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2012 US OPEN: Venus Williams Easily Advances To Second Round

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Venus Williams, USA waves to the crowd after defeating fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

It was a slow start for Venus Williams on Arthur Ashe stadium Tuesday afternoon, but once the two-time champion found her groove, there was no stopping her.

Unseeded here for just the third time in 14 appearances, the elder Williams advanced to the second round with a decisive 6-3, 6-1 win over fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Williams fell down early to Mattek-Sands after holding game points in the first game, losing that and the second to trail 2-0. The 31-year-old then kicked into high gear, at one point rolling off 12 straight points to help her build a 5-2 lead.

Serving for the first set at 5-3, Williams belted three straight aces to lead 40-love, and then closed the set off with a service winner to complete it in just 29 minutes.

It wasn’t much different in the second—sans a slow start—for Venus. She broke to begin the set and continued with deep, penetrating groundstrokes to go up 4-1, her serve cooperating well but giving Mattek-Sands plenty of trouble.

Mattek-Sands called for the trainer at 4-1 down in the second, but it only seemed to be delaying the inevitable. Williams won the next two games with ease, closing out the match in just 62 minutes.

Williams had won all three of their previous encounters, including here three years ago in the second round. Mattek-Sands, once ranked as high as No. 30, needed a wildcard to get into the Open after a series of injuries had dropped her ranking to No. 212 this year.

Venus improved her record in the first round of Slams to 53-4, having lost in the opening round of Wimbledon against Elena Vesnina just two months ago. But she has appeared rejuvinated this summer, getting to the third round at the Olympics and then making a run to the semifinals at Cincinnati, losing to eventual champion Li Na.

Two years ago Venus made an inspiring run to the semifinals here, losing in dramatic fashion to Kim Clijsters, the eventual winner. In the second round Venus will face Angelique Kerber, the German who took her out at the Olympics in two tiebreak sets and was a surprise semifinalist here a year ago.

Source: usopen.org
Photos by: Getty Images

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2012 OLYMPICS: NEXT! Serena Frustrates Zvonareva As She Blazes Past Her Into Quarterfinals

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

American Serena quickly dispatches Russian Vera Zvonareva on Day 5 of 2012 Olympics

LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: Serena Williams needed just 51 minutes to crush Russia’s Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-0 in the opening match on Centre Court and march on to the Olympic quarterfinals.

The five-time Wimbledon champion, who is seeking her first Olympic singles gold medal, totally dominated the match, breaking Zvonareva three times in both sets. Zvonareva, the Beijing bronze medallist, only managed to win seven points on Williams’s serve.

The match was a repeat of the pair’s 2010 Wimbledon final, but the result was even more devastating for Zvonareva. Then, Williams won 6-3, 6-2; today the Russian failed to get on the scoreboard after the third game. The Russian’s three-set defeat of Williams on grass at Eastbourne last year must have given her hope, but the nature of the American’s victory here proves again how much she saves her best for the big stage.

Williams broke Zvonareva’s serve in the opening game of the match and that set the tone for what followed. The Russian won her solitary game to get to 1-2, but after that it was all one-way traffic. Williams was too powerful, too consistent, and too accurate while her opponent struggled with her first serve. The American sealed the set with a forehand winner after just 25 minutes.

Zvonareva had chances in the second set but just couldn’t capitalise. She had two break points in the opening game but Williams held firm, winning the game with an ace. After that there were no more chances for the hapless Russian as her opponent raced away with the match.

Trailing 0-3, Zvonareva threw her racket to the ground in frustration, and even the non-Russian fans in the crowd did what they could to encourage her. Down 0-30 on her serve again in the last game, they gave her a spontaneous round of applause, but it failed to lift her and Williams got her first match point with a stunning service return. Zvonareva’s backhand found the net a point later and the American had won the match and handed her opponent the ignominy of a second set ‘bagel’.

Williams has yet to lose a set in three matches played in her quest to become Olympic champion and she looks in ominous form. She will meet either Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki or Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova in the quarterfinals.

source: itf.com

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ATLANTA OPEN: Wildcard Steve Johnson Takes Out Donald Young In First Round

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

American Donald Young

American Donald Young has not fared too well in the first round of his last two tournaments.

Last week we saw the twenty-two-year old get knocked out of the first round of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships by fellow American Michael Russell 1-6, 6-1, 6-4.

American Steve Johnson

On Monday night at The BB&T Atlanta Open, wildcard Steve Johnson was also able to send Young packing in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Young, who is currently ranked 58th in the world, will join the USA Olympic team in London next week.

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Venus Blogs Final Entries From Acapulco

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams' Acapulco Blog
Tonight was a battle. And I played a very worthy opponent. I had never heard of her before, but it was intense. I was having a hard time adjusting to the clay from the hard, and the courts here are playing very particular too, and then there was her game... It was one of those matches I'll be talking about for a while.

The crowd was extremely supportive. I've never had that support - EVER. Not even at Fed Cup or the Olympics. It was insane. I couldn't believe it. It was so nice! I find wherever I play, people root for the underdog, hoping that player will come up with something special. Maybe this time I was the underdog? She was a true clay courter and I was forced to adjust. When you're one game away from losing you have to find something... I got a game, then another, and finally when it was 5-3, I felt I had momentum. I started playing more aggressively from there.

These kinds of matches are fun (especially when you win them!)

Earlier, I forced myself to go to sleep. I knew it would help me in the match. So I slept. No multitasking, no brochure editing... Although I did wake up first thing in the morning to finish editing some marketing materials. Who knows, tomorrow I may crack open a book... but no one can be sure ;) The Make A Wish event raised $10,000 - which is very exciting! There are three big galas we do in my area in the year and this was one of them. I wish I could have been there...

Well... it's Friday and my mom hasn't made it. I doubt she'll come. She won't rush to another final. Maybe she's just relaxing at home...

One last thing... I want to say a huge thank you to all of my Mexican fans for tonight. I've never, ever felt that before. It was wonderful. Hopefully I never find myself down 1-5 in the third set - but if I do, I hope it happens in Mexico :)


How do you feel about this tournament? Evelyn

I've had some good wins here. I don't know why I play so well here. Last year and this year... even when I'm not playing my best, I've found a way to win the match. I'm going to have to channel this determination at the French! Crazy... I guess I'll have to make this a regular stop. I should have played here before last year. Now I know. I'll have to keep coming back.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams' Acapulco Blog
Hi everyone. How are you?

Tonight I played another tough player who was on her game. Very impressive. After I lost the second set, I knew I had to make a few more shots. Missing doesn't really help my cause! She played really well though, I have to give her credit. I feel like I'm improving with each match. It was very exciting not to be down 1-5 in the third. I'll always remember that, but hopefully won't repeat it!

Before matches I eat just enough so I won't get tired. There's a certain amount and I have a numbering system. Whenever I feel I've had as much as I need, I stop. But I don't eat pasta after the match anymore. I'm done this lifestyle.

I didn't work on anything during the day, I just rested. And watched Smallville. My older sister is a huge fan of it too. We could talk about it for years. I would always tease her before for watching it... but now look at me.

I just love things that can't happen in real life I guess. Amazing things happen in Smallville. I love that. It's too early to tell who my favorite character is on the show, though. It always changes for me, because some characters annoy me, and so on. I only just finished Season 1, too. I also didn't crack open any books... It's just not going to happen this week - I'll start when I go home...

There were these little girls outside my court today looking through the fence. Now I don't speak Spanish but I know a little, and one girl said 'My name is Venus too!' It was so sweet. I don't know if that was her name or not. Actually, I doubt it. But I guess she wanted to be a tennis player, it was so cute.

I'll talk to you all after the final. Have a good night!


What did you do with the sombrero you won last year? Raymond

I gave it to my dad! He loved it so much. He saw pictures of me with it on and told me he loved the hat, so I gave it to him, and I haven't seen it since. But I'm hoping to have a doubles partner for it soon ;)


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams' Acapulco Blog
Well I played a very worthy opponent today. She really played so well. I made a few errors in the first set and there was no room for that, because she made none and was playing aggressively. I had to turn it around in the second. So I started working on getting the win, and I'm happy I was able to do it.

The thing about me... I never feel pressure to defend titles. I think that makes me better at defending titles, because whenever I return to a tournament, I usually do pretty well. I guess Dubai and Acapulco is one of my specials...

As for the sombrero... this one's mine :)

I've been informed that this title ties me for No.10 for all-time titles with Martina Hingis. That's great! I guess I'll be passing her soon... I have the advantage because I'm still playing :) I'll be working on getting further into the Top 10.

Next for me is the Billie Jean King Cup in Madison Square Garden. That's hopefully another two matches for me on Monday. Last year I had a great time playing and hopefully it'll be even better this year. Last year there was a blizzard there... and I hadn't been in snow before. Well, I had landed places with snow already on the ground and a few flurries, but never where it was REALLY snowing. I thought people didn't go out in that kind of weather. It was so funny, like something out of a movie - one day when I was leaving the hotel, the coldest rush of wind came and I ran back inside... I thought, 'Are you serious?' I'm not used to that in Florida. We chase the Sun...

I had fun doing the blog again! I look forward to doing it again soon. I'll see you all in New York at the Billie Jean King Cup... Stay tuned! And visit my Facebook and Twitter pages, and my website too...

Until next time!


You never seem angry on the court. How do you do it? Olivier

It kind of follows my attitude off the court. Nothing ever bothers me. It helps on the court to think clearly, without emotions. It's just harder with emotions. I have been emotional before... but for the most part I'm a cucmber.

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Venus And Serena Determined In Doha

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

DOHA, Qatar (AP)—Venus and Serena Williams won contrasting round-robin matches at the Sony Ericsson Championships on Wednesday and next face a familiar opponent: each other.

Venus endured a struggle against Elena Dementieva 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to win her second match, and Serena romped past Dinara Safina 6-4, 6-1 in her first at the season-ending WTA Tour championships.

On Thursday, they meet for the 18th time in their professional careers, with Serena holding a 9-8 edge.

“Tomorrow I’ll definitely be going for the win, and just taking everything that I can,” said seventh-seeded Venus, who would qualify for the semifinals with a win.

“It’s going to be good and exciting,” third-seeded Serena said. “She’s pretty much already in the semis. And I’ve got to get there or I want to get there. So I know it’s not going to be easy.”

Serena barely got the better of her older sister in their last contest, the U.S. Open quarterfinals, and went on to win her ninth major. She lost to Venus in the Wimbledon final, and the pair teamed up for Olympic gold in the doubles at Beijing.

Venus rallied from 2-0 down in the last set against Dementieva. She had 10 double-faults to five for the Russian, but converted eight of 10 break points as the two engaged in powerful baseline rallies.

“It was just really competitive out there,” the older Williams said.

The points were much shorter between Serena Williams and second-seeded Safina, whose second loss eliminated her from semifinals contention.

Photos by:
Javier Sales
Getty Images

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She's Out (Again): Serena Withdraws From The East West Classic

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

She decides not to play because of a knee injury and will focus on getting ready for the Olympics.

For those hoping to see Serena Williams play, you'll now have to wait until the Olympics. Williams, seeded second at this week's East West Bank Classic in Carson, withdrew from the tournament today because of a knee injury.

Williams was scheduled to play her second-round match Wednesday. The top eight seeded players received a first-round bye.

"It's a huge disappointment for me to be unable to play the East West Bank Classic in my hometown of L.A.," Williams said in a news release. "I've been getting intensive therapy and doing everything in my power to get my knew in shape for this week, waiting until the last possible moment to see if I could play."

Williams withdrew from the semifinal of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford on Saturday. She said Monday she was going to take this week's tournament day-by-day to see if she could play, given that her focus is currently on the Olympics and U.S. Open.

"There's two really big events that I'm going to be excited to be a part of," Williams said. "Honestly my Olympic gold, even though it was in doubles, is my favorite trophy I have."

Melanie South will replace Williams and face Petra Kvitova on Wednesday.

Photo Getty Images

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James Blake Announces Cancer Research Fund In Father's Memory

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It was about five years ago that James Blake and his family received the kind of heartbreaking news that everyone hopes they never have to hear about someone they love.

His father, Thomas Blake Sr., with whom he was very close, did not have long to live.

Thomas Blake Sr. died in 2004 after battling gastric cancer that was not detected until it had reached an advanced stage. If Blake Sr., like every cancer patient, had been diagnosed sooner, it would have greatly improved his chances of surviving.

And now James Blake, the No. 8 tennis player in the world, is trying to help other cancer patients fight the disease and improve their chances of survival. On Thursday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, where his father was treated, James Blake formally announced the launch of the Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Research Fund that he has established with a goal of raising at least $1 million over the course of the next year for cancer research at Sloan-Kettering, especially improving early detection and screening.

Blake’s mother, Betty, was also among those present on Thursday and commented on how proud she is of her son and his efforts in his father’s memory. Those on hand also included Dr. Harold Varmus, the president of Sloan-Kettering, and Burke King, the president of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in Virginia.

"My father did everything he could, but it was detected too late,” Blake said. "If someone does have that energy in them to fight and the will to live, then if you can detect it early, you give them that better chance and the opportunity to survive and spend more time with their family. I feel early detection is one of the most important roles in cancer research.”

"If they had caught this (his father’s cancer) earlier – the reason I am doing the early detection – they think he would have had a better chance. He did everything he could once they told him what they could do, whether it was experimental, working out more, staying off his feet. Anything he could do, he was doing it,” Blake added. "I just wish his hard work had paid off, but the sentiment that he was still working hard up until the last opportunity just spoke volumes to me about his character; that no matter what, he never gave up, and he definitely practiced what he preached.”

The fund has already raised more than $500,000 and hopes to reach the goal of $1 million through several initiatives. Blake and Nike have partnered to create a line of merchandise called "J-Block," with 100 percent of all proceeds going to the fund. "J-Block" comes from the name of a group of Blake’s friends who come out to tournaments, especially the US Open, to support him.

In addition, Blake, 28, has teamed up with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia to host a tennis exhibition called Anthem LIVE!, which is now in its sixth year. The exhibition will feature Blake and his good friends and Davis Cup teammates, Andy Roddick and Bob and Mike Bryan. It will be held Sept. 12 in Richmond, Va., just one day before the U.S. Davis Cup team leaves for Madrid to face Spain in the 2008 Davis Cup Semifinals.

This year, Anthem LIVE! will benefit Sloan-Kettering, as well as cancer research at Eastern Virginia Medical School and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center.

In deciding which friends to ask to join him in the exhibition this year, Blake thought of his friends from the U.S. Davis Cup team, which won the title in 2007.

"We really do enjoy spending time with each other. It has been talked up in the media how much fun we have, and it's nothing but the truth,” Blake said of himself, Roddick and the Bryans. "We will have a great time down in Richmond and just continue that on the plane to Spain and hopefully celebrate then after winning the semifinals.”

As a whole, the tremendous amount of support and commitment Blake has received from friends, family and sponsors has meant a great deal, as he tries to make a difference. Anthem LIVE! was first held in 2003, and Blake teamed with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield for the first time in 2005.

When Blake joined Anthem LIVE! in 2005, he invited Roddick, as well as music stars John Mayer and Gavin DeGraw but thought joining the event would be just for that year. When he saw the support he received and the money raised, keeping it going was an easy decision.

"I wanted to make a difference and put on some sort of exhibition, some sort of show, to commemorate my father, and I thought it was going to be a one-time thing because I realized how packed my friends’ schedules were,” Blake said. "When I saw the response from the crowd, my friends, it just clicked that I have to continue doing it. After I saw how much money we raised, as well, I felt we need to just build on this. This can make a difference one time, but it can make such a greater difference from then on. Hopefully this year Anthem LIVE! again will continue that process and get to a million dollars, and then who knows from there.”

"(When) I asked John Mayer, Andy Roddick and Gavin DeGraw, not one of them checked their schedules before they said yes,” he added of his friends. “With the support I got then and Andre Agassi saying he would do it the next year and this year, when I asked Andy again, he came on board to support me, (it) made it so easy for me to continue doing this. I think they know I feel the same way if the roles were reversed and they had a cause they were passionate about and needed my help."

Also in the way of fundraising this year for Blake is a kickoff party at the 2008 US Open with the help of the magazine Vogue. A Thomas Blake Sr. scholarship fund has also been created at Fairfield Warde High School in Fairfield, Conn., Blake and his older brother Thomas’ old high school.

"I hope other people can see he (Blake Sr.) would be a great role model for anyone, not just his own sons. That is why it means so much to have a fund named after him," Blake added. "I just want the kids that do get that scholarship to know what he stood for and how much he stressed academics and how much he wanted kids to be prepared for the life they were going to lead."

Before Anthem LIVE! and Davis Cup in September, Blake will compete this summer in several tournaments in the Olympus US Open Series and then travel to Beijing as a member of the U.S. Olympic Team for the first time. After the Olympics, he will be back in New York for the 2008 US Open.

Blake was unable to compete in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, after he fractured vertebrae in his neck during an accident at a practice session in Rome with Robby Ginepri in May. Shortly afterwards was when his father died, and then Blake came down with a virus called Zoster, similar to shingles. It paralyzed part of his face temporarily and affected his senses, including hearing and taste.

He rebounded in 2005, and his tennis career has been flying high since. He is looking forward to his first Olympics.

"It is something I think every kid dreams about. You see the Olympics on TV -- see the track stars, swimming, all the different events -- and you realize those people have worked four years to get to that one moment and how thrilled they are. You see so many tears on the podium and how much it means to compete for your country," Blake said.

"For me, it is an unbelievable honor to be part of the Davis Cup team and now to finally be part of the Olympic team, as well. It might be one of the only times I'll be nervous on a tennis court again," he added. "Davis Cup is one time where it gets you a little bit when you hear 'Advantage U.S.A.,' and it will be similar for the Olympics, I think. It will also be exciting for me to see how the others train, see the other athletes and what their routines are and how it differs from tennis and maybe learn something."

In the Olympics, Blake will compete in singles and doubles with Sam Querrey. The end of the Olympics conflicts slightly with the Pilot Pen (of the Olympus US Open Series) in New Haven, where Blake won titles in both 2005 and 2007, so he will be unable to compete there, near where he grew up in Fairfield (after moving there as a child from Yonkers, N.Y.).

He hopes to return to the Pilot Pen in the future, but on his list of tournaments he is playing in the Olympus US Open Series this year are Indianapolis, Toronto and Cincinnati, as he looks to win his first singles title in 2008.

Blake had a tremendously successful summer in 2007, reaching finals at three Olympus US Open Series events – Cincinnati, Los Angeles and New Haven (where he won the title) – and he finished second in the overall points standings to world No. 1 Roger Federer. He then went on to reach the fourth round at the 2007 US Open.

The summer hardcourt season is Blake’s favorite and is best suited to his power game. He is confident he will rebound on the hardcourts from a disappointing second-round loss recently on the grass at Wimbledon.

“I love the Olympus US Open Series. The surface is great for me. (Hardcourt) is what I play the best on. It is what I feel the most comfortable on, and also the fans, being in America, are very supportive of me,” he said. “I seem to do the best when I have that support, my friends are around me, it is my favorite time of the year, and I have done well.”

In terms of goals for the rest of 2008 and beyond, Blake of course wants to do his best in every tournament he enters, and he will work very hard not just to win on the court but off by raising enough money to reach the $1 million benchmark.

“I want to be prepared for every match, every situation I go into, and that is something in my control and I set as a goal,” he said. “That is going to be the most important thing for me when I am done in my career -- that I was prepared and I did everything I could and I can hold my head high knowing I accomplished everything my talent would afford me.

"The other goal, the attainable goal, is I do believe my talent, my effort and my voice will be able to raise $1 million for this fund. That is something I believe is attainable, and I will work tirelessly to make sure that does happen.”

Photos © Ron Terner/Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

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2008 U.S. Olympic Tennis Team Named

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The nine players nominated for the U.S. Olympic team for tennis at the 2008 Olympic Games, Aug. 10-17, in Beijing, China, have been announced by the USTA, the governing body for the sport of tennis in the United States.

U.S. women’s tennis coach Zina Garrison announced a four-woman team with three singles entries and two doubles teams. All three singles players -- Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Lindsay Davenport -- are former Olympic gold medal winners. The two nominated U.S. women’s doubles teams consist of world No. 1 Liezel Huber with Davenport and the Williams sisters.

U.S. men’s tennis coach Rodney Harmon announced a five-player men’s team, also with three singles entries and two doubles teams. James Blake, Sam Querrey and Robby Ginepri were named to the team in singles. Bob and Mike Bryan, the No. 1 doubles team in the world, and Blake and Querrey have been nominated as the two U.S. men’s doubles teams.

The 2008 Olympic tennis competition will be staged August 10-17 on the hard courts of the Olympic Green Tennis Center in Beijing. The United States has won 15 Olympic medals in men’s and women’s tennis since it returned as a full medal sport in 1988 -- more than any other nation.

“Selection to the U.S. Olympic team is a tremendous honor for these athletes, and one they truly deserve,” said Jane Brown Grimes, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. “The Olympics provides one of the greatest global platforms to showcase our sport, and we expect this to be a very memorable summer for tennis.”
“Each player selected to our U.S. Olympic team knows what playing for their country is all about,” said Arlen Kantarian, CEO, Pro Tennis, USTA. “All of these players have worn the Stars and Stripes as part of the U.S. Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams, and will be outstanding competitors -- and first-class ambassadors -- for our country in Beijing.”

“With three former gold medalists on our team and the No. 1 doubles player in the world, we are certainly capable of earning medals at this Olympics,” said Garrison. “I have great memories of the Olympics as a player and coach, and I am thrilled to be a part of the excitement once again.”

“The guys are all honored to receive the nomination to represent their country,” said Harmon. “With all of our singles players making their Olympic debuts and the Bryans searching for one of the few prizes they have still to earn in their accomplished careers, our goal is to be on the podium when all is said and done.”

Serena Williams, 26, will be making her second Olympic appearance having won a gold medal in women’s doubles at the 2000 Olympic Games with sister, Venus, becoming the first set of siblings to win Olympic gold in tennis. A resident of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Serena has won eight Grand Slam singles titles, and in 2003, became one of only five women to hold all four Grand Slam singles titles within a 12-month period.

Venus Williams, 28, will be making her third Olympic appearance having won a gold medal in both women’s singles and women’s doubles at the 2000 Olympic Games, joining Helen Wills in 1924 as the only player to sweep both titles at the same Olympiad. A resident of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Venus holds four Wimbledon and two US Open singles titles.

Lindsay Davenport, 32, will be making her third Olympic appearance having won a gold medal in singles at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Davenport took 11 months off from professional tennis to have her first child in June 2007, returning to the tour in September 2007. A resident of Laguna Beach, Calif., she has won 55 singles titles and 37 doubles titles in her career, including the 1998 US Open, 1999 Australian Open and 2000 Wimbledon titles.

Liezel Huber, 30, will be making her first Olympic appearance as an American (she competed at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney representing her native South Africa). A resident of Cypress, Texas, she became an American citizen in July 2007 with the hopes of competing for the U.S. in the Olympics. Ranked No. 1 in doubles since November 2007, Huber has won three Grand Slam doubles titles. She made her debut for the U.S. Fed Cup team in April.

James Blake, 28, will be making his Olympic debut in Beijing. A resident of Tampa, Fla., Blake has the chance to make history by becoming the first African-American male to win an Olympic tennis medal. Blake missed the 2004 Olympic Games while recovering from a broken vertebra. The winner of 10 singles and five doubles titles during his career, he is currently the No. 2 ranked American and in 2007, helped the U.S. win the Davis Cup title.

Sam Querrey, 20, will be making his Olympic debut in Beijing. Querrey is having a breakthrough year in just his second full season as a pro. He broke into the Top 50 in 2007 and his ranking continues to rise after winning his first singles title in March in Las Vegas. He currently resides in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Robby Ginepri, 25, will be making his Olympic debut in Beijing. He missed being named to the 2004 U.S. Olympic team despite being ranked No. 35 in the world (he was the fifth-ranked American entered and the maximum number of singles players per country is four). A resident of Kennesaw, Ga., Ginepri has the distinction of being the only active American man other than Andy Roddick to reach the semifinals at a Grand Slam event (2005 US Open).

Bob and Mike Bryan, 30, will be making their second appearance in the Olympics having reached the quarterfinals in 2004 in Athens, losing to eventual gold medalists Fernando Gonzalez and Nicolas Massu of Chile. The Bryans, currently residing in Wesley Chapel, Fla., joined the great, great uncles of President George W. Bush as the only two sets of brothers to play tennis for the United States in the Olympics (Arthur and George Wear competed in the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis and each won a bronze medal with different doubles partners.). Together, the Bryans have won the career Grand Slam in doubles and in 2007, helped the U.S. capture its first Davis Cup title since 1995.

Venus and Serena Williams are the last American women to win Olympic gold in tennis. The women were shut out of the medal stand at the 2004 Olympic Games for the first time since tennis returned to Olympic competition in 1988.

Andre Agassi was the last American man to win Olympic gold in men’s singles when he defeated Spain’s Sergi Bruguera in the gold medal match at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Ken Flach and Robert Seguso are the last American team to win Olympic gold in men’s doubles when they defeated Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez of Spain in the gold medal match at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. Mardy Fish was the last American to earn an Olympic medal in tennis, winning silver at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Tennis was part of the Olympic program from the first modern Olympiad in 1896 until 1924. After a 64-year hiatus, tennis returned to the official Olympic program in 1988, becoming the first sport to feature professional athletes.

Team nominations are subject to approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

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Wednesday Coaches Corner: Rodney Harmon and Zina Garrison To Lead Olympic Teams In Beijing

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Black Tennis Pro's CoachesRodney Harmon and Zina Garrison will lead the American men’s and women’s tennis teams in Beijing.

Harmon has been the director of men's tennis for the USTA's player development program since 2002. "It's a tremendous honour and a great opportunity to work with some of the best players in the world at one of the greatest events in the world," said Harmon. “We have the nucleus of a very competitive international men’s team who will all be medal contenders in Beijing. I know the American men will relish the opportunity to compete on one of the biggest stages in sport.” Jay Berger has been chosen as Harmon's assistant.

Davis Cup regulars James Blake and twins Bob and Mike Bryan figure to be top choices for Harmon's Olympic roster. The U.S. tennis teams for Beijing will be based on the rankings of June 9, the day after the French Open ends.

In 2004, the American contingent came away with one medal, Mardy Fish's silver in men's singles.
Black Tennis Pro's Coaches
The USTA has also announced that Fed Cup captain Zina Garrison will be the women's Olympic tennis coach and Lori McNeil her assistant. Garrison won a gold medal and a bronze medal as a player at the 1988 Olympics, and coached the US women in 2004.

“I’m honoured to be selected again as the Olympic coach,” said Garrison. “Some of my fondest tennis memories are from the Olympics and the incomparable thrill of winning a gold medal. The goal is to share in that Olympic experience with our team this summer.”

The 2008 US Olympic tennis team will consist of up to six men and six women, with a maximum of four men and four women competing in the singles competition and a maximum of two men’s and two women’s teams competing in doubles. Olympic team selections will made by June 23.

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