September 25th, 2015

Friday Tennis Blog: Serena’s Post-US Open Adventures; ITF Super-Seniors

Friday Blog


serena glam

Serena puts on the glam prior to her runway show

How do you recover from a Grand Slam near-miss at the US Open if you’re Florida’s Serena Williams? You go into hiding. Just kidding. This is Serena we’re talking about. The world No. 1 quickly shrugged off her loss and has been everywhere since her semifinal exit in Flushing Meadows, from holding her second New York Fashion Week show for her HSN Signature Statement collection (with rumored boyfriend Drake in attendance) to appearing at Drake’s restaurant opening in Toronto. News is she just recently shot for the historically mostly-nude Pirelli calendar, highly esteemed in the fashion and modeling industry. On the Home Shopping Network this week she reportedly sold more than 10,000 of her sweater designs in less than 10 minutes. Oh yeah, and tennis. The world No. 1 is scheduled to play only one regular-season WTA event, the China Open in Beijing Oct. 5-11, before the season-ending WTA Finals on Oct. 25-Nov. 1.


ITF-florida players at dinner

The Florida contingent at the ITF Super-Senior Team Championships in Croatia

Those that have traveled for tennis tournaments or competitions know that half the fun — if you can make the time — is enjoying new regions and cultures. This week at the ITF Super-Senior Team Championships in Croatia, the world’s senior version of the Davis Cup, the Americans are enjoying the local scene whilst kicking some butt. Florida is blogging from the site where eight Florida players are competing, such as Carol Clay who wrote, “[At] the Opening Ceremony it always is a very special feeling to see all the countries march in uniform with their flags. Croatia did a very nice job and had a reception for all the players with snacks and drinks, including champagne…After [our opening-round match] our South African opponents invited all of us for drinks. They were extremely nice and it was interesting to hear about their country and culture.” The U.S. is the defending champ in the men’s 80+, women’s 65+ (featuring Kerry Young of Maitland and Ft. Lauderdale’s Clay), and women’s 75+ (featuring captain Donna Fales of Coral Gables) divisions. See all the competitors here. To keep up with the results this weekend go to


Former Florida resident Michael "Iron Mike" Russell announced his retirement after the US Open. Here is his tournament towel collection.

Former Florida resident Michael “Iron Mike” Russell announced his retirement after the US Open. Here is his tournament towel collection.

A Roger Federer fan woke up from an 11-year coma and was amazed Federer was No. 2 in the world and still competing. “When they told me that at age 34 he was still playing, the world No. 2 and reached Grand Slam finals, I thought they were playing a joke.”…Andy Murray hinted he might skip the ATP season-ending Masters event to prepare for the Davis Cup final. The ATP hinted that’s not gonna happen…Tennis advocates in Compton are trying to get the courts the young Williams sisters honed their craft on officially named after Serena and VenusSerena Williams is part of women starting to catch up to men in athletic endorsements. “Women have always performed at a high level. But the industry has started to figure out that they’re not just celebrities and fashion icons, but athletic heroes as well.”…ESPN’s exclusive broadcasting of the US Open (with Serena’s help) resulted in the highest viewership in four years, and up 20 percent over last year…WTA CEO Stacey Allaster announced she was stepping down for personal reasons…Former French Open champ Yannick Noah was named the French Davis Cup captain, and says he will drop the hammer on players.

Stephens Stands Alone in Seoul

Sloane Stephens

Sloane Stephens

Sloane Stephens is the lone American entering the weekend among players at three WTA events in Asia (Guanghzhou, Seoul and Tokyo) and two ATP events (Metz, St. Petersburg).

At the Korea Open Tennis 2015 on Thursday, the No. 3-seeded Stephens moved into the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm, who will turn 45 later this week.

“I thought I played well,” Stephens said. “I’d never played Kimiko before so it was tough, but I was pleased to get the win. She plays really different compared to most girls — she takes the ball really early and she hits it extremely flat — so it was tough getting used to that and I had to work my butt off.”

Another American was in action as No. 4-seeded Varvara Lepchenko was upset by unseeded Russian teenager and former Australian Open juniors winner Elizaveta Kulichkova.

Stephens on Friday will attempt to stop the run of 21-year-old Belarussian qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich to reach the semifinals.

They Said It

allaster“I don’t want you writing an obituary that Allaster had a stroke or a heart attack. A good friend said to me, ‘Stace, all the money in the world is not worth it.’ And you know it’s a statement we all take for granted, but if you don’t have your health, you have nothing. And I want to make sure I’m healthy for my kids and my husband.”
— WTA CEO Stacey Allaster on stepping down from her position, speaking to the New York Times

“One of my major focuses right now is trying to build a stronger Hispanic base of players. It’s the largest-growing population in the U.S., but we don’t have a corresponding population of players, either at the junior or adult levels.”
— USTA National President Katrina Adams

“It’s like planning for death: Let’s see, in the afterlife I want to do this and do that. It just doesn’t compute. I couldn’t process how, moving forward, I would never have to do the things I’d always had to do. But you start with what you can control: What will I do today? And then every day was a discovery, and it was a nice feeling.”
Andre Agassi on retiring from pro tennis, speaking to the Harvard Business Review

Tennis on TV This Weekend

(times subject to change)

12-6am — WTA Tokyo, Guangzhou (live), Tennis Channel
8am-4pm — WTA Tokyo (delay), Tennis Channel
4-8pm — ATP Metz (delay), Tennis Channel
11pm-4am — WTA Tokyo, Guangzhou (live), Tennis Channel

12-4am — WTA Tokyo, Guangzhou (live), Tennis Channel
8am-noon — WTA Seoul (delay), Tennis Channel
noon-4pm — WTA Tokyo (delay), Tennis Channel
4-8pm — ATP Metz (delay), Tennis Channel
11pm-4am — WTA Tokyo, Seoul (live), Tennis Channel

12-3am — WTA Tokyo, Guangzhou (live), Tennis Channel
8-10am — WTA Guangzhou (delay), Tennis Channel
10am-noon — WTA Seoul (delay), Tennis Channel
1-3pm — WTA Tokyo (delay), Tennis Channel
6-8pm — ATP Metz (delay), Tennis Channel