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USTA FL Friday Blog: Serena Anniv., Tennis on TV

February 22, 2013 10:44 AM
HAPPY 10TH ANNIVERSARY SERENA
 
Serena-Willams-Aussie-2007.jpgHappy 10th anniversary to Palm Beach Gardens' Serena Williams. It was 10 years ago that the younger Williams sister first ranked No. 1 on the WTA Rankings. This year she celebrated by again ascending to No. 1 this week, becoming the oldest player to rank No. 1 at 31 years, 4 months, and 24 days. She eclipsed Chris Evert (30 years, 11 months, 3 days in 1985) and Martina Navratilova (30 years, 9 months, 29 days in 1987) as the oldest No. 1.
 
"I never thought I would be [at No. 1] again," Williams said after a quarterfinal win last week in Doha, which secured her the top spot this week. "I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to get back to No. 1. It has been a long road back and it's a great feeling. It has been a lot of hard work but I don't want to stop here."
 
A stellar 2012 campaign laid the groundwork to again take the No. 1 ranking (for the sixth time in her career). Last year she finished with a 58-4 record and .935 winning percentage, the best single-season record since 2007 (Justine Henin, 63-4, .940).
 
Her 124 career weeks at No. 1 put her behind only Monica Seles (178 weeks), Martina Hingis (209), Chris Evert (260), Martina Navratilova (332) and Steffi Graf (377), and ahead of Justine Henin (117), Lindsay Davenport (98), Caroline Wozniacki (67), Victoria Azarenka (51), Amelie Mauresmo (39), Dinara Safina (26), Maria Sharapova (21), Tracy Austin (21), Kim Clijsters (20), Jelena Jankovic (18), Jennifer Capriati (17), Ana Ivanovic (12), Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (12), Venus Williams (11), and Evonne Goolagong Cawley (2).
 
AMERICANS WALKIN' IN MEMPHIS
 
Duval Victoria 2011
Vicky Duval in 2011
Last night the last American women fell in the WTA Memphis quarterfinals when Jamie Hampton lost to fellow unseeded Marina Erakovic of New Zealand 7-5, 6-2.
 
Earlier in the week, Delray Beach's 17-year-old Vicky Duval (remember her splash at the US Open last year?) beat No. 69-ranked Johanna Larsson of Sweden 3-6, 6-1, 6-3, her first win at a WTA event. Ranked No. 451, Duval's win coincidentally was over a member of the Swedish Fed Cup team, which the U.S. will face in April to see which country gets knocked out of the World Group for 2014. Maybe the U.S. team has found a new practice partner in Duval? It would be a natural progression for the diminutive Duval, who in 2010 at age 14 attended the USTA Player Development Camp in Birmingham Ala., when the U.S. hosted Russia in Fed Cup play.
 
American men still alive in Memphis are two unseeded players, wildcard Jack Sock who on Thursday beat doubles partner and Tampa resident James Blake, and lucky loser (lost in qualifying, but got into the main draw when another player pulled out) Mike Russell. Other Americans on the losing end Thursday were Sam Querrey, Donald Young, and Rhyne Williams. Former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt also lost, and former world No. 2 Tommy Haas withdrew due to illness.
 
DELRAY BEACH KICK-OFF
 
Delray_I_Love_TennisMain draw play doesn't begin until Monday, but the action kicks off this weekend at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (ITC) with the ATP Champions Tour seniors event, featuring players such as John McEnroe, Pat Cash, Mats Wilander, Carlos Moya, Mark Philippoussis and Aaron Krickstein, and the qualifying event for the Delray Beach ITC. The main draw is scheduled to feature U.S. Davis Cup teammates John Isner, Sam Querrey, Ryan Harrison and the Bryan brothers, as well as Gael Monfils, defending champion Kevin Anderson, and past ITC champions Kei Nishikori and Tommy Haas among others.
 
RANDOM HITS
 
Need to convince your city that a new tennis center can boost it's bottom line? Check out the the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala., which brings in an estimated $54 million in revenue to the city each year.
 
Canadian pro Rebecca Marino looked on the fast track to a WTA Top 20 ranking until she took an extended break from tennis. Coming back this month, the 22-year-old admitted she had been battling depression and online and social-media bullying. Now she says she is quitting tennis, and social media, probably for good.
 
LIVE TENNIS ON TV THIS WEEKEND
 
Friday
WTA Dubai, 8 a.m.-noon, Tennis Channel
WTA Memphis, noon-2 p.m., Tennis Channel (delay)
 
Saturday
WTA Dubai, 10 a.m.-noon, Tennis Channel
ATP Memphis, 1-6:30 p.m., Tennis Channel
WTA Memphis, 8-10 p.m. (final), Tennis Channel
 
Sunday
ATP Memphis, 4-6 p.m. (final), Tennis Channel
 
* More tennis during the weekend on delay or repeat from ATP and WTA events in Dubai, Marseille and Bogota, go to the Tennis Channel website for complete listings.
 
Happy weekending,
 
The USTA Florida Friday blog is written by USTA Florida Communications Coordinator Rick Vach, to e-mail him CLICK HERE. Feed us some feedback.
 
 
 
 
 

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