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In Return To Tournament Play, Roger Federer Wins Australian Open Opener

by Kevin Craig

@KCraig_Tennis

Roger Federer returned to professional tennis on Monday in Melbourne as he defeated qualifier Jurgen Melzer in four sets, 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

The 17-time major champion played the last match on Rod Laver Arena on day one and gave the fans a little scare in the first two sets, but was able to settle down and find his rhythm in the end to get the win.

“I’m happy I was made to work today. It was great to be out there. I really enjoyed myself, even though it wasn’t so simple, Federer said.

Federer, who last played at Wimbledon in July of 2016, was forced to miss the second half of the season due to a back injury. The Suisse wanted to take the rest of the year to rehab and regroup in an attempt to make a run at another major in 2017, and possibly even getting back into the Top 3 or 4 spots of the ATP rankings.

“It was a long road but I’ve made it. I’m in the draw and it’s a beautiful thing. Any match is a good match. Even if I’d lost today, because I’m back on the court,” Federer said.

Melzer is no easy opponent, despite his current ranking of No. 300. The Austrian reached the semifinals of the French Open in 2010 and reached a career high ranking of No. 8 in April of 2011. After a bout with injuries over the last couple years, though, he had seen his ranking drop to outside the Top 500 just last summer.

“To play Jurgen was cool. We know each other since we were 16. We go way back,” Federer said. The two are now both 35-years old.

In Melbourne, Melzer had looked solid as he won three qualifying matches comfortably to earn his spot in the main draw, but was unlucky in getting matched up with Federer, the player who many will say is the greatest of all time.

It was a good battle for two sets as Melzer was actually the first player to make a move, breaking Federer for a 4-2 lead in the first set. The Suisse would break right back for 4-3, though, before going on to break again four games later to go up 6-5 and serve out the set at love.

Despite the disappointment of dropping the first set after being up a break, Melzer refused to go away in the second set. He was even broken in the first game of the second set, but he battled back to break Federer in his last two service games of the set to steal it and level up the match at one set each.

“I thought my serve was on and off in the beginning, which surprised me a little bit, because in practice it’s been going pretty well,” Federer said.

After dropping the second set in shocking fashion, Federer, who hit 19 aces in the match, went back to work and gave Melzer little hope of taking another set. He would break Melzer four times in the last two sets without being broken to ease his way to the four set win and into the second round.

Federer will now take on another qualifier in the second round, and this time it will be young American Noah Rubin. He’s made the second round of the Australian Open for the second year in a row. In 2016, he received a wild card and defeated Benoit Paire in straight sets. This year, he made it through qualifying and then knocked out fellow American qualifier Bjorn Fratangelo to reach the second round.

Federer, who hit 46 winners in the match and converted on seven of his nine break points against Melzer, admitted he knows little of his next opponent, but did state that the match will be on his racquet. He’ll take on Rubin on Wednesday in Melbourne.

Arraya Tennis In Key Biscayne To Host Wild Card Event For Mardy Fish Vero Beach USTA Futures

The Arraya Tennis Academy in Key Biscayne, Fla., will be the host of the first of two wild card singles events for the 2017 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, a $15,000 men’s USTA Futures event played in Vero Beach, Florida.

Arraya Tennis will host the event – The Arraya Tennis / Hightof Open Wild Card Tennis Championship – Tuesday, Jan. 17 through Thursday, Jan. 19 at The Links at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne, located adjacent to the site of the annual Miami Open. The winner of the event will be awarded a main draw singles wild card into the 2017 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships to be played April 25-30 at Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club in Vero Beach.

Entry fees, that benefit the non-profit Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, are $70. Credit card entries are now being accepted at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com and cash/check entries can be facilitated by emailing [email protected] Matches, played on clay courts, will be best-of-two sets with a 10-point super tiebreaker played in lieu of a third set. Arthur Surreaux will serve as the event’s tournament director and can be reached at 305-775-8020.

The Arraya Tennis Academy is run by former standout ATP professional Pablo Arraya, the former world No. 29-ranked player who represented his native Peru in Davis Cup, the Olympic Games and at all four Grand Slam tournaments. The Arraya Tennis Academy has helped over 100 players earn college tennis scholarships and has worked with several professional players, including Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli and U.S. Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig.

The Hightof Maat, the co-sponsor of the event, is a revolutionary ball machine, benefiting from a cutting-edge technology that enables it to realistically simulate a game of tennis. Players can program their training session either on their website or directly using the extremely user-friendly built-in touch pad.

Surreaux is a former standout player from New Mexico State and a former top 500-ranked ATP professional. He is now a tennis coach and administrator.

The second singles wild card event for the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships will be announced at a later date.

Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishFoundation.com and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) is a non-profit tennis 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. The foundation currently supports over 2,100 children in 15 elementary schools and six middle schools in Indian River County, Florida by providing after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives. The Foundation introduced the “Six Healthy Habits” in 2012 which are Get Sleep; Drink Water; Exercise Daily, Eat Healthy; Brush and Floss; Make Friends.

Some of the past competitors at the USTA Vero Beach Futures 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.

Tickets for fans for the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships are available for advanced sale at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com. Admission for children 18 and under is free. Fans can follow news and developments on the tournament on Facebook and on Twitter at @VeroFutures. 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. The 2016 event featured 13 players who played Davis Cup for their country and was won by Jonas Luetjen of Germany, who defeated Latvian Davis Cupper Martins Podzus in the final.

Blake Beats McEnroe To Win 2016 PowerShares Season Finale In Brooklyn

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — James Blake defeated John McEnroe 6-4 to win the PowerShares QQQ Cup at the Barclays Center, the 12th and final event on the 2016 PowerShares Series, the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30.

The tournament title was Blake’s third on the PowerShares Series for the 2016 season, also winning the opening event in Chicago in April and in Portland, Oregon in November. The PowerShares QQQ Cup was the first tennis event ever at the Barclays Center, the home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and NHL’s New York Islanders. The event was also the first pro tennis event in Brooklyn since Bill Tilden won the 1935 U.S. Open Pro Championships at the Terrace Club in the Flatbush area of the borough.

The final had a hard New York feel as McEnroe has lived in New York City his entire life and Blake being a local favorite having been born in nearby Yonkers and grew up in the tri-state area in nearby Fairfield, Connecticut.

“I don’t think I have ever played more of a New Yorker in New York than myself since I was born here,” said Blake of playing against McEnroe, who had the majority of the crowd behind him, including his students from the nearby John McEnroe Tennis Academy on Randall’s Island and his wife Patty and brother Mark among other family members. “It makes sense to cheer for John McEnroe. He has done so much for this city and so much for this sport. If I’m not playing against him, I’m in the stands cheering for him too.”

The turning point in the match came at the third deuce point at 4-4 when the 37-year-old Blake ripped a backhand up the line passing shot off a McEnroe half volley to set up break point. He then hit another down-the-line backhand return-of-serve that forced a McEnroe half-volley error to break serve. Blake then benefited from two missed backhands from the 57-year-old McEnroe while connecting on two forehand winners to close out the win.

“I was just praying that he would miss a few first serves at the end,” said Blake, who was born four months after McEnroe won his first major singles title at the 1979 U.S. Open. “I was trying to get chances early on, but he erased them all with good serves. I pray that I can serve that well at 57 years old, or moving or anything he is doing this well at 57. I am just happy to get through it. I got a little lucky at the end and took advantage of my one chance on his serve.”

To reach the final, Blake defeated former U.S. Davis Cup teammate Andy Roddick 6-4 in the first semifinal, while McEnroe defeated Jim Courier 6-3.

Blake earned 400 PowerShares ranking points with the win to finish the season in third place with 1100 ranking points. Both Roddick and Mark Philippoussis finished the 2016 PowerShares Series season with 1600 ranking point totals, using their best four tournament results. However, Philippoussis is declared the season champion winning the tiebreaker with the better head-to-head record between the two, beating Roddick five times during the season, with Roddick only able to beat Philippoussis in the final of Thousand Oaks, California in October.

Each PowerShares Series event features two one-set semifinal matches and a one-set championship match and, for the second straight year, players make their own line calls with assistance of electronic line-calling.

The full 2016 PowerShares Series list of events and final-round results are as follows;

 

Chicago – James Blake def. John McEnroe 6-4

Charleston, SC – Andy Roddick def. Andre Agassi 6-1

St. Louis – Andy Roddick def. John McEnroe 6-3

Memphis – Mark Philippoussis def. Jim Courier 6-3

Tulsa – Mark Philippoussis def. Jim Courier 6-3

Newport, RI – Mark Philippoussis def. Marat Safin 6-4

Winston-Salem – Mark Philippoussis def. Andy Roddick 6-3

New Haven, CT – Mark Philippoussis def. James Blake 6-2

Portland, OR – James Blake def. Andy Roddick 7-5

Los Angeles – Andy Roddick def. Mark Philippoussis 6-2

Orlando – Andy Roddick def. Jim Courier 6-4

Brooklyn – James Blake def. John McEnroe 6-4

 

The following are pre-event quotes from all four competitors.

 

Jim Courier

Thoughts on professional tennis coming back to Brooklyn for the first time since 1935:

“I think it’s great to have tennis back here. I’ve never had a chance to play a tournament in Brooklyn. I’ve obviously played quite a bit in Queens – all of us have. We get a chance also to be the first in the building, which is really cool. We had that same opportunity two nights ago in Orlando at the Amway Center and I think it’s special to be part of something when you’re introducing it to a venue like this.”

 

John McEnroe

Thoughts on how the players still try to stay competitive in the PowerShares Series:

“Change the format – you know, make it one set so at least I have a prayer. It pushes me. I like to compete, but we obviously want to entertain – you know these guys (Roddick, Blake) are the next guys trying to take over this tour and keep it going, and I think there’s a place in tennis for a champions seniors’ tour – it could work out real well hopefully for the sport. That’s really what it boils down to.”

 

Andy Roddick

Thoughts on what’s been surprising about the PowerShares Series experience:

“For me it’s a lot of fun. John (McEnroe) and Jim (Courier) have put blood, sweat and tears into this tour for a long time, so for James and I to come along and be able to jump in these past couple of seasons has been great. I think it’s great for fans. James (Blake) and I can play as peers, Jim and John as peers, but there’s also that cross-generational match-ups, which are awesome. For me, it’s fun playing against friends of mine, heroes of mine; for me it’s a mix between reality and the surreal every night we play. It’s a lot of fun to be part of.”

 

James Blake

Thoughts on what’s been surprising about the PowerShares Series experience:

“Andy and I have played so many times and we continue that competitive spirit. We obviously don’t train exactly the same as we used to on tour, but we still get competitive when we get out there and it’s a lot of fun to still have that competitive outlet. I just love the opportunity – like he (Andy Roddick) said, John (McEnroe) and Jim (Courier) have put in so much work to make this tour possible. We’re really just piggy backing off of them and getting to enjoy it, and to still enjoy the sport. I’m pleasantly surprised how much I enjoy it and it makes it a lot of fun to go out and compete every day.”

 

John McEnroe

Thoughts on competing with younger players in the PowerShares Series:

“I love to work out – I feel better doing that, for starters, so just the fact that I can get out there and try to conjure up that I can actually do something is nice but I think that’s one of the great things about tennis – it’s a sport you can really play a lot later than the other sports. So that’s hopefully something people will see and appreciate – I certainly do.”

 

In 2015, Andy Roddick won the PowerShares Series points title in his second year of competing on the series with 1,600 points. Roddick won a record eight events Los Angeles, Lincoln, Chicago, Austin, Little Rock, Dallas, Richmond and Minneapolis. Blake finished second in the points rankings with 1,200 points, winning events in Boston and Cincinnati. Mark Philippoussis finished in third with 1,100 points, winning titles in Salt Lake City and Vancouver. The year before in 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the nine-year history of Champions Series tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte.

 

ABOUT INSIDEOUT SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT

InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a Los Angeles based producer of proprietary events and promotions founded in 2004 by former world No. 1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. In 2005, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Champions Series, a collection of tournaments featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including “Legendary Night” exhibitions, The World Series of Beach Volleyball and numerous corporate outings. Since inception, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment has raised over $4 million for charity. In 2014, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment merged with Horizon Media, the largest privately held media services agency in the world.  For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or www.powersharesseries.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

 

ABOUT HORIZON MEDIA

Horizon Media, Inc. is the largest and fastest growing privately held media services agency in the world. The company was founded in 1989, is headquartered in New York and has offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Chicago. Horizon Media was chosen as 2011 Independent Media Agency of the Year by Mediapost, 2010 U.S. Media Agency of the Year by Adweek, Brandweek, and Mediaweek as well as by Ad Age and as one of the world’s ten most innovative marketing and advertising companies by Fast Company in 2011. In 2012, Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO and Founder, was honored by Advertising Age as Industry Executive of the Year. Most recently, in 2014, Bill Koenigsberg was named 4As Chair of the Board and is the first person from a media agency to hold this prestigious position in the 100 year history of the 4As, the marketing industry’s leading trade association. The company’s mission is “To create the most meaningful brand connections within the lives of people everywhere.” By delivering on this mission through a holistic approach to brand marketing, Horizon Media has become one of the largest and fastest-growing media agencies in the industry, with estimated billings of over $5.3 billion and over 1,200 employees. The company is also a founding member of Columbus Media International, a multi-national partnership of independent media agencies. For more information, please visit horizonmedia.com.

 

ABOUT INVESCO POWERSHARES

Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC is leading the Intelligent ETF Revolution® through its lineup of more than 140 domestic and international exchange-traded funds, which seek to outperform traditional benchmark indexes while providing advisors and investors access to an innovative array of focused investment opportunities. With franchise assets of nearly $100 billion as of October 2, 2015, PowerShares ETFs trade on both US stock exchanges. For more information, please visit us at invescopowershares.com or follow us on Twitter @PowerShares.

 

ABOUT POWERSHARES QQQ

PowerShares QQQ™, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) based on the NASDAQ-100 Index®, is one of the largest and most traded ETFs in the world. Under most circumstances, QQQ will consist of all of the stocks in the index which includes 100 of the largest domestic and international nonfinancial companies listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market based on market capitalization.

Andy Roddick Beats Jim Courier To Win PowerShares Series Title In Orlando

Andy Roddick fought off the inspired play from hometown favorite Jim Courier to win the Champions Showdown Orlando Thursday night with a 6-4 decision in the one-set championship match.

In the first ever tennis event at the Amway Center, the home of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, Roddick won his fourth PowerShares Series title of the year and his 14th since he joined the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30 in 2014.

Courier, playing in front of family and friends in his hometown, was looking to beat Roddick for the first time in his career, losing all four previous matches against his former Davis Cup pupil. He broke Roddick’s serve in the third game of the match and led 4-2 and seemed in control to win his first PowerShares Series title since Oklahoma City in 2014. However, Roddick broke back in the eighth game of the set, capped by hitting a skidding, acutely-angled cross-court slice backhand passing shot, just out of Courier’s reach. With some spectacular serves and forehands, Roddick held for 5-4, then benefitted from three Courier unforced errors in the next game to break serve and close out the match.

“He came out really well, I wasn’t ready for it. I think he’s been doing push-ups or something,” quipped Roddick of Courier’s fast start.

“He came out strong tonight,” continued Roddick. “I was expecting to get in a rhythm early, put some balls in the court, but he was having none of that. He took the ball on the rise and came in strong early and I had to adjust at the end. I was fortunate.”

While Roddick relied on his big serve and heavy rocket forehand to win points, he also remained steady and won many points with numerous knifed backhand slices.

“When you can’t get the ball any more, you slice more often,” said Roddick of his backhand slice. “It’s probably improved since I stopped playing (on the ATP World Tour). It’s a virtue of me being slow now.”

Roddick advanced into the final with a 6-3 win over James Blake in the semifinals while Courier beat John McEnroe 7-5 in the other semifinal. Earlier this year, Roddick won titles in Thousand Oaks, Calif., St. Louis and Charleston, S.C.

In between the two singles semifinals, top pro golfer Henrik Stenson, the winner of the 2016 Open Championship, participated in the PowerShares “Target Challenge” along with fellow golf pro Steve Stricker and former ATP pro Robert Kendrick, a resident of Orlando.

Each PowerShares Series event features two one-set semifinal matches and a one-set championship match and, for the second straight year, players make their own line calls with assistance of electronic line-calling.

The final event for the 2016 PowerShares Series season will be played Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn featuring McEnroe, Courier, Roddick and Blake. Ticket and schedule information can be found at www.PowerSharesSeries.com

In 2015, Andy Roddick won the PowerShares Series points title in his second year of competing on the series with 1,600 points. Roddick won a record eight events Los Angeles, Lincoln, Chicago, Austin, Little Rock, Dallas, Richmond and Minneapolis. Blake finished second in the points rankings with 1,200 points, winning events in Boston and Cincinnati. Mark Philippoussis finished in third with 1,100 points, winning titles in Salt Lake City and Vancouver. The year before in 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the nine-year history of Champions Series tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte.

roddickorlandoslice

ABOUT INSIDEOUT SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT

InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a Los Angeles based producer of proprietary events and promotions founded in 2004 by former world No. 1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. In 2005, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Champions Series, a collection of tournaments featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including “Legendary Night” exhibitions, The World Series of Beach Volleyball and numerous corporate outings. Since inception, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment has raised over $4 million for charity. In 2014, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment merged with Horizon Media, the largest privately held media services agency in the world.  For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or www.powersharesseries.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

ABOUT HORIZON MEDIA

Horizon Media, Inc. is the largest and fastest growing privately held media services agency in the world. The company was founded in 1989, is headquartered in New York and has offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Chicago. Horizon Media was chosen as 2011 Independent Media Agency of the Year by Mediapost, 2010 U.S. Media Agency of the Year by Adweek, Brandweek, and Mediaweek as well as by Ad Age and as one of the world’s ten most innovative marketing and advertising companies by Fast Company in 2011. In 2012, Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO and Founder, was honored by Advertising Age as Industry Executive of the Year. Most recently, in 2014, Bill Koenigsberg was named 4As Chair of the Board and is the first person from a media agency to hold this prestigious position in the 100 year history of the 4As, the marketing industry’s leading trade association. The company’s mission is “To create the most meaningful brand connections within the lives of people everywhere.” By delivering on this mission through a holistic approach to brand marketing, Horizon Media has become one of the largest and fastest-growing media agencies in the industry, with estimated billings of over $5.3 billion and over 1,200 employees. The company is also a founding member of Columbus Media International, a multi-national partnership of independent media agencies. For more information, please visit horizonmedia.com.

ABOUT INVESCO POWERSHARES

Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC is leading the Intelligent ETF Revolution® through its lineup of more than 140 domestic and international exchange-traded funds, which seek to outperform traditional benchmark indexes while providing advisors and investors access to an innovative array of focused investment opportunities. With franchise assets of nearly $100 billion as of October 2, 2015, PowerShares ETFs trade on both US stock exchanges. For more information, please visit us at invescopowershares.com or follow us on Twitter @PowerShares.

ABOUT POWERSHARES QQQ

PowerShares QQQ™, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) based on the NASDAQ-100 Index®, is one of the largest and most traded ETFs in the world. Under most circumstances, QQQ will consist of all of the stocks in the index which includes 100 of the largest domestic and international nonfinancial companies listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market based on market capitalization.

 

“Bud Collins History of Tennis” Third Edition Now Available For Sale

The legacy of Bud Collins will continue in his encyclopedic compilation “The Bud Collins History of Tennis,” which is now available in a third edition.

Collins, the most influential and famous journalist in the history of tennis, died on March 6 of this year after 86 colorful, enthusiastic and kind-hearted years of life. Throughout his 59 years of covering tennis from all corners of the world, Collins became the sport’s premier story-teller and historian. Starting in 1980, Collins encyclopedic knowledge was first documented in his “Encyclopedia of Tennis” which has endured through different incarnations from different publishing houses. The current version published by New Chapter Press is titled “The Bud Collins History of Tennis” and is now available in a third edition with information updated through the 2016 U.S. Open. The 796-page book is available where books are sold for $39.95 including on Amazon.com here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1937559386/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_oYEvybKBFJHW8

For the first time ever, the book will also be available in electronic formats including Kindle starting in early 2017.

“I am so pleased that Bud’s life-long work in ‘The Bud Collins History of Tennis’ will continue to endure for more generations to enjoy and treasure,” said Anita Ruthling Klaussen, the wife of Bud Collins. “Under (Publisher) Randy Walker’s wonderful and enthusiastic guidance, we intend to keep Bud’s book going and going and going. It is a wonderful way to honor him!”
“The Bud Collins History of Tennis” is the ultimate compilation of historical tennis information, including year-by-year recaps of every tennis season, biographical sketches of every major tennis personality, as well as stats, records, and championship rolls for all the major events. Through his life in tennis, Collins offers insights into the world of professional tennis found from his countless experiences and relationships.

Arthur Worth “Bud” Collins, Jr. was born June 17, 1929, in Lima, Ohio and grew up in Berea (outside of Cleveland) about 50 yards from the dirt tennis courts of Baldwin-Wallace College, from which he graduated in 1951, and where his father had been head coach of football, basketball, baseball and track, as well as athletic director. He moved to Boston in 1954 where he soon joined the sports staff at the Boston Herald, moving to the Boston Globe in 1963. He first covered tennis at the 1956 U.S. Championships, covering the event every year until 2015 when the U.S. Tennis Association officially named the media center at Arthur Ashe Stadium in his honor. In 1963, the year began working for the Boston Globe, Collins first did television commentary, covering the U.S. Doubles at Longwood Cricket Club for Boston’s PBS outlet, WGBH, a station that for the next 20 years would pioneer American coverage of the sport. He worked the U.S. Open for CBS from 1968 to 1972, before signing on with NBC in 1972 where he began, perhaps, his signature association as the American voice of Wimbledon until 2007. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1994.

Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press (www.NewChapterMedia.com) is also the publisher of “The Greatest Tennis Matches of All-Time” by Steve Flink, “The Secrets of Spanish Tennis” by Chris Lewit, “The Wimbledon Final That Never Was” by Sidney Wood, “The Education of a Tennis Player” by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, “Macci Magic: Extracting Greatness From Yourself And Others” by Rick Macci with Jim Martz,  “The Greatest Jewish Tennis Players of All Time” by Sandy Harwitt, “Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection” by Rene Stauffer, “The Days of Roger Federer” by Randy Walker, “Andy Murray, Wimbledon Champion: The Full Extraordinary Story” by Mark Hodgkinson, “Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match” by Cliff Richey and Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, “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 (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 Permanently Erase Negative Self-Talk: So You Can Be Extraordinary” by Emily Filloramo, “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.

Patrick McEnroe To Join SPORTIME, John McEnroe Tennis Academy, As Co-Director

SPORTIME tennis club on Randall’s Island in New York City and The John McEnroe Tennis Academy (JMTA) have announced the appointment of Patrick McEnroe as Co-Director, alongside longtime JMTA Director Lawrence Kleger. McEnroe, the younger brother of JMTA founder John McEnroe, joins a team, led by SPORTIME Managing Director Bennett Schlansky. A world-class staff of directors, coaches, trainers and others support John’s and the Academy’s mission to stimulate interest in tennis in the greater NYC area, to make tennis accessible to New York area youth and to use tennis as pathway of opportunity, helping young players to reach there potentials as players, students and people.

“I am very pleased that my brother Patrick has decided to join us at JMTA, as we continue to refine our model and expand our impact,” John McEnroe said. “There probably isn’t anybody that understands American tennis and New York tennis better than Patrick and nobody in the world that has better or more experience coaching talent at the highest levels of the game. Patrick is going to help us make a difference.”

“My brother John, Lawrence Kleger and the entire team at JMTA have set a new standard in New York with the quality and breadth of what they offer, and with their charitable efforts for young players of both genders and all backgrounds,” Patrick McEnroe said. “I am looking forward to bringing my lifetime of learning, as a player, coach and program manager, to my new role. I think that JMTA is just getting started and that my involvement can be a great addition. I am excited to work on my brother’s team! ”

Ben Schlansky explains, “The opportunity to add Patrick to the Sportime/JMTA team was unexpected and, frankly, a ‘no brainer.’ Our CEO, Claude Okin, has known Patrick for almost 20 years, and we have all watched Patrick’s evolution from touring pro, to Davis Cup Captain, to GM of USTA Player Development, and more, plus some folks forget that he won a Grand Slam. And now he is a tennis dad, so he has added that perspective. Patrick’s contribution should be amazing for Sportime and JMTA, and Claude and I are so excited to have him on our team.”

This sentiment was echoed by Patrick’s JMTA Co-Director, Lawrence Kleger, who said, “I am very excited to have Patrick join our JMTA team.  I have known Patrick since he was a kid and have always liked and respected him.  I look forward to working side by side with him.  Without question, Patrick will help us take the Academy to the next level.”

Patrick McEnroe won one singles title and 16 doubles titles, including the 1989 French Open Men’s Doubles title, during his 10-year professional career, and achieved career-high rankings of World No. 28 in singles and World No. 3 in doubles.  After retiring from the tour in 1998, Patrick had a successful run as U.S. Davis Cup captain, winning the cup in 2007. After leaving his Davis Cup role in 2010, McEnroe focused on his television commentary work, and also led the player development charge for the USTA until 2014. McEnroe is a life-long New Yorker, where he lives with his wife, Broadway star and actress Melissa Errico and their three daughters. McEnroe will impact a variety of areas in his position with SPORTIME and JMTA, including curriculum, corporate engagement, and fundraising for scholarship and community-based programs, as well as coach and staff recruitment and training, calling on his many years of working with and managing other great coaches, and learning from them.

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About SPORTIME

SPORTIME is proud to operate the finest tennis facilities in New York State, with over 150 indoor and outdoor courts at 12 clubs across Long Island, in NYC, in Westchester and in the NY Capital Region.  SPORTIME’s clubs are state-of-the-art, yet affordable, and feature the best tennis facilities and programs, along with great gyms, camps and sports and fitness offerings.  SPORTIME is proud to be the home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy at Randall’s Island since 2010, with JMTA Annexes at Syosset/Bethpage, Long Island, and Lake Isle, Eastchester, since 2012.

About The John McEnroe Tennis Academy

In September 2010, tennis legend John McEnroe and SPORTIME partnered to launch the John McEnroe Tennis Academy in John’s hometown of New York City, at the SPORTIME’s flagship Randall’s Island Tennis Center in Manhattan. In September 2012, JMTA expanded its geographic reach to SPORTIME locations in Westchester and on Long Island: SPORTIME Lake Isle, an 8-court, state-of-the art, year-round facility in Eastchester, New York in lower Westchester; and SPORTIME Syosset in central Long Island, an 11-court indoor facility, that has long served as SPORTIME’s high performance training center on Long Island. John’s passion and belief is that great players can be developed in urban settings, while still having the opportunity to live at home, pursue their educational goals, and participate in a variety of sports and extracurricular activities. The Academy works to recruit the most talented and the most highly motivated young athletes in the New York Metropolitan area and beyond. Inspired by the vision and daily presence of Johnny Mac and under the guidance of JMTA Managing Director, Bennett Schlansky, JMTA Directors, Lawrence Kleger and Patrick McEnroe, JMTA Performance Director, Richard-John Mensing, Jr., and JMTA Director of Mental Performance and Toughness, Dr. Dom Lausic, and with a world-class staff of tennis, athletic training and performance directors and coaches, JMTA delivers a complete training program designed to assure the best possible outcome for serious players; whether for junior tournament players, future and current collegiate stars, or for those seeking to play on, or currently playing on the ATP, WTA and ITF tours.

About the Johnny Mac Tennis Project

The Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP) changes young lives by removing the economic and social barriers to success through tennis. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, JMTP introduces the sport of tennis as a life-long health, fitness and social activity to thousands of under-resourced New York City area kids, particularly those living in East Harlem and the South Bronx, two communities immediately adjacent to our base at SPORTIME Randall’s Island. For a smaller group of dedicated young athletes, JMTP provides a pathway to success through competitive tennis, leading to college scholarships, careers in the industry, and, for a few, professional tennis careers and, perhaps, Grand Slam titles.

Nicole Gibbs Becomes Newest Ambassador For Gluten-Free ArrowBar

Rising tennis star and personality Nicole Gibbs has been named the newest ambassador for the newly-launched gluten free energy bar called “ArrowBar.”

Gibbs joins top American tennis stars John Isner and Stevie Johnson, as well as former ATP Pros James Blake and Michael Russell, as ambassadors for the product.

The ArrowBar is a new gluten-free, all-natural, high performance energy bar, developed by athletes for athletes and active people, that provides a filling, energy-boosting 200-calorie bar that provides a quick and long-lasting energy. The ArrowBar is now offered in two flavors – Chocolate Chip and Cinnamon Honey Oat – and are available for purchase online at www.ArrowBar.com. Bars are available in boxes of 12 for $24.99.

Gibbs is a two-time NCAA singles champion from Stanford University who reached the third round of the US Open in 2014. A resident of Santa Monica, Calif., Gibbs cracked the top 100 in the WTA rankings in 2014 and achieved a career-high ranking of No. 68 earlier this year.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the ArrowBar team and to be integrating their health philosophy with my own,” said Gibbs. “As a tennis player, it can be very difficult to find pure, effective, and tasty fuel options that will carry me deep into a third set, and I truly believe that I have found that with ArrowBar. As someone who leads a healthy lifestyle, it has often frustrated me that the majority of supplement and fuel options available are heavy on artificial sugar and light on substance. ArrowBar’s commitment to providing a gluten free and naturally sweetened option excite me both from a health and performance standpoint. I was already looking forward to my 2017 season, but with ArrowBar as a new partner, I am all the more confident in what I will be able to accomplish.”

“We are very excited about Nicole joining Team ArrowBar,” said ArrowBar founding partner Mark Arrowsmith. “She is an up and coming player who truly embodies our motto ‘Life is Sport. Are you Playing?’ She is committed to training hard and fueling her body with only the best products. We are looking forward to big things from her on and off the court starting next season.”

The ArrowBar name comes from founding partner Mark Arrowsmith, a former University of Miami tennis player who is now the Director of Tennis at the Eagle Landing Country Club in Orange Park, Florida just outside of Jacksonville where he also runs an annual $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit men’s Futures-level professional tennis tournament. Arrowsmith and two other University of Miami varsity athletes – tennis player Andrew Golub and baseball player Rob Goldberg – are the founding partners of the company. Golub was a four-year varsity tennis player for the Hurricanes – and voted captain of the team on two occasions – and now runs Golub Tennis, one of the most successful tennis academies in Florida, helping more than 120 players earn college scholarships. Goldberg, a varsity baseball player at Miami, received both his Bachelor’s Degree and Law Degree in Coral Gables. He has worked in numerous projects in commercial real estate and advertising.

Said Arrowsmith, “As a former player and coach, I was always aware of the lack of options for athletes who wanted long lasting energy without chalky aftertastes or having to choke down something that didn’t taste good. While playing college tennis our options were very limited, and it seemed like the options hadn’t improved much since. That is why we set out to create an energy bar that simply does what it says; provide sustained energy while tasting great. I believe that anyone who demands results from their active lifestyle will love ArrowBars.

Said Golub, “From playing at a high collegiate level myself to talking to high level professional tennis players, I knew there was a need for a clean energy source during competition. The goal was to create a product that was easy to eat, that wouldn’t fall apart or melt in your bag and that wouldn’t be tough to digest and sticky on your hands. We accomplished all of those things with ArrowBar and kept the label extremely clean. As a team, we are all very proud to bring this bar to the market and we know this is a need for all active people”

Said Goldberg, “While I do not play competitive sports any longer, my health and staying active are both very important to me. I had always felt that I did not have a good option when it came to the nutrition bars on the market, whether it be prior to a workout or to just get through a long night at the office. When my friends told me five years ago that they noticed the same problem with the people they coach we all agreed that there must be a way to provide a better option, and with that ArrowBar was born. It has been a long road, but it is because we did not want to go to the public with anything less than what we believe to be the best that we can provide. We are very happy with the product that we have created and we know that everyone else will be as well. We couldn’t be happier to launch ArrowBar to the world.”

“The Secrets of Spanish Tennis” Book Makes For Great Holiday Gift For Tennis Players

“The Secrets of Spanish Tennis,” the book that features the key Spanish methods and philosophies that have propelled Spain to the pinnacle of professional tennis, makes for a great gift for the Holidays from New Chapter Press.

The book is written by elite New York-based high performance tennis coach Chris Lewit, who spent the last seven years visiting many of the top Spanish academies and studying their teaching methods. The book features results of Lewit’s interviews with some of the leading Spanish coaches, explaining their unique and special training methodology, while also sharing many of their “secret” Spanish tennis drills.

“I am very excited to share the results of my extensive studies of the Spanish approach towards tennis and the training methods of Spain’s most famous coaches in this book,” said  Lewit. “This is a very valuable and practical tool for any player, parent, or coach who is curious about how a small country like Spain has become a world superpower in tennis, and would like to learn and adopt some of the methods used to achieve this unprecedented success. The advice, methods, and drills shared in this book are presented in a clear and simple way that is easy for the reader to understand.”

All featured drills in the book from famous Spanish coaches are also demonstrated visually on Lewit’s www.secretsofspanishtennis.com website to aid the understanding of the reader. The book can be purchased where books are sold, including here on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1937559491/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_Oatpub01M072B

Lluis Bruguera, the respected Spanish tennis coach and the father of two-time French Open champion Sergi Bruguera, contributed the foreword to the book. Bruguera, the former Spanish Davis Cup captain and technical director of the Real Federacion Espanola de Tennis, is the founder and current director of the Bruguera Tennis Academy in Spain.

“Chris is in love with the Spanish system and a fervent follower because he believes in the advantages of what this system offers,” said Bruguera in the foreword. “It’s obvious that one country so small and without many practitioners must have something hidden that supports the success. I highly recommend The Secrets of Spanish Tennis to all parents, coaches, and players who are interested in learning the Spanish methods.”

Said Valencia, Spain-based International Tennis Federation Development Research Officer Miguel Crespo in endorsing the book, “The Secrets of Spanish Tennis provides an excellent overview of the main characteristics and reasons why tennis in Spain has been so successful. By the appropriate combination of theory and practice, the book helps to understand the factors that may help a nation in the development of high performance players. A must read for those interested in the insights of some of the best players and coaches in the history of the game.”

Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press (www.NewChapterMedia.com) is also the publisher of “The Greatest Tennis Matches of All-Time” by Steve Flink, “The Education of a Tennis Player” by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, “Macci Magic: Extracting Greatness From Yourself And Others” by Rick Macci with Jim Martz, “Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection” by Rene Stauffer, “The Days of Roger Federer” by Randy Walker, “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, “Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match” by Cliff Richey and Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, “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 (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.

Mardy Fish Vero Beach, Florida USTA Futures Event Moves To Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club

The Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club in Vero Beach, Florida will return as the host venue for the 2017 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, the $15,000 “Futures” tennis tournament – one of the longest-running and best attended events on the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) Pro Circuit.

Grand Harbor previously hosted the event from 1995 to 2009 before being played the last seven years at The Boulevard tennis club. The 2017 tournament will be held Friday April 21 to Sunday April 30. The event benefits the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the non-profit tennis 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 bring the tournament back to its original home at Grand Harbor, where we will look to continue to improve the event and expand the experience for our fans and players,” said Tom Fish, Chairman of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation. “The expanded space and resources at Grand Harbor are a better fit for our long-term vision for the event and will help us in our goal to raise more money for our foundation while also leveraging the tournament to promote tennis to all demographics of our Treasure Coast community. We are very thankful to The Boulevard for being a terrific site for this community event for the last seven years and we look forward to continuing our strong relationship with other Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation activities.”

Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishFoundation.com and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) currently supports over 2,100 children in 15 elementary schools and six middle schools in Indian River County, Florida by providing after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives. The Foundation introduced the “Six Healthy Habits” in 2012 which are Get Sleep; Drink Water; Exercise Daily, Eat Healthy; Brush and Floss; Make Friends.

Tickets for the qualifying rounds of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships from April 21 – April 24 will cost $10, while tickets for the main draw of singles and doubles from April 25 – 30 will be $20. Season tickets that include both the qualifying and main draw events cost $100. Advance tickets can be purchased at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com. Admission for children 18 and under is free. Fans can follow news and developments on the tournament on Facebook and on Twitter at @VeroFutures.

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.

The 2016 event featured 13 players who played Davis Cup for their country and was won by Jonas Luetjen of Germany, who defeated Latvian Davis Cupper Martins Podzus in the final.

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. Dale Sorensen Real Estate is the exclusive broker onsite for new construction sales as well as resales in the community. For more information please visit www.GrandHarbor.com, www.grandharborverobeach.com, www.grandharborsalescenter.com, www.sorensenrealestate.com

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Five Questions In Men’s Tennis For 2017

by Michael Lemont

Five questions in tennis for 2017.

1- Murray/Djokovic : Who’s gonna take over the leadership? 

Ranked No. 1 for almost three years, Novak Djokovic has lost his throne a couple of weeks before the end of the season. After a perfect first half of the year with a sixth win at the Australian Open, another double Indian Wells/Miami, the Serb finally won the French Open, the last major missing to his trophies, achieving a Grand Slam astride two seasons. He probably needed to release some pressure afterwards and during the second half of the season, he just won one title (Toronto) while Andy Murray became almost invincible with eight titles including Wimbledon, the Olympics and the year-end ATP World Tour Finals, 78 wins in total and 24 in a row to finish the season. And no doubt that his success over Djokovic in the Masters Cup final at home in London was the best conclusion for him, knowing that he lost 13 of their last 15 meetings before that ultimate one. So what’s gonna be Novak’s reaction in 2017? Will he be able to come back to the top? Can Murray stay number one for a little while?
2- Federer/Nadal : Can the Big Four be reunited?

The Big Four fell apart this year. After two semis at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, Roger Federer withdrew for the rest of the season due to his back injury. He also had to retire from the French Open earlier one, first time since 1999 that he missed a major. And for the first time since 2002, he finished a season out of the Top 10 (16th).  Rafael Nadal was not luckier in 2016. He was victim of a wrist injury in spring and he had to retire from Roland Garros, for the first time, after the second round. He came back for the Olympics (gold in double, semi in single) but it was too premature and after a disappointing US Open, he withdrew for the rest of the season. Ranked No. 9, it is his worst ranking since 2005. It’s also the first time that none of them is in the Top 4 since 2003. However, they both claimed that they will come back stronger for the opening season. They will turn 36 and 31 years old in 2017. Will they reach the top 4 again? Will they be able to be consistent enough all over the season?

 

3- Del Potro : Can he come back to the top again ?

After 4 wrist surgery and few years off-court since his first and last success in a major (US Open 2009), Juan Martin del Potro is trying another come back. Ranked No. 1,042 in February, he finished the season No. 38. With some astonishing wins this year over some top players (Wawrinka in Wimbledon, Djokovic and Nadal at the Olympics, Murray in the Davis Cup), he proved himself that without any injuries he will be able to reach the Top 10 again and much more. Beside the Big Four, he is the only player with Stanislas Wawrinka and Marin Cilic to have won a Grand Slam in the last 12 years. Silver medalist in Rio, he just led the Argentina team to his first Davis Cup trophy, becoming a hero in his country. No doubt that he will be one the players to follow during the upcoming season.
4- The “teen generation” … What’s next?

Because the tennis becomes more and more powerful and physical, it is hard today for the players to break through at an early age. The last teenagers to be part of the Top 10 were  Rafael Nadal in 2005 and Lleyton Hewitt in 2000. Players play longer and reach their best level later than before. The top 100 and top 10 had never been so old in the last few years. But after the 85-86 generation, the 95-96 one is now ready to reverse the trend. For the first time since 2008, the Top 10 is getting younger again (mostly because Roger Federer left it in 2016). The leader of that new generation is Nick Kyrgios, 21 years old and already ranked No. 13 at the ATP. He is one of the only six players that has beaten at least six Top 10 players during the season. He might need to become more mature and professional in order to claim big victories in a very close future. Alexander Zverev (19yo, 24th, one title in St-Petersburg), Borna Coric (20yo, 48th, 2 finals in Chennai and Marrakech) and Taylor Fritz (19yo, 77th, one final in Memphis) are at least as promising. Around the Top 100, Yoshihito Nishioka,  Hyeon Chung, Jared Donaldson, Frances Tiafoe and Andrey Rublev are other names to focus on and to follow for the next seasons.
5 – What about the others?

With three wins in three different majors in the last three years, Stanislas Wawrinka will be one of the most serious contenders to the Big Four once again. However, his lack of consistency will not make him a pretender to the No. 1 status. Alongside  him, the old generation will still be there with Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer, Marin Cilic and the Frenchmen. Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet will try to become the first french players to win a Major since Yannick Noah in 1983. In the meantime the middle generation never seemed to be that strong. Milos Raonic (3rd), Key Nishikori (5th), Dominic Thiem (8th) and David Goffin (11th) looked mature enough to compete with the Big Four. Grigor Dimitrov, Bernard Tomic and Lucas Pouille can also have ambitious goals for 2017.
Hopefully all those players are gonna make this upcoming season a great one, full of records, emotions and suspense.

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