March 27th, 2015

Friday Blog: Family Tennis and U.S. Match-ups at Miami Open; More

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masters mother and son-editedFans used to only watching tennis at the Miami Open took to the courts during the first week of the event as USTA Florida hosted Kids Days, a Masters Tennis Day, Tenis para Todos (Tennis for Everyone) Day, and other play opportunities near the Grandstand court. “Isn’t this great!” said USTA Florida volunteer and President Nancy Horowitz, who volunteered on court and at the USTA Florida booth throughout the week. “Having our Spanish-speaking pros and volunteers during these events go a long way in reaching more Hispanic players.” Targeting the Hispanic community is also a priority for new USTA National President Katrina Adams, who spoke on the subject last week at the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) Tennis Summit in Indian Wells. The week-long family events at the Miami Open, which go through this Saturday, mirrored the comments of Tom Cove, the CEO of the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, who in Indian Wells said “parents want a good experience for the whole family” when it comes to sports and recreation.


USTA 2015 Groundbreaking Invite-editedThe USTA will break ground on April 8 for the “New Home for American Tennis” in the Lake Nona area or Orlando, the new 63-acre USTA state-of-the-art facility that will endeavor to enhance the sport at every level. The 100-plus court tennis center will initially house the USTA’s Community Tennis and Player Development divisions. It will be divided into dedicated areas that will focus on the complete tennis pathway — from the youngest players, to recreational players, to collegians, to future professional players, and to professional tour level players. The target completion date is the fourth quarter of 2016.


Madison Keys and ball kids Miamo Open 2015-editedNo. 3-ranked American Madison Keys visited the ball boys and girls at the Miami Open during the first week, and the ball men. Glen Outlaw is a 55-year-old ball man, the oldest of the 400 ballpersons. “People sometimes pay $1,000 for a seat, and we’ve got the best seat in the house!” he said. “You get to see all the emotions of the players — the real, raw emotion.” Keys’ advice for the ballpeople? “Don’t take it personal if [players are] not always nice to you. We’re appreciative of everything you do. Sometimes, we’re just stressed out. So I apologize for anyone that’s ever not been nice to you.”

Americans Serena, Keys, Stephens, Young, Querrey, Bellis, Krajicek on Friday at Miami Open

The men begin second-round play and the women are into the third round at the Miami Open on Key Biscayne, where many of the top seeds will take to the court for the first time on Friday.

Madison Keys (photo: Jose Medina)

Madison Keys (photo: Jose Medina)

Here are the remaining U.S. men and women in the tournament, and their opponents in second- and third-round play:


(22) John Isner vs. (WC) Andrey Rublev (RUS)
Jack Sock vs. (21) Fabio Fognini (ITA)
Sam Querrey vs. (15) Kevin Anderson (RSA)
Donald Young vs. (3) Andy Murray (GBR)
Tim Smyczek vs. (11) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)
(Q) Austin Krajicek vs. (25) Bernard Tomic (AUS)


(1) Serena Williams vs. Monica Niculescu (ROM)
(16) Venus Williams vs. (Q) Urszula Radwanska (POL)
(17) Madison Keys vs. Sloane Stephens (USA)
Alison Riske
vs. (24) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)
(Q) Irini Falconi vs. (5) Ana Ivanovic (SRB)
(WC) CiCi Bellis vs. (29) Zarina Diyas (KAZ)

Matches to look for today on Tennis Channel starting at 11 a.m. and running through 11 p.m. include Young vs. (3) Murray, (17) Keys vs. Stephens, Querrey vs. (15) Anderson, Sock vs. (21) Fognini, (Q) Krajicek vs. (25) Tomic, (WC) Bellis vs. Diyas, with also current or former No. 1s Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Victoria Azarenka, and Ana Ivanovic in action.

They Said It

stephens sloane

Sloane Stephens

“I like that. It’s not if, it’s when, right?”
Sloane Stephens when asked by a reporter when she would win her first Grand Slam title

“My guess would be that multiple [men’s pro tennis] matches are being fixed each week. In terms of the overall matches that are being played, I’d guess it was still a relatively small percentage.”
Ian Dorward, a “sports modeler” who previously worked as a tennis trader and head of minor tennis for major bookmakers, speaking to tennis writer Ben Rothenberg

“It’s good for me, because it works. There’s a few girls who have variety, but to be able to do it when pressure comes, or to be able to throw in serving and volleying, and be comfortable up there…I don’t really see anyone playing the game right now that does that.”
Taylor Townsend on her serve and volley game, speaking to ESPN

Tennis on TV This Weekend

11am-11pm — ATP/WTA Miami Open (live), Tennis Channel

11am-11pm — ATP/WTA Miami Open (live), Tennis Channel

11am-11pm — ATP/WTA Miami Open (live), Tennis Channel