September 23rd, 2016

Friday Tennis Blog: Davis & Fed Cup Revamps to Get Vote; More

Friday Blog


What, many have asked over the years, would happen if the Davis Cup and Fed Cup competitions were brought into the 21st century? The Davis Cup and Fed Cup, which began in 1900 and 1963 respectively, have held roughly to the same formats ever since. But now former USTA president and current ITF President David Haggerty has put through a vote that will occur in 2017 on holding a “Final Four” in bid cities like the Super Bowl and other international competitions, playing best two-of-three sets instead of best-of-five for the men, and other tweaks.

“The introduction of a final four will allow us not only to deliver this vital format change but also to create an even more outstanding year-end conclusion to the competition,” Haggerty said of the competition that 135 nations competed in this year. “We must continue to enhance and innovate.”

On Thursday the 2017 Davis Cup draw was released, and the U.S. will host Switzerland — TBD if that team will include Roger Federer and/or Stan Wawrinka — on Feb. 3-5, 2017, at a U.S. location TBD.

Other 2017 World Group matches are Italy at Argentina, Belgium at Germany, Czech Republic at Australia, France at Japan, Great Britain at Canada, Russia at Serbia, and Spain at Croatia.


Teams are gearing-up for the fall and winter Junior Team Tennis seasons across the country. The 2017 USTA Junior Team Tennis National Championships will be played at the new USTA National Campus in Orlando, which will be a fun, state-of-the-art tennis experience for parents and kids.

Free Team-Up events are being held across Florida to sign up kids for leagues. To find a league or Team-Up event near you, in Florida go to, or go to the USTA national website at


Mike Tyson's daughter Milan with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic

Mike Tyson’s daughter Milan with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic

Mike Tyson is a “tennis parent” and Monica Puig fan…While world No. 2 Serena Williams is scheduled to take to the court next week in Asia, she tells CNN that appearance could be up in the air. “I’m tired of playing tournaments unhealthy and taking losses that I would never lose,” Serena said, referring to her recent Olympic and US Open exits. “I definitely want to make sure I’m healthy and playing at my best or at least 80 percent healthy or 70 percent healthy — that way I can be able to play at a higher level.” ESPN writers suggest that with her injuries Serena should shut it down for the year. (Update: Serena has withdrawn from Wuhan)…Mike Curran, director of tennis and fitness at the Gulf Harbour Yacht and Country Club in Fort Myers is featured in this TENNIS magazine piece on alternative formats speeding up tennis…Andre Agassi sees some of himself in “rebel” Nick Kyrgios: “I find him a fascinating talent and a fascinating person in a sense that he’s still young and pretty clear on his feelings about that game, and he has a openness to real speak it,” Agassi said. “We both have some strong rebellions. I’m not sure for what reasons his are but he also seems pretty clear of his rebellion.”…Billie Jean King is watching the NFL’s Colin Kaepernick’s protests with interest: “He’s not being aggressive. He’s being peaceful. You don’t have to agree with his actions to have a good conversation about it…We’re talking about it, aren’t we? Now the most important thing is, are we going to do something about it?”

Last Americans Exit Guangzhou, Prepare for Wuhan

Jennifer Brady

Jennifer Brady

The two lone Americans in play this week exited the Guangzhou International Women’s Open in China on Thursday when No. 5-seeded American Alison Riske was upset 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 by the Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko, and unseeded former UCLA star Jennifer Brady saw her best-ever WTA result end in the quarterfinals at the hands of No. 3 seed Ana Konjuh 6-4, 7-5.

It is the first full year on the WTA tour for Brady, and this week the 21-year-old recorded her first two WTA-level wins over qualifier Anastasia Pivovarova of Russia and No. 6 seed Danka Kovinic of Montenegro.

American Christina McHale, who won her first career WTA title in Tokyo last week, was forced to withdraw from Guangzhou due to a right shoulder injury.

Next week nine of the Top 10 WTA players, including world No. 1 Angelique Kerber and No. 2 Serena Williams, are entered at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open in China, with the WTA’s Tashkent Open also being held in Uzbekistan. On the men’s side both the Chengdu Open and the Shenzhen Open will be contested in China.

They Said It

collins-virginia“I had a lot of growing up to do. I was very immature, and I think college was great for me, because it taught me to grow up and be more independent.”
— Two-time NCAA champ Danielle Collins of St. Petersburg, Fla., on going to college, speaking to

“Whether you’re an animal lover or not — to me, it doesn’t matter at all. We should have a duty to animals purely as citizens of the world. Animals are alive — it’s as simple as that. And life, whoever’s it is, should be treated with much more kindness than we so often grant it. Humanity is not just about how we act toward humans. It’s about how we act as humans.”
— Animal lover Andy Murray writing for The Players’ Tribune

“There’s something very special about tennis in the quiet. There’s that tension that everybody feels, the sound of the ball, the sound of the footwork is very special in sports. I do enjoy the quiet. Especially the more important the moments, silence says it all. Personally, I don’t think it should go away.”
Venus Williams on the argument to let tennis fans be more vocal at pro tournaments

Tennis on TV This Weekend

(EST, times subject to change)

Featured_TV graphicFriday
6am-4pm — Coverage of WTA Tokyo, ATP Metz/St. Pete (live), Tennis Channel

6am-4pm — Coverage of WTA Guangzhou/Tokyo, ATP Metz/St. Pete (live), Tennis Channel

6am-4pm — Coverage of WTA Guangzhou/Tokyo, ATP Metz/St. Pete (live), Tennis Channel