Presidents Letter August 2021

August 2021 President’s Letter

We have reached the dog days of summer and another Covid surge, but despite this tennis is being safely played throughout the state. We are fortunate to play the perfect physical distancing sport and our sport continues to see rising popularity!  The Tennis Industry Association just released more great news regarding sales of tennis equipment.  Tennis racquet sales are up 40.5% year to date with most of the increase due to sales of premium racquets costing $50 or more thought to be returning players.  Sales of entry level racquets for new players are up 25%.  Tennis ball sales are up nearly 9% versus the first half of 2020.  String unit sales saw their largest increase ever recorded being up 66% compared to the first half of 2020. 

The USTA Kentucky Board was able to meet in person for the first time since January of 2020.  The meeting was held outside in a tent at the University of Kentucky Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex on semifinal day for the Lexington Challenger.  It was so nice to be able to see everyone in person and conduct our meeting. Many thanks to Sonya Harward for agreeing to be the Board of Directors Diversity and Inclusion Champion!

From a membership standpoint, Kentucky is the smallest state in the Southern Section so it is particularly noteworthy when our league teams excel at the Sectional Championships. Five of our teams did just that at the recent Southern Sectional Championships.

Please join me in congratulating the 4.5 Mathes men’s team from Louisville and the 3.5 Taylor/Clapp women’s team from Purchase area for winning the 18 and over Sectional Championships, and the Bauer/Smith 4.5 women’s team from Louisville for reaching the finals! 

Also, a hearty congratulations to the Hardesty 4.5 men’s team from Lexington and the Meadows 3.5 women’s team from Louisville for winning the 40 and over Sectional Championships!  Good luck at the National Championships! 

In addition to our adult team success at Sectionals, the Bowling Green 14 and under Intermediate Junior Team Tennis team coached by Tim Dethridge is another Sectional Champion. Kudos to Tim and his team for being only the second Kentucky JTT team to win Sectionals in seven years!

The USTA has selected six Kentuckians for the new Tennis Champions initiative. Their charge is to promote the sport in numerous ways.  Congratulations to our Tennis Champions Bryan Bello, Carolyn Holland, Melanie Humbert, Melanie Lopez, Tara McGuire, and Carol Tittel! 

The USTA Kentucky is fortunate to have many great players, organizations and volunteers.  Please take a few minutes to think about our USTA Kentucky Awards and nominate a deserving individual or organization.  The nomination period ends on September 15.  Please click here to submit a nomination today.

The mission of the Raise A Racquet Foundation is to raise and distribute funds to benefit tennis players, facilities and programs throughout the state of Kentucky.  Please consider purchasing a chance to win two box seat tickets to the 2022 Kentucky Derby to support this worthy charity that does so much for Kentucky tennis!  Click here to purchase a raffle ticket.


At Your Service,

Mike Eden