Rafael Nadal at last year’s US Open
The U.S. Tennis Association has announced the opening night program for the US Open on Aug. 25, while defending US Open champ Rafael Nadal said Mondayhe has dropped out of the competition due to a wrist injury.
The opening night ceremony entertainment will include Fitz and the Tantrums performing a three-song set and will be surrounded by a video and lighting spectacle with projections of great US Open moments.The national anthem will be performed by the three Winans brothers, BeBe, Marvin and Carvin.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson claimed Friday night in Philadelphia that the team is not putting up the white flag in 2014 by releasing underperforming veteran outfielders Bobby Abreu and Chris Young and replacing them with Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Matt den Dekker. Alderson also announced that Wilmer Flores will be getting the bulk of playing time at shortstop for the rest of the season in place of Ruben Tejada, who has been in the organization’s doghouse for the last two years.
I can’t blame Alderson for wanting to take a good look at the three players who have logged a lot of time in the Mets’ minor league system. If they play well then he’ll have some homegrown inexpensive talent on the 2015 roster. If they can’t, they might as well be dropped from the 40-man roster once the season ends.
The USTA announced this week that country superstar Hunter Hayes, breakout duo MKTO, girl group McCLAIN, British pop rock band The Vamps, teen sensation Madison Beer and EDM prodigy DJ Salerno will team up with tennis icons Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal at the 19th Annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on Saturday, Aug. 23 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Park.
From 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., kids and their families can enjoy an array of free tennis games, live music and attractions taking place throughout the grounds of the tennis center.
The Mets were 11 games under .500 when they returned to Citi Field July 4 after a seven-game road trip. General manager Sandy Alderson knew that he would have to address the media about his perceptions of the first half of the 2014 season. Clearly it was not a get-together that he was looking forward to having.
Alderson began the proceedings by saying he believes the Mets have the personnel to perform far better than they have been, and that they are heading in the right direction. Eyeballs were understandably rolling and heads were shaking after Alderson made that statement.
Here’s your chance to be on the court with Rafael Nadal or Maria Sharapova.
The United States Tennis Association is looking for guys and gals who want to be ballpersons at this year’s US Open.
It was shortly before 10 a.m. Sunday that a new Guinness World Record was set when the United States Tennis Association brought together 406 youngsters from various local youth organizations for the “largest tennis lesson” in history.
It took place inside the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows Park, kicking off the celebration of World Tennis Day and thousands of USTA Play Events throughout the month of March. They are intended to encourage families and children to give the sport a try.
This year’s US Open concluded Monday night with the men’s finals, taken this year by Rafael Nadal of Spain, above.
Nadal, who beat Novak Djokovic of Serbia, seems to be taking a bite out of his loving cup. This is his second US Open win in four years. Djokovic won in 2011.
Rafael Nadal of Spain beat Ryan Harrison of the USA.
The prize remuneration at the US Open is certainly substantial, but it’s basically coffee and cake money to the elite men’s and women’s players. Their big payday comes from corporate endorsements and sponsorships.
I asked Roger Federer about the large number of fans who wear his Nike-produced “RF”- logo hats and shirts. Federer said he was surprised and delighted to connect with his fans that way but added that he did not know how many units his line has sold over the years. “I guess that I could call Nike up and ask them,” he said. I surmise that since he is well-compensated by Nike, he can afford to be trusting.
A lot was made of Andy Roddick’s retirement last year, since he remains the last American man to win a tennis Grand Slam event: the 2003 US Open. What got surprisingly little play when he lost to Argentina’s Juan Del Potro in 2012 was that he was the last American men’s player left in the US Open at that point.
Things have not markedly improved for those who want to chant “USA!” at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center this week and next. Yes, Serena Williams remains the top-ranked women’s player, but after her, things go downhill precipitously for the red, white and blue — in both genders.
One of the few notes of discord coming out of the Mets’ spring training base of Port St. Lucie, Fla. is that Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is unhappy that John Santana did not report to camp in what the GM considers suitable pitching shape.
Alderson, who is known for his no-nonsense and realistic assessments, must have been delusional if he expected the onetime Mets ace, who missed the entire 2011 season with arm problems and then suffered from fatigue right after tossing the first no-hitter in Mets’ history last June 1 — when he threw an amazing 135 pitches in the effort — to be the Johan Santana of old.
No matter who wins the 2012 US Open on the men’s and women’s sides, the biggest story of the tournament was Andy Roddick’s surprise announcement that he’s calling it a career, made at a hastily called press conference at Arthur Ashe Stadium last Thursday.
Roddick kept his composure as he explained that he no longer felt the energy and desire to compete on the pro tour any longer. He will now concentrate on running his foundation and youth tennis center in Austin, Tex., where he now makes his home.
While the qualifiers for the U.S. Open were still going through their paces on Friday, the stars were taking the time on the practice courts to loosen up and make those last-minute adjustments before the final grand slam event of the year.
And tennis fans young and old were standing in line hoping to get a glimpse of their favorite players, or even an autograph.
The most important things about NFL preseason games are practicing plays teams want to run during the regular season and the avoidance of injury. The final score is virtually unimportant. That was pretty much the standard response given by Jets players and head coach Rex Ryan following the team’s dismal 26-3 drubbing at the hands of the Giants last Saturday evening.
It should be noted that Big Blue did not exactly march the ball down the field themselves. They merely took advantage of the Jets’ four quarters of ineptitude.
Last Sunday evening the Mets held a beautiful 20-minute ceremony saluting those who put their lives on the line on that infamous day as well as honoring Tuesday’s Children, a support group for kids who lost a parent at the World Trade Center. It was a wonderful spectacle as bands and color guards from New York’s uniformed services marched on the field before the game. The lights dimmed for a moment of remembrance and then Marc Anthony delivered as stirring a rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” as I have ever heard at a ballpark. Later Howard Beach’s own Pia Toscano, the former “American Idol” contestant, performed a resounding version of “God Bless America.” Two beloved ex-Mets, pitcher John Franco and catcher Mike Piazza, took part in the ceremonial first pitch.
The Mets were looking forward to wearing their NYPD and FDNY baseball caps, the kind the 2001 team wore every game following 9/11, but were shocked to discover that Major League Baseball forbade them from wearing the caps during the game.
Rafael Nadal coasts into the third round as Nicholas Mahut retires,citing pain when he was serving.
The Mets may be a million games out of first place but they deserve credit for immediately canceling their weekend games with the Braves as soon as Mayor Bloomberg announced last Friday that the city’s mass transit system was shutting down Saturday at noon in anticipation of Hurricane Irene. The team showed concern for its fans, Citi Field employees, and Mets and Braves players. The Mets could rightfully concentrate on being in their homes with their families while the Braves were allowed to escape the path of the storm and fly back to Atlanta.
Tennis has always captivated fans with its fierce rivalries. These days it seems like the finals of any Grand Slam event come down to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. In the 1990s it was generally Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. But the on-court foes who remain most etched in the minds of a lot of baby boomers are Douglaston’s own John McEnroe, and the pride of Stockholm, Bjorn Borg.
It’s been 30 years since Borg shocked the tennis world by retiring at age 25 after losing the 1981 U.S. Open to McEnroe. A pair of books about this tennis tandem, “Epic” (Wiley Publishing), by Matthew Cronin, and “High Strung” (Harper Books), by Stephen Tignor, have just been released. And last Saturday, HBO Sports debuted the documentary, “McEnroe/Borg Fire & Ice.”
Defending women’s champion Kim Clijsters of Belgium and Spain’s Rafael Nadal were this year’s winners at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows Park.
The U.S. Open had few surprises this week with tennis’ superstars making it to the quarterfinals in play at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Park.
The U.S. Open, which got underway Monday at Flushing Meadows Park, has become like the Super Bowl inasmuch as it has become a business event as much as an athletic one.
The annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Park was rated a hit with youngsters on Saturday.
I have a feeling that Mets COO Jeff Wilpon must have been pumping out Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” in his office when he decided to withhold payment on ace reliever Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez’s contract after he injured his thumb in a Citi Field altercation with his prospective father-in-law.
As the U.S. Open gets under way at nearby Arthur Ashe Stadium, youngsters with a love of tennis, ranging from 6-15 years old, have been taking to the courts at St. John’s University, participating in the summer session of a year-round camp/clinic program.