September 22nd, 2017

Friday Tennis Blog: No-linespeople Matches? Hispanic Heroes; More

General News Friday Blog Blogs


From “shot clocks” to on-court coaching to scoring, tennis’ powers-that-be have all been experimenting with making the game more fast-paced and accessible, especially to the younger generations. The ATP announced it will up the ante in November when the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals will get rid of linespeople, to be replaced by “Hawk-Eye Live.”

The chair umpire will be the only match official on court as the electronic line-calling system will make an instant automated “out” call during points. There will be no call challenges by players, and calls will be replayed on video screens.

American Jared Donaldson is currently the only American in the Top 7 at No. 6 on the Next Gen standings, which will determine the seven players (and one wild card) that will qualify for the field, but Americans Frances Tiafoe, Ernesto Escobedo and Taylor Fritz are at No. 9, 10 and 11 respectively in the race with approximately five weeks to go in the regular ATP season.



Rosie Casals

USTA Florida is celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) in the U.S. with events, feature articles, profiles and more.

“Hispanic Heritage Month is a great celebration for our Hispanic community in Florida and what better way to do it than on the tennis courts,” says Maria Romo, diversity and marketing coordinator for USTA Florida. “Tennis brings people together from all places and allows families to find a healthy and fun activity that they can play no matter what age they are.”

September holds a lot of Hispanic tennis history. It was 69 years ago this month that 20-year-old Mexican-American Richard “Pancho” Gonzales won the U.S. National Championship (now the US Open) title on clay at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, N.Y. A year later he repeated the feat. It was 57 years ago this month that Brazil’s Maria Bueno won all four women’s doubles Slam titles, a year after she had been named the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year, a first for South America. WTA trailblazer Rosie Casals was born in September, and at this year’s US Open was presented with the USTA President’s Award for her past and current contributions to tennis. The list goes on and on. To keep up with USTA Florida’s Hispanic Heritage coverage over the next month check in at


Roger Federer is coming off a back injury at the US Open and Rafael Nadal a long title run, but both will compete this weekend (on the same team) at the new Laver Cup exhibition…Former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova split with her latest coach, who lasted 10 months, and says finding a new coach is not her highest priority…France will host Belgium in the Davis Cup final on Nov. 24-26 in Lille. Belgium in 0-2 in Davis Cup finals, losing at the final hurdle in 1904 and 2015…Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist raised in Miami. is raising money for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico after the island was devastated from a direct hit by Hurricane Maria…Venerable tennis writer Jon Wertheim took a deep dive into on-court coaching this week…Why won’t more players come to the net?…20 years ago today a 16-year-old Roger Federer earned his first ATP ranking points…Former world No. 2-ranked junior and Florida pro Alicia “Tornado” Black is only $4K away from a successful GoFundMe campaign for hip surgery.

Final 3 Americans Exit at WTA Tokyo, Seoul

Shelby Rogers

The top American men are playing the Laver Cup exhibition this weekend, and American women went a tough 0-3 in WTA tournament play at Tokyo and Seoul on Thursday to take U.S. players out of the title chases this week.

American Shelby Rogers stretched No. 3 seed Caroline Wozniacki to the limit before falling 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the second round at the Toray PPO Tennis in Tokyo, Japan.

“I know she has powerful strokes and a big serve, so it definitely wasn’t easy,” said Wozniacki, who trailed 0-3 in the final set. “It was a tough match — she played aggressive, and I’m just happy I managed to win in the end.”

Unseeded Nicole Gibbs and Kristie Ahn were defeated Thursday at the Korea Open in Seoul, where Gibbs fell 6-3, 6-3 to No. 4 seed Sorana Cirstea of Romania, and Ahn lost 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to Paraguay’s Veronica Cepede Roig.

Next week virtually all the top WTA women will take to the court in Wuhan, China for the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, featuring eight of the Top 10 players. The ATP men meanwhile will compete at events in Chengdu and Shenzhen in China.


They Said It

Women’s tennis’ “Original 9,” clockwise from top left: Valerie Ziegenfuss, Billie Jean King, Nancy Richey, Peaches Bartkowicz, Kristy Pigeon, promoter Gladys Heldman, Rosie Casals, Kerry Melville and Judy Dalton

“She was ballsy. She said, ‘Hey, this is the way it’s gonna be. You wanna ride with me, come along, I’ll pay you broads a dollar and make you contracts.’ Nine of us said yes, and it was the right decision to make.”
Rosie Casals, part of the “Original 9” on Virginia Slims tour founder Gladys Heldman

“I don’t know how you can do it without ever meeting me…If it’s good, it’d be cool. Let’s hope.”
John McEnroe on the upcoming Borg-McEnroe movie, speaking to Vanity Fair

“But mostly I think she hated me for hearing her cry. She’s never forgiven me for it.”
Maria Sharapova writing about Serena Williams in her new memoir


Tennis on TV This Weekend

(EST, times subject to change)

7am — Laver Cup exhibition (live), Tennis Channel
11pm — WTA Tokyo (live), beIN Sports

7am — Laver Cup exhibition (live), Tennis Channel
noon — ATP St. Pete, Metz (live/delay), Tennis Channel
11pm — WTA Tokyo (live), beIN Sports

6am — Laver Cup exhibition (live), Tennis Channel
2:30pm — ATP Metz final (delay), Tennis Channel
11pm — WTA Tokyo final (live), beIN Sports