2014/12/21

Serena Williams Wins WTA Player of the Year Award

(November 29, 2012) Serena Williams has been named Player of the Year for 2012 by the WTA.

The American woman who went 48-2 in the last 7 months of the season, won Wimbledon, the US Open and the singles and doubles gold medals at the London Olympics.

For Williams, this is her fourth time claiming the award voted on by international tennis media. She won previously in 2002, 2008 and 2009. She is one of three players who has captured the award more than twice – Steffi Graf won it 8 times while Martina Navratilova accomplished the feat 7 times.

Williams ended the season at No. 3 in the world.

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Serena Williams, Roddick, Raonic and Radwanska Participate in Toronto Face-Off (Photo Gallery)

(November 16, 2012) TORONTO – A crowd of 6,558 came out to watch Milos Raonic, Andy Roddick, Serena Williams and Agniezska Radwanska in the Sport Chek Face-Off exhibition match on Friday night at Air Canada Centre.

The recently retired American Roddick topped Canadian Raonic 6-4, 4-6, 10-7. Roddick entertained the crown with his impressions of Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

When asked about if Roddick should consider a comeback, Raonic said “I hope not.”

“What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape,” Roddick joked. “I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I’ve met every aspect of it – a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally – I’ve been completely.

No. 3 and 15-time major champion Serena Williams lost to No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-4 in a rematch of the most recent Wimbledon final.

The evening began with a “hit and giggle” mixed doubles match between Team Canada represented by Raonic and Radwanska versus Team USA’s Roddick and Williams.

The players were joined by various Canadian celebrities including CBC personality George Stroumboulopoulos, Adrian Grenier of the HBO show “Entourage,” “Bachelor” star Brad Smith and CFL commissioner Mark Cohon.

All photos by Marc-André Gauthier

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Bob Hewitt Suspended from International Tennis Hall of Fame

From the International Tennis Hall of Fame:

NEWPORT, R.I., U.S.A., November 15, 2012 – The Executive Committee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame has voted to indefinitely suspend South African tennis player Bob Hewitt from the Hall of Fame. Hewitt was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992. The suspension of Mr. Hewitt follows a comprehensive investigation conducted by Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP into multiple allegations brought concerning sexual misconduct involving Mr. Hewitt and minor students that he coached. The investigation was led by Michael Connolly, a former Assistant United States Attorney.

 

“Suspension of Mr. Hewitt is appropriate given the serious allegations that have been made and the findings presented to our Executive Committee,” said Mark Stenning, CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. “After carefully considering the issue, we commissioned a thorough investigation by outside legal counsel. Our Executive Committee considered the findings of the investigation and has voted to suspend Bob Hewitt indefinitely. We feel suspension is the proper course of action on behalf of the Hall of Fame, the women who have made these allegations, and our sport.”

 

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Djokovic Tops Federer for Year-End Title

 

(November 12, 2012) Novak Djokovic came back from early service breaks in both sets to top Roger Federer 7-6(6), 7-5 for the ATP World Tour Finals championship.

The win for No. 1 Djokovic netted the Serbian $1.76 million dollars. The Serbian lost his top ranking in July after Federer won Wimbledon, but regained it a week ago and sealed the year-end top ranking. It’s Djokovic’s second year-end championship, he also won it in 2008.

Federer rushed out to a 3-0 lead in the first set, winning 12 of the first 14 points of the match, but Djokovic won the next 3 games to even it up.

“Maybe a bit of regret because I had the lead twice first before him,” Federer told media. “At the end of the day, that doesn’t matter. You have to get over the finish line in the set and then obviously at the match. He was better at that today.”

Djokovic served for the first set at 5-4 but was broken. Both men held to move into a tiebreak which Djokovic won 8-6.

Federer again took a second set 2-0 lead but could not hold on. The Swiss even held two set points at 5-4  before Djokovic won four straight points, three straight games to seal the victory 7-6 (6), 7-5.

“I shouldn’t have been broken as often as I was broken today,” said Federer. “But then again, that obviously has something to do with Novak, as well.”

“Today we had times where we had longer rallies, we had times where we had shorter rallies. I think we had some great stuff out there. It was good playing such points. I think the quality was good. I shouldn’t have been broken as often as I was broken today. But then again, that obviously has something to do with Novak, as well. It was extremely close today.”

“I think it’s been a fantastic season to be part of. Four different Grand Slam champs. Then having the Olympics, as well, was obviously very unique. I’m very happy I stayed injury free throughout. That allowed me to basically play a full schedule almost. I’m very pleased that I was able to pick up my performance at the end of the season, like I played now this week, so obviously gives me confidence for next year.”

“It’s not the first time that Roger starts against me so well,” Djokovic said. “I’ve experienced before his aggressivity, really trying to put his mark on the match. It’s what he’s done again.”

“It’s been a very long year, a very long two years, but very successful two years,” said Djokovic.

“I actually feel even more satisfied right now than last year, even though I had an incredible 2011. I feel this year, considering the circumstances that I had to face on and off the court, expectations, all these things, I believe that this year has been even more successful for me.”

“It was a fantastic year, where I’ve had to face a lot of difficulties off the court as well. Especially coming into this tournament, having my father fighting his own fight for health gave me extra strength that I wanted to play for him in a way.

“That’s one of the reasons I really gave it all every match, especially tonight. This was a title for him.”

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James Blake Joins Players In Raising Money To Benefit Those Affected By Hurricane Sandy

( November 12, 2012) James Blake, who currently resides (and grew up) in Connecticut, is helping raise money to benefit those affected by Hurricane Sandy. He’s auctioning off three of his match jerseys featuring his autograph along with those of top American tennis stars Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and Sam Querrey. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Red Cross.

“Seeing the devastation in areas I grew up around is difficult,” said Blake. “The people of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut are surely resilient, but there’s still room for us all to help. I’ve selected the Red Cross because it does an amazing job on multiple levels; it provides everything from food and blankets to mental health support for those affected.”

The eBay Giving Works auctions last 7 days. Those who want to make a bid can go to:

EBay Jerseys

For more details visit www.JamesBlakeTennis.com

Blake wed long-time girlfriend Emily Snider on Friday, according to People Magazine. The couple have a five-month old daughter named Riley Elizabeth.

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Djokovic To Face Federer in Final of ATP World Tour Finals

(November 11, 2012) It’s appropriate that the top two players in the world will meet in the final of the ATP World Tour Finals on Monday night in the O2 Arena in London.

No. 1 Novak Djokovic was down a set and a break before rallying to stop Juan Martin Del Potro 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in a day session semifinal on Sunday. No. 2 Roger Federer took out Andy Murray 7-6 (5), 6-2 in the evening session.

“I knew that if I lose today it’s the end of the season, so I gave everything I had and couldn’t be more happy,” Federer said on court after the match to the British crowd.

“I started the match off very well,” said Murray after the match. “I was going for my shots a lot. I was playing very aggressive on the return. Then he started to serve a little bit better. I missed a few more returns. Then, when he got the break back, he started to play better. I hung on a little bit the end of the first set.”

Federer found himself recovering from both an early break in the first set and a 1-3 deficit in the tiebreak to hold off Murray to take the set 7-6(5).

Federer broke Murray twice in the second set, losing a mere two points on his own serve.

Once he gets ahead, he’s incredibly hard to stop,” said Murray. “He tends to play better and better when he gets up. I feel like I gave him that advantage the beginning of the second set.”

Djokovic had to rebound from a slow start.

“Well, I had a little, let’s say, crisis in today’s match from 4-all, first set to 2-all in the second, where I didn’t feel so good on the court, struggling to find my momentum and my rhythm,” Djokovic said. “So you try to be positive and push myself to fight for every point and believe I can come back. That was the case.”

“He’s so good,” Del Potro said. “Of course, he’s the No. 1. In these kinds of matches, they make the difference between them and the rest of the players.”

“I believed that I could come back,” said Djokovic. “I believed that I could turn this match around in my favor, and I’ve done so.”

“I’m very pleased, it’s the first final here in London,” said Djokovic. “I haven’t played a final of the [ATP] World Tour Finals since 2008. I really look forward to it. It’s already a great success [to get to this stage]. But knowing it’s the last match of the season, I’m really going to try to give my best physically and mentally tomorrow to eventually try to get the trophy.”

Federer will be going for his 7th year-end title, while Djokovic is looking for his second. Djokovic won the ATP World Tour finals in 2008. Federer leads overall head-to-head against Djokovic 16-12.

 

RESULTS FOR SUNDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2012

Singles – Semi-finals
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) d [6] J del Potro (ARG) 46 63 62
[2] R Federer (SUI) d [3] A Murray (GBR) 76(5) 62

Doubles – Semi-finals
[5] M Bhupathi (IND) / R Bopanna (IND) d [3] L Paes (IND) / R Stepanek (CZE) 46 61 12-10 – saved 1 M.P.
[6] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) d [8] J Marray (GBR) / F Nielsen (DEN) 64 63

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UVA, Duke, UCLA,, and USC Claim USTA/ITA National Indoor Titles

By Don Sherman

FLUSHING, NY (Nov. 11) – Four main draw champions were crowned today at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, hosted by Columbia University at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY. Today’s winners on the women’s side both hail from the Pac-12 conference while the ACC swept the men’s titles.

 

The men’s singles final was expected to be a lengthy battle between sixth-seed Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia and ITA wild card selection Sebastian Fanselow from Pepperdine. The opening three games saw each player with chances to strike first with a break, but neither could do so. The set remained on serve until 3-2, when Jenkins pulled off a spectacular backhand passing shot on the full run to break Fanselow. Jenkins came through with a solid hold in the next game, and riding the wave of momentum, broke again for the set.

 

 

Jenkins seemed determined to not give Fanselow the slightest opening to work his way back into the match in the second set, drilling winners off of both wings from the baseline while also keeping a number of points alive with his terrific scrambling. The Pepperdine senior was clearly worn down toward the end of the match, managing to fight off two match points to hold at 0-5, but he was no match for Jenkins serve in the next game for the 6-2, 6-1 triumph. Jenkins is the second straight Cavalier to win the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships men’s singles title, with then-freshman Mitchell Frank pulling out a three set victory last year.

 

“I’m just really happy with the way I played,” Jenkins said. “Sebastian had a good tournament, and I knew he was going to be a tough opponent, so it feels really good to get this win and take the title back to Charlottesville. I really just focused on giving it 100% on every single point. It just so happened that I happened to play really well. We kind of felt each other out the first three games or so. I think when I saved the break points early on it kind of set the momentum that I was in it for the long haul.”

 

In the women’s singles final, UCLA’s Robin Anderson jumped out to another quick start, this time breaking Cal’s Anett Schutting twice to open the match. Schutting found herself down 4-0 before finally finding her range from the baseline. She put a little pressure on Anderson late in the set, getting one of the breaks back to close the gap to 5-3. However, in the next game, Schutting failed to hold once again, netting a forehand volley on set point.

 

 

Anderson sprinted out ahead once again in the second, securing a break for 2-0 when Schutting tossed in a double fault. The Bruin consolidated the break in commanding fashion by holding at love, but the set took a dramatic turn from there. Schutting finally got on the board with a hold in the next game, and then found a way to break Anderson’s serve. The momentum was nearly stolen back by Anderson, who had three break points at 3-2, but the Golden Bear came through with some big serving and heavy hitting from the baseline to fend them off.

 

Ultimately, Schutting’s inconsistency from the baseline plagued her, especially with Anderson being able to rely on her movement and defense when needed. On Anderson’s second match point on Schutting’s serve at 5-4, Schutting dumped a forehand into the net, allowing Anderson to flash a smile to her coach and let out a huge sigh of relief. Anderson is just the second Bruin women’s tennis player to claim the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships singles crown, joining the 1995 champion Jane Chi.

 

“The game plan was to be aggressive, make my serves and make my returns,” Anderson explained. “She came out firing. She was serving well and was hitting the ball so big, so I kind of had to adjust a little bit. I started playing a little more defense but still trying to be aggressive when I could. Having my friends come out, having the USTA here supporting me, it was so special to win it.”

 

The men’s doubles final pitted the No. 2 seeds Henrique Cunha and Raphael Hemmeler of Duke against the unseeded duo of Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland from Georgia. The two teams traded breaks early in the opening set, but it was the Blue Devil tandem who secured the decisive break for a 4-3 lead. Pieters and Wagland were able to force Cunha to serve it out at 5-4, which he had no trouble doing, ending the set with an emphatic ace down the T.

 

The Bulldogs held to open the second set, but on their next service game Cunha and Hemmeler broke, which all but sealed the fate of Pieters and Wagland. The Duke pair stretched the lead out to 5-1 before Wagland held serve, but Cunha and Hemmeler clinched the championship in the next game. They are just the second doubles team from Duke to win the men’s doubles draw at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.

 

 

“I think we were returning really well, so even though we lost one service game we knew that we were getting our chances on their service game,” Cunha said. “So we just kept focus, and I think that was the key to winning the first set and set the tone for the second set as well. I can’t ask for a better way to finish my last fall season. It’s just really special.”

 

The women’s doubles final provided little drama, with the top seeds Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria serving up a double bagel against Virgina duo Stephanie Nauta and Li Xi. The Cavaliers fell behind a break when Xi sailed a swinging volley long, but had two break point chances in the next game on Christian’s serve. When Nauta and Xi failed to break in that game, the frustration began to mount. An unforced error off the racquet of Nauta gave the Women of Troy a 4-0 lead, and after battling back from 0-40 on Santamaria’s serve, they took the set 6-0.

 

 

A hold at love by Christian and Santamaria was an ominous way for the Cavaliers to begin the second set. The next game ended when Xi threw in a double fault, and the remainder of the match went by quickly. The USC tandem continually hit precise lobs and perfectly angled passing shots, and when Nauta and Xi were in control of a rally, they seemed to go for the wrong shot at the wrong time. Nauta netted a forehand volley on match point, giving Christian and Santamaria their second consecutive USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships women’s doubles title. They are just the third duo in event history win back-to-back championships.

 

“We love this tournament,” stated Santamaria. “We don’t get a chance to play indoors too often, so it’s always fun to come out here. It’s an amazing feeling. It’s really incredible to be back again.”

 

For complete coverage of the 2012 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, including access to draws, recaps and more, please visit the official ITA event page. Follow the ITA on Twitter, @ITAtennis, for updates and news from Flushing. Use the hashtag #NationalIndoors for all tweets in regards to the event, or search the term “NationalIndoors” to find others who are tweeting from the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.

Courtesy of itatennis.com

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Courier Wins Atlanta to Sweep Southern Swing in PowerShares Series

Jim Courier photo courtesy of PowerShares.com

By Herman Wood

(November 10, 2012) ATLANTA – The PowerShares Series came to Atlanta tonight for the second leg of its southern swing. On Friday night in Tampa, Jim Courier, in front of his hometown crowd, pulled out a narrow 8-7 (2) after being down 1-5.

It’s a very different feel at this event- definitely not a typical tour stop. The night starts with a video montage, highlights of all the PowerShares Series players in their heyday set to loud rock and roll. As the players enter via spotlight, another montage of their personal highlights plays with more raucous rock and roll. The Atlanta program featured some big names, with a total of 19 grand slams between all the participants. The format features two semifinal matches of 1 regular set, then an 8 game pro set final.

Courier had a different path in Atlanta, taking on Michael Chang in the first match rather than Mats Wilander. Before the matches, each player spoke to the media.  Chang says its a little different for him in his forties. “Our body just doesn’t respond. That’s just normal. It’s been fun, but we definitely have to work in order to compete well. I think from a strategic point of view, I’m a better player.” “It’s a lot more fun- interactions with the crowd. At the end of the day we all have egos. We want to win.” For Courier, it isn’t all that different from the tour; “I don’t worry too much about it. I just get out here and go. Get into grind mode. Head down moving forward. It’s fun!”

The match started with Chang serving- or trying to serve. As he stepped to the line, a baby began crying. It looked like he was going to try to play through it, but paused just before his toss. He looked to the child, then to Courier, remarking that ” its a dad thing” Courier said “he wouldn’t know” Play began as the baby settled in. Apparently Chang didn’t, as an early break went to Courier. On Courier’s serve he held, but with a bucket list- “successful serve & volley to Michael Chang. You saw it here first.” with laughter from the crowd. It seemed Courier caught fire until Chang asked what side of the bed he woke up on. “Center- very zen.” After a couple of errors, he finally held off Chang. Both players showed the hallmarks of their game, Chang running down balls, Courier firing from the ad corner, running around backhands. Despite the scrambling and a break back, Courier was too much, breaking again to close the match at 6-3.

A short intermission followed, with Chang out helping some kids win Prince racquets by hitting targets. He fed U10 balls to the kids and gave then an assist with hitting the target. All the kids won a racquet, mostly thanks to Chang!

John McEnroe and Mats Wilander were the second semifinal. Wilander seemed to agree more with Courier’s assessment of the demands; “You’re trying to channel your concentration and focus into two hours, which is what you’re really good at if you’re playing professional tennis.” McEnroe, who has more points than anyone else in the series, said “It’s tough to do it back to back at this point, especially against this competition. Sometimes it’s tough to get that last point at the end. The court can beat you up. Staying injury free is a constant. We’ve got a good trainer. He takes good care of me. You have to work at it all the time. One of the factors is time. You have to take some time. It’s almost more important than practicing. You have to keep with it or you have no chance.” It looked like he needed a bit of service practice early on, as he was broken in the first game. The first point went to Wilander on a net cord. He apologized , but said he was not sorry. The crowd loved that! Early on, it seemed McEnroe had forgotten what his game was, rallying from the baseline much more frequently than making forays into the net. Once he moved in, momentum swung his way. Some service aces on his part didn’t hurt either. After getting the break back, McEnroe turned up the pressure, but Wilander stiffened his resolve and the games got longer. Wilander was often corner to corner and McEnroe had quite the number of volleys and overheads. He ultimately held on, 6-3, to earn another tiff with Courier in the final for a second night in a row.

After a very short intermission, they went at it just like the clock was turned back, only the groans from the players were a bit more frequent. Courier opened serving, going big right away- 2 aces and a service winner for the hold. McEnroe had a bit of struggle to hold for 1-1, but was able with a little encouragement from the crowd. Courier kept bringing the heat off the ground and from the serve all match. McEnroe soon matched him, holding easily with service aces, winners, and his usual characteristic touch volleys. Both men went corner to corner, with few mistakes and most points earned rather than given. Courier tried a bit of McEnroe touch while up big in a service game, much to his embarrassment. He asked McEnroe for some help, which he obliged with a demo volley. He then asked Courier for help with his forehand. That would have to wait until later.

Joking aside, the match turned a bit more serious as McEnroe turned on the pressure at 6-6, forcing 6 deuces. At one point, Courier asked if they could flip for it and McEnroe surprisingly agreed. They didn’t, but Courier held for 7-6. It turned out the push was too much for McEnroe, as he was broken for the match, 8-6 Courier.

“It’s always special to win and it’s nice to take over the top spot, but we have plenty more ahead of us on this tour,” said Courier. “Andre is going to be coming on strong to compete in these last four events, and John’s been so consistent all season long. So I expect an uphill battle to try and finish in the top spot but it was great to be back on top in Atlanta.”

Herman Wood was in Atlanta covering the PowerShares Series Champions Shootout at the Gwinnett Center  for Tennis Panorama News, follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/hermanewood

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Eric Butorac Talks College Tennis, State of Pro Doubles

 

(November 10, 2012) High school student-athletes from across the USTA’s Eastern section will get a chance to learn about the opportunities to play collegiate tennis on November 11 at USTA Eastern’s 26th Annual College Showcase Day at the Saw Mill Club in Mount Kisco, NY. Professional doubles player Eric Butorac, who also doubles as an assistant coach of the Harvard University men’s team will address the potential collegians on the ins and outs of the recruiting process.

Butorac, winner of 13 pro doubles titles in his career and a member of the ATP Players Council, played college tennis at Ball State University and Gustavus Adolphus College.

Butorac said that the main message he wants to get across to the students at the college showcase is: “when you are looking at a school, make sure that you’ve looked thoroughly at the both the coach and the players on the team. In college you spend a lot of time with your teammates. When I got married last year I had 14 teammates fly from Minnesota to Rhode Island for my wedding.

“Make sure it’s a group of individuals you want to spend a lifetime with because that’s really going to enhance your college experience,“ Butorac told Tennis Panorama News.

“(My) college coach changed my tennis game and enhanced it more than I ever could. Coach is the closest person to me in this world after my wife and parents,“ he added.

Butorac admits he’d like to work full-time as a college coach when his pro career.

“I’m a volunteer,” said Butorac. “This is my third season as a volunteer assistant coach.

“One of the biggest challenges is the experience in coaching while I’m on tour. Hopefully when I stop playing in the next couple of years, I’ll be able to move into it smoothly and quickly into a coaching role.”

For now, Butorac is gaining valuable experience for the future. “I get to be a full time coach when I’m home, and sit in on budget meetings, recruiting, admissions, as well as obviously practice,“ he said.

“I’m a big proponent of at least doing a year of college,” Butorac said of those toying with the idea whether to go to college before turning pro. “I think there is a small group of individuals we could look at over the past 10 years who should have skipped college – I mean – Sam Querrey, Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish. I think now more than ever, we are at the highest average age on the pro tour in the top 100– we have 10 guys over the age of 33 years old.

“I think there is no rush to make it on the tour when you are 18, 20 years old, especially as a man. I think a couple of years in college getting bigger, stronger faster, learning to play matches, it would be a really benefit for the tour. If things don’t go well then you have an education to fall back on.”

As a member of the ATP Players Council he was encouraged about increase in prize money given to players at the Australian Open, two million to the women and to the men.

“Doubles is getting a 17 percent raise, which is about 15 percent of the total number,” said Butorac.

“I was with (Roger) Federer in Shanghai and we had to divide up all the money. We just completed the breakdown last week and it should be approved by Australia.

“The great thing about Australia is that they gave us the two million dollar increase and they gave us a strong hand in distributing it, so we were able to give the money to the early round singles players and a $350,000 increase in the doubles.

“First round will get over a 30 percent increase, second round right around 30, and every round after that a 12 percent increase.”

So what is his take on the state of pro doubles these days?

“As far as the quality of tennis play, I think we are at the highest quality we’ve ever been at,“ Butorac said. “We’ve made some rule changes – no ad scoring, and a tiebreaker for the third. This has allowed the singles player, especially the mid-ranked singles guys who play doubles quite regularly. I think more than ever you are seeing players like Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal sign up for doubles events through the year. It’s pushed the top players like the Bryan Bothers and other top doubles teams to continue to improve.

“I’ve heard Bob and Mike (Bryan) speak often about how it used to be about playing doubles teams if they played singles players it was kind of a pushover. And now the game is tough because all of the doubles teams are as strong as they’ve ever been and the singles guys have really figured out how to play the game of doubles as well.

“You see guys like Rafael Nadal winning Indian Wells – from that standpoint (in doubles) we are in a really good place.

“I think from a marketing and publicity standpoint, for whatever reason doubles has been a tough sell. We don’t get on TV that much – we’ve on the Tennis Channel a handful of times a year.  Davis Cup, Grand Slam finals – five matches a year on major networks.

“I think it’s an exciting game. I think more Americans play more doubles than singles so they enjoy it a lot. But in Europe, it’s continued to be a tough sell.”

 

Karen Pestaina is the founder and editor-in-chief for Tennis Panorama News. She is a media freelancer in the New York City market. Follow her and the site on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN.

(Editor’s note – this interview was conducted just prior to Hurricane Sandy hitting the New York City area.)

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Del Potro Stops Federer to Qualify for ATP World Tour Finals Semis

( November 10, 2012) Juan Martin Del Potro claimed the final spot in the semis finals of the ATP World Tour finals on Saturday by stopping Roger Federer 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-3 in their last round-robin match. Del Potro will face Novak Djokovic in the semifinals Sunday during the day, while Federer plays Andy Murray in the evening session.

It was the Argentine’s second straight win over the Swiss. Del Potro stopped Federer in the final of his hometown tournament in Basel Switzerland. The loss snapped Federer’s 12 match winning streak in the year-end tournament.

“It’s a little record, but really tough to do it,” Del Potro said of the victory. “To beat Federer is not easy, for sure. But I didn’t think about the semis or trying to qualify for the next round. Just was thinking about my match, doing the same things like in Basel.”

“Good effort (from) his side to get me twice in a row now,” Federer said. “I hoped I didn’t have to lose against him again today.”

“Now you have three big names in the semifinals, and one big guy,” said the 6’ 6” Del Potro.

RESULTS FOR SATURDAY, 10 NOVEMBER 2012

Singles – Group B Round Robin
[6] J del Potro (ARG) d [2] R Federer (SUI) 76(3) 46 63
[4] D Ferrer (ESP) d [8] J Tipsarevic (SRB) 46 63 61

Doubles – Group A Round Robin
[3] L Paes (IND) / R Stepanek (CZE) d [1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) 64 67(6) 10-7
[6] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) d [7] A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED) 64 62

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