July 24th, 2015

Friday Tennis Blog: Serena Getting Her Due? Vote for MWYF

Friday Blog


serena williams us openThe ever-growing corps of U.S. women will be front and center at the US Open in late August. World No. 1 Serena Williams will be attempting to become the first American women to win a calendar-year Grand Slam in the Open Era (since 1968). Palm Beach Garden’s Serena and sister Venus Williams are among 11 Americans receiving direct entry (not counting wild cards or qualifiers) into the main draw, the most of any country. Other Americans are Madison Keys, Coco Vandeweghe, Sloane Stephens (of Coral Springs), Madison Brengle, Varvara Lepchenko, Alison Riske, Christina McHale, Irina Falconi (West Palm Beach), and Lauren Davis (Boca Raton). Serena won her sixth US Open crown last year, tying her with Chris Evert for the most US Open women’s singles titles in the Open Era. Watch on ESPN and ESPN2, which will combine to air more than 130 hours of live matches, and in an expansion of coverage will this year feature play from 11 courts.


Mal supporting the Florida tennis license plate

Mal supporting the Florida tennis license plate

Support Florida’s lone NJTL (National Junior Tennis & Learning network) chapter involved in the USTA Foundation’s Return the Serve contest, the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation. If Jacksonville’s MWYF (@LoveMWYF on Twitter) receives the most Twitter mentions using the hashtag #ReturnTheServe and #Jax by Aug. 14, it will receive $10,000. “We are once again excited to partner with JPMorgan Chase to award some of the most thriving and successful NJTL chapters,” said Dan Faber, executive director of the USTA Foundation. “This summer’s Twitter campaign will be an outstanding way to spotlight the tremendous impact these organizations have on youth around the country.” Support getting kids on the court. Here’s more on voting on Twitter or Instagram.


Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick will team to play doubles next week in Atlanta

Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick will team to play doubles next week in Atlanta

Serena Williams was recognized for winning Wimbledon but then the mainstream media spike quickly went away — except for the body shaming articles — even as the 33-year-old is set to possibly become the first American to win a calendar grand Slam at the US Open. What gives?…Palm Coast Wimbledon champion Reilly Opelka lost in his Challenger debut in three sets, during which a wing gust blew the wind screen off the fence…The Emirates Airline US Open Series starts next week in Atlanta, where Andy Roddick will play doubles with Mardy Fish. Fish shared on social media, “My schedule this summer will be Atlanta, Cincinnati, and I will finish my career at the US Open.”…Spain was shocked by Russia last week in Davis Cup play, knocking them into zonal-only play through 2017, but Rafael Nadal announced he will play for the first time in two years this September to keep his eligibility alive for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Spain had more top-ranked players at Feliciano Lopez’s wedding last weekend that at their Davis Cup tie…Tennis Australia reached out to try and mend fences with Bernard Tomic to get him back in the Davis Cup fold before the semifinal against Great Britain. Tomic said no thanks.

Last Americans Exit in Bogota; Atlanta to Kick Off 2015 Emirates Airline US Open Series

EUSOS_4cThe last two Americans in play on tour this week as of Thursday made their exits yesterday at the Claro Open Colombia in Bogota when unseeded Rajeev Ram lost to No. 3 seed Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 6-3, and American qualifier Alexander Sarkissian fell to No. 7 seed Malek Jaziri 6-7(1), 6-3, 6-2.

Ram was just coming off his second career title on grass in Newport, while the 2014 NCAA finalist Sarkissian, formerly of Pepperdine University, recorded his first ATP match win this week.

There were two WTA events this week at Istanbul, where top-seeded Venus Williams was upset early in the week, and at Bad Gastein in Austria, while the men in addition to Bogota are playing in Bastad and Umag.

Next week the 2015 Emirates Airline US Open Series kicks off on the men’s side with the BB&T Atlanta Open, featuring John Isner, Jack Sock and Mardy Fish. In doubles Fish is drawing Andy Roddick temporarily out of retirement, and the field will include the top-ranked Bryan brothers. 

They Said It

Boris Becker

Boris Becker

“It’s like I appointed myself to run a hospital.”
Rafael Nadal late last year on the appointment by the Spanish tennis federation of federation athletic director Gala Leon Garcia, who has since been replaced, as the Davis Cup captain for Spain

“Actually, I’m not a good doubles player. I’ve played three matches in the past one year. I only play singles most of the time. I will just try to stay away from doubles. My first priority is singles.”
— India’s Sumit Nagal after winning the 2015 Wimbledon boys’ doubles title

“During a match the referee obviously watches me carefully and I can’t do a lot. But there are people with me and they can use some Serbian dialect to let him know what I want. That works pretty well.”
Boris Becker on cheating around the no-coaching rule when he is in the player’s box during Novak Djokovic matches

Tennis on TV This Weekend

(times subject to change)

6am-6pm — Center Court ATP/WTA match coverage (live), Tennis Channel
ATP Bastad, ATP Bogota, ATP Umag, WTA Istanbul, WTA Bad Gastein

7am-6pm — Center Court ATP/WTA match coverage (live), Tennis Channel
ATP Bastad, ATP Bogota, ATP Umag, WTA Istanbul, WTA Bad Gastein

8am-6pm — Center Court ATP/WTA match coverage (live), Tennis Channel
ATP Bastad, ATP Bogota, ATP Umag, WTA Istanbul, WTA Bad Gastein