Victoria Duval Headlines USTA Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs

Victoria Duval

(November 19, 2013) Victoria Duval will headline the field at the 2013 USTA Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs, being held December 20-22 at Life Time Athletic at Peachtree Corners in Norcross, Ga.


The 17-year old American upset the 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur in the first round of the 2013 US Open. She’s currently the youngest member of the WTA top 200, ranked at 168.


Other players joining Duval in the USTA Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs include, Atlanta native and 2011 US Open junior champion Grace Min (No. 153), Shelby Rogers (No. 126) and Madison Brengle (No. 150), who won USTA wild cards into the 2007 and 2008 Australian Opens, as players competing for a singles wild card entry into the 2014 Australian Open. The annual Wild Card Playoffs, will feature eight men and eight women, with the remaining players to be announced at a later date. The USTA secured the opportunity through a reciprocal agreement with Tennis Australia, where the two national federations exchanged wild cards for the 2013 US Open and 2014 Australian Open.

For more information www.australianwildcard.com.



Americans in Paris – Day One at Roland Garros




(May 26, 2013) Twenty-five players from the United States are competing in the singles draws of Paris this fortnight at Roland Garros – 15 women and 10 men. Americans went 4-4 in Paris on the first day of the French Open.

Here is a look at how they all fared:

First Round: Serena Williams (1) (USA) def. Anna Tatishvili (GEO) 6-0, 6-1

In 2012 Serena Williams lost for the only time in the first round of a major when she fell to Virginie Razzano in Paris. Williams did not let that happen on Sunday. Her demolition of Tashvilli saw Williams win 56 of 78 points in the match and hit 8 aces.

Serena was questioned about about the surge of women from the U. S.  in the main draw of Roland Garros – a total of 15.

“I think the quality over the past year has jumped tremendously with the U.S. players,” Williams said.  “On the female, female U.S. players.  I think last year here, outside of me, all the U.S. girls did really, really well, and I think we started to see then just so many players just popping up left and right.

“That’s 15 in the main draw?  That’s pretty awesome.  Yeah.  So it is a lot of players, but they’re all really young.  So there is still an opportunity to grow.”

Williams gets a French wild card, promising teenager Caroline Garcia next. Back in 2011, Garcia led Maria Sharapova in Paris 6-3, 4-1 before the Russian came back to win in three sets.


First round: Sam Querrey (18) (USA) def. Lukas Lacko (POL) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

The No. 1 U. S. male who is 20th in the world, has equaled his best performance at the French Open by reaching the second round. In fact, the California native won Sunday’s match on the same court where he was victorious back in 2011 – on Court 7. Querrey is 1-3 on clay coming into Paris this season.

“The clay season has been a little rough,” Querrey said to media.  “Pulled out of Houston, and the Masters Series, I played well in both of them, but took two losses.  And then Nice was a little disappointing.

“I just focused on my attitude out here today and played the best match I’ve played all year on any surface.”

Querrey gets Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic next in the second round. Hajek defeated American Dennis Kudla


First round: Urszula Radwanska (POL) def. Venus Williams (USA) 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-4

The three hour and 19 minute match on Sunday was Williams‘ first loss in the opening round of the French Open since 2001.  She’s now lost in the first round of 2 of the last four majors. she also lost at Wimbledon. Despite the heart-breaking loss, she is not discouraged and will continue to play.

“I think that obviously it’s disappointing to lose,” Venus told media in her post-match news conference.  “It’s not what anyone is going for out here.  Coming out to win.  I’m coming out to win my matches.

“And, you know, with what I’ve gone through, it’s not easy.  But I’m strong and I’m a fighter.  You know, I don’t think I’m just playing for me now.  I think I’m playing for a lot of people who haven’t felt well.

“I think for me today it’s a positive to be able to play three hours.  I’m constantly finding ways to get better and to feel better.

“For me, I would never give up because, you know, obviously at some point everyone has to retire.  You know, that’s an asterisk, but I feel like I have to give myself a chance to continue working on feeling better.  I wouldn’t just give up just because it was difficult.

“That’s not me.  So my thing is that I’m going to keep ‑‑ continue trying.  And, you know, I had a very challenging year last year, but I had many successes, as well.

“So I’m continuing to look forward to more successes.”

Williams is still playing in the French Open, she’s competing in doubles with her sister Serena.


First round: Viktor Trocki (SRB) def. James Blake (USA) 6-4, 6-2, 6-2

Thirty-three year-old veteran James Blake, playing for the ninth time at Roland Garros could do nothing against Troicki. The highlight of the match for Blake was a between-the-legs shot.

Blake who came into Paris with no clay court ATP tournaments under his belt, spoke about play.

“The difference between my best and now is consistency,” said Blake to media. “I’m still trying to work on it. There are days it is good. Today wasn’t one of my best days. Off days are exposed very quickly out here.”


First round: Mallory Burdette (USA) def. Donna Vekic (CRO) 6-3, 6-4

Stanford Alum Mallory Burdette was making her debut on the clay of Paris. She has seen her ranking rise from No. 142 at the beginning of 2013 to No. 80.

Burdette spoke to media about her challenges in learning to play on clay.

“It’s definitely a bit of a different game, but it’s nothing that we can’t adjust to.  I can’t really speak for the other players, but it’s a bit of a challenge.  You have to change up your strategy a little bit, especially if you’re a big hitter.

“It takes a little bit of effort, but it’s fun and it’s a good challenge.”


First round: Shelby Rogers (USA) def. 6-3, 6-4 Irena Pavlovic (FRA)

Playing in just her second major, Shelby Rogers made her Paris debut a winning one. Beginning the year on tour at 0-6, she earned a wild card into Roland Garros.

Rogers who turned pro in 2009, reflected on the win:

“Feels really good.  My first Grand Slam main draw win.  And especially against a French player.  I was expecting the crowd to be against me.  I was ready for a battle.”

“It was really tough for a while,” said the 188th ranked player. “I wasn’t a very happy person. But I kept grinding it out every day, and I knew something had to turn around eventually. Here I am – pretty much the highest point of my career.”


Jan Hajek(CZE) def. Denis Kudla (USA) 6-2, 5-7, 6-0, 6-4

Kudla, once the No. 3 Junior made it into the main draw as a qualifier.


Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) def. Grace Min (USA) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5

The 2011 U.S. Open Girls’ champion Grace Min made it to the main draw of Roland Garros as a qualifier.


Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News


Fields for USTA Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs Announced


USTA Player Development has named the eight men and eight women who will be participating in the Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs. They include in the Women’s draw – Melanie Oudin, Coco Vandeweghe, Madison Keys, Jamie Hampton, Gail Brodsky, Alison Riske, Grace Min and Taylor Townsend.


The men’s field consists of Robby Ginepri, Jack Sock, Bobby Reynolds, Denis Kudla, Steve Johnson, Daniel Kosakowski, Rhyne Williams and Jesse Levine.


The playoffs will be held at the Racquet Club of the South in Atlanta, one of the USTA Certified Regional Training Centers  from December 16-18.  The winners will receive main draw singles wild cards into the men’s and women’s draws at the 2012 Australian Open through a reciprocal agreement with Tennis Australia.


Seeding for the playoffs will be based on the ATP World Tour and WTA Rankings.



Stosur Shocks Serena for Championship, Huber and Raymond Rally for Doubles Title on Day 14 of the U.S. Open

Samantha Stosur of Australia holds the Championship Trophy after defeating Serena Williams 6-2, 6-3 in the Women’s Final in Arthur Ashe Stadium at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City on September 11, 2011. UPI/John Angelillo


FLUSHING MEADOWS, New York –Samantha Stosur dominated Serena Williams to capture US Open crown, Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond comeback to win doubles title, Esther Vergeer wins 429 consecutive match in wheelchair tennis and an American girl and a British boy take junior championships on Sunday Day 14 of the US Open.


Stosur “slams” Serena for title

Australia’s Samantha Stosur upset three-time US Open champion Serena Williams 6-2, 6-3 to claim the US Open title, her first major tournament title. Stosur is the first Australian woman to win a Grand Slam event since Evonne Goolagong at Wimbledon in 1980. She is the first Australian to win the US Open since Margaret Court in 1973.

“I think I had one of my best days …I’m very fortunate to do it on this stage,” Stosur said.

“She was cracking them today, ” noted Williams.  She definitely hit hard and just went for broke.”

“I’m still kind of speechless” said Stosur.  “I can’t actually believe I won this tournament.  I guess to go out there and play the way I did is obviously just an unbelievable feeling, and you always, you know, hope and you want to be able to do that, but to actually do it, is unbelievable.

“I felt like I was definitely the underdog going into it, so maybe that kind of made me a little more relaxed going into this match than especially my last Grand Slam final.  I think I was able to draw on a lot of that experience from the French Open.  You know, I had to believe I had a chance to win.  I think obviously having two victories over her in the past definitely helped me feel that it was possible. I knew that I had to go out there and play well and actually do it, but I think having those victories in the past for sure made me feel a little bit more comfortable.”

Despite the dominating scoreline for Stosur, the match will be remembered for the umpire’s decision to award a point to Stosur when Williams yelled “Come on“ during a point when she thought she had a winner as Stosur was swinging at the ball.

Eva Asderaki, the chair umpire for the match ruled that Williams interfered with Stosur’s ability to finish the point and gave it to Stosur. Williams argued with the chair umpire to no avail.

“I think my opponent played really well” said Williams. ” I actually thought  it was a winner, but she did really good to even put her like racquet on it.  I thought it was a clear winner.  I thought it was the hat drop rule, where if you drop a hat you kind of replay the point. I don’t know.  I think for the most part it was just — I don’t know, I tried my best.  As always, I gave my 100%.”

The umpires’s ruling was supported by the tournament referee. According to the International Tennis Federation rules;“If a player is hindered in playing the point by a deliberate act of the opponent(s), the player shall win the point. However, the point shall be replayed if a player is hindered in playing the point by either an unintentional act of the opponent(s), or something outside the player’s own control (not including a permanent fixture).”

Two games after the incident while Williams was seated during the changeover continued to talk to the chair umpire Asderaki: “You’re out of control. … You’re a hater, and you’re just unattractive inside….Really, don’t even look at me.”

On whether or not Williams regretted what she said to the umpire at the chamgeover after call:” I just am really excited to be here really and to have gotten so far.  To get here has been a really great experience for me.  I regret losing, but I think there was nothing I could do today.  I think Sam played really, really well.

“I don’t even remember what I said.  It was just so intense out there.  It’s the final for me, and I was just  –  I have to go  –  I guess I’ll see it on YouTube.  I don’t know (Laughter.) I don’t know.  I was just in the zone.  I think everyone, when they play, they kind of zone out kinda thing.  I don’t know, I’ll see it later, I’m sure.”

“I just yelled, ‘Come on.’  It was a great shot.  It was beautiful.  I hit it like right in the sweet spot.  I don’t know.  It was a good shot, and it was the only good shot I think I hit.  I was like, Whoo Hoo, so…”

Stosur’s thoughts on the incident,“I was just kind of there, realizing what was happening. It had never happened (to me) before. I was trying to see what was happening. I’m aware of the rule. Obviously, it was something I’d never had to deal with before.”

In 2009 in the US Open semifinals against Kim Clijsters, Williams disputed a foot fault call against her and received a point penalty which gave Clijsters the match.

“The last 14 months has been anything less than disastrous,” said Williams. “And it’s been really, really, really hard.  You know, to even have a chance to play for the US Open I would have never thought I would have had that chance, you know, seven weeks ago, I mean during Wimbledon or whatever, you know, let alone six months ago.  I just would have never thought that that opportunity would have been available. So I can’t be too upset at myself.  I think I’m excited that I’m healthy and alive and still, you know, competing with the best.

“I definitely wanted to win today all because of 9/11 and everything that New Yorkers and Americans and — you know, 10 years ago I was actually at the same stage right before this all happened.  It was a really deep moment for all of us.  So obviously as the last American left I kinda wanted to do well, but it didn’t — I mean, it didn’t work out the way I planned.  Like I said earlier, my prayers are always with, you know, the victims and like everyone that worked so hard and risked their lives for our safety.  It’s unbelievable, really.”

The win improves Stosur’s record against Williams to 3-4. This is Stosur’s first tournament title of the 2011. She now has three career titles. At 27 Stosur became the oldest US Open winner since Martina Navratilova won the title at 30 in 1987.


Huber and Raymond rally from match point down to take doubles crown, Huber back to No. 1 in doubles

Americans Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond survived a match point to stop defending US Open doubles  champions Vania King  and Yaroslava Shedova for the US Open title 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3).

The win propels Huber back into the top spot in the doubles rankings. Huber said: “I’m speechless, really.  I think that ranking definitely doesn’t define you as a person.  We have a ranking system and that is great, but — and it’s definitely I think a goal of everybody to be No. 1, but it’s definitely not been my goal.  My goal has been to play with Lisa and reach success with Lisa.  So I think that goal is achieved to some extent, and we’re gonna keep working hard through the rest of the year.  So I think the ranking, you know, is sweet.  It’s nice.  But this US Open title is much bigger for me today than the ranking.”

“I think that’s probably one of our biggest assets as a team is our experience., Raymond said. “You know, we have numerous titles and numerous Grand Slams and we’ve been in these positions before.  Yes, they were the defending champs, you know, and they have two Grand Slams and they’ve done well, but, I mean, we have years and years and years of being, you know, in finals of slams, you know, winning the championships, you know, being down breaks in the third set to win or lose a slam. So I think we just, you know, we really relied on our experience today and sticking together. You know, and also, you know, with a bit of grace of God a little bit of a rain delay, we kind of, you know, changed it up a little bit after that rain delay.  You know, we just really just stuck together, even when we were down when they were serving for the match.  Just grinded it out, and now we’re sitting here as US Open champions.”

At 38, Raymond is now the oldest Grand Slam women’s doubles champion surpassing Billie Jean King who was 36 when she won the 1980 US Open championship.

After holding the joint No.1 doubles ranking with Black from November 12, 2007, to April 18, 2010 (127 weeks), Huber became the stand-alone No.1 after taking the title at the 2010 Family Circle Cup in Charleston (with Nadia Petrova). Huber remained at the top of the rankings for an additional seven weeks, bringing her total to 134 consecutive weeks, before relinquishing the top spot to Venus and Serena Williams.  After an eight-week hiatus, Huber returned to No.1 for 13 weeks (August 2 to October 31, 2010).

429 consecutive wins and counting

Esther Vergeer of the Netherlands, won her 429th consecutive singles match today at the US Open, defeating countrywoman  Aniek Van Koot, 6-2, 6-1 for the US Open wheelchair title in women’s singles. Vergeer  has won 429 consecutive singles and last lost a match in  January 2003. Her US Open title on Sunday is her 19th consecutive Grand Slam singles title.

“I am happy with the result, said Vergeer Today, I was confident, even though I didn’t feel as strong as the past two years. Aniek definitely came out tough.

“I enjoy the environment here. The fans are incomparable to any other Grand Slam. There were so many people watching this week and it was great. If there are a lot of people enjoying the game and cheering at the right time, it makes me feel good.”

What player inspires her: “The best example for me is Roger Federer, said Vergeeer, “his attitude, his calmness, his way of playing. Even though he lost yesterday, he still had a great attitude. He is an inspiration.”

“There are things in life you don’t plan for and that come unexpectedly. But, it is all about how you deal with that. You are the one that can make something out of your life.”


Min upsets Garcia for US Open Junior Girls title

American Grace Min upset top-seeded Caroline Garcia of France 7-5, 7-6(3) capture the US Open girls’ singles title. Min becomes the first American to win the US Open girls’ singles title since Coco Vandeweghe in 2008.

“I think I moved well said Min.  She hits a big ball, so I knew I had to play some big defense, and, you know, bring the ball back an extra time and hopefully make her hit — force an error from her.  Just letting her know that I was going to be in there every single point and not back down.

I mean, it gives me a lot of confidence that I’m able to like be put in tough situations and come through.  Yeah, the indoor courts were a lot faster than these; the matches were back to back and they were tough matches.  So being able to come through that and come back after I was down 5-2 in my next match, just like little things like that, it’s a good confidence booster.


Seven matches in five days gives Golding the Junior Boys’ crown

Great Britain’s Oliver Golding stopped top-seeded Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic 5-7 6-3 6-4 for the US Open Boys’ title.

I didn’t think it was gonna be that easy, to be honest.  I played a really good game.  He made a couple of errors at the beginning of the game which helped me out, but just was trying to think, just keep playing the same way you have been playing the whole match and you’ll get through it.

“It’s kind of something I have been working for for a long time, and, you know, feels unbelievable.  I don’t have the words, ” said Golding.

Golding had to play seven times in five days due to the rain postponing junior tournament matches, he spoke about where he found the energy to play, “I have no idea.  You know, it’s been a really tough few days.  There has been so many matches.  You know, he was obviously pretty tired, as well.  We both were.  But considering the circumstances, I think it was pretty high quality match.
“I played seven matches now in three days.  I think my body has held up pretty well.  I try and keep recovering after all the matches to the best that I can.  Yeah, I think it’s only gonna get tougher when you start playing best of five sets.  But I thought I handled it pretty well this week.”

Sunday Results

Women’s Singles – Final
(9) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. (28) Serena Williams (USA) 62 63

Women’s Doubles – Final
(4) Huber/Raymond (USA/USA) d. (3) King/Shvedova (USA/KAZ) 46 76(5) 76(3)

Girls’ Singles – Final

Grace Min (USA) def. (1) Caroline Garcia (France) 7-5, 7-6(3)

Girls’ Doubles – Final

Irina Khromacheva(RUS)[6] /Demi Schuurs(NED)[6] def.  Gabrielle Andrews(USA) / Taylor Townsend(USA) 6-4 5-7 1-0(5)

Boys’ Singles – Final

Oliver Golding (Great Britain) def. (1) Jiri Vesely (Czech Republic) 5-7 6-3 6-4

Boys’ Doubles – Final

Robin Kern(GER) / Julian Lenz(GER) def. Maxim Dubarenco(MDA) / Vladyslav Manafov(UKR) 6-4 7-5

Wheelchair Men’s Singles – Finals

Shingo Kunieda(JPN)[1] def. Stephane Houdet(FRA) 3-6 6-1 6-0

Wheelchair Women’s Singles – Finals

Esther Vergeer(NED)[1] def. Aniek Van Koot(NED) 6-2 6-1

Monday Schedule

Arthur Ashe Stadium 4:00 PM Start Time
1. Men’s Singles – Finals
Novak Djokovic (SRB)[1] v. Rafael Nadal (ESP)[2]