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On The Go: Olympic Edition with Roberta Vinci

OTGT caught up with Roberta following her 2nd round win in the Connecticut Open. She's had quite a year and despite fantastic doubles results with Sara Errani in the past, she's 100% committed to singles and is very happy to finally be ranked in the Top 10.

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The First Ever Connecticut Open Debate

It's an election year here the U.S. and we've been subjected to way too many national debates but I think this is by far the best one of them all.  With Caroline Wozniacki as the moderator,  the candidates (Aga Radwanska, Roberta Vinci and Petra Kvitova) are asked hard-hitting questions in their quest to become President. The candidates unite in their dislike of Pokemon but the the pizza versus pasta topic pretty much goes off the rails.  

Many thanks to the folks at the Connecticut Open for putting this together.



He's Still Dominic Thiem


CINCINNATI – Success hasn’t changed Dominic Thiem.

The 22-year-old Austrian has been a rising star among ATP World Tour tennis players.

He finished 2014 ranked 39th in the world. Last year, he was 20th.

After claiming four titles so far this season, his ranking hit a career high, earning him a place among the coveted top 10.

Along the way defeating Rafael Nadal on clay and Roger Federer on grass, he won the tournaments in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Acapulco, Mexico; Nice, France; and Stuttgart, Germany.

“It’s not different at all. I’m the same person, and I will always be the same person. I won’t change only because I’m top 10,” Thiem said.

“It’s nice. It was a big goal. But still I’m the same person like a couple years ago.” 

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What, Rafa Worry?

Click on picture to expand


CINCINNATI – You win some. You lose some.

If you’re Rafael Nadal, you win a lot.

And, yes, even he loses.

But that shouldn’t alarm anyone. It definitely does not concern him.

“Everybody have defeats in important matches, no? I don’t understand that like a ‘low moments,’ because the world of tennis and the sport of tennis is a sport that almost every week you lose, even if you are so good,” the Spanish tennis icon said.

“It’s obvious that you have periods of your career that if you are so good, then you lose less, but every week there is only one winner. So you need to accept that every time that you start the tournament. The normal thing is that you going to lose later or soon.”

Dealing with injuries also doesn’t panic Nadal, the winner of 14 Grand Slam singles titles.

Competing at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, the 30-year-old is playing his first ATP World Tour match since May.

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The Heart and Soul of Steve Johnson


CINCINNATI – Even after losing, you still can win. 

During the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, American Steve Johnson lost in a third-set tiebreaker to England’s Andy Murray, the world’s No. 2-ranked player, in the quarterfinals of singles.

Dropping the first set 0-6, Johnson dramatically rebounded and claimed the second set, 6-4. Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion and also the defending Olympic gold medalist, then prevailed in the tiebreaker, 6-7 (2).

Just an hour and a half later, Johnson was back on the tennis court with partner Jack Sock in men's doubles.

“It was emotional. I left a lot of heart and soul out there in the loss to Murray. He played great. To turn around 90 minutes later to come play doubles, if you lose that, you know it’s going to be even more heartbreaking and you leave Rio with nothing, essentially,” he said.

Johnson and Sock, however, defeated Canada’s Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil to win the bronze medal.

“I was in tears after the singles,” Johnson recalled. “It was pure joy after the doubles.”

Johnson said he was proud to represent the United States in the Olympics, as he did during his Davis Cup debut in the World Group playoff against Uzbekistan last September.

“Anything for a team, something greater than yourself,” he beamed.

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Imagine 'Fastest Woman' Gail Devers as a Ball Kid


ATLANTA – Incredibly gracious, one of the first things Gail Devers did was thank the volunteers at the BB&T Atlanta Open exhibit.

The tennis tournament’s display, featuring pins, uniforms, a torch and more, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Devers praised the event’s 400 volunteers and joked about being a ball kid, having to quickly run across the tennis court and retrieve the yellow balls. 

“I’d have to use (starting) blocks,” she laughed.

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Meet Young American Reilly Opelka


ATLANTA – Almost everyone looks up to Reilly Opelka. The 18-year-old American tennis player is an astonishing 6 feet and 11 inches tall.

That’s an inch bigger than John Isner, the three-time defending champion of the BB&T Atlanta Open. 

But Opelka said he, at least figuratively, still looks up to Isner, who has been at the top of the U.S. men’s tennis squad for the past four years.

“John has the best serve in the world. He takes the racket out of your hand,” Opelka said. “He’s one of the best competitors, which is the thing I admire most about him. The guy competes so hard.”

As a wild card, the young phenomenon earned his first ATP World Tour singles win in Atlanta. And he hasn’t stopped. 

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