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USTA FL Friday Blog: Roddick 'Retirement' Includes Dancing, Charity Work

September 20, 2013 08:14 AM
craybas_2008_induction_into_UF_hall_of_fame
Jill Craybas at UF in the 1990's
Two eras of Florida Gator tennis are passing each other by this month as Jill Craybas announced her retirement from pro tennis after 17 years on the WTA tour, and Lauren Embree embarks on her pro career after graduating from the University of Florida. The 39-year-old Craybas won the NCAA women's individual title as a senior in 1996. The 22-year-old Embree led the Gators to three consecutive team final appearances, winning back-to-back team titles in 2011-12. Neither player has a stand-out weapon, but both have the innate will to win and are the last players out of the gym. As Craybas closes the book on her career, Embree has started hers on an up note, winning a $10K ITF pro event in Texas this summer, and representing Athletic DNA.
 
Does Novak Djokovic ever stop? The gluten-free wonder went directly from losing a grinding US Open final to Rafael Nadal to the next day hosting a 2nd annual fundraiser for his Novak Djokovic Foundation at the glitzy Capitale in Manhattan. John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors were joined by celebrities Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, Vogue Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour, Ricky Gervais, Randy Jackson, models Adriana Lima, Naomi Campbell and Karolina Kurkova, and actress Goldie Hawn. The Serb and his friends raised 
Djokovic_santa
Novak Djokovic in one of his various charity guises
approximately $2.5 million for underprivileged youth around the world, and Serbian preschoolers in need of assistance. Not enough? How about the next day flying to Serbia to represent his home country in the Davis Cup semifinals, later that week defeating Canada's Milos Raonic and Vasek Popspisil in straight sets? "Knowing that your efforts are appreciated is what makes you give that extra energy on court and fight until you cannot move," Djokovic wrote to his legion of Facebook fans. "Result: we are in Davis Cup Finals!!!"
 
On the ballot for the 2014 International Tennis Hall of Fame are famed Florida coach Nick Bollettieri and another of his proteges, four-time Grand Slam winner Mary Pierce. Can the HOF deny Bollettieri again? "There is no way Bollettieri, a man who changed the way players are trained, should be on the outside looking in and his nomination for the class of 2014 should not go unrewarded," says Florida tennis writer Mic Huber. "Voting takes place over the next several months and it is time for those who have differences with Bollettieri to step up and do the right thing."
 
Quick Hits
 
The U.S. is unfortunately losing another pro tennis event as it was reported that the WTA Carlsbad tournament is moving to Tokyo...The parents of Florida junior phenoms Tornado and Hurricane Black says Marketing 101 is 'name your kids after storms'...Kim Clijsters has another baby, Jack Lynch -- time for another tennis comeback?...Kids on the other side of the fence can't resist 10 and Under Tennis...Looks like Andy Murray is out the remainder of the year after requiring some surgery...Andy Roddick's got dance moves, what have you got? Andy will also be in Orlando assisting a favorite charity...Florida this weekend hosts the doubles-only version (including mixed!) of the junior tournament that has spawned a handful of eventual world No. 1 players in both singles and doubles...A lack of Hispanic-American pros? You should see the number of Hispanic junior players in South Florida -- Tenis para Todos!...After her doubles-only comeback stalled this fall, former No. 1 Martina Hingis says she's not sure what's in store for 2014.
 
 
American Watch: Vania King, Sam Querrey Alive in Tour Play
 
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Sam Querrey (right) earlier this year at the Davis Cup in Jacksonville, Fla.
Qualifier Vania King is the lone American woman flying the flag at the WTA Guangzhou Open in Guangzhou, China.
 
On Thursday in quarterfinal play the U.S. Fed Cup team member upset No. 8 seed Monica Puig of Puerto Rico, who lives and trains in Florida, 1-6, 7-5, 7-6(5). King trailed 6-1, 5-2 before evening the match, and was down a break in the third set, winning her fourth consecutive three-set match of the tournament.
 
In the Friday semifinals she will meet unseeded Zheng Jie of China, who on Thursday upset No. 3-seeded Laura Robson of Great Britain. No seeded players remain in the semifinals at Guangzhou.
 
Sam Querrey is also alive at the Moselle Open in Metz, France, and on Friday the No. 6 seed will face No. 2-seeded Gilles Simon in the quarterfinals.
 
"I will play against a player with a great serve," said Simon of Querrey. "I know him well and I know what to expect."
 
Other Metz quarterfinal matches are Benjamin Becker vs. Nicolas Mahut, No. 1 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Tobias Kamke, and Carlos Berlocq vs. No. 8 Florian Mayer.
 
 
TV_graphicTennis on TV
 
Friday
3-7pm -- WTA Guangzhou (delay), Tennis Channel
7-11pm -- ATP Metz (delay), Tennis Channel
11pm-3am -- ATP St. Petersburg (delay), Tennis Channel
 
Saturday
1-3pm -- WTA Guangzhou final (delay), Tennis Channel
3-7pm -- ATP St. Petersburg (delay), Tennis Channel
7-11pm -- ATP Metz (delay), Tennis Channel
 
Sunday
3-5pm -- WTA Seoul final (delay), Tennis Channel
5-7pm -- ATP St. Petersburg final (delay), Tennis Channel
8-10pm -- ATP Metz final (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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