April 27th, 2018
Friday Tennis Blog: Vandeweghe Upsets World No. 1; Nadal, Bryans Changing Record Books; More
BRYANS WIN NO. 116, TARGET FRENCH OPEN
The Florida-based Bryan brothers are on a roll.
The 39-year-old twins Bob and Mike (who turn 40 this Sunday) won their second consecutive Masters title (after the Miami Open) and their 38th overall last week in Monte Carlo. It was their sixth career Monte Carlo title and all-time record-setting 116th of their career as a team. They moved to No. 2 in the ATP team standings behind Oliver Marach of Austria and Croatian Mate Pavic, who they beat in the Monte Carlos final.
“Thank you to our friend Prince Albert in the stands up there,” Mike told the crowd after the win. “He game me a lucky coin on the first day of the tournament and he told me to keep it in my bag. It’s been good luck, so I will keep it in my bag for the rest of the year.” The pair withdrew from Barcelona this week for Bob to rest a sore hip, but they plan on continuing their clay court run at Madrid, Rome, and in Paris for the French Open.
RAFA SETS RECORD, BUT STILL CHASING NAVRATILOVA
Rafael Nadal was a question mark coming into the clay court season after time off for a hip injury and the seemingly-chronic knee problems over his career — but all questions have been put to rest after last week in Monte Carlo and this week in Barcelona.
Rafa last week at Monte Carlo became the first men’s player ever to win 11 titles at one tournament, and he’s trying to do the same this week in Barcelona, where he’s into the quarterfinals against qualifier and Novak Djokovic-conqueror Martin Klizan. Nadal has won an Open Era record 40 straight sets on clay entering Friday play.
But Rafa’s record 11 titles in Monte Carlo (and 11 in Barcelona if he wins this weekend) is only the men’s record at a single tournament. Martina Navratilova still holds the overall record, winning 12 titles during her career at the now-defunct Chicago event (and 11 at Eastbourne).
More than 35 summer tennis camps are on board for the #SummerOfNetGeneration contest where random Florida summer camps will win a Fun Day at their camp run by the USTA Florida street team…UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, who went first round in the NFL draft, was the No. 1-ranked player in Southern California in the boys’ 12s…Tennis Australia has put out a $1 billion bid for a 21-year lease for controlling rights to Melbourne Park, home of the Australian Open, to turn it into a year-round sports and entertainment venue…The New York Times recounts the first-ever pro tournament in 1968, played 50 years ago this month in England, where the men’s winner received $23K, and the leading women’s players boycotted the tournament…At least a .500 record is required to qualify for the year-end NCAA tennis tournament — so the 10-16 University of Arkansas women scheduled six matches in a day against Tennessee State, and now have a 16-16 record and are tournament eligible…Match-fixing is a “very significant” and “widespread” problem in the minor leagues of pro tennis according to a long-awaited report into corruption in the sport…Roger Federer is on the cover of TIME magazine…Former No. 1 Novak Djokovic has a 5-5 win-loss record four months into the season and pundits are wondering what is going on…Americans are rolling at Florida USTA Pro Circuit events entering the weekend as Noah Rubin is into the semifinals at the Tallahassee Challenger, and Junior Ore and Strong Kirchheimer are into the quarters in Vero Beach.
Vandeweghe Continues Love-Hate Relationship with Clay in Stuttgart
Coco Vandeweghe is the last American standing from the two WTA and two ATP events this week, earlier this morning shocking world No. 1 Simona Halep 6-4, 6-1 to advance into the semifinals at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany.
“Her biggest strength was playing a lot of balls and keeping a lot of balls in play against me,” said Vandeweghe, who blasted 19 winners to only seven for Halep. “[Clay] is not my favorite surface — I play OK on it, it’s not my No. 1 choice.”
It was Vandeweghe’s third consecutive win over a No. 1-ranked player. In the quarterfinals Vandeweghe beat defending champion Laura Siegemund, and a round earlier she dismissed fellow American and reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-1, 6-0, after that match reiterating her dislike for the red dirt.
“I’ll never like [clay],” she said. “This is my second time in Germany — I’m not here for the clay, it’s more the shopping. [But] I didn’t come out here to play and lose.”
In the Saturday semifinals she will meet the winner of today’s match between No. 3 seed Elina Svitolina and No. 6 Caroline Garcia.
They Said It
“Eleven titles here, it’s unbelievable. It’s something difficult to imagine.”
— 31-year-old Rafael Nadal after claiming the title for the 11th time in Monte Carlo
“Just being able to represent my country is the thing that I’m always really excited about. I love these weeks just because it is one of the few times you get to play for a team.”
— Madison Keys on playing Fed Cup for the U.S.
“The first finding is that the nature and extent of the integrity problem facing tennis is serious and substantial, in particular in the lower levels of the sport…[It is a] lamentably fertile breeding ground for breaches of integrity.”
— Adam Lewis, head of a panel investigating betting-related issues in tennis after a two-year investigation
Tennis on TV This Weekend
(EST, times subject to change)
6:30am — ATP Barcelona (live), Tennis Channel
7:30am — WTA Stuttgart (live), beIN Sports
7:30am — ATP Barcelona (live), Tennis Channel
10am — WTA Stuttgart (live), beIN Sports
10am — — ATP Barcelona (live), Tennis Channel
7:30am — WTA Stuttgart (live), beIN Sports