PLAYER FIELD IS SET FOR PARTY ROCK OPEN

LAS VEGAS (Sept. 15, 2012) – A strong contingent of young American players heads up a talented international field set to play in the inaugural Party Rock Open being hosted by Redfoo from the hit music group LMFAO Sept. 23-30 at Darling Tennis Center.

Fresh off the US Open where he was a guest in Victoria Azarenka’s box for the ladies’ final, Redfoo and the Party Rock Open will welcome a slew of rising American talent, including teenager Lauren Davis, NCAA Champion Nicole Gibbs, and Pan-Am Games Gold Medalist Irina Falconi.

The women’s USTA Pro Circuit tournament will kick off with singles qualifying on Sunday, Sept. 23, where Redfoo plans to participate in free kids’ tennis clinics as part Cox Kids’ Day from noon to 3 p.m.

Romania’s Edina Gallovits-Hall is the highest ranked played and will likely be top-seeded coming in at No. 114 in the world. She is followed by Portugal’s Michelle Larcher De Brito (No. 120 in the world) and Davis who is currently No. 129. Australia’s
Anastasia Rodionova (No. 130), Falconi (No. 147), and fellow American Alison Riske (No. 150) will all be seeded. Gallovits-Hall and Rodionova both reached the second round of the U.S. Open.

Former USC All-American Maria Sanchez, who has climbed over 500 spots in the world rankings (from 687 to 186) in her rookie season on tour in 2012, will also be featured.

Another notable entry in the main draw is Elena Bovina from Russia. The former WTA World No. 14 ranked player was also a 2002 US Open quarterfinalist

Gibbs, who captured the NCAA women’s singles title in June, is joined by her Stanford teammate, Mallory Burdette. Burdette reached the third round of this year’s U.S. Open as a wild card.

“We are excited about this year’s player field,” tournament co-director Jordan Butler said. “There are a number of up-and-coming players who are going to have bright careers, and many who have already been ranked inside the top 100, so it should be interesting. The field is wide open and it’s a big opportunity for someone to break through.”

Now in its fourth year, the tournament has acted as a stepping stone for some of the top talent in women’s professional tennis. Several players who have competed in Las Vegas since the event was founded in 2009 now find themselves amongst the world’s best, such as current Top 25 player and U.S. Olympian Varvara Lepchenko, the 2010 champion.

The tournament’s official website is www.partyrockopen.com. To learn more about Redfoo and Party Rock Clothing, go to www.partyrockclothing.com.

The Party Rock Open is presented by Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center, Las Vegas’ premier orthopedics group.

Other sponsors include: USTA-Nevada, CourtThink, LLC, Agent Atleta, Ltd., WG Communications Group, Cox Communications, ESPN 1110 AM, The Point 97.1, 98.5 KLUC, Marty Hennessey Foundation, Solinco strings, Western Cab Company, the law firm of Marquis, Aurbach, and Coffing, www.10sBalls.com, and Perrier water.

Follow along on Twitter @partyrockopen and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/partyrockopen.com.

Tournament Co-Directors: Tyler Weekes tyler@CourtThink.com
Jordan J. Butler, Esq. jordan@agentatleta.com

Tournament Press Contact: Steve Pratt 310.408.4555, Sprattt@aol.com

Tournament Marketing/Sponsorship: Terri Weisbord 702.806.9760 terriwgcommgroup@aol.com

USTA Pro Circuit
With approximately 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA launched its Pro Circuit 33 years ago to provide players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, offering nearly $3 million in prize money. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. Mardy Fish, Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Caroline Wozniacki, John Isner, Victoria Azarenka and Andy Murray are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.

McHale and Falcone Will Fare Better Than Oudin

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The Cinderella stories are over for the two young American girls who made so much noise two days ago.

Both Christina McHale and Irina Falconi lost their matches today – McHale to Maria Kirilenko, 2-6 3-6 and Falconi to Sabine Lisicki 0-6 1-6 – but there first few matches give hope for the future of American tennis.

“I had two really good wins my first two matches,” said McHale after her match today.  “This one, it’s disappointing.  But, yeah, I think I just kind of have to take the positives from it and keep working hard and, yeah, keep going.”

Added Falconi: “I am just going to take this week and the next week as a huge stage on my career, hopefully what can translate into a follow-up fall season. Next week I go to Quebec City for a tour event and hopefully do some damage there as well. There is nothing but positives to take out of this week.”

Both girls showed their inexperience today. Neither of them was attacking the ball like they did on Wednesday and even admitted to playing tentative.

“I was too passive today,” McHale said.  “I think the other day I took my chances when I had them.  But [Kirilenko] was playing well, too, so it made it difficult today.”

And then there were the bright lights of Ashe, where she admitted she was a little nervous playing under the lights in front of the sold out crowd.

“I think it didn’t really help me, my nerves, tonight,” McHale added.  “I never really felt as comfortable as I wanted to feel on the court.”

Yet, it will be interesting to see how both girls handle their first success of the Open.  Melanie Oudin melted under the pressure after her run two years ago and hasn’t made any noise since.

But Oudin could be considered a special situation. Both McHale and Falconi didn’t get the celebrity treatment like Ouidin did and the press didn’t start look into their personal lives.

Plus Oudin seemed to enjoy the celebrity spotlight, whereas both of these girls seems to care more about winning than stardom.

So it will be interesting to see how both do in the fall and then at the Australian Open come 2012. But it also important to remember they are both very young with McHale only 19 while Falconi can get a drink in bar…well barely. And it will take time for both players, so don’t get excited if one or both makes a quarterfinals and expect to see the second coming on Chris Everett.

Rather this is more like the baseball minor leagues where the two girls are honing their skills. Some success here will help them, but until they learn to be winning at a consistent level in high profile tournaments, they will remain prospects.

But all prospects have upside and this past week we may have just seen the future.

Sloane Stars On The Grandstand

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Eighteen year-old Sloane Stephens has a plan for this year. It has nothing to do with tennis, but what to do after she returns to her native Los Angeles.

“Now I know for sure when I get home after the season’s over I’m getting a car,” she said after disposing of23rd seed Shahar Pe’er in the second round, 6-1 7-6(4).  “That’s the only thing I’m really looking forward to now.”

And what kind of car?

“I don’t know,” she answered.  “That’s a big question.  My mom wants me to get a truck.  I want to get a small car.  It’s very confusing.”

What’s not confusing is the run this young girl is having here in Flushing Meadows. Along with Christina McHale and Irina Falconi, Stephens is one of the young American girls making some noise during the first week and hoping it will continue as Labor Day Weekend heats up.

“I don’t even think about it,” she said.  Fun fact: Christina, Irina, and myself are all in the third round of the US Open and playing the PanAm Games together.”

That’s Stephens for you. This girl is smart, engaging with a mind going a million miles a minute. She likes to talk in a very plain speak to the 15 reporters in the interview room after her match. There’s no intimidation or at least she doesn’t think there should be.

“I think it’s pretty cool, just like talking to normal people,” she said.  “It’s not like you guys are a bunch of aliens sitting there and I should be like, Oh, my God, freaking out.

“It’s definitely fine for me.  Should I be scared or something?”

That’s not inexperience talking. This girl is fearless. She doesn’t care if she’s facing a ranked player on the court or a bunch of cynical reporters in an interview room.

And Pe’er learned that today. Stephens played aggressively and attacked the Israeli star. She said she definitely likes to hit the ball “I don’t know where that came from,” she said. “But it happens.  Comes off pretty hard, I think, sometimes.”

Outside of the courts, Stephens is an avid Tweeter on her Twitter account. She sends inspirational messages to her followers such as, “There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen. In the right time, with the right person, for the best reason.” And, “Happiness is not a goal, but a decision. Life is 1% what happens to you and 99% how you react to it.”

“I just see something, I’m like, Wow, everyone should read this,” she said.  “It’s not really like, Oh, I’m like trying to get people to like do certain stuff or anything.  It’s like, Oh, I saw that.  I thought it was cool.”

Other than that, Stephen’s also helps take care of her 13 year-old brother, someone she drives around and picks up from school.

And all of this came after moving back to Los Angeles after living in Florida for a few years.

“L.A. is an awesome place,” she said.  “I have a little brother, so I try to spend as much time with him as possible.  He’s been playing baseball.

“L.A. gets tricky for us because there’s a lot of traffic and I don’t like to drive.  It’s kind of hard.  But definitely L.A. and Florida are two different places.  It’s just what you like basically, what we’re in the mood for.”

And yes, she is buying a car even with a disdain for driving.

“See, the thing is, I don’t like traffic,” Stephens said.  “It’s very hard for me to drive in traffic.  And my brother is the most annoying person to have in the car when you’re driving.

“Seriously, he’ll be like, Why aren’t you honking?  What are you doing?  Get in that lane.  I’ll be like, Can you stop?  I need to focus.  He’ll be reaching over to honk the horn.  It’s crazy.  He’ll have to sit in the backseat when I get the car.”

Yet, that’s going to have to wait. Right now Stephens has a third round match against former World No. 1 Ana Ivanovic and she wants a bump up in venue after winning today on the Grandstand.

“Maybe we’ll be on a bigger court,” she said.  “Maybe we’ll be on Armstrong.  I’ve got to work my way up.  Today I almost got Ashe by default and I didn’t want it.”

One step at a time, and if she does win, Stephens said to expect some sort of special celebration by her like the American flag waving by Falconi yesterday.

“Everyone has to have their own special thing that they do,” she said.  “So she does the American flag.  Hopefully Christina will give us something tomorrow to work with.  Then the next day I’ll give you guys something.”

Something to look forward to.

 

 

New York’s Falconi Gets The Big Stage

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Venus Williams may have been Willy Pipped today.

After the elder Williams sister pulled out of the tournament with an autoimmune disease, Irena Falconi had her second round match moved from Court 11 to Arthur Ashe Stadium and the 21 year-old New Yorker seized the opportunity.

“When I walked in,” she said, “I was trying to distract everyone that I was drinking water, but I was looking at my environment and really just adapting to what was about to happen. Yeah, I definitely took a second to really look at my surroundings.”

But in the end the young American came through against 14th seed Dominika Cibilkova , 2-6 6-3 7-5.

It was the thrill of a lifetime for the 78th ranked Falconi, who started waving an American flag after her win.

“It was totally out of instinct,” she said.  “I have the flag in my bag.  It’s a good luck flag that was given to me by my trainer, Kim Wilson.  I really felt that it couldn’t have been a more perfect time.”

And maybe Falconi is coming along at the perfect time. So much has been said about the slump American tennis is suffering through that someone like Falconi could easily fill the void. Like Christina McHale this year and Melanie Oudin a few years ago, she can be an up and comer for the US circuit.

It’s something she knows and is sure to tell everyone who listens.

“I’ve heard so much about media talking about American tennis, and I really wanted to portray that there’s a huge wave of American players,” she said.  “I have an American coach and trainer, Jeff and Kim Wilson.

“I strongly believe in all that is USA, and I wanted to represent it and show the world that it’s coming.  It’s coming.  No need to wait any longer.”

If you look at Falconi, she doesn’t look like a typical tennis player. Actually she looks more like your little sister or the girl next door. At 5’4’’, she has thought to have been too short and not the right shape to compete at competitive tennis at a high level. And the braces on her teeth make her look like she’s 15 rather than the legal drinking age.

But all of this drives the Ecuadorian native.  She didn’t come from tremendous means with her parents immigrating to the Washington Heights, NY in 1993. And then she moved to Florida in 2004 to perfect her game.

Now just seven years later, the sky’s the limit for this young girl.

“I don’t really think there’s a limit,” Falconi said.  “I’ve been told that I’m 5’4″, in case you didn’t know.  One thing I did go in there today knowing was that I was taller than my opponent, which was huge.

“I know Justine Henin, she was 5’6″ and she was 1 in the world.  I know for a fact if she can do it, why not?”

That’s a question every woman is asking in this Open. Why not? With seeded players getting knocked out all over the place today this may be a year when an up and comer just happens to win the Open.

“Tournament’s not over yet.” she said, “There’s still five other matches to be won.  There’s still doubles and mixed.  So this is definitely a fortnight.  It’s not over yet.  I’m just so excited.  My team and I are just so excited for what’s to come.”

With an attitude like that, Venus may not be the only player she replaces this week.

 

 

 

 

 

STRONG QUARTET OF SEMIFINALISTS WIN EXCITING MATCHES ON DAY 4 OF LEXUS OF LAS VEGAS OPEN

LAS VEGAS, Nev., (Oct. 1, 2010) – The top four seeded players moved into the semifinals at the second annual Lexus of Las Vegas Open being played at the Red Rock Country Club in Summerlin.

There were no upsets on Friday with No. 1 Edina Gallovits, No. 2 Varvar Lepchenko, No. 3 Sorana Cirstea and No. 4 Mirjana Lucic all advancing to Saturday’s semifinals with the sole American Lepchenko needing three sets to
beat Anna Tatishvili, the No. 6 seed from Georgia.

Saturday’s Lucic-Lepchenko semi will be a rematch of last weekend’s semifinals in Albuquerque, N.Y., which Lucic won on her way to the $50,000 title. The Croatian is now riding an eight-match winning streak.

“I’m feeling really great right now and healthy,” said Lucic, 28, the 1999 Wimbledon semifinalist. “I’ve been slowly playing these events and gaining my confidence.”

Lucic qualified for the U.S. Open and lost in the second round last month. She stands at No. 104 in the world currently, very close to a goal she would like to reach by the end of the year. “The goal is still Top 100 by the end of the year,” she said. “I’m very close. I just want to reach that one and then move on to the next.”

Cirstea had the easiest time Friday, beating American Lauren Albanese on her 21st birthday, 6-2, 6-3. Albanese knew she’d have her hands full against the 2009 French Open quarterfinalist and a player who already has career wins over four players currently in the Top 10 in the world: Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic, Francesca Schiavone and Agnieszka Radwanska.

“I was a little erratic at the start and thought I could have played better,” Albanese said. “I’m playing so much better than I was at this time last year and to start the year. I think I lost the first 10 matches I played. When I go big, I go big.”

In the doubles final on Sunday, wild cards Irina Falconi and Maria Sanchez will face No. 4 seeds Lindsay Lee-Waters and Megan Moulton-Levy in the first match on beginning at 11 a.m.

Friday’s Quarterfinal Singles Results

q: qualifier; wc: wild card

Mirjana Lucic, Croatia (4), def. Abigail Spears, U.S., 7-6 (3), 7-5

Sorana Cirstea, Romania (3), def. Lauren Albanese, U.S., 6-2, 6-3

Edina Gallovits, Romania (1), def. Valerie Tetreault (Canada) (8),

Varvara Lepchenko, U.S. (2), def. Anna Tatishvili, Georgia (6), 7-6 (5), 6-7
(5), 6-3

Friday’s Semifinal Doubles Results

Irina Falconi, U.S. / Maria Sanchez, U.S. (wc), def. Alexandra Mueller, U.S.
/ Ahsha Rolle, U.S., 6-2, 6-2

Lindsay Lee-Waters, U.S. / Megan Moulton-Levy, U.S. (4), def. Abigail
Spears, U.S. (2) / Mashona Washington, U.S., 3-6, 6-2, 11-9

Saturday’s Order of Play

Stadium Court Starting at noon

Mirjana Lucic, Croatia (4), vs. Varvara Lepchenko, U.S. (2)

Followed by Sorana Cirstea, Romania (3), vs. Edina Gallovits, Romania (1)

Note: The doubles final will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday followed by the
singles final.

The following is a tentative schedule of events supplementing the
tournament:

COMMUNITY EVENTS

*       Saturday, Oct. 2 – Super Semifinal Saturday; USTA Ladies League
Luncheon.

LAS VEGAS PAST CHAMPIONS

Singles

Year                Winner
Runner-up

2009                Regina Kulikova (RUS)                      Aniko Kapros
(HUN)

2008                Camille Pin (FRA)                               Asia
Muhammad (U.S.)

2007                Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)                 Akiko Morigami
(JPN)

1999                Erika de Lone (U.S.)                           Hila
Rosen (ISR)

Doubles

Year                Winner

2009                Aniko Kapros (HUN) – Agustina Lepore (ARG)

2008                Melinda Czink (HUN) – Renata Voracova (CZE)

2007                Victoria Azarenka (BLR) – Tatiana Poutchek (BLR)

1999                Erika de Lone (U.S.) – Annabel Ellwood (AUS)

PRIZE MONEY

SINGLES:                  Prize Money              Points

Winner                         $7,315                         70

Runner-up                   $3,990                         50

Semifinalist                 $2,185                         32

Quarterfinalist             $1,235                         18

Round of 16                $760                            10

Round of 32                $475                            1

DOUBLES:                Prize Money (per team)

Winner                          $2,660

Runner-up                     $1,425

Semifinalist                 $760

Quarterfinalist             $380

Round of 16                $285

Bell Challenge – Bartoli Cruises, Craybas Ousts Rezai

BELL CHALLENGE
Québec City-CAN
September 13-19, 2010
$220,000/International
Hard/Indoors

Results – Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Singles – First Round
(1) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. (Q) Stéphanie Foretz Gacon (FRA) 61 61
Jill Craybas (USA) d. (2) Aravane Rezai (FRA) 63 36 76(3)
(3) Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 75 63
(WC) Valérie Tétreault (CAN) d. (4) Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 63 36 62
(5) Melanie Oudin (USA) d. Alison Riske (USA) 62 76(3)
Stéphanie Dubois (CAN) d. (7) Olga Govortsova (BLR) 64 26 75
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) d. (Q) Irina Falconi (USA) 64 75
Mirjana Lucic (CRO) d. Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 06 61 61
(Q) Tamira Paszek (AUT) d. Marina Erakovic (NZL) 60 64
(Q) Alexa Glatch (USA) d. Sabine Lisicki (GER) 64 62

Doubles – First Round
Osterloh/Tatishvili (USA/GEO) d. (3) Hlavackova/Krajicek (CZE/NED) 63 61
Oudin/Zalameda (USA/USA) d. Bovina/Dekmeijere (RUS/LAT) 36 62 1210 (Match TB)
Arvidsson/Larsson (SWE/SWE) d. Lee-Waters/Moulton-Levy (USA/USA) 62 61

Order of Play – Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Court Bell (from 11.00hrs)
1. Lucie Safarova vs. Johanna Larsson
2. Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs. Julia Goerges (NB 12.00hrs)
3. Arvidsson/Larsson vs. Gullickson/Spears (after suitable rest)
4. Dubois/Tétreault vs. Craybas/Goerges (after suitable rest)
5. Marion Bartoli vs. Rebecca Marino (NB 19.00hrs)
6. Anna Tatishvili vs. Melanie Oudin

Court Banque Nationale (from 14.00hrs)
1. Borwell/Kops-Jones vs. Foretz Gacon/Woerle

Bell Challenge Preview

BELL CHALLENGE
Québec City-CAN
September 13-19, 2010
$220,000/International
Hard/Indoors

Order of Play – Monday, September 13, 2010
Court Bell (from 11.00hrs)
1. Anne Keothavong vs. Alexa Glatch (Singles Q Final)
2. Alicia Molik vs. Anna Tatishvili (NB 12.00hrs)
3. Sofia Arvidsson vs. Michaella Krajicek
4. Mattek-Sands/Zahlavova Strycova vs. Molik/Pelletier (after suitable rest)
5. Rebecca Marino vs. Heidi El Tabakh (NB 19.00hrs)
6. Andrea Hlavackova vs. Julia Goerges

Court Banque Nationale (from 11.00hrs)
1. Julie Ditty vs. Tamira Paszek (Singles Q Final)
2. Irina Falconi vs. Abigail Spears (Singles Q Final)
3. Heather Watson vs. Stéphanie Foretz Gaçon (Singles Q Final)
4. Cirstea/Safarova vs. Gullickson/Spears (NB 14.00hrs; after suitable rest)
5. Shenay Perry vs. Johanna Larsson
6. Lilia Osterloh vs. Christina McHale