Our new and exciting National Senior Men’s Tennis Association (NSMTA) will help senior men’s tennis reach its vast potential. The expertise, experience, and engagement of our hundreds of members will greatly advance senior men’s tennis—from the 35 to the 90 age divisions.
These critical areas should receive high priority:
Mini-Interview with Jimmy Parker
In each of my posts, I would like to do a mini-interview with a NSMTA member on an important topic. Jimmy Parker, our first president and one of the most successful senior players in history, is the first interviewee.
Do you consider the NSMTA’s relationship with the USTA our most important relationship with any other organization? And if so, why?
I do consider the NSMTA’s relationship with the USTA to be our most important relationship with another organization for the obvious reason that the USTA governs our sport, with all that entails. We recognize that, and want to work with—not against—the USTA in improving the experience of playing men’s senior tennis.
In what ways do you believe the NSMTA can influence and persuade the USTA to make policy and rule changes that will advance senior men's tennis in the U.S.?
That said, the USTA is a large, lumbering organization that moves slowly in making changes. The NSMTA, by its very nature, is smaller and nimbler. We will be able to do things without having them wend their way through the embedded political hierarchy of the USTA. For instance, in January, we inaugurated a new Category III doubles event in Florida with an innovative format—sanctioned by the USTA. The innovative format employs round-robins to qualify teams for the later rounds. Players are guaranteed at least three matches that way.
It takes motivated people to innovate, and hopefully, we can help point the way for the USTA in determining what works and what doesn’t. Realistically, it’s probably easier to affect policy than to get actual rule changes because the process of effecting rule change within the USTA is a somewhat cumbersome legalistic process that may require a couple years. Policy decisions within a committee usually require a less formal process. By having two of our NSMTA Board Members, Mas Kimball and Ed Trost, currently sitting on the USTA Adult Competition Committee, we hope to have a conduit from our organization to the USTA policymakers. However, we consider our mission broader than just our relationship with the USTA.
What else does the NSMTA’s mission entail?
We want to provide a forum for our members to interact with each other to enhance the community of men’s senior tennis. And in concert with the NSWTA, eventually enhance the community of senior tennis in general. Too often in the past, the USTA has directed minimal attention and minimal funding to the players who are literally fulfilling the USTA promise of a “Sport for a Lifetime.”
is a longtime tennis writer whose articles have been published in 25 countries. He's authored three tennis books, including Tennis Confidential, and received more than 40 writing awards, including Tennis Week magazine’s International Tennis Writer of the Year in 1991. As a super senior, he ranked No. 1 in singles in the New England 65 and 70 divisions for five years. He is honored to contribute to the National Senior Men's Tennis Association as a blogger.