By Justin Cohen
CBS Sports reports that 16.2 million people in the United States tuned in to the US Open on Monday to witness Brit Andy Murray capture his first Grand Slam title with a five-set victory over defending champion Novak Djokovic, which was a 2.3 television rating. The 16.2 million viewers was a 4.4 million increase from Djokovic’s 2011 victory over Rafael Nadal, which was also a Monday final. This year’s mark was the highest total since 2007. Also, according to Nielsen numbers provided to CBS Sports, this year’s viewership was a 10.3 million increase from the 2010 championship match which saw Nadal defeat Djokovic for his first ever title in New York. CBS Sports also reported that Serena Williams’ three-set victory over Victoria Azarenka on Sunday, capturing her 15th career Grand Slam singles title, had 17.7 million viewers, the highest for a women’s singles championship match since 2002, when 20.1 million viewers tuned in to watch Serena defeat sister Venus for the crown.
2012 US Open Attendance Soars
The total attendance for the 2012 US Open, the final Grand Slam of the season, reached 710,803. This year’s total was just shy of the Open’s all-time record of 721,059, set in 2007. Attendance in Flushing Meadows during the first Friday of the event was a tournament-best 62,362, with a record 37,688 people attending the day session and 24,674 during the night session. Day 6, the first Saturday, nearly surpassed the Day 5 record total as a combined 62,192 entered the grounds at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Bob and Mike Bryan, Stosur Awarded US Open Sportsmanship Award
The USTA announced that recent US Open Men’s Doubles Champions Bob and Mike Bryan have received the first-ever “US Open Sportsmanship Award” presented to the male and female professional tennis players who best demonstrate excellence in sportsmanship throughout the Emirates Airline US Open Series and the US Open. The award was presented to the Bryan brothers at the US Open by USTA Chairman of the Board and President Jon Vegosen and Sportsmanship Selection Committee Chairman Todd Martin. “Bob and Mike are both great champions and gracious competitors, making them the perfect choice to receive the US Open Sportsmanship Award,” said Vegosen. “Through all of their accomplishments on the court, Bob and Mike have exuded the class and integrity that exemplify what makes tennis such a great sport. Their success continues to set a perfect example for future generations.” Under Vegosen’s leadership, the USTA started a Sportsmanship Committee in 2011. Its charge is to “educate and inspire youngsters and their parents to develop and exhibit a high degree of sportsmanship and an attitude of fair play and mutual respect on and off the tennis court. Underlying the charge is the ethical imperative that fairness is more important than winning.” Eligibility requirements for winners include participating in at least two Series tournaments, as well as the 2012 US Open. In addition to a handsome trophy, each US Open Sportsmanship Award winner receives a $5,000 donation to the charity of his or her choice. Samantha Stosur received the women’s US Open Sportsmanship Award. “Great sports make a sport great and Samantha Stosur is a perfect choice for the US Open Sportsmanship Award,” said Vegosen. “Samantha is a phenomenal player and also exhibits the type of quality and tradition in our sport that we want to showcase. When someone like Samantha has accomplished as much as she has and is still a class act, it shows that character is really important in the game and in life.”
Isner Extends Sponsorship Deal with Prince
Prince Global Sports, a leading tennis equipment and footwear company, announced during the US Open that it has renewed its sponsorship partnership with World No. 10 John Isner. A four-time All-American while playing collegiate tennis at the University of Georgia, Isner will continue to use his Prince EXO3 Warrior 100 racquet, and wear Prince footwear. Since 1994, Isner has played with Prince products and continues to choose the leading tennis equipment and footwear brand to help take his career to the next level. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. “I’m really excited to continue to work with Prince,” said Isner. “I’ve been playing with Prince racquets since I was 9 years old, it’s the tool that I am comfortable with on the court.”
International Tennis Hall of Fame Names 2013 Nominees
Former World No. 1 and five-time Grand Slam Singles Champion Martina Hingis, 1991 Wimbledon Champion Michael Stich and doubles legend Helena Sukova – a 14-time Grand Slam winner in doubles and mixed doubles – have all been nominated for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. All three are nominated for the induction Class of 2013 in the Recent Player Category. In the Master Player Category, Thelma Coyne Long of Australia, who captured 19 Grand Slam titles between the 1930s and 1950s and who is the most prolific winner of major titles not currently in the Hall of Fame, has been nominated. Additionally, three individuals have been nominated in the Contributor Category for their work toward the growth of tennis- ESPN’s longtime tennis broadcaster Cliff Drysdale, tennis promoter and industry leader Charlie Pasarell, and Ion Tiriac, the Romanian tennis player turned influential player manager and tournament promoter. Voting for the 2013 ballot will take place over the next several months, culminating with an announcement early next year to reveal the Class of 2013 Inductees. The International Media Panel, which is comprised of tennis journalists and authors, will vote on the Recent Player nominee. The International Masters Panel, which consists of Hall of Fame inductees and individuals who are highly knowledgeable of the sport and its history, will vote on the Master Player and Contributor nominees. To be inducted in any of the categories, an affirmative vote of 75% is required. The 2012 Induction Ceremony in Newport will take place on Saturday, July 13. The ceremony will be held in conjunction with the annual grass-court Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event.
Roddick, Sock, Fernandez to Compete This Week at “Match for a Cure” in Connecticut
On September 14 at 7 p.m. EST, at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut, Mohegan Sun Arena and WKP Sports and Entertainment will present the “Match for a Cure”, featuring tennis stars Andy Roddick, Jack Sock, and Gigi Fernandez. The headlining match will showcase the recently-retired Roddick against Miracle Match Foundation founder, leukemia survivor and tennis professional Bill Przybysz, all while supporting Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and the Miracle Match Foundation. Real Housewives of New York City star Countess Luann de Lesseps will make a special appearance. VIP ticket holders and sponsors are invited to attend a gala cocktail reception that will feature a question-and-answer session with the players, as well as opportunities for autographs and pictures. Twenty tickets are also being sold for both beginner and advanced tennis clinics with the celebrity players prior to the main event. Tickets are on sale now and are available by calling (800) 745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. All general admission seats range in price from $20 – $40, courtside seats are $65 and VIP tickets, which include courtside seats and admission to a pre-match cocktail reception with players, are $150.
Dunlop Names New Southwest Territory Manager
Dunlop recently appointed Ralph Shaw as its new Territory Manager for the Southwest. Shaw will handle racquet sport accounts throughout Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas and Southern Nevada. Shaw, who is based in Southern California, will be responsible for managing the sales and promotion of the Dunlop brand throughout the territory and report directly to Rich Neighbor, Western Sales Manager for Dunlop Racquet Sports. Shaw has extensive category experience ranging from retail buyer of sports apparel to sales rep for K-Swiss tennis. He was also a sales representative for Dunlop Tennis from 2000-2007. “We are glad to have Ralph back with Dunlop,” said Neighbor. “He has developed strong relationships with tennis accounts across the Southwest over the past decade and he’ll make an immediate impact for us as we launch our six new Biomimetic racquets into the market.”