August 7th, 2015
Friday Tennis Blog: US Open Buzz, Player Throws Down Serena Challenge
US OPEN BUZZ ROUND-UP
Tickets for the Open are shooting up in anticipation of Serena Williams’ attempt at a first calendar Grand Slam for an American (after winning the Australian, French and Wimbledon titles in 2015). Ticket prices have especially jumped during week two, where courtside seats for the women’s final will cost you $1,695 according to Champion Tennis Tours…The media room at the US Open will be christened the “Bud Collins US Open Media Center” to honor the tennis reporting icon and historian. A plaque will be unveiled during the US Open in September in honor of Collins, who was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1994…It’s pop-up restaurant time around NYC as Levy Restaurants will open a pop-up restaurant at Grand Central Terminal next Wednesday, serving signature U.S. Open dishes such as the lobster roll, with special give-aways…Aussie Sam Stosur favors Serena Williams to win the Grand Slam, but Stosur says she is also one of the few players who could stop Serena in September.
BRYANS BEATING NEW ERA: “HE WASN’T EVEN BORN YET”
It is a team record that will never be beaten. The Bryan brothers won Atlanta last week, their 107th title as a team (ahead of 2nd place 61 titles by the retired “Woodies,” Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge). The brothers had to feel a bit dated in the semifinals when they beat Georgia Tech player Christopher Eubanks and Donald Young. Why? The twins won their first-ever ATP match in Atlanta in 1996 — when Eubanks had yet to be brought into the world. “He wasn’t even born yet,” Mike Bryan said. “We’re just as happy now winning 107 as winning No. 1.” Why was Atlanta extra special? It was the ONLY American event on the ATP calendar that the twins had not won, having failed to even reach the final in their five previous Atlanta appearances.
The top U.S. boys are beating up on each other as they’re into the semifinals at the USTA Boys’ 18 National Hard Court Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich. And three Florida players are into the USTA Girls 18 quarters…The U.S. Special Olympics tennis team adopted the lone international participant from the country of Malawi…Caroline Wozniacki’s outfit for the US Open will be blinding…Nice tribute to Mardy Fish and his farewell tour from his fellow Americans on video…Florida’s Vicky Duval, sidelined from the tour with cancer for 14 months due to Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, is back at low-level tour events and targeting the US Open…ESPN is dumping its coverage of the French Open over its poor ratings after sharing coverage with NBC and Tennis Channel…What made CoCo Vandeweghe have to undertake the walk of shame?…Caroline Wozniacki can throw a mean ceremonial pitch…People were quite appreciative of Andy Roddick making an ATP appearance in doubles with Mardy Fish…Andy Roddick’s 13-year-old nephew is also someone to watch. No pressure, kid.
8 Americans in Play Entering Weekend at D.C., Stanford
Led by American Varvara Lepchenko who ousted top seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-2 on Thursday, eight Americans remain in the running for titles entering weekend play at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C., and the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Calif.
“The plan was to be aggressive,” said the former Top 20-ranked Lepchenko who uncorked 26 winners over two sets against the former No. 1 Wozniacki. “When I had my chances I was aggressive and I did that until the last point, and it worked out for me tonight.”
She will next meet unseeded German Mona Barthel. American Alison Riske is also alive in Stanford and on Friday will meet No. 8 seed Elina Svitolina.
Unseeded Christina McHale joined two fellow unseeded Americans in the Washington Citi Open quarterfinals on Thursday with a grinding 6-2, 1-6, 7-5 victory against Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan. In the Friday quarters she will meet Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, while another of the quarters will be all-American with Sloane Stephens squaring off against wildcard Louisa Chirico.
Another all-American quarterfinal will take place on the men’s side in Washington on Friday when No. 15 seed Jack Sock faces Steve Johnson. Both advanced in stunning fashion Thursday into the quarters when Sock upset No. 4 Richard Gasquet 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-4, and Johnson ousted No. 6 seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
The No. 8 seed John Isner is also into the quarters after Thursday defeating No. 12 Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 7-6(6). On Friday at 7 p.m. he will face unseeded Ricardas Berankis on Tennis Channel, followed by Sock-Johnson.
They Said It
“I want to show people that sometimes you’re dealt with a tough situation beyond your control, but all you can do is make the best of it. An illness doesn’t define me, but how I bounce back is what I hope people will remember.”
— Florida’s Vicky Duval, making a comeback on the WTA tour after battling cancer for 14 months
“I don’t understand people who take pleasure in seeing a player win, 24-22, in the fifth.”
— Gilles Simon on Wimbledon and the other Slams, where long fifth sets doom players for the remainder of the tournament, refusing to adopt a fifth-set tiebreak like the US Open
“I missed playing, I miss being good at something. You can only get so good at folding clothes and changing diapers.”
— James Blake on playing some upcoming exhibitions during the hardcourt season, speaking to the New Haven Register
Tennis on TV This Weekend
(Times subject to change)
2-11pm — ATP/WTA Washington (live), Tennis Channel
3pm-midnight — WTA Stanford (live), ESPN3 streaming
12:30-11pm — ATP/WTA Washington (live), Tennis Channel
3-9pm — WTA Stanford (live), ESPN3 streaming
3-7pm — ATP/WTA Washington (live), Tennis Channel
5-7pm — WTA Stanford (live), ESPN3 streaming