Randy Walker

communications and media specialist, tennis historian and investor in TennisGrandstand, LLC. He worked for 12 years in the USTA’s Marketing and Communications Division where he coordinated media activities at 13 US Opens, 22 U.S. Davis Cup ties and for three U.S. Olympic teams. He is also the Managing Partner for New Chapter Press Media and the author of the book On This Day In Tennis History.

Nitto ATP Finals Caps Record ATP Attendance For 2019

LONDON — The 2019 Nitto ATP Finals, held for an 11th consecutive year at The O2 in London, provided a thrilling finale to the 2019 ATP Tour season, bringing attendance across the 63 ATP events throughout the year to a record 4.82 million fans, while online consumption of the season finale hit unprecedented heights.

21-year-old Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Austria’s Dominic Thiem in a memorable singles final, 6-7(6), 6-2, 7-6(4), to complete a remarkable week of matches at The O2. It was only the third time in the history of the tournament (since 1970) that the singles championship match came down to a final set tie-break (1988, Becker d. Lendl; 2005, Nalbandian d. Federer).

Tsitsipas, who had won the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan just one year earlier, captured the biggest title of his career, as well 1,300 ATP Rankings points and US$2,656,000 in prize money. At just 21 years, 3 months, the Greek became the youngest champion since 20-year-old Hewitt in 2001, and 6th-youngest champion in tournament history.

In doubles, the French pairing of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut captured the season-ending title for the first time in their careers, defeating Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus, 6-3, 6-4.

The season finale attracted 242,883 fans to The O2 across the eight days of competition, bringing the tournament’s cumulative attendance since 2009 to 2,803,967. This year’s attendance at The O2 elevated the attendance across the ATP Tour’s 63 events in 2019 to more than 4.82 million fans, an all-time record. The previous highest attendance had been set in 2017 (4.57 million).

The 2019 Nitto ATP Finals also attracted record audiences online, as the tournament generated unprecedented levels of fan engagement across social and digital media platforms. The event received almost 400m impressions on tournament related content – a 97% increase on 2018. And with 12.4m interactions generated across ATP and Tennis TV social media platforms, the 2019 event became the best performing ATP Tour tournament on social, a 145% increase on the previous year. Tennis TV received 41.24 million video views on social media throughout the tournament, taking the platform’s total views on social media in 2019 to more than 1 billion.

Away from the match action, the ATP’s new ATP Tour app was successfully launched, while a five-year renewal of the Tour’s premier partnership with Emirates was also announced.

The ATP’s crown jewel event is to be held at The O2 in London for a 12th consecutive and final time in 2020, before moving to Turin, Italy, in 2021. Fans are able to purchase pre-sale tickets for the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals from today, by visiting: https://www.axs.com/NittoATPFinals_presale

BY THE NUMBERS:

• 399,112,369 – number of impressions across all ATP digital platforms (ATPTour.com, NittoATPFinals.com, live scoring apps, and social media platforms, and Tennis TV) throughout the event, a YOY increase of 97%.
• 69,110,871 – number of video plays on ATP digital media platforms, including ATPTour.com, NittoATPFinals.com, ATP & Tennis TV social media platforms, a year-on-year increase of 88%.
• 41,240,000 – number of Tennis TV social media video views, taking the platform’s total views on social media in 2019 to more than 1 billion.
• 12,397,163 – number or interactions (likes, comments, retweets, replies etc.) on ATP and Tennis TV social media platforms throughout the event, a year-on-year increase of 145%.
• 9,000,000 – amount of prize money (US$) on offer at the 2019 season finale.
• 6,200,000 – viewership in the UK of the BBC Breakfast programme that featured an exclusive sit-down interview with all eight singles players ahead of the season finale. The clip was also viewed on social media more than a quarter of a million times.
• 4,823,370 – number of fans that attended the 63 tournaments ATP tournaments in 2019, an all-time record.
• 2,803,964– cumulative attendance at the season-ending tournament since it moved to London in 2009.
• 2,656,000 – amount of prize money (US$) that Stefanos Tsitsipas won by capturing the title.
• 1,570,000 – number of streams on Tennis TV, the ATP’s official live streaming service, with each viewer watching an average of 475 minutes each.
• 242,880 – attendance inside The O2 arena across the eight days.
• 60,000 – number of single use plastic cups removed from the waste stream through elimination of single use cups and use of tournament take-home cups.
• 3,410 – metres of string used by Tecnifibre, Official Stringers of the Nitto ATP Finals, during the tournament.
• 1,300 – ATP Rankings points won by Stefanos Tsitsipas.
• 310 – number of racquets strung by Tecnifibre during the tournament. No plastic bags were used in the delivery of newly strung racquets to players by the official tournament stringers.
• 11 – number of years the event has been held at The O2 in London. The only city to host the season finale longer is New York, which held the season finale for 13 years from 1977-1989.
• 8 – number of different nations represented in the singles field, for the fourth consecutive year.
• 5 – number of times Nadal, Djokovic and Federer have finished the season as year-end No.1.
• 4 – number of singles players 23-and-under in the field (Tsitsipas, Zverev, Berrettini, Medvedev), the most since 2009.
• 1 – number of continents (Europe) represented in the singles field, a first in the 50-year history of the event.

Can Roger Federer Win Another Grand Slam Title?

There is no debate that when it comes to men’s singles tennis, Roger Federer is the G.O.A.T (Greatest Of All Time). Currently third in the ATP world rankings, but with 103 career titles to his name, Federer holds the record for the most Grand Slams with 20. His last came at the 2018 Australian Open and as we gear up to 2020’s tournament, let’s take a look at the Swiss Maestro’s career and future.

After years of dominance, injuries are starting to take their toll on the Swiss ace and this year he failed to win a major title. The two-time defending champion lost out in the fourth round of the first Grand Slam of the year. Rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas was FedEx’s opponent in Melbourne and the 14th seed turned around his losing start, going on to win 6–7(11-13), 7–6(7-3), 7–5, 7–6(7-5).

In June’s French Open, old foes Federer and Nadal met at the semi-final stage. The Spaniard is unstoppable on clay, his favoured surface, and so it proved again. He dispatched Federer in straight sets 6–3, 6–4, 6–2, before beating Dominic Thiem in the final to win a 12th French Open title, and yet another record.

Grass season came around and attention turned to Wimbledon. Federer reached the final here, his best performance of 2019’s Grand Slam calendar. Facing Novak Djokovic, the two played out the longest singles final in Wimbledon history. It took Djokovic four hours and 57 minutes to defeat Federer 7–6(7–5), 1–6, 7–6(7–4), 4–6, 13–12(7–3).
2019’s final Grand Slam, the US Open, saw Federer crash out in the quarter-finals. Unseeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who has fallen down the rankings to 78th in the world, rediscovered some of his old form to come from a set down and beat Federer 3–6, 6–4, 3–6, 6–4, 6–2.

If you’re looking at the latest odds on the Australian Open, you’ll find Federer slightly down the pecking order at odds of 17/2, behind his rivals Nadal and Djokovic, and world number 4 Daniil Medvedev.

Since the US Open, Federer has only played a handful of events: the Shanghai Masters, the Swiss Indoors (which he won) and the ATP finals. But after that, he’s decided that he won’t play in any professional tournaments for almost two months. It’s a move that could pay off – after all, he reached the semi-finals of the French Open after three years away from the clay court.

Of his decision not to partake in any of the Australian Open warm-up competitions, Federer said: “I think with age and experience I can be confident about what I do in training. I’ll travel to Melbourne early to give myself the best chance to be ready. I believe I can be ready. I don’t think I need a ton of matches especially on the hard courts but maybe I’m a bit more dependent on the draw early on at the Australian Open but the key is health and if I’m healthy I know stuff can be achieved.”

Since Federer last won a Grand Slam title, Djokovic has won four and Nadal has won three. His rivals are hot on the heels of his record, with the Serbian on 16 and the Spaniard just one behind on 19. You can’t help but feel that time is running out for FedEx. Should the other two members of the ‘Big Three’ stay fit, they have the potential of overtaking his tally.

Tommy Haas Wins Oracle Champions Cup In Houston To Complete Perfect Invesco Series QQQ Season

HOUSTON – Tommy Haas defeated Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4 Thursday in the one-set final of the Oracle Champions Cup Presented by RBC Wealth Management to complete an undefeated season on the Invesco Series QQQ circuit and claim the season-long points title on the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30.

Haas, the former world No. 2 and silver medalist at the 2000 Olympic Games, finished the 2019 Invesco Series QQQ season with a perfect 10-0 record, winning titles in Newport Beach, Calif, Maui, Hawaii, New Haven, Connecticut, Los Angeles and in the season finale in Houston Thursday played indoors at the Tudor Fieldhouse at Rice University. Haas is the first player in the 15-year history of the Invesco Series to be an undefeated year-end points champion.

“I didn’t really think about it,” said the 41-year-old Haas of his season-long effort finishing atop the Invesco Series QQQ rankings. “Every time I come out I try to play as good as I can and I enjoy myself as well. If it ends up with a win, great. I try to just compete. If the other person is better than me then so be it. This year, it’s been working pretty good.”

Despite being retired from playing tennis full-time on the ATP Tour since 2017, Haas said that fitness is still important in his life, as he said it should be for all people to get out and exercise.

“Fitness, in general, is so important,” he said. “Even as you don’t play competitive sports anymore or whatever it is that you do, you have to keep doing something every day if you can. It’s easier said than done but even for me, I don’t go out and play tennis every day, but I try to do some kind of activity. The body just needs that otherwise you get stiff. You sit around all day, you don’t do anything. Especially when you want to come out here and try to move quite well. Line yourself up to the shot the right way and still try to have some core strength, and the leg strength, so you got to stay with it.”

Since joining the Invesco Series at the start of the 2018 season, Haas has compiled an impressive 15-3 won-loss record. Last year, he won titles in Charleston, S.C. and Kohala Coast, Hawaii.

To advance to the final in Houston, Haas defeated 2003 U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick 6-2 while Ferrero, the 2003 French Open champion and a former world No. 1, defeated for U.S. Davis Cup hero and world No. 4 James Blake 6-4. Blake’s loss to Ferrero officially clinched the points title for Haas, who finished the season with 1600 points.

Blake, a former NCAA singles finalist for Harvard, finished in second place in the season-long rankings with 1300 points, winning titles in Tampa, San Jose, California, and Toronto. Ferrero, from Spain, was appearing in his first career Invesco Series QQQ tournament.

Invesco Series QQQ tournament results from this year are as follows:

January 26 – Newport Beach, CA (Newport Beach Tennis Club) F: Tommy Haas def. Andy Roddick 7-6(2); SF: Tommy Haas def. Mardy Fish 6-3, Andy Roddick def. James Blake 6-3

April 4 – Tampa, FL (Innisbrook Resort) F: James Blake def. Jim Courier 6-3; SF: James Blake def. Mardy Fish 6-3, Jim Courier def. John McEnroe 7-6(4)

April 6 – Charleston, SC (Volvo Car Stadium) F: Lleyton Hewitt def. Andy Roddick 6-2; SF: Lleyton Hewitt def. Mats Wilander 6-3, Andy Roddick def. Jim Courier 6-4

May 4-5 – Maui, HI (Royal Lahaina Resort) F: Tommy Haas def. Mardy Fish 6-4; SF: Tommy Haas def. Mark Philippoussis 6-2, Mardy Fish def. Michael Chang 6-3

July 21 – Newport, RI (International Tennis Hall of Fame) F: Todd Martin def. Mats Wilander 6-2 SF: Todd Martin def. Yevgeny Kafelnikov 6-4, Mats Wilander def. Jim Courier 6-2

August 3 – San Jose, CA (San Jose State University) F: James Blake def. Mark Philippoussis 7-6(4); SF: James Blake def. Michael Chang 6-2, Mark Philippoussis def. Andy Roddick 7-6(4)

September 7 – New Haven, CT (Yale University) F: Tommy Haas def. Mark Philippoussis 6-4; SF Mark Philippoussis def. Andy Roddick 6-4, Tommy Haas def. James Blake 6-2.

September 26 – Toronto, ON (Mattamy Athletic Centre): F: James Blake def. Robby Ginepri 6-4; SF: James Blake def. Jim Courier 6-3, Robby Ginepri def. Andy Roddick 6-4.

October 26 – Los Angeles, CA – (Sherwood Country Club) F: Tommy Haas def. Mardy Fish 6-2, SF: Tommy Haas def. Andy Roddick 6-3, Mardy Fish def. Jim Courier 6-3

November 14 – Houston, TX – (Rice University) F: Tommy Haas def. Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4, SF: Tommy Haas def. Andy Roddick 6-2, Juan Carlos Ferrero def. James Blake 6-4.

In 2018, Blake won his first Invesco Series QQQ year-long points championship by winning titles in Winston-Salem, New Haven and Houston, while also finishing as runner-up in Los Angeles and Orlando.

In 2017, the year-long points championship was decided in the final match of the season when Andy Roddick defeated James Blake in the Los Angeles final at the Sherwood Country Club. Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion and world No. 1, won four Invesco Series QQQ titles in all in 2017, winning in Birmingham, Ala., Chicago, Lincoln, Neb., and Los Angeles. Blake, the former world No. 4 and former U.S. Davis Cup star, won series titles in Charleston, S.C., Winston-Salem, N.C. and in Lynchburg, Va.

In 2016, Mark Philippoussis won the Series points title with 1600 points and tournament titles in Memphis, Tulsa, Newport, Winston-Salem and New Haven. Roddick finished in second place, also earning 1600 points but losing the head-to-head tiebreaker with Philippoussis 5-2, while winning titles in Charleston, St. Louis, Los Angeles and Orlando. Blake finished in third place with 1100 points and tournament titles in Chicago, Portland and Brooklyn.

In 2015, Roddick won the Series points title in his second year of competing on the series with 1,600 points. Roddick won a record eight events Los Angeles, Lincoln, Chicago, Austin, Little Rock, Dallas, Richmond and Minneapolis. Blake finished second in the points rankings with 1,200 points, winning events in Boston and Cincinnati. Philippoussis finished in third with 1,100 points, winning titles in Salt Lake City and Vancouver. The year before in 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the nine-year history of Invesco Series QQQ tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte.

ABOUT INSIDEOUT SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT
InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a Los Angeles based producer of proprietary events and promotions founded in 2004 by former world No. 1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. In 2005, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Champions Series, a collection of tournaments featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including “Legendary Night” exhibitions, The World Series of Beach Volleyball and numerous corporate outings. Since inception, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment has raised over $5 million for charity. In 2014, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment merged with Horizon Media, the largest privately held media services agency in the world. For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or InvescoSeries.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

ABOUT HORIZON MEDIA
Horizon Media, Inc. is the largest and fastest growing privately held media services agency in the world. The company was founded in 1989, is headquartered in New York and has offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Chicago. Horizon Media was chosen as 2011 Independent Media Agency of the Year by Mediapost, 2010 U.S. Media Agency of the Year by Adweek, Brandweek, and Mediaweek as well as by Ad Age and as one of the world’s ten most innovative marketing and advertising companies by Fast Company in 2011. In 2012, Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO and Founder, was honored by Advertising Age as Industry Executive of the Year. Most recently, in 2014, Bill Koenigsberg was named 4As Chair of the Board and is the first person from a media agency to hold this prestigious position in the 100 year history of the 4As, the marketing industry’s leading trade association. The company’s mission is “To create the most meaningful brand connections within the lives of people everywhere.” By delivering on this mission through a holistic approach to brand marketing, Horizon Media has become one of the largest and fastest-growing media agencies in the industry, with estimated billings of over $5.3 billion and over 1,200 employees. The company is also a founding member of Columbus Media International, a multi-national partnership of independent media agencies. For more information, pleasevisithorizonmedia.com.

ABOUT INVESCO
Invesco Ltd. is an independent investment management firm dedicated to delivering an investment experience that helps people get more out of life. NYSE: IVZ; Invesco.com, Invesco Distributors, Inc. is the US distributor for Invesco Ltd. and is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Invesco Ltd.”

Bryan Brothers To Retire At 2020 U.S. Open

Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan have announced their decision to retire from professional tennis in 2020. The 41-year-old American twins will bid farewell following the US Open, scene of their major championship debut in 1995, marking the culmination of a legendary doubles partnership.

As the most accomplished team in doubles history, the Bryan brothers have captured an Open Era record 118 trophies in 25-season careers, including all four Grand Slams, all nine ATP Masters 1000s, Nitto ATP Finals (four titles) and Olympic gold medal. They also own the all-time team record for Grand Slam titles (16) and ATP Masters 1000 crowns (39). From 2005 to 2017, the Bryans were presented the ATP Tour Fans’ Favourite Team award each year.

“Mike and I chose to finish our 2019 season after the US Open, even knowing there was a strong chance we’d qualify for the [Nitto] ATP Finals,” said Bob Bryan. “After much discussion, we decided that it would be best to rest our minds and strengthen our bodies in preparation for 2020 which will be our final season on the ATP Tour.”

“For the last 21 years, we have been so grateful for the opportunity to live out our dreams of playing professional tennis. It has truly been a magical ride. However, we want to end this great ride while we’re healthy and we can still compete for titles.”

Mike Bryan said: “We are currently extremely motivated and excited going into our last season. We will enjoy and appreciate each moment we have while saying our goodbyes and giving thanks to the fans who have given us so much joy.”

The Bryans have been the standard bearers for doubles for more than 16 years, since they first ascended to No. 1 in the ATP Doubles Rankings on 8 September 2003. They spent 438 total weeks and ended 10 seasons as the No. 1 team [2003, 2005-07, 2009-2014]. Mike, who became the oldest doubles No. 1 at age 40 on 16 July 2018, has spent the most weeks at the summit of the team game (506).

Bringing their own energy and charisma to the court, they have endeared themselves to the public throughout the world, appearing in 177 tour-level finals and lifting tour-level trophies in 34 different cities. They also helped the United States win the Davis Cup in 2007 and at the 2012 London Olympics won the gold medal, adding to their 2008 Beijing Olympics bronze medal.

Bob underwent right hip surgery in August 2018, but the Bryan brothers reunited at the start of the 2019 season. This year they won two ATP Tour titles at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com (d. Skupski/Skupski) in February and their sixth Miami Open presented by Itau (d. Koolholf/Tsitsipas) in March. After a runner-up finish at the BB&T Atlanta Open, they also claimed their 1,100th team win at the Coupe Rogers in Montreal and currently own a 1,102-358 team record overall.

Additionally, the Bryan Brothers Foundation has raised over USD$1.2 million to support children’s charities. Bob and Mike host two annual fundraisers in their hometown of Camarillo, California and West Palm Beach, Florida, where they partner with golf legend Jack Nicklaus to raise funds to positively impact the lives of children around the country.

ATP Tour Finals Is Missing Link For Rafael Nadal

by Bob Stockton

The year-end Nitto ATP World Tour Finals is the missing link on the career resume of Rafael Nadal. It is the biggest tournament in tennis that the Spaniard has not won, going 0-8 in the eight times he has qualified and been healthy enough to play in the elite eight-player year-end event.

Nadal – whose favourite surface is clay – has challenged the leaders of the ATP through the years to make the event – at least in some years – be played on clay (his favourite surface). He has said in the past, “A good player has a chance to qualify for the Tour Finals four or five times in his career. If during this four years you have a different surface every year, a minimum one time he will have the chance to play on his favourite surface”.

However, there are clear drawbacks to moving the event to clay. Players would have to immediately acclimatise to clay after months of playing on a hard court and there are challenges with the climate, but it would probably be fairer for everybody. However, if the event moved to South America, for example, there could be a chance for the event to be played on clay with it being warmer in the Southern Hemisphere during this time in the calendar and there could be a clay-court circuit leading into the finals, like there is a clay-court circuit there after the Australian Open a few months later.

Federer – an indoor, hard-court specialist – went the other way, stating that there should be more of an indoor season and that having a big event on a faster indoor surface is important for the balance of the sports.
“I just feel indoors doesn’t have enough play,” he said. “The indoor season is small. I believe indoors deserves a huge event, which this one is.”

Interestingly, the only time the year-end championships were not played on an indoor court came in 1974 when Guillermo Vilas won the title in Melbourne, Australia on grass courts at Kooyong Tennis Club.

This infographic was originally found on the The Insider, a blog by Betway

Dominika Cibulkova Announces Retirement

The WTA today celebrates the stellar career of Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova after the 30-year-old announced her retirement from professional tennis at an event in her home town of Bratislava.

During her career Cibulkova reached 21 singles finals, winning eight titles on hard, grass and indoor surfaces. She achieved her career-high WTA ranking of World No.4 on March 20, 2017 – the highest ranking yet attained by a woman representing the Slovak Republic.

In 2014, Cibulkova became the first Slovak woman to reach a Grand Slam singles final, finishing runner-up to China’s Li Na at the Australian Open. A semifinalist at Roland Garros in 2009, she was a three-time quarterfinalist at Wimbledon and reached the last eight at the US Open in 2010.

Her peak tournament triumph came at the WTA Finals in Singapore in 2016, when she defeated then-World No.1 Angelique Kerber to lift the coveted Billie Jean King Trophy. Victory at the season finale marked the fourth title of a standout year that also saw Cibulkova triumphant at Katowice, Eastbourne and Linz and reach finals at Acapulco, Madrid and Wuhan. Her earlier titles were captured at Moscow in 2011, Carlsbad in 2012, Stanford in 2013 and Acapulco in 2014.

A two-time Olympian, at Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, Cibulkova represented the Slovak Republic in Fed Cup in 12 different years, building a 22-11 singles record over 22 ties contested.

Having played her last match against Aryna Sabalenka at Roland Garros earlier this year, she retires with a 450-299 win-loss record and career prize money of $13,725,520.

“Tennis fans have been privileged to watch Domi’s extraordinary finesse, speed and feel of the court for the past 15 years,” said Micky Lawler, WTA President. “What stands out even more than her first-class athleticism, though, is the way she approaches tennis and life with such heart-and-soul positive energy. With a smile that lights up the world around her, Domi begins her next chapter with the WTA’s gratitude, support and love.”

Today’s announcement coincides with publication of Cibulkova’s memoir Tenis je môj život (Tennis Is My Life). She is actively involved in the Love4Tennis Dominika Cibulkova Academy in Bratislava and her charity, So The Stars Never Fade, provides financial and social support for Slovakian athletes struggling with the demands of life beyond sporting achievements.

Click here to read more about Cibulkova’s announcement and plans for the future.

Top Tennis Players to Watch in 2020

There are many tennis players that are now household names. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the tennis players you should pay attention to going into 2020.

Besides watching matches and following highlights, it’s helpful to pay attention to the types of wagers that are available for matches because this will show you which players and matches the top analysts are focusing on. And they’re likely only focusing on the best of the best, because who wants to wager on a player that’s unlikely to get far?

Here are the players you should pay attention to going into 2020:

New Comers
Dominic Thiem is an Austrian-based tennis player who reached number four in the world for the first time in 2017. He’s made it to the final at the 2018 and 2019 French Opens only to lose to Rafael Nadal both times.

Alexander Zverev, a German professional tennis player, is one of the youngest players to reach the top 10 ranking by the Association of Tennis Professionals. He has been referred to as the future number one player by some of the long-standing tennis champions.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is the youngest professional player ranked by the Association of Tennis Professionals. He is the highest-ranking Green player in history. He was also the youngest player to defeat four of the top ten opponents in a single tournament last year.

Karen Khachanov is a Russian tennis player who achieved a ranking of number nine this year. He landed in a major quarterfinal during the French Open in 2019.

Daniil Medvedev, a tennis professional from Russia, reached a singles career high ranking of number four in 2019. He stood out as a breakthrough player in 2019 and has won two Masters titles.

Roger Federer is a well-known Swiss professional tennis player that has made history for holding the most Grand Slam singles Titles at 20. The one thing Roger Federer is still after is that Olympic Gold. It’s likely that 2020 could be his year to achieve just that.

Novak Djokovic is currently ranked number two in men’s singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals. This tennis professional is the first male player hailing from Serbia to win a Grand Slam Singles title. He also is considered an Olympic hopeful for 2020.

Rafael Nadal, a Spanish tennis professional, is currently ranked number one in men’s singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals. He follows Federer with 19 Grand Slam wins. Nadal has a reputation to maintain in the upcoming Olympics and his G.O.A.T. status.

Serena Williams is an American professional tennis player holding 23 major singles titles by any man or woman in the Open Era. She has been ranked number one by the Women’s Tennis Association on more than eight occasions. She also holds 14 Grand Slam doubles titles with her sister Venus. She will be defending her prior gold medal achievements during this upcoming 2020 Olympics run.
Upcoming Challengers

Felix Auger-Aliassime is a young Canadian professional tennis player that reached a career high juniors ranking of number two in 2016. He has made his way through open matches only to be defeated by high ranking professionals.
Dennis Shapovalov is an Israeli-born Canadian professional that was the youngest player to break the top 30 in the Association of Tennis Professionals rankings since 2005. In the past couple years he has risen to the top while making appearances in major finals.

Frances Tiafoe is the youngest American to be ranked in the top 50 of the Association of Tennis Professionals. His success during his youth career made him a stand out player as a professional to watch. Many believe he will be one of the next top ranking professionals for American players.

Cristian Garin is a Chilean professional tennis player who has been climbing up the ranks of the Association of Tennis Professionals. Winning a high level Association of Tennis Professionals match has earned him the ranking of the first Chilean player to reach this achievement. In 2019, he created a name for himself reaching more three finals in five tournaments.

Bianca Andreescu came to fame when she defeated favorite, Serena Williams, in both the US Open and Canadian Open. Winning her Grand Slam singles title earned her the ranking of the first Canadian tennis player to achieve this ranking.

Belinda Bencic has been playing tennis since the age of two. She has risen to high rankings in her recent achievements, winning four singles and two doubles titles in the Women’s Tennis Association. In 2019, she initially reached the top 20, finishing the season in the top 10 after her semifinal in the US Open.

While this list is composed of many newcomers in the tennis profession, there are also many well-known players reaching for important titles and achievements. As analysts watch these upcoming players, wagers will pay off on any of these professionals in 2020

Sloane Stephens Becomes USTA Foundation’s First National Excellent Program Ambassador

The USTA Foundation, the national charitable arm of the United States Tennis Association, has announced that it has appointed 2017 US Open Champion and world No. 23 Sloane Stephens as the National Excellence Program Ambassador. Stephens will kick-off at the Excellence Program College Pathway Camp on Nov. 8 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.

In her new role, Stephens will help to promote the five pillars of the Excellence Program including Individual Player Grants, Coaching Education, Activations, College Preparation support and a Team component, while supporting the USTA Foundation’s overall mission, its programs, and player success stories.

“It’s an honor to join the USTA Foundation as the National Excellence Program Ambassador. Our shared missions to change lives through tennis and education are vital to making tennis accessible and fun for many children. I’m looking forward to sharing my tennis story and pathway with all of our Excellence Team players. And I look forward to seeing the impact of our work.”

Through its partnership with USTA Player Development, the USTA Foundation Excellence Program is designed to provide underserved junior tennis players from under-resourced populations an opportunity to fulfill their coaching, equipment, tournament and travel needs at no cost. These students are high-performance tournament level players who compete at the regional, national and international levels. The program also includes a player pathway for students who participate in the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network.

Stephens will participate in numerous appearances where players will have an opportunity to engage with the grand slam champion, including the annual Excellence Program College Pathways Workout this fall at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Florida. During the two-day camp, Stephens will serve as the guest speaker and participate in a photo opp. with all players and coaches.

NJTL participants will also have a unique opportunity to engage with Stephens through a video conference session where they will get to ask questions and engage in dialogue on various topics related to tennis, education, competition and sportsmanship. Stephens will also participate in other multimedia platforms such as the first official NJTL Excellence Program endorsement video, while also utilizing her social media channels to bring awareness of the program’s various activations, its positive impact on the student participants, and its overall success

“Sloane is a model athlete and the ideal ambassador for our Excellence Program on and off the court,” said Dan Faber, USTA Foundation Executive Director. “Her willingness to engage with our student athletes speaks volumes and will have a lasting impact on their lives. We thank Sloane for supporting our mission and serving as our first ambassador for this incredible program.”

Ash Barty Wins Shiseido WTA Finals, Earns Year-End No. 1

WTA World No.1 Ashleigh Barty claimed her fourth singles title of the season today at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, prevailing over the defending champion Elina Svitolina in the final. She becomes the first Australian woman to lift the Billie Jean King Trophy in 43 years, after Evonne Goolagong Cawley did so in 1976.

Barty’s win also signifies another historic milestone, as the Australian has won the largest prize money check in professional tennis by earning $4.42 million.

Barty becomes the first reigning World No.1 to lift the Billie Jean King Trophy since Serena Williams in 2013 and is now the fifth player to clinch the title on her debut appearance, following Serena Williams (2001), Maria Sharapova (2004), Petra Kvitova (2011) and Dominika Cibulkova (2016). Including the victory over Svitolina, Barty has won a Tour-leading 56 match wins this season.

Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic successfully defended their WTA Finals crown, defeating No.2 seeds Hsieh Su-Wei and Barbora Strycova to lift the Martina Navratilova Doubles Trophy once again. They become the first team to clinch back-to-back WTA Finals doubles titles in 11 years, after Cara Black and Liezel Huber from 2007-08.

Babos has now won her third WTA Finals doubles title, having also triumphed in 2017 with Andrea Sestini Hlavackova. The last player to capture three consecutive WTA Finals doubles titles was Lindsay Davenport from 1996-98.

The WTA also announced that Barty and Barbora Strycova have earned the 2019 WTA Year-End World No.1 Singles and Doubles Rankings presented by Dubai Duty Free.

Australia’s Barty has clinched the year-end WTA singles No.1 ranking for the first time in her career, becoming the 14th WTA player since the inception of computer rankings in 1975 to achieve the accolade.

Strycova has earned this season’s year-end No.1 doubles ranking also for the first time, and 2019 marks the second year in a row a player from the Czech Republic has achieved the honor, after Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova ended 2018 as the co-ranked No.1 team.

“On behalf of Dubai Duty Free, I’d like to offer our congratulations to Ashleigh Barty and Barbora Strycova on achieving the WTA Year-End World No.1 singles and doubles rankings for the first time in their careers,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO, Dubai Duty Free. “Ashleigh and Barbora have written their names into the history books in 2019 following their debut Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros and Wimbledon respectively, which was just one of many amazing achievements this season, and I look forward to welcoming them to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships next year in February.”

Barty became the 27th player to reach the WTA World No.1 ranking on June 25, 2019, and including her triumphant week at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, has amassed 15 weeks in the top spot. Her ascent to the World No.1 ranking over the summer also marked the first time an Australian woman had held the position since Evonne Goolagong Cawley reached this historic milestone on April 26, 1976.

Top 5 All-Time Male Clay Court Tennis Players

There is no denying to the fact that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novac Djokovic are the three greatest male players in the current tennis arena. The discussion to who ranks no.1 can drive lots of judgements there exists few court surfaces that bring the best in tennis players. Clay court and grass court offers incomparable convenience to the players and they win the title on the court that supports their gameplay.

If we take a look at the history of tennis tournaments, Pete Sampras won several titles on a grass court and shown unbelievable poor performance on the clay courts. Out of his 14 grand slam title not a single court way clay and this means that court surface has a very significant role in deriving the best player performance. The difference exists due to the bounce of the ball in various court surfaces.

Well, the top 5 male tennis players who master the art of playing at clay courts are:

Ivan Lendl – He was quite a dominant player of his time and won 28 titles on clay court including three French Open titles. He played the aggressive game from start to finish showing his prowess and strength on the court.
Roger Federer – The name itself says all about his success and achievements with more than 1000s of winning history and remarkable 20 Grand Slam titles. He aces the clay court with great ease and success. When he is on the court, the best odds cross all the limits. People across the world have a deep faith in his style and confidence and bet on his name online through Unibet.
Guillermo Vilas – When it comes to winning the title on the clay court, this legend player drives great attention. With 49 titles win and 1 French Open title, he conquered the clay-court marking great success stories and setting an example for coming players.
Björn Borg– The most interesting fact about this great tennis player is that he retired at a very young age of 26 and thus his achievements were acquired in a very short time. He won 6 French Open Titles out of 8 he participated in and together won 30 clay titles, making him the master of clay court.
Rafael Nadal – This name needs no special mention as he has already claimed 59 clay court titles and still heading towards the path of success with more power and strength. He is truly the master of clay court and seems unstoppable in the current time. This 37-year-old tennis player never fails to surprise the viewers with his game ad what else one can say in his praise.

Tennis game resides in the hearts of millions of viewers in the entire world and people love to bet on the game through various live casino sites. Online casino trend is taking a huge leap and all thanks to the technology and internet that is bringing together fun and entertainment from the world at one point. Betting on sports now lies online and the fun has just manifold numerous times.