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John and Tim Mayotte join World Team Tennis-Boston Lobster organization

April 3, 2008 05:14 PM

Thursday, March 20, 2008 By JUSTIN A. RICE, The Republican

MIDDLETON - John Mayotte wanted to be clear about one thing at Ferncroft Country Club yesterday: Tim Mayotte is his brother, not son. "A couple people have asked me if I'm his father and I'm really sensitive to that," the 59-year-old said of Tim, a 12-time winner on the pro tennis tour who was regularly ranked in the Top 10 in the 1980s and was a silver medalist at the 1988 Seoul Games.

Either way, both are sons of Springfield and both were recently hired to run the Boston Lobsters, a World Team Tennis franchise that announced yesterday it will move to Ferncroft Country Club near Danvers this summer. Harvard hosted the team for the last three seasons after owner Bahar Uttam revived a team that had been dormant since 1999.

While Tim replaces Ann Smith, who coached the team since 2005, John will serve as general manager and chief operating officer.

"It's really nice, he was one of my agents when I was on the tour and that was a blast," Tim said yesterday from Manhattan, where he's been a pro at a small club since retiring in 1992. "This is kind of a revisitation of that, we're excited."

The Lobsters will play seven home matches in July, including against the Venus Williams led Philadelphia Freedom July 10. While the Lobsters will pick its team during the WTT draft April 1-2 in Miami, Martina Navratilova has already been marked as the team's "marquee player" and will compete on July 16 and 19 for the Lobsters.

"We're not only a team that has a couple celebrities," John said. "We're also coaching to win."

John, however, isn't quite as competitive against his younger brother on the tennis court.

"Not yet," Tim, 48, said. "Maybe when we both get in walkers."

As for Tim's ability on the court, he filled in as a last minute replacement during last year's Champions Cup event at Boston University

"They told me 45 minutes before the match, it was fun," Tim said, adding that he's not good enough to join master's tour founded by Jim Courier. "Those guys are too good for me, maybe if I trained for four or five months I could compete. I had a good match with [John] McEnroe but Pete Sampras killed me."

The entire Mayotte family will be inducted into the New England Tennis Hall of fame in Newport, R.I., this summer. They could be voted to the national hall of fame next year.

"The national would be cool," John said. "I don't know if that will happen, there's a lot of families that have been involved in tennis over the years. New England is what we love so that's what we care about."

Their brother Chris, who lives in Connecticut, also played on the pro tour and Marry Ford, who lives in Newton, was No. 1 in New England at one point during her junior career. Their sister Ellie is the only remaining family member who lives in Springfield.

Boston Lobsters website