June 24th, 2016

Friday Tennis Blog: Wimbledon Draws for U.S. Players; More

Friday Blog


Seven years after debuting on the WTA rankings, American Madison Keys is a member of the Top 10 following a win at the Aegon Classic grass court tournament in Birmingham last weekend. “I heard about the Top 10 ranking from my coach but tried to pretend I didn’t know about it,” said the 21 year old after the final. Keys, whose groundstrokes frequently clock at higher speeds than the men at dual-gender events, is the first American woman to break into the Top 10 in 17 years, since Serena Williams in 1999. It also ended an 11-year streak since three American women have ranked in the Top 10. Many are pegging Wimbledon as Keys’ best chance to reach a first Grand Slam final between her giant serve, heavy groundstrokes and timely net approaches.


Featured_Wimbledon-LogoThe men’s and women’s draws were made this morning at the All England Club, here’s how the Americans fared in opening-round match picks:


(18) John Isner (USA) vs. Marcos Baghdatis (CYP)
(27) Jack Sock (USA) vs. Ernests Gulbis (LAT)
(28) Sam Querrey (USA) vs. Lukas Rosol (CZE)
Taylor Fritz (USA) vs. (4) Stan Wawrinka (SUI)
Brian Baker (USA) vs. (9) Marin Cilic (CRO)
Rajeev Ram (USA) vs. (22) Feliciano Lopez (ESP)
Steve Johnson (USA) vs. Malek Jaziri (TUN)
Denis Kudla (USA) vs. Damir Dzumhur (BIH)
Donald Young (USA) vs. Leonardo Mayer (ARG)


(1) Serena Williams (USA) vs. qualifier
(8) Venus Williams (USA) vs. Donna Vekic (CRO)
(9) Madison Keys (USA) vs. Laura Siegemund (GER)
(18) Sloane Stephens (USA) vs. Shuai Peng (CHN)
(27) CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) vs. Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR)
Alison Riske (USA) vs. (6) Roberta Vinci (ITA)
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) vs. (28) Lucie Safarova (CZE)
Victoria Duval (USA) vs. (29) Daria Kasatkina (RUS)
Nicole Gibbs (USA) vs. Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)
Christina McHale (USA) vs. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK)
Anna Tatishvili (USA) vs. (WC) Tara Moore (GBR)
Louisa Chirico (USA) vs. Misaki Doi (JPN)
Madison Brengle (USA) vs. Kurumi Nara (JPN)
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) vs. Teliana Pereira (BRA)
Irina Falconi (USA) vs. qualifier
Samantha Crawford (USA) vs. qualifier
Shelby Rogers (USA) vs. Sabine Lisicki (GER)


Former French Open winner Luke Jensen and his nephew

Former French Open winner Luke Jensen and his nephew

Maria Sharapova was Russia’s flag bearer at the 2012 Olympics in London. Now four years later, Sharapova and the entire Russian track and field team are banned from the Olympics for doping…Wimbledon qualifying has always been a free-flowing affair in nearby Roehampton, but doping and match-fixing worries now have the qualifying tournament under high-tech surveillance … The tennis world celebrated Bud Collins at his funeral last Friday…Is Delray Beach big enough for both the Delray Beach Open and Garlic Fest?…Former French Open champ Luke Jensen played the US Open National Playoffs-Southern Section tournament with his 7th grade nephew…Why Roger Federer fans are getting “RF” tattoos and collapsing in tears at the sight of him…Miami’s Baker Newman, who plays at Vanderbilt, will team with his brother to play Davis Cup for the Bahamas…Nike has suffered a #DressFail at Wimbledon before the championships have even started…Former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka just announced she is out of Wimbledon citing a knee injury.

Johnson on Verge of Semis at ATP Nottingham

Steve Johnson is the lone American remaining at the ATP/WTA grass court events this week, in the quarterfinals at the Aegon Open Nottingham in Great Britain after his match was halted by darkness on Thursday.

The No. 6-seeded Johnson will resume his match on Friday with top-ranked Kevin Anderson as the South African leads 6-7(6), 7-5, 4-3.

The winner will move into the semifinals and later in the day face No. 7 seed Andreas Seppi. The other semifinal will be No. 2 Pablo Cuevas vs. No. 8 Gilles Muller.


They Said It

Bryans rome“We view this as probably our last Olympics, which is kind of a rare opportunity. Coming into this year, I think our top goal was to qualify for Rio and then try to get the gold, try to get a medal for your country.”
Mike Bryan speaking to NBC

“I just want to take a deep breath and scream. I can’t believe I’ve just won three (Grand Slams) in a row and everyone’s like, ‘Oh, you can win more.’ I’m like…stop putting all this pressure on me.”
Serena Williams in the new Documentary ‘Serena’ speaking after winning the French Open last year

“For Wimbledon there’s a tradition of strawberries and cream. So I do my own version of strawberries and cream: I’ll put in Silk almond milk, strawberries, bananas for sweetness, agave, maybe some coconut milk, that sort of thing. I get into the spirit of the tournament.”
Venus Williams sharing her Wimbledon-themed smoothie recipe with USA Today

Tennis on TV This Weekend

(EST, times subject to change)

8am-4pm — WTA Eastbourne (live/tape), Tennis Channel

8:30-10:30am — WTA Eastbourne final (live), Tennis Channel

7am-4:30pm — Wimbledon (live), ESPN