2014/12/21

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.”

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Tennis Hall of Famer Dorothy “Dodo” Cheney Passes Away at 98

Dodo Cheney photo courtesy of the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Dodo Cheney photo courtesy of the International Tennis Hall of Fame

(November 25, 2014)  –  The International Tennis Hall of Fame  announced on Tuesday the death of 2004 inductee Dorothy “Dodo” Cheney. She was 98 years old. She passed away surrounded by her family in Escondido, Calif. on November 23, following a brief illness.

Cheney first started playing as a young child and was an active competitor well into her 90s. Cheney won an extraordinary 391 gold balls – this is awarded by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to winners of its national titles, amateur or professional, junior or senior. Among her 391 national titles, Cheney was a champion numerous times in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, across various age levels, and on all surfaces.

 

In 1938, Cheney became the first American woman to win the Australian Championships (now known as the Australian Open). She was a runner up three times in women’s doubles at Grand Slam tournaments and four times in mixed doubles. In addition to her Australian Championships title, Cheney reached four semifinals at the U.S. Championships and one semifinal each at Wimbledon and the French Championships.

 

Cheney was ranked in the world top-10 in the late 1930s through mid 1940s. She reached a career high of World No. 6 in 1946. She was the No. 3 ranked player in the United States in 1937, 1938, and 1941. She competed against peers including Hall of Famers Helen Wills Moody, Alice Marble, Sarah Palfrey Cooke, and Pauline Betz Addie, among others.

 

Cheney was the daughter of Wimbledon and U.S. Nationals Champion, Hall of Famer May Sutton Bundy and U.S. Nationals Doubles Champion Tom Bundy. In 2002, at age 85, Cheney and her daughter Christie Putnam won the USTA National Grass Court Super-Senior Mother Daughter Championships.

 

Cheney was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur. She is survived by two daughters, Christie Putnam and May Cheney; a son, Brian Cheney; eight grandchildren; and fourteen great-grandchildren.

 

Cheney was passionate about the development of junior tennis players. In lieu of flowers, her family has suggested gifts to the junior tennis program of one’s choice in her memory.

 

A private memorial service will be scheduled at a future date.

 

Statement from USTA Chairman, CEO and President Dave Haggerty on the passing of Dorothy “Dodo” Cheney: 

 

“Dodo Cheney was one of the most prolific champions in the history of tennis and the personification of tennis truly being a lifetime sport. She played competitively into her 90s, and her remarkable grace, singular class and competitive spirit made her one of our sport’s greatest ambassadors. She will be sorely missed by the sport that she loved.”

 

A 2004 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee, Cheney was the personification of tennis as a lifetime sport. She became the first American woman to win the Australian Championships (1938) and reached the semifinals at every other major, including four such appearances at the U.S. National Championships.  Cheney went on to win more than 390 USTA National titles in a career that saw her play well into her 90s. She was 98.

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Roger Federer Win Clinches Switzerland’s First Davis Cup Title

 

(November 23, 2014) Switzerland became the 14th country to claim the country’s first Davis Cup title on Sunday when they defeated France 3- 1 in Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille, France.

In front of a record setting crowd of 27,448, world No. 2 Roger Federer clinched the tie for Switzerland defeating Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, falling to the ground in celebration after hitting a drop shot winner. Gasquet filled in for an ailing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The Swiss No. 1 was in command of the match from beginning to end, which lasted an hour and 42 minutes.

“He was playing fast. He was very focused and making very few mistakes. I was not even able to have a break point,” said Gasquet. “It was difficult for me to give him problems. We are all disappointed. I would have liked to do more for the team because the crowd was ready, ready to support me to the end. In that situation, the only thing you want to do is play a fourth or fifth set just to please the crowd.”

“He was not unbeatable today, but he only made a few mistakes,” Gasquet explained. “It’s a shame I could not get any break points.”

Federer was dominated in a straight set loss to Gael Monfils in the second singles rubber on Friday. Stan Wawrinka opened the tie with a four-set victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and teamed with Federer to claim the doubles rubber on Saturday to give the Swiss a 2-1 lead coming into Sunday.

Being a part of a winning David Cup, adds another victory to his career resume, in which he already holds 17 major titles.

“I’m unbelievably happy. Amazing feeling to be celebrating with my friends,” said Federer post match in an on-court interview. “Just a great match, great atmosphere. It was a beautiful weekend for tennis.”

“We fought hard for it, I’ve been playing this game for almost 15 years now and clearly I’ve never come as close as this last weekend. I’m happy I was able to stay calm and play a good match when I had to and I’m happy for all the guys on the team.”

With Federer coming into the Davis Cup final in questionable health due to a back injury which forced him to withdraw last week’s ATP World Tour Final against No. 1 Novak Djokovic, the Basel native gave full credit to Wawrinka as the “MVP” of the Davis Cup Final.

“Everybody worked incredibly hard to get me match ready, Stan has put in so much effort over the years and played an unbelievable weekend that gave me the opportunity today,” said Federer.

“I’m very much aware of that, this one is for the boys. It’s not for me. I’ve won enough in my career and did not need to tick any empty boxes. I’m just happy for everybody else. I’m happy we could live a great tennis historic moment in our country.”

Just over a week ago, there appeared to be friction between Federer and Wawrinka when some media reports claimed that Federer’s wife Mirka allegedly heckled Wawrinka by calling him a “crybaby” during the ATP World Tour Finals semifinals between Federer and Wawrinka. It was later reported that Federer and Wawrinka had an argument in the locker room after the match.

“At the end, it’s a tennis match, you feel great emotions,” Federer continued. “You’re unbelievably happy and relieved “We wanted this clearly very badly, especially being up 2-1. You inch yourself closer and closer. Clearly seeing Stan out there, the rest of the team supporting you, gives you an extra push. It was definitely one of the better feelings in my career, no doubt about it. So much nicer to celebrate it all together.”

“It’s an amazing feeling. The best,” said Wawrinka. “We all know how it’s great to watch such an amazing player when he’s playing good tennis.”

With the Davis Cup win on Sunday, Wawrinka, became the first person since Andre Agassi in 1992 to win his first Grand Slam title and his first Davis Cup trophy in the same year. Wawrinka also won his first Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo, taking out Davis Cup teammate Federer back in April.

Federer set a new record as the most successful Swiss player in the history of the Davis Cup. It was his 50th win, now ahead of Jakob Hlasek for total wins.

Asked about comparing this victory to winning his first major, Wimbledon in 2003, Federer said, “You can’t compare. When I won Wimbledon, it was a total shock honestly. Davis Cup is something that I knew was possible at some stage in my career.

“Of course, there was the pressure of being able to manage all this and make everyone happy with all the support we had for the team and everything. So it is a totally different feeling. Also I was not alone on the court. This changes everything.”

 

Final scores:

DAVIS CUP BY BNP PARIBAS FINAL

SWITZERLAND defeated FRANCE 3-1

Venue: Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille, FRA (clay – indoors)
Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 61 36 63 62

Gael Monfils (FRA) d. Roger Federer (SUI) 61 64 63

Roger Federer/Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d. Julien Benneteau/Richard Gasquet (FRA) 63 75 64

Roger Federer (SUI) d. Richard Gasquet (FRA) 64 62 62

Gael Monfils (FRA) v Stan Wawrinka (SUI) not played

 

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Switzerland Takes 2-1 lead over France in Davis Cup Final

(November 22, 2014) Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka gave Switzerland an important 2-1 lead in the Davis Cup final on Saturday, when they defeated France’s doubles team of Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in Lille, France.

Switzerland’s captain Severin Luthi made the move to place the 2008 Olympic champion doubles team instead of Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer, who were slated to play.

In the 2 hour and 12 minute match, the Swiss pair defended all five break points against them.

After Federer lost to Gael Monfils on Friday in the second singles rubber, the 17-time major champ said after the match that he would be ready to play doubles if he was needed despite the back injury.

Federer was clearly moving better on Saturday than on Friday.

Federer is scheduled to face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the opening rubber on Sunday, with Stan Wawrinka playing Gael Monfils in the fifth rubber if necessary.

France is looking for it’s 10 Davis Cup while Switzerland is seeking it’s first.

 

 

DAVIS CUP BY BNP PARIBAS FINAL

 

SWITZERLAND leads FRANCE 2-1

Venue: Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille (clay – indoors)
Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 61 36 63 62

Gael Monfils (FRA) d. Roger Federer (SUI) 61 64 63

Roger Federer/Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d. Julien Benneteau/Richard Gasquet (FRA) 63 75 64

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Roger Federer (SUI)

Gael Monfils (FRA) v Stan Wawrinka (SUI)

 

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France Evens Tie Against Switzerland in Davis Cup Final

(November 21, 2014) France leveled the Davis Cup final against Switzerland at 1-1 at the end of day one in Lille, France when Gael Monfils dispatched Roger Federer 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 on Friday. I was Monfils’ first win over the world No. 2 on clay. Monfils hit 44 winners in the less than two hour match.

Federer pulled out of the final of the ATP year-end event in London on Sunday due to a back injury, decided to play despite a back injury that forced him to pull out of the title match at the ATP Finals last Sunday.

Stan Wawrinka gave Switzerland a 1-0 advantage after the opening rubber defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Wawrinka was dominant at the net winning 25 points there. He hit 61 winners during the match.

The crowd of 27,432 has set a new record for an officially-sanctioned tennis match, more than the previous record, Spain versus United States Davis Cup Final at the Estadio Olympico de Sevilla in 2004 at 27,200.
 

More to follow.

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Draw Set for Davis Cup Final – France Versus Switzerland

davis cup 2014

(November 20, 2014) The draw has been set for the Davis Cup final between France and Switzerland this weekend in Lille, France on a clay court.

After speculation about Roger Federer, who pulled out of the final ATP World Tour Finals with a back injury, the 17-time major champion will participate in Davis Cup this weekend.

Roger Federer will face off against Gael Monfils in the second match on Friday. Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka will open the series against Jo-Wilfired Tsonga.

France has a rich Davis Cup and is looking for a 10th title, while Switzerland seeking its first crown in the team competition. France leads Switzerland 10-2 in head-to-head competition in the ITF event.

 

 

DAVIS CUP BY BNP PARIBAS FINAL

FRANCE v SWITZERLAND

Venue: Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille (clay – indoors)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Stan Wawrinka (SUI)

Gael Monfils (FRA) v Roger Federer (SUI)

Julien Benneteau/Richard Gasquet (FRA) v Marco Chiudinelli/Michael Lammer (SUI)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Roger Federer (SUI)

Gael Monfils (FRA) v Stan Wawrinka (SUI)

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USTA Nominates Katrina Adams as Chairman of the Board, CEO and President

 

From the USTA: WHITE PLAINS, NY, November 17, 2014 – The USTA Nominating Committee has announced the nomination of Katrina M. Adams as USTA Chairman of the Board, CEO and President to serve a two-year term beginning January 1, 2015.  Adams has served on the USTA Board of Directors for 10 years and is currently completing a two-year term as First Vice President.  In her new role, Adams will become the first African-American and first former professional tennis player to serve as the association’s Chairman of the Board, CEO and President.

 

Adams began serving a two-year term as First Vice President of the USTA in January 2013. Previously, she served one term as Vice President, 2011-12, and three consecutive two-year terms as a Director at Large, 2005-10. In the current term, Adams serves on the USTA’s Budget Committee, International Committee, Executive Committee and Compensation Committee. She also serves on the board of directors of the USTA Foundation and the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Adams also is a member of the Grand Slam Board and the ITF Davis Cup Committee.

 

Adams previously served as board liaison to the USTA’s 17 sections as well as the USTA Foundation and the USPTA. Prior to that, she was the board liaison to the Professional Tennis Council, and she also has served on the USTA Player Development Committee and the USTA Grievance Committee. She also has served on the ITF Rules of Tennis Committee.

 

In addition to her role as First Vice President, Adams is a contributor on CBS Sports Network’s first all-female sports show, “We Need to Talk,” and serves as a television analyst for Tennis Channel. She also is a contributor to Tennis Magazine and tennis.com, providing instruction articles and videos, and serves as the executive director of the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program in New York City.

 

Adams played for 12 years on the WTA tour, and was ranked as high as No. 67 in singles and No. 8 in doubles. She captured 20 career doubles titles. While a player, Adams served on the board of directors of the WTA as a player representative for four one-year terms and on the WTA’s Players Association for five two-year terms. She was honored with the WTA’s Player Service Award in 1996 and 1997.

 

Adams attended Northwestern University as an undergraduate, majoring in communications, and helped the Wildcats to a Big Ten championship in 1986. She was an NCAA All-American in 1986 and 1987, and in 1987 became the first African-American NCAA doubles champion.

 

A Chicago native, Adams has been inducted into the Northwestern Hall of Fame. She also was inducted into the USTA Midwest Section Hall of Fame in 2005, the Chicago District Tennis Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Black Tennis Hall of Fame in 2012. Adams currently lives in White Plains, N.Y., and Lakewood Ranch, Fla. She is a member of the USTA Eastern Section.

 

In addition to Adams’ nomination, the following individuals have been nominated as the slate of new Officers and Directors of the USTA Board:

 

Alexander Boyd (Andy) Andrews IV, of the USTA Southern Section, living in Raleigh North Carolina, currently a Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors and is nominated to serve as First Vice President.  Andrews has served multiple terms on the Board of Directors for the USTA Southern Section, the USTA Southern Section Patrons Foundation, the USTA North Carolina Tennis Foundation, and the Raleigh Racquet Club, to name a few.  He has chaired a successful campaign that raised more than $1.6 million for the North Carolina Tennis Association to build its office complex and a Hall of Fame facility and raise $1.7 million for the North Carolina State J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center.   Andrews is presently CEO of Dominion Realty Partners, a real estate development company that has been involved in more than $2.5 Billion Dollars of development in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia. He is a former standout junior, collegiate & professional tennis player, having won 19 professional titles while on the men’s pro tour in singles and doubles and was all ACC and a two-time All American at North Carolina State University.

 

Thomas S. Ho, of the USTA Texas Section, is nominated to serve a second consecutive term as Vice President. He also serves on the Budget Committee and the Compensation Committee.  Ho previously served on the USTA Board as an elite Athlete 2009-2010. At 15, Ho was the youngest male to play in the US Open main draw, and he ultimately achieved a career-high ranking of No.85 in singles and No.13 in doubles. He earned a B.A. in economics in 2001 from Rice University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa and served as a volunteer assistant with the tennis team. After graduation, Ho worked within the financial services industry with Goldman Sachs and UBS. He is currently a Principal with Heidrick and Struggles, a worldwide executive search firm, where he is a member of the Global Industrial and Financial Officers practice. Ho is a current member of the Texas Section Management Committee, and served on the Houston Tennis Association Gala benefit committee.

 

Donald L. Tisdel, of the USTA Pacific Northwest Section, is nominated to serve a second consecutive term as Vice President.  He previously served three consecutive terms as Secretary-Treasurer on the USTA Board of Directors and a term as Director at Large from 2004-2006.  Tisdel has served as Chair of the Budget Committee and is a member of the Audit, Compensation, and Investment Committees.   He also is a member of the USTA Foundation Board of Directors. He currently serves as the Senior Operating Partner of Northwest Capital Appreciation, Inc., a private equity firm he co-founded. Under Tisdel’s direction, Northwest Capital formed two private equity partnerships that control four diverse companies with aggregate revenues exceeding $5 billion and a work force of approximately 2,300 employees. Tisdel has been involved in tennis in the Pacific Northwest section since 1967 including co-founding two indoor tennis clubs.

 

Patrick J. Galbraith, of the USTA Pacific Northwest Section, is nominated to serve a second consecutive term as Secretary- Treasurer and previously served three terms as an Elite Athlete and a Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors. He has served as Chair of the Budget Committee and as Vice Chair of the Investment Committee. A professional tennis player from 1989 until 2000, Galbraith is a two-time winner of the US Open Mixed Doubles Championship. He ended 1993 as part of the No.1- ranked men’s doubles team with partner Grant Connell, and went on to win the World Doubles Championship in 1995. Galbraith, a member of the 1996 Davis Cup team, finished his career with 36 doubles titles. He is a Certified Financial planner (CFP) and is currently Vice President-Wealth Management for UBS Financial Service, Inc.

 

David A. Haggerty, of the USTA Middle States Section, will serve as Immediate Past President on the USTA Board of Directors.   He served on the USTA Board of Directors from 2007 to the present, currently as the Chairman, CEO and President. Prior to his national board service, Haggerty served on the USTA Middle States Board of Directors from 2001-2006. Haggerty also serves the International Tennis Federation as a Vice President. He had an extensive tennis industry career including CEO and President of Head USA and Penn Racquet Sports from 1998 until his retirement in 2010. Haggerty currently is an external Board Director of Kepner Tregoa, a global management firm specializing in rational process management. He is Co-Chair of Friends of Cadwalader Park, which has raised more than $800,000 to build a new tennis center in Trenton, New Jersey.

 

Fabrizio Alcobe-Fierro, of the USTA Florida Section, is nominated for his first term as Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors. A lifelong tennis player, parent of competitive junior players and enthusiast, Alcobe-Fierro is Senior Vice President of the Univision Networks at Univision Communications Inc., the premier media company serving Hispanic America. He is responsible for overseeing the administration, human resources, on-air talent, Teleton USA, Education Week and the transformation of Univision Communications’ television linear networks and digital content groups. Fabrizio brings more than 16 years of extensive experience in media communications, organizational management, and global leadership. He joined Univision from Interpublic Group (IPG), where he was senior vice president of Global Compensation. During his tenure at IPG, Fabrizio made many contributions and provided leadership in all matters related to global human resources management as well as played an active role in the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Prior to joining IPG, he held various senior executive roles at Euro RSCG, WPP and Towers Watson. He holds a Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University and Industrial Engineer title from Universidad Iberoamericana.

 

Joan E. Baker, of the USTA Northern Section, is nominated to serve a second consecutive term as Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors.  Baker has a rich history of USTA organizational knowledge at both the sectional and national levels. She began serving USTA Northern as junior endorser in 1995 and served continually, ultimately serving as President and Sectional Delegate from 2005-2006. Since then she has served on the USTA Nominating Committee from 2007-2010, chairing the Committee from 2009-2010. In her first term as a USTA Board member, Baker served as Chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Budget Committee. Baker is a lifelong tennis player, passionate about the health benefits of playing the sport.  She is a three-time recipient of the prestigious USTA Northern President’s Award and was inducted into the USTA Northern Hall of Fame in 2009. She is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and was the Founder and President of Advantage Benefits, Inc., an employee benefits company that helped owners maximize benefits to valued employees while containing costs.

 

Mark D. Ein, of USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, is nominated for his second consecutive term as Director at Large of the USTA Board of Directors. Ein is an investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, who has successfully built a series of growth companies across a diverse set of industries. Ein is the Co-Chairman and Principal Shareholder of Kastle Systems, LLC, a provider of commercial office building managed security systems. In addition, he is the Chairman and CEO of Capitol Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ:CLAC) and the Vice-Chairman of Two Harbors Investment Corporation, a NYSE-listed (TWO) residential mortgage REIT. Mr. Ein is also the founder and owner of the Washington Kastles, a World Team Tennis (WTT) franchise. Ein has received several honors for his contributions to tennis and the community, including induction into the USTA Mid-Atlantic Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013.

 

Michael J. McNulty III, of the USTA Southern Section, is nominated for his first term as Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors.  He is the founder and Officer of the Lake Area Community Tennis Association.  McNulty is the former President of USTA Louisiana and the USTA Southern Section.  He currently serves as Delegate representing the USTA Southern Section. McNulty also currently serves as Council Chair to the USTA Rules Council and is a member of the ITF Constitutional Committee.  He  is  the  former  Tournament  Chairman  and  current  member  of  the  Tournament  Steering Committee for the BB&T Atlanta Open, the tournament that annually kicks off  the Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series.  McNulty is a partner in the law firm of Plauche Smith & Niest, and is considered one of America’s top attorneys in the area of insurance defense, specializing in the areas of construction, products and premise liability.

 

Andrew A. Valdez, of the USTA Intermountain Section, is nominated for his third consecutive term as Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors. He is a former member of the USTA Intermountain Section Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Valdez is the founder and current board member of The Village Project Mentoring Program that teaches tennis to youth under the Juvenile Court, emphasizing life skills and values, and he is a co-founder of Tennis and Tutoring Program (2009-present), which was developed as an after-school program in cooperation with Utah Tennis Association. Valdez obtained his law degree from the University of Utah, College of Law. He served as Utah State Juvenile Court Judge for 20 years after working as a Trial Lawyer of the Salt Lake Legal Defenders Association and as a Trial Lawyer of the US Army Judge Advocate General Corps in Nuremberg, Germany. Valdez recently attained Senior Judge Status.  Valdez also authored No One Makes It Alone, a memoir that chronicles how the sport of tennis and acts of kindness enabled him to overcome the poverty and struggles of his childhood.

 

Kathleen J. Wu, of the USTA Texas Section, is nominated for her first term as Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors. Wu currently serves as the 2013-2014 USTA Chair to the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.  She currently is also a member of the Executive Committee and Management Committee of the USTA Texas Section. Since 2007, Wu has also served as USTA Texas’s Vice President of Recreational Tennis and Vice President of Administration, and is currently its General Counsel.  In addition, she has served on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Tennis Association as well as on several other charitable and civic boards.  Wu is an influential and longtime partner at Andrews Kurth, where she serves as Co-Chair of the Business Transactions department. She has been repeatedly recognized by her colleagues and the media as one of the country’s leading lawyers specializing in real estate and finance transactions, and is a leading speaker and author on issues affecting women and minorities in the legal profession.

 

Lauren Barnikow, of the USTA Northern California Section, is nominated to serve her first term as a Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors. Lauren will be one of three elite athletes on the board.She has been an Account Executive at Google from 2006 to the present. Barnikow’s expertise in the ever-changing technology industry includes brand marketing and digital media strategy for Fortune 1000 companies. She was a nationally and internationally ranked junior tennis player with extensive experience with USTA Player Development. Lauren played professionally from 2004 to 2006, winning 1 singles title and 3 doubles titles on the USTA and ITF Pro Circuits and reached a career high doubles ranking of No. 200 in the world. Barnikow has captained a Women’s Open Team for Northern California every year since 2010.  She was a starting member of three NCAA championship teams at Stanford University, where she graduated with a B.A. in International Relations in 2004.

 

Todd C. Martin, of the USTA Florida Section, who was appointed to fill an Elite Athlete vacancy on the USTA Board of Directors during the 2011-2012 term, was subsequently nominated to serve a full term 2013-2014, and is nominated again for the 2015-2016 term as an Elite Athlete and Director at Large. Martin has served as the Board Liaison to the Pro Tennis Council and as a member of the USTA Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Committees. A former professional player, Martin achieved a career-best No. 4 in the world and reached the final of the 1999 US Open and the 1994 Australian Open. In his career, Martin won eight singles titles and five doubles titles, and was President of the ATP Players Council for 8 of the 14 years he played professionally. Martin also was a mainstay of the U.S. Davis Cup team and helped the team win the Davis Cup championship in 1995. He also represented the U.S. at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, in 2000. As of September 6, 2014, Martin serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, Rhode Island.  In 1994, Martin founded the Todd Martin Development Fund (TMDF), which provides tennis, education, and leadership programs for at-risk youth of mid-Michigan and currently operates as both a National Junior Tennis League and a USTA First Serve chapter.

 

Chanda R. Rubin, of the USTA Southern Section, is nominated to serve a third consecutive term on the USTA Board of Directors as an Elite Athlete and Director at Large. She serves as Board Liaison to the Professional Tennis Council.   Rubin, a former world No.6 player, has represented the U.S. as a member of the 1996 and 2004 Olympic Teams, as well as the US Fed Cup team from 1995-1997 and 1999-2004.  She was inducted into the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009, the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame in 2012, and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.  Rubin completed her undergraduate degree in Economics with a minor in Finance from Harvard Extension School in 2013. She is active in philanthropic causes, including the Children’s Museum, the American Heart Association, the Women’s Sports Foundation, the Breast Cancer Association, and the United Negro College Fund.  She has established the Chanda Rubin Tennis and Scholarship Foundation, which provides funding for youth playing opportunities and scholarships.

 

Mary Carillo, L. Ali and Katrina Adams

Mary Carillo, L. Ali and Katrina Adams

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Federer Withdraws from Year-End Final with Back Injury

Federer on changeover

Chalkdust Chronicles – Sad end to a low-key tournament

 

(November 16, 2014) LONDON – After semi-finals that finally set the tournament alight, there was an audible gasp from the crowds who had gathered for the Finals as Roger Federer wandered out in a cardigan and trousers to announce that he was pulling out of the ATP World Tour Finals with World No. 1 and two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic.

 

The rumors had already been circulating when he had not shown up for practice, having opted for one of the courts in the public area and not on the main court.

 

As the announcement was made to media to take to the court for the announcement, it seemed a fitting end to one of the strangest tournaments, with the only shining lights being the semi-finals.

 

“Unfortunately I’m not match fit,” Federer said to the crowd at the O2 Arena. “I tried everything I could last night, also today: painkillers, treatment, rest, so forth, warm-up, until the very end. But I just can’t compete at this level with Novak. It would be too risky at my age to do this right now and I hope you understand.”

In a muted on-court presentation, for his third consecutive title, Djokovic said:

“I feel really sorry for Roger. If he could have come out and played, he would have done.”

 

People who had paid good money for the tickets over the entire week have been disappointed over the week with heavy one-sided matches in the singles until the semi-finals.

 

However the gasping audience were partially mollified with the news that Djokovic would be playing Andy Murray in a pro-set followed by another exhibition match pitting Murray with John McEnroe against Tim Henman and Pat Cash.

 

Meanwhile Swiss thoughts must turn to how they mentally and physically prepare for the Davis Cup on French clay, as that had to have been part of Federer’s decision to pull out.

 

A further complication arises as John McEnroe hinted at a fall out with the Swiss team that went on well into the night. During the match Wawrinka had seemed to have an angry altercation with someone in Federer’s box, and with them being the mainstays of the Swiss team, could spell a mental triumph for the French team before they all even step on court.

 

The World Tour Finals of 2014 will not be known as one of the classics, and if next year should be its last year in London, hopefully it will go out with a bang, and not the whimper of this year.

 

 

Federer’s message on his Facebook page:

fedpullout

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Tournament thriller to set up World 1 Djokovic versus No. 2 Federer in the ATP World Tour Finals

Chalkdust Chronicles – Tournament thriller to set up World 1 Djokovic versus No. 2 Federer in the ATP World Tour Finals

 

(November 15, 2014) LONDON – After a week of sometimes lackluster performances at the ATP World Tour Finals, finally the crowds had something to shout about as Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka battled through an intense three-setter, with Wawrinka just being edged out by the most heartbreaking of margins 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(6), unable to take advantage of any of the four match points he held.

 

That Federer won is no surprise, but to come from a set down after being left standing as Wawrinka built up a double break was not in the script. Maybe nerves caught up with him the first time he tried to serve out the first set as the always dangerous Federer clawed back one of the breaks, and Wawrinka did the deed on the second time of asking.

 

The quality certainly did not diminish in the second set as Federer still failed to capitalize on his opportunities to push into a decider sooner rather than later.

 

Soon it would be Wawrinka’s turn to send a match-point begging, and beating each other up into the deciding set tie-break, Federer got the predictably more confident start. By the time Wawrinka got himself in the lead again, he was starting to feel the effects of the match, cramping up. With Davis Cup around the corner, Federer opted to go for the attack, finally saving four match-points and taking one of his own with a cutting drop volley to set up the final the organizers were longing for.

 

“For sure that game at the end I was nervous,” Wawrinka said in regard to failing to serve out the match. “You make some choice, especially when you’re tired, when you’re nervous. Just wanted to go for it and not wait for mistake.”

 

“I got lucky tonight,” admitted Federer. “Stan played better from the baseline and that usually does the job on this court. But I kept fighting. It’s tough but I’m thrilled to be in another final in London. Novak is playing great tennis. It usually brings the best out of me.”

 

Federer will face off against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Federer is seeking his seventh year-end title, while Djokovic is looking for his third in sucession.

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Djokovic endures stormy weather to down Nishikori in three sets

Chalkdust Chronicles – Djokovic ensures stormy weather to down Nishikori in three sets

(November 15, 2014) LONDON – Two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic showed the first cracks to his super-human armor when he took three sets to halt Kei Nishikori’s bid to reach the title match of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals – winning 6-1, 3-6, 6-0.

 

At first it could not have looked more routine. The tournament has been almost plagued by one-sided matches, and after breaking the Japanese player in his second service game, Djokovic piled on the pressure as Nishikori seemed to struggle to get any purpose on his shots.

 

Nishikori has been struggling with a wrist injury all week, and with constant returns by the trainer to treat and tape the wrist, it looked as though this would all be over very quickly when Djokovic started the second set with an immediate break.

 

The semi-final crowds wanted to see a good contest and threw their support firmly behind Nishikori, gamely cheering on a Djokovic double-fault which earned Nishikori a break, and in return they were rewarded with a less than appreciated hand clap from Djokovic.

 

The immediate break back seemed to give Nishikori a new lease of life as Djokovic’s lapses in concentration and shot selection opened the door, and Nishikori wasted no time in leveling the match.

 

With two break points up on Djokovic at the start of the deciding set, the Serb dug deep and clawed back to register a vital hold and from there, Nishikori’s resolve left him as Djokovic raced through the set, leaving the final blow for Nishikori to deliver himself, with a double-fault on match point.

 

After the match, he believed he had the chances in the final set, despite the apparent one-sidedness of it all

 

Nishikori said: “The first set he played really good, too good for me. But second set I start playing well. He got little bit tight. I took some risk. Everything worked well in the second. I was playing well. Even first couple points in third set, I thought I had it. I think I start thinking too much about he’s No. 1 player, Novak. I think I risked too much. I think I did too many unforced errors first couple games. Then he start playing better.”

 

He continued: “You know, it’s very disappointing because I think if I little bit change I could be I think little more closer in the third set. But it was good one week.”

 

It has been an outstanding run for the Japanese player who has made history this year, reaching a Grand Slam final, reaching the highest rank for an Asian player and now reaching the World Tour finals for the first time, and making the semi-finals on his debut.

 

But it has been a long season and has been beset with injuries – so his plans for the new season have to take into account the pressure it will take to stay at the top of the game.

 

He explained: “Maybe mentally little bit tired because I had to fight couple tight moment, especially in Paris. I had to win couple matches to get in here. US Open was first experience to go final and play seven matches, five sets. But I think physically I show that I could, you know, play seven matches, play two times five sets. I think physically I’m getting strong.

 

“I think it’s going to be very important I do well this December, a lot of train, good practice, try to prepare for next year.”

 

It was a strangely subdued Djokovic who faced the press, cryptically refusing to answer why he opted to sign the camera with just a full-stop instead of his usual message, and why he reacted to the crowd cheering the double-fault break-point.

 

“Honestly, today I found it a little bit difficult mentally to stay concentrated throughout the whole match. After emotional three matches I had, especially yesterday when I achieved the goal to finish as No. 1 of the world, knowing that, I felt a little bit, I would say, flat emotionally today. I needed a little bit more time to kind of give myself a boost.

 

“I was fortunate because in the beginning of the third set, he had breakpoints. If he broke me, the match could have gone either way. I managed to find that little bit of strength and get a win today. “

 

There is a real sense that the end of the season cannot com quick enough, especially for the World No. 1 who was also low key in his press conference yesterday after reclaiming the World No. 1 spot.

 

“Tomorrow is the last match of the season. Of course, it’s one of the biggest tournaments in the world, aside of the Grand Slams. This is already the biggest possible motivation. I will try to give everything I have.”

 

Djokovic will face either Roger Federer or Stan Wawrinka in Sunday’s final.

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