March 24, 2017

Caroline Wozniacki Beats Eighth Seed Madison Keys to Reach US Open Quarterfinals

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki

(September 4, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Caroline Wozniacki took down No. 8 seed Madison Keys 6-3, 6-4 to reach her first quarterfinals of a major, since she reached the US Open final where she lost to Serena Williams in 2014. The Dane once ranked No. 1, has fallen on hard times coming back from an injury, seeing her ranking fall to No. 74 entering the US Open.

“This is crazy,” two-time US Open finalist Wozniacki said on court after the match. “After such a tough year to be here and into the quarterfinals is amazing.”

The 21-year-old American Keys hit 33 unforced errors and her serve was broken three times. Wozniacki won nine of ten of her service games.

 

Madison Keys

Madison Keys

Keys talked about the loss in her news conference: “I think it was nerves a little bit. I definitely felt like I got off to a bad start, and then I felt like I was trying to catch up from there.

“I definitely don’t think I was playing my best. I mean, I think she played really, really well today. I think it was just a combination of me not playing my best and not playing super smart and her playing really well.

“I feel like the match just got away from me.”

“It’s been a good week,” said the 26-year-old veteran Wozniacki. “I’m really happy about the way I played. Obviously Madison is a strong player. She hits the ball really hard.

“But I managed to really, you know, play well, get a lot of returns in. I served well, which I was pleased with.

“Yeah, I’m just happy that I got another win.”

She’ll play Anastasija Sevastova for a spot in the semifinals.

Wozniacki talked about her next opponent: “I had some tough matches against her in the past. I think we played Fed Cup a couple of times, but also we played the Australian Open.

“She’s a tough player. She’s a tough opponent. She has a lot of grit and good hands. It’s not going to be an easy one, but I’m excited just to have another shot.”

Anastasija Sevastova became the first Latvian woman to make a major quarterfinal since Larisa Savchenko at 1994 Wimbledon when she knocked out 13th seed Johanna Konta 6-4, 7-5 in the opening match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

For the 48th-ranked Sevastova, it’s just her sixth win over Top 20 opponents. She retired from the sport due to back injuries in 2013, but came back to the tour last year.

“I still cannot believe it,” Sevestova expresasing her feelings about reaching the final eight after coming out of retirement last year. “Mentally I’m spent. Totally spent. But it’s amazing.”

“I think I’m playing better in my second career right now,” she added. “I’m handling pressure sometimes better than before. Playing now these match points it’s tough. It’s always tough to finish the match, but I think I’m handling it better now.

“And, yeah, I think this was a quality match today. 30 winners, 26 unforced errors. I mean, it’s a good quality, I think. We played okay.”

Advancing to the semifinals will push her ranking up into the top 35.

 

Roberta-Vinci1

Seventh seed Roberta Vinci of Italy has reached the US Open quarterfinals again, defeating No. 99 Lesia Tsurenko of the Ukraine 7-6(5), 6-2.

The Italian admitted that she’s playing with an injury:”I have some problem with my tendon, left leg. That’s it. A little bit pain on my back. A lot of pain, but I don’t want to think about this injury.”

“I fight a lot, and important thing was to try something and stay positive, stay focused for the match.”

The Italian stopped Serena Williams’ bid for a Grand Slam last year, when she upset the world No. 1 in the semifinals of the US Open. This is the Italian’s 14th main draw appearance in Flushing Meadows.

In the last women’s match f the day, 14th seed Petra Kvitova lost to No. 2 Angelique Kerber in the night session 6-3, 7-5.

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US Open – Sock Knocks Out 2014 Champ Cilic; Djokovic and Nadal Advance

(September 2, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – No. 26 seed Jack Sock kept his record against 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic perfect on Friday, when he upset the No. 7 seed 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 on Friday to reach the fourth round at Flushing Meadows. The 23-year-old Sock, the 26 seed felt confient about his game.

 

“I think just all around I think I’m putting things together better and better,” said Sock. “I definitely feel more confident out there in everything I’m doing.

“Used to be some liabilities people would talk about in my game. I feel like I have cleaned those up pretty well. Returning was big for me. I think I’ve gotten a pretty good hold on that. Feeling comfortable. Getting in a lot of guys’ service games now.

“Overall I feel my purpose out there. I’m executing it well and I feel like I know what I’m going to do on almost every point.”

Sock, reaching just his second fourth round at a major, will meet No. 9 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The Frenchman defeated No. 23 seed Keving Anderson in straight sets.

Sock’s American countryman, John Isner did not fare as well. The 20th seed Isner who fell to Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (5). For the Brit ranked 84th in the world, this will be his first round of 16 at a major.

“It’s been a great week so far, absolutely,” the 21-year-old Edmund said to media. “Tonight was a really good win. I was pleased with my consistency throughout the match. Weren’t too many dips. On that stage, as well, in front of a good crowd, a big crowd, against John in his own country, I was pleased with the performance I put out there.”

“I think the match swung a bit in the first game of the third set when I had Love-40,” Isner explained. “I played three really good points to get to Love-40, and then kind of wear myself out trying to finish that game off.

“I didn’t break, and then the next game I didn’t make any first serves and got broken. That was a bit disappointing. But it was just a struggle out there a little bit. Kind of the whole tournament. Nothing really felt great the whole tournament.

“But credit to Kyle. I thought he played well. Certainly played better than I did in the big moments, so hats off to him.”

Edmund will have a tumultuous task ahead of him for the next match – No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Djokovic played only six games in the match on Friday when his opponent Mikhail Youzhny retired. Djokovic has only played one complete match at the tournament, in the first round. His second round opponent withdrew.

“It’s not great for neither players nor the fans pay tickets to come and watch,” noted the world No. 1.” Spent 20 minutes on the court. Of course, it’s not something you want considering, as well, the fact I haven’t played last match at all.

“But it is what it is. I got an extra hour of practice on the center court. They were kind enough to allow me to practice. Got to focus on positives.”

Rafael Nadal produced a spectacular between-the-legs lob shot during the night session in his 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over Andrey Kuznetsov in a night session match.

Asked if he ever hit a long like that before, the 14-time major winner said: “Well, actually yes. Not many times, but I remember one in Madrid against Djokovic.”

Other men reaching the fourth round include: No. 10 Gael Monfils, No. 24 Lucas Pouille and Marcos Baghdatis.

In women’s action, the most dramatic match of the day saw eighth seeded American Madison Keys rally from 1-5 down in the third set to survive Japanese player Naomi Osaka 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (3). The 21-year-old American said it was her best comeback win. She said: “For sure. Hands down.”

“No matter what the score was, it was always just trying to get back in the match. Once I was able to get a little bit of momentum I felt like I found my game a bit more. At that point I knew I had to kind of step up or else I was going to be going home.”

Keys will play two-time US Open finalist and former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki for a place in the quarterfinals.

“It’s been a rough year because I haven’t been able to catch a break from injuries basically,” said the current No. 74 player in the world. “Every time I have come back something else has been hurting. Knock on wood, right now I’m feeling good. Everything is feeling good.

“I’m hoping I can keep this up for the end of the year and hopefully start fresh next year.”

Other women moving into the final 16 are No. 2 Angelique Kerber – Australian Open champion, No. 7 Roberta Vinci – who stopped Serena Williams bid for a Grand Slam last year, No. 13 Johanna Konta, Two-time Wimbledon champion No. 14 Petra Kvitova, Anastasija Sevastova and Lesia Tsurenko.

 

Related Articles:

Jack Sock Rallies From Two Sets Down to Beat Marin Cilic; John Isner Also Wins, Gives USA 2-0 Lead in Davis Cup Quarterfinal

Day 5 of the US Open – In Their Own Words

 

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Raonic Falls to Qualifier, Muguruza and Kuznetsova Also Lose at US Open

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

(August 31, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Wimbledon finalist and US Open fifth seed Milos Raonic along with French Open winner and third seed Garbine Muguruza became the biggest upset victims so far at the US Open on Wednesday. Ninth seed and 2004 US Open title holder Svetlana Kuznetsova also lost.

Top seed Novak Djokovic advanced to the third round when his opponent Jiri Vesely withdrew from the tournament with a left forearm injury.

Cramps caused Canadian Raonic a 6-7 (4), 7-5, 7-5, 6-1 second round loss to American qualifier Ryan Harrison ranked 120th in the world. Raonic said the cramping began halfway through the second set.

“I don’t think hydration was an issue,” Raonic said. “I think I always take that precaution. Probably just nerves and stress, a mental sort of overexuberance rather than — probably more than it should.”

“I think I didn’t start off well in the match,” explained the Canadian. “I started off feeling a little bit heavy, which has happened to me before. You sort of get through the first set. You pull that one out and you sort of start to relax a little bit. I didn’t do that today. I just sort of compounded the stress. I kept trying to force the shots. I was hesitating mentally on the shots. I just felt a little bit a step slow.”

“I was my own worst enemy today. I tried the best I could to find my way out of it. My body didn’t let me.”

“The sort of expectation of pressure on myself to get out of that situation like I normally would in a situation like that, like happened to me in the beginning of Wimbledon, I didn’t do that.

“Then all that kind of forceful play caught up to me there in the end.”

Raonis hit 15 double faults in the match.

Raonic did credit his opponent: “He played well. He did a lot of things well. I think he stepped up and he played a solid match. There was a few breakpoints. I can’t remember if it was in the second or third. Hit three aces down the T; won three out of four of them.

“At the beginning of the second, a breakpoint. I hit a good forehand cross. He went for it down the line and made it. A reaction volley, made it as well. He stepped up and got through those important moments.

“I didn’t create this pressure for myself or this kind of stress on myself. He did that.”

Ryan Harrison

Ryan Harrison

“The cool and exciting thing was that I had a great win today, and there was no point where I felt like I was red lining or playing a level that wasn’t consistent,” Harrison said. “Kind of like going back to the first question I answered, when I broke early in the first set, I got broken back, there was no panic because I didn’t feel I was playing above my level to get up the break.

“That’s when I was just focused on staying the course. Lose a tight first set. Obviously a lot of people are going, you know, long, tight first set. The first couple games of the second are really important. I saved like four or five breakpoints in that first game of the second set. That was a huge hump, because you don’t want to be down a set and a break to that guy because he can just take the racquet out of your hand at times.

“That was another pivotal moment. I’m sure looking back there were plenty of times where it could have gotten away from me. I’m excited that emotionally and from an execution standpoint I was able to put enough in play and be aggressive enough to take the win.”

 

No. 3 Garbine Muguruza of Spain hit 38 unforced errors in losing 7-5, 6-4 in the first night match to Anastasija Sevastova from Latvia. Sevastova who retired and came back to tennis last after two years dealing with injuries, said she returned to play the majors.

“It still hasn’t settled in,” Noted the Latvian in regard to the upset win. “It feels great, but it’s still not like I won the tournament. It’s only second round.”

“We can enjoy it today, but tomorrow is a new day. There are other matches. Nobody thinks about the previous match. You have to think forward. Tonight I can enjoy.”

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki

In another major surprise of the day, ninth seed and former US Open champion Kuznetsova jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but her opponent two-time US Open Finalist Caroline Wozniacki won 12 out of the next 15 games to seal the win 6-4, 6-4. Wozniaki, now ranked at 74th in the world is unseeded in Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2007.

 

“I always believe in myself and I always think that in my head I belong to the top of the game,” she said. “You know, I’m going to have tough draws because of my ranking but in the end of the day I’m healthy, and that’s the main thing. Then I can start building from that.”

 

“I love playing here at the Open,” the Dane continued. “I have great memories here. I have had matches against Sveta so many times before here where she’s been killing literally on court 6-1, 4-1, and then I have managed to come back and win the match in three sets.

“It’s like, you know what? Just keep going, wait for your opportunity and your chance, and I did that today.”

 

Other seeds advancing to the third round included Australian Open champion and second seed Angelique Kerber, last year’s women’s finalist 7th seed Roberta Vinci, Madison Keys the eighth seed, the 12th seed Dominika Cibulkova, Johanna Konta No. 13, 14th seed Petra Kvitova, No. 22 Elina Svitolina and No. 24 Belinda Bencic. Moving to the third round on the men’s side –  two-time US Open winner and fourth seed Rafael Nadal, 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic, No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 10 seed Gael Monfils, No. 15 Roberto Bautista Agut, 20th seed John Isner, No. 23 Kevin Anderson, No. 24 Lucas Pouille, and No. 26th seed Jack Sock.

 

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US Players go 10-13 on Day 1 of the US Open

(August 29, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY -Thirty-nine players are representing the United States are playing in the US Open this year. Americans went 10-13 on day one of the US Open with a few five-set struggles for seeded men.

No. 20 seed John Isner had to rally past countryman 18-year-old wild card Frances Tiafoe 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (3) in 3 hours and 27 minutes on the new Grandstand court. The 125th-ranked Tiafoe served for the match at 5-3 in the fifth set, but could not close it out.

“Experience is definitely on my side in that match, but sometimes experience is overrated,” Isner said .

“You know, I think in that instance I actually probably played the best return game I played all match.

“You know, he played very well, I thought, and he earned everything up to that point for sure. I just tried to stick with it. Was able to get back into that set at 5-4.

“Actually, even though I was pretty haggard out there, I got a jolt of energy when I got it back to 5-4.”

“Serving for it I thought I definitely had it,” said Tiefoe. “I thought I definitely thought the match was over, but he played a good return game. Didn’t make that many first serves that game. Probably should have played a higher percentage, but it’s tough.”

“Toughest loss of my career so far for sure. But, you know, think I’m getting over it now a little bit. I mean, not much to really say. It’s tough. I was so excited serving for it 5-3; the crowd is going nuts; I’m going nuts. You have so much adrenaline going.

“Come up a little short, it hurts.”

No. 26 seed Jack Sock stopped the comeback of fellow American and last year’s US Open Boys singles champion Taylor Fritz 7-6 (3), 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 6-4. Sock made 73 errors in the win.

“Two for two,” said Sock who also beat the teenager in five-sets at the Australian Open. “Yeah, today was obviously a back-and-forth match. Two sets my way, two sets his way and then a battle in the fifth, but just happy to get through.

“I thought I came out and I thought I returned well the whole match. He’s got a great serve. He can really pop the first serve. Can’t be spotted well. It’s tough. I was able to get on a lot of second serves and put pressure on him I think. That paid off in the fifth getting up two breaks. Obviously didn’t help me too much when I gave them right back.”

Jack Sock withstood Taylor Fritz’s repeated comebacks to win the second five-set match between American men Monday at the U.S. Open.

Olympian Brian Baker using a protected ranking of No. 56 due to injuries, lost a five-set match for the first time after going up two sets to none when he fell to Argentina’s Federico Delbonis 3-6, 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2,6-2.

“Anytime you lose a slam match it’s tough on the soul,” Baker said.

Despite his ups and downs with injuries, Baker still keeps going on. “I still enjoy playing,” he said. “Obviously it’s not much fun to lose a match like that, but I’m still trying to make my way back this year. When you are out as long as I have, only 8 months back and I really wasn’t as fit as I really wanted to be until May So really just trying to get my feet back under me so it’s really disappointing to lose a match like that. I know I should be getting better and better as the year goes on and into next year.”

Another heart-breaking five-set loss coming after going two sets up was wild card Mackenzie McDonald who won both the NCAA singles and doubles titles while attending UCLA. The  former Bruin lost to Czech Jan Satral 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. This was the American’s debut at a major.

“I think there’s more positives to take from this match. Just thinking more about the experience,” he said. “You know that was my debut, I went five sets, my first five-set match. I think that this is just a long process. I think I’ve learned so much from doing this and experiencing this.”

McDonald plans to play challenger events to build his ranking up.

USTA Pro Circuit Challenge Winner Ernesto Escobedo Wins First Round Match at US Open for First Match Win at a Major

American qualifier Taylor Townsend had former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in trouble after winning the first set in the first-ever match on the new Grandstand. Wozniacki pulled it out 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 but Townsend the former No. 1 junior said she had chances.

“That really stings. I had so many chances,” said the Georgian.

“Overall, I just have to take the positive from it. This is definitely not satisfying for me. I want to continue, go back out, I mean, if I could I’d go back out on the practice court now. That’s just how I feel. Just to get better because I know that I’m so close.
“So that was just — that match proved a lot to me today, but I’m not satisfied at all.”

“There are a lot of different points that I feel like if I could have done something different or if I made a different decision that it could have maybe changed the outcome.

“Instead of getting broken, could have got broken. Instead of being down 30, could have been up 15-30 or 15-all. But that’s tennis. There are so many points during the match where it can go either way. You have to make a decision in a split second. Sometimes you make the right decision; sometimes you make the wrong decision.

“I have to learn from it. I can pick apart the match and tell you every little thing, but overall I’m just going to assess it, watch the film, learn from it, and keep moving.”
The USTA Girls’ 18s national champion Kayla Day from Santa Barbara Calif., won her first main draw match at a major when US countrywoman Madison Brengle retire with Day leading 6-2, 4-2. Day earned a spot in the US Open as the Girls National champion.

 

“There were a lot of nerves in the warm-up and first game, but after the first couple of games, I just felt really comfortable out there…. happy with that, she said. “It’s not always the best way to win, but I was happy with the way I was playing, and I was in control of the match.

“All my life, I dreamed about playing here, so I just told myself to go out and enjoy it today, that it would a good experience, no matter the result.”

Cathering “CiCi” Bellis, who made a splash in the 2014 US Open when as a 15-year-old she been seeded player Dominika Cibulkova is now two for two in first round matches at the US Open. Now 17, the qualifier beat Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 6-3.

Bellis talkd about the virtues of coming through qualifying:

“I think just playing actually three matches made me so much more comfortable, and knowing the surface of the courts and just playing on the courts in general is I think a big advantage for me.

“I think it’s better for me to come through qualifying rather than getting just a wildcard.”

 

Singles Results of United States players:

(26) Jack Sock d. Taylor Fritz 7-6(3), 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 6-4

(DEN)Caroline Wozniacki(DEN) d. (Q)Taylor Townsend 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

(20) John Isner d. (WC) Frances Tiafoe 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-6(3)

(13) (GBR)Johanna Konta(GBR) d. Bethanie Mattek-Sands[WC] 6-3, 6-3

(24) (SUI)Belinda Bencic d. Samantha Crawford 6-7(6) 6-3, 6-4

Federico Delbonis(ARG) d. Brian Baker 3-6, 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2, 6-2

(JPN)Naomi Osaka d. (28) Coco Vandeweghe 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-4

(WC) Kayla Day d. Madison Brengle 6-2, 4-2 ret.

(Q)Catherine “CiCi” Bellis d. (SUI) Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 6-3

(WC) Ernesto Escobedo d. (SVK) Lukas Lacko 6-4, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3

(RUS) Evgeniya Rodina(RUS) d. (WC) Danielle Collins 6-1, 6-2

(ARG) Guido Pella d.(WC) Bjorn Fratangelo 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

Christina McHale d. (GER)Mona Barthel 6-2, 6-2

Shelby Rogers d. (27) (ITA) Sara Errani 6-4, 7-6(3)

(TUR) Cagla Buyukakcay(TUR) d. Irina Falconi 6-2, 6-1

(CZE)(Q)Jan Satral d. Mackenzie McDonald[WC] 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2

(WC)Lauren Davis d. (BLR) Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 4-6, 7-5

(Q) Ryan Harrison d. (FRA) Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-3

(8) Madison Keys d. Alison Riske 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2

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On the Purple Carpet – Fashion Shines at WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Caroline Wozniacki attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Caroline Wozniacki attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Garbine Muguruza attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Garbine Muguruza attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Bethanie Mattek-Sands attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Bethanie Mattek-Sands attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Ana Ivanovic attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Ana Ivanovic attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Madison Keys attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Madison Keys attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Laura Robson attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Laura Robson attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Simona Halep attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Simona Halep attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Sloane Stephens attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Sloane Stephens attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Petra Kvitova attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Petra Kvitova attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Heather Watson attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Heather Watson attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Sorana Cirstea attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Sorana Cirstea attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23:  Serena Williams attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 23: Serena Williams attends the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free at the Kensington Roof Gardens on June 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for WTA Tour)

 

(June 23, 2016) Tennis superstars and celebrities from the worlds of sport, lifestyle and culture came together at The Roof Gardens, Kensington for one of the most anticipated parties of the summer: the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party presented by Dubai Duty Free.

Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, Eugenie Bouchard and more walked the “Purple Carpet” in London ahead of The Championships, Wimbledon.

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Caroline Wozniacki and Shelby Rogers Join Connecticut Open Field

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NEW HAVEN, Conn., June 7, 2016 – The Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, a WTA event that is part of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, announced several major tournament updates during its annual media day held at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale. Tournament director Anne Worcester joined city, state and sponsor representatives to provide an update on this year’s tournament, including the return of four-time champion Caroline Wozniacki.
New for 2016 is the addition of an Opening Night Ceremony presented by Yale University, Girls Day and Night Out as well as the addition of more than 15 new sponsors and five new shopping booths. Opening Night Ceremony will feature all WTA Main Draw Singles players and Yale student flag-bearers—members of the university’s international student community who will carry flags for each of the countries represented by players in the tournament. In addition, Yale University and the City of New Haven will mark the start of the tournament with special appearances by community leaders, a ceremonial coin toss, and entertainment provided by Yale performing groups.
“We are so proud to sponsor the Connecticut Open’s opening night ceremony,” said Yale University President Peter Salovey. “The tournament is one of my favorite weeks of the year, and all of us at Yale are looking forward to kicking off the festivities with an evening that will bring our university, the local community, and a world-class international sporting event together in a new and exciting way.” The Opening Night Ceremony will take place on Monday, August 22.
Also new in 2016 is a Girls Day and Night Out on Tuesday, August 23 featuring the COURTGIRL Lifestyle Experience during the day and evening sessions.  Mothers, daughters, sisters and girlfriends can look forward to makeovers, trunk shows, boutique fashion brands and much more.
Joining the player field for 2016 is four-time champion Caroline Wozniacki. Wozniacki has posted a 28-4 record at the tournament, earning her the nickname “Queen of New Haven.” She has 23 career WTA singles titles and held the No. 1 World Ranking for 67 weeks from 2010-2012. An ankle injury has limited the Dane in 2016, but Wozniacki returns to action today in Nottingham (UK) at the start of the grass-court season.
“Coming back to New Haven and to Yale is always special for me, and I look forward to competing at the Connecticut Open in August,” said Wozniacki. “The fans are always very supportive and the atmosphere on the court and around the grounds is terrific. I’ve had tremendous success in New Haven and hope to make a run at another title.”
The Dane joins a player field that includes two-time defending champion Petra Kvitova, who looks to tie Wozniacki with four Connecticut Open titles; Madison Keys, a finalist at Rome; and Sloane Stephens, winner of titles at Auckland, Acapulco and Charleston this year.
In addition to the above stars, rising American player Shelby Rogers has also joined the player field. Rogers, who was ranked No. 108 entering the French Open, produced a magical run at Roland Garros and reached the quarterfinals, before falling to eventual Champion and now World No. 2 Garbine Muguruza. Only seven other women since 1984 have made the French Open quarters with a triple-digit ranking, and none faced a more challenging road than Rogers, who defeated the No. 25, No. 17 and No. 10 seeds at Roland Garros. Rogers, now ranked No. 60 in the world, will be making her first appearance in New Haven.
“By reaching the semifinals or winning the tournament seven of the past eight years she has played in New Haven, Caroline Wozniacki has become a name synonymous with the Connecticut Open,” said Worcester. “We remain focused on featuring great champions like Caroline and Petra as well as strong American stars like Madison and Sloane and rising talent such as Shelby. The early field is off to a solid start and we believe it will only get stronger before the start in August.”

said Worcester. “

“We’re looking forward to another great tournament season and continuing the momentum of a successful 2015 where we saw an overall increase in attendance and revenue,” said Ben Barnes, secretary, Office of Policy Management, State of Connecticut. “We’re very pleased with the positive economic impact the tournament provides to Greater New Haven and the state of Connecticut.”
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Caroline Wozniacki Returns to Court For First Time in 10 Weeks with Win in Nottingham

 

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki

(June 7, 2016) Former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki made a winning return from injury in Nottingham, progressing to the second round of the Aegon Open with a 7-5, 6-3 victory against Turkey’s Cagla Buyukakcay.

No.3 seed Wozniacki, who missed the entire clay-court season with an ankle problem, was pushed by Turkey’s Buyukakcay. The Danish star took 52 minutes to claim the first set on Centre Court, before racing to a 5-1 lead in the second.

However, her 26-year-old opponent, who became the first player from Turkey to win a Grand Slam match at last month’s French Open, hit back to reduce the arrears to 5-3 before Wozniacki seized the initiative in the ninth game to break for the victory.

“It’s nice to be back on court,” Wozniacki said. “There are always things I want to do better, but all in all for my first match back in so many weeks it’s just great to be back.

“I am pleased with the result and pleased with the way I fought. I think in general I moved pretty well – I hit my targets and I got a lot of returns back.”

On featuring at the Nottingham Tennis Centre for the first time: “It’s really nice how they take good care of you here and the courts are nice and the practise courts are good. It’s all positive things.”

The Aegon Open Nottingham will see two tournaments take place in June, with the women’s WTA event being staged from 4-12 June 2016. Both tournaments will be an integral part of the British grass-court season, which features 11 international grass-court tournaments in eight venues across the country.

Earlier this year the LTA announced changes to the three week 2017 grass court tournament calendar. Nottingham will host a combined men’s and women’s tour-level tournament in the same week for the first time in 44 years. The pre-existing ATP 250 tournament will move back to Eastbourne, merging with the WTA Premier Aegon International to form a combined event (as it was from 2009-2014) featuring the following format: a 28-player main draw men’s event and 48-player main draw for the women staged across nine days. Other changes include a doubling of prize money at the Aegon Trophy Series (ATP Challenger & ITF Women’s Pro Circuit).

 

AEGON OPEN NOTTINGHAM – NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND
$250,000
6-12 JUNE, 2016

RESULTS – JUNE 07, 2016
Women’s
Singles – First Round

[3] C. Wozniacki (DEN) d C. Buyukakcay (TUR) 75 63
[4] M. Puig (PUR) d [Q] K. Zhang (CHN) 61 61
[LL] A. Hlavackova (CZE) d [5] Y. Wickmayer (BEL) 75 76(7)
M. Rybarikova (SVK) d [6] H. Watson (GBR) 46 60 64
A. Riske (USA) d [7] M. Barthel (GER) 62 61
[Q] A. Barty (AUS) d S. Peng (CHN) 63 62
[Q] M. Larcher de Brito (POR) d [WC] L. Robson (GBR) 63 75
[LL] T. Paszek (AUT) d K. Nara (JPN) 64 62
S. Hsieh (TPE) d N. Broady (GBR) 62 61
[Q] T. Moore (GBR) d D. Vekic (CRO) 62 75

Women’s
Doubles – First Round

[2] Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) d L. Davis (USA) / C. Mchale (USA) 63 26 10-8
Ka. Pliskova (CZE) / Kr. Pliskova (CZE) d [WC] F. Christie (GBR) / L. Robson (GBR) 67(2) 64 12-10

ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, JUNE 08, 2016
CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
[4] M. Puig (PUR) vs [Q] M. Larcher de Brito (POR)
[1] [WC] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) vs A. Tatishvili (USA)
A. Kontaveit (EST) vs [3] C. Wozniacki (DEN)
J. Rae (GBR) / A. Smith (GBR) vs A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) / L. Zhu (CHN)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
N. Melichar (USA) / A. Rosolska (POL) vs A. Hlavackova (CZE) / S. Peng (CHN)
S. Aoyama (JPN) / R. Voracova (CZE) vs N. Broady (GBR) / A. Sevastova (LAT)
A. Riske (USA) vs S. Hsieh (TPE)
after suitable rest – [1] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) vs R. Olaru (ROU) / A. Tatishvili (USA)

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John Isner and Caroline Wozniacki Headline World TeamTennis Draft

wtt 40th season

(March 25, 2016) MIAMI – Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and top-ranked American John Isner were among the top names selected today at the Mylan World TeamTennis Draft in Miami. Isner returns to the Springfield Lasers while Wozniacki was selected by the Philadelphia Freedoms.

 

The 2016 regular season runs July 31-August 13 with the top two teams advancing to the Mylan WTT Finals on Friday, August 26 at Forest Hills Stadium at The West Side Tennis Club.

 

America’s top doubles duo of Bob and Mike Bryan will join current WTA doubles No. 1 Martina Hingis and former world No. 7 Mardy Fish in the lineup for the defending champion Washington Kastles.

 

Former world No. 4 James Blake was selected by the San Diego Aviators with their marquee round selection. The New York Empire previously acquired marquee player Andy Roddick.

 

In the Roster Draft, a plethora of fresh faces headlined team selections. After trading up for the No. 1 roster pick, the Empire drafted New Jersey native Christina McHale. Top 40 players Daria Gavrilova, Daria Kasatkina and Guido Pella were selected by the Lasers, Freedoms and Empire.

 

The Kastles, who have won five consecutive titles, brought back the core of their 2015 championship team. Washington will be looking to rewrite the record books in 2016 by winning a record seventh Mylan WTT title.

 

A team-by-team breakdown of the 2016 Mylan WTT Draft:

 

New York Empire

In the New York Empire’s inaugural season, the team started strong by acquiring the rights to seasoned Mylan WTT star Andy Roddick in a transaction with Orange County Breakers prior to the draft. For their first round selection, the Empire went with hometown favorite Christina McHale. In Round 2, New York selected top 40 Argentinian Guido Pella, who will make his Mylan WTT debut in 2016. Rounding out their 2016 roster, the Empire chose two doubles players — Argentinian Maria Irigoyen and Austrian Oliver Marach, both of which will play their rookie season of Mylan WTT this year when the team kicks off their season at the historic Forest Hills Stadium. The Empire will be coached by Patrick McEnroe.

 

Orange County Breakers

Building on experience, the Orange County Breakers used their first and second round roster picks to bring back up-and-coming American Nicole Gibbs and 2015 Mylan WTT Rookie of the Year Alla Kudryavtseva, who will play their second consecutive season together this summer. In Round 3, the Breakers took American doubles player Scott Lipsky, who will be playing his second successive season in the league, but first with the Breakers. For the last pick of their 2016 draft, the Breakers added American UCLA standout Dennis Novikov, who will be making his Mylan WTT debut in Orange County this summer. Rick Leach will coach the Breakers this season.

 

Philadelphia Freedoms

With the first marquee selection of the 2016 Mylan WTT Player Draft, the Philadelphia Freedoms selected fan-favorite Caroline Wozniacki. Building their roster, the Freedoms drafted Slovakian Lukas Lacko in Round 1 and Russian teen Daria Kasatkina in Round 2, both of which will play their first season of Mylan WTT. In the third round, Philadelphia top-50 doubles player Fabrice Martin, who will play his first season in the league this year. With their final picks, in Rounds 4 and 5, the Freedoms selected British player Naomi Broady and American Donald Young to set their 2016 team. Josh Cohen will return as the Freedoms coach.

 

San Diego Aviators

For their marquee selection in 2016, the San Diego Aviators selected popular American and experienced Mylan WTT star James Blake to lead the team. The Aviators then used their first round roster selection to take rising American Shelby Rogers who will be playing her first full Mylan WTT season this summer. In Round 2, San Diego protected Raven Klaasen, who is returning to the team for the third consecutive season. For the third and fourth rounds of the draft, the Aviators added British singles player Daniel Evans and then protected Darija Jurak, who played for the team in 2015. The Aviators will once again be coached by John Lloyd.

 

Springfield Lasers

The Springfield Lasers are bringing back top-ranked American John Isner, who will be playing his sixth Mylan WTT season. In Round 1 of the Roster Draft, the Lasers brought on Canadian doubles specialist Daniel Nestor, a former Mylan WTT Male MVP. With their second roster selection, Springfield took German Benjamin Becker, who will be making his Mylan WTT debut in 2016. In the final two rounds of the draft, the Lasers added No. 34 Australian singles player Daria Gavrilova and Dutch doubles specialist Michaella Krajicek to round out their 2016 team. John Laffnie-de Jager will return to coach the Lasers.

 

Washington Kastles

After protecting the rights to marquee player Martina Hingis, the defending champion Washington Kastles made a strong trade with the Orange County Breakers to move up in the Marquee Round to select Bob and Mike Bryan. With five straight Mylan WTT titles, the Kastles also bolstered their team with the addition of American Mardy Fish.  The Kastles Round 1 and 2 roster picks were used to protect 2015 champion teammates Sam Querrey and Leander Paes. Keeping with a lineup that earned them the King Trophy last season, the Kastles protected both Madison Brengle and 2015 Mylan WTT Female co-MVP Anastasia Rodionova to begin their campaign to add another title to their dynasty. The team will be coached by Murphy Jensen.

 

Team-by-team look at each of the team’s roster, including their coach:

Washington Kastles: Martina Hingis, Bob & Mike Bryan, Mardy Fish, Sam Querrey, Leander Paes, Madison Brengle, Anastasia Rodionova. Coach: Murphy Jensen

Philadelphia Freedoms: Caroline Wozniacki, Lukas Lacko, Daria Kasatkina, Fabrice Martin, Naomi Broady, Donald Young. Coach: Josh Cohen

New York Empire: Andy Roddick, Christina McHale, Guido Pella, Maria Irigoyen, Oliver Marach. Coach: Patrick McEnroe

San Diego Aviators: James Blake, Shelby Rogers, Raven Klaasen, Daniel Evans, Darija Jurak.  Coach: John Lloyd

Springfield Lasers: John Isner, Daniel Nestor, Benjamin Becker, Daria Gavrilova, Michaella Krajicek   Coach: John-Laffnie de Jager

Orange County Breakers:  Nicole Gibbs, Alla Kudryavtseva, Scott Lipsky, Dennis Novikov.   Coach: Rick Leach

 

 

ROUND BY ROUND –

Marquee Draft

Springfield Lasers: John Isner (protection)

San Diego Aviators: James Blake (designated)

New York Empire: Andy Roddick (acquired via Orange County in pre-draft trade)

Philadelphia Freedoms: Caroline Wozniacki

Washington Kastles: Martina Hingis (protection), Bob & Mike Bryan, Mardy Fish

 

1ST ROUND – ROSTER

New York Empire: Christina McHale

San Diego Aviators: Shelby Rogers

Springfield Lasers: Daniel Nestor

Philadelphia Freedoms: Lukas Lacko

Orange County Breakers: Nicole Gibbs (protection)

Washington Kastles: Sam Querrey (protection)

 

2nd ROUND – ROSTER

Springfield Lasers: Benjamin Becker

San Diego Aviators: Raven Klaasen (protection)

New York Empire: Guido Pella

Philadelphia Freedoms: Daria Kasatkina

Orange County Breakers: Alla Kudryavtseva (protection)

Washington Kastles: Leander Paes (protection)

 

3rd ROUND – ROSTER:

Springfield Lasers: Daria Gavrilova

San Diego Aviators: Daniel Evans

Springfield Lasers: Michaella Krajicek

Philadelphia Freedoms: Fabrice Martin

Orange County Breakers: Scott Lipsky

Washington Kastles: Madison Brengle (protection)

 

4th ROUND – ROSTER:

New York Empire: Maria Irigoyen

San Diego Aviators: Darija Jurak (protection)

New York Empire: Oliver Marach

Philadelphia Freedoms: Naomi Broady

Orange County Breakers: Dennis Novikov

Washington Kastles: Anastasia Rodionova (protection)

 

5th ROUND – ROSTER:

Philadelphia Freedoms: Donald Young (exempt)

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BNP Paribas Showdown Sees Serena Williams win “Garden Party”

BNPPS Serena Wozniacki

By Vito Ellison

(March 8, 2016) NEW YORK, NY – The match-functional braid was traded for a sleek shoulder-length ‘do, the intense self-flagellation for ingratiating smiles.  Yes, the groundies still stung at times; yes, the serve was still fluid, but as Serena Williams took to the court with Caroline Wozniacki last night in midtown Manhattan, the mood was not combative, it was celebratory.

The ninth edition of the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden segued into the night’s headliners, Williams and Wozniacki, after a stirring opening act delivered by the matchup between World No. 4 Stan Wawrinka and superstar showman Gael Monfils.

BNPPS Monfils wawrinka

Everyone wore their loyalty on their sleeves throughout the evening. The 2-time major champion, Wawrinka, was greeted with polite applause when he entered the arena in a Henrik Lundqvist jersey, before Monfils entered to full-on cheers in the Knicks’ home whites.

Determined to draw more of the crowd to his side, Wawrinka came out firing, engaging Monfils in high-octane exchanges headlined by his renowned one-handed backhand including a winner to take the first break in the match. Monfils, though, would not be denied.  At times, he let his (not so) inner clown prince get the best of him, including an attempted header where a put-away forehand into the open court would’ve sufficed, before securing a 7-6 (6) first set.

The rest of the match played out like a competitive friendly between the two Swiss residents (the Frenchman, Monfils, maintains a residence in the country), with Wawrinka setting Monfils up for a couple attempts at show-stoppers that, to the dismay of the Garden crowd, didn’t materialize. Late in the second set, Williams joined Wawrinka while Wozniacki teamed with Monfils for some light-hearted mixed doubles during which Serena jokingly chastised the Swiss that her sister, Venus, would’ve gotten to a shot that he missed. Before Monfils ultimately dealt Wawrinka the 7-6 (6), 6-3 loss, Wawrinka tried to convince Chris Evert to join them on court, but the 18-time major winner was a few steps ahead of him, demurring and holding up her glass of wine.

Where previous editions maintained the facade of full-on competition, this year’s BNP Showdown felt more like a “Night with Serena and Friends.” The first time we saw the 21-time major champion last night she was pitching in on background vocals with a kids’ choir.  Then there was the mixed doubles jaunt in a figure-hugging bodysuit that recalled Serena’s late Puma era, before the main event, a “showdown” between the two BFFs and WTA No. 1s.

 

After decades of watching the younger of the Sisters Sledgehammer sometimes play in front of often ambivalent crowds, it was heartwarming on this March evening to see the lovefest between Williams and the crowd. While Wozniacki could count a couple of fans in the near-capacity MSG crowd, the vast majority were here to watch–and celebrate Serena who won the match 7-5, 6-4. She was at turns, gracious, giving tips to a young player during a mid-match interview and gritty, leaving Wozniacki lunging after winners during play.
Amid the smiles and light-hearted attitudes of the participants, there lurked the feeling that the celebration was still a bit muted. There was the lingering feeling that the powers that be, and Serena herself, when signing the contract months ago, might have expected this night would celebrate, not only Serena and her Sportsperson of the Year title, but a Calendar Slam and perhaps an Open-era majors record. None of that mattered though, not for this crowd, not for this night, not for Serena either.

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Juniors Hurricane Black and Carson Branstine to Kick Off BNP Paribas Showdown at MSG on March 8

BNP Paribas Showdown

From Madison Square Garden: (February 10, 2016) New York, NY –  The BNP Paribas Showdown will once again present two  junior circuit players when Tyra Hurricane Black squares off against Carson Branstine in an opening match presented by HEAD Penn Racquet Sports as part of World Tennis Day at Madison Square Garden on March 8.

 

The future pro stars take to the court to kick off the annual BNP Paribas Showdown featuring the colorful Gael Monfils, world No. 4 Stan Wawrinka, former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and 21-time Major Champion Serena Williams.

 

Born and raised in Boca Raton, Florida, 14 year old, Tyra Hurricane Black is currently ranked No. 86 on the ITF World Junior Ranking.  She won three ITF junior titles in 2015 and reached the finals in the recent 52nd Coffee Bowl in San Jose, Costa Rica.  Additionally, Black helped lead the US team to the finals of the 2015 ITF World Junior Tennis Competition in the Czech Republic.  Her older sister, Alicia Black is a former top-5 world-ranked junior now playing on the pro circuit.

 

Branstine, who started playing tennis at seven years old, is 15 and hails from Orange County, California.  She is currently No. 184 on the ITF World Junior Ranking and holds 26 career singles titles.  She has played in the 2015 US Open Junior Slam and was a member of the USA Team National Junior Team. Additionally, Branstine played on an 18s national team where she went undefeated and was a finalist in the 2015 Plantation ITF.

 

Black and Branstine add to a considerable list of exceptional juniors who have taken to the Madison Square Garden tennis court at the BNP Paribas Showdown including the likes of Francis Tiafoe who turned pro in May 2015 and is said to be one of the prominent young up and coming stars as well as Sloane Stephens who is ranked No. 26 on the WTA Tour and currently representing the United States at the Fed Cup in Hawaii.

 

Previous junior matches featured:

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)

2014: Tiafoe (16) vs Reilly Opelka (16)

2015: Cori “Coco” Gauff (10) vs Gabriella Price (11)

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