Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Patrick McEnroe tests positive for coronavirus

   Patrick McEnroe, an ESPN tennis commentator who graduated from Stanford and starred on the pro doubles circuit, said today that he tested positive for coronavirus but feels fine.
   McEnroe, a 53-year-old resident of Bronxville, N.Y., in the New York area, said in a video posted on Twitter that he was tested at a drive-thru after he began feeling minor symptoms 10 or 11 days ago. He received the positive results this morning.
   "The good news is I feel fine. My symptoms have passed," said McEnroe, the younger brother of International Tennis Hall of Famer and fellow ESPN commentator John McEnroe. "I feel 100 percent."
   Patrick McEnroe said he has quarantined himself in his basement since the symptoms began.
   "We've been on full quarantine, our entire house, for well over two weeks," said McEnroe, who's married with three daughters. "I encourage everyone to do the same. Let's get this thing. Let's nail this thing. I'm an example of someone who has been able to fight through it. I'm doing absolutely fine. Thoughts and prayers to people who are struggling with this."
   Among U.S. states, New York has by far the most confirmed cases of coronavirus (75,795, according to cnn.com) and deaths (1,550). New Jersey is next with 18,696 and 267, respectively.
   Sixteen miles south of Bronxville, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., is being converted to an emergency hospital as other facilities are overwhelmed with patients.
   In Tokyo, Olympic organizers announced Monday that the games will be held July 23-Aug. 8, 2021, the same time slot as originally scheduled this year.
   McEnroe helped Stanford win the 1986 and 1988 NCAA team titles. On the pro tour, he reached career highs of No. 28 in singles and No. 3 in doubles.
   McEnroe won 16 tour-level doubles titles, including the 1989 French Open with former Stanford teammate Jim Grabb.
   McEnroe's best Grand Slam singles result came in the 1991 Australian Open as he surprisingly reached the semifinals. He also advanced to the doubles final with David Wheaton, another ex-Stanford teammate.
   Commenting on the 1991 Australian Open singles semifinalists, McEnroe uttered one of the great lines in tennis history. He quipped to the media: "It's just like you all expected: Edberg, Lendl, McEnroe and Becker."

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Summer Olympics postponed until 2021

   The 2020 Summer Olympics have been postponed "to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021" because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee announced today.
   The Olympic tennis competition was scheduled for July 25-Aug. 2 at Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo.
   This is the first time the Olympics have been postponed. They were canceled because of war in 1916, 1940 and 1944.
   The ATP, WTA and ITF last week announced the suspension of their tours until at least June 7.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

ATP, WTA suspend tournaments through June 7

   This spring's professional clay-court swing was wiped out today.
   The ATP and WTA extended the suspension of their tours through June 7 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
   Affected are combined ATP/WTA tournaments in Madrid and Rome, WTA events in Strasbourg and Rabat, and ATP events in Munich, Estoril, Geneva and Lyon.
   Also suspended through June 7 are ATP Challenger tournaments and the ITF World Tennis Tour.
   The French Tennis Federation announced Tuesday that Roland Garros will be moved from May 24-June 7 to Sept. 20-Oct. 4, one week after the U.S. Open.
   ATP and WTA rankings will be frozen indefinitely.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

French Open moved to one week after U.S. Open

Vasek Pospisil said moving the French Open to one week after the U.S. Open
"is madness." 2017 photo by Mal Taam
   The French Open today became the first Grand Slam tournament to be affected by the conoravirus pandemic.
   The French Tennis Federation announced that Roland Garros will move from May 24-June 7 to Sept. 20-Oct. 4.
   Federation president Bernard Giudicelli called it "a difficult yet brave decision in this unprecedented situation."
   The new dates put the clay-court French Open one week after the hard-court U.S. Open, Aug. 31-Sept. 13, and conflict with:
   –Several WTA and ATP tournaments in Asia and Europe.
   –The Laver Cup, Sept. 25-27 in Boston.
   –A combined men's and women's tournament in the Oracle Pro Series at Stanford (Sept. 21-27).
   –A men's Challenger in Tiburon, Calif. (Sept. 28-Oct. 4).
   "This is madness," tweeted Canadian pro Vasek Pospisil, a member of the ATP Player Council. "Major announcement by Roland Garros changing the dates to one week after the U.S. Open. No communication with the players or the ATP .. we have ZERO say in this sport. It's time. #UniteThePlayers"
   Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympic tennis event remain scheduled for June 29-July 12 and July 25-Aug. 2, respectively.
   "While we continue to plan for The Championships at this time," Richard Lewis, the chief executive of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, commented on wimbledon.com, "it remains a continuously evolving situation and we will act responsibly, in the best interests of wider society."
   The International Olympic Committee said on olympic.org that it will "protect the health of everyone involved" and "continue to monitor the situation 24/7."

Monday, March 16, 2020

WTA suspends tour until at least May 2

   The WTA announced today that it has suspended the women's tour until at least May 2 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
   The suspensions affect clay-court tournaments in Stuttgart, Istanbul and Prague.
   The WTA said in a news release that it will decide this week about the remaining European clay-court tournaments: Madrid (May 4-10), Rome (May 11-17), and Nuremberg and Strasbourg (May 18-24). The French Open is scheduled for May 24-June 7.
   Last week, the ATP suspended the men's tour for six weeks.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

ATP, WTA events suspended; Cal men's season canceled

   The Association of Tennis Professionals today suspended the men's tour for six weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.
   Peter Wright, the men's tennis coach at the University of California, Berkeley, announced tonight that the remainder of the Bears' season and the NCAA Championships for all spring sports have been canceled.
   The ATP announcement came four days after the BNP Paribas Open, considered the "fifth Grand Slam," in Indian Wells, Calif., was abruptly called off.
   Today's decision affects tournaments in Houston, Marrakech, Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Budapest in addition to the Miami Open, a men's and women's tournament scheduled for March 23-April 5 that also was suspended.
   The WTA, meanwhile, canceled tournaments in Guadalajara, originally scheduled for next week, and tourneys in Bogota and Charleston, S.C., which had been set for the week of April 6.
   WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon said in a statement that decisions on the European clay-court season would be made in the next week.
   Also, the International Tennis Federation announced today that it is suspending play until April 20 at the earliest. Therefore, the Fed Cup Finals, originally scheduled for April 24-15 in Budapest and Fed Cup playoffs, which had been set for April 17-18 at eight locations around the world, were postponed indefinitely.
   As of now, Peter Bodo of espn.com reported, the next men's or women's tournament still scheduled is a WTA event on clay in Stuttgart, beginning April 20.
   The fates of the French Open (May 24-June 7) and Wimbledon (June 29-July 12) are uncertain.
   The prestigious Easter Bowl junior tournament, originally scheduled for March 28-April 5 in Indian Wells, was called off.

Monday, March 9, 2020

BNP Paribas Open called off because of coronavirus

Dominic Thiem hoists the trophy after defeating Roger Federer in last year's
BNP Paribas Open. Also shown are Ted Mertens (far left), then the mayor of
Indian Wells, Calif.; Jean-Yves Fillion (second from left), the CEO of BNP
Paribas USA; and tournament director Tommy Haas (behind Thiem). Photo
by Mal Taam 
   The BNP Paribas Open, considered the "fifth Grand Slam," was called off on Sunday night because of the coronavirus pandemic.
   Officials canceled or indefinitely postponed the tournament, scheduled for today through March 22 in Indian Wells, Calif., after a confirmed case of coronavirus led Riverside County to declare a public health emergency.
   "There is too great a risk, at this time, to the public health of the Riverside County area in holding a large gathering," said Dr. David Agus, a professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at USC. "It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighboring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak."
   Many elderly people, the most vulnerable group, live in the Palm Springs area, where the tournament is located, because of its warm winters.
   Tournament director Tommy Haas said he and his staff are exploring alternative dates this year.
   Patrons who have purchased tickets directly from the BNP Paribas Open may request a refund or a credit for the 2021 tournament at bnpparibasopen.com/coronavirus.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Stanford women's conference win streak ends at 38

   The Stanford women lost a Pacific-12 Conference match for the first time in almost exactly four years on Saturday.
   The No. 9 Cardinal fell to No. 3 UCLA 4-1 at Taube Family Tennis Stadium, snapping the Cardinal's conference winning streak at 38 matches.
   Stanford (10-2, 1-1), which has won the last two NCAA team titles and three of the last four, hadn't lost to a Pac-12 opponent in the regular season since a 4-3 decision at Arizona State on March 5, 2016.
   The Cardinal's Angelica Blake, a freshman from Boca Raton, Fla., tied the score against UCLA 1-1 with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over No. 17 Jada Hart on Court 3.
   No. 12 Michaela Gordon, a Stanford junior from Saratoga in the San Francisco Bay Area, led No. 9 Elysia Bolton 4-6, 6-2, 4-1 on Court 1 when the match was abandoned.
   Both of the Cardinal's losses this season have come against UCLA (12-1, 2-0), which has won five matches in a row. The Bruins routed Stanford 4-0 on Feb. 9 in the semifinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Chicago.
   Cal women – The No. 21 Bears defeated No. 37 USC 6-1 in Berkeley, Calif., on Saturday to improve to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-12. The Women of Troy fell to 7-6 and 0-2.
   No. 27 Angela Kulikov of USC outlasted No. 15 Haley Giavara, a freshman from San Diego, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 on Court 1 in the last match.
   College men – No. 7 seeds Ben Draper and Bjorn Hoffmann of Cal lost to brothers Tanner Smith and Colter Smith of Long Beach, Calif., 6-4, 6-7 (5) [13-11] today in the semifinals of the 131st Annual Pacific Coast Men's Doubles Championship in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla, Calif.
   Draper and Hoffman beat 10th-seeded Filip Kolasinski and Alexandre Rotsaert of Stanford 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-1 in the fourth round on Friday.
   Kolasinski and Rotsaert ousted co-No. 1 seeds Keegan Smith and Johannes de Villiers (assistant coach) of UCLA in the third round.
   Co-No. 1 seeds Bradley Frye and Brandon Holt, the son of International Tennis Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, beat the Smith brothers 6-4, 6-3 for the title.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Bryans end Davis Cup career with win; U.S. advances

Bob Bryan, serving, and Mike Bryan finished 25-5 (.833)
in the Davis Cup to rank first in the United States and
tied for fourth overall in doubles wins. File photo by
Paul Bauman
   There are worse places to end your Davis Cup career than Honolulu.
   Especially with a clinching victory.
   Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, 41-year-old identical twins and former Stanford stars who plan to retire after the U.S. Open, defeated Sanjar Fayziev and Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-3, 6-4 in 67 minutes today to give the United States an insurmountable 3-0 lead in the best-of-five-match qualifier.
   Istomin, 33, and Fayziev, 25, are ranked No. 320 and No. 474 in doubles, respectively.
   It was the Bryans' first Davis Cup match together since an agonizing loss to Croatia in 2016 in Portland, Ore., where they had led the U.S. to the last of its record 32 championships in 2007.
   The Bryans could have given the Americans an unbeatable 3-0 lead against Croatia but lost to Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig in four sets. Croatia went on to stun the U.S. 3-2 for its first win after trailing 2-0.
   Bob Bryan underwent right hip surgery in August 2018 and returned at the beginning of 2019.   
   The United States will face an opponent to be determined in the Davis Cup Finals, Nov. 23-29 in Madrid. Uzbekistan will compete in World Group I in September.
   The Bryans, who made their Davis Cup debut in 2003, finished 25-5 (.833) to rank first in the U.S. and tied for fourth overall in doubles wins. They played on one Davis Cup championship team, going 4-0 in 2007.
   Istomin reached the final of the 2012 SAP Open in San Jose, losing to Milos Raonic.
   The Bryans, who grew up in Camarillo in the Los Angeles area and have won just about everything in tennis, ironically never won the title in San Jose, a 30-minute drive from Stanford. They played in one SAP Open final, losing to – in another irony – ex-Stanford stars Scott Lipsky and David Martin. The tournament ended after the 2013 edition, its 125th year in Northern California.
   College men – No. 10 seedes Filip Kolasinksi and Alexandre Rotsaert of Stanford ousted co-No. 1 seeds Keegan Smith and Johannes de Villiers (assistant coach) of UCLA 8-4 on Friday in the third round of Pacific Coast Men's Doubles in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla, Calif.
   College women – No. 2 UCLA edged No. 21 Cal 4-3 on Friday in Berkeley, Calif., in a Pacific-12 Conference opener. No. 113 Sasha Vagramov gave the Bruins an insurmountable 4-2 lead with a 6-2, 7-6 (5) victory over Jessica Zeynel on Court 6.
   No. 9 Stanford, which has won the last two NCAA team titles and three of the last four, blanked No. 37 USC 7-0 at Stanford on Friday.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

No. 13 Stanford men rally to stun No. 5 Ohio State

   The No. 13 Stanford men rallied from a big deficit to shock No. 5 Ohio State 4-3 today at Taube Family Tennis Center.
   Neel Rajesh, a freshman from Oyster Bay, N.Y., capped the Cardinal's comeback from a 3-1 deficit with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory over No. 78 James Trotter on Court 5.
   After Ohio State (13-3) led 2-0, No. 37 Axel Geller of Stanford (8-5) defeated No. 13 John McNally 7-5, 6-1 on Court 1.
   No. 14 Cannon Kingsley gave the Buckeyes a 3-1 lead with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over No. 7 Alexandre Rotsaert on Court 2.
   Freshman Filip Kolasinski of Poland started Stanford's comeback on Court 6, and junior Timothy Sah of San Diego tied the match 3-3.
   The Cardinal ended a four-match skid – all away from home against No. 1 USC, No. 4 Texas (twice) and No. 12 Texas Christian – while the Buckeyes suffered their third consecutive loss, also all on the road.
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