The Tennis Channel

Mondays With Bob Greene: I’m going to Shanghai really to represent France and all my family and my friends.


Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat David Nalbandian 6-3 4-6 6-4 to win the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, France

Nadia Petrova won the Bell Challenge, beating Bethanie Mattek 4-6 6-4 6-1 in Quebec City, Canada

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won the Ritro Slovak Open in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, beating Michaella Krajicek 6-3 6-1

David Koellerer beat Pau Capdeville 6-4 6-3 to win the Bancolombia Open 2008 in Cali, Colombia

Ivo Minar beat Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6-1 2-0 retired to win the Flea Market Cup Busan Challenger in Busan, Korea


“I’m going to go (to Shanghai) really to represent France and all my family and my friends. That’s it. I’m going to represent everyone and I’m going to give my best.” – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, after winning the Paris Masters and qualifying for the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, China.

“I didn’t play bad, but I didn’t play like the other days.” – David Nalbandian, after losing to Tsonga in the final at Paris and a chance to qualify for the Tennis Masters Cup.

“If I feel like I want to continue to play, I will. If not, it will be over. For the moment, I just need to rest.” – Marat Safin, former world number one player on whether or not he will retire from tennis.

“Now I have a long journey ahead of me to Doha, but it’ll definitely be worth it. And then it’ll be really nice to put the racquets aside for a few weeks.” – Nadia Petrova, after winning the Bell Challenge.

“I saw him in the locker room five minutes before my match and he told me he had a pain in the back. I said, maybe we are both going to be going home tonight.” – Rafael Nadal, talking about Roger Federer after both withdrew from the Paris Masters with injuries.

“It wasn’t going to do me any good to play patty-cake back and forth with him. I’m not as quick as he is and I’m not as consistent as he is. It actually made for a pretty simple game plan.” – Andy Roddick, after his victory over Gilles Simon in Paris.

“I think with this calendar it’s very difficult to play a lot of years in a row. I think the ATP and everybody have to think about these things happening at the end of the season.” – Rafael Nadal, on the injuries to him and Federer.

“For him, it can’t all be serious. Off the court he is just a kid.” – Agent Tony Godsick, talking about his client, Roger Federer.

“We have now accomplished all that we set out to do at the USTA. The best time to move on is when the business is at an all-time high and a solid foundation has been built for the future.” – Arlen Kantarian, who is quitting at the end of the year as the USTA’s CEO for professional tennis.


The world’s top two players turned up injured on the same day. First, second-ranked Roger Federer pulled out of his quarterfinal match at the BNP Paribas Masters with back pain. Then top-seeded Rafael Nadal dropped the first set before retiring from his match against Nikolay Davydenko with a knee injury. By his standards, Federer has had a down year, winning his fifth straight US Open title but losing in the final at both the French Open and Wimbledon, and also losing his world number one ranking. This is the first time since 2003 that Federer has gone the entire season without a Masters Series trophy, and his four titles this year are his fewest since 2002. Nadal, who had a trainer work on his right knee and thigh before he retired, said he had never had this kind of injury before.


Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was instrumental in completing the field for the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai. Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina earned a spot in the elite field when Tsonga beat American James Blake in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Masters. Then Tsonga clinched the final berth for himself when he beat David Nalbandian in the final in Paris. Earlier in the week, American Andy Roddick secured a spot in the Shanghai tournament by beating France’s Gilles Simon in a third-round match. Completing the singles field for the November 9-16 tournament are Spain’s Rafael Nadal, Swiss Roger Federer, Serb Novak Djokovic, Briton Andy Murray and Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko.


The final two teams to qualify for the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha, Qatar, are Kveta Peschke and Rennae Stubbs, along with Katherina Srebotnik and Ai Sugiyama. Previously qualified for the four-team field were Cara Black and Liezel Huber as well as Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual. The Peschke-Stubbs duo is making its second consecutive appearance as a team at the season finale.



Arlen Kantarian is leaving his post as the US Tennis Association’s chief executive officer for professional tennis. A former National Football League executive, Kantarian joined the USTA in March 2000 and is credited with turning the year’s final Grand Slam tournament into an entertainment spectacular. During his tenure, the US Open revenues jumped 80 percent as the tournament set annual records for attendance and revenue. He is credited with developing the instant replay and challenge format, moving the women’s final to Saturday night and securing television deals to boost the tournament’s profile and income.


The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum will pay tribute to Jane Brown Grimes at a dinner in New York City in December. Grimes began a two-year stint as president of the United States Tennis Association in January 2007 and has been a member of the USTA Board for Directors for the past seven years. She represents the United States on the International Tennis Federation Fed Cup and Grand Slam Committees. She served as the Hall of Fame’s president and chief executive officer from 1991 until 2000, overseeing a major reconstruction of the historic buildings and grounds of the Hall of Fame’s headquarters in Newport, Rhode Island.


Aleksandra Wozniak’s bid to become the first Canadian to reach the final of the Bell Challenge women’s tournament ended when she fell to American Bethanie Mattek in the semifinals at Quebec City. A native of Blaineville, Quebec, the 21-year-old Wozniak won a tournament in Stanford, Connecticut, just before the US open, making her the first Canadian in 20 years to win a WTA title. Mattek fell in the title match to top-seeded Nadia Petrova.


When the United States plays Switzerland in the opening round of Davis Cup next year, the Americans will be facing Roger Federer again. The last time Federer played a first-round Davis Cup tie was in 2004, when he led the Swiss to victory over Romania. The United States and Switzerland have met only twice in Davis Cup play, with the countries splitting their two meetings. The Americans won the 1992 final at Fort Worth, Texas. The last time they played, Federer had a hand in all three points as the Swiss beat the United States in Basel, Switzerland, in a first-round match in 2001.


Serena Williams and James Blake will team up for the Hopman Cup in January. Serena and Mardy Fish won the mixed teams title a year ago, the second time Williams has won the event. Blake also has won the Hopman Cup twice, joining with Serena in 2003 and with Lindsay Davenport in 2004. Tournament director Pal McNamee said the Americans will be the top-seeded team. Others who are scheduled to be in the field include Dinara Safina and her brother Marat Safin – if he decides to continue his career, Germans Sabine Lisicki and Nicolas Kiefer, and the Slovak duo of Dominika Cibulkova and Dominik Hrbaty.


The season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships will be shown in the United States on the Tennis Channel and ESPN2. More than 30 live hours are planned from the prestigious women’s event being held this week in Doha, Qatar, almost all of which will be telecast in high definition. Combined with taped segments, the networks plan to televise close to 70 hours of high definition match coverage during the six-day tournament that features the world’s top eight singles players and top four doubles teams.


History was made at a USD $10,000 International Tennis Federation women’s tournament in Vila Real De Santo Antonio, Portugal, when two Moroccan Fed Cup teammates met in the final. It was the first all-Moroccan singles final on the ITF Women’s Circuit. Nadia Lalami, playing in her first career singles final, won the tournament when Lamia Essaadi retired from the match while trailing 2-1 in the opening set. Lalami also teamed up with her regular Fed Cup doubles partner Fatima El Allami to win the doubles. Prior to 2008, Bahia Mouhtassine was the only Moroccan woman to win a singles title, and she finished her career with eleven singles titles. This year, however, has been a banner one for Moroccan women’s tennis as Essaadi won a tournament in July and El Allami won a title in August.


Marat Safin is not sure he wants to continue playing tennis. After the 28-year-old Russian suffered a first-round loss at the Paris Masters, he said: “I need to enjoy my life without tennis. I will see if I continue.” Safin won the US Open in 2000 and was ranked number one in the world. He also won the Australian Open in 2005, the last of his 15 titles. Many times he has self-destructed in matches, and his latest defeat was no exception. After losing the opening set, Safin began the second set with four double faults. His career has been hampered by his volatile temper and, more recently, injuries.


Harold Mitchell is one of four new directors on the Tennis Australia board. The others are former Fed Cup player Janet Young, Stephen Healy and Graeme Holloway. Mitchell is a media buyer. Tennis Australia president Geoff Pollard was re-elected to the job he has held since 1989.


Paris: Jonas Bjorkman and Kevin Ullyett beat Jeff Coetzee and Wesley Moodie 6-2 6-2

Quebec City: Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Vania King beat Jill Craybas and Tamarine Tanasugarn 7-6 (3) 6-4

Cali: Daniel Koellerer and Boris Pashanski beat Diego Junqueira and Peter Luczak 6-7 (4) 6-4 10-4 (match tiebreak)

Bratislava: Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka beat Akgul Amanmuradova and Monica Niculescu 7-6 (1) 6-1

Busan: Rik De Voest and Ashley Fisher beat Johan Brunstrom and Jean-Julien Rojer 6-2 2-6 10-6 (match tiebreak)







(All money in USD)


$4,450,000 Sony Ericsson Championships, Doha, Qatar, hard

$100,000 ITF women’s event, Krakow, Poland, hard


$106,500 Tatra Banka Open, Bratislava, Slovakia, hard


Cancer Treatment Centers of America Championships at Surprise, Surprise, Arizona



$3,700,000 Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai, China, carpet

$125,000 PEOPLEnet Cup, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, hard

Bill Mountford: Exposure in America

If you support tennis in the United States, then I urge you to visit your local newsstands and purchase the July 14-21 double issue of Sports Illustrated.  First of all, it celebrates “the Greatest Match Ever” with an action shot of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer doing battle.  This will be a collector’s item for years to come.

Tennis has not gotten its due in recent years from SI.  The most important sports magazine in the US has not had a tennis player on the magazine cover in over five years

(Serena Williams was the last, from way back in May 2003).  What is the corporate reason for this slight? Apparently, the Sports Illustrated “tennis issues” have traditionally been among the worst-selling.

So… tennis supporters please heed the call.  Go to your newsstands and purchase one (or many) of this great issue and send a clear message to advertisers and the mainstream media.  For a review of ALL the times that tennis players have graced the cover of SI, visit

By the way, nothing should please the U.S. Tennis Association more than seeing this SI issue.  Tennis has enjoyed a growth period over the past half-decade that puts golf (to name just one traditional sport) to shame.  The USTA mission is to promote and develop the growth of tennis, and this cover exposure on Sports Illustrated is an invaluable marketing bonus.

Speaking of magazine covers, the August issue of Playboy magazine hits newsstands on Friday, July 18th.  America’s Ashley Harkleroad, the No. 72 ranked player on the WTA Tour, is this month’s cover girl.  This is a brave – and lucrative – move for the 23-year-old. She joins a list of other athletes to pose for Playboy, which includes Amanda Beard, Katarina Witt, and Gabrielle Reece.

Harkleroad will surely enjoy additional attention, and some extreme media scrutiny, throughout the summer on the “greatest road trip in sports.”  The US Open Series got underway this week.  Visit for daily updates and various previews and features.

On a feel-good note, if you are anywhere near a World Team Tennis franchise, take a carload of kids to these matches.  The unique format (men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles played in shorter sets and with no-ad scoring) creates an entertaining night out.  It also includes some of the greatest names in our sport, including past champions, current stars, and future prospects.  A small sampling of these players includes John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Lindsay Davenport, Bob and Mike Bryan, Serena and Venus Williams, and- of course- Anna Kournikova.  For a full list, as well as the schedule and standings, visit  Thankfully, the Tennis Channel is covering many of the matches.  Enjoy!

Lastly, a few weeks ago our sport lost a dear friend.  Thomas Pura, of Bedford Hills, NY and Los Angeles, passed away suddenly.  Pura produced the documentary “50,000 Balls” about top-level 12 & under tennis.  His precocious son, TJ, is one of America’s top young prospects.  Tom was always a smiling, positive presence in the junior tennis community, and his love and support of our sport was obvious.  The Pura family requests that in lieu of flowers any donation in Tom’s name should be made to Partnership for After School Education (PASE), 120 Broadway, 2nd Fl., New York, NY 10271 or Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program, 130 West 143rd Street, New York, NY  10037. Rest in peace, Tom.  You will be sorely missed.

Why Do We Always See Federer Doing Interviews?

It seems every TV channel your turn on when you are watching a major tennis tournament – whatever country you are in – you always see a substantial sit down interview with Roger Federer. Just the other day in the United States, Federer is sitting with for a long interview with Chris Fowler and the ESPN2 crew and then he is sitting for an extended interview with Bill Macatee and The Tennis Channel. You know that he is also doing similar interviews with British TV (probably BBC and Sky) and also for Eurosport and Swiss TV. What is with Roger and his accommodating nature with the media? Rene Stauffer, in his book The Roger Federer Story, Quest for Perfection ( gives us a look at Roger and his media persona in this exclusive excerpt from his best-selling book.

It was July 3, 2004-the evening before the Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick. Our reports for the Sonntags Zeitung had already  been sent off to Zurich and my colleague Simon Graf and I were gathering  our stuff in the press room at the All England Club when my cell phone rang.

The name “Vavrinec” was illuminated in the display but it was not Mirka on  the line, but Roger himself. I was surprised because it was rather unusual for him to call personally, especially the night before a Wimbledon final. Our  paper was printing a major story on his girlfriend for the following day and  had sent an electronic courtesy copy of the article to her via email. The fact  that Roger was calling me did not seem to be a good sign.

It was known that Federer was reluctant to see anybody in his camp become too closely examined in the media spotlight and he felt obligated to  protect them. After many attempts to convince Mirka to sit down for an in-depth personal interview, she finally spoke candidly about her daily routine,  her relationship to Roger, about children and about marriage. The thought occurred to me that Roger now wanted to pull the emergency brake and stop  the publication of the interview-which was impossible to do at such a late  hour. In any case, it must have been something important if he were on the  line personally the evening before one of the biggest matches of his career.

He seemed to have anticipated my thoughts, but also seemed amused and  quickly dispelled my misgivings. His only concern about the interview was  that the answer to the question about his friend Reto Staubli’s role in his  camp needed to be more exactly defined. Staubli, a former professional tennis  player from Switzerland, accompanied Federer to tournaments at the time after  Federer’s separation from Peter Lundgren. He sometimes trained with him  and appeared to have assumed the role of coach. Federer’s reason for calling  was to have this part of the story more concretely portrayed in order to save  any trouble for his friend, who still held a job as a banker back in Switzerland.

“Reto doesn’t want to risk losing his job at the bank and so far he has used  all his vacation time to work with us,” Federer explained over the phone.

“Thanks to the generosity of his employers in complying with his wishes, he  has now received unpaid vacation time.”

This small incident illustrates three of Federer’s character traits-his willingness  to help friends, his effort to keep all the collateral consequences of  his career under control, and his ability to just act naturally. He always had a  relaxed relationship with the media and he was always a very social person.

Even as a junior, he was not afraid to talk to journalists about an article  that he didn’t agree with. As the No. 1 player in the world, Forbes magazine  counted 24,396 stories about Federer over a 12-month period making the  task of keeping track of his press virtually impossible.

There is no escape from the media for successful tennis players. It grows up with them and creates an involuntary community of purpose. They have to give interviews to the media after every match-so press conferences have be­come as much part of the game as showers and massages. Conversations with the media, however, can be stressful with difficult questions being asked and more than niceties being exchanged. Sometimes skeletons are dragged out of closets, provocative questions posed and prejudices reaffirmed. Many players therefore view press conferences as an irksome duty-a frustrating waste of time. Players answer questions suspiciously and become reticent or evasive and attempt to create distance between themselves and the media. Those who say nothing can’t say anything wrong. They can also retreat from their ex­posed positions more quickly where cameras and microphones mercilessly catch every movement and every word and broadcast them to the world.

These mandatory post-match interviews are normally conducted in English first and then, if necessary, in the player’s native language. On some oc­casions, press interviews can last longer than the matches themselves. The growth and development in the media world have contributed to a greater demand by television, radio stations and internet websites to cover events in person and gain quotes and comments from the players.

It may be a blessing that Federer, in addition to Swiss German, also has a near perfect command of High German, English and French-but sometimes his multilingualism is a disadvantage in these interview sessions. His press conferences routinely last the longest of any player because, next to English and German, he also has to provide quotes in French, which in the meantime has become a second native language for him and is the second official lan­guage of Switzerland behind German. Federer is also often accompanied by a small group of French-speaking Swiss journalists at the bigger tournaments.

With the other players, such as the Argentineans, press conferences are almost a walk in the park. Guillermo Coria, for example, even after five years on the professional tour, only appeared at press conferences accompanied by a translator and then only spoke Spanish. David Nalbandian is such a master at the art of evasion and economy of words that his interview transcript rarely takes up more than one page.

Some players, on the other hand, use the press conference as a forum to settle personal scores, to take revenge for unwelcome articles. Time and again there are instances when certain interviewers are boycotted or ejected from the room. Even John McEnroe, for example, had no reservations about do­ing this. Boris Becker also used to humiliate journalists, though somewhat more gently. He would sometimes answer questions from people who he had known for years and on familiar terms with only to maliciously begin ad­dressing them in formal terms.

Playing these kinds of wicked games is unimaginable for Federer. He is a person who greets journalists when he comes in and then says good-bye to them when he leaves-even after defeats. When he first started to play profes­sional tennis, he constantly astounded reporters after interviews by thanking them for having come to his match and his press conference. He notices when there is a familiar face who he hasn’t seen for a long time in the press room, approaches the media to ask which journalist is covering which tour­nament, and sometimes even poses questions back to the reporters during press conferences.

Mondays With Bob Greene: Federer Starts Quest For Sixth Straight Wimbledon


David Ferrer beat Marc Gicquel 6-4 6-2 to win the Ordina Open men’s crown in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

Ivo Karlovic beat Fernando Verdasco 6-2 7-6 (5) to win The Slazenger Open in Nottingham, England

Agnieszka Radwanska won the International Women’s Open in Eastbourne, England, beating Nadia Petrova 6-4 6-7 (11) 6-4

Tamarine Tanasugarn upset Dinara Safina 7-5 6-3 to win the Ordina Open women’s title in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

Nicolas Devilder won the Nord LB Open in Braunschweig, Germany, beating Sergio Roitman 6-4 6-4

Pete Sampras beat Marcelo Rios 6-2 7-6 (5) to win the Nossa Caixa Grand Champions Brazil title in Sao Paulo, Brazil


“Maybe it was more difficult for Dinara, as she was seeded and playing really well lately and I was coming out of the qualies.” – Qualifier Tamarine Tanasugarn, who upset third-seeded Dinara Safina to win the Ordina Open.

“I want to forget this match as soon as I can.” – Dinara Safina.

“I never would have imagined winning a title on grass, but I played really good this week.” – Spain’s David Ferrer who is better known for his clay court game.

“There’s no easy points against him. He’s always there and he fights so much.” – Marc Gicquel about David Ferrer.

“I think this year there are about four or five players who you could pick to win it. Of course you can never discount the Williams sisters.” – Martina Hingis, on who will win Wimbledon.

“The way the grass plays these days, I put Rafa as the slight favorite for Wimbledon this year. Rafa got so close last year to beating Federer in the final, and I reckon his reaction was to lift his own standards.” – Six-time Wimbledon doubles champion Mark Woodforde.

“I pick (Rafael) Nadal to win this year, as long as he can get through the first couple of rounds.” – Five-time Wimbledon champion Bjorn Borg.

“I will go to Wimbledon with a lot of hope.” – Roger Federer, who is seeking his sixth consecutive Wimbledon title.

“There is a burning desire in Roger to break my record, and when he does it I would like to be there.” – Pete Sampras, who holds the men’s record with 14 career Grand Slam titles.

“I hate myself. I just can’t stand myself.” – Andy Roddick, after throwing his racket at a garbage can while practicing at Wimbledon.

“She just rips that forehand withouth thinking now. Sometimes I think she has no idea where it’s going to go, but compared to other players it’s by far the best forehand out there.” – Nadia Petrova, about fellow player Ana Ivanovic.

“Women’s tennis has become much stronger and much taller, but I don’t necessarily think the players have become better athletes. There is a lot of hard hitting, but they lack the variety and the talent. It’s not that they don’t have the talent, but they play the same kind of tennis.” – Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna on today’s women players.

“Wow! It has been a quick 12 months since I was here last year. Let’s see, I graduated from fashion design school, launched my own clothing line, bought a new dog, went to India for the first time and so much more.” – Defending women’s champion Venus Williams.

“We’re changing the face, changing the picture of everything in general. We decided together that this is the best thing for sport – to join the Player Council and to try to be united in the future to make good decisions for us, for everybody.” – Novak Djokovic, on he, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal all being elected to the ATP Player Council.

“I think when people retire, they just know it’s time. For me, I wasn’t really enjoying the tour as a whole.” – Alun Jones, who reitred following a first-round loss in the Wimbldeon qualifying.

“Pete is playing v ery good tennis and it was hard to beat him as his serve is so big. On this surface it is obvious that he has a big advantage.” – Marcelo Rios, who lost the final to Pete Sampras on a hard court in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

“Straight after Wimbledon I’ll take a few weeks off because this special time with the family is time you’ll never get back.” – Mark Knowles, whose wife just gave birth to their second child.

“‘I do continue to worry about the health and well-being of the players. A person like Justine Henin retires at 25 and almost every one of our players suffers with an injury of some kind. It’s something not in your direct control, but it’s one of the reasons I’ve been so laser-focused on the need to change the calendar and reduce the commitment of players.” – Larry Scott, CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.


Roger Federer is seeking his sixth consecutive Wimbledon title, a feat that hasn’t been done since William Renshaw did it in 1886. Renshaw, of course, had an advantage. In those days the defending champion didn’t play until the final. Federer, on the other hand, must win seven matches to hold the trophy again. And he has never beaten his first-round opponent, Dominik Hrbaty, in their previous two meetings.


Dmitry Tursunov was disqualified at the Slazenger Open when he walked off the court during a doubles match. Tursunov and his partner, Chris Haggard, were trailing 6-4 3-1 in their first-round match against Simone Bolelli and Andreas Seppi when Tursunov argued over a line call, then left the court. The ATP supervisor then disqualified Tursunov from the singles, giving Thomas Johansson a second-round walkover.


Ivo Karlovic pounded out 29 aces in his 7-5 6-7 (4) 7-6 (8) victory over Fernando Verdasco as he successfully defended his title at the Slazenger Open. Karlovic, at 6-foot-10 (2.08m), is the tallest player on the tour. He finished the tournament with 101 aces in five matches and raised his tour-leading total to 548. Due to wet weather, both the singles and doubles finals were played indoors at the City of Nottingham Tennis Centre, making Karlovic the second player to win the title indoors. Greg Rusedski did the same in 1997.


Thailand’s Tamarine Tanasugarn won her second and biggest Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title of her career, coming through qualifying to capture the Ordina Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, by upsetting third-seeded Dinara Safina in the final. Tanasugarn also won in Hyderabad, India, in 2003. For Safina, it was her second straight loss in a grass-court final, having fallen to Michaella Krajicek in the Ordina Open title match two years ago.


Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – the world’s top three-ranked players – have been elected to two-year terms on the ATP Player Council. The three are among the players who have opening complained about decisions made by ATP chairman Etienne de Villiers, whose contract expires this year. One of the biggest bones of contention has been the restructuring of the spring clay-court schedule, which has led to the downgrading of the Hamburg, Germany, tournament and a subsequent antitrust lawsuit filed against the ATP.


Three new players’ representatives have been elected the ATP Board of Directors. Justin Gimelstob will represent the Americas, Ivan Ljubicic will serve the vacant position as the European representative until the U.S. Open, and David Edges, vice president of the Tennis Channel, will serve in the International position. Gimblestob, a former player, is currently a commentator on Tennis Channel and replaces Andre Agassi’s agent, Perry Rogers, who was voted out of his job by the Players’ Council in March.


Australian Alun Jones has called it quits. The 28-year-old played eight years on the tour but is probably best known for a small role as fictional tennis player Tom Cavendish in the film “Wimbledon.” His last match was a first-round loss in qualifying for Wimbledon. Born in South Africa, Jones reached a career-high ranking of 123 earlier this year when he won his first Grand Slam match, a first-rounder at the Australian Open. He made his Davis Cup debut in February. Jones plans to marry in Belgium later this month before returning to Canberra, Australia, where he will begin a coaching career.


Pete Sampras won his first BlackRock Tour of Champions title by riding his big serve to a 6-2 7-6 (5) victory over Marcelo Rios in the Nossa Caixa Grand Champions Brazil. The American broke Rios in the fifth and seventh games of the opening set, then closed out the hard court senior tour tournament by winning the tiebreaker.


Mark Knowles is a daddy again. Dawn Knowles gave birth to the couple’s second son, Brody Mark Knowles, in Dallas, Texas, on June 20. Brody made his debut three weeks early and Dawn gave her blessing for Mark to head to Wimbledon where he will partner Mahesh Bhupathi in the men’s doubles. Knowles has not played since the French Open, where he and Bhupathi were upset in the opening round. He reached the second round of the mixed doubles before withdrawing so that he could attend the birth of his second son. Their first son, Graham, will turn three in September.


After 36 years without a title on the surface, Spanish players have now won grass-court tournaments for two straight weeks. This time it was David Ferrer who captured his first grass-court title, the Ordina Open, with a 6-4 6-2 win over Frenchman Marc Gicquel. A week earlier, Ferrer’s fellow Spanish countryman Rafael Nadal won on grass at Queens’ Club in London. Before that you would have to go back to Andres Gimeno winning in Eastbourne, England, in 1972. It was Ferrer’s second ATP title of the season and seventh of his career.


Spain will be at home in Madrid when they take on the defending champion Russia for the 2008 Fed Cup title. The competition will be held at Club de Campo de Madrid, where the United States won the title in 1979. It will be Spain’s 11th final and first since 2002. They have won the Cup five times. Three-time champion Russia has reached the final seven times.


Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes reached the final in the first tournament since pairing up again. Seeded second, Bhupathi and Paes were surprised in the Ordina Open title match by unseeded Mario Ancic and Jurgen Melzer 7-6 (5) 6-3. Bhupathi and Paes were attempting to win their 24th title together, but first since capturing Toronto in 2004. The two are preparing to represent India in the Beijing Olympics. At Wimbledon, both will return to their regular partners, Bhupathi with Mark Knowles and Paes with Lukas Dlouhy.


South African Airways (SAA) has extended its role as official airline of the ATP through 2012 in a deal worth USD 20 million dollars. SAA also will continue its sponsorship of several international tournaments. In making the announcement, the ATP also revealed that South Africa will regain a spot on the men’s tour next year. Several South African cities are in the running to stage the World Tour-level tournament. The country held tournaments previously, including the doubles world championships in Johannesburg from 1991 through 1993. In recent years a Challenger event has been staged in South Africa.


No one dazzled more at the annual Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Pre-Wimbledon Party than Serena Williams, who wore diamonds in her hair that were valued at USD two million dollars. The look was masterminded by hairdresser Stuart Phillips and jeweler Neil Duttson, who is known as the Rock Doctor. Among others at the party, hosted by Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson, were Ana Ivanovic, Venus Williams, Jelena Jankovic and Maria Sharapova.


Three WTA stars are ranked in the Forbes Celebrity 100, with Maria Sharapova being the highest-placed female athlete on the list. Sharapova is ranked number 61, with Serena Williams ranked number 69 and Justine Henin ranked number 81. The Forbes list ranks 100 of the world’s best-known and powerful celebrities in the period from June 2007 to June 2008. Sharapova, Williams and Henin also have something else in common: they all have been ranked number one in the world at one time in their career.


Barclays will be the title sponsor of the year-ending men’s tennis tournament, beginning in 2009. As part of the restructuring of men’s tennis the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals will replace the Tennis Masters Cup, which will be held in Shanghai, China, this November. Barclays signed a five-year deal worth around USD 7 million dollars.


Sisters Venus and Serena Williams will play doubles at Wimbledon this year. The two have combined for doubles in only three tournaments since Wimbledon in 2003. The last title they won as a team was the Australian Open in 2003, the sixth Grand Slam title for the partnership. The sisters hope to play doubles at the Beijing Olympics and repeat their gold-medal form of the Sydney Games in 2000.


The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour has unveiled a USD 15 million dollar ad campaign that will be seen in more than 75 countries over the next 18 months and feature 30 players. The players took part in the film and photographic shoot for the campaign at various locations in Rome, Italy, last month. This is the single largest commitment to promote the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour players in the history of women’s tennis. The advertisements ask the question “Looking for a Hero?” and bills the tour’s players as superheroes both on and off the court.


s’-Hertogenbosch: Mario Ancic and Jurgen Melzer beat Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes 7-6 (5) 6-3

Nottingham: Bruno Soares and Kevin Ullyett beat Jeff Coetzee and Jamie Murray 6-2 7-6 (5)

Eastbourne: Cara Black and Liezel Huber beat Kveta Peschke and Rennae Stubbs 2-6 6-0 10-8 (match tiebreak)

s’-Hertogenbosch: Marina Erakovic and Michaella Krajicek beat Liga Dekmeijere and Angelique Kerber 6-3 6-2

Braunschweig: Marco Crugnola and Oscar Hernandez beat Werner Eschauer and Philipp Oswald 7-6 (4) 6-2



Roger Federer: www.

Ana Ivanovic:

The Lawn Tennis Association:

Italian Tennis Federation:


(All money in USD)


The Championships, Wimbledon, Great Britain, grass



The Championships, Wimbledon, Great Britain, grass

$125,000 Cordoba Challenger, Pozoblanco, Spain, hard

$100,000 Turin Challenger, Turin, Italy, clay


The Championships, Wimbledon, Great Britain, grass

$100,000 ITF Cuneo, Cuneo, Italy, clay

USTA, ESPN and Tennis Channel Announce Partnership for US Open and Olympus US Open Series

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., May 12, 2008 – The USTA, ESPN and Tennis Channel today announced a groundbreaking television and multi-platform partnership creating a summer-long “Open Season” for tennis featuring more than 400 national television hours for the US Open and the Olympus US Open Series — an increase of nearly 100 hours. Commencing in 2009, ESPN and Tennis Channel will join CBS, and become the US Open cable television broadcasters for the first time. Under the new deal, the US Open will receive 200 hours of total coverage, an increase of over 50 hours — the most in US Open history. This marks the first time that the Series and the US Open will be carried by the same cable broadcast partner — creating a more consistent TV package for the sport. For 2008, USA Network will remain the US Open’s exclusive cable broadcaster.

For 2009 and beyond, ESPN2 will become the lead cable broadcaster for the US Open and the Olympus US Open Series, broadcasting nearly 200 hours of tennis coverage during the eight-week North American summer tennis season. Tennis Channel, which continues as a Series broadcaster with nearly 150 hours of Series coverage, will now also broadcast more than 60 hours of live US Open coverage. For the first time, Tennis Channel also will broadcast daily US Open preview and highlight shows. CBS Sports will continue to broadcast nearly 40 hours of live US Open coverage — bringing the overall national coverage of tennis during the summer season to more than 400 hours.

The six-year deal will also deliver the US Open across multiple platforms including ESPN, ESPN2, Tennis Channel, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN International, ESPN360 broadband programming,,, and ESPN Mobile Properties. In addition, retains all rights to live streaming of US Open matches.

“This completes a five-year process of reinventing the television and digital landscape for the sport of tennis in North America,” said Arlen Kantarian, CEO Pro Tennis, USTA. “Tennis will now be prominently featured for eight straight weeks on ESPN — the premiere destination in sports; Tennis Channel — our sport’s namesake network; and CBS — our longtime network partner. This new partnership will provide more tennis, to more people, in more ways than ever before.”

“Tennis has provided many memorable moments in ESPN history, and to finally acquire the excitement and drama of the US Open is a crowning achievement,” said John Skipper, ESPN Executive Vice President, Content. “The sport is a perfect fit for our growing digital businesses, and fans will know to find the best tennis action all year on ESPN2 and on”

“Tennis Channel is proud to now become a long-term partner in one of the greatest spectacles in all of sports,” said Ken Solomon, Chairman and CEO, Tennis Channel. “For us, the US Open and the Olympus US Open Series that leads up to it each summer go far beyond sports, as collectively the ‘Open Season’ represents an unprecedented eight weeks of the best mass appeal content in the world. Our multi-platform broadcast and marketing partnership with the USTA and ESPN, coupled with CBS’ world-class coverage will create significantly greater awareness of professional tennis in the years to come.”

US Open Television Coverage

ESPN’s US Open coverage will include approximately 100 hours, including weekday afternoon coverage and exclusive weekday primetime broadcasts. Tennis Channel will broadcast more than 60 live hours from the US Open, including exclusive primetime broadcasts on Saturday and Sunday evenings of Labor Day weekend. Below is a summary of the schedule and a full US Open TV schedule is attached:

First Week
• ESPN2: Live every weekday from 1-6 pm and primetime from 7-11 pm.
• Tennis Channel: Live every weekday from 11-2 pm; live outer court coverage from 2-6 pm; daily Preview Show from 10-11am; nightly Highlights Show at 11pm followed by encore of matches until 10 am the next morning.

Labor Day Weekend
• CBS: Live coverage from 11-6 pm on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

  • ESPN2: Live coverage on Monday from 7-11 pm.

• Tennis Channel: Live coverage on Saturday and Sunday from 7-11 pm; nightly Highlights Show at 11pm followed by encore of matches until 10 am the next morning.

Second Week/Quarterfinals
• ESPN2: Live Tuesday – Thursday from 11-6 pm and live primetime quarterfinals from 7-11 pm.
• Tennis Channel: Live outer court coverage from 11-6 pm; daily Preview Show from 10-11am; nightly Highlights Show at 11pm followed by encore of matches until 10 am the next morning.

Finals Weekend
• CBS: Live coverage during Finals weekend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including the Men’s Doubles Final, the Men’s and Women’s Semifinals, the Women’s Primetime Final on Saturday night and the Men’s Final on Sunday.
• ESPN2: Live coverage of Women’s Doubles Final at 1 pm Sunday; US Open Wrap-Up Show from 8-10 pm.

US Open Digital and Extended Platforms

The components of this multi-platform deal include cable television, broadband, mobile properties, and Spanish language distribution via ESPN Deportes. Highlights include:

•, ESPN’s signature broadband network, can present action from all TV courts during ESPN2 windows, plus simulcasts of ESPN2’s coverage, totaling more than 300 hours.
• will provide blanket coverage of the US Open, with the latest news and scores, as well as commentary, photos and daily video news and summaries from ESPN commentators.
• ESPN Mobile Properties will present live action, press conferences and highlights.
• ESPN has the right to display a multi-court mosaic platform during its TV windows.
• will have rights to stream live match action on a non-exclusive basis.
• ESPN International, which has been a US Open broadcast partner for several years, will continue to provide US Open broadcasts to Latin America and sub-Sahara Africa.
• also plans to stream US Open matches and will continue to feature exclusive live scoring.

Olympus US Open Series TV Coverage

• ESPN2 will remain the lead broadcaster of the Series and provide nearly 100 hours of consistent live weekly coverage, including back-to-back Men’s and Women’s Finals on Sundays from 3-7 pm.
• Tennis Channel will continue to provide nearly 150 hours of Series coverage, and weekly encore telecasts of Semifinals and Finals.
• CBS will continue to provide live Finals coverage from select Series events.
• Since its launch four years ago, the Series has doubled television viewership, increased event attendance and generated new corporate partners for the sport.
• In 2008, Olympus became the first Series title sponsor, with the Series renamed the “Olympus US Open Series.”
• In total, the 2007 Olympus US Open Series — including the US Open — generated a record 1.7 million attendees, more than 120 million TV viewers, and over 32 million website visits in the 8-week period.