July 7th, 2017
Friday Tennis Blog: A.M. Wimbledon Update; ‘Shot Clock’ at This Year’s US Open?
USTA NATIONAL CAMPUS AT 6 MONTHS
The USTA National Campus in Orlando celebrated six months of operation with a new video release, and July will continue to hum at the site in the Lake Nona region with two USTA Florida League Sectional Championships, the USTA Boys’ 12s National Clay Court Championships, and other events that have resulted in 50,000 visitors through the first six months.
Teens CiCi Bellis and Frances Tiafoe, the youngest players in the WTA and ATP Top 100, are two of the five Top 100-ranked Americans who have thus far made the campus their home.
“It’s really better than we thought,” said USTA Player Development General Manager Martin Blackman. “We knew it was going to be special. We knew we had the facility we needed. But I think that it’s the response, every time a new player comes here and sees it for the first time and really feels like ‘This is my home.'” Read the entire story or watch the video.
GRAND SLAMS NEED A RETIREMENT PLAN
If you were a professional tennis player struggling to make ends meet, and you’re injured but into the main draw of a Grand Slam, do you withdraw and leave money on the table, or give it the old college try and walk out with approximately $45,000?
“It’s a lot of money,” said Roger Federer, who says he can see both sides of the argument. “For some it’s more, for some it’s less. For some, they just want to be out there because they feel like miracles happen: maybe the other guy retires, or maybe the other guy is carrying an injury.”
Either way, it’s a problem of the ITF’s own making. Earlier this week at Wimbledon, fans were left short-changed when the opponents of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic retired mid-match in back-to-back contests on stadium court. Players such as Federer and Djokovic are asking the ITF and Slams to adopt the ATP World Tour rule, where players can receive first-round prize money if they withdraw due to injury. Then a “lucky loser,” a player who lost in the qualifying, gets a chance to play and advance (and get second-round prize money if they win), and fans get a full match. After this year’s rash of mid-match pull-outs at Wimbledon, don’t be surprised if the ITF implements a similar rule before this year’s US Open.
Canadian ’80s pop star Corey Hart, he who wears his sunglasses at night, blogged about putting his three kids through the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Naples, Fla…Top-seeded Whitney Osuigwe of Bradenton, Fla., the reigning French Open juniors champ, lost at the ITF Grade 1 junior grass court tournament in Roehampton, England to Francesca Jones of Great Britain, a player born with six fingers and seven toes…Legendary tennis photographer Russ Adams passed last week at age 86. Adams, whose wife died weeks earlier, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his work in 1955, and was at one time the US Open’s director of photographers…Team USA currently has nine men and 13 women ranked in the world’s Top 100, and 11 men and 13 women ages 23 and younger in the world’s Top 200, both the most of any nation…Saying he was “bored” during a first-round loss at Wimbledon where he admitted he called an injury time-out to try and throw off his opponent, Aussie bad boy Bernard Tomic was fined $15,000 by the ITF, and dropped by his racquet sponsor HEAD…The Borg vs. McEnroe movie apparently doesn’t have a U.S. release date yet, but if you take the kids you might have to cover their ears…This guy, who had before this week never played a tour-level match, and didn’t get serious about tennis until a couple years ago when he graduated high school, is into the third round at Wimbledon…According to the British paper The Telegraph, this year’s US Open will feature a shot clock and anytime-coaching in the qualifying and junior tournaments.
American Women Lead Upsets Thursday at Wimbledon
Three of the four American wins were seeded upsets, balanced against seven losses on Thursday at Wimbledon, including a disheartening serious injury to U.S. Fed Cup stalwart Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
Jared Donaldson was the lone men’s winner, upsetting No. 32 Paolo Lorenzi 6-4, 7-6(0), 6-7(0), 6-2.
No. 17 seed Jack Sock was upset by Sebastian Ofner 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-2; No. 23 John Isner fell to Israel’s Dudi Sela in a five-set heartbreaker 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3; Frances Tiafoe lost to No. 10 Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-4, 6-3; and Ryan Harrison lost to No. 11 Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(8), 6-3.
The American women were 3-3 on the day with winners No. 24 seed CoCo Vandeweghe who defeated Tatjana Maria 6-4, 6-2; Alison Riske who upset No. 12 Kristina Mladenovic 2-6, 6-4, 6-4; and Shelby Rogers who upset No. 32 Lucie Safarova 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3.
Coming up short were Christina McHale who lost to No. 9 seed Agnieszka Radwanska 5-7, 7-6(9), 6-3; Varvara Lepchenko who fell to Polona Hercog 6-7(2), 6-2, 6-2; and Mattek-Sands who retired against Sorana Cirstea in the third set of their match when a misstep and fall on the grass resulted in a debilitating knee injury.
The next opponents for Thursday’s winners will be Donaldson vs. No. 8 Dominic Thiem, Rogers vs. No. 1 Angelique Kerber, and No. 24 Vandeweghe vs. Riske in an all-American encounter.
“I like to think that the best is yet to come, I feel like I’m 17,” said Riske, who is 2-0 career vs. Vandeweghe
Americans to watch for Friday at Wimbledon on ESPN are No. 24 Sam Querrey vs. No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 26 Steve Johnson vs. No. 7 Marin Cilic, No. 10 Venus Williams vs. Naomi Osaka, and Madison Brengle vs. No. 21 Caroline Garcia.
They Said It
“I don’t understand why she is No. 25 in the world. She should be No. 5 in the world. I know she’s had some injuries and that doesn’t help. She needs to step up. It’s time to step up.”
— Former Wimbledon champ and CoCo Vandeweghe’s new coach Pat Cash, sharing his expectations of his charge with the New York Times
“To say the things that he said in the press conference today is a disgrace. You’re an embarrassment to yourself, and not only to the sport but to Australian tennis.”
— Australian TV commentator and former player Rennae Stubbs after Aussie Bernard Tomic gave less than his best effort in a first-round loss at Wimbledon, saying he was “bored”
“I don’t think I would have started playing if Venus and Serena weren’t there for me growing up. I mean, it’s kind of weird to hear that [Venus] even talked about me.”
–– Japan’s 19-year-old Naomi Osaka, who resides in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., this week at Wimbledon prior to facing Venus Williams on Friday
Tennis on TV This Weekend
(EST, times subject to change)
7am-4:30pm — Wimbledon (live), ESPN
4:30pm — Wimbledon (repeat), Tennis Channel
8am-5pm — Wimbledon (live), ESPN
5pm — Wimbledon (repeat), Tennis Channel
8am-5pm — Wimbledon (live), ESPN3 streaming
3-6pm — Wimbledon (delay), ABC
6pm — Wimbledon (repeat), Tennis Channel