All Things 2022 Tennis Thread

BleedGopher

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Serena hasn't played since last Wimbledon so hard to imagine she'll have a deep run, but this is great to see regardless. Anything we get from her, Venus or Federer is gravy at this point. Of course would love to see any of the three get one last Slam title, but hard to see it at this point. I wouldn't be surprised if Venus and Serena announce ahead of time that this year's US Open will be their last tournament.

Per CNN:

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams will make her much-anticipated return to the grass courts of SW19 when the tournament kicks off later this month, after being handed a wild card entry to arguably the most famous tennis tournament in the world.

Williams will compete in ladies' singles, according to an announcement from Wimbledon Tuesday.

The American also hinted at the highly anticipated news: "SW and SW19," Williams posted on Instagram Tuesday. "It's a date. 2022, see you there." SW19 is the postcode district in Southwest London incorporating Wimbledon, among other boroughs.

The social media post showed her standing on a grass court with white sneakers on.

Williams has not played competitively since an injury forced her to retire in a first-round match at Wimbledon last year.


Go Serena!!
 

BleedGopher

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Well Kyrgios has been the big story at the Fortnight, he's far and away the most entertaining and controversial player on the tour. His win over Tsitsipas was one of the best and entertaining matches I've seen in a long time.

Then news breaks today that he's facing assault charges in Australia and could face two years in jail.

Oof.

Meanwhile Novak was down 2 sets to Sinner this morning and calmly and casually forces a 5th set.

Go USA!!
 

BleedGopher

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Nadal does it again, despite numerous injuries he guts out a big and tough win over Taylor Fritz. I hope this isn't Fritz's last big opportunity (he's still young) but he sure blew a chance of a lifetime. Back to Nadal though, I can't name a current athlete who is stronger mentally than he is.

And now he'll face Kyrgios who looked great today. It will be an epic semifinal.

Go USA!!
 

BleedGopher

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A shame, Nadal is such a warrior.


Go Nadal!!
 

Ski U Mah Gopher

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Go Cameron Norrie...

Save us from a Kyrgios vs Djokovic final.... maybe 2 of the most unlikable players.
 


mplarson7

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Maxime Cressy won the event in Newport. He'll be around world #33 when the rankings come out, up from around #150 at the same time last year. Impressive climb the last 12 months.
 

BleedGopher

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Per Axios Sports:

In sports, we celebrate the wins. But sometimes, there's beauty in the losses.

Driving the news: Venus Williams and Andy Murray both lost their first-round matches Monday at the Citi Open, an annual hardcourt tournament in Washington, D.C.

  • Williams, 42, got off to a promising start in her first singles match in 12 months but faded down the stretch in a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 loss to Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino.
  • Murray, 35, whose intense injury struggles have been well-documented, ran out of punches in a rollercoaster 7-5 (8), 4-6, 6-1 loss to Sweden's Mikael Ymer.
The big picture: Williams and Murray — two legends far removed from their Grand Slam-winning days — continue to play tennis because they love it. Rather than retire, as many predicted they would by now, they continue to pour themselves into a game that gives them happiness.

  • "I love this sport," Murray told WashPost when asked what compels him to keep grinding on a surgically-repaired metal hip. "That's essentially why I am back and why I wanted to keep going: because I love the sport."
  • Williams surprised fans when she played mixed doubles at Wimbledon this summer. That wasn't the plan when she arrived, but Venus was inspired by her sister's comeback and "saw the grass and got excited." Love of the sport.
The bottom line: Sometimes, amid the winners and the losers and the press conferences and the rankings, sports is about people doing something they love. And not giving up until the wheels fall off.

Go USA!!
 





BleedGopher

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Remember the name Ben Shelton, he’s one of the fastest rising young American men and had a HUGE upset today over Ruud. Shelton was a freshman this past year at Florida where helped lead the Gators to a national title with Shelton’s Dad as the HC.

The future is very bright for American men.


Go USA!!
 

BleedGopher

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Smart move, the kid is ready.


Go Ben Shelton!!
 


BleedGopher

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Ben Shelton is poised to be the next big thing in American men's tennis​

A week before the US Open, Shelton is at his parents' house in Gainesville when he pops on a Zoom call. He grins when I congratulate him on his recent success, and even on video the goofy and laid-back approach he shows on the court is immediately apparent.

A lot has changed for him in the past few weeks. He won $84,000 after his second-round win against Ruud, which he can now accept. He is about to move into a one-bedroom apartment in Gainesville, which will still be his home base. But now that he has turned pro, Shelton will have to travel a lot more -- particularly abroad -- in the coming months. He will continue his college education online.

Bryan Shelton, who will stay behind to coach at the University of Florida, will still be his primary coach, but Ben will also work with a traveling coach (USTA's Dean Goldfine) during his away tournaments. He has signed with Roger Federer's management firm, TEAM8. Alessandro Sant Albano, Coco Gauff's agent, is his agent. His ranking, which was 1,829 last July, is now 171.

"With the momentum I have going right now, it's a good time for me to [go pro] so I don't have to take a six-month block of not playing pro tournaments to do the college season," Shelton says. "It's important that I continue playing these caliber of players." It will be an adjustment, traveling and dealing with the loneliness of the road, but Shelton says he has a solid foundation and is ready for the next step.


Last year, he played in the US Open qualifiers, winning the first match before losing to current world No. 23 Botic van de Zandschulp. This year, the USTA awarded him a wild card to the main draw. He knows it's tradition for NCAA champions to get a wild card, but it was still thrilling to see his name in the main draw list.

"I hope I'm going in the right direction," he says.

Shelton wants to be a top 10 player, he wants to go deep in the Grand Slams, he says. Some experts are saying that Ben Shelton is going to save American tennis. That he could become the first American man to win a major title since Roddick won the US Open in 2003. When asked what he thinks about this, he smiles and shakes his head.

"American men's tennis is in a very good place as it is," he says. "I am happy to hopefully help."


Go Ben Shelton!!
 



BleedGopher

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Obviously the story of Day 1 at the Open was Serena. Very happy she got through, second round will be tough.

But another really cool story is Brandon Holt, who is the son of Tracy Austin. He's been battling through the Challenger Tour, then he had a tumor on his playing hand that had to be removed and almost cost him his career...he fought through that, won 3 matches in qualifiers to get into first main draw of a Slam and he upset his friend #10 Taylor Fritz!!!!

Here's a great story on his recovery and Tracy's impact on him:


Go Brandon Holt!!
 

BleedGopher

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Solid career, albeit one he often underachieved. Best of luck in the next chapter!


Go USA!!
 

Ope3

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Obviously the story of Day 1 at the Open was Serena. Very happy she got through, second round will be tough.

But another really cool story is Brandon Holt, who is the son of Tracy Austin. He's been battling through the Challenger Tour, then he had a tumor on his playing hand that had to be removed and almost cost him his career...he fought through that, won 3 matches in qualifiers to get into first main draw of a Slam and he upset his friend #10 Taylor Fritz!!!!

Here's a great story on his recovery and Tracy's impact on him:


Go Brandon Holt!!
My favorite sidebar from the Serena Williams match was brought up on PTI yesterday. Iron Mike Tyson and Martina Navratilova sat next to each other to cheer Serena on.


New power couple?!?
 

BleedGopher

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My favorite sidebar from the Serena Williams match was brought up on PTI yesterday. Iron Mike Tyson and Martina Navratilova sat next to each other to cheer Serena on.


New power couple?!?

Quite the odd couple!! Believe it or not, but Iron Mike is a big tennis fan. He's long had a tattoo of my guy Arthur Ashe on his shoulder, and Mike's daughter plays on the competitive junior tennis circuit. My son played in a tournament at the same location as his daughter was playing in the girls side of the tournament last month in Texas. Tyson's wife was at this tournament, but apparently he goes to many of his daughter's tournaments and by all accounts is a very supportive sports parent, who will take pics with kids in the tournament when his daughter is not playing.

I imagine tonight's Serena match will be another star studded crowd as this will likely be her last career singles match.

Go Serena!!
 

BleedGopher

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Per Axios Sports:

Serena Williams’ farewell tour during the U.S. Open is generating big TV ratings for ESPN.

The Worldwide Leader’s coverage of Williams’ straight-sets victory over Danka Kovinic on Monday night averaged 2.7 million viewers — nearly four times the viewership ESPN earned in the comparable primetime window in 2021.

It sets the stage for another big number Wednesday night as Williams takes on No. 2 seed Anna Kontaveit.

The frenzy surrounding the 23-time Grand Slam winner’s expected final tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center generated enormous numbers all day for ESPN.
  • Viewership for Williams’ Monday night match peaked at 3.2 million between 9-9:15 p.m. ET. ESPN Digital Properties totaled 2 million unique users — the most-trafficked first day of a U.S. Open.
  • ESPN averaged a record 1.7 million viewers for “Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM” from 7 p.m.-12:03 a.m. ET. — up 279% from last year and 40% from the previous high in 2019.
  • The combined total day average of 843,000 viewers was up 4% from the previous U.S. Open best of 819,000 in 2019.

ESPN’s Ace​

ESPN signed an 11-year, $770 million deal with USTA in 2013 for broadcasting rights to the U.S. Open. CBS, which held the rights for more than 45 years, had turned down a deal reportedly worth an annual $30 million.

Go Serena!!
 

Ope3

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Per Axios Sports:

Serena Williams’ farewell tour during the U.S. Open is generating big TV ratings for ESPN.

The Worldwide Leader’s coverage of Williams’ straight-sets victory over Danka Kovinic on Monday night averaged 2.7 million viewers — nearly four times the viewership ESPN earned in the comparable primetime window in 2021.

It sets the stage for another big number Wednesday night as Williams takes on No. 2 seed Anna Kontaveit.

The frenzy surrounding the 23-time Grand Slam winner’s expected final tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center generated enormous numbers all day for ESPN.
  • Viewership for Williams’ Monday night match peaked at 3.2 million between 9-9:15 p.m. ET. ESPN Digital Properties totaled 2 million unique users — the most-trafficked first day of a U.S. Open.
  • ESPN averaged a record 1.7 million viewers for “Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM” from 7 p.m.-12:03 a.m. ET. — up 279% from last year and 40% from the previous high in 2019.
  • The combined total day average of 843,000 viewers was up 4% from the previous U.S. Open best of 819,000 in 2019.

ESPN’s Ace​

ESPN signed an 11-year, $770 million deal with USTA in 2013 for broadcasting rights to the U.S. Open. CBS, which held the rights for more than 45 years, had turned down a deal reportedly worth an annual $30 million.

Go Serena!!

Just for personal reference, I would venture to guess the last time I watched a 1st Round Match in the US Open it was probably Jimmy Connors. Maybe Agassi.
 

Frink

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Excellent win for Serena tonight.

Caught the fourth set of Nadal vs some dude from Australia, Hajikata or something. There really wasn't a doubt Nadal would win but give the other guy credit, he made Nadal elevate his game. It was a very, very entertaining set.
 


BleedGopher

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Amazing performance from Tiafoe today. What an absolutely huge win for him. I hope he can keep it going, his breakthrough is huge for American tennis.

A Tiafoe/Kyrgios final would be epic.

And same with Coco, so great seeing her emerge.

We are seeing a passing of the torch of sorts and the Americans are right in the mix.

Go USA!!
 

BleedGopher

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Cilic is now the last remaining major champion left in the men's draw. If he loses to the heavily favored Alcaraz, it will be only the third time in the Open era (since 1968) that a men's major tournament has a quarterfinal lineup without an ex-champion, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Go USA!!
 

mplarson7

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That Tiafoe win over Nadal was so huge...biggest win for an American since I don't even know when.
 


BleedGopher

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This point is incredible, the amount of court Alcarez covers is insanity.


Go USA!!
 


Gopher_In_NYC

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Here are the highlights:


Go Tiafoe!!

At Ashe today watching Tiafoe and Rublev and should be fun. Sablenka gave us a great starter.

The Open is a great live event and is run impeccably welli and expensive as heck - we’re in the first row of the third deck and they cost $270 with 15 beers and $12 burgers - definitely bucket worthy. My third time in the20 years I’ve lived here
 

BleedGopher

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At Ashe today watching Tiafoe and Rublev and should be fun. Sablenka gave us a great starter.

The Open is a great live event and is run impeccably welli and expensive as heck - we’re in the first row of the third deck and they cost $270 with 15 beers and $12 burgers - definitely bucket worthy. My third time in the20 years I’ve lived here

NICE!! Enjoy the day and bring home a Tiafoe win!!

Go Tiafoe!!
 





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