By Justin Cohen @JustinCohen44
More than half of the approximately 11,500 tickets for the World Group Davis Cup quarterfinal tie between the United States and Serbia at Boise’s Taco Bell Arena have been sold already, according to the United States Tennis Association. The best seats in the house which were being sold for $500 for a three-day pass, are all sold out. Tickets ranging from $90-$375 for a three-day pass are still available in four different price ranges. The highly anticipated Davis Cup tie, which is expected to include Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, will take place from April 5-7. This match will mark just the second meeting between the United States and Serbia in Davis Cup competition. Serbia won the only meeting, 3-2, in the 2010 World Group First Round in Belgrade. Djokovic led that team. Serbia is one of only three countries to have a winning record against the United States in Davis Cup.
Roland Garros revamp plans put on hold
According to an article written by Matt Cutler for SportsBusiness.com, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) has hit out at the “astonishing” decision by the Administrative Tribunal of Paris to halt the $273 million (EU) redevelopment of the Roland Garros complex and pledged to lodge an appeal. The project was initially approved by both the FFT and the Parisian government two years ago, but the Tribunal on Friday ruled that local residents’ complaints were not effectively considered and the fee set by the Federation was too low. Residents’ associations have battled against the development plan for the home of the French Open grand slam amid concerns over its environmental impact, especially on a nearby botanical garden. “The French Tennis Federation has noted with astonishment the decision of the Administrative Tribunal of Paris,” the FFT said in a statement. “Contesting the grounds for the annulment and convinced the project is respectful to the site, it will appeal the decision and request a stay of execution.” The office of the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, added: “The City of Paris is determined to achieve this beautiful project for Paris and will promptly agree with the FFT on the way forward.” An agreement was reached for the French Open to stay at Roland Garros after the FFT in February 2011 gave the go-ahead for the major revamp of the Paris complex. Three other projects had been bidding to host the event from 2016, but Paris took 70% of the votes over Marne-la-Vallee in the final round after Gonesse and Versailles were eliminated. Roland Garros has staged the tournament since 1928, but in recent years the 21-acre site – the smallest of all four tennis grand slam events – has struggled to cope with the increasing demand from fans. The upgraded Roland Garros was set to cover almost 35 acres and include 35 outside courts, a new 5,000-seat stadium and a new press centre. The main Philippe Chatrier court was to be redesigned and feature a retractable roof.
Tennis Channel to showcase 340 hours of television coverage from Indian Wells and Miami
Tennis Channel announced that they will have 15 days of live play devoted to the sports “Fifth Slams” with 12-hour, daylong telecast during the upcoming BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the Sony Open in Miami. Coverage begins in Indian Wells this Friday, March 8, at 1:30 p.m. ET, a day earlier than Tennis Channel’s previous BNP Paribas Open on-air schedule. It is the first of six consecutive days of 12-hour live tennis windows. The network is also introducing a half-hour lead-in show hosted by Brett Haber and Hall of Famer Tracy Austin. Similar to Tennis Channel’s US Open intro show, Live at the BNP Paribas Open will offer news, interviews, analysis and conversation, and feature regular appearances by other network on-air talent. Based on the tournament grounds and surrounded by thousands of fans, the set will act as the hub of the channel’s daily activity. In all, Tennis Channel will show almost 100 live hours from Indian Wells and more than 200 overall, given encore replays that run through both the men’s and women’s singles championships. Coverage in Miami takes a similar approach. Beginning on Friday, March 22, and anchored by four consecutive days of 12½-hour live match windows, the network will carry close to 70 live hours at the Sony Open this year. Encore replays expand the overall hours to 140, and run through the men’s and women’s singles semifinals. On-air talent in Indian Wells will include Haber and Austin, as well as Justin Gimelstob, Lindsay Davenport, Mark Knowles and Leif Shiras. Those announcers will then head to South Beach for the Sony Open and be joined by former WTA doubles star Rennae Stubbs and broadcaster Andrew Catalon.
ASICS America signs on as title sponsor of 46th annual ASICS Easter Bowl
ASICS America has signed on as the new title sponsor of the ASICS Easter Bowl, the nation’s elite junior tennis tournament. The 46th annual ASICS Easter Bowl will be played for the first time at the Sunrise Country Club just down the road from its former home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., from April 7-14. ASICS America, popular athletic footwear, apparel and accessories company headquartered in Irvine, Calif., has put its name on what is considered the Super Bowl of junior tennis tournaments. The ASICS Eater Bowl is a USTA Spring National Championship for boys and girls 14s and 16s with gold, silver and bronze balls awarded to the top three winners in each age group. In addition, boys and girls players in the 18s division compete in an International Tennis Federation Grade 1 level tournament. “We are ecstatic to expand upon our 2012 sponsorship to now be the title partner for the ASICS Easter Bowl,” says ASICS Marketing Manager Laura Greatbanks. “As tennis continues to be a growing category for our brand, we are excited to be able to support premiere events such as this tournament that serve as a gateway for youth looking to become the next breakout tennis star.”
Wilson partners with TGA Premier Youth Tennis
Wilson Tennis announces it has formed an exclusive partnership with TGA Premier Youth Tennis (TGA) in a deal that includes Wilson becoming the official equipment and apparel provider for TGA programs and providing funding to TGA’s 501c3 Foundation. Wilson, the leading producer of racquet equipment in the industry, aims to grow the sport at the grass roots level by getting a Wilson tennis racquet in every student’s hand through TGA’s national school-based model. This includes providing “10 and Under Tennis” equipment and apparel for TGA, who is a National Partner of the USTA. In addition, the partnership will include Wilson contributing funds over the next three years to the 501c3 TGA Sports Foundation in an ongoing effort provide all youth access to the sport of tennis through school based programs and beyond. The goals of the TGA Foundation are to develop under-resourced and special needs youth by making tennis accessible in all communities while transitioning students and families to local tennis facilities and USTA programming. Other aspects of the partnership include joint marketing efforts and cross promotion aimed at growing tennis through new and current players.
Intercollegiate Tennis Association names 2013 Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame Inductees
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced on Friday the 2013 inductees for the ITA Men’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame. The 2013 class consists of seven inductees: Coaches – Bobby Bayliss (University of Notre Dame), Dennis Emery (University of Kentucky), and John Peterson (Tyler Junior College); Players – Paul Goldstein (Stanford University), Kelly Jones (Pepperdine University), and Harold Solomon (Rice University); and Contributor – Alan Schwartz (Yale University). The 2013 honorees will be inducted at the 2013 ITA Men’s Collegiate Hall of Fame Enshrinement Banquet, which will be held on May 22 during the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships at the University of Illinois in Champaign, Ill.
Hewitt, Haas, Blake commit to US Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston
Former champions Lleyton Hewitt (2009) and Tommy Haas (2004) as well as former finalist James Blake (2008) are among the players added to the field for the 2013 US Men’s Clay Court Championship at River Oaks Country Club in Houston, Texas. This year’s tournament will take place from April 8-14. Hewitt, a two-time Grand Slam champion from Australia, and Germany’s Haas headline a list of international stars in the event that includes defending champion Juan Monaco from Argentina, France’s Gael Monfils and Spaniard’s Nicolas Almagro and Fernando Verdasco. Blake, a former Top 5 player, is among a group of seven Americans that includes 2012 River Oaks runner-up John Isner, 2010 finalist Sam Querrey, Ryan Harrison, Tim Smyczek, Houston resident Michael Russell and wild card recipient Jack Sock.
Berdych commits to AEGON Championships in London
Tournaments officials at the AEGON Championships at The Queen’s Club in London announced that 2010 Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych has joined Andy Murray as early commitments to this year’s event. This year’s tournament will take place from June 10-16. “Even though it’s a long time since I played there I still remember that beautiful club very well,” said Berdych. “I have to say that I have never played on a better grass court than at The Queen’s Club. I’m really looking forward to being there again to try to create some good memories.” His last appearance at The Queen’s Club was when he was 19. Berdych most recently reached the finals in Dubai last week after defeating Roger Federer in the semifinals, saving three match points en route to the victory.
Save the Date: An Evening with Billie Jean King, Holly Hunter and Chris Evert
The Philadelphia Freedoms of the Mylan World TeamTennis Pro League are asking fans to save the date for an evening with Billie Jean King, Holly Hunter and Chris Evert. On May 18 at 5:30 p.m., EST, in Gladwyne, Pa., King, Hunter and Evert will take part in an unforgettable cocktail party to benefit Assistance in Healthcare. For a donation of $250 to Assistance in Healthcare, your ticket will include a cocktail reception with King, Hunter and Evert, as well as a conversation with the stars. Also included in the evening is a live auction featuring once-in-a-lifetime items. For more information or tickets, please call (215) 537-7819.
Dunlop names Ray Harrison new Territory Manager
Dunlop announced over the weekend that Ray Harrison has been named its new Territory Manager for Florida and Southern Alabama. Harrison will handle key racquet sports accounts, including the South Florida, Gulf Coast and Northern Florida markets. Harrison, based in the Tampa area, will be responsible for managing the sales and promotion of the Dunlop brand throughout the territory, including Dunlop’s Advisory Staff program. Following junior tennis, Harrison taught at Saddlebrook International Tennis Academy in Tampa. After initially starting out in medical sales, Harrison returned to tennis, working as a specialty sales rep in the industry, focusing on the Florida territory.