USTA Nominates Katrina Adams as Chairman of the Board, CEO and President


From the USTA: WHITE PLAINS, NY, November 17, 2014 – The USTA Nominating Committee has announced the nomination of Katrina M. Adams as USTA Chairman of the Board, CEO and President to serve a two-year term beginning January 1, 2015.  Adams has served on the USTA Board of Directors for 10 years and is currently completing a two-year term as First Vice President.  In her new role, Adams will become the first African-American and first former professional tennis player to serve as the association’s Chairman of the Board, CEO and President.


Adams began serving a two-year term as First Vice President of the USTA in January 2013. Previously, she served one term as Vice President, 2011-12, and three consecutive two-year terms as a Director at Large, 2005-10. In the current term, Adams serves on the USTA’s Budget Committee, International Committee, Executive Committee and Compensation Committee. She also serves on the board of directors of the USTA Foundation and the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Adams also is a member of the Grand Slam Board and the ITF Davis Cup Committee.


Adams previously served as board liaison to the USTA’s 17 sections as well as the USTA Foundation and the USPTA. Prior to that, she was the board liaison to the Professional Tennis Council, and she also has served on the USTA Player Development Committee and the USTA Grievance Committee. She also has served on the ITF Rules of Tennis Committee.


In addition to her role as First Vice President, Adams is a contributor on CBS Sports Network’s first all-female sports show, “We Need to Talk,” and serves as a television analyst for Tennis Channel. She also is a contributor to Tennis Magazine and tennis.com, providing instruction articles and videos, and serves as the executive director of the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program in New York City.


Adams played for 12 years on the WTA tour, and was ranked as high as No. 67 in singles and No. 8 in doubles. She captured 20 career doubles titles. While a player, Adams served on the board of directors of the WTA as a player representative for four one-year terms and on the WTA’s Players Association for five two-year terms. She was honored with the WTA’s Player Service Award in 1996 and 1997.


Adams attended Northwestern University as an undergraduate, majoring in communications, and helped the Wildcats to a Big Ten championship in 1986. She was an NCAA All-American in 1986 and 1987, and in 1987 became the first African-American NCAA doubles champion.


A Chicago native, Adams has been inducted into the Northwestern Hall of Fame. She also was inducted into the USTA Midwest Section Hall of Fame in 2005, the Chicago District Tennis Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Black Tennis Hall of Fame in 2012. Adams currently lives in White Plains, N.Y., and Lakewood Ranch, Fla. She is a member of the USTA Eastern Section.


In addition to Adams’ nomination, the following individuals have been nominated as the slate of new Officers and Directors of the USTA Board:


Alexander Boyd (Andy) Andrews IV, of the USTA Southern Section, living in Raleigh North Carolina, currently a Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors and is nominated to serve as First Vice President.  Andrews has served multiple terms on the Board of Directors for the USTA Southern Section, the USTA Southern Section Patrons Foundation, the USTA North Carolina Tennis Foundation, and the Raleigh Racquet Club, to name a few.  He has chaired a successful campaign that raised more than $1.6 million for the North Carolina Tennis Association to build its office complex and a Hall of Fame facility and raise $1.7 million for the North Carolina State J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center.   Andrews is presently CEO of Dominion Realty Partners, a real estate development company that has been involved in more than $2.5 Billion Dollars of development in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia. He is a former standout junior, collegiate & professional tennis player, having won 19 professional titles while on the men’s pro tour in singles and doubles and was all ACC and a two-time All American at North Carolina State University.


Thomas S. Ho, of the USTA Texas Section, is nominated to serve a second consecutive term as Vice President. He also serves on the Budget Committee and the Compensation Committee.  Ho previously served on the USTA Board as an elite Athlete 2009-2010. At 15, Ho was the youngest male to play in the US Open main draw, and he ultimately achieved a career-high ranking of No.85 in singles and No.13 in doubles. He earned a B.A. in economics in 2001 from Rice University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa and served as a volunteer assistant with the tennis team. After graduation, Ho worked within the financial services industry with Goldman Sachs and UBS. He is currently a Principal with Heidrick and Struggles, a worldwide executive search firm, where he is a member of the Global Industrial and Financial Officers practice. Ho is a current member of the Texas Section Management Committee, and served on the Houston Tennis Association Gala benefit committee.


Donald L. Tisdel, of the USTA Pacific Northwest Section, is nominated to serve a second consecutive term as Vice President.  He previously served three consecutive terms as Secretary-Treasurer on the USTA Board of Directors and a term as Director at Large from 2004-2006.  Tisdel has served as Chair of the Budget Committee and is a member of the Audit, Compensation, and Investment Committees.   He also is a member of the USTA Foundation Board of Directors. He currently serves as the Senior Operating Partner of Northwest Capital Appreciation, Inc., a private equity firm he co-founded. Under Tisdel’s direction, Northwest Capital formed two private equity partnerships that control four diverse companies with aggregate revenues exceeding $5 billion and a work force of approximately 2,300 employees. Tisdel has been involved in tennis in the Pacific Northwest section since 1967 including co-founding two indoor tennis clubs.


Patrick J. Galbraith, of the USTA Pacific Northwest Section, is nominated to serve a second consecutive term as Secretary- Treasurer and previously served three terms as an Elite Athlete and a Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors. He has served as Chair of the Budget Committee and as Vice Chair of the Investment Committee. A professional tennis player from 1989 until 2000, Galbraith is a two-time winner of the US Open Mixed Doubles Championship. He ended 1993 as part of the No.1- ranked men’s doubles team with partner Grant Connell, and went on to win the World Doubles Championship in 1995. Galbraith, a member of the 1996 Davis Cup team, finished his career with 36 doubles titles. He is a Certified Financial planner (CFP) and is currently Vice President-Wealth Management for UBS Financial Service, Inc.


David A. Haggerty, of the USTA Middle States Section, will serve as Immediate Past President on the USTA Board of Directors.   He served on the USTA Board of Directors from 2007 to the present, currently as the Chairman, CEO and President. Prior to his national board service, Haggerty served on the USTA Middle States Board of Directors from 2001-2006. Haggerty also serves the International Tennis Federation as a Vice President. He had an extensive tennis industry career including CEO and President of Head USA and Penn Racquet Sports from 1998 until his retirement in 2010. Haggerty currently is an external Board Director of Kepner Tregoa, a global management firm specializing in rational process management. He is Co-Chair of Friends of Cadwalader Park, which has raised more than $800,000 to build a new tennis center in Trenton, New Jersey.


Fabrizio Alcobe-Fierro, of the USTA Florida Section, is nominated for his first term as Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors. A lifelong tennis player, parent of competitive junior players and enthusiast, Alcobe-Fierro is Senior Vice President of the Univision Networks at Univision Communications Inc., the premier media company serving Hispanic America. He is responsible for overseeing the administration, human resources, on-air talent, Teleton USA, Education Week and the transformation of Univision Communications’ television linear networks and digital content groups. Fabrizio brings more than 16 years of extensive experience in media communications, organizational management, and global leadership. He joined Univision from Interpublic Group (IPG), where he was senior vice president of Global Compensation. During his tenure at IPG, Fabrizio made many contributions and provided leadership in all matters related to global human resources management as well as played an active role in the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Prior to joining IPG, he held various senior executive roles at Euro RSCG, WPP and Towers Watson. He holds a Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University and Industrial Engineer title from Universidad Iberoamericana.


Joan E. Baker, of the USTA Northern Section, is nominated to serve a second consecutive term as Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors.  Baker has a rich history of USTA organizational knowledge at both the sectional and national levels. She began serving USTA Northern as junior endorser in 1995 and served continually, ultimately serving as President and Sectional Delegate from 2005-2006. Since then she has served on the USTA Nominating Committee from 2007-2010, chairing the Committee from 2009-2010. In her first term as a USTA Board member, Baker served as Chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Budget Committee. Baker is a lifelong tennis player, passionate about the health benefits of playing the sport.  She is a three-time recipient of the prestigious USTA Northern President’s Award and was inducted into the USTA Northern Hall of Fame in 2009. She is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and was the Founder and President of Advantage Benefits, Inc., an employee benefits company that helped owners maximize benefits to valued employees while containing costs.


Mark D. Ein, of USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, is nominated for his second consecutive term as Director at Large of the USTA Board of Directors. Ein is an investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, who has successfully built a series of growth companies across a diverse set of industries. Ein is the Co-Chairman and Principal Shareholder of Kastle Systems, LLC, a provider of commercial office building managed security systems. In addition, he is the Chairman and CEO of Capitol Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ:CLAC) and the Vice-Chairman of Two Harbors Investment Corporation, a NYSE-listed (TWO) residential mortgage REIT. Mr. Ein is also the founder and owner of the Washington Kastles, a World Team Tennis (WTT) franchise. Ein has received several honors for his contributions to tennis and the community, including induction into the USTA Mid-Atlantic Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013.


Michael J. McNulty III, of the USTA Southern Section, is nominated for his first term as Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors.  He is the founder and Officer of the Lake Area Community Tennis Association.  McNulty is the former President of USTA Louisiana and the USTA Southern Section.  He currently serves as Delegate representing the USTA Southern Section. McNulty also currently serves as Council Chair to the USTA Rules Council and is a member of the ITF Constitutional Committee.  He  is  the  former  Tournament  Chairman  and  current  member  of  the  Tournament  Steering Committee for the BB&T Atlanta Open, the tournament that annually kicks off  the Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series.  McNulty is a partner in the law firm of Plauche Smith & Niest, and is considered one of America’s top attorneys in the area of insurance defense, specializing in the areas of construction, products and premise liability.


Andrew A. Valdez, of the USTA Intermountain Section, is nominated for his third consecutive term as Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors. He is a former member of the USTA Intermountain Section Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Valdez is the founder and current board member of The Village Project Mentoring Program that teaches tennis to youth under the Juvenile Court, emphasizing life skills and values, and he is a co-founder of Tennis and Tutoring Program (2009-present), which was developed as an after-school program in cooperation with Utah Tennis Association. Valdez obtained his law degree from the University of Utah, College of Law. He served as Utah State Juvenile Court Judge for 20 years after working as a Trial Lawyer of the Salt Lake Legal Defenders Association and as a Trial Lawyer of the US Army Judge Advocate General Corps in Nuremberg, Germany. Valdez recently attained Senior Judge Status.  Valdez also authored No One Makes It Alone, a memoir that chronicles how the sport of tennis and acts of kindness enabled him to overcome the poverty and struggles of his childhood.


Kathleen J. Wu, of the USTA Texas Section, is nominated for her first term as Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors. Wu currently serves as the 2013-2014 USTA Chair to the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.  She currently is also a member of the Executive Committee and Management Committee of the USTA Texas Section. Since 2007, Wu has also served as USTA Texas’s Vice President of Recreational Tennis and Vice President of Administration, and is currently its General Counsel.  In addition, she has served on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Tennis Association as well as on several other charitable and civic boards.  Wu is an influential and longtime partner at Andrews Kurth, where she serves as Co-Chair of the Business Transactions department. She has been repeatedly recognized by her colleagues and the media as one of the country’s leading lawyers specializing in real estate and finance transactions, and is a leading speaker and author on issues affecting women and minorities in the legal profession.


Lauren Barnikow, of the USTA Northern California Section, is nominated to serve her first term as a Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors. Lauren will be one of three elite athletes on the board.She has been an Account Executive at Google from 2006 to the present. Barnikow’s expertise in the ever-changing technology industry includes brand marketing and digital media strategy for Fortune 1000 companies. She was a nationally and internationally ranked junior tennis player with extensive experience with USTA Player Development. Lauren played professionally from 2004 to 2006, winning 1 singles title and 3 doubles titles on the USTA and ITF Pro Circuits and reached a career high doubles ranking of No. 200 in the world. Barnikow has captained a Women’s Open Team for Northern California every year since 2010.  She was a starting member of three NCAA championship teams at Stanford University, where she graduated with a B.A. in International Relations in 2004.


Todd C. Martin, of the USTA Florida Section, who was appointed to fill an Elite Athlete vacancy on the USTA Board of Directors during the 2011-2012 term, was subsequently nominated to serve a full term 2013-2014, and is nominated again for the 2015-2016 term as an Elite Athlete and Director at Large. Martin has served as the Board Liaison to the Pro Tennis Council and as a member of the USTA Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Committees. A former professional player, Martin achieved a career-best No. 4 in the world and reached the final of the 1999 US Open and the 1994 Australian Open. In his career, Martin won eight singles titles and five doubles titles, and was President of the ATP Players Council for 8 of the 14 years he played professionally. Martin also was a mainstay of the U.S. Davis Cup team and helped the team win the Davis Cup championship in 1995. He also represented the U.S. at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, in 2000. As of September 6, 2014, Martin serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, Rhode Island.  In 1994, Martin founded the Todd Martin Development Fund (TMDF), which provides tennis, education, and leadership programs for at-risk youth of mid-Michigan and currently operates as both a National Junior Tennis League and a USTA First Serve chapter.


Chanda R. Rubin, of the USTA Southern Section, is nominated to serve a third consecutive term on the USTA Board of Directors as an Elite Athlete and Director at Large. She serves as Board Liaison to the Professional Tennis Council.   Rubin, a former world No.6 player, has represented the U.S. as a member of the 1996 and 2004 Olympic Teams, as well as the US Fed Cup team from 1995-1997 and 1999-2004.  She was inducted into the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009, the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame in 2012, and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.  Rubin completed her undergraduate degree in Economics with a minor in Finance from Harvard Extension School in 2013. She is active in philanthropic causes, including the Children’s Museum, the American Heart Association, the Women’s Sports Foundation, the Breast Cancer Association, and the United Negro College Fund.  She has established the Chanda Rubin Tennis and Scholarship Foundation, which provides funding for youth playing opportunities and scholarships.


Mary Carillo, L. Ali and Katrina Adams

Mary Carillo, L. Ali and Katrina Adams


USTA Recognizes ACEing Autism in Los Angeles Program with National Award

USTA President Dave Haggerty and Adaptive Tennis Community of the Year Aceing Autism Co-Founder Richard Spurling

USTA President Dave Haggerty and Adaptive Tennis Community of the Year Aceing Autism Co-Founder Richard Spurling

(November 13, 2014) The USTA announced that ACEing Autism in Los Angeles has been awarded the 2014 USTA National Adaptive Tennis Community Service Award.  The organization will be honored during the annual USTA Tennis Development Workshop (TDW) held Nov. 6-9 at the Sheraton Atlanta, in Atlanta. The USTA bestows this recognition upon a program or program leader that has demonstrated continued excellence, dedication and service in tennis for an adaptive tennis community.


ACEing Autism’s program director is Richard Spurling, an active member of the USTA Adaptive Tennis Committee, who was awarded the 2013 PTR Humanitarian of the Year Award. Spurling is also a speaker for USPTA and PTR. Started in the summer of 2008 by Spurling and his wife Dr. Shafali Jeste in Boston as a family run organization, ACEing Autism moved to the West Coast shortly after and in May of 2010 partnered with UCLA’s adaptive reaction program in Los Angeles.


“On behalf of the ACEing Autism Board we are extremely grateful for this honor,” Spurling said. “I share this award with my staff,  our 30 program directors and the hundreds of high school and college student volunteers who bring tennis into the lives of families that are affected by autism spectrum disorder.”


ACEing Autism uses tennis as a means of engaging children on the autism spectrum. It allows these kids to have fun and learn the sport as well as increases hand-eye coordination, motor development, improvement of social skills, attention, enhancing health and fitness, and self-confidence. ACEing Autism has 30 tennis programs in 10 states serving the needs of about 500 children with autism on a weekly basis, who represent a variety of cognitive, special and physical abilities.


The USTA Adaptive Tennis National Community Service Award was established in 2003.  To qualify for a program award, the program must have been in existence for a minimum of three consecutive years and be either a registered USTA Adaptive Tennis program or have a USTA Adaptive Tennis affiliation.  To qualify for an individual award, the recipient must have worked with an Adaptive Tennis program for a minimum of three consecutive years.


“What Richard Spurling and ACEing Autism have done for children with Autism is simply amazing,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. “ACEing Autism is dedicated to ensuring that everyone with special needs has the opportunity to participate in a meaningful tennis experience. We are proud to acknowledge their efforts with this award.”


In the fall of 2013, ACEing Autism launched new programs in Tampa; Charlotte; Encinitas, Calif.; and Riverside Park, N.Y., with plans to expand to nine new areas by the end of this year. For more information on ACEing Autism, go to: www.aceingautism.com.


Serena Williams Receives Written Apology from Russia’s Tennis Chief

Serena Williams

(October 23, 2014) Serena Williams told media in Singapore at the WTA Finals on Thursday that she has received a written apology from Russian Tennis President Shamil Tarpischev.

During her post-match news conference after dismantling Eugenie Bouchard 6-1, 6-1 said: “Yes, I have received ‑‑ he has reached out to apologize to both myself and my sister.”

“It was written. No, I did not speak to him,” Williams added.

The WTA fined and suspended Tarpischev for offensive comments made during his appearance on a Russian TV show including referring to the Williams sisters as the “Williams brothers.”

The WTA fines the Russian tennis chief $25,000 and suspended from tour for a year.


Related articles:

Serena Williams Responds to Shamil Tarpischev Comments

Update: WTA Fines and Suspends Shamil Tarpischev for Williams Sisters Comments


Update: WTA Fines and Suspends Shamil Tarpischev for Williams Sisters Comments



(October 17, 2014) Before this week’s Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Russian Tennis Federation President Shamil Tarpischev during the taping of a Russian late-night television show called Evening Urgant, called Venus and Serena Williams “brothers.“

The WTA has come down on Tarpischev fining him the maximum allowed under the WTA tour rules, $25,000 and suspending him from tour for a year for his comments about Serena and Venus Williams.

The WTA Tour wants Tarpischev to be stripped from his position as chairman of the Kremlin Cup tournament for one year.

Here are the full statements from WTA Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster and US Tennis Association President, Chairman and CEO Dave Haggerty.



Media preview


USTA response to recent comments by Shamil Tarpischev regarding the Williams sisters

“As the President of the USTA and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Federation, I call on Shamil Tarpischev to issue a formal apology to Venus and Serena Williams. As the President of the Russian Tennis Federation and a member of the International Olympic Committee, Mr. Tarpischev is expected to conduct himself with the highest degree of integrity and sportsmanship. Unfortunately, his comments do not embody either of these traits and in fact were reprehensible.”

— Dave Haggerty, President, Chairman and CEO, USTA


October 18, 2014 Update: An official statement from the Russian Tennis Federation and Tarpischev was released on Sunday.

The Associated Press reported on the statement, here are a few excerpts:

Tarpischev: Williams comments meant as jokes

Asked whether he regretted his comments, Tarpischev told The Associated Press at the Kremlin Cup that the program on which he spoke was “a humorous show,” adding: “I don’t answer stupid questions.”

When asked about his ban, Tarpischev said: “I can’t comment. I don’t understand it.”

In a statement released later by the Russian Tennis Federation, Tarpischev denied any “malicious intent” and said his quotes had been taken out of context.

“I didn’t want to offend any athlete with my words,” he said. “I regret that this joke … has garnered so much attention. I don’t think this incident deserves so much fuss.”

The Williams sisters are “outstanding athletes” who “personify strength and perseverance,” he added.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told the ITAR-Tass agency that he regretted that Tarpischev had made the comments and that his suspension was “an unpleasant fact,” but suggested his sanction should be reduced.

“It’s probably worth trying to get the punishment softened,” Mutko said.



Courtesy of the WTA

Courtesy of the WTA WTAtennis.com Posted on October 19, 2014


Related story:

Serena Williams Responds to Shamil Tarpischev Comments


USTA Names Teams for ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships





WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The United States Tennis Association (USTA) has announced the players who will represent the United States at the 34th International Tennis Federation (ITF) Super-Seniors World Team Championships, which will be held Oct. 13-18, in Antalya, Turkey.  The tournament is the senior tennis equivalent of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup competitions, with top American tennis players representing their countries in the 60-, 65-, 70-, 75- and 80-and-older age groups. The ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships is the most prestigious team event on the ITF Seniors circuit.


The U.S. will enter the event as the defending champions in six groups: the Von Cramm Cup, Jack Crawford Cup, Bitsy Grant Cup and Gardnar Mulloy Cup among the men’s divisions, and the Alice Marble Cup and Queens’ Cup among the women’s divisions.


Since the inception of the ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships in 1981, the number of competitors taking part in the tournament has increased each year. In 1993, the ITF made the decision to divide the Seniors World Championships into two groups: Seniors (35-55) and Super-Seniors (60-80).


Following the ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships, the World Individual Championships will take place, Oct. 19-26.


Below is a list of the players representing the U.S. at the 2014 ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships.


Von Cramm Cup – Men’s 60 & over

  1. Mark Meyers, Houston
  2. Geoff Cykman, San Francisco
  3. Tony Dawson, Austin, Texas
    4.  Tom Smith, Alpharetta, Ga. Captain


Britannia Cup – Men’s 65 & over

  1. Brian Cheney, Chandler, Ariz., Captain
  2. Les Buck, Ashville, N.C.
  3. Mike Dahm, Dayton, Ohio
  4. Armistead Neely, Atlanta


Jack Crawford Cup – Men’s 70 & over

  1. Jimmy Parker, Santa Fe, N.M. Captain
  2. Allan Carter, Boca Raton, Fla.,
    3. Jack Metalksky, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
    4. Jody Rush, Tumwater, Wash.


Bitsy Grant Cup – Men’s 75 & over

  1. Lester Sack, New Orleans, La.
  2. Fred Farzanegan, Tampa, Fla., Captain
  3. Robert Quall, Merced, Calif.
  4. William Wolff, Fort Worth, Texas.


Gardnar Mulloy Cup – Men’s 80 & over

  1. King Van Nostrand, Vero Beach, Fla
    2. Neil Hurlbut, Big Canoe, Ga.
    3. John Powless, Madison, Wis.
  2. George McCabe, Oxford, Ohio Captain

Alice Marble Cup – Women’s 60 & over

  1. Tina Karwasky, Glendale, Calif., Captain
    2. Sherri Bronson, Scottsdale, Ariz.
    3. Rita Giles, Falls Church, Va.
    4. Sue Bramlette, Houston


Kitty Godfree Cup – Women’s 65 & over

  1. Martha Downing, Shingle Springs, Calif.
  2. Brenda Carter, Charleston, S.C., Captain.
    3. Carol Clay, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
    4. Kathy Bennett, Laguna Woods, Calif.


Althea Gibson Cup – Women’s 70 & over

  1. Charleen Hillebrand, Harbor, City, Calif.,
    2. Cathie Anderson, Del Mar, Calif., Captain
    3. Suella Steel, La Jolla, Calif.
    4. Lee Delfausse, Concord, N.H.


Queens’ Cup – Women’s 75 & over

  1. Doris de Vries, Rancho Mirage, Calif., Captain
    2. Roz King, San Diego
    3. Burnette Herrick, Tarboro, N.C.,
    4. Ria Graham, New Port Richey, Fla.


Doris Hart Cup – Women’s 80 & over

  1. Mary John Lynch, Rockport, Texas,
    2. Margaret Canby, San Antonio, Texas, Captain.
    3. Doris “Jane” Lutz, Sarasota, Fla.
    4. Rose Austin, Naples, Fla.

DAVIS CUP: U.S. SHUTS OUT SLOVAKIA – Isner, Querrey victories give Americans a 5-0 win in the World Group Play-off


Isner, Querrey victories give Americans a 5-0 win in the World Group Play-off

By Junior Williams

(September 14, 2014) HOFFMAN ESTATES, Illinois – John Isner and Sam Querrey closed out the Davis Cup World-Group Play-off by winning their respective matches, giving the United States a 5-0 victory over Slovakia at Sears Center Arena in suburban Chicago.

Both matches were dead rubbers, since the U.S. clinched a spot in the World Group for 2015 courtesy of Bob and Mike Bryan’s doubles victory on Saturday.

In the first match, Isner – the No. 1 American and 16th ranked player in the world – defeated Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-0 in only 42 minutes, converting four out of eight break points and posting 22 total winners to Lacko’s four.

In the post-match interview, Isner said he was happy the match went “pretty quickly” and was looking forward to watching some football.

In the second match, Slovakia’s Norbert Gombos did his best to prevent his team from being shut out, but the world’s 126th-ranked player was outlasted by Sam Querrey 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in a hard-hitting, fast-serving contest.

After Gombos broke Querrey to win the second set — the only set Slovakia won during the three days of competition — the number-two American broke Gombos to go up 4-3 in the third set, and went on to close out the match with a service winner.

Here’s how close the match was: Querrey scored 96 points, Gombos 92.

Despite Gombos’ three defeats (including one to Isner in singles, another to the Bryans in doubles) , U.S. Davis Cup captain Jim Courier had nothing but good things to say about the Slovak during the post-match interview, expressing how impressed he was with Gombos’ play.

The U.S. victory marks the first time the Americans shut out their opponent in a Davis Cup tie since 2012 — a first-round victory in Switzerland against a team featuring 17-time major champion Roger Federer, and Stan Wawrinka — who has since gone on to win the 2014 Australian Open.

Slovakia is now 0-3 against the U.S. in Davis Cup competition and is headed back to Europe/Africa Zone Group I. Both countries will learn about their next opponents when the Davis Cup draw for 2015 takes place Thursday in Dubai.


Nevolo Claims Singles and Doubles Titles at Claremont Club Pro Classic

CLAREMONT, Calif., (Sept. 13, 2014) – Dennis Nevolo sure picked a great time to play some of the best tennis of his career.

The 24-year-old former Illinois All-American and top-seeded Nevolo picked up his first USTA Pro Circuit $10,000 Futures singles title by beating No. 4-sseded Salvatore Caruso of Italy on Sunday, 6-4, 6-2, at the Claremont Club Pro Classic. He also teamed up with Jeff Dadamo to take the doubles crown.

“I think the way I played in the quarterfinals and the semis and then the final, yeah, you can say I just played some of the best tennis of my career,” said Nevolo, who takes home the $1,440 first-place prize check and 17 valuable ATP World Tour points. “It was probably the most aggressive tennis of my career.”

Playing an experienced red-clay player like Caruso, who Nevolo had beaten last October in the pairs’ only previous meeting, Nevolo said he had to take time away from the steady baseline game of the 21-year-old from a tiny village outside of Sicily.

“It was time pressure,” said Nevolo, who became the first non-Southern Californian to win the title here since 2009. “I counterpunched well and I was always looking to sneak in when I had an opportunity to.”

Last year, Caruso got to as high as No. 320 in the world and played $50,000 Challenger events in Tiburon and Napa. Last year he won his first ITF Futures singles title in Italy.

Watched by his grandparents, Nevolo will drive to their home an hour northwest in Torrance and get ready for a Wednesday start at the Costa Mesa Futures tournament.

“The schedule doesn’t really change,” Nevolo said. “I checked the Napa Challenger ($50,000 event) cutoff and it’s pretty low. So I’ll stick with the plan and play these three Futures in a row, then Sacramento and Tiburon, three 10ks in Texas and then finish the year with two indoor Challengers.”

The final Challenger of the year on the USTA Pro Circuit schedule Nevolo referenced begins Nov. 10 and will take place on Nevolo’s college courts at the Atkins Tennis Center in Champaign, Ill.

Sunday’s Final Singles Result:
Dennis Nevolo (USA) [1] def. Salvatore Caruso (ITA) [4], 6-4, 6-2

The first of three consecutive $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit hard-court men’s events held in Southern California following the US Open, the Claremont Club Pro Classic is run by tournament director Barry Friedman and USTA Tour Supervisor Peter Kasavage. It is one of nine USTA Pro Circuit men’s events taking place in California this year.


Davis Cup: U.S. Remains in the World Group, Bryan twins clinch for Americans in straight sets over Slovakia



Bryan twins clinch for Americans in straight sets over Slovakia


By Junior Williams


(September 13, 2014) HOFFMAN ESTATES, Illinois — World No. 1 doubles team Bob and Mike Bryan made quick work of Slovakia’s Norbert Gombos and Lukas Lacko, winning 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 in one hour 16 minutes — giving the United States an unassailable 3-0 lead in the Davis Cup World Group Play-off at Sears Centre Arena in suburban Chicago, assuring the Americans will remain in the World Group in 2015.


Early in the first set, the Bryans broke Slovakia to go up 2-1 after Gombos hit a backhand volley wide. After that, it was full steam ahead for the U.S team, which won 21 out of 26 points at the net and 83-percent of its first-serve points.


Slovakia captain Miloslav Mecir went with Gombos instead of the originally scheduled doubles specialist Michal Mertinak.


The Bryans capped off their victory with an ace, to the delight of the U.S. fans in the crowd.


For Slovakia, it’s wait ’til next year as the team will once again attempt to re-join the Davis Cup elite for the first time since 2006.

The Bryans just came off winning their 16h major and 100th title by capturing the US Open doubles title said that Saturday’s win felt better than the US Open..

“It feels like it’s all part of the same summer,” Mike Bryan said.  “We had our goals, which was to win the US Open and come in here and help the team get to the World Group.
“Just feels it’s all one emotion.  We can kind of exhale and kind of enjoy it.  Yeah, when we won the Open it was great, but we shifted our focus very quickly to this tie.
“We never really relaxed.  Now we can exhale and enjoy the next couple weeks before we go over to Asia.
“But this is a really sweet feeling to finish the summer like this.”


Sunday’s dead rubber matches are scheduled to feature number one American John Isner versus Martin Klizan, and Sam Querrey versus Gombos. But with U.S. having clinched the tie, it is unlikely those pairings will hold.




EXTRAS: After their victory, the Bryans celebrated by hitting lots of autographed balls in the crown, and also engaged in a mini-exhibition match with two of the “Team Bryan” kids. Bob and Mike’s dad Wayne Bryan served as the umpire.


Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan.  At a moment’s notice he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the US home ties. He is in Illinois covering the Davis Cup first round World Group Play-off tie between the United States and Slovakia for Tennis Panorama News.


Nevolo Vying for First USTA Pro Circuit Futures Title

CLAREMONT, Calif., (Sept. 13, 2014) – Playing a familiar foe is nothing new this week for former Illinois standout Dennis Nevolo, who on Sunday will attempt to win his first USTA Pro Circuit Futures singles title.


The top-seeded Nevolo beat frequent practice partner, travel partner and last year’s doubles partner Jean-Yves Aubone, 6-1, 6-2, in the only singles semifinal played on Saturday at the 19th annual Claremont Club Pro Classic.


“We’ve only played about one hundred million times,” the No. 3-seeded Aubone said of Nevolo, who he teamed to win three ITF Futures doubles titles with last year at Calgary, Canada; Brownsville, Tex., and Oklahoma City, Okla., tournaments.


Nevolo faces Italy’s Salvatore Caruso, the No. 4 seed, in Sunday’s 10 a.m. final. Caruso got a free pass into the final after USC senior Roberto Quiroz was forced to pull out with an injured left shoulder.


“I think the score wasn’t indicative to the match,” said Nevolo, 24, who beat this week’s roommate and doubles partner Jeff Dadamo on Friday in the quarterfinals. “I was able to get an early lead and I just kind of battled. In the second set, I played the best part of the match early on and got up a couple of breaks.


“Tomorrow’s big for me,” he added. “I’ve made two Futures singles finals but it’s definitely a goal of mine to get that first title.”


Nevolo beat the 21-year-old from Sicily Caruso, 6-3, 7-6 (4), last October in the Sacramento Challenger first round of qualifying.


Aubone is 26 years old and played collegiately at Florida State. After college, he worked in finance and has been out on tour for the past two years.


“Being out here is not really about the points, it’s about developing your game and trying to get to the next level,” Aubone said. “You don’t want to get stuck down here forever. There’s that next level, and then there’s the next level after that. So the next level is not the ultimate goal, just the next step.”


Saturday’s Semifinal Singles Result:

q: Qualifying; wc: Wild Card; LL: Lucky Loser

Dennis Nevolo (USA) [1] def. Jean-Yves Aubone (USA) [3], 6-2, 6-1

Salvatore Caruso (ITA) [4] def. Roberto Quiroz (ECU), w.o. injury


The first of three consecutive $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit hard-court men’s events held in Southern California following the US Open, the Claremont Club Pro Classic is run by tournament director Barry Friedman and USTA Tour Supervisor Peter Kasavage. It is one of nine USTA Pro Circuit men’s events taking place in California this year.


For more information, check on the web at:www.procircuit.usta.com, www.claremontclub.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Claremont-Club/236147226396


Prize Money/Points – $10,000 Men


SINGLES:                   Prize Money                Points

Winner                         $1,440                         17

Runner-up                    $848                            9

Semifinalist                  $502                            5

Quarterfinalist              $292                            2

Round of 16                $172                            1

Round of 32                $104                            —


DOUBLES:                 Prize Money (per team)

Winner                         $620

Runner-up                    $360

Semifinalist                  $216

Quarterfinalist              $128

Round of 16                $0


DAVIS CUP: U.S. IN CONTROL OVER SLOVAKIA Isner, Querrey lead Americans to 2-0 lead in World Group Play-off

john isner and sam querrey(courtesy of the USTA)
Isner, Querrey lead Americans to 2-0 lead in World Group Play-off
By Junior Williams

(September 12, 2014) HOFFMAN ESTATES, Illinois – Hours before the United States took on Slovakia at the Davis Cup World Group Play-off, U.S. captain Jim Courier was upbeat about his team’s prospects – telling a fan, “We’re ready for battle.”

Courier’s confidence in John Isner and Sam Querrey paid off, as both players achieved straight sets victories at Sears Centre Arena – giving the Americans a commanding 2-0 lead, putting them one win away from securing another year in the World Group.

Isner defeated Norbert Gombos – the 126th-ranked player in the world – 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-2. Many were surprised Slovakian captain Miloslav Mecir went with Gombos in the first match instead of 86th-ranked Lukas Lacko. Gombos battled Isner early in the first set, returning the American’s powerful serves and taking him to a tiebreak. But a Gombos volley at the net came up short, giving Isner a mini-break at 6-4. The former University of Georgia Bulldog won the set after Gombos’ return of serve went long.

Isner’s serve became a more potent weapon in the second set – including a “perfect game” with four aces that put him up 5-3. The world No. 16 finished the match with 29 aces.

“Going into a match like this three-out-of-five set match, it’s not surprising that I didn’t lose my serve,” said Isner. “I’ve done that before, for sure. Always going to be the biggest part of my game and it’s going to be the part of my game that I lean on the most.”

Gombos said of the 6-foot-9 Isner, “I know that he’s serving perfect from the Eiffel Tower, you know … I never returned a serve like his because it’s quite different from like the other players because he’s really tall. The ball is bouncing so high. It’s totally different like from the other players.”

The second match between Querrey and Slovakian Martin Klizan – ranked 51st and 57th in the world, respectively — started off as quite a battle. The first set lasted 66 minutes. It was Querrey’s serve versus Klizan’s powerful groundstrokes, which were low enough to cause problems for the 6-foot-6 American.

But it was Klizan’s serve that would prove to be the Slovakian’s undoing, with eleven double faults in the match. Serving for the first set up 5-4, he was broken after double faulting to end the game. Querrey won the first set tiebreak 8-6 after staving off a set point — and winning the final three points with the help of two aces.

“It was tough,” said Querrey. “But my serve is my biggest weapon. I just buckled down and I think I hit an ace at that 5-6 point. Just put the pressure right back on (Klizan).”

The American won the match 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-3, hitting 20 aces in the process.

When asked about failing to serve out the first set up 5-4, Klizan replied: “I wasn’t nervous. I was just pissed off of the line umpire because was a huge mistake from him the first point. Could be different story then, the game. But anyway, Sam was the better player on the court and I think he was better, so he won.”

In Saturday’s doubles match, the Americans will be counting on world number ones Bob and Mike Bryan to deliver the clincher. Fresh from winning the 2014 U.S Open Championship – their 100th – title. the twins are scheduled to face Lukas Lacko and Michal Mertinak, but there’s always the possibility that captain Mecir could alter his lineup.

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan.  At a moment’s notice he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the US home ties. He is in Illinois covering the Davis Cup first round World Group Play-off tie between the United States and Slovakia for Tennis Panorama News.