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USTA FL Friday Blog: Davis Cup in the Outfield; ATP Finals

November 8, 2013 09:07 AM
Hawaii_tennis1) Play USTA League tennis; 2) Win USTA League tennis; 3) Go to Hawaii. That's what's happening this weekend at the USTA Florida Mixed 40 & Over League Sectional Championship at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach. Winning teams in the 6.0, 7.0. 8.0. and 9.0 divisions will represent Florida at the 2013 USTA League Mixed Invitational 40 & Over Championships, to be held April 11-13, 2014 in Maui, Hawaii.

Novak Djokovic was unhappy about losing out on the year-end No. 1 ranking to Rafael Nadal this week. He was even more unhappy with the ATP, ITF, WADA, and all the other acronym organizations he felt were responsible for his Serb countryman and childhood friend Viktor Troicki's ban from pro tennis. Troicki, suspended for 18 months for skipping a blood test at the Monte Carlo Masters in April, had his sentence reduced, but only to 12 months. "It proves again that this system of WADA and anti-doping agency does not work," Djokovic said of the World Anti-Doping Agency which oversees tennis. "I don't have trust in them anymore. I don't have trust (in) what's going on...The ATP, who is supposed to be an association of tennis professionals, who is supposed to be the governing body, the association that stands behind the players, are not going to answer on this announcement, are not going to do anything for Viktor." Adding to Djokovic's indignation is the ruling will keep Troicki from competing or Serbia in the Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic. More indignation? Roger Federer came out and said he liked the system, and that men's tennis needs more testing.

ConnorsJimmy Connors is an a-hole, according to the ESPN "30 for 30" documentary "This is What They Want." Also according to Jimmy Connors. The film documents Connors' improbably run to the 1991 US Open semifinals at 39 years old and No. 174 in the world as a wildcard entry. It also revealed some interesting tidbits, such as how the Connors-Aaron Krickstein match ended the mentor-friend relationship between the two, as Connors stopped talking to Krickstein. "[I'm] still an-hole -- but I'm a happy a-hole," he admits in the film, a well-done must-watch chronicling the lengendary run of the former No. 1.


Money trumped country in the Fed Cup final between Russia and Italy, which was less than a blip on the sports radar as Italy defeated a Russian team that was without a player ranked in the Top 100. No. 1 and 2 Russians Maria Sharapova and Maria Kirilenko were out with uinjuries, while Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Elena Vesnina chose to instead play the lucrative WTA Tournament of Champions event...Watch your belongings when signing autographs in Paris. Juan Martin del Potro had his briefcase stolen at a train station in Paris on his way to London for the ATP World Finals. He lost his passport, money and his Rosary. "I was finishing the check-in and was asked for an autograph. I turned around to sign it and within 20 seconds, it was stolen," he told USA Today...The ATP announced the grasscourt season will increase from four weeks to five weeks on the 2015 ATP calendar...Tennis.com asked "What's the World's Weirdnest Tennis Venue?" after it was announced that the U.S. Davis Cup team will host Britain on a court in the outfield of the San Diego Padres' Petco Park. It was also announced that Cleveland will be the site when the U.S. Fed Cup team hosts defending champion Italy in the first round in 2014.

Federerenews.jpgMust-win for Federer; Djokovic Into Semis at ATP Finals

Roger Federer is still alive, and Novak Djokovic clinched a spot in the semifinals in Thursday round robin play at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.

The Swiss improved to 1-1 in round robin play after a 6-4, 6-3 win over Richard Gasquet, who fell to 0-2 and was mathematically eliminated from the semifinals. On Saturday Federer will play Juan Martin del Potro in his final round robin match, which is a likely must-win to reach the semifinals.

"It is a big win for me and hopefully I can keep it up in the next match against Juan Martin del Potro," Federer said. "I beat Juan Martin last week. I truly believe my confidence is higher, and that's what I need to beat the best, and Juan Martin is part of that group honestly."

Djokovic on Thursday defeated del Potro 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

"With his serve it's definitely a big advantage if I can get a break advantage and close it out," said Djokovic, who broke for a 4-2 lead in the third set.

Round robin matches on Friday will feature David Ferrer vs. Stan Wawrinka, and Rafael Nadal vs. Tomas Berdych, with Berdych in a must-win situation to reach the semifinals.

They Said It

evert"The USTA is doing all they can -- I see them at our tennis academy, they're doing everything right. But it's a big world now...when I was a [pro], there were no players coming out of China, no players coming out of these eastern European countries, maybe three or four European countries and that was it. Now, tennis is big in these countries, and they're building big stadiums and developmental programs. And there's the hunger factor -- these girls see [Maria] Sharapova, with all the glamor, and the ads, and they want to be like her."
-- Chris Evert, whose academy in Boca Raton is next to the USTA Professional Development Training Headquarters, on the U.S. producing top players.

"If you still stack us up against most countries, we're coming out ahead. At a certain point, the only part that confuses me is how I am answering questions and that it's my responsibility."
-- An exasperated Andy Roddick, addressing no American men or women in the Top 10 of the rankings for the first time in the Open Era (since 1968) last year prior to his retirement at the US Open.

"What do you buy Ivan Lendl for Christmas? A sense of humor, maybe? Only joking! Ivan has helped me a lot this year. Working with him is one of the best decisions I've made in my career, and I know he'll keep pushing me hard to achieve even more. We'll be meeting up in Florida for my winter training block next month, so I'd better stay on his good side!"
-- Andy Murray talking to the BBC.

TV_graphicTennis on TV This Weekend

7-9am -- ATP World Tour Finals (live), Tennis Channel
1-2:30pm -- ATP World Tour Finals (live), Tennis Channel
3-5pm -- ATP World Tour Finals (live), ESPN

7am-5pm -- ATP World Tour Finals (live), Tennis Channel

7-8:30am -- ATP World Tour Finals (live), Tennis Channel
9-11am -- ATP World Tour Finals (live), ESPN
1-2:30pm -- ATP World Tour Finals (live), Tennis Channel
3-5pm -- ATP World Tour Finals (live), ESPN

1-2:30pm -- ATP World Tour Finals (live), Tennis Channel
3-5pm -- ATP World Tour Finals (live), ESPN

The USTA Florida Friday blog is written by USTA Florida Communications Coordinator Rick Vach, former publications editor for the ATP World Tour, editor/publisher of International Tennis and Play Tennis Florida magazine, and award-winning contributor to Tennis Week magazine. Got feedback, want a USTA or tennis-related question answered in the blog, or want to express your opinion? E-mail HERE.






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