abigail spears

Blake, Hewitt, McHale take part in Sony Open Lindt Kids’ Day

MIAMI, FL (March 19, 2013) — More than 1500 children from Miami-Dade and Broward county public schools descended on the Sony Open today for the annual Lindt Kids’ Day. The children participated in a tennis clinic and received encouraging words from WTA doubles’ team Abigail Spears and Raquel Kops-Jones; as well as James Blake, Christina McHale and former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt. The players not only spoke with the children, but joined the kids on court to hit around with them.

At the conclusion of the day, the children were showered with goodies from Buddy Fruits, Head Penn and of course delicious Lindt Chocolates!

(Photos: Getty Images)

N.Y. Sportimes declaw Boston Lobsters in World TeamTennis, 21-16

Martina Hingis won her singles and women’s doubles matches, pacing the New York SPORTIMES to a 21-16 World TeamTennis victory over the visiting Boston Lobsters at SPORTIME on Randall’s Island in Manhattan Wednesday night.

In men’s doubles, the SPORTIMES tandem of Jesse Witten and Greg Jones topped Jan-Michael Gambill and Eric Butorac, 5-3.  Hingis stretched New York’s lead with a 5-2 women’s singles victory over Coco Vandeweghe.  Men’s singles went to Gambill, who topped Witten, 5-3.  The mixed doubles team of Vandewegh and Butorac pulled Boston to within a point at 16-15 with a 5-3 win over Hingis and Jones, before Hingis and Abigail Spears finished off the victory with a 5-1 women’s doubles triumph over Vandeweghe and Mashona Washington.

With the win, New York avenged a loss to Boston in the season opener on Tuesday.

Both teams are in action on Thursday as the SPORTIMES visit Philadelphia, while the Lobsters travel to Washington.

World TeamTennis at New York

N.Y. Sportimes (1-1) def. Boston Lobsters (1-1), 21-16
Men’s Doubles: Jesse Witten/Greg Jones (N.Y.) d. Jan-Michael Gambill/Eric Butorac, 5-3
Women’s Singles: Martina Hingis (N.Y.) d. Coco Vandeweghe, 5-2
Men’s Singles:  Jan-Michael Gambill (Bos.) d. Jesse Witten, 5-3
Mixed Doubles: Coco Vandeweghe/Eric Butorac (Bos.) d. Martina Hingis/Greg Jones, 5-3
Women’s Doubles: Martina Hingis/Abigail Spears (N.Y.) d.  Coco Vandeweghe/Mashona Washington, 5-1

New York Sportimes start World Team Tennis home schedule Wednesday at Randall’s Island

By Lindsay Gibbs

The New York Sportimes will kick off their 2011 World Team Tennis season this week as they take on the Boston Lobsters on Tuesday night (in Boston) and make their home debut on Wednesday (July 6th) at Sportime Stadium on Randall’s Island in New York City at 7:00 PM.  Martina Hingis, the former world No. 1 and five-time major champion, will play for the Sportimes as they take on a Boston Lobsters team featuring former U.S. Davis Cupper Jan-Michael Gambill.

World Team Tennis is an innovative co-ed sports league that was co-founded by Billie Jean King. The competitive team atmosphere, multi-colored courts, mixture of stars, and integration of singles and doubles provides a fresh and energized take on the conventional tennis format.

The New York Sportimes have been competing in World Team Tennis since 2000. They are currently defending their 2010 Eastern Conference Championship and hope to win their second World Team Tennis Title this year to match the one they earned in 2005. The Sportimes 2011 team includes Martina Hingis, John McEnroe, Robert Kendrick, Katie O’Brien, Jesse Witten, and Abigail Spears and is coached by Fritz Buehning.

The Sportimes will play five matches at Randall’s Island (July 6, 11, 14, 15, 20), and two home matches in Albany at the SEFCU Stadium (July 18 and 19).  Many legends of the game will compete this year as World Team Tennis celebrates its 36th season, “A Season of Number Ones.” On July 14th at Sportime Stadium, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors will renew their heated rivalry when Connors’ Philadelphia Freedoms come to town. On July 20th Serena Williams and Martina Hingis will face off when the Washington Kastles come to Randall’s Island.

Ticket information and a full schedule for the highly anticipated New York Sportimes season can be found at www.NYSportimes.com You can also find out more information on the other nine World Team Tennis Teams and sixty-three matches happening around the country this summer at WTT.com.

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

Anyone else so annoyed with the Montreal weather last week at the Rogers Cup 2010 final? So was I. Continous interruptions made me not want to watch it all anymore. Though it’s tough to fight the forces of nature.

What I was curious about was  the following: What do tennis players find of the rain delay?  And thanks to the WTA Tour , I finally know.

Watch the following video as Gisela Dulko, Patty Schnyder, Jarmila Groth, Abigail Spears, Natalie Grandin, Arantxa Rus, Kateryna Bondarenko, Lucie Safarova, Aravavne Rezai and Ipek Senoglu explain you what they think of the rain delays.

Anyone else surprised by the sudden withdrawal of Serena Williams from the US Open 2010? I got over that quickly.  Caroline Wozniacki is now the new number one seed at the upcoming edition of the US Open and I couldn’t have picked a better one. Yes , she is a little out of shape but the Roger Cup 2010 proved that the girl still has plenty of game left. And she’d better…I am expecting  her to win at least one grand slam and to reach the number one spot on the WTA Tour. And have been expecting that since she entered the WTA Tour. She’s got the talent and the right attitude for it.

Here is what she’s got to say on the US Open 2010:

I was browsing the forums when I stumbled accross these great modeling pics of Elena Dementieva.

The photos look amazing and who am I to deny you any such pleasures? Exactly…that’s why I am posting them here.

Kops-Jones Loses In Opening Round at US Open

The US Open is where Fresno native Raquel Kops-Jones first burst into the spotlight last year, but she bowed out quietly this year in a surprising first round loss.

Seeded No. 15 in the women’s doubles draw with fellow Californian Abigail Spears, the American team never managed to find the range on their shots, falling 6-4, 6-1 to the all Russian team of Vera Dushevina and Anastasia Rodinova.

With all the players holding serve early on, Kops-Jones missed a forehand in the first break point of the match on Rodionova’s serve to go up 4-2. The Americans lost that game and then Kops-Jones committed two double faults in losing her own service game.

“That was one of the big turning points in the match,” said Spears. “We played decent tennis, but they were solid and didn’t miss many balls.

An ace by Dushevina gave the Russian pair the opening set, 6-4. Kops-Jones won her service game to start the second set, but the Americans began to make unforced errors early on in the rallies. Spears quickly lost her serve with the set tied at 1-1, and Kops-Jones soon lost hers to send the American pair down 4-1. Kops-Jones and Spears had two break points on Rodionova’s serve to break the losing streak, but failed to convert on their chances, missing two volleys to trail 5-1. Three points later, a low forehand winner from Rodionova sent the Russian pair into the next round.

Kops-Jones and Spears reached their first ever Grand Slam quarterfinal at the US Open last year, and came within two points of reaching the semifinals. The result spurred on the best result of Kops-Jones’s career. She won two WTA Tour doubles titles during the spring in Estoril and Warsaw, in addition to reaching the finals in Birmingham. The results have brought her to a current ranking of No. 33, two spots away from her career high of No. 31, which she achieved this May.

“There was definitely pressure to defend our points from last year, but there’s pressure no matter what,” said Kops-Jones. “We were more focused on just playing well as opposed to winning or losing.”

Since the beginning of 2009, Kops-Jones has also largely cut back on her singles events, primarily becoming a doubles specialist on the WTA Tour.

“I was having better results in doubles and ultimately making more money there,” said Kops-Jones. “After not being able to defend a lot of points at the beginning of the year, my singles ranking really fell and I couldn’t really get into WTA events anymore.”

Both Kops-Jones and Spears are heading to Asia for a series of WTA events in Guangzhou, Seoul, and Beijing. Kops-Jones will go to Europe directly from there, where she will compete in tournaments in Moscow, Luxembourg, and Linz.

From Slam Finals To First Round Losses…In Qualifying; Gaudio, Clement Crash Out

On a scorching Wednesday afternoon, 2004 Roland Garros champion Gaston Gaudio, and 2001 Australian Open finalist Arnaud Clement crumbled in the heat, falling to little-known players in uninspired first round losses.

In front of a standing room only crowd on Court 8, Gaudio struggled to find the timing on his shots, quickly going down 3-0 as the Argentine fells 6-1, 6-4 to Julian Reister of Germany. The No. 167 ranked German, seeking to qualify for his first ever Grand Slam, snapped a four match losing streak with today’s win. Gaudio was competing in his first match on hard courts since the 2007 Nasdaq-100 Open.

Meanwhile, on Court 7, Frenchman Arnaud Clement came within two points of winning both sets of his match against American wildcard Tim Smyczek. The Wisconsin native, a former junior Wimbledon semifinalist, managed to hang tough and grind out a 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3) victory. The loss marks the first time that Clement has failed to qualify for a Grand Slam since 1997.

In other men’s results, Juan Pablo Brzezicki of Argentina and American Donald Young also advanced into the 2nd round of qualifying with straight sets victories.

On the women’s side, 2008 junior Wimbledon champion Laura Robson won her first ever pro match at the Grand Slam level. The 15 year old Brit fought off an early first set deficit in defeating French veteran Stephanie Foretz 7-5, 6-1. Two former Grand Slam quarterfinalists also advanced in tough three set matches; Croatian Karolina Sprem defeated Nina Bratchikova of Russia 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, while Sesil Karantancheva of Kazhakstan lost the first seven games of her match before winning 12 straight games in defeating American Abigail Spears 0-6, 6-1, 6-0.

Thursday’s 2nd round matches will see 38 year old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan, making her comeback to pro tennis after retiring in 1996, compete against fellow Japanese player Yurika Sema in the first match of the day on Court 7. Two players who have reached ATP finals in 2009, Somdev DevVarman and Carsten Ball, will be the first two featured matches on Court 13. The final feature match of the day on Court 11 will pit Donald Young against Guilermo Olaso of Spain.

All day sessions start at 11:00 a.m. Second round qualifying matches take place on Thursday, while final round qualifying matches start on Friday. For more information, please visit www.usopen.org

Washington defeats New York to win Eastern Conference, advance to Finals on Sunday

WASHINGTON, DC (July 24, 2009) – The Washington Kastles upset the top-seeded New York Sportimes 22-19 in Overtime to win the Advanta WTT Eastern Conference Championship title on Friday night and advance to Sunday’s Advanta WTT Finals at Kastles Stadium in Washington, D.C.

Oudsema hit a second serve ace in the final set to win the first game in Overtime and put the Kastles into Sunday’s Advanta WTT Finals against the winner of the Western Conference Championship clash between the Springfield Lasers and the Newport Beach Breakers (also played on Friday night).

2009 Male MVP Leander Paes and Rennae Stubbs got the Kastles off to a strong start in the opening set of mixed doubles with a 5-4 win over Robert Kendrick and Abigail Spears. Spears dominated Olga Puchkova in women’s singles 5-2 to give the Sportimes a 9-7 lead after two events. Paes and Scott Oudsema outgunned Kendrick and Jesse Witten 5-3 in men’s doubles to tie up the match 12-12 at halftime.

Last season’s Female MVP Rennae Stubbs and Puchkova energized the boisterous crowd with a dominating 5-2 win over Spears and Christina Fusano in women’s doubles, giving the Kastles a 3-game cushion leading into the final set.

Kendrick sent the match into Overtime and pulled the Sportimes within two games by outlasting Oudsema in men’s singles 5-4. However Oudsema’s serving heroics secured the first Finals appearance for the Kastles in only their second season in the League.

Tickets for the Advanta WTT Finals are available by calling (202) 4-TENNIS or at www.washingtonkastles.com. The match starts at 5 pm EST on July 26 at Kastles Stadium and will air on Tennis Channel on July 29 at 7 pm EST.

Advanta World TeamTennis Pro League – Results for Friday, 7/24

(Home teams in capital letters)

Completed Matches:

ADVANTA WTT EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP:

Washington Kastles def. NEW YORK SPORTIMES 22-19 (OT)

Mixed Doubles – Leander Paes\Rennae Stubbs (Kastles) def. Abigail Spears\Robert Kendrick (Sportimes) 5-4

Women’s Singles – Abigail Spears (Sportimes) def. Olga Puchkova (Kastles) 5-2

Men’s Doubles – Scott Oudsema\Leander Paes (Kastles) def. Robert Kendrick\Jesse Witten (Sportimes) 5-3

Women’s Doubles – Rennae Stubbs\Olga Puchkova (Kastles) def. Christina Fusano\Abigail Spears (Sportimes) 5-2

Men’s Singles – Robert Kendrick (Sportimes) def. Scott Oudsema (Kastles) 5-4

Overtime – Men’s Singles – Scott Oudsema (Kastles) def. Robert Kendrick (Sportimes) 1-0

Late Matches:

Newport Beach Breakers @ SPRINGFIELD LASERS, 7:05 PM (CDT)

Standings

Eastern Conference MP W L PCT MB

y – New York Sportimes 14 10 4 0.714 –

x – Washington Kastles 14 7 7 0.500 3

Boston Lobsters 14 7 7 0.500 3

Philadelphia Freedoms 14 4 10 0.286 6

New York Buzz 14 4 10 0.286 6

Western Conference MP W L PCT MB

y – Springfield Lasers 14 12 2 0.857 –

x – Newport Beach Breakers 14 9 5 0.643 3

Sacramento Capitals 14 6 8 0.429 6

Kansas City Explorers 14 6 8 0.429 6

St Louis Aces 14 5 9 0.357 7

x = Clinched Playoff Spot

y = Clinched #1 seed for Conference Championship

For live scoring and complete player / match statistics, please visit www.WTT.com

NY Sportimes defeat Freedoms in John McEnroe’s Return to Philadelphia

King of Prussia, Pa. (July 14, 2009) – Tennis icon John McEnroe says that he will continue playing World TeamTennis as long as league co-founder Billie Jean King continues to invite him. Despite turning 50 years-old this past February, McEnroe prides himself on his remarkable ability to play competitively against players half his age. Playing for the visiting New York Sportimes tonight in Philadelphia, McEnroe once again defied the odds using his patented finesse game to outfox the Freedoms. McEnroe opened the match by teaming with Robert Kendrick to defeat the Freedoms team of Nathan Healey and Eric Nunez 5-4 in a tightly played, back-and-forth set of men’s doubles. The Freedoms came right back in women’s doubles, as Madison Keys and Lisa Raymond defeated Christina Fusano and Abigail Spears 5-3, giving the Freedoms an overall lead of
9-8 through two sets.

McEnroe starred again in the third set, playing against the Freedoms’ Healey in men’s singles. Despite trailing 2-3 midway through the set, McEnroe stormed back with a combination of determination and guile to take the set 5-4 in a tiebreaker. Perhaps taking inspiration from her legendary teammate, Abigail Spears fought off the 14 year-old Keys to win women’s singles 5-2. The teams entered the final set, mixed doubles, with the Sportimes leading 18-15. Despite a valiant effort from the Freedoms team of Raymond and Healey, Spears and Kendrick took the set 5-3 to win the match for the Sportimes 23-18. The Freedoms return home on Monday, July 20 to face the legendary Martina Navratilova and the Boston Lobsters. The Freedoms home season concludes with a visit from former world no.1 player and 2005 U.S. Open Champion Kim Clijsters and the St. Louis Aces on Wednesday, July 22. Tickets for both matches can be purchased by calling 866-WTT-TIXS or visiting philadelphiafreedoms.com.

Advanta World TeamTennis Pro League – Results for Tuesday, 7/14

FINAL RESULTS:
(Home teams in capital letters)
New York Sportimes def. PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS 23-18
Men’s Doubles – Robert Kendrick\John McEnroe (Sportimes) def. Nathan
Healey\Eric Nunez (Freedoms) 5-4
Women’s Doubles – Madison Keys\Lisa Raymond (Freedoms) def. Christina
Fusano\Abigail Spears (Sportimes) 5-3
Men’s Singles – John McEnroe (Sportimes) def. Nathan Healey (Freedoms) 5-4
Women’s Singles – Abigail Spears (Sportimes) def. Madison Keys (Freedoms) 5-2
Mixed Doubles – Christina Fusano\Robert Kendrick (Sportimes) def.
Lisa Raymond\Nathan Healey (Freedoms) 5-3

The 2009 Philadelphia Freedoms season features the greatest lineup of tennis stars ever seen in Philadelphia – Andre Agassi, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Kim Clijsters, and Anna Kournikova – each appearing during one home match in July.

The Freedoms have two remaining home matches at the 3,000 seat Freedoms Stadium at the King of Prussia Mall. All events will feature world-class tennis in an innovative, fast-paced World TeamTennis format. Each evening will include exciting Block Parties produced by Comcast Spectacor and featuring USTA Quick Start Tennis, live music, inflatables, mascots, kids’ games, prizes, food, and much more.

PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS 2009 REMAINING HOME SCHEDULE
Monday, July 20 Boston Lobsters (Navratilova) at Philadelphia Freedoms
Wednesday, July 22 St. Louis Aces (Clijsters) at Phildelphia Freedoms

All Matches Begin at 7:30 p.m.

2009 Freedoms Sponsors include Advanta, Abington Hospital, Fidelity Investments, Beneficial Bank, Lincoln Mercury, Novo Nordisk, Comcast Cable, Skinny Water, USTA Middle States, 23K, Museum Catering, Endo Pharmaceuticals, ACME, Energy Plus, Macy’s, Dolce Valley Forge, McShane Sports Medicine, Excel Physical Therapy, Maui Wowi, CBS 3, WIP, WPHT, KYW Radio, WOGL, Bertolinis, Mortons Steakhouse, The Inquirer, and Drexel University Sport Management.

Presenting Sponsor
Advanta, a long-time supporter of tennis programs and youth fitness activities, is proud to be the title sponsor of World TeamTennis. Through the Advanta WTT Pro League, Rec League and Advanta WTT Smash Hits, Advanta helps to bring world class tennis to communities throughout the country. In addition to the Advanta WTT Pro League which currently features co-ed teams in 10 U.S. markets, the Advanta Championships showcased top players from both the ATP and WTA Tours from the mid-1990s to 2005. In 2009, World TeamTennis and Advanta continue to promote youth fitness and introduce kids to tennis with the “Ready, Set, Racquet!” program. At select WTT events this season, kids ages 4-16 will receive a free junior racquet and cover. Since 2003, more than 140,000 free racquets have been distributed. Advanta also continues to be involved in numerous tennis charities including Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education and Philadelphia Wheelchair Tennis programs. To learn more about Advanta, visit www.advanta.com.

Charitable Partner
Abington Health is a not-for-profit, regional healthcare provider for residents of Montgomery, Bucks and parts of Philadelphia counties. With longstanding roots in the community, Abington Health is comprised of two suburban hospitals: Abington Memorial Hospital in Abington and Lansdale Hospital in Hatfield Township. In addition to the two hospitals, Abington Health has convenient outpatient facilities, including Abington Health Center — Schilling Campus in Willow Grove, Abington Health Center — Warminster Campus in Bucks County and Abington Physicians at
Montgomeryville in North Wales, that offer routine and sophisticated testing and diagnostic services. Together these facilities serve more than 44,000 inpatients, 100,000 emergency patients and well over 500,000 outpatient visits annually.

About Advanta WTT Pro League
The 34th season of the Advanta WTT Pro League runs July 2-26, concluding with the Advanta WTT Finals on July 26 in Washington, D.C., where teams battle for the coveted King Trophy. WTT is well known for introducing innovative elements to tennis including instant replay, co-ed format, multi-colored courts, cumulative and no-ad scoring, on-court coaching, Supertiebreakers and names on the back of players’ shirts. Team matches consist of five events, with one set each of men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles. The first team to reach five games wins each set. A nine-point tiebreaker is played if a set reaches four-all. One point is awarded for each game won. If necessary, Overtime and a Supertiebreaker are played to determine the winner of the match. Advanta is the title sponsor of the Advanta WTT Pro League. Official Advanta WTT Pro League sponsors for the 2009 season include DecoTurf, FirmGreen Energy, GEICO, Turfer Athletic and Wilson Racquet Sports. The United States Tennis Association is a minority owner and promotional partner of World TeamTennis. WTT and the USTA are teaming up on number of initiatives, including development of the youth market through junior team tennis programs.

For more information on the Advanta WTT Pro League, visit www.wtt.com.