Best of Three: Yanks steal show after star-studded field folds

Monday June 14th, 2010

1. Lawn Gone: You're the tournament director for the AEGON Queen's Club event. You recruit Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to play your event at a price that surely exceeded $1 million all in. Your final? Sam Querrey versus Mardy Fish. Then again, the competing promoter didn't fare tons better: Roger Federer did reach the Halle final but he lost unexpectedly to Lleyton Hewitt. Conclusions: The transition from clay to grass isn't as seamless as Nadal and Federer have made it out to be in recent years. Given his shaky run-up results and the World Cup, Murray Mania should be somewhat subdued in 2010. Wimbledon could be very interesting. Nice to see Querrey recharged and back in the winner's circle after his dismal French Open.

2. Riske Rewards: Had you googled "Alison Riske" a few days ago, you'd have found that the facebook page of Alison M. Riske was among the top hits. That's no longer the case. A 19-year-old from outside Pittsburgh who'd never before won a WTA main draw match, Riske qualified for the Birmingham event, won three matches, including a takedown of Yanina Wickmayer, and took a set off Maria Sharapova in the semifinals. OK, Riske is still ranked insufficiently high to gain main draw entry in Wimbledon (she was No. 192 going in). And the hunger for a new American female is such that exuberant optimism tends to overwhelm reason. Still, it's hard not to take note of this result. Without going into full Oudin hype mode, keep an eye on Riske these next few months.

GALLERY: 2010 WTA Champions

3. Newport News: It tends to get lost in the Wimbledon run-up, but after The Championships held on the grass of the All England Club, there is a championship held on the grass of Newport. The Campbell's Hall of Fame Championships -- held July 5-11 this year -- is one of the gems of the ATP calendar, a throwback event situated in one of America's finer locations. The annual Hall of Fame ceremonies are held the weekend of the final, and this year's event is accompanied by a B.B. King concert. At the risk of sounding like a flack from the Rhode Island tourism board, if you're in the market for a mid-summer tennis getaway, you could do a lot worse.

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