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French Open Champ Ash Barty Leads Porsche Race To Shenzhen

Ashleigh Barty rises to the top of the Porsche Race to Shenzhen Leaderboard after lifting her maiden Grand Slam singles title at Roland Garros. The Australian now owns two singles titles this season following her career first WTA Premier Mandatory crown at the Miami Open in March, surpassing Petra Kvitova for the No.1 spot on the Leaderboard.

Roland Garros finalist Marketa Vondrousova jumps nine positions to land within the Top 8 on the Leaderboard at No.7.

Johanna Konta climbs to No.9 following a semifinal run in Paris, while Amanda Anisimova soars 16 spots to No.13 after becoming the first player – male or female – born in the 2000s to reach a Grand Slam semifinal.

Kristina Mladenovic, the newly crowned WTA World No.1 doubles player, and Timea Babos claimed their second Grand Slam doubles title as a team in Paris, rising six spots to take over the No.1 position on the doubles Leaderboard.

Roland Garros represents lap number 27 out of 57 total (a reference to qualifying tournaments leading into the WTA Finals). The Top 8 singles players and doubles teams of 2019 will secure their spot at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, China, taking place from October 27 – November 3, 2019.

The singles player who finishes the regular season in pole position on the Porsche Race to Shenzhen Leaderboard will be congratulated with a new Porsche.

ROKit Named Official Mobile Handset Provider For Invesco Series Tennis

Global mobile phone company ROKiT has been named the Official Mobile handset provider of the Invesco Series QQQ tennis circuit, InsideOut Sports & Entertainment, the owners and operators of the North American tennis tour for champion tennis players over the age of 30, announced today.

Under the exclusive multi-year agreement, ROKiT will receive on-court signage at Invesco Series events, television inventory and title sponsorship of the Virtual Player Challenge System. In addition, Invesco Series co-founder and competitor, Jim Courier will become a Player Ambassador for ROKiT. Courier will wear ROKiT branding on court during Invesco Series tournaments and will represent ROKiT in global marketing campaigns.

The Invesco partnership is part of a wider tennis sponsorship campaign by ROKiT, who recently launched its range of affordable smart phones, packed with glasses-free 3D technology, and exclusive 3D content. The telco brand also announced signing multi-year partnerships with a series of high-profile global tennis stars and will be creating exclusive coaching content and filming behind the scenes footage of players in 3D.

“We are excited to welcome ROKiT to our family of sponsors at Invesco Series tennis,” said Courier, the former world No. 1 and two-time French and Australian Open champion. “We look forward to helping ROKiT tell the story of their cutting edge and affordable smart phone and mobile offerings via our media platforms.”

Commenting, Jonathan Kendrick, Chairman of ROK Brands said: “The Invesco Series enables us to showcase our ROKiT phones to a new audience of tennis fans. Our glasses-free 3D smart phones are the perfect device to watch world class tennis from, the viewing experience is unrivalled.”

About ROKiT
ROKiT is a telecommunications business that offers consumers state of the art mobile handsets and wireless connectivity at an unbeatable price. ROKiT has been founded by business innovator John-Paul DeJoria (John Paul Mitchell Systems, Patron Tequila, John Paul Pet) and Jonathan Kendrick (British entrepreneur). ROKiT’s core innovation is the brand’s unique combination of device and service offerings brought to market at aggressive, attention-getting price points. Additional information can be found at ROKiT.com

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, please visit horizonmedia.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.”

Rakuten To Become Global Partner for Davis Cup

Rakuten, Inc. and Kosmos Tennis have announced a multiyear agreement with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for Rakuten to become the Global Innovation and Entertainment Partner and Global Presenting Partner for the Davis Cup in 2019 and 2020.

Under the terms of the agreement, the competition will be renamed the Davis Cup by Rakuten. The partnership agreement links the Davis Cup and Rakuten until 2020, with the option of a further two-year extension. Rakuten will have high visibility in the Finals and Qualifiers.

Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc. said, “By becoming the global partner of the Davis Cup, Rakuten has taken another important step forward in our mission to inspire and empower people across the globe. We are firm believers in the power of sport to bring people and communities together, and to inspire optimism and innovation.”
David Haggerty, ITF President, said, “We are delighted to welcome Rakuten as Global Presenting and Global Innovation and Entertainment partner. The Davis Cup has always been about maintaining tradition while embracing innovation. Adopting new technologies for the Davis Cup is allowing us to enter exciting new partnerships, and we look forward to working with Rakuten to reach a global audience in new and diverse ways.”

Javier Alonso, CEO Kosmos Tennis, said, “Having Rakuten as the main sponsor of the event is great news for the Davis Cup, the World Cup of Tennis. Innovation and entertainment is key both Rakuten and Kosmos. We are excited about working together to create new engagement formulas of interaction with the fans both inside and outside of Caja Mágica in order to improve their experience with the Davis Cup Qualifiers and the Madrid Finals.”
Rakuten, empowering people and society through sports

With over 1.2 billion members worldwide, Rakuten will leverage its experience and expertise in e-commerce and membership loyalty programmes to bring global innovation to the Davis Cup through digital and offline activations aimed at enhancing the complete fan experience. Future plans include opening up new avenues of online communications and content-sharing for supporters, including use of the Rakuten Viber global messaging platform and creating new programmes that will engage and reward fans both in-venue and globally.

Rakuten is globally recognised for its partnerships with sporting icons such as FC Barcelona, the Golden State Warriors and the National Basketball Association, and its ownership of J.League professional soccer team Vissel Kobe and Nippon Professional Baseball team Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. The company also serves as the title sponsor of the ATP Rakuten Japan Open since 2009 and contributes to sports worldwide as part of its mission of empowering people and communities.

Tickets on sale now
Tickets for the Davis Cup Madrid Finals, which will be held from 18-24 November at Caja Mágica in Madrid, are on sale now via the official website. Tickets start from €25 and special rates for children are also included.
The 18 teams competing for the chance to become world champion and lift the Davis Cup trophy are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Russia, Serbia, Spain and USA.

Why This Italian Clay Could Help Mold Britain’s Next Tennis Star

When one looks at the ATP Tour singles ranking, it is not hard to conclude that clay courts play a key role in producing world-class tennis players.

Eighteen of the top 200 are Italian, 14 are French, 14 are Spanish and 10 are from Argentina, all countries where natural clay is the most played-on surface.

For all of the money and resources in the United States, just nine players are in the top 200, while there are five from Great Britain, where hard courts and synthetic grass dominate.

It is similar in the women’s game. Five of the top 200 are French, six are Spanish, but just three come from GB.
That is not a coincidence, says Peter Sutton, a former club teaching professional who is now dedicated to bringing more natural clay courts to Britain. That is how GB will produce players who are as good as Kyle Edmund – to win the 2019 French Open in the latest tennis betting – or Jo Konta, 23 and 41 in the world respectively, never mind generational talents such as Andy Murray.

“There is a cultural belief because that clay doesn’t suit the UK,” says Sutton, who turned his hobby into his job when he set up his own business, Clay Court Services, in 2012. “But from a coach’s point of view, it is easier to teach a youngster on a slow surface. When you learn to drive, you don’t get in a Formula 1 car, you go at 20mph. There are plenty of health benefits to playing on this surface. There is less stress on the knees and the back.

“I’ve spoken to top-class coaches who say it has added 10 years onto their coaching lives,” he continued. “When you’re on a hard court seven or eight hours a day, your body can suffer quite dramatically. You can slide on clay courts. Top professionals are playing such a harsh game, but they can fly into shots with the slide helping absorb the impact on joints and ligaments. It also teaches players so much more about patience, shot production and the mental side of the game. There are more rallies, the ball keeps coming back.”

The reason why clay courts are not popular in the UK is because they’re made from shale, a sedimentary rock that is difficult to sustain in bad weather and produces “a lot of bad bounces” if poorly maintained.

But Sutton is only interested in the best, which is why Clay Court Services are the sole suppliers to the UK of Terre Davis clay, the company based in Cremona, Northern Italy, that supplies clay to the Italian Championships in Rome, the Monte Carlo Open and several other tennis federations around the world.

Sutton installed the UK’s first court built from Terre Davis’ clay at his home club in Little Aston, Birmingham, before doing the same at various others around the country.

“Terre Davis hadn’t really exported to the UK – they didn’t think there was a market there,” he says. “But on a small budget we were able to develop a little bit of a makeover for some small clubs to get their clay courts to play better.”

His work got the attention of the LTA, so much so that four courts are now being built at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.

“It’s a good start,” he says, “but we’ll have to see, from a cultural point of view, whether they think this is the way forward.”

Sutton cites an example from the other side of world that he believes the UK is capable of emulating.

“Australia used to dominate world tennis in the ‘60s and ‘70s, but that began to drop off,” he says. “If you look at the stats, that’s because they were producing big guys who were just hitting the ball at a million miles an hour and not expecting the ball to come back.

“I spoke to an ex-pro, Terry Rocavert, who used to play on the clay circuit. He went back to the Australian federation with this Italian clay.

“They built over 40 clay courts, including seven or eight at Melbourne Park, and they’ve now got 11 players in the top 200.”

This article is brought to you by Betway.

A Look At The “King of Clay” Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal is one of the greatest tennis players of the current generation, but his best performances have always been on the clay court, with the French Open at Roland Garros being his tournament.

With a record 11 French Open titles to his name, Nadal is undoubtedly the “King of Clay”, and he could potentially add to his record this year when the French Open returns.

Nadal has been named as the favourite for this year’s title, with the odds being found here – https://www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/tennis/competition/11948682 – but could this just be start of a great season for the Spaniard?

His first Grand Slam title came in 2005 at the French Open, where Nadal didn’t drop a single set until his fourth-round match against Sébastien Grosjean. He eventually defeated his French opponent 6-4, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 to claim a place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

At the quarter-final stage, he met fellow Spaniard David Ferrer, but returned to his dominant form, winning in straight sets 7-5, 6-2, 6-0 to set up a tantalising semi-final match against an already-established Roger Federer.
His Swiss rival was always likely to prove to be his toughest test, and so it proved, as Nadal wasn’t quite so dominant in the match. Regardless, he managed to win in four sets, defeating Federer 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. 6-3, to reach the first singles final of his professional career.

He met Argentine Mariano Puerta in the final, and lost the first set via a tie break. He hit back to comfortably win the second and third sets 6-3 and 6-1 respectively before Puerta put in an attempt at a comeback and forced Nadal to win by seven games to five in the fourth set.

Victory in the final not only gave Nadal his first taste of success, but also showed the world that he was one to watch out for. Not once during the tournament was he taken to five sets, and ever since then, he has only been taken to five sets twice at the French Open – in 2011 against John Isner and 2013 against Novak Djokovic.

Until 2012, the record for the most French Open titles belonged to Björn Borg, one of the greatest players to have ever played in the Open Era. Between 1974 and 1981, Borg won six French Open titles, which Nadal surpassed in 2012 with his seventh.

During his historic 2012 victory, he lost just one set in the seven matches he played. From the first round until victory in the semi-final, he defeated every opponent in straight sets. It was only in the final that he final dropped a set. Novak Djokovic was the man to prevent him from having a clean sweep in the French Open, winning the third set 6-2.

Two years later and Nadal won his ninth French Open, which meant that he broke the record which included the French Championships, which were part of the Amateur Era. Max Decugis won eight French Championships prior to 1968 and looking at Nadal’s current record of 11, it’s hard to see anyone surpassing that number any time soon.

Wobbly Nadal, Resurgent Djokovic, Stranger Federer Ready For Intriguing Italian Championships

The Internazionali BNL d’Italia, or the Italian Championships in Rome, is the fifth ATP Masters 1000 event of the year and the last big test before the start of the French Open, the second major championship of the year. This year’s tournament is full of intrigue that will provide for many dramatic moments.

Perhaps the biggest surprise and question mark leading into the event is the form of Rafael Nadal. The “King of Clay” and eight-time tournament winner is in the worst clay-court slump of his career, winning only nine matches on his favorite dirt surface so for this season and had not even reached a final in his three previous clay-court events. He lost to Fabio Fognini handily in the semifinals of Monte Carlo, in straight sets again in the semifinals of the Barcelona Open and to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Is this spurt of mediocre play an indication that the soon-to-be 33-year-old Nadal is finally starting to wear down and perhaps may be closer to retirement than we think or will the Mallorcan channel his frustration and anger at poor results by his lofty standards that will he win for a ninth time in Rome and again later in Paris for a 12th time?
Last year, Nadal also wobbled into Rome, following a quarterfinal loss to Thiem in Madrid, but recovered to win his eighth title in Rome, beating defending champion Alexander Zverev in the final.

This will be his 15th consecutive appearance in Rome and he comes in with a 56-6 career record (8-2 in finals). He has advanced to the quarterfinals or better in 13 of his previous 14 visits to the Italian capital. Nadal will attempt to become the first player on the ATP Tour this year to defend a title from last season.

The Rome field features 17 of the top 20 players including former champions Nadal, an eight-time winner, Novak Djokovic, a four-time champion, and 2017 winner Alexander Zverev. These three account for 13 of the past 14 titles. Djokovic, fresh off his important win in Madrid, is aiming to hoist the Rome trophy for the first time since 2015, after losses in the final in 2016 (to Andy Murray) and 2017 (to Zverev), and a semifinal loss to Nadal last year. Last Monday started the 250th week the Serb was at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings.

The most intriguing entry in the Rome field this year is Roger Federer, who is making his first appearance at the event since 2016. It is one of the very few events in his career that he has not won. His last showing in Rome was a third-round loss to Dominic Thiem on May 12, 2016. That loss to Thiem was the Swiss star’s last clay-court match at any event until he played in Madrid this past week, where he reached the quarterfinals before falling to Thiem once again.

After his win on Monte Carlo, top Italian Fognini is on the verge of cracking the top 10 and is a legitimate contender for his home nation’s title. Fognini, however, is only 10-11 lifetime in Rome, with last year’s quarterfinal as his best result. The last Italian in the ATP Rankings Top 10 was Corrado Barrazzutti on January 22 1979 and Fognini would have to likely better his quarterfinal result to jump into the top 10. The last home country player to win the most prestigious title in Italy was Adriano Panatta in 1976.

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece comes into Rome as the ATP Tour match wins leader, earning his 27th win of the season with his semifinal victory over Nadal at Madrid. Tsitsipas was ranked No. 43 at Rome in 2018, and had to qualify for last year’s main draw. His win in Portugal on the clay earlier this season and his final-round effort in Madrid make him a tennis betting contender for the title in Rome and later this year in Paris.

Dmitry Popko, Italian Duo Frigerio and Virgili Crowned Mardy Fish Vero Beach Champions For 2019

Despite some afternoon rain showers delaying play for five of the seven days of play, the 2019 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships concluded on time early Sunday evening after Italians Lorenzo Frigerio and Adelchi Virgili won the doubles title, defeating top-seeds Boris Arias of the Bolivian Davis Cup team and Sekou Bangoura of Bradenton, Fla., 6-4, 6-3 in the final.

Earlier Sunday, Dmitry Popko of Kazakhstan was crowned the singles champion of this 25-year annual Vero Beach tennis tradition, a $25,000 event on the ITF World Tennis Tour, defeating Bangoura 6-1, 7-6 (1) in the singles final. Popko, the No. 8 seed and a member of Kazakhstan’s Davis Cup team, was dominant this week in Vero Beach, putting on a dazzling display of shot-making for the scores of enthusiastic spectators and volunteers and won his seventh ITF event this year, a $3,600 payday, and more significantly, three ATP ranking points.

“This one means a lot because it’s a $25,000 event and also gave me three ATP points and put me in the Top 10 of the ITF rankings,’’ said Popko, 22, ranked 12th before the tournament and just 608th in the ATP, down from a career-high of 178 in 2017. “Now I can play Challenger level tournaments and hopefully I’m going to earn as many ATP points as I can and then see where it’s going to bring me.’’

Popko cancelled his plans to play in next week’s Pensacola ITF stop because he has been accepted into a more prestigious ATP Challenger tournament in Shymkent, located in his adopted Kazakhstan. He sped to the airport to fly half way around the world immediately following the singles final Sunday.

This year Popko has won three ITF tournaments in Turkey and four in Florida, including Naples, Sunrise, Orange Park and Vero Beach. He has won his last three ITF tournaments while winning 15 consecutive matches and 31 of his last 33.

“I’m hungrier now and enjoying the wins,’’ Popko said.

Just as hungry was his opponent, as Bangoura got to No. 213 in 2016, but has since dropped to 400. His ITF ranking of 30th will surely improve after his second final of the year, along with a title in Naples. He was forced to play twice on Sunday because his semifinal against Diego Hidalgo of Ecuador was stopped on Saturday with Bangoura trailing 7-5, 5-3.

Early Sunday morning, Bangoura staved off a match point before capping off his comeback victory, 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-1. A few hours later, he was getting hammered by Popko’s titanic forehands and pinpoint two-hand backhand, quickly dropping the first set 6-1.

Bangoura, 27, an accomplished chess player, used his analytical skills on a different squared surface, and began attacking the net, pressuring Popko to come up with the passing shot. Suddenly, the match flip-flopped and Bangoura jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the second set.

“He started to come in more and kind of broke my rhythm,’’ said Popko, who was only truly tested this week in his second-round, three-set victory over young Colombian, Nicolas Mejia. “He adjusted it by himself and made me uncomfortable. I was down 2-5 and had to fight back. I picked up my level and that’s how I went up 6-5.’’

However, Bangoura, again living on the edge, saved two match points and broke Popko’s serve to force a tiebreaker. It was there Bangoura ran out of fuel as Popko, perhaps buoyed by his 45-6 match record this year, reeled off six consecutive points in the tiebreaker before finishing off his fleet-footed opponent with a wicked crosscourt forehand passing shot. Checkmate.

“The tiebreaker was a game of nerves and I think I played better because it had a 1-0 [set lead],’’ Popko said.

Perhaps the most illustrious player to have won this event was Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund, who was ranked No. 513 in 2013 when he took the title. Last year Edmund reached the semifinals of the Australian Open and was ranked a career-high No. 14. Why not Popko?

The USTA reports that ITF events such as the Mardy Fish ITF championships can bring in approximately $500,000 to the local economy and several thousand more for the foundation’s charities, which are geared to getting children involved in healthy activities.

“This tournament didn’t feel like an ITF, it felt like a much bigger tournament because of the great atmosphere,’’ Popko said. “More than 50 people came up to me after to congratulate me.’’

The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships is regarded as one of the best entry-level professional tennis tournaments in the world. Proceeds from the event benefit the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the non-profit tennis foundation benefiting children, named for Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish, the former top 10 tennis star and the current U.S. Davis Cup captain. Fans can continue to follow news and developments on the tournament on Facebook and on Twitter at @VeroFutures. Future sponsorship and ticket information can be obtained by emailing Tom Fish at [email protected] or Randy Walker at [email protected] Approximately 3,000 fans annually attend the event, which is seen as one of the best-attended entry-level professional events in the world.

Some of the past competitors at the USTA Vero Beach Futures have gone on to succeed at the highest levels of professional tennis, winning major singles and doubles titles, Olympic medals and Davis Cup championships and earning No. 1 world rankings. Andy Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion who attained the world No. 1 ranking and helped the United States win the Davis Cup in 2007, competed in Vero Beach in 1999. Thomas Johansson of Sweden, who reached the second round of the Vero Beach Futures in 1995, won the Australian Open seven years later in 2002. Nicolas Massu, the 1998 singles runner-up in Vero Beach, won the singles and doubles gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, beating Fish in the gold medal singles match. Kyle Edmund, the 2013 champion in Vero Beach, helped Great Britain to the Davis Cup title in 2015. Other notable former competitors in Vero Beach include former world No. 2 Magnus Norman, former world No. 4 Tim Henman, 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic and most recently world No. 50 player and teen sensation Denis Shapovalov, who played in Vero Beach in 2016. Former Vero Beach competitors have combined to win 19 titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at Grand Slam tournaments. Seven former Vero Beach players have gone on to play Davis Cup for the United States – Roddick, Fish, Taylor Dent, Jared Palmer, Donald Young, Ryan Harrison and Frances Tiafoe.

Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishChildrensFoundation.org and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) currently supports over 2,200 children in 15 elementary schools, six middle schools and two after school centers in Indian River County, Florida by funding after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives. The Foundation introduced the “Six Healthy Habits” in 2012 which are Get Sleep; Drink Water; Exercise Daily, Eat Healthy; Brush and Floss; Make Friends.

Tournament sponsors for 2019 include Presenting Sponsor PNC Bank, Grand Slam Sponsors Boston Barricade, George E. Warren Corporation and the Jake Owen Foundation, Cabana/Box Seat Sponsors John’s Island Real Estate, John Klein, Gene Simonsen, TeamChristopher.com, Dan Holman, Hadleigh Investments, Pene Chambers / Lynn Southerly, Lace and Bob Milligan / Mickey and Rob Stein, William Barhorst, CPA, Michael and Kathleen Pierce, The Pitcher Family, Shirley Becker, Scoreboard Sponsor Fit for Life / Syde Hurdus Foundation Backhand Sponsors Vero Beach Magazine, Rossway Swan, Nalzaro Music, Coastal Van Lines, Diamond Resorts International, Forehand Sponsors Karen and Steve Rubin, Mike and Meg Hickey / Premier Estate Properties, Shaklee / Suzie Sunkel, Indian River Animal Hospital – Charles B. Johnson, DVM, Marjorie Johnson, DVM, MS, DAVP, Serve Sponsors Cravings, Bistro Fourchette, Willem and Marion DeVogel, Foglia Custom Homes Topspin Sponsors Alex MacWilliam Real Estate, Eternal Water, Kit Fields Realtor, Patrick Williams / Tom Collins Insurance, Riverside Café, MinuteMan Press, Center Court Tennis Outfitters, Drop Shot Sponsors Treasure Coast Financial Planning, Inc., Peter and Judith Saidel, Deb Benjamin, Paul & Linda Delaney, Stewart Dunn, Susan Flannery (Aluma Tower), Tom Flannery (Malesardi, Quackenbush, Swift and Company LLC, Jim & Suzi Keegan, Don Moyle, Dee Patberg, Fran Smyrk (Treasure Coast Sotheby’s), Gary & Beth Williams, ABCO Garage Door Company, Inc., Barker Air Conditioning & Heating, Busy Bee Lawn & Garden Center, Coastal Comforts at the Village Shops, Colton, Williams & Reamy, CPAs, Complete Electric, Inc., Complete Restaurant Equipment, LLC, Glacier Clear Pool Service, Jack’s Complete Tree Service, Inc., Jimmy’s Tree Services, Ken’s Pool Service, ML Engineering, Inc., Nozzle Nolen, Inc., O’Haire, Quinn, Casalino, Chartered, Rich Look Lawn Care, Rick’s Custom Care, Statewide Condominium Insurance, Steve Supplee Construction LLC, Summit Construction of Vero Beach, LLC, Sunshine Furniture, White Glove Moving & Storage and Wilco Construction, Inc.

Tommy Haas Win Invesco Series QQQ Title In Hawaii

MAUI, Hawaii – Tommy Haas defeated Mardy Fish 6-4 Sunday to win the Hawaii Champions Cup at the Royal Lahaina Resort, the fourth of ten events on the 2019 Invesco Series QQQ tennis circuit.

Haas, 41, successfully defended his title that he won last year when he beat John McEnroe in the final on the Kohala Coast. In his second year on this North American tennis tour for champion tennis players over the age of 30, Haas has now captured four career titles.

“I’m very happy with the way I played,” said Haas of winning for a second time in Hawaii. “It’s always tough to play against someone as tough as Mardy whom you could see was very serious once again out there today. We had quite a few battles on the regular tour and now on the Invesco Series. I have fun playing him every single time and I have to always bring my best to beat him.”

The players had to deal with gusty Hawaiian winds Sunday afternoon, causing the players to adjust balls tosses, spins and shot velocities.

“You have to move your feet a little better and you have to keep your eye on the ball a little more,” said Haas of the windy conditions. “For us tennis players, we are adjusting pretty much every week. We go to different cities, we go to difference countries, play on difference surfaces. We have many excuses but at the same time we find many different solutions. That’s really what is all about, problem solving out here.”

En route to the final, Haas beat Mark Philippoussis 6-2 while Fish defeated Michael Chang 6-3. The win moves Haas into the lead in the Invesco Series QQQ rankings with 800 points afte tournament victories in both of his 2019 appearances.

The 2019 Invesco Series QQQ circuit continues July 21 with the Invesco Legends Newport at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Earlier this season, Haas kicked off the 2019 Invesco Series QQQ circuit by defeating Roddick 7-6 (2) in the title match at the Oracle Champions Cup in Newport Beach, California. James Blake won the second event of the season at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla., defeating Courier 6-3 in the final. Lleyton Hewitt won the third title of the season in Charleston, S.C.

The remaining 2019 Invesco Series QQQ schedule is as follows:

Newport, RI – July 21 (International Tennis Hall of Fame): Todd Martin, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Jim Courier, Mats Wilander
San Jose, CA – August 3: James Blake, Andy Roddick, Mark Philippoussis, Michael Chang
New Haven, CT – September 7 (Venue and Players TBA)
Toronto, ON – September 26 (Mattamy Athletic Centre): Players TBA
Los Angeles, CA – Date and Venue TBA: Players TBA
Austin, TX – November 15: Venue and Players TBA

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.”

Turin, Italy To Be New Home For ATP Finals From 2021-2025

Turin, Italy, has been selected to host the ATP Finals from 2021-2025, the ATP Tour has announced. The five-year agreement will see the world’s greatest players in men’s professional tennis compete for the biggest indoor tennis title in the world at Turin’s Pala Alpitour stadium, Italy’s largest indoor sporting arena.

The winning Turin bid was put together by the Italian Tennis Federation and Sport e Salute SpA in partnership with the Italian Government, the municipality of Turin and Regione Piemonte. The move to Turin brings the ATP Finals to Italy for the first time in its 50-year history and makes Turin the 15th city to host the prestigious season-ending tournament since its inception in 1970.

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President, said: “Our congratulations to Turin on putting together such a comprehensive and impressive bid. Italy provides us with one of the strongest and most established tennis markets in Europe and has a proven track record for hosting world class tennis events with the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, as well as the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. We’re delighted to expand on our successful partnership with the FIT and Sport e Salute SpA and we look forward to bringing the ATP’s flagship season-ending event to tennis’s growing fanbase in Italy for the first time.

“The success of the ATP Finals is critical to the health of the ATP and we believe that Turin has all the ingredients to take the event to new heights and to continue the tournament’s growth following a highly successful 12-year stint in London that will come to an end in 2020. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our event partners in London, particularly AEG, and all the fans that have made the tournament such a success at The O2 since 2009.”

Novak Djokovic, World No.1 and President of the ATP Player Council, said: “The ATP Finals is the biggest and most prestigious event that we have at the ATP. It’s a tournament that has historically moved around and so I’m very excited to see it move to Turin from 2021. It’s still a few years away but I know that the players will be very excited to compete there, and I also hope to be part of what will be a very special event.”

Chiara Appendino, Mayor of Turin, said: “We are extremely proud that Turin has been chosen to host the ATP Finals 2021-2025 as sport has long been a significant part of the history and the culture of our city. As a City we will come together to harness the knowhow of a vast range of local experts in organizing international sporting events and we are confident that our unique combination of passion and experience will deliver opportunities to appreciate this exhilarating sport in sustainable and innovative ways. Turin looks forward to building a truly spectacular event for players and fans the world over!”

Angelo Binaghi, President of the Italian Tennis Federation, said: “The assignment of the great task to organize the ATP Finals in Turin from 2021 to 2025 represents a remarkable international success of our country. Our project has proved to be extremely successful thanks to the great work carried out together with the Italian Government and the local authorities. A team work which I am sure will live up to the wonderful tradition of the end-of-season historical Masters, and offer a very brilliant future”.

The unique season-ending tournament, featuring only the world’s best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams of the season, will boast a record prize purse of US$14,500,000 in 2021.

Turin was the first capital city of Italy from 1861 to 1865. The city has hosted some of the world’s biggest sporting events, such as the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, and is also home to two Serie A football teams, Juventus FC and Torino FC. The ATP’s decision brings to a close an extensive international bid process that began in August 2018 in which more than 40 cities worldwide expressed an interest in hosting the ATP season finale.

An official presentation with representatives from ATP, FIT, Italian government and City of Torino will take place in Turin on Monday 29th April at 12:30PM at Palazzo Madama, Piazza Castello.

Nadal vs. Djokovic – Arguably The Greatest Rivalry In Tennis History

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have, arguably, the greatest rivalry in the history of tennis.

No two men have faced each other more in pro tennis than these two tennis titans.

Their meeting in the final of the 2019 Australian Open was their 53rd career professional match, with Djokovic holding the slight lead 28-25 in the head-to-head. These two legends have played in Grand Slam quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, at ATP Masters 1000 Series events, ATP 500 level events, the Olympics and in Davis Cup. Look at their complete head-to-head analysis, it’s amazing.

In Grand Slam events, the biggest stage in the tennis betting world, Nadal holds the head-to-head edge nine wins against six losses to Djokovic. Nadal won six of these Grand Slam confrontations on the clay at the French Open, although Djokovic did hand Nadal one of his two career Roland Garros losses in the quarterfinals of the event in 2015. Their first career meeting came at the 2006 French Open in the quarterfinals, Nadal winning by a 6-4, 6-4, retire scoreline as Djokovic was forced to quit with a back injury.

On hard courts at Grand Slams, Djokovic’s decisive 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 win in the 2019 Australian Open final gave him a 3-2 head-to-head advantage. Nadal won his two Grand Slam hard court matches with Djokovic at the US Open – in the 2013 final by a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 margin and also in the 2010 final by a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 margin. Djokovic won the 2011 U.S. Open final over Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-4 and also in the epic 2013 Australian Open final by a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5 in what tennis historian and “Greatest Tennis Matches of All Time” book author Steve Flink named the No. 7 match in the history of the sport.