April 7th, 2017

Friday Tennis Blog: Roger on Top | Davis Cup Results | Unseeded Americans Into Weekend

General News Pro Tennis


Winning the three biggest tournaments, Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami, to start the season isn’t unprecedented for Roger Federer — he did it in 2006. But at 35 years old the Swiss GOAT is still changing his game. In 2017 he’s hugging the baseline on the backhand side and forcing more aggressive play. It has seen not only a bevy of titles, but three straight wins this year over his nemesis Rafael Nadal.

“I’m definitely trying to play creative tennis, trying to go for my shots,” Federer said. “I’m able to take the backhand earlier, which allows me also to hit more backhand winners off the baseline.”

Now another unprecedented move. The Swiss will take two solid months off, skipping the grueling claycourt season except for the French Open at the end of May which he will “probably” play. “The body needs a break, the mind needs a break, the family needs me again,” he said. “I want to be there. I’m looking forward to that now.” Put your Federer-mania on hold until Roland Garros.



While thousands of aspiring pro players hold ATP or WTA rankings, few of those are able to make a living on the worldwide pro tours. The International Tennis Federation is looking to change that by establishing a separate minor-league tour with its own rankings.

While no agreements have been signed, the ATP and WTA have been in talks with the ITF regarding a “Transition Tour” that would provide fewer players a better chance to making a living while hoping to take the step up to the Top 100 and regular appearances at tour-level events. “There’s over $300 million in prize money out there,” Kris Dent, senior executive director of pro tennis for the ITF, told ESPN.com. “But only about 500 pros are breaking even. Our system is broken.”

Roger Federer for one backs a new minor-league system, opposed to the current system where an estimated half of the players don’t even earn prize money. “If it means we have to cut players, that’s not a bad thing,” Federer said. “When I came up, we had far fewer, maybe 1,500, max 2,000 [male players]. Now we have more like 4,000 [ranked].” The results follow a three-year study by the ITF of the pro tour hierarchy and juniors making the transition to the pro ranks.



WTA players at the Monterrey, Mexico event participated in some mini-tennis and added some color to the event with aerosol paint can showers…Indoor tennis in Miami? Passion4Tennis has opened an indoor tennis training and fitness facility west of the city…Novak Djokovic could be a customer, as he just bought a new pad in MiamiTennis Channel was the fastest-growing of all TV networks in the January-March Nielsen subscriber estimates, adding 7.8 million homes…Roger Federer is teaming with Bill Gates for the “Match for Africa” exhibition for his foundation on April 29 in Seattle. The Roger Federer Foundation has given $29 million to support children’s education in six African countries and Federer’s home country of Switzerland…The Intercollegiate Tennis Association and Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) have entered a five-year partnership agreement where the ITA will endorse UTR as the official rating system of the ITA. The ITA Summer Circuit will be branded as “powered by UTR,” and will use UTR for player ratings…Nick Kyrgios picked this Davis Cup week to try and sell his car on Facebook…This week there are six American men in the Top 50 for the first time since 2005 according to the ATP.

Boserup, Rogers Into WTA Weekend Play; U.S. Davis Cup Down

Unseeded Shelby Rogers and Julia Boserup are the last Americans standing entering weekend play at WTA events in Charleston, S.C., and Monterrey, Mexico on Friday.

Rogers on Thursday in third-round play at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston defeated Japan’s unseeded Naomi Osaka 6-4, 6-2. She made good on an upset earlier in the week when she ousted fellow American and No. 1 seed Madison Keys. On Friday Rogers will face No. 11 seed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

Boserup is the last American standing at the WTA’s Abierto CNP Seguros in Mexico. She is into the quarterfinals where on Friday she will meet No. 3-seeded Caroline Garcia of France.

In Davis Cup quarterfinal action the U.S. is down 0-2 to Australia in Brisbane after Jordan Thompson defeated Jack Sock 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, and Nick Kyrgios defeated John Isner 7-5, 7-6(5), 7-6(5) on Friday.

“We’ve been here before,” said U.S. Captain Jim Courier. “We’ve been up, 2-0, and ended up losing, and we’ve rallied, so we know that it takes three. Tomorrow’s a new day. We’re certainly not happy with the score by any means but we’re professionals and we’ll be ready to play come tomorrow.”

Scheduled for the U.S. in the Saturday doubles are Steve Johnson/Sam Querrey vs. Australia’s John Peers/Sam Groth.

They Said It

Shelby Rogers

“It’s really hard to explain. I’ve played here so many years in a row, and it’s not always easy.”
— A teary Shelby Rogers speaking to the crowd after beating top seed Madison Keys at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, S.C., a tournament where she used to serve as a ball girl

“Feels like old times. We’re playing each other every week now. We can’t get enough of each other.”
Roger Federer who is 3-0 against Rafael Nadal in 2017

“I don’t really like healthy snacks. I’d rather just not eat anything at all…Because if you don’t really like the healthy snack, what’s the point of eating it?”
— WTA player Kiki Berten, who doesn’t like healthy snacks


Tennis on TV This Weekend

(EST, times subject to change)

1pm — WTA Charleston (live), Tennis Channel
4pm — WTA Monterrey (live), beIN SPORTS CONNECT
8pm — WTA Monterrey (live), beIN SPORTS, beIN SPORTS en Espanol
11pm — Davis Cup USA at AUS (live), Tennis Channel

1pm — WTA Charleston (live), Tennis Channel
4pm — WTA Monterrey (live), beIN SPORTS CONNECT
8pm — WTA Monterrey (delay), beIN SPORTS en Espanol
10pm — Davis Cup USA at AUS (live), Tennis Channel

10:30am — WTA Charleston doubles final (live), Tennis Channel
1pm — WTA Charleston singles final (live), Tennis Channel
4:45pm — WTA Monterrey (live), beIN SPORTS en Espanol
8pm — WTA Monterrey (delay), beIN SPORTS