In 1994, Lori McNeil caused one of the biggest upset in tennis history by defeating Steffi Graf in the first round at Wimbledon. That year, McNeil went on to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon before losing to eventual-champion Conchita Martinez.
During her a 17-year professional career, she captured 10 singles and 32 doubles titles.

Following her retirement in 2002, McNeil served as the Assistant Coach of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Tennis Team in 2004 and 2008. She also worked as a High Performance Coach for the United States Tennis Association from 2004 through 2012.

Lori McNeil has now joined Houston’s Zina Garrison Academy as Director of Tennis. The Academy, founded by Wimbledon finalist Zina Garrison and her coach John Wilkerson in 1993, provides 50 weeks a year of free programming to all children in the Houston area.
The mission of ZGA is to develop stars in the classroom, on the tennis court, and in the community by providing educational support, positive role models, parent education, and excellent tennis instruction.

In conjunction with McNeil’s arrival at the Zina Garrison Academy, the Board of Directors has commissioned a set of three silver coins featuring the images of Zina Garrison, Lori McNeil, and John Wilkerson.
The first edition of these coins will be offered as an auction item at the Zina Garrison Academy‘s upcoming gala luncheon at the Houstonian Hotel on Monday, November 19, 2012. For tickets and information, call Linda Elliott at (713) 857-3167.

More infos on Zina Garrison Academy website.

US Open champion and 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Andy Murray will face the recently-retired Andy Roddick on a white court at the 2012 Miami Cup.
The event will feature six of the top-ranked ATP professionals, including Murray, Roddick, former number one Juan Carlos Ferrero, Nicolas Almagro, Alejandro Falla and top-ranked American, John Isner. All matches played throughout the three-day tournament will take place on the stadium court at Crandon Park and will be broadcast live by ESPN3.

Friday, November 30th, 2012
7:00pm: John Isner vs. Juan Carlos Ferrero
8:30pm: Nicolas Almagro vs. Alejandro Falla

Saturday, December 1st, 2012
5:00pm: Winner of John Isner vs. Juan Carlos Ferrero to play Andy Murray
6:30pm: Winner of Nicolas Almagro vs. Alejandro Falla to play Andy Roddick

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012
5:00pm: Final on Stadium Court
7:00pm: Trophy presentation on Stadium Court

On Saturday, December 1st and Sunday, December 2nd, a USTA sanctioned 12 and Under tournament will take place, starting at 8:00am until 3:00pm, as part of a weekend-long Family Day series of fun-filled activity, taking place on courts one and two.

Miami Tennis Cup has formed an inaugural partnership with the non-profit charity organization Shake-A-Leg Miami and a portion of all proceeds from tickets sales will be donated to Gulliver schools.

Tickets for the first annual Miami Tennis Cup, taking place November 30th – December 2nd, at Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, FL., are now available through Ticketmaster starting at $50 (general admission). A three-day pass starts at $118 (300 Level – general admission).

More details on Miami Tennis Cup website and Facebook page.

6. The Davis Cup’s schedule also has to be brought into the real world. Should it be held for a week every other year, like golf’s Ryder Cup? Or maybe once a year? Whatever the answer, the powers-that-be need to
sit down and decide how to re-interest tennis’ top players in participating in this great event.

Changing the Davis Cup format has been a huge argument over recent years, as top players have shown their “intolerance” towards this event that is such a part of tennis history. Many suggested that it becomes a biennial event or a Ryder Cup style event. Rafael Nadal, one of the more frequent Davis Cup players, has also once stated it should be played at the best of three sets… I think these format changes would only depreciate the competition. The way it is, Davis Cup has contributed to bring the sport in many parts of the world that are excluded from élite tennis or can’t afford to host top-level tournaments. Maybe an increase of the number of matches in the ties would prevent a country with only a big player from succeeding and would provide a fairer representation of the real tennis power of a nation. Where players are right, instead, is on the calendar collocation of the Davis Cup. Such a big event can’t be placed in the week immediately after Wimbledon or the US Open: this is clearly an aspect that discourages the big names from taking part in it and on which the heads of the game should really work.

7. Only tennis’ top-notch amateurs should be allowed to compete in the Olympics. The lure of a gold medal would encourage young players to stay in college and wait longer to turn pro. The results would be more mature professionals and a purer Olympics.

To be admitted in the Olympics has been a great conquer for our sport. Though winning a gold medal will never be the same as winning a Major tournament for most of the players, you can’t deny that competing for your nation in a stage like the Olympics has a huge charm for any athlete. What would be the meaning of making amateurs compete at the Olympics? Do you really think a single person in the world would love to watch Mr. John Smith play on the Wimbledon Centre Court in 2012? Or do you think that a young who aims at becoming a professional tennis player would wait longer to turn pro, encouraged by the prospect of winning a gold medal for his/her country competing against other amateurs? Sports have changed since Pierre De Coubertin’s age. You can’t even think of sports today without thinking of the media and world-wide audiences. Tennis already struggles to find room on the general media. If played by amateurs, it would be completely cut off.

8. The service line should be moved three to six inches closer to the net. The serve has become far too important to tennis – especially at Wimbledon, where the best fans in the world sit patiently through rain delays, only to sit through boring serve-a-thons.

A lot (maybe too much…) has already been done to limit the service power over the last ten years. Indoor surfaces are no longer fast carpets, Wimbledon grass has higher and more regular rebounds (and there’s a roof on Wimbledon Centre Court, so… no more endless waiting for tennis…). I don’t remember a “service-only” player winning an important tournament in the last eight years. Maybe the last big success by a player who mostly based his game on service power has been the 2003 US Open won by Roddick. This point had sense maybe twenty years ago, in the era of Ivanisevic and Rosset. Tennis has moved on and has maybe gone too further on this aspect.

9. Let cords should be eliminated. Having to play all let serves would speed up the game and make it more exciting.

What would you think if, facing a match point, your opponent’s serve should hit the net and bounce just an inch beyond it? I would feel extremely angry…

10. Tennis players should be far more involved in charity work. The sport should champion a couple of causes as a group and try to make a difference – the kind of difference Andre Agassi and Andrea Jaeger have made, Andre with his school for disavantaged kids in Las Vegas, and Andrea with her Silver Lining Ranch for terminally ill children in Aspen, Colorado.

Again, much has changed on this aspect as well in recent years. I think the real turning point has been the “Rally for Relief” played in Indian Wells in 2005, that collected money for the populations hit by the tsunami in the Indian Ocean at the end of 2004. We have to give Roger Federer big credit on rising tennis world’s attention on charity. Maybe it’s never too much, but these events have increased by a great deal, compared to the past.

Article written by Tennis Buzz’s contributor Mauro Cappiello
Read the first part of the article»

Well, at least on your wall ;o)

Life Size Rafael Nadal posters are on sale on his website. Exists in 2 versions: Roland Garros (blue) and US Open (black).

Rafael Nadal life size US Open poster

Rafael Nadal life size Roland Garros poster

Hurry up, it’s a limited edition!

Profits go to Fundacion RafaNadal

Bjorn loves John

One was calm and collected.
One was fierce and furious.
Together, they changed tennis forever.

Björn <3 John is a limited edition underwear collection celebrating the single greatest duo in sports history.

With double designs and part of the proceeds going straight to charity, Björn Borg and John McEnroe team up in the Swedish Underwear Liberation.

Four different skivvy styles will make up the collection, two of which are designed by Borg and two by McEnroe. The collection is inspired by the ’80s, better known as the golden age of tennis. Among the collection will be 100 pieces of extra limited edition underwear. Featuring the real signatures of Borg and McEnroe, they’ll be randomly sold at Bjorn Borg retailers around the world.
Pre-order on bjornborg.com

A nice way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their last Wimbledon clash.

Bjorn Borg – calm and collected

John McEnroe – fierce and furious