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Friday Tennis Blog: Davis Cup Begins Today; Miami Open Sets Record; More

A MIAMI OPEN 1ST SINCE 1985

Photo: Art Seitz

It was fitting that something only occurring during the first year of the Miami Open in 1985 would be duplicated the final year in Key Biscayne as the tournament prepared to relocate to Miami Gardens.

An American player won the men’s and women’s singles, and at least one American was on the winning men’s and women’s doubles teams. Sloane Stephens won the women’s singles, John Isner the men’s singles, the Bryan brothers the men’s doubles, and CoCo Vandeweghe the women’s doubles (w/Australian Ashleigh Barty). The last time that happened was the inaugural year, 1985 when the tournament debuted in Delray Beach and the winners were Tim Mayotte, the naturalized Martina Navratilova, and in doubles Paul Annacone (w/Chrsito van Rensberg) and Gigi Fernandez (w/Navratilova).

Isner was the first Miami Open American men’s winner since Andy Roddick eight years prior, and the Bryans won their history-leading 115th doubles title and fifth in Miami. The twins will turn 40 at the end of April. During the trophy ceremony the Bryans said they’ll “possibly” be back next year, then their defeated opponent Andrey Rublev quipped from the back, “The next 10 years.”

 

DAVIS CUP QUARTERFINALS KICK OFF TODAY


Captain Jim Courier’s U.S. squad will be the overwhelming favorite when it takes on Belgium in the Davis Cup quarterfinals beginning today at 5 p.m. at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

Jack Sock leads three Top 20 players for the U.S., including John Isner and Sam Querrey. The injury-riddled Belgian squad is without starters David Goffin and Steve Darcis, leaving them no players in the Top 100. “We’re lucky,” Courier said. “I’m lucky as the captain, and American tennis fans are lucky that we have so many great options. All the players are passionate and want to be here.”

Other quarterfinal meetings beginning today will be France at Italy, Germany at Spain, and Kazakhstan at Croatia. The U.S. tie will be broadcast live on Tennis Channel, see the schedule below.

 

MISCELLANEOUS 

As the Miami Open wrapped up its time on Key Biscayne, the New York Times took a look at how it began, why it’s moving, and what it will become at its new home at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens…Billie Jean King has been named as one of the grand marshals for the New York City Pride March on June 24…It is the 20-year anniversary of Marcelo Rios winning Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back, taking the No. 1 ranking from Pete Sampras…In 2019 the Miami Open will be the only tennis event powered by the NFL — the Miami Dolphins organization, in partnership with owner IMG, will handle marketing, ticket sales and will advise on sponsorship sales for the event, according to the SportsBusiness JournalSloane Stephens withdrew from the WTA event in Charleston this week, citing exhaustion after winning last week’s Miami Open…Lucas Pouille of last year’s Davis Cup-winning French team says he will boycott the Davis Cup if it moves to a one-week format at the end of the season…John Isner moved into the Top 10 after his title at the Miami Open.


4 Americans Alive at WTA Charleston, Monterrey

Bernarda Pera

Two Americans remain at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, S.C., and two at the Monterrey Open in Mexico entering weekend quarterfinal play on the WTA tour.

The two Americans alive in Charleston will face each other in the quarterfinals after Thursday’s results when No. 7 seed Madison Keys defeated Italian Camila Giorgi 6-4, 6-3, and unseeded Bernarda Pera grounded down wild card and former French Open finalist Sara Errani 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

It will be the career-first meeting on the WTA tour between Keys and Pera, the 23-year-old Croatian-born American who is on the verge of cracking the Top 100 for the first time.

Two native Floridians remain at the Abierto GNP Seguros Monterrey Open in Mexico, where No. 7 Sachia Vickery and unseeded Danielle Collins are into the quarterfinals.

Vickery moved into the quarters on Thursday after defeating Mexican wild card Ana Sofia Sanchez 6-3, 6-3. Collins advanced when No. 3 seed Lesia Tsurenko withdrew citing a toe injury. Losing in second-round action Thursday was unseeded American Alison Riske, who fell to top-seeded Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-3.

On Friday Vickery will meet No. 2 seed Magdalena Rybarikova, and Collins will square off against No. 6 seed Ana Bogdan.

 

They Said It

Photo: Mike Lawrence/Miami Open presented by Itau

“Congrats to these guys. You guys were in diapers when we turned pro.”
Mike Bryan to Russians Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev after beating them for the Miami Open doubles title

“It’s a lot of fun, but it’s exhausting. I’m not gonna lie to you. Planning and scheduling and waiting on players, it puts it in perspective for me a little bit.”
Shelby Rogers, working for Tennis Channel at this week’s WTA event in Charleston, speaking to the Post and Courier

“According to UNICEF, each year, 2.6 million newborns die, tragically before their lives even really get started. Over 80 percent die from preventable causes…We are not doing our part. We are not rising to the challenge to help the women of the world.”
Serena Williams writing for CNN

 

Tennis on TV This Weekend

(EST, times subject to change)

Friday
11am — WTA Charleston (live), Tennis Channel
5pm — Davis Cup USA vs. BEL (live), Tennis Channel
11pm — Davis Cup GER vs. ESP (delay), Tennis Channel

Saturday
10:30am — WTA Charleston (live), Tennis Channel
5pm — Davis Cup USA vs. BEL (live), Tennis Channel
8pm — Davis Cup GER vs. ESP (delay), Tennis Channel

Sunday
10:30am — WTA Charleston Doubles Final (live), Tennis Channel
1pm — WTA Charleston Singles Final (live), Tennis Channel
3pm — Davis Cup USA vs. BEL (live), Tennis Channel
9pm — Davis Cup GER vs. ESP (delay), Tennis Channel

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