Marina Hingis Elected to International Tennis Hall of Fame with industry leaders Cliff Drysdale, Charlie Pasarell, Ion Tiriac
Marina Hingis Elected to International Tennis Hall of Fame with industry leaders Cliff Drysdale, Charlie Pasarell, Ion Tiriac
NEWPORT, R.I., USA, March 4, 2013- Martina Hingis, a former world No. 1 and the winner of 15 Grand Slam tournament titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, has been elected to receive the highest honor in the sport of tennis, enshrinement in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Joining Hingis in the Class of 2013 will be two co-founders of the ATP, longtime ESPN tennis broadcaster Cliff Drysdale and tennis promoter and industry leader Charlie Pasarell, both of whom have been elected in the Contributor Category. Also in that category, Romanian tennis great Ion Tiriac, has been elected in recognition of his work to grow the sport through roles as an influential player manager and successful tournament promoter. It was previously announced that Australian tennis legend Thelma Coyne Long, winner of 19 Grand Slam tournament titles between the 1930s and 1950s, has been elected in the Master Player Category. The Hall of Fame Class of 2013 was announced today as part of the World Tennis Day festivities, and the new class will be honored tonight in a Center Court presentation at Madison Square Garden during the BNP Paribas Showdown.
“Being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame is tremendous honor,” stated Hingis. “It is truly a privilege to be part of such an exclusive group of tennis icons. I am looking forward to the enshrinement weekend in Newport and to being welcomed in by the other Hall of Famers.”
International Tennis Hall of Fame President Stan Smith said, “Having achieved world No. 1 status in both singles and doubles, and having won an incredible 15 Grand Slam tournament titles, Martina Hingis is undoubtedly one of the world’s elite tennis players, and we are glad to pay tribute to her among the legends of the sport.”
Smith, who also serves as chairman of the Enshrinee Nominating Committee, also commented, “Cliff, Charlie, and Ion all had success in tennis at the top levels, but they also had visions for the sport’s immense potential for growth, and they have dedicated their lives and careers to making that happen. Tennis is better for having had the leadership of these three men, and Hall of Fame enshrinement is a well-deserved tribute in recognition of all they have done for our sport. Also, during the Australian Open, we had the opportunity to notify Thelma Coyne Long of the good news of her enshrinement, and she was delighted. She is one of the greatest Australian tennis players of all time, which already places her in outstanding company, and now she will be forever celebrated among the best in the world. I look forward to welcoming all five honorees into the Hall of Fame this year.”
The Class of 2013 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, July 13, 2013. The ceremony will be a highlight of the Rolex Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend, which will also feature the unveiling of museum tribute exhibits for the new Hall of Famers, grand celebratory parties and special events, and an exhibition match featuring great tennis legends. The ceremony and festivities will be held in conjunction with the annual Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event. Tickets for the ceremony and tournament are available now on HallofFameTennisChampionships.com or by phone at 401-849-6053.
The 2013 Rolex Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend marks the start of a new title sponsorship of the enshrinement festivities by the luxury Swiss watchmaker. Rolex has been the Official Timepiece of the International Tennis Hall of Fame for many years and has a long history of supporting the sport’s most important events.
“We are so pleased to welcome Rolex as the title sponsor of the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Enshrinement Weekend. This new facet of our long-standing relationship is an ideal fit as the enshrinement events honor those individuals who have displayed excellence in performance and have achieved the pinnacle of success, characteristics exemplified by the Rolex brand,” said Christopher Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. “On behalf of the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors, I extend our congratulations to the Class of 2013. We look forward to paying tribute to their extraordinary lives and careers this summer and beyond.”
The five new Hall of Famers are joining elite company among the world’s best tennis players and industry leaders and innovators. Since 1955, the honor of enshrinement in the International Tennis Hall of Fame has been presented to just 224 people. Hall of Famers hail from 19 countries- a testament to the global appeal of the sport.
Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of tennis. The Hall of Fame offers an extensive museum that chronicles the history of the sport and honors the game’s greatest legends. Surrounding the museum are 13 historic grass tennis courts that date back to 1880, and were the site of the first U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championships, hosted in 1881.
Individuals are eligible for Hall of Fame enshrinement in three categories, Recent Player, Master Player, and Contributor. The International Media Panel, which is comprised of tennis journalists and authors, vote on the Recent Player Category. The International Masters Panel, which consists of Hall of Famers and individuals who are highly knowledgeable of the sport and its history, vote on the Master Player and Contributor categories. To be elected in any of the categories, an affirmative vote of 75% is required.
—A, McLaughlin, ITHOF
|Four USTA Juniors Honored with Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Awards|
|NEWPORT, R.I., July 26, 2012 - In addition to paying tribute to some of the greatest legends of tennis during the recent Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, the International Tennis Hall of Fame also honored four remarkable USTA junior tennis players. The junior players, who hail from all over the nation, were presented the 2011 Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Awards in recognition of their consistent display of outstanding sportsmanship. The 2011 recipients were Andrew Ball of Palo Alto, Calif., Josh Hagar of Austin, Tx., Sierra Halverson of Burtrum, Minn., and Whitney Kay of Alpharetta, Ga.The awards were presented by Hall of Famers Stan Smith and Donald Dell on Saturday, July 14 at the Chubb Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon, just prior to the Class of 2012 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which honored Jennifer Capriati, Gustavo Kuerten, Manuel Orantes, Mike Davies, and Randy Snow.
The award is presented annually by the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and the four recipients were selected from a nationwide pool of juniors, nominated by each of the 17 sections of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Awards Committee. Each award winner must be a junior player who exemplifies the finest qualities of sportsmanship in tournament play as well as one who maintains the finest traditions of the great sportsmen/women of tennis, past and present. The award is given in honor of 1967 Hall of Famer Bill Talbert, who was known for his high standards of sportsmanship.
This year’s Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Award recipients were previously announced by the USTA during the 2012 USTA Annual Spring Meeting. Each winner was presented with their official sportsmanship trophy during the Hall of Fame Weekend in Newport, and the honorees and their families participated in many of the special events centered around the annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
Andrew Ball of the USTA Northern California section is held in high regard for his success and sportsmanship in both USTA tennis and as a part of his high school team at Menlo School, where he will be a senior in the fall. Ball has received both national and sectional tournament sportsmanship awards throughout the years. At the 2011 USTA Boys’ 18 National Clay Court Championships he was recognized as a Sportsmanship Player of the Day, and at the 2010 and 2011 NorCal Boys’ Sectional Championships, he was also a winner of the daily sportsmanship award. In 2011, he was awarded the Maze Cup Sportsmanship Award. This award is given at the annual NorCal versus SoCal tournament and is selected by the opposing team. Ball is a member of his high school student Athlete Sports Leadership Committee, and he has also received a Faculty Honors award for scholastic recognition. He was named to the 2011 Boy’s All-American Team, by the National High School All-American Foundation, a recognition that is given to select student-athletes who maintain an above average academic and citizenship record, compete on a high school tennis team, and garner an individual national ranking.
Josh Hagar has been an active player and leader in the USTA Texas section for many years. He received the Sportsmanship Award at the USTA National Open in 2006, and has been recognized with numerous sectional sportsmanship awards over the years, including the Clarence Mabry Sportsmanship Award in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Hagar recently graduated from the Austin Tennis Academy, where he was very involved in mentoring the younger students in the school and in the tennis program. In addition to his success and leadership on the tennis court, Hagar is very involved with various philanthropic works. He founded the Playing for Glimmer Campaign in 2008, which has raised more than $300,000 over 4 years to build 28 water wells, 2 schools, and 4 health facilities in rural Ethiopia. Hagar traveled to Ethiopia in 2009 to visit the people who were impacted by these efforts. A school in Ethiopia’s Wuhdut Village was named after Hagar, in appreciation of his work.
Sierra Halverson only became involved with USTA Northern within the past four years, but she has make a remarkable and positive mark on the section during that short time, becoming the top-ranked 16 year-old, and achieving a No. 2 ranking in Girls 18s. She won the 2010 USTA Northern Junior Section Singles Championship in Girls 18s, and also received the 2010 USTA Northern Jerry Noyce Junior Sportsmanship Award. Nationally, she was awarded the Girls Sportsmanship Award for 16 Zonals in 2009. Halverson is highly active in her local community, volunteering with Community Ed Tennis, a USTA Northern Stars program, and she is a Big Sister in Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. In the fall, Halverson will attend Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, where she will play tennis.
Whitney Kay has been a force in the junior tennis world since she started playing tournaments in the 12s division. As a member of the USTA Southern section, she reached a No. 1 ranking in the section at the age of 14 and has maintained that honor ever since. Nationally, she gained the top spot of the Girls 18s division in 2010 and is currently ranked No. 4. Topping off her on-court success, Kay’s sportsmanlike behavior has been noted by coaches, players, and competitors numerous times. She has received sportsmanship honors from 5 National Open events and 3 USTA Southern Section events, including the 2011 Bill Ozaki Sportsmanship Award, which she shared with her twin brother. Kay was honored twice as Georgia Female Player of the Year, and she was recognized with the USTA Southern Section DeWitt Redgrave III Junior Achievement Award. This fall, Kay will play for the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
–A. McLaughlin, ITHOF
Igor Sijsling: Pride of Amsterdam --Steve Fogleman, TennisEastCoast.com
On the ATP website, there is only one professional tennis player who indicates that if he wasn’t playing tennis, he’d probably be a bartender. Naturally, I had to interview the man. At 24 years old and ranked #112 in the world, Igor Sijsling (SICE-ling) beat Jarkko Niemenen in 54 minutes last month on his way to the Quarterfinals at the UNICEF Open in Den Bosch. On Tuesday, we spoke at the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport right after he had stepped off Center Court following a loss to #2 seed Kei Nishikori.
What happened out there with Kei today?
I was up and down. I wasn’t serving that well, and when you’re not serving well against a guy like Kei, who’s a good returner, it’s going to be a tough match. I was down the whole match and came back to equal. Then he took it over again. I’m not really satisfied with my game, but I fought, and that is what’s important.
What other sports have you played?
In Holland, almost everybody plays Soccer. I like other sports too, like Basketball. I went to ballet lessons when I was three years old. My mother put me in there for one week, and then I figured out there’s only girls over there, so I didn’t want to go back.
I understand that injuries cost you some time away from the game?
Yeah, I’ve had my fair share of injuries, but I think it comes with playing sport at the highest level as an athlete. It’s just very tough on your body.
Tell me about your coach and that epic chess match you played with him on Monday.
My coach is Joaquin Munoz from Spain. I’ve been working with him this year and I’m really enjoying it so far. Yes, it was the end game. So it was the final stages of the match. It was very close. I just beat him. On tour, we play a lot of chess and backgammon. We like the board games.
How did it feel to watch the Wimbledon final with Federer and Murray in the player’s lounge here in Newport?
I was enjoying the match. Roger was playing at his best level. Murray had his chances in the second set to get to him, but he didn’t take it and Federer stepped up.
You just made a run to the Quarters in Den Bosch. Any thoughts on your success there?
That felt good. It’s always nice to play in front of your own country. Yeah, I played a good match and a good tournament there. It was good.
What’s it like to grow up in a place like Amsterdam as a young athlete?
I’m used to Amsterdam. I can’t really compare it to other cities. I really enjoy it there. I had tennis education with a normal school education and then I did tennis at a private club in Amsterdam. When I was done with high school, I started playing with the Dutch Federation, in Aalsmeer, so I moved out of Amsterdam and went there.
What about the news that the Dutch Parliament is considering raising the national drinking age from 16 to 18?
Wow. I’m not really involved in those decisions. I don’t know if it should go up, but if you drink a lot it’s dangerous. People should be careful with it.
What about the new national policies banning foreigners from Amsterdam’s famous “coffee shops”? Has it had any noticeable impact on nightlife there?
Not that I’ve noticed. I’ve heard that as a foreigner it’s tougher to get your “pot”. (Laughs)
Now, I don’t specialize in drugs. I don’t use drugs. But I haven’t seen a big change in Amsterdam in the last year.
I hear you’d be a bartender if you weren’t a pro tennis player. Is that true? A Bartender in Amsterdam’s nightlife scene?
It’s vibrant! You can have a good night and for young people it’s a great place to go out and bartenders do very well. Yeah, if I wasn’t playing tennis, I think I’d enjoy that life.
What would be your signature drink?
Maybe the Mojito!
Next stop on the Tour for Sijsling is the Granby Challenger before he heads off to Los Angeles for the Farmer’s Classic.
Scene and Heard: Hewitts Ozcupy Newport
Steve Fogleman, TennisEastCoast.com
Yesterday, I promised you the Newport main course of Scene and Heard. Bon Appetit.
Lleyton Hewitt: Ozcupy Newport
I have always admired him as a player, and he’s certain to end up enshrined here at the Hall of Fame, but there was something strange about 2012 Finalist Hewitt this week. Here’s the skinny:
Hewitt brought his whole family here from the Bahamas or whereever he is based these days. For an offshore baron with residency in both hemispheres, Newport is certainly a befitting family holiday for him. Problem was, they camped out all week in the upstairs players/media lounge and took up a huge amount of space. All three kids, Oz superstar/wife Bec Cartwright, Lleyton’s hitting partner, Peter Luczak, a nanny or friend of Bec’s and various other folks participated in a posh version of “Ozcupy Newport” ALL WEEK.
For the most part, the players are all crammed in the open-air first floor player’s lounge which acts as a fishbowl. Fans stand around and gawk while most guys on the tour wolf down chicken cacciatore and chat with other players.
Legend has it that years ago, Taylor Dent wandered up to the upstairs lounge, which was then exclusively occupied by journalists, since it is directly in front of the media center. He was in bad sorts, according to an unnamed official, and just needed to get away from everyone to clear his mind after a match. That official told him that his presence in the upstairs lounge was fine, but to be aware that media would be crawling all over the place since it was their territory. He came back every day, alone, and ended up winning the tournament that year. Since that time, players got the word and slowly migrated upstairs for some occasional private time.
No one I spoke to indicated that anything like the Hewitt Family Nursery experience had ever happened before. They took up over 3/4 of the upstairs lounge space the first 3/4 of the week. It was unlike anything I had ever witnessed before within the credentialed confines of a media center. Outside, I watched Peter Luczak walk the kids through the grounds and hit balls to entertain them the whole time I was there. I even heard unnamed players on the practice courts joke that they were going to bring their dogs to the tournament grounds next year. In a press conference, Hewitt admitted that his kids don’t really attend the matches.
In another player’s presser, which I captured on video, you can hear the kids loudly in the background in the nursery/interview room during the opening remarks.
In a family friendly history filled theme park of a vacation destination like Newport, the Hewitts could have easily hopped the trolley to the harbor or nearby beaches instead of hunkering down in a place teeming with the press and Tennis Channel on the only TV in the room. The player’s hotel, the Viking, was just three blocks away and must have offered more comforts and privacy. And the kids weren’t even popping into his matches until Thursday.
I asked Lleyton on Monday if I could take a photo of him while he was surrounded by his children in the lounge. He said he’d prefer not to do a photo with his children, which I took at face value at the time. I mean, this was the guy who charged hundreds of thousands of Australians $2 to receive a text message from him announcing the name of his latest baby in 2010. It turned out to cost $.67 per letter, as the answer was A-V-A. But maybe he’d turned a privacy corner. This was also the same dad who gave exclusive access to an Australian TV network to cover the first two years of his first child’s life for an unreported largesse. It still, strangely, felt fair enough at the time.
Then, on Thursday, he trots the kids out to Center Court after his 2nd round victory. And, Bec, with superstar Ava in tow, starts signing autographs, posing for dozens of photos and giving brief interviews. I figured all bets were off at that time. So, I photographed her. And her.
I then walk upstairs toward the media center ahead of them, and standing alone in the media/players lounge, is Mia, the previously documentarized, seemingly unattended oldest child of the trio. A reporter is asking her name and her sibling’s names and ages, as if it were too much to Wiki or Google. She obliges. I nabbed a few seconds on video, because I was surprised how well this young lady was doing in an unscripted, unescorted impromptu interview.
I’m a big fan of kid involvement, but it seemed in this case that the kids would have had a better time anywhere else in the great City of Newport, with its perfect beaches and scenic bike rides.
Huge fan here, Lleyton, but when you do return for your induction ceremony, let the kids enjoy their vacation away from the upstairs media/players lounge and let them hit the town instead.
UPDATE: A very astute reader wondered why the kids were all decked out in the Fila shirts, since they are not an official Hewitt sponsor.
So, this is it, tennis fans. The first time I attempt to do a tournament dish. Today, you get the starters. Tomorrow, the main course.
Let’s start with Milos Raonic. First, he never seemed content for one moment throughout the entire tournament, even after his comeback win on Ebden. After his second round loss to Benjamin Becker, he left the court while I took photos of Becker signing autographs. I then proceeded to the rest rooms, which are conveniently (?) located off the grounds of the Hall of Fame, and it just so happened to be where the tournament vehicle pool resides. No later than 10 minutes after the match was over, and with barely enough time to clean out a locker, Milos was Vamos.
Now I don’t know if anyone actually requested a post-match presser with him, but I’ve never seen anyone leave the grounds of a tournament as quickly as he did. The intimate venue certainly assisted in the speedy get-away.
Tennis Channel Retro Logo?
A Titanic Tennis Channel Television Production Iceberg was avoided this weekend when Tennis Channel advance men spotted a blast from the past. It seems that the tournament was using an older version of TC’s logo in both the programs and on Center Court signage.
Although the new logo was admittedly a subtle change, the broadcast sponsors were a little surprised and wanted to make sure it was updated in time for live network coverage. We’re happy to report it was.
John Isner and Lleyton Hewitt to meet in Newport final
NEWPORT, R.I., July 14, 2012 – John Isner will set out to defend his title at the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships tomorrow, while Australian Lleyton Hewitt aims for his 29th ATP World Tour title from the other side of the net. The match will be the third meeting of the two players, with Lleyton having won all three past encounters.
To get to tomorrow’s final, Hewitt defeated Newport’s 2009 champion Rajeev Ram today, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2. He is 7-0 in grass-court finals, with his latest triumph coming in the 2010 Gerry Weber Open title match over Roger Federer in Halle.
In today’s second semifinal, John Isner served up 11 aces and overcame compatriot Ryan Harrison, 7-6(4), 6-3. Of his week in Newport, Isner commented, “It’s feeling very similar to last year. I wasn’t playing well and I was ranked in the 40s when I came here last year. I desperately needed some wins and confidence, and that’s exactly what I got. This year, it’s pretty much the same, although I’m ranked a lot higher than 46th. I didn’t play well in Europe. It’s as simple as that. I’m always most comfortable in the U.S., which is something I need to work on. This is where I play well the most.”
In doubles action, the British Olympic team of Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins defeated Treat Conrad Huey and Dominic Inglot, and will face Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky in tomorrow’s final.
Tomorrow’s tennis gets started at 10 a.m. with the Hall of Fame Classic Exhibition Match, featuring new Hall of Famer Guga Kuerten, former world top-10 player Todd Martin, and other tennis greats.
RESULTS - Saturday, July 14 2012
Singles – Semifinals  J Isner (USA) d  [WC] R Harrison (USA) 76(4) 63 [WC] L Hewitt (AUS) d R Ram (USA) 64 57 62
Doubles – Semifinals  C Fleming (GBR) / R Hutchins (GBR) d T Huey (PHI) / D Inglot (GBR) 76(4) 64
ORDER OF PLAY – Sunday, July 14, 2012
Starting at 2:00 PM
 J Isner (USA) vs [WC] L Hewitt (AUS)
 S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) vs  C Fleming (GBR) / R Hutchins (GBR)
–Anne Marie McLaughlin, Tennis Hall of Fame, Photos by S. Fogleman
Rajeev Ram may have lost today to two-time Grand Slam Champion Lleyton Hewitt in a three setter to past Hall of Fame Tennis Champion Ram, but the memory of Rajeev dominating Kei Nishikori in Wednesday’s quarterfinal is still fresh in my mental cache. It takes a lot to get Nishikori to start dropping F-bombs midway through the first set, but that is exactly what happened twenty seconds into the three-minute video above.
May I also say that there’s no place like home? Judy Garland may have laid claim to it already. But the broadband at home is 6 times faster than any of the hotels and media centers on the road. And the waterfront cottage where I spent my off time was powered by a phone. And in 1990′s ‘style of the time’, I literally ran out of the internet in 2 days. 5GB a month was chewed up in 48 hours, and I couldn’t even upload a photo after that. The Ram video loaded in 8 minutes back at the old Baltimore rowhouse, which would have been 95 anywhere else during my travels in Little Rhody or Greater Tennisdom, for that matter.
So, Lleyton and Isner? I know who I don’t want. I’ll let you know tomorrow.
It was Wednesday at the 2012 Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, and still the biggest story on the bulletin board outside the media center was about Denis Kudla that had appeared in the Newport Daily News. Kudla lost in singles qualifying and had just been defeated in doubles with Steve Johnson. After his post-match meal of pasta and salad, he gave me an update on the summer.
It was the second time he’s played Treat Huey “and the second time he beat me badly”.
He loves Newport and yesterday took a boat tour around Aquidneck Island. He especially enjoys the long, interesting window-shopping walks around town.
Are ranking points a big concern for him at this point?
I just lost points here. I think now I’m 195 or 197. I’m not worried about it too much. Points are going to come off so I have to put on new ones. I’m not really looking at rankings right now. I was at the beginning of the year. Now I’m just focusing on trying to improve. I think if I work hard, in the right direction, the results will come and the ranking will rise.
Lexington, Binghamton and CitiOpen qualifying are next in the works for Kudla.
The DC-raised Philadelphia Eagles fan does support the Washington Nationals. Denis said “I’m crossing my fingers for them”.
I’m crossing mine for Denis for a great US Open Summer Series.
Earlier today, University of Virginia Alumni Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot advanced to the semifinals of the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, Rhode Island. They won a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Lleyton Hewitt and Chris Guccione. I got a chance to speak with the duo on Wednesday, after they had beaten Denis Kudla and Steve Johnson in straights.
Did that win over USC Captain Steve Johnson come with any extra motivation?
Huey: Yesterday, we were talking with Coach Bowland at Virginia and he said “Hopefully get some revenge on Steve Johnson, because USC has beaten up on us”. So, it was good to beat them.
What about your grass play this year, Dominic and your victory at Nottingham over Wimbledon Champs Jonny Marray and Frederik Nielsen?
Inglot: I think we keep playing well, and keep doing the things we’ve been doing, keep improving. It’s tough to play on the grass the first time. To play our first tournament there and get some good wins in there tried to give us some confidence going into Wimbledon. Unfortunately, we didn’t do so well there, but it’s nice to have a win over the future Wimbledon Champions.
How about making the final at Houston?
Inglot: For me, that was really a big tournament, because I actually didn’t think I was that suited for clay going back to my singles days, and I was never that comfortable on it. After that result, which was our first clay court tournament this year, we had a great result. It actually gave me a lot of confidence to play in other tournaments like the French Open. I was actually really happy and I feel comfortable going back there if I ever want to. The fans are really knowledgeable and friendly and it was very nice there.
Any complaints about the grass at Newport?
Inglot: I think they held up pretty good today. Sometimes they get a little bit scuffed up, and you hit into those places where they’ve been scuffed up, you get some dodgy bounces, but overall I think today it was all right. I always like playing on grass, though.
Tret, do you love the the grass as much as Dom, or are you an American Hardcourter?
Huey: I do feel that I’m much more comfortable on the hardcourts, but playing here on grass, we played the last month and a half on grass, so we’re definitely comfortable right now. Here I feel like if you play well, serve well and stay solid at the net, you’ve got a good chance against anybody. We’re hoping to continue to do that.
How did you feel about your success in Houston?
Huey: We played well there. Going in the last time we played on clay before Houston, we lost a terrible first round match in Napoli, Italy in a small challenger. So we were like “It can’t get much worse!”. We went into Houston and didn’t have very high expectations. He and I played real well the whole clay court season and getting to the finals was great.
What about making the final at Halle?
Huey: I played well on the grass there, got to the final. I played with Scott Lipsky there actually, because Dom was in Great Britain that week. I was hoping to play Nadal there, but he pulled out against somebody else in the quarterfinals. Had he won, Nadal and I would have played in the semis. I was so pumped to play him, but it didn’t work out. Hopefully, some other time.
You didn’t end up getting into the Olympics, right?
Huey: Didn’t pick up a wild card for the Olympics. Dom and I will play the rest of the summer leading up to the US Open. We’re hoping to continue to do well. Hard Court season starts next week. Going to to the US Open and hoping to do well there.
Does that mean we’ll see you at the CitiOpen in DC?
Huey: Definitely. Hopefully, we’ll get in, we’re not really sure. It’ll be real tight to get in. I haven’t played in DC in a while, because I haven’t gotten in. I’m looking forward to playing in DC. It’s real close to Charlottesville and real close to where I grew up.
Huey was raised in Alexandria and attended St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes. He later trained in the afternoon program at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park.
“When I was 16, I started playing there. It was 35-40 minutes from my house. They did so much for me with my training and development as a player. I had Vesa Ponka and the coaches made me a better player”.
Although he resides two hours down the road in Charlottesville, Huey is a faithful DC team player. He roots for the Wizards, Nationals, Redskins and the Capitals.
“I’ve been seeing Ovechkin these last few weeks at Wimbledon and the French. It’s fun to see him. I got a picture with him. That was pretty great.”