15 YEAR OLD CAUGHT BETWEEN JUNIORS AND PROS
Whitney Osuigwe’s talents have left the current world junior No. 1 in a unique position entering 2018.
At only 15 years of age she is too young to take to the pro tour full time, held back by the WTA tour’s age restrictions (or the “Jennifer Capriati Rule”). But after a year raising trophies at the French Open juniors and ending the year by winning the international Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl junior championships back-to-back and claiming the world No. 1 junior ranking, she has little left to play for on the junior circuit in 2018.
It was only last year that a then-13-year-old Osuigwe turned her full attention to international tournaments, along with her coach and father Desmond Osuigwe, climbing to No. 111 by the end of 2016 and reaching the Orange Bowl semifinals as a wild card entry. Only this past February, Osuigwe moved into the Top 50 on the ITF rankings after winning the ITF Grade 1 title in Paraguay, which would be the beginning of her eventual climb to No. 1. Read More
PLAY TENNIS MONTH IN MAY 2018
If you’re a tennis provider sign-up for Net Generation and plan an event for Play Tennis Month in 2018, when the industry will rally thousands of tennis programs across the country to jump-start tennis in the spring.
Helping to set the stage for Play Tennis Month will be the “world’s largest Cardio Tennis lesson” to be held April 20 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando. Play Tennis Month also ties in with PHIT America Month, which has more than 30 sponsor companies and organizations, including the USTA and Tennis Industry Association.
“Thousands of tennis programs and events throughout the U.S. in May are expected to link into Play Tennis Month to help ‘get America moving,'” says Tennis Industry Association Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “We are excited to help rally the tennis industry to get more people active and playing tennis..we also will be helping to curb the ‘inactivity pandemic,’ which affects more than 80 million Americans.” For more details click here.
Serena Williams gave an Australian Open shoe preview this week on social media with the teaser, “Be excited. Be very excited…”…Florida had one of its busiest years ever in tennis, from recreation to the pros…Former world No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia has withdrawn from the Australian Open following left wrist surgery…The U.S. could take some tennis tips from Nigeria — more tournaments with adult beverage sponsors giving away double-door refrigerators…Monday was proclaimed Team USA Fed Cup Day in Orlando by Mayor Buddy Dyer…Steve Carell, who played Bobby Riggs, and Emma Stone, who played Billie Jean King, have been nominated for Golden Globe Best Performance (Musical or Comedy) awards for the Battle of the Sexes movie…The ITF announced the creation of a Women in Sport Committee, which will be chaired by USTA President Katrina Adams, to promote equal opportunities for women in tennis on and off the court…France won the Davis Cup without recording a singles win over a Top 40 singles player, beating Belgium in the final. Belgian No. 1 David Goffin reportedly partied with the French team afterwards…Former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, after missing the US Open due to a child custody dispute, has received a wild card for the Australian Open…A U.S. astronaut will play tennis in space next March as part of the USTA Net Generation youth roll-out…US Open winner Sloane Stephens earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Indiana University East this week.
They Said It
“Do Germans like compound words? Did Brueghel like peasants? Is Lady Bird the movie of the year? Sure, Serena can win.”
— Sports Illustrated writer Jon Wertheim on Serena Williams’ chances of winning the 2018 Australian Open after having her first child
“Tennis can be proud to be a sport that provides equal opportunities on the court, but we recognize that this is not yet reflected in leadership roles at the highest levels. In addition to increasing the number of women on our own committees, we see the creation of a new ITF Women in Sport Committee as an important step in promoting equal opportunities for girls and women to play tennis and assume senior positions in our sport.”
— ITF President David Haggerty
“It’s going to be a bit of fun, that’s what the Australian Open is about. I’m going to really enjoy it.”
— Retired former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt who is planning on playing doubles with Aussie compatriot Sam Groth at the 2018 Australian Open
Tennis on TV This Weekend
(EST, times subject to change)
8pm — Australian Open Wildcard Playoff-Women, Tennis Channel
9am — Australian Open Wildcard Playoff-Men/Women, Tennis Channel
9pm — Australian Open Wildcard Playoff-Men/Women, Tennis Channel