AirTran Airways has announced a sweepstakes offering one lucky winner and a guest the chance to have lunch, talk tennis and hang out with Melanie Oudin in New York City.

Participants can enter by visiting
www.airtran.com/tennis up until 11:59 p.m. on August 10 and typing in their A+ Rewards number or signing up for a free A+ Rewards account. For complete contest rules and details visit the website.

The winner will receive:
Dinner or lunch with Melanie Oudin in New York City
Roundtrip flights for 2 on AirTran Airways to New York City
One double occupancy hotel room in New York City for four nights
A $100 Adidas gift card
A $500 Visa gift card for shopping in the Big Apple
An autographed Melanie Oudin tennis racquet 
 
Tennis fans around the world can now witness tennis history with the click of a mouse. The International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2010 Induction Ceremony is now available for viewing on www.tennisfame.com. The Class of 2010 honored some of the most remarkable doubles players in the history of the game, along with two individuals who were instrumental in shaping the history and growth of tennis.

The Induction Ceremony was held on Saturday, July 10 on Bill Talbert Center Court at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. The Hall of Fame Class of 2010 features doubles specialists Todd Woodbridge & Mark Woodforde and Gigi Fernandez & Natasha Zvereva, as well as mixed doubles star Owen Davidson, wheelchair tennis creator Brad Parks and Derek Hardwick, former chairman of the British Lawn Tennis Association.

In addition to the ceremony, fans visiting www.tennisfame.com will also find individual tribute videos for the inductees featuring highlights from their careers and commentary from their peers, along with photos from the ceremony.
 
Frank Dancevic must be thinking he is cursed. Just weeks after returning to the tour after back surgery that had kept him away from the circuit since the US Open, the Canadian has received another setback. Playing Nick Lindahl in the second qualifying round in Atlanta, Dancevic ran into a scoreboard on match point and sustained an injury that required stitches. Dancevic lost the match 7-6 4-6 6-3.

"Frank was playing match point when he hit the board at full run," Canadian Davis Cup captain Martin Laurendeau told Montreal’s Rue Frontenac. "He couldn't see it because of his position and speed. He hit the corner very sharply, so the cut is a good 24 centimeters on his leg, up to the hip. The doctor said if Frank had gone a few centimeters closer and cut his muscle it would have been much more serious."

Dancevic, who recently reached the Newport quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Mardy Fish, has withdrawn from Los Angeles and is uncertain whether he will be able to play in Washington.
 
Rafael Nadal will attempt for the third time to compete at the Thailand Open, taking place in Bangkok from September 27. The world No.1 has entered the event in two of the last three years, only to withdraw because of injury.

Other players so far confirmed for the ATP 250 Series event are Juan Martin Del Potro, who after initial doubts now hopes to return to action in time to defend his US Open title after not playing since the Australian Open in January, Chile’s Fernando Gonzalez and Ernests Gulbis of Latvia.

The tournament was won last year by Frenchman Gilles Simon.

The players will be staying at a hotel that was in the center of the political unrest and massive street protests that closed down not only the hotel but much of the surrounding area earlier this year. One of Asia’s largest shopping malls, just yards from the player hotel, was burned down during the riots which left 90 dead and nearly 2000 injured.
 
Sania Mirza’s marriage to former Pakistan Test cricketer Shoaib Mailik made front-page news around the globe but her subsequent return to tennis had hardly followed suit and British teenager Heather Watson drove another withering blow into the Indian’s credentials as a leading performer.

Watson, who comes from the picturesque Channel Island of Guersney but is based at the IMG Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Florida and won the US Open junior title 11 months ago, completely outplayed Mirza to win the AEGON GB Pro-Series $25k ITF event in Wrexham, North Wales.

Mirza’s has struggled to get her career back on track since her much-documented nuptials. India’s foremost female sports star was sufficiently fit to return to action after a long absence, enforced by wrist problems, at the Edgbaston grass court event prior to Wimbledon and after beating Taipei’s Yung-Jan Chan she lost to veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand. She failed to make it through qualifying at Eastbourne and then lost in Wimbledon’s opening round to Angelique Kerber.

The Wrexham event, played on had court, was Mirza’s first tournament after Wimbledon and she reached both singles and doubles finals. On Saturday night, combined with Emma Laine, she lost the doubles final against Tara Moore and Stephenson 2-6, 6-3, 13-11. Then the following afternoon she lost out 6-2, 6-4 to Watson.

Nevertheless Mirza was upbeat and optimistic about two big Asian based events in upcoming months. “I am pleased with the way things have gone in this tournament and hope to keep improving,” said the 24-year-old. “The focus will be clearly to be at my best for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi (starting October 3) and the Asian Games (starting November 12 in Guangzhou, China) later this year.”

For Watson, coached through the Lawn Tennis Association by Billy Wilkinson, the final was her fifth straight-sets win of the week, beating top seed. Her only previous senior title came at another low key British event, a $10,000 event in Frinton, Essex  last summer. She said: “I just told myself I had nothing to lose because Sania's been ranked 27 in the world before. I just did a lot of running and got as many balls in court as I could.”

 
Will he or won’t he? The USTA has said that it expects Juan Martin Del Potro to defend his US Open title next month, but the Argentine’s camp is saying ‘Not so fast’.

Del Potro has not played since losing a five-setter to Marin Cilic in the fourth round of the Australian Open in January. He hasn’t even picked up a racquet since then, and he is still rehabilitating his right wrist after undergoing surgery. "I still haven't picked up a racquet. This is why I can't set an exact date (for a return)," he wrote on his Twitter page.

His trainer, Diego Rivas, is more helpful about Del Potro’s chances of playing the final major of the year, strongly suggesting that it is not going to happen. "Nothing is sure, (but) the goal is to return in Bangkok," he said. That event, the Thailand Open, takes place from September 27 and features Rafael Nadal as top seed.
 
Andy Murray is clearly in a hurry to get back to action after suffering the disappointment of another Wimbledon near miss and the world no.4 and gratefully come to the rescue of this week’s Farmer’s Classic presented by Mercedes Benz at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on the UCLA campus.

Murray, who after losing his Wimbledon semi final to Rafael Nadal, opted against playing for Britain in the Davis Cup, concentrated on watching the World Cup soccer and took a brief holiday in Barbados with girlfriend Kim Sears, had been hard at work at his Miami training base with the intention of returning to competition at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

However world no.2 Novak Djokovic withdrew from the event last week, citing personal reasons, so Murray was happy to take a wild card and fill a major void in tournament director Bob Kramer’s line-up.

Kramer said: "We were looking forward to Novak making his debut in LA. But we're very fortunate that Andy Murray will be able to join us. We are very excited that we've added six players to the draw.”
 
2007 champion Radek Stepanek was another late pull-out because of a knee injury but the charismatic Latvian Ernests Gulbis is returning to action after missing Wimbledon and takes fifth place in the seeding list behind world no.4 Murray, Sam Querrey, Marcos Baghdatis and Feliciano Lopez. Last week’s Atlanta champion Mardy Fish is eighth seed while South African quarter finalist Kevin Anderson gains special exemption into the draw.
 
Murray is handed a first round bye and will then play either a qualifier or Russia’s Teimuraz Gabashvili. The Scot will be hoping previous success in California - winning ATP Tour titles in 2006 and 2007 in San Jose and being finalist to Nadal in Indian Wells last year - will stand him in good stead.
 
Other than flying in and out of LAX, it will be his first visit to the City of the Angels. “I’m looking forward to it and one of my friends Julien Rojer actually went to UCLA,” said Murray. “A few people have told me it can be a little strange going there if you don’t know anyone because it’s good to know the places to go.”
 
According to a report in Sports Illustrated, Roger Federer is the world's second highest-earning athlete with estimated earnings of more than $61.7 million. Hot on his heels is golfer Phil Mickelson with $61.6 million. No prize for guessing who is ranked No.1 on the earnings list - runaway leader Tiger Woods with $90 million. Rafael Nadal is the next-highest tennis player, coming in at No. 9 with over $27 million in earnings. Maria Sharapova is at No. 20 with almost $20 million, the only woman on the top 20 list.
 
According to a report in Sports Illustrated, Roger Federer is the world's second highest-earning athlete with estimated earnings of more than $61.7 million. Hot on his heels is golfer Phil Mickelson with $61.6 million. No prize for guessing who is ranked No.1 on the earnings list - runaway leader Tiger Woods with $90 million. Rafael Nadal is the next-highest tennis player, coming in at No. 9 with over $27 million in earnings. Maria Sharapova is at No. 20 with almost $20 million, the only woman on the top 20 list.
 
The USTA announced that each of the world’s top 98 men, according to the July 19 edition of the ATP World Tour rankings received direct entry into the US Open. The 2010 US Open will be played August 30 – September 12 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.  Both the men’s and women’s US Open singles champions will earn $1.7 million with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money (for a total $2.7 million potential payout) based on their performances in the Olympus US Open Series. 

The top 10 entries are; Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray,  Robin Soderling, Nikolay Davydenko, Juan Martin Del Potro, Tomas Berdych, Andy Roddick and Fernando Verdasco. 

Other American men who received direct entry into this year’s tournament include: No. 19 John Isner of Tampa, Fla.; No. 20 Sam Querrey of Las Vegas; No. 49 Mardy Fish of Tampa, Fla.; No. 75 Robby Ginepri of Kennesaw, Ga.; No. 89 Michael Russell of Houston; and No. 94 Taylor Dent of Bradenton, Fla.  Additionally, Tommy Haas of Bradenton, Fla., who recently became a U.S. citizen, received direct entry via a protected ranking. 

Bjorn Phau of Germany, ranked No. 98, is the last player accepted directly into the men’s field of 128.  In addition to Haas, five other players used protected rankings to gain direct entry, including: David Nalbandian of Argentina; Dmitry Tursunov of Russia; Mario Ancic of Croatia; Maximo Gonzalez of Argentina; and Kristof Vliegen of Belgium.  Sixteen more players will gain entry through the US Open Qualifying Tournament, August 24-27, while the remaining eight spots are wild cards awarded by the US Open


The USTA announced  that except for the injured Justine Henin, the top 100 women on the July 19 WTA rankings are entered in the women’s singles field for the 2010 US Open Tennis Championships.  

The 2010 US Open will be played August 30 – September 12 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. 
Both the men’s and women’s US Open singles champions will earn $1.7 million with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money (for a total $2.7 million potential payout) based on their performances in the Olympus US Open Series. 
The top 10 entries are; Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic, Venus Williams,  Caroline Wozniacki, Samantha Stosur, Elena Dementieva, Kim Clijsters, Francesca Schiavone.  Vera Zvonareva and Li Na.

Other American women who received direct entry into this year’s tournament include No. 42 Melanie Oudin,  No. 80 Vania King, No. 95 Bethanie Mattek-Sands and No. 98 Jill Craybas. 

Three players – Anne Keothavong of Great Britain, Urszula Radwanska of Poland and Jelena Kostanic Tosic of Croatia – received direct entry due to special rankings, while Sandra Zahlavova of the Czech Republic, ranked No. 102, was the 104th and last player accepted directly into the women’s field of 128.  Sixteen more players will gain entry through the US Open Qualifying Tournament, August 24-27, while the remaining eight spots are wild cards awarded by the USTA. 

Among the players competing in the US Open Qualifying Tournament will be the winner of the inaugural US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Championship, held during the Olympus US Open Series event in Stanford, Calif. next week.  The USTA created the US Open National Playoffs this year and allowed players 14-and-older, regardless of playing ability or nationality, to vie for a spot in the US Open Qualifying Tournament via one of 16 Sectional Qualifying Tournaments.