February 11, 2016

An “Unreal” Experience at the US Open for French Open Junior Champion Tommy Paul, Inspired by Roddick’s 2003 US Open Outfit

(August 31, 2015) 2015 French Open Junior champion Tommy Paul, earned a spot into the 2015 US Open through the qualifying tournament to make his first main draw of a major.

The 18-year-old who was born in New Jersey, but hails from Greenville, NC, lost on Monday to Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-0, 7-5. Paul had a 3-0 lead in the first set.

“Well I came out high on confidence, playing really well, hitting every ball pretty hard on top of the baseline, couldn’t really keep that up during the whole match.

“I said alright I’m going to stay on the baseline, hitting every ball as hard as I can, and then it started not going in. I didn’t think to back up and start playing more points.

“That’s what I tried to do after the second set, it was a little late.

“I was stepping back on his second serve, trying to move in on the first ball.”

After the second set, when his lost it 6-0, paul said to himself: “Just get one game”

 

“It was an unreal experience,” Paul said. “I mean I really always watched Seppi a lot when I was younger playing and really always liked his game a lot. It was awesome to draw him.”

Paul is set to play his final Junior major at the US Open, as he turned pro after the French Open.

“Home slam this is going to be my last junior tournament so I want to go out and do as well as I can and having fun while I’m doing it,” Paul said.

In a strange sort of way, Paul was inspired by Andy Roddick and his 2003 US Open outfit.

 

“I loved Roddick.” He was really young but he remembers when when Roddick won the 2003 US Open. “I had just started playing tennis then. He was in the top 10 for 10 years, I remember all of that.”

 

What he remembers most about Roddick winning the US Open? – His outfit. “And I wanted to dress just like him,” Paul said.

“Wow, that’s a crazy outfit” I remember him winning, at the place where I played at, I remember them buying a bunch of his Reebok clothes. I wanted all of it.

“It was crazy black and white things going across the chest, and the hat sort of like a trucker hat.”

“I met him at Wimbledon this year,” Paul said. “I got to hit with him a little bit. So cool. I got to talk to him and think he’s going to start helping us a little bit.”

“Was always a goal for me to turn pro,” he said. “I committed to (University of) Georgia, I really thought I was going to school until before the French Open. I went to some futures in Europe and I did pretty well there.

After the French, I said ‘now I’m going to do it’.

After the Juniors next week, Paul will be playing Challenger events.

 

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News at the US Open

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Andy Roddick and James Blake to Face-off in Legends Event at Connecticut Open on Thursday Evening

AndyRoddick

For the second year, the Connecticut Open will bring together some legends for two  evenings of tennis. On Thursday, August 27, Blake will play Roddick, and on Friday, August 28, McEnroe will battle Courier. Both matches will be the second match of the evening session, following the WTA quarterfinal and semifinal match, respectively. The Legends match will be best of three sets, with a super tiebreak for the third set.

 

McEnroe, a seven-time Grand Slam singles and nine-time Grand Slam doubles Champion, will be returning to New Haven for the first time since 1992.
Blake, a two-time Connecticut Open Champion with 10 singles tournaments and seven doubles titles to his name, Roddick, a former World No. 1 player and US Open Champion, and Courier, a former World No. 1 and four-time Grand Slam Champion, entertained the crowds over two nights in 2014, and the event drew rave reviews from fans.

 

“Our 2014 Legends Event was a huge success for the Connecticut Open, and we are expecting the 2015 event to be even better this year with the addition of legendary John McEnroe,” said Worcester. “James Blake, Andy Roddick and Jim Courier will again showcase how mixing humor, fun and great tennis can create a dynamic evening that enhances the overall fan experience at the tournament.”

Schedule:

Thursday, August 27 (Session 9)
James Blake vs. Andy Roddick
Friday, August 28 (Session 11)
John McEnroe vs. Jim Courier

 

CONNECTICUT OPEN PRESENTED BY UNITED TECHNOLOGIES – NEW HAVEN, USA

$ 754,163.00
21-29 AUGUST 2015

RESULTS – AUGUST 26, 2015
Women’s
Singles – Second Round

[2] P. Kvitova (CZE) d M. Keys (USA) 46 61 62
[3] [WC] C. Wozniacki (DEN) d [Q] R. Vinci (ITA) 64 67(6) 76(7)
[5] K. Pliskova (CZE) d [Q] O. Savchuk (UKR) 64 61
[7] [WC] A. Radwanska (POL) d A. Cornet (FRA) 64 62

Women’s
Doubles – Quarterfinals

[4] J. Goerges (GER) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d [WC] L. Davis (USA) / A. Riske (USA) 63 62
C. Chuang (TPE) / C. Liang (CHN) d E. Hrdinova (CZE) / N. Melichar (USA) 16 64 10-6

USONP
Men’s
Doubles
Championship – Quarterfinals

[1] J. Peralta (CHI) / M. Seeberger (USA) d A. Matias (USA) / D. Pume (UKR) 64 64
V. Mirzadeh (USA) / J. Witten (USA) d [Alt] K. Kessler (USA) / G. Kushnirovich (USA) 75 60
D. Cochrane (GBR) / P. Simmonds (USA) d J. Sheehy (USA) / P. Wynn (USA) 75 64
A. Fisher (AUS) / N. Healey (AUS) d [Alt] J. Haig (USA) / B. Tso (USA) 63 61

USONP
Women’s
Doubles
Championship – Quarterfinals

Y. Schnack (USA) / K. Zheltova (BLR) d R. Asatrian (USA) / K. Fahey (USA) 63 61
J. Cao (USA) / D. Spicer (USA) d B. Collens (USA) / M. Fuca (USA) 61 63
M. Jansen (USA) / E. Routliffe (CAN) d L. Dekmeijere (LAT) / K. Traxler (USA) 75 62
A. Anghelescu (USA) / C. Price (USA) d I. Bolotova (RUS) / D. Sescioreanu (ROU) 26 64 10-7

USONP
Mixed
Doubles
Championship – First Round

[1] D. Lao (USA) / J. Wang (USA) d V. Mirzadeh (USA) / A. Sargeant (GBR) 62 64
R. Doverspike (USA) / C. Price (USA) d S. Rider (USA) / M. Stillwagon (USA) 62 63
J. Cako (USA) / J. Kielbowicz (USA) d K. Christian (USA) / C. Wettengel (USA) 75 61
[Alt] K. Mcnabney (CAN) / M. Seeberger (USA) d T. Faulkner (USA) / S. Jardim (BRA) 60 46 10-6
A. Daescu (ROU) / A. Perianu (ROU) d L. Cook (USA) / A. Okuno (JPN) 63 64
H. Maslau (BLR) / S. Weymar (GER) d N. Kenner (USA) / K. Traxler (USA) 64 64
D. Boyer (USA) / J. Schiller (AUT) d T. Larson (USA) / A. Nelson (USA) 62 76(8)
G. Brodsky (USA) / B. Wilson (USA) d R. Asatrian (USA) / I. Shatashvili (USA) 60 62

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, AUGUST 27, 2015
STADIUM start 1:00 pm
WTA – [LL] L. Tsurenko (UKR) vs [5] K. Pliskova (CZE)
WTA – [4] [WC] L. Safarova (CZE) vs D. Cibulkova (SVK)
WTA – [7] [WC] A. Radwanska (POL) vs [2] P. Kvitova (CZE)

Not Before 7:00 pm
WTA – C. Garcia (FRA) vs [3] [WC] C. Wozniacki (DEN)
Men’s Legends – J. Blake (USA) vs A. Roddick (USA)

GRANDSTAND start 1:00 pm
WTA – [3] H. Chan (TPE) / C. Dellacqua (AUS) vs A. Groenefeld (GER) / J. Larsson (SWE)
WTA – A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) vs [2] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA)

COURT 1 start 1:00 pm
USONP Women’s Doubles – Y. Schnack (USA) / K. Zheltova (BLR) vs J. Cao (USA) / D. Spicer (USA)
USONP Men’s Doubles – D. Cochrane (GBR) / P. Simmonds (USA) vs A. Fisher (AUS) / N. Healey (AUS)
USONP Mixed Doubles – D. Boyer (USA) / J. Schiller (AUT) vs G. Brodsky (USA) / B. Wilson (USA)
USONP Mixed Doubles – [1] D. Lao (USA) / J. Wang (USA) vs R. Doverspike (USA) / C. Price (USA)

COURT 2 start 1:00 pm
USONP Women’s Doubles – M. Jansen (USA) / E. Routliffe (CAN) vs A. Anghelescu (USA) / C. Price (USA)
USONP Men’s Doubles – [1] J. Peralta (CHI) / M. Seeberger (USA) vs V. Mirzadeh (USA) / J. Witten (USA)
USONP Mixed Doubles – A. Daescu (ROU) / A. Perianu (ROU) vs H. Maslau (BLR) / S. Weymar (GER)
USONP Mixed Doubles – J. Cako (USA) / J. Kielbowicz (USA) vs [Alt] K. Mcnabney (CAN) / M. Seeberger (USA)

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Tuesday in “Hotlanta” Sees Mardy Fish Fall in First Round

By Herman Wood

(July 28, 2015) ATLANTA, Georgia – Hotlanta indeed!  Following the directions of ushers to take a seat on Tuesday in Atlanta potentially risked a trip to the burn unit!  It certainly was not comfortable, even in the shade once the sun moved a bit at the Atlanta Open.  Action heated up on the courts as well, with a number of young and experienced Americans in action.  Steve Johnson got by Lukas Lacko 6-1, 6-7, 6-2, dropping a second set tiebreak 7-3.  Austin Krajicek fell to Marco Baghdatis 6-4, 6-0, despite some creative engineering of his frame, reportedly playing with a broken frame for one point.  Qualifier Denis Kudla sent wild card Ryan Harrison home for singles in three sets, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(5).  Harrison tweeted later, “Fought hard today.  Thank you @BBTatlantaopen for this opportunity to play.  I will get better from this and always be back.  #Bounceback”   Eighteen year old Jared Donaldson took down fellow qualifier Somdev Devvarman 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.  Donaldson is impressive if for nothing else the ability to seriously launch a ball out of the stadium.  Interstate 75 is a possibility!

Australia’s Sam Groth had all he could handle with 17 year old American Frances Tiafoe.  It was a draw until the tiebreaker began for the first set.  The veteran Groth got a service mini-break early and that took some steam out of Tiafoe.  He certainly fought, but Groth kept blasting away.  Fellow American and Georgia Tech team member Chris Eubanks rooted loudly for Tiafoe, encouraging him to keep fighting.  The crowd was fully behind him, exhorting him as well.  He got a bit discouraged after dropping the tie break 7-3 and gave up an early break.  Soon, the racquet was thrown and the crowd got a bit quiet.  The statistics reflected a very even match, but all Groth needed was one tiebreak and one break point converted.  He made it hold up for a 7-6(3), 6-4 win.  Tiafoe won’t find much comfort in the statistics, but he only had one break chance and couldn’t convert it and that was really the difference.

Singles wrapped up for the day with a more mature American, Mardy Fish, who will be calling it a career after the US Open, taking on last year’s finalist – Dudi Sela.  Sela won over the Atlanta crowd last year with fine play and gracious humor.  The crowd appreciated fine play all night, but tried to raise Fish, though there wasn’t as much to cheer for as they might have liked.  Fish managed to hold his first service game, but it was a struggle.   The struggle continued in his second service game, as he was broken by just generally loose play, spraying balls long.  The game was certainly there, especially when the shot required a quick reaction, whether forehand or backhand.  Fish flashed a 131 mph serve at one point, but Sela was more than ready, blunting the attack, blocking backhand after backhand back authoritatively.  Fish managed to get the break back to level the set at four with the help of two net cords, but was promptly undone again, not able to finish points he had most certainly earned.  Sela had to work, holding off a break point, but closed the set 6-4 in his favor.  Fish apparently had an issue with his socks at some point and took advantage of a medical time out by Sela.  Apparently, he gestured to Roddick, who simply removed his socks and sent them to Fish.  That’s a bit more sharing than I think most people want to do with their doubles partner!  After Sela had his wrist attended to, play resumed and stayed on serve.  The length of rallies and level of play improved for both men, until Sela earned a break for 5-4 with a wild Fish forehand.  During the changeover, Sela’s homeland flag of Israel came out on display in the stands and it seemed to inspire him.  He served the set out, winning 6-4, 6-4.  He was gracious afterward, signing and posing with fans.  “If Mardy had played his best, he’d have kicked my ass!”

“If I’m going to play like that, it’s going to be pretty tough,” Fish said in talking about the positives he’d taken from the match. “It’s just it’s nice to finish on my own terms. The sport, my job, was taken from me so abruptly that it took me a long time to get my life back.”

Fish is scheduled to play his last two tournaments of his career in Cincinnati and New York.

I was also able to chat with Chris Eubanks, a 6-7 sophomore from Georgia Tech (about a mile from Atlantic Station).  Eubanks graduated from Westlake High School, also here in Atlanta, and is the number 53rd ranked singles player in the NCAA.  Eubanks played with American Donald Young in the doubles draw, beating Mate Pavic and Michael Venus 6-2, 3-6, 10-5 in the super tiebreaker. Wednesday he’ll play Radek Stepanek in singles.  I asked how I would know if he were playing his best.  “I’ll be getting my first serve in and making my forehand.”  I responded that he had just described about ninety percent of American tennis players, whether on the tour or not.  That drew a laugh.  We also talked about on court demeanor and he shared how important it is that you have to be yourself on the court and express yourself in the way of your own choosing.  Eubanks was very gracious with his time, though he was clearly there to support Tiafoe.

In other singles results, German Benjamin Becker got by fellow German Michael Berrer, 7-5, retired.  In other doubles action, “Popsock”, Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock fell to Gilles Muller and Colin Fleming 6-4, 4-6,10-6.  Eric Butyric and Artem Sitak took out Matthew Ebden and Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 6-0.  Play continues on Wednesday with the evening matches focusing on doubles.  Fish and Roddick return to action, taking on Murray and Lu.  The Bryan Brothers have big serving Groth partnered up with fellow Australian Chris Guccione.

 

Herman Wood is in Atlanta covering the BB&T Open action from around the grounds for Tennis Panorama News, follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/hermanewood

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The Road to the US Open Begins This Weekend at the BB&T Atlanta Open

BB&TAtlantaOpen

By Herman Wood

(July 24, 2015)ATLANTA, Georgia – The road to the US Open starts in Atlanta with the BB&T Atlanta Open this weekend with qualifying.  The BB&T is a ATP World Tour 250 event, with a 28 player singles and 16 player doubles draw.  Total prize money this year is $585,870.00.  The venue is set in downtown Atlanta, amongst the sky scrapers and shopping of Atlantic Station.  Two time champion and former University of Georgia all-time leader in singles and doubles wins, John Isner returns in search of a historic three-peat.

Arguably the best doubles team of all time, Bob and Mike Bryan make their debut in the BB&T.  They got their first tour win in an Atlanta event in 1998.  Defending doubles champ and singles semifinalist Jack Sock, along with doubles partner Vasek Pospisil, are looking to take another step in their development.  The doubles draw could be very interesting if a showdown between the Bryan brothers and “Popsock” materializes.  It was only a year ago that Pospisil/Sock denied the Bryans the Wimbledon 2014 title.

Marco Baghdatis is already turning heads in the ATL.  As he dropped off his racquets for stringing by the Prince Team at the Serious Tennis tent with Deana Buzzy Mitchell, he was reportedly, “very sweet and winked at me!”  That kind of behavior is sure to make him a fan favorite with at least half of the crowd.  Americans Steve Johnson, Tim Symzek, and Donald Young are also looking to make a statement.   In what could be a big story line, two time champion Mardy Fish is returning to the tour in this tournament.  He has struggled with health issues almost since the last tournament win in Atlanta.  He’ll also be teaming up with another former Atlanta champion, Andy Roddick.  Roddick will not play in the singles main draw, but is playing an exhibition match against another young American, 17 year old Frances Tiafoe on Monday night.  Tiafoe created a stir in the qualifying last year and has been granted a wild card into the main draw.  Other crowd favorites returning include Dudi Sela, last year’s finalist, 2013 finalist Kevin Anderson, and 2012 finalist Giles Muller.  The draw will also include 4 players from a 32 draw qualifying tournament to be played this weekend.

2015 French Open Boys’ champion Tommy Paul and this year’s Wild Card Challenge winner Trent Bryde have accepted two wild card spots into that BB&T Atlanta Open qualifying tournament.  Paul is the No. 5-ranked American junior. Bryde had to make his way through 5 matches in the Wild Card Challenge.  Georgia Tech also is providing a wild card to sophomore Christopher Eubanks.  Eubanks was named all Atlantic Coast Conference as a freshman last spring and finished ranked number 47 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.

Ticket sales have been on a record pace according to Tournament Director Eddie Gonzalez.  Atlanta has always been a tennis town, with the largest local doubles league in the United States.  There will be several special events that are part of the tournament scene, including the above mentioned exhibition with Roddick, a kids weekend with special ticket promotions during the qualifying tournament, a Commodores concert, College Night, another concert featuring LoCash, Ladies Day, USTA member appreciation day, and a Family Zone presented by Prince at Atlantic Station where kids can play tennis.

Herman Wood is in Atlanta covering the BB&T Open action from around the grounds for Tennis Panorama News, follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/hermanewood

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Philippoussis Defeats Agassi to Win 15 Powershares Series Opener in Salt Lake City

powershares

(March 24, 2015) SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Mark Philippoussis defeated Andre Agassi 7-6 (4) in the one-set championship match Tuesday to win the Champions Shootout, the opening event on the 2015 PowerShares Series, at the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah.

“A match like this could go either way,” Agassi said following the final. “I had a lot some chances early on when you get down to a breaker with Mark you have to execute on the right points. He did that tonight, but it was lot of fun trying to chase down his shots.”

Philippoussis, the 2003 Wimbledon runner-up, was aided not only by his powerful serve – which earned him the nick-name of “Scud” – but in the fact that his booming shots broke the strings in all three of Andre Agassi’s racquets, forcing the eight-time major champion to finish the match using one of the Australian’s racquets.

The tournament win was third on the PowerShares Series for Philippoussis and the first since winning in Surprise, Arizona in 2010. Agassi was seeking his eighth career PowerShares Series title.

The one-night four-player tournament event marked the first pro tennis event to exclusively use Hawk-Eye electronic line-calling technology in lieu of linespeople.

In the semifinal matches earlier in the night, Philippoussis posted a 6-3 win over James Blake, who won the PowerShares Series event in Salt Lake City last year, when played at the Energy Solutions Arena. Agassi defeated Jim Courier 6-3 in the other semifinal.

The PowerShares Series continues Wednesday night in Los Angeles at the Galen Center at the University of Southern California where Philippoussis, Courier and Blake will join Andy Roddick in the field. Philippoussis is a late replacement in the Los Angeles field for Pete Sampras, who injured his calf muscle while playing in an event in Sweden over the weekend and was forced to withdraw from the event. For full schedule, player and ticket information, go to www.PowerSharesSeries.com

The remaining PowerShares Series schedule with full fields are as follows:

 

Wednesday, March 25: Los Angeles, Calif., (Galen Center at USC) “SoCal Honda Dealers Helpful Cup” featuring Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis, James Blake

Wednesday, April 1: Lincoln, Neb., (Pinnacle Bank Arena at Univ. of Nebraska) “Champions Cup Presented by Woods Park Tennis” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake

Thursday, April 2: Chicago, Ill. (Sears Centre) “PowerShares QQQ Challenge” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake

Thursday, April 16: Austin, Texas (Cedar Park Center) “Champions Shootout” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake

Friday, April 17: Little Rock, Ark. (Jack Stephens Center at the UALR) “Champions Cup” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

Saturday, April 18: Dallas, Texas (Moody Coliseum at SMU) “Champions Showdown” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

Wednesday, April 22: Boston, Mass. (Agganis Arena at Boston University) “Champions Cup” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake

Thursday, April 23: Richmond, Va., (Siegel Center at VCU) “Champions Challenge” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake

Wednesday, April 29: Minneapolis, Minn. (Target Center) “Champions Shootout” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Michael Chang, James Blake

Thursday, April 30: Cincinnati, Ohio (Cintas Center at Xavier) “Champions Showdown” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Michael Chang, James Blake

Saturday, May 2: Vancouver, Canada (Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre at UBC) “Champions Showdown” featuring Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Michael Chang, Mark Philippoussis

 

In 2014, John McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the nine-year history of Champions Series tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte. McEnroe was followed in the points standings by Blake in second place and Roddick in third place.

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John McEnroe, James Blake, Andy Roddick, and Jim Courier To Compete in Legends Event at Connecticut Open

John McEnroe
(Feb. 26, 2015) NEW HAVEN, Conn. – John McEnroe, James Blake, Andy Roddick, and Jim Courier, four of the best American tennis players of all time, will compete in the Legends Event at the 2015 Connecticut Open, to be held August 21-29, at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale, it was announced today by Anne Worcester, tournament director.
For the second year, the tournament will bring together some of the game’s most well-known and talented legends for two entertaining evenings of tennis. On Thursday, August 27, Blake will play Roddick, and on Friday, August 28, McEnroe will battle Courier. Both matches will be the second match of the evening session, following the WTA quarterfinal and semifinal match, respectively. The Legends match will be best of three sets, with a super tiebreak for the third set.
McEnroe, a seven-time Grand Slam singles and nine-time Grand Slam doubles Champion, will be returning to New Haven for the first time since 1992. One of the most talented players in history, he accumulated more than 150 singles and doubles championships in his career, and in 1984, had one of the greatest seasons in the history of tennis winning two majors (Wimbledon, US Open), 13 of 15 singles tournaments, and compiled an 82-3 record for the year, which still stands as the best year-long winning percentage on the ATP World Tour. McEnroe was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999.
“I look forward to competing against Jim Courier in New Haven later this year.  Both Jim and I will be prepared to give our very best to make sure the fans get their money’s worth.  New Haven has a rich tennis history so it will be good to be a part of the Connecticut Open.”
Blake, a two-time Connecticut Open Champion with 10 singles tournaments and seven doubles titles to his name, Roddick, a former World No. 1 player and US Open Champion, and Courier, a former World No. 1 and four-time Grand Slam Champion, entertained the crowds over two nights in 2014, and the event drew rave reviews from fans.
“Our 2014 Legends Event was a huge success for the Connecticut Open, and we are expecting the 2015 event to be even better this year with the addition of legendary John McEnroe,” said Worcester. “James Blake, Andy Roddick and Jim Courier will again showcase how mixing humor, fun and great tennis can create a dynamic evening that enhances the overall fan experience at the tournament.”
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Draws Announced For 12-City PowerShares Series Tennis Events In 2015

AgassiSamprasPostMatch

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 23, 2015 – InsideOut Sports & Entertainment today announced
the draws for its 2015 PowerShares Series champions tennis circuit. The
PowerShares Series, the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis
players, will visit 12 cities in 2015 starting March 24 in Salt Lake City, Utah
and concluding Saturday, May 2 in Vancouver, Canada. Players competing on the
2015 PowerShares Series are John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim
Courier, Andy Roddick, Michael Chang, James Blake and Mark Philippoussis.

Each one-night event will feature two one-set semifinal matches, followed by a
one–set championship match. For more information: www.PowerSharesSeries.com.

The full 2015 PowerShares Series schedule with event match-ups are as follows:

Tuesday, March 24: Salt Lake City, Utah (Huntsman Center) “Champions Shootout”
James Blake vs. Mark Philippoussis, Andre Agassi vs. Jim Courier

Wednesday, March 25: Los Angeles, Calif., (Galen Center at USC) “SoCal Honda
Dealers Helpful Cup”
Pete Sampras vs. Jim Courier, Andy Roddick vs. James Blake

Wednesday, April 1: Lincoln, Neb., (Pinnacle Bank Arena at Univ. of Nebraska)
“Champions Cup Presented by Woods Park Tennis”
Andy Roddick vs. Jim Courier, James Blake vs. John McEnroe

Thursday, April 2: Chicago, Ill. (Sears Centre) “PowerShares QQQ Challenge”
John McEnroe vs. Jim Courier, Andy Roddick vs. James Blake

Thursday, April 16: Austin, Texas (Cedar Park Center) “Champions Shootout”
John McEnroe vs. Jim Courier, Andy Roddick vs. James Blake

Friday, April 17: Little Rock, Ark. (Jack Stephens Center at the UALR)
“Champions Cup”
Andy Roddick vs. Jim Courier, John McEnroe vs. Mark Philippoussis

Saturday, April 18: Dallas, Texas (Moody Coliseum at SMU) “Champions Showdown”
John McEnroe vs. Jim Courier, Andy Roddick vs. Mark Philippoussis

Wednesday, April 22: Boston, Mass. (Agganis Arena at Boston University)
“Champions Cup”
John McEnroe vs. Jim Courier, Andy Roddick vs. James Blake

Thursday, April 23: Richmond, Va., (Siegel Center at VCU) “Champions Challenge”
Jim Courier vs. Andy Roddick, John McEnroe vs. James Blake

Wednesday, April 29: Minneapolis, Minn. (Target Center) “Champions Shootout”
John McEnroe vs. James Blake, Andy Roddick vs. Michael Chang

Thursday, April 30: Cincinnati, Ohio (Cintas Center at Xavier) “Champions
Showdown”
Andy Roddick vs. James Blake, John McEnroe vs. Michael Chang

Saturday, May 2: Vancouver, Canada (Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre at
UBC) “Champions Showdown”
Michael Chang vs. Mark Philippoussis, Pete Sampras vs. John McEnroe

In 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the nine-year
history of Champions Series tennis by winning events in Kansas City,
Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte. McEnroe was followed in the points
standings by Blake in second place and Roddick in third place.

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James Blake Serves for a Cure to Raise Money for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

 

(L-R Andy Roddick, James Blake and John Isner)

(L-R, Andy Roddick, James Blake and John Isner)

By Vito Ellison, Special to Tennis Panorama News

(December 6, 2013) NEW YORK CITY – The James Blake Foundation brought tennis to New York’s 69th Regiment Armory Thursday night for the 2013 edition of Serving for a Cure.  The event, first held in 2005, raises money for the Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Research Fund, supporting early detection cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

As in previous years, the popular American was able to draw the support of some his high profile tennis pals including former World No. 1 and Fox Sports 1 host Andy Roddick as well as the current top-ranked American, John Isner.  The centerpiece of the event was a doubles match with Isner and Roddick taking the court for a light-hearted exhibition against Blake and Real Husbands of Hollywood actor Boris Kodjoe.  Kodjoe, though better known as an actor, is an accomplished tennis player in his own right, having been a four-year letter winner in the sport at VCU.  The actor held his own with the tennis champs, prompting Andy Roddick to crack at one point “If I could retire again, I would” after a Kodjoe passing shot whizzed by him. Though the mood was kept light by emcee Justin Gimelstob, there was still some competitive fire on display.  Roddick smacked his racquet on the court after an error that cost his side a game; while Isner briefly argued with officials over what he felt was a botched line call.

Read the rest here.

 

Related story: Blake: Mandela’s life a hundred lifetimes’ worth of accomplishments

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Tennis Legends Gather At ‘No. 1 Celebration’ To Commemorate 40 Years Of Emirates ATP Rankings

 

From the ATP World Tour – AUGUST 24, 2013 -NEW YORK — ATP World Tour No. 1s past and present gathered to mark the 40th anniversary of the Emirates ATP Rankings at the ‘No. 1 Celebration’, Friday night at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

Ilie Nastase, who became the first ATP World No. 1 on 23 August 1973, was present to be honoured on the night, along with successors John Newcombe, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier, Marcelo Rios, Carlos Moya, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Gustavo Kuerten, Lleyton Hewitt, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Andy Roddick, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

The legends each took part in an on-stage Q&A with Justin Gimelstob and Guy Forget, sharing their experiences of reaching the summit of world tennis, before posing for a group photo with the ATP World Tour No. 1 trophy. Each year-end No. 1 received an engraved replica of the trophy.

No. 1 Celebration  Nadal, Federer

“It’s definitely an ultimate goal for any athlete, not just tennis players,” said current World No. 1 Djokovic. “Growing up, in early childhood, you are inspired to show that love and appreciation and passion towards the sport, and of course there is this big drive – waking up every morning, working so hard, developing skills to be No. 1 in the world. Not many players have achieved that and to sit with fellow champions, it’s an incredible feeling… I’m really honoured to be here.”

Watch Highlights Of No. 1 Celebration

Federer, who held the No. 1 ranking for a record 302 weeks, spoke about sharing the stage with the players who inspired him. “It was very important for me to have someone to look up to. Stefan was one of them, so it’s nice to see you here tonight and all the others players… We’ve put such huge effort in the game, and that’s a platform we can enjoy today. So it’s unbelievable. Thanks for being an inspiration Stefan, all of you here today.”

On a lighter note, a self-deprecating Roddick said, “It is an honour to be the worst player in the room.” Fellow American Courier added, “It’s a great honour to be here among friends. I dreamed of being in this arena, and to be part of this group is mind-blowing.”

Year-End No. 1s  McEnroe, Djokovic

The evening, part of the broader ATP Heritage programme, also included a tribute to former ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett, who passed away in May following a battle with Motor Neurone Disease. Drewett founded the ATP Heritage programme earlier this year.

“Brad cherished the history of the ATP and men’s professional tennis in general,” said Mark Young, CEO ATP Americas. “Tonight’s celebration is a reflection of that. It was his vision to see all the No. 1 players gathered together as we honoured their achievements.”

The ATP Heritage programme, with the support of its founding partner Rolex, will continue to serve as a platform to celebrate the rich history of the ATP and the remarkable achievements of the world’s greatest players throughout history.

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Andy Roddick Announces Retirement after US Open

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Andy Roddick held a news conference at the US Open Thursday evening to announce that he is retiring from playing tennis after the US Open.

“I have decided that this is going to be my last tournament,” Roddick said. “I don’t know if I’m healthy enough or committed enough to continue another year. I’ve always wanted to, in a perfect world, finish at this event. I have a lot of family and friends here. I’ve thought all year that I would know when I got to this tournament. When I was playing my first round, I knew.”

 

When asked about what he will miss most he answered, “All you guys,” referring to the media

During his career Roddick won 32 career ATP World Tour titles. He became No. 1 in the world in November 2003 and ended the year as the youngest American to do so at 21 years and three months.

Roddick won the 2003 US Open and was a Wimbledon finalist 2004-05 and 2009.

Roddick was always a Davis Cup stalwart, helping to lead the US to the 2007 title.

 In his own words: exerpts from Andy Roddick’s news conference

 

I just feel like it’s time.  I don’t know that I’m healthy enough or committed enough to go another year.  I’ve always wanted to, in a perfect world, finish at this event.  I have a lot of family and friends here.  I’ve thought all year that I would know when I got to this tournament.

When I was playing my first round, I knew.

You know, certain parts throughout the year, I’ve thought about it.  You know, just with the way my body feels, with the way that I’m able to feel like I’m able to compete now, I don’t know that it’s good enough.

I don’t know that I’ve ever been someone who’s interested in existing on tour.  I have a lot of interests and a lot of other things that excite me.  I’m looking forward to those.

Q.  You’ve been talking about this for a couple years.  We’ve talked about 30 is not that old in tennis.  Obviously Federer is 30.  You’ve been a good athlete, very competitive.  In a sense, you’re sort of retiring early, no?

ANDY RODDICK:  Now you’re saying that (smiling)?

Q.  Yes.

ANDY RODDICK:  Well, it’s good.  I didn’t want to make it through this press conference without a direct comparison to Roger, so thank you for that.

I don’t know, necessarily.  A number is a number.  But I think wear and tear and miles is something that’s not really an age thing.  You know, if you look at my contemporaries that started with me, Roger is the only one that’s still going and still going strong.

It’s a matter of how I feel.  I feel like I’m able to compete at the highest level.  Frankly, these guys have gotten really, really, really good.  I’m not sure that with compromised health that I can do what I want to do right now.

Well, immediately we announced yesterday or the day before we’re building, with my foundation, a youth tennis and learning center in Austin.  I’d like to be hands on with that and not see it periodically.  I’d like to be kind of on‑site every day.  There’s some other projects, kind of side projects, that I’ve been doing.

Those excite me a lot right now.  So I’m looking forward to it.

I’ve always, for whatever my faults have been, felt like I’ve never done anything halfway.  Probably the first time in my career that I can sit here and say I’m not sure that I can put everything into it physically and emotionally.  I don’t know that I want to disrespect the game by coasting home.  I had plans to play a smaller schedule next year.  But the more I thought about it, I think you either got to be all in or not.  You know, that’s more kind of the way I’ve chosen to do things.

I’ve had some hard conversations with Brooke this year, with Doug and Larry.  You know, it was Brooke and I’s little secret over the last couple days.  I talked to Larry and Doug today.

We had talked about it throughout the year, obviously.  Talked to a bunch of my friends that are here.  It’s time.

You know, I’m lucky enough, there are a lot of players where I live.  I don’t think I’m one of the guys who won’t pick up a racquet for three years.  You know, I still love the innocent parts of the game.  I love hitting tennis balls.  I love seeing the young guys do well.

I’ll still have a lot of friends to watch.  I’ll miss the relationships probably the most.  As time passes, I’ll probably miss the tennis more.  But immediately that’s probably the thing that is toughest for me.

I think I wanted an opportunity to say good‑bye to people, as well.  I don’t know how tomorrow’s going to go.  I hope it goes well and I hope I’m sticking around.  I just imagine being off the court tomorrow in an empty locker room.

I think I wanted a chance to say good‑bye.  Also, if I do run into some emotions tomorrow or in four days or however long, I don’t want people to think I’m a little unstable, or more unstable (smiling).  That’s why I came to this decision.

There are a lot of different personalities.  Some people just want to play until they can’t play anymore, until they’re pushed out just by ranking, or they can’t get into tournaments.

I don’t think it’s fair to maybe generalize this moment for people.  Different people tick in different ways.  I don’t know that I looked at anybody else’s scenario when thinking about this ’cause I don’t know that I could pretend to relate to whatever they were thinking at a given moment.

I think so.  At the end of the day, I know that people view it as a career, last little while, of some hard knocks.  But I got to play.  I got to play in a crowd, play in Wimbledon finals, be the guy on a Davis Cup team for a while.  Those are opportunities not a lot of people get.

As much as I was disappointed and frustrated at times, I’m not sure that I ever felt sorry for myself or begrudged anybody any of their success.

For the moments where it’s been hard, I’ve had 25 positive things that have come from it.  Again, anything that people may view as tough, I’ve been very lucky and very fortunate.  I’ve gotten a lot of opportunities.

I wouldn’t trade away a day of it.  I’ve loved every minute.

A lot of stuff with my foundation will probably be my primary focus from here for a little bit.  Obviously I’ve gone over to the dark side with you guys with the radio show a little bit.  So that’s fun.  It’s something I enjoy doing.  I’ll probably build on that a little bit.

There are some other things also.  I’m looking forward to it.

I feel clear.  If I’m being honest, I would have bet against myself on getting through this without tears today.  I must have already gotten them all out earlier.

I feel pretty good today.  This has been a huge part of my life always.  But I don’t know that it’s always been my entire life.  So I do feel very confident in the things and the people that I have to fall back on.

My first time?  I was here in ’98, I played Fernando González in the juniors first round.

I came here in I think it was 1990 with my parents as a birthday present.  I snuck into the players lounge without a credential.

I saw Pete.  He was playing video games.  I’m pretty sure I beat him at like Mortal Kombat or something.  That was fun.

I was here in ’91 when Jimmy was making his run.  We only had grounds passes, but I got into the stadium every day somehow.

Then playing here, I think I played professional in ’99 doubles for the first time.  There have been a lot of memories here.

It’s meant a lot.  It’s the highest of highs and probably the lowest of lows also.  It’s certainly never been boring.  I’ve always enjoyed the energy.  I feel like each Grand Slam is almost a microcosm of the place it’s played in.

This is a show.  It’s New York City in every way.  I’m glad that I’ve been a very, very small part of it.

I mean, it’s the most electric atmosphere in our sport.  There’s something about it.  There’s a lot of eyeballs on TV sets from people who don’t even normally watch tennis during night matches of the US Open.  I think I’ve played as many as anyone.

Again, it’s just something I’ll look back on with really fond memories.  Hopefully won’t be my last one.

You know, I don’t think I’m foolish enough to think that it’s all going to be easy for me.  I don’t know that I would be that presumptuous.

I love my home life, my friends, my wife.  My dog is going to be excited.  I’m not going to be a dead‑beat dad anymore (smiling).  It will be an adjustment, but hopefully if I ever want to come say hi to you all, they’ll give me a credential.

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