Justin Cohen

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This Week in Tennis Business: Andy Roddick and Serena Williams, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalists?

Andy Roddick

·         Via Twitter, Andy Roddick says he will team up with Serena Williams in the mixed doubles event at the 2012 London Olympics. Last week the International Olympic Committee approved mixed doubles for the London Olympics.

  • Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who is the third richest American according to Forbes, has purchased the entire Indian Wells tennis tournament with his own money, according to tennisreporters.net. Ellison is an avid recreational tennis player and the owner of the Malibu Racquet Club.
  • The International Tennis Federation has cleared Yanina Wickmayer to return to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, her agent Olivier Van Lindonk tells Belga, a Belgian wire service. On Monday, Wickmayer and Xavier Malisse had their one year doping bans provisionally lifted by a Brussels court, but were not allowed to return to the pro circuit until the ITF cleared them. Van Lindonk can’t confirm if Malisse has also been cleared by the ITF.
  • According to reports by Jornal do Tenis, Victoria Azarenka has split from Coach Antonio van Grichen. The pair had worked together for four years.
  • According to the Melbourne Age, Lleyton Hewitt and manager David Drysdale have launched their own sports management firm called Signature Sports Management. The firm plans to operate as a boutique agency focusing on Australian players. Rising Australian player Olivia Rogowska is the first player to sign with the agency.
  • The Spanish Supreme Court has ordered three-time French Open singles champion Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario to pay back roughly $5.1 million in unpaid income tax because the court rejected she was a resident of Andorra and not Spain from 1989 to 1993.
  • According to Matt Cronin of tennisreporters.net, tennis historian Bud Collins will no longer be covering tennis telecasts on ESPN.
  • According to the Sportsbusiness Journal, the ATP Board of Directors will allow the ATP Indianapolis tournament to be sold to Atlanta. Previously, the ATP was going to buy back the event and retire it from the ATP World Tour calendar.
  • Via Twitter, Bob and Mike Bryan have signed a 4-year clothing sponsorship deal with K-Swiss.
  • Stan Smith will be inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame on May 24, 2010.
  • The World No. 1 doubles duo of Bob and Mike Bryan have agreed to play in the 2010 LA Tennis Open Presented by Farmers Insurance Group from July 26 to August 1. The Bryans will be trying to win a record sixth doubles title at the tournament, which is held on the UCLA campus. US Open Champion Juan Martin del Potro and Novak Djokovic have committed to play in the singles tournament.
  • 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro was named “Athlete of the Year” and “Best Tennis Player” at the recent Fox Pan American Sports LLC’s Premios Fox Sports, which was held at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
  • Plexipave announced that the Plexipave Prestige tennis surface will be used at the Capitala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi. Plexipave is the world’s largest selling brand of acrylic tennis court coatings.
  • Swiss No. 2 Stanislas Wawrinka and longtime girlfriend Ilham Vuilloud were married in a civil ceremony on Monday in Switzerland. The couple is expecting their first child in February.
  • Jelena Dokic, Sorana Cirstea and Aravane Rezai will all train at the prestigious Mouratoglou Academy in Paris.
  • Last Thursday, Spain’s Davis Cup Captain and former French Open singles champion Albert Costa was taken to a Barcelona hospital because he was suffering from chest pains. He was released later in the day. In his first competitive match since having hip surgery in the spring, David
  • Former World No. 1 Dinara Safina’s status for the Australian Open in January is in doubt after withdrawing from the Brisbane International, which is a tune-up tournament for the first Grand Slam event of the year.

·         Nalbandian easily defeated Nicolas Massu, 6-2, 6-1, in an exhibition match in Buenos Aires.

Federer commemorative stamp launched in Austria: This Week in Tennis Business

Daniela Hantuchova

From the Austrian Postal Service launching a commemorative Roger Federer stamp to the Andre Agassi Foundation raising $8 million during the Grand Slam for Children event in Las Vegas to former top-ranked doubles player Ai Sugiyama retiring from professional tennis to Li Na signing with IMG to tennis icon Jack Kramer being remembered at a memorial service at Starus Stadium at UCLA to John Isner and Melanie Oudin agreeing to team up in January to represent the United States in Hopman Cup, these stories caught the attention of tennis fans and insiders this week.

  • According to a report by AFP, the Austrian Postal Service will launch a commemorative stamp honoring Roger Federer and his record 15 Grand Slam singles titles. About 400,000 Federer stamps will be issued.

  • The Andre Agassi Foundation’s Grand Slam for Children event raised $8 million over the weekend in Las Vegas. The Engelstad Family Foundation also pledged another $7.5 million to Agassi’s Foundation over a five year period.

  • Ai Sugiyama of Japan has retired from the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour following a first round defeat to Nadia Petrova at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. Sugiyama was honored on court during a special ceremony put on by WTA Tour officials and players to honor her remarkable career, which included speeches by her regular doubles partners Daniela Hantuchova and Katarina Srebotnik. Throughout her career, Sugiyama won six singles titles, 38 doubles titles and earned more than $8 million in tournament prize money.

  • Li Na, the highest ranked Chinese player ever on the WTA Tour, has signed a representation deal with IMG. “We are very pleased to have Li Na as an IMG client,” said Max Eisenbud, the Senior Vice President of IMG.

  • Tennis legend and the first executive of the ATP Tour Jack Kramer was remembered on Saturday during a memorial service at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on the campus on UCLA. Hundreds of people were in attendance during the service, as former WTA Tour star Pam Shriver and Los Angeles Times reporter Bill Dwyre acted as hosts of the ceremony. Barry MacKay, Tracy Austin, Donald Dell, US Open tournament director Jim Curley and former player Charlie Pasarell were among the speakers during the service.

  • John Isner and Melanie Oudin will represent the United States at the Hopman Cup from January 2-9, 2010 in Perth, Australia.

  • The inaugural Maria Sharapova South American Tour will take place from November 29 to December 4 and will feature the former Grand Slam singles champion and Argentine Gisela Dulko. The tour will feature exhibition matches between the players in San Paulo, Brazil on November 29, Santiago, Chile on December 2 and Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 4. Fashion shows, charity appearances and tennis clinics for the local children will also be a part of the three-city exhibition series.

  • The USTA and Levy Restaurants, the official restaurateur of the US Open, combined to donate more than 21,000 pounds of unused food from the US Open to City Harvest. City Harvest, which is based in New York City, is a food rescue organization that feeds people in need of food. “We are very thankful to the USTA and Levy Restaurants and for this generous donation,” said Jilly Stephens, the Executive Director at City Harvest. “Our long-standing partnership with the US Open demonstrates their commitment to helping us feed hungry New Yorkers.”

  • AEGON signed a five-year deal until 2013 to become the title sponsor of the prestigious Masters Tennis at Royal Albert Hall in London and will now be called the AEGON Masters Tennis. The tournament has featured former Wimbledon champions such as Pete Sampras, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg. “We are delighted to welcome AEGON as our new title sponsor,” said Peter Worth, the Senior Vice President of IMG.

  • Defending US Open champion Kim Clijsters has announced her 2010 tournament schedule. Clijsters will play at Brisbane, Australian Open, Fed Cup, Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, French Open, Eastbourne/Rosmalen, Wimbledon, Cincinnati, Montreal, US Open, Beijing and possibly the year-end championships in Doha.

  • The 2010 Davis Cup World Group opening round ties have been announced:

      • Spain vs. Switzerland

      • France vs. Germany

      • Russia vs. India

      • Sweden vs. Argentina

      • Croatia vs. Ecuador

      • Serbia vs. United States

      • Chile vs. Israel

      • Belgium vs. Czech Republic

  • Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu has signed a sponsorship deal with Lagardere.

  • Romanian Andrei Pavel officially retired from the ATP World Tour following a straight sets loss to Pablo Cuevas in his hometown tournament last week in Bucharest. Pavel, who lives in the United States, will continue to be the captain for the Romanian Davis Cup team and has plans to open a tennis academy in Arizona.

  • Argentine tennis player Sergio Roitman has announced that he will retire from the ATP World Tour at the conclusion of the Copa Petrobas Challenger tournament in Buenos Aires. Roitman reached a career high ranking of No. 62 in October 2007 and has won more than $1.2 million in tournament prize money. “It is a strange moment for me, but the time has come for me to leave professional tennis,” said Roitman.

  • A lawsuit filed against Frenchman Richard Gasquet has been dismissed in Parisian courts stating no finding whether he took cocaine or if somebody else was responsible.

  • A Serbian court has confirmed that Jelena Dokic’s father has been sentenced to 15-months in prison for threatening to kill the Australian Ambassador to Serbia.

  • The Tennis Industry Association (TIA) is set to launch the website, www.playtennis.com. The website is designed to allow people to join the sport, learn more about tennis and get on a system to become a frequent player. “PlayTennis.com will be the first step,” said TIA President Jon Muir. “We’ll get key messaging out there through this site. It’s a wonderful opportunity for all stakeholders to get behind.”

  • Nine tennis professionals earned the distinction of Master Professional by the USPTA. The nine honorees were honored during the recent USPTA World Conference on Tennis at the Marriott Resort, Golf Club and Spa in Marco Island, Fla. Only about one percent of the 15,000 USPTA members have achieved the Master Professional merit.

  • Cory Ross of Littleton, Colo., won the men’s open division $30,000 USPTA International Championships on Thursday in Marco Island, while Marina McCollom of West Des Moines, Iowa won the women’s open division title.

  • Robert Greene Jr., of Rangeley, Maine, who is the Director of Tennis at the Balsams Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch, N.H., earned the USPTA’s Alex Gordon Award for the Professional of the Year.

Henin announces return to Sony Ericsson WTA Tour: This Week in Tennis Business

Justine Henin

From seven-time Grand Slam singles champion Justine Henin announcing her return to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour to Zina Garrison settling her racial discrimination lawsuit with the USTA to the Indianapolis Tennis Center being named a USTA Certified Regional Training Center to nearly 47 million viewers tuning into to the television coverage of the six week long Olympus US Open Series to a record 721,059 fans attending the US Open this year, these stories caught the attention of tennis fans and insiders this week.

  • Former world No. 1 Justine Henin ended months of rumors when she announced her return to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour on Belgian television station RTL. “I’m truly happy and profoundly moved to be able to announce this evening that I am going to return to competition,” said Henin, who is now 27 years old. Henin wants to participate in exhibition events in Charleroi, Belgium and Dubai to prepare her game in time to play in the Australian Open in January. “Justine is one of the great champions in the history of women’s tennis, and we, along with millions of her fans around the globe, are thrilled with her announcement today,” said Stacey Allaster, CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.

  • Le Soir announced that Belgacom, a Belgian telecommunications company, will be Justine Henin’s sponsor during her comeback.

  • Former United States Fed Cup captain Zina Garrison settled her racial discrimination lawsuit with the USTA, but terms of the lawsuit were not disclosed.

  • The USTA announced that the Indianapolis Tennis Center on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), has been named a USTA Certified Regional Training Center.

  • In its sixth year of existence, the Olympus US Open Series had its most successful season. A record of nearly 47 million viewers tuned into the television coverage over the six week season. Attendance was high at all events including 226,000 fans turning out during the two week Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women’s Open in Cincinnati and more than 200,000 at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, which is an ATP World Tour record for a one week tournament. “The success of the Olympus US Open Series in its sixth year proves that the Series is as popular as ever among players, fans and television viewers,” said Jim Curley, Chief Professional Tournaments Officer of the USTA. “The Series provides a national platform to promote the sport and showcase the USTA’s efforts to grow the game at every level, as we did with the Quick Start play format in a number of series markets.”

  • This year’s US Open attendance reached an all-time high with 721,059 fans attending the two week Grand Slam tournament in New York, surpassing last year’s mark of 720,227. The US Open also set a first week record with 423,427 fans attending, including a single day record of 61,554 fans attending during the first Friday of the tournament.

  • In the US Open championship match on CBS that saw Juan Martin del Potro beat Roger Federer to capture his first Grand Slam singles title, television ratings increased by 41 percent from last year. The overall viewership throughout the tournament was 55.8 million, a 24 percent increase from the 2008 tournament.

  • USOpen.org, the official website of the US Open, had unique hits on the website from more than 200 countries and a total of 392 million page views, which was an increase from the 222 million page views in 2008.

  • Roger Federer was fined $1,500 by the US Open for an audible obscenity during the US Open final. USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said a total of $31,500 in fines was collected by the tournament.

  • Serena Williams will be featured in a Proctor & Gamble ad campaign for its Tampax brand in October magazines.

  • Patron, the national vehicle of Malaysia, has signed on to be the tournament title sponsor for the inaugural Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur. The tournament will be held from September 26 to October 4.

  • The 2009 Grand Slam for Children hosted by Andre Agassi and presented by Genworth Financial will take place on Saturday, September 26 at the Wynn in Las Vegas. Now in its 14th year, the Grand Slam for Children has already raised nearly $75 million to support a movement to improve education for children.

  • Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal reports that Novak Djokovic is in negotiations with K-Swiss for a clothing sponsorship deal. Djokovic’s clothing contract with adidas finishes at the end of this year.

  • According to the Melbourne Sun, Paul McNamee, the Chief Executive of the Australian Open from 2000 to 2006, has put his name in as a possible candidate to be the next President of Tennis Australia.

  • 2009 US Open junior singles champion Bernard Tomic of Australia has left the Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida and will now train in Australia.

  • On September 17, the Tennis Channel launched, Court Report, which is a one-minute nightly news update that will be produced four times a night on Thursday through Monday and will appear at the top of the hour from 7pm to 10pm EST. Court Report will be anchored in turns by experienced broadcast journalists, Cari Champion, Arlene Santana and Angela Sun.

  • Five-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Hingis was the first celebrity voted off of the BBC’s reality show, Strictly Come Dancing. “It was a great experience, I learned so much,” said Hingis. “I wish it would continue but here we are.”

  • According to Latvian media, Ernests Gublis has hired former pro Hernan Gumy as his new coach.

  • Former world No. 2 Tommy Haas has signed a sponsorship deal with Lagardere, which is a French conglomerate with holdings in publishing, retail, media and aerospace.

  • American teenager Melanie Oudin has signed an endorsement deal with AirTran Airways. “I am thrilled to have AirTran as a partner as I strive to reach my goals as a professional tennis player,” said Oudin.

  • Gilbert Ysern, Director of the French Open, has downplayed but did not deny rumors that the French Open might move to Disneyland Paris. “It’s really premature to discuss such a project,” Ysern told L’Equipe. “We can’t deny the possibility exists, but no negotiations have been initiated. We are still working actively on the Georges Hébert stadium project. But given the technical and political problems we face, we have to envisage the worst-case scenario – that is to say, not being able to properly complete the project and being forced to leave Roland Garros.”

  • The day after her loss to Kim Clijsters in the US Open final, Caroline Wozniacki went apartment shopping in Manhattan. “On Monday, I went with my parents and a real estate agent to look at some properties in New York where I would really like to have a home in the U.S. to come stay and train at during the year,” Wozniacki said on her blog on her official website.

Tennis great Jack Kramer dies at 88: This Week in Tennis Business

Justine Henin

From tennis legend Jack Kramer passing away at the age of 88 to a possible Justine Henin press conference this week to announce her comeback to US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro earning a winner’s paycheck of $1.6 million plus an additional $250,000 for finishing third in the Olympus US Open Series to Serena Williams being fined $10,500 for her outburst during her semifinal loss to Kim Clijsters at the US Open, these stories caught the attention of tennis fans and insiders this week.

  • Tennis legend and the first executive director of the ATP Tour, Jack Kramer passed away at the age of 88 on Saturday at his Los Angeles home. Kramer, who won Wimbledon in 1947 and the U.S. Championships in 1946 and 1947, was the top ranked player in the world for most of the late 1940’s. “Jack Kramer was truly one of the greats of the game and was instrumental in the growth and development of the sport in so many ways, both on and off the court,” said ATP Executive Chairman and President Adam Helfant. “He was like a father figure to so many in tennis and his wisdom, enthusiasm and advice will be sadly missed. On behalf of everybody at the ATP, I would like to pass on our sincere condolences to his family.”

  • According to Belgian television station RTBF, former world No. 1 Justine Henin has ordered 14 racquets and may hold a press conference as early as this week to announce her return to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.

  • By winning the US Open men’s singles title on Monday evening, Juan Martin del Potro earned a winner’s paycheck of $1.6 million plus an additional $250,000 for finishing third in the Olympus US Open Series. Women’s champion Kim Clijsters earned a winner’s paycheck of $1.6 million. Men’s doubles champions Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy and women’s doubles champions Venus and Serena Williams each split a winner’s paycheck of $420,000. Mixed doubles champions Travis Parrott and Carly Gullickson spilt the winner’s paycheck of $150,000.

  • Serena Williams was fined the maximum $10,000 by the US Open for unsportsmanlike conduct following her tirade during her semifinal loss to Kim Clijsters. Williams was also fined $500 for racquet abuse during her loss. The Grand Slam Committee is currently looking into the incident and could force more fines and a suspension.

  • Writing on her official website, Serena Williams says, “I want to amend my press statement of yesterday, and want to make it clear as possible – I want to sincerely apologize FIRST to the lines woman, Kim Clijsters, the USTA, and tennis fans everywhere for my inappropriate outburst.” “I’m a woman of great pride, faith and integrity, and I admit when I’m wrong.  I need to make it clear to all young people that I handled myself inappropriately and it’s not the way to act — win or lose, good call or bad call in any sport, in any manner. I like to lead by example.  We all learn from experiences both good and bad, I will learn and grow from this, and be a better person as a result.”

  • US Open officials announced that they are ready to start developing plans to build a roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium but the final decision on when and if they actually will build a roof is a little bit away. The estimated cost to build a roof would be around $100 million. “We are substantially farther along the road of consideration than we were six months ago,” said Gordon Smith, Executive Director of the USTA. “It will be some time before there’s any decision made on whether or not to go forward with the roof.”

  • According to a study by Barclays and Professor Tom Cannon of the University of Liverpool, the British economy has increased by $405 million (UK) because of Andy Murray’s recent rise to No. 2 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings. With Murray’s popularity rising at a fast pace, people are spending lots of money on everything from equipment to advertising to sponsorship. Cannon also mentioned in his study that the $1 billion (UK) spending gap between tennis and golf will soon close.

  • A LeRoy Neiman watercolor painting of Serena and Venus Williams, that was expected to be sold around $60,000, received no bids during a recent US Open auction in New York. The proceeds of some of the other items benefited USTA Serves, which funds community tennis programs and college scholarships.

  • Melanie Oudin’s magical run to the quarterfinals at the US Open was a ratings winner for ESPN2. About 2,324,000 viewers tuned in during Oudin’s loss to Caroline Wozniacki. The night before during the Venus Williams vs. Flavia Pennetta match and Rafael Nadal vs. Gael Monfils match, 2,128,000 viewers tuned in to watch.

  • BackOffice Associates, LLC, has announced that Melanie Oudin has signed a multi-year promotional partnership. BackOffice Associates, LLC, is the world leader in SAP data quality.

  • The organizers of the Shanghai ATP Masters 1000 presented by Rolex are giving fans the opportunity to vote on which trophy they would like to see presented to the tournament champion. Malaysian manufacturer, Royal Selangor, has created three trophies that fans can vote for on the official tournament website. Each person who votes for the trophy will be signed up for a chance to win a trip to Malaysia to see the trophy being made.

  • At the recent Legends Ball held at the Cipriani on 42nd Street in New York City, the following awards were given:

      • Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon received the Joseph F. Cullman III award.

      • Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe accepted the Eugene L. Scott award for her husband, the late Arthur Ashe.

      • Martina Navratilova earned the Danzig award.

      • Fred Stolle received the Johnston award.

  • More than $130,000 was raised during a silent auction at the Legends Ball. $18,000 was raised for a hitting session with Monica Seles, $6,000 for a hitting session with Jim Courier and $15,000 for a men’s and women’s finals travel package to Wimbledon.

  • Roger Rasheed, coach of Gael Monfils, and Vlado Platenik, coach of Dominika Cibulkova, are spearheading a new organization called, Tour Level Tennis Coaches Association, to support coaches and trainers by offering them benefits, forms of insurance, financial services, job training and mentoring.

  • On September 11, CNN’s Tony Harris and Natalie Morales of The Today Show on NBC hosted a Breaking the Barriers reception to honor the National Junior Tennis League on the 40th anniversary of its founding by Arthur Ashe.

  • Rafael Nadal will not play Davis Cup this weekend for Spain’s semifinal tie against Israel due to an abdominal injury. Juan Carlos Ferrero will take Nadal’s spot on the roster.

  • Roger Federer is scheduled to compete for Switzerland this weekend during their World Group Playoff match against Italy.

  • Andy Murray announced that he is fit to participate this weekend in Great Britain’s Davis Cup Zonal tie against Poland.

  • ATP World Tour CEO Adam Helfant said the tour is looking into an All-Star event for the players that will happen right before the Indian Wells Masters 1000 event. “We’ve talked to our players about it and our players are excited about it and committed to it,” said Helfant.

  • According to the Melbourne Herald Sun, former Australian tennis star Mark Philippoussis has sold his family house in Australia to pay off an outstanding mortgage. Philippoussis is still being sought out by American tax authorities for $500,000.

D Arthur Ashe to be inducted to the US Open Court of Champions: This Week in Tennis Business

Arthur Ashe

From the USTA announcing that Arthur Ashe will be inducted into the US Open Court of Champions to Midland, Mich., being named the “Best Tennis Town” in America to WTA CEO and Chairman Stacey Allaster issuing an apology to world No. 1 Dinara Safina for the late notice on moving her match at the US Open, these stories caught the attention of tennis fans and insiders this week.

  • The USTA announced on Monday that Arthur Ashe, the first African American men’s singles champion at the US Open and the famed ambassador to tennis, will be inducted on Thursday into the 2009 US Open Court of Champions at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York. Former President Bill Clinton will participate in a ceremony to commemorate the tennis legend. “Arthur Ashe is one of the greatest champions to ever compete at the US Open and we are proud to honor his remarkable legacy,” said Lucy Garvin, Chairman of the Board and President of the USTA. “Arthur was a great humanitarian and his legacy and his performance helped the tournament become one of the world’s premier sporting events.”

  • The USTA has named the city of Midland, Mich., the “Best Tennis Town” in America after nationwide voting. Midland earned a $100,000 grant to be used towards community-wide tennis programming and/or facility enhancements. Second place Ojai, Calif., earned $50,000, while Independence, Kan., earned $25,000 for finishing in third place.

  • On Monday, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour CEO and Chairman Stacey Allaster said the USTA has issued an apology to world No. 1 Dinara Safina for the late notice on moving her third round match against Petra Kvitova from Arthur Ashe Stadium to Louis Armstrong Stadium due to the day session being extended because of the Andy Roddick vs. John Isner five-set match. “It was really the process,” Allaster said. “[The USTA] should have notified Dinara, our players, much earlier in the process of what was going to happen. They’ve apologized for that.”

  • Also on Monday, Allaster announced that the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour tournament in Dubai will be canceled in 2010 if the country doesn’t grant a visa to Israeli Shahar Peer, who was not allowed to participate in the tournament this year because her visa was denied because she is from Israel.

  • Lastly, Allaster said Sony Ericsson WTA Tour lost only one of its 51 title sponsors in 2009. The Tour also cut back on its player withdrawals by 36 percent this year, which was a major past problem.

  • The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announced last week that the Premier-level Los Angeles Open in Carson, Calif., will be moved in 2010 to the La Costa Resort & Spa and will be renamed the San Diego Open. The Malaysia Classic in Kuala Lumpur and e-Boks Danish Open in Copenhagen will also be added to next year’s tournament schedule.

  • Lleyton Hewitt has hired former Australian doubles specialist Nathan Healey as his full-time coach. Hewitt’s previous coach, Tony Roche, left his coaching duties to take a position at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in Paris.

  • The 29th Annual Legends Ball will take place on September 11 at the Cipriani in New York City. Racquets signed by Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova , a hitting session with Jim Courier and VIP ticket packages to three of the Grand Slam tournaments will be some of the items auctioned off to benefit the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

  • World Team Tennis has named Bill Mountford as Senior Vice President. Mountford, who started at WTT in November 2008, will oversee staff in marketing, communications, pro league and recreational league and will be based in New York City. Before joining WTT, Mountford held positions at the Lawn Tennis Association in Great Britain and the USTA as the Director of Tennis at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

  • Last Saturday evening at the US Open, the USTA paid tribute to tennis legend Pancho Gonzalez during a ceremony to celebrate the 60 year anniversary of his second consecutive victory at the U.S Championships. “The USTA is proud to celebrate the life and legacy of such a great champion as Pancho Gonzalez,” said Lucy Garvin, the USTA President and Chairman of the Board. “Pancho was a true pioneer in the sport of tennis and this tribute will shed light on the importance of Pancho Gonzalez to the game and its history.”

  • The USTA announced that they have extended its contract with DecoTurf through December 2014. DecoTurf has been the official surface of the US Open for the last 31 years. “We are thrilled to extend our contract with DecoTurf for six years,” said Jim Curley, Chief Professional Tournaments Officer of the USTA. “The US Open and DecoTurf are a natural partnership, providing the most recognized tennis court surface at one of the world’s most prestigious tennis tournaments.”

  • Alan Schwartz, former USTA President and CEO, was inducted into the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame. Schwartz is the creator of the National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP).

  • 17-year-old rising American player Jordan Cox, who will soon turn pro, has agreed to a three-year international contract with Babolat to use its racquet and strings. The contract is set to begin in January 2010.

  • Many of the top tennis professionals were seen wearing Oakley sunglasses during their matches at the 2009 US Open. Croatian Ivo Karlovic and Serbian Janko Tipseravic were among the men wearing Oakley sunglasses throughout the US Open, while world No. 15 Samantha Stosur, Elena Baltacha, Rossana de Los Rios, Anastasia Rodionova and Yaroslava Shvedova were the women spotted wearing Oakley’s.

  • World No. 36 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has dropped Patrick Mouratoglou as her coach.

  • Austrian player Tamira Paszek will not be punished by accidently breaking an anti-doping rule when receiving back treatment during a tournament earlier this year. The Austrian anti-doping agency said she is free to compete on the Sony Ericsson Tour once she is fit enough to play since she was not to blame because of the incident.

  • Italian Simone Bolelli, who was suspended 10-months by the Italian Tennis Federation for skipping a tie against Latvia, will return to play for the Italy Davis Cup team in the World Group playoff against Switzerland on September 18-20.

Serena Williams memoir released in bookstores: This Week in Tennis Business

From Serena Williams’ memoir hitting bookshelves to a record number of fans on opening day at the US Open to Andre Agassi being honored during the opening night ceremonies to Elena Dementieva and Sam Querrey winning the 2009 Olympus US Open Series, these stories caught the attention of tennis fans and insiders this week.

  • Serena Williams’ memoir, On The Line, was released in bookstores on Tuesday.

  • A record 59,848 fans showed open for the opening day of the 2009 US Open.

  • During the opening night ceremonies on Monday at the US Open, Andre Agassi, former USA soccer legend Mia Hamm, quarterback Doug Flutie and former basketball great David Robinson were honored as athletes who have given back to the community. Agassi closed out the ceremony by giving a moving speech about the impact his foundation has had on the students of the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas.

  • Elena Dementieva and Sam Querrey win the 2009 Olympus US Open Series and will now compete for a $1 million bonus if they were to win the US Open title.

  • Bloomberg reports that the US Open will attract 700,000 fans throughout the two-week tournament, but will not match last year’s 720,227 ticket sales due to the recession. “Compared to 2008, no doubt, it’s going to be a challenging year, but we are feeling very good about where we are right now on virtually all revenue fronts,” said J. Pierce O’Neil, chief business officer at the US Tennis Association. “Will we surpass last year? I doubt it. But we’ll come very close.”

  • The USTA announced that Venus Williams has designed an official 2009 US Open t-shirt that will be made on 100% organic cotton and sold throughout the grounds of the tournament. The t-shirt will be designed as part of Williams’ EleVen clothing line.

  • Rap mogul Jay-Z has designed an Arthur Ashe t-shirt that will be sold during the US Open. Proceeds will benefit the National Junior Tennis League and the Arthur Ashe Endowment for the defeat of AIDS.

  • Americans Sam Querrey and Melanie Oudin will wear customized miadidas.com Barricade V tennis shoes throughout the US Open. Each player personally designed their own shoes based on their personality, color preference and style both on and off the court.

  • HEAD and Andy Murray are launching the Radical Messenger application on Facebook. The application will allow tennis fans to deliver digital messages to one another through a flash-based video messaging application. Murray will be the messenger by smashing his best shots through virtual tennis balls that contain written messages.

  • Five-time grand slam singles champion Martina Hingis has agreed to participate in the BBC reality television show “Strictly Come Dancing.” The show begins on September 18.

  • Roger Federer became the first tennis player to earn $50 million in tournament prize money after defeating American wild card Devin Britton in the first round of the US Open.

  • The Tennis Channel announced that their coverage of the US Open will not be available to Cablevision subscribers due to an ongoing dispute between both carriers.

  • Daniela Hantuchova has switched clothing sponsors from Nike to adidas. The Slovakian has also agreed to take part in the adidas player development program and work with coaches Darren Cahill and Sven Groeneveld.

  • Thailand tennis player Paradorn Srichaphan recently launched, Majic Iris, which is a natural alternative to Viagra. Majic Iris, which is only available in Thailand, is a supplement that contains ginseng, oysters and black galangal.

  • After an unanimous vote at a recent French Tennis Federation board meeting, technical director Patrice Dominguez has been relieved of his duties.

  • Former World No. 8 and tennis broadcaster John Alexander of Australia has announced he will seek election for a Liberal Party seat in the Australian parliament.

  • Former World No. 45 Jamea Jackson has decided to retire from professional tennis following her third hip surgery and will pursue her studies at Oklahoma State University, where she will also act as the assistant tennis coach.

US Open draw to be released on ESPNews on Thursday: This Week in Tennis Business

Serena Williams and sister Venus bought a stake in the NFL Miami Dolphins

From the US Open draw being released on ESPNews on Thursday to Stonyfield Farm signing a one-year sponsorship deal with the US Open to more than 300 hours worth of US Open action to be streamed for free on USOpen.org, these stories caught the attention of tennis fans and insiders this week.

  • The US Open draw will be released to the public during a live draw show telecast on ESPNews at Noon on Thursday, August 27. The draw reveal show will be hosted by ESPN anchor Chris McKendry, while Patrick McEnroe and Mary Joe Fernandez will analyze the draw.
  • The USTA announced on Monday that Stonyfield Farm, the world’s largest organic yogurt maker, has agreed to a one-year sponsorship deal with the US Open. Stonyfield will have signage throughout Arthur Ashe Stadium to promote the Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt brand and will offer yogurt samples to the fans throughout the tournament.
  • More than 300 hours worth of US Open action will be streamed for free on the official website, USOpen.org. Throughout the coverage, more than 150 matches will be shown.
  • The USTA announced the first year launch of the US Open Bracket Challenge, which allows fans to fill out the brackets online to compete for prizes, including a trip to the 2010 US Open. Fans have until Monday, August 30 at 11 a.m. EST to fill out their free brackets.
  • The USTA also announced that a special opening night ceremony will take place at the US Open and will honor athletes who “give back” to the community. The ceremony will honor Andre Agassi, former USA soccer legend Mia Hamm, quarterback Doug Flutie and former basketball star David Robinson. The ceremony, which will be televised live on ESPN2, will also include an appearance by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
  • On August 26 in Bryant Park in New York City, the DIRECTV ESPN US Open Experience will take place, which will include free tennis clinics and a tennis exhibition involving Venus and Serena Williams, Bob and Mike Bryan and former doubles players Luke and Murphy Jensen.
  • US Open women’s main draw wild cards were awarded to:
    • Kim Clijsters
    • Vania King
    • Alexa Glatch
    • Gail Brodsky
    • Mallory Cecil
    • Christina McHale
    • Kristina Mladenovic (French reciprocal wildcard)
    • Olivia Rogowska (Australia reciprocal wildcard)
  • US Open men’s main draw wild cards were awarded to:
    • Taylor Dent
    • Brendan Evans
    • Rajeev Ram
    • Devin Britton
    • Jesse Levine
    • Chase Buchanan
    • Michael Llodra (French reciprocal wildcard)
    • Chris Guccione (Australia reciprocal wildcard)
  • Tennis Hall of Famer Pancho Segura will be on the grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 4 to sign copies of his biography, Little Pancho: the Life of Tennis Legend Pancho Segura.
  • RadioTennis.com will be live on the internet during the US Open Qualifying Tournament, which began on Tuesday, August 25. Coverage starts each day at 11 a.m. and is free of charge.
  • The Grand Slam of Asheville, which will take place on Friday, August 28, will no longer feature Andre Agassi and Marat Safin. Brian Wood, the promoter for the event, originally set the ticket prices in the $49-$2,000 range and since only 1,100 tickets were sold, he was forced to drop the former world No. 1 players due to financial reasons. American Rajeev Ram and Spaniard Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo will now be featured during the upcoming exhibition.
  • Venus and Serena Williams are buying a stake in the NFL Miami Dolphins.
  • Tennis Canada is considering two mini-combined tennis events that will feature half the players in Toronto and half in Montreal with the winners of each bracket facing off on a Sunday final to determine the tournament champion.
  • 16-year-old rising tennis star Michelle Larcher de Brito will now train at the Mouratoglou Academy in France. The former Top 100 player used to train at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida.
  • IMG has signed rising Bulgarian tennis player Viktoriya Tomova to a marketing and representation deal.

Federer Rolls Past Djokovic To Capture Third Cincinnati Title

Roger Federer  wins Cincy!

No. 1 seed Roger Federer of Switzerland capped off an impressive week by defeating No. 4 seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia, 6-1, 7-5, in two hours and six minutes on Sunday afternoon to capture his third Western & Southern Financial Group Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati.

The 28-year-old Swiss, who owns a record 15 Grand Slam singles titles, came out firing, jumping ahead 5-0, before closing out the 33-minute opening set, 6-1.

“He was just too good in the first set,” said Djokovic, who fell to 4-8 lifetime against the Swiss. “I didn’t start very energetic, and my body language wasn’t (what) it was last night (against Rafael Nadal).”

In the second set, Djokovic secured an early break in the second game and got ahead 3-0, but Federer quickly broke back to get back on serve at 3-2, before leveling the match at 3-3. Federer, who earned his 61st ATP World Tour title in 83 final appearances, had a break point opportunity at 3-all, but was unable to capitalize on the moment.

At 4-5, 30-40 down, Federer faced a set point but was able to come up with impressive shots to fight off the set point that Djokovic held.

During a very critical stage of the second set, Djokovic failed at a drop shot attempt at 5-5, deuce. Federer, who has now won 16 career ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, capitalized on the opportunity by winning the next point to break Djokovic’s serve.

Federer served out the match to win the title at ease and showed his excitement by raising his arms in happiness.

The Swiss, whose wife recently gave birth to twin daughters, insisted his first title as a new dad was very special.

“I think the special part (is) winning for the first time as a dad,” said Federer, who improved to 47-7 on the season. “It’s a great thing. Gets me going emotionally a little bit, because I know it’s been a wonderful summer.”

For the third straight match, Federer was remarkable on his serve, smashing seven aces and no double faults, while winning 85 percent of first serve points. Djokovic, who is now 4-6 in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals, hit three aces, one double fault and only managed to win 60 percent of first serve points. Federer broke Djokovic’s serve on four of 15 opportunities, while the Serb only broke once throughout the match.

Djokovic, who rolled past No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal on Saturday evening to reach Sunday’s final, earned a runner-up check worth $222,000, as well as 600 South African Airways ATP rankings points.

“It’s been a great week for me and I got a lot of matches in before the US Open,” said Djokovic, who has now lost in the finals for two straight years in Cincinnati.

The Swiss, who improved to 12-6 against Top 10 players in 2009, earned a winner’s check worth $443,500 and 1000 ranking points.

Having lost just one match since losing in the Masters 1000 in Madrid in May, Federer is the favorite for the US Open in New York that beings on August 31.

Murray Survives Scare To Advance In Cincinnati; Federer, Nadal Advance

Andy Murray

Defending champion and No. 3 seed Andy Murray of Scotland rallied from a set and break down in the second set to edge past lucky loser Julien Benneteau of France, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, in two hours and 11 minutes on Friday afternoon to advance to the semifinals at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters 1000 in Cincinnati.

The 22-year-old Scot, who is the new No. 2 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings after winning the title last week in Montreal, struggled to find his form after breaking to take a 3-2 lead. Following the service break, the 27-year-old Frenchman immediately broke Murray’s serve to level the match at 3-3 before winning three of the next four games to take the opening set, 6-4.

“I knew I had to be aggressive,” said Benneteau, who got in the main draw when Juan Martin del Potro withdrew after the draw was made.

Benneteau, who is currently ranked No. 55, secured an early break in the second set to go ahead 2-0 and looked to have a big edge on Murray, who looked out of sorts on all his shots.

The turning point occurred in the next game when Murray won a thrilling 53-shot rally and quickly broke back to get back on serve. The Scot, who has now won a record 53 matches this season, insisted the 53-shot rally changed the rest of the match.
“Oh, it made a big different,” said Murray, who has won five titles this year in Doha, Rotterdam, Miami, Queen’s Club and Montreal. “I think he was very tired after that rally. I managed to stay strong after that.”
The momentum shifted immediately and it was all Murray from that point on, dropping just two more games en route to victory.
“You know, he’s been around a long time and he’s very experienced and obviously made it very difficult today,” said Murray, who has reached five of the last nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals dating back to his victory in Cincinnati last August.

Murray, who earned his 72nd career win in a Masters 1000 event, smashed seven aces, won 70 percent of first serve points and broke Benneteau’s serve on six of 13 opportunities. Benneteau hit four aces, three double faults, won 59 percent of first serve points and was able to break Murray’s serve three times.

Murray’s semifinal opponent on Saturday afternoon will be world No. 1 Roger Federer, who eased past former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt of Australia, 6-3, 6-4, in 70 minutes.

Federer, who earned his 200th career win at a Masters 1000 event, was in complete control from start to finish, breaking serve once in each set to win convincingly. Federer’s serve was superb, winning 24 of 27 first serve points, smashing 11 aces, while not facing a break point the entire match.

The 15-time Grand Slam singles champion insisted holding serve against Hewitt is an important thing to accomplish during a match with the fiery Aussie.

“I think that definitely helps against Lleyton, who once he gets his teeth into your serve it can get quite tricky,” said Federer, who improved to 9-1 in quarterfinal matches this season.

Hewitt, who reached the finals in Cincinnati in 2002 and 2004, only managed to hit two aces and win 69 percent of his first serve points.

Federer improved to 15-7 against Hewitt, winning the last 13 meetings.

“He’s beaten me so many times in the past that I didn’t expect myself to all of a sudden go on such a great run against him,” said Federer, whose loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last week in Montreal was his first loss since losing at the Masters 1000 in Madrid in May.

In the late match, No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal of Spain continued his impressive return from a knee tendinitis injury, dispatching Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic, 6-4, 7-5, in one hour and 41 minutes.

Nadal, who has won six Grand Slam singles titles including four French Open titles, was impressive on serve throughout, hitting two aces and winning 35 of 41 first serve points. The 23-year-old Spaniard was also able to break serve twice on six opportunities.

The former world No. 1 will face No. 4 seed Novak Djokovic in the night match on Saturday. Djokovic won his quarterfinal match by defeating Frenchman Gilles Simon, 6-4, 7-5, to advance to his second straight semifinal in Cincinnati.

Federer Rallies To Defeat Ferrer In Cincinnati; Murray, Nadal Advance

Roger Federer rallies to defeat Ferrer in Cincinnati

World No. 1 Roger Federer rallied from a break down in the final set to edge past unseeded Spaniard David Ferrer, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, in extremely windy conditions Thursday afternoon to advance to the quarterfinals at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters 1000 in Cincinnati.

Federer, who is one victory away from winning his 200 win at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, quickly broke the Spaniard in the opening game of the match but was then broken back in the fourth game. Ferrer followed it up by breaking Federer’s serve in the eighth game, before holding serve to win the opening set.

Federer, who lost to Ivo Karlovic last year in the third round in Cincinnati, remained steady despite being down a set and was able to secure a break at 4-3, before holding serve to take the match to a deciding set.

“I think at the beginning maybe my footwork was just a touch off,” said Federer, who reclaimed the No. 1 ranking in July after winning Wimbledon for a sixth time. “After that I think I got it together and started to play better and better.”

In the final set, the 27-year-old Spaniard jumped ahead 3-1 but could not consolidate the break. Ferrer, who had beaten Stanislas Wawrinka and No. 14 seed Marin Cilic earlier in his first two matches, then smashed his racquet in frustration after not being able to take a 4-1 lead.

Federer, who has won a record 15 Grand Slam singles titles, picked up his game tremendously after leveling the match at 3-3. The momentum shifted towards Federer as the Swiss broke Ferrer in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. Federer then served out the match at ease to advance to his tenth quarterfinal of the season.

“I thought he played a good match,” said Federer, who has won three titles this season.

Federer, who improved to 9-0 against Ferrer, smashed six aces and just two double faults compared to three aces and two double faults by the Spaniard. Federer won 75 percent of first serve points and was able to break serve on four of nine opportunities. Ferrer, who reached the finals earlier this year in Barcelona and Dubai, won 69 percent of first serve points and broke serve on three occasions.

Federer will next face unseeded Australian Lleyton Hewitt, who edged past American Sam Querrey, 6-1, 2-6, 6-3, in one hour and 26 minutes in the final match of the day session on Stadium court.

Also on Stadium Court at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, No. 3 seed Andy Murray of Scotland, who overtook the No. 2 ranking earlier this week from Rafael Nadal, rolled past No. 16 seed Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-1, in one hour and 16 minutes.

The 22-year-old Scot, who is the defending champion in Cincinnati, broke Stepanek’s serve in the second game of the opening set, but was broken on his own serve when he tried serving out the set at 5-3 up. Despite the hiccup near the end of the set, Murray quickly broke back to take the opening set, 6-4.

“I started the match very well, serving well and not giving him any chances,” said Murray, who won the Masters 1000 Montreal tournament last week. “The wind picked up at the end of the first set and he managed to break me. But I played a good game to break back.”

In the second set, Murray had little trouble keeping the momentum on his side, as he broke Stepanek in his first two service games of the set before winning the match on his serve to advance.

Murray, who improved to 3-0 against the 30-year-old Czech Republic native smashed eight aces and won 29 of 38 first serve points. Stepanek, who has won titles earlier this year in Brisbane and San Jose, didn’t have his best serving outing, hitting three aces, three double faults and winning just 51 percent of first serve points.

The Scot, who has won five ATP World Tour titles this year, will next face lucky loser Julien Benneteau, who edge past Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(4), in a three hour and three-minute thriller on the Grandstand court.

In the late match, No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal recovered from a 0-3 deficit to roll past Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, 7-5, 6-2, in one hour and 55 minutes.

The Spaniard was able to break serve on four of 12 opportunities, while smashing five aces and winning 32 of 41 first serve points. Mathieu was only able to break Nadal’s serve once, which occurred in the early stages of the opening set. The Frenchman hit three aces, three double faults and won 33 of 49 first serve points.

Nadal, who improved to 9-0 lifetime against Mathieu, will take on Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych on Friday night for a place in the semifinals. Nadal leads the head-to-head 4-3, winning most recently in 2008 in the semifinals in Miami.

Other Winners on Thursday in Cincinnati
Third Round
No. 4 Novak Djokovic def. Jeremy Chardy, 7-5, 6-3
No. 9 Gilles Simon def. No. 8 Nikolay Davydenko, 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4
Tomas Berdych def. Chris Guccione, 6-4, 6-3

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