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.

Has Genie Bouchard’s Magic Run Out at Only 24?

by Bob Stockton

Eugenie Bouchard’s Swiss Open came to a premature end when injury meant she had to retire from her semi-final match against Alize Cornet. Bouchard had lost the opening set but couldn’t carry on in the second where she was trailing 1-0 after a groin injury forced her off the court. It was the furthest Bouchard had got in any tournament over the last 18 months so there will be feelings of hope but also disappointment from her fans.

After the turbulent few years Bouchard has had, winning the Swiss Open would have done her the world of good. Her withdrawal from the event is another let down in a career that has been blighted by disappointment over recent years. Looking at Bouchard’s career it’s hard to say whether she still has the desire to get to the top after she promised so much early on.

The world looked at her feet after she made it through to the Wimbledon final in 2014 at the age of twenty and despite being thrashed by Petra Kvitova in 55 minutes there was still reason to be positive about the future. The next few years would see her tumble down the rankings from fifth in the world in 2014 to 123rd as of July 2018.
Her young career hasn’t been without controversy either after a fall in a locker room during the 2015 US Open led to her suffering from a concussion and missing the rest of the season. Bouchard took the USTA to court and sued for missed earnings over that time and a jury apportioned 75% of the blame to the USTA meaning Bouchard earned a multimillion-dollar payout.

Rather tellingly Bouchard has requested that her social media posts be kept out the trial as they ‘painted a misleadingly sunny portrait of her life since the injury.’ The request was denied by the judge but in many ways, it does sum up the contentious issue hovering over Bouchard’s career.

Bouchard is somewhat of an Instagram star as she provides daily updates to the 1.7 million followers she has of her lavish lifestyle and that has fans questioning how focused she is on winning. On the way back from the Swiss Open she posted pictures onboard a private plane drinking prosecco and some will be wondering what there was to toast after another tournament of not making a final or winning. You couldn’t imagine the true champions of the sport like Serena Williams, Roger Federer or Rafa Nadal taking any delight whatsoever in that sort of outcome.

Could it be that Bouchard has found the extra gear that has been missing and feels that she is good enough to climb towards the top of the women’s game again? Time will tell but there wouldn’t be a better place to make a statement then the US Open in August. Many would have written Bouchard off and at 150/1 in tennis betting to win the US Open it’s easy to see why but at only 24 she still has a lot left to give and has proved in the past that she is more than capable of mixing it with the very best.

Of late Bouchard has turned in mediocre performance after mediocre performance but has still earned $234,353 on tour this year which makes up part of her on-court career earnings of $5,950,874. You don’t have to be a critical thinker to match the dots up quite easily when wondering where Bouchard’s lack of desire may be coming from after assessing her financial returns so far.

Bouchard’s magic hasn’t run out but it looks like she isn’t willing to give as much of it in the pursuit to get to the top again. Genie is obviously a very talented tennis player but until she commits herself completely to the cause again she will keep rubbing tennis fans up the wrong way.

Lleyton Hewitt Beats Tommy Haas To Win Debut Invesco Series QQQ Event In Newport

Lleyton Hewitt made a triumphant debut on the Invesco Series QQQ circuit Sunday winning his debut event at the International Tennis Hall of Fame by defeating Tommy Haas 7-6(2) in the one-set championship match.

Hewitt, the Australian Davis Cup captain and still active on the ATP World Tour, handed Haas his first-ever loss on the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30 in the final. Haas made his Invesco Series debut earlier this year in Charleston, S.C. where he won the title beating Andy Roddick in the final. Haas also won the title at the Kohala Coast in Hawaii, defeating John McEnroe in the title match.

Haas took the early lead against Hewitt, breaking serve for 2-0, before Hewitt bounced back to reeled off five consecutive games, buoyed by his amazing return of serve. With Hewitt serving for the match at 5-3, Haas was able to break back with the help of some incredible passing shots to eventually force the deciding tiebreaker. In the tie-breaker, Hewitt proved to be relentless getting off to an early mini-break and never looked back.

“This is the first time I’ve played on the Invesco Series and it was really fun,” said Hewitt. “The conditions were a bit tough as we had to wait out the rain for most of the day but I played well when we got out there and had a great time doing it”.

Due to threatening weather Sunday in Newport, the Invesco Series QQQ matches were delayed to be played after the 12:30 pm ATP singles final, instead of before, as originally scheduled. Hewitt defeated James Blake 6-3 in the first semifinal match, while Haas followed by beating U.S. Davis Cup captain Jim Courier 6-3.

Despite the loss, the 40-year-old Haas remains on top of the Invesco Series QQQ rankings earning 200 ranking points to increase his ranking point total to 1,000. Philippoussis, who won the last Invesco Series QQQ event in May in Toronto, remains in second with 500 points. By winning 400 points with the title, Hewitt, age 37, moves into a tie with the 59-year-old McEnroe for third place in the rankings.

The Invesco Series QQQ continues on August 19 at the ATP World Tour’s Winston-Salem Open in Winston-Salem, N.C. featuring Blake, Roddick, Ginepri, and Michael Chang. The remaining schedule, with player fields, is as follows

The remaining 2018 Invesco Series QQQ schedule is as follows:

• August 19: Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wake Forest University) – Andy Roddick, James Blake, Michael Chang, and Robby Ginepri
• August 23, 24: New Haven, CT (Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale) – John McEnroe, Tommy Haas, James Blake and Todd Martin
• October 4: St. Louis, MO (Chaifetz Arena) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, and Mark Philippoussis
• October 6: Houston, TX (Tudor Fieldhouse) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, James Blake, and Jim Courier
• October 21: Los Angeles, CA (Sherwood Country Club) – Andy Roddick, James Blake, Tommy Haas, and Mardy Fish
• December 6: Orlando, FL (USTA National Campus) – Jim Courier, Andy Roddick, James Blake and Mardy Fish

2018 Invesco Series QQQ Results

April 7: Charleston, SC (Family Circle Tennis Center) F: Tommy Haas def. Andy Roddick 6-1; SF: Tommy Haas def. Michael Chang 6-2; Andy Roddick def. Mark Philippoussis 6-3

May 5, 6: Kohala Coast, HI (Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows) F: Tommy Haas def. John McEnroe 7-5 SF: Tommy Haas def. Mardy Fish 6-3, John McEnroe def.Jim Courier 6-3

May 17: Toronto, ON (Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre) F: Mark Philippoussis d. John McEnroe 7-5, SF: Mark Philippoussis d. James Blake 7-6 (5); John McEnroe d. Jim Courier 6-2.

July 22: Newport, RI (International Tennis Hall of Fame) F: Lleyton Hewitt d. Tommy Haas 7-6(2) SF: Lleyton Hewitt d. James Blake 6-3; Tommy Haas d. Jim Courier 6-3

Each Invesco Series QQQ event features special VIP experiences, including hit-with-the-pros opportunities and special back-stage access. All ticket, experience and event information can be found at www.InvescoSeries.com

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.

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 $4 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.comor follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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, please visithorizonmedia.com.

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.

US Open Prize Money A Record $53 Million For 2018

The USTA today announced that the prize money for the 2018 US Open will be at a record high of $53 million, maintaining the US Open as the richest purse in tennis history. Prize money at the US Open has increased by 57% since 2013. 2018 marks the 45th Anniversary of equal prize money which was the first tournament to offer equal prize money to men and women competitors in 1973.

Both the men’s and women’s singles champions will earn $3.8 million, the largest payout in US Open history. Similar to the past three years, the USTA is improving the payouts for the first three rounds of the tournament to drive more of the increases to the majority of the players. Both the men’s and women’s doubles champion teams will earn $700,000, the highest in US Open history. The US Open Qualifying Tournament will offer more than $3 million in prize money for the first time.

“2018 is a significant year in our history,” said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams. “Not only is it the 50th Anniversary of the tournament, we also have completed the five- year transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. We know that we are poised for incredible growth moving forward.”

This year’s tournament marks the 50th Anniversary of the US Open. The USTA will celebrate its history with special recognitions and celebrate the tournament’s great champions over the course of the entire event. In addition, the 2018 US Open marks the completion of the Strategic Transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center with the opening of the new 14,000-seat Louis Armstrong Stadium. In all, the five-year project, which revamped more than 90 percent of the facility, will have incorporated the installation of a retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium, the construction of a new Louis Armstrong Stadium (also with a retractable roof), a new Grandstand, new West Stadium and practice courts, as well as a completely renovated and redesigned southern campus.

The US Open is scheduled for August 27 through September 9, with the US Open Qualifying Tournament beginning on August 21.

Novak Djokovic Makes Triumphant Return To Relevance With Surprise Wimbledon Title

by Randy Walker

Novak Djokovic quieted critics and made a triumph return to the elite of professional tennis by winning his fourth Wimbledon title Sunday with a slightly dramatic 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(3) win over the mostly listless and exhausted Kevin Anderson of South Africa.

Djokovic’s 13th major title comes two years after his last major title – his historic win at the 2016 French Open which culminated him becoming only the third man in the history of tennis to hold all four majors simultaneously, joining Grand Slam winners Rod Laver and Don Budge.

However, since his triumph in Paris, Djokovic experienced a dramatic fall from the top, perhaps an expected human experience of needing of an exhale after years of pressure and drive to succeed and realize his goal of winning the French Open and win all four major titles.

“Then life came at him,” said Tom Rinaldi of ESPN of Djokovic’s fall from his pinnacle following the 2016 French Open.

“There were admitted challenges in his family life,” said Rinaldi of Djokovic. Also affecting him were injuries, a loss of motivation, a mix-up in his coaching team, separating himself with his coaches Boris Becker and Marian Vajda, an experiment with Andre Agassi as his coach and motivator.

“There were moment where I was doubtful of my return,” said Djokovic to ESPN.

His fall from the top reminded some observers of Mats Wilander of Sweden, who suddenly dropped off the top of the men’s game after he finally won the U.S. Open in 1988 to achieve the world No. 1 ranking and conclude his year by winning three of the four major singles titles.

While Djokovic was always seen as the player who would never give up and grind out amazing victories, like being match point down twice to Roger Federer at the U.S. Open, or in five hours, 53 minutes in the 2012 Australian Open final against Rafael Nadal, he then seemingly gave up competing in some matches, like against Dominic Theim in the quarterfinals of the 2017 French Open as the defending champion falling meekly 7-6, 6-3, 6-0, while also losing matches that he, as an all-time great, should not lose, such as to wild card Denis Istomin in the second round of the 2017 Australian Open and, most recently to Marco Cecchinato in the quarterfinals of Roland Garros last month. It was after that loss to Cecchinato that Djokovic even questioned if he had the will to even play at Wimbledon.

“I don’t know if I’m going to play on grass,” he said to reporters after the loss. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. I just came from the court. Sorry, guys, I can’t give you that answer. I cannot give you any answer.”

Djokovic found form in reaching the final of the pre-Wimbledon warm-up event at Queens, losing to Marin Cilic after having a match point. He quietly and deliberately reached the semifinals at the All England Club where he performed a master-class return to form in his 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 10-8. win over world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, played under the Wimbledon roof – and lights – due to the length of the titanic 26-24 fifth-set marathon between Anderson and John Isner in the first semifinal.

His win over Anderson was not in doubt until the latter stages of the third set. After winning the first two sets handily – Anderson having his serve broken in the opening game on a double-fault on break point – Djokovic had to endure five set points from Anderson before prevailing by closing out the third-set in a tiebreaker.

Djokovic, ranked No. 21, becomes the lowest ranked men’s champion at Wimbledon behind Goran Ivanisevic, who won the 2001 title with a ranking of No. 125. He also breaks the stranglehold that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have had on Grand Slam tennis, becoming the first player other than the Swiss and the Spaniard to win a men’s major since Stan Wawrinka at the 2016 US Open.

“Man, I went through some difficult moments,” Djokovic said to Rinaldi following the final of his long road back. “We all have ups and downs…Let life arrange things around you….This is a great confirmation that I am on the good road.”

USA vs. Croatia Davis Cup Semifinal Moved To Zadar From Split

The U.S. vs. Croatia Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Semifinal tie will be held in Zadar, Croatia, and not Split, the Croatian Tennis Association has announced.

An 8,000-seat outdoor stadium will be built next to the Višnjik Sports Center in Zadar and will now be the site of the Sept. 14-16 tie, which will still be played on a red clay court. The original site announced in May was a temporary outdoor red clay court on Znjan Beach in Split.

The U.S. is competing in its first Davis Cup Semifinal since 2012. The U.S. last won the Davis Cup title in 2007 over Russia.

Keep up with Team USA using hashtag #TeamUSATennis on Facebook (@USTA), on Twitter (@USTA), and on Instagram (@USTA). Wilson is the official ball of the U.S. Davis Cup team. Deloitte is the official team sponsor of the U.S. Davis Cup Team.

How Roger Federer Differs From Other Age-Defying Elite Athletes

Jeff Bercovici had just undergone emergency surgery when he pondered the question.

At a time when it has never been physically harder to be a professional sportsperson, why is it that many of the best ones are also the oldest?

Bercovici had injured his back after pushing himself too hard when playing soccer “a few times a week” at a local league in Brooklyn.

The likes of Roger Federer – who is 8/11 in the tennis betting to win his ninth Wimbledon title – LeBron James and Tom Brady, meanwhile, have continued to succeed “well past what would’ve been considered the peak age for their sports a generation ago”.

Bercovici, a journalist, realised after doing “a little bit of research” that his personal curiosity could become a professional endeavour, and in 2018 he published his first book, Play On: The New Science of Elite Performance at Any Age.

“It’s a look inside this phenomenon we’re seeing in the world of sports,” he says, “and how sports science is the driver of that phenomenon.”

Bercovici, who spoke to ex-players, coaches and experts in “training, nutrition, psychology, surgery, other therapies, sports tech and genetics”, says the “single most powerful force” in extending athletes’ careers has been the shift to maximising their freshness, rather than fitness.

“The amount of time players devote to different recovery techniques now versus what they did 15 years ago is not even remotely comparable,” he says.

Take LeBron James, who has just enjoyed the finest season of his 15-year NBA career at the age of 33, playing the most minutes of any player in the league.

“After every single game of the NBA Finals, he’d give this press conference and the word that came out of his mouth most was ‘treatment’,” says Bercovici.

“So, he’s talking about a variety of different things, from ice baths and cryotherapy, to cupping, electrical stimulation and laser stimulation.”

While those technologies – which are typically pioneered by the military or private tech companies, but rely on stars such as James to “evangelise” them – do accelerate physical recovery, they also perform another important role.

“Athletes are much smarter now about not over-training, yet they still have this really strong commission bias,” says Bercovici. “They want to do, do, do as much as they can to improve their performance.”

He cites the training regime of an in-his-prime Tiger Woods, which famously included long-distance running, heavy weight sessions, several hours at the driving range and 18 holes of golf every single day.

“Now, everyone knows that’s a really good way to wear down your body,” says Bercovici, “so instead, they lift in the gym for 90 minutes, then they go to the hot tub, the cold tub and all that kind of stuff.

“It’s not necessarily helping them recover faster, but being focused on recovery rather than on doing more training is absolutely extending their careers.”

No career has been extended as beautifully as Roger Federer’s, who recently returned to No. 1 in the men’s world rankings, just weeks before his 37th birthday.

Bercovici believes that, despite being “totally consistent with all trends I tracked throughout this book”, Federer is “probably the most incredible example of longevity and durability in all of sports”.

That’s because his endurance is a consequence of how he plays the game.

“If you were designing a tennis player from scratch, you would create Roger Federer,” says Bercovici.

“If you talk to a kinesiologist, what they will tell you helps explain a large portion of his longevity. He intuitively plays in this style that is both beautiful and conducive to him maintaining an unprecedented level of health. I think he’s the great tennis genius of all time.”

Bercovici recalls a decade-old quote about Federer which describes his footsteps during matches as being “like a ghost”.

“Well before people were talking about how this guy avoids injuries or how amazing his longevity is, he was practising this form of movement that’s so different from everyone else’s and so much more sustainable,” he says.
Bercovici, who is fit again after using some of the methods explored in Play On to rehabilitate his back, learned over the course of writing the book that every enduring athlete has one thing in common: a love of their sport.

“It’s sounds like a cliché,” he says, “but there’s a reason it’s not.

“To be an elite athlete, the first gate to pass through is that you have to be able to take a game and treat it like it’s a job. You have to take all the fun and spontaneity out of it.

“So, if someone has passed through that gate and then 20 years on they still have that sense of fun, that’s really, really, incredibly rare. And that’s what unites these people who are still working incredibly hard approaching 40.”
Jeff’s book, Play On: The New Science of Elite Performance at Any Age, is out now.

The Top Five Men’s Players At 2018 Wimbledon

With the most enthralling sporting event of the year already underway in the United Kingdom, tennis fans from all over the world are tuned in to watch the greatest players of our time fight it out at the biggest stage in the world – Wimbledon.

Tennis continues to attract spectators from all corners of the world, who are drawn to the game due to its fast pace, as well as the wide range of betting opportunities it offers. Betting on Wimbledon has become more accessible in recent years through the creation of simplified manuals, such as the Wimbledon betting guide 2018, which breaks down the essentials of betting on the coveted event. To know how to place your bets efficiently, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 men tennis players with the highest chances of taking the trophy home this year.

Roger Federer
The most decorated player active in the game, Roger Federer is currently ranked No. 2 in the world and has won 8 Wimbledon titles till now. Federer is defending the title this year and if he wins the tournament, he would go on to create a new world record of most number of Wimbledon titles by a player.

Though his loss in the final match of Halle could be concern for some people, truth remains that he has managed to surprise everyone on the grass court. UNIQLO’S New Global Brand Ambassador, Federer supposed to play against players like Lajovic, Anderson and Cilic in the initial rounds and can easily reach the finals to claim the title.

Rafael Nadal
Best known for his performance on clay court in French Opens, Nadal is ranked world No.1. With 17 grand slam titles, he is among the top contenders for the trophy this year. He has previously won the Wimbledon trophy in the year 2008 and 2010. Though his line-up of matches is not easy, considering the tenacious person he is, reaching the finals would not be surprising on the Spaniard’s part.

Novak Djokovic
The Serbian player is currently ranked No.17 in the world. He has about 12 grand slam titles to his name out of which 3 are Wimbledon trophies for the years 2011, 2014, and 2015. Known for covering the entire length and breadth of the court well, it’s been some time that Djokovic has lifted the trophy.

His recent performances have been up to the mark as we saw him in the finals of the Queen’s Club Championship. His matches have been lined up against Brit Edmand, Thiem and Alex Zverev. No doubt he has a tough competition to face, his skills like accurate groundstrokes present him as a promising player.

Marin Cilic
One of the more experienced players, Cilic is a strong contender for the 2018 Wimbledon. After winning the Queen’s Club Championship last month, the player is in his best form for the tournament and is confident than ever. His serving skills have helped him whenever he has found himself in a tough spot. Moreover, with opponents like Dimitrov in the initial rounds, he would have to face Federer which would be a much anticipated match.

Alexander Zverev

At only 21 years of age, Alexander is one of the youngest player in this Wimbledon season. Despite the German has not experienced many grand slams, this season’s trophy could very well be is first grand slam title. He has a strong double handed backhand which would come to his aid.

Alexander, to the surprise of everyone, has previously defeated mighty giants like Djokovic and Roger Federer, which all the more increase his chances of clinching the trophy.

Will It Be The Same Old Story In Wimbledon Men’s Singles In 2018?

Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal have won the last six major championships. Both are the overwhelming Wimbledon betting favorites for the men’s singles title – and who can argue?

No one.

Federer has won eight times at the All England Club and has played in a total of 11 singles finals. Nadal has won Wimbledon twice – most notably his 2008 final 10 years ago against Federer – and has played in five finals. However, he has not advanced past the fourth round at the event since 2011. With razor-thin margins separating the two players, could this lack of reserve confidence be the different between a point or two if these two were to meet in a climatic final and 10-year-anniversary reprise of their epic 2008 Wimbledon final classic? Federer appears to be as fine-tuned as he has ever been on the comfort of the Wimbledon grass. The only difference between this year and others is his new Uniqlo tennis attire.

While Federer and Nadal are the strong favorites to win the title, Brad Gilbert of ESPN said he believes that there are five real contenders. Outside of the maestros from Switzerland and Spain, others are Juan Martin del Potro, John Isner and Novak Djokovic.

Del Potro is the surprise pick to win the tournament from ESPN commentator and former U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe. The Argentine is a former semifinalist at this event in 2013 where he lost a tight five-setter to Djokovic. He also captured Olympic bronze at the All England Club at the 2012 Olympics, extending Federer to a 19-17 third set in a four-hour-26-minute epic semifinal before beating Djokovic for bronze. Perhaps most importantly, del Potro is not intimidated against Nadal or Federer.

Perhaps the only other real contender for the title is hard-serving John Isner. The former Univerity of Georgia standout is into the second week of Wimbledon for the first time in his career and other than Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, is perhaps the most famous Wimbledon player by virtue of his incredulous 11-hour, 70-68 win over Nico Mahut in the 2010 first round.

Isner is playing the best tennis of his career this year having won the biggest tournament of his career at the Miami Open in April. Like del Potro, Isner is not intimidated by playing the top players. Many – except Isner and his inner circle – may have forgotten that he nearly beat Federer on the Centre Court grass at the 2012 Olympics before falling 6-4, 7-6(5) in an incredibly close contest that is was much closer than the score indicated, with a missed sitter forehand and a let cord basically being the difference between the two players.’s

Djokovic is the unknown entity of men’s tennis. While he is regarded as one of the all-time greats with 12 major titles – including all four majors including Wimbledon in 2011, 2014 and 2015 – he has not won a major title since the French Open in 2016 and has struggled physically with injuries and mentally with concentration, off-court distractions and motivation. You can’t count him out of the conversation, but one could argue that of all the other contenders for the title, Djokovic may have the least amount of deep hunger for the title. There are glimpses of his past form and fire but it is not consistently there and among punters, will not receive a lot of attention in Wimbledon betting

Roger Federer Is UNIQLO’S New Global Brand Ambassador

UNIQLO, the Japanese global apparel retailer, announced a partnership with Roger Federer, the greatest tennis player of all-time and one of the world’s most influential and universally admired people, as its newest Global Brand Ambassador. The new partnership means that Mr. Federer will represent UNIQLO at all tennis tournaments throughout the year, starting with The Championships, Wimbledon 2018.

Commenting on the announcement, Tadashi Yanai, UNIQLO Founder and Chairman, President & CEO of Fast Retailing, said, “Mr. Federer is one of the greatest champions in history; my respect for him goes beyond sport. Our partnership will be about innovation on and off court. We share a goal of making positive change in the world, and I hope together we can bring the highest quality of life to the greatest number of people. UNIQLO will help Mr. Federer continue taking tennis to new places, while exploring innovations in a number of areas including technology and design with him.”

Mr. Federer said, “I am deeply committed to tennis and to winning championships. But like UNIQLO, I also have great love for life, culture and humanity. We share a strong passion to have a positive impact on the world around us and look forward to combining our creative endeavors.”

UNIQLO enters the partnership inspired by the past accomplishments of Mr. Federer and his previous partners. While respectful of new standards they set together, UNIQLO is not a sports company. UNIQLO describes itself as a life company that creates LifeWear, thoughtful everyday apparel with a practical sense of beauty, and constantly improved through craftsmanship and technology. With today’s announcement, LifeWear has a new champion.

Roger Federer’s game wear for Wimbledon 2018 was designed at the UNIQLO Paris R&D Center, led by Artistic Director Christophe Lemaire. Instead of the classic polo shirt or crewneck style collar, UNIQLO reflected Roger Federer’s preference for a short stand-up collar to emphasize a more sophisticated look both on and off court. The design of the shirt and shorts is accented by a burgundy color line – incorporated at the edge of the sleeves and the front panel of the shirt, and down the sides of the shorts – to highlight the company’s corporate color, especially at the launch of the partnership.

Highly Functional Dry EX Material Trusted by Top Athletes
Jointly developed by UNIQLO and Toray Industries, Dry EX features a special arched structure that dries faster than ordinary dry function material, preventing the steamy and sticky feeling due to perspiration and keeping a comfortable feel during play. The raised structure is well suited to the strenuous movements of tennis. Highly breathable mesh has been used in areas that accumulate sweat, helping to avoid overheating and allowing the athletes to be at their very best during competition.

The UNIQLO Global Brand Ambassador Program
UNIQLO partners with world-leading people to promote its brand and LifeWear globally. Reflecting core UNIQLO values, Global Brand Ambassadors embrace challenge in pursuit of the highest possible achievement. They are universally admired for their integrity and character, and for the optimism, respect and humility they demonstrate to all.

UNIQLO combines the expert professional insight of its Global Brand Ambassadors with its most advanced proprietary technologies, creating apparel that supports human performance at the highest level, while also bringing greater comfort and functionality to the everyday lives of its customers. In addition, UNIQLO works with its brand ambassadors to promote community engagement and development initiatives around the world.

In addition to Roger Federer, the UNIQLO Global Brand Ambassadors today are Kei Nishikori (Tennis), Shingo Kunieda and Gordon Reid MBE (Wheelchair Tennis) and Adam Scott (Golf).

Read more about Roger Federer in the book “The Days of Roger Federer” by Randy Walker here https://www.amazon.com/dp/1937559378/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_IbKoBb75RHFM0 via @amazon

2018 US Open To Feature Electronic Line Calling On All Courts

The USTA announced that electronic line calling will be utilized on all tournament courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for the first time at the 2018 US Open. In 2006, the US Open became the first Grand Slam event to use electronic line calling during play, featuring video replay in Arthur Ashe Stadium, and now the US Open will be the first Grand Slam to utilize electronic line calling on all match courts.

In 2018, all Men’s and Women’s Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles events will be scheduled to feature electronic line calling technology. Having the technology available on all tournament courts provides a level of consistency and fairness throughout the tournament.

“Having electronic line calling on all of our courts allows us to provide a level playing field for all competitors,” said David Brewer, US Open Tournament Director. “The US Open has a history of innovation, and by becoming the first Grand Slam to feature this technology on all courts, we are proud to carry-on that tradition.”

Since 2007, the US Open’s replay challenge system has been sponsored by Chase and is called the “Chase Review” in-venue and during the domestic broadcast of the US Open.

The four main stadium courts (Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, Grandstand, Court 17) will house instant replay teams within each stadium. A centralized office housed inside the broadcast compound on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center will handle the electronic line calling for all other courts. In this office, each court will be given a dedicated two-man team, consisting of a Review Official and a Hawk-Eye technician.

The implementation of this technology was made possible by the Strategic Transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which will be completed this year, as it afforded the opportunity to install the necessary technology throughout the grounds, in a cost-efficient manner.

Last year seven courts showcased electronic line calling: Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium (temporary structure), Grandstand, Court 17, Court 5, Court 10 and Court 13.

This year’s tournament marks the 50th Anniversary of the US Open, and throughout Fan Week and the Main Draw, special recognitions and ceremonies will take place to honor the tradition and history of the event, as well as celebrate its great champions. In addition, the 2018 US Open marks the completion of the Strategic Transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center with the opening of the new 14,000-seat Louis Armstrong Stadium. In all, the five-year project, which revamped more than 90 percent of the facility, will have incorporated the installation of a retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium, the construction of a new Louis Armstrong Stadium (also with a retractable roof), a new Grandstand, new West Stadium and practice courts, as well as a completely renovated and redesigned southern campus.