The Week at Wilson with Blair Rickers: November 11th

Hello All,

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the indoor season.

It’s Time to BOOK
I’ve met with several dealers over the past couple of weeks to review the 2012 racquet program.  The response has been exceptionally strong and we are all looking forward to an outstanding year.

Hall of Famers
On October 20th at the Granite Club two TEAM WILSON players were inducted into the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame.  Congratulations to Sonya Jeyaseelan and Rene Simpson who both had great careers on tour and have made significant contributions to Canadian tennis.

PB for Me
Last Sunday I ran a personal best 1:36:20 in the Hamilton Run2Hope half-marathon.  For all you runners out there this is a great event if you are looking for a fast half or full marathon.  A very well organized event with a great t-shirt, medal, post race food and aid stations.  Best of all, you get to run 7K along the Red Hill Parkway right down the escarpment.  I enjoyed my usual post race ritual, hot bath with a Dairy Queen Orea Blizzard.  It just doesn’t get any better than that.

LA Joins WTA
Congratulations to Laurence Applebaum who has taken on a new challenge as Executive VP of the Women’s Tennis Association.  Laurence has down a great job with Salomon over the past few years and will undoubtedly help the WTA reach new heights.

GC Loses 4, Wins 3
I had another moderately successful year coaching football at Guelph Collegiate.  We had a very young team this year (12 new starters on offense and 9 on defense), and struggled in getting off to a 1-3 start.  We won our next two to make it into the playoffs.  Our players performed extremely well against the first place John F Ross Royals, but ended up on the wrong end of a 18-10 score.  We lose a few outstanding players, but have a very solid core is returning for next season.

Hoops Heaven
A week before I started coaching my son’s basketball team he dislocated his elbow.  Jack is doing fine and should be able to start playing by the end of this month.  On a positive note, this is the most stacked team I have ever coached.  I’m sure we’ll have players re-distributed to other teams to even up the league, but for now, it’s AWESOME.   We have one kid who is a mini Charles Barkley, he dominates the boards and has unbelievable low post moves.   Our point guard is a little Steve Nash.  He is totally unselfish and always gets the ball to the open man..  The kids are all polite and just love to play.  In our first game we started to pull away form our opponent in the second half.  During a break I told the kids to slow down the pace and try to get some shots for one of our weaker players.  For the last 10 minutes of the game every player on the floor went out of their way to set up Arnab, and he eventually nailed a couple shots.

Thought of the Day
If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

If you have not already, be sure to join Wilson on Facebook.  You’ll get great tour updates as well as the latest and greatest in Wilson technology.  Roger won in Basel for his first title in almost 10 months.  Milos is back and playing well.  Petra Kvitova lead the Czech Republic to the Fed Cup Title and is poised to take over the #1 spot in world in the new year.  Some other tour pressers, which I should have sent out weeks ago, are below.  SORRY, I’ll try to distribute in a more timely basis in the future.

Kei Nishikori Becomes Highest Ranked Male Japanese Player in History
Nishikori becomes the highest ranked male Japanese in history with his high quality of play during the past two tournaments, most recently at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. This past week, Nishikori (seeded number eight) beat number four seed, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-7 (1), 6-4, 6-4 in the first major upset at this highly respected event.
Nishikori came into this week’s tournament ranked No. 47 but reached his own career-high No. 30 with a win Wednesday over Santiago Giraldo, a day after beating Tsonga. His victory over Giraldo puts Nishikori into the quarterfinals of an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event for the first time.  Nishikori, the number one player in Asia, plays with the Wilson TOUR BLX racket. With his results this week in the Shanghai Master’s event, Nishikori, who lives and trains in Bradenton, Florida, will surpass Shuzo Matsuoka, his idol and mentor, as Japan’s highest-ranked male tennis player.
“Kei has been a strong ambassador for Wilson in Japan,” said Renaud Vallon, global tour director for Wilson. “He continues to inspire the next generation of tennis players through his fierce passion and commitment to the sport. We applaud this tremendous achievement and look forward to our continued partnership.”

  • Spain’s Feliciano Lopez reached the semifinals at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
  • Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor won their third title of the year at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
  • Petra Kvitova captured her fifth title of the year by winning the WTA International Event in Linz.
  • Great run for Lucie Safarova in Linz last week where she reached the semifinals.
  • 14 year old Jelena Ostapenko captured the ITF Junior Event played in her home country of Latvia.
  • Michael Llodra and partner Zimonjic beat Wilson exclusive player Horia Tecau and partner Robert Lindstedt to capture the ATP China Open.
  • Romania’s 15 year old Iona Rosca lost in the finals of the Tennis Europe Under 16 masters.
  • Mardy Fish reached the semifinals at the ATP 500 event in Tokyo.
  • Flavia Pennetta and Monica Niculescu had great performances at the WTA China Open in Beijing by reaching the semifinals.

Petra Kvitova continues to rise,  qualifying for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships for the first time. It has been a steady climb for Kvitova in reaching her current spot, the highest a Czech has ranked since Jana Novotna was No.4 in June 1999. Kvitova made her Top 20 debut in January 2011, her Top 10 debut in May 2011 and her Top 5 debut in October 2011.
Andrea Petkovic broke back into the Top 10.
Monica Niculescu used her Pro Open BLX to reach #34 in the world.

That is it for this week.  If you have the chance be sure to head down to the ACC on November 17th to check out the Milos/Sampras exhibition.  It should be a great time.

A New Reality By Nicolas Pereira

This past week in the World Team Tennis ‘Bubble” I have seen the efforts to keep everyone safe while carrying on a team competition with around 60/70 players and coaches onsite. Counting organizers, officials, media, and support personnel are around 150 people trying hard to make this happen. I am very impressed by how the strict protocol has been handled and how everyone is invested in making this event a success, but The Open is a completely different scale of details.

ONcourt Interviews NGTL Co-Founder Yves Boulais

It does not matter that you get your rating playing locally or that you had spent an insidious amount of money playing the ITF junior tour tournaments. Your rating is your level of play (you get no bonus for playing more or playing far away). This allows us to break free of the ITF competitive structure potentially saving us time, money, and headache. We see this as a great opportunity to improve the logistic of our sport.

Brandon Burke (son of ACE President Doug Burke) Elected to WTA Board

As revealed in a recent news release issued by the WTA Tour – Brandon Burke has been elected to the WTA Board of Directors (to start officially in September). Oncourt got together with Brandon to delve a bit more into his background and to gain some insight into this wonderful appointment he has attained at such a young age.