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Presidents Letter September 2020

September 2020 President’s Letter

 

Our state championships have returned this month with the prestigious Creason junior tournament taking place in Louisville. The tournament is the highest-level USTA junior tournament in Kentucky and usually takes place in late May or early June.  I had the opportunity to work at the 12 and under girls’ site one day and it was great to see the enthusiasm of the players and their parents for competitive play.  It was even greater to hear stories of how entire families play tennis together.  Congratulations to the Creason champions in the various divisions and to tournament director Bryan Hash for a well-organized and safe tournament!

 

The Kentucky Tennis Hall of Fame Committee met recently and have chosen to induct Paul Varga from Louisville, Vimal Patel from Owensboro, and John “Doc” Hosbach from Henderson into the Kentucky Tennis Hall of Fame in January.  Please join me in congratulating these very deserving inductees!

 

With onset of the pandemic in March and the terrible toll exacted on New York City, it was hard to imagine that there was anyway the U.S. Open could be held this year.  However, due to the rapid decline of COVID-19 cases in New York City along with an incredible effort by the USTA to assure player safety in the bubble, the U.S. Open was held.  I trust that you were able to watch some incredible tennis culminating with hard fought victories in the finals by Naomi Osaka and Dominic Thiem.  I am also pleased to announce that the USTA recently approved a change allowing for free junior memberships.

 

The USTA Kentucky Board and staff have been working together on an idea to bring tennis stakeholders from around the state together at the Kentucky Tennis Summit to network and brainstorm ideas to grow tennis in our state.  The major stakeholder groups include tennis club leadership, country club leadership, park and recreation directors, professional tournament directors, teaching professionals, officials, high school coaches, college coaches, school program administrators, junior team teen captains, adult league captains and wheelchair/adaptive managers.

 

Nationally, the USTA has committed to pivoting to become a service-based organization and we at USTA KY wish to be of service to all Kentucky tennis organizations providing various resources for your benefit.  Each group will be chaired by a USTA Kentucky Board member and staff member.  They will start meetings with the various groups in the next month.  It is our hope by listening to input from these various tennis organizations and working collaboratively, we can find the best way to recruit new players and more importantly retain them. 

 

With summer ending soon, enjoy the warm sunny days and get out and play our beloved sport!

 

At your service,

Mike Eden

USTA Kentucky Board President

 

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