August 29, 2016

On The Call: US Open / ESPN Conference Call with Programming’s Scott Guglielmino and Jamie Reynolds of Production


(August 18, 2016) ESPN tennis executives Scott Guglielmino, senior vice president, programming, and Jamie Reynolds, vice president, production spoke with media Thursday to discuss the upcoming US Open, and the success and what was learned in last year’s first all-ESPN effort in New York.  Highlights of the call are followed by the full transcript.



On:  What impact on TV will the roof on Ashe have?

  • I will say from a broadcasting perspective, we have cameras being built this week as well as next week, and audio technicians down there, assessing what the house looks and feels like, what it sounds like under all conditions, either during the day or at night, under total darkness.  Once you fill it with 20,000 to 25,000 people, it will certainly shape the temperature range, what the wind currents might be. I think we’re all looking forward to what that house can project or optimize for us and how the nuances may affect the game or enhance the game.” – Reynolds


On:  Does digital usage negatively impact TV viewing?

  • Our view is and always has been that it is something that’s complementary to the overall audience. I certainly don’t expect – especially coming off of the year we had last year, ratings up on television as well as digital – I don’t expect a scenario whereby the digital piece is going to harm the TV numbers.” – Guglielmino

On:  What makes the US Open in New York special?

  • “I would say also, you put this event in New York, it’s still sports theater….Just the character and the tone of what you get out of New York City in prime time is a very different feel. I think that’s the hallmark of this event, the interactivity of the fans, the crowds, the texture of the celebrities that come through, an event that goes on well past 11:00 or midnight, that’s pretty good. It just has its own identity.” – Reynolds


  1. I’m wondering about what you learned from Wimbledon. I know there was some awkwardness with this broadcasters coaching, all the conflicts in tennis, and how you are looking at the Open with regards to what happened at Wimbledon?
    JAMIE REYNOLDS: When you reflect back on the Wimbledon situation, and John operating with the Raonic camp, I think when you look at the roster of talent that we have, you look at this sport in particular, the crossover and the passion of everybody is pretty strong on all fronts.  I would say to you I think we, ESPN, handled that identity of John’s duality as well as some of the other folks on our roster, including Patrick Mouratoglou, who spent some time with us, you look at Darren, Mary Joe Fernandez, her coaching responsibilities, as well as the other extended members of our family, I think we were open and very clear in our relationships with what we expected between their perspectives.I think in a sport, at a championship level, we framed it properly to give the viewer a chance to both appreciate the perspective and the insight that they can offer, but also openly acknowledge the fact that some of these folks are wearing multiple hats. And for the viewer how you assess that, how you might interpret their responses relative to that, either you like them or you think there may be a level of conflict.  At the end of the day from taking care of the viewership, framing the event, I think their perspectives are still very valuable.

    When you go back and look at it historically through a variety of other sport categories, it doesn’t matter whether it’s the van Gundys, the Grudens, even the Grieses, there are a great many relationships, family-wise, that have some sort of attachment in the sports community.  I think the viewership, the audience, can understand and at times respects it and some other times finds that it’s awkward or sideways. At the end of the day I still think they appreciate what that insight and perspective can offer.

    Q. A question about the roof. How much have you all tested it or know what the environment is going to be when it’s closed?
    REYNOLDS: I will say from a broadcasting perspective, we have cameras being built this week as well as next week, and audio technicians down there, assessing what the house looks and feels like, what it sounds like under all conditions, either during the day or at night, under total darkness.

    Once you fill it with 20,000 to 25,000 people, it will certainly shape the temperature range, what the wind currents might be. I think we’re all looking forward to what that house can project or optimize for us and how the nuances may affect the game or enhance the game.

    But I think everyone, including the USTA and the National Tennis Center, broadcasters alike, are looking forward to seeing how the event feels. Certainly it’s going to have a different experience relative to what we see in Australia and what we see at Wimbledon.  I don’t know when you watch or you hear an event at Centre Court at Wimbledon, you know you’re in a fully-enclosed environment. I don’t know that this stadium, this venue, will feel like that.

    Q. We don’t know because it hasn’t been full of 20,000 people.
    REYNOLDS: Yes.

    Q. Seems to me that it’s going to be quite loud when it’s full.
    REYNOLDS: That’s a fair point. When you close the garage doors around the upper perimeter, the roof is sealed and closed, what that does, what the sound does become in there, it’s going to be interesting. I think we’re all looking forward to seeing how it presents itself.

    Q. There’s really no way that you can know what it’s going to be until it happens?
    REYNOLDS: Yeah. Baited anticipation.

    Q. Another roof question. What do you think will be the biggest impact of the fact that now we do know, at least as far as the matches on Arthur Ashe, will more or less occur when they are scheduled to occur throughout the entire two weeks?
    SCOTT GUGLIELMINO: From a programming perspective, it’s going to make things quite a bit easier, both from a scheduling perspective with the tennis center and our colleagues there, but also from a programming perspective. So that’s going to be quite helpful to us.  I think also it helps, with a two-week event like this, us not get backed up and be able to continue to feed specifically the primary TV hours on ESPN, ESPN-2.  It’s certainly going to take a variable, although there will be other variables with other courts, it will take one big variable out for us from a programming perspective, which we’re looking forward to that.

    REYNOLDS: I think from a production side of the house, there’s a duality, there’s a double-edged sword here.  We love the opportunity to have those rain delays occasionally because it gave a 14-deep roster group of talent to jump on camera and get into our whip-around, talk through tennis news, updates, spark the daily debate, so to speak, and not miss any action until the rain delay came to a conclusion. So that was a win for us.  The other side of it, if it lasted too long, gosh, we have to figure out how to come up with three hours of fill. In this live world that we all live in and exist in right now, live social currency, it’s tough to go back and replay a match.

    We on the production side are challenged with saying, Oh, my gosh, we actually have content happening all the time guaranteed over the 130, 140-plus hours we do. We have to figure out how and when are we going to traffic a John McEnroe, Chrissie Evert, Pam Shriver, Mary Joe Fernandez debate, and figure out how we’re going to get enough screen time to explore those issues and stories.

    Q. Especially in the early rounds, in situations where it’s raining, we will go from having many courts playing to one playing. There will be some delays trying not to preemptively close the roof too much. How much have you talked through about how different it will be if you find yourself in a situation in the early rounds with only one match going on at one time, and then waiting for the roof to close and them to dry off the court?
    REYNOLDS: I think production-wise, we have figured that model out through a couple of years at Wimbledon. In terms of the traffic flow on a day, organizing our playlist, list of ingredients, what we want to have in our hip pocket and ready to convey if the situation arises, we’re pretty well-structured to accommodate that.  If this venue closes faster and gets back to play faster than the 22-and-a-half minutes it takes at the All England Club, we’ll be a little challenged about how we do justice to get those stories out, have people have a chance to run through them all.

    I think also having a chance, if we just get dedicated to a single match on an afternoon, that’s our playlist middle of the week, I think it actually gives us a chance to both dig into who those two folks are, but also still talk a little bit more broadly.  We’ll have announce teams around the grounds ready to go and weigh in on that single match, as well as get into a dialogue about what’s still available and what’s going on in the tennis community. I don’t know that we’re going to miss a beat in that situation.

    Q. Is there any fatigue from the Olympics? Is there an Olympic fatigue that you’re worried about? There’s been just a lot of tennis in general going into this international competition, the US Open.
    GUGLIELMINO: I’ll take the programming angle to that.  I think we’re not overly concerned with that. The US Open is obviously a marquee, world-class event. It is an annual fixture. Even though the Olympics did feature some tennis, we certainly believe that the US Open is distinct enough.

    I think certainly our coverage – Jamie alluded to it earlier with the roster of talent we have, the various platforms that will be on – we think it’s a unique story, unique event, what I call a short story over two weeks where it’s going to have its own storylines that develop. Jamie and his team are going to be there to tell that story and to bring it home to fans.  So from a programming perspective, we’re not concerned.

    REYNOLDS: I would say also, you put this event in New York, it’s still sports theater. Rio, the Olympics, the DelPo-Murray match was extraordinary and terrific theater in that realm. Just the character and the tone of what you get out of New York City in prime time is a very different feel. I think that’s the hallmark of this event, the interactivity of the fans, the crowds, the texture of the celebrities that come through, an event that goes on well past 11:00 or midnight, that’s pretty good. It just has its own identity. I think you carry that momentum.  I don’t know if there’s saturation of tennis. I still look at 12 nights, prime time windows, as that opportunity to feature great competition night after night.

    GUGLIELMINO: I love the notion of identity, Jamie. That’s a good point.

    Q. I was there last week and looked at the new grandstand. Can you talk about your coverage for the new grandstand. Will you have a commentary booth like you had at the old one? What is it like to shoot the new grandstand? And talking about Ashe, they’re planning to do the new Louis Armstrong in 2018. Do you work with the USTA in advance as far as technologically the things you might need for the new Armstrong? Do you have any input?
    REYNOLDS: On the first question, on the new grandstand, I’ll meet you for lunch on Monday and we’ll go and take a look at it the first time.  No, we have been a part of that process, what the grandstand will look like and feel like for the teams that will work up there. It’s great.  A little bit what comes to mind is like the bullring at Roland Garros. It has that larger, theatrical feel. It’s dynamic. It’s a terrific, terrific looking stage, performance stage, for tennis. It’s going to be exciting in there.  We do, indeed, have our announce teams over there, which is terrific.

    Looking forward to the Armstrong construction, where they’re going on that, we do indeed. We look at ourselves a little bit like general contractors in partnership with the USTA and the tennis center specifically to really figure out how we’re going to get fiber connectivity, can we build some recessed positions for cameras in advance, can we prewire for future protected camera positions at the venue.  It’s very much based on this 10-year relationship. We’re side-by-side on this. Coming in with what we think we ought to be prepared for three years, four years, five years from now, we don’t have to go in and retrofit the venue. Like the current grandstand, it will be a future-proof project.

    Q. Jamie, I spoke to you last year when you had the CoCo Vandeweghe interview live on court. Can we expect more live on-court interviews?
    REYNOLDS: It’s a fascinating follow-up. I think we all learned a lot through that exercise last year. It was a wake-up call for all of us, broadcaster, media, as well as the four majors, the ATP, the WTA, ITF, to kind of get their heads together and say, Let’s get this gang of seven, the folks that will steer the future of this sport, come together and start figuring out what can we do to offer more value from our performances, from our competitions, for the fan base.  It’s been a really good year in terms of opening that dialogue, kind of getting everybody in phase with one another to figure out how we’re going to grow the sport and stay current with other competitions, other sport categories around the globe.

    What happens at the US Open specifically, we’ve all come to the consensus that this is good for the sport, but we have to be aligned in how we do it at all the events.  There’s been a lot of conversations behind the scenes, so to speak, with all of those rights holders, trying to get our respective compasses oriented in the right direction. Those meetings will continue to take shape, as they have at the other majors. We’re going to continue to keep pushing the envelope with everyone.

    Right now to your specific question, are there plans to do it right now, I don’t know that I can commit to that answer yet.

    Q. Given how the digital viewing for the Olympics have hurt ratings for Rio, are you concerned at all with a similar impact for the Open?
    GUGLIELMINO: Well, let’s put it this way. From an ESPN perspective for the US Open, our view is and always has been that it is something that’s complementary to the overall audience. I certainly don’t expect, especially coming off of the year we had last year – ratings up on television as well as digital – I don’t expect a scenario whereby the digital piece is going to harm the TV numbers.

    DAVE NAGLE: Aside from the TV numbers that went up, the audience grew and got younger. The Watch number, it was four times than what we did the year before, and it was the most-watched tennis tournament ever at the time on WatchESPN.

    Q. Jamie, what are we going to see in some of the cool tech toys that end up at the tennis center for you guys? Specifically, are you bringing back, or is the USTA bringing back the freeD 360 replay system?
    REYNOLDS: The way to frame this one is this is the USTA’s coming out party. If you look at their new house, you look at the National Tennis Center, what Danny Zausner, his group, the USTA have done, we’ve adopted a mindset that this is their party, this is their coming out, where it’s all about the venue this year. The debut of the roof, the outer courts, it’s pretty spectacular.  So everything from our perspective, our capturing the event, both as host broadcaster and domestic carrier, is designed to feature that, right? It’s a pretty progressive venue now. We’re kind of excited about that.


What did we learn last year with the hardware we brought to the dance? SpiderCam is coming back. That’s part of the host broadcast feed. That’s embedded. We’re at a point now where that ought to be not a discreet asset but a shared asset for the world. Same thing with RailCam on Ashe. We kept that installed on the south wall.

Hoist, we have the same 70-foot crane that’s coming back. Rather than being on a footprint, we actually have it go onto the park’s ground just outside the venue shooting back. That’s on the southwest corner shooting back into the venue. It features a prominent presentation of the new grandstand stadium in that southwest corner of the venue. That’s kind of cool.

We’re embellishing the roster of toys, the Steadicams and (indiscernible) cameras that we’ll have around the grounds to be able to move around, take advantage, display as much of what this tennis facility has to offer. That’s kind of cool.

On the replay technology, the freeD group, we know they were sold to Intel. That deal ESPN did last year. We’ve committed to a three-year package with them. They’re in their second year of three with us. That 360 technology will a stay as a discreet asset for ESPN.

Q. The two new TV courts, does it change anything for you? How much have things evolved in terms of ESPN3, the streaming product growing exponentially over the years? Now with two more new TV courts, how much is that a factor beyond the linear from a production and operation standpoint?
GUGLIELMINO: From our perspective, obviously we’re looking to provide end-to-end coverage. With all the simultaneous courts happening, two things are striking. The first one is being able to provide live full coverage of another court. For consumers that want to get locked on to that court that perhaps isn’t on ESPN-1 or 2, there’s that aspect to it.

The other piece for Jamie, it’s in his world, that’s another court he can go to and we’re getting a feed from, which again it adds the complementary piece to the television side, but it also adds to the comprehensive coverage and the ability to kind of go to that court beyond just serving it up as a linear offering, if you will, to a fan that wants to park on it.

REYNOLDS: It’s a safe bet that as we get deeper, we were at 11 courts last year, up to 12 this year, the outer years we’ve made a commitment to continue to increase, at some point to get as many courts as possible off the venue and have them available for not just ESPN or E3, our clients, but also for the world. It’s valuable for the USTA to be able to market them internationally if they have the opportunity for a discreet feed. In the global expansion of the event, it’s attractive.

Our strategy right now is to continue to deliver to what we refer to as that seven linear feed style of cutting. It’s a traditional control room with a variety of camera complements. Seven linear courts is the standard operating procedure of production.

The outer courts that were four last year, five this year, where we feature the Hawk-Eye, TV robotics, is a good solution where we can guarantee multi-camera coverage but do it on a scale that is commensurate with action on those courts.

NAGLE: I think it’s safe to say at ESPN we don’t believe much in self-cannibalization, otherwise we never would have launched ESPN2 and everything that followed.

Q. A question about the press room cameras, for the press conferences. Can you go into that? It’s related to the on-court interviews.
REYNOLDS: I think we’ve realized the value. Certainly as a 24-hour network, we thrive on live content. What we’ve learned at a variety of other events is the more that we can take advantage of either a second screen opportunity, more value that can continue to enhance and broaden the experience of the event, the more valuable it is to the rights holder and the more valuable it is for us to service the fan in that live moment.

We went to the USTA a year ago with a concept that rather than just having a single or multi-camera coverage of the press room, letting the broadcasters record sound or go to that feed live when it was appropriate, what if we create a service that’s a multi-camera switched feed that now is a live signal that starts at 11:00 a.m. and runs till the last presser at the end of each day.

In that interactivity, our goal is to enhance the exchange press corps, as well as whoever is in the press room at the time. In a multi-camera coverage, we will have robotic cameras trained both on the press corps or those in the press room at the time, as well as the principals speaking up at the rostrum.  Our goal in that interactivity is to capture that dynamic, the enhancement of what folks find interesting to hear the firsthand account, both the questions, answers, responses, back and forth, get that dialogue, and offer it as a continuous service.  I think from the digital standpoint from ESPN, if that’s constantly on, that’s great. If we elect to go to a presser at the time live-live, it’s another delivery mechanism for that content.

Q. When you say ‘continuous service’ you mean for your feeds or publicly?
REYNOLDS: Both. For the ESPN audience, on the E3 channel, watch it on your desktop, wait for all the pressers to come through all day long, you’re welcome to do it. On the linear screen, watch what we’re doing with match coverage.

Q. Jamie, I saw you when they did the roof opening ceremony. They had a little bit of a glitch trying to reopen it after they closed it. Did you have any glitches last year during the tournament? Is there anything that the US Open presents as far as the heat, the shade, the wind, anything like that that makes it more challenging or different from the other majors?
REYNOLDS:  What did we learn last year? I think we learned last year what a hit replay technologies, freeD, 360 system, in that arena works very well. How it’s going to behave and react or act in a new lighting scheme, we’re hoping to get that tested out tonight and over the next couple of nights to make sure we can optimize that at nighttime. That will be interesting.

I think the shadowing will now be a new ingredient. While it’s a wide opening, you’re going to have angular lines crisscrossing the court now as the sun traverses across the sky, right? It’s going to look a little bit more like Australia than the rounded edges and sight lines that we’ve historically seen there. It’s going to feel different in different lighting during the course of the day.

The wind swirl, what actually happens, I think it’s going to be neutralized somewhat now because you don’t have the bowl effect that we’ve had with an open top before. That will change for the players as well as the fan base, what it actually swirls and feels like down at the bottom.

The last ingredient that I think was still an incredibly invaluable untapped resource is the access they’ve allowed us along the practice courts. I think being able to handle 8 to 10 hours a day from that practice court position has been an incredibly rich, coordinated effort that helps the fans feel connected to the event. Not just observers anymore; you’re actually in the moment. I think our goal is to try to enhance that experience from noon to 7:00, when the prime time window starts.

Q. Trump got quite a reaction there last year, people were all over him. When someone like that comes, do you know in advance? If Trump or Clinton came, can you get to someone like that?
REYNOLDS: It’s a coordinated effort. The USTA handles their guest list, their attendees. They have a group that marshals that and handles that. They make us aware of who may be in the house, what the plans are, whether they’re open to being a part of the telecast or whether they prefer to just come out and enjoy the tennis and that’s their night off.  It’s a dynamic dialogue that takes place on a daily basis. We typically know 24 hours in advance.


Related article:

Jamie Reynolds of ESPN on Approach Shots


US Open National Playoffs Begin on Friday at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale


WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., August 18, 2016 – The USTA today announced the 16 men and 16 women who will compete in the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s and Women’s Singles Championships, held Aug. 19-22 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale in New Haven, Conn. The tournament is held in conjunction with the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, the final Emirates Airline US Open Series women’s event of the summer.

The respective men’s and women’s US Open National Playoffs winners will receive a wild card into the 2016 US Open Qualifying Tournament, held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., the home of the US Open, Aug. 23-26.

In all, 1,127 players (735 men and 392 women) competed in the seventh year of the US Open National Playoffs in singles at one of 15 Sectional Qualifying Tournaments held throughout the United States, with the winners and select runners-up qualifying for the Championships. The US Open National Playoffs are designed to bring the spirit of the US Open to cities and sections across the country, making the US Open eligible to anyone and everyone 14 and over with the passion to compete, regardless of playing ability or nationality.

Men’s Singles Preview

Three men competing in the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship have competed at the US Open: Gage Brymer (2013 qualifying), Tyler Hochwalt (2005 and 2006 juniors) and Jesse Witten (2006 and 2009 singles; six times in qualifying).

Nearly all of the participants have played college tennis, and five will be playing collegiately this fall: Brymer (UCLA), Shawn Hadavi (Columbia), Martin Joyce (Ohio State), Eric Rutledge (Rice) and Terrence Whitehurst (Florida State). In addition, nine players were college standouts: Henry Craig (Denver), Hochwalt (Florida), Patrick Kawka (BYU), Evan King (Michigan), Hunter Koontz (Virginia Tech), Nicolas Meister (UCLA), Eric Quigley (Kentucky), Cameron Silverman (Elon) and Witten (Kentucky).

Four of these players will be participating in at least one other US Open National Playoffs Championship event. Kawka and Meister will also be competing in the Men’s Doubles Championship, while King will be competing in the Mixed Doubles Championship. Quigley will be competing in all three events.

The oldest player in the Men’s Singles Championship is the 33-year-old Witten, who won last year’s National Playoffs Men’s Singles Championship. Joyce and Rutledge are the youngest players at 19. 

Women’s Singles Preview

Four women competing in the Women’s Singles Championship will be vying for a chance to return to the US Open stage after competing at the US Open previously: Jacqueline Cako (2014 mixed doubles), Julia Elbaba (2010 and 2011 juniors), Ayaka Okuno (2011, 2012 and 2013 juniors), and Ashley Weinhold (2006 mixed and women’s doubles; 2007 singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles; 2006, 2011 and 2012 qualifying).

Five of the women competing will be participating in multiple events at this year’s US Open National Playoffs Championships. Sophie Chang, Nika Kukharchuk, Sanaz Marand and Ashley Weinhold will be playing in two events, while Jacqueline Cako will be taking part in all three championship events open to women: singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

Cako, a former Arizona State University All-American, is the only woman at the US Open National Playoffs Championships who is a past National Playoffs champion; she teamed with Joel Kielbowicz in 2014 to win the Mixed Doubles Championship. Margaryta Bilokin, a standout junior player in New England, is the youngest player in the competition at age 15. She is joined by teenagers Sara Choy, 16; Elyse Lavender, 17; Daavettila, 18; Fernanda Contreras Gomez, 18; and Chang, 19. 

The oldest player in the Women’s Singles Championship is the 29-year-old Kukharchuk, who has been here before. Kukharchuk advanced past the sectional qualifying tournament stage each year from 2012 through 2014.

The US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Doubles Championship field will take place Aug. 20-23, the Men’s Doubles Championship field will take place Aug. 21-24, and the Mixed Doubles Championship will take place Aug. 24-27. The winning teams in the doubles draws earn main draw wild cards into the US Open. In all, 994 players (408 men’s doubles, 200 women’s doubles, 386 mixed doubles) competed in the seventh year of the US Open National Playoffs in doubles at one of 15 Sectional Qualifying Tournaments held throughout the United States, with the winners and select runners-up qualifying for the Championships. 

The US Open men’s and women’s doubles championships begin Aug. 30 and the US Open mixed doubles championship begins Aug. 31 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.

The 2016 US Open is scheduled to take place from Aug. 29 to Sept. 11.

US Open National Playoffs information is available at 


New Retractable Roof over Ashe Stadium, New Grandstand and Fan Enhancements at 2016 US Open



Expanded Southern Campus Provides More Seats, More Shade,

More Concessions and More Activities for Fans

Community Day on Thursday, September 8, with Fans’ Salute to Louis Armstrong Stadium; Replacement of Stadium is Final Phase of Overall Site Transformation

From the USTA: White Plains, N.Y., August 18, 2016 – The USTA today announced a series of physical improvements, fan and player upgrades, and new sponsor activations which will be unveiled at the 2016 US Open.  The main draw of the tournament begins on Monday, August 29, and concludes on Sunday, September 11.  The US Open Qualifying Tournament, which is free and open to the public, begins on Tuesday, August 23, and concludes on Friday, August 26.

Strategic Transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

  • Retractable Roof Operational over Arthur Ashe Stadium

More than 13 million pounds of steel now surround Arthur Ashe Stadium in a technological first – constructing a stand-alone support system for a retractable roof over an existing stadium.  The two million-pound retractable panels with attached PTFE fabric membrane close in under seven minutes, and will allow scheduling consistency for fans, players and US Open television partners.  The retractable roof is the largest of any tennis stadium in the world, with a 62,500 square foot opening that is larger than the area of a football field. 

  • New Grandstand Stadium

After more than 18 months of construction, the new Grandstand Stadium will be debuted at the 2016 US Open.  The sunken court, surrounded by 8,125 seats, retains the intimate viewing experience of the old Grandstand.  Now located in the southwest corner of the campus, the new Grandstand will be surrounded by expanded retail and food concessions, including a new Food Village that will alleviate some of the congestion of the main Food Village on the eastern edge of the campus.

  • New Boulevard Traversing the Southern Campus and Southern Field Courts

Another major accomplishment of the overall strategic transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, was the creation of a picturesque boulevard connecting Court 17 in the southeast and the new Grandstand in the southwest.  The 500-foot-long, and 40-foot-wide boulevard provides fans with easier movement, new and roomier sponsor activity centers, more shade and more amenities. 

  • Southern Field Court Seating

Additional seating has been added to all new southern field courts.  In all, a total of 2,099 new seats have been added to this portion of the facility.  Similar to the seating design at the West Stadium Courts (Courts 4, 5 and 6), fans will be able to freely move over a connected seating structure between Courts 8, 9 and 10, and Courts 13, 14, 15, and 16.

Fan Enhancements at the 2016 US Open

  • Community Day, Thursday, September 8

Following its debut at the 2015 US Open, the USTA is re-instituting complimentary grounds admission to all fans who come during the day (12 noon to 6 p.m.) of the tournament’s second Thursday, September 8.  The day’s action will be filled with doubles play, including the Men’s Doubles Semifinals and Women’s Doubles Semifinals, as well as semifinal action in the Champions Invitational, a showcase of former Grand Slam tournament champions and finalists.  Also on the slate that day will be the third year of the American Collegiate Invitational as well as the world’s top boys and girls competing in the US Open Junior Championships. 

  • Salute to Louis Armstrong Stadium

On Thursday, September 8, the USTA also will give a final salute to Louis Armstrong Stadium by allowing fans access to the Stadium for a final time.  A pro exhibition and a trick shot competition for fans led by some the world’s best tennis trick shot artists are two of the scheduled activities for that day.  Fans also will be invited onto the court to play on Louis Armstrong before it is shuttered for the final time. Louis Armstrong Stadium will be replaced by a new state-of-the-art stadium for the 2018 US Open.

  • Bradley Theodore Art Installation

To commemorate the last year of Louis Armstrong and the old Grandstand structure, the US Open is partnering with acclaimed NYC artist, Bradley Theodore, who will develop a series of four murals within the Great Hall in Louis Armstrong. The murals will pay homage to iconic individuals associated with both stadiums including Serena and Venus Williams, John McEnroe, Billie Jean King and Louis Armstrong. After the US Open, one of the murals will be donated to the USTA Foundation for auction to further support the mission of growing the game of tennis.

  • US Open American Express Fan Experience

In line with American Express’ tradition of adapting the latest technology to create unique, never-before-seen experiences, the Pro Walk, located in the US Open American Express Fan Experience, gives attendees the opportunity to take a virtual walk from the player locker room to the court in the newly renovated Arthur Ashe Stadium, just like a pro. The experience combines digital replicas of the player locker room and tunnel, virtual appearances by former US Open champions Pete Sampras and Monica Seles, three-dimensional sound and a dome projection of the stadium to make it truly feel like you’re on the US Open’s main stage.

  • CHASE Charge & Watch Program

Building on the success of the Chase sponsored US Open phone-charging program, this year fans can pick up a mobile charging device from the Chase booth located next to the Food Village to fully charge their smartphones and stay connected to the tournament.  When connected to the US Open mobile app, the charging unit also will deliver live video to the fan’s phone.  The devices, which work through the on-site radio frequencies, will only work on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. 

  • New Food Offerings

This year’s US Open will bring new and innovative dining spaces throughout the grounds to create a truly unique variety of culinary choices for foodies and fans alike. New dining locations include the Grandstand Food Village, Oyster Bar 7, Court 12 Concessions, and the expanded South Plaza area. New partners include Toro featuring a menu by James Beard Award-winning Chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette, BLT Prime at Champions by Chef David Burke, Fuku fried chicken by Chef David Chang, Angry Taco and BLT Fish Shack by Chef David Burke/BLT Group. Korilla BBQ, SoomSoom(falafel) & Neapolitan Express featuring organic non GMO authentic neapolitian pizza. Pat LaFrieda Meat Co. moves to the newly expanded South Plaza along with a redesigned Wine Bar Food by Tony Mantuano. Additionally, Grey Goose will debut a new bar in the Grandstand Food Village along with a new cocktail, Grey Goose Le Grand Fizz, a blend of Grey Goose Vodka, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, soda water and lime for a refreshing summer cocktail. The main Food Village will feature a new Jacob’s Creek bar showcasing the winemaker’s “Two Lands” wines.  The Moet & Chandon Terrace returns to the patio area near the US Open Club this year as well.

  • Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day Presented by Hess

For the 21st consecutive year, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess, the world’s biggest tennis and entertainment celebration, kicks off the US Open on Saturday, August 27, airing  for the first time on ABC Network on Sunday, August 28 from 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET.  This year’s stars include multi-platinum hip-hop artist Flo Rida, international pop star Zara Larsson, award-winning Disney Channel actress Laura Marano, Entertainment Weekly’s “One To Watch” Jordan Fisher, breakout pop band Forever In Your Mind and Australian singer-songwriter Troye Sivan.  The show will be hosted by Disney Channel’s Joey Bragg and will feature a number of top tennis stars including Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, and a special appearance by film actor and DJ, Ansel Elgort.

  • International Music Legend Phil Collins to Perform on Opening Night

Generational icon and cultural legend Phil Collins will perform during the Opening Night Ceremony on the evening of Monday, August 29, in Arthur Ashe Stadium.  The performance, Collins’ first major public appearance in six years, will be televised live by ESPN2 in the United States and by a host of international broadcasters around the world.  Collins will be joined for a special duet by Leslie Odom, Jr., a Queens, N.Y. native, who recently won a Tony Award for his performance as Aaron Burr in the hit play “Hamilton.”  Odom, Jr., also is slated to sing the National Anthem that evening. The Ceremony will feature expanded technology, incorporating more than 100 LED moving lights hung from trusses along the east and west catwalks, spanning more than 300 feet, designed to spotlight the new roof.

  • Nightly Light Show with Lasers

Debuting last year, the USTA added a nightly light show during the evening sessions of the tournament.  This year’s show will include lighting positions in all 20 promenade voms, with the addition of color mixing large format lasers which will create impactful beams of defined light that will be choreographed with the rest of the lighting system to showcase the new roof and enhance player introductions.

US Open Technology

  • Times Square Takeover

Fans in Times Square on August 25 will be invited by US Open brand ambassadors to take their selfies to the next level thanks to the US Open selfie takeover. Photos of US Open players, fans and signature elements of the experience will rotate on a series of billboards in the heart of Times Square on 42nd and Broadway. Fans will also be treated to a special Snapchat filter to highlight their participation. These filters will play on signature elements of the US Open experience (i.e. the blue courts, lobster roll, iconic trophies) to allow fans to show their enthusiasm for the US Open.

  • US Open “Selfie” Fancam

For the first time, fans in Arthur Ashe stadium will be able to use their phones to remotely control cameras to zoom into their location, take and share the ultimate fan selfie on their social media accounts.  Fans will go to, enter their seat location, and then will have control of one of eight cameras in-stadium.

  • US Open APP Enhancements

New for 2016, the US Open app debuts US Open Guest Information Presented by American Express.   “Guest Info” delivers comprehensive listed information that assists fans in navigating the US Open in real time.  Guest Info is an intelligent engagement platform that leverages location services to put Guest Services directly in the hands of US Open attendees.  The feature will provide all the closest, most relevant points of interest tailored to the fan’s specific location on the grounds.   

  • Open Access

Open Access returns for 2016, providing the single fan registration platform that enables US Open attendees to gain access to unique experiences delivered by official US Open partners throughout the grounds and be entered to win tickets, hospitality upgrades, and other prizes.  Fans register once either in the US Open app or on  They then receive a unique 7-digit QR code to scan at every activation. At the end of the day, fans will receive personalized photos and videos of their US Open experience. 

  • US Open Social Media Enhancements

The US Open is expanding its social media impact with a number of new enhancements this year. Among them, the first US Open branded emoji keyboard in partnership with YourMoji, a series of custom Snapchat filters for US Open fans playing on the signature elements of the US Open, and a special photo and video experience for players at their check-in, where they can showcase their personality and pose with props including custom designed racquet art by former player Andres Ballas.  An on-site social booth will allow fans to take photos and create their own GIFs to be shared on social platforms.  In addition, the US Open has expanded its social influencer program, leveraging partners such as creative duo Street Etiquette, Fashion Bomb Daily and the entertainment marketing collective Everyday People helmed by Roble Ali and Saada Ahmed.  The program will culminate with an on-site activation, The Suite Spot, which will serve as a social media content hub to highlight key aspects of the US Open experience through the lens of participating influencers. 

US Open Television

  • ESPN to Produce Record Number of Hours for 2016 US Open

Following a successful first year, ESPN returns as the exclusive live domestic media partner this year.  During the 2016 US Open, ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to air nearly 130 hours of live match play with a record 1,300 hours of first-to-last ball coverage, available on WatchESPN,  ESPN continues to expand its production and coverage of the US Open, featuring play from up to 12 courts each day — on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, Grandstand Stadium, courts 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 17 — and incorporating cutting-edge camera technologies.

  • Comprehensive 24/7 Schedule

ESPN will kick-off its US Open coverage on Sunday, August 28 with a live “SportsCenter on the Road” from the US Open at 1:00pm ET on ESPN2, followed-by Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess at 2:00pm on ABC.  Daily coverage commences on Monday, August 29 at 11:00am on WatchESPN, 1:00pm on ESPN and 6:00pm on ESPN2 (all times Eastern).  ESPN2 will deliver wall-to-wall coverage of Labor Day weekend from 11:00am – 11:00pm each day.  Finals Weekend will culminate with the men’s singles final on Sunday (September 11) and the women’s singles final on Saturday (September 10). Both finals will air at 4:00pm on ESPN.  The men’s singles semifinals will be played on Friday (September 9) afternoon, with the women’s singles semifinals scheduled for primetime on the second Thursday (September 8) night.  In addition to the extensive live match coverage delivered across the ESPN family of networks — Tennis Channel will air daily preview and highlights shows as well as overnight encore programming — offering fans a 24/7 US Open experience

  • Live Streaming

Again this year, will offer live streaming in partnership with ESPN, with more than 1,300 hours of coverage across all broadcast courts available on WatchESPN and through the US Open app – providing a “digital grounds pass” for fans.  In addition to its expansive match coverage, WatchESPN also offers the US Open Chase Review Channel, multi-court/camera offering, as well as Spanish language coverage.  New this year, the press conference feed from interview room 1 will also be available on WatchESPN.




Top American Collegians to Once Again Compete for Wild Card Entries

into 2017 US Open

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., August 18, 2016 –The USTA today announced that two-time NCAA champion Danielle Collins and 2015 NCAA champion Ryan Shane, both of the University of Virginia, lead the group of top American collegiate players selected to play in the third annual American Collegiate Invitational at the 2016 US Open, September 8-10 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.

The American Collegiate Invitational, open only to American college players, began in 2014 as a way to spotlight college tennis during the US Open. Eight men and eight women play single-elimination singles tournaments Thursday to Saturday during the second week of the US Open, with the winners receiving a wild card into the 2017 US Open, main draw or qualifying, depending on their ranking next summer.

Men’s Field:

Christopher Eubanks (Soph., Georgia Tech; Atlanta)

Tom Fawcett (Soph., Stanford; Winnetka, Ill.)

*Jared Hiltzik (Sr., Illinois; Wilmette, Ill.)

Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Jr., Virginia; Charlotte)

Mike Redlicki (Jr., Arkansas; Chicago)

*Ryan Shane (Sr., Virginia; Falls Church, Va.)

*Austin Smith (Sr., Georgia; Cumming, Ga.)

**Paul Oosterbaan (Soph., Georgia; Kalamazoo, Mich.)

Women’s Field:

*Breaunna Addison (Sr., Texas; Boca Raton, Fla.)

Brooke Austin (Soph., Florida; Indianapolis)

Hayley Carter (Jr., UNC; Hilton Head Island, S.C.)

*Danielle Collins (Sr., Virginia; St. Petersburg, Fla.)

Francesca Di Lorenzo (Fr., Ohio State; New Albany, Ohio)

Maegan Manasse (Jr., Cal; Redondo Beach, Calif.)

*RonitYurovsky (Sr., Michigan; New Kensington, Pa.)

**Kennedy Shaffer (Soph., Georgia; Rossford, Ohio)

*Indicates player is a graduating senior and/or has turned pro/exhausted collegiate eligibility;

** USTA Wild Card Selection

The fields are comprised of the top two players in the ATP/WTA rankings (as of July 18) and the top five players in the year-end Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles rankings (excluding those selected by pro ranking), including at least two graduating seniors or players who have turned pro/exhausted their collegiate eligibility.

The American Collegiate Invitational men’s champion will receive a main draw wild-card entry into the 2017 US Open if he is ranked No. 250 or better by the US Open entry deadline next summer; the women’s champion will receive a 2017 US Open main draw wild card if she is ranked No. 150 or better. Otherwise, the winners will receive wild-card entries into the US Open Qualifying Tournament. The champions will also get wild cards into two USTA Pro Circuit events, while each runner-up will receive one.


USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships Results


Kayla Day

San Diego, Calif. – (August 14, 2016) – Top-seeded Kayla Day of Santa Barbara, Calif., capped an impressive run to the Girls’ 18s singles title at the USTA National Championships by winning a tough three-set final 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 over seventh-seeded Nicole Frenkel of Winchester, Mass.

In addition to being presented a USTA gold ball for winning the national championship, Day was awarded a wild card into the women’s singles main draw of the US Open, which will take place August 29 through September 11 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.

Playing on Stadium Court at the Barnes Tennis Center, Day scored two early service breaks to take a 4-0 lead and would go on to win the first set 6-2 in 41 minutes. In the second set, Day broke Frenkel in the third game and then held serve for a 3-1 lead and appeared to be headed for a straight-set victory.

However, Frenkel cut down on her errors and found her groove and went on to win the next five games in a row to secure the second set 6-3 and send the match to a third and deciding set.

After both players held serve to begin the third set, Day took control of the deciding set, losing only seven points as she won the last five games in a row to secure the match and the championship.

“It feels amazing. I can’t even describe how good it feels. I’m just so happy. My serve really helped me out in the third set and I just played solid,” Day said.

“There were two turning points in the match. The first one was at 3-1 in the second set. She started playing better and my level (dropped) a little bit,” said Day, who will turn 17 in September. “The second turning point was when I broke her to go up 3-1 in the third.”

Carson Branstine of Orange, Calif., got past Amanda Anisimova of Aventura, Fla., 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 in the Girls’ 18s third-place playoff. Branstine was awarded a USTA bronze ball for her victory.

In the Girls’ 18s Doubles Championship, fifth-seeded Jada Hart of Colton, Calif., and Ena Shibahara of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., defeated ninth-seeded Meible Chi of Weston, Fla., and Taylor Russo of Deerfield Beach, Fla., 6-1, 6-4 to win the title. Hart and Shibahara were awarded USTA gold balls after the match. They also received a US Open wild card into the women’s doubles main draw.

Complete scores and results for each division of the USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s Nationals Championships can be viewed at:

In addition to the US Open wild cards that are traditionally awarded to the 16s and 18s singles champions and 18s doubles champions, additional wild cards for the US Open Junior Championships and wild cards to various USTA Women’s Pro Circuit tournaments will also be awarded this year.  For the complete list of wild cards to be awarded go to:

About USTA Girls’ 16s – 18s Nationals:
The USTA Girls’ 16 & 18s National Championships are the premiere hard court tennis tournaments for amateur and professional American girls aged 18 and 16 and under in the United States. In 2010, both age groups began playing their events concurrently at San Diego’s Barnes Tennis Center. Tournament participants, who represent nearly every state in the United States, have been endorsed by their respective USTA Section or have received USTA special exemptions based on their results in qualifying tournaments, junior rankings, or results on the WTA Tour or International Tennis Federation Junior Circuit.  Past tournament champions include Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Andrea Jaeger, Zina Garrison, Mary Jo Fernandez, Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport.

About George E. Barnes Family Junior Tennis Center:
The Center is owned and operated by Youth Tennis San Diego. It was built in 1995 and completed in 1997. The $4.5 million junior tennis facility was made possible with generous public and private donations and is named after the lead donor family – the “George E. Barnes Family Junior Tennis Center.” The Center, which is dedicated to the youth of San Diego, offers children 18 and under court priority over adults with advanced reservations.

About Youth Tennis San Diego:
Youth Tennis San Diego is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that has been in existence since 1952.  Earlier this year, Youth Tennis San Diego was recognized with the USTA Organization Member of the Year Award. The  award  is  given  annually  to  an  organization  that  provides  outstanding  service  to its members  and  to the  local  community. YTSD was honored at the USTA Annual Meeting and Conference, March 11-14, at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.

The YTSD Mission is:  “To promote the educational, physical, and social development of all youth through organized tennis and educational activities.” Their community programs encourage youth participation, personal integrity, leadership, and competitive spirit in a friendly environment that builds responsible citizens.  YTSD provides thousands of youngsters each year the opportunity to play tennis after school at their neighborhood school. The After School Tennis program provides a safe haven for hundreds of youngsters who are not supervised after school. Through tennis, the children learn the success skills which will give them the confidence and self-esteem needed to confront the negative influences so often found on the streets where they live.

USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s Nationals
Barnes Tennis Center
San Diego, Calif.
Sunday’s Results

Girls’ 18s Singles
Kayla Day (1), Santa Barbara, Calif., def. Nicole Frenkel (7), Winchester, Mass., 6-2, 3-6, 6-1

Third Place
Carson Branstine (17), Orange, Calif., def. Amanda Anisimova (5), Aventura, Fla., 7-5, 5-7, 6-1

Girls’ 18s Doubles
Jada Hart (5), Colton, Calif., and Ena Shibahara, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., def. Meible Chi (9), Weston, Fla., and Taylor Russo, Deerfield Beach, Fla., 6-1, 6-4

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Del Potro Ousts Top Seed Djokovic in First Round of the Olympic Games

Del Potro high fh

(August 7, 2016) In a rematch of the 2012 Olympic bronze medal match, unseeded Juan Martin Del Potro surprised No. 1 Novak Djokovic 7-6(4), 7-6(2) in the first round of the Rio Olympics on Sunday.

Del Potro has been sidelined by wrist surgeries on and off, over the past few years is ranked 145th in the world. The big forehand which saw him win the 2009 U.S. Open returned to its former glory in beating Djokovic who was trying to complete a career “golden slam” by winning a gold medal at the Olympics. The Argentina crushed 41 total winners, 29 coming on his forehand side. His Serbian opponent, the 12-time major champion his more errors than winners 32 to 26.

Del Potro’s day started out with him being stuck in an elevator in the Olympic Village before Argentine handball players got him out.

It was a 50-50 day for defending women’s Olympic champion Serena Williams. The 34-year-old world No. 1 and holder of 22 majors titles won her opening singles match under gusty winds 6-4, 6-2 victory over Australia’s Daria Gavrilova.

Later in the day, Serena teamed up with sister Venus for their first round of doubles in Rio. The three-time doubles gold medalists and top seeds lost an Olympic doubles match for the first time ever, falling to the Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-4.

Serena said that she and her sister “played terrible.”

Safarova was originally supposed to be playing with Karolina Pliskova, who withdrew.

Another pair of siblings also fell in their first round of Olympic doubles, as Andy and Jamie Murray lost to Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci and Andre Sa 7-6 (6), 7-6 (14). Andy Murray won his first round singles match over Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-2.

Rafael Nadal returned to the court for the first time since the French Open with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Argentina’s Federico Delbonis. Nadal, Spain’s flagbearer in the opening ceremony of the games, is coming off a left wrist injury. Nadal won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but missed the 2012 London Olympics.


Seeds Announced for the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event


(August 3, 2016) The ITF has announced the seeds for the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event being held at the Olympic Tennis Centre in Barra Olympic Park on 6-14 August.


The draw for the event will take place at the Olympic Tennis Centre on Thursday 4 August at 11:00 local time (14:00 GMT). Sixty-four players are contesting the men’s and women’s singles, and 32 teams are contesting the men’s and women’s doubles.


Entries for the 16-team mixed doubles event will be determined on site from those players already participating in singles or doubles, with a maximum of two teams per country. Teams have to be nominated by their National Olympic Committee by the deadline of 9 August, with the draw taking place the same day.



Men’s Singles

  1. Novak Djokovic (SRB)
  2. Andy Murray (GBR)
  3. Rafael Nadal (ESP)
  4. Kei Nishikori (JPN)
  5. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)
  6. Gael Monfils (FRA)
  7. David Ferrer (ESP)
  8. David Goffin (BEL)
  9. Marin Cilic (CRO)
  10. Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)
  11. Pablo Cuevas (URU)
  12. Steve Johnson (USA)
  13. Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)
  14. Jack Sock (USA)
  15. Gilles Simon (FRA)
  16. Benoit Paire (FRA)


Women’s Singles

  1. Serena Williams (USA)
  2. Angelique Kerber (GER)
  3. Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
  4. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)
  5. Venus Williams (USA)
  6. Roberta Vinci (ITA)
  7. Madison Keys  (USA)
  8. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)
  9. Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)
  10. Johanna Konta (GBR)
  11. Petra Kvitova (CZE)
  12. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)
  13. Samantha Stosur (AUS)
  14. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)
  15. Elina Svitolina (UKR)
  16. Barbora Strycova (CZE)

Men’s Doubles

  1. Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut (FRA)
  2. Andy Murray/Jamie Murray (GBR)
  3. Marcelo Melo/Bruno Soares (BRA)
  4. Gael Monfils/Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)
  5. Florin Mergea/Horia Tecau (ROU)
  6. Marc Lopez/Rafael Nadal (ESP)
  7. Daniel Nestor/Vasek Pospisil (CAN)
  8. Roberto Bautista Agut/David Ferrer (ESP)


Women’s Doubles

  1. Serena Williams/Venus Williams (USA)
  2. Caroline Garcia/Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)
  3. Chan Hao-Ching/Chan Yung-Jan (TPE)
  4. Garbine Muguruza/Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)
  5. Timea Bacsinszky/Martina Hingis (SUI)
  6. Andrea Hlavackova/Lucie Hradecka (CZE)
  7. Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina (RUS)
  8. Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci (ITA)

USTA Names Eric Butorac Director, Professional Tennis Operations and Player Relations



Former ATP Player Council President Hired to Enhance Player Relations

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., August 03, 2016 – The USTA today announced that outgoing ATP Player Council president and former Top 20 doubles player Eric Butorac has been named Director, Professional Tennis Operations and Player Relations, USTA, starting in October 2016. Butorac will have a dual report to USTA Chief Executive, Professional Tennis Stacey Allaster and US Open Tournament Director David Brewer.

In this newly created role, Butorac will be responsible for enhancing player relations year-round across all of the USTA’s professional tennis events, including the US Open, and he will work closely with both professional tours.  Additionally, he will assist USTA Player Development with doubles coaching and mentoring and will work with Player Development and Professional Tennis Operations on enhancing the USTA Pro Circuit, among other duties.

“Eric will bring a unique player perspective to our USTA team,” said Allaster.  “He is a well-respected professional whose leadership on the ATP Player Council will be a tremendous asset for our organization moving forward.”

Butorac, 35, has won 18 ATP doubles titles in his 14-year professional career and reached the doubles final at the 2014 Australian Open. A native of Rochester, Minn., he served eight years on the ATP Player Council and succeeded Roger Federer as its President in 2014.

Butorac was a three-time ITA all-American while playing college tennis for Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota and won the NCAA Division III singles and doubles titles in 2003. He also served as a volunteer assistant coach for Harvard’s men’s tennis team from 2010-14.

Butorac will start in this new position on October 1, 2016.  He plans on playing through the summer with his career culminating at the 2016 US Open.

Related Article:

Eric Butorac Talks College Tennis, State of Pro Doubles


Novak Djokovic Beats Kei Nishikori for Toronto Title and 30th Masters Series Trophy

26-Djokovic Kisses trophy


(July 31, 2016) Novak Djokovic won his fourth Rogers Cup title on Sunday in Toronto beating Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-5. For the Serb, the world’s top player it’s his 30th Masters Series title on the ATP World Tour, adding to his Masters title record. In the event which rotates between Toronto and Montreal, Djokovic also won titles in 2007, 2011 and 2012.

Djokovic, who has nine straight wins against Nishikori, is now 33-1 on hard courts for the year.

“I think he stepped it up,” said Nishikori. “He raise his level I think a lot from these couple days, couple days ago.

“He played really deep, and he didn’t give me any, like, free points. Especially he was serving really well, so I didn’t have many, you know, chance for my return game. So I was really feeling the pressure every game.

“Maybe second set maybe I had some chance, but there was too many unforced errors from me. Well, also he was playing good, but I couldn’t play good tennis today.”


“I think, like I said, I had too many unforced errors especially during important points. Yeah, he was returning really well today, I think. I was hitting some good first serves, but he was making return in deep.

“I hope I can step it up a little more and winning some titles, but I think still Novak is biggest challenge for me to win against him. Especially on hard court he’s been beating me. You know, not easy but two sets. Miami, here, especially big match like here in final.

“So I think I need more experience, you know, of these kind of matches, but I think this is a great week even though I lost Novak. It was second time this year in the final, Masters. I think getting closer and closer. So hope I can get a Masters title as soon as possible.

“I think that’s going to give me a lot of confidence for winning the Grand Slams and those big tournaments.

This is Djokovic’s seventh title of the year which includes victories at two majors – the Australian Open and the French Open with Masters titles at Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Toronto, as well as a tournament in Doha.

Djokovic, whose next stop is Rio de Janiero for the Olympic Games was asked about his participation and if he has concerns about playing there.

“No, no. Really, again, I think it’s all in our minds,” he said about people having reservations about playing in Rio. “Depends how you really approach things. I really don’t think about negative stuff and stuff that might cause a fear or concern or something like that, like viruses or security issues.

“Surely they are there. We have to be, in a way, cautious. But I try to look at things from the brighter side. I’m part of the Olympic Games. You know, it’s a very exciting city and country that is very passionate for sports. You know, millions of people will be there. You know, so many other millions will watch it on the TV. That’s the kind of vibe that I feed on, and I look forward to the Olympic Games because I approach it in that way. So I can’t wait to be there.”

Asked about the importance of winning a gold medal to his legacy he commented:

“Well, there is going to be a lot going on with the Olympic Games, and as you mentioned, different sports and different events.

“Well, it’s the biggest sports event in the history of the sport, so to be part of it is already a huge privilege and honor that I will cherish, as I did in Beijing and London Olympic Games.

“I had an honor of carrying the flag for my country in London back in 2012, and that was one of the most unique and unforgettable moments of my life. So I look forward to that, honestly, just being part of it.

“Approaching the Olympic Games as any other tournament, really. Trying to respect the same kind of preparation and routine that I have with my team and that I have respected for so many years, and that has worked well for us this week and as most of the other weeks the last couple of years.

“So of course the overall sensation is not going to be the same as the other tournaments, because it’s Olympic Games. You know, of course you represent your country. You know, you get to feel that you’re part of something much larger than just the tennis event. I look forward to that. I’m going to try to extract that positivity out of that huge attention and energy that will be directed into the Olympic Games and hopefully put myself in a position to battle for a medal.”

“After Grand Slams, these are the biggest events we have in sport of tennis,” Djokovic continued. “Naturally I’m going to be very disciplined, committed, and focused to do well.

“But, you know, obviously Grand Slams you value those, you know, the most because in the history books they count the most. But in the other hand, you know, I love playing in Masters tournaments throughout my career. I have had plenty of success in this particular category of events, and I’m very grateful for that because I always value them as much as I value Grand Slams.

“So, you know, I try to approach every single day, whether it’s a match day or practice day, with the right mindset and knowing that this will eventually pay off down the road.”

Djokovic captured the bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic games.


All photos by Nida Alibhai.


Related articles with photo galleries:

Rogers Cup Results, Schedules and Photo Gallery

Toronto Results, Schedule and Photo Gallery

Toronto Results, Schedule and Photo Gallery

Toronto Results, Schedule and Photo Gallery

Wildcard Denis Shapovalov Knocks Out 11th Seed Nick Kyrgios in First Round of Toronto Masters


Rogers Cup Results, Schedules and Photo Gallery

(July 30, 2016) TORONTO – All photos by Nida Alibhai from Saturday.



Singles – Semifinals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [10] G. Monfils (FRA) 63 62
[3] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [2] S. Wawrinka (SUI) 76(6) 61

Doubles – Semifinals
[2] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) d [6] D. Nestor (CAN) / V. Pospisil (CAN) 64 67(5) 10-7
[3] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d [5] F. Mergea (ROU) / H. Tecau (ROU) 64 63


Singles – Semifinals 
[5] S. Halep (ROU) d [2] A. Kerber (GER) 60 36 62
[10] M. Keys (USA) d [Q] K. Kucova (SVK) 62 61

Doubles – Semifinals
[4] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) d C. Mchale (USA) / A. Muhammad (USA) 64 62
[WC] S. Halep (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 63 26 10-6


CENTRE COURT start 1:20 pm 

[3] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) vs [2] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA)

Not Before 4:00 pm 
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB)  vs [3] K. Nishikori (JPN)


CENTRAL start 1:00 pm
[10] M. Keys (USA) vs [5] S. Halep (ROU)
After Suitable Rest – [4] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs [WC] S. Halep (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)


Next Stop Atlanta for the US Open Series


By Herman Wood

(July 30, 2016) ATLANTA, Georgia – The BB&T Atlanta Open began with qualifying on Saturday. The BB&T is a ATP World 250 tour event held in downtown Atlanta at Atlantic Station with a 28 player main singles draw and a 16 team draw. It is the the third event in the nine tournament series leading to the U.S. Open. This year marks the thirteenth year of the series. The Atlanta stop will also be the last ATP tour event prior to the Olympic games. On a side note, 2016 is the anniversary of the Atlanta Olympic games in which Andre Agassi won gold. The tournament is helping the city celebrate with an Olympic exhibit in Atlantic Station with a variety of athletes from those games stopping in. Andre Agassi was to play an exhibition against his opponent from those Olympics, Sergi Bruguera, but had to withdraw from future tennis events for the foreseeable future due to recurring back problems. John McEnroe will replace him for the exhibition Sunday evening. John Isner returns as a three-time champion, but faces a strong field headlined by eighteenth ranked Nick Kyrgios in his quest to capture a fourth consecutive title.

Nikc Kygrgios

Nikc Kyrgios

Kyrgios caused a bit of stir as he checked into the tournament hotel on Saturday, chatting with local players and posing for selfies upon request. It will be interesting to see how the crowd reacts to him as could face American Jared Donaldson or fellow Australian Sam Groth, always a fan favorite in Atlanta in his opening match. He will not see former Georgia Bulldog and top ranked American John Isner unless both men make the final. Another Bulldog, Austin Smith, received the annual “college wildcard”, though will face 63rd ranked Taylor Fritz, an eighteen year old American in the opening round of the main draw.

The qualifying tournament has seven American men vying for two slots in the main draw. Their numbers were cut to three at the end of Saturday’s action. Nicholas Meister, Austin Krajicek, and Christopher Eubanks were the only to survive. Eubanks took the hard way in, winning a local “Atlanta Challenge” tournament to earn his place in qualifying. Clearly, it was well earned, with Eubanks playing very well in today’s action.


Eubanks played fellow American . Paul was the 2015 Roland Garros junior champion and was the lone American to make it through qualifying at the 2015 U.S. Open. Eubanks’ experience as a college player at Georgia Tech seemed to help him with the momentum swings that were part of the match. He put pressure on Paul’s serve early and often, forcing long service games. Paul didn’t help his cause, at one point on getting in only 41% of his first serves. Eubanks got the early break in the first set and ran away with the set at 6-2. Paul made some adjustments early in the second set, moving back for Eubanks’ second serve to better get the ball in his strike zone. Eubanks obliged by letting his own first service percentage drop a little, giving Paul the opportunities he needed.

Eubanks “just kind of stuck with it until I got that break back from down 4-1 to give me a little more juice. Then I got a quick hold to consolidate the break, something we always talk about.” “At that point I just said I’ve been breaking him all day, let’s get another one.” Once that match got even, it was mostly a matter of quick holds until Eubanks held to go up 6-5. Paul put up some resistance, bringing his service game to deuce before finally sending one long giving Eubanks the 6-2, 7-5 win. He will take on 104th ranked Thiago Moneiro of Brazil in the next round of qualifying on Sunday at 11 AM.

Nine Americans are already part of the main draw. Play will continue all week, wrapping up with Sunday singles and doubles finals.