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CONGRATULATIONS TAYLOR TOWNSEND!! The Fabulous Much Loved Pro Has Announced, "I'm So Excited To Embark On The Journey Of Motherhood!!"

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

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2019 ORACLE CHALLENGER SERIES-HOUSTON DAY 6: After Thursday's Overwhelming Rain Delay, The Tournament Was Back In More Than Full Effect on Friday

Saturday, November 16, 2019

American Taylor Townsend, Day 6 of 2019 Oracle Challenger Series-Houston.


On Friday, November 15th, the 2019 Oracle Challenger Series returned to action on the courts of the George R. Brown Tennis Center at Rice University in Houston, Texas.  The rain and cold weather that began to take shape on Wednesday afternoon, came in full force on Thursday causing the shutdown of all court activity, leading into a very match laden Friday.  The schedule had all third-round winners playing two singles matches – and some even had to play a third match of doubles.

One of the first matches of the day was contested by two Americans, No. 2 seeded Taylor Townsend and 14th seed Caroline Dolehide.  While the weather was still a bit cold, Dolehide hit the court very competitively and took the first set.  In the second and third sets Townsend met, then superseded Dolehide's game, taking the match 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.

One court over, American Sekou Bangoura was up against the towering Croatian Ivo Karlovic. Bangoura has displayed very impressive athleticism and strategy throughout the tournament, and while he continued his gameplay, even taking the second set, Karlovic's powerful tree line serve alone wreaks havoc on most of his opponents, as it did Bangoura. Karlovic took the match 7-6, 2-6, 6-4




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2019 ORACLE CHALLENGER SERIES-HOUSTON DAY 4: Taylor Townsend Hits The Courts To Chalk Up More Victory, As Donald Young, Whitney Osuigwe and Mari Osaka Are Dismissed

Thursday, November 14, 2019

American Taylor Townsend in Round 2 of 2019 Oracle Challenger Series-Houston.

The 2019 Oracle Challenger Series-Houston has met its own challenges with an unusually cold weather factor that has caused significant match suspensions and delays, but it hasn't prevented players from bringing their best efforts when they've been able to hit the courts.

On Wednesday, clad in warm attire, No. 2 seed American Taylor Townsend defeated Anna Danilina of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-4.  Townsend continued her very strategic gameplay that entails a net game not commonly seen, at least not the way it's brought by Townsend.  This is the first event she's played since her ultra fab run at the 2019 U.S. Open where she reached the round of 16. 

On Thursday morning Townsend is scheduled to play fellow American Caroline Dolehide.

Unable to overcome their opponents, tenth seed Donald Young was defeated by qualifier Alexis Galarneau 6-3, 3-6, 0-6, ninth seed Whitney Osuigwe was taken out by Hungarian Dalma Galfi 5-7, 6-2, 2-6, and Mari Osaka of Japan was greatly dominated by sixth seed American Catherine McNally 2-6, 0-6.


American Donald Young

American Whitney Osuigwe

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2019 U.S. Open Results Day 11

Friday, August 30, 2019



WOMEN'S SINGLES FINAL

Serena Williams, USA(8)  vs.  Bianca Andreescu, CAN(15)


WOMEN'S SINGLES SEMI-FINALS

Serena Williams, USA(8)  def.  Elina Svitolina, UKR   6-3, 6-1


WOMEN'S SINGLES QUARTERFINALS

Serena Williams, USA(8)  def.  Qiang Wang, CHN(18)   6-1, 6-0


WOMEN'S SINGLES ROUND 4

Serena Williams, USA(8) def. Petra Martic, CRO   6-3, 6-4

Madison Keys, USA(10)  def. by  Elina Svitolina, UKR(5)   5-7, 4-6

Taylor Townsend, USA vs. Bianca Andreescu, CAN(15)

Naomi Osaka, JPN(1)  def. by  Belinda Bencic, CHE(13)   5-7, 4-6


WOMEN'S SINGLES ROUND 3

Naomi Osaka, JPN(1)  def.  Coco Gauff, USA   6-3, 6-0

Taylor Townsend, USA def. Sorana Cirstea, ROM   7-5, 6-2

Madison Keys, USA(10)  def. Sofia Kenin, USA(20)   6-3, 7-5

Serena Williams, USA(8)  def.  Karolina Muchova, CZE   6-3, 6-2


American Serena Williams on Day 5 of 2019 U.S. Open

- Twenty years ago at the U.S. Open, Serena Williams won the first of her six women's singles titles at the age 17.

- Madison Keys wasn't feeling her best during her third round defeat of American Sofia Kenin. She underwent a courtside doctor's visit during a changeover.


WOMEN'S SINGLES ROUND 2

Naomi Osaka, JPN(1)  def.  Magda Linette, POL   6-2, 6-4

Coco Gauff, USA  def.  Timea Babos, HUN   6-2, 4-6, 6-4

Taylor Townsend, USA  def. Simona Halep (ROM)   2-6, 6-3, 7(4)-6

Venus Williams, USA  def. by  Elina Svitolina, UKR(5)   4-6, 4-6

 Madison Keys, USA(10)  def.  Lin Zhu, CHN   6-4, 6-1

Serena Williams, USA(8)  def.  Catherine McNally, USA   5-7, 6-3, 6-1

American Taylor Townsend in 2019 U.S. Open 2nd Round Defeating Romanian Simona Halep







WOMEN'S SINGLES ROUND ONE

Naomi Osaka, JPN(1) def. Anna Blinkova, RUS   6-4, 6-7(5), 6-2

Coco Gauff, USA  def.  Anastasia Potapova, RUS   3-6, 6-2, 6-4

Taylor Townsend, USA  def.  Kateryna Kozlova, UKR   3-6, 6-3, 6-2

Sloane Stephens, USA  def. by  Anna Kalinskaya, RUS   3-6, 4-6

Whitney Osuigwe, USA  def. by  Elina Svitolina, UKR   1-6, 5-7

Venus Williams, USA  def.  Saisai Zheng, CHN   6-1, 6-0

Madison Keys, USA(10)  def.  Misaki Doi, 7-5, 6-0

Serena Williams, USA(8)  def. Maria Sharapova, RUS   6-1, 6-1


WOMEN'S DOUBLES ROUND THREE

 Coco Gauff, USA and Catherine McNally, USA   6-0, 6-1
                                   def. by
Victoria Azarenka, BLR and Ashleigh Barty, AUS


WOMEN'S DOUBLES ROUND TWO

Coco Gauff, USA and Catherine McNally, USA   6-3, 7(11)-6(9)
                                  def. 
Nicole Melichar, USA(9) and Kveta Peschke, CZE

Taylor Townsend, USA and Whitney Osuigwe, USA   4-6, 2-6
                                  def. by
Viktoria Kuzmova, SVK and Aliaksandra Sasnovich, BLR


WOMEN'S DOUBLES ROUND ONE

Coco Gauff, USA and Catherine McNally, USA   7(8)-6(6), 6-2
                                  def.
Julia Goerges, GER and Katerina Siniakova, CZE

Hailey Baptiste, USA and Emma Navarro, USA   4-6, 7(7)-6(4), 1-6
                                 def by.
Kristie Ahn, USA and Christina McHale, USA

Taylor Townsend, USA and Whitney Osuigwe, USA   6-2, 6-3
                                   vs.
Bianca Andreescu, CAN and Sharon Fichman, CAN

Asia Muhammad, USA and Raquel Atawo, USA   3-6, 6-4, 2-6
                                 def. by
Daria Kasatkina, RUS and Anett Kontaveit, EST



 

MEN'S SINGLES QUARTERFINALS

Gael Monfils, FRA(13)  def. by  Matteo Berrettini, ITA   6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-(5)-7(7)


MEN'S SINGLES ROUND FOUR

Gael Monfils, FRA(13)  def.  Pablo Andujar, ESP   6-1, 6-2, 6-2


MEN'S SINGLES ROUND THREE

Gael Monfils, FRA(13)  def.  Denis Shapovalov, CAN   6(5)-7(7), 7(7)-6(4), 6-4, 6(6)-7(8), 6-3


MEN'S SINGLES ROUND TWO

Gael Monfils, FRA(13)  def.  Marius Copil, ROM   6-3, 6-2, 6-2

Frances Tiafoe, USA  def. by  Alexander Zverev, GER   3-6, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, 3-6


MEN'S SINGLES ROUND ONE

Christopher Eubanks, USA  def. by  Cristian Garin, CHL   6-3, 6-7(5), 4-6, 7(4)-6, 3-6

Gael Monfils, FRA  def.  Albert Ramos-Vinolas, ESP   7(2)-6, 6-4, 6-3

Felix Auger-Aliassime, CAN(18)  def. by  Denis Shapovalov, CAN 1-6, 1-6, 4-6

Frances Tiafoe, USA  def.  Ivo Karlovic, HRV   6-2, 6-3, 1-2(Retired)

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, FRA  def. by  Tennys Sandgren,USA   6-1, 7(2)-6, 4-6, 6-7(5), 5-7


MEN'S DOUBLES ROUND TWO

Evan King, USA and Hunter Reese, USA   4-6, 2-6
                                  def. by
Marcel Granollers, ESP(8) and Horacio Zeballos, ARG(8)

Raven Klaasen, ZAF(3) and Michael Venus, NZL(3)   4-6, 6-0, 4-6
                                   def. by
Miomir Kecmanovic, SRB and Casper Rudd, NOR


MEN'S DOUBLES ROUND ONE

Nicholas Monroe, USA and Tennys Sandren, USA   5-7, 6-3, 3-6
                               def. by
Radu Albot, MOL and Malek Jaziri, TUN

Evan King, USA and Hunter Reese, USA   6-3, 6(5)-7(7), 7(7)-6(2)
                                 def.
Alexander Bublik, KAZ and John Millman, AUS

Raven Klaasen, ZAF(3) and Michael Venus, NZL(3)   6-2, 6-1
                                 def.
Adrian Mannarino, FRA and Gilles Simon, FRA


MIXED DOUBLES ROUND THREE

Raquel Atawo, USA and Fabrice Martin, FRA   6(3)-7(7) [10], 6-3 [3]
                               def. by
Latisha Chan, TWN(4) and Ivan Dodig, HRV(4)


MIXED DOUBLES ROUND TWO

Raquel Atawo, USA and Fabrice Martin, FRA   7-5, 7(7)-6(4)
                                 def.
Abigail Spears, USA and Rohan Bopanna, IND

 
MIXED DOUBLES ROUND ONE

Hailey Baptiste, USA and Jenson Brooksby, USA   2-6, 2-6
                                 def. by
Desirae Krawczyk, USA  and Joe Salisbury, GBR

Raquel Atawo, USA and Fabrice Martin, FRA   2-6, 6(10)-4(8)
                                     def.
Anna-Lena Groenefeld, GER(7) and Oliver Marach, AUT(7)

Asia Muhammad, USA and Austin Krajicek, USA   5-7, 4-6
                                    def. by
Demi Schuurs, NLD(6) and Henri Kontinen, FIN(6)

Nicholas Monroe, USA and Danielle Collins, USA   2-6, 2-6
                                   def. by
Hayley Carter, USA and Jackson Withrow, USA


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2019 U.S. Open Fan Week Qualifying Match Finals - Day 5 / Taylor Townsend Into Main Draw

Saturday, August 24, 2019


The 2019 U.S. Open Fan Week Qualifying Tournament is now over, and the die is cast.  Amongst those who survived the Tournament is American Taylor Townsend. She was able to come back from a set down and take out Serbian Nina Stojanovic 3-6, 7-6, 6-1. Fan support on Court 4 was strong for Townsend.

Townsend will begin her trek through the main draw on Tuesday, August 27th against Ukrainian Kateryna Kozlova.



Mikael Ymer, SWE  def. by  Hyeon Chung, KOR   1-6, 3-6





Asia Muhammad, USA  def. by  Anna Kalinskaya, RUS   6-3, 4-6, 6-7(2)


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Sachia Vickery Tweets About Opponent's Rule Violation Being Allowed At End of Qualifying Match

Friday, August 23, 2019


In reply, fellow American tennis player Taylor Townsend not only agreed with Vickery, but stated that she too would be approaching U.S. Open staff on the matter.



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2019 U.S. Open Fan Week Qualifying Matches Results - Day 4 / Asia Muhammad, Darian King And Taylor Townsend Into Final Round

Thursday, August 22, 2019


Asia Muhammad, USA   def.  Barbora Krejčíková, CZE   1-0 (Retired)



Sachia Vickery, USA  def. by  Isabella Shinikova, BUL   1-6, 6-4, 6-7(6)

Sachia Vickery was violated towards the end of this match.  She subsequently tweeted:   


Hailey Baptiste, USA  def. by  Harriet Dart, GBR(29)   5-7, 4-6



Darian King, BAR  def.  Adrián Menéndez Maceiras, ESP   6-1, 6-4


DAY THREE RESULTS, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2019

Mikael Ymer, SWE(9) def. Facundo Bagnis, ARG 7-5, 6-4

Taylor Townsend, USA(13) def. Veronica Cepede Royg (PAR) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3

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UPDATE: Black Tennis Pros Of 2019 BNP Paribas Open

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


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2019 ORACLE CHALLENGER SERIES: Taylor Townsend Takes Out Sachia Vickery in Key Matchup on the Road to Indian Wells

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

American Taylor Townsend

(Oracle Challenger Series) In a highly-anticipated WTA matchup vital to determining who will earn the wild cards into the main draw of the 2019 BNP Paribas Open, No. 9 seed Taylor Townsend took on fellow American Sachia Vickery on day two of play in Indian Wells. It was Townsend who came out on top, besting Vickery in straight sets 7-5, 6-2 in a match that took just over an hour to play.

Townsend is coming off of a strong performance at the Oracle Challenger Series Newport Beach just last month, where she reached the quarterfinals in singles and was a doubles finalist alongside partner Yanina Wickmayer.

Holding 29 points on the Road to Indian Wells Leaderboard coming into the week, she will give herself a chance to earn one of the wild cards into the 2019 BNP Paribas Open if she can have her best Oracle Challenger Series performance yet.

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2014 WIMBLEDON DAY 1: Rough First Round For Sloane Stephens, Taylor Townsend, Donald Young, and Dustin Brown - All Eliminated

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

American Donald Young lost to Germany’s Benjamin Becker, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4


Sloane Stephens, ranked and seeded No. 18 at Wimbledon, was beaten by No. 109 Maria Kirilenko, who was ranked No. 10 in the world just a year ago. Plagued by shoulder and knee injuries, Kirilenko is on the comeback trail now—apparently with a vengeance.

“She's done well here in the past. I knew it was going to be tricky, but that's like every other Grand Slam first-round match,” Stephens said of the 6-2, 7-6 (6) loss.
This loss could drop her out of the Top 20 by the end of Wimbledon.


Court 12 was so brimful with charisma when Marcos Baghdatis and Dustin Brown faced one another in the first round that you wondered if there would be room for all that magnetism and the tennis too.

Brown came into this match on the up after his spectacular demolition of Rafael Nadal on the grass of Halle earlier this month, and many would have favoured him to down the former world No.8, who is now ranked 119 and needed a wild card to secure his place in the draw. But in the event a typically flamboyant display from the 6ft 5in German came at too great a price. It was Baghdatis who won 6-4, 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(4).



Eighteen-year-old American Taylor Townsend enjoyed a wonderful spell on the red clay of the French Open last month, reaching the third round before bowing out to No.14 seed Carla Suarez Navarro, but was not able to fare as well at Wimbledon.

Townsend lost 7-5, 6-2 to Klára Koukalová of the Czech Republic, but is determined not to dwell on the loss.

“I definitely am not pleased about my match, but it's just a learning experience really,” she insisted. “I'm just going to take what I've learned over the past two slams. I'm going to go back home. I'm going to work extremely hard and get ready for the US Open Series. I have tons of tournaments to look forward to and a lot of great things are ahead, but it's time to just put my head down and work again.


source: wimbledon.org, ATP World Tour


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TWITTER FILES: Fab 2014 French Open Selfie - Taylor Townsend And Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Thursday, June 5, 2014


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FRENCH OPEN DAY 6: Taylor Townsend's Momentum Not Able To Carry Into 4th Round - Loses To Navarro

Friday, May 30, 2014

American Taylor Townsend Out of 2014 French Open in Round 3.

American Taylor Townsend's valiant effort to gain as much depth as possible into the 2014 French Open has come to an end.  Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro, the women's 14th seed, proved to be more competition on clay than Townsend could handle.

After the brief twenty-four minute first set, Townsend appeared to gather herself and put forth greater offense than she had in the first set, but even with her adjustments, Townsend was still no match for Navarro who began to steamroll the talented teen into a 6-2, 6-2 defeat.

Townsend used her brief run to bring a great deal of excitement to this year's French Open, especially in light of the Williams sisters being eliminated so early. She can certainly return home knowing that she put her best foot forward and that all of her hard work has been worth the effort.

Great Job Taylor!!



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FRENCH OPEN DAY 4: Taylor Advances To Third Round, Venus and Serena Out In Second

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

American teen Taylor Townsend celebrating her round 2 win over France's Alize Cornet.


WAY TO GO TAYLOR!!

In the breath of fresh air that eighteen-year-old American Taylor Townsend brings to the courts, she convincingly advanced to the third round of Roland Garros today after taking out the 20th seed, France's own Alize Cornet.

She is now the youngest American woman to advance to the third round at Roland Garros since 2003.

Up next for Taylor is Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.

Matching Exits for the Williams Sisters
Now she's the youngest U.S. woman in the third round at Roland Garros since 2003. Next is a match against No. 14 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain - See more at: http://www.coastreporter.net/american-teen-taylor-townsend-beats-20th-seeded-alize-cornet-at-french-open-to-reach-3rd-round-1.1078570#sthash.f6h2OPbs.dpuf

In what has to be one of the most unlikely unexpected combination of exits, both of the Williams sisters, World No. 1 Serena and 29th-seed-big-sister Venus both fell to their respective round two opponents.


Venus began her match well and it appeared that she would be able to contend well with nineteen-year-old Slovakian Anna Schmiedlova - not so.  As the American's game slowly dismantled, Schmiedlova picked up the pace, and control of the match as well, eventually winning 2-6 6-3 6-4.


Of  significantly greater shock was seeing the World No. 1 make her exit to Spaniard Garbine Muguruza - although her gameplay did not suggest that she was up for any task.  For whatever reason, Serena struggled throughout the match and committed a laundry list of 28 unforced errors. In a little over an hour, Muguruza had the win of her career under her belt.

Oh well...
Now she's the youngest U.S. woman in the third round at Roland Garros since 2003. Next is a match against No. 14 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain - See more at: http://www.coastreporter.net/american-teen-taylor-townsend-beats-20th-seeded-alize-cornet-at-french-open-to-reach-3rd-round-1.1078570#sthash.f6h2OPbs.dpuf

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ROLAND GARROS DAY 4: Match Schedule

Eighteen-year-old American (r)Taylor Townsend takes on France's own Alize Cornet on Day 4 of the French Open.



Men's Singles - Round 1 

Steve Johnson (USA)
vs.
Laurent Lokoli (FRA)
To Finish 4-6 6-7(7) 7-6(3) 6-3 3-1

 
Women's Singles - Round 2

Serena Williams (USA) [1]
vs.
Garbine Muguruza (ESP)


Anna Schmiedlova (SVK)
vs.
Venus Williams (USA) [29]

Alize Cornet (FRA) [20]
vs.
Taylor Townsend (USA)


Men's Singles - Round 2

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) [13]
vs.
Jurgen Melzer (AUT)


Women's Doubles - Round 1

Stephanie Foretz Gacon (FRA)
Laura Thorpe (FRA)

vs.
Jana Cepelova (SVK)
Stefanie Voegele (SUI)


Kveta Peschke (CZE) [4]
Katarina Srebotnik (SLO) [4]

vs.
Lauren Davis (USA)
Megan Moulton-Levy (USA)


Madison Keys (USA)
Alison Riske (USA)

vs.
Irina Ramialison (FRA)
Constance Sibille (FRA)



Men's Doubles - Round 1

Tristan Lamasine (FRA)
Laurent Lokoli (FRA)

vs.
David Marrero (ESP) [4]
Fernando Verdasco (ESP) [4]


Eric Butorac (USA) [14]
Raven Klaasen (RSA) [14]

vs.
Steve Johnson (USA)
Sam Querrey (USA)


Michael Llodra (FRA) [5]
Nicolas Mahut (FRA) [5]

vs.
Gael Monfils (FRA)
Josselin Ouanna (FRA)


 SOURCE:  WWW.ROLANDGARROS.ORG




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BLACK TENNIS PRO'S EXCLUSIVE! - SHELIA TO SHELIA: An In-Depth Conversation With Shelia Townsend, Mother Of World No. 1 Junior Taylor Townsend

Friday, September 14, 2012


Nobody, I don't care if it's tennis, if you are a business owner, if you are running a corporation or if you're in school... nobody is going to attain the level of No. 1 being lazy, being undisciplined, uncommitted and without sacrifice.

~~ Shelia Townsend


On Friday, September 7, the Wall Street Journal reported a story with this headline Why the USTA Benched America's Best Junior - Taylor Townsend May Be the World's No. 1 Junior Girl, but Her Coaches Say She Needs to Get in Better Shape. Subsequently, additional reports from bloggers to ABC News interviewing both Taylor and her mother, Shelia Townsend, have filled the conversation and drawn the ire of many of those who have either read or heard of the situation... including myself.

After viewing the ABC Good Morning America segment on the situation, I became even more livid at the report that Patrick McEnroe, General Manager of USTA Player Development told ABC that "the Open was never off limits to Taylor, that they simply suggested she take a pass after she struggled with her game earlier this summer" and that they "apologize for the miscommunication." Also during the segment I purposely observed Taylor and her Mother to ascertain their general coherency in light of just hearing that the viewing audience is supposed to believe that they BOTH misunderstood the same thing. They both appeared and sounded reasonable and well spoken to me... you know, can hear, understand, respond and talk and speak in English as well. The basic components necessary for making sound decisions based upon information given.

Subsequently, I did a bit of research and read a number of articles posted on the subject on various Internet sites. Yet, I continued to be mystified as to what was the actual root of the issue... something was missing. The 2+2 equation was never equaling 4 i.e., Why pull her now, at the US Open? Why wasn't she previously approached with these concerns? Why can't this be resolved after the Open? Why is Taylor currently being allowed to play if her fitness is truly an issue? If there was a "miscommunication" as the situation has been deemed by Patrick McEnroe, why wasn't the issue quickly clearly communicated to the Townsends?

With all of the frustration quickly building, opinions being voiced and articles being written, I didn't feel sufficiently confident on the facts of the matter to share my view with those who follow me here on Black Tennis Pro's. At that point, and prior to committing to a position on the matter, I needed firsthand information from the only reliable source I deemed worthy - the mother of this highly touted teen, Shelia Townsend.

I quickly located Ms. Townsend on Facebook, sent her a message and awaited a response. On Wednesday, September 12, she gave me a call and I had the pleasure of having a conversation with her on the matter.

After speaking with Ms. Townsend a lot of my anger subsided, not because I was now satisfied that they had been treated fairly, or that the situation had been resolved appropriately. I was now enlightened on the home foundation that loves and supports Taylor in all things. I was made confident that Taylor's mother and father firmly guide all that is required in rearing their children, and that no decision made outside of the Townsend household will ever prevent Taylor or any other member of their family from achieving their dreams.

Here is our conversation, I'm sure you'll find it as edifying as I did.

Hello Ms. Townsend, thank you so much for responding to my message, I really wanted to speak with you about what's going on, so I truly appreciate it.

Oh sure, no problem.

I was so glad to see how calm you remained during the interview that you and Taylor did with ABC, because my composure was not likewise just watching. What I'm most interested in up front is how this entire situation evolved. What was it specifically that led the USTA to approach Taylor with this matter?

Ahhhh... we don't know.

When we were inquiring about why they made the decision that they made, all we were told was that it was because of her fitness. And so I asked, exactly what did you use to determine her fitness level? Are you using previous documentation that you have in assessing her current fitness level? Was there a variance in the results? What is it?

I would like to see the evaluation report that you are using to make this decision, because if there is something that will facilitate my helping Taylor to understand, then you need to share that with me. You're just saying something without providing data, being very subjective. If you have something that is concrete, for instance - last week you did five of something, and this week you did one - who can argue with the numbers... you can't. But this was something where we weren't being given any information, they were just saying "her fitness."  So I asked them, "what is your definition of fitness? Does she need to run this many miles in this many minutes, does she need to do this many sit-ups in this amount of time, this many forehands - what is it? What are you using to define fitness?' And that's what we could never get an answer on.

And then I thought 'well surely its not because she hasn't done everything that she (her coach) has asked her to do. And in addition to whatever she asked her to do, Taylor is doing extra things on her own. We just didn't know. So Taylor was trying to do whatever she thought would help, and I helped facilitate whatever we thought they were looking for. But without any information, it was like grabbing at air. We didn't know if they wanted her to weigh a certain amount, or have a certain body mass index - what is it?

When and how were you all approached? Was she approached alone, or did they come to you?

Well, when it first started, she was approached alone, then I addressed the issue, but I still couldn't get any definitive answers from them.

Was it her coach, Patrick McEnroe or someone else that approached you all?

No, it wasn't Patrick McEnroe, we never had any direct contact with him at all. All of my correspondence was directed to, well it wasn't really even directed at her coach. My correspondence was primarily with the Director of Women's Tennis at that time.

Okay, now all of this, of course, happened prior to the US Open ever starting. What specifically was going on with Taylor at that time and how did she bring you into these new circumstances?

Well, she was at a tournament in Vancouver and I wasn't there with her. She called me and she told me that they had told her that they wanted her to withdraw out of the US hard courts and the US Open. They said that the reason that they wanted her to do that was that they wanted to take that block of time to really work on her fitness and conditioning.

She called me on a Tuesday, and I told her 'don't withdraw out of the tournament,' because if I could get everything together, that I would take her to San Diego so that she could play that event because it is the equivalent to Kalamazoo for the girls, where she possibly could have earned a wild card into the main draw for singles and doubles at the US Open.

(That automatic wild card went to USTA Girls' 18s National Champion Victoria Duval.)

I was trying to get things together but it was all happening so fast. Like I said, she found this out on a Tuesday, and was due to report to San Diego on Sunday, but was in Vancouver. I wasn't able to get everything together where I could take her to the event myself. But had I been able to get the resources together, I would have taken her. So I told her to just continue as she was, but absolutely do not withdraw out of the US Open because we had already been planning for that. It's not like it was something that suddenly dropped into our laps.

Now, when you decided that Taylor was going to play, had the USTA informed you that they wouldn't pay, or was there any further conversation?

Well, there decision was what they had already told her, that they wanted her to sit out the tournament. I told them that I heard what their decision was, but my decision was that Taylor would be participating in the event.

At that time, you went ahead and took care of the financing?

Yes.

My next question to Ms. Townsend began, "Tell me what your perspective is, how are you feeling about he situation, because any and all of the people that I speak with are just up in arms - my ability to speak English is being affected! (It was the first time that I heard Ms. Townsend laugh.) I then shared with her that I told those who I was speaking with, "before we storm the castle, let me try and contact Taylor's mother so that we have the truth of the matter." 

Well, I... it's so many different layers of things as it relates to how I'm feeling.  My whole thing was, I wanted my daughter to play - I wanted her to play, because she wanted to play. My feelings were, when it was really in the heart of it, 'how can you say this girl isn't fit, with all that she's been able to accomplish?  She would not have been able to accomplish the things that she had up to that point, if she was not fit.

Nobody, I don't care if it's tennis, if you are a business owner, if you are running a corporation or if you're in school, nobody is going to attain the level of No. 1 being lazy, being undisciplined, uncommitted and without sacrifice. So, nobody is about to deny her that opportunity. They have their opinion and I have mine. She has earned it, she has proven that she is more than capable, so she will be there.

Initially, I was really upset about the whole thing, I mean, 'how dare you.'  My issue was this, 'there is a way to do any and everything. You do things decently and in order.' I told them, 'at this particular juncture of  the evolution of this sport, any top ten player, whether football player, basketball player, you can go down the line, even in golf, what top athlete is not always working on their fitness, because they understand the evolution of their sport and the relevance and importance of having your body in the best condition that it can possibly be in.

Taylor is 16, we're talking about people who are adults. However, Taylor does understand that in order for her to get to the next level, that she has to focus in on her fitness and conditioning - they all do, so what's the big deal? From that aspect, I told them, had you done things differently, it probably never would have even come to this.Why all of a sudden now, at this particular time, is it such an issue?

That is exactly what I'm not understanding.

You can do all these things that you're talking about that you want to do, all of those things can start after the Open.  They could dedicate six to eight weeks, or whatever and when the end of the year events come, then her fitness level would be better than it is now.  Why all of a sudden with her in the middle of a season, she's come off of a win... Taylor won the Australian Open, she came home, I was still living in Atlanta, I did bring her home for a couple of weeks because of some personal issues with our family that she needed to be there for. Did I remove her from the program? No I didn't. I brought her home so that I could take care of personal family matters, then she went back to the program. When Taylor returned back to the program, no I had not been able to duplicate what is done in the program, but I did my best to mirror it while she was at home. Once she was back into the program full time, Taylor was not doing anything less than the quarterfinals and the rounds of 16. Her record speaks for itself.  How many people can say, or match her record, that in a year's time, out of the four grand slams she's gotten championships whether singles or doubles out of three of them.

Tell me this, after you temporarily brought Taylor home, did you get the impression that the leave caused an issue?

Not initially, no. Because I  told them that it had nothing to do with her tennis, that it was a personal family matter. I didn't want them under the impression that after she won the Australian Open that I was pulling her out to take her to other places, the leave had nothing to do with that. The issues that needed taking care of, just happened to be at that time, and that was the time that I took.

Later on I do think that it was some of the issue, because always in my discussions with them, they would always reference back to that and I wondered, 'why, since she's been back with them since March, it's nearly the end of the year and they are still talking about something that happened at the beginning of the year.'

Taylor, last year, played five events at the US Open - three on the professional side and two on the junior side.  She didn't even have the same accomplishments at that time. So why is it now, when her accomplishments are so much better, now her fitness is deemed to be less... it makes no sense.

It's mind boggling to me, and I believe that it's what is on the minds of so many others observing the situation. 

Right. I don't understand, how are you going to have a girl that's in your program, who's No. 1, she's been to every grand slam around the globe, and you mean to tell me that something is right here in our back yard and you're saying you don't want her to participate?

Incredible.

I think that Taylor had enough variables going for her that there is an interest in her. Because if she was ranked, say the number 500 Junior, do you think this would have gotten this much attention? The answer is no. But because she's been able to accomplish these things, it brings a different kind of light. And the sad part about it is, she's not the only one that this is happening to. She's not the only one with whom these types of conversations are being discussed, and not just girls.

Again, there's a way to do any and everything if you do it decently, if you do it in order. On the most simple basic level, its the words that you say and if they are matching up with your actions, then everybody is going to have a buy in. But if you're saying one thing, and doing something else, especially with kids, then it's going to be so confusing when they are already going through enough as a teenager anyway.

Exactly. This has been a large part of the public discourse. You have a 16-year-old girl here whose self image, worth and confidence could easily be affected.

I just thank God that I was able to be here. Because there's no way... if you think that this is mind boggling for you, imagine what it must be like for her at 16. There would have been no way that she would have ever been able to exactly verbalize and communicate effectively to me what was going on, all of the nuances of what was happening, if I was still not here.

How is Taylor feeling about all of this right now?

Taylor... I have just been so proud of her. I think that she has handled herself with such dignity and grace through this whole thing. You know why? Because we never did anything maliciously. Taylor just wanted to play, the girl just wanted to play. The fact that she has all of these things going on, its been like, "Oh, okay." But as far as her self esteem - well,  I knew that we were going through all of it and everything was unraveling, but I knew that three things had to be paramount for her to at least be in a state of mind where she could go out and give herself the best shot. I knew that we had to stay prayerful, I knew that she had to know that she had support, that people were supporting her and affirming her and continuing to build her up, and that she just felt loved. That she was in an environment where she just felt good in that environment. So I knew that if I could, despite everything that was going on, and all of the obstacles that she had to overcome, if those three things could be present because of what was going on, that 'it's not just your mom telling you you're the best, or your sister or your dad telling you that you're great, but that you have other people that are saying this too.' 

Just the fact that she was there, and have people come out. We had friends to come up, we had family to come up and watch her at various times. And just her knowing that these people were in the audience watching her, it gave her such a supportive feeling and foundation that, "Yeah, there's some people here that have my back."

It is so good to hear that Taylor has this kind of support, because without question, family comes first, and you sound like that's what you're all about.

Oh yeah.

And it's like I said, there are other kids that this is happening to, but there voices are not being heard.  You know, hopefully, if Taylor has to be the vessel/vehicle... we are a religious family, and we have a belief - I don't believe that things happen for no reason. We may not understand the reason, we may not like what's going on, and it might hurt really bad, but I believe in God, and he takes you through something to get you to something. And Taylor may just be in the right place for this to happen.

I have such a different perspective having her being away, and now being here and it is invaluable that the family stay close to their kids whether it's tennis, whether it's another sport or something else where the kids are really excelling, the parents have to stay close to their kids. And with this being a predominantly white elitist sport, it's even more imperative, that not just black kids, but any of the minority kids have somebody close to them, because their are issues and situations that come up and if there's not someone experienced around, how are they going to understand it and deal with it. They won't be able to simply because they haven't had that experience before.

How has your experience been with the USTA overall?

I think that there's a time and a season for everything. When we made the decision to allow Taylor to come to the USTA, she had only been trained by Mr. Young.     

And you're speaking of Donald Young, Sr., father of another World No. 1 Junior.

Yeah, he's been around me and my family since he and I were teenagers. Other than me playing with her, he was her only coach.  So it was a huge decision  for us to let her go. We were having some changes in our family dynamics and I couldn't afford it because at that time, our oldest daughter Symone was also playing competitively as well.  So I had two, and with the dynamics changing in our family I just couldn't afford it like I had before. So, when the opportunity came, Donald talked to us about her participating in the program and he encouraged us to do it. At that time he was telling me that she needed to live down there, and I wasn't prepared to just move down there when she might not even like it, and I would have relocated for nothing. So I wanted to wait and see what was going to happen before I made the decision to relocate.

Once I saw some things happening, I knew that I needed to be there. So on blind faith, I just came on down. I didn't have a job, I got my apartment pretty much doing everything online, it was just on blind faith.  I knew that she had to have somebody here with her, because at the end of the day, despite Taylor's tennis ability she was just 15, she's still a kid. Their responsibility is not to raise my daughter, that's my responsibility and her father's responsibility. They don't have the same principles, moral ethics... they're not trying to instill the things that I want, that's my responsibility. They are responsible for ten percent, and I'm responsible for the rest of the ninety.  That's why I felt like I had to get down there.

They have afforded her a lot of opportunities that I wouldn't have been able to afford her. So, has it been all bad? No. Could there be some improvements? Absolutely. But what organization can't stand some improvement.

Of course, nothings perfect.

Right. So, I don't say everything was bad, everything happens for a reason, everything has a season. Who knows where life is going to take us from this point.  At the end of the day, I want my daughter to be in an environment where she is surrounded by people who care about her, whose words and actions match up, and she's happy, she's having fun, she's enjoying herself, and she's putting in the work to be able to obtain the goals for the things that she want to do.  That's all that I want, and I don't think that's too much to ask.

Not at all. To your credit, she seems to be such a poised young lady in addition to her talent. She has some "home training" as my mother would say. And I think that's part of the concern for her in this situation. She has presented herself as nothing other than a bright talented teen, and those of us parents watching want to make sure she stays that way.

As a parent, that kind of compliment far outweighs any trophy, when somebody else says that your child is a mannerable person, and is presenting the values you instill in her, that's the reward.

I know exactly what you mean, my daughter is 24 years old and her behavior and welfare are no less important to me now than when she was Taylor's age. 

Yes, we have to protect our children because they can't protect themselves, and I don't want her to be living in fear. Because even as an adult, this was a bit of a scary move for me too, coming into so many unknown variables, having no job, and the list goes on and on.

What's the plan, is it to continue her training as is with the USTA?

I don't know at this time. As I said, Taylor has opened the door for a lot of opportunities for herself. We just need to do what's in the best interest of Taylor. That is what's first, and paramount. I am her advocate, her dad is her advocate and we just want her in the best environment to grow and develop. If that's with the USTA, that's fine - if it's not there, that's fine too.

At the end of our conversation I said "I thank you so very much for sharing your time and story with me Shelia. The first thing I noticed when I went to your Facebook page looking for some way to contact you, was how you spelled your name - I knew right then that you were right on time, because you spell Shelia the "right" way." We both had a good laugh at that. I let her know how important it was for me to hear the story directly from her and not take the multiple stories out there as brass fact.

Is there anything else that you would like to share about Taylor, yourself, what you all are up to, any moves that you all are making?

No, I just hope that this facilitates a positive dialogue for the USTA, not just regarding myself and Taylor, but for others who find themselves in similar situations. She is not the first, and I don't think that she'll be the last. Hopefully she will, but if the organization doesn't improve, or have the ability to make changes, if they don't really take a look at some of the things that they are doing, then it's just going to continue to perpetuate. This will just be another story, and in time it will go away, people will forget and the same thing will happen again.

Also, hopefully they will be a bit more conscientious about some of the things that they are doing.  One of the things when I was sitting down talking to them, I said, 'you are a different type of school, you need to look at the coaches as teachers and the tennis courts as another type of classroom. And how would you feel if your child came home from school and said their teacher did blah, blah, blah, how would that make you feel? Don't get it misconstrued that just because you are a tennis coach and are on a tennis court. First you are a teacher - you are a teacher - and you have a greater responsibility just like the teachers in your child's school of bricks, mortar and steel, and they have a huge impact on that child's development, whether it's positive or negative.  Those people have a huge, huge impact, because they spend more time during the day than you spend with your kids. And they have a greater responsibility, as a teacher, they are held to a higher standard. I don't know that they really look at themselves in that particular way.  But a good and great teacher will produce a great student and that student will go on to do great things. Personally, I think they need to reevaluate how they do things and how they look at some of the roles. Hopefully this will generate some kind of positive change.

As we again began to conclude our conversation, I thanked Shelia again and told her that I think people will look at the situation a bit differently after reading this, because I now felt differently about it. She then turned the interview tables and asked "Well how do you feel?" This is what I shared with her.

"The first thing I feel better about is you, as her mother. A strong person providing the family life that Taylor needs, and that NOTHING will be done at the USTA or anyplace else unless her parents approve of it because she's your daughter first and last.

The most important thing for me is that I no longer feel as if Taylor is being "beat up," if you will, by this big organization and that whatever goes on at the USTA with regards to Taylor has to come through you and her father. That you all are her mainstay. That releases that parental need of mine to protect this child. Now I know that she has that protection in her own parents."

Yeah, they can make it hard sometimes, but they only make me better and keep it moving.



This interview is the sole property of  Black Tennis Pro's. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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SERENA WILLIAMS VOICES OPINION ON TOWNSEND INCIDENT: ''If that happened, that's obviously a tragedy, because everyone deserves to play."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

World No. 1 Junior and 2012 US Open Doubles Champion Taylor Townsend

Serena Williams says she's alarmed by the U.S. Tennis Association's decision to hold a top junior player out of competition over concerns about her fitness.

Sixteen-year-old Taylor Townsend is the world's top-ranked girl. The Wall Street Journal first reported last week that the USTA withheld funding her tournament appearances while she focused on getting in better shape.

''If that happened, that's obviously a tragedy, because everyone deserves to play,'' Williams said Monday, a day after winning the U.S. Open.

''She's so sweet and she works so hard,'' she added. ''For a female, particularly, in the United States, in particular, and African-American, to have to deal with that is unnecessary. ... Women athletes come in all different sizes and shapes and colors and everything. I think you can see that more than anywhere on the tennis tour.''

Townsend played at the Open, winning the junior doubles title and reaching the quarterfinals in singles.

''She's still No. 1,'' Williams said. ''That's saying something.''


Source AP
Photo Getty Images


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2012 US OPEN: World No. 1 Junior Taylor Townsend and Gabrielle Andrews Win Junior Girls' Title

Monday, September 10, 2012

2012 US Open Junior Girls' Doubles Champions (L-R) Taylor Townsend and Gabrielle Andrews

American girls Gabrielle Andrews and Taylor Townsend avenged their loss in the final of last year’s US Open on Saturday by defeating Belinda Bencic of Switzerland and Petra Uberalova of Slovakia, 6-4, 6-3, to raise the 2012 trophy.

The win finishes off an incredible year for the American duo, who now have two Grand Slam junior titles to their name, adding the US Open title to their 2012 Australian Open championship they won as doubles partners in January. This also marks the third girls' doubles Grand Slam win and fourth Grand Slam finals appearance for Townsend, who won the Australian Open and made it to the French Open final with Canadian Eugenie Bouchard earlier this year.

In the first set of their match on Court 13 Saturday, it was an even contest, with both teams holding serve throughout. Serving at 4-4, Townsend was pushed to deuce, but after Bencic sent a return sailing long, the Americans held serve. Andrews and Taylor used that momentum to get a timely break in the following game and won the set, 6-4.

Neither team could hold serve to start the second set, exchanging breaks, until the U.S. girls regrouped and played lights-out tennis to finish the match off.

Meanwhile, on Court 11, the boys doubles final was pushed to a tiebreak, with Kyle Edmund of Great Britain and Frederico Ferreira Silva of Portugal overcoming the all-Australian team of Nick Kyrgios and Jordan Thompson, 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (6). After battling it out for over an hour and a half, Edmund and Ferreira Silva hoisted the winner's trophy.

Source usopen.org

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(PHOTOS) 2012 Australian Open Junior Girl's Doubles Winners Taylor Townsend And Gabrielle Andrews

Sunday, January 29, 2012

2012 Australian Open Junior Girl's Doubles Champions, 15-year-old (l)Taylor Townsend of Stockbridge, Georgia and 15-year-old (r)Gabrielle Andrews of Pomona, California. They defeated Irina Khromacheva of Russia and Danka Kovinic of Montenegro, 5-7, 7-5, 10-6.



source: australianopen.org

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THE FIRST TIME'S A CHARM: 15-Year-Old American Taylor Townsend Takes 2012 Australian Open Junior Girl's Singles And Doubles Titles

Saturday, January 28, 2012

15-year-old American Taylor Townsend takes 2012 Australian Open Junior Girl's Singles and Doubles Titles

It’s not often you get to drop to the ground on Rod Laver Arena and shed tears of joy. It’s one of those once in a lifetime opportunities.

But after 117 minutes in scorching heat on Rod Laver Arena, American Taylor Townsend shed those tears after becoming the 2012 junior Australian Open champion.

Townsend, just 15 years old, put a poor second set behind her to come away a 6-1 3-6 6-3 winner over fiery Russian Yulia Putintseva.

17-year-old Putintseva was clearly devastated by the loss and took her frustration out on her racquet, returning to her chair with a tangled frame and frazzled strings.

She also offered no words during the post-match presentation.

It has been a remarkable tournament for the 14th-seeded Townsend, who took home not only the girls’ singles title but also the girls’ doubles title in her first visit to Melbourne Park.

“It’s really exciting. I mean, it's a dream come true for me,” Townsend said.

“A lot of people were supporting me, and my family and everything are just so proud. It was just a proud moment for me and ... the feelings kind of rushed in.”

Townsend remained the more level-headed player throughout the match, a stark contrast to her feisty – and often vocal – opponent who was not afraid to express her emotions.

“I just kinda tried to focus on myself and just make sure [I] just keep playing one point at a time. That's what I kept telling myself: one point at a time, one point at a time.”

Putintseva trains at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in Paris under the watchful eye of former world No.1 Martina Hingis, who joined the academy in 2011.

It was a dream start for the American who raced to a 3-0 lead registering seven winners from her first 12 points won.

Townsend’s mix of powerful groundstrokes from the baseline coupled with pressure created from pushing forward to the net proved too much for Putintseva.

Townsend said her constant willingness to approach the net was all part of an effort for the American to stick to the game she is most comfortable with.

“My expectation was to just go out and play my game and play within myself every match and not really [conform] to the game styles of these other girls by playing at the baseline but, you know, moving forward and being aggressive, how I play.”

Putintseva finally got off the board after holding serve at 3-1 but it was a short-lived spell, as Townsend surged through 12 of the next 15 points to take the opener 6-1.

But the 17-year-old Russian wasn’t about to lie down.

Putintseva stormed through the opening games of the second set and raced to a 4-0 lead, offering herself plenty of verbal encouragement with fist-pumps and comments to her box.

Townsend’s once-flawless play from the baseline started to crumble with shots spraying wide or into the net, and it was the fourth seed’s turn to dictate the play and crunch winners.

Putintseva closed out the second set 6-3.

The deciding set began tightly, but at four-three up and on serve, the American claimed a crucial break of serve and never looked back, closing out the decider 6-3.

And so, after a junior Grand Slam singles and doubles title under her belt, young Townsend said she discovered a lot about herself in the past week.

“Well, I've learned that ... if you just compete and work really hard, anything is possible,” she said.

“You know, the family support and the support of people that are around you is key.”

But that’s not all she’s discovered.

“I also learned that I need to keep myself calm on the court, because that's when I play the best,” she offered with a laugh.


source: australianopen.org
Photo by: Ben Solomon/ Tennis Australia

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