March 23rd, 2018

Friday Tennis Blog: Americans at Miami Open; 2019 Groundbreaking on Football Field

General News


The USTA is planning a slate of special events and activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the US Open. The U.S. National Championships became the US Open in 1968, as the event opened its doors to professional players for the first time.

“This is a true milestone year for the USTA and the US Open,” said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams. “With the completion of our five-year transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, we are now positioned to celebrate our tremendous history, while being poised for future growth.”

A new logo was debuted this week, a modern version of the iconic flaming ball introduced 21 years ago. This summer the “built for glory” campaign will roll out on TV and digital channels. Stay tuned as 50th Anniversary events will include special appearances, autograph sessions, and photo opportunities during “Fan Week” from Aug. 21-26. And if you need a reason to visit the US Open this year, how about the new Louis Armstrong Stadium, the state-of-the-art, 14,000 seat stadium with a retractable roof, and the redesigned grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.



There has been talk over the years of electing a Commissioner of Tennis, with John McEnroe even lobbying for the job. If tennis and its alphabet soup of organizations, especially on the men’s side, ever needed a commissioner, it’s now.

As the International Tennis Federation (ITF) tried to figure out how to fix the 118-year-old Davis Cup, multiple organizations are attempting to jump into the team-tennis void. The ATP World Tour is talking about resurrecting its World Team Cup, an event shut down in 2012 due to flagging player interest. Tennis Australia is trying to leverage or expand its Hopman Cup team competition prior to the Australian Open. Then you have Roger Federer and his TEAM8 management trying to make an impact in year 2 of the Laver Cup, which features a Europe vs. Rest of the World format.

Some players are dismayed at the chaos, while some are saying, in essence, ‘Eh. Let them work it out, let the best event win.’ Early talks included the women in some of these events, but that quickly faded, a testament to tennis’ failure to market as one sport. Three or more entities are looking to land-grab the team aspect of men’s tennis while lining-up billion-dollar backers,  with their own event the priority. “I think it’s kind of a race against time now to see who can officially announce [their event],” Jaime Murray of the ATP Player Council told told the BBC.




The 2019 Miami Open will have a unique look on a football field…The SportsBusiness Journal notes that Sloane Stephens’ post-US Open winning sponsorship haul includes Mercedes-Benz, Colgate, Built with Chocolate Milk, doTerra (therapeutic body oils), Target, Nike and Head, and puts her yearly off-court earnings in the high seven figures, in the same rarefied earning air as Maria Sharapova and Serena WilliamsMartina Navratiova says the BBC paid John McEnroe 10 times her salary as a commentator for the network…Roger Federer will play his opening-round match at the Miami Open on Saturday during the day session…Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert played an exhibition at Indian Wells to benefit the Love & Love Tennis Foundation, established by former WTA pros Rosie Casals and Tory Fretz in 2015 to help raise money for junior tennis programs: “We can laugh at ourselves now, which we probably couldn’t do 30 years ago,” Evert said. “We were pretty serious about our game back then.”…Would Hawkeye line-calling technology on every line kill the “human” element of the sport?…Unseeded Naomi Osaka en route to the Indian Wells title beat the current world No. 1, two former No. 1s and a former No. 2, losing only one set: “In the off-season I was trying to get fit so I could play long rallies all of the time,” she said. “So I think that really paid off.”…After a disastrous Indian Wells tournament, six-time Miami Open winner Novak Djokovic says he is pain-free entering Key Biscayne and his first-round match today…American ATP rising star Tennys Sandgren surprised kids at a XGLOsive glow-in-the-dark tennis event last weekend prior to the Miami Open.


U.S. Contingent Remains Strong at Miami Open

John Isner

Early-round play is underway at the Miami Open, where Serena Williams lost a tough first-rounder to Indian Wells champion Naomi Osaka. Players are into second- and third-round play, and today features an all-American meeting between No. 16 seed CoCo Vandeweghe and qualifier and two-time NCAA champion from Florida Danielle Collins.

Here’s a look at Americans remaining in the men’s and women’s draws and their next opponents:


(8) Venus Williams, 2nd rd. vs. (Q) Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS)
(13) Sloane Stephens, 3rd rd. vs. Monica Niculescu (ROM)
(16) CoCo Vandeweghe, 2nd rd. vs. (Q) Danielle Collins (USA)
Christine McHale
, 3rd rd. vs. (3) Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
Alison Riske, 3rd rd. vs. (Q) Yafan Wang (CHN)
Varavara Lepchenko, 2nd rd, vs. (29) Kiki Bertens (NED)
(Q) Sofia Kenin, 2nd rd. vs. (19) Daria Kasatkina (RUS)
(WC) Claire Lu, 2nd rd. vs. (21) Ashleigh Barty (AUS)
(WC) Bernarda Pera, 2nd rd. vs. (22) Elise Mertens (BEL)


(8) Jack Sock, 2nd rd. vs. (Q) Yuki Bramburi (IND)
(11) Sam Querrey, 2nd rd. vs. Radu Albot (MDA)
(14) John Isner, 2nd rd. vs. Jiri Vesely (CZE)
Steve Johnson, 2nd rd. vs. (18) Adrian Mannarino (FRA)
Frances Tiafoe, 2nd rd. vs. (21) Kyle Edmund (GBR)
Jared Donaldson, 2nd rd. vs. (25) Feliciano Lopez (ESP)


They Said It

“She’ll probably be the first person to win a tennis tournament she owns.”
— Miami Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross on Serena Williams at the groundbreaking for the 2019 site of the Miami Open at the Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium, speaking to the AP. Serena is a part of the ownership group of the Dolphins

“It’s priceless in a way because you get to be part of a community and you get an education. That gives you so much leverage. I thought, I don’t want to be just a tennis player. I want to be prepared for the world…It would be terrible if you got injured and you didn’t have an education to fall back on. And to be part of a team, you don’t get to experience that when you’re older.”
— Florida’s Danielle Collins on the college tennis experience

“Serena had a baby, and eventually I want to have a baby as well. So if she comes back and wins a couple more slams, maybe I will think about it. But I’m kind of just gauging it on how well she does and then we’ll see.”
Sloane Stephens


Tennis on TV This Weekend

(EST, times subject to change)

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

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

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