January 27th, 2017
Friday Tennis Blog: All Williams Sisters All the Time; Tennis Cruise; More
BRYAN BROTHERS RETIRE (FROM DAVIS CUP)
The Florida-based Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, have done their duty, and then some.
After 14 years of representing the U.S. in Davis Cup play, the pair announced their retirement from the Davis Cup this week. The 38-year-old twins played in 29 ties, tallying a 24-5 win-loss record and helping the U.S. to hoist the Cup in 2007. “We talked about it in the offseason,” Bob said. “We felt it was time to pass the torch to the next generation. We’re not 25 anymore, when we thought we could conquer the world.” The twins said in a statement, “We’ve been blessed to play for two amazing captains, Patrick McEnroe and Jim Courier, and we are extremely grateful for their leadership and trust. We’d like to extend our dearest gratitude to our fellow teammates, USTA staff, our friends and family, and the passionate fans who have been there for us on this incredible journey.”
They are the only team in Davis Cup history to twice in the World Group post a 4-0 win-loss record in a year. Their 24 wins are the most by any doubles team in U.S. Davis Cup history, and fourth all-time behind World Group/tour-level nation teams Nicola Pietrangeli/Orlando Sirola of Italy (34 wins), Ilie Nastase/Ion Tiriac of Romania (27), and India’s Mahesh Bhupathi/Leander Paes (25). The U.S. team will make their first Davis Cup appearance without the Bryans next week in Birmingham, Ala., when they host Switzerland.
Mike and I want to formally announce our decision to step down from our role as active members of the US Davis Cup Team. Clinching the Davis Cup Final in 2007 while representing Team USA was one of the greatest highlights of our career. We've been blessed to play for two amazing captains, Patrick McEnroe and Jim Courier, and we are extremely grateful for their leadership and trust over these last 14 years. Also, we'd like to extend our dearest gratitude to our fellow teammates, USTA staff, our friends and family, and the passionate fans who have been there for us on this incredible journey. We are indebted to you all for your loyal support. With love and appreciation, Bob and Mike
INAUGURAL WTA LEGENDS CRUISE FROM FLORIDA BRINGS THE STARS AND THEIR DANCE MOVES
Everybody loves a cruise. But how about four nights cruising with some of the legends of women’s tennis, along with some current players? Florida’s Jennifer Capriati will be among the stars on the inaugural WTA Legends Cruise, departing from Miami and sailing to Nassau, CocoCay, and Key West on Nov. 13-17, 2017.
“I’m happy to be a part of a new, fun, interesting concept,” Capriati told USTA Florida. “I look forward to interacting with fans through the tennis and sailing on a cruise, as I’ve never been before. I’m looking forward to catching up with some of my tennis friends and old competitors as well as some players currently on tour. All the interaction will be friendly and entertaining for the fans. I would definitely be down for some ping pong.”
Joining Capriati will be legends Chris Evert, Lindsay Davenport, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, and current WTA players Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Shelby Rogers, Lucie Safarova and more. The experience will include tennis lesson and clinics, an island beach party, Q&A sessions, kids mini-tennis competitions, cocktail parties, a ’70s disco party and exclusive legends dinners. We already know Mattek-Sands and Safarova have dance moves from the Australian Open. For more information visit www.WTALegendsCruise.com.
Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale area) is the USTA Florida League champ, winning the inaugural USTA Florida League Champion Cup…Florida-raised former world No. 1 Andy Roddick will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame this July in Newport, R.I. He will be joined in this year’s class by former No. 1 Kim Clijsters, four-time Paralympic medalist in wheelchair tennis Monique Kalkman-van den Bosch, tennis journalist and historian Steve Flink, and tennis coach and instructor Vic Braden…It had been 14 years since Venus Williams reached the Australian Open semifinals this week…Floridian Jennifer Brady’s run to the Aussie Open quarterfinals included winning all three of her qualifying matches in three sets, and saving five match points against Heather Watson in the main draw…USTA Florida is hiring for a Regional Tennis Service Manager…CoCo Vandeweghe is 6-1 vs. Top 10 players over the last year…Tim Cass, general manager of the USTA National Campus, elaborated on some of the Campus’ technology during the Orlando Business Journal’s Business of Sports event this week: “With 100 courts, we’ve instituted what is called PlaySight technology. Eighty-four of those courts will have it. Our customers come and swipe a QR code and you can capture your play during the time you are on the court, it goes to the cloud and you can have that to share. It’s pretty unique. It also can give you analytical data, so if you want to know your first serve percentage, number of returns missed, backhand errors, it is all part of the campus experience.”…Golf courses are closing at an alarming rate, but the PGA can’t be doing that bad as it donated $166 million to charity last year…Did You Know: Vittorio Pellandra holds the record for oldest Davis Cup player, competing for San Marino in 2007 at age 66…The ATP World Tour years back changed doubles scoring to no-ad and third-set super-tiebreaks to make matches shorter for TV and stadium play. Now the doubles player say that since the TV and stadium time never happened, they want to change back to traditional scoring…Roger Federer at $37 million is the biggest brand in sport ahead of LeBron James ($34 million), Phil Mickelson ($28 million) and sprinter Usain Bolt ($25 million).
Ageless Serena, Venus Win, Set Up All-Williams Australian Open Final
In Melbourne they’re playing a tennis tournament featuring the top young talent in the world. But no one told that to 36-year-old Venus Williams or 35-year-old Serena.
The Williams sisters will meet in the Australian Open final after Thursday the No. 2-seeded Serena defeated 34-year-old Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-2, 6-1, and the No. 13-seeded Venus beat the only non-30+ player to reach the semis, unseeded 25-year-old American CoCo Vandeweghe who after winning the first set lost 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-3.
Women’s final stats: Venus is the oldest Aussie Open singles finalist in the Open Era; Serena is in her eighth Aussie Open final with six titles; Venus is 0-1 in Aussie Open finals, losing the 2003 final to Serena; Serena is going for a 23rd Slam singles title which would be a new Open Era record; Serena leads Venus 16-11 in their career head-to-head; and it’s the first all-Williams Slam final since Wimbledon 2009.
“No one has ever beaten me as much as Venus has,” Serena said. “She has a pretty good record against me, and we have a good record against each other. I just feel like, no matter what happens, we’ve won.”
They Said It
“I can’t do it. I’m totally incapable of keeping my mouth shut.”
— American Nicole Gibbs on coaches and agents advising her not to be so outspoken
“It’s just tennis.”
— World No. 1 Andy Murray after being upset prior to the quarterfinals at the Australian Open
“It’s a tennis match. Relax, a bit.”
— Stan Wawrinka to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on a changeover during their match at the Australian Open after Tsonga had some pointed words
Tennis on TV This Weekend
(EST, times subject to change)
3:30-6am — Australian Open, men’s singles semifinal (live), ESPN
2-6pm — Australian Open, men’s singles semifinal (repeat), ESPN2
3:30-5:30am — Australian Open, women’s singles final (live), ESPN
5:30-8am — Australian Open, men’s doubles final (live), Tennis Channel
9-11am — Australian Open, women’s singles final (repeat), ESPN2
3-6:30am — Australian Open, men’s singles final (live), ESPN
9am-2pm — Australian Open, men’s singles final (repeat), ESPN2