June 30th, 2017

Friday Tennis Blog: Wimbledon Draw Revealed, U.S. Match-Ups; ESPN Coverage; More

General News Friday Blog Adult Tennis News Youth Tennis News Pro Tennis Blogs


Ready for 1,500 hours of Wimbledon?

Beginning on Monday, ESPN will unleash Wimbledon coverage from first ball to last, 140 hours on TV and 1,500 on ESPN3 and streaming on the ESPN app from 15 televised courts. The women’s title feels up for grabs without Serena Williams (pregnancy) and Maria Sharapova (injury), as Angelique Kerber, Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep battle for the No. 1 ranking. The clear men’s favorites are Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, as Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic attempt to emerge from recent slumps during the grass court fortnight.

ESPN Deportes will additionally air the semifinals and finals. ESPN says, “For the semifinals and championships an additional feed — “Wimbledon Surround” — will be added with three boxes — the primary TV view, plus two more, each focusing on one player.” For the 10th year ESPN will provide multi-screen coverage with commentary of five matches in addition to ESPN or ESPN2 network programming through the second Monday of the championships, on ESPN3, the ESPN App and DirecTV. Break out the strawberries and cream.


The Palexpo exhibition center arena in Geneva, Switzerland


The International Tennis Federation board officially approved a plan that will see the Davis Cup and Fed Cup finals held in Geneva, Switzerland, at the same time in 2018-20. Geneva and the Palexpo exhibition center arena beat out five other finalist venues: Turin, Italy; Wuhan, China; Miami; Istanbul; and Copenhagen.
“I look at this as the transformation of Davis Cup and Fed Cup with one of the most significant reforms in tennis for many years,” said David Haggerty, the tennis federation’s president, speaking to the New York Times. “I think what we are doing is taking these two events and creating the World Cup of tennis.”

What remains to be determined: whether the time frame will contain the semifinals and final or just the final, getting approval by two-thirds of the ITF full membership in August, and making the event a week or a long weekend. Both the Davis and Fed Cups have had issues with top players skipping the event in past years. The WTA has supported the new venture, but the ATP World Tour is on the fence — Novak Djokovic has spoken out against a combined final, many on the men’s side privately feel the Davis Cup is a more-valued commodity than Fed Cup, and the ATP has threatened to start their own men’s-only international team event. Stay tuned…



Serena Williams on the latest cover of Vanity Fair magazine

Serena Williams details her relationship and the journey to her first child in the latest issue of Vanity Fair…World No. 1 Andy Murray last week donated his prize money from the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club to the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster…John Isner says they’ve made the Wimbledon lawns so slow that he rates the Australian Open courts faster…ESPN profiled Bradenton, Fla., French Open junior girls’ champion Whitney Osuigwe…USTA Junior Team Tennis unique participation is up approximately 36 percent through the first five months of 2017 in Florida…The USTA National Campus in Orlando recently hosted 40 kids from the Orlando Teen Police & Fire Academy, and a camp for members of National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) Excellence Teams from across the country…36-year-old TV tennis commentator and former college player Prim Siripipat was part of ESPN’s massive layoffs in April — so now she’s taking a shot at pro tennis, and documenting the journey…Police say Venus Williams was in a car accident earlier this month that included a fatality…Despite equity efforts over the last few years, only five of the world’s Top 100 women singles players have female coaches. “It’s a great shame,” former player Anibel Medina Garrigues, coach of French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko, told Reuters. “As a woman you can understand how a woman player feels on the court, you can understand their thinking. Men’s thinking is completely different.”…And now you can train like Rafaif you can pony-up $62,000.

Fritz, Falconi Qualify at Wimbledon; Americans Exit ATP/WTA Eastbourne on Thursday

Taylor Fritz

The American men’s contingent in the quarterfinals at the Aegon International Eastbourne in Great Britain went 0-for-3 on Thursday as No. 3 seed John Isner was upset by No. 7 Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-2, No. 4 Steve Johnson was upset 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 by Russian Danill Medvedev, and Donald Young gave No. 1 Novak Djokovic a fight before succumbing 6-2, 7-6(9).

The top-seeded Bryan brothers are into the semifinals at Eastbourne where they will face the unseeded team of Andre Bergemann of Germany and Andres Molteni of Argentina.

On the women’s side American Lauren Davis played two matches on Thursday at Eastbourne to make up for the rain-laden schedule, upsetting No. 8 seed Aggie Radwanska 7-6(1), 6-1 before falling to Czech Barbora Strycova 7-5, 6-2 in third-round play.

Americans Taylor Fritz and Irini Falconi qualified to the main draw at Wimbledon on Thursday and early Friday. Fritz in the final round defeated France’s Vincent Millot 6-3, 7-5, 6-4. Coming up short in the final round of qualifying were Americans Denis Kudla and Dennis Novikov. Falconi in the final round of qualifying defeated Colombia’s Mariana Duque-Marino 6-1, 6-4, while fellow Americans Asia Muhammad and Kristie Ahn fell in the final round.


Wimbledon Women’s Draw Has 3 All-American 1st Round Meetings

The Wimbledon draw was revealed this early afternoon in England and the positions determined for the 12 American women and 10 American men in the main draw.

The top two American men drew qualifiers, while American women drew an unusual three all-American match-ups:


(10) Venus Williams (USA) vs. Elise Mertens (BEL)
(17) Madison Keys (USA) vs. Nao Hibino (JPN)
(24) CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) vs. Mona Barthel (GER)
(28) Lauren Davis (USA) vs. Varvara Lepchenko (USA)
Shelby Rogers (USA)
vs. Julia Boserup (USA)
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA)
vs. Magda Linette (POL)
Christina McHale (USA) vs. Katie Boulter (GBR)
Alison Riske (USA) vs. Sloane Stephens (USA)
Jennifer Brady (USA)
vs. Danka Kovinic (MNE)
Madison Brengle (USA) vs. Richel Hogenkamp (NED)
CiCi Bellis (USA) vs. Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
Irini Falconi (USA) qualified, opponent TBD


(17) Jack Sock (USA) vs. Qualifier
(23) John Isner (USA) vs. Qualifier
(24) Sam Querrey (USA) vs. Thomas Fabbiano (ITA)
(26) Steve Johnson (USA) vs. Nicholas Kicker (ARG)
Donald Young (USA) vs. Denis Istomin (UZB)
Frances Tiafoe (USA) vs. Robin Haase (NED)
Jared Donaldson (USA) vs. Janko Tipsarevic (SRB)
Ryan Harrison (USA) vs. Borna Coric (CRO)
Ernesto Escobedo (USA) vs. Adam Pavlasek (CZE)
Taylor Fritz (USA) qualified, opponent TBD

To see the full draws go to www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/draws/index.html.


They Said It

“Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based. I’ve never played anyone ranked ‘there’ nor do I have time. Respect me and my privacy as I’m trying to have a baby. Good day sir.”

Serena Williams on social media shutting down John McEnroe’s claim she would be ranked around the 700s if she played on the men’s tour

“He’s a very nice lad. I’m very happy for him, how he’s developed in the last years. The future belongs to him.”
Roger Federer after defeating German Alexander Zverev in the Halle final

“She started playing tennis wearing boots and Cinderella clothes. She would never get out of those clothes, and it was totally uncoordinated with what she was doing.”
Desmond Osuigwe, IMG Tennis coach and father of French Open junior girls’ winner Whitney Osuigwe, speaking to ESPN


Tennis on TV This Weekend

(EST, times subject to change)

6am — WTA Eastbourne (live), BeIN Sports

7:15am — WTA Eastbourne Final (live), BeIN Sports

8pm — Tennis Channel Live