May 4th, 2018

Friday Blog: May is Play Tennis Month; Can Wimbledon Seed Serena?

General News Friday Blog Blogs


It’s here, it’s near (you), and if it’s a social league, there’s probably beer.

May is Play Tennis Month, so plan how you’re going to get back on the court, or show your love for the game with a Play Tennis! Florida license plate.

Find an event to play, be it a one-time event, social league, charity event or USTA League. Also this month the USTA is honoring tennis moms ahead of Mother’s Day on May 13. Florida moms Lori Riffice of Orlando (mother of top junior and University of Florida commit Sam) and Sherri Vitale of Lakewood Ranch (daughter of ESPN commentator Dick Vitale and mother of top juniors) are profiled, and if you missed it you can check out Florida’s Serena Williams’ letter of thanks to her mom. Moms and all tennis players and fans can use May to springboard into tennis.



Tennis parents, ready to send your kids to summer tennis camp? Tennis providers, ready to let USTA Florida promote your summer camp offerings?

More than 50 summer tennis camps in Florida are already on board for the #SummerOfNetGeneration contest, where in partnership with Net Generation, camps will be chosen at random to receive Net Generation Fun Days hosted at camps by the USTA Florida street team.

TV commercials and USTA national marketing campaigns this summer will drive parents to to look for camps and other play opportunities beginning in May. Camps can still register at, and parents can search for camps and other play opportunities at



A young Andy Roddick and legendary Florida junior tennis organizer Bobby Curtis

Andy Roddick shut down Kanye West this week on social media when one of the rapper’s fact-challenged claims ventured into the sporting worldWimbledon this year has raised prize money 7.6 percent, banned plastic straws, and says players will be stripped of their first-round prize money if it is deemed they played while knowingly carrying a significant injury into the match…Check out the video from this week’s Team USA forum, “Working with Gen Z & Empathetic Coaching“…Roger Federer is skipping the clay court season but that doesn’t mean his philanthropy is on break — he’s in Africa visiting the schools supported by his Roger Federer Foundation (and he’s added Stuttgart to his pre-Wimbledon grass court line-up)…Wimbledon officials are floating the idea of seeding Serena Williams at Wimbledon, despite her (as of this week) No. 449 ranking after coming back from the birth of her first child…The Bryan brothers sat down with TENNIS magazine to discuss turning 40 and how one half of the twins going through a divorce took a toll on their results…The USTA joined eight other women’s sports leagues to form the SheIS initiative to help each other increase resources, viewership and attendance…Serena Williams has withdrawn from next week’s Madrid Open, citing a need for more preparation for the clay court season…The Lab, powered by Net Generation, will on May 16 feature a webinar with USTA Men’s National Coach Jose Caballero on “Teaching and Coaching Philosophy“…California has no public clay courts.

Tiafoe Taking It to Opponents on Red Clay

Few Americans made the trip across the pond this week for ATP events in Estoril, Munich or Istanbul, or WTA events in Rabat and Prague, leaving unseeded Frances Tiafoe as the lone American waving the flag entering the weekend. Now he has an excellent opportunity to reach the semifinals.

Tiafoe is into the quarterfinals at the Millennium Estoril Open in Portugal after upsetting No. 4 seed Gilles Muller 6-4, 7-5 on the red dirt.

“Everything went my way pretty much and Gilles had some chances in the second but I was able to cover it pretty good,” Tiafoe said after the match.

In the Friday quarters he will meet Italian qualifier Simone Bollelli, who in addition to grinding through the qualifying is coming off a three-set match in the second round.


They Said It

“The [All England] Club announced it remains strongly opposed to the introduction of any form of sanctioned coaching, whether it be on-court or from the stands.”
Wimbledon this week in an addendum to their announcement of more prize money in 2018

“If you want to have a baby and take a few months off or a year off and then come back, you shouldn’t have to be penalized for that. Pregnancy is not an injury.”
Serena Williams speaking to the New York Times over the “protected ranking rule” that allows formerly-injured players into tournaments, but does not allow them a seeding

“It is totally different to an injury and we have empathy and sympathy for the point being made. It is a question that we will certainly address.”
— All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club Chairman Philip Brook on the possibility of Wimbledon seeding Serena Williams, who is ranked outside the Top 400, speaking to PA Sport


Tennis on TV This Weekend

(EST, times subject to change)

5am — ATP Munich (live), Tennis Channel
1pm — ATP Istanbul (delay), Tennis Channel

7:30am — ATP Munich (live), Tennis Channel
10am — WTA Madrid (live), beIN Sports
1pm — ATP Istanbul (delay), Tennis Channel

5am — ATP Munich/Madrid (live), Tennis Channel
11am — WTA Madrid (live), beIN Sports
3pm — ATP Istanbul (delay), Tennis Channel