Both Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray have voiced their disapproval at being sent out to play in damp conditions at the US Open on Wednesday as officials rushed to make up for lost time in rain delays.
After all play was cancelled on Tuesday because of downpours in New York, United States Tennis Association (USTA) officials hoped to continue as normal yesterday. But after play was again halted for 90 minutes before the rain began to subside, some of the stars who were supposed to be in action on Tuesday were sent out to begin their matches.
After just 16 minutes, play was again halted and players had to return to the locker rooms before a later decision was made to cancel all of Wednesday’s action too when players emerged for the night session but were unable to complete their warm-up.
“It’s dangerous, the lines get really slippy,” a disgruntled Murray told ESPN. “Players want to play more than anyone, but not when it’s dangerous.”
Nadal reinforced Murray’s stance, claiming that the profit margins were considered more important than the health of the players competing. “Grand Slams [are] about a lot of money. We’re part of the show,” the defending champion said. “They’re just working for that, not for us. They know it’s still raining and call us onto the court. That’s not possible.
“I understand the fans want to see tennis but the health of the players is the most important and we do not feel protected. We want to feel good when we are playing a tournament and we cannot accept these things.
“We have to fight to change things, to have enough power that we don’t have to go on court when it’s raining. If I have to go on court, I’ll go on court, but I don’t think it’s fair.”
When the snippets of play were halted, Murray trailed American youngster Donald Young 2-1 on serve in the first set on the Grandstand Court, Andy Roddick led fifth seed David Ferrer 3-1 on Armstrong, and Nadal’s mood won’t have been helped by the fact he was trailing 3-0 to Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller on Arthur Ashe.
The weather situation has also re-opened the debate over whether the Billie Jean King Tennis Centre should follow the lead of the All England Tennis Club at Wimbledon by putting a roof over its showpiece arena.
In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, USTA board member Jeff Tarango suggested that this would be the case, saying: “It’s called the ‘strategic vision’ and the plans will be showcased and unleashed very shortly.
“We had a quote for rebuilding that just got doubled on us,” he continued. “We have a very good strategic plan for getting the roof. It’s a really tough decision but it is in place and all the money is being secured, saved up and taken care of.”
But a USTA statement contradicted this, saying: “The USTA disavows the statements made by USTA board member Jeff Tarango to BBC Radio regarding plans for the demolition of Arthur Ashe Stadium and Louis Armstrong Stadium.
“There has been no scenario discussed that includes the demolition of Arthur Ashe Stadium and any talk about the future of Louis Armstrong Stadium at this point is both premature and inaccurate.”
Anna Kournikova made her first public appearance since she was rescued after over two months underground along with 33 Chilean miners at last week’s Cancer Treatment Centers of America Tennis Championships in Surprise, Ariz.
Well, she wasn’t really trapped in the Chilean mine. But, while in Arizona, she did sport some great looking sun-glasses like those miners did as their eyes slowly got used to sunlight.
On Saturday, she participated in mixed doubles matches in conjunction with the event during the day and night sessions.
Mark Philippoussis won the singles title at the event, defeating Jim Courier in the final. Michael Chang beat John McEnroe in the third-place match. Other participating players were Wayne Ferreira, Jimmy Arias, Aaron Krickstein and Jeff Tarango. Ashley Harkleroad, the Playboy pin-up of tennis, also participated in the mixed doubles events with Kournikova.
Here are some more photos of the event, courtesy of the InsideOut Sports & Entertainment. For more info on the Champions Series, go to www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com
Fifteen years ago on Oct. 12, 1994, one of the most unusual on-court incidents in the history of tennis happened in Tokyo when American Jeff Tarango “dropped his drawers” on court during his second-round match against Michael Chang. That event, plus others, are outlined below in this excerpt from the book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.TennisHistoryBook.com).
1994 – American Jeff Tarango performs one of the most unusual on-court activities in professional tennis, dropping his shorts after having his serve broken in the first game of the third set in his loss to Michael Chang in the second round of the Seiko Championships in Tokyo. Following his serve being broken, Tarango, in the words of Britain’s Daily Record, “pulled his shorts down, raised his arms and waddled to his seat courtside with his shorts around his ankles and his underpants in full view.” Says Tarango, “I felt that I let the match slip away a little bit, and I wanted to make light of it. I had exposed my weakness to Michael.” Tarango, who would famously walk off the court in a third round match at Wimbledon in 1995, retires from his match with Chang with a left forearm injury, trailing 4-1 in the third set. Tarango is given a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct and is fined $3,000. Says Chang, who goes on to lose to Goran Ivanisevic in the final of the event, “I know the ATP has been trying to create a little bit more interest in the game but I don’t know if that is what they had in mind.”
2001 – One hundred and one years after three Harvard students make up the first U.S. Davis Cup team, former Harvard student James Blake makes his Davis Cup debut against India in the Davis Cup Qualifying Round at the Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C. Blake, playing in his first Davis Cup match, defeats India’s Leander Paes, playing in his 79th Davis Cup match, 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead. Blake also becomes the first Harvard student to play Davis Cup for the U.S. since Titanic survivor Richard Norris Williams in 1926 and becomes only the third African-American man to play Davis Cup for the U.S. – joining Mal Washington and Arthur Ashe. Earlier in the day, Andy Roddick defeats India’s Harsh Mankad 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead.
1998 – Lindsay Davenport ascends to the No. 1 ranking in women’s professional tennis for the first time in her career, taking the No. 1 WTA ranking from Martina Hingis, whom she beat in the U.S Open final the previous month. Davenport holds the No. 1 ranking for 98 weeks in her career.
2003 – Roger Federer wins his 10th career ATP singles title and successfully defends a title for the first time in his career when he defeats Carlos Moya of Spain 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 to win the CA Trophy in Vienna, Austria. Says Federer of successfully defending a title for the first time, “I’m over the moon about that.”
1980 – Ivan Lendl needs nearly five hours to defeat Guillermo Vilas 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in the final of the Spanish Open championships in Barcelona.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – New Chapter Press has announced the publication of its latest book – On This Day In Tennis History -a calendar-like compilation of historical and unique anniversaries, events and happenings from the world of tennis through the years – written by Randy Walker, the sports marketing and media specialist, tennis historian and former U.S. Tennis Association press officer.
On This Day In Tennis History ($19.95, 528 pages), is a fun and fact-filled, this compilation offers anniversaries, summaries, and anecdotes of events from the world of tennis for every day in the calendar year. Presented in a day-by-day format, the entries into this mini-encyclopedia include major tournament victory dates, summaries of the greatest matches ever played, trivia, and statistics as well as little-known and quirky happenings. Easy-to-use and packed with fascinating details, the book is the perfect companion for tennis and general sports fans alike and is an excellent gift idea for the holiday season. The book features fascinating and unique stories of players such as John McEnroe, Don Budge, Bill Tilden, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Jimmy Connors, Martina Navratilova, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Anna Kournikova among many others. On This Day In Tennis History is available for purchase via on-line book retailers and in bookstores in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. More information on the book can be found at www.tennishistorybook.com
Said Hall of Famer Jim Courier of the book, “On This Day In Tennis History is a fun read that chronicles some of the most important-and unusual-moments in the annals of tennis. Randy Walker is an excellent narrator of tennis history and has done an incredible job of researching and compiling this entertaining volume.” Said tennis historian Joel Drucker, author of Jimmy Connors Saved My Life, “An addictive feast that you can enjoy every possible way-dipping in for various morsels, devouring it day-by-day, or selectively finding essential ingredients. As a tennis writer, I will always keep this book at the head of my table.” Said Bill Mountford, former Director of Tennis of the USTA National Tennis Center, “On This Day In Tennis History is an easy and unique way to absorb the greatest-and most quirky-moments in tennis history. It’s best read a page a day!”
Walker is a writer, tennis historian and freelance publicist and sports marketer. A 12-year veteran of the U.S. Tennis Association’s Marketing and Communications Division, he served as the press officer for the U.S. Davis Cup team from 1997 to 2005 and for the U.S. Olympic tennis teams in 1996, 2000 and 2004. He also served as the long-time editor of the U.S. Open Record Book during his tenure at the USTA from 1993 to 2005.
More information on the book can be found at www.tennistomes.com as well as on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1627089030&ref=name and on myspace at http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=428100548
People mentioned in the book include, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, Goran Ivanisevic, Andre Agassi, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles, Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic, Maria Sharapova, Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters, Amelie Mauresmo, Anna Kounikova, Jennifer Capriati, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Martina Hingis, Gustavo Kuerten, Svetlana Kuznetsova, James Blake, Wilmer Allison, Mal Anderson, Arthur Ashe, Juliette Atkinson, Henry “Bunny” Austin, Tracy Austin, Boris Becker, Kark Behr, Pauline Betz, Bjorn Borg, Jean Borotra, John Bromwich, Norman Brookes, Louise Brough, Jacques Brugnon, Butch Buchholz, Don Budge, Maria Bueno, Rosie Casals, Michael Chang, Philippe Chatrier, Dodo Cheney, Henri Cochet, Maureen Connolly, Jimmy Connors, Jim Courier, Ashley Cooper, Margaret Court, Jack Crawford, Allison Danzig, Dwight Davis, Lottie Dod, John Doeg, Laurence Doherty, Reggie Doherty, Dorothea Douglass Lambert Chambers, Jaroslav Drobny, Margaret duPont, Francoise Durr, James Dwight, Stefan Edberg, Roy Emerson, Chis Evert, Bob Falkenburg, Neale Fraser, Shirley Fry, Althea Gibson, Pancho Gonzalez, Evonne Goolagong, Arthur Gore, Steffi Graf, Bitsy Grant, Darlene Hard, Doris Hart, Anne Jones, Gladys Heldman, Slew Hester, Bob Hewitt, Lew Hoad, Harry Hopman, Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman, Joe Hunt, Frank Hunter, Helen Jacobs, Bill Johnston, Perry Jones, Bob Kelleher, Billie Jean King, Jan Kodes, Karel Kozeluh, Jack Kramer, Rene Lacoste, Bill Larned, Art Larsen, Rod Laver, Ivan Lendl, Suzanne Lenglen, George Lott, Gene Mako, Molla Mallory, Hana Mandlikova, Alice Marble, Dan Maskell, Simone Mathieu, Mark McCormack, John McEnroe, Ken McGregor, Kitty Godfree, Chuck McKinley, Maurice McLoughlin, Frew McMillian, Don McNeill, Elisabeth Moore, Angela Mortimer, Gardnar Mulloy, Ilie Nastase, Martina Navratilova, John Newcombe, Yannick Noah, Jana Novotna, Betty Nuthall, Alex Olmedo, Rafael Osuna, Frank Parker, Gerald Patterson, Budge Patty, Fred Perry, Nicola Pietrangeli, Adrian Quist, Patrick Rafter, Dennis Ralson, Vinnie Richards, Nancy Richey, Cliff Richey, Bobby Riggs, Tony Roche, Mervyn Rose, Ken Rosewall, Elizbeth Ryan, Gabriela Sabatini, Pete Sampras, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Manuel Santana, Dick Savitt, Ted Schroeder, Gene Scott, Richard Sears, Frank Sedgman, Pancho Segura, Vic Seixas, Frank Shields, Pam Shriver, Stan Smith, Fred Stolle, Bill Talbert, Bill Tilden, Tony Trabert, Lesley Turner, Jimmy Van Alen, John Van Ryn, Guillermo Vilas, Ellsworth Vines, Brian Gottfried, Virginia Wade, Holcombe Ward, Watson Washburn, Mal Whitman, Mats Wilander, Tony Wilding, Helen Wills Moody, Sidney Wood, Robert Wrenn, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, Todd Woodbridge, Marat Safin, Leslie Allen, Sue Barker, Jonas Bjorkman, Mahesh Bhupathi, Donald Dell, Albert Costa, Mark Cox, Owen Davidson, Pat Cash, Mary Carillo, John Isner, Roscoe Tanner, Vijay Amritraj, Mark Woodforde, Tim Henman, Richard Krajicek, Conchita Martinez, Mary Joe Fernandez, Cliff Drysdale, Mark Edmondson, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Zina Garrson, Roland Garros, Wojtek Fibak, Tom Gullikson, Andres Gimeno, Vitas Gerulaitis, Fernando Gonzalez, Tim Henman, Goran Ivanisevic, Andrea Jaeger, Ivo Karlovic, Richard Krajicek, Petr Korda, Luke Jensen, Murphy Jensen, Rick Leach, Iva Majoil, Barry MacKay, Ivan Ljubicic, Cecil Mamiit, David Caldwell, Alex Metreveli, Nicolas Massu, Todd Martin, Gene Mayer, Thomas Muster, Tom Okker, Charlie Pasarell, Mary Pierce, Whitney Reed, Leander Paes, Renee Richards, Helen Sukova, Michael Stich, Betty Stove, Ion Tiriac, Brian Teacher, Wendy Turnbull, Richards, Fabrice Santoro, Ai Sugiyama, Patrick McEnroe, Camille Pin, Phil Dent, Jelena Dokic, Mark Edmondson, Gael Monfils, Xavier Malisse, Dinara Safina, Barry Lorge, Stefano Pescosolido, Fabrice Santoro, Roscoe Tanner, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Roger Smith, Erik van Dillen, Gene Mayer, Tamara Pasek, Stefan Koubek, Jie Zheng, Gisela Dulko, Kristian Pless, Chuck McKinley, Marty Riessen, Brad Gilbert, Tim Mayotte, Andrea Petkovic, Klara Koukalova, Bobby Reynolds, Dominik Hrbaty, Andreas Seppi, Christopher Clarey, Casey Dellacqua, Anders Jarryd, Janko Tipsarevic, Nadia Petrova, Christian Bergstrom, Ramesh Krishnan, Emily Sanchez, Marcos Baghdatis, Mark Philippousssis, Wally Masur, Paul McNamee, Daniela Hantuchova, Gerry Armstrong, Younes El Aynaoui, Thomas Johansson, Pat Cash, Lisa Raymond, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Chanda Rubin, Tony Roche, Alex O’Brien, Petr Korda, Karol Kucera, Amelie Mauresmo, Juan Gisbert, Pablo Cuevas, Jim Pugh, Rick Leach, Julien Boutter, Larry Stefanki, Chris Woodruff, Jill Craybas, Sania Mirza, Mike Leach, Maggie Maleeva, Guillermo Canas, Guillermo Coria, Donald Young, Dick Stockton, Johan Kriek, Milan Srejber, Zina Garrison, Slyvia Hanika, Karin Knapp, Laura Granville, Kei Nishikori, Scott Davis, Paul Goldstein, Alberto Martin, Nicolas Kiefer, Joachim Johansson, Jonathan Stark, Jakob Hlasek, Jeff Tarango, Amanda Coetzer, Andres Gomez, Richey Reneberg, Francisco Clavet, Radek Stepanek, Miloslav Mecir, Jose-Luis Clerc, Colin Dibley, Mikael Pernfors, Martin Mulligan, Robbie Weiss, Hugo Chapacu, Victor Pecci, Charlie Bricker, Greg Rusedski, Robin Finn, Kimiko Date, David Nalbandian, Goran Ivanisevic, Mikhail Youzhny, Nicole Pratt, Bryanne Stewart, Novak Djokovic, Rennae Stubbs, Corina Morariu, Marc Rosset, Kenneth Carlsen, Kimiko Date, Ryan Harrison, Richard Gasquet, Jimmy Arias, Jim Leohr, Felix Mantilla, Cedric Pioline, Annabel Croft, Brooke Shields, Jaime Yzaga, Slobodan Zivojinovic, Alberto Mancini, Peter McNamara, Andrei Chesnokov, Fabrice Santoro, Bud Collins, Mardy Fish, Sebastien Grosjean, Donald Dell, Petr Kuczak, Magnus Norman, Hicham Arazi, Nduka Odizor, Lori McNeil, Horst Skoff, Karolina Sprem, Ros Fairbank, Linda Siegel, Chris Lewis, Kevin Curren, Thierry Tulasne, Guy Forget, Fred Tupper, Jaime Fillol, Belus Prajoux, Ricardo Cano, Georges Goven, Ray Moore, Charlie Pasarell, Paul Annacone, Tomas Smid, Dmitry Tursunov, Elena Dementieva, Arnaud DiPasquale, Carl Uwe Steeb, Bill Scanlon, Jose Higueras, Jay Berger, Jana Novotna, Bill Dwyre, Lisa Dillman, Sean Sorensen, Paul McNamee, Jiri Novak, Benjamin Becker, Ion Tiriac, Neil Amdur, Tim Gullikson, Jan-Michael Gambill, Taylor Dent, Bryan Shelton, Vijay Amritraj, Martin Verkerk, Brian Gottfried, Carlos Moya, Jacco Eltingh, Adriano Panatta, John Feinstein, Aaron Krickstein, Wilhelm Bungert, Derrick Rostagno, Torben Ulrich, Daniel Nestor, Ray Ruffels, Cliff Drysdale, James Reilly, Andy Murray, Leander Paes, Alicia Molik, Barry MacKay among others.
New Chapter Press is also the publisher of The Bud Colins History of Tennis by Bud Collins, 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 and the soon to be released title The Lennon Prophecy by Joe Niezgoda. Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press is an independent publisher of books and part of the Independent Publishers Group. More information can be found at www.newchapterpressmedia.com
Mark Keil, senior tennis coach at Westboro Tennis and Swim Club outside of Boston, chats about the tour event in Bucharest, along with lovely Ljubijana, Slovenia.
Bucharest is a fascinating city full of history and folklore. I partnered in 1995 with the infamous Jeff Tarango. Jeff grew up in Palos Verdes, California and had a great junior career. He stared at Stanford, and then went onto a pro career where he probably is most famous for his performance at Wimbledon on year.
While playing an early round match against Germany’s Alexander Mronz, Tarango got fed up with Bruno Rebeuh, the French umpire. After being exasperated over too many bad line call’s, Jeff stormed off the court in a rage, and was defaulted. Upon exiting the court, Mr. Rebeuh was slapped by Jeff’s wife at the time, Benedicte, a French woman. His antic’s even made NBC’s nightly Tom Brokaw newscast. Jeff was a true character; a maniac on the court but very giving off of it. We beat Marc-Kevin Goellner of Germany and Piet Norval of South Africa in the first round. Norval won a silver medal in doubles at the Barcelona Olympic’s with Wayne Ferreira. He had a tragic car accident while hunting in South Africa, but has recovered fully and now coaches in his homeland.
We then beat the Dutch contingent of Tom Kempers and Menno Oosting. Menno unfortunately passed away in a car accident driving from France back to Holland a few year’s later. I regret not going to his memorial service the player’s held in London a few weeks later. At the time, Bucharest was a million dollar event, where the doubles winner’s would split a cool $100,000.
In the semis, we were up against Byron Talbot and Libor Pimek and it was nerve wracking. After we broke at 5-4 in the third set, Tarango sat down on the changeover and then went on a ten minute bathroom break. He did this to make me relax and pretend like I was just starting out the match, and wanted to simulate the first game of the match. I proceeded to serve four first serves and we won the match! In between matches, I went down to the train station and encountered all of the Romanian orphans who lived under the station. It was an eye opening experience, and made me realize how lucky I was to be living in the US.
Nicolai Ceausescu was once the dictator, and I wanted to check out the tunnel maze’s he constructed underneath his parliament buildings. In the finals, Jeff and I defeated Cyril Suk and Daniel Vacek for the title. It was a great week.
Also on tap this week, is the challenger event in Ljubijana, Slovenia. It is a scenic town, and one should visit this place. I teamed up with the Kiwi James Greenhalgh. We took out Massimo Ardinghi of Italy Nebojsa Djordjevic of Yugoslavia in a tie breaker in the third. We lost to the current tour player’s from the Czech Republic Petr Pala and Pavel Vizner. Vizner was a Grizzly Adam’s TV show character lookalike, who used the same racket as me for a long time.
Hope everyone enjoyed the US Open, now to the dessert menu of the tennis season!
Mark Keil, scribes this week on the final major of the year: the US Open.
It really has been great writing about my past tournament experiences. This nourishes my ego immensely and thank you for staying tuned.
In 1991, I played with Francisco Montana of Miami. Francisco was an All-American out of the University of Georgia. An All American is a player who play’s collegiate tennis and qualifies as one of the 64 best player’s in Division I university tennis in the year-end season individual championships. There are probably around 175 school’s that play Division I. If the player is seeded in singles, or gets to the round of 16 in the event, he get’s a plaque proclaiming his status. If a player get’s to the quarterfinals in the 32-team doubles event, he also becomes a member of the team. Francisco was a stellar junior player, and once beat Jim Courier 6-0, 6-0 in the Orange Bowl. He had more hitches in his serve than a Nebraska trailer park. We lost to Steve DeVries, the All-American out of Cal-Berkeley and the current Bryan brother’s coach David MacPherson.
The next time I competed at the Open I played with Stefan Kruger and we beat Danie Visser of South Africa and Laurie Warder of Australia 6-4,7-6. Visser was a crafty lefty, who had tremendous success in doubles. His partner Laurie was a scratch golfer. Staying at the Open is always fun. I would always try and stay where Patrick Rafter was staying, usually the Hotel Elysse. It was great to hang out in the lobby’s Monkey Bar and check out the female’s trolling.
In 1994, I played with Rikard Bergh, nicknamed “the Liar” for always telling fibs. He was cool, in that the year we played together I signed up with a partner, but he called me and told me we were not high enough to get in. He said if I played with him, we could squeak in. So we got in, and beat Yevgeny Kafelnikov and David Rikl, Wade McGuire and Jeff Tarango and got a chance to play for a quarterfinal spot. We faced Tom Nijssen and Cyril Suk. In the third set we got hooked by the umpire Steve Ulrich, on a deep lab that landed out for us to go up a break in the third. Ulrich is by far the worst chair umpire ever. We lost 7-6, 4-6, 3-6.
In 1995, I played with Peter Nyborg and we lost to the NCAA doubles champions from Ole Miss Ali Hamadeh and Mahesh Bhupathi 6-7, 3-6. In those days, the collegiate champion in singles and doubles would get a wild card into the main draw. Now, only if American’s win the event, do they receive one, and I don’t think that applies to the doubles anymore. The next year I played with Matt Lucena, the two-time college doubles champion with two different partners. We beat Brett Hansen-Dent and T.J. Middleton 6-4, 6-4. Hansen-Dent got to the finals of the NCAA’s in singles once for the Trojans of USC. We beat another SC boy Brian MacPhie and his partner Michael Tebbutt the next round. They both had wicked lefty serves. We lost to Sebastien Lareau and Alex O’Brien after that. O’Brien won the singles, doubles, and team title for Stanford in 1992.
In 1998, Doug Flach and I lost to Macphie and Patrick McEnroe 6-7, 4-6. Papa Mac was watching, and I felt like I was in a rerun episode of Johnny Mac playing Bill Scanlon and I was the ballboy. In my final match at the US Open, I teamed up with Luis Lobo of Argentina. At that time, he was at the end of his career, and was coaching Marcelo Rios as well as playing doubles on the tour. We defeated Garcia-Roditi and lost to Lareau and O’Brien again.
Enjoy the tennis on TV, or if you have the gumption, head to the Open and watch it live!
ELM GROVE, Wisconsin, August 10, 2008 – Unseeded Daniel Yoo of Korea won the singles title at the Time Warner Cable “Road Runner Pro Tennis Classic,” dominating No. 6 seed Ryan Young, of the United States, 6-2, 6-1. Both the singles and doubles final were completed during Sunday’s play.
Yoo won 10 of the last 11 games in the match as he used his retrieving style of play to wear Young down throughout the match. This is the first pro singles title of Yoo’s career.
In the doubles final, former U.S. Olympian Jeff Tarango combined with Edward Kelly, of the United States, to take the title over No. 3 seeds Raven Klaasen, of South Africa, and Ryan Young, of the United States, 6-3, 3-6, 11-9. Tarango and Kelly trailed 3-0 in the super tiebreak before storming back to win the match. This is the first professional title for Kelly and Tarango’s first title since winning the ATP Tour doubles event in Gstaad back in 2000.
The Time Warner Cable “Road Runner Pro Tennis Classic,” now in its second consecutive year, is part of the summer hard court swing on the USTA Pro Circuit that leads to the US Open. The tournament will feature 32 singles players and 16 doubles teams. Players ranked as high as No. 200 in the world typically compete in futures-level events.
Futures level tournaments feature prize money ranging from $10,000 to $15,000, and are a stepping stone for future champions to move on to the ATP Tour. Participants from last year’s event including Carsten Ball and Michael Yani have since progressed on to ATP Tour and Challenger level tournaments. The USTA Futures of Milwaukee has featured numerous players who are top-ranked players in their country, as well as top-ranked NCAA and international junior players. For more information, please visit the official tournament website, www.skpromotions.com
With 96 tournaments throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $75,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. More than 1,100 men and women from 79 countries competed on the USTA Pro Circuit in 2007 for nearly $3 million in prize money and valuable ATP and WTA Tour ranking points. Andre Agassi, James Blake, Lindsay Davenport, Mardy Fish, Justine Henin-Hardenne, Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova are among today’s top stars that began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit. For more information, please visit procircuit.usta.com
Jeff Tarango continued his winning ways during his “comeback” tournament at the Time Warner Cable “Road Runner Pro Tennis Classic”, a $10,000 futures event in Elm Grove, Wisconsin, by advancing to the finals of the doubles event. Tarango and partner Edward Kelly defeated the top-seeded team of Dane Fernandez and Adam Thompson, 6-2, 7-6 (2).
In a match that featured several verbal exchanges between Tarango and Thompson, the American pair jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and broke Fernandez’s set to clinch the opening set. Both team traded service holds all the way through the second set before Tarango and Kelly took the match by dominating the second set tiebreak. They will pay the No. 3 seeds, Raven Klaasen and Ryan Young, in Sunday’s championship match.
Kelly will be looking for his first ever professional title, while Tarango will be looking for his first doubles title in eight years, and his first ever USTA Pro Circuit doubles title. Tarango’s last tournament win came at Gstaad back in 2000. Tarango’s only USTA Pro Circuit title to date came when he won the challenger event in Winnetka, Illinois, back in 1988.
For most players, Futures tournaments are a stepping stone to get their feet wet on the pro circuit as they begin their careers and start to establish themselves as pro tennis players.
Leave it to a 39-year-old to rewrite the rule book on that.
Five years after ending a pro career that lasted for fifteen 15 years, former American star Jeff Tarango is back competing this week at the Time Warner Cable “Road Runner Pro Tennis Classic,” a $10,000 futures tournament in Elm Grove, Wisconsin. Paired with Edward Kelly, a player on the Stanford University tennis team, Tarango won his first round doubles match with a routine 6-1, 6-4 win over William Boe-Wiegaard and Patrick Frandij.
Despite naturally losing a step, Tarango’s textbook volleys and old-school groundstokes remained the same as he helped led his team into the quarterfinals.
“I still feel that I can compete at this level,” Tarango said. “I won most of my matches during my career off the mental side of the game. That’s something which has never gone away.”
During his career, Tarango won two singles and 14 doubles titles on the ATP Tour. He reached a career high ranking of No. 42 in singles and No. 10 in doubles. He reached the men’s doubles finals at the French Open in 1999, and reached the third round of every Grand Slam at least once in singles and doubles. Tarango also represented the United States at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Most recently, Tarango also competed in doubles this year at the $50,000 challenger in Carson, California, reaching the quarterfinals. However, Tarango said that he doesn’t view this as a comeback, and instead views his match play as a way to strengthen his abilities as a tennis coach.
“This is sort of a guinea pig experiment with the USTA,” Tarango said. “I wanted to come out and see how the young guys here are hitting the ball, and really get a sense of what we’re working with.”
Tarango, who currently serves on the USTA’s Davis Cup and Olympic committees, said he believes that a different approach needs to be taken with American tennis.
“We don’t have the numbers that Spain has or Russia has in terms of producing top players, so we need to look at what can be done to change that in the future,” Tarango said.
Tarango, who is currently coaching two players who are competing in the tournament this week, said he believes that players need to realize there is more to being a pro tennis player than hitting balls.
“I think that I can be a good influence on these players,” Tarango said. “It’s all about how you prepare for a tournament the week before, the night before, and the hour before. You have to pay attention to every detail if you want to be successful.”