Presidents Letter November 2020

November 2020 President’s Letter



With Thanksgiving coming up soon, I would like to reflect on the many blessings Kentucky tennis has had this year despite the pandemic and to express my congratulations and thanks to several individuals along with encouraging all of us to give.


The USTA KY staff headed by our Executive Director Jason Miller have worked especially hard this year to educate local and state government officials on why it is safe to play tennis during a pandemic.  These efforts helped public and private tennis facilities across the state open back up in late spring.  As we like to say, tennis is the perfect social distancing sport.  We were fortunate to bring back leagues, tournaments and other programming this summer and fall.  Many thanks to Jason Miller, Stacey Croley, Bryan Hash, Kathy Klein, Kim Lonnemann, Tim McCollum, Maddie Notoris and Taylor Urquhart for your efforts this year and your ongoing passion to grow tennis in Kentucky! 


I am also very thankful and appreciative of the leadership of our USTA Board this year.  They have been very active in reaching out to key tennis people in every county of the state and compiling data on facilities.  Through their efforts and the herculean job done by Tim McCollum overseeing the project, we have a much better understanding of the location and condition of courts throughout the state and the people that we can help to build or resurface existing courts and aid with programming ideas.  The Board has also been very active in reaching out to groups representing all aspects of Kentucky tennis as part of our Kentucky Tennis Summit.  We plan to discuss action items from these meetings at our Annual meeting in January.  Our USTA Kentucky and CTA committees have been very busy this year planning for the return of tennis at the junior and adult level.  We are one of only three states in the Southern section to have state championships this year.   Kudos to the USTA Kentucky Board and our many committee members for your hard work during a difficult time to serve our fellow tennis players!


All of the wonderful aspects of tennis have been amplified this year.  Tennis has provided a mental respite from COVID by allowing us to take stress out on the tennis ball along with the usual great workout.  It has continued to provide a social outlet for many of us that is safe and more importantly fun!


As many of you are aware, the Texas Medical Association rated tennis as the safest sport to play during the pandemic.  No doubt, you have noticed many new players at both public courts and private clubs. The sale of tennis racquets in the U.S. was up 37% in the 3rd quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019.  Please take every opportunity to share your love of tennis with others in hopes that they will join us on a tennis court someday.


Historically, very few Kentuckians have been inducted into the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame.  That makes it even more special for Susan Sloane.  She is the only woman from Kentucky to be ranked in the top 20 in the world in singles having attained a ranking of 19 in 1989.  Congratulations to Susan on her incredible tennis career and her upcoming induction into the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame!  I am also pleased to report that our former USTA KY President John Herring is on the USTA Southern Board Slate to be reelected as Treasurer.  We have two Kentucky Southern award winners; Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award to Charles Crawford and NJTL Chapter of the Year, Rising Stars of Kentucky Tennis both from Louisville. Last but not least, the USTA Southern Foundation NJTL essay contest winner is Kansas Perry from Louisville.  Congratulations to all on your personal achievements and for representing Kentucky tennis so well at the Southern level!


I hope that tennis has been as good to you and your family as it has to mine.  Please consider expressing thankfulness by giving back your time, talents and finances to help grow tennis in Kentucky.  We are always looking for new volunteers for our various USTA Kentucky and community tennis association committees.  If you are interested in serving, please let me know and we can find a place for you. Or you can submit a Volunteer From Here

If you are philanthropically minded, now is a wonderful time to consider a donation to the Raise A Racquet Foundation to benefit deserving juniors and special projects/programs and organizations. Donations up to $5,000 through the end of the year will be matched by an anonymous donor. Donate Here.

At your service,

Mike Eden

USTA Kentucky Board President