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Courier, Roddick, Blake And Fish To Play New Invesco Series Event at USTA National Campus

ORLANDO – The USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla. will become the new host of the 10th and final event on the 2018 Invesco Series QQQ tennis circuit on December 6, featuring a celebration of American tennis legends.

The one-night tournament will feature four American champion players – former world No. 1 and two –time French and Australian Open champion Jim Courier, 2003 U.S. Open champion and former world No. 1 Andy Roddick, former U.S. Davis Cup star and former world No. 4 James Blake and former U.S. Davis Cup star and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Mardy Fish.

The event will be played on the hard court stadium at the USTA National Campus and will start at 7 pm. Tickets will be available at InvescoSeries.com starting September 15. The event will feature two one-set semifinal matches followed by a one-set championship match in one session. The Orlando event takes the place of the previously announced Denver event.

“We are excited to partner with the USTA to showcase icons of American tennis at this incredible facility. The USTA has supported Champions Tennis since we started the tour 14 years ago. We appreciate their continued support and look forward to many years of world class tennis in Orlando”, said Jim Courier, co-founding partner of InsideOut Sports and Entertainment.

“The USTA National Campus has allowed Orlando to become the home of American tennis, welcoming athletes and their families to our community year round. We’re thrilled that this incredible facility will host an event on the 2018 Invesco Series QQQ circuit and look forward to celebrating American tennis and some of its legends here in December,” said Buddy Dyer, Orlando Mayor.

“The USTA National Campus is thrilled to serve as the host of the 2018 Invesco Series QQQ culminating event,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, USTA National Campus. “It will be a truly unique experience for the Central Florida community to watch this historic group of American tennis legends play underneath the lights of our world-class facility.”

The Invesco Series QQQ is the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30 and features other tennis legends including John McEnroe, Tommy Haas, Lleyton Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis.

So far in 2018, Haas, playing his first year on the circuit, has won titles in Charleston, S.C. and at Kohala Coast, Hawaii, while Philippoussis has won the only other event played so far in Toronto, Canada.

The remaining 2018 Invesco Series QQQ schedule is as follows:
• July 22: Newport, R.I. (International Tennis Hall of Fame) – Lleyton Hewitt, Jim Courier, Tommy Haas and James Blake
• August 19: Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wake Forest University) – Andy Roddick, James Blake, Michael Chang, and Mark Philippoussis
• 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

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.

Results so far on the 2018 Invesco Series QQQ are as follows:
• 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.

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 InvescoSeries.comor 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.

Simona Halep Shows Resiliency In Breakthrough French Open Victory

Down a set and break in the French Open final, it looked like a familiar refrain for Simona Halep – not being able to rise to the occasion and win a major final.

However, the 26-year-old Romanian, previously 0-3 in major finals and ranked No. 1 in the world despite her lack of success on the highest levels of pro tennis, was able to show amazing resiliency and win her first major championships at the French Open, defeating reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the final.

“All the experience from those three finals that I lost … was a positive thing,” Halep said, “and gave me a little bit more power to believe.”

“That’s the most important thing — that I stay there focused,” said Halep, the first Romanian to win a major singles title since her agent Virginia Ruzici, ironically 40 years earlier at the 1978 French Open. “I believed. And I never gave up.”

Halep lost two previous finals at the French Open — against Maria Sharapova in 2014 as the underdog in a three-set slugfest, then as the heavy favorite last year against unseeded Jelena Ostapenko despite leading by a set and 3-0. Her third runner-up finish came against Caroline Wozniacki at the Australian Open in January, where she lost a tight three-set battle.

“Her journey has been tough. And she had a heartbreak here last year and in Australia and all the things that have happened to her,” Stephens said. “I mean, it’s a great story and just a great moment for her.”

From 4-4 in the second set, Halep won seven games in a row to take a 5-0 lead in the final set as Stephens appeared to tire.

The 2018 US Open Tennis Championships Is The 50th Anniversary As A Pro Event – Here’s How You Can Get Tickets

The 2018 US Open marks the 50th Anniversary of the US Open (open to pros and amateurs), and throughout Fan Week and the Main Draw of the tournament, 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.

The main draw of the 2018 US Open will be held Monday, August 27, through Sunday, September 9, with Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day powered by Net Generation, a full day tennis and music festival for families and children, kicking off the US Open on Saturday, August 25. US Open Fan Week, which kicks off with the US Open Qualifying Tournament on Tuesday, August 21, consists of a series of free events taking place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and in the New York area.

Tickets for the 2018 US Open and the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day powered by Net Generation stadium show can be purchased via:
• USOpen.org and the US Open app
• Ticketmaster.com and the Ticketmaster app
• 1-866-OPEN-TIX

Payment can be made by credit card – American Express is the Official Card of the US Open.

For ticket plan availability, group sales, disabled seating and other US Open information, visit USOpen.org or call 718-760-6363.

The 2018 US Open will feature day sessions beginning at 11:00 a.m. and night sessions beginning at 7:00 p.m. from Monday, August 27 through the quarterfinals on Wednesday, September 5 (Wednesday, September 5 will feature a 12:00 p.m. day session). The Women’s Semifinals are scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 6 and the Men’s Semifinals for 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 7. The Women’s Singles Final is scheduled for Saturday, September 8 at 4:00 p.m., and the Men’s Singles Final for 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 9.

In 2018, both Arthur Ashe Stadium and the new Louis Armstrong Stadium will hold dedicated day and night sessions. This marks the first time that a second stadium will feature a night session at the US Open. With the new Louis Armstrong Stadium also being equipped with a retractable roof, there will be a larger number of matches played on schedule, regardless of weather conditions.

For the fourth straight year, the US Open will be distributed first-ball to last-ball, live and exclusively across the ESPN family of networks, on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN digital platforms. In addition, an hour-long Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day powered by Net Generation special will air at 2:00 p.m. ET on ABC on Sunday, August 26.

CLICK TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD RELEASE AS A PDF

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The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level — from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with more than 655,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, one of the highest-attended annual sporting events in the world, and launched the US Open Series, linking seven summer WTA and ATP World Tour tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S. and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA’s philanthropic entity, the USTA Foundation, provides grants and scholarships in addition to supporting tennis and education programs nationwide to benefit under-resourced youth through the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network. For more information about the USTA, go to USTA.com or follow the official accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

Will A New Women’s Champion Break Through at Roland Garros?

Will a new champion emerge from the pack of women’s contenders at Roland Garros?

That is the major theme in the final week of the women’s singles tournament that was highlighted in the first week by the Grand Slam return of Serena Williams.

Maria Sharapova was the beneficiary of the withdrawal of Williams, who could not post against her Russian rival in the fourth round due to a pectoral muscle problem. Sharapova is the most experienced of the women in the quarterfinals with five major titles, including two at Roland Garros. Sharapova was not known for her clay court skills early in her career , describing herself as a “cow on ice” once about her moving ability on the French red clay. However, she has adjusted well to say the least, winning title in Paris in 2012 and 2014.

Like Williams, Sharapova is on the comeback trail, after serving a suspension of 15 months for testing for an illegal substance. She is seeded No. 28 and appears to be playing her best tennis – and is in the best condition – since she came back to tennis last Spring. She famously was denied a wild card entry into the French Open last year by the French Tennis Federation, so the 31-year-old Sharapova may also be playing with an axe to grind in Paris, providing further motivation that could take her all the way to the title.

Her quarterfinal opponent, Garbine Muguruza of Spain, is also a former French singles champion, having won the title in 2016 with an upset of Serena Williams in the final. Two years earlier, she upset Serena in the second round in Paris, so the French clay is certainly where she is most comfortable, like most Spanish players area.

Sharapova and Muguruza are the only former French champions left in the draw and they are joined by former Australian and US Open champion Angie Kerber and 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens as the only major champions left in the draw.

Stephens, seeded No. 10, was the early pick to win the event of ESPN commentator and former U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe and she appears to be peaking and has a clear path to the final. Her good friend and fellow American Madison Keys, seeded No. 14, appears to be her only threat to reaching the final, although the tricky Russian clay-court Daria Kasatkina, the No. 14 seed, could cause a headache. Stephens, surprisingly to 888sport fans, is the second-to-last betting favorite among the quarterfinalists.

Simona Halep is without question the best woman tennis player without a major singles title. She and Keys are the two players left in the draw with the best pedigree among the non-Slam winners. Halep, the No. 1 seed, has lost two two French Open finals, including last year’s painful loss to Jelena Ostapenko. She also lost a heart-breaker Australian Open final to Caroline Wozniacki. Halep has to deal with her mental demons if she is to break through and win her first major singles title. Despite her failures on the biggest stages of the sport, she is the favorite to win the title in Roland Garros betting circles.

Chris Evert’s Boca Raton Home For Sale For $4.9 Million (Not Known If It Includes A Private Tennis Lesson)

Chris Evert’s longtime Florida home, with tennis court, is for sale and featured this week at TopTenRealEstateDeals.com. Photos with listing agent permission available for your use at: http://bit.ly/toptenmedia
“Chris Evert’s Florida Tennis Home”

Chris Evert, former world tennis champion, is selling her 5.23-acre tennis estate in Boca Raton, Florida, setting the price at $4.999 million. It is not indicated if a private tennis lesson is included in the deal. When John McEnroe once bought a home owned by famed American TV host Johnny Carson, Carson made sure that a private tennis lesson with McEnroe was included in the transaction.

Chris was a key player of what made tennis a huge sport in the 1970s. A prodigy who won both the French Open and Wimbledon in 1974 at age 19 and was engaged to the American men’s Wimbledon champion, Jimmy Connors, Evert was the teen tennis idol of millions of her fans who packed the tennis courts in the ‘70s.

Chris was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida into a tennis-fanatical family. Her father was a coach and all four children became expert players. Her siblings all won college scholarships but Chris went to the very top of the professional scene. She became the top-ranked female tennis player in the world for seven years and holds 157 singles titles including 18 Grand Slams. At age 19, she almost married Connors who, like Chris, had the highest singles ranking in the mid ‘70s. With their Hollywood looks and big personalities, Chris and Jimmy were one of the most popular celebrity couples in the world, but much to the disappointment of their fans, soon broke off their engagement.

Moving on to continue in her profession, marriage and family, Evert resumed her life in Florida after her retirement from professional tennis in 1989. She has since been operating the Chris Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton and helps coach the high school tennis team where she graduated. Now at age 63 with her children grown and with lives of their own, she is selling her large Boca estate.

At 12,296 square feet, the home has eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, formal public rooms, a library and cook’s kitchen geared to entertaining on a grand scale. Built in 1995 and sprawling across the acreage, all rooms are quite large with many beamed, vaulted ceilings and hardwood floors with fireplace in the formal living room. A well equipped outdoor kitchen tempts everyone outside for an informal pool party or hot dogs and hamburgers after a rousing game of tennis at the court, some leisurely putting on the golf green or a vigorous workout in the gym. There are also two guest houses, a nine-car garage and a barn on the property converted into a gym and home theater.

Chris Evert’s gated private tropical estate in Boca Raton with tennis court, putting green, swimming pool and plenty of space for ball games is now being offered at $4.999 million. Katia Reisler of Douglas Elliman and Rebecca Spooner of Siemens Group Realty, both in Boca Raton, are the listing agents.
Visit TopTenRealEstateDeals.com for more historic, spectacular and celebrity homes and real estate news.

Znjan Beach in Split, Croatia, to Host the U.S. vs. Croatia Davis Cup Semifinal, Sept. 14-16, on a Temporary Outdoor Clay Court

Croatia will host the United States at Znjan Beach in Split, Croatia, on a temporary outdoor clay court in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Semifinal, Sept. 14-16. Znjan Beach is one of the most popular beach locations in the Dalmatia region of Split, Croatia’s second-largest city. A 6,000-seat temporary stadium will be built for the tie.

Croatia holds a 4-0 record over the U.S. in Davis Cup competition. Croatia is the only country that the U.S. has a winless record against. The two countries last faced off in the 2016 World Group Quarterfinal in Portland, Oregon, with Croatia winning the tie, 3-2, after trailing 0-2 after the first day of play. The two nations also met in 2003 in Zagreb, in 2005 in Los Angeles, and in 2009 in Porec.

The United States advanced to this year’s semifinal by sweeping Belgium, 4-0, in April’s quarterfinal at Belmont University’s Curb Event Center in Nashville, Tenn. Croatia defeated Kazakhstan, 3-1, in Varazdin, Croatia, to reach the semifinal.

The U.S. is competing in its first Davis Cup Semifinal since 2012, when a team featuring John Isner, Sam Querrey, and the Bryan brothers fell, 3-1, to Spain in Gijon. The U.S. last won the Davis Cup title in 2007 over Russia.

Founded in 1900, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the World Cup of Tennis and is the largest annual international team competition in sport, with approximately 135 nations competing each year. The U.S. leads all nations with 32 Davis Cup titles. The U.S. holds a 219-71 all-time Davis Cup record, and owns the longest uninterrupted run in the World Group, dating back to 1989. For more information, including access to player and historical Davis Cup records, please go to www.usta.com/daviscup or www.daviscup.com.

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.

Who Has The Greatest Backhand Volley of All Time?

Social media is a popular venue for discussions – and arguments – and one that has gone around is who has the best backhand volley of all time? Steve Flink, in his book “THE GREATEST TENNIS MATCHES OF ALL TIME” ($28.95, New Chapter Press, available here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0942257936/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_SIRbBbB48F1H1) rated Stefan Edberg and Martina Navratilova as having the best backhand volley of all time by men and women, respectively.

The backhand volley rankings are as follows.

BACKHAND VOLLEY
Men

1. STEFAN EDBERG The Swede was his era’s best at the net, by a considerable margin. He was the quintessential serve-and-volleyer, with a heavy kick serve designed to allow Edberg to get exceedingly close to the net for his first volley. His forehand volley was awfully good, but his backhand volley was stupendous. Edberg was supremely confident on the backhand volley, which he could “stick” better than anyone. Either high or low on the backhand volley, Edberg always had all of the answers, displaying finesse, precision and the capacity to put it away whenever possible.

2. TONY ROCHE The formidable Australian’s backhand volley was virtually on a par with Edberg’s—some would say that Roche’s was even better. His shoulder turn and soundness were his enduring virtues as a player. No one wanted to allow Roche to hit that backhand volley if they had a choice because he invariably would keep the low ones deep and put the high ones away emphatically. Roche played the backhand volley with clinical efficiency.

3. KEN ROSEWALL While the understated Australian was more revered in some circles for his backhand ground stroke, the fact remains that his backhand volley was every bit as impressive. Rosewall altered his game when he left the amateur ranks and turned pro, realizing he had to approach the net more frequently. Once that change occurred, Rosewall put his stellar backhand volley on display with growing assurance. It was ineffably good.

4. ROD LAVER The two-time winner of the Grand Slam was spectacularly versatile, capable of taking his place alongside any of the great shot makers of all time. But I believe no one gave him the plaudits he deserved for his backhand volley. This deeply humble left-hander had good feel and great control on that side and he never wavered when he was set up for a backhand volley.

5. PETE SAMPRAS Over the second half of his career, the American became more committed to following his second serve in at almost all times. Sampras made serious strides in his ability to volley with the best in his business. He had a very good forehand volley as well, but his backhand volley was outstanding. Even when he was stretched out or reaching down to his shoelaces, he would make even the toughest backhand volleys look remarkably easy.

BACKHAND VOLLEY
Women
1. MARTINA NAVRATILOVA This outstanding left hander’s athleticism was displayed most convincingly when she was stationed up at the net. Her speed and anticipation was second to none and her long reach on the backhand volley was phenomenal. It seemed almost impossible to get a ball by her on that side. Navratilova could not only pound her volleys for winners at sharp angles but also could use her touch for some astounding drop volleys.

2. BILLIE JEAN KING Her technique and flair on the backhand volley was comparable to Navratilova’s. King had a much better backhand than forehand off the ground. On the volley she was highly skilled off both sides, but her backhand volley was more of a weapon. She would knife it away with total conviction, go down the line as well as crosscourt and her footwork and forward movement was outstanding.

3. EVONNE GOOLAGONG Goolagong was very comfortable at the net, relishing the challenge to end points with her dazzling athleticism and staggering grace. Goolagong’s backhand volley was awesome. Navratilova and King were more adept at making the low volley in many ways, but Goolagong was the best on high backhand volleys and backhand overheads. She would leave audiences gasping when she played that shot.

4. MARIA BUENO The Brazilian’s elegance and grace were reminiscent of Goolagong. This fierce competitor hit a heavy ball off the ground, but her forte was the volley. Bueno had wonderful touch and vision at the net, which made her such an estimable grass court player. She knew exactly what to do with the backhand volley and had one of the best ever.

5. VIRGINIA WADE The winner of three singles majors on grass courts—including Wimbledon in 1977—Wade possessed a terrific first serve. It was among the most potent of her time and she followed it in persistently. Up at the net, she was comfortable and usually in command, exhibiting very good lateral movement. Her backhand volley was first rate. Wade could knife that shot crosscourt with extraordinary regularity.

“The Greatest Tennis Matches of All Time” features profiles and rankings of the greatest matches of all time dating from the 1920s featuring Bill Tilden and Suzanne Lenglen up through the modern era of tennis featuring contemporary stars Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. Flink breaks down, analyzes and puts into historical context the sport’s most memorable matches, providing readers with a courtside seat at these most celebrated and significant duels. Flink also includes a fascinating “greatest strokes of all-time” section where he ranks and describes the players who best executed all the important shots in the game through the years. Other champions featured in the book include Don Budge, Maureen Connolly, Rod Laver, Margaret Court, Billie Jean King, John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf among many others.

The book is published by New Chapter Press, the premier global publisher of tennis books.
Flink, one of the most respected writers and observers in the game, is currently a columnist for TennisChannel.com. A resident of Katonah, N.Y., he is the former editor of World Tennis magazine and a former senior columnist at Tennis Week.

The book has received high praise from some of the most respected names in the sport, including Chris Evert, a winner of 18 major singles titles in her career, who wrote the foreword to the book.

Said seven-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras, “Steve Flink was there reporting on almost every big match I played in my career. He has seen all of the great players for the last 45 years. I encourage you to read this book because Steve is one of the most insightful writers on the game that I have known and he really knows his tennis.”
Said former U.S. Davis Cup captain and player Patrick McEnroe, “As a writer and a fan, Steve Flink’s knowledge of tennis history and his love of the sport are second to none, which is why you should read his book.”

Said ESPN’s Cliff Drysdale, “To see tennis through the eyes of Steve Flink is to wander through a wonderland. These are not fantasies because Steve captures the essence of tennis matches in graphic detail. There is no one more passionate or caring about his subject. In this absorbing book, I can relive matches that I have called on television.”

Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press (www.NewChapterMedia.com) is also the publisher of “The Secrets of Spanish Tennis” by Chris Lewit, “Trojan Tennis: The Storied History of the Men’s Tennis Program at the University of Southern California” by S. Mark Young, “The Education of a Tennis Player” by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, “Andy Murray, Wimbledon Champion: The Full Extraordinary Story” by Mark Hodgkinson, “The Bud Collins History of Tennis” by Bud Collins, “The Wimbledon Final That Never Was” by Sidney Wood, “Titanic: The Tennis Story” by Lindsay Gibbs, “Sport of a Lifetime” by Judy Aydelott, “Macci Magic: Extracting Greatness From Yourself And Others” by Rick Macci with Jim Martz, “Absolute Tennis: The Best And Next Way To Play The Game” by Marty Smith, “Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection” by Rene Stauffer, “The Days of Roger Federer” by Randy Walker, “Jan Kodes: A Journey To Glory From Behind The Iron Curtain” by Jan Kodes with Peter Kolar, “Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match” by Cliff Richey and Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, “Tennis Made Easy” by Kelly Gunterman, “On This Day In Tennis History” by Randy Walker (www.TennisHistoryApp.com), “A Player’s Guide To USTA League Tennis” by Tony Serksnis, “Court Confidential: Inside The World Of Tennis” by Neil Harman, “A Backhanded Gift” by Marshall Jon Fisher, “Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games” by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli (www.Boycott1980.com), “How To Permanently Erase Negative Self Talk So You Can Be Extraordinary” by Emily Filloramo, “Internet Dating 101: It’s Complicated, But It Doesn’t Have To Be” by Laura Schreffler, “How To Sell Your Screenplay” by Carl Sautter, “Bone Appetit: Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog” by Suzan Anson, “The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle” by Stewart Wolpin among others.

Open Men’s Grass Court Prize Money Event Ready To Grow In Pontiac, Michigan

There’s a budding grass court pro event ready to grow in Pontiac, Michigan.

The highly-regarded Wessen Lawn Tennis Club in Pontiac, Michigan (just outside of Detroit) is hosting a new $10,000 men’s prize money tennis tournament – branded the U.S. Grass Court Championships – June 20-23. The event will be played on perennial rye grass courts – the same type of “high-bouncing” grass courts that have been featured at Wimbledon since 2002. The singles winner will win a $3,000 first prize and $1500 will be awarded for the winning doubles team. For more information and to sign up, go here: https://tennislink.usta.com:443/tournaments/tournamenthome/tournament.aspx?T=221594
or contact Randy Walker at [email protected]

The prize money breakdown is as follows

SINGLES WINNER: $3,000
SINGLES RUNNER-UP $1,500
TWO SEMIFINAL LOSERS: $750
FOUR QUARTERFINAL LOSERS: $500

WINNING DOUBLES TEAM $1500 per team
RUNNER-UP DOUBLES TEAM $500 per team

The Wessen Lawn Tennis Club is an amazing an beautiful tennis club that was featured in the New York Times in 2014 here: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/09/sports/tennis/a-touch-of-wimbledon-in-pontiac-michigan.html
A video of the club can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snjxMgFMOtg

The facility features 24 perennial-rye grass courts, the exact type of specific grass courts as Wimbledon. The latitude and climate of Pontiac is also very close to that of London, sitting at 42 degree latitude vs. 51 degrees latitude for London allowing for the perennial rye grass to be in the same condition as at the All England Club and providing for an excellent North American training stop for any player planning to play in Wimbledon, Wimbledon qualifying or in the Wimbledon junior championships. Many tennis observers have called the facility, including an immaculately decorated clubhouse, as one of the best tennis clubs in the country, if not the world.

“We’d like to be a stop for player who want to get a few days under our immaculate grass courts before taking off on a direct flight out of Detroit to Britain,” said Bill Massie, the owner and architect of the Wessen Lawn Tennis Club to WorldTennisMagazine.com here: http://www.worldtennismagazine.com/archives/14624. “Our goal is to get a few players who want to get while also giving other players a competitive opportunity on grass to gain experience on the surface and a chance to earn some prize money.”

Massie’s ultimate long-term goal for his club is to host an ATP 250 level professional event with a shorter term goal being to host a men’s and/or women’s challenger tournament.

Mark Philippoussis Repeats In Toronto On Invesco Series QQQ

TORONTO – Mark Philippoussis defeated John McEnroe 7-5 Thursday in the one-set final at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre to win the RPIA Championships for the second year in a row and win his first Invesco Series QQQ title of the 2018 season.

The win was the 11th career Invesco Series QQQ title for Philippoussis, the 41-year-old former Wimbledon and U.S. Open runner-up. Last March in Toronto, Philippoussis won the title by defeating McEnroe by the same 7-5 score in the semifinals and Andy Roddick 7-6 (5) in the final. Thursday’s win for Philippoussis was his first Invesco Series title since his win in Toronto last year.

In 2016, Philippoussis lost only two matches while winning five events and winning the season-long points championship for the first time. He won titles in Memphis, Tulsa, Newport, R.I., Winston-Salem and New Haven with his only match losses coming against Roddick in Portland, Ore. and Los Angeles. Last year, Philippoussis finished in fifth place, 1000 points shy of Roddick’s 1800 point total.

After 40-year-old Tommy Haas swept the first two Invesco Series titles of 2018 in Charleston and Hawaii, Philippoussis moved himself into second-place in the Invesco Series rankings with 400 points for the victory, 300 points behind Haas. The 59-year-old McEnroe, who reached the final in Hawaii earlier this month, earned 200 ranking points to hold in third place with 400 ranking points.

En route to the final, Philippoussis beat James Blake 7-6 (5) in the first semifinal while McEnroe beat Jim Courier 6-2.

The Invesco Series QQQ continues on July 22 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. where Lleyton Hewitt will make is Invesco Series QQQ tour debut. The remaining schedule, with player fields, is as follows

2018 Invesco Series QQQ Schedule:

July 22: Newport, R.I. (International Tennis Hall of Fame) – Lleyton Hewitt, Jim Courier, Tommy Haas and James Blake
August 19: Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wake Forest University) – Players TBA
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) – Players TBA
October 6: Houston, TX (Tudor Fieldhouse) – Players TBA
October 19: Denver, CO (1stBank Center) – Players TBA
October 21: Los Angeles, CA (Sherwood Country Club) – Players TBA

2018 Invesco Series QQQ Results

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.

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

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.

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 InvescoSeries.comor 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 visithorizonmedia.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.

Rafael Nadal, Now Proven To Be Human On Clay, Seeks Redemption In Rome

So Rafael Nadal is human on clay!

One week after the “King of Clay” showed vulnerability in his quarterfinal loss to Dominic Thiem at the Madrid Open, Nadal will look to regain his winning ways in Rome at the Italian Championships. Nadal has won in Rome seven times, less than his 11 titles each in Monte Carlo and Barcelona and his 10 titles at Roland Garros, but, by any other normal professional standards, is amazing.

Against Thiem in Madrid, Nadal had his 21-match and 50-set clay-court winning streaks come to an end. To boot, he fell from the top ranking by not winning the title, surrendering the top spot to Roger Federer. However, Nadal is still 14-1 in matches and 30-2 in sets on clay this year. He will return the No. 1 ranking on 21 May if he captures his the title at the Foro Italico. While Nadal has won a record seven times in Rome, he has not won there since 2013. He lost in the quarterfinals in 2015, 2016 and 2017 after falling to Djokovic in the 2014 final. Rome is the only clay-court event where Nadal has made four consecutive appearances without a title.

Nadal faces the strongest ATP World Tour field of the season with 18 of the Top 20 players vying for the title. Four-time champion Novak Djokovic and defending champion Alexander Zverev are former champs in the field. Djokovic continues to struggle this year and is only 6-6 in 2018 and seeking his first quarterfinal of the season as he continues his comeback from a right elbow injury. The former world No. 1 is responsible for 19% of Nadal’s losses on clay, earning three of seven clay-court victories over his Spanish rival in Rome.

Zverev, the world No. 3, won ATP Masters 1000 titles last year in Rome and Montreal and is coming in on a high after defeating Thiem in the final of Madrid. Zverev’s serve, in particular, was impressive in Madrid, not losing serve and barely losing points on his deliveries. If he can keep up that success in Rome – and avoid mental and physical fatigue – he will be a tough out.

Thiem beat Nadal in the quarterfinals of Rome last year and combined with his win over Nadal last week in Madrid – and two semifinal showings at the French Open – make him and Zverev the next two betting favorites in Rome – and in Paris – other than Nadal. With three wins over Nadal on clay in his career, Thiem is one of three men with three wins over Nadal on clay, joining Djokovic (7) and Gaston Gaudio (3).

World No. 6 Juan Martin del Potro is 22-5 in 2018, highlighted by his first ATP Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells, where he saved three championship points to defeat Federer. Despite his high credentials and South American upbringing on the clay in Argentina, del Potro has not reached a semifinal on a clay court since Madrid in 2012. Kevin Anderson, the world No. 8, and John Isner, the world No. 9, are at career-high rankings following impressive starts to their seasons. The 6-foot-8 Anderson, the 2017 US Open runner-up, reached his first ATP Masters 1000 semifinal last week in Madrid after winning his fourth ATP title in New York. The 6-foot-10 Isner defeated del Potro and Zverev to capture his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Miami.