US Open Men’s Final Now On Monday

The US Open is making a change.

Well you can consider it just making it official.

Much like the last few years, the Open Men’s Final will take place on Monday with the Women’s final on Sunday.

Because of rain, this was the way it happened over the past few years, but now it’s etched in stone.

“We listened to the players and understood we needed to accommodate their request for an extra day of rest between the semifinals and final,” said USTA Spokesman Widmaier said. “The USTA reached out to many of the top players, player agents as well as the respective tours. So far, everything has been fairly positive. The day of rest is being embraced across the board. Because of the nature of the game, and to assure a final that can be played at the highest competitive level, you need an extra day of rest. We recognized that.”

But the ATP isn’t happy about it.

“The ATP and its players have made it clear to the US Open that we do not support a Monday final,” the ATP said in a statement. “We strongly believe the US Open should keep a similar schedule to the other Grand Slams, with the men’s semifinals completed by Friday and the final on Sunday.

“It is unfortunate the US Open response did not reflect our views on this issue and the ATP and its players will continue to pursue this matter in its discussions with the USTA.”

Of course, the Open is going to go where the TV networks say and if CBS wants it on Monday it will be on Monday. No bowl betting odds will say otherwise.

And with the rain a factor now, having the extra day will build in a buffer so the Open doesn’t go any longer.

Bryans Get First Ever Sportsmanship Award

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., September 7, 2012 — The USTA today announced that Bob and Mike Bryan have received the first-ever “US Open Sportsmanship Award” presented to the male and female professional tennis players who best demonstrate excellence in sportsmanship throughout the Emirates Airline US Open Series and the US Open. The award was presented to the Bryan brothers at the US Open by USTA Chairman of the Board and President Jon Vegosen and Sportsmanship Selection Committee Chairman Todd Martin.

“Bob and Mike are both great champions and gracious competitors, making them the perfect choice to receive the US Open Sportsmanship Award,” said Vegosen. “Through all of their accomplishments on the court, Bob and Mike have exuded the class and integrity that exemplify what makes tennis such a great sport. Their success continues to set a perfect example for future generations.”

Bob and Mike Bryan won the 2012 US Open men’s doubles title to break the Open Era record for the most Grand Slam team titles with their 12th major trophy. The Bryans passed Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde in the Open Era and tied John Newcombe and Tony Roche for the all-time record. The Bryans also won the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Toronto this summer and reached the semifinals of the Series event in Cincinnati. Off the court, Esurance, the official car insurance sponsor of the US Open, teamed up with the Bryan brothers and USTA Serves this summer to support two tennis programs benefiting at-risk youth.

Under Vegosen’s leadership, the USTA started a Sportsmanship Committee in 2011. Its charge is to “educate and inspire youngsters and their parents to develop and exhibit a high degree of sportsmanship and an attitude of fair play and mutual respect on and off the tennis court. Underlying the charge is the ethical imperative that fairness is more important than winning.”

Eligibility requirements for winners include participating in at least two Series tournaments, as well as the 2012 US Open. In addition to a handsome trophy, each US Open Sportsmanship Award winner receives a $5,000 donation to the charity of his or her choice. Samantha Stosur received the women’s US Open Sportsmanship Award.

The KOZ With The Bryans

Americans Mike Bryan & Bob Bryan created more tennis history capturing their 4th US Open Men’s Doubles crown & 12th slam title. Dave “Koz” Kozlowski caught up with the champion twins after their victory.

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Serena’s Antics Will Get Her In Trouble

Flushing Meadows, NY – When we last saw Serena Williams step foot in the Borough of Queens, she threatened a line judge with her racket after committing a foot fault, ultimately forfeiting her Semifinal Match against Kim Clijsters in 2009.

The incident cost her around $95,000 in fines and also put her on probation for the 2010 and 2011 US Opens.

She didn’t play last year due to a foot injury, so that made her first round matchup last night against Bojana Jovanowski her first appearance in the 718 area code since the foot fault heard around the world.

Even though she is a low seed (28th due to injuries), this is still Serena Williams so of course she cruised to a 6-1 6-1 victory.

But it’s not a Serena match without some controversy. Last night the Open set her match as the late start, so she had to wait three hours for Rafael Nadal to win his round. And of course Williams couldn’t hold her tongue about it.

“No, I think the guys should play second,” she said. “They’re guys. We’re ladies. We’re ladies. They should totally play second all the time. Ladies, you open the door for ladies. They should go second. It’s ridiculous.”

Before last year’s Open, the ladies always went first, but then in 2010 the Open decided to mix up the matches with some nights having the men in the leadoff spot.

It’s pretty obvious why this is done – money. With the Open taking ESPN’s money, they have become slaves to what the networks want to see in primetime. ESPN’s ratings are dictated by the Eastern Time Zone, which is the most populous part of the United States. Prime time is 8 pm to 10 pm, so you can understand why the network will want the biggest ratings grabber for its first match.

So when it came down to the defending US Open Men’s champion and international star, or Serena, whose first round matchup was a mockery then you can understand what would go first.

Frankly, Serena will be more than glad to take all the prize money from the Open – equal prize money with the men for that matter – so she should sometimes bite the bullet for the bigger and better matches.

With the spotlight on her this year and the zero tolerance policy she has with the Open after two years ago, Serena should just keep her head down and play the game.

The bottom line is this Serena got off easy two years ago, but if anything happens this year then she will probably face harsher sanctions from tennis’s governing bodies.

Australian Open Men’s Finals Presentation

Below is the finals presentation for Novak Djokovic after he beat Andy Murray in the 2011 Australian Open Finals, 6-4 6-3 6-3 to win his second Grand Slam title.

Djokovic won the crown after being both Roger Federer and Andy Murray in straight sets.

Koz Interviews Rafael Nadal

Tennis Ledger’s Dave ” Koz” Kozlowski of IndieTennis.com was in the interview rooms at the US Open, braving the rain and the crowds. Today, Koz gives us an interview with Rafeal Nadal, the US Open Men’s Champion. They discuss his run at Flushing Meadows and his great season.

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Dave “Koz” Kozlowski is the host of “Inside Tennis With The Koz” one of Tennis Channel’s original show series now airing on www.indietennis.com. Koz is one of the initial 17 Master USPTA Professionals in the world. He was named the 2000 USTA Tennis Broadcaster of the Year. The 2001 National Pro of the Year has the distinction of being the first American tennis broadcaster to interview Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova.

Interview With Novak Djokovic

Tennis Ledger’s Dave ” Koz” Kozlowski of IndieTennis.com was in the interview rooms at the US Open, braving the rain and the crowds. TodayKoz gives us an interview with Novak Djokovic, the US Open Men’s runner-up. They discuss his run at Flushing Meadows.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Dave “Koz” Kozlowski is the host of “Inside Tennis With The Koz” one of Tennis Channel’s original show series now airing on www.indietennis.com. Koz is one of the initial 17 Master USPTA Professionals in the world. He was named the 2000 USTA Tennis Broadcaster of the Year. The 2001 National Pro of the Year has the distinction of being the first American tennis broadcaster to interview Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova.

Nadal’s Rise Comes As No Shock

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – As Rafael Nadal sat on the podium with his well-earned US Open Men’s Singles Trophy, a smile came over his face when he was asked the last English question of the night.

You see, Nadal is a huge soccer fan, and since he doesn’t play the sport, but rather watches it as a fan, the little kid in him came out when asked if Spain’s World Cup win was more special to him than any of his nine Grand Slam Titles.

“So when Spain won the World Cup was amazing,” said Nadal, who completed the career Grand Slam by beating Novak Djokovic, 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-2. “ I was crying like ‑‑ like today, maybe, no?  But is different feelings, but at the same time every feeling is unbelievable.  But is very difficult to compare.  Football is unbelievable.  You know how big is football in Spain, or maybe you don’t know, but we deserved that title.”

Frankly, Nadal deserved today’s title as much as his countrymen’s soccer crown. By becoming only the seventh player in history to achieve wins in all four majors, his rise to the top is complete.

Only a short time ago, the 24 year-old was considered a clay-court specialist, someone who could win Roland Garros every single year, but couldn’t do much in any of the other surfaces. Rather, that was Roger Federer’s turf. Sure he made the finals on the grass courts at Wimbledon in 2006 and 2007, but he couldn’t get over the edge with the Maestro.

Then something happened in 2008. Nadal started to catch up with the other surfaces. He reached the semis in Australia and a month after his fourth consecutive French Open win, he played a classic at Wimbledon, finally beating Federer in a five set classic 6-4 6-4 7-6 7-6 9-7 to break the barrier.

“In Wimbledon, is true I have to adjust a lot my game to play in Wimbledon,” he said. “But in my opinion, play in Wimbledon for me always wasn’t that bad, because one of the most important things on Wimbledon is the movements, and I think my movements are good to play well in that surface.”

Nadal always relied upon his speed. It allowed him to catch up to balls, but he lacked the big serve which he needed to dominate on the hard courts. Yet in 2009, he won Australia and many though that it would be the year of the Spanish bull.

Unfortunately though, it didn’t turn out that way.

“Last year I had a difficult year,” he said. “Well, I had a great year because when you win a Grand Slam and three Masters 1000 you have a great year, but is true the second half of the year was very difficult for me, have some personal problems, home, and after, I have a lot of injuries, here the abdominal, before, the knees.

“So, yeah, wasn’t an easy year.  But is, at the same time, for sure, is not good have these moments but live these moments but at the same time, yes, because after that, when you come back, you are ready to (through translation) value how difficult is win titles and how difficult is be there all the time, no?”

Even coming into 2010, Nadal didn’t seem the same when he came back from his injuries with Quarterfinal loss in Australia.

But he remained positive and as he got healthy, something very interesting happened. As Rafa rose, Federer may have lost a bit of a step at age 28, allowing his Spanish rival to take his customary French Open title, and then Wimbledon.

But the US Open remained the one missing piece to the puzzle.

So coming in, Nadal made changes to his grip on his serve, giving him an extra 12 to 15 miles per hour on his shot and a true determination to make this his year at the Open.

“So always when you are playing well and when you are in the right moment with big confidence, seems like you improved a lot,” he said.  “But, you know, there are moments when you are not playing that good, when you lose your confidence, you lose matches, and seems like you are not playing that good and you forgot to play tennis.  It’s not like this, and it is not like this I improved a lot since 2009.  I think I improved my tennis a little bit but is not a radical change, no?

“Sure, to win in here in the US Open I think is the more difficult tournament for me to play, more difficult conditions to adapt, to adjust my game on this court, for the balls, for the court, for everything, no?”

Yes it was. And now that he achieved it, Nadal has the enviable task of being on top, something Federer did with grace for almost a decade. But, something says this talented young man will pass that test with flying colors as well. Because he specialty is still clay, and Paris is home to five of his nine Grand Slam title, he still will be able to dominate the competition there, especially now with his new found skills on other surfaces.

And even though, he still has a ways to go to catch Federer’s 16 major titles – and counting – with a little luck for his health, Nadal could become the greatest of all time before everything is said and done.

Right now, though, the Spaniard is just looking ahead to the rest of the season and one other goal he has for his career.

“But my goal remains for me that the Masters Cup is the big, yeah, probably the last big tournament that I didn’t win,” he said.  “That’s true is the most difficult title for me to win, because we play it in indoor, and when indoor, indoor very quick surface, so going to be always very difficult if we don’t change that.

“But at the same time is a challenge for me to keep improving to have the chance to play well there and to have the chance to win.  So that’s what I going to try this year.  For me right now the next goal is try to finish the season much better than what I did in other years.”

Spoken like a true champion.

Wawrinka Wins A War Over Querrey

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Dancing behind the baseline like a man ready to burst out of the blocks, Stanislas Wawrinka could see the finish line as clearly as the service line in front of him. Wawrinka and Sam Querrey engaged in a four hour, 28-minute duel on Arthur Ashe Stadium Court this afternoon. In the end, Wawrinka withstood Querrey’s mammoth forehand and the pressure of the moment with some sustained forward thinking and fast feet.

Chipping and charging on his second match point, Wawrinka knifed a sharp backhand volley winner to complete a 7-6(9), 6-7(5), 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 victory over the 20th-seeded Querrey and advance to his first career major quarterfinal in a win that eradicates American hopes and ensures there will be a European US Open men’s champion.

There is now no US in the US Open men’s singles as Wawrinka took down the last American man standing. It marks the second straight year there will be no American man in the quarterfinals. It happened for the first time in Open Era history last year.

Switzerland, a nation about the size of Massachusetts and New Jersey combined, has two men in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in Open Era history. Wawrinka joins five-time US Open champion Roger Federer in giving Switzerland two of the last eight men in the field.

While Querrey gave a valiant effort in a magnificent marathon match, Wawrinka pounced when Querrey blinked.

“For sure it is an amazing match to finish here against Querrey, who is a great player,” Wawrinka said. “It’s crazy. I was just trying to fight for every point. I’m very very happy to be in the quarterfinals.”

Querrey, who has never come back from a two set to one deficit to win a Grand Slam match, played with patience and power in converting his seventh set point to level the match at two sets apiece.

Blasting a bullet serve into the body that Wawrinka could only fend off with his frame, Querrey collected his seventh set point then smacked his 17th ace wide to level the match after three hours, 36 minutes of play.

Wawrinka has the weathered, leathery face of a fighter and the burly upper body and strong shoulders of a bouncer, enabling him to turn his torso into his one-handed backhand that is one of the most brilliant shots in the sport. For all his physical gifts, the knock on Wawrinka in the past was his tendency to go soft at crunch time.

Working with new coach Peter Lundgren, who guided Roger Federer and Marat Safin to Grand Slam titles and was trading confident fist-bumps with his friend in the player box at match point moment today, Wawrinka has become a much more confident and aggressive player seeking to step into his shots and impose pressure on opponents by getting to the front court.

Rich Pagliaro is the editor of TennisNow.com.

“The Koz” Interviews Jack Sock

gamblingTennis Ledger is proud to offer our readers a new partnership with Dave “The Koz” Kozlowski of IndieTennis.com. Today The Koz gives us sound with JACK SOCK, a 17 yr old from Lincoln, NE.  He just won USTA Boys 18 in Kalamazoo and a direct entry into US Open Men’s Main Draw.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Dave “Koz” Kozlowski is the host of “Inside Tennis With The Koz” one of Tennis Channel’s original show series now airing on www.indietennis.com. Koz is one of the initial 17 Master USPTA Professionals in the world. He was named the 2000 USTA Tennis Broadcaster of the Year. The 2001 National Pro of the Year has the distinction of being the first American tennis broadcaster to interview Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova.