epa03239647 Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the USA returns to Sabine Lisicki of Germany during their first round match for the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 28 May 2012. EPA/CHRISTOPHE KARABA |
Former top-five players David Nalbandian, Tommy Robredo, James Blake and Kimiko Date-Krumm; Americans Tim Smyczek, Steve Johnson, Madison Keys, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Maria Sanchez, Melanie Oudin and Taylor Townsend; and Shahar Peer and Kristina Mladenovic were granted wildcards into the main draws of the BNP Paribas Open, to be held March 4 – 17 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, it was announced by Steve Simon, tournament director.
In addition to Blake, seven other Americans have been granted wildcards into the main draws including two-time NCAA Champion from USC Steve Johnson, who reached the third round of the 2012 US Open; Milwaukee native Tim Smyczek, who is at a career-high ranking just outside the top 100 and pushed World No. 4 David Ferrer to four sets at the 2013 Australian Open; 19-year-old breakout star Madison Keys, who has already defeated five top-50 players in 2013 and cracked the top 80 earlier this month; WTA veteran Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who won the 2012 Australian Open Mixed Doubles title; another USC standout – Maria Sanchez, who is at a career-high ranking after jumping 560 ranking places in 2012 – more than any other player in the WTA; Georgia native Melanie Oudin captured her first WTA title last year in Birmingham (UK); and 17-year-old Taylor Townsend, who turned professional in 2012 after reaching the top of the junior rankings earlier that year.
“This year’s main draw wildcards span from seasoned veterans, to rising American and international stars to those returning from injury,” said Simon. “Awarding wildcards to players like David Nalbandian, James Blake, Madison Keys and Taylor Townsend add to the allure of early-round matches for fans and provide the potential for these deserving athletes to break through and make a move up their respective Tour’s rankings.
Qualifying wildcards were given to Americans Christian Harrison, Jack Sock, Rhyne Williams, Dennis Novikov, Grace Min, Jessica Pegula and Irina Falconi, German Andrea Petkovic and Croatian Ajla Tomljanovic.
Serena Williams slept through American morning television appearances this week, leaving several morning chat shows high and dry after partying until the small hours in New York with losing finalist and good friend Caroline Wozniacki.
By the time Roy Emerson had won the Swiss Open title at Gstaad five times in the sixties and returned to lose in the final to Ilie Natsase in 1973, he was falling in the love with the place. For a country boy from the flat Out Back of Queensland, the soaring Alps encased in their mountain greenery which were so visible from his room at the imposing Palace Hotel offered a spellbindingly different view during the summer months.
The 2015 Davis Cup World Group draw ceremony took place on Thursday in Dubai and it produced a rematch of this year's first-round tie between the United States and Great Britain. Team USA, which lost to the visiting Brits in San Diego, Calif., will go on the road March 6-8 of next season at a specific site to be determined.
After a quarter century of questionably-successful exploits, the USTA Player Development (PD) division is, once again, making a change. Patrick McEnroe no longer sports the PD crown, and the National Board has begun the search for a successor. Having spent the last two decades watching regime after regime take the PD division’s reigns – only to drop them a few years later after effecting policies that have yet to produce a US Champion – I’m inclined to offer some thoughts...
The TENNIS CHANNEL is our host this week bringing the Davis cup from around the world to our tv or mobile devices via tennis channel everywhere. ( LIVE ! ) We saw the stadium in Geneva , Switzerland FULL. WE SAW THE FRENCH TIE BEING PLAYED IN PARIS. FULLER THAN FULL.