by Kevin Craig
John Isner fought off a valiant effort from fellow American Frances Tiafoe, an 18-year old, to come back from two sets to love down, winning 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-6(2) in the first men’s match played on the new Grandstand Court at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center.
The No. 1 American got off to a more than lackluster start, getting broken at love by the No. 125 player in the world in his opening service game of the match. Even though Isner was able to get a break back later in the set, that first game set the tone for the first two sets as Tiafoe was clearly the better player and Isner had no answer for the young American, who was able to grab another break late in the first set to take a big step towards his first win at a major.
Tiafoe was able to breeze through the second set as he once again broke in Isner’s opening service game before saving the only break point he faced in the set a few games later. The 18-year old playing in just third match at a major was just one set away from earning what would be by far the biggest win of his career and he had the complete support of the crowd behind him.
“Just gotta stay with it…try to keep the match competitive,” said Isner of his strategy heading into a do or die third set.
Tiafoe was able to carry that momentum from the first two sets into the third, earning a break point in Isner’s opening service game again, but was unable to convert as Isner did exactly what he wanted to, keep the match competitive. Later at 2-2, Tiafoe had a look at two more break points, but again the veteran Isner was able to fend those off, and it looked like he had received his much needed wake-up call. From there, Isner was able to get his first real foothold in the match and force a tiebreak where he had to fight back from a 3-1 deficit to steal the third set and extend the match.
In the fourth set, Isner began to really assert himself on the court and was able to play his “big-man” style of tennis for the first time in the match. Dominating on serve, Isner began to apply more pressure on the Tiafoe serve, earning him two breaks and a comfortable 6-2 fourth set win.
It was clear from the first point of the fifth set that it would be up for grabs as both players looked to be at their peak levels of performance. Tiafoe regained his form from the first two sets while Isner was still riding the wave of momentum that had gotten him back even in the match. A few easy holds each way began the set before Tiafoe earned the first real opportunity to close out the match. With Isner serving at 3-4, Tiafoe was able to break and had the match on his racquet, serving at 5-3. Isner was up to the task, however, and quickly raced out to a 0-40 lead before breaking at 30-40 to get the set back on serve before eventually forcing a deciding set tiebreak.
“Just trying to play solid, try to play the right way. I think I played a pretty good game. I think I made every single return. From that point on…it gave me a lot of energy moving forward,” said Isner of his play to break Tiafoe when he served for the match.
Final set tiebreaks had not been Isner’s specialty in 2016 as he had lost six matches in these scenarios, but he was able to put that to the wayside and looked very comfortable. A mini-break in the first point of the tiebreak for Isner, combined with a few Tiafoe errors, including a double fault, allowed the 6’10” American to cruise to a 7-2 tiebreak win and close out the comeback.
Both Isner and Tiafoe were appreciative of the atmosphere that helped make the match as intense as it was.
“It was an absolute pleasure to play out here in front of you fans and an absolute pleasure to play against Frances. He’s a hell of a player and a class act,” said Isner.
“It was the best atmosphere I’ve ever played on in my life…it’s an unbelievable time I had playing tennis today…you guys made this match unbelievably fun for me,” added Tiafoe, who listened to chants of his name ring out throughout the course of the match.
“It hurts. It hurts a lot…but I can’t wait to come back next year and hopefully do damage,” continued a disappointed but hopeful Tiafoe.
Isner will take on Steve Darcis in the second round at the US Open in a section of the draw that completely opened up when Richard Gasquet was upset by Kyle Edmund in straight sets. A potential fourth round match with Novak Djokovic awaits the No. 1 ranked American.
Wilson Sporting Goods announced that it will honor 20-year veteran Advisory Staff Member Serena Williams with an Autograph tennis racket.
The Blade Serena Williams (SW) 104 Autograph racket marks only the 16th time in the brand’s 102-year history, and only the second time in the last 38 years, that it has celebrated an athlete with Autograph racket. Serena will debut her new racket at the start of the 2017 season in Australia.
“I’ve played with Wilson rackets since I was a young girl, and to now hold an Autograph racket of my own is a great moment,” said Serena Williams. “I am just thrilled that players of all ages around the world will be able to play with a Wilson racket that bears my signature. This racket feels like me – it reflects my passion, perseverance and drive – and I hope it energizes and encourages those that play with it to always chase their dreams.”
The 2017Blade SW 104 Autograph racket features the new design DNA for Wilson performance tennis rackets. This design includes a simple, bold, and clean aesthetic that features a specially engineered, high performance paint never used in the tennis industry before called Black Velvet. This matte paint provides a smooth, soft, light-absorbing finish Wilson created to significantly improve the “feel,” or tactile experience, a player has when the racket is in his/her hands. This new dimension of “feel” is a unique innovation in the performance tennis rackets space.
The racket also features strong electric green accents, a signature look from the Blade franchise, at the three and nine o’clock positions on the racket’s frame.
To customize her Autograph racket, Serena William chose to add special gold accents to the design, including her signature, initials and the Blade name in gold chrome letters. The racket features a red Wilson-branded butt cap.
The Blade SW 104 Autograph racket is constructed with the latest racket technology from Wilson LABS, the innovation hub at Wilson, including a revolutionary material called Countervail®. With Countervail in a tennis racket, players feel less fatigue, recover quicker and experience better control – without sacrificing stiffness, feedback, or feel.
By Randy Walker
Vasil Kirkov, the 17-year-old who reached the semifinals as a lucky loser in the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships USTA Futures event earlier this year in Vero Beach, Florida, competed in the qualifying rounds of the 2016 U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center.
Kirkov, however, suffered an early exit, falling 6-2, 7-5 in the first scheduled match of the competition to No. 242-ranked Yannik Reuter of Belgium.
Kirkov, ranked No. 1146, played the match on Court No. 5 – the shadow of the new Arthur Ashe Stadium retractable roof – in front of an audience of about 200 people that included U.S. Olympic men’s tennis coach Jay Berger, former US Davis Cup Captain Tom Gullikson and Hallof Famer – and Vero Beach resident – Ivan Lendl, who works with Kirkov as part of his advisory role with the USTA Player Development program.
Kirkov was awarded a wild card entry into the U.S. Open qualifying tournament by the U.S. Tennis Association after, not only his strong result in Vero Beach, that saw his ATP ranking rise almost 1000 spots, but by reaching the final of the USTA National Boy’s 18 Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., where he lost to another Vero Beach Futures alumnus Michael Mmoh.
Kirkov is expected to compete in the U.S. Open junior championships in two weeks.
Tennis is a popular sport around the world. This is because the game can be played by people of all ages and requires only two players. In fact, anyone who has a large yard can easily construct their own tennis court to enjoy the game as a form of exercise and source of fun. Every year, there are major tennis tournaments held all over the world and fans usually save up to travel to watch their favorite players win while others usually follow the matches on TV at home or their local sports bars. What some people don’t know is that they can also make money while enjoying tennis matches. Royal Vegas Casino makes it possible for sports fans to make some by predicting the outcome of a match. If you love playing or watching tennis, read on to learn how you can make money from your passion.
How to Play Tennis
There are two types of tennis matches; singles and doubles. As the names suggest, singles is played by one player on each side of the tennis court. Doubles, on the other hand, is played by a pair of tennis players on each side of the court, which means that there are four players on the court. A standard tennis match has three sets. To win a set, a player needs to win six games in the set. If the opposing player, or players, also wins six games, a tie breaker will be needed to determine the winner. To win the match, a player only needs to win two sets out of three. In case of a five set game, the winner must win three sets. As a tennis fan, you already know all that, so what you need right now is some tips on converting your knowledge and passion to cash.
What to Bet on
The easiest way to make money as a tennis fan is predicting a winner. You obviously know your players, so you can easily pick a winner. All you need to do is stake some money using the odds provided and wait for the match to end. A $50 stake on an outcome with a 1.70 probability will give you $80, which is a profit of $30. The higher the stake, the higher the rewards. Imagine combining the odds of two different tennis matches. If the second game has odds of 1.30, the total odds will add up to 2.00, which means that you will double your money if the two matches end as you predicted.
Aside from predicting the winner, you can also predict the number of games in each set as well as the total number of games in the entire game. This is easy if you know your players. If a player who is highly rated, and has won many matches in the recent months, is playing against a player who has lost many matches, you can predict that the game will not go past two sets, which means the total number of games will never exceed 26. You can start by using free bets to bet on matches to test your strategy before investing real cash.
Arrowbar, the gluten free energy bars endorsed by top American tennis players Steve Johnson and John Isner, are now available for sale at TennisExpress.com
The delicious bars, that are available in Chocolate Chip and Cinnamon Honey Oat, are available at www.TennisExpress.com
The ArrowBar is a new gluten-free, all-natural, high performance energy bar, developed by athletes for athletes and active people, that provides a filling, 200-calorie boost of quick and long-lasting energy. Johnson, the new No. 1 American tennis player in the world and a bronze medalist in men’s doubles at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, as well as U.S. No. 2 John Isner are among the endorsers for ArrowBar. Former world No. 4 and U.S. Davis Cup hero James Blake as well as 17-year-ATP Pro Michael Russell are also endorsers of the product.
“The ArrowBar gives me the nutrients I need without comprising taste,” said Johnson. “There’s nothing better on the market than ArrowBar. When I am looking for the competitive edge I need, there is only one thing I reach for.”
The ArrowBar is also offered for purchase online at www.ArrowBar.com Bars are available in boxes of 12 for $24.99 with free shipping.
After a first-round exit at the Olympic Games and a surprise third-round loss at Wimbledon, one has to wonder the status of world No. 1 Novak Djokovic heading into the U.S. Open?
The Serbian has been the dominant force in tennis for most of the last two years, winning three of the four major titles in 2015 and completing a “Novak Slam” by winning his four straight major title at Roland Garros in June. However, since then Djokovic has shown vulnerabilities that will affect his online tennis betting odds at the U.S. Open.
After winning his second straight Olympic singles gold medal in Rio – a first in tennis history – Andy Murray is seen as Djokovic’s main rival in New York. Murray is also primed with the confidence of winning a second Wimbledon title in July.
Juan Martin del Potro, who beat Djokovic in the first round of the Olympics and eventually earning the silver medal, seems back in the form that lead him to the 2009 U.S. Open title. However, he is ranked No. 141 in the world and did not gain direct entry into the U.S. Open. He will need a wild card entry from the tournament or be forced to win three qualifying matches the week before the main draw. Exhaustion – physical and mental from his Rio efforts – could also affect him in New York.
Monica Puig was the sensation of the women’s Olympic tennis competition becoming the longest shot winner of the gold medal in women’s singles with a rank of No. 34. She posted stunning upsets of No. 4 Garbine Muguruza and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova en route to the final where she hit an incredible 54 winners to upset world No. 2 Angelique Kerber in the gold medal match. Puig will likely not be emotionally ready to contend for a major title in New York, but Muguruza, Kvitova and Kerber will be favored to go deep in the draw. Serena Williams, the world No. 1 and reigning Olympic gold medal winner, was a shock upset victim in the third round in Rio by the hands of Elina Svitolina from Ukraine. She seemed stricken with a should problem that affected her famous powerful serve – as well as being under the weather – and, if healthy – will be motivated to win another U.S. Open title where she would eclipse Steffi Graf’s Open Era record with 23 major singles titles.
Two Wimbledon titles. Two Olympic Gold Medals. How about two U.S. Opens for Andy Murray?
The Scotsman won his second Olympic Gold Medal in Rio de Janiero, Brazil beating Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the gold medal match to become the first singles player in Olympic history to win two gold medals – and repeat as champion. The Olympic gold medal for Murray comes on the heels of him winning his second Wimbledon singles title in July.
He now heads to New York as a betting favorite for the U.S. Open, the site of his first major singles title in 2012.
Murray has won his last 18 singles matches – not losing since the French Open final to Novak Djokovic and since he rehired former coach Ivan Lendl, himself a three-time U.S. Open champion. It is his longest winning streak of his professional career.
After being the dominant force in men’s tennis for much of the last three years, Djokovic has shown chinks in his game after a surprising third-round loss to Sam Querrey at Wimbledon and an opening-round loss to del Potro at the Olympics. However, redemption is a motivator for the Serbian as he looks to win in New York for a third time.
The U.S. Open women’s singles event may also be a battle for the No. 1 ranking with Serena Williams seeking to hold off the challenge of world No. 2 Angelique Kerber of Germany. Williams had trouble with her health and her shoulder in her upset loss to Elina Svitolina in the third round at the Olympics that could hamper her in New York. Despite her upset loss to upstart Monica Puig of Puerto Rico in the gold medal match in Rio, Kerber could counter-punch her win to a second major singles title of the year after her win over Williams in the Australian Open final in January. Garbine Muguruza of Spain, the French Open champion, may also contend in New York, but has struggled since achieving her new status in the tennis world order in Paris.
With the Olympics proving to be a physical and emotional drain for many athletes who competed, a dark horse could also emerge in either the men’s or women’s field and win a first major singles title. New top 10 stars Dominic Thiem of Austria and Milos Raonic of Canada, the Wimbledon finalist, may be fresh enough to make a mark at Flushing Meadows. Romania’s Simona Halep, who also skipped Rio, and Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, a first-round loser at the Olympics, may also be ready to break through in New York. Madison Keys of the United States, who finished a painful fourth in Rio, is moving fast up the rankings and may be fueled by her disappointment in not winning a medal in Rio into Grand Slam success in New York.
The Olympics have tried, rather unsuccessfully, to compete with the Grand Slams, this despite the fact that Tennis is an original Olympic Sport. While everyone loves Olympic gold medals, Trophy silverware has always been far more prestigious. As such it is hardly surprising that the best tennis players are not particularly enthused by the idea of playing in the Olympics, with online tennis betting odds firmly in the favor of the annual quartet of majors.
Players like Milos Raonic, Tomas Berdych, and Feliciano Lopez have already announced that they won’t be flying to Rio for the Olympics. Maria Sharapova (Five-time Grand Slam winner) has suggested that she would go if her two-year-long drug ban wasn’t in place.
While the London games managed to maintain an aura of the Grand Slams, probably because they were staged on Wimbledon Courts, the Game in Rio couldn’t possibly muster such prestige.
The controversy surrounding the Zika virus outbreak gives a lot of athletes the excuse the need to bail from the Olympics. Though, Sam Querrey chose to go the honest route, admitting that he didn’t think sports like Golf and Tennis should be Olympic Sports in the first place.
Martina Navratilova said something similar when she opted out of Seoul, though John McEnroe admitted later on that he regretted bailing on the Seoul Olympics.
The only thing most top-tier players can see right now is the U.S Open at the Flushing Meadows, fast approaching at the end of August. For those most renowned Tennis players, the Rio games have nothing to offer, no better than all-star games, especially when you consider the potential for injury.
Of course, not everyone is so jaded about the sport, with the likes of Andre Agassi (who won gold in 1996) having been stirred by the spectacle of the biggest show on earth. Olympics fans might also have the opportunity to see Rafael Nadal represent Spain in Rio, though others might mourn over Roger Federer’s decision to withdraw.
But Federer needs to time to recover from a surgical procedure, so his decision doesn’t exactly say anything about his opinion on the Olympics. Andy Murray, on the other hand, has seen success at the Olympics and he will seek to maintain the momentum he built four years ago.
Murray believes that Tennis is definitely an Olympic sport and he has admitted to cherishing every moment he spent on the court during the London Games.
For Djokovic, the idea of not going to the Olympics is ridiculous, the Tennis superstar determining to redeem his previous Olympics failures in Rio. Despite the lack of interest amongst elite players from a number of countries, the United States is putting their best foot forward, sending a team of 12 to the Olympics led by the Williams sisters.
The Sisters have tasted success at the Olympics before and they would like to win every medal possible for their nation this time round. There are several other major players who have refused to allow Zika Virus fears to keep them away from Rio, the likes of Eugene Bouchard, Angelique Kerber, and Petra Kvitova determining to afford the Olympic games the respect they deserve.
Medical Negligence – A worry even for amateur players
Injuries are top of the news in tennis at the moment, with Rafael Nadal withdrawing from Wimbledon through injury, and Roger Federer out of the rest of the year. Injury is a part of sport. Not a pleasant part, but at times unavoidable. In most cases an injury will be sorted by medical cover, and after some recovery period you will be back fighting fit. This, unfortunately, is not always the way it goes.
Medical negligence is defined as any mistake made by a medical professional, either private or part of the NHS, during a medical procedure, diagnosis or treatment, as a result of their negligent actions. So you can make a claim for medical negligence whether you have undergone surgery or treatment as a result of your injury, or if you have reason to be leave your injury was incorrectly diagnosed, leading to an extended recovery time, or even limited or no recovery. So even if your injury was, in the grand scheme of things, somewhat minor, if you think that your doctor was in some way negligent, you could have a case for a medical negligence claim.
Medical Negligence Solicitors
The media is overwhelmed with advertising by companies offering you a chance to make a ‘no win, no fee’ claim in relation to your medical negligence. However, these may not be the best approach to take. While the prospect of avoiding all solicitors’ fees until you know you are going to see justice may be appealing, it is important to consider the type of representation they are likely to offer. You want a solicitor that specialises in medical negligence claims, and that will have your best interests at heart, rather than just seeing the potential fee they could gain from winning the case. While it might seem like the easiest option to go for one of these heavily advertised companies, it might pay off to look a little further to find yourself the best possible medical negligence solicitor.
Solicitors Guru is a website that allows you to search for a solicitor that specialises in the area you require, and is local to you. It will then show you all the contact details for the solicitor, and where possible, their website. This allows you to quickly search for, and find, a solicitor that can help you to build a successful case, treating you personally and sensitively throughout. The fact that Solicitors Guru will allow you to find a solicitor local to you can help you to ensure that you are able to meet with them, to ensure they understand your situation exactly, and to help you build a more personal relationship, avoiding simply becoming someone faceless on the end of an email or phone line.
By searching using Solicitors Guru you can find yourself the perfect solicitor, while minimizing the amount of time and effort spent searching and phoning around. Whether you play tennis competitively, or just casually with friends, finding yourself a good medical negligence solicitor can make sure you get the best possible result in your case, and using Solicitors Guru can help make finding the best solicitor for your situation as simple and easy as possible.
by Kevin Craig
Conor Somers, a five-star recruit from Virginia Beach, Virginia, will be fulfilling a childhood dream when he heads to Notre Dame in August to play tennis.
“Ever since I was a kid, my dad was a big fan. We watched the football games together and from there it blossomed into a school I wanted to go to,” said Somers, who will be a major part of the 5th best recruiting class in the nation when he arrives at Notre Dame in August.
When Somers decided to pursue the idea of playing tennis in college early on in his high school career, attending camps at Notre Dame is what got him in the spotlight of head coach Ryan Sachire. By his junior year of high school, the interest in Somers from the Fighting Irish had grown large enough to the point where they offered him a spot on the team, thanks, in part, to a few good performances in national tournaments.
“Of course I was going to take that,” said Somers of his offer from Notre Dame.
One of those good performances came in the USTA 18 & Under National Championships, one of the most prestigious events of the year for young American tennis players. In 2015 at the national championships, Somers was able to make a run in the doubles tournament with a partner who he had never even met.
“My partner, I didn’t even know him before we played…but we paired up and made a little run,” said Somers. “That was a great experience.”
That run saw Somers and his partner take on a team composed of Reilly Opelka, a 6’11” player known for his big serve who had just won the Wimbledon juniors title a few weeks earlier, and Taylor Fritz, a player who would go on to win the US Open juniors title a few weeks later and is now currently ranked inside the Top 70 on the ATP World Tour.
“We had a pretty nice crowd,” said Somers of his match against Fritz and Opelka. “Definitely up there for the most people I’ve played in front of for a juniors match…The pace of play was tough to adjust to, but I felt we held our own.”
Somers not only valued his opportunities on the court at the national junior championships, but also the opportunities that came off the court.
“They really make it like a pro tournament for junior players. The organization is top class,” said Somers. “The best players in the country come to play it, so it was an awesome experience for me.”
Now that his days of playing junior tournaments are done, Somers is excited for the new opportunity that sits in front of him; contributing to one of the best tennis teams in the nation.
“I know it’s a very competitive team. They’re losing some good seniors this year but also the class coming in is very strong,” said Somers.
The Virginia Beach native will be joined in the freshman class at Notre Dame by two blue chip players, Johnathan Small and Matthew Gamble, as well as an international player from Peru, Guillermo Cabrera.
“I’m going to get there and I’m going to compete with all of them…My goal is to play top six singles this first year and be in the doubles lineup,” said Somers. “There’s really no guarantees when you get there…it’s big boy tennis in college.”
While Somers is eager to contribute to the team and earn a spot in the starting lineup, he is aware of what he needs to work on to ensure he puts himself in the best position possible to do so.
“What I’ve really been trying to work on is holding my ground on the baseline, not really backing up unless I’m forced to,” said Somers. “In college, everybody hits a big ball, so really just making sure I’m committed to each ball I hit and not leaving any meatballs up there for the opponent to step in.”
Somers has not only been working on the physical aspect of improving his game, but the mental aspect, as well, citing the importance of “playing fearless out there.”
“Sometimes people freeze up in the moment mentally and I just want to make sure I go out there every time focused on the things I can control. Not winning or losing, but just having fun,” said Somers.
One aspect of the game that won’t be an issue for Somers is his level of fitness as he was also a soccer star for his high school, Cape Henry Collegiate.
“I also played high school soccer which I actually thought contributed to my tennis game…it was just a great experience playing for a great coach and the support of the school was great.”
In 2016, Notre Dame qualified for the national team tournament and had a doubles team of two seniors, Quentin Monaghan and Alex Lawson, reach the semifinals of the national tournament, but Somers has some lofty goals of his own for the Fighting Irish.
“By the time I graduate, my goal is to be number one in singles at Notre Dame,” said Somers, who also wants to “make it to the final four in the team championships and qualify for the [individual] tournament in singles and doubles.”
While Somers will be travelling halfway across the nation to play his collegiate tennis, he is looking forward to the few opportunities he will have to play in his home state.
“Now that they’re in the ACC it’s pretty cool because I’ll get to play a couple matches close to home,” said Somers, who is looking forward to playing matches at the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.
While tennis will be a major priority for Somers the next four years, he certainly won’t be forgetting about the academic side of the college experience as he hopes to set himself up for the future, whether tennis is in the picture or not.
“I’m going to major in science business at Notre Dame. They have a really good business school so I applied to that and we’ll see where that takes me,” said Somers. “You never shut off the professional [tennis] options…I love tennis so I’d pursue it if I had the opportunity.”