August 4, 2015

USTA Eastern Junior Awards Gala

Junior player Matthew Gamble receives his award from Justin Gimelstob and Katrina Adams at the Junior Awards Gala on Day 1 at the US Open.

Junior player Matthew Gamble receives his award from Justin Gimelstob and Katrina Adams at the Junior Awards Gala on Day 1 at the US Open.

By Dave Gertler

(August 25, 2014) FLUSHING MEADOWS – The achievements of USTA Eastern juniors in tournaments over the last 12 months, and the dedication of their families, was celebrated at the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center before the first ball was struck at the US Open on Monday, at the 2014 Junior Awards Gala. Future stars of American tennis gathered to hear guest speakers, including former professional player and current Tennis Channel broadcaster Justin Gimelstob, honor the achievements of 30 junior players, as well as present awards to the top three in each age group.


“As you see out there today, for the next 15 days, this is an incredible sport,” said Gimelstob, “This sport challenges you in a way physically, mentally, tactically, emotionally, that almost nothing else can compete with, in an individual way. To find enjoyment in that, you’re a unique bunch.”


First Vice President of the USTA, and former world No.8 doubles player Katrina Adams, also praised the dedication of the kids and their families. While the complete list of award-winners from each age group is listed below, there were a small group of players who won awards in multiple age categories.


“I play every day, try to get better every day,” said Matthew Gamble, who was the top achiever in the 16s Boys category, as well as third overall in the 18s. “It’s a big part of my life.” Gamble cites the interaction with other players as an important part of the sport for him, saying, “Lately I’ve done more and more team events, so the team aspect and just playing your best, giving 100%.”


The junior from Rochester doesn’t want to stop here. While his favorite player, Rafael Nadal, was absent from the US Open this year, perhaps Gamble might one day find himself facing his idol at his home slam. “I obvioiusly want to play college tennis,” said Gamble, “And then after college, I’m gonna try to go pro and make it on the pro tour.”


The USTA Eastern Section, based in White Plains, N.Y., is a not-for-profit community service organization whose mission is to promote and develop the growth of tennis. The section encompasses all of New York State, Northern New Jersey and Greenwich, Conn. It is one of 17 geographic sections of the United States Tennis Association, the governing body of tennis in the United States, and supports more than 49,000 members.


Exceptional players recognized at the Awards Gala:


Boys’ 10s:

1. Ty Switzer (New York, N.Y.)
2. Evan Wen (Morristown, N.J.)
3. Julian Wu (Tenafly, N.J.)

Girls’ 10s:

1. Stephanie Yakoff (Fort Lee, N.J.)
2. Amaya Goulbourne (Pelham, N.Y.)
3. Hailey Stoerback (Saint James, N.Y.)

Boys’ 12s:

1. Billy Suarez (Huntington, N.Y.)
2. Jeffrey Fradkin (New York, N.Y.)
3. Ronan Jachuck (Slingerlands, N.Y.)

Girls’ 12s:

1. Rosie Garcia Gross (New York, N.Y.)
2. Gabriella Price (Montebello, N.Y.)
3. Alexa Noel (Summit, N.J.)

Boys’ 14s:

1. Sean Wei (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.)
2. Ronan Jachuck (Slingerlands, N.Y.)
3. Michael Sun (Livingston, N.J.)

Girls’ 14s:

1. Rachel Lim (Braircliff Manor, N.Y.)
2. Lea Ma (Dix Hills, N.Y.)
3. Anna Brylin (Short Hills, N.J.)

Boys’ 16s:

1. Matthew Gamble (Webster, N.Y.)
2. Brenden Volk (Dix Hills, N.Y.)
3. Jordan Benjamin (Fairport, N.Y.)

Girls’ 16s:

1. Stephanie Schrage (Millburn, N.J.)
2. Rachel Lim (Braircliff Manor, N.Y.)
3. Sabrina Xiong (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.)

Boys’ 18s:

1. Daniel Grunberger (Great Neck, N.Y.)
2. Daniel Kerznerman (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
3. Matthew Gamble (Webster, N.Y.)

Girls’ 18s:

1. Katharine Fahey (Fair Haven, N.J.)
2. Sabrina Xiong (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.)
3. Rima Asatrian (Tenafly, N.J.)


US Open Wild Card Challenge Standings


US Open Wild Card Challenge Standings

(as of July 14)

Julia Boserup leads the standings in the 2014 US Open Wild Card Challenge, as the race for a women’s main draw wild card into the US Open finished its first week with the FSP Gold River Women’s Challenger, a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit women’s event in Sacramento, Calif. Boserup reached the final in Sacramento, losing to top seed Olivia Rogowska of Australia.

Play continues this week with the USTA Player Development Women’s $50,000 Classic in Carson, Calif., in the second of three women’s events. The men’s wild card challenge kicks off this week with the Levene Gouldin & Thompson Tennis Challenger, a $50,000 Challenger in Binghamton, N.Y.

All matches will be streamed live on

USTA Player Development will award a US Open main draw wild card to one American man and one American woman who earn the most ATP World Tour and WTA Tour ranking points in a series of USTA Pro Circuit hard-court events this summer. Men’s events include $50,000 Challengers in Binghamton and Lexington, Ky., as well as $100,000 Challengers in Vancouver, B.C., and Aptos, Calif. Women’s tournaments include $50,000 events in Sacramento, Carson, and Lexington.

Ranking points from two out of the three women’s events and two out of the four men’s will be used and combined to calculate the point total and determine the US Open wild card recipient. If a player competes in more than two events, only his or her two best tournaments will be counted in calculating the point total. In the event of a tie, the player with the best ATP or WTA singles ranking will be awarded the wild card. Only players who have not earned direct acceptance into the US Open are eligible for the wild card.

The standings, as of July 14, are as follows:

The USTA first used this US Open wild card format for its 2012 wild cards, won by Steve Johnson and Mallory Burdette, who both reached the third round of the US Open, as well as the 2013 US Open, which was won by Bradley Klahn, who won his first round match, and Shelby Rogers. The USTA also utilizes this format for the French Open through the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge, where this year’s women’s winner Taylor Townsend was a top story at Roland Garros by reaching the third round. Veteran Robby Ginepri won the 2014 men’s French Open wild card.


Ferrer Advances in Kuala Lumpur

ATP World Tour 250
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  (+8 hours GMT)
23-29 September 2013     Surface: Indoor Hard


Singles – Second Round
[1] D Ferrer (ESP) d [Q] M Viola (ITA) 62 63
A Mannarino (FRA) d [3] N Almagro (ESP) 64 63
F Delbonis (ARG) d [7] V Pospisil (CAN) 76(2) 76(1)

Singles – First Round
[5] J Benneteau (FRA) d M Przysiezny (POL) 76(6) 64
[6] D Tursunov (RUS) d [Q] R Ram (USA) 75 60
J Sousa (POR) d [WC] R Harrison (USA) 63 62
M Baghdatis (CYP) d C Berlocq (ARG) 76(3) 63

Doubles – First Round
J Knowle (AUT) / J Melzer (AUT) d [3] S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) 62 62
[Alt] R De Voest (RSA) / S Devvarman (IND) d P Andujar (ESP) / V Hanescu (ROU) 63 62  


CENTER COURT start 1:00 pm
[4] J Melzer (AUT) vs [Q] M Zverev (GER)
J Sousa (POR) vs [PR] P Cuevas (URU)
[5] J Benneteau (FRA) vs P Andujar (ESP)

Not Before 7:00 pm
M Baghdatis (CYP) vs [2] S Wawrinka (SUI)
[6] D Tursunov (RUS) vs [WC] P Carreno Busta (ESP)

COURT 1 start 1:00 pm

[1] A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED) vs E Butorac (USA) / R Klaasen (RSA)
[4] T Huey (PHI) / D Inglot (GBR) vs M Melo (BRA) / A Sa (BRA)
L Dlouhy (CZE) / P Hanley (AUS) vs R Ram (USA) / H Tecau (ROU)
P Cuevas (URU) / H Zeballos (ARG) vs J Knowle (AUT) / J Melzer (AUT)
[Alt] R De Voest (RSA) / S Devvarman (IND) vs [2] J Benneteau (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB)


Sloane Stephens Walks the Runway During Fashion Week in New York City


Tennis Player Sloane Stephens, actress Brittany Snow, and Austin Mahone plays the highly anticipated Just Dance 2014, due out in October at the Just Dance with Boy Meets Girl fashion show, Thursday, September 12, 2013, in New York City.(Photo by Mark Von Holden/Invision for Just Dance/AP Images)

Tennis player Sloane Stephens, actress Brittany Snow, and Austin Mahone plays the highly anticipated Just Dance 2014, due out in October at the Just Dance with Boy Meets Girl fashion show, Thursday, September 12, 2013, in New York City.(Photo by Mark Von Holden/Invision for Just Dance/AP Images)

(September 12, 2013) NEW YORK, NY – To celebrate the launch of Just Dance 2014 on October 8, 2013, Just Dance partnered with Boy Meets Girl during New York Fashion Week to create a completely Just Dance 2014-inspired collection that channels the energy and feel of the game. World No. 13 Sloane Stephens was one of models for the Just Dance with Boy Meets Girl show at STYLE 360 on September 12 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City.


Actress Brittany Snow, fashion designer Stacey Igel, Sloane Stephens walks the runway at STYLE360 during the Just Dance with Boy Meets Girl fashion show on Thursday, September 12, 2013, in New York City. The collection is inspired by the style, look and energy of the new and highly anticipated Just Dance 2014, due out in October.(Photo by Mark Von Holden/Invision for Just Dance/AP Images)

Actress Brittany Snow, fashion designer Stacey Igel, Sloane Stephens walks the runway at STYLE360 during the Just Dance with Boy Meets Girl fashion show on Thursday, September 12, 2013, in New York City. The collection is inspired by the style, look and energy of the new and highly anticipated Just Dance 2014, due out in October.(Photo by Mark Von Holden/Invision for Just Dance/AP Images)

Updated September 28, 2013

After U.S. Open, Stephens Stays for Fashion Week


Most of the players who participated at the United States Open have already left New York and have scattered across the globe, with some of the men playing Davis Cup ties this weekend and the women off to play tournaments in Quebec City and Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

But Sloane Stephens, the 20-year-old American ranked at a career-high No. 13, remained to be a part of Fashion Week. Stephens walked the runway Thursday night at the Just Dance With Boy Meets Girl fashion show at STYLE360 at the Metropolitan Pavilion, modeling the designs of Stacy Igel.

“I’m really excited because I’ve never walked in a fashion show before, so this is new for me,” Stephens said before the show.

She practiced her runway walk by pacing the hallways while in New York.

So what is more nerve-racking for Stephens: walking a runway during Fashion Week or playing on center court at a major?

“I think it’s two different types of nervousness,” Stephens said. “On center court, it’s like, ‘Let’s play already, I just want to get to it.’

“Before a show, it’s nervousness, like ‘I don’t want to do it.’ But I’m excited, I think I’ll be proud of it obviously, it’s something I’ve never done before. So I might be up there saying I want to do it again or I might be like – I’m never doing that again. Hopefully I will have a good experience and want to do it again.”

Stephens, who has appeared in Vogue and Teen Vogue, was named one of Vogue’s Style Stars in December. She does feel some pressure living up to that reputation.

“A little bit, but I don’t really go places where people would like see me and say like, ‘What is she wearing?’ ” Stephens said. “So that’s a good thing.”

She added, “I try to look cute all the time.”

Stephens spoke about her relationship with fashion, which mostly involves spending money on it.

“I love to shop, I love to see new things,” she said. “I obviously have a lot of free time when I’m on the road. It gives me something to do. I can look up all types of designers. You have the Internet, you have everything. It’s definitely something that has been built into my life because it’s something I could do to waste a lot of time. And it’s fun, so it definitely has taken a big part of my life because it’s something I really like to do.”

Asked about whether she would like to have her own place in the world of fashion, she said: “I’m thinking about it, but obviously it’s really tough. Fashion is very judgmental. It’s something where you have to be careful. I have a long way to go before I can be a designer. I’d love to one day, but we’ll see.”

Stephens is within striking distance of the top 10 with a chance at qualifying for the year-end WTA Championships in Istanbul. She is in 11th place in the race to Istanbul.

“I did not find out until yesterday that I had a chance to be in the year end; that’s pretty cool,” she said. “I’m excited. I’d love to make year end, and obviously being 13 this week is pretty good and will try to get better.”

“I need 200 points to get there,” she said as she prepares to play the Asian swing of the tour. “Four tournaments with no points to defend. It’s looking pretty good, and obviously, first, first, first and first would be my ideal. I’m just going to try to keep playing well and have fun. It’s obviously a little bit of pressure trying to reach a goal, being really close, but I think I’ll do fine.”

After a third-round victory in the Australian Open in January, Stephens said that she gave herself a fashion reward of Jimmy Choo shoes.

Will Stephens give herself some sort of a fashion purchase as an incentive to make the top 10?

“I’ll probably go on vacation somewhere nice by myself,” she said. “I shop every day, so every day is a gift and a surprise.

“Love when I come to New York; I do all my shopping, I spend too much money. I’ve already bought all my gifts for the rest of the year two weeks ago.”

Article was originally posted on the New York Times’ website:

After U.S. Open, Stephens Stays for Fashion Week


Day 9 Results for 2013 US Open

13USOdate4cKO_no USTA

New York, NY, USA
August 26-September 9, 2013
Grand Slam

Results – Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Women’s Singles – Quarterfinals
(1) Serena Williams (USA) d. (18) Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) 60 60
(5) Li Na (CHN) d. (24) Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 64 67(5) 62

Women’s Singles – Fourth Round
(2) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (13) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 46 63 64

Women’s Doubles – Third Round
(1) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) d. (16) Medina Garrigues/Pennetta (ESP/ITA) 61 75
(2) Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS) d. (13) Black/Erakovic (ZIM/NZL) 57 62 64
(4) Hsieh/Peng (TPE/CHN) d. (15) Jankovic/Lucic-Baroni (SRB/CRO) 64 62

Men’s Singles – Fourth Round
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) d M Granollers (ESP) 63 60 60
[3] A Murray (GBR) d D Istomin (UZB) 67(5) 61 64 64
[9] S Wawrinka (SUI) d [5] T Berdych (CZE) 36 61 76(6) 62
[21] M Youzhny (RUS) d L Hewitt (AUS) 63 36 67(3) 64 75

Men’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[2] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) d J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) 64 67(4) 64
[4] L Paes (IND) / R Stepanek (CZE) d [5] A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED) 61 67(3) 64


Djokovic Becomes Second Player To Qualify For 2013 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

88 Djokovic 2

From the ATP: (August 19, 2013) LONDON Novak Djokovic will attempt to retain his title at the 2013 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, after becoming the second singles player to qualify for the event, to be held at The O2 in London from 4-11 November. He has secured his place at the season finale for the seventh straight year.

“[Being defending champion] adds a little bit of extra expectation and pressure,” said Djokovic. “Knowing that I can play that well on the centre stage gives me enough reason to believe that I can do it again. That is something that inspires me to prepare well and perform my best.”

The 26-year-old Serbian joins Spaniard Rafael Nadal as the first players to qualify for the event, having amassed sufficient Emirates ATP Rankings points to secure himself a place among the world’s Top 8 singles players in London. He has captured titles this season at the Australian Open, Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, and also finished runner-up at Wimbledon.

Djokovic won the season-ending title in 2008 (d. Davydenko), when the event was held in Shanghai, and again last year with victory over Roger Federer. “My favourite memory is winning the title in 2012, when I won all five of my matches and I played some of my best tennis,” said Djokovic. “It was the best way to finish the season.”

Djokovic has ranked No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for 95 weeks, including the past 44 weeks. He first became No. 1 on 4 July 2011, following his first Wimbledon title.

The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals has welcomed more than a million fans to The O2 arena over the past four years, establishing itself as the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world since moving to London in 2009. Tickets to the tournament, which takes place from 4-11 November, can be purchased at:

Barclays ATP World Tour Finals – The Contenders
(Based on the calendar-year Emirates ATP Race To London standings as of Monday, 19 August 2013.).

Pos. Name YTD Points
1. R. Nadal (ESP) 9,010
2. N. Djokovic (SRB) 6,770
3. A. Murray (GBR) 5,430
4. D. Ferrer (ESP) 4,540
5. J. M. del Potro (ARG) 3,320
6. T. Berdych (CZE) 3,225
7. R. Federer (SUI) 2,875
8. J. Tsonga (FRA) 2,455
9. S. Wawrinka (SUI) 2,205
10. R. Gasquet (FRA) 2,045



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


(March 4, 2013) LOS ANGELES – The inaugural LA Tennis Challenge took place on Monday night on the campus of UCLA at the recently renovated Pauley Pavilion. Participating in the event to raise money for charity were world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Former No. 1 and member of the tennis Hall of Fame Pete Sampras, Bob and Mike Bryan, James Blake, Tommy Haas and former player Justin Gimelstob.

Los Angeles’ ATP World Tour event, the Farmers Classic, their license was sold to Colombian investors who took it to their home country. Former UCLA Bruin Gimelstob wants to keep pro tennis alive in Los Angeles and organized the event.

Singles and doubles exhibition matches took place including Djokovic pairing with his idol Sampras.

Celebrities in attendance included actress Jodie Foster, actor Bruce Willis and actor/comedian and tennis fan Rainn Wilson.

Proceeds from the event are to benefit the Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the Novak Djokovic Foundation, Call to Cure and the Southern California Tennis Association’s community tennis initiatives.


All photos by Maria Noble

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Flawless Federer into 35th Consecutive Australian Open Quarterfinal

2013 Australian Open - Day 8

By Jaclyn Stacey

(January 21, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK, AustraliaRoger Federer won through to his 35th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal after dismissing young Canadian Milos Raonic in straight sets 6-4 7-6(4) 6-2 in 1 hour and 53 minutes on Monday night at the Australian Open.


The match was classic flawless Federer in truckloads, Raonic not even able to pierce the maestro with his big serve as Federer managed to get an impressive 60% of returns back into play and made only 12 unforced errors. Federer did not face one single break point on his serve for the duration of the match.


Federer won the first set 6-4 by breaking Raonic in the tenth game.


The Canadian maintained serve throughout the second set and forced a tie-break which Federer won by gaining an advantage with some stunning points and closing it out on set point with a remarkable forehand winner 7-6(4).


In the third set Federer steamrolled to victory, dropping just two games and continuing his mission for a fifth Australian Open title.


“I felt good out there. I was moving well, had good anticipation and reaction today, which was key obviously on the return. Like I said, in the third set I started to feel extremely good on the return.”


“I played well. I think I played tactically well tonight and was able to keep the points short on my own service games, used the 1-2 punch. That was obviously also a good thing tonight.”


Federer could regain the top spot in the rankings if he wins the trophy here this year and Djokovic loses before the semifinals.


“Most of the times you play good, you know. When you play very good, that’s rare. So just have to try to have as many good days or great days as you can, and that’s why I push hard in practice and keep myself in shape.”


“Tonight was a very solid night, so I’m very happy. If I can maintain such a level of play, obviously I’m happy I give myself a chance of going deep in this tournament, which is obviously the goal.”


Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s new coaching arrangement with Australian Roger Rasheed is looking to be doing good things for the Frenchman’s game and determination. On Monday Tsonga defeated countryman Richard Gasquet 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-2 for a place in the quarterfinals against Federer.


“Yeah, of course, because he’s with me.  He’s giving me an extra motivation.  I mean, it’s great because he’s always positive.  He want maybe more than me to win.  He’s incredible.”


“So, you know, I try to be at his level and have exactly the same motivation because I think he can move some mountains, you know, because he’s very motivated.”


The Australian Open is the scene of Tsonga’s most successful run at a Grand Slam when he was runner-up to Novak Djokovic in 2008.


Jaclyn Stacey is a Melbourne based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open tournament as media for Tennis Panorama News.  Follow her Australian Open updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @JackattackAU.


Federer Strolls Past Paire To Gain Second Round of Australian Open



(January 15, 2013) No. 2 Roger Federer started his 2013 year and Australian Open campaign with an easy a 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 demolition of France’s Benoit Paire  to walk into the second round of the first major tournament of the year.

Federer broke Paire in the opening game of the match and again at 4-2 to serve and seal the set at 6-2 in 25 minutes over the 46th ranked player.

The Swiss broke early in the second set and early and often in the third set to capture the match in 83 minutes.

At times Paire seemed listless as though he wanted to leave the court as soon as possible.

Federer ended the match with forehand passing shot winner.

“I started with the early break, and then saved a few break points, and then had the lead ever since,” Federer said.

“So obviously when you’re in the lead, you feel better, you feel less pressure, you try a few things to see if those works and then you have options up your sleeve.

“I’m obviously very happy with this first‑round match, so total control.  He can be a tricky opponent, you know, but I guess his playing style doesn’t disturb me that much overall.

“I’m happy I was able to play a clean match out there today.”

Federer played aggressively winning 25 of 31 point at the net.

Federer will play the winner of the match between qualifier Dudi Sela of Israel or Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko.

“But I played Sela maybe once or twice before,” Federer said, “so I know him a little bit.  Obviously Nikolay, I know him, you know, a whole lot more.  He’s my age.  He played, I don’t know, maybe 15 times.  I played him at a time when he wasn’t also in his best streak and in his best years, really, and he was in the top 4 or top 5 for a long time.

“I played him in the semis of the Grand Slams and at the World Tour Finals when he beat me.  Then he got me again in Doha, and I played him here the following week where it was a very difficult draw for me to have and I found a way.  You always have to expect that out of Davydenko to face if I were to play him, and not the one who’s not been playing so well.

“It was two years ago I think he really struggled with his serve, but seems like he’s coming back around.  I had a very close match with him in Rotterdam last year.  Should have won in two; ended up being 4‑All, Love‑40 in the third.

“I was very close of losing.  Next thing you know, nobody talks about it.  I went on to win the tournament and nobody talks about Nikolay.

“So it’s nice to see him playing well again.  And if I do play well against him, you’re aware that he is a top player who can do a lot of damage.  I better be well prepared and play well.”


Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News