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

Welcome Tennis Lovers!!

2012 US OPEN: Tsonga Takes Out Beck In Straight Sets, Advances To Second Round

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates advancing to 2012 US Open second round.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga screamed to the blue heavens and pumped his signature double bicep curl, complete with thumbs pointing towards elated eyes as the gallery, solidly behind him, whooped in delight. The charismatic Frenchman completed his first US Open match of 2012 with a dominance fitting his career-best no. 5 seed, ousting Slovakian qualifier Karol Beck 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 (2) to advance to the second round.

"I think I played good tennis the first two sets, and after that I lost a bit concentration at the beginning of the third set," said Tsonga. "Then I came back, and, you know, I did some effort to come back. It was not easy today because the weather was hot. I'm happy to go through this round really quickly."

Tsonga blended a sharp, booming forehand with nifty net play throughout, running Beck around the sunlit Grandstand. The drop shots fell early and often, as Tsonga won the point on 22 of 27 (81 percent) net approaches.

"He was moving really well," said Beck of Tsonga. "It was a tough draw, a tough player for the first round. I was trying to play more to his backhand and I thought it was going well in the third set, but you have to be better than playing your 100-percent best to beat someone like him."

Beck finally broke Tsonga early in the third set, trading service games through 5-4 and Beck serving for the set when Tsonga showed resolve, breaking back. Serving to go up 6-5, he swept all the points, punctuated by a 130 mile-per-hour ace, his thirteenth and final one of the match. Beck held serve and the two went to a tiebreak, where Tsonga finished things quickly, leading to his signature celebratory salute.

Up next for the 27-year-old will be another unranked Slovak, left-handed Martin Klizan, who defeated Colombia’s Alejandro Falla 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 on Monday for his first-ever US Open main draw victory. The two have never met as professionals.

Since Tsonga’s Wimbledon upset of 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, Tsonga’s has placed quarterfinals-or-better in four of five majors, including his longest trek in New York in 2011 where he defeated No. 19 Fernando Verdasco and No. 8 Mardy Fish before losing to Federer in the quarters. Should he reach the same round in 2012, it's likely that Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray will be waiting. The two have had their share of stellar matchups in the Slams, most recently a tough four-setter in July at Wimbledon won by Murray 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

Source: usopen.org
Photos by Getty Images

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

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

Email this post

From The Blog "Sam's Passing Shots": Veteran Sportscaster Sam Crenshaw Discusses "Questions To Be Answered In Atlanta"

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

As the curtain goes up on the BB&T Atlanta Open, the questions that come rushing forward seem too numerous to count..First there is a tournament field that includes the top ranked American Mens players in the world, four of which will head back to the All-England Club for the Olympics in two weeks.

The early commitment from Andy Roddick was big for the image of this event. Roddick won his first career ATP title in Atlanta and remains popular despite a recent drop in rankings. A-Rod is looking to ramp up his game before heading back to England.

Mardy Fish is two-time defending champion of this event, and after dealing with health matters in the Spring, looks to be ready to go for a threepeat. Fish passed on a spot on the Olympic team and is expected to play at Washington instead. Atlanta will be he most talented field he will face until after the Olympics.

Then there is John Isner.The UGA alum and two-time runner up here is coming to town on the heels of a strong showing at Newport. A great week in front of a supportive crowd could give him the boosted he needs headed back to the scene of a disappointing early exit at Wimbledon.

There are still more questions than answers about players like Ryan Harrison. The first time Olympian is coming off a semi-final run at Newport.. Donald Young is bound for London too, but is in the throws of a 13 match losing streak. Perhaps playing before the home crowd will help he regain the form that made him a hit at the US Open last year. The more interesting story coming to the Atlanta tournament for me has to be Brian Baker, who at this time last year was ranked #752 in the world. The one time junior phenom is now an overnight sensation at age 27 and ranked 76 in the world.Look for a few folks to drive down from Music City to see Baker play in Hotlanta.

But the biggest question may be the new venue for Atlanta's ATP event. Atlantic Station is a shopping, entertainment and residential development in the heart of the city. It is an idea that is so fresh and outside of the box that some are wondering how the traditional tennis community will treat it.With over 150 thousand card carrying league tennis players in the metro Atlanta area, this is a city that has long been know for choosing to play rather than watch. Let's see if they will accept and embrace a new approach to professional tennis, not just for Atlanta but for the entire nation. Instead of Tennis Anyone it time to say Tennis Everyone...Enjoy the tournament Ya'll !!!!

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

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

Email this post

NOTE TO MARDY FISH: Calling Umpire Carlos Bernardes "Dumbass" Doesn't Make Your Dumbass Remark Okay!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mardy Fish, USA post-match interview after being knocked out by Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.

Umpire Carlos Bernardes, Brazil
Oooooooh, what was I thinking? You were calling Umpire Carlos Bernardes a "dumbass" because your dumb ass doesn't speak French. Okay then, that makes it alllllll better. NOT!!

During the 2011 U.S. Open day 8 Labor Day match against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga., Mardy Fish took it upon himself to be overheard saying, "I don't speak French dumbass" to whom I thought at the time was Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (still think so).

However, since then, during his post-match interview after being knocked out, U.S. No. 1 Mardy Fish clarified that he was not talking to his opponent Tsonga, but to the umpire, who happened to be Carlos Bernardes of Brazil.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France and Mardy Fish, USA in fifth-set exchange about noises from the crowd

Fish went on to say with a smile and a smirk "I probably shouldn't have said that," as opposed to, I apologize for my dumb ass personal attack Mr. Bernardes.

You know Fish, you're a pretty well perceived guy, I know that I've always liked you and the person you "appear" to be, so since I saw you scratching your groin for half of the match, I'm going to chalk this foolishness up to jock itch and let it ride.

Mindsets about you can be reversed you know - watching and listening Mr. Fish, behave.

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

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , ,

Email this post

2011 U.S. OPEN DAY 8: Serena And Tsonga Into Quarterfinals, And Fortunately Beat The Rain

 Serena Williams, USA

Ana Ivanovic, Serbia
With good friend Spike Lee in attendance cheering her on, three-time US Open champion Serena Williams advanced to the quarterfinals on Monday with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 16 seed Ana Ivanovic on Arthur Ashe Stadium. "I thought she played really well," Williams said of Ivanovic's performance. "I think we could have both played a little bit better 'cause of the conditions. But I think we were just both trying to do our best."

The 13-time major champion, yet to drop a set at the tournament, played a clean match in windy conditions. "It was crazy. I didn't even go for winners at any point," said Williams. "I just tried to get it over because it was so windy. It was like, Wow. It was definitely tough. But you just have to win in all kinds of situations."

Each player started the match off well, with the 28th seeded Williams firing an ace out wide to begin and Ivanovic crushing a cross-court return winner on the second point. But after Williams held, Ivanovic was shaky in her opening service game, hitting two double faults and floating a backhand long to hand the American the break.

The Serbian, however, showed signs of the form that saw her win the French Open and attain the No. 1 ranking in 2008. For a few games, she managed to control her nerves and broke back when trailing 3-1 on her second break point opportunity after Williams netted a backhand. At 30-30 in the following game, Ivanovic unleashed back-to-back first serves to even the set at 3-3.

From there though, Williams took full control of the match. A solid forehand put Williams up 4-3, and she broke the Serbian for a second time after Ivanovic tossed in a double fault. Leading 5-3, 40-15, Williams closed out the set with a strong forehand that the 23-year-old was unable to handle.

The 29-year-old American converted an early break in the second set and maintained her advantage the rest of the way through to notch her third victory in three meetings with the Serbian. Williams was solid in all areas of her game, finishing the match with nine aces, winning 83 percent of her first service points. She also had a positive winners-to-unforced errors ratio of 16 to 12 respectively. While Ivanovic struck 20 winners, she committed 29 unforced errors and also hit eight double faults in the 74-minute defeat.

Williams increased her 2011 undefeated hard-court record to a 16-0 mark, which includes titles at Stanford and Toronto, and advances to her ninth quarterfinal at Flushing Meadows. In the final eight, Williams will take on 17th-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The 20-year-old Russian, a former US Open junior champion, upended No. 7 seed Francesca Schiavone 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 41 minutes.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, USA

Mardy Fish, USA
Mardy Fish’s excellent summer is over.

In a match played in extremely complicated, swirling winds in Arthur Ashe Stadium, the top-ranked American surrendered a two-sets-to-one advantage to the athletic and charismatic Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and finally ran out of steam in five long sets, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. The 3-hour, 45-minute match kept the massive night-session crowd at bay, shut out of Ashe and forced to congregate on the esplanade watching the big screen for more than an hour.

Through three sets, Fish appeared to have the advantage, using a focused and contained game, punctuated by frequent trips to the net to withstand that powerful artillery of the Frenchman. Yet Tsonga kept swinging freely and turned the match around in the fourth set with a crucial service break at 4-4.

Behind tremendous serves that routinely topped 130 mph and forehands that saw Tsonga lift off the ground to pummel the ball, the Frenchman hit through the windy conditions.

“The wind was really hard today,” Tsonga said. “You play against yourself, against your opponent. It’s really difficult.”

This was the first meeting between the two versatile veterans, who are still hoping for that elusive Grand Slam breakthrough. The Frenchman has more big-match experience, having been to the Australian Open final and the semis at Wimbledon.

Tsonga, 26, advanced to his first US Open quarterfinal by crunching 51 winners, including 12 aces. Although not known as a returner, the Frenchman crucially converted on four of six break-point opportunities.

The strong winds may have propelled both players – each of whom is known for his all-court game – toward the net even more than usual. It was an effective ploy for both Tsonga and Fish; together they attacked the net 121 times (with Tsonga winning 63 percent and Fish 69 percent of those points).

Fish began limping noticeably at the end of the fourth, and he was treated on court for a strained knee prior to the start of the final set. Tsonga immediately came out firing and seized the early break after a ricochet net rally that saw Fish push a backhand volley long, followed by a rifled forehand pass.

Tsonga has an excellent record in five-set matches, having now won seven of nine. He has been working with Andre Agassi's former trainer, Gil Reyes, who told him to “trust your legs and make it burn,” Tsonga said.
Appropriately enough on this Labor Day, he did. “Today I make it burn,” he said.

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

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

Email this post

2011 U.S. OPEN SERIES: Serena Williams And Mardy Fish Clinch Series Titles - First Time For American Sweep

Thursday, August 25, 2011

2011 Olympus U.S. Open Series Champions Americans Serena Williams and Mardy Fish.

Serena Williams clinched the 2011 Olympus US Open Series women’s title on Tuesday.  This is the first career Olympus US Open Series title for Williams, who earned 170 points by winning titles at Series events in Stanford and Toronto.

Williams will now compete for the largest payout in tennis history at the 2011 US Open -- $2.8 million ($1.8 million for winning the US Open and a $1 million bonus for winning the US Open and the Olympus US Open Series).  The women’s second and third place finishers in this year’s bonus challenge have yet to be determined, with Agnieszka Radwanksa, Maria Sharapova and Marion Bartoli still in contention.

Top-ranked American Mardy Fish clinched the 2011 Olympus US Open Series men’s title with a 7-5, 7-5, round of 16 win over Richard Gasquet at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Thursday (now that the field for the Winston-Salem Open, the final event of the Series – has been closed). This is the first Olympus US Open Series title for Fish, who finished third in the standings last year. The men’s second and third place finishers in this year’s bonus challenge have yet to be determined.

Fish will now compete for the largest payout in tennis history at the 2011 US Open -- $2.8 million ($1.8 million for winning the US Open and a $1 million bonus for winning the US Open and the Olympus US Open Series).

This year marks the first time in Olympus US Open Series history that Americans have won both the men’s and women’s titles, as Mardy Fish clinched the men’s title last week.  Novak Djokovic has clinched second place, and the third place finisher will be determined at the Winston-Salem Open.  

Fish will also compete for $1 million in bonus prize money at the 2011 US Open. The second and third place finishers on both the men’s and women’s sides will compete for $500,000 and $250,000, respectively.

source: usopen.org

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

Tsonga And Venus Keep It Moving In Miami

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France and Venus Williams, USA
(Photos by Getty Images)

Venus Williams continues to tear up the Sony Ericsson Open WTA Tour, eclipsing sixth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-1 Tuesday to race into the semi-finals of the Sony Ericsson Open. Williams improved to an 18-1 match record on the season, and is closing on her third consecutive title, following earlier victories in Dubai and Acapulco.

In the semi-finals Williams will play 13th seeded Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli.

Despite coming into the Sony Ericsson Open after a month’s layoff, Williams showed that conditioning was not an issue, finding her best form one day after grinding out a tough three-set win over Daniela Hantuchova. In that match she lost eight of the first nine games before fighting back.

“[Today was] a little more straightforward. We had some kind of interesting times in the first set where we traded breaks. Getting through a match like yesterday makes me more confident because it wasn't exactly my best game.

“Today I was kind of eager to clean up my act. We had some really good rallies and really good points, but I just see me keep coming out on top, so of course I like that.”

Williams, at 29 the oldest remaining player in the draw, will next play the winner of former Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli and 12th-seeded Belgian Yanina Wickmayer.

Williams won three Sony Ericsson Open titles (1998, '99 and 2001) in a four-year period as part of a 22-match winning streak that was halted by sister Serena in 2002. Williams, who did not play the tournament in 2000, has not been to the final since her 2001 title run.

Eighth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga needed just 59 minutes to overpower Spanish former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-2, 6-2, as he dropped just four points on his first serve en route to the quarter-finals for the second straight year.

The Frenchman, who fell to Novak Djokovic in the last eight of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tennis tournament last year, broke serve five times and surrendered just four points behind his first serve to record his second victory over the 12th-seeded Ferrero.

The 24-year-old Tsonga, who won his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Paris two years ago, improved to a 14-5 mark on the season, highlighted by semi-final efforts at the Australian Open (l. to Federer) and the Open 13 (l. to Benneteau) in Marseille.

Source: sonyericssonopen.com

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

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

Email this post

Rough Day At The Office In Sydney For Serena

Friday, January 15, 2010

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams and Elena Dementieva Sydney International Final
Serena Williams, USA
(Photos by Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images)

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams and Elena Dementieva Sydney International Final
SYDNEY (AP)—Top-seeded Serena Williams struggled in the Sydney International final Friday, committing 40 unforced errors in a 6-3, 6-2 loss to fifth-seeded Elena Dementieva of Russia.

Williams also appeared to hurt her left knee during the match but later downplayed any suggestion of an injury. She said she still plans to play singles and doubles with her sister, Venus, at the Australian Open next week.

“I think she played well,” Serena Williams said, “I made about a thousand and two unforced errors … it’s better now than later, I guess.”

When asked about her left leg, which she appeared to favor during the match, she said: “I was struggling a little bit, but, you know, I hate to make any excuse. I think she definitely deserves all the credit for what she did.”

Williams said she felt great heading into the season’s first major, where she is the defending champion.

“I feel like I have more than enough matches under my belt,” she said. “I feel like I’m really ready and fit. Even though I didn’t play great today, I feel like I can play much better.”

Earlier, former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis advanced to the final with a 6-4, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (5) victory over Mardy Fish of the U.S. Baghdatis will play Richard Gasquet, who beat French compatriot Julien Benneteau 6-3, 7-5.

The 28-year-old Dementieva became the first woman to defend her Sydney title since Martina Hingis in 2001-2002.

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams and Elena Dementieva Sydney International Final
Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams and Elena Dementieva Sydney International Final

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

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

Email this post

U.S. Davis Cup: Fish Replaces Injured Roddick, Blake Ready To Rebound After 1st Round Wimbledon Loss

Thursday, July 9, 2009

James Blake, USA Davis Cup Press Conference
(Photos by Getty Images)

POREC, Croatia – Now that the sting of losing Davis Cup stalwart Andy Roddick is out of the way, the United States has re-grouped, come together as a team and begun its preparations to play in the 2009 Davis Cup Quarterfinals against Croatia.

The match-up took a dramatic turn on Monday when Roddick was replaced by Mardy Fish in the U.S. lineup. Roddick suffered an injured right hip flexor during his five-set loss to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon men’s singles final.

Fish, who had just returned home from England to Tampa, Fla., following the Wimbledon doubles semifinals with partner James Blake, received the news late on Sunday from U.S. Captain Patrick McEnroe that he was needed to play against Croatia.

“We are certainly disappointed that Roddick could not come to play,” said McEnroe at the team press conference on Tuesday. “He’s been a Davis Cup stalwart for many, many years, so we’ll miss him. We are certainly very happy and confident with the team that we have that we have a good chance to get a win this week.”

Last year, playing in his first Davis Cup match since the 2004 final, Fish filled in for an injured Bob Bryan and partnered with Mike Bryan to win the doubles, keeping the U.S. alive against Spain in the 2008 semifinals.

“Part of Davis Cup is being able to have other players step in,” said McEnroe. “That is what Croatia is doing in some way, and we’re doing the same. We have guys that have a lot of experience and have played a lot of big matches for us in Davis Cup.

“It is a great opportunity for these guys to do it without Andy. It’s a big challenge for us, but we’re excited about the challenge. We’re all a team. Everyone is going to pull their weight. They’re going to have to pull a little more weight this time.”

The 2009 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas quarterfinal tie between the United States and Croatia will take place from Friday, July 10, to Sunday, July 12, in Porec, Croatia, at the Zatika Sports Hall on a temporary indoor clay court.

Croatia is 2-0 against the United States in Davis Cup, making it the only country that the United States has not beaten and also the only country to have a winning record against the U.S. Davis Cup team.

Roddick had played in 18 consecutive Davis Cup matches, tied for the second longest streak in U.S. Davis Cup history with current teammate Mike Bryan.

“Andy has had a very tough recovery from Wimbledon,” said McEnroe. “He injured his right hip flexor a little bit during the match. He is pretty spent physically and emotionally.”

Coincidentally, the only other tie Roddick has missed since joining the U.S. Davis Cup team was the 2003 first round at Croatia after suffering a wrist injury during his epic five-set win over Younes El Aynaoui en route to the Australian Open semifinals.

Without Roddick, the U.S. will look to Blake to fill in as its No. 1 singles player. In a recent playing slump, including a first-round loss at Wimbledon, Blake is looking to rebound against the Croatians and carry that momentum into the Olympus US Open Series and US Open.

“I feel good about it now,” said the 17th-ranked Blake. “I put that first-round loss way behind me. Luckily I have had a couple of weeks to distance myself from that. Hopefully here will get me going on the right track going into the summer.”

Also missing one of their key players, former top 10-ranked player Mario Ancic, the Croatians will be led by Marin Cilic and Ivo Karlovic, both coming off excellent performances at Wimbledon.

“Mario Ancic is not here, and he is very important for us as a team leader,” said Croatian Captain Goran Prpic. “We will try as much as possible to take advantage of Roddick not being here, but I don't agree that we are favorites right now. It seems that many people now think we only have to walk on the court, and that's it. It is an open tie. We have quality, there's no doubt about it, but so does the U.S. team. We can win all four singles matches, and we can lose all four."

“Croatia has a great team,” said McEnroe. “(Marin) Cilic and (Ivo) Karlovic are very, very good players. Obviously, them playing at home, the home team always has a slight advantage. But we have a lot of experience playing Davis Cup and playing against their players. I think it is a pretty even match.”

Blake is a career 2-3 against Karlovic and 2-0 against Cilic. Fish lost to Cilic in the 2008 Pilot Pen Tennis final, their only meeting, and is a career 1-4 against Karlovic.

The order of play will be determined on Thursday at the draw ceremony, scheduled to be held at 1 p.m. local time at the Istrian Council House in Porec.

The weekend schedule consists of two singles matches on Friday (10 a.m. ET), the doubles match on Saturday (9:30 a.m. ET), and two reverse singles matches on Sunday (10 a.m. ET).

Tennis Channel will air live daily coverage of Friday’s and Sunday’s singles matches at 10 a.m. ET. Saturday’s doubles match will air live at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Tennis Channel will continue its Davis Cup primetime tradition and rebroadcast matches nightly at 8 p.m. ET.

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

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

Email this post

No Bryan, Bryan, Blake and Fish Doubles Final - Blake And Fish Beaten In Semi

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake and Mardy Fish Wimbledon DoublesAmericans Mardy Fish and James Blake Wimbledon Doubles Semifinal

Awwww man! I was really hoping that the all-American final vibe would also translate to the men's doubles with Bob and Mike Bryan vs. Mardy Fish and James Blake. Unfortunately Canadian Daniel Nestor and Serb Nenad Zimonjic had other plans.

I thought that it was over when Nestor and Zimonjic lost the first two sets to Blake and Fish. However, as the night began to fall, Nestor and Zimonjic held strong through the next three sets and defeated Blake and Fish 5-7, 3-6, 6-2, 77-63, 10-8.

Nice run though!

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake and Mardy Fish Wimbledon Doubles

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

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , , ,

Email this post

James Blake, Andre Agassi, Mardy Fish And Others Help Andy Roddick Celebrate His Nuptials

Sunday, April 19, 2009

(l-r) James Blake, Andy Roddick, Justin Gimelstob and Mardy Fish attend Andy Roddicks Wedding.

ATP World Tour No. 6 Andy Roddick became the second Top 10 player inside a week to tie the knot as he and fiancée, Brooklyn Decker, exchanged vows in a candlelit ceremony before close family and friends in Austin, Texas on Friday.

Last Saturday, World No. 2 Roger Federer wed his long-time girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec in his hometown of Basel.

Roddick and Decker were joined in their celebration by former and current American players, Andre Agassi – with wife Steffi Graf - , Justin Gimelstob, James Blake and Mardy Fish, while Sir Elton John – a good friend of Roddick and Agassi - flew in from Las Vegas to perform for the wedding party.

Photos by ATP

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

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , , , ,

Email this post

Bryan, Bryan, Blake and Fish - Sounds Like A Law Firm

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, James Blake and Mardy Fish Houston Men's Clay Court Doubles
No, not a law firm, but a significant doubles match between four Americans.

Top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan survived a match tie-break against close friends James Blake and Mardy Fish before advancing Friday night to the final of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships in Houston. The Bryans rallied from a break down in the second set to force a tie-break, but ultimately had to go the distance to close out a 5-7, 7-6(5), 10-4 win after saving six of seven break points.

The Bryans improved to a 25-3 match record on the year and now are one win away from their fourth title of the year and their second title in Houston (2007).

The twins improved to 3-0 lifetime against their countrymen and now will play the first all-American doubles final in Houston since 2004 against Jesse Levine and Ryan Sweeting, who defeated Australians Ashley Fisher and Jordan Kerr 3-6, 6-3, 10-4.

Photo by Aaron M. Sprecher/ROCC

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

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

Email this post

James Blake And Mardy Fish Begin Houston Doubles With A Win

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake and Mardy Fish Houston Clay Court Championships
Past champions James Blake and Mardy Fish rallied to defeat wild card duo Amer Delic and Robert Kendrick 4-6, 6-4, 10-7 in an all-American first round match Monday at the US Men’s Clay Court Championship, an ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament.

Blake and Fish clinched the Houston title on their team’s event debut in 2004 (d. Leach-MacPhie), and were also semi-finalists in ’06. The two are playing together for the second time this year; they reached the semi-finals in February at San Jose, but withdrew prior to the match due to Blake’s right ankle injury.

Photo by Stephen Pinchback/ROCC

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

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , ,

Email this post

Blake Blogs

Saturday, March 14, 2009

March 16, 2009 - James Blake

Hello once again. I hope everyone is doing well. It’s been a very good tournament so far. The crowds have been amazing and the weather has been great.

I managed to get through my first match even though I lost the second set. It was nice and warm during the day, but I played the second match of the evening session and it was a cool night, which made the conditions a little bit slower. I was happy to win and now I can focus on my next match.

When you play on the tour, there are no easy matches, no matter who you play. Sometimes you might see a score of a match that may look like an easy win, but I’ll tell you with the depth in men’s professional tennis these days, there are no easy wins and every match is tough.

In my first blog earlier this week, I mentioned that this tournament will always be special for me because I reached the final here in 2006, but there is something that happened in nearby Rancho Mirage at the beginning of my pro career that was also very special.

It was back in 2000, the year after I turned pro, when I came to the desert to play in a USTA Challenger at the Mission Hills Country Club. The week before, I had lost to Andy (Roddick) in the second round at a Challenger in Burbank, but in Rancho Mirage everything started to click.

I beat Bob Bryan in the first round and I went on to reach the finals, where I beat Cecil Mamiit to win the tournament. It was the second Challenger title of my career. I remember getting the winners’ check for $3,600, but the important thing was the confidence it gave me. It was a really good feeling I had knowing that I could compete on the tour with those guys.

One interesting thing I remember from that tournament was that Bob (Bryan) was debating just concentrating more on doubles. I have to smile knowing I may have had something to do with him and his brother becoming one of the best doubles teams of all-time.

For sports fans, this is an awesome time of the year. Besides all of the tennis going on, there is the upcoming NCAA men’s basketball tournament. I always get together with friends and fill out tournament brackets.

If you didn’t already know, I’m a big North Carolina Tar Heels fan and I’m pretty happy they got the top seed in the South region. I hope they go all the way this year.

Besides following the basketball tournament, I’ll be following major league baseball as soon as the season starts. I’m also a big Mets fan and I hope new relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez will help the Mets into the playoffs this year.

My coach is telling me it’s time to hit the practice courts, so I’ll say good-bye for now.

All the best.


March 14, 2009 - James Blake

Greetings from Indian Wells everyone.

The good folks at the tournament here have asked me to put together a short blog this week, so I was more than happy to do it.

I love coming to Indian Wells at this time of the year when the weather is nearly perfect for playing tennis. For the most part, I play well here and I have a lot of good memories from the tournament.

In 2006 I had a “dream” tournament when I won five straight matches to get to the finals. It would have been great to win that last match and take the title, but Roger (Federer) was just too tough that day.

I’ve already noticed that this year’s tournament has a little bit of a different feel here because it has a new sponsor, BNP Paribas. I’m familiar with them because they sponsor Davis Cup and they’re a pretty big tennis sponsor in Europe.

The other day I happened to check out the men’s qualifying draw which was played this last Tuesday and Wednesday. I was happy to see guys like Kevin Kim, Robert Kendrick, Todd Widom, Michael Russell and Brendan Evans get to the main draw.

These guys spend a lot of time on the USTA challenger circuit during the year and they work hard, so it’s nice to see them win a couple of matches and get into the main draw of a big tournament like the BNP Paribas Open.

Sometimes as an American tennis player, you hear fans ask, “What’s wrong with American tennis?” If you look at the first round of the main draw, you’ll notice quite a few Americans won first-round matches including Kendrick, Widom and Russell. I was also happy to see Taylor Dent come through with a win. He’s been training hard during his comeback.

When I got here, someone asked me if I had brought my golf clubs with me. I actually didn’t this year, but who knows maybe if I have a chance later, I’ll get out on the greens.

Speaking of golf, I’ll never forget the time a couple of years ago when I went golfing at the Dunes at the La Quinta Resort here with my coach Brian Barker, Mardy Fish and Scott Humphries.

We were on the seventh hole, which is 202-yards and a par three. I used a four iron and I drove the ball, but didn’t see it drop because it rolled behind a little hill. When we got closer to the hole, I didn’t see any balls down there and then I started thinking it might have gone in.

Sure enough, it was a hole-in-one. To tell you the truth, I was excited, but it wasn’t my first one. I actually hit one about four months earlier back home in Florida.

I just found out that I’ll be playing Jarkko Nieminen of Finland in the featured match on Saturday night on Stadium Court. I’ve beaten him in all five of our previous head-to-head matches, but four of the five matches have gone to three sets. He’s a dangerous player and I certainly won’t look past this match.

If you’re at the tournament in Indian Wells, I hope you have a good time at the BNP Paribas Open. There is going to be some great tennis during the two weeks.

Until next time.


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

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

Email this post

Serena, Blake And Monfils Into Semifinals, Tsonga Knocked Out

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams GDF SuezPARIS (AP) — Top-ranked Serena Williams defeated Emilie Loit 6-4, 6-1 to set up a semifinal with Elena Dementieva for the third straight tournament at the Open GDF Suez on Friday.

Loit, only the second qualifier in tournament history to make the quarterfinals, broke Williams when she was serving for the first set at 5-3. Williams threw her racket on the ground but broke right back and cruised the rest of the way.

"Definitely a tricky match," said Williams, the Australian Open champion. "Definitely good to get through, you know? I don't play too many lefties.

"I definitely don't feel at my best," Williams added, "but I feel like I'm getting there."

Dementieva gave Williams her only loss of the year in the Sydney semifinals, but Williams avenged that in the Australian Open semifinals en route to her 10th Grand Slam singles title.

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake SAP Open Sam QuerreySAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — James Blake beat fellow American Sam Querrey 7-6 (9), 6-3 on Friday to advance to the semifinals of the SAP Open, setting up an intriguing meeting with doubles teammate Mardy Fish.

Blake hung on to win despite rolling his ankle with two points to go. He reached the semis shortly after Fish, his close friend and teammate, beat Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 6-4, upsetting the world's seventh-ranked player.

After Fish and Blake meet in a semifinal match Saturday afternoon, they'll team up for a doubles match late that night. They won the doubles title at San Jose in 2004, and both say their games improve when they're working together.

"There won't be any hard feelings," Blake said with a grin. "There better not be any hard feelings, or there might be a serve to the back of the head. ... Hopefully, we can go out to dinner tonight, play each other tomorrow, and then go out to dinner again."

Black Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils ABN AMRON Tournament Julien BenneteauFrenchman Gael Monfils defeated fellow Frenchman Julien Benneteau 7-6(4), 6-1 in an all-French quarter-final at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Next up for Monfils is World No. 1 Rafael Nadal. Monfils handed Nadal his only loss thus far of the 2009 ATP World Tour tennis season, posting a quarter-final win at the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament in Doha in the first week of the year. The Spaniard had won their first three meetings in straight sets.

Black Tennis Pro's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ABN AMRON Tournament Rafael NadalAlthough Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga hit 26 aces, that's right count 'em 26 at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, he was still not able to topple Spaniard Rafael Nadal. Tsonga was defeated 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4.

Photos by AP/Getty Images

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

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

Email this post

James And Thomas Blake Groomsmen At Mardy Fish Wedding

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Black Tennis Pro's James and Thomas Blake at Mardy Fish WeddingJames Blake serving as groomsman.

Black Tennis Pro's James and Thomas Blake at Mardy Fish WeddingAmerican tennis player Mardy Fish married fiancée Stacey Gardner on Sunday, September 28, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills before 150 wedding guests.

Black Tennis Pro's James and Thomas Blake at Mardy Fish WeddingThomas Blake serving as groomsman

Source People Magazine

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

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , ,

Email this post

Bryan And Fish Stop The USA Bleeding At Davis Cup

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Black Tennis Pro's USA Davis Cup Doubles SemifinalAmericans Mike Bryan and Mardy Fish kept the defending champions’ hopes alive, defeating Spain’s Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 6-4, 63 4-6, 6-4, spoiling Lopez’s 27th birthday celebrations and Spain’s dream of a 3-0 sweep in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Semifinals. Bryan, playing Davis Cup doubles without twin brother Bob for the first time, and close friend Fish made a strong pair but their opponents also played a tough match.

“The key to this match was us bonding,” said Fish. “We’ve been great friends for years and you play your best tennis when you are having fun. I admire the way Mardy played today,” added Bryan. “It was tough to read Feliciano’s serve. It was a hard fought battle. We took our chances when we got them but it took a little while to get going.”

“It was very close. The toughest thing was to come back from two sets to one down and a break,” said Lopez. “With a bit more luck we could have won. The crowd helped us a lot in the fourth set.”

Good Start For Spain

Madrid’s Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas was rocking with nearly 21,000 fans, most hoping to see Lopez and Verdasco win the third point for Spain and propel their country into the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final for a sixth time. Lopez was treated to a chorus of “Happy Birthday” by the fans who were clearly in a celebratory mood but a smaller but no less noisy contingent of American fans also had their dreams of an American comeback.

The Spanish were on fire in the first set, serving better than the Americans and making only two unforced errors compared to 10 and converting the first break point opportunity in the seventh game on Bryan’s serve. Lopez served for the set, poaching a volley from Verdasco to seal the opener for Spain.

There were many celebrities on hand at Las Ventas including former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, who earlier in the day received a Davis Cup replica trophy from ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti, to LA Laker Pau Gasol, a friend of Rafa Nadal’s. The iconic bullring was clearly the place to be this weekend and the excitement levels were very high.

Bryan And Fish Find A Way Through

The Americans started more confidently in the second set, making fewer errors and generally looking stronger while the Spanish pair made a few more errors to give the USA an opening and on their first break point of the match, Fish hit a stunning forehand volley to win the second set 64.

In the third set, the Americans really began to gel, playing solid tennis and making the Spanish work for every point. The Spanish were able to save two break points on the Verdasco serve at 4-5 but, on the third, Lopez hit a return just wide but Bryan hit it anyway, a winner down the line to finish the point. Fish held serve to give the Americans a two-sets to one lead.The traditional Bryan bump was adapted to a sort of Mardy/Mike twist bump that made its first outing in this set, never to be seen again.

Grabbing the momentum with both hands, the Americans broke Lopez in the first game to take a 1-0 lead but they were not able to hold on, with the Spanish breaking Mike Bryan in the eighth game to get back on serve. At 4-5, Fish served to stay in the set, saving five break points before the Spanish were able to capitalise and level the match at two-sets all.

Vital Break For USA

Verdasco served first to open the set, saving three break points and squandering two game points before a Lopez winner gave the Spanish a 1-0 lead in the set. The set went with serve until it was Verdasco’s turn again and he was broken to give the Americans the lead. Fish struggled on his serve but held on for 4-2 then Lopez held serve easily for 4-3. Bryan held serve for 5-3 and then Verdasco, who had struggled in his last two service games, needed to hold serve if Spain were to have a chance of victory in today’s doubles. If he was nervous, the Spaniard didn’t show it and forced Fish to serve for the match at 5-4. The American had a comfortable service game, converting the first match point to win the match and keep American hopes alive.

“It means the world to me,” added Fish who played on the losing side in the 2004 Final against Spain in Seville. “Davis Cup is a huge thing. I’ve been waiting four years for this.”

“Nobody can say that our players don’t play their guts out when they are playing for their country,” said US captain Patrick McEnroe. “This is a big shot of adrenalin going into Sunday. We lost two heartbreakers yesterday, won a close one today against a great team. We will take our chances, play aggressively when we can and see what happens.”

Nadal Vs. Roddick Tomorrow

Celebrations on the American bench and the prospect of a Nadal-Roddick opener tomorrow tantalised the crowd at Las Ventas who are excited about another day of live tennis. All three of the matches played so far have registered just over 3 hrs. 15 minutes on the Rolex clocks on court and tomorrow’s could also be a long one with the Madrid altitude helping a big server like Roddick, even against a player with the clay court prowess of Nadal.

Asked if he was worried about the crowd tomorrow, McEnroe said: “Rafael Nadal worries me a lot, more than the crowd. He’s the best clay court player in the world. Andy played a tough match against David Ferrer. He got a bit frustrated, losing his serve at 6-6 in the fifth. He’s a competitor who wants to win. I’m not worried. Andy knows what he has to do. He has been in this position before.”

“The crowd behaved well. We can’t complain. This is normal in Davis Cup,” said Spanish captain Emilio Sanchez. “If I were Andy Roddick, I would be concentrating on facing Nadal. If he is worried about the crowd, he won’t be playing his best tennis.”

Photo Paul Zimmer

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

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

Email this post

First Blake, Now Bob Bryan...USA Davis Cup Team Going Through Changes

Friday, September 19, 2008

Black Tennis Pro's 2008 Davis Cup Semifinal TeamMadrid, SPAIN – After losing the services of No. 2 singles player James Blake last week, the U.S. Davis Cup team has been thrown another obstacle in its quest to repeat as champion.

Bob Bryan, the hard-serving, left-handed compliment to twin brother Mike, withdrew from the 2008 Davis Cup World Group Semifinal on Tuesday, citing a left shoulder injury. He had hoped a cortisone shot would allow him to play in the important tie but was told by doctors to shut down all tennis activity for several weeks.

“His shoulder has been bothering him since Wimbledon,” said Mike Bryan. “With the long summer, he was taking anti-inflammatory medicine. After the Open, he was pretty sore. I’m not a doctor, but I think it’s fairly serious. He’s going to take a few weeks off and then start rehabbing in Florida.”

Virtually inseparable over the years, the Bryans have played every doubles match together as professionals since a brief hiatus in 2002, beginning at a tournament in Long Island, N.Y., when Bob was still playing in singles qualifying matches. For the record, Mike Bryan was a career 13-2 in doubles without his twin.

“There might be some things that these guys do better than Bob. They could return a little bit better,” said Mike as the team erupted in laughter. “It’s a good experience to step away from Bob and find my own identity.”

On the heels of capturing their second US Open title, the world’s top-ranked doubles team has excelled over the years on Davis Cup Saturdays, compiling a sterling 14-2 record.

A central piece in their remarkable run to the 2007 title, the Americans knew that they could count on a point from their doubles team. Now, suddenly, that point is in jeopardy.

“Spain was always the favorite, so we don’t look at that as making any big difference,” said U.S. Captain Patrick McEnroe.

“The time is coming for us to get a couple of young guys into the mix. Obviously, this is a difficult match, we’re all well aware of that. But at the same time, I think it’s a great opportunity for us to come out and play with the kind of enthusiasm that these guys have always had for Davis Cup. In no way do we look at this as a setback but as an opportunity for these guys to show what they can do.”

An able replacement for Blake, Sam Querrey has seen his ranking spike in the past year and recently took a set off Nadal at the US Open. Twice a practice partner, how much can be reasonably expected from the Davis Cup rookie in his big debut?

“Well, let’s see… He’s playing in his first Davis Cup tie, against Spain away, against arguably the greatest clay-court player of all time, so he better win,” smirked McEnroe.

“Sam has come a long way in the past year and has earned the opportunity to play. He’s going to get a lot out of this experience.”

Drawing from a suddenly deep pool of players, McEnroe quickly filled Bryan’s vacancy with steady veteran and close team friend Mardy Fish. An in-form player on the heels of a career-best quarterfinal result at the US Open, Fish can play either singles or doubles. In 2004, Fish was a member of the U.S. team that fell to Spain before a record crowd.

“I had a couple of days to put it all together,” said Fish, who was asked to join the team last Friday after Bob Bryan was declared unfit to play. With his wedding to “Deal or No Deal” model Stacey Gardner in just three weeks time, Fish was able to squeeze in the trip.

“I’m not planning it – I just have to show up,” said Fish. “I helped with the time and the date and the place, and that’s it.”

Bryan and Fish have practiced together over the last few days and are likely to get the nod against Spain’s Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco.

Entering the series as prohibitive favorites, Spain has retained its imposing four-man unit, headlined by top-ranked Rafael Nadal, along with rugged top-5 talent David Ferrer, Lopez and Verdasco.

Four-time defending French Open champion Nadal was given extra time to rest by Captain Emilio Sanchez and will be a heavy favorite on slow, red clay, a surface he has dominated.

The best-of-five World Group Semifinal series is expected to attract over 21,000 fans daily at the Plaza de Toros Las Ventas in the heart of downtown Madrid.

Reminiscent of the final in Seville four years ago, the Americans’ task is daunting, staring down not only the best clay-court player in the world but a partisan and raucous crowd, encircling them in an intimating bullfighting ring.

“I think it’s pretty awesome,” said McEnroe. “When you walk in, it’s not your traditional tennis venue, but I think it’ll make for a great weekend. I think the guys are really excited about being here and playing in such a unique environment.

Spain’s No. 1 singles player arrived in Madrid on Sunday and has declared himself fit, following a torrid recent stretch that included a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics and a semifinal result at the US Open.

Versus and Tennis Channel will air same-day coverage of all three days of competition. Versus will broadcast each day at 12 noon ET. Tennis Channel will re-air coverage at 8 p.m. ET.

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

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

Email this post

Blake Gives Fish The Perfect Wedding Gift

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Black Tennis Pro's U.S. Open Blake vs. FishWell, at least you can't say that American James Blake gives rotten gifts. What is a more gift for a professional tennis player friend than a ticket to the fourth round of a grand slam tournament...not much.

American Mardy Fish beat Blake 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) in the Arthur Ashe Stadium at the U.S. Open on Saturday. The good friends played until nearly midnight.

Post match Blake said, ``it's a tough feeling out there when you're the favorite, and you're expected, and you're not playing your best tennis, and can't summon your best tennis. There are some days you go out there and you feel like you can't quite string the points together that you need to, and can't make enough first serves and things don't seem to be going your way.''

Blake didn't try to cop out with the fact that he had just played in the Beijing Olympics. ``It wasn't Beijing, I don't think. It was Mardy playing some of his best tennis.''

Whatever the reason for his loss, he'll get to eat a good meal at the expense of Fish. Prior to the match Blake said that the winner had to buy the loser dinner, I don't think that Fish will mind forking up the cost of this meal.

Photos AP/Kathy Willens

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

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , ,

Email this post

It's A Kick Ass Kinda Saturday!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Frenchman Gael Monfils brought the pain to Spaniard David Nalbandian at the U.S. Open today, defeating him 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Monfils was quite the athlete out there today running down pretty much anything that Nalbandian could send back across the net.

Alternatively, Nalbandian was open to taking a swipe at anything within three feet of him, but he wasn't the least bit interested in running much of anything else down.

To celebrate his victory Monfils did a very happy, happy dance. It must be in the French water, because Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was doing a victorious happy dance yesterday.

The best part of the happy dance was sportscaster Ian Eagle's remarks at the end of the broadcast. He said "...Gael Monfils, bringing the 'funkadelic'..." What the hell does that mean? Either he knows something that I don't, or he is woefully un-hip. Perhaps this is one of those cultural differences, whatever it is it's funny. For all of you unenlightened cats and kittens, Funkadelic was a group, not a dance or style (even though they definitely had their own). Remember Parliament/Funkadelic "Tear The Roof Off The Sucka?" That's my knowledge of Funkadelic. I don't know what he was talking about. He probably heard that word somewhere and has just been dying to use it.

Monfils awaits the American winner of the Pre-Wedding Buddy Match that will be played tonight, i.e. James Blake or Mardy Fish.

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

Posted by Shelia
Labels: , , , ,

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

Design by Blogger Buster