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Tennis Briefs: Vaidisova Quitting? USTA + WWE; Hispanic Workshops Expand

March 15, 2010 07:00 PM
 

 Nicole Vaidisova

by Rick Vach, ustaflorida.com

Vaidisova to Quit Tennis, Marry Stepanek?

Tennis writer Matt Cronin reported that 20-year-old Bradenton, Fla.-trained player and part-time resident Nicole Vaidisova will retire from tennis and marry fellow Czech player Radek Stepanek in July. Vaidisova is a former Top 10-ranked player and six-time WTA title winner, but has reportedly been struggling with her desire to play the game after her ranking has threatened to drop outside the Top 200.

Vaidisova's Grand Slam highlights included semifinals at the 2006 French Open and 2007 Australian Open.

In December 2007 the Bradenton Herald reported that the two has filed for a marriage license when Vaidisova was 18 and Stepanek 29 years old, but the filing was later dismissed as a "prank."

Professional Wrestling Hires Former USTA Execs

What's good for recreational and professional tennis must also be good for professional wrestling. The SportsBusiness Journal reported that World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has hired Tandy O'Donoghue as vice president, operations and new business development, making her the third former USTA executive to hire on with the wrestling organization. She joins former USTA Chief Marketing Officer Michelle Wilson, and former USTA General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer Jared Bartie at WWE.

The USTA and WWE have crossed paths in the past. Wrestling star John Cena was a guest at Arthur Ashe Kids' Day at the US Open in 2007. "I was horrible," Cena said of the doubles match he participated in. "It was the first time I've ever played, and I did the best I could to try to stay out of everybody's way...I think three balls came my way. I missed two of them, I hit one into the crowd, so I don't necessarily know my own strength or my own tennis ability, but with a few lessons I'd develop some finesse."

4th Hispanic Coaches Workshop

South Florida's Gustavo Granitto's Hispanic tennis workshops, which have found great success and are supported through USTA Florida grants, are spreading to other parts of the U.S.

"Coaches that I met before in their own country that are now are living in the U.S. asked why couldn't we have workshops oriented for Hispanic coaches where they can express and discuss the realities of their jobs, and at the same time receive the most qualified information from prominent speakers, in their own language or with translation," Granitto told USTA Florida.

Carson, Calif., will be the site of the April 16-17, 2010 conference, "How Hispanic Coaches Can Impact Tennis Development in the United States." USTA coach Jose Higueras will be the keynote speaker at the USTA Training Center-West at the Home Depot Center in Carson.

A joint tennis study by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) released last year shows a 32 percent increase among Hispanic tennis players of the 30 million Americans that took to the courts in 2009.

The event is organized by Granitto's GTC Tennis Consultancy in conjunction with USTA Player Development and USTA Southern California. For more info on the event e-mail gusg@gtctennisconsultancy.com.
 

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