September 12th, 2014
Friday Tennis Blog: Serena’s Post-US Open Adventures; More
SHARING A LOCKER ROOM WITH SERENA WILLIAMS AND NOVAK DJOKOVIC? PRICELESS. — If getting the U.S.’s top collegiate tennis players pumped up by the hosting the inaugural American Collegiate Invitational during the US Open was the mission, then it was mission accomplished, according to Florida players. The University of Florida’s Olivia Janowicz said “I’ve literally been dreaming about this day since I was a kid” about competing at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. “I grew up in Jersey and I remember coming here and watching (Kim) Clijsters when she was an unknown.” UF teammate Alex Cercone said, “It’s a dream come true and I’m honored to be a part of this group. The environment is different than anything I’ve ever experienced.” UNC’s Jamie Loeb defeated Virginia’s Julia Elbaba in the women’s final, and in the men’s final Marcos Giron of UCLA beat Peter Kobelt of Ohio State. Both winners earn future wildcards into USTA pro events.
BRYANS REACH 100 MARK, ANNOUNCE NON-RETIREMENT — The 36-year-old Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, announced they won’t stop any time soon after claiming their fifth US Open title. “We’re going to keep pushing,” Bob said. “We love this great game. We’re having a great time playing together. We won’t rest on our laurels.” They have now won seven of the 18 events they have played in 2014, are 7-3 in finals, and have all but assured themselves of finishing the year with the No. 1 team ranking after their 100th team title. After a quick trophy tour and celebration the Bryans jetted to Chicago where they will represent the U.S. this weekend in Davis Cup play. Also according to dad Wayne Bryan, “The Bryan Brothers Foundation is bringing 15 deserving juniors from SoCal and Nevada to the Davis Cup in Chicago. The youngsters, besides sitting right behind the USA Team bench each afternoon at the Davis Cup matches, will also have morning workouts with several of the top juniors in Chicago.”
SERENA ON THE LOOSE — World No. 1 Serena Williams has shown a vulnerable and playful side this year, with some self-deprecating humor during her run to her only Grand Slam title this year at the US Open. Part of this was documented by Sports Illustrated which told the story of Serena “catfishing” her hitting partner Sascha Bajin, creating a Facebook page for “Heidi” from France who sent messages and phone texts to try and ensnare her long-time friend. “Oh, my God. This went on for almost a month and a half. It was so detailed,” Bajin told SI. “I mean, there was some serious master planning.” Then Serena after her US Open win reportedly partied so deep into the night with bestie Caroline Wozniacki that she couldn’t make the next day’s round of appearances and talk shows annually made by the Open champ. She next made her way to Fashion Week to unveil her Spring 2015 collection, which was received positively by the fashion media. All in a two-week’s work for Serena.
Venus Rolling in Quebec City
Top-seeded Venus Williams moved into the quarterfinals of the Coupe Banque Nationale Presentee Par Bell in Quebec City, Canada on Thursday, defeating Ukraine qualifier Olga Savchuk 6-1, 6-2.
In the Friday quarterfinals she will meet unseeded Czech Lucie Hradecka.
“I think it was probably the curling — when people saw that they thought, ‘She’s into that, that’s our girl!'” said Williams, who drew a tournament-record crowd on Thursday, referencing earlier in the week when she tried the sport. “But seriously it’s exciting. Women’s tennis is so exciting, not only my matches but also the competition between all the players. All the matches are just really intense these days.”
Other quarterfinal matches in Quebec City will feature No. 5-seeded German Julia Goerges vs. Czech Andrea Hlavackova, Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni vs. Sesil Karatantcheva, and the No. 4-seeded American Shelby Rogers vs. German Tatjana Maria.
The men are playing Davis Cup starting today, with the U.S. hosting Slovakia in Chicago, with a berth in the 2015 World Group for the winner, and banishment to zonal play for the loser.
Roger Federer will feature in World Group semifinal play as Switzerland takes on Italy, and France battles the Czech Republic.
Other World Group Playoffs match-ups besides the U.S. hosting Slovakia will be Serbia at India, Spain at Brazil, Argentina at Israel (to be played in Sunrise, Fla.), Colombia at Canada, Uzbekistan at Australia, Croatia at Netherlands, and Belgium at Ukraine.
They Said It
“[He said] you’re not the biggest guy out there. You have no serve. Your second serve is just popping it in. You’ve got nothing you can hurt me with and you’ve got no power. You’d better work on these things because otherwise the tour is not going to treat you very nice.”
— Ivan Lendl, according to Michael Chang, speaking to Chang after an exhibition match the year before Chang beat Lendl en route to the 1989 French Open title, as told to USA Today
“[Serena] Williams has been at or near the top of her sport longer than almost any other athlete, male or female, has ever been at or near the top of his or hers. She has earned more prize money — over $56 million — than any female athlete, ever. She has been ranked No. 1 on six separate occasions, including now. She is the most recent player, man or woman, to hold all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously (she did it in 2002-03).”
— USA Today’s Christine Brennan arguing that Serena Williams is the greatest woman’s athlete ever
“I am and always will be, ’til the day I die, the most passionate person you’ll ever meet, maybe.”
— Serena Williams
Tennis on TV This Weekend
7am-1pm — Davis Cup: France vs. Czech Republic (live), Tennis Channel
1:30-4:30pm — Davis Cup: Italy vs. Switzerland (delay), Tennis Channel
5-11pm — Davis Cup: USA vs. Slovakia (live), Tennis Channel
7-11am — Davis Cup: France vs. Czech Republic (live), Tennis Channel
11:30am-2:30pm — Davis Cup: Italy vs. Switzerland (delay), Tennis Channel
3-6pm — Davis Cup: USA vs. Slovakia (live), Tennis Channel
8pm-12am — WTA Quebec City (delay), Tennis Channel
6am-12pm — Davis Cup: France vs. Czech Republic (live), Tennis Channel
1:30-7:30pm — Davis Cup: USA vs. Slovakia (live), Tennis Channel
8-10pm — WTA Quebec City (delay), Tennis Channel