Hall Of Famer, Tennis Legend Bjorn Borg Returns To New York To Replace Injured Jimmy Connors, Takes On John McEnroe In July 14 World TeamTennis Match At Sportime Randall’s Island

NEW YORK (July 7, 2011) – Tennis Hall of Famer Bjorn Borg will step in to replace fellow tennis legend Jimmy Connors to face long-time rival John McEnroe in a World TeamTennis match on July 14 at Sportime Randall’s Island.  Borg and McEnroe will compete against each other that night when the defending Eastern Conference Champion New York Sportimes face the Philadelphia Freedoms.  Connors is not be able to participate due to a knee injury.

The evening will be a special benefit for The Johnny Mac Tennis Project, with tickets sold by the Project to raise funds to provide scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area. Recipients will attend the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, which is completing its first year at Sportime Randall’s Island. Ticket prices for the match will be $250, $150 and $60; special VIP tickets are also available; please consult your tax advisor concerning the tax deductibility of ticket purchases. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 1-888-988-6921 or visit www.nysportimes.com.

This will be first WTT match in 17 years for Borg, who will be joining the Philadelphia Freedoms roster for the evening.  Borg last played WTT for the Atlanta Thunder in 1994.  Borg also played for the Cleveland Nets in 1977 and the Los Angeles Strings in 1993.

The centerpiece of the brief but enthralling rivalry between McEnroe and Borg was the epic 1980 Wimbledon final, which included an 18-16 tiebreaker in the fourth set. McEnroe won the tiebreaker but it was Borg who captured the fifth set and his fifth straight Wimbledon.

Borg won 63 singles titles, including 11 Grand Slam Championships, and also added four pro career doubles titles. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.

“We are elated that Bjorn answered John’s call to step in for Jimmy on what will be a fun and important night for tennis in New York,” said Claude Okin, Sportimes CEO. “The relationship that Bjorn and John haves very special.  Theirs is truly one of the great rivalries in sports history, and seeing them both on court, in New York, next week will be a great treat for everyone there. And the funds we raise that night will be critical in helping us to assist talented young people in learning the great game of tennis in New York City.”

The July 14 WTT matchup will feature Borg and McEnroe competing against each other in men’s singles in the five set WTT coed team format.  Former World No. 1 Martina Hingis will also play for the New York Sportimes that evening as McEnroe’s fellow team member.

In other 2011 WTT matches, the Sportimes will host the Boston Lobsters on July 6 with Martina Hingis leading the Sportimes squad; the Sportimes will take on the St. Louis Aces on July 11; the Springfield Lasers come to NYC on July 15, with John McEnroe and Martina Hingis playing for New York; Serena Williams of the Washington Kastles will battle Martina Hingis when the Sportimes host their Eastern Conference rivals on July 20.  In addition to the home matches at the state-of-the art, 2,000 seat facility at SPORTIME Randall’s Island, the Sportimes will play two home matches in Albany, N.Y., at the SEFCU Arena: July 18 versus Kansas City starring the World No. 1 Bryan Brothers, and July 19 when the Sportimes take on the Washington Kastles featuring Serena Williams.

For more information on the facility, the John McEnroe Tennis Academy or the NY Sportimes, visit www.SportimeNY.com/Manhattan or www.JohnMcEnroeTennisAcademy.com.

Contact: Joe Favorito, 917-566-8345, fatherknickerbocker1@yahoo.com

; Jerry Milani, 917-797-5663, Jerry.Milani@yahoo.com

Mac, Connors One For The “Aged” This Summer At Sportime Randall’s Island

Say what you want about the state of American tennis, July 14 at Randall’s island is bound to be a treat for fans of all ages. Yes they are both older, grayer and probably just a tad slower, but John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors on court, in the New York area, at any point is still fun, fiery, and worth the price of admission.

The match will take place as part of the 2011 World Team Tennis season with McEnroe, captain for the New York Sportimes, taking on Connors, a hired gun for the Philadelphia Freedoms, in a marquee match that will benefit the Johnny Mac Tennis Project, which helps with financial support for students attending the sold out John McEnroe Tennis Academy, now entering its second year at Sportime Randall’s Island, nestled just under the Triborough Bridge.

Those who listened to Tuesday’s conference call between Connors and McEnroe got more than a notebook full of items, ranging from Jimmy’s use of Twitter to John’s thoughts on Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks. However not lost in the friendly banter was the continued competitive spirit and light trash talk between the two longtime rivals, a rivalry which has not been renewed in over a decade. “Yeah we are friendly competitors, but make no mistake, I always want to win,” Connors said. McEnroe snickered at the comment, perhaps preferring to let his actions talk a bit louder. Unlike the slightly older Connors, McEnroe has kept himself in outstanding shape, working out with his young players almost every day at the Academy while also filling a busy schedule with senior events, exhibitions and last July, WTT action, where he helped lead the Sportimes to the Eastern Conference title.

WTT, founded by Billie jean King and still run by King and business partner Ilana Kloss, remains a fun and entertaining night of affordable tennis, with some flair of minor league baseball mixed in. And while the league touts itself for featuring many of the younger stars emerging in tennis today, fans still like to see the senior faces take the court again, whether they are players like Martina Hingis or Lindsay Davenport, or Connors and McEnroe. The competitive juices flow again, and the level of tennis seems to rise, especially in a shortened format, and not so far from Flushing Meadows.

Connors and McEnroe met 34 times during the ATP portion of their storied careers, with McEnroe leading the series 20‐14. They spilt their Grand Slam singles finals matchups, with Connors winning at Wimbledon in 1982 (3‐6, 6‐3, 6‐7, 7‐6, 6‐4), and with McEnroe prevailing in 1984 (6‐1, 6‐1, 6‐2). They last met in an ATP event in Basel, Switzerland in 1991, with McEnroe winning 6‐1, 6‐3.

Ticket prices for the match will be $250, $150, $60, and $40, with a portion being tax deductable. Tickets for the special evening, or any of the other home Sportime matches can be purchased by calling 212‐792‐8500 or going to nysportimes.com for the full schedule of July events.

TENNIS CHANNEL’S SIGNATURE SERIES: VITAS GERULAITIS REVEALS “GOLDEN ERA” SUPERSTAR JANUARY 31

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 28, 2011 – Tennis Channel will take viewers into the remarkable life and career of one of the most notable – and notorious – stars of tennis’ “Golden Era” with Signature Series: Vitas Gerulaitis.  The latest installment of the network’s original Signature Series documentary line will premiere Monday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. ET.  A complete schedule of episode airdates can be found on the channel’s Web site at www.tennischannel.com/schedule.

Signature Series: Vitas Gerulaitis showcases the tennis achievements, celebrated nightlife and shocking death of one of the most colorful characters in tennis history.  During a career that spanned from 1971 to 1986, an era brimming with compelling personalities, few shined brighter than Gerulaitis.  Dubbed the Joe Namath of tennis by many, “Broadway Vitas” occupied the red-hot center of tennis’ (and his native New York City’s) boom years of the 1970s, standing alongside such iconic superstars as Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg and Ilie Nastase – each of whom was proud to call him a close friend.

Ranked as high as third in the world in singles, off the court Gerulaitis was second to none, burning the candle at both ends, marching in lockstep with Andy Warhol and the glittering nights of Manhattan’s world-famous Studio 54 disco club.  Yet by day the New Yorker gave his heart to his sport and pioneered the notion of using tennis as a way to make a difference in the world.  Gerulaitis’ life is an incredible story, a tale of rise and fall, redemption and tragedy.

“On court or off, Vitas Gerulaitis’ seemed to live his whole, outsized life in the headlines,” said Laura Hockridge, vice president, original programming, Tennis Channel.  “Through the warm recollections of his opponents – all of whom treasured him as a friend – Signature Series is able to take Tennis Channel viewers back to a time when Gerulaitis’ enjoyment of both tennis and life defined a unique period in the history of this sport.”

The film was shot and produced in high definition with hundreds of archival photos and rare video highlights.  The real insight, however, comes from interviews with Gerulaitis’ friends and rivals, including Connors, McEnroe (and his younger brother Patrick), Borg, John Lloyd, Mary Carillo and others.

Signature Series: Vitas Gerulaitis is the fifth edition in Tennis Channel’s ongoing Signature Series line, which debuted in 2009.  Other tennis personalities and subjects have included Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras, Rene Lacoste and the sport’s centuries-old origins.

Gerulaitis’ tennis resume is highlighted by the 1977 Australian Open singles championship and finals losses in the 1977 US Open and 1980 French Open, to childhood-friend McEnroe (John) and Borg, respectively.  In all, he posted a 510-221 career record, captured 25 singles titles and eight doubles crowns.  In 1990 a heating-system malfunction led to a carbon monoxide leak in the room where Gerulaitis was sleeping, causing his death at the age of 40.

Lineup For Indian Wells Announced

With the Australian Open concluding this weekend, the next major stop on the tennis calendar will be the BNP Paribas Open, the most-attended tennis tournament outside of the Grand Slams. Once again the tournament, to be held March 7-20 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, will feature hundreds of the best players in the world, including the top three players on both tours – Rafael Nadal and Caroline Wozniacki (No. 1), Roger Federer and Vera Zvonareva (No. 2) and Novak Djokovic and Kim Clijsters (No. 3).

Nadal, who had an incredible season in 2010 capturing three of the four majors, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, will be in search of his third crown in Indian Wells (2007, 2009), and would join Jimmy Connors, Michael Chang and Federer as three-time winners of the BNP Paribas Open. Wozniacki became the 20th World No. 1 in WTA history last year, and captured six titles. A finalist at the 2010 BNP Paribas Open, she is seeking her first Grand Slam title this week at the Australian Open and is into the semifinals.

Federer, who is the only man to ever win the BNP Paribas Open three years in a row (2004-2006), bookended 2010 by winning the sixteenth major of his career in Australia in January and the ATP World Championships in the final week of the season. A win this week would continue to increase his all-time leading major title record. Zvonareva had a fantastic 2010 reaching the finals of Wimbledon and the US Open, and climbing to an all-time high ranking of No. 2 in the world. The 2009 BNP Paribas Open champion has another shot at a major title this week at the Australian Open.

Djokovic had another strong campaign in 2010, and entrenched himself further into the Serbian history books  by helping his country capture its first ever Davis Cup title with a win over France in December. The 2008 BNP Paribas Open champion is trying to capture the second major of his career this week in Australia, with the first coming in 2008 in the land down under. Clijsters, who has three major titles, including the last two US Open’s, will look to become the only woman to ever win the BNP Paribas Open singles title three times (2005, 2003). She is currently in the hunt this weekend for her fourth Grand Slam title and her first at the Australian Open.

In addition to these six stars, the fields will feature a host of others who have captured titles in Indian Wells including the last six women to win the title – defending champion Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic (2008), Daniela Hantuchova (2007, 2002), Southern California resident Maria Sharapova (2006), Zvonareva and Clijsters. On the men’s side, defending champion Ivan Ljubicic and Lleyton Hewitt (2001-2002) join Nadal, Federer and Djokovic as former champions in the draw.

In addition to these champions, numerous other top ten stars such as Robin Soderling (No. 4), Andy Murray (No. 5), Tomas Berdych (No. 6), David Ferrer (No. 7), American Andy Roddick (No. 8), Fernando Verdasco (No. 9), Mikhail Youhzny (No. 10), Samantha Stosur (No. 6), Francesca Schiavone (No. 7) and World No. 9 Victoria Azarenka will also vie for the title. Other American stars that will compete include Mardy Fish, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Sam Querrey, Melanie Oudin, John Isner and the World No. 1 doubles team, Mike and Bob Bryan, who will be seeking to capture one of the few titles that have eluded them in their record-setting career.

One of the new additions for the players and fans this year will be the addition of Hawkeye replay technology and video displays on all match courts. While most tournaments feature Hawkeye replay technology and video displays on one, two, or three courts, none have made it available on eight match courts.

The women’s qualifying draw will take place March 7-8 and the men’s qualifying rounds will be held March 8-9. There will be 48 players in each draw vying for 12 spots in the main draws. First-round play will begin Wednesday, March 9 for the women and Thursday, March 10 for the men. The men’s and women’s singles championship finals will be held on Sunday, March 20. For information or to buy tickets, visit www.bnpparibasopen.com, call the Indian Wells Tennis Garden at 800-999-1585, or visit the box office, 78-200 Miles Avenue, Indian Wells, CA 92210.

The College Conundrum

Professional tennis players and especially American professional tennis players face the decision at some point in their careers. Men and women. To go to college or not go to college?

Players from outside of the United States like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal invariably choose to turn professional at an early age. There is less pressure on young tennis stars to attend college in many foreign countries than there is in the United States. There is also less precedent.

As early as 30 years ago, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors had to make the decision. Mac attended Stanford for two years and won the NCAA’s. He has never regretted his college decision.Same with Jimmy Connors at UCLA. He went for one year and also won the NCAA’s.

Three years ago, John Isner and Sam Querry burst on the scene.Isner went to the University of Georgia for four years and led his team to an NCAA crown.He finished second in singles. He wasn’t ready as a player to turn pro out of high school.Sam Querry, on the other hand turned down a full scholarship at USC. They are both about equally ranked now.

The college scene has changed dramatically over the past decade or so. More foreign players are attending colleges in the States  and that makes the competition better for Americans who continue on with their educations. Benjamin Becker is a prime example. He attended Baylor and is now No. 50 in the world.

The US Open Junior Finals this year pitted Jack Sock against Denis Kudla. Sock won the event and is torn between college and turning pro. Kudla has already turned pro. Sock and his family were approached by countless agents at the Open.

In our opinion, players should take a page from the James Blake playbook. The former Fairfield, Connecticut high school star attended Harvard for two years and then turned pro. He honed his skills at Harvard and picked up many valuable life tools in the process.He rose to as high as no. 6 in the world and was an endorsement guru. College did not hurt him a bit.

Jesse Levine turned pro after one year at the University of Florida. He stated, “You can always go back to school but not to pro tennis.” That is true but Levine has had a somewhat undistinguished pro career and probably wasn’t ready physically to turn pro when he did. Perhaps four years in college would have made Levine a better pro and a more well rounded individual.

Clearly, there is no easy answer to this conundrum facing many young tennis players.

Richard Kent is the autor of Inside the US Open and The Racket.

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.

Cliff Richey To Continue Mental Health Crusade During 2010 Open

NEW YORK – Cliff Richey, the tennis standout who ranked as the No. 1 tennis player in the United States 40 years ago in 1970, will continue his mental health advocacy crusade in New York at the 2010 US Open with several speeches and appearances to raise awareness and help people overcome depression and de-stigmatize the illness.

Richey, along with his sister Nancy Richey, a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, will headline a fund-raiser for the Riverdale Mental Health Association on Tuesday, September 7 at the Riverdale Yacht Club. Richey, a high-school dropout, will also speak at Columbia University’s Department of Psychiatry on Friday, September 10. He will also conduct a signing for his new book ACING DEPRESSION: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match on Monday, September 6 at 5 pm at the US Open Bookstore on site at the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center.

In ACING DEPRESSION, Richey calls depression among adult males “the silent tragedy in our culture today” and details his life-long battle with the disease that afflicts approximately 121 million people around the world. Co-written with his oldest daughter, Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, ACING DEPRESSION ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.CliffRicheyBook.com), is a first-hand account of the life and tennis career of Richey, providing readers with his real-life drama – on and off the tennis court. Richey’s depression is a constant theme, from his genetics and family history, to the tensions of his professional tennis career and family life, to his eventual diagnosis and steps to recover from his condition.

Jimmy Connors, the five-time U.S. Open champion and a friend of Richey, penned the Foreword for ACING DEPRESSION. Writes Connors, “What made Cliff Richey what he was on the tennis court has certainly carried over into this book. His story has taken a subject, depression—which has affected him personally—and put it out there for everyone to see. Depression has been a subject that no one really talks about. Few people even admit to having such a condition. But Cliff is not afraid to be bold and reveal what he has gone through and what it takes to get a handle on this disease…Just as Cliff played tennis, he is studying how depression works; what its weaknesses are; and what strategies you can use against it. His hope is that people who read his story can learn—learn about the disease and learn that people who suffer can have a better quality of life. Things can get better. There is hope.”

Richey and his sister Nancy, a former French and Australian singles champion, will hit tennis balls, provide instruction and speak at the fund-raiser for the Riverdale Mental Health Association. The event will be held from 5 pm to 7 pm at the Riverdale Yacht Club, 800 West 254th Street and Palisade Avenue in the Bronx. Tickets are available for $150 per person, $250 per couple and $50 per child and can be purchased by emailing alange@rmha.org or calling 718-796-5300 x106. Preceding the fundraiser, Richey will visit the RMHA offices to tour the facilities and speak with clinicians. For more information on the RMHA, go to www.rmha.org.

Richey was known as the original “Bad Boy” of tennis, before there was John McEnroe and Ilie Nastase. His 26-year career was highlighted by a 1970 season where he led the United States to the Davis Cup title, finished as the first-ever Grand Prix world points champion and won one of the most exciting matches in American tennis history that clinched the year-end No. 1 American ranking. However, his tantrums and boorish behavior simply served as a mask for his internal struggle with clinical depression. During his darkest days, Richey would place black trash bags over the windows of his house, stay in bed all day and cry. With the same determination that earned him the nick-name “The Bull,” Richey fought against his depression that was not diagnosed until just before his 50th birthday during a routine visit to the skin doctor. Since his happenstance diagnosis, Richey has steadily been taking anti-depressant drugs that has greatly improved his quality of life and moved him to become an advocate for mental health, speaking at numerous events and gatherings across the country.

“I have been given so many second chances in my life,” Richey says in the book. “The beautiful thing is that in recovery, almost everything in your life becomes a second chance. Hope is the foundation of our great country of America. Hope is such a driver of the normal human condition. The sum total of my awful disease was “loss of hope.” That’s the truly awesome thing about recovery: once you come back, your whole life after that feels like a second chance.”

The book has also received acclaim and endorsements in the mental health community.

Says Jackie Shannon, the Past President of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), “Real men do get depression—even champion athletes. Cliff’s story is an inspiration to all those who are battling mental illnesses and a wake-up call to the public.” Says Lynn Lasky Clark, President and CEO of Mental Health America of Texas, “This straight forward, honest and intensely personal account of Cliff Richey’s experiences with tennis and depression is truly inspirational. Cliff Richey approaches his recovery from depression with great passion and determination. He provides hope and understanding through this powerful memoir.” Say Lynn Rutland, the Executive Director of MHMR (Mental Health, Mental Retardation), “The Richey’s inspired a whole generation of kids to believe in themselves and strive for excellence. Cliff’s story gives people hope when life has dealt them darkness. The battle for the mind is one that Cliff will never lose through lack of effort as he offers insight into his own struggles and victories. His story will continue to make a difference for those suffering with depression.”

ACING DEPRESSION 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, 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.

SECOND YEAR OF US OPEN ON TENNIS CHANNEL STARTS WITH FIRST DAY OF PLAY MONDAY, AUGUST 30

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 23, 2010 – Tennis Channel’s second year of US Open coverage will provide viewers with 73 hours of live matches as the tennis world descends upon New York, and will also introduce a new team member who knows a thing (or two) about on-court glory in the Big Apple.  This year two-time US Open singles titlist Tracy Austin joins the network’s returning on-air roster of tennis champions, with a lineup that includes lead analysts Jimmy Connors and Martina Navratilova and US Open Tonight / Breakfast at the Open host Lindsay Davenport.  In all the network will offer 234 hours of US Open telecasts, with nearly 24-hour, “Grounds Pass” level of coverage during the two-week competition.

When live matches are not taking place in Flushing Meadow, Tennis Channel’s signature US Open Tonight and Breakfast at the Open will recap all the excitement of that day’s play, and lead into the following morning’s contests.  Again hosted by 1998 US Open champion Lindsay Davenport and Kevin Frazier of Entertainment Tonight fame, the news, interview and highlight shows will air alongside encore matches throughout the night during the tournament, giving viewers a close to 24-hour daily US Open experience.

Beginning with its opening-match coverage on Arthur Ashe Stadium or Louis Armstrong Stadium the first day of play Monday, Aug. 30, Tennis Channel’s typical US Open schedule features live matches daily from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (all times ET).  US Open Tonight immediately follows the conclusion of the final US Open match of the evening, and airs with encore matches until Breakfast at the Open premieres at 6 a.m. and runs next to encore matches until the start of that day’s play at 11 a.m.  During Labor Day weekend Tennis Channel’s live-match window moves to prime time, from 7 p.m.-11 p.m.  As with the other three Grand Slams, Tennis Channel will combine with ESPN2 to bring fans virtually round-the-clock coverage during the US Open, each network utilizing its own commentators.

On-Air Talent

Though new to the network’s Grand Slam team, Austin has been a Tennis Channel regular via Tennis Channel Academy, the coaches-and-clinics series she has hosted since 2008.  She has also done commentary and analysis work for the channel’s coverage of top events like the women’s year-end championships.  During the US Open she will serve as Tennis Channel’s afternoon and late-match analyst, appear in short features and interact with fans on the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center grounds.

A tennis prodigy, Austin is best known for dethroning four-time US Open champion Chris Evert in 1979 at the mere age of 16, making her the youngest US Open champion in history.  She was the No. 1 women’s singles player in 1980 and boasts an impressive collection of 30 singles titles, including two US Open championships along with a Wimbledon mixed doubles title.  She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1992.

“Tennis Channel tries to put as much of the US Open on fans’ television screens as is humanly possible, and I’m thrilled to join them this year,” said Austin.  “This is an exciting time of the tennis season and this tournament has such special memories for me.”

Tennis icons Jimmy Connors and Martina Navratilova are back as Tennis Channel’s lead US Open analysts, again putting the all-time men’s and women’s singles titlists in the same booth.  They will be joined once more by veteran sportscaster Bill Macatee, a mainstay of the network’s Grand Slam coverage since its first effort in Paris in 2007.  Lead commentators Ted Robinson and Ian Eagle are also back on Tennis Channel’s on-air roster, as are former players Leif Shiras, Katrina Adams, Jimmy Arias, Justin Gimelstob and Corina Morariu.  Year-round Court Report anchor Cari Champion will also be on the tournament grounds for special news and feature segments.  US Open Tonight and Breakfast at the Open are hosted by Davenport and Frazier from Tennis Channel’s Los Angeles studio, with nightly Court Report segments from reporters Arlene Santana and Angela Sun.

“Grounds Pass”

After bringing its “Grounds Pass” Grand Slam coverage approach to the US Open last year for the first time, Tennis Channel is doing even more to give audiences the feel of spending a late-summer afternoon at the tournament.  New in 2010 is the “Tennis Channel Plaza,” a fixed interview and fan-interaction site centered just outside Arthur Ashe Stadium.  Throughout each day’s coverage Gimelstob, Champion and others will conduct interviews while surrounded by tournament ticket holders, routinely carrying on public address conversations with the crowd in the interim.  The network’s main set has been moved from the top of Louis Armstrong Stadium and brought outside to the second level of Arthur Ashe Stadium, in full view of the public.  Usually featuring Robinson and Eagle, this set will be the center point of Tennis Channel’s coverage, from here taking viewers to center court with Macatee, Connors and Navratilova; off to the outer grounds with roving reporters; and on-air analysts or anywhere between.

Broadband and Digital Coverage

What the network cannot squeeze into viewers’ television sets over the Flushing Meadow fortnight is likely to be found on Tennis Channel’s Web site, www.tennischannel.com.  Beyond real-time scoring, schedules, draws and order of play, the site will include on-court video highlights, behind-the-scenes features, interviews and Court Report news segments.  Exclusive US Open photo gallery scenes capture the raucous energy of the event, while reporter Steve Flink and humorist James LaRosa have become Tennis Channel digital favorites who will again offer their online opinions as the competition unfolds.  At the same time, Web visitors can sign up for network sweepstakes and play its “Racquet Bracket” prediction game.  Tennis Channel’s YouTube (www.youtube.com/tennischannel), Twitter (www.twitter.com/tennischannel) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/tennischannel) pages offer additional opportunities for fans to stay digitally engaged.

Tennis Channel’s Live 2010 US Open Match Schedule

Date                                        Time (ET)                   Event

Monday, Aug. 30                     11 a.m.-7 p.m.             First-Round Action

Tuesday, Aug. 31                     11 a.m.-7 p.m.             First-Round Action

Wednesday, Sept. 1                 11 a.m.-7 p.m.             First-Round, Second-Round Action

Thursday, Sept. 2                     11 a.m.-7 p.m.             Second-Round Action

Friday, Sept. 3                         11 a.m.-7 p.m.             Second-Round, Third-Round Action

Saturday, Sept. 4                      7 p.m.-11 p.m.             Third-Round Action

Sunday, Sept. 5                        7 p.m.-11 p.m.             Third-Round, Round-of-16 Action

Tuesday, Sept. 7                      11 a.m.-7 p.m.             Round-of-16 Action, Doubles

Wednesday, Sept. 8                 11 a.m.-7 p.m.             Doubles Quarterfinals, Mixed Semifinals

Thursday, Sept. 9                     11 a.m.-8 p.m.             Doubles, Juniors, Wheelchair

Tennis Channel’s US Open Tonight, Breakfast at the Open Schedule

US Open Tonight runs evenings and mornings Monday, Aug. 30-Sunday, Sept. 12, while Breakfast at the Open will air Monday, Aug. 30-Friday, Sept. 10.  Both are interspersed with same-day, encore matches.  This year US Open Tonight will start at the conclusion of play each evening which, especially the first week, could mean well into the early morning hours.  Because of the uncertain start time for US Open Tonight, Tennis Channel’s 11 p.m.-3 a.m. schedule will vary in terms of the number of times US Open Tonight airs, as will the length of the encore match.  The schedule is generally as follows (all times ET):

11 p.m.-3 a.m. – US Open Tonight / Encore Match

3 a.m.-4 a.m. – US Open Tonight

4 a.m.-6 a.m. – Encore Match

6 a.m.-7 a.m. – Breakfast at the Open

7 a.m.-10 a.m. – Encore Match

10 a.m.-11 a.m. – Breakfast at the Open

On Friday, Sept. 10, Tennis Channel will air a four-hour special, US Open Tonight: Best of the US Open, from 7 p.m.-11 p.m.  Three consecutive encore editions of this will run through 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 11.  From 12 a.m.-12 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12, the network will air four US Open encore matches.  During the week of Sunday, Sept. 12, Tennis Channel will run encore replays of the men’s and women’s singles and doubles finals and mixed doubles final, TBD.

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, Olympus US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier Sony Ericsson WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup.  Tennis Channel is carried by nine of the top 10 MSOs, Verizon FiOS TV, and has a national footprint via DIRECTV and DISH Network.

Federer Wins Australian Open Title with New BLX Racket

[CHICAGO] – New decade, new racket, new record. Playing with his new Wilson Six.One Tour BLX tennis racket, Roger Federer proved once again why he is the greatest tennis player of all time. Federer’s 2010 Australian Open win marks his 16th Grand Slam title, surpassing his own all-time record of 15 major titles.

Federer’s continued success is due in part to Wilson’s ever evolving technology and BLX is no exception. Federer switched to his new Six.One Tour BLX racket at the beginning of 2010. “Wilson continues to provide rackets with the most cutting edge technology and this racket really gives me the extra feel I look for,” Federer said after claiming the title. “My new BLX racket provides me with the extra edge I needed to succeed.”

The #1 player in the world stayed strong throughout the entire match in Rod Laver Arena winning 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (11). Federer broke Murray’s serve twice in the opening set and once in the second. Federer rallied from 5-2 down in the third, breaking Murray when he served in attempt to push the match into a fourth set.

Federer solidified his #1 ranking for a 268th week and tied Jimmy Connors in third place on the all-time list. Since 2004, he has reached at least the semi-finals of every Grand Slam. He continued his Grand Slam streak with a 23rd consecutive semi-final appearance.

“It’s an incredible feeling to continue this streak and my success at Grand Slams,” Federer said. “This 16th title means the world to me and I hope to keep this streak alive.”

Once again, Federer has raised the bar in the game of tennis and provide another benchmark for his competitors to work harder, play better and achieve more. He is still No.1 in the world and even with competition snapping at heels everyday, the legacy continues.

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.

Serena Apologized, Now Let’s Move On

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Over the weekend I wrote that Serena Williams has a chance today to do the right thing and apologize about her actions on Saturday night.

And today she did just that.

“I wanted to apologize first to the lineswoman, to the USTA, and my fans most of all, and to Kim Clijsters who ended up having such a wonderful tournament and winning the championship, and what an amazing feat that was,” Williams said after she and her sister Venus beat the team of Cara Black and Liezel Huber for the Woman’s Doubles Championship, 6-2, 6-2. “I just really wanted to apologize sincerely, because I’m a very prideful person and I’m a very intense person and a very emotional person. I think it all showed.

“Most of all, I’m a very sincere person. I wanted to offer my sincere apologies to anyone that I may have offended. I would again like to thank the fans for all the support that I’ve gotten. I think it’s awesome and cool that I’ve got so much support. I appreciate everything.”

Because she apologized, Serena will find out that America is a very forgiving country. Baseball players like Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi were more or less exonerated for their steroids uses because they said they were sorry. And those like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, who still live the lie, are having problems.

Serena, though, didn’t take any drugs, didn’t shoot herself with a gun she smuggled into a club, nor did she have dog fight each other. No she lost her temper, much like the way John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, and even Andre Agassi have done in the past.

In baseball, actions like that are cheered. Yet not in tennis, which is more civilized, especially on the ladies side.

“I don’t really follow too much baseball,” Serena said. “I think every athlete is really intense.”

So now tennis needs to get out of its own way and move on from this ugly incident. Williams lost the singles title, partially due to her actions and of course her poor play, which caused the incident. Rather than having a tremendous investigation, the WTA needs to let the fine stand and consider the situation closed.

As for Serena, let’s see if she learned her lesson. In the future, will she think twice if she foot faults again? Well her tune changed about the lineswoman.

“I don’t think my foot touched the line in that call,” she said. “Looking back on it, I think the lady did the best that she could. She was just doing her job. I guess at the time, she probably saw it as what it was. You know, she was just doing her best.”

And that’s all anyone is looking for – their best. On Saturday, Serena was wrong for threatening the lineswoman, today she said she was sorry.

Serena paid her fine and seems like she knows she did wrong.

Now its time to move on.