Andy Murray beat Rafael Nadal 6-4 5-7 6-3 to win an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi. Murray beat Roger Federer in the semifinals of the eight-player event.
“That’s what I’m aiming for. I worked really hard in November, December to give myself the best chance.” – Andy Murray, talking about his chances to win the Australian Open.
“I’m just not ready to play against the top-class competition in Hong Kong, although I remain hopeful for Australia where I’m the defending champion.” – Maria Sharapova, after withdrawing from a Hong Kong exhibition tournament because she is still recovering from a shoulder injury.
“Ken Rosewall is one of Australia’s sporting legends and without question one of the greatest tennis players of all time.” — Tennis New South Wales president Stephen Healy, on naming the Sydney Olympics stadium the Ken Rosewall Arena.
“I accomplished a lot of my dreams as a player, winning at Roland Garros, and now I’ve managed another one, becoming captain of our Davis Cup team.” – Albert Costa, after being named to the helm of Spain’s Davis Cup squad.
“We have chosen two professionals with a lot of experience and long careers in tennis. The AAT based its decision on the technical and leadership qualities of the two coaches.” — Enrique Morea, president of the AAT, after Modesto Vazquez was picked as Argentina’s new Davis Cup captain and Ricardo Rivera was selected as his assistant.
It hasn’t taken long for Andy Murray to show he should be considered one of the favorites for this month’s Australian Open. Although it was just an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, the Brit walked away with the USD $250,000 first-place prize after defeating Rafael Nadal 6-4 5-7 6-3 in the final. Murray also beat Roger Federer in the semifinals and James Blake in his opening match. It was Murray’s second straight win over Nadal and the fifth time he has beaten Federer.
Former Wimbledon semifinalist Jelena Dokic will be playing in this year’s Australian Open after winning a wild card spot in the draw. The 25-year-old Dokic was ranked as high as number four in the world in 2002. But a series of injuries and personal problems, many of them involving her father Damir, saw her ranking drop to 617 in 2006. Last year she won three ITF tournaments and improved her ranking to 179, her highest in four years.
Expecting her second child, Lindsay Davenport has taken herself off the WTA Tour indefinitely. The three-time Grand Slam winner learned she was pregnant just a week after agreeing to play in this month’s Australian Open. After returning to the tour following the birth of her first child, Jagger, Davenport won four of her 55 career singles titles. She also has won 37 doubles titles, including Roland Garros in 1996 with Mary Joe Fernandez, the US Open in 1997 with Jana Novotna and Wimbledon in 1999 with Corina Morariu. Her Grand Slam singles titles came at the US Open in 1998, Wimbledon in 1999 and the Australian Open in 2000.
Sydney’s 2000 Olympics tennis stadium has been named in honor of eight-time Grand Slam champion Ken Rosewall. The 10,000-seat stadium at Sydney Olympic Park will now be known as the Ken Rosewall Arena. Rosewall played in four Wimbledon finals during his career, with a 20-year gap between the first in 1954 and the last in 1974. He won four Australian titles, two French titles and two US titles. He turned 74 last month.
Albert Costa is Spain’s new Davis Cup captain. The 33-year-old replaces Emilio Sanchez Vicario, who stepped down after leading the Spaniards to their third Davis Cup title with a 3-1 win over Argentina. Costa, the 2002 French Open winner, played on Spain’s first Davis Cup winning team in 2000. He will make his debut as captain in a first-round World Group match against Serbia on March 6-8.
Little-known Modesto Vazquez is the new captain for Argentina’s Davis Cup team. The 59-year-old Vazquez replaces Alberto Mancini, who led Argentina to the finals in both 2006 and 2008, only to lose both times. Currently the development director for the Argentina Tennis Association (AAT), Vazquez played two Davis Cup ties for Argentina in 1968 and 1970. The AAT also selected Ricardo Rivera to be Vazquez’s assistant.
SET FOR AUSTRALIA
Two Americans have won wild-card spots for the Australian Open. Christina McHale will be making her first main-draw appearance at a Grand Slam tournament, while John Isner played in all four Grand Slam tournaments in 2008, losing to Fabrice Santoro in the first round of the Australian Open. The US Tennis Association and Tennis Australia have a reciprocal agreement to exchange wild-card berths for the US and Australian Opens.
A shoulder injury is still bothering Maria Sharapova, who will be defending her Australian Open singles crown later this month. The injury forced Sharapova to withdraw from an exhibition event in Hong Kong, where she will be replaced by fellow Russian Anna Chakvetadze. Sharapova has not played competitively since pulling out of a tournament in Montreal, Canada, in July following a match in which she double-faulted 17 times. Medical tests found a torn rotator cuff tendon in her right shoulder.
Upset that a first-round Davis Cup tie was relocated because of security fears, Pakistani tennis officials are demanding USD $60,000 from the International Tennis Federation (ITF). Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) president Dilawar Abbas said the ITF last month gave his country the option of playing its Group II tie against Oman scheduled for March 6-8 in either Oman or Malaysia. Abbas, denying there are security issues in his country, said the switch will incur losses to Pakistan and the ITF should pay compensation. “If the ITF still wants to switch the tie, we demand it to be played on a neutral venue, either in Singapore or Malaysia and not in Oman,” Abbas said.
China’s Peng Shuai has a new coach. She began training with Tarik Benhabiles last month in Florida and will continue to work together fulltime throughout 2009. The 22-year-old Peng had split with former coach Zhang Depei. Benhabiles, who reached a career-high ranking of 22nd in the world and represented France in Davis Cup, ended his playing career in 1992 and coached a young Andy Roddick. He has worked with other players, including Benjamin Becker, Ivo Karlovic and Gael Monfils.
STEFFI THE TARGET
Andre Agassi’s former agent and longtime friend has filed a lawsuit against the tennis star’s wife, Steffi Graf. In the lawsuit, sports agent Perry Rogers charges Graf, herself an inductee into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, owes USD $50,000 to Rogers and his Alliance Sports Management Co. for services outlined in a 2002 agreement. Graf declined to comment. Her husband released a statement saying he was “saddened and disappointed” by the lawsuit. When Agassi and Rogers split last October, both described the parting as friendly.
The International Tennis Federation has decided to allow Nigeria to remain in the Euro/Africa Group 3 Davis Cup competition. The ITF initially dropped the African nation to Group 4 when the Nigerian team failed to show up in Bulgaria last March for their tie. But the ITF reversed its decision when it learned that the Bulgarian Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria, refused to give visas to the Nigerian team.
Oded Yaakov has stepped down as captain of Israel’s Fed Cup team, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. However, Yaakov has not ruled out the possibility of coaching the national team again in the future. “When you have the soul of a coach, you’re wired with an element of competitiveness and adrenaline,” Yaakov said. “These are traits that stay with you, and you can’t get rid of them. I’m sure I’ll feel them again, and that’s why I’m not ruling out returning to the [Fed Cup] team sometime in the future.”
Former USA Davis Cup captain George MacCall is dead at the age of 90. MacCall directed the American Davis Cup teams in 1965-67 that featured Arthur Ashe, Dennis Ralston and Marty Riessen. He is credited with pushing through a rule that allowed the players to be paid USD $28 a day for expenses. MacCall, who won USA senior titles as a player, organized the National Tennis League in 1967 and signed Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Pancho Gonzalez, Fred Stolle among others. He also signed women players, including Billie Jean King, Rosie Casals, Ann Jones and Francoise Durr, helping force tennis into the Open Era.
SITES TO SURF
Sao Paulo: www.abertosp.com.br/
Australian Open: www.australianopen.com/
TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK
$1,110,250 Qatar ExxonMobil Open, Doha, Qatar, hard
$484,750 Brisbane International, Brisbane, Australia, hard
$450,000 Chennai Open, Chennai, India, hard
$100,000 Prime Aberto de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil, hard
$220,000 Brisbane International, Brisbane, Australia, hard
$220,000 ASB Classic, Auckland, New Zealand, hard
TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK
$484,750 Medibank International, Sydney, Australia, hard
$480,750 Heineken Open, Auckland, New Zealand, hard
$600,000 Medibank International, Sydney, Australia, hard
$220,000 Moorilla Hobart International, Hobart, Australia, hard
Novak Djokovic beat Nikolay Davydenko 6-1 7-5 to win the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, China
Fabrice Santoro won the PEOPLEnet Cup by beating Victor Hanescu 6-2 6-3 in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine
“I would put it in the same league as a Grand Slam because the best eight players in the world are participating here. I feel very happy. End up the season the way I started it, with a win in a big event.” – Novak Djokovic, the Australian Open champion who beat Nikolay Davydenko to win the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup.
“Against Djokovic you need to be perfect, also play very fast and very good. That’s what he did, and I didn’t.” – Nikolay Davydenko.
“At the moment it’s Rafa and myself. I really still feel it’s that way because … we’ve played big events on so many occasions. I mean, we still have to play a few more Grand Slam finals. If that’s the case, I’m very happy from my side.” – Roger Federer, after being ousted from the Tennis Masters Cup and failing to reach the semifinals.
“I didn’t feel like I could go out and try to compete and win a tennis match. It’s definitely a tough prospect trying to beat Roger (Federer) with no serve and not being able to move much.” – Andy Roddick, after pulling out of the Tennis Masters Cup with a right ankle injury.
“I don’t know if the injury (resulted) from my fight to be number one because in reality, I didn’t play in any extra tournaments, I only played what I had to for the ranking and I don’t think you can reproach me for that. I didn’t do anything crazy to be No. 1.” – Rafael Nadal.
“Rafa comes in off a very tough year and his body has been warning him for weeks. It’s an acute injury that needs time to recuperate. If he played in Argentina, it could become worse.” – Angel Ruiz-Cotorro, Spanish Davis Cup team doctor, saying Nadal would not play in the Cup final against Argentina.
“It’s disappointing (Rafael) Nadal cannot be with us but we shouldn’t talk about him any more from now on.” – Emilio Sanchez-Vicario, Spain’s Davis Cup captain, as he replaced the world’s top-ranked player with little-known Marcel Granollers.
“It’s always hard to win against Federer. I know that I have to play my best tennis. But in another way, it’s easier for me because I have no question in any head. I just want to give everything, every point to my best tennis to win. It’s easier to play in that way.” – Gilles Simon, after beating Roger Federer in the first match at the Tennis Masters Cup.
“The better you play, the better he plays. He’s quite a unique player and he makes you work hard and runs very well. He’s unusual to play against.” – Roger Federer, about Gilles Simon, who won their opening-round round-robin match at Shanghai.
“I think the umpires are not going to miss me. I’ve been quite tough on those guys.” – Jonas Bjorkman, who retired after 17 years on the ATP tour.
“She will laugh at herself, cry over sad memories, swear if she is angry, be shy about intimate details, and that is why she is a perfect movie hero.” – Film critic Dubravka Lakic, on his documentary on Jelena Jankovic.
“For the first time in my career I feel sad that the season is over.” – Elena Dementieva.
After celebrating his Tennis Masters Cup victory by joining his coach, family and a former Miss University in the stands, Novak Djokovic realized he had cut his left hand. He had the trainer apply a bandage before accepting the trophy for capturing the season-ending tournament. Following his victory over Nikolay Davydenko, Djokovic celebrated by tossing two racquets, his wristbands and sweat-soaked shirt into the crowd at Shanghai’s Qi Zhong Stadium. Then he went to the player’s box where he hugged everyone in his entourage. That’s when he noticed his bloody hand. “You don’t feel the pain in the moments of happiness,” Djokovic said.
After losing his first round-robin match, Andy Roddick pulled out of the Tennis Masters Cup with a right ankle injury. The 26-year-old American said he rolled the ankle during a warm-up drill in practice. He initially hoped treatment would allow him to play his second match, against Roger Federer, but realized during his pre-match warm-up that he couldn’t run or serve well enough. Roddick, who also missed the 2005 Tennis Masters Cup because of an injury, was replaced in the elite eight-man field by Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic.
When Rafael Nadal was forced to pull out of the Davis Cup final between Spain and Argentina, he was replaced by little-known Marcel Granollers, who will be making his Davis Cup debut. Granollers, who is ranked 56th in the world, will join David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez as Spain attempts to win the famed international Cup for the first time since 2004. Also taking himself out of contention for the Spanish squad was Tommy Robredo.
STRAIGHT TO THE BANK
There’s a whole new look to the career money leaders in women’s tennis. Lindsay Davenport took over the top spot when she won USD $295,412 in 2008, boosting her career total to USD $22,144,715. Although she won both Wimbledon and the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha, Qatar, Venus Williams slipped behind her sister Serena, the US Open winner. But Serena and Venus are now second and third on the WTA Tour career earnings list. Serena has pocketed USD $21,961,407, with Venus right behind at USD $21,921,346. For 2008, Serena earned USD $3,852,173 and Venus USD $3,747,565. Steffi Graf dropped from first to fourth on the career earnings list with USD $21,895,277, followed by Martina Navratilova at USD $21,626,089.
It didn’t take long for this year’s Tennis Masters Cup to pull off a surprise. Gilles Simon made his debut by shocking four-time champion Roger Federer 4-6 6-4 6-3. It was Simon’s 50th ATP match win of the season, a year that saw the Frenchman break into the Top 10 of the South African Airways ATP Rankings for the first time. Simon has also shown that the opening set is only the beginning of a match. The 23-year-old leads the ATP with 14 match wins after losing the first set. Against Federer, he also was a break down in the second set. “I defeated him once in Toronto, so it was easier to finish the match,” Simon said. “For sure it was one of the best victories of my career.”
Jonas Bjorkman has hung up his racquets. The Swede finished his 17-year tennis career when he and partner Kevin Ullyett failed to qualify for the doubles semifinals at the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, China. A Wimbledon singles semifinalist two years ago, Bjorkman won more than USD $14 million over his career as well as three Davis Cup titles with his country in 1994, 1997 and 1998. Although his playing career is over, Bjorkman isn’t leaving the sport. He will be editing a Swedish tennis magazine.
Stefan Edberg is making his Outback Champions Series debut at the Emirates NBD’s The Legends “Rock” Dubai this week. The six-time Grand Slam tournament winner is joining the six-player round-robin field that includes Jim Courier, Sergi Bruguera, Anders Jarryd, Wayne Ferreira and defending champion Paul Haarhuis. Edberg is one of 15 men in the history of tennis to play in all four major singles finals during his career, winning twice at Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open. The stoic Swede lost the 1989 French Open final to Michael Chang in a five-set thriller.
Daniel Hantuchova will play in next year’s inaugural Brisbane International tennis tournament. Organizers said the Slovakian star will join French Open champion Ana Ivanovic and reigning Australian Women’s Hardcourt champion Li Na in the field. The Brisbane International will be played at a new tennis center in the Queensland capital from January 4-11 and replaces both the men’s and women’s Australian Hardcourt championships. The Brisbane International men’s draw will feature Novak Djokovic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Marcos Baghdatis, Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet and Mardy Fish.
A documentary film about Jelena Jankovic has opened in movie theaters in Serbia. The 80-minute film, titled “Jelena’s World,” follows the world’s number one-ranked women’s player during tournaments in Madrid and Berlin, as well as her frequent but brief visits to her hometown Belgrade. The movie’s makers, Talas Film, hope to distribute the film world-wide. Director Tanja Brzakovic said the documentary was borne out of her fascination with Jankovic.
There’s a school in Kenya named for Serena Williams. The tennis ace was on hand when the Serena Williams Secondary school in the Eastern province district of Makueni was opened. The school was constructed through funds provided by Serena, computer company Hewlett Packard and The Build African Schools Organization, which funds and supports construction of schools in marginalized areas. Since the area does not have electricity, the school’s state-of-the-art computer laboratory runs on solar power supplied by Hewlett Packard. Following the ceremony, Williams paid a courtesy call on Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Andy Roddick is upset over plans to make players turn up for more tournaments next year. However, the hard-serving American refused to blame the rigorous tennis schedule for the ankle injury that forced him to pull out of the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai. “I think too much is asked of us as far as playing eleven months of the year, and now they’re imposing more mandatory tournaments,” Roddick said. “It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.” The ATP tour has revealed a 2009 schedule that calls for top players to attend eight of the nine Masters events plus four lower-tier tournaments. That, of course, doesn’t include the four Grand Slam tournaments.
There will be an ATP tournament in Hamburg, Germany, in 2009, despite the legal battle over the future of the event. The German tennis federation (DTB) said the tournament would be held in late July. At the same time, the DTB is appealing a United States court decision that upheld the ATP’s right to downgrade the Hamburg tournament from one in which all of the top players had to compete.
Lacoste has extended its partnership with the ATP and will be the official apparel and footwear partner of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals until 2013. As part of the restructuring of men’s tennis in 2009, the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals will replace the Tennis Masters Cup as the season-ending tournament with the top eight singles players and top eight top doubles teams. As the exclusive provider of apparel and footwear for the tournament, Lacoste will also continue to dress the lines people and ball kids.
Tom Gorman has signed on as the new director of tennis at La Quinta Resort & PGA West in the Palm Springs, California, area. A two-time NCAA All-American Gorman reached the semifinals at the US Open, Wimbledon and the French Open during his long career. He was on the winning American Davis Cup team in 1972 and coached the US women’s Wightman Cup and Federation Cup teams in 1984 and 1985. In 1986, he was named the US men’s Davis Cup coach, a position he held for eight years. Gorman was coach with the Americans won the Davis Cup in 1990 and 1992.
Shanghai: Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic beat Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 (3) 6-2
Dnepropetrovsk: Guillermo Canas and Dmitry Tursunov beat Lukasz Kubot and Oliver Marach 6-3 7-6 (5)
SITES TO SURF
Davis Cup: www.daviscup.com
TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK
(All money in USD)
Argentina vs. Spain at Mar Del Plata, Argentina, hard
$125,000 IPP Open, Helsinki, Finland, hard
$100,000 Nordea Danish Open, Odense, Denmark, carpet
Blackrock Tour of Champions, Macao, China
WASHINGTON, D.C. – New Chapter Press has announced the publication of its latest book – On This Day In Tennis History -a calendar-like compilation of historical and unique anniversaries, events and happenings from the world of tennis through the years – written by Randy Walker, the sports marketing and media specialist, tennis historian and former U.S. Tennis Association press officer.
On This Day In Tennis History ($19.95, 528 pages), is a fun and fact-filled, this compilation offers anniversaries, summaries, and anecdotes of events from the world of tennis for every day in the calendar year. Presented in a day-by-day format, the entries into this mini-encyclopedia include major tournament victory dates, summaries of the greatest matches ever played, trivia, and statistics as well as little-known and quirky happenings. Easy-to-use and packed with fascinating details, the book is the perfect companion for tennis and general sports fans alike and is an excellent gift idea for the holiday season. The book features fascinating and unique stories of players such as John McEnroe, Don Budge, Bill Tilden, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Jimmy Connors, Martina Navratilova, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Anna Kournikova among many others. On This Day In Tennis History is available for purchase via on-line book retailers and in bookstores in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. More information on the book can be found at www.tennishistorybook.com
Said Hall of Famer Jim Courier of the book, “On This Day In Tennis History is a fun read that chronicles some of the most important-and unusual-moments in the annals of tennis. Randy Walker is an excellent narrator of tennis history and has done an incredible job of researching and compiling this entertaining volume.” Said tennis historian Joel Drucker, author of Jimmy Connors Saved My Life, “An addictive feast that you can enjoy every possible way-dipping in for various morsels, devouring it day-by-day, or selectively finding essential ingredients. As a tennis writer, I will always keep this book at the head of my table.” Said Bill Mountford, former Director of Tennis of the USTA National Tennis Center, “On This Day In Tennis History is an easy and unique way to absorb the greatest-and most quirky-moments in tennis history. It’s best read a page a day!”
Walker is a writer, tennis historian and freelance publicist and sports marketer. A 12-year veteran of the U.S. Tennis Association’s Marketing and Communications Division, he served as the press officer for the U.S. Davis Cup team from 1997 to 2005 and for the U.S. Olympic tennis teams in 1996, 2000 and 2004. He also served as the long-time editor of the U.S. Open Record Book during his tenure at the USTA from 1993 to 2005.
More information on the book can be found at www.tennistomes.com as well as on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1627089030&ref=name and on myspace at http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=428100548
People mentioned in the book include, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, Goran Ivanisevic, Andre Agassi, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles, Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic, Maria Sharapova, Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters, Amelie Mauresmo, Anna Kounikova, Jennifer Capriati, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Martina Hingis, Gustavo Kuerten, Svetlana Kuznetsova, James Blake, Wilmer Allison, Mal Anderson, Arthur Ashe, Juliette Atkinson, Henry “Bunny” Austin, Tracy Austin, Boris Becker, Kark Behr, Pauline Betz, Bjorn Borg, Jean Borotra, John Bromwich, Norman Brookes, Louise Brough, Jacques Brugnon, Butch Buchholz, Don Budge, Maria Bueno, Rosie Casals, Michael Chang, Philippe Chatrier, Dodo Cheney, Henri Cochet, Maureen Connolly, Jimmy Connors, Jim Courier, Ashley Cooper, Margaret Court, Jack Crawford, Allison Danzig, Dwight Davis, Lottie Dod, John Doeg, Laurence Doherty, Reggie Doherty, Dorothea Douglass Lambert Chambers, Jaroslav Drobny, Margaret duPont, Francoise Durr, James Dwight, Stefan Edberg, Roy Emerson, Chis Evert, Bob Falkenburg, Neale Fraser, Shirley Fry, Althea Gibson, Pancho Gonzalez, Evonne Goolagong, Arthur Gore, Steffi Graf, Bitsy Grant, Darlene Hard, Doris Hart, Anne Jones, Gladys Heldman, Slew Hester, Bob Hewitt, Lew Hoad, Harry Hopman, Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman, Joe Hunt, Frank Hunter, Helen Jacobs, Bill Johnston, Perry Jones, Bob Kelleher, Billie Jean King, Jan Kodes, Karel Kozeluh, Jack Kramer, Rene Lacoste, Bill Larned, Art Larsen, Rod Laver, Ivan Lendl, Suzanne Lenglen, George Lott, Gene Mako, Molla Mallory, Hana Mandlikova, Alice Marble, Dan Maskell, Simone Mathieu, Mark McCormack, John McEnroe, Ken McGregor, Kitty Godfree, Chuck McKinley, Maurice McLoughlin, Frew McMillian, Don McNeill, Elisabeth Moore, Angela Mortimer, Gardnar Mulloy, Ilie Nastase, Martina Navratilova, John Newcombe, Yannick Noah, Jana Novotna, Betty Nuthall, Alex Olmedo, Rafael Osuna, Frank Parker, Gerald Patterson, Budge Patty, Fred Perry, Nicola Pietrangeli, Adrian Quist, Patrick Rafter, Dennis Ralson, Vinnie Richards, Nancy Richey, Cliff Richey, Bobby Riggs, Tony Roche, Mervyn Rose, Ken Rosewall, Elizbeth Ryan, Gabriela Sabatini, Pete Sampras, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Manuel Santana, Dick Savitt, Ted Schroeder, Gene Scott, Richard Sears, Frank Sedgman, Pancho Segura, Vic Seixas, Frank Shields, Pam Shriver, Stan Smith, Fred Stolle, Bill Talbert, Bill Tilden, Tony Trabert, Lesley Turner, Jimmy Van Alen, John Van Ryn, Guillermo Vilas, Ellsworth Vines, Brian Gottfried, Virginia Wade, Holcombe Ward, Watson Washburn, Mal Whitman, Mats Wilander, Tony Wilding, Helen Wills Moody, Sidney Wood, Robert Wrenn, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, Todd Woodbridge, Marat Safin, Leslie Allen, Sue Barker, Jonas Bjorkman, Mahesh Bhupathi, Donald Dell, Albert Costa, Mark Cox, Owen Davidson, Pat Cash, Mary Carillo, John Isner, Roscoe Tanner, Vijay Amritraj, Mark Woodforde, Tim Henman, Richard Krajicek, Conchita Martinez, Mary Joe Fernandez, Cliff Drysdale, Mark Edmondson, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Zina Garrson, Roland Garros, Wojtek Fibak, Tom Gullikson, Andres Gimeno, Vitas Gerulaitis, Fernando Gonzalez, Tim Henman, Goran Ivanisevic, Andrea Jaeger, Ivo Karlovic, Richard Krajicek, Petr Korda, Luke Jensen, Murphy Jensen, Rick Leach, Iva Majoil, Barry MacKay, Ivan Ljubicic, Cecil Mamiit, David Caldwell, Alex Metreveli, Nicolas Massu, Todd Martin, Gene Mayer, Thomas Muster, Tom Okker, Charlie Pasarell, Mary Pierce, Whitney Reed, Leander Paes, Renee Richards, Helen Sukova, Michael Stich, Betty Stove, Ion Tiriac, Brian Teacher, Wendy Turnbull, Richards, Fabrice Santoro, Ai Sugiyama, Patrick McEnroe, Camille Pin, Phil Dent, Jelena Dokic, Mark Edmondson, Gael Monfils, Xavier Malisse, Dinara Safina, Barry Lorge, Stefano Pescosolido, Fabrice Santoro, Roscoe Tanner, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Roger Smith, Erik van Dillen, Gene Mayer, Tamara Pasek, Stefan Koubek, Jie Zheng, Gisela Dulko, Kristian Pless, Chuck McKinley, Marty Riessen, Brad Gilbert, Tim Mayotte, Andrea Petkovic, Klara Koukalova, Bobby Reynolds, Dominik Hrbaty, Andreas Seppi, Christopher Clarey, Casey Dellacqua, Anders Jarryd, Janko Tipsarevic, Nadia Petrova, Christian Bergstrom, Ramesh Krishnan, Emily Sanchez, Marcos Baghdatis, Mark Philippousssis, Wally Masur, Paul McNamee, Daniela Hantuchova, Gerry Armstrong, Younes El Aynaoui, Thomas Johansson, Pat Cash, Lisa Raymond, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Chanda Rubin, Tony Roche, Alex O’Brien, Petr Korda, Karol Kucera, Amelie Mauresmo, Juan Gisbert, Pablo Cuevas, Jim Pugh, Rick Leach, Julien Boutter, Larry Stefanki, Chris Woodruff, Jill Craybas, Sania Mirza, Mike Leach, Maggie Maleeva, Guillermo Canas, Guillermo Coria, Donald Young, Dick Stockton, Johan Kriek, Milan Srejber, Zina Garrison, Slyvia Hanika, Karin Knapp, Laura Granville, Kei Nishikori, Scott Davis, Paul Goldstein, Alberto Martin, Nicolas Kiefer, Joachim Johansson, Jonathan Stark, Jakob Hlasek, Jeff Tarango, Amanda Coetzer, Andres Gomez, Richey Reneberg, Francisco Clavet, Radek Stepanek, Miloslav Mecir, Jose-Luis Clerc, Colin Dibley, Mikael Pernfors, Martin Mulligan, Robbie Weiss, Hugo Chapacu, Victor Pecci, Charlie Bricker, Greg Rusedski, Robin Finn, Kimiko Date, David Nalbandian, Goran Ivanisevic, Mikhail Youzhny, Nicole Pratt, Bryanne Stewart, Novak Djokovic, Rennae Stubbs, Corina Morariu, Marc Rosset, Kenneth Carlsen, Kimiko Date, Ryan Harrison, Richard Gasquet, Jimmy Arias, Jim Leohr, Felix Mantilla, Cedric Pioline, Annabel Croft, Brooke Shields, Jaime Yzaga, Slobodan Zivojinovic, Alberto Mancini, Peter McNamara, Andrei Chesnokov, Fabrice Santoro, Bud Collins, Mardy Fish, Sebastien Grosjean, Donald Dell, Petr Kuczak, Magnus Norman, Hicham Arazi, Nduka Odizor, Lori McNeil, Horst Skoff, Karolina Sprem, Ros Fairbank, Linda Siegel, Chris Lewis, Kevin Curren, Thierry Tulasne, Guy Forget, Fred Tupper, Jaime Fillol, Belus Prajoux, Ricardo Cano, Georges Goven, Ray Moore, Charlie Pasarell, Paul Annacone, Tomas Smid, Dmitry Tursunov, Elena Dementieva, Arnaud DiPasquale, Carl Uwe Steeb, Bill Scanlon, Jose Higueras, Jay Berger, Jana Novotna, Bill Dwyre, Lisa Dillman, Sean Sorensen, Paul McNamee, Jiri Novak, Benjamin Becker, Ion Tiriac, Neil Amdur, Tim Gullikson, Jan-Michael Gambill, Taylor Dent, Bryan Shelton, Vijay Amritraj, Martin Verkerk, Brian Gottfried, Carlos Moya, Jacco Eltingh, Adriano Panatta, John Feinstein, Aaron Krickstein, Wilhelm Bungert, Derrick Rostagno, Torben Ulrich, Daniel Nestor, Ray Ruffels, Cliff Drysdale, James Reilly, Andy Murray, Leander Paes, Alicia Molik, Barry MacKay among others.
New Chapter Press is also the publisher of The Bud Colins History of Tennis by Bud Collins, The Roger Federer Story, Quest for Perfection by Rene Stauffer and Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli and the soon to be released title The Lennon Prophecy by Joe Niezgoda. Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press is an independent publisher of books and part of the Independent Publishers Group. More information can be found at www.newchapterpressmedia.com
Roger Federer won the Davidoff Swiss Indoors, beating David Nalbandian 6-3 6-4 in Basel, Switzerland
Andy Murray beat Andrey Golubev 6-1 6-1 to win the St. Petersburg Open in St. Petersburg, Russia
Robin Soderling won the Grand Prix de Tennis De Lyon by beating Julien Benneteau 6-3 6-7 (5) 6-1 in Lyon, France
Ana Ivanovic beat Vera Zvonareva 6-2 6-1 to win the Generali Ladies Linz in Linz, Austria
Elena Dementieva stopped Carolina Wozniacki 2-6 6-4 7-6 (4) to win the FORTIS Championships in Luxembourg
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Julie Coin 6-4 6-3 to win the Internationaux Feminins de la Vienne in Poitiers, France
Hyung-Taik Lee won the Samsung Securities Cup Challenger in Seoul, Korea, by beating Ivo Minar 6-4 6-0
Jim Courier beat Thomas Enqvist 3-6 6-4 10-8 (Champions tiebreak) to win the Stanford Championships in Dallas, Texas
“There was a bit of disappointment but I gave a good fight for almost five years, so I’m proud of that, and I think Rafa deserves it this year because he’s played consistently well.” – Roger Federer, admitting he’s disappointed about not finishing the year as the number one player.
“This season has been hard, long and punishing. I will be very happy when I lose in Bercy.” – Richard Gasquet, after losing in Lyon, France, and talking about this week’s tournament in Paris.
“To see him give up mentally beforehand is quite simply abnormal. It is disrespectful vis-à-vis the public who he is counting on supporting him at Bercy. Naturally we are annoyed.” – Patrice Dominguez, national technical director of the French Tennis Federation, referring to Gasquet’s comment.
“This year has been a very positive year for me and I am looking forward to continued success in Doha.” – Venus Williams, after qualifying for the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha.
“It has been awhile since I last played and it feels wonderful to be one of the best eight players of the regular Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season.” – Vera Zvonareva, who qualified for the Sony Ericsson Championships.
“You could never forecast that he was going to miss that shot. If he lets it bounce, he could hit it with the butt cap and make it and I wouldn’t be there. That was as improbable as it gets, but that’s why we play sports. The whacky happens.” – Jim Courier, after Thomas Enqvist shanked an easy overhead on match point.
“I think I was just too casual. It’s what you tell an amateur when you play the pro-ams with them, that sometimes they do those mistakes. They take their eye off the ball. I think I did that.” – Thomas Enqvist.
“For the first set and a half we were completely outplayed. At 4-3 down in the second set Bopanna double-faulted at 40-40, and after that the momentum shifted our way.” – Travis Parrott, after teaming with Filip Polasek to win the doubles at St. Petersburg, Russia.
“I’m really disappointed with how I played today. I had no concentration at any stage of the match. Maybe today I finally paid for all of the traveling and the many matches I’ve played over the last several weeks.” – Vera Zvonareva, after losing to Ana Ivanovic in the title match of the Generali Ladies Linz.
“Rafael Nadal has donated the racquet he used to win the 2008 Wimbledon final, Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi both donated tennis racquets, while Roger Federer gave us the shirt off his own back.” – Lleyton Hewitt, on items donated to help raise money for a charity, Cure Our Kids.
SET FOR DOHA
The final two spots in the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships have been clinched by Vera Zvonareva and Venus Williams. The women’s tour will wind up with world’s top eight singles players and top four doubles teams in Doha, Qatar, November 4-9. It will be the third time Venus Williams will compete in the season-ending event, but her first since 2002. Others in the field include Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic, Serena Williams, Dinara Safina, Elena Dementieva and Svetlana Kuznetsova.
SIGN OF RESPECT
The new tennis center in Brisbane, Australia, has been named for two-time US Open champion Pat Rafter. The 5,500-seat Rafter Arena will open in January for the Brisbane International men’s and women’s hard court championships. The tournament is a warm-up for the Australian Open, which is held in Melbourne. Novak Djokovic, Marcos Baghdatis and Ana Ivanovic are confirmed for the event, the first international tennis tournament to be played in Brisbane since 1994.
When Robin Soderling captured his second Lyon trophy, he became the first Swedish player to win an ATP title in almost three years. The last Swede to capture a tournament on the men’s tour was Thomas Johansson at St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2005. The victory over Frenchman Julien Benneteau will move Soderling into the top 20 of the South African Airways ATP Rankings for the first time. At Lyon, Soderling beat two top-ten players, Andy Roddick and Gilles Simon.
Roger Federer won his third straight Davidoff Swiss Indoors crown in his native Basel, Switzerland. He also has been runner-up twice in his nine appearances in Basel. And his 57th career title moves Federer into a tie with Ilie Nastase on the ATP list. He is now three titles behind Andre Agassi. Basel was Federer’s fourth title of 2008, highlighted by his fifth consecutive US Open win. This one came over David Nalbandian, the 2002 Swiss Indoors winner and the tournament’s number two seed. It was the first time since 1993 that the two top seeds have reached the final at Basel.
Andy Murray needed only 56 minutes to successfully defend his St. Petersburg Open title by defeating qualifier Andrey Golubev 6-1 6-1. It was the shortest final on the ATP tour this year, and the second fewest games in a title match since Mikhail Youzhny crushed Rafael Nadal 6-0 6-1 at the Chennai Open in January. Now ranked fourth in the world, Murray becomes the first British player to win consecutive titles since Mark Cox did it in March 1975. The Scott has won five titles this year, second only to the eight captured by Nadal. Murray is on a 12-match winning streak and has won 18 of his last 19 matches since losing in the first round of the Beijing Olympics to Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun.
For the second straight year, Nikolay Davydenko made a brief appearance at the St. Petersburg Open. This time he injured his left wrist during a first-round victory over Chris Guccione, and then pulled out of the tournament. “I was able to finish the match, but today I felt a lot of pain and I just can’t play,” Davydenko said. Last year, the Russian was fined USD $2,000 by the ATP for not trying hard enough during his loss to qualifier Marin Cilic in a second-round match. The fine was overturned on appeal. Davydenko’s victory over Guccione was his 50th match win of the season, the fourth straight year he has won at least 50 matches.
STAYING ON TOP
Despite what happens the rest of the way, Jelena Jankovic will end the season as the number one player in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour rankings. Jankovic has a commanding points lead over Dinara Safina and will remain in the top spot regardless of the outcome of the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha. She secured the year-ending ranking by winning 12 straight matches en route to three consecutive titles in Beijing, Stuttgart and Moscow. She lost in the US Open final and reached the semifinals of two other Grand Slam tournaments.
Holding match point at 9-8 in the Champions tiebreaker, Jim Courier sent a high defensive lob that just made it over the net in the final of the Stanford Championships in Dallas, Texas. But Thomas Enqvist, standing right on top of the net, elected not to let the ball bounce and shanked the overhead straight down off the frame of his racquet, giving Courier his sixth career Outback Champions Series title, 3-6 6-4 10-8 (Championships tiebreak). “I think I was too casual,” Enqvist said, while Courier said the missed overhead was “one of the nuttiest match points I’ve ever been a part of.”
Four top players will lead a five-day tennis “fantasy camp” on Maui, Hawaii, in November. Lindsay Davenport, Tom Gullikson, Robby Ginepri and Corina Morariu will participate in the four days of instruction and free play. Gullikson is the former US Davis Cup captain and Olympic coach, while Davenport was ranked number one in the world in both singles and doubles. She is one of only four women – joining Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert – to have been the year-ending number one at least four times. Ginepri is one of the top five American players currently on the ATP tour, while Morariu was ranked number one in the world in doubles before being diagnosed with leukemia. She made a complete recovery and was named Comeback Player of the Year on the WTA Tour. The “fantasy camp” is for adult tennis players ranging in skill from recreational to tournament-level.
Hall of Famer Michael Chang and women’s tennis pro Amber Liu are now husband and wife. Matthew Cronin reports the pair was married at Lake Hills Community Church in Laguna Hills, California, with the reception and dinner taking place at the St. Regis Hotel in Dana Point, California. Among those in attendance were Chang’s brother and coach, Carl; his cousin James Wan, who plays for Stanford University; John Austin, Anne Yelsey, Dick Gould, Lele Forood, Eliot Teltscher and Peanut Louis.
The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Championships will have some people in the seats, if ticket sales are any indication. According to tournament officials, more than 95 percent of the premium seats have been sold for the season-ending event that features the world’s top eight women’s singles players and top four doubles teams. The Championships will be held November 4-9 at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex in Doha, Qatar.
Lleyton Hewitt and his wife Bec have begun a month-long fundraising auction with proceeds going to Cure Our Kids, an organization which supports children with cancer and their families at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in New South Wales, Australia. The auction includes items donated by the Hewitts as well as from Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Ana Ivanovic, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graff, among others.
A former top-100 player from Italy, Federico Luzzi, is dead at the age of 28. Luzzi died at a hospital in Arezzo, Italy, of leukemia. He was hospitalized after retiring a few days earlier from an Italian league match, citing a high fever. He reached a career-high ranking of number 92 in 2002 before a shoulder injury plagued him the rest of his career. In February, Luzzi was suspended for 200 days and fined USD $50,000 by the ATP for betting on tennis. In 2001, he beat Ville Liukko of Finland 14-12 in the fifth set to complete a 4-hour, 35-minute victory, the longest Davis Cup match ever played by an Italian.
Bill Rusick, an All-American college player and later tennis coach and co-owner of a tennis club, has died at the age of 51. Rusick led Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville to two national championships and was inducted into the school’s hall of fame. He coached at McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois, and served as club pro and co-owner at St. Clair Tennis Club. He suffered from pancreatic cancer.
Basel: Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles beat Christopher Kas and Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-3
St. Petersburg: Travis Parrott and Filip Polasek beat Rohan Bopanna and Max Mirnyi 3-6 7-6 (4) 10-8 (match tiebreak)
Lyon: Michael Llodra and Andy Ram beat Stephen Huss and Ross Hutchins 6-3 5-7 10-8 (match tiebreak)
Seoul: Lukasz Kubot and Oliver Marach beat Sanchai Ratiwatana and Sonchat Ratiwatana 7-5 4-6 10-6 (match tiebreak)
Linz: Katarina Srebotnik and Ai Sugiyama beat Cara Black and Liezel Huber 6-4 7-5
Luxembourg: Sorana Cirstea and Marina Erakovic beat Vera Dushevina and Mariya Koryttseva 2-6 6-3 10-8 (match tiebreak)
Poitiers: Petra Cetkovska and Lucie Safarova beat Akgul Amanmuradova and Monica Niculescu 6-4 6-4
SITES TO SURF
TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK
(All money in USD)
$2,450,000 BNP Paribas Masters, Paris, France, carpet
$125,000 Seguros Bolivar Open, Cali, Colombia, clay
$100,000 Busan Open Challenger, Busan, South Korea, hard
$175,000 Bell Challenge, Quebec City, Quebec, hard
$100,000 Ritro Slovak Open, Bratislava, Slovak Republic, hard
TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK
$4,450,000 Sony Ericsson Championships, Doha, Qatar, hard
$100,000 ITF women’s event, Krakow, Poland, hard
$106,500 Tatra Banka Open, Bratislava, Slovakia, hard
Cancer Treatment Centers of America Championships at Surprise, Surprise, Arizona
Asia Muhammad said that she wanted to make her US Open debut a lasting one, but became of the first players to be eliminated from the tournament on day one.
Struggling with her serve and Rezai’s aggressive baseline play, the 17 year old Muhammad wasted a 3-0 lead in the second set in losing to Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai 6-2, 6-4. The victory allowed Rezai to gain her first win during the American hard court season and snap a five match losing streak in the process.
“I just have to make a decision to be aggressive out there and the rest will take care of itself,” Muhammad said. “That’s what everybody has been saying all along. It’s just a matter of whether or not I’m able to do it consistently.”
Despite the loss, Muhammad impressed the packed crowd on Court 11. Showing a more mature shot selection and willingness to construct points then she did when competing in the US Open qualifying last year, Muhammad took advantage of Rezai’s serving troubles in the second set by breaking early to take a 3-0 lead.
Muhammad served three consecutive double faults to give the break back to Rezai, allowing the Frenchwoman to regain her momentum in the match. At 4-4 in the second set, Rezai broke Muhammad’s serve at love before closing out the match on her own serve with a forehand winner.
“I played well to get to that point, but held back once I got the lead,” Muhammad said.
Despite the loss, Muhammad said that she could see noticeable improvements in her game.
“As long as you learn from every match, then it’s a good match in my mind,” Muhammad said. “I felt much less nervous out on the court than last year and was able to feed off the crowd instead of being overwhelmed by it.”
Growing up in Las Vegas, Muhammad began playing tennis at the Boys and Girls Club in Las Vegas that was founded by Andre Agassi. She trained there until recently hiring a full-time coach, Tim Blenkiron, but is still mentored by both Agassi and his wife, tennis legend Steffi Graf.
“If you ask anybody in Las Vegas about Andre Agassi, they only have positive things to say about him” Muhammad said. “He founded a school that’s completely paid for and helps keeps the younger kids out of trouble. And I’m so thankful that he did it. Without him, I wouldn’t be anywhere.”
Muhammad said that in addition to offering advice, she’s also had the opportunity to train with both Agassi and Graf on their private tennis court.
“It was pretty overwhelming at first, but I’m comfortable with the both of them now,” Muhammad said. “I hit with Steffi three weeks ago at home and Andre also comes out on occasion. He also helped me with strategy before playing some clay court tournaments this year.
Spurred on by strong results at the challenger level in 2008, including reaching the finals at a $50,000 event in her hometown of Las Vegas, Muhammad said that she decided to turn pro this year while still competing in top level junior tournaments. Having had the chance to compete against several players in the top 100, Muhammad said has been inspired by the intensity of her colleagues on tour.
“They take it far more seriously than junior players do,” Muhammad said. “This is their job, so this is how they’re going to make
While many of her peers from the junior circuit have decided to forego the pro tour and attend college instead, Muhammad said that she has decided to adopt a more international approach.
“In Europe, they don’t really have national events and there’s not the differentiation between college and pro tennis,” Muhammad said. “You go to college if you haven’t made it as a pro player.”
Muhammad said that upcoming American players need to start taking the game more seriously in order for American tennis to break out its slump.
“In my experience, a lot of junior players view the national tournaments as a big social event,” Muhammad said, “There needs to be more focus amongst some of the girls out there. We have a lot of young and talented players coming up, and we have the ability to make it. It’s all about your mindset.”
Roger Federer is going for his fifth-straight US Open title in Flushing Meadows when the 2008 U.S. Championships kick off Monday in New York at the USTA/Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. His first title run was in 2004, when he beat Lleyton Hewitt 6-0, 7-6, 6-0 in the final. Rene Stauffer, the author of the book “The Roger Federer Story, Quest for Perfection,” reflects on Federer’s first win in Flushing in this exclusive book excerpt. For more information on the book, go to www.rogerfedererbook.com.
Roger Federer’s victory at the 2004 US Open provided new content for the record books of tennis. Statisticians and historians of the game quickly discovered that he was only the second man in the “Open Era” of professional tennis (since 1968) to win a Grand Slam final with two 6-0 sets. The other was the Argentinean Guillermo Vilas, who dominated American Brian Gottfried 6-0, 6-3, 6-0 at Roland Garros in 1977. The last time a player won a final at the U.S. Championships with two 6-0 sets came back in 1884 in only the fourth edition of the U.S. national championship and in the days of tennis infancy.
In the United States, 6-0 sets are referred to as “bagels” with a “double bagel” being considered the bitterest variety when a match is lost 6-0, 6-0. In German-speaking countries, these whitewashes are called a “bicycle.” Although, Lleyton Hewitt was able to force a second-set tie-break against Federer in the US Open final, he was not spared the shame of the “double bagel” or “the bicycle.” The Australian Associated Press (AAP) exaggerated that Hewitt’s loss was “the greatest humiliation in the history of Grand Slam finals.” One reporter in the post-match press conference even had the audacity to ask Hewitt if it was difficult to swallow a “double bagel.”
More importantly in historical significance was that Federer, with his victories at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, became only the fourth man in the Open Era of tennis to win at least three of the four Grand Slam titles in a calendar year. Mats Wilander from Sweden was the last man to manage such a feat in 1988, as did Rod Laver, who won all four Grand Slams in 1969, and Jimmy Connors, who won the Australian, Wimbledon and the US Open in 1974. Don Budge was the first player to win all four major titles in the same year-the Grand Slam-in 1938. The term “Grand Slam” was first coined when American tennis writer Allison Danzig suggested in 1938 that Budge scored a Grand Slam of victories-like a winning bridge player-at the four most prestigious championships of the year.
Laver, a left-hander given the nickname the “Rockhampton Rocket,” even managed to win the Grand Slam twice-once in 1962 as an amateur and again in 1969 as a professional. In Laver’s time, however, this accomplishment had a different value and was less significant than today as three of the four Grand Slam events were played on grass courts, unlike the four different surfaces of today’s game.
In women’s tennis, three players have won the Grand Slam-the American Maureen Connolly (1953), the Australian Margaret Smith Court (1970), as well as Steffi Graf (1988). The German, who married Andre Agassi after her tennis career, also won at the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988 giving her the distinction of winning what is called the “Golden Slam.” Martina Hingis, like Federer, won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in 1997, narrowly missing the Grand Slam, with her surprising loss to Iva Majoli in the French final preventing her from joining this elite club.
In New York, Federer once again proved his ability to amplify his performance in the final stages of the tournament. He became the first professional player to win all of his first four Grand Slam tournament finals. It was almost equally amazing that in this feat, he lost only one set in his eight matches in the semifinals and finals. In the meantime, Federer’s US Open final marked the 11th straight victory in a tournament final. For Federer, a tournament final proved to be his greatest motivation. His attitude was simple-what’s the use of all the effort and match victories if you ultimately lose in the final? Winners stay, losers go.
The coup at Flushing Meadows transformed him into a sports star on Broadway. The American media celebrated him lavishly and some journalists even asked the question at such a pre-mature stage if he would be the man who would break Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slam titles.
Federer remained grounded and modest in the hour of his greatest achievement in the United States. “I honestly never expected to win the US Open,” he said. “Until a year ago, I always had problems in the United States. The Americans always play with more confidence in their home tournaments than anywhere else. Conditions are difficult with the high heat and humidity.”
But he admitted something else; “I had a strange feeling before the final because everybody was talking about how long it had been since anybody had won his first four Grand Slam finals. I knew that I only had this one chance to do this.” Some were already talking that Federer was in a position to achieve the Grand Slam, but he didn’t allow these musings of grandeur to mislead him. “I would be really happy if I were to win one of the four Grand Slams next year,” he said the day after his US Open triumph during an extended interview session with a select group of journalists. “I know that I have to work hard for each match and for each title. It’s crazy what’s happening to me now. It’s out of this world.”
Federer’s US Open title generously extended his points lead on the No. 1 ranking. His margin between him at No. 1 and Roddick, his next challenger at No. 2, was extended from 1390 points to 2990 points-the equivalent of three Grand Slam titles. It would be impossible for any player to overtake him before the end of the year, even if Federer lost every match for the rest of the year. In the last four years, the year-end Tennis Masters Cup was the final determining tournament to decide the year-end No. 1 player. However, 2004 was not a normal year and thanks to the US Open, the year-end No. 1 was already in the books.
The Monday after the US Open brought Federer to the realization that the clocks tick differently in the American media world. He was chauffeured in a stretch limousine from one television station to another-7:45 am at ESPN’s show “Cold Pizza,” then at 8:30 am to the “CBS Early Show” and then at 9:30 am at “Live with Regis and Kelly,” followed by a photo shoot in Times Square, and a meeting with a select group of print journalists at the Hard Rock Café. At 2:30 pm, he was a guest on John McEnroe’s television talk show, and finally he appeared on the “Charlie Rose Show.” He had to prove his dexterity at ping-pong at two of his television appearances. Many things are possible in the United States, but setting up a tennis court in a television studio is not one of them.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., August 13, 2008 – The USTA today announced that the 2008 US Open will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the founding of tennis’ Open Era. The US Open’s Opening Night on August 25 will launch the celebration with an on-court ceremony highlighting the 40 US Open singles champions in the 40 years since 1968. Throughout the tournament, the US Open will feature additional celebrations and special tributes to past champions. To mark this historic anniversary, the USTA has also produced a commemorative coffee table book, collectible coins, a vintage clothing line, and a dedicated 40th Anniversary website.
The US Open and the city of New York share a special relationship that dates back to 1915, when the West Side Tennis Club first hosted the men’s singles U.S. National Championships, a precursor to the modern-day US Open. Until 1968, the U.S. National Championships was strictly limited to amateurs but forty years ago, the tournament became “open” to both professionals and amateurs and the name changed from the U.S. Championships to the US Open.
The size and scope of the US Open continues to expand and develop each year. A total of $100,000 was offered by the USTA to the field of 96 men and 64 women who entered the men’s and women’s singles and doubles events at the 1968 US Open. In 1973, the US Open became the first Grand Slam to offer equal prize money to men and women. Today, US Open prize money exceeds $20 million and features more than 600 men and women, including qualifying.
“The 2008 US Open will pay tribute to one of the most significant milestones in the history of tennis — the birth of the Open Era,” said Jane Brown Grimes, President and Chairman of the Board, USTA. “By allowing both professionals and amateurs to compete together, the Open Era transformed the sport, creating a platform to elevate the sport’s popularity and grow the game on every level.”
“We will be launching a two-week celebration of this historic occasion with what is sure to be an unforgettable Opening Night,” said Arlen Kantarian, Chief Executive Officer, Pro Tennis, USTA. “The 40th anniversary gives us the opportunity to honor the tournament’s rich history and the game’s greatest champions — past and present — all of whom have played a substantial role in making the US Open one of the world’s most celebrated sporting events.”
Special Celebrations and Programs
- An Opening Night ceremony honoring the Open Era’s 40 US Open champions.
- Vignettes highlighting the Open Era’s 40 US Open champions will be displayed on the video boards on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
- A micro-site on USOpen.org will serve as a retrospective of the US Open and Open Era champions featuring a historical overview of the event and exclusive photo and video highlights of the US Open’s most memorable moments.
- The Open Book: Celebrating 40 Years of America’s Grand Slam — a hardcover, coffee table book published by Triumph Books — will be sold in bookstores and major retail outlets.
- The US Open program and US Open draw sheets will include special 40th Anniversary features and historic tributes.
- A vintage clothing line — part of the US Open Collection — captures the spirit of the 40th Anniversary.
- Limited edition silver commemorative coins minted by The Highland Mint and featuring the 40th Anniversary US Open logo will be sold on-site.
US Open Historical Highlights from the Open Era
- Arthur Ashe became the first African-American male to win a Grand Slam in 1968; in 1997, the USTA opened Arthur Ashe Stadium in his honor.
- Billie Jean King needed just 13 games to win the first-ever US Open stadium-court match in 1968; the National Tennis Center was renamed in her honor in 2006.
- Three individual players have completed the Grand Slam at the US Open during the Open Era — Rod Laver in 1969, Margaret Court in 1970 and Steffi Graf in 1988.
- Jimmy Connors is the only player to win the US Open singles championship on three different surfaces — on grass in 1974, on clay in 1976 and on hard court in 1978.
- The men’s and women’s champions at the 1973 US Open each received equal prize money for the first time in Grand Slam history.
- Night tennis was instituted at the US Open in 1975 — the first Grand Slam to feature night tennis.
- The US Open moved from Forest Hills to its current home, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, in 1978.
- Chris Evert captured her sixth US Open title in 1982, the most of any man or woman during the Open Era.
- The first Grand Slam prime-time women’s singles final was played in 2001 — Venus Williams’ defeat of sister Serena was viewed by an estimated 22.7 million viewers.
- The Olympus US Open Series was introduced in 2004, creating a summer tennis season that culminates with the US Open and offers bonus prize money to its participants.
- Instant replay with a player challenge system made its Grand Slam debut at the 2006 US Open. 32% of the challenged calls are reversed.
- US Open attendance topped 700,000 for the first time (715,587), at the 2007 US Open. Total attendance at the US Open has increased by more than 150,000 since the opening of Arthur Ashe Stadium.
40 Champions in 40 Years
Below are the US Open champions in alphabetical order with their Open Era championship year(s):
|Andre Agassi||1994, 1999|
|Tracy Austin||1979, 1981|
|Jimmy Connors||1974, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1983|
|Stefan Edberg||1991, 1992|
|Chris Evert||1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982|
|Roger Federer||2004, 2005, 2006, 2007|
|Steffi Graf||1988, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1996|
|Justine Henin||2003, 2007|
|Billie Jean King||1971, 1972, 1974|
|Ivan Lendl||1985, 1986, 1987|
|John McEnroe||1979, 1980, 1981, 1984|
|Martina Navratilova||1983, 1984, 1986, 1987|
|Patrick Rafter||1997, 1998|
|Pete Sampras||1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002|
|Arantxa Sanchez Vicario||1994|
|Monica Seles||1991, 1992|
|Margaret Smith Court||1969, 1970, 1973|
|Serena Williams||1999, 2002|
|Venus Williams||2000, 2001|
# # #
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level – – from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Olympus US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns the 94 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. A not-for-profit organization with 725,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.
Pull-outs from the Olympic tennis competition has become almost as much of a tradition as the Olympics Games itself.
Maria Sharapova is the most recent example with the reigning Australian Open champion pulling out of the Beijing Games – and the U.S. Open – with a shoulder injury. Other recent pullouts include Marcos Baghdatis, Mario Ancic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Some other examples of high profile pullouts from past Games include Pete Sampras and Steffi Graf before the 1996 Games in Atlanta, (strained Achilles tendon and left knee injury, respectively) Andre Agassi before the 2000 Games in Sydney (cancer diagnosis to his mother and sister), Serena Williams and Jennifer Capriati before the Athens Games (left knee and hamstring, respectively).
The other high-profile player not in the Beijing field is of course 2003 U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Mardy Fish. While a super-patriot when representing the United States in Davis Cup – and at the 2004 Games – Roddick made the tough decision to focus on getting a leg up on his rivals at the U.S. Open by not traveling to the other side of the globe just two weeks before the fourth and final major tournament of the year. Roddick’s reasoning for skipping the Games is to put the Open as a high priority this time around. Fish, another Davis Cup stalwart, made the tough decision as well having already achieved Olympic glory on his resume.
Another great American tennis champion, Bill Tilden, took perhaps the same reasoning when skipping the Olympic tennis competition at the 1924 Games in Paris, although his public excuse for missing out on the Games was due to his journalistic contracts. On March 11, 1924 – as documented in the my new book On This Day In Tennis History (New Chapter Press, $19.95) – Tilden announced that he will not represent the United States in the Paris Games. Tilden’s reasoning is that even if he wanted to play for the United States, the U.S. Olympic rule that forbids athletes from writing for newspapers prevents him from competing since he is contracted to write two articles per week for various outlets. Wrote the New York Times on the day “The tennis champion had never definitely announced that he would go abroad this year if picked for the Olympic team. Two months ago, Tilden said he did not think he would go because of the sharp competition expected in the national singles and in the Davis Cup matches. He said he regarded the Davis Cup competition more important than the Olympics and that he felt he could husband his strength for those matches in the event he is to be one of the contestants.” The USLTA also had enacted a similar rule for amateur tennis, but it is not scheduled to take affect until Jan. 1, 1925.
Also in 1924, French superstar Suzanne Lenglen withdrew from the competition in the capital city of her home country due to illness. She does, however, attend select sessions of the competition. Reported the Associated Press on the first day of the 1924 competition, “Suzanne Lenglen, the world’s champion, watched some of the matches until the sun became too uncomfortably warm for her. She looked thinner than usual. Mlle. Lenglen said she still felt ill and her appearance bore out her statement.”
The benefactors of Tilden and Lenglen’s withdrawals in 1924? Vincent Richards, Tilden’s Davis Cup teammate who won singles gold over France’s Henri Cochet, and Helen Wills, who won the singles competition over France’s Didi Vlasto.
Some say that tennis is relatively new sport in the Olympic Games. However, tennis was one of the nine sports on the original Olympic program at the first Modern Olympics in 1896 in Athens, Greece. The first Olympic tennis champion was John Boland, an Irishmen vacationing in Greece at the time of the first Modern Games. He entered into the tennis competition upon the urging of a Greek classmate from Oxford. Boland, who would later found the University of Ireland and serve Britain as a member of Parliament, won the singles competition in an eight-man field and paired with a German, Fritz Traun, to sweep the doubles title.
Tennis was a fixture on the Olympic program through the 1924 Games in Paris. The International Tennis Federation – the international governing body for tennis – and the International Olympic Committee saw differences on the definition of amateurism, and on whether Wimbledon should be played in Olympic years. What resulted was the exclusion of tennis from the Olympic Games as an official medal sport until 1988 in Seoul, South Korea.
Tennis triumphantly returned to the Olympic Games in 1988 in Seoul, becoming the first Olympic sport to allow professionals to compete (Basketball followed suit in 1992). Steffi Graf of West Germany completed the rarest feat in the sport by capping a “Golden Slam” at the Seoul Games, having won all four major titles in professional tennis heading into the 1988 Games.
A compilation of Olympic tennis results and medalists are compiled below…
1896 – ATHENS, GREECE
GOLD — John Boland (Great Britain)
SILVER — Demis Kastaglis (Greece)
BRONZE — Momcsillo Topavicza (Hungary)
GOLD — John Boland (Great Britain) and Fritz Traun (Germany)
SILVER — Demis Kasdaglis and Demetrious Petrokokkinos (Greece)
BRONZE — Edwin Hack (Australia) and George Robertson (Great Britain)
Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match— John Boland (Great Britain) def. Demis Kastaglis (Greece), 7-5, 6-4, 6-1.
Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match— John Boland (Great Britain) and Fritz Traun (Germany) d. Demis Kasdaglis and Demetrios Petrokokkinos (Greece), 6-2, 6-4.
1900 – PARIS, FRANCE
GOLD — Laurie Doherty (Great Britain)
SILVER — Harold Mahony (Great Britain)
BRONZE — Reggie Doherty (Great Britain)
A.B.J. Norris (Great Britain)
GOLD — Reggie Doherty and Laurie Doherty (Great Britain)
SILVER — Spalding de Garmendia (United States) and Max Decugis (France)
BRONZE — G. de la Chapelle and Andre Prevost (France)
Harold Mahony and A.B.J. Norris (Great Britain)
GOLD — Charlotte Cooper (Great Britain)
SILVER — Helene Prevost (France)
BRONZE — Marion Jones (United States)
Hedwig Rosenbaum (Bohemia)
GOLD — Charlotte Cooper and Reggie Doherty (Great Britain)
SILVER — Helene Prevost (France) and Harold Mahony (Great Britain)
BRONZE — Hedwig Rosenbaum (Bohemia) and Archibald Walden (Great Britain)
Laurie Doherty (Great Britain) and Marion Jones (United States)
Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Laurie Doherty (Great Britain) def. Harold Mahony (Great Britain), 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.
Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match— Reggie Doherty-Laurie Doherty (Great Britain) def. Spalding de Garmendia (United States) and Max Decugis (France), 6-3, 6-3, 7-5
Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Charlotte Cooper (Great Britain) def. Helene Prevost (France), 6-3, 6-3, 7-5.
Mixed Doubles Gold Medal Match — Charlotte Cooper and Reggie Doherty (Great Britain) def. Helene Prevost (France) and Harold Mahony (Great Britain), 6-2, 6-4.
1904 – ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, UNITED STATES
GOLD — Beals Wright (United States)
SILVER — Robert LeRoy (United States)
BRONZE — Alphonso Bell (United States) and Edgar Leonard (United States)
GOLD — Edgar Leonard and Beals Wright (United States)
SILVER — Alphonso Bell and Robert LeRoy (United States)
BRONZE — Joseph Wear and Allen West (United States)
Clarence Gamble and Arthur Wear (United States)
Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Beals Wright (United States) def. Robert LeRoy (United States) 6-4, 6-4.
Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Edgar Leonard and Beals Wright (United States) def. Alphonso Bell and Robert LeRoy (United States), 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
1908 – LONDON, ENGLAND (Outdoor)
GOLD – Josiah Ritchie(Great Britain)
SILVER – Otto Froitzheim (Germany)
BRONZE – Wilberforce Eaves (Great Britain)
GOLD — George Hillyard and Reggie Doherty (Great Britain)
SILVER — Josiah Richie and James Parke (Great Britain)
BRONZE — Charles Cazalet and Charles Dixon (Great Britain)
GOLD — Dorothea Chambers (Great Britain)
SILVER — Penelope Boothby (Great Britain)
BRONZE — Joan Winch (Great Britain)
Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match – Josiah Ritchie (Great Britain) def. Otto Froitzheim (Germany), 7-5, 6-3, 6-4
Men’s Singles Bronze Medal Match – Wilberforce Eaves (Great Britain) def. Ivie John Richardson (South Africa), 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.
Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — George Hillyard and Reggie Doherty (Great Britain) def. Josiah Richie and James Parke (Great Britain) 9-7, 7-5, 9-7.
Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Dorothea Chambers (Great Britain) def. Penelope Boothby (Great Britain), 6-1, 7-5.
1908 – LONDON, ENGLAND — (Indoor)
GOLD — Arthur Gore (Great Britain)
SILVER — George Caridia (Great Britain)
BRONZE — Josiah Ritchie (Great Britain)
GOLD — Arthur Gore and Herbert Barrett (Great Britain)
SILVER — George Simond and George Caridia (Great Britain)
BRONZE — Wollmar Bostrom and Gunnar Setterwall (Sweden)
GOLD — Gwendoline Smith (Great Britain)
SILVER — Angela Greene (Great Britain)
BRONZE — Martha Adlerstraille (Sweden)
Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Arthur Gore (Great Britain) def. George Caridia (Great Britain), 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.
Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Arthur Gore and Herbert Barrett (Great Britain) def. George Simond and George Caridia (Great Britain), 6-2, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Gwendoline Smith (Great Britain) def. Angela Greene (Great Britain), 6-2, 4-6, 6-0.
1912 – STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (Outdoor)
GOLD — Charles Winslow (South Africa)
SILVER — Harold Kitson (South Africa)
BRONZE — Oskar Kreuzer (Germany)
GOLD — Charles Winslow and Harold Kitson (South Africa)
SILVER — Felix Pipes and Arthur Zborzil (Austria)
BRONZE — A. Canet and M. Meny (France)
GOLD — Marguerite Broquedis (France)
SILVER — Dora Koring (Germany)
BRONZE — Molla Bjurstedt (Norway)
GOLD — Heinrich Schomburgk and Dora Koring (Germany)
SILVER — Gunnar Setterwall and Sigrid Fick (Sweden)
BRONZE — A. Canet and Marguerite Broquedis (France)
Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Charles Winslow (South Africa) def. Harold Kitson (South Africa), 7-5, 4-6, 10-8, 8-6.
Men’s Singles Bronze Medal Match – Oskar Kreuzer (Germany) def. Ladislav Zemla (BOH), 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1
Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Charles Winslow and Harold Kitson (South Africa) def. Felix Pipes and Arthur Zborzil (Austria), 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.
Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Marguerite Broquedis (France) def. Dora Koring (Germany), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Mixed Doubles Gold Medal Match — Dora Koring and Heinrich Schomburgk (Germany) def. Sigrid Fick and Gunnar Setterwall (Sweden), 6-4, 6-0.
1912 – STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (Indoor)
GOLD — Andre Gobert (France)
SILVER — Charles Dixon (Great Britain)
BRONZE — Anthony Wilding (Australia)
GOLD — Andre Gobert and Maurice Germot (France)
SILVER — Gunnar Setterwall and Carl Kempe (Sweden)
BRONZE — Arthur Beamish and Charles Dixon (Great Britain)
GOLD — Edith Hannam (Great Britain)
SILVER — Thora Gerda Sophy Castenschiold (Denmark)
BRONZE — Mabel Parton (Great Britain)
Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Andre Gobert (France) def. Charles Dixon (Great Britain), 8-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Men’s Singles Bronze Medal Match – Anthony Wilding (Australia) def. Gordon Lowe (Great Britain), 4-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-0
Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match— Andre Gobert and Maurice Germot (France) def. Gunnar Setterwall and Carl Kempe (Sweden), 6-4, 12-14, 6-2, 6-4.
Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Edith Hannam (Great Britain) def. Thora Gerda Sophy Castenschiold (Denmark), 6-4, 6-3.
Mixed Doubles Gold Medal Match — Edith Hannam and Charles Dixon (Great Britain) def. Helen Aitchison and Roper Barrett (Great Britain), 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
1920 – ANTWERP, BELGIUM
GOLD — Louis Raymond (South Africa)
SILVER — Ichiya Kumagae (Japan)
BRONZE — Charles Winslow (South Africa)
GOLD — Noel Turnbull (South Africa) and Max Woosnam (Great Britain)
SILVER — Seiichiro Kashio and Ichiya Kumagae (Japan)
BRONZE — Pierre Albarran and Max Decugis (France)
GOLD — Suzanne Lenglen (France)
SILVER — Dorothy Holman (Great Britain)
BRONZE — Kitty McKane (Great Britain)
GOLD — Kitty McKane and Winifred McNair (Great Britain)
SILVER — Geraldine Beamish and Dorothy Holman (Great Britain)
BRONZE — Elizabeth D’Ayen and Suzanne Lenglen (France)
GOLD — Suzanne Lenglen and Max Decugis (France)
SILVER — Kitty McKane and Max Woosnam (Great Britain)
BRONZE — Milade Skrbkova and Razny Zemie (Czechoslovakia)
Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match— Louis Raymond (South Africa) def. Ichiya Kumagae (Japan), 5-7, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.
Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Noel Turnbull (South Africa) and Max Woosnam (Great Britain), def. Seiichiro Kashio and Ichiya Kumagae (Japan), 6-2, 7-5, 7-5.
Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Suzanne Lenglen (France) def. Dorothy Holman (Great Britain), 6-3, 6-0.
Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Kitty McKane and Winifred McNair (Great Britain) def. Geraldine Beamish and Dorothy Holman (Great Britain), 8-6, 6-4.
Mixed Doubles Gold Medal Match — Suzanne Lenglen and Max Decugis (France) def. Kitty McKane and Max Woosnam (Great Britain), 6-4, 6-2.
1924 – PARIS, FRANCE
GOLD –Vincent Richards (United States)
SILVER — Henri Cochet (France)
BRONZE — Umberto Luigi de Morpurgo (Italy)
GOLD — Vincent Richards and Frank Hunter (United States)
SILVER — Jacques Brugnon and Henri Cochet (France)
BRONZE — Jean Borotra and Rene Lacoste (France)
GOLD — Helen Wills (United States)
SILVER — Didi Vlastro (France)
BRONZE — Kitty McKane (Great Britain)
GOLD — Helen Wills and Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman (United States)
SILVER — Kitty McKane and Dorothy Covell (Great Britain)
BRONZE — Evelyn Colyer and Dorothy Shepherd Barron (Great Britain)
GOLD — Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman and R. Norris Williams (United States)
SILVER — Marion Jessup and Vincent Richards (United States)
BRONZE — Hendrik Timmer and Cornelia Bouman (Netherlands)
Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Vincent Richards (United States) def. Henri Cochet (France), 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 5-7, 6-2.
Men’s Singles Bronze Medal Match – Umberto Luigi de Morpurgo (Italy) def. Jean Borotra (France), 1-6, 6-1, 8-6, 4-6, 7-5
Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Vincent Richards and Frank Hunter (United States) def. Jacques Brugnon and Henri Cochet (France), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.
Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match— Helen Wills (United States) def. Didi Vlastro (France), 6-2, 6-2.
Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Helen Wills and Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman (United States) def. Kitty McKane and Dorothy Covell (Great Britain), 7-5, 8-6.
Mixed Doubles Gold Medal Match — Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman and R. Norris Williams (United States) def. Marion Jessup and Vincent Richards (United States), 6-2, 6-3.
1988 – SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
GOLD — Miloslav Mecir (Czechoslovakia)
SILVER — Tim Mayotte (United States)
BRONZE — Stefan Edberg (Sweden)
Brad Gilbert (United States)
GOLD — Ken Flach and Robert Seguso (United States)
SILVER –Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez (Spain)
BRONZE — Stefan Edberg and Anders Jarryd (Sweden)
Miloslav Mecir and Milan Srejber (Czechoslovakia)
GOLD — Steffi Graf (West Germany)
SILVER — Gabriela Sabatini (Argentina)
BRONZE — Zina Garrison (United States)
Manuela Maleeva (Bulgaria)
GOLD — Zina Garrison and Pam Shriver (United States)
SILVER — Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova (Czechoslovakia)
BRONZE — Liz Smylie and Wendy Turnbull (Australia)
Steffi Graf and Claudia Kohde Kilsch (Germany)
Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Miloslav Mecir (Czechoslovakia) def. Tim Mayotte (United States), 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.
Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Ken Flach and Robert Seguso (United States) def. Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez (Spain), 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (1-7), 9-7.
Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Steffi Graf (West Germany) def. Gabriela Sabatini (Argentina), 6-3, 6-3.
Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Zina Garrison and Pam Shriver (United States) def. Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova (Czechoslovakia), 4-6, 6-2, 10-8.
1992 – BARCELONA, SPAIN
GOLD — Marc Rosset (Switzerland)
SILVER — Jordi Arrese (Spain)
BRONZE — Goran Ivanisevic (Croatia)
Andrei Cherkasov (CIS)
GOLD — Boris Becker and Michael Stich (Germany)
SILVER — Wayne Ferreira and Piet Norval (South Africa)
BRONZE — Goran Ivanisevic and Goran Prpic (Croatia)
Javier Frana and Christian Miniussi (Argentina)
GOLD — Jennifer Capriati (United States)
SILVER — Steffi Graf (Germany)
BRONZE — Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (Spain)
Mary Joe Fernandez (United States)
GOLD — Mary Joe Fernandez and Gigi Fernandez (United States)
SILVER — Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (Spain)
BRONZE — Natasha Zvereva and Leila Meshki (CIS)
Rachael McQuillan and Nicole Provis (Australia)
Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Marc Rosset (Switzerland) def. Jordi Arrese (Spain), 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 8-6.
Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Boris Becker and Michael Stich (Germany) def. Wayne Ferreira and Piet Norval (South Africa), 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3
Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Jennifer Capriati (United States) def. Steffi Graf (Germany), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Mary Joe Fernandez and Gigi Fernandez (United States) def. Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (Spain), 7-5, 2-6, 6-2.
1996 – ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES
GOLD — Andre Agassi (United States)
SILVER – Sergi Bruguera (Spain)
BRONZE – Leander Paes (India)
GOLD – Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge (Australia)
SILVER – Tim Henman and Neil Broad (Great Britain)
BRONZE – Marc-Kevin Goellner and David Prinosil (Germany)
GOLD — Lindsay Davenport (United States)
SILVER – Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (Spain)
BRONZE – Jana Novotna (Czech Republic)
GOLD — Mary Joe Fernandez and Gigi Fernandez (United States)
SILVER – Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova (Czech Republic)
BRONZE – Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Conchita Martinez (Spain)
Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match – Andre Agassi (United States) def. Sergi Bruguera (Spain), 6-2, 6-3, 6-1.
Men’s Singles Bronze Medal Match – Leander Paes (India) def. Fernando Meligeni (Brazil), 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match – Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge (Australia) def. Tim Henman and Neil Broad (Great Britain) 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
Men’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match – Marc-Kevin Goellner and David Prinosil (Germany) def. Paul Haarhuis and Jacco Eltingh (Netherlands), 6-2, 7-5
Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match – Lindsay Davenport (United States) def. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (Spain), 7-6 (6), 6-2.
Women’s Singles Bronze Medal Match – Jana Novotna (Czech Republic) def. Mary Joe Fernandez (United States), 7-6 (8), 6-4
Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Mary Joe Fernandez and Gigi Fernandez (United States) def. Jana Novona and Helena Sukova (Czech Republic), 7-6 (6), 6-4.
Women’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match – Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (Spain) def. Manon Bollegraf and Brenda Schultz-McCarthy (Netherlands), 6-1, 6-3
2000 – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
GOLD – Yevgeny Kafelnikov (Russia)
SILVER – Tommy Haas (Germany)
BRONZE – Arnaud DiPasquale (France)
GOLD – Sebastien Lareau and Daniel Nestor (Canada)
SILVER – Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge (Australia)
BRONZE – Alex Corretja and Albert Costa (Spain)
GOLD — Venus Williams (United States)
SILVER – Elena Dementieva (Russia)
BRONZE – Monica Seles (United States)
GOLD – Venus Williams and Serena Williams (United States)
SILVER – Miriam Oremans and Kristie Boogert (Netherlands)
BRONZE – Els Callens and Dominique Van Roost (Belgium)
Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match – Yevgeny Kafelnikov (Russia) def. Tommy Haas (Germany), 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
Men’s Singles Bronze Medal Match – Arnaud DiPasquale (France) def. Roger Federer (Switzerland), 7-6 (5), 6-7 (7), 6-3
Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match – Daniel Nestor and Sebastien Lareau (Canada) def. Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge (Australia) 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (2)
Men’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match – Alex Corretja and Albert Costa (Spain), def. David Adams and John-Laffnie de Jager (South Africa), 2-6, 6-4, 6-3
Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match – Venus Williams (United States) def. Elena Dementieva (Russia), 6-2, 6-4
Women’s Singles Bronze Medal Match – Monica Seles (United States) def. Jelena Dokic (Australia), 6-1, 6-4
Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match – Venus Williams and Serena Williams (United States) def. Miriam Oremans and Kristie Boogert (Netherlands) 6-1, 6-1.
Women’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match – Els Callens and Dominique van Roost (Belgium)def. Natalia Zvereva and Olga Barabanschikova (Belarus), 4-6, 6-4, 6-1
2004 – ATHENS, GREECE
GOLD – Nicolas Massu (Chile)
SILVER – Mardy Fish (United States)
BRONZE – Fernando Gonzalez (Chile)
GOLD – Nicolas Massu and Fernando Gonzalez (Chile)
SILVER – Nicolas Kiefer and Rainer Schuettler (Germany)
BRONZE – Ivan Ljubicic and Mario Ancic (Croatia)
GOLD – Justine Henin-Hardenne (Belgium)
SILVER – Amelie Mauresmo (France)
BRONZE – Alicia Molik (Australia)
GOLD – Li Ting and Sun Tiantian (China)
SILVER – Virginia Ruano Pascual and Conchita Martinez (Spain)
BRONZE – Paola Suarez and Patricia Tarabini (Argentina)
Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match – Nicolas Massu (Chile) def. Mardy Fish (United States) 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
Men’s Singles Bronze Medal Match – Fernando Gonzalez (Chile) def. Taylor Dent (United States), 6-4, 2-6, 16-14
Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match – Nicolas Massu and Fernando Gonzalez (Chile) def. Nicolas Kiefer and Rainer Schuettler (Germany), 6-2, 4-6, 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4
Men’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match – Ivan Ljubicic and Mario Ancic (Croatia) def. Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi (India), 7-6 (5), 4-6, 16-14
Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match – Justine Henin-Hardenne (Belgium) def. Amelie Mauresmo (France), 6-3, 6-3
Women’s Singles Bronze Medal Match – Alicia Molik (Australia) def. Anastasia Myskina (Russia), 6-3, 6-4
Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match – Li Ting and Sun Tiantian (China) def. Virginia Ruano Pascual and Conchita Martinez (Spain), 6-3, 6-3
Women’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match – Paola Suarez and Patricia Tarabini (Argentina) def. Ai Sugiyama and Shinobu Asagoe (Japan), 6-3, 6-3
It was 25 years ago today on June 5, 1983 when Yannick Noah set off the perhaps the biggest celebration in French tennis since the Four Musketeers won the Davis Cup for France for the first time in 1927, by becoming the first man from his nation to win the French Open singles title, defeating Mats Wilander in the final. June 5 is a day of big occurrences in tennis history, as seen below in this exclusive early excerpt from my upcoming book On This Day in Tennis History. To pre-order this book (due out Sept. 1) you can click here for a 39 percent discount.
1983 – Yannick Noah creates a frenzy of French patriotism at Stade Roland Garros becoming the first Frenchman in 37 years to win the men’s singles titles at the French Open, defeating Mats Wilander 6-2, 7-5, 7-6 in two hours and 24 minutes in a passion-filled final. Noah serves and volleys and chips and charges on the slow red clay court to become the first Frenchman since Marcel Bernard in 1946 to win the French men’s singles title. Noah was discovered at age 10 in the African nation of Cameroon, the birthplace of his father, when Arthur Ashe informs French Tennis Federation President Philippe Chatrier of Noah’s talent after seeing him play – with a tennis racquet carved out of wood – during a U.S. State Department visit to Cameroon. Wilander was attempting to defend the title he won the year before as an unknown 17-year-old, but is unable to hit enough passing shots to fend off the constant net attacks by the dread-locked 23-year-old Noah. Wrote Bud Collins in the Boston Globe, “Perhaps the French will rename that huge monument at Place de l’Etoile and call it Noah’s Arc de Triomphe. The original outlasted a flood, but the current one opened the floodgates of emotion at Stade Roland Garros and washed away not only the Swedish Reign of Terror in the French Open, but also a seemingly impenetrable barrier that has separated French male players from their own title for 37 years.”
1953 – With his bag packed ready for a trip to Cleveland to play in the U.S. Pro Championships, Bill Tilden, regarded by many as the greatest player in the history of the sport, is found dead in his hotel room in Los Angeles at the age of 60. The cause of death for the seven-time U.S. men’s singles champion is a heart attack.
1973 – A in rare major final played on a Tuesday due to bad weather in Paris, Ilie Nastase beats Nikki Pilic 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 in 90 minutes to win the French Open for the first time. Said Nastase, “It meant much more to me to win Forest Hills last September because I thought I could never win a major grass tournament. Still, this is an important one.” Less than one hour after the match, Pilic is notified that he is suspended from competing on the circuit for 25 days for refusing to play for Yugoslavia in Davis Cup play, a decision that results in a player boycott of Wimbledon in defense of Pilic. Nastase, however, is one of the few ATP union players who does not honor the boycott.
1977 – Guillermo Vilas routs Brian Gottfried 6-0, 6-3, 6-0 to win his first major singles title in the most decisive French Open men’s singles final in the event’s history.
1982 – Martina Navratilova wins the French Open for the first time in her career, defeating future nun Andrea Jaeger 7-6, 6-1. Following the match, Jaeger accuses Navratilova of illegally receiving coaching signals from her coach, Renee Richards. ”It sort of blew my concentration,” said Jaeger, the 17-year-old American who was in her first Grand Slam final. ”It’s difficult to be playing three people at once. ‘I was trying in the whole first set to deal with it, and I was doing fine. But it was annoying. They’ve done it in other matches. It’s not very good for tennis. ‘She played well and I lost. But it shouldn’t happen. I might win, 0-0, or lose, 0-0, but I want to win by myself or lose by myself.” Said Navratilova, ”This is a shock. All I can say is that I never looked at Renee except for encouragement. Here I have won the final of one of the biggest tournaments in the world. Thank you very much, Andrea. I didn’t have to look up at them. Before I played, I went over the match 20 times with Renee. I could have recited in my sleep what I had to do against her. I didn’t need to look at Renee.”
1988 – In a near flawless display of clay court tennis, Mats Wilander wins the French Open for a third time in his career, defeating French native son Henri Leconte 7-5, 6-2, 6-1 in the men’s singles final. Wilander misses only two of 74 first serves, committs only nine unforced errors and does not hit a volley during the one-hour and 52 minute match.
1990 – Fourteen-year-old Jennifer Capriati becomes the youngest Grand Slam semifinalist in tennis history, defeating Mary Joe Fernandez 6-2, 6-4 in the women’s quarterfinals at the French Open.
1993 – Steffi Graf wins her third French Open women’s singles title and her 12th career Grand Slam singles title, defeating Mary Joe Fernandez 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the French Open women’s singles final.
1994 – Sergi Bruguera wins his second straight French Open men’s singles title, defeating unseeded countryman Alberto Berasategui 6-3, 7-5, 2-6, 6-1 in the men’s singles final.
1999 – Twenty-nine-year-old Steffi Graf claims her 22nd – and final – major singles title, upending Martina Hingis 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the women’s singles final at the French Open. Hingis served for the title leading 6-4, 5-4, but Graf, inspired by the French crowd chanting “STEF-FEE, STE-FEE” breaks Hingis and wins eight of the next 10 games. “It was my greatest victory,” said Graf. “I came here without belief – but the crowd lifted me. At 1-0 in the third I knew the momentum was with me. She got tight. Then at 3-0 I got tight and she almost caught me. It was the craziest match. ‘Quit worrying,’ I told myself. ‘Go for your shots.’ I did.”
2003 – Serena Williams is defeated by Belgium’s Justine Henin-Hardenne 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 in front of a raucously pro-Henin Hardenne crowd in the semifinals of the French Open, ending Williams’ 33-match Grand Slam winning streak. The match is highlighted by an incident in the third-set that would prove contentious and acrimonious between the two rivals for years to come. With Williams serving at 4-2, 30-0 in the final set, Henin-Hardenne raises her hand indicating she is not ready to return serve. Williams serves in the net, then protests, to no avail, to the chair umpire and tournament referee that she should be given a first serve, while Henin-Hardenne says nothing of her gesture. Williams then loses the next four points to lose her service-break advantage and eventually the match. Said Henin-Hardenne, “I wasn’t ready to play the point. The chair umpire is there to deal with these kind of situations. I just tried to stay focused on myself and tried to forget all the other things…It’s her point of view but that’s mine now and I feel comfortable with it….I didn’t have any discussion with the chair umpire. He didn’t ask me anything. I was just trying to focus on playing the returns. She saw me and she served. It was her decision to serve. I just tried to stay focused on the second serve. One point in the match doesn’t change the outcome.”
2005 – Nineteen-year-old Rafael Nadal of Spain fends off a charge from unseeded Mariano Puerta of Argentina to win his first major singles title at the French Open. Nadal wins the title and his 24th consecutive match with a 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-1 7-5 decision over Puerta to become the fourth youngest men’s singles champion at Roland Garros. Nadal joins 1982 champion Mats Wilander as the only player to win Roland Garros in his debut.