September 19th, 2014

Friday Tennis Blog: Andy Murray Still British, and More

Friday Blog
murray scottish flag

Andy and the Scottish flag

ANDY MURRAY, REPRESENTING GREAT BRITAIN — Scot Andy Murray has a home and training base in Miami, Fla., but he is not American. But he is still English after Scotland voted 55.3 percent to reject independence from Great Britain. Murray had tried to stay neutral on the topic until this week when he said he was swayed by all the anti-independence Scottish rhetoric, tweeting to his almost 3 million followers on Wednesday: “Huge day for Scotland today! no campaign negativity last few days totally swayed my view on it. excited to see the outcome. lets do this!” Murray’s Twitter account has remained silent since. Great Britain retains the Wimbledon champion, Olympic tennis gold medalist and mainstay of their Davis Cup team.

handshakeI’LL SHOW YOU HOW TO SHAKE IT — Over the years tennis fans have been witness to the full range of player handshakes after a match, from the John McEnroe-Ivan Lendl chilly look-away grasp to the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal hug-and-hair-tousle, and everything in between. This week at the WTA event in Tokyo, match winner Elina Svitolina offered opponent Barbora Zahlavova Strycova the limp-wristed look-away following their match, but Zahlavova Strycova wasn’t going to take it. The 28-year-old grabbed the 20-year-old and schooled her in the art of a proper handshake. Now there’s a handshake you can close a deal on — or at least awkwardly head to the same locker room afterwards.

A young Andy Roddick with Bobby Curtis

A young Andy Roddick with Bobby Curtis

FUTURE STARS AT ‘BOBBY CURTIS’ DOUBLES — More world No. 1 players have come out of Florida than any other USTA Section, and the top juniors will be on display this weekend in Daytona Beach and other sites during the 66th USTA Florida Bobby Curtis Junior State Doubles Championships, named for the famed Florida junior tennis pioneer. Among the competitors will be Coral Gables’ Katerina Stewart, who reached the US Open junior girls’ semifinals in singles earlier this month, and Palm Beach Gardens’ Chloe Gullickson, sister of 2010 US Open mixed doubles champion Carly Gullickson. Last year’s Mixed 14s Doubles runner-up was Hurricane Tyra Black of Boca Raton, the younger sister of 2013 US Open junior girls’ finalist Tornado Alicia Black. Former winners include former WTA doubles No. 1 and Wimbledon winner Corina Morariu (Girls’ 16s-1992, Girls’ 14s-1991), and current ATP player Wayne Odesnik (Boys’ 14s-1999). 

Gibbs, Lepchenko, McHale Last Americans Standing This Week

Three women’s events and one men’s event are being contested this week on the WTA and ATP tours respectively, and three Americans remain, all at the same event.

Nicole Gibbs, Varvara Lepchenko and Christina McHale are into the quarterfinals at the KIA Korea Open in Seoul. The 21-year-old Gibbs on Thursday defeated fellow qualifier Danka Kovinic of Montenero 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(5). The Californian in the quarters will meet No. 2 seed Karolina Pliskova, and following the tournament will break into the Top 100 for the first time on the WTA Rankings.

Nicole Gibbs

McHale on Wednesday beat fellow unseeded player Mona Barthel of Germany 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. The 22-year-old from New Jersey will on Friday meet No. 4 seed Magdalena Rybarikova. The No. 5-seeded Lepchenko on Wednesday beat Korean wild card Na-Lae Han 7-5, 6-1, and today will face No. 1 seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

The lone other quarterfinal match will feature No. 6 seed Kaia Kanepi vs. wild card Maria Kirilenko.

They Said It

Marin Cilic and a koala

Marin Cilic and a koala

“I work so hard and put in so much effort I feel like I should get everything.”
Serena Williams, speaking to the Wall Street Journal

“You can be a guy and have a little extra something on your stomach, but if a woman has an extra five pounds, it’s like she’s the biggest thing since sliced bread.”
— Current coach of U.S. player Taylor Townsend and former U.S. Fed Cup captain Zina Garrison, competing on “The Biggest Loser” TV show, speaking to ESPN

“It’s life-changing, completely. Like I was on a different planet.”
— US Open champ Marin Cilic after carousing until 5 a.m. after winning the title, then a few hours later waking to do the David Letterman, Charlie Rose and “Live Kelly and Michael” among others

Tennis on TV This Weekend

TV multi colorFriday
10am-4pm — WTA Tokyo (replay), Tennis Channel
4-8pm — ATP Metz (delay), Tennis Channel
8pm-12am — WTA Tokyo (delay), Tennis Channel
12-2am — WTA Tokyo final (live), Tennis Channel

12-6 pm — WTA Guangzhou (delay), Tennis Channel
8pm-12am — ATP Metz (delay), Tennis Channel

12-6pm — WTA Seoul SF + final (delay), Tennis Channel
8-10pm — ATP Metz final (delay), Tennis Channel