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Old Sep 10th, 2012, 11:51 PM   #5
Rollo
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Re: Vicki Berner

An article from the 1974 Ocala Star-Banner on her role as tour director.

Vicki Berner: Min-Tour's Mother Hen

From the Ocala Star-Banner, March 17, 1974
By Greg Larsen

What's it like playing mother hen, nursemaid, mother confessor, disiplinarian, and cashier to 50 tennis players?

"Sometimes it's a bit of a nuisance," says Vivki Berner, director of the Barnett-Bank-Virginia Slims Satellite Tennis Tour, "but overall it is a really enjoyable experience. It takes someone who has played the game."

Ms Berner, 28, spent 3 years on the main tour and realized, that although she could play with the top players, she would never make it as big time tennis player despite the fact she played Wimbledon seven times.

After spending last season on the major tour where she made it to the final 16 several times, the Vancouver, Canada, native decided to take the satellite offer when it came along."

"The money isn't really good right now," she admitted, "but it will get better in the future."

"Plus you get to meet so many people. I've been offered about 16 jobs in the past year."

On the major circuit a full-time public relations staff is on hand but Ms Berner must handle her own PR, arrange practice and dressing facilities, work up housing lists, organize linesmen and umpires, and crack down on players if they need it.

"Most of all it's just being here", she said. "It's a seven day per week job."

Since there are no training rules, court conduct is where the discipline portion of Ms Berner's job lies.

"Sometimes throwing a racquet can add to a match", Ms Berner said. "The fans like to see a little emotion."

"But when throwing a racquet is accompanied by cussing and almost hitting someone, I have to act." One girl in Ocala was fined for throwing a racquet.

The fans range from a minimum of $25 to a maximum of $100.

"We've been going for nine weeks now without rest,: Ms Berner added, "and the girls are getting a little tired and edgy. Most of them are real cooperative though."

It is often thought that foreign players are more tempermental, but Ms Berner disagrees. "No, I think the foreign players are a little cooler", she said. "As a whole, the Americans are a little more hot-tempered."

On the court, most of the girls seem firece competitors. The average age on the mini-tour is between 18 or 19.

"The girls aren't as tough as they look", Ms Berner said. "If you saw them at a cocktail party, you wouldn't recognize them."

Looking to the future, Ms Berner has her eyes set on a post higher up the administration ladder, perhaps major tour director.

But for now she enjoys being "Jill of all trades."

Last edited by Rollo : Sep 11th, 2012 at 12:12 AM.
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