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James Blake, Andy Roddick, Tommy Haas and Juan Carlos Ferrero Warm Up A Cold Night In Houston, TX Competing For The Oracle Champions Cup

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Oracle Champions Cup Presented By RBC Wealth Management at the 2019 Oracle Challenger Series in Houston, Texas was definitely worth coming out for.  The four legendary players that competed in the event, James Blake, Andy Roddick, Tommy Haas and Juan Carlos Ferrero, provided a very high spirited competition drawing in the crowd and entertaining them all through the night.

At various points during the evening, whether the players were entering or exiting the stadium, the crowd members that so desired got autographs, photos and sheer pleasure from simply being in the midst of these guys.

James Blake and Juan Carlos Ferrero opened the competition against one another with Ferrero taking the win.  Next up, Tommy Haas and Andy Roddick hit the floor with Tommy Haas taking that win.  Both segments were exciting and highly challenging, keeping the crowd cheering.

The Final competition pitted Tommy Haas against Juan Carlos Ferrero in a single set of action that would clearly earn the winner the Champions Cup.  And that winner was...  Tommy Haas.

This win placed Tommy Haas in an undefeated season on the Invesco Series QQQ circuit and claim the season-long points title on the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30.

Haas, the former world No. 2 and silver medalist at the 2000 Olympic Games, finished the 2019 Invesco Series QQQ season with a perfect 10-0 record, winning titles in Newport Beach, Calif, Maui, Hawaii, New Haven, Connecticut, Los Angeles and in the season finale in Houston Thursday played indoors at the Tudor Fieldhouse at Rice University. Haas is the first player in the 15-year history of the Invesco Series to be an undefeated year-end points champion.

“I didn’t really think about it,” said the 41-year-old Haas of his season-long effort finishing atop the Invesco Series QQQ rankings. “Every time I come out, I try to play as good as I can and I enjoy myself as well. If it ends up with a win, great. I try to just compete. If the other person is better than me then so be it. This year, it’s been working pretty good.”

Despite being retired from playing tennis full-time on the ATP Tour since 2017, Haas said that fitness is still important in his life, as he said it should be for all people to get out and exercise.

“Fitness, in general, is so important,” he said. “Even as you don’t play competitive sports anymore or whatever it is that you do, you have to keep doing something every day if you can. It’s easier said than done but even for me, I don’t go out and play tennis every day, but I try to do some kind of activity. The body just needs that otherwise you get stiff. You sit around all day; you don’t do anything. Especially when you want to come out here and try to move quite well. Line yourself up to the shot the right way and still try to have some core strength, and the leg strength, so you got to stay with it.”

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INSTAGRAM: Serena Williams And Andy Roddick's Wife Brooklyn Decker Turn Up on Lip Sync Battle

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

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2011 U.S.OPEN: Arthur Ashe Kids Day - Summer's Biggest Hit - Saturday, August, 27

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The USTA announced that reigning US Open Champions Rafael Nadal and Kim Clijsters, world No. 1 ranked Novak Djokovic, former US Open Champion Andy Roddick and the 2010 US Open Wheelchair Champion David Wagner will team up with actor Bradley Cooper, New York Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony, Music Sensation Jason Derulo and rising pop stars Cody Simpson, Diggy Simmons, Jessica Jarrell and Mindless Behavior  at the 16th Annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess Saturday, August 27 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., from 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Hosted by TV personalities/actors La La Anthony and Quddus, the popular full-day tennis and music festival for children and adults alike – including interactive games, musical entertainment and tennis activities – will also feature performances from up-and-coming stars including Girls Nite Out, Action Item, Jacob Latimore, Nickelodeon's The Fresh Beat Band, Love Jones Girlz and New Hollow .  Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day Presented by Hess will kick off the 2011 US Open, which runs from August 29 - September 11. 

From 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., kids and their families can experience an exciting schedule of free tennis games, live music and attractions taking place throughout the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.  Inside Arthur Ashe Stadium from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m., the live tennis and music show will feature fun exhibition matches and skills competitions with Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Kim Clijsters, Andy Roddick, David Wagner and other top players and celebrities with musical performances by Jason Derulo, Cody Simpson, Diggy Simmons, Jessica Jarrell and Mindless Behavior.

Stadium show tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster (1-866-OPEN-TIX), usopen.org and at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center box office.  American Express is the official card of Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day.  General admission promenade tickets cost $10 and loge tickets are $20.  Arthur Ashe Kids' Day will be broadcast nationally by CBS on Sunday, August 28, from 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m (ET).  Kids 12-and-under with stadium show tickets will receive a free Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day hat from the USTA and Hess on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We are excited to kick off the 2011 US Open with the biggest names in sports and entertainment at the 16th annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess,” said Harlan Stone, Chief Business and Marketing Officer, USTA. “We look forward to serving up a day of family fun as we celebrate the life of a tennis legend whose mission was to empower kids through sport and education.”

Over the years, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day has featured many of music’s biggest acts including Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato, Sean Kingston, Jordin Sparks, Britney Spears, Ne-Yo, Gavin DeGraw, Jessica Simpson, Backstreet Boys, Bow Wow and Hanson.

source: usopen.org

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U.S. OPEN SERIES WINSTON-SALEM OPEN: Tuesday's Second Round Takes Out Both Blake And Young

James Blake, USA during second round Winston-Salem Open loss.

Tenth seed Robin Haase took just 61 minutes to dismiss American James Blake 6-4, 6-1. Haase fought off nine of the 10 break points he faced on serve, while breaking Blake five times from eight chances

Former World No. 4 Blake had come into the second-round match with a 7-0 record in Winston-Salem, inclusive of six Davis Cup matches. Haase, currently at a career-high No. 42 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, extended his winning streak to six matches in his first tournament since claiming the Kitzbühel title earlier this month.

For Blake, it was his first loss ever in Winston-Salem. He was a perfect 6-0 in Davis Cup ties here and won his first-round match against Mikhail Kukushkin 7-5, 6-1 on Sunday night.

The 31-year-old New Yorker called it his worst performance of the summer hardcourt season.

"As I get to this age, I try to have a short memory about matches like that," Blake said. "It was just one of those days. Nothing seemed to be going right, wasn’t serving well, wasn’t returning well, just nothing was effective. It’s frustrating because the first round I thought I played pretty well, especially in the second set. I thought I was getting momentum and playing well. But that’s the worst match I’ve played all summer. It’s frustrating that it’s right before the Open, but the Open doesn’t start until next Monday so I’ve got some time to get on a practice court and get my confidence back hopefully."

Blake said he was disappointed not only for himself, but for the crowd that was clearly on his side.

"It’s a lot of fun to play in front of a crowd that’s cheering for you," Blake said. "It’s frustrating when you can’t come through for them. That’s the tough part of tennis. You feel great when you succeed in front of a home crowd and give them what they want, and it’s frustrating when you can’t. That’s what I’ve learned through the years. It’s a lot tougher to take when you feel like you’re letting others down. But they’ll get over it. They’ve still got Andy Roddick and John Isner to watch."

Donald Young, USA

Fifty-second ranked Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov came back after losing a one-sided second set to defeat World No. 85 American Donald Young in three sets 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(2) in the second round at the Winston-Salem Open in North Carolina on Tuesday. The match lasted for two hours and three minutes.

Source: atptennis.com

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U.S. OPEN SERIES WINSTON-SALEM OPEN: James Blake And Donald Young Advance Easily On Tournament Inaugural Day

Monday, August 22, 2011

James Blake, USA

The inaugural Winston-Salem Open, a new tournament on the ATP World Tour, got underway on Sunday with five matches on the schedule. Two of those first-round matches were played and won byAmericans James Blake and Donald Young.

Blake ran his record in the city to a perfect 7-0 on Sunday night as he beat Mikhail Kukushkin 7-5, 6-1 in his first-round match in the Winston-Salem Open. 

This came on Center Court at the new Wake Forest tennis complex, not across the street at Joel Coliseum, where Blake is unbeaten in six Davis Cup matches. But that didn’t seem to matter to the 31-year-old New Yorker.

"It’s great coming back here," Blake said. "Just across the street. It’s a little different being out in this heat and humidity, but it still feels great. The crowd obviously was incredibly supportive. A little different atmosphere than Davis Cup, but it’s still a lot of fun. I remember the area well and it’s good to be back and hopefully I’ll continue to play the way I did tonight, and maybe even better."

Blake won twice here in his Davis Cup debut in 2001 when the U.S. beat India in a relegation match. He tacked on two more wins in the U.S.’s quarterfinal win over Spain in 2007, then won two more in a quarterfinal win over France the following year.

"Winston-Salem has been good to me," he said. "It was such an emotional week that first time playing against India, right after 9-11, my first Davis Cup, with Andy Roddick. We had a blast. I still remember so much from that whole week, really. To be back here, it seems like not long ago, but it’s been over a decade, so that’s a little crazy. But it’s been a lot of fun from then to now, and hopefully I’ll get some more wins, too."

Blake started slowly against Kukushkin, who came into the match ranked No. 62 in the South African Airways ATP rankings.

"He has a second serve that I feel I can attack," Blake said. "One of my biggest weapons is my second serve return, being able to hurt guys with that and make them think about it a lot. I was able to do that today. I feel like the courts are pretty good for that. Hardcourts are always better for me, but these feel like they grab the ball a little bit and it gives me time to go after the second serve. Today it was effective. I feel like the only times I didn’t return it well were when I was just trying to get the ball in the court and was getting a little too tentative. Which is something I do less and less the more confident I am. But in the second set I was pretty confident going after him the whole time."

Confidence, Blake said, seems to be coming to him more and more as the summer goes on. He won two matches in Cincinnati last week before losing to Roger Federer in the third round.

"I’ve won a decent number of matches this summer and I’ve been playing pretty well and feeling like once you get into that routine, that rhythm of winning matches, it seems to snowball," Blake said. "You just feel when it’s 5-all you’re going to win that set. You just feel good out there on the court and you can go for your shots. That’s what happened at the end of the first set and then in the second."

 Donald Young, USA

Donald Young needed just 68 minutes to close out a 6-3, 6-4 win over German Michael Berrer.

Source: winstonsalemopen.com

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Tsonga Sails Through First Round Of Aegon Championships

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Aegon Championships, London

LONDON, June 7 (UPI) -- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga dropped just one game Tuesday in sailing through his second-round match at the Aegon Championships in London.

Tsonga, seeded fifth in the grass-court tournament, was on the court just 47 minutes before finishing off a 6-0, 6-1 rout of Michael Berrer. Tsonga won 68 percent of the points in the match, including a healthy 63 percent off Berrer's serve.

Third-seeded Andy Roddick also advanced but in a much more difficult 7-6 (7-2), 6-7 (5-7), 6-4 match against Feliciano Lopez. Roddick managed just two breaks in the match -- both coming in the third set.

Wild-card entrant James Ward pulled the upset of the day, knocking off fourth-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6 (7-3), 6-3. But seventh-seeded Fernando Verdasco topped Nicolas Mahut 6-2, 6-3, 10th-seeded Michael Llodra took out Julien Benneteau while defending champion and No. 13-seeded Sam Querrey defeated Rainer Schuettler 7-6 (8-6), 5-7, 6-3.

Ninth-seeded David Nalbandian got past Illya Marchenko 6-3, 6-4 and No. 12 Juan Martin del Potro beat Denis Istomin 6-4, 6-2 in first-round matches. Also in the first round 14th-seeded Janko Tipsarevic and No. 15 Kevin Anderson advanced with wins.

Unseeded first-round winners Tuesday were Matthew Ebden, Radek Stepanek, Adrian Mannarino, Michael Russell and Xavier Malisse.

Photo by Getty Images

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LEGG MASON TENNIS CLASSIC: James Blake's Return To DC For The Classic Announced

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

James Blake, USA
 We are pleased to announce that James Blake will return to the Legg Mason Tennis Classic presented by GEICO in 2011. Blake, the 2002 champion and 2005 runner-up, earned the first of his 10 ATP singles titles at the 2002 Legg Mason Tennis Classic, upsetting top-seeded Andre Agassi in the semifinals..  Blake reached the final again in 2005, where he fell to three-time champion Andy Roddick.

The former Harvard star was the top-ranked American in 2006, reaching a career-high of No. 4 in the world, but has been plagued by injuries in recent years.  Blake’s tennis career has seen many setbacks, including scoliosis, fractured vertebrae, and the loss of his father to cancer. Despite these challenges, Blake has excelled both on the court and off, becoming a role model for young players. His book, “Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life” documents both the challenges and successes of his career.  For his efforts in the community, his fellow players recognized him with the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award in 2008.  
Blake’s addition to the 2011 Legg Mason Tennis Classic further strengthens an already competitive field.  Several of the game's marquee players (as previously announced), including world No. 10 Mardy Fish, No. 11 Andy Roddick, No. 15 Viktor Troicki of Serbia, Sam Querrey and John Isner, 2010 runner-up Marcos Baghdatis (Cyprus), former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt and Canada's rising star Milos Raonic - have committed to play in the 2011 Legg Mason Tennis Classic presented by GEICO.

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Roland Garros 2011: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, "Which Player Would You Choose?..."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Which player would you choose…

To share a good bottle of wine with?
(Thinks for a while) Mika Llodra, he knows his stuff.

To take to your favourite restaurant?
Kei Nishikori, because my favourite restaurant is Minori in Paris. It's a great Japanese restaurant. I'll show him that French sushi is better than Japanese sushi (laughs).

To accompany you to the Cannes film festival?
Ana Ivanovic. She would be great arm candy.

To play in a film with?
David Ferrer. He'd play Forrest in Forrest Gump, and I'd play Bubba, his shrimp fishing friend.

To go out on the town with in Las Vegas?
La Monf' (Gaël Monfils), no question about it.

To play in a band with?
Dustin Brown, that would be great. We'd make beautiful reggae.

As master of ceremonies for your wedding?
Novak Djokovic, he would be great at that.

To take to a football match?
Jurgen Melzer. I played football with him in the United States, and he's really good. He loves it.

To go and see stand-up comedy with?
Andy Roddick.

To take fishing?
Rafael Nadal.

To open a bar with?
Marat Safin. Once night falls he's the guy to hang around with.

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Blake Out At BNP Paribas Open After Roddick Defeat

Monday, March 14, 2011

James Blake during 2nd round play at 2011 BNP Paribas Open
(Getty Images)

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake vs Andy Roddick round 2 2011 BNP Paribas OpenDavis Cup teammates Andy Roddick John Isner will face off in the third round after they posted back-to-back wins on Stadium One, Sunday afternoon at the BNP Paribas Open.

World No. 8 Roddick, who dropped serve once during the one-hour, 30-minute match, broke James Blake to go up 6-5 in the second set and proceeded to clinch the 6-3, 7-5 victory with his 13th ace.

“I thought it was okay,” he said. “It was tough to get a gauge on how I was playing because James was playing so aggressively. From the first game I realized his strategy was any time; he didn't want to let me get a rhythm. I felt like he was coming out of his shoes. It was tough, but the numbers looked good afterwards. I felt like I was hitting the ball okay, so it worked out.”

It was Roddick’s eighth win in 11 matches against Blake, a former World No. 4 who has dropped to a No. 158 ranking after an injury-plagued 2010 season.

“I definitely think we've gotten closer over the course of our careers,” he said of their relationship. “Spending so many weeks early on when we were the only two young U.S. guys who were at tournaments, so we naturally, I guess kind of gravitated towards each other. And then being on the team together for so long, he's one of my favorite people. He's someone who I always cheer for.”

Source - bnpparibasopen.com

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Blake Wins On Salute To Heroes Night, Sets Roddick Clash

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake vs Chris Guccione 2011 BNP OpenJames Blake, USA, 2011 BNP Open Indian Wells, California
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake vs Chris Guccione at 2011 BNP OpenAmerican James Blake came back to defeat Australian Chris Guccione 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 Friday night at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, following a special Salute to Heroes ceremony featuring The National 9/11 Flag flown at Ground Zero.

Blake dropped the opening set, but quickly regrouped to take a 2-0 lead in the second. He broke Guccione two more times in the third set to clinch the victory in one hour and 35 minutes.

The win ensured a blockbuster second-round clash between Blake and top American Andy Roddick, both past finalists at the year’s first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. It will be the 11th meeting between the pair (Roddick leads 7-3).

The 31-year-old Blake entered this year’s BNP Paribas Open with his lowest ranking since his 2000 desert debut, having dropped to No. 158 after an injury-plagued season in 2010. Meanwhile, World No. 8 Roddick has won seven straight matches, clinching his 30th ATP World Tour title in Memphis and leading the U.S. into the Davis Cup quarter-finals.

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ESPN COMMENTARY: Approaching Extinction Of U.S. Tennis

Thursday, May 27, 2010

ESPN.com illustration

by Roy S. Johnson

Catch them while you can. Wave your flags. Root, root, root for Andy Roddick and the Williams sisters. Do it now. Love 'em or not, take a snapshot because they're the last of a breed, the endangered species of American tennis champions.

After them, extinct. Gone. Done. Think dodo birds.

Or so it seems right now.

Roddick has won only a single Grand Slam, and it was so long ago (U.S Open, '03) we still thought housing prices could only go up and few people outside of Hyde Park had heard of Barack Obama. But Roddick remains the No. 8-ranked player in the world, and is still a threat to boom his way to a Slam, and he's married to a supermodel.

After Roddick, the highest-ranked American men are John Isner (No. 19), someone named Sam Querrey (No. 22) and German-born Tommy Haas (No. 23), who became a U.S. citizen this year. From there you won't find another American man in the rankings until Mike Russell (No. 82) and the still popular but fading James Blake (No. 83). Isner, Querrey, Russell and Blake have won 15 singles titles (none of them Grand Slams), but 10 of them belong to Blake.

Venus and Serena? They're history in the flesh (literally, at times). Baby and Big Sister, straight outta Compton, are the No. 1 and No. 2 players in the world, the first siblings to achieve such a distinction since, well, Venus and Serena did it in May 2003. They have won 79 singles titles (19 of which are Slams), plus doubles and mixed doubles Slam titles. Most importantly, they've defined this generation of women's tennis. Since 2002 when Venus first reached No. 1, seven women not named Williams have been No. 1, and yet here Venus and Serena are, still thriving, lingerie outfits and whatnot, still at the summit of the game.

Which Americans behind them might reach such a pinnacle some day? Please. No one I see carrying the red, white and blue right now. The next-highest-ranked American woman is U.S. Open darling Melanie Oudin, at No. 37. Yet we've heard nary a peep since her coming out at Flushing Meadows last fall, when she became the youngest player since Serena to reach the quarterfinals, defeating fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva and Maria Sharapova en route.

Then comes Vania King at No. 69. Neither survived the first round at Roland Garros.

Among the "next" American men, only Isner reached the second round. Querrey and Russell lost in the opening round, and Blake didn't play in the tournament. (Taylor Dent, Robby Ginepri and Mardy Fish, a trio of players with lower expectations and approaching 30, also won opening matches.)

So catch The Contenders now. Roddick is just 27; Serena is a year older. Venus turns 30 in June. Physically, they should be around for at least a few more years. But fatigue and other, sexier endeavors may tug them away sooner than you know, and when it happens, tennis in the U.S. will become, well, soccer.

No, it will be worse.

As soccer, the world's most popular sport, prepares for its quadrennial global orgy, it continues to gain steady footing in the U.S. among sports fans. American Landon Donovan is certainly higher on the buzz meter than any American male tennis player not named Roddick (did I tell you he was married to a super-swimsuit model?).

Meanwhile, save for a couple of torrid weeks in the fall, and the weekends when we watch the finals of the French and Wimbledon, tennis doesn't even register a blip on our radar anymore. Interestingly, grass-roots participation in the sport has never been higher. The 2009 TIA/USTA Tennis Participation study shows that total tennis participation tops 30 million players for the first time in the 22-year history of the survey.

On the flip side, television ratings are tumbling, even for the biggest events. When Americans Andre Agassi and Serena Williams won the 1999 U.S. Open men's and women's singles titles, an average of 3.5 million television viewers watched each telecast. Three years ago, when Sweden's Roger Federer and Belgium's Justine Henin won the titles, that average had slumped to just 1.9 million viewers. (Viewership was up last year.)

The impact of an American champion is perhaps most stark at Wimbledon, which no American man has won since Pete Sampras in 2000. That year, more than 4 million U.S. viewers watched the event. By 2006, that number had plummeted to 2 million. Even with a slight uptick since, the audience has remained below 3 million. Interestingly, American women (or rather, a Williams) have won eight of the past 10 Wimbledon singles titles, though it has not been enough to stem the overall decline in viewership.

Clearly, without Roddick and the Williamses to at least make us care, tennis stands poised to fall behind soccer in popularity in the U.S.

Oh, sure, someone could always have a moment of greatness. Any of our upstarts could snatch a magic carpet and ride it to a Slam final, maybe even a title. But who's the next Roddick, who won his Grand Slam at age 21 or the next Williams, who captured their first Slam singles titles at 20 (Venus) and 18 (Serena)?No one.


Let's face it, we stink at tennis. Really stink. Despite the USTA's best efforts (or worst, depending upon whom you're talking to) to discover and nurture the next generation of tennis stars, officials simply cannot manufacture greatness. Not when the sport has become more niche than even golf, which has Tiger Woods (don't laugh), Phil Mickelson, Anthony Kim and other Americans who are a threat to be in the final pairing on any given Sunday.

Just recently, tennis icon John McEnroe announced he was opening an academy in New York. He shuns the "total immersion" model used by most of the more noted academies and is modeling his program after the one in Port Washington, N.Y., that helped build his game. Gifted players play regularly, but attend school independently from the academy. In other words, they have a life. He also hopes to draw kids from areas of the city, such as Harlem and Brooklyn, that have not traditionally been sown for tennis stars.

"People feel, put the kids in the middle of nowhere, isolate them, so all they can do is live and breathe tennis," McEnroe told The New York Times. "Me, I went to Florida with Harry Hopman, at 15 or 16, for one day and said, 'I've got to get out of here.' Never would I have made it if I had to do that. It would have been a form of torture."

I know the argument that our best athletes are playing other sports -- even relatively minor but booming ones like lacrosse. But can't we find, say, 10 kids (five boys, five girls) who can play this game at the highest level?

Sadly, no. The only kids picking up tennis racquets these days are kids whose parents play, and that's just not enough to produce champions.

And without champions -- or even potential champions -- our interest in the sport will continue to wane, especially as even the popular top foreign players like Federer, Rafael Nadal and Sharapova begin to fade due to time or injury.

Too bad. With names such as Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean King, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Don Budge, Jim Courier, Pete Sampras, Chris Evert and others so much a part of America's past glory, it's sad that tennis no longer gives us a thrill. But it happens.

It's happening. Faster than we know. Roy S. Johnson, a veteran sports journalist and media consultant, is the editor-in-chief of Men's Fitness. His blog is Ballers, Gamers and Scoundrels.

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Venus Williams To Be Awarded First Annual Caesars Tennis Classic Achievement Award

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Press Release

Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams To Host Caesars Tennis ClassicAtlantic City (March 30, 2010) - Harrah's Entertainment, Caesars Atlantic City and StarGames announced today that Caesars Tennis Classic host Venus Williams will receive the first annual Caesars Tennis Classic Achievement Award during the exhibition event on Saturday, April 10, 2010 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The award recognizes a tennis personality that has contributed above and beyond their play both on and off the court. In addition to her stellar play on the court as one of the top women players in the world (she advanced to the quarterfinals of this week's Sony Ericsson Championship in Miami yesterday), Williams continues to be a great ambassador of the sport working with the UNICEF, the USTA, the WTA and the Women's Sports Foundation to promote the game and give back to different communities throughout the world. Don Marrandino, the President of the Eastern Division of Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. will present the award to her on behalf of the inaugural Caesars Tennis Classic.

The highly anticipated Caesars Tennis Classic, hosted by Williams, will feature tennis greats of past and present including Ivan Lendl, Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Mats Wilander and Marat Safin in a one night tennis spectacular at the newly renovated Boardwalk Hall. In addition to the Classic, Caesars will host pre and post-tournament events including the must see Tennis Village in the Palladium Ballroom at Caesars with appearances by the tennis greats. Detailed information regarding the Caesars Tennis Classic can be found at www.CaesarsTennisClassic.com.

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Serena Joins Dinara and Maria Pulling Out Of The Sony Ericsson Open

Saturday, March 20, 2010

MIAMI (Reuters) - World number one Serena Williams has pulled out of next week's Sony Ericsson Open due to a knee injury, organizers said on Friday.

The American's withdrawal is another blow to the tournament after former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova and world number two Dinara Safina had already pulled out.

Williams has won the Key Biscayne event five times.

Venus Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova headline the women's field while the men's top three -- Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal are joined by American Andy Roddick and defending champion Andy Murray.

The men's competition will be without fifth-ranked Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina due to a wrist injury.

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(PROMO) Caesars Tennis Classic Hosted By Venus Williams

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

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Blake Goes Down To Roddick Round One In Memphis

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake vs Andy Roddick Memphis TennesseeMEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Top-seeded Andy Roddick snapped a three-match losing streak to fellow American James Blake with a 6-3, 4-6. 7-6 (3) victory in the first round of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships on Wednesday night.

"We've played so many times, and he's beaten me, that there's going to be a sense of belief that most guys ranked 60th in the world probably aren't going to have as much as he has against me," Roddick said.

Blake, actually ranked 55th, broke Roddick's serve in the 10th game of the third set to pull even at 5-5. Both then held serve sending the match to the tiebreaker.

He went up in the tiebreaker when he broke serve on the fourth point as Blake hit a backhand wide down the line. Blake would end up with three unforced errors off the backhand in the tiebreaker.

"Whoever won was going to be pretty darn well-prepared for the rest of the tournament and feel good about their chances," Blake said. "It's tough to swallow.

"It just didn't go my way on a couple of points," Blake said of the tiebreaker. "A couple of missed backhands, and he kept the pressure on me the whole time."

As usual, Roddick used a strong serve, recording 22 aces and converting 75 percent of his first serves.

"I served well in the tiebreaker," Roddick said. "I served smart in the tiebreaker."

Roddick, the defending champion, was the only one of the top four seeds in the tournament to make it out of the first round. No. 2 seed Fernando Verdasco lost Tuesday night.

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Australian Open Hit For Haiti A Huge Success

Sunday, January 17, 2010

You know you are part of something special when eight of the world’s top tennis stars are under the same roof.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters and Aussies Lleyton Hewitt and Samantha Stosur united as a tennis family today by taking part in the Hit for Haiti fundraiser at Rod Laver Arena.

The 90-minute exhibition match was organised in less than 24 hours. The charity event proved to be a huge success, with a sell-out crowd. Representing the colours of the Haiti flag, Team Red (Federer, Williams, Hewitt and Stosur) defeated Team Blue (Roddick, Nadal, Djokovic, Clijsters, and late substitute Bernard Tomic) 7-6. Former Grand Slam champion turned tennis analyst Jim Courier was the chair umpire for the afternoon.

Spectators over the age of 12 paid $10 to watch the entertaining match, buying their tickets on the door. Russian star Maria Sharapova donated $10,000, while $20,000 was also collected in tin cans around the arena and around the grounds at a packed Garden Square. Today, $159,000 was raised through ticket sales and public donations alone.

It is very rare that you are given an opportunity to see Williams and Djokovic exchange banter from across the court or see Federer doing push-ups during a match, and the crowd lapped up every minute.

As soon as the gates to Melbourne Park opened on Sunday, thousands of excited tennis fans flocked into Rod Laver Arena for the charity event. From the moment the players stepped onto court, the crowd knew they were in for a special treat. The players were wearing microphone headsets, which meant the crowd were able to hear them joke amongst themselves and tease each other during the match.

After the opening game, Djokovic gave Roddick a shoulder rub when he sat down. It’s also not very often that you see defending Australian Open champion Nadal playing the role of a ballkid, handing out water bottles and towels.

Tournament Director Craig Tiley was delighted with the outcome of the charity event.

“It’s fantastic to see the tennis family from around the globe band together to help make a difference in this time of need” Tiley said.

“I would like to thank the players, staff and everyone involved in pulling off this event in such a short amount of time.”

Haiti was decimated by a devastating earthquake that measured 7.0 on the Richter Scale last Tuesday. The United Nations has launched an appeal for hundreds of millions of dollars to try to help around three million people in need.

Donations can be made online to Partners in Health: www.pih.org

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Around The Net...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Sydney Press ConferenceSuper-confident American Serena Williams arrived in Australia on Saturday welcoming a potential blockbuster second-round showdown with Justine Henin at the Medibank International Sydney.

“It’s good. It will be a good test for her, and for me,” Williams said.

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake and Andy Roddick in the semifinal round of the Brisbane InternationalAmericans James Blake and Andy Roddick had their hopes of advancing to the doubles final at the Australian Open Series Brisbane International Tournament dashed as the duo fell to the French pair Jeremy Chardy and Marc Giquel 4-6, 6-3, [11/13].

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams practicing in Sydney Serena trains in Sydney, Australia, on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010. She will play in the Australian Open Series Sydney International Tennis Tournament in the lead-up to the Australian Open.
(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams practicing in SydneyBlack Tennis Pro's Serena Williams practicing in Sydney
Black Tennis Pro's Younes El Aynaoui and Rafael Nadal watch Roger Federer in semifinal round at Qatar Open.Moroccan Younes El Aynaoui (R) and Spanaird Rafael Nadal watch the match between Switzerland's Roger Federer (L) and Russian Nikolay Davydenko during the ATP Qatar Open in the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha on January 8, 2010.
(Photos by Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images)

Black Tennis Pro's Younes El Aynaoui and Rafael Nadal watch Roger Federer in semifinal round at Qatar OpenBlack Tennis Pro's Younes El Aynaoui and Rafael Nadal watch Roger Federer in semifinal round at Qatar Open

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HOT NEWS: No 2010 Davis Cup Play For Blake Or Roddick

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Over at Tennis.com Peter Bodo reports in an 'Exclusive' that both Americans James Blake and Andy Roddick will be no shows for 2010 Davis Cup play.

For the first time in nearly a decade, the U.S. Davis Cup team will be without stalwarts Andy Roddick and James Blake when it travels to face powerful Serbia in a first-round tie in Belgrade in March. “It certainly appears to be the end of era,” U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe told TENNIS Thursday. “But the door will always remain open to both of those guys in the event they decide they want to play again.”

Roddick and Blake have both decided to leave Davis Cup off their 2010 schedules. McEnroe has yet to name the squad he plans to take to Serbia for the tie against a powerful Serbian team led by world No. 3. The U.S. singles players most likely to be selected are Sam Querrey and John Isner, although that could change in the next few weeks, depending on the performance of the U.S. players in Australia. Mardy Fish is also high on McEnroe's list of Davis Cup candidates. Serbia will be heavily favored given that it will be contested on slow red clay.

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Good thing for Blake? Hmmmmmm.......

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Blake Still In It - Doubles With Roddick

American Davis Cup teammates James Blake and Andy Roddick advanced to the doubles semifinal round of the Brisbane International after defeating the Brazilian doubles team of Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares 7-6(3), 6-4.

Blake and Roddick will now face Frenchmen Jeremy Chardy and Marc Giquel for a shot at the final.

Big Davis Cup news on theses two here...

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(PHOTOS) James Blake Workin' It Out At The Back Office Benefit

Friday, December 4, 2009

American James Blake and Wyclef Jean attend the Back Office Associates Serving For A Cure benefit at Pier 94 on December 1, 2009 in New York City.

Work it out James!!!
(Photos by Wireimages)

(L-R) Andy Roddick, Bob Bryan, Melanie Oudin, James Blake, Sam Querrey and Mike Bryan

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