September 4th, 2015

Friday Tennis Blog: US Open Update, 9 Players Remain

Friday Blog


Front left:

Front left: Alfredo Reyes and Kelly Mejia Solares

Tens of thousands of kids would not be playing tennis without the support of your USTA membership dues. The majority of the heavy lifting across the country for this effort is done by National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network organizations that offer after-school tennis and homework sessions — keeping kids off the street, in school and physically active with tennis. Two of these great organizations and their students were awarded this week at the US Open when 9-year-old Kelly Mejia Solares of the Delray Beach Tennis Patrons NJTL and 12-year-old Alfredo Reyes of the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation NJTL in Jacksonville were honored at the Yale Club in New York City as winners the 17th annual NJTL Arthur Ashe Essay Contest. The winners, ranging in ages from 9-18, were selected from more than 3,000 entries. Former world No. 4 James Blake and former New York City Mayor David Dinkins honored the future leaders, who received round-trip airfare to New York City, VIP status in the USTA President’s Box, and attended Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. Thanks USTA members.


Venus IUEducation is a life-long endeavor, which Palm Beach Gardens’ Venus Williams exemplified weeks ago when she received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Indian University’s East Campus. She finished the last of her online business courses over the summer, adding to her associate degree in fashion design from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. Venus is the first player to graduate under an agreement between IU East and the Women’s Tennis Benefits Association (WTBA). Currently there are 15 WTA players enrolled in IU East online degree completion programs. “It’s been an incredible journey,” Williams said. “It was just a wonderful experience. I love being a Red Wolf. I love this school and I’m so happy to be a part of it.” IU East Chancellor Kathryn Cruz-Uribe said Venus made the program happen. “Venus was instrumental in connecting IU East and the WTA in this highly-valued partnership,” she said. “Venus has been a great role model for the other WTA players enrolled at IU East as well as to students in her classes.”


Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick will team to play doubles next week in Atlanta

Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick will team to play doubles next week in Atlanta

Mardy Fish ended his career this week at the US Open, heartbreakingly cramping in the final set in humid conditions, and penning this great read on his career and mental illness…Caroline Wozniacki was impatient for John Isner’s press conference to end so hers could start, so she crashed his and hilarity ensued…Check out Gatorade’s “Serena 21” street murals in NYC dedicated to the champion…Like some of the political media loves Donald Trump, some of the tennis media are loving the disruptive Nick KyrgiosBillie Jean King tells the whole story of the Original 9 and forming the WTA tour…Last year Serena Williams made more winning the US Open than the WTA-founding “Original 9” made during their collective careers in the 1970s-80s…Serena Williams has lost once in the first round at a Grand Slam in 61 appearances.

7 U.S. Women, 2 Men Remain Heading Into Weekend at US Open

Featured_US OpenNine Americans enter the first weekend of the US Open, seven of them U.S. women including current No. 1 Serena Williams and former No. 1 Venus Williams.

Two unseeded Americans moved into the third round on Thursday when Shelby Rogers defeated Japan’s Kurumi Nara 6-4, 6-4, and Varvara Lepchenko stopped the Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko 7-6(7), 6-2. Coming up short on Thursday was unseeded American Nicole Gibbs, who fell to No. 5 seed Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-4.

The winning women joined the five who will play on Friday: No. 1 Serena Williams vs. fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, No. 23 Venus Williams vs. Belinda Bencic, Madison Keys vs. No. 15 Aggie Radwanska, and Madison Brengle vs. Anett Kontaveit.

On the men’s side five Americans were in action on Thursday, and two remain in the tournament. No. 13 John Isner and unseeded Donald Young were both winners, with Young coming from a set down to defeat Britain’s Aljaz Bedene, and Isner defeating Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny in straight sets.

On the losing end for the men on Thursday were unseeded Austin Krajicek falling to No. 15 Kevin Anderson in straights, unseeded Rajeev Ram beaten by No. 22 Viktor Troicki in four, and No. 28 Jack Sock retiring after cramping against Ruben Bemelmans in the fourth set of their match.


They Said It

woz and isner media
“What is this? You know I love you, Caroline. You’re one of…Caroline, Serena…”
John Isner after Caroline Wozniacki crashed his press conference at the US Open, asking him who his favorite female player was

“For us, everything was at risk. The USLTA (now the USTA, the governing body of tennis in this country) threatened us with suspension and expulsion. The Australians faced an even stronger enemy in their federation. They were told if they signed with us, their playing days were over.”
Billie Jean King on the “Original 9″‘s decision in 1970 to break away and form a separate women’s tour

“I literally did everything I possibly could to be the best tennis player I could possibly be. And that wasn’t No. 1 in the world, that wasn’t 20 in the world — it was No. 7. That’s as high as I got. And I’m very comfortable with that.”
Mardy Fish, playing his final US Open


Tennis on TV This Weekend

(times subject to change)

11am-11pm — US Open (live), ESPN3 web streaming
1-6pm — US Open (live), ESPN
6-11pm — US Open (live), ESPN2

11am-11pm — US Open (live), ESPN2
11am-11pm — US Open (live), ESPN3 web streaming

11am-11pm — US Open (live), ESPN2
11am-11pm — US Open (live), ESPN3 web streaming