NPR’s link to Story here.
CT News 12 video
NPR’s link to Story here.
CT News 12 video
Year End Ratings Have Been Published
Effective November 30th 2015, Year End NTRP ratings have been published on TennisLink. You can log into your USTA account to see your 2015 Year End rating.
Steps for Players to appeal Year End (YE) ratings:
After logging in a player can appeal their rating by utilizing the automated appeal link just below their rating and they will receive an immediate response either granting or denying their appeal. Appeals other than the automated appeal will not be accepted until January 1, 2016 unless submitted through the local league coordinator in support of local league deadlines. If the year end rating is different than the rostered rating of a player on a current team and they do not successfully appeal to their rostered level then it is the responsibility of the captain and player to notify the local league coordinator so the roster can be updated to reflect the current rating.
Steps for Captains to check Early Start League (ESL) rosters after Year End (YE) ratings are published:
What to do now that Year End (YE) ratings are published:
A player on an ESL team may play at their rostered level until and including December 10th. After that date the New England 2016 USTA League Regulations will apply. A summary is below:
Posted: Tue Oct. 6, 2015
Craig Lambert, a former staff writer and editor at Harvard Magazine, is the author of Shadow Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill Your Day.
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.”
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.”
Jul. 25, 2015, 11:09 AM
While people like to argue about grass versus clay versus hard courts, everyone can agree that the surface becomes secondary when the courts are this scenic.
We found the most beautiful tennis courts in the world that are open to the public.
Every tennis player should add these 20 courts to their bucket list.
Eleven stunning seaside courts beckon with the salty breezes and epic views of Kauna’oa Bay. Hotel guests as well as those from sister hotel Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel can take private or group lessons, tennis clinics, or take part in round-robin tournaments.
The rugged Wilder Kaiser mountain range in the Austrian Alps (which aptly translates to wild king), make for a breathtaking backdrop to your backhand in this eco-friendly resort.
Befitting a five-star hotel that hosts the likes of George Clooney is this luxury resort’s epic seaside tennis court, which sits 384 steps down from the hotel between limestone cliffs and a private beach. Views span rugged cliffs and the Mediterranean, with Capri sparkling in the distance. Try booking the court around sunset for an especially breathtaking experience, and then grab a drink at the hotel bar.
Grand Central is full of secrets, like whispering galleries and hidden speakeasies. But one of its biggest treasures? A tennis court. Even more surprising than a tennis court inside of a train station is that said court is open to the public, though with astronomical pricing of up to $250 an hour.
If you can take the hot African sun, check out this luxury safari lodge’s beautiful court, which has insane views that stretch across the African plains of the Serengeti National Park. Just don’t be surprised if your game is interrupted by game.
Ever since listening to Wimbledon on his grandfather’s radio in 1962, Mark Kuhn dreamed of having his own court. In 2003, he and his family realized that dream by carving a court into their corn farm on a former cattle feed lot. The All Iowa Lawn Tennis Club, made to resemble Wimbledon’s Centre Court, is free to play on — all you need to do is reserve a court via email.
These courts are where the US tennis championships — now known as the US Open — began in 1881, and were played until 1915. Clay-court rentals are a reasonable $35 an hour, while the grass courts are a pricier $80 for 30 minutes. Don’t forget your tennis whites.
Florida is like a tennis-pro factory, so it comes as no surprise that one of the world’s most famous tennis academies hails from the state. Saddlebrook, which has 45 courts, is where kids with dreams of going pro are sent, where pros themselves practice, and where adults dreaming of releasing their inner Federer take lessons.
In the shadows of the Arthur Ashe Stadium — the US Open’s main court and one of the world’s largest tennis-specific stadium — the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which features 33 courts and is part of the complex, will still have you feeling like a pro.
Nestled among craggy cliffs and hills and loch, with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, this just might be the world’s most spectacular tennis court. You can play on the court, owned by a charitable foundation and run by tennis coach Mike Briggs, as long as you snag a reservation — and can find it.
Don’t be fooled by the name — or the location in one of the world’s golf meccas — because this resort was voted the very best by thousands of tennis players on Tennis Resorts Online. The massive resort is home to two complete tennis complexes, and takes up almost all of the 10,000-acre island it’s located on.
Get sky-high in the Mile High on this rooftop tennis court, which overlooks the Denver skyline and the Rocky Mountains. Since Denver boasts 300 days of sunshine, chances are you’ll have an epic game.
Play in the shadows of a Scottish castle at Cromlix Hotel, on courts that dazzle in the bright colors of Wimbledon. Hey, if they’re good enough for owner Andy Murray …
Consistently ranked among the country’s top resorts, Topnotch features 10 courts, four of which are indoor, so you can play through those harsh Vermont winters.
Roy Emerson, former No. 1 tennis player who has 12 Major singles titles and 16 Grand Slam tournament men’s doubles titles under his belt, started the Roy Emerson Tennis Weeks at the Gstaad Palace Hotel every summer, during which he himself teaches classes. The Gstaad Palace is also the site of the annual Allianz Swiss Tennis Open Gstaad, which attracts some tennis greats.
Boasting 13 grass, clay, and indoor courts, the main attraction at Stoke Park is The Boodles Tennis Challenge, which takes place a week before Wimbledon and is essentially a warm-up that sees tennis greats, like Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, practicing for the big event.
Play a round aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line’s MV Norwegian Pearl, which has a net-enclosed basketball/volleyball/tennis court on its top deck. When your game isn’t basking in the Bahamian sun, it’ll be surrounded by Alaskan glaciers as you cruise on by.
Disappointingly not made of marble, these courts are named after Alice Marble, the winner of 18 Grand Slam championships. Perched atop Russian Hill and part of the George Sterling Park, they offer sweeping views of San Francisco Bay and the famous Golden Gate Bridge.
Don’t get too excited, this is just a rendering. Polish architect Krysztof Kotala designed a seven-court underwater tennis complex for Dubai, just offshore in the Persian Gulf, in the hopes of attracting the next Grand Slam. However, with Dubai’s history of opulence and avant-garde designs, this might become a reality soon.