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Monday, August 20, 2012
WEEKLY TENNIS NEWS
Nadal Withdraws From The US Open
Rafael Nadal will miss the US Open which starts a week from Monday after withdrawing from the final major of the season with his continuing knee tendonitis.
"I am very sad to announce that I am still not ready to play and have to withdraw from this year's US Open in NYC," said Nadal. "I'm sorry since I always found great crowds and great support.
"I have to continue with my recoup and preparation to be ready to play in the right conditions. I want to say hi and thanks to all the fans, in particular to the New Yorkers. I'll miss you all this year at the Open!"
Nadal, 26, won the US Open in 2009 and lost the 2011 final to Novak Djokovic. He has not played since last June when he was upset in the Wimbledon second round by Czech Lukas Rosol.
"Rafa has informed us that he will not be ready to compete at the US Open this year and has withdrawn from the tournament," read a statement from tournament director David Brewer. "We hope to see him back on the court soon and look forward to his return to New York next year.”
Since his knee injury flared after the clay season, the 26-year-old former number one has dropped out of the Olympics, plus the Toronto and Cincinnati Masters 1000 events.
Nadal Accepts His Physical Condition Situation
Rafael Nadal is looking on the bright side of his chronic left knee tendonitis, with the Spaniard who has not played in almost two months hoping to make a comeback for his country's Davis Cup semi-final in September.
"If the knee is well in time for the Davis Cup and the captain wants me, I will be happy to be there," the world No. 3 told local media on his island home of Mallorca. "It would be exciting for me and a great moment to return. If not, then I will have to wait a little longer."
The 11-time Grand Slam champion admits that he cannot rush the healing and rehab process. "I have to listen (to the doctors) and be patient, and I will come back when my knee is well."
Nadal said that his likely fall in the ATP rankings will not be a problem either. "At this stage in my career my ranking is of the least importance. The most important thing is that I am sure I am fit to compete like I did during the first six months of this year, with a solid chance to win in each tournament I enter.
"After being almost eight years ranked either first or second, I think that being ranked second or fourth or sixth doesn't really change anything."
The enforced break from the game is the longest since Nadal missed two and a half months with a similar knee complaint, stopping after Wimbledon and not returning until mid-August.
Due to his fitness worries Nadal was unable to defend his Olympic title in London and did not play the Toronto and Cincinnati Masters 1000 events.
Hewitt, Blake And Johnson Get US Open Wildcards
USTA announced that 2001 US Open champion Lleyton Hewitt of Australia,
along with two-time US Open quarterfinalist James Blake and reigning
NCAA singles champion Steve Johnson have been awarded men’s singles main
draw wild card entries into the 2012 US Open Tennis Championships. Other
Americans receiving a wild card include 2010 US Open boys’ singles
champion Jack Sock, 2010 US Open boys’ singles finalist Denis Kudla,
2012 USTA Boys’ 18s singles champion Dennis Novikov, and current world
No. 100 Rajeev Ram. France’s Guillaume Rufin will also receive a wild
Oudin, Mattek-Sands, Gibbs And Duval Get Wild Cards
The USTA announced the eight women who have been awarded women’s singles main draw wild card entries into the 2012 US Open Tennis Championships: Bethanie Mattek-Sands and 2009 US Open quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin, both members of the U.S. Fed Cup team, 2012 NCAA singles champion Nicole Gibbs, 2012 NCAA singles runner-up Mallory Burdette, USTA Girls’ 18s champion Victoria Duval, and Julia Cohen, along with Australia’s Casey Dellacqua and France’s Kristina Mladenovic.
The 2012 US Open will be played August 27 – September 9 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. Both the men’s and women’s US Open singles champions will earn a record $1.9 million with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money (for a total $2.9 million potential payout) based on their performances in the Emirates Airline US Open Series.
Williams’ Physical Condition Is A Double Whammy
Venus Williams is fighting a back injury problem which influenced her Cincinnati semi-final loss to Li Na, with the veteran American who is already battling an energy-sapping syndrome looking to the positive in hopes of being 100 per cent for the upcoming US Open.
Williams said she felt back pain during her pre-match warm-up but did not seek help from the trainer until mid-match. "I pretty much couldn't serve," said the 32-year-old, a seven-time Grand Slam winner. "But I wanted to try, especially since this was my first semi-final of the year. I wanted to try to see if I could get to the final but it didn't work out for me."
The unseeded threat gave Li a challenge before taking the loss 7-5, 3-6, 6-1. Now Williams is focussing on her return to New York, an event she missed in 2011.
"It's one match at a time. It's like dealing with the circumstances you're dealing with at that very moment, that very round. That's what I'm thinking going to go into the Open - not necessarily about good form or bad form, but going into that one match and executing and playing that person that's across the net from me."
The elder Williams, who won her last title in 2010, insists she is looking only at the positives. "Right now my priority is figure my back out ASAP. The Open is eight, nine days away, and I still want to be able to get on the court and practice, too.
"I want my serve to be there, too. That's my lifesaver. We'll see."
Evert To Be Honored At The Legends Ball
On Friday, September 7, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum will gather hundreds of tennis enthusiasts and industry leaders at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City for The Legends Ball, an annual social event that celebrates tennis and honors some of the sport's greatest champions and contributors, including the International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2012 - Jennifer Capriati, Gustavo Kuerten, Manuel Orantes, Mike Davies, and Randy Snow.
In addition to honoring the newest inductees, this year's event will salute Hall of Famer Chris Evert, who will be recognized for her years of dedication to tennis, and the positive impact she has made on the sport. The award will be presented by fellow Hall of Famer Billie Jean King.
In celebration of their Hall of Fame Induction, which occurred in July, speaking programs and video presentations will pay tribute to former world No. 1's Jennifer Capriati and Gustavo Kuerten, Spanish tennis great Manuel Orantes, tennis industry innovator and promoter Mike Davies, and the late wheelchair tennis champion, Randy Snow.
Djokovic Is Surviving A Tough Schedule
Unlike the rest of the top 5, at least through Thursday, Novak Djokovic has managed to play the Olympics, Toronto and Cincinnati without withdrawing from one of the events before they began, or getting hurt and then pulling out. Rafael Nadal has been out since Wimbledon and won't return until sometime after the US Open, Roger Federer skipped Toronto, Andy Murray pulled out before his second match In Toronto and David Ferrer skipped the Canadian event.
But not Djokovic, who lost the bronze medal match in London, won Toronto and won his first round match in Cincinnati. He did consider skipping one of the tournaments, but his team has done a good job of keeping him fit.
"I did consider the option, but right now I feel good, so after Toronto I felt also physically well," Djokovic said. "And even though [in Toronto] I had a lot of interruptions with rain and a lot of days where I, struggled physically, I am her now and feeling good."
The Toronto-Cincy swing is the third time this year that the tour has held Masters Series in back-to-back weeks. That also occurs in the spring with Indian Wells and Key Biscayne, as well as Madrid and Rome. However, those two double features did not follow the strenuous Olympics.
"The schedule is as it is, and we're trying all to adjust to it," Djokovic said. "Obviously there are many things that we would like to change, that we would like to see differently. But unfortunately it's not always about players' wishes. It's about tournaments, sponsors, TV rights. All these different things matter when you're trying to organize the schedule, which is very long. So this year we're going to have it two weeks shorter, which is a good thing, but the intensity is even bigger because if it's two weeks shorter but commitment events stay the same.
Sometimes it's really hard to try to stay fit for every single tournament and try to perform your best, you know. In last three, four weeks, I have changed three different, cities, places, surfaces, and conditions. Still trying to figure out where I am."
Williams Will Work With Mouratoglou At The US Open
Serena Williams says that Patrick Mouratoglou will work with her at the upcoming US Open. Williams is quite pleased with the work that France's Patrick Mouratoglou has done with her.
She began working with the Frenchman just after Roland Garros and she hasn't lost a match since then. After winning the Olympic gold medal she went to Paris and worked out at his academy, even though he wasn't there as he was traveling with Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.
Her parents, Richard and Oracene, and Sasha Bijan, who is also her hitting partner, also coach Serena.
"He actually is Grigor's coach, so whenever Grigor doesn't use him or like if there is a combined tournament we use him together," she said.
"So that's why he'll be at the Open. I know he's traveling with Grigor after the Open. Hopefully maybe he'll come to Turkey [the WTA Championships] if Grigor is not playing."
Sparks To Headline US Open Opening Night Ceremony
The USTA announced a dramatic opening night ceremony that will include an immersive video and light show for the first time, and a special performance by pop sensation Jordin Sparks. The ceremony will take place prior to the night session in Arthur Ashe Stadium, on Monday, August 27.
Sparks will perform “Celebrate,” the hit song from the movie “Sparkle,” in which Sparks stars alongside the late Whitney Houston, in Houston’s final performance. Houston opened Arthur Ashe Stadium 15 years ago with a performance of “One Moment in Time” in front of a sold-out crowd and some of the biggest names in tennis history. The video and light show will follow Sparks’ performance, and then Sparks will return to sing the National Anthem.
Sparks is a US Open veteran having first performed at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day in 2009, and she is returning to host this year’s Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on August 25.
For the 11th consecutive year, New York City Michael R. Bloomberg will “Welcome the World to New York” and to the US Open as part of the ceremony. Following Sparks’ performance, USTA President Jon Vegosen will be joined on court by young people from the National Junior Tennis and Learning Network who represent the future of tennis – the “Sport of Opportunity.”
The ceremony will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
Daily Tennis News—Business
Bob Larson Tennis produces several tennis newsletters. One of these is Daily Tennis News—Business. This publication is a daily report on the money in tennis; Who is getting the money, Where does it come from,, What do they do with it and Where does it go.
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USTA To Honor Schwartz
The USTA announced it intends to honor USTA Past President Alan Schwartz to recognize his leadership, vision and expertise in making the USTA National Indoor Center a reality. The ceremony will appropriately be held at the indoor center on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis on September 6.
Vemic Takes On Increased Role With Djokovic
While Roger Federer contested Cincinnati, the head coach of his team, American Paul Annacone, took the week off to rest. The same went with Novak Djokovic's main coach, Marian Vajda, who stayed in Europe after the Olympics to be with his family. Djokovic was accompanied in Toronto and Cincinnati by former pro Dusan Vemic, who once lived in Palm Springs. Vemic is serving both as an assistant coach and as a hitting partner. Vajda, like Annacone, will return for the US Open.
" I know Dusan for very long time, since I was five, six year old boy playing in Partizan Tennis Club back in Belgrade, back then he was one of our best players in Serbia," Djokovic said. So we are friends for a while. He stopped his career last year. We talked and he joined the team. Marian is still the head coach, but he can't travel as much full time as he did in last couple of years. So when he's not able, Dusan comes in and he covers some of the tournaments. There are also tournaments where we're all together, where there are both of them working together. It's a great understanding between them and between us. I have pleasure working with both of them."
2012 Prize Money Earnings
As of August 20, 2012
As of August 20, 2012
Tennis Job of the Week
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A professional tennis photographer has been shooting for almost 40 years at all the major and minor tennis tournaments for the wires systems, daily newspapers, magazines and advertising agencies. He has been to venues all over the world and has compiled tennis images (archives) of all the professionals and some juniors. The images have all been preserved in a temperature-controlled environment and are color positives (slides), color and black & white negatives and contact sheets, as well as digital. There are in excess of 400,000 images and they are for sale. Seller will transfer copyright and will give total usage to the purchaser. Lists available with players, tournaments, dates, etc. For more information please contact 954-448-4999.
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