Tuesday, May 26, 2020

World TeamTennis to play full season at W.V. resort

Sofia Kenin, ranked fourth, headlines the World Team-
Tennis rosters this season. 2018 photo by Paul Bauman 
   World TeamTennis will play its entire season at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.V., the league announced today.
   The regular season is scheduled for July 12-30, and the four-team playoffs are set for Aug. 1-2. Play on the men's and women's pro tours has been suspended until at least Aug. 3.
   CBS will broadcast a WTT regular-season match on July 19 and the WTT Final on Aug. 2. CBS Sports Network will carry 13 regular-season matches and the Aug. 1 semifinals.
   WTT will play at least three matches per day at The Greenbrier's 2,500-seat outdoor stadium, and an indoor court will be installed as a backup. In accordance with state health guidelines, WTT will allow up to 500 fans to attend the outdoor matches.
   The nine-team league consists of the two-time defending champion Springfield (Mo.) Lasers, Las Vegas Rollers, Orange County Breakers, San Diego Aviators, New York Empire, Orlando Storm, Philadelphia Freedoms, Washington Kastles and expansion Chicago Smash.
   This season's players include:
   –Sofia Kenin (Philadelphia), the world No. 4 and reigning Australian Open champion.
   –Sloane Stephens (Chicago), the 2017 U.S. Open champion and 2018 French Open runner-up.
   –Grigor Dimitrov (Orange County), a three-time Grand Slam semifinalist.
   –Bob and Mike Bryan (Las Vegas), who have won a record 16 Grand Slam men's doubles titles.
   –Sam Querrey (Las Vegas), a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2017.
   –Tennys Sandgren (Orlando), a two-time Australian Open quarterfinalist.
   –Neal Skupski (New York), last year's WTT Male MVP.
   Kenin won Northern California Challengers in three consecutive years – Sacramento at 17 in 2016, Stockton and Berkeley.
   Stephens grew up in Fresno, the Bryan twins starred at Stanford in 1997 and 1998, and Querrey was born in San Francisco.
   The Bryans, Sandgren and Skupski played for the Sacramento area-based California Dream in 2015, the team's only year of existence.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Suspensions of men's, women's pro tours extended

Arthur Ashe Stadium looms over rows of subway trains in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
The U.S. Open, still scheduled for Aug. 31 to Sept. 13, could move to Orlando, Fla.,
or Indian Wells, or it could be canceled. File photo by Paul Bauman
   The suspension of the men's and women's professional tours today were extended to July 31 and July 12, respectively, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
   ATP tournaments in Hamburg, Bastad, Newport, Los Cabos, Gstaad, Umag, Atlanta and Kitzbuhel will not be held as scheduled. The ATP Challenger Tour and the ITF World Tennis Tour during that time also have been suspended.
   WTA tourneys in Bastad, Lausanne, Bucharest and Jurmala (Latvia) were canceled.
   Further updates are scheduled for mid-June (ATP) and June (WTA).
   The U.S. Open remains scheduled for Aug. 31 to Sept. 13 in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., and the French Open for Sept. 20 to Oct. 4. The French Tennis Federation announced on March 17 that Roland Garros would be moved from May 24-June 7 to one week after the U.S. Open.
   The New York Times reported Thursday that the U.S. Open could move from Flushing Meadows, N.Y., to the United States Tennis Association's 100-court training facility in Orlando, Fla., or to Indian Wells, the site of the BNP Paribas Open, but perhaps not in late summer.
   The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the site of the U.S. Open, is near the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the New York area.
   Cancellation of the two Grand Slam tournaments also is a strong possibility because so many people are needed to hold them and players would have to travel from all over the world.
   Last year's U.S. Open generated $400 million, more than 80 percent of the USTA's annual revenue, according to the Times. The tournament does not have cancellation insurance because of the prohibitive cost.
   Wimbledon, originally scheduled for June 29 to July 12, was canceled for the first time in 75 years on April 1. The Tokyo Olympics, which had been set for July 24 to Aug. 9, were postponed until summer 2021 on March 24.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Cal freshman Giavara named All-American in singles

Haley Giavara
Haley Giavara is ranked 15th
in singles. Photo courtesy of
Cal athletics
   Cal's Haley Giavara was one of three freshmen named as All-Americans in women's singles today by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
   Twenty women's singles players and 10 women's doubles teams were honored after the season was shortened because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The same number of men's players and teams received recognition. 
   The 15th-ranked Giavara, from San Diego, went 19-7 in singles with four victories over top-10 players. Other freshmen chosen were UCLA's Abigail Forbes and Virginia's Natasha Subhash.
   Also named in singles were 12th-ranked Michaela Gordon, a Stanford junior from nearby Saratoga, and 21st-ranked Mariia Kozyreva, a Saint Mary's junior from Russia. 
   It's the third consecutive year that Gordon has been selected as an All-American in singles. She also was picked in doubles as a freshman. Kozyreva was named for the first time in singles or doubles.
   On the men's side, Sam Riffice, a Florida sophomore who grew up in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville, was named an All-American in singles and doubles.
   Riffice is ranked fifth in singles and 19th in doubles. He also was chosen in singles last year.
   Seventh-ranked Alexandre Rotsaert, a Stanford sophomore from Boca Raton, Fla., was honored in singles. It's his first All-America recognition.

Monday, April 27, 2020

NorCal's Stevie Gould says coach sexually abused him

   Stevie Gould of Corte Madera in the San Francisco Bay Area recently told The New York Times that a prominent Bay Area coach sexually abused him.
   Gould, 19, said Normandie Burgos repeatedly abused him for two years, including at hotels during tournaments in other states.
   Gould added that when Burgos started to groom another, younger player for sex, "the light bulb went (on)" to report what was happening. Burgos, 56, was convicted last May of 60 counts of child molestation. He is serving a 255-year prison sentence.
   Gould, who's not related to legendary Stanford men's coach Dick Gould, signed to play at the University of Washington and transferred to the University of San Francisco.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Tiburon Challenger canceled because of pandemic

Tommy Paul, playing in the 2018 Tiburon (Calif.) Chal-
enger, won last year's singles title. Photo by Paul Bauman
   This year's Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, tournament organizers announced today.
   The Challenger had been scheduled for Sept. 28 to Oct. 4. Organizers plan to hold the tournament in 2021 on dates to be determined.
   Tommy Paul of Boca Raton, Fla., won last year's singles title, and Robert Galloway of Greenville, S.C., and Roberto Maytin of Venezuela took the doubles crown.
   Paul, 22, is ranked a career-high No. 57 (sixth in the United States) after missing three months last year with a left quadriceps/knee injury and five months in 2018 with a right elbow problem.
   Paul got off to a hot start this year before the tour was suspended in March. He reached the semifinals in Adelaide as a qualifier, the third round of the Australian Open and the quarterfinals in Acapulco as a qualifier. Paul then won his Davis Cup debut, routing veteran Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-3, 6-0 in the United States' 4-0 victory in Honolulu.
   In 2015, Paul joined John McEnroe (1977) and Bjorn Fratangelo (2011) as the only Americans to win the French Open boys singles title.

British coach to host free webinar on problem-solving

Coach David Sammel and Liam Broady, both of Great Britain,
pose at last month's Indian Wells Challenger just before the
professional tennis tours shut down because of the coronavirus
outbreak. Photo courtesy of David Sammel
   British coach David Sammel will conduct a free webinar on problem-solving on Sunday at 10 a.m. PDT (6 p.m. GMT).
   "You can change your mindset about problems, understand where problems come from and even lower your stress when faced with problems," Sammel wrote in a promotional email.
   The webinar, titled "Three Problem Machines and a Solution," will show participants how to:
   –Understand the purpose of problems.
   –Become adept at tackling problems.
   –Develop confidence to move past problems.
   –Avoid being overwhelmed by the size of a problem.
   –Become excited about solutions and quickly move forward.
   Here's how to register for Sunday's webinar and watch last month's free webinar on mental toughness.
   Sammel, a 58-year-old South Africa native with 30 years of coaching experience, co-founded Mindset College, an online program on the mental aspects of tennis. Designed to help athletes and coaches win more, it also applies to business leaders and parents.
   Sammel shows his insight and candor in several short, entertaining videos, including Chapel of Bull----, The One Thing, Quit or Carry On and Your Weakness Is as Important as Your Strength.
   Sammel coaches five professional players: Liam Broady of Great Britain and doubles standouts Marcus Daniell of New Zealand, Matwe Middlekoop of the Netherlands and Marcelo Demoliner of Brazil on the men's side and Samantha Murray Sharan (no relation to Andy Murray) of Great Britain on the women's side. All of the men have competed in the Davis Cup, and Sharan has played in the Fed Cup.
   Full disclosure: Enrolling in Mindset College helps support this website.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

British coach launches online program on mental side

British coach David Sammel poses with Billie Jean King
at the 2018 U.S. Open. Sammel has known Ilana Kloss,
King's partner, since they were children in South Africa.
Photo courtesy of David Sammel 
   Have you ever choked in a match?
   "The answer is 'yes' because everyone chokes," Mindset College co-founder David Sammel recently wrote in a webinar promotion. "The magic is in how you manage your mind to still perform when choking."
   Mental toughness is one of the topics Sammel, a top British coach with 30 years of experience, covers in Mindset College, a new online program designed to help athletes and coaches win more. It also applies to business leaders and parents.
   The program features:
   –Twelve monthly webinars.
   –Live interactive Q&A's plus access to replays forever.
   –A digital copy of Sammel's book, "Locker Room Power: Building an Athlete's Mind."
  –Access to Mindset College's private Facebook group.
   –Insights into world-class athletes with guest appearances.
   Sammel, a 58-year-old South Africa native, in insightful and blunt in several short, entertaining videos, including Chapel of Bull----, The One Thing, Quit or Carry On and Your Weakness is as Important as Your Strength.
   Sammel coaches five professional players: Liam Broady of Great Britain and doubles standouts Marcus Daniell of New Zealand, Matwe Middelkoop of the Netherlands and Marcelo Demoliner of Brazil on the men's side and Samantha Murray Sharan (no relation to Andy Murray) of Great Britain on the women's side. All of the men have competed in the Davis Cup, and Sharan has played in the Fed Cup.
   Broady, who was ranked second in the world in the juniors, has excelled in singles in Northern California Challengers. He reached the singles final in Aptos in 2017 as a qualifier and the quarterfinals in Stockton in 2018.
   Daniell has advanced to two Grand Slam doubles quarterfinals, including Wimbledon last year with Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands, and Middelkoop one. Middelkoop has won nine ATP doubles titles, Daniell four and Demoliner three.
   "Recently I was in South America and started with Matwe Middelkoop," Sammel recalled. "He said, 'How can you help me? I'm already a champion.' I loved the attitude, but after three weeks, he said, 'You're easily the best mental coach I've had. You've changed my perspective on so many things."
   Daniell, the doubles runner-up in Auckland in January with Philipp Oswald of Austria, has been ranked in the top 100 in doubles for more than five years.
   "I believe I wouldn't have continued for too much longer if (Sammel) hadn't seen something in me that made (him) want to snap me on to the right path," Daniell, 30, said in a testimonial. "I am truly grateful for (his) input and advice."
   Sharan is ranked No. 180 in singles.
   Sammel also coached Wesley Moodie after the South African won the Wimbledon doubles crown in 2005 with Stephen Huss of Australia. Moodie and Huss became the first qualifiers to accomplish the feat.
   "(It was) too late for my singles, but (Sammel) made my doubles career and the last two years of singles a lot more interesting and fun," Moodie, who retired in 2012, said in another testimonial. "I needed (him) out of college. I can't help but wonder what might have been."
   Full disclosure: Enrolling in Mindset College helps support this website.
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