July 31st, 2015

Friday Tennis Blog: The Andy & Mardy Show Take Atlanta; More

Friday Blog


Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick in action in Atlanta (photo: ATP)

Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick in action in Atlanta (photo: ATP)

Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick are still alive in the doubles at the BB&T Atlanta Open after a first-round win on Wednesday. Roddick is playing doubles only, and Fish lost in his opener in singles, which featured a clothing shortage. After Fish sweated through his socks and shoes in the midst of his singles match, he asked his trainer to look for more socks. Roddick in the crowd took his off to give to his pal, who said no thanks. “They were on his feet,” Fish said as he shook his head. “I threw them away.” Fish will next play singles in Cincinnati, then give his farewell to the sport when playing his final event at the US Open. “It’s nice to finish on my own terms,” Fish said. On Friday Fish and Roddick in doubles will meet No. 3 seeds Eric Butorac of the U.S. and New Zealand’s Artem Sitak. Fish/Roddick could meet the No. 1-seeded Bryan brothers if they reach the final.


Main_Junior TournamentsTennis participation has grown to roughly 18 million players, with another 14.6 million saying they are “interested in playing tennis,” according to the latest Tennis Industry Association (TIA) “State of the Industry” report. On the junior front, players age 6-12 increased 4 percent to 2.14 million, while age 13-17 players grew 9 percent to 2.23 million. “Growth in youth tennis participation is a key to the future of this sport and industry,” says Kurt Kamperman, chief executive of Community Tennis for the USTA. “By using lower compression red, orange and green tennis balls, along with shorter courts, shorter racquets and modified scoring, we’re bringing more kids into the game in a fun, social way, so they experience success and want to continue with the sport.”


He/she did it

He/she did it

The Rogers Cup will feature no Roger Federer, as the Swiss has pulled out of the top-tier ATP Montreal event that begins on Aug. 10 to stay fresh for the US Open…Here’s a brief history of U.S. presidents playing tennis…Long-time Florida resident Maria Sharapova and Bulgarian boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov have cut the cord. Perhaps E! News heartfelt-ingly weighed in for all of us, saying “We wish these two nothing but the best.”…Melanie Oudin, the former US Open quarterfinalist making a comeback bid after multiple surgeries, fell in the first round last week at the ITF event in Sacramento, Calif…17-year-old American Taylor Fritz is the first American junior to rank No. 1 in the world since Andy Roddick in 2003…Seems the powers that be are willing to make major changes to tennis to speed things up for fans — but will the players let them?


Isner, Kudla, Mattek-Sands Americans in Play on Friday

Denis Kudla

Denis Kudla

Three Americans remain in the mix entering the weekend at ATP and WTA tour stops, with the Emirates Airline US Open Series underway on the men’s side in Atlanta.

Top-seeded John Isner and qualifier Denis Kudla moved into the quarterfinals with wins on Thursday at the BB&T Atlanta Open. Isner edged Czech veteran Radek Stepanek 7-6(3), 7-6(7), while Kudla upset No. 3 seed and fellow American Jack Sock 7-6(6), 6-3.

“I was really happy with my performance in the heat,” Kudla said of the “Hot”-lanta hardcourts. “It’s tough to come back when it’s that hot outside. I’ve been in the heat for four days now, but I’m happy to take advantage of the opportunity.”

No. 6-seeded American Steve Johnson was also upset on Thursday, falling Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-2.

In the Friday quarterfinals Kudla will meet Dudi Sela, who in the first round defeated American Mardy Fish, and Isner will face Berankis.

On the women’s side American Bethanie Mattek-Sands won at the Brasil Tennis Cup in Florianolopis on Thursday, moving into the semifinals with a 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-1 win over Czech Tereza Martincova. The No. 5 seed in the Friday semis will meet No. 3-seeded German Annika Beck.

They Said It


Andy Roddick

“I feel like the kid who’s too old to go back to the high school dance.”
Andy Roddick, playing at the ATP event this week in Atlanta

“Unlike all of my peers, the other top juniors, I was a nobody just a few years ago. A lot of people had attention throughout their careers, but this is all very new to me.”
— 17-year-old American Taylor Fritz, the No. 1-ranked junior in the world

“My mother was the greatest tennis mom you could wish for. She was calm and kind, and even clapped louder for my opponents than for me, just to be nice. In the early 1970s, everyone fell in love with Evonne Goolagong. When I beat her at a USTA event, my mom, who already knew Evonne, said to her after, ‘Oh Evonne, don’t worry. You’ll get her next time.’ That was my mom.”
Chris Evert speaking to the Wall Street Journal

Tennis on TV This Weekend

(times subject to change)

5am-2pm — ATP Hamburg, ATP Gstaad, WTA Baku, WTA Florianopolis (live), Tennis Channel
2-6pm — ATP Atlanta (live), ESPN3 web streaming
8-10pm — ATP Atlanta (live), ESPN3 web streaming

7am-noon — ATP Hamburg, ATP Gstaad, WTA Baku, WTA Florianopolis (live), Tennis Channel
4-6pm — ATP Atlanta (live), ESPN2
8-10pm — ATP Atlanta (live), ESPN3 web streaming

5:30-9am — ATP Hamburg, ATP Gstaad (live), Tennis Channel
9:30-11:30am — WTA Baku (delay), Tennis Channel
3-5pm — ATP Atlanta (live), ESPN2