June 22nd, 2018

Friday Tennis Blog: Legends Coming to USTA National Campus; Grass Court Mania; More

General News Adult Tennis News Youth Tennis News Pro Tennis


What a difference a year makes.

Last year’s Wimbledon seedings were: 1. Andy Murray; 2. Novak Djokovic; 3. Roger Federer; 4. Rafael Nadal; 5. Stan Wawrinka; and 6. Milos Raonic. This week at the Queen’s Club grass court event, unseeded are Murray, Djokovic, Wawrinka and Raonic who have struggled with injuries and/or results over the last 12 months.

Undaunted are Federer and Nadal, the 30-somethings still battling for the No. 1 ranking who will enter Wimbledon with No. 1 on the line as Federer defends his title from last year. Nadal withdrew from London this week for some rest, while Federer, over at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany, is into today’s quarterfinals against Australia’s Matthew Ebden.



A career in tennis has never been easier to achieve with a USTA-certified degree in Professional Tennis Management, from coaching to directing a facility to court maintenance.

The University of Central Florida is one of six schools offering an undergraduate PTM program. At UCF the Rosen College of Hospitality Management houses the Professional Tennis Management Track, developed in collaboration with USTAU, the United States Tennis Association-University, a division of USTA, in order to develop the next generation of tennis management leaders.

The program offers a Comprehensive Hospitality Management curriculum that incorporates tennis operations, management, and leadership skills, with hands-on internships with top tennis facilities, clubs, events, and association employers. More than 97 percent of students have full-time jobs upon graduation. For more info on tennis management at the University of Central Florida go to https://hospitality.ucf.edu/tennis.



The USTA National Campus in Orlando will host the 10th and final event on the 2018 Invesco Series QQQ tennis circuit on Dec. 6, featuring Jim Courier, Andy Roddick, James Blake and Mardy Fish in the one-night tournament on the hard court stadium at the campus…The USTA Florida “Bobby Curtis” Junior State Singles Championships post-match interviews are up for the 18s and 16s winners… Roger Federer returned to the No. 1 ranking this week after winning the ATP grass court event in Stuttgart, his 98th career title and 19th on grass…Argentine player Nicolas Kicker received a six-year suspension and was fined $25,000 by the Tennis Integrity Unit after being found guilty of match-fixing and other offences…The secret to Simona Halep’s success at the French Open may have been some secret coaching from Andre Agassi…American Tennys Sandgren appears to have found a match in former ESPN reporter and conservative commentator Britt McHenry…USTA Florida’s thoughts go out to the family of volunteer Ray Belmudez of Valrico who passed unexpectedly in May. Ray taught at Saddlebrook Resort and Fishhawk Tennis, and was a USTA Florida county representative and team tennis coach…Roger Federer says stop asking him about possibly leaving Nike for Uniglo…This year the BBC will be the first network to stream Wimbledon in 4K resolution and high dynamic range color (HDR)…Venus Williams sat down withTime magazine to talk about her career, her dog and longevity: “It’s about planning a smart schedule. A lot of people didn’t do that. Mental burnout is just as bad as physical burnout. Maybe worse.”


5 Americans Enter Grasscourt Friday Play in London, Spain, Germany

American teen Sonia Kenin

Floridians Sofia Kenin and Alison Riske qualified into the main draw this week at the Mallorca Open, and have run all the way to the quarterfinals at the grasscourt event in the Balearic Islands in Spain.

The 19-year-old Kenin moved into the quarters on Wednesday with a comeback 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Alison Van Uytvanck. Riske on Thursday likewise had to come back to beat Polona Hercog 3-6, 7-5, 6-3. Riske in her opening round upset No. 2 seed Angelique Kerber from a set down.

On Friday Riske will face unseeded former US Open winner Sam Stosur, and the teenage Kenin will square off against top-seeded Caroline Garcia.

Sam Querrey and Frances Tiafoe are into the quarters at the Queen’s Club in London, known by its new sponsorship the Fever-Tree Championships, after the No. 5-seeded Querrey edged Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-1, and Tiafoe beat fellow unseeded player Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.

In the third set Wawrinka, attempting to return from a lengthy injury layoff and after missing on seven set point opportunities, took a huge divot out of the grasscourt with his racquet, which he then snapped in half over his knee.

Querrey in the quarterfinals will meet top-seeded Marin Cilic, who needed to come from a set down on Thursday to beat big-serving Gilles Muller 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Tiafoe will meet unseeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.

“I am pretty pumped,” Tiafoe said. “Grass hasn’t been my favorite surface at all in the past here. I had unbelievable preparation, staying here after Roland Garros, practicing on grass for a couple weeks…With a bunch of great players. It’s paying off, luckily.”

American qualifier Denis Kudla is into the semis this morning at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany, after defeating Yuichi Sugita to set up a likely meeting with Roger Federer.


They Said It

“Watching him is watching history. You see it every time with the way he conducts himself — with the fans, with his peers, with the media. I just have more appreciation than the average fan because he makes it look so easy and I actually think I know what it takes. And it’s truly remarkable.”
Andre Agassi speaking to TIME magazine on Roger Federer

“It was a fun challenge at the beginning, but I’m not sleeping so well anymore.”
Gilles Jourdan, the manager of the French Open stadium modernization project on getting the roof on stadium court by 2020, speaking to the New York Times

“I’m not good. I’m afraid of everyone I play.”
— Brazil’s Maria Bueno, the No. 1 player in the world in the 1950s, upon being named the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year in 1959


Tennis on TV This Weekend

(EST, times subject to change)

5:30am — WTA Birmingham (live), beIN Sports
6am — ATP Halle (live), Tennis Channel
8am — ATP London (live), Tennis Channel

5:30am — WTA Birmingham (live), beIN Sports
5:30am — ATP Halle/London (live), Tennis Channel

7am — ATP Halle/London (live), Tennis Channel
7:30am — WTA Birmingham (live), beIN Sports