June 29th, 2018

Friday Tennis Blog: Wimbledon Draws Are Out!

General News Pro Tennis


As fans waited to see whether Wimbledon would give Serena Williams a seeding after returning to competition after the birth of her first child (they eventually did, No. 25), the US Open grabbed the spotlight by announcing it was definitively revising its approach to player seedings in regard to players returning to competition after having children.

“It’s the right thing to do for these mothers that are coming back,” USTA President and Chairwoman Katrina Adams told the New York Times.

Currently ranked No. 183 in the midst of her comeback, Williams would not have been seeded at Wimbledon despite her seven previous titles at the All England Club. Currently the WTA offers players coming back from injuries or pregnancy “protected rankings” to get into main draws, but the entries do not extend to protected seedings. “We think it’s a good message for our current female players and future players,” Adams said. “It’s O.K. to go out and be a woman and become a mother and then come back to your job, and I think that’s a bigger message.”



The USTA Florida Foundation, the giving arm of USTA Florida, gave more than $45,000 in grants to Florida tennis organizations during the first cycle of 2018 grants. The foundation returns 90 percent of the annual contributions it receives from the “Play Tennis!” license plate directly back into the Florida tennis community, primarily through local grassroots community program grants.

In Orlando almost $10,000 went toward supporting after-school and youth recreation programming. In Jacksonville more than $11,000 went toward the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation’s summer camp and after-school programs. In Jupiter, Love Serving Autism’s various programs, events and after-school programming garnered more than $11,000.

“We’re elated to be able to offer grant opportunities again this year,” said USTA Florida Section Foundation Executive Director Alexis Johnson. “When the grant applications open again on August 1st, we’d love to see innovative new programs and first-time applicants take a chance on applying so that donations are able to reach more areas throughout the state.” To see all the grantees or learn about grant opportunities click here.



Billie Jean King served as a Grand Marshal in the #NYCPride March, posting on social media: “When I look at the pride flag, I think of kindness, light, and inclusion. The streets of NY were full of all three today. Love truly does win.”…Rafael Nadal returned to No. 1 this week on the ATP rankings after Roger Federer lost in the grass court final at Halle last Sunday…Serena Williams told the AP that young boys need domestic abuse education: “Expanding the conversation to young boys, it’s so important. This is a human rights issue. With domestic abuse, it doesn’t care what color you are, what background you’re from.”…USTA General Manager of Player Development Martin Blackman spoke with SELF magazine for their Wimbledon preview of U.S. players with chances to go deep…Players missing Wimbledon due to injury includes former finalist Tomas Berdych and American CiCi Bellis…World No. 4 Sloane Stephens is up for ESPY Awards, nominated for Best Breakthrough Athlete against NBA and NFL players Donovan Mitchell, Ben Simmons and Alvin Kamara, and Best Female Tennis Player…Serena Williams was not at home when a random drug-tester made a visit, and everyone is going nuts…American qualifiers at Wimbledon were Florida’s Christian Harrison (brother of Ryan Harrison), along with Bradley Klahn and Claire Liu. Coming up just short in the final round of qualifying were Nicole Gibbs, Florida’s Michael Mmoh (who subsequently got into the main draw as a lucky loser) and Caroline Dolehide, and former NCAA champ Jamie Loeb.

Draws for Serena, Americans Revealed at Wimbledon

Sixteen American women and 14 American men are in the main draw of Wimbledon as both fields were announced this morning at the All England Club.

Serena Williams’ No. 25 seed means she will start against unseeded former junior world No. 1 Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands, then face the winner of a qualifier and a wild card. Her reward for getting through the first two rounds would be a meeting with No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina, then likely No. 10 seed and fellow American Madison Keys.

Here is a look at first-round match-ups for the Americans:


(4) Sloane Stephens (USA) vs. Donna Vekic (CRO)
(9) Venus Williams (USA) vs. Johanna Larsson (SWE)
(10) Madison Keys (USA) vs. Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS)
(16) CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) vs. Katerina Siniakova (CZE)
(25) Serena Williams (USA) vs. Arantxa Rus (NED)
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) vs. (2) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)
Danielle Collins (USA) vs. (15) Elise Mertens (BEL)
Sachia Vickery (USA) vs. Marketa Vondrousova (CZE)
Sofia Kenin (USA) vs. Maria Sakkari (GRE)
Taylor Townsend (USA) vs. Pauline Parmentier (FRA)
Jennifer Brady (USA) vs. Kateryna Kozlova (UKR)
Alison Riske (USA) vs. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)
Christina Mchale (USA) vs. Vera Lapko (BLR)
Bernarda Pera (USA) vs. Luksika Kumkhum (THA)
Madison Brengle (USA) vs. Aleksandra Krunic (SRB)
(Q) Claire Liu (USA) vs. Ana Konjuh (CRO)


(9) John Isner (USA) vs. (Q) Yannick Maden (GER)
(11) Sam Querrey (USA) vs. Jordan Thompson (AUS)
(18) Jack Sock (USA) vs. Matteo Berrettini (ITA)
Tennys Sandgren (USA) vs. (12) Novak Djokovic (SRB)
(WC) Denis Kudla (USA) vs. (17) Lucas Pouille (FRA)
(Q) Christian Harrison (USA) vs. (24) Kei Nishikori (JPN)
Frances Tiafoe (USA) vs. (30) Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
Ryan Harrison (USA) vs. Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP)
Mackenzie McDonald (USA) vs. Ricardas Berankis (LTU)
Steve Johnson (USA) vs. (Q) Ruben Bemelmans (BEL)
Jared Donaldson (USA) vs. Malek Jaziri (TUN)
Taylor Fritz (USA) vs. (LL) Lorenzo Sonego (ITA)
(Q) Bradley Klahn (USA) vs. Yuichi Sugita (JPN)
(LL) Michael Mmoh (USA) vs. Gilles Muller (LUX)


They Said It

A 6-year-old Sofia Kenin in the arms of Anna Kournikova (photo: Art Seitz)

“I love grass a lot, so I know this is my surface. I got a lot of match play [coming out of the qualifying]…but it’s good match play, and I won a lot of good matches.”
— Florida 19-year-old Sofia Kenin, who last week qualified at the WTA Mallorca Open, upsetting top seed Caroline Garcia to reach the semifinals

“Pregnancy will not be penalized. If Serena Williams enters the 2018 US Open, the USTA will recognize her accomplishments, recognize her return to the workplace and will seed her, regardless of what her ranking is.”
— USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier

“If I weren’t working, I’d already be pregnant [again].”
Serena Williams speaking to In Style magazine


Tennis on TV This Weekend

(EST, times subject to change)

5am — WTA Eastbourne (live), beIN Sports

9am — — WTA Eastbourne (live), beIN Sports

9am — ATP Turkey final (live), beIN Sports
11am — WTA Eastbourne (delay), beIN Sports