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Serena Responds To ITF Decision

Monday, November 30, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Response to ITF Decision"I am thankful that we now have closure on the incident, and we can all move forward," Williams said in statement released by her Los Angeles-based publicist. "I am back in training in preparation for next season, and I continue to be grateful for all of the support from my fans and the tennis community."

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Posted by Shelia
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ITF Decision Overkill: Serena Now The Gold Standard For Bad Behavior?

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams ITF Decision OverkillLet the truth be spoken up front; American sisters Venus and Serena Williams have conducted themselves over the lifespan of their tennis careers in an exemplary manner and there are others who could learn a lot from them. That said, sure, Serena has always been the highly emotional fiery player that causes the fans to raise the roof in the stadiums - all within the confines of the sport and nothing contrary to it.

Serena Williams' choice to lash out at the linesperson in the manner that she did at the 2009 U.S. Open was without question an aberration in the behavior that she typically displays during matches. Poor judgement in the heat of the match? Unquestionably. A continuance of longstanding bad behavior? Absolutely not!

On its own merit, the decision of the International Tennis Federation to fine American Serena Williams a record $82,500 for the incident is certainly not as extreme as it could have been and let's face it, the payout won't even make a slight dent in her stash.

The funky portion of this decision comes with the probation and and the potential for Serena to be suspended if she has another "major offense" at any Grand Slam in the next two years. WHAT A LOAD OF BULL!!

Holding Serena to a standard FAR different than other players, male or female, is just beyond the pale. If the ITF wants to set a new standard and then hold all players feet to the fire, fine; but to take an isolated incident and now set Serena up as the gold standard in bad behavior and place punitive sanctions on her that establish new lows in parity is absolutely ridiculous.

Serena has been placed on a probation over the four major championships that occur in 2010-1011. If she has another "major offense" at a Grand Slam tournament in that time, the $82,500 fine would increase to $175,000 and she would be barred from the following U.S. Open.

"But if she does not have another offense in the next two years, the suspension is lifted," says Grand Slam administrator Bill Babcock. Oh how sweet.

He stated that "Williams violated the "major offense" rule for "aggravated behavior." The Grand Slam committee - with one representative from each of the sport's four major championships - approved his decision Saturday.

Babcock said a "major offense" under Grand Slam rules is "any conduct that is determined to be the 'major offense' of 'aggravated behavior' or 'conduct detrimental to the game.'" There is no specific definition of what sort of actions constitute a "major offense."

He said the highest possible fine that Williams could face - $175,000, if she violates her Grand Slam probation - was chosen because it is the difference in winnings between reaching the quarterfinals and semifinals at the U.S. Open. The $10,000 Williams already was docked by the USTA will be counted toward that total; that's why she is paying half of $165,000 now.

Call it what you will, view it in your own light and subject this decision to your own scrutiny - there's one thing that's for certain, this decision would take on a totally different color if this were a white male player. The history of the game bares all of the truth of that statement.

What's good for one should be good for all - this sucks...

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Have A Happy And Blessed Thanksgiving Everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Glitter Graphics

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Posted by Shelia

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Venus And Serena Williams Tennis Academy Celebrates 35th Anniversary

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Media Contact:

Jasmyne Cannick

(323) 839-0216

Black Tennis Pro's Venus and Serena Williams Tennis Academy 35th AnniversaryVenus and Serena Williams Tennis Academy coaches LeGeorge Mauldin and Terry Chambers flanked by their students at the 35th anniversary celebration of the academy.

LOS ANGELES – Hundreds of local youth ages 12-17 came out and celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Venus and Serena Williams Tennis Academy Saturday, Nov. 14. The celebration took place at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Courts located at the Rancho Cienega Sports Complex in Los Angeles and included an exhibition of their students.

The Venus and Serena Williams’ Tennis Academy is housed at the Rancho Cienega Sports Complex located at 5001 Rodeo Boulevard in Los Angeles. Additionally, the Academy is open seven days a week with instructors available for private, semi-private, and group lessons for both adults and children. For more information, please call (323) 299-4631.


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Monfils Outlasted In Battle For Paris Title

Monday, November 16, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils 2009 BNP Paribas MastersFinalist Gael Monfils joins Paris Masters tournament officials post match
(Photos by ©FFT/C.Saadi)

In an epic three-setter at the 2009 BNP Paribas Masters tournament in Paris, France on Sunday, No. 15 seed Gaƫl Monfils was outlasted by the the No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic 6-2, 5-7, 7-6(3) in a match that thrilled the crowd for two and three-quarter hours.

Local hero Monfils confounded the pundits who presumed that Djokovic would make mincemeat of him as the Serb had done to the mighty Rafael Nadal 24 hours earlier. With adrenaline coursing through his veins and the roars of a 13,000-strong partisan crowd behind him, Monfils made light of the fatigue he was feeling after a protracted semi-final and battled all the way to a third set tie-break, treating his supporters to a roller-coaster ride along the way.

The first set was all Djokovic, as the 6-2 scoreline would suggest. He won his first seven points on service and lost only three all set, while his returns sent Monfils scurrying from side to side in a vain attempt to keep pace. The writing appeared to be on the wall when the Serb raced into a 3-0 lead in the second, but then the rigours of over 90 matches this season caught up with him, mentally more than physically. Monfils saw a chink of light and crept through, aided by Djokovic’s sudden propensity for coming to the net and then fluffing his volleys. 3-0 became 3-3, and just as a tie-break seemed on the cards, the Frenchman upped the intensity on his returns and broke to lead 6-5. An ace in the next game sent the crowd into paroxysms of ecstasy and the match was level at one set all.

Djokovic again broke to open the decider, and though Monfils responded immediately the Serb broke again and finally got some daylight between himself and his 23-year-old opponent at 4-1. Despite a sudden rash of double-faults – four in the space of six points – Monfils hauled himself back into the match and when Djokovic suddenly lost his radar in terms of length, the match was back level at 4-4.

A tie-break was the only way to decide what had been a fitting culmination to an incredible tournament, and the fans were indeed treated to the equivalent of a penalty shoot-out. Monfils was asked to summon up one last valiant effort, but it was not to be, and while his double-fault on match point may haunt him over the coming weeks, it will soon be expunged from the memories of those who witnessed his performance in the final and indeed throughout the week.

Black Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils 2009 BNP Paribas Masters2009 Paris Masters champion and finalist Novak Djokovic, Serbia and Gael Monfils, France

Black Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils 2009 BNP Paribas MastersBlack Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils 2009 BNP Paribas Masters

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Mashona Washington Doubles Champion At Goldwater Women's Classic

Black Tennis Pro's Mashona Washington 2009 Goldwater Women's Tennis ClassicMashona Washington, USA

Along with Canadian teammate Sharon Fichman, American Mashona Washington won the doubles title at the $50,000 Goldwater Classic in Phoenix, Arizona on Sunday after defeating the doubles team of Canadian Marie-Eve Pelletier and Georgian Anna Tatishvili 4-6, 6-4, [10/8].

Congrats Mashona!!!

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(NTDWT) Still Missing, Mitrice Richardson

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Still Missing, Mitrice Richardson

For additional information please go to:


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Los Angeles Area Rancho Tennis Club November Mixer

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Rancho Tennis Mixer

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ITF Chief Says Ban Unlikely For Serena Williams

By Andrew Dampf (AP) -- Top-ranked Serena Williams will most likely receive a "significant" fine but no suspension for her U.S. Open tirade, the president of the International Tennis Federation said.

Grand Slam administrator Bill Babcock is expected to give his recommendation to the Grand Slam committee, which probably will announce the sanction Monday or Tuesday.

"I don't think (an Australian Open ban) would make much sense, because it would penalize the people handing out the punishment," Francesco Ricci Bitti told The Associated Press on Saturday. "For the Grand Slam committee to exclude her from a Grand Slam doesn't seem likely."

The Grand Slam committee is composed of Ricci Bitti and the four Grand Slam presidents.

Williams was fined $10,000 after her profanity-laced outburst at a lineswoman during her semifinal loss to Kim Clijsters in September. A fine from the ITF could be much greater.

"A significant financial penalty makes much more sense. But it has to be significant enough for the fans (to appreciate) it," Ricci Bitti said. "Of course it may not be significant for Serena Williams, who earns tens of millions."

By winning the season-ending tour championship last weekend, Williams set the record for single-season prize money in women's tennis by topping $6.5 million in 2009. Her career prize money is a record $28.5 million.

Ricci Bitti spoke at the Fed Cup final between the United States in Italy. Serena and Venus Williams decided not to play in the Fed Cup final after meeting in the final of the season-ending championship last weekend in Doha, Qatar.

The ITF president is also involved in a request by the World Anti-Doping Agency to investigate Andre Agassi's recent admission that he took crystal meth in 1997.

Agassi wrote in his soon-to-be-released autobiography "Open" that he ingested the drug and then lied to the ATP to avoid a suspension after failing a doping test.

Ricci Bitti is also a member of WADA's executive committee.

"The WADA code is our reference point and in every doping case the rules are quite clear. There is an eight-year period for sanctions to apply," Ricci Bitti said. "In terms of the regulations, there is nothing that can be done because we're past the eight-year period. It's more upsetting than anything else — for our sport and for the players."

Still, Ricci Bitti noted that the ATP should have a dossier on the case.

"We'll see what happens," he said.

In another drug-related case, the ITF confirmed a one-year suspension for Belgian tennis players Yanina Wickmayer and Xavier Malisse on Saturday. The duo was suspended by a Belgian tribunal this week for failing to report their whereabouts to anti-doping officials three times during 2009.

"This reminds me of the cases of Italian players involved in betting a little while ago," Ricci Bitti said. "These players need to be aware of their responsibilities. If they don't know, this is the result.

"These cases create discussion because they're not reliant on positive tests, but there are rules to respect," Ricci Bitti added. "We're awaiting the details from the Belgian federation. These kids need to wake up. They're professionals and they earn a lot of money. They don't need to merely know the rules, they should also respect them."

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Mashona Washington Into Doubles Final In Phoenix

Mashona Washington, USA

At the $50,000 2009 Goldwater Classic in Phoenix, Arizona, American Mashona Washington and teammate Sharon Fichman of Canada, reached the doubles final with a 6-4, 7-5 win over number three seeds Americans Kimberly Couts and Lindsay Lee-Waters. The two will play Canada's Marie-Eve Pelletier and Georgia's Anna Tatishvili.

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Monfils Powers His Way Into Paris Final - WooHoo!

Black Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils Paris Masters FinalGael Monfils, France
(Photos by Clive Rose and Jacques Demarthon/AFP/Getty Images)

Gael Monfils delighted the home crowd by overcoming the Czech Republic's Radek Stepanek to reach the final of the Paris Masters.

The Paris-born player, world No 16, shared the opening two sets with the Czech but broke at 5-4 in the third to take the match 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 and set up a clash with Novak Djokovic.

Monfils said, "I know on Sunday I'll give my life on the court. I want to win. I'm not listening to my body any more."

A lot of Monfils’ best results have come in France. Last year he made the French Open semis and he won his first title this autumn for four years in Metz. "When I play in front of my family and the French crowd, I feel immediately a lot better," Monfils explained. "I believe in myself. I don't have much autonomy, but I believe in it. I try to do my best, and my level of game gets higher. I move well. I surprise myself."

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Tsonga Opens Title Defense In Paris With A Win

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga BNP Paribas MastersJo-Wilfried Tsonga, France
(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

(AP) PARIS — Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Nikolay Davydenko won second-round matches at the Paris Masters on Tuesday to stay in contention for the ATP World Tour Finals.

Tsonga defeated Albert Montanes of Spain 6-1, 7-5 and Davydenko cruised past Benjamin Becker of Germany 6-2, 6-1.

Davydenko and Tsonga are among five players who can still qualify for the eight-man, season-ending event in London. Fernando Verdasco, Robin Soderling and Fernando Gonzalez are also in the running to secure the two remaining spots.

The 28-year-old Davydenko, who won the Paris Masters in 2006, needs to reach the semifinals to take a spot, while Tsonga must defend his title without facing Verdasco in the final to advance.

Tsonga showed no signs of the wrist injury that forced him to retire in the first round of the Valencia Open last week. The eighth-seeded Frenchman won five straight games in the first set. He broke in the 11th game of the second and closed it out on his first match point.

Davydenko, who broke Becker five times and saved four break points, said he didn't feel under pressure going into this week.

"There are three guys who need to win this tournament to qualify," said Davydenko, who has won four titles this season. "It won't be easy for the likes of Tsonga, Soderling or Verdasco and it makes me feel good."

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James Blake Advances In Paris

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake BNP Paribas 2009James Blake, USA

PARIS -- James Blake of the United States beat French veteran Fabrice Santoro 6-4, 6-3 in the first round of the Paris Masters on Sunday.

The 36-year-old Santoro, who is playing his final season on the ATP tour, swapped jerseys with Blake after the match and did a lap around the court to warm applause from the crowd at Bercy indoor arena.

Blake broke Santoro's serve twice in each set, and afterward paid tribute to the Frenchman.

"He's a great competitor, such a classy guy. Someone I've had a lot of tough matches with," said Blake, who next plays fourth-seeded Andy Murray of Britain. "He's had a great career. It's unbelievable how much success he's had in singles and doubles and how well liked he is by his competitors."

Murray beat Mikhail Youzhny in the Valencia Open final on Sunday, winning his sixth title of the season in his first tournament back since injuring his wrist at the U.S. Open in September.

In another first-round match in Paris on Sunday, Benjamin Becker beat Michael Llodra of France 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. The German next meets sixth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko of Russia.

Becker converted all three break chances, and saved two second-set break points and another in the decider. Both players served nine aces.

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Posted by Shelia
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Championship Match Of The Titan Sisters Goes To Serena

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Black Tennis Pros 2009 Sony Ericsson Championships Venus and Serena WilliamsSerena Williams, 2009 Sony Ericsson Champion
(Photos by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Serena Williams bested big sister Venus again Sunday, winning 6-2, 7-6 (4) in the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships final.

Black Tennis Pros 2009 Sony Ericsson Championships Venus and Serena Williams
Serena broke twice in the first set and lost just seven points on serve in her last match of the year. She looked sharper than Venus in every facet of a match that featured few long rallies and little of the spectacular tennis the two have provided in some of their previous meetings.

Serena sealed the match with a crosscourt forehand winner, and celebrated calmly with a simple fist pump before hugging her sister at the net.

"It feels great," said Serena, who also won the WTA Tour's season-ending event in 2001. "I totally didn't expect to come here and win."

It was Serena's fourth straight win over her sister. She also beat Venus in the round-robin stage of the Doha tournament, the Wimbledon final and the semifinals in Miami this year. She leads their head-to-head record 13-10.

Black Tennis Pros 2009 Sony Ericsson Championships Venus and Serena Williams"Playing a final against Venus is really tough," Serena said. "Even though she wasn't really feeling great, she kept hitting every ball back."

Serena earned $1.55 million for the win after finishing the event undefeated. She also clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking earlier this week after Dinara Safina of Russia pulled out injured in her first match.

The tournament featured the eight top-ranked women in the world divided into two groups, with the semifinalsts decided by a round-robin stage.

Venus lost two of her three round-robin matches but still advanced. The defending champion looked tired after rallying for a three-set win over Jelena Jankovic on Saturday, and each of her other group matches went three sets.

She played with her left knee strapped while Serena had strapping on her left thigh.

Black Tennis Pros 2009 Sony Ericsson Championships Venus and Serena Williams"It was the end of the season, so I have no complaints," Venus said about her fitness level. "You have to show up and play no matter what. So that had nothing to do with it."

Serena, who advanced after U.S. Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki retired injured in the semifinals, held five of her last seven service games at love and lost just one point in each of the other two.

It was her third tournament win of the season after Wimbledon and the Australian Open.

"I haven't won a tournament that wasn't a Grand Slam in a while, so that was even more exciting," she said. "My losing streak in (other) tournaments in over."

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