Players Can Now Learn To Slice, Volley and Serve Like the Pros With New Grip MD
The best training tool to improve your game…fast!
Delray Beach, Fla. – July 23, 2021 – Grip MD is a revolutionary new unique training device developed by two former collegiate tennis stars with the goal to aid players of all levels how to perfect the proper volley, serve, and slice grip.
Grip MD is the creation of former ATP World Tour doubles No. 38 and NCAA Champion Mark Merklein and former Notre Dame No. 1 Matt Daly. The device simply slips on to the handle of the racket, allowing the player to feel the perfect Continental grip. The Continental grip is used for the slice, serve and volleys in tennis and is vital to a player’s development.
“Having worked with players of all levels from beginners to pros, I have found that teaching the correct grip is the most important part of any player’s technical development,” said Daly, Co-Founder of GripMD. “It is also extremely hard to teach and commonly misunderstood. This device greatly simplifies the process, allowing players to find the perfect grip in a short period of time.”
Merklein appears in several information YouTube videos demonstrating how to master the slice, volley and second serve using Grip MD.
“Learning the Continental grip is an important piece in player development,” said Merklein, who won the NCAA singles title in 1994 and the doubles crown in 1993 playing for the University of Florida. “With the proper foundation you will have the opportunity to be the best player you can be! Don’t let your grips limit your level!”
Several high-level professionals have come out and endorsed Grip MD.
“Having the correct grips for your strokes is one of the starting blocks for a successful career in tennis,” said James Blake, the former ATP World Tour No. 4 in singles. “Whatever your goal is, starting at the right spot and making sure the basics are taken care of is so important. The Grip MD will start you on a path that makes it easy to learn and improve quickly.”
“Mastering the serve and the volley requires the perfect grip,” said John Isner, the former No. 1 American who reached a career-high No. 8 on the ATP World Tour. “The Grip MD makes that infinitely easier for you.”
Take advantage of a special offer now. Get three Grip MD products for the low price of $99. Or buy one for $39.95. To purchase and for more information or to purchase GripMD, visit at: https://www.thegripmd.com/
Eleven Past Champions Headline 2021 Western & Southern Open Singles Fields
CINCINNATI, Ohio (July 21, 2021) -Ashleigh Barty and Novak Djokovic, the No. 1 ranked players in the world who are fresh off Wimbledon titles, highlight the initial singles entry list for the 2021 Western & Southern Open.
The Top 20 players in both the ATP Tour and WTA Tour rankings have entered the event, which will be held Aug. 14-22. The field also includes 11 former tournament winners, including the defending champions Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka, both two-time Western & Southern Open winners.
Cincinnati will welcome five former champions in the WTA field, featuring Karolina Pliskova (2016), Garbiñe Muguruza (2017)and Madison Keys (2019) along with two-time champions Serena Williams and Azarenka. In addition to Djokovic, former ATP champions returning to Cincinnati in 2021 include Daniil Medvedev (2019), Rafael Nadal (2013), Grigor Dimitrov (2017), Marin Cilic (2016) and seven-time champion Roger Federer.
The women’s field is also highlighted by 13 total Major champions, with recent winners including 2020 Western & Southern Open finalist Naomi Osaka (2020 US Open, 2021 Australian Open), Barbora Krejcikova (2021 French Open), Sofia Kenin (2020 Australian Open) and Iga Swiatek (2020 French Open). Eight entrants have held WTA’s No. 1 ranking, with Azarenka, Barty, Osaka, Pliskova, Muguruza and Williams being joined by multi-time Cincinnati finalists Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber.
In addition to the wealth of experience among the women’s field, 10 participants are 23 or younger. Leading the WTA youth movement is 17-year-old Cori “Coco” Gauff, who will make her debut in Cincinnati following a quarterfinal finish in the 2021 French Open.
Djokovic’s Western & Southern Open title defense will come as he chases history this season. The winner of the year’s first three Majors, he is bidding to be the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to complete a calendar Grand Slam. The trio of Major titles this season has drawn him level with Federer and Nadal atop the all-time list, with each having won 20 titles at Grand Slam tournaments. A trio of former US Open champions are also on the Cincinnati entry list: Dominic Thiem (2020), Stan Wawrinka (2016) and Cilic (2014).
The men’s field comprises the top 43 players in the ATP rankings and will have 11 players aged 23-or-younger competing. Leading the ATP youth charge is 19-year-old Jannik Sinner, who held a career-high ranking of 17 earlier in 2021 and reached the 2020 French Open Quarterfinals.
The top eight seeds in both draws will receive first round byes. Eight women and seven men will be added to the fields through a two-round qualifying tournament that will be held Aug. 14-15. Four men and as many as five women will be awarded wild card entries into the main draw singles fields.
Tournament action will take place Aug. 14-22, where first serve will take place at 10 a.m. on Aug. 14 for the qualifying tournament. The men’s and women’s singles finals will take place on Sunday, Aug. 22. The full schedule is available here.
CHARLESTON TENNIS, LLC ANNOUNCES CREDIT ONE BANK AS NEW TITLE SPONSOR OF WTA 500 TENNIS TOURNAMENT AND WORLD-CLASS STADIUM
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Tennis, LLC has unveiled Credit One Bank as the new title sponsor of the WTA 500 tennis tournament hosted in Charleston, SC and state-of-the-art stadium located at the LTP Daniel Island tennis center. The tennis tournament, formerly known as the Volvo Car Open, is the largest women’s-only tennis tournament in North America and will celebrate its 50th year April 2-10, 2022 at the newly renovated and modernized Credit One Stadium. A new event name will be revealed at a later date.
Credit One has committed to a multi-year title sponsorship with Charleston Tennis, LLC. The data-driven financial services company based in Las Vegas is one of the fastest growing providers of credit cards in the United States and has existing sponsorships with sports and entertainment organizations including NASCAR®, the Las Vegas Raiders, WWE® and the Vegas Golden Knights.
“The future of live tennis is a bright spot for us, building and planning for what the future will look like for the new Credit One Stadium. After nearly 18 months of navigating postponements and cancelations, we look forward to bringing world-class tennis back to Charleston each April and broadening our reach to bigger and better concerts and special events throughout the year,” said Bob Moran, president of Charleston Tennis, LLC.
Credit One first partnered with Charleston Tennis, LLC in June of 2020 for the Credit One Bank Invitational, which was part of Tennis Channel’s Re(Open) Tour and the first large-scale tennis event to be held after the sport shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament featured 16 players, received more than 40 hours of live coverage on Tennis Channel, and helped raise funds for the Medical University of South Carolina’s frontline healthcare workers. Following the success of the event, Credit One and Charleston Tennis, LLC began exploring additional partnership opportunities through sponsorship of the Daniel Island stadium and activation around the tennis tournament and throughout the region.
“We’re proud to be working with Charleston Tennis, LLC, and the City of Charleston to build on the great history of this tournament and give the passionate fan base in the area and women’s tennis players from around the world a great experience at a state-of-the-art venue,” said John Coombe, senior vice president of marketing at Credit One. “We want to grow the Credit One brand name throughout the region while continuing to invest in entertainment and community programs important to our customers and fans.”
Volvo Cars USA will continue to support tennis as the official vehicle of the WTA 500 event. The luxury automobile maker has been a valued partner of the tennis tournament and stadium since investing in the Charleston area with its revolutionary production facility. As part of its commitment to the community, the company devoted six years to the WTA 500 tennis tournament and venue on Daniel Island, serving as the title sponsor from 2016 to 2021.
Since 1973, South Carolina’s WTA 500 tennis tournament has been a pioneer in women’s professional sports, paving the path for female tennis players to receive equal recognition, respect and pay in the sport. Originally held on Hilton Head Island, the event moved to Charleston in 2001 and is played on Daniel Island at the LTP Daniel Island tennis center, home to what will now be called the Credit One Stadium.
“We welcome Credit One to the WTA Tour in its commitment to both serve as the title sponsor of the Charleston WTA 500 tournament and in placing its name on the newly renovated, state-of-the-art stadium in which the event is played,” said Steve Simon, WTA chairman and CEO. “Charleston has a rich history with the WTA as one of the longest standing women’s-only professional tennis tournaments in the world, and is a Tour favorite among the players. We look forward to working with Credit One, along with all of the sponsors, to continue the growth and success of this prestigious tournament for many years to come.”
Charleston Tennis, LLC, which manages the stadium under a lease from the City of Charleston, is currently renovating and modernizing the 20-year-old facility. The city-owned venue is undergoing upgrades to enhance the stadium experience for patrons, performers, tennis players and event management, allowing the venue to attract world-class athletes and talent to Daniel Island.
Credit One Stadium will expand from 7,500 seats to 11,000 seats and feature 16 fully conditioned permanent suites, all-new concessions, more bathrooms and a 75,000-square-foot Stage House with a partial roof. The Stage House will transform the stadium experience for tennis players, entertainers, media and special guests, offering locker rooms, a gym, training facilities, production and media space, catering amenities and a VIP rooftop restaurant and outdoor bar. The roof of the Stage House will also provide partial shade for attendees at the tennis tournament and act as a support structure for concerts and special events.
Charleston Tennis, LLC will continue to own and operate the facilities and event programming at the Credit One Stadium and LTP Daniel Island tennis center, including the WTA 500 tennis tournament, concerts, tennis programs and more.
Tournament Restores Full Prize Money to Players to Increase Purse by $750,000
Washington (July 15)—DC sports fans and the world’s top tennis players got some exciting news today. This morning, MDE Sports announced that the 2021 Citi Open will be held at full, 100% fan capacity this summer at Washington DC’s Rock Creek Park Tennis Center from July 31 – August 8. The announcement comes after the National Park Service (NPS), which manages Rock Creek Park, issued updated guidelines to enable full capacity for Citi Open Fans and is further evidence that Washington, D.C. is back.
“We are thrilled to be able to invite fans back to Rock Creek Park at full capacity,” said Mark Ein, Citi Open chairman and CEO of MDE Tennis. “This is an exciting development, not just for tennis fans, but the whole DC community. We are grateful to the National Park Service for their long partnership with the event and enabling full capacity for the 2021 Citi Open.”
The development has also enabled organizers to restore full tournament prize money. In order to hold the event at the initial 50 percent fan capacity limit, players agreed to a 40 percent pay reduction. With all fan restrictions lifted and before any additional tickets are sold, MDE Sports proactively increased the total 2021 Citi Open prize money by $750,000, returning the tournament purse to pre-pandemic levels.
“We are especially pleased to be able to pay the players full prize money after a difficult period of time for many on tour,” added Ein. “It is all something we never thought possible just a few months ago. To do this and welcome back fans without any restrictions is a testament to the resilience of this city and our community. We can’t wait to see the faces and hear the roar of full crowds once again. It will be a very special moment in the history of this great tournament.”
“To see this event bounce back from challenges of the last year and announce full prize money for 2021 is fantastic news,” said ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi. “It sends a positive message of recovery for our entire sport. We would like to recognize Mark Ein and the Citi Open team for the hard work and ambition that made this possible.”
The news follows the recent announcement that all-time great Rafael Nadal will begin his bid to win a record-setting 21st Grand Slam at the 2021 Citi open in his Washington debut. With fan attendance originally restricted to 50 percent capacity, tickets were already substantially sold out before the announcement of Nadal went viral. The news topped 1.2 billion media impressions worldwide and has led to overwhelming demand for tickets to see the Spaniard win his 89th ATP title at the historic US Open Series event in DC’s Rock Creek Park.
The tournament’s waitlist for tickets exceeded 6,800 names before fan restrictions were lifted Thursday morning. The revised capacity guidelines have allowed tournament officials to release approximately 3,000 additional daily seats to meet the unprecedented demand at the box office for the event. These tickets will be made available first to fans currently on, or who join, the waitlist on a full tournament basis. To provide greater accessibility, the tournament has reserved a small number of individual session tickets that will be available for sale next week.
In addition to Nadal, the 2021 Citi Open will also feature a star-studded player field comprised of two Top-10, six Top-20, and eleven Top-30 players, including recent Wimbledon semifinalists Hubert Hurkacz and new world No. 10 Denis Shapovalov, quarterfinalists Felix Auger-Aliassime and Karen Khachanov, and defending 2019 Citi Open champion Nick Kyrgios, as well as US Olympic team stars Coco Gauff, Jennifer Brady, and Jessica Pegula, who will headline the inaugural Citi Open Women’s Invitational.
Played on a pickleball court, all that is needed is a paddle and orange-dot low-compression tennis ball for hours of enjoyment using same strokes & strategies as tennis
Carson City, Nev. – July 1, 2021 – Intrigued by the size of a pickleball court and recalling the paddle tennis he played as a youth in Southern California, tennis teaching professional Nate Gross had an idea.
What if there was a way to use a paddle and low compression orange-dot tennis ball and take advantage of the pickleball craze and the hundreds of courts being built each month across the country. Putting those two components together, the game of Spec Tennis was created by Gross in 2016 and is quickly revolutionizing the way the game of tennis is being taught to beginners young and old.
Spec Tennis was originally created by Gross as a fun social experience and an alternative use of pickleball courts. Since then, it has evolved into a bridge into tennis, giving players success, confidence, and fun a lot sooner than they would have with regular tennis.
“Spec Tennis can dramatically improve your tennis game,” said Gross, currently the Director of Racquet Sports at Clear Creek Tahoe. “The paddle is less powerful than a tennis racquet, yet a similar weight. This promotes better biomechanics, forcing players to turn their shoulders and use their legs in order to generate power. Spec Tennis helps players develop control. Any new shot or tactic you want to learn in tennis can be learned first in the more favorable environment that Spec creates, and then directly translated to tennis.”
Gross said Spec Tennis has a three-fold mission:
To improve one’s tennis game.
To skyrocket a tennis teaching pro’s coaching business.
To provide a healthy and social sport to be played with family and friends.
Gross said beginners in tennis are oftentimes intimidated that they are not successful keeping the ball in the court when they first start out. “With Spec Tennis, many players are able to rally even on Day 1,” Gross said. “This leads to higher player retention, enjoyment, and faster improvement.”
Because four Spec courts fit on one tennis court, tennis directors are able to generate more revenue because more people fit on a regular-size tennis court, for both lessons and clinics.
The word is quickly getting out there: Spec Tennis is about to take off.
“When I was first starting out learning how to hit a topspin backhand I learned on a Spec court, and it dramatically improved my game,” said former Twitter COO Adam Bain. “I honed that technique on the Spec court, then brought that over to the tennis court. It immediately translated for me. In fact, it allowed me to advance faster because of the work I did on the Spec court. No matter what skill level you are, starting with Spec should dramatically improve your tennis game.”
Longtime retired men’s tennis coach at Harvard University Dave Fish likes all aspects of Spec Tennis and thinks that tennis needs something like this especially at the entry level.
“I haven’t liked how the ROGY (Red, Orange, Green, Yellow) pathway has played out—because the racquets are too lively and kids just poke at the ball,” Fish said. “With Spec Tennis, you use a paddle which teaches kids to hit through the ball, and you use the pickleball court, so real estate has already been created and is growing exponentially.”
Washington, DC — June 10, 2021 — At long last, pro tennis is returning to the nation’s capital! Today, tournament officials announced the 2021 Citi Open is confirmed for Saturday, July 31st through Sunday, August 8th with fans permitted to be in attendance.
The Citi Open tournament has been Washington, D.C.’s premier tennis event since its founding in 1969. Past champions have included all-time greats such as Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, Nick Kyrgios, Juan Martín del Potro and more. As one of the first major sporting events returning to the D.C. metro area, and with fan capacity restricted to 50 percent, tickets are expected to sell out quickly. Many stadium sections are already substantially sold out, due to the number of Full-Tournament ticket holders that renewed their seats from 2020.
“We are thrilled to announce the return of the Citi Open to Washington, D.C. this summer,” said Mark Ein, CEO of MDE Tennis. “Coming off a difficult 15 months, we can’t wait to bring back together our community, fans and the best tennis players in the world for a memorable week of competition and celebration in the nation’s capital.”
In addition to the tournament’s rich history, MDE Tennis, which runs the event, announced its commitment to continue building on the reimagined Citi Open experience that was widely acclaimed and embraced by D.C. sports fans in 2019. Citi Open ticket holders will enjoy a 2021 version of the popular Market Square, the gourmet food hall that features food and beverage concepts from top local celebrity chefs. Many of the food and beverage vendors who made the experience so special in 2019 are returning in 2021 in addition to several new partners. Announced food and beverage partners include Levy Restaurants, Duke’s Grocery, Root & Sprig by Tom Collichio, Fuku by David Chang, Marra Forni and Kim Crawford with additional exciting partners to be announced soon.
Be sure to check out CitiOpenTennis.com to learn more about ticket options, the full schedule, participating players, food and beverage vendors, and more special announcements. Fans can also follow at citiopentennis.com| Twitter: @CitiOpen | Instagram: @CitiOpen| Facebook: facebook.com/citiopen for the most up-to-date info on the tournament. All city-mandated health and safety protocols will be in place for Citi Open.
Clara Tauson Kicks Off MUSC Health Women’s Open With a Win
Clara Tauson is your first winner at the MUSC Health Women’s Open, a WTA 250 event in Charleston. The 18-year-old Danish player took a tumble in the second set of her first round match against Liudmila Samsonova today, but came back after a medical timeout to take the match, 6-3, 6-3. Over the course of five break points, Samsonova was unable to save a single one. With the win, Tauson’s a solid 22-4 in matches this year, having won her first title in Lyon just last month.
The left knee “wasn’t good in the match but I think the adrenaline took some of the pain,” she told me after the match. “Right now, I can walk fine so I hope it’s going to be fine. I hope maybe I can get a day off tomorrow, just to feel it on court. It looked in the match that it was worse to walk than it was to play in the match.”
Tauson will face either Renata Zarazua of Mexico or Ajla Tomljanovic in the second round of this event.
Kudermetova, Kovinic Look For Big Hardware Today in Unlikely Volvo Car Open Final Matchup
Nobody asked me, but yesterday I tipped the two losers of the semifinals matches. Ons Jabeur looked horrible on court after a strong week and Danka Kovinic took full advantage in route to a 6-3, 6-2 upset. No one should bet against Veronika Kudermetova today after another dominant outing, this time a 5th straight straight sets win for the Russian. In fact, those 10 straight sets sets up another milestone: she could be the first woman since Serena Williams in 2012 to win this WTA 500 event without dropping a set.
Nobody asked me, but this final feels like it should be played next Sunday as the showcase showdown for the MUSC Health Women’s Open, the WTA 250 event already underway. That said, it wouldn’t surprise me if next Sunday’s final finds higher-ranked players vying for the trophy than the Volvo Car Open. Ons Jabeur, Magda Linette, Shelby Rogers and Alize Cornet are your top four seeds and it may be time for them to shine. But hey, unseeded Danka Kovinic is in the mix as well as Clara Tauson, so buckle up, Charleston.
Nobody asked me, but the Althea Gibson Stadium Court has never looked better. The fanless event allowed tournament organizers to use more of the real estate for flowers and video boards. With no spectator sightlines to interrupt, the look on television was a gorgeous one. It made up for the all day barrage of 18-wheelers making noise on the I-526 bridge right above the north end of the stadium.
Nobody asked me, but if I lived in Charleston, I might have had to feign car trouble a few times on that bridge last week just to catch a few sets.
Nobody asked me, but if I had to pick the winner today, it’d be hard to bet against Kudermetova. So there’s your opening, Danka. This whole week has been filled with opposite days.
Semifinals Saturday Arrives at Volvo Car Open with A Surprising Field
In 10 years of covering the WTA Charleston event, I haven’t seen so many upsets over the course of a week. Gone are the days when Serena Williams would come through and pencil in a spot in the final. Even World #1 Ashleigh Barty couldn’t take advantage of the gaping holes in the field as she fell to Paula Badosa yesterday, 6-3, 6-3. A resurgent Sloane Stephens sputtered against Victoria Kudermetova, 6-3, 6-4. After beating #3 seed Petra Kvitova the day before, Danka Kovinic found a way to advance against the plucky and lucky Yulia Putintseva, 6-7(2), 7-5, 6-1. Ons Jabeur (#12) was the highest-seeded player left in the tournament before stunning a sluggish Coco Gauff, 6-3, 6-3.
That sets up four players who have never won a WTA tour level title and yet are this close to taking home the most impressive trophies of their collective careers. If you looked at this field before the tournament began, you’d have plenty of educated guesses on who would hoist the hardware, from Kvitova, Barty, Stephens, Kenin, Muguruza, Keys, Bencic, Mertens or Bertens. But no.
Instead, you’ve got a semifinal field that could pose for a couple of Charleston qualifying finals just a few years back. Still, you’ve got to believe that Ons Jabeur’s experience and momentum will propel her to a berth in the final when she steps on court against Danka Kovinic later today. She’s a deserved -239 favorite, and even though the unimaginable has already happened this week, the green clay dust of uncertainty will certainly settle today.
The match between Badosa and Kudermetova is a little more unpredictable.
Although the Russian owns a 2-0 head to head against Badosa, the lower-ranked Spaniard has beaten the better players this week and is the tournament’s leader in aces with 24. It’s also Kudermetova’s first semifinal on clay. I’m going with Badosa, a +110 underdog in this match.
The parlay: Jabeur (-239) & Badosa (+110) for a +197 payout
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (March 19, 2021) – Get into the head of Toni Nadal, the mastermind coach of 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, and dozens of other world-renowned coaches like Boris Becker and legendary Nick Bollettieri at the 2021 World Tennis Conference.
Those icons of the game and 60-plus more world-class tennis coaches will divulge their coveted secrets and winning strategies as the TennisONE App plays host to a four-day online extravaganza featuring the world’s top tennis coaches in the World Tennis Conference taking place March 25-28. The event is designed and organized by the Global Professional Tennis Coach Association (GPTCA) and Segal Institute.
Click on the link below to download the TennisONE App to register for the conference now!
Registered viewers of the virtual conference will be able to learn from six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker presented by TLT. The German star, who formerly coached world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, will hold a 40-minute online session on Thursday, March 25, to offer tips on strategy and creating powerful tennis strokes.
“The lineup of coaches presenting at this conference is impressive, and includes coaches from the world’s top six men’s players,” said Kristin Geer, CEO the TennisONE App. “Over the four days, viewers of the conference will be able to watch top instructors and learn the techniques they use to take players to the top.”
Alberto Castellani, GPTCA President, mentioned that the “WTC is the first-ever conference with such a high level of high-performance tennis coaches involved. It’s great to be able to put on such an amazing list of speakers who have worked with so many tennis champions world-wide.”
All of the conference sessions will be archived for later viewing. Conference attendees will have access to all the video sessions for 30 days after the conference ends through the TennisONE App.
Headliners include Toni Nadal, who is the opening presenter on Thursday, March 25, and will discuss “the principles and values to develop from the beginning” of a player’s journey.
“At the WTC we are ready to create a transformative journey with every participant, developing a bridge between top tennis coaches and their knowledge, experiences, and outstanding results. All of this coming through the TennisONE app,” said Fernando Segal, WTC Organizer and Director.
Former ATP stars Andrei Medvedev, Andres Gomez, Janko Tipsarevic, Jacco Eltingh and Ivan Ljubicic will also take part in the conference.
Bollettieri, the 89-year-old coaching icon, will discuss his history of developing high-performance tennis players. His session is scheduled for Sunday, March 28.
In addition, the conference will include a talk by former top-10 player and current coach to recent Australian Open champion Dominic Thiem, Nicolas Massu. Massu, who won two Olympic gold medals during his playing career, will discuss the nuances of “being a great player on the road.” Former Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and Jim Courier coach Gabe Jaramillo will reveal the details of “making champions.”
Registration is available through the TennisONE App, available free for Android and Apple devices. A full four-day pass is available for $110, while individual days are offered for $45 each day. A Headliners pass for $60 is also available.