2014/07/24

The Newport Club

International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2014: Nick Bollettieri, Jane Brown Grimes, Lindsay Davenport, John Barrett, and Chantal Vandierendonck   Photo by Kate Whitney Lucey

International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2014: Nick Bollettieri, Jane Brown Grimes, Lindsay Davenport, John Barrett, and Chantal Vandierendonck Photo by Kate Whitney Lucey

The Newport Club

By Jack Cunniff

(July 12, 2014) NEWPORT – With apologies to the late John Hughes.

Five students of the game of tennis – “executive” Jane Brown Grimes, “journalist” John Barrett, “survivor” Chantal Vandierendonck, “coach” Nick Bollettieri, and “champion” Lindsay Davenport – all come from different backgrounds. On Saturday, they reported for Saturday “detention” at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI. At the end of day, by sharing their life experiences, we learn that they aren’t just the executive, the journalist, the survivor, the coach, the champion. We see them for what they are: tennis fans. They are “The Newport Club”, Class of 2014.

 

To look at the resume of Jane Brown Grimes, she’s the consummate tennis executive. President and CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Managing Director of the Women’s Professional Tennis Council (now known as the Women’s Tennis Association). Chairman of the Board of the United States Tennis Association. Professional tennis has always had a fragmented political structure, and it is never easy to get each body to agree on the issues facing the sport. It was Brown Grimes’ love of tennis that allowed her to succeed in each of these roles by moving the sport forward. In her own words, “If you can kind of get on the same page with various groups, really convince them something you think should happen is good for the game overall, if you can back your own ego out of it, I think you can get a lot done.”

It’s easy to label Barrett a journalist. For over forty years, he was the tennis correspondent for The Financial Times of London. He was editor of World of Tennis, and publisher of Wimbledon the Official History. He was the Wimbledon announcer on the BBC from 1971 until 2006. More than this, however, he is a fan of tennis and feels incredibly lucky to have made his life in the sport. Regarding his broadcasting career, Barrett says “I had the best seat in the house. I could comment about the game I loved from an early age and they actually paid me for it! What could be more wonderful than that?” He married tennis as well, taking three-time Grand Slam champion Angela Mortimer as his bride in 1967.

 

Vandierendonck was born into a tennis family. At age 18, tennis took a back seat when she became a paraplegic as the result of an auto accident. Chantal would have to learn to accept life in a wheelchair. How could she survive life without tennis? Her uncle told Chantal about wheelchair tennis. Upon seeing the sport for the first time in Paris, she saw it was “still real tennis”. Her family organized wheelchair events in her native Netherlands, and with her love of practice and hard work, Vandierendonck soon became a champion in the sport. Because of her dedication to tennis, Vandierendonck learned how great her life in a wheelchair could be. She’s not only the first women’s wheelchair player inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame, but also the first Dutch player inducted.

 

The “Coach”, Nick Bollettieri, is famous for many reasons. He has a number of successful former pupils, including Hall-of-Famers Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, and Monica Seles. He partnered with Arthur Ashe to start the Ashe Bollettieri Tennis Program in Newark, NJ, then started the Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, FL. He’s the author of several instructional books. His commitment to tennis continues to drive him. His sponsorship for children’s tennis programs is well-documented, but in Newport, Bollettieri partnered with AARP Rhode Island to hold a free clinic for senior players. As he announced in his induction speech, “I’m just beginning my journey.” This fan of tennis says that retirement is not in his vocabulary.

 

Lindsay Davenport has always been known as a champion. She won regularly in the junior ranks of tennis. Within four months of turning professional, she won her first of 55 tournament titles. After turning twenty, she claimed the gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. And she continued to win on the biggest stages of the sport, taking the Women’s Singles trophies at the 1998 U.S. Open, 1999 Wimbledon, and 2000 Australian Open. It’s been only recently that we’ve come to view Davenport as something other than a champion. Certainly, as the wife and mother of four, she has new responsibilities today. Yet her love of the sport has returned her to the scene as a respected tennis commentator. “I always loved to study the game,” Davenport admitted, “I would spend a lot of time trying to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the players at the very top. I’m a tennis junkie.”

 

The five most recent inductees had been labeled and stereotyped into a role. But after the 2014 Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, we learned that the reason for their success was that they were, and still are, tennis fans.

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Wimbledon Ladies’ Contender Profiles

Serena Williams Beijing

(June 22, 2014) Profiles of the top Women’s Singles contenders for 2014 Wimbledon. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

 

1.Serena Williams

2014 Record: 24-4

Grand Slam Record: 250-38

Wimbledon Record: 70-9

Wimbledon Best Result: Won (2002, ’03, ’09, ’10, ‘12)

Fast Fact: Serena has lost before the Quarterfinals of the last two Grand Slam events she’s played; the last time she lost before the Quarterfinals in three straight Grand Slams was 2005 Wimbledon – 2006 Australian Open.

 

2. Li Na

2014 Record: 26-6

Grand Slam Record: 88-30

Wimbledon Record: 17-7

Wimbledon Best Result: QF (2006, ’10, ‘13)

Fast Fact: Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam or WTA Premier event in which Li Na hasn’t reached the Semifinals.

 

3. Simona Halep

2014 Record: 26-9

Grand Slam Record: 20-16

Wimbledon Record: 2-3

Wimbledon Best Result: 2R (2011, ‘13)

Fast Fact: Halep has earned as many Grand Slam victories in her last two Slam events (10) as she had earned in her first 14.

 

4. Agnieszka Radwanska

2014 Record: 32-12

Grand Slam Record: 86-32

Wimbledon Record: 28-8

Wimbledon Best Result: RU (2012)

Fast Fact: Radwanska has lost to players ranked outside the Top Twenty in her last four consecutive Grand Slam events, the first time that’s happened in her career.

 

5. Maria Sharapova

2014 Record: 31-6

Grand Slam Record: 159-38

Wimbledon Record: 38-10

Wimbledon Best Result: Won (2004)

Fast Fact: In her last seven Wimbledon appearances, Sharapova has reached the Quarterfinals only once (2011, runner-up).

 

6. Petra Kvitova

2014 Record: 18-10

Grand Slam Record: 56-23

Wimbledon Record: 20-5

Wimbledon Best Result: W (2011)

Fast Fact: Kvitova is tied with Serena Williams for the most Wimbledon match wins (20) since 2010

 

7. Jelena Jankovic

2014 Record: 30-14

Grand Slam Record: 102-43

Wimbledon Record: 17-10

Wimbledon Best Result: 4R (2006, ‘07, ’08, ‘10)

Fast Fact: Jankovic has lost 6 of her last 7 grass court matches, dating back to the 2012 Birmingham event.

 

8. Victoria Azarenka

2014 Record: 7-4

Grand Slam Record: 96-31

Wimbledon Record: 21-8

Wimbledon Best Result: SF (2011, ‘12)

Fast Fact: Since reaching the U.S. Open final nine months ago, Azarenka has won only eight matches.

 

9. Angelique Kerber

2014 Record: 30-14

Grand Slam Record: 42-26

Wimbledon Record: 8-6

Wimbledon Best Result: SF (2012)

Fast Fact: Kerber has reached the 4R in eight of her last nine Grand Slam events, failing to do so only at 2013 Wimbeldon (l. 2R, Kanepi)

 

10. Dominika Cibulkova

2014 Record: 26-13

Grand Slam Record: 51-27

Wimbledon Record: 10-6

Wimbledon Best Result: QF (2011)

Fast Fact: Cibulkova’s last win over a player ranked in the Top 50 was in March (Miami).

 

11. Ana Ivanovic

2014 Record: 37-9

Grand Slam Record: 95-37

Wimbledon Record: 21-9

Wimbledon Best Result: SF (2007)

Fast Fact: Ivanovic is ranked 11th, just one position out of the Top Ten; her last appearance in the Top Ten was over 5 years ago (May, 2009).

 

12. Flavia Pennetta

2014 Record: 21-10

Grand Slam Record: 65-43

Wimbledon Record: 17-11

Wimbledon Best Result: 4R (2013)

Fast Fact: Pennetta reached the 4th round last year after an absence of 7 years (2006), the longest absence between 4th round appearances since Amy Frazier (1996-2004).

 

13. Eugenie Bouchard

2014 Record: 30-13

Grand Slam Record: 14-5

Wimbledon Record: 2-1

Wimbledon Best Result: 3R (2013)

Fast Fact: Bouchard is the Wimbledon Junior Girls Champion from 2012, and is looking to become only the third woman to win both the Girls and Ladies titles (Hingis, Mauresmo).

 

16. Caroline Wozniacki

2014 Record: 18-10

Grand Slam Record: 70-29

Wimbledon Record: 13-7

Wimbledon Best Result: 4R (2009, ’10, ‘11)

Fast Fact: Wozniacki has failed to reach the 4th round at five straight Grand Slam events, the longest drought of her career.

 

19. Sabine Lisicki

2014 Record: 8-8

Grand Slam Record: 40-23

Wimbledon Record: 19-5

Wimbledon Best Result: RU (2013)

Fast Fact: Lisicki has defeated the French Open holder in the last three Wimbledon events (def. Li, 2011; def. Sharapova, 2012; def. Serena Williams 2013).

 

30. Venus Williams

2014 Record: 15-7

Grand Slam Record: 217-55

Wimbledon Record: 71-11

Wimbledon Best Result: W (2000, ’01, ’05, ’07, ‘08)

Fast Fact: Venus has 71 career match wins at Wimbledon, one more than Serena, and fourth in the open era behind Navratilova (121), Evert (98), and Graf (74).

 

 

 

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Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Contender Profiles

Djokovic bubbles

(June 22, 2014) Profiles of the top Men’s Singles contenders for 2014 Wimbledon. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

 

1.Novak Djokovic

2014 Record: 30-4

Grand Slam Record: 168-32

Wimbledon Record: 38-8

Wimbledon Best Result: W (2011)

Fast Fact: The last occasion when the player who beat Djokovic at a Grand Slam event failed to win the title was 2011 French Open (Federer d. Djokovic, Nadal won title).

 

2. Rafael Nadal

2014 Record: 41-7

Grand Slam Record: 184-24

Wimbledon Record: 36-7

Wimbledon Best Result: Won (2008, ‘10)

Fast Fact: Nadal will be attempting to win his 700th career match in the opening round of Wimbledon.

 

3. Andy Murray

2014 Record: 27-11

Grand Slam Record: 126-31

Wimbledon Record: 37-7

Wimbledon Best Result: W (2013)

Fast Fact: Since winning the 2013 Wimbledon title, Murray has reached the semifinals only twice in 11 events (Acapulco, Roland Garros).

 

4. Roger Federer

2014 Record: 34-7

Grand Slam Record: 268-43

Wimbledon Record: 67-8

Wimbledon Best Result: Won (2003-’07, ’09, ‘12)

Fast Fact: If Federer wins the title at age 33, he will become the oldest Grand Slam titlist since 1972 French Open (Angel Gimeno, 34), and the oldest Wimbledon Men’s Champion in the open era.

 

5. Stan Wawrinka

2014 Record: 24-7

Grand Slam Record: 75-36

Wimbledon Record: 9-9

Wimbledon Best Result: 4R (2008-‘09)

Fast Fact: After starting the year winning three of his first six events and compiling a 20-3 match record, Wawrinka has played .500 tennis since then (4-4).

 

6. Tomas Berdych

2014 Record: 27-8

Grand Slam Record: 97-43

Wimbledon Record: 13-10

Wimbledon Best Result: RU (2009)

Fast Fact: Berdych has been ranked in the ATP Top Fifty for 450 consecutive weeks (since Oct 31, 2005), fourth longest active streak behind Federer, Nadal, and Ferrer.

 

7. David Ferrer

2014 Record: 31-11

Grand Slam Record: 119-46

Wimbledon Record: 24-11

Wimbledon Best Result: QF (2012 –‘13)

Fast Fact: Ferrer is attempting to reach his 11th consecutive Grand Slam Quarterfinal, which would tie him with Nadal for 4th longest streak of the Open Era (trailing Federer, Djokovic, and Lendl).

 

8. Milos Raonic

2014 Record: 19-9

Grand Slam Record: 27-14

Wimbledon Record: 3-3

Wimbledon Best Result: 2R (2011-‘13)

Fast Fact: The highest ranked opponent that Raonic has defeated on grass is No. 45 (Giraldo, 1R Wimbledon, 2012).

 

9. John Isner

2014 Record: 19-10

Grand Slam Record: 33-24

Wimbledon Record: 3-5

Wimbledon Best Result: 2R (2010, ’11, ‘13)

Fast Fact: Of 27 complete sets of tennis that Isner has played at Wimbledon, thirteen have reached a tiebreak (and one that reached 70-68).

 

10. Kei Nishikori

2014 Record: 29-7

Grand Slam Record: 28-19

Wimbledon Record: 4-5

Wimbledon Best Result: 3R (2012-‘13)

Fast Fact: Nishikori has lost only two 5 set matches in his career, but both have come on grass (2013 Wimbledon, 2008 Davis Cup).

 

11. Grigor Dimitrov

2014 Record: 30-9

Grand Slam Record: 12-15

Wimbledon Record: 3-4

Wimbledon Best Result: 2R (2011-‘13)

Fast Fact: Since turning pro in 2008, over 40% of Dmitrov’s career wins (47 of 116) have come in the last 12 months.

 

12. Ernests Gulbis

2014 Record: 32-12

Grand Slam Record: 25-27

Wimbledon Record: 5-6

Wimbledon Best Result: 3R (2013)

Fast Fact: Gulbis has lost in the opening round in over half of the grass court events played in his career (8 of 14).

 

13. Richard Gasquet

2014 Record: 18-10

Grand Slam Record: 71-38

Wimbledon Record: 19-8

Wimbledon Best Result: SF (2007)

Fast Fact: Gasquet has been upset by a lower ranked player in 9 of the 10 events he’s played in 2014.

 

14. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

2014 Record: 21-12

Grand Slam Record: 78-26

Wimbledon Record: 19-6

Wimbledon Best Result: SF (2011-‘12)

Fast Fact: Since winning three straight matches vs. Top Ten opponents in the 2011 ATP Tour Championships, Tsonga has compiled a 4-28 record vs. the Top Ten.

 

17. Mikhail Youzhny

2014 Record: 7-11

Grand Slam Record: 94-51

Wimbledon Record: 29-13

Wimbledon Best Result: QF (2012)

Fast Fact: Ten of Youzhny’s 13 losses at Wimbledon have come to Grand Slam titlists.

 

Uns. Lleyton Hewitt

2014 Record: 11-11

Grand Slam Record: 144-58

Wimbledon Record: 40-14

Wimbledon Best Result: W (2002)

Fast Fact: Hewitt has won 7 grass court events in his career, ranking fifth in the open era.

 

 

 

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2014 French Open Men’s Contender Profiles – Fast Facts with Jack Cunniff

 

(May 24, 2014) Profiles of the top Men’s Singles contenders for the 2014 French Open. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

1. Rafael Nadal
2014 Record: 34-6
Grand Slam Record: 177-24
French Open Record: 59-1
French Open Best Result: Won (2005-08, 2010-13)
Fast Fact: In his 59 wins at the French Open, Nadal has been extended to a 5th set only twice (Isner, 2011 1R; Djokovic 2013 SF).

2. Novak Djokovic
2014 Record: 24-3
Grand Slam Record: 162-31
French Open Record: 36-9
French Open Best Result: RU (2012)
Fast Fact: At the past four Grand Slam events, Djokovic has won more singles matches than any other player, male or female, but currently holds no Grand Slam titles.

3. Stan Wawrinka
2014 Record: 21-5
Grand Slam Record: 75-35
French Open Record: 20-9
French Open Best Result: QF (2013)
Fast Fact: Wawrinka has earned more prize money in the past 18 months ($6.3M) than he had in the previous 10 years ($5.9M).

4. Roger Federer
2014 Record: 28-6
Grand Slam Record: 265-42
French Open Record: 58-14
French Open Best Result: Won (2009)
Fast Fact: Both Federer and Lleyton Hewitt are appearing in their 61st Grand Slam at 2014 Roland Garros, tying them with Andre Agassi, and trailing only Fabrice Santoro (70) for the most Open Era Slam appearances.

5. David Ferrer
2014 Record: 27-10
Grand Slam Record: 115-45
French Open Record: 32-11
French Open Best Result: RU (2013)
Fast Fact: Ferrer is attempting to reach the Fourth Round at his 16th consecutive Grand Slam; he hasn’t lost before the 4R since the 2010 French Open (l. to Melzer, 3R)

6. Tomas Berdych
2014 Record: 27-8
Grand Slam Record: 93-42
French Open Record: 13-10
French Open Best Result: SF (2010)
Fast Fact:. In his 10 previous French Open appearances, Berdych has lost in the first round in half of them, and has only passed the 2R on three occasions (2006, ’10, ’12).

7. Andy Murray
2014 Record: 21-9
Grand Slam Record: 121-30
French Open Record: 18-6
French Open Best Result: SF (2011)
Fast Fact: Of his 13 appearances in Grand Slam semifinals, only one has been at Roland Garros (2011).

8. Milos Raonic
2014 Record: 15-7
Grand Slam Record: 23-13
French Open Record: 4-3
French Open Best Result: 3R (2012-‘13)
Fast Fact: Raonic earns a Top Eight seed without ever reaching the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam; the last player to accomplish that was Gilles Simon (2009 Australian Open).

9. Kei Nishikori
2014 Record: 27-5
Grand Slam Record: 28-18
French Open Record: 5-3
French Open Best Result: 4R (2013)
Fast Fact: Nishikori has the 3rd best winning percentage on tour for 2014 (84.4%), trailing only Djokovic (88.9%) and Nadal (85.0%).

10. John Isner
2014 Record: 16-9
Grand Slam Record: 30-23
French Open Record: 5-5
French Open Best Result: 3R (2010, ‘13)
Fast Fact: Isner is the only player in the Top Twenty with a career losing record on clay (36-37).

11. Grigor Dimitrov
2014 Record: 26-8
Grand Slam Record: 12-14
French Open Record: 3-3
French Open Best Result: 3R (2013)
Fast Fact: After losing his opening round match in 8 events last year, Dimitrov has a 10-0 record in his opening round matches in 2014.

12. Richard Gasquet
2014 Record: 13-7
Grand Slam Record: 69-37
French Open Record: 13-10
French Open Best Result: 4R (2011-‘13)
Fast Fact: Gasquet is attempting to win his 100th clay court match in the first round of Roland Garros.

13. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
2014 Record: 17-10
Grand Slam Record: 75-25
French Open Record: 17-6
French Open Best Result: SF (2013)
Fast Fact: Tsonga’s last win against a Top Ten player was in the 2013 French Open (d. Federer, QF); he has lost his last eight matches vs. Top Ten players.

14. Fabio Fognini
2014 Record: 26-11
Grand Slam Record: 21-23
French Open Record: 10-5
French Open Best Result: QF (2011)
Fast Fact: Fognini passed the .500 mark in career wins and losses for the first time when he won his 3R match in 2014 Miami.

15. Mikhail Youzhny
2014 Record: 6-9
Grand Slam Record: 93-50
French Open Record: 22-13
French Open Best Result: QF (2010)
Fast Fact: Youzhny has lost his last six matches that have gone to a final set; he hasn’t won a deciding set since Valencia, October 2013.

16. Tommy Haas
2014 Record: 14-10
Grand Slam Record: 104-54
French Open Record: 21-12
French Open Best Result: QF (2013)
Fast Fact: Haas becomes the oldest Top 16 seed at a Grand Slam since Jimmy Connors (age 36, 11 months at 1989 US Open).

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2014 French Open Women’s Contender Profiles – Fast Facts with Jack Cunniff

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(May 24, 2014) Profiles of the top Women’s Singles contenders for the 2014 French Open. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

 

1.Serena Williams

2014 Record: 23-3

Grand Slam Record: 249-37

French Open Record: 46-10

French Open Best Result: Won (2002, ‘13)

Fast Fact: Serena has been ranked No. 1 for 66 consecutive weeks, the longest stretch at the top spot in her career.

 

2. Li Na

2014 Record: 26-5

Grand Slam Record: 88-29

French Open Record: 20-6

French Open Best Result: Won (2011)

Fast Fact: For the first time in her career, Li Na has reached the QF of three consecutive Grand Slam events (2013 Wimbledon, 2013 US Open, 2014 Australian Open).

 

3. Agnieszka Radwanska

2014 Record: 30-10

Grand Slam Record: 84-31

French Open Record: 16-7

French Open Best Result: QF (2013)

Fast Fact: Radwanska’s win over No. 2 Viktoria Azarenka at the 2014 Australian Open was her first Grand Slam win over a higher ranked opponent since 2008 Wimbledon (def. Kuznetsova).

 

4. Simona Halep

2014 Record: 19-7

Grand Slam Record: 14-15

French Open Record: 1-4

French Open Best Result: 2R (2011)

Fast Fact: Since the 2013 French Open, Halep has a 20-5 record against Top Twenty opponents.

 

5. Petra Kvitova

2014 Record: 14-9

Grand Slam Record: 54-22

French Open Record: 13-5

French Open Best Result: SF (2012)

Fast Fact: Despite being seeded among the top eight seeds at the last six Grand Slams, Kvitova has reached the quarterfinals only once (2013 Wimbledon).

 

6. Jelena Jankovic

2014 Record: 27-12

Grand Slam Record: 99-42

French Open Record: 28-10

French Open Best Result: SF (2007, ’08, ‘10)

Fast Fact: Jankovic is attempting to win her 100th Grand Slam match in the first round of Roland Garros.

 

7. Maria Sharapova

2014 Record: 24-6

Grand Slam Record: 152-38

French Open Record: 43-10

French Open Best Result: Won (2012)

Fast Fact: After reaching the finals of the French Open in 2013, Sharapova won only one more match the remainder of the year.

 

8. Angelique Kerber

2014 Record: 23-12

Grand Slam Record: 39-25

French Open Record: 8-6

French Open Best Result: QF (2012)

Fast Fact: Kerber has spent two consecutive years in the Top Ten, since making her debut May 21st, 2012.

 

9. Dominika Cibulkova

2014 Record: 24-11

Grand Slam Record: 49-26

French Open Record: 16-7

French Open Best Result: SF (2009)

Fast Fact: This is the first time in her career that Cibulkova enters the French Open without having won a clay court match for the year (lost 1R Rome, 1R Madrid).

 

10. Sara Errani

2014 Record: 22-13

Grand Slam Record: 38-26

French Open Record: 12-6

French Open Best Result: RU (2012)

Fast Fact: Errani has earned 990 points in clay court events this year, 3rd best in the WTA behind Sharapova (1575) and Serena Williams (1115).

 

11. Ana Ivanovic

2014 Record: 30-8

Grand Slam Record: 93-36

French Open Record: 28-8

French Open Best Result: Won (2008)

Fast Fact: In 2014, Ivanovic has more match wins entering the French Open (30) than any other year during her career.

 

12. Flavia Pennetta

2014 Record: 19-8

Grand Slam Record: 64-42

French Open Record: 14-11

French Open Best Result: 4R (2008, ’10)

Fast Fact: A year ago, Pennetta was ranked 158th in the world.

 

13. Caroline Wozniacki

2014 Record: 15-8

Grand Slam Record: 70-28

French Open Record: 13-7

French Open Best Result: QF (2010)

Fast Fact: Wozniacki has been past the third round of the French Open only once (2010).

 

14. Carla Suarez Navarro

2014 Record: 30-12

Grand Slam Record: 38-21

French Open Record: 11-5

French Open Best Result: QF (2008)

Fast Fact: In her last two Grand Slam losses, Suarez Navarro has won only one game (6-0 6-0 vs. S. Williams, 2013 US Open; 6-1,6-0 vs. Cibulkova, 2014 Australian Open)

 

15. Sloane Stephens

2014 Record: 11-11

Grand Slam Record: 28-11

French Open Record: 6-3

French Open Best Result: 4R (2013)

Fast Fact: Stephens has lost in the opening round of half of her events (5 of 10) played in 2014.

 

16. Sabine Lisicki

2014 Record: 7-7

Grand Slam Record: 39-22

French Open Record: 4-5

French Open Best Result: 3R (2013)

Fast Fact: Over half (55%) of Lisicki’s ranking points are from her 2013 Wimbledon runner-up result.

 

 

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2014 Australian Open Men’s Contender Profiles

 

(January 11, 2014) Profiles of the top Men’s Singles contenders for the 2014 Australian Open. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

Nadal waves and smiles

Rafael Nadal

2013 Record: 75-7

Grand Slam Record: 171-23

Australian Open Record: 35-7

Australian Open Best Result: Won (2009)

Fast Fact: If Nadal wins the Australian Open title, he will be the first men’s player in the Open Era to complete the career Grand Slam twice, with at least two Men’s Singles titles at each Slam event.

Djokovic wins 89

Novak Djokovic

2013 Record: 74-9

Grand Slam Record: 158-30

Australian Open Record: 39-5

Australian Open Best Result: Won (2007, ’11-’13)

Fast Fact: Djokovic is attempting to become the first man to win five Australian Open Men’s Singles titles in the Open Era.

David Ferrer

David Ferrer

2013 Record: 60-24

Grand Slam Record: 111-44

Australian Open Record: 28-11

Australian Open Best Result: SF (2011, ’13)

Fast Fact: Ferrer’s 2013 match winning percentage dropped 14% in the second half of the year, from 37-10 (78.7%) to 24-13 (64.9%).

Andy Murray smiling

Andy Murray

2013 Record: 43-8

Grand Slam Record: 117-29

Australian Open Record: 29-8

Australian Open Best Result: RU (2010, ’11, ’13)

Fast Fact: Murray is the only player in the Open Era to have appeared in at least three Australian Open finals without winning the title.

 

Juan Martin Del Potro

Juan Martin Del Potro

2013 Record: 51-16

Grand Slam Record: 62-25

Australian Open Record: 16-7

Australian Open Best Result: QF (2009, ’12)

Fast Fact: Del Potro has lost his last six 5-set matches, dating back to the 2R of the 2010 Australian Open (d. Blake, 2R)

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

2013 Record: 45-17

Grand Slam Record: 260-41

Australian Open Record: 68-10

Australian Open Best Result: Won (2004, ’06, ’07, ’10)

Fast Fact: With his appearance in the Australian Open, Federer passes Wayne Ferreira for the most consecutive Grand Slam appearances in the Open Era (57).

Berdych 9 228

Tomas Berdych

2013 Record: 54-25

Grand Slam Record: 88-41

Australian Open Record: 24-10

Australian Open Best Result: QF (2011-’13)

Fast Fact: Berdych is the only men’s player of the Top 16 Australian Open seeds that failed to win a title in 2013.

Stan Wawrinka

Stanislas Wawrinka

2013 Record: 51-23

Grand Slam Record: 69-35

Australian Open Record: 17-8

Australian Open Best Result: QF (2011)

Fast Fact: Wawrinka has lost to current or former No. 1 players in the last five Grand Slam events.

Richard Gasquet

Richard Gasquet

2013 Record: 50-23

Grand Slam Record: 67-36

Australian Open Record: 16-10

Australian Open Best Result: 4R (2007, ’08, ’12, ’13)

Fast Fact: In the opening round of the Australian Open, Gasquet is attempting to win the 200th hardcourt match of his career.

JWT Tsonga China-Open-Tsonga-smiles-in-press

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

2013 Record: 39-16

Grand Slam Record: 72-24

Australian Open Record: 24-7

Australian Open Best Result: RU (2008)

Fast Fact: Tsonga has reached at least one Grand Slam Semifinal in each of the last four years.

88 Raonic

Milos Raonic

2013 Record: 45-21

Grand Slam Record: 21-12

Australian Open Record: 8-3

Australian Open Best Result: 4R (2011, ’13)

Fast Fact: Raonic’s record against Top 25 opponents at Grand Slam events is 3-6, with all three wins coming at the Australian Open.

 

Tommy Haas photo by Maria Noble

Tommy Haas photo by Maria Noble

Tommy Haas

2013 Record: 47-21

Grand Slam Record: 104-53

Australian Open Record: 26-12

Australian Open Best Result: SF (1999, ’02, ’07)

Fast Fact: At 35, Haas becomes the oldest men’s player to earn a Top 16 seed at the Australian Open.

John Isner-2

John Isner

2013 Record: 39-24

Grand Slam Record: 30-22

Australian Open Record: 7-5

Australian Open Best Result: 4R (2010)

Fast Fact: Isner has played 61 tiebreaks in 52 Grand Slam matches, with a 70% winning percentage (43- 18).

Youzhny

Mikhail Youzhny

2013 Record: 39-24

Grand Slam Record: 92-49

Australian Open Record: 19-12

Australian Open Best Result: QF (2008)

Fast Fact: Four of Youzhny’s last five Australian Open matches have gone to 5 sets.

 

 

 

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2014 Australian Open Women’s Contender Profiles

 

(January 11, 2014) Profiles of the top Women’s Singles contenders for the 2014 Australian Open. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

Serena Williams Beijing

Serena Williams

2013 Record: 78-4

Grand Slam Record: 246-36

Australian Open Record: 58-8

Australian Open Best Result: Won (2003, ’05, ’07. ’09)

Fast Fact: Last year marked the first time Serena lost in consecutive Australian Open events since 2000-2001.

Victoria Azarenka Miami Players Party

Victoria Azarenka

2013 Record: 43-9

Grand Slam Record: 92-30

Australian Open Record: 28-6

Australian Open Best Result: Won (2012, ’13)

Fast Fact: An Australian Open title would make Azarenka only the second woman in the Open Era to win her first three Slam titles at the same venue (Clijsters, US Open in 2005, ’09, ’10).

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

2013 Record: 37-7

Grand Slam Record: 149-37

Australian Open Record: 39-9

Australian Open Best Result: Won (2008)

Fast Fact: Sharapova’s best winning percentage at a Grand Slam event is in Melbourne, 39-9 (81.25%).

10062012 China Open Li Na in press 2

Na Li

2013 Record: 44-14

Grand Slam Record: 81-29

Australian Open Record: 27-8

Australian Open Best Result: RU (2011, ’13)

Fast Fact: Li has reached at least the QF of every event she has played after the 2013 French Open.

 

Agniezska Radwanska

Agnieszka Radwanska

2013 Record: 56-20

Grand Slam Record: 79-30

Australian Open Record: 19-7

Australian Open Best Result: QF (2008, ’11, ’12, ’13)

Fast Fact: If Radwanska is ranked in the Top 5 at the conclusion of the Australian Open, it will mark 100 consecutive weeks of a Top 5 WTA ranking.

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova

2013 Record: 51-23

Grand Slam Record: 54-21

Australian Open Record: 11-5

Australian Open Best Result: SF (2012)

Fast Fact: Kvitova hasn’t defeated a higher ranked opponent at a Grand Slam since defeating Sharapova to win the 2011 Wimbledon title.

Errani

Sara Errani

2013 Record: 49-24

Grand Slam Record: 38-25

Australian Open Record: 8-6

Australian Open Best Result: QF (2012)

Fast Fact: Errani has lost in the first or second round in 15 of her 25 Grand Slam appearances.

Jelena-Jankovic

Jelena Jankovic

2013 Record: 46-21

Grand Slam Record: 96-41

Australian Open Record: 23-11

Australian Open Best Result: SF (2008)

Fast Fact: Jankovic hasn’t defeated a higher ranked opponent at the Australian Open since 2004 (Dementieva, 1R).

Angelique Kerber

Angelique Kerber

2013 Record: 46-23

Grand Slam Record: 36-24

Australian Open Record: 8-6

Australian Open Best Result: 4R (2013)

Fast Fact: Kerber has never lost to an unseeded player at the Australian Open.

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki

2013 Record: 39-22

Grand Slam Record:  68-27

Australian Open Record: 20-6

Australian Open Best Result: SF (2011)

Fast Fact: Over the last two years, Wozniacki has won more matches at the Australian Open (7) than at the other Slam events combined (6).

Simona+Halep+2013+French+Open+Day+2+dKE0Rx5vx4lx

Simona Halep

2013 Record: 50-22

Grand Slam Record: 10-14

Australian Open Record: 2-3

Australian Open Best Result: 3R (2011)

Fast Fact: Halep is the only player in the WTA Top 20 who has never reached a Grand Slam Quarterfinal.

Roberta-Vinci1

Roberta Vinci

2013 Record: 50-24

Grand Slam Record:  38-36

Australian Open Record: 7-8

Australian Open Best Result: 3R (2006, ’10, ’13)

Fast Fact: Vinci has lost four of her last five matches at WTA tour events.

SloaneStephens

Sloane Stephens

2013 Record: 40-23

Grand Slam Record: 25-10

Australian Open Record: 6-2

Australian Open Best Result: SF (2013)

Fast Fact: Stephens won 2/3rds of her career prize money in 2013 ($1.43M of $2.16M).

Ana Ivanovic 2

Ana Ivanovic

2013 Record: 40-23

Grand Slam Record: 89-35

Australian Open Record: 20-9

Australian Open Best Result: RU (2008)

Fast Fact: Ivanovic has lost to a Top 4 seed in 6 of her last 8 Grand Slam events.

 

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2013 US Open Women’s Contender Profiles

Serena Williams in Cincinnatti 2013

(August 25, 2013) Profiles of the top Women’s Singles contenders for the 2013 U.S. Open. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

 

1. Serena Williams

2013 Record:  60-4

Grand Slam Record:  239-36

U.S. Open Record:  65-9

U. S. Open Best Result:  W (1999, 2002, ’08, ’12)

Fast Fact:  Since April of 2012, Serena has a 40-3 record vs. Top Twenty players, with her only losses coming to Azarenka (2013 Doha, 2013 Cincinnati) and Kerber (2012 Cincinnati).

 

2. Victoria Azarenka

2013 Record:  36-4

Grand Slam Record:  86-28

U.S. Open Record:  18-7

U.S. Open Best Result:  RU (2012)

Fast Fact:  Azarenka is the only active WTA player who has won a Grand Slam Singles title as a junior and professional. (Bartoli had joined the list for a few weeks until her retirement.)

 

3. Agnieszka Radwanska

2013 Record:  42-13

Grand Slam Record:  76-29

U.S. Open Record:  13-7

U.S. Open Best Result:  4R (2007, ’08, ’12)

Fast Fact: Radwanska is the only woman who has reached at least the QFs in all Grand Slam events for 2013.

 

4. Sara Errani

2013 Record:  43-19

Grand Slam Record:  37-24

U.S. Open Record:  11-6

U.S. Open Best Result: SF (2012)

Fast Fact:  Five of Errani’s six U.S. Open losses have been to Grand Slam champions (S. Williams, Kuznetsova, Stosur, Li, Bartoli).

 

5. Na Li

2013 Record:  32-11

Grand Slam Record:  76-28

U.S. Open Record:  12-7

U.S. Open Best Result:  QF (2009)

Fast Fact:  Li has 13 wins over Top Ten opponents at Grand Slams, but none have come at the U.S. Open.

 

6. Caroline Wozniacki

2013 Record:  27-19

Grand Slam Record:  66-26

U.S. Open Record:  20-6

U.S. Open Best Result:  RU (2009)

Fast Fact:  Of the competitors entered in the Women’s main draw, Wozniacki has the best U.S. Open winning percentage among players who haven’t won the title.

 

7. Petra Kvitova

2013 Record:  39-19

Grand Slam Record:  52-20

U.S. Open Record:  8-5

U.S. Open Best Result:  4R (2008, ’12)

Fast Fact:  Kvitova is one of four players entered in the draw (S. Williams, V. Williams, Petrova) who has defeated a number one seed at the U.S. Open (def. Safina, 2009).

 

8. Angelique Kerber

2013 Record:  30-18

Grand Slam Record:  33-23

U.S. Open Record:  9-5

U.S. Open Best Result:  SF (2011)

Fast Fact:  Kerber hasn’t defeated a Top Ten player in 2013; her last Top Ten wins were in 2012 Cincinnati (S. Williams and Kvitova).

 

9. Jelena Jankovic

2013 Record:  36-15

Grand Slam Record: 93-40

U.S. Open Record:  25-9

U.S. Open Best Result:  RU (2008)

Fast Fact:  Seeded ninth, this is the best seeding Jankovic has earned at a Grand Slam in the past eleven events (No. 7 seed, 2011 Australian Open).

 

10. Roberta Vinci

2013 Record:  42-20

Grand Slam Record:  34-35

U.S. Open Record:  7-10

U.S. Open Best Result:  QF (2012)

Fast Fact:  Vinci is the only player in the Top Twenty with a losing record in Grand Slam events; she will need to reach the fourth round in order to achieve a winning record at Grand Slams.

 

11. Samantha Stosur

2013 Record:  28-17

Grand Slam Record:  64-40

U.S. Open Record:  17-8

U.S. Open Best Result:  W (2011)

Fast Fact:  Since earning her first victory over Azarenka earlier this summer, the highest ranked player that Stosur has never defeated is No. 27 Kanepi (0-1).

 

12. Kirsten Flipkens

2013 Record:  29-18

Grand Slam Record:  20-19

U.S. Open Record:  4-4

U.S. Open Best Result:  3R (2009)

Fast Fact:  Flipkens has played in 19 Grand Slam events, but half of her 20 wins have come in her last four appearances.

13. Ana Ivanovic

2013 Record:  27-16

Grand Slam Record:  86-34

U.S. Open Record:  17-8

U.S. Open Best Result:  QF (2012)

Fast Fact:  Prior to losing to Bouchard at Wimbledon, Ivanovic’s last five Grand Slam losses were to players currently ranked in the Top Five (S. Williams, Azarenka, Radwanska (twice), Errani).

 

14. Maria Kirilenko

2013 Record:  31-14

Grand Slam Record:  61-39

U.S. Open Record:  17-10

U.S. Open Best Result:  4R (2011)

Fast Fact:  Kirilenko’s 1R Wimbledon loss to Robson snapped a streak of sixteen straight 1R victories at Grand Slam events.

 

15. Sloane Stephens 

2013 Record:  29-18

Grand Slam Record:  22-9

U.S. Open Record:  4-2

U.S. Open Best Result:  3R (2011, 2012)

Fast Fact:  Stephens winning percentage in Grand Slam events (12-3, 80%) is more than 25 percentage points better than her winning percentage in tour events (17-15, 53%).

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2013 US Open Men’s Contender Profiles

Novak Djokovic3
(August 25, 2013) Profiles of the top Men’s Singles contenders for the 2013 U.S. Open.  Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

1. Novak Djokovic

2013 Record: 44-8

Grand Slam Record: 152-29

U.S. Open Record: 39-7

U.S. Open Best Result:  W (2011)

Fast Fact: With Federer’s 2R loss at Wimbledon, Djokovic holds the active streaks for consecutive Grand Slam QFs (17) and SFs (13); both streaks rank 2nd all time behind Federer.

 

2. Rafael Nadal

2013 Record:  53-3

Grand Slam Record: 164-23

U.S. Open Record: 34-8

U.S. Open Best Result:  W (2010)

Fast Fact:  Nadal on course for history?  In the Open era, the fewest losses in a season was three (McEnroe, 82-3 in 1984), two players have had four losses (Connors, 93-4 in 1974, Federer, 81-4 in 2005).

 

3. Andy Murray

2013 Record: 37-7

Grand Slam Record: 113-28

U.S. Open Record:  29-7

U.S. Open Best Result:  W (2012)

Fast Fact: Murray has reached the finals in the last four Grand Slam events he has entered (Wimbledon 2012, U.S. Open 2012, Australian Open 2013, Wimbledon 2013).

 

4. David Ferrer

2013 Record: 42-14

Grand Slam Record:  107-43

U.S. Open Record:  23-10

U.S. Open Best Result:  SF (2007, ’12)

Fast Fact:   Ferrer has defeated only one Top Ten player in 2013 (Tsonga, French Open SF).

 

5.  Tomas Berdych

2013 Record:  40-16

Grand Slam Record:  85-40

U.S. Open Record:  21-10

U.S. Open Best Result:  SF (2012)

Fast Fact:  Berdych has more wins against the Big Four (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray) than any other active player (17 wins).

 

6. Juan Martin Del Potro

2013 Record:  34-11

Grand Slam Record:  61-24

U.S. Open Record:  18-5

U.S. Open Best Result:  W (2009)

Fast Fact: Del Potro’s semifinal at Wimbledon was his first Grand Slam semifinal since winning the U.S. Open title in 2009; he had gone 10 consecutive Grand Slams without reaching the semis.

 

7. Roger Federer

2013 Record: 32-11

Grand Slam Record: 257-40

U.S. Open Record:  64-8

U.S. Open Best Result:  W (2004 – ’08)

Fast Fact: The U.S. Open will be the 56th consecutive Grand Slam for Federer, tying the record held by Wayne Ferreira.

 

8. Richard Gasquet

2013 Record:  34-14

Grand Slam Record:  62-35

U.S. Open Record:  14-7

U.S. Open Best Result:  4R (2005-’06, ’10, ’12)

Fast Fact:  Gasquet will be the highest seeded Frenchman at a Grand Slam event for the first time since the 2008 U.S. Open.

 

9. Stanislas Wawrinka

2013 Record:  36-15

Grand Slam Record: 64-34

U.S. Open Record:  18-8

U.S. Open Best Result:  QF (2010)

Fast Fact: Wawrinka has a 1-12 record vs. Top Five players at Grand Slams; his only Top Five win was at the U.S. Open (def. No. 4 Murray, 2010).

 

10. Milos Raonic 

2013 Record:  29-15

Grand Slam Record: 18-11

U.S. Open Record:  3-2

U.S. Open Best Result:  4R (2012)

Fast Fact:  Entering the 2013 U.S. Open, Raonic is one of only five players with a career high Top Ten ranking who has never rached the QFs of a Grand Slam event (Aguiliera, Carlsson, Massu, and Srichiphan).

 

11. Kei Nishikori

2013 Record:  27-4

Grand Slam Record:  25-16

U.S. Open Record:  7-4

U.S. Open Best Result:  4R (2009)

Fast Fact:  Nishikori’s last Grand Slam match, a 5-set loss to Andreas Seppi at Wimbledon, was his first 5-set loss in over five years (April 2008).

 

12. Tommy Haas

2013 Record:  39-17

Grand Slam Record:  102-52

U.S. Open Record:  32-15

U.S. Open Best Result:  QF (2004, ’06-’07)

Fast Fact:  This is Haas’ 16th U.S. Open appearance; he trails only Connors (22), Agassi (21), and Chang (17) in total appearances among men at the event.

 

13. John Isner

2013 Record:  32-19

Grand Slam Record:  28-21

U.S. Open Record:  13-6

U.S. Open Best Result:  QF (2011)

Fast Fact:  Isner has won 32 matches over the first 33 weeks of 2013, but half of those wins (16) have come in the last six weeks.

 

14. Jerry Janowicz

2013 Record:  23-16

Grand Slam Record:  11-5

U.S. Open Record:  0-1

U.S. Open Best Result:  1R (2012)

Fast Fact:  Janowicz’s only match at the U.S. Open was a loss to an 18-year-old American wild card, Dennis Novikov, with a four digit ranking.

 

15. Nicolas Almagro 

2013 Record:  32-17

Grand Slam Record:  56-30

U.S. Open Record:  12-8

U.S. Open Best Result:  4R (2012)

Fast Fact:  in the last four years, Almagro has compiled a 7-4 record at the U.S. Open, but it’s been a struggle; he’s 21-21 in sets won/lost over that span.

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Simona Halep Heads for New York on a Roll

By Jack Cunniff

(August 24, 2013) NEW HAVEN – For Simona Halep, it all came together in Rome. Ranked 64th at the time, she defeated three players ranked in the Top Twenty en route to the semifinals, where she lost to Serena Williams.  Her strong form continued with tournament victories in Nurnberg, s’Hertogenbosch, and Budapest. And on the eve of the U.S. Open, she has now won her fourth title of 2013, and largest of her career, taking the New Haven Open title over Petra Kvitova.

It is Halep’s first Premier title on the WTA Tour, and it will vault her into the world’s Top Twenty; she is expected to be No. 19 on Monday.  How will she feel as one of the top women’s players?  Based on an 11-4 record vs. the Top Twenty since Rome, she certainly belongs.

Four thousand fans arrived at Yale today to watch the New Haven Open final, probably expecting   the defending champion, Kvitova, to repeat. The 23-year-old is a former Wimbledon champion, a former world No. 2, and the third seed. But as the players warmed up, emcee Wayne Bryan listed the recent achievements of the unseeded Halep; she was deserving of her spot in the final.

In the first few games, Kvitova began the way she finished her semifinal match, when she crushed Klara Zakopalova 6-0, 6-1. She held serve easily, and had a 15-40 advantage in each of Halep’s first two service games. Halep successfully fought her way through her service games, then broke Kvitova’s service for a 3-2 lead. That lead to a flurry of unforced errors from Kvitova that continued for the remainder of the match.  The 21-year-old from Romania went on a streak of nine straight games, to lead 6-2, 4-0.  While Kvitova managed to salvage her final two service games, Halep sealed the title with an ace, 6-2, 6-2.

Halep becomes only the second unseeded player to win the title in New Haven; her semifinal victim, Caroline Wozniacki, was the first in 2008. She becomes the tenth different player to capture the title in New Haven since the event has been played at Yale University in 1998. Seven of the previous nine champions also have Grand Sam Singles titles on their résumé.

In Doubles action, Sania Mirza and Zheng Jie took the title in straight sets over Anabel Medina Garrigues and Katarina Srebotnik, 6-3, 6-4.  Mirza and Zheng were playing in their third hard court event this summer as a duo, and had struggled in their earlier events. Those struggles continued in the first two rounds in New Haven, as the pair had to battle through 10-8 third set scores in both of those matches to stay alive. But they’ve started to gel as a team, and won in straight sets in the semifinals and final to take the trophy. As Mirza noted afterwards, “I think that you got to win, so to say, a couple ugly matches.” They played their best today against the veteran duo of Srebotnik and Medina Garrigues, who are playing together for the first time in eight years.

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