Archive for the ‘Tennis’ Category

May 26th, 2011

Underestimate John Isner at Your Peril

Yesterday in the opening round of the French Open, defending champion Rafael Nadal was pushed to the limit by American John Isner before winning in five sets, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-4. But while some are choosing to whisper about how Nadal is now suddenly vulnerable in a tournament he’s previously owned (yesterday marked the first time he had lost a set at the French since 2009, and the first time he had ever dropped a set in the first or second round), I have to ask another question out loud: what in the world were the people who put together the draw at this tournament thinking when they matched Isner against Nadal in the first round?

Make no mistake, when a tournament pits you against the defending champion and top seed in the first round, they’re sending an unmistakable message to you and the rest of the tennis world. At bottom, they’ve decided that you’re the weakest player in the entire draw, the guy that the top dog deserves to play by dint of his past accomplishments. So, if Nadal is like Duke or Florida, Isner is a sub .500 team from a mid-major who hit a hot streak in March and won a conference tournament. Then again, given the way things shook out, maybe it’s 1989 and Nadal is Georgetown while Isner is Princeton.

In any case, given how he pushed the tournament’s top seed to the wall in the first round, it ought to be clear that the Georgia grad deserved a heck of a lot more respect than the folks at Roland Garros were willing to give this time around. Then again, it wasn’t like they didn’t have any indication that Isner could pull off a performance like this one. Did they not watch Wimbledon last year?

At 6’9", Isner is the Zdeno Chara of men’s tennis. When I first encountered him at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington several years ago, I watched him cut through half of the draw with a service game that flummoxed even the game’s best players. At the time, Andy Roddick, who would go on to defeat Isner in the 2007 final, said that playing against Isner was just like playing against anyone else—as long as that anyone else was allowed to serve from two feet inside the service line.

For me, the highlight of the tournament that year had to be stifling my own laughter while watching Gael Monfils sputter through a post match press conference after losing to Isner in the semifinal. He clearly couldn’t understand how or why he managed to lose to a man who boasted nothing but one of the most devastating serves in the game.

Perhaps the folks who put together the draw for this year’s French Open should have taken some time to listen to their countrymen. Maybe next year, they’ll pay Isner the respect he’s earned, and award him the sort of seed that will propel him to a lengthy stay at Roland Garros.

 
September 14th, 2009

Juan Martin Del Potro Snags U.S. Open Championship

juan martin delpotro 091409
Del Potro Celebrates at the 2008 Legg Mason Tennis Classic.

Earlier this evening, 20-year old Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro prevailed in a five set match over Roger Federer to win the 2009 U.S. Open Men’s Singles title.  I got my first close look at Del Potro when he won the 2008 title at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington, D.C.  Click here to read what I wrote about him at FanHouse a little more than a year ago.

 
September 14th, 2009

A Dispatch from Planet Serena

Just in case you missed the non-apology apology from Serena Williams for her outburst on Saturday night during the semifinals of the U.S. Open:

"Last night everyone could truly see the passion I have for my job. Now that I have had time to gain my composure, I can see that while I don’t agree with the unfair line call, in the heat of battle I let my passion and emotion get the better of me and as a result handled the situation poorly. I would like to thank my fans and supporters for understanding that I am human and I look forward to continuing the journey, both professionally and personally, with you all as I move forward and grow from this experience."

As Filip Bondy wrote earlier today, sometimes we’re too tough on athletes in the media, and it isn’t unusual to see some folks treated by different standards than others.  But in this case, Williams clearly went over the line.  And if you look back at the video of the incident, it’s impossible not to notice that the official took off towards the chair umpire at a pretty impressive clip the second time Williams approached her.  I think plenty of reasonable people could come to the conclusion that the official was in fear of getting popped by Williams.

In any case, even after more than $10,000 in fines, this story isn’t going to go away.  Williams, even though she was clearly in the wrong, has yet to apologize to the only person who deserves an apology: the lineswoman who was the object of her rage.

UPDATE: Looks like Williams finally did the right thing.

 
September 14th, 2009

Are We Being Too Hard on Serena Williams?

I don’t think so, but Fillip Bondy of the New York Daily News thinks otherwise.

 
September 13th, 2009

The Serena Williams Meltdown

Life can’t be terribly easy when anything and everything you do and say could possibly end up on worldwide television.  Everyone ought to be entitled to get angry once in a while, but when you’re a celebrity, losing your cool comes with a cost.  Just ask Dennis Green. Or Jim Mora.  Or Tommy Lasorda.  The fact is, if you lose your cool, the moment may very well follow you around for the rest of your life.

Well, one of my favorite athletes, Serena Williams, now has her very own moment of shame.  If you haven’t heard it yet, Williams was assessed a penalty point on match point in her semifinal showdown with Kim Clijsters at the U.S. Open.  The problems began with Williams serving to Clijsters at 15-30, trailing by a set and down 5-6 in the second.  It was then that the linesman called back-to-back foot faults on Williams, sending her to the brink at 15-40, and apparently over the edge:

That’s right, Williams essentially screamed her way out of the U.S. Open.

As you can see from the video, the officials weren’t terribly happy with Williams abusing an official, especially after she had already smashed her racket after dropping set point in the first set.  If you listen closely, even John McEnroe, the king of the on-court tirade, couldn’t find it in himself to defend her.

Apparently not satisfied with the damage she had done to her reputation on the court, Williams decided to keep digging with a supremely smug performance in the post-match press conference:

Excuse me, but what planet is this young lady living on?  Take another look at the video, where Williams tells the linesman that she’s going to "shove this ball down her f****** throat."  I don’t care how angry you might have been.  I don’t care even if the linesman was wrong on the call, which was apparently the case.  You don’t physically threaten an official in any sport.  Ever.  One wonders whether or not this message will ever be received on Planet Serena.

 
September 7th, 2009

Isner Rolls On

One of the bigger upsets at the U.S. Open over the weekend was the five set defeat Off Wing favorite John Isner hung on Andy Roddick on Saturday.  On Sunday, much of the coverage seemed to be expressing some shock over Isner’s 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5) victory, but if you were watching closely when the two met at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in 2007 and 2009, perhaps the outcome wasn’t all that surprising.

If you were at Legg Mason in 2007, it’s more or less impossible to forget Isner’s charmed run that ended with a 6-4, 7-6 (4) defeat at the hands of Roddick in the tournament final.  Even though he was victorious that day, Roddick readily admitted that he had trouble handling the serve of the 6’9" Isner, describing it to the press gaggle as like facing off against a normal player who was standing two feet inside the service line.

The import was pretty clear: if Isner could improve the other areas of his game to go along with his monster serve, he could become a force to be reckoned with.

Fast-forward to last month: Isner and Roddick faced off again at Legg Mason, this time in the semifinal.  And again, while Roddick was able to hold on for a 6-7(3), 6-2, 7-5 win, most folks watching that day concluded that Roddick had barely escaped with a victory.  After missing most of the start of the tour this season with mono, it was clear by that time that Isner’s game had improved by leaps and bounds.

Up next for Isner is a fourth round match with Fernando Verdasco.

UPDATE: This won’t be the year for John, as Verdasco dropped him in 4 sets, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.  Still, he did himself proud.

 
August 31st, 2009

Isner Continues to Live Dangerously

john isner 083109
John Isner at the 2009 Legg Mason Tennis Classic

I got a good laugh earlier today when I took some time to read the results coming out of the first round of the U.S. Open in New York, and saw that John Isner prevailed in his opening match against Victor Hanescu, 6-1, 7-6, 7-6.  I was laughing of course because the North Carolina native with the big serve had a propensity for prevailing in the tie breaker during his two successful runs at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic here in Washington both in 2007 and 2009.

When I met Isner during his run to the 2007 Final — one where he would lose to Andy Roddick, the same player who eliminated him in the 2009 semifinal — I found him to be a relaxed and engaging young man, something that’s pretty apparent in the short interview I shot with him after he defeated Tommy Haas:


John Isner Interview, Legg Mason Tennis Classic
Uploaded by emcerlain. – Discover the latest sports and extreme videos.

Here’s hoping John has some similar luck in Flushing Meadow over the next two weeks.

 
November 22nd, 2008

Pam Shriver Tennis Classic, Nov. 21st. 2008, Baltimore

112108_3255Pam Shriver Tennis Classic

 
November 22nd, 2008

Pam Shriver Tennis Classic, Nov. 21st. 2008, Baltimore

112108_3299Pam Shriver Tennis Classic

 
November 22nd, 2008

Pam Shriver Tennis Classic, Nov. 21st. 2008, Baltimore

112108_3321Pam Shriver Tennis Classic

 
November 22nd, 2008

Pam Shriver Tennis Classic, Nov. 21st. 2008, Baltimore.

Pam Shriver Tennis Classic

 
November 22nd, 2008

The 23rd annual Pam Shriver Tennis Classic

Pam Shriver Tennis Classic

(more…)

 
August 17th, 2008

Del Potro Wins Legg Mason Tennis Finals

Juan Martin Del Potro

Besides winning the Legg Mason Tennis classic, Juan Martin Del Potro has also put himself into the record books by creating a new record. He is the only tennis player to have ever on the first four tennis tournaments that he has played. Today he dispatched with another young player Viktor Troiki by a score of 6-3, 6-3.

For more on Del Potro’s victory and the match check out Eric’s post on AOL’s Fanhouse.

Below is the OffWing flickr feed from today’s tennis finals between Viktor Troiki (Serbia) and Juan Martin Del Potro (Argentina) being played at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, in Washington, DC.

www.flickr.com

Off Wing Opinion's 2008-08-17 Legg Mason, Finals (Allen Clark/OffWing.com) photoset Off Wing Opinion’s 2008-08-17 Legg Mason, Finals (Allen Clark/OffWing.com) photoset

 
August 16th, 2008

Del Porto defeats Tommy Haas To Reach DC Tennis Finals

Juan Martin Del Porto (Arg) defeated Tommy Haas (Ger) this afternoon by a score of 6-2, 6-1. This marks his fourth final in an ATP tournament in successive weeks, if he wins it will be his fourth victory in a row.

Enjoy some pictures from the match and listen their impressions of the match.

You can also view additional photos from Saturday’s semi finals matches by visiting our flickr feed. Pictures from the Viktor Troiki vs Igor Kunitsyn match will be included soon.

www.flickr.com

Off Wing Opinion's 2008-08-16 Legg Mason, Semi-Finals (Allen Clark/OffWing.com) photoset Off Wing Opinion’s 2008-08-16 Legg Mason, Semi-Finals (Allen Clark/OffWing.com) photoset

 
August 15th, 2008

Viktor Troicki Over Andy Roddick, Say What?

Vicktor Troicki

Viktor who? You might be asking yourself? I didn’t know him either….to help your self out here is the link to his ATP bio.

Roddick was up 6-0 in the first set, when things started going wrong. He then lost the second set 2-6. Rain stopped play early in the third set, but Roddick came out flat. Roddick’s first server percentage dropped from 79% (first set) to 53% (third set).

Gotta get back out on the court to shoot the Somdev Devvarman and Igor Kunitsyn.

Before I leave though I just heard Troicki in the post match interview say that when he, “… is serving well he can beat anyone in the world.” This coming from a guy currently ranked 93, with a 8-12 winning record this year. Oh well, we can’t be that hard on the guy, he just beat Andy Roddick. Enjoy!

 
August 15th, 2008

Legg Mason Tennis Classic – Day 5

Photo coverage of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic continues on the fifth day of action. Photos will be updated as they become available through the flickr feed below.

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Off Wing Opinion's 2008-08-15 Legg Mason, Day 5 (Allen Clark/OffWing.com) photoset Off Wing Opinion’s 2008-08-15 Legg Mason, Day 5 (Allen Clark/OffWing.com) photoset

As always, if you are a blogger and would like to use our photographs please contact us.

 
August 14th, 2008

Legg Mason Tennis Classic – Day 4

Photo coverage of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic continues on the fourth day of action. Photos will be updated as they become available through the flickr feed below.

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Off Wing Opinion's 2008-08-14 Legg Mason, Day 4 (Allen Clark/OffWing.com)  photoset Off Wing Opinion’s 2008-08-14 Legg Mason, Day 4 (Allen Clark/OffWing.com) photoset

As always, if you are a blogger and would like to use our photographs please contact us.

 
August 13th, 2008

Legg Mason Tennis Classic – Day 3

Photo coverage of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic continues on the third day of action. Photos will be updated as they become available through the flickr feed below.

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Off Wing Opinion's 2008-08-13 Legg Mason, Day 3 (Allen Clark/OffWing.com)  photoset Off Wing Opinion’s 2008-08-13 Legg Mason, Day 3 (Allen Clark/OffWing.com) photoset

As always, if you are a blogger and would like to use our photographs please contact us.

 
August 12th, 2008

John Isner Has Happy Homecoming

John Isner
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 11: John Isner hits a volley during a match with Marcel Granollers during the Legg Mason Tennis Classic on August 11, 2008 at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Washington, DC. (Photo by Allen Clark/OffWing.com)

It was here last year that John Isner burst into the professional tennis after graduating from the University of Georgia. In what was his second ATP tournament, Isner upset three seeds on his way to his first career ATP final, eventually losing to Andy Roddick.

Tonight it took three sets with a third set tie breaker to beat the eigth-seeded, Marcel Granollers of Spain, 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(1). Things looked grim late in the third set when Granollers broke Isner, like last year the crowd came to Isner’s rescue cheering him on as he broke back and then easily won the tiebraker.

Marcel Granollers
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 11: Marcel Granollers hits a backhand volley during a match with John Isner during the Legg Mason Tennis Classic on August 11, 2008 at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Washington, DC. (Photo by Allen Clark/OffWing.com)

Tomorrow’s match line-up looks to be superb; Mardy Fish, Andy Roddick, Marat Safin, Sebastian Grosjean, and Juan Martin Del Potro are just some of those playing.

Check out our photo coverage from the first day by visiting our flickr page.

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Off Wing Opinion's 2008-08-11 Legg Mason, Day 1 (Allen Clark/OffWing.com) photoset Off Wing Opinion’s 2008-08-11 Legg Mason, Day 1 (Allen Clark/OffWing.com) photoset

 
August 11th, 2008

The Tale Of Two Tennis Players

Somdev Devvarman

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 11: Somdev Devvarman hits a backhand during a match with Taylor Dent during the Legg Mason Tennis Classic on August 11, 2008 at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Washington, DC. (Photo by Allen Clark/OffWing.com)

At age 27, Taylor Dent is on the comeback trail after missing the past two years with a back injury. Somdev Devvarman just graduated from the University of Virginia after being a repeat NCAA singles champion and was looking to notch his first ever ATP win. The match was played today at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, part of the US Open Series of tournaments leading up to the US Open in NY.

It was Dent that is moving on to the next tournament, another chance to regain the form of old. Devvarman battled Dent for three sets finally prevailing, 7-6, 2-6, 6-1.

Taylor Dent

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 11: Taylor Dent hits a service return during a match with Somdev Devvarman during the Legg Mason Tennis Classic on August 11, 2008 at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Washington, DC. (Photo by Allen Clark/OffWing.com)

Devvarman will now face the winner of fellow qualifier Robert Kendrick and Feliciano Lopez in the second round.

As always, if you are a blogger and would like to use our photographs please contact us.

 
July 23rd, 2008

Kastle vs. St Louis Aces

A summer thunderstorm interrupted match play during the men’s doubles which was the third game of the night. The match had to be continued inside at East Potomac Tennis Center at Hains Point.

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Off Wing Opinion's 2008-07-23 Washington Kastles vs. St. Louis Aces (Allen Clark/OffWingPhoto.com) photoset Off Wing Opinion’s 2008-07-23 Washington Kastles vs. St. Louis Aces (Allen Clark/OffWingPhoto.com) photoset

 
July 22nd, 2008

Kastles Lose As Pressure Mounts For Playoff Berth

With Sunday’s loss the Washington Kastles fall to 5-7 for the season. How can the Kastles make the playoffs? The Kastles put it this way:

The Kastles (5-7) currently sit in a log jam for the WTT wildcard playoff spot. The Sacramento Capitals currently hold one of the top two spots in the Western Conference, thus a wildcard position is up for grabs. Currently leading the fight for the last position are the Boston Lobsters, but the Kastles are just one game back. In between the Lobsters and Kastles and just a half game out of the wildcard spot are the Freedoms. The Kastles still have a great opportunity to make the playoffs, so make sure to get your tickets for Tuesday and Wednesday’s matches before its too late.

Click on any of the following for more details on the match:

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Off Wing Opinion's 2008-07-20 Washington Kastles vs. Philadelphia Freedom (Allen Clark/OffWingPhoto.com) photoset Off Wing Opinion’s 2008-07-20 Washington Kastles vs. Philadelphia Freedom (Allen Clark/OffWingPhoto.com) photoset

The Kastles are back on the court tonight as they face off against the Delaware Smash in hope of catching a wild card berth to the playoffs.

As always, if you are a blogger and would like to use our photographs please contact us.

 
July 18th, 2008

Kastles Up-Ended By Sacramento Capitals

After holding a big lead, the Kastles fall to the Sacramento Capitals in last night’s match. The Kastles jumped out to a commanding 10-5 lead, but ultimately lost 20-15.

One bright spot was the outstanding play of Sacha Jones in the opening singles match. Her opponent Tammy Hendler had no answers to the overwhelming power and tenacity of Sacha Jones. Hendler, a 16 year old is fresh from Wimbledon having reached the Junior’s semi-finals. As Jones lead 4-0 in the opening match, the crowd saw an unusual substitution for Hendler, as Sacramento Coach Wayne Bryan put in veteran and grand slam doubles champion Elena Likhovtseva. Jones eventually won her match dramatically by a score of 5-2, in sudden death point in the seventh game.

Sacha Jones
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 17: Sacha Jones of the Washington Kastles hits a forehand during a World TeamTennis match against the Sacramento Capitals at Kastle Stadium, CityCenterDC in Washington, DC July 17, 2008. (Photo by Allen Clark/www.OffWingPhoto.com)

Another bright spot was the play of Mashona Washington and Scott Oudsema in mixed doubles, who beat Elena Likhovtseva and Eric Butorac, 5-3. it felt as though Washington and Oudsema had momentum throughout the match.

Mashona Washington and Scott Oudsema

Sacha Jones and Mashona Washington have been the “go-to” gals for the team for big wins and overtime heroics. However last night Jones and Washington could not find their Mojo against the team of Hendler and Likhovtseva, losing 5-0.

Mashona Washington

The Kastles are still in contention for a play-off berth for their inaugural season.

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Off Wing Opinion's 2008-07-17 Washington Kastles vs. Sacramento Capitals (Allen Clark/OffWingPhoto.com) photoset Off Wing Opinion’s 2008-07-17 Washington Kastles vs. Sacramento Capitals (Allen Clark/OffWingPhoto.com) photoset

As always, if you are a blogger and would like to use our photographs please contact us.

 
July 16th, 2008

Kastles Pick Up Important Win Over NY Sportimes with John McEnroe

The Kastles have a lot to be proud about last night’s overtime victory over the NY Sportimes, which included John McEnroe.

Scott Oudsema picked up an important singles victory over McEnroe. Oudsema’s serves were just too big to allow McEnroe to get any rhythm and work his way into the match.

Another bright spot was Mashona Washington and Sacha Jones double’s victory over Milagros Sequera and Hana Sromova. Earlier in her singles match Mashona Washington was at times frustrated with her play, but when she teamed up with Jones there was no stopping them as they dominated their doubles match and were the team heroes winning a Supertiebraker, lifting the Kastles to 5-3 season record.

We will be publishing more photos through the day from last night’s victory please come back to the site as we update, you can also visit our complete photographic match coverage on our Flickr site.

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Off Wing Opinion's 2008-07-15 Washington Kastles vs. NY Sportimes (Allen Clark/OffWingPhoto.com) photoset Off Wing Opinion’s 2008-07-15 Washington Kastles vs. NY Sportimes (Allen Clark/OffWingPhoto.com) photoset

As always, if you are a blogger and would like to use our photographs please contact us.

 
July 15th, 2008

An Evening With World Team Tennis

The Washington Kastles are back in town today for a match with the NY Sportimes with John McEnroe as the headliner to be playing for the Sportimes. The match tonight will kick off at 7pm at Kastles Stadium at CityCenterDC.

Just in case you missed it, Eric McErlain our fearless editor as OffWing wrote a story about the Kastles inaugural home match last week at AOL Fanhouse, An Evening With World Team Tennis.

OffWing will once again be courtside with coverage for tonight’s match. See you there!

 
July 10th, 2008

Serena Williams Is In The Kastle

Serena Williams hits a forehand

The royalty of tennis and DC were on hand for inaugural home match of DC’s entry into the World TeamTennis league, the Washington Kastles. Fresh from Wimbledon, Serena Williams the Kastle’s marquis player, filling the seats of the Kastles’s stadium at CityCenterDC. Mayor Adrian Fenty and Kastle owner, Mark Ein also welcomed Billie Jean King, tennis great and co-founder of World TeamTennis.

For more on what happened at the match visit some of the reports from other sources:

Jan-Michael Gambill

Friday the Kastles will be back in town to play the NY Buzz at 7pm. Fortunately for us Robby Ginepri will be filling in for Justin Gimelstob. Ginepri is a great player, fun to watch, and will be representing the US at the Olympics in tennis.

THE GOOD

  • The stadium is a fantastic addition to the city and a great atmosphere for the matches.
  • Attendance and interest is high for the team.
  • It is a great entertainment dollar. With the league’s quirky rules and crazy colored court, this is as Billie Jean King hoped a format that will attract more people to tennis and make it fun to watch.

Justin Gimelstob hits a volley

THE BAD

  • Justin Gimelstob played bad, there is no way to sugar coat this. Both the serve and service return hurt Gimelstob in the doubles match and then he blew a 4-1 lead in his singles match with Jan-Michael Gambill, eventually losing in a tiebraker.
  • Sadly Venus will probably not be playing any more matches for the team this season.

THE UGLY

  • Justin Gimelstob, not only bad his play was ugly. It looked like Kastle’s Coach, Thomas Blake was ready to substitute Scott Oudsema for the men’s single match
  • If there is a rain storm, what happens? Their schedule is pretty tight and there is no chance of covering the stadium as it is built now. Keep your fingers crossed….

For more photos from the event please visit our complete photographic match coverage on our Flickr site.

www.flickr.com

Off Wing Opinion's 2008-07-08 Washington Kastles vs. Boston Lobsters (Allen Clark/OffWingPhoto.com photoset Off Wing Opinion’s 2008-07-08 Washington Kastles vs. Boston Lobsters (Allen Clark/OffWingPhoto.com photoset

As always, if you are a blogger and would like to use our photographs please contact us.

 
July 8th, 2008

World TeamTennis Comes To Washington DC

World TeamTennis was co-founded by Billie Jean King, 33 years ago and has now added a team in Washington DC. DC’s team is called the Washington Kastles and will play in a stadium built at the location of the former Convention Center.

Yesterday members of the team and city officials kicked off the season with the first practice at the new stadium.

kastles_17.jpg
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 7: Members of the Washington Kastles, Washington, DC’s new World Team Tennis (WTT) team meet city officials and conduct their first practice at Kastle Stadium in Washington, DC July 7, 2008. (Photo by Allen Clark/www.OffWingPhoto.com)

Tonight will be the home opener for the Kastles as they go up against the Boston Lobsters. Serena Williams will be on hand to play for the Kastles at 7pm tonight. The Kastles are currently undefeated (2-0) in league play.

Mashona Washington, Sacha Jones, and Scott Oudsema joined their captain Thomas Blake for their practice. Team members Serena Williams and Justin Gimelstob were not present. Williams will be playing tonight in the Kastles first home match, while Gimelstob will be sitting out the match for a one game suspension.

The league has a 3-week season, stretching from July 3rd to July 23rd, will have 11 teams vying for the King Trophy.

The format of play is unique from what you see at other professional tennis matches:

  • Two men and two women compete on each team.

  • The match format consists of five sets
  • One set each of men’s and women’s singles
  • One set each of men’s and women’s doubles
  • One set of mixed doubles
  • Every game counts as a point in the overall score
  • Typical score is 23 – 19
  • A team must win the last game of the last set or the match goes into overtime

kastles_29.jpg
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 7: Mayor of Washington, DC, Adrian Fenty warmed up with members of the DC’s new World Team Tennis (WTT), the Washington Kastles. Fenty and other city officials were on hand for the first practice at Kastle Stadium in Washington, DC July 7, 2008. (Photo by Allen Clark/www.OffWingPhoto.com)

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Off Wing Opinion's 2008-07-07 Washington Kastles Practice (Allen Clark/OffWingPhoto.com) photoset Off Wing Opinion’s 2008-07-07 Washington Kastles Practice (Allen Clark/OffWingPhoto.com) photoset

If you are a blogger and would like to use our photographs please contact us.

 
July 2nd, 2008

The Always Entertaining Marat Safin

Over at Wimbledon earlier today, the quixotic Marat Safin managed to wedge himself into the semifinals with a 3-6, 7-5, 7-6, 6-3 win over Spain’s Feliciano Lopez. For his trouble, Safin will get to face Roger Federer next.

It’s a heck of a run for the 28-year old Safin, who has been undershooting expectations more or less since he beat Pete Sampras in the 2000 US Open Final. But while others might be frustrated with him, I can’t help but be a fan of Safin. I first got a chance to see him up close a year ago at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic. Though I didn’t get to see him play, I did catch his post-match press conference, which I found to be a real hoot:

More good news for the locals: Safin will be back in town next month for the Legg Mason Tennis Classic. He committed to the tournament earlier today.

 
November 10th, 2007

Arkansas Bends Under Pressure Of Photo Policy

Drop by OffWing Photo to get the latest news on Arkansas Activities Association’s (AAA) rule that they own the copyright to all media (photo, video, audio) taken at state championships and to charge fees ranging from $35-$50 for press credentials to events. This policy as written would also apply to parents and fans taking pictures in the stands.The AAA is the sponsoring organization of championship games for public and private schools in Arkansas.

Check out the latest photos from OffWing photographers by visiting our Photoshelter gallery.

Also stop by our new sister website OffWing Photo where we focus on photography, especially sports photography.

 
August 28th, 2007

Isner Advances At U.S. Open

John Isner, who only a few weeks ago burst onto the international tennis scene by fighting his way to the finals of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic before losing to Andy Roddick, may be on his way to causing some more trouble at the U.S. Open.

Last night in his opening round match, Isner dispatched a guy with two hockey names — Jarkko Niemenen — in four sets on his way to a 6-7 (7-4), 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 victory.

The difference for Isner? Well, it was that monster serve that Washingtonians got to know so well at the Legg Mason. Here’s what Niemenen told Liz Clarke of the Washington Post:

“This is the best serve I have seen on the court,” Nieminen said. “When it was tight — when I had break points — he always made the first serve, every single time. It was very difficult to read his serve. And even if you have such a good serve, it’s mentally demanding to win matches against top players.”

Still don’t know enough about Isner? No worries, as there’s still time to hop on the bandwagon. For a refresher, here’s an interview I did with him right after his Legg Mason quarterfinal win over Tommy Haas:


John Isner Interview, Legg Mason Tennis Classic
Uploaded by emcerlain

For more Isner video, click here.