Tennis Channel GRIPS Challenge at Malibu Racquet Club!’s very own Craig Cignarelli takes on many roles in the tennis business but this weekend he was executive producer of a zany new and exciting “tennis game show”. The show (with a live audience) was taped for the Tennis Channel at the Malibu Racquet Club, the prestigious club serving as the perfect backdrop on an outstanding sunny day. The whirlwind of crew, cameramen, and audience members upset the normally pristine conditions at the club but director Trey Waltke was loving it, hustling and bustling around with a camera of his own snapping one of a kind pictures. Solinco Sports provided awesome prizes for the taping as well. A few lucky people received free rackets, shoes, and other assorted tennis gifts.

The GRIPS program is a player development tool where players are rated in karate-like color fashion, skill levels ranging from white to black. The basis involves building hand-eye coordination and the necessary skills used in tennis. The GRIPS Challenge was the brainchild of Craig and his business partner, Aaron Fox, to film the entertainment that’s produced when two tennis families battle it out in three rounds of tennis trivia, physical skills, and a competitive challenge. Some of the challenges players face include: racing against each other or partnering up with a family member to accomplish (sometimes blindfolded) tasks specific to tennis. There were numerous props that players had to hit into or avoid during the challenges and the final product turned out to be full of pressure and good old fashioned fun! Hilarity also ensued!

“We aren’t chasing any entertainment frontiers here, but if we can serve as a bridge between the bag checks and great tennis matches, perhaps we’ll have done something to motivate more people to participate in our sport,” said Cignarelli.

The pilot episode is set to air around Thanksgiving. With the amount of production that was on hand, the final cuts are sure to be spectacular. Nothing like this has ever been done before and is proud of Craig, one of our most gifted supporters, for producing a great new tennis program! We can’t wait to see it on the Tennis Channel!
October 10, 2013

Go to News and Updates page