May 6th, 2016

Friday Tennis Blog: American Teen Remains At Madrid; More

Friday Blog Adult Tennis News

Teen Qualifier Chirico Stands Alone in Madrid

ChiricoAmerican teen Louisa Chirico says red clay is her favorite surface.

It was evident earlier this week when she made it though the qualifying tournament into the main draw at the Madrid Mutua Open. It was evident again yesterday when she beat Australian Daria Gavrilova 7-6(1), 6-2 to advance to her first-ever semifinal at a WTA Premier-level tournament.

“It’s been pretty cool from the beginning really,” Chirico said of her tournament experience this week. “I wasn’t in qualies when I landed in Madrid. We landed at 10 minutes to 4 p.m., which is when the cut closes. We were like, ‘Can you call the supervisor? Am I in?’ [I was] lucky enough to make it in and then qualify and get to where I am now. So it’s been a really exciting ride so far, but I’m not finished.”

In the semis she will meet unseeded Dominika Cibulkova, and regardless of the result, she will debut in the Top 100 next week on the WTA rankings.

The last two American men in the draw exited Madrid on Thursday when Sam Querrey lost to No. 5 seed Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-2, and Jack Sock came up short in a three-set battle with Joao Sousa 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-2.


Wheelchair player and tennis advocate Johnny Johnston

Wheelchair player and tennis advocate Johnny Johnston

What happens when you learn you played a high school match against serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer?…People magazine went a little nuts photoshopping a picture of Serena WilliamsAmidst all the colleges canning their tennis programs due to cut-backs, it’s nice to hear about a program being reinstated…The Gainesville area lost a tennis advocate when Johnny Johnston, who became the first wheelchair player to compete against able-bodied players at a USTA League National Championship, died this week…High school tennis player Mason Saul was set to face an autistic opponent, and then this happened…The French Tennis Federation had its headquarters raided regarding possible “misappropriation of property and influence trafficking”…Pembroke Pines teen Stefan Kozlov is making his Top 200 ranking debut this month, and says the young Americans are pushing each other to success…In honor of Cinco de Mayo, it’s Tennis Beer Pong…A player from Belarus has been let off after testing positive for Meldonium, possibly further paving the way for Maria Sharapova to beat her rap…Some of the top tennis players won’t be staying in the Olympic Village in Rio because of the deluge of autograph and photo requests by other athletesPetr Korda’s son is leading for the U.S. on the world junior stage…Serena and Venus are preparing for the doubles event at the Rio Olympics with some inspired social media postings.


They Said It

Featured_federer-emoji“I mean, I am frustrated. I’m a little sad, of course, not to be playing here. At the same time, I’m still upbeat that the back issue is going to go away…Time will tell if I’ll be fine at the French. I do believe I have chances there.”
Roger Federer after withdrawing from Madrid

“I was watching the other day, the ATP event in Istanbul, and there were probably more people here than there were there. It’s nice to have the energy from the crowd.”
— Tallahassee Challenger doubles champion Dennis Novikov on the near-capacity crowd in the doubles final

“I think the funniest thing I get is, ‘So what do you do for food?’ I’m like, well…I still eat regular food [laughs]. I guess with the diet and the sleeping everyone thinks we’re robots and on a schedule.”
— 19-year-old American Louisa Chirico on the questions she gets from friends about traveling the world on the WTA tour

Tennis on TV This Weekend

(EST, times subject to change)

6am-5:30pm — ATP/WTA Madrid (live), Tennis Channel

7am-4pm — ATP/WTA Madrid (live), Tennis Channel

9:30am-3pm — ATP/WTA Madrid (live), Tennis Channel