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Sep/14

17

Facing Hewitt book interview

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An interview I did with an Australian media outlet about my latest tennis book “Facing Hewitt”…

Question: What inspired you to do a book about Lleyton Hewitt?

It started out as a magazine feature idea that was eventually published in the Australian Open program in January. The feature was well received and I decided to develop it further into a book.

Question: Was it a challenge to get interviews with ATP players and were they willing to discuss their matches and experiences with Hewitt?

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Sep/14

17

Rafa Returns … In Astana, Kazakhstan

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Rafael Nadal will play in a two-day exhibition match with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Kazakhstan. It will be the first time that Nadal will visit the Central Asian nation.

The Kazakhstan Tennis Federeration (KTF) reported that ATP World Number Two player Rafa Nadal will be in Kazakhstan from September 24 to September 25 where will compete against Tsonga in two matches at the National Tennis Centre in Astana.

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While there were plenty of surprises at the 2014 U.S. Open, the final TV ratings statistics were certainly not one.

CBS televised it’s final US Open after 47 years of coverage and Marin Cilic vs. Kei Nishikori will go down as one of the lowest rated finals in history. Lacking marquee names in a final that began at 5 p.m. EDT on a Monday afternoon (that’s 3 p.m. on the west coast), it is hardly a shock that the Croatian Cilic’s straight-sets victory against the Japanese attracted just a 1.9 overnight rating, down 32 percent from Rafael Nadal’s win over Novak Djokovic one year ago, according to Sports Business Daily.

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By Guillermo Morales-Rubert

Recently I had the opportunity to interview Bill Oakes, the Tournament Director for the Winston-Salem Open. Bill is also the Associate Athletic Director of Wake Forest University Tennis commentator Patrick McEnroe was quoted saying the following: “I’ve heard that players just love the Winston-Salem Open because they are so well taken of, and that’s what the players want. The hospitality was really felt when I was there for the Davis Cup. People like Bill Oakes have tennis in their blood, and I know he does a great job”. After spending some time with Bill I concurred with Mr. McEnroe’s assessment. Bill’s passion for tennis and keen ability to accommodate player’s needs has led to his success as a Tournament Director. Therefore, I am certain Bill will be able to attract more quality players to Winston-Salem. The interview provides an inner look to one of eleven professional tournaments at the ATP level in the United States. The Winston-Salem Open is the only professional international event in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This is a must see tournament.

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Sep/14

9

The Biofile: Marin Cilic Interview (2008)

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From the archives…I did this Biofile interview with Marin Cilic after his first round win at the 2008 US Open…

DOB: Sept. 28, ’88 In: Medjugorje, Bosnia Herzegovina

Tennis Inspirations: “Of course Goran Ivanisevic, he was a national hero when I was growing up. He also helped me a lot during when he was finishing his career and probably when I was fourteen-fifteen, just coming up. So he was a really big help for my tennis.”

Hobbies/Interests: “During the tournaments I like to just relax, watch some movies, internet, play some games. When I have some days off I always go home to my family, with my friends, relatives, of course, go out and have a little fun with my friends.”

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Sep/14

9

Marin Cilic: The Man Who Shocked Tennis

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There are some parallels to Marin Cilic’s surprising US Open conquest yesterday to the 2002 Australian Open triumph by Thomas Johansson.

Cilic was a #14 seed, Johansson was #16. Cilic’s opponent Nishikori was #10, To Jo’s – Marat Safin – was #9.

Johansson was 26 years old when he won his first and only major title, Cilic is also 26.

Johansson had won seven career ATP singles titles prior to the Aussie Open, Cilic 11.

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Sep/14

8

The Biofile: Darren Cahill Interview

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Status: ESPN Commentator, former ATP professional, former coach of Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi.

Tennis Inspirations: “All the old Aussies for sure. We’re pretty lucky in Australia with great tradition of all the Grand Slam champions. So, for me, looking up to guys like Tony Roche, Neale Fraser, John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, Lew Hoad, you know, we just have bundles of them. And really, when I was nine, ten, eleven, sitting back and watching those great Wimbledon finals between Borg and McEnroe was really the inspiration for me to even pick up a racquet in the first place.”

Hobbies/Interests: “Golf, golf and more golf. I have two kids so a little less golf than I would like. I live in Vegas so we try to get on the golf course as much as possible. And spending a lot of time with the family.”

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Sep/14

8

The Biofile: Sania Mirza Interview

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By Scoop Malinowski

Status: WTA tennis player. Winner of one WTA singles, 2014 US Open mixed doubles champion (with partner Bruno Soares). Her career-high singles ranking was #27 in 2007.

DOB: November 15, 1986 in Mumbai, India.

Tennis Inspirations: “Steffi Graf. I guess in the men it was Rafter and then Sampras. It basically kept changing. But right now it’s obviously Federer [smiles].”

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316182_223404011058516_78933282_nOh, what a day at the US Open. I wasn’t even there! I’m sure, Mike, who was probably there right when the first toss took to the air around 12:30 pm for the Djoko-Kei match can tell us all about it, but I repeat, what a day.

In the dust of Nishikori’s and Cilic’s big upset wins (and Navratilova’s accepted proposal to a former Miss Russia Beauty Queen–you go, Martina, at 57. You still got your verve), we have our first men’s slam finals since 2005 where a member of the Big 4 is not a part of it.

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Sep/14

5

What To Make of Women’s Tennis?

401757_102346636555523_127507345_nI caught just a little of both matches today, the women’s semis day at the Open. When I turned into the Peng-Wozniaki match, it was 7-6, 4-3, 30-all with The Woz serving and Peng Shuai went into some deep cramps. The trainer came out, then the umpire and amazingly they let her take a 10-minute time-out in the middle of the game. I didn’t think a player was allowed to have treatment for cramps in the middle of a game. McEnroe said it was “a black eye” for the sport that they let Peng come back out and play. Later in the game, she was overcome by the cramps, but she still wouldn’t quit. They had to default her and she left in a wheelchair.

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