Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Adios Carlos Moya – The Friday Five

By Maud Watson

Baby Steps

Well, the bad news is that the USTA isn’t putting a roof on any of their courts…yet. The good news is that they have approved a more than $300 million budget to begin making a string of much-needed upgrades to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The first change to be made is the immediate construction of a mini-stadium that will be adjacent to the hospitality area. It is expected to be ready to go no later than the 2012 US Open and may even be given the green light for the 2011 championships. The bigger change, however, which isn’t slated to begin for another six to eight years, will be tearing down the beloved Louis Armstrong and Grandstand stadiums to create two new stadiums. When all is said and done, approximately 3,000 – 5,000 seats will be added between the two new Armstrong and Grandstand courts. And while neither stadium will have a roof, they will at least be “roof ready.” Of course the USTA has still not yet listed a solution to the no-roof over Ashe issue, but this latest bit of news is encouraging that they are moving in the right direction.

Adiós Amigo

It wasn’t a shocker, but it did become official. On Wednesday, Carlos Moya, the first Spaniard to reach the number one ranking since the Open Era rankings began in 1973, announced that he is retiring from the game. The 1998 Roland Garros champion stated he was forced to arrive at this decision due to a niggling foot injury that doctors have been unable to agree on how best to heal. It’s unfortunate that the retirement did not go as Moya had planned, which was to have the opportunity to say his good-byes at some of the grandest venues in the game, but with a Slam, the number one ranking, and a Davis Cup title to his name, he should have no regrets.

Plethora of Proposals

With so many other thrilling storylines as the season nears its close, the possibility that the French Open might be forced to leave its current Parisian venue was put on the backburner. It’s come back as one of the top stories this week, however, with the news that the city of Paris has presented the FFT with a plan to build a new (albeit small) stadium across the street from the current site. This new court would replace the current Court 1, affectionately known as the “Bullring,” which is slated to be torn down. The proposal will be competing with three additional proposals from other Paris suburbs. In the end, fans and players will want what’s ultimately best for the second Grand Slam event of the year, but it would be hard to see it move from its current historic venue.

Notes from Paris

The season may be nearing its conclusion, but there’s still plenty of good tennis left to be played in the final week if the Paris Masters was any indication. With Rafael Nadal the only name in the top five who didn’t play, the field in Paris was plenty strong. The semifinals were thrilling to the end, and included home crowd favorite Gael Monfils saving five match points against Roger Federer to reach the final where he eventually lost to the big-hitting Swede, Robin Soderling. It will be interesting to see if the win spills over as Soderling competes in London this coming week. No doubt the players could use a longer off season (and we may just hear about that next week), but hats off to the players for still delivering a quality product after a long year.

Now That’s Determination

The next time someone complains about ticket prices, just think of Gayus Tambunan. The Indonesian tax official not only shelled out over $40,000 in order to walk out of prison to watch the WTA’s Bali event, but he donned a wig when he did it. It was one of the quirkier stories of the week, and definitely one of the more amusing anecdotes. Tambunan stated his reasoning behind going to see the Bali event was due to stress at being detained and the need for a vacation to deal with that stress. Still, it would be nice to think he brought a new meaning to the phrase “for love of the game.”

Mondays With Bob Greene: I Fought For My Country

STARS

Shahar Peer won the GDD-Guangzhou International Women’s Open, beating Alberta Brianti 6-3 6-4 in Guangzhou, China

Melinda Czink beat Lucie Safarova 4-6 6-3 7-5 to win the Bell Challenge in Quebec City, Canada

Evgeny Korolev beat Florent Serra 6-4 6-3 to win the Pekao Szczecin Open in Szczecin, Poland

DAVIS CUP

World Group Semifinals

Czech Republic beat Croatia 4-1 in Porec, Croatia

Spain beat Israel 4-1 in Murcia, Spain

World Group Playoffs

Switzerland beat Italy 3-2, France beat Netherlands 4-1, Sweden beat Romania 3-21, Serbia beat Uzbekistan 5-0, India beat South Africa 4-1, Belgium beat Ukraine 3-2, Ecuador beat Brazil 3-2, and Chile played Austria

Americas Zone

Group I Playoff: Peru vs. Uruguay beat Peru 4-1; Group II Final: Dominican Republic beat Venezuela 3-2

Asia-Oceania Zone

Group I Playoff: China beat Thailand 4-1. Group II 3rd Round: Philippines beat New Zealand 4-1

Europe/Africa Zone

Group I Playoffs: Slovak Republic beat FYR Macedonia 5-1; Poland beat Great Britain 3-2; Group II 3rd Round: Latvia beat Slovenia 3-2; Finland beat Cyprus 3-2

SAYING

“I feel like I was in a 10-round boxing match. Everything hurts.” – Ivo Karlovic, who served a record 78 aces, yet lost his Davis Cup match against Radek Stepanek.

“I fought for my country. It was an amazing game.” – Radek Stepanek, who survived Ivo Karlovic’s record 78 aces to win 6-7 (5) 7-6 (5) 7-6 (6) 6-7 (2) 16-14.

“I have to go on holiday badly. I have a problem with my leg. I have a problem with my arm – everything is hurting. And I’ve got to do some babysitting.” – Roger Federer, after helping Switzerland beat Italy and remain in the World Group in 2010.

“I tried everything, but he was particularly good today.” – Potito Starace, who lost to Roger Federer to give Switzerland an insurmountable lead in its Davis Cup playoff against Italy.

“It’s not the way to act – win or lose, good call or bad call, in any sport, in any manner.” – Serena Williams, apologizing for her verbal assault towards a line judge during the US Open women’s final.

“I was very tired after the first two sets, lost the third and the fourth. But then, when I went to the locker room when the fourth set finished, I told my brother I wasn’t going to lose the match. This is the beauty of Davis Cup, the energy of a team and the energy of a country.” – Nicolas Lapentti, whose 6-4 6-4 1-6 2-6 8-6 victory over Marcos Daniel clinched Ecuador’s World Group Playoff tie over Brazil.

“It’s like David against Goliath – and we know who won that one!” – Andy Ram, before Israel played Spain in a Davis Cup semifinal. This time Goliath won.

“I hope it’s the start of something.” – Eyal Ran, Israel’s Davis Cup captain, on his team’s surprising run to the World Group semifinals.

“I hope to come back next year and do better. Unless you win, you can always do better.” – Lucie Safarova, who lost to Melinda Czink in the final of the Bell Challenge.

“I thought they (India) were trying different tactics. I couldn’t understand why he (Mahesh Bhupathi) was serving and staying back.” – Jeff Coetzee, who with his partner Wesley Moodie earned South Africa’s lone point in their Davis Cup tie against India when the Indian doubles team was forced to retire after Bhupathi suffered a groin injury.

“At last we are where we deserve to be.” – Andy Murray, on Great Britain being relegated to Group II in the Euro/Africa Zone after losing its Davis Cup tie to Poland.

SMOKIN’

Ivo Karlovic slammed a record 78 aces yet lost his Davis Cup match against Radek Stepanek in a marathon that lasted one minute short of six hours. Stepanek’s 6-7 (5) 7-6 (5) 7-6 (6) 6-7 (2) 16-14 victory gave the Czech Republic a 2-0 first-day lead over Croatia. The Czechs captured the tie 4-1 and advanced to the final against Spain. The 82 games equaled the Davis Cup record since tiebreakers were introduced in 1989, but the elapsed time was well short of two matches played by John McEnroe, against Mats Wilander in 1982 and against Boris Becker in 1987, both of which lasted around 6½ hours. Karlovic wasted four match points in the final set, and there were only five break-point chances in the match. Karlovic obliterated both the men’s record and Davis Cup record for aces, marks he held. He had 55 aces in a loss to Lleyton Hewitt at the French Open in May, and his previous Davis Cup mark was 47, which he shared with Brazil’s Gustavo Kuerten and Switzerland’s Marc Rosset.

SMALL CHANGE?

Apparently apparel company Fila has deep pockets. According to reports, Kim Clijsters was given a significant bonus by her shoe and clothing sponsor for her surprising US Open singles championship. And where companies usually insure these bonuses, CNBC says Fila did not. The bonus is reported to be in the range of USD $300,000, which could buy a lot of shoes for Clijsters’ young daughter. Darren Rovell of SportsBiz says that while it’s standard practice for companies to insure their big incentive bonuses to minimize the risk, Fila didn’t do it with Clijsters since she had played just two tournaments following a two-year retirement. The odds on Clijsters winning were as high as 40-to-1.

STAYING UP

You can excuse Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych if they want to take an extra nap or two. Between them, the Czech duo played for nearly 10 hours on the first day of the Czech Republic’s Davis Cup semifinal against Croatia. But the two then joined forces on the second day to play – and win – their doubles, clinching a spot for the Czech Republic in the final against Spain. On the first day, Stepanek needed one minute less than 6 hours to outlast Ivo Karlovic, and then Berdych was on court for 3 hours 48 minutes to down Marin Cilic in five sets. Together, Stepanek and Berdych needed only 2 hours, 16 minutes to defeat Lukas Dlouhy and Jan Hajek. Stepanek and Berdych are unbeaten together in Davis Cup doubles, improving their record to 5-0, including 3-0 this season.

SINKING BRITS

Even with Andy Murray playing all three days, Great Britain was relegated to Group Two of the Euro/African zonal play when Poland won their Davis Cup tie 3-2. Murray won both of his singles matches, but Michal Przysiezny beat Dan Evans in the decisive singles to give Poland the victory. It is the first time in 13 years that Great Britain has been dropped to the third tier of the world-wide competition. Evans also lost his first-day singles match to Jerzy Janowicz, But Poland’s Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski beat Murray and Ross Hutchins in the doubles.

SURPRISING BELGIUM

When talking about Belgium tennis, most are thinking about the women. The country has produced former number ones Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters, the latter winning the US Open earlier this month on her return to the sport following a two-year retirement. But Belgium’s men have also proved their mettle, keeping the country in the World Group for 2010 by besting Ukraine 3-2. And that came despite Belgium losing it’s number one player with an injury just hours before the Davis Cup Playoff began. Olivier Rochus withdrew with a leg injury, but his brother Christophe Rochus joined with Steve Darcis to help Belgium beat Ukraine.

SETTLED SUIT

Zina Garrison has settled the racial discrimination suit she brought against the United States Tennis Association (USTA). A deal was signed on August 27, although its terms were not disclosed. A former Fed Cup captain, Garrison filed her lawsuit in February, saying she was unfairly treated, paid a lower salary than Davis Cup coach Patrick McEnroe while being held to higher standards. As a player, Garrison was the 1990 Wimbledon runner-up, at the time becoming the first black woman since Althea Gibson to play in a Grand Slam tournament singles final. She became the first black captain of the US Fed Cup team when she replaced Billie Jean King in 2004. Spokesman Chris Widmaier said the USTA is happy the case was resolved and looks forward to working with Garrison in the future.

STOP RIGHT NOW

Martina Hingis should stick to tennis and stay away from dancing, at least according to the British public. Hingis became the first celebrity to be ousted from the new BBBC reality talent show, “Strictly Come Dancing.” It’s England’s answer to the American TV show “Dancing With The Stars.” Hingis and her partner Matthew Cutler were in the bottom two when phone votes were added to the judges’ score. They then lost a dance-off against policeman-turned-crime-presenter Rav Wilding and his partner Aliona Vilani. Two years ago, Cutler teamed with Alesha Dixon to win the competition. This year, Dixon, a singer, is a judge on the show.

SERENA SPEAKS

Admitting she lost her cool, Serena Williams has issued an apology for her outburst towards a line judge in her women’s singles final at the US Open. “I need to make it clear to all young people that I handled myself inappropriately,” Williams said. “I want to sincerely apologize first to the lineswoman, Kim Clijsters, the US Tennis Association and tennis fans everywhere for my inappropriate outburst.” The line judge had called a foot fault on Williams on her second serve, giving Clijsters match point. William, who already had been handed a code violation for racquet abuse, unleashed a tirade towards the line judge, briefly walked away, and then returned for another blast at the official. When chair umpire Louise Engzell asked the line judge what had been said, she called for the tournament referee Brian Earley and eventually ordered a point penalty, the next level of punishment under the code. That gave the match to Clijsters. Williams was fined USD $10,000 for the infraction, and was further penalized USD $500 for the racquet abuse.

SPEAK YE NOT

Saying the “magic” word cost Roger Federer a USD $1,500 fine at the US Open. The Swiss superstar was fined for using a profanity while arguing with the chair umpire during the US Open final. Television microphones picked up the naughty word during the live broadcast of the match. Tournament spokesman said Federer was fined the same amount as two other players – Vera Zvonareva and Daniel Koellerer – for audible obscenities. Daniel Nestor was fined USD $5,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct toward a fan, but the big loser at this year’s final Grand Slam tournament was Serena Williams, who was docked USD $10,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct. She also was fined USD $500 for racket abuse.

SUCCESS

Melinda Czink is finally a winner on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. The left-hander from Hungary beat Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic to capture the Bell Challenge in Quebec City, Canada. Playing in her second career final, it was Czink’s first title. “It feels great. I haven’t really processed it year, but I will,” she said. Czink’s first final was somewhat historic. She lost to Ana Ivanovic in the final round of qualifying in Canberra, Australia, in 2005, gained entry into the main draw as a “lucky loser,” then met and lost to Ivanovic in the final, the only known time that has happened.

SAYS YOU, SAYS ME

India has two of the world’s best doubles players. Both are now sidelined with injuries. Leander Paes pulled out of India’s Davis Cup World Group Playoff tie against South Africa because of an injury he sustained during the US Open, where he won the doubles title with Lucas Dlouhy of the Czech Republic and reached the mixed doubles final with Cara Black of Zimbabwe. Mahesh Bhupathi, who lost the men’s doubles with his partner Mark Knowles of the Bahamas, suffered a groin injury during the Davis Cup doubles. The injury forced the Indian doubles team to retire, giving South Africa its lone point in the tie.

SOME KIND OF PROBLEM

Albert Costa has a problem every Davis Cup captain would love to have. Costa has been Spain’s Davis Cup captain for just nine months, but already he faces several decisions that could make him unpopular with several players and their supporters. Costa’s team just swept past Israel 4-1 to return to the final to defend their Davis Cup title. This time they will take on the Czech Republic, which beat Croatia. Costa’s problem. His top two players missed the Israeli tie because of injuries. Does he now name the players who took Spain to the final or go with the two missing players – second ranked Rafael Nadal and ninth-ranked Fernando Verdasco. Of course, there may be no problem. Although injured, both Nadal and Verdasco sat through all three live rubbers on Friday and Saturday, cheering on their compatriots.

SEATS ARE FREE

Admittance to next week’s Vogue Athens Open will be free. The organizers Liberis Publications and Hellenic Tennis Federation decided to open the doors to the public for the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event that will be played on the same courts where five years ago the Athens Olympic Games were held. The decision was also made because of the large capacity at the Olympic Tennis Center. All seats are available to anyone, beginning with the qualifying all the way through the final, which will be played on October 4.

STAYING HOME

Juan Martin del Potro’s five-set upset of five-time defending champion Roger Federer had the fans at home turning on their television sets. The men’s final, which was postponed because of rain to Monday, drew a 2.3 rating and 5 share on CBS. That’s up 35 percent from the 2008 final, which was also played on Monday because of rain delays. That was when Federer beat Andy Murray in straight sets. Ratings represent the percentage of all households with televisions, and shares represent the percentage of all homes with TVs in use at the time.

SEEING IS BELIEVING

Things at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center are normal. The US Open set an attendance record this year, just as it has done every year. This year’s attendance was 721,059, slightly more than the previous record of 720,227 set last year. The tournament also set a Week One attendance record of 423,427, including a single-day high of 61,554 for the combined day and night sessions on the first Friday.

SPONSOR

Remember Melanie Oudin, the 17-year-old from Marietta, Georgia, who reached the quarterfinals of the US Open. Well, she has signed on to be a pitch woman for AirTran Airways Inc., an Orlando, Florida-based company. Oudin became the youngest woman to reach the US Open quarterfinals since Serena Williams did it in 1999. Oudin had victories over fourth-ranked Elena Dementieva, 13th-seeded Nadia Petrova and former US Open champion Maria Sharapova. The youngster is currently ranked 44th in the world and is the third-highest ranked American woman, behind sisters Serena and Venus Williams. AirTran, a low-cost airline, recently took over as the official airline of the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League.

SHARED PERFORMANCES

Guangzhou: Olga Govortsova and Tatiana Poutchek beat Kimiko Date Krumm and Sun Tiantian 3-6 6-2 10-8 (match tiebreak)

Quebec City: Vania King and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova beat Sofia Arvidsson and Severine Bremond Beltrame 6-1 6-3

Szczecin: Tomasz Bednarek and Mateusz Kowalczyk beat Oleksandr Dolgopolov Jr. and Artem Smirnov 6-3 6-4

SITES TO SURF

Bucharest: www.bcropenromania.ro/

Metz: www.openmoselle.com

Hansol: www.hansolopen.com

Tashkent: www.tashkentopen.uz

Saint Malo: www.opengdfsuez-bretagne.com

Bangkok: www.thailandopen.org

Kuala Lumpur: www.malasianopentennis.com/

Athens: www.vogueathensopen.com

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

(All money in USD)

ATP

$650,000 BCR Open Romania, Bucharest, Romana, clay

$650,000 Open de Moselle, Metz, France, hard

WTA

$220,000 Hansol Korea Open, Seoul, Korea, hard

$220,000 Tashkent Open, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, hard

$100,000 Open GDF Suez de Bretagne, Saint Malo, France, clay

SENIORS

Trophee Jean-Luc Lagardere, Paris, France, clay

TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK

ATP

$947,750 Proton Malaysia Open, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, hard

$608,500 Thailand Open, Bangkok, Thailand, hard

WTA

$2,000,000 Toray Pan Pacific Open, Tokyo, Japan, hard

$100,000 Vogue Athens Open, Athens, Greece, hard

D Arthur Ashe to be inducted to the US Open Court of Champions: This Week in Tennis Business

From the USTA announcing that Arthur Ashe will be inducted into the US Open Court of Champions to Midland, Mich., being named the “Best Tennis Town” in America to WTA CEO and Chairman Stacey Allaster issuing an apology to world No. 1 Dinara Safina for the late notice on moving her match at the US Open, these stories caught the attention of tennis fans and insiders this week.

  • The USTA announced on Monday that Arthur Ashe, the first African American men’s singles champion at the US Open and the famed ambassador to tennis, will be inducted on Thursday into the 2009 US Open Court of Champions at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York. Former President Bill Clinton will participate in a ceremony to commemorate the tennis legend. “Arthur Ashe is one of the greatest champions to ever compete at the US Open and we are proud to honor his remarkable legacy,” said Lucy Garvin, Chairman of the Board and President of the USTA. “Arthur was a great humanitarian and his legacy and his performance helped the tournament become one of the world’s premier sporting events.”

  • The USTA has named the city of Midland, Mich., the “Best Tennis Town” in America after nationwide voting. Midland earned a $100,000 grant to be used towards community-wide tennis programming and/or facility enhancements. Second place Ojai, Calif., earned $50,000, while Independence, Kan., earned $25,000 for finishing in third place.

  • On Monday, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour CEO and Chairman Stacey Allaster said the USTA has issued an apology to world No. 1 Dinara Safina for the late notice on moving her third round match against Petra Kvitova from Arthur Ashe Stadium to Louis Armstrong Stadium due to the day session being extended because of the Andy Roddick vs. John Isner five-set match. “It was really the process,” Allaster said. “[The USTA] should have notified Dinara, our players, much earlier in the process of what was going to happen. They’ve apologized for that.”

  • Also on Monday, Allaster announced that the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour tournament in Dubai will be canceled in 2010 if the country doesn’t grant a visa to Israeli Shahar Peer, who was not allowed to participate in the tournament this year because her visa was denied because she is from Israel.

  • Lastly, Allaster said Sony Ericsson WTA Tour lost only one of its 51 title sponsors in 2009. The Tour also cut back on its player withdrawals by 36 percent this year, which was a major past problem.

  • The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announced last week that the Premier-level Los Angeles Open in Carson, Calif., will be moved in 2010 to the La Costa Resort & Spa and will be renamed the San Diego Open. The Malaysia Classic in Kuala Lumpur and e-Boks Danish Open in Copenhagen will also be added to next year’s tournament schedule.

  • Lleyton Hewitt has hired former Australian doubles specialist Nathan Healey as his full-time coach. Hewitt’s previous coach, Tony Roche, left his coaching duties to take a position at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in Paris.

  • The 29th Annual Legends Ball will take place on September 11 at the Cipriani in New York City. Racquets signed by Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova , a hitting session with Jim Courier and VIP ticket packages to three of the Grand Slam tournaments will be some of the items auctioned off to benefit the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

  • World Team Tennis has named Bill Mountford as Senior Vice President. Mountford, who started at WTT in November 2008, will oversee staff in marketing, communications, pro league and recreational league and will be based in New York City. Before joining WTT, Mountford held positions at the Lawn Tennis Association in Great Britain and the USTA as the Director of Tennis at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

  • Last Saturday evening at the US Open, the USTA paid tribute to tennis legend Pancho Gonzalez during a ceremony to celebrate the 60 year anniversary of his second consecutive victory at the U.S Championships. “The USTA is proud to celebrate the life and legacy of such a great champion as Pancho Gonzalez,” said Lucy Garvin, the USTA President and Chairman of the Board. “Pancho was a true pioneer in the sport of tennis and this tribute will shed light on the importance of Pancho Gonzalez to the game and its history.”

  • The USTA announced that they have extended its contract with DecoTurf through December 2014. DecoTurf has been the official surface of the US Open for the last 31 years. “We are thrilled to extend our contract with DecoTurf for six years,” said Jim Curley, Chief Professional Tournaments Officer of the USTA. “The US Open and DecoTurf are a natural partnership, providing the most recognized tennis court surface at one of the world’s most prestigious tennis tournaments.”

  • Alan Schwartz, former USTA President and CEO, was inducted into the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame. Schwartz is the creator of the National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP).

  • 17-year-old rising American player Jordan Cox, who will soon turn pro, has agreed to a three-year international contract with Babolat to use its racquet and strings. The contract is set to begin in January 2010.

  • Many of the top tennis professionals were seen wearing Oakley sunglasses during their matches at the 2009 US Open. Croatian Ivo Karlovic and Serbian Janko Tipseravic were among the men wearing Oakley sunglasses throughout the US Open, while world No. 15 Samantha Stosur, Elena Baltacha, Rossana de Los Rios, Anastasia Rodionova and Yaroslava Shvedova were the women spotted wearing Oakley’s.

  • World No. 36 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has dropped Patrick Mouratoglou as her coach.

  • Austrian player Tamira Paszek will not be punished by accidently breaking an anti-doping rule when receiving back treatment during a tournament earlier this year. The Austrian anti-doping agency said she is free to compete on the Sony Ericsson Tour once she is fit enough to play since she was not to blame because of the incident.

  • Italian Simone Bolelli, who was suspended 10-months by the Italian Tennis Federation for skipping a tie against Latvia, will return to play for the Italy Davis Cup team in the World Group playoff against Switzerland on September 18-20.

USTA Becomes Title Sponsor And Host Of USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships In 2010

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., September 5, 2009 – The USTA announced today a three-year sponsorship agreement with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association to become title sponsor of the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships and 88 USTA/ITA Regional Tournaments starting next year. Additionally, the USTA will host the 2010-12 USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

“This partnership with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association reinforces our commitment to college tennis and our efforts to create a complete competitive pathway for the USTA and American tennis,” said Patrick McEnroe, General Manager, USTA Player Development. “College varsity tennis is an integral part of the development process for the vast majority of American players.”

The ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships features a 32-player singles field and 16-team doubles field for men and women, including: champions from the 24 Division I ITA Regional Championships, the ITA National Small College champions, the winners of the ITA Men’s All-American Tennis Championships and ITA Women’s All-American Championships, and at-large and wild card selections made by the ITA National Tournament Committee.

“The ITA is delighted that our USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Singles and Doubles Championships will be sponsored by the USTA and hosted at the fabulous new indoor tennis facility at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center,” said David A. Benjamin, Executive Director, Intercollegiate Tennis Association. “The original Intercollegiate Tennis Championships were administered by the USTA at the turn of the 20th century, and it is wonderful to have this extraordinary event return to its historic roots in the first decade of the 21st century. We’re also excited to be the first national collegiate championship that will take place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, and we know that all of our outstanding men and women varsity student-athletes will be thrilled to be competing on the same grounds as the past and current legends of the game.”

This USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Tennis Championships was inaugurated in 1978 for the men and 1984 for the women. Past champions and finalists include current professionals Benjamin Becker (Baylor), James Blake (Harvard), Bob and Mike Bryan (Stanford), Laura Granville (Stanford), John Isner (Georgia),Kevin Kim (UCLA), and Lisa Raymond (Florida). Big Ten legends and Grand Slam finalists Todd Martin (Northwestern) and MaliVai Washington (Michigan) are also among the past champions.

“This is an exciting and important step in the right direction for the USTA,” said 1999 US Open finalist Todd Martin, who won the 1990 ITA Intercollegiate Indoor singles title as a sophomore at Northwestern University. “College tennis was a critical step in my development as a player. When I won the ITA Indoors, it was the first sign that maybe I had what it took to make it on the pro tour.” and the USTA is smart to recognize that 99% of our juniors should be going to college not only to get a great education, but as part of the player development path to the pros.”

The USTA/ITA Regional Championships include varsity college tennis players from all NCAA Divisions as well as small colleges and junior colleges from across the country. In all, close to 10,000 players from nearly 600 schools participate annually in the ITA Regional Championships. A total of 88 host sites include 24 from the Division I level and 64 from the small college divisions nationwide.

The new USTA Player Development unit has been created to identify and develop the next generation of American champions by surrounding the top junior players and young pros with the resources, facilities and coaching they need to reach their maximum potential. The Player Development program is based at the USTA Training Facility in Boca Raton, Fla., and also utilizes the USTA West Coast Training Center in Carson, Calif. Last year, the USTA announced its first two Certified Regional Training Centers, in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., as part of its expanded efforts to develop future American tennis champions. The USTA expects to name approximately ten more Regional Training Centers over the next five years.

A Long Time Since Clijsters Last Lost At US Open

NEW YORK – The last time Kim Clijsters lost a match on the hard courts of Arthur Ashe Stadium, Roger Federer had yet to win the year’s final Grand Slam tournament.

This year, Federer is seeking his sixth straight US Open title. Clijsters is going for her second in a row, yet she’s not the defending women’s singles champion. That honor goes to Serena Williams.

On Wednesday, Clijsters increased her winning match streak at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to nine by eliminating 14th-seeded Marion Bartoli 5-7 6-1 6-2.

“I stayed focused, I stayed aggressive, and really worked out a game plan that beat her today,” Clijsters said. “I think that’s something that’s even more rewarding when you win a match like this.”

Clijsters captured her first Grand Slam singles crown in New York in 2005, then was forced to miss the 2006 US Open when she re-injured her left wrist. In 2007, the Belgium native retired from the sport, married an American basketball player and gave birth to a daughter. Now 26, Clijsters decided to return to the women’s tour earlier this year and is playing in only her third tournament since ending her retirement.

“It was a nice feeling to have in Cincinnati, Toronto, knowing that I was capable of beating some of those top 10 players again,” Clijsters said. “That was a good feeling to have because that was something that I didn’t know what it was going to be like out there playing those girls again.

“But I haven’t played the big ones yet, Venus (Williams), Serena, (Maria) Sharapova, (Elena) Dementieva. I haven’t played those girls yet. Hopefully I’ll give myself a shot at doing that here.”

The last time Clijsters lost on the hard courts in Flushing Meadows was to fellow Belgian Justine Henin in the 2003 title match. She then missed the tournament in 2004 after undergoing surgery on her left wrist. The following year, she finally won a Grand Slam tournament title by beating Mary Pierce in the final of the US Open.
Then came another injury and her retirement.

Bartoli wasn’t the only seeded woman to fell Wednesday.

Fourteenth-seeded Amelie Mauresmo was ousted by Canada’s Aleksandra Wozniak 6-4 6-0; Russian Maria Kirilenko eliminated No. 12 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-4 2-6 6-4; American Vania King shocked No. 15 Samantha Stosur of Australia 7-5 6-4; and Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium upset No. 20 Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-1 6-3.

Clijsters’ win over Bartoli, while technically an upset, wasn’t unexpected. Clijsters, after all, had been ranked number one in the world in 2003, and despite her inactivity she still has the game to be one of the top players. Plus, she played – and beat – Bartoli in her first tournament back, at Cincinnati where she reached the quarterfinals.

“I think it’s still a bit early for me to say after three weeks how the depth is in women’s tennis,” Clijsters said. “On the other hand, having seen a lot of the results lately I do think that a lot of girls can beat a lot of top players. But I think the consistency is what’s lacking.

“I think the consistency is what makes you a top 10 player these days. You know, we can all play tennis. We can all hit the ball hard. There’s a lot better athletes out there these days in the lower-ranked category.

“But it’s just a matter of consistency. It’s the biggest key. That’s what sets you apart from being a top 10 player or a top 50 or a top 100 player.”

Federer moved a step closer to his sixth straight title with a hard-fought victory over Simon Greul of Germany 6-3 7-5 7-5.
Wednesday saw the final US Open appearance of Marat Safin, a surprise US Open champion in 2000. The Russian, who is retiring after this year, fell to Jurgen Melzer of Austria 1-6 6-4 6-3 6-4.

“It’s the end. It’s the last one,” Safin said. “Could have been better ending, but still OK. I’m looking forwards to afterwards my career, so I have no regrets. And I don’t care about losses anymore.”

Frenchman Fabrice Santoro, who also is retiring after this season, saw it differently.

“I love my sport,” said Santoro, who lost to 24th-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain 6-4 6-3 6-3. “I did it in this life for so many years. I was so happy to be on the court. You can’t do it if you’re not completely in love with your sport.

“Now I’m going to change, and I want to be home. I want to see my friends; I want to spend more time with my daughter. I want to live like normal life.

“But that’s the question: What is a normal life?”

Defending Champions, Turkish Rookie First-Day Winners

NEW YORK – Defending champions Roger Federer and Serena Williams are in the second round of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships. So is Kim Clijsters, who is playing in the year’s final Grand Slam tournament for the first time since winning the women’s singles in 2005.
Also advancing to the second round on the hard courts of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center was Marsel Ilhan, who on Monday became the first Turkish player in the Open Era to play a Grand Slam tournament men’s singles match.

Where Federer, Williams and Clijsters took care of their first-round opponents in straight sets, Ilhan needed five sets to overcome Christophe Rochus of Belgium 3-6 6-3 3-6 7-5 7-5. Rochus served for the match at 5-4 in the fourth set and had a 5-3 lead in the fifth. Each time the 22-year-old Ilhan went on a tear, winning four straight games.
It doesn’t get any easier for the 6-foot-3 (190m) Ilhan. His second-round opponent will be American John Isner, who ousted 28th-seeded Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-1 7-6 (14) 7-6 (5) on Monday. That winner will more than likely face fifth-seeded Andy Roddick in the third round.
Federer began his march toward becoming the first man since Bill Tilden in 1925 to win six straight US championship titles, and just the fourth man in history to win the same Grand Slam title for six successive years. Richard Sears and William Renshaw also did it, but the Challenge Round was in existence when they played, meaning they only had to win one match to defend their titles.
Devin Britton, the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) champion from the University of Mississippi, was the latest blip on Federer’s march into history, falling 6-1 6-3 7-3 before a huge crowd in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“I was just a little nervous,” the 18-year-old said, referring to not only his opponent but also the 23,700-seat arena, the largest tennis stadium in the world. “It’s just 100 times bigger than anything I’ve ever played in front of. It was a little overwhelming.”
Britton, runner-up in the US Open Junior Boys last year, barely had a chance to catch his breath in the opening set, which was over in 18 minutes. But once he settled down, he showed flashes of the game that made him only the fourth freshman to win the NCAA men’s singles as he twice broke Federer’s serve.
That, however, only awakened the Swiss superstar.

“He had some very good spells, and I had to make sure from my side that I stayed with him and come back, because I was down a break in the second and in the third,” Federer said. “So it was good to still get through in three sets.”

The top-seeded player makes history almost every time he steps onto the court. His first-round victory made Federer the first player to earn USD $50 million in prize money. He also is attempting to win both Wimbledon and the US Open in the same year for the fifth time; no other man in the Open era has achieved it more than twice.

If Federer wins America’s premier tennis event, it would be the third time in his career that he has won three consecutive majors and the fourth time that he has won three majors in a calendar year. If he is playing on the final day of this two-week tournament, it would mean he had become the first man in history to reach all four Grand Slam finals in the same year on three separate occasions, following 2006 and 2007.

“I think this is stuff you can talk about when my career is over,” Federer said.

Serena Williams needed a set to get her game in sync. Then it was an easy 6-4 6-1 win over fellow American Alexa Glatch. The tournament’s second-seed is seeking her third Grand Slam tournament title of 2009, having won the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Surprisingly, those are her only championships this year.

“The girl I played today,” Williams said. “She’s American and she’s actually a really good player. She can be really good.”
It was the fourth US Open for Glatch, but her first appearance as a direct entrant. She didn’t fold against her heavily favored foe, matching her game for game through most of the 32-minute first set. The second set took only two minutes less time to play, but there was no doubt about the outcome.

Clijsters made her first New York appearance since winning the title four years ago. Since then she retired, got married, gave birth to a daughter and unretired. Against Viktoriya Kutuzova, it looked as if Clijsters had never gone away.

The former world number one player pounded out a 6-1 6-1 victory to open this year’s Championships.

“Obviously the girl made a lot of mistakes today, but I really felt like I was able to do what I had to do and work on the things that weren’t going as well in Cincinnati and Toronto,” Clijsters said. “Now it’s a matter of trying to go keep this going.”

In other early men’s matches Monday, eighth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko beat Germany’s Dieter Kindlmann 6-3 6-4 7-5; 12th-seeded Robin Soderling stopped Spain’s Albert Montanes 6-1 3-6 6-1 6-4; and 14th-seeded Tommy Robredo eliminated American Donald Young 6-4 3-6 6-2 6-3.

Among the women winners Monday were eighth-seeded Victoria Azarenka, 6-1 6-1 over Romania’s Alexandra Dulgheru; 10th-seeded Flavia Pennetta 6-4, 6-0 over Romania’s Edina Gallovits; 12th-seeded Agnieszska Radwanska, 6-1 6-2 over Austria’s Patricia Mayr; 14th-seeded Marion Bartoli, 6-1 6-0 over Paraguay’s Rossana De Los Rios; and 15th-seeded Samantha Stosur, 6-4 4-6 6-4 over Japan’s Ai Sugiyama.

US Fed Cup Team Members Alexa Glatch And Vania King, USTA Girls’ 18s National Champion Christina McHale Among 2009 US Open Wild Card Recipients

FLUSHING, N.Y., August 20, 2009 – The USTA announced today that Gail Brodksy (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Mallory Cecil (Spartanburg, S.C.), Alexa Glatch (Newport Beach, Calif.), Vania King (Long Beach, Calif.), Christina McHale (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.), Kristina Mladenovic (France) and Olivia Rogowska (Australia) will join former US Open Champion Kim Clijsters (Belgium) as main draw wild cards at the 2009 US Open Tennis Championships, which will be played August 31 – September 13 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.

Both the men’s and women’s US Open singles champions will earn $1.6 million with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money (for a total $2.6 million potential payout) based on their performance in the Olympus US Open Series.  In addition, both US Open singles champions will receive a new 2010 Lexus IS Convertible.

Brodsky, 18, of Brooklyn, N.Y., is receiving a wild card for the second straight year; she  earned a wild card last year with her victory at the 2008 USTA Girls’ 18s National Championships (she finished third at this year’s event).  In May, Brodsky reached the quarterfinals at the USTA Pro Circuit $50,000 event in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.  She is currently ranked No. 415.

Cecil, 19, of Spartanburg,S.C., won the 2009 NCAA singles title as a freshman at Duke University.  She also helped lead the Blue Devils to the 2009 NCAA team title and was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Player of the Year.  Cecil won back-to-back USTA Pro Circuit $10,000 titles last June, and last month she reached the quarterfinals of a $50,000 event in Grapevine, Texas.

Clijsters, 26, of Belgium, returned to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour this month after a two-year retirement.  The former world No. 1 earned the biggest paycheck in the history of women’s sports — $2.2 million — in 2005 when she won the US Open and Olympus US Open Series.  She has reached the final at four other Grand Slams, including the 2003 US Open, and won 34 singles titles in her career.

Glatch, 19, of Newport Beach, Calif., is currently ranked a career-high No. 102.  She made her debut for the U.S. Fed Cup team in April and won both of her singles matches to help propel the U.S. to the Fed Cup final for the first time since 2003.  This year, Glatch also competed at the French Open and Wimbledon and reached the third round at Indian Wells.  Glatch has won three singles titles on the USTA Pro Circuit.  She reached the second round at the US Open as a wild card in 2005, the same year she advanced to the US Open girls’ final in both singles and doubles (with Vania King).

King, 20, of Long Beach, Calif. is currently ranked No. 123, and has played in the US Open main draw in each of the last four years.  King has won seven Sony Ericsson WTA Tour doubles titles and reached the mixed doubles final at the French Open earlier this year.  She won her first career tour-level singles title in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2006.  King was a member of the U.S. Fed Cup team from 2006-08.

A full-time resident at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., McHale, 17, of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., earned her wild card by winning the 2009 USTA Girls’ 18s National Championship last weekend in Berkeley, Calif., where she also won the doubles title.  McHale also earned a wild card into the 2009 Australian Open by winning a USTA wild card playoff.  On the junior circuit, McHale won the 2009 Girls’ 18s Easter Bowl and the girls’ doubles title at this year’s Australian Open.  She also helped lead the U.S. to the 2008 Junior Fed Cup title.

Mladenovic, 16, of France, is currently the No. 1 player in the ITF World Junior Rankings. She received her wild card through a reciprocal agreement with the French Tennis Federation, which gave a 2009 French Open wild card to the USTA that was awarded to Lauren Embree.  Madenovic won the girls’ singles title at Roland Garros this year, and reached the girls’ singles and doubles finals at Wimbledon.

Rogowska, 18, of Australia, is currently ranked No. 167 and received her wild card through a reciprocal agreement with Tennis Australia, which will give a 2010 Australian Open wild card to a player selected by the USTA.  Rogowska has competed in the main draws of the 2009 Australian and French Opens.

In addition to the eight US Open women’s singles main draw wild cards, the USTA also announced the nine women who have been awarded wild card entries into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, which will be held August 25-28 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Players receiving US Open qualifying wild cards are: Kristie Ahn (17, Upper Saddle River, N.J.), USTA Girls’ 18s runner-up Lauren Embree (18, Marco Island, Fla.), Irina Falconi (19, Jupiter, Fla.), Nicole Gibbs (16, Manhattan Beach, Calif.),Asia Muhammad (18, Henderson, Nev.),Alison Riske (19, McMurray, Pa.), Laura Robson (15, Great Britain), Sloane Stephens (16, San Pedro, Calif.) and reigning US Open girls’ singles champion Coco Vandeweghe (17, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.)

Bud Collins To Host Numerous Book Signings During 2008 U.S. Open

NEW YORK – Bud Collins, the Hall of Fame tennis journalist and personality and author of the new book The Bud Collins History of Tennis, will conduct numerous book signings in New York during the 2008 U.S. Open to be held August 25 through September 7.

Collins will conduct his first signing on Sunday, August 24 from 5 pm to 7 pm at the new U.S. Open SoHo Retail Store on 129 Prince Street (at the corner of Wooster Street). Collins will also conduct first-week daily signings from 10:30 am to 11:00 am on site at the U.S. Open at the U.S. Open Bookstore in its new South Plaza location at the USTA / Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The Bud Collins History of Tennis (New Chapter Press, $35.95, 784 pages) 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. The author’s personal relationships with major tennis stars offer insights into the world of professional tennis found nowhere else.

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The 2008 U.S. Open will mark the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Open – the tournament becoming “Open” for the first time to professionals. The 1968 U.S. Open offered $100,000 in total prize money and attracted 97,294 fans. The 2008 U.S. Open will award over $20 million in prize money and will attract over 700,000 fans. Collins will be covering the U.S. Open for The Boston Globe as well as for ESPN and the Tennis Channel.

Among those endorsing The Bud Collins History of Tennis include the two women who hold the Wimbledon record for most total titles (noted by Collins in the book) – Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King – who both won 20 Wimbledon titles each in their careers. Said Navratilova, “If you know nothing about tennis, this book is for you. And if you know everything about tennis-Hah!-Bud knows more, so this book is for you too!” Said King, “We can’t move forward if we don’t understand and appreciate our past. This book not only provides us with accurate reporting of the rich tennis history, it keeps us current on the progress of the sport today.”

New Chapter Press is also the publisher of The Roger Federer Story, Quest for Perfection by Rene Stauffer and Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli. More information on New Chapter Press can be found at www.newchapterpressmedia.com.