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Tennis Briefs: U.S. Davis Cup This Weekend; Impressive US Open Numbers

September 16, 2010 02:10 PM
Sam Querrey and John Isner
U.S. Davis Cup Faces Tough Task This Weekend in Bogota

As a first-round loser earlier this year, the U.S. Davis Cup team faces a pivotal match this weekend at Colombia on red clay, a must-win to stay in the World Group for 2011.

The match in Bogota will begin Friday with the U.S.'s Mardy Fish leading off against Alejandro Falla, and American Sam Querrey following against Santiago Giraldo. U.S. rookie Ryan Harrison and John Isner are scheduled for the Saturday doubles against Colombia's Robert Farah/Carlos Salamanca.

It is the first time since 2005, and just the fifth time since the World Group was instituted in 1981, that the U.S. has had to compete in the play-off round. The U.S. is 3-1 all-time in World Group Play-offs, and a loss would mean dropping out of the World Group into zonal competition.

It is the first time Colombia has ever reached the World Group Play-off round, advancing after beating Canada to win the Americas Group I zone in Bogota earlier in March. The U.S. squad will need to make quick adjustments to the 8,000-foot altitude and the raucous attitude of the Colombian fans. One such example was the heavily-favored 1974 U.S. team of Harold Solomon, Eddie Dibbs, Charlie Pasarell and Erik van Dillen, which was upset 4-1.

"It's a problem if you're not used to playing in Bogota," said Colombian 1974 Davis Cup hero Ivan Molina, who now lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., speaking to Florida tennis writer Charlie Bricker of the web-based World Tennis Magazine. "You have to be there enough time to get used to it. If you don't get used to it, once you have to run a little bit, you feel it."

Other World Group Play-offs beginning Friday around the globe are Israel vs. Austria, Germany vs. South Africa, Sweden vs. Italy, India vs. Brazil, Australia vs. Belgium, Kazakhstan vs. Switzerland, and Romania v Ecuador.

The main draw World Group semifinals beginning Friday will feature France vs. Argentina, and Serbia vs. Czech Republic.
Coverage of the U.S. vs. Colombia starts at 11 a.m. Friday on Tennis Channel.

ITA All-American Championships Approach; UF Players Top Ranked

The nation's top collegiate tennis players are slated to compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA) first national events of the 2010-11 season, as selections for the D'Novo/ITA Men's All-American Championships and the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships have been announced by the ITA.
Past ITA All-American champions include current professionals Benjamin Becker (Baylor), James Blake (Harvard), Bob and Mike Bryan (Stanford), Irina Falconi (Georgia Tech), Laura Granville (Stanford), John Isner (Georgia), Kevin Kim (UCLA), and Lisa Raymond (Florida).

Both tournaments include six rounds of pre-qualifying and qualifying matches beginning Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010. The Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships are hosted by the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., for the 26th consecutive year, while the D'Novo/ITA Men's All-American Championships are hosted by the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Okla. for the fourth straight year.

Florida college players in the Top 10 men's and women's rankings for 2010 include Alex Lacroix, Lauren Embree and Allie Will, all representing the University of Florida. Complete Campbell/ITA College Rankings and men's and women's ITA All-American Championship selections can be found at www.itatennis.com.

US Open Features 8 American Winners, Rising Fan Numbers

Eight Americans won championship trophies at the US Open last week as Mike and Bob Bryan captured the men's doubles championship, Bob Bryan teamed with fellow American Liezel Huber to claim the mixed doubles title, and Vania King teamed with Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan to capture her first women's doubles championship at the US Open.

In the US Open junior competition, Lincoln, Neb., native Jack Sock won the boys singles title by defeating fellow American Denis Kudlow, and up-and-comer Sloane Stephens was on the winning girls double team. Finally, David Wagner won a pair of trophies by capturing the quads singles and teaming with fellow American Nicholas Taylor to win the quads doubles as part of the US Open wheelchair competition.

For the fourth consecutive year, attendance topped 700,000 at the US Open. In all, 712,976 fans visited the competition, and new records were set in both merchandise and food and beverage sales. USOpen.org, the official website of the tournament powered by IBM, saw significant traffic and activity. Unique visitors exceeded 12.4 million, the second-highest in history, while total visits to the site topped 40 million for only the second time in history.  Now in its second year, free live streaming of US Open matches surged, with nearly 2.8 million hours of live streaming viewed an 11% increase over last year, and for-the-first time, the men's and women's finals were streamed live in 3D.

In its second year, the Official US Open iPhone App was downloaded and/or updated 673,358 times, a 53% increase from its debut in 2009, and USOpen.org also saw record mobile traffic across its mobile-friendly website (m.usopen.org) and the official iPhone App, with more than 30 million page views, a 44% increase over 2009. The US Open's official Facebook page grew by 33% during the two weeks of the tournament, and by 312% since the conclusion of the 2009 US Open, while the US Open's official Twitter channel followers grew by 51% during the two weeks of the tournament, and by 158% since the conclusion of the 2009 US Open.

The USTA and Levy Restaurants, the official restaurateur of the US Open, also teamed up to donate more than 21,000 pounds of unused food to City Harvest following the 2010 US Open. City Harvest, the world's first food rescue organization, is dedicated to feeding New York City's hungry men, women, and children. In the week following the US Open, City Harvest delivered rescued food to soup kitchens and food pantries across the five boroughs.  






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