February 26, 2017

United States Host Germany in Fed Cup First Round in Maui

Team USA, (Left to right) CoCo Vandeweghe, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Alison Riske, Shelby Rogers, Captain Kathy Rinaldi at the 2017 Fed Cup tie between the United States and Germany in Maui, HI on February 7.

 

 

(February 10, 2017) The United States takes on Germany in the first round of World Group this weekend in Maui. Day one’s schedule includes two singles matches featuring each country’s No. 1 player against the other country’s No. 2 player. Sunday’s schedule features two “reverse singles” matches, where the No. 1 players square off and then the No. 2 players meet, followed by the doubles match.

 

The Royal Lahaina Resort hosts the tie which will lead off with world No. 40 Alison Riske taking on world No. 51 Andrea Petkovic.

 

Riske is playing in her first Fed Cup tie since 2015 and is competing in her second Fed Cup singles match, holding an 0-1 record. Riske peaked at a career-high No. 38 in the world this January after a strong start to 2017, highlighted by reaching her fifth career WTA singles final in Shenzhen and advancing to the third round of the Australian Open. Petkovic is competing in her 14th Fed Cup tie and holds a 12-6 Fed Cup singles record. She peaked at No. 9 in the world in October 2011 when she reached the quarterfinals of three different Grand Slams (Australian Open, French Open, and the US Open). She also advanced to the semifinals of the 2014 French Open. Riske and Petkovic have never faced each other in WTA competition.

 

The second match-up on Saturday will feature the United States’ top player Coco Vandeweghe against German Julia Goerges. Vandeweghe and Goerges have met three times on the WTA Tour, with Goerges holding a 2-1 record over Vandeweghe. Goerges won the last two meetings at the 2015 French Open (in three sets) and in Brussels in 2013. Vandeweghe defeated Goerges in Tokyo in 2010. Vandeweghe is ranked a career-high No. 20 in the world after advancing to the semifinals of the 2017 Australian Open—her career-best Grand Slam result. In Australia, she upset three seeded players, including then-world No. 1 Angelique Kerber, before falling to Venus Williams in the semifinals. Vandeweghe has played in four Fed Cup ties for the U.S., holding a 1-3 record in singles and a 3-0 record in doubles. Goerges is ranked No. 57 in the world and peaked at a career-high No. 15 in the world in April 2012. She holds two WTA titles and advanced to four additional finals. She is playing in her 14th Fed Cup tie and holds a 4-6 singles record in Fed Cup play.

 

Kathy Rinaldi will be making her debut as Fed Cup Captain in this match-up.Rinaldi was named the 19th U.S. Fed Cup Captain on December 8, succeeding Mary Joe Fernandez after eight years at the post. Rinaldi currently serves as Lead National Coach, Team USA – Pro Women for USTA Player Development, focused on helping American pros achieve Top-100 rankings. She has coached the U.S. to multiple junior international team competition titles and coached the U.S. women in the Pan-American Games in 2015. Rinaldi, 49, was ranked as high as No. 7 in the world in singles (May 1986) and No. 13 in the world in doubles (February 1993).

 

The winner of this matchup will advance to face either the Czech Republic or Spain in the World Group Semifinals, held April 22-23, for a chance to compete for the 2017 Fed Cup title. The losing nation will compete in the World Group Playoffs in April to remain in the World Group.

 

Order of Play

Saturday, 11:00 a.m. HST      

Singles A: Alison Riske (USA) vs. Andrea Petkovic (GER)

Singles B: Coco Vandeweghe (USA) vs. Julia Goerges (GER)

 

Sunday, 10:00 a.m. HST  

Singles C: Coco Vandeweghe (USA) vs. Andrea Petkovic (GER)

Singles D: Alison Riske (USA) vs. Julia Goerges (GER)

Doubles:Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Coco Vandeweghe (USA) vs. Laura Siegemund/Carina Witthoeft (GER)

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Taste of Tennis Comes to Indian Wells

INDIAN WELLS, CA –– AYS Sports Marketing is pleased to announce it will host the popular Taste of Tennis event on Monday, March 6, 2017, at Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa. The Taste will feature California native and James Beard Award Winning Chef, Jonathan Waxman and hosted by Chef Chris Mitchum. Taste of Tennis is widely regarded as tennis’ premier “off the court” experience. Key sponsors include: Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort, City of Indian Wells, Tourism Authority of Thailand, North Shore Living Herbs, Voss, ChefWorks & Volkl.

For updates and to purchase tickets, visit www.tasteoftennis.com/iw

 

MIAMI, FL –– AYS Sports Marketing is pleased to announce Citi has joined us as the Title sponsor! The Citi Taste of Tennis will be hosted at W Miami on Monday, March 20, 2017. We are excited to bring the event to Brickell and enjoy a rooftop party! Our premier sponsors include: Citibank, W Miami, Lifeway Kefir, ChefWorks, Voss & Volkl.

To purchase tickets or updates, visit www.cititasteoftennis.com

 

 

New York, NY – AYS Sports Marketing will be hosting our Taste of Tennis events from August 22- 25, 2017. For the past 18 years, Taste of Tennis has
kicked off Tennis in New York City: Meet a player, enjoy cuisine by a celebrity chef, learn how to make a pre-match meal, play ping pong with a pro and more! The events feature incredible talent alongside New York’s culinary and hotel venues. Key Sponsors include: Jamaica Tourist Board,
Lifeway Kefir, ChefWorks, Voss & Volkl.

To purchase tickets or to learn more, visit www.tasteoftennis.com/nyc

 

17th Annual Taste Of Tennis To Feature Rafael Nadal

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

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Tennis Channel To Air Live Coverage of U.S. Fed Cup Tie Against Germany

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 9, 2017 -Tennis Channel will provide exclusive live coverage of the U.S. Fed Cup team’s first-round competition against Germany in Maui, Hawaii, this weekend, with telecasts Saturday, Feb. 11, beginning at 4 p.m. ET, and Sunday, Feb. 12, beginning at 3 p.m. ET. Australian Open doubles champion and World No. 1 doubles player Bethanie Mattek-Sands will lead singles semifinalist Coco Vandeweghe, Alison Riske and Shelby Rogers as they begin their quest for the 2017 Fed Cup title.

The battle between the United States and Germany will consist of two singles matches Saturday, and two singles matches and a doubles match Sunday. The winner of the first-round matchup will advance to the semifinals in April to face either the Czech Republic or Spain.

In addition to covering the United States-Germany matchup this weekend, Tennis Channel and Tennis Channel Plus will show two other first-round Fed Cup competitions. Beginning Saturday, Feb. 11, viewers can watch three-time defending Fed Cup champions Czech Republic play Spain in Ostrava, Czech Republic, and 2016 Fed Cup finalist France take on Switzerland in Geneva. Viewers can also catch both of these on-demand on the network’s digital subscription service, Tennis Channel Plus. The platform (www.tennischanneleverywhere.com) is available to everyone in the United States regardless of whether they subscribe to Tennis Channel.  Other stars set to play Fed Cup this weekend include the Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova, Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, France’s Alize Cornet and Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky.

Steve Weissman (@Steve_Weissman) will join Hall of Famer and former U.S. Fed Cup player Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76) in Maui to call the United States-Germany matches for Tennis Channel. As a player, Davenport contributed to U.S. Fed Cup team championships in 1996, 1999 and 2000. The network’s on-air team will also include former player and renowned sportscaster Mary Carillo, Hall of Famer and former U.S. Fed Cup player Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin), and former U.S. Davis Cup players Leif Shiras (@LShirock) and Paul Annacone (@Paul_Annacone). During Austin’s U.S. Fed Cup career she contributed to three championships (1978-1980).

Tennis Channel’s live Fed Cup coverageis as follows (all time ET):
Saturday, Feb. 11:
7:30 a.m. -Singles Czech Republic v. Spain (Tennis Channel Plus)
8a.m. -Singles France v. Switzerland (Tennis Channel Plus)
4p.m. -Singles USA v. Germany

Sunday, Feb. 12:
7a.m. -Singles, Doubles Czech Republic v. Spain (Tennis Channel Plus)
Singles, Doubles France v. Switzerland (on Tennis Channel and Tennis Channel Plus)
3p.m. -Singles, Doubles USA v. Germany

The United States and Germany have met 13 times in Fed Cup play, with the United States holding an 8-5 advantage. However, Germany won the last meeting 5-0 in Stuttgart, Germany, in 2011. The Americans last defeated Germany in 2008, in La Jolla, Calif. The United States leads all nations with 17 Fed Cup championships, the most recent in 2000.

The U.S. Fed Cup team is captained this year by retired American tennis star, Kathy Rinaldi who, as a player, reached the semifinals at Wimbledon in 1985. She also holds three WTA singles titles and achieved a career-high ranking of World No. 7 in 1986. Mattek-Sands, World No. 1 doubles player, leads the Americans into this weekend after winning the Australian Open women’s doubles title with Lucie Safarova. Vandeweghe also had an impressive run at last month’s Australian Open, with wins over reigning champion and then-World No. 1 Angelique Kerber and 2016 French Open champion Muguruza en route to the semifinals. Riske reached her fifth career WTA singles final in January at the Shenzhen Open in China and the third round at the Australian Open. Fed Cup newcomer Rogers achieved a career-high ranking after advancing to the quarterfinals at the WTA event in Hobart, Australia, prior to defeating Simona Halep in the first round of the Australian Open.

Germany has won the Fed Cup title on two occasions: 1987 and 1992. The team is captained by Barbara Rittnerand features Laura Siegemund, Andrea Petkovic, Julia Goerges and Carina Witthoeft.

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Miami Open Announces Player Field

Serena Williams

(February 8, 2017) Miami, FL – The 2017 Miami Open has announced their player field. The event at the Crandon Park Tennis Center will take place March 20- April 2.

The event received its 2017 official acceptance lists and with all 76 of the top ranked men and 70 of the top 73 ranked women currently entered, the Miami Open player field ranks among the best on the tennis calendar.

The player field features a combined 13 major singles champions.

The 2017 ATP acceptance list features 18-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, World No. 1 and three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray, World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, an 12-time Grand Slam winner and the three-time defending Miami Open champion, 14-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal, three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, and former US Open champions Juan Martin del Potro and Marin Cilic.

The women’s field for 2017 features 23-time Grand Slam champion and eight-time Miami Open winner Serena Williams, seven-time Grand Slam Champion Venus Williams, two-time Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber, Olympic Gold Medalist and Miami native Monica Puig, and reigning French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza.

Qualifying rounds will be played March 20-21 and will determine 12 additional slots in each singles draw. The Miami Open will also award wildcards to five men and eight women. The main draw begins on Tuesday, March 21 as the women take the court, followed by the first round of the men’s main draw on Wednesday, March 22.

2017 Miami Open – ATP Acceptance List

(as of February 7, 2017)

Name, Country, Rank

Andy Murray, GBR 01

Novak Djokovic, SRB 02

Stan Wawrinka, SUI 03

Milos Raonic, CAN 04

Kei Nishikori, JPN 05

Rafael Nadal, ESP 06

Marin Cilic, CRO 07

Dominic Thiem, AUT 08

Gael Monfils, FRA 09

Roger Federer, SUI 10

David Goffin, BEL 11

Tomas Berdych, CZE 12

Grigor Dimitrov, BUL 13

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, FRA 14

Nick Kyrgios, AUS 15

Roberto Bautista Agut, ESP 16

Lucas Pouille, FRA 17

Ivo Karlovic, CRO 18

Jack Sock, USA 19

Pablo Cuevas, URU 20

Alexander Zverev, GER 21

Richard Gasquet, FRA 22

John Isner, USA 23

Gilles Simon, FRA 24

David Ferrer, ESP 25

Tommy Haas #, GER 25

Pablo Carreno Busta, ESP 26

Sam Querrey, USA 27

Philip Kohlschreiber, GER  28

Gilles Muller, LUX 29

Albert Ramos-Vinolas, ESP 30

Steve Johnson, USA 31

Feliciano Lopez, ESP 32

Bernard Tomic, AUS 33

Mischa Zverev, GER 34

Marcos Baghdatis, CYP 35

Martin Klizan, SVK 36

Viktor Troicki, SRB 37

Juan Martin del Potro, ARG 38

Marcel Granollers, ESP 39

Fernando Verdasco, ESP 40

Joao Sousa, POR  41

Nicolas Mahut, FRA 42

Benoit Paire, FRA 43

Nicolas Amagro, ESP 44

Fabio Fognini, ITA 45

Paolo Lorenzi, ITA 46

Daniel Evans, GBR 47

Federico Delbonis, ARG 48

Florian Mayer, GER 49

Malek Jaziri, TUN 50

Karen Khachanov, RUS 51

Diego Schwartzman, ARG 52

Kyle Edmund, GBR 53

Jiri Vesely, CZE 54

Andrey Kuznetsov, RUS 55

Adrian Mannarino, FRA 56

Robin Haase, NED 57

Tommy Robredo #, ESP 57

Borna Coric, CRO 58

Steve Darcis, BEL 59

Jan-Lennard Struff, GER 60

Yen-Hsun Lu, TPE 61

Ryan Harrison, USA 62

Daniil Medvedev, RUS 63

Jordan Thompson, AUS 64

Juan Monaco, ARG 65

Stephane Robert, FRA 66

Alexandr Dolgopolov, UKR 67

Jeremy Chardy, FRA 68

Horacio Zeballos,  ARG 69

Hyeon Chung, KOR 70

Donald Young, USA 71

Dudi Sela, ISR 72

Gastao Elias, POR 73

Kevin Anderson, RSA 74

Andreas Seppi, ITA 75

Facundo Bagnis, ARG 76

Denis Istomin, UZB 77

# – entry protection

2017 Miami Open – WTA Acceptance List

(as of February 7, 2017)

Name, Country, Rank

Serena Williams USA 01

Angelique Kerber GER 02

Karoilina Pliskova CZE 03

Simona Halep ROU 04

Dominika Cibulkova SVK 05

Agnieszka Radwanska POL 06

Garbine Mugaruza ESP 07

Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 08

Madison Keys USA 09

Johanna Konta GBR 10

Venus Williams USA 11

Elina Svitolina UKR 13

Carla Suarez Navarro ESP 14

Elena Vesnina RUS 15

Timea Bacsinszky SUI 16

Barbora Strycova CZE 17

Caroline Wozniacki DEN 18

Coco Vandeweghe USA 20

Roberta Vinci ITA 21

Samantha Stosur AUS 22

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS    23

Kiki Bertens NED 24

Caroline Garcia FRA 25

Daria Gavrilova AUS 26

Yulia Putintseva KAZ 27

Daria Kasatkina RUS 28

Irina-Camelia Begu ROU 29

Mirjana Lucic-Baroni CRO 30

Kristina Mladenovic FRA 31

Timea Babos HUN 32

Shuai Zhang CHN 33

Anastasija Sevastova LAT 34

Jelena Ostapenko LAT 35

Monica Niculescu ROU 36

Ana Konjuh CRO 37

Laura Siegemund GER 38

Ekaterina Makarova RUS 39

Alison Riske USA 40

Katerina Siniakova CZE 41

Misaki Doi JPN 42

Alize Cornet FRA 43

Christina McHale USA 44

Eugenie Bouchard CAN 45

Yaroslava Shvedova KAZ 46

Lucie Safarova CZE 47

Monica Puig PUR 48

Sara Errani ITA 49

Jelena Jankovic SRB 50

Andrea Petkovic GER 51

Shelby Rogers USA 53

Lesia Tsurenko UKR 54

Lauren Davis USA 55

Naomi Osaka JPN 56

Julia Goerges GER 57

Kristyna Pliskova CZE 58

Shuai Peng CHN 59

Yanina Wickmayer BEL 60

Johanna Larsson SWE 61

Sorana Cirstea ROU 62

Viktorija Golubic SUI 63

Pauline Parmentier FRA 64

Annika Beck GER 65

Tsvetana Pironkova BUL 66

Oceane Dodin FRA 67

Louisa Chirico USA 68

Danka Kovinic MNE 69

Lara Arruabarrena ESP 70

Ying-Ying Duan CHN 71

Heather Watson GBR 72

Catherine Bellis USA 73

Kirsten Flipkens BEL 74

Camila Giorgi ITA 75

Kristina Kucova SVK 76

Carina Witthoeft GER 77

Mandy Minella LUX 78

Jennifer Brady USA 79

 

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Powershares Series Schedule Announced

2014 PowerShares QQQ Tennis Tour Rings The NASDAQ Stock Market Closing Bell

POWERSHARES SERIES FULL SCHEDULE FOR 2017 ANNOUNCED

(February 7, 2017) LOS ANGELES – PowerShares Series Tennis, the circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30, announced its full 2017 circuit of events starting March 30 in Toronto, Canada.

The 2017 PowerShares Series will also again partner alongside ATP and WTA events in Charleston, S.C., Newport, R.I., Winston-Salem, N.C., and New Haven, Conn. The series of one-night tournaments, featuring two one-set semifinal matches and a one-set final-round match played between tennis legends, will feature for a third straight year players making their own line-calls with the assistance of electronic line-calling.

The full 2017 PowerShares Series schedule, with player fields, is as follows:

* March 30: Toronto, ON (Ricoh Coliseum) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, Mark Philippoussis
* April 1: Charleston, S.C. (Family Circle Tennis Center) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Mark Philippoussis
* April 28: Birmingham, AL (Legacy Arena At The BJCC) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mardy Fish
* May 17: Chicago, IL (UIC Pavilion) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis
* July 23 Newport, R.I. (International Tennis Hall of Fame) – Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake, Mardy Fish
* August 20 Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wake Forest University) – Andy Roddick, James Blake, Michael Chang, Mardy Fish
* August 24, 25 New Haven, CT (Yale University) – John McEnroe, Michael Chang, James Blake, Mark Philippoussis
* Lincoln, NE (Pinnacle Bank Arena) – to be announced
* Los Angeles, CA (Sherwood Country Club) – to be announced
* Nashville, TN (Bridgestone Arena) – to be announced

Each PowerShares Series event also features special VIP experiences, including hit-with-the-pros opportunities and special back-stage access. All ticket, experience and event information can be found at www.PowerSharesSeries.com.

Mark Philippoussis won the 2016 PowerShares Series season championship with tournament victories in Memphis, Tulsa, Newport, Winston-Salem and New Haven. Andy Roddick won four events during the 2016 season in St. Louis, Charleston, Los Angeles and Orlando, followed in third place by James Blake, who won titles in Chicago, Portland and Brooklyn. In 2015, Roddick won the PowerShares Series points title in his second year of competing on the series winning a record eight events in Los Angeles, Lincoln, Chicago, Austin, Little Rock, Dallas, Richmond and Minneapolis. The year before in 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the history of Champions Series tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte.

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Davis Cup: U.S. Shuts Out The Swiss – Querrey, Johnson Close Out World Group First Round With Singles Wins

DAVIS CUP: U.S. SHUTS OUT THE SWISS
Querrey, Johnson Close Out World Group First Round With Singles Wins

By Junior Williams

(February 5, 2017) BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Americans Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson each posted straight sets victories in dead rubbers to give the United States a 5-0 victory over Switzerland in the Davis Cup World Group first round.

Querrey defeated lefty Adrien Bossel 6-3, 7-5 in a 73-minute match. The Californian blasted 16 aces past the 485th-ranked Bossel and faced zero break points.

It took Johnson only an hour to beat another Swiss left-hander — 20-year old Antoine Bellier — 6-4, 6-3, in a very entertaining match featuring powerful groundstrokes and strong returns. The players combined committed only 16 unforced errors for the entire match.

The U.S. now turns its attention to the quarterfinals in April, when the team will face Australia in a road tie. The Aussies will be looking for revenge after losing in the first round last year to the Americans in Kooyong.

Australia will be hosting team USA for a second straight tie, however, the visitor will have choice of ground – hardcourt. Normally nations alternate hosting ties, but the U.S. and Australia played consecutive ties in U.S. in 1997 and 1999, in order for the U.S. to host the 100th anniversary of Davis Cup at the Longwood Cricket Club in Chestnut Hills, Mass., the site of the first-ever Davis Cup tie. TEam USA is 26-20 versus Australia in Davis Cup play.

Switzerland will try to remain in the World Group by winning its play-off match-up September 15-17.

—-

The U.S. victory marks the second straight American sweep of the Swiss. The last one was a 2012 shocker on clay in Fribourg, Switzerland that included Mardy Fish defeating Stan Wawrinka 9-7 in the 5th set, John Isner beating Roger Federer in four sets – and a doubles win for Mike Bryan and Fish over Federer and Wawrinka, also in four sets.

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice, he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the USA home ties. He is in Birmingham, Alabama covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Switzerland for Tennis Panorama News.

—-
Final results
Singles A: Jack Sock (USA) d. Marco Chiudinelli (SUI), 6-4, 6-3, 6-1
Singles B: John Isner (USA) d. Henri Laaksonen (SUI), 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(1)
Doubles: Jack Sock/Steve Johnson (USA)
d. Adrien Bossel/Henri Laaksonen (SUI), 7-6(3), 6-3, 7-6(5)
Singles C: Sam Querrey (USA) d. Adrien Bossel (SUI), 6-3, 7-5
Singles D: Steve Johnson (USA) d. Antoine Bellier (SUI), 6-4, 6-3

 

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Davis Cup: U.S. Clinches Quarterfinal Berth; Sock and Johnson defeat Switzerland In World Group First Round Tie

DAVIS CUP: U.S. CLINCHES QUARTERFINAL BERTH

Sock and Johnson defeat Switzerland In World Group First Round Tie

 

 

By Junior Williams

 

(February 4, 2017) BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – For the clincher, United States Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier called on the 2016 Olympic bronze medal doubles team.

Jack Sock and Steve Johnson delivered for the U.S. with a 7-6(3), 6-3, 7-6(5) victory over Switzerland’s Adrien Bossel and Henri Laaksonen. The win gives the Americans an insurmountable 3-0 lead in this World Group first round tie, advancing to the quarterfinals, where they’ll face Australia on the road for a second consecutive year.

Both Courier and Swiss Captain Severin Luthi switched up their originally scheduled lineups: Jack Sock replaced Sam Querrey for the Americans, while Luthi went with Laaksonen instead of Antoine Bellier. Laaksonen had an impressive return of serve during Friday’s second singles rubber, despite losing to John Isner in four sets.

The U.S. took the lead in the first set, winning a tiebreak capped by a Steve Johnson forehand winner up the sideline to go up 6-3, followed by a Johnson forehand that was hit long by the Swiss. The Americans won 85-percent of their first serve points in the set.

Serving in the first game of the second set, Jack Sock vehemently disputed a lineman’s foot fault call, but to no avail. As the game went on the U.S. found itself in a 0-40 hole, but eventually staved off those three break points and held serve. The Americans broke the Swiss in the next game, which ended with a thrilling rally punctuated by a Sock winner at net — bringing fans at the Legacy Arena at Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex to their feet.

Both teams exchanged breaks of serve later in the set, but the U.S. went on to win it on a Sock service winner. A stellar performance at the net by Johnson also a major factor contributing to the Americans’ two set lead.

Switzerland refused to go quietly. Spurred on by their fans chanting “Hop Suisse,” the Swiss team broke the U.S. to go up 3-1 in the third set on a Laaksonen overhead smash at net. But the visitors blew a golden opportunity when the Americans staved off three set points and broke Switzerland to get the set back on serve at 5-4.

The U.S. closed out the rubber and clinched the tie by winning a third set tiebreak, which ended with the Swiss at net hitting the ball past the baseline. After each team shook hands, the American team took a victory lap around the court with the U.S. flag, cheered on by the home crowd.

Despite being heavy underdogs without their top guns Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, the Swiss have given the U.S. a good fight – and will attempt to remain in Davis Cup’s top tier when they compete in the World Group Play-offs this coming September.

“If you lose, it’s disappointed that you lost,” noted Swiss captain Severin Luthi. “I mean, I’m never like happy when we lose or if I lose. Even if it’s card games or whatever, I’m never happy.

“So disappointed. But, again, I have to say the same as yesterday. It wasn’t the performance of the players at all, you know. I thought they gave everything. They were, yeah — they had chances first and third set, and unfortunately we just couldn’t make it.”

Australia will be hosting team USA for a second straight tie, however, the visitor will have choice of ground – hardcourt. Normally nations alternate hosting ties, but the U.S. and Australia played consecutive ties in U.S. in 1997 and 1999, in order for the U.S. to host the 100th anniversary of Davis Cup at the Longwood Cricket Club in Chestnut Hills, Mass., the site of the first-ever Davis Cup tie.

“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to go back and battle those guys (Australia) again,” said U.S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier. “They came through pretty comfortably as well. Hugely talented team. Passionate Davis Cup nation. Had a lot of fun playing down in Melbourne with them.

“Obviously got the result we wanted which makes it a lot more fun, but they’re a knowledgeable crowd and they have won a ton of Davis Cups, so they know what it’s all about.

“It will be exciting for us to go down. We’re already talking about it, looking forward to it. We have work to do tomorrow. We’re not your overlooking the matches on Sunday. We will be ready to play tomorrow for sure, even though this thing is decided.

“I think I can speak for all of us when I say we’re anxious to get down there and battle on. We really want to get out to the semifinals and see what we can do this year.”

Two dead rubbers are scheduled for Sunday – and we have yet to see Querrey and Bellier play in this tie.

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice, he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the USA home ties. He is in Birmingham, Alabama covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Switzerland for Tennis Panorama News.

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Australian Open Smashes TV Ratings Records Around the World

 

 

 

Australian Open smashes TV ratings records around the world

 

Australian Open 2017 has smashed TV ratings records both in Australia and around the world.

 

(February 4, 2017) Tennis Australia – On Sunday night (29 January), more than 3.5 million people in Australia tuned in to watch the historic final between Roger Federer (SUI) and Rafael Nadal (ESP), with the audience peaking at 4.4m and making it the most watched Australian Open match in more than  a decade, beating the combined shares on Channel Nine, Network 10, ABC and SBS.

 

The men’s singles final also topped the AFL and NRL 2016 grand finals in audience viewership, stealing the NRL’s title as the most watched final in Australia, with 9.63 million hours viewed.

 

Serena Williams’ seventh Australian Open victory in the women’s final delivered a peak domestic TV audience of 2.42 million, and was the most watched program that day, beating men’s Big Bash Cricket final by 360,000 combined viewers.

 

Around the world  both ESPN USA and Eurosport celebrated record figures, with the men’s final dubbed the most-watched tennis match of all time by Eurosport, while the Williams sisters spectacular drew the biggest AO women’s audience on ESPN since moving to a 3.00am ET start time.

 

Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said he was pleased, but t not surprised, by the record ratings.

 

“The numbers speak for themselves, people love great tennis”, Tiley said.

 

“We witnessed history on Saturday and Sunday night. Serena and Venus in the ultimate showdown, 14 years since they last played each other at Melbourne Park, and Roger and Rafa, two legends with a compelling comeback story that is unprecedented.

 

“Through theTennis Australia in-househost broadcast and production teams, we will continue to ensure that world class tennis is produced to a high standard and available to all, both here in Australia and around the world.  it’s historic moments such as these that capture the imagination of the sporting world,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said.

 

Australian Open 2017 domestic broadcast ratings statistics:

 

  • Broadcast reached 6.5m viewers nationally on final day, taking cumulative reach to 11.8m for tournament

 

  • The men’s singles final claimed Channel Seven the No. 1 network with 54.5% FTA metro share at night, beating the combined shares on Networks Nine, TEN, ABC and SBS

 

  • Men’s singles final ranked the most watched program on the night, taking top spot for 2017 YTD

 

  • Men’s Final averaged 3.6m combined (metro + regional) and peaked at 4.4m, making it the most watched finals match in over a decade
  • Men’s singles final match was up 63% year-on-year  for combined (metro + regional) viewing, and up 64% for metro markets

 

  • The men’s singles final beat both the AFL and NRL 2016 grand finals in audience viewership, with an 81% audience increase over the 2016 NRL grand final and a 19% audience increase over the 2016 AFL grand final, making Federer and Nadal’s match the most watched Australian final with 9.63 million hours viewed

 

  • At 3hrs 38min, the Roger / Rafa match lasted nearly twice as long as the NRL grand final (2hrs), and 1hr more than the AFL grand final

 

  • The final showdown between the Williams sisters made Seven the No.1 network with a 31.8% free-to-air metro share at night (Nine 23.0%, TEN 24.0%)

 

  • Serena Williams’ seventh Australian Open victory in the women’s final delivered a peak domestic TV audience of 2.42 million, and was the most watched program that day, beating men’s Big Bash Cricket final by 360,000 combined viewers

 

  • A peak domestic TV audience of 2.1 million tuned into Rafael Nadal’s semifinal victory over Grigor Dimitrov while a peak of 2.2 million tuned into watch Roger Federer play Stan Wawrinka in the other men’s semifinal.

 

Australian Open 2017 international broadcast ratings statistics:

 

·                The men’s singles final was aired live in more than 220 territories on more than 65 different TV channels, reaching more than 900 million homes

 

·                The men’s singles final was the most watched Australian Open men’s final in 13 years in the US on ESPN, with an average 1.13m viewers between ESPN (1.085m) and WatchESPN (48k) from 3.00AM ET – 107% up on 2016

 

·                In Europe, the men’s singles final was Eurosport’s highest rating tennis match of all-time and second most watched sport event in Eurosport’s history, reaching 20.7m via Eurosport and Discovery-owned Free-to-Air channels. It was the most-watched Eurosport programme in both Spain and the Netherlands

 

·                The women’s singles final had an average 953,000 viewers on ESPN, up 37% on 2016 and attracted the biggest AO women’s audience since moving to a 3.00am ET start time. It was the second most watched sport programme of all programs aired on US cable TV that day

 

·                Eurosport’s audiences for the tournament were up 26% from 2016, including dedicated feeds into eleven countries including UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

 

·                In the USA, live coverage on ESPN and ESPN2 ranked each day within the top five and top ten of the most watched live sports programs in the country

 

·                In Japan, Kei Nishikori’s matches were broadcast live by free-to-air broadcaster NHK and generated a market share of more than 20 per cent. It peaked higher than Japan’s most watched event, the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament

 

·                In China, up to Day 10, the main terrestrial channel CCTV5 reached more than  400 million households and aired more than 32 hours of coverage

 

·                All 411 main draw matches were streamed live to over 175 territories including, for the first time, China and Japan – a Grand Slam first.  In addition, the Tennis Australia media rights team delivered live encoded feeds of all match courts to selected broadcasters including Sky New Zealand, Fox Sports Asia, IQIYI China, Sony India and SuperSport Africa

 

·                SuperSport Africa and beIN Sports Middle East also took from BT Tower London the permanent host broadcast feeds of Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena for the entire tournament. Sportsnavi Live from Japan took, in addition, the Hisense Arena host broadcast feed whilst main draw matches were played.

 

Fast facts on Australian Open 2017 host broadcast

 

  • Tennis Australia’s Host Broadcast team produced more than 840 matches live, up from 641 in 2016, including all main draw, juniors, legends and wheelchair matches plus countless practice sessions

 

  • In its third year of managing the Australian Open host broadcast, Tennis Australia provided the most comprehensive broadcast coverage of any Grand Slam, including up to 16 match courts boasting coverage of all matches in all draws – including main draw singles, doubles, mixed doubles, juniors, qualifying, wheelchair and legends

 

  • The host broadcast team covered 12 practice courts – eight outside courts with dedicated cameras plus one camera inside across four indoor courts

 

  • In a first for any tennis tournament worldwide,  and any sporting event in Australia, Australian Open 2017 featured Hawkeye 4K Ultra Motion in all three stadiums

 

  • More than 130 individual host broadcast cameras across Melbourne Park captured all the action on and off the court more than previous years and more than  any other Grand Slam

 

  • Total 362 staff and freelance crew plus 20 talent working across the host broadcast and world feed productions on-site

 

  • Both the women’s and men’s singles finals featured access to 47 cameras – including three Extreme Slo Mo NAC cameras and seven Super Slo Mo cameras, an RF techno crane, Spidercam and the first-ever use of Eye Cam, a stadium lens embedded in the umpire’s chair, never before used in tennis coverage.

 

 

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Canada and Great Britain Tied at 1-1 After Day One of Davis Cup Play

 

 

Vasek Pospisil

(February 3, 2017) OTTAWA 0 Tennis Canada– The Canadian Davis Cup team sits tied with Great Britain 1-1 following the opening day of action at the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group first-round tie at TD Place in Ottawa. Great Britain’s top player, Daniel Evans, secured the first victory of the day on Friday, defeating Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, Ont.) 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 before Canada’s No. 1 player, Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver), overcame Kyle Edmund 6-4, 6-1, 7-6(3).

World No. 45 Evans unhinged Shapovalov in one hour and 50 minutes, breaking the 17-year-old Canadian four times in the three-setter to give Great Britain the early lead. While Shapovalov flaunted his powerful serve, firing 13 aces to Evans’ three, young nerves seemed to have contributed to his 39 unforced errors on the scoresheet.

“Just [Evans’] confidence alone, those points at deuce, those break points. He knows he’s got them, he knows what to do,” Shapovalov said in the post-match press conference. “I think I played the right way, my strategy was right. I felt like I was right there with him. It was very close and I had my chances but he played the big points better. That’s tennis, I’ve got to move on from it.”

Denis Shapovalov

But Shapovalov has shifted his focus to the matches ahead, and kept the bigger picture in perspective.

“I’m playing for my country first of all, and myself second so I’m going to give it all I have every single match I play, so that was that. The match is over and I did everything I could. Now I’m getting ready for Sunday.”

In the second match of the day, Pospisil turned things around for Canada. He dominated Great Britain’s No. 2 player Kyle Edmund and closed out the second match of the day in just over two hours. The 22-year-old Brit challenged Pospisil in the third set, forcing a tiebreak, but a strong performance from the Vancouver resident at the net and the support of a roaring crowd helped him capture the win. Pospisil won 86 per cent of first serve points, and didn’t allow Edmund a single break from four opportunities throughout the contest.

“I’ve been struggling of late to get some momentum and rhythm in matches and confidence. It’s been a bit frustrating but I’ve been trying to stay patient and I knew that it was going to click at some point. This is a bit of a turning point for me, and Davis Cup is a good platform for me to get some confidence and momentum,” Pospisil said after the match. “I enjoy playing in front of a home crowd, and for my team and country. Whether it’s that’s little bit of adrenaline to get me out of a slump, I don’t know but I’m definitely thrilled with the way I played.”
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“This court suits Vasek really well,” said Canadian captain Martin Laurendeau. “It forces him to play a certain way and it exposes his strengths tremendously. I had full confidence in Vasek going in. The set-up is perfect for him – Davis Cup and especially the crowd.”

The crowd in question, which was the largest-ever attended Davis Cup day hosted in Canada, clocked in at 6,962 and provided constant energy and support throughout the day’s action.

Play picks back up on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET with the doubles match, scheduled to feature Canadians Daniel Nestor (Toronto) and Pospisil against Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot. The team captains have until one hour before the match to change their nominations. The tie will conclude on Sunday with the two reverse singles matches, scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. ET. All matches will be best-of-five sets, with the exception of Sunday’s matches if the tie has already been decided.

Limited availability for tickets on Saturday and Sunday remain. They can be purchased online at TDPlace.ca, by phone at 1-877-489-2849, or in person at the box office at TD Place.

Matches will be shown on Sportsnet ONE on Saturday and OLN on Sunday, and TVA Sports on both days. Please check local listings for the full schedule.

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Davis Cup: Home Cookin’ in the Deep South; Sock, Isner Give U.S. 2-0 Lead Over Switzerland In First Round

 

DAVIS CUP: HOME COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH

Sock, Isner Give U.S. 2-0 Lead Over Switzerland In First Round

 

By Junior Williams

 

(February 3, 2017) BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – The heavily favored United States team lived up to expectations as Jack Sock and John Isner won their respective singles rubbers against Switzerland, giving the Americans a 2-0 lead in the first round of Davis Cup Cup World Group competition at Legacy Arena at Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

 

Switzerland is playing this tie without its two top players – world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka and No. 10 Roger Federer who won the Australian Open last week.

 

Isner’s victory over world No. 127 Henri Laaksonen was far from a cakewalk. It took two hours and 44 minutes for the American to win the rubber 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(1).

 

In the first set, Isner’s powerful service game was blunted by Laaksonen executing solid returns and winning long rallies. Isner saved three break points to knot the set at 4-4, but the Swiss went on to win the set by breaking the world No. 23.

Isner committed 21 unforced errors during the set and backhanded numerous shots into the net.

 

The 31-year old Isner seemed to find his rhythm in the second set after breaking Laaksonen to go up 3-2, helped by a more effective service game — striking seven aces during the set and winning 84-percent of his first serve points. On the flip side, Laaksonen committed three double faults, including one that gave the U.S. a 5-2 advantage. Isner won the next game, closing it out with his 12th ace of the match.

John Isner

The American got off to a fast start in the third set. He broke the Swiss in the first game with a winning forehand passing shot as Laaksonen approached the net. Isner held in the second game, but not before staving off three break points. In this set it was Laaksonen with 21 unforced errors helping Isner cruise through the remainder of the set.

 

The fourth set was a tight affair as both players battled. Isner was visibly frustrated by the 24-year old Laaksonen’s returns and defensive play. But when tiebreak time came around, it was all Isner. After a mini-break on the first point — followed by two service winners — victory came five points later when Laaksonen double faulted. During the on-court post-match interview, Isner admitted to being nervous at times during the match.

 

“I’ll take the film of that first set and just throw it in the fire, delete that one,” Isner said in his post-match news conference. “I think more than anything I was a little bit nervous, and that was affecting my footwork quite a lot. With me being so big and when my footed work is not sharp, it can be ugly. It was in the first set.”

 

Jim stayed on me to stay positive, even though I wasn’t feeling very positive out there. I think that’s actually what tilted the match in my favor a little bit. Certainly could have been cleaner, but Davis Cup you ties throw out rankings and whatnot, it’s tough touch out there in these matches, so I’m happy to get the win.

 

In the first rubber, it took just under two hours for No. 1 American Jack Sock to defeat Marco Chiudinelli — ranked 146 in the world — 6-4, 6-3, 6-1. Things were pretty even until Sock won the first set by breaking Chiudinelli with an overhead lob that was retrieved but hit just wide of the sideline.

 

“There are always few extra nerves I think playing Davis Cup,” Sock said. “When you’re playing for your country, being a part of a team, maybe at a normal event, normal tournament, you come out swinging a little bit more.

“I think I was a little hesitant at the beginning; maybe too conservative playing when obviously my game is to kind of play big and hit big forehands and be aggressive.”

Sock continued to put pressure on the 35-year old Swiss by stepping up his aggressive play, with solid ground strokes and serves with some net play in the mix. For the match, Sock had 29 total winners to Chiudinelli’s eleven. The Nebraska-born 24-year old was never broken in four attempts.

 

The U.S. can clinch the tie by winning Saturday’s doubles match-up — scheduled to be Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson versus Switzerland’s Antoine Bellier and Adrien Bossel. Bellier’s heroics kept the Swiss in the top tier of Davis Cup, courtesy of his 2016 World Group play-off win in the deciding rubber against Uzbekistan back in September.

 

Team USA is not taking anything for granted. They had a 2-0 lead back in July and lost in the quarterfinals to Croatia.

 

Jack Sock

 

“I think as a whole, as a team, like I said, we’re not taking anyone lightly,” Sock noted. “But at the same time, we’re confident in our squad and our four guys in the matchups this weekend.

“We’re going to go one match at time and get one point at time.”

 

A victory would earn the Americans a quarterfinal trip to Australia — a rematch of last year’s first round tie won by the U.S. at Kooyong. Australia clinched their tie against the Czech Republic with a doubles win to give them a 3-0 lead.

 

—–

 

EXTRAS:

 

John Isner notched his 500th Davis Cup ace during the fourth set of his match against Henri Laaksonen.

 

Isner was not aware of this upcoming milestone: “I was wondering, because I heard them say 500. I was wondering what that was. Thank you for clarifying that. I had no idea I was close to that in Davis Cup play.

“You know, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to play in a lot of singles matches on the Davis Cup team. I guess that’s a pretty cool number to achieve.

“More than anything, I’m just happy I was able to get the win today. I thought the crowd was great, and we’re up 2-0. We’re in a pretty good spot.”

 

“But Davis Cup anything can happen. You see it every year. Every tie almost you see some kind of crazy things happen.”

 

Unusual for a Davis Cup tie in the U.S. to have a serve speed clock deliver results in kilometers per hour instead of miles per hour. Fans in the stands were trying to guess the actual MPH.

 

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice, he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the USA home ties. He is in Birmingham, Alabama covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Switzerland for Tennis Panorama News.

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