August 28, 2015

Brad Gilbert Talks US Open Draws with Tennis Panorama News

Brad Gilbert Voya

(August 27, 2015) NEW YORK, NY – Former pro tennis player coach and current ESPN tennis analyst Brad Gilbert is known for having a unique tennis vocabulary. The former world No. 4 is putting his tennis glossary to good use starring in six Voya Financial-produced videos for social media.

 

This is the second edition of the “Gilbert’s Glossary” videos that began during Wimbledon received more than four million views. The new campaign includes six new comical video shorts featuring Gilbert.

Voya’s sponsorship of ESPN’s coverage spans the entire duration of the US Open and will air over two weeks — from Aug. 31 through Sept. 13 — across ESPN networks. The agreement features a number of media rights including significant commercial inventory, live Voya “Bench Talk” segments with accompanying graphics and audio mentions, and the debut of 360-degree “freeD” replay technology with Voya on-screen branding.

 

Gilbert spoke to Tennis Panorama News to talk about the videos and the US Open singles draws which were made on Thursday.

Tennis Panorama News: Let’s talk about the men’s draw first. What were your impressions?

Brad Gilbert: There are about a half a dozen really good popcorn matches in the first round. We’re going to have some intriguing matches.

 

Definitely Rafa (Nadal) – (Borna) Coric, The bad boy (Nick) Kyrgios versus (Andy) Murray, I think that’s a bad match-up for him anyways. (Thanasi) Kokkinakis versus (Richard) Gasquet.

 

I think Djoker (Novak Djokovic) got a great draw and down on the bottom (of the draw), I’m not really sure if he had a good draw or a bad draw, if (Roger) Federer is playing the way he did in Cincinnati, I think he’s in store for a big run. It’s been six years since he made a final at the (US) Open. What he showed in Cincinnati was really impressive. I’m looking forward to see if he can bring that in New York.

 

TPN: Can you predict the winner after seeing the draw today?

BG: No. I will pick a winner in a couple of days. I do it for ESPN.com. One thing’s for sure, sometimes you look at a draw, you look at a brutal draw and a couple days later it can open up. So, Serena’s (Williams) draw on paper is brutal, but you never know if she’ll have to navigate all the way through the draw the way it is ‘cause things can change.

 

Last year was a major surprise (on the men’s tour) with what we had and probably the first time, we had a couple of surprises. We had Stan (Wawrinka) winning (the Australian Open) and (Marin) Cilic (US Open) – I don’t think we are going to see a major surprise like that this year (at the US Open) that’s for sure.

 

TPN: So do you want to go out on a limb and make a prediction for the women?

BG: No, not yet. I have to think about it for a few more days. I usually fill out 2 or 3 draws. I sit there and scratch through them in my room until I come up with the right one.

 

TPN: I want to ask you about your new videos that were launched Voya Financial. How much fun was it making them, especially with your unique spin on things.

BG: It was a blast doing them. Obviously Voya is a great company. They had a tremendous team making me look good. And one of the coolest compliments – I had a young kid come up to me and say “Are you that YouTube dude?” (Laughter)

 

So, I’ve been called a lot about being a coach and playing, the way the kid said it, it kind rang home – like to him it really meant something. I like to have a lot of fun on Twitter, and I like to have a lot of fun, when I do the studio stuff, so I am really happy that Voya gave me a platform to have fun.

 

 

Here are two of the videos in “Gibert’s Glossary” campaign for Voya Financial

Videos called Moonball, Flatliner, Fearhand and Dead Let Court will be released during the US Open.

Related article:

Brad Gilbert Talks Tennis “Glossary”

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News at the US Open.

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Serena Williams has Competitive Quarter in US Open Draw

Serena Williams photo courtesy of the USTA (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Serena Williams photo courtesy of the USTA (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

(August 27, 2015) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The singles draws were held for the US Open on Thursday. Defending champion Serena Williams, who is seeking to complete the first Grand Slam since Steffi Graf accomplished the feat back in 1988 faces a competitive quarter of her draw. Williams, who is a six-time champion could face US countrywomen in the third and fourth rounds – Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys. Also in Williams’ quarter of the draw is her sister Venus Williams and Belinda Bencic, the 12th seed, who defeated Serena in Toronto just two weeks ago.

”You have Sloane, I seem to play her every tournament,” Williams said to media. ”Madison is playing really well. So is Sloane, actually – she’s playing excellent. So it’s not anything simple or easy to go through.”

Serena could potentially face third seed Maria Sharapaova in the semifinal. The world No. 1 opens her quest for her 22nd major against Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko ranked 86th in the world.

“I feel like there’s always another record, then there’s always another person to catch up with or to pass.I never really thought I would be in this position where I would even be talking about, you know, records, talking about passing Steffi Graf or even mentioning Margaret Court.

“I mean, I just grew up trying to be the best that I could and do the best that I could. I worked really hard for everything. So to even be mentioned in that conversation is great.

“But like I said, I feel like I don’t put that pressure on myself to do anything here ’cause I’m obviously going to be excited to compete next year and just keep going and have fun.”

Asked about if she thought about her place among the tennis greats, Serena said: “I can’t sit here and say [I’m the greatest]. But I can sit here and say that I’m the greatest player that I’ve been able to be.

“I do read numbers and I do see numbers. I believe in those numbers. I think, you know, different generations and different times have different champions, have different greats, have different levels of players. It’s really difficult to compare, you know, one generation to another, generations several ago. Things change: power, technique, technology. A lot of things have contributed to that.”

“I think being experienced has really helped me a lot, helped me get through a lot of matches. It’s helped me overcome a lot of things. Yeah, it’s been great. I’ve really enjoyed it. I know some matches I got through just on my experience alone, so that’s been really able to help me out.

 

Potential women’s quarterfinals:

(1)Serena Williams vs. (8)Karolina Pliskova

(3)Maria Sharapova vs. (7)Ana Ivanovic

(5)Petra Kvitova vs. (4)Caroline Wozniacki

(2)Simona Halep vs. (6)Lucie Safarova

Women’s draw

 

On the men’s side of the draw, top seed Novak Djokovic could face eighth seed Rafael Nadal in a quarterfinal clash in Flushing Meadows. Second seed Roger Federer and third seed Andy Murray are on the other side of the draw. Murray has a potentially extremely competitive opening match against Nick Kyrgios. Nadal also will have all he can handle against Borna Coric in the first round.

Potential men’s quarterfinals:

 

(1)Novak Djokovic vs. (8)Rafael Nadal

(4)Kei Nishikori vs. (7)David Ferrer

(5)Stan Wawrinka vs. (3)Andy Murray

(2)Roger Federer vs. (6) Tomas Berdych

Men’s draw

 

 

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2015 US Open Seeds Announced

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(August 25, 2015) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The USTA has announced the seeds for the 2015 US Open which begins on August 31st. Going for the Grand Slam is top seed Serena Williams for the women and Novak Djokovic aiming for his third major of the year is the No. men’s seed.

 

2015 US Open Women’s Singles Seeds

 

1.    Serena Williams, United States

2.    Simona Halep, Romania

3.    Maria Sharapova, Russia

4.    Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark

5.    Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic

6.    Lucie Safarova, Czech Republic

7.    Ana Ivanovic, Serbia

8.    Karolina Pliskova, Czech Republic

9.    Garbiñe Muguruza, Spain

10.  Carla Suarez Navarro, Spain

11.  Angelique Kerber, Germany

12.  Belinda Bencic, Switzerland

13.  Ekaterina Makarova, Russia

14.  Timea Bacsinszky, Switzerland

15.  Agnieszka Radwanska, Poland

16.  Sara Errani, Italy

17.  Elina Svitolina, Ukraine

18.  Andrea Petkovic, Germany

19.  Madison Keys, United States

20.  Victoria Azarenka, Belarus

21.  Jelena Jankovic, Serbia

22.  Samantha Stosur, Australia

23.  Venus Williams, United States

24.  Sabine Lisicki, Germany

25.  Eugenie Bouchard, Canada

26.  Flavia Pennetta, Italy

27.  Alizé Cornet, France

28.  Irina-Camelia Begu, Romania

29.  Sloane Stephens, United States

30.  Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia

31.  Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russia

32.  Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, Slovakia

 

228 Djokovic being interviewed-001

2015 US Open Men’s Singles Seeds

 

1.    Novak Djokovic, Serbia

2.    Roger Federer, Switzerland

3.    Andy Murray, Great Britain

4.    Kei Nishikori, Japan

5.    Stan Wawrinka, Switzerland

6.    Tomas Berdych, Czech Republic

7.    David Ferrer, Spain

8.    Rafael Nadal, Spain

9.    Marin Cilic, Croatia

10.  Milos Raonic, Canada

11.  Gilles Simon, France

12.  Richard Gasquet, France

13.  John Isner, United States

14.  David Goffin, Belgium

15.  Kevin Anderson, South Africa

16.  Gael Monfils, France

17.  Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria

18.  Feliciano Lopez, Spain

19.  Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France

20.  Dominic Thiem, Austria

21.  Ivo Karlovic, Croatia

22.  Viktor Troicki, Serbia

23.  Roberto Bautista Agut, Spain

24.  Bernard Tomic, Australia

25.  Andreas Seppi, Italy

26.  Tommy Robredo, Spain

27.  Jeremy Chardy, France

28.  Jack Sock, United States

29.  Philipp Kohlschreiber, Germany

30.  Thomaz Bellucci, Brazil

31.  Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Spain

32.  Fabio Fognini, Italy

 

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Althea Gibson Week 8/25-29: TPN Talks to ALTHEA Filmmaker Rex Miller

Photo of Althea Gibson and Millicent Miller courtesy of Rex Miller

Photo of Althea Gibson and Millicent Miller courtesy of Rex Miller

(August 24, 2015) NEW YORK, NY – With the celebration of what would have been Althea Gibson’s 88th birthday on August 25, it’s Althea Gibson Week. This week not only commemorates her accomplishments at the US Open, where she won singles titles in 1957 and 1958, but also the national broadcast debut of the documentary film ALTHEA, on PBS’ American Masters, Sept. 4th, 2015 at 9 p.m., with an encore on WNET, New York on the morning of the US Open men’s final on September 13th.

 

All over the New York City area, special screenings of the film will be taking place, before its broadcast television debut.

 

Tennis Panorama had the chance to speak with ALTHEA filmmaker Rex Miller about what this week means to him. Miller’s mother played with and against Gibson.

 

“For me it’s all about Althea, and our team, we call ourselves “team Althea,” Miller said.

“I was fortunate enough to get great people fired up about this project, they’ve put up a lot of work and personally my biggest enthusiasm comes from the film. We are going to be having four events in Harlem this week, and that’s real exciting because that’s where Althea grew up. We had a goal of helping althea get re-recognized. We wanted to take her to icon status, that may or may not happen, I think she deserves that. But to have her recognized, especially in Harlem is just awesome, in Queens and Long Island as well.

 

“Althea’s story to me is important on several levels,” Miller said.

“For the tennis fan, obviously it’s a tennis story, and a sports story. But it’s also a civil rights story because Althea achieved all of this in the early 50’s. I mean she broke the color barrier in 1950, then she went on to win the US Nationals, Forest Hills and Wimbledon in 1957 and 58. This is the time of Emmitt Till, Rosa Parks and lynchings in the south. Long before Arthur Ashe, long before Martin Luther King.

“She really was heroic in having to break down barriers during this time, way back in the early 50s. She overcame all of these obstacles and her achievements span across many areas.

 

“Not only did she breakthrough in tennis, she also played pro golf – the first female African American to be on the LPGA tour.

 

“She sang at the Wimbledon Ball, on the Ed Sullivan Show live. She was in a John Wayne film, directed by John Ford.” Gibson also made an album. On top of all of this, Gibson also earned a college degree at Florida A&M.

 

“She’s a role model for kids today of any ethnic group,” Miller said. “So her story is important.”

 

There is also an outreach component to the film in which many schools have had screenings of the film which have been successful. “It has worked so well that we are working with our various outreach partners, including the USTA and setting screenings over the next year.”

“We also plan on renovating two Black history tennis sites” – the backyard courts of Dr. Hubert Eaton in Wilmington, NC and tennis Hall of Famer Dr. Robert W. Johnson of Lynchburgh, VA who coached Arthur Ashe.

 

For more information about the film http://www.altheathefilm.com/ Follow on twitter at https://twitter.com/AltheaFilm

 

Here is a list of scheduled events for Althea Gibson Week:

Aug 25 : Harlem Junior Tennis & Education program

The Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program will host a viewing of the Althea at the Harlem Armory where Althea trained and competed. Katrina Adams, Dante Brown, Directors. Filmmaker Rex Miller will join the audience for a Q/A following the screening.

For more info please visit hjtep.org

 

DATE: Tuesday, August 25 2015

TIME: 1:00pm to 3:00pm

LOCATION: Harlem Armory – 40 West 143rd Street NY, NY 10037

TICKETS: Open to all – Please RSVP (212) 491-3738

 

Aug 25 : Films at the Schomburg

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Presents AMERICAN MASTERS, ALTHEA: Remarks by Neal Shapiro, President & CEO WNET and Michael Kantor, Executive Producer, American Masters, excerpts from the film, a discussion and reception with  The Honorable David N. Dinkins, Art Carrington, and director Rex Miller. Talk-back with guests following the screening.

For more info please visit Films at The Schomburg

 

DATE: Tuesday, August 25 2015

TIME: 6:00pm to 9:00pm

LOCATION: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture , Langston Hughes Auditorium – 515 Malcolm X Boulevard NY

TICKETS: Seating Limited Registration Required

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/films-at-the-schomburg-althea-tickets-17953871513

 

Aug 26 : Queens Day at the museum

The Queens Museum presents the Queens Premiere of ALTHEA, as part of Queens Day at the US Open.

For more info Queens Museum/info@queensmuseum.org

 

DATE: Wednesday, August 26, 2015

TIME: 6:30pm

LOCATION: Queens Museum, New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park Queens, NY 11368

TICKETS: RSVP  info@queensmuseum.org or (718) 592-9700

 

Aug 27: US Open Draw Ceremony

 

DATE: Thursday, August 27 2015

 

Aug 27: ImageNation Cinema Foundation presents a screening of ALTHEA.

Doors open at 6:30pm / Screening at 7pm, Q&A with director Rex Miller to follow.

Free! $5 suggested donation.

Please visit www.imagenation.us to learn about the #iLoveSoulCinema crowdfunder.

 

http://www.imagenation.us/

 

ImageNation’s RAW SPACE,

2031 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., New York, NY 10027

(bet. 121st & 122nd)

 

rsvp@imagenation.us

 

Aug 28 : The West Side Tennis Club, Forest Hills

The West Side Tennis Club, Forest Hills, hosts a screening of ALTHEA. Reception and outdoor screening on the grass courts just after sunset. Visit the legendary site of Althea’s groundbreaking 1950 match against Louise Brough, and her 1957/58 US National titles. In the shadow of the grand old stadium, built in 1923 and recently renovated, the film will be viewed after sunset on a 20′ screen. Cocktails available beforehand. Q&A with director Rex Miller to follow. For more info Forest Hills

 

DATE: Friday, August 28 2015

TIME: 8:00pm

LOCATION: The West Side Tennis Club – 1 Tennis Pl, Forest Hills, NY

TICKETS: Open to public, please RSVP as seating is limited

(718)268-2300 Ext 115  Attn: Bob Ingersole

 

Aug 29 : The Jungle: Re-dedication of courts

The David Dinkins Tennis Club at The Jungle presents, “A re-dedication of the Althea Gibson and Sydney Llewellyn courts at The Jungle public courts”, 7th Avenue and 150th St., Harlem, in honor of those who have contributed to the Jungle’s legacy. This year’s inductees will be David Dinkins and tennis great Bob Ryland. The ceremony will start at 10:00 AM. It will be followed by a party for kids and their parents, in conjunction with our weekly “Free 10 and Under Family Tennis/Reading Program.” All are welcome!

For more info please visit The David Dinkins Tennis Club

 

DATE: Tuesday, August 29 2015

TIME: 10:00am

LOCATION: The Jungle public courts – 7th Avenue and 150th St., Harlem NY, NY

*Parking is available up the school’s ramp next to the park at 7th Avenue and 150th St.

TICKETS: FREE – All are welcome!

 

Aug 29 : Long Island Premiere

Long Island Premiere screening of ALTHEA, presented by the Gold Coast Film Festival. Q&A with director Rex Miller to follow.

This premiere is sponsored in partnership with the USTA Eastern Long Island Region.

For more info please visit Gold Coast International Film Festival

 

DATE: Saturday, August 29 2015

TIME: Doors 7:00pm; Screening 7:30pm

LOCATION: Soundview Cinemas, Port Washington, NY

TICKETS: Regular $15 / Student $10

 

TICKETS: http://goldcoastfilmfestival.org/althea/

 

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama

 

Related article:

Althea Gibson Documentary Project “Althea” Selected for Film Festivals

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What’s New at the 2015 US Open

2011-US-Open-Tennis-Tournament

STEEL SUPERSTRUCTURE OVER ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM COMPLETE;

TECHNOLOGICALLY-INNOVATIVE FRAMEWORK WILL SUPPORT RETRACTABLE ROOF IN 2016; TO BE SHOWCASED IN NIGHTLY LIGHT SHOW FOR 2015

 

ESPN Exclusive Live Domestic Media Partner for the First Time; Coverage to Include new Camera Systems in Arthur Ashe Stadium

 

Complimentary Doubles Day for Fans on Thursday, September 10

 

From the USTA: White Plains, N.Y., August 19, 2015 – The USTA today announced a series of physical improvements, fan and player upgrades, and new sponsor activations will be unveiled at the 2015 US Open.  The main draw of the tournament begins on Monday, August 31 and concludes on Sunday, September 13, with qualifying starting on Tuesday, August 25 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

 

 

Strategic Transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

 

  • Roof Superstructure over Arthur Ashe Stadium

More than 6,000 tons of steel now surround Arthur Ashe Stadium in a technological first – constructing a stand-alone support system for a retractable roof over an existing stadium.  With the final piece of steel placed in late spring, the structure that ultimately will hold the retractable roof is now in place.  At the conclusion of the 2015 US Open, work will continue on the two retractable panels as well as the installation of a chilled water ventilation system to control humidity inside the stadium when the roof is closed, so that the retractable roof will be ready for the 2016 US Open.  When the roof becomes fully operational, it will be the largest of any tennis stadium in the world, with a 62,500 square foot opening.  Six thousand tons of steel form the superstructure, which contains 1,700 structural beams and 115,000 bolts.  A total of 176 steel and concrete-filled pilings, driven 180 feet below the surface, anchor the 24 steel columns which rise 150 feet above ground to support the superstructure.

  • Technological Upgrades Elevate In-Stadium Experience

The completion of the roof superstructure has allowed the USTA to upgrade all technologies within Arthur Ashe Stadium including the lights, sound and video boards.  In 2015, a total of four big screens (up from two) will be utilized in the stadium.  Additionally, an LED lighting system has replaced the former light towers, providing sharper, more energy-efficient lighting for competitive play.  Finally, a completely new sound system has been installed throughout the stadium taking advantage of the roof trusses and catwalks.

 

  • Grandstand Construction

Construction has begun on a new 8,000 seat Grandstand and a new food village in the southwest corner of the campus; both are slated to open in 2016.  The Grandstand will provide a one-of-a-kind fan viewing experience in a completely modern and state-of-the-art stadium setting.

 

  • West Stadium Courts and Practice Gallery

An immediate fan sensation in 2014, the West Stadium Courts and Practice Gallery will continue to be one of the most desirable fan areas in 2015.  With seating for more than 3,000, fans can watch tournament action, as well as the top seeds practicing.  The West Stadium Courts also will be the home of the second annual American Collegiate Invitational, which will take place from Thursday, September 10, through Saturday, September 12.

 

 

Fan Enhancements at the 2015 US Open

 

  • “Doubles On Us” at the US Open, Thursday, September 10

For the first time at the US Open, complimentary grounds admission will be offered to all fans who come during the day of the tournament’s second Thursday, September 10.  The day’s action will be filled with doubles play, including the Men’s Doubles Semifinals and Women’s Doubles Semifinals, as well as semifinal action in the Champions Invitational, a showcase of former Grand Slam tournament champions and finalists.  The free grounds admission also will enable fans to watch competition in the American Collegiate Invitational, featuring top American collegiate players, taking place on the West Stadium Courts. Also on that day’s slate, the world’s top boys and girls will be competing in the US Open Junior Championships; and top wheelchair athletes will see action in the US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition.

 

  • Return to Traditional Grand Slam Schedule

For 2015, the US Open returns to a traditional 14-day Grand Slam tournament schedule, with the men’s first round being completed over two days rather than three.  The new schedule calls for the women’s singles semifinals to be played the evening of Thursday, September 10, and the men’s singles semifinals to be played on Friday, September 11.  Finals Weekend begins with the women’s singles championship on Saturday, September 12, and concludes with the men’s singles championship on Sunday, September 13.

 

  • US Open American Express Fan Experience

Now in its fifth year, the US Open American Express Fan Experience has been completely overhauled with new technological features. One of the new offerings is “You vs. Sharapova,” where virtual reality technology and computer generated images filmed with Sharapova allows fans to play a pro at the top of her game in this simulated game. Fans will be able to try their hand at returning Sharapova’s serves, volley against her and more. Also, with “Epic Matchup,” fans and their friends will be able to star in their very own shareable video simulating a rally from the baseline in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

 

  • Charging Stations presented by Chase

To help fans stay connected throughout the day, long-time partner Chase will be providing complimentary charging stations for phones and tablets throughout the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.  The stations will be located in a dedicated Chase booth near the Food Village, in the South Plaza, and on the Club Level of Arthur Ashe Stadium.

 

  • New Food Offerings

Lavazza coffee, Jacob’s Creek wines and Juice Press cold-pressed juices join the US Open as Official Suppliers.  They will be offering their products to fans on-site, and US Open-themed advertising will be visible in the New York metro area. Lavazza, the exclusive coffee of the US Open Tennis Championships, will be integrated into the on-site food and beverage experience. Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase Lavazza’s coffee drinks at the new Lavazza Cafés located in the food village and south plaza, as well as at the many restaurants, concessions and hospitality areas located throughout the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Jacob’s Creek, the Official Wine of the US Open, will feature its Two Lands product at the US Open.  The wines will be available to tennis fans at a number of on-site locations throughout the tournament.  Juice Press, a local favorite, will be on-site throughout the 2015 US Open selling a selection of their USDA certified organic bottled juices and smoothies to fans. Additionally, Juice Press will have the unique opportunity to serve product to players and their guests in the US Open Player Dining area.

 

  • Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day Presented by Hess

For the 20th consecutive year, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess, the world’s biggest tennis and entertainment celebration kicks off the US Open on Saturday, August 29, airing  for the first time on the ESPN Network on Sunday, August 30 from 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET on ESPN2.  This celebration of Arthur Ashe and his legacy both on and off the court is hosted by fitness guru Shaun T, and features five former US Open champions including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and defending champions Marin Cilic and Serena Williams. Musical acts who join the ranks of past Kids’ Day featured artists such as Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Jonas Brothers and more, include: Bea Miller, Kalin and Myles, Jacob Whitesides, Natalie La Rose and American Authors.

 

  • US Open Entertainment

Internationally renowned singer-songwriter Josh Groban will perform at the Opening Night Ceremony in Arthur Ashe Stadium prior to the evening session on Monday, August 31.  Groban will be accompanied by 16 musicians and perform a medley from his recent release, “Stages.”  Following Groban’s performance, noted actress and performer Vanessa Williams will perform the National Anthem.  Her performance will be accompanied by honor guards representing the NYPD and FDNY.

 

  • Nightly Light Show

The USTA has installed new lighting trusses in each of the upper concourse entryways in order to conduct a nightly light show which will highlight the steel truss and catwalk system now surrounding Arthur Ashe Stadium.  The light show will take place between the two evening matches in concert with the performance of “America the Beautiful” by the USTA’s Casting Call winners.

 

  • Original Nine Celebration

USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams will celebrate the “Original Nine,” the nine women responsible for helping to form the original professional women’s tennis tour, which ultimately evolved into the WTA as we know it today. The celebration will include a special video tribute as well as on-court recognition of these athletic pioneers.

 

 

US Open Television

 

  • ESPN – New Partnership

This is the first year that ESPN will be the exclusive live domestic media partner of the US Open.  Over the course of the 2015 US Open, ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to air more than 130 hours of live match play with more than 1,100 hours of first-to-last ball coverage to be seen on ESPN3, which also will be available on the US Open official website — usopen.org.  ESPN will enhance its coverage with a host of cutting-edge camera systems in Arthur Ashe Stadium, including the return of Spider-Cam (to be used for the first time during the entire tournament), a new rail-cam contained within the southern baseline wall and freeD™ replay technology for the first time at a Grand Slam event.

 

  • Increased Coverage — 11 Courts

In an expansion of its prior US Open coverage, ESPN will feature play from 11 courts (up from seven last year). New TV courts this year include courts 4, 6, 7, and 10, which will be available for viewing over the first five days of the tournament.

 

  • Comprehensive Schedule

ESPN will kick off its US Open coverage on Sunday, August 30 with Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess at 1:00pm and live SportsCenter at the US Open at 2:00pm ET — both on ESPN2.  Daily coverage commences on Monday, August 31 at 11:00am on ESPN3, 1:00pm on ESPN and 6:00pm on ESPN2 (all times Eastern).  In addition, ESPN2 will deliver wall-to-wall coverage of Labor Day weekend from 11:00am – 11:00pm each day.  Finals Weekend will culminate with the men’s singles final returning to its traditional Sunday (September 13) afternoon timeslot and the women’s singles final on Saturday (September 12) afternoon — both finals will air on ESPN.  The men’s singles semifinals will take place on Friday (September 11) afternoon, with the women’s singles semifinals scheduled for primetime on the second Thursday (September 10) night of the tournament — also on ESPN.

 

 

US Open Digital/Social

 

  • Live Streaming

USOpen.org will be utilizing ESPN3 for live streaming, with more than 1,100 hours of live streaming of all TV courts on ESPN3 and through the US Open app – providing a “digital grounds pass” for tennis fans.

 

  • US Open Live Show

Fans can tune in to USOpen.org every morning at 10:45AM EST to “Inside the Baseline,” presented by IBM for a look ahead to all the day’s matches and tune in each evening at 7:00PM EST to “Beyond the Baseline,” presented by Westin Hotels & Resorts for an inside look at  what goes on behind the scenes at the US Open. Fans in attendance at  the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center can stop by the Baseline Stage each morning and evening for the live taping.

 

  • Open Access

Open Access is a new fan enhancement available for all US Open patrons, allowing them streamlined access to various activation points around the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The Open Access program allows fans to register to participate in activities ranging from customized photo opportunities to interactive games. Fans will receive a QR code that they will be able to scan at each location, and will receive an email with access to their own personal webpage that will showcase their US Open experience.  Just for signing up for Open Access, all fans are entered to win tickets to the 2016 US Open men’s or women’s finals, and the more they scan their QR code on site, the more chances they have to win a US Open Ultimate Fan Pack.

 

  • Twitter Mirror

For the first time, US Open fans can enjoy behind-the-scenes photos & GIFs from a new, mobile version of the Twitter Mirror. Numerous versions of the product — from handheld Mirrors to a stationary stand — will capture exclusive content of players & celebrities on-site throughout the tournament.

 

  • US Open Streak Challenge

Fans can play along with the US Open Streak Challenge presented by Esurance and test their US Open tennis knowledge with two questions every day about players, matches and tournament stats.  Keep answering correctly and fans will add to their streak and move up the leaderboard.

 

  • Bloggers/Influencers

To further engage multi-cultural audiences, the USTA has partnered with five diverse bloggers and social media influencers to showcase the US Open from their own unique perspective to their respective social followings, providing special editorial content and imagery, while also extending a special ticket offer to invite these audiences to experience the US Open on their own.  These influencers include Fashion Bomb Daily, Jacob Santiago, Black and Married with Kids, Kyrzada, and Street Etiquette.

 

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Kourtin’ Karen’s US Open Tips

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2015 US Open Men’s and Women’s Wildcards Announced

FLUSHING, N.Y., August 18, 2015 – The USTA today announced that rising 19-year old Louisa Chirico, 2012 US Open girls’ champion Samantha Crawford, two-time NCAA singles champion Nicole Gibbs, 2015 USTA Girls’ 18s National Champion Sofia Kenin, 2015 NCAA singles champion Jamie Loeb, former world No. 30 Bethanie Mattek-Sands and 2013 USTA Girls’ 18s National Champion Sachia Vickery have been awarded women’s singles main draw wild card entries into the 2015 US Open, as well as Oceane Dodin, of France.

 

The 2015 US Open will be played August 31-September 13 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. Both the men’s and women’s singles champions this year will earn $3.3 million, with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money – for a total $4.3 million potential payout – based on their performances in the Emirates Airline US Open Series.

 

Chirco, 19, of Harrison, N.Y., ranked No. 119, is a former Wimbledon and French Open girls’ semifinalist who made her Grand Slam main draw debut at the 2015 French Open after winning the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge. She reached her first WTA quarterfinal this summer in Washington, D.C.

 

Crawford, 20, of Atlanta, ranked No. 220, won the 2012 US Open girls’ singles title and will compete in the US Open main draw for the second time after winning the USTA Pro Circuit’s US Open Wild Card Challenge this summer. Crawford qualified for the 2014 US Open after receiving a qualifying wild card.

 

Gibbs, 22, of Santa Monica, Calif., ranked No. 117, reached the third round of the 2014 US Open after earning a wild card entry through the USTA’s US Open Wild Card Challenge. Gibbs won consecutive NCAA women’s singles titles at Stanford in 2012-13, becoming just the fifth player in history to do so.

 

Kenin, 16, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., is the 2015 USTA Girls’ 18s National Champion. Kenin is a Top-10 world-ranked junior who won the prestigious Orange Bowl Junior Championship in December.

 

Loeb, 20, of Ossining, N.Y., is the 2015 NCAA women’s singles champion, who recently completed her sophomore year at the University of North Carolina. Loeb is a former standout junior who has gone 84-9 in her two collegiate seasons. She won the inaugural American Collegiate Invitational at last year’s US Open.

 

Mattek-Sands, 30, of Phoenix, is a former world No. 30, currently ranked No. 99, who this year qualified and reached the third round at Wimbledon, in addition to winning doubles titles at the French and Australian Opens. She is making her 14th appearance in the US Open singles main draw.

 

Vickery, 20, of Hollywood, Fla., is currently ranked No. 137 after a grass-court season in which she qualified for Wimbledon and reached the quarterfinals at the WTA event in Nottingham. Vickery won the USTA Girls’ 18s national title in 2013 and advanced to the second round of the US Open with the accompanying wild card.

 

Dodin, 18, received her wild card through a reciprocal agreement with the French Tennis Federation. She is ranked No. 133

 

In addition to the eight US Open women’s singles main draw wild cards, the USTA also announced the eight women who have been awarded wild card entries into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, which will be held August 25-28 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. One additional US Open qualifying wild card will be awarded to the winner of the 2015 US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Championship, taking place August 21-24 in New Haven, Conn.

 

Players receiving US Open qualifying wild cards are: 2015 Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Player of the Year Robin Anderson (22, Matawan, N.J.); current world No. 7 junior Usue Arconada (16, College Park, Md.); 2015 USTA Girls’ 18s runner-up and 2013 US Open junior finalist Tornado Alicia Black (17, Boca Raton, Fla.); Vicky Duval (19, Bradenton, Fla.), the breakout star of the 2013 US Open who recently returned to competition following a year-long recovery from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; 2015 USTA Girls’ 18s semifinalist Raveena Kingsley (17, Fulton, Md.); top 15-year old Claire Liu (Thousand Oaks, Calif.); Jessica Pegula (21, Buffalo, N.Y.); and Bernarda Pera (20, North Haledon, N.J.).

 

On the men’s side:

The USTA today announced that top 18-year old Jared Donaldson, 2011 French Open boys’ champion Bjorn Fratangelo, 2012 Olympian Ryan Harrison, former Texas A&M All-American Austin Krajicek, 2015 NCAA champion Ryan Shane and 2015 USTA Boys’ 18s National Champion Frances Tiafoe have been awarded men’s singles main draw wild card entries into the 2015 US Open, along with 2001 US Open champion Lleyton Hewitt, of Australia, and Pierre-Hughes Herbert, of France.

 

The 2015 US Open will be played August 31-September 13 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. Both the men’s and women’s singles champions this year will earn $3.3 million, with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money – for a total $4.3 million potential payout – based on their performances in the Emirates Airline US Open Series.

 

Donaldson, 18, of Chepachet, R.I., is one of only four players ages 18 or younger ranked inside the ATP Top 200, at No. 153. He won his first Challenger title in February, at the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Maui, and recently qualified and advanced to the second round of the BB&T Atlanta Open.

 

Fratangelo, 22, of Pittsburgh, currently ranked No. 106, will make his Grand Slam main draw debut after winning the USTA Pro Circuit’s US Open Wild Card Challenge with his results at recent USTA Pro Circuit Challengers this summer. Fratangelo, who is named after Bjorn Borg, won the 2011 French Open boys’ singles title, becoming the first American to do so since John McEnroe in 1977.

 

Harrison, 23, of Austin, Texas, is currently ranked No. 126. He competed for the U.S. in the 2012 London Olympics and reached a career-high No. 43 in the world that summer. He reached his seventh ATP World Tour semifinal at Acapulco in February.

 

Krajieck, 25, of Tampa, Fla., is ranked No. 113 after advancing to the final at the USTA Pro Circuit $100,000 Challenger in Aptos, Calif., last week. Krajicek has won two Challenger titles, the second coming this May, since graduating in 2011 from Texas A&M, where he was a four-time All-American.

 

Shane, 21, of Falls Church, Va., is the 2015 NCAA singles champion and a rising senior at the University of Virginia. He went 36-8 in singles matches during his junior season.

 

Tiafoe, 17, of College Park, Md., is the 2015 USTA Boys’ 18s National Champion, currently ranked No. 271. He is a former world No. 2-ranked junior who made his Grand Slam main-draw debut at the 2015 French Open after winning the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge.

 

Hewitt, 34, received his wild card through a reciprocal agreement with Tennis Australia, which will grant an American a wild card into the 2016 Australian Open. The 2001 US Open champion Hewitt, now ranked No. 162, will make his 15th appearance in Flushing Meadows, where he was also the runner-up in 2004.

 

Herbert, 24, received his wild card through a reciprocal agreement with the French Tennis Federation. He is ranked No. 139 and recently qualified and reached the second round at Wimbledon.

 

In addition to the eight US Open men’s singles main draw wild cards, the USTA also announced the eight men who have been awarded wild card entries into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, which will be held August 25-28 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. One additional US Open qualifying wild card will be awarded to the winner of the 2015 US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship, taking place August 21-24 in New Haven, Conn.

 

Players receiving US Open qualifying wild cards are: current world No. 1 junior and 2015 French Open boys’ finalist Taylor Fritz (17, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.); 2015 USTA Boys’ 18s runner-up and 2014 Wimbledon and Australian Open finalist Stefan Kozlov (17, Pembroke Pines, Fla.); former Top-5 world-ranked junior Mitchell Krueger (21, Fort Worth, Texas), who reached the quarterfinals or better at three straight USTA Pro Circuit Challengers this summer; 2014 NCAA singles champion Marcos Giron (22, Thousand Oaks, Calif.), who earned his qualifying wild card by winning the American Collegiate Invitational at last year’s US Open; current world No. 3 junior Michael Mmoh (17, Bradenton, Fla.); 2015 Wimbledon boys’ champion Reilly Opelka (17, Palm Coast, Fla.); 2015 French Open boys’ champion Tommy Paul (18, Greenville, N.C.); 2015 NCAA singles finalist and 2014 USTA Boys’ 18s National Champion Noah Rubin (19, Rockville Centre, N.Y.).

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USTA to Rename US Open Press Center “Bud Collins US Open Media Center”

 

White Plains, N.Y., August 5, 2015 – The USTA today announced that the press center at the US Open will be officially named the “Bud Collins US Open Media Center,” to honor the noted tennis journalist and historian.  The concept was approved unanimously by the USTA Board of Directors earlier this year.

 

The press center servicing the US Open is located on the ground level of Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.  A plaque featuring the Tennis Hall of Famer will be unveiled at a special ceremony on Sunday, September 6, in the West Media Room.  Collins, his wife Anita, and other members of their family are expected to attend the event.  More than 1,000 journalists from more than 60 countries annually cover the US Open, making the tournament one of the top sports media destinations in the world.

 

“Few people have contributed as much to the sport of tennis as Bud has,” said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman of the Board and President.  “He is a special person, a friend and mentor to many in the industry, and one who has spread his passion for the sport in so many ways.  The span of his career is breathtaking, and we are privileged to name our media center in his honor.”

 

Though best known for his long-standing tennis column in the Boston Globe, which he started writing in 1963; Collins’ career has touched nearly all major journalistic outlets across seven decades. He became one of the first print reporters to become a sports television announcer when he joined WGBH-TV for its national tennis broadcasts, and his work in television reached its pinnacle when he joined NBC Sports, where he was the face of “Breakfast at Wimbledon” for 35 years. He is considered tennis’ pre-eminent historian and is the author of eight books, including Bud Collins: History of Tennis.

 

A recipient of numerous honors and awards, Collins was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in July 1994.  In addition to reporting on the sport, Collins was a fine competitive tennis player who won the U.S. Indoor Mixed Doubles Championship in 1961 with Janet Hopps and reached the final of the French Open Senior Doubles in 1975.

 

This year’s US Open is scheduled from August 31 through September 13, with the US Open Qualifying Tournament beginning on August 25.

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2012 US Open Girls’ Champion Samantha Crawford Wins USTA Pro Circuit US Open Wild Card Challenge

(August 3, 2015) 2012 US Open girls’ champion Samantha Crawford, 20, of Tamarac, Fla., will compete in the US Open main draw for the second time in her career after winning the USTA Pro Circuit’s US Open Wild Card Challenge this weekend. Crawford finished the challenge with 49 points after reaching the final of the $50,000 Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships in Lexington, Ky., this past weekend, and competing in the $50,000 events in Stockton, Calif., and Sacramento, Calif.

 

Crawford won the 2012 US Open girls’ singles title and qualified for the women’s singles main draw of the US Open that year as a qualifying wild card. She has also competed in the US Open women’s doubles draw three times (2011-12, 2014). At 6-foot-2, Crawford’s big serve and aggressive baseline game helped her rise to No. 5 in the ITF World Junior Rankings in 2012. This year, she won her fourth and fifth career USTA Pro Circuit doubles titles at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit events in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., and Baton Rouge, La. She also reached three USTA Pro Circuit singles finals this year. Crawford is ranked No. 223 in the world.

 

In the men’s wild card challenge, Bjorn Fratangelo increased his leading point total to 77 by advancing to the semifinals of the $50,000 Challenger in Lexington last week after reaching the final of the $50,000 Challenger in Binghamton, N.Y., the week prior. Mitchell Krueger is in second place with 44 points. The men’s US Open Wild Card Challenge concludes the week of Aug. 10 with the Comerica Bank Challenger in Aptos, Calif.

 

All matches will be streamed live on www.procircuit.usta.com.

 

The standings, through Aug. 3, are as follows:

 

 

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

 

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

 

The USTA first used this US Open wild card format for its 2012 wild cards, won by Steve Johnson and Mallory Burdette, both of whom reached the third round of the US Open. In 2013, Bradley Klahn and Shelby Rogers earned the wild cards, with Klahn winning his first-round match. And, last year, Nicole Gibbs reached the third round of the US Open (her career-best Grand Slam result), while Wayne Odesnik earned the men’s wild card. The USTA also utilizes this wild card challenge format for the French Open and Australian Open.

 

The 2015 US Open main draw will be held Monday, Aug. 31, to Sunday, Sept. 13.

 

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Taste of Tennis “Week” Returns

 

tasteoftennisny

NEW YORK, NY (July 27, 2015) – AYS, the creators and producers of the Taste of Tennis, announced the lineup of events leading up to this year’s US Open. From Top Chefs battling it out on the Tennis Court, to pro tennis players “serving” incredible cuisine, these exciting events offer something for all tastes! Events include the Celebrity Chef Tennis Challenge on August 26th, the 16th Annual Taste of Tennis Gala on August 27th and Party with The Pros on August 29th.

 

“Taste of Tennis is among the most recognizable brands in the culinary and tennis communities. Each year, our flagship event sells out. To satisfy demand, we have added the Celebrity Chef Tennis Challenge and Party with the Pros. Additionally, in 2016, we are excited to announce that we will launch Taste of Tennis Series in key tennis and culinary markets nationwide. It’s an extremely exciting time for us,” explains Penny Lerner, CEO of AYS.

 

Tickets for Taste of Tennis events are currently on sale and can be purchased online at www.tasteoftennisnyc.com.  The complete Taste of Tennis Week schedule of events includes:

 

  • Wednesday, August 26th – Celebrity Chef Tennis Challenge, 10AM-2PM (City View Racquet Club, 43-34 32nd Place, Long Island City, NY): Hosted by Top Chef Masters Finalist Kerry Heffernan and SNY anchor Michelle Yu. At this exciting event, professional chefs will serve up something a little out of the ordinary as they compete in a round-robin doubles tournament to determine who is the King (or Queen) of the court! Guests will witness action packed matches featuring Marc Murphy (LandMarc), Alfred Portale (Gotham Bar and Grill), Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto) and many other renowned chefs. Guests will also enjoy interactive sponsor activities, and will join the chefs for a delicious post tournament cookout sponsored by Master Purveyors.

 

  • Thursday, August 27th – Taste of Tennis Gala, 7PM-10PM (W New York- 541 Lexington Ave.): The party that started it all! To celebrate the US Open, AYS created the Taste of Tennis, a one of a kind event featuring fine food prepared by 25 of NYC’s top culinary minds, signature cocktails, interactive sponsor experiences, live music and appearances by the world’s greatest tennis players. Hosting this year’s gala will be former Bachelorette Andi Dorfman, headlining Chef Marc Murphy and professional tennis stars The Bryan Brothers. Major sponsors for the 16th Taste of Tennis include Citi, Rado, Jamaica Tourist Board, Lifeway Kefir, Zepp, Master Purveyors, Inc., Mouton Cadet and Franciscan Estate Napa Valley, among others.  A portion of proceeds from this event will benefit Chef Eli Kulp, beloved chef of Philadelphia’s High Street Market who was in the process of opening a new restaurant in New York City when he was critically injured in the recent Amtrak train derailment.

 

  • Saturday, August 29th Party with the Pros, 7PM-9PM (Measure Lounge at Langham Place New York, Fifth Avenue): Guests at the Party with the Pros will enjoy an evening of incredible hors d’oeuvres prepared by Chef David Vandenabeele and signature cocktails while rubbing elbows with some of the top names in professional tennis. This exclusive event takes place at Measure Lounge in the luxurious Langham Place New York, Fifth Avenue. Availability is extremely limited, so get your tickets now! Confirmed players include Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens and John Isner.

 

Special 10% discount for Tennis Panorama News readers for Taste of Tennis and the Celebrity Chef Challenge http://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-taste-of-tennis-tickets-14888080650?aff=erellivorg  – use the code TennisPanorama for the discount.

 

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Serena Williams Leads 2015 US Open Women’s Field

2011-US-Open-Tennis-Tournament

From the USTA: White Plains, N.Y., July 22, 2015 – The USTA today announced that world No. 1 and three-time defending champion Serena Williams leads the women’s field for the 2015 US Open Tennis Championships. Williams is joined by 99 of the world’s top 101 women, including world No. 2 and former US Open champion Maria Sharapova, 2014 US Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki, two-time US Open champion and world No. 15 Venus Williams, and former US Open champions Samantha Stosur and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

 

In total, 33 different countries are represented in the women’s field. Eleven U.S. women received direct entry into the main draw – the most of any country – with seven Americans ranked in the Top 50.

 

The 2015 US Open will be played Monday, August 31, through Sunday, September 13, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The US Open Women’s Singles Championship is presented by J.P. Morgan.

 

Leading the entry list is world No. 1 Serena Williams, who won her sixth US Open crown in 2014, tying her with Chris Evert for the most US Open women’s singles titles in the Open Era. This year, Williams is also going for the calendar Grand Slam at the US Open, last won in 1988 by Steffi Graf. Williams won her 21st Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon this month, which ranks third all-time, just one behind Graf (an Open-era record of 22) and Margaret Court (24 all-time).

 

Joining Williams in the field’s top four are world No. 2 Sharapova, of Russia, the 2006 US Open champion who won her fifth Grand Slam singles title last year at the French Open; No. 3 Simona Halep, of Romania, a 2014 French Open finalist and Wimbledon semifinalist; and No. 4 Petra Kvitova, of the Czech Republic, the 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon champion.

 

Following the top four are: No. 5 Caroline Wozniacki, of Denmark, the 2009 and 2014 US Open finalist; No. 6 Ana Ivanovic, of Serbia, the 2012 US Open quarterfinalist and 2008 French Open champion; No. 7 Agnieszka Radwanska, of Poland, the first Polish player to reach a Grand Slam singles final (2012 Wimbledon) and this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist; No. 8 Lucie Safarova, of the Czech Republic, who reached her first Grand Slam singles final at the French Open this year and also won this year’s French Open and Australian Open doubles titles; No. 9 Garbiñe Muguruza, of Spain, who reached the final at Wimbledon this year and has never won a US Open main draw match; and No. 10 Carla Suárez Navarro, of Spain, a four-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist who reached the US Open quarterfinals in 2013.

 

Nine players who have won Grand Slam singles titles in their careers are competing in the US Open this year, including two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, former world No. 1 and 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, of Serbia, and 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, of Italy.

 

Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens, ranked No. 101, is the last player accepted directly into the women’s field of 128. One player has withdrawn due to a back injury, No. 29 Shuai Peng, of China. Four players are using a special ranking to gain entry into the main draw – No. 56 Petra Cetkovska, of the Czech Republic, No. 58 Laura Robson, of Great Britain, No. 73 Vania King, of the United States, and No. 87 Alisa Kleybanova, of Russia. Sixteen more players will gain entry through the US Open Qualifying Tournament, August 25-28, while the remaining eight spots are wild cards awarded by the USTA.

 

In addition to Serena Williams and Venus Williams, the other American women who received direct entry into this year’s tournament include No. 18 Madison Keys, of Rock Island, Ill., No. 32 Coco Vandeweghe, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., No. 34 Sloane Stephens, of Coral Springs, Fla., No. 39 Madison Brengle, of Dover, Del., No. 45 Varvara Lepchenko, of Allentown, Pa., No. 54 Alison Riske, of Pittsburgh, No. 59 Christina McHale, of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., No.  76 Irina Falconi, of West Palm Beach, Fla., and No. 83 Lauren Davis, of Boca Raton, Fla.

 

Several of the young Americans listed above have had breakout performances on the WTA tour this year. Keys, 20, reached the semifinals of the Australian Open and the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, while also reaching one WTA final in Charleston, S.C.; Vandeweghe, 23, reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals; Stephens, 22, reached two WTA semifinals; and Brengle, 25, reached her first career WTA final in Hobart.

 

Among the players competing in the US Open Qualifying Tournament will be the winner of the sixth annual US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Championship, held during the Emirates Airline US Open Series’ Connecticut Open in New Haven, Conn., prior to the US Open Qualifying Tournament. The USTA created the US Open National Playoffs in 2010 to allow players 14 and older, regardless of playing ability or nationality, to vie for a spot in the US Open Qualifying Tournament via one of 14 sectional qualifying tournaments.

 

The July 20 edition of the WTA rankings was used to determine the US Open main draw entry list. Seeds will be determined and announced closer to the start of the event.

 

The 2015 US Open will mark the culmination of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, the North American summer season of seven ATP World Tour and WTA events that begin Monday, July 27.

 

The US Open is the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world. 2015 marks the first year of an 11-year agreement between the USTA and ESPN, which will see the US Open carried on ESPN through 2025. During the 2015 US Open, ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to air more than 130 hours of live match play with more than 1,100 hours of first-to-last ball coverage to be seen on ESPN3, which will also be hosted on the US Open website – USOpen.org.  In an expansion of its US Open coverage, ESPN will feature play from 11 courts.

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