of the Year at Miami before turning pro in 1998. Russell won 15 Challenger Series Singles Titles. In his 2001 debut at French Open, he reached the fourth round of main draw. He led by two sets and held match point at 5-3 in the third set before losing, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-3, 6-1 to then-top-ranked Gustavo Kuerten in 2001.

Eduardo Schwank Eduardo Schwank, who hails from Argentina, turned professional in 2005 after finishing as the second ranked junior in the world. His best result in a Grand Slam was reaching the French Open Men’s Doubles Finals in 2011 where he teamed with Juan Sebastián Cabal. Robin Soderling Sweden’s Robin Soderling announced his retirement at the age of 31. Soderling hadn’t played a match in more than four years due to glandular fever, a condition he was diagnosed with in 2011. He won 10 titles over the course of his career and reached back-toback French Open finals in 2009 and 2010. He will be remembered most for his victory in the fourth-round over Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros in 2009, snapping the Spaniard’s 31-match winning streak at the French Open.

Flavia Pennetta Flavia Pennetta announced her shocking retirement immediately after winning her first Grand Slam title in Flushing Meadows at the U.S. Open. She made her announcement in the post-match ceremony, leaving the crowd and her fans shocked. In her 15year long career, she won 10 WTA singles NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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Bloomberg, Proskauer Win Corporate League Fall Titles The Fall 2015 season of the Metro Corporate Leagues came to a close in December, as the Advanced (4.5+) and Advanced Intermediate (4.0+) finals, along with an endof-season party, took place at Roosevelt Island Racquet Club. The matches were made up of five different no-ad sets (Men’s and Women’s Singles, Men’s and Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles). The Advanced Intermediate Division Final was between Proskauer and Deutsche Bank. After a 6-1 win at men’s singles, the Proskauer men’s doubles tandem added to its team’s lead, as Daniel Desatnik & Ted Tywand got up an early break on Joseph Kung & Charlie Hildebrand of Deutsche Bank and never looked back, winning the set 6-0. Despite Deutsche Bank responding with a 6-3 win in women’s doubles, the Proskauer squad, captained by Roger Cohen, was too much, going on to win the title to cap off a great season in the Metro Corporate League. “It’s just great being out here after a full day of work, it’s definitely the highlight of the week,” said Desatnik, who played his college tennis at Emory University in Atlanta. “The energy is great, everybody is really happy to be playing and the League is a fantastic idea and great way to meet new people. My partner Ted Tywang [who played at Georgetown] is a great player. We 52

work well together and that really translates to some good synergy on the tennis court.” With the win, Proskauer will move up to the Advanced Division in the spring season. In the Advanced Division Finals, Bloomberg knocked off Credit Agricole to win the championship. Bloomberg Captain Vighnesh Venkatesan, who was a top junior player in India, and Peter Aarts, who played at Michigan University, picked up a big win in men’s doubles, defeating Credit Agricole’s Eric Tomasini & John Palmeri, 6-2. Venkatesan and Tomasini do business together off the court, making the win that much sweeter for Venkatesan. “I play with Eric sometimes on his 5.0 and 5.5 Level teams. But there is absolutely no friendship on the court,” Venkatesan said jokingly. “It’s a total rivalry.” The deciding match for Bloomberg would come in women’s singles, as Michelle Sulahian defeated Allison Adamski of Credit Agricole 6-4. Sulahian built an early 4-1 lead before Adamski subbed in and responded with two breaks to trim the deficit to 4-5. But Sulahian would win the next game to win the set and clinch the match for Bloomberg. “I think we just had to stay calm,” said Sulahian. “We just had to let our players stay focused, play their own game and not let any close points get in our head and I think we did that.”

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com

There was more than just tennis being played at the end-of-season party, as a buffet dinner and open bar were available to all in attendance, and caricature artist Dale Gladstone was there to draw for all of the attendees. Afterwards, Luis Espinoza, league administrator of the Metro Corporate League, discussed some new developments the Metro Corporate League is making. “We are really excited to present a new division to help companies and their employees find a fun and healthy way to get in shape, while learning and practicing the sport of tennis,” said Espinoza. “The new division, the Hi-Five Division, will debut during the upcoming Winter 2015/2016 season. This marks a new and exciting chapter in the growth of the Metro Corporate League. We are proud to be a partner to many companies that allow their employees to participate in an enjoyable and competitive environment.” The new Hi-Five Division will be for those teams that aren’t looking for a competitive format, but want to get in shape, or just get their old rusty tennis skills back in working order. “The Hi-Five Division will incorporate heart-pumping fitness drills, tennis skills drills and fun games,” said Espinoza. “It’s a great way to get back in the game, take your skills to another level, or just experience the pure joy of play.”


For more information, visit Metrotennis.com/Corporate/main.html, or call Luis Espinoza at (347) 886-3117 or e-mail Luis@Metrotennis.com. NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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The Mantra of Three for Your Best Tennis in 2016 By Lisa Dodson Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience is one simple word that has big meaning and impact on your game. Said once is not enough. One time turns into three: Patience, Patience, Patience. At some point in your tennis quest, it’s likely that you’ll reach a level of frustration that sends you in search of answers. Ninety-nine times out of 100, the answer is going to be more patience. Just keep repeating it until it is deeply embedded in your mind and then you might just begin to understand what it’s all about. In order to play good tennis, it has to be fun, not head-banging and frustrating. Fun means something different to all of us. In tennis, we all do have one fun thought in mind: Winning matches. The trick is to learn to choose a positive and productive path, and leave the negative thoughts and self-destruction behind. Learn to enjoy and trust the process. This takes lots and lots of patience. Improving the next three keys that will give your mantra meaning and start your forward progress now: 54

1. Technique Typically, learning technique is the number one task for those relatively new to the sport. It’s also essential for more experienced players to constantly upgrade and improve their technique. Technique refers to proper formation of all the basic shots: Forehand, backhand, serve, volley and overhead. This addresses ball watching, point of contact, correct grips, swing patterns and footwork. Each basic shot has a number of variations or sub-sets. These can all be learned after some proficiency once basic shot technique is completed. All of these specific techniques need to be learned, accepted, understood and practiced in order to achieve some level of proficiency or mastery. In other words, it’s a complex process that builds over time … and that’s where patience comes into play. It’s essential to be patient with yourself and trust the process. When you are developing and learning new grips, shots and footwork, you need to use the new, developing aspects in stressful situations. For example, when you are playing a set with a person you regularly beat, use your modified serve grip or new topspin forehand even though you might lose the set. Winning

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com

this particular set is not important. What is important is using the new stuff in a real situation. Initially, you won’t trust it, but that’s how you will learn to. Then, go and practice outside of the playing situation to solidify the technique. Remember: Losing is an important part of the process and is a great learning tool. 2. Mental The mind drives our emotions, and emotions can create fear on the court. Fear is a four-letter word in tennis and the most destructive emotion. Fear leads to impulsive behavior, playing outside of our means or not up to our potential, poor concentration and negative thinking. Once you go down that road, it’s difficult to recover. After all, if you are not nice to yourself on the court, who will be? Do you expect too much of yourself or worse, not enough? Are you often afraid on the court? Are you afraid to fail or to look bad or worse … to lose? The honest answer is likely yes. Who needs an opponent when you have yourself? Once you have become somewhat proficient with the basic shots, you’ll discover the need for positive thinking and mental management skills, especially if you like to win games and


matches. Fear, impulsive thoughts and negative behavior lead to unsatisfying play and prevent you from improving and loving the game. The fix to battling fear is proficiency in technique. If you know for sure that you can produce, then what is there to be afraid of? It’s almost that simple. Tennis is a very patterned and logical game when you understand it. Playing in the moment, leaving the past (good or bad) behind you and not letting your emotions get the best of you is key. Developing mental stability and discipline requires a whole new level of patience and takes time to cultivate. We’ve all been next to or playing someone spewing negativity and generally acting poorly. Maybe you’ve seen terror in the eyes of someone who is winning, but about to go down the tubes or someone who looks like a much better player than the opponent, but just cannot keep the ball in the court. Maybe it was even you! Now look on the other side and see the guy who looks relaxed, focused and attentive. If he shows any emotion, it is only positive. He may not win today, but he is on a far better path than the others and will certainly win many future matches. Chances are you don’t know how negative thoughts are hurting you when, in fact, they are your fiercest foe. Negativity is far more powerful than the person on the other side of the net. The

next time you feel fear on the court, simply smile. Smiling reduces stress. The experience has to be fun, whatever your definition of fun is. 3. Strategy Shot selection can make strategy seem like the most challenging area. Basically, we act like we have mastered Key Number One (Technique) and we really haven’t. If you play within your means (pick shots you can actually hit with a high degree of success) and up to your potential, then your strategy becomes much simpler. Just because you can hit a variety of shots doesn’t mean you need to use them. Use them when they are appropriate for the situation, not just because you want to. Simplicity leads to success. Remember: Tennis is not a random game (repeat after me: Tennis is not a random game). A successful game is built on successful patterns of play and the ability to choose and string these patterns together. That brings us full circle and back to technique and mental discipline. Being able to make your opponent uncomfortable is at the top of the strategy list. Accomplish this by knowing your strengths and putting them to use, planning ahead and having an answer for everything your opponent throws at you. Like a chess match, success in tennis often depends on identifying your oppo-

nent’s weaknesses and capitalizing on them before they realize it’s too late. The Mantra of Three is every player’s route to success. Patience often translates in physical, mental and strategic terms as simply being steady, keeping our cool and outlasting our opponent. How dull, right? Those solid concepts are the cornerstone of every game. With a good plan, every area of the game can be expanded into one that is truly successful. Players who are not particularly athletic might not achieve enough because they don’t know the process and don’t think they can do it. Those of us who are athletic and highly competitive often skip some of the key steps to building a successful game. We are in a hurry to win. It can take these players much longer and cause more grief even though they bust through the gate faster. Slow down and enjoy the process. It takes some time and Patience, Patience, Patience. Thanks to my new tennis friend, Harun Asad, for his content contribution for this article. Lisa Dodson is owner of Servemaster at The Total Serve, a USPTA Elite Pro, a formerly world ranked player and radio show host. She may be reached by email at Lisa@TheTotalServe.com or visit TheTotalServe.com.

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USTA Eastern Hosts 29th A BY BRIAN COLEMAN

SUNY Purchase Director of Admissions Stephanie McCaine talks to kids Eric Butorac discusses his journey from D-III player to the Pro Tour and parents about the college admissions process and to his current role as president of the ATP Player Council

STA Eastern recently hosted its 29th Annual College Showcase Day at the Saw Mill Club in Mount Kisco, N.Y. bringing together college coaches and high school tennis players for a day of match play, seminars and much more. “I think the people who attend this event are here because they realize they need more information about the college recruiting process,” said Julie Bliss Beal, USTA Eastern’s senior director of competition. “And the coaches who are here know what spots they need to fill on their teams.” More than 60 college coaches and programs set up shop at the club to talk to and meet high school juniors and seniors who are

U

thinking of playing tennis at the collegiate level. The group of players was divided into juniors and seniors, and were able to hear seminars from people of all collegiate backgrounds, as well as participate in match play on the courts throughout the club. “It’s a great opportunity for potential student athletes, parents and coaches to network and help the families through the process of getting into college and being part of a collegiate team,” said Lonnie Mitchel, head coach at SUNY Oneonta. “Each year I attend, SUNY Oneonta is able to secure one or two players who have collegiate talent who I might not have seen otherwise. It’s also great for college coaches to network with each other and stay

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Jaime Kenney, director o about her time as a coll college athletes

updated with the latest in collegiate tennis.” The seminars were an important tool for both the kids and their parents, as they heard from Eric Butorac, a professional tennis player who reached the men’s doubles final at the 2014 Australian Open and currently serves as president of the ATP Player Council; Jaime Kenney, a former collegiate head coach who currently serves as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) director of member programs; and Stephanie McCaine, who is director of admissions at SUNY Purchase. Each brought their own unique experiences and perspectives to the seminar, which allowed the attendees to hear from all sides of the college recruiting process. “It’s very important because kids will hear information they wouldn’t find on the internet or through other college resources,” said Bliss Beal. “To have experts stand up and talk to the kids and parents about what their journey was like, they get that touch point, and that is invaluable.” McCaine discussed the admissions process into college, while Kenney talked about her time as a college coach and what the ITA offers, and Butorac talked about his route from a Division I player to Division III, and ultimately a career in professional tennis. “It provides a great opportunity for kids to learn in several different ways,” said Kelsey Clark, coordinator of public relations and communications at USTA Eastern. “Having a professional player speak is important because it gives the kids someone to look up to, especially someone who played Division III tennis.


Annual College Showcase Day Credit all photos to Brian Coleman

of member programs for the ITA, talks ege coach and what the ITA offers to

Players were able to get on court for match play to showcase their skills to prospective college coaches

It shows they can attain anything, regardless of the Division I, Division II or Division III title.” The event is a valuable resource for players, parents and coaches, and helps fill in the gaps that exist sometimes in the recruiting process while also answering a lot of important questions for those looking to play col-

A number of college coaches and programs were on hand to talk about what their school can offer to the high school players in attendance

lege tennis. “An event like this can help kids decide if they want to play college tennis,” said Bliss Beal. “It’s for players of all levels and abilities. They could play third doubles on their high school team and be able to find a school where they fit in the lineup. The fact that they

TAKE YOUR COACHING TO

THE NEXT LEVEL

can meet more than 60 college coaches in one place is remarkable.” Brian Coleman is senior editor for New York Tennis Magazine. He may be reached by phone at (516) 409-4444, ext. 326 or e-mail brianc@usptennis.com.

The Coach Youth Tennis online courses and interactive workshops will enhance your teaching skills. Highlights include: • Teaching tennis skills and fundamentals • Organizing age appropriate games and activities • Communicating more effectively with children

Learn more at CoachYouthTennis.com

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NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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Goal S he new year brings a chance to set goals for the following playing season. Most professional tennis players do this religiously. There is ample evidence that establishing goals and writing down a plan is effective for game improvement. After years of working with the highest level tennis players on Long Island, this is what I have learned about winter time game improvement plans.

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Find motivation There will only be success through the gates of failure. This is a painful but crucial element to any improvement plan. As an example, I had been avoiding joining a gym for years, but suddenly last summer, I found the motivation I needed. I was walking toward a friend who had not seen me for months and when he recognized me he exclaimed, “Wow, looks as if you swallowed a Volkswagen Bug. Have you gained weight?� Painful comment indeed, but by the next day, I had joined a gym and have been there five days a week ever since. Shame and embarrassment are necessary components of motivation. So take the time to assess your failures over the past year and find out just what caused them. Was it fitness? A weak serve? Sluggish footwork? When you carefully assess what your weakness is and how it led to failure, you have found the motive for change. Set a goal This is the fun part. A good yearly goal may be to choose a few tournaments that you want to qualify for but have not done so in the past. This may mean researching the events in question and getting the necessary forms to apply. This process will give you some excitement and that will be more fuel to carry out your game plan. Seek professional support It is the rare tennis player who can improve their game on their own. Harvey Pennick was a famous golf teacher from


Setting for Tennis:

Winter 2016 By Dr. Tom Ferraro

Texas and would say you can make quicker progress with one hour on the range with a pro than with six months of practice on your own. This same dictum holds true for tennis. Only a teaching pro can spot flaws and offer corrections. The plan After you have found your motivation and a good teaching pro, you now need to have a plan of action which should include both fitness and tennis lessons. The new plan should be both easy and

fun so that you incorporate it into your lifestyle. Find a practice and a workout facility that is convenient to get to and has a friendly atmosphere. And when you find a good coach, explain to them your goals and your weaknesses so that together you can build a plan.

must also remain patient as well. Anything worthwhile takes a long time to achieve and that holds true in tennis, as well as in life. If you find motivation, set a goal, find a pro, initiate a plan and observe small changes, there is no way you will not improve over the winter months.

Observe gains and be patient The last key to a good winter plan is to make sure you observe and appreciate the gains that are made. Notice things like improved strength, stamina or swing techniques. You

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 www.drtomferraro.com.

NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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How to Get Better Players to Want to Play With You in 10 Easy Steps By Steve Kaplan ost tennis players wish they could practice exclusively with better players despite the zero sum impracticality. This means that we cannot all hit up all the time because if one player is hitting “up,” the other is hitting “down.” Still, some players are able to overcome this challenge and are sought out by top competi-

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tors to be their hitting partners. The secret to their popularity is that they are ready, able and determined to always provide great practice. Here are the top 10 rules to become highly demanded as a practice partner. 1. Be available, reliable and on time Be ready to play anytime, anywhere, or better yet, ask a top player to play. Maybe they need a partner to warm them up before a

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com

match, for example. Always show up ready to play and on time. 2. Be accommodating Practice the way your partner prefers. Play a set first, and then drill if asked. Maybe it’s not the way you would choose to organize your own practice, but this is not a time to be inflexible. 3. Come prepared Bring extra water, tennis balls, rackets and


snacks. Your partner will be grateful if you offer them a drink or snack and even a spare racket if all of their strings break. 4. Work hard and be humble Roger Federer can practice with anyone he wants to and he chooses to play with young pros ranked in the top 200 in the world several times a year. He flies a few players to Dubai and schedules three sessions a day. He knows that these up and coming players will work incredibly hard with no complaints. If this practice protocol is good enough for Roger, it’s good enough for anyone. 5. Be attentive and hustle Everyone likes to have the undivided attention of others. Stay off your cellphone and Snapchat your friends later. Show your partner that you respect their time by hustling in between points to make practice productive and intense. 6. Don’t worry about getting practice, worry about giving practice I am fortunate enough to have warmed up

students at Grand Slams many times, and my goal was not to get practice, but to give it. These occasions were some of the most intense physical and mental tennis workouts of my life. 7. Keep your mouth shut during practice No one likes to play with a whiny practice partner. Let your racket do the talking to impress your partner. No muttering under your breath, no racket banging and no complaining! 8. Keep your mouth shut after play If you play a set, tie-breaker or drill game and you win, enjoy it and keep the result to yourself. If you brag about your great practice win, I promise it will be the last time they play with you. 9. Ask your partner what they would like to work on My best shot is my lob, because growing up, I played with some great players that loved to hit overheads, and I was happy to

accommodate them just for the chance to be on the court. As my lob improved, so did my popularity as a practice partner. 10. Develop a good name The simplest way to get a better player to practice with you is to have a stellar reputation as being a great partner. Then all you might have to do is say “yes” when asked to play. We are all selfish on the court in that our improvement is the primary goal. Altruistic practice, however, is an opportunity for enlightened self-interest. Steve Kaplan is the owner of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as the director of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation. Steve has been the longtime coach of more than 600 nationally-ranked junior players, 16 state high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous touring professionals and prominent coaches. He may be reached by e-mail at stevenjkaplan@aol.com.

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Kicking Off the Year Down Under By Luke Jensen It’s that time of year when you wish the snow would melt and the skies would clear for some real tennis fun! For the players on the pro tour, that fun is played at the “Happy Slam!” The Aussie Open, played at the end of January for two weeks, serves as a springboard into the new year. Because Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, they are in their summer season, while the winter months are upon us in the Northern Hemisphere. Now you can be a pro player or a first-class world traveler to experience the Happy Aussie Grand Slam, but I may have a better idea for you! I will even let you in on my latest little tennis secret I call “Tennis Heaven!” Now if you are a tennis adventurer and are looking to get out of the deep freeze, a

warm world-class destination is just a punch volley away. There are so many great tennis getaways for any type of budget featuring all types of programs and courts. From group lessons to grass courts, there is a tennis resort destination calling your tennis spirit. Make sure you do your homework and find the perfect fit for your specific needs. Are you looking for a tennis camp? A tennis hammock feel to get a little sand in your shoes or even a little competition to test your winter game in the sunshine? Make sure you take your time and dig into the details. The little things mean you can have big time fun on your tennis getaway. Now how do I know this? In my life, tennis has blessed me with the ability to see the world as a junior, college and pro player. I have covered the Grand Slams as an analyst for ESPN, have coached at the collegiate level, and now, tennis has

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granted an old tennis dog like myself one last wish. Years ago, I was neck deep into an ice bath in Belgium after a match, wondering as my body numbed away the pain, where this tennis road was taking me. I remember thinking I could see myself teaching away my days at a resort, just a stone’s throw away from the beach. Now, after many matches from that freezing necessity of an ice bath, I landed in my tennis heaven. It’s called Sea Island, where I am the director of two eight-court clay court facilities. During my 6:00 a.m. lessons, I can hear the waves gently crashing at the beach club. My days are filled with tennis clinics, lessons and mixers. My programs are based on providing fun and enthusiasm for every guest. From tennis to sea turtle adventures, Sea Island has me living my dreams once again through the sport of tennis. When you are looking for your perfect family tennis getaway this season, make sure everyone in the family has their activities covered and you will add an unforgettable family portrait of memories to be shared for generations. Until next time … keep going for winners! Born in Grayling, Mich., Luke Jensen’s resume includes 10 ATP Tour doubles titles and singles victories against Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg and Jim Courier. Jensen and his brother, Murphy, won the 1993 French Open doubles title. Luke is currently director of tennis at Sea Island Tennis Center in Georgia. He may be reached by phone at (315) 443-3552 or e-mail lukejensen84@yahoo.com.


Stay Low … Hit Up By Bill Longua There are many opposites in tennis. This article applies to the general tennis playing public who hit their groundstrokes after the bounce has peaked and is on the way down. One opposite is to be able to hit up, you have to stay down! Topspin is created by brushing up the backside of the ball, creating a forward spin that makes the shot dip down, keeping it in the court. There is a natural feeling to lift the body entirely while hitting topspin to, what we think, help it over the net. The exact opposite effect is true, if we lift too soon, the ball genuinely goes down. Topspin contact needs to be struck on the top half of the racket face. As we brush

up, the ball is sliding on the strings, thus creating the spin. If we stand up too soon, the head of the racket comes up with us, resulting in contact being made on the lower half of the face, meaning there is not enough strings brushing the ball to get it over the net. Let’s say we miss a shot … where would you like to miss it? The answer is either long or wide. There is no chance of winning the point if our shot is lying at the bottom of the net. If we hit it over the net, at least it has a chance of staying in. Picture a putt on the golf course. Good golfers want their missed putts past the hole. If the putt is short, it cannot go in. We have to think like good putters—everything over the net. At the start of the forward motion on forehands or backhands, remember that if there is a slight bend in your back knee

in the closed stance, or a slight bend on the loaded knee in the open stance until contact, you will hit the ball up. By all means, come up and rotate, but there is a fine line … make contact and come up. Come up and then make contact, it will go down. Bill Longua is the tennis director and head pro at Palm Island Resort in Cape Haze, Fla. Bill is a member of the USPTA, has been teaching tennis for more than 35 years and is the author of Winning Test Strokes. Bill also enjoys teaching tennis on his Web site, www.onlinetennistraining.com. Search the Apple App Store or Google Play for Bill’s new 117 lesson app, “Complete Tennis Mastery” or to purchase Bill’s book, visit OnlineTennisTraining.com. He may be reached by e-mail at bill@onlinetennistraining.com.

Calling Junior Tennis Players Of All Ages and Skill Levels!

It’s Winter Term – Sign up now! All City’s Jr. Tennis, New York City’s oldest and most established junior program. At Roosevelt Island Racquet Club, just minutes from Manhattan. Here’s what you’ll love about the program: • Some of the finest coaches in the Eastern U.S. • For players as young as 4, recreational players, and tournament competitors • Players can improve and compete or just enjoy the game • After-school and Saturday classes

Get started today! Call - 212.935.0250 Email - gkent@advantagetennisclubs.com Web – advantagetennisclubs.com NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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Tulane’s Koepfer and Ohio State’s Di Lorenzo Crowned National Indoor Intercollegiate Champs Tulane’s Dominik Koepfer capped off a brilliantly-played 2015 fall college tennis season in style on Sunday at the 2015 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships Credit photo: Parker Waters/Tulane.edu

ulane’s Dominik Koepfer capped off his 2015 fall college tennis season in style at the 2015 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. Competing at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in front of a worldwide audience tuning in on ESPN3, Koepfer, the number three seed in the tourney, tamed Andre Goransson of Cal in straight sets 6-1, 7-5 to earn the ITA’s third and final Division I national title of the 2015 fall season. “It’s just awesome after making the semis in Malibu [Oracle/ITA Masters], making the finals and losing a tough one in Tulsa [St. Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American Championship], it’s just an awesome feeling that everything worked out and I’m very happy,” said Koepfer. The final in New York showed that Koepfer did indeed learn from his prior championship experience in Tulsa, where the usually fiery left-hander was uncharacteristically low-key and never recov-

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ered from a sluggish start. Against Goransson, Koepfer was the aggressor early and breezed through the first set 61. Goransson resiliently battled back in the second set, but Koepfer’s game was too strong and he let out a thunderous yell and pumped his fists when he secured match point. “I did what I had to do to give myself the best chance to win,” said Koepfer. “I went for my shots every point and started really well, which gave me a lot of confidence.” Before the men took the court, the women’s singles final kicked off ESPN3’s coverage. Ohio State freshman Francesca Di Lorenzo showed why she was the top-ranked freshman/newcomer in the 2015 Oracle/ITA Division I Preseason National Rankings, as she bested Clemson’s Joana Eidukonyte in straights 6-3, 6-1. “I think [the match] went pretty well,” said Di Lorenzo. “I wasn’t hitting my backhand as well as I would’ve liked or

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com

how I had in previous matches, but I think I kept the ball moving well with my forehand, moved her well and came in when I had my opportunities.” Di Lorenzo opened the match with a break of serve and quickly consolidated for a 2-0 lead. Di Lorenzo stretched the advantage out to 4-1 before closing out the set 6-3. The second set saw more of the same as Di Lorenzo never allowed Eidukonyte to find a rhythm. “It’s definitely an exciting way to finish out the fall; it couldn’t have ended any better,” said Di Lorenzo. “I’m just happy to represent my school and this was a really cool moment.” Champions were also crowned in women’s and men’s doubles, as the number four North Carolina duo of Hayley Carter & Whitney Kay defeated the number three seeds, Kentucky’s Mami Adachi & Aldila Sutjiadi, in three sets 46, 6-4, 1-0 (6) for the women’s title. The men’s doubles final also went to the third-set tie-break, with Texas Tech’s Felipe Soares & Hugo Dojas slipping past second-seeded North Carolina’s Brett Clark & Robert Kelly 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (7). Florida State’s Benjamin Lock won the men’s consolation singles title with a 7-6 (4), 7-5 victory over Dartmouth’s Dovydas Sakinis. Cal’s Klara Fabikova won the women’s consolation title after defeating Michigan’s Brienne Minor 6-2, 36, 6-1. Stanford’s Taylor Davidson & Caroline Doyle beat Ohio State’s Miho Kowase & Anna Sanford for the women’s doubles consolation title.


Local Duo Captures Girls 16s Winter National Title he USTA Girls 16s Winter National Championships recently concluded in Scottsdale, Ariz., and a pair of New Yorkers captured the doubles title. The third seeded team of Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Dasha Kourkina & Michelle Sorokko of Little Neck, N.Y. held on to defeat the second-seeded Texas duo of Samantha Gillas & Chelsea Kung, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(1), to capture the Girls 16s Doubles Title. The National Winter Championships consisted of 128 singles players and 64 doubles teams in the 18s, 16s, 14s and 12s age divisions. They were played on outdoor hard courts at Scottsdale Ranch Park (18s and 16s) and the Reffkin Tennis Center in Tucson, Ariz. (14s and 12s). A pair of sisters from Los Angeles swept the Girls 14s and 12s Singles Titles. Mae Canete won the Girls 14s Singles Title, beating Gabriella Price of Montebello, N.Y., 61, 6-4, while Christine Canete swept the Girls 12s Singles and Doubles Titles, beating her doubles partner—Katrina Scott of Woodland Hills., Calif.—in the singles final, 6-2, 6-2. Each year, more than 120,000 players compete in USTA junior tournaments. Players compete in levels of competition through earned advancement in the 10s, 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s age divisions. USTA junior tournaments help kids take their game as far as they want—high school, college or pros—or just have fun competing. Finals results of the USTA National Winter Championships for locals can be found below:

T The team of Dasha Kourkina (left) & Michelle Sorokko (right), with Kat Sorokko (center), captured the doubles title at the USTA Girls 16s Winter National Championships in Scottsdale, Ariz.

USTA Girls 18s Winter National Championships Scottsdale, Ariz. Dec. 27, 2015–Jan. 2, 2016 l Singles: (9) Jessica Failla of Ramona, Calif. defeated (12) Alyvia Jones of Midland, Mich., 6-3, 6-1 l Doubles: (2) Ena Shibahara of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. & Annette Goulak of Oak Park, Ga. defeated (1) Christina Rosca of Princeton, N.J. & Savannah Slaysman of Phoenix, 6-3, 6-1 USTA Girls 16s Winter National Championships Scottsdale, Ariz. Dec. 27, 2015–Jan. 2, 2016 l Singles: (1) Sara Choy of Palo Alto, Calif. defeated Hannah Zhao of San Diego, 6-4, 6-4 l Doubles: (3) Dasha Kourkina of Brooklyn, N.Y. & Michelle Sorokko of Little Neck, N.Y. defeated (2) Samantha Gillas of New Braunfels, Texas & Chelsea Kung of Fort Worth, Texas, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(1) USTA Girls’ 14s Winter National Championships Tucson, Ariz. Dec. 27, 2015–Jan. 2, 2016 l Singles: (3) Mae Canete of Los Angeles defeated (4) Gabriella Price of Montebello, N.Y., 6-1, 6-4 l Doubles: Amanda Chan of Pasadena, Calif. & Amy Huang of San Diego defeated (2) Gabriella Price of Montebello, N.Y. & Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek, Calif., 2-6, 6-4, 6-4

NYTennisMag.com • January/February 2016 • New York Tennis Magazine

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NEW YORK TENNIS CLUB

ALLEY POND TENNIS CENTER 79-20 Winchester Boulevard

NEW YORK TENNIS CLUB Lauren Hartman—General Manager

Queens Village, N.Y. (718) 264-2600 AlleyPondTennisCenter.com

3081 Harding Avenue Bronx, N.Y. (718) 239-7916 lhartman.nytci@gmail.com AdvantageTennisClubs.com

CARY LEEDS CENTER FOR TENNIS & LEARNING Elena Bantovska—Director, Advanced Training

1720 Crotona Avenue Bronx, N.Y. (347) 417-8168 ebantovska@nyjtl.org NYJTL.org

DIRECTORY

ROOSEVELT ISLAND RACQUET CLUB Tom Manhart—Membership Director

281 Main Street Roosevelt Island, N.Y. (212) 935-0250 tmanhart@rirctennis.com CENTERCOURT PERFORMANCE AdvantageTennisClubs.com TENNIS CENTER Clay Bibbee—Managing Partner and Academy Founder

65 Columbia Road Morristown, N.J. (973) 635-1222 clay@centercourtclub.com CenterCourtClub.com GOTHAM TENNIS ACADEMY Eric Faro—Director of Tennis

358 West End Avenue #3A New York, N.Y. (646) 524-7069 info@gothamtennis.com GothamTennis.com MANHATTAN PLAZA RACQUET CLUB Gertrud Wilhelm—General Manager

450 West 43rd Street New York, N.Y. (212) 594-0554 gwilhelm@advantagetennisclubs.com AdvantageTennisClubs.com MIDTOWN TENNIS CLUB Jennifer Brown—Director

341 8th Avenue New York, N.Y. (212) 989-8572 midtowntennisnyc@gmail.com MidtownTennis.com

SOUTHAMPTON RACQUET CLUB & CAMP 665 Majors Path

Southampton, N.Y. (631) 488-4700 SouthamptonRCC.com SPORTIME RANDALL’S ISLAND Flagship Home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy Allison Hodgkins—Assistant General Manager Jared Karlebach—Assistant General Manager

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Harbor Island Park PO Box 783 Mamaroneck, N.Y. (914) 777-5151 ccampo@sportimeny.com Sportimeny.com/Harbor-Island

SPORTIME LAKE ISLE John McEnroe Tennis Academy, Westchester Carlos Campo—Regional General Manager, Westchester Clubs Fritz Buehning—Director of Tennis, JMTA Cathi Pizzo—Assistant Regional General Manager, Westchester Clubs

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2699 Curry Road • Schenectady, N.Y. (518) 356-0100 jmurray@sportimeny.com SportimeNY.com/Schenectady STADIUM TENNIS CENTER AT MILL POND Joel Kassan—Executive Director

725 Gateway Center Boulevard Bronx, N.Y. (718) 665-4684 joel@gothamtennis.com StadiumtennisNYC.com TENNIS INNOVATORS NYC Juan Andrade—Executive Director

520 2nd Avenue (Kips Bay Court) 899 10th Avenue (John Jay Court) New York, N.Y. (646) 476-5811 TennisInnovators.com USTA BILLIE JEAN KING NATIONAL TENNIS CENTER Whitney Kraft—Director of Tennis

Flushing Meadows Corona Park Flushing, N.Y. (718) 760-6200 kraft@usta.com USTA.com WEST SIDE TENNIS CLUB Bob Ingersole—Director of Tennis

1 Tennis Place • Forest Hills, N.Y. (718) 268-2300 tennisdirector@foresthillstennis.com ForestHillsTennis.com

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NEW Boys & Girls Metro Rankings (as of 12/16/15)

BOYS Metro Boys 12 Singles Rank Name ................................City (as of 12/16/15) 1 ......Safin Shaikh......................Bayside, N.Y. 2 ......Christian Bobko................Bronx, N.Y. 3 ......Joshua Staroselskiy ........Brooklyn, N.Y. 4 ......Sebastian Brustein ..........Brooklyn, N.Y. 5 ......Joshua Ashvil ..................Forest Hills, N.Y. 6 ......Ryan David Brandes ........Rego Park, N.Y. 7 ......Dylan Lachmanen ............Brooklyn, N.Y. 8 ......Sabian Kosinov ................Forest Hills, N.Y. 9 ......Jack Charles Benavides ..New York, N.Y. 10 ....Rafe Photopoulos ............New York, N.Y. 11 ....Sacha Maes......................New York, N.Y. 12 ....Michael Zlatnik ................Forest Hills, N.Y. 13 ....Nicholas Scott Zagora ....Staten Island, N.Y. 14 ....Mathias Isaac Davila ........Whitestone, N.Y. 15 ....Ty Justin Staco-Towns ....Brooklyn, N.Y. 16 ....Cooper Williams ..............New York, N.Y. 17 ....Dominick Mosejczuk........East Elmhurst, N.Y. 18 ....Charles Robertson ..........Whitestone, N.Y. 19 ....Nicholas Scott Doupsas..New York, N.Y. 20 ....Andrew Mendelson..........New York, N.Y. 21 ....Ryan Friedman ................New York, N.Y. 22 ....Isadore Jude Axinn ..........Brooklyn, N.Y. 23 ....Gabriel de Kergorlay ........New York, N.Y. 24 ....Teddy J. Ryan ..................Brooklyn, N.Y. 25 ....Marko R. Gural ................New York, N.Y. 26 ....Daniel Atkin ......................Brooklyn, N.Y. 27 ....Ronald Aaron Fridlyand ..Forest Hills, N.Y. 28 ....John Hilledgar ..................New York, N.Y. 29 ....Jake Srebnick ..................Brooklyn, N.Y. 30 ....David Alan Khaimov ........Jamaica, N.Y. 31 ....Samuel Youngwood ........New York, N.Y. 32 ....Arnav Agostinho ..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 33 ....Jack Griffin........................New York, N.Y. 34 ....Yash Bhandari More ........New York, N.Y. 35 ....Nicholas Oblonsky ..........Brooklyn, N.Y. 36 ....Achille Sarachek ..............New York, N.Y. 37 ....Jordan Rechtschaffen......New York, N.Y. 38 ....Noah Katzer......................Brooklyn, N.Y. 39 ....Benjamin Elliot Emag ......Brooklyn, N.Y. 40 ....Zecheng Fang ..................New York, N.Y.

Metro Boys 14 Singles Rank Name ................................City 1 ......Ryuichi Nitta ....................Bronx, N.Y. 2 ......Jasper Hunt Thomas ......New York, N.Y. 3 ......Solomon Brown ..............New York, N.Y. 4 ......Simon Camacho ..............New York, N.Y. 5 ......Brandon Torres ................Bronx, N.Y. 6 ......Christopher Tham ............Flushing, N.Y. 7 ......Connor P. Dunne ..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 8 ......Tadd Long ........................Woodside, N.Y. 9 ......Ryan David Brandes ........Rego Park, N.Y. 10 ....Winter Forest Fagerberg..New York, N.Y. 11 ....Matthew Mosejczuk ........East Elmhurst, N.Y. 12 ....Eugene Fishman ..............Rego Park, N.Y. 13 ....Donovan Brown ..............New York, N.Y. 14 ....Donald James Smith........Roosevelt Island, N.Y. 15 ....Milian Kavi Jain ................New York, N.Y. 16 ....Daniel Galisteo Gordon....New York, N.Y. 17 ....Ethan King ........................New York, N.Y. 18 ....Nicholas Wernink ............New York, N.Y.

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19 ....Anton Semenov ..............New York, N.Y. 20 ....Michael Kaydin ................Brooklyn, N.Y. 21 ....Sachin Palta......................Forest Hills, N.Y. 22 ....Cooper Williams ..............New York, N.Y. 23 ....Liam J. Dunne ..................Brooklyn, N.Y. 24 ....Rohan Gold ......................Forest Hills, N.Y. 25 ....Dylan Conner Charles......New York, N.Y. 26 ....Nicholas Oblonsky ..........Brooklyn, N.Y. 27 ....Michael Cooper................Brooklyn, N.Y. 28 ....Waley Chen ......................Oakland Gardens, N.Y. 29 ....Sabian Kosinov ................Forest Hills, N.Y. 30 ....Kole Henry Moses............New York, N.Y. 31 ....Joshua Ashvil ..................Forest Hills, N.Y. 32 ....Jeffrey Yu ..........................Forest Hills, N.Y. 33 ....Zachary Portnoy ..............New York, N.Y. 34 ....Yesh Nikam ......................New York, N.Y. 35 ....Marko R. Gural ................New York, N.Y. 36 ....Dylan Lachmanen ..........Brooklyn, N.Y. 37 ....Albert Y. Wan ....................Forest Hills, N.Y. 38 ....Jack Charles Benavides ..New York, N.Y. 39 ....Daniel Ivko ........................Staten Island, N.Y. 40 ....Mykhailo Nosenko ..........New York, N.Y.

Metro Boys 16 Singles Rank Name ................................City 1 ......Jonathan Glinsky..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 2 ......David Krasner ..................Staten Island, N.Y. 3 ......Daniel Leon Maseyev ......Brooklyn, N.Y. 4 ......Richard Wickman ............Bayside, N.Y. 5 ......Christopher Tham ............Flushing, N.Y. 6 ......Simon Camacho ..............New York, N.Y. 7 ......Lucas DeSanto ................New York, N.Y. 8 ......Fayed Fayaz Uddin..........Elmhurst, N.Y. 9 ......Jaime Gomez ..................New York, N.Y. 10 ....Dominik Pajor ..................Brooklyn, N.Y. 11 ....Ameer Hosain ..................New York, N.Y. 12 ....Eli Taylor-Kerman ............New York, N.Y. 13 ....Umar Akhmedjanov ........New York, N.Y. 14 ....Illya Semenov ..................New York, N.Y. 15 ....Marcos Souza Lee ..........New York, N.Y. 16 ....Donald James Smith........Roosevelt Island, N.Y. 17 ....Jackson Trevor ................New York, N.Y. 18 ....Donovan Brown ..............New York, N.Y. 19 ....Robert Ivko ......................Staten Island, N.Y. 20 ....Leonidas Vrailas ..............New York, N.Y. 21 ....Sadi Gulcelik ....................New York, N.Y. 22 ....Yarden Hahn ....................New York, N.Y. 23 ....Alexander Kucherina........Brooklyn, N.Y. 24 ....Harry Portnoy ..................New York, N.Y. 25 ....Henry William Firestone ..New York, N.Y. 26 ....Derek Lung ......................Brooklyn, N.Y. 27 ....William Kofman ................Queens Village, N.Y. 28 ....Jonathan Shapiro ............Brooklyn, N.Y. 29 ....Igor Maslov ......................Brooklyn, N.Y. 30 ....True Waaktaar-Savoy ......Brooklyn, N.Y. 31 ....Mark Karpovas ................Staten Island, N.Y. 32 ....John-Tomas Bilski............New York, N.Y. 33 ....Ethan Finley ......................New York, N.Y. 34 ....Tyler Mark Gulston ..........Queens Village, N.Y. 35 ....Ketan D. Parekh ..............New York, N.Y. 36 ....Tadd Long ........................Woodside, N.Y. 37 ....Daniel Schaw....................New York, N.Y. 38 ....Jordan Sells......................Forest Hills, N.Y. 39 ....Daniel Vascones ..............Middle Village, N.Y. 40 ....Alex Portnoy ....................New York, N.Y.

Metro Boys 18 Singles Rank Name ................................City 1 ......Fayed Fayaz Uddin..........Elmhurst, N.Y. 2 ......Michael Dozortsev ..........Brooklyn, N.Y.

RANKINGS 3 ......David Farina......................New York, N.Y. 4 ......Lucas Larese DeSanto ....New York, N.Y. 5 ......Douglas Nover ................Bayside, N.Y. 6 ......Yarden Hahn ....................New York, N.Y. 7 ......Nicholas Pustilnik ............Brooklyn, N.Y. 8 ......Nicholas Ostrovsky ..........Staten Island, N.Y. 9 ......Oliver Jevtovic ..................Astoria, N.Y. 10 ....Shawn Jackson................Staten Island, N.Y. 11 ....Justin Holmes ..................Bronx, N.Y.

GIRLS Metro Girls 12 Singles Rank Name ................................City 1 ......Natalie Bergmann ............Forest Hills, N.Y. 2 ......Nicolette Fundator ..........Brooklyn, N.Y. 3 ......Beyonce Blake ................Brooklyn, N.Y. 4 ......Rachel Zhang ..................Forest Hills, N.Y. 5 ......Sophia Cisse ....................New York, N.Y. 6 ......Kelly Chen ........................Forest Hills, N.Y. 7 ......Taylor Overstrom..............New York, N.Y. 8 ......Alina Ongeyberg ..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 9 ......Sofie Shen ........................New York, N.Y. 10 ....Juliana Hornak ................Brooklyn, N.Y. 11 ....Jala Atkinson ....................New York, N.Y. 12 ....Ellie Sullivan......................New York, N.Y. 13 ....Catalina Haberman ..........New York, N.Y. 14 ....Leila M. Epstein................New York, N.Y. 15 ....Samantha Bentsianov......Staten Island, N.Y. 16 ....Talia Helen Kahan ............New York, N.Y. 17 ....Elizabeth Bentsianov........Staten Island, N.Y. 18 ....Isabella Sofia Mandis ......New York, N.Y. 19 ....Emily Mauro......................Whitestone, N.Y. 20 ....Sasha Noel Ryder ............Staten Island, N.Y. 21 ....Mia Saveljic ......................New York, N.Y. 22 ....Sophia Montero................Brooklyn, N.Y. 23 ....Fuschia Steward ..............New York, N.Y. 24 ....Paula Ann Maseyev ........Brooklyn, N.Y. 25 ....Blakely Dushkin................New York, N.Y. 26 ....Julia T. Werdiger ..............New York, N.Y. 27 ....Maxie Molly Karen............New York, N.Y. 28 ....Sheyna Esther Karen ......New York, N.Y. 29 ....Jordana ABen-Shmuel ....New York, N.Y. 30 ....Brooke Johnston Hoffman New York, N.Y. 31 ....Jasmine Leon Soon ........Brooklyn, N.Y. 32 ....Bukky Alalade ..................Rosedale, N.Y. 33 ....Arielle Bakst......................New York, N.Y. 34 ....Julia Dementyev ..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 35 ....Charlie Eve Liss................New York, N.Y. 36 ....Linda Ziets-Segura ..........New York, N.Y. 37 ....Carolyn Finerman ............New York, N.Y. 38 ....Nina Wiese........................Flushing, N.Y. 39 ....Karah C. Augustin ............Saint Albans, N.Y. 40 ....Adriana Rose Hornak ......Brooklyn, N.Y.

15 ....Ellie Sullivan......................New York, N.Y. 16 ....Natalie Bergmann ............Forest Hills, N.Y. 17 ....Leah Margulies ................New York, N.Y. 18 ....Danielle P. Kezeli ..............Staten Island, N.Y. 19 ....Anastasya Menshikova....Brooklyn, N.Y. 20 ....Sofia Allinson....................New York, N.Y. 21 ....Nadzeya Filaha ................Brooklyn, N.Y. 22 ....Alina Abramoff..................Brooklyn, N.Y. 23 ....Josephine Kimball............New York, N.Y. 24 ....Isabella Sifuentes ............Flushing, N.Y. 25 ....Nia Simone Benjamin ......Brooklyn, N.Y. 26 ....Leila M. Epstein................New York, N.Y. 27 ....Isabelle Grace Casimir ....New York, N.Y. 28 ....Alexandra Peeler ..............New York, N.Y. 29 ....Isabella T. Hartman ..........New York, N.Y. 30 ....Catalina Haberman ..........New York, N.Y. 31 ....Rebecca Izyayeva............Staten Island, N.Y. 32 ....Celina Liu ..........................Forest Hills, N.Y. 33 ....Elisabeth G. Schlossel ....New York, N.Y. 34 ....Anita Olivia Wright............New York, N.Y. 35 ....Alina Kargin-Utkin ............Brooklyn, N.Y. 36 ....Emma Eisenberg..............New York, N.Y. 37 ....Sheyna Esther Karen ......New York, N.Y. 38 ....Rachel Musheyev ............Forest Hills, N.Y. 39 ....Maria Volkov ....................Staten Island, N.Y. 40 ....Eliza Ross ........................New York, N.Y.

Metro Girls 16 Singles Rank Name ................................City 1 ......Gianna Gaudio ................Staten Island, N.Y. 2 ......Alanna Levitt ....................New York, N.Y. 3 ......Mariam Shengelia ............Brooklyn, N.Y. 4 ......Jamila Akhmedjanova......New York, N.Y. 5 ......Nadejda Maslova ............Brooklyn, N.Y. 6 ......Natalie Marguiles..............New York, N.Y. 7 ......Barbara Podvorchani ......Bronx, N.Y. 8 ......Isabella Rendon................Oakland Gardens, N.Y. 9 ......Maryna Bohdanovska......Brooklyn, N.Y. 10 ....Tomi Alalade ....................Rosedale, N.Y. 11 ....Amy Kaplan ......................Brooklyn, N.Y. 12 ....Maxine Beata Zaretsky....Brooklyn, N.Y. 13 ....Audrey Pacthod ..............New York, N.Y. 14 ....Anna Borovinskaya ..........Bronx, N.Y. 15 ....Rachel Okin ......................New York, N.Y. 16 ....Theodora Vrailas ..............New York, N.Y. 17 ....Hillary Sherpa ..................Astoria, N.Y. 18 ....Lejla Redzematovic..........Whitestone, N.Y. 19 ....Alexandra Coulombe ......New York, N.Y. 20 ....Masha Serjantov ..............New York, N.Y. 21 ....Danielle P. Kezeli ..............Staten Island, N.Y. 22 ....Anastasya Menshikova....Brooklyn, N.Y. 23 ....Carolyn Silverstein............New York, N.Y.

Metro Girls 18 Singles

Metro Girls 14 Singles

Rank Name ................................City

Rank Name ................................City

1 2 3 4

1 ......Jamila Akhmedjanova......New York, N.Y. 2 ......Niki Truszkowski ..............Middle Village, N.Y. 3 ......Alanna Levitt ....................New York, N.Y. 4 ......Beyonce Blake ................Brooklyn, N.Y. 5 ......Cassie Tian ......................Flushing, N.Y. 6 ......Nicole Koi Massa ............Astoria, N.Y. 7 ......Anna Borovinskaya ..........Bronx, N.Y. 8 ......Kristina Pali ......................Briarwood, N.Y. 9 ......Nathalie Williams..............New York, N.Y. 10 ....Hillary Sherpa ..................Astoria, N.Y. 11 ....Casey Brandes ................Rego Park, N.Y. 12 ....Katrine Zlatnik ..................Forest Hills, N.Y. 13 ....Rachel Zhang ..................Forest Hills, N.Y. 14 ....Nicolette Fundator ..........Brooklyn, N.Y.

New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com

......Tamila Latif-Zade..............Brooklyn, N.Y. ......Miriam Irfan Aziz ..............Staten Island, N.Y. ......Liana Weitzman................Whitestone, N.Y. ......Marian Shengelia..............Brooklyn, N.Y.


NEW Boys & Girls Sectional Rankings (as of 12/22/15)

BOYS Sectional Boys 12 Singles— Metro Region Rank Name............................City 2 ......Sebastian Sec ..................New York, N.Y. 5 ......Cooper Williams ..............New York, N.Y. 6 ......Ty Switzer..........................New York, N.Y. 8 ......John-Thomas Bilski ........New York, N.Y. 9 ......Wesley Zhang ..................Staten Island, N.Y. 14 ....Hudson Beaudoin ............New York, N.Y. 15 ....Tyler Korobov....................Brooklyn, N.Y. 21 ....Sachin Palta......................Forest Hills, N.Y. 25 ....Donovan Spigner ............New York, N.Y. 27 ....Jace Alexander ................New York, N.Y. 29 ....Joseph Phillips ................New York, N.Y. 39 ....Nicholas Steiglehner ........New York, N.Y. 41 ....Solomon Brown ..............New York, N.Y. 42 ....Noah Abels Eisenberg ....New York, N.Y. 43 ....Astro Brundo Pilipovic ....New York, N.Y. 45 ....Kole Henry Moses............New York, N.Y. 48 ....Luca Anthony DeMare ....New York, N.Y. 52 ....Adrien Svilen Jippov ........New York, N.Y. 55 ....Bradley Bennett................New York, N.Y. 57 ....Sabian Kosinov ................Forest Hills, N.Y. 62 ....Nicholas Laffont ..............New York, N.Y. 66 ....Coby Matthew Brown......New York, N.Y. 72 ....Rafe Photopoulos ............New York, N.Y. 77 ....David Krasner ..................Staten Island, N.Y. 81 ....Nicholas Murphy ..............New York, N.Y. 83 ....Benjamin Ebanks ............New York, N.Y. 85 ....Jack Charles Benavides ..New York, N.Y. 87 ....Joshua Ashvil ..................Forest Hills, N.Y. 89 ....Mitchel Pertsovsky ..........Brooklyn, N.Y. 91 ....David Dove Hendon ........New York, N.Y. 93 ....Samuel Benjamin Zeitlin ..Brooklyn, N.Y. 100 ..Safin Shaikh......................Long Island City, N.Y. 106 ..Joshua Staroselskiy ........Brooklyn, N.Y. 108 ..Dylan Lachmanen ............Brooklyn, N.Y. 109 ..Sacha Maes......................New York, N.Y. 111 ..Luca Photopoulos............New York, N.Y. 112 ..Andres Fente ....................New York, N.Y. 113 ..Steven Polishchuk............Brooklyn, N.Y. 125 ..Sebastian Brustein ..........Brooklyn, N.Y. 128 ..Philip Abram Hoover........New York, N.Y. 129 ..Mathias Isaac Davila ........Whitestone, N.Y. 131 ..Benjamin Kantor ..............New York, N.Y. 136 ..Nicholas Jozef Zagora ....Staten Island, N.Y. 140 ..Andrew Mendelson..........New York, N.Y. 149 ..Noah Zrihen......................New York, N.Y.

Sectional Boys 14 Singles— Metro Region Rank Name............................City 4 ......Steven Nazaroff................Brooklyn, N.Y. 6 ......Jeffrey Fradkin..................New York, N.Y. 7 ......Ethan Leon........................Woodhaven, N.Y. 10 ....Derek Raskopf..................New York, N.Y. 18 ....Shand Stephens ..............New York, N.Y. 19 ....Brandon T. Cohen ............New York, N.Y. 20 ....Noah Edelman..................New York, N.Y. 28 ....Blake Frank ......................New York, N.Y. 30 ....Robbie F. Werdiger ..........New York, N.Y. 32 ....Joseph Wilkanowski ........Long Island City, N.Y. 35 ....Marcos Souza Lee ..........New York, N.Y. 36 ....Oliver Worth......................New York, N.Y.

YORK

44 ....Kai Yuminaga....................Oakland Gardens, N.Y. 46 ....Oliver Obeid......................New York, N.Y. 50 ....Tyler Korobov....................Brooklyn, N.Y. 55 ....John-Tomas Bilski............New York, N.Y. 58 ....Maxwell Igor Kachkarov ..Flushing, N.Y. 63 ....Tristan Taylor ....................New York, N.Y. 64 ....Christopher Tham ............Flushing, N.Y. 65 ....Wesley Zhang ..................Staten Island, N.Y. 66 ....Ryan McCook ..................Saint Albans, N.Y. 73 ....Donovan Brown ..............New York, N.Y. 78 ....Anton Semenov................New York, N.Y. 83 ....Jeffrey McCready ............Brooklyn, N.Y. 87 ....Anthony Cataldo ..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 94 ....Alex Portnoy ....................New York, N.Y. 95 ....Nash Crofoot Johnson ....New York, N.Y. 96 ....Jonathan Glinsky..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 97 ....David Krasner ..................Staten Island, N.Y. 99 ....Zachary Portnoy ..............New York, N.Y. 105 ..Scott Fischer ....................New York, N.Y. 108 ..Aleksa Pljakic....................Forest Hills, N.Y. 109 ..Sachin Palta......................Forest Hills, N.Y. 116 ..Eitan Khromchenko ........Staten Island, N.Y. 120 ..Mitchel Pertsovsky ..........Brooklyn, N.Y. 121 ..Simon Camacho ..............New York, N.Y. 122 ..Charles William Phillips....New York, N.Y. 125 ..Solomon Brown ..............New York, N.Y. 126 ..Hudson Beaudoin ............New York, N.Y. 127 ..Benjamin Ebanks ............New York, N.Y. 129 ..Alfonso Laffont ................New York, N.Y. 132 ..Harry Portnoy ..................New York, N.Y. 137 ..Jonathan Laforest ............Queens Village, N.Y. 138 ..Ty Switzer..........................New York, N.Y. 141 ..Jasper Hunt Thomas ......New York, N.Y. 143 ..Milan Kavi Jain ................New York, N.Y. 144 ..Spencer Tuck....................Brooklyn, N.Y. 146 ..Ryuichi Nitta ....................Bronx, N.Y. 149 ..Cooper Williams ..............New York, N.Y.

Sectional Boys 16 Singles— Metro Region Rank Name............................City 15 ....Gary C. Fishkin ................Staten Island, N.Y. 21 ....Zachary Jordan Lieb........New York, N.Y. 28 ....Igor Maslov ......................Brooklyn, N.Y. 39 ....David Mizahi ....................Brooklyn, N.Y. 40 ....Lantis Wang......................New York, N.Y. 41 ....Shawn Jackson................Staten Island, N.Y. 46 ....Sam Vagner ......................Staten Island, N.Y. 47 ....Allan Ethan Magid ............Brooklyn, N.Y. 50 ....Sumit Sarkar ....................New York, N.Y. 56 ....Christopher Kolesnik........Staten Island, N.Y. 62 ....Jacob Kern ......................New York, N.Y. 65 ....Gabriel Sifuentes..............Flushing, N.Y. 69 ....Steven Daniel Nazaroff ....Brooklyn, N.Y. 71 ....Philip Belmatch ................Staten Island, N.Y. 72 ....Peter Frelinghuysen ........New York, N.Y. 76 ....Michael Tyutyunik ............Brooklyn, N.Y. 78 ....Nicholas Pustilnik ............Brooklyn, N.Y. 83 ....Ethan Leon........................Woodhaven, N.Y. 87 ....Dylan Friedman ................Brooklyn, N.Y. 95 ....Jeffrey Gorilovsky ............Brooklyn, N.Y. 97 ....Jonah Jurick ....................New York, N.Y. 98 ....Richard Zusman ..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 99 ....Gabriel Isaac Rissman ....Brooklyn, N.Y. 123 ..Derek Lung ......................Brooklyn, N.Y. 132 ..Ameer Hosain ..................New York, N.Y. 138 ..Derek Raskopf..................New York, N.Y. 142 ..Blake Frank ......................New York, N.Y. 143 ..Kemal Irfan Aziz................Staten Island, N.Y. 150 ..Ilya Semenov....................New York, N.Y.

RANKINGS Sectional Boys 18 Singles— Metro Region Rank Name............................City 11 ....Oliver Sec..........................New York, N.Y. 16 ....Ananth Raghavan ............New York, N.Y. 23 ....Calvin Chung....................Bronx, N.Y. 29 ....Ethan Nittolo ....................Flushing, N.Y. 35 ....Peter Lohrbach ................Little Neck, N.Y. 44 ....Mitchell Ostrovsky............Brooklyn, N.Y. 46 ....James Wasserman ..........New York, N.Y. 54 ....Cole Gittens......................New York, N.Y. 60 ....Robert Kennedy ..............New York, N.Y. 65 ....Marcus T. Smith................Little Neck, N.Y. 71 ....Jack Haroche ..................New York, N.Y. 75 ....Avery Bicks ......................New York, N.Y. 81 ....Felipe Osses-Konig..........Rego Park, N.Y. 87 ....Adam Bryan Borak ..........Brooklyn, N.Y. 92 ....Andreja Radevic ..............New York, N.Y. 98 ....Jacob Kern ......................New York, N.Y. 105 ..Xavier Pacthod ................New York, N.Y. 106 ..Michael Gardiner..............New York, N.Y. 112 ..Igor Maslov ......................Brooklyn, N.Y. 124 ..David Mizrahi....................Brooklyn, N.Y. 129 ..Shawn Jackson................Staten Island, N.Y. 135 ..Christopher Kolesnik........Staten Island, N.Y. 139 ..Zachary Jordan Lieb........New York, N.Y. 140 ..Leonard Margolis ............Brooklyn, N.Y.

GIRLS Sectional Girls 12 Singles— Metro Region Rank Name............................City 3 ......Daniella Benabraham ......New York, N.Y. 9 ......Lorraine Bergmann ..........Forest Hills, N.Y. 20 ....Michelle Kleynerman........Staten Island, N.Y. 22 ....Natalie Eordekian ............Woodside, N.Y. 23 ....Sarah Lucy Youngberg ....New York, N.Y. 25 ....Nathalie Williams..............New York, N.Y. 29 ....Shakima Hotaki................Flushing, N.Y. 34 ....Deliala Friedman ..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 37 ....Alyssa An ..........................New York, N.Y. 39 ....Catalina Haberman ..........New York, N.Y. 46 ....Sage Loudon....................New York, N.Y. 50 ....Lara Rose Berliner............New York, N.Y. 58 ....Nina Wiese........................Flushing, N.Y. 64 ....Julia T. Werdiger ..............New York, N.Y. 69 ....Blakely Duskin..................New York, N.Y. 75 ....Leila M. Epstein................New York, N.Y. 81 ....Bukky Alalade ..................Rosedale, N.Y. 84 ....Taylor Overstrom..............New York, N.Y. 92 ....Nicole Wooyin Lee ..........New York, N.Y. 96 ....Alina Kargin-Utkin ............Brooklyn, N.Y. 100 ..Anna Borovinskaya ..........Bronx, N.Y. 101 ..Emma Sofia Ostlund........New York, N.Y. 104 ..Alina Ongeyberg ..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 108 ..Sophia Cisse ....................New York, N.Y. 111 ..Natalie Bergmann ............Forest Hills, N.Y. 118 ..Emma Voykhanskaya ......Brooklyn, N.Y. 120 ..Samantha Bentsianov......Staten Island, N.Y. 121 ..Beyonce Blake ................Brooklyn, N.Y. 146 ..Kelly Chen ........................Forest Hills, N.Y. 149 ..Arielle Bakst......................New York, N.Y.

Sectional Girls 14 Singles— Metro Region Rank Name............................City 8 ......Michelle Sorokko..............Little Neck, N.Y. 10 ....Rosie Garcia Gross ..........New York, N.Y. 11 ....Dasha Kourkina................Brooklyn, N.Y.

15 ....Perene Wang....................New York, N.Y. 18 ....Chelsea Williams..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 21 ....Nadejda Maslova ............Brooklyn, N.Y. 23 ....Kyra Bergmann ................Forest Hills, N.Y. 24 ....Isabella Sinclair Cooper ..Brooklyn, N.Y. 39 ....Christina Huynh................Astoria, N.Y. 40 ....Amanda Solecki ..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 45 ....Dakota Fordham ..............New York, N.Y. 47 ....Rachel Rubenzahl ............New York, N.Y. 50 ....Diana Sosonkin ................Brooklyn, N.Y. 51 ....Lorraine Bergmann ..........Forest Hills, N.Y. 54 ....Diana McCready ..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 55 ....Carolyn Brodsky ..............New York, N.Y. 57 ....Miriam Irfan Aziz ..............Staten Island, N.Y. 58 ....Marie Ivantechenko..........Brooklyn, N.Y. 60 ....Amy Kaplan ......................Brooklyn, N.Y. 61 ....Gabriella Eitkis..................Brooklyn, N.Y. 62 ....Shawnte Beale ................Bronx, N.Y. 64 ....Sabrina Boada..................Woodhaven, N.Y. 66 ....Khyanna Singh ................Queens Village, N.Y. 75 ....Zoe Kava ..........................New York, N.Y. 78 ....Jamila Akhmedjanova......New York, N.Y. 85 ....Rebecca Eliana Fisch ......New York, N.Y. 86 ....Michelle Kleynerman........Staten Island, N.Y. 91 ....Anastasya Menshikova....Brooklyn, N.Y. 95 ....Nathalie Williams..............New York, N.Y. 97 ....Daniella Benabraham ......New York, N.Y. 105 ..Josephine Kimball............New York, N.Y. 106 ..Shakima Hotaki................Flushing, N.Y. 112 ..Medina Garunja................Bronx, N.Y. 117 ..Isabella T. Hartman ..........New York, N.Y. 122 ..Daniela Hernandez ..........Corona, N.Y. 132 ..Rebecca Sitkovetsky ......Staten Island, N.Y. 137 ..Nicole Koi Massa ............Astoria, N.Y. 138 ..Niki Truszkowski ..............Middle Village, N.Y. 141 ..Rachel Zhang ..................Forest Hills, N.Y. 143 ..Sofia Allinson....................New York, N.Y. 149 ..Cassie Tian ......................Flushing, N.Y.

Sectional Girls 16 Singles— Metro Region Rank Name............................City 10 ....Michelle Sorokko..............Little Neck, N.Y. 13 ....Dasha Kourkina................Brooklyn, N.Y. 15 ....Shelly Yaloz ......................Little Neck, N.Y. 22 ....Chelsea Williams..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 25 ....Aleksandra Bekirova ........Brooklyn, N.Y. 31 ....Victoria Sec ......................New York, N.Y. 33 ....Nicole Semenov ..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 34 ....Anastasia Koniaev............Forest Hills, N.Y. 37 ....Kyra Bergmann ................Forest Hills, N.Y. 40 ....Lauren Munari ..................Middle Village, N.Y. 41 ....Valicia Browne ..................Brooklyn, N.Y. 45 ....Christina M. Huynh ..........Astoria, N.Y. 47 ....Dakota Fordham ..............New York, N.Y. 49 ....Sarah Rahman..................East Elmhurst, N.Y. 50 ....Nadejda Maslova ............Brooklyn, N.Y. 56 ....Katherine Kachkarov........Flushing, N.Y. 60 ....Diana Sosonkin ................Brooklyn, N.Y. 71 ....Jennifer Yu........................Forest Hills, N.Y. 77 ....Rosie Garcia Gross ..........New York, N.Y. 79 ....Barbara Podvorchani ......Bronx, N.Y. 87 ....Miriam Irfan Aziz ..............Staten Island, N.Y. 91 ....Stephanie Li......................New York, N.Y. 99 ....Khyanna Singh ................Queens Village, N.Y. 103 ..Anastasya Menshikova....Brooklyn, N.Y. 111 ..Amy Kaplan ......................Brooklyn, N.Y. 119 ..Lia Kiam ............................New York, N.Y. 129 ..Jamila Akhmedjanova......New York, N.Y. 131 ..Perene Wang....................New York, N.Y. 137 ..Amalia M. Parrish ............Queens Village, N.Y.

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69


NEW 144 ..Daniela Patricia Hernandez Corona, N.Y. 145 ..Sabrina Boada..................Woodhaven, N.Y. 146 ..Kate Yamin........................New York, N.Y. 150 ..Shawnte Beale ................Bronx, N.Y.

Sectional Girls 18 Singles— Metro Region Rank Name............................City 5 ......Anna Ulyashchenko ........Brooklyn, N.Y. 8 ......Alexandra Koniaev ..........Forest Hills, N.Y. 16 ....Sheely Yaloz ....................Little Neck, N.Y. 17 ....Alexus Gill ........................Brooklyn, N.Y. 28 ....Sabrina Xiong ..................Fresh Meadows, N.Y. 35 ....Isis Gill ..............................Brooklyn, N.Y. 37 ....Patricia Obeid ..................New York, N.Y. 38 ....Jessica Livianu ................Brooklyn, N.Y. 47 ....Sonia Tartakovsky ............New York, N.Y. 49 ....Michelle Sorokko..............Little Neck, N.Y. 50 ....Yuka Lin ............................Kew Gardens, N.Y. 56 ....Lisa Marchelska ..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 59 ....Jillian Rose Auteri ............Staten Island, N.Y. 64 ....Dakota Fordham ..............New York, N.Y. 66 ....Emma Brandes Kassan ..New York, N.Y. 73 ....Victoria Sec ......................New York, N.Y. 76 ....Miriam Irfan Aziz ..............Staten Island, N.Y. 79 ....Kiara A. Rose....................New York, N.Y. 83 ....Jennifer Yu........................Forest Hills, N.Y. 84 ....Valicia Browne ..................Brooklyn, N.Y. 87 ....Sydney Lynn Katz ............New York, N.Y. 88 ....Isabelle Rovinski ..............New York, N.Y. 97 ....Jessica Golovin ................New York, N.Y. 99 ....Anastasia Koniaev............Forest Hills, N.Y. 101 ..Anna Maite Kaplan ..........New York, N.Y. 104 ..Sarah Rahman..................East Elmhurst, N.Y. 105 ..Khyanna Singh ................Queens Village, N.Y. 112 ..Nicole Khorosh ................Brooklyn, N.Y. 115 ..Tristan Lorich ....................New York, N.Y. 117 ..Brianna Williams ..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 126 ..Katherine Kachkarov........Flushing, N.Y. 128 ..Christina M. Huynh ..........Astoria, N.Y. 129 ..Sophia Kryloff ..................Brooklyn, N.Y. 130 ..Nadejda Maslova ............Brooklyn, N.Y. 131 ..Tamila Latif-Zade..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 133 ..Dea Koiava ......................New York, N.Y. 135 ..Lauren Elizabeth Munari ..Middle Village, N.Y. 139 ..Dasha Kourkina................Brooklyn, N.Y. 148 ..Stephanie Li......................New York, N.Y.

YORK

Boys & Girls National Rankings (as of 12/18/15)

BOYS National Boys 12 Singles— Metro Region Rank ..Name ..........................City 14 ....Sebastian Sec ..................New York, N.Y. 31 ....John-Tomas Bilski............New York, N.Y. 56 ....Wesley Zhang ..................Staten Island, N.Y. 65 ....Ty Switzer..........................New York, N.Y. 70 ....Cooper Williams ..............New York, N.Y. 112 ..Hudson Beaudoin ............New York, N.Y. 135 ..Tyler Korobov....................Brooklyn, N.Y. 213 ..Jace K. Alexander ............New York, N.Y. 247 ..Sachin Palta......................Forest Hills, N.Y. 278 ..Donovan Spigner ............New York, N.Y. 421 ..Kole Henry Moses............New York, N.Y. 468 ..Joseph Phillips ................New York, N.Y. 548 ..Noah Abels Eisenberg ....New York, N.Y. 557 ..Solomon Brown ..............New York, N.Y. 703 ..Luca Anthony DeMare ....New York, N.Y. 722 ..Nicholas Steiglehner ........New York, N.Y. 742 ..Sabian Kosinov ................Forest Hills, N.Y. 827 ..Jack Charles Benavides ..New York, N.Y. 875 ..Luca Photopoulos............New York, N.Y. 876 ..Rafe Photopoulos ............New York, N.Y. 887 ..Bradley Bennett................New York, N.Y. 974 ..Astro Brundo Pilipovic ....New York, N.Y. 975 ..Andres Fente ....................New York, N.Y. 989 ..Nicholas Laffont ..............New York, N.Y. 997 ..Mitchel Pertsovsky ..........Brooklyn, N.Y.

National Boys 14 Singles— Metro Region Rank ..Name ..........................City 53 ....Jeffrey Fradkin..................New York, N.Y. 63 ....Derek Raskopf..................New York, N.Y. 65 ....Ethan Leon........................Woodhaven, N.Y. 92 ....Steven Daniel Nazaroff ....Brooklyn, N.Y. 239 ..Robbie Werdiger ..............New York, N.Y. 252 ..Brandon T. Cohen ............New York, N.Y. 326 ..Noah D. Edelman ............New York, N.Y. 390 ..Shand Stephens ..............New York, N.Y. 438 ..Joseph Wilkanowski ........Long Island City, N.Y. 446 ..Oliver Worth......................Long Island City, N.Y. 500 ..Harry Portnoy ..................New York, N.Y. 547 ..Marcos Souza Lee ..........New York, N.Y. 573 ..Blake Frank ......................New York, N.Y. 674 ..Kai Yuminaga....................Oakland Gardens, N.Y. 677 ..Maxwell Igor Kachkarov ..Flushing, N.Y. 728 ..Tristan Taylor ....................New York, N.Y. 751 ..Zachary Portnoy ..............New York, N.Y. 763 ..Donovan Brown ..............New York, N.Y. 829 ..Alex Portnoy ....................New York, N.Y. 906 ..Christopher Tham ............Flushing, N.Y. 965 ..Oliver Obeid......................New York, N.Y. 966 ..Jeffrey McCready ............Brooklyn, N.Y.

National Boys 16 Singles— Metro Region

RANKINGS 639 ..Nicholas Pustilnik ............Brooklyn, N.Y. 657 ..Sam V. Vagner ..................Staten Island, N.Y. 774 ..Gabriel Sifuentes..............Flushing, N.Y. 799 ..Derek Raskopf..................New York, N.Y. 820 ..Allan Ethan Magdid..........Brooklyn, N.Y. 845 ..Christopher Kolesnik........Staten Island, N.Y. 852 ..David Mizrahi....................Brooklyn, N.Y. 949 ..Ethan Leon........................Woodhaven, N.Y. 951 ..Dylan Friedman ................Brooklyn, N.Y. 981 ..Jeffrey Gorilovsky ............Brooklyn, N.Y.

National Boys 18 Singles— Metro Region Rank ..Name ..........................City 36 ....Oliver Sec..........................New York, N.Y. 166 ..James Wasserman ..........New York, N.Y. 199 ..Ethan Nittolo ....................Flushing, N.Y. 210 ..Ananth Raghavan ............New York, N.Y. 448 ..Peter Lohrbach ................Little Neck, N.Y. 492 ..Cole Gittens......................New York, N.Y. 532 ..Robert Kennedy ..............New York, N.Y. 610 ..Felipe Osses-Konig..........Rego Park, N.Y. 703 ..Marcus T. Smith................Little Neck, N.Y. 759 ..Calvin Chung....................Bronx, N.Y. 772 ..Mitchell Ostrovsky............Brooklyn, N.Y.

GIRLS National Girls 12 Singles— Metro Region Rank ..Name ..........................City 22 ....Daniella Benabraham ......New York, N.Y. 77 ....Lorraine Bergmann ..........Forest Hills, N.Y. 207 ..Michelle Kleynerman........Staten Island, N.Y. 212 ..Sarah Lucy Youngberg ....New York, N.Y. 274 ..Shakima Hotaki................Flushing, N.Y. 286 ..Nathalie Williams..............New York, N.Y. 347 ..Alyssa An ..........................New York, N.Y. 405 ..Natalie Eordekian ............Woodside, N.Y. 603 ..Deliala Friedman ..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 610 ..Sage Loudon....................New York, N.Y. 813 ..Catalina Haberman ..........New York, N.Y. 997 ..Nina Wiese........................Flushing, N.Y.

National Girls 14 Singles— Metro Region Rank ..Name ..........................City 33 ....Dasha Kourkina................Brooklyn, N.Y. 36 ....Michelle Sorokko..............Little Neck, N.Y. 73 ....Rosie Garcia Gross ..........New York, N.Y. 82 ....Perene Wang....................New York, N.Y. 156 ..Kyra Bergmann ................Forest Hills, N.Y. 217 ..Nadejda Maslova ............Brooklyn, N.Y. 304 ..Chelsea Williams..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 482 ..Diana McCready ..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 635 ..Diana Sosonkin ................Brooklyn, N.Y. 646 ..Rachel Rubenzahl ............New York, N.Y. 675 ..Marie Ivantechenko ........Brooklyn, N.Y. 705 ..Isabella Sinclair Cooper ..Brooklyn, N.Y. 708 ..Lorraine Bergmann ..........Forest Hills, N.Y. 716 ..Amanda Solecki ..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 721 ..Khyanna Singh ................Queens Village, N.Y. 844 ..Christina M. Huynh ..........Astoria, N.Y.

Rank ..Name ..........................City 125 ..Gary C. Fishkin ................Staten Island, N.Y. 335 ..Lantis Wang......................New York, N.Y. 359 ..Zachary Jordan Lieb........New York, N.Y. 482 ..Sumit Sarkar ....................New York, N.Y. 563 ..Jacob Kern ......................New York, N.Y.

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National Girls 16 Singles— Metro Region Rank ..Name ..........................City 48 ....Dasha Kourkina................Brooklyn, N.Y. 65 ....Michelle Sorokko..............Little Neck, N.Y. 121 ..Shelly Yaloz ......................Little Neck, N.Y. 227 ..Victoria Sec ......................New York, N.Y. 260 ..Lauren Elizabeth Munari ..Middle Village, N.Y. 282 ..Aleksandra Bekirova ........Brooklyn, N.Y. 309 ..Anastasia Koniaev............Forest Hills, N.Y. 405 ..Nicole Veronica Semenov ..Brooklyn, N.Y. 454 ..Chelsea Williams..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 530 ..Katherine Kachkarov........Flushing, N.Y. 579 ..Sarah Rahman..................East Elmhurst, N.Y. 604 ..Rosie Garcia Gross ..........New York, N.Y. 627 ..Kyra Bergmann ................Forest Hills, N.Y. 707 ..Dakota Fordham ..............New York, N.Y. 925 ..Regina Furer ....................Brooklyn, N.Y. 953 ..Christina M. Huynh ..........Astoria, N.Y.

National Girls 18 Singles— Metro Region Rank ..Name ..........................City 114 ..Anna Ulyashchenko ........Brooklyn, N.Y. 195 ..Alexandra Koniaev ..........Forest Hills, N.Y. 225 ..Sabrina Xiong ..................Fresh Meadows, N.Y. 250 ..Jessica Melanie Livianu ..Brooklyn, N.Y. 359 ..Isis Gill ..............................Brooklyn, N.Y. 411 ..Sonia Tartakovsky ............New York, N.Y. 422 ..Alexus Gill ........................Brooklyn, N.Y. 500 ..Camilla Trapness..............New York, N.Y. 531 ..Brianna Williams ..............Brooklyn, N.Y. 551 ..Sheely Yaloz ....................Little Neck, N.Y. 655 ..Dasha Kourkina................Brooklyn, N.Y 659 ..Patricia Obeid ..................New York, N.Y. 692 ..Michelle Sorokko..............Little Neck, N.Y. 706 ..Victoria Sec ......................New York, N.Y. 721 ..Sophia Kryloff ..................Brooklyn, N.Y. 778 ..Alexandra Sanford ..........New York, N.Y. 923 ..Anastasia Nicole KoniaevForest Hills, N.Y. 977 ..Jessica Golovin ................New York, N.Y.


USTA/Metropolitan Region

2016 TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE For detailed information on these and all USTA tournaments, visit tennislink.usta.com/tournaments. JANUARY 2016 Friday-Monday, January 15-18 L1A Stadium Tennis Center Winter Championships Stadium Tennis Center 725 Exterior Street Bronx, N.Y. Divisions: Championships Boys & Girls Singles: 78’ Yellow Ball 12 (SE) Surface Type: Hard Indoor Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Friday, Jan. 8 at 8:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail lauren@stadiumtennisnyc.com or call (718) 665-4684. Friday-Monday, January 15-18 L1A Cary Leeds Center Championships The Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning 1720 Crotona Avenue Bronx, N.Y. Divisions: Championships Boys & Girls Singles: 78’ Yellow Ball 18 (SE) Surface Type: Unknown Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Friday, Jan. 8 at 8:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail wwiese@nyjtl.org or call (718) 247-7420. Friday-Sunday, January 15-17 L2O APTC January Open Alley Pond Tennis Center 7920 Winchester Boulevard Queens Village, N.Y. Divisions: Intermediate Boys & Girls Singles: 78’ Yellow Ball 12 (FMLC), Intermediate Boys & Girls Singles: 78’ Yellow Ball 14-18 (SE), and Intermediate Boys & Girls Doubles: 78’ Yellow Ball 12-18 (SE) Surface Type: Hard Indoor Entry Fee: $54.25 for first singles/$28 for first doubles (deadline for entries is Sunday, Jan. 10 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail hemco2@aol.com or call (718) 264-2600. Friday-Sunday, January 15-17 PSP L2 Bronx: Orange Ball The Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning 1720 Crotona Avenue Bronx, N.Y. Divisions: Boys & Girls 10 and Under Singles & Doubles: 60’ Orange Ball 10 (NEF) Surface Type: Hard Entry Fee: $38.13 per player (deadline for entries is Friday, Jan. 8 at 11:59 p.m.) For more information, e-mail wwiese@nyjtl.org or call (718) 247-7420.

Friday-Sunday, January 15-17 & January 22-24 L2O Sportime RI January Open Sportime Randalls Island 1 Randalls Island New York, N.Y. Divisions: Intermediate Boys & Girls Singles: 78’ Yellow Ball 14-16 (SE) Surface Type: Clay Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Monday, Jan. 11 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail mattytrumino@gmail.com or call (646) 783-5301.

FEBRUARY 2016 Friday-Sunday, February 5-7 Empire Cup National Doubles at Stadium Tennis Center Stadium Tennis Center 725 Exterior Street Bronx, N.Y. Divisions: Boys & Girls Doubles: 78’ Yellow Ball 12 (FMLC) Surface Type: Hard Indoor Entry Fee: $43.50 per player (deadline for entries is Monday, Jan. 25 at 8:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail lauren@stadiumtennisnyc.com or call (718) 665-4684.

Saturday-Sunday, January 23-24 & Friday-Monday, January 29-31 +L1 Eastern Grand Prix at Stadium Tennis Center Stadium Tennis Center 725 Exterior Street Bronx, N.Y. Divisions: Grand Prix Boys Singles: 78’ Yellow Ball 16 (FICQ) Surface Type: Hard Indoor Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail lauren@stadiumtennisnyc.com or call (718) 665-4684.

Friday-Sunday, February 5-7 Empire Cup Doubles at the Cary Leeds Center The Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning 1720 Crotona Avenue Bronx, N.Y. Divisions: Boys Doubles: 78’ Yellow Ball 18 (FMLC) and Girls Doubles: 78’ Yellow Ball 16 (FMLC) Surface Type: Unknown Entry Fee: $43.50 per player (deadline for entries is Monday, Jan. 25 at 8:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail ebantovska@nyjtl.org or call (347) 417-8168.

Saturday-Sunday, January 23-24 & Friday-Monday, January 29-31 +L1 Eastern Grand Prix at Alley Pond TC Alley Pond Tennis Center 7920 Winchester Boulevard Queens Village, N.Y. Divisions: Grand Prix Girls Singles: 78’ Yellow Ball 16 (FICQ) Surface Type: Hard Indoor Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail hemco2@aol.com or call (718) 264-2600. Friday-Saturday, January 29-30 L3 SPORTIME RI January UPS Sportime Randalls Island 1 Randalls Island New York, N.Y. Divisions: Entry Level Boys & Girls Singles: 78’ Green Ball 12 (RR) Surface Type: Clay Entry Fee: $43.50 per player (deadline for entries is Monday, Jan. 25 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail TournamentsRI@SportimeNY.com or call (646) 783-5301.

Friday-Sunday, February 12-14 L1B Stadium Tennis Center February Challenger Stadium Tennis Center 725 Exterior Street Bronx, N.Y. Divisions: Challenger Girls’ Singles 78’ Yellow Ball 14-18 (SE) Surface Type: Hard Indoor Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Thursday, Feb. 4 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail lauren@stadiumtennisnyc.com or call (718) 665-4684. Friday-Sunday, February 12-14 L1B Cary Leeds Center February Challenger The Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning 1720 Crotona Avenue Bronx, N.Y. Divisions: Challenger Boys Singles: 78’ Yellow Ball 12-18 (SE) and Challenger Girls Singles: 78’ Yellow Ball 12 (SE) Surface Type: Hard Indoor Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Thursday, Feb. 4 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail ebantovska@nyjtl.org or call (347) 417-8100.

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USTA/Metropolitan Region

2016 TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE For detailed information on these and all USTA tournaments, visit tennislink.usta.com/tournaments. Monday-Friday, February 15-19 L2O City Parks Indoor Open USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Flushing Meadows Corona Park Flushing, N.Y. Divisions: Intermediate Boys & Girls Singles: 78’ Yellow Ball 12-14 (FMLC) Surface Type: Hard Entry Fee: $33 per player (deadline for entries is Sunday, Feb. 7 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail tomtvedt@yahoo.com or call (718) 760-6999. Monday-Friday, February 15-19 L1B Green Ball City Parks Indoor Challenger USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Flushing Meadows Corona Park Flushing, N.Y. Divisions: Challenger Boys & Girls 10 and Under Singles: 78’ Green Ball 10 (FMLC) Surface Type: Hard Entry Fee: $33 per player (deadline for entries is Sunday, Feb. 7 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail tomtvedt@yahoo.com or call (718) 760-6999.

Saturday-Sunday, February 20-21 & Friday-Sunday, February 26-28 +L1 Eastern Grand Prix at Cary Leeds Center The Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning 1720 Crotona Avenue Bronx, N.Y. Divisions: Grand Prix Girls Singles: 78’ Yellow Ball 18 (FICQ) Surface Type: Hard Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Monday, Feb. 8 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail ebantovska@nyjtl.org or call (347) 417-8100. Friday-Sunday, February 26-28 PSP L1 Bronx: Orange Ball The Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning 1720 Crotona Avenue Bronx, N.Y. Divisions: Boys & Girls 10 and Under Singles: 60’ Orange Ball 10 (NEF) Surface Type: Unknown Entry Fee: $59.63 per player (deadline for entries is Friday, Feb. 12 at 11:59 p.m.) For more information, e-mail ebantovska@nyjtl.org or call (347) 417-8100.

Friday-Sunday, February 19-21 L2O Alley Pond President’s Week Open Alley Pond Tennis Center 7920 Winchester Boulevard Queens Village, N.Y. Divisions: Intermediate Boys & Girls Singles: 78’ Yellow Ball 12 (FMLC), Intermediate Boys & Girls Singles: 78’ Yellow Ball 14-18 (SE) and Intermediate Boys & Girls Doubles: 78’ Yellow Ball 12-18 (SE) Surface Type: Hard Indoor Entry Fee: $54.25 for first singles/$28 for first doubles (deadline for entries is Saturday, Feb. 13 at 5:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail hemco2@aol.com or call (718) 264-2600. Saturday-Sunday, February 20-21 & Friday-Sunday, February 26-28 +L1 Stadium Tennis Center Eastern Grand Prix Stadium Tennis Center 725 Exterior Street Bronx, N.Y. Divisions: Grand Prix Boys Singles: 78’ Yellow Ball 14 (FICQ) Surface Type: Hard Indoor Entry Fee: $54.25 per player (deadline for entries is Monday, Feb. 8 at 1:00 p.m.) For more information, e-mail lauren@stadiumtennisnyc.com or call (718) 665-4684. 72

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A N E S E RN IAC KI R I N K A Z S W L O A I W W MONF VS.

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115 New York Tennis Magazine • January/February 2016 • NYTennisMag.com


New York Tennis Magazine January / February 2016