July 20th, 2018

Friday Tennis Blog: US Open Series Kick-Off Monday | U.S. Wimbledon Success | More

General News Friday Blog Blogs


Photo: Getty/USTA

Ready for North American hard court tennis, (almost) all day every day?

The US Open Series kicks off Monday at the BB&T Atlanta Open, with the five-week summer circuit on ESPN2, ESPN3, Tennis Channel, and beIN Sports featuring seven ATP and WTA tournaments and almost 300 hours of live national coverage leading to the 50th US Open.

Storylines abound: Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic challenging the rankings reign of Roger and Rafa, Angelique Kerber doing the same to No. 1 Simona Halep, French Open champ Sloane Stephens returning to her favorite U.S. tournament happy hunting grounds, Andy Murray returning with his surgically-repaired hip, a slew of young Americans looking to break through, and Serena Williams setting up a potentially record-setting US Open win, to name only a few.

US Open Series defending champions:
July 23 — BB&T Atlanta Open: John Isner (USA)
July 30 — Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic (San Jose): Madison Keys (USA)
Aug. 6 — Rogers Cup (Canada) Men: Alexander Zverev (GER)
Aug. 6 — Rogers Cup (Canada) Women: Elina Svitolina (UKR)
Aug. 13 — Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati) Men: Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)
Aug. 13 — Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati) Women: Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
Aug. 19 — Winston-Salem Open: Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)
Aug. 19 — Connecticut Open (New Haven): Daria Gavrilova (AUS)
Aug. 27 — US Open Men: Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Aug. 27 — US Open Women: Sloane Stephens (USA)

For more info including broadcast schedules go to www.usopenseries.com.



From left: Wimbledon women’s doubles finalists Nicole Melichar and Kveta Peschke

Florida’s Mike Bryan (Wesley Chapel) and Nicole Melichar (Stuart) were Wimbledon winners, while Serena Williams (Palm Beach Gardens) and Whitney Osuigwe (Bradenton) were runners-up in the re-cap of finalists last weekend at the All England Club.

Melichar won the mixed doubles and was a women’s doubles finalist. The 24-year-old has extra USTA Florida connections as the sister of the daughter-in-law of current USTA Florida volunteer president Robert Hollis. Mike Bryan’s special win with Jack Sock, the first without his brother Bob who is sidelined with injury, was his record-tying 17th Grand Slam men’s doubles title (tying John Newcombe) and at 40 years of age makes him the oldest player to rank No. 1 in doubles.

Also the annual ESPY awards, ESPN’s annual celebration of sports, was held this week in Los Angeles where Sloane Stephens and Roger Federer brought home tennis awards.



CoCo Gauff

French Open junior girls’ champion Coco Gauff (Delray Beach) became the youngest ever at age 14 to take over the world No. 1 junior ranking, replacing Whitney Osuigwe (Bradenton), who has moved on to playing USTA Pro Circuit events…Wimbledon winner Angelique Kerber leapt from 10 to No. 2 on the 2018-only point standings that determine the Top 8 players that will qualify for the year-end WTA Finals, and runner-up Serena Williams climbed from 181 to No. 28…Strawberry Man turned into Trophy Man again this year at Wimbledon…Singer and The Voice judge Kelly Clarkson will headline the opening ceremony for the 50th US Open on Aug. 27…Novak Djokovic’s 3-year-old son Stefan stole the show during the Wimbledon trophy ceremony…2018 US Open prize money has been announced as a record $53 million with $54K for first-round losers and $3.8 million to the singles champions…Maria Sharapova, who lost in the first round at Wimbledon, has withdraw from the WTA San Jose event beginning the last week of July to “take care of my body”…25 Americans, excluding wild cards and qualifiers, are into the singles main draws of the upcoming US Open…Former US Open winners Victoria Azarenka and Stan Wawrinka will need wild cards to gain entry to this year’s main draw…After being rebuffed in an effort to build a tennis facility in South Florida, Rafael Nadal has announced 10 new facilities he’s building at a cost of $8 million.


Johnson, Smyczek Enjoying the Grass in Newport

Tim Smyczek

Unseeded American Tim Smyczek advanced into the semifinals on Thursday on the lawns at the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open in Newport, R.I., defeating Taipei’s Jason Jung 6-1, 5-7, 6-4. In the semis he will face India’s unseeded Ramkumar Ramanathan.

No. 3-seeded American Steve Johnson on Friday in the Newport quarters will meet Israel’s unseeded Dudi Sela.

“[Sela] is a fantastic tennis player, he’s played Newport a lot so he knows how to play here,” Johnson said of the diminutive Israeli.

At the BRD Bucharest Open on Thursday, American qualifier Claire Liu lost a tight one to No. 4-seeded Petra Martic 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-4 as the last American to exit the draw.

Next week the US Open Series will kick off for the men in Atlanta, while the WTA tour travels to Moscow and Nanchung, China, before the women begin on the road to the US Open the following week in San Jose, Calif., and Washington, D.C.


They Said It

“Boredom, hilariousness, all of the above…But at some point, you’ve got to give in and shave it off.”
— American Steve Johnson on the Tom Selleck-like mustache he debuted at the ATP event in Newport this week

“To all the moms out there, I was playing for you today, and I tried. But Angelique [Kerber] played really well, she played out her mind.”
Serena Williams speaking to the crowd after finishing runner-up at Wimbledon

“We want tennis to look like America. So we want more people of color and from different backgrounds participating in the sport of tennis. While the ATA is open, their sweet spot is African Americans. We include that in our sweet spot.”
— The USTA’s D.A. Abrams, chief diversity and inclusion officer, on the USTA National Campus in Orlando hosting the American Tennis Association (ATA) National Championships at the end of July


Tennis on TV This Weekend

(EST, times subject to change)

5am — ATP Bastad (live), Tennis Channel
8am — WTA Bucharest (live), beIN Sports
2pm — ATP Newport (live), Tennis Channel

7am — ATP Bastad (live), Tennis Channel
8am — WTA Bucharest (live), beIN Sports
11am — ATP Newport (live), Tennis Channel
noon — WTA Gstaad (live), beIN Sports
12:30pm — Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (live), Tennis Channel
2pm — ATP Newport (live), Tennis Channel
6pm — ATP Umag (delay), Tennis Channel

6am — ATP Bastad (live), Tennis Channel
10am — WTA Bucharest (live), beIN Sports
10:30am — USTA National Girls’ 18s Clay Court Championships (live), Tennis Channel
noon — WTA Gstaad (delay), beIN Sports
3pm — ATP Newport (live), Tennis Channel
7pm — ATP Umag (delay), Tennis Channel