November 29, 2015

Melanie Oudin Captures Party Rock Open Title


LAS VEGAS (Sept. 29, 2013) – Melanie Oudin captured her seventh overall career singles titles, sixth USTA $50,000 Pro Circuit event and first Party Rock Open with an exciting three-set win over fellow American CoCo Vandeweghe on Sunday at the Darling Tennis Center.

Traditionally not a fast starter, the 22-year-old Oudin from Marietta, Ga., was broken in the first game of the match and dropped the first set 5-7, before gaining control of the match to reel off a 6-3, 6-3 win and capture her first title of 2013 and the $7,600 that goes along with it.

For the second straight year the singles final was contested by two Americans at the Party Rock Open, which was played under ideal and warm 82-degree desert temperature and in front of an enthusiastic crowd that enjoyed top-level tennis all week long, even though both players said they got off to a slow start Sunday due to nerves.

“It wasn’t the best quality tennis from both of us,” said Oudin, who has won one WTA event on grass and now has six $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit titles, including wins in Vegas, Charlottesville, Va. (2012), New Braunfels, Texas, (2012), Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., (2009), Raleigh, N.C., (2009) and Lexington, Ky., (2008). “Obviously it’s never easy returning CoCo’s serve, but I felt like I was doing a better job of attacking it in the second set. It was close the entire time.”

Vandeweghe, 21, had a long exchange with the chair umpire after a disputed line call with Oudin leading 2-0 in the third set and Vandeweghe serving at deuce.

A late out call by the linesman went in favor Oudin and she won the next point taking the crucial 3-0 lead.

“I thought the ball was out,” Oudin said. “It was just a late call. It makes sense to me. And I think that’s what happened. But she was obviously upset about it.”

Vandeweghe took what seemed like two or three minutes to get an explanation from the chair umpire. “I have no idea what happened there,” Vandeweghe said afterward. “There was no explanation. I did my best to come back and kept fighting.”

Vandeweghe did, indeed, breaking Oudin’s serve for 3-1 and then serving what Oudin called a “great” game in the fifth game to hold and make it 3-2.

Oudin said she hasn’t decided but would like to play the next Pro Circuit event in her home state, a $25,000 event in Macon, Ga. Then she will play three more $50K events, two in Canada and one in Florida before shutting it down for the season.

Oudin was asked by a local reporter if she gets tired of often being solely linked to her great US Open quarterfinal run in 2009. “Yes, that’s way over. That’s like so long ago now. I’m so past that. Waaaay past that.”

Vandeweghe, who won $4,053 for finishing runner-up, was able come back and win the doubles title a week after taking the Albuquerque Challenger doubles event as she Austrian partner Tamira Paszek, the No. 2-seeded team, took out the U.S. pair of Denise Mursean and Caitlin Whoriskey, 6-4, 6-2. The winning team split $2,786 ($1,393 each) while the finalists earned $1,393 total ($696.50 each). Mursean and Whoriskey were both three-time All-Americans from the University of Michigan and the University of Tennessee, respectively.

The Party Rock Open is Las Vegas’ only professional tennis tournament, and is named for LMFAO’s Redfoo and his Party Rock franchise’s title sponsorship.


Party Rock Open Main Draw Begins on Tuesday


By Steve Pratt


LAS VEGAS (Sept. 23, 2013) – The Party Rock Open main draw kicks off on Tuesday under the lights featuring a slew of players with impressive Wimbledon credentials. Two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist Tamira Paszek will get the night-match action started at 6 p.m. on stadium court versus 2012 Party Rock Open semifinalist Adriana Perez from Venezuela.

That match will be followed by Wimbledon upset specialist Michelle Larcher de Brito, who earlier this year shocked world No. 3 Maria Sharapova in the second round at Wimbledon in straight sets.

In addition, the day session at Darling Tennis Center will see two former Wimbledon semifinalists, Mirjana Lucic and Alexandra Stevenson. Lucic will take on Chanel Simmonds from South Africa, while Stevenson does battle against young American Grace Min.

Paszek upset former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the first round last year at Wimbledon. Her losses in the quarterfinals in 2011 and 2012 both came at the hands of Victoria Azarenka, another former world No. 1.

Monday at the Party Rock Open saw local star Asia Muhammad advance to the final round of qualifying. Muhammad, whose brother Shabazz was recently drafted No. 14 in the NBA first-round, will compete for a spot in the main draw on Tuesday afternoon.

Muhammad, the No. 4-seed, beat Piia Suomalainen of Finland, 6-2, 6-1. Later in the day, Muhammad was also named the top-seeded player in the main draw doubles. Meanwhile, Henderson 17-year-old Gabby Smith fell to Denise Muresan, 6-1, 6-2. Smith is headed to USC next fall on a full tennis scholarship.

The Party Rock Open is Las Vegas’ only professional tennis tournament, and is named for LMFAO’s Redfoo and his Party Rock franchise’s title sponsorship. The Party Rock Open is Presented by, an award-winning gadget insurance company.

The event is a USTA $50,000 Pro Circuit women’s tournament with a 32-player field in singles and 16 doubles teams.

Main-draw wild cards include Americans Allie Will, Julie Boserup, Stevenson and Elizabeth Lumpkin.

Qualifying second-round singles match results from Monday:

Allie Kiick (US) [2] def. Macall Harkins (US) 6-3, 6-2

Denise Muresan (US) def. Gabby Smith (US) [wc] 6-1, 6-2

Jacqueline Cako (US) def. Jillian O’Neill (CAN) 7-6 (7), 3-6, 7-5

Lauren Embree (US) def. Ulrikke Eikeri (NOR) [6] 3-6, 7-6 (1), 6-2

Tori Kinard (US) def. Jan Abaza (US) 6-3, 6-1

Brianna Morgan (US) def. Christina Makarova (US) [wc] 6-3, 6-2

Asia Muhammad (US) [4] def. Piia Suomalainen (FIN) def. 6-2, 6-1

Sanaz Marand (US) [3] def. Aleksanda Josifoska (MKD) [wc] 6-2, 6-2

Tusday’s Matches:

Stadium Court, starting at Noon

wc: wild card; q: qualifying; WSQ: women’s singles qualifying

Mayo Hibi (JPN) vs. vs. Sesil Karatantcheva (KAZ) [7]

Followed by (WSQ) Asia Muhammad (US) [4] vs. Brianna Morgan (US)

Followed by Samantha Crawford (US) / Sachia Vickery (US) vs. Anamika Bhargava (US) / Lenka Wienerova (SVK)

Not before 6 p.m.

Adriana Perez (VEN) vs. Tamira Paszek (AUT)

Elizabeth Lumpkin (US) vs. Michelle Larcher de Brito (POR) [2]

Court 11, starting at Noon

(WSQ) Jacqueline Cako, (US), vs. Lauren Embree (US)

Followed by Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO) [3] vs. Chanel Simmonds (RSA)

Ulrikke Eikeri (NOR) / Mayo Hibi (JPN) vs. Melanie Oudin (US) / Taylor Townsend (US)

Court 10, starting at Noon

Allie Kiick (2), U.S., vs. Denise Muresan (US)

Followed by Grace Min (US) [5] vs. Alexandra Stevenson (US) [wc]

Followed by Macall Harkins (US) / Sanaz Marand (US) vs. Jan Abaza (US) / Louisa Chirico (US)

Court 8, starting at Noon

(WSQ) Sanaz Marand (US) [3] vs. Tori Kinard (US)

Followed by Amra Sadikovic (SUI) vs. Julia Boserp (US) [wc]

Followed by Anna Tatishvili (GEO) / Ajla Tomljanovic (CRO) vs. Jacqueline Cako (US) / Natalie Pluskota (US) [3]

Premier sponsors include: BILT by Agassi and Reyes, Newcastle Brown Ale, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Cox Communications, WG Communications Group, ESPN 1100, Lotus Broadcasting,, USTA-Nevada, Real Water, Court Think, LLC, and Agent Atleta, LLC.

Support sponsors include: Marty Hennessy Foundation, Approach Tennis, Ryan Wolfington, Marquis Aurbach Coffing, Marcy Saxe Realty One, Allstate Agent Dwain Frazier, Dr. Jedediah Jones, The Massage Advantage.

The tournament’s official website is Follow along on Twitter @partyrockopen and on Facebook at

About the USTA Pro Circuit

With approximately 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA launched its Pro Circuit 34 years ago to provide players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, offering nearly $3 million in prize money. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. Mardy Fish, Maria Sharapova, John Isner, Caroline Wozniacki, Sam Querrey, Li Na and Andy Murray are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.


First Day of Qualifying at Party Rock Open


LAS VEGAS (Sept. 22, 2013) – Las Vegas pro tennis veteran Asia Muhammad and Las Vegas 17-year-old wild card Gabby Smith both recorded wins on Sunday during the first day of qualifying at the Party Rock Open.

Asia Muhammad easily dispatched of No. 4-seeded Emily Harman, 6-4, 6-0, while 17-year-old Las Vegas resident Gabby Smith took advantage of her wild card and beat No. 7-seeded Ivana Lisjak of Croatia, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2. Lisjak is a former top 100 player.

Smith is headed to USC next fall on a full tennis scholarship.

Adding to the local success was UNLV No. 1 singles player Aleksanda Josifoska, who advanced with a straight sets victory.

Qualifying continues on Monday with matches beginning at 10 a.m. at the Darling Tennis Center.

Main draw matches begin Tuesday at Noon, with a featured night match at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday-Friday under the lights at Darling Tennis Center.

On Saturday, the first singles semifinals will take place at 4 p.m., followed with a second semifinal at 6:30 p.m. A DJ set will begin each evening at 5 p.m. starting on Tuesday.

The Party Rock Open is Las Vegas’ only professional tennis tournament, and is named for LMFAO’s Redfoo and his Party Rock franchise’s title sponsorship. The Party Rock Open is Presented by, an award-winning gadget insurance company.

The event is a USTA $50,000 Pro Circuit women’s tournament with a 32-player field in singles and 16 doubles teams.

Main-draw wild cards have been announced and are Americans Allie Will, Julie Boserup, Alexandra Stevenson and Elizabeth Lumpkin.

Qualifying first-round singles match results from Sunday:
Allie Kiick (U.S.) def. [2] Stephanie Bengson (AUS) 6-3 6-1
Jacqueline Cako (U.S.) def. Kristina Barrois (GER) [1] 7-6(6) 6-2
Jillian O’Neill (CAN) def. Anne-Liz Jeukeng (q) (U.S.) 6-7(4) 7-6(5) 6-2
Macall Harkins (U.S.) def. Anamika Bhargava (U.S.) 6-3 6-3
Gabby Smith (U.S.) def. Ivana Lisjak (CRO) [7] 6-4 1-6 6-2
Ulrikke Eikeri (NOR) def. [6] Mary Weatherholt (U.S.) 6-3 5-7 6-1
Denise Muresan (U.S.) def. Caitlin Whoriskey (U.S.) 6-2 6-1
Lauren Embree (U.S.) def. Lenka Wienerova (SVK) 6-3 5-7 6-2
Jan Abaza (U.S.) def. Nicole Melichar (U.S.) 6-4 6-2
Tori Kinard (U.S.) def. Louisa Chirico (U.S.) [5] 6-3 4-6 7-6(1)
Christina Makarova (q) (U.S.) def. Jennifer Elie (U.S.) [8] 6-3 4-6 6-4
Brianna Morgan (U.S.) def. Sonja Molnar (CAN) 6-3 6-2
Asia Muhammad (U.S.) def. [4] Emily Harman (U.S.) 6-4 6-0
Piia Suomalainen (FIN) def. Natalie Pluskota (U.S.) 4-6 6-2 6-1
Sanaz Marand (U.S.) [3] def. Jennifer Artiga Henriquez (q), (ESA) 6-0 6-1
Aleksanda Josifoska (q), (MKD) def. Jessica Lawrence (U.S)., 6-3. 6-3

Second-round qualifying singles matches on Monday
Note: All matches are free and open to the public:
Stadium Court, starting at 10 a.m.
wc: wild card
Denise Muresan, U.S., vs. Gabby Smith (wc)
Followed by Asia Muhammad vs. Piia Suomalainen (FIN)

Court 11, starting at 10 a.m.
Jacqueline Cako, U.S., vs. Jillian O’Neill, Canada,
Brianna Morgan, U.S., vs. Christina Makarova (q)

Court 10, starting at 10 a.m.
Allie Kiick (2), U.S., vs. Macall Harkins, U.S.
Followed by Jan Abaza, U.S., vs . Tori Kinard (U.S.)

Court 8, starting at 10 a.m.
Lauren Embree, U.S., vs. Ulrikke Eikeri (6), Norway
Sanaz Marand (U.S.) [3] vs. Aleksanda Josifoska (q), (MKD)\


Party Rock Open Returns to Las Vegas Sept. 23-29



LAS VEGAS (Sept. 14, 2013) – The fifth annual USTA $50,000 Pro Circuit women’s event in Las Vegas will return Sept. 23-29 to the Darling Tennis Center, formerly the host site for the ATP Tennis Channel Open.

The Party Rock Open is Las Vegas’ only professional tennis tournament, and is named for LMFAO’s Redfoo and his Party Rock franchise’s title sponsorship. LMFAO was recently nominated for a Grammy Award, and Redfoo has been linked to U.S. Open Finalist Victoria Azarenka.

This year’s tournament features an impressive global player field. Top seed Andrea Hlavackova (lav-atch-KO-va) of the Czech Republic will be making her Party Rock Open debut fresh off capturing the U.S. Open Women’s and Mixed doubles titles.

Another force to be reckoned with is Tamirz Paszek from Austria, who reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2012.

Other notable entrants include Eleni Daniilidou from Greece, winner of five WTA singles titles during her career; Portugese star Michelle Larcher De Brito, who upset Maria Sharapova this summer at Wimbledon; budding American talent Taylor Townsend, the 2012 Australian Open junior champion; and Melanie Oudin, who made a memorable run to the U.S. Open quarterfinals in 2009 as a 17-year-old.

Girls’ 18s U.S. National Champion Sachia Vickery, who advanced to the second round at this year’s U.S. Open as a wild card, leads the list of qualifying players.

Other qualifiers include 2012 US Open junior champ Samantha Crawford, Las Vegas’ Asia Muhammad, and Allie Kiick, the daughter of former Miami Dolphins running back Jim Kiick.

The Party Rock Open has served as a showcase for emerging stars during its tenure in Las Vegas, and counts several alumni in the top 50 in the world, including top Jamie Hampton, Sorana Cirstea, and U.S. Olympian Varvara Lepchenko.

“There is no doubt that the next great generation of players will once again be on display at the Party Rock Open,” said Co-Tournament Director Jordan Butler, who also noted that the night matches at Darling create a spectacular setting for fans.

Added tournament founder Tyler Weekes: “It’s time to Party Rock, Vegas pro tennis style.”

Qualifying action begins Sunday, Sept. 22, and is free of charge to attend. Monday, Sept. 23, is also free to the public.

Las Vegas area youth are also encouraged to attend the tournament’s annual Kids’ Day on Sunday, which will feature free tennis clinics, games, and more.

The tournament’s official website is Follow along on Twitter @partyrockopen and on Facebook at


Kourtin’ Karen’s Tennis News Week in Review


(March 11, 2013) NEW YORK, NY –  Kourtin’ Karen takes brief look at the week that was week in the offbeat world of tennis.


BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden in New York City

March 4 was World Tennis Day. BNP Paribas sponsored two showdowns –  in Hong Kong and the other in New York City.

Highlight of the Madison Square Garden event – Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro were in the middle of the second set of the showdown whe Nadal pulled out Ben Stiller to play with him. Del Potro brought out 9-yeear-old left Rebecca Suarez who proved to be the best player on the court for the “doubles” match


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



Jelena Jankovic’s Fila Heritage Carwash tennis dress at Indian Wells

Jelena JankovicJ Jankovic skirt











BNP Paribas Open Players’ Party


On the Green Carpet – Photos from the 2013 BNP Paribas Open Players’ Party

Many of those in the tennis media are not really fans of these type of events and exhibitions, but it draws people who are not normally fans of the game. I’m for whatever draws people to watch tennis.

All of the majors should have a “red carpet” event like this. It’s all in good fun and fans and journalists alike can play “Fashion Police.”




No American Men in the Top 20?

With John Isner’s loss to Lleyton Hewitt in his first match at the BNP Paribas Open, depending on how Sam Querrey and Mardy Fish do, there would be no US men in the top 20 of the rankings – this has never happened since the rankings began in 1973.



TMZ Alert

TMZ as well as other media outlets were reporting that there was an arrest warrant out for Jennifer Capriati in conjunction with an alleged assault on her ex-boyfriend Ivan Brannan. Capriati’s publicist denied reports that a warrant had been issued for her arrest.

“What happened has been over-exaggerated. When the full story comes out Jennifer will be vindicated of these charges,” said the spokesperson in a written statement.



Redfoo sightings

Victoria Azarenka and Redfoo


Let’s face it,  pop singer Redfoo is here to stay.  Not only is he a big tennis fan, he supports a USTA Pro Circuit event – the Party Rock Open and is now the significant other of No. 2 Victoria Azarenka.


Advantage exhibitions

Pete Sampras adn Novak Djokovic

Tennis was back in Los Angeles with the LA Tennis Challenge featuring, Novak Djokovic, Pete Sampras, Mardy Fish, James Blake, Bob and Mike Bryan.

Djokovic, Sampras, Fish and the Bryan Brothers Among Those to Particpate in LA Tennis Challenge



Deuce look-a-likes

thing1 &thing2_MG_0415

Separated at birth, the hair anyway – Redfoo and Thing 1 and Thing 2 of Dr. Seuss fame.


Advantage Karaoke

 1-DSC_0957-001V. Azarenka

In the post-match news conference at the BNP Paribas Showdown, Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka announced that they revealed that they will be shooting a karaoke video to Rihanna’s “Stay.”


The Rumor Mill

"Austin Powers" and Caroline Wozniacki

“Austin Powers” and Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki put to bed rumors that she and her boyfriend golfer Rory McIlroy had split.

A British tabloid speculated that the reason the golfer had pulled out of the Honda Classic was due to relationship problems with Wozniacki. Meanwhile, why did Wozniacki attend the BNP Paribas Open Players party with Austin Powers. (See above photo)


Advantage news

Tennis will introduce biological passports this year and increase the number of blood tests.

Nadal Returns to Hardcourt with Indian Wells Win; Still Unhappy with 25-Second Rule


Mardy Fish

Game, Set and Match – Welcome back Mardy Fish

Mardy Fish has returned to the tour from a heart ailment, his first event since the US Open.


Photo galleries from the past week

Photos by Curt Janka, Jennifer Knapp, Maria Noble and Karen Pestaina.

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