Tennis Channel to Air Federer vs Wawrinka Charity Exhibition – “The Match for Africa 2,” on December 21

Warinka Federer

(December 18, 2014) LOS ANGELES - Tennis Channel has exclusive live coverage of 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer as he faces off against Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka on Dec. 21 at 2:30 p.m. ET in a battle benefiting Federer’s charity. The Match for Africa 2 is an exhibition between the two friends and Swiss compatriots to benefit The Roger Federer Foundation.

The Roger Federer Foundation supports children living in poverty, helping them realize their potential through education. With seven countries running programs, 136,000 children currently benefit from the foundation. It hopes to reach 1 million by 2018.


The match will be held at Zurich’s Hallenstadion, Switzerland’s largest multifunctional hall. For more information about additional Tennis Channel programming events in December visit www.tennischannel.com/schedule.


Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic named 2014 ITF World Champions

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(December 18, 2014) The ITF announced on Thursday that Serena Williams of the United States and Novak Djokovic of Serbia are the 2014 ITF World Champions. Williams is named Women’s World Champion for the fifth time, while this is the fourth occasion that Djokovic has received the honor.


Americans Bob and Mike Bryan are named Men’s Doubles World Champions for the 11th time in 12 years, while Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy become Women’s Doubles World Champions for the third successive year.


Catherine “CiCi” Bellis of the United States and Russia’s Andrey Rublev are named ITF Junior World Champions, while the ITF Wheelchair World Champions are Japanese duo Yui Kamiji and Shingo Kunieda, who becomes men’s champion for the sixth time.


The ITF World Champions will receive their awards at the 2015 ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday 2 June, in Paris, during Roland Garros.


Serena Williams is named Women’s World Champion for the fifth occasion, after maintaining the No. 1 ranking throughout the year. The 33-year-old captured her 18th Grand Slam title at the US Open to equal the achievements of Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. She won six other titles during the year, including the season-ending WTA Finals. Williams is the oldest player ever to be named an ITF Singles World Champion.


Williams said: “I’m so honored to be named ITF World Champion for the fifth time. This was a year of challenges and triumphs, so to win another Grand Slam and retain my year-end No. 1 ranking is an accomplishment I’m very proud of. I’m grateful to have the support of the tennis community in every way possible. I can’t wait for 2015.”

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic becomes Men’s World Champion for the fourth time after reclaiming the No. 1 ranking in 2014. The 27-year-old won his seventh Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, and was also a finalist at Roland Garros and semifinalist at the US Open. He won a total of seven titles during the year including the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals. Djokovic is one of only four men to be named World Champion four or more times, alongside Ivan Lendl, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer.


Bob and Mike Bryan become Men’s Doubles World Champions for the 11th time after capturing their 16th Grand Slam title and 100th title overall at the 2014 US Open. They won a total of ten titles during the year, including the ATP World Tour Finals, taking their total career titles to 103. They were also runners-up at Wimbledon. The brothers now stand within two trophies of the record of wheelchair tennis star Esther Vergeer, who was named World Champion 13 times.


Mike Bryan said: “The 2014 season was one of our best seasons on tour and it’s one we’ll fondly remember for a lot of reasons. We look forward to the awards dinner in Paris and sharing the stage with all the other world champions.”


Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci are only the second pair to be named Women’s Doubles World Champions on three occasions. The Italians completed the career Grand Slam with their first victory at Wimbledon, and were also champions at the Australian Open and runners-up at Roland Garros. They won a total of five titles during the year and finished 2014 co-ranked No. 1 on the WTA doubles rankings.


Errani and Vinci said: “We are both really happy to be Women’s Doubles World Champions for the third consecutive year. It is a great pleasure and honour to have finished this year as number one in the doubles ranking again. Our goal for 2015 is to defend our Australian Open and Wimbledon titles.”


ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “All of our World Champions have demonstrated great consistency at the top of the game in one of the strongest eras for our sport. Serena Williams is one of the toughest competitors of all-time, while Novak Djokovic’s performances at the biggest events make him a deserving winner. Bob and Mike Bryan’s remarkable achievement is a testament to their continued drive and determination, while Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci have shown the importance of teamwork both on and off court.”


The ITF’s selection of its senior World Champions is based on an objective system that considers all results during the year, but gives special weight to the Grand Slam tournaments, and two ITF international team competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.


Catherine “CiCi” Bellis is the second American in three years to become ITF Girls World Champion, and is the youngest world champion since 2006. The 15-year-old won four singles title during the year, sealing the year-end No. 1 ranking at last week’s Orange Bowl. She also led the United States to victory in the Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, one year after being a member of the USA’s 14-and-under ITF World Junior Tennis winning team.


Bellis said: “It was my goal to be the year-end No. 1 from when I started playing in the juniors two years ago and I am ecstatic that I was able to reach this milestone as a 15-year-old.  It is an honour to be in such great company with all of the amazing and legendary juniors before me.”


Andrey Rublev is the first Russian male in any category to be named ITF World Champion after achieving the year-end No. 1 boys’ junior ranking. The 17-year-old was the most consistent performer on the ITF Junior Circuit, winning his first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, and capturing singles bronze and doubles silver at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing. He reached a total of five singles finals during the year, winning two titles.


Rublev said: “I am happy to finish this year as World Champion. I thank my family, coaches and team for all the support I was getting all the time. I also understand that this is just the first step and will do my best to score further victories.”


Shingo Kunieda becomes Men’s Wheelchair World Champion for the sixth time after retaining the year-end world No. 1 ranking. The 30-year-old only lost one match all year, winning 12 singles titles on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour and boasting a 51-1 overall win-loss record. He won all three Grand Slam singles events, taking his total major titles to 17, and was also champion at the season-ending NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters.


Kunieda said: “I am very happy to be world champion six times. I played well this year and still feel I am improving my tennis. I’d like to thank my team and am already looking forward to next season.”


Yui Kamiji is named Women’s Wheelchair World Champion for the first time after dominating the Grand Slam tournaments. The 20-year-old captured her first two major titles at Roland Garros and the US Open, and was runner-up at the Australian Open. She also partnered Britain’s Jordanne Whiley to the women’s doubles Grand Slam. Kamiji won a total of eight singles titles during 2014 and is the first Asian woman to receive this honour.


Kamiji said: “2014 is definitely the year to remember in my career. I was proud to win my first two Grand Slam titles and reach the final of the Australian Open. It was also very special to achieve the doubles calendar Grand Slam and win the Doubles Masters with my best friend on tour Jordanne Whiley.”


ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “I would like to thank all the 2014 ITF World Champions for their contribution to another memorable year for our sport.”


Serena Williams Hit the Road for the Ultimate RUN South Beach for Charity


Serena Williams Live Ultimate Run

Serena Williams Live Ultimate Run


(December 14, 2014) Most likely inspired by her close friend and fellow tennis pro Caroline Wozniacki, who completed the New York City Marathon in November, tennis’ world No. 1 Serena Williams hit the road with more than two thousand runners from South Florida and around the country for the inaugural Serena Williams Ultimate RUN South Beach on Sunday.

Williams ran her first quarter marathon among others who also participated in the 5K Run/Walk and Team Challenge – bringing together runners of all ages and abilities. The run raised money for the Serena Williams Fund, which provides assistance to families affected by violent crimes and providing underprivileged youth around the world with the highest quality of education available to them. Serena’s sister, Venus Williams, also gave her support by running the 5K.

Serena Williams Live Ultimate Run

Serena who completed the 6. 55 mile run in 1 hour 14 minutes, said after the race:  “Today’s run was so enjoyable and the spirit of everyone who came out was so passionate which helped me to build the energy I needed for my first quarter marathon.  I’ve never ran that far before, so I had to pace myself, but I was pleased with my finish time.  I’d like to thank all the sponsors and everyone who participated in the run to help raise money for underprivileged youth around the world.”

South Beach’s famous Ocean Drive which was closed to traffic for the Ultimate Run’s was the scene for the start and finish for the race. The course took runners through South Beach. Past New York City Marathon, Boston Marathon winner and 1984 Olympian, Alberto Salazar, fired the starting gun for the Ultimate Run.

Serena Williams Live Ultimate Run
“Our inaugural Serena Williams Ultimate Run was quite a memorable event,” said Marc Wachter, the event’s executive producer. “Runners of all ages and abilities were very excited to come out in their thousands on a very early and crisp Miami December morning to run alongside Serena for a great cause.  We are thrilled to have had such an iconic athlete behind the first in our Ultimate Run series and Serena’s enthusiasm really gave every participant the Ultimate experience.  We look forward to making this one of Miami’s most popular sporting occasions on South Florida’s annual event calendar.”

Event sponsors included Nike, Gatorade, Delta, Beats by Dre and MISSION Athletecare.



ATP Announces Prize Money Increases Topping $100 Million in 2015


(December 12, 2014) ATP tour prize money will top $100 million for the first time in 2015. The ATP prize money will increase over the next four years and reach $135 million by 2018.

The Masters 1000 tournaments will see the biggest increases with an overall 14-percent hike over the next four years, while the 250 events will go up by an average of 3.5 percent.

The official ATP news release on the increases:

 LONDON — The ATP has announced significant increases over the next four years that will see overall player compensation on the ATP World Tour reach US$135 million by 2018. Player compensation at ATP World Tour events in 2015 will exceed US$100 million for the first time.

The increases at ATP events are a testament to the sustained success of men’s professional tennis, as well as demonstrating the ATP’s confidence in the strength of its product and projected growth in future years.

The biggest increases in player compensation come at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 category, with tournaments providing annual increases of 11%, and with the ATP contributing a further 3% increase, resulting in a 14% annual increase in that category through to 2018. Player compensation at the ATP World Tour 250s is set to increase at an average of 3.5% per year during the same period.

The latest decisions at Masters 1000 and 250-level mean that player compensation is now confirmed across all three ATP World Tour tournament categories for a four-year period. Player compensation for a five-year period for the ATP World Tour 500 category was decided at the end of 2013.

In addition to establishing player compensation levels on the Tour, the ATP will soon be releasing its 2016-18 calendars, meaning both these key issues will be accounted for over the next four-year period.


2015 PowerShares Series Schedule Announced: Tour to Feature Roddick, Agassi and Sampras


(December 9, 2014) NEW YORK, NY  – The 2015 PowerShares Series tennis circuit announced the dates, venues and fields that will feature 2014 tour champion John McEnroe defending his crown versus a group of legends led by Andy Roddick, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and Jim Courier. InsideOut Sports & Entertainment, a division of Horizon Media, made the announcement on Tuesday.

The North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players will visit 12 cities in 2015, kicking off on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 in Salt Lake City and concluding Saturday, May 2 in Vancouver. Players competing on the 2015 circuit are McEnroe, Roddick, Agassi, Sampras, Courier, James Blake, Michael Chang and Mark Philippoussis. Each one-night event will feature two one-set semifinal matches, followed by a one-set championship match.

“We are excited once again to present the PowerShares Series and bring this entertaining brand of tennis to many new markets,” said Jon Venison, Partner at InsideOut Sports & Entertainment. “It was quite something to see John McEnroe win the PowerShares Series points title last year against his much younger competition, but I know the younger generation, led by Andy Roddick and James Blake, will want to steal his thunder in the upcoming season.”

The full 2015 PowerShares Series schedule with field of players is as follows:

Tuesday, March 24: Salt Lake City, Utah (Huntsman Center at the University of Utah) “Champions Shootout” featuring Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, James Blake, Mark Philippoussis

Wednesday, March 25: Los Angeles, Calif., (Galen Center at USC) “SoCal Honda Dealers Helpful Cup” featuring Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake

Wednesday, April 1: Lincoln, Neb., (Pinnacle Bank Arena at University of Nebraska) “Champions Cup Presented by Woods Park Tennis” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake

Thursday, April 2: Chicago, Ill. (Sears Centre) “PowerShares QQQ Challenge” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake

Thursday, April 16: Austin, Texas (Cedar Park Center) “Champions Shootout” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake

Friday, April 17: Little Rock, Ark. (Jack Stephens Center at the UALR) “Champions Cup” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

Saturday, April 18: Dallas, Texas (Moody Coliseum at SMU) “Champions Showdown” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

Wednesday, April 22: Boston, Mass. (Agganis Arena at Boston University) “Champions Cup” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake

Thursday, April 23: Richmond, Va., (Siegel Center at VCU) “Champions Challenge” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake

Wednesday, April 29: Minneapolis, Minn. (Target Center) “Champions Shootout” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Michael Chang, James Blake

Thursday, April 30: Cincinnati, Ohio (Cintas Center at Xavier) “Champions Showdown” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Michael Chang, James Blake

Saturday, May 2: Vancouver, Canada (Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre at UBC) “Champions Showdown” featuring Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Michael Chang, Mark Philippoussis


In 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the nine-year history of Champions Series tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte. McEnroe was followed in the points standings by Blake in second place and Roddick in third place.

For more information on the series- www.PowerSharesSeries.com.


WTA Sets Up 10 Year Media Rights Deal


(December 10, 2014) — The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Board of Directors approved a  10 year media agreement of more than US$525 million with incumbent partner, PERFORM.  This extended partnership is the largest live media rights and production venture in the history of the WTA and in women’s sports.


For the first time as part of a major strategic move for the WTA, the aggregation and centralization of all WTA tournament media rights will deliver every WTA event across linear, digital and over-the-top (OTT) offerings.  Ultimately, this will improve the fan experience by making it easier to consistently follow favorite WTA players throughout the year.


Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman & CEO, said, “This is a game-changing and historic moment for our fans and for women’s sport. Our new broadcast strategy to produce all 2000 main draw singles matches in partnership with PERFORM will deliver exponential global exposure for our players, tournaments and partners.”

The agreement introduces WTA Media, a joint endeavor between both organizations which will deliver unprecedented premium content to tennis fans worldwide.  WTA Media, together with tournaments, will produce all main draw singles matches and the semifinals and finals of all doubles matches from 2017. Furthermore, WTA Media will increase its production of news content by 40 percent. It will also deliver additional magazine shows and significant off-court content to support the WTA’s mobile, digital and social media strategy. WTA Media will provide unprecedented access to fans with more content on and off the court.

“We are thrilled to expand on our highly successful partnership with the WTA.  We are strong believers in the exceptional sport entertainment value of the WTA and are committed to driving the value for all WTA members and partners. This deal also delivers maximum exposure to the WTA’s global fans on multiple platforms. This is a ground-breaking and innovative partnership with the WTA and is also a major first step in a significant 10 year growth plan for PERFORM,” said PERFORM’s Joint-CEO, Simon Denyer.

“The remarkable growth by PERFORM in less than ten years as well as the company’s ambitious direction provides a perfect framework for our invaluable partnership.  We are extremely excited by a shared vision of delivering the quality and quantity content our fans deserve. PERFORM’s unprecedented investment in the WTA signals a new era – not only for women’s tennis but also for women’s professional sports the world around,” concluded Allaster.


Radwanska Hires Navratilova to Coaching Team

Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova

(December 8, 2014) Joining the trend of some of the top male players in hiring former Grand Slam champions as coaches, Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 6 in the world has hired 18-time major winner Martina Navratilova to her coaching team.




USTA National Hard Court Championships Tournament Back on Schedule After Rain Postpones Play on Tuesday and Wednesday


(December 4, 2014) La Jolla, Calif. Following two days of rain delays and match postponements, the USTA National Hard Court Championships got back on schedule as over 100 matches were played under sunny skies at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.

The men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals are set for Friday after third and fourth round matches were completed in the men’s draw and second round matches were finished in the women’s draw.

Top-seeded Oren Motevassel of San Jose, Calif., breezed into the men’s quarterfinals with a pair of impressive wins on Thursday. He completed his rain-delayed third round match, defeating unseeded Misha Yevtich of Las Vegas, 6-0, 6-1. Later in the day, Motevassel, a former two-time tournament champion, eliminated ninth-seeded Leon Bax of Mountain View, Calif., 6-0, 6-1 in the fourth round.

Third-seeded Jeff Tarango was forced to a third-set match-tiebreak in his fourth-round encounter against Mike Brown of La Jolla, Calif., but the 2010 tournament champion ultimately prevailed, 6-3, 4-6, (10-7). Tarango is playing singles in the USTA National Hard Court Championships for the first time since losing in the 2011 singles final to Motevassel.

“It feels good to be healthy and moving around. It’s not easy. Every match is tough out here. I’ve played a couple of lefties and now I’m starting to see the ball a little better.” said Tarango, who is also playing in Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles this week.

“I’ve been playing in La Jolla since I was seven years old (in the juniors). I have some great memories playing Pete Sampras and Michael Chang,” Tarango added. “Coming back to a class place like the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club brings back all of those memories, so it really fires you up. You almost forget you’re 46 years old.”

Friday’s Singles Quarterfinal Schedule
8 a.m. –    Oren Motevassel (1), San Jose, Calif., vs. Nicolas Chasseray (9), San Francisco
8 a.m. – Jeffrey Tarango (3), Manhattan Beach, Calif., vs. Jeff Greenwald (6), San Anselmo, Calif.
8 a.m. – Michael Chang (5), Anaheim, Calif., vs. Pierre Mareschal (9), Pasadena, Calif.
8 a.m. – John Saviano (9), Los Altos Hills, Calif., vs. Tony Bujan (2), Tustin, Calif.

9:30 a.m. – Jennifer Dawson (1), Carlsbad, Calif., vs. Maria Nunez, San Diego
10 a.m. – Marlo Carruth (4), Studio City, Calif., vs.  Christy Panter, West Hills, Calif.
10 a.m. – Fanny Gamble, San Rafael, Calif., vs. Dina McBride (3), Stevenson Ranch, Calif.
10 a.m. – Julie Gaynor, Las Vegas, vs.  Ros Nideffer (2), San Diego

All starting times are (PST).

The USTA National Father & Son and Grandfather & Grandson Hard Court Doubles Championships are scheduled to begin on Friday, December 5, with matches concluding Sunday, December 7. The Father and Son championship has been held continuously at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club since 1959, and attracts the top father and son tennis teams in the U.S.  The Grandfather/Grandson Championship is a relatively new competitive division that began at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club in 2003.

The starting times for the remaining sessions of USTA National Hard Court Championships are as follows:

8 a.m. — Friday, Dec. 5
9 a.m.  – Saturday, Dec. 6 and Sunday, Dec. 7

For the latest updated tournament scores, results and draws for each division, go to:

The tournament finals are scheduled to be played on Saturday, Dec. 6 and Sunday, Dec. 7. The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club welcomes tennis spectators to view the tournament with free admission. On-site parking is available for a nominal fee.

The champions in each division will receive a USTA gold ball. The runner-up in each division will be presented with a USTA silver ball. There will be a 3rd / 4th place play-off for a USTA bronze ball.


International Premier Tennis League in Manila

By Abigail Hinto

(December 1, 2014) MANILA –  There is no other word to describe it but surreal.  After fitting tennis tournaments to my vacations in order to see live tennis, professional tennis and its superstars have finally come to me.  I’ve seen and covered most of these players before, but seeing them introduced to the Manila crowd to raucous cheers was goose bumps-inducing.  Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova, and Serena Williams, the current best of the world were actually playing on a tennis court in my city.  Not to mention the legends Goran Ivanisevic, Carlos Moya and Patrick Rafter; exactly the players I followed when I first became a fan of the sport.  Even when I finally got the opportunity to travel and watch tennis, I never imagined I would still get the chance to experience seeing my early favorites who are now long retired, play live.


I have to admit that I was initially skeptical when the concept of the International Premier Tennis League was introduced, as I would guess most tennis fans were.  Would they really be able to get the players, especially the superstars on board?  Tinkering with the rules seemed sacrilege to the long tradition of the sport.  But then Manila got a franchise when IPTL had to pull out of Bangkok because of political unrest in that city, and I knew no matter what, I was going to be there.


Let me now say straight out that all the new rules introduced for the league, made to make the matches faster and therefore more conducive to television, are just secondary to the real tennis being played on court and the team atmosphere displayed.  Yes, it was real tennis.  While some players like Maria Sharapova first seemed undecided whether she would treat the game as exhibition or competition, with nary a shriek heard from her at first, probably the thought of an embarrassing loss against Kristina Mladenovic in her first match for her home team spurred her to increase her level of intensity and turn the match around.  I also didn’t think we would have seen Mladenovic be unable to close out the set after being up two breaks if nerves weren’t involved.  Ana Ivanovic played flawless tennis for her part against Sharapova and displayed her pleasure at her level of play with her trademark fist pumps and “ajdes.”  Andy Murray was crazily retrieving balls all over the court to make-up for his poor level of shot making.  Even the legends were groaning at missed shots and opportunities.  As one hardcore tennis fan who attended the tournament expressed, she was indeed worried at first whether the players would take the matches seriously because she still believes the tournament is just an exhibition.  But she ended up being satisfied with what she saw on court.  Even the players themselves were surprised how everyone was treating the matches seriously.  In the end, they are competitors at heart who want nothing more than to win.  And playing for a team, which they very seldom get to do, increases that desire to be able to help put your team in a winning position.  Stakes may be lower than playing on tour, but wins don’t necessarily mean less.


The team competition format also allowed for players to showcase not just their tennis but their personalities as well.  Gael Monfils, to no one’s surprise shone in this kind of format.  The fans embraced his goofiness and showmanship, but also marveled at his shot making.  Mladenovic, who outside serious tennis fans most in the stadium have probably never heard of before continually gained fans as the three days got on.  Treat Huey, who even though was the local boy most Filipinos have never seen play awed the crowd with Jo-Wilfred Tsonga once they finally gelled on the 2nd day.  Goran Ivanisevic will always be willing to please a crowd.  You see these players interacting with each other on the sidelines which you will never see just watching regular tour matches on tv.  There’s Murray and Daniel Nestor who couldn’t stop talking and laughing.  Same for Serena Williams and Daniela Hantuchova.  Ivanovic and Sania Mirza were practically inseparable, and who could ever forget Ivanovic’s absence of dancing skills thanks to Monfils.  Of course, there were the more silent and reticent types, but that’s showing their personalities too.


As a team competition, it was no surprise that the team that got on together from the get go won this leg of the league.  The Indian Aces was clearly that team.  Right off the bat, they were huddling during changeovers, cheering loudly for their teammates and just generally showed the most positive team spirit.  The Aces’ players continually acknowledged this fact saying how much they’re having fun together.  Not that the other teams didn’t embrace the team aspect of the competition, but Manila Mavericks for one took time to gel together, probably not helped by having the more introvert players while the Indian Aces had Monfils providing unbridled energy throughout.


Eventually, the Manila Mavericks were helped by relentless cheering from the home crowd urging them on until it paid off on the 3rd day when they finally won their last match.  Mark Philippoussis, who subbed in for an injured Carlos Moya set the tone by winning the first set coming from behind against Patrick RafterKirsten Flipkens, the home team’s other female player was showered loudly with support when she finally stepped up to play on the 3rd day.  I didn’t think Andy Murray would have liked to lose all his matches in front of his home team so he was finally able to pull off two wins on the 3rd day.  It was the most electric on that last day and last match as the whole stadium cheered louder and louder for the home team especially as the last set, the men’s singles between Murray and Nick Kyrgios got down to the wire and the last and longest rally of the set finished off the 5-minute shoot-out with a Kyrgios backhand to the net.  It was the fitting end to 3 days of tennis fun and excitement.


The competition will probably continue to have its critics, but I for one was converted.  That IPTL was able to bring all these tennis superstars to my country already makes it a winner in my book.  But the overall experience just solidified that fact.  I talked to several people, hardcore fans, casual fans, people who have never watched a tennis match in their life and they all came out of the experience with nothing but positive words to say, all saying that they will definitely be back next year to watch some more.  For the casual fan, it was like watching tennis on steroids with the faster paced play.  For the non-tennis fan who was greatly entertained, it was a marvel seeing how gorgeous all of the players looked.  I asked another non-tennis fan whether she will watch tennis on TV if she chances upon it and she said that she already did the following day.  Most of these people just got complimentary tickets, but their enjoyment showed that next time, they will already be willing to pay for the experience.  And if the aim of the IPTL is to grow the fan base of the sport, in areas that are rarely or never served by the professional tours, then so far, it seems to have achieved its goal.  A day after, and everyone is suffering from IPTL hangover.


Will IPTL supplant the tours?  Most probably not.  It’s still an exhibition in the mind of players and fans.  Will it eventually be part of tennis’ history especially with some of its innovations as Carlos Moya says it could be?  Too hard to tell after the first leg.  I feel its success is highly dependent on the commitment it gets from the biggest superstars of tennis.  It has managed that so far, will it continue to do so in the future?  Is there a place for it in the current tennis landscape as founder Mahesh Bhupathi says it does as he summed up the Manila experience?  Why not?  We all got to see Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova play mixed doubles together to disastrous results all with smiles on their faces, the biggest cherry on top of this wonderful cake.  And that alone should make the fans demand for the continued existence of the IPTL.



USTA National Hard Court Championships begin December 1 at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club


 (November 26, 2014) La Jolla, Calif.  - The 42nd annual United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Hard Court Championships will get underway on Monday, December 1 at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, The national tennis event will continue through Sunday, Dec. 7.

Competition is slated for men and women in singles, doubles and mixed doubles in the National 40 and Over events. Also on the agenda is the USTA National Father & Son and Grandfather & Grandson Hard Court Doubles Championships beginning Friday, Dec. 5.

Defending Men’s 40s singles champion Tony Bujan of San Clemente, Calif., is seeded second this year. He is joined by four former tournament singles champions among the men’s seeded players.

Oren Motevassel of San Jose, Calif., the 2012 and 2011 tournament champion, is the Men’s 40s singles top-seed.  Jeff Tarango of Manhattan Beach, Calif., is seeded third. He won the tournament title in 2009.

Peter Smith of Long Beach, Calif., is seeded fourth. Smith won three consecutive tournament singles titles from 2005 to 2007.  Jeff Greenwald of San Anselmo, Calif., who captured the singles championship in 2009, is seeded sixth.

Three former tournament champions have entered the Women’s 40 Division. Jennifer Dawson of Carlsbad, Calif., the 2011 singles tournament champion, is the top-seed.  Ros Nideffer of San Diego (Rancho Bernardo), who won the 40s title in 2009, is seeded second.

Seeded third in the Women’s 40s draw is Dina McBride of Stevenson Ranch, Calif.  She captured the 40s singles title at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club in 2012.

Hank Pfister of Bakersfield, Calif., is scheduled to compete in the Men’s 40s doubles competition. The 61-year-old Pfister, a former touring professional, captured the 1978 French doubles title. He was also a doubles runner-up at the 1982 US Open and the 1981 Australian Open.

Murphy Jensen of Saint Simons Island, Ga., is entered in the National Father and Son event. The 46-year-old Jensen, a former touring professional, was the French Open doubles champion in 1993.

“We are absolutely delighted to have such an outstanding field of competitors for this year’s tournament,” said Tournament Director Bill Kellogg. “We are anticipating a spectacular week of exciting championship tennis.”

To view the list of seeded players for each division and complete draws, please go to:

The starting times for each day of the USTA National Hard Court Championships are as follows:
9 a.m. — Monday, Dec. 1
8 a.m. — Tuesday, Dec. 2 through Friday, Dec. 5
9 a.m.  – Saturday, Dec. 6 and Sunday, Dec. 7

The tournament finals are scheduled to be played on Saturday, Dec. 6 and Sunday, Dec. 7. The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club welcomes tennis spectators to view the tournament with free admission.