October 4, 2012

I'm Working Out With Tennis Star Serena Williams

I was shopping in Wal-Mart recently and came across something I absolutely had to buy. The Serena Williams Workout Mix. I found it in the candle section (really) on one of those displays of soothing music to relax with where you can play samples of all of the music using their clever little sample player. And as soon as I saw it, I knew - I had to buy it.

Who knew Serena Williams was putting out workout mixes? I certainly did not and I actually try to keep up with this kind of stuff. But she is and lucky me, I found it.

So what exactly is the Serena Williams Workout Mix? It is one hour of non-stop music at 130 to 134 beats per minute. If you don't know anything about beats per minute, this speed would have you walking at a pretty good clip. The tracks are all remixes of songs that have been incredibly popular this past summer. In other words, if you keep up at all with Top 40-type pop hits, you'll recognize most of this stuff.

While I bought my Serena Williams Workout Mix at Wal-Mart, I found it a little cheaper on Amazon. Here's a link to the MP3 collection on Amazon if you're interested:

And - surprise, surprise - I also found the Serena Williams Workout Mix 2 with even more disco-ish remixes! Here's a link to that collection, also on Amazon:

Just FYI, if you purchase either of these MP3 collections through the above links, Tennis Fixation gets a small percentage of the purchase price. However, these CDs are available through a number of other sources, both on-line and in stores, so please feel free to buy them from wherever you'd like. But I can tell you - if you go check these out on Amazon, you get to listen to samples of each track and that can help you decide if you like the pace or the songs.

Here's my dream - doing Cardio Tennis with the Serena Williams mix playing in the background. I wonder if I could make that happen? I'll let you know.

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved

October 1, 2012

When Your Tennis Lob Hits The Ceiling, Who Makes The Call?

I bet you're reading the title of this post and thinking, "Is that really a question?" Because that was my first reaction when I got this question from Tennis Fixation follower Wendy.

Wendy recently saw this post: When You Hit The Ceiling In Indoor Tennis. That post discusses exactly what happens when a lob hits the ceiling on an indoor tennis court. Specifically, it explains that the ceiling is a permanent fixture and, per Rule 13 of the USTA's Official Rules of Tennis, if a ball touches a permanent fixture before it hits the proper court (the opposing player's court), the player who hit the ball loses the point.

Now, while you would think it would be obvious whether or not a ball hits the ceiling, I can imagine a ball barely grazing the ceiling and there being a dispute. Look, I play in an indoor league on Fridays that is a very "competitive" league (and that is putting it nicely). Balls are often lobbed pretty high and I can see a dispute breaking out over whether or not a ball actually hit the ceiling.

As far as who makes the call in this situation, here is what I think:

While we know the outcome when a ball hits the ceiling (see the post cited above), the rules do not address the issue of who makes that call. So you have to go to The Code which governs the conduct of players in tennis matches.

This exact situation (hitting the ceiling) is not discussed. But I believe Paragraph 5 of the Code applies here. That paragraph states - 
 Player makes calls on own side of net. A player calls all shots landing on, or aimed at, the player's side of the court.
So if your opponent hits the lob, and it is obviously aimed at your side of the court, you get to make the call. And if your call is that the lob hit the ceiling, you win the point.

Thanks to Wendy for this great question. I really had to think about it. And now I'll be ready with the answer if it ever comes up in one of my own indoor matches.

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved

September 26, 2012

What's The Weather Like On MY Tennis Court?

Autumn is officially here and, in Houston, that means that which I dread the most in my tennis matches - rainouts. While we don't get much in the way of cold, snow or ice here during the fall and winter, we can get plenty of rain. Ugh.

So watching the weather becomes a priority. And that's why I'm pretty happy with an app I found that gives me a very localized, very "micro" forecast of the weather right in my own neighborhood. The app is called "Ourcast" and I've put a shot of the opening screen to the left.

What can this app do? When you check in, it precisely identifies your location (using the pin drop feature) and then tells you, minute by minute, what the weather forecast is in your exact area for the next two hours. Since Houston is one of those places where it can be bright and sunny at my house but pouring rain at the tennis courts two miles down the road, this is just the kind of weather information I need.

Ourcast also allows you to broadcast what kind of weather experience you're having, letting others know just what to expect in your vicinity. It even allows you to comment on the weather - through words or through little smiley or pouty weather icons (depending on your mood, so if your tennis match gets rained out, you can choose the pouty rain cloud when checking in).

What I really like is that one of my local news stations is tied into the comments section of the app, allowing me to not only see what people like me think of the weather (with our smiley and pouty icons), but getting a little "professional" insight into what is going on.

Best thing about the Ourcast app? It's free. I always love free stuff. Especially if it might help my tennis game. You can find Ourcast in the iTunes store for your iPhone and there is also an Android app.

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved

September 19, 2012

The Coman Tennis Tiebreak - It's So Easy!

Have you heard of this "Coman" tiebreak? Not the Conan tiebreak (check out the photo). Not the Coleman tiebreak. It's the "Coman" tiebreak.

Although the Coman tiebreak has been around since the 1980's, it was not until the early 2000's that it was adopted by the USTA for national league play, leading to its widespread acceptance.

So what's the difference between a Coman tiebreak and the standard tiebreak procedure?

As you know, a tiebreak is used when the score in a set reaches 6-6. It is one game that determines the winner of the set. So when the tiebreak is over, the winner will have won the set 7-6. Since it is a game that is part of the set, service rotation does not change.

To start a standard tiebreak, the player whose turn it is to serve begins by serving one point from the deuce court. Serve then passes to the opposing player or team who serves two points, the first from the ad court and the second from the deuce court. The serve then alternates between players or teams, with each serving two serves, first from the ad court and then from the deuce court. Players or teams switch sides between the 6th and 7th points and then every 6 points after that. The winner is the first team to reach at least 7 points AND be ahead in the tiebreak score by 2 points (so 7-6 is not a winning tiebreak score but 8-6 is). Note that a "super" tiebreak is sometimes used in lieu of playing a 3rd set where the tiebreak score may be first to 10 points.

So what about the Coman tiebreak? The Coman tiebreak is JUST LIKE the standard tiebreak except that players switch ends after the first point and then after every four points.

That's it.

Why this change?

1. In a standard tiebreak, during a doubles match, players will end up serving from both sides of the court, rather than from "their side." The Coman tiebreak ensures that doubles players will always serve from their side and thus helps provide some consistency within the set. In other words, the tiebreak serving conditions are consistent with the set serving conditions.

2. The Coman tiebreak also results in more frequent changes in sides, meaning that the effects of the court conditions (sun, wind, overhead lights, etc.) are more fairly experienced by both players or teams.

Now you're ready for any tiebreak that comes your way. Just remember - it's Coman. We're not talking about an old Arnold Schwarzenegger movie here!

Not sure what to do after the tiebreak? Check out this Tennis Fixation post for the answers: After The Tiebreaker, Who Serves?

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved

September 17, 2012

After The Tiebreaker, Who Serves?

How many times have you played a tiebreaker after which everyone tries to figure out who gets to serve at the beginning of the next set? And from which side?

Maybe this has never happened to you. Maybe in every match you've played, everyone knows the rule. But I've played in plenty where the question has come up - most recently in a Girls 16s SuperChamps (and they should know) (and I was officiating, not playing) (as if). So here's the answer once and for all.

1. Who gets to serve after the tiebreaker?

Think of the tiebreaker as a game. Before the tiebreaker, you're tied at 6-all (or in a pro set, you might be tied 8-all, or 11-all, whatever). After the tiebreaker, the score for the set is now 7-6. So the tiebreaker is the 13th game of the set.  This means that whoever served the first serve of the tiebreaker, gets credit for serving this 13th game. So the serve for the next set passes to the other player or team. Get it?

In other words, in singles, if I served the first serve of the tiebreaker, you get to serve to start out the next set, even if somehow you had the last serve of the tiebreaker. I started the tiebreaker game so now its your turn to serve.

2. From which side do you serve after a tiebreaker?

Following the logic above, the tiebreaker is the 13th game and that means when its finished, since its an odd  game, players need to switch sides. So if I got first serve in the tiebreaker on the East side of the court (for example), now we start the second set with your serve and you serve from the East side of the court.  Whether we actually switch sides or not will depend on the score of the tiebreaker. But to know which side to be on, just go back to where that first server was in the tiebreaker game. (Yeah, it might mean some weird switching or no switching, but the 13th game logic applies and helps ensure that no player or team gets an unfair advantage due to sun or wind conditions.)

To sum it up - as long as you remember that the tiebreaker counts as a game and the server for that game is the first person who served in the tiebreaker, you should be able to figure out who serves after the tiebreaker and from where.

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved

September 14, 2012

How Many Vibration Dampeners Can You Have On Your Tennis Racquet?

I recently got a great question from Tina S. asking if you can have more than one dampener on a tennis racquet.

I really didn't know the answer to this question which made me feel a little stupid since I consider myself "Queen of Tennis Rules, Codes and Other Court and Equipment Related Issues." So, before doing any kind of research on the question, I thought I'd ask some of my tennis pals to see if they knew the answer.

Well, let me tell you - people were adamant on this one. Yes! Of course they knew the answer! The problem was - some of my friends were unshakable in their belief that you could have one, and only one, dampener on your racquet. Others were just as insistent that you could have just as many dampeners on your racquet as you want, dammit!

So what's the answer? Well, I first looked at the ITF Rules of Tennis. Rule 4 governs "The Racket" and pretty much just states that racquets must comply with Appendix II of the Rules. Case 3 of Rule 4 is a little more helpful:
Case 3: Can vibration damping devices be placed on the strings of a racket? If so, where can they be placed?
Decision: Yes, but these devices may only be placed outside the pattern of the strings.
Case 3 refers to "damping devices," plural, being placed on the strings of "a racket." So that seems to me like its inferring that more than one device could be used. I'd say the answer is yes, more than one dampener can be used on a racquet.

If you look to Appendix II, paragraph a, you learn that devices "utilised solely and specifically to limit or prevent wear and tear or vibration" are permissible, but you don't get much info beyond that.

I think the best answer can be found on the USTA's website. Richard Kaufman, USTA Director of Officials, states: "Dampening devices may be located on the outside of the last cross string on the sides, top and/or bottom of the racket face. Multiple devices are permitted. The device may not be placed inside the outside cross strings but the device may touch the outside cross strings." (Click here to see his answer on the USTA's website.)

So Tina, use just as many vibration dampeners as you want!

If you'd like to know more about vibration dampeners and why you might use one (or more!), check out this Tennis Fixation post: Using A Vibration Dampener On Your Tennis Racquet.

Thanks to Tina for submitting her question. And if you have a tennis question, please send it in. As you can see, I love researching this stuff!

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved

September 12, 2012

What You Can Learn From The 2012 U.S. Open Winners

I'm always so sad when the latest Slam is over. What? I have to pay attention to my family again? I can't sit on the couch all day watching tennis? I can't walk my dog AND constantly check my Twitter for tennis updates because something might happen in the 12 minutes I'm away from the TV?

Anyway, the U.S. Open 2012, the last Slam of the year, was more fun, more exciting, and more instructive (in my opinion) than all the other 2012 Slams AND the London Olympics put together. Here's what you and I can learn from this year's U.S. Open winners:

Women's Singles Champ Serena Williams - Never give up.

How many times have people written off Serena Williams? She cut her foot and couldn't play half of last year. She lost in the first round of this year's French Open. She wastes her time selling her own line of purses, etc. on the Home Shopping Network. But - Wow! Does Serena Williams ever, ever give up? She basically rolled through her U.S. Open matches (remember how she trounced Andrea Hlavackova 6-0, 6-0?) and, played one of the all-time great women's finals by battling it out with and finally beating No. 1 ranked Victoria Azarenka in three sets. What a year Serena has had - Wimbledon (singles and doubles), the Olympics (singles and doubles) and now the U.S. Open. No matter how weird or bad things get for her, Serena makes it clear - you should never give up.

Men's Singles Champ Andy Murray - Be willing to make changes.

This was Murray's fifth Grand Slam final. That's right. It took him five times to win a Slam. He was good enough to get to a final four times before but it took this fifth time for him to pull it off. And what made the difference this fifth time? He changed his game. Under the coaching of Ivan Lendl, Murray has gone from being an excellent counter-puncher who just keeps pushing the ball back over the net, to someone who takes the offensive and makes things happen. So if Andy Murray can make changes to his game, surely you and I can.

Women's Doubles Champs Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci - Be nice.

These two Italians are part of the up and coming future of women's tennis. They won doubles at the French Open and now here they are with their second Slam title. And with their U.S. Open win, they take over the No. 1 and 2 WTA ranking spots in women's doubles. But the most interesting match these two played during the U.S. Open was when they faced each other during the singles quarterfinals, with Errani pulling off the win. While the two had a very cute victory dance after their doubles win, Errani was a little more subdued when she beat her doubles partner in singles, showing - no reason to be the gloaty winner, especially when the person on the other side of the net is your friend and doubles partner.

Men's Doubles Champs Mike & Bob Bryan - Communicate.

What can you NOT learn about doubles from the Bryan Brothers? Watching them play is like watching some kind of Doubles Domination DVD. “Just do what these guys do and win!” But what I get from these two is the constant, nonstop communication that goes on during their matches. I mean - come on! They're twins! How much talking and whispering and strategizing and hand tapping and chest bumping do they really need to do? Every point? Every serve?? But they do it and they do it a lot. The Bryan Brothers prove that one of the most important things you can do in a doubles match, if not THE most important thing, is constantly communicate with your partner.

Mixed Doubles Champs Ekaterina Makarova & Bruno Soares - In tennis you never know what can happen.

Russia's Ekaterina Makarova and Brazil's Bruno Soares don't usually play doubles together. But when a last minute ranking issue prevented Bruno from being able to register with his regular partner, he sent his coach out to the U.S. Open practice courts to track down Ekaterina. She agreed to be his partner and so he signed up with her - with only 30 seconds to spare until the sign-in deadline. Whew! But who would ever have guessed that they would end up winning the whole thing? They knocked out Bob Bryan and Lisa Raymond in the first round and Mike Bryan and Kim Clijsters in the second round. The lesson here? You never know what might happen in your tennis match. Hang out on the practice courts enough and you could end up winning mixed doubles at the U.S. Open!

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved

September 3, 2012

What's It Like To Play Serena? Andrea Hlavackova Learns The Hard Way

How would you like to be Andrea Hlavackova? You've never made it beyond the 2nd round of a Slam. You hold no singles titles and your WTA ranking is currently in the 80's. But somehow you fight your way into the 4th round of the U.S. Open. And not only that, you do it by beating the tournament's 14th seed, Maria Kirilenko, whose WTA rank is No. 12 and who was just a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon. Thrilling, right? You've finally arrived!

Except that your 4th round opponent turns out to be Serena Williams. And Serena is, as she is so often these days, on a mind-blowing roll. She just won Wimbledon. Singles and doubles. And she just won Olympic gold. Singles and doubles. And so its really no surprise that Serena beats you. What is disheartening, however, is that Serena doesn't just beat you. She thoroughly trounces you - 6-0, 6-0. Yikes.

Here's my glass-is-half-full take on it. How fabulous to be Andrea Hlavackova! You're playing tennis at a level that got you into the 4th round of a Slam. And it took Serena Williams' unreal tennis to knock you out of the tournament. And you're really not out yet - you're still in it in women's doubles where you've had great success, being a finalist in both the London Olympics and Wimbledon.

Andrea Hlavackova - your time is coming. Keep pounding away and you'll get there!  

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved

September 1, 2012

Think You Know Tennis Trivia? You Need To Try ESPN InPlay

Not only did I enjoy watching Andy Roddick CRUSH Bernard Tomic last night, but I watched the match while playing "ESPN InPlay" on my iPhone and that made it even more fun. ESPN InPlay is an interactive mobile app that allows you to rack up points in pursuit of the ultimate prize - tickets to the 2013 U.S. Open (maybe that's how I'll finally get there)!

So how do you play? First, you go to the website - espninplay.com - with your smart phone or tablet and log in through Facebook. The app will then countdown until the next trivia game starts. Last night, the app started up right before the Roddick/Tomic match got underway and, thanks to the countdown, I was all ready.

The app then asks you trivia questions about the match in progress (that you're presumably watching on ESPN2) and the players playing. It's a lot like the trivia games you used to play at pizza places or buffalo wing joints where you answered trivia questions with a handheld device in a certain amount of time. (Does anyone but me remember those days and how upset your kids would be if they had to share one of the little answer machines?) So, for example, I got 10 points for knowing that Roddick won the U.S. Open in 2003 (duh). I got another 10 for knowing that the U.S. Open is played on hard courts (double duh). But I missed out on 10 points for not knowing that Bernard Tomic is the only teenager ranked in the Top 50 (wow!).  I also lost out on 10 for not knowing that Tomic, an Australian, lives in Stuttgart, Germany (go figure).

But the fun part of the game is the predictive trivia questions where you are asked questions about the match in progress. That's how I won 10 points for guessing that Roddick would win the third game of the first set (that was a given since he served first). And I won another 10 for predicting that Tomic would  not win more than 3 games in the first set (sort of lucky guess, it looked like it was going that way right from the beginning).

Will I be the big winner in ESPN InPlay? I'm guessing not. I was only able to play for the first set last night so my current score is only 170 points. The leaderboard shows that "Eric H." has 2,810 points. I don't think I can catch him. But I did really get a kick out of playing the game while I was watching the match and I think I'll keep playing throughout the U.S. Open.

The next round of ESPN InPlay is scheduled for September 3 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time. To download the app, just go to espninplay.com. If you play, look for me on the leader board. I guess I should say look for me at the bottom of the leader board. I wonder if they give a prize for coming in 347th place?

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved

Tennis Fashion Fix: I'm Loving Venus Williams At the U.S. Open

Here's a surprise - I'm loving the way Venus Williams is looking at the U.S. Open. Now, I'm not talking about her tennis play. While she's already out in singles (losing to Angelique Kerber in Round 2), she has a strong possibility of winning doubles with sister Serena. But check out her outfit from her first-round singles victory over Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

The dress she's wearing in this photo is from Venus' Eleven collection and is the "Fall Rose Garden" dress. It is white with a black contrast collar detail and is covered in pink, black and red roses with a gray trellis background. The word "Love" is sprinkled around too (which may be cute but is not what I'm looking for in my tennis game). While the print is not my style, this is a vast improvement over some of the disasters we've seen Venus wearing in recent years (remember the French Open negligee? the Wimbledon curtain romper). She's also worn the Fall Rose Garden tank and a white skirt while playing doubles with Serena as you can see in this photo:

I wonder why players wear dresses for singles but skirts for doubles? I haven't figured that one out yet.

Anyway, the most interesting thing to me about Venus' Eleven line is not that she's wearing it but that she's got someone else wearing it!  American Varvara Lepchenko is also sporting Eleven apparel.  Here she is on Day 1 in her first round victory over Mathilde Johansson. She's wearing the "Classic Geo Love" tank and a black skirt:

I love that tank. While it comes in black and gray, I'm really liking the hot pink. Here's Varvara on Day 3, when she beat Anastasia Rodionova in Round 2.  She's wearing the "Fall Italico" dress that I believe Venus wore at the French Open:

Although you can't tell from the above pic, this is a pretty great dress, color-wise and design-wise. And the fact that Venus is having someone else wear her clothes (and someone else is actually agreeing to wear her clothes!) can only mean good things for the Eleven line.

Best of luck to Venus in doubles and keep your eye on Varvara - she's coming on pretty strong!

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved

August 31, 2012

Andy Roddick Announces His Retirement

The 2012 U.S. Open is underway and I was all prepared to talk about who I like - both tennis-wise and outfit-wise. But Andy Roddick announced that he will be retiring at the end of this U.S. Open and so that's what I want to talk about.

I turned on the TV last night to watch the Open and there was Andy discussing his retirement in a press conference. It was his 30th birthday yesterday, not really old but getting up there in tennis years, and he said he'd been thinking about retiring for several months so I guess the U.S. Open just seemed like a good time to say good-bye.

It feels like the hopes and expectations for American men's tennis have rested on Andy's shoulders for quite some time. I'm sure that's a heavy burden. Lord knows I kept hoping he would  win just one more Slam. Anyway, here are a few Roddick stats that show how great a player he is:
  • Roddick won the 2003 U.S. Open beating Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final 6-3, 7-6, 6-3
  • He was the runner-up in 4 Slams - in 2004, 2005 and 2009 he lost the Wimbledon final and in 2006 he lost the U.S. Open final, losing all 4 times to Roger Federer
  • He held the record for fastest serve for a 155 mph serve he hit in 2004 (this record stood until 2011 when it was broken by Ivo Karlovic who hit a 156 mph serve)
  • Roddick held the ATP's No. 1 spot for 13 weeks in 2003 and was the youngest American to hold the spot at year-end at the age of 21 years, 3 months
  • He won 33 Davis Cup matches for the U.S. and led the U.S. team to Davis Cup victory in 2007
There are plenty of other stats I could throw out there. But the one thing I've always liked most about Roddick is how hard he has worked at tennis. You can tell that for him - it's a serious job that he puts his all into.

Andy is scheduled to play Bernard Tomic tonight and I'm sure the New York crowd will be going wild in support of Roddick. I wouldn't want to be Bernard Tomic tonight.  Especially not if he beats Andy.

Finally, in honor of Andy, I'm posting my favorite Roddick pic ever:

Whether you like this guy or not, you gotta love this photo!

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved

August 27, 2012

Get Ready For Fall Tennis!

Well, I've received e-mails from all of my tennis captains reminding me to pay my league dues. I've started "Ladies Fall Tennis Boot Camp" and I've taken in my racquets to have them restrung. I broke out my new tennis shoes, which I was saving to keep them clean for league, and I've bought a case of balls at Costco. All of which can only mean one thing - time for fall tennis! Hooray!

After a spring season where I felt like I played mediocre tennis, at best, I've decided to turn it around this fall. So here's my new fall tennis mantra - "I'm here to have fun!" Last spring, I wasted way too much time and energy worrying about winning and losing and whether my captains were trying to find a nice way to kick me off the team. I kept track of my win/loss record and compared myself to every player on every team trying to justify why I was worth keeping. Not only was that un-fun, it was exhausting. That's why this season I've decided to relax and have a good time out on the court. Win or lose. Kicked off the team or not.

So how about you? What are you hoping for tennis-wise this fall? And do you have a great tennis mantra? Let me know what's working for you.

Happy Fall Tennis! 

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved

July 28, 2012

Olympic Tennis Fix: It's Easy To Follow With ITF App!

While I'm excited about the Olympics, the reality is I just want to keep up with tennis. (Sorry all of you other fabulous athletes.) So, somehow, I came across this incredible app put out by the International Tennis Federation that let's me do that. Really - there is an app for everything these days!

It's free, as are all great apps, and is available for both iPhone and Android devices. Download it now and you'll see that some of our singles medal contenders have already been knocked out of the race (Sorry David Nalbandian). Thank you ITF for helping us Olympics tennis lovers keep on top of London 2012!

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved

July 25, 2012

Olympic Tennis Fix: Tennis Team USA!

With the Olympics now just days away, let's take a look at who made it to Team USA!

We'll start with the women who are coached by Mary Joe Fernandez, herself an Olympic medalist (winning gold twice, in doubles in 1992 and 1996, and bronze in singles in 1992). In singles, the ladies, pictured above, will be playing: Serena Williams, Christina McHale, Varvara Lepchenko and Venus Williams. In women's doubles, the Williams sisters will team up and the No. 1 ranked team of Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond will be playing. Good to know about these ladies:

  • This will be Venus's fourth time to compete in the Olympics! She won singles and doubles gold in Sydney in 2000 and doubles gold with Serena in Beijing in 2008.
  • If Serena wins gold, she will be the only female to have won all four Slams plus Olympic gold in singles and doubles.
  • Venus and Serena just won doubles at Wimbledon. They only team up for the Slams. They will be going for their third doubles gold medal.
  • Huber and Raymond lost to the Williams sisters in the semis at Wimbledon. Hopefully we'll see an all-American doubles final! 
  • Varvara Lepchenko switched her citizenship from Uzbekistan to the United States in 2007. This is her first year to break into the WTA's Top 100.
  • Christina McHale is 20 years-old, is currently ranked at No. 26, and has one win over a No. 1 player, beating top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki in 2011.

For the men, playing singles will be Andy Roddick, John Isner, Ryan Harrison and Donald Young. Mike and Bob Bryan will field one of the doubles teams. The other will be Roddick and Isner. What to know about these guys:

  • Roddick last appeared at the Olympics in Athens in 2004.
  • This will be the first time at the Olympics for Isner, Harrison and Young.
  • The Bryan Brothers won doubles bronze in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. (Gold went to Switzerland's Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka. Silver to Sweden's Simon Aspelin and Thomas Johansson.)

I'm thinking the American women look really strong. The men - less so. But its the Olympics so you never know what will happen. I'd love to see Roddick bring home a medal.

As for mixed doubles, those teams haven't been announced yet. I'm guessing the two teams will look like this: one of the Bryan Brothers teamed up with Serena and the other with Liezel. Since tennis play starts this coming Saturday, I think we'll be hearing that announcement very soon.

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved