July 31, 2015

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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Novak Djokovic Headlines the Men’s Field at the 2015 US Open

2011-US-Open-Tennis-Tournament

From the USTA: White Plains, N.Y., July 22, 2015 – The USTA today announced that world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon finalist Roger Federer, and defending champion Marin Cilic lead the men’s singles field for the 2015 US Open Tennis Championships. The field features five former US Open champions, including Djokovic (2011), five-time champion Federer (2004-08), two-time champion Rafael Nadal (2010, 2013), Andy Murray (2012), and defending champion Cilic (2014).

 

Each of the world’s top 99 men received direct entry into the US Open, representing 40 countries.

 

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 Men’s Singles Championship is presented by Mercedes-Benz.

 

Leading the entry list is Djokovic, the Serbian world No. 1 who has reached the US Open final five times, winning the title in 2011. He won his eighth and ninth major singles titles this year at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

 

World No. 2 Federer, of Switzerland, is the all-time leader with 17 major singles titles, and was bidding for his eighth Wimbledon title this month before falling to Djokovic in the final. Federer is competing for his sixth US Open title, which would surpass Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors for the most US Open men’s singles titles in the Open Era.

 

Great Britain’s Murray, the world No. 3, won the US Open in 2012 after winning the Olympic gold medal in London. He also won Wimbledon in 2013, where he became the first British man in 77 years to win the championship, and reached the Australian Open final this year, losing to Djokovic.

 

Stanislas Wawrinka, the Swiss world No. 4 and a 2013 US Open semifinalist, won his first major singles championship at the Australian Open in 2014, joining Juan Martin del Potro (2009 US Open) and Cilic (2014 US Open) as the only men outside the “Big Four” of Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray to win a Grand Slam since the 2005 French Open. Wawrinka also won this year’s French Open title, defeating Djokovic.

 

Filling out the field’s top 10 are: No. 5 Kei Nishikori, of Japan, the 2014 US Open finalist; No. 6 Tomas Berdych, of the Czech Republic, a 2012 US Open semifinalist and 2010 Wimbledon finalist; No. 7 David Ferrer, of Spain, the 2013 French Open finalist and two-time US Open semifinalist (2007, 2012); No. 8 Milos Raonic, of Canada, a 2014 Wimbledon semifinalist; No. 9 Cilic, of Croatia, the US Open defending champion and 2010 Australian Open semifinalist; and No. 10 Nadal, of Spain, the 2010 and 2013 US Open champion and 14-time Grand Slam champion.

 

Italy’s Marco Cecchinato, ranked No. 99, is the last man to receive direct entry into the field of 128. Five players used a protected ranking to gain entry including No. 25 Mardy Fish, of the United States, No. 25 Tommy Haas, of Germany, No. 34 Florian Mayer, of Germany, No. 39 Janko Tipsarevic, of Serbia, and No. 57 Radek Stepanek, of the Czech Republic. Sixteen more players will gain entry through the US Open Qualifying Tournament, held August 25-28, while the eight remaining spots are wild cards awarded by the USTA.

 

American men who received direct entry are No. 18 John Isner, of Greensboro, N.C., No. 31 Jack Sock, of Lincoln, Neb., No. 34 Sam Querrey, of Las Vegas, No. 46 Steve Johnson, of Orange, Calif., No. 55 Donald Young, of Atlanta, No. 75 Tim Smyczek, of Tampa, Fla., No. 86 Rajeev Ram, of Carmel, Ind.; and No. 96 Denis Kudla, of Arlington, Va.

 

Among the players competing in the US Open Qualifying Tournament will be the winner of the sixth annual US Open National Playoffs – Men’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 Emirates ATP 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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USTA and ESPN Expand US Open and US Open Series Coverage

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 21, 2015 – The USTA today announced that for the 2015 summer tennis season, ESPN will broadcast over 1800 hours of live tennis action across it’s platforms as the exclusive live domestic television and digital media partner for the US Open and Emirates Airline US Open Series.  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.
The unprecedented tennis coverage will feature over 200 hours of live match play on ESPN and ESPN2, with more than 1600 hours to be featured on ESPN3 – ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of hours of exclusive sports annually.
“The opportunity for tennis to be seen across ESPN platforms affords the sport a stage that reaches far beyond the eyes of just the traditional tennis fan and into the homes of all sports fans,” said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams. “The ability to be top of mind throughout the summer is an incredible chance to highlight some of the greatest athletes in the world, including Serena Williams as she continues her historic pursuit of the calendar Grand Slam, and continue to grow the sport throughout the country.”
“We are delighted to work with the USTA to bring tennis fans even more comprehensive coverage of the most important tennis this summer between the Series and US Open over the next seven weeks” said Scott Guglielmino, SVP, Programming and Global X. “We are extremely excited for our first year of exclusive coverage of the US Open, giving us the opportunity to leverage our TV and digital media platforms to further engage fans with more ways and more hours to watch as the game’s greatest athletes compete.”
Over the five week calendar of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, ESPN2 will air nearly 70 hours of live coverage, while ESPN3 will carry more than 500 hours of action.  In total, there will be 34 consecutive days of coverage for these tournaments.  For the first time, fans will be able to access coverage on the Emirates Airline US Open Series main website – emiratesusopenseries.com – as well as the respective tournament websites, through the integration of the ESPN3 Media Player.  ESPN3 is also accessible on line at WatchESPN.com and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app.
During the 2015 US Open, ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to air more than 130 hours of live match play with more than 1100 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.
“This overarching agreement with and commitment from ESPN is incredibly important to the USTA and to tennis, at large, as it brings the sport to the fans on a larger scale than ever before,” said Gordon Smith, USTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer.  “The reach of ESPN is undeniable, and the ability to watch the US Open and Emirates Airline US Open Series throughout the summer, across a number of ESPN’s platforms markedly enhances the experience for the tennis viewer.”
For the 2015 US Open, the men’s singles final will return to its traditional Sunday (September 13) afternoon timeslot and the women’s singles final will be scheduled for 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. This schedule reaffirms the USTA’s commitment to providing a day of rest for singles competitors between the singles semifinals and singles finals.
Prior to the start of the tournament, ESPN will kick-off its coverage of the US Open on Sunday, August 30 with a broadcast of Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (ET) and a US Open preview show from 2:00 – 2:30 p.m. (ET), both to be broadcast on ESPN2.  Additionally, leading into the men’s singles final, ESPN will televise a 30-minute “Blue Carpet” special, enabling the fans to get an inside look at the excitement, pageantry and celebrity surrounding the day.
In addition to ESPN’s coverage at the Open, Tennis Channel, for the seventh year, will offer pre and post-match coverage, analysis, and match encores throughout the two weeks of the US Open.
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USTA Launches 2015 US Open Wild Card Challenge

ustalogo

 

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 9, 2015 – The USTA today announced the launch of the 2015 US Open Wild Card Challenge, which will once again utilize the USTA Pro Circuit to award wild cards into the US Open.

 

In the US Open Wild Card Challenge, the American man and American woman who earn the most ATP World Tour and WTA ranking points at two of three select USTA Pro Circuit hard-court events this summer will earn main draw wild cards into the US Open. Only Americans who did not earn direct entry into the US Open are eligible.

 

All tournaments will be streamed live on www.procircuit.usta.com. Tournaments can also be followed on the USTA Pro Circuit’s smartphone app by searching “procircuit” in the app store.

 

The University of the Pacific $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger, a new $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit women’s event in Stockton, Calif., kicks off the wild card challenge the week of July 13. The men’s component of the wild card challenge will begin the following week.

 

The US Open Wild Card Challenge will consist of the following events:

 

USTA Pro Circuit Women’s Events

  • University of the Pacific $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger, $50,000, Stockton, Calif. (week of July 13)
  • FSP Gold River Women’s Challenger, $50,000, Sacramento, Calif. (week of July 20)
  • Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships, $50,000, Lexington, Ky. (week of July 27)

USTA Pro Circuit Men’s Events

  • Levene Gouldin & Thompson Tennis Challenger, $50,000, Binghamton, N.Y. (week of July 20)
  • Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships, $50,000, Lexington, Ky. (week of July 27)
  • Comerica Bank Challenger, $100,000, Aptos, Calif. (week of August 10)

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.

 

Information on the US Open Wild Card Challenge will be available at www.procircuit.usta.com and on Twitter through @USTAProCircuit.

 

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Josh Groban to Highlight Opening Night Ceremony at 2015 U.S. Open

Josh Groban

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 09, 2015 – The USTA today announced that singer, songwriter, and actor Josh Groban will perform at the Opening Night Ceremony for the 2015 US Open in Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.  The ceremony will be carried live by ESPN 2 on Monday, August 31 as part of the cable network’s comprehensive coverage of the US Open.

 

Groban, who has entertained fans across the globe with his multiplatinum albums and DVDs (selling more than 30 million worldwide), live performances, and comedic film and television appearances, will perform a selection of songs from his seventh studio album – Stages.  Released in April of 2015, Stages is a collection of some of the greatest musical theater songs.

 

Groban joins the ranks of great artists who have performed at the US Open over the years, including: Aretha Franklin, Lenny Kravitz, Chris Botti, Gloria Estefan, Ariana Grande, Rob Thomas, and many others.

 

In addition to the musical performance by Groban, the ceremony will also feature an appearance by tennis legend Billie Jean King who will join USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams on court to welcome the fans to opening night.

 

The Opening Night National Anthem performer(s) will be announced at a later date.

 

Groban first broke through in 2001 with his self-titled double-platinum debut, followed by 2003’s multi-platinum Closer, and 2006’s double-platinum Awake. In 2007, he became the best-selling recording artist of the year thanks to sales of Awake and his blockbuster Grammy-nominated Christmas album, Noel —  the best-selling album of 2007. At the end of 2010, Groban released the Rick Rubin-produced, platinum-certified Illuminations. All That Echoes followed in 2013, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, Groban’s first No. 1 debut and third chart-topper. All That Echoes racked up a host of positive reviews from major media outlets, including The New York Times, Billboard, Rolling Stone, and USA Today. His global arena tours routinely sell out, including his 2013 All That Echoes tour, which included 60 shows in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and North America.

 

On April 28th, Groban released his seventh studio album, Stages. Recorded with producers Humberto Gatica and Bernie Herms in both Los Angeles and London’s Abbey Road (with a 75-piece orchestra), Stages features songs from Les Misérables (“Bring Him Home”); Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel (“You’ll Never Walk Alone”); Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George (“Finishing the Hat”), Sweeney Todd (“Not While I’m Around”), and Into the Woods (“Children Will Listen”); The Fantasticks (“Try to Remember”); A Chorus Line (“What I Did For Love”); Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Phantom of the Opera (“All I Ask of You”), The Wizard of Oz (“Over the Rainbow”), and others.

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Brad Gilbert Talks Tennis “Glossary”

Gilbert's Glossary

(June 29, 2015) Brad Gilbert has a new series of unique video shorts entitled “Gilbert’s Glossary,” which will air online during Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. The former world No. 4 and ESPN Tennis commentator puts his own spin on explaining tennis terms such as “Buggy Whip,” “Love,” “Breadsticks” and “Bagels,” “Can Opener” and Moonball to name a few. These video shorts are produced by Voya Financial and coincide with the company’s sponsorship of ESPN’s telecasts of the last two majors of the year.

Tennis Panorama News asked Gilbert a few questions about his own personal tennis glossary and about his tennis nicknames.

Tennis Panorama News: Brad, you have a unique set of glossary terms of your own, including a number of player nicknames, how did that begin? Was Bud Collins an influence on why you do it, since he’s done it for ages?

 

Brad Gilbert: The glossary of terms and nicknames has been more of a natural progression of having fun. I always kind of did it as a player and then as I progressed into coaching I used it for levity and memory/code words, etc.  For TV it really took off, just because I feel it’s important to have fun and keep things simple for the viewer and fans. It’s just my thing. It’s always respectful and more to the strengths of the player than anything else. Plus there are so many players, it’s a way to remember and keep it fun. As far as it stemming from anyone, not really, but if anybody, I’m a Chris Berman fan.

 

TPN: What’s your favorite term from your “own” glossary?

BG:  Favorite terms:

FEARhand:  Massive Forehand

SURF & TURF: A one-two term for a big serve and big fearhand winner.

LARGE & IN CHARGE:  Refers to a player dominating on the court.

BACHHAND – (always liked it Vic Braden accent as a kid.)  Just a beautiful looking shot on the backhand side.

All-time favorite: DISHEVELED when a player looks gone in the match (plus it irritates the grammar police)

 

TPN: Any plans to produce a master list of your unique nicknames any time soon?

 

BG: No, it’s more of a cult following approach. My Twitter followers always attempt at creating one, but it’s a never ending thing and should remain elusive. Also, I don’t have a staff – with the exception of Mrs. G and doubtful she’d be in agreement, she has her limits!

 

TPN: With this new Voya Financial sponsorship for the U.S. Open and Wimbledon will you do different glossaries for each?

 

BG: Throughout Wimbledon and the US Open, Voya will distribute a total of 12 ‘Gilbert Glossary’ videos, six for each tournament. In the videos I hope to change the way people think about tennis just like Voya is helping change the way consumers think about retirement.

 

TPN: With both slams being very different, what new types of glossary terms would you use to describe each of them?

 

BG: Wimbledon Terms? Grass related, it’s a Cathedral of Tennis. It’s unique because it’s a club. The US Open and Wimby are two completely different events, atmospheres, fans, and flow. I’ll have to come up with something for the weather during the “Fortnight” (one of the unique Wimby terms), as they are anticipating an unprecedented heat wave. I’m predicting I’ll have a lot of weather references…something will come from that I’m sure. In general, The Glossary is spontaneous, there’s no forethought, no over-thinking, no planning – it just comes to me. It’s what the moment speaks – it’s just my style.

Look out for Gilbert’s videos throughout the summer. Each video ends with a tag line, “Brad Gilbert: Changing the Way You Think About Tennis. Voya Financial: Changing the Way You Think About Retirement.”

Follow Brad Gilbert on Twitter at @bgtennisnation

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

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USTA Announces Sixth Annual US Open National Playoffs

From the USTA: US OPEN NATIONAL PLAYOFFS RETURN FOR SIXTH SEASON, ADDING MEN’S AND WOMEN’S DOUBLES DRAWS

 

PLAYOFFS OFFER EVERYONE AGE 14 AND OLDER

THE OPPORTUNITY TO EARN A BERTH INTO 2015 US OPEN

IN SINGLES, DOUBLES AND MIXED DOUBLES

 

ENTRIES OPEN MARCH 15 FOR ALL 14 SECTIONAL QUALIFYING TOURNAMENTS

 

US OPEN NATIONAL PLAYOFFS CHAMPIONSHIPS RETURN TO NEW HAVEN, CONN.

 

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., March 4, 2015 – The USTA today announced that the US Open National Playoffs will be held for the sixth season this year, expanding the footprint of the US Open to cities nationwide by providing the opportunity for all players 14 years of age and older to earn a berth into the US Open. New this year, the US Open National Playoffs will include a men’s and women’s doubles competition. Also, players can continue to compete in both men’s and women’s singles, as well as mixed doubles.

 

The US Open National Playoffs men’s and women’s singles champions earn a wild card into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, held the week prior to the US Open. The US Open National Playoffs men’s, women’s and mixed doubles champions receive a wild card into the main draw of the 2015 US Open.

 

“The US Open National Playoffs are all about connecting people to the US Open,” said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman of the Board, CEO and President. “This year, by adding men’s and women’s doubles, the National Playoffs are giving competitors the opportunity to earn their way into the US Open in every possible way. We look forward to another year of great tennis and watching top juniors, collegians, aspiring pros, and weekend warriors compete for the chance to play on tennis’ grandest stage.”

 

Registration for the 2015 sectional qualifying tournaments opens on Sunday, March 15, at www.USOpen.org/NationalPlayoffs. The entry fee for each of the sectional qualifying tournaments varies, with men’s and women’s singles entries ranging from $75-$100 per player and men’s, women’s and mixed doubles entries ranging from $45-$60 per player. All players competing must have a current USTA membership valid through Aug. 31, 2015.

 

The US Open National Playoffs begin as a series of 14 sectional qualifying tournaments held in different USTA sections across the country (see complete schedule on page 2). The 14 champions or top available finishers in each division from each sectional qualifying tournament advance to the following US Open National Playoffs Championship events that will take place in conjunction with the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, an Emirates Airline US Open Series event, in New Haven, Conn.:

  • Men’s and Women’s Singles Championship, Aug. 21-24
  • Men’s and Women’s Doubles Championship, Aug. 25-28
  • Mixed Doubles Championship, Aug. 26-29

Players may compete at different sectional qualifying tournaments in each division (one for men’s or women’s singles, one for mixed doubles and/or one for men’s or women’s doubles). However, a player may only compete in one sectional qualifying tournament per division during a calendar year. Participants can be of any playing level, giving everyone an opportunity to advance.

 

More than 1,200 players competed in the 2014 US Open National Playoffs, which marked the largest year-over-year increase in entries in the program’s five-year history. Players ranged from experienced professionals who were once ranked in the Top 50, to junior players and current/ former college standouts, to recreational players of all playing abilities and walks of life. Participants included those competing for charity, businesspeople, musicians, lawyers, reporters, former athletes, and stay-at-home mothers.

 

Notable past participants include Olympic skier Bode Miller; musician Redfoo of the music group LMFAO; ESPN’s Mike Greenberg, who teamed with six-time US Open champion Chris Evert in mixed doubles; and LuAnn De Lesseps and Jill Zarin of “The Real Housewives of New York City.”

 

The US Open Qualifying Tournament will be held Aug. 25-28, the US Open men’s and women’s doubles championships begin Sept. 1 and the US Open mixed doubles championship begins Sept. 2 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The 2015 US Open is scheduled to take place from Aug. 31, to Sept. 13.

 

US Open National Playoffs information is available at www.USOpen.org/NationalPlayoffs.

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Marin Cilic Beats Kei Nishikori for US Open Title for First Major

 

(September 8, 2014) Fourteenth seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia won his first major title by beating tenth seed Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 on Monday in the US Open final.

The Croat dominated the match throughout hitting 17 aces and 38 winners during the less than two-hour match

Both players were making their Grand Slam final debuts. The last time this happened was in 1997.

The 25-year-old Cilic is only the third man other than Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to win a major since the middle of 2005.

Just a year ago Cilic missed the tournament due to a doping suspension which was later reduced.

“I mean, seems completely unreal to be called Grand Slam champion,” Cilic said. “I was dreaming about this all my life, and suddenly last four, five days everything started to change. And with my tennis especially. I started to play absolutely unbelievable starting with the fifth set with Simon. After that I had unbelievable run of the matches against these top guys. And what it means to me, it means everything. It’s just a huge accomplishment and huge moment for myself and for my team and for everybody around me who was with me all these years supporting me, believing in me and never giving up. So this is just the peak of the world.”

“I think I showed, you know, my potential I can beat anybody now,” Nishkori said. So if I can keep train hard and, you know, also practice hard, I think I have more chance coming up.”

The man from Japan defeated 5th seed Milos Raonic in the fourth round and 3rd seed Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals, both in long five-set matches. he followed the wins up by taking out the top seed Novak Djokovic in four sets.

Cilic, dismissed No. 2 seed Roger Federer in the semifinals in straight sets.

Cilic talked about the key to winning the tournament. “The key was definitely I was playing my own game and it was working extremely well. Last ten sets I played I played amazing tennis with everything, starting from serve, starting from movement, all different shots. Return with Federer. In Federer’s match was great I think overall. My performances were great.”

 

“A lot of guys are saying people would like to watch top four guys much more to extend their streak at the top and to extend their run at the Grand Slams, because, I mean, they attract the most, the fans and the TV, and everybody else,” Cilic said. “But sort of one day definitely they gonna go out and there’s gonna be a need for somebody else. I feel this time, this year — I mean, I think the guys from second line were a bit lucky because Andy Murray was also having trouble with his back; Wawrinka was up and down with his tennis after Australia; few other players were not playing at the best all the time. And Rafa is not here. So that opened a little bit the gate for everybody else. I feel it’s gonna definitely be much bigger competition from next year. I feel the guys at the top are gonna pull the other guys, too. I think the game of tennis is definitely going to evolve much more.”

“I feel, very inspirational for all the other guys out there who are, you know, working and sometimes losing motivation, having trouble to dig deep and to believe in the achievements. I would definitely feel much stronger if I would see somebody like me accomplish things like this. It sort of came out of nowhere for me. Few things clicked in just right before tournament sort of. I felt great about them, and match after match I played really good tennis. These last three matches, everything was working perfectly.”

 

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Serena Williams Three-Peats at US Open for 18th Grand Slam Title

 

(September 7, 2014) Serena Williams won her third straight US Open, sixth overall for her 18th major title by defeating tenth seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-3 in 75 minutes on Sunday afternoon.

“It feels great,” Williams said. “I never thought I would have won this one six times, because I won Australian five times and Wimbledon five times. I think I only won the Open like three times; now it jumped to six.”

When she’s on her game it’s not fun to play her,” said the 24-year-old Dane . “You know, she’s so strong. She has a good serve and she puts pressure on you straightaway. You know, today I went out there and I was a little nervous. I had a game plan in mind, but it was kind of difficult at the start. I tried to push her back, but that really didn’t work for me. She really just stepped in and she was playing aggressive. She was playing better than me today.”

Williams won the tournament without losing a set.

Williams is now tied with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova at fourth on the all-time major titles list.

“Number 18. I have been trying to reach it for so long, since last year.” Williams said. “Well, since the beginning of the year. I didn’t really think would I get there. I just felt so good.”

“It means a lot to me. You know, I just could never have imagined that I would be mentioned with Chris Evert or with Martina Navratilova, because I was just a kid with a dream and a racquet. Living in Compton, you know, this never happened before. You know, I just never could have imagined that it could have ended — not ended. I’m just beginning. Well, I’m not beginning, but I could have gotten this far, you know. So it was just — I think it was — and then it was eluding me for three tournaments, I guess. But, still that’s a lot for me. I was like, you know, really excited to get it.”

Turning 33 in 19 days, Williams is the second-oldest player to win a Grand Slam title in the Open Era after 33-year-old 1990 Wimbledon champion Navratilova.

Williams, who did not win any majors this year coming into the US Open she had no expectations.

“My goal was just to get past the third round, maybe the fourth round, because it was just really difficult for me in the majors, said the 33-year-old. “My goal was just to win some matches.”

She has now also equaled Evert’s 6 US Open titles won. Williams leads all active players in tournament wins with 63.

Williams and Wozniacki are good friends off the court and the Dane talked about their relationship.

“When you’re out there — we’re both competitors and we both want to win, so we’re both going to do anything possible to win the match. You know, after the match we’re friends again. You know, it’s tennis. It’s a game. But off the court we’re still — we still care equally as much about each other. It doesn’t really change.”

“It’s definitely not easy,” Williams said, “but I think we both wanted to win this. We both wanted to do the best that we could. And like I say, I’ve play against (sister) Venus, so I think that helped me a lot to be able to — if I can play against her, I can really handle anything at this point.”

“Think her results and her career says it all: 18 Grand Slam titles,” Wozniacki said. “You don’t get that unless you’re exceptional in what you do. You know, she is one of the greatest of all time. You know, to have 18 Grand Slam titles and still be the person she is is really something very rare. You know, I admire her both on and off the court. I definitely think when Serena is on her game there’s not much we can do. So, you know, I think that’s why she has so many titles that she has.”

The No. 1 player earned a record $4 million dollars for the win, $3 million for the title, plus a $1 million bonus for having won the US Open Series Bonus Challenge.

Asked what she plans to do with her prize money, Williams said: “Well, I have a really good uncle that I love a lot. I always say this. His name is Uncle Sam. I think I’m going to give him a lot of it.”

 

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