November 28, 2015

Top US Open Seeds Meet the Media in Flushing Meadows

(August 29, 2015) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY) The top seeds at the 2015 US Open met the media on Saturday ahead of Monday’s start of the last major of the year.

Third seed Andy Murray and second seed Simona Halep spoke to the media in the relaxed setting of Media Garden located behind Arthur Ashe stadium.

Murray was asked about playing the controversial Nick Kyrgios in the first round, which is projected to be a very competitive match for the Scotsman.

“For me it’s just a tennis match,” Murray said. “I go about the match in the best way possible by getting all the things, getting all the tactics, and everything sorted and you know, tailor my practices the next few days around his game style and that’s what I’ll be doing. You don’t obviously pay attention to the other stuff.”

Murray talked about past match-ups with the Australian. Murray holds a 3-0 record against his challenger.

“Every match is a new match. You can learn, obviously, from those previous matches, see what things worked and what things didn’t, but he might come in and do something completely different against me next time, so I need to be prepared for that. He’s quite an unpredictable player so you need to expect that when you go on the court.

Yeah I’ve played well against him, I played good matches, but he’s obviously a top player, you know, just missed out in a seeding here and I’m sure he’ll be one of the top players here in the next few years.

On playing Kyrgios at the US Open: “To be honest, I think he likes playing on big stages. That’s where he’s played his best tennis throughout his career. Last year he’d only won one or two matches outside of Slams in the whole year. This year, his results have been inconsistent but at the Slams he made quarters. In Australia, I played him in the third round at the French and at Wimbledon he was close to reaching the quarters again there. I would expect him to be ready for the match. He gets himself fired up for the big events.”

Simona Halep

Simona Halep

For Romania’s Simona Halep, despite a recent left knee problem, she’s really to go.

“Now, I’m feeling great; I’ve recovered and I’m ready to start.”

“I think in the past I didn’t believe that I had the chance to do great here. Now, I’m feeling better and I’m feeling more confident. I had two great weeks before here and I think it’s going to help me. I’m just going to enjoy it and I’m not going to think about the pressure.

“Actually, I play well when there’s pressure, but not too much.”

Asked she wanted Serena Williams to win the Grand She said:

“If I will not be in the finals, then I want her to win. If I’m in the finals with her, then I want to win.

“I said that because she has a big chance to win all four Grand Slams this year. I think she has enough power to do that, but of course I want to win. I just want to take it match-by-match.


The Media Day interviews moved over to Media Interview Room One as last year’s US Open finalist Kei Nishikori took on the press.

“I think from last year this time I kind of stepped one up and I raised my level after this tournament, so I’m very happy with everything this year. Especially this summer I’ve been playing really well, from Washington and Montreal. I unfortunately got hurt and couldn’t play Cincinnati but still I feel very good physically and also tennis-wise, so very exciting, and it’s going to be a big challenge for me to play this year, again, but I’m very confident.”

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic entered his news conference with a stuffed animal Mickey Mouse, which he sat on the desk.

The Serb is really to take on New York. “Generally I have huge incentive and motivation to play US Open as any other Grand Slam, Djokovic said.”
“These are the events where you want to perform your best. These are the events
where you want to go far and compete for the title. Just being here is a pleasure and of
course as anybody else, I’m excited and looking forward to getting on the court”
Djokovic is coming into the US Open aiming to win his third major of the  year. He won three majors in 2011.
He compared his game in 2011 to now:
“I’m a different person, a different player today than I was in 2011, so it’s kind of hard to
compare tennis-wise. I think physically I’m stronger and I’m able to endure longer than I did in 2011 and maybe there are some slight differences in the game, but generally as you grow older you’re kind of maturing and you’re trying to develop your game and get your game to the highest possible level. I think this season, results-wise (is) pretty close to 2011. What I achieved in 2011 is hard to repeat, so this season is definitely just behind that one. But I don’t usually like to compare myself to any other season because every season brings some new challenges at both professional and private levels so it’s pretty different.”
315Federerin press.-001

Roger Federer is coming off a title in Cincinnati where he played a more aggressively, beating Djokovic in the final, and in some matches returning serves from just behind the service line. The Swiss was asked about this aggressive style game.

“It all starts with the serve, to be quite honest,” Federer said.

If you’re able to hold your serve, I don’t want to say you can do pretty much anything on the return, but chances are it’s in your favor. You don’t know if you’re going to hold most of the serves, but I did that very well last week, so I’m sure that’s where the service helped me, but … after that, as the tournament went on, I decided to keep up aggressive play because it didn’t just start against Murray and Djokovic, I had already been doing it against Bautista and also Kevin Anderson, so from that standpoint I was very happy that I was able to keep it up.”

“If I’m going to do it here, as well, at practice so far conditions definitely allow you to do. I think the ball flies faster here. The surface is slightly different than last week, so a slight adjustment to be done there. I’m just really focused on my first round. It’s really tough to be playing Leonardo Mayer, so I have to come back to reality after the good week I had last week and go from there.”

Federer, a five-time winner at the US Open, last made a final in 2009. He has not come close since and was asked about it.

“On the run I was on, to ‘08 and even ‘09, in the finals, clearly I was hoping for it to be endless, but you know that’s not realistic, and ’10 and ’11 were tough matches in the semis against Novak, “Federer said. “So I came very close.”

“Clearly my focus needs to be not trying to win the tournament right away, that’d be thinking too far ahead. I haven’t been in a finals in this tournament as of late. I came close, but close is not good enough. I’ve tried to build up as we move forward.”

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal comes into Flushing Meadows ranked the lowest he’s been in many years at No. 8. The Spaniard will face a rising star on the ATP tour in Borna Coric in his first round.

“He’s a tough player,” Nadal said. “He’s a young player with a lot of energy and he’s a big competitor. He’s one of the players that is the future of our sport, so it’s a tough one, but I’m playing well. I feel like I’m ready. He’s a complete player with a great serve and a very good backhand. He’s a big competitor. I don’t remember playing him before. It was a tough week for me; I had the surgery the week after. I don’t remember it very well, but I think I played very bad. If he played well then he deserved to win, but hopefully Monday will be a different story.

Nadal says that he’s coming into the tournament with not as much stress.

‘My stress is much less than it was at the beginning of the season,” said the two-time US Open champion. I’m feeling better

myself. As a tennis player, I’m feeling better today than I was a couple of months ago. I’ve worked a lot these last couple of months.

“I know the process; It’s a challenge for me. to find the level of play that I’ve been at a lot of times in my career. I’m practicing great, now it’s time to play that great against the competition. The level of tennis is very close to being back there.”

On getting his confidence back, Nadal said: “To have the confidence back you need to win. If you’re not winning, then you won’t have high confidence. To win you need to play well. To win a lot you need to play very well and have a lot of confidence, and I’m playing well today.”

Nadal also clarified to press that he did not refuse to play with or against Nick Kyrgios in a charity exhibition for John McEnroe’s foundation.

“I was never supposed to play a doubles match,” Nadal explained. “First, I was only supposed to play singles in the exhibition. That was wrong information. Second, I never knew I had to play against Kyrgios; I was told I was going to play Lleyton Hewitt. No one asked me to play doubles with Nick Kyrgios. I was only asked to play a singles match; since Roland Garros I knew that. This story that I was supposed to play a doubles match? I don’t know where that story comes from.”

Sharapova 382014 IW

Maria Sharapova is coming back from a muscle strain in her leg which kept her out of Cincinnati and Toronto.

“It’s always just the adjustment of being a professional athlete in a sport that requires many weeks out of the year to compete ata high level,” said the 2006 US Open champion. “Don’t always know where some things come from but sometimes you have to make adjustments to be healthy and ready for the big ones. I’ve had to make adjustments throughout the year and it only gets tougher as you get older, of course”


Asked about her preparation for the US Open, the Russian said: I’ve done everything I could to be ready. There’s nothing more that I could have done, so yeah, I hope to be ready.”


Sharapova faces a test in her first round match-up against countrywoman Daria Gavrilova who beat her in Miami.

“Well, obviously she’s a really great player and a tough first round we’ve gone back and forth with our results this year,” Sharapova said. “She beat me in Miami and I had a good win against her in Rome so yeah, she’s a really good opponent.”


Serena Williams held her pre-US Open news conference after the draw on Thursday.

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama at the US Open


Serena Williams has Competitive Quarter in US Open Draw

Serena Williams photo courtesy of the USTA (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Serena Williams photo courtesy of the USTA (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

(August 27, 2015) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The singles draws were held for the US Open on Thursday. Defending champion Serena Williams, who is seeking to complete the first Grand Slam since Steffi Graf accomplished the feat back in 1988 faces a competitive quarter of her draw. Williams, who is a six-time champion could face US countrywomen in the third and fourth rounds – Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys. Also in Williams’ quarter of the draw is her sister Venus Williams and Belinda Bencic, the 12th seed, who defeated Serena in Toronto just two weeks ago.

”You have Sloane, I seem to play her every tournament,” Williams said to media. ”Madison is playing really well. So is Sloane, actually – she’s playing excellent. So it’s not anything simple or easy to go through.”

Serena could potentially face third seed Maria Sharapaova in the semifinal. The world No. 1 opens her quest for her 22nd major against Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko ranked 86th in the world.

“I feel like there’s always another record, then there’s always another person to catch up with or to pass.I never really thought I would be in this position where I would even be talking about, you know, records, talking about passing Steffi Graf or even mentioning Margaret Court.

“I mean, I just grew up trying to be the best that I could and do the best that I could. I worked really hard for everything. So to even be mentioned in that conversation is great.

“But like I said, I feel like I don’t put that pressure on myself to do anything here ’cause I’m obviously going to be excited to compete next year and just keep going and have fun.”

Asked about if she thought about her place among the tennis greats, Serena said: “I can’t sit here and say [I’m the greatest]. But I can sit here and say that I’m the greatest player that I’ve been able to be.

“I do read numbers and I do see numbers. I believe in those numbers. I think, you know, different generations and different times have different champions, have different greats, have different levels of players. It’s really difficult to compare, you know, one generation to another, generations several ago. Things change: power, technique, technology. A lot of things have contributed to that.”

“I think being experienced has really helped me a lot, helped me get through a lot of matches. It’s helped me overcome a lot of things. Yeah, it’s been great. I’ve really enjoyed it. I know some matches I got through just on my experience alone, so that’s been really able to help me out.


Potential women’s quarterfinals:

(1)Serena Williams vs. (8)Karolina Pliskova

(3)Maria Sharapova vs. (7)Ana Ivanovic

(5)Petra Kvitova vs. (4)Caroline Wozniacki

(2)Simona Halep vs. (6)Lucie Safarova

Women’s draw


On the men’s side of the draw, top seed Novak Djokovic could face eighth seed Rafael Nadal in a quarterfinal clash in Flushing Meadows. Second seed Roger Federer and third seed Andy Murray are on the other side of the draw. Murray has a potentially extremely competitive opening match against Nick Kyrgios. Nadal also will have all he can handle against Borna Coric in the first round.

Potential men’s quarterfinals:


(1)Novak Djokovic vs. (8)Rafael Nadal

(4)Kei Nishikori vs. (7)David Ferrer

(5)Stan Wawrinka vs. (3)Andy Murray

(2)Roger Federer vs. (6) Tomas Berdych

Men’s draw




Roger Federer and Serena Williams Defend Cincy Tennis Titles


(August 23, 2015) Serena Williams and Roger Federer became the first women’s and men’s champions to defend their Cincinnati titles since the lat 1930s on Sunday. Williams defeated new No. 2 player Simona Halep 6-3, 7-6(5) for her second Western and Southern Open crowns while Federer stopped top ranked Novak Djokovic 7-6(1), 6-3 for his seventh.

Federer prevented Djokovic from claiming the only Masters 1000 title he has never won.

“The fifth time I’ve been in the title (match) and never won this title, so I guess I have to wait for Roger to retire,” Djokovic said. “I’ve been coming back each year wanting it more.”

“I really hope you can win here someday,” Federer told Djokovic during the trophy ceremony. “He deserves it. C’mon, so close.”

The win puts the 34-year-old Swiss back up to No. 2 in the world and gives him his 24 Masters title and 87th career tournament title. He is 7-0 in Cincinnati finals.

“I think I moved well,” Federer said. “I was explosive moving forward. Volleys were good. I think from the baseline was hitting my forehand very well. I was serving very well this week, don’t get me wrong, but I still think there was a little bit more room for improvement on the serve. I wasn’t always hitting all spots as perfect as I was hoping it to be. In practice I didn’t feel this good, to be quite honest.

“This has always been a good week for me. I think the volunteers make a wonderful tournament with the tournament director, and it’s very fan friendly as well. I get in touch a lot with the fans this week. It’s just a nice venue. Great center court. Good atmosphere. Good court speed for me. So many things for me to like about it.  Those are the reasons I’m sure I play well here.”

“Well, it’s the sport,” the Serbian said of the loss. “You can’t win all the time. I won many matches this year. Of course it’s disappointing at this stage to reflect on the match. Could have done some things better, but I lost to a better player, no question about it. I have to deal with it. US Open is around the corner, and I have to already turn the next page. Hopefully I can do well there.”

Serena Williams heads to New York’s U.S. Open trying to become the first player since Steffi Graf in 1988 win a Grand Slam.

“I’m ready,” Williams said. “I don’t care if I win or lose or break even. I’m ready to start it, get it over with, and be done and go on to the next event. But I’m so ready for New York. Let’s go, right?”

“I know you can do four,” Halep said to Williams during the trophy ceremony.

2012 US Open champion Andy Murray clinched the 2015 Emirates Airline US Open Series men’s title with Roger Federer’s victory over Novak Djokovic in the final of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Murray, who also won the Emirates Airline US Open Series title in 2010, will attempt to set a record for the largest payout in tennis history at the US Open – $4.3 million ($3.3 million for winning the US Open and a $1 million bonus for winning the US Open as Emirates Airline US Open Series champion).


Serena Williams Beaten by Swiss Teen Belinda Bencic in Toronto Semis


By Brodie Widdifield

(August 15, 2015) TORONTO, Canada – It started quietly, but it ended in fireworks.


Belinda Bencic has been a name of the lips of many WTA fans this year. It started with a coaching partnership with fellow Swiss Martina Hingis, and her impressive win over Agnieszka Radwanska at Eastbourne gave her a first WTA title. She kicked off her hard court swing in Toronto with a series of impressive wins over Eugenie Bouchard, Caroline Wozniacki, Sabine Lisicki and Ana Ivanovic.


But no one saw this coming.


Bencic took on world No. 1 Serena Williams Saturday night and it quickly looked like match might not be anything more than an exhibition of the American’s ability to change angles and attack. Williams raced out to a 5-1 lead in just 33 minutes, taking the set 6-3.


The young Swiss player did manage to construct some better points at the end of the set, and she managed to get a foot hold in the match. The players traded serves, but Serena’s serving quickly began to deteriorate, eventually ending with her being broken in the middle of the set and taking her frustration out violently on her racquet. “I think I played really crappy today. And I don’t think you would disagree,” said Williams. “I was just really struggling with my serve today and everything wasn’t right with it.”


Belinda failed to close out the second set at first, but eventually broke at 5-6 as the lights got brighter and the noise from the crowd grew louder. “Obviously she wasn’t serving as great as she normally does,” said the Swiss. “But I think I tried to read her serve also I read it better in the end, and I was returning sometimes very good on the big points.”


The struggles continued for Serena into the third set and Belinda raced to a 4-0 lead. Williams fought back to get things on serve. “I was very nervous in that moment, but I told myself today is my chance and I really have to stay focused and be mentally tough, even if I didn’t do it on the first try.” But the Swiss completed the upset, breaking at 4-5 and taking the match 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.


“In the end it was just so loud, and I didn’t think anything.”


The win was undoubtedly the biggest of her young career. “I can’t describe the feeling right now. I was very overwhelmed from the situation on the court, but I’m just so happy the forehand landed in and she couldn’t reach it anymore. It was an incredible feeling. I have no words.”

This was just the second loss on the year for the 33-year-old Serena Williams.


The 18-year-old Bencic will take on Romanian Simona Halep in Sunday’s final. Halep defeated Sara Errani 6-4, 6-4 earlier in the day. “She’s an amazing player. She’s so consistent all of the year and definitely going to be a hard match, but I think today I have to enjoy this victory and tomorrow I will look what I can do against her.”


Brodie Widdifield is the author of the tennis web site You can also follow him on Twitter at @MindTheRacket. He is covering the Rogers Cup in Toronto for Tennis Panorama News, follow @TennisNewsTPN for updates.



Singles – Semifinals
B. Bencic (SUI) d [1] S. Williams (USA) 36 75 64
[2] [WC] S. Halep (ROU) d [15] S. Errani (ITA) 64 64

Doubles- Semifinals
[4] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) d [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) 63 62
[3] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) d K. Mladenovic (FRA) / K. Pliskova (CZE) 64 76(5)


Singles – Semifinals / Demi-finales
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d J. Chardy (FRA) 64 64
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [4] K. Nishikori (JPN) 63 60

Doubles- Semifinals / Demi-finales
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d [6] A. Peya (AUT) / B. Soares (BRA) 67(7) 64 10-7
D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d [PR] N. Djokovic (SRB) / J. Tipsarevic (SRB) 36 61 10-4


CENTRE COURT start 1:00
B. Bencic (SUI) vs [2] [WC] S. Halep (ROU)
[4] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) vs [3] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE)


COURT CENTRAL start 12:30 pm
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)

Not Before 3:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)


WTA All-Access at 2015 Rogers Cup


By Brodie Widdifield

(August 10, 2015) TORONTO, Canada – The beginning of August always represents one of the most exciting times of the year for Canadian tennis fans with the Rogers Cup tournament getting underway. For players on the WTA, it represents the beginning of the North American hard court swing, and the end of a short but enjoyable post-Wimbledon holiday.

It’s definitely my favourite time of the season,” said Caroline Wozniacki. The Dane has dealt with a back injury this season and stressed the importance of fitness for this difficult yet important part of the season. “The most important thing is to stay healthy.”


Petra Kvitova has been less lucky with her health, unfortunately. “I spent a few days off in Monaco as a vacation. I was trying to practice a little bit, but unfortunately I was diagnosed with mono.” The Czech emphasized that she was working with her team to properly schedule her practicing in order to conserve energy. “I probably got it during the spring time and I still have a little bit of it. I’m still going to play, but I need to worrying about the practicing, and I’ll try to be ready for the matches.”


Ana Ivanovic also took some time off, and emphasized switching to hard courts would not be a challenge. “It’s not such a difficult change. A lot of players take time off, which was the case with me. The hardest transition is clay to grass, so I look forward to playing on the hard courts here in the United States and Canada.”


Romanian Simona Halep was one of the stand out players of 2014, but has found success more difficult to come by in 2015. She seemed excited to get her hard court season under way in Toronto after deciding late to enter the tournament on a wild card. “I need some matches.” However, she enjoyed her time off after Wimbledon and is looking forward to getting back on court. “It was really good. I stayed calm, all four weeks, with my family, with my friends. Now I feel good, I feel confident, and I hope to have good matches here.” “I was a little bit tired after Indian Wells and Miami.”


The other hot topic on the lips of reporters and players was the continued success of the world’s best player, Serena Williams. With the season’s first three grand slams in her pocket, she will look to complete what was originally known as “The Grand Slam” – winning all four majors in a calendar year.

Not even Serena Williams herself could say it would be business as usual in New York. “It definitely feels different. Winning the Serena Slam this year took some pressure off.” Even at age 33, the world number 1 has no intentions of slowing down as she enjoys one of the best years of her career. “I feel like every year that goes by I start to love the game more than I did the previous year.”

Other players were genuinely happy for the success of Williams this year. Ana Ivanovic even said she would like to see her win the US Open. “I really hope she can do it. She’s been working really hard, she’s been on top of the game so long so I think she deserves it. We’re so lucky to have someone like her in our sport, and I don’t think she gets enough credit for what she has achieved.”

Simona Halep shared her views. “For me she is the best player in the world. She has a lot of power, and also mental power. I think she can do all four, and win the US Open this year.” But when asked if it was frustrating to constantly have such a dominant player, the Romanian only laughed. “For me it is not. It’s really nice to have a player [like her]. She’s very competitive and she loves to be number one.”

Finally, Garbine Muguruza was perhaps one of the most engaging interviews on the afternoon. Now in the top 8, the Spaniard invites all the attention that comes along with reaching a grand slam final at just 21. “Obviously things are changing, media, people are looking more at what I’m doing, but I’m enjoying it. You have to be ready, you have to be more mature. The good moments go so quickly, and the bad ones are so slow.” She mentioned that she learned a lot from the Wimbledon final, but laughed when asked if she had watched any of the match again. “I just watched the two minute highlights. No more than that.”

Brodie Widdifield is the author of the tennis web site You can also follow him on Twitter at @MindTheRacket. He is covering the Rogers Cup in Toronto for Tennis Panorama News, follow @TennisNewsTPN for updates.


Serena Williams Leads 2015 US Open Women’s Field


From the USTA: White Plains, N.Y., July 22, 2015 – The USTA today announced that world No. 1 and three-time defending champion Serena Williams leads the women’s field for the 2015 US Open Tennis Championships. Williams is joined by 99 of the world’s top 101 women, including world No. 2 and former US Open champion Maria Sharapova, 2014 US Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki, two-time US Open champion and world No. 15 Venus Williams, and former US Open champions Samantha Stosur and Svetlana Kuznetsova.


In total, 33 different countries are represented in the women’s field. Eleven U.S. women received direct entry into the main draw – the most of any country – with seven Americans ranked in the Top 50.


The 2015 US Open will be played Monday, August 31, through Sunday, September 13, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The US Open Women’s Singles Championship is presented by J.P. Morgan.


Leading the entry list is world No. 1 Serena Williams, who won her sixth US Open crown in 2014, tying her with Chris Evert for the most US Open women’s singles titles in the Open Era. This year, Williams is also going for the calendar Grand Slam at the US Open, last won in 1988 by Steffi Graf. Williams won her 21st Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon this month, which ranks third all-time, just one behind Graf (an Open-era record of 22) and Margaret Court (24 all-time).


Joining Williams in the field’s top four are world No. 2 Sharapova, of Russia, the 2006 US Open champion who won her fifth Grand Slam singles title last year at the French Open; No. 3 Simona Halep, of Romania, a 2014 French Open finalist and Wimbledon semifinalist; and No. 4 Petra Kvitova, of the Czech Republic, the 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon champion.


Following the top four are: No. 5 Caroline Wozniacki, of Denmark, the 2009 and 2014 US Open finalist; No. 6 Ana Ivanovic, of Serbia, the 2012 US Open quarterfinalist and 2008 French Open champion; No. 7 Agnieszka Radwanska, of Poland, the first Polish player to reach a Grand Slam singles final (2012 Wimbledon) and this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist; No. 8 Lucie Safarova, of the Czech Republic, who reached her first Grand Slam singles final at the French Open this year and also won this year’s French Open and Australian Open doubles titles; No. 9 Garbiñe Muguruza, of Spain, who reached the final at Wimbledon this year and has never won a US Open main draw match; and No. 10 Carla Suárez Navarro, of Spain, a four-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist who reached the US Open quarterfinals in 2013.


Nine players who have won Grand Slam singles titles in their careers are competing in the US Open this year, including two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, former world No. 1 and 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, of Serbia, and 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, of Italy.


Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens, ranked No. 101, is the last player accepted directly into the women’s field of 128. One player has withdrawn due to a back injury, No. 29 Shuai Peng, of China. Four players are using a special ranking to gain entry into the main draw – No. 56 Petra Cetkovska, of the Czech Republic, No. 58 Laura Robson, of Great Britain, No. 73 Vania King, of the United States, and No. 87 Alisa Kleybanova, of Russia. Sixteen more players will gain entry through the US Open Qualifying Tournament, August 25-28, while the remaining eight spots are wild cards awarded by the USTA.


In addition to Serena Williams and Venus Williams, the other American women who received direct entry into this year’s tournament include No. 18 Madison Keys, of Rock Island, Ill., No. 32 Coco Vandeweghe, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., No. 34 Sloane Stephens, of Coral Springs, Fla., No. 39 Madison Brengle, of Dover, Del., No. 45 Varvara Lepchenko, of Allentown, Pa., No. 54 Alison Riske, of Pittsburgh, No. 59 Christina McHale, of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., No.  76 Irina Falconi, of West Palm Beach, Fla., and No. 83 Lauren Davis, of Boca Raton, Fla.


Several of the young Americans listed above have had breakout performances on the WTA tour this year. Keys, 20, reached the semifinals of the Australian Open and the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, while also reaching one WTA final in Charleston, S.C.; Vandeweghe, 23, reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals; Stephens, 22, reached two WTA semifinals; and Brengle, 25, reached her first career WTA final in Hobart.


Among the players competing in the US Open Qualifying Tournament will be the winner of the sixth annual US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Championship, held during the Emirates Airline US Open Series’ Connecticut Open in New Haven, Conn., prior to the US Open Qualifying Tournament. The USTA created the US Open National Playoffs in 2010 to allow players 14 and older, regardless of playing ability or nationality, to vie for a spot in the US Open Qualifying Tournament via one of 14 sectional qualifying tournaments.


The July 20 edition of the WTA rankings was used to determine the US Open main draw entry list. Seeds will be determined and announced closer to the start of the event.


The 2015 US Open will mark the culmination of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, the North American summer season of seven ATP World Tour and WTA events that begin Monday, July 27.


The US Open is the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world. 2015 marks the first year of an 11-year agreement between the USTA and ESPN, which will see the US Open carried on ESPN through 2025. During the 2015 US Open, ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to air more than 130 hours of live match play with more than 1,100 hours of first-to-last ball coverage to be seen on ESPN3, which will also be hosted on the US Open website –  In an expansion of its US Open coverage, ESPN will feature play from 11 courts.


Serena Williams Wins Wimbledon for 21st Major Title, 2nd “Serena Slam”

(July 11, 2015) Serena Williams made all sorts of history on Saturday in winning her sixth Wimbledon title 6-4, 6-4 over No. 20 Gabine Muguruza. She completed a second “Serena Slam” winning her fourth straight major dating back to the 2014 U.S. Open, won the third leg of the calendar slam and at 21 majors won, she is a major away from tying Steffi Graf at 22 and two behind All-time major winner Margaret Court, and if she wins the U. S Open, she’ll be the first woman to win the Grand Slam since Graf did in in 1988. Williams also held all four majors at once from 2002-2003 – 2002 French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open and the 2003 Australian Open.

The No. 1 player is the oldest woman to win a major at 33-years and 289 days. She’s won eight majors as a “30-something.”

“I can’t believe I’m standing here at another Grand Slam, so it’s really cool,” Williams said on-court after the match. “I’m having so much fun out here. I just never dreamt I would be out here still and let alone winning.”

So what’s the key to winning four majors in a row? Williams was asked about this and said: “I don’t know. I know just last year I was just so down because I lost so early in three of the Grand Slams.  By the time New York came around, I was like, I just want to get to the quarterfinal of a Grand Slam.  When I won my fourth round match, I was elated.  I was like, Yeah, finally.

“I’ve just been super relaxed.  I’ve been taking time every match.  I didn’t have an easy go this tournament, but I still just take it one match at a time.”

The American started out slowly, broken in her opening service game and falling behind 2-4, before regrouping to win four straight games to close out the set.

Muguruza upset Williams in the second round of last year’s French Open.

Williams raced off to 5-1 lead in the second, broken both times serving for the match at 5-1 and 5-3. Muguruza saved a match point. Williams closed out the win breaking her Spanish opponent at 5-4.

“It was definitely a little pressure toward the end, but I think Garbine just started playing really well and started hitting some great shots so that made it even harder,” Williams said.

The 21-year-old Muguruza was playing in her first major final, the first Spanish woman slam final since 2000.

“I’m very happy and proud to be playing in front of this amazing crowd,” Muguruza said “I love to play on big courts, and a Grand Slam final is just a dream come true for me.

“But I also want to say congratulations to Serena. She’s showing us she’s still World No.1.”

“It’s hard to concentrate on a final because you have Serena in front of you.  You’re thinking, She won five times this.  You’re like this.  Is your first final.  You know that you don’t have so many chances to win the match.”

“Garbine played so well,” Williams said. “I didn’t even know it was over – she was fighting so hard at the end. Congratulations, don’t be sad, you’ll be holding this trophy very, very soon, believe me!

“I can’t believe I’m standing here with another Serena Slam. It’s really cool. And the crowd helped me through it – I heard all the ‘I love yous’ and I love you more! It’s such an honor. It feels so good.”

“It is really a great feeling,” Williams said to media.  “Just the moment is still setting in a little bit.  I’m just really excited about it because I didn’t want to talk about the Serena Slam. I honestly wouldn’t have thought last year after winning the US Open I would win the Serena Slam at all.

“It’s super exciting.  I just knew I wanted to win Wimbledon this year.  Of all the Grand Slams, it was the one I hadn’t won in a while.  It was like, I really want to win Wimbledon.  It happened.”

“I’m going to leave here being really motivated,” said the Spanish woman.  “I think I’m the most motivated person right now.  This gives me a lot of, you know, power to keep practicing and improving, to see what else I can do in my next tournaments.

“I’m playing really good.  So keep working and see now the hard court season.”

“I don’t feel disappointment,” Muguruza said of the loss.  “But you never know how many chances you’re going to have to play a final in a Grand Slam. But if you have to choose who to win or who to lose, I would choose Serena.”

“I think she’s (Muguruza) such a great player. Like I said, she’s beaten me before. I think she really stepped up to the plate today.  She was determined to do well and to win.  She came out there to win.  She wasn’t out there just to play a final.  I think that says a lot about her and her future.

“She never gave up literally ever.”

“I couldn’t stop crying,” Muguruza commenting about her tears during the trophy presentation and the standing ovation given to her by the crowd.  “So many people are clapping.  I don’t know. I make all these people feel this in a tennis court?  I was like, I don’t know.  I felt special.”

On winning another “Serena Slam:” “I’ve been trying to win four in a row for 12 years, and it hasn’t happened. I’ve had a couple injuries.  You know, it’s been an up‑and‑down process.

“I honestly can’t say that last year or two years ago or even five years ago I would have thought that I would have won four in a row.  So just starting this journey, having all four trophies at home, is incredible.”

Williams will head into the U.S. Open to try to become the first woman since 1988 to win the Grand Slam.

“I feel like I’ll be okay,” Williams said.  “I feel like if I can do the Serena Slam, I will be okay heading into the Grand Slam. Like I always say, there’s 127 other people that don’t want to see me win.  Nothing personal, they just want to win.

“So it’s just, you know, going to go in there.  I had a really tough draw.  This gives me confidence that if I had this draw, I can do it again.  I’ll just do the best I can.

“You know, I really don’t feel like I have anything to lose. I’ve kind of solidified my place at No. 1.  My goal is always to end the year at No. 1.  I just want to make sure when I play Australia, I don’t have pressure going into that.”



Williams Beats Sharapova, Will Face Muguruza in Wimbledon Final


(July 9, 2015) Serena Williams continued her 11 year win-streak against Maria Sharapova on Thursday, beating the 2004 Wimbledon champion 6-2, 6-4 to reach her eighth Wimbledon final and 25th major final overall. It was the world No. 1’s 17th straight win over the Russian.

Williams is now just a victory away from winning a fourth straight major title, a “Serena Slam” as she dubbed it when she won four straight majors in 2002-03. Should she win on Saturday it would be her 21st major title and third leg of a calendar grand slam. The last woman to win a Grand Slam was Steffi Graff in 1988.

Williams overpowered the Russian with 29 winners and 13 aces.

“At least I made it to a final of four,” Williams said after the match. “That’s pretty good. That’s pretty good.”

Williams is now on a 27-match win streak in majors.

“I think it definitely gets better,” she said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the final here. I just feel really good just to be in another final, so it’s really cool.”

Williams last won Wimbledon in 2012, she has five titles at the All-England Club.

“I always expect her to play the best tennis against myself and a few other elite players,” Sharapova said. “She does always come up with great tennis. You have to be able not to just produce your best tennis, but more. Obviously it hasn’t happened for me.”

“I think she had better depth than I did on her shots.  That certainly makes a big difference.

“I think one of the things she does extremely well is to take her from a defense position into the offense again.  I was not able to do that.”

“Well, it’s never easy to beat such a great player who’s had such a wonderful career,” Williams said. “So, you know, I don’t know. “Whenever you play someone that you know, has beaten you before, you really get really focused, I think. That’s what I do.

“Whenever I know I have to play Maria, I know I have to be focused because she wasn’t the best in the world for no reason.”

The 33-year-old Williams will face 21-year-old, the 20th seed Garbine Muguruza, who defeated Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. She’s the first woman from Spain to reach the Wimbledon final since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario did in 1996.

The Spaniard is 1-2 against Williams, with her lone win coming in the second round of last year’s French Open 6-2, 6-2, her worst loss in games in a major tournament.

“You work all your life to achieve Grand Slam final, to be in this situation,” said Muguruza.  “It’s like a dream, like a present after the hard work.”

“I think is the best final you can play,” the Spaniard added.  “You know, to have Serena in the Wimbledon final I think is the hardest match you can have.

“If you want to win a Grand Slam, when you dream, you say, I want Serena in the final.  She’s like one of the best players in all these years.  So it’s obviously I think the best challenge to have.”

“Because she has like so many good things.  She’s stronger, good mentality, good shots, power, confident.  You know, a lot of things that make her a great player.”

“It’s definitely not an easy matchup,” Williams said.  “She actually has a win against me.  We had a tough match the last time we played.  And she’s given me problems in the past.

“So this time I have to just, you know, go in it like have fun and do the best that I can, just try to stay positive and stay focused.”

“I lost to her last year, I believe.  It was an eye‑opening loss for me, “Williams noted.  “Some losses you’re angry about, and some losses you learn from.  That loss I think I learned the most from in a long time.

“I got so much better after that loss.  I was able to improve a lot.  I worked on things.

“I didn’t see the results straightaway.  But months later I started seeing the results more and more.  I learned so much from that.  You know, sometimes as much as you don’t want it or as bad timing as it could be, I don’t want to lose to anyone at a Grand Slam.  But unfortunately, I did.

“But it was really an experience that helped me say, Okay, Serena, you want to be the best, you’re going to have to do certain things and you’re going to have to improve certain things.”

“I’ve been in this stage,” Serena added.  “I’ve won so many Grand Slam titles.  And, you know, I’m at a position where I don’t need to win another Wimbledon. I could lose tomorrow.  Sure, I won’t be happy.  But I don’t need another Wimbledon title.  I don’t need another US Open.  I don’t need any titles to make it.

“Every time I step out on court, the practice court, the match court, I do look at it as a more fun time because it’s not as much stressful as it was. Like getting to 18 was super stressful for me.  It was fun, but I was so stressed out.

“After that, I’ve just been really enjoying myself.”

The Ladies’ final takes place on Saturday.


Serena Williams, Sharapova, Radwanska and Muguruza Reach Wimbledon Semis


(July 7, 2015) Serena Williams kept her hopes for a fourth straight major alive on Tuesday, rallying to defeat Victoria Azarenka, taking 10 out of the last 13 game to win 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 and reach the Wimbledon semifinals. Williams blasted 17 aces and 46 winners en route to her 26th straight Grand Slam match win.

“It’s been up and down, up and down, but somehow I’m still alive. I don’t know how,” said Williams. “So we’ll see what happens, but I’m just happy to still be here.”

“I can’t lie and say I’m not disappointed, because that’s a normal reaction,” Azarenka said. “But it is what it is. It was a high quality match. I can’t say I went out there and didn’t play well – we just saw why Serena is No.1. I haven’t seen her play like this, honestly, even the last matches before that.”

“I feel like Victoria and I always have really wonderful matches. She’s always able to push it to three sets, we always have some great three set matches,” Williams said to media.

“Whenever I see her name I get excited, because I feel like there’s going to be an opportunity to see how well I’m doing. We play each other pretty much every tournament. I’m getting used to that.”

“I’ve been really proud of her and her comeback,” Williams said when asked about her post-match hug at the net. “I told her in Madrid, ‘Man, you’ve gone through a lot. I really support that. I really support you coming back.’ And we really get along off the court. She’s so sweet – we always text each other when we’re doing well.

“She’s a really nice girl. I really admire her because she’s so intense on the court, but the second she comes off the court, she’s just so different. It’s really interesting to see. It’s super respectful.”

“I have a lot of respect for Serena,” said Azarenka.  “We have a great friendship off the court.  You know, once the match is over, we put it out a long time ago.  We’re going to put it out all on the court.  She played a great match and I respect that.”

Williams, who is now 37-1 on the year is looking to complete a second “Serena” Slam with a Wimbledon trophy, which would mean she would be holding the last four major trophies. She did this in 2002-03.

Winning Wimbledon would also give her the third leg of the calendar-year Grand Slam.

Next for the world No. 1 and 20-time major winner, will be the fourth seed Maria Sharapova who bested unseeded American youngster CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-2.

“I’ve played five matches already, I’ve faced different challenges, matches, opponents, circumstances – the first four matches I was playing quite well and got the job done in two sets,” Sharapova said.

Sharapova led 6-3, 5-3 when Vandeweghe made a comeback.

“Today, serving for the second set, I could have made it easier,” Sharapova said. “It went to a third, but I still got the job done. I have to be pleased with that, that I’m in the semifinals again here after so many years.”

“I thought I relished it pretty well,” said the young American about her fortnight.  “I enjoyed my experience.  I enjoyed the crowd out there.

“I didn’t enjoy the result too much.  But I’m sure tomorrow I’ll be feeling even less happy about this, at least body‑wise.

“It’s been a long two weeks, playing singles and doubles here.  So I’m happy with my progress through the tournament, and I’m happy with the whole experience of it.”

Williams owns a 17-2 record against Sharapova, including a winning streak against her at 16 in a row.

“Definitely no secrets between each other’s games,” Sharapova said.

“But, I mean, look, I haven’t played Serena here in 11 years.  That would be an incredible moment for me to step out on Centre Court against her again.”

“I love playing Maria,” Williams said.  “I think she brings out the best in me.  I think I bring out the best in her.  I thought we had a wonderful final in Australia.  It was very entertaining.  She played really well.

“For me, I don’t feel like I have any pressure going into this match.  We both actually lost early last year.  We both are kind of enjoying this moment and one of us will be in the final.”

The other semifinal will pit No. 13 seed and 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska against No. 20 Garbine Muguruza.

Radwanska beat No. 21 Madison Keys 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3. Muguruza defeated No. 15 Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-3 to reach her first major semifinal.

“I couldn’t feel any better, I’m just so happy I managed to stay in that match. It was very tight and I just tried to play it point by point, game by game,” Radwanska said. “That’s how you have to play it and in the third set one break was the difference.”

“I’ve seen a few of her matches this tournament and she’s playing great tennis,” Radwanska said. “She’s actually playing very similar to Keys so I think it could be a similar match.

“It’s the semifinals so, of course, there’s nothing to lose. All the players are playing great tennis. I’m just going to fight for each point and try to play my best. One day’s rest and I’ll be ready to go.”

“It’s amazing, I’m so happy. It was a very tough match,” said Muguruza, the first Spaniard to reach the Wimbledon semifinals since Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario in 1997. “The last game was a very intense one, so there was so much relief after that.”

“It’s very hard to achieve this, so I’m very proud and happy for Spain also! All this experience helps you a lot and makes you believe that you can do it. So I’m going to be confident and ready for the match.”

Novak Djokovic completed a five-set match held over from Monday, due to darkness with a win over to reach the Gentlemen’s quarterfinals 6-7(6), 6-7(6), 6-1, 6-4, 7-5.

The world No. 1 will play Marin Cilic on Wednesday. The other men’s quarterfinal match-ups include: Roger Federer vs. Gilles Simon, Andy Murray vs. Vasek Pospisil, and Stan Wawrinka vs. Richard Gasquet.


Serena Williams Beats Sister Venus To Reach Wimbledon Quarters


(July 6, 2015)

On the second Monday of Wimbledon, it was “Sister Act” part 26 as No. 1 Serena Williams defeated her sister and the 16th seed Venus 6-4, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals. It was the younger sister’s sixth victory of the last seven, raising her head-to-head record to 15-11.

“I just thought,`Wow, I’m 33, and she just turned 35. I don’t know how many more moments like this we’ll have.’ I plan on playing for years, but you never know if we’ll have the opportunity to face each other,” Serena said after walking off the court. “I just took the moment in, and I thought, `We’re at Wimbledon.’ I remember when I was 8 years old, we dreamed of this moment, and it was kind of surreal.”

“When that moment is over, it will be over,” Venus said, shrugging her shoulders. “It’s not now.”

Tuesday’s win puts Serena closer to winning her 21st major title, fourth in a row, keeping hope alive the possibility of a Grand Slam should she win at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

“I no longer answer questions about Grand Slams,” Serena told media.

“It’s been six years since we played each other,” Serena said.  “I just really was enjoying the moment out there.  It was such a great vibe, such a great situation to be in, when we were both so young and dreaming of coming to Wimbledon.

“Not only did we fulfill our dreams, we both won it five times.  That’s pretty amazing.

“I just had an opportunity to reflect on that.”

Serena Williams will play Victoria Azarenka on Tuesday for a spot in the semis. Azarenka defeated Belinda Bencic 6-3. 6-2.

I’ve had a couple of tough matches with Victoria,” Serena said.  “It doesn’t matter who I play, I’m going to be ready.  I’m going to have to be ready.  She’s due to win big and to do really well.”

“I look forward to tomorrow.  I feel like my tournament has finally begun.  This is where I feel really comfortable in a Grand Slam.”

“Well, the key is for me, I still need to find it because I haven’t beat her in the Grand Slam,” said Azarenka.  “So for me, I still have to find that extra step to go a little bit further.

“But she’s a great player.  I mean, one of the greatest players of all time.

“I just try to really focus on what I have to do instead of thinking who is on the other side and try to execute my game.

“I think I have been playing pretty well, trying to climb and put my game together more and more.  So I’m just trying to focus on tomorrow, is another day, another match, and keep it simple.”

Two more Americans join Serena Williams in the quarterfinals – Madison Keys and Coco Vandeweghe. Keys beat qualifier Olga Govortsova 3-6, 6-4, 6-1while Vandeweghe beat French Open finalist and sixth seed Lucie Safarova 7-6(1), 7-6(4)

“I mean, every moment there is a breakthrough whether it’s in a WTA tournament or in a Grand Slam,” Vandeweghe said.  “Yes, this is the farthest I have ever gone in a Grand Slam and I’m playing really well at this time, but, you know, I’m not really considering it like, wow, a breakthrough.

I mean, I had set goals of what I wanted to do, and because I’m achieving it doesn’t mean it’s a breakthrough.  I think it’s stepping stones more than a breakthrough.  You know, I would more say it’s on the lines of it’s been a while coming because of what I felt that I have dedicated to my game of tennis.”

Vadeweghe will face Maria Sharapova next. The 2004 Wimbledon champion beat Zarina Diyas 6-4, 6-4.


“I think there is still going to be the nerves,” Madison Keys said about reaching her second major quarterfinal.  “It’s second quarter and it’s against a different person.  But I think there is at least some, Okay, I have done it before, I have been through it, I know what to expect.

“No matter what, it will be fun and will be exciting, and I just have to go out and try to focus on the match.”

Garbine Muguruza had the upset of the day when she ousted fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4.

“I went very like focused and prepared because I knew that she was going to try to do a long and physical match against me,” the Spaniard said. “So I think I used my opportunities of the short balls, good shots, the serve.  I think I played really good.  This helps me a lot against these types of players.”

On the men’s side of the draw Novak Djokovic and Kevin Anderson will have to complete their match on Tuesday. Djokovic lost the first two sets in tiebreaks and won the next two. Play was halted on Court 1 due to darkness.

Marin Cilic awaits the winner in his quarterfinal.

Roger Federer and Andy Murray moved into Wimbledon’s “elite 8.” Second-seeded Federer won 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 over No. 20 Roberto Bautista Agut. Murray bested Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (7), 6-4, 5-7, 6-4

The other men’s quarterfinal pairings are: Roger Federer vs. No. 12 Gilles Simon, Andy Murray vs. Vasek Pospisil, and Stan Wawrinka vs. No. 21 Richard Gasquet.


Ladies’ Singles – Fourth Round

(1) Serena Williams (USA) d. (16) Venus Williams (USA) 64 63
(4) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 64 64
(20) Garbine Muguruza (ESP) d. (5) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 64 64
CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) d. (6) Lucie Safarova (CZE) 76(1) 76(4)
(13) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (28) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 75 64
(15) Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) d. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 16 75 62
(21) Madison Keys (USA) d. (Q) Olga Govortsova (BLR) 36 64 61
(23) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (30) Belinda Bencic (SUI) 63 62

Gentlemen’s Singles – Fourth Round

[2] Roger Federer (SUI) d. [20] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) 62 62 63
[3] Andy Murray (GBR) d. [23] Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 76(7) 64 57 64
[4] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d. [16] David Goffin (BEL) 76(3) 76(7) 64
[12] Gilles Simon (FRA) d. [6] Tomas Berdych (CZE) 63 63 62
[9] Marin Cilic (CRO) d. Denis Kudla (USA) 64 46 63 75
[21] Richard Gasquet (FRA) d. [26] Nick Kyrgios (AUS) 75 61 67(7) 76(6)
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) d. [22] Viktor Troicki (SRB) 46 67(4) 64 63 63