2015/03/28

Pospisil Spoils Del Potro’s Return

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(March 26, 2015) Returning to the court for the first time since January 15, Juan Martin del Potro‘s recent attempt at comeback from wrist surgery ended in a first round loss at the Miami Open on Thursday.

Canadian Vasek Pospisil defeated the Argentine, who is currently ranked No 616, 6-4, 7-6 (7).

For Pospisil, it’s his first-ever win at the Miami tournament.

Del Potro’s rustiness showed in the second set when he failed to serve it out up 5-4 and then squandered set points in the tiebreaker, double-faulting twice, which led to match point against him.

“Obviously down there I wanted to win the match, and I had few chances in the first set; then in the second set I know I have set points, but I couldn’t close the set because I had easy efforts and easy mistakes,” del Potro said.

“I didn’t serve well in the special moments, which is tough for me with all of these things.

“But now I’m okay. I don’t have any physical problem after the match, and I will be recovering soon for the future.”

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“I didn’t really know what to expect,” said the Canadian in regard to taking on del Potro.

“That was a little bit added stress maybe before. But at the same time, I was just trying to focus on serving well and playing my game and trying to put pressure and coming to the net.”

“Whether he had pain or not, you know, it’s obviously not the same backhand that he normally plays,” Pospisil added. “I tried to take advantage of that by coming in and putting pressure on that side.

“But, you know, he’s still serving well and hitting his forehand huge, which made it tough. I just hung in there, you know, maybe got a little bit fortunate at the end. He was serving; had set point on his serve; but then the rest of the way I played well.”

The 2009 US Open Champion admitted that he still is not at 100 percent: “I’m not confident 100% to hit my best backhands yet.

“And I also need time to improve my backhand again. I already been hitting backhands the last 10 days in one year, which is very ‑‑ it’s very bad to play in this level.

“But I am working hard. I am working hard every day little more on my backhand. I think it’s the only way to get to pass through all of the things and get well for the future.”

“It’s just a wrist problem. Of course mentally you must be strongest enough to deal with the problem and get up every morning to do your treatments and rehab and stay calm, looking forward for the future.

“I’m not hurried to be in the top 10 very soon. I want to play tennis. It doesn’t matter how long it’s take me to be in the top again. Just wanted to play tennis and without pain.”

“It’s only 2 months after my second surgery and my left wrist. I feel better week by week, but it’s still very early to feel 100%.”

“It was like a Davis Cup atmosphere,”  said the 24-year-old Pospisil of the lively crowd cheering for his opponent. “I felt like I was playing away somewhere.

“It was a great atmosphere. Whether everyone is cheering for me or against me or if it’s equal, you know, when there is a big crowd and when they are into it, it’s always more enjoyable for everybody. I was enjoying it more, and actually might have helped me a little bit in the end, to be honest.”

The Canadian will take on No. 9 seed Grigor Dimitrov in the second round.

As for the 26-year-old del Potro, he’s taking his comeback one day at a time: “I think it’s the most important be patient and stay calm, and also try to be positive.

“I got depressive for a while in the past. I have been talking with (Janko) Tipsarevic, as well, at the locker rooms. He knows a lot about the injuries, about comebacks, and doesn’t make it.

“But in the end, I want to play tennis. If I have to learn a different backhand to keep playing, I will do it.

“But now I’m trying to do all my things to fix the problem and hitting my backhand as I did in the whole ‑‑ all my career. I am still positive.

“I think is the biggest goal for me trying to keep trying and stay mentally strong enough to go through all of the injuries.”

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Miami Open – Wednesday Results, Thursday Schedule

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MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITAU – MIAMI, UNITED STATES
USD 5,381,235.00 (ATP)
USD 5,381,235.00 (WTA)
23 MARCH – 5 APRIL 2015

ATP Results

Singles – First Round
C. Berlocq (ARG) d [WC] T. Kokkinakis (AUS) 64 36 62
A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) d J. Sousa (POR) 62 62
J. Sock (USA) d G. Soeda (JPN) 63 64
D. Thiem (AUT) d D. Schwartzman (ARG) 76(0) 75
S. Querrey (USA) d V. Estrella Burgos (DOM) 64 63
J. Nieminen (FIN) d M. Matosevic (AUS) 63 63
[Q] R. Haase (NED) d [WC] K. Edmund (GBR) 62 62
D. Young (USA) d Y. Lu (TPE) 51 ret (neck)
[WC] H. Chung (KOR) d M. Granollers (ESP) 60 46 64
[Q] A. Krajicek (USA) d D. Istomin (UZB) 64 64
[Q] F. Krajinovic (SRB) d D. Lajovic (SRB) 26 76(5) 42 ret (right arm)
T. Smyczek (USA) d [Q] A. Menendez-Maceiras (ESP) 46 63 64
J. Monaco (ARG) d [Q] R. Bemelmans (BEL) 75 67(4) 64
J. Struff (GER) d B. Becker (GER) 36 76(10) 64 – saved 3 M.P.
[Q] J. Duckworth (AUS) d [Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) 63 36 63
[PR] N. Almagro (ESP) d S. Stakhovsky (UKR) 63 67(3) 64

 

WTA Results

Singles – First Round
A. Riske (USA) d M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) 64 60
H. Watson (GBR) d [Q] E. Rodina (RUS) 36 61 75
A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d V. Zvonareva (RUS) 62 36 75
[Q] S. Karatantcheva (BUL) d L. Davis (USA) 63 76(5)
J. Goerges (GER) d J. Cepelova (SVK) 61 60
[Q] I. Falconi (USA) d M. Puig (PUR) 76(9) 76(3)
[WC] N. Vaidisova (CZE) d [Q] T. Babos (HUN) 61 76(4)
[Q] A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) d M. Rybarikova (SVK) 75 26 60
V. Azarenka (BLR) d S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 61 63
T. Pironkova (BUL) d [Q] K. Kozlova (UKR) 64 63
S. Stephens (USA) d Y. Wickmayer (BEL) 61 63
B. Bencic (SUI) d D. Hantuchova (SVK) 61 76(5)
[Q] T. Maria (GER) d R. Vinci (ITA) 76(9) 63
E. Vesnina (RUS) d [Q] A. Dulgheru (ROU) 64 62
[Q] S. Voegele (SUI) d K. Flipkens (BEL) 62 62
[Q] U. Radwanska (POL) d C. Vandeweghe (USA) 64 67(2) 63
[Q] P. Parmentier (FRA) d K. Bertens (NED) 46 62 63
C. McHale (USA) d [WC] S. Cirstea (ROU) 75 64
Ann. Beck (GER) d S. Zhang (CHN) 64 46 64
[WC] D. Gavrilova (RUS) d [Q] M. Erakovic (NZL) 51 ret. (left ankle injury)

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2015

STADIUM start 11:00 am
WTA – [7] A. Radwanska (POL) vs A. Schmiedlova (SVK)
ATP – M. Baghdatis (CYP) vs S. Bolelli (ITA)
ATP – V. Pospisil (CAN) vs [PR] J. Del Potro (ARG)
Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA – [16] V. Williams (USA) vs [Q] U. Radwanska (POL)
Not Before 7:30 pm
WTA – [WC] D. Gavrilova (RUS) vs [2] M. Sharapova (RUS)
Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – L. Hewitt (AUS) vs T. Bellucci (BRA)

GRANDSTAND start 10:50 am
ATP – A. Golubev (KAZ) vs M. Youzhny (RUS)
ATP – A. Haider-Maurer (AUT) vs B. Coric (CRO)
WTA – M. Brengle (USA) vs [4] C. Wozniacki (DEN)
ATP – R. Berankis (LTU) vs A. Dolgopolov (UKR)
Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – [WC] R. Harrison (USA) vs J. Melzer (AUT)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
ATP – M. Kukushkin (KAZ) vs S. Johnson (USA)
WTA – C. Mchale (USA) vs [9] A. Petkovic (GER)
ATP – J. Janowicz (POL) vs [Q] E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – M. Draganja (CRO) / H. Kontinen (FIN) vs G. Monfils (FRA) / J. Tsonga (FRA)
ATP – J. Vesely (CZE) vs F. Delbonis (ARG)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
ATP – [Q] M. Berrer (GER) vs [Q] A. Falla (COL)
WTA – [28] V. Lepchenko (USA) vs K. Kanepi (EST)
ATP – J. Isner (USA) / S. Querrey (USA) vs [8] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN)
WTA – [Q] P. Parmentier (FRA) vs [23] S. Stosur (AUS)
ATP – [WC] A. Rublev (RUS) vs P. Carreno Busta (ESP)

COURT 6 start 1:00 pm
ATP – [PR] N. Almagro (ESP) / G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs A. Mannarino (FRA) / G. Simon (FRA)
ATP – K. Anderson (RSA) / J. Chardy (FRA) vs [6] M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)
WTA – J. Goerges (GER) / A. Groenefeld (GER) vs A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE)
ATP – A. Begemann (GER) / E. Gulbis (LAT) vs P. Cuevas (URU) / D. Marrero (ESP)

COURT 7 start 11:00 am
WTA – [WC] P. Badosa Gibert (ESP) vs [18] S. Peng (CHN)
WTA – [Q] S. Voegele (SUI) vs [12] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
WTA – [22] A. Cornet (FRA) vs E. Vesnina (RUS)
WTA – [8] E. Makarova (RUS) vs K. Knapp (ITA)

COURT 8 start 11:00 am
WTA – T. Smitkova (CZE) vs [31] I. Begu (ROU)
WTA – [19] B. Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) vs K. Mladenovic (FRA)
ATP – L. Rosol (CZE) / D. Thiem (AUT) vs J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS)
ATP – M. Jaziri (TUN) vs [Q] S. Darcis (BEL)
WTA – [3] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA) vs [PR] V. Dushevina (RUS) / M. Martínez Sánchez (ESP)

COURT 9 start 11:00 am
ATP – P. Lorenzi (ITA) vs M. Klizan (SVK)
WTA – [14] K. Pliskova (CZE) vs Ann. Beck (GER)
WTA – K. Koukalova (CZE) / K. Siniakova (CZE) vs A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)
WTA – B. Jovanovski (SRB) vs [26] E. Svitolina (UKR)

COURT 10 start 11:00 am
ATP – P. Andujar (ESP) vs T. Gabashvili (RUS)
ATP – S. Groth (AUS) vs [Q] A. Zverev (GER)
WTA – C. Dellacqua (AUS) / D. Jurak (CRO) vs A. Rodionova (AUS) / A. Rodionova (AUS)
WTA – [25] C. Garcia (FRA) vs K. Nara (JPN)

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Qualifiers McDonald and Bangoura Upset Seeded Players On Day 2 at USTA Men’s Pro Championships of Calabasas

USTA pro circuit logo

(March 25, 2015) CALABASAS, Calif., – Five unseeded Americans took vastly different routes into the second round of the USTA Men’s Pro Tennis Championships of Calabasas on Wednesday during first round play at the Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center.

 

Mico Santiago, Francis Tiafoe, Ernesto Escobedo, Mackenzie McDonald and Sekou Bangoura each posted victories on a gorgeous sunny day at the USTA Pro Circuit $15,000 Futures tournament.

 

The qualifier Santiago had the easiest time with his opponent, former USC star Emilio Gomez of Ecuador, posting a 6-3, 6-0 victory. “He seemed tired and I was feeling good and just seemed to take advantage of it,” said Santiago, a 21-year-old from Corvallis, Ore., who trained as a teenager at the Smith Stearns Tennis Academy on Hilton Head Island, S.C. “After losing last week early (to Walker Duncan in Bakersfield), I just got re-committed and stayed focused.”

 

Tiafoe was playing his first match since winning the Bakersfield ITF title, his first as a professional, last Sunday. He beat No. 4-seeded Darian King of Barbados in a match that had an unusual finish. After dropping the first set, 6-7 (5), Tiafoe battled back to win the second set 7-5 and was leading 2-0 when King became agitated by what he thought were continuous bad calls by the chair umpire, and simply walked off the court and quitting the match.

 

“He just kind of lost it and sadly had to quit, because he couldn’t handle it,” Tiafoe said. “”That’s never happened to me. I don’t really know what to say.”

 

In a battle of big-serving 18-year-old Southern Californians, West Covina’s Ernesto Escobedo got past a hard-charging Deiton Baughman of Carson, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, to advance to the second round where he will meet No. 8-seeded Mitchell Krueger on Thursday.

 

Qualifiers Mackenzie McDonald, a UCLA sophomore, and former University of Florida star Sekou Bangoura both posted victories against seeded players with Bangoura taking out former collegiate rival and No. 5-seeded Daniel Nguyen in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.

 

“We’ve played in college and at the Irvine Futures,” Bangoura said of Nguyen, who led the USC Trojans to four NCAA team titles, two of which ended with Nguyen clinching the final match, prompting Bangoura to call him the “clutchest player in college tennis history.”

 

Defending champion Marcos Giron, the 2014 NCAA singles champion from UCLA, appeared on the grounds of the tournament but was forced to withdraw because of injury.

 

EVENTS: A USPTA Coaches workshop with one or two of the Pro Circuit players and their coach will take place on Thursday, March 26 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Adult Pro-Am drill is Friday, March 27, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Community Tennis Association & USTA League appreciation night is Friday, March 27, starting at 6 p.m. A VIP sponsor dinner reception is also on Friday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. A USTA Junior Team Tennis Kid’s Day with a Tennis Carnival is Saturday, March 28, from 1:30 p.m. till 3 p.m.

 

Wednesday’s First-Round Singles Scores

Fabiano De Paula, Brazil (1), def. Damon Gooch, South Africa, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5

Jason Jung, U.S., (6) def. Maxime Tabatruong, France, 6-3, 6-2

Mackenzie McDonald, U.S. (q), def. Connor Smith, U.S., (7) 6-2, 7-5

Sekou Bangoura, U.S., (q) def. Daniel Nguyen, U.S., (5) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2

Marek Michalicka, Czech Republic, def. Raymond Sarmiento, U.S., (q) 6-4, 6-4

Mitchell Krueger, U.S., (8) def. Nicolas Meister, U.S., 6-4, 6-2

Francis Tiafoe, U.S., def. Darian King, Barbados, (4), 6-7 (5), 7-5, 2-0, ret.

Ernesto Escobedo, U.S., def. Deiton Baughman, U.S., (q) 6-2, 5-7, 6-2

Fritz Wolmarans, U.S., def. Boris Bakalov, Bulgaria, (q) 7-5, 6-3

Mico Santiago, U.S., def. Emilio Gomez, Ecuador, 6-3, 6-0

Giovanni Lapentti, Eucador, def. Michael Shabaz, U.S., (q) 6-4, 6-4

Alexander Ward, Great Britain, def. Walker Duncan, U.S., (ll) 5-7, 6-2, 6-3

 

Wednesday’s First-Round Doubles Score

Jason Jung, U.S. / Raymond Sarmiento, U.S., def. Keanu Ellen, U.S. / Jan-Michael Gambill, U.S., (wc) 6-2, 7-6 (6).

By Steve Pratt

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Victoria Azarenka is Looking Forward to Building Momentum in Miami

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MIAMI, FL. (March 25, 2015) Playing for the first time since 2012, two-time Miami Open champion Victoria Azarenka moved into the the second round Wednesday, besting Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-1, 6-3.

The Belarusian missed playing the last two years with ankle and foot injuries. The injuries over the years have seen the two-time Australian Open champion’s ranking fall. She ended the 2014 season ranked No. 32.

“It’s been unfortunate the last couple of years for me, but I love this tournament,” said the currently ranked world No. 36. “I think, you know, the field is very strong all the time for me.

“I’m just happy to play anywhere I can,” she said smiling. “Obviously coming back to a place where I have a lot of great memories, it’s always nice.

“So I’m just looking forward to build my momentum here again and try to play as many matches as possible, but really to improve my level.”

As for evaluating her match on Wednesday, she said: “I think it was a pretty good first set. You know, second set there was a little bit too many mistakes in the beginning. I felt like I lost my momentum, and she led the way a little bit.

“But I’m glad I could turn it around and play well when I needed to. But I just would like to see a little bit more consistency from my game.”

Nick Bollettieri  and Victoria Azarenka at Miami Open Kids Day

Nick Bollettieri and Victoria Azarenka at Miami Open Kids Day

“I remember when I came here and I won my first two matches how excited I was. It was like, Oh, my God, I made it to third round in Miami and I played Anastasia Myskina.

“For me, it felt like I won a Grand Slam. I was that happy. But obviously being here at 25, it feels a little bit different. Definitely I think you evolve. Every year I came here, now it feels so much different than when I was here at 19.”

Next up for Azarenka will be 20th seed Jelena Jankovic, just coming off her finalist appearance at Indian Wells this past Sunday.

“It’s tough match,” Azarenka noted. “Being an unseeded player, I’m going to have really difficult, you know, first couple of rounds.

“I’m looking forward to that. I just need to, you know, keep working on my game and trying to do my best every match.

“But, yeah, Jelena had such a great week in the past, so she’s playing with a lot of confidence. She’s always a dangerous player, so I just need to focus on myself and try to play my best.”

Azarenka leads in the head-to-head record against Jankovic 6-4.

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Serena Williams Hopes to be Ready to Take the Court on Friday at Miami Open

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(March 25, 2015) MIAMI, FL – Just days after withdrawing from her Indian Wells semifinal against Simona Halep with a knee injury, Serena Williams, now at the Miami Open, the two-time defending champion, hopes that she’ll be ready to play her first match on Friday.

“I’m okay,” said Williams giving an update on her health. “I’m just managing where I am right now. Just trying to stay out of as much pain as possible and see what happens.”

“I know I’m going to have to manage the pain. I think if I’m in that mental state, okay, you might be in a little pain. You just have to figure out the best way around it.”

Why not, skip the tournament all together? Williams just lives practically down the road from the event in Palm Beach County. On top of this, she’s won the event a record seven times.

“I didn’t think I would be doing this interview today,” Williams said. “I stepped on the court (to practice on Wednesday) and I was just like, I love this place. You know, I love playing at home. I live just down the road.

“So, yeah, it takes a lot. It takes a tremendous amount for me to stop. Yeah, so I don’t know if that’s a good thing or that’s a bad thing, but I think I will be okay.”

The real test for the 19-time major champion will be when she takes the court on Friday against second round opponent Monica Niculescu of Romania.

“Probably on my first match, if I get that far,” the world No. 1  said. “So, yeah, I don’t want to put too much pressure on it before.

“I’m just here in Miami, so I’m just going to go for it and see what happens.”

Williams just defeated Niculescu in the second round at Indian Wells just last week and won the match 7-5, 7-5.

“Well, I definitely don’t have low expectations,” said the American. “I just definitely expect to do the best that I can. Whether that’s winning or just stepping out on the court, that’s what I’m going to have to do.

“Again, I don’t feel any pressure because I have won this title a few times, so I feel good about being here. When I hit on the court today, just something about Miami, you know. I just feel so good out here.

“So I was like, Oh, this is fun. I’m just looking forward to just enjoying myself this year more than anything.”

“I think every player has pain. I said this before. I don’t know any player that goes out there without pain. Every match I play, I mean, I could be 10% in pain or I could be 80% in pain. It just kind of depends how you feel and how can you manage that.

“Knowing ahead of time the problems that you’re dealing with, usually you have a good way. Okay, we’re dealing with this problem and this is how you treat it, so you can be able to play at a high level.

“Now that I kind of know what’s going on, I’m able to treat it and be able to play at a higher level than I would have been able to play a couple of weeks ago.”

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Recap of 2015 Tennis Industry Association Tennis Summit at Indian Wells

tia

From the Tennis Industry Association: RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIF. (March 25, 2015) – A high-powered lineup of tennis, sports and business executives shared their insights, issues, and concerns at the 2015 Tennis Industry Association (TIA) Tennis Summit, held March 17-18 in conjunction with the BNP Paribas Open men’s and women’s professional tennis tournament in Indian Wells, Calif. The event was held at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in nearby Rancho Mirage.

 

Among the speakers at the Tennis Summit were TV sports broadcaster Ted Robinson, sports and performance psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Jim Loehr, USTA President and CEO Katrina Adams, Women’s Tennis Association Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster, ATP Tour Vice President of Marketing George Ciz, Life Time Fitness Founder and CEO Bahram Akradi, Sports & Fitness Industry Association President and CEO Tom Cove, U.S. Professional Tennis Association CEO John Embree, Professional Tennis Registry CEO Dan Santorum, Tennis Hall of Fame coaching legend Nick Bollettieri, tennis management company founder and former pro player Peter Burwash, Mylan World TeamTennis CEO and Commissioner Ilana Kloss, Tennis Magazine Publisher Jeff Williams, and Tennis Channel Vice President David Egdes.

 

“We brought together a terrific lineup of tennis industry executives, legends, pros, coaches and other sports and business personalities to examine the state of the tennis industry and the sport,” said TIA President Greg Mason. “Our speakers hit key topics and themes that will affect growth in every segment of the tennis industry. Plus, attendees were able to ask questions and make comments at a number of ‘Open Forums.’ The interaction produced spirited discussions that will help the sport move forward.”

 

Topics that were addressed at the Summit included:

  • How the sport can remain relevant-and grow-in today’s business climate.
  • The importance of tennis in today’s society and what the sport can learn from other sports.
  • Challenges and opportunities facing tennis, including the key tennis delivery system and teaching professionals.
  • The drive for healthy and fit lifestyles through tennis.
  • The importance of two major tennis infrastructure projects-one in Florida, the other in at the US Open in New York-to the growth of the sport.
  • The growth of the professional tours and how they’re connecting with grassroots players.
  • How digital media is changing the landscape of sports entertainment.

Mason, TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer and sports marketing research expert Keith Storey led off the Summit with the “State of the Industry.” Among the data they presented was the value of the overall “tennis economy,” which was at 5.73 billion at year-end 2014, up 3 percent from 2013.

 

Mason outlined concerns he has about the industry, including the fact that 1.5 million fewer entry-level tennis racquets were purchased from 2008 to 2014. Another concern is the age of the average tennis player is getting older. “We need to make sure we’re doing all we can to attract younger players to our sport,” he said, adding that it also extends to needing to bring younger people into the business of tennis, too.

 

One key to helping boost participation, Mason said, is the industry-wide initiative “Try Tennis Free,” which runs throughout the month of May and is designed to give new and returning players an opportunity to get into tennis for free at local facilities and with local pros. “The Try Tennis Free campaign can bring in large numbers of players, of all ages, looking to benefit from all that tennis has to offer,” he said. Mason urged all tennis providers to register their free program offers at PlayTennis.com.

 

Following Mason and the TIA, Tom Cove, the CEO of the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, identified and defined key trends that will impact the tennis and sports industries, among them that health and wellness will be the “No. 1 driver” of sports participation in 2015 and that “parents want a good experience for the whole family” when it comes to sports and recreation.

 

Cove also discussed the “inactivity pandemic” in the U.S., including how 80 million Americans on a recent survey reported they do no sports or activity at all. “Inactivity has increased 28 percent over the past seven years,” Cove said. “We need to build a culture of activity based on fun sports activities.”

 

Katrina Adams, the new president, chairman and CEO of the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), talked about her priorities for her two-year term, which includes targeting the Hispanic community as a way to give tennis participation a boost in the U.S. Her goals also include finding more and better ways to reach out to recreational high school players, which she called a “huge opportunity” for the industry, and also emphasizing the importance of sportsmanship in tennis. Adams also plans to continue to increase the USTA’s collaboration and partnerships with other groups and organizations.

 

USTA Executive Director Gordon Smith discussed the ongoing improvements to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, home of the US Open. Plans call for spending more than $500 million over the next four years, including construction of a roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium. “It’s important to be the leader, especially in the sports and entertainment capital of the world,” he said.

 

Smith also discussed the major, 102-court facility the USTA will build at Lake Nona, Fla., which will break ground on April 18 and has been dubbed the “new home of American tennis.” The site will serve as a training ground for players and coaches, and will be the home to the USTA Player Development and Community Tennis departments.

 

The professional game was on display with updates from WTA Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster and ATP Tour Vice President of Marketing George Ciz, who both discussed plans for growth of the women’s and men’s tours, respectively. Allaster then joined a panel with David Egdes of Tennis Channel, Ilana Kloss of Mylan World TeamTennis and J. Wayne Richmond of the Emirates Airline US Open Series for a discussion on how the pro tours and their players connect to the grassroots.

 

World-renowned sports and performance psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Jim Loehr wrapped up the Summit’s first day with insights into how the tennis and sports industry can remain relevant to today’s athletes and culture.

 

“There is a lot of competition for kids’ participation in sports and activities,” Loehr said. “Tennis must do a better job of addressing parents to let them know how tennis is different than any other sport. How do we accelerate tennis learning? How do we make tennis friendlier? How do we make learning tennis more fun? How do we awaken the world to the value of tennis in life?”

 

Loehr added that the industry needs to do a better job selling tennis to parents, noting several points that work in tennis’s favor, including how the sport provides a full-body workout, exercises the brain, can be played for a lifetime, and helps to make a better, more fully functioning person.

 

The second day opened with Emmy Award-winning TV sportscaster Ted Robinson, who offered his take on the importance of tennis in today’s society and on what tennis can learn from other sports. “Tennis is unique in that some of the greatest players still talk about tennis and are great ambassadors for the sport,” he said.

 

To bring more spectators and participants into the sport, Robinson said technology was vital, especially for embracing millennials through digital content. “Be proud of tennis,” he said. “It’s a phenomenal activity.”

 

Life Time Fitness founder and CEO Bahram Akradi, named Tennis Industry magazine’s “Person of the Year” for his company’s commitment to tennis, explained why tennis has been a wise investment for his business and how he is looking to help the sport grow through his facilities. Life Time Fitness is the largest operator of indoor courts in the U.S. At Life Time facilities, “Tennis courts change the space from a fitness club to a country club,” Akradi said. “If there’s any chance to put in tennis courts, we will. Tennis is here to stay, and we plan to grow it at every opportunity.”

 

The USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis, Kurt Kamperman, led a panel discussion and Open Forum on the challenges and opportunities of growing tennis at the recreational level. Panelist included the heads of the two main teaching professional organizations: Dan Santorum of the PTR and John Embree of the USPTA.

 

“Millennial parents want more local sports, shorter play formats, and non-elimination formats,” Kamperman said. “We’ve got senior players covered, but we still have work to do with youth players and getting them into the game.”

 

Peter Burwash, a former pro tour player and founder of a major tennis management company, and frequent speaker for Fortune 500 companies, discussed lessons he learned in his personal and professional life in tennis and how they can apply to growing this sport. He gave his list of the characteristics of a good leader: enthusiasm, great creativity, expanding your horizons, empathy and appreciation. “The strongest leaders are lifetime learners,” he added.

 

Immediately following the Tennis Summit, on March 18-19, top tennis facility managers and consultants shared their knowledge and experience at the third annual Tennis Owners & Managers (T.O.M.) Conference, also presented by the TIA.

Coaching legend Nick Bollettieri, who received the highest honor in tennis last July when he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, spoke at a lunch kicking off the T.O.M. Conference, praising tennis and asking what other sport you can play well into your 90s. “Keep your mission top of mind at all times,” he told the crowd, “and don’t be afraid to fail-it’s critical to success.”

 

“As a follow-up to both the Tennis Summit and the T.O.M. Conference, we’re meeting to outline a plan that we hope will go a long way to achieving transformational change within this industry,” said de Boer of the TIA. “These conferences examined the industry and our sport, and where it’s headed, and helped to define ways to ensure growth. We want to make sure we’re on the right path for the long-term.”

 

The TIA plans to present its annual Tennis Forum on Aug. 31 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, as the US Open begins. Details for 2016 tennis industry events will be announced in the near future. Visit TennisIndustry.org for more information.

 

TIA Board of Directors

adidas: David Malinowski
America Sports Builders Assoc.: Fred Stringfellow
ATP World Tour: Linda Clark
Babolat: Eric Babolat
Dunlop Sports Group: Kai Nitsche
ESPN: Jason Bernstein
HEAD Penn Racquet Sports: Greg Mason (TIA President)
IHRSA: Meredith Poppler
International Management Group: Kevin Callanan
International Tennis Federation: Dave Miley
International Tennis Hall of Fame: Todd Martin
Mylan World TeamTennis: Ilana Kloss
Prince Sports: Mike Ballardie
Professional Tennis Registry: Dan Santorum
Sports & Fitness Industry Association: Tom Cove
Tennis Channel: David Egdes
Tennis Magazine: Jeff Williams
U.S. Professional Tennis Association: John Embree
U.S. Racquet Stringers Association: David Bone
U.S. Tennis Association: Kurt Kamperman
Wilson Sporting Goods: Cory Springer
WTA Tennis: Stacey Allaster
TIA Retail Representative: Jim Fromuth

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Miami Open – Wednesday Schedule

MiamiOpenTennis

MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITAU – MIAMI, UNITED STATES
USD 5,381,235.00 (ATP)
USD 5,381,235.00 (WTA)
23 MARCH – 5 APRIL 2015

ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2015
STADIUM start 11:00 am
ATP – [WC] T. Kokkinakis (AUS) vs C. Berlocq (ARG)
ATP – G. Soeda (JPN) vs J. Sock (USA)

Not Before 3:00 pm
WTA – V. Azarenka (BLR) vs S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP)
WTA – M. Puig (PUR) vs [Q] I. Falconi (USA)

Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP – V. Estrella Burgos (DOM) vs S. Querrey (USA)
WTA – Y. Wickmayer (BEL) vs S. Stephens (USA)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
ATP – D. Young (USA) vs Y. Lu (TPE)
WTA – H. Watson (GBR) vs [Q] E. Rodina (RUS)
ATP – S. Stakhovsky (UKR) vs [PR] N. Almagro (ESP)
ATP – D. Thiem (AUT) vs D. Schwartzman (ARG)

Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – [Q] R. Bemelmans (BEL) vs J. Monaco (ARG)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
WTA – D. Hantuchova (SVK) vs B. Bencic (SUI)
ATP – M. Granollers (ESP) vs [WC] H. Chung (KOR)
ATP – [WC] K. Edmund (GBR) vs [Q] R. Haase (NED)
ATP – T. Smyczek (USA) vs [Q] A. Menendez-Maceiras (ESP)
WTA – L. Davis (USA) vs [Q] S. Karatantcheva (BUL)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – [WC] S. Cirstea (ROU) vs C. Mchale (USA)
WTA – [Q] U. Radwanska (POL) vs C. Vandeweghe (USA)
ATP – J. Nieminen (FIN) vs M. Matosevic (AUS)
ATP – D. Istomin (UZB) vs [Q] A. Krajicek (USA)

COURT 7 start 11:00 am
ATP – J. Struff (GER) vs B. Becker (GER)
WTA – [Q] S. Voegele (SUI) vs K. Flipkens (BEL)
ATP – [Q] F. Krajinovic (SRB) vs D. Lajovic (SRB)
WTA – A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs V. Zvonareva (RUS)

COURT 8 start 11:00 am
WTA – Ann. Beck (GER) vs S. Zhang (CHN)
WTA – [Q] M. Erakovic (NZL) vs [WC] D. Gavrilova (RUS)
ATP – [Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) vs [Q] J. Duckworth (AUS)
ATP – J. Sousa (POR) vs A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP)

COURT 9 start 11:00 am
WTA – A. Riske (USA) vs M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO)
WTA – [Q] P. Parmentier (FRA) vs K. Bertens (NED)
WTA – R. Vinci (ITA) vs [Q] T. Maria (GER)
WTA – J. Goerges (GER) vs J. Cepelova (SVK)

COURT 10 start 11:00 am
WTA – [Q] K. Kozlova (UKR) vs T. Pironkova (BUL)
WTA – [Q] A. Dulgheru (ROU) vs E. Vesnina (RUS)
WTA – [Q] T. Babos (HUN) vs [WC] N. Vaidisova (CZE)
WTA – [Q] A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) vs M. Rybarikova (SVK)

RESULTS – MARCH 24, 2015

Women’s
Singles – First Round

M. Niculescu (ROU) d S. Rogers (USA) 76(1) 61
[WC] C. Bellis (USA) d [WC] I. de Vroome (NED) 62 62
J. Larsson (SWE) d Y. Shvedova (KAZ) 64 76(4)
A. Schmiedlova (SVK) d P. Hercog (SLO) 63 62
T. Smitkova (CZE) d [WC] N. Vikhlyantseva (RUS) 06 75 62
K. Kanepi (EST) d [WC] F. Abanda (CAN) 62 63
M. Brengle (USA) d A. Krunic (SRB) 60 62
K. Knapp (ITA) d K. Siniakova (CZE) 62 60
B. Jovanovski (SRB) d M. Barthel (GER) 36 63 62
K. Mladenovic (FRA) d K. Koukalova (CZE) 64 64
[WC] P. Badosa Gibert (ESP) d P. Cetkovska (CZE) 61 61
K. Nara (JPN) d A. Tomljanovic (CRO) 64 63

Women’s
Qualifying Singles – Second Round

Qualifying – [2] A. Dulgheru (ROU) d [WC] I. Soylu (TUR) 64 75
Qualifying – [20] K. Kozlova (UKR) d [3] S. Zheng (CHN) 61 63
Qualifying – [5] M. Erakovic (NZL) d L. Domínguez Lino (ESP) 62 76(1)
Qualifying – [8] T. Babos (HUN) d L. Hradecka (CZE) 62 63
Qualifying – [18] I. Falconi (USA) d [10] D. Allertova (CZE) 76(6) 16 75
Qualifying – [13] E. Rodina (RUS) d [11] C. Scheepers (RSA) 06 64 62
Qualifying – [12] P. Parmentier (FRA) d [14] G. Min (USA) 62 64
Qualifying – U. Radwanska (POL) d [15] A. Konjuh (CRO) 62 62
Qualifying – [17] S. Voegele (SUI) d L. Zhu (CHN) 61 61
Qualifying – [22] T. Maria (GER) d D. Kovinic (MNE) 62 64
Qualifying – A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) d [WC] I. Neel (USA) 76(7) 64
Qualifying – S. Karatantcheva (BUL) d J. Glushko (ISR) 62 46 63

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Philippoussis Defeats Agassi to Win 15 Powershares Series Opener in Salt Lake City

powershares

(March 24, 2015) SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Mark Philippoussis defeated Andre Agassi 7-6 (4) in the one-set championship match Tuesday to win the Champions Shootout, the opening event on the 2015 PowerShares Series, at the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah.

“A match like this could go either way,” Agassi said following the final. “I had a lot some chances early on when you get down to a breaker with Mark you have to execute on the right points. He did that tonight, but it was lot of fun trying to chase down his shots.”

Philippoussis, the 2003 Wimbledon runner-up, was aided not only by his powerful serve – which earned him the nick-name of “Scud” – but in the fact that his booming shots broke the strings in all three of Andre Agassi’s racquets, forcing the eight-time major champion to finish the match using one of the Australian’s racquets.

The tournament win was third on the PowerShares Series for Philippoussis and the first since winning in Surprise, Arizona in 2010. Agassi was seeking his eighth career PowerShares Series title.

The one-night four-player tournament event marked the first pro tennis event to exclusively use Hawk-Eye electronic line-calling technology in lieu of linespeople.

In the semifinal matches earlier in the night, Philippoussis posted a 6-3 win over James Blake, who won the PowerShares Series event in Salt Lake City last year, when played at the Energy Solutions Arena. Agassi defeated Jim Courier 6-3 in the other semifinal.

The PowerShares Series continues Wednesday night in Los Angeles at the Galen Center at the University of Southern California where Philippoussis, Courier and Blake will join Andy Roddick in the field. Philippoussis is a late replacement in the Los Angeles field for Pete Sampras, who injured his calf muscle while playing in an event in Sweden over the weekend and was forced to withdraw from the event. For full schedule, player and ticket information, go to www.PowerSharesSeries.com

The remaining PowerShares Series schedule with full fields are as follows:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Novikov, Thompson, Fritz, Kozlov Move On At USTA Men’s Pro Championships of Calabasas

USTA pro circuit logo

(March 24, 2015) CALABASAS, Calif., – Three players with Southern California ties joined Floridian and promising American teenager Stefan Kolov in the second round of the USTA Men’s Pro Tennis Championships of Calabasas, which began main draw play on Tuesday at the Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center.

 

Former Bay Area resident and UCLA player Dennis Novikov, 21, needed three sets in the first round – scores were 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4 – to put away fellow American Tommy Paul, a 17-year-old East Coaster given a USTA wild card into the USTA Pro Circuit $15,000 Futures tournament.

 

Just three weeks ago, the Calabasas No. 2-seeded Novikov was the only American male to qualify for the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. That performance vaulted his ATP World Tour ranking from No. 256 to a career-high No. 219 in the world. Shortly after hearing about the rankings jump, Novikov Tweeted out: “#219 in the world …French open Qualies here I come.”

 

Novikov, who had never faced Paul, later in the day teamed with Giovanni Lapentti of Ecuador to beat his former Bruin teammates Maxime Tabatruong and Clay Thompson in the first round of doubles, 6-2, 7-5.

 

“My goal is to finish the year by playing at least qualifying in the remaining three Grand Slams,” Novikov said. “By the end of the year, I want to be in the top 100.”

 

Thompson, who won the Calabasas Wild Card Tournament, took advantage of his pass into the main draw and upset No. 3-seeded Gianni Mina of France, 6-2, 7-6 (10-8).

 

Similarly, another Southern California wild card, 17-year-old Taylor Fritz from Rancho Santa Fe, took out lucky loser Lucas Renard of Sweden, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.

 

In the only other main-draw singles match, Kozlov downed local wild card Keanu Ellen of Calabasas, 6-0, 6-0.

 

EVENTS: A USPTA Coaches workshop with one or two of the Pro Circuit players and their coach will take place on Thursday, March 26 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Adult Pro-Am drill is Friday, March 27, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Community Tennis Association & USTA League appreciation night is Friday, March 27, starting at 6 p.m. A VIP sponsor dinner reception is also on Friday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. A USTA Junior Team Tennis Kid’s Day with a Tennis Carnival is Saturday, March 28, from 1:30 p.m. till 3 p.m.

 

Tuesday’s First-Round Singles Scores

Clay Thompson, U.S., (wc), def. Gianni Mina, France (3), 6-2, 7-6 (10-8)

Dennis Novikov, U.S., (2) def. Tommy Paul, U.S., (wc) 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4

Taylor Fritz, U.S., (wc) def. Lucas Renard (ll), Sweden, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3

Stefan Kozlov, U.S., def. Keanu Ellen, U.S., (wc) 6-0, 6-0

 

Tuesday’s First-Round Doubles Scores

Deighton Baughman, U.S. / Walker Duncan, U.S. def. Calle Hansen, U.S. / Quinn Borchard, U.S., 6-3, 6-4

Fabiano De Paula, Brazil / Pedro Sakamoto, Brazil (1) def. Alexander Klintcharov, New Zealand / Alan Nunez Aguilera, Mexico, 7-5, 6-2

Adrian Forberg Skogeng, Norway / Wil Spencer, U.S., def. Kaptan Kaster, U.S. / Isaiah Strode, U.S., (wc) 6-0. 6-4

Pedro Bernardi, Brazil / Luis Fernando Ramirez, Venezuela, def. Francis Alcantara, Philippines / Mico Santiago, U.S., 7-5, 2-6, 10-8

Damon Gooch, South Africa / Lucas Renard, Sweden, def. Hans Hach, Mexico, Julio Peralta, Chile (2), 6-1, 6-7 (6), 10-4

Fabian Matthew, U.S. / Jeremy Hunter Nicholas, U.S. def. Mbonisi Ndimande, Zimbabwe / Daniel Nguyen, U.S., 6-2, 6-3

Giovanni Lapentti, Ecuador / Dennis Novikov, U.S. (3) def. Maxime Tabatruong, France, Clay Thompson, U.S., 6-2, 7-5

 

By Steve Pratt

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John Austin named Director of Tennis for the Hall of Fame Tennis Club in Newport, Rhode Island

John Austin

John Austin

NEWPORT, R.I., March 24, 2015 – The International Tennis Hall of Fame has announced

that John Austin will be joining the Hall of Fame Tennis Club as the Director of Tennis on April 1, 2015. His tennis background ranges from ATP Touring Professional to ATP Coach to Director of Tennis at some resorts on the West Coast.

“I am very excited to be a part of the legendary Hall of Fame Tennis Club. I have a deep passion for the game and a strong appreciation for the history of this great sport. I am looking forward to being part of the club’s future, especially with the renovations and programming which are sure to be an integral part of the club in the years to come,” said Austin.

 

Austin joins the Hall of Fame Tennis Club as the  tennis facility is currently undergoing a major renovation and expansion project. The project will result in an all-new indoor facility with three hard courts, and the addition of three new indoor/outdoor courts. The club also offers 13 grass courts and 1 clay court. The indoor facility will open in late Spring 2015, the grass courts will open for the season in late May, and the new indoor/outdoor courts will open by late Summer 2015 to complete the project.

 

In his new role, Austin will oversee all tennis programming at the Hall of Fame Tennis Club, a year-round facility that has a highly active membership of adult and junior players and is also open to the public for drop in play. The club offers an extensive tennis instruction program, social play, USTA leagues, and, in his new role, Austin will continue to build and grow the club’s tennis programming.

 

“We are thrilled to welcome John Austin to lead the tennis staff at the Hall of Fame Tennis Club,” said International Tennis Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin. “He has built successful and engaging tennis programs at some of the most popular clubs in the country, and we are eager to bring his expertise to our club to create a world-class experience for our members and guests.”

 

Austin competed on the ATP World Tour for six years, achieving a ranking of world No. 40. In 1980, he partnered with his sister, Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, to win a career-defining Wimbledon Mixed Doubles Championship. The pair also reached the Wimbledon mixed doubles final in 1981.

 

During his playing career, Austin achieved victories over then No. 1 John McEnroe, former French Open champion Yannick Noah, Andres Gomes, Wojtek Fibak, and Tim and Tom Gullikson. Prior to entering the professional ranks, Austin was a member of the victorious 1976 UCLA NCAA championship team and he was a 1978 NCAA doubles champion. He also reached the NCAA doubles final in 1977.

 

Upon his retirement from the professional tour, Austin became a coach for players including Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, Jim Grabb, Chuck Adams, Robbie Weiss, Alexandra Stevenson, and Amy Frazier to name a few. While pursuing his teaching career, Austin remained passionate about his own tennis, attaining two No. 1 USTA national rankings in the Men’s 40 Singles in 1997 and Men’s 35 Doubles in 2002.

 

Over the last 15 years, Austin has spent his time on court as the Director of Tennis at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, La Quinta Resort, City of Surprise, Arizona, and the Richmond County Country Club on Staten Island. He has skillfully developed unique adult and junior tennis programming, enhanced member experiences at the club level, and has inspired enthusiasm for the sport with tennis players at each facility.

 

The Hall of Fame Tennis Club facility dates back to 1880 and was the original site of the U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championships, the event that evolved to be today’s US Open. Over the past 130+ years, the courts have welcomed some of the world’s best players competing in ATP and WTA events, Davis Cups, and many other notable tennis events.

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