CHRISEVERT.NET EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:
New Partnership between USTA & the Evert Tennis Academy
It is incredible news that the Evert Tennis Academy has become the official USTA National Headquarters for Player Development. Certainly, it is an amazing thought for anyone who remembers Chrissie's influence on everything in the game of tennis to consider what it means now for her Tennis Academy to serve such a crucial role in investing directly in the USTA and the future of American tennis today.
ChrisEvert.net wanted to provide more information to our readers about this exciting new development, and so we arranged this exclusive interview with the Director of the Evert Tennis Academy, Michael Summers, to clarify the ETA’s new expanded role in the development of future United States champions.
CE.net: The USTA’s partnership with the Evert Tennis Academy is exciting news, and it is great to see that Billie Jean King, the USTA Player Development Committee Chair, was a vocal supporter of the ETA partnership. In addition to the fantastic housing and training facilities you offer, what do you think made the ETA such an attractive fit for the USTA?
MS: One of the major points of consideration for the USTA was that Chris is a past American Champion who has represented the United States at the highest level of our sport. She has been a great ambassador to our sport, nationally and internationally, as well as providing the USTA and WTA with her support and wisdom through decades of organizational growth.
The USTA choosing ETA as the future headquarters of USA Tennis Player Development allows the opportunity for the USTA to partner with a past champion like Chris Evert, while giving upcoming American juniors direct interaction with one of America's greatest tennis champions. Providing the USTA with shared use of the Evert Tennis Academy along with Chris giving her personal time towards the development of young American juniors is just another opportunity for Chris and the Evert family to assist USA Player Development in facilitating the development of America's future tennis champions.
CE.net: Are there ways in which the Academy as it now functions will change due to this involvement with the USTA? Will enrollment just enlarge to accommodate these additional commitments, or does it mark a whole new or partially-new focus?
MS: With the inclusion of the USA Tennis Player Development program, Evert Tennis Academy has made a decision to reduce its full time numbers and camp numbers slightly beginning in Fall 2007. The Evert Tennis Academy will focus on making our programs more inclusive and personalized with a stronger emphasis on the development of top level juniors.
The Academy has already begun to prepare for USA Player Development's presence by recently signing an agreement with Boca Raton Resort and Club to move its ETA Adult Clinic to the resort. The ETA Adult Clinic at Boca Raton Resort & Club, directed by brother Drew Evert, will provide our adults with excellent instruction based on the Evert family philosophy while surrounded by the beauty and luxurious amenities found at Boca Raton Resort & Club.
CE.net:Lastly, will there be expansion to meet the demands of this increased role in player training? When Chrissie was in New York in September she said the ETA may, down the line, open further locations. Is that purely speculative or are plans already underway?
MS: As far as additional USTA Training Centers, there is currently another training center located on the West Coast in Carson, CA. That training center has been open for a few years and I assume will continue operating. There has been discussion of the possibility of the USTA opening another training center at the Billie Jean USTA National Tennis Center in New York (home of the US Open Tennis Championships), but that is speculative and has not in any way been confirmed by the USTA.
Check in on the Evert Tennis Academy website!
USTA PRESS RELEASE
LAUNCHES NEW ERA IN AMERICAN TENNIS PLAYER DEVELOPMENT; NEW PARTNERSHIP
WITH EVERT TENNIS ACADEMY TO PROVIDE PLAYER HOUSING, STATE-OF-THE-ART
FITNESS CENTER, FULL TRAINING FACILITY, AND ACCESS TO 23 TENNIS COURTS
ON MULTIPLE SURFACES
USTA Player Development National Headquarters to Move From Key Biscayne, Fla. to Boca Raton
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 5, 2006 -- The USTA today announced a new alliance with the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Fla., to provide year-round housing for top junior players for the first time, launching a new era in the program’s mission to develop the next generation of American tennis champions. Working with the USTA, the Evert Academy will construct a new on-site facility that will serve as the national headquarters for USTA Player Development. The USTA is expected to move its national headquarters from Key Biscayne, Fla., to the Evert Tennis Academy by September 2007.
AsAs part of the new arrangement, the USTA will for the first time offer player housing for promising young players aged 14-18. Plans for the facility call for a three-level building that will include dorm-style living arrangements a state-of-the-art fitness center, classrooms, offices and a conference facility.
The Evert Tennis Academy is run by Chris Evert and John Evert, and features 23 tennis courts, including 14 clay courts and 9 hard courts, with 14 courts lighted for night play. The USTA Athletic Training staff will have access to training rooms at all times, and the facility will feature a state-of-the-art video lounge.
The new player housing program is designed to serve as an adjunct to private coaching for players that meet certain criteria. Those players housed on-site will have access to a variety of different schooling options, including nearby public and private schools. The players in the USTA housing program will also be provided with food service and a nutrition program developed by USTA staff.
The USTA will continue to support players currently working with private coaches and academies through other components of the Player Development program, including wild cards, grants and camps.
“"This new partnership with the Evert Academy, which will include year-round housing, will better fulfill our mission to offer top prospects the best opportunities to succeed, while we continue to work with the established tennis academies throughout the country,” said Franklin Johnson, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. “We are clearly entering a more competitive environment for developing world class tennis players, and it is our responsibility as the national governing body of the sport to build the next generation of U.S. champions.”
“I am thrilled to welcome the USTA to our world-class facility,” said Chris Evert, five-time US Open champion and co-owner of the Evert Tennis Academy. “The Evert Academy continually searches for ways to give back to young tennis players to support this great sport, and we couldn’t be happier to be part of this grand new era in young player development.”
“This new approach to player development will provide more opportunities for more young players who may not have had access to this level of training in the past,” said Billie Jean King, Chair, USTA Player Development Committee. “It doesn’t get any better than having a friend and icon such as Chris Evert as an inspiration for our future stars.”
“Chris and I are excited that we can help the USTA by providing a boarding program and use of our courts and facility,” said John Evert, Executive Director, Evert Tennis Academy. “The USTA Player Development staff and coaches are an extremely talented group and we are prepared to assist the USTA in developing future American champions.”
“We are very excited about what this new partnership will mean for our player development efforts,” said Paul Roetert, Managing Director, USTA Player Development. “This move creates the best scenario for us to be able to capitalize on all the best resources available - - an exceptional facility, year-round housing, state-of-the-art fitness center and a competitive environment.”
The U.S. led all nations with 16 boys in the 2005 year-end ITF world junior rankings, with Australia and the Czech Republic second with six each. On the girls’ side, the U.S. finished with 11 in the top 100, second only to Russia’s 13.
USTA Player Development is charged with providing American junior, collegiate and young professional players with the opportunities to reach their maximum potential. Its three departments - - Coaching Education (including Sport Science), High Performance, and Junior and Collegiate Competition -- work tohether towards this common goal.
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level -- from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns the 94 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. A not-forprofit organization with 665,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.
For more information, contact:
Chris Widmaier, Senior Director, Public Relations, USTA
(914) 696-7284; firstname.lastname@example.org