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USTA FL Friday Blog: Federer's Twitter Tennis Takeover, More

October 24, 2013 05:48 PM
Roger Federer, king of chocolates

How would you like to make some chocolate with Roger Federer? This week at the Swiss Open, the Swiss former No. 1 surprised a group of school children, partnering with his chocolate sponsor Lindt and the Roger Federer Foundation. He and a group of Swiss kids in partnership with Winter Aid Switzerland got their hands dirty in a sweet way. “As a father of two little children, I experience on a day-to-day basis how important it is to support them in all possible ways,” Federer said. “That is why I take particular personal interest in getting involved with underprivileged children here in Switzerland, too. It was great fun spending an exciting day at the Lindt Chocolateria together with the kids we support through the program of Winter Aid.” Federer’s foundation and partners provide 400,000 Swiss francs over a five-year period to aid underprivileged children in Africa with educational services and other support.


Pembroke Pines' 14-year-old Sofia Kenin

Florida 14-year-old Sofia Kenin stunned a college player on Thursday at the USTA Clay Court Invitational at Disney, which features a mix of college players and up-and-coming juniors. The Pembroke Pines native upended No. 4 seed Georgina Sellyn of Vanderbilt 6-0, 6-3 in the second round. It was the seventh match in eight days for Sellyn, who was coming off a win at the Ohio Valley Regional. The diminutive Kenin, No. 3 on the Tennis Recruiting weekly national rankings, and No. 1 in the Florida and Southeast rankings, will next face Stefania Hristov of Texas A&M. Check www.ESPN3.com, which is live streaming matches throughout the tournament.

Florida cities are amidst those bidding for the Davis Cup tie between the U.S. and Britain on Jan. 31, 2014, where the U.S. will likely entertain Andy Murray and his teammates on what will likely be red clay. While a faster surface favors top American John Isner’s big serve, the 6-foot-9 Isner has also had some big Davis Cup wins on the red stuff, most notably over Roger Federer. Murray recently had back surgery but is expected to be recovered for the tie. The USTA is expected to announce the site in November. In other pro team news, Russia is unable to field a player in the Top 100 to play against Italy in the 2013 Fed Cup final. And can you imagine two U.S. internationally-renowned skateboard champion brothers giving up the sport and the limelight to become pro tennis players -- when they really hadn't even played tennis before?

Roger Federer “blew up” Twitter prior to this week’s Swiss Open, taking questions live from fans and sharing opinions such as who should play him in a movie  (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his handwriting analysis (I sort of write half cursive half not). The activity boosted #askRF to one of the top trending topics on Twitter, and even drew rival Juan Martin del Potro into the conversation. “@delpotrojuan is the man. great win in tokyo” said Federer, to which del Potro replied, “@rogerfederer You are the only one, my locker-room neighbour.”

Serena Into Semis at Year-end WTA Championship

Serena_bastad_2013World No. 1 Serena Williams continued her winning ways on Thursday at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, easing past No. 5 seed Petra Kvitova 6-2, 6-3, improving to 3-0 in round robin play and becoming the first player to clinch a spot in the semifinals

It was her 13th straight win at the year-end championships, a streak second only to Martina Navratilova’s 21 in a row from 1983-87.

“I didn't have any expectations coming here, I just wanted to come here and enjoy myself, and that's what I've done,” Williams said. “It just feels good to not be out of the tournament.”

As the winning of the Red Group, in the semifinals she will meet the No. 2 finisher in the White Group, where Victoria Azarenka, Li Na and Jelena Jankovic can all still finish either first or second.

Friday’s match line-up will be Azarenka vs. Na, Kvitova vs. Angelique Kerber, and Sara Errani vs. Jankovic.

Bryan Brothers Named 2013 U.S. Olympic Team of the Year

Bryan_brothers_whiteFlorida residents Bob (Sunny Isles Beach) and Mike Bryan (Wesley Chapel) were honored this week as the United States Olympic Committee Team of the Year. They are the first tennis players to receive the USOC Olympic Team of the Year award since its inception in 1996.

The award will be presented during a reception in conjunction with the “100 Days Out Celebration” to commemorate the final countdown to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games on Oct. 29 in New York.

The all-time winningest doubles team in tennis history and the current No. 1-ranked doubles team in the world, the Bryans captured the ‘Golden Slam’ in 2013, becoming the first men’s doubles team in the Open Era to hold all four consecutive Slams (2012 US Open, 2013 Australian Open, 2013 French Open, and 2013 Wimbledon) along with the 2012 Olympic gold medal.

Prior to the US Open the pair won the Cincinnati title, clinching the year-end No. 1 team ranking, the soonest the year-end ranking had been secured in ATP history.

They Said It

"Tennis is my life. It's the sport of a lifetime. I mean golf? Sorry. Swimming. Maybe. Tennis you can play when you are six and you can play when you are 80. I actually just hit with my mom yesterday and she's 84. She taught me the drop shot."
-- Chris Evert speaking during the dedication of Florida Southern College's new tennis center.

"It's a tough topic because a lot of people insinuate that he's not just taking Flintstones to play so well. We all have to do something a little extra because we have to maintain the level we need to compete. I'm not talking about something illegal or something hardcore. I don't know, maybe he does have butt implants. That seems to be the topic of the locker room...It's a little bit unfair from our side to say, 'For sure, this guy is juicing,' because in our minds, we'd rather believe he's doing a quick fix instead of believing he works for seven hours like a horse to get there."
-- Outspoken Russian Dmitry Tursunov talking to Tennis Now on Rafael Nadal's remarkable comeback from injury in 2013.

"Diet. I ate steak and eggs, all these things that are not even good for you. At last we have better nutritional facts available."
-- Billie Jean King on what she admires about pro players nowadays, speaking to Newsweek.


TV_graphicTennis on TV This Weekend

10am-4:30pm – WTA Championships (live), Tennis Channel
4:30-8:30pm – ATP Basel (delay), Tennis Channel
8:30pm-12:30am – ATP Valencia (delay), Tennis Channel

6-7:30am -- WTA Championships (live), Tennis Channel
8am-1:30pm -- WTA Championships (live), Tennis Channel
5:30-10:30pm -- ATP Basel (delay), Tennis Channel
10:30pm-2:30am -- ATP Valencia (delay), Tennis Channel

9:30-noon -- ATP Basel (live), Tennis Channel
Noon-2:30pm -- ATP Valencia (delay), Tennis Channel
8:30pm-midnight -- WTA Championships (delay), Tennis Channel

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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