United States Tennis Association Overview
Established in 1881, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) was the world’s first national governing body for tennis. The USTA was the first to establish standardized rules and regulations in tennis, and continues to be a huge influence on the tennis community worldwide today as a non-profit organization. The USTA is entirely run by volunteers, and is led by a board of directors headed by a volunteer chair and president. The USTA’s mission is to “develop the character of young people through tennis.” Much of the USTA’s work has made tennis a far more accessible sport to the general public than it once was.
The USTA is perhaps best known for hosting the US Open,an annual tennis competition. Hosted at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, the US Open is the highest attended annual sporting event in the world. Past titlists have included Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, and Serena Williams. The US Open is notable for the large amount of prize money associated with the event; in 2012 the winners were awarded close to $2 million in prize money, with the runner-ups taking home $950,000. The USTA also hosts a number of lower-level championships and events throughout the year, including the USTA Professional Circuits and US Women’s Hard Court Championships.
There are 17 geographical sections of the USTA, and more than 700,000 individual members, including professionals and recreational players. For non-professional players, the USTA offers a number of youth outreach and player development opportunities. This includes adult leagues held in the spring and fall, as well as leagues for children. The USTA also gives out a number of awards each year, including the Samuel Hardy Award to a select volunteer and the Service Bowl Award to the player who makes the most notable contribution to sportsmanship.
The USTA has several tennis training centers for competitive players looking to take their career to the professional level. These include their national headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida, their East center in Flushing, New York and their West center in Carson, California.
Currently, the top ranked USTA male players are:
1. John Isner (16)
2. Sam Querrey (20)
3. Mardy Fish (32)
4. Andy Roddick (42)
5.Brian Baker (54)
Current top ranked female players include:
1. Serena Williams (2)
2. Sloane Stephens (17)
3. Varvara Lepchenko (21)
4. Venus Williams (22)
5. Christina McHale (44)
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