Weather Aids Djokovic To Final

It was a different day and a different player. No wind. And Novak Djokovic was up to the task.

His match with Spain’s David Ferrer was stopped on Saturday with Ferrer up 5-2. There were weather concerns in the Flushing area and the wind was awful.

The match re-started on Saturday at 11 am under perfect conditions and Djokovic was perfect. After Ferrer won the first game to take the first set, 6-2 Djokovic got into high gear. He rolled 6-1 in the second set and won the third 6-4, at one point winning 12 out of 14 points. The fourth was no different with Djokovic closing out Ferrer 6-2.

Ferrer was not despondent in his press conference. He noted that the top four in the game are much better than the next level of which he is a part.He applauded Djokovic’s performance.

Djokovic was thrilled after the match and rated his Monday final with Andy Murray as even.

Murray beat Tomas Berdych on Saturday in bad conditions.

Murray enters the final with a mark of 0-4 in finals. He is now coached by Ivan Lendl who was also 0-4 in finals when he won the French Open in 1984.

Djokovic is one of the best returners ever in tennis. Murray needs to have his serve in top flight form to win.

Djokovic holds an 8-6 lead over Murray, but in their last match-up Murray prevailed at the Olympics.

 

BNP Paribas Showdown Returns to The Garden This February

The BNP Paribas Showdown will have a 2012 version at new and refurbished Madison Square Garden on February 27, 2012.

Maria Sharapova and world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki will make their first appearances in the event in the 7:00 pm opener. That match will be followed by Roger Federer vs. Andy Roddick.

Last year Roddick was scheduled to play Andre Agassi,but Pete Sampras ended up playing Agassi after John McEnroe was forced to default to Ivan Lendl due to injury in the first match despite leading 6-3.

Federer has played in the past and won against Sampras.

There will be an opportunity to bid on the event at the International Tennis Hall Of Fame Ball this coming Friday evening at Cipriani in Manhattan.

Tickets will go on sale at The Garden in the Fall.

The Last Great Rivalry – Mac and Lendl

Close your eyes quickly and you would have sworn you would’ve seen Ivan Lendl’s sharp strokes on the Louis Armstrong cement.

And keep your eyes closed and yes that was John McEnroe dominating Wimbledon, like only he could.

But alas, that was a more simpler time – a time when tennis had a clear good and evil and a time where the matches were marked by nationality, just as much as skill.

On one side you have McEnroe, the bad boy from Queens, who didn’t give a care on who is ticked off and how he went about it. Was it improper to challenge calls? He didn’t care. He was a New Yorker through and through and if it wasn’t for tennis, he would be arguing balls and strikes with an umpire at Shea Stadium.

And then you had Lendl, the stoic Czech, who was a symbol of Eastern Bloc athletic dominance.  Stoic on the court, his smooth robotic actions reminded one of Soviet system – athletes are robots, with only winning on the mind. If not for tennis, he might have been dominating some Olympic sport or even facing Rocky in a boxing match.

It is that rivalry that is missing from tennis today and when the two now 50+ year-olds took to the Madison Square Garden court for the undercard of the BNP Parabas Showdown, it reminded everyone, not only what was right with tennis, but also what’s wrong.

The friendly match showed the good sportsmanship between the two competitors. McEnroe retired, because he thought it wasn’t fair to Lendl to keep playing hurt, ruining plans on donning is 1982 hair and short –shorts. And Lendl just laughed it off, looking to complete a senior comeback, but said was not concerned about the final score.

“It’s not like we see each other a whole lot,” McEnroe said, after he had to retire with a sprained ankle from the match after leading Lendl, 6-3. “As you get older there’s a lot less at stake, so maybe one out of every 10 jokes is funny.”

That wasn’t the case 25 years ago when Lendl and McEnroe were No. 1 and No. 2 in the world. The final day of the Grand Slam was their domains and both men fought each other tooth and nail.

Sure the same thing can be said about the Federer-Nadal rivalry or main event of the night Sampras-Agassi. Yet, this was different, as the Cold War came into play. Americans staunchly backed McEnroe. Yes, he rubbed some the wrong way, but he was red, white and blue throughout, while Lendl was the poster boy for the Soviet state. A national pride was there. When McEnroe won, America won and it was just another nail in the Eastern Bloc coffin. And when Lendl won, it was just another way of hating the Soviets, if there wasn’t enough back in the day.

“I ended up having a losing record against Ivan,” McEnroe said, who holds a 14-20 record against Lendl. “A lot of guys lost to him a lot. There are not a lot of guys who beat him a lot.”

Yet it is this type of rivalry that’s missing from tennis. With so much globalization, there is no hatred and no lines drawn. It’s hard to hate Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal and there are no lines in a Switzerland-Spain rivalry. Heck Switzerland is a historic neutral country.

And with no lines in the sand drawn, the edge is gone from the sport. Back then, the casual fan would watch for American pride, much like the way he or she watches the Olympics every four years.

Yet, those days are over. Sure America won and Lendl is even an American citizen. But without the pure rivalry, the sport has lost and maybe will never recover its glory days.

Except for nights like there when you close your eyes and can see the Cold War again.

Nadal Clinches Year End No. 1 For The Second Time

LONDON, ENGLAND – For the second time in three years Rafael Nadal will finish as the No. 1 player in the year-end South African Airways ATP Rankings.

The 24-year-old Spaniard is the ninth player in the history of the South African Airways ATP Rankings (since 1973) to finish as ATP World Tour Champion at least twice. He and rival Roger Federer are the only players since 2000 to clinch the year-end No. 1 ranking in the week after the US Open. Federer did it in 2004 and ’06.

Nadal said: “It has been an incredible season – one of my best ever, if not the best. Winning the US Open together with Roland Garros and Wimbledon, as well as the three back-to-back (ATP World Tour) Masters 1000s in Europe, was not easy.  I worked very hard to get back to the top and it feels really good to know I will end the year as No.1.”

Nadal will be officially crowned as the 2010 ATP World Tour Champion during a special ceremony at the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, Nov. 21-28. Nadal and Federer are the first two players to qualify for the eight-man field. He is the third left-hander to finish No. 1 at least twice, joining Jimmy Connors (five times, 1974-78) and John McEnroe (four times, 1981-84).

On Monday, Nadal became the seventh man in history to achieve a career Grand Slam as he earned his first US Open title. He is also the first player to win three straight Grand Slam titles in the same year since Rod Laver won all four in 1969. Nadal is the youngest player in the Open Era to achieve a career Grand Slam. It was the Mallorcan native’s ninth career Grand Slam crown and he is the second-youngest player behind Bjorn Borg to win nine Slam titles.

Nadal also joins Ivan Lendl and Federer as the only players to have held, lost and regained the year-end No. 1 ranking in the 37-year history of the South African Airways ATP Rankings (since 1973). Lendl held the year-end No. 1 ranking from 1985-87 and finished No. 2 in 1988 before reclaiming No. 1 in 1989. Federer was No. 1 from 2004-07, went to No. 2 in ’08 and then returned to the top spot last year.

Nadal leads the ATP World Tour with six titles and a 59-7 match record in 2010. Since April he has won 43 of 46 matches, winning six of nine tournaments, including three consecutive ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay court events (Monte-Carlo, Rome, Madrid) and his fifth Roland Garros title in six years. In July, he captured his second Wimbledon title in three years.

ATP WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONS (since 1973) MULTIPLE ATP WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONS
Year Player Player Number of titles.
2010 Rafael Nadal (Spain) Pete Sampras 6
2009 Roger Federer (Switzerland) Jimmy Conners 5
2008 Rafael Nadal (Spain) Roger Federer 5
2007 Roger Federer (Switzerland) Ivan Lendl 4
2006 Roger Federer (Switzerland) John McEnroe 4
2005 Roger Federer (Switzerland) Bjorn Borg 2
2004 Roger Federer (Switzerland) Stefan Edberg 2
2003 Andy Roddick (U.S.) Lleyton Hewitt 2
2002 Llyeton Hewitt (Australia) Rafael Nadal 2
2001 Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)
2000 Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil)
1999 Andre Agassi (U.S.)
1998 Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1997 Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1996 Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1995 Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1994 Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1993 Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1992 Jim Courier (U.S.)
1991 Stefan Edberg (Sweden)
1990 Stefan Edberg (Sweden)
1989 Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1988 Mats Wilander (Sweden)
1987 Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1986 Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1985 Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1984 John McEnroe (U.S.)
1983 John McEnroe (U.S.)
1982 John McEnroe (U.S.)
1981 John McEnroe (U.S.)
1980 Bjorn Borg (Sweden)
1979 Bjorn Borg (Sweden)
1978 Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1977 Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1976 Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1975 Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1974 Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1973 Ilie Nastase (Romania)

About the ATP
The ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) is the governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuits – the ATP World Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour. With 62 tournaments in 32 countries, the ATP World Tour showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia and Europe to Africa; from North and South America to Asia, the stars of the ATP World Tour battle for prestigious titles at Grand Slams (non ATP members), ATP World Tour Masters 1000, ATP World Tour 500 and ATP World Tour 250 events. At the end of the season the world’s top 8 ranked singles players and top 8 doubles teams, based on their performance throughout the year, will qualify to compete in the season’s climax – the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Held at The O2 in London, the event determines the final South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings. For more information, please visit www.ATPWorldTour.com.

Rafa Rides Right To The Finals

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The ball sped off the strings so fast for a moment it appeared the force of the swing could send a vibration dampener spinning around the string bed like a particularly lively super ball bounding around a roulette wheel. Rafael Nadal watched his final serve land safely and exploded into the air like a man propelled from his own personal launching pad. He landed in his first career US Open final after wrapping up a 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Mikhail Youzhny in today’s semifinal.

The semifinal had served as a stop sign for Nadal in each of the past two years — he fell to Andy Murray in a rain-interrupted 2008 semifinal and was blown off the court by big-hitting Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in last September’s semis — but the top-seeded Spaniard played with authoritative ambition in surging to his 20th consecutive Grand Slam victory today.

“For me, it is a dream I am going to play the final here in the biggest center court of the world,” Nadal said. “I try my best so after a lot of work so I am very happy for that.”

Playing progressively stronger with each passing round, Nadal has kicked his game into a higher gear like a sprinter downshifting into speedier strides with the tape in sight as he is now one win removed from becoming the seventh man in history to complete the career Grand Slam.

Continuing his quest to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open in succession, Nadal has not surrendered a set in six tournament victories and now the world watches and waits for a potential electrifying encounter in tomorrow’s final.

If five-time champion Roger Federer defeats Novak Djokovic for the fourth consecutive time at the Open in today’s second semifinal then the archrivals will face off in their first Flushing Meadows final. It would be their 18th meeting in a championship match, second to Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe, who met in 20 finals.

Nadal and Federer have split the spoils at the Grand Slam table in combining to claim 21 of the last 24 major championships.

It would be a historic match-up marking the first time in history two men squared off in all four Grand Slam tournament finals. A Federer-Nadal final would be their eighth Grand Slam title match, setting the record for most major meetings (they currently share the record of seven major final face-offs with Bill Tilden and William Johnston, who met in seven straight US Championships from 1919-1925.).

Seeking to become the first Russian man to reach a major final since Marat Safin at the 2005 Australian Open and the second Russian finalist in Flushing Meadow after Safin, who stunned Pete Sampras to capture the title a decade ago, Youzhny need to play big and bold, but instead looked tired and timid for long stretches of the match.

Youzhny punctuated a few of his errant shots by tapping his adidas with the rim of racquet as if trying to shake some sense into his shot selection through flogging his feet.

“Maybe he was a little bit more tired than me; he played a longer match during the week,” Nadal said.

Depleted by his 3-6, 7-6(7-), 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over 25th-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka that spanned exactly four hours, a spent Youzhny looked like a man fully aware he had little left in his inner reservoir. The clarity Youzhny showed in his shot selection against Wawrinka was missing at times today. Nadal’s fast feet and ability to track down balls that elude most mortals caused Youzhny to think before he struck at times and he conceded that the mind-body connection was a bit out of sync.

“I cannot say I’m really tired, but yeah, (I) was not fast enough today,” Youzhny said. “My decision was not really fast. I mean, I (was) moving well, but my head was one step back of my hand and my legs. So that’s why I was thinking too long where I have to play. That’s why some mistakes and that’s why made the score like this one.”

Nadal has a habit of infiltrating opponent’s heads with his anticipation, unerring consistency and court coverage that seems to squeeze the court to the size of a parking space.

“He’s consistent. He play really high level all year,” Youzhny said of Nadal. “Not everybody can play like this. Some players play really well maybe three tournaments and four, five tournaments play not so well. Even top players. But Federer and Nadal I think (are) more consistent players. His level is a little bit higher than all other players.”

Read more of Rich Pagliaro at TennisNow.com.

Jan Kodes Hosts Book signings During Open

1971, 1973 US Open Finalist To Sign Copies of “JAN KODES: A JOURNEY TO GLORY FROM BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN” at US Open Bookstore and Czech Restaurant “Café Prague” During 2010 US Open

Coffee Table Book Provides Narrative and Illustrated History of Czech Tennis

NEW YORK – Former Wimbledon champion and two-time U.S. Open finalist Jan Kodes of the Czech Republic will host two additional signings for his new book “JAN KODES: A JOURNEY TO GLORY FROM BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN” during the 2010 US Open.

Kodes will host a signing on Sunday, September 5 at 5 pm at the US Open Bookstore on site at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Kodes will also sign copies of his book at Café Prague, an authentic Czech coffee house in mid-town Manhattan at 2 West 19th Street at Fifth Avenue on Friday, September 10 at 3 pm. Kodes hosted his first book signing at the US Open bookstore on Thursday.

The coffee table book, originally published in Czech, provides a narrative and illustrated history of Czech tennis through the eyes of Kodes and author Peter Kolar. The book, filled with hundreds of unique and personal photographs, documents the successful journey of Kodes from political turmoil of the Cold War to international tennis fame, detailing the early days of darkness and family persecution in communist Czechoslovakia and the complexities of becoming a professional tennis player under a totalitarian regime. Entertaining anecdotes featuring Czech tennis legends Ivan Lendl and Martina Navratilova are also featured as well as the stories behind Kodes’ victories at Wimbledon and the French Open and his two runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open.

“I am very pleased that this book is now available in English so fans outside of the Czech Republic can learn about my story and some history of tennis in my country,” said Kodes. “I am happy to share stories of my triumphs and failures as well as stories about Martina Navratilova, Ivan Lendl and other Czech tennis greats.”

“JAN KODES: A JOURNEY TO GLORY FROM BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN” is available for $49.95 in bookstores and retail outlets across the United States and Canada. It is a deluxe glossy photo and text hard cover that fills 548 pages.

Kodes is considered the most under-rated tennis champion of the Open Era, reaching five major singles finals, winning the French Open in 1970 and 1971 and the men’s singles title at Wimbledon in 1973. He also reached the U.S. Open final in both 1971 and 1973, losing to Stan Smith and John Newcombe, respectively. Kodes played Davis Cup for Czechoslovakia for 15 years, leading his country to the final in 1975, where it lost to Sweden in Stockholm. His Davis Cup finale came in representing the team in 1980 when it won the championship over Italy in the final. Kodes has served as his country’s Davis Cup captain, president of the Czech Tennis Association, and tournament director of ATP Czech Open tournament.

“I believe that, in his time, Jan was one of the best players in the world,” said five-time Wimbledon champion Bjorn Borg. “He earned his place in tennis history as a great champion.”

Peter Kolar is a Czech writer, who has written for Basket, Sports Plus, and Xantypa. He is the author of several Czech books profiling the NBA, the Winter Olympics, and three-time world decathlon champion, Tomas Dvorak.

“JAN KODES: A JOURNEY TO GLORY FROM BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN” is published by New Chapter Press – also the publisher of The Roger Federer Story, Quest for Perfection by Rene Stauffer, The Bud Collins History of Tennis by Bud Collins, The Education of a Tennis Player by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match, by Cliff Richey with Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, Tennis Made Easy by Kelly Gunterman, Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli, The Lennon Prophecy by Joe Niezgoda, Bone Appetit, Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog by Susan Anson, The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle by Stewart Wolpin, People’s Choice Cancun – Travel Survey Guidebook by Eric Rabinowitz and Weekend Warriors: The Men of Professional Lacrosse by Jack McDermott, among others. Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press is an independent publisher of books and part of the Independent Publishers Group. More information can be found at www.NewChapterMedia.com.

Czechs To Take on Spain in Davis Cup Finals

It will be a Czech-Spanish extravaganza for all the marbles in Davis Cup. Both European countries came through posting doubles wins for insurmountable 3-0 leads in their respective best-of-five semifinals Saturday.

For the Czech Republic who used tandem Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek’s straight sets 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 win over Croatia’s Marin Cilic and Lovro Zovko yesterday, it’s their first final appearance in 29 years.

“It’s unbelievable,” a thrilled Stepanek said after getting it started with his amazing five hour, 59-minute marathon five set singles win over Ivo Karlovic, offsetting a record 78 aces.. “We didn’t think we would cruise to a 3-0 lead against the powerful Croats.”

Stepanek teamed with Berdych who also got the better of emerging 20 year-old Croat Cilic to pull off the huge win. As for Cilic who made a nice run at the U.S. Open all the way to the quarters before falling to eventual champ Juan Martin Del Potro, he later admitted that there probably wasn’t enough recovery time.

“I had problems recuperating after Friday’s singles, but there is no excuse, the Czechs were better,” Cilic expressed of trying to help the host country stay alive.

Even an oddity when the lights went off before the third set creating a 15-minute delay couldn’t turn the tide for Croatia as a focused Berdych and Stepanek finished off their opponents.

For the Czechs, it’s the first time they’ve made the Davis Cup final since winning it all for the only time in their history back in 1980 led by former world No.1 Ivan Lendl.

They’ll take on Davis Cup power Spain, who is aiming to defend their title after sweeping past Israel thanks to a Feliciano Lopez/Tommy Robredo four set doubles triumph over Israeli duo Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram, 7-6 (6), 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-2.

“I am thrilled to bits that they played so well,” a pleased Spain captain Carlos Costa said with his country getting the chance to repeat when they host Czech Republic in December. They defeated Argentina last year and will be looking for a fourth Davis Cup in the decade with wins also in 2000 and 2004.

“More and more in Spain, we have players who can play both singles and doubles and win on any surface.”

For Israel who was a surprise semifinalist for the first time following an upset of 2006 champ Russia back in March, they took something positive away from it.

“There’s no doubt that when they play at home nobody can beat them,” said Ram who teamed up with Erlich to win the 2008 Australian Open. “This was maybe a once in a lifetime experience for us but hopefully next time we can play them in Israel with our fans behind us and have another go.”

The match was momentarily stopped due to a ball girl fainting during the second set tiebreak. She was given on-court assistance and carried off with a concerned Rafael Nadal looking on from the team box. The six-time grand slam winner was there to lend moral support as was Fernando Verdasco speaking to how deep the Spanish are.

Though they will host in defense of their crown, the Spanish know it won’t be easy against the Czechs.

“The Czechs are very dangerous and have beaten some very good teams already this year,” explained Costa who dedicated the victory to a young woman who perished due to floods from a torrential storm in Murcia Wednesday.

“Stepanek and Berdych have both been in the top ten and can adapt easily to any surface.”

Ashe Ceremony Moved to Sunday

Because of the threat of rain, the ceremony to induct Arthur Ashe into the Wall of Fame has been postponed until Sunday. It will take place before the Men’s Finals. President Bill Clinton, who was supposed to attend tonight will now be at the event on Sunday.

Here’s the original release:

FLUSHING, N.Y., September 7, 2009 – The USTA announced today that Arthur Ashe, the first African American US Open men’s singles champion and one of tennis’ greatest ambassadors, has been named the 2009 inductee into the US Open Court of Champions, a US Open and USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center attraction honoring the greatest singles champions in the history of the 128 years of the U.S. Championships/US Open.  Ashe will be inducted during a ceremony on Thursday evening, September 10, and President Bill Clinton will participate in a tribute to this tennis icon and humanitarian, to be broadcast live on ESPN2.

The US Open Court of Champions salutes the tournament’s all-time greatest champions with an individual permanent monument that serves as a lasting tribute. Ashe will join prior inductees Don Budge, Maureen Connolly, Jimmy Connors, Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Althea Gibson, Steffi Graf, Billie Jean King, Jack Kramer, Rod Laver, Ivan Lendl, Molla Bjurstedt Mallory, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras, Bill Tilden and Helen Wills. A panel of international print and broadcast journalists selected the 2009 inductee from the roster of U.S. champions based on their performances at the tournament and their impact on the growth of the event.

“Arthur Ashe is one of the greatest champions to ever compete at the US Open and we are proud to honor his remarkable legacy,” said Lucy Garvin, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA.  “Arthur was a great humanitarian and his legacy and his performance helped the tournament become one of the world’s premier sporting events.”

Following his tenure in the White House, President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence.  The Foundation has grown into a global 501(c)(3) nongovernmental organization with 1,400 staff and volunteers in more than 40 countries working to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic, fight climate change, develop sustainable economic growth in Africa and Latin America, tackle the childhood obesity epidemic, and help expand economic opportunity.

The Clinton Global Initiative, established by President Clinton in 2005, has brought together more than 100 current and former heads of state; 14 Nobel Peach Prize winners; hundreds of leading global CEO’s, heads of foundations, and major philanthropists; and directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations to identify and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.  CGI’s Fifth Annual Meeting will take place September 22-25, 2009 in New York City.

Ashe was the US Open singles champion in 1968, and reached the final again in 1972.  In his career, he captured 33 singles titles and 18 doubles titles, including three Grand Slam championships. Prior to that, he was the first African-American to win the NCAA singles title (for UCLA in 1965), and he represented the United States in the Davis Cup every year from 1965 to 1970, helping his country to the title from 1968 to 1970. Ashe also worked extensively off the court to end poverty and racism worldwide. In 1969, Ashe founded the USTA National Junior Tennis League, now the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network. Ashe envisioned NJTL as a way of developing the character of young people through tennis and education. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, NJTL has grown to more than 550 chapters nationwide, serving more than 220,000 youths each year. It has become one of USTA’s largest community- based offerings.

The US Open Court of Champions, a 9,000-square foot outdoor pavilion bounded by the South Entry Gate and the Arthur Ashe Commemorative Garden and Sculpture, celebrates the event’s greatest champions with an individual permanent monument to serve as a lasting tribute.  The attraction also features a complete listing of all U.S. singles champions since the competition began in 1881.

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The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level — from local communities to the highest level of the professional game.  A not-for-profit organization with 730,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Olympus US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns the 94 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., is a minority owner and promotional partner of World TeamTennis, and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA philanthropic entity, USTA Serves, provides grants and scholarships and through tennis, helps underserved youth and people with disabilities to improve academics, build character and strive for excellence. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.