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What Are Some of the Most Common Tennis Injuries?

Tennis is a fast-paced sport with plenty of twists, turns, and changes in tempo. It is also a sport that involves the entire body making it possible to suffer injuries that sideline you for long periods. Injuries are a common part of tennis and something all players must deal with. Regardless of if you are a professional tennis player or an amateur, you will experience an injury at one time or another. Tennis fans are gearing up for the first grand slam of the season. Tennis fans can use this referral code to wager on the Australian Open and bet on their favourite tennis players to win. Although tennis is not a high-impact sport, these injuries are common and can become serious issues.

Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow is one of the most often seen injuries by sports doctors and trainers. It is so common that it has even been named after the sport. Tennis elbow occurs when the tendons running from the forearm to the outside of the elbow become inflamed due to overuse. Athletes who play racquet sports can often experience tennis elbow. The injury causes an uncomfortable burning sensation in the forearm and elbow.

Back Pain
As you progress as a player, you may experience far more running and body jostling during a tennis match. This can contribute to back pain but running is not the only reason tennis players suffer issues with their backs. The twisting, turning, and sudden movements related to tennis can cause players to suffer spasms and cramps. Back injuries can be quite serious with fractures and/or muscle tears occurring.

Ankle Strains, Twists, and Sprains
The elbow and back are not the only body parts that get strained during an intense tennis match. The ankles not only support you, but take plenty of punishment when you change directions. Tennis is a fast-paced game in which you change directions quickly. A wrong step or a slip on the court can cause you to roll an ankle. A sprained ankle can cause you to retire from a match and miss competitions.

Rotator Cuff
The rotator cuff can suffer tears from constant use of the arm and shoulder. A torn rotator cuff is painful and you may find the shoulder to be weak when moving it. Overuse can cause a tear in the rotator cuff but it can also occur from a sudden movement like a serve or backhand. Casual tennis players can also suffer tendinitis in the rotator cuff. This occurs due to uncontrolled overhead serves.

Wrist Strains and Sprains
Tennis players make a lot of wrist and hand movements when playing. The rotation of the hand and wrist during a game can cause repetitive strain to the joint. Inflammation can occur in the wrist and strain can be put on the forearm and elbow. Non-serious wrist injuries can typically be treated with rest and ice. This will take down the swelling and return strength to the wrist and hand. Having a good racquet technique can prevent wrist injuries from occurring. It is recommended to use the “handshake” grip when holding a racquet.

Kim Clijsters To Make WTA Tour Comeback At Age 36

The WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) announced that former World No.1 Kim Clijsters, winner of 41 career singles titles including four Grand Slams and three season-ending WTA Finals, is in training with plans to compete on the professional tennis tour in 2020.

Clijsters, who played the first professional matches of her career on the ITF Circuit in 1997 and made her WTA debut age 15 at Antwerp in 1999, was 29 years old when she played her last competitive matches at the US Open in 2012. Now 36, the Belgian eyes her return to the tennis circuit as a mother of three – daughter Jada was born in February 2008, followed by sons Jack (2013) and Blake (2016). She is also a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, having been inducted in the Class of 2017.

“Kim Clijsters ranks among the greats of the game and her return to the Tour is exciting news for the WTA family and tennis fans around the world,” said Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO. “Driven by her love for the sport, this wonderful champion continues to inspire women and men in all walks of life – and she only adds to the compelling wealth of talent in women’s tennis. I wish Kim all the best in this next chapter of her playing career.”

Clijsters’ ‘first career’ was highlighted by two victories at the WTA Finals (2002-03), 19 non-consecutive weeks as World No.1 on the WTA Rankings (first attained on August 11, 2003 for 10 weeks), and a maiden Grand Slam title at the 2005 US Open. That triumph at Flushing Meadows came after four runner-up finishes at Slams: Roland Garros in 2001 and 2003, the US Open in 2003 and the Australian Open in 2004.

She stepped away from tennis in May 2007, marrying Brian Lynch shortly after and giving birth to a daughter, Jada, the following year. But in July 2009, after 26 months away from the tour, she launched a famous comeback that began with a run to the quarterfinals at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Then, in just her third tournament back, Clijsters won the US Open to become the first mother to win a Grand Slam title since Evonne Goolagong at Wimbledon in 1980. She defended the Flushing Meadows crown in 2010, before going on to capture a third WTA Finals title at Doha and win the 2011 Australian Open. Her victory in Melbourne helped Clijsters return to No.1 for a 20th career week in February 2011 – the only mother to hold the top spot since computer rankings began in November 1975.

Her last singles match was against Laura Robson in the second round at the 2012 US Open, which she lost in two tie-break sets. This was followed by a first round doubles exit partnering with fellow Belgian Kirsten Flipkens and finally, a second round appearance with Bob Bryan in the mixed doubles.

With 41 singles titles (41-19 record in finals), Clijsters still places third among active players, behind Serena Williams (72 titles) and Venus Williams (49) – and 14th on the Open Era list. She reached at least the semifinals on 16 of her 35 Grand Slam appearances and also shone in doubles, winning 2003 Roland Garros and Wimbledon (both with Ai Sugiyama) among 11 titles and spending 4 weeks at No.1. She remains one of just six women to simultaneously hold the top spot in both singles and doubles.

In addition to being a fan favorite, Clijsters won the WTA’s Peachy Kellmeyer Player Service Award in 2010 and the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award a record eight times – both accolades decided by peer vote. She was named Most Impressive Newcomer by international media in 1999; Comeback Player of the Year in 2005 and 2009; and Player of the Year in 2005 and 2010. In recent years she served as a Legend Ambassador for the WTA Finals in Singapore.

As a former World No.1, Clijsters is eligible for unlimited wildcards at WTA tournaments. She will need play three tournaments or earn 10 ranking points to re-establish a ranking.

Basilashvili Retains Hamburg Crown

Nikoloz Basilashvili won his second successive Hamburg European Open title on Sunday, defeating unseeded Russian Andrey Rublev 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. In front of about 6,000 spectators on Centre Court, the tournament’s No. 4 from Georgia overpowered his opponent towards the end of the match and gained the decisive two breaks in the fourth as well as the sixth game of the final set to secure victory in two hours and seven minutes.

“It’s unbelievable to win back-to-back titles here. It looks like that this is my favourite tournament and it is an ATP 500 event, so I am really happy,” Basilashvili said.

With his 12th straight match win at Hamburg, Basilashvili has become the first seeded Rothenbaum titlist since seventh favourite Martin Klizan of Slovakia won in 2016. Unseeded lucky loser Leonardo Mayer of Argentina clinched the trophy in 2017, while the Georgian was an unseeded qualifier when he claimed the title here last year.

“Maybe the clay is different here or something is different on the Centre Court. I can see the ball much better than at other tournaments. It looks like I’m playing my best tennis here,” Basilashvili said. ”I didn’t know that Roger (Federer) and Medvedev won defending titles but just to see my name next to them means a lot to me for sure.”
After lifting his third ATP 500-level trophy in a 12-month span, Basilashvili took away from Northern Germany $354,845 in prize money as well as 500 ATP-Ranking points.

Rublev, who was trying to become the first Russian to the take the Hamburg since Nikolay Davydenko in 2009, collected a prize cheque of $178,220 and 300 ATP-Ranking points.

“It’s always disappointing to lose in a final but that’s the part of the game. We have to deal with it. Congrats to Nikoloz, who did a very good job to defend his title here,” Rublev said during his on-court speech and could also take away some positives from the last seven days in Hamburg: “This has been my best week here so far. I hope that can keep it up and even improve over the next couple of weeks.”

The Nick Kyrgios-Popularized Underhand Serve Is Trail Blazing

by Rajagopalan Rohinee

It is said that rules are meant to be broken. In sports, however, there are a few rules that can seem like they have been broken, especially when followed to a T. Like employing an underarm serve and receiving flak for it even though it is permissible under the sport’s regulations.

Nick Kyrgios’ irreverent usage of the underarm serve in his matches – against Rafael Nadal at the Mexican Open in Acapulco, and against Dusan Lajovic at the Miami Open – raised a furore even to the extent of fingers being pointed at him for not respecting his opponent. This, despite Nadal pointedly clarifying that he was not referring to Kyrgios hitting an underarm serve against him.

Borrowing from an oft-used cricketing adage, Kyrgios’ actions, then, seem to be contravening the so-called ‘spirit of the game.’

To elaborate, in the cricketing parlance, nothing brings out the utilisation of this term more than the action of ‘Mankading.’ The term refers to a method of run-out by the bowler of the batter at the non-striker’s end while the batter is positioned out of the crease at the time of the ball being bowled. Former Indian allrounder Vinoo Mankad, who was the first to employ this tactic in a Test series against Australia back in 1947, went on to give it its name which has since come to be used in a denigrating manner in contemporary times.

Like the underarm serve, Mankading, too, is permissible within cricket’s laws and bye-laws except for provisions underlining its prescribed usage. But invariably, like in tennis, in the heat of the moment, using it as a means to score an advantage for the bowling team is construed as an attempt to subvert the ethics of sportsmanship or the aforementioned ‘spirit of the game’, creating an ironic redundancy.

Addressing the subject by dwelling on it, instead of casting it aside, is necessary to curb this existence of irony, especially in tennis.

While in cricket, the code of the sport being a ‘gentleman’s game’ curbs the need to use Mankading time and again, in matches, tennis for its own reasons, too, does not see much of its players take the underarm-serve route (at least in the highest rungs of the professional Tour). Excluding Kyrgios’ ingenuity in his timing of using an underarm serve, it has been seen as a ‘Hail Mary’ with its immediate purpose to help the server recover lost ground – mentally just as much as physically – in a match. Case in point: Michael Chang’s now-famous win over Ivan Lendl in the 1989 French Open final.

That the game is struck on whether the methodology should be applied after nearly three decades of it being the pivot in an all-important match, then, lays emphasis about the sport’s evolution. That regardless of the possibility of an underarm serve coming into play mid-match, it continues to be relegated to mental outposts when it comes to determining tactical unique selling propositions (USPs) merits introspection from the game’s stakeholders. Rather than it being an aspersion on a player choosing to exercise it as a viable option.

In this context, the potentiality of a player serving underarm closely resembles the SABR – the much-lauded and the equally-disparaged Sneak Attack By Roger – pioneered by Roger Federer back in 2015. The Swiss’ manoeuvre of coming to the net even as his opponent was preparing to serve with the ball toss meant that he put the other player on the backfoot even before the ball had been directed from his racquet. Federer’s inventiveness fell in line with the game’s rules but ruffled many feathers, including that of Boris Becker who was then coaching Novak Djokovic.
In these following years, Federer has made use of the strategy frugally partly thanks to his rivals have also become conscious that it could be greeting them in a literal, sneaky manner. This has also led to a lessening of the frenzy surrounding the shot such as it was back when it first came to be a part of tennis’ lexicon. In other words, people got used to it.

So, if tennis’ widespread audiences could adapt to seeing a style of play that was admittedly trail-blazing, rightfully the underarm serve by virtue of being around longer should have seen a similar flexibility. Perhaps, the only way to get it done now is by making it more common, more visible thereby normalising a facet that ought to have always been thus deemed.

Andy Murray Embodied Many Things To Many People

by Rajagopalan Rohinee

Andy Murray embodied many things to many people. He was the gritty warrior who never let up in his performances, despite the numerous defeats and setbacks that waylaid him. He was the deceptive athlete, who could vary his shot-making to suit himself and discomfit his opponent. He was also the rebel who took decisions which though seemed effortless for him, never seemed easy for others.

Of all these facets, it’s the last trait that not only set Murray apart from his peers but also carved a unique pride of place for him among them.

Be it raising his voice for the controversial referendum vote for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom – followed by an unapologetic stance reiterating his decision in the aftermath of the fallout – in 2014, or be it a demonstrative declaration of giving women in the profession – both past and present – their due, Murray never shied away from taking a stand regardless of how it may have been perceived.

At a time, when, on the subject of equal pay for women players, players either preferred to sit on the fence with displays of dubious diplomacy, or outright negated the need for the same, Murray’s unequivocal stance to speak up for the women set a precedent. Now, against the backdrop of the overwhelming emotions coming forth after his shock announcement about his impending retirement, reactions to the Briton’s viewpoint have been conveniently airbrushed. However, back when he had stood up for the cause – so to speak – Murray was cast as a pariah, by many in the same fold.

A similar turnaround has, then, been effectuated about his decision to appoint Amelie Mauresmo as his coach, between now and then. When Murray engaged Mauresmo as his coach in 2014, disparagements shrouded as banter greeted his move, pitting it as a step-down of sorts after Ivan Lendl. To the relentless critics, it did not matter that under the guidance of the Frenchwoman, Murray won his first Masters 1000 on clay – in Madrid in 2015 – or that he continued the established trend of being a fixture in the finals of the Majors (with two consecutive trips to the Australian Open final Sunday in 2015-16).

Cut to 2018, merely two years after Mauresmo and Murray parted ways, as Mauresmo resumed her coaching career by joining compatriot Lucas Pouille’s team, opinions veered towards cheers and acceptance as though it was no big deal in the scheme of things. While this was indeed a change for the better, it still hit harder that it was not the case the first time around when such unnecessary hue and cry was made about it.

At the same time, though, it is also fitting – at par with the theme of what Murray’s career has been, unbound and unfettered by conventions.

Murray started out as the beacon of deliverance for British tennis that had been long-parched, lacking a Major champion for years. And, in the decade-and-a-half that he unwound his way through the professional circuit, Murray not only lived up to those expectations – as stifling as they were at times – but also gave his country more reasons, beyond conventionality, to hope. Even beyond the scope of winning Wimbledon, as he transformed himself from an envisioned titlist at the Championships, to a multiple-time Major winner – coming close enough to completing the Grand Slam.

One looking to making the most of opportunities could do well to borrow a page from Murray’s 2016 manual, in which he pushed his body to the limits of its endurance in trying to attain the world no. 1 ranking for the first time in his career. Time, though will suck in the allure of that accomplishment just as it would blot the other numbers that form the stockpile of his career. However, Murray’s long-lasting legacy will be of being an inspiration, who was not only unfettered by conventions, but also impervious to time-bound limitations.

Paris Is Turning Into Novak Djokovic’s Kind of Town

Paris is a special town for Novak Djokovic.

It is the scene of perhaps his greatest triumph in pro tennis when he won the 2016 French Open to finally complete his career Grand Slam –and his “Novak Slam” where he held all four major titles at the same time, a feat that had not been achieved since 1969 by Rod Laver.

Since Djokovic reached his career height at Roland Garros in 2016, he struggled with injuries, burnout and off-court issues, but amazingly rebounded to the top of the game after his ranking dropped to No. 22 in May of this year. Now, Paris is the scene of another major career achievement for the Serbian maestro.

The Rolex Paris Masters event in Paris, the second-to-last ATP event of the year, marks the event where Djokovic returns to the No. 1 ranking, becoming the the first player to have his ranking move to No. 1 after being ranked outside of the top 20. Djokivic has won this prestigious indoor event four times – in 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015 – and is trending upward in his return to the No. 1 ranking. Based on his current form, and storied history at the event, Djokovic is the clear tennis betting favorite to win a fifth Rolex Paris Masters title.

Roger Federer, who faces Djokovic in a blockbuster semifinal, will look to win for the second straight week after winning the title in his hometown of Basel, Switzerland the previous week. A win in Paris would mark his 100th career singles title, second to only Jimmy Connors and his 109 titles on the men’s all-time list. In 2011, Federer won his 70th career singles title in Paris, beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final.

While most eyes will be on Djokovic and Federer, the Rolex Paris Masters is the site of some unpredictable results and the other semifinalists in the top half, Dominic Thiem and Karen Khachanov, could also surprise. Last year at the event, Jack Sock of the United States captured the title beating another Serb, Filip Krajinovic, in the final.

The Curious Case of Sam Querrey

by Bob Stockton

2017 seemed like it was going to be a transformative year in Sam Querrey’s career, marking the reinvention of an inconsistent outsider as a player with genuine designs on reaching a Grand Slam final. The American delivered career-best performances at three of the four Grand Slams. Admittedly, reaching the third round of the Australian Open for the fifth time but failing to progress further is nothing to write home about, but a first Slam semi-final at Wimbledon followed by a first quarter-final at the US Open made 2017 a very good year for Querrey.

Querrey has always had the potential to beat anyone when at his peak level. There are players in the top 20 who are more consistent but lack the ability to reach a higher plane on occasion, with the likes of Pablo Carreno Busta, David Goffin and Roberto Bautista Agut all distinguished players but the kind of performers who could feasibly play their best against the world number 1 and still lose. There are other players in the top 20 who have mercurial talent and can be unstoppable for sets and matches at a time, such as the maverick Fabio Fognini and the erratic Grigor Dimitrov.

Querrey fits into that category, with his form at Wimbledon an indictment of this. In 2016, Querrey stunned world number 1 Novak Djokovic in the third round, with the American considered a massive outsider but able to reach a new level. If that wasn’t enough, Querrey repeated this feat the following year by beating home favourite and world number 1 Andy Murray in the Wimbledon quarter-final. Admittedly, there were question marks over both Djokovic’s and Murray’s fitness, but often those players can use their intimidating aura to grind through and exploit opponents’ weakness. Querrey played like a man possessed, possessed by a better tennis player than usual.

There are two key elements to consider when analysing if a player can win a Grand Slam for the first time: can they beat the best, and do they have the resilience to deliver a good level for a fortnight? A look at the latest tennis odds with bet365 for the US Open sees Querrey priced at 80/1 to win the title, a price that reflects that his ability to beat the best is currently outweighed by question marks over his consistency. This is why John Isner is at a much shorter price of 40/1, with Querrey’s fellow big-serving American much more dependable.

For example, Isner is less likely to lose to a player ranked outside the top 300 when defending a title. This is what Querrey served up at Los Cabos, falling to rank outsider Egor Gerasimov in the round of sixteen in a tournament at which he arrived as reigning champion. Querrey has endured a tough 2018. After winning the first set at the French Open against Gilles Simon, Querrey promptly rolled over. He repeated this feat at Wimbledon against Gael Monfils, made all the more disappointing considering his form in London.

Querrey may have given the world one of the great tennis-related videos through his dancing skills, but he will be determined to discover if he can give the sport one of the great Grand Slam final performances. If he can bring his best to the US Open this year then he will strike fear into the tournament favourites. The signs don’t necessarily suggest that this is too likely at this stage, but that’s the thing with mercurial talents: there’s no telling when they’ll bring their best.

Springfield Lasers Win First Ever World TeamTennis Title

It took 23 seasons but the Springfield Lasers are finally the World TeamTennis champions.

Springfield overpowered the top-seeded Philadelphia Freedoms, 19-18, at Sunday’s World TeamTennis Finals presented by GEICO on the campus of Drexel University in Philadelphia. Miomir Kecmanovic was the standout for the Lasers, winning four consecutive games in the final set to defeat Kevin King in men’s singles 5-3 to bring Springfield back from a 3-game final set deficit. Kecmanovic was named WTT Finals Forevermark MVP and received a one carat Forevermark diamond for his performance.

Lasers coach John-Laffnie de Jager dedicated the win to team founder Harry Cooper who passed away earlier this year. “This is for the people of Springfield and Mr. Cooper. I talk about champion people in life and the people in this franchise are all champion people. To win for the people of Springfield means a lot. They have been so good to us and I’m so glad we can bring the King Trophy back to them.”

Springfield got off to a strong start in a men’s doubles battle between Springfield’s Kecmanovic and Marcelo Demoliner and Philadelphia’s Fabrice Martin and 2018 Male Rookie of the Year Kevin King. The teams traded service holds until Kecmanovic hit a backhand winner down the line to break King’s serve and give the Lasers a 4-3 lead. Demoliner held serve as the Lasers won another critical 3-all point to close out the first set 5-3. Overall, the Lasers won six of nine 3-all points during the Finals.

Service holds were hard to come by in women’s doubles as Philadelphia’s Taylor Townsend double-faulted four times during the set and lost serve to hand Springfield’s duo of Vania King and Abigail Spears a 4-2 lead. King closed out the set on her serve to give the Lasers a 5-2 win over the League’s top-ranked doubles team of Townsend and Raquel Atawo.

With a 10-5 lead heading into the third set, Springfield looked to be in control going into mixed doubles. Martin started off with a strong service game and then raised his hands as he called for the crowd to get back into the match. The crowd roared and his Freedoms teammates also answered that call to action. Townsend held serve then Philadelphia won their first 3-all point of the afternoon to break Spears’ serve and go up 3-1 in the set. Townsend won her final service game for a 5-2 set win and closed the gap on Springfield’s lead to 12-10.

Townsend was undefeated during the regular season in women’s singles and she kept that record intact against Vania King. As this year’s Female MVP took the court, Freedoms owner Billie Jean King encouraged her from her seat in the second level by shouting “you can do it Taylor, you know what to do.” Townsend listened, breaking King’s serve in the opening game then held her serve to bring the overall match score even at 12-12. King and Townsend traded service holds until Townsend broke King to finish off the set at 5-2 and give the Freedoms their first lead since the opening set, 15-14, going into the final set of men’s singles.

The last set featured the league’s top two men’s singles players with Kecmanovic and King holding court with the 2018 title on the line. King saved three break points in the opening game and jumped out to a 3-1 lead but it was all Kecmanovic after that as the 18-year-old Serbian ran off four games in a row to win the match and set off a celebration as the Lasers bench rushed the court under a shower of confetti.

“It was a tough situation,” said Kecmanovic. “I tried to stay calm and I thought I could still do it. In the end I somehow managed to come through.”

OFF THE COURT: Prior to the first serve, both teams participated in the #HandshakeChallenge, a show of respect and sportsmanship which was started in South Africa by Lasers coach JL de Jager. The teams met at the net to shake hands with their opponents before the first serve.

Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa.
Sunday, August 5, 2018

Springfield Lasers def. PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS 19-18
Men’s Doubles – Miomir Kecmanovic\Marcelo Demoliner (Lasers) def. Kevin King\Fabrice Martin (Freedoms) 5-3
Women’s Doubles – Abigail Spears \Vania King (Lasers) def. Taylor Townsend\Raquel Atawo (Freedoms) 5-2
Mixed Doubles – Fabrice Martin\Taylor Townsend (Freedoms) def. Marcelo Demoliner\Abigail Spears (Lasers) 5-2
Women’s Singles – Taylor Townsend (Freedoms) def. Vania King (Lasers) 5-2
Men’s Singles – Miomir Kecmanovic (Lasers) def. Kevin King (Freedoms) 5-3

Colombia’s Juan Benitez Wins USTA Mardy Fish Vero Beach Futures In Florida

Juan Benitez of Colombia won the singles title at the $15,000 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships U.S. Tennis Association Pro Circuit event Sunday defeating Ricardo Rodriguez of Venezuela in a gripping 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 final at Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club.

The win for Benitez was the second on the “Futures” level of professional tennis, which is the equivalent of minor league baseball in tennis, after winning his first title in Morocco last year. He earned 18 ATP World Tour ranking points with the victory that will improve his current world ranking of No. 667.

“Amazing. Just every title, every week that you go undefeated is just amazing,” said Benitez. “I will always remember this week and this trophy. It’s been an unbelievable week for me here in Vero.”

The two hour and 28-minute battle between Benitez and Rodriguez saw 12 breaks throughout the match. Both players struggled to get a foothold early on in the match, as four of the 12 breaks in the match came in the first five games.

After the players settled in, break points came at a premium in the latter stages of the first set. Rodriguez had a look at one at with Benitez serving at 3-3, but the No. 5 seed held strong and won three points in a row to get the hold.

With Rodriguez serving at 5-6, he saved a break point at 30-40 to get the game to deuce, but Benitez fought hard to win the next two points to win the game and the set.

“Just one point at a time. He wasn’t giving many free points,” Benitez said of his strategy in the first set. “I had to work the point out, move him around, wait for him to miss pretty much.”

The second set was all Rodriguez as Benitez began to deal with soreness in his back. He was visited by the USTA trainer twice, and Rodriguez took advantage of the opportunity. He raced out to a 5-0 lead before Benitez showed signs of life to take two games late in the set. Rodriguez kept his nerve though and closed out the set 6-2.

“I had some physical issues that didn’t help me to move like I usually do,” said Benitez. “Sometimes I was being too passive and he was taking control of the point. I was either missing first, or he was making the winners.”
Benitez turned it back on in the third set though, jumping out to a 2-0 lead. Serving at 2-0 however, Rodriguez battled hard and capitalized on the second break point he saw in the game to get back on serve.

At 3-all, Benitez had a look at two break points to retake a lead, but Rodriguez continued to battle and won four points in a row to keep the match on serve. He turned the momentum from that game into two break points in the next game on Benitez’s serve, but the Colombian stayed resilient and eventually got the hold after a 10-point battle.
After a hold at love to go up 5-4, Benitez applied the pressure on Rodriguez’s serve and took advantage of the first and only match point he saw, forcing an error off the racquet of Rodriguez to claim the title.

“He’s been playing at a very high level throughout the week and I congratulate him,” Benitez said of Rodriguez. “It was a good battle.”

Benitez was especially proud of how he was able to fight through his struggles with injury throughout the match.
“You still gotta go out there and do everything in your power to win,” Benitez said. “I think I overcame those physical issues I had during the match and I’m very happy to get the win”

While Rodriguez didn’t get the win, he views his run in Vero Beach this week as a major positive for his career.
“I think it’s really good to be in a final again. It has been a little bit more than two years,” said Rodriguez, the all-time leading singles player on Venezuela’s Davis Cup team. “Finally I see a little bit of a light at the end of the tunnel. That gives me courage, that gives me strength, and even though I didn’t win today, I’ll try to build on it.”

Rodriguez, who is ranked No. 825 in the world, was once ranked as high as No. 282, but had to miss a significant amount of time from the tour with an ankle injury he suffered while playing paddle tennis in Spain.
His journey back to the highest levels of the tour has been a tough one, so tough that he almost gave up on trying to make a comeback.

“All my family, my team, my girlfriend, all the people who have been beside me in these dark times, whenever I step on court I just want them to feel proud of me. That’s my only objective,” Rodriguez said. “Without them, I would’ve quit a year and a half ago. They encourage me every day, they give me strength whenever I’m down.”

Rodriguez was not only complimentary of his team and family, but also of USTA Supervisor David Littlefield, tournament directors Randy Walker and Tom Fish, and the entire community of Grand Harbor.

“It makes one week for us easier than the rest,” Rodriguez said. “For us, the players, it’s great to feel appreciated and to feel welcomed, I think I’m talking on behalf of all the players.”

The doubles final was won by Junior Alexander Ore and Miles Seemann as they pulled off an impressive comeback from 6-4, 5-2 down to defeat Harrison Adams and Nick Chappell 4-6, 7-6(8), 10-6, saving three match points along the way.

The title for Ore and Seemann is their first in just their second tournament together. The pairing lost in the quarterfinals last week in Orange Park, and used that early exit to prepare for this event.

“After we lost early last week we just spent a lot of time learning each other’s games,” Ore said. “We worked on our chemistry, I think that was pretty big. I think that really helped out during this week.”

After coming out of the gates hot and holding a 3-0 double break lead, Ore and Seemann began to hit a rough patch as Adams and Chappell won 11 of the next 14 games.

“We knew it was just one break,” Seemann said of the 5-2 deficit in the second set. “We just kept fighting and we knew that if we keep fighting there might be a chance that we can comeback.”

After a comfortable hold to get it to 5-3, Ore and Seemann broke to get back on serve, but then had to fight off two match points while serving at 4-5 to get it back even. After leveling the set back up, the pairing’s confidence skyrocketed.
“Once we were at 5-all I knew we were going to win,” Ore said. “I just had a gut feeling.”

The duo got the second set to a tiebreak where they saved another match point en route to winning it 10-8.
In the match tiebreak, the Ore and Seemann raced out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back, eventually claiming the title with a decisive 10-6 scoreline.

The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships is the USTA’s $15,000 Futures-level tournament played in Vero Beach since 1995 and regarded as one of the best entry-level professional tennis tournaments in the world. Proceeds from the event benefit the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the non-profit tennis foundation benefiting children, named for Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish, the former top 10 tennis star and a U.S. Davis Cup standout.

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 and most recently world No. 50 player and teen sensation Denis Shapovalov, who played in Vero Beach in 2016. 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.

Sponsors for the 2018 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships are led by Presenting Sponsor PNC Bank and Grand Slam Sponsors Boston Barricade, George E. Warren Corporation, Jake Owen Foundation, Syde Hurdus Foundation / Fit For Life and Land Rover / Jaguar Treasure Coast, Backhand Sponsors Publix, Rossway Swan, Coastal Van Lines, White Orchid Spa, Foglia Contracting, Forehand Sponsors Steve and Karen Rubin, Willem and Marion de Vogel, Cravings, M&M Group – Keller / Williams Realty Vero Beach, Rosato Plastic Surgery, Riverside Café, Ocean Drive Elite Physiques, 14 Bones Barbeque, Gordon Food Service, Peter Bernholz, Swarovski, Soul Music, Minuteman Press and Elite Airways, Kit Fields Realtor /, Cabana Sponsors John’s Island, Gene Simonsen, Michael & Kathleen Pierce, William Barhorst CPA, Dan Holman, John Klein, Hadleigh Investments,, Tom Collins, The Pitcher Family, Pene Chambers Group, Waldo and Candy Johnston, The Pappalardo Family, Mickey and Rob Stein, Lace and Bob Milligan and Drop Shot Sponsors Fresh Market, Brooklyn Bagel, Hutchinson’s Florist, Seaside Grill, A Pampered Life-Disney Spa, Avanzare, New Chapter Media, Smith & Company Landscaping, Center For Advanced Eye Care, Cast Electric, Citron of Vero Beach, Amerigas, Central Window of Vero Beach, Bill’s Audio and Video Innovations, ML Engineering, Capt. Bob’s Airboat Adventure, Busy Bee Lawn & Garden Center, Complete Restaurant Equipment, Wilco Construction, Nozzle Nolen, Southern Plumbing, Treasure Coast Sotheby’s, Jack’s Complete Tree Service, Complete Electric, Statewide Condominium Insurance, Abco Garage Door, O’Hair, Quinn, Casalino, Chartered, Rick’s Custom Care, Rich-Look Lawn Care, White Glove Moving & Storage, Coastal Comforts @ The Village Shops, Jimmy’s Tree Service, Thompsons Remodeling & Home Repairs, Summit Construction, Colton Williams & Reamy, Sunshine Furniture, Malesardi, Quackenbush, Swift, Aluma Tower Company, Alex MacWilliam, Inc., Charlotte Terry Real Estate, Ken’s Pool & Spa Repair, Vero Beach Orthopedics, Barker Air Conditioning & Heating, Treasure Coast Financial Planning, Engineered Services, Peter Bernholz, Deborah Benjamin, John & Faith Parker, Duke & Betty Foster, Paul & Linda Delaney, Timmy Wood Gary and Beth Williams, Don Moyle, Chuck Pollard, Stewart Dunn, Leslie London – LL Vinyl Designs, Dara, Hunter and Thom Morgan

New Daily Match Schedule Announced For The US Open

The USTA announced that the 2018 US Open will introduce a new daily match schedule for the tournament, made possible by the completion of the strategic transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, and the opening of the new 14,000 seat Louis Armstrong Stadium.

In 2018, both Arthur Ashe Stadium and the new Louis Armstrong Stadium will hold dedicated day and night sessions. This marks the first time that a second stadium will feature a night session at the US Open. With the new Louis Armstrong Stadium also being equipped with a retractable roof, making it the second court at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to utilize this technology in addition to Arthur Ashe Stadium, there will be a larger number of matches played on schedule, regardless of weather conditions.

In Louis Armstrong Stadium the day session will begin at 11:00 a.m. for the first nine days of the tournament and will include three matches, with the night session beginning at 7:00 p.m. and showcasing two matches for the first six days of the event. Approximately 7,000 of the seats in Armstrong will be open to all US Open ticket holders for both the day and night sessions, while the remaining seats will be reserved for those with a dedicated Louis Armstrong Stadium ticket for the respective session.

In Arthur Ashe Stadium, the day session will now begin at 12:00 p.m. and include two matches. The night session will continue to be comprised of two matches, and will begin at 7:00 p.m.

The move to two matches during the day session in Arthur Ashe Stadium helps to establish a greater certainty of start time for the night session, with a lesser chance of a delayed start time, a benefit to players, broadcasters, and fans both attending the US Open and those viewing from home. The possibility for congestion on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center during the changeover between the day and night sessions should also be alleviated, due to more time for egress and ingress.

“We are incredibly excited to shine a light on the new Louis Armstrong Stadium at the 2018 US Open, featuring a night session in a second stadium for the first time in the tournament’s history,” said Katrina Adams, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. “Night tennis and the US Open are synonymous; truly some of our most memorable matches have been under the bright lights at night.”