Category Archives: Tennis

Tennis Tuesday: Let The Clay Season Begin

The clay season is officially underway, with the tennis world shifting to the red dirt until the big finale at Roland Garros in June.

This Week’s Tournaments:
US Men’s Clay Court Championship – Houston, TX USA
Grand Prix Hassan II – Marrakech, Morocco

Americans In Action In Houston
The US Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston is the only ATP clay court event in North America.  Most of the US men are in action this week – John Isner, Jack Sock, Stevie Johnson, Sam Querrey lead the pack along with rising stars Francis Tiafoe, Tommy Paul, and Reilly Opelka.

Indian Wells-Miami Double Winners
Winning the Indian Wells and Miami double is one of the toughest tasks in tennis.  This year,  5 of the 6 champions in Indian Wells also took home titles in Miami.  Novak Djokovic won the double for a record 3rd year in a row.  Victoria Azarenka was the first women’s singles player to pull off the double since Kim Clijsters in 2005.  The French duo Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut continue to impress and added the 2 Masters 1000 titles to their growing list.  American Bethany Mattek-Sands teamed up with Lucie Safarova this time to win Miami.

Davis Cup Venue Announcements
We’ve been (im)patiently waiting for news on where the next Team USA tie will be since they booked their spot in the quarterfinals in March.   Per the Davis Cup Twitter, the venue for the USA vs Croatia tie happening in July will be announced on April 25th! (fingers crossed for an East Coast spot!)

John Isner Splits with Coach Justin Gimelstob
Justin Gimelstob announced in a statement on his website he will no longer be working with top American John Isner for personal reasons.  The pair worked together for just over a year.  We’re looking forward to seeing who John adds to his team.

Tennis Tuesday: Miami Open

We’re about halfway through the Miami Open, the last hardcourt tournament before the tour heads to the clay season.   It’s been quite an interesting tournament already (who said March Madness was just for basketball?!).  So far we’ve seen quite a few seeded players fall:  Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, David Ferrer, Stan Wawrinka, John Isner, Andy Murray & more are all already out of the tournament before the 4th round.

This Week’s Tournament:
Miami Open – Miami, FL USA

4th Round Matches to Watch
Men’s fourth round action takes place today.  We’re looking forward to watch Dominic Thiem, who has had an outstanding 2016 so far, take on Novak Djokovic.  Grigor Dimitrov had his biggest win of the year so far, taking out Andy Murray in 3 sets.  He takes on Gael Monfils in what is guaranteed to be an entertaining match!

grigor-dimitrov-miami-open

Tennis + Puppies = Love
Two of our favorite things collided this weekend, when Manny the Frenchie took over the Miami Open and hung out with some of our favorite tennis players for the day.

 

World Team Tennis Draft Announced
The WTT player draft was held last week, with all of the teams picking their marquee and roster players.  In addition to the previously announced Andy Roddick on the New York Empires, this season will also see former players James Blake on the San Diego Aviators and Mardy Fish on the Washington Kastles.  John Isner, the Bryan Brothers, Donald Young, Caroline Wozniacki and more complete the 2016 lineup. Head over to WTT.com for the full draft results!   The season schedule will be released in April.

wozniackiWTT

Tennis Tuesday: Welcome to Miami

This week the tour moves to the East Coast, with Miami Open action starting on Wednesday.  Enjoy this last hardcourt tournament in North America before the tour moves to Europe for the clay season!

This Week’s Tournament
Miami Open – Miami, FL USA

Novak Djokovic Wins BNP Paribas Open
Djokovic captured a record 5th title in Indian Wells.  It was one-way traffic in the men’s final, mostly due to opponent Milos Raonic’s recurring injury, but also due to Djokovic’s outstanding play.

 

Pierre-Hugues Herbert & Nicolas Mahut Win Indian Wells Doubles
P2Hugz and Nico had an incredible week, winning their first Masters 1000 title as a team.  (yes team, not squad ahem tennis commentators…)  They defeated “Team North America” in the finals, AKA American Jack Sock and Canadian Vasek Pospisil.  We’re big fans of both these teams and happy to see them continue to do well!

 

World Team Tennis Draw March 25
We already know that Andy Roddick will be leading the New York Empires in WTT this Summer in Forest Hills (best news ever).  The WTT draw on Friday will reveal the rosters for all of the teams in the league.  Stay tuned to WTT.com!

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header photo via the Miami Open

Tennis Tuesday: Indian Wells

All eyes are on the California desert as the first Masters 1000 event of the season is taking place this week in Indian Wells.  The BNP Paribas Open is one of our favorite tournaments of the year to watch.

This Week’s Tournament
BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA

#MERICA
The Americans have been making a splash at the tournament so far.  18-year-old Francis Tiafoe, one of the ATP World Tour’s #NextGen stars, was impressive in taking out Taylor Fritz and then playing a close match against world #18 David Goffin.  He may have lost but the match proved he could go toe-to-toe with a top 20 player.  Pittsburgh native Bjorn Fratangelo was also impressive in his match against Novak Djokovic, taking the first set 6-2 (no easy task) and fighting until the very end.   Be sure to catch fellow Americans John Isner, Sam Querrey, Stevie Johnson and Jack Sock in action today.

Jack Sock For President
Babolat launched a brilliant new campaign with the rising American star Jack Sock that we can totally rally behind.  Watch his “campaign” video below and make sure you sign up for a “S.O.C.K” at JackSockForPresident.com to show your support for #SockIn16!    We’re looking forward to a showdown between Jack and Dominic Thiem later today.  Let’s rally, America.

Grigor Dimitrov Hot Shot
Grigor lost in the 2nd round to another #NextGen player, Alexander Zrevev.  (We don’t want to talk about it.)  But not before hitting this crazy leaping behind the back shot.   Teach us your skillz.

Nadal vs Verdasco
Verdasco may have beaten Rafa in the 1st round of the Australian Open earlier this year, but there’s no bad blood between the two.  The teamed up for doubles in Indian Wells, loosing to the Bryan Brothers in an entertaining match.  They’ll face off against each other again today, 3rd on Stadium 1.  Will Rafa get revenge?

RAFA_Verdasco_2016_IW

header photo from BNP Paribas Open

Tennis Tuesday: World Tennis Day

Tennis in 2016 has gotten off to an um, interesting, start.  And it’s only March!  Which means two of the biggest tournaments in the US are coming up, with Indian Wells starting on Wednesday and the Miami Open at the end of the month.    Here’s our roundup of the news of the week.  Happy World Tennis Day!

This Week’s Tournaments
BNP Paribas Open – Indian Wells, CA

Davis Cup Quarterfinals Set
After a drama filled weekend and some great matches, the Davis Cup quarterfinals are set!  The next round takes place July 15-17, just after Wimbledon.  We’re thrilled the US is back in the quarters after a 3 year absence (and are hoping the tie will take place somewhere near NYC so we can go!)   John Isner was impressive in his 2 wins, even hitting one of the fastest serves on record (157mph).

USA* vs Croatia
France vs Czech Republic*
Italy* vs Argentina
Serbia* vs Great Britain
*host country

World Tennis Day
Today is World Tennis Day!  Celebrations are happening all over the world, including the BNP Paribas Showdown tonight at Madison Square Garden.  The event features Gael Monfils vs Stan Wawrinka and Serena Williams vs Caroline Wozniacki in an exhibition match.  Tickets are available here.  The event kicks off a month of fun activities hosted by the USTA.   Visit their website for more info.

bnp--paribas-showdown2016

Maria Sharapova Announcment
Rumors started flying as soon as Maria gave notice of a press conference on Monday, with a “major announcement.”  Would she be announcing her retirement?  A new Sugarpova flavor?  It turned out to be neither.  Maria tested positive for a banned substance at the Australian Open, taking full responsibility in her press conference which you can watch below.  One thing is for sure, when she does announce her retirement, it will not be in a place with ugly carpet.

ATP World Tour Announces “Next Gen”
The ATP announced their “Next Generation” Campaign for 2016, featuring 14 of the hottest young stars under 21.  The list includes Americans Taylor Fritz, Jared Donaldson, and Frances Tiafoe, along with Borna Coric, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Nick Kyrgios and more.  Get to know the “next gen” here!  (side note: that Nike kit is almost the official uniform of the #nextgen)

ATP_NextGen_2016

Jack Sock Signs with Nike
Speaking of that next gen Nike kit, Jack Sock will also be sporting the look starting with Indian Wells!  He just signed a new deal with Nike, leaving old sponsor Adidas.

Tennis Tuesday: Davis Cup Preview

Of all of the tennis tournaments that happen throughout the year, Davis Cup weekends are always our favorites to watch.  We love the team spirit and camaraderie that happens amongst players, and of course, the loud,energetic crowds that seem to be a Davis Cup tradition.  Here’s a look at the World Group action happening this weekend, March 4-6!

USA vs Australia
Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club in Melbourne Australia
Team USA
John Isner / Jack Sock
Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan

Team Australia
Bernard Tomic / Nick Kyrgios
Sam Groth / John Peers

The US Davis Cup team is looking to advance to the World Group Quarterfinals for the first time since 2013(?) after back to back losses to Great Britain in 2014 and 2015. But they have a tough match up in Australia against Nick Kyrgios, who just won his first title in Marseille, and Acapulco finalist Bernard Tomic.  We’re also excited for Lleyton Hewitt’s first tie as Davis Cup captain!

France vs Canada
Vélodrome Amédée Detraux in Guadeloupe
Team France
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga / Richard Gasquet
Gael Monfils / Gilles Simon

Team Canada
Vasek Pospisil / Frank Dancevic
Phillip Bester /Adil Shamasdin

With the depth of talented French players currently on tour, it’s surprising they haven’t yet had Davis Cup glory. They’ve made it to the finals and lost to eventual champions Great Britain and Switzerland in 2014 and 2015.  With a new captain, Yannick Noah, and a talented team, we’re hoping this is the year they can make it all the way!   Unfortunately Canada’s top player, Milos Raonic, had to withdraw with injury.

Germany vs Czech Republic
TUI Arena in Hannover, Germany
Team Germany
Philipp Kohlschreiber / Alexander Zverev
Dustin Brown / Philipp Petzschner

Team Czech Republic
Tomas Berdych / Lukas Rosol
Jiri Vesely / Radek Stepanek

Radek Stepanek is ready to go with his infamous shirt.

Great Britain vs Japan
Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, England
Team Great Britain
Andy Murray / Kyle Edmund
Jamie Murray / Dominic Inglot

Team Japan
Kei Nishikori / Taro Daniel
Yoshihito Nishioka / Yasutaka Uchiyama

2015’s Davis Cup champions Great Britain take on Japan in their opening round.  This one should be interesting to watch – if nothing else the British tennis fans always BRING IT.

Belgium vs Croatia
Country Hall du Sart-Tilman in Liège, Belgium
Team Belgium
David Goffin / Kimmer Coppejans
Ruben Bemelmans / Arthur de Greef

Team Croatia
Marin Cilic / Borna Coric
Ivan Dodig / Marin Draganja

Belgium had an impressive run to the final in 2015.  Can they repeat last year’s success?

Poland vs Argentina
Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland
Team Poland
Jerzy Janowicz / Kamil Majchrzak
Lukasz Kubot / Marcin Matkowski

Team Argentina
Leonardo Mayer / Guido Pella
Carlos Berlocq / Renzo Olivo

Italy vs Switzerland
Adriatic Arena in Pessaro, Italy
Team Italy
Andreas Seppi / Paolo Lorenzi
Simone Bolleli / Marco Cecchinato

Team Switzerland
Marco Chiudinelli / Henri Laaksonen
Adrien Bossel / Antoine Bellier

Serbia vs Kazakhstan
Pionir Hall in Belgrade, Serbia
Team Serbia
Novak Djokovic / Viktor Troicki
Filip Krajinovic / Nenad Zimonjic

Team Kazakhstan
Mikhail Kukushkin / Andrey Golubev
Aleksandr Nedovyesov / Dmitry Popko

It’s great to see that Djokovic is back playing for his country. Winning the title in 2010 helped launch one of the greatest years of his career.

Tennis Tuesday: ATP News of the Week

It was an unpredictable week on the ATP World Tour, with unseeded players taking home trophies in Delray Beach, Marseille and Rio.  We were especially thrilled to see American Sam Querrey take home his 8th career title.  Here’s our tennis news of the week.

This Week’s Tournaments:
Acapulco, Mexico
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Nick Kyrgios Wins 1st Title in Marseille
It’s nice to see everyone talking about Kyrgios for his stellar on-court performance, rather than his antics.  Kyrgios was impressive in taking out Richard Gasquet, Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic in route to his first ATP World Tour Title.  The win put Kyrgios, 20, among the youngest first time title winners in tour history.

NickKyrgiosTitleMarseille

World Team Tennis Back in NYC
We literally screamed out loud when we read that World Team Tennis is coming back to NYC this year, with Andy Roddick leading the newly formed New York Empire team!  Home matches will be played at Forest Hills Stadium at the West Side Tennis Club in Queens (AKA the original site of the US Open.)   It doesn’t get much cooler than that.  Needless to say we can’t wait for the season to kickoff in July!

NYEmpire_WTT

USA Davis Cup Team Announced
The US Davis Cup team is heading back to Australia March 4-6 for first round World Group play.  We’re just glad they’re not playing against last year’s champions Great Britain (again!).  This time around the squad is John Isner, Jack Sock, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan squaring off against Nick Kyrgios, Bernard Tomic, Sam Groth and John Peers.  While we will obviously be cheering for #MERICA, we’re also looking forward to Lleyton Hewitt’s first tie as Davis Cup captain!

quisner

World Tennis Day Coming March 8th
We are just a couple weeks away from the annual World Tennis Day on March 8th, with special events happening all over the world.   In New York you can celebrate at the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden.  This year the exhibition will feature Serena Williams vs Caroline Wozniacki and Gael Monfils vs Stan Wawrinka.   Tickets are on sale now!

bnp--paribas-showdown2016