By Editorial Team
Today Sloane Stephens heightened the wave of coaching rumors on the WTA Tour with the announcement of Kamau Murray’s suspended duty as head coach. It was later confirmed that Kamau will not be traveling with Sloane to the Australian Open.
Sloane maintains that Kamau (2018 WTA Coach of The Year Nominee) remains in her camp of influence, however she mentioned that Kamau had advanced plans to put in more time growing his XS Tennis Program in the south side of Chicago. Sloane can definitely relate as she also makes effort through her non-profit charity to grow education through tennis in disadvantaged neighborhoods of LA.
It can be safely assumed that Sylvester Black of Jamaica will step into a more full-time role of head coach during the Australian Open and possibly well into the first half of the 2019 season.
Sly has been a trusted advisor to Sloane over ten years as she developed from the juniors as a top prospect. Sly also ran a successful tennis academy within the US before leaving the country due to visa issues.
Sly played an important role in Sloane reaching the finals of the WTA Finals in Singapore last month. He was called on court by Sloane for coaching assistance while down late in the second set. Sly was able to comfort Sloane and give her quality instruction which enabled her to advance to the next round in dramatic fashion.
Diversity is a challenge at the coaching position on the pro tour as top players have the luxury of selecting the best fit for themselves. However, as the sport grows in popularity among minorities and top ranked players are developed within inner city programs, black head coaches will be more prevalent in professional tennis.
For now, expect to see more of Sly on tour with Sloane as she prepares to make a run at the Australian Open title next month.
Dustin Brown vs Felix Auger Aliassime Highlights STUTTGART 2019
Osaka: mission impossible draw at French Open
By Editorial Team
Naomi Osaka did not have an easy first round on the red clay of Roland Garros against 90th ranked Anna Karolina Schiemlova.
Dropping the first set 6-0 and having to battle back deep into into the second set tiebreak was not anticipated by the WTA world #1. However, she was able to regain control with a commanding 6-1 third set to finish the match.
Red clay has admittedly not been the best surface for Osaka and the results prove that, but as the top seed in every event there are expectations to be upheld. Not to mention her most recent multi-million dollar endorsements with Nike and Mastercard.
This year’s French Open draw has not been kind to the #1 seed, Osaka. On the heels of near disaster in the first round, she has to face a thirsty Victoria Azarenka who has been reeling since promising start to the 2016 season where she was able to reach top-5 ranking status and take home both Indian Wells and Miami Open titles before falling victim to the injury bug later in the year to miss a grand slam finals opportunity.
Osaka definitely has her hands full as she battles through an uncharacteristically difficult draw for a world number one.
From the looks of Serena’s draw it appears to be an apples to oranges comparison. Serena is in Naomi’s section of the draw, but her road to the quarterfinals looks almost scripted in that she has an edge over each opponent.
If Osaka is able to squeeze past Victoria she would have to most likely face the very dangerous Maria Sakkari who has racked up top-10 wins all of last year and who doesn’t appear to be slowing down given her 29th seeded position in this year’s French Open.
Madison Keys can never be taken lightly as she performs well in Roland Garros with a semifinal appearance last year. If the draw shakes out accordingly, Naomi would have to go up against Madison in the round of 16.
Madison’s year has not gotten off to such a great start, but with a title win in Charleston anything is possible. If Madison’s timing is in line with her movement she is really hard to beat – unless your name is Sloane Stephens.
Not to mention Serena who is playing well enough – barring any injuries to reach the quarterfinals in a possible “Serena/Osaka rematch.”
The top half of the women’s draw is stacked to the ceiling with no easy rounds at all for Naomi.
It is important for Osaka to maintain her composure and take the journey in stride. With defeat starring her in the face each round, Osaka must keep the big picture in mind… dominate the hard court season in August.
MID-TAC 2019 Annual Championships
Mid-Tac is celebrating its 96th Tournament Year on July 3 to 6, 2019.
MID-TAC is a 501(c)3 organization and the Midwest Section of the American Tennis Association (“ATA” founded in 1916) and has ties to local community tennis in ten Midwestern States (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin and beyond). We offer year-round opportunities to support MID-TAC by making online Donations or becoming a Sponsor.
All Donations and Sponsorships will be properly acknowledged. Please view details under the above “Donate” and “Sponsorship” tabs. We look forward to your support as we continue our mission to grow the game of tennis.
Tournament Participation Links below:
- MID-TAC 2019 Championship Tournament ADULT On-Line APPLICATION – CLICK HERE FOR ADULT ON-LINE REGISTRATION
- MID-TAC 2019 Printable ADULT Application – CLICK HERE FOR ADULT PRINTABLE APPLICATION
See “Scales for Calculating Prize Money Divisions” – Click Here
- MID-TAC 2019 Championship Tournament JUNIOR/NOVICE On-Line APPLICATION – CLICK HERE FOR JUNIOR/NOVICE ON-LINE REGISTRATION
- MID-TAC 2019 Printable JUNIOR/NOVICE Application – CLICK HERE FOR JUNIOR/NOVICE PRINTABLE APPLICATION
See “Details for 2019 Bollettieri Youth Summer Tennis Camp Scholarships” – Click Here
- Book Your Hotel Group Rate Here for MID-TAC 2019 Tournament – Click here to Book Now
Marriott Indianapolis North Hotel – (317) 705-0000 or (800) 288-92903645 River Crossing Parkway, Indianapolis, In 46240Rates: $123.00 – Traditional King or Double RoomHotel Reservation Deadline: June 12, 2019Cancellation Deadline without penalty: June 26, 2019
- WEDNESDAY during Check-in at Host Hotel “Good Sportsmanship and UTR Panel” @ 8:30pm (for everybody)
- MID-TAC 2019 Thursday Night Tennis Rumble – Get details and register here – Click here to Register and Purchase Tickets
- “Free” Junior Party & Scholarships @ 7pm on Friday and “Free” Adult Party & Living Legends @ 8pm on Friday
- MID-TAC 2019 Friday Night Lite Buffet – Get details and order here – Click here to Register and Purchase Tickets
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