2014/07/28

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

 

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

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

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

No. 1 Celebration  Nadal, Federer

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

Watch Highlights Of No. 1 Celebration

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

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

Year-End No. 1s  McEnroe, Djokovic

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

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

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

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McEnroe Splits Pair As Orange County Breakers Top New York Sportimes, 21-13

 

John McEnroe photo by ©Jacque Medina

ALBANY, July 18, 2013 – On a night in which Tennis Hall of Famer John McEnroe made his first appearance of the year for the NY Sportimes, it was Orange County’s Coco Vandeweghe and Steve Johnson who stole the show, winning two events apiece to pace the visiting Breakers to a 21-13 Mylan World TeamTennis win at SEFCU Arena in Albany, N.Y. Thursday.

Johnson picked up a 5-3 win over his men’s singles counterpart, Jesse Witten, before McEnroe teamed with Kveta Peschke to provide the Sportimes’ only event win, a 5-0 whitewashing of Maria Elena Camerin and Trent Huey in mixed doubles, giving the hosts a brief, 8-5 lead. But Huey turned the tables in men’s doubles, pairing with Johnson to upend McEnroe and Robert Kendrick, 5-2, for a 10-10 halftime tie.

The first set [mixed doubles with Kveta Peschke] was great,” said McEnroe. Kveta is a great doubles player to play with.”

It was all Breakers (6-3) after that, with Vandeweghe topping Anna-Lena Groenefeld, 5-2, then along with partner Camerin handing Groenefeld and Peschke their first women’s doubles defeat of the Mylan WTT season, 5-1, to win going away.

“It was kind of like a rollercoaster in a way,” added McEnroe. “It started bad, then we got on a roll but then it all derailed. But that’s why World TeamTennis is fun. It’s unpredictable.”

The Sportimes (4-5) dropped their second straight, finishing the Albany portion of their home schedule at 3-2. McEnroe will lead the squad as they battle the Texas Wild on Monday at SPORTIME Randall’s Island in the first of two matches held there. On Tuesday the Sportimes close the home season with a matchup with the Washington Kastles.

Orange County moved into first place in the Mylan WTT Western Conference with the win, pending the outcome of the late Springfield vs. Sacramento match this evening.

Mylan World TeamTennis

Orange County Breakers def. NEW YORK SPORTIMES 20-13

Men’s Singles – Steve Johnson (Breakers) def. Jesse Witten (Sportimes) 5-3

Mixed Doubles – Kveta PeschkeJohn McEnroe (Sportimes) def. Maria Elena CamerinTreat Huey (Breakers) 5-0

Men’s Doubles – Treat HueySteve Johnson (Breakers) def. Robert KendrickJohn McEnroe (Sportimes) 5-2

Women’s Singles – Coco Vandeweghe (Breakers) def. Anna-Lena Groenefeld (Sportimes) 5-2

Women’s Doubles – Maria Elena CamerinCoco Vandeweghe (Breakers) def. Anna-Lena GroenefeldKveta Peschke (Sportimes) 5-1

 

Mylan World TeamTennis presented by GEICO – Results for Thursday, 7/18

(Home teams in capital letters)

FINAL RESULTS – All matches complete:

Orange County Breakers def. NEW YORK SPORTIMES 20-13

Men’s Singles – Steve Johnson (Breakers) def. Jesse Witten (Sportimes) 5-3

Mixed Doubles – Kveta Peschke\John McEnroe (Sportimes) def. Maria Elena Camerin\Treat Huey (Breakers) 5-0

Men’s Doubles – Treat Huey\Steve Johnson (Breakers) def. Robert Kendrick\John McEnroe (Sportimes) 5-2

Women’s Singles – Coco Vandeweghe (Breakers) def. Anna-Lena Groenefeld (Sportimes) 5-2

Women’s Doubles – Maria Elena Camerin\Coco Vandeweghe (Breakers) def. Anna-Lena Groenefeld\Kveta Peschke (Sportimes) 5-1

 

SPRINGFIELD LASERS def. Sacramento Capitals 20-19 (7-2 STB)

Men’s Doubles – Jean-Julien Rojer\Rik De Voest (Lasers) def. Ryan Sweeting\Mark Knowles (Capitals) 5-2

Mixed Doubles – Alisa Kleybanova\Jean-Julien Rojer (Lasers) def. Olga Govortsova\Ryan Sweeting (Capitals) 5-3

Men’s Singles – Ryan Sweeting (Capitals) def. Rik De Voest (Lasers) 5-3

Women’s Singles – Olga Govortsova (Capitals) def. Alisa Kleybanova (Lasers) 5-1

Women’s Doubles – Vania King\Alisa Kleybanova (Lasers) def. Megan Moulton-Levy\Olga Govortsova (Capitals) 5-4

Supertiebreaker – Women’s Doubles – Vania King\Alisa Kleybanova (Lasers) def. Megan Moulton-Levy\Olga Govortsova (Capitals) 1-0 (7-2)

 

Standings

Eastern Conference              MP      W        L         PCT    MB

Washington Kastles                8          6          2          0.750   –

New York Sportimes              9          4          5          0.444   2.5

Boston Lobsters                      9          3          6          0.333   3.5

Philadelphia Freedoms            8          2          6          0.250   4

 

Western Conference             MP      W        L         PCT    MB

Orange County Breakers        9          6          3          0.667   –

Springfield Lasers                   9          6          3          0.667   0

Texas Wild                              9          5          4          0.556   1

Sacramento Capitals               9          3          6          0.333   3

 

Next Matches: 7/19/2013

Sacramento Capitals @ BOSTON LOBSTERS, 7:00 PM (EDT)

Orange County Breakers @ PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS, 7:00 PM (EDT)

Washington Kastles @ TEXAS WILD, 7:35 PM (CDT)

 

For live scoring and complete player / match statistics, please visit www.WTT.com

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“On The Call” – ESPN / Wimbledon Conference Call with Chris Evert and John McEnroe

Chris-Evert

(June 18, 2013) ESPN tennis analysts Chris Evert and John McEnroe spoke with media about Wimbledon, which starts Monday, June 24, exclusively across ESPN platformes.  Much of the conversation centered on the dominance of Serena Williams, the Big Four of men’s tennis, the emerging new generation of U.S. players and the magic that is Wimbledon…both saying if they could only win one major, it would be at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.  Highlights:

 

Q.  Think like a coach for me and explain how you would tell a player to try to beat Serena Williams on grass.  Where, if anywhere, do you see a weakness or vulnerability in her game?

JOHN McENROE:  I don’t see a weakness.  I see someone who perhaps is more comfortable at the baseline.  I thought they did a pretty darn good job at the French at the net.  What I would tell her is she can do pretty much anything, but she may have a little bit more difficulty in handling sort of off-speed, junk-ball type stuff where it might entice her to go for too much.  Her serve is the best serve in the history of women’s tennis by far.  Her presence is very intimidating.  But I would not try to match power with her, I would try to do anything possible, if they’re capable of that, to throw off her rhythm.

 

CHRIS EVERT:  Well, it’s interesting you say that because I was thinking about that.  Even on the red clay, I kind of had my feelings about how to play her.  But on the grass, it’s a little different.  First of all, I would hope I would have a big serve, my protege, would have a big serve, or you’re going to lose 0-0.  You have to have a big serve working.  Anytime Maria Sharapova had success against Serena it’s because she’s been serving big and consistently.  Your serve better be working that day.

 

The other thing, when I’m returning serve, I wouldn’t stand back that far.  I would actually chip the returns back.  I would really just chip the returns back.  At this point Serena, you know, she beats everybody in the world from the baseline, but nobody’s really tried bringing her in, forcing her to come in.  As good a volleyer as she is because of doubles, she’s still not as comfortable at the net as she is on the baseline.  I would take off some of the pace.  John McEnroe would have had a great game to play against her because he could just chip it back and be prepared for the next shot because she’s going to come in, be prepared for the next shot.  If she comes into the net, if she misses it, hits a winner, you have to accept it.

 

I just think you really can’t hit with her from the baseline.  You’ve got to either hit short angles, dropshots, chip, do something to throw her timing off.  Once she gets in a rhythm, she’s deadly.  But you got to have a big serve.  You have to be able to hold your serve most of the time.  You can’t be just slugging balls with her.  That’s been proven a thousand million times.  It doesn’t work.  If Maria is holding serve, once the point starts, she has about as good a chance as any.  On the grass, it’s going to be more difficult for Maria because of the movement.  You just have to try to throw her timing off.

 

Q. Would you be surprised if she didn’t win this title? 

CHRIS EVERT:  Yeah, I would be surprised.  Trust me, nothing is set in stone.  It’s a two-week tournament.  I don’t care what anybody says, when you get to be at the 28, 30, 31 age, you played 10 years, 12 years, 15 years on the tour, there are days that it isn’t there.  There are days your body is not working.  There’s days you would rather not be out there, you’d rather be in bed, not get out of bed.  Roger Federer, I think we’ve seen a couple days like that with him.  I know Serena has been out of the game, she’s pumped up, and that’s probably not going to happen.  Sometimes it does happen to players that have played a lot.

 

JOHN McENROE:  I would be very surprised.  I think she’s playing the best tennis of her career.  She’s not only in the best place I’ve ever seen, I think she’s the best player that’s ever lived.  I said that a while ago.  But she’s cementing it in everyone’s mind.  She’s just a level above anyone.  There’s no doubt about it.

 

I think actually in a way what’s happened with her sister, the difficulties she’s had as she’s gotten into the later stages of her career, actually in a way helped Serena because it made her realize she wanted to enjoy and take advantage of these last couple years.  She realized and maybe appreciated a little bit more the talent that she has.

 

Q. Do you think on the men’s side in the U.S. there’s a lack of a major personality since Andy Roddick has gone?

JOHN McENROE:  Well, I think these players, we’re at an exceptional time in our sport certainly.  What we’re seeing is something the level of which we haven’t seen before.  In a way, the players are doing anything and everything to sort of allow the tennis to speak for themselves.  I think Djokovic is making an effort to spread the word, spread his personality.  I think Nadal has a lot of personality on the court.  Federer is the most beautiful player I’ve ever seen play.

 

None of these guys are out there doing the things that Connors and I were doing.  That’s the way they are.  They choose to do it in a different way and that’s perfectly acceptable because there’s a variety of reasons.  That’s a whole other issue, a whole other question about why that is.

 

But certainly in any one-on-one sport, it’s imperative, when people are getting behind cities or teams, when they root for what we call soccer, you call football, American basketball, whatever team you’re behind, you’re behind the whole city and team as opposed to an individual.  We need to do more to make people have a rooting interest, get to know the players a little more, do a better job promoting them, et cetera.

 

Q. Recently at the French Open there was a lot of talk about the top four, the dominance of the top four, making men’s tennis boring.  I wanted to know what your feeling about that was. 

JOHN McENROE:  I think it’s important that you have people that separate themselves and there’s great rivalries like Nadal/Federer, Nadal/Djokovic, now Murray trying to break into the mix.  They have been unbelievably dominant, how successful they’ve been.  If you look at the run that some of the other guys, when I played Connors, Borg, Ivan, there were four guys separated from the pack for a while.  There’s times where that happens.  This isn’t that unusual.

 

I think in a way it should be, if anything, an incentive to the other guys to try to break into the mix.  If these guys are too good, more power to them.  I think it just shows you how great they are.  Everyone is saying how athletic the game is getting, equipment is an equalizer for everyone, but these guys are still winning.  I think we should enjoy it while we can.

 

CHRIS EVERT:  There’s nothing boring about greatness.  Those top players, like John said, are at a level by themselves.  That will form rivalries.  Hopefully there’s one stirring up right now with Nadal/Djokovic.  Their matches are epic matches.  So I don’t think ‘boring’ is the right word.  I wished the women had four up there like the men do right now.  Right now it just seems to be one.

 

Q. John, you talked earlier about Serena being a favorite for the women’s side.  Could you tip who you have for the men’s title this year.  Seems like it’s a tough pick coming in with different forms, Andy Murray having skipped Roland Garros. 

JOHN McENROE:  Yeah, I think it is a tougher call to see who the favorite would be.  I would pick Djokovic 1 and Murray 2.  This is me personally based on sort of what’s been going on.  I think Murray will be hungrier not playing the French, maybe a little fresher.  Then Roger, because he still has such a great game for grass.  It’s tough to win it back-to-back at his age.  Rafa having come back so great, maybe I’m wrong, ’cause I thought he would be a little tired.  After the Djokovic semi, there will be some type of letdown, and he can’t impose his will as easily as on other courts.  I would put him a close 4.  That would be the order if I had to pick 1 to 4.

 

Q. What about for you, Chrissy, a thought on the men’s side? 

CHRIS EVERT:  Yeah, I think this is the beauty of having the top four players playing so evenly and closely.

Djokovic comes to mind only because I think the disappointment at the French Open.  Then Federer, you know, the thing is that I have a sneaking suspicion that Federer has put all his eggs in one basket and he’s gunning for Wimbledon.  It’s the only Grand Slam that he really has a legitimate chance.  I don’t mean that against him, it’s just that the competition is so good.  Then, you know, Andy Murray, really depends on the nerves, how he reacts.  Every year that he doesn’t win it, there’s more and more pressure on him.  Nadal, I mean, he could come out of the gate and just surprise us all.  I think you kind of wonder after winning the French, I know he’s always hungry, but I think this court doesn’t suit him as well as it does the other players.

 

It’s just totally up in the air.  That’s the wonderful thing about it.  That’s the wonderful thing about having the top four men playing so closely and evenly.  It’s a hard question, and I don’t know if John agrees with it, coming into a tournament, as an analyst, you like to see the first few rounds and see how they’re playing.  Especially after the first week, you kind of have a better view.

 

JOHN McENROE:  Nadal seeded 5, and he plays Djokovic in the quarters, that’s going to impact more than just those two people.  We have to first wait and see what they decide to do with Nadal.

 

Q. John, you mentioned a moment ago that Serena you thought was the best player that ever lived.  If she creeps up in singles Grand Slam titles to Roger, I’m wondering if it’s fair or your thoughts on whether or not she’s the best player of her generation, male or female?

JOHN McENROE:  Well, that’s a difficult one to answer.  I mean, I think you’re talking about apples and oranges.

She’s certainly one of the greatest athletes in the history of our sport, male or female, there’s no doubt about that.  I mean, that’s a given.

 

I don’t see where you can really get very far saying — when you get in direct comparisons with both of them.  That’s like saying, Who is better, Steffi or Andre?  You get into all different types of things.  And I don’t think there’s an answer.  I would definitely say she’s one of the greatest athletes and players, male or female.  I would definitely say that.

 

Q. They’re both defending champions.  Talk about their sort of preparation, their momentum going into Wimbledon, both Federer and Serena. 

JOHN McENROE:  Obviously they do things different.  Roger played and won Halle.  Serena, as far as I understood, went back to the States.  They know exactly what they need to do now more than ever.

I think clearly it’s tougher for Roger at this stage ’cause he has to go out and play best-of-five.  The recovery for longer matches would be tougher, especially if he had to do a few in a row.

 

I do think for Roger that his best chance remains Wimbledon.  As I said last year, it’s his best bet to win a major.  And Serena has proved she can win and is a big favorite anywhere.  She’s got such an intimidation factor that it’s going to be difficult for anyone to beat her.

 

As we all know, everyone has bad days.  She was down 2-Love, couple breakpoints to Kuznetsova in the quarters, had to pull out.  In almost any tournament, you’re going to have one or two days where you’re going to be struggling a little bit.

 

There’s perhaps a handful of players on the other side of the draw that could possibly be able to step in and pull off an upset in that situation, more so on the men’s side than the women’s because there’s huge guys like Rosol type of guy who on a given day could provide more problems.

 

Q. John, I wanted to ask about Nadal.  Do you have any insight into the toll that winning the French this time around took on him, especially the five-setter against Djokovic?  As part of that, could you discuss the pros and cons in Nadal’s case of skipping a grass court tune-up this year heading into Wimbledon?

JOHN McENROE:  First of all, I think he made the right move not playing.  Last year when he played the French, he went and played Halle.  I can’t say this because he was probably having trouble with the knees already, but to me it did contribute to make them even worse, his uncertainty.  I think he needed the break, particularly since that was the first best-of-five set, first major he played since Wimbledon of last year.

 

As far as the wear and tear, emotionally, physically, it’s difficult to say.  I interviewed him after he won the French.  I was amazed how well he bounced back from the Djokovic match, given the fact he hadn’t played as tough a match as that.  He’s certainly phenomenal.  He’s unbelievable.  I hope that he stays healthy.  I would just say emotionally after everything he went through, it would be hard not to have some type of letdown for a period of time.

 

I think for me coming into Wimbledon, because of everything that sort of goes into winning an event like that, to me I would pick him the fourth most likely guy to win it.  I would drop him down below the other three guys there because I think there will be some toll that will be taken, maybe even more emotional than physical.  The movement that he banks on on clay is not going to be quite as easy on grass for him.  He may not be quite as confident.  Having said that, maybe he’ll take the opposite and he’ll be so happy he’s back out there, it wouldn’t shock me if he won it.

 

Q. (Question regarding the men’s seedings and whether they should deviate from current rankings.) 

JOHN McENROE:  I think they should seed Nadal in the top four.  I don’t think anyone would murmur any complaint whatsoever.  I think Wimbledon is the only tournament I’m aware of out of the four majors that does change the seedings.  I don’t know exactly how they do it.  Apparently there’s a formula, a committee, a combination.  But clearly he should be one of the top four seeds in my book.

 

Q. Let’s say they don’t.  That would obviously have an enormous effect on the other four. 

JOHN McENROE:  Ferrer is going to be the five seed if he’s not the four seed.  Therefore, if he played Nadal in the quarters anyway, it would be like the same old, same old for him, because he’s always had to play one of those four guys in the quarters.  If you were to, say, have Nadal play Djokovic in the quarters, possibly Murray or Federer, that would be a big difference, yeah.  It would be absolutely wrong for that to happen, in my opinion.

 

Q. We saw Rafa do an incredible exhibition at Roland Garros.  How do you break down Rafael Nadal on clay?

JOHN McENROE:  It’s sort of like what the person asked before about breaking down Serena on grass.  I’ve watched and played a lot.  I grew up playing a lot of clay, certainly experienced the ups and downs.  Watching the best of the best, Borg and others.  But this guy is without a doubt the ultimate nightmare to play on that surface because I used to think you could take advantage of his serve.  His serve has gotten a lot better.  I used to think maybe you could bring him in.  He’s one of the best volleyers in the world.  He’s certainly one of the fittest in the world.  He’s certainly got more topspin than I’ve ever seen.  He seems to have more shots than anyone on that surface.

 

The only hope you do have is if you were blessed to be born 6’5″, 6’6″, you swing for the fences, you have one of those days where everything works, you basically go for broke the way everybody did, the way some guys that beat him.  Otherwise, you’re in for a nightmare of a day.

 

Having said that, I think it gives you an idea of how determined and well Djokovic was that he put himself in a position to be up 4-3 in the fifth on a pretty hot day, be that close to winning, five points from winning the match.  To me that was the greatest clay court match I’ve ever seen.

 

Q. You were both talented enough to win multiple major championships.  If you could only win one major in tennis, is Wimbledon the one that everyone wants to win? 

CHRIS EVERT:  For me, yes.  If I were to only win one, I would prefer to win Wimbledon rather than any of them.

 

JOHN McENROE:  Growing up as a kid in New York, even though it’s very special to be close to home, ball boy at the event, there’s something magical, it seems so far away when you’re a kid, so beautiful when you’re on TV, to see grass courts, it’s certainly the one growing up that’s the most talked about.  I think it still continues to be.

 

CHRIS EVERT:  It’s the first one we saw on TV.  I remember watching Margaret Court/Billie Jean King play the finals.  I don’t know if it was black and white, but it pretty much was black and white.  Like John said, I remember all the way across the ocean, the history of the event adds to it.

 

Q.  Do you have any quick one final memory from any of the Wimbledons you participated in, something that sticks in your head about the event itself?

CHRIS EVERT:  I mean, it’s hard because we had 15- to 20-year careers.  It’s the one tournament that’s bigger than the players.  Wimbledon is the star more than the players.  It’s the showcase.  That showcase is more the star.  That’s all I can say.

 

JOHN McENROE:  For me personally, it was the tiebreaker in ’80 when I played the match with Borg that people come up to me a hundred times more than any other match I played.  That would be the moment for me.

 

Q.  Chrissy, a question about Madison Keys.  What do you think about her potential? 

CHRIS EVERT:  Yeah, she definitely has the weapons to be top five.  She has the weapons to be number one.  There’s so much more that goes into it than physical weapons.  I can almost say she almost matches Serena’s serve as far as power.  Out of all the players out there, she comes the closest to Serena’s serve.  The power off both sides is tremendous for someone that young.

 

So much remains to be seen.  That’s the mental side of the game, which really hasn’t been tested as much because she is an up-and-coming player and she has no pressure when she’s playing these players right now.

That remains to be seen mentally how focused she is, how hungry she is for success.  That remains to be seen.  Of all the young players, I would have to say she, even more than Sloane Stephens, has the potential to be top 10.

 

Q. I’m curious to know who of the up-and-coming players will win their first slam, whether it be this Wimbledon or down the road? 

CHRIS EVERT:  You have to be a soothsayer to predict that.  The head of the list would be Madison Keys, I think, along with Sloane Stephens.  Bethanie Mattek, she’s had a lot of success the last three months.  She’s like a different person, different player out there, so I wouldn’t rule her out.  I think of the Americans, again, I think Madison or Sloane would have to be the next Grand Slam winner.

 

JOHN McENROE:  If I had to pick one guy, I’d probably pick Dimitrov right now if you have someone who is going to do it.  I think he’s on the right track again after sort of disappointing some of the people that predicted greatness early.  He’s moving in the right direction.  Then there’s going to be someone like Raonic, one of these guys, that gets it, figuring out how to utilize his weapons more on a court like Wimbledon.

 

Q. I wanted to see if you could weigh in overall on the state of American tennis. 

JOHN McENROE:  Basically, certainly we had a lot of success in the past, probably became pretty spoiled.  Clearly Americans have come to expect and want Grand Slam contenders and winners.  We’ve had some excellent players.  Sam Querrey has been a solid professional, very solid.  John Isner got to 10 in the world.  Mardy Fish got to the top 10 before it overwhelmed him.  If you want to compete and win majors at this stage, the athleticism necessary is becoming even more exceptional.  That’s something we have to try to search out and provide the opportunity for kids that don’t have it.  That’s the biggest thing.

 

Unlike women, or girls, I believe girls are much more likely to play tennis than boys.  The greatest American athletes played football or basketball.  We’re lower down on the totem pole.  We need to do something like that.  Unless you get a guy like John Isner, 6’10″, one of the biggest serves ever.  Therefore, he can be a threat to anyone.

 

To go all the way in a major, you need a combination of things.  That’s what we need to push towards.  That’s a whole other discussion.  But we’re certainly not where we want to be, no doubt about that.  Ryan Harrison is a solid pro.  He’s trying to make headway.  Jack Sock is athletically good, but you have to be incredible.  We’ll have to wait and see what happens, the next five, ten years, how we veer toward better and better athletes in our sport.

 

CHRIS EVERT:  On the men’s side, all those guys that John mentioned, those guys came out in the last few years.  On the women’s side, I think we have 10 in the top 100.  That’s more than any other country in the world.  That was at the French.  That’s a big statement for some of the critics that have been criticizing American tennis, USTA, whatever.  We’ve got a good stable of players.  We’re not even naming Jamie Hampton, Melanie Oudin0, Alison Riske.  There’s a lot of girls I see down in Boca Raton at the USTA center hammering it out every afternoon.  There’s playing matches and matches, competing against each other, getting better and better as a result.  I think it’s a good time for American women’s tennis.  I think now people can kind of be quiet about their criticism of American tennis ’cause things are definitely starting to happen, pretty exciting things.

 

Q. Who could be the biggest surprise at Wimbledon this fortnight?  Maybe Berdych or Del Potro, maybe Wawrinka is having a good year. 

JOHN McENROE:  First of all, Berdych has been in a Wimbledon final, and Del Potro has won a major.  Stan’s game I don’t think is as well-suited.  All those guys are veteran players.  Certainly one of these big hitters, and Tsonga, are looking to have a better chance.  Out in left field would be the guys I mentioned.  These guys have worked hard to get in a position where they’re trying to get closer and closer to the top guys.  I think that this would be a perfect opportunity depending on what happens.  If they seed Nadal 5, that would open the door up for a couple of these other guys that could make a run a lot further where they wouldn’t have to play one of those guys in the semis.  Berdych beat Djokovic and Federer one year and still had to beat Nadal in the final.  Some of it’s going to depend on what happens with the draw.

 

Q. You spoke generally about U.S. players who might break through.  Can you look ahead to the US Open and speculate about how you think the Americans will perform this year. 

JOHN McENROE:  Pretty hard to jump ahead.  Most of the guys that we’ve talked about, Isner, Querrey, Ryan, they all seem to prefer the hard courts.  That would improve our chances.  Obviously they’re going to have the crowd in their favor, so that would help.

 

You have a lot of things leading up to it.  The obvious ones:  health, how they do leading up to Cincinnati.  It’s difficult to say.  Again, it’s not just the luck of the draw, but to some degree you have to see those things.  Otherwise, I think the upside for Jack Sock is he’s probably the biggest upside we have for a young guy.  Ryan would be close behind him.  Those are the two guys that have the most room to improve to me right now, other than the juniors that we’re waiting to see who is going to break out.

 

CHRIS EVERT:  Yeah, I think the Americans, young Americans, get really, really excited about the US Open, I think more than any other Grand Slam tournament.  I think consequently they have good results because we’ve seen them.  Primarily, like John said, they’re hard court players.  American players are not natural grass court players or clay court players, they’re hard court players.  Most of them have been brought up on the hard courts.  I think with all that, the spirit of playing their country’s championship, the fact that they’re hard court players, the fact that I know on the women’s side they’re all pretty much supporting one another, I think we’re going to see some upsets, definitely upsets, some good results from the Americans.

 

Q. John, with Roger Federer winding down, do you think if he would win Wimbledon he would retire at the end of the season? 

JOHN McENROE:  I don’t know.  I don’t think he’s going to retire for a couple years, he loves playing too much.  The last guy that did that was Pete Sampras.  Very few guys sort of go out winning a major.  He quit right then.

Even though it was an awesome move and I respect it, I think sometimes even he questions it.  He left a big void.

Roger seems to enjoy it almost more than any player I’ve ever seen.  It would shock me if he would do that, absolutely shock me.

 

Q. Chris, this is really not about Wimbledon, per se, but it’s about the Women’s Tennis Association, I know their 40th anniversary is coming up.  Could you speak about what the kind of risk and rewards seemed to be at the time that the WTA was formed, and in retrospect what has it accomplished in your view in terms of making tennis a viable career for women?

CHRIS EVERT:  Let me just say, I was lucky enough to be around 40 years ago.  I was not a part of the beginning.  Basically I was a school girl.  I just listened to everything my dad told me to do.  I didn’t get involved in the politics of it.  But I was aware of what was going on and thought it was pretty progressive, pretty ahead of the times that Billie Jean got these women together to form a union.  I didn’t even know what a union was at 18 years old.  I thought of maybe going down in the coal mines or something when I heard ‘union’.  It was really pretty daring.

 

Then they formed the WTA, where they would have a president, officers, meetings, and basically the women would make the decisions, all the politics of the game, instead of having somebody tell us what to do all the time.  I thought that was great.

 

Then Virginia Slims came along.  I stuck with the WTA, being conservative.  We had two tours.  When Virginia Slims became the one tour, that’s when women’s tennis really took off.  We were making good money.  We were providing a living for a good 200 players down the road.  Funny enough, that circuit at that time meant more to us than Grand Slam tournaments.  That’s where it’s really changed over the years.

 

But if it wasn’t for Billie Jean, if she was in golf, golf would have been the premiere sport for women, not tennis.  So thank God for her.

 

Q. John, you’ve said that Nelson Mandela is the most special person you ever met.  What does it mean to you that he listened to your match from his cell, and did you go out there to the island? 

JOHN McENROE:  I didn’t go to the island, but rather felt like a complete jerk that he listened to the match at the Robben Island prison when I was whining about the call.  It certainly gave me some perspective about the situation I was in.  I shouldn’t have had a whole lot to complain about.

 

At the same time I feel immensely proud that in some way I was able to connect with people beyond your wildest dreams, the type of people you would be able to connect with that said I would have given $10 million that he felt it was an honor meeting me.  I felt ludicrous him saying he was honored meeting me.

 

It was amazing he didn’t seem to have an ounce of bitterness or resentment towards anyone when I was lucky enough to meet him.  It was certainly a moment I will never forget, or an hour.  I gave him my racquet that I played with at that time.  I saw him pick it up and hold it.  I felt lucky that I was able to be part of that.

 

Q. Can you talk about the experience you have of meeting celebrities, whether it’s Pele, the Stones?  Who are some of your favorites?

JOHN McENROE:  I wouldn’t trade that for anything.  There’s a mutual respect on some level.  Sometimes you pinch yourself that you’re even hearing people like Pele, Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, all these great players, that sort of on some level look at you on equal footing.  To me, that’s always been the greatest perk that I’ve been able to have, being lucky enough to be good at what I did for a living, playing tennis, that I could meet people, whether it was incredible athletes, a couple guys from the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, the Beatles, whatever it is.  It’s unbelievable.  I’ve never taken that for granted and I never will.

I think while it gives you a certain humility, it also gives you a great deal of satisfaction and pride that you feel on some level you’re inspiring in some tiny way, that they have even close to the same level of appreciation that I have for being around them a little bit.

 

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McEnroe: Serena Williams and Nadal Have to Beat Themselves to Lose at French Open

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(May 20, 2013) – John McEnroe agrees with the vast majority of tennis prognosticators that Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal are heavy favorites to win the upcoming French Open.

McEnroe spoke to media on Monday, ahead of next weeks’ French Open on a Tennis Channel conference call. McEnroe has served as an analyst for the network’s French Open coverage since 2007.

Asked about the chances of Serena being upset, McEnroe said:”I mean it’s been done before.  I’ve done it myself, but you sort of have to beat yourself.  The level she’s at when she’s playing well, I don’t think anybody can beat her.  Anybody, no matter great they are, everybody has bad days.
“On clay, it’s her worst surface.  The odds would increase.  The pressure is greater obviously at the French because she’s only won it once.  I would say at some stage in the event, it would be likely that she won’t have one of her best days.  Depending on her opponent that day, someone might have a shot at her.”

McEnroe is impressed with Nadal’s comeback after being off the tour for seven months.

“It seems like he’s barely lost anything, if at all,” McEnroe said.  “Right now he seems to be finally, he says, playing the best he’s been playing the whole year, which is sort of frightening for the other players.
“Unless something happens that’s unforeseen, it would be pretty hard‑pressed to make an argument for anyone other than Djokovic to beat him.  It would have to be one of those swing‑for‑the‑fences type players like Soderling was that one year, and the conditions would have to be extremely heavy so his ball wouldn’t have the type of jump it normally does.”

Coming into the French Open, both Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal are on win streaks. World No. 1 Williams has won 24 straight matches which include Miami, Charleson, Madrid and Rome titles. Nadal, whose ranking has moved up to No. 4 this week, has captured his last three tournaments – Barcelona, Madrid and Rome.

The French Open begins on May 26.

 

Related story:

Tennis Channel Announces 2013 French Open Broadcast Schedule

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Tennis Hall Of Famers John McEnroe, Jim Courier To Compete In Mylan WTT Matchup July 22 To Benefit Johnny Mac Tennis Project

John McEnroe

John McEnroe

NEW YORK, May 16, 2013 – Former World No. 1 players, Davis Cup standouts and International Tennis Hall of Famers John McEnroe and Jim Courier will battle it out on the Sportime Stadium hard court on Monday, July 22nd, as the NY Sportimes take on the Texas Wild in a Mylan World TeamTennis matchup. The annual night benefiting the Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP) will also feature fellow Hall of Famer and Mylan WTT Co-Founder Billie Jean King in celebration of the 40th anniversary year of her historic matchup with Bobby Riggs in the famed “Battle of the Sexes.” The match begins at 7:30 p.m. on Randall’s Island.

JMTP provides scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area. JMTP benefit nights in previous years have featured the likes of Bjorn Borg (2011) and Andre Agassi (2012). JMTP and SPORTIME Clubs, home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, have already provided over $1M in scholarships and no cost programming to young players in NYC and its communities.

JMTP scholarship recipients attend the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, which is completing its third year at Sportime Randall’s Island. Ticket prices for the July 22nd match will be $75, $150 and $300, with additional special VIP packages also available; please consult your tax advisor concerning the tax deductibility of ticket and package purchases. Tickets for the JMTP benefit night on July 22nd and for the NY Sportimes home match vs. the Washington Kastles at Randall’s Island on July 23rd can be purchased by calling 1-888-WTT-NYC1 or by visiting www.nysportimes.com. The July 23rd match is also benefiting JMTP and features former Sportime, and soon-to-be enshrined International Hall of Fame inductee, Martina Hingis, playing for Washington. Purchasers of tickets to the July 22nd match may elect to receive a ticket to the following night’s match for $1.00.

“Jim Courier has meant so much to American tennis, and we couldn’t be more pleased that he and the Texas Wild will be the opponent for this special night,” said Sportime Clubs and NY Sportimes CEO Claude Okin. “To have two of our country’s all-time premier players and tennis ambassadors in Jim and in our own Captain and leader, John McEnroe, will make for a very competitive and entertaining evening, but most importantly will ultimately help so many children in New York.”

“The JMTP Benefit night is a highlight of the year for me and for the Johnny Mac Tennis Project,” said McEnroe. “My commitment is stronger than ever to the youth of New York, and just as Bjorn and Andre helped make the evening special in years past, getting to compete against Jim again will, I hope, pump people up about American tennis – past and future.”

“I am honored and excited to be participating in this benefit, and to help John do what he is doing in his home town of New York City,” said Courier. “I live in NYC and I practice at SPORTIME so I see what John and his Academy are accomplishing there. I wanted to do my part to support John’s efforts in furthering the development of American tennis and young players in NYC.”

The night will also be part of a year-long celebration of the 40th anniversary of the “Battle of the Sexes” match between King and Riggs, which took place in Houston on Sept. 20, 1973. The spectacle, won by King in straight sets, is often cited as a turning point towards females earning equality in many aspects of American life.

The Sportimes open their Mylan World TeamTennis home schedule on July 9 vs. Springfield (featuring Andy Roddick for Springfield) at SEFCU Arena in Albany, N.Y. New York will play four other matches in Albany, on July 12, 15 (featuring Sloane Stephens for Philadelphia), 16 and 18 (featuring McEnroe vs. Orange County) and the aforementioned two at Sportime Stadium (July 22nd vs. Texas, July 23rd vs. Washington, featuring former Sportimes star Martina Hingis).

Conference championships are scheduled for Thursday, July 25th, at the higher of the top two seeds in each conference, and the season concludes with the Mylan WTT Finals presented by GEICO, on Sunday, July 28th, at the site of the Eastern Conference champion.

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Sampras, McEnroe, Lendl and Haas to Play in The Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic

 

White Sulphur Springs, WV – April 23, 2013: The Greenbrier, the classic American resort in the foothills of West Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains, will once again be host this fall to The Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic, featuring exhibition matches with Tennis Hall of Fame legends Pete Sampras, John McEnroe and, for the first time ever, Ivan Lendl and Tommy Haas.

 

From September 21-22, 2013, The Greenbrier will host this second annual tennis classic featuring four of the greatest living tennis stars in the world, who, all together, hold 29 career Grand Slam men’s singles titles.  Following the overwhelming success of last year’s inaugural Greenbrier Champions Tennis Class (which was a one-day event), the 2013 Classic will span two days and include three marquee matches between these four tennis legends, along with a Pro-Am.

 

Last September, John McEnroe and Pete Sampras restarted the tradition of high-profile tennis events hosted by The Greenbrier when they played before an enthusiastic crowd of guests at

Pete Sampras

The Greenbrier’s tennis center.  The 2013 Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic will have a new format, with last year’s competitors, McEnroe and Sampras, playing as teammates in a friendly challenge against former world #1 Ivan Lendl and Tommy Haas, who is currently ranked #14 in the world.  On Saturday, September 21, two singles matches will be played – McEnroe vs. Lendl and Sampras vs. Haas.  On Sunday, September 22, one doubles match will be played with the Americans (McEnroe and Sampras) competing against the Europeans (Lendl and Haas).

 

“We are so thrilled to continue to build the tradition of the fall Tennis Classic at The Greenbrier, and welcome Pete and John back to the resort,” says Jim Justice, owner of The Greenbrier.  “And we could not ask for better ambassadors for the resort and our extraordinary tennis facilities than four of the most talented players that have ever graced the court in international men’s tennis.”

 

“I am really looking forward to returning to The Greenbrier again this fall for some great tennis-and hopefully a little golf, too!” says Pete Sampras.  “John and I had such a great time last year,

Ivan Lendl

and I’m psyched to join forces with him this year to take on the

‘new challengers’ at the tournament.”

 

“It’s really great to see the Greenbrier continue to bring tennis to the forefront at this great American resort” says John McEnroe.  “The crowd at last year’s event seemed to really enjoy the tennis and was very supportive of both Pete and myself.  I am sure the new expanded tournament format, with the Americans vs. Europeans competition, will encourage even more fans to come out for a great weekend.”

Tommy Haas
Tommy Haas

For more information about The Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic, please visit: http://greenbrier.com/tennisclassic.   For more about The Greenbrier resort, please visit: www.greenbrier.com.  And follow The Greenbrier resort on Twitter at @The_Greenbrier and get the latest developments on #GBRTennisClassic.

 

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McEnroe To Return To Sportimes for 2013 WTT Season

NEW YORK, March 11, 2013 – Five home dates at SEFCU Arena in Albany, N.Y., and two at Sportime Stadium at Randall’s Island, Manhattan, highlight the New York Sportimes 2013 Mylan WTT Pro League match schedule, league and team officials announced today. Team captain and Tennis Hall of Famer John McEnroe will compete in three matches for the Sportimes, including one each in Albany and at Randall’s Island. U.S. Open Champion, Andy Roddick is added to the premier players that will compete against the Sportimes at Albany’s SEFCU arena.

The regular season runs July 7-24, with conference championships scheduled for Thursday, July 25, and concludes with the Mylan WTT Finals presented by GEICO, on Sunday, July 28.

The five home dates in Albany are Thursday, July 9 vs. Springfield (featuring Andy Roddick); Friday, July 12 vs Philadelphia; Monday, July 15 vs. Philadelphia (featuring Sloane Stephens); Tuesday, July 16 vs. Boston; and Thursday, July 18 vs. Orange County (featuring McEnroe for the Sportimes). The two Randall’s Island matches are scheduled for Monday, July 22 vs. Texas and Tuesday, July 23 vs. Washington. McEnroe will be playing at Randall’s Island on one of those nights, which will be a special night to raise funds for the Johnny Mac Tennis Project. Additional special guests are expected to be announced along with the final date for McEnroe’s NYC appearance in the coming days.

The Sportimes will also play seven road matches during the season. McEnroe is scheduled to compete at Philadelphia on July 24. The Sportimes will complete their player lineup when the Mylan WTT Roster Draft is held March 12 in Indian Wells, Calif. In 2012, the Sportimes had another outstanding 2012 Mylan WTT season, qualifying for the playoffs by finishing second in the Eastern Conference.

The Sportimes’ 2013 partners include Adecco, DecoTurf, Geico, Mylan, USTA, Wilson, Price Chopper, Times Union, GE, UB Group, Northeast Orthopaedics, Copeland, Albany ENT, Clearly Yours, 15-Love, Ophthalmic Con., NAI Platform, USTA Northern, University of Albany Foundation, Albany Massage, Hilton Garden Inn and Lang Media.

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BNP Paribas Showdown Debuts in Hong Kong with Wozniacki, Radwanska, McEnroe and Lendl

Wozniacki Radwanska at BNP Paribas Showdown Hong Kong

By Natalie Ho

(March 4, 2013) HONG KONG – The BNP Paribas Showdown exhibition matches held at Madison Square Garden has a new sister event this year, held 13 time zones away in Hong Kong. While Hong Kong has the same amount of sky scrapers to match the Big Apple, Hong Kong’s tennis development is a long way behind, especially after losing the city’s men’s tour event some years ago. It is therefore to local tennis lovers’ great delight that a star-studded lineup had been confirmed to play the BNP Paribas Showdown Hong Kong that is part of a marathon of tennis events held across the world today to celebrate World Tennis Day.

 

World Tennis Day is an ambitious ITF grassroots campaign aimed at popularizing tennis. The main event here in Hong Kong was the exhibition between John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl, followed by Agniezka Radwanska taking on Caroline Wozniacki. Still sidelined Li Na was originally slated to play, but World No. 4  Radwanska is an equaly matched replacement in rankings. The two close friends Waozniacki and Radwanska said in the pre-match news conference that they hadn’t had a chance to see the city. Shame that the media couldn’t get in their favorite shopping question!

 

As for the matches, they were fun, lighthearted, and an opportunity for the players to try some flashy shot making.  Old rivals Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe met on court again after 17 years, with Lendl leading their head-t0-head record 21-15. This time it was McEnroe who won the pro set match 8-5. As usual he’s good money for any exhibitions, throwing his famous tantrums, questioning line calls, complaining about bad ball bounces that got the crowd into the match. Lendl responded in kind and the two together showed off some volleys, passes, dropshots and huge forehands that earned oohs and ahhhs from the audience.

Radwanska versus Wozniacki had more intense rallies but the mood was equally flamboyant. The good friends were uninhibited when it came to trying out fancy shots. A long groundstrokes and volley exchange in practice mode drew huge applause, and the ladies offered great entertainment with their exchange, dancing and inviting an former Hong Kong  player to play. In the final game Wozniacki requested coaching from her dad. It turned out to be futile as Radwanska closed it out 6-4, 6-4.

 

Again it was all smiles at the post-match news conference. McEnroe joked that this was the most memorable match in his rivalry with Lendl, who said he hoped his pupil  Andy Murray didn’t watch this match as it was 3:30am in California. The ladies were happy to be in Hong Kong despite their short stay. So that wrapped up the Hong Kong leg of World Tennis Day’s BNP Paribas Showdown, only to be continued immediately with the activities in New York City!

This is an exhibition but it’s still interesting to hear what the ladies had to say about playing friends on court as this pretty much happens week in, week out. To this Wozniacki said, “once you’re on court it’s a fight, and you fight for your life basically, and then when you’re off the court you’re friends agains and probably an hour or two after the match you just want to cool down, but then it’s a toss.”

 

Radwanska agreed, “We’re good friends because I think we can separate our private life and tennis and when we go on court, we both focus and we both want to win and then we shake hands and we’re friends again. We’ve been friends for 15 years!”

 

Naturally there were a lot of questions for Lendl about coaching strategies for Andy Murray. In typical Lendl manner he kept it tight-lipped. “My job is to coach Andy not to assess him in public. If I have something we need to work on, or I think Andy needs to work on, we do that. I never discuss it with anyone other than Andy.”

 

World Tennis Day is about helping tennis reach a bigger audience so as to ultimately benefit the sport. On trying to find the next big thing in America, McEnroe said, “Everyone in America, as well as many other countries, are looking for that next great player and the more that the game becomes accessible to youngsters and hopefully sexy in the way for kids to want to play in America. I can’t speak for every country, but it’s not that affordable.”

 

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Radwanska Replaces an Injured Li Na in Hong Kong BNP Paribas Showdown

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(February 27, 2013) HONG KONG – Wimbledon finalist and current World No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska has been announced to join the field March 4 at the BNP Paribas Showdown at Asia-World Arena in Hong Kong on World Tennis Day. Radwanska will play two-time year-end No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki following a men’s match featuring long-time rivals Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe.

 

Radwanska will replace China’s Li Na who has been forced to withdraw due to the ankle injury she sustained in last month’s Australian Open final.

 

“It is very unfortunate that Na has to pull out of the event and I know no one is more disappointed than she is, but I am very pleased to be able to welcome Agnieszka to the BNP Paribas Showdown line-up” said Jerry Solomon, Promoter of the BNP Paribas Showdown. “The very painful injury Na incurred in the final of the Australian Open last month has not responded enough to intense treatment.

 

“We send Na our best wishes for a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her next year but in the meantime we look forward to welcoming Agnieszka to Hong Kong for the Showdown.”

 

The Chinese star expressed her disappointment and said she would be back in Hong Kong to play the 2014 BNP Paribas Showdown.

 

“I am very sad to announce that I won’t be able to play in the BNP Showdown in Hong Kong,” said Li. “Unfortunately, the ankle injury I had in the Australian Open final is still not ready for me to compete. I know I have some of the best fans who live in Hong Kong and I was looking forward to playing for them. I promise I will be back next year.”

 

Radwanska owns 12 career titles, including wins already this season in Auckland and Sydney as well as a quarterfinal finish at the Australian Open.

 

“Li Na is a great ambassador for our sport in Asia and across the world so I’m very honored to be invited to Hong Kong to be her replacement,” Radwanska said. “We are both very evenly matched in the world rankings right now so I’m confident the standard of tennis will be just as high.

“Caroline and I are great friends but also long-standing rivals, so I expect a hard fought contest. I’m also looking forward to catching up with my Asian fans who are always good to me. I am really excited to get to Hong Kong and take part in the BNP Paribas Showdown.”

 

Wozniacki has a 5-4 edge in the nine career meetings between the two players, however Radwanska has won their last three matches, including earlier this month in the quarterfinals in Doha.

 

On the same night tennis legends and Hall of Famers John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl will rekindle their historic rivalry which will no doubt provide fans with plenty more thrilling tennis. Lendl won 21 of their 36 pro career meetings.

 

The BNP Paribas Showdown Hong Kong is the start of World Tennis Day, www.worldtennisday.com, which is held in conjunction with the International Tennis Federation to promote Tennis10s, which tailors the game to its youngest players with smaller racquets, lighter balls and modified scoring. The cornerstones of World Tennis Day are grassroots opportunities for young players to participate in the sport at the local level.

 

The HKTA will be hosting special clinics to introduce kids to the sport. Among the many nations participating in World Tennis Day are USA, Canada, Argentina, China P.R., Czech Republic and South Africa.

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Andy Roddick, Sloane Stephens Lead World TeamTennis Player Draft

AndyRoddick

(February 12, 2013) NEW YORK, N.Y. – Andy Roddick is returning to the tennis
courts this summer.

The former world number one was the top pick in Tuesday’s World
TeamTennis Marquee Draft. Roddick, who first started with Mylan WTT in
2000, will play for the Springfield Lasers. This will be Roddick’s 7th
Mylan WTT season and his first since 2010.

“I first played World TeamTennis when I was just starting out and have
played throughout my career so I’m excited to be back,” said Roddick. “I’ve
always liked the competition and the fan energy. I love being on a team and
am looking forward to playing for the Springfield Lasers this July.”

Sloane Stephens, a young American who is currently ranked No. 17 on the WTA
Tour, was selected by the Philadelphia Freedoms with their first-round pick.
The 20-year-old Stephens first played Mylan World TeamTennis in 2009 as part
of an all-amateur USTA team.

The newest Mylan WTT franchise, Texas Wild, will bring the world’s best
doubles team to their new home court in Irving, Texas. The Wild, who
relocated to Texas this year after 20 seasons in Kansas City, protected the
rights to Bob and Mike Bryan who are back for their 11th season.

Venus Williams, who led the Washington Kastles to their second straight
undefeated season and championship title in 2012, returns to the nation’s
capital for her 10th Mylan WTT season. The three-time champion Kastles will
be taking a 32-match win streak into their 2013 season opener.

Two of the top Americans on the ATP Tour will once again play for the
Sacramento Capitals. The Caps protected their rights to Sam Querrey and
Mardy Fish. Querrey is ranked No. 20 on the ATP Tour and Fish is No. 32.

In a trade completed prior to Tuesday’s draft, the Boston Lobsters acquired
the rights to Mark Philippoussis from the Philadelphia Freedoms.

Teams will complete their lineups next month when the Mylan WTT Roster Draft
is held March 12 in Indian Wells, Calif. Dates for all Mylan WTT matches
will be announced during the week of March 4 when the 2013 schedule is
released.

Each of the eight teams will play 14 matches – seven home, seven away.
Eastern Conference teams are the Boston Lobsters, New York Sportimes,
Philadelphia Freedoms and Washington Kastles. Western Conference teams are
Orange County Breakers, Sacramento Capitals, Springfield Lasers and Texas
Wild.

The eight teams will compete in two conferences during the regular season
which concludes on Wednesday, July 24. The top two teams from both the
Western and Eastern Conference advance to the 2013 Mylan WTT Conference
Championships which will be hosted on Thursday, July 25 by the top-seeded
team in each Conference. The 2013 Mylan WTT Finals will be contested on the
home court of the Eastern Conference Champions.

Mylan WTT Marquee Draft Selections (in Draft order)
1. SPRINGFIELD LASERS: Andy Roddick (1st round selection)
2. TEXAS WILD: Bob and Mike Bryan (1st round protection)
3. BOSTON LOBSTERS: Mark Philippoussis (1st round protection -
acquired rights via pre-Draft trade with Philadelphia Freedoms)
4. PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS: Sloane Stephens (1st round selection)
5. ORANGE COUNTY BREAKERS: no Marquee Player selection
6. NEW YORK SPORTIMES: no Marquee Player selection
7. SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: Mardy Fish (1st round protection); Sam Querrey
(2nd round protection)
8. WASHINGTON KASTLES: Venus Williams (2nd round protection)

Marquee Player Matches (dates TBD when schedule is released in early March;
additional visits could be added before season):

BOSTON LOBSTERS: Mark Philippoussis (3 matches).

NEW YORK SPORTIMES: Visiting players are Andy Roddick (Springfield Lasers)
and Sloane Stephens (Philadelphia Freedoms) for one match each in Albany,
N.Y.

ORANGE COUNTY BREAKERS: Visiting players are Bob and Mike Bryan (Texas
Wild), and Andy Roddick (Springfield Lasers)
PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS: Sloane Stephens (2 home matches). Visiting players
are Bob and Mike Bryan (Texas Wild) and Andy Roddick (Springfield Lasers).
SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: Mardy Fish (2-3 home matches); Sam Querrey (3rd week

of season). Visiting players are Bob and Mike Bryan (Texas Wild).
SPRINGFIELD LASERS: Andy Roddick (1 home match). Visiting player is Sloane
Stephens (Philadelphia Freedoms).
TEXAS WILD: Bob and Mike Bryan (1 home match). Visiting player is Venus
Williams (Washington Kastles).
WASHINGTON KASTLES: Venus Williams (1 home match). Visiting player is Andy
Roddick (Springfield Lasers).

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