tennis champion

Christina McHale Ready to Continue Ascent in 2012

Christina McHale chooses not to think about being the next American tennis champion. The 19-year-old also tries not to set specific ranking or tournament goals for herself.

But whatever McHale is doing, it seems to be working.

In just her first full year as a professional on the WTA Tour, McHale has a resume most young tennis players dream about. She upset world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in Cincinnati, reached the third round of the 2011 U.S. Open and brought home a bronze medal while representing Team USA at the Pan American Games.

“I’ve gotten a lot more experience this year, playing a lot more matches at the bigger level consistently,” said McHale about her successful season. “I improved my fitness too. I think the big part of it was a lot more experience playing with the top players and playing the full year schedule.”

McHale finished the 2011 season as the second ranked American at No. 43, behind only Serena Williams’ No. 12 ranking. McHale, with her powerful strokes and movement she labels as her “biggest weapon,” leads the contingent of young Americans talents.

Despite the growing accolades, McHale is not letting the success get to her head.

“I really try not to think about [being the next top American player] or put pressure on myself,” she said.  “What I’ve been doing this past year, I haven’t been thinking about things like that. I’ve just been focusing on my game and practicing and things like that. I just want to keep that same mentality.”

McHale grew up in Teaneck, NJ, only a short drive away from the USTA National Training Center in Flushing Meadows, NY – home of the U.S. Open. But her tennis journey began in Hong Kong, where her father, John, was stationed for work. McHale first picked up a racquet at four-years-old, following in the footsteps of her older sister Lauren, who is currently a junior on the University of North Carolina tennis team.

Upon leaving Hong Kong at the age of eight and moving to Englewood Cliffs, NJ, where she resides now, McHale and Lauren shot up the junior ranks. The sisters, who idolized Serena and Venus Williams, both won national titles and set a record for being the first siblings since 1996 (Bob and Mike Bryan) to be in the top 10 year-end rankings in the same age division in 2007.

Three years later, McHale was faced with the decision to turn pro or play in college like her sister. Even with the mounting success and trophies, the choice was not easy.

“I only turned pro last year when I graduated high school [in 2010],” she said. “I was definitely weighing both options. Eventually I knew this is what I wanted to do, and I wanted to take advantage of a time like now. It was definitely a big decision for me.”

The decision has paid dividends, and McHale, with her quiet confidence, is poised for a strong 2012 season. McHale took 10 days off to relax after the Pan American Games but is already in her third week of full training, proving that there is no rest for the weary.

When asked if she was ready to take it to the next level and attention that comes with it, the easy-going McHale responded with wisdom beyond her years.

“I think if I continue to do what I’ve been doing this past year and not get too anxious from results, and if I just let it happen when it’s ready to happen, then I think I’ll be ready.”

(Photos via Getty Images)

Have Tennis in Your Life 365 Days a Year

Compiling information for more than 15 years, former U.S. Tennis Association press officer Randy Walker has published a compilation of significant anniversaries, summaries and anecdotes from the world of tennis in his book On This Day In Tennis History. Presented in a day-by-day format, the entries into this mini-encyclopedia include major tournament victory dates, summaries of the greatest matches, trivia, statistics as well as little-known and quirky happenings for every day of the calendar year.

On This Day In Tennis History is an informative guide that brings significant – and quirky – tennis matches and happenings from the past into the context of the present,” saidWalker. “It is uncanny the number of significant events in tennis history that occurred on other significant and appropriate anniversaries, such as Boris Becker and Michael Stich both winning their first Wimbledon titles on the birthday of the first great German tennis champion Gottfried von Cramm. It’s fun to pick up the book every day and read what happened on each day of the year.”

Some of the quirky and significant events documented by Walker include from February 5, 1985, when Ivan Lendl defeats Larry Stefanki 6-2, 6-0 in the first round of the Lipton Championships in Delray Beach, Fla., in a match that ends without an umpire or linesmen, from July 18, 1930 when Wilmer Allison saves a record 18 match points in his Davis Cup victory against Giorgio de Stefani of Italy and from April 28, 1968 when Ken Rosewall wins the first ever “Open” tournament, defeating fellow Aussie and fellow professional Rod Laver 3-6, 6-2, 6-0, 6-3 in the final of the British Hard-Court Championships in Bournemouth, England.

Said former world No. 1 Jim Courier of “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.”

Walker is a New York-based sports marketer, publicist, writer and tennis historian. A 12-year veteran of the USTA’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.

On This Day In Tennis History is published by New Chapter Press, also the publisher of The Bud Collins History of Tennis. More information on the book can be found atwww.tennishistorybook.com.

Roger Federer In Paperback

NEW YORK, June 29, 2010 – – ROGER FEDERER: QUEST FOR PERFECTION, the updated and re-released book that chronicles the incredible tennis career of Roger Federer, has been officially re-released in paperback by publisher New Chapter Press.

ROGER FEDERER: QUEST FOR PERFECTION ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.NewChapterMedia.com) was written by Rene Stauffer, the esteemed Swiss tennis journalist who has covered Federer since the budding tennis champion was a 15-year-old. The book chronicles Federer’s life as a tempermental junior player, his early struggles on the ATP Tour, his break-out win at Wimbledon in 2003 through his record-breaking 15th major singles title at Wimbledon in 2009. The book also focuses on his values, how he has been marketed, his relationship with the media as well as his numerous charitable pursuits.

Federer made his statement for being considered as the greatest tennis player of all-time in 2009 when he defeated Andy Roddick 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14 to win his sixth Wimbledon singles title and capture his 15th major singles title, surpassing the all-time men’s record of 14 set by Pete Sampras. Four weeks earlier, Federer defeated Robin Soderling 6-1, 7-6 (1), 6-4 to win the French Open, moving him into exclusive company as only the sixth man to complete a “Career Grand Slam” – winning all four major tournaments over a career. Federer’s major trophy mantle, that now numbers 16, currently includes the 2009 French Open title, six Wimbledon titles (2003-2007, 2009), five U.S. Open titles (2004-2008) and four Australian Open titles (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010).

Stauffer is one of the world’s leading tennis journalists and the highly-respected tennis correspondent for Zurich’s Tages-Anzeiger and Sonntags-Zeitung. A sports writer since 1981, Stauffer worked for the Swiss newspapers Blick and Sport, before joining Tages-Anzeiger in 1993. After first writing about Federer in 1996, Stauffer has traveled the world covering Federer and his many triumphs.

New Chapter Press is also the publisher of “The Bud Collins History of Tennis” by Bud Collins, “The Education of a Tennis Player” by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, “Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games” by Tom and Jerry Caraccioli, “Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match” by Cliff Richey and Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, “Jan Kodes: A Journey To Glory From Behind The Iron Curtain” by Jan Kodes, “The Lennon Prophecy” by Joe Niezgoda, “Bone Appetit, Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog” by Susan Anson, “The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle” by Stewart Wolpin, “People’s Choice Cancun – Travel Survey Guidebook” by Eric Rabinowitz and “Weekend Warriors: The Men of Professional Lacrosse” by Jack McDermott, among others. 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.NewChapterMedia.com.

WHAT WE FOUND WHEN WE GOOGLED “CLIFF RICHEY”

We have been reading a bit about Cliff Richey and his new book “ACING DEPRESSION: A TENNIS CHAMPION’S TOUGHEST MATCH”. We hear that it is an interesting and entertaining read (even if you don’t have depression). We have asked the publisher for a review copy and will find out for sure. If you want a copy, there’s a link to the story on the front page of this website.

Cliff Richey is a name that perhaps a lot of people haven’t heard of. His credentials are solid – he reached the semis of the French Open in 1970 and the U.S. Open twice (1970 and 1972). I guess you could call him the American version of Nikolay Davydenko of the 1970s? Accounts have him being a real grinder, who played a lot of events.

We googled Cliff Richey and then pressed videos and came up with this remarkable film from the 1972 U.S. Open.

Tennis is presented here like the National Football League – with the famous voice of John Facenda providing commentary. (NFL Films for sure created and produced this video).

Tennis was – and continues to be – a beautiful game.

JIMMY CONNORS WRITES FOREWORD TO CLIFF RICHEY BOOK “ACING DEPRESSION”

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Jimmy Connors, the five-time U.S. Open champion, has contributed the Foreword to the upcoming book “ACING DEPRESSION: A TENNIS CHAMPION’S TOUGHEST MATCH” written by his friend and former pro tennis colleague Cliff Richey.

Richey, who 40 years ago was the No. 1-ranked American tennis player and the hero of the 1970 championship-winning U.S. Davis Cup team, was the winner of the first-ever professional Grand Prix points title. In his book, due out in April, he discusses the most difficult opponent of his life, depression. Richey calls depression among adult males as “the silent tragedy in our culture today” and details his life-long battle with the disease that afflicts approximately 121 million people around the world. Co-written with his oldest daughter Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, ACING DEPRESSION ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.NewC

hapterMedia.com), profiles the life and tennis career of Richey, with his depression being a constant theme.

Writes Connors in the Foreword, “What made Cliff Richey what he was on the tennis court has certainly carried over into this book. His story has taken a subject, depression—which has affected him personally—and put it out there for everyone to see. Depression has been a subject that no one really talks about. Few people even admit to having such a condition. But Cliff is not afraid to be bold and reveal what he has gone through and what it takes to get a handle on this disease…Just as Cliff played tennis, he is studying how depression works; what its weaknesses are; and what strategies you can use against it. His hope is that people who read his story can learn—learn about the disease and learn that people who suffer can have a better quality of life. Things can get better. There is hope.”

Richey was known as the original “Bad Boy” of tennis, before there was John McEnroe and Ilie Nastase. His 26-year career was highlighted by a 1970 season where he led the United States to the Davis Cup title, finished as the first-ever Grand Prix world points champion and won one of the most exciting matches in American tennis history that clinched the year-end No. 1 American ranking. He won both of his singles matches in the 5-0 U.S. victory over West Germany in the 1970 Davis Cup final, while he beat out rivals Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Arthur Ashe and Stan Smith to win the first-ever Grand Prix world points title the precursor to the modern day ATP rankings. He won his second U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in 1970, while also won titles in his career at the Canadian Open, the South African Open, the U.S. Indoors and the Western Open (modern day Cincinnati Masters 1000 event).

At the 1970 Pacific Coast Championships at the Berkeley Tennis Club in Berkeley, Calif., he earned the No. 1 U.S. ranking when he beat Smith in a fifth-set tie-breaker, where both players had simultaneous match point in a sudden-death nine-point tie-breaker at 4-4. He also reached the semifinals of both the 1970 French and U.S. Opens, losing a famous match to Zeljko Franulovic of Yugoslavia in the French semifinals, despite holding match points and leading by two-sets-to-one and 5-1 in the fourth set.

ACING DEPRESSION is due out in April and is published by New Chapter Press – also the publisher of The Roger Federer Story, Quest for Perfection by Rene Stauffer, The Bud Collins History of Tennis by Bud Collins, The Education of a Tennis Player by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli, The Lennon Prophecy by Joe Niezgoda, Bone Appetit, Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog by Susan Anson, The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle by Stewart Wolpin, People’s Choice Cancun – Travel Survey Guidebook by Eric Rabinowitz and Weekend Warriors: The Men of Professional Lacrosse by Jack McDermott, among others. 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.NewChapterMedia.com.

Roger Federer, Rod Laver And Tennis History Books For The Holidays

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Roger Federer, Rod Laver and Tennis History are on sale as New Chapter Press recommends all four of its tennis titles as Holiday gifts for tennis fans.

The Roger Federer Story, Quest for Perfection ($24.95, www.rogerfedererbook.com) was written by Rene Stauffer, the esteemed Swiss tennis journalist who has covered Federer since the budding tennis champion was a 15-year-old. The book chronicles Federer’s life as tempermental junior player, through his early struggles on the ATP Tour and his break-through win at Wimbledon in 2003 and his pursuit of Pete Sampras’ record of 14 major singles titles. The book also focuses on Federer’s values, how he has been marketed, his relationship with the media as well as his numerous charitable pursuits.

The Education of a Tennis Player ($19.95) is the newly-updated and re-released memoir of Rod Laver, co-written by Tennis Hall of Famer Bud Collins. The book is Laver’s first-hand account of his 1969 Grand Slam season, capped off by his 7-9, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win over fellow Australian Tony Roche in the final of the U.S. Open on September 8. Laver also writes about his childhood and early days in tennis, his 1962 Grand Slam and offers tips on how players of all levels can improve their game. He also shares some of the strategies that helped him to unparalleled success on the tennis court. This book will be available in traditional book stores and internet retailers in the Spring, 2010, but is available immediately via www.TennisWarehouse.com, the International Tennis Hall of Fame (www.TennisFame.com) or directly via New Chapter Press (www.NewChapterMedia.com or [email protected])

The Bud Collins History of Tennis ($35.95, 784 pages) is the ultimate compilation of historical tennis information written by Colllins, the world’s most famous tennis journalist and tennis historian. The book includes 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.

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 written by Randy Walker. 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. For more information on this title, go to www.tennishistorybook.com.

New Chapter Press is also the publisher of Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli, The Lennon Prophecy by Joe Niezgoda, Bone Appetit, Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog by Susan Anson, The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle by Stewart Wolpin, People’s Choice Cancun – Travel Survey Guidebook by Eric Rabinowitz and Weekend Warriors: The Men of Professional Lacrosse by Jack McDermott, among others. More information on New Chapter Press can be found at www.NewChapterMedia.com

InsideOut Turns to Amplify

NEW YORK – July 20, 2009 – InsideOut Sports & Entertainment announced today it has retained Amplify Sports and Entertainment for sponsorship sales representation of InsideOut’s signature property, the Outback Champions Series. InsideOut, co-founded by Hall of Fame tennis champion Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison, is an independent producer of proprietary events and promotions.  The Outback Champions Series is a collection of tennis events featuring many of the greatest players of the past 25 years, including Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and many others.

Amplify will help secure Outback Champions Series corporate partnerships.  Founded in 2005, it features eight events on its 2009 schedule with each event featuring $150,000 in prize money.  To be eligible to compete on the Outback Champions Series, players must have reached at least a major singles final, been ranked in the top five in the world or played singles on a championship Davis Cup team.

“Amplify has a stellar record in helping build partnerships between top brands and marquee properties,” said InsideOut Sports + Entertainment co-founder Jim Courier. ”We look forward to working with them to build upon the success of the Outback Champions Series.”.

“The Outback Champions Series offers advertisers unprecedented access to many of the biggest names in tennis and the ability to connect in a meaningful way with target customers,” said Michael A. Neuman, president of Amplify Sports and Entertainment.  “We’re excited to work with InsideOut to secure new corporate partners for this great property.”

About Amplify Sports and Entertainment

Amplify Sports and Entertainment specializes in maximizing clients’ investments in sports, lifestyle and entertainment sponsorship. Through strategic insight, Amplify builds brands by customizing compelling, relevant and memorable marketing programs that drive sales by establishing a deeper, more emotional bond with target consumers. Proprietary tools, the Sponsorship Snapshot™ and the Sponsorship Amplifier™, offer the industry the most comprehensive resources for evaluating return on sponsorship marketing investments. Clients include: ABSOLUT® VODKA, Allergan, Inc., American Bass Anglers, Business Clubs of America (Philadelphia), BOTOX®, Champions Series, Cruzan® Rum, Everlast, Ford Models, Gardenburger, ING Direct, International Sports Properties, Level™ Vodka, Inc., Juvéderm™, Major League Soccer, National Grid, Nikon, Inc., Pepsi Bottling Group, SportsNet New York (SNY), Strike Ten Entertainment, Time Warner Center, USA Field Hockey, U. S. National Whitewater Center, United States Tennis Association, US Speedskating, Volkswagen of America and XanGo, LLC. For more information on Amplify Sports and Entertainment, LLC visit www.ampfirm.com.

About InsideOut Sports & Entertainment

InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a New York City-based independent producer of proprietary events and promotions founded in 2004 by former world No. 1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. In 2005, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Outback Champions Series, a collection of tennis events featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including “Legendary Night” exhibitions, charity events and tennis fantasy camps such as the annual “Ultimate Fantasy Camp”. Through 2008, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment events have raised over $4 million for charity. For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com.

Federer Wins Record-Tying 14th Major Singles Title and Career Grand Slam at 2009 French Open

NEW YORK, June 7 – The career and childhood of Roger Federer is chronicled in the book THE ROGER FEDERER STORY: QUEST FOR PERFECTION, the first U.S. published book about Federer, who Sunday completed a career sweep of all four Grand Slam tournaments and tied Pete Sampras’ men’s record of 14 major singles titles.

Federer finally captured his first title at the French Open Sunday, defeating Sweden’s Robin Soderling 6-1, 7-6, 6-4 in the men’s singles final. The win marked Federer’s 14th career major singles title, equaling the all-time men’s record set by Pete Sampras from 1990 to 2002. The victory also placed Federer in exclusive company as only the sixth man to complete a “Career Grand Slam” – winning all four major tournaments over a career – joining Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson and Andre Agassi. Federer’s Grand Slam trophy mantle, that now includes the 2009 French Open, also includes five Wimbledon titles (2003-2007), five U.S. Open titles (2004-2008) and three Australian Open titles (2004, 2006, 2007).

THE ROGER FEDERER STORY: QUEST FOR PERFECTION ($24.95, New Chapter Press, www.rogerfedererbook.com) was written by Rene Stauffer, the esteemed Swiss tennis journalist who has covered Federer since the budding tennis champion was a 15-year-old. The book chronicles Federer’s life as tempermental junior player, through his early struggles on the ATP Tour and his break-through win at Wimbledon in 2003 and beyond. The book also focuses on his values, how he has been marketed, his relationship with the media as well as his numerous charitable pursuits.

“When I first saw Roger Federer play tennis when he was a 15-year-old, I didn’t think that I would even write his name in my newspaper, let alone a book about him,” said Stauffer, who opens the book with his “Encounter with a 15-year-old” chapter when on Sept. 11, 1996, he first came upon Federer at the World Youth Cup tennis event in Zurich. “I am very happy I wrote this book, since a lot of readers told me that they find it very entertaining and educational about Roger and his career.”

Stauffer is one of the world’s leading tennis journalists and the highly-respected tennis correspondent for Zurich’s Tages-Anzeiger and Sonntags-Zeitung. A sports writer since 1981, Stauffer worked for the Swiss newspapers Blick and Sport, before joining Tages-Anzeiger in 1993. After first writing about Federer in 1996, Stauffer has traveled the world covering Federer and his many triumphs.

Published by New Chapter Press, the book has met with many positive reviews from the international media. The Toronto Globe and Mail called the book “excellent” while Britain’s Daily Telegraph called it “an intimate and insightful portrait.” Wrote Tennis.com of the book; “It’s accessible and sketches out his career development very logically. At the same time, it throws in enough about his personality and the rest of his life to flesh out the tale without turning it into it a flabby puff-piece.” Other positive reviews have included noted tennis reporter Charlie Bricker of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, who wrote, “It’s a virtual encyclopedia of Federer’s career. There’s material in there I’ve not seen anywhere else. Fantastic.” Wrote leading tennis website Tennisreportersnet, “It could have easily been called the Encyclopedia Federer.”

The Roger Federer Story is not an authorized book by the Federer family, but has been well-received by his inner circle. The Wimbledon champ’s mother, Lynette Federer, uses the book as an encyclopedia on her son’s career. “It’s useful for me, because I often am asked about things and I don’t know for sure without checking,” she told Zurich’s Tages-Anzeiger. “Now, I will always know where I can look them up.”

Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press (www.newchapterpressmedia.com) is an independent publisher of books that is part of the Independent Publishers Group (IPG). New Chapter Press has also published THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS, ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY and BOYCOTT: STOLEN DREAMS OF THE 1980 MOSCOW OLYMPIC GAMES.