Featured Columns

Steve Johnson, John Isner Endorsed Gluten-Free ArrowBars Now Available At TennisExpress.com

Arrowbar, the gluten free energy bars endorsed by top American tennis players Steve Johnson and John Isner, are now available for sale at TennisExpress.com

The delicious bars, that are available in Chocolate Chip and Cinnamon Honey Oat, are available at www.TennisExpress.com

The ArrowBar is a new gluten-free, all-natural, high performance energy bar, developed by athletes for athletes and active people, that provides a filling, 200-calorie boost of quick and long-lasting energy. Johnson, the new No. 1 American tennis player in the world and a bronze medalist in men’s doubles at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, as well as U.S. No. 2 John Isner are among the endorsers for ArrowBar. Former world No. 4 and U.S. Davis Cup hero James Blake as well as 17-year-ATP Pro Michael Russell are also endorsers of the product.

“The ArrowBar gives me the nutrients I need without comprising taste,” said Johnson. “There’s nothing better on the market than ArrowBar. When I am looking for the competitive edge I need, there is only one thing I reach for.”

The ArrowBar is also offered for purchase online at www.ArrowBar.com Bars are available in boxes of 12 for $24.99 with free shipping.

Can Novak Djokovic Overcome Wimbledon, Olympic Failures At The U.S. Open?

After a first-round exit at the Olympic Games and a surprise third-round loss at Wimbledon, one has to wonder the status of world No. 1 Novak Djokovic heading into the U.S. Open?

The Serbian has been the dominant force in tennis for most of the last two years, winning three of the four major titles in 2015 and completing a “Novak Slam” by winning his four straight major title at Roland Garros in June. However, since then Djokovic has shown vulnerabilities that will affect his online tennis betting odds at the U.S. Open.

After winning his second straight Olympic singles gold medal in Rio – a first in tennis history – Andy Murray is seen as Djokovic’s main rival in New York. Murray is also primed with the confidence of winning a second Wimbledon title in July.

Juan Martin del Potro, who beat Djokovic in the first round of the Olympics and eventually earning the silver medal, seems back in the form that lead him to the 2009 U.S. Open title. However, he is ranked No. 141 in the world and did not gain direct entry into the U.S. Open. He will need a wild card entry from the tournament or be forced to win three qualifying matches the week before the main draw. Exhaustion – physical and mental from his Rio efforts – could also affect him in New York.

Monica Puig was the sensation of the women’s Olympic tennis competition becoming the longest shot winner of the gold medal in women’s singles with a rank of No. 34. She posted stunning upsets of No. 4 Garbine Muguruza and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova en route to the final where she hit an incredible 54 winners to upset world No. 2 Angelique Kerber in the gold medal match. Puig will likely not be emotionally ready to contend for a major title in New York, but Muguruza, Kvitova and Kerber will be favored to go deep in the draw. Serena Williams, the world No. 1 and reigning Olympic gold medal winner, was a shock upset victim in the third round in Rio by the hands of Elina Svitolina from Ukraine. She seemed stricken with a should problem that affected her famous powerful serve – as well as being under the weather – and, if healthy – will be motivated to win another U.S. Open title where she would eclipse Steffi Graf’s Open Era record with 23 major singles titles.

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Andy Murray A Solid Favorite To Win US Open After Another Olympic Gold In Rio

Two Wimbledon titles. Two Olympic Gold Medals. How about two U.S. Opens for Andy Murray?

The Scotsman won his second Olympic Gold Medal in Rio de Janiero, Brazil beating Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the gold medal match to become the first singles player in Olympic history to win two gold medals – and repeat as champion. The Olympic gold medal for Murray comes on the heels of him winning his second Wimbledon singles title in July.

He now heads to New York as a betting favorite for the U.S. Open, the site of his first major singles title in 2012.

Murray has won his last 18 singles matches – not losing since the French Open final to Novak Djokovic and since he rehired former coach Ivan Lendl, himself a three-time U.S. Open champion. It is his longest winning streak of his professional career.

After being the dominant force in men’s tennis for much of the last three years, Djokovic has shown chinks in his game after a surprising third-round loss to Sam Querrey at Wimbledon and an opening-round loss to del Potro at the Olympics. However, redemption is a motivator for the Serbian as he looks to win in New York for a third time.

The U.S. Open women’s singles event may also be a battle for the No. 1 ranking with Serena Williams seeking to hold off the challenge of world No. 2 Angelique Kerber of Germany. Williams had trouble with her health and her shoulder in her upset loss to Elina Svitolina in the third round at the Olympics that could hamper her in New York. Despite her upset loss to upstart Monica Puig of Puerto Rico in the gold medal match in Rio, Kerber could counter-punch her win to a second major singles title of the year after her win over Williams in the Australian Open final in January. Garbine Muguruza of Spain, the French Open champion, may also contend in New York, but has struggled since achieving her new status in the tennis world order in Paris.

With the Olympics proving to be a physical and emotional drain for many athletes who competed, a dark horse could also emerge in either the men’s or women’s field and win a first major singles title. New top 10 stars Dominic Thiem of Austria and Milos Raonic of Canada, the Wimbledon finalist, may be fresh enough to make a mark at Flushing Meadows. Romania’s Simona Halep, who also skipped Rio, and Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, a first-round loser at the Olympics, may also be ready to break through in New York. Madison Keys of the United States, who finished a painful fourth in Rio, is moving fast up the rankings and may be fueled by her disappointment in not winning a medal in Rio into Grand Slam success in New York.

Can Rio Entice Elite Tennis Players?

The Olympics have tried, rather unsuccessfully, to compete with the Grand Slams, this despite the fact that Tennis is an original Olympic Sport. While everyone loves Olympic gold medals, Trophy silverware has always been far more prestigious. As such it is hardly surprising that the best tennis players are not particularly enthused by the idea of playing in the Olympics, with online tennis betting odds firmly in the favor of the annual quartet of majors.

Players like Milos Raonic, Tomas Berdych, and Feliciano Lopez have already announced that they won’t be flying to Rio for the Olympics. Maria Sharapova (Five-time Grand Slam winner) has suggested that she would go if her two-year-long drug ban wasn’t in place.

While the London games managed to maintain an aura of the Grand Slams, probably because they were staged on Wimbledon Courts, the Game in Rio couldn’t possibly muster such prestige.

The controversy surrounding the Zika virus outbreak gives a lot of athletes the excuse the need to bail from the Olympics. Though, Sam Querrey chose to go the honest route, admitting that he didn’t think sports like Golf and Tennis should be Olympic Sports in the first place.

Martina Navratilova said something similar when she opted out of Seoul, though John McEnroe admitted later on that he regretted bailing on the Seoul Olympics.

The only thing most top-tier players can see right now is the U.S Open at the Flushing Meadows, fast approaching at the end of August. For those most renowned Tennis players, the Rio games have nothing to offer, no better than all-star games, especially when you consider the potential for injury.

Of course, not everyone is so jaded about the sport, with the likes of Andre Agassi (who won gold in 1996) having been stirred by the spectacle of the biggest show on earth. Olympics fans might also have the opportunity to see Rafael Nadal represent Spain in Rio, though others might mourn over Roger Federer’s decision to withdraw.

But Federer needs to time to recover from a surgical procedure, so his decision doesn’t exactly say anything about his opinion on the Olympics. Andy Murray, on the other hand, has seen success at the Olympics and he will seek to maintain the momentum he built four years ago.

Murray believes that Tennis is definitely an Olympic sport and he has admitted to cherishing every moment he spent on the court during the London Games.

For Djokovic, the idea of not going to the Olympics is ridiculous, the Tennis superstar determining to redeem his previous Olympics failures in Rio. Despite the lack of interest amongst elite players from a number of countries, the United States is putting their best foot forward, sending a team of 12 to the Olympics led by the Williams sisters.

The Sisters have tasted success at the Olympics before and they would like to win every medal possible for their nation this time round. There are several other major players who have refused to allow Zika Virus fears to keep them away from Rio, the likes of Eugene Bouchard, Angelique Kerber, and Petra Kvitova determining to afford the Olympic games the respect they deserve.

Medical Negligence – A Worry Even For Amateur Players

Medical Negligence – A worry even for amateur players

Injuries are top of the news in tennis at the moment, with Rafael Nadal withdrawing from Wimbledon through injury, and Roger Federer out of the rest of the year. Injury is a part of sport. Not a pleasant part, but at times unavoidable. In most cases an injury will be sorted by medical cover, and after some recovery period you will be back fighting fit. This, unfortunately, is not always the way it goes.

Medical Negligence

Medical negligence is defined as any mistake made by a medical professional, either private or part of the NHS, during a medical procedure, diagnosis or treatment, as a result of their negligent actions. So you can make a claim for medical negligence whether you have undergone surgery or treatment as a result of your injury, or if you have reason to be leave your injury was incorrectly diagnosed, leading to an extended recovery time, or even limited or no recovery. So even if your injury was, in the grand scheme of things, somewhat minor, if you think that your doctor was in some way negligent, you could have a case for a medical negligence claim.

Medical Negligence Solicitors

The media is overwhelmed with advertising by companies offering you a chance to make a ‘no win, no fee’ claim in relation to your medical negligence. However, these may not be the best approach to take. While the prospect of avoiding all solicitors’ fees until you know you are going to see justice may be appealing, it is important to consider the type of representation they are likely to offer. You want a solicitor that specialises in medical negligence claims, and that will have your best interests at heart, rather than just seeing the potential fee they could gain from winning the case. While it might seem like the easiest option to go for one of these heavily advertised companies, it might pay off to look a little further to find yourself the best possible medical negligence solicitor.

Solicitors Guru

Solicitors Guru is a website that allows you to search for a solicitor that specialises in the area you require, and is local to you. It will then show you all the contact details for the solicitor, and where possible, their website. This allows you to quickly search for, and find, a solicitor that can help you to build a successful case, treating you personally and sensitively throughout. The fact that Solicitors Guru will allow you to find a solicitor local to you can help you to ensure that you are able to meet with them, to ensure they understand your situation exactly, and to help you build a more personal relationship, avoiding simply becoming someone faceless on the end of an email or phone line.

By searching using Solicitors Guru you can find yourself the perfect solicitor, while minimizing the amount of time and effort spent searching and phoning around. Whether you play tennis competitively, or just casually with friends, finding yourself a good medical negligence solicitor can make sure you get the best possible result in your case, and using Solicitors Guru can help make finding the best solicitor for your situation as simple and easy as possible.

Conor Somers – Fulfilling A Personal Tennis Dream

by Kevin Craig

@KCraig_Tennis

 

Conor Somers, a five-star recruit from Virginia Beach, Virginia, will be fulfilling a childhood dream when he heads to Notre Dame in August to play tennis.

“Ever since I was a kid, my dad was a big fan. We watched the football games together and from there it blossomed into a school I wanted to go to,” said Somers, who will be a major part of the 5th best recruiting class in the nation when he arrives at Notre Dame in August.

When Somers decided to pursue the idea of playing tennis in college early on in his high school career, attending camps at Notre Dame is what got him in the spotlight of head coach Ryan Sachire. By his junior year of high school, the interest in Somers from the Fighting Irish had grown large enough to the point where they offered him a spot on the team, thanks, in part, to a few good performances in national tournaments.

“Of course I was going to take that,” said Somers of his offer from Notre Dame.

One of those good performances came in the USTA 18 & Under National Championships, one of the most prestigious events of the year for young American tennis players. In 2015 at the national championships, Somers was able to make a run in the doubles tournament with a partner who he had never even met.

“My partner, I didn’t even know him before we played…but we paired up and made a little run,” said Somers. “That was a great experience.”

That run saw Somers and his partner take on a team composed of Reilly Opelka, a 6’11” player known for his big serve who had just won the Wimbledon juniors title a few weeks earlier, and Taylor Fritz, a player who would go on to win the US Open juniors title a few weeks later and is now currently ranked inside the Top 70 on the ATP World Tour.

“We had a pretty nice crowd,” said Somers of his match against Fritz and Opelka. “Definitely up there for the most people I’ve played in front of for a juniors match…The pace of play was tough to adjust to, but I felt we held our own.”

Somers not only valued his opportunities on the court at the national junior championships, but also the opportunities that came off the court.

“They really make it like a pro tournament for junior players. The organization is top class,” said Somers. “The best players in the country come to play it, so it was an awesome experience for me.”

Now that his days of playing junior tournaments are done, Somers is excited for the new opportunity that sits in front of him; contributing to one of the best tennis teams in the nation.

“I know it’s a very competitive team. They’re losing some good seniors this year but also the class coming in is very strong,” said Somers.

The Virginia Beach native will be joined in the freshman class at Notre Dame by two blue chip players, Johnathan Small and Matthew Gamble, as well as an international player from Peru, Guillermo Cabrera.

“I’m going to get there and I’m going to compete with all of them…My goal is to play top six singles this first year and be in the doubles lineup,” said Somers. “There’s really no guarantees when you get there…it’s big boy tennis in college.”

While Somers is eager to contribute to the team and earn a spot in the starting lineup, he is aware of what he needs to work on to ensure he puts himself in the best position possible to do so.

“What I’ve really been trying to work on is holding my ground on the baseline, not really backing up unless I’m forced to,” said Somers. “In college, everybody hits a big ball, so really just making sure I’m committed to each ball I hit and not leaving any meatballs up there for the opponent to step in.”

Somers has not only been working on the physical aspect of improving his game, but the mental aspect, as well, citing the importance of “playing fearless out there.”

“Sometimes people freeze up in the moment mentally and I just want to make sure I go out there every time focused on the things I can control. Not winning or losing, but just having fun,” said Somers.

One aspect of the game that won’t be an issue for Somers is his level of fitness as he was also a soccer star for his high school, Cape Henry Collegiate.

“I also played high school soccer which I actually thought contributed to my tennis game…it was just a great experience playing for a great coach and the support of the school was great.”

In 2016, Notre Dame qualified for the national team tournament and had a doubles team of two seniors, Quentin Monaghan and Alex Lawson, reach the semifinals of the national tournament, but Somers has some lofty goals of his own for the Fighting Irish.

“By the time I graduate, my goal is to be number one in singles at Notre Dame,” said Somers, who also wants to “make it to the final four in the team championships and qualify for the [individual] tournament in singles and doubles.”

While Somers will be travelling halfway across the nation to play his collegiate tennis, he is looking forward to the few opportunities he will have to play in his home state.

“Now that they’re in the ACC it’s pretty cool because I’ll get to play a couple matches close to home,” said Somers, who is looking forward to playing matches at the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

While tennis will be a major priority for Somers the next four years, he certainly won’t be forgetting about the academic side of the college experience as he hopes to set himself up for the future, whether tennis is in the picture or not.

“I’m going to major in science business at Notre Dame. They have a really good business school so I applied to that and we’ll see where that takes me,” said Somers. “You never shut off the professional [tennis] options…I love tennis so I’d pursue it if I had the opportunity.”

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Philippoussis Beats Safin To Win PowerShares Series Title In Newport

Mark Philippoussis won his third PowerShares Series of the year Sunday beating Marat Safin 6-4 in the one-set championship match to win the PowerShares Legends Newport title at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I.

The win was the third in as many events for Philippoussis this year on the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over age 30. By earning 400 ranking points, Philippoussis moved passed Andy Roddick into the top position in the PowerShares Series rankings. Through six events on the 12-event PowerShares Series in 2016, Philippoussis has 1200 points to Roddick’s 1000 points, while James Blake ranks No. 3 with 700 points.

The win from Philippoussis came 10 years and one day when he won his 11th and final ATP singles title when he won the 2006 Hall of Fame Championships on the very same grass court as his PowerShares Series title Sunday.

Philippoussis was able to use his powerful serve and frequent trips to the net to beat both Andy Roddick in the semifinals and Safin in the final. Against Safin, he broke Safin’s serve for a 2-0 lead with a falling down backhand overhead winner on break point. Nicknamed “Scud” for his powerful serve, Philippoussis even knocked Safin to the ground with a 127 mph ace to hold serve for a 5-3 lead, before serving out the title two games later.

In April, Philippoussis won PowerShares Series titles on back-to-back nights indoors in Tulsa and Memphis, beating Jim Courier in both finals. Philippoussis has now won seven career PowerShares Series singles titles in his career. Safin, who was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame the previous day, was playing in his first PowerShares Series event since 2010.

To advance to the final, Safin beat James Blake 7-6(2) while Philippoussis beat Roddick 6-4.

On Saturday, Safin was officially inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, alongside Justine Henin, Yvon Petra and Margaret Scriven.

Each PowerShares Series event features two one-set semifinal matches and a one-set championship match and, for the second straight year, players make their own line calls with assistance of electronic line-calling.

The event marked the return of PowerShares Series tennis to Newport after the International Tennis Hall of Fame hosted events in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The remaining 2016 PowerShares Series schedule with player fields are listed below and ticket, schedule and player information can be found at www.PowerSharesSeries.com;

 

August 21 – Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wake Forest University) – Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake, Mardy Fish

August 25, 26 – New Haven  (Yale University) – Andy Roddick, John McEnroe, James Blake, Mardy Fish

October 27 – Los Angeles (Sherwood Tennis Club) – Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake, Mardy Fish

November 4 – Portland, Oregon (Moda Center) –  Andy Roddick, John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Mardy Fish

December 1 – Orlando (Amway Arena) – Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake

December 3 – New York (Barclays Center) – Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake

 

In 2015, Andy Roddick won the PowerShares 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. Mark 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 Champions Series 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 $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 www.powersharesseries.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 POWERSHARES

Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC is leading the Intelligent ETF Revolution® through its lineup of more than 140 domestic and international exchange-traded funds, which seek to outperform traditional benchmark indexes while providing advisors and investors access to an innovative array of focused investment opportunities. With franchise assets of nearly $100 billion as of October 2, 2015, PowerShares ETFs trade on both US stock exchanges. For more information, please visit us at invescopowershares.com or follow us on Twitter @PowerShares.

ABOUT POWERSHARES QQQ

PowerShares QQQ™, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) based on the NASDAQ-100 Index®, is one of the largest and most traded ETFs in the world. Under most circumstances, QQQ will consist of all of the stocks in the index which includes 100 of the largest domestic and international nonfinancial companies listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market based on market capitalization

Wilson Promoting ULTRA Racket Franchise

Wilson Sporting Goods Co., is in the midst of promoting a new high performance racket franchise called ULTRA.  Wilson Labs, the innovation hub at Wilson, developed the ULTRA collection for the All-Courter, or player that hits from all corners of the court, who seeks a racket that is easy to swing, yet provides strong power and offers great maneuverability and comfort. Wilson Advisory Staff Member and Spanish tennis standout Feliciano Lopez is playing with the ULTRA on tour in 2016.

“As we visited courts all over the world to talk with All-Courter players – of all ages — about what they needed from a racket, our Wilson Labs team quickly realized versatility, power and ease were key,” said Hans-Martin Reh, General Manager of Wilson Racquet Sports. “To engineer that experience, we delved into our best designs for inspiration and created a modern racket with a unique frame geometry and state-of-the art materials and construction. For our athletes, the result is a racket that is easy to handle, feels effortless with every stroke, and yet is very, very powerful.”

The ULTRA racket features octagon geometry inside the frame and rounded geometry outside the frame. This innovative frame design was inspired by the Company’s new, cutting-edge BURN® FST racket geometry, which allows players to swing faster with less effort. The racket’s frame is complemented by premium High Performance Carbon Fiber to deliver power in every stroke. The racket is also lightweight and its Cushion Foam handle offers optimal shock absorption for comfort.

The ULTRA franchise consists of four racket models: 97, 100, 103S and 108. The ULTRA 97 combines the precision from a mid-plus headsize with easy power. This racket is smooth and its forgiving feel makes it perfect for both the advanced singles and doubles player.  The ULTRA 100 is best for intermediate to advanced All-Courters, while the ULTRA 103S is designed for intermediate level players who love the game and are looking to improve their performance. With Spin Effect™ Technology creating explosive spin and High Performance Carbon Fiber providing tons of power, the ULTRA 103S makes the game easier for a wide range of playing styles.

The ULTRA 108 is designed for the All-Courter who is building or mastering their basic tennis skills; it is ideal for the doubles player. This racket features a more traditional rounded frame geometry. It has a large oversize head and a big, comfortable sweetspot to provide high power.

The ULTRA is the second All-Courter collection to emerge from the Company’s PlayerID system. The UTLRA line will be available at specialty retailers and on www.wilson.com on December 15  The line will retail for $229.00 (USD).

ABOUT THE WILSON PLAYERID SYSTEM

The Wilson PlayerID system allows tennis players to easily identify the appropriate Wilson performance racket model based on their individual style of play.

Through extensive player research, Wilson identified three core playing styles in relation to the modern tennis game:

  • Baseliner – the player who battles from the baseline with consistency and speed
  • Attacker – the player who attacks the ball early to dictate play inside the baseline
  • All-Courter – a versatile player, who hits from all corners of the court

After identifying which playing style they belong to, athletes can quickly narrow their racket search by model type and weight. Every performance racket for Wilson will correspond with one of the three playing style segments, streamlining the racket selection process and ensuring a player’s equipment is best suited for his or her style of play.

ABOUT WILSON

Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co., a subsidiary of Amer Sports, is the world’s leading manufacturer of sports equipment, apparel and accessories. Wilson is the global leader in performance tennis and uses player insights to develop products that push tennis equipment innovation into new territories. Through its dedication to creating products that enable athletes at every level to perform at their best, Wilson has earned its place as a leader in sporting goods for over a century.

Andy Murray Beats Milos Raonic In Straight Sets To Win Second Wimbledon Title

by Kevin Craig

@KCraig_Tennis

 

Andy Murray won his third major title on Sunday at Wimbledon as he defeated Milos Raonic in straightforward fashion, 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(2).

“This is obviously the most important tournament for me every year. I’m proud to have my hands on the trophy again,” said Murray, who shed tears of joy on the court after his win.

The title was Murray’s second at Wimbledon as he was able to give the home crowd their wish, just as he did in 2013, as well as at the 2012 Summer Olympics when he won the gold medal with the event being hosted at the All England Club.

“I’ve had some great moments here, but also some tough losses. The win feels extra special because of the tough losses,” said Murray.

It was a true master-class performance from Murray that earned him his third major title as he was simply able to negate Raonic’s weapons. While Raonic had been able to serve and hit powerful ground strokes through all of his opponents up to the final, Murray is a completely different match-up as his best assets are his return and defense, leaving the Canadian in a world of uncertainty on Centre Court.

“He moves incredibly well. He returns well. Those are his two biggest strengths,” said Raonic of Murray’s play. “Every time you play him, you know he’s going to get more returns back than anyone else.”

Both players looked confident from the onset as Murray, who hit just 12 unforced errors throughout the match, was able to breeze through his service games while Raonic dealt with some early nerves playing in his first major final, fighting off a break point in just his second service game of the match. Murray, though, quickly earned two more break points just a few games later and didn’t miss out again, capitalizing for a 4-3 lead. Two easy holds later and the Brit had taken the first set without facing a break point.

Raonic was again able to fight off a break point early in the second set, but he was still unable to make any inroads on the Murray serve. The Brit only lost more than one point in a service game in the second set twice and was never taken to deuce, allowing him to continuously pressure the Canadian’s biggest weapon, his serve. More break points came at 3-3 and 4-4, but once again Raonic fought those off and eventually forced a tiebreak, a point of the match in which he would have expected to excel.

That was far from the case, though, as Murray raced out to a 3-0 lead before leading 5-1 at the change of ends. The No. 2 seed didn’t look back before sealing the breaker 7-3, placing himself just one set away from more British glory.

Raonic’s level clearly rose in the third set as he was the one that didn’t get taken to deuce a single time. His only real chance in the set, though, came at 2-2 when he had a 15-40 lead on Murray’s serve. The Brit was able to reel off four points in a row from that moment to fight for the hold as Raonic missed out on the only two break points he had in the match, and it was only the second time that the Canadian even managed to take Murray to deuce.

While Raonic still dominated on serve throughout the set, Murray had essentially killed off any real threat from the first time major finalist. When the tiebreak arrived in the third set, it was Murray who, once again, raced out to a big lead of 5-0.

After falling in the final of the first two majors of 2016, there would be no denying Murray this time as he was able to close out the tiebreak at 7-2, earning him his third major title with a stellar performance in front of his home nation.

“Last time, I was so relieved. I felt so much stress and pressure and didn’t really get the chance to enjoy it as much,” said Murray. “So I’ll make sure I enjoy this one tonight, for sure.”

Serena Williams Ties Steffi Graf 22-Major Open-Era Record With Wimbledon Win

by Kevin Craig

@KCraig_Tennis

 

Serena Williams captured her 22nd major championship on Saturday as she was able to defend her Wimbledon title, beating Angelique Kerber in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3.

Williams, who has been the No. 1 player in the world for well over the past three years, had been attempting to tie Steffi Graf’s mark of 22 major titles since she won the Wimbledon title in 2015, but a semifinal appearance at the US Open followed by two runner-up performances delayed her efforts. Now that the American has grabbed No. 22, though, she currently sits just two major titles behind the record holder Margaret Court, who won 24 in her career.

“It’s been incredibly difficult not to think about it. I had a couple of tries this year…but it makes the victory even sweeter to know how hard I worked for it,” said Williams of her 22nd major title.

In a rematch of the 2016 Australian Open final in which Kerber won in three sets, the 34-year old Williams looked to be the one to get off to a fast start as she had three break chances in the second game of the match. The German, though, was able to fight each of those off, and actually looked like the more comfortable player on serve from that point on.

That quickly changed in the 12th game, though, as Kerber, the 28-year old who was playing in just her second major final, served to take the set into a tiebreak. Williams was able to crush a few returns when it mattered most, opening up a 15-40 lead which gave her a look at two set points. After missing out on the first, Williams, who hit 39 winners compared to Kerber’s 12, capitalized on the second with an un-returnable backhand to take the set.

The second set was completely dominated by the servers as there was only one break point in the first seven games. Williams, though, has always been able to turn her level of play up a notch or two when she needs to the most, and, just like in the first set, that is what she did in the second.

With Kerber serving at 3-4, Williams fought back from a 40-15 deficit and won four points in a row to break and set up an opportunity to serve for the title. Three unreturned serves later, Williams, who hit 13 aces, found herself at championship point.

A brief rally ensued before Williams was able to come to the net and put away an easy forehand volley for the win. Falling to the court in joy, the American had just placed herself in the record books again as she earned her seventh Wimbledon title.

“It’s an honor to play on Centre Court and a great feeling,” said Williams, who faced just one break point in the match. “This court definitely feels like home.”

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