Click Above Photo to Visit the American Tennis Association (ATA)

Welcome Tennis Lovers!!

2011 U.S. OPEN: (PHOTOS) First Lady Of The United States Michelle Obama Visits And Hits The Court For The Let's Move! Tennis Clinic

Saturday, September 10, 2011

(L-R) USTA Chairman of the Board and President Jon Vegosen, MaliVai Washington, Billie Jean King, James Blake, First Lady of the U.S. Michelle Obama, Serena Williams, and USTA Board Vice President Katrina Adams

First Lady Michelle Obama started playing tennis after she finished Harvard Law School but had always wanted to attend the US Open.

She was finally able to make it for the very first time Friday.

She started the morning in SmashZone, the premier fan interactive attraction at the US Open. She played some 10 and Under Tennis with a group of kids from the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program, along with tennis stars Serena Williams, Billie Jean King, John McEnroe, James Blake, Katrina Adams, Mal Washington and USTA Chairman of the Board and President Jon Vegosen, promoting tennis as a great way for children to stay active and healthy, which is a central part of her Let’s Move! Initiative, which works to combat childhood obesity.

The USTA and the First Lady teamed up earlier this year to encourage young people across the country to get active, try tennis and lead healthy lifestyles. Components of the collaboration included a public service announcement, which has aired nationwide featuring the First Lady along with tennis legends Stefanie Graf and Andre Agassi, as well as the construction and renovation of thousands of tennis courts across the country and the commitment to encourage 200,000 children to participate in the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award.

“I have been trying to get to the US Open my entire life. This is the first time I have been here. I couldn’t get here last year, so, yes, I am excited to be here,” the First Lady said. “I am so incredibly excited to finally be at my first US Open, but I am equally excited and proud to be standing in partnership with the USTA and all they have done for hundreds of thousands of kids across this country. You are an example of what we can do when we put our minds to it.”

Source: usopen.org

Read the rest of this post...........

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , , , , , ,

Email this post

2011 U.S. OPEN WEEKEND UPDATE: The Tsonga, Serena and Young Trains Roll On ... Blake And Stephens Derailed

Monday, September 5, 2011

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France

Jo-Willie Tsonga, the No. 11 seed, imposed his bigger, higher-risk game on Fernando Verdasco and triumphed convincingly in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4, in a marquee matchup of two sluggers known for their aesthetically pleasing, but also bruising, tennis.

The early Saturday evening match was technically the last of the day session, beginning roughly the same time as the Ashe night session, and day ticketholders packed the Grandstand to overflow, with lines stretching around the block to get in.

Surely, though, this will be Tsonga’s last match on Grandstand; next up, in the Round of 16, he plays the red-hot American Mardy Fish.

Serena Williams, USA

Despite her No. 28 seed, Serena came in as the consensus favorite and proved to be just that, dropping only three games in her first two matches against Serbia’s Bojana Jovanovski and the Netherlands’ Michaella Krajicek, respectively. In the third round, the 29-year-old three-time Open champion looked poised to take a fourth, knocking out the No. 4 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, 6-1, 7-6(5) on Saturday.

Next up, Serena will face No. 16 seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, the 2008 French Open champ, who has also breezed through her matches in straight sets. The road from there should only get tougher as five top-10 seeds remain: No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 2 Vera Zvonareva, No. 7 Francesca Schiavone, No. 9 Samantha Stosur and No. 10 Andrea Petkovic.

Donald Young, USA

In front of a boisterous and supportive crowd on Sunday, American Donald Young defeated the No. 24 seed Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career. Young played smart, gritty tennis, matching Chela’s consistent baseline game when he needed to and employing more offensive firepower than his higher-ranked opponent. Young hit 46 winners to Chela’s 19, and converted on five of 10 break point opportunities to take a hard-fought 7-5, 6-4, 6-3 win.

This latest upset for the No. 84-ranked Young continues a roll like no other he's had in the pros. His three wins here equal the number of Grand Slam victories he’s had in his entire career, having won two matches at the 2007 US Open and one match at the 2010 Australian Open. It follows on the heels of his second round win over the No. 14 seed Stanislas Wawrinka, a match that saw Young score the first five-set victory of his career. His ranking had fallen to No. 146 as recently as this past February, but Young came into the Open with the highest ranking he's had since May of 2008, and after this tournament it will climb much higher.

"This is what you work for, this is what you dream of," Young said after his win. "I'm just excited to be able to do this in New York, in my home country's major."

James Blake, USA

Friday was a day of missed opportunities for James Blake. The American, a quarterfinalist here in 2005 and 2006, found himself with a break advantage in both the second and third sets against No. 5 seed David Ferrer, but couldn't quite capitalize in front of a boisterous home crowd.

Ferrer, the Spaniard, broke back in each of the last two sets, winning the match 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 on Grandstand.

It was "The People's Court" to start the afternoon -- or at least seemed that way. Blake, once a top-10 player and a Harvard grad with New York ties, looked primed to capitalize on a maximum-capacity crowd that was loudly in his corner. 

For Blake, it was the first time since 2001 that he hasn't advanced past the second round at the Open. He has continued to climb his way back from a right knee injury this year and at one point was ranked as low as No. 173 in the world. He entered into the Open this year ranked 63rd.

Sloane Stephens, USA

American teenager Sloane Stephens lost in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4 to Serbian Ana Ivanovic on Friday evening. She never really seemed able to find her footing, but did attempt to do so as the match went on. Unfortunately, sufficient response to give herself a fighting chance never materialized.

Post match she said “I was so caught up in being tight and nervous and not really handling the situation well to just freaking out, like, ‘What are you doing?’ ” Stephens said. “I was thinking like a 10-year-old. Everything kind of got to me at the end. I tried to fight it as best I could. But at some point, it catches up to you.”

“My serve is something that I usually can count on, and today it wasn’t there.”

source: usopen.org

Read the rest of this post...........

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Email this post

US Open Series W&S Open: Monfils Advances To Round Of 16... Blake And Tsonga Eliminated

Friday, August 19, 2011

Gael Monfils, France

Frenchman Gael Monfils advanced after defeating German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-2 in his third-round match Thursday evening. He won 84 per cent of his first serve points and broke his opponent four times from six chances.

Monfils will next play Serbia's Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals for a second straight week.

L-R Roger Federer, Switzerland, James Blake, USA

American James Blake had to endure the agony of defeat on Thursday. Former World No. 1 Roger Federer prevailed 6-4 6-1.

Blake, former World No. 4, missed most of 2010 due to injuries, and has played most of 2011 on the pro circuit.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France

Newly minted World No. 10 Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was upset by qualifier Alex Bogommolov on Wednesday. Tsonga, a semi-finalist at Wimbledon, fell to the 28-year-old Florida-based, Moscow-born Bogomolov 6-3 6-4.

Photos by Getty Images

Read the rest of this post...........

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , , , , ,

Email this post

(PHOTOS) Western And Southern Open Kids Day and Kids Casting Call

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kid's Day

Highlighting the day’s Kid’s Day events was the appearance of ’07 Cincinnati finalist James Blake and recent Carlsbad quarterfinalist Sloane Stephens. The American duo played an exhibition match in the Quickstart tennis format. Instead of racquets, however, they were equipped with frying pans.

Kids Casting Call

The 2011 Casting Call was bigger and better, with something for the entire family. Auditions took place on the Fountain Square stage, siblings played on the tennis courts installed right on the square, and parents enjoyed lunch from Skyline under the sun. Kids between the ages of 7 and 12 tried out for a chance to sing in front of thousands at this summer's Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women's Open. These lucky winners will have the special opportunity to sing "America the Beautiful" prior to a session of the 2010 tournaments at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.

Read the rest of this post...........

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , , ,

Email this post

THE END OF WIMBLEDON DAY 2: Photos And Results

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

(L-R) Stephanie Foretz Gacon, France OUT, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France ADVANCED, Serena Williams, USA ADVANCED, James Blake, USA OUT, and Heather Watson , GBR MATCH POSTPONED

Serena Williams, USA (7) defeated Aravane Rezai, FRA
6-3, 3-6, 6-1

"I'm not a crier," said Serena Williams.

 "I didn't expect to have any emotions," she said. "But it was definitely so emotional for me because, you know, throughout the last 12 months I've been through a lot of things that you guys don't even know about. It's just been a long, arduous road. To stand up still is pretty awesome.

"This was probably the most emotional I've gotten after a match. I think my first time, maybe, was when I won the US Open way back in '99. I think I got a little emotional then. But this was Centre Court; defending champion and it's Wimbledon. It doesn't get bigger than this."

"I don't think I played well," she said. "I could have done a lot of things. I had a lot of unforced errors. But it was all about going out there and doing what I could under a lot of pressure."

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, FRA (12)  defeated Go Soeda, JPN
6-3, 77-64, 6-2

James Blake, USA defeated by Marcos Baghdatis, CYP (32)
4-6, 2-6, 77-65, 6-4, 4-6

Asked if he thought this loss signaled the consideration of retirement, Blake responded, "That's going to be a decision that's going to take longer than one match, and I wouldn't want to make it within an hour, two hours, or even a day of a loss, especially because your head isn't where it's supposed to be at that time."

"I've lost over the years, probably, about a couple of hundred matches, and I'd say out of 200, about 198 of them I probably thought I should retire right after those losses.  But I'd come back the next day ready to play and ready to get better. I'm thinking this one will be the same."

Stephanie Foretz Gacon, FRA defeated by Andrea Petkovic, GER (11)
3-6, 4-6

Heather Watson, GBR and her Mom Michelle.

Heather Watson, GBR vs. Mathilde Johansson, FRA
Match postponed until Wednesday - Day 3

Read the rest of this post...........

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Email this post

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.

Read the rest of this post...........

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Email this post

REBUILDING: Former World No. 4 James Blake Playing Challengers

Sunday, May 29, 2011

written by Donald Heath

Photo by Burkhart/Savannah Morning 
James Blake sees only one challenge at a time. His ultimate challenge is to return to the upper echelon of men’s professional tennis.

Winning at the Savannah Challenger helps get him closer to that goal.

Blake made another positive stride Tuesday. He played solidly, wasn’t broken on serve and defeated qualifier Morgan Phillips from Great Britian 6-3, 6-4 in the opening round of the $50,000 tournament at the Franklin Creek Tennis Center at The Landings on Skidaway Island.

“It was a good match to get into (the tournament), and hopefully it’ll be even better (today),” said Blake, who advanced to meet Ricardo Hocevar from Brazil today on Center Court, approximately at 3 p.m.

“I was hoping for a win, so that was all that really matters.”

The former No. 4 player in the world before being set back by a knee injury is using the Challenger series to build his ranking. He won the $75,000 Sarasota Challenger on Sunday and looked to continue his momentum in Savannah. He is currently the 109th-ranked player in the world. He is the No. 8 seed in the 32-player main draw in Savannah.

“(The knee) felt OK,” Blake said. “It was a little tougher moving my feet today. The wind was tough, and it can get a little tricky. It’s important to move your feet.”

A crowd of about 400, the biggest weekday crowd in the three years of the Savannah Challenger, came out to see probably the biggest name from men’s tennis to ever play here.

Blake gave a show in professionalism, playing at relaxed pace and rarely looking flustered on the breezy afternoon with temperatures in the mid-80s.

Blake broke Phillips in the fourth game of the first set and the third game of the second set.

He used crisp ground strokes to keep Phillips off balanced and mixed in big serves and a power game with finesse drop shots.

“I served well, that was good, and that’s one thing that can translate from one court to another,” Blake said. “Otherwise, I need to move my feet better, and if I do that, I think the rest of my game will follow my footwork.”

Phillips admitted being nervous until the fifth game of the match.

“I never played someone in the top 10 so it was a big match for me,” he said. “It took me a little time to realize I didn’t have to be so fine.”

Blake remained in control and even took some time to have a playful interaction with the chair.

After pointing out a ball mark to show a shot “wasn’t even close,” the official came down to check the spot.

“It’s out, but not that far out,” the official said.

Taking a closer look, Blake rethought his original position.

“You’re right, you’re right,” he said, laughing before getting ready to play the next point.

“I give umpires enough of a hard time when they say it’s not even close,” Blake said after the match. “He gave me back what I give to umpires.”

Read the rest of this post...........

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , , , , , ,

Email this post

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.

Read the rest of this post...........

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Email this post

Mixed Bag In Rotterdam: Monfils Sick And Tweeting, Blake Ousted And Tsonga Withdraws

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Black Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils vs. Olivier Rochus 2010 ABN AMRO World Tennis TournamentGael Monfils, France
(Photos by Getty Images)

At the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, fourth-seeded Gael Monfils of France was up half the night prior to round one play feeling ill and took his plight to Twitter where he tweeted his pain. In spite of his ill feelings, he still managed to defeat Belgian Olivier Rochus 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 and advance to the second round.

In the aftermath, speculation arose that Monfils should be wary of giving constant updates as it could be used by gamblers.

In his press conference Monfils stated, "I love to play tennis but I don't think about it much off the court. I'm a 23-year-old person. What we do off court with Twitter or Facebook, it's private life. I don't even know all of the rules of tennis, I just play."

Monfils had six breaks over Rochus in the one hour 43 minutes match setting up a rematch against Dutch player Thiemo de Bakker who previously beat him in a Davis Cup match.

I felt so-so on court," said Monfils, now 4-2 in his third Rotterdam appearance.

"He played well in the first set, I was trying to get into the match. I took more risks to try for the win. I stayed calm and found a solution.

"I certainly didn't feel 100 percent, I tried to train last night but felt a fever. It was a big change from South Africa and 30 Celsius to minus-five here. I'm still sick but I hope to wake up better each day."

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake vs. Marcos Baghdatis 2010 ABN AMRO World Tennis TournamentJames Blake, USA

American James Blake's stay in Rotterdam was cut very short by Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis who defeated Blake in the first round 6-4, 6-2.

Post match Baghdatis stated, "I was really happy with the way I started the match, very solid." "James didn't play the best match, hitting a few more unforced errors than normal but I stayed concentrated, served well and it was enough for the victory so I am very happy. It's hard to play against somebody going for so many winners like James was today, but I moved well and made some great passing shots at important moments."

Black Tennis Pro's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Injury Withdrawal from ABN AMRO World Tennis TournamentJo-Wilfried Tsonga, FRA

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga withdrew from the tournament because of a stomach muscle injury.

Tsonga stated on his website, "The problem started in the fourth round of the Australian Open against Nicolas Almagro."

"It bothered me in the quarter-final against Novak Djokovic and in the semi-final against (eventual winner) Roger Federer. I hope I'll be able to go back to training next week without serving."

Read the rest of this post...........

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , , , ,

Email this post

James Blake Advances In Paris

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

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.

Read the rest of this post...........

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Email this post

Blake And Barker Have Parted, Is It Too Late?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake Coach Change In ShanghaiJames Blake, USA
(Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

American James Blake had a brief glimpse at winning again when he took out Croatia's Ivo Karlovic 3-6, 7-64, 6-3 on Monday in the first round of the Shanghai ATP Masters, but the victory was short lived.

On Wednesday Spaniard Rafael Nadal defeated Blake in three sets 6-2, 6-74, 6-4. And the hits just keep on coming... perhaps not for good though. Blake is now working with former pro and longtime friend American Kelly Jones. Shockers!

After 17 years on the job, American Brian Barker can now contemplate doing something different with his days, as he is no longer coaching Blake. Nevertheless, Blake states that they continue to have a strong relationship and that this parting is on good terms.

"It's not like we're ending our relationship, we're still good friends, which will never change. Right now we both feel like I need to hear some things from a different voice. Kelly's been close to both of us for a long time, and he's a perfect fit for now. If things go well with him, every one's happy. Brian wants nothing but the best for me. If they don't, then I go back to Brian and we know there's a reason I'm back. It was just time to take a little break and see how it goes with someone else.''

Of the change Barker stated, "I told him that the most important thing in his tennis career is to have a clear head and peace of mind for the rest of your life that you did everything you possibly could to get better, maximize your potential and not leave anything on the table. He eventually agreed that was a good idea."

Barker anticipates that Blake will "... hear the same things in a different way. Sometimes when you're not playing your best, the thinking is that you stir the pot. You put your hat on backwards. There are no guarantees, but you need to look at every option."

After mounting more loss in Cincinnati in August, Blake also stated that he and Barker again discussed the possibilities of a change. "We were going through the same things over and over, and I was looking for answers that probably weren't there. It may not have had anything to do with the coaching. Going into the Open, we had both had come to the understanding that we were going to stop, but we didn't want to change anything during or before the Open, being so important. The comfort level between us is very good and will always be very good."

In response to a cry from various persons that he should get rid of Barker, Blake stated, "If they're talking about you that much, you must have earned that pressure that you've gotten. We never let it affect us. I didn't keep him just to spite people. I'm going to do what's best for me. Now I've hit a point where I need to try something a little different. Kelly's a great coach and people he worked with clearly improved when they worked with him.''

Well, we'll see how it goes, I truly hope that this is a change for the better.

Read the rest of this post...........

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , ,

Email this post

Davis Cup And USTA Pro Circuit Tennis Action This Week

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Round 1

Megan Moulton-Levy, USA and Heidi El Tabakh, CAN
Maria-Fernanda Alves, BRA and Riza Zalameda, USA
6-4, 1-6 [10/6]

Quarterfinal Round

Megan Moulton-Levy, USA and Heidi El Tabakh, CAN
defeated by
Abigail Spears, USA and Tian-Tian Sun, CHN
6-2, 3-6 [8-10]

Eliminated during singles qualifying rounds:

Megan Moulton-Levy, USA
Jennifer Elie, USA


Round 1

Donald Young, USA defeated Artur Chernov, RUS
6-4, 6-2

Nicholas Monroe, USA defeated by Antonio Ruis-Rosales, MEX
1-6, 2-6

Round 2

Donald Young, USA defeated by Tigran Martirosyan, ARM
2-6, 6-7(4)


Round 1

Jarmere Jenkins, USA and Ryan Lipman, USA
defeated by
Stephen Bass, USA and Sheeva Parbhu, USA
3-6, 1-6

Eliminated during singles qualifying rounds:

Jarmere Jenkins, USA

Read the rest of this post...........

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Email this post
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Design by Blogger Buster