in this issue
Perry Wins National Title
Junior Team Tennis District Championships
UTR - 16 Level Chart
| ISSUE no 4
USTA OKLAHOMA TENNIS MAGAZINE
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OK Executive Director
2 I thebaseliner.net
Why I Failed as a Tennis Player
Article by: David Mullins
Adult League Championships
2017 Girl's & Boy's East/West All-State Players
Junior Team Tennis
Universal Tennis Rating
Article by:Craig Lambert
USTA Missouri Valley
USTA Player Development
Cover photo credit:
2420 Westwport Dr.
Norman, OK 73069
WHO ARE WE?
We are USTA Oklahoma!
USTA MISSOURI VALLEY has 7 Districts
USTA Oklahoma is a not-for-profit organization that has over 5,600 individual and organizational members.
The US Open and pro tennis around the country are part of the USTA, but USTA is so much more. The mission is simple : to promote and develop the growth of tennis by allowing people of all ages and abilities to play the sport.
USTA has 17 Sections
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6 I thebaseliner.net
KANSAS CITY, MO. – Eight junior tennis players from around the United States Tennis Association Missouri Valley five state area captured singles championships at the USTA Missouri Valley Sweet 16 Championship, which draws the top 16 boys and girls players in each age division throughout the USTA Missouri Valley. The tournament was held June 13-18 at the Plaza Tennis Center in Kansas City, Mo.
Stiff competition in each of the age brackets for an exciting week of tennis. The singles champions in each age division earn a spot into the USTA National Hard Court Championships in August. All the finalists in the 18s divisions are defending high school state champions, highlighting that high school tennis can contribute to the development of high performance tennis players.
The results of the singles championships are as follows:
Boys 18s: Mason Meier (Elkhorn, Neb.) d. Carson Haskins (Ballwin, Mo.) 6-3, 6-2
Girls 18s: Samantha Mannix (Elkhorn, Neb.) d. Caroline Pozo (Ballwin, Mo.) 6-2, 4-6, 6-1
Boys 16s: Nam Pham (Lenexa, Kan.) d. Graydon Lair (Tulsa, Okla.) 6-1, 6-2
Girls 16s: Ellie Kuckelman (Overland Park, Kan.) d. Kelsey Mize (Tulsa, Okla.) 6-3, 6-3
Boys 14s: Alex Han (Tulsa, Okla.) d. Cameron Luhring (Parkersburg, Iowa) 6-4, 6-2
Girls 14s: Ellee Dryer (Olathe, Kan.) d. Gracie Epps (Tulsa, Okla.) 6-4, 6-3
Boys 12s: Humza Noor (Olathe, Kan.) d. Brett Keeling (Tulsa, Okla.) 6-3, 4-6, 7-5
Girls 12s: Brooklyn Olson (Kansas City, Mo.) d. Ariel Madatali (St. Louis, Mo.) 6-1, 6-1
Boys 18s: Bradley Frye/Carson Haskins
Girls 18s: Anna Alons/Caroline Pozo
Boys 16s: Bruno Serra/Rafael Serra
Girls 16s: Ellie Kuckelman/Chloe Kuckelman
Boys 14s: Cameron Luhring/Grant Weideman
Girls 14s: Elizabeth Choate/Gracie Epps
Boys 12s: Brett Keeling/Jesper Ohlson
Girls 12s: Ariel Madatali/Brooklyn Olson
The players who competed in the tournament represented the top-level junior tennis players in the USTA Missouri Valley. Each year, there are more than 6,000 players that compete in USTA Missouri Valley Junior Tournaments. Players compete in levels of competition through earned advancement in the 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 to have fun competing, all while advancing as players.
The tournament also awarded sportsmanship awards to the following players:
Boys 18s: Ethan Henry
Girls 18s: Lily Feldman
Boys 16s: Jake Fraunfelder
Girls 16s: Bianca Rademacher
Boys 14s: Luke Bracks
Girls 14s: Arunadee Fernando
Boys 12s: Caleb Bartels
Girls 12s: Abby Gaines
Courtesy of USTA Missouri Valley
Boys' 14 Champion
Started Playing: 14
Favorite Tennis Player: Andy Murray
Favorite Food: Steak
Pre-match Ritual: Switch shoes, stretch and pray
Best Tennis Memory: Making the varsity tennis team as a freshman and playing at regionals
Favorite thing about playing tournaments: Meeting and becoming friends with new people
Started Playing: 8
Favorite Tennis Player: Serena Williams
Favorite Food: Steak
Pre-match Ritual: Jump rope
Best Tennis Memory: My favorite tennis memories have happened during the MV Sweet 16 tournaments. I love getting to pay lots of matches against a great level of competition
Favorite thing about playing tournaments: I have enjoyed getting to see all of my tennis friends and I grow as both people and players through the years.
Players in the Spotlight
Wyatt Cummings - Boys' 16 Challenger
thebaseliner.net I 7
Erin Epperson - Girls' 18 Champs
For more information about Junior Team Tennis in your area, please contact your local club or the local JTT coordinator.
Hometown: Edmond, OK
Started playing: 3
Favorite food: Ravioli
Favorite tennis player:
JTT Team: Oak Tree
Why you like Junior Team Tennis:
I like hanging out with all of my friends and playing doubles
Why wait until high school to join a tennis team? USTA Junior Team Tennis brings together boys and girls, ages 6 to 18, to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles against other coed teams.
Beyond being fun and a great form of exercise, Junior Team Tennis is a competitive, level-based environment that promotes individual growth, social growth and life skills.
Junior Team Tennis
Players in the Spotlight
Started playing: 3
Favorite food: Buffalo wings
Favorite tennis player: Rafael Nadal
JTT Team: Southern Hills
Why you like Junior Team Tennis:
It's fun and I get to play with my friends.
Why Junior Team Tennis?
Hometown: Lawton, OK
Started playing: 12
Favorite food: Margherita Pizza
Favorite tennis player: Angelique Kerber
Why you like Junior Team Tennis: It gives and opportunity to play all types of matches and I get to be on a team.
TULSA AREA JTT
OKC AREA JTT
thebaseliner.net I 9
By David Minihan
USPTA Master Professional
When is the rain going to stop? Are we going indoors? Do the courts dry fast? These are just a few questions that a tournament director might get when it rains. For the most part, tournaments are fairly easy to run as long as the TD is well organized and always thinking ahead. However, once the rain comes pouring down, it is a whole different ball game. It is a curve ball that is thrown at you and regardless how prepared you are, it is typically a very challenging task to manage.
The forecast calls for rain, what are you going to do?
In one of our more recent national tournaments, two weeks prior to the tournament one parent called me informing me there is a 80% chance of rain and if the tournament is either going to be cancelled or will we move the entire tournament indoors. As all of us Oklahomans know, forecasts can change by the minute. For this particular tournament, 80% one day turned into 0% chance the day before the tournament.
Believe me, tournament directors watch the weather closely prior to the event. Like you, they are hoping for great weather and not having the stress of dealing with rain. There is no need for you to contact the tournament director informing there is rain in the forecast or even ask them what the plan is. Constantly asking the director what he or she is going to do adds to the stress and could lead to bad decisions. Give them time to meet with their committee to make the best possible decision. Once the decision has been made, they will communicate this to you on the tournament website, email or through their PA system.
Here comes the rain...
So the rain has started, courts are soaked and the tournament director is getting flooded with questions. What are you going to do? Are we moving indoors?
Once the rain starts and players are being pulled off the court, typically the director will write down the score and who is serving. Once the scores have been recorded by all that was on the court, the director will meet with their tournament committee and make a decision on how long to delay the tournament or should the remaining matches be moved indoors. During this time, let the tournament director have time to process the best move. During one of our rain delays, parents and coaches continued to come to the tournament desk asking what we are going to do. Our committee didn't even have one minute before being interrupted multiple times. Be patient, let the tournament director do their job. There are many factors that go into making rain delay decision. Is there more rain coming? If so, when and when will it end? How long will the courts typically dry with this type of climate and wind speed? If we do go indoors, when are the courts available? These are just a few questions that a director has to process when making the best decision. So, when constantly interrupted, it makes this already challenging task more difficult to make the correct decision.
Why aren't we going indoors?
For USTA Oklahoma tournaments during the season March-October, facilities are not required to move indoors if it rains. In fact, it is not a requirement to move indoors for many national tournaments. If a tournament director moves you indoors, you might be charged. However, if this is the case, the director needs to have this clearly defined on the tournament homepage at the time when registration is open. For example, for our national event we host at Westwood Tennis Center, we place this on the home page, "In the case of inclement weather, play MIGHT move indoors. If this is the case, players will be charged $10 per match." This way parents know in advance they might have to pay. These fees go directly to the club for the ability to use their facility. If you play at a tournament that does not charge a fee if moved indoors, you are one of the lucky ones. This is definitely not the norm, so don't expect it.
In my first year as Director of Tennis at Westwood, we hosted the Norman Jr. Open. There were just north of 200 entries and four days to run the tournament. This was my very first tournament I had ever run by myself and guess what it did? Not only did it rain, but rained all four days off and on. We would get the courts dry, only to play 1-2 hours and here comes the rain again! Ugh! I told myself I would never run another tournament again. Of course, that wasn't the case, but it did teach me a lot about how to better manage tournaments and the rain for future events.
It is no doubt one of the toughest and stressful situation for a tournament director when the big man upstairs decides to clean our courts. Next time you are involved with rain at a tournament, give the director and staff and little slack and have patience with their decisions. Even if you don't think it is a good decision or you ask yourself, what in the world is he thinking? Just understand there is probably more to the decision than just black and white.
Rain, Rain, Go Away...
Understanding the decision process of a tournament director when it rains
thebaseliner.net I 10
Unorthodox pairings were the theme at the second annual, $3,000-purse UTR Boston Open at Harvard University in mid-September. In one match, Marcus Fugate of Rochester, N.Y., a 28-year-old pro once ranked No. 587, split sets with Harvard sophomore Kelvin Lam before prevailing in a 10-point tiebreaker. In the qualifying draw, Charlie Maher, a 53-year-old tennis pro and former New England No. 1 player, vanquished Austin Bendetson, a 22-year-old from Andover, Mass. And Maria Mateas, a 16-year-old from Braintree, Mass., defeated boys’ player Ryan Nguy, a sophomore at Philips Andover Academy.
But hold on: in competitive tennis, pros play other pros. College players square off against other collegians, right? In money tournaments, 53-year-olds don’t take on men three decades their junior. And most definitely, boys play boys and girls play girls.
Not here. Universal Tennis Rating (UTR)—the innovative system for grading players of all ages, sexes, and skill levels—upends those precepts. UTR cares only about the scoreboard.
Someday, every tennis player may have a UTR, just as every golfer carries a handicap that’s applicable on any course, with any competition. The ratings range from 1 for beginners to 16+ and there’s only one scale for both male and female athletes: Roger Federer (16.26) and Novak Djokovic (16.27) both surpass the top of scale while Serena Williams holds a 13.34 rating, for example.
UTRs also resemble the chess players’ ratings—they are derived from match results and similarly, take into account the strength of one’s opponent. (In golf, the opponent is the course, which has its own difficulty rating.) Chess outcomes are simply win, lose, or draw, while in tennis, a match score can range from, say, 6–0, 6–0 to 7–6, 6–7, 7–6, and all variants in between. But the basic computations are analogous. UTRs get calculated to the hundredths of a point.
“Within 1.0 point of your own rating, you should be competitive,” says former Harvard player Rick Devereux and tournament director for the UTR Boston Open, which accepted players rated 9.5 and higher. “Research on thousands of matches confirms this overwhelmingly.”
Under the auspices of Dave Fish, head coach of the Harvard men’s varsity and a leading UTR advocate, the system has received space in the Harvard Innovation Lab, which fosters innovation and entrepreneurship.
“The UTR system is unique,” says Fugate, a 14.36-rated player who won this year’s UTR tourney. “What I like about it is that it encompasses all of the different ranking/rating systems out there. I’ve spoken with many tournament directors at the tournaments that I play, and they occasionally tell me how cumbersome it can be to track down the players, one by one, using three or four different websites in order to seed them correctly. The UTR system seems much more efficient. It worked well at the Boston Open: the top four seeds made the semifinals, the top two were in the finals, and the number-one seed won the tournament. Of all the tournaments I’ve played, I can only remember this happening a handful of times.”
Harshana Godamanna, the top male player from Sri Lanka and a member of its Davis Cup team, who is assistant director of tennis at the Sportsman’s Tennis and Enrichment Center in Dorchester, Mass., says “it’s very difficult” to find tournaments to play in the Boston area. But the UTR Boston Open (which he won last year, and was runner-up to Fugate in a close final this year) offers “a bigger draw and better competition,” he says. “We need a good rating system. UTR is more accurate, and hopefully it will be used everywhere before long.”
Eric Butorac, ATP Player Council president and doubles specialist with a UTR of 13.60, attended this year’s UTR Boston Open. “The UTR system is great for tennis in so many ways,” Butorac says. “At a UTR event, you are guaranteed to play against players who are close to your ability level. I have played a lot in France, where they have a similar system, and it works so efficiently. I hope the whole world gets on board with UTR, as it could drastically change worldwide tennis for the better.”
UTR’s founder, Virginia tennis pro Dave Howell, says the system “can keep players in a great game by giving them a good game.”
Universal Tennis Rating is a System for Grading Tennis Players
By Craig Lambert
Courtesy of www.universaltennis.com and Sports Illustrated
WHO WE ARE
We believe that competition is the key to tennis player development, and the Universal Tennis Rating® (UTR) System provides that critical component by facilitating “level-based” match play.
Over the last ten years Universal Tennis has monitored hundreds of thousands of tennis results from professional, collegiate, and national, sectional and district level junior tournaments, as well as high school play. Our research has shown that events with the narrowest range of levels of players (fewer levels) produced the highest number of competitive matches, whereas the events with the largest range (greater number of levels) produced the lowest number of competitive matches.
The UTR system was devised in order to encourage and facilitate competitive matches between similarly rated players. This led to the development of a truly “universal” rating system and methodology—now called the Universal Tennis Rating® System-- that is based on principles not found in other tennis rating systems.
It’s starting to happen: in the last four years, college tennis has embraced UTR. “In colleges, it’s hot,” says Fish, interviewed here on the UTR Boston Open. “In junior tennis, it’s still a new idea.” The current system in the United States ranks players based on a “points per round” (PPR) model that ranks the strength, not of players, but of tournaments, and awards points to a player based not on who they played or the score, but on what round he or she reached in the draw—more points, of course, for later rounds. The USTA, ITF and much of college tennis employ the PPR method. “It’s very easy to administer and to explain,” says Fish, “but it’s intrinsically inaccurate.”
Problems arise, for example, from the uneven distribution of tennis players—and talent—around the country. The USTA divides the nation into 17 sections and tries to be fair by giving equal weight to success in each one. Hence the top-ranked junior boy in, say, one of the weaker sections of the country is put on a par with the top-ranked boy of comparable age in Southern California. Yet it is generally much harder to win a tournament in Southern California because tennis talent is so concentrated there. Tournaments of comparable levels in different regions are not necessarily of comparable strength, competitively speaking. The PPR system doesn’t account for that, which builds distortion into sectional rankings and into PPR calculations in general.
Furthermore, the PPR method spins off some paradoxical incentives. For example, ambitious junior players may chase PPR by seeking out tournaments with weaker draws, where they’ll have a better chance of surviving into later rounds—and also travel long distances to enter them. Even players seeking strong competition rather than PPR face obstacles in the current system. As Angela Mateas, the mother of Maria (UTR 11.04), who played boys at the UTR Boston Open, notes, “you get to a point where you are 14 or 16 years old and you don’t have anyone to practice with.” Hopscotching the nation to find good matches also involves lots of expensive travel.
An event like the recent UTR Boston Open solves this problem: why not have a talented, ambitious high-school athlete practice and compete with local college players, or even adults with similar UTRs? Suddenly you have competitive tennis, and travel is a crosstown drive instead of a cross-country flight—plus hotel, car rental, and meals. The savings in both money and time are enormous, and greatly expand opportunities for young athletes who don’t come from wealthy families. In this way, UTR could vastly expand the pool of skillful young players by erasing monetary barriers. Tournaments like the UTR Boston Open are laboratories that demonstrate “a new operating system for tennis worldwide," Fish says, “facilitating level-based play by giving everyone something to enjoy, at a price their wallet can also enjoy.”
Why I Failed as a Tennis Player
thebaseliner.net I 12
January, 2003: I’m sitting on a cliff-side, overlooking the east coast of Australia, contemplating my future as a tennis player. I just battled through four rounds of qualifying to make it to the first round of a futures event. Today, I was up a set, 5-4 40-0 and lost in three sets against the 4th seed. My elbow is throbbing, my back is bothering me and my first round losers paycheck will only cover two nights of hotel bills. Is this really worth it??
Life on the road as a tennis player. Practicing in Miami, FL after spending the night sleeping in a rental car!
We love to read the success stories of the greatest players in the world. We learn about the ups and downs they endured along the way, but eventually made it to the top. However, we rarely look at those who did not achieve the same level of success in their chosen area of excellence and try to dissect why. I think we could learn a lot from these stories, too. What if we could avoid the mistakes these “average” people made while still aspiring for that top tier of excellence? If we aspire to be “great,” of course we need to understand how the elite reached that level of excellence, but we must also understand why so many others fail along the way.
Admittedly, I had a very below average professional tennis career and I don’t feel bad about it one bit. In fact, I don’t think you can call it a professional career as I was very much in the red throughout it! I don’t have any regrets or think that I could have raised the Wimbledon Trophy one day, if only I had just worked that bit harder, and ate more spinach! I believe if all the stars aligned, and I committed to a professional career for about 5-7 years, perhaps I could have reached about 300 in the ATP singles rankings and top 150 in the ATP doubles rankings. Instead, I played for about 6 months and reached a career high of 943! During that time, I spent about $25,000 and made roughly $11,000 (thanks mostly to money tournaments without ranking points).
The reality is, even if I had reached a ranking of 300 in the world, I would not have fared much better financially. Whether I was 300 or 1200, I would still be struggling to play in the events I dreamed of when I first started competing in the sport. There is absolutely nothing wrong with staying out on the tour for years if you love the lifestyle, and are still very passionate about training and competition. It’s an expensive passion, but if it is financially feasible for you, then why not? I am all about doing what you love! However, I made a lot of mistakes along the way and these are a few of the lessons I want to share with young players who have the same dreams I had as a young teen.
1.) MENTAL: “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” – Lao Tzu.
People don’t care about your results and performances as much as you think they do. Playing an individual sport, we tend to be somewhat narcissistic and think that everyone is watching us. In truth, they are watching two people and where the ball is going, then they look at their smartphones between points. They cheer, they clap, they judge, but at the end of the day, they go home to their own lives, their own problems, their own passions. They don’t really care all that much about who won or lost, or who is playing well or not improving. I know as a young tennis player, I would get so consumed and worried about what other people thought of my performances for all sorts of reasons. Instead, I should have been spending that time and energy critically evaluating my own performance, and what I could learn from it in order to apply it to my next match. Instead, I was overly concerned about pleasing others.
But, Coach Mullins, what about my parents, my coach and my best friend, Mike, don’t they care? Yes, they care, but not as much as you probably believe.
If you have overbearing parents, an intense coach or a buddy named Mike that appear to care a little too much, it is probably more of a reflection of their own issues in life and far less about yours. Again, proving that they are more consumed with their own image and how your tennis is impacting their precious place in this world than you! Your tennis performances have nothing to do with who you are as person. Learn to separate the two.
by David Mullins, davemullinstennis.com
thebaseliner.net I 13
2.) GOAL SETTING: “Life favors the specific ask and punishes the vague wish”- Tim Ferriss.
I had many vague wishes and no specific asks. I was very guilty of selling myself short, and a lot of that comes from my background and culture. When I decided to play full-time after college, I took the approach of, “Ahh, sure we will see how it goes,” and, “Hopefully I can pick up a few points here and there.” There was no plan, there were no concrete goals, there was no vision of how to accomplish anything. I was just reacting and going with the flow. Hopefully you have a coach, mentor, or parent in your life that can help guide you on occasion in these areas. If not, there are plenty of books out there that can get you on track. One of my favorites is “The Slight Edge,” by Jeff Olson. It discusses the power of taking deliberate, consistent actions every day towards your goals.
3.) PROCESS vs. WINNING: “If you’re looking for a formula for greatness, the closest we’ll ever get, I think, is this: Consistency driven by a deep love of work.” – Maria Popova
Winning is great, and when you go out to compete, you should strive to win with every part of your body and mind. However, it has taken me a very long time to understand that it is not about the final goal, it is truly about the process. Yes, we hear it all the time, but it is incredibly difficult to put into action. What matters far more than winning is what you put into preparing to compete and staying present throughout that process. I rarely walked on the court believing that I had done all I could to put myself in a position to perform at my best. Don’t get me wrong, I worked hard, but there was so much more I could have been doing to take care of my body and my mind. If you can fall in love with the process, and put all your energies into your preparation, you will be far better off in tennis and in life, and winning will most likely take care of itself. Ultimately, I never learned to love the process. The majority of the best tennis players I have been around absolutely love that process, and approach their tennis practices with childlike enthusiasm.
4.) NUTRITION: “We are what we eat” – anonymous.
I failed miserably at understanding how to fuel my body. I always felt sluggish in practices and workouts. I had a hard time finishing long matches in warm temperatures without my body breaking down. I had a lot of injuries from age 17 onwards. I attribute much of this to my cluelessness about how to fuel my body. Here was my typical daily intake of food during my college years:
Breakfast: Two Oreo Pop Tarts and a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal
Lunch: Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl and liter of Mountain Dew
Practice: All the Gatorade I could drink and a banana
Dinner: Five 49 cent McDonalds Cheeseburgers and French Fries with a liter of Coke
Desert: Chocolate Milkshake
Supper: Another bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch or some toast with Nutella
I look at this menu now and I want to puke! I was operating at 60% capacity most days with a game-style that required peak physical fitness. Athletes in general are far better educated nowadays on how they should be fueling their bodies, but I still see players making detrimental nutritional choices. You may be getting by just fine on your crappy diet, just like I thought I was, but understand you are not even scratching the surface of your true capabilities. “Getting by” is not the same as maximizing your body’s potential. The cleaner you eat, the more in tune you become with your body, which in turn allows you to sleep better, recover faster, and reduce the risk of injury, just to name a few benefits.
5.) MONEY: “Never spend your money before you have earned it” – Thomas Jefferson. Well Mr. Jefferson, when it comes to starting out as a professional tennis player I am going to have to disagree with you.
I graduated college in December of 2001. I returned home for Christmas, then hit the road in January and did not return for 6 months. I stayed on the road, sleeping on floors, sharing hotel rooms with three other dudes, eating cheap processed food, stringing my own rackets with my drop weight traveling stringing machine. I received no coaching or did any training blocks during this period. I just traveled and tried to save money in every area possible. I was rarely prepared mentally or physically to give even close to my best effort. Looking back now, I see that in my attempt to save money I was costing myself a great deal. If I had spent more I would have won more. If I had won more, I would have received more money. If I had more money, I would have played longer.
If I could do it differently, I would have gone on the road for 2 to 4 weeks at a time. I would have played fewer tournaments and spent more money at each event in order to put my mind and body in a place where it could perform its best. I would have let my body rest, ate nourishing food and received some feedback and help with my game and body. Instead, after 6 months, I was out of money, injured and had lost most of my desire to continue playing. Resources are often tight for those starting out in the professional ranks, so you need to get clear on where best to spend those limited resources. As a junior player, you probably should stay in crappy hotels, take 17-hour bus journeys, string your own rackets and wash your socks and underwear in the sink. I think there is a lot of value in dealing with adversity on the road as a junior. However, if you are serious about trying to maximize your time as a professional in a small window of opportunity, then don’t skimp in areas that will potentially be the difference between winning and losing.
If you are serious about your tennis, do not make the same mistakes I did. You can apply these lessons to many different phases of your tennis career. Some of the mistakes I made were out of ignorance, some denial and others laziness. Once you have established a reliable technique and game-style you must start respecting all the other areas that impact your performances and training. These things will set you apart and give you a realistic shot at reaching your potential. Good luck and learn to love the process!
Captain Hurst/Murphy, 8.0 55+ OKC
Captain - Laura Grooms, 4.5 OKC
Captain - Shawna Arnold-Lowe,
Captain - Paula Casey,
7.0 55+ OKC
Despite the rain and the steamy weather, another successful Oklahoma District Championship is in the books!
Congratulations to all the teams that competed and to those that advanced to nationals!
If you are interested in joining a league, contact our local league coordinator in your area.
Marc Claude' - OKC
Liz Montgomery - Tulsa
Michelle Oquin - District
Captain Winkler/Rankin 7.0 55+ OKC
Captain - Ky Nichols, 3.0 Tulsa
Not pictured is Captain: Steven Dollman, 8.0 55+ Tulsa
Captain - Bart Ramsey, 4.5 OKC
Captain - Tony Daniels, 4.0 OKC
Captain - Eric Nelson, 3.5 OKC
Captain - Laura Bailey,
Captain - Jennie Howard, 5.0 Tulsa
Captain - Karen Smith,
ADULT LEAGUE COORDINATOR
WHY ADULT TENNIS?
Tennis is a great way to keep your body fit and your mind sharp. It improves balance and body coordination and improves speed, strength and flexibility. But perhaps the best thing about tennis is that it provides a great opportunity to meet new people and build friendships.
ADULT LEAGUE COORDINATOR
EVERY LEVEL WELCOME, WOMEN, MEN, ALL AGES
COME TRY IT...YOU'LL BE HOOKED!
GET ON THE
There is no better way to get in the game – and have a lot of fun in the process – than USTA League. It offers play at the 18 & Over, 40 & Over and 55 & Over divisions, all of which are broken down into playing ability, which means there truly is a league for everyone. And there are also a range of adult tournaments, both local and national, to stoke your competitive fire.
"Tennis is a sport that you can play for a lifetime. It taught me a lot about competition and relationships growing up. It allowed me to go to a private university and meet girls on my team from all over the world. It has connected me with others in business opportunities after living in four different states as a journalist. Now I play it for fun which is icing on the cake. I think it is the greatest sport ever."
-Lindsay started playing when she was 11
Why I Play Tri Level
Allison Eve &
"Social and competitive aspect of the game and it's a great way to get exercise while having fun, especially at my age"
-Eve started playing when she was 42
I started playing tennis 16 years ago for all the typical reasons- I thought it looked fun, I wanted to get some exercise, get out of the house, and to meet new people. I never would have imagined how tennis would change my life! Quickly there were lessons, leagues, teams and matches! But the best and most pleasant surprise were the people I met and the friendships that were formed. All of a sudden there were all these nice people who were looking for and doing the same things that I was doing. It changed my life! Lifelong friends were made, and wonderful memories and experiences were had.
As time moved on though, some of the people I was spending time with and playing on competitive USTA teams with got moved up, or got moved down.
No big deal except now the time spent with my friends was divided. And as life moves on, the time thing becomes an issue. I missed my friends who played a different level than me and our tennis time together.
Enter USTA tri level!
A different kind of fun league that brings different levels together to play on a competitive team! My friends and I could be together again!
Three different levels ( 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5) are all on the same team -each level playing a line against another team at that level. In this 3 line league, There are the same opportunities to move on to Districts, Sectionals, and Nationals. A new and different twist on USTA tennis that opened a door to another kind of team experience.
Tri level is another way to play tennis and be with my friends– and that for me, is what tennis is all about!
By Mary Jo Tasker,
USTA Oklahoma Vice President, Adult Co-Chair
"I started playing tennis because my next door neighbor had played her whole life and she convinced my sister and I. We started off with a 1 hour drill one day a week and were soon hooked."
-Shelley started when she was 42.
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"I don't like going to the gym and working out so tennis gives me the competitive factor while getting a good workout in."
-Gina started playing when she was 35
Richard Perry won the National Senior Olympics this June in Birmingham, AL, in the 70 Singles division that recently concluded. It was Perry's first time to participate in the Senior Olympics. Perry was hiking the Grand Canyon last October when Oklahoma held its state event, so he had to go to Arkansas, where he won their event to qualify for Nationals. There was a 64 draw in his age division. Although, Perry prevailed and won, he said, "there were several matches very close that could have gone either way."
Not only was Richard Perry successful on the court, he thrived off the court. He was born and raised in Oklahoma City, OK. He won the state Championship twice in doubles at Northwest Classen High School and was named Honorable Mention Oklahoma All-Decade Tennis Team for the 1960s. He received a tennis scholarship and graduated with a mathematics degree from Oklahoma City University and later when on to get his law degree at OCU. He was in the United States Air Force for 20 years and retired in 1997 as a Lieutenant Colonel. Perry was also a District Court Judge in Enid, Oklahoma for 16 years.
Perry has won numerous titles in Oklahoma tennis in both singles and doubles and has been Nationally ranked throughout his career. Perry has been named the Oklahoma Adult Player of the year and was awarded the inaugural Oklahoma Jim Thorpe Tennis Award.
Perry has been married to Mary since 1969 and have two children. He now serves on the Oklahoma Tennis Hall of Fame Board.
Opponent Arveal Turner and Richard Perry
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WINS NATIONAL SENIOR OLYMPICS
HELD AT PHILCREST COUNTRY CLUB IN TULSA
June 24th- July 2nd
The Tulsa Pro Championships were held in Tulsa for the fourth consecutive year. The city hosted a men’s USTA Pro Circuit event from 1988 to 2002 and from 2005 to 2011. It is the first hard-court USTA Pro Circuit event of the summer.
Austin Krajicek, 27, is from Lakeland, Florida and won doubles with partner Jackson Withrow. He was a five time All-American at Texas A&M and won the 2011 NCAA men's doubles Championship with Jeff Dadamo. He had a breakout 2015, cracking the Top 100 for the first time after reaching the singles quarterfinals at the ATP event in Memphis-his first ATP quarterfinal-and winning his first-ever Grand Slam match, as a wild card at the US Open; Krajicek also reached 4 USTA Pro Circuit/ITF Circuit Challenger quarterfinals in fall 2015. He won his first-round match at the Australian Open in 2016 and hold 8 USTA Pro Circuit and ITF singles titles and more than 25 double titiles, peaking at NO. 61 in the world in oduble in April 2015. As a junior, he won the 2008 USTA Boys 18s National Championships, earning a wild card into the 2008 US Open men's singles main draw.
Singles - Christian Harrison (USA)
Doubles - Austin Krajicek (USA)
Jackson Withrow (USA)
Jackson Withrow, 24, is from Omaha Nebraska and has spent many years playing in the Missouri Valley circuit growing up. He and his doubles partner Austin won this Futures tournament in Tulsa, they both won a Futures out in Long Beach, CA, and two Challengers in Hawaii and Mexico. Withrow is a 3 time All-American and NCAA doubles finalist, 4 Pro titles and played in the US Open with Jack Sock in 2011. Withrow said he "loved playing in Tulsa, lot of great junior and college memories, close enough to home where my family can drive down and the community is pretty awesome. The tournament had great support all week. Oklahoma has some of my best memories."
Singles Champion, Christian Harrison, 23 is from Bradenton, Florida. He has not competed from July 2013 to August 2015 after suffering a series of injuries. On the comeback trail, after qualifying for the 2016 US Open-his first ever Grand Slam main draw. Harrison won his first USTA Pro Circuit singles title in the summer of 2016 at the $25,000 Futures in Champaign, Illinois. He also hold one ITF-level singles title, won in Great Britain in 2013. Also, Harrison advanced to the doubles quarterfinals at the 2012 US Open with older brother and Top 50 player Ryan Harrison.
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For the "Friend at Court" handbook and more information on the rules of tennis, visit the rules and regulations homepage.
More Questions? https://www.usta.com/en/home/improve/what---the-call.html
Question: During my match, I did not pick up a ball on my side of the court because it was closer to the net and out of the way in my mind. During the following point, the ball landed on the ball left on the court. I was not able to reach the ball that was misdirected as a result of hitting the ball. Can I call a let? What happens when a ball in play hits a ball lying on the court? Whose call is it? (submitted by Ming Xie)
Answer: No, you may not call a let in this situation. Because you chose to leave the ball on the court, it became part of the court for that point and you accepted the risk of the ball in play bouncing off the stray ball. Per Rule 26, you are not entitled to a let for hindrance when the hindrance is something you caused.
Question: During a tournament doubles match, my partner dropped her racquet in the middle of a point. I was able to back her up and get to the next ball while she recovered, picked up her racquet and moved back into position. Could our opponents have called a let and restarted the point or claimed it based on being hindered?
Answer: Dropping a racquet is not grounds for a let to be called or for someone to claim a hindrance. Dropping the racquet is considered not to be “sufficiently unusual” for hindrance or let to be called. A similar situation is reference in "Friend at Court" in USTA Comment 22.1: Dropping the racquet is not the same thing as a ball falling out of a pocket or a hat flying off.
Question: My doubles partner holds two balls in her hand during her serve. If her first serve goes in, she throws her held ball back toward the fence behind her. Our opponents said it was distracting and that she couldn’t do that. Is that true? What should my partner do with that second ball?
Answer: This scenario is directly dealt with in "Friend at Court" in USTA Comment 26.5: “If the receiver or an official asks the server to stop discarding the ball, then the server shall stop. Any continued discarding of the ball constitutes a deliberate hindrance, and the server loses the point.” Consider holding the extra ball for her...or she needs to start utilizing some pockets.
Question: During my singles match, I hit a ball to my opponent and it hit his shoe on the fly. At the time he was standing behind the baseline. My opponent said the ball was out and it didn’t matter that it hit his shoe because he was behind the baseline. I argued that if the ball hits a player or any part of his body/apparel with the exception of the racquet, the point is the hitter’s. Who wins the point?
ANSWER: You win the point. Rule 24i explains that a player loses the point if a ball in play touches the player or anything the player is wearing or carrying (excluding the racquet). Your opponent lost the point as soon as the ball hit his shoe. Code 19 requires your opponent to concede the point when this happens.
Courtesy of USTA.COM
Give back and help grow the game of tennis through Officiating. Traditionally, officials start at district and section community events, which include USTA- sanctioned wheelchair, junior and adult tournaments. After gaining knowledge and experience, officials may show interest in officiating at professional level events, including the USTA Pro Circuit, ATP World Tour, WTA Tour, Davis and Fed Cup tie and Grand Slam tournaments.
Contact Dean Richardville at email@example.com for more information.
Have you ever had a dispute with a fellow player over a call on the court that you couldn’t settle? Maybe you’re just curious about how some scenarios, from the common to the ridiculous, are resolved.
Have a question of your own? Write to The Final Word!
Become an Umpire
Courtesy of USTA Player Development
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Nutrition: Pre-match Nutrition
The nutrient state of a tennis player just before playing or training can have a significant impact on the outcome of a match or the quality of a practice session. Appropriate fat, protein, mineral, and vitamin intake are all important, but the primary pre-match nutritional concerns for all players are adequate carbohydrate and fluid intake. From a nutritional perspective, these nutrients (or the lack of these nutrients) will have the biggest and immediate impact on how a player feels and performs.
Before a tennis match begins, a player’s carbohydrate stores should be full. To ensure this, the emphasis on consuming pre-match dietary carbohydrates ought to begin at least by the previous evening. Better still, a player should emphasize carbohydrate intake over the several days just before the start of an event, and at the same time progressively decrease overall training volume and session duration. This can better optimize a tennis player’s internal carbohydrate stores and fluid/electrolyte balance before beginning a first-round match.
Before play, a player should eat a well-balanced meal with an emphasis on carbohydrate-rich foods and fluid intake (there can be a little protein and fat). Ideally, players should try to eat a moderate-sized meal that contains 2.0-2.5 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight approximately 3-4 hours before the match (310-390 grams of carbohydrate for a 155 pound player). By the time play begins, a player’s stomach should be relatively empty, but without feelings of hunger. The recommended number of calories and a permissible amount of protein and fat depend, in part, on when the subsequent match is scheduled to begin. Too much fat or protein can cause digestion to slow down and become too much of a burden.
If play begins 3 to 4 hours after the pre-match meal, players should eat an additional small (0.5-0.7 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight), easily digestible carbohydrate snack about 1-1.5 hours before the start of the match. A combination such as 16-20 oz. of a sport drink along with a sport bar or other solid carbohydrate food works well to “top off” carbohydrate stores and body water. Sometimes players are too nervous to eat enough solid food prior to a competition; in these situations, a liquid carbohydrate meal with a little solid food often is better tolerated.
Before the match, a player should drink fluids on a regular basis (beginning at least the night before). This can, of course, include water, but a variety of other drinks can and should be consumed as well – juice, milk, and sport drinks are good options in addition to water. In an effort to stay hydrated, some players drink too much fluid. In some cases, rapid or regular consumption of too much no- or low-sodium fluid (e.g., water) can reduce the sodium concentration the blood (hyponatremia). This can cause problems that range from headaches and nausea to cramps or even death in extreme instances. If a player is using the bathroom every 30-40 minutes, he or she may be drinking too much. If you anticipate sweating a lot during play (and/or you are particularly vulnerable to experiencing heat cramps), extra salt intake (via food and fluid) should be considered.
Note: Do not forget to drink regularly during practice and pre-match warm-ups
Preparation and Checking-In at the Tournament Desk
Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! Before play, drink 12-16 ounces about 1 hour before play begins. Drink fluids often throughout the day begins. Prepare at least 2 quarts (64 ounces) to drink during play. Sports drinks are preferable for long matches or during play in hot weather. -USTA Sports Science
When checking in, inform the tournament director who you are and the event you are checking in for. For example, "My name is Anthony Chang and I'm checking in for Boy's 14s." The tournament director will then assign you to a court or inform you if they are running a little behind.
Players need to check in 15 minutes prior to each match throughout the tournament. Don't wait until the last minute to check in!
Have your water jug, sports drink, fruit and energy bars prepared well in advanced before each match.
You have now been assigned to a court and have completed the match. After packing up your bag, it is important that you report directly to the tournament desk, win or lose. Any conversation with your parents or coach can wait after you check back in. Failure to do so can delay the tournament. Confirm the score with your opponent and get your next assigned match time and day.
What's in Your Bag? Every player needs a few balls for warm up, band-aids, extra shoelaces, socks, shirt, jump rope and towel. Make sure you have your rackets freshly strung and re-gripped. It is always a good idea to bring an extra set or two of string and grip in case you need it during the tournament.
Prior to checking in for your match, make sure you have used the restroom, water jug is full, you have spoken to your coach and your tennis bag is with you and not in the car.
Properly preparing for a tournament is critical to the success you might have at your next event. It is also important to understand that you have your check list completed when checking in for your match and after the completion of the match.
GIRLS EAST SIDE
ALL STATE 2017
All-State games were played on Tuesday, July 25th at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma.The All State team is selected by the Oklahoma Tennis Coaches Association Advisory board members. Board members are voted on annually by their coaching peers.
BOYS EAST SIDE
GIRLS WEST SIDE
BOYS WEST SIDE
BG12-14 Oak Tree
2017 District Championships - Missouri Valley Level 4
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The following are inspired from previous comments or questions presented to USTA Oklahoma staff or volunteers.
USTA Oklahoma has a texting service that provides you with reminders of upcoming tournaments, deadlines and rule changes. Unfortunately, the district cannot use this service to give players updates on rain delays because the text would go out to everyone in the data base. Text USTAOKJUNIORS or USTAOKADULT to 84483 to receive our text messages.
During a tournament, a player receives a one hour break after a singles match (2 out of 3 sets with a 10-point tie breaker in lieu of the third set). After a doubles match, the player receives a 30 minute break.
In order for a champs junior player to play up in a higher age group, the player must meet the "Playing Up" rule of top 50% of the Oklahoma standings or top 50 ranking position in Missouri Valley in the players current age group or high age group.
Rescheduling adult league matches for any reason other than inclement weather must be approved and rescheduled by the local league coordinator.
Any Champ level player may participate in District Championships and Future Qualifiers.
Per Friend at Court, a player may not sign up for concurrent sanctioned tournaments without the permission from both tournament committees.
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Over 1,000 tennis players will descend on Oklahoma City in August, all with the hopes of making it to the USTA League National Championships.
The Oklahoma City Tennis Center as well as Earlywine Tennis Center will host two separate USTA Missouri Valley League Section Championships over the course of the month.
The action gets started with the Adult 18 & Over 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0 and Adult 55 & Over 7.0 and 8.0 championships August 10-13.
Two weeks later, the Adult 18 & Over 2.5, 3.5, 4.5 and Adult 55 & Over 6.0 and 8.0 championships August 24-27.
Teams qualify for the championships by winning their respective league district championships across the USTA Missouri Valley.
For the three days of the tournament, the heat and competition is expected to be intense. The courts will certainly be packed with upwards of 300 matches to be played on the 24 courts at Oklahoma City Tennis Center in the first two days, and another 100 matches to be played at Earlywine Tennis Center. With the nearly 1,000 tennis players expected to travel to Oklahoma City for the two separate events, the economic impact is expected to be greater than $770,000 with players and spectators coming from a six-state area for the competition. “We are exited to be hosting USTA Missouri Valley Section League Championships in Oklahoma City again this year,” said Lori Therrien, Program Manager of Adult Competition for the USTA Missouri Valley. “We are happy to be working with our sponsors, the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Commission which supports the success of this event. Oklahoma City not only has great sport facilities, but fun attractions, fine cuisine and a plethora of hotels to keep our players happy and comfortable between matches.”
Each player who competes in Oklahoma City on either weekend will also receive a $20 gift card from sponsor Tennis Warehouse.
By the Numbers:
7 districts represented
9 divisions per event
Over 450 matches each event
- By the Numbers
League Section Championships in Oklahoma City
This chart displays the 16-level scale of Universal Tennis Ratings(UTR), the most accurate and reliable system for rating tennis skill, worldwide. The 16 numbered circles on the graph represent the 16 levels of tennis competence that UTR distinguishes. UTR’s algorithm rates actual players to two decimal places (e.g., 10.49), but the chart displays only the whole numbers that anchor the scale.
The chart curves upward to represent increasing degrees of skill in tennis. It begins at the far left with three “beginner” categories (Red, Orange, and Green ball), learning levels not included in the formal rating system. The Red, Orange, and Green designations correspond to the colors of dots on special beginner balls.
The actual UTRs start at 1.00 with beginning players and progress through the integers to 16, the ratings for top male athletes on the ATP Tour. We have divided the scale into four developmental stages, each stage embracing four UTR levels.
Stage 1 (levels 1-4, green) correspond to the earlier stages of the road to mastery in tennis. They represent a progression of competence through the basics of the game.
Stage 2 (levels 5-8, blue) represent progressively higher levels of junior and adult “intermediate” play. It includes ITF and USTA junior tournaments, as well as adult competition in various formats around the world.
Stage 3 (levels 9-12, purple) represent the ratings of athletes experienced in advanced competitive play. At levels 9 and 10 we find male and female players who could compete successfully in many college programs, at the NCAA Division III level and above, along with top LTA 18 girls.
At Level 11, look for highly ranked NCAA Division I college women and world-class girls having success on the ITF Circuit, along with top Tennis Europe 14 boys and Tennis Europe 16 girls.
Level 12 includes athletes who are valuable in most ITA college programs, as well as women pros achieving success in the WTA. Highly ranked USTA Sectional boys also appear here, as well as top Tennis Europe 16 boys and LTA 18 boys.
Stage 4 (levels 13-16, magenta) corresponds to the highest competitive levels. Level 13 players include top-ranked WTA women who make their living playing tennis and often win professional events. High-level national and sectional USTA boys also show up at Level 13.
Level 14 includes junior boys with world-class success in ITF events, and the upper levels of ITA college men playing NCAA Division I tennis.
At Level 15, we find men competing on the ATP Challenger Circuit, and at Level 16, the top ATP players, who earn their livings playing professional ball.
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The Universal Tennis 16-Level Chart
Courtesy of www.universaltennis.com
July 15-17 Missouri Valley Futures BG16-18
August 4-6 District Championship #3 BG12-18
August 12 NET BG8-18
August 18-20 Challenger BG12-18
August 19 Smashers Orange and Green
September 23-25 National Level 3 BG16
October 20-22 Challenger BG12-16
October 21 Smashers Orange and Green
The USTA Oklahoma Foundation provides financial support to many worthwhile tennis programs across the state. These programs include the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) Network, OKC First Serve, Fields & Futures and many other organizations.
Not only does the USTA Oklahoma Foundation support tennis programs but it also maintains along with USTA Oklahoma district the Oklahoma Tennis Hall and works on numerous projects to preserve the history of tennis in Oklahoma.
If you are interested in learning more about the USTA Oklahoma Foundation, please contact Vance McSpadden at email@example.com.
What is the USTA Oklahoma Foundation?
JUNIOR TEAM TENNIS
IN A FUN ENVIRONMENT!!
Players from all over the state, came to Oklahoma Tennis Center to battle it out for a spot at Section Championships in Topeka, Kansas for the opportunity to advance to National Championships in Orlando, Florida.
18 & Under advanced
14 & Under intermediate
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12 & Under green dot
Edmond Racquet Club
18 & Under intermediate
USTA Oklahoma Annual Meeting
Junior Team Tennis Fall Season Begins
OKC Fall Leagues
Tulsa Day Leagues Kickoff
OK & MV Hall of Fame
Don't miss a single thing in your tennis
community this fall & winter!
Mark these on your calendar to be part of
all the fun! And of course, check usta.com
for up-to-date news & events
Oklahoma Baptist has hired former University of Oklahoma and University of Georgia volunteer assistant Nick Papac as its head men's and women's tennis coach.
Nathan Han claims his second G4 ITF title in a row along with a repeat dubs title with Pierce Rollins.
Job opening! The Oklahoma district is now accepting applications for the OKC Local Senior and Tri-Level League Coordinator. This is a part time position. If interested, contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gracie Epps won the Bronze ball at the USTA Girls 12's National Clay Court Championships with a 6-3 7-5 victory. She also took home the overall tournament Sportsmanship award.
Missouri Valley Calendar of events & meetings. usta.com
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Oklahoma State's women's tennis team will bring on former North Carolina standout Hayley Carter as assistant coach, head coach Chris Young recently announced.
The most decorated player in North Carolina women's tennis history, Carter comes to Stillwater just months after wrapping up a wildly successful collegiate career in which she racked up an ACC record 168 singles victories to go along with four first-team All-ACC selections, two ACC Championship Most Valuable Player selections, and seven All-America honors—four in singles and three in doubles.
2420 Westport Drive
Norman, OK 73025
Text USTAOKADULT to 84483 to receive
USTA Oklahoma Adult League alerts
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Text USTAOKJUNIORS to 84483 to receive
USTA Oklahoma Juniors alerts