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Wide Open Field At WTA Tour Year-End Championships Will Determine “Player of the Year”

When considering who should be labeled the “Player of the Year” for 2017 on the WTA Tour, there’s not an easy answer.

Serena Williams won the Australian Open to start the year, but missed most of the rest of the year as she gave birth to her first child.

Jelena Ostapenko was the unexpected winner at the French Open.

Garbine Muguruza won her second career major title at Wimbledon.

Slone Stephens emerged from the four American semifinalists to win the U.S. Open.

Venus Williams reached two major finals at the Australian and Wimbledon and was the most consistent player on the Grand Slam stage.

Simona Halep was one of four players to rank No. 1 in the world during the year, joining Karolina Pliskova, Angelique Kerber and Muguruza.

All of this schizophrenic form from the top players make the year-end WTA Tour Finals in Singapore much more intriguing as the year-end top ranking is on the line and the “Player of the Year” will be determined.

While Pliskova, Muguruza and Halep have all secured the No. 1 ranking in the last three months, seven of the eight players playing in Singapore have a mathematical chance to finish the year as the world No. 1.

Halep enters Singapore as the world No. 1 and after finally breaking through and achieving the top ranking – after three high-profile match losses that would have given her the historic rank. Now that she has achieved this important career milestone, the pressure will be “off” Halep in Singapore and she could free-wheel and play pressure free, which will benefit her greatly.

Pliskova backed into the No. 1 ranking when she lost in the second round at Wimbledon, benefitting from Halep and her nerves getting the best of her in the quarterfinals against Jo Konta, when a win would have given her the top ranking. Pliskova loves the controlled indoor conditions with her big serve and has motivation to garner a signature tournament on her 2017 season.

As great of a champion as Muguruza is, she has only been a champion at five WTA events, which is quite astonishing. She has won two titles this year at Wimbledon and Cincinnati – her first multi-win season – so she is becoming more comfortable with “winning” and becoming a consistent star on tour.

Other than Muguruza, the only other multiple major winner in Singapore is Venus Williams, who loves the indoor conditions. Venus always seems to rise to the occasion in big matches and, even at age 37, may be poised to rise again at this year-end event.

Elina Svitolina has had a breakthrough season, establishing herself as Top 5 talent and is destined to win majors and could take another step forward in her career with the title in Singapore.

Caroline Garcia was the last player to qualify for the year-end championships, but is also on the rise after defeating Halep in the final of the China Open in Beijing. Andy Murray once tweeted that Garcia would become No. 1 in the world when she first played at Roland Garros. Years later, she is starting to live up to that promise.

Wozniacki reached seven tournament finals in 2017, losing her first six before winning in Tokyo this Fall. Ostapenko has also won in the Asian Fall swing in Seoul, South Korea, her first title since her break-through win at Roland Garros. Both baseliners are in form and could also provide for a surprise in the wide-open field that has WTA finals betting odds in a constant state of flux

USA Completes Historic Week By Winning Seven Titles At ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships

American teams had a historic week at the USTA National Campus at Lake Nona in Orlando, Fla. as teams won seven of the nine titles at the 37th International Tennis Federation (ITF) Super-Seniors World Team Championships.  The women’s team swept the four women’s divisions and the men won three of five divisions, including the inaugural men’s 85-and-over division.

 

The tournament is the senior tennis equivalent of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup competitions, with top American tennis players representing their country in the 65-, 70-, 75-, 80- and 85- and-over age groups. This is the first time that the event will feature the men’s 85-and-over division.  The ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships is the most prestigious team event on the ITF Seniors circuit.

 

The U.S. brought home the titles in the Kitty Godfree Cup (Women’s 65 & over), Althea Gibson Cup (Women’s 70 & over), Queens’ Cup (Women’s 75 & over) and Doris Hart Cup (Women’s 80 & over), Britannia Cup (Men’s 65 & over), Gardnar Mulloy Cup (Men’s 80 & over) and Men’s 85 Cup. This was the eighth consecutive year that the U.S. team triumphed in the Queens’ Cup, the third consecutive year for the Doris Hart Cup and marked the sixth Gardnar Mulloy Cup victory in the last seven years.

 

Following the ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships, the World Individual Championships will be held Oct. 14-21, also at the USTA National Campus.

 

Below is a list of players representing the United States in each competition and results:

 

Britannia Cup – Men’s 65 & over – Result: CHAMPION (USA def. Austria 2-1)

1. Larry Turville, Dunnellon, Fla., Captain

2. Paul Wulf, Salem, Ore.
3. David Sivertson, Addison, Texas
4. Leonard Wofford, Portland, Ore.

 

Jack Crawford Cup – Men’s 70 & over – Result: Fifth place (draw with Canada)

1. Michael Beautyman, Flourtown, Pa.

2. Leslie Buck, Asheville, N.C.
3. Jimmy Parker, Santa Fe, N.M., Captain
4. Dean Corley, Aliso Viejo, Calif.

 

Bitsy Grant Cup – Men’s 75 & over – Result: Fifth place (USA def. Germany 2-1)

1. Fred Drilling, Estero, Fla.   

2. Joseph Bachmann, Sarasota, Fla., Captain

3. Rudy Hernando, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

4. Ivo Barbic, Atlanta

 

Gardnar Mulloy Cup – Men’s 80 & over – Result: CHAMPION (USA def. Austria 2-1)

1. Lester Sack, New Orleans, Captain

2. King van Nostrand, Vero Beach, Fla.
3. Gordon Hammes, Naples, Fla.

4. Jerald Hayes, Westfield, Ind.

Men’s 85 Team Cup – Men’s 85 & over – Result: CHAMPION (USA def. Canada 2-1)

1. John D. Powless, Madison, Wisc., Captain

2. George J. McCabe, Oxford, Ohio

3.  Joseph Russell, Chagrin Falls, Ohio

4. Clement Hopp, Sarasota, Fla.

 

Kitty Godfree Cup – Women’s 65 & over – Result: CHAMPION (USA def. Austria 2-1)

1. Tina Karwasky, Glendale, Calif. 

2.  Wendy McClosky, Durham, N.C.

3.  Molly Hahn, Belmont, Mass., Captain

4.  Victoria McEvoy, Cambridge, Mass.

 

Althea Gibson Cup – Women’s 70 & over – Result: CHAMPION (USA def. Netherlands 2-1)

1.  Brenda Carter, Charleston, S.C., Captain
2. Carol Clay, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
3.  Leslie Pixley, Malvern, Pa.
4.  Susan Kimball, Oak Bluffs, Mass.

 

Queens’ Cup – Women’s 75 & over – Result: CHAMPION (USA def. Great Britain 2-1)

1. Charleen Hillebrand, Harbor City, Calif.
2. Cathie Anderson, Del Mar, Calif.
3. Suella Steel, La Jolla, Calif., Captain
4. Susanne Clark, New City, N.Y.

 

Doris Hart Cup – Women’s 80 & over – Result: CHAMPION (USA def. Canada 2-1)

1. Roz King, San Diego, Calif.
2. Doris DeVries, Reno, Nev.
3. Carol Wood, Rockville, Md., Captain
4. Burnette Herrick, Tarboro, N.C.

 

Tennis fans and players can read more about senior tennis in the new book “Sport of a Lifetime – Enduring Personal Stories From Tennis” written by long-time tennis enthusiast Judy Aydelott.

Featuring enriching and motivational stories about those who love and participate in tennis over the age of 35, “Sport of a Lifetime” is a volume of senior tennis through the stories and experiences of players from across the tennis spectrum – from late bloomers to seasoned champions. The book features 28 chapters of personal stories, including those of high profile players and personalities such as three-time Wimbledon champion John Newcombe, current U.S. Tennis Association and former WTA Tour player Katrina Adams and former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, as well as little-known but inspiring players such as Tony Franco, who has won 44 USTA national championships since age 75, and Betty Eisenstein, who won tournament titles into her 90s.

The book also features one of the last interviews ever given by International Tennis Hall of Famer and celebrated senior tennis champion Gardnar Mulloy before his death in 2016 as well as the riveting story of how Fred Kovaleski balanced playing international tennis while being a spy for the Central Intelligence Agency.

“Sport of a Lifetime” is available for sale and download wherever books are sold, including here on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1937559645/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_s7AizbEES0ZD3

Aydelott, a resident of Katonah, N.Y., is a graduate of Abbot Academy in Andover Mass., from Smith College and from Pace University School of Law. She became a trial attorney in the field of medical malpractice, a legal analyst for Court TV, a candidate for U.S. Congress in 2006 and a director of a NYS chartered commercial bank. A tennis late-comer starting in her twenties, Aydelott is married to former Dartmouth tennis standout Gordon Aydelott and also documents their personal story of her and her husband’s life and passion for tennis in the book.

Said 2017 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee and author of “The Greatest Tennis Matches of All Time” Steve Flink, “Here is a book that must be read by everyone who celebrates the best of all lifetime sports. Judy Aydelott has reached out to both renowned players and those who are less well known, and the common thread that runs across the pages is the enduring passion they all have for tennis. Yet Aydelott’s superb and poignant book transcends tennis; it is equally about the larger game of life.”

“Absolute Tennis: The Best And Next Way To Play The Game” Book Now For Sale

New Chapter Press announced the release of the new innovative tennis instructional book “Absolute Tennis: The Best and Next Way To Play The Game” by Marty Smith.

“Absolute Tennis” is a thorough and comprehensive guide to tennis instruction and in improving one’s tennis game compiled in an insightful and visually engaging book by Smith, the long-time Director of Tennis at the New York Athletic Club. The book is highlighted by Smith’s three unconventional strokes that may become accepted techniques as the game continues to evolve and become faster. The book also includes Smith’s meticulous explanations of every stroke in the game as well as over 500 narrated photographs and 75 drills and exercise explanations that simulate match-play situations, hone stroke technique and boost fitness. Recognizing that tennis is a highly athletic, tactical, and mental game, Smith also dedicates a large part of the book to the body, singles and doubles strategy and the mind. Readers will learn how to improve footwork and movement, integrate winning game plans, and use their inner voice to play with more confidence and success.

“Absolute Tennis” is available for sale and download wherever books are sold, including here on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1937559742/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_XhyUzbSQF7YA7  More information on the book can be found at www.AbsoluteTennis.net

Smith has been the Director of Tennis for more than 20 years at the famed New York Athletic Club, the No. 1-rated athletic club in the United States. A native of Australia, he was a top five-ranked Australian junior players and was the two-time Southern Conference singles and doubles champion at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He graduated from UTC with a double degree in Economics and Finance and also received his MBA at St. Thomas University in Miami. He is a resident of Pelham, NY.

Said former U.S. and Roland Garros singles champion and International Tennis Hall of Famer Fred Stolle, “With detailed explanations of the strokes illustrated by photos of the greats, and in-depth discussion of tactics, psychology and fitness, Absolute Tennis helps players achieve their best game. Marty Smith is an outstanding teacher and his advice will work for you as it has for his many students over his decades of coaching.”

Said Gerold Marzorati, former editor of The New York Times Magazine and author of Late to the Ball, “Marty Smith is not only an enthusiastic and wise teaching pro with boundless knowledge of mechanics, technique, and strategy. He is also a cutting-edge theorist. This is a book for recreational players, promising young players and their parents, club pros, college-level coaches or anyone who grasps that clear, comprehensive understanding is  a means to improvement. Absolute Tennis will transform your game – and could well transform the game itself.”

Said former top 40 ATP singles player Alex Bogomolov, “Absolute Tennis is the definitive modern tennis instruction book. It covers tennis with advice that is interesting, incisive, and useful. There are the chapters on psychology and fitness that my friends on the pro tour will find helpful, while the chapters on strategy and strokes will guide recreational players to play smarter and hit the ball with more power, control, and belief.”

Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press (www.NewChapterMedia.com) is also the publisher of “The Secrets of Spanish Tennis” by Chris Lewit, “Andy Murray, Wimbledon Champion: The Full Extraordinary Story” by Mark Hodgkinson, “The Bud Collins History of Tennis” by Bud Collins, “The Wimbledon Final That Never Was” by Sidney Wood, “Titanic: The Tennis Story” by Lindsay Gibbs, “Sport of a Lifetime” by Judy Aydelott, “Macci Magic: Extracting Greatness From Yourself And Others” by Rick Macci with Jim Martz, “How To Permanently Erase Negative Self Talk So You Can Be Extraordinary” by Emily Filloramo, “Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match” by Cliff Richey and Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, “The Greatest Tennis Matches of All-Time” by Steve Flink, “The Education of a Tennis Player” by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, “Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection” by Rene Stauffer, “The Days of Roger Federer” by Randy Walker, “Jan Kodes: A Journey To Glory From Behind The Iron Curtain” by Jan Kodes with Peter Kolar, “Tennis Made Easy” by Kelly Gunterman, “On This Day In Tennis History” by Randy Walker (www.TennisHistoryApp.com), “A Player’s Guide To USTA League Tennis” by Tony Serksnis, “Court Confidential: Inside The World Of Tennis” by Neil Harman, “A Backhanded Gift” by Marshall Jon Fisher, “Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games” by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli (www.Boycott1980.com), “Internet Dating 101: It’s Complicated, But It Doesn’t Have To Be” by Laura Schreffler, “How To Sell Your Screenplay” by Carl Sautter, “Bone Appetit: Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog” by Suzan Anson, “The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle” by Stewart Wolpin among others.

Jewish-Muslim Combo Erlich-Qureshi Win In Chengdu, Istomin Wins Singles Title

Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan captured his first singles title of the year and the second of his career when his opponent Marcos Baghdatis retired with a back injury at 2-3 down on serve after just 24 minutes in today’s singles final of the Chengdu Open 2017.

Istomin was the first to rush over to Baghdatis as the 32-year-old Cypriot sank to the court floor in agony and frustration.

“I knew the situation because I also have a lot of injuries and have had to retire from matches before. Marcos and I are good friends so I wasn’t thinking about winning at all when he went down. First of all, I wanted to help him and see if he was okay. Of course I am happy to win the tournament, but not in this way. I hope Marcos gets better and can continue playing this season. I think it was very respectful for him to come on court and try even though he had started to feel the pain yesterday. He is a nice person and great player,” said the 31-year-old, whose maiden title came in Nottingham ’15.

Despite winning the final via his opponent’s retirement, Istomin has had a tremendous tournament, defeating two seeded players this week – third seeded defending champ Karen Khachanov in the second round and fifth seed Yuichi Sugita yesterday – and admits he is in the kind of form that saw him complete the biggest win of his career over Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open.

“I feel great on court right now. Today I was feeling even better than past days. I think I’m in the same condition I was in Australia in the beginning of the year. Next tournament is in Tashkent, my home city Challenger, and then the European swing. I’m feeling fine now and I want to finish the year as best as I can,” said Istomin.

Despite a year filled with niggling injuries, Baghdatis had been in fine form throughout the tournament, rallying from a set down to defeat three of his four opponents en route to the final – Pospisil in the first round, Gojowczyk in the second and Pella in yesterday’s semifinal – but had begun to experience discomfort in his back last night and underwent treatment this morning.

“There was some slight pain throughout the week, but yesterday night after my match against Pella I felt some spasms and this morning it was the same. It got worse after my warm up and so the ATP Physio did an hour and half work on me. I was ok for the three or four games but then the spasms came back and there was really nothing I could do to continue fighting for the match,” said a disappointed Baghdatis, who admitted it felt like a new injury and not a recurrence of his previous back issues.

In the doubles finals played earlier in the afternoon, Israeli-Pakistani duo Jonathan Erlich and Aisam-Ul-haq Qureshi have picked up their first title as a combo with a dominant 6-3, 7-6(3) victory over Kiwi-Brazilian pair Marcus Daniell and Marcelo Demoliner in the doubles finals of the Chengdu Open 2017.

Erlich and Qureshi did not face a single break point in their first nine service games, and although they committed three unforced errors in a row to allow their opponents their first and only break in the tenth game of the second set, 40-year-old Erlich turned back the years with a dazzling display at the net in the tie-break to complete the straight sets victory.

The victory marks Erlich’s 19th doubles title and first since Shenzhen ’15, while it is Qureshi’s 16th doubles trophy and his fifth title of the year – tied for most of the season with Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo.

“I think we executed this week really well. This is one of the best matches I’ve ever seen Aisam play. Really high level and he really stepped up and helped me a lot, in the beginning especially. I’m really proud of him and we enjoyed 100% on the court. Once you trust your partner, you’re ready to step forward to win the match and happily we did four matches of that,” said Erlich.

Qureshi, who is incredibly at 5-0 in finals appearances this season, paid tribute to his partner’s performance in what was their only second outing as a duo (lost in first round at Houston ’15).

“He showed why he won Wimbledon before and why he was Top 10 before and why he has won 19 titles on the tour.  He finished like a top five player today. If you see the highlights of the tie-breaker, every ball he touched was golden and was a winner,” said the 37-year-old Qureshi.

Read Qureshi’s inspiring ebook “Stop War, Start Tennis! Lessons of Life and Understanding from a Pakistani Tennis Player here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009XE3LLO/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_iaq0zbEV4S4CJ

The tournament is owned by IMG and is organized by the Chinese Tennis Association and Chengdu Municipal Government, is co-organized by Chengdu Sports Bureau, Shuangliu District Government and Chengdu Culture Tourism Group and is promoted by Sichuan Investment International Tennis Centre Development Co., Ltd., CCTV IMG (Beijing) Sports Management Co. Ltd. and IMG Sports Development (Shanghai) Limited.

The Chengdu Open is also very proud to have the distinguished support from ATP World Tour’s Premier Partner Emirates, the official player hotel St. Regis, Chengdu which fast became a favourite of the players, Srixon tennis balls, the Sichuan Tennis International Hotel which is conveniently located adjacent to the courts and providing efficient services to the tournament, the official sponsor Chengdu Better City, the official car Unicorn,  the official apparel Erke, the official gym equipment Life Fitness, the official Chinese tea Sichuan Mengding Tea Co. Ltd., the official stringer Yonex and the official water Ice Age.  The Official media partners are Iqiyi Sports, West China Metropolis, Chengdu Radio and TV Station, Chengdu Daily, CTA APP, Shenzhen Hundred-Meter Life Shares Co., Ltd., and Tennis World.

The official tournament website www.ChengduOpenTennis.com has additional information about the tournament.

Jared Donaldson, Mikael Ymer Gain Chinese Culture In Chengdu

Two young ATP stars from the Chengdu Open main draw – American Jared Donaldson and wild card Swede Mikael Ymer – visited ‘Wangjian Lou’, one of Chengdu’s cultural attractions that roughly translates as ‘river view pavilion,’ as part of the event.

The duo took part in a game of mini-tennis in the park before learning the ancient local art of Calligraphy from a ‘sifu’ (master).

“There are not a lot of similarities between American and Chinese culture – we don’t have bamboo and cultural places like this. It’s a really beautiful setting. I remember learning calligraphy in the 4th grade but I haven’t practiced it since – I think it did a good job though! I’m lucky to have this opportunity to visit places like these as a profession tennis player, my friends would be jealous! I love playing tennis in Asia and in China. The atmosphere is great and it’s very cool to experience all these different cultures,” said the 20-year-old ATP Next Gen star Donaldson.

It’s my first time in China and Asia, so it’s really amazing. This place is very special and I’ve never seen anything like this. The bamboo is beautiful and the master was very nice to show us how to paint the calligraphy. I’m quite amazed we managed to do it quite well. Everyone is so nice here in China, the people and the tournament staff are all amazing. It’s very well organised. To explore places like this at eighteen or nineteen is really a privilege,” said the 19-year-old Swede.

There will be free admission to qualifying round matches and court 1 and 2 matches. Tickets for the Chengdu Open main draw center court matches through to the finals will range in price from RMB 30 to RMB 400 and are available through www.damai.cn and www.piao.com.cn.

The tournament is owned by IMG and is organized by the Chinese Tennis Association and Chengdu Municipal Government, is co-organized by Chengdu Sports Bureau, Shuangliu District Government and Chengdu Culture Tourism Group and is promoted by Sichuan Investment International Tennis Centre Development Co., Ltd., CCTV IMG (Beijing) Sports Management Co. Ltd. and IMG Sports Development (Shanghai) Limited.

The Chengdu Open is also very proud to have the distinguished support from ATP World Tour’s Premier Partner Emirates, the official player hotel St. Regis, Chengdu which fast became a favourite of the players, Srixon tennis balls, the Sichuan Tennis International Hotel which is conveniently located adjacent to the courts and providing efficient services to the tournament, the official sponsor Chengdu Better City, the official car Unicorn,  the official apparel Erke, the official gym equipment Life Fitness, the official Chinese tea Sichuan Mengding Tea Co. Ltd., the official stringer Yonex and the official water Ice Age.  The Official media partners are Iqiyi Sports, West China Metropolis, Chengdu Radio and TV Station, Chengdu Daily, CTA APP, Shenzhen Hundred-Meter Life Shares Co., Ltd., and Tennis World.

U.S. Fed Cup Team To Host Netherlands, U.S. Davis Cuppers To Travel To Serbia In 2018

The U.S. Davis Cup Team was drawn against Serbia this morning and will travel to Serbia for a Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group First Round tie February 2-4. The U.S. Fed Cup Team was drawn against the Netherlands for its First Round tie February 10-11, and by nature of the U.S. reaching the Fed Cup Final this year, the USTA has the choice to host the tie in the United States, with the decision to come by October 4 or earlier.

The U.S. Fed Cup Team, seeded No. 2 for 2018, last played, and defeated, the Netherlands, 5-0, in a 1998 World Group Quarterfinal tie in Kiawah Island, S.C., meaning the Dutch would traditionally host their next tie with the Americans. The provision that gives Davis Cup and Fed Cup finalists the choice to host their first round ties in the following year’s competitions was passed and went into effect in August, however, giving the United States — which will play Belarus in Minsk in the Fed Cup Final November 10-11 — the option to host, with a deadline of October 4 to make the decision.

The U.S. Davis Cup Team, which was eliminted by Australia in April’s Quarterfinals, last faced Novak Djokovic and Serbia in Boise, Idaho, in 2013. Serbia is seeded seventh in 2018, while the U.S. is unseeded.

Rosie Casals Honored With USTA President’s Award

The USTA has announced that former American tennis player and pioneer of the women’s professional game Rosie Casals has been honored with the 2017 United States Tennis Association’s President’s Award. Casals was honored at the USTA Semi-Annual Meeting earlier this month in New York City.

 

Born and raised in San Francisco, Casals is the daughter of parents who immigrated to the United States from El Salvador. By age 16, Casals became a top junior player in Northern California, and at age 17 she was ranked No. 11 in the United States.

 

Casals rose to No. 3 in the world in singles in 1970, and throughout her more than two-decade career, she won 12 major doubles and mixed doubles championships, played for the US Open singles title in 1970 and 1971, amassed 595 wins in singles and 508 in doubles, and was ranked among the world’s Top 10 players in 12 seasons.

 

Casals and Billie Jean King forged a partnership at the Berkeley Tennis Club in 1964. From 1966 to 1975, Casals and King won seven major doubles titles and were finalists seven other times. At Wimbledon, Casals and King won five championships (1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1973). In singles, Casals was a French Open finalist in 1968, 1970 and 1982, and she advanced to the Australian Open final in 1971. Casals and King are the only doubles team in history to win the U.S. Championships/US Open on all three surfaces.

 

Casals is currently involved with the NJTL Coachella Valley and coaches American junior Taylor Johnson.

 

“Rosie has been a motivating force behind the positive changes and progress in women’s tennis,” said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “Her love for tennis reaches beyond the courts and translates into her continuous efforts fighting for rights of professional and women players. Rosie’s legacy and advocacy will never stop inspiring today’s youth to become the next great generation of American tennis players.”

 

The President’s Award honors an individual who has given unusual and extraordinary service to the sport of tennis in the public’s interest. Since its inception in 1999, award recipients have included Billie Jean King, Lindsay Davenport, Mary Joe Fernandez, Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, and United States Army veteran and tennis photographer Benjamin Woods.

 

Garbine Muguruza Assumes No. 1 WTA Tour Ranking

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced today that Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza is the new WTA World No.1 as of the updated rankings on Monday, September 11.

The 23-year-old becomes the 24th woman overall to hold the No.1 ranking and the second player representing Spain to achieve this historic milestone since computer rankings were introduced in 1975. Four-time Grand Slam singles champion Arantxa Sánchez Vicario spent 12 non-consecutive weeks as singles No.1 in 1995 while Conchita Martínez – who provided coaching support during Muguruza’s run to the 2017 Wimbledon title and lifted the Venus Rosewater Dish herself in 1994 – peaked at No.2 in the rankings in 1995.

“Becoming the WTA No.1 in the world is a dream come true,” stated Muguruza. “Every birthday wish was always the same as I blew out the candles – to become the best. There is a lot of work behind this achievement and a lot of love and passion for this sport. There’s also a lot of hard moments along with the great moments. Not to mention the extreme amount of love from my family and the appreciation for my fans and all the people that have helped me in this journey. And I am very proud to share such a special moment for our country with Rafael Nadal, the best role model I could ever have. I look forward to continue working hard to keep this position.”

At the start of the 2017 US Open, eight players had a chance to hold the top ranking, including No.3-ranked Muguruza. The Spaniard ensured her ascent – which ends the eight-week reign of the Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova – by virtue of reaching the Round of 16 in New York for the first time.

Muguruza’s rise gained fresh momentum over the summer, as she lifted her second Grand Slam trophy at Wimbledon and won her fifth career singles title at last month’s Western & Southern Open at Cincinnati. This season she also advanced to the semifinals at the Brisbane International, Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome), Aegon Classic (Birmingham) and Bank of the West Classic (Stanford), and was a quarterfinalist at the Australian Open, BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells) and Rogers Cup (Toronto).

During the past 52 weeks ­– the period of time that contributes to ranking points – Muguruza also earned her second qualification for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. Having defeated Serena Williams to capture her maiden major at Roland Garros in 2016 (which led to a stint at No.2 in the rankings) and then Venus in this year’s Wimbledon final, Muguruza holds the distinction of being the only player to defeat both Williams sisters in a Grand Slam final.

“The WTA No.1 ranking is one of the greatest achievements a player can reach in tennis. I congratulate Garbiñe on reaching this very special and deserving milestone,” said WTA CEO and Chairman Steve Simon. “Garbiñe’s results on the sport’s biggest stages are the result of many years of hard work, combined with a special talent that inspires fans and youngsters around the world.”

Muguruza will be presented with the WTA World No.1 Trophy, the focal point of which is a silver “star-map” tennis ball that represents the tennis universe. All world No.1s, past and present, are depicted by a diamond in the sky, which represents each champion’s mark on the sport.

Click here for a video on Muguruza’s historic achievement.

To read more about how Garbine Muguruza developed her game with Bruguera Development System, click here: http://www.worldtennismagazine.com/archives/12091

To order the book “The Secrets of Spanish Tennis” by Chris Lewit, click here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1937559491/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_.rQTzbK45SR0A

Wheelchair Tennis on Arthur Ashe Stadium For First Time

US Open wheelchair tennis was played for the first time ever today in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Great Britain’s Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid, seeded No. 2, defeated Japan’s Shingo Kunedia and Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez in the first match, 6-3, 6-2.

“We knew a few days ago that some matches would be played on Ashe,” said Hewett, 19. “I found out at 8 pm last night – it was a nice surprise.”

“It was incredible to have that opportunity as wheelchair players,” said Reid, 25. “It’s showing the respect that wheelchair tennis is gaining, a great first match here. It’s probably the nicest court I played on, so for me, it really is the stuff that dreams are made of, to play on Ashe. Hopefully, it’s not the last time.”

Following the men’s doubles match, American Dana Mathewson and Aniek van Koot, of the Netherlands, upset No. 2 seeds Yui Kamiji, of Japan, and Lucy Shuker, of Great Britain, in a tight 0-6, 6-4, [10-5], match.

The US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition continues through Sunday across the men’s, women’s and quad divisions. It follows the same rules as able-bodied tennis except that the ball can bounce twice.

US Open Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary of Being Green

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) celebrates the 10th anniversary of its Green Initiative program at the 2017 US Open. Since its inception in 2008, the US Open Green Initiative has expanded each year to continuously make environmentally-sustainable choices that reduce the impact the US Open has on the environment.

In this, the 10th year of the program, 90 percent of US Open waste will be diverted from landfills, 12,000 gallons of kitchen grease will be recycled into biodiesel fuel, and more than 60 tons of organic waste from US Open kitchens will be composted.

Since 2008, the US Open has reduced its greenhouse emissions by 94,000 metric tons through waste diversion, recycled paper use, carbon offsets, and renewable energy certificates. This includes the diversion of more than 3,400 tons of waste and the recycling of nearly 2.6 million plastic bottles. The US Open has obtained enough renewable energy credits to provide electricity to 1,600 homes for an entire year and has donated more than 100 tons of food to local communities.

In addition, as the USTA continues its strategic transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, green building choices are incorporated into each step of the process, demonstrated by the LEED certification of the Grandstand Stadium and Transportation Building. The new Louis Armstrong Stadium, set to debut in 2018, is on track to be LEED certified for the 2018 US Open.

More than 95 percent of the waste from the demolition of both the original Grandstand and Louis Armstrong Stadiums was recycled. The new Louis Armstrong Stadium will use 40 percent less water through waterless urinals and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Landscaping around the new stadium has been designed to use 55 percent less water and the stadium, as a whole, has been designed to consume 25 percent less energy.

In collaboration with environmental consultant, eco evolutions, initiatives for 2017 include:

Waste Diversion

  • The USTA will recycle cardboard, plastics, glass and metals collected throughout the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
  • More than 60 tons of food waste will be collected from the kitchens to be turned into compost for landscape and farming uses.
  • The USTA will collect the 45,000 tennis balls used during the matches and player practices to reuse in USTA tennis programs and donate to various community and youth organizations nationwide.
  • Following the US Open, approximately 15,000 tennis ball cans are recycled.
  • From the kitchens at the US Open, approximately 12,000 gallons of food grease will be collected to convert into biodiesel fuel.
  • Unused food will be donated to the community.

Recycled Paper

  • More than 90% of the paper products, including the 2.4 million napkins in the general concession area will be made of recycled materials and/or compostable materials.
  • All US Open-related printed materials (US Open media guide, marketing collateral, tickets and the Daily Drawsheet, among others) are composed of at least 30 percent post-consumer waste.
  • US Open tickets are printed on paper comprised of 30 percent post-consumer waste, and parking books, parking visors and coupon books are printed on paper made up of 10-15 percent post-consumer waste.
  • All paper towel dispensers have been replaced with motion-sensor dispensers and all paper towels are comprised of 40 percent post-consumer waste.
  • Paper use is reduced through electronic communications to players, media and fans, and players have access to a player’s-only web portal.

Transportation

  • Carbon offsets are acquired for the estimated miles players travel by air as well as the miles they travel on the ground to get to the US Open.
  • Carbon offsets are also acquired for the estimated 800,000 vehicle miles traveled by employees to work at the US Open.

Energy

  • Champion Energy, the US Open’s energy supplier, is donating Green-e certified Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to offset the electricity consumed during the 2017 US Open.
  • Carbon emissions from player travel and on site fuel use will be offset with the purchases of Green-e Climate Carbon Offsets.

Green Cleaning

  • Vendors are provided with a US Open Green Cleaning Policy specifying preferred cleaning products to be used during the US Open.

Site renovations and expansion

  • The stadium lights throughout the NTC have been replaced with LED lights which will reduce energy use by 50 percent.
  • Water refilling stations have been added to the site to encourage waste minimization by reducing single use water bottle.
  • As part of recent renovations at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the USTA has incorporated green building design elements (such as water efficient fixtures, recycling of construction waste, low emitting paints and sealants, recycled materials, efficient lighting and HVAC systems). To facilitate this process, the USTA has become members of the United Sates Green Building Council as of August 2013 and achieved LEED certification for the newest Grandstand Stadium and Transportation building. We are currently pursuing LEED certification for the new Armstrong Stadium.

Merchandising

  • At the US Open Collection merchandise locations, fans will receive with their purchase a US Open souvenir-style shopping bag designed for multiple-use.
  • The US Open Collection will include environmentally friendly items including a reusable tote made from 80 percent post-consumer waste, cinch bags constructed from recycled bottles and 100 percent recycled post-consumer and post-industrial paper product.

Fan Awareness

  • US Open Green Initiatives are featured in the official US Open Program.
  • Environmental tips are featured in the Daily Drawsheet as well as communicated through US Open social media channels. Labels on waste bins to educate fans on waste diversion program.
  • Signage on paper towel dispensers to remind fans to use only what they need.​
  • Signs in kitchens to educate staff on proper recycling and composting procedures.

Food

  • 20 percent of produce used during the Open is from local farms.