March 4th, 2016
Friday Blog: Tennis at the Oscars; Davis Cup Drama; More
DAVIS CUP UNDERWAY
With a little choreography, a drone, and some team unity…….. #usdaviscupteam ?? @JackSock @JohnIsner @bryanbros pic.twitter.com/sgb0FcB9Kl
— Mike Bryan (@Bryanbrothers) February 27, 2016
If you’re a fan of drama-driven patriotic tennis fervor, this Davis Cup first round weekend is for you, starting with the U.S. visiting Australia. It looks like Nick Kyrgios will miss the entire tie, replaced by Sam Groth in singles, but Aussie captain Lleyton Hewitt has named himself to the roster and could be a late-weekend insert. “We’ll just take it one match at a time and see how it all pans out,” Hewitt told the media. Day 1 results in Australia saw a 1-1 tie as John Isner beat Groth in straight sets, and Aussie Bernard Tomic topped Jack Sock in four sets. Other first-round ties this weekend will see world No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s Serbia the heavy favorites against Kazakhstan, defending champion Great Britain and Andy Murray in a tough one hosting Japan and Kei Nishikori, France favored against a Canadian team without Milos Raonic, a depleted German team hosting favorites the Czech Republic and Tomas Berdych, Italy hosting a Swiss team without Roger Federer or Stan Wawrinka, host Poland an underdog against Argentina, and last year’s finalists Belgium up against it, hosting former US Open winner Marin Cilic and Croatia.
HAVE YOU PLAYED ON THE ‘ROAD TO THE US OPEN’?
Register Now For The 2016 US Open National PlayoffsFloridians, June 3-5 is the 2016 US Open Tennis Championships at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center on the campus of Florida State University. Click the link to find out how to register today! http://ow.ly/YZTZ4
Posted by USTA Florida on Wednesday, March 2, 2016
It’s only March — is it too early to start thinking about Flushing Meadows? Not if you’re a tennis player looking for the thrill of saying you’ve played on the “Road to the US Open.” The only Grand Slam event where any player age 14 or older can compete, the US Open for the seventh year is rolling out the US Open National Playoffs. Tennis players of all levels can compete for men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles spots in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The Florida qualifying event will be on June 3-5 on the campus of Florida State University. Last year Naples’ Jesse Witten won the national men’s singles event, earning a wild card into the men’s qualifying at the US Open. Here is a look at last year’s Florida winners, and more info on this year’s contest.
Louis Armstrong Stadium will remain this year at the US Open, but will then be demolished for a new Armstrong stadium that will be ready in 2018. In the meantime in 2017 a temporary Armstrong Stadium will be built in Parking Lot B for that year only…Among the new features at the ever-expanding Indian Wells event this year are a tented sports bar with 50 TV screens and stadium chairs lining the practice courts…Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams all enjoyed attending the Oscars last weekend…Roger Federer has pulled out of Indian Wells, still recovering from knee surgery, which means he will miss both IW and Miami before making his comeback during the claycourt season at Monte Carlo…Former ATP player and now former French Davis Cup captain Arnaud Clement is suing the French Tennis Federation for 1.5 million euros, according to AFP…The U.S. is looking to avoid a third consecutive first-round exit in the Davis Cup and the subsequent World Group Playoffs round. “I’m tired of losing in the first round. The whole team is tired of that,” U.S. captain Jim Courier said…Venus Williams wrote for The Players’ Tribune on playing at Indian Wells later this month for the first time in 15 years…SI tennis writer John Wertheim says you’ll never see another teenage Slam winner…The men’s and women’s winners at this year’s Miami Open will take home more than $1 million each for the first time.
American Qualifier Gibbs Into WTA Monterrey Quarters
American qualifier Nicole Gibbs is into the quarterfinals at the WTA’s Abierto Monterrey Afirme in Monterrey, Mexico, after winning an all-American battle with unseeded Christina McHale in the second round on Thursday.
The two split first- and second-set tiebreaks before McHale retired citing dizziness with Gibbs leading 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 3-0.
The No. 104-ranked Gibbs in the Friday quarterfinals will meet Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit.
Tournament seeds remaining in the quarters are No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 4 Johanna Konta and No. 5 Caroline Garcia.
They Said It
“You’re not going to know you’re in the same place. It’s that dramatic. More room to move around, more food courts, more seats to watch tennis, more energy. We said we were going to redefine spectacular, and we are in fact doing that.”
— USTA Executive Director and CEO Gordon Smith on the new main stadium roof, new Grandstand court and other changes for the US Open that will be completed by the fall
“You are innocent until proven guilty. These people have sponsors, and if you name the people you are investigating and there’s nothing at the end of it, you’ll have affected their whole livelihood on what I consider one stream of information and a betting alert.”
— Nigel Willerton, director of the Tennis Integrity Unit, speaking to the Associated Press on naming names in match-fixing investigations
“Taylor feels like he’s going to win no matter what. He’s very confident in himself and is just a real fighter on the court. He likes to win but he really hates to lose.”
— Taylor Fritz’s mother Kathy, a former Top 10 player, speaking to the ATP World Tour
Tennis on TV This Weekend
(EST, times subject to change)
8am-7pm — Davis Cup (live/tape), Tennis Channel
8-11pm — Davis Cup USA vs. AUS (live), Tennis Channel, Live
6am-6pm — Davis Cup (live/tape), Tennis Channel
7pm-3am — Davis Cup USA vs. AUS (live), Tennis Channel, Live
8am-4pm — Davis Cup (live/tape), Tennis Channel
5pm-3am — Davis Cup (live/tape), Tennis Channel