ITF Launches Tennis...Stay and Play


Posted on July 28, 2007

The International Tennis Federation (ITF), backed by the world pro and recreational sports bodies, has launched the "Tennis...Stay and Play" campaign to attract and retain new tennis players.



The unique approach scales the game to starter players with a smaller court, lighter balls and different sized racquets appropriated for the size or age of players.

"Our research proved that, on the whole, although tennis did an okay job at attracting players it wasn’t so good at retaining them," says James Newman of ITF Development. "The majority [of new players] are put on full-sized court with [regular] balls and are fed from a basket for the majority of the lesson — the result being that most of the lesson is spent picking up balls and listening to irrelevant technical instruction, rather than playing the game."

Newman says the repsonse from the international community has been positive, with Brazil and Israel launching the program more than one month before the official program announcement.

The ATP and WTA Tour have been filming player endorsements for the program, and the USTA and Tennis Industry Association are also participating in the U.S. Through the USTA’s Tennis Welcome Centers, more than 2,000 facilities offer beginner and continuing programs, and more than 1.1 million new players tried tennis from 2004 to 2005.

Rankings
ATP - Feb 08 WTA - Feb 08
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Andy Murray2 Angelique Kerber
3 Roger Federer3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Agnieszka Radwanska
5 Rafael Nadal5 Garbine Muguruza Blanco
6 David Ferrer6 Maria Sharapova
7 Kei Nishikori7 Flavia Pennetta
8 Tomas Berdych8 Carla Suarez Navarro
9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga9 Petra Kvitova
10 Richard Gasquet10 Lucie Safarova
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