December 1st, 2017
Friday Tennis Blog: Serena, Venue Gearing Up | Miami Open Move | the Giving Season
MIAMI OPEN ON THE MOVE FOR 2019
The paperwork is signed for the Miami Open to leave Crandon Park in Key Biscayne and move to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens beginning in 2019 according to the Miami Herald. Next year will be the last for the iconic tournament in Key Biscayne, but the even will stay in Miami-Dade County with a whole new look.
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, the architect of the move, has proposed adding more than $50 million to the existing Hard Rock Stadium to build additional tennis courts and facilities in some of the parking lot area.
It will be the fourth location for the tournament, which started in 1985 in Delray Beach, moved to Boca West in 1986, then settled in Key Biscayne in 1989. The event has been known as the Lipton International Players Championships, the Lipton Championships, the Ericsson Open, the NASDAQ-100 Open, the Sony Ericsson Open, Sony Open Tennis, and since 2015 the Miami Open presented by Itau.
FLORIDA JR. GROWING SUPPORT FOR CUBAN TENNIS
Taking a first trip to Havana, Cuba, Daniel Gale found junior tennis players washing their overgrips, letting them dry in the sun, then reapplying them to their racquet handles. Tennis supplies and resources, he found, are not easy to come by on the Caribbean island.
The competitive junior and Boca Raton native last year started Havana Tennis to provide strings, equipment and other resources to Cuban junior tennis players. “Cuban juniors compete at a significant disadvantage because of their lack of tennis supplies and resources,” he says. “Without drifting into the political issues, the Cuban junior tennis team is a real inspiration to me because, against many obstacles, they wake up each morning with optimism and the desire to improve their game by working hard and staying hopeful about the future.”
Recently the courts at the Cuban National Tennis Center in Havana, after many years of neglect, were restored by Kids on the Ball, a U.S. non-profit group at a cost of $750,000, but local players still go without equipment and resources. To donate or learn more go to www.havanatennis.org.
The Racquet Club of Cocoa Beach this week was announced as the first USTA Florida-managed tennis facility…While she’s been training for the Australian Open, no official announcement has been made about Serena Williams’ participation in Oz in January…Meanwhile Venus says she’s planning for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics…Andy Murray split with coach Ivan Lendl for the second time…2017 was the first time the U.S. Fed Cup and U.S. Junior Fed Cup teams captured world championships in the same year…US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Canadian Genie Bouchard will reportedly miss the first round of the 2018 Fed Cup to play a tennis exhibition in New York…That’s now DOCTOR Roger Federer to you…Rule-Change Round-Up: In 2018 the ITF world junior circuit will allow on-court coaching at junior slams and other select tournaments and will eliminated the service let during points…In 2018 the Australian Open will put a shot clock on players between points to speed-up play, and in 2019 the slams will drop from 32 to 16 seeds to make the early rounds tougher on the top players…It’s USTA Florida Combo League Sectionals time these next two weekends, the final sectionals of the year that will determine the USTA Florida League Championship Cup winner…Tennis Health Indicator? 4.5 million fans attended ATP World Tour events in 2017, a new record…The NTRP year-end ratings have been released.
They Said It
“If you’re not first, you’re last.’ Oh wait, no, that’s Talladega Nights. One thing Serena and I always say is, ‘If you don’t do it, someone else will.'”
— Venus Williams on her productivity philosophy, speaking to Fast Company
“I understand I am not the only athlete to go through this. It is time to shed a light on it not just for athletes, for every girls who is being bullied.”
— Madison Keys on representing the anti-bullying campaign FearlesslyGIRL, speaking to the Quad City Times
“Over the past 16 years, everybody got used to defeat. I had never felt that before, and it destroyed me. I fully realized it during the semifinals. It was tough.”
— French Davis Cup captain Yannick Noah after ending a 16-year title drought and snapping a three-loss streak in Davis Cup finals