Davis Cup on Tennis Channel

LOS ANGELES, September 13, 2012 -Tennis Channel will provide exclusive coverage of the United States semifinal competition against defending champion Spain in Gijon, Spain, this weekend, with live telecasts of each match and same-day, “Instant Encore” replays. Highlighting the competition, American John Isner will face US Open semifinalist and World No. 5 David Ferrer for the first time since the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris last fall, when Isner defeated the Spaniard during the quarterfinals. However, Ferrer has the career upper hand, holding a 3-1 record against the 6-foot-9-inch American. Rounding out the United States team is Sam Querrery and the 2012 US Open doubles champions, twins Bob and Mike Bryan.

If the United States claims victory over Spain this weekend, the Americans will face either Argentina or the Czech Republic in the final. In addition to televising the United States and Spain’s matches each morning, Tennis Channel will cover semifinal competition between 2011 Davis Cup runner-up Argentina and Czech Republic in Buenos Aires, Argentina, each evening.

Coverage from Parque Hermanos Castro in Spain and Parque Roca in Argentina (all times ET):
Friday, Sept. 14:
6 a.m. – Live Singles #1 Spain vs. USA
9 a.m. – Live Singles #2 Spain vs. USA
{12 p.m. – Instant Encore Singles #1 Spain vs. USA}
{3 p.m. – Instant Encore Singles #2 Spain vs. USA}
8 p.m. – Singles #1 Czech Republic vs. Argentina
11 p.m. – Singles #2 Czech vs. Argentina

Saturday, Sept. 15:
8 a.m. – Live Doubles Spain vs. USA
{5 p.m. – Instant Encore Doubles Spain vs. USA}
8 p.m. – Doubles Czech Republic vs. Argentina
{11 p.m. – Instant Encore Singles #2 Czech Republic vs. Argentina}

Sunday, Sept. 16:
6 a.m. – Live Singles #1 Spain vs. USA
9 a.m. – Live Singles #2 Spain vs. USA
{12 p.m. – Instant Encore Singles #1 Spain vs. USA}
{3 p.m. – Instant Encore Singles #2 Spain vs. USA}
8 p.m. – Singles #1 Czech Republic vs. Argentina
11 p.m. – Singles #2 Czech Republic vs. Argentina

The United States and Spain have faced each other ten times in Davis Cup play, with the nations tied at five wins apiece. The Americans’ last victory against the Spaniards came in 2007 when they won 4-1 in the quarterfinal in Winston-Salem, N.C. However, Spain has won the last two meetings against the United States, winning last year’s quarterfinal competition in Austin, Texas, and the 2008 semifinal in Spain. The United States has not defeated Spain on away soil since 1972. The Americans enter this weekend’s match after their second clay-court victory of the year against France in the quarterfinal. The United States leads all nations in Davis Cup championships, winning its 32nd title in 2007 with a 4-1 win against Russia.

Spain has dominated the past decade with five Davis Cup championships since 2000, the most recent in 2011 when it beat Argentina 3-1 in Seville, Spain. The Spanish team is captained by former star Alex Corretja and features the same players who beat Austria 4-1 in the quarterfinal: Ferrer, Nicolas Almagro, Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez.

The Czech Republic holds a 3-1 advantage over Argentina in Davis Cup competition, most recently winning a 2009 quarterfinal in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Argentina’s sole victory over the Czech Republic came in 2005 in Buenos Aires. The Czech Republic enters this weekend’s match after defeating Serbia 4-1 in the quarterfinals. The Czech nation clinched its only Davis Cup trophy in 1980, when it defeated Italy in Prague while competing under the flag of Czechoslovakia.

The Argentine team is bidding to reach the Davis Cup championship round for its second- consecutive year and has finished runner-up in 1981, 2006 and 2008. Argentina’s team is captained by Martin Jaite and features World No. 8 Juan Martin Del Potro, Juan Monaco, Carlos Berlocq and Eduardo Schwank.

Tennis Channel (www.tennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle. A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community. It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights to the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, Emirates Airline US Open Series, ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, top-tier WTA competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by nine of the top 10 video providers.
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WORLD NO. 8 SAMANTHA STOSUR ENTERS FAMILY CIRCLE CUP

CHARLESTON, SC (October 12, 2010) – World No. 8 and defending champion Samantha Stosur has officially entered the 2011 Family Circle Cup.  Stosur, the first player to commit to the tournament, returns to Daniel Island where she set the event’s mark for the fastest championship victory on record by defeating Vera Zvonareva 6-0, 6-3, in just 52 minutes.  Marking the tournament’s 39th consecutive year, the Family Circle Cup, a Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Premier event, will be held April 2-10, 2011 at the Family Circle Tennis Center in historic Charleston, South Carolina.

“We are thrilled to welcome Sam Stosur back to Charleston to defend her championship in April,” commented Eleanor Adams, Tournament Manager, Family Circle Cup.  “Since winning the Family Circle Cup, she has continued to post the best results of her singles career, and we’re so happy to have her return where that success began.  I know our fans will enjoy watching her take another shot at this title.”

Samantha Stosur, the 20th champion in the Family Circle Cup’s storied history, said, “I’ve always enjoyed competing in Charleston, and I really look forward to defending my title at this historic event.  The city is beautiful and the fans are very knowledgeable, so it’s always exciting to play this tournament.”

Building upon an impressive 2009 season that included her first title at Osaka and first appearance in the Top 20, Stosur is posting an even stronger year in 2010, illustrated by her Charleston victory, reaching the finals at Roland Garros, quarterfinal appearance at the US Open, career-high ranking at World No. 5 on July 5th, and a secured berth in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Championships in Doha at the end of this month.  She is also climbing towards the $2 million earnings mark since January, the highest earning season of her career.  The 26-year-old Top-ranked Australian has over 300 career victories in both singles and doubles, and has amassed total career earnings of $6,098,833.

“Winning the Family Circle Cup has certainly been an important highlight of my career,” added Stosur.

Throughout her 12-year professional career, Stosur has made a prolific mark in doubles action, where she has held a World No. 1 ranking. She owns 22 doubles titles, including a Family Circle Cup title in 2006 with partner Lisa Raymond, as well as two mixed doubles titles. Stosur owns a title at every major, winning at the 2005 US Open and 2006 Roland Garros with partner Lisa Raymond, and mixed doubles titles at the 2005 Australian Open with Scott Draper, and 2008 Wimbledon with Bob Bryan.

Stosur is poised to make her fifth appearance in Charleston, where, in singles, she has notched a 6-3 record and $120,150 in prize money.  In doubles action, she has posted a 6-2 record and $35,100 in prize money.  Her total Charleston earnings amount to $155,250.  Fans can view Samantha Stosur’s official web site at www.samstosur.com.

Family Circle Cup Ticket Packages will be on sale very soon, and ticket patrons who buy early will be able to secure the best possible seats.  Fans can visit familycirclecup.com for ticket information and player commitment updates as the tournament approaches.

The Family Circle Tennis Center, home of the Family Circle Cup, is a public facility owned by the City of Charleston and operated by Meredith Corporation that also hosts a variety of additional events including concerts, festivals, tennis tournaments and other activities throughout the year.  The Family Circle Cup receives four days of live broadcast domestically on ESPN2, and is viewed internationally by over 25 countries, featuring over 140 hours of live and delayed global broadcast time, reaching 4.33 million viewers worldwide.  With over 21 million readers, Family Circle is one of the most widely read monthly magazines in America and is one of 14 leading subscription magazines owned by Meredith Corporation. The Tennis Center features a 10,200 seat stadium, Grand Lawn, 17 tennis courts lighted for night play, Pro Shop, and a full service event management staff capable of handling all aspects of an event including ticketing, operations, sales, marketing, public relations, and food & beverage.  For tickets or more info, call (843) 856-7900 or visit familycirclecup.com.

Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters Qualify For WTA Championships

ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – Today, Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters became the third and fourth singles players to qualify for the season-ending WTA Championships–Doha 2010, set to take place for the third year in a row at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex in Doha, Qatar, from October 26-31.  Williams and Clijsters join Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva and the doubles teams of Gisela Dulko/Flavia Pennetta and Kveta Peschke/Katarina Srebotnik who qualified earlier. The world’s top eight singles players and top four doubles teams will compete for the coveted WTA Championships title and a share of the $4.5 million in prize money.

“I congratulate both Serena and Kim for qualifying for the WTA Championships and am glad that fans all over the world will have the opportunity to watch these two incredible players compete for the coveted title in Doha,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.

SERENA WILLIAMS:

World No.1 Serena Williams has qualified for the WTA Championships for the seventh time in her career and is headed to Doha as the defending champion, having defeated sister Venus in the 2009 final.  In her career, Serena has held the World No.1 ranking for 122 weeks (6th all-time), including all of 2010 season to date.  Serena enjoyed a successful start to the 2010 season, capturing her 12th Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open, in addition to taking home the doubles trophy with Venus.  At Roland Garros, she reached the quarterfinals (l. to Stosur) and also won the doubles title with Venus. She then went on to capture her 13th Grand Slam victory at Wimbledon two weeks later, passing Billie Jean King’s career number of Grand Slams singles title wins.

In addition to her success at the Grand Slams, Serena reached the final of the Medibank International (Sydney, l. to Dementieva) and the semifinals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome, l. to Jankovic).

KIM CLIJSTERS:

“A year into my comeback, making the WTA Championships is a great achievement to me. It’s certainly a personal highlight and goal of mine,” said World No.5 Clijsters.  “I’ve never been to Doha so it will be exciting to travel there as it’s a place I’d like to see and learn about.”

Just one year since making a comeback to the sport after a two-year hiatus, Kim Clijsters is the fourth player to qualify for the WTA Championships and will attempt to win her third year-end title, having previously captured the trophy in 2002 and 2003.  This year marks Clijsters’ seventh year-end Championships appearance, the first since 2006.

Clijsters has had a terrific 2010 season, highlighted by winning her third US Open title, and reaching her “second-career” highest ranking of World No.3 on August 23, 2010.  Clijsters has an impressive 36-6 win-loss record this year and has reached the quarterfinals or better seven times in 10 tournaments played.  In 2010, Clijsters has won four tournaments – the Brisbane International (Brisbane), the Sony Ericsson Open (Miami), the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open (Cincinnati), in addition to defending her title at the US Open.

RACE TO THE WTA CHAMPIONSHIPS – DOHA 2010 (as of the week of September 27, 2010)

SINGLES DOUBLES
PLAYER POINTS RACE STANDING TEAM POINTS RACE STANDING
Caroline Wozniacki** 5615 1 Gisela Dulko/Flavia Pennetta** 7186 1
Serena Williams** 5355 2 Kveta Peschke/Katarina Srebotnik** 5921 2
Kim Clijsters** 5295 3 Serena Williams/Venus Williams 5500 3
Vera Zvonareva** 5173 4 Lisa Raymond/Rennae Stubbs 4704 4
Venus Williams 4985 5 Vania King/Yaroslava Shvedova 4527 5
Samantha Stosur 4567 6 Nuria Llagostera Vives/Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 3676 6
Jelena Jankovic 4033 7
Francesca Schiavone 3952 8
Justine Henin 3415 9
Elena Dementieva 3327 10
Victoria Azarenka 3196 11
Li Na 3091 12
Shahar Peer 2965 13
Agnieszka Radwanska 2831 14

** Denotes player/team has already qualified

US Open Womens Preview

(August 28, 2010) Caroline Wozniacki huddled up with a group of formidable supporters in New Haven last week as the Yale football team, who forged a bond with the bubbly blond Dane after she visited one of their practices last season, surrounded her on court following her victory at the Pilot Pen.

Wozniacki enters the US Open seeded first for the first time in a major and while tennis is not a contact sport, the US Open runner-up faces a collision course of a quarter featuring former champions Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova as well as a slew of hard hitters capable of deterring her drive to a second straight Open final.

Defending champion Kim Clijsters was reunited with the shiny silver US Open trophy as she pulled green chips signifying the seeds during the US Open draw ceremony conducted inside the main interview room at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

While Clijsters has a strong shot to return to at least the semifinals for her fourth consecutive time, the congested top quarter is packed with a trio of potential finalists in Wozniacki, the 11th-seeded Kuznetsova and 14th-seeded Sharapova as well as Australian Open semifinalist Na Li, the No. 8 seed, hard hitting French woman Aravane Rezai, who beat Justine Henin and Venus Williams en route to the Madrid title in May, 23rd-seeded Maria Kirilenko, who upset Sharapova at the Australian Open and beat Kuznetsova in Rome, and lefthander Lucie Safarova, who has a history of first-round flame-outs in New York, but can be dangerous when her forehand is firing.

The absence of 13-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and Australian Open finalist Justine Henin creates an immense opportunity for several players in a field that features a quartet of former champions in Clijsters, Venus Williams, Sharapova and Kuznetsova.

“The women’s side is obviously, because Serena is gone and Henin is out, wildly open,” CBS and ESPN analyst John McEnroe said. “It seems like Wozniacki is starting to find some of her form again, but obviously this is one that is open for the taking. Kim has positioned herself well, I think, in terms of what she needs to do to defend her title. Venus is obviously winging it, but if there is ever time for the draw to be open for her with players that have not played up to their recent form, if she was ever going to win anything again this would be the time if she’s healthy.”

Here’s a quarter by quarter preview of the draw.

Top Quarter

The second-ranked Wozniacki could surpass Serena Williams, who withdrew with a foot injury, for the World No. 1 ranking if she wins the Open, but a brutal draw makes that prospect look about as promising as Wozniacki playing liquid hop scotch atop the dancing water fountains outside Arthur Ashe Stadium. Wozniacki opens with American wild card Chelsey Gullickson and could face Safarova in the third round.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova has the potentially toughest test of any woman in the quarter opening against Jarmila Groth, a big server who can hammer her forehand with authority and thirves off the type of pace Sharapova brings. Still, given the fact Sharapova reached successive finals in Stanford and Cincinnati and will be pumped and primed to erase the memories of her third round loss to American spitfire Melanie Oudin last year as well as her first-round debacle in Melbourne last January, look for a supremely-focused Sharapova to take Wozniacki out in the fourth round.

Though she hasn’t won a tournament title since Strasbourg on clay in May, Sharapova has restored some of her swagger with successive finals though her serve can still be skittish.

“I absolutely do think (Sharapova has a shot). I think she’s pretty confident looking,” McEnroe said. “I was at a Nike event with her and she was pretty cocky about the dresses (she will wear at the US Open). She had this smug, confident feeling about not only the dresses. I think she’s due for some good luck. She’s had some pretty tough draws and I think she’s poised actually. She does have Wozniacki pretty early in the draw.  I think she’s put herself in position (to contend).  She’s certainly one of the top four choices.”

Kuznetsova, who recalls Marat Safin as arguably the most talented head case in the game, is a woman to watch in this quarter. She opens against 39-year-old Kimiko Date Krumm, who toppled former No. 1 Dinara Safina in the French Open first round. Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open champion, brings a unique fear factor to New York: she deconstruct the game of any woman in this field or completely detonate herself in self-doubt and frustration. the scary thing is Kuznetsova herself rarely seems to know what type of tennis or attitude she brings to the event until it actually starts.

If Kuznetsova can keep her head together and prevent her rabid emotions from cannibalizing her game, she should beat Li and create a blockbuster all-Russian quarterfinal with Sharapova in what would be a rematch of the Cincinnati first round. Sharapova won that match as a weary Kuznetsova, coming off a win over Agnieszka Radwanska in the Cincinnati first round, faded in the third set. But Kuznetsova has a better and more reliable serve, she’s a better mover and has more variety in her game though Sharapova is a better pressure player.

The winner of the Sharapova-Kuznetsova match should go on to reach the final from the top half of the draw.

Quarterfinal Conclusion: (11) Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. (14) Maria Sharapova

Second Quarter

Hobbled by a creaky ankle and haunted by the timid tennis she played in losing to Samantha Stosur in the French open semifinals, Jelena Jankovic’s game and confidence has been in shambles since Wimbledon. Can the 2008 finalist turn it around in New York?

Jankovic has a kind draw, opening with Simona Halep in the first round followed by a second-round match with Alicia Molik or a qualifier. Yanina Wickmayer, carrying the burden of defending her 2009 semifinal points, looms as a potential fourth-round opponent for the speedy Serbian.

If Jankovic, who seems to create more drama than a soap opera, can work her way through the first week she should get to a quarterfinal against either Wimbledon finalist Vera Zvonareva or the ninth-seeded Radwanska. Jankovic must be willing to play more aggressive and be patient when pulling the trigger on her best shot, the backhand down the line, which she sometimes over plays.

Radwanska is often overlooked because she is not a hard-hitter who lights up the radar gun. In fact, she’s prone to hitting some sub-75 mph second serves that wouldn’t burst a balloon, but she has soft hands, shrewd court sense and is a stubborn competitor who knocked defending champion Sharapova out of the 2007 US Open. She has the ability to reach the semifinals if she can adapt to the court speed and find a way to diffuse the bigger hitters.

Similarly, Zvonareva, who blew six match points in an emotional implosion to Flavia Pennetta at the Open last year, can beat anyone in this quarter or beat up herself in the process. The image of a tearful Zvonareva tearing the tape off her leg and slapping her thigh in frustration during the 2009 Open remains one of the most unsettling moments of the tournaments as she unraveled before the eyes of 23,000 spectators.

Still, Zvonareva, like Kuznetsova in the top quarter of the draw, showed the type of tennis she can play in reaching the Wimbledon final in both singles and doubles. Zvonareva can go deep here if she doesn’t blow up in a temperamental tirade.

Quarterfinal Conclusion: (4) Jelena Jankovic vs. (7) Vera Zvonareva or (9) Agnieszka Radwanska.

Third Quarter

The good news for Venus Williams is she has a soft draw, the bad news is it’s a hard road to reach a Grand Slam semifinal when you haven’t played a match in more than two months, own a temperamental forehand that can go from as fierce as a flame thrower to as sketchy as a leaky water pistol, and are staring down a possible third-round match against the woman who beat you at Wimbledon and the Australian Open.

Third-seeded Venus opens against Italian Robert Vinci and could face her major nemesis, 32nd-seeded Tsvetana Pironkova, in the third round in a rematch of the Wimbledon quarterfinals that saw Pironkova sweep the five-time Wimbledon winner in straight sets.

If Williams can get to the second week she could square off with the dangerous Italian Pennetta, who has reached consecutive quarterfinals in New York. Pennetta pushed Serena Williams in a tight test in the ’09 quarters and has beaten Venus at the French Open in the past.

Look for Venus or Pennetta to play Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinals. The 10th-seeded Belarusian retired from the Montreal semifinals on Monday with a blister, but says she will be ready for the Open. Azarenka owns the fast, flat strokes that play well on the Deco Turf. Though she’s never been beyond the fourth round in four career appearances at the Open, Azarenka beat Sharapova in the Stanford final, beat Serena to win Miami last year, and has the game to reach the semifinals. Does she have the nerve?

We’ll find out.

Quarterfinal Conclusion: (10) Victoria Azarenka vs. (3) Venus Williams or (19) Flavia Pennetta

Fourth Quarter

A simple rubber band rather than the familiar Fila visor kept Clijsters’ halo of hair from falling onto her face as the reigning US Open champion arrived at Arthur Ashe Stadium already on the move. Only this time, Clijsters wasn’t skidding into the sliding splits she’s performed beneath the bright lights of the blue stadium court in winning the Flushing Meadows major in each of her last two appearances.

It was the mad dash from the interview room, site of today’s US Open draw ceremony,  to ESPN’s outdoor set across from the practice courts, during a commecial break that kept tennis’ top working mom in motion.

Even when she’s not playing matches, Clijsters always seems to be going places.

The demands of defending the Open are greater than the seven matches required to win the season’s final Grand Slam. To master the season’s final major you must embrace the experience that is New York, navigate the hustle, bustle and muscle of a city that seems to operate at the manic pace of an overcafenated bicycle messenger zipping through traffic.

The question is can Clijsters, who made a memorable, magical run to her second US Open
title as a long shot wild card last year, bear the burden that comes from being a
favorite this time around?

It’s been a bit of an up and down season, but Clijsters says she will start the Open in sound shape mentally and physically despite suffering a hip strain in Montreal last week.

“I know if I play good tennis I can beat anyone out there,” she said.

The second-seeded Belgian opens against Greta Arn and could be looking at a fourth-
round meeting with either 21st-seeded Jie Zheng or former World No. Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round. Neither Zheng nor Ivanovic have played their best tennis in New York. Zheng, who opened the season reaching the Australian Open semifinals, has never been beyong the third round in five appearances in New York. Ivanovic, who retired from the Cincinnati semifinals against Clijsters after sustaining a foot injury, bottomed out of the Open in a first-round loss to Kateryna Bondarenko last year after suffering a shocking second-round setback to 188th-ranked qualifier Julie Coin as the top seed in 2008.

Typically, Clijsters has not always played her best tennis when she’s a favorite. This year could be different. Why?

Because without Serena in the field, Clijsters is the best hard-court player in the sport, she is riding a 14-match winning streak in New York, she is comfortable with the city and spends several weeks every summer with husband Brian Lynch, a New Jersey native and daughter Jada in the couple’s Jersey home, she likes the speed of the court and enjoys as much fan support as any non-American in the field.

Clijsters could be looking at a fourth-round match with Marion Bartoli and a potential quarterfinal with 2004 finalist Elena Dementieva, arguably the best woman yet to master a major.

Quarterfinal conclusion: (2) Kim Clijsters vs. (12) Elena Dementieva

See more of Rich’s work at TennisNow.com, where this article first originated.

Clijsters Confident As The Open Approaches

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – New York Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey had a gem of a game Friday night, throwing eight scoreless innings, but none of the pitches he threw were a good looking as the first one of the game.

You see, US Open defending champion Kim Clijsters toed the rubber to throw out the first pitch. With the Open starting Monday, what better way to celebrate the one of the biggest sporting events in the United States than to tie it in to the National Pastime.

Yet, you can forgive Clijsters for throwing it high and outside, as she is new to the game.

“It was fun,” she said, adding that her husband Brian Lynch is a big baseball fan. “I’m not saying I’ll sit there for hours and watch the whole game, but obviously once in a while I’ll watch the highlights on the website or whatever. I watch some highlights.”

Fun, sure, but that ended Friday. Now she has a title to defend.

“My attitude isn’t any different compared to last year,” Clijsters said. “Obviously last year had probably a few more unanswered questions but this year I know what I have to do if I want to try and do as well as I did last year.”

She won her 38th Tour singles title earlier this month in Cincinnati and now will be looking for her third US Open title, also taking the 2005 championship. A win will in Flushing Meadows will give her a fourth championship in 2010 with titles in Brisbane in January, and Miami in March.

Yet, she lost to Nadia Petrova during the third round of the Australian Open, and was forced to withdraw from Roland Garros with a foot injury. She had a Grand Slam comeback at Wimbledon reaching the Quarterfinals, yet lost in three sets to Vera Zvonareva.

But Flushing is home for the Belgian. It’s not only the site of her two Grand Slam wins; her husband is from New Jersey, where the couple maintains a home with their two year-old daughter Jada Ellie.

And as she returned to Flushing Meadows, the memories of 2009 came right back to her.

“You relive the details a little more, the things you forgot faster than the title and the celebration,” Clijsters said. “It’s the little things when you come back you pick up a little more. They make it nice.”

And this year, the second seed is considered one of the favorites by many, especially since Serena Williams is out with a foot injury.

“Obviously there are a lot of other players who have as big a chance as anybody to win this year,” Clijsters said. “It’s a very interesting US Open this year.”

Indeed. Williams’ sister Venus is ranked No. 3 with Pilot Pen winner, and last year’s runner-up Caroline Wozniacki holding the top spot.

“She is a great player,” Clijsters said of Wozniacki. “You don’t get there by luck. She definitely deserves to be up there.”

So it’s going to be a tough fight. But if Clijsters is able to defend her title, she will definitely cap off a banner year and who knows, maybe the Mets will bring her back, this time to take some batting practice.

Tuesday Results & Wednesday Order of Play for Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships

NEWPORT, R.I., July 6, 2010 - Americans and top seeds Sam Querrey, Mardy Fish and Rajeev Ram were among the players to advance today when first round competition at the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships continued in Newport, R.I. Nicolas Mahut, who famously played in the longest match in tennis history last month, also advanced, following an 83-minute match in which he defeated Columbia’s Alejandro Falla, whose own Wimbledon match was a grueling 198-minute battle with Roger Federer. Querrey, who won his first grass-court title last month at Queen’s Club and was a finalist in Newport last summer, defeated countryman Jesse Levine in straight sets. In another all-American match up, Fish defeated Michael Russell. In today’s final Center Court match, defending champion Rajeev Ram overcame Spain’s Ivan Navarro.

The action continues tomorrow with Fish facing India’s Somdev Devvarman first on Center Court, followed by No. 1 seed Sam Querry versus Jamaican Dustin Brown. Nicolas Mahut returns to Center Court for the third match, when he will face Canada’s Frank Dancevic. Wednesday’s final match on Center Court will be an All-American contest between 18-year-old Ryan Harrison and 17-year-old Denis Kudla, who both received wild cards for the tournament.

Click here for a downloadable PDF of the Order of Play for Wednesday, July 7.

Click here for a downloadable PDF of the Singles Main Draw.
Click here for a downloadable PDF of the Doubles Main Draw.

Following are Tuesday’s results and the Order of Play for Wednesday, July 7.

RESULTS – JULY 6, 2010
Singles – First Round
[1] S Querrey (USA) d J Levine (USA) 63 63
[2] S Giraldo (COL) d [Q] A Peya (AUT) 76(1) 16 64
[WC] N Mahut (FRA) d [3] A Falla (COL) 63 16 63
[5] M Fish (USA) d M Russell (USA) 61 62
[7] R Ram (USA) d I Navarro (ESP) 63 76(3)
B Dabul (ARG) d C Ball (AUS) 57 62 01 Retired
[Q] S Bubka (UKR) d C Guccione (AUS) 76(0) 64
[Q] R Klaasen (RSA) d I Bozoljac (SRB) 76(5) 76(0)
S Devvarman (IND) d K Kim (USA) 64 63
[WC] D Kudla (USA) d S Ventura (ESP) 63 36 75
[Q] R Bloomfield (GBR) d C Rochus (BEL) 76(1) 63

Doubles – First Round
T Bednarek (POL) / D Brown (JAM) d S Giraldo (COL) / O Rochus (BEL) 76(13) 62
N Mahut (FRA) / E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d A Falla (COL) / S Prieto (ARG) 67(2) 76(4) 10-5
M Kohlmann (GER) / A Peya (AUT) d K Beck (SVK) / R Wassen (NED) 64 64
ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, JULY 7, 2010

CENTER start 11:00 a.m.
[5] M Fish (USA) vs S Devvarman (IND)
[1] S Querrey (USA) vs D Brown (JAM)
F Dancevic (CAN) vs [WC] N Mahut (FRA)
[WC] R Harrison (USA) vs [WC] D Kudla (USA)
COURT 1 start 11:00 a.m.
B Dabul (ARG) vs G Soeda (JPN)
[Q] R Klaasen (RSA) vs [7] R Ram (USA)
[Q] R Bloomfield (GBR) vs [2] S Giraldo (COL)
[1] M Fish (USA) / S Querrey (USA) vs C Ball (AUS) / C Guccione (AUS)
M Gicquel (FRA) / S Ventura (ESP) vs [2] R Ram (USA) / J Rojer (AHO)

COURT 2 start 11:00 a.m.
[3] R Hutchins (GBR) / J Kerr (AUS) vs J Erlich (ISR) / S Lipsky (USA)
J Marray (GBR) / J Murray (GBR) vs [WC] J Cerretani (USA) / A Shamasdin (CAN)
[4] O Rochus (BEL) vs [Q] S Bubka (UKR)
[WC] S Huss (AUS) / J Sirianni (AUS) vs [4] S Gonzalez (MEX) / T Rettenmaier (USA)

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About the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships

The Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event, will be held July 5 – 11, 2010 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, Rhode Island. The tournament draws 32 top male players to Newport direct from Wimbledon to compete for the Van Alen Cup and $442,500 in prize money. Hosted on the legendary grass courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships is the only ATP World Tour event played on grass in North America. In conjunction with the tournament, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum will host the annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, July 10. The Campbell Soup Company is the title sponsor of the tournament In addition, the tournament is made possible through the generous support of numerous Official Partners, including BNP Paribas, Corona Extra, Chubb Personal Insurance and Rolex Watch U.S.A. For additional information, visit www.tennisfame.com

Defending Champion Serena Williams Captures 4th Wimbledon Title and 13th Grand Slam

[CHICAGO] – Serena Williams made her presence known as she defended her Wimbledon title to Vera Zvonareva of Russia during the final match on Saturday.

The match was all about Serena’s well known power game as she defeated Zvonareva in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. “It feels incredible to defend my title here at Wimbledon,” Serena said after her victory. “Vera is such a great competitor but I knew that if I stuck to my game, I had a good chance of winning.”

With her [K] Blade Team racket, the 13 time Grand Slam champion held strong throughout the entire tournament and did not drop a set over two weeks at the All England Club. Serena knows that her powerful serve gives her an advantage on any opponent and hit 9 aces Saturday, taking her tournament total to a Wimbledon record- 89.

This title gives Serena her 4th Wimbledon in the span of eight years and her 13th Grand Slam overall. She is back at world No.1 and certain to stay at the top, where she has reigned for 110 weeks altogether. Serena currently stands as world No.1 at both singles and doubles, only the sixth woman in history to do so.

With this 13th title, Serena surpasses Billie Jean King’s 12 Grand Slam title record, and Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova are Williams’ next goal, with 18 majors each. “Honestly, I’m just doing what I can and working hard,” Williams said. “These great champions give me the motivation to reach my goals.”

Wilson Racquet Sports is a division of Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sports equipment and owned by Amer Sports. Wilson designs, manufactures and distributes sporting goods throughout the world and focuses on making technologically advanced products which help players of all levels perform better. Wilson’s core sport categories include: Football, Basketball, Baseball, Volleyball, Soccer, Youth Sports, Uniforms/Apparel, Golf, Footwear and Racquet Sports (Tennis, Racquetball, Squash, Badminton and Platform Tennis). For more information, visit www.wilson.com.

It’s Czink Against Safarova in the Final

QUEBEC CITY, Quebec – It’s a battle of No. 4 vs No. 5 in the Bell Challenge finals as Lucie Safarova takes on Melinda Czink in the finals.

First up was the Russian. Safarova, who fought off eight break points in her 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 8 seed Julia Goerges.

“I’m really happy because this is my first final this year,” Safarova said. “I feel like I’m playing pretty good and you always feel good when you’re winning.”

“I’m a little tired now, but I will be fine for the final tomorrow. I just hope I’ll be ready to play my best against either one of my potential opponents.”

Then came Czink who beat local favorite and No. 3 seed Aleksandra Wozniak in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. It was the fourth victory in four tries over the Canadian for Czink, two coming in ITF competition and now two on the WTA tour.

Yet, Czink was fresh for her match, since her quarterfinal only went one set as defending champion Nadia Petrova had to retire due to an illness.

The finals for the $225,000 tournament happens tomorrow.

Petrova To Quarters In Quebec

QUEBEC, CITY, Quebec – Nadia Petrova may be thankful Melanie Oudin dropped out of the Bell Challenge. After losing in the fourth round to the 17 year-old, Petrova rebounded to make the quarterfinals of the Quebec City Tournament.

Petrova, the top seed and defending champion in the 220,000-dollar tournament, beat Madison Brengle 6-3, 6-2 in 69 minutes, belting 10 aces past the 19-year-old American in their second-round clash.

This comes a day after the Russian knocked out Open mixed doubles winner Carly Gullickson in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0.

Petrova will face fifth-seeded Hungarian Melinda Czink, a 6-4, 6-3 winner over France’s Severine Bremond Beltrame in the quarterfinals.