LOS ANGELES, June 24, 2003 —
The Tennis Channel has reached an agreement with the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA), the world's oldest and largest association of tennis-teaching professionals, to exclusively televise 12 half-hour instructional shows that will premiere on the new 24-hour cable network in Summer, 2003. "On Court with USPTA," produced by the USPTA, will feature certified teaching professionals and coaches from around the country, who will demonstrate to tennis enthusiasts the skills and techniques necessary to improve their game.
"On Court with USPTA" premieres Saturday, June 28 at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT and will be hosted by R.J. Tessier, USPTA director of certification and a USPTA Master Professional. Tessier will introduce the instructor for each show, and offer playing tips outside the context of the main lesson. Each show will feature "Ask a USPTA Pro" segments, where viewers can submit questions about trouble spots in their game and receive tips from a USPTA professional.
Headlining the "On Court with USPTA" instructional shows will be the following USPTA teaching professionals:
Bill Tym, a USPTA Master Professional and former Wimbledon competitor who has worked with world-ranked players, nationally ranked juniors and currently is director of tennis at Richland Country Club in Nashville, Tenn.;
Rick Macci,who has worked with hundreds of top pros and juniors, including Venus and Serena Williams and Jennifer Capriati, at his Rick Macci Tennis Academy in Pompano Beach, Fla.; and
Jim Parker, an inductee in four halls of fame who has won more than 60 USTA national titles and currently serves as director of tennis at the Houston (Texas) Racquet Club.
"Bringing high-quality tennis instruction to the masses from high-caliber, certified teaching professionals has been one of The Tennis Channel's fundamental goals from day one, and we're thrilled to be joining with the USPTA to telecast this outstanding instructional series," says The Tennis Channel President and Founder Steve Bellamy.
"USPTA professionals help millions of students of all levels have more fun and reach their full potential on the court," says USPTA CEO Tim Heckler. "We hope our program on The Tennis Channel helps players accomplish the same things - game improvement and pure enjoyment of the sport. We also want to promote the high quality of USPTA professionals, who are the best at what they do."
The July 28 premiere episode of "On Court with USPTA" focuses on the fundamentals of a sound volley, while illustrating the techniques the pros use to hit the toughest volleys.
"We are pleased to add 'On Court with USPTA' to our programming lineup," adds Bruce Rider, The Tennis Channel executive vice president of programming and marketing and executive producer. "Our research shows that tennis enthusiasts of all ages are starving for programming that will help them improve their game. Now they'll be able to get valuable professional instruction, in many cases for the first time ever, that will help them refine their skills and improve their overall enjoyment of the game."
The United States Professional Tennis Association was founded in 1927 and is the world's oldest and largest association of tennis-teaching professionals. With more than 12,500 members worldwide, USPTA strives to raise the standards of the tennis profession while promoting greater awareness of the sport. The association offers more than 30 professional benefits for its members, including certification and extensive educational opportunities. It also works with organizations such as USTA, TIA, CMAA and IHRSA to improve tennis programming. Find out more at www.uspta.com.
The Tennis Channel ( www.thetennischannel.com ) is a 24-hour cable television network devoted to tennis and other racquet sports that provides unparalleled coverage of the game, its elite championships and superstar athletes. The network features comprehensive coverage of major tournaments including ATP Tour, WTA Tour, Fed Cup, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Hyundai Hopman Cup competition and the European tournaments of the Tennis Masters Series. The network also showcases instruction from the finest teachers, legendary matches, in-depth profiles of the greatest players, analysis and news, the latest on equipment and tennis getaways.