June 26, 2016

On the Purple Carpet – Fashion Shines at WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Caroline Wozniacki attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Caroline Wozniacki attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Garbine Muguruza attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Garbine Muguruza attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Bethanie Mattek-Sands attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Bethanie Mattek-Sands attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Ana Ivanovic attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Ana Ivanovic attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Madison Keys attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Madison Keys attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Laura Robson attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Laura Robson attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Simona Halep attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Simona Halep attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Sloane Stephens attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Sloane Stephens attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Petra Kvitova attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Petra Kvitova attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Heather Watson attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Heather Watson attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Sorana Cirstea attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Sorana Cirstea attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Serena Williams attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Serena Williams attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

 

(June 23, 2016) Tennis superstars and celebrities from the worlds of sport, lifestyle and culture came together at The Roof Gardens, Kensington for one of the most anticipated parties of the summer: the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free.

Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, Eugenie Bouchard and more walked the “Purple Carpet” in London ahead of The Championships, Wimbledon.

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Jimmy Connors and Monica Seles to serve as presenters at International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2016 Induction

ithof

(June 22, 2016) NEWPORT, R.I.,  – Tennis legends Jimmy Connors and Monica Seles will return to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island this summer to serve as presenters at the Hall of Fame induction festivities.

The Class of 2016 Induction Ceremony will see the sport’s highest honor be presented to former world No. 1’s Marat Safin of Russia and Justine Henin of Belgium. In addition, Class of 2015 Hall of Famer Amelie Mauresmo will be honored during the ceremony. Mauresmo was unable to attend last year’s ceremony due to the birth of her child.

“It’s very fitting to have the great champions of the Class of 2016 be welcomed into the International Tennis Hall of Fame by two of our sport’s all-time greats, Jimmy Connors and Monica Seles. We’re looking forward to a fantastic Rolex Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend in Newport in July to celebrate Justine, Marat, and Amelie, and their remarkable accomplishments,” commented Todd Martin, CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Along with the inductees, Connors and Seles headline a star-studded weekend in Newport for the festivities, with the induction ceremony set for July 16 and additional events throughout the weekend, including PowerShares Legends Newport, a one-day legends tournament featuring Safin back in action.

Connors, an eight-time major champion, will serve as the presenter for Safin at the ceremony. In the ceremony, the presenter traditionally introduces the inductee before they are officially inducted, providing a look back at their career accomplishments and contributions to the sport. Although they played in different eras, Connors and Safin, both fiery competitors, have long been admirers of each other’s tennis careers. Connors was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1998.

Seles, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009, will present Henin at the induction ceremony. Seles and Henin’s careers had some overlap with the two players meeting in competition seven times. Both players were bolstered by notable baseline games and fierce backhands, and the two legends also approached the sport with a mental toughness that made them nearly untouchable at times.

During the ceremony, Amelie Mauresmo will be presented by her longtime manager and friend Micky Lawler, who now serves as president of the WTA.

International Tennis Hall of Fame President Stan Smith, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987, will play an active role in the induction ceremony. Hall of Famers Rosie Casals, Vic Seixas, Owen Davidson, Butch Buchholz, Donald Dell, Peachy Kellmeyer, Charlie Pasarell, and Jane Brown Grimes, will all be in Newport for the event. Additional notable tennis guests joining the celebration will include former world No. 1 Dinara Safina, sister of Marat Safin; retired WTA player Jill Craybas, who is a Rhode Island native; and former ATP stars Vijay Armritraj and Jimmy Arias.

On Sunday, July 17, when the newly inducted Marat Safin will be back in action on the tennis court. Safin will be competing in PowerShares Legends Newport, a special one-day tournament featuring three matches and one eventual champion crowned among retired tennis greats. In addition to Safin, the event will feature Andy Roddick, James Blake, and Mark Philippoussis.
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Roddick Beats McEnroe To Win PowerShares Series Title in St. Louis

Andy_Roddick

(April 14, 2016) Andy Roddick defeated John McEnroe 6-3 in the one-set final of the Champions Classic St. Louis Thursday at the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, the third event on the 2016 PowerShares Series tennis circuit.

“St. Louis is a great stop for us,” said Roddick after his victory. “This has always been a great tennis town.”

The win was Roddick’s 12th career title on the PowerShares Series, the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30. Roddick, 33, has won 12 of 15 career PowerShares Series events since he ended his ATP World Tour career at the 2012 U.S. Open. He dominated the PowerShares Series in 2015, winning a single-season record eight titles. In his debut year on the Series in 2014, he won two of the three tournaments he played. Last Saturday in Charleston, S.C., Roddick won his debut event of the 2016 season with a 6-1 final-round win over Andre Agassi.

Earlier Thursday night, Roddick beat in his former Davis Cup teammate James Blake 6-2 to advance to the final. McEnroe defeated Jim Courier 7-6 (5) in the other semifinal.

“It’s always a pleasure to play James and Johnny Mac is still playing well,” said Roddick. “It’s a blast for me to play these events.”

Each PowerShares Series event features two one-set semifinal matches and a one-set championship match and, for the second straight year, players make their own line calls with assistance of electronic line-calling.

The remaining 2016 PowerShares Series schedule with player fields are listed below and ticket, schedule and player information can be found at www.PowerSharesSeries.com;

April 22 Memphis (Landers Center) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

April 23 Tulsa (BOK Center) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

July 17 Newport, R.I. (International Tennis Hall of Fame) – Andy Roddick, James Blake + 2 Players TBA

August 21 Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wake Forest University) – Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake, Mardy Fish

August 25, 26 New Haven (Yale University) – Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, James Blake, Mardy Fish

November 4 Portland, Oregon (Moda Center) – Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mardy Fish and TBA

November 5 Denver (1stBank Center) – Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake and TBA

December 1 Orlando (Amway Arena) – Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake

December 3 New York (Barclays Center) – Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake

In 2015, Andy Roddick won the PowerShares Series points title in his second year of competing on the series with 1,600 points. Roddick won a record eight events Los Angeles, Lincoln, Chicago, Austin, Little Rock, Dallas, Richmond and Minneapolis. Blake finished second in the points rankings with 1,200 points, winning events in Boston and Cincinnati. Mark Philippoussis finished in third with 1,100 points, winning titles in Salt Lake City and Vancouver. The year before in 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the nine-year history of Champions Series tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte.

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John Isner and Caroline Wozniacki Headline World TeamTennis Draft

wtt 40th season

(March 25, 2016) MIAMI – Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and top-ranked American John Isner were among the top names selected today at the Mylan World TeamTennis Draft in Miami. Isner returns to the Springfield Lasers while Wozniacki was selected by the Philadelphia Freedoms.

 

The 2016 regular season runs July 31-August 13 with the top two teams advancing to the Mylan WTT Finals on Friday, August 26 at Forest Hills Stadium at The West Side Tennis Club.

 

America’s top doubles duo of Bob and Mike Bryan will join current WTA doubles No. 1 Martina Hingis and former world No. 7 Mardy Fish in the lineup for the defending champion Washington Kastles.

 

Former world No. 4 James Blake was selected by the San Diego Aviators with their marquee round selection. The New York Empire previously acquired marquee player Andy Roddick.

 

In the Roster Draft, a plethora of fresh faces headlined team selections. After trading up for the No. 1 roster pick, the Empire drafted New Jersey native Christina McHale. Top 40 players Daria Gavrilova, Daria Kasatkina and Guido Pella were selected by the Lasers, Freedoms and Empire.

 

The Kastles, who have won five consecutive titles, brought back the core of their 2015 championship team. Washington will be looking to rewrite the record books in 2016 by winning a record seventh Mylan WTT title.

 

A team-by-team breakdown of the 2016 Mylan WTT Draft:

 

New York Empire

In the New York Empire’s inaugural season, the team started strong by acquiring the rights to seasoned Mylan WTT star Andy Roddick in a transaction with Orange County Breakers prior to the draft. For their first round selection, the Empire went with hometown favorite Christina McHale. In Round 2, New York selected top 40 Argentinian Guido Pella, who will make his Mylan WTT debut in 2016. Rounding out their 2016 roster, the Empire chose two doubles players — Argentinian Maria Irigoyen and Austrian Oliver Marach, both of which will play their rookie season of Mylan WTT this year when the team kicks off their season at the historic Forest Hills Stadium. The Empire will be coached by Patrick McEnroe.

 

Orange County Breakers

Building on experience, the Orange County Breakers used their first and second round roster picks to bring back up-and-coming American Nicole Gibbs and 2015 Mylan WTT Rookie of the Year Alla Kudryavtseva, who will play their second consecutive season together this summer. In Round 3, the Breakers took American doubles player Scott Lipsky, who will be playing his second successive season in the league, but first with the Breakers. For the last pick of their 2016 draft, the Breakers added American UCLA standout Dennis Novikov, who will be making his Mylan WTT debut in Orange County this summer. Rick Leach will coach the Breakers this season.

 

Philadelphia Freedoms

With the first marquee selection of the 2016 Mylan WTT Player Draft, the Philadelphia Freedoms selected fan-favorite Caroline Wozniacki. Building their roster, the Freedoms drafted Slovakian Lukas Lacko in Round 1 and Russian teen Daria Kasatkina in Round 2, both of which will play their first season of Mylan WTT. In the third round, Philadelphia top-50 doubles player Fabrice Martin, who will play his first season in the league this year. With their final picks, in Rounds 4 and 5, the Freedoms selected British player Naomi Broady and American Donald Young to set their 2016 team. Josh Cohen will return as the Freedoms coach.

 

San Diego Aviators

For their marquee selection in 2016, the San Diego Aviators selected popular American and experienced Mylan WTT star James Blake to lead the team. The Aviators then used their first round roster selection to take rising American Shelby Rogers who will be playing her first full Mylan WTT season this summer. In Round 2, San Diego protected Raven Klaasen, who is returning to the team for the third consecutive season. For the third and fourth rounds of the draft, the Aviators added British singles player Daniel Evans and then protected Darija Jurak, who played for the team in 2015. The Aviators will once again be coached by John Lloyd.

 

Springfield Lasers

The Springfield Lasers are bringing back top-ranked American John Isner, who will be playing his sixth Mylan WTT season. In Round 1 of the Roster Draft, the Lasers brought on Canadian doubles specialist Daniel Nestor, a former Mylan WTT Male MVP. With their second roster selection, Springfield took German Benjamin Becker, who will be making his Mylan WTT debut in 2016. In the final two rounds of the draft, the Lasers added No. 34 Australian singles player Daria Gavrilova and Dutch doubles specialist Michaella Krajicek to round out their 2016 team. John Laffnie-de Jager will return to coach the Lasers.

 

Washington Kastles

After protecting the rights to marquee player Martina Hingis, the defending champion Washington Kastles made a strong trade with the Orange County Breakers to move up in the Marquee Round to select Bob and Mike Bryan. With five straight Mylan WTT titles, the Kastles also bolstered their team with the addition of American Mardy Fish.  The Kastles Round 1 and 2 roster picks were used to protect 2015 champion teammates Sam Querrey and Leander Paes. Keeping with a lineup that earned them the King Trophy last season, the Kastles protected both Madison Brengle and 2015 Mylan WTT Female co-MVP Anastasia Rodionova to begin their campaign to add another title to their dynasty. The team will be coached by Murphy Jensen.

 

Team-by-team look at each of the team’s roster, including their coach:

Washington Kastles: Martina Hingis, Bob & Mike Bryan, Mardy Fish, Sam Querrey, Leander Paes, Madison Brengle, Anastasia Rodionova. Coach: Murphy Jensen

Philadelphia Freedoms: Caroline Wozniacki, Lukas Lacko, Daria Kasatkina, Fabrice Martin, Naomi Broady, Donald Young. Coach: Josh Cohen

New York Empire: Andy Roddick, Christina McHale, Guido Pella, Maria Irigoyen, Oliver Marach. Coach: Patrick McEnroe

San Diego Aviators: James Blake, Shelby Rogers, Raven Klaasen, Daniel Evans, Darija Jurak.  Coach: John Lloyd

Springfield Lasers: John Isner, Daniel Nestor, Benjamin Becker, Daria Gavrilova, Michaella Krajicek   Coach: John-Laffnie de Jager

Orange County Breakers:  Nicole Gibbs, Alla Kudryavtseva, Scott Lipsky, Dennis Novikov.   Coach: Rick Leach

 

 

ROUND BY ROUND –

Marquee Draft

Springfield Lasers: John Isner (protection)

San Diego Aviators: James Blake (designated)

New York Empire: Andy Roddick (acquired via Orange County in pre-draft trade)

Philadelphia Freedoms: Caroline Wozniacki

Washington Kastles: Martina Hingis (protection), Bob & Mike Bryan, Mardy Fish

 

1ST ROUND – ROSTER

New York Empire: Christina McHale

San Diego Aviators: Shelby Rogers

Springfield Lasers: Daniel Nestor

Philadelphia Freedoms: Lukas Lacko

Orange County Breakers: Nicole Gibbs (protection)

Washington Kastles: Sam Querrey (protection)

 

2nd ROUND – ROSTER

Springfield Lasers: Benjamin Becker

San Diego Aviators: Raven Klaasen (protection)

New York Empire: Guido Pella

Philadelphia Freedoms: Daria Kasatkina

Orange County Breakers: Alla Kudryavtseva (protection)

Washington Kastles: Leander Paes (protection)

 

3rd ROUND – ROSTER:

Springfield Lasers: Daria Gavrilova

San Diego Aviators: Daniel Evans

Springfield Lasers: Michaella Krajicek

Philadelphia Freedoms: Fabrice Martin

Orange County Breakers: Scott Lipsky

Washington Kastles: Madison Brengle (protection)

 

4th ROUND – ROSTER:

New York Empire: Maria Irigoyen

San Diego Aviators: Darija Jurak (protection)

New York Empire: Oliver Marach

Philadelphia Freedoms: Naomi Broady

Orange County Breakers: Dennis Novikov

Washington Kastles: Anastasia Rodionova (protection)

 

5th ROUND – ROSTER:

Philadelphia Freedoms: Donald Young (exempt)

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BNP Paribas Showdown Sees Serena Williams win “Garden Party”

BNPPS Serena Wozniacki

By Vito Ellison

(March 8, 2016) NEW YORK, NY – The match-functional braid was traded for a sleek shoulder-length ‘do, the intense self-flagellation for ingratiating smiles.  Yes, the groundies still stung at times; yes, the serve was still fluid, but as Serena Williams took to the court with Caroline Wozniacki last night in midtown Manhattan, the mood was not combative, it was celebratory.

The ninth edition of the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden segued into the night’s headliners, Williams and Wozniacki, after a stirring opening act delivered by the matchup between World No. 4 Stan Wawrinka and superstar showman Gael Monfils.

BNPPS Monfils wawrinka

Everyone wore their loyalty on their sleeves throughout the evening. The 2-time major champion, Wawrinka, was greeted with polite applause when he entered the arena in a Henrik Lundqvist jersey, before Monfils entered to full-on cheers in the Knicks’ home whites.

Determined to draw more of the crowd to his side, Wawrinka came out firing, engaging Monfils in high-octane exchanges headlined by his renowned one-handed backhand including a winner to take the first break in the match. Monfils, though, would not be denied.  At times, he let his (not so) inner clown prince get the best of him, including an attempted header where a put-away forehand into the open court would’ve sufficed, before securing a 7-6 (6) first set.

The rest of the match played out like a competitive friendly between the two Swiss residents (the Frenchman, Monfils, maintains a residence in the country), with Wawrinka setting Monfils up for a couple attempts at show-stoppers that, to the dismay of the Garden crowd, didn’t materialize. Late in the second set, Williams joined Wawrinka while Wozniacki teamed with Monfils for some light-hearted mixed doubles during which Serena jokingly chastised the Swiss that her sister, Venus, would’ve gotten to a shot that he missed. Before Monfils ultimately dealt Wawrinka the 7-6 (6), 6-3 loss, Wawrinka tried to convince Chris Evert to join them on court, but the 18-time major winner was a few steps ahead of him, demurring and holding up her glass of wine.

Where previous editions maintained the facade of full-on competition, this year’s BNP Showdown felt more like a “Night with Serena and Friends.” The first time we saw the 21-time major champion last night she was pitching in on background vocals with a kids’ choir.  Then there was the mixed doubles jaunt in a figure-hugging bodysuit that recalled Serena’s late Puma era, before the main event, a “showdown” between the two BFFs and WTA No. 1s.

 

After decades of watching the younger of the Sisters Sledgehammer sometimes play in front of often ambivalent crowds, it was heartwarming on this March evening to see the lovefest between Williams and the crowd. While Wozniacki could count a couple of fans in the near-capacity MSG crowd, the vast majority were here to watch–and celebrate Serena who won the match 7-5, 6-4. She was at turns, gracious, giving tips to a young player during a mid-match interview and gritty, leaving Wozniacki lunging after winners during play.
Amid the smiles and light-hearted attitudes of the participants, there lurked the feeling that the celebration was still a bit muted. There was the lingering feeling that the powers that be, and Serena herself, when signing the contract months ago, might have expected this night would celebrate, not only Serena and her Sportsperson of the Year title, but a Calendar Slam and perhaps an Open-era majors record. None of that mattered though, not for this crowd, not for this night, not for Serena either.

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Leslie Allen Among Four Inductees into Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame

USTA Eastern Logo (150)

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., (February 24, 2016) – The Junior Tennis Foundation (JTF) will recognize four integral members of the tennis community on Friday, April 29, 2016 at 7 p.m. during the 29th Annual Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame celebration at the Beach Point Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
The four individuals who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame are: Leslie Allen, former ATA, NCAA and WTA champion who earned a No. 17 singles world ranking and is the founder of the Leslie Allen Foundation, Marcel Freeman, former ATP player who trained as a junior at Port Washington Tennis Academy and was a four-time All American at UCLA, Eric Fromm, former ATP player and current president and managing director of Christopher Morley Tennis at Port Washington Tennis Academy and Loretta Van Raalte, founder and executive director of the Jerry Alleyne Memorial Foundation and the former director of tennis for the Hudson Valley Health and Tennis Club.

 

Proceeds from the celebration will benefit JTF, which provides scholarships and grants for junior and adaptive tennis players throughout the Eastern Section. At the event, two junior players will receive David N. Dinkins Scholarship Awards for their accomplishments both athletically and academically.
“This year we have four incredibly accomplished, deserving inductees who have made significant contributions to Eastern tennis,” Dick Scheer, Eastern Hall of Fame selection committee chairman said. “They will join an impressive group of prior inductees who have also made lasting contributions to the game of tennis.”

Since its inception in 1979, JTF has provided more than $2 million for programs and scholarships in the Eastern Section.

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2016 BNP Paribas Open – Special Events for Fans

bnpparibasopenlogo

 

INDIAN WELLS, Calif., February 23, 2016 – A wide slate of fan-friendly events and activities are scheduled over the fortnight of the 2016 BNP Paribas Open to enhance the fan experience at the tournament.
Stadium 2 restaurants, including world-renowned Nobu, will be open to the public beginning Thursday, March 3, at 5 p.m. From March 7-18, the restaurants will open each day at 11 a.m., and 10 a.m. on the final weekend.
On Saturday, March 5, from 1:00-4:00 p.m., the Indian Wells Tennis Garden will host BNP Paribas Open Kids Day. The free event provides an afternoon of activities on and off the court featuring ATP World Tour and WTA professional player appearances, clinics and interactive games.
Masimo, a global leader in innovative noninvasive monitoring technologies returns as the presenting sponsor for the McEnroe Challenge for Charity on Saturday, March 5. The event is “sold out”, with 8,000 free tickets offered in early February. The four benefiting charities are highlighted by Masimo’s Patient Movement Foundation, Eisenhower Medical Center, Andy Roddick Foundation, and War Casualty Assistance Fund. In addition to John McEnroe, the participants also include Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick, Pat Cash, Arantxa Sanchez-Vacario, Tracy Austin, Madison Keys and CoCo Vandeweghe. Sampras will also take place in a mural unveiling at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, by the Stadium 1 C entrance.
Fans can take advantage of free admission on Monday, March 7, and Tuesday, March 8, and join WTA (March 7) and ATP World Tour (March 8) professionals at the Stadium Plaza at 3:00 p.m. each day to see the making of the main draw ceremonies. Fans may be chosen to assist with the ceremonies, win prizes and have their photo taken with ATP World Tour and WTA stars. Additionally, mural unveilings for defending champions Simona Halep and Novak Djokovic and tennis legend Martina Navratilova will take place throughout the tournament.
Join host Wayne Bryan and several guests at the Tennis Garden Village Stage from March 9-18 for lively Tennis Talk. Fans will have an opportunity to answer the “Question of the Day” for a chance to win daily prizes. Also on March 9, see the outstanding skills of top-ranked Paralympic wheelchair tennis players on Stadium between Matches 3 and 4 and learn about the Indian Wells Tennis Garden’s new weekly wheelchair clinics.
Evening Entertainment kicks off with the Bryan Brothers on Thursday, March 10, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. The Tennis Garden Village will come alive as the greatest doubles team in the history of the game and two-time defending BNP Paribas Open Doubles Champions – Bob and Mike Bryan and their band hold an exclusive performance featuring Dan Deshara on vocals, Jim Bogios from Counting Crows and Southern Californian singer/songwriter George Holdcroft. This night session is also Champions Night, where a percentage of all purchased evening session single tickets is donated to The Champions Volunteer Foundation. Other evening entertainers include Art of Sax, Merlos and more through March 18.
Friday, March 11, will feature Salute to Heroes Night presented by the City of Indian Wells. For more than a decade this special ceremony has recognized veterans, military personnel, police and firemen following the first evening session match on Stadium 1.
Arrive early on Sunday, March 13, through Wednesday, March 16, at Stadium 1 for Serve It Up. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., fans will have an opportunity to come on court and meet an ATP World Tour or WTA star.
The BNP Paribas Open Collegiate Challenge presented by Oracle will feature seven NCAA teams, including two women’s squads, and will be held over the final weekend, March 18-20, of the BNP Paribas Open. Play begins at 9:00 a.m. each day and is free for fans with BNP Paribas Open tickets or event credentials for the respective date.
For more events and activities, please visit the full calendar at
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Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation To Run Vero Beach Fla., USTA Pro Circuit Event

MF foundation

(February 22, 2016) VERO BEACH, Fla., – The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation today announced it has taken over the management of the $10,000 “Futures” tennis tournament – one of the longest-running and best attended events on the U.S. Tennis Association Pro Circuit. The tournament – to be called The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships – will now benefit the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the non-profit tennis foundation benefiting children, named for Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish, a former top 10 tennis star, U.S. Davis Cup hero and silver medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games.

The event was managed for 20 years by Vero Beach tennis teaching professional Mike Rahaley, who made the annual Vero Beach stop one of the crown jewels on the USTA Pro Circuit. The 2016 tournament will be held April 22 through May 1 at The Boulevard tennis club.

“This announcement is all about the future of Vero Beach – to continue this important event and keep it in this community that is so passionate about tennis and to use the tournament to help raise funds for the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation which serves as an investment in the future of our community through the kids,” said Tom Fish, Chairman of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation. “We salute Mike Rahaley for the amazing job he has done with this event that last 20 years and we look forward to continuing his legacy for years to come as the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships.”

Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.mffkids.org and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) currently supports over 2,100 children in 15 elementary schools and six middle schools in Indian River County, Florida by providing after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives. The Foundation introduced the “Six Healthy Habits” in 2012 which are Get Sleep; Drink Water; Exercise Daily, Eat Healthy; Brush and Floss; Make Friends.” Mardy Fish recently completed his ATP professional tennis career at the 2015 U.S. Open, highlighted by a career-high ranking of No. 7, six ATP singles titles, eight ATP doubles titles and an Olympic silver medal in singles at the 2004 Olympics. He reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and was a mainstay on the U.S. Davis Cup team from 2002 to 2012.

“We are so appreciative to the USTA and Mike Rahaley for allowing the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation to take over this tournament and keeping it in Vero Beach,” said Mardy Fish. “Vero Beach is one of the most enthusiastic and sophisticated tennis communities in the country and we are looking forward to seeing this event continue to grow in the years to come. Most importantly, we are excited that the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation can use this event as a promotional and fundraising platform to benefit children in Vero Beach, Indian River County and beyond.”

The annual USTA Vero Beach Futures has an economic impact of approximately $500,000 per year on the Vero Beach local economy. Approximately 3,000 fans annually attend the event, which is seen as one of the best-attended events in the world on the “Futures” level of professional tennis tournaments.

Some of the past competitors in Vero Beach have gone on to succeed at the highest levels of professional tennis, winning major singles and doubles titles, Olympic medals and Davis Cup championships and earning No. 1 world rankings. Andy Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion who attained the world No. 1 ranking and helped the United States win the Davis Cup in 2007 competed in Vero Beach in 1999. Thomas Johansson of Sweden, who reached the second round of the Vero Beach Futures in 1995, won the Australian Open seven years later in 2002. Nicolas Massu, the 1998 singles runner-up in Vero Beach, won the singles and doubles gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, beating Fish in the gold medal singles match. Kyle Edmund, the 2013 champion in Vero Beach, helped Great Britain to the Davis Cup title in 2015. Other notable former competitors in Vero Beach include former world No. 2 Magnus Norman, former world No. 4 Tim Henman, 2016 Australian Open semifinalist Milos Raonic among others. Former Vero Beach competitors have combined to win 19 titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at Grand Slam tournaments. Six former Vero Beach players have gone on to play Davis Cup for the United States – Roddick, Fish, Taylor Dent, Jared Palmer, Donald Young and Ryan Harrison.

Tickets for the qualifying rounds of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships from April 22 – April 25 will cost $10, while tickets for the main draw of singles and doubles from April 26 – May 1 will be $20. Season tickets that include both the qualifying and main draw events cost $100. Advance tickets can be purchased at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com. Admission for children 18 and under is free. Fans can follow news and developments on the tournament on Facebook and on Twitter at @VeroFutures.

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Second Annual Taste of Tennis Miami Takes Place on March 21, 2016

taste-of-tennis-miami

(February 2016) On Monday, March 21st, W South Beach will host the 2nd Annual Taste of Tennis Miami to kick off professional tennis in Miami. AYS again is producing this one of a kind food and tennis experience that brings together professional athletes and world-renowned chefs.

 

The  evening will consist of sampling signature cuisine from top chefs, an array of cocktails, interactive sponsor experiences and appearances from the world’s best tennis players and legends. Past participants have included Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Mike and Bob Bryan, John Isner and many others.

 

This year’s chef lineup consists of Mike Pirolo (Bazi), Dustin Ward (BLT Prime), Diego Solano (Bulla Gastrobar), Stuart Cameron (Byblos), Paolo Dorigato (Dolce Italian), Lucas Marino (Driftwood Room), Michele Mazza (Il Mulino New York), Luisa Santos (Lulu’s Ice Cream), Josh Capon (Lure Fishbar), Piyarat Potha Arreeratn, also known as Chef Bee (Naiyara), Craig Koketsu (Quality Meats), Giselle Soto (Sugar Yummy Mama), Timon Balloo (Sugarcane Rawbar & Grill), Loris Navone (Tamarina), Andrew Carmellini (The Dutch) and many more.

 

A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit FIU College of Architecture + The Arts. AYS President Judi Lerner added, “We are thrilled to bring this event back to Miami. With more chefs and pro tennis players for guests to interact with, this year’s event promises to be even more exciting than 2015!”

 

The full list of participating chefs and players will be announced prior to the event. For more information and to purchase tickets to the 2016 Taste of Tennis Miami, please visit www.tasteoftennis.com.

 

There is a special 10% discount for Tennis Panorama News readers:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-taste-of-tennis-miami-tickets-19211203226

Code: TennisPanorama

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Juniors Hurricane Black and Carson Branstine to Kick Off BNP Paribas Showdown at MSG on March 8

BNP Paribas Showdown

From Madison Square Garden: (February 10, 2016) New York, NY –  The BNP Paribas Showdown will once again present two  junior circuit players when Tyra Hurricane Black squares off against Carson Branstine in an opening match presented by HEAD Penn Racquet Sports as part of World Tennis Day at Madison Square Garden on March 8.

 

The future pro stars take to the court to kick off the annual BNP Paribas Showdown featuring the colorful Gael Monfils, world No. 4 Stan Wawrinka, former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and 21-time Major Champion Serena Williams.

 

Born and raised in Boca Raton, Florida, 14 year old, Tyra Hurricane Black is currently ranked No. 86 on the ITF World Junior Ranking.  She won three ITF junior titles in 2015 and reached the finals in the recent 52nd Coffee Bowl in San Jose, Costa Rica.  Additionally, Black helped lead the US team to the finals of the 2015 ITF World Junior Tennis Competition in the Czech Republic.  Her older sister, Alicia Black is a former top-5 world-ranked junior now playing on the pro circuit.

 

Branstine, who started playing tennis at seven years old, is 15 and hails from Orange County, California.  She is currently No. 184 on the ITF World Junior Ranking and holds 26 career singles titles.  She has played in the 2015 US Open Junior Slam and was a member of the USA Team National Junior Team. Additionally, Branstine played on an 18s national team where she went undefeated and was a finalist in the 2015 Plantation ITF.

 

Black and Branstine add to a considerable list of exceptional juniors who have taken to the Madison Square Garden tennis court at the BNP Paribas Showdown including the likes of Francis Tiafoe who turned pro in May 2015 and is said to be one of the prominent young up and coming stars as well as Sloane Stephens who is ranked No. 26 on the WTA Tour and currently representing the United States at the Fed Cup in Hawaii.

 

Previous junior matches featured:

2008: Denis Kudla (15 years old) vs Junior Ore (15)

2009: Sloane Stephens (15) vs Gail Brodsky (17)

2010: Nicole Gibbs (16) vs Sachia Vickery (14)

2014: Tiafoe (16) vs Reilly Opelka (16)

2015: Cori “Coco” Gauff (10) vs Gabriella Price (11)

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