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.

U.S. prospect Kratzer provisionally suspended

Ashley Kratzer argues a call during her loss to former
Stanford star Nicole Gibbs in the semifinals of the 2018
Berkeley (Calif.) Challenger. Photo by Paul Bauman
   On July 23, 2017, Ashley Kratzer faced Sofia Kenin in the final of the $60,000 Stockton (Calif.) Challenger.
   Kenin, seeded fourth, needed only 65 minutes to demolish Kratzer, a wild card, 6-0, 6-1 in a matchup of 18-year-old Americans.
   Since then, their careers have gone in opposite directions.
   Kenin, who compensates for her relatively small size (5-foot-7 or 1.70 meters) with tenacity, has vaulted to No. 4 in the world and No. 1 in the United States. She marched to the Australian Open title as the 14th seed in January for her first Grand Slam title.
   Kratzer, who's 5-foot-11 (1.80 meters) and left-handed but volatile on the court, is ranked No. 498. She was charged with an anti-doping violation on March 18 and provisionally suspended on March 27.
   Kratzer tested positive for a growth hormone at a $125,000 WTA tournament in her hometown of Newport Beach, Calif., in late January. She can appeal but had not as of March 27.
   The length of the suspension has not been announced.
   Kenin and Kratzer won the USTA Girls 18 National Championships in San Diego in 2015 and 2017, respectively.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Wimbledon canceled for first time in 75 years

Roger Federer tweeted "Devastated" after Wimbledon, which he has won eight
times, was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. 2017 photo by Mal Taam
   Tennis suffered its biggest blow of the coronavirus pandemic when Wimbledon was canceled today.
   It's the first time the tournament has been canceled in 75 years and the first time Wimbledon will not be played during peacetime since it began in 1877. 
   "Devastated," tweeted eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer, who on Monday posted a video of himself hitting trick shots against a backboard in the snow after having arthroscopic knee surgery on Feb. 19.
   Wimbledon had been scheduled for June 29 to July 12. Next year's tournament is set for July 28 to July 11. Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics also announced Monday that the games, scheduled for July 24 to Aug. 9, would be pushed back to the same time slot in 2021.
Simona Halep, shown at Indian Wells in 2015, will
have an extra year to defend her Wimbledon title.
Photo by Mal Taam
   "So sad to hear @Wimbledon won't take place this year," women's defending champion Simona Halep tweeted. "Last year's final will forever be one of the happiest days of my life! But we are going through something bigger than tennis and Wimbledon will be back! And it means I have even longer to look forward to defending my title."
   The ATP and WTA also jointly announced that all events have been canceled through July 13, wiping out the grass-court season. The International Tennis Federation made the same decision.
   All England Club officials declined to postpone the tournament because staff, supplies and services would be unavailable and the condition of the grass would be inadequate. The club also ruled out playing the tournament without spectators.
   The All England Club is insured against cancellation, sources told ESPN. Wimbledon had been canceled only because of World War I (1915-18) and World War II (1940-45).
   The U.S. Open remains scheduled for Aug. 31 to Sept. 13. However, ESPN tennis commentator Patrick McEnroe, interviewed on the network today, estimated the chances of that happening at less than 50 percent.
   McEnroe, a 53-year-old Stanford graduate and resident of Bronxville, N.Y., in the New York area, announced Tuesday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus but feels fine.
   Organizers of the French Open announced on March 17 the postponement of the tournament from May 24-June 7 to Sept. 20-Oct. 4. The unilateral move angered many players, including Vasek Pospisil of Canada.
   "This is madness," tweeted 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"