Seeds Announced for 2017 US Open

SeedsSo, in case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m kinda in US Open mode right now and will be for the next couple of weeks. This will be my first Open since 2014, and I’m super excited to spend some time there this year. My focus will be on the Junior and the College events, but I will also be writing a bit about the Main Event as well.

To that end, I wanted to let y’all know that the seeds have been published for both the Men’s and the Women’s draws. The following is from a USTA release sent out yesterday afternoon:

The USTA today announced that world No. 1 and two-time US Open champion Rafael Nadal and 2012 US Open champion Andy Murray have been named the top two seeds, respectively – with five-time US Open champion Roger Federer seeded No. 3 – in men’s singles at the 2017 US Open. The 2017 US Open will be played Aug. 28-Sept. 10 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The US Open Men’s Singles Championship is presented by Chase.

Germany’s Alexander Zverev, who has won five ATP singles titles this seeded fourth, while fifth-seeded Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, joins Nadal (2010, 2013) Murray (2012), and Federer (2004-08) as the former US Open champions seeded in the Top 10. 2017 French Open semifinalist Dominic Thiem, of Austria, is seeded sixth. Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, who last week won his first ATP Masters 1000 title at the US Open Series’ Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, is seeded seventh. Three-time US Open quarterfinalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, of France, is seeded No. 8.

Juan Martin Del Potro, who won the 2009 US Open, is seeded No. 24.

Nadal, 31, regained the No. 1 ranking this week for the first time since June 2014. He won his tenth French Open singles title this year and also reached the final at the Australian Open. Murray, 30, comes into the US Open after reaching the semifinals of the French Open and quarterfinals at Wimbledon this year and holding the world No. 1 ranking for all of 2017 until Nadal recaptured it this week.

Federer, 36, is competing at the US Open to become the first male player to win 20 Grand Slam singles titles. By winning his sixth singles title in New York, Federer would also break the three-way tie between him, Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras for most US Open singles titles won in the Open Era.

Three American men are seeded at this year’s US Open—No. 10 John Isner, No. 13 Jack Sock, and No. 17 Sam Querrey.

Defending US Open champion and world No. 4 Stan Wawrinka will not be competing in this year’s US Open due to a knee injury, while two-time US Open champion and world No. 5 Novak Djokovic will not be competing to recover from a right elbow injury. 2014 US Open finalist and world No. 10 Kei Nishikori will not be competing because of a right wrist injury, while No. 11 Milos Raonic has withdrawn due to a left wrist injury. [Note: USTA also announced yesterday that Raonic’s spot in the draw will be filled by a Lucky Loser from the Qualifying draw. There are 5 US men left in the Qualies, 2 of  whom play each other in today’s final round.]

For 2017, the US Open followed the Emirates ATP Rankings released Monday, August 21, to determine the men’s singles seeds. This is the 17th consecutive year that the US Open will seed 32 players in singles.

The USTA also announced that world No. 1 and 2016 US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova has been named the top seed in women’s singles at the 2017 US Open, while world No. 2 and 2016 French Open finalist Simona Halep is seeded No. 2. 2017 Wimbledon champion Garbiñe Muguruza is seeded third, and 22-year old world No. 4 Elina Svitolina is seeded fourth. The 2017 US Open will be played Aug. 28-Sept. 10 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The US Open Women’s Singles Championship is presented by J.P. Morgan.

The Top 10 women’s seeds at the US Open mirror the current Top 10 of the WTA rankings. Following the top four are No. 5 Caroline Wozniacki, of Denmark, a two-time US Open finalist; No. 6 Angelique Kerber, of Germany, the defending US Open champion; No. 7 Johanna Konta, of Great Britain, a 2017 Wimbledon semifinalist; No. 8 and 2004 US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, of Russia; No. 9 Venus Williams, a two-time US Open champion, and No. 10 Agnieszka Radwanska, of Poland.

In last year’s US Open final, Kerberwon her second Grand Slam singles title at the US Open, defeating Pliskovain the final, and becoming the No. 1-ranked player in the world.

Four American women are seeded at this year’s US Open — No. 9 Venus Williams, No. 15 Madison Keys, No. 20 Coco Vandeweghe, and No. 32 Lauren Davis.

Eight-time US Open champion and former world No. 1 Serena Williams, who is currently ranked No. 15, will not be competing in this year’s US Open after announcing her pregnancy. Victoria Azarenka, who would have entered with a protected ranking of No. 6, withdrew because of a personal issue. World No. 28 Timea Bacsinszky, of Switzerland, will not be competing due to a left leg and right hand injury. 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur, of Australia, withdrew due to a right hand injury. [Note: There are 8 US women in the Qualies final round with several playing each other today.]

The US Open followed the WTA rankings released Monday, August 21, to determine the women’s singles seeds. This is the 17th consecutive year that the US Open seeded 32 players in both singles events.

The singles draws for the 2017 US Open will be revealed live during an official draw ceremony, which will be open to the public for the first time, on Friday, August 25, at 12 noon ET at the US Open Experience at the historic Seaport District NYC. The ceremony will conclude with an appearance by defending women’s singles champion Angelique Kerber and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, as well as other special guests.

2017 US Open Men’s Singles Seeds

1. Rafael Nadal, Spain
2. Andy Murray, Great Britain
3. Roger Federer, Switzerland
4. Alexander Zverev, Germany
5. Marin Cilic, Croatia
6. Dominic Thiem, Austria
7. Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria
8. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France
9. David Goffin, Belgium
10. John Isner, United States
11. Roberto Bautista Agut, Spain
12. Pablo Carreno Busta, Spain
13. Jack Sock, United States
14. Nick Kyrgios, Australia
15. Tomas Berdych, Czech Republic
16. Lucas Pouille, France
17. Sam Querrey, United States
18. Gael Monfils, France
19. Gilles Muller, Luxembourg
20. Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Spain
21. David Ferrer, Spain
22. Fabio Fognini, Italy
23. Mischa Zverev, Germany
24. Juan Martin del Potro, Argentina
25. Karen Khachanov, Russia
26. Richard Gasquet, France
27. Pablo Cuevas, Uruguay
28. Kevin Anderson, South Africa
29. Diego Schwartzman, Argentina
30. Adrian Mannarino, France
31. Feliciano Lopez, Spain
32. Robin Haase, the Netherlands

2017 US Open Women’s Singles Seeds

1. Karolina Pliskova, Czech Republic
2. Simona Halep, Romania
3. Garbiñe Muguruza, Spain
4. Elina Svitolina, Ukraine
5. Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark
6. Angelique Kerber, Germany
7. Johanna Konta, Great Britain
8. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia
9. Venus Williams, United States
10. Agnieszka Radwanska, Poland
11. Dominika Cibulkova, Slovakia
12. Jelena Ostapenko, Latvia
13. Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic
14. Kristina Mladenovic, France
15. Madison Keys, United States
16. Anastasija Sevastova, Latvia
17. Elena Vesnina, Russia
18. Caroline Garcia, France
19. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russia
20. Coco Vandeweghe, United States
21. Ana Konjuh, Croatia
22. Shuai Peng, China
23. Barbora Strycova, Czech Republic
24. Kiki Bertens, Netherlands
25. Daria Gavrilova, Australia
26. Anett Kontaveit, Estonia
27. Shuai Zhang, China
28. Lesia Tsurenko, Ukraine
29. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Croatia
30. Julia Goerges, Germany
31. Magdalena Rybarikova, Slovakia
32. Lauren Davis, United States

Palmer Clare: US Open Ball Kid

Palmer Clare

Being a ball kid at the US Open is an honor. It requires an application, tryouts, and on-site practices. Palmer Clare, a high school senior living in North Bellmore, NY, made this year’s cut.

I met Palmer during my first week at the Open. It turns out that his mom teaches with my side-kick Melanie Rubin, and the two women are close friends. It also turns out that he lives very near where I was staying in Merrick, so I had the pleasure of driving him home one night after we had both had a full day at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Palmer spent a few minutes talking with me after working the evening shift following his first day of senior year. Click on the arrow in the box below to hear about his experiences as a first-time US Open Ball Kid.

 

 

Taylor Dent’s Many Hats

taylor dent

At last year’s US Open, I had the chance to meet and speak with former tour player Taylor Dent (click here to hear that interview). Shortly after the Open, Taylor emailed me to let me know he was embarking on a new journey: coaching aspiring junior player, Jared Donaldson (click here to hear my interview with Jared’s mom).

Fast forward one year. Jared decided to turn pro. He received a wildcard into the singles main draw of the 2014 US Open where he faced Gael Montaylor & lisafils in his first round match. He received a wildcard into the doubles main draw where he partnered with veteran Michael Russell and had the opportunity to play Mike & Bob Bryan in the second round. He is the 3 seed in the Junior US Open and has only dropped 5 games in his first two matches. This coaching arrangement, it seems, is working out pretty well so far.

Taylor graciously eeked out some time from his crazy busy schedule to sit down with me again this year to discuss his coaching philosophy, his parenting philosophy, and his advice to tennis parents. Click on the arrow in the box below to hear my interview with Taylor Dent.

 

 

 

Walker Duncan’s Junior Slam Debut

WalkerDuncan Last Thursday, Walker Duncan got the phone call that he was being awarded a last-minute wildcard spot in the main draw of the Junior US Open (which was starting 3 days later!). This high-school senior from Atlanta had never played in a Junior Slam – what an opportunity! He and his parents quickly scrambled to make travel arrangements to get to New York so Walker would have a chance to get settled in and practice on the courts of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center before his first round match on Sunday. I caught up with Walker in the Player’s Lounge – as you can see from the grin on his face in the photo above, he was thrilled to be here! He talked with me about what it means to play in the Junior US Open and his plans for the future:

Walker’s parents and his brother, Sawyer (who played tennis at Furman University), DuncanFamilywere among the many fans in the stands cheering for Walker during his first round match versus Juan Jose Rosas (Peru). Unfortunately, things didn’t go Walker’s way today, but he’ll have another shot tomorrow in his first-round doubles match with partner Deiton Baughman. Definitely keep an eye on this young man as he finishes his junior tennis career and heads to the University of Georgia next Fall. He’s going to be a great asset to the Bulldogs and coaches Manny Diaz and Will Glenn.

Click on the arrow in the YouTube box below to hear Walker’s take on this exciting opportunity.

 

 

 

Noah Rubin at Home in Merrick

noah & lisa

This morning, I caught Noah Rubin at home in Merrick, NY – Long Island – eating breakfast and catching up on his favorite shows on the DVR. It’s been quite a week for this young man!

He played his very first US Open main draw singles match. He played his very first US Open main draw doubles match (with his very close buddy, Stefan Kozlov). And pretty much everyone he’s ever met in his entire life was there to cheer him on.

We all wish Noah well as he embarks on the next step of his journey: freshman year at Wake Forest University.

Click on the arrow in the YouTube box below to hear from Noah about his thoughts on his first US Open Main Draw experience and heading off to college.

 

 

US Open Arthur Ashe Kids Day: Parent to Parent

USTA 2014 Junior Sportsmanship Award Winners
USTA 2014 Junior Sportsmanship Award Winners

Yesterday, I got to experience Arthur Ashe Kids Day at the US Open for the very first time. You can’t believe how many families attend this amazing celebration of tennis and how many different activities are going on around the grounds throughout the day!

There are booths with face painting, balloon animals, and other kid-friendly events. Several of the outer courts are filled with the pros playing a variety of tennis-themed games with the kids. Inside Arthur Ashe stadium, the entertainment is focused around the preteen set with musical acts, dancing, and award presentations. And, of course, all around the grounds the players are practicing and preparing for their first match of the tournament, so there are plenty of photo and autograph opportunities for the fans.

After getting a quick lay of the land, I spent some time inside Interview Room 1 where USTA president David Haggerty and former player (and current Director At Large of USTA) Chanda Rubin presented the 2014 Junior Sportsmanship Award to CiCi Bellis (who, as a result of winning the National Hardcourts in San Diego earlier this month, received a wildcard into the Main Draw of the Open) and Aron Hiltzik. Following the award presentation, the player interviews began, starting with Novak Djokovic then Roger Federer, Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams, Andy Murray, Milos Raonic, Simona Halep, Genie Bouchard, and Grigor Dimitrov.

But, my priority was getting out to the practice courts to watch Noah Rubin have a hit. I had the opportunity to sit with Noah’s mom and sister as he practiced on the court with Donald Young. In the clips below, you will hear from Melanie and Jessie Rubin along with Shelia Townsend (Taylor’s mom) and Ilona Young (Donald’s mom) about what it’s like watching your child achieve their life-long dream.

 

 

Heading to the Open

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About 18 months ago, Sol Schwartz of Holabird Sports put me in touch with a fellow tennis parent he had recently met, Melanie Rubin. Sol thought Melanie and I would hit it off and wanted us to make contact.

For those of you who have been around ParentingAces a while, you may recognize Melanie’s name. She was a guest on my radio show in April 2013. She also did interviews for me at the 2013 National Hardcourts in Kalamazoo then helped me out at last year’s US Open.

If you’re new to ParentingAces, you may recognize Melanie’s name as the mom of 2014 Wimbledon Junior Champ and 2014 Kalamazoo Champ (and rising freshman at Wake Forest), Noah Rubin.

Well, my friend Melanie is about to see her son live his dream: playing in the main draw at the US Open right in his own backyard! And, I’m going to be there to document the experience from the parent’s side of things. It’s going to be a very exciting 2 weeks in New York, and I hope you’ll follow along with me to see how my amazing Tennis Parent friend fares as her son competes on one of the world’s biggest stages.

I’ll be at the Open starting this Thursday. If you plan to be up there, too, please reach out via text message, email, Twitter, or whatever so we can meet!

I know you all join me in wishing Noah and his momma all the best in his US Open debut! Stay tuned!