Golf vs. tennis
Photos by Evan Brennan. Shot at Tanglewood Park, Clemmons. Production by Ink Photography Production. Wardrobe & props by Wild n’ Crazy Vintage. Hair & makeup by Salon Madusa. Models are Robert Dough & Cheri Osterholt. Art direction by Devender Sellars.
ONES TO WATCH
by Brian Clarey
Because it is the last event in the FedEx Cup regular season, the Wyndham attracts players looking to maintain their leads, push over the bubble or squeak into the standings before the playoffs.
Camilo Vilegas has stuck right near the bubble in Cup points standings this year — only the Top 125 players make the playoffs, where the big money is. But Vilegas has been having a bad year, making fewer cuts and winning a lot less money — about half a million bucks, as compared to 2010 when he took in more than $3 million. He’s got the goods to pull out of this nosedive, but he won’t make the cut without a strong showing at the Wyndham.
And Angel Cabrera, currently in 150 th place with 237 points, could make his move at the Wyndham — he’s also having an off year with just six cuts made in 13 events, though he has two Top 10 finishes so far. Just behind hm in the rankings is Ernie Els, a last-minute addition to the field who could parlay even a modest Wyndham performance into a playoff berth.
Louis Oosthuizen, however, is having the best season of his young career after winning the British Open last year, playing more tournaments and making more cuts. The South African is within striking distance of making the playoffs, and he’s won big before.
A few of the players in the Top 25 will make it out to Sedgefield this weekend, notably Bill Haas, Brandt Snedecker, David Toms, Phil Mickelson and KJ
Choi, any of whom could walk away with the trophy. And defending FedEx Cup champion Jim Furyk signed on early this week.
But there are also past Wyndham winners in the field to contend with. Choi, Snedecker and Davis Love III all won the championship when it was held at Forest Oaks. Last year’s winner Arjun Atwal will be there, and also Grimsley High School’s own Carl Petterson, who blew through the course in 2009 with a 61 on the second day.
For more information and to buy tickets go to www.wyndhamchampionship.com.
The Winston-Salem Open is in its inaugural year, but it had no trouble attracting big names in men’s tennis, in no small part because it is that last event before the US Open in New York City, and the last chance to accrue enough points to make the cut.
It was big news when Andy Roddick signed to play the open. He’s no longer in the Top 10, but he’s won 30 singles titles in his career and won nearly $20 million in purse money.
Also, he’s about as big a celebrity the tennis world has.
The highestranked player to enter the open is Mardy Fish, currently No. 7 in the world and the highest ranked American on the tour. But he’s yet to win a big title this year; his best finish was beating John Isner in the final round of the Atlanta Tennis Championship.
Isner, of course, is the Greensboro native famous for playing the longest tennis match in recorded history, a contest against Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010 that lasted three days. But Isner, now No. 27 in the world, has several noteworthy notches in his belt including a 2009 US Open victory against Roddick.
Among the underdogs are Nikolay Davydenko, who won five singles titles in 2009 but just one per year since then. The Ukranian has been ranked as high as No. 3 in the world; currently at No. 31, his stats this year are way off. And scrappy Alexandr Dolgopolov, also from the Ukraine, is a contender this year due to a fast-paced, aggressive style.
And those who are more into the… aesthetic aspects of the sport may come out to see Tommy Robreado. The Spaniard is currently ranked No. 41 in the world, but he’s No. 7 on the Tennis Perspective website’s list of Hottest Male Tennis Players.
For more information and to buy tickets go to www.winstonsalemopen.com
WYNDHAM PARKING INFORMATION
Public Parking Monday through Wednesday: • Premier Public Parking lot at American Furniture Warehouse intersection of High Point Road and Merritt Drive. $5 Public Parking Thursday through Sunday: Greensboro Coliseum. $7 Premier Public Parking Thursday through Sunday: American Furniture Warehouse at intersection of High Point Road and Merritt Drive. $10 Downloadable parking map located here: www.wyndhamchampionship.com/spectator-info/parking-directions/ • Monday: 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. • Tuesday: 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. • Wednesday through Friday: 6:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. or 30 minutes after play is complete • Saturday and Sunday: 7 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. or 30 minutes after play is complete
Mobile Device Policy
• Mobile devices must be placed in silent mode. • Calls are permitted in authorized calling zones only (concession stands.) • Mobile devices may not be used to record video at any time. • Mobile devices may be used as cameras Monday through Wednesday only.
• Mobile devices may not be used as cameras after Wednesday. • Observe proper etiquette. If golfers are close, do not use your mobile device.
• Failure to comply with the mobile device policy may result in confiscation of device or removal from the tournament.
Additional spectator information at www.wyndhamchampionship.com/spectator-info/tournament-guidelines
by Matt Ankerson
I moved to Winston-Salem more than eight years ago from Massachusetts. While my assimilation to the South was rather quick, I still missed some of the comforts of home: decent cold cuts and the opportunity to watch my beloved Red Sox any time I wanted. Good friends helped me through those difficulties, but I really felt home when I realized Winston-Salem and I share a passion for tennis.
Winston-Salem offers 114 public courts, indoor tennis facilities, numerous instructional programs and tournaments for juniors and adult players. Wake Forest is ranked 22 nd nationally, and we have two state championship high school tennis teams in Bishop McGuinnes and Reynolds. We’ve even seen the pros play when Lawrence Joel Coliseum hosted the crazed patriotism of the Davis Cup.
And now we’ve gone big time. The inaugural Winston-Salem Open will be held at the newly constructed tennis complex next to BB&T Field. It promises to bring many of the world’s top players to our backyard as they gear up for the US Open, the last Major on the tennis calendar.
Never been to a live professional tennis match?
Let me tell you why you should.
• The first few days of a tennis tournament are like engorging yourself at the brunch buffet. Think multiple stages at Bonnaroo. The stadium court will feature bigger names and higher-ranked players, but the outer courts offer a chance to see the lowerranked or rising stars in a much more intimate atmosphere. Often the most competitive and exciting early-round matches are on the outer courts, with lower-ranked players grinding for advancement and additional prize money.
• Unlike a typical fall evening at the Dixie Classic fair, a tennis tournament is great people watching because of the high level of attractiveness — most notably, the players and the players significant others. Women can enjoy the rugged good looks of the South American and European players, and the men can ogle their stunning girlfriends. This year look for Brooklyn Decker, the supermodel girlfriend of Andy Roddick, who will be playing the Open this year.
• Sponsors are the reason tennis tournaments become a reality. Stop by their booths and thank them, maybe they’ll toss you a complimentary company logoed koozi.
• Watch two career perspectives of American tennis players unfold right before your eyes. Ryan Harrison and Marty Fish made early commitments to play here this year. Harrison, the 19-year-old from Shreveport, La. is reluctantly characterized as the future of American tennis. Fish, on the other hand, is experiencing a drip from the fountain of youth, showing strong results in the twilight of his career.
• John Isner will be the most loved and recognized player at this year’s tournament. He’s a local kid from Greensboro but he also stands 6-foot-9, making him one of the tallest players on the tour. At the French Open he put the scare into the king of clay, Rafael Nadel — Isner is the only player in history to push Nadal to five sets at the French Open. He also made national headlines last year at Wimbledon for some reason.
• Hit the bars in and around downtown. Tennis players are no strangers to having a good time. During a stint in Winston-Salem while playing for the US Davis Cup team, Andy Roddick was seen at Recreation Billiards as well as hosting beer pong challenges at the former Freddy B’s.
• Beat the heat. For every two beers you consume, drink one bottled water. You’ll thank me later.
• Cheer, take a picture, or get up in the middle of the point.
• Keep the ball that bounced its way from the court to your hands. This is not baseball, folks. A tennis ball caught in the stands does not hold the same significance as catching a foul ball. A line drive could knock out your teeth; a tennis ball is yellow, fuzzy and cushy. The ball boy will ask for it back. Give it to him.
• Tap into your inner Earl Woods and think your child can be a professional tennis player. This especially rings true if your child is over the age of five and has never held a racquet. However, don’t let my cynicism stop you from bringing your kids to this tournament. Similar to a Dash game, a tennis tournament is a wonderful event to expose your child to; it meshes many different cultures from around the world. Your child learned to count to ten in Spanish from Dora, now they can learn to swear in Russian from Igor Andreev. 6
• Try to figure out why they score games the way they do. The origins of tennis are a mystery. Leave it to the “non-progressive tennis powers that be” to never change it. Love, 15, 30, 40, ad-in, ad-out…. Really, don’t worry about it, it takes nothing away from this sport.
• Try to get seats mid-court. Your head really will go back and forth following the action until you get sore. Try to watch the action from locations behind the player on either side so you can see everything at once.
Matt Ankerson is a wannabe sports writer who currently resides in Winston-Salem.