By: Wade Fenton
Members of the press Ricky Dimon, from tennistalk.com and Rick Limpert along with the Atlanta Tennis Championship tournament volunteers played a tennis tournament on the new USTA 10 & under courts. It gave them a chance to see how kids benefit from the new program being implemented by the USTA. Players used the 10 and under courts along with the shorter rackets, that give the kids more control, and the new low compression balls that allows the kids focus more on swing technique and ball control.
Racquet control is one of the basic fundamentals of tennis play. The USTA has developed rackets that are shorter and have smaller grips, which makes it easier for kids to maintain control. Compared to the adult racquets, which are longer, heavier, and much more difficult for the kids to control.
The USTA has also developed two new types of balls. Because regulation yellow balls bounce too high and move too fast, kids can play with either a low compression or foam ball. These balls bounce lower, and travel less distance which allows for kids to develop their skill and control their pace.
Another development by the USTA is the court size and scoring. The courts vary in size from 36-60 feet, depending on the kids age group. The USTA 10 & Under tennis program is where kids who are 8 and under play the best of three games; each game being a seven point tie break, and kids 9-10 play best of three sets, with each set being 4 games. This along with the court size allows kids to develop their skill at a proper pace, which encourages them to keep the balls in play and have fun.
The media personnel and tournament volunteers enjoyed testing out these new USTA developments. Ricky Dimon, from tennistalk.com, benefited the most from these developments winning in the final round in a tough three set battle against ATC communications intern Michael Rardon. Dimon got to take home a new USTA 10 & Under driveway tennis court. Complete with the new low compression balls and smaller racquets. Limpert didn’t disappoint either, taking of both his rounds to three sets.