Sebastian Korda Wins Australian Open Boys’ Championship
Sebastian Korda, 2018 AO Boys’ Champion
Seventeen-year old Sebastian Korda, of Bradenton, Fla., won the Australian Open boys’ singles title over Korean Chun Hsin Tseng, 7-6(6), 6-4, in Melbourne.
Korda, whose father and coach, Petr, won the Australian Open men’s singles title 20 years ago, became the fifth American ever to win the Australian Open boys’ singles title and the third in the last 50 years (Donald Young, 2005; Andy Roddick, 2000; Butch Buchholz, 1959; Gerry Moss, 1955).
An American has now been victorious at the last four junior Grand Slam tournaments, after Whitney Osuigwe (French Open), Claire Liu (Wimbledon) and Amanda Anisimova (US Open) all won major girls’ singles titles in 2017.
Chris Eubanks, 2017 Charlottesville Challenger (Photo: TennisAtlantic.com)
Newly Minted Pro Chris Eubanks Back to Winning Ways at 2017 Charlottesville Challenger Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
(Charlottesville, VA–October 31) Eight days ago, Chris Eubanks announced that he would give up his final season of eligibility at Georgia Tech to turn pro. Not much else has changed for Eubanks in that time, as the 2016 Charlottesville semifinalist simply returned to his winning ways here in a tight two-set victory over Canadian Samuel Monette, 7-6(9), 6-4. He had plenty of praise for his opponent after notching pro victory Numero Uno.
“I knew that (Monette) going in, it was going to be a grind to play him. He fights as good as anybody out there. He makes you play,” he said of the young Canadian. “I had a very slow start and my legs weren’t working. I don’t know what it was, but luckily after I got a couple of holds I kind of found my legs,” he continued.
As is so often the case, the long tiebreak would prove momentous in this match as well. “The breaker was a battle, a really big momentum shifter,” Eubanks said. “Whoever got that breaker was going to have a little extra juice and I was fortunate to save a couple of set points and come out on top of the breaker and give me some momentum.”
Eubanks gained that momentum and served first in the second set.
Like most players, Eubanks refuses to use numerical rankings toward his near and short-term goals. “Just to be be better every day,” he said. “I don’t want to put certain numbers or quantitative benchmarks on it. I just want to continue to progress and say ‘Hey, I think I’m a better player than I was two months ago’. When the end of December comes and I can say that I’m a much better player than I am right at this moment, then I think I had a successful year.”
You know you’ve got a Georgia Tech engineer on your hands when “quantitative benchmarks” come up at a tennis court. Eubanks will face Next Gen contender Michael Mmoh in Round 2.
Shelby Rogers (Photo: Tony Callaio, Tennis Atlantic)
Shelby Rogers Defeats Daria Gavrilova in Longest-Ever US Open Women’s Match
August 31, 2017 — Shelby Rogers, of Charleston, S.C., defeated 25th-seeded Daria Gavrilova, of Australia, 7-6(6), 4-6, 7-6(5), in a second-round match that took 3 hours, 33 minutes, setting a record for the longest women’s match in US Open history.
Shelby Rogers, 2017 Volvo Car Open (Photo: Tony Callaio, Tennis Atlantic)
The previous record was 3 hours, 23 minutes, set when Johanna Konta defeated Garbine Muguruza in the 2015 second round, 7-6, 6-7, 6-2.
A 24-year old currently ranked No. 62, Rogers — whose best result at a Grand Slam came by reaching the quarterfinals at the 2016 French Open — will play fourth-seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina in the third round.
Tennis Road Show Back to Cincinnati Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
It’s hard to believe it’s already late summer and the tennis road show moved to Ohio for a big build-up to the US Open. With so many engaging story lines on both sides of the sport, the Western & Southern Open will likely set the table for the end-of-year narrative.
While most of the tennis world was witnessing the breakout weekend in Toronto for Sascha Zverev, there were packed stands for qualifying matches in Ohio, including a girl who cried because she didn’t get an autograph from Magdalena Rybarikova. I thought, “It’ll get better.” It can always get better than getting snubbed by Rybarikova for an autograph.
This is the greatest tennis place in America. Not the greatest tennis space like Indian Wells, but the greatest tennis place. A place where Americans root for Americans and where they never say John Eisner. Media Director Pete Holtermann says it best when he tells me that there are 9 states within a 250 mile radius of the event. It’s the Midwestern Open.
38 matches on a single day like last Saturday is Slam-like, if not Slam-lite. It is nearly impossible to cover all of the courts and all of the matches at a big tourney footprint like the Western & Southern Open. You pick what looks good and you plan to stay in that area of the facility. It’s progressively bigger in my usual route of Newport, D.C., Cincinnati and the US Open.
In fact, it’s the perfect warm-up to the US Open. Who knew? Oh, wait.
Sunday’s 19 matches felt relaxing by comparison. Qualifying concluded with the 19 winners, 7 men and 12 women who jump into main draw play today. They were beaten to the first round by Ryan Harrison, Gilles Muller, John Isner and Vik Troicki, who kicked off their first round matches yesterday.
Harrison fought hard in a three set loss to Muller and he heard that American fanbase he says is so sorely needed. They cheered for him through the ups and the downs, but the American wilted in the thrid set tiebreak to advance Muller to the second round with a 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(3) win.
The fans were then served a less dramatic match but got to cheer on another fellow countryman when John Isner eased past Troicki, 7-6(3), 6-4.
Maximilian Marterer of Germany advanced in straight sets yesterday to his first career main draw of a 1000 level event. He was so excited he could barely contain his glee as he rode off on the golf cart he had to share with his opponent, Ramkumar Ramanathan. Ramanathan looked dazed as a man who had lost two consecutive tie breaks despite the fans overwhelming support on Court 4. Marterer rides into the first round against American Frances Tiafoe later today.
J.P. Smith is almost an American to these fans and it showed at the end of his match yesterday. Despite cheering for Christian Harrison throughout the match, their applause turned to the former University of Tennessee alum as he prepared to serve out the 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 win. Fans flocked to him for photos as he soaked up a memorable weekend on the outer courts.
Taylor Townsend gave many plenty to smile about with her comeback win. After losing the first set in a tiebreak to Carina Witthoeft on Center Court, she stormed back to win out 7-5, 6-1. More adulation by the crowd was in store for Townsend as she was mobbed by well-wishers. Monica Puig is next in store for Townsend later this afternoon on Court 10.
CINCINNATI (August 8, 2017) — Four Americans aged 20-and-under have been awarded wild card entries into the men’s field at the Western & Southern Open. Tommy Paul (20), Jared Donaldson (20), Stefan Kozlov (19) and Frances Tiafoe (19) will play in the main draw of the tournament that will be held August 12-20 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.
“We are thrilled to welcome these four American rising stars to the Western & Southern Open,“ said Tournament Director Andre Silva. “There is an energy and buzz around the youth movement that is taking place in the game, and we’re excited to have the opportunity to see that firsthand.”
Jared Donaldson was clutch
Paul, who was raised in North Carolina, has reached consecutive quarterfinals this summer in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Those results propelled him to win the 2017 US Open Wild Card Challenge, and have cut his ranking in half since Wimbledon, pushing him to a career high ranking this week. In juniors, Paul was ranked as high as No. 3 after winning the French Open title and reaching the US Open final during the 2015 season.
Donaldson is a Rhode Island native who will be making his third main draw appearance at the Western & Southern Open, where he owns a 2-2 record. Last year, Donaldson reached the third round at the US Open, becoming the youngest American to do so since 2007. This summer, Donaldson has won at least one round in his last four events, including reaching the third round at both Wimbledon and Washington, D.C.
Kozlov, who lives in South Florida, was the junior finalist at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon while reaching as high as No. 2 in the junior rankings in 2014. He closed the 2016 season by claiming his first career Challenger title in nearby Columbus, Ohio. Kozlov will be making his Western & Southern Open main draw debut.
Francis Tiafoe (Photo: Cynthia Lum/USTA)
Tiafoe, one of just two teenagers in the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings, whose father is an immigrant from Sierra Leone who brought Frances to work while serving as the facilities manager of a tennis center in Maryland. In 2015, Tiafoe won the USTA Boys 18s title at Kalamazoo. The winner of two Challenger titles this season, he will be making his main draw debut.
The four join a men’s field that includes seven-time champion Roger Federer, two-time champion Andy Murray, former champion Rafael Nadal and defending champion Marin Cilic.
Wild Wednesday as Stollar Shocks Vesnina, Rogers Rocks Keys at @VolvoCarOpen Steve Fogleman and Tony Callaio, Tennis Atlantic
Fanny Stollar, Charleston 2017 (Photo Credit: Tony Callaio, TennisAtlantic.com)
It was a day when the rain never came, until it did. Many higher-ranked players and Americans probably prayed for the rain to come to the Volvo Car Open in the second and third sets of their matches to allow them to regroup mentally, but it didn’t.
The result? What tournament officials would privately consider a disaster: Americans Venus Williams, Madison Keys and Bethanie Mattek-Sands bowed out, as well as fan favorites Monica Puig and 2016 runner-up Elena Vesnina. The rain finally came, postponing the night session and dropping penny-sized hail nearby.
There were at least two silver linings in those storm clouds. Fanny Stollar, virtually unknown before the weekend, was the player to beat Vesnina and enter the round of 16. Having qualified for her first WTA tour event over the weekend, Stollar has now beaten Asia Muhammad and world #13 Elena Vesnina and will face Ostapenko today. And she really didn’t have any time to soak it in.
A jubilant Stollar of Hungry walked into the Media Center for post match press all smiles as she had just completed the biggest victory of her career when she knocked off No.4 seed Russian Elena Vesnina in a stunning upset 7-6(7), 7-6(3).
Stellar, ranked 282 in the world, dispatched Vesnina in the 2:05 match.
“It really feels good (to win), but it’s still not done, so I can’t be so happy about it because the next one is coming up,” said Stollar. “I just felt really calm and confident right now. So I don’t have any pressure on me at all. I’m just having fun and playing.”
Shelby Rogers, 2017 Volvo Car Open (Photo: Tony Callaio, Tennis Atlantic)
Though local fans would surely lament the loss of Madison Keys to the tournament, if someone had to do it, let it be Shelby. They got their wish as the hometown girl at her home tournament, dubbed “Ms. Roger’s Neighborhood” by Bethanie Mattek-Sands, made the most of the home-court advantage. Despite offering Keys chances to stick around, the listless top seed was no match for Rogers in a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 runaway train ride. Rogers gets Naomi Osaka today and the winner gets Lucic-Baroni or Bertens. There is a real opportunity for Rogers to advance deep into her own neighborhood.
Shelby Rogers, 2017 Volvo Car Open (Photo: Tony Callaio, Tennis Atlantic)
If you listened to Keys and Williams at their press conferences on Monday, neither seemed to have a lot of fire in their belly. For Keys, it’s a slow recovery. For Venus, it’s just the grind of the tour. She jokingly(?) said it was her third time in Charleston, when it was actually her ninth. A senior moment?
Play starts at 11:00 a.m.
VOLVO CAR OPEN – CHARLESTON, SC, USA
APRIL 3 – 9, 2017
RESULTS – APRIL 5, 2017 Women’s Singles – Second Round
S. Rogers (USA) d  M. Keys (USA) 46 61 61
L. Siegemund (GER) d  V. Williams (USA) 64 67(3) 75
[Q] F. Stollar (HUN) d  E. Vesnina (RUS) 76(7) 76(3)
 K. Bertens (NED) d K. Bondarenko (UKR) 62 75
 A. Sevastova (LAT) d A. Petkovic (GER) 63 64
 I. Begu (ROU) d K. Kucova (SVK) 46 62 76(6)
 M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) d M. Barthel (GER) 63 62
N. Osaka (JPN) d  S. Zhang (CHN) 64 64
 L. Safarova (CZE) d [WC] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) 63 63
J. Ostapenko (LAT) d M. Sakkari (GRE) 62 46 62
[Q] A. Rodionova (AUS) d S. Errani (ITA) 62 62
[LL] O. Jabeur (TUN) d M. Linette (POL) 64 64
D. Kasatkina (RUS) d M. Puig (PUR) 60 67(3) 62
D. Gavrilova (AUS) d A. Riske (USA) 63 61
Women’s Doubles – First Round
 A. Hlavackova (CZE) / S. Mirza (IND) d D. Gavrilova (AUS) / D. Kasatkina (RUS) 16 63 10-3
 L. Hradecka (CZE) / K. Siniakova (CZE) d [Alt] D. Kovinic (MNE) / A. Krunic (SRB) 64 75
ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 2017
VOLVO CAR STADIUM start 11:00 am
 S. Stosur (AUS) vs  I. Begu (ROU)
Not Before 12:30 pm
A. Beck (GER) vs  C. Wozniacki (DEN) 00
D. Kasatkina (RUS) vs D. Gavrilova (AUS)
 L. Safarova (CZE) vs L. Siegemund (GER)
[Q] A. Rodionova (AUS) vs A. Beck (GER) or  C. Wozniacki (DEN)
Not Before 7:00 pm
S. Rogers (USA) vs N. Osaka (JPN)
D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) vs  L. Hradecka (CZE) / K. Siniakova (CZE)
ALTHEA GIBSON CLUB COURT start 11:00 am
 A. Sevastova (LAT) vs [LL] O. Jabeur (TUN)
[Q] F. Stollar (HUN) vs J. Ostapenko (LAT)
 M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) vs  K. Bertens (NED)
R. Atawo (USA) / J. Ostapenko (LAT) vs  A. Hlavackova (CZE) / S. Mirza (IND)
 B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) vs [WC] E. Halbauer (USA) / S. Kenin (USA)
COURT 3 start 1:00 pm
K. Bondarenko (UKR) / G. Dabrowski (CAN) vs A. Spears (USA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)
Interview with Alison Riske from Volvo Car Open Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
Alison Riske joined us on Monday after her win at Volvo Car Open to discuss her match against US Open Junior champion Kayla Day, the progression of her career, and her engagement to Stephen Amritraj. And she was kind enough to do all of this in harsh conditions with a rain-soaked malfunctioning microphone.
Kayla Day drew the poker chip that set up the match against Alison Riske during the draw and looks up to Riske. After the win, it was Riske’s turn to return the serving of admiration:
It’s really easy to be complimentary towards Kayla Day. I think she has a really bright future ahead, that’s for sure. She’s an awesome player. Obviously, I respect her as a person, too. She’s come on tour with no sort of air about her even though she’s achieved so much even though she’s only 17 years old. I think the sky’s the limit for her and it will be exciting to see what the future holds. Hopefully, I don’t have to play her too many times.
On her slow and steady rise up the WTA rankings:
It’s definitely been a process. Everyday is a challenge and poses something different. I think the best is yet to come. I hope I can keep achieving new career-high rankings. Hopefully, fingers-crossed, I’ll stay healthy.
On her engagement:
Yes, it’s definitely exciting… I am engaged and it’s been wonderful. He’s so supportive of my tennis which is what really makes it work. Obviously, tennis is my first love.
She agreed that it was only fitting for her to be paired up with another tennis junkie. Her dad, described alternately by her as Robert DeNiro and Fox’s “American Dad” is “totally cool with this.”
Alison Riske, Tennis Atlantic
On a future after tennis:
Tennis has been so good to me, so I would love to be able to give back, somehow, I’m not sure how yet. I see myself still in the sport. I don’t think I could ever have a life without tennis.
On her decision to live in the South, from Florida to South Carolina to Tennessee:
Judging from this rain right now, I’m not sure if it’s because of the weather. Definitely weather is part of it…and the charm definitely has something to do with it. I feel like you just come here and you relax. Your mind relaxes, your body relaxes and you just want to hang out. I don’t know if that’s conducive to playing a tennis tournament. It’s a great place, it’s a special place. I definitely think I’ll have a place here one day in Charleston.
Serena Williams made history by claiming an open era 23rd Grand slam title by defeating sister Venus Williams to win the 2017 Australian Open.
The second seed won 6-4, 6-4 to surpass Steffi Graf’s previous open era record of 22 major titles and return to number one in the world rankings. Margaret Court still holds the professional tennis record with 24 grand slam wins.
It was a crazy Australian Open draw which saw many of the top seeds fall early. But one kept going through the draw without dropping a set, and that was Serena. The world number two looked more like her dominant self on the way to final and entered the match was a big favourite against sister Venus.
Despite the odds, the 35 year old’s tension was apparent. Serena smashed a racket early and received a code violation as a result of her frustration. She had broken serve twice in the early proceedings but handed the advantage straight back each time. However the set was decided with another break for Serena to move 4-3 ahead, and she went out to close the set 6-4.
The second set was much more serve dominated than the first, but it was Venus who was under constant pressure. The world number 17 had to recover from 0-40 in the third game of the set, but she could not hold out for much longer as Serena finally secured the break of serve. The Rod Laver crowd were firmly behind Venus, who has not won a major title in eight years, and she threatened an unlikely comeback in the last game. The world number two recovered from 15-30 though to secure a record breaking 23rd grand slam title, and who will stop her getting more?
For Venus, this was an excellent two weeks in which she may have just seen her last chance of winning a major title slip away. But I am sure Venus will be happy for her sister despite the loss. She continues to defy the odds and continues to play at the top of the game at 36 years old.
“Congratulations Serena on number 23,” said Venus to Channel 7.
“I have been right there with you, some of them I lost right there against you. It’s been an awesome win.
“I’m enormously proud of you, you mean the world to me. I, God willing, would love to come back. Thank you for all the love.”
Serena paid tribute to her sister, citing her as the her inspiration in her winners speech.
“There’s no way I would be at 23 without her. There’s no way I’d be at one without her. She’s my inspiration.
“She’s the only reason I’m standing here today. She’s the only reason the Williams sisters exist. Thank you for inspiring me. Every time you won this week, I felt like I got a win too.”
‘Big Bang Theory’ Star Kaley Cuoco To Join Bryan Bros. V-Grid Tennis Fest Once Again
Camarillo, Calif., – Kaley Cuoco, the award-winning actress and childhood friend of the Bryan Brothers, has committed to being part of the popular V-Grid Bryan Bros. Tennis Fest set for Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Spanish Hills Country Club in Camarillo.
Cuoco, star of the of “The Big Bang Theory”, will join the all-time winningest doubles team Mike and Bob Bryan and provide her humorous commentary alongside the twins’ father and event emcee Wayne Bryan. Season 10 of the “The Big Bang Theory” will premiere on CBS in two weeks.
“We are excited and elated to once again welcome Kaley back on the courts with us,” Bob Bryan said. “We’ve known Kaley since we were kids, and we’ve remained close friends with her and her entire family.”
Added Mike Bryan: “We’re so grateful Kaley will be able join us on Sept. 25. She made our event last year, and the crowd loved having her commentate on our doubles match.”
Bryans (Photo: Bryan Bros. Foundation)
The Bryan Bros., who are nearing 1,000 professional career wins and are considered the greatest all-time doubles team, will take on top American singles players Steve Johnson and John Isner on the jam-packed day to raise funds for the Bryan Bros. Foundation. Johnson, who lost to Roger Federer in the Round of 16 at Wimbledon, is from the City of Orange and earlier this summer won his first ATP pro title. Johnson and Isner are currently the No. 1 and 2 ranked American players in singles. Johnson is currently ranked No. 23 in the ATP World Tour rankings, and Isner is No. 25.
Tennis fans can purchase courtside seats for $100 (children under 17 $40) on the event website at www.BryanBrosTennisFest.com. here:http://www.bbtennisfest.com/general-admission/. There are still a few spot remaining in the Pro-Am where players can pair up with Bob, Mike, Isner, Johnson or former ATP star Mardy Fish. The event will once again feature wine and food tasting, a live auction, pro-am, and performance by the Bryan Bros. Band.
The schedule includes:
1:00pm-4:00pm: Pro-Am Tournament & Food and Wine Tastings
4:00pm-5:30pm: Pro Exhibition Matches
5:30pm-6:30pm: Bryan Bros Band Concert
Over the years, the event has raised more than $750,000 to benefit both the Ventura County Junior Tennis Association, as well as the Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons and other local children’s charities.
The V-Grid Tennis Fest is being run by Spanish Hills Director of Tennis Dave McKinney.
Sponsors include: Sponsors include: V-Grid Energy Systems, Alexander Cadillac, K-Swiss, Spanish Hills Country Club, Channel Islands Wealth Management, Fenessco, Progressive Equine, Channel Islands Wealth Management, St. Mary Magdalen School, Michael Phillip-Raymond James, Blois Construction and the SCTA.
Represent: American @RajeevRam Named to Olympic Squad
Rajeev Ram to Represent
Rajeev Ram, 32, of Carmel, Ind., will become a first-time Olympian by joining the 2016 U.S. Olympic Tennis Team in Rio in men’s doubles. Ram, who holds nine career ATP doubles titles, will team up with first-time Olympian Brian Baker, who is also competing in singles. Ram was added to the team as a result of a withdrawal by the reigning Olympic Men’s Doubles Gold Medalist team of Bob and Mike Bryan for ‘personal reasons’.