April 26, 2017

University of Michigan Wins 2017 USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN CAPTURES

2017 USTA TENNIS ON CAMPUS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

 

The Wolverines overcome a 19-18 deficit to beat the University of California, Irvine, 24-20, at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla.

 

Back row (L to R): Laura Ucrós Téllez, Alex Gruskin, Max Rothman, Kevin Rothstein, Koushik Kondapi

Front row (L to R): Kerry Hu, Arthur Ozga (coach), Chelsea Yu

Photo credit: Camerawork USA

 

Orlando, Fla., April 17, 2017– A new USTA Tennis On Campus national champion was crowned Saturday night in dramatic fashion as the University of Michigan overcame a late deficit to win its first-ever national title, 24-20, over the University of California, Irvine.

 

Down 19-18 heading into the final mixed doubles match, the Michigan duo of Laura Ucrós Téllez and Max Rothman took a commanding 4-0 lead en route to 6-1 championship-clinching win.

 

“I knew Laura and I played great together in the past. We went out there confident. We trust each other and we got the job done,” said Rothman of the final set.

 

One of the match’s early turning points came during women’s singles. Michigan held a 6-2 lead following women’s doubles, but junior Kerry Hu trailed 5-2 to UC-Irvine’s Yoshino Takashimizu. Hu rattled off three straight games, defending five set points, before winning the tiebreak 5-3 to take a 6-5 set win.

 

“Kerry’s effort in singles, for her to come back from 5-2 down and fight off all of those [set] points, it was incredible,” said Michigan’s senior captain Alex Gruskin. “That’s all you can ask from your junior captain. She delivered.”

 

Trailing 12-7, UC-Irvine staged its comeback, winning the men’s doubles set 6-2. Freshman Andy Francis stepped up and secured a thrilling 6-4 win in men’s singles as UC-Irvine took the lead for the first time in the match.

 

But once Ucrós Téllez and Rothman stepped on the court, the result was never in doubt for Michigan. A former talented junior player from Bogota, Colombia, Ucrós Téllez was a member of the University of Michigan varsity team before a knee injury forced her out of the sport in 2014.

 

“I think it’s mind-blowing. A couple months ago I would’ve never thought I would be playing tennis again,” she said. “It was a great opportunity. I’m very very grateful for the team for letting me be a part of it. I’m just extremely happy. I’m back. This is awesome.”

 

Gruskin and Rothman, the men’s double tandem, raised the trophy together.

 

“It’s been three years with this guy. He’s more than a doubles partner, he’s my best friend,” said Gruskin of Rothman. “To lift this trophy with him is an experience of a lifetime. We’ve been working for four years for this. To bring this home as a senior, I couldn’t be happier.”

 

For UC-Irvine, the second place finish was the best result in the team’s history.

 

“In the end we fell short, but I’m extremely proud of my team,” said captain Tommy Luu. “This is the farthest we’ve ever gone in this tournament, especially to be in the finals, it just means so much to us.”

 

“It was, in one word, amazing,” summed up co-tournament director Newlyn Wing of the first Tennis On Campus National Championship held at the USTA National Campus.

 

“It was a great final. Kudos to Michigan. UC-Irvine kept it close the whole time but Michigan was able to pull through. Even in defeat, UC-Irvine was the most gracious the whole time. They are sportsmanship defined in many ways when it comes to Tennis On Campus. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.”

 

The tournament was put on in partnership with NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation; World TeamTennis, and the USTA.

 

Michigan team members include: Alex Gruskin (Franklin, Mich.), Kerry Hu (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Koushik Kondapi (Novi, Mich.), Max Rothman (Los Angeles), Kevin Rothstein (West Bloomfield, Mich.), Laura Ucrós Téllez (Bogota, Colombia), and Chelsea Yu (Canton, Mich.).

 

Championship Match: University of Michigan 24, University of California, Irvine 20

Women’s Doubles: Kerry Hu/Laura Ucrós Téllez (UM) def. Melissa Huang/Kaitlyn Nguyen (UCI) 6-2 (Michigan leads 6-2)

Women’s Singles: Hu (UM) def. Yoshino Takashimizu (UCI) 6-5 (3) (Michigan leads 12-7)

Men’s Doubles: Gabriel Cupino/Tommy Luu (UCI) def. Alex Gruskin/Max Rothman (UM) 6-2 (Michigan leads 14-13)

Men’s Singles: Andy Francis (UCI) def. Koushik Kondapi (UM) 6-4 (UC-Irvine leads 19-18)

Mixed Doubles: Rothman/Ucrós Téllez (UM) def. Cupino/Takashimizu (UCI) 6-1 (Michigan wins 24-20)

 

The USTA Tennis On Campus program features more than 35,000 college students competing nationwide in intramural and intercollegiate coed club play. Since its inception in 2000, Tennis On Campus has grown significantly and today is played on more than 700 college campuses.

 

Developed by the USTA in partnership with NIRSA and World TeamTennis, the Tennis On Campus program gives college students the opportunity to build leadership skills, network in a coed sports environment and compete on a college team without the rigors of playing in a varsity program. With year-round match play and regional and national championship competition, students maintain active and healthy lifestyles through their college years.

Visit the Tennis On Campus website at TennisOnCampus.com for complete results and stories.

 

For photos from the final, click here (photo credit: CAMERAWORK USA). A replay of the full broadcast of the final can be found on YouTube, for downloadable video highlights click here.

 

Past USTA TOC National Champions

2017 – University of Michigan

2016 – Auburn University

2015 – University of California – Berkeley

2014 – University of California – Berkeley

2013 – University of Georgia

2012 – University of California – Berkeley

2011 – University of California – Los Angeles

2010 – University of California – Berkeley

2009 – Duke University

2008 – University of Texas

2007 – Texas A&M University

2006 – Texas A&M University

2005 – Texas A&M University

2004 – Texas A&M University

2003 – University of Florida

2002 – Texas A&M University

2001 – University of North Carolina

2000 – University of North Carolina

 

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Schiavone, Coric, Vondrousova and Johnson win Tennis Titles This Week

Borna Coric

(April 16, 2017) Francesca Schiavone, Borna Coric, Marketa Vondrousova and Steve Johnson claimed titles on the tennis tour this week.

Francesca Schiavone

In her final season on tour, 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone won her eighth career title with a 6-4, 7-5 win over fourth seed Lara Arruabarrena at the Claro Open Colsanitas on Saturday.

The 36-year-old Italian veteran had not won a main tour match all season.

Winning on Bogota ups this former world No. 4 to 168th in the world as she tries to gain direct entry into the French Open.

“I’m not thinking about retirement,” she said. “I’m enjoying tennis.”

 

Borna Coric

Croatia’s Borna Coric saved five match points to win his first ATP World Tour title on Sunday beating German Philipp Kohlschreiber 5-7, 7-6 (3), 7-5 in the Grand Prix Hassan II final. Last year’s finalist became this year’s winner in 2 hours, 38 minutes – the longest final this year according to the ATP.
The 20-year-old Coric is the third first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this year, joining Gilles Muller who won Sydney and Ryan Harrison who claimed the Memphis title.

“I would say that’s my biggest comeback, I’ve never saved five match points,” noted Coric. “Especially in such an important match, I served very well in the big points. It’s an awesome feeling. I didn’t know what to expect when I came here and I wasn’t in the best shape. But I’ve been working very hard the past three or four months and now it’s paying off.”

“It’s one of those days where you have many good opportunities,” explained Kohlschreiber. “It was a big fight and great drama in the end. Losing a match with match points and to be so close to the title is always very difficult. But it was a very good week for me. I played great tennis this week and I’m looking forward to more clay-court matches.”

Steve Johnson survived late cramps to win the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship, besting Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5) on Sunday at River Oaks Country Club. For the 27-year-old Johnson, this is his second ATP Tour title, he won Nottingham last year.

“A lot goes into cramping. For me today, it was the nerves of trying to close out the title. I haven’t been there enough to feel very comfortable.”

“To win on U.S. soil and win when you’re not feeling great is a testament to my willpower and competitiveness,” Johnson said.”
“My body has just physically run out of gas after this week… I was very fortunate to get out of that.”

“He was playing unbelievably… I’m a little bit sad because I think I could have won, but I’m happy to make another final, Bellucci said”

Johnson beat two former champions on the way to the title, Fernando Verdasco (2014) in the quarterfinals and American Davis Cup teammate Jack Sock (2015) in the semifinals, to reach his third career final.

“Both players were very tired in the third set and we were missing more shots than before,” Bellucci said. “I’m happy for my week but today I am disappointed. I (thought) I could win because I was a little better than him physically. He deserved it more than me.”

Seventeen-year-old Marketa Vondrousova won her first WTA Tour title on Sunday, surprising Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-4, 7-6 (6) in the Biel Ladies Open final.

Rankled at 233rd in the world, the Czech captured the first edition of the Swiss indoor hard-court tournament.
The southpaw will be part of the Czech Fed Cup team next weekend as they take on the United States in Tampa, Florida.

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Memphis Open Moving to Long Island’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Starting in 2018

GF SPORTS PARTNERS WITH BROOKLYN SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT

TO MOVE THE MEMPHIS OPEN MEN’S TENNIS TOURNAMENT

TO NYCB LIVE’s NASSAU VETERANS MEMORIAL COLISEUM STARTING IN 2018

 

The Event is one of the Longest-Running North American Tournaments on the ATP World Tour

LONG ISLAND (April 10, 2017) – GF Sports, a live events and sports media entertainment company, has partnered with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE) to move the Memphis Open men’s tennis tournament to NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which is located on Long Island in New York. As part of the long-term agreement, the Coliseum, which reopened on April 5 following a nearly two-year, $165 million renovation, will host the tournament for the first time from February 10-18, 2018. The Memphis Open, which was acquired by GF Sports in 2015, is one of the longest-running American tournaments on the ATP World Tour and the only indoor ATP event contested in the United States.

“We are proud to partner with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment to bring the historic Memphis Open to the new Coliseum,” said Gary Fuhrman, Managing Partner at GF Capital and Board Member of GF Sports. “The spotlight of New York will help to elevate this important tournament and this move is part of GF Sports’ larger goal of re-establishing American tennis as a global powerhouse within the sport.”

“This event diversifies our programming mix at NYCB LIVE’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and further delivers on our promise to bring major sporting events back to Long Island,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “I also want to thank Gary Fuhrman and his team for the opportunity to bring world-class tennis to Long Island and for working with Jeff Gewirtz, our Executive Vice President of Business Affairs, to consummate our partnership.”

The New York Metropolitan area has a rich tennis history highlighted by the U.S. Open, one of the most well attended annual sporting events in the world. The arrival of this ATP World Tour event will add another major tennis event to the New York sports calendar, and marks the first time in its 45-year history that the Coliseum will play host to a sanctioned tennis tournament. The event adds to the Coliseum’s growing lineup of top entertainment and sports events following the unveiling of new first-class amenities for fans, performers, and athletes, as part of top-to-bottom renovations, making it Long Island’s premier entertainment destination.

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President, said: “GF Sports has shown a strong commitment to invest in professional tennis with a particular focus on the United States. They have demonstrated their ability to operate ATP tournaments, including the Memphis Open, with the goal of growing the sport. The relocation of the Memphis Open to New York and to the newly renovated Coliseum is consistent with their vision, and will elevate this tournament, with over 40 years of history, to a new level of excellence.”

The Memphis Open is an ATP World Tour 250 event that was established in 1976 and boasts a who’s who in the tennis world as former champions, including Andre Agassi, Björn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Jim Courier, Stefan Edberg, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Kei Nishikori, Andy Roddick and Pete Sampras. In recent years, young American players have emerged at the tournament, including 2017 winner Ryan Harrison and 2016 runner-up Taylor Fritz.

Similar to years past, in addition to showcasing top men’s singles and doubles talent, GF Sports will look to add complimentary entertainment programming to the week-long tournament schedule and establish community platforms and grassroots initiatives to embrace the event’s new home.

Moving the Memphis Open is part of GF Sports’ overall commitment to supporting the growth of American tennis and another step in the company’s expansion as it continues to actively look for investment and acquisition opportunities in sports and entertainment.

GF Sports has a long-term agreement with Lagardère Sports for worldwide television rights to the Memphis Open that will continue at the new home of this event on Long Island. Participants and ticket information for the tournament will be announced at a later date. To stay up to date on all the latest news surrounding the event visit NYCBLIVE.com.

About GF Sports

GF Sports is a live events and sports media entertainment company created by New York-based private equity firm GF Capital. Formed in July 2015, the GF Sports event portfolio includes two of the ATP World Tour’s longest running American tournaments – the Memphis Open and the BB&T Atlanta Open, the world renown BNP Paribas Showdown played at “The World’s Most Famous Arena”, Madison Square Garden, as well as World Tennis Day, the annual and worldwide celebration of the sport of tennis.

GF Capital makes control-oriented, growth capital investments in branded consumer product and media companies, and its investments have included a number of sports and live entertainment companies. These include Repucom, a global leader in sports measurement, evaluation and intelligence, which was sold to Nielsen in 2016; Blue Man Group, the world-renowned entertainment company; and EEM World, a global leader in equestrian event production that owns and operates the Longines Masters. Additionally, GF Capital incubates new and emerging sport concepts utilizing its global perspective to help develop niche sports. In this vein, GF Capital has partnered with the Wolfpack Ninjas, widely known for their performance on the hit series “American Ninja Warrior”, to operate the Wolfpack Ninja Tour. Veteran sport, media and entertainment executive Hank Ratner is a co-investor with GF Capital across the company’s various sports properties.

For additional information, please visit www.gfcap.com.

About Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment

Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE) develops and operates state-of-the-art venues and manages premier sports franchises, delivering dynamic content and experiences for audiences. BSE oversees programming, marketing, sales, and operations for Barclays Center and NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Presented By New York Community Bank, and manages and controls the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and its Development League team, the Long Island Nets, as well as the business operations of the NHL’s New York Islanders.

Barclays Center, which opened on September 28, 2012, offers 17,732 seats for basketball, 15,795 for hockey, and up to 19,000 seats for concerts, and has 101 luxury suites, four bars/lounges, four clubs, and 40/40 CLUB & Restaurant by Tanduay.

NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, is scheduled to reopen April 5, 2017 after extensive renovation. The Coliseum offers 14,500 seats for basketball, MMA and boxing, 13,900 for hockey, up to 16,000 for concerts, and 4,500 seats for its theater configuration. With a focus on emerging businesses, BSE identifies and creates alliances, strategic partnerships and other business opportunities to ensure the success of its assets.

For additional information, please visit brooklynse.com.

About The ATP

The ATP is the governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuits – the ATP World Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour. With 64 tournaments in 31 countries, the ATP World Tour showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the 2017 ATP World Tour will battle for prestigious titles and Emirates ATP Rankings points at ATP World Tour Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events, as well as Grand Slams (non ATP events). At the end of the season only the world’s top 8 qualified singles players and doubles teams will qualify to compete for the last title of the season at the ATP Finals. Held at The O2 in London, the event will officially crown the 2017 ATP World Tour No. 1 presented by Emirates.

For more information, please visit www.ATPWorldTour.com.

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San Diego District Tennis Association To Host 17th Annual Tennis Fest on May 7th

 

SAN DIEGO DISTRICT TENNIS ASSOCIATION TO HOST 17th ANNUAL
TENNIS FEST ON SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2017 AT BALBOA TENNIS CLUB

Broadcasting Legend Dick Enberg to be Honored During Special Presentation

San Diego, Calif. – (April 10, 2017) – The San Diego District Tennis Association will host its 17th Annual Tennis Fest on Sunday, May 7, 2017 from noon to 4 p.m. at the historic Balboa Tennis Club, 2221 Morley Field Drive, San Diego, CA 92104. Admission and on-site parking is free.

The family-oriented tennis event, which is open to every one of all ages and abilities, will feature a fun-filled afternoon of on-court tennis games, drills and instruction, prizes, and the opportunity to demo tennis racquets. More than 50 of San Diego’s top tennis professionals will provide on-court instruction.

Attendees may pre-register for Tennis Fest at www.sandiegotennis.com .  Pre-registration is not required to attend the event. However, the first 800 participants who pre-register will receive a Tennis Fest T-shirt and a gift bag when they check-in at the reception desk.

“We invite the San Diego community to come out and enjoy a fantastic afternoon of tennis fun,” said Geoff Griffin, tennis director of the Balboa Tennis Club. “This is the perfect event for families who want to come out to the tennis courts and have a great time.”

During the festivities at Tennis Fest, broadcasting legend Dick Enberg will be presented with the prestigious Ben Press Award.  The award, which was established in 2004 and recognizes those who have made contributions to San Diego tennis, was named after the late Ben Press, a former tennis professional at the Hotel Del Coronado who was perhaps the greatest ambassador to San Diego tennis.

“Mr. Enberg is one of the most admired, respected and loved sports commentators in the country.  Padre Baseball and world class tennis have made him very popular in San Diego,” Griffin said. “He has been such a great supporter for the sport of tennis at every level. We are very happy to have the opportunity to honor him this year at Tennis Fest.”

Former touring professional Pam Shriver, a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, will present Enberg with the award during a special on-court presentation, which will take place at approximately 12:15 p.m. on Stadium Court.

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Seeds Announced for 2017 Davis Cup World Group Play-offs

 

 

Seeds announced for 2017 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-offs

 (April 10, 2017)The ITF has announced the seeds for the Draw for the 2017 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-offs. The Draw will take place on Tuesday 11 April at the ITF offices in London at 10:00 local time (09:00 GMT). The seeds are based on the new ITF Davis Cup Nations Ranking of 10 April:www.daviscup.com/en/rankings/current-rankings.aspx

The eight seeded nations in the World Group play-offs are:

Argentina (1)

Croatia (2)

Switzerland (3)

Czech Republic (4)

Germany (5)

Japan (6)

Russia (7)

Canada (8)

Each of the seeds will be drawn against one of the following unseeded nations:

Belarus

Brazil

Colombia

Hungary

India

Kazakhstan

Netherlands

Portugal

The 2017 World Group play-offs will take place alongside the World Group semifinals on 15-17 September. The eight winning nations will contest the 2018 World Group, while the eight losing nations will contest their respective Zone Group I events in 2018.

The line-up for the World Group play-offs was confirmed when Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, India, Kazakhstan, Netherlands and Portugal won their Zone Group I second round ties on 7-9 April. Hungary had already assured its place in the World Group play-offs by winning its Zone Group I second round tie on 3-5 February. The eight nations joined the losers from the 2017 World Group first round ties.

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Victoria Azarenka To Make Her Return To Tennis at The Bank of the West Classic

Victoria Azarenka

(April 9, 2017) STANFORD, Calif. (www.BankOfTheWestClassic.com) – 2017 Bank of the West Classic will feature two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka who has announced she will make her return to the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) at Stanford.

Azarenka, a former World No.1 and two-time Australian Open singles champion, will make her return to the WTA tour following the birth of her son Leo in December.  Azarenka will be making her fifth appearance at Stanford where she won the singles title in 2010 and the doubles title in 2011.

“I am very excited to be returning to the WTA at the Bank of the West Classic,” said Azarenka. “Becoming a mother has been the most rewarding thing that has ever happened to me and really puts things in perspective. I am looking forward to beginning this new stage of my career.”

The Bank of the West Classic has also received a commitment from World No. 11 Madison Keys. The young American had a breakthrough 2016 season, winning her second WTA title, breaking into the World Top 10 and qualifying for the prestigious year-end WTA Championships for the first time in her career.  She ended the year ranked a career-high World No.8.

 

The Bank of the West Classic, a Premier WTA event, features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw. The event is owned and operated by IMG and serves as the opening women’s event of the Emirates Airline US Open Series.

Past champions of the event include some of the biggest names in women’s tennis, such as Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters.

Log on to www.BankoftheWestClassic.com for more information.

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USTA Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge Begins April 10th

 

ROLAND GARROS WILD CARD CHALLENGE KICKS OFF NEXT WEEK

FOR AMERICAN MEN AND WOMEN TO COMPETE FOR A USTA WILD CARD

INTO THE 2017 FRENCH OPEN

 

Men’s Wild Card Challenge Now Includes ATP Tournaments

and Challenger-level Tournaments Worldwide;

Women’s Challenge Will Continue to Utilize USTA Pro Circuit Events

 

Wild Card Challenge Runs Through the Week of May 1

 

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 6, 2017 – The USTA today announced the return of the Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge, which utilizes pro tournaments to award wild cards into the French Open for American players. The challenge will be held over the next four weeks, kicking off the week of April 10 and concluding the week of May 1.

 

New this year for the men’s wild card challenge, USTA Player Development will now consider all American results worldwide for the wild card. Therefore, both USTA Pro Circuit tournaments and international ATP Tour and Challenger tournaments on any professional outdoor clay surface (Har-Tru or red) at prize money of $50,000 and above will be included. The women’s wild card challenge will still consist of results earned at USTA Pro Circuit clay-court events over the next four weeks.

 

The American man and American woman who earn the most ATP World Tour and WTA ranking points from their best two results during the four-week time period will earn main-draw wild cards into the French Open. Only Americans who did not otherwise earn direct entry into the French Open are eligible. In the event of a tie, the player with the best ATP or best WTA singles ranking on Monday, May 8, will be awarded the wild card.

 

The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have a reciprocal agreement in which wild cards into the 2017 French Open and US Open are exchanged.

 

All USTA Pro Circuit tournaments will be streamed live on www.procircuit.usta.com. This is the sixth consecutive year the USTA has used a wild card challenge format to award French Open wild cards for American players.

 

The Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge will consist of the following events:

 

Men’s Events

  • Week of April 10: Houston ATP 250, Marrakech ATP 250, San Luis Potosi $50,000, Barletta €43,000
  • Week of April 17: Monte Carlo Masters ATP 1000, Taipei $125,000, Qingdao $125,000, Sarasota, Fla. $100,000
  • Week of April 24: Barcelona ATP 500, Budapest ATP 250, Anning $150,000, Tallahassee $75,000, Francavilla €43,000
  • Week of May 1: Munich ATP 250, Estoril ATP 250, Istanbul ATP 250, Savannah, Ga. $75,000, Ostrava €64,000, Gimcheon $50,000

Women’s Events

  • Week of April 10: Indian Harbour Beach, Fla. $80,000
  • Week of April 17: Dothan, Ala. $60,000
  • Week of April 24: Charlottesville, Va. $60,000
  • Week of May 1: Charleston, S.C. $60,000

The USTA first used the wild card challenge format for its 2012 French Open wild cards, won by Melanie Oudin and Brian Baker. Oudin and Baker each advanced to the second round at that year’s French Open and subsequently broke into the Top 100. In 2013, Alex Kuznetsov and Shelby Rogers earned the wild cards, with Rogers winning her first-ever Grand Slam singles match at the French Open. In 2014, young American Taylor Townsend and veteran Robby Ginepri received the wild cards, with Townsend becoming a top storyline by reaching the Roland Garros third round. In 2015, young Americans Frances Tiafoe and Louisa Chirico secured the wild cards. Last year, Townsend and Bjorn Fratangelo earned the wild cards, with both players winning their first-round matches.

 

The 2017 French Open main draw will be held Sunday, May 28, to Sunday, June 11.

 

Information on the Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge will be available at www.procircuit.usta.com.

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Sock Versus Thompson to Lead Off U.S. – Australia Davis Cup Quarterfinal Tie

Nick Kyrgios and Jack Sock

(April 6, 2017) As the United States top player, Jack Sock will lead off against Australia’s Jordan Thompson in Davis Cup World group play in Brisbane in Pat Rafter Arena on Friday, followed by Nick Kyrgios against John Isner.

This is the second year in a row that the two teams with the most Davis Cup titles are meeting in the World Group. Last year, the U.S. beat Australia in the first round. The last time they met in the final eight, Australian won 4-1 with Lleyton Hewitt, the current Australian Captain, making his Davis Cup debut and U.S. Captain Jim Courier was on the U.S. team.

“Jack’s going to be ready to go first-ball, he’ll be ready to get playing, and John will be there to back him up. It’s the same as every other draw,” said U.S. Captain Jim Courier. “We know what’s going to happen. We’re going to play.”

Jack Sock

Sock on playing Thompson: I’ve seen him play a decent amount. I know he had a great Aussie summer down here in January, had some great wins, played some great tennis. But I mean Davis Cup, you know, anything can happen. He’s going to come out playing in front of his home fans, home crowd. Like the captain said, fighting for every point, running down every ball, so I’m going to have to play very well to win, but yeah, I’m just going to go out and look to kind of play my style and hopefully get us off to a good start.

Nick Kyrgios

Fresh off reaching the semifinals of the Miami Open, No. 16 Kyrgios said: “I’m looking forward to getting back here and having some home support.” “I think anything is possible this year.”

“It’s obviously going to be pretty tough (playing Isner). We all know he’s got one of the greatest serves. I played him last year, and you know, I feel confident with that match up. But yeah, I feel comfortable playing second. I’ll be out there for some of Tommo’s match. I think it’s a good match up with him against Sock. I think he can do really good.”

 

“I’ve played him three times,” Isner said. “In my opinion in think he’s a lot more mature now. I think right now a lot of people could argue that he’s maybe playing the best tennis he’s ever played. Everyone knows what he can bring to the table, what his strengths are: his serve, his forehand, his backhand, his shot-making. He’s an incredible player, but I’ve played him three times, so I’m a little bit used to the matchup. I just know tomorrow’s going to be a very fun match, and I’m going to go out there and try to play my best.”

 

The U.S. holds a 26-20 record against the Aussies.

Lineup for the weekend:

 

Friday, 12:00 p.m. (10 p.m. ET)

Singles A:  Jack Sock (USA) vs. Jordan Thompson (AUS)

Singles B:  John Isner (USA) vs. Nick Kyrgios (AUS)

 

Saturday, 1:00 p.m. (11 p.m. ET)

Doubles:    Sam Querrey / Steve Johnson (USA) v. John Peers / Sam Groth (AUS)

 

Sunday, 12:00 p.m. (10 p.m. ET)

Singles C:   Jack Sock (USA) vs. Nick Kyrgios (AUS)

Singles D:   John Isner (USA) vs. Jordan Thompson (AUS)

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Tennis Channel to Air U.S. Versus Australia Davis Cup Quarterfinal Tie This Weekend

(April 5, 2017) -Tennis Channel will provide exclusive live coverage of the U.S. Davis Cup team’s quarterfinal competition against Australia in Brisbane, Australia, this weekend, with the first match underway Thursday, April 6, at 10 p.m. ET. The United States and Australia are the most successful nations in Davis Cup history, with a rivalry that dates back to 1905. Australia is second only to the United States on the all-time list of tournament champions, with 28 to the Americans’ 32. The United States is bidding to reach the Davis Cup semifinals for the first time since 2012. Hall of Fame Captain (and Tennis Channel analyst) Jim Courier will lead the same four top-ranked American men’s singles players – Jack Sock, John Isner, Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson – who defeated Switzerland 5-0 in the first round.

 

The meeting will consist of two singles matches on Thursday, followed by the doubles match Friday, April 7, at 11 p.m. ET. Tennis Channel’s coverage concludes with the remaining singles play Saturday, April 8, at 10 p.m. ET. Each match is worth one point, with three victories enough to secure a trip to the September semifinals to play the winner of the Belgium and Italy quarterfinal.

 

In addition to covering the United States-Australia matchup this weekend, Tennis Channel’s digital subscription service, Tennis Channel Plus, will show the three other Davis Cup quarterfinals. Beginning Friday, April 7, viewers can watch 2015 Davis Cup champion Britain play France in Rouen, France; 2015 Davis Cup finalist Belgium host Italy in Charleroi, Belgium; and Serbia take on Spain in Belgrade, Serbia. Following live coverage, all three will be available on-demand on the digital subscription service (www.tennischanneleverywhere.com), which is available to everyone in the United States regardless of whether they subscribe to Tennis Channel.  Other stars set to play Davis Cup this weekend include Serbia’s World No. 2 Novak Djokovic and Britain’s Jamie Murray.

 

Tennis Channel’s Los Angeles studio will be the central media hub for Davis Cup competition throughout the weekend, anchored by former U.S. Davis Cup player Leif Shiras (@LShirock).

 

Tennis Channel’s live Davis Cup coverage is as follows (all times ET):

Thursday, April 6:

10 p.m. – Singles USA v. Australia

 

Friday, April 7:

7 a.m. – Singles France v. Britain (Tennis Channel Plus)

8 a.m. – Singles Serbia v. Spain (Tennis Channel Plus)

Singles Belgium v. Italy (Tennis Channel Plus)

11 p.m. – DoublesUSA v. Australia

 

Saturday, April 8:

7 a.m. – Doubles France v. Britain (Tennis Channel Plus)

9a.m. – Doubles Serbia v. Spain (Tennis Channel Plus)

Doubles Belgium v. Italy (Tennis Channel Plus)

10 p.m. – Singles USA v. Australia

 

Sunday, April 9:

6:30 a.m. – Singles France v. Britain (Tennis Channel Plus)

7 a.m. – Singles Serbia v. Spain (Tennis Channel Plus)

8:30 a.m. – Singles Belgium v. Italy (Tennis Channel Plus)

 

The United States and Australia have faced each other more times than any other countries in Davis Cup history, with a 26-20 U.S. advantage. The rivalry dates back to 1905, when the United States defeated Australasia, a combined team from New Zealand and Australia, 5-0 in London. Their most recent meeting came during last year’s Davis Cup first round, when the Americans beat the Australians3-1 in Melbourne, Australia. The American squad is bidding to win its first Davis Cup crown since 2007 and leads all nations with 32 Davis Cup titles.

 

Leading the U.S. team is Courier who,as a player, was on the 1999 team that lost to Australia in Chestnut Hill, Mass. That Australian team featured now retired star and current Davis Cup Captain Lleyton Hewitt. Sock, the top-ranked American player, leads the U.S. Davis Cup team into this weekend after an impressive semifinal appearance at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., last month before falling to eventual champion Roger Federer. Isner holds 10 career singles titles and four doubles titles, including two with Querrey (Memphis in 2010 and Rome in 2011) and one with Sock (Shanghai in 2016). Querrey won his ninth title at the Mexican Open in Acapulco, Mexico, last month after defeating former World No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the final to become the first American champion in the event’s history. Last year, Johnson captured his first ATP singles title at the Nottingham Open in England, and started the year by reaching the semifinals at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zeeland.

 

Australia enters this weekend’s match after defeating the Czech Republic 4-1 in the first round. The Australians hold 28 titles and are second on the all-time list of Davis Cup champions, behind only the United States. Hewitt will lead Nick Kyrgios, Jordan Thompson, Sam Groth and John Peers into battle this weekend.

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Roger Federer Defeats Rafael Nadal to Complete Indian Wells-Miami Double

Roger Federer

(April 2, 2017) To quote the Peter Allen song from the movie “All That Jazz” – “Everything Old is New Again, especially on the ATP World Tour with Roger Federer’s and Rafael Nadal’s resurgence. Both men took time off the tour part of last year to recover from injuries. Federer was out for last six months of 2016 with a knee injury. Nadal was sidelined with a wrist injury to end the year in October.

For Federer this is his 91st career title, 26th Masters Series 1000 championship, third overall behind Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

On Sunday, the long-time rivals and top two major title holders 35-year-old Federer (18) and 30-year-old Nadal (14) squared off for the 37th time, this time in the final of the Miami Open. For the third time this year, Federer bested Nadal 6-3, 6-4 to win his third Miami title. In the final for a fifth time, Nadal was denied the crown in Key Biscayne.

Federer won the tournament back in 2005 and 2006. The win gives the Swiss a third “sunshine” double – claiming both Masters Series crowns in Indian Wells and Miami in the same year.

Federer is the oldest-ever Miami champion.

This is the third time that No. 4 seed Federer has defeated No. 5 seed Nadal this year, fourth straight time overall. The Swiss also beat the Spaniard in final of the Australian Open and the fourth round of Indian Wells two weeks ago. Nadal still soundly dominates the career head-to-head record at 23-14.

This year also marked the thirteenth anniversary of the first time both men first played each other on the tour.

Federer came into the final, after playing an intense three-hour and ten-minute semifinal win over 21-year-old Nick Kyrgios on Friday night. In the quarterfinals, he saved match points against Tomas Berdych.

 

In the final, Federer broke Nadal’s serve in the penultimate game of each set. Federer hit 30 winners with 17 unforced errors.

 

Rafael Nadal

“He’s playing good, no? That’s all,” commenting on Federer. “He’s playing good and with high confidence. When a top player like him is playing with this high confidence and playing that good then it’s tough to win.

“Today was a close match in my opinion. Was 6-3, 6-4, but I had opportunities to have the break before him on the first set. I don’t believe in luck, but I was not very lucky in the first set in a couple of points that I think I played well and I lost in the break points, and that’s it.

“Then he has the break and you are in trouble.

“In the second I had 30-All, second serve in the 4-All. I missed that point, and then 30-All, net for him, and go in.

“Few things decided the point, the decided the match, and today was for him. For me was a much closer result than — much closer level today than what the result says, and completely different than last week.

I think that I was close,” Nadal commenting on the match. “I think I was close enough to win the first set. Was not the day. Is true that when somebody is coming with that dynamic like him that he’s winning an a lot, I know that feeling, all the things are going to your way, no?

“So that’s what happened today, because in the first set I think anything could happen. Then in the second was close. The same, one break and that’s it. That’s all. It’s easy to see that match was a close match. In my opinion anything could happen and was in his way, so well done for him.”

“I think it was a close match,” Federer said in his news conference. “Maybe if you didn’t see the match and you were sitting somewhere around the world and you see the score you’re like, Okay, sort of maybe just straightforward and couple breaks and that was it.

“That’s not the full story. I thought he had his chances in the first and in the second. It was close. I think on the big points today I was just a little bit better. Why, I have no explanation. I just think it fell that way today.

“It was more of a fight mode I was in today just trying to stay afloat. Physically, emotionally it’s been a draining week, so I did I did very well.

“Great atmosphere again. A lot riding on the match of course. A lot has happened here in the last, I don’t know, it’s been 12, 13 years since I played Rafa the very first time here and in between.

“So it was a special match and it was great to play against Rafa again.”

“Was a positive tournament for me obviously,” said Nadal. “A lot of points, a lot of confidence for the most important part of the season for me that’s just in two weeks.

“So I hope to have a good two weeks of practice now at home and be ready for the clay. That’s my goal now.”

Rafael Nadal

“I think I am close to what I need to be,” Nadal said in his news conference. “I am at a very high level of tennis and I believe I am ready to win titles. I already played three finals this year, losing three times with a player that didn’t lose a match – only one match that he never would lose in normal conditions in Dubai and that’s it.

“I’m playing enough well to fight for everything I think. I have good hopes that I going to be ready for Monte-Carlo. Always when I am playing that well, on clay always helps a little bit more for me. I need to work hard to be ready for that. If I am ready for that, I think I am very excited about playing back on clay again.”

“I think that the way I’m playing right now is the right way for me moving forward as well,” Federer said. “Of course I’ll always recalibrate every tournament I go to depending on the speed of the ball, the speed of the courts, who I play, because I do have options.

“I’m happy that I was able to stay on the offensive more or less throughout this swing here, Indian Wells and Miami. I think once you win a big tournament like the Australian Open, or any big tournament for that matter, you can just bank usually on some confidence, you know.

“That confidence gets you through a lot of the tough matches that nobody ever speaks about again. You know, let’s make it the quarterfinals here against Berdych. End up winning that somehow. Nobody talks about it. They only will talk about the Nadal finals and the rest we know.

“I think I am definitely profiting from confidence, and then also from the right mindset, able to compress all my energy into one single match and not be distracted by everything else going on around me.

“So I think it’s been a challenging four weeks because, yeah, you have to be focused for a long time. I was able to do that and I’m very happy.”
“I’m moving up in the (rankings) and I just want to stay healthy,” Federer told ESPN’s Brad Gilbert on court after the match.

“I’m not 24 anymore,” Federer said. “I need a rest. My body needs healing”

“When I’m healthy and feeling good, I can produce tennis like this. That’s why taking a break and resting during the clay season and focusing on Roland Garros, the grass and the hard courts after that is best. It would be great to be No. 1 again, but it’s a long way away.”

Federer elaborating on this in his news conference: “I think it’s more about relaxing right now, making sure I get a rest. So I think it’s more prevention, to be honest.

“Then I would like to eventually — when you take a break, a breather and you start working out again, which I will have to stay in shape to some extent because I have Match for Africa 3 in Zurich on April 1oth. I can’t let everything fall apart right now because I have to play in a week.

“After that, I’m looking forward to go back in the gym and work on the stuff I couldn’t do for the last few months.

“Yeah, so I’ll probably stay on hard courts actually for the next few months, if you like, and then I’ll get on the clay probably two weeks before the French. That’s the plan for now.

“Then, yeah, hopefully I’ll play the French, but we’ll see how all of the buildup is going to go. Then obviously for me, that’s when the season essential starts. Sounds weird now, but I see it that way and I’ve always seen it that way.”

Federer’s next focus is Wimbledon: “Wimbledon has to be the biggest goal, I mean now in the near future. The American hard courts I guess as well. The French Open I guess to some extent. It’s just we’ll see what happens, you know. No pressure there really because I won’t have a preparation as such.

“But all of the grass really is important to me because I’ll play Stuttgart and Halle there, too. Then of course I am looking very good for the World Tour Finals, for the year-end championships, where I’ve been very successful. I like the indoors as well.

“So for me basically the second half of the season is a big priority now. That’s why I’ll take a break as well.”

“The comeback is over,” stated Federer. “Still a comeback year, but I did say that until here, now, Miami, it was going to be still learning. It’s the beginning. Let’s see how the knee is going to feel in Australia. How is the body going to be in the Middle East? How is the body going to be west coast, east coast?

“There is a lot of traveling, and the knee can act funny when you travel and fly trans-Atlantic and all that stuff. It’s not like I went home and all I did is take a warm shower. I had to do a lot of stretching, massage, and sleep well, all that stuff. I needed to be very professional to wake up every morning and be ready to compete.

“I’m happy that nothing major happened throughout this period. It’s been a dream run on the court; off the court as well my body has reacted very well and I couldn’t be happier, of course.”

Federer now holds the best record on the tour at 19-1 with three titles. He is 7-0 against Top Ten opponents this year.  This is his best start since 2006 when he went 33-1. He’ll move up to No. 4 in the world on Monday while Nadal will move to No. 5.

 

 

Johanna Konta

On Saturday Johanna Konta, the Australian-born Brit won her career-best title, beating former no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-3 for the Miami Open title.

The 25-year-old is off to 19-3 start on the year. She’ll move to a career high No. 7 ranking on Monday.

This is Konta’s third title on the WTA tour. She won Stanford last year and Sydney in January.

“I think I’ve always had the belief of wanting to become a Grand Slam champion, wanting to become the best in the world. I think that stays throughout, with every player I imagine, their career,” Konta said. “Without that, I don’t think it makes it as –the victories as sweet and I think also the defeats as motivating. I think that stays.

“And then it’s about keeping things simple and working for me. I just want to work and try to really bring out in myself the most that I have. Wherever that gets me that’s where it will get me, but hopefully the day I hang up my racquets I will be able to say that I really maximized my full ability and, my, yeah, everything inside me.”

Johanna Konta

“She’s very aggressive,” Wozniacki said. “She takes the ball early and stresses the opponent.”

Just two years ago Konta failed to qualify for Miami and now she is the champion. Talk about a quick turnaround – two years ago she was ranked in the 140s, now she’s Top Ten.

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