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USTA FL Friday Blog: Get Ready for Tennis on TV All the Time

July 19, 2013 09:43 AM
Maria Sharapova will get on the bus to the US Open Series -- after rehabbing a hip injury. Her next event will debut new coach Jimmy Connors in her player's box.
Seven consecutive weeks of tennis on TV awaits fans starting next week when the US Open Series of events kicks off with the WTA Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Calif., and the BB&T Open in Atlanta.
Atlanta will see Mardy Fish play only his second event since last year's US Open, along with John Isner, Lleyton Hewitt and Ryan Harrison among the participants. American Brian Baker was set to make his comeback but withdrew from the event to better prepare for a return at Washington. The now-retired Andy Roddick won Atlanta last year, and Serena Williams won Stanford, beating American upstart Coco Vandeweghe in the final.
Stanford won't see Maria Sharapova and her new coach Jimmy Connors as the Russian withdrew from the event citing a hip injury she is rehabilitating, but the event does boast world No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska, 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur, and 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, along with Americans Jamie Hampton, Varvara Lepchenko, Madison Keys, Mallory Burdette and Christina McHale.
In all approximately 200 hours of tennis action will be broadcast during the US Open Series, not counting the additional two weeks of the US Open, on ESPN2, CBS and Tennis Channel. Coverage begins Thursday or Friday most weeks through the Sunday final, but the combined ATP/WTA Toronto and Cincinnati events will feature every-day TV coverage, Monday through Sunday.
Here is the line-up leading to the US Open:
July 22 -- ATP BB&T Atlanta Open, WTA Bank of the West Classic (Stanford)
July 29 -- ATP Citi Open (Washington), WTA Southern California Open (Carlsbad)
Aug. 5 -- ATP/WTA Rogers Cup (Toronto)
Aug. 12 -- ATP/WTA Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati)
Aug. 19 -- ATP Winston-Salem Open, WTA New Haven Open at Yale
Aug. 26 -- US Open (New York)
The top three men's and top three women's finishers in the US Open Series standings all earn bonus prize money at the US Open, with the champions having the opportunity to win $1 million in bonus prize money in Flushing Meadows.

Florida 18 & Over League Championships

18U-4.0W_Brevard_Champs_webThe first-ever USTA Florida 18 & Over League Championships are concluding this weekend with the 2.5/3.5/4.5 divisions, determining which teams will advance to represent the USTA Florida Section at USTA League Nationals.
Beginning with the 2013 National Championship season, USTA League changed its structure and format to offer age categories (Adult 18 & Over, Adult 40 & Over and Adult 55 & Over and Mixed 18 & Over at the national championship level, and other age divisions offered at the USTA Section level) to better align participants with players their own age. The restructuring guarantees more frequency of play opportunities at more appropriate age groups.
Last weekend the first half of the 18 & Over championships were held for the 3.0/4.0/5.0 divisions, with winners Duval County (Jacksonville winning both the men's and women's 5.0), Alachua County (Gainesville), Brevard County (Indian Harbour Beach), Hillsborough County (Tampa), and Marion County (Ocala).


Former world No. 1 Martina Hingis is back on tour -- in doubles-only, for now -- announcing she will play at the WTA tour stops in Carlsbad, Calif., and New Haven, Conn., prior to the US Open. Can a singles comeback be far behind? How about a US Open singles and doubles wildcard? The 32-year-old has been competing in the World TeamTennis league, and has not competed on the WTA tour since 2007 when she announced her retirement after receiving a two-year ban for a positive drug test, a result she has consistently derided as false. "My competitive spirit is still very much alive and I love being out on court," Hingis said regarding her return in roughly two weeks time.
Serena Williams in Bastad this week (photo: WTA tour)
Serena Williams won the awards for Best Female Athlete and Best Female Tennis Player on Wednesday in Los Angeles at the ESPYs, the ESPN network's celebration of sport, but the world No. 1 was not in attendance. Instead for reasons known only to Serena she was playing the small Swedish Open in Bastad. Yesterday Serena, who is reportedly selling out the center court stadium, defeated Anna Tatishvili 6-2, 6-3 to move into the quarterfinals on the red clay, and on Friday is scheduled to meet Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez Lino.
It's not the size of your stick but the magic in your wand -- but not for Roger Federer, who this week surprised fans and medai members by switching to a larger racquet head at the Hamburg tournament. The Swiss parted with his miniscule 90-inch racquet after losing in the second round at Wimbledon and dropping to No. 5, his lowest ranking in 10 years. In the Friday quarterfinals he is scheduled to meet German Florian Mayer. The Swiss, known to have his own stubborn streak, is trying to avoid the fate of some past champions. "I would have tried some technology. I really would have -- especially for the clay," lamented Pete Sampras in 2010. "[But] I was closed-minded and mentally felt like this was the only racket I could play with. Listen, when you're in it, you just believe in what sort of got you there. But I wish I was little more open-minded to it."

Tennis on TV This Weekend

6am-2pm -- ATP Hamburg (live)
6-11am -- ATP Hamburg (live)
11am-3pm -- WTA Bastad (delay)
3-7pm -- WTA Bad Gastein (delay)
8:30-11:30pm -- World Team Tennis: Orange County Breakers vs. Texas Wild (live)
11:30pm-3am -- ATP Bogota (delay)
9-11:30am -- ATP Hamburg (live)
11:30am-1pm -- WTA Bad Gastein (delay)
1:30-3pm -- WTA Bastad (delay)
6-8pm -- ATP Bogota (delay)
* All broadcasts on Tennis Channel
The USTA Florida Friday blog is written by USTA Florida Communications Coordinator Rick Vach, former publications editor for the ATP World Tour and former editor/publisher of Play Tennis Florida magazine. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of USTA Florida, USTA national, or anyone that can fire him. Want a USTA or tennis-related question answered in the blog, or want to express your opinion? E-mail HERE.





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