Mailbag: Who Ought to Be the Subsequent U.S. Davis Cup Workforce Captain?

Hey, everybody. Some housekeeping:

• Begin with the massive tennis media information: Tennis Channel and WTA have reached a five-year settlement that may make the community the U.S. tv and digital media house of the WTA, starting in January 2019. Working from the primary week of January by means of late October’s annual tour championships, the partnership contains Premier and Worldwide tournaments in addition to the WTA Finals, representing greater than 2,000 matches every season.

• If bias had been profession momentum, I’d be Naomi Osaka right here. However I do assume this can be a win throughout. Good for the WTA. Good for the community. Good for the gamers. Most of all, good for the American tennis followers.

• Final week’s podcast, Paul Annacone discusses the success of the Laver Cup.

• Good soldiering: Notice that 60 Minutes begins its 51st season. 

You realize the drill…Sunday on CBS, after the NFL besides on the West Coast the place it airs at its commonly scheduled time. No guarantees, however we’ll push for some tennis….

Ants marching….


Have a query or remark for Jon? Electronic mail him at or tweet him @jon_wertheim.

Jon, with Jim Courier’s resignation, are you able to handicap the subsequent U.S. Davis Cup captain for us?
Peter, Austin, Texas

• Because you’re in Austin—and, coincidentally, I’m as properly immediately—let’s begin regionally. Andy Roddick is an apparent choose and I think it’s his job to just accept/decline. Not in contrast to the ATP rankings a decade in the past, we will go down the checklist. James Blake and Mardy Fish can be greater than succesful. Robby Ginepri, Dean Goldfine and Jan-Michael Gambill are all doing good job teaching ascending American gamers as properly. Just a few different factors:

15-Zero: Do not forget that beginning subsequent yr, the occasion is a one-week shindig. So it’s not an enormous dedication. Time-conscious new mother and father (Roddick) gained’t have to fret about schlepping throughout oceans 4 occasions all year long.

30-Zero: Particularly given the format, possibly it’s time for an outside-the-box choose. John Isner as player-coach? A lady corresponding to Martina Navratilova? Possibly add to Kathy Rinaldi’s job duties? What about somebody like Brian Billick, the previous NFL coach, who is aware of tennis and would deliver a very completely different perspective and talent set?

40-Zero: Commend Jim Courier, who has the uncommon means to string the needle between approachable and authoritative; between talking his thoughts and remaining respectful of establishment; talking properly but in addition listening. These U.S. gamers had been fortunate to have him. And higher nonetheless, they realized it.

Jon, I agree with a number of your factors about Laver Cup. It was enjoyable to observe [on Tennis Channel] and I’ll positively look into attending when it’s again in the US. However does this make you kind of optimistic concerning the new Davis Cup?
Carlos, New York

• Yeah, there are two methods to take a look at this sudden glut of tennis workforce occasions. What a fustercluck and what dysfunction, all these fiefdoms working at cross-purposes, presenting THREE completely different international workforce competitions inside a 120-day window. (“Insane!” —C. Kermode.) The flip aspect: how nice that tennis has discovered a brand new product line, because it had been, that takes benefits of worldwide enchantment and brings in this sort of capital funding.

Me? I just like the Davis Cup format in idea. It was time for a change, one which displays modifications in each expertise and the elevated calls for of the fashionable sport. However I fear concerning the funds. The extra I ask round, the much less satisfied this $three billion funding is a legit quantity. Doesn’t imply it might’t occur. However the precise funding thus far is a small % of that determine. If the cash is there, nice. If not—if that is ISL 2.Zero because the doomsayers predict—Davis Cup is in hassle and the outdated mannequin is not going to be “resurrect-able.”

Seeking to 2019: Which of the one time Grand Slam winners will choose up her second: Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, Sloane Stephens or Jelena Ostapenko? Which participant will break the Large 4 stranglehold and choose up his first Alam: Sascha Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov, Dominic Thiem, David Goffin or Kei Nishikori? And of the 2 choices: A second-time WTA Slam winner or a first-time ATP Slam winner is extra probably?

P.S. Are you able to give Bethanie Mattek-Sands some additional consideration after her profitable comeback and combined doubles win on the U.S. Open?  
Ken Wells, Gardiner, Maine

• In reverse order: 

d) Certain, a reputation test to Bethanie Mattek-Sands. 

c) Nice query. As I learn your query, it’s who’s extra prone to win a serious: Halep/Stephens/Wozniacki/Osaka/Ostapenko…or Sascha Zverev/Dominic Theim. I’ll take the ladies, a second-time WTA Slam winner.

b) No outsider will win a serious in 2019. Impatient as all of us is likely to be for a regime change, the Large 4 (plus Stanislas) are too good to choose towards them. And the opposite candidates haven’t proven sufficient, be it the younger guys (Zverev) or the veterans (Nishikori). Djokovic would be the favourite in Australia. Nadal would be the favourite in Paris. Let’s revisit after that. 

a) Only one? Like so many, I’m bullish on Osaka and I believe her continued robust play this fall speaks so properly of her focus and professionalism. I believe Halep is nice for one more main in 2019. And maybe Sloane as properly. Offered she and Pavlyuchenkova don’t run off and be a part of the UFC. 

Laver Cup looks as if it has a future. Has there been any dialogue and even the opportunity of including ladies to the Laver Cup? Or if not including them to the Laver Cup, having an equal occasion?

• I used to be talking with a buddy about this. I’m all for making these workforce occasions co-ed. Or having a women-only analogue. I believe the dynamic can be completely different. For quite a lot of causes—and right here comes the gender research seminar—the social dynamic among the many WTA gamers is completely different than it’s among the many ATP gamers. However so what? This is able to solely add to the enchantment and curiosity. If Serena Williams converts a break level for the World Workforce, prompting Sloane Stephens and CoCo Vandeweghe to breakdance on the sofa—within the method of Nick Kyrgios and Jack Sock—a lot the higher….

Your ideas on Lahyani being suspended for 2 tournaments? I fully agree: after all of the peace, love and kumbaya, it’s nonetheless a aggressive endeavor and Lahyani (a lot as his coronary heart was in the precise place) did a whole disservice to Kyrgios’ opponent. Have to set a precedent—we will’t have refs child sitting supposedly “skilled” athletes. 
Deepak, Seattle

• Boy, that looks as if a very long time in the past, does not it? It’s not even the freshest umpire controversy… Such as you, I’m okay with the punishment. It’s laborious to come back down too laborious on the man; empathy is seldom the fallacious selection. But it surely was inappropriate right here. Proper spirit, fallacious gesture. A reasonably mild penalty—after a session by means of the Web spanking machine—and let the man get again to his life and livelihood. Gavel. Subsequent case.

As that nation track goes (like ALL of them……) “How can I miss you if you happen to will not go away?” How about if tennis simply shuts down after the U.S. Open, and we’ll see you on the year-end Masters after which in Australia, mate! Davis Cup this week? Laver Cup? I imply, come on. Each different sport has the great sense to go away for some time, so we will sit up for it beginning up once more. Your ideas?
Dominic Ciafardini. New York

• I want I favored nation music as a lot as I like nation music lyrics. Honest level on this, shortage of product and all.

So far as I do know no one has written about the truth that Carlos Ramos was not current on the trophy ceremony. Usually umpires get a medal. I suppose the optics of Arthur Ashe booing in unison on prime time would have broken the model an excessive amount of. Sustain the good work.
Marko V

• You’re right. He was spirited away like Steve Bartman leaving Wrigley Subject.

Hello Jon: Not a query, simply an statement. 

All of us speak concerning the domination of the Large Three (generally 4) in males’s tennis, and there could be no higher illustration than this: I like to take a look at the rankings infrequently, see who’s shifting up or down, and this week Nadal, Federer and Djokovic are ranked, respectively, Nos. 1, 2 and three. One thing made me check out the rating from the identical week 10 years in the past and guess what? (You’re approach forward of me, aren’t you?) Yup. Nadal, Federer and Djokovic had been ranked Nos. 1, 2 and three that week as properly. No different participant was ranked within the high ten then and now, simply these three, occupying the very same positions. Clearly there have been some ups and downs in-between, however my goodness! Are these guys good, or what?
Gavin Spencer, NYC

They’re good. 

Think about that it’s 2008 and also you say: “Djokovic, Federer and Nadal will divvy up the three Majors.” Homo Technicus—the game a physique—pumps its fist and says, “Sure!” Sustained, bankable champions. Empire constructing. Good guys, all. A robust assertion that the gamers’ life span is rising, including incentive for youths to commit themselves to the game. 

Think about the remainder of area, although. It’s like getting caught within the safety line behind the man with rolls of cash in his cargo shorts. “Would not this line ever transfer so I can have my flip?”


Congrats to our outdated pal, Martina Hingis, who not solely turned 38 however can also be anticipating her first youngster.

• Michael Mmoh is the most recent American within the Prime 100 at No. 96 after he gained his second straight Challenger title. There at the moment are 12 Individuals within the Prime 100, which is essentially the most of any nation.

• The tennis courts at Metropolis of Houston’s Sunnyside Park have been resurfaced, thanks partly to contributions made by ATP World Tour stars who participated in April’s Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Males’s Clay Court docket Championship. The 2 courts on the park had been flooded in 2017 resulting from Hurricane Harvey. The power is certainly one of 44 regionally the place the Houston Tennis Affiliation (HTA) holds Nationwide Junior Tennis & Studying (NJTL) packages for six,000 youngsters yearly.

• My youngsters, who’re infinitely extra hip than I’m—low bar—inform me Lil Wayne has a brand new album out. So this provides us an excuse to hyperlink certainly one of my all-time favourite items of Sports activities Illustrated tennis content material.

• Congrats to reader Todd Rubinstein, honored, as he was, because the 2018 USPTA Nationwide Excessive College Tennis Coach of the Yr throughout the U.S. Open final month on the Grand Hyatt in NYC.

• Mat Cloer, a former faculty All-American and assistant coach who helped information Mackenzie McDonald to a career-high No. 77 world-ranking this summer time, has been employed as USTA Participant Growth’s new Collegiate Nationwide Coach.

• Ben Navarro did not get the Carolina Panthers. However he did get a WTA occasion. The CEO of Charleston-based Sherman Monetary Group and the founding father of training non-profit Assembly Avenue Colleges, has acquired the sanction of the WTA Volvo Automobile Open together with the operations of the Household Circle Tennis Heart and Volvo Automobile Stadium. With this transformation, Charleston Tennis LLC will now grow to be a locally-owned and operated group.

• Reader riff comes from our associates on the USTA: October is Down Syndrome Consciousness month and Beth Gibson is the proper one who helps these throughout the nation with Down Syndrome put a racket of their hand and grow to be lively. They’ve packages in over 20 markets throughout the nation so know it should actually hit a number of your readers.

Buddy Up Tennis started in the summertime of 2008. Beth Gibson, Founder & President of Buddy Up Tennis, has a son named Will who has Down syndrome. When Will was solely three years outdated, Beth would take him to a Tennis & Health Membership along with her and her older son, whereas they performed tennis. Will was all the time fascinated with tennis. Workers members quickly volunteered to show tennis to Will, and researched methods for educating kids with Down syndrome so as to take action. Because of this analysis, the necessity was recognized for an organized tennis and health program for people with Down syndrome.

The remaining is historical past! The primary Buddy Up Tennis clinic was held in December 2008. And it has been rising quickly ever since. Buddies (volunteers) are partnered with Athletes, to offer one-on-one consideration and develop significant connections and relationships. This system is now up and operating in near 20 markets.

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