April 20th, 2018

Friday Tennis Blog: Fed Cup Weekend; Miami Celebrates US Open 50th; More

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US Open Art Courts x Chase – Unveiling The First Courts

The art of tennis was on full display at the Norman & Jean Reach Park as Kiik Create and USTA Foundation NJTL First Serve Miami unveiled the first of five Art Courts to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the US Open in the Open Era with Chase. Send us a ? if you love this transformation! Learn more: http://ms.spr.ly/tennis-now-us-open-chase-art-courts-miami #USOpenArtCourtsxChase

Posted by United States Tennis Association – USTA (Official) on Thursday, April 19, 2018

The USTA kicked-off a five-month initiative to support community tennis programming and celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the US Open, titled “Art Courts,” and Miami was first on the list to get an art makeover.

The USTA has commissioned five artists to turn tennis courts into their canvas and in the process restore five public tennis facilities across the country. Art Courts is an extension of the USTA and Chase’s Return the Serve program, which supports the USTA Foundation and its youth tennis and education programs across the country through the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network. Through Return the Serve, Chase has donated over $500,000 to local NJTL chapters.
“We aim to change lives through our NJTL network,” said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams “The goal of the art court campaign is to ignite a national conversation around the importance of delivering tennis and street art to underserved communities. Our NJTLs are amplifying the importance of public courts and their ability to provide youth with rich opportunities for growth, personal development and culture.” The NJTL network includes more than 350 tennis and education chapters nationwide, supported by the USTA Foundation through grants, scholarships, and technical assistance. These chapters reach more than 200,000 under-resourced youth on an annual basis.



Youth will lead the U.S. Fed Cup team this weekend as it attempts to reach the final and keep alive the chance to win consecutive-year championships for the first time since 1999-2000. 

For this weekend in France, captain Kathy Rinaldi has named CoCo Vandeweghe, Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys and Bethanie Mattek-Sands against French captain Yannick Noah’s team of Kristina Mladenovic, Amandine Hesse and Pauline Parmentier.

The U.S. team is rolling after the past few weeks — Stephens won the Miami Open singles title, Vandeweghe the Miami Open doubles, and Keys reached the semifinals at the WTA event in Charleston. Play begins on Saturday, with matches televised live on Tennis Channel (see schedule below).




The US Open Series has a new three-year sponsorship with Cheeses of Europe according to the Sports Business Journal which ran the headline “USTA Cuts Cheese Deal”…The USTA has renamed the USTA Girls’ 18s and 16s National Championships to honor Billie Jean King. Beginning this August it will be known as the USTA Billie Jean King Girls’ 18s and 16s National Championships presented by adidas…Rafael Nadal‘s offer to build an indoor academy and add improvements to a Boca Raton public facility has been rejected by local authorities. The local public park system’s leadership voted no in regard to Nadal’s organization taking over Patch Reef Park to keep the entire facility open to the public…Former No. 1 Novak Djokovic fired his whole team a year ago, then this year did it again, canning Andre Agassi and Radek Stepanek, and now the Serb is now back with his old coach…Florida players making the USTA boys’ Team USA summer traveling team were Jack Anthrop (14, Orlando, Fla.; Coach: John Roddick), Alexander Bernard (14, Bonita Springs, Fla.; Coach: Rene Gomez), and Toby Kodat (15, Bradenton, Fla.; Coach: Ales Kodat)…Formerly-retired 39-year-old Patty Schnyder has been chosen to play Fed Cup for Switzerland…Approximately twice as many American women (17) received direct entry into next month’s French Open main draw than American men. John Isner is the highest ranked among the American men, and Venus Williams leads the women.


Fed Cup This Weekend; Barcelona and Stuttgart Big Events Next Week

No American men remain in singles at the ATP Masters event in Monte Carlo, but the Bryan brothers are into the doubles quarterfinals. The WTA takes a break this week (see above) for the Fed Cup semifinals.

Next week is chock-full on tour as the women travel to the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany, and to the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup in Turkey. The men are at the Barcelona Open in Spain, and the Gazprom Hungarian Open in Hungary as the clay court season advances toward its finale at Roland Garros.

The French Open women’s field has also been revealed, and has a number of former No. 1s making comebacks, including Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka and more.


They Said It

Sloane Stephens shares selfies with kids at the USTA Florida Kids Day at the Miami Open in 2016

“I just love kids and I think tennis has given me so many opportunities in my life, and just to be able to give that back to give another kid an opportunity to play a sport that’s given me so much of my life.”
Sloane Stephens, hosting a Net Generation Kids Day in Compton, Calif., where her foundation helped rebuild tennis courts

“I choke too much to play tennis. I need a team sport.”
Reilly Opelka yelling at himself while competing at the Sarasota Challenger

“For a month and a half, I am the happiest father alive. When they want to play ball I play ball. When they want to play dolls, I play dolls. And I do that with a smile on my face, because I know there are millions of fathers around the world that have to wake up at 6 and go to work.”
— Bradenton/Belarus resident Max Mirnyi on the brief November-December tennis off-season, speaking to the New York Times



Tennis on TV This Weekend

(EST, times subject to change)

6am — ATP Monte Carlo (live), Tennis Channel

6am — ATP Monte Carlo (live), Tennis Channel
6am — Fed Cup: USA at France (live), Tennis Channel

6am — ATP Monte Carlo (live), Tennis Channel
6am — Fed Cup: USA at France (live), Tennis Channel