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Gael And Robby, There Is Still Hope: It's Not Over!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Black Tennis Pro's Gael MonfilsI'm shocked too Gael! And very pleased at the same time.

It's a new day and I'm refocused after Friday's debacle. There is some light at the tournament and a lot of shouting factor remains.

Frenchman Gael Monfils and American Robby Ginepri are two of my favorites on the tour. They have hung in there, gotten the job done and I shall begin supporting and celebrating accordingly. Yesterday is gone.

Both gentlemen are into the fourth round and that is definitely something to shout about. So YAAAAAAY!!!

Robby Ginepri defeated Frenchman Florent Serra 6-4, 6-4, 6-4; Gael Monfils defeated Austrian Jurgen Melzer 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-0, 6-2.

Work it out guys, work it out!

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Flavia Has The Flavor Over Venus

Friday, May 30, 2008

Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams I have nothing to say.



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Serena's Srebotnik Slip

Black Tennis Pro's Serena WilliamsWell, I saw it this morning, so I KNOW that it did indeed happen. Yet, I am at a loss to accurately describe what happened. Suffice it to say that it appeared that Serena had no game plan, was asleep fifty percent of the time, and couldn't hit the side of a barn with all of the racquets in her bag. Yeah, that's about it.

Our lil' miss fashion plate will either sit in the stands or return to the good old U.S. of A., but she will not be pursuing the French Open title any further. A short while ago Serena Williams handed the fourth round of play to Slovenian Katarina Srebotnik on a silver racquet. Srebotnik's win came in at 6-4, 6-4.

That's not to say that Srebotnik did not play well, she did. However, Serena played so poorly that Srebotnik could have stood there with her racquet held out and won the match.

What does Serena's mom and coach have to say about it? “She was edgy. Her head just wasn't there and I can't explain why."

"She's been like that since she got here. She wasn't confident. She has been in a funk for a couple of weeks.”

Photo FFT

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Roland Garros / French Open Tournament Update

Round 1 - Men's Singles

Donald Young, USA defeated by Robby Ginepri, USA
2-6, 6-3, 6-7(4-7), 2-6

Gael Monfils, FRA defeated Arnaud Clement, FRA
7-5, 6-3, 6-1

Scoville Jenkins, USA defeated by Luis Horna, PER
4-6, 7-5, 3-6, 0-6

Round 2 - Men's Singles

Gael Monfils, FRA defeated Luis Horna, PER
7-6(7/5), 6-4, 7-5

James Blake, USA defeated by Ernests Gulbis, LAT
6-7(2/7), 6-3, 5-7, 3-6

Round 1 - Women's Singles

Stephanie Foretz, FRA defeated by Vera Zvonareva
2-6, 1-6

Round 2 Women's Singles

Venus Williams, USA defeated Selima Sfar, TUN
6-3, 4-6, 6-2

Serena Williams, USA defeated Mathilde Johansson, FRA
6-2, 7-5

Round 3 - Women's Singles

Serena Williams, USA defeated by Katarina Srebotnik, SLO
4-6, 4-6

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Down, But Not Out

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Black Tennis Pro's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Yeowwwches! That is absolutely too much male fineness occupying a single space, DAMN! Alrighty then, moving right along...

French hope Jo-Wilfried Tsonga may be sidelined from Roland Garros, but the Australian Open finalist remains the great new hope of French tennis, which has not had a Grand Slam champion for 25 years.

Deuce Magazine has put together a few words on this rise of Tsonga.

France had more Top 100 players last year than any other country, yet on the 25th anniversary of Yannick Noah's celebrated Roland Garros victory in 1983, the nation still awaits its next Grand Slam champion. Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has emerged from the shadows of countrymen Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils to become France's great new hope.

It was 6 a.m. on a January morning. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's plane began its descent towards the runway at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, at last concluding its 10,400-mile journey from Melbourne, Australia. There had been many such flights in Tsonga's life, but none could quite prepare him for what was to come this morning.

As Tsonga exited the plane, more than 100 people lined the corridors of the airport to greet him. Immediately, Tsonga was driven to the center of the French tennis universe - Roland Garros - for a press conference, where he charmed dozens of print and broadcast journalists.

In conversation, the 6' 2", 200-pound Tsonga is a gentle man, at times almost pensive, at others even cheeky, his small brown eyes kindly taking in what's around him, a sensitive quality that's a pleasing contrast with the equally charismatic and physical firepower of his game. His subdued speaking voice is the sign of reflection, an activity he engages in often when enjoying one of his favorite off-court passions, fishing.

Tsonga kicked off 2008 in grand style. In only the fifth Grand Slam of his career, he had splashed himself into history by reaching the finals of the Australian Open. Moreover, Tsonga had done it in an arresting manner, playing brilliant attacking tennis in beating such rough customers as Andy Murray, Richard Gasquet, Mikhail Youzhny and Rafael Nadal before losing a tight four-setter to Novak Djokovic. Over the span of a fortnight, Tsonga earned more prize money than he had in his entire career. "I was impressed with the way he plays," said Djokovic in Australia. "He's just living the dream. For him it's a great achievement."

Photo Oliver Hardt

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Technorati Love - What Tha?

Is Technorati showing me a particular brand of love, or are others suffering too? I just want to know.

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Posted by Shelia

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American Top Gun Blake Outgunned

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake
Blake baby, Blake baby, Blake baby, ya' killin' me.

I declare this man is going to put me in an early grave supporting him. And yes, I will continue to support him. He thinks that "he" became frustrated today, what about me?

I don't completely know how to call this one though. Blake has the goods, and was making the effort, but world no. 80 Ernests Gulbis of Latvia also had the goods, made the effort and advanced to the next round to the tune of a 7-6(2), 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Blake.

Now, clearly I realize that our American men haven't progressed particularly well over the years on clay, but it's a new year and a lot has happened in between. Yes, I know, I'm being a tad overly optimistic, but I'm not one to wallow in defeat unnecessarily or prematurely.

During his press conference, a very disheartened and visibly disappointed Blake said, "I haven't seen the stats yet, but I think that I was just poorly not within my game. I think I played the way ahhh, too many commentators think I should play." (Who? Patrick McEnroe? Cliff Drysdale? Chris Fowler? Why are you giving these people free real estate in your head when you have a coach that you pay?)

"Saying, you know, I probably didn't make very many errors and I didn't hit that many winners, and that's the way a lot of them think I should play, and I think today was a pretty good indication that's not the way that wins matches for me."

"I lost to a guy ranked 80 in the world that hit a lot more winners. Granted, he didn't play like he was 80 in the world, he played a lot better than that, but there's a lot of guys out there that can dictate play against me if I try to play like that, and that's just real frustrating for me to play a match like that when I know my game, I know what works best for me and I didn't necessarily do it effectively today."

Oh James, I'm going to leave you alone right now, as you really seem to require more support than admonishment. But as soon as I think that you're feeling better? Oh, it's on.

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Wednesday Coaches Corner: Followup Q&A With Coach King

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Following the two part profile of Morris King, Jr. here on Black Tennis Pro's, Coach King responds to some of the emails that you sent in.

Q: Mr. Eslami said that you are the best coach that he had ever worked with, who had he already worked with in making that comparison?
A: Mr. Eslami's daughters have worked some with Larry Stefanki (who coached John McEnroe, Marcelo Rios, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Tim Henman and is currently coaching Fernando Gonzalez), Robert Lansdorp (Maria Sharapova, Tracy Austin, Lindsay Davenport, etc.) and Nick Bollettieri, to name a few.

Black Tennis Pro's Wednesday Coaches Corner
Coach King correcting Maryam Eslami's serve
(Ali Eslami, father, in the background)

Q: Why aren't you training the Eslami sisters since Mr. Eslami seems to like your coaching so much?
A: Mr. Eslami is currently trying to find investors in order to be able to pay for coaching, and to provide for all of the other costs associated with playing the circuit. It is strictly a matter of money.

Black Tennis Pro's Wednesday Coaches CornerShabnam Eslami (l), Naseem Eslami Receive Instruction
from Coach King
Q: Why is Ali Eslami attempting to politicize the USTA; why does he call the USTA a failure?
A: The USTA has politicized itself! To get this, you would have to be in and around the USTA for some time and/or need their assistance as a parent or player.

The USTA is a giant clique. As for why he has called it a failure is something that you would have to ask him directly. But consider this: where are the consistent and continuous American champions and No. 1's? Why is the coaching coming out of the USTA's player development department so sub-par? Did you know that the player development department has never, EVER produced a top 10 pro player? Top 25? Top 50? Lindsay Davenport and Chanda Rubin spent time in the USTA's player development program and quit the program. Once they quit and hired their own private coaches, their respective rankings took off and the rest is history. Get it?

Q: Have any Black tennis touring pros approached you about coaching them?
A: No!

Q: Do you prefer to coach men or women? Pros or juniors?
A: No preference regarding gender; but pros over juniors.

Q: Are you a part of Black Tennis Pro's?
A: All Black tennis pros are a part of Black Tennis Pro's. However, it is the baby and undertaking of its creator and owner Shelia. My baby is called MAGIAN World Class Tennis (www.magian10S.com).

Black Tennis Pro's Wednesday Coaches Corner
Q: Do you honestly think that the lack of Black coaches in tennis is due to racism as opposed to Black athletes choosing not to coach tennis?
A: Yes. Most viewers of this blog site did not know that I existed until this interview. Explain that! Who controls the mainstream media that supposedly gets the word out to the public?

Black Tennis Pro's Wednesday Coaches CornerMAGIAN players at Melbourne, Florida
USTA Men's Open Designated Tournament (1997)
(L to R)
Then 16 yrs. old Edmond Dramou (Guinea, West Africa),
NCAA I player Rusty Oca (U.S.),
Coach Morris King, Jr.
(Dramou won the tournament)

Q: What is the country club environment in Jacksonville, Florida like now?
A: Legally they cannot exclude anymore. Other than that...

Q: Why do you persist in pursuing coaching tennis if you feel that the environment is so negative and racist?
A: "A winner never quits and a quitter never wins!" What kind of world class coach would I be if I quit, when I'm required to teach and train players how to go into (tennis) combat and to never, ever give up the fight?

Also, I come from a legacy of people who don't give up or in. Where would we be as a people if Martin had quit? Malcolm? Harriet Tubman? Medgar Evers? Stokely Carmichael? and countless others who gave their very lives?

Q: To your knowledge, how many Black tennis coaches are there available?
A: Not counting me, or Black parents who coach their kids, I know of at least five that are available to coach at the pro circuit level.

Q: No offense, but I've seen Ahsha Rolle play, and I don't think that she's that talented.
A: Okay, that's your opinion. Ahsha Rolle has a skill set that can be readily plugged into advanced level tactics and strategies. She just does not have anyone to coach her on how to plug-in her skill set. Also, Ahsha's physical conditioning is visibly lacking. Ahsha is currently being coached by one of the USTA player development (or high performance) coaches. Need I say more?

Q: Are you concerned with distancing yourself from the USTA because of your criticisms?
A: No. I've only reiterated truths that have been written about and discussed over and over by many, for many years.

Q: Why did you stop working with Venus and Serena?
A: Mission accomplished. Besides, it's the Richard Williams Show, not mine.

Q: What did you like the most and the least about working with Richard Williams and his daughters?
A: The opportunity itself is what I liked the most. What I liked the least I cannot say due to the agreement. But I will say that I don't like the fact that the sisters, since having reached their majority age (meaning that they make their own decisions due to adulthood) ONLY hire whites, unless the person is a family member.

I am one of those Blacks that was arrested in the 60's for protest marching so that there could be a Venus and Serena Williams as world champions. I was a mere 12 years old when I went to jail (juvenile shelter) so that our people could have the opportunity to achieve success. Does anyone actually believe that I and others placed our lives on the line so that Black folk could have opportunity, then, in turn, give away any resulting opportunities to others, when there are exceptionally competent, talented and professional Black folk available who need a break??? This is a very obvious manifestation of a hidden and deeper self-hatred.

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Roland Garros / French Open Update

Round 1 - Men's Singles

James Blake, USA defeated Rainer Schuettler, GER
6-4, 6-1, 7-6(4)

Josselin Ouanna, FRA defeated by Juan Martin Del Potro, ARG
3-6, 2-6, 3-6


Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France - Knee


Round 1

Gael Monfils, FRA and Josselin Ouanna, FRA
Dominik Hrbaty, SVK and Hyung-Taik Lee, KOR

Jeff Coetzee, RSA and Wesley Moodie, RSA
Jurgen Melzer, AUT and Alexander Pey, AUT

Round 1 - Women's Singles

Venus Williams, USA defeated Tzipora Obziler, ISR
6-3, 4-6, 6-2

Serena Williams, USA defeated Ashley Harkleroad, USA
6-2, 6-1


Round - 1

Stephanie Foretz, FRA and Olga Savchuk, HUN
Dinara Safina, RUS and Agnes Szavay, HUN

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Venus and Serena: The Sisters Bring Their Fashion To France

Monday, May 26, 2008

As usual, the very fashion conscious and fashion forward Williams sisters have arrived in Paris at Roland Garros ready to play tennis - and look good doing it.

Serena displayed her Nike style in a lovely "Doubles Women's Tennis Dress" in "chalk/dark obsidian/dark obsidian" (unless they have a men's tennis dress, why call it a 'women's tennis dress?' we know! *shoulder shrug*).

I'm really liking the fabric on this dress. If you'll notice Serena in action, the dress isn't crawling up or bunching anywhere. Those of you who want to look "cute" yet get your tennis on know that clothes crawling all over you during play is most annoying.

Plus, if your game truly sucks, they'll be so busy admiring your fashion sense, your game won't get beat up on so bad (yeah right).

Black Tennis Pro's FashionBlack Tennis Pro's Fashion
Nike also offers the "Paris Women's Tennis Dress" in a "dark obsidian chalk/chalk" option for those who wish to be a bit more daring.

Black Tennis Pro's Fashion*Black Tennis Pro's has no Nike affiliation, just letting you know how to cop this style if you wish.

Venus on the other hand is rockin' part of her very own collection, EleVen, which opened to big fanfare and high praise. I personally love it and own a couple of pieces. Venus' entire collection can only be purchased at Steve and Barry's. There are some very nice coordinates in a variety of styles. It's well worth the look!

I tend to like some structure in athletic attire, the polos in this collection are incredible. If you just must sweat, ehhh "glow" and carry on, you might as well look well put together throughout the process.

Black Tennis Pro's FashionBlack Tennis Pro's Fashion
*Black Tennis Pro's has no EleVen or Steve and Barry's affiliation. Once again, just letting you know how to cop the style.

Photo of Venus:
Reuters Francois Lenoir
Photo of Serena:
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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Blake Puts Pedal To The Metal On Clay

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake
Wicked! Wicked! Wicked!

A very clean shaven American James Blake appears to be taking no prisoners in Paris at Roland Garros. Blake is cocked, locked and ready to rock!

Playing German Rainer Schuettler today, Blake was focused and had both rockets, forehand and backhand, firing on all cylinders, it was a thing of beauty. His 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (3) victory over Rainer Schuettler made him the first American man to reach the second round at Roland Garros since 2006.

Blake won the first set on the first break of serve in the match, and then raced out to a 5-0 lead in the second set. In the third, Blake led 5-1 but his German opponent won five straight games to go ahead 6-5. Unfortunately, to no avail. Blake won the next set and then took the tie-break.

Way to go Blake!!

AP Photo/David Vincent

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Sorry, Tsonga

Black Tennis Pro's Jo-Wilfried TsongaFrenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga held a press conference at 6 pm on Saturday in a hotel in Paris to announce that he was withdrawing from the French Open Tournament. This year's Australian Open finalist will have to have an operation on his right knee and will also miss Wimbledon.

The No.14 seed will be replaced by lucky loser Luis Horna of Peru who will face American qualifier Scoville Jenkins in the first round.

Sounds like this young man is going to need some 24/7 TLC to get back into shape. Mmmkay.

Black Tennis Pro's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Photo (bottom)/Peter Parks/AFP/GettyImages

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Roland Garros: It's Time

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Round 1 - Men's Singles*

Donald Young, USA vs. Robby Ginepri, USA

Gael Monfils, FRA vs. Arnaud Clement, FRA

Scoville Jenkins, USA vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, FRA

James Blake, USA vs. Rainer Schuettler, GER

*Eliminated during the qualifying rounds:

Josselin Ouanna, FRA
Julio Silva, BRA

Round 1 - Women's Singles*

Stephanie Foretz, FRA vs. Vera Zvonareva

Venus Williams, USA vs. Tzipora Obziler, ISR

Serena Williams, USA vs. Ashley Harkleroad, USA

*Eliminated during the qualifying rounds:

Raquel Kops-Jones
Ahsha Rolle
Chloe Babet

*Men's and Women's doubles draw will be available on Monday, May 26.

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Roland Garros Early Photo Gallery

Friday, May 23, 2008

Black Tennis Pro's Roland Garros GalleryScoville Jenkins
(Fought his way through the qualifying rounds, and what awaits him? Big Jo-Willy, Damn!)

Black Tennis Pro's Roland Garros GalleryChloe Babet

Black Tennis Pro's Roland Garros GalleryRafael Nadal and Ana Ivanovic

Black Tennis Pro's Roland Garros GallerySerena Williams

Black Tennis Pro's Roland Garros GalleryRichard Gasquet

Black Tennis Pro's Roland Garros GalleryGoran Ivanisevic

Black Tennis Pro's Roland Garros GalleryAmelie Mauresmo

Black Tennis Pro's Roland Garros GalleryVenus Williams

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GUEST POST: Referee The Match

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Black Tennis Pro's RefereeRight on time after the Wednesday Coaches Corner, friend and sista blogger Blogpassion of "We Need to Stop: Black blog on African American issues, news, celebrity gossip and more," working an end of tennis that I generally don't address, the umpires. It's all tennis, it's all relative and I'm glad to have a break. Thanks BlogPassion!
Didn’t like that one call during one of your favorite tennis matches or thought the chair umpire was sleeping through the match, and perhaps you can do a better job? The opportunities are there for those interested in becoming a USTA match officiator. You must know and study the rules of tennis and obtain professional certification.

Here are requirements for certification:
20/20 vision or corrected to 20/20 vision
Pass a written test for the area you will umpire in
Successfully complete a certification program at an approved school
Submit an official’s data card which is a record work and official’s application
Have USTA membership and certification
Number of tournaments: must officiate a minimum number of tournaments each year
Code of Conduct: officials must adhere to these rules

There are specific certification requirements for every official position. The various areas of certifications are for: provisional umpires, provisional referees, sectional and USTA officials, sectional umpire, sectional chair umpire, sectional referee, USTA roving umpire, USTA line umpire, USTA chair umpire, USTA referee, USTA chief umpire, national line umpire, national chair umpire, national referee, national chief umpire, professional line umpire, professional chair umpire, professional referee, professional chief umpire, and intercollegiate umpire.

Now that is a lot of officiating. There are umpire clinics where less experienced certified USTA umpires may attend to get on-court training. The various types of on court tennis officiating includes line umpire, rover, or chair umpire. In addition, umpires may pursue a tennis tournament administrator position such as referee or chief umpire.

Roving officials monitor multiple courts. Solo chair umpires are the lone umpire responsible for everything that takes places before and during one match. Line umpires work a line and call line shots on a tennis court. Referees supervise all aspects of play including making the drawing and substituting alternates.

  • Here is a link to the USTA OFFICIALS CAREER GUIDE
  • Here is a link to “The Rules of Tennis” the 317-page guidebook, officials must study and be proficient in.
  • Here is the USTA link for additional information:
  • Here is a link to The 2008 USTA Officials Department Chair Umpire Availability Program so you can have an idea of how the vacancies for tournaments are advertised and expenses covered.
  • Tennis Umps Charge Racism, Sexism, CBS News
Sample pay compensation:

ITF White Badge Chair Umpire- $100/day
ITF Bronze Badge Chair Umpire- $110/day
ITF Silver/Gold Chair Umpire- $120/day
Associate Supervisor (ARS) - $210/day
Deputy Referee/Supervisor (DRS) - $175/day

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Posted by Shelia

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Wednesday Coaches Corner: Morris King, Jr., Part II

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Black Tennis Pro's Coach(l)Naseem Eslami (2nd from left) Maryam Eslami (2nd from right) Coach King (r) Shabnam Eslami

Author Prelude

The Wednesday Coaches Corner began on May 14, with very kind favor. It is the one who found it necessary to remind me that coaches are indeed Black tennis professionals too, whom I continue to explore today.

This weeks segment, which concludes my *EXCLUSIVE* interview with world class coach Morris King, Jr. primarily discusses the coaching life and experience of “Coach King.” It is definitely not for the faint-of-heart. This part of the interview is straight up, no chaser in your face high voltage revelation. So much so that I guarantee you will have to read some passages a second time (at the very least).

This interview is about the coaching aspect of the life of Morris King, Jr., and it is what it is, his own personal experience, and that’s exactly what I want you to walk away from this read knowing, his life experience as a Black world class tennis coach.

There is only so much time and space to accommodate an individual interview, so at the conclusion of this interview Coach King is open to further exploring any of the information that is included in either Part I or II of this interview. You are welcomed to comment, email or contact him directly through information that will be provided at the end of this interview.

Morris King, Jr.'s Opening Statement, Part II

“In beginning Part II of this interview, I am reminded of a controversial statement made by Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder at a Georgetown restaurant in front of reporters. The portion of his statement that got everyone’s ire up was that the slave owners of old used to “breed his big Black to his big Black woman so that he would have a big Black kid.” Actually, that statement is historically correct.

But the portion of his statement that remains far more damning and racist is where Jimmy “The Greek” warned “if Blacks take over coaching like everybody wants them to, there is not going to be anything left for the White people.” THAT is the very damning, racist statement that sends a subliminal instruction to Whites to block competent Black coaches. That form of fear mongering is the racism from which I (and other) Black coaches suffer, especially in the tennis community. It is very much purposed.”

“I come from a culture that won’t allow my daughters to play tennis because they are female. It is almost the same in this country when you are told ‘no, your daughters cannot play because you come from a low income family. The USTA (United States Tennis Association) is a political machine, and the total system is a failure.”
Ali Eslami

As I began to compose all of the notes that I have taken during my conversations with Coach King, and the brief one that I had with Ali Eslami, I was stymied for hours on the manner within which to present it. Coach King and I established a wonderful rapport during this interview and enjoyed some very light moments. It didn’t dawn on me just how literally depressing the totality of this information actually was until I was alone with the information and attempting to organize it in an appealing manner. There is nothing appealing or easy to read about about cultural bias, systematic racism, and veiled parity.

From the joys of coaching, to the high point of being selected to advise on the rise of Venus and Serena Williams, to the disappointment of rejections as a contract coach, Morris King, Jr. has and is experiencing a coaching career that is mired in the invisibility of the private Black tennis coach.

From the days that Coach King would work independently as a youth to learn tennis because of the inability of a Black youth to get into the local country clubs in Jacksonville, to defending his reputation against Tennis Week Magazine based upon the lies and lies of omission by Amer Delic, continuing his commitment to a sport that few even know that he is a part of is remarkable.

In the early 90's Coach King made moves to bring his life forward in a direction that did not include tennis. “I became a professional manager for entertainers, models and athletes along with other endeavors, tennis was unwittingly growing on the side. It was not purposeful or planned whatsoever.”

“At a certain point I realized that I am now a tennis coach, but it may not last. This was a response to life.”

Today Morris King, Jr. is a world class coach serving as the founder and director of MAGIAN World Class Tennis, which specializes in highly competitive, individualized training utilizing the patented and unstoppable “MAGIAN style”. Additionally,
  • King is the first “world class” coach in the history of his home city and state of Jacksonville, Florida.
  • Coached touring pros, nationally ranked “top 10" international/national juniors from four countries with two being #1s as well as many other accomplished juniors, collegians and PTR/USPTA teaching pros. (Accomplished this ALONE; that is, without having assistants do the work, then robbing them of the credit.)
  • Creator/developer of the patented “MAGIAN Style.”
  • Former certified USTA Official (6 years).
  • Former USTA Clinician.
With all of this, Coach King’s attempt at consideration to secure contract players such as Jelena Jankovic most recently, are met not with a resounding no, but with a silent lack of response.

Even at his own alma mater, the University of Florida, with two coaching positions open at the time, Coach King gave consideration to taking on a collegiate position in coaching tennis and discontinuing his professional efforts, once again King was rejected.

In an attempt to determine why coaching opportunities for a Black world class tennis coach exist as such, an investigative journalist took it upon their self to take a long hard detailed journey into the history of Coach King in relationship to accomplishments, player history and much more, because surely there must be a reason why a Black tennis coach cannot seem to secure the same coaching opportunities as an equivalent or lesser White coach.

One such attempt in the life of Coach King where the desire resides on both sides of the equation is with the Eslami sisters, Naseem, Maryam, and Shabnam, the daughters of Ali Eslami (www.triplethreattennis.com).

The quote at the top of this interview from Ali Eslami was acquired during a brief conversation with him. Mr. Eslami has had the opportunity to have his daughters work with Coach King, and has not been impressed with the coaching that his daughter’s have received since that experience.

“Coach King is the best coach I have ever come across. His expertise, humbleness and willingness to help us...” said Eslami, who has great respect and admiration for Coach King and equal if not more disappointment with the USTA.

Eslami was referred to Coach King by none other than Richard Williams, the father of superstars Venus and Serena, who had previously personally sought out Coach King to assist in taking his daughters to the next level. King likened his capacity in the coaching of Venus and Serena Williams to that of football coaches, saying “I was more like an offensive and defensive coordinator with Richard (Williams) being the head coach calling all of the plays.”

“Richard Williams’ accomplishment was made in brilliance and craftiness. With no tennis background or accomplishments, he mimicked the duties of an NFL head coach and brought in other coaching coordinators as necessary.”

Eslami basically agrees with King’s position saying, “Richard Williams is a visionary and a businessman. He knew what he wanted and where he wanted to go, he had a plan and was willing to take that next step to support his daughters.”

“What happened with Venus and Serena is far removed from the norm of parental coaching, unless that parent has experience coaching tennis, says King.

“Currently being coached by parents or USTA coaches that will never be able to deliver them to the championship status that they so desire, are youth with respectable potential. Unfortunately they are unable to climb out of the first and second round losing box that they are in because their coaching situation does not move them forward, but instead stagnates their growth.”

One such player is Ahsha Rolle. “I was approached by the parent of another youth about a very talented young lady whom this parent thought I might be able to help. He stated ‘this girl needs a real coach.’ I thought it would be great if I could get her on the map. I was willing to help her free of charge, with the parents picking up expenses. I never had the opportunity to speak to the parents, but I really would like to have helped her move her game forward.”

When asked about the viability of Black coaches in tennis, Coach King’s response was a very dry “there is no viability, they are non-existent.”

“Just take a sample. Every time you turn your television on for the next six months, ten years, whatever, count the Black coaches that appear as the players are being discussed. We are not there.”

“If you dare show that you are good at this, and that you can coach players to beat their players, your visibility went from 0 to negative 100. When they realized that I was good, they took the safety off."

I asked Coach King how he saw the current state of tennis, “the talent pool is down across the board. Blacks who have been around the USTA’s development program for years who now are showing up and tricking Black people into thinking that they are new, are NOT new - just politically feasible.”

“Having now completed this interview, I would like to say thanks for having given me this rare opportunity. You have been a most delightful interviewer. I hope that the readers become more enlightened because of your efforts and that you have the greatest of success and a positive effect on the problems that have plagued us throughout history.

Morris King, Jr.

Related links:

“About MORRIS KING, JR., Black, Pro Tennis Coach & World Class...” (the independent investigative expose that gives a vivid behind-the-scenes insight into how Blacks are kept down and/or out of professional tennis) - www.protennisexpose.net

“Practice Of Hiding Black Pro Tennis Coaches Attacked!” - www.mmdnewswire.com/content/view/1364

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Tiya Rolle Plays Pro Circuit Tennis Challenge In Pennsylvania

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Round 1 - Singles

Tiya Rolle, USA vs. Nicole Gibbs, USA

Round 1 - Doubles

Tiya Rolle, USA and Shikha Uberoi, IND
Nancy Ferguson, AUS and Grace Leake, USA

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Tsonga, Monfils and El Aynaoui Advance In Casablanca

Black Tennis Pro's Jo-Wilfried TsongaTop seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won his debut match at the Grand Prix Hassan II on Monday, defeating Spaniard Albert Montanes 6-4, 7-6(10). The Frenchman converted one of three break points and was dominant on serve winning 76% of points.

The 22-year-old Tsonga began the year in fine form, making the semifinals in Adelaide (l. to Nieminen) before going on to reach his first Grand Slam final at the Australian Open (l. to Djokovic). However, he stands at just 2-2 on clay for the season. World No. 56 Montanes, who reached his first ATP Masters Series quarterfinal in Hamburg last week, now slips to 10-12 for the season.

Second seed Gael Monfils joined Tsonga in the second round, firing eight aces in battling past Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-7(8), 7-5, 6-0 in 2hr., 3min. The 21-year-old, who is making his debut in Casablanca, is playing in his first ATP event since falling first round to Igor Andreev in Munich last month, although last week he won a Challenger title in Marrakech.

Former champion Younes El Aynaoui upset eighth-seeded Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-3 to book his spot in the second round. The Moroccan fired 12 aces and converted four of eight break points to secure the victory in 2hr., 9min.

The 35-year-old wild card is making his 13th appearance at the event, having lifted the trophy in 2002 (d. Canas), while also finishing runner-up in 1995 and 2003. Currently No. 189 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings (former No. 14 – Nov. 2003), El Aynaoui is contesting just his second ATP event of the season after reaching the semifinals in Munich (l. to Gonzalez). World No. 76 Hanescu has now lost first round on all three of his visits to Casablanca.

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USA Prevails In Match Tie-Break Against Czechs

Americans James Blake and Wayne Odesnik came back from a slow start in the decisive doubles match, Monday at the ARAG ATP World Team Championship in Duesseldorf, to clinch the tie for the United States against the Czech Republic, 2-1.

Czechs Tomas Berdych, the World No. 12 in singles, and Pavel Vizer, the World No. 5 in doubles, rolled out to a 6-0 first set as they held their opponents to just eight points - two of which came on serve.

The Americans, playing in their first match as a duo, launched their comeback in the second set with three breaks of serve to the Czech's two. They then put the match away with a winning return, 0-6, 7-5, 10-8.

Odesnik put the U.S. team on a level-playing field with the Czech Republic heading into the Monday’s doubles match, defeating Ivo Minar 6-2, 6-1 on Sunday afternoon at the Rochusclub.

Odesnik, currently ranked a career-high No. 104 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, reached his first career ATP semifinal last month at the US Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston.

Earlier in the day, Berdych prevailed in two tie-break sets over World No. 8 Blake to give the Czech Republic the 1-0 lead. Both players dropped serve once in each set, and Berdych won three more points than the American to clinch the 7-6(5), 7-6(5) win.

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Venus Williams Does Q&A With Brandweek Regarding Powerade Zero Partnership

Venus Williams is now the face of Powerade Zero. The tennis icon announced her partnership agreement with the zero-calorie sports drink last week.

Powerade, which is marketed by the same the team that handles Glacéau Vitaminwater, hopes Williams will help attract exercisers who are looking to shed calories from their sports drink. The strategy is similar to that of Vitaminwater, which has deals with an array of athletes from the New York Mets David Wright to the Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James and, most recently, Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant.

The Coca-Cola, which owns both brands, launched Powerade in 2001. The sports drink has slowly chipped away at Gatorade garnering 19% of the category, per
Beverage Digest, Bedford Hills, N.Y. However, sales were off slightly in the first quarter. Powerade spent $10.3 million on media last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Brandweek News Editor Kenneth Hein swapped e-mails with Williams asking her about the new partnership. This is what she said:

Brandweek: Why partner with Powerade Zero?
Venus Williams: The fact that Powerade Zero targets an audience aligned with my lifestyle made the partnership interesting from the outset. As I began to learn more, I was intrigued that Powerade Zero is bringing a new dimension to the beverage world. There are a lot of people out there who have limited time to exercise and are trying to be calorie-conscious. This is the first brand to offer those people a chance to get the hydration and electrolytes of a sports drink without putting back the calories they’re working so hard to burn off. I thought this was innovative and recognized Powerade Zero as a product that people have been waiting for. This partnership is an exciting opportunity for me to support the launch and growth of a great concept that I believe in.

BW:What is it about that beverage in particular appealed to you?
VW:I thought it was appealing that the Powerade team figured out a way to make a sports drink that offers hydration and electrolytes with zero calories. I actually thought that was pretty amazing. Why would someone choose low calories when you can have similar benefits and zero calories? Most importantly, Powerade Zero is a product that I use in my training regimen when I don’t need as much energy from calories.

BW:What other brands have you partnered with? How do you select which are worthy partners?
VW:I prefer to partner with companies that reflect my interests and my lifestyle, while at the same time are innovative in their respective industries. I recently graduated from fashion design school and launched my clothing line, EleVen, with Steve and Barry’s, who are known as pioneers in offering affordable luxury. Powerade Zero fits my active lifestyle with a product that no other brand is offering.
The brands that I partner with in this phase of my career have been geared towards targeting active women and at the same time take advantage of my on-court popularity to build for my life after tennis. I am considering other partnerships along these lines to similarly capitalize on my fashion interests as well as the success of my interior design firm, V Starr Interiors.

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World Team Tennis Washington Kastles To Get 2,000 Seat Temporary Downtown Home

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty joined tennis legend Billie Jean King to announce that the Washington Kastles, a new professional tennis team, will build a 2,000-seat temporary stadium downtown to host a month's worth of matches featuring Serena Williams and Anna Kournikova in July.

"Washington's a great sports town," Mayor Fenty said. "The Wizards, Capitals and Mystics are a huge reason Gallery Place has become a bustling entertainment hub. We think the Kastles will give sports fans one more reason to come downtown - or stay downtown - during the evening."

The Kastles, owned by local venture capitalist Mark Ein, is the newest team to join the World Team Tennis league, which was founded by King in the 1970s. The team will play seven games during the 2008 season at the temporary stadium throughout the month of July. Williams will represent the Kastles in their first match on July 8th. The team will finish the season in late July, but not before hosting Anna Kournikova.

The District is working with development partner Hines Archstone- Smith to redevelop the 10- acre old Convention Center site at 11th and H streets - in the heart of downtown - into an $850 million retail-anchored city center. Since the project will not break ground until early 2009, the District has been working with the Downtown D.C. Business Improvement District to make the site a dynamic place for special events. Past events include performances by Cirque du Soleil and a holiday market.

As a gesture of goodwill, the Kastles will provide more than 1,000 tennis rackets to District kids.

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Can You Sing? 2008 US Open Casting Call To Sing National Anthem

Do you want to sing at the 2008 US Open Tennis Championships in Flushing Meadows, New York? The United States Tennis Association is seeking talented kids 12 years of age or younger to be among those to audition to sing “America the Beautiful” for a chance to sing a musical composition as selected by the USTA at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center during the 2008
US Open. For the full Audition Rules, click here.


Radio City Music Hall, 1260 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10020

When: Monday, June 9, 2008

Time: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM EST

What: You will be asked to sing a cappella (without music) all or a portion of “America the Beautiful”

Open to: Legal residents of the 50 United States 12 years of age or younger as of August 25, 2008

What to bring: Your singing voice, 2 forms of identification with date of birth, completed Liability and Publicity Release with parent/legal guardian signature, and your parent or legal guardian (those attending through a school program may be accompanied by a school official/chaperone).

Selection: Selection will be at the sole and absolute discretion of the USTA

*By entering the audition, you hereby agree to the Audition Rules and Liability and Publicity Release.

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I'm Baaaaaaaack!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tell me something good, because I'm listening. The momentary absence is over. Look for new content this evening and the activity here at Black Tennis Pro's to get back to rockin'.

It's all good!

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REGULAR READERS: Get Your Writing Jones On!

Friday, May 16, 2008

You all know that I am extremely tied up right now (not in the way that I would like to be), and won't be back to Black Tennis Pro's on a regular basis until Monday, May 19. If you want to feed your writing jones, put something together and email it to me.

You all are as well informed as I am, give the folks a different perspective. You'll have full credit for your post and a backlink if you're a blogger.

Get 'cha write on!

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The Wednesday Coaches Corner: Morris King, Jr. , Part I

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Black Tennis Pros Wednesday Coaches Corner
Author Prelude

Today is the first segment of the Wednesday Coaches Corner. I am very excited about it. Loving what we see transpire on the courts is inevitably a direct correlation to the coaches that train, mentor and advise the players.

Even so, it was never my intention to delve into the lives and activities of the coaches, primarily because that is not an experience that I am familiar with. However, my first profile, Morris King, Jr., contacted me a short while ago and questioned my not covering the Black coaches who are indeed Black tennis professionals themselves. It took me a minute to come around, but he eventually made his point.

Since Morris is the impetus for this new feature, it is only proper that he would be the first coach profiled. His interview will take place over two installments. I don't know that this will be the standard framework for these interviews, but Morris brings a lot to the table and I want to share as much of him as is reasonably possible.

On Thursday, May 8, 2008, I began interviewing a world class private tennis coach. Within five minutes we were laughing as if we had known one another for years. By Friday, May 9, I was interviewing a friend, the point at which this interview took on a life of its own.

This man with with the deep voice, personality to spare, depth of thought to share and an honest streak that could cause fear, was very open, and allowed me the freedom to probe his life as much as I chose. He responded elaborately in some areas and minutely in others.

Whatever the result of my inquiry, I could not have spent better days engulfed in some of the most intriguing, entertaining one-on-one conversation that I have enjoyed in a long time.

I was speaking with someone who's life's pursuits have taken him from substitute teaching, to banking, to even running for a seat on the city council. By no means is Morris King, Jr. going to be bored with the story that his life tells when it is all said and done.

For those of you who do not know this Jacksonville, Florida native, it is my intention to simply introduce you to him and peak your interest in him as a coach. The second half of this interview will take you deep inside the coaching world of Morris King, Jr.

Morris King Jr.’s Opening Statement

“White players hire White coaches, Hispanic players hire Hispanic coaches, Japanese players hire Japanese coaches, Chinese players, hire Chinese coaches; Black players hire White coaches (except where the coach is the parent, of course).

But also, Black players that don’t have money allow the USTA (the United States Tennis Association, the national governing body of tennis) to come in, finance them and ruin their chance of becoming a champion as a result of the USTA’s pitiful coaching.

However, the bright side of the story is that, at least, the Black player is now able to travel all over the world at the USTA’s expense, and NEVER be properly coached to win a championship or to become one of the top players in the world.“

I was completely floored when Morris concluded his statement. It was very frank, and it immediately allowed me to look behind the curtain of Morris’ perspective on a number of issues.

I honestly did not know where to direct my interview due to the severity of this statement. I wanted to further consider and make inquiry of his very strong words. I wondererd to myself "what is the validity of this statement? what is it's purpose? do I want to print it?"

Eyebrows raised in contemplation, I was literally locked in thought, but we moved on.

Morris is a smart man, an educated man committed to excellence, community and tomorrow. It is readily evident in his conversation and the body of actions over his lifetime. His dedication to the growth and prosperity of the youth that he comes into contact with is heartwarming.

He has that ability to consistently massage and apply his knowledge into a conversation in a comparative and analytical sense. I admire people who can do that. It's a strong factor of foundation and belief in one's self.

After learning of these aspects of Morris King, Jr. the world class tennis coach, I became even more enthralled with the man that aspired to this point. What was, and is this man seeking, and in that quest, how did becoming a private tennis coach present itself?

Here are a few critical points of growth in Morris’ life:

  • achieved a bachelor’s degree in Public/Business Administration from the University of Florida, after having completed the first two years of college at the Ivy League Columbia University in New York City on academic scholarship;
  • formerly a city official in Jacksonville, Florida;
  • formerly a financial analyst at a former leading Florida bank;
  • formerly a personal/professional manager of entertainers, models and athletes as a private businessman;
  • formerly involved in international affairs consulting with third world countries;
  • has been a board member of a renowned civil/human rights advocacy organization; and
  • is a paralegal, among other accomplishments and affiliations.
I found each of these events interesting as I listened for what exactly caused his evolution into a tennis coach. Whenever I would ask for a direct statement to that effect, Morris would always say “I didn’t pick tennis, tennis picked me.” I definitely understand such a path. Sometimes each of our paths in life evolves differently from how we originally envision it.

Morris eventually shared with me that he began playing tennis at 14 years of age, and that his game was self-taught from reading books and watching television. "Learning to play like this enabled me to later sharpen my analytical ability to fix problems inside of the game of others. I became a stickler for 'technical purity.'

Of course the most significant point of Morris’ evolution as a tennis coach occurred when he was approached by Richard Williams to inject his brand and philosophy of tennis into the development of the now superstar sisters, Venus and Serena.

Today Morris operates Magian World Class Tennis, among other business endeavors. Magian World Class Tennis specializes in highly competitive individualized training utilizing the patented and unstoppable “Magian Style.”

Before this segment is over and you begin waiting for next week's installment of my interview with Morris , I concluded this portion of the interview with him as I do with anyone else that I interview - Fun Facts! I like to know what makes people tick personally, what cracks them up, what music they groove to, etc.

When Morris and I began to talk about those things that relax or bring him pleasure, it was uncanny how much we had in common. At the pinnacle of that commonality is his love of my favorite style of music, jazz. I truly enjoyed hearing him share the artists that he listens to, that his father enjoyed, the problem with a lot of current day jazz artists, etc. Yet another elongated conversation.

Next in line, the brotha is a trekkie. How satisfying was that for me? Very. He could do no wrong in my eyes after I found that out. I was now in deep interest. I don’t meet many trekkies, so when I do, I take note. Of course we had to discuss which Star Trek we considered the best, what it was that Benjamin Sisqo (Avery Brooks) brought to the franchise as the first and only Black captain, and of course how James Tiberious Kirk will always be THE captain of the franchise.

While we didn’t seem to enjoy any of the same authors to date, he too is a voracious reader. Morris is currently reading Confessions of an Economic Hitman, The Wizards of Langley: Inside the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology, and Dope, Inc.: The Book That Drove Henry Kissinger Crazy.

His all-time favorite books? The Autobiography of Malcolm-X, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and Behold a Pale Horse.

I then asked Morris if he had any favorite vacation spots, his response, “What is a vacation? Explain that to me.” Okay, guess not.

"Well, foods, tell me what type of foods are your favorite, and don’t say chicken." Morris took a few moments to set up his disdain and outrage at my disparagement of what he so lovingly calls, “the negro national bird.” He then began to very humorously, basically preach and praise the hallowed and mighty fowl. I laughed with my mouth wide open. Morris has consistently caused me to give up my cool all throughout this interview. I did not like it initially, those of you who know me know that I’m a control FREAK! However, I have had such a good time getting to know him that after time passed, I just did not care anymore.

He finally admitted that he loves seafood.

Morris has a funky list of beverages that he loves, with Pepsi (the “elixir of life") heading the list. Closely followed by Mountain Dew and Earl Grey Tea (and why not, it is Picard’s favorite brew).

Lastly, I asked him about marriage and relationships, the short and long answer is the same, "I am a single heterosexual male - looking."

In part II of this interview, while I will primarily explore Morris' life as a tennis coach, I will continue to share aspects of him that I find interesting, uncommon, endearing and even perplexing.

There is much more to Morris King, Jr. Meet me back here on May 21 to find out what that is.

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Murphy's Law on Black Tennis Pro's!

As I traveled across the country on Wednesday, a calamity of errors gathered together and prevented the Wednesday Coaches Corner from appearing in a timely fashion.

I appreciate the fact that many of you are looking forward to this new aspect of Black Tennis Pro's and wrote me today wondering what had occurred.

Without going into extreme detail, suffice it to say that after a day like no other I've had in the recent past, the first part of my interview with Morris King, Jr. will be up shortly.

Thank you for your continued interest and support of Black Tennis Pro's. I'm working as hard and as quickly as possible to resolve these issues.

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ATP, WTA, and USTA Pro Circuit Tennis Action This Week

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Round 1 - Singles

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, FRA defeated Nicolas Mahut, FRA
0-6, 7-6(5), 6-2

James Blake, USA vs. BYE

Round - 1 Doubles

James Blake, USA and Mardy Fish, USA
Igor Andreev, RUS and Mikhail Youzhny, RUS
6-1, 6-4

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, FRA and Gilles Simon, FRA
defeated by
Rainer Schuettler, GER and Alexander Waske, GER
6-3, 6-4

Qualifying Rounds

Julio Silva, BRA eliminated in round 1 by Kristof Vliegen
6-4, 7-5

Round 1 - Singles

Venus Williams, USA vs. BYE

Serena Williams, USA vs. BYE

Raleigh, North Carolina

Final Qualifying Round

Alexis Gordon, USA and Theresa Logar, USA

2008 USTA Men's Futures At Harbour Island, Tampa, Florida

Round 1 - Singles

Marcus Fugate, USA vs. Thomas Schoeck, GER

Round 1 - Doubles

Marcus Fugate, USA and Lance Vodicka, USA
(WC) Robert Gates, USA and Jeff Zenisek, USA

Round 1 - Doubles

Phillip Simmonds, USA and Tim Smyczek, USA
Ryler De Heart, USA and Todd Widom, USA

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Landmark Television, Digital Media Partnership For U.S. Open, Olympus U.S. Open Series Announced

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, ESPN.com, TennisChannel.com and ESPN Mobile Properties. In addition, USOpen.org 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 ESPN360.com."

“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:

First Week

  • ESPN2: Live every weekday from 1-6 p.m. and primetime from 7-11 p.m.
  • Tennis Channel: Live every weekday from 11-2 p.m.; live outer-court coverage from 2-6 p.m.; daily preview show from 10-11 a.m.; nightly highlights show at 11 p.m., followed by encore of matches until 10 a.m. the next morning.

Labor Day Weekend

  • CBS: Live coverage from 11-6 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
  • ESPN2: Live coverage on Monday from 7-11 p.m.
  • Tennis Channel: Live coverage on Saturday and Sunday from 7-11 p.m.; nightly highlights show at 11 p.m., followed by encore of matches until 10 a.m. the next morning.

Second Week/Quarterfinals

  • ESPN2: Live Tuesday - Thursday from 11-6 p.m. and live primetime quarterfinals from 7-11 p.m.
  • Tennis Channel: Live outer-court coverage from 11-6 p.m; daily preview show from 10-11 a.m.; nightly highlights show at 11 p.m., followed by encore of matches until 10 a.m. 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 p.m. Sunday; US Open wrap-up show from 8-10 p.m.

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:

  • ESPN360.com, 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.
  • ESPN.com 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.
  • Tennischannel.com 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.
  • USOpen.org 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 p.m.
  • 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 eight-week period.

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COMMENTARY: Venus Williams on HBO's Real Sports

Monday, May 12, 2008

I set aside my very valuable time to watch Bryant Gumbel interview Venus Williams on Real Sports, a show that I typically do not watch. At this moment I am seriously considering placing a monetary value on that time and billing it to Bryant Gumbel. What a crock!

We learned nothing new, we saw nothing new and Bryant Gumbel must consider his viewers new fools if he thinks that interview passed for anything other than a ratings gimmick to bring those that support Venus Williams to Real Sports.

I am royally pissed!

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Weekend Racquet Wrap

Indian Harbour Beach, Florida

Final Round - Doubles

Raquel Kops-Jones, USA and Abigail Spears, USA
defeated by
Madison Brengle, USA and Kristy Frilling, USA
2-6, 6-4, 10/7

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Venus Williams On Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008 @ 10:00 p.m.

Since age 14, Venus Williams has been one of professional tennis' most exciting, successful and enigmatic stars. Her on-court resume includes six Grand Slam singles titles, six Grand Slam doubles titles, and two Olympic gold medals - but that's only part of her story. Off the court, Williams is the CEO of her own interior design company, a fashion designer with her own signature line and a recent graduate of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, all of which she's accomplished while remaining one of the top-ranked players in the world.

REAL SPORTS host Bryant Gumbel sits down with the usually private reigning Wimbledon champion to discuss her successes on and off the court, her love life and her fight for equal prize money in women's tennis.

Video - AOL

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Posted by Shelia
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