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ATP South African Tennis Open cancelled after not finding enough sponsors

After just three years of existence, the ATP South African Tennis Open in Johannesburg has been cancelled because tournament officials were not able to find enough sponsors. After making a last-ditch effort to hold the tournament again in 2012, South African Tennis Association officials realized that will not be made possible. Tournament officials will press the ATP World Tour to try and get the tournament back on the ATP calendar in 2013.We will continue to pursue talks with the ATP and every effort will be made to restore the status quo – or something similar – in 2013,” said Ian Smith, CEO of the South African Tennis Association.

Forest Hills Tennis Stadium at West Side Tennis Club loses bid to be a landmark

New York City has denied landmark status to the 15,000-seat Forest Hills tennis stadium at the West Side Tennis Club, a structure that hosted the US Open Tennis Championships for 62 years and concerts including the Beatles, Frank Sinatra and the Rolling Stones. Landmark supporters received a brief email from the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission last Tuesday stating that, while the stadium has “some historic significance,” it will not be considered because of the “deteriorated state of the building’s architectural features.” The stadium — which occupies about 2.4 acres within the West Side Tennis Club, a private center in one of the city’s most exclusive enclaves — has already come extremely close to a severe makeover. In September, members of the club narrowly rejected plans to sell the stadium for about $9 million to a developer, Cord Meyer, which sought to build condominiums and a pool. The plans called for incorporating the stadium’s distinctive arches into the development, but that was little comfort for many nostalgic tennis fans disturbed at the thought of condominium dwellers watching television or doing dishes over the once-hallowed courts. The US Open moved to Flushing Meadows in 1978. Some people say the move heralded the beginning of the stadium’s gradual decline.

South Africa ATP Tour cancelled

Kiawah Island Resort named No. 1 tennis resort in the world again

For the fifth time in six years, readers of the leading on-line tennis travel website, TennisResortsOnline.com has named Kiawah Island Golf Resort as the No. 1 tennis resort in the world and ranked No. 1 in Instruction and Programs. The rankings are based on the overall tennis program including instruction, teaching staff, facilities, as well as other resort facilities such as lodging, cuisine, service and value. The tennis program at Kiawah Island has been under the direction of Roy Barth since 1976. Barth was a former ATP player, who was named the Professional Tennis Registry Pro of the Year in 1997, while also being inducted into the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999. Barth is currently the Chairman of the United States Tennis Association Davis Cup Committee and on the Board of Directors for the Professional Tennis Registry. For more information on Kiawah Island Golf Resort, visit kiawahresort.com or call 800-654-2924.

Li hires Denmark Fed Cup coach as her new coach

Li Na has appointed Denmark Fed Cup coach Michael Mortensen as her new coach, even though it meant dropping her husband Jiang Shan as her coach. The reason for the change was due to a lack of confidence according to the 2011 Australian Open finalist. “My confidence was low and I felt I had to change my coach,” said Li Na. The 29-year-old Chinese star had lost four-straight first round matches before making Mortensen her new coach. “The relationship has been good. We’re communicating well and he’s told me to trust myself.”

Soderling parts ways with coach Claudio Pistolesi

World No. 5 Robin Soderling has split with coach Claudio Pistolesi according to reports by Eurosport. Last year, the Swede parted ways with longtime coach Magnus Norman. Soderling, who saved a match point in his win over Fernando Verdasco on Tuesday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, is currently looking for a new full-time coach.

Kuznetsova splits from coach

World No. 13 Svetlana Kuznetsova has split from her coach Carlos Cuadrado, the Russian recently announced on her official website. The two-time Grand Slam singles champion will continue to work with coach Larissa Savchenko and her hitting partner, Alexander Krasnorutskiy.

Venus pulls out of next week’s Brussels Open

Venus Williams, who has not played a WTA Tour tournament since losing at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury, has announced that she will not participate in next week’s Brussels Open. Williams has yet to announce her plans for the French Open, which begins on May 22.

Del Potro doubtful for French Open after suffering muscle tear

According to reports from La Nacion, 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro has suffered an eight-millimeter tear in his left rectus muscle and is doubtful for the upcoming French Open in Paris. The Argentine suffered the tear last week at the Mutua Madrid Open in Spain.

Nalbandian to miss French Open

Former world No. 3 and 2002 Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian will not compete at this year’s French Open due to setbacks from recent hernia surgery and a muscle injury. Bernardo Ballero, the spokesman for Nalbandian, told The Associated Press that the Argentine is “not right physically.” Nalbandian, who is a former two-time French Open semifinalist, is aiming for a return to competitive tennis at the Queen’s Club event in London.

Hewitt to play in French Open according to coach Tony Roche

Former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt will play through pain and participate in the upcoming French Open in Paris according to his coach Tony Roche. Hewitt has not played competitively for over two months due to foot surgery that he underwent in March.

Koubek retires from ATP World Tour

Stefan Koubek, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 20 in March 2000, has officially announced his retirement from the ATP World Tour. Koubek won three singles titles on the ATP World Tour, while playing 13 seasons of Davis Cup for Austria. The 34-year-old reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in 2000 and the fourth round at Roland Garros in 1999. The Austrian earned several impressive victories throughout his career including wins over Fernando Gonzalez, James Blake, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski. “I wanted to play Roland Garros and Wimbledon one more time but I won’t make it,” said Koubek. “Once you’ve decided to quit, you lose your motivation.” Currently ranked No. 283 on the South African Airways ATP Rankings, Koubek will officially end his professional tennis career in an exhibition match on July 30.


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About Justin Cohen
Justin Cohen is a graduate of Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Specialization in Journalism and was a member of the varsity tennis team, where he and his teammates finished as the runner-up at the 2006 NCAA Division II Men’s Tennis Championships. Justin began writing his weekly column, “This Week in Tennis Business with Justin Cohen” in July 2009. The following month, he covered the ATP/WTA Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women’s Open in Cincinnati, Ohio interviewing most of the top ranked players in the world. A lifelong tennis enthusiast who has enjoyed traveling to many professional tennis tournaments, Justin has much experience in the tennis industry. Previously, he worked at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association in Princeton, New Jersey, and also completed summer internships in ticket sales at the ATP/WTA Tour Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women’s Open in Cincinnati and in marketing at the Tennis Channel in Los Angeles.

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