September 15th, 2017

Friday Tennis Blog: Serena Baby Pics; US Open Record-Breaking Stats; More

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The 2017 US Open was epic, featuring an all-American women’s final where neither player was named Williams, an occurrence we hadn’t seen since 1984 (Martina Navratilova d. Chris Evert). Meanwhile Venus Williams was a semifinalist (as was American CoCo Vandeweghe), and Serena Williams says she will make her return from having her first child in January 2018.

Other stats:
* The US Open sold out 20 of 24 sessions, a record high.
* Ticket revenue was roughly $125 million, a record high.
* The women’s final earned a 1.9 viewer rating, 36 percent higher than last year’s final. The West Palm Beach market was No. 4 in the U.S. for viewership.
* 691,143 fans came through the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the two weeks
* The USTA donated $500,000 toward hurricane relief efforts during the event, with additional funds to come
* The women’s champion Sloane Stephens became the lowest-ranked woman to win a Slam
* The men’s champion Rafael Nadal hadn’t previously won a major hard court title since the 2013 US Open
* U.S. players participation in the main draw and qualifying was up nearly 40 percent compared to four years ago
* Unique viewers on streaming video rose a whopping 71 percent, measured by ESPN

Check out the winners in all divisions from the 2017 US Open.



Today Belgium hosts Australia, and France hosts Serbia to see which two countries emerge from the Davis Cup semifinals, with coverage on Tennis Channel.

Also contested will be the World Group Playoffs round, where traditional powerhouses Argentina, Switzerland, Germany, Russia and Croatia will try and avoid an exit from the World Group and relegation to zonal competition in 2018.

The draw for the 2018 Davis Cup World Group will take place next Wednesday, when the U.S. team, which this year fell to Australia in April in the quarterfinals, will learn its first-round opponent. For more info go to



Former US Open girl’s finalist Tornado Alicia Black has raised 75 percent of her $40K goal to have hip surgery to resume her promising tennis career…This week Serena Williams shared her baby pics…French tennis federation chief Bernard Giudicelli says he wants more winning and less losing from French men and women players: “We stop being the losers and we set up a new model.”…Kevin Anderson was the first player with college experience to reach a Grand Slam final in 18 years, since Todd Martin at the US Open…Rafael Nadal did not face a Top 20-seeded player in his run to the US Open title…Spain has the two world No. 1 players in Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza, but their tennis federation is in disarray…The Bryan brothers have retired from U.S. Davis Cup play, but a replacement could be in the making — the mirror-twin Krug brothers of Lakewood Ranch, Fla., whose uncle is ESPN basketball commentator Dick VitaleHurricane Irma’s destruction has led to the cancellation of the “Bobby Curtis” state doubles championship, and has extended the USTA Florida 2018 tournament sanctioning deadline to Sept. 22…The Tallahassee USTA Governor’s Cup State Employee Tennis League is returning for state employees and their co-workersSloane Stephens’ coach, Kamau Murray, played at Florida A&M University where full-time coaching wasn’t on his radar


Americans Into Quarters at Tokyo, Quebec City

Sachia Vickery

Unseeded Floridian Sachia Vickery and qualifier Caroline Dolehide are into the quarterfinals at the Coupe Banque Nationale WTA event in Quebec City, Canada, with Vickery on Thursday upsetting No. 8 seed Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Florida’s Sofia Kenin came up one match short of the quarters, on Thursday falling to top-seeded Lucie Safarova 6-4, 6-3. In the Friday quarterfinals Vickery will face No. 4 seed Tatjana Maria of Germany, and Dolehide will meet No. 7 seed Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium.

“[Dolehide] is not easy, she has a big serve and big forehand, and the courts are really fast here so it’s going to be tough against her,” Van Uytvanck said. “It’s important for me to serve well and to return well being aggressive.”

Unseeded Christine McHale is the lone American still in play at the Japan Women’s Open in Tokyo after Thursday defeating Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-1, 6-1. In the Friday quarterfinals she will meet No. 3-seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium.


They Said It

“I am a parent, and for the longest of time I didn’t know how to get in touch with coaches and trainers for my children, and I am from the tennis world. This will act as a one-stop place to find talented kids and help them understand tennis is a viable career option.”
— Former Grand Slam champion Gigi Fernandez on the Net Generation initiative

“Black women: Be fearless. Speak out for equal pay. Every time you do, you’re making it a little easier for a woman behind you.”
Serena Williams writing in Fortune magazine

“It was one of the best decisions I ever made professionally, even if it was only one year. When I was a junior, people were coming after me. I was the hunted instead of the hunter. Giving myself a year in college to get ready for the pro tour was really helpful for me. More kids should look at it.”
John McEnroe, who played at Stanford for one year before turning pro, speaking to the New York Times


Tennis on TV This Weekend

(EST, times subject to change)

3pm — Davis Cup World Group Semifinals Belgium vs. Australia (delay), Tennis Channel

1am — WTA Tokyo (live), beIN Sports
3pm — Davis Cup World Group Semifinals (delay), Tennis Channel

1am — WTA Tokyo (live), beIN Sports
3pm — Davis Cup World Group Semifinals (delay), Tennis Channel