On Court
1 On Court Sources: Tennis.Life

Air Felix returns for USO qualifying

He made his mark with a Challenger victory in France at age 16 just a few months ago. But the other Canadian teen sensation, Félix Auger-Aliassime, has been on the sidelines. A wrist injury (another one!) was the culprit. The Quebecer, who turned 17 the day Roger Federer turned 36, had to miss what was to be his Rogers Cup main draw debut last week. But Auger-Aliassime confirms to tennis.life he will be in New York next week, to play his first Grand Slam qualifying event. He’ll join his good buddy Denis Shapovalov.

2 On Court Sources: Tennis Recruiting Network

Teen chair umpire makes waves

It only seems right to be umpired by one of your peers.  At the 16s girls national final last weekend in San Diego, chair umpire duties were bestowed up 17-year-old Albert Ton, a California native who already has chaired Division I NCAA matches. From this story, it’s clear Ton may well have greater things ahead. He was initially accepted to college in 10th grade, but wanted to stay home. He did two years in one at community college last year and is off to Cal this week – as a college junior.

3 On Court Sources: Tennis Australia

Aussie WC playoff in New Haven

The reciprocal women’s singles main-draw wild card at the US Open for Tennis Australia is still to be announced. That’s because eight Aussies will play off this weekend at the Connecticut Open, site of next week’s final US Open tuneup. The participants are: [1] Arina Rodionova, [2] Lizette Cabrera, [3] Destanee Aiava, [4] Olivia Rogowska, Priscilla Hon, Kimberly Birrell, Jaimee Fourlis and Ellen Perez. Fourlis won it last year. It begins Friday – straight knock-out, winner-take-all for the spot in the main draw.

4 On Court Sources: Tennis.Life

Linz now “Upper Austria Ladies Linz”

The WTA tournament in Linz, held in October, announced a new title sponsor and  logo this week.  (A pink court? Okay.) The spin was all positive. The change to “Upper Austria Ladies’ Linz” will “document the relationship with the state of Upper Austria and the city of Linz even more intensively.” But the truth is that after 26 years, main sponsor Generali Gruppe didn’t renew its contract. Yet the men’s ATP 250 event in Austria in July remains the “Generali Open.” Big question: what will happen to the adorable Flöwis, the Generali mascots?

5 On Court Sources: YouTube

Kleybanova back for another try

Russia’s Alisa Kleybanova,  diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma six years ago, has made several short-lived comeback attempts. After another year away, she’s back this month in a series of ITFs in Thailand. Kleybanova reached the final the last week of July as a wild card. She lost 6-3 in the third to Luksika Kumkhum. She qualified and reached the semis the following week, losing to Sara Tomic. This week, she won two qualifying matches but lost in the first round of the main draw. Here she is talking about it. She looks great.

Off Court
1 Off Court Sources: Vogue

After Vanity Fair, Vogue for Serena

A few days after she accidentally leaked the news she was 20 weeks pregnant, Serena Williams did a shoot for the big September issue of Vogue, out imminently. “I’ll tell you this much: I won’t win less. Either I win, or I don’t play,” she told Vogue about her comeback, which she intends to start in January. “It’s the most outrageous plan,” she added. “I just want to put that out there. That’s, like, three months after I give birth. I’m not walking anything back, but I’m just saying it’s pretty intense.”

2 Off Court Sources: Tennis.Life

Shapovalov run brings boffo ratings

Canadian Denis Shapovalov’s run at the Rogers Cup last week brought boffo ratings. The Next-Gen semifinal matchup between Shapovalov and Alexander Zverev Saturday night peaked at 741,600 on English-language Sportsnet. It was the most-watched tennis match ever on Sportsnet, which doesn’t air the Grand Slams. Despite a much smaller reach, the match peaked at 777,000 on French-language TVA. That’s more than 10 per cent of the entire French-speaking population in Canada.

3 Off Court Sources: Tennis Channel

Laver Cup on Tennis Channel

The inaugural Laver Cup, to take place in Prague Sept. 22-24 and feature Roger Federer’s Europe vs. the rest of the world, has signed a two-year deal to air on the Tennis Channel in the U.S. The 2018 edition will be held in the U.S. Federer (whose management company has a big stake in the event), Rafael Nadal, Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem are confirmed for Europe. The “rest of the world” will have a North American bias with Americans John Isner,  Jack Sock and Sam Querrey, and Canadian Milos Raonic.  

4 Off Court Sources: Hamptons Magazine

Sharapova begins book promo

It arguably is one of the most stunning pics ever of Maria Sharapova, the cover girl on the latest issue of the high-end Hamptons magazine. Her memoir comes out Sept. 15, the week after the US Open. So there will be plenty more Sharapova sightings over the next month. Every single top-10 player on the WTA Tour has been hard at work last week in Toronto and this week in Cincinnati. It’s … fascinating that the bulk of the publicity has been focused on the tour’s two marquee players – who aren’t even playing.

5 Off Court Sources: YouTube

Coldplay shouts out Federer in Montreal

Roger Federer is a rock star at his own game. But in Montreal last week, a real rock star gave him a shutout as Federer, celebrating his 36th birthday, attended a Coldplay concert and met the fellas backstage. The late night out certainly didn’t seem to affect Federer the next day. He dismissed Canadian Peter Polansky 6-2, 6-1 to open his Rogers Cup effort. But by the final, he had tweaked his back. Can we call it the “Coldplay Curse”?