InsideOut Sports & Entertainment today announced the dates, venues and fields for the 2014 PowerShares Series tennis circuit, highlighted by the debuts of Andy Roddick and James Blake, who will join the 12-city tour and play alongside tennis legends such as Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors.
The PowerShares Series will kick off on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 in Kansas City and will conclude March 21 in Surprise, Arizona. Players competing on the 2014 circuit are Roddick, Blake, Sampras, Agassi, McEnroe, Connors, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Jim Courier, Michael Chang, Todd Martin and Mark Philippoussis. Each event will feature two one-set semifinal matches, followed by a one-set championship match.
An exclusive USTA member pre-sale offering a 15% discount for USTA members begins today. Tickets and unique VIP fan experience packages will go on sale to the general public next Tuesday, October 22. Tickets start at $25 and all ticket and VIP information is available at www.PowerSharesSeries.com.
“We are eagerly anticipating the 2014 PowerShares Series season with an exciting blend of all-time greats from different generations competing in 12 cities across the country,” said Jon Venison, Partner at InsideOut Sports & Entertainment. “We are excited to welcome Andy Roddick and James Blake as they join our eighth year of Champions Series tennis and look forward to seeing them, along with the other legendary players, compete and entertain crowds around the United States this season.”
“I am looking forward to playing on the PowerShares circuit,” said Roddick. “Having a chance to stay connected with tennis and compete on a limited basis through events like these fits perfectly with my life these days.”
“It’s going to be exciting to start a new chapter of my tennis life playing on the PowerShares Series circuit,” said Blake. “Having just retired from the ATP tour, you’d think I have an advantage over some of the guys, but players like Andy, Andre and Pete are so talented and competitive that is going to be a great challenge for me to win some titles. I look forward to the challenge.”
The full 2014 PowerShares Series schedule with field of players are as follows:
Wednesday, February 5, Kansas City, Missouri, Sprint Centre – Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Michael Chang
Thursday, February 6, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Chesapeake Energy Arena – Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Michael Chang
Thursday, February 13, Birmingham, Alabama, BJCC – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis
Friday, February 14, Indianapolis, Indiana, Bankers Life Fieldhouse – John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis
Wednesday, February 19, Denver, Colorado, Pepsi Center – Andy Roddick, James Blake, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis
Thursday, February 20, Houston, Texas, Toyota Center – Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Andy Roddick, James Blake
Tuesday, February 25, Salt Lake City, Utah, Energy Solutions Arena – Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Jim Courier, James Blake
Wednesday, February 26, Sacramento, California, Sleep Train Arena – Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Jim Courier, James Blake
Thursday, February 27, Portland, Oregon, Moda Center – Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Jim Courier, James Blake
Wednesday, March 12, Nashville, Tennessee, Bridgestone Arena – John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, Mats Wilander
Thursday, March 13, Charlotte, North Carolina, Time Warner Arena – John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, Mats Wilander
Friday, March 21, Surprise, Arizona, Surprise Stadium – Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Todd Martin, Michael Chang
by James A. Crabtree
Return of the Serve and Volley?
John Newcombe, Boris Becker, John McEnroe and Todd Woodbridge have been saying it for years. And for the first time in years they were proved correct. Dustin Brown and Sergiy Stakhovsky proved you can play aggressive while rushing kamikaze to the net, and most likely received a thankyou card and box of chocolates from legends turned commentators.
The 1980’s were back, minus the short shorts and mullets. All that talk about the limited time to rush to the net, players hitting too much spin, the returners being too sharp, was halted. Well, halted for a day. All the guys who produced the massive upsets failed to find the adrenaline rush that caused the upset and thus lost. Where does that leave us? Pretty much back to where we were at present day baseline tennis, but with a more recent memory of the old days and a little proof that it can be effective.
Thank God For The Roof
It used to really suck when it rained, now there is a roof Are you listening Roland Garros?
Keep Off The Grass?
Lets not hope the powers that be get their knickers in a twist and decide that the grass is bad after the carnage of that Wednesday. Okay, so everybody wearing shoes fell over, seven players were lost including seeds Victoria Azarenka, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and John Isner. But it was all just a freak occurrence (although most falls were on a similar spot on the baseline and during a similar change in direction) no matter which court right?
But the grass is good, and lets remember the game was born on it and the majority of the slams used to be played on it.
Ol’ Boris summed it up best.
“A short grass court season is definitely part of the problem with the injuries. Grass court tennis is different to other surfaces, it is only two weeks of action after a long clay court season. Players need to give themselves more of chance. The grass is the same, the groundsman is the same.”
Nadal and Federer Finished?
Are the Spaniard and the Swiss finished or is this just one freak tournament where some players we assumed were finished are making comebacks and the old guard just got trounced? As bad as it is for the faithful Federer and Nadal fans it is great for the likes of Verdasco, Youzhny and Kubot to get some time in the sun, well London clouds but you get the picture. It would be hard to imagine that Nadal and Federer will not reach the same heights again. Nadal definitely has developed grass demons or hates being in England paying the extra tax, and Federer seriously has trouble producing the blistering winners he used to be able to conjure from nowhere. The U.S. hard-court season will pose some fascinating questions, especially if Federer is ranked as low as 5.
Bernie started the year on a tear, won a tournament and then ran into Federer at the Aussie Open. Since February he hasn’t put together more than two wins in a row and his personal life has been in disarray much in thanks to his father/coach John and all those issues we wont get into. At Wimbledon this year he as won three matches in a row already beating Sam Querrey, James Blake and 9th seeded Richard Gasquet, all whilst father/coach has been banned form attending. So is Tomic playing well for his dad who cannot attend or because his dad cannot attend. Either way the formula is proving a successful tonic and it would be hard to bet against Tomic in his next match against twitter sensation Berdych.
May 20, 2013 – John McEnroe participated in a Tennis Channel media conference call today, dishing out his opinion on Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal. Despite being overwhelming favorites for Roland Garros, McEnroe believes that either player could have a hiccup and lose unexpectedly.
Serena Williams has been unstoppable recently, extending her match winning streak to 24 and going 16-0 on clay this year, including three titles in Charleston, Madrid and Rome. However, McEnroe believes there is one way in which Williams may not walk away with the Roland Garros title: if she beats herself.
“The level she’s at when she’s playing well, I don’t think anybody can beat her,” says McEnroe. “(But) anybody, no matter great they are, everybody has bad days. On clay, it’s her worst surface. The odds would increase. The pressure is greater obviously at the French because she’s only won it once. I would say at some stage in the event, it would be likely that she won’t have one of her best days. Depending on her opponent that day, someone might have a shot at her.”
Similarly, Rafael Nadal has stormed back onto the ATP Tour after an injury layoff, winning six titles out of eight tournaments and leading the ATP rankings race to London. So, what — or who — would it take to possibly defeat Nadal in his French kingdom?
“Unless something happens that’s unforeseen, it would be pretty hard‑pressed to make an argument for anyone other than (Novak) Djokovic to beat him,” states McEnroe. ” It would have to be one of those swing‑for‑the‑fences type players like (Robin) Soderling was that one year, and the conditions would have to be extremely heavy so his ball wouldn’t have the type of jump it normally does.”
And much like with Williams, McEnroe believes that Nadal would have to have an “off day” in order to be eliminated.
“It’s possible he might be caught off guard in a match, but it’s unlikely that someone can still beat him in a best‑of‑five,” he states.
… on Roger Federer‘s potential at Roland Garros:
“I would think at some stage for anybody, even Roger, the motivation of playing in the smaller events becomes an issue. Then if you string a couple of mediocre results it gets frustrating. The it’s difficult for him at his age that he could go past like a Djokovic and Nadal to win something on a clay court. I think his best bet, as I’ve said for years, is Wimbledon. I would be amazed if he would be able to beat both those guys at the French … I think at this stage for him, if he got to the semis, it would be a solid result.”
… on the stability of young up-and-comers:
“(Grigor) Dimitrov has finally taken a step in the right direction, I think he was certainly top‑five material. I think (Milos) Raonic has the ability to break easily into the top 10, top five potentially … (Bernard) Tomic has issues with his father … Ryan Harrison I always felt was a solid player, top‑20 potential, (but) I didn’t see that individual sort of trait that would separate him with some of these other guys … I like Jack Sock quite a bit, but I don’t know exactly what’s happening as far as his commitment, training.”
by James A. Crabtree
Arguably the most hated Australian tennis player since a young Lleyton Hewitt, life isn’t easy for Bernard Tomic.
In fact Bernie has almost gone in search of bad press. There was the turning down of Lleyton Hewitt as a practice partner. The allegations he was going to quit Australia at his father’s behest and play for Croatia. In the 2012 Miami Masters he asked the chair umpire to remove his own father. During last years US Open John McEnroe accused Tomic of tanking a loss to Andy Roddick. Following all that he angered the old guard of Australian tennis with apparent refusal to play Davis Cup. And then we have the numerous driving issues, too numerous to mention.
Nevertheless Tomic is also the man with the best chance of restoring Australian tennis fortunes.
It must be tough for him. Most people find young men in their late teens and early twenties irritating to the say the least. Unless you are a fifteen year old girl chances are you also find Justin Bieber and One Direction intolerable.
Another difficulty for Tomic is the daddy dilemma as Bernard is not the person with the biggest ego among his entourage.
What on earth is young Bernie supposed to you?
The youngest Wimbledon quarterfinalist since Boris Becker in 1985 Tomic started 2013 well. He won all three of his singles Hopman Cup matches against none other than Tommy Haas, Novak Djokovic and Andreas Seppi. He then went onto win Sydney. There he beat Marinko Matosevic, Florian Mayer, Jarkko Nieminen, Andreas Seppi (again), and Kevin Anderson for his tenth win in a row and his first career singles title.
Quickly Tomic went from being loathed to loved.
The following week at the Australian Open, Leonardo Mayer and Daniel Brands fell victim. By this time the whole of Australia was in a flutter and Tomic was not only invincible, but was displaying the sort of ego not seen since Clubber Lang.
Then there was the rumoured incident before the big Australian Open 3rd round match. On the practice court where John Tomic is notoriously hot headed Bernie sat after practice, his dad stood behind and berated him incessantly for ten minutes. Eventually Bernie walked off shaking his head. Not the best possible way to get a sense of Zen before a match?
Bernie went on to lose the match, and hasn’t won more than two matches in a row since. Of course his drop in form went unnoticed until dad John reportedly beat up Bernie’s hitting partner Thomas Drouet. Complications have heightened further since Drouet has come forward with other incidences.
What is Bernie supposed to do?
Judy Murray once commented that talent got her son, Andy Murray, within the top 100, but it was hard work and determination that propelled him to the heights he now knows. Compare the 2013 Andy Murray with the 2005 version of himself and we could be looking at a different athlete.
It is obvious that Bernard could administer similar changes.
This poses the question, who would be the perfect person to guide arguably the most naturally talented youngster on tour? Tennis Australia are already trying to help solve the crisis, and undoubtedly all the familiar names will arise such as Tony Roche, Pat Rafter and Scott Draper. Again akin to the LTA Brad Gilbert hiring for Andy Murray perhaps the best coach for the player is not one made by a committee. And besides, Bernie has had more than his fair share of runs with a number of high profile Australian coaches during Davis Cup play already. Perhaps he needs someone with an old school work hard mentality similar to Ivan Lendl or someone who can understand the games intricate details such as Andy Roddick’s old coach Larry Stefanki.
Sacking the only coach you have ever known would be difficult enough, now imagine starting that ordeal with the word ‘Dad’. Bernard obviously needs a new coach, but probably deep down worries about what his father will do without him.
The Ivan Lendl IJTA, one of the world’s premiere tennis academies, has taken up residence in our “Coaches’ Corner” series to dish out instructional tips and on court analyses straight from the Academy’s top coaches and directors.
By David Lewis, Director of Instruction at Ivan Lendl International Junior Tennis Academy
The open era of tennis began in 1968 when amateurs were allowed to compete in world-class tournaments with professionals. Until then, amateurs were only allowed to play the Grand Slams.
In the 1970’s, the style of play for most was “serve-and-volley,” using a continental grip for all shots including ground strokes. Tennis was learned on a faster, lower bouncing surface, whether it be a grass or a hard court. The continental grip allowed for plenty of wrist action to control the ball and ability to move toward the net quickly because the ball didn’t bounce high. Some professionals, like Connors and Evert, used the double-handed backhand and hit flat ground strokes.
Surprisingly, wooden racquets were still commonly used, but the small, heavy frame and delicate sweet spot didn’t allow players to hit the ball hard. Metal equipment with lighter frames and bigger heads became more popular.
A player with great agility and speed could chase down most shots from the baseline because the ball didn’t travel as fast. For the same reason, players who came to the net were more difficult to pass. This provided wonderful match ups with tactics becoming crucial. The game required plenty of finesse, craft and athleticism to outmaneuver an opponent.
During this time period, the U.S. dominated the game with players such as Billie Jean King, Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert. Later in the decade, a player named John McEnroe burst onto the scene.
Bjorn Borg popularized use of the western forehand grip and double-handed backhand, which produced incredible amounts of topspin. He won many Wimbledon and French Open titles and, in the process, became one of the first to modernize the game of tennis. Borg proved he could win on all surfaces with his different style of play.
Conversely, McEnroe used a continental grip, allowing him to take the ball on the rise which had seldom been seen before. An intriguing rivalry was starting to develop between these two stalwarts and helped increase the popularity of the game. By 1980, tennis was reaching a whole new level due to the double-handed backhand, hitting the ball on the rise and modern equipment.
Several full-time tennis academies in the United States opened in the 1970’s. Harry Hopman, a famous Australian Davis Cup coach, operated a facility in Florida where many top professionals and juniors trained for the international circuit. He was renowned for getting players into peak shape. During the same period, another coach named Nick Bollettieri started working with top juniors, developing them into some of the best professionals of the 1980’s.
Next month, we’ll continue with the evolution of tennis in the 1980s.
About David Lewis
David Lewis, a native of Auckland, New Zealand, is the Director of Instruction at Ivan Lendl International Junior Tennis Academy on Hilton Head Island, S.C., a full-time tennis program for grades 5-12. For the past 20 years, he has coached top juniors and professionals around the world including Marina Erakovic, ranked as high as No.49 on the WTA world rankings.
Ivan Lendl IJTA exemplifies Ivan Lendl and Lewis’ desire to give back to tennis and develop future champions through a new-era curriculum and holistic training approach. The Academy focuses on classic fundamentals, leading-edge biomechanics, strength training / fitness and mental preparation. The staff subscribes to a hands-on approach with students instilling dedication, focus, hard work, motivation and overall preparation.
For more information: www.LendlTennis.com/info, 888.936.5327.
by James A. Crabtree
The definitive tennis getaway would be somewhere in the Caribbean, secluded on a beautiful island with perfect weather, gorgeous beaches and crystal blue water. You would want the prefect mixture of tennis, relaxation, spiritual growth and entertainment.
So where exactly do you go?
Paradise, or more accurately Necker Island for Richard Branson’s inaugural Necker Island Cup.
Aside from kite boarding the Virgin boss lists tennis as a very important pastime. This is why the finest professional-amateur tournament in the world has been constructed. Yes you heard that correctly (repeat aloud), professional-amateur tournament meaning amateur players will be partnering a tennis professional! For a fee of course, but what more could one ask for? Many attend professional tennis events and enjoy the thrill of admiring the greats from afar, but the Necker Island Cup certainly makes dreams come true being able to literally serve it up with the world’s tennis best.
According to Trevor Short of premiertennistravel.com, Branson is also a player to be reckoned with and advises that he is a wily competitor with a sliding serve. Only time will tell how five time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic, the headline attendee at the event, handles the serve. But what is for sure is the world’s number one tennis player handles his off season in style. He will no doubt benefit from the leadership retreat and enjoy the chance to speak with environmentalists Alice Sylvia Earle and Jose Maria Figueres about global issues such as climate change and sustainable development.
Djokovic isn’t the only big name to be making the most from the offseason. Bob and Mike Bryan will be partnering an amateur and will surely suffice as a viable doubles partner if their own volleys aren’t up to scratch. How about some veteran guile? John McEnroe or Tommy Haas anybody? Yes please. Or a big server who looks like he enjoys a good party? Well, that could only be Mark Philippoussis. Sign me up.
The parties have been taken care of with the “End of the World” awards dinner that includes a charity auction. And for those who don’t fancy roughing it up with the professionals on the court then there is also the Rosewood Little Dix Bay Legends Tennis Camp on the nearby Virgin Gorda Island led by Luke and Murphy Jensen.
With tennis the main focus of this remote, paradise island in early December it is certainly not understated in style with luxurious Balinese retreats on offer that provide more than the restful nights sleep; accommodation only seen to be believed (http://www.neckercup.com). Enough said this tournament set in paradise certainly offers more than its fair share of niceties.
By Romi Cvitkovic
True to his word of having “days without tennis” in order to get over his loss to Andy Murray in the U.S. Open final, Novak Djokovic hosted an inaugural dinner for his Foundation in downtown Manhattan venue Capitale just two days later, and welcomed celebrities from all walks of life. (Video at bottom.)
The endless stream of celebrity arrivals included royals, business moguls, fashion designers, tennis greats and top models, including tennis commentator John McEnroe, the Duchess and Princess of York, fashion designers Donna Karan and Tommy Hilfiger, fashion editor Anna Wintour and models Anja Rubik and Karlie Kloss among dozens of others.
Novak Djokovic also caught up with tennis great John McEnroe and shared a few laughs:
Donna Karan (L) and Tommy Hilfiger enjoyed each other’s company:
Proud parents, Dijana and Srdjan Djokovic arrived looking fabulous:
John McEnroe happily greeting the smiling Djokovics during the dinner:
Founded in 2007 and inspired by his work as an ambassador for UNICEF, the Novak Djokovic Foundation seeks to help children in Serbia “have the education and resources to lead productive and healthy lives” according to the Foundation’s website. While Djokovic serves as the Founder and Honorary Chair of the Foundation, Donna Karan, Anja Rubik, producer Milutin Gatsby and business tycoon Ronald Burkle act as Chairs.
A special guest of note was motivational speaker Nick Vujicic who suffers from tetra-amelia syndrome – a rare disorder where individuals are born with no limbs. Born in Australia to Serbian immigrants, Vujicic has written a book speaking on the challenges he has overcome and encourages others to lead an active life.
The evening featured cocktails, dinner, a live auction and special performances, with Djokovic entertaining the guests with his charisma and mega-watt smile. Is there anything this man can’t do!?
Novak Djokovic entertains the crowd and, wait — is that a miniature tennis racquet he is auctioning off!? It seems that not only did he auction off a pair of his Audemars Piguet watches, but also himself!
(All photos via Getty Images)
By Lisa-Marie Burrows
Andy Murray is still one of the main topics of discussion on TV and in the newspapers (particularly the British ones!) after his epic battle against defending US Open champion, Novak Djokovic on Monday night, after a grueling five set match that lasted almost 5 hours that boasted exquisite rallies in each of the 5 sets played.
Ivan Lendl, the coach of Murray since January 2012, has admitted that Andy Murray and his ‘Slamless’ situation very much remind him of himself when he was younger and competing on Tour, but the comparisons do not end only there…
Andy Murray has become more known for his tough mentality as he has for his great physicality. Yes, there have been moments on the tennis court where he has admitted that his mind let him down (e.g. most famously during the Wimbledon final this year against Roger Federer where he could have been up 2 sets to 0) but as his tennis has developed, so has his mental toughness and ability to win attitude.
This is also comparable to the attitude displayed on court by Ivan Lendl. He too played in an era alongside tennis greats such as John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Bjorn Borg and experienced some crushing defeats at the hands of them, but just as Murray has done, he never gave up and always believed that he could win. Like Lendl, Andy Murray has learnt from his painful losses.
Pressure in their prime
Throughout his career, the Olympic champion has frequently single-handedly shouldered the weight and expectation from the British public to do well, win tournaments, knock out the top 3 three players in the world and win a Grand Slam. Not much to ask of a young player in their early twenties? Now at 25-years-old, Murray seems to be able to deal with that pressure and has finally answered the call and hopes of many after his victory at the US Open.
Ivan Lendl as a coach and player has been a good influence on Murray as he can relate to the pressure and strain which Andy Murray has been under. He too had experienced it at a very young age and having lost to Connors, Borg and Wilander, he admitted that he did not know how to play against the big players in his prime and it was something that he learnt to do.
Fitness vs fatigue
Andy Murray did not have an easy start early on his career, having been criticized heavily for his personality, his mentality, for having a low first serve percentage, he was also targeted about his fitness. He experienced cramping during long matches in his early twenties and he knew that in order to compete at the top level, against the top players of the world, he had to become physically stronger as well as mentally stronger and this was also the case for Ivan Lendl. Like his coach had to when he was younger, Murray has spent hours at the gym and during training he has become increasingly stronger and has trained hard to keep his endurance levels up to sustain his energy levels during long matches – which have paid off extremely in recent years. Murray continues with his same demanding regime on the practice courts and in the gym today.
Fifth time lucky
Ivan Lendl could relate to Andy Murray and his sorrow after yet another Grand Slam final defeat at the hands of Roger Federer at Wimbledon this year, as he too experienced crushing losses and lost four Grand Slam finals before winning in his fifth appearance, à la Andy Murray. After his quartet of heartbreaking defeats, Lendl went on to win another eight Grand Slams and if history really does repeat itself, who knows if and when Andy Murray will lift another major title – or eight?
It took 5 sets for Ivan Lendl to win his first Grand Slam in Roland Garros against John McEnroe and he rallied back from a two set deficit to secure his victory, whereas for Andy Murray at the US Open, he also needed 5 sets to lift his first major but he needed to rally back after losing the third and fourth sets before sealing the championship title in the penultimate set.
The strangest thing of it all is that during their encounter, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic equalized the record for the longest final of all time played at the US Open after their 4-hour and 54 minute battle and they equaled the record of – yes you guessed it – Ivan Lendl and Mats Wilander in 1988 which saw Lendl win after 4-hours and 54 minutes too.
Andy Murray has now laid his demons to rest, as his coach had after finally winning that elusive Grand Slam that he was so desperately chasing and yearning for. I just hope that now the talented Scot has got time to enjoy this momentous occasion he relishes it immensely before another dreaded question starts to beckon…. ‘Andy, do you think you can win more majors?’
NEW YORK - On a night full of Marquee players, Martina Hingis stood tallest, winning her singles, doubles and mixed doubles matches to lead the NY Sportimes to a 22-18 World TeamTennis victory over the Boston Lobsters Thursday at Sportime Randall’s Island.
Boston’s doubles team of Jan-Michael Gambill and Eric Butorac topped Robert Kendrick and Jesse Witten, 5-3, to give the Lobsters the early lead. Hingis and Ashley Harkleroad moved the Sportimes ahead with a 5-1 victory over Irina Falconi and Carly Gullickson-Eagle for an 8-6 N.Y. edge.
In the singles matchup of Marquee Players, Andre Agassi of the Lobsters (3-5) edged John McEnroe in a 5-4 tiebreak. Then in mixed doubles, McEnroe and Hingis teamed to upend Agassi and Gullickson-Eagle, 5-3, for a 17-14 New York advantage.
The match came down to the women’s singles event, and Hingis was again up to the task, defeating Falconi, 5-4, for the final margin.
Proceeds from tonight’s match benefit the Johnny Mac Tennis Project, McEnroe’s not-for-profit foundation to provide scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area.
The Sportimes (5-2) next visit the Philadelphia Freedoms on Friday. Boston is off until Sunday, when they host the Sportimes at Ferncroft Country Club.
NY Sportimes 22, Boston Lobsters 18
Men’s Doubles - Jan-Michael Gambill/Eric Butorac (Lobsters) def. Robert Kendrick/Jesse Witten, 5-3
Women’s Doubles – Ashley Harkleroad/Martina Hingis (Sportimes) def. Irina Falconi/Carly Gullickson-Eagle, 5-1
Men’s Singles – Andre Agassi (Lobsters) def. John McEnroe, 5-4
Mixed Doubles – Hingis/McEnroe (Sportimes) def. Agassi/Gullickson-Eagle, 5-3
Women’s Singles – Hingis (Sportimes) def. Falconi, 5-4
The Sportimes schedule is highlighted by the July 19 matchup with the Boston Lobsters, in which Sportimes captain and Tennis Hall of Famer John McEnroe will battle Andre Agassi, in a match that also serves as a benefit for the Johnny Mac Tennis Project, McEnroe’s not-for-profit foundation. McEnroe will compete on two other Sportimes home dates, July 24 vs. Boston in Troy and July 25 in the regular season finale vs. Washington at Randall’s Island.
The complete Sportimes schedule at Randall’s Island is as follows (all matches begin 7 p.m.):
July 10 Springfield Lasers (Sportimes – Martina Hingis)
July 13 Philadelphia Freedoms (Sportimes – Martina Hingis)
July 18 Philadelphia Freedoms (Sportimes – Martina Hingis)
July 19 Boston Lobsters (Sportimes – Hingis, McEnroe; Boston – Andre Agassi)
July 25 Washington Kastles (Sportimes – Hingis, McEnroe)
Home matches in Troy, N.Y., include (all matches begin 7:30 p.m.):
July 23 Washington Kastles (Sportimes – Hingis; Washington – Venus Williams)
July 24 Boston Lobsters (Sportimes – Hingis, McEnroe)
Special events on home dates include a pre-match and halftime “Glee” tribute concert by Class Act on July 10; pre-event attempt to set a Guinness World Record for most people bouncing a ball on their rackets on July 18; Niall O’Leary’s Professional Dance Troupe on July 25; and on each home date, nightly promotions such as Shoot Out (Win What You Hit), Clock Your Serve and a bouncy house for kids.
Additionally, on all Randall’s Island home match nights, the Sportimes will provide free bus service from Manhattan to the stadium. Pickups will begin at 4:15 p.m., from 86th & 3rd Avenue and 126th & Lexington, between 4:15 p.m. and 7 p.m. A Sportimes staff member will be on each corner to assist. Buses will also provide return service to both locations after the match ends.
In addition to marquee players Hingis and McEnroe, the Sportimes roster includes veterans Robert Kendrick, Jesse Witten and Ashley Harkleroad. Returning for his fifth year as coach is Chuck Adams.
Tickets for Sportimes matches are available by calling 888-WTT-NYC1 or by visiting www.nysportimes.com. For more information on matches in Troy, N.Y., visit www.NYSportimes.com/Albany or call 518-393-0440.
The 2012 WTT regular season runs from July 9-28, with the top two teams from both the Western and Eastern Conference advancing to the WTT Finals Weekend presented by GEICO, September 14-16, at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C.
2012 Sportimes’ partners include USTA Eastern Section, GEICO, USTA, Wilson, DecoTurf, Principal Funds, SPORTIME Clubs, Tennis.com, Arizon Tennis Domes, NY Orthopedics, and Randall’s Island Park Alliance.