August 22nd, 2014

Friday Tennis Blog: Stars on Ice (Buckets); U.S. Player Draws at US Open

Friday Blog
USTA Fl ice bucket challenge

USTA Florida staffers get iced at the Daytona Beach headquarters

TENNIS’ ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE — One of the largest fundraisers in the history of social media, the ALS Associations’s (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) Ice Bucket Challenge has also been taken up by the tennis community. Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki are some of the pro stars who have shared videos, as has the USTA Florida Section staff which responded to the challenge this week. Subsequent challenges were thrown out by the USTA Florida Section staff to former Florida junior phenoms and now-retired pros Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick. As of this week total donations for ALS are approaching $50 million, as opposed to roughly $2 million raised during the same period last year.

miami_open_itau_free_mediumWELCOME TO THE MIAMI OPEN Quiz question: Which pro tournament in the 1980s offered more prize money than both the Australian Open and French Open? It was the “fifth major,” the Lipton International Players Championships or “The Lipton,” which eventually came to call Key Biscayne home. Known lately as the Sony Open or the Miami Masters (due to its designation as one of the ATP’s elite Masters-level events — and a Premier Mandatory event on the WTA calendar), this week tournament officials announced the tournament will henceforth be known as the Miami Open presented by Itau (a bank in Brazil). Itau has been a tournament sponsor for the past six years, and was the Official Bank of the recent World Cup soccer/football/whatever you prefer to call it tournament. Tournament organizers have also announced plans for major upgrades to the venue on Key Biscayne.

CBS sports neworkQUALIE FRIDAY AT THE OPEN – Tennis’ best kept secret, if you receive CBS Sports Network on your cable system, has been the live broadcast of the US Open men’s and women’s qualifying tournament this week. Florida viewers have gotten a rare chance to see live play from up-and-coming Florida teens such as Stefan Kozlov and former USTA Florida ‘Bobby Curtis’ Junior State Championship winner Katerina Stewart. Ten Florida players began the week in the men’s and women’s qualifying: Kozlov, Stewart, Alex Kuznetsov, Austin Krajicek, Jennifer Brady, Alicia Tornado Black, Samantha Crawford, Irina Falconi, Allie Kiick and Sachia Vickery. All remaining Florida players were eliminated on Thursday, but remaining American players in action on Friday fighting for main draw spots are Ernesto Escobedo vs. James Duckworth (AUS), Rajeev Ram vs. Rhyne Williams, Melanie Oudin vs. Stephanie Foretz (FRA), and Maria Sanchez vs. Yulia Putintseva (KAZ).. Between the US Open Qualifying, the ATP Winston-Salem event and the WTA New Haven stop, you can watch 12 hours of live tennis all day today. Better brew a pot of coffee.

Querrey Lone Remaining Pre-Open American; U.S. Player Draws at Flushing Meadows

Unseeded Sam Querrey is the lone American player standing this week after advancing into the semifinals at the Winston-Salem Open on Thursday, along with the retirement of top-seeded John Isner, who handed No. 7 seed Lukas Rosol a walkover due to a left ankle injury.

On Friday Querrey will meet the unseeded Jerzy Janowicz, and the other semifinal will be the No. 7 seed Rosol vs. No. 9 seed Yen-Hsun Lu.

Sam Querrey

“I’ve got a tough match tomorrow against Jerzy,” Querrey said. “I’m very happy with these last four matches. I feel like my confidence is going up a lot with every win.”

Isner injured his ankle in his previous match and will attempt to be fit for his opener at the US Open.

“I am extremely disappointed to have to withdraw from the Winston-Salem Open, one of my favorite stops of the year,” Isner said. “It is extra disappointing for me given that it is my hometown tournament. I would have loved to continue to chase my third title here in Winston-Salem in front of these great fans, my friends and family.”

At the Connecticut Open in New Haven the last American exited on Thursday when unseeded Alison Riske fell to unseeded Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova 7-5, 0-6, 6-4.

American Draws at the US Open

American women wild cards have a tough row to hoe in the opening round at the US Open, drawn against the No. 1, 2, 12 and 17 seeds, while other American women’s draws include two former Grand Slam champions. American male wild cards did not fare much better, drawing the Nos. 7, 10, 13, and 20 seeds.

Here are the U.S. men and women in the 2014 US Open (excluding qualifiers) and their first round opponents:


serena trophies(1) Serena Williams vs. (WC) Taylor Townsend (USA)
(19) Venus Williams vs. Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN)
(21) Sloane Stephens vs. Annika Beck (GER)
(27) Madison Keys vs. (WC) Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS)
Vania King vs. Francesca Schiavone (ITA)
Lauren Davis vs. (24) Sam Stosur (AUS)
Coco Vandeweghe vs. Donna Vekic (CRO)
Shelby Rogers vs. qualifier
Alison Riske vs. (8) Ana Ivanovic (SRB)
Christina McHale vs. Chanelle Scheepers (RSA)
(WC) Nicole Gibbs vs. Caroline Garcia (FRA)
(WC) Catherine Bellis vs. (12) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK)
(WC) Grace Min vs. (17) Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)
(WC) Madison Brengle vs. Julia Glushko (ISR)
(WC) Danielle Collins vs. (2) Simona Halep


(13) John Isner vs. (WC) Marcos Giron (USA)
Sam Querrey vs. Maximo Gonzalez (ARG)
Bradley Klahn vs. Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS)
Donald Young vs. Blaz Kavcic (SLO)
Jack Sock vs. Pablo Andujar (ESP)
Steve Johnson vs. qualifier
(WC) Noah Rubin vs. Federico Delbonis (ARG)
(WC) Ryan Harrison vs. (7) Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)
(WC) Jared Donaldson vs. (20) Gael Monfils (FRA)
(WC) Tim Smyczek vs. qualifier
(WC) Wayne Odesnik vs. (10) Kei Nishikori (JPN)

They Said It

Isner forehand“It’s an advantage I have because while I’m chilling out at home eating my mom’s cooking, guys are at their hotels having to go out to eat — and they are probably getting their orders messed up.”
John Isner on the advantage of staying at his parents’ house during the ATP Winston-Salem Open

“I am sure you understand that it is a very tough moment for me since it is a tournament I love and where I have great memories from fans, the night matches, so many things.”
Rafael Nadal after withdrawing from the US Open with a wrist injury

“I do want to play again. I’m just not sure if I’ll be able to. It’s still a daily struggle and a daily battle.”
Mardy Fish, who played his last ATP match one year ago this week in Winston-Salem, on struggling with anxiety disorder, speaking to USA Today


Tennis on TV This Weekend

TV multi colorFriday
11am-1pm – US Open Qualifying (live), CBS Sports Network
1-3pm – WTA New Haven (live), ESPN2
3-5pm – ATP Winston-Salem (live), ESPN2
5-7pm — US Open Qualifying (live), CBS Sports Network
7-9pm — WTA New Haven (live), ESPN2
9-11pm — ATP Winston-Salem (live), ESPN2

12:30-3pm — ATP Winston-Salem final (live), CBS
3-5pm — WTA New Haven final (live), ESPN2

12-1:30pm – Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, CBS
1:30-2pm – US Open Tribute Show, CBS