May 30th, 2014
Friday Tennis Blog: 5 Americans Remain at French Open
FEDERER SAYS HE’S STRONGER —
Think Roger Federer’s second set of twins and fatherly duties have made him soft? Think again. “Because I was home [during and after the birth] it gave me more time to train — I think I have become a touch stronger in the last few weeks and months really,” said the Swiss. “[New twins Leo and Lenny] sleep that much that I don’t feel bad yet going out of the room and coming back.” The former No. 1 has had wife Mirka and his twin girls watching from his players box in the early rounds, and is enamored with taking his fast-growing daughters to see the sights. “I hold [Leo and Lenny] as much as I can, but I clearly also want to go out and about with the girls [Charlene and Myla Rose].”
FLORIDA’S COLLINS RAISES NCAA TROPHY AS SOPHOMORE — Entering this year’s NCAA women’s singles tennis tournament unseeded and with a wrist injury that will eventually require surgery, St. Petersburg, Fla., native Danielle Collins wasn’t on many favorites lists to compete for the title. But on Monday the 20-year-old University of Virginia sophomore and former USTA Florida ‘Bobby Curtis’ Junior State Championships winner (Girls’ 18s-2011 & 2009; Girls’ 12s-2006) defeated fellow Floridian Lynn Chi (Weston, Fla.) of the University of California 6-2, 7-5 in the women’s final. Collins transferred from the University of Florida after an injury-hampered freshman season to become the first Virginia player to win the NCAA women’s singles championship. “This is definitely the icing on the cake for my tennis career,” Collins told the Tampa Bay Times. With the NCAA women’s winner traditionally receiving a US Open wildcard from the USTA, Collins may now need to possibly postpone surgery to make a trip to Flushing Meadows.
KORDA WINS 2ND TITLE (AT GOLF) — It’s a golf and tennis mix for the Korda family these days. Floridian Jessica Korda, the 21-year-old daughter of Australian Open champion Petr Korda, won her second career LPGA title last week in Alabama, but no family was to be found. “Finally on U.S. soil and somewhat close to Florida,” said Korda of her first U.S. title. “I definitely wish that I could have at least shared it with my parents, but I know that they’re watching. My brother’s playing a tennis tournament right now and my sister’s trying for a U.S. Open qualifier, so we’re kind of scattered all over the place, but I can’t wait to go home and share this with them.” Korda’s younger brother Sebastian had reached the final of the USTA National Sweet Sixteen tournament in Delray Beach, Fla., in the 14s division final losing to Californian Roscoe Bellamy. The now-veteran Michelle Wie also played with Korda during the week. “I love playing with Korda,” Wie said. “It’s also really great playing with [18-year-old] Charley [Hull] as well, too. You feel old but it was a lot of fun.”
Williams’ Out But 5 Americans Remain at French Open
Two unseeded American men punched their tickets to the third round at Roland Garros on Thursday when Donald Young and Jack Sock recorded convincing straight-set victories.
Sock beat fellow American Steve Johnson 7-5, 6-4, 6-2, while Young shocked No. 26-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 7-6(1), 6-3.
Young had played only one pre-French red clay event, losing in the qualifying.
“To beat a quality player like Feliciano is awesome,” he said. “And definitely to be in the third round is something I’ve never done. I have actually never won a match outside of the U.S. on red clay. So to win two here at the French Open, it means a lot.”
Sock’s fortuitous draw will continue in the third round where he will meet Serbian Dusan Lajovic. Young will next meet another tough Spaniard in Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
The third remaining American in the draw, No. 10 seed John Isner, will be in action Friday against No. 17 Tommy Robredo.
On the women’s side Sloane Stephens continued to fly the U.S. flag after the surprising exit of both Williams sisters earlier in the week, on Thursday defeating Slovak Polona Hercog 6-1, 6-3. The win moved her into the third round where she will next meet No. 22-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova.
Two Americans were shown the exit on Thursday when Coco Vandeweghe fell 6-4, 6-3 to Makarova, and Alison Riske lost 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-3 to France’s Kristina Mladenovic, who had earlier in the week ousted No. 2 seed Li Na.
The only other American woman remaining in the draw besides Stephens, wildcard Taylor Townsend, will be in action Friday against No. 14 seed Carla Suarez Navarro.
They Said It
“I did not come from a tennis family. I didn’t know what tennis was until I was 11 years old…My parents always said, ‘Keep a kid busy with education and sports, and they’ll be too tired to get into trouble.'”
— Billie Jean King
“I’m like a fine wine, I guess — at least my tennis is. My game gets better with age.”
— Serena Williams coming into the 2014 French Open
“Andy (Roddick) and I have passed that torch, so it’s on the guys now, (John) Isner and (Sam) Querrey and the Bryan twins (Bob and Mike) and we’ve got some young guys coming up. I think it’s just a tough environment because of the standard that’s been set. Andy and I heard it our whole careers, ‘Why aren’t we as good as (Pete) Sampras and (Andre) Agassi and (Michael) Chang and (Jim) Courier?’ That generation was incredible.”
— James Blake speaking to the Connecticut Post
Tennis on TV This Weekend
5am-noon — French Open (live), Tennis Channel
noon-3pm — French Open (live), NBC
3pm-3am — French Open (repeat), Tennis Channel
5am-1pm — French Open (live), Tennis Channel
1-4pm — French Open (live), NBC
4pm-4am — French Open (repeat), Tennis Channel