Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Brothers McEnroe: Watch out for Rafa at the U.S. Open

Photo Credit: Bernat Armangue | John and Patrick McEnroe

Photo Credit: Bernat Armangue | John and Patrick McEnroe

“Once again John and brother Patrick McEnroe will be doing the U.S. Open for ESPN and they had some interesting thoughts about the Men’s Championship. John will also be part of the CBS coverage team, as they have the broadcast portion of the tournament.

…I asked the brothers who we should be looking at as the 2013 U.S. Open Champion? As you might expect, they had some interesting thoughts:

PATRICK McENROE:  I don’t think any of us would have expected Rafa Nadal, to play three Masters events and go undefeated, and not to mention beat every top 10 player on hardcourts and do it as impressively as he has done it.  We all knew he could come back.  He’s Nadal.  And he could still get to the top.  But what he’s done on hardcourts this year has been amazing.  I think he’s perfectly primed to win the Open.  His movement has been great…

JOHN McENROE:  I would just say that we’re all extremely pleased for our sport that he’s come back seemingly so healthy.  Obviously, as Patrick said, if he’s healthy he’s an incredible player.  I put him as one of the all time greats.  There is an argument to make his “the” greatest with his results and head to heads with these other top guys.”

Click here to read the full article by James Williams on sportstalkflorida.com

Family Tradition Brings Home a Title

Photo Courtesy of nytimes.com | The Johnson family from left to right: Lynda Johnson, Kennan Johnson and Natalie Johnson.

Photo Courtesy of nytimes.com | The Johnson family from left to right: Lynda Johnson, Kennan Johnson and Natalie Johnson.

….”On Sunday, Johnson and her mother, Natalie, of Baton Rouge, La., won the National Family Tennis Championship mother-daughter title on Randalls Island, the site of John McEnroe’s tennis academy.

The Johnsons defeated Karen Simeone and Lauren Simeone of Collegeville, Pa., 6-2, 6-1, in the final.

“The whole experience was just awesome,” Natalie Johnson said.”

Click here to read the full article by John Martin on nytimes.com

John McEnroe To Lead Tennis Clinic At Eastchester’s Sportime

John McEnroe

John McEnroe

“EASTCHESTER, N.Y.– Tennis legend John McEnroe will be at Sportime in Eastchester as part of a morning tennis clinic, meet and greet and autograph session on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Young players will have the opportunity to take part in drills with the John McEnroe Tennis Academy /SPORTIME staff and try out for several open spots for the fall session of the JMTA.

Now in its fourth year, the academy, originated at SPORTIME Randall’s Island, now has annexes in Bethpage, Long Island and Lake Isle in Eastchester.”

Click here to read the full article by Joe Jenkins on eastchester.dailyvoice.com

SPORTIME RANDALL’S ISLAND IS ONE OF 19 TENNIS FACILITIES HONORED FOR EXCELLENCE AS A 2013 USTA FACILITY AWARD WINNER

Photo Credit: Zurita Architects | Sportime Randall's Island | Home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy

Photo Credit: Zurita Architects | Sportime Randall’s Island | Home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy

PRESS RELEASE:

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Aug. 21, 2013 – The USTA announced today that Sportime Randall’s Island in New York City is one of 19 winners of its 32nd annual USTA Facility Awards Program, which recognizes excellence in the construction and/or renovation of tennis facilities throughout the country.  Representatives from Sportime Randall’s Island will be honored at the USTA Semi-annual Meeting at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on Sept. 1.

Opened in 2009, Sportime Randall’s Island has five full-size indoor and five full-size outdoor hard courts, 10 full-size clay courts and 10 courts with 60-foot blended lines for 10 and Under Tennis. Sportime Randall’s Island is the largest tennis facility to open in New York City in the last 30 years and cost more than $19 million to build. The site is home to the JohnMcEnroeTennisAcademy.

”Great tennis facilities like Sportime Randall’s Island help us to grow the game at the grassroots level and we are proud to recognize them for their ongoing impact on the sport of tennis,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA.  “Sportime Randall’s Island has embraced many of our tennis initiatives, especially 10 and Under Tennis, introducing thousands of new players to the sport each year.”

The facility won in the Public Courts: Large Tennis Centers (11 or more courts) category along with the JuniorChampionsTennisCenter at CadwaladerPark in Trenton, N.J. and the Cayce Tennis and FitnessCenter in Cayce, S.C.

To be considered for an award, facilities must be under the jurisdiction of a parks and recreation department, an educational institution, a non-profit corporation, or private or commercially- owned and operated facilities that offer both USTA and public programming designed to help grow tennis.

Each of the winning facilities were praised for their implementation of USTA programs, including 10 and Under Tennis.

Facilities were judged upon the following criteria: overall layout and adaptation to site; excellence of court surface and lights; ease of maintenance; accommodations for players, spectators and press/officials; aesthetics; graphics (including the use of signs and landscaping); amenities such as casual seating for spectators, food services and social areas; and the facilities’ participation in USTA programs.

Nominated facilities were voted upon in the following categories: Public Courts that are eithersmall tennis centers with 2-10 courts or large tennis centers with 11 or more courts; Educational Institutions; and Private Facilities that support the USTA and other “growth of the game” programs open to the public.

All 2013 award winners will receive a wall plaque and an all-weather sign, which can be mounted at the facility.  Certificates of award will be made available to park and recreation departments, schools, and those professionals responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of the facility. In addition, a one-year complimentary membership to the USTA will be awarded to each winning facility.

The 2013 USTA Facility Awards Program winners are:

Public Courts: Small Tennis Centers (2 to 10 courts)

BNABankPark Tennis Facility – New Albany, Miss.

SeviervilleCityPark – Sevierville, Tenn.

CoreCreekParkTennisCenter – Langhome, Pa.

 Public Courts: Large Tennis Centers (11 or more courts)

Sportime Randall’s Island – New York, N.Y.

JuniorChampionsTennisCenter at CadwaladerPark – Trenton, N.J.

Cayce Tennis and FitnessCenter – Cayce, S.C. (Also named USTA Featured Facility of the Year)

Educational Institution

Randolph-Macon College Tennis Court Complex – Ashland, Va.

Williams-BollettieriTennisCenter- Collegiate School – Richmond, Va.

Vande Poel-Heeringa Stadium Courts at HopeCollege – Holland, Mich. (Also named USTA Featured Green Facility of the Year)

Van Wert CountyFoundation Tennis Complex – Van Wert, Ohio

Private Facilities

Boca West Country Club – Boca Raton, Fla.

Virginia Beach Tennis & Country Club (indoor facility – Virginia Beach, Va.

GulfCoast Tennis Club – Gulf Shores, Ala.

The Village Country Club – Dallas

Carmel Country Club – Charlotte, N.C.

TennisCenter at College Park – College Park, Md.

ACAC- Richmond – Midlothian, Va.

The Sports Club at Mediterra – Naples, Fla.

Germantown Cricket Club – Philadelphia

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the United States and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level, from local communities to the highest level of the professional game.  A not-for-profit organization with more than 770,000 members, it invests 100 percent of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Emirates Airline US Open Series, linking nine summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S. and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA’s national charitable foundation, USTA Serves, provides grants and scholarships and helps underserved youth and people with disabilities. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com, “like” the official Facebook page, facebook.com/usta, or follow @usta on Twitter.

For more information, contact:

Tom LaDue, Manager, Corporate Communications, USTA

(914) 697-2352 or ladue@usta.com

Jamie Loeb takes first step in qualifying for U.S. Open

Photo Credit: Adam Wolfthal | JMTA's Jamie Loeb

Photo Credit: Adam Wolfthal | JMTA’s Jamie Loeb

“Serving well and playing aggressively worked in Jamie Loeb’s favor as she moved past the first round of the U.S. Open women’s qualifying tournament Tuesday at the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow.

The 18-year-old Ossining graduate defeated Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay 6-1, 6-3. The victory puts Loeb in Thursday’s second round.

“It was a really good experience,” Loeb said. “From the moment I walked on the court the crowd and everything made it a really good match to be a part of.”

Click here to read the full article by Sharieka Breeden on lohud.com

Loeb and Rubin Represent NY Area in Opening Round of U.S. Open Main Draw Qualifiers

Photo Credit: Adam Wolfthal  | JMTA's Noah Rubin

Photo Credit: Adam Wolfthal | JMTA’s Noah Rubin

“With the sun shining over New York on a beautiful summer day, the world’s premier tennis tournament got underway at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Tuesday during opening round action at the 2013 U.S. Open Main Draw Qualifiers. While some of the sports top stars, including Andy Murray, Stanislas Wawrinka, Roger Federer and Richard Gasquet, were seen practicing on Armstrong and the Grandstand, the local area’s top young stars took the court in their first round Qualifiers matches.”

Click here to read the full article by newyorktennismagazine.com

JMTA Players Loeb and Rubin compete in US Open Qualifying; Update

JMTA's Jamie Loeb

JMTA’s Jamie Loeb

JMTA’s Jamie Loeb beat Veronica Cepede Royg from Paraguay today, 6-1, 6-3 in the first round of the US Open women’s singles qualifying. Loeb will now play Russia’s Ksenia Pervak, who beat the #1 seed today, Shahar Peer from Israel.

News was not so good for JMTA’s Noah Rubin, who lost a close match in the first round of the US Open men’s singles qualifying to Amir Weintraub from Israel, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. Noah will be back during the second week of the US Open to compete in the junior event.

Stay tuned for further updates.

Heading to the US Open; JMTAers Noah Rubin and Jamie Loeb sit down for a brief interview before their next major tournament

JMTA's Noah Rubin and Jamie Loeb

JMTA’s Noah Rubin and Jamie Loeb

Interview with JMTA’s Noah Rubin:

How would you rate your performance in Kalamazoo, MI? – It was ok overall, but not what I was expecting and not what I was hoping for. I’d give it 7 out of 10.

What stood out in your game? – I competed really hard. My mental game was really good, but it didn’t carry through the whole time. I lost in the semi finals to Jared Donaldson, from Rhode Island. I’ve traveled with him before, but that was our first time playing each other.

Your next tournament is the US Open, what are you doing to prepare for that? – We’re watching a lot of video on Djokovic and seeing the difference between me and him. We’re seeing how I can get better over all: working on serves, first serves percentage, and over all style. These guys are bigger. It’s going to be a good experience. I’m not too nervous. I do have a lot of people that are showing up and so does Jamie [Loeb]. I’m sure it’s going to add a little nervousness.

Do you have plans on going to college? – That’s up in the air whether I’m going to pro or college. I’m leaning more towards pro right now, but college is an option. There are ups and downs doing both. You’re risking everything no matter what. I have a few months to decide and we’ll see how it goes. I want to see where I stand on the pro level.

What advice are you receiving from your JMTA Coach, Lawrence Kleger?– We’re trying to get my best game and my highest level to appear more often. Pro tennis players don’t really have bad days and even when they do you don’t notice them. That’s where I’m trying to get to. I want to have a good end of the year. That’s all I want.

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Interview with JMTA’s Jamie Loeb:

How would you rate your performance in San Diego, CA? – I give myself 8 out of 10. I think I played well for the most part, but I still feel like on key opportunities I didn’t play my best in all my matches.

Would you consider your performance a success? – Personally, I don’t think so because I went in there wanting to win like every tournament. Obviously I wanted to do better but I lost to a good player. I also beat some good players so I’m not too disappointed.

Is there anything that stood out in your game during this tournament? – I think in this tournament I was more aggressive in terms of coming to net and moving forward compared to others. I do feel my serve let me down at times, my first serve especially. I think I was coming to the net much better than before and tactically playing a little smarter.

We know your next major tournament is the US Open. What are you and your JMTA Coach, Felix Alvarado, doing to prepare for that? – Working on my serve a lot, using my legs more, my toss, high first serve percentage… not going for it as much, using more spin, and working on my forehand on the run especially. Other than that, just keep playing how I’ve been playing.

You’re headed off to college in a few weeks, what advice is Felix giving you? – He told me to have fun, it’s a good experience, and to take it year by year to see what I want to do. I don’t have to rush into things. I do have mixed feelings about it, but he thinks it’s the right thing for me and he’s also excited for me to go too.

What are your plans post college? – I want to turn professional. I don’t know when, but that’s my ultimate goal. College will be a good stepping stone towards becoming a pro.

Following up with JMTAer, Jamie Loeb, after USTA’s Junior National Hard Court Tournament

Photo: Courtesy of Wimbledon.com | JMTA's Jamie Loeb

Photo: Courtesy of Wimbledon.com | JMTA’s Jamie Loeb

Recently Jamie Loeb competed in San Diego, CA for a chance to win a wild card into the Women’s US Open. Although she did not bring home the championship title, losing in the quarterfinals,  this JMTA student’s future is very promising. We sat down with her coach, JMTA Assistant Academy Director Felix Alvarado, to get the inside scoop on Loeb and what we can expect next from her in the future.

How would you rate Jamie’s performance in San Diego? – Her performance was top notch. I give her an A. Each of the top nine seeds were ranked inside the top 500 on the women’s professional tour , so the draw was very strong. Jamie had a tough round of 32 match vs Hayley Carter, a girl going to UNC with her. Jamie and Hayley were the top recruits in the country, and Jamie won in 3 sets. The next round, she had to play the 5th seed who is ranked 374 in the world and Jamie beat her in 3 sets. After that she had to play the 2nd seed in the quarterfinals and she lost 6-3, 6-3. Every round was significantly tougher than the last and she stepped up to the challenge each time.

Over all, would you consider her performance a success? -Well, success obviously would’ve been winning the tournament and earning a wild card into the main draw of the US Open, but she fought very hard and she did well.

We know that Jamie’s next major tournament is the US Open. What are you doing to prepare her for that event? -Jamie leaves on Thursday, going to UNC to prepare for college. We’re still waiting to see if she’s going to get a wild card into the qualifying for the main draw of the US Open.  If she does earn a wild card, then she will have to fly back right away to prepare. If not, she’s coming back the week before the Junior’s US Open to focus on training. I know her doubles partner, who is from Russia, is getting here on August 28th. We have a girl coming from England to train with her as well, so she will have a lot of practice time under her belt before she steps onto the courts in Flushing Meadows.

What advice do you have for Jamie going into college? -Have a lot of fun! Enjoy your time in college. College is great for your doubles game, so I’m excited for her because she needs to improve her doubles skills. I also want her to work hard on her fitness, maybe gain 10 pounds of muscle.  But mostly, study and have fun!

What are Jamie’s plans after college? -We don’t have a timeframe yet, but she will definitely turn pro at some point.  Right now we are just focused on getting her ready for college and the US Open. One step at a time.

Any final thoughts on Jamie? -She’s a hard worker and loves it here at the JMTA. She loves the coaches and we’re like a big family to her. She feels very comfortable here and around us. Obviously we’re going to miss her and I hope she’s going to miss us too, but she knows she’s always welcome here.

Rubin Advances to 18s Semis at USTA Boys 18 and 16 National Championships

…”[Jared] Donaldson will play No. 2 seed Noah Rubin, who ended the run of unseeded Logan Staggs 6-2, 6-0.  Donaldson and Rubin have never met, but it’s a match Donaldson has always wanted to play.

“Ever since we were 11, I knew the name Noah Rubin,” said Donaldson. “He was always better than me, so it’s going to be fun to play a guy my year, to test myself against probably the best kid in United States tennis right now.”

Click here to read the full article by Colette Lewis on ZooTennis.com

JMTA’S NOAH RUBIN STORMS INTO THE SEMIS

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Photo Credit: David Kenas | JMTA’s Noah Rubin

JMTAer, Noah Rubin, won his match in decisive form this morning 6-2, 6-0 to advance to the semifinals.  He will face the winner of the match between Luca Corinteli (6) and Jared Donaldson (14) tomorrow.  The other JMTA student still in the main draw is Jamie Loeb.  She is in the middle of her quarterfinal match against 2nd seeded Alexandra Kiick. The winner of each tournament receives a wild card in the main draw of the U.S. Open later this month!

Be sure to check out the blog tonight.  There will be an updated post after all matches conclude.

Three Unseeded Players Reach 18s Quarterfinals at USTA Nationals, Top Seeds Brymer and Rubin Survive Tough Tests

Photo Credit: ZooTennis.com | JMTA's Noah Rubin

Photo Credit: ZooTennis.com | JMTA’s Noah Rubin

…”An unseeded semifinalist is assured with Johnson playing Altamirano in Friday’s quarterfinal match. Altamirano defeated No. 32 seed Quentin Monaghan 6-1, 6-1.  Staggs’ opponent is No. 2 seed Noah Rubin, who trailed No. 15 seed Ronnie Schneider 6-3, 4-4 when the rain postponed their match Wednesday.  Schneider won that game, but Rubin held and then broke Schneider for a 6-5 lead. The long rallies in that game, one of which must have lasted 40 strokes, were not as prevalent on Wednesday, with Rubin admitting he was not sharp.

“It’s Kalamazoo and we’re here for the wild card and sometimes that can get in your head,” said Rubin, who went on to win the match 3-6, 7-5, 7-5. “I came out a little jittery, a little anxious, and Ronnie’s not a bad player at all, as we all know, and if you’re even the slightest level down, he will take advantage of it, which he did.”

Rubin was down 3-0 in the third set after two costly double faults contributed to his being broken in the second game, but Schneider couldn’t close out a service game in which he led 40-0, which put Rubin back on serve at 2-3, instead of trailing 1-4.  Last year in the quarterfinals of the ITF Grade 1 in Carson, California, Rubin trailed Schneider 4-1 in the third set and won the final five games, but he wasn’t quite as confident in this situation.

“That was a crucial break at 3-1,” Rubin said. “I’m sure if I’d lost that, it would have been a tough one to come back from.”

Click here to read the full article by Colette Lewis on ZooTennis.com