2014/07/31

Nadal, Bryans Qualify For 2014 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

Nadal waves and smiles

ATP World Tour -LONDON – Rafael Nadal will return to London this November in an attempt to capture his first career season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title. Nadal joins three-time champion Novak Djokovic as the first two singles players to qualify for this year’s season finale, to be held at The O2 from 9-16 November.

Nadal has qualified for the elite eight-player tournament for the 10th straight year. The Spaniard has finished runner-up on two occasions, in 2010 (l. to Federer) and 2013 (l. to Djokovic). The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title is one of the few major prizes in the sport still to elude the Spanish superstar.

ATP Executive Chairman and President, Chris Kermode, said, “Rafa’s qualification for this year’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals is terrific news for tennis fans in the UK. They now have another chance to see a true sporting icon battle it out for the last title of the season. Rafa has previously come close to winning the title in London a number of times. This year, once again, many will consider him to be a leading contender as he looks to add this prestigious title to his long list of career achievements.”

The 28-year-old Nadal has lifted four trophies this year, including the Qatar ExxonMobil Open (d. Monfils) in January; the Rio Open presented by Claro hdtv (d. Dolgopolov) in February; an all-time record 27th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title at the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Nishikori) in May and his ninth Roland Garros (d. Djokovic). Roger Federer, currently at No. 3 in the Emirates ATP Race To London, is the next in line to qualify for the 2014 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, where he is a record six-time former winner.

Last week Nadal relinquished No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings to Djokovic following the Serb’s triumph at Wimbledon. Nadal, who has been No. 1 for a total of 143 weeks, was crowned the year-end ATP World Tour No. 1 in 2008, 2010 and 2013. Nadal and Djokovic have dominated the year-end No. 1 position for the past four years and the battle for top spot should not be an exception this year.

Bob and Mike Bryan will also be bidding to crown their 2014 season by winning the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for a fourth time, adding to titles in 2003-04 and 2009. They have qualified for the eight-team season finale for the 13th consecutive time (2001, 2003-2014). No doubles event was held in 2002.

The American brothers have captured five team titles in eight finals this year. In 2013, the American brothers clinched the year-end No. 1 Emirates ATP Doubles Team Ranking for a record ninth time and for a fifth consecutive season.

The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals has welcomed more than 1.25 million fans to The O2 arena over the past five years, establishing itself as the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world since moving to London in 2009. Tickets can be purchased at: www.BarclaysATPWorldTourFinals.com.

Emirates ATP Race to London – Top 15 (as of Monday, 14 July, 2014)

Singles
Pos. Name YTD Points
1. N. Djokovic (SRB) 7,250
2. R. Nadal (ESP) 6,645
3. R. Federer (SUI) 4,560
4. S. Wawrinka (SUI) 4,095
5. T. Berdych (CZE) 3,050
6. G. Dimitrov (BUL) 2,785
7. A. Murray (GBR) 2,435
8. D. Ferrer (ESP) 2,410
9. K. Nishikori (JPN) 2,405
10. E. Gulbis (LAT) 2,265
11. M. Raonic (CAN) 2,205
12. M. Cilic (CRO) 1,710
13. R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 1,565
14. F. Fognini (ITA) 1,500
15. A. Dolgopolov (UKR) 1,410


Emirates ATP Doubles Team Race to London – Top 10 (as of Monday, 14 July, 2014)

Doubles
Pos. Name YTD Points
1. B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) 6,445
2. D. Nestor (CAN) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) 5,100
3. J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 3,600
4. L. Kubot (POL) / R. Lindstedt (SWE) 2,855
5. A. Peya (AUT) / B. Soares (BRA) 2,650
6. M. Llodra (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) 2,480
7. E. Butorac (USA) / R. Klaasen (RSA) 2,235
8. J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) 2,045
9. V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) 2,000
10. M. Granollers (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) 1,990


Bold denotes qualification

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Bryan Brothers to face Colombians Farah/Cabal in Men’s Doubles Final

 

Bryan Brothers Photo by Kevin Ware

Bryan Brothers Photo by Kevin Ware

By Kevin Ware

(March 27, 2014) KEY BISCAYNE – The Bryan brothers are on track to win their third Sony Open title after a straight sets 7-6, 6-2 win over the French pair of Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut in the semifinals. They will face the Colombian team of Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in what is sure to be a Davis Cup atmosphere for the men’s doubles finals. Cabal and Farah booked their spot in the finals after defeating the young American team of Jack Sock and Ryan Harrison in a thrilling come-from-behind 2-6 6-4 (11-9) victory that was helped by a supportive contingent of Colombians in the crowd.

Kevin Ware is in Key Biscayne covering the Sony Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak.

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BNP Paribas Showdown Live from MSG on March 3

bnpmsg

From ESPN: ESPN3 and ESPN2 will combine to present live the BNP Paribas Showdown 2014 from Madison Square Garden in New York on Monday, March 3, with two matches:

  • A cross-generational, all-U.S.A. battle of brothers in doubles at 7 p.m. on ESPN3 as ESPN commentators John and Patrick McEnroe square off in a pro set against the Bryan Twins – Bob and Mike – of California, who have teamed for 15 Major titles;
  • A 2013 Wimbledon finals rematch at 9 p.m. on ESPN2 and WatchESPN between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, who became the first British subject to win the event in London in 77 years, since Fred Perry in 1936.  The duo has won six of the last 11 majors.

 

Chris Fowler will call the matches, working with Brad Gilbert for the doubles, and on the singles with Patrick McEnroe – fresh off the court – with Gilbert courtside.  The Djokovic-Murray match will also be available on broadband in the U.S. in Spanish on ESPN Deportes +.

 

Djokovic, currently ranked No. 2 in the world, has won six Major titles in his career.  Murray, No. 7, has captured two and triumphed over Djokovic in the finals of each – last summer’s Wimbledon and the 2012 US Open.  Nevertheless, the Serbian leads their head-to-head series 11-8.  In addition, he has won 28 of his last 29 matches (including the final 24 of 2013).  Among active players, they are third (Djokovic – 41), and fifth (Murray – 28) for career titles.

 

The Bryan brothers have won all four Majors among their 15 Grand Slam titles, nine different Masters 1000 championships, the World Tour Finals, Olympic Gold, and the Davis Cup.  The own a record 93 titles together and have finished as the year-end No. 1 team nine times.  John McEnroe, one of the great doubles players in the history of the sport, has nine Major men’s doubles titles on his resume, plus a Mixed Doubles victory at the 1977 French Open.  He has teamed with his brother Patrick to win a three doubles championships – in 1984 in Richmond, Va., the Paris Indoor event in November 1992 and the 2012 French Open Over 45 Legends Invitational.  Patrick also won the 1984 French Junior Doubles crown and 16 pro doubles titles, including the French Open in 1989 with Jim Grabb.

 

The BNP Paribas Showdown from MSG will air live internationally on ESPN’s networks in 48 countries throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, UK, Middle East, Africa and the Pacific Rim.  In addition, ESPN’s broadband players in Latin America & the Caribbean (ESPN Play) and Australia & New Zealand (ESPN3) will also stream live simulcast coverage of this event.

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Cilic Wins Delray Beach; Bryan Brothers Win 94th Doubles Crown

Marin Cilic

Marin Cilic

 

(February 23, 2014) Marin Cilic won the Delray Beach Open on Sunday, his 11th ATP World Tour title and second tournament win in three weeks, beating Kevin Anderson 7-6 (6), 6-7 (7), 6-4 in 3 hours, 8 minutes.

“It feels awesome, especially after waiting for a long time last night and finishing after 1am,” Cilic said. “Then, today to come back and win it, I’m really happy with this victory.”

“It wasn’t easy for my nerves, for Goran’s nerves especially. In the final some nerves can get into your body and you have to deal with it in the end. Luckily I found a way.”

“In the third [set], I just didn’t put down the clamps of getting back in the match and giving myself a chance,” Anderson said. “He was going to take one of his chances. He had a fair amount. If I would have capitalized a little more I would have put myself in a better position to win the title. I was happy making the final, but a little disappointed right now.”

Cilic leads the men’s tour with 18 match wins this season. He along with Rafael Nadal and Stanislas Wawrinka lead the tour with tournament titles in 2014 with two.

No. 1 Bob and Mike Bryan won the doubles final, beating Frantisek Cermak and Mikhail Elgin 6-2, 6-3 for their third Delray Beach Open title.

“[100 titles] is our next big goal,” said Bob Bryan. “We’re very happy to kick start the year here in Delray. Get that first [title] of the season, get that confidence flowing and take it into the next couple of Masters 1000s. It’s been a few years since we won the Miami tournament, so we want to put in a good showing there.”

The Bryans were congratulated after the match by golfer Jack Nicklaus, a winner of 18 major trophies.

“[Nicklaus] is a good friend,” said Mike Bryan. “He’s been to watch us at Wimbledon a few times. He loves tennis. Bob won his tournament last year. He’s a great, great guy to know. We’re huge fans of him. It was good to see him in the front row.”

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US Juniors Francis Taifoe and Reilly Opelka to Lead Off BNP Paribas Showdown at MSG

Francis Tiafoe

Francis Tiafoe

(February 20, 2014) New York, NY – Two promising American junior players will once again be featured as part of the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden. The match will feature a pair of 16-year-olds when Francis Taifoe takes on Reilly Opelka as part of World Tennis Day on March 3.

 

These juniors will play prior to Andy Murray taking on Novak Djokovic and the Bryan brothers facing the McEnroe brothers in the seventh annual BNP Paribas Showdown.

 

“We are very happy to have Francis and Reilly playing at the BNP Paribas Showdown this year,” said Jerry Solomon, President of StarGames, Inc. “So much of our mission with World Tennis Day is to encourage young players to pick up a racquet, so it’s important to have the opportunity to showcase junior players who are on their way to a future in the pro game. And it provides these young players an invaluable experience to compete in an arena like Madison Square Garden.”

 

Tiafoe is currently the No. 8 ranked junior player in the world. In 2013, he claimed his biggest title when he won the prestigious Orange Bowl, a tournament with a roster of former champions that includes Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Andy Roddick and Roger Federer. He also helped the United States win a gold medal in World Junior Tennis, a 14-and-under team competition. Tiafoe trains at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md., which is a USTA Certified Regional Training Center. Tiafoe began training at the center when coming to work with his father, an immigrant from Sierra Leone, who is a custodian there.

 

Opelka hails from Palm Coast, Fla., but now trains at the USTA Regional Training Center in Boca Raton, Fla. He finished 2013 with third round showings at the Orange Bowl and Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships as well as the US Open junior tournament. Opelka stands 6-foot-8.

 

This will be the fourth time juniors have been included in the BNP Paribas Showdown. The previous junior matches have been:

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

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

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

 

Several of those players have gone on to continued success. Stephens is currently ranked No. 18 in the world and broke onto the pro scene in 2013 with a run to the Australian Open semifinals. Kudla has reached a pair of ATP quarterfinals in his career, and broke into the Top 100 for the first time late 2013. Gibbs has won back-to-back NCAA individual championships while playing at Stanford.

 

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Teams On The Edge

Courier and Bryans

By Vito Ellison, Special to Tennis Panorama News

(February 1, 2014) SAN DIEGO – With the Southern California sun finally making an appearance and a partisan crowd finally making their presence both seen and heard, it was clearly a new day in this US vs. Great Britain Davis Cup World Group tie.  Nonetheless, the American team was still haunted by yesterday’s failures at Petco Park in San Diego.

 

For a doubles pairing that had just kept the American side alive in this Davis Cup, the Bryan Brothers were in no mood for celebrating—or even smiling—about their win today, neither was US Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier.  The Bryans raised their record as a team to 21-4 in the competition on the back of a decisive 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Dominic Inglot and Colin Fleming. Yet, it was clear from the beginning of their press conference that the twins had other things on their minds.

 

“Always feels bad to let the team down,” Bob said.  He was responding to the first question raised.  While the query was about winning this match following two uncharacteristic, five-set Davis Cup losses a season ago, Bryan’s allusion wasn’t lost on anyone.  Bob was as much referencing the still-stinging memories of their 2013 Davis Cup campaign as he was yesterday’s upset loss by Sam Querrey at the hands of James Ward.

 

The Bryans had little mercy on their opponents today, avenging their teammate’s defeat by drawing 45 forced errors from the British pair in a match that didn’t reach the two-hour mark.  Their only hiccup, a loose game on Bob’s serve in the third set, that cost the USA a straight sets triumph. “I think they just take it to you every time,” said Inglot about his opponents. “They always ask a question of you and they’re never going to give you any free points.” “The match can rush away from you,” Fleming added.  “When we got behind in sets, it can become a blur against them.”

 

As uncharitable as the Bryans were on-court, Courier matched in the pressroom.  When asked about Querrey’s chances of springing an upset of 2-time major champion Andy Murray tomorrow, Courier fired with little hesitation, “He’s going to have to play significantly better than he did yesterday to stand a chance.” The British squad, while realistic, wasn’t taking anything for granted.  When asked about Andy Murray’s chances against a player who had just suffered a disappointing loss, another thinly veiled reference to Querrey, British captain Leon Smith stifled the rumor of a smile breaking out on his face and replied “Very good.  Yeah, very good.”

Vito Ellison is in San Diego, California covering the Davis Cup tie between the USA and Great Britain for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his updates on the site’s twitter @TennisNewsTPN, on his personal twitter @vblacklabel. and visit his site Blacklabeltennis.com.

Related articles:

Motivated Murray Dismisses Young

Expectations, Or The Lack Thereof; Ward Upsets Querrey

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“On The Call” with Andy Murray and the BNP Paribas Showdown at MSG

Murray BNP paribas

(January 29, 2014) Andy Murray discussed his upcoming match against Novak Djokovic in the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden scheduled for Monday, March 3 on a media conference call. The event which is part of World Tennis Day also features a doubles match featuring John and Patrick McEnroe as they take on the best doubles team of all-time and current World No. 1 Bob and Mike Bryan.

Here is a rough transcript of the conference call:

Q: Andy, there is another big event happening here in New York – do you have any predictions on the Superbowl?

 

Andy Murray (AM): I don’t follow American football hugely, but if I get the chance to I will try and watch the game.   I think I read on Twitter that Floyd Mayweather had bet $10 million dollars on the Denver Broncos to win, which is quite amazing.  I’ll go with them as maybe he knows something we all don’t.

 

Q: Are you looking forward to the event at Madison Square Garden?

 

AM: Yeah, it should be a great event. I’ve heard from the guys that played there before that it is an amazing atmosphere. When I went to look around they were in the middle of refurbishments but it looked liked it was going to be unbelievable so it should be a fun place to play!

 

Q: Andy, you had a very memorable 2012 U.S. Open against Novak (Djokovic). Would you characterize that as your greatest match with him ever?

 

AM: I guess from my side, yeah I would say that. I mean we’ve played in quite a few big ones over the past few years, we’ve played a couple of great matches in Australia as well, but I mean from my side that was my first grand slam for me, and the way that the match went as well where I was up two sets-to-love and then he came back and then to come through winning that, it was probably my best one against him.

 

Q: Can you just talk about the benefit for players at your level and Novak for playing an exhibition like this?

 

AM: It depends how you use them and what time of year they come at. I mean obviously in preparation for Indian Wells and Miami which are the two biggest events coming up, I mean to play a match in that atmosphere with that many people, you know is perfect preparation for those events coming up. I haven’t played in loads of exhibition matches over the last few years but it’s not often a chance comes around to play at a venue like that, Madison Square Garden. I am a huge, huge boxing fan and they have had a load of great fights over the years. I love my basketball as well so to play in a place like that where you might not be able to get that chance to do that ever again, where you know most tournaments we will get that opportunity. You know the exhibitions kind of will be great for us as players to play in different arenas and parts of the world, we don’t usually get to.

 

Q: Coming back from back surgery and playing the Australian Open, you are playing really well and then of course you play Roger. How do you feel about your expectations, did you feel you can play that well for a few rounds at the Australian Open?

 

AM: To be honest, I didn’t know, I didn’t really know. I think having not played at that level hurt me a little bit at the beginning of the match with Roger because he was obviously playing some really good tennis over in Australia. And, he started the match very well and at a very high pace. It was something that I almost wasn’t ready for and in a way I started to build into the match as it went on and to feel a little bit better as the match went on. I don’t know how I was going to play. I never had a surgery before. I didn’t know how my body was going to respond exactly. But, for the second tournament back it was good. I wasn’t expecting to play my best tennis but it was a good start. The positive is that my back is feeling good and hopefully that continues throughout the rest of the year.

 

Q: I saw on Twitter today you were tweeting your score evolution soccer match. Are you in San Diego right now? And, how are the preparations for the Davis Cup?

 

AM: Yeah, I got in on Sunday from Melbourne. It’s weird; I’ve never flown back to the States this way from Australia which was quiet strange. It was like an 19 hour time change for a 14 hour flight. So we left 11:00 on Sunday morning and we got back around 6:00 in the morning here, it was weird. I have kind of been struggling a bit with the jetlag. But they have set up a great stadium and stuff over here. I’ve never been to San Diego before. It’s a great city, everything is beautiful, and it’s so nice. The court’s a bit challenging as it’s very slippery and tricky to move on. The venue’s, I mean it’s incredible. It’s a great venue.

 

Q:  Did Ivan (Lendl) ever talk to you about some of the extraordinary matches he has played at Madison Square Garden and second to that, what is the greatest venue you have ever played in?

 

AM: I mean outside of the Slams I would say the Alter finals, I always find the atmosphere of playing indoors it seems like you are able to create … an extra buzz and a little bit more of excitement atmosphere. Like none of the noise kind of gets lost in the open. It all kind of stays inside of the arena. I think when Ivan was playing I mean he obviously played his last year with McEnroe you know they had the tour finals when he was playing and I hadn’t exactly spoken with him at that specific time matches. But I spoke with him about playing there he said it was amazing. Like the atmosphere was great and the event was unbelievable. I spoke to a couple of people about if it will ever go back there and it doesn’t look like it will work financially now-a-days. Ivan said it was a pretty cool place to play.

 

Q: Can you tell us how you feel when you are in New York City?

 

AM: There is so much energy in the city that’s for sure.  It’s a very busy place, there is a lot happening.  There is loads of stuff to do there.   When I was growing up it was my favorite place to play and favorite place to visit.  I love the event, I love the US Open, and I love the night matches and the atmosphere there.  It’s a fun place to go to because there is just so much to do.  As a player, all the big places we play in all across the world it’s a pretty unique atmosphere that you get at the US Open playing in New York.  It should be fun to go back and play at Madison Square Garden.  It’s a cool city and I’ve always enjoyed going there.  The first time I went I was fifteen years old and I’ve enjoyed it all the time.

 

Q: Did you get a chance to watch the final between Stan (Wawrinka) and Rafa (Nadal)?

 

AM: No, I was flying and I didn’t see any of it.

 

Q: What were your impressions in general on Stan’s performance in Melbourne and do you think it’s good for the game for someone like him to break through?

 

AM: I saw some of his match with Djokovic but I didn’t see too much of his matches during the first week.  He had a couple of walk-over’s in the first week and he played a great match with Novak.  I didn’t see the final and I saw a little bit of the semi-final with Berdych (Tomas) which was an unbelievable tight match.  I only heard what happened in the final from people who watched it.   I heard it was quite a tough watch just with everything that was going on.  Weather its good for the game or not that’s up for everyone else to decide.  As a player, when I’m playing I’m trying to win myself and when it’s done I try not to worry too much about it.  I think over the last, however long it’s been, there’s been so few different major winners.  I think, for fans it’s probably a bit more enjoyable to see the events a little bit more open than they have been in the past.  Different faces in the last stages of those events.

 

Q: Do you have any plans for an exhibition in Scotland this year?

 

AM: Yeah, we are looking to try and do one this year at some stage.  I’m not 100% sure it’s going to happen or not.  It’s something we definitely looked in to; I think it would be a good thing for me to do.  There’s no tennis competitions in Scotland, there is a few sort of Futures events.  There are no challengers or ATP events there.  It would be a good thing to try and set up an event or match there later on in the year if we can.  It’s not always easy to get the right venue to make everything work with timing with obviously with the way our tour works.   There aren’t loads of periods in the year where we can do it.  I’m hoping something will get started.

 

Q: Were you surprised when the US Team chose clay as the surface in Davis Cup and what are your thoughts on playing John Isner?

 

AM: I was a little bit surprised with the surface, to be honest.  By having played on the surface I see what they have tried to do.  It’s not like a traditional European clay court that is quite slow and heavy.  The sliding and stuff is different … I move okay on the clay. It’s not something I feel unbelievably uncomfortable on.  It’s not like a traditional clay court – it’s much faster, the balls are quick … there’s not a whole lot of top surface, it’s quite tough to move.  I can see what they were obviously trying to do with the surface.

 

In terms of playing Isner – I haven’t played him for a while. I think the last time I played him it was the US Open a few years ago.  He’s obviously always a tough guy to play just because of the way he plays and they way he serves and holds serve.  It’s always going to be a tough matchup.

 

The annual BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden is scheduled for Monday, March 3, 2014.  The McEnroe vs. Bryan doubles match will be followed by Andy Murray vs. Novak Djokovic. For more information: www.thegarden.com.

The BNP Paribas Showdown is part of the second annual World Tennis Day, a global celebration of tennis that includes Showdown events in Hong Kong and London in addition to New York City. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) and its member nations will host participation events such as clinics and open houses at clubs around the world as part of this day. In 2013, 58 nations held World Tennis Day participation events.

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Bryan Brothers to be Honored by United States Olympic Committee

Bryan Brothers with Gold Medals

(October 24, 2013) The United States Olympic Committee honored Bob and Mike Bryan as team of the year 2012-13.

The Bryan Brothers are the all-time winningest doubles team in tennis history and No. 1 doubles team in the world, Bob and Mike Bryan captured the ‘Golden Slam’ after winning the doubles title at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships.  With the win, the Bryan brothers became the first men’s doubles team in the Open-era to hold all four major titles – including the 2012 US Open, 2013 Australian Open, 2013 French Open and 2013 Wimbledon Championship – along with the 2012 Olympic gold medal. The win marked the Bryans’ 15th Grand Slam title and extended their reign atop the ATP doubles rankings, dating back to September 2012. The pair continued its winning ways at the 2013 Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Cincinnati, where it claimed its 92nd tour-level title – the most doubles titles by the same team in tennis history. With the win, the Bryans clinched the year-end No. 1 ATP doubles team ranking for a record ninth time and fifth consecutive season. It was the earliest a year-end No. 1 ranking had been ever been secured.

The Bryans will be presented with their award during an awards reception in conjunction with the 100 Days Out Celebration to commemorate the final countdown to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games on Oct. 29 in New York.

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Wheelchair Player David Wagner and Bryan Brothers Earn Team of the Month Honors From US Olympic Committee

 

Bryan Brothers

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 9, 2013 – Top performances throughout June earned wheelchair tennis player David Wagner (Chula Vista, Calif.) Athlete of the Month recognition, while the men’s doubles team of Bob Bryan (Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.) and Mike Bryan (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) received Team of the Month honors, the United States Olympic Committee announced today.

 

Wagner went undefeated in June, claiming four quad titles while notching a 7-0 record in singles matches and a 5-0 record in doubles matches. His stellar run was highlighted by wins in singles and doubles competition at the 2013 Japan Open, held May 29-June 2 in Lizuka, Japan and the 2013 BNP Paribas Open, held June 25-30 in Paris. The Paribas Open win marked his second consecutive Super Series title, as he regained the quad singles crown with a straight-sets win over world No. 7 Anders Hard of Sweden. In doubles, he partnered with Canada’s Adrian Dieleman for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory. The Japan Open saw Wagner defeat Lucas Sithole of South Africa, 6-1, 6-4, in the singles final and partner with Canadian Sarah Hunter for the 7-5, 7-6 (4) doubles victory.

 

Bob and Mike Bryan – the all-time winningest doubles tennis team – went undefeated in June by capturing their 14th Grand Slam title at the 2013 Roland Garros French Open and the doubles title at the Wimbledon tune-up event in London the following week. Earning their first French Open title since 2003, the sibling duo defeated Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (4). The following week, the Bryans won their 90th career doubles title at the Queens Club in London on grass.

 

Also receiving Athlete of the Month honors was Olympic gold medalist swimmer Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md.).  Ledecky posted a brilliant week by winning the women’s 400-meter freestyle, 800 freestyle and 1,500 freestyle events at the 2013 U.S. National Championships, held June 25-29 in Indianapolis. On the final night of competition, Ledecky smashed Janet Evans’ 1988 meet record in the 1,500 with a lifetime best swim of 15:47.15, which marked the top performance in the world this year. In addition to winning the 800 and posting a national age group record in her 400 victory, Ledecky claimed second place in the 200 freestyle. In the process, she became the first American woman to qualify for the FINA World Championships in the 200, 400, 800 and 1,500 freestyle events.

 

Tennis’ Serena Williams (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and track & field’s Brianna Rollins (Miami, Fla.) earned second and third place in the female vote, respectively. On the men’s side, track & field’s Tyson Gay (Lexington, Ky.) finished runner-up, while swimming’s Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.) claimed third. The U.S. Women’s U16 National Basketball Team finished second in the team competition, while the U.S. Collegiate National Baseball Team rounded out the voting in third.

 

Each National Governing Body may nominate one female, one male and one team per discipline. A voting panel selects the winners from the pool of nominees with online fan voting via Twitter accounting for 10 percent of the total vote.

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Courier Names Querrey, Isner and Bryan Brothers to US Davis Cup Squad

QuerreyIsnerDavisCup2010lo_res

From the USTA: WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., March 26, 2013 – The USTA and U.S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier announced today that new top-ranked American and world No. 20 Sam Querrey, No. 23 John Isner, and the world’s No. 1 doubles team of Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan will represent the United States in the 2013 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Quarterfinal tie against Serbia, April 5-7. The tie will be played on an indoor hard court at the Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho.

 

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was named to the Serbian Davis Cup team today, making this the third time that the U.S. Davis Cup team has faced the No. 1-ranked player in the world since the ATP rankings began in 1974. Djokovic has won six Grand Slam singles titles—the US Open and Wimbledon, both in 2011, as well as four Australian Open titles. He played an instrumental part in Serbia’s only Davis Cup crown in 2010. Also named to the Serbian Davis Cup team is No. 44 Viktor Troicki, No. 338 Ilija Bozoljac and world No. 19 doubles player Nenad Zimonjic were named to the Serbian team.

 

“This team fought hard in the first round against Brazil and we expect a stern challenge when we face the Serbians in the quarterfinals,” said Captain Courier, who is in his third year as U.S. Davis Cup captain. “We are excited to bring the Davis Cup team to Boise for the first time and I expect a full house with enthusiastic crowd support for the home team.”

 

Matches will be telecast live on Tennis Channel and begin at 3:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. MT on Friday, 3:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. MT on Saturday, and 2:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. MT on Sunday. The best-of-five match series begins Friday with two singles matches, featuring each country’s No. 1 player against the other country’s No. 2 player. Saturday’s schedule features the pivotal doubles match. The final day of play on Sunday will feature two “reverse singles” matches, when the No. 1 players square off followed by the No. 2 players meeting each other in the final match. All matches are best-of-five sets until one nation clinches the tie, at which time they become best-of-three sets. A revised schedule for Sunday may take place if a team clinches in the third or fourth match.

 

The winner of this tie will face the winner of Canada and Italy in the semifinal round, September 13-15. Should the U.S. defeat Serbia, it would host Canada in the semifinal or travel to Italy.

 

Idaho is the 34th state to host a U.S. Davis Cup tie. This will be the second consecutive home tie for the U.S. Davis Cup team after defeating Brazil in the 2013 World Group First Round in Jacksonville, Fla. The U.S. is 110-16 all-time in Davis Cup ties played at home.

 

This match will mark just the second meeting between the U.S. and Serbia in Davis Cup competition. Serbia won the only meeting, 3-2, in the 2010 World Group First Round in Belgrade by a Novak Djokovic-led team. Serbia is only one of three countries to have a winning record against the U.S. Davis Cup Team.

 

Querrey, 25, became the No. 1-ranked American male last week and is ranked No. 20 in the world. Querrey, who will be competing in his sixth Davis Cup tie, played in his first Davis Cup tie at home and on a hard court in the 2013 first round in Jacksonville and clinched the tie for the U.S. in the fifth-and-decisive rubber, defeating Thiago Alves, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3). It was the first time a U.S. Davis Cup match came down to the final match since Pete Sampras defeated Slava Doesedel of the Czech Republic in the 2000 quarterfinals in Los Angeles. Querrey had not won a live singles match prior to that weekend and ended up with two wins, also winning the opening rubber. Querrey now holds a 3-5 Davis Cup singles record. He made his Davis Cup debut against then-world No. 1 Rafael Nadal on clay in Madrid in the 2008 World Group Semifinal, losing in four sets. Querrey holds seven career ATP singles titles and has ranked as high as No. 17 in the world.

 

Isner, 27, is ranked No. 23 and will be competing in his eighth Davis Cup tie; he is 6-6 in singles and 2-0 in doubles. In the first round in Jacksonville, Isner also played in his first Davis Cup tie at home and on a hard court. He went 1-1 in singles play in that tie. Isner defeated Roger Federer in the U.S. Davis Cup team’s first round win at Switzerland last year, one of the biggest wins of his career, and he won his fifth career ATP singles title in 2012 at the Winston-Salem Open, an Emirates Airline US Open Series event. The tallest player in U.S. Davis Cup history, at 6-foot-9, Isner made his Davis Cup debut in the 2010 World Group First Round in Serbia, where he became the first U.S. player to compete in three live rubbers in the same tie since James Blake in the 2003 first round. He turned professional after an outstanding four-year career at the University of Georgia, leading the Bulldogs to the 2007 NCAA team title as a senior. Isner is currently No. 23 in the world and represented the U.S. in the 2012 Olympics in London, reaching the quarterfinals before losing to Federer.

 

Bob and Mike Bryan, 34, hold a 20-3 doubles record together in U.S. Davis Cup competition. The 20 wins are first all-time in U.S. Davis Cup history for a tandem, and they are the only brothers to pair in victory for the U.S. Bob and Mike also hold the all-time Open era record of most Grand Slam men’s doubles titles (13) and ATP doubles titles (86). In addition, the Bryan brothers won the gold medal in doubles at the 2012 Olympics in London, where they completed a career Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal. The Bryans ended 2012 as the No. 1-ranked doubles team in the world, finishing as the top-ranked doubles team in the world for a record eighth time in 10 years.

 

Bob holds a 21-3 doubles record in Davis Cup competition and is also 4-2 in singles (all in dead rubbers). Bob did not compete in last year’s first round match at Switzerland due to the birth of his daughter, Micaela. Mike holds a 22-3 record in Davis Cup doubles matches, playing without Bob just twice in his Davis Cup career. He last played without Bob in the 2012 first round, teaming with Mardy Fish to defeat 2008 Olympic doubles gold medalists Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka to clinch the tie. Mike also partnered with Fish in the 2008 semifinal against Spain.

 

Courier also announced that the practice partners for the tie will be Tennys Sandgren and Mitchell Krueger. Sandgren, ranked No. 218 in the world, is a former University of Tennessee All-American, who reached the semifinals of the 2011 NCAA tournament, losing to teammate Rhyne Williams in three sets. Sandgren won three USTA Pro Circuit Futures titles (in four finals) in 2012 before transitioning to Challenger-level events for the remainder of the year. Krueger was formerly the top-ranked American boys’ junior, peaking at a career-high No. 5 in the world junior rankings in January 2012 and advancing to the boys’ singles semifinals at the French Open and Wimbledon in 2012. Krueger trains at the USTA Training Center – Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla.

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