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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.

Caroline Wozniacki Wins Singapore, Simona Halep Finishes Year-End No. 1

In a battle of two former WTA World No.1s, Caroline Wozniacki defeated Venus Williams to lift the Billie Jean King Trophy at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global today, October 29.

In their eighth career meeting, the Dane notched her first win over the American, powering to a straight sets victory (6-4, 6-4) to clinch her 27th and biggest title of her career.

“To be here with the trophy means a lot, and it’s a great way to finish off the year,” said Wozniacki. “I’m really proud of how I have played all week and how I really produced some great fighting out there.”

Despite not qualifying for the semifinals in the round-robin format, Simona Halep clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking on the WTA Tour.

Since the inception of computer rankings in 1975, Halep becomes the 13th WTA player to achieve the year-end No.1 singles ranking, and the first from Romania.

“Our congratulations to Simona Halep who is a worthy winner of the WTA year-end World No.1 singles ranking. Simona has had a great season, winning the title in Madrid and reaching the final at Roland Garros,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO, Dubai Duty Free. “We wish her well for the remainder of the year and look forward to seeing her play in Dubai in the near future, where she won the title in 2015 and has many ardent fans.”

The Romanian became the 25th player to achieve the No.1 ranking on October 9, 2017 following her 27th career WTA final at the China Open in Beijing, and is ensured to retain the position as the top player for the rest of the year.

“I’m very proud to end the season as the WTA World No.1,” said Halep. “I have worked extremely hard to be the best player I can be, and it is an honor to be in the No.1 position at the end of the year.”

Halep has enjoyed another consistent season, highlighted by defending her title at the Mutua Madrid Open and reaching her second Grand Slam final at Roland Garros. In addition, the 26-year-old reached the title match at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome), Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati) and the China Open (Beijing), earning her fourth consecutive qualification at the year-end BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

This season, Halep also made a quarterfinal run at Wimbledon, as well as semifinal showings at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Stuttgart) and Rogers Cup (Toronto).

Halep entered the Top 10 for the first time on January 27, 2014, and has maintained her Top 10 status for 196 consecutive weeks. Having made her debut in the Top 5 in the spring of 2014, the Romanian has spent just eight weeks below that threshold.

The WTA Year-End No.1 trophy was presented to Halep by WTA President, Micky Lawler.

 

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.”