March 25th, 2016

Friday Tennis Blog: Miami Mania; Foot-in-Mouth Disease; More

Friday Blog


djokovic-BJK-evertIt has been an amazing week of individuals from the men’s tour putting their foots in their mouths, then working to extract said foot in front of the media and fans. First (now former) Indian Wells Tournament Director and CEO Raymond Moore, at a media gathering no less, said women should get down on their knees and thank Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for advancing all of tennis. “In my next life when I come back I want to be someone in the WTA, because they ride on the coattails of the men,” Moore said. “They don’t make any decisions and they are lucky.” He apologized, and was then fired. Then Novak Djokovic, fresh off his Indian Wells victory, went on an odd ramble in front of the media about women’s “hormones and different stuff — we don’t need to go into details. Ladies know what I’m talking about,” and how he respected their achievements despite these challenges. And, that they don’t necessarily deserve equal prize money. Then the next day he apologized, then he met with Chris Evert and Billie Jean King to clarify, then he went on the Ellen Degeneres Show to clarify further. “I want to apologize to anyone who has taken this the wrong way,” Djokovic wrote on Facebook. Now in Miami, fans are probably hoping players let their racquets do the talking for a while.


The Bryan brothers speak to another pair of twins at the USTA Florida Kids Day at the Miami Open

The Bryan brothers speak to another pair of twins at the USTA Florida Kids Day at the Miami Open

In addition to the numerous records they have set over the years, the Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, have one record closer to the heart of growing the game — appearing at more Kids Day events than probably anyone. “We’ve done hundreds of them, we probably average 10 to 15 of them a year,” Bob said at the USTA Florida Kids Day at the Miami Open. “They’re fun — our dad used to run these events when he was on the tour, some as big as 2,500 people.” Mike added, “Today was a great turn-out. We’re hoping to inspire some kids to pick up a racquet.” Sloane Stephens was also on hand, bringing along kids from her foundation program in Florida. Univision, Telemundo and other networks and newspaper outlets covered the event theme Tenis para Todos (Tennis for Everyone), celebrating diversity. After the event on the Grandstand Court, kids and families played together on an Interactive Court next to the USTA Florida booth on the Miami Open grounds.


Serena posting to Instagram on Wednesday

Serena posting to Instagram on Wednesday

Serena Williams wrote a piece in the New York Times on why she’d like to see the Miami Open stay in Miami…Chris Evert, at the press conference with Billie Jean King at the Miami Open addressing recent sexist comments regarding women’s tennis and equal prize money, said “I think a lot of the comments are cultural, too,” she elaborated. “I doubt you hear that as much from the American men’s tennis players and I’m sort of applauding the Americans for that. I think the Europeans, sorry, later on took a cue from the Americans and I think Americans accepted equality on a lot of different levels earlier than Europe did.”…USTA President Katrina Adams says her secret to staying fit is portion control in a Q&A with the A Healthier America website…Dutch player Robin Haase may have lost his coach, who was arrested this week in connection with a murder…Novak Djokovic’s win at Indian Wells was his 27th career Masters-level title, tying the record held by Rafael Nadal.

Americans at the Miami Open

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

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

The Miami Open kicked off with the women on Wednesday and the men on Thursday this week. Here is a look at American first-round match-ups and results:


(1) Serena Williams (USA) d. Christina Mchale (USA), next vs. Zarina Diyas (KAZ)
(10) Venus Williams (USA) vs. (Q) Elena Vesnina (RUS)
(20) Sloane Stephens (USA) lost to (WC) Heather Watson (GBR)
(22) Madison Keys (USA) vs Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)
Madison Brengle (USA) d. Camila Giorgi (ITA), d. (28) Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK), next vs. (3) Aggie Radwanska (POL)
CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) d. (Q) Samantha Crawford (USA), next vs. (6) Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)
(WC) Nicole Gibbs (USA) d. Yulia Putintseva (KAZ), next vs. (27) Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)
Vania King (USA) d. (Q) Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP), lost to (23) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)
Irini Falconi (USA) d. (Q) Francesca Schiavone (ITA), lost to (8) Petra Kvitova (CZE)
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) lost to (Q) Magda Linette (POL)
(Q) Anna Tatishvili (USA) lost to Timea Babos (HUN)
(WC) Catherine Bellis (USA) lost to Monica Puig (PUR)


(13) John Isner (USA) vs. (Q) Tim Smyczek (USA)
(22) Jack Sock (USA) vs. Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR)
(29) Sam Querrey (USA) vs. Adrian Mannarino (FRA)
(31) Steve Johnson (USA) vs. Alexander Zverev (GER)
Denis Kudla (USA) d. Hyeon Chung (KOR), next vs. (12) Milos Raonic (CAN)
Rajeev Ram (USA) d. Evgeny Donskoy (RUS), next vs. (7) Tomas Berdych (CZE)
(Q) Tim Smyczek (USA)  d. (Q) Tommy Paul (USA), next vs (13) John Isner (USA).
(Q) Taylor Fritz (USA) d. Simone Bolleli (ITA), next vs. (8) David Ferrer (ESP)
Brian Baker (USA) lost to (Q) Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ)
Donald Young (USA) lost to Andreas Seppi (ITA)
(Q) Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) lost to (Q) Marcel Granollers (ESP)
(Q) Dennis Novikov (USA) lost to Dusan Lajovic (SRB)
(WC) Michael Mmoh (USA) lost to Alexander Zverev (GER)
(LL) Jared Donaldson (USA) lost to (Q) Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN)

They Said It

Djokovic-selfie“Knowing what they have to go through with their bodies — and their bodies are much different than men’s bodies — they have to go through a lot of different things that we don’t have to go through. You know, the hormones and different stuff — we don’t need to go into details. Ladies know what I’m talking about. Really, great admiration and respect for them to be able to fight on such a high level.”
Novak Djokovic on women being able to overcome women-stuff to play pro tennis

“My thing is I don’t understand any man’s [negative] comments in general towards women, because as simple as that, every single person on earth was brought and was born by a woman, right? Right? I think that’s a good comment and I think people should remember that sometimes.”
Victoria Azarenka on sexism on the pro tennis tour

“I would pray most of the players have daughters because it will change them. When you are the dominant group, others are very invisible to you.”
Billie Jean King


Tennis on TV This Weekend

(EST, times subject to change)

11am-midnight — ATP/WTA Miami Open (live), Tennis Channel

11am-midnight — ATP/WTA Miami Open (live), Tennis Channel

11am-midnight — ATP/WTA Miami Open (live), Tennis Channel