December 7, 2016

Reigning Boys’ 18s Champion Michael Mmoh Claims USTA Australian Open Wild Card

USTA Director of Player Development Martin Blackman, Michael Mmoh and his IMG Academy coach Glenn Weiner. Photo by Steve Pratt

USTA Director of Player Development Martin Blackman, Michael Mmoh and his IMG Academy coach Glenn Weiner.
Photo by Steve Pratt

USTA: (November 18, 2016) Michael Mmoh, 18, of Bradenton, Fla., has earned a berth into the main draw of the 2017 Australian Open by clinching the USTA Pro Circuit Australian Open Wild Card Challenge today. This will mark Mmoh’s first appearance in a Grand Slam main draw outside the United States.

Mmoh, who also earned a wild card into the 2016 US Open by winning the USTA Boys’ 18s National Championships, secured the Australian Open berth by winning his first USTA Pro Circuit Challenger title at the $50,000 Knoxville Challenger in Tennessee last week and reaching the quarterfinals of the $50,000 JSM Challenger of Champaign-Urbana in Champaign, Ill., this week to finish the challenge with 95 points. Jared Donaldson, the only player who could surpass Mmoh, lost in today’s semifinals in Champaign and could not gain enough points to earn the wild card. Mmoh is currently ranked a career-high No. 204 in the world.

Mmoh has had a breakout fall 2016, transitioning from the juniors to the pros and reaching his first USTA Pro Circuit Challenger final at the $100,000 Challenger in Tiburon, Calif., as a qualifier in October, prior to winning Knoxville. Also this year, he made his Grand Slam main-draw debut at the US Open, qualified for the ATP’s Memphis Open and competed in the main draw of the ATP event in Miami, while also winning the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit Futures in Bakersfield, Calif.

The rising young American peaked at No. 2 in the junior rankings in 2015 after reaching the singles semifinals at the junior French Open and the quarterfinals at the junior US Open. He also competed in the junior Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2015, reaching the doubles semifinals at both tournaments. In 2014, Mmoh went 5-0 in singles to help lead the U.S. to the Junior Davis Cup title, and he won his first career USTA Pro Circuit singles title at the $15,000 Futures in Brownsville, Texas. He added two additional USTA Pro Circuit titles in 2015.

Mmoh, who was born in Saudi Arabia but grew up in the U.S., trains with coach Glenn Weiner in Nick Bollettieri’s program at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He is the son of former ATP professional and Nigerian Olympian Tony Mmoh.

Kayla Day, 17, of Santa Barbara, Calif., earned the women’s Australian Open wild card earlier this month. Like Mmoh, Day will be making her second consecutive Grand Slam main draw appearance after earning a wild card into the 2016 US Open by winning the USTA Girls’ 18s National Championships. At this year’s US Open, Day won her first-round match. She then went on to win the US Open girls’ singles title to climb to No. 1 in the world junior rankings.

Final standings and information about the wild card challenge can be found at www.procircuit.usta.com.

The final standings are as follows:ustapcmenausopwn

Related article:

Despite First Round US Open Loss, Good Learning Experience For Kalamazoo Winner Michael Mmoh

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Andy Murray Reaches Semifinals of ATP World Tour Finals

 

(November 18, 2016) Andy Murray finished a perfect 3-0 in the John McEnroe group on Friday at the ATP World Tour Finals, beating Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-2.

“I weathered the early storm a little bit,” said Murray. “Stan came out hitting the ball huge. He was hitting a lot of winners, a lot of aces.”

“But once I got through the early part of the match, I started to create chances in most of his service games. I served very well myself, got a lot of free points with my serve. That allowed me to also dictate a lot of the points, whereas at the beginning of the match I wasn’t able to do that.”

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka

“I think he was serving really well, especially playing good after the serve,” said Wawrinka. “He didn’t give me many chance, especially at the beginning.

“Yeah, he make me hesitating a little bit with my game, when to go, when to stay back. That’s why he’s so good. That’s why he’s No. 1. He’s in full confidence. He’s playing the right things.”

The Scot who advances to the semifinals against Milos Raonic, keeps his hopes alive for trying to end the year as the top player for the first time. Novak Djokovic is trying to end the season as No. 1 for the fifth time in six years. The Serb will play Kei Nishikori in the other semifinal.

“It’s a big match, obviously,” Murray said of his semifinal against the Canadian. Milos, you know, he obviously serves big, goes for his shots. He moves forward when he has the chance. I think he probably likes the conditions here. It’s a little bit quicker.

“Yeah, you don’t normally get loads of opportunities against the big servers. Then it comes down to when you do get those chances, whether you take them or not. And this year when I’ve played him, I’ve created a few opportunities in the matches. When they’ve come, I’ve been pretty clinical. I’ll need to be the same tomorrow if I want to win.”

Should Djokovic lose to Nishikori, and Murray beats Raonic, the Murray will finish as No. 1. If Murray loses in the semifinals and Djokovic wins, the 12-time major champion will finish the year at No. 1.
Earlier in the day, Murray’s brother Jamie along with his doubles partner Bruno Soares clinched top spot in doubles for the year.

“They had an amazing year,” said Andy. “Only started playing with each other in January. Won the two slams, you know, which is fantastic. Jamie had not won a slam before this year, a men’s doubles slam. Bruno neither.

“They obviously complement each other’s games very well. They’ve played I think really good in most of the big competitions. They deserve it. They’ve obviously played extremely well this week. They knew pretty much what they were going to have to do. Yeah, won all three of their matches here.

“It’s a great achievement for both of them. Very proud of Jamie.

“I think my mum is here. My grandparents came earlier in the week. They went home on Thursday. My dad was here for the first few days, and he went home on Tuesday morning. He saw me and Jamie play one match each.

“But, no, I mean, obviously, the whole year has been fantastic for both of us. Obviously, yeah, we would like to finish it perfectly if we can. Still there’s a good chance that doesn’t happen. Yeah, regardless of what happens over the weekend, we can look back on this year and be very proud of what we’ve done as a family.”

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Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares Clinch Year-End No. 1 ATP Doubles Team Ranking

 

LONDON – The first-year pairing of Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares has clinched the year-end No. 1 Emirates ATP Doubles Team Ranking. Murray and Soares join Grant Connell and Patrick Galbraith (1993), and Jonas Bjorkman and Todd Woodbridge (2001) as the only teams to claim the honour in their first season together.

Great Britain’s Murray and Brazil’s Soares, who completed Group Edberg/Jarryd play this week with a 3-0 record to advance to the semi-finals at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, are guaranteed the year-end No. 1 honour after French pair Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut lost their final round-robin match at The O2 in London, venue of the season finale.

Additionally, as a result of Mahut’s loss, if Soares goes on to win the season finale crown with Murray on Sunday, the 34 year old will become the 50th player (since 1976) to rise to the individual No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings, when the new standings are published on 21 November.

“It takes time to develop a partnership,” said Murray. “We were fortunate to hit it off on the right note at the beginning of the year and it gave us a lot of confidence. We knew we could do good things on the court together and the No. 1 ranking shows that. We’ll try and compete this weekend to win the [Barclays] ATP World Tour Finals. It’s pretty exciting to be the No. 1 team.”

Soares said, “My phone is shaking quite a lot now. It’s a great achievement and now I have to win the title to become the individual No. 1 [in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings]. So I have a chance.”

Murray and Soares captured three titles in 2016 at the Australian Open (d. Nestor/Stepanek), the US Open (d. Carreño Busta/Garcia-Lopez) and the Apia Sydney International (d. Bopanna/Mergea). The pair was also runners up at two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (l. to Herbert/Mahut) and the Rogers Cup in Toronto (l. to Dodig/Melo).

Jamie Murray’s brother, Andy, is also battling Novak Djokovic for the coveted year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, which will be decided in the final days of the 2016 season at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

Andy Murray on his brother and Soares ending the year No . 1:

“They had an amazing year. Only started playing with each other in January. Won the two slams, you know, which is fantastic. Jamie had not won a slam before this year, a men’s doubles slam. Bruno neither.

“They obviously complement each other’s games very well. They’ve played I think really good in most of the big competitions. They deserve it. They’ve obviously played extremely well this week. They knew pretty much what they were going to have to do. Yeah, won all three of their matches here.

“It’s a great achievement for both of them. Very proud of Jamie.”

“I think my mum is here. My grandparents came earlier in the week. They went home on Thursday. My dad was here for the first few days, and he went home on Tuesday morning. He saw me and Jamie play one match each.

“But, no, I mean, obviously the whole year has been fantastic for both of us. Obviously, yeah, we would like to finish it perfectly if we can. Still there’s a good chance that doesn’t happen. Yeah, regardless of what happens over the weekend, we can look back on this year and be very proud of what we’ve done as a family.”

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Novak Djokovic 3-0 in ATP World Tour Finals Group, Suggests Round Robin Format for Olympics and Davis Cup Changes

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

(November 17, 2016) Novak Djokovic in his quest to end the year as No. 1, dismissed David Goffin 6-1, 6-2 to complete a perfect 3-0 round robin record at the ATP World Tour Finals at London’s O2 Arena on Thursday. Goffin, from Belgium, was an alternate for Gael Monfils who withdrew with a rib injury.

Djokovic, who says he likes the round robin format, thinks it should be used for the Olympics.

I think this format is exciting,” said the Serb. “I mean, look, it’s the only tournament in the year that we have this kind of format. I like playing in the round-robin system.

“To be honest, I think certainly events, maybe like Olympic Games, should have this format. I guess you play more matches. The people like to see the top players being at least for a couple matches, two, three matches, in the tournament. It gives more value to the event.

“Of course, it makes you feel also more, I guess, at ease because you know you’re going to play at least three. Even if you lose a match, you can have a chance to qualify for the knock-out stage.”

 

The 12-time major champion also talked about changing the Davis cup format and added his suggestions:

“This format is not working for the top players, especially for the top players, because it’s just completely at the wrong time in the schedule. If you go back five years, let’s say five, six years, you see the amount of the top players that played at the later stages of the Davis Cup, you see that it lost value.

“Of course, they have to change. They need to have the format, in my opinion, the only way to work, is once a year, one or two weeks, two weeks, have a round-robin format, four, five, six groups, have teams play in different locations, then come together in one location and play a knock-out stage, quarterfinals, semifinals, final four, whatever.

“It’s a no-brainer. I’m not the only one to have this kind of opinion about it. Many of the players have been talking about this format and the schedule, top players especially, because it just comes right after Grand Slams, right after World Tour Finals.

“Playing over three days, best-of-five… I think they should cut it down to two days, best-of-three. Have two singles and one doubles, those kind of things.

“In tennis, it’s a bit confusing with the ITF, ATP, Grand Slams. Everybody is a separate entity. You have to consider different sides and negotiate.

“ITF owns Davis Cup. ITF hasn’t been really very helpful with the players’ demands. The only thing that they wanted to change is the neutral final, I think for next year or the year after that, which talking to all the players on the council, most of the players also around the tour, nobody agrees with that. Again, you’re taking away from the players the one thing that players love about Davis Cup, which is the home tie, the home crowd.

“Yeah, I don’t know how the future of Davis Cup will look like. I mean, I respect that competition. It has a long history. I love playing for my country. This is the only official team competition we have in our sport.

“But there is definitely something radically that has to change. I don’t know if they realize, but they’re losing a lot of value in terms of commercial perspective, marketing perspective, whatever.

“People don’t know the format of the competition, the system, how it works, who plays who, until it gets to the finals. Even the finals is not as attractive in some countries anymore.”

 

Djokovic qualified for the semifinals on Tuesday. Milos Raonic defeated Dominic Thiem 7-6(5), 6-3 to clinch the second semifinal spot from the group.

Raonic become the first Canadian to reach the singles semifinals of the year-end event.

Friday will determine the other two semifinal spots. Right now Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori remain in contention.

Djokovic, leader of the Ivan Lendl group will play the the second place finisher in the John McEnroe group. Raonic will play the leader of the John McEnroe group.

 

 

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Andy Murray Survives Kei Nishikori in Three-Set Battle to go 2-0 at ATP World Tour Finals

Andy Murray fh

(November 16, 2016) World No. 1 Andy Murray survived a three-hour and twenty-minute struggle against Kei Nishikori to win 6-7 (9), 6-4, 6-4 to go 2-0 in round robin play at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena on Wednesday.

The match set an ATP World Tour Finals record as the longest three-set match in time.

Murray is in the top position in his group to qualify for the semifinals of the year-end event for the first time since 2012. This is the first time since 2009 that the Scot has won his first two matches at the event.

Murray has won 21 straight matches.

“Especially the first set, beginning part of the second set, he was dictating almost all of the rallies,” said Murray. “At one stage they put up the graphic on the screen in the first set, said I made 96% of returns, which at that stage means maybe I missed one. There wasn’t any quick points on his serve. There was a lot of rallies one after another.

“Often on a surface like this, you’ll play some quicker points where you maybe get aced or don’t make returns. But it was kind of every point there was rallies, and you’re having to play four, five shots.

“It’s tough. Like you say, he does move the ball around extremely well, better than anyone maybe. So, yeah, it was physically tough. Thankfully I was getting quite a few free points on my own serve, which helped.

“It wasn’t easy because I wasn’t able to dictate many of the points, it felt. More so in the third set I was able to. But not in the first couple sets. I was having to run, fight, get as many balls back as I could.”

Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori

“Well, it’s never feel good, you know, after losing the match,” Nishikori said. “I know it was close. I mean, definitely disappointed. But there’s much is coming into this, so try to be ready for that.”

“He’s tough player, so… Think it was great match, both of us. Also for me, played really consistent, playing with good energy.

“Well, I’m sure he’s going to qualify for the group. I try to aim for the second spot.”

It could all come down to a battle for year-end No. 1 against Novak Djokovic later in the tournament

“It could come down to a match between me and Novak,” Murray said. “Who knows what’s going to happen the next few days. Just from my side, concentrate on trying to win my own matches, get through as many as I can, make it as tough as possible for Novak to jump me.”

Gael Monfils

Gael Monfils

Gael Monfils has withdrawn from the year-end event with an 0-2 group record. He’s still suffering from a rib injury he’s had since the Stockholm event.

“Definitely I can’t play for tomorrow because I still feel worse and worse, my ribs, that I had lately,” Monfils said in a news conference. “Yeah, I feel that even yesterday was tough in the game. I feel unfortunately today I couldn’t be feeling great and couldn’t practice, so I just decide that I couldn’t play tomorrow.”

“I hurt myself in Stockholm tournament. From then, you know, I just start to practice last Monday.

“You know, I knew it’s going to be six weeks, they told me, of rest. I try to make it. I couldn’t really make it.”

“I’m very happy first to be here in the top eight. I think it’s the greatest season I ever done. I can say also I missed quite a lot. Big occasion to play.

“It give me more hope for next year. Definitely, I had a lot of big change for me. I think for the new season I will have new changes and hopefully I can be even stronger next year.”

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USTA Elects Katrina Adams To a Second Term as Chairman of the Board, CEO and President

Katrina Adams

Katrina Adams

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Nov. 16, 2016 – The USTA announced the election of Katrina M. Adams as USTA Chairman of the Board, CEO and President to serve a second two-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2017. This marks the first time in the association’s 135 year history that an individual will serve a second two-year term as Chairman of the Board, CEO and President. 

2017-18 USTA Board of Directors

Katrina M. Adams has served on the USTA Board of Directors for 12 years and will now serve a second consecutive two-year term as Chairman of the Board, CEO and President. Adams was the first African-American and first former professional tennis player to serve as the association’s Chairman of the Board, CEO and President. Previously, she served a two-year term as First Vice President of the USTA (2012-13), 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 she serves as Vice President of the ITF and is the Chairman of the ITF Fed Committee.

Prior to assuming her current role, Adams was the board liaison to the Professional Tennis Council, the USTA’s 17 sections and the USTA Foundation and USPTA. In addition, she served on the USTA Player Development Committee, the USTA Grievance Committee and the ITF Rules of Tennis Committee, and was a member of the ITF Davis Cup Committee from 2013 to 2015.

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. 

A Chicago native, 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.

Among her many accolades, Adams was honored with the WTA’s Player Service Award in 1989, 1996 and 1997, and she received the WTA Althea Gibson Award in 2003. In addition, she was inducted into the Northwestern Hall of Fame in 1998, the USTA Midwest Section Hall of Fame in 2005, the Chicago District Tennis Hall of Fame in 2008, the Black Tennis Hall of Fame in 2012, the ITA Women’s Tennis Hall of Fame in 2014 and the USTA Eastern Section Tennis Hall of Fame in 2015. Also in 2015, she was named one of the “25 Influential Black Women in Business” by The Network Journal and as one of Sports Business Daily’s “Game Changers.”

In addition to her duties with the USTA, Adams is a contributor on CBS Sports Network’s first all-female sports show, “We Need to Talk.” She also serves as a television analyst for Tennis Channel and as a contributor to Tennis magazine and tennis.com, providing instructional articles and videos.

Moreover, since 2005 Adams has served as the Executive Director of the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program, a National Junior Tennis & Learning network (NJTL) chapter based in New York City.

Patrick J. Galbraith of the USTA Pacific Northwest Section will serve as First Vice President of the USTA. Galbraith has 10 years of service on the USTA Board of Directors, including three terms as an Elite Athlete Director at Large, and is currently completing his second two-year term as Secretary-Treasurer. 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 he won 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 First Vice President-Wealth Management for UBS Financial Service, Inc.

Joan E. Baker of the USTA Northern Section will serve as Vice President of the USTA; she is currently serving her second consecutive two-year term as Director at Large. 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 Section Delegate, 2005-06. Since then she has served on the USTA Nominating Committee, 2007-10, chairing the committee for the 2009-10 term. In her two terms as a USTA Board member, Baker served as Chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Budget Committee. She is a lifelong tennis player and is 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 the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section will serve as Vice President of the USTA; he is currently completing his second consecutive term as a Director at Large. Ein is an investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist who has successfully built a series of growth companies across a diverse set of industries. In 1999, he founded and is currently CEO of an entrepreneurial investment holding company, Venturehouse Group, and has started, acquired or made large investments in several major companies including Kastle Systems (Chairman/Majority Owner), Two Harbors Investment Corporation (Vice-Chairman 2009-15, Co-Founder), Lindblad Expeditions (Chairman) and Capitol Acquisition 1, 2, and 3 (Chairman, CEO, Founder). In addition, he has invested in a wide variety of start-up and growth businesses. In 2007, Ein founded the Washington Kastles of World TeamTennis. Some of the many awards and recognitions he has received for his work include the Key to the City of Washington, D.C., the Jefferson Award for Public Service, EY and NFTE Entrepreneur of the Year, D.C. Chamber of Commerce Business Leader award, induction into the USTA Mid-Atlantic Tennis Hall of Fame and a “Washington Kastles Day” proclamation five times in Washington.

Thomas S. Ho of the USTA Texas Section will serve as Secretary-Treasurer of the USTA. Ho, with six years of service on the USTA Board, is currently completing his third term, one as Director at Large and two as Vice President. Ho previously served as a Director at Large Elite Athlete, 2009-10. He also serves on the Budget Committee and the Compensation Committee as well as on the Investment Committee for the 2015-16 term. 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. After graduation, Ho worked in the financial services industry with Goldman Sachs and UBS. Currently, he is a partner with Heidrick & Struggles, a global executive search firm, where he is a member of the Global Industrial, Global Financial Services and Financial Officers practice. Ho is a current member of the Texas Section Management Committee.

Fabrizio Alcobe-Fierro of the USTA Florida Section will serve his second consecutive term as Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors. A lifelong tennis player and parent of competitive junior players, Alcobe-Fierro is Founder and CEO of Novus Partners, a management consulting and investment firm focusing on helping organizations engage and grow within the U.S. Hispanic market. Until recently, Alcobe-Fierro was Senior Vice President of the Univision Networks at Univision Communications Inc., the premier media company serving Hispanic America. He was responsible for overseeing the administration, human resources, on-air talent, “Teletón USA,” award-winning Education Week and the transformation of Univision Communications’ television linear networks and digital content groups. Alcobe-Fierro created and spearheaded the development of the Education Week national education initiative with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, led the “Ya es Hora” Latino citizenship and voter campaign in 2012, and launched the network’s first “Teletón USA” broadcast to raise funds to build rehabilitation centers for children with disabilities in the U.S. He brings more than 18 years of extensive experience in media and digital communications, organizational management, global leadership, and designing and implementing global human resources programs. Alcobe-Fierro joined Univision from Interpublic Group (IPG), where he was Senior Vice President of Global Compensation. He also served as secretary of IPG’s Board Compensation and Leadership Talent Committee, the Management Human Resources Committee, and co-chair of its Hispanic heritage group. During his tenure at IPG, Alcobe-Fierro 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 master of public administration degree from Columbia University and an industrial engineer title from Universidad Iberoamericana. 

Jeffrey M. Baill of the USTA Northern Section will serve his first term as Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors. Baill has served in many roles as a USTA National volunteer, including two terms on the Learning and Leadership Development Committee, where he led subcommittees in developing best practices for volunteers and board orientation procedures for the sections. He has served on several governance-related task forces and served a term on the USTA Nominating Committee. Baill was also Chair of the President’s Committee, a member of the Delegates and Vice Chair of the Grievance Committee. He was the inaugural recipient of the USTA Volunteer Exceptional Service Award in 2016. In the USTA Northern Section, Baill has served as Board Member, Vice President, President and Delegate. He also served as the first General Counsel for the section. He has been an active USTA League member and is the parent of a son involved in USTA junior competition. Baill has a long history of involvement on not-for-profit boards. He has served as the President of three separate Boards of Directors and was the founder of the National Association of Subrogation Professionals, an international trade association with more than 3,000 members. With more than 35 years of professional experience, Baill is currently an officer on the Hennepin County Bar Association and managing partner of Yost & Baill. He has been named a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuter’s publications and is known as one of the leading authorities on insurance subrogation, having given more than 100 presentations on the subject to national audiences.

Laura F. Canfield of the USTA Middle States Section will serve her first term as Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors. She has been active in the tennis industry for more than 30 years in a wide range of areas, including serving as USTA Middle States Section Executive Director, Special Liaison to the USTA President, USTA Special Projects Coordinator, Interim Executive Director with the USTA Eastern, Mid-Atlantic and Intermountain sections, tournament coordinator and circulation manager for Tennis Week magazine and Community/Schools/Player Development Coordinator for the USTA Eastern Section. Her volunteer service includes two terms on the USTA Nominating Committee, which she chaired from 2012 to 2014, eight years on the USTA Middle States Board of Directors and service on the USTA Community Tennis Association Committee. Canfield is co-founder and current director of the Bucks County Tennis Association, which provides affordable quality tennis programs to approximately two dozen parks and recreation agencies and schools throughout Bucks County, Pa., servicing more than 2,000 participants annually. She is a past president of the Princeton Tennis Program, was a longtime Board member of the Eastern Section Junior Tennis Foundation and currently chairs the Northampton Township (Pa.) Parks and Recreation Board of Directors. After winning the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) district championship in high school, Canfield earned an undergraduate degree in Recreation and Leisure Services Management at East Stroudsburg University, where she helped lead the women’s tennis team to the Pennsylvania Conference title in 1979. She also holds a graduate degree in sports administration at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a certificate in nonprofit management at Bucks County Community College. She was inducted into the USTA Middle States Hall of Fame in 2012 and received its prestigious Mangan Award in 2014. She was also the recipient of the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section President’s Award (2008), the East Stroudsburg University Helen G. Brown Award for Lifetime Achievement (2015) and the East Stroudsburg University Outstanding Alumni Award (2016) for her contributions to recreation and leisure services management.

Dr. Brian Hainline of the USTA Midwest Section will serve his second term as a Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors. Dr. Hainline previously served on the USTA Board of Directors as a Director at Large in 2007-08, when he was Board Liaison to the Community Tennis Council. He has served as Chair of the Professional Council and Adult Community Programs Committee and has been a member of the Strategic Planning Committee and the International Committee, and he was a founding member of the Sport Science Committee. Hainline has a long history with tennis, both as a player and as a physician. He played No. 1 singles and doubles in his senior year at University of Notre Dame, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa before going on to earn his M.D. at the University of Chicago. He served as the Chief Medical Officer of the US Open Tennis Championships for 16 years and of the USTA for four years; he is currently the NCAA Senior Vice President, Sport Science Institute and Chief Medical Officer. Hainline is serving as a USTA Presidential Appointee. He is a member of the USTA Sport Science Committee and the WTA Player Development Advisory Panel. He has served as a member of the ITF Sport Science and Medicine Commission since 1993 and has been chair since 2003. Hainline has been active in raising the standard of care for athletes and is an accomplished author, having written/edited seven books plus numerous chapters and peer-reviewed articles. He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Academy of Neurology and is Clinical Professor of Neurology at Indiana University School of Medicine and New York University School of Medicine.

Michael J. McNulty III of the USTA Southern Section will serve his second consecutive term as a Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors. He has a long history of serving as a USTA volunteer and is currently the Board Liaison to the Adult Council, a member of the Budget Committee, the International Committee, and the Strategic and Creative Planning Committee. He has been the Council Chair for the Rules Committee, a member of the Advisory Group on Committees and the Evaluations Committee, the USTA representative on the ITF Constitutional Committees, and a member of both the Constitution and Rules Committee and the Nominating Committee. The founder and an officer of the Lake Area Community Tennis Association, McNulty is the former President of USTA Louisiana and the USTA Southern Section and has served as a USTA Southern Section Delegate. He is currently Chairman of the USTA Southern Patrons Foundation, of which he has been a trustee for multiple terms. He has been inducted into the USTA Southern Tennis Hall of Fame and is a recipient of the USTA Southern Jacobs Bowl, the highest volunteer service award given by the section. He is the former Tournament Chairman of the BB&T Atlanta Open—an Emirates Airline US Open Series event—and is a former member of its Tournament Steering Committee. McNulty was a partner with the law firm of Plauche, Smith & Niest, LLC and is considered one of America’s top attorneys in insurance defense, specializing in the areas of construction, products and premise liability. 

Andrew A. Valdez of the USTA Intermountain Section will serve his fourth 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 the Tennis and Tutoring Program (2009-present), which was developed as an after-school program in cooperation with the 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 U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps in Nuremberg, Germany. Valdez recently attained Senior Judge Status. In addition, Valdez 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.

ELITE ATHLETES

Lauren B. Barnikow of the USTA Northern California Section will serve her second term as a Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors, Elite Athlete. She currently serves as the Board Liaison to the Player Development Council, which includes the Sport Science, Collegiate Varsity and Wheelchair Tennis committees. She has been a Senior Sales Consultant at Google since 2006. 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. Barnikow played professionally from 2004 to 2006, winning one singles title and three doubles titles on the USTA Pro Circuit and ITF Circuits and reaching a career-high doubles ranking of No. 200. Barnikow plays in USTA leagues for her club, California Tennis Club, on the women’s open and mixed 10.0 teams. 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.

Liezel H. Huber of the USTA Texas Section will serve her first term as a Director at Large, Elite Athlete. During her 24-year professional tennis career, Huber was the No. 1-ranked WTA doubles player for 199 weeks, won 53 WTA doubles titles and seven Grand Slam doubles titles. She was a U.S. Fed Cup team member and a three-time U.S. Olympian. Huber dedicates substantial time to volunteer and humanitarian efforts, including the nonprofit “Liezel’s Cause” (2005-12), the WTA Mentor Program (2007-14), Liezel Huber Tennis Tournament (South Africa, 2005-present), USTA Mentoring program (2015-present), Boys and Girls Country (2009-present) and Big Love Cancer Care Annual Tennis event (2010-present), and in 2016 she hosted an annual MS150 fundraiser. Huber is the recipient of a humanitarian award from Sir Richard Branson as well as multiple other player service awards. From 2006 to 2014, she served as a member of the WTA Player Council. Huber, a USPTR certified Tennis Professional (P rating), is the owner of Huber Tennis Ranch as well as a health and nutrition business, and is currently the Tennis Director at the Clubs of Houston Oaks. 

Brian Vahaly of the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section will serve as Director at Large, Elite Athlete, having previously served one two-year term in the same position for the 2013-14 term, when he served on the Investment, Collegiate Varsity, Player Development and Sport Science committees. Vahaly played professionally for seven years, winning 10 singles titles on the USTA Pro Circuit and ITF Circuit. He peaked at a career-best No. 64 in the world in 2003, when he reached the quarterfinals in Indian Wells and the semifinals in Memphis. He competed in the main draws of all four Grand Slam events during his career, reaching the second round at Wimbledon in 2003. Vahaly graduated from the University of Virginia with a double major in finance and business management. He was an Academic All-American for the Virginia tennis team, a team captain for his last two years at the school and a three-time All-American (1999-2001). In 2001, he reached the NCAA singles final and the NCAA doubles semifinals and was named Virginia’s all-sports Male Athlete of the Year. As a junior player in 1997, he won the Easter Bowl and was named a member of the U.S. national team. After retiring from professional tennis, Vahaly went on to a career in business, having worked at UBS Financial Services, McLean Capital, Venturehouse Group and the Washington Kastles, before moving to NextGen Venture Partners where he is currently employed as Chief Operating Officer. Vahaly also has been active in community programs, including the Brian Vahaly Brighter Future Foundation in Atlanta, dedicated to promoting academics and community service through tennis, and as a board member of SouthEast Tennis and Learning Center (SETLC).

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Novak Djokovic First to Qualify for ATP World Tour Finals Semis

Novak Djokovic

(November 15, 2016) Novak Djokovic earned the first semifinal spot at the ATP World Tour Finals on Tuesday, when he defeated Milos Raonic 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5) to go 2-0 in group play at London’s O2 Arena.

“Two tiebreaks against a big server is a great win and great confidence boost,” said the world No. 2.

“Well, it was a very close match. I think very few points separated us tonight. It really could have gone either way.

“I was fortunate to get through the first set tiebreaker. I was down very early in both tiebreaks tonight. But I just managed to stay committed and put pressure on his second serves. I had couple looks on his second serves midway through, towards the end of both tiebreaks, which helped obviously to get into the rally. I knew once I get into the rally, I have a better chance to win the point.

“But I should have done my job earlier, to be honest. I’m not very pleased to drop my serve twice against Milos, especially the second time. I was 4-3, 30-Love, then just four pretty bad unforced errors.

“Credit to him for really hanging in there, putting pressure, being aggressive, especially from the forehand. But, you know, I think I should have done better there.”

88 Raonic

“I believe all the breakpoints, except for maybe the set point at the end, he put in a first serve every single time,” Raonic said of his night session match. “I believe when he had his breakpoints, I didn’t put in one.

“I think it’s those little things that make a difference. I think he’s probably winning over 75% of his first serve points and I’m probably doing the same. Those moments he stepped up and played well. I just maybe hesitated a little bit too much.”

Raonic is now 1-1 in round robin play. He’ll face Dominic Thiem on Thursday.

 

Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem

The Austrian Thiem, seeded eighth pulled off a three-set win over France’s Gael Monfils 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 to go 1-1 in the group. The Frenchman double faulted three times in the final game of the match.

 

“Today I had a good start,” Thiem said. “I tried to avoid the mistake I did in the first match: to drop a little bit. Didn’t really happen that good.

“But I was trying to stay tough in the third set. At the end, of course, he helped me a little bit with the three double-faults.

“But I’m very happy with the win.”

Gael Monfils

Gael Monfils

Monfils, dealing a rib injury said: “It was a tough one. I think today was tough one. Dominic was better than me. I think I didn’t play a great match, but I gave everything I had.”

Monfils is still debating whether to play his final round robin match against Novak Djokovic on Thursday.

 

Order of Play – WEDNESDAY, 16 November
Afternoon Session 12:00 PM Group John McEnroe & Group Fleming/McEnroe

[5] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS)

[7] R Klaasen (RSA) / R Ram (USA)

ANDY
MURRAY

[1] (GBR)

KEI
NISHIKORI

[5] (JPN)

Evening Session 6:00 PM Group John McEnroe & Group Fleming/McEnroe

[1] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA)

[4] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP)

STAN
WAWRINKA

[3] (SUI)

MARIN
CILIC

[7] (CRO)

ATP World Tour Results
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Nominations Announced for 2016 Davis Cup Final

Davis Cup - The World Cup of Tennis
15 November 2016
Nominations announced for Davis Cup BY BNP Paribas Final
Argentina and Croatia have announced their team nominations for the 2016 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final, which takes place at the Arena Zagreb on 25-27 November. While Argentina named its team a fortnight ago, Croatia captain Zeljko Krajan waited until Tuesday’s deadline to reveal his line-up.
Borna Coric is named in the Croatian team despite concerns over his fitness, with world No. 7 Marin Cilic, Ivo Karlovic and Ivan Dodig completing the quartet. They will take on an Argentinian outfit led by Olympic silver medallist Juan Martin del Potro.
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Andy Murray Wins First Match As No. 1 at ATP World Tour Finals

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

 

(November 14, 2016) Andy Murray began the ATP World Tour Finals with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Marin Cilic to mark his first match win as world No. 1.

Murray who moved into the top spot last week, was warmly welcomed by the British crowd at the O2 Arena in London in his first round robin match during the evening session. Murray and second seed Novak Djokovic will be battling it out for year-end No. 1 this week.

“It was a great reception obviously,” Murray said. “A really, really good atmosphere tonight. Yeah, it was obviously nice to play in that stadium with the crowd like that. It obviously helps.

“After a long kind of few months, it’s nice to know that I’m going to be finishing the year, you know, playing in that sort of atmosphere. It helps you get up for the matches a bit more, as well.”

Murray was asked about if he’s thinking about the No. 1 ranking: “I’ve not been thinking about that really. Sort of the day it happened and also the day of the final in Paris, it was definitely on my mind, you know, quite a lot. Then I had a lot of message on the Monday.

“The last few days, I haven’t thought about it too much. It didn’t change much for me.”

Questioned in regard to seeing Novak Djokovic after he reached No. 1, the Scotsman said: “No, it wasn’t strange. I mean, we’ve known each other for such a long time. I think both of us have been kind of used to congratulating each other over the years. I mean, we bump into each other every week after he’s won an event the last few years, and it’s become quite a normal thing to congratulate him on winning tournaments and everything he’s achieved. It’s quite normal.

“We don’t go, Congratulations, and talk about it for 10 minutes. We talk about our families and other stuff. We don’t discuss it much.”

Despite giving up a mere five games, the match was closer than the score indicated. Murray had to fight to hold his serve early in the match.

 

Marin Cilic

Marin Cilic

Despite the loss, No. 7 seed Cilic still felt upbeat about the match:

“I think I felt I started quite well. I had first game two breakpoints, then lost my serve, came back and was a little bit at the beginning not serving that well. That I think was one thing that helped Andy to be in the rallies.

“Obviously we played quite a lot in the rallies in the first five, six games. They were quite long games, quite long rallies.

“I had also on his third service game a few chances, 15-40 I think again. Just felt that maybe in a few I made just wrong decisions. When I need to step in, I didn’t. When I need to wait a little bit longer, I wasn’t waiting.

“Overall I felt I was not playing too bad, just obviously maybe a different pattern of the balls. The hitting could have been better. Yeah, a little bit unfortunate to go 6-3, 6-2 down, where it felt it was much, much closer in the first set. Beginning of the second, I had couple chances as well.

“Unfortunately, that’s the way it is. Obviously tougher to start straightaway with matches like these against the best guys. I’m not so used to it. That’s something I guess quite new for me. Most of the tournaments I’m playing them third, fourth round at least. It’s a little bit different to start straightaway in the match.

“But I’m quite positive with the way I was playing. Just saying it could have been some better decisions.”

Murray is now 1-0 in his group.

Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori

No. 5 seed Nishikori stopped third seed Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3 during the day session.

Nishikori has a chance to end the year at No. 3 with a good tournament this week.
“I’m not thinking too much about rankings, but would be nice if I could finish 4 or 3,” said the top Japanese player. “I see good chance to be there if I can play good this week. That’s one of my goal this week. Also next year I hope I can stay No. 4 or No. 3, try to catch up Andy and Djoko.”

Asked about playing the top seeded Murray later this week, Nishikori said: “This year we played three, four times. I had a tough loss in Rio. But US Open and Davis Cup, we played, you know, some good match. I feel more chance, you know, to win the match against Andy.

“Obviously it’s the toughest match maybe in this group. Yeah, for sure I have to play well and play hundred percent to beat Andy. This match will help, for sure, for next match.”

 

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka

 

Wawrinka was not happy with his performance on Monday. “It was not a great match compared to what I can do, that’s for sure,” said the Swiss. “I don’t think I find anything on the court today. I was a little bit slow on everything. I was hesitating a lot with my game, my movement.”

“I’m sure I still have something inside me to play some great tennis before the end of the year, so I’m going to try everything for that in the next match,” noted the three-time major champion. “I’m going to do what I need to do tomorrow to get ready for trying to play better in two days.”

 

 

Order of Play – TUESDAY, 15 November
Afternoon Session 12:00 PM Group Ivan Lendl & Group Edberg/Jarryd

[2] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA)

[3] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)

GAEL
MONFILS

[6] (FRA)

DOMINIC
THIEM

[8] (AUT)

Evening Session 6:00 PM Group Ivan Lendl & Group Edberg/Jarryd

[6] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)

[8] T Huey (PHI) / M Mirnyi (BLR)

NOVAK
DJOKOVIC

[2] (SRB)

MILOS
RAONIC

[4] (CAN)

 

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2016 US Open Girls’ Champion Kayla Day Claims USTA Australian Open Wild Card

Kayla Day

From the USTA: (November 14, 2016) Kayla Day, 17, of Santa Barbara, Calif., has earned a berth into the main draw of the 2017 Australian Open after clinching the USTA Pro Circuit Australian Open Wild Card Challenge this weekend. This will mark Day’s first appearance in a Grand Slam main draw outside the United States.

 

Day, who also earned a wild card into the 2016 US Open by winning the USTA Girls’ 18s National Championships, secured the Australian Open berth by winning the W.L. Amos St. Tennis Classic in Macon, Ga., three weeks ago and reaching the semifinals at the Copperwynd Pro Women’s Challenge in Scottsdale, Ariz., two weeks ago. Grace Min, the only player who could surpass Day, lost in yesterday’s final at the $50,000 Waco Showdown in Waco, Texas, and could not gain enough points to earn the wild card. Macon was Day’s first career singles professional title and she is currently ranked a career-high No. 195 in the world.

 

Day will be making her second consecutive Grand Slam main draw appearance after competing in the 2016 US Open as a wild card, where she won her first round match. Day then went on to win the US Open girls’ singles title this September in New York and shot to No. 1 in the world junior rankings. Day is a lefty whose style has played well on all surfaces. Prior to her title on the hard courts in New York, she reached the junior semifinals at Wimbledon, the singles final at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Naples, Fla., and the quarterfinals of the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Charlottesville, Va., in April – both clay-court events. Day also reached the final of the prestigious Orange Bowl junior championships last December in Plantation, Fla., and helped lead the U.S. to a second-place finish on the clay in Madrid at the 2015 Junior Fed Cup finals.

 

The men’s USTA Pro Circuit Australian Open Wild Card Challenge concludes this week with the $50,000 JSM Challenger of Champaign-Urbana in Champaign, Ill., with a number of young Americans in the race. Teenager Michael Mmoh is currently in the lead with 87 points after winning his first USTA Pro Circuit Challenger title at the $50,000 Knoxville Challenger in Tennessee this weekend. Fellow teenager Reilly Opelka is in second place with 80 points after capturing his first career USTA Pro Circuit title earlier this month at the $50,000 Charlottesville Men’s Pro Challenger in Charlottesville, Va. Stefan Kozlov and Jared Donaldson are the other players in the running for the wild card going into Champaign.

 

All matches will be streamed live on www.procircuit.usta.com and can also be followed on the USTA Pro Circuit app by searching “procircuit” in the app store.

 

In the USTA Pro Circuit Australian Open Wild Card Challenge, the USTA awards a 2017 Australian Open wild card to the American man and American woman who earn the most ATP World Tour and WTA ranking points at two of the three select USTA Pro Circuit hard-court events this fall. Only Americans who did not earn direct entry into the Australian Open are eligible. The USTA and Tennis Australia have a reciprocal agreement in which wild cards into the 2016 US Open and 2017 Australian Open are exchanged. In the event of a tie, the player with the best ATP or WTA singles ranking will be awarded the wild card. The 2017 Australian Open main draw will be held Monday, Jan. 16, to Sunday, Jan. 29.

 

The USTA first used this wild card format in 2012 to award wild cards into the French Open and US Open and has been doing so ever since. Last year, young Americans Noah Rubin and Samantha Crawford earned wild cards into the Australian Open by winning the wild card challenge. This year, former top junior players Taylor Townsend and Bjorn Fratangelo each won the USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge for wild cards into the French Open, and Sofia Kenin and Ernesto Escobedo earned US Open wild cards by winning the US Open Wild Card Challenge this summer.

 

Standings and information about the wild card challenge can be found on www.procircuit.usta.com.

 

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

 

standings

 

 

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Kayla Day Wins US Open Junior Girls Title

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