houston: juan monaco will defend title; monfils and querrey join field

u.s. men's claycourt championships - logo

HOUSTON – Argentina’s Juan Monaco will defend his US Men’s Clay Court Championship title when the tournament returns to River Oaks Country Club April 8-14, and he will be accompanied in the field by American Sam Querrey and Frenchman Gael Monfils.

These three players join the previously announced commitments from top-ranked American John Isner and Spaniards Nicolas Almagro and Fernando Verdasco in the singles field and American twins Bob and Mike Bryan in the doubles field.

These singles entries put five players from the Top 25 of the current ATP World Tour rankings into the field for the tournament at River Oaks. As of Monday, Almagro was No. 11, Monaco No. 15, Isner No. 16, Querry No. 20 and Verdasco No. 24.

“We always take pride in exposing our fans to new players, so it is with great pleasure we can have guys like Monfils, Almagro and Verdasco making their River Oaks debut this year,” said Tournament Director Van Barry. “We are also happy to welcome back familiar faces. Juan Monaco was a popular champion last year, and the group of Americans we have returning have long been fan favorites here in Houston.”

Monaco will try to be the first repeat champion of the event since the recently retired Andy Roddick won back-to-back titles in 2001-02. The win at River Oaks last year was one of his career-high four titles in 2012. He has reached at least one clay court final in seven of the past eight seasons, and six of Monaco’s seven career titles have come on clay.

Querrey teamed with James Blake to win the 2012 doubles title at River Oaks. He’s also enjoyed singles success, reaching the final in 2010. He has won seven titles while appearing in 12 finals in his career, and earlier this month helped the US reach the Davis Cup quarterfinal with a pair of singles wins against Brazil.

Monfils has finished in the Top 20 in the World in four of the past five seasons. He has reached 17 career ATP finals, winning four titles. He was a finalist twice early in 2012 before a knee injury forced him to miss nearly four months. He already has reached one semifinal and another quarterfinal early in 2013.

In last year’s final, Monaco defeated Isner, who in 2012 reached the Top 10 for the first time. Almagro has led the ATP in clay court match wins three times in the past five seasons and is one of only four players with over 200 career clay court wins. Verdasco has reached 10 career clay court finals and finished in the Top 25 in five straight seasons.

The Bryan Brothers are the World No. 1 doubles team and four-time champions at the US Men’s Clay Court Championship. They own the record for Grand Slam titles with 13 together as well as total career titles together with 84.

Individual session tickets and the very popular “Champ Pass” are on sale on now. The Champ Pass for the 2013 US Men’s Clay Court Championship includes a ticket to the Friday, Saturday and Sunday sessions. “The Champ Pass” usually sells out before the tournament begins. A limited number of season ticket packages are still remaining. Information on tickets can be found at www.mensclaycourt.com or by calling 713-874-6294.

sightings in the stands: pam and sam

Sam and Pam: Do you really need us to explain this awesomeness? Pam Shriver sat down with Sam Querrey on Sunday afternoon at the Farmers Classic in LA for a little chatski on air for the ESPN broadcast. We were pretty shocked how long the two sat there chit-chatting (perhaps almost a half hour?), though we couldn’t ear out anything they were actually saying. Querrey was the two-time defending champ at UCLA, but is out indefinitely with an elbow injury. Below: Pam shows off her pearls before heading back courtside.

More: TSF’s Farmers coverage | Sightings in the stands


(TSF photos)

 

querrey’s quest continues

Sam Querrey is through to the third round at the Sony Ericsson Open after defeating Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-2. He’s now among a small group of Americans still in the running: the seeded Fish and Isner; the tattooed Bogomolov; and James Blake. Top American Andy Roddick lost to Pablo Cuevas today 6-4, 7-6 (4). Up next for Sam is Victor Troicki. (Brackets: SEO Draws)

Fashion: We are all about the Lichtenstein-esque spots on these K-Swiss polos. Buy: Fading Stripe Crew, $45, tennisexpress.com.

More: Two more pics (including one of his tummy!) after the cut…

caterpillar rolls and cat-eye glasses: bryan bros concert tonight!

Hey, Angelenos: if you find yourself without plans tonight (put off assembling that Halloween costume!), consider dropping by Wokcano to hang with the Bryan Brothers. The duo’s teamed up with the Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program for a weekend of programming including a concert and a tennis tournament.

You’ll stay: Doors open at 7:00 p.m. for tonight’s show, which’ll feature performances by Lisa Loeb, Pete Yorn, and the Bryan Brothers Band (featuring Counting Crows drummer Jim Bogios), among others. They’re taking a $25 tax deductible cover at the door. Get more info and plan your dinner.

The tourney: Tomorrow (Saturday), the twins are hosting the inaugural Bryan Brothers Grand Slam Jam, fka the WME2 Tennis Classic, at the Malibu Racquet Club. Events include a round-robin doubles tournament, a family clinic, and a pro-am (with Sam Querrey). There’s also a silent auction and an exo with Lindsay Davenport.

Info: Bryan Brothers Grand Slam Jam, Saturday, October 23, 2010, 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; 23847 Stuart Ranch Road, Malibu, Calif.; benefitting The Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program and the Bryan Brothers Foundation. More info at the event website.

(poster courtesy of K-Swiss)

we really need a new davis cup logo

It’s too plain and generic (hmm… just like the guy wearing it?).

North and South: The American team (Mardy Fish, Sam Querrey, John Isner, and Ryan Harrison) hopes to overcome the clay courts in Bogota as they go up against the Colombians (led by Santiago Giraldo and Alejandro Falla) in the Davis Cup World Group play-offs. Get more details about the tie here.

(image via Getty Images)

short balls: (surprise!) tennis gets dramatic

As Sania’s World Turns: There’s no better soap opera on tennis tour right now than Sania Mirza. She was married on Monday to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik in an affair that has been showered in controversy.

One Story, One Match: The One Story series, which publishes out of Brooklyn, has its latest publication singing game, set and match. The story is set in the Federer-Sampras battle of Wimbledon circa 2001, with a fictional twist involving three ball kids. After reading it, I give Cheston Knapp two thumbs up for his crafting of the epic changing-of-the-guard match and the story he entwines within Centre Court.

Second to Sania and Shoaib, there’s Todd and Novak: For some reason, the player-coach break-up between Todd Martin and Novak Djokovic seems to be the tennis story of the century. While the break-up doesn’t have quite the political ramifications that Sania and Shoaib carry into their marriage, this story has gotten an absorbent of attention. For Novak, something had to change if he wants to be considered for another Slam. For Todd, well… for Todd, any press is good press.

[Read more…]

bryan brothers band play the viper room

Chris and I headed over to The Viper Room last night to see David Baron perform with special guests Mike and Bob Bryan. The twins, fresh from their 2010 Australian Open men’s doubles title win (their eight career major), played the guitar and keyboard through the roughly 45-minute set. They opened with “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas and closed with “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” by Tom Petty. In the middle were original songs by Baron, and one that was recently co-written with the twins as support for Andre Agassi (“Open My Heart”) amid all the slack the tennis legend has received for writing his memoir, Open.

As you may remember, the twins collaborated with Baron on their first album, Let It Rip.

I wasn’t expecting much, to be honest, expecting that the $10 cover and the prospect of watching some dilettantes perform live music could be washed down by a PBR or two. But that definitely was not the case. The music was polished, the songs well-written; this was definitely not amateur night. I could have lived without Bob’s omnipresent necklace (and one of the scariest sex faces I have ever seen, ever), but all in all a good show.

Sam Querrey and Justin Gimelstob were also in attendance. We asked Justin what he thought about the Bryan’s performance. “It’s amazing to see two guys who are as talented in tennis as they are in music,” he shared.

Bonus: Here is a video of Bob and Mike accompanying David through U2’s “All I Want Is You”.

the way of the samurai: tsf interviews sam querrey

By Krystle Russin

TSF chats with Sam Querrey about tennis, his new condo, his goals for 2009, and wanting a date with Taylor Swift.

sam-querrey-lasvegas07

Sam Querrey is driving his Range Rover en route to the Home Depot Center, an enormous athletic training facility in Carson, Calif. It’s where you might find David Beckham bending it on the soccer fields. Today, though, it’s all about Sam.

“I just got off a little while ago to get breakfast. I have to practice from 11:00 to 12:30 and then again from probably 1:30 to 3:00, and then I’m going to work out with a trainer from 3:00 to 4:00, and I’ve got to pick up some new ankle bracelets,” Querrey says, firing off a to-do list with nothing but tennis, tennis, tennis.

But this regimen is not without its rewards: Querrey is now the fourth-ranked American men’s tennis player, and in 2008 racked up some notable achievements, including his first title at the Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas, putting up a fight against Nadal at the US Open, and participating in the Beijing Olympics.

When he’s not focusing on his craft, the 21-year-old Southern California native stays busy adjusting to life on his own. He recently bought a condo in the coastal city of Santa Monica. “It’s cool to have my own place and accomplish that at a young age, and I feel good about myself,” he says. The best part of his pad? “The hot tub.”

[Read more…]

davis cup: i, too, would settle for a pompadour…

Who needs a custom Davis Cup kit when you’ve got an amazing pompadour like Fernando Verdasco?

Unfortunately, his solid red adidas Compeition Crew looked bland next to the rest of Team Espana’s uniforms.

Meanwhile, Joma and Feliciano Lopez continue their wonderful partnership with his Davis Cup getup. (See the detail on the back of his polo, and his shoes.) Nadal is wearing the same vibrant Nike kit that he wore in Beijing, save for a switch to a red headband (instead of yellow). David Ferrer is in Lotto (pic).

Scoreline: After Nadal beat Sam Querrey (Sam took the first set) and Ferrer took out Andy Roddick in five sets, the Spanish duo fell to Mike Bryan and Mardy Fish 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 4-6. This gives the Americans a chance to get back into the tie with reverse singles tomorrow. (See the details here. First up: Rafa will play Andy!)

(photo by Getty Images)