March 16th, 2018

Friday Tennis Blog: U.S. Loses Former Star; Indian Wells Latest; More

General News Friday Blog Blogs


Ken Flach (left) with partner Roberto Seguso

Flu-related death from sepsis and septic shock are on the rise, attributed to the widespread use of antibiotics, and the epidemic hit home in the tennis world this week when former U.S. star Ken Flach fell into critical condition and died after only four days of illness at age 54.

Flach, with doubles partner Robert Seguso, after an unlikely tennis beginning ruled the doubles circuit in the late 1980s and early ’90s, winning three Grand Slam titles, reaching world No. 1 and winning gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Neither graduated high school, but got into Division II Southern Illinois-Edwardsville after passing a high school equivalency exam, and went on to win three straight D-II doubles national championships.

“We never went to class,” Flach said, “all we did was play tennis and eat pizza.” In late 1983 they turned pro, and in 1984 Flach-Seguso won 10 titles. Flach also won the French and Wimbledon mixed doubles with American Kathy Jordan. Flach-Seguso were 11-2 in U.S. Davis Cup play. Flach had four children of his own and was a restaurateur, opening the Best Lil’ Porkhouse, in San Rafael, Calif., which he ran with his oldest child Dylan.



Madison Keys will bring girl power and an anti-bullying anti-bullying agenda to the Miami Open next week when she hosts a Fearlessly Girl summit for young women in Miami on March 20.

“I just want people to know you can be competitive with other girls but still be friends,” Keys told the WTA “That’s literally our whole lives. We go out and we play each other and we both want to win this match, but then we come off the court and we know nothing is personal…You can be competitive and you can want to beat someone but you can also be positive and help push other girls to be good.”

Founded by Kate Whitfield, a speaker, author and social entrepreneur, FearlesslyGirl hosts school programs and events for teenage girls in the U.S. and Canada aimed at “inspiring a generation of girls to be kinder to themselves and each other.” For more info go to



Venus Williams beat her sister Serena this week at Indian Wells, 20 years after the first all-Williams match came in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open, which Venus also won. Serena still leads the career head-to-head 17-12. Serena has won eight of their last 10 meetings…Roger Federer, heading to Chicago, asked for food suggestions and the internet melted…World No. 6 Dominic Thiem withdrew from the Miami Open citing an ankle injury…It is assumed that Roger Federer at age 36 would skip the grueling claycourt season and the French Open, but now that Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are struggling with injuries — should Federer try and steal a French Open title?..Roger Federer said his twin girls and boys are making some pocket change in Indian Wells with a pop-up lemonade stand at their rented house: “So we’ve rented a house since many years now. We like it this way here. You get used to certain routines, especially with the kids you like to know where their bedroom is ahead of time. But here it’s jumping in the pool, selling lemonade on the side of the street. They made $70 yesterday. It was classic. All the neighbors are very generous to the kiddies so that was a lot of fun.”


Venus, Sam Wave Stars and Stripes at Indian Wells

Venus Williams and Sam Querrey remain in the title hunt going into the weekend at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, where both Americans will be in action on Friday.

Williams, the No. 8 seed, moved into the semifinals on Thursday after easing past Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 6-2.

“You kind of hope for this kind of scoreline, but you never know if you’re actually going to get it,” she said afterwards. “I was happy with way I played. Playing deep in a big tournament is exciting, fantastic.”

In the semifinals she will meet Russian Daria Kasatkina who upset former No. 1 Angelique Kerber. The other semifinal will see world No. 1 Simona Halep against unseeded Japanese upstart Naomi Osaka.

On the men’s side at Indian Wells Querry is the last American standing. On Friday the No. 18 seed will meet No. 32 seed Milos Raonic of Canada, with the winner receiving a berth into the semifinals against Juan Martin del Potro or Phillip Kohlschreiber. Roger Federer is already into the semis on the other side of the draw where he will face unseeded Croat Borna Coric.


They Said It

“I love to play bingo, even though I never win. Everyone else in the place is 75 years old. For me, bingo is soothing. I play for four or five hours, and it’s great.”
Sloane Stephens speaking to Shape magazine

“I just felt like my story wasn’t over.”
Serena Williams on returning to the WTA tour last week after the birth of her first child

“I got some great preparation, and I think I got better physically and mentally there.”
— Florida 16-year-old Amanda Anisimova on training at the USTA National Campus in January for her run at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells this week, speaking to the New York Times


Tennis on TV This Weekend

(EST, times subject to change)

3pm — ATP Indian Wells (live), ESPN
5-7pm — ATP Indian Wells (live), Tennis Channel
7-8:30pm — ATP Indian Wells Doubles (live), Tennis Channel
10pm — WTA Indian Wells, ESPN

2pm — ATP Indian Wells (live), ESPN
5-6:30pm — ATP Indian Wells Doubles (live), Tennis Channel
6pm — ATP/WTA Indian Wells Doubles Finals (live), Tennis Channel

2pm — WTA/ATP Indian Wells finals (live), ESPN