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Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

This Week’s Tournaments:
BB&T Atlanta Open – Atlanta, GA, USA
Swiss Open Gstaad – Gstaad, Switzerland
German Tennis Championships – Hamburg, Germany

Last Week’s Winners:
Tennis Hall of Fame Championships – John Isner
SkiStar Swedish Open – David Ferrer
Plava Laguna Croatia Open – Andrey Rublev

Andy Roddick, Kim Clijsters Inducted Into Tennis Hall of Fame
Andy Roddick was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame over the weekend in Newport, Rhode Island along with Kim Clijsters, Steve Flink, and Vic Braden.  As expected, Andy’s induction speech was equal parts poignant, charming, reflective, and funny, and reminded  us why we fell in love with tennis in the first place (and how much we miss Andy on tour!)   We loved Andy’s stories about how much he loved tennis from a young age and what a fan he was of all the players that came before him.  We’ll always be grateful to our tennis hero, Andy Roddick!  Watch Andy’s full speech below and have some tissues ready.

Jack Sock Goes Esquire
The latest issue of Esquire features a story on Jack Sock.  He mentions looking up to newly minted Hall of Famer, Andy Roddick.  “Sock grew up a Roddick fan (“being from Nebraska, it was hard not to be, plus I liked the Reebok Pumps and visor and the Backstreet Boys frosted tips”)”  We think Jack should bring this look back.  Check out the story here!

US Open Series Is Underway!
It’s hard to believe that the US Open starts in just over a month.  The US Open Series kicked off yesterday in Atlanta, with several tournaments coming up throughout the US & Canada leading up to the last slam of the year at the end of August.  Lots of young American players are in action in Atlanta this week.

Andrey Rublev Wins First Title in Croatia
19-year-old Russian Andrey Rublev won his first title over the weekend in Croatia.  Rublev entered the tournament as a lucky loser, having lost in the last round of qualifying, and played his way to the title.  Don’t forget that Rublev used to be in a One Direction cover band, Summer Afternoon.

Roger Federer Joins Arthur Ashe Kids Day Lineup
Big news!  Roger Federer will be joining the stadium show at Arthur Ashe Kids Day this year.  The show, on August 26th, will feature some of your favorite players along with performances by Sofia Carson, New Hope Club, Alex Aiono and more.   Tickets are on sale now!  Get all the details here.

Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

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

Davis Cup Semi-Finals Set
We always love Davis Cup weekends!   Since tennis is such an individual sport, it’s fun to see the players in a team setting, playing not just for themselves but for their country.  The crowds are always excellent, loudly and festively supporting their nation.  Over the weekend, 8 nations faced off for a spot in the semi-finals.  Australia defeated the USA 3-2, led by a focused Nick Kyrgios and captain Lleyton Hewitt.

France had a straightforward victory over Great Britain, winning both singles rubbers on Friday and doubles on Saturday to seal the victory.   Even though they were out with injuries, Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert were there to cheer on the team in Rouen.

The semi-finals will take place on September 15-17th, just after the conclusion of the US Open.  Belgium will host Australia, while France will host Serbia.

Memphis Open to Move to Long Island, NY
The Memphis Open is leaving its home in Tennessee after a 41-year run.  The ATP 250 event is moving to the newly re-opened Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Hempstead, NY in 2018.  GF Sports partnered with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment to move the tournament to the new venue.  Next year’s event will take place February 10 – 18.   We’re thrilled to see more tennis in NY!

Clay Season Is Here!
The tour has officially moved to the clay courts, with just 6 weeks to go until Roland Garros!   This week, Grigor Dimitrov is the #1 seed in Marakesh while Jack Sock is the #1 seed in Houston.  Both players have had an outstanding season so far in 2017 and let’s see if they can keep the momentum going on the clay!

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Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

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

Last Week’s Winner:
BNP Paribas Open – Roger Federer

Introducing the (One-Handed) Backhand Boys
Roger Federer may have won the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells over the weekend, but he also won the internet and the hearts of fangirls around the world with the return of the Backhand Boys.  Federer joined fellow one-handed backhanders Grigor Dimitrov and Tommy Haas for a singalong of Chicago’s “Hard to Say I’m Sorry.”  You might recall the trio singing  together back at the Australian Open, and this new video shows they’ve been working on their moves and their vocals.  Tour soon?

As much as we love the Backhand Boys, we think they could use a couple of extra members to make up the classic 5 member boyband!   We’d love to see Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem, Richard Gasquet or Feliciano Lopez join the lineup.  Auditions in Miami?

The Backhand Boys could use a rival boyband just to keep things fresh.  May we present *NSYDE OUT led by some of the best forehands on the ATP Tour: Juan Martin del Potro, Jack Sock, and Rafael Nadal with Vasek Pospisil (he so needs/wants to be in a boyband) and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Denis Shapovalov Wins 1st Challenger Title
#NextGenATP player Denis Shapovalov won his first challenger title over the weekend in his native Canada at the Challenger Banque Nationale Drummondville.  At 17-years-old, Denis is the youngest ATP Challenger winner so far this year and now the youngest player in the top 200.  Denis defeated his friend and countryman Felix Auger-Aliassme in the semi-finals en route to the title.

Gael Monfils Out With Injury
Gael Monfils is one of the most entertaining players in tennis, with an explosive game and incredible athleticism.   Unfortunately, his big game has led to quite a few injuries over the years, and Gael’s latest setback is a tear in his Achilles’ heel and chondropathy Patella.  He is out of the Miami Open and will start rehab.  We hope to see Gael back on court soon!  (so we can see more shots like this)

ATP University Class of 2017 Graduate in Miami
Every year in Miami, the ATP World Tour hosts “ATP University” for the youngest players on tour.  The 3-day program teaches the players about life on tour including player relations, social media, nutrition, and finance.  It also gives the new players a chance to get to know each other and adjust to their hectic new schedule.  This year’s class included young Americans Reilly Opelka, Noah Rubin, Michael Mmoh, and Stefan Kozlov.

Roger Federer Covers GQ‘s April Issue
Things can be rough for a tennis fan in the off-season.  It’s hard to fill the time normally spent with following scores and matches across the globe with some non-tennis related activities.  Which is how back in December, with no brackets to fill out, tennis fans made it their priority to vote Roger Federer as the Best Dressed Man in GQ‘s Most Stylish Man poll.   Federer won the poll in a landslide, taking out Kanye West, Ryan Gosling, and more in the process.  With his new honor, Federer is on the cover of GQ‘s April issue.  Read the story here!

Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

This Week’s Tournaments:
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships – Dubai, UAE
Abierto Mexicano Telcel – Acapulco, Mexico
Brasil Open – São Paulo, Brasil

Last Week’s Winners:
Rio Open – Dominic Thiem
Delray Beach Open – Jack Sock
Open 13 Marseille – Jo-Wilfred Tsonga

Grigor Dimitrov Walks Dolce & Gabbana Show
Grigor, who has the most wins on the ATP tour so far this season, is taking some time off before heading to Indian Wells next week.  He was spotted in Milan over the weekend, walking in the Dolce & Gabbana show, where Austin Mahone also performed.  We couldn’t have dreamed up a better show tbh.  Also, how does Grigor not have any modeling campaigns yet?  Watch out, Rafa!

Dominic Thiem Wins Title #8 in Rio
Thiem dominated his first clay court tournament of the season, winning the Rio Open without dropping a set.  Thiem was impressive all week, with his powerful ground strokes on full display.  Oh, and he also did this.   The title is the 8th of Thiem’s career, and we love seeing Domi back at the top of his game.    Bamos!

Jack Sock Wins Delray Beach Open
Jack won his 2nd title of the season in Delray Beach, albeit not in the way he had imagined.  He won the title after his opponent, Milos Raonic, had to withdraw before the match due to a hamstring injury sustained during his semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro.  The win puts Jack, the current #1 American player, up to a new career high of #18 in the ATP World Tour rankings.  Jack’s record so far in 2017 is 11-1, with his only loss to Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in the 3rd round of the Australian Open.   Congrats to Jack and wishing Milos a speedy recovery!

Vasek Pospisil Launches “Bounce” YouTube Channel
Vasek officially launched his YouTube channel, named “Bounce,” which promises to take a look at his life outside the tennis world.  Videos so far include Vasek trying out hockey and baseball, and singing some country songs.  Tune in every Friday for new videos!  #AnythingIsPospisil

World Tennis Day Is Next Week
Don’t forget World Tennis Day is next Monday, March 6th!  There will be festivities all over the world to celebrate, including  the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden.  Tickets are still available for the event, which will put Team Americas (Jack Sock, Andy Roddick, Juan Martin del Potro, Venus Williams) against Team World (Nick Kyrgios, Lleyton Hewitt, Kei Nishikori, Garbine Mugaruza).

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Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

This Week’s Tournaments:
Rio Open – Rio de Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Delray Beach Open – Delray Beach, FL USA
Open 13 Marseille – Marseille, France

Last Week’s Winners:
Memphis Open – Ryan Harrison
ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament – Jo-Wilfred Tsonga
Argentina Open – Alexandr Dogopolov

Ryan Harrison Wins 1st ATP Title
24-year-old American Ryan Harrison won his first ATP title at the Memphis Open!   The win puts Ryan back up to his career high ranking of #43 in the world, which he first reached in 2012.  Since his breakout, Ryan has had a tough few seasons, but he never gave up.   Ryan made it to both the singles and doubles finals in Memphis, with partner Stevie Johnson.  Even though he lost in the doubles final, it means Ryan gets the full set of Memphis trophies:  a Gibson guitar as singles champion, and a gold record as doubles runner-up.   We’re glad to see Ryan playing well and hope he can keep the momentum going!

Juan Martin Del Potro Back In Action
Delpo is back this week, playing his first tournament of 2017 at the Delray Beach Open in Florida.  Delpo decided to take a longer off season to rest, after leading Argentina to the Davis Cup title in late November of last year.    Delpo’s 2017 campaign kicks off tonight against Kevin Anderson.  Vamos!

World Team Tennis Marquee Draft Announced
The Mylan WTT marquee player draft took place last week,   and we are already excited for what looks to be a fun season coming up this Summer!  Jack Sock was the first overall pick, tapped by the Springfield Lasers to head up their team.  Genie Bouchard, John Isner, and Mardy Fish will join the New York Empire, who are moving their home court from Forest Hills to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and US Open fan favorite Court 17.   Venus Williams, the Bryan Brothers, and Martina Hingis will play for the Washington Kastles, while Andy Roddick and Sloane Stephens join the Philadelphia Freedoms.  Stay tuned for additional player announcements and the full schedule coming up in March.  The dates for this year’s World Team Tennis season are July 16 – August 2nd, with the finals on August 5th.

Vasek Pospisil to Launch YouTube Channel
Canadian player Vasek Pospisil announced he will launch his own YouTube Channel this Friday, February 24th.  The channel, which he has been working on for some time, will take a look at Vasek’s life off the court.  You know we’ll be tuning in!  #AnythingIsPospisil

Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

This Week’s Tournaments:
Open Sud de France – Montpellier, France
Garanti Koza Sofia Open – Sofia, Bulgaria
Ecuador Open – Quito, Ecuador

Davis Cup Quarterfinals Set
It was a dramatic weekend of Davis Cup action, that lasted well into Monday.  The Argentina – Italy tie went to a decisive 5th rubber, with the final match pushed to Monday due to rain and darkness at the outdoor clay match in Buenos Aires.  Fabio Fognini defeated Guido Pella from 2 sets down, 2-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, in a 5 set match that won the tie for Italy and knocked out defending champions Argentina.

The Quarterfinals will take place April 7-9, so stay tuned for venue announcements!
USA vs Australia (host: AUS)
Italy vs Belgium (host: BEL)
France vs Great Britain (host: FRA)
Serbia vs Spain (host: SER)

Denis Shapovalov Defaulted In Canada-Great Britain Tie
The most dramatic moment of Davis Cup weekend happened in Ottawa, during a decisive 5th rubber between Canada and Great Britain.  17-year-old Canadian, Denis Shapovalov, playing in his first Davis Cup tie, hit a ball out of the court in frustration, accidentally hitting the umpire in the face.  The incident caused Shapovalov to lose the match, and Canada to lose the tie.  Let’s hope that ALL players learn from this – there have been way too many close calls in the past.

USA Defeats Switzerland 5-0
It was Team USA all the way this weekend, with a brand new Davis Cup squad defeating Switzerland 5-0.  The Bryan Brothers announced their retirement from Davis Cup earlier this year, making room for some new players to step in.  Captain Jim Courier selected John Isner, Jack Sock, Stevie Johnson, and Sam Querrey for the tie.  Team USA will head back to Australia in April for the Quarterfinals.  We hope we’ll see more of this American flag waving celebration in the future!

Dimitrov, Thiem Headline Sofia Open
Dominic Thiem is the #1 seed at the Sofia Open in Bulgaria this week.  The tournament’s #3 seed, Grigor Dimitrov, is playing a tournament in his home country for the first time since the Juniors.  Grigor receives huge support from Bulgarian fans no matter what country he is playing in, so we know the crowd will be fully behind him!   Grigor has been having an outstanding 2017 so far, winning a title in Brisbane and reaching the Semifinals in Australia.  Let’s go Grisha!

Ryan Harrison Wins Dallas Challenger Title
American Ryan Harrison is back into the Top 70 in the rankings for the first time since 2013.  He defeated #NextGen American Taylor Fritz in the final of the RBC Tennis Championships in Dallas, 6-3, 6-3, on Saturday.  The win puts Ryan at #62.   Ryan had won a title in Dallas before – the Little Mo tournament in 2000!   Andy Roddick was also a Little Mo champ in 1992.   Ryan took a moment to pose with this amazing banner showing he and Andy’s matching trophies and bowl cuts.

 

Tennis Tuesday: Australian Open Week 1

This Week’s Tournament:
Australian Open – Melbourne, Australia

Last Week’s Winners:
ASB Classic – Jack Sock
Apia International Sydney – Gilles Mueller

We love how the tennis season starts off with a bang – it’s just the third week of January but it’s already time for the first slam of the year!

Where to Watch: ESPN and WatchESPN
Tournament Dates: January 16 – January 29
Time:  Play nightly starts at 7pm EST
Social Media: #AusOpen @AustralianOpen

Jack Sock Wins 2nd Career Title in Auckland
Jack had a strong end to 2016, reaching the finals in Stockholm (where he lost to Juan Martin del Potro), and the Quarterfinals of the Masters tournaments in Paris and Shanghai.  He’s been working hard in the off-season and it shows!  Jack was impressive in his run to a second career title in Auckland, where he defeated Joao Sousa in a high quality final.  We’re excited to see how he’ll fare at the Australian Open!

Reilly Opelka Qualifies for First Grand Slam
Part of the #NextGen of young American players, Reilly Opelka qualified for the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in Melbourne.  Reilly was the only player to go through qualifying without dropping a set – or dropping serve.  He’ll face David Goffin in the first round.  Other American qualifiers include Frances Tiafoe, Noah Rubin, Bjorn Frantangelo, and Ernesto Escobedo.  Let’s go USA!

Sasha Bublik Interviews “Rafa”
It’s been an awesome week in Melbourne so far for the Sasha Bublik – he qualified for the main draw of a grand slam for a first time AND managed to grab Rafael Nadal for a quick interview.   Wait a minute, for sure this is Rafa, no?

Lleyton Hewitt & Andy Roddick Join BNP Paribas Showdown
As if we weren’t already hype enough for the BNP Paribas Showdown coming up at Madison Square Garden on March 6th, it just got even better with the announcement that Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick are joining the lineup!   We’re pretty sure that we filled out the “Who do you want to see at the BNP Paribas Showdown?” survey last year with “ANDY VS LLEYTON WOULD BE EPIC” so thank you tennis gods for making this happen!   The new format for the showdown, the 10th anniversary of the event, will be Team Americas Vs. Team World.   That means Andy Roddick, Jack Sock, Juan Martin del Potro, and Venus Williams will be taking on Lleyton Hewitt, Nick Kyrgios, Kei Nishikori, and Garbine Mugaruza.    Tickets are on sale now!

Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

This Week’s Tournament:
BNP Paribas Masters – Paris, France

It’s hard to believe we’ve already made it to the last tournament of the regular season of the ATP World Tour!   The tour wraps up this week in Paris, with 2 more spots on the line for a spot in the World Tour Finals happening later this month in London.  Marin Cilic moved up to the 9th position after winning the title in Basel Last week, with Dominic Thiem just ahead at #8.  The year end #1 ranking is also on the line in Paris as Andy Murray closed in on current #1 Novak Djokovic by winning the title in Vienna last week.

 

Jack Sock Wins Doubles in Basel
American Jack Sock won his 2nd doubles title of the year, this time with partner Marcel Granollers.  This was Jack’s 4th final (singles and doubles) since the end of the US Open.  Jack Sock for President!

 

BNP Paribas Showdown 2017 Lineup Announced
2017 marks the 10 year anniversary of the BNP Paribas Showdown.  The annual event, held at Madison Square Garden, features the top names in tennis facing off in an exhibition match in celebration of World Tennis Day.  This year’s event features Venus Williams vs Garbine Mugaruza, Jack Sock vs Nick Kyrgios, and Kei Nishikori vs Juan Martin del Potro.  The showdown is March 6th 2017 at MSG and tickets are on sale now!

Arthur Ashe Kids Day Kicks Off 2016 US Open

Arthur Ashe Kids Day is one of our favorite annual events because it combines our two loves:  music and tennis!  This year’s event was entertaining from start to finish, with performances from some of music’s hottest rising stars and fun tennis games with pros and non-pros alike.  And it’s all for a good cause – proceeds from the event benefit the USTA Foundation, National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL), and charities selected by participating tennis pros.

Flo Rida got the crowd pumped up with everyone’s favorite hype song “My House,” welcoming everyone to the new and improved Arthur Ashe Stadium featuring the amazing new roof!  Spectators were able to see just how easily the roof can be opened and closed. (It’s fast and very cool to watch).

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Hosts Laura Marano, Joey Bragg, and Jordan Fisher kept the party going with their fun dynamic.  Joey took a seat in the “tennis emperor” chair, better known as the umpire chair, to officiate over the festivities.

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Laura Marano performed her hit “Boombox,” followed by her brand new single, “La La!”  This was the first time Laura performed her new single, and we can already tell it’s going to be a hit.

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Four Olympians were brought onto the court for the Xerox Target challenge:  Juan Martin Del Potro (Silver Medal, Men’s Singles); Venus Williams (Silver Medal; Mixed Doubles); Stevie Johnson (Bronze Medal, Men’s Doubles); and Monica Puig (Gold Medal, Women’s Singles).  The four pros were joined by NJTL winner, Mykael, for some target practice, each raising over $14,000 for the charity of their choice!  Every target hit = $1000.

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Jack Sock took the court with Ansel Elgort and some NJTL players to show off their tennis skills.  We must say all of the kids who participate are awesome and we wouldn’t be surprised to see them on the pro side of AAKD down the road!

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Boyband Forever In Your Mind got a taste of what the pros feel as they played their hits “Hurricane” and “Enough About Me,” from just behind the baseline on court!  FIYM have come a long way since 2015, when they performed outside on the Hess Festival Stage.  The guys had Arthur Ashe Stadium rocking!

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Jordan Fisher brought down the house with his insane vocal range and falsetto in his debut single, “All About Us.”  He can SING.  AAKD has a knack for booking young talents before they make it big, and we say look out for much more from Jordan!

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The Hess Festival Stage on the grounds hosted performances from up and coming singers like Citizen Føur, Los 5, and Tegan Marie.  Citizen Føur nailed their performance, throwing in some amazing dance moves.  Tegan Marie’s powerful vocals carried through the grounds.  You’ll definitely be hearing more from these two!

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Didn’t make it out to AAKD?  Tune in to ABC on Sunday, August 28th at 2PM to catch all the music and tennis highlights from the stadium show!

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Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

This Week’s Tournament:
Western & Southern Open – Cincinatti, OH

Between all the withdrawls and negativity surrounding the games, we weren’t that excited about tennis at the Olympics before it started.  But man, did this week prove us wrong!  The tennis games at the Olympics turned into a compelling and emotional week, starting with that epic match between Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro which feels like ages ago.

Men’s Singles
Gold: Andy Murray (GBR)
Silver: Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)
Bronze: Kei Nishikori (JPN)
It was just SO. GOOD.  to see Del Potro and Rafael Nadal (who finished 4th) playing well again.  SO.  GOOD.

 

Men’s Doubles
Gold: Rafael Nadal & Marc Lopez (ESP)
Silver: Florin Mergia & Horia Tecau (ROU)
Bronze: Stevie Johnson & Jack Sock (USA)
Impressive that Nadal, the flag bearer for Spain, wasn’t sure if he would even be able to play in every event on site.  He ended up making it to the semis in singles and won the gold with good friend Marc Lopez in doubles.

 

Mixed Doubles
Gold: Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Jack Sock (USA)
Silver: Venus Williams & Rajev Ram (USA)
Bronze: Lucie Hradecka & Radek Stepanek (CZE)
How awesome was it to see two American teams on the podium for the medal ceremony?  Also Jack Sock now has a Gold Medal and Bronze medal along with Wimbledon and US Open Doubles/Mixed titles.

 

Women’s Doubles
Gold: Ekaterina Makarova & Elena Vesnina (RUS)
Silver: Martina Hingis & Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)
Bronze: Lucie Safarova & Andrea Hlavackova (CZE)

 

Women’s Singles
Gold: Monica Puig (PUR)
Silver: Angelique Kerber (GER)
Bronze: Petra Kvitova (CZE)
Puig made history, winning Puerto Rico’s first ever gold medal, in ANY sport.  Great for the country and great for the sport!

 

US Open Wild Cards Announced
Get excited if you’re not already (or in case you haven’t been counting down since last September like us).  The US Open Qualifying Tournament starts in just ONE WEEK!  The USTA announced Wild Cards for the Main Draw & Qualifying Draw, including former champ Juan Martin del Potro.  Vamos!

Main Draw Wildcards
Juan Martin del Potro
Francis Tiafoe
Rajeev Ram
Michael Mmoh
Ernesto Escobedo
Bjorn Frantangelo
Mackenzie McDonald

Qualifying Wildcards
Reilly Opelka
Vasil Kirkov
Mitchell Krueger
Sekou Bangoura
Tennys Sandgren
Ryan Shane
Thai-Son Kwiatkowski
Christian Harrison

The US Open Qualifying Tournament starts on Tuesday, August 23rd and is free and open to the public.  Get all the info at USOpen.org!