May 26, 2017

Jay Berger To Step Down As USTA Player Development’s Head of Men’s Tennis

(March 19, 2017) WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., – The USTA announced that Jay Berger has chosen to step down as USTA Player Development’s Head of Men’s Tennis. Berger, who has held the position since it was created in 2008 and has coached with the USTA since 2003, informed USTA Player Development General Manager Martin Blackman of his decision earlier this year and agreed to remain in the role until June, per Blackman’s request, to assist with the transition to his successor.

 

Berger was hired as the USTA’s Head of Men’s Tennis in November 2008, when the USTA expanded its Player Development department and hired Jose Higueras as its Director of Coaching. At that time, the U.S. had two men who were 21 or younger ranked in the Top 200. Today, that number has grown to eight, while no other country has more than two. Additionally, the U.S. led all nations with 14 men entered into the main draw of the Australian Open in January, and seven of those players were 20 or younger, marking the first Grand Slam since the 2006 US Open that featured seven American men under 21 years old.

 

“Jay has done a tremendous job over the last nine years to support the development of the most promising generation of young men we’ve had in more than a decade,” said USTA Player Development General Manager Martin Blackman. “It’s important for us to bring in someone who can maintain that momentum, continue to develop relationships with our top male juniors, collegians and pros and optimize the support that we give to our top American players. I’m grateful Jay has decided to stay on through June to make that transition as smooth as possible.”

 

Berger, who joined the USTA as a National Coach in 2003, also served as head coach of the U.S. Men’s Olympic Teams for London 2012, when Bob and Mike Bryan won Gold in doubles, and Rio 2016, when Jack Sock and Steve Johnson took home doubles Bronze and Sock (Gold) and Rajeev Ram (Silver) medaled in mixed doubles. Berger also coached the U.S. Davis Cup Team for 12 years, under captains Patrick McEnroe and Jim Courier.

 

“It has been an honor to serve as the USTA’s Head of Men’s Tennis for the last nine years, under great leaders like Patrick McEnroe, Jose Higueras and Martin Blackman,” Berger said. “As I look toward the next challenge in my career, I have the utmost confidence in the future of American men’s tennis under Martin’s leadership.”

 

Prior to the USTA, Berger was the head men’s and women’s coach at the University of Miami. As a player, Berger was ranked as high as No. 7 in the world, won three ATP titles and reached the quarterfinals of the US and French Opens in 1989. In two seasons at Clemson, Berger went 91-22 in singles and was an All-American in 1986. He famously reached the fourth round of the 1985 US Open as the USTA Boys’ 18s National Champion.

 

In January, USTA Player Development relocated its headquarters from Boca Raton, Fla., to the USTA National Campus at Lake Nona in Orlando, where its Adidas Performance Center features eight outdoor hard courts, six European red clay courts and six indoor hard courts, as well as a state of the art athletic training area and a player lodge, which can house up to 40 players participating in Player Development programs. Additionally, the National Campus features a ‘Team USA’ area, where coaches and players from each of the USTA’s 17 sections can utilize to work collaboratively with Player Development.

 

 

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USTA Awards Wheelchair Tennis Grassroots Grants to 21 Programs

 

 

USTA AWARDS MORE THAN $150,000

IN WHEELCHAIR TENNIS GRASSROOTS GRANTS

TO 21 PROGRAMS NATIONWIDE

Grants Target Organizations That Foster Wheelchair Tennis

In Their Local Communities

 

ORLANDO, FLA., (March 9, 2017)– The USTA announced that it is awarding more than $150,000 in USTA Wheelchair Tennis Grassroots Grants to deserving wheelchair tennis programs nationwide. Grants were awarded to local organizations that promote and develop the growth of wheelchair tennis and use the sport of tennis to build stronger, healthier communities. The first USTA Wheelchair Tennis Grassroots Grants were awarded in 2008 and since that time, the USTA has given more than $600,000 to wheelchair tennis programs across the country.

 

Fifty thousand dollars in grants are a result of the USTA Wheelchair Grassroots Grants which are utilized to enhance and improve each organizations offerings in a variety of areas, including coaching, court time, equipment, recruitment and events. The remaining $100,000 in grants come from the Wheelchair Tennis Pathway Grant which was funded by the USTA Foundation.  The funds were made possible through monies provided by the Neilsen Foundation.  Each selected organization will receive $5,000 along with a new wheelchair for their programming.   Part of this grant also goes to funding the USTA All Comers Camps.

These annual camps, hosted in Salt Lake City, Indianapolis and Lakeland, Florida, take place three times a year and are designed for skill levels from beginners, intermediate to advanced.

 

“Wheelchair tennis continues to grow in stature and popularity in the United States and the USTA is proud to award these grants to deserving wheelchair tennis organizations for their commitment in promoting and growing the sport,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis and USTA National Campus. “These organizations positively impact wheelchair tennis and we know that these grants will be a part of a continued effort in expanding programs that support the wheelchair community through tennis and foster growth and success in players.”

 

The grants are being awarded to the following organizations:

·       2 Bounce Tennis, La Quinta, Calif.*

·       Adaptive Athletics at the University of Houston, Houston, Texas**

·       Asociación de tenis de Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR*

·       Brandt Sports Management, Orlando, Fla.

·       CHI Health, Omaha, Neb.

·       Columbus Corporation, Oklahoma City, Okla.

·       Lakeshore Foundation, Birmingham, Ala.

·       Lee County Community Tennis Association, Fort Myers, Fla.*

·       Michigan State University Adaptive Sports, East Lansing, Mich.

·       Mid Carolina Tennis Association, Rock Hill, S.C.

·       Orthotic and Prosthetic Activities Foundation, Charlotte, N.C.*

·       Paula G Manship YMCA, Baton Rouge, La.

·       Plantation Community Tennis, Plantation, Fla.

·       Ray and Joan Kroc Center, Greenville, S.C.

·       Richmond Tennis Association, Richmond, Va.

·       South Coast Wheelchair, Attleboro, Mass.*

·       University of Alabama Adaptive Athletics, Tuscaloosa, Ala.**

·       USTA Montana, Missoula, Mont.

·       Utah Tennis Foundation, Salt Lake City, Utah**

·       Walton Foundation for Independence, Augusta, Ga.

·       West Coast Wheelchair Tennis Association, North Hollywood, Calif.*

·       Wheel it Forward, Gladston, Mo.

·       Wheelchair Sports Inc., Wichita, Kansas**

·       Wheelchair Tennis San Diego, San Diego, Calif.

 

Key – (No stars – Grassroots Grant, * – Wheelchair Tennis Pathway Grant and ** – Both)

 

Organizations that are interested in starting a wheelchair tennis program or would like more information about wheelchair tennis can email wheelchairinfo@usta.com.
 

 

 

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Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa Bay to Host Fed Cup Semi Between U.S. and Czech Republic

SADDLEBROOK RESORT IN TAMPA BAY TO HOST
2017 FED CUP BY BNP PARIBAS WORLD GROUP SEMIFINAL
BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND CZECH REPUBLIC, APRIL 22-23

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., March 7, 2017 – The USTA announced that the Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa Bay has been selected as the site for the 2017 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Semifinal between the United States and the Czech Republic, April 22-23. The U.S. reached the semifinals by defeating Germany in the First Round, 5-0, in Maui, Hawaii, earlier this year.

Fed Cup is the world’s largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, with approximately 100 nations taking part each year.

The best-of-five match series begins on Saturday, April 22, with two singles matches. That is followed by two reverse singles matches and the doubles match on Sunday, April 23. Matches will be played on a temporary outdoor green clay court.

Ticket information will be announced soon.

The winner of this matchup will advance to the Fed Cup Final, Nov. 11-12. The U.S. Fed Cup team made its last appearance in the final in 2010, falling to Italy, 3-1, in San Diego. The U.S. won the last of its record 17 Fed Cup titles in 2000. The Czech Republic has been dominant in Fed Cup in recent years, winning five titles in the last six years (2011-12, 2014-16).

“Saddlebrook is an iconic tennis venue, and we are very pleased that Fed Cup will be showcased here for the first time,” said USTA Chairman of the Board, CEO, and President Katrina Adams. “It will be a perfect site for our Fed Cup match-up against the Czech Republic in April and will be a great host for our players and fans. Florida fans are very enthusiastic about tennis and we look forward to playing for them as they cheer on Team USA to victory.”

Tampa Bay will be hosting Fed Cup for the first time. The U.S. Fed Cup team has never lost a tie played in Florida, holding a 4-0 record in the Sunshine State. The U.S. competed in Delray Beach in 2005, 2007 and 2013. It also competed in Aventura in 1995.

The USTA has partnered with the Saddlebrook Resort to bring this event to Tampa Bay.

“Saddlebrook Resort is thrilled to host the Fed Cup World Group Semifinal between the USA and the Czech Republic,” said Saddlebrook CEO Tom Dempsey. “Partnering with the United States Tennis Association in this tie continues a long and proud tennis relationship.”

The U.S. holds a 9-2 head-to-head record over the Czech Republic in Fed Cup play. The U.S. last faced the Czech Republic in the 2009 World Group Semifinals in Brno, Czech Republic, winning the tie, 3-2, in a fifth-and-decisive doubles rubber to go to the final. The Czech Republic has not defeated the U.S. in Fed Cup competition since 1985.

U.S. Fed Cup Captain Kathy Rinaldi will select the four players to represent the U.S. no later than 10 days prior to the event. The Czech Republic is likely to be led by 2016 US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova and world No. 2 doubles player Lucie Safarova.

The site selection is subject to final approval by the International Tennis Federation. Tennis Channel will present live daily coverage of the World Group Semifinals.

The U.S. is 39-6 all-time in Fed Cup ties played at home and holds an overall 147-36 record.

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USTA to Host Inaugural All-American College Combine Collegiate Scouting Event for American Juniors

USTA TO HOST INAUGURAL USTA ALL-AMERICAN COLLEGE COMBINE

COLLEGIATE SCOUTING EVENT FOR AMERICAN JUNIORS

 

USTA All-American College Combine and USTA/ITA Collegiate Coaches Workshop

Set for June 14-16 at USTA National Campus in Orlando

 

From the USTA: ORLANDO, Fla., February 20 2017 – The USTA today announced that USTA Player Development will host the inaugural USTA All-American College Combine – the first-ever national collegiate scouting event for American juniors – and USTA/ITA Collegiate Coaches Workshop June 14-16 at the USTA National Campus at Lake Nona in Orlando.

 

The USTA All-American College Combine is designed to give American juniors exposure, knowledge, and data to help their recruitment by college tennis programs around the country. Participants will engage in a number of on- and off-court evaluations over the three days, including tournament match play in front of college tennis coaches. The tournament will be considered a Tennis Recruiting “National Showcase,” so results will count toward each player’s Universal Tennis Rating, and the tournament winners will receive a main draw wild card into a USTA Pro Circuit $15,000 event.

 

Led by USTA Player Development staff and Dr. Mark Kovacs, all data will be collected and a report will be created for each participant. Players from the Team USA National Junior Team will participate in the event.

 

The USTA National Campus will also host a combined USTA/ITA College Coaches Workshop simultaneously with the USTA All-American College Combine, with more than 100 collegiate coaches from NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College programs expected to attend. The workshop will offer a variety of coaching education and professional development sessions.

 

“Supporting American juniors and their parents in their quests for college scholarships is a priority for us,” said USTA Collegiate Tennis Director Stephen Amritraj. “The USTA All-American College Combine is a way to provide college coaches a convenient opportunity to evaluate American juniors and hopefully increase the number of Americans on college teams throughout the country.”

 

“Not only is college tennis a viable part of the professional tennis pathway, the majority of the tennis community’s leaders have experienced college tennis,” said Martin Blackman, General Manager, USTA Player Development. “College tennis is an integral part of our tennis ecosystem. It pulls junior players up, it pushes pros out and it cultivates business leaders with an affinity for our great sport. We recognize that college tennis coaches are recruiting in a global market, but as the National Federation we need to create as many developmental opportunities as possible for junior players who aspire to play varsity college tennis.”

 

2017 USTA All-American College Combine

USTA National Campus, Orlando, Fla.

June 14-16, 2017

 

The USTA All-American College Combine is the latest initiative through which the USTA aims to help American juniors maximize their exposure as they work to earn college scholarships. The USTA also provides exclusive opportunities for American collegians to earn pro wild cards through collegiate competition, compete on the USTA Collegiate National Team, achieve grants for playing in professional tournaments and enroll in Professional Tennis Management programs at select colleges.

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United States Host Germany in Fed Cup First Round in Maui

Team USA, (Left to right) CoCo Vandeweghe, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Alison Riske, Shelby Rogers, Captain Kathy Rinaldi at the 2017 Fed Cup tie between the United States and Germany in Maui, HI on February 7.

 

 

(February 10, 2017) The United States takes on Germany in the first round of World Group this weekend in Maui. Day one’s schedule includes two singles matches featuring each country’s No. 1 player against the other country’s No. 2 player. Sunday’s schedule features two “reverse singles” matches, where the No. 1 players square off and then the No. 2 players meet, followed by the doubles match.

 

The Royal Lahaina Resort hosts the tie which will lead off with world No. 40 Alison Riske taking on world No. 51 Andrea Petkovic.

 

Riske is playing in her first Fed Cup tie since 2015 and is competing in her second Fed Cup singles match, holding an 0-1 record. Riske peaked at a career-high No. 38 in the world this January after a strong start to 2017, highlighted by reaching her fifth career WTA singles final in Shenzhen and advancing to the third round of the Australian Open. Petkovic is competing in her 14th Fed Cup tie and holds a 12-6 Fed Cup singles record. She peaked at No. 9 in the world in October 2011 when she reached the quarterfinals of three different Grand Slams (Australian Open, French Open, and the US Open). She also advanced to the semifinals of the 2014 French Open. Riske and Petkovic have never faced each other in WTA competition.

 

The second match-up on Saturday will feature the United States’ top player Coco Vandeweghe against German Julia Goerges. Vandeweghe and Goerges have met three times on the WTA Tour, with Goerges holding a 2-1 record over Vandeweghe. Goerges won the last two meetings at the 2015 French Open (in three sets) and in Brussels in 2013. Vandeweghe defeated Goerges in Tokyo in 2010. Vandeweghe is ranked a career-high No. 20 in the world after advancing to the semifinals of the 2017 Australian Open—her career-best Grand Slam result. In Australia, she upset three seeded players, including then-world No. 1 Angelique Kerber, before falling to Venus Williams in the semifinals. Vandeweghe has played in four Fed Cup ties for the U.S., holding a 1-3 record in singles and a 3-0 record in doubles. Goerges is ranked No. 57 in the world and peaked at a career-high No. 15 in the world in April 2012. She holds two WTA titles and advanced to four additional finals. She is playing in her 14th Fed Cup tie and holds a 4-6 singles record in Fed Cup play.

 

Kathy Rinaldi will be making her debut as Fed Cup Captain in this match-up.Rinaldi was named the 19th U.S. Fed Cup Captain on December 8, succeeding Mary Joe Fernandez after eight years at the post. Rinaldi currently serves as Lead National Coach, Team USA – Pro Women for USTA Player Development, focused on helping American pros achieve Top-100 rankings. She has coached the U.S. to multiple junior international team competition titles and coached the U.S. women in the Pan-American Games in 2015. Rinaldi, 49, was ranked as high as No. 7 in the world in singles (May 1986) and No. 13 in the world in doubles (February 1993).

 

The winner of this matchup will advance to face either the Czech Republic or Spain in the World Group Semifinals, held April 22-23, for a chance to compete for the 2017 Fed Cup title. The losing nation will compete in the World Group Playoffs in April to remain in the World Group.

 

Order of Play

Saturday, 11:00 a.m. HST      

Singles A: Alison Riske (USA) vs. Andrea Petkovic (GER)

Singles B: Coco Vandeweghe (USA) vs. Julia Goerges (GER)

 

Sunday, 10:00 a.m. HST  

Singles C: Coco Vandeweghe (USA) vs. Andrea Petkovic (GER)

Singles D: Alison Riske (USA) vs. Julia Goerges (GER)

Doubles:Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Coco Vandeweghe (USA) vs. Laura Siegemund/Carina Witthoeft (GER)

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Isner, Sock, Johnson and Querrey Named to U.S. Davis Cup Team

 

 

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Jan. 24, 2017 – The USTA and United States Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier today announced that world No. 19 John Isner, No. 20 Jack Sock, No. 30 Steve Johnson and No. 32 Sam Querrey will represent the U.S. in the 2017 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group First Round against Switzerland. The best-of-five match series will be played on an indoor hard court at the Legacy Arena at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC), Feb. 3-5, in Birmingham, Ala.

 

Swiss Davis Cup Captain Severin Luthi nominated No. 128 Marco Chiudinelli, No. 133 Henri Laaksonen, No. 488 Adrien Bossel and No. 612 Antione Bellier to his team.

 

Play begins on Friday, Feb. 3, at 3 p.m. CT with two singles matches featuring each country’s No. 1 player against the other country’s No. 2 player. Saturday’s schedule begins at 2 p.m. CT and features the pivotal doubles match. And the final day of play on Sunday starts at 11 a.m. CT and features the two “reverse singles” matches, when the No. 1 players square off, followed by the No. 2 players. All matches are best-of-five tiebreak sets; the first country to win three matches wins the tie. A revised schedule for Sunday may take place if a team clinches in the third or fourth match.

 

Tickets are available in the upper and lower bowls and may be purchased by visiting www.usta.com/daviscup or by calling 888-484-USTA (8782). Prices for single-day tickets for Friday, Saturday or Sunday range from $25 to $175 per day. The USTA has partnered with Bruno Events Team and The City of Birmingham to bring this event to Birmingham.

 

The U.S. holds a 3-1 record over Switzerland in Davis Cup, last meeting in the 2012 World Group First Round in Fribourg, Switzerland. The U.S. swept that tie, 5-0, with Isner upsetting Roger Federer and Mardy Fish beating Stan Wawrinka before Bob and Mike Bryan secured the win for the U.S. The U.S. hosted Switzerland in Birmingham in 2009 in the World Group First Round at the BJCC. In that tie, Andy Roddick, James Blake and Bob and Mike Bryan defeated Switzerland, 4-1. The U.S. also squared off against the Swiss in 1992 and 2001, with Switzerland’s only win coming in 2001.

 

The winner of this tie advances to the World Group Quarterfinals, April 7-9, and will play either the Czech Republic or Australia. The losing nation will compete in the World Group Playoff, Sept. 15-17, for the right to remain in the World Group in 2018.

 

In addition, the USTA announced yesterday a long-term and wide-ranging agreement with Deloitte, one of the world’s leading professional services organization. As part of the agreement, Deloitte will sponsor both the U.S. Davis Cup and U.S. Fed Cup teams. As a sponsor of Davis Cup and Fed Cup, Deloitte’s logo will be featured on U.S. team warm-up jackets; Deloitte will also support U.S. Team Events in markets where the competitions are being held.

 

Isner, 31, is ranked No. 19 in the current world rankings and will be competing in his 13th Davis Cup tie; he is 11-10 in singles and 2-0 in doubles. His last Davis Cup appearance came last year in the quarterfinal in Beaverton, Ore., where Isner went 1-1 in singles play. His biggest Davis Cup victory came in 2012, when he defeated Federer in the U.S. Davis Cup team’s first-round win at Switzerland. The tallest player in U.S. Davis Cup history at 6-foot-10, Isner made his Davis Cup debut in the 2010 World Group First Round in Serbia, where he became the first U.S. player since 2003 to compete in three live rubbers in the same tie. He also represented the U.S. in the 2012 London Olympics, reaching the quarterfinals before losing to Federer. Isner turned pro after an outstanding four-year career at the University of Georgia, leading the Bulldogs to the 2007 NCAA team title as a senior. He holds 10 career tour singles titles, the last of which came in Atlanta in 2015. In 2016, Isner reached the final in Atlanta and at the Masters 1000 event in Paris and reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and French Open.

 

Sock, 24, is ranked a career-high No. 20 in the world after taking the title in Auckland earlier this month for his second career ATP title. He made his Davis Cup debut in September 2015 in the World Group Playoff in Uzbekistan, where he won both of his singles matches. Sock also competed in both Davis Cup ties for the U.S. in 2016, in Australia and Portland, Ore.; he now holds a 3-2 singles record in Davis Cup competition. Sock won his first ATP singles title in 2015 in Houston, and he has also reached four additional ATP finals (Stockholm, Houston and Auckland in 2016; Stockholm in 2015). Sock has also thrived in doubles, winning the 2014 Wimbledon doubles title with Vasek Pospisil and capturing the gold medal in mixed doubles at the Rio Olympics with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. In 2011, Sock won the US Open mixed doubles title with fellow American Melanie Oudin. Sock peaked at a career-high No. 6 in the individual doubles rankings in May 2015.

 

Johnson, 27, is ranked No. 30 in the world. He is playing in his second Davis Cup tie after making his debut in September 2015 in the World Group Playoff in Uzbekistan; there, he won his doubles match with Querrey after the duo advanced to the US Open doubles semifinals together, but lost his singles match in five sets to Denis Istomin. Johnson started 2017 strong by reaching the semifinals in Auckland, losing to Sock. In 2016, he won his first career ATP singles title in Birmingham, Great Britain. Also in 2016, he advanced to the fourth round of Wimbledon for the first time, the semifinals of the Citi Open in Washington D.C., and captured the bronze medal in men’s doubles at the Rio Olympics with Sock. Johnson, who peaked at No. 21 in the world in July 2016, turned pro in 2012 after completing an outstanding college tennis career at USC, winning the 2011 and 2012 NCAA singles championships and leading the Trojans to team titles all four years he played for the school. Following the end of his collegiate career, he reached the third round of the 2012 US Open, becoming the first reigning NCAA champion to advance to the third round of the men’s singles since 1995.

 

Querrey, 29, is ranked No. 32. He is competing in his first Davis Cup tie since September 2015 and his 10th tie overall. He made his Davis Cup debut in 2008, where he faced Rafael Nadal in his first-ever match. Querrey holds a 6-8 record in Davis Cup singles play and is 1-0 in doubles. Querrey also competed in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. In 2016, Querrey advanced to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, upsetting Novak Djokovic in the third round and becoming the first American to beat the No. 1 seed at a Grand Slam since 2002. Also last year, Querrey won his eighth ATP title in Delray Beach and reached three additional ATP semifinals. In addition, he holds five ATP doubles titles, including two with Isner (Memphis in 2010 and Rome in 2011) and one with Johnson (Geneva in 2016). Querrey peaked at No. 17 in the world in January 2011.

 

Additionally, Courier announced that college standout Ryan Shane will be the practice partner for the U.S. Davis Cup team. Shane, 22, graduated from the University of Virginia in 2016 after a stellar collegiate career. In his junior season, he won the NCAA singles title and ended that season as the No. 2-ranked collegiate player in the country. Shane was also a part of three NCAA championship teams with Virginia, winning the team title in 2013, 2015 and 2016. He earned All-America honors during his junior and senior years, finishing his collegiate career with a 103-36 record in singles play. He holds two USTA Pro Circuit singles titles and one doubles title.

 

Founded in 1900, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the World Cup of Tennis and is the largest annual international team competition in sport, with approximately 135 nations competing each year. The U.S. leads all nations with 32 Davis Cup titles. The U.S. holds a 216-70 all-time Davis Cup record and owns the longest uninterrupted run in the World Group, dating back to 1989. For more information, including access to player and historical Davis Cup records, please go to www.usta.com/daviscup or www.daviscup.com. Follow the U.S. Davis Cup team on Facebook @USTA, on Twitter @USTA, and on Instagram @USTennis. Wilson is the official ball of the U.S. Davis Cup team. Deloitte is the official team sponsor of the U.S. Davis Cup Team for the first time in 2017.

 

 

 

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USTA To Debut College Tennis Top 25 Rankings

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., January 24, 2017 – The USTA today announced that it will debut the inaugural USTA College Tennis Top 25 team rankings on February 8, its latest initiative to promote the college game. The weekly rankings will rate the Top 25 men’s and women’s teams in NCAA Division I and will be released each Wednesday on USTA.com.

 

The voters participating in the rankings are Casey Angle (former ITA championships director), Virgil Christian (USTA College Tennis), Granger Huntress (Texas College Tennis), Bobby Knight (College Tennis Today), Dallas Oliver (Tennis Recruiting Network), Erica Perkins Jasper (Intercollegiate Tennis Association), Mike Patrick (former University of Tennessee women’s coach), Lisa Stone (Parenting Aces) and Bruce Walchuk (Universal Tennis Rating).

 

The debut of the rankings is the latest in a number of ways the USTA is elevating its support and promotion of college tennis. The 2017 College MatchDay series – nine team matches streamed live on ESPN3 through WatchESPN and the ESPN app – kicked off on Saturday at the USTA National Campus at Lake Nona in Orlando. USTA Player Development also began offering guaranteed wild card entries into USTA Pro Circuit events for Americans who win or reach the final at several major collegiate singles tournaments this season.

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USTA and Deloitte Announce Long-Term Agreement Including Sponsorship of U.S. Fed and Davis Cup Teams

USTA AND DELOITTE ANNOUNCE WIDE-RANGING RELATIONSHIP

 

New Relationship Includes Sponsorship of the U.S. Fed and Davis Cup Teams,

The US Open and the US Open Wheelchair Competition

 

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., January 23, 2017 – The USTA today announced a long-term and wide-ranging agreement with Deloitte, the world’s leading professional services organization.  As part of the agreement, Deloitte will sponsor both the U.S. Davis Cup and U.S. Fed Cup teams, as well as become an official sponsor of the US Open and the first-ever sponsor of the US Open Wheelchair Competition.

 

As a sponsor of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup, Deloitte’s logo will be featured on U.S. team warm-up jackets; Deloitte will also support US Team Events in markets where the competitions are being held.  The U.S. Davis Cup team begins its 2017 Davis Cup campaign on February 3 in Birmingham, AL against Switzerland.  The U.S. Fed Cup team begins its 2017 campaign against Germany in Maui, HI on February 11.

 

At the US Open, Deloitte will become the first-ever sponsor of the US Open Wheelchair Competition.  The wheelchair competition is held annually, except in Paralympic years. This sponsorship is an extension of Deloitte’s commitment to Paralympic sports.

 

“We couldn’t be more pleased that our initial relationship with Deloitte has now expanded to this broader support of USTA properties and the sport of tennis,” said Gordon Smith, USTA Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director.  “They have a world-class team and by collaborating to support world-class tennis events, Deloitte will help the USTA realize its mission of growing the sport of tennis in the U.S.”

 

“We share the USTA’s vision to promote and expand the game of tennis,” said Cathy Engelbert, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte LLP. “I have been playing the game since I was 6 years old with my dad and five brothers, so I know firsthand how it teaches life lessons: integrity, dedication and competitiveness. It is also a lifelong sport that is important to the mental and physical well-being of so many people of different ages and backgrounds. We are proud to support the USTA with our innovative thinking and creativity. We’re excited to do our part in helping make sure that the next generation of leaders continues to benefit from the enjoyment and lessons of the game.”

 

Deloitte also is working with the USTA to revamp the Association’s core enterprise digital technology and build the USTA’s grassroots digital capabilities. A main initiative is the development of a suite of products to help the USTA deepen its connection to tennis players. This suite of tools will encourage more people, especially youth, to pick up the game of tennis. In addition to its professional services work with the USTA, Deloitte will support USTA initiatives and assets, including programs that celebrate community impact and promote inclusion, empowered well-being and innovation in and beyond the tennis community.

 

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Miomir Kecmanovic Wins Historic Second-Consecutive Orange Bowl Boys’ 18s Singles Title

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Miomir Kecmanovic poses with the Orange Bowl trophy (Rob Foldy / USTA)

Plantation, Fla. – If 17-year old Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic makes history on the pro tour like he has on the junior circuit, it will be hard to avoid comparing him to his 12-time Grand Slam champion countryman.

Kecmanovic won the Metropolia Orange Bowl Boys’ 18s singles title for the second consecutive year on Sunday, beating China’s Yibing Wu, 6-3, 6-1, on green clay at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, Fla.

Kecmanovic, who will finish the year as the world’s No. 1-ranked junior, is the third player in the Orange Bowl’s 70-year history to win consecutive Boys’ 18s singles titles, joining Billy Martin (1973-74) and Harold Solomon (1969-70).

Kecmanovic also joins Dominic Thiem (2011) and Andy Roddick (1999) as the only players to win the Boys’ 18s singles titles at both the Eddie Herr in Bradenton, Fla., and Orange Bowl in the same year, dating back to 1993 (the tournaments are played in consecutive weeks).

Each of those are achievements Novak Djokovic, never mind most other tennis players, never accomplished as a junior. Even so, Kecmanovic – who stays in touch and occasionally practices with Djokovic – knows he has plenty of work ahead of him as he transitions to a full-time pro career.

“It’s a great accomplishment. I’m very happy about it. I really didn’t put too much pressure into it, because I knew I would finish No. 1 no matter what I did here. I just went and I just played for myself and enjoyed every match,” said Kecmanovic, who moved to Bradenton in 2013 to train at the IMG Academy, where he is now coached by Marko Jovanovic.

“Obviously, this is very good to do here now, but it’s a lot more important to do after (in the pros),” he said. “I think next year the transition is going to be key for me, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Kaja Juvan reacts after match point in the Girls’ 18s singles final (Rob Foldy / USTA)

 

Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan certainly looked impressive enough to turn pro on Sunday. The 16-year old Juvan, seeded ninth this week, used a deft and diverse arsenal of groundstrokes and drop shots to stifle top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Russian Anastasia Potapova in a 6-1, 6-4 victory to win the Girls’ 18s title.

Consider this a victory that began in May for Juvan. That’s when she beat Potapova in their first meeting, at the Trofeo Bonfiglio junior event in Milan, before Potapova went on to win the Wimbledon girls’ singles title.

“More than anything else, I think I learned that it’s actually possible for me to beat some of the best players, because before that I didn’t kind of trust myself that I would be able to play with the best. That tournament gave me such a confidence boost, and that I can play with the best players, that I can beat them, I just shouldn’t be afraid of them,” Juvan said.

“I just told myself (today) that I have to just be focused on my game and play as diverse as I

can, because I know that that doesn’t suit her,” she said. “That’s what helped me. Also the wind a little bit. I took great advantage of it.”

Potapova agreed with that analysis, but took the loss in stride. The 15-year old Russian will still be the year-end No. 1-ranked junior in the world, and now plans to put junior tennis behind her.

“She likes to play against me, because it’s so comfortable to her. I chose the wrong style of tennis today. Next time, maybe,” Potapova said. “In the final, she did really well and she played her best tennis. All I can say is congrats to her and good job.”

Potapova did leave Plantation with a title, as she and Serbian Olga Danilovic beat Juvan and Croatian Lea Boskovic, 6-2, 3-6 [10-8], after a five-hour rain delay.

In an all-Japanese Boys 18s doubles final, fourth-seeded Toru Horie and Yuta Shimizu downed unseeded Shinji Hazawa and Naoki Tajima, 6-2, 6-1.

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Kathy Rinaldi Named US Fed Cup Captain

From the USTA: WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., December 8, 2016 – The USTA announced that Kathy Rinaldi has been named U.S. Fed Cup Captain. This announcement coincides with an expansion of the captain’s role. In this redefined position, the U.S. Fed Cup Captain will more closely work with Team USA players throughout the WTA Tour year, as well as support players in the offseason. Rinaldi will also work hand-in-hand with all departments of the USTA, including Player Development, to achieve maximum results. Mary Joe Fernandez previously held the position of U.S. Fed Cup Captain, stepping down in October, after 8 years at the post.

“Kathy brings a rare combination of skills to the Fed Cup captaincy. She was a top-ten player when competing on the WTA Tour and now is a top-flight coach with impeccable credentials. Kathy already commands the respect and confidence of the U.S. players. This coupled with her leadership experience, and winning mentality makes her the ideal individual to ensure that the team is best composed, and best prepared, to compete with whatever opponent is across the net,” said Katrina Adams, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. “Just as importantly, Kathy understands the significance of working with our Community Tennis group to promote the game at the youth level – which will only help to recruit and develop the next generation of Fed Cup and Davis Cup players for the United States.”

Rinaldi, 49, was ranked as high as No. 7 in the world in singles (May 1986) and No. 13 in the world in doubles (February 1993). In 1981, she became the youngest player to win a match at Wimbledon (14 years, 91 days), a record that stood until 1990. She also reached the quarterfinals of the French Open in 1981, at age 14, and again in 1987. Rinaldi advanced to the singles semifinals of Wimbledon in 1985 and reached the doubles semifinals of the 1985 US Open, the 1987 French Open, and the Australian Open in 1991 and 1993. She won three WTA singles titles and two doubles titles in her career. She received the WTA Newcomer of the Year honor in her rookie season in 1981 at age 14, as well as a WTA Comeback Player of the Year award in 1989 after suffering an injury in 1987. Rinaldi also competed for the U.S. vs. Great Britain in the Wightman Cup competition, winning in 1983, ’85-86.

As a coach, Rinaldi currently serves as Lead National Coach, Team USA – Pro Women for USTA Player Development, focused on helping American pros achieve Top-100 rankings. She has coached the U.S. to multiple junior international team competition titles, including the 16-and-under Junior Fed Cup (2012, 2014) and the 14-and-under World Junior Tennis (2009-10), and coached the U.S. women in the Pan-American Games in 2015. Rinaldi has also coached a multitude of American junior and pro women on either a primary or supplemental basis, and was named the U.S. Olympic Committee’s National Coach of the Year for tennis in 2011.

“The change in the role of the Fed Cup Captain is part of the USTA’s attempt to align all of our divisions for the greatest benefit of American tennis,” said Stacey Allaster, Chief Executive, Professional Tennis, USTA. “In Kathy, we have someone that understands the importance of this, as well as someone uniquely qualified and equipped to work with players throughout the year, benefitting the overall development of American professionals, while at the same time raising the level of the U.S. Fed Cup team.”

“This is an unbelievable opportunity, and I am incredibly excited and honored to take on the position of U.S. Fed Cup Captain. I believe that my experiences as both a player and a coach have given me insight that will help me to succeed in this role and can assist in getting the U.S. Fed Cup team to the next level.” said Kathy Rinaldi, Fed Cup Captain and Lead National Coach, Team USA – Pro Women. “I look forward to working closely with the players throughout the year as we move forward in our goal of bringing the Fed Cup back to the United States.”

 

Related article:

Approach Shots – Q & A with USTA Player Development GM Martin Blackman

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