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“The Greatest Tennis Matches of All Time” Makes For Great Holiday Gift

Having trouble thinking of the proper holiday gift for the tennis player in your life? Consider the book “The Greatest Tennis Matches of All Time” by 2017 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Steve Flink

“The Greatest Tennis Matches of All Time” features profiles and rankings of the greatest matches of all time dating from the1920s featuring Bill Tilden and Suzanne Lenglen up through the modern era of tennis featuring contemporary stars Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. Flink breaks down, analyzes and puts into historical context the sport’s most memorable matches, providing readers with a courtside seat at these most celebrated and significant duels. Flink also includes a fascinating “greatest strokes of all-time” section where he ranks and describes the players who best executed all the important shots in the game through the years. Other champions featured in the book include Don Budge, Maureen Connolly, Rod Laver, Margaret Court, Billie Jean King, John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf among many others.

The book is published by New Chapter Press, the premier global publisher of tennis books.

The hard-cover book, that makes for a centerpiece of a coffee table or at your local tennis club, retails for $28.95, and can be purchased here on Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/dp/0942257936/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_Qj-rybVBRK7ZW or at www.NewChapterMedia.com and where ever books are sold.

Flink, one of the most respected writers and observers in the game, is currently a columnist for TennisChannel.com. A resident of Katonah, N.Y., he is the former editor of World Tennis magazine and a former senior columnist at Tennis Week.

The book has received high praise from some of the most respected names in the sport, including Chris Evert, a winner of 18 major singles titles in her career, who wrote the foreword to the book.

Said seven-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras, “Steve Flink was there reporting on almost every big match I played in my career. He has seen all of the great players for the last 45 years. I encourage you to read this book because Steve is one of the most insightful writers on the game that I have known and he really knows his tennis.”

Said former U.S. Davis Cup captain and player Patrick McEnroe, “As a writer and a fan, Steve Flink’s knowledge of tennis history and his love of the sport are second to none, which is why you should read his book.”

Said ESPN’s Cliff Drysdale, “To see tennis through the eyes of Steve Flink is to wander through a wonderland. These are not fantasies because Steve captures the essence of tennis matches in graphic detail. There is no one more passionate or caring about his subject. In this absorbing book, I can relive matches that I have called on television.”

Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press (www.NewChapterMedia.com) is also the publisher of “The Greatest Jewish Tennis Players of All Time” by Sandra Harwitt, “The Secrets of Spanish Tennis” by Chris Lewit, “Sport of a Lifetime” by Judy Aydelott, “Absolute Tennis: The Best and Next Way To Play The Game” by Marty Smith, “Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection” by Rene Stauffer, “The Bud Collins History of Tennis” by Bud Collins (a new third edition published in late 2016), “The Education of a Tennis Player” by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, “The Wimbledon Final That Never Was” by Sidney Wood, “Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match” by Cliff Richey and Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, “Your Playbook for Beating Depression” by Cliff Richey and Mary Garrison, “Titanic: The Tennis Story” by Lindsay Gibbs, “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, “A Player’s Guide To USTA League Tennis” by Tony Serksnis, “Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games” by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli (www.Boycott1980.com), “The Lennon Prophecy” by Joe Niezgoda (www.TheLennonProphecy.com), “Bone Appetit, Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog” by Susan Anson, “How To Sell Your Screenplay” by Carl Sautter, “The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According To Hoyle” by Stewart Wolpin, “People’s Choice Guide Cancun” by Eric Rabinowitz, “Lessons from the Wild” by Shayamal Vallabhjee among others.

Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships In Vero Beach Set Again For April

The 2018 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, Vero Beach’s $15,000 “Futures” professional tennis tournament – one of the longest-running and best attended events on the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) Pro Circuit – will be played April 20-29 at the Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club.

It will mark the 17th time that Grand Harbor has hosted the event, returning as the site last year after a hiatus of seven years. The event benefits the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the non-profit foundation benefiting children, named for Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish, a former top 10 tennis star, U.S. Davis Cup hero and silver medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games.

“We are excited to once again host at Grand Harbor in Vero Beach some of the world’s most talented young tennis players as they attempt to earn ATP ranking points and make their way up in the world of pro tennis,” said Tom Fish, Chairman of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation. “We are very grateful for all of the support from the Vero Beach community to help raise money for our foundation that benefits children in Indian River County and beyond.”

Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishFoundation.com and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) currently supports over 1700 children grades KDG-8th in Indian River County, Florida by funding after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives. Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, collaborates with various community organizations, including Boys and Girls Club of Indian River County, Dasie Hope Bridgewater Center and LOTA Sports.   Kids on Courts After School Tennis program is facilitated by LOTA Sports offering progressive tennis instruction from world class professionals.  The Foundation introduced the “Six Healthy Habits” in 2012 Get Sleep; Drink Water; Exercise Daily, Eat Healthy; Brush and Floss; Make Friends. Fish achieved a career-high ranking of No. 7 in 2011 and won 14 career ATP singles and doubles titles in his career. After retiring from the ATP World Tour in 2015, Fish now competes on the celebrity pro golf tour and the PowerShares Series legends tennis tour while serving as a coach for the USTA Player Development Program and a TV commentator for ESPN.

Tournament tickets and sponsorships are now on sale and can be purchased at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com Until Christmas, tickets are 10 percent off using the code HOLIDAY17. Tickets for the qualifying rounds from April 20 – April 23 cost $10, while tickets for the main draw of singles and doubles from April 24 – 29 are $20, with “night session” tickets starting at 5 pm from April 24-27 costing $10. Season tickets that include both the qualifying and main draw events cost $100. Admission for children 18 and under is free. Fans can follow news and developments on the tournament on Facebook and on Twitter at @VeroFutures. Detailed sponsorship information can be obtained by emailing Tom Fish at [email protected] or Randy Walker at [email protected]

The annual USTA Vero Beach Futures has an economic impact of approximately $500,000 per year on the Vero Beach local economy. Approximately 3,000 fans annually attend the event, which is seen as one of the best-attended events in the world on the “Futures” level of professional tennis tournaments.

Some of the past competitors in Vero Beach have gone on to succeed at the highest levels of professional tennis, winning major singles and doubles titles, Olympic medals and Davis Cup championships and earning No. 1 world rankings. Andy Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion who attained the world No. 1 ranking and helped the United States win the Davis Cup in 2007, competed in Vero Beach in 1999. Thomas Johansson of Sweden, who reached the second round of the Vero Beach Futures in 1995, won the Australian Open seven years later in 2002. Nicolas Massu, the 1998 singles runner-up in Vero Beach, won the singles and doubles gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, beating Fish in the gold medal singles match. Kyle Edmund, the 2013 champion in Vero Beach, helped Great Britain to the Davis Cup title in 2015. Other notable former competitors in Vero Beach include former world No. 2 Magnus Norman, former world No. 4 Tim Henman, 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic among others. Former Vero Beach competitors have combined to win 19 titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at Grand Slam tournaments. Six former Vero Beach players have gone on to play Davis Cup for the United States – Roddick, Fish, Taylor Dent, Jared Palmer, Donald Young and Ryan Harrison.

Last year, Calvin Hemery of France won the singles title defeating top American teenager Sam Riffice in the final. Recent notable tournament entries include 2016 Wimbledon sensation Marcus Willis of Great Britain, who reached the singles and doubles quarterfinals last year, and Denis Shapovalov of Canada, the ATP World Tour’s Most Improved Player in 2017, who reached the semifinals in Vero Beach in 2016.

Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club is majestically set upon the Indian River in Vero Beach, and overlooks a mile of scenic Intracoastal Waterway. Grand Harbor presents exceptional value with two nationally acclaimed golf courses, an oceanfront beach club, a richly appointed Mediterranean-style clubhouse, 10 Har-Tru court tennis complex and fully equipped fitness center. A diverse enclave of home designs captures the essence of a romantic Mediterranean Village. A 144-slip, deep water protected, Marina is also located in the Grand Harbor Community for boating enthusiasts. Exciting new construction began in 2016 with plans for more than 200 new residences including condominiums, courtyard homes, estate homes and direct riverfront homes with prices from the mid 400′s to over two million. For more information please visit www.GrandHarbor.com or www.grandharborverobeach.com.

“WINNING” Documentary Featuring Martina Navratilova, Jack Nicklaus Now Available In Digital Formats

WINNING, the compelling and inspiring story of the journeys of nine-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova, Paralympic tennis legend  Esther Vergeer, golf great Jack Nicklaus, Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci and track and field star Edwin Moses and how they achieved and maintained greatness at the highest level of sport is now available for rent and purchase in digital formats.

The film, that was named by INC Magazine as one of its nine “must watch” documentaries, features candid interviews and archival footage of each athlete’s most exciting championship moments, as well as unique “behind-the-scenes” access to their lives on and off the field of play. The film portrays through the words of these all-time greats what kind of mind-set, passion and dedication are needed to become a champion and to remain on top for decades.

WINNING is available on iTunes, Amazon Video and Google Play here: http://bit.ly/WINstore

The film is produced and directed by Jacqueline Joseph, the former head of The Arthur Ashe Foundation and Executive Producer for IBM’s first-ever Official Grand Slam tennis tournament websites at the US Open, Wimbledon, French Open and Australian Open. A trailer for the film can be seen here: http://bit.ly/WINNINGFILM

“WINNING is a film that shines a spotlight on five of the greatest athletes in sports history,” said Joseph. “The revealing stories that these athletes share in WINNING speak to everyone, young and old, on the court and outside the lines… because as they say, ‘Sports is a metaphor for life.’”

In WINNING, these iconic athletes reminisce about the highs and lows of their careers and share a unique and intimate window into their lives. The film features rare archival footage of the athletes’ childhoods, as well as some of their most memorable and historic moments at the Olympics, Wimbledon, The Masters, US Open, British Open and The Paralympics.

The film also features interviews with the athletes’ families, coaches, agents and competitors including Olympic Gold Medalists Bart Conner and Derrick Adkins, track and field Olympians Benn Fields and Herb Douglas, tennis star Pam Shriver, legendary coaches Sven Groeneveld and Robert Lansdorp, Duke University Professor of Sports Psychology Greg Dale, Barbara Nicklaus, Jana Navratilova and former Olympic gymnastics coach Paul Ziert.

Navratilova is the most prolific winner of tennis titles in the professional era of tennis. She holds the records for the most singles (167) and doubles titles (177) won by a professional tennis player. She won 18 major singles titles, a record 31 major women’s doubles titles and 10 mixed doubles titles, including her final title at the age of 49 at the U.S. Open. She ranked as the No. 1 player in the world for a total of 332 weeks in singles and a record 237 weeks in doubles. The 2017 U.S. Open marks the 30th anniversary of her becoming the last player to sweep the singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles at a major championship.

Vergeer has been described as the most dominant athlete in professional sports, losing only 25 matches in her 17-year career in wheelchair tennis. She won 42 Grand Slam tournaments, 22 year-end championships and seven Paralympic gold medals, including four in singles. She was the No. 1 player in the world from 1999 to her retirement in 2013, not losing a match in 10 years, winning the last 470 matches she played.

Nicklaus is regarded as the greatest golfer to ever play the game, winning a record 18 professional major titles, including a record six Masters titles, a record-tying four U.S. Open titles and a record-tying five PGA Championships. Equally as impressive is that Nicklaus finished as the runner-up at 19 other major championships while winning 73 career PGA Tour titles.

Comaneci was the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10.0 during her famous performance at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. She earned a total of seven perfect 10s in Montreal en route to winning three gold medals for Romania. At the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, she won two more gold medals, concluding her career with nine total Olympic medals and four World Championship medals.

Moses won gold medals in the 400-meter hurdles at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal and at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Between 1977 and 1987, Moses won 107 consecutive finals and 122 consecutive races, setting the world record in the event four times.

More information on the film can be found at www.thewinningfilm.com and also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thewinningfilm and Twitter at www.twitter.com/thewinningfilm and Instagram at www.instagram.com/thewinningfilm

A Look Back At Great Britain’s Win At The 2015 Davis Cup Final

On 29 November 2015 Great Britain won the Davis Cup for the first time since the modern era, and their first time since 1936.

Great Britain were in the World Group and drawn up against No. 7 seeds USA in the first round.  They were long shots in the tennis betting world to see off the record winners of the competition.

However, Andy Murray comfortably saw off Donald Young in the first rubber, winning 6-1 6-1 4-6 6-2 before James Ward took a key second rubber with a surprise five-set victory over John Isner, 15-13 in the final set.  Isner had been the world No. 20 at the time.

The multi-time Grand Slam winning brothers Bob and Mike Bryan then took five sets to see off Dominic Inglot and Jamie Murray in the doubles match to earn USA their first rubber.

However, Andy Murray would see off Isner to pull off Great Britain’s first upset victory of the competition.

The No. 1 seeds France had seen off Germany in their first round tie to set up a meeting with Leon Smith’s British squad. Everything went as expected in the opening rubber as Gilles Simon saw off James Ward in straight sets. The second rubber was expected to be a close matchup before Andy Murray saw off Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets.

Jamie Murray then teamed up with his brother to beat Nicolas Mahut and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the doubles match to put GB 2-1 ahead.

On day three Andy Murray returned to come from a set down to beat Simon in four sets and seal a 3-1 victory for Great Britain.  This was the first time Britain had progressed past the quarterfinals since 1981.

Australia were the opponents in the semifinals, also unseeded themselves, eliminating the third-seeded Czech Republic in the first round and then Kazakhstan to reach the final four.

Andy Murray had no problem beating Thanasi Kokkinakis in straight sets in the first rubber, including two bagels.  Bernard Tomic tied it up for Australia by beating Dan Evans in the second rubber.

The Murray brothers teamed up again to give GB a 2-1 advantage on day two with a five set victory over Sam Groth and Lleyton Hewitt.

Andy Murray came back the following day at the Commonwealth Arena in Glasgow, Great Britain to beat Bernard Tomic in straight sets to seal Team GB’s first final appearance since 1978.

Belgium were the opponents in the final.  Themselves unseeded and having beat No. 2 seeds Switzerland (without Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka) 3-2 in the first round, the eighth seeds Canada 5-0 in the quarterfinals, and No. 5 seeds Argentina 3-2 in their semifinal.

Great Britain were the favourites going into the final which was played at the Flanders Expo in Ghent, Belgium. David Goffin came back from two sets down in the opening rubber to see off Kyle Edmund 3-2 and take the first rubber for Belgium.

Andy Murray levelled the scores with a straight sets win over Ruben Bemelmans.  He then teamed up with brother Jamie to beat Steve Darcis and David Goffin in the doubles match.

Murray then saw off Goffin in the opening match on day three to seal a 3-1 victory and the 2015 Davis Cup trophy for Great Britain.

Belgium are back for this year’s final against France between 24-26 November. For the latest betting odds, please refer to Betfair for all the information you need.

Grigor Dimitrov Caps Career-Best Year With Career-Best Title at Nitto ATP Finals

He used to be called “Baby Fed” due to his similarity to Roger Federer but Grigor Dimitrov now has his own pro tennis identity.

The Bulgarian ended his best season to date of his career winning the Nitto ATP Finals in London beating David Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 to win the season-ending championships during his debut.

The prestigious title marked the fourth title for Dimitrov in 2017 – a career-high – and it is the eighth of his career. Earlier this year, he also reached the Australian Open semifinals and won the ATP Masters Series title in Cincinnati, his best career tournament win prior to his triumph in London. Dimitrov will also rise to a career-high No. 3 ranking.

“This makes me even more locked in, more excited about my work, and for what’s to come,” Dimitrov said. “It’s a great platform for me to build on for next year. It’s going to be amazing in the off-season. I know what I have to do in order to do good.”

He became the first debutant to win the Nitto ATP Finals title since Spaniard Alex Corretja in 1998. To read more about the history of the event, also formerly known as The Masters, buy or download a copy of The Bud Collins History of Tennis here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1937559386/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_sPHeAb8TYM0H1

The Bulgarian, who finished 5-0 this week in London, earned $2,549,000 in prize money and 1,500 Emirates ATP Rankings points.

Dimitrov benefited from the withdrawal of world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and world No. 2 Roger Federer falling to Goffin in the semifinals. Defending champion Andy Murray and four-time champion Novak Djokovic also were missing from the event due to injuries.

Suffering Too Much For Rafael Nadal In ATP World Tour Finals

Perhaps the signature theme of the book “The Secrets of Spanish Tennis” is how the Spanish – in sports and in life – almost relish in “suffering.” As famed Spanish tennis coach said Pato Alvarez, “In order for a player to play well he or she needs to suffer.”

Rafael Nadal of Spain was doing much “suffering” in his opening round-robin match at the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals in London. However, after suffering through a 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 loss to David Goffin, Nadal decided the suffering was too much and withdrew from the competition to rest his ailing knee.

“My season is finished,” Nadal said following the loss. “I tried hard. I did the thing that I had to do to try to be ready to play, but I am really not ready to play. I really fought a lot during the match, but knew there was a big chance that it would be the last match of the season.”

Nadal’s withdrawal makes Roger Federer the overwhelming favorite to win the title, according to NetBetSport

“The good thing is that this is nothing new,” said Nadal. “Everybody on my team, we have the right experience with this thing. We hope to manage it well, to have the right rest, the right work, and try to be ready for the beginning of next season.”

The year-end ATP World Tour Finals is the one glaring omission on Nadal’s career resume. Nadal has qualified for the season-ending finals 13 years in a row, but has only actually played seven previous times, only reaching the final twice, losing to Roger Federer in 2010 and Novak Djokovic in 2013. He also lost in the semifinals three times, losing to Federer in 2006 and 2007 and Djokovic in 2015, the last time Nadal played the year-end championships. In 2009 and 2011, Nadal failed to emerge from round-robin play. Incredibly, Nadal has been injured and not able to participate in the event five times, including last year.

“This is an event I missed too many times in my career,” he said. “But at the same that’s how it works, my career. I can’t complain. I feel very lucky about all the things that are happening to me, but on the other hand it is true that I am probably the top player who has had more injuries and more troubles in the careers of anyone.

“I really believed that I didn’t deserve after this great season to spend two more days on court with these terrible feelings. Of course I am disappointed, but I am not going to cry. I had a great season. I really appreciate all the things that happened to me during the whole season.”

Rafael Nadal Seeks Missing Link On Career Resume at Nitto ATP World Tour Finals

Rafael Nadal is extra motivated to win the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals in London. Why? Because it is the one big tennis tournament that is missing from his incredible career. Resume

This week in London provides a great opportunity for Nadal, the world No. 1, to nab the missing link in his career with two of his chief rivals, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, not in the field due to injuries. However, Nadal is also nursing a tender knee that has some question whether he will be able to finally break-through and win the prestigious year-end championships. Roger Federer has won the ATP World Tour Finals six times and, as the best indoor court player in the world, is the tennis betting odds favorite to win the title once again.

In seven previous appearances at the ATP World Tour Finals, Nadal has only reached the final twice, losing to Roger Federer in 2010 and Novak Djokovic in 2013. He also lost in the semifinals three times, losing to Federer in 2006 and 2007 and Djokovic in 2015, the last time Nadal played the year-end championships. In 2009 and 2011, Nadal failed to emerge from round-robin play. Incredibly, Nadal has been injured and not able to participate in the event five times, including last year.

Also missing from the Nadal career resume is the Miami Open. Nadal has been a runner-up there on five occasions – in 2005, 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2017 – being points away from the title twice.

Nadal has won ten French Championships, as has been so well documented, as well as two Wimbledon titles, three U.S. Open titles and one Australian Open title. He won Olympic gold in singles in 2008 (and gold in doubles in 2016!) and led Spain to the Davis Cup title four times.

And then there are the ATP 1000 level events, in the past referred to as the “Super 9” of which some have long and storied histories and others that are starting traditions and are only prestigious now due to ATP points and prize money offered. At these events, Nadal has won in Indian Wells three times (2007, 2009 and 2013), Monte Carlo ten times, Rome seven times and also in Madrid in its two incarnations as an indoor hard event in the Fall in 2005 and as a clay event in the Spring in 2010, 2014 and 2017.

During the summer hard court season, Nadal has won in Canada three times (2005, 2008 and 2013) and also in Cincinnati in 2013.

Nadal has not won in Shanghai and at the Paris Indoors, two of the more recent additions to this elite level of events, without as much of the history and tradition as the others. Nadal, however, did also win at the German Championships in Hamburg when it was a “Super 9” event in 2008.

By comparison, the only missing titles on Federer’s resume are Monte Carlo and Rome, but has also has won all four major titles, the Davis Cup for Switzerland, Olympic gold in doubles (silver in singles) and the ATP World Tour Finals six times. For Novak Djokovic, Cincinnati remains the missing link on his career resume, in addition to an Olympic gold medal, although the Serbian did win a bronze medal in singles in 2008.

USA Wins First Fed Cup Title Since 2000

 

The United States Fed Cup Team won its first Fed Cup title since 2000 and 18th title overall, defeating Belarus, 3-2, in an exciting fifth-and-decisive doubles rubber on Sunday in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final in Minsk.  

 

In addition to the U.S. team making history, American No. 1 and world No. 10 CoCo Vandeweghe had quite a historic day after defeating Belarus No. 1 and world No. 78 Aryna Sabalenka, 7-6(5), 6-1. Vandeweghe became the first American ever, since the World Group format was instituted in 1995, to win all six Fed Cup singles matches in one year. She also is the first player to win the maximum number of Fed Cup singles rubbers in a year since Petra Kvitova in 2011 and just the ninth player to achieve the feat since 1995. Vandeweghe is now 7-3 in Fed Cup singles play.

 

US Open champion and world No. 13 Sloane Stephens battled in another tight three-setter in the fourth singles rubber on Sunday, eventually falling to world No. 87 Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 4-6, 6-1, 8-6.

 

With the final tied at 2-2, the U.S. found itself in a fifth-and-decisive doubles rubber for just the 12th time since the World Group format was instituted in 1995. It was also the second consecutive tie that went to a fifth-and-decisive rubber after the U.S. won its semifinal in April over the Czech Republic in the doubles match. Both countries made substitutions to their doubles teams. U.S. Captain Kathy Rinaldi elected to pair Vandeweghe with Shelby Rogers, while Belarus named Sabalenka and Sasnovich to play the doubles.

 

In the end, Vandeweghe and Rogers clinched the victory for the U.S. to bring the Fed Cup trophy back to the United States. The duo defeated Sabalenka and Sasnovich, 6-3, 7-6(3).

 

Vandeweghe finishes the 2017 Fed Cup season with a perfect 8-0 singles and doubles record. She is only the third player in Fed Cup history to win three rubbers in a Fed Cup Final, following Anastasia Myskina (RUS) in 2004 and Elena Dementieva (RUS) in 2005. (It has only been possible to win three rubbers in a Fed Cup Final since 1995). Vandeweghe is also the first player to win eight rubbers in a Fed Cup year since the current eight-team World Group format was introduced in 2005. This was Rogers’ first live Fed Cup win.

 

Captain Kathy Rinaldi had a very successful year in her first year as U.S. Fed Cup Captain, as well. Rinaldi is the first Fed Cup Captain since Marty Riessen in 1986 to win the Fed Cup title in their debut year. Rinaldi was named the 19th U.S. Fed Cup Captain on December 8, 2016, succeeding Mary Joe Fernandez after eight years at the post. Rinaldi currently serves as Lead National Coach, Team USA – Pro Women for USTA Player Development, focused on helping American pros achieve Top-100 rankings. She has coached the U.S. to multiple junior international team competition titles and coached the U.S. women in the Pan-American Games in 2015. Rinaldi was ranked as high as No. 7 in the world in singles (May 1986) and No. 13 in the world in doubles (February 1993).

 

The U.S. Fed Cup Team is now 18-11 in Fed Cup finals, 4-4 in finals since 1995. The U.S. Fed Cup Team had also played in the final on the road two previous times since 1995, making this the team’s first title in another country. Belarus was competing in its first-ever Fed Cup Final.

 

40 Years Ago Elvis Died Just Before A Memorable U.S. Open

By Randy Walker

@TennisPublisher

 

I called my book publishing client and good pal Cliff Richey just before the 2017 US Open to ask him what he remembered from the 1977 U.S. Open, the last to be played at the West Side Tennis Club at Forest Hills.

“I remember that Elvis had just died,” said Richey.

Perhaps it was the recent death of “The King” that precipitated what might be regarded as the craziest U.S. Open in history. The event featured a transsexual entry, a player playing with a racquet strung with rubber bands – and beating a former U.S. Open champion – John McEnroe’s first ever US Open point penalty and a fan being shot in the stands.

For Richey, it was also an unusual tournament for him as he lost in the second round to two-time French champion Jan Kodes. “It was the only time I ever lost to him,” said Richey.

The following are summaries of some of the unusual events from the 1977 U.S. Open, as documented in my book “On This Day In Tennis History” that is available as a book, ebook, audio book and mobile app, where books are sold and at www.TennisHistoryApp.com

 

August 31, 1977: John McEnroe plays his first U.S. Open match and receives his first U.S. Open code of conduct point penalty in his 6-1, 6-3 win over fellow 18-year-old Eliot Teltscher in a first-round night match at the West Side Tennis Club at Forest Hills. Chair umpire Patti Ingersol of Chicago issues the conduct violation after McEnroe stalls and argues over several calls in the second set. Following the point penalty, McEnroe serves the next point underhand and Teltscher, in a show of solidarity to McEnroe over the point penalty, lets the ball bounce twice, surrendering the point to McEnroe. Says McEnroe of his point penalty, “I was just mumbling under my breath and she assumed I said something. No one knows what I said. I was just saying I can’t believe the match was going like this and she said “Love-15.” I guess she was just trying to show her authority, but I think she went overboard.”

September 1, 1977: Renee Richards, the 43-year-old transsexual who fights for more than year for the right to play in the women’s singles of a major tennis championship, is beaten in the first round of the U.S. Open by Wimbledon champion Virginia Wade, 6-1, 6-4. Barry Lorge of the Washington Post describes the match as a media event as “a swarm of photographers, broadcasters and reporters were on hand to record the details of what was purposed to be a grand gesture for human rights by some, and a freak show by others.” Later that evening, 5-foot tall, 90-pound Tracy Austin, at the age of 14 years, eight months, 20 days, becomes the youngest player to play in the U.S. Open, defeating Heidi Eisterlehner of West Germany 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the first round. Austin’s mark would be broken in 1979 by 14-year-old Kathy Horvath.

September 2, 1977: Using the eventually outlawed “spaghetti strings,” 22-year-old Mike Fishbach upsets No. 16 seed Stan Smith 6-0, 6-2 in a best-of-three-set second round match at the U.S. Open. Fishbach, described as “an amply beared, amusing, apple juice-slugging refugee from the satellite circuit,” by the Washington Post, uses a racquet that he has strung with two interwoven layers of gut reinforced with fish test line, adhesive tape and twine that helps him generate extraordinary amounts of spin. The stringing method is eventually outlawed for the governing bodies of tennis.

September 4, 1977: James Reilly, a 33-year-old resident of New York City, is shot in the left thigh as a spectator at the John McEnroe – Eddie Dibbs third-round night match at the U.S. Open at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills. The shooting, from a .38 caliber gun, occurs at the start of the match near Portal 8 in the north section of the stadium and delays play for about six minutes as Reilly is taken from the stands to the first aid station and then to nearby St. John’s Hospital. Most of the 6, 943 fans in attendance are not aware that a shooting had occurred. Police conclude it was likely a shot that came from outside the stadium. McEnroe wins the best-of-three set match 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

September 6, 1977: Top-seed Bjorn Borg dramatically quits his round of 16 match with Dick Stockton at the U.S. Open – a sore right shoulder not allowing him to continue as Stockton advances into the quarterfinals by a 3-6, 6-4, 1-0, ret. score-line. Says Stockton, “I’ll take the victory any way I can get it, but I would liked to have seen the match continue. I think I would have won it anyway.“ Also in the round of 16, Manuel Orantes ends the debut U.S. Open of John McEnroe, defeating the 18-year-old New Yorker 6-2, 6-3.

September 11, 1977: Guillermo Vilas and Jimmy Connors compete in the final U.S. Open match played at the West Side Tennis Club with Vilas pulling 2-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-0 upset of Connors in the men’s singles final. After hosting the U.S. Championships since 1915, the U.S. Open moves from the private club in Forest Hills to the other side of the Queens borough of New York City to the new USTA National Tennis Center, a public tennis facility.

“On This Day In Golf History” Available From “On This Day In Tennis History” Author

“On This Day In Golf History,” the day-by-day historical book compilation of anniversaries in the history of golf written by Randy Walker, is now available for sale.

“On This Day In Golf History” is a fun and fact-filled 433-page compilation that offers anniversaries, summaries, and anecdotes of events from the world of golf for every day in the calendar year. Presented in a day-by-day format, the entries into this mini-encyclopedia include major tournament victory dates, summaries of the greatest rounds ever played, trivia, and statistics as well as little-known and quirky happenings. Easy-to-use and packed with fascinating details, this compendium is the perfect companion for golf and general sports fans alike. It’s a must for every country club and golf course in the world!

The book is available for $18 and can be purchased where books are sold, including here at Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1937559610/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_jdo3zbKTGHBG4

Walker authored two other “On This Day” style books – “On This Day In Tennis History” available here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0942257421/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_W5BaAbDDPAZ0V and “The Days of Roger Federer” available here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1937559378/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_a2BaAbDKK3APX

“On This Day In Golf History” features the greatest players in the history of the sport, including Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Bobby Jones, Tom Watson, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Annika Sorenstam among many others. It also features many famous – and obscure – happenings in the sport, from Johnny Miller’s famous final-round 63 at the 1973 U.S. Open to Oakmont to Andrew Magee making the first hole-in-one on a par 4 in PGA Tour history at the Phoenix Open to 11-year-old Lucy Li becoming the youngest player to compete at the U.S. Women’s Open to 103-year-old Gus Andreone becoming the oldest player to score a hole-in-one to Kevin Murray making the longest double-eagle on record on the 647-yard par 5 second hole at the Guam Navy Golf Club.

Walker is a passionate golfer who attended his first major golf tournament at the 1983 U.S. Open at Oakmont. He got the autograph of both Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer during that event and even asked Nicklaus if he had a golf ball after completing his third round. “Son,” Nicklaus said to the 14-year-old Walker with a wink as his signed his program. “I have a whole factory of golf balls.” Walker is known more in the tennis industry as the long-time press officer for the U.S. Tennis Association, the U.S. Davis Cup team and the U.S. Olympic tennis team. He also wrote the books “On This Day In Tennis History” and “The Days of Roger Federer” using the unique day-by-day content format. He is 1991 graduate of the University of Georgia, where he was member of the men’s tennis team, and lives in New York City and Vero Beach, Florida.

“On This Day In Tennis History” offers anniversaries, summaries and anecdotes of events from the world of tennis for every day in the calendar year and is a mini-encyclopedia that includes major tournament victory dates, summaries of the greatest matches ever played, trivia, and statistics as well as little-known and quirky happenings. “The Days of Roger Federer” is an entertaining and illuminating chronicle of Federer’s trophy-laden journey with every day of the calendar year presented with a corresponding bit of fact, trivia or an anniversary, including hallmark victories, statistics, quirky happenings and quotations involving Federer.

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, “Absolute Tennis” by Marty Smith, “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.