<str@NAOMI_OSAKA, @DIESCHWARTZMAN EARN 2019 @USOPEN SPORTSMANSHIP AWARDS
FLUSHING, N.Y., September 5, 2019 – World No. 1 and 2018 US Open champion Naomi Osaka and 2019 US Open quarterfinalist Diego Schwartzman were awarded the women’s and men’s 2019 US Open Sportsmanship Award, respectively, on Thursday. The award is presented to the professional tennis players who best demonstrate excellence in sportsmanship throughout the US Open Series and the US Open.
“Naomi and Diego are both tremendous competitors and athletes, but at this year’s US Open, and throughout the entire summer, they have demonstrated a level of sportsmanship that is even more impressive than their play on the court,” said Todd Martin, co-chair of the US Open Sportsmanship Award Selection Committee. “We are incredibly pleased to present them with this year’s US Open Sportsmanship Awards, and thank them for being true role models and inspirations for all those that play the game.”
Eligibility requirements for winners include participating in at least two Series tournaments, as well as the 2019 US Open. Each US Open Sportsmanship Award winner receives a trophy and a $5,000 donation to the charity of his or her choice.
The USTA started a Sportsmanship Committee in 2011. Its charge is to “educate and inspire youngsters and their parents to develop and exhibit a high degree of sportsmanship and an attitude of fair play and mutual respect on and off the tennis court. Underlying the charge is the ethical imperative that fairness is more important than winning.”
The USTA Sportsmanship Award Selection Committee is comprised of USTA representatives, former players and journalists, including Co-Chairs Todd Martin and Lars Rosene, Jon Vegosen, Mary Carillo, Mary Joe Fernandez, Chanda Rubin, Joel Drucker, Steve Flink and Matt Cronin.
Tacos With A Side of Camilla Giorgi: A Dream Tennis Tournament in the Bronx
Steve Fogleman in the Bronx
Last night I dreamt that I was in a glassy, air-conditioned Ikea, dining in the megastore’s cafe, dutifully waiting out my spouse’s shopping spree. But the weird part was that they were serving tacos instead of swedish meatballs. Or maybe I was in the waiting room of a brand new maternity ward waiting for news on the delivery of a child. Better yet, I may have been in the international flights terminal of an airport waiting for my plane to a dream vacation. Dreams fade fast, but wherever I was, the strangest thing happened next. I looked out on the tarmac (or the Ikea parking lot) and saw a professional tennis match being played in front of no one in particular. One player looked exactly like Andrea Petkovic, and the other player was a doppelganger for Zhang Shuai. It was a pleasant distraction from whatever I was doing, especially since I couldn’t find those meatballs drowning in lingonberry sauce anywhere.
This is the 2019 Bronx Open at the Carey Leeds Center in Crotona Park. Crotona Park is famous from “Fort Apache, The Bronx”, a lugubrious flick from the ’70s. This event is bound to have a happier ending. I’ve been to a tournament like this one before: the 2011 WTA Citi Open in College Park, Maryland. Then, like now, I considered it to be my private tournament and I mean that as a compliment. At least the Citi Open became a permanent moniker in Washington sports. Move the Bronx Open anywhere else and it just wouldn’t sound the same. And there’s talk of this being a temporary shelter for the tournament as they figure out how to keep it in the U.S. Just as Memphis took safe harbor in Long Island, this little tournament is also on life support in the Big Apple. It’s like a baby New Haven, and it means outrageous opportunities for fans to interact with top players. Did I say fans? I meant a fan.
It’s also free. So free that you didn’t even need to enter the grounds to watch main draw matches yesterday. You could just heel your dog and watch Alison Van Uytvanck or Monica Niculescu win a match. The fun thing about a WTA international level event is that they’re fighting it out to make the quarterfinals–on a Tuesday. Come out and soak this one in before it’s gone.
It’s straight out of a tennis fan’s dream.
New Haven, Conn. – June 6, 2019 – The Oracle Challenger Series announced today that the first event of the 2019-2020 Series will be held in New Haven, Conn. at the Yale Tennis Center on September 2-8, 2019 and will also feature the Oracle Champions Cup, a one-night men’s legends Invesco Series QQQ event headlined by Connecticut native James Blake.
Now in its third year, the Oracle Challenger Series aims to help up-and-coming American players secure both ranking points and prize money at home in the United States. The two American men and two American women who accumulate the most points over the course of the Series receive wild cards into their respective singles main draws at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA. As part of the Series’ mission to grow the sport of tennis and make professional events more accessible, each tournament is free and open to the public.
This year, the New Haven tournament will launch the 2019-2020 Series and be instrumental in determining which players make the most of the opportunity to receive wild cards into the largest ATP Tour and WTA combined two-week event in the world. Additional stops on the 2019-2020 Road to Indian Wells will be announced in the coming months.
“This day is extremely rewarding for the Tennis Foundation of Connecticut and for me personally as it ensures that the rich history of professional tennis in New Haven continues,” said Anne Worcester, Tournament Ambassador and former Connecticut Open Tournament Director. “The Oracle Challenger Series is a terrific showcase for both men’s and women’s tennis, and I believe our longtime and dedicated fans will love coming to this free and accessible event.” No one fought harder than Worcester to maintain the WTA premier level event in New Haven
Additionally, the Series’ inaugural 2019-2020 tournament will feature the Oracle Champions Cup, an Invesco Series QQQ event, on Saturday, September 7. The one-night tournament is part of the competitive circuit featuring legendary tennis icons and world-renowned champions, and will be headlined by Fairfield, Connecticut native and former World No. 4 Blake; 2003 U.S. Open Champion and former World No. 1 Andy Roddick; former World No. 2 Tommy Haas; and two-time Davis Cup titlist and former World No. 8 Mark Philippoussis. The event will consist of two one-set semifinals, with the winners meeting in a one-set championship match.
New Haven was always one of my favorite stops on the tour. Losing the premier level tournament was a serious blow to young athletes in New England, because if you’ve been to a women’s tournament, then you know that women players are only treated as first class athletes at these events. Even at some of the Grand Slams, many fans are plainly obvious that they’re there to mostly watch the men’s matches. The Connecticut Open pushed up against the US Open in the grand slam’s own backyard, which was the putative reason for the attendance drag. That leaves Charleston as the only east coast stop for a WTA premier. I’m pleased that Oracle stepped up to bring pro tennis back to New Haven, but the fact is it’s a mere seventy miles from Arthur Ashe Stadium and the tournament will commence and conclude during the second week of US Open main draw play. That gives me pause. But hey, all tournaments are good tournaments for the fans and perhaps some early round losers in New York will grab a wild card into New Haven.
For more information about the Oracle Challenger Series, visit oraclechallengerseries.com. If you are interested in becoming a ballkid or volunteer for the event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Oracle Champions Cup and to purchase tickets and VIP special packages, visit https://www.invescoseries.com.
Former NCAA Doubles Champion Francesca DiLorenzo now has another record, and it’s a unique place in US Open history. She’s the only player who’s ever had a kiss planted on them by a fan. At least the only one I ever witnessed. I did the math and I’ve been to 16 US Opens since 2001, and I have never seen or heard of a random fan stealing a kiss from a competitor. If you’ve been here, you know that security is pretty tight. If you don’t believe me, try getting to the lower level of Arthur Ashe with an upper level ticket. But that’s exactly what happened to DiLorenzo after her first round win on Tuesday in New York. A much older guy asked for a photo and gave her a peck on the cheek before DiLorenzo knew what was happening.
“That was very weird for me,” she told me today after a second round match. “I took a picture with the guy and then he then he literally came over and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I mean, maybe if it was somebody younger, like more my type. Maybe he’s Italian, but I don’t know. Pretty strange. Definitely one of those strange encounters. He was a little bit older. I didn’t know what to do. I was very shocked. I just took the picture and left. Yeah, too bad he wasn’t younger or anything.”
The bandit is still at large. If you have any information on this man, please contact his grown children.
—Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
NY/FL/Japan’s @Naomi_Osaka_ Sizzles in @USOpen First Round
Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
Long Island-born Naomi Osaka had an easy time in scorching conditions in her opening round match on Grandstand at the US Open today, beating German Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-2. Osaka jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first set and though Siegemund looked more composed to start the second set, Osaka quickly broke her again and held on to serve out the match in just one hour and eighteen minutes.
For Osaka, she’s now 3-0 in first round matches in New York. She also keeps her streak alive trying to reach the third round or better in a sixth straight grand slam. Coming into last year’s US Open, the then-unseeded Japanese player made it to the third round where she became a victim of dangerous floater Kaia Kanepi. This year, she’s seeded 20th, and she’s expected to make the third round or better at this year’s event. Today’s win also saw Osaka pass the $2 million earnings mark at the age of 20.
As to the idea that she plays better in larger tournaments, Osaka said, “I mean, I have sort of already accepted the fact that I probably play better during the big stages. I think that’s just something that I grew up watching, like, people on the bigger stages. And I have always wanted to play on Arthur Ashe and stuff, so when the chance comes, of course I’m going to play my best.”
While happy that she won, she admitted that “I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I didn’t play as well as I wanted to. But I’m really happy with how I fought. I didn’t let her sort of — like, towards the end of the first set, I think I dropped two games in a row, and I managed to stop her from coming back.”
Osaka will look to reach another third round on Thursday against qualifier Julia Glushko.
Many eyes will be on Louis Armstrong Stadium at the US Open in New York this morning for the first ever competitive matches since the stadium’s impressive rebuild. The building was dedicated yesterday and christened with an exhibition match and a concert, but today is where the shoes hit the hardcourts.
Young American Sebastian Korda takes on Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis in the opener on Armstrong. Three other Americans will have a chance to win on Armstrong today, as Kristie Ahn faces Ons Jabeur, Chicago’s Evan King plays Stefano Travaglia and Ernesto Escobedo finishes up the day against Marc Polmans of Austria. Yesterday, Escobedo had the support of a jam-packed Court 11 crowd cheering the American all the way to a frenetic 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) victory over top qualifying seed Jozef Kozalik that left Escobedo nearly speechless. After the match, I asked him what were the keys to his victory, and he replied with “I have absolutely no idea right now,” and then with a smile on his face, proclaiming that “it’s such a special place to play.”
US OPEN UNVEILS NEW SCHEDULE
New Louis Armstrong Stadium to Have Dedicated Night Session for First Time
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., February 6, 2018 – The USTA today announced that the 2018 US Open will introduce a new daily match schedule for the tournament, made possible by the completion of the strategic transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, and the opening of the new 14,000 seat Louis Armstrong Stadium.
In 2018, both Arthur Ashe Stadium and the new Louis Armstrong Stadium will hold dedicated day and night sessions. This marks the first time that a second stadium will feature a night session at the US Open. With the new Louis Armstrong Stadium also being equipped with a retractable roof, making it the second court at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to utilize this technology in addition to Arthur Ashe Stadium, there will be a larger number of matches played on schedule, regardless of weather conditions.
In Louis Armstrong Stadium the day session will begin at 11:00 a.m. for the first nine days of the tournament and will include three matches, with the night session beginning at 7:00 p.m.and showcasing two matches for the first six days of the event. Approximately 7,000 of the seats in Armstrong will be open to all US Open ticket holders for both the day and night sessions, while the remaining seats will be reserved for those with a dedicated Louis Armstrong Stadium ticket for the respective session.
In Arthur Ashe Stadium, the day session will now begin at 12:00 p.m. and include two matches. The night session will continue to be comprised of two matches, and will begin at7:00 p.m.
The move to two matches during the day session in Arthur Ashe Stadium helps to establish a greater certainty of start time for the night session, with a lesser chance of a delayed start time, a benefit to players, broadcasters, and fans both attending the US Open and those viewing from home. The possibility for congestion on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center during the changeover between the day and night sessions should also be alleviated, due to more time for egress and ingress.
“We are incredibly excited to shine a light on the new Louis Armstrong Stadium at the 2018 US Open, featuring a night session in a second stadium for the first time in the tournament’s history,” said Katrina Adams, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA.
“Night tennis and the US Open are synonymous; truly some of our most memorable matches have been under the bright lights at night.”
In the City of Dreams, a Few More Realized at US Open Qualifying
Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
It was another glorious day in a vainglorious city. I like the way that sounds, but it’s not correct because this part of New York never cared much for keeping up appearances, unless you count all of the auto body shops that want to get those ugly dents out of your ride. Yes, all of the glory in New York was solidly in Queens yesterday, as 32 players punched their ticket to the biggest dance of all at the US Open.
For Viktoria Kuzmova, it was fitting that her first grand slam main draw should be in New York. A 2016 US Open Junior Finalist, Kuzmova showed the poise on these courts that took her so far in juniors, and the fact that they’re playing on outer courts, and not Arthur Ashe Stadium, made it all so familiar.
She beat Francoise Abanda yesterday, who qualified for the main draw last year. “I feel amazing,” Kuzmova said after the match. “I played this year for the first time in qualifying at Roland Garros and Wimbledon and I didn’t pass, but now I made it to the main draw so I’m really happy..I’m really excited it happened here,” she said. She meets Venus Williams in Round 1. Welcome to the big leagues.
For French journeyman Vincent Millot, who’s played in every grand slam main draw except New York, it was equally gratifying. The 31-year-old let out a primal scream after the win against Simone Bolelli. “On the court, at the end, I was so tense because I was thinking about this thing,” he said. “Actually, since I’m young, this is my favorite one, and all these years, I was so tense when I was playing here. And qualifying for me this year, so good,” he added with a smile as you watched the tension release from his body and mind. Millot can now check this off of the bucket list and get on to beating Santiage Giraldo in round 1.
Maximilian Marterer, who impressed me in his qualifying run to Cincinnati, backed that up with his maiden trip to a grand slam main draw by taking out top seed Leo Mayer in a 6-4, 7-5 affair. Mayer was disgusted and smacked his racket after the handshake. Marterer, in typical German understatement style, didn’t whoop it up like Millot or the others. He casually told me after the match, “yeah, I’m really happy with my travel here to the United States. It’s the first time for me playing grand slam main draw. I’m feeling incredible right now,” he said, without much emotion on his face. “I already lost twice against (Mayer) before, so I’m happy I did it better,” he said. He was content. Contentment buys him an opener against Donald Young. For his part, Mayer made it through as a lucky loser and faces Gasquet.
Tereza Martincova admitted that she got a little nervous when she saw compatriot Andrea Hlavackova watching her qualifying final. “It’s so good when she was here. I started to be a little nervous. We are friends but it’s perfect when you have some friends and they want to support you. It’s a big help for me,” she said. She had some fans in her corner and not surprisingly, she’s a big fan of the US Open. “Of course, because it’s amazing here,” she said. “They’re so many fans and it’s great to play here. I think it’s the best grand slam here,” she added. Martincova makes her grand slam main draw debut next week against Caroline Garcia after knocking out Georgia Brescia 7-5, 6-4 on Court 16. Interestingly, Court 16 was the only court yesterday where no player had ever been to a major main draw. That was bound to change, and Sofya Zhuk also reached her career pinnacle on Court 16 to advance.
I felt like the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Prize Patrol yesterday as I walked around the outer courts and reminded the players that they had just won qualifying tennis’ greatest prize. ‘You just won $50,000 and the memory of lifetime! What are you going to do now?’ A: Um, practice even harder?
I noticed this morning that the Connecticut Open drew 45,688 fans through eight days of qualifying and main draw matches with some of the biggest names in women’s tennis. The US Open qualifying tournament, which offers free admission, drew 41,612. It looks like the secret is out. As much as I’d hate to see it, the US Open might want to consider charging for it to tip the balance in favor of Connecticut. New Haven is a great tournament, but unfortunately it’s an afterthought for New York and Connecticut tennis fans as the Open sucks up all of the oxygen in the region. With the level of drama in New York on Friday, it might still be a challenge for the WTA tournament 72 miles up I-95.
2017 MARKS MILESTONE YEAR FOR PLAYERS AT THE US OPEN AS TOTAL COMPENSATION TOPS $50 MILLION FOR FIRST TIME
Each Singles Champion to Receive $3.7 Million Payout
US Open Qualifying Jumps Nearly $1 Million with $2.9 Million Now on the Line
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 18, 2017 – The USTA today announced that the prize money for the 2017 US Open will increase by more than $4 million, bringing the total purse for the tournament to a record $50.4 million, a 9 percent increase over the 2016 US Open prize money totals. With those increases, the US Open becomes the first tennis tournament in history with total prize money compensation topping $50 million. Once again, the tournament will provide the richest purse in tennis history.
Both the men’s and women’s singles champions will earn $3.7 million, the largest payout in US Open history. The average increase per round for the singles competition is 7.5 percent above the 2016 US Open. Similar to the past two years, the largest percentage gains by round are in the first and second rounds of the tournament. Both the men’s and women’s doubles champion teams will earn $675,000, the highest in US Open history, and overall doubles prize money has been increased by 8.6 percent. The US Open Qualifying Tournament will offer more than $2.9 million in prize money, an unprecedented 49.2 percent increase over 2016.
“Five years ago, we committed to the players that total player compensation for players would reach $50 million at the US Open, and we are honoring that commitment,” said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams. “In addition to unprecedented prize money increases, players also will see a host of new amenities at this year’s tournament including upgrades to Player Dining, a more generous meal allowance, upgrades to all player workout facilities, and additional quiet room space. Our goal is to make every experience at the US Open, whether for the players, our fans, or our partners, the best, world-class experience possible.”
Twenty years ago, the US Open was transformed by the introduction of Arthur Ashe Stadium. The new centerpiece of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Arthur Ashe Stadium providing the game’s greats – and its greatest fans – with a stage unmatched in the sport’s annals. Boasting a capacity of more than 23,000, Arthur Ashe Stadium became the largest tennis-only stadium in the world, allowing the Open to welcome more than half a million more fans than when its namesake won the men’s singles championship in 1968. Best of all, the stadium has grown with the times. In 2016, it added a retractable roof, banishing rain delays to the historical record and ensuring that the US Open’s loyal legion of supporters could continue to experience the grandeur of US Open tennis regardless of the weather. Today, Arthur Ashe Stadium stands as the ultimate showcase for the world’s finest players to complete the toughest two weeks in tennis.
This year’s US Open is scheduled for August 28 through September 10, with the US Open Qualifying Tournament beginning on August 22. The USTA is continuing its transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center with a new Louis Armstrong Stadium in 2018.