USTA Elite Player Development

Mondays With Bob Greene – Rafael Nadal Wins Monte Carlo Masters Series

STARS

Rafael Nadal won his first title of 2008 and his fourth consecutive Monte Carlo Masters, defeating Roger Federer 7-5 7-5.

Nuria Llagostera Vives won both of her singles and teamed up to capture the doubles and lead Spain over China 4-1 and into the Fed Cup World Group finals.

Vera Zvonareva beat Vania King to clinch the Fed Cup World Group semifinals victory as Russia beat the United States 3-2.

Marcelo Rios beat Michael Stich 6-3 6-3 to win the BlackRock Champions Cup in Barcelona, Spain.

SAYINGS

“Winning four times here is unimaginable.” – Rafael Nadal, who became the first player to win four straight titles at Monte Carlo since Anthony Wilding of New Zealand did it from 1911-14.

“He deserves to win. I’m pushing Rafa today, having the feeling I can beat him if I play the right way. That’s the feeling I didn’t have after (Monte Carlo) last year.” – Roger Federer after his 7-5 7-5 loss to Rafael Nadal for the Monte Carlo Masters title.

“I knew I could do it, but there were times when I wondered.” – Robert Dee, who finally won his first professional match after 54 consecutive losses.

“It was my first match on red clay in almost two years. That’s why I was a little nervous at the start of the match.” – Vera Zvonareva, who beat Vania King 4-6 6-3 6-2 to give Russia an insurmountable 3-0 lead over the United States in their Fed Cup semifinal.

“I felt really sorry. I really didn’t want to lose.” – Peng Shuai, after losing 6-4 6-4 to Nuria Llagostera Vives as Spain clinched its Fed Cup semifinal victory over China.

“We knew we could win the tie, but we never expected to win three matches in a row.” – Nuria Llagostera Vives on Spain’s Fed Cup semifinal win.

“It’s not worth it. I’m just 20 years old. Still a lot of time, a lot of tournaments to come.” – Novak Djokovic, on how he felt it was too risky to continue his semifinal match against Roger Federer because of dizziness and a sore throat.

“Physically I was tired. That’s why next week is good. I don’t play any tournament.” – Nikolay Davydenko, who is taking a week off before playing in the Rome Masters.

“It’s still enjoyable. It’s nice to play the tournaments again where I have such great memories of what’s happened in the past.” – Gustavo Kuerten, after losing in the opening round of the Monte Carlo Masters. Kuerten is on a farewell tour which will culminate at the Roland Garros.

“We should have both (Maria) Sharapova and (Svetlana) Kuznetsova in the lineup. I might even have them play doubles together.” – Russian captain Shamil Tarpishchev, talking about who might play for his team at the Fed Cup finals in September against Spain.

SUPER SPANIARD

Rafael Nadal joined Jim Courier as the only players in ATP Masters Series history to win both the singles and doubles at the same event. Nadal beat Roger Federer 7-5 7-5 for the singles title, and teamed with fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo to down Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles 6-3 6-3 for the doubles crown. Nadal is the first player to win both titles at Monte Carlo since Ilie Nastase in 1973. Courier won both titles in an ATP Masters Series tournament in 1991 at Indian Wells, California.

SUCCESS – FINALLY

Robert Dee walked off the tennis court a winner after 54 consecutive defeats. The Briton defeated Arzhang Derakhshani of the United states 6-4 6-3 in qualifying for a Futures tournament in Reus, near Barcelona in Spain. Dee’s 54-match losing streak was the worst since Diego Beltranena of Guatemala also lost 54 straight matches between 1997 and 2005, although Beltranena at least managed to win a set. Until his victory over Derakhshani, Dee had played 108 sets – losing them all – since turning pro.

SUCH A PAYDAY

The payout at Roland Garros this year will be more than 15.5 million euros, an increase of more than 2 percent from last year. With equal prize money again awaiting men and women, the champions will each pocket one million euros. The French Tennis Federation (FFT) said the biggest prize money increases are in the wheelchair events where the total prize money available is 60 percent higher than in 2007.

SMOKIN’ SEMIS

When Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Nikolay Davydenko reached the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Masters, it marked the first time since Roland Garros in 2006 that the world’s top four ranked players were in the semifinals of the same tournament. It is the first time since the ATP Rankings began in 1973 that the top four-ranked players were semifinalists at Monte Carlo.

STOPPING THE BOMB

Frenchman Gael Monfils pulled off a unique feat in his 7-6 (8) 6-1 win over huge-serving Ivo Karlovic at the Monte Carlo Masters. Monfils didn’t concede a single ace against the 6-foot-10 Croatian. It was the first time in his career that Karlovic had failed to serve at least one ace in the match.

SITE SENSATIONAL

A record number of visitors checked out the Davis Cup web site as the nations played quarterfinals on April 11-13. The official site of the event, www.daviscup.com, recorded 4,568,701 page views, a 35 percent increase on the quarterfinals weekend in 2007. The total number of visitor sessions also saw a 39 percent rise from the previous year.

SO LONG

Clarisa Fernandez, who upset Kim Clijsters en route to the semifinals at Roland Garros in 2002, is calling it quits because of knee injuries. The lefthander from Argentina played her first professional tournament at an ITF event in Buenos Aires in 1997. She was ranked as high as number 26 in the world before undergoing surgeries in 2004, 2005 and 2007.

SEEKING HELP

Donald Young, the youngest player ranked in the ATP Top 100, will work out at Nick Bollettieri’s Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida. It is one of the first examples of the USTA Elite Player Development’s new collaborative approach with top coaches and private academies in a bid to develop the next generation of American champions. The USTA also announced that three top junior prospects – 12-year-old Sachia Vickery, 12-year-old of Victoria Duval and 9-year-old Alicia Black – will be working with Bollettieri.

STAYING HOME

Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish, two of America’s top three players, will skip the Beijing Olympics, opting instead for a U.S. Open tuneup event. Roddick will defend his title and Fish will join him at the ATP Washington Classic, which will be played August 9-17 opposite the Olympic men’s tennis tournament. Fish was a silver medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

SPANISH SHOCKER

Spain being in the Fed Cup final is no surprise. Peng Shuai losing three matches and Spain crushing China 4-1 in the semifinal at Beijing are shockers. Peng was the highest ranked singles player in the competition, ranked number 68 in the world. She and Sun Tian Tian are ranked ninth in the world in doubles. Instead, Nuria Llagostera Vives won three matches, teaming with Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in the doubles, while Carla Suarez-Navarro, ranked number 132 in the world, beat Peng in straight sets.

SHARAPOVA READY

Russia will have Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova for its Fed Cup final against Spain in September. Sharapova made her Fed Cup debut against Israel in February and won both of her singles matches to lead Russia to a 4-1 quarterfinal victory. Svetlana Kuznetsova led Russia to a 3-2 win over the United States in semifinal play. Against Spain, Russia could field both Sharapova and Kuznetsova, who are ranked third and fourth in world, respectively.

SPONSOR

BoscoSport, a Russian sporting goods company, is the new official clothing sponsor of Fed Cup. It will outfit the linespeople and ball kids at all Fed Cup ties. BoscoSport has been the official Russian Olympic team outfitter since the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games and is also the outfitter of the Russian Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams.

SCRIBE

Bud Collins has written a new book about tennis. The writer, historian and Tennis Hall of Fame member has written The Bud Collins History of Tennis, which is due in bookstores later this spring in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, and is available now with internet retailers. Collins’ achievements include being the recipient of the ATP’s 2007 Ron Bookman Media Excellence Award.

SHARED PERFORMANCE

Doubles Champions

Monte Carlo: Rafael Nadal and Tommy Robredo beat Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles 6-3 6-3.

SCORING FED CUP

World Group Playoffs

Italy beat Ukraine 3-2; France beat Japan 4-1; Argentina beat Germany 3-2; Czech Republic beat Israel 3-2

World Group II Playoffs

Belgium beat Colombia 5-0; Switzerland beat Austria 3-2; Slovak Republic beat Uzbekistan 5-0; Serbia beat Croatia 3-2

SITES TO SURF

Barcelona: www.opensabadellatlantico.com

Munich: www.bmwopen.de

Fes: www.frmt.ma/

Prague: www.pragueopen.cz

Rome: www.internazionalibnlditalia.it

Berlin: www.german-open.org

Boston: www.championsseriestennis.com/boston2008

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

ATP

$824,000 Open Sabadell Atlantico 2008, Barcelona, Spain, clay

$370,000 BMW Open, Munich, Germany, clay

WTA TOUR

$145,000 Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem, Fes, Morocco, clay

$145,000 ECM Prague Open, Prague, Czech Republic, clay

SENIORS

$150,000 Outback Champions Cup Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, hard

TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK

ATP

$2,270,000 Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Rome, Italy, clay

WTA TOUR

$1,340,000 Qatar Telecom German Open, Berlin, Germany, clay

SENIORS

BlackRock Tour of Champions Rome, clay

Patrick McEnroe Named General Manager, USTA Elite Player Development

Written by the USTA

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 2, 2008 – The USTA today announced that Patrick McEnroe has been named General Manager, USTA Elite Player Development, as part of a new strategic direction for the development of future American champions. This initiative will provide a greater focus on top American junior players and young pros in an effort to achieve championship status. As part of a unified effort, the USTA will create a “Champions Advisory Board” and “Coaches Commission,” bringing together the best in American tennis to provide input into talent identification, program development, and coaching. In addition, the new direction will include the launch of “USTA Pro Track,” providing a pathway for top American juniors to achieve at the highest levels of the game.

McEnroe, who led the U.S. Davis Cup team to its first title in 12 years last December, will remain in his role as Captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team. He will begin his new full-time position as General Manager on May 12, and will report to Arlen Kantarian, CEO, Professional Tennis. McEnroe will oversee the USTA’s National Coaches and coaching program, as well as the USTA Training Centers in Boca Raton, Florida, and Carson, California.

For the first time, the USTA is now training and housing top junior talent on a full-time basis in the new state-of-the-art training facility at its Boca Raton Training Center on the campus of the Evert Tennis Academy. Its creation is the first-step in the hands-on development of top junior talent by the USTA.

“This is the beginning of a new strategic direction for the USTA as we create a unified effort to help keep America a dominant force in tennis for years to come,” said Arlen Kantarian, CEO Pro Tennis, USTA. “Patrick McEnroe is one of the most respected and forward-thinking minds in tennis today, and has achieved success at every level of the sport. With Patrick at the helm, we look forward to building a broad coalition of support toward one common goal – – create the next generation of American champions.”

“This is one of the sport’s highest callings and I am thrilled to unify and lead a team to work together to keep America the home of champions,” said McEnroe. “The USTA has significantly stepped-up its commitment to the development of elite champions, and I am honored to lead this effort. I look forward to working with our past champions, top coaches, academies, and other industry leaders for the betterment of American tennis.”

In his 11-year pro career (1988-98), McEnroe won one singles and sixteen doubles titles, including the 1989 French Open doubles title. He reached a career high singles ranking of No. 28 in September 1995 and an individual doubles high of No. 3 in 1993. He was a member of the U.S. Davis Cup team in 1993, ’94 and ’96. As U.S. Davis Cup Captain he began his tenure committed to working with younger talent. His 14 wins are tied for second all-time for a U.S. Davis Cup Captain and he now has a roster that has played as a group for a record nine straight ties and captured the Davis Cup for the U.S. for the first time in 12 years in 2007. He also was coach of the 2004 U.S. Olympic men’s tennis team.

A respected television and radio commentator, McEnroe graduated from Stanford University with a degree in political science as a three-time singles All-American (1986-88) and member of two NCAA championship teams (1986 and ’88). As a junior in 1984, McEnroe claimed the USTA Boys’ 18s National Grass Court singles title, the USTA Boys’ 18s National Clay Court doubles title and French Open boys’ doubles title. He was a member of the U.S. Junior Davis Cup Team in 1986 and ’87.

McEnroe, 41, is married to actress Melissa Errico. The couple resides in Manhattan and has a daughter, Victoria.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT PATRICK McENROE…..

“Patrick is a strong leader and understands the players, the sport and what it takes to build champions. He is a driven man of the highest character. I look forward to working with him as part of the USTA’s inclusive effort to develop American champions.”

— Billie Jean King

“The USTA continues to make the right moves in regards to Player Development. Patrick is an excellent choice to head its new Elite Player Development unit. I look forward to seeing him down here in Boca Raton at the USTA Training Center.”

— Chris Evert
“The USTA made a great choice in selecting Patrick for this position. Patrick is a good friend, a great Davis Cup Captain and a solid ambassador for the sport of tennis. I wish him nothing but the best and will help in any way I can.”

— Pete Sampras

“I’ve known Patrick for a long time and have always been impressed with his commitment to the sport. Patrick is a great guy for the job.”

— Andy Roddick

“I have witnessed first hand Patrick’s desire to build champions and win. This shows that the USTA is committed to doing everything it can to develop the next group of American champions. I know Patrick will have an open mind and a creative vision that will allow our top talent to develop into champions.”

— James Blake

“The USTA is clearly on the right track – great hire. Patrick is a man who puts what is best for American tennis in front of everything else. We look forward to working with him and the USTA on this new focused effort to create American champions and inspire individuals to play the game.”

— Nick Bollettieri

“Hiring Patrick to head Elite Player Development is an outstanding move by the USTA. He will have the respect of the players, the coaches and from the tennis world at large. His keen competitive instinct, his exceptional understanding of the game and his classy leadership capabilities help to make him uniquely qualified for this honor and responsibility.”

— Dick Gould

Patrick’s coach at Stanford

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