SERENA, VENUS DONATE TO FUTURE ATA HQ AND BLACK TENNIS HALL OF FAME
The planned American Tennis Association’s Tennis and Education Complex, including the ATA Hall of Fame, received a boost this week when it was revealed Serena and Venus Williams have made a $1 million pledge to the proposed 26-court complex in Miramar, Fla., located between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami.
The ATA was formed in 1916 to support black tennis players who were barred from competing in USTA events until segregation barriers began to crumble beginning in 1950. “One of the things that will be emphasized at this center is identifying local talent and helping those youth connect to proper training and guidance so that they can continue at the next level,” said Albert Tucker, vice president of Multicultural Business Development for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
The donation by the Williams sisters includes the right to name the center court for the facility after their father, Richard Williams, who began coaching them at age 4. To read more click here.
FLORIDA’S ANISIMOVA, KENIN BATTLE
FOR US OPEN WILD CARD
Two Florida teens, Hallandale Beach’s Amanda Anisimova, and Pembroke Pines’ Sofia Kenin, are the frontrunners for the women’s wild card in the USTA’s US Open Wild Card Challenge, which will be determined this weekend — possibly as early as Friday.
Both are into the quarterfinals at the $60,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Lexington, Ky. If both win Friday, they will face each other in the semifinals with the wild card on the line.
Anisimova on Friday faces wild card and fellow American Emina Bektas, while Kenin will meet fellow American Robin Anderson.
Earlier this week on Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, Serena Williams wrote a piece in Fortune magazine on closing the gender pay gap…Justin Bieber wears Death to Tennis…As he is wont to do, Jack Sock crashed his buddy John Isner’s press conference last week at Atlanta…American and recent Wimbledon girls’ finalist Ann Li, who had no WTA ranking points, won the $15K USTA Pro Circuit event in Evansville, Ind., last weekend…The upcoming Borg/McEnroe movie will open the Toronto Film Festival in September…Controversy-magnet Nick Kyrgios was booed after retiring from a match this week in Washington, his third straight tournament retirement with injury…Andy Murray announced he is dropping out of next week’s Canadian Open due to his ongoing hip issue, so Rafael Nadal can now regain the No. 1 ranking…Maria Sharapova also pulled out of the Canadian Open, citing the left arm pain that had her withdraw mid-tournament from Stanford this week, and Stan Wawrinka is also out of Canada with a knee injury.
Americans Aplenty Into Weekend Play at Washington, Stanford, Mexico
American wild card Tommy Paul continued his coming-out party at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, upsetting No. 13 seed Gilles Muller 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-3 to move into the quarterfinals.
The 20 year old was joined in the quarters by No. 8 seed Jack Sock, who beat fellow American Jared Donaldson 7-6(6), 6-2. Also on the losing end was unseeded American Tennys Sandgren who fell to No. 5 seed Alexander Zverev 7-5, 7-5.
In the Friday quarterfinals Sock will meet No. 3 seed Milos Raonic, and Paul will face No. 2 Kei Nishikori.
Three of the four quarterfinals at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Calif., feature Americans after No. 6 seed CoCo Vandeweghe defeated fellow American Nicole Gibbs 6-0, 6-2 on Thursday, and No. 8 CiCi Bellis topped qualifier Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay 7-6(3), 6-2. American Alison Riske came up short of making the quarters, falling to No. 4 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-0.
Friday’s American quarterfinal match-ups at Stanford will be Vandeweghe vs. Pavlyuchenkova, No. 3 Madison Keys vs. No. 7 Lesia Tsurenko, and Bellis vs. No. 2 Petra Kvitova.
No. 2 seed Sam Querrey is the last American standing at the Abierto Mexicano de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex in Los Cabos, Mexico, after Thursday beating France’s Vincent Millot 6-1, 6-3 to move into the semifinals. Unseeded American Taylor Fritz reached the Thursday quarterfinals but fell to Aussie wild card Thanasi Kokkinakis 7-6(5), 6-2.
Querrey on Friday will meet unseeded Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
They Said It
“When I order sandwiches or coffee, I don’t give my name, I’ll say ‘David’ or something. It’s just not worth it. They never mess David up. I just want my sandwich; I just want my coffee.”
— American Tennys Sandgren on issues with his unusual first name
“It’s not something that I’m focusing on.”
— Maria Sharapova on needing a wild card to make the main draw of the US Open
“But I know you can easily get sucked into that mode where you don’t want to attack. But if you can’t volley you’re not going to go to the net. I’ve played almost every player here that wouldn’t serve and volley.”
— Roger Federer at Wimbledon on fellow players’ hesitancy to come to the net
Tennis on TV This Weekend
(EST, times subject to change)
1:30pm — ATP/WTA Washington, D.C. (live), Tennis Channel
9:30pm — ATP Los Cabos (live), beIN Sports
noon — ATP/WTA Washington, D.C. (live), Tennis Channel
5pm — WTA Stanford (live), ESPN2
5:30pm — ATP Washington, D.C. (live), Tennis Channel
9:30pm — ATP Los Cabos (live), beIN Sports
10pm — WTA Stanford (live), ESPN2
12:30pm — ATP Washington, D.C. Doubles Final (live), Tennis Channel
3pm — ATP Washington, D.C. Men’s Singles Final (live), Tennis Channel
5pm — ATP Washington, D.C. Women’s Singles Final (live), Tennis Channel
5pm — WTA Stanford Singles Final (live), ESPN2
11pm — ATP Los Cabos Singles Final (live), beIN Sports