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USTA FL Friday Blog: Your Answer to the Post-US Open Blahs

September 13, 2013 09:26 AM
sharapova_dog
Maria Sharapova and this dog weigh the same,
according to the WTA media guide
Can you guess Maria Sharapova's weight? How about John Isner's height? Not if you're reading the ATP or WTA media guides, where players can apparently list whatever numbers they find most appealing. "Maria Sharapova, the winner of multiple Grand Slams, towered over Sara Errani, who was in her first Grand Slam final, in both size and stage presence," tennis writer Ben Rothenberg wrote of last year's French Open final. "As the two 25-year-olds met at the net for their pre-match photographs, Errani barely cleared Sharapova's shoulder. There was one listed category in which the 5-foot-4-1/2 Errani led the 6-foot-2 Sharapova, though: weight. According to their Women's Tennis Association profiles, Errani weighs 132 pounds, while Sharapova comes in at 130."
 
Tennis Channel suffered a major hit during the US Open when the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals denied their petition to review the case of the Comcast cable network's apparent anti-competitive behavior. Last year it seemed like a slam dunk when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled that Comcast was illegally keeping Tennis Channel on its pay-for-more-sports tier while the Comcast-owned sports channels such as the Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network remained on the basic free package. Tennis Channel released a statement saying, "The U.S. Circuit Court decision today effectively strips the FCC of the ability to perform the role Congress requires...Many in the industry have recognized that if Comcast owned Tennis Channel instead of Golf Channel, the tables would be turned. We are disappointed with this result and intend to pursue further review." As a Comcast subscriber (since they have a basic monopoly with few alternatives in my area), how much longer do I have to live in a world where the Golf Channel and 40 fishing networks are free, but I have to pay extra for Tennis Channel?
 
Blake_tub
James Blake following his final match poured all his remaining water in a tub and began his career as an Evian spokesman
After announcing his retirement at the US Open, James Blake says he most looks forward to...doing the things non-professional athletes can do. "If I feel like staying up late and hanging out with my friends or taking a weekend trip to Mexico, just being with my wife and kids or whatever, I've never really had that opportunity," Blake says. "So that's what I'm looking forward to for the next few months. Take in some Mets games, some Yankees games, some Giants games this season. Before, my schedule would never allow a lot of those things to happen. Now on a whim, we can go to a Mets game tonight, go to a Broadway show tonight." Finally, James, you can go to the Shake Shack!
 
Oh those fickle ATP Rankings. After the US Open, champion Rafael Nadal stayed at No. 2 upon winning his second Slam of the year, while Roger Federer rose one from 7 to No. 6 after losing early. But what really matters is the 2013-only "race" standings, which by the end of the year match-up with the ATP Rankings and determine the Top 8 players who qualify for the year-end championships. Rafa is No. 2 in the rankings, but No. 1 in 2013-only points with a huge lead over Novak Djokovic. Federer at No. 7 in the Race standings can't afford to have a bad European indoor season or he could find himself outside looking in, while top American John Isner at No. 13 will need to win or go deep at a couple indoor Masters events to reach the Top 8. Federer has qualified the last 11 years and won six times at the year-end championships. Federer is not scheduled to play an event until Shangai in October. Here are the Race standings post-US Open:
 
Emirates ATP Race To London
 
1 Rafael Nadal 11010 points
2 Novak Djokovic 7970
3 Andy Murray 5790
4 David Ferrer 4900
5 Tomas Berdych 3405
6 Juan Martin del Potro 3365
7 Roger Federer 3055
8 Stanislas Wawrinka 2925
----------------------------
9 Richard Gasquet 2765
10 Jo Wilfried-Tsonga 2455
11 Milos Raonic 2105
12 Tommy Haas 2085
13 John Isner 2015
14 Nicolas Almagro 1795
15 Fabio Fognini 1785
 
 
This Week on Tour: Davis Cup, American Success in Quebec
 
falconi-and-mchale
Christina McHale (left) and fellow American Irini Falconi
Americans Lauren Davis and Christina McHale are flying the U.S. flag this week in Canada at the Challenge Bell WTA event in Quebec City, Canada.
 
Both players are into the quarters, after yesterday the No. 7-seeded Davis defeated Czech Andrea Hlavackova 6-1, 2-6, 6-3. That's the same Andrea Hlavackov that just won both the women's doubles and mixed doubles titles at the US Open last week.
 
In the quarters McHale will meet Slovenia's Polona Hercog, and Davis will face Czech Lucie Safarova.
 
The U.S. Davis Cup team gets a rest this weekend, as Serbia vs. Canada, and the Czech Republic vs. Argentina square off in the World Group semifinals. Also this weekend, this year's Davis Cup first-round losers and lower-zonal group winners looking to move up to the big stage meet in the World Group Playoffs.
 
World Group Playoffs winners advance to the first round of the 2014 Davis Cup, with match-ups featuring Spain vs. Ukraine, Netherlands vs. Austria, Croatia vs. Great Britain, Switzerland vs. Ecuador, Germany vs. Brazil, Poland vs. Australia, Belgium vs. Israel, and Japan vs. Colombia.
 
The losers will drop into zonal play for the 2014 season, which would not be a good look for traditional and new-age powerhouses such as Spain (Rafael Nadal), Croatia, Great Britain (Andy Murray), Switzerland (Roger Federer not playing, but Stan Wawrinka is), Germany and Australia (Lleyton Hewitt, Bernard Tomic).
 
 
TV_graphicTennis on TV This Weekend
 
Friday
9am-4pm -- Davis Cup Semifinals (live), Tennis Channel
4-8pm -- WTA Tashkent (delay), Tennis Channel
 
Saturday
8:30am-1pm -- Davis Cup Semifinals (live), Tennis Channel
1-7pm -- WTA Tashkent (delay), Tennis Channel
7-11pm -- WTA Quebec City (delay), Tennis Channel
 
Sunday
8am-2pm -- Davis Cup Semifinals (live), Tennis Channel
7-9pm -- WTA Quebec City (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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