Wikipedia says about American Idol, “The program aims to discover the best singer in the country where the winner is determined by the viewers.” In other words, a bunch of singers get together and perform in front of a crowd and some jurors. With every round one of the singers is being eliminated until there is only one person left. Jeff Richard is no Simon Cowell, but he had a similar idea to work on a tennis court and called it “The Weakest Dink, the world’s first tennis game show”. The winner will not get a record deal, but has a whole lot of fun! And this year one of the premier professional tennis tournaments, the Farmers Classic presented by Mercedes Benz, will feature the tennis game show at one of its courts.
Jeff Richards is a tennis teaching professional certified by the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA). He is also the tournament director at Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center in Calabasas, CA. In this position he organizes a variety of tennis tournaments for his club, from small ones to large $50,000 Challengers for ranked touring pros. Jeff Richards created The Weakest Dink several years ago and often serves as the game’s host. He has put on Weakest Dink contests at several locations throughout Southern California already
The Weakest Dink is the combination of clinic-style, fast-paced court action, rocking and hip music, and funny MC announcements with play-by-play. The objective of the players involved is to hit balls fed by a pro into a target area. After each round one or more players are being voted off the court by their peers.
An umpire is keeping track of the players’ success rates. After each round of hitting different strokes the umpire declares one or more players with the best record immune from being voted off. The other players decide who will have to leave by writing names on a dry-erase board. Each round another player leaves until the last player standing will be declared The Weakest Dink.
So, in a way, The Weakest Dink can be compared with American Idol as tennis players compete as individuals and each round one player is eliminated / voted off. MC Jeff Richards has a good feel for being a funny MC who is able to run the show and create excitement. He demonstrated this ability 2 weeks ago at the Calabasas Tennis and Swim Center with a field of 8 players, an umpire, and a pro to feed the balls. The contestants had a lot of fun and loved the excitement created by the game, the MC, and the music.
Jeff Richards is very happy to be able to show his creation at a bigger venue in July. The Farmers Classic presented by Mercedes Benz is a US Open Series ATP 250 men’s professional tennis tournament, running from July 25 – 31 at the UCLA Tennis Center. In its 85th year, the tournament is benefiting the Southern California Tennis Association (SCTA), one of the 17 Sections of the United States Tennis Association (USTA). The Farmers Classic presented by Mercedes Benz constitutes the most important annual fundraising activity for the non-profit SCTA, providing funds for programs like helping underserved children through the sport of tennis.
Richards plans to have local tennis club organize challengers, with the winning players automatically becoming finalists at the UCLA tournament’s Weakest Dink event. He is excited about this opportunity and is confident the audience will love the games and the show.
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