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.