October 31st, 2014

Friday Tennis Blog: Raonic Doesn’t Know Squat?

Friday Blog
The French "squat toilet"

The French “squat toilet”

DON’T LEAVE THE LID UP — American Jack Sock’s 2014 season ended with a loss on Wednesday at the last ATP regular-season event of the year, the Paris Masters, but not without a bit of oddity. His opponent, Canada’s Milos Raonic, requested a bathroom break, but after five minutes the crowd and Sock were left waiting. Almost 10 minutes later he finally returned to the court after a quest to find a proper toilet. “Whoever the escort who took me was, took me into a bathroom that had no seats on the toilet,” Raonic said. “So I didn’t want to squat, so I kept saying, ‘Let’s go to another one,’ and we ended up going to the locker room.” Raonic was booed by the Parisians upon his return to the court, but was no doubt relieved to resume play.

Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams selfie-it-up at the Mariah Carey concert in Singapore

Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams selfie-it-up at the Mariah Carey concert in Singapore

CATCH SERENA IF YOU CAN — How do you celebrate clinching the year-end No. 1 ranking? You grab your bestie and take in a Mariah Carey concert. Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki, who Serena beat in the semifinals at the WTA year-end event, selfie-d it up at the concert, celebrating Serena finishing year-end No. 1 for a fourth time. She tied Lindsay Davenport who also did it four times, and is now behind Chris Evert (5 times), Martina Navratilova (7) and Steffi Graf (8 year-end top finishes). “I love being No. 1,” Serena said. “I love being the best.” Among other highlights of the week after capturing the WTA Finals title, Serena had an orchid named after her in Singapore, lauded Simona Halep as a future No. 1, and added some bling to her collection reportedly with a Audemars Piguet Millenary watch made with 323 diamonds running around $75K.

Madison Keys (photo: Jose Medina)

Madison Keys (photo: Jose Medina)

TOP 5 AMERICANS AT SEASON’S END — Who are the Top 5 American men and women at season’s end for 2014? With the WTA season concluded, the Top 5 U.S. women were world No. 1 Serena Williams, No. 19 Venus Williams, No. 31 Madison Keys, No. 36 Varvara Lepchenko, and No. 37 Sloane Stephens. It is a year-end high for Boca Raton’s Keys. For the men, playing the last regular-season ATP event in Paris this week, the current Top 5 are No. 16 John Isner, No. 38 Sam Querrey, No. 41 Steve Johnson, No. 44 Jack Sock, and No. 61 Donald Young. It would be a year-end high for Johnson and Sock who have had break-out seasons in 2014, with Johnson successfully making the transition from college play.

Fight to the Finish in Paris

No Americans remain as of Friday at the final regular-season tour stop this week at the Paris Masters, but there remains a lot on the line. Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic are all fighting for the final three remaining spots in the Top 8 for the year-end championships.

Raonic must win the Paris title to qualify, while Nishikori and Berdych can secure spots with wins today. Already in the eight-man ATP World Tour Finals field are Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Andy Murray and US Open champ Marin Cilic.

Thursday’s quarterfinals in Paris, in order of play starting at 9 a.m. EST live on Tennis Channel, will be (5) Berdych vs. (14) Kevin Anderson, (7) Raonic vs. (2) Federer, (1) Djokovic vs. (8) Murray, and (4) Ferrer vs. (6) Nishikori.

They Said It

serena woz heat“She’s like my little baby sister, from a different mother, and father, and different country.”
Serena Williams on Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki

“My wife [Jelena] and I came up with this name together. We like symbolism. We like to get into the deep philosophy behind everything and I believe that this is the beauty of life, of thinking, of the intellectual world. That you can observe everything from so many different perspectives and analyze it and go deep in it. We are both very connected to Serbian roots and even though Stefan was born in Monaco, he is Serbian.”
— World No. 1 Novak Djokovic on the naming of his new son

“I’m really happy that I’ve made this decision, but if I hadn’t done it for charity, there would be no way I’d go through with it.”
Caroline Wozniacki on running the upcoming NYC Marathon

Tennis on TV This Weekend

TV multi colorFriday
9am-1pm — ATP Paris (live), Tennis Channel
2:30-6:30pm — ATP Paris (live), Tennis Channel

9:30am-2pm — ATP Paris (live), Tennis Channel
2-6pm — WTA Sofia (delay), Tennis Channel

9-11am — ATP Paris (live), Tennis Channel
2-4pm — WTA Sofia (delay), Tennis Channel