April 3rd, 2015
Friday Blog: Serena in Miami; Vote for Cherries Waffles Tennis
CHERRIES WAFFLES TENNIS, ANYONE?
Florida’s own Cherries Waffle Tennis (actual name) rose to prominence for her incredible (thanks Mr. and Mrs. Tennis!) nom de plume when the teen was featured in a newspaper after running afoul of the law for credit fraud last year. Now the Miami resident has been elevated to one of the greatest honors of “name” — making the field of 64 for the 33rd annual ‘Name of the Year’ Tournament. Past winners (actually verified names) include Taco B.M. Monster in 2011, 2008’s Destiny Frankenstein, 2007’s Vanilla Dong, and 2002 winner Miracle Wanzo. Name of the Year was founded in 1983 with a mission “to discover, verify, nominate, elect and disseminate great names.” Cast your vote for Tennis as the tournament is on.
SERENA, VENUS COMMIT TO FED CUP V ITALY
The U.S. Fed Cup team received no favors with its draw in the Fed Cup Playoff Round — an away tie at Italy, the team that has won three of the last six Fed Cups, and a team the U.S. hasn’t beaten in 16 years. But this week both Serena and Venus Williams announced they would travel to Italy for the April 18-19 battle to see which country will stay in World Group I for 2016. “We deserve to be back in,” Serena said of the elite World Group I status. “We have some of the best players in the world. We should be in the World Group and competing for the title.” Italy has won the last four meetings with the U.S., but none of those ties included a Williams sister, much less two. In other Williams sisters news, Venus hinted she might also make a return to Indian Wells next year, and Serena this week in Miami collected her 700th career singles victory, commemorated with a cake.
APRIL POOLS DAY
The Jacksonville Jaguars have nothing on the Cincinnati Western & Southern Open, which on April 1 unveiling their plans for their latest fan-first amenity, a swimming pool and lounge area located on a previously unused pad in the southeast Terrace section of Center Court at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. The 14,500 gallon swimming pool overlooking Center Court and a covered terrace lounge includes 30 ticketed premium lounge seats, each with access to the pool. Poolside beverage and food service is included with each ticket, ranging from $400 for a single session to $5,000 for the entire event. Locker rooms for guests will be provided in an adjacent south building. The entire construction of the Pool & Terrace, as noted, was to have a completion date of April 1, 2015. A “one-day only sale offering a 4.1% discount on tickets” was also available with the promo code “AprilPoolsDay.” Well played Cincy.
SERENA INTO FINAL, ISNER IN SEMIS AT MIAMI OPEN
Americans rose to the challenge on Thursday at the Miami Open as Serena Williams advanced into the women’s final, John Isner into the men’s semis, and the Bryan brothers and Jack Sock into the men’s doubles final.
The world No. 1 Williams turned back a stiff challenge from No. 3 seed Simona Halep in their continually-developing rivalry, edging the Romanian 6-2, 4-6, 7-5.
“I actually had a fun match,” said Williams, who will meet No. 12-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain in the final. “I just feel it was on my racquet. I had chances in the second set but didn’t take them. That’s something I can’t do going into the Grand Slams coming up.”
Isner in the men’s quarterfinals on Thursday overpowered No. 4 seed Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-3. At 7 p.m. tonight the No. 22-seeded big man will meet world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
“Playing him is always a challenge,” Isner, the first American to reach the Miami semis since Mardy Fish in 2011, said of Djokovic. “He’s the greatest player in the world right now, hands down. I played well against him last week in Indian Wells and he beat me in a tight two-set match.”
The top-seeded Bryan brothers advanced into the final Thursday with a 7-6(5), 7-5 win over fellow Americans Isner and Sam Querrey. In the championship match they will meet the No. 2-seeded squad of Canadian Vasek Pospisil and Sock. It was the ninth straight win for Pospisil-Sock, who beat the Bryan en route to the title in Indian Wells.
THEY SAID IT
“[The USTA has] recognized what they need to do on development and despite a lot of resistance to under-10 tennis from the traditionalists, they have said this is what we have to do. The entire tennis industry in the U.S. is doing all of the right things. The pipeline of talent is there across multiple ages and there is a whole pipeline of talent that we don’t even know yet. I am super excited about what’s going on.”
— WTA Chairperson and CEO Stacey Allaster
“In the end, I want to play tennis. If I have to learn a different backhand to keep playing, I will do it.”
— Former US Open champ Juan Martin del Potro, struggling to come back from wrist surgery, after losing in the first round at the Miami Open
“You will be uncomfortable in your own skin if you don’t find your own reason to wake up every day.”
— Andre Agassi speaking to students at the University of Pennsylvania
TENNIS ON TV THIS WEEKEND
(times subject to change)
1-5pm — ATP Miami (live), ESPN2
7-11pm — ATP Miami (live), ESPN2
1-3:30pm — WTA Miami Final (live), ESPN2
1-3:30pm — ATP Miami Final (live), ESPN