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Novak Djokovic Wins Historic Wimbledon Final Against Roger Federer In First-Ever Final-Set Tiebreaker

Novak Djokovic won Wimbledon for a fifth time in historic fashion beating Roger Federer 7-6 (7-6), 1-6, 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 13-12 (7-3) in a match that featured the first fifth-set tiebreaker in Wimbledon singles history. The final was the longest men’s final in Wimbledon history at 4 hours and 57 minutes. The win was the 16th major title for Djokovic, closing the gap between he and Federer, the all-time leading major winner at 20 and Rafael Nadal at 18.

Djokovic saved two match points with Federer serving for the match at 8-7, 40-15 but was not able to finish off the Serbian. Djokovic becomes the first man to save a match point in a Wimbledon final since Bob Falkenburg in saved three match points in the 1948 singles final against John Bromwich.

“I’ll try to forget,” joked Federer, who is less than a month shy of his 38th birthday and would have been the oldest man to win a Grand Slam title in the professional era.

This year marked the first year that Wimbledon implemented a tie-breaker in the fifth-set at 12-12, in response to Kevin Anderson and John Isner going to 26-24 in the men’s singles semifinals, causing havoc in the tournament schedule and causing for Anderson, the semifinal winner over Isner, to not be able to be fresh enough to play at his best in the final against Djokovic in the 2018 final. The Federer vs. Djokovic match was the first singles match this year to go into the 12-12 final-set tiebreaker, but a doubles match early in the event was decided by the final-set tiebreaker.

To read about other great tennis matches in history, order “The Greatest Tennis Matches of All Time” book here by Steve Flink: https://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Tennis-Matches-All-Time/dp/0942257936/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=greatest+tennis+matches+of+all+time&qid=1563128508&s=gateway&sr=8-1

USTA Announces Tennis Team For 2019 Pan American Games In Peru

The USTA announced that Usue Arconada, Caroline Dolehide, Alexa Graham, Kevin King, Michael Redlicki and Sam Riffice will represent the U.S. in the 2019 Pan American Games July 29-August 4 in Lima, Peru, while Casey Ratzlaff, Chris Herman, Dana Mathewson, Emmy Kaiser, David Wagner and Bryan Barten will play for the U.S. in the Parapan American Games August 24-30 in Lima.

The Pan American Games are a summer sports competition for countries in North, South and Central America held every four years in the year prior to the Olympic Games. The Games will feature men’s and women’s singles and doubles and mixed doubles competition on the red clay courts of Lima’s Lawn Tennis Club. More than 6,000 athletes from 41 countries are expected to compete across 36 sports in this year’s Games. The Parapan American Games will feature 1,850 athletes, with wheelchair tennis, featuring men’s and women’s singles and doubles and quad singles and doubles, as one of its 17 sports.

All Pan American and Parapan American Games roster nominations are pending final approval of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee.

USTA National Coaches Adam Peterson (women) and Eric Nunez (men) will coach the U.S. Pan American team. Jason Harnett and Paul Walker will coach the Parapan team.

Tennis has been contested at the Pan Am Games since 1951. Americans who have won the gold medal at the Pan Am Games include Althea Gibson (1959, singles), Arthur Ashe (1967, mixed doubles), Patrick McEnroe (1987, men’s doubles), Pam Shriver (1991, singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles), Paul Goldstein (1999, singles), and Irina Falconi (2011, singles).

The Pan American men’s entry list also includes current ATP Top 100 players Nicolas Jarry, of Chile, and Hugo Dellien, of Bolivia. The women’s field includes former Top-100 players Beatriz Haddad Maia, of Brazil, Rebeca Marino, of Canada, and Veronica Cepede Royg, of Paraguay.

Arconada, 20, is ranked No. 214 in singles and No. 171 in doubles and currently lives in Naples, Fla. She’s won three ITF World Tennis Tour-level doubles titles and two singles titles in 2019, and was ranked in the Top 5 in the world in junior (18-and-under) competition. A product of the renowned JTCC in College Park, Md., Arconada was born in Buenos Aires and has also lived in Puerto Rico, where her father was Puerto Rico’s national volleyball coach. Her brother, Jordi, played tennis at Texas A&M.

Dolehide, 20, is ranked No. 269 in singles and No. 106 in doubles and currently lives in Orlando, Fla., training out of the USTA National Campus. She nearly broke into the WTA Top 100 last summer after reaching the second round at the French Open and has won three ITF World Tennis Tour-level doubles titles in 2019. A native of Hinsdale, Ill., Dolehide turned pro instead of attending UCLA, where her older sister, Courtney – now the head men’s and women’s tennis coach at Georgetown University – was the captain of the Bruins’ 2014 NCAA championship team.

Graham, 20, is ranked No. 728 in singles and recently completed an All-American junior season at the University of North Carolina. From Garden City, N.Y., Graham went 37-7 in singles for the Tar Heels this season, was ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation in collegiate singles and earned singles and doubles All-America honors. In three seasons at North Carolina, Graham has a 106-22 record in singles and a 55-17 record in doubles.

King, 28, is ranked No. 397 in singles and No. 527 in doubles. A collegiate star at Georgia Tech from 2008-12, King reached a career-high No. 162 world ranking in May 2018 and has served as a practice partner for the U.S. Davis Cup Team. He was a doubles All-American as a junior in 2011 and has won six singles and 11 doubles titles at the ATP Challenger and ITF World Tennis Tour level.

Redlicki, 25, is ranked No. 327 in singles and was an All-American at Arkansas in 2016-17. A Chicago native, Redlicki was an All-SEC First Team selection in his junior and senior seasons as a Razorback and finished his senior year as the No. 12-ranked collegiate singles player in the country. Redlicki and his younger brother, Martin, who went on to star at UCLA, trained at the former USTA Player Development headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., as teenagers.

Riffice, 20, is ranked No. 496 in singles and recently completed a standout freshman season at the University of Florida, earning All-America honors after reaching the NCAA singles quarterfinals. A native of Roseville, Calif., who currently lives in Orlando, Fla., and trains out of the USTA National Campus, Riffice was ranked in the Top 20 in the world in junior (18-and-under) competition and won his first ITF World Tennis Tour-level singles title at the M25 event in Wichita, Kan., in June.

Ratzlaff, 21, from Wichita, Kan., is currently ranked No. 25 in singles and No. 34 in doubles in the ITF world wheelchair rankings, and is 23-9 on the year in singles play. He competed for the U.S. in the recent BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Israel and has won three ITF Futures Series wheelchair singles titles in 2019.

Herman, 21, from St. Petersburg, Fla., is ranked No. 56 in singles and No. 70 in the world wheelchair rankings and competed in men’s doubles at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup in May. He won the singles title at the Wheelchair Tennis Collegiate National Championships each of the last two years as a junior and senior at the University of Florida.

Mathewson, 29, from San Diego, is ranked No. 18 in singles and No. 7 in doubles in the world wheelchair rankings and competed in the 2016 Rio Paralympics. She’s won two ITF wheelchair doubles titles in 2019 and is a multiple-time BNP Paribas World Team Cup competitor.

Kaiser, 29, is ranked No. 29 in singles and No. 34 in doubles in the world wheelchair rankings and is a two-time Paralympian (Rio 2016, London 2012). Kaiser also competed in the 2015 and 2011 Parapan American games, winning doubles gold and singles silver at Guadalajara 2011.

Wagner, 45, from Portland, Ore., is the No. 2-ranked Quad singles and No. 1-ranked Quad doubles player in the ITF world rankings. He’s competed in four Paralympic Games, winning eight medals in total: three gold, three silver and three bronze, and has won 19 Grand Slam titles in wheelchair tennis. He’s been ranked among the Top 3 in the world since 2002.

Barten, 45, from Hart, Mich., is ranked No. 10 and No. 6 in the world in Quad singles and doubles, respectively, and is a two-time Paralympian. He has helped with the U.S. five BNP Paribas World Team Cup titles in 12 appearances and is a former French Open wheelchair doubles champion.

Djokovic, Federer or Nadal (Who Else?) Will Win 2019 Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer.

Once again, it seems inevitable that one of these three great all-time champions will be the 2019 men’s singles champion at Wimbledon. The top three seeds, respectively, are head-and-shoulders above the rest of the field as far as their Wimbledon odds to win the title. John McEnroe said this week that not only are these three the best three players in the game, but they are the best three players in the game EVER! With Federer holding down the top spot in major singles titles won with 20, and Nadal trailing by two with 18 titles and Djokovic with 15 titles in third place, it’s not something you can argue with, even if you throw in Rod Laver with 11 majors and Pete Sampras with 14 majors. These three players have a firm grip on the top of the men’s tennis world and don’t seem willing to surrender any ground to the younger generation.

Looking at the Wimbledon careers of these three all-time greats, Federer has the best record with eight titles, but he is fast-approaching his 38th birthday next month. He last won at SW19 in 2017 when he beat Marin Cilic in the final for his eighth title. To boot, he has won 19 career grass court tournaments, which is more than doubles Djokovic (five) and Nadal (four) combined! He will have to potentially tangle with Nadal in the semifinals and even though they will play on grass, Nadal’s brutal straight-set dismissal in the French Open semifinals may still be fresh in him mind.

Nadal has won Wimbledon twice, but not since 2010 and of the “Big Three” he has had the least amount of success of the Wimbledon grass. After winning his 12th career French Open title last month, he took the grass court season completely off (although he practiced on the grass of his native Mallorca). At age 33, the years are also piling up on him, but one thing is for sure, he will not give up until the last ball on the last point of his tournament is hit.

Djokovic, age 32, is not only the top seed and defending champion, but also has the easier draw to the final without Federer or Nadal to contend with. He has plenty of positive memories at the AELTC to draw from his four singles titles on Centre Court. Experts will point to the big-serving Canadian and former Wimbledon singles finalist Milos Raonic as his potential semifinal opponent. Djokovic has won Wimbledon four times.

Andy Murray Took Big Risk With His Hip, Says Medical Expert

Leading hip surgeon Winston Kim says tennis star Andy Murray took a major risk by undergoing a hip resurfacing procedure.

The former world number one struggled for fitness over an 18-month period, before being diagnosed with the early onset of arthritis in his right hip.

An emotional Murray appeared ready to quit the sport ahead of the Australian Open, but he has battled back after surgery to win the doubles title alongside Feliciano Lopez at the Queen’s Club Championships.

Kim, a hip surgeon from Manchester Hip & Knee Clinic, believes Murray took a major gamble by going under the knife, although he admits it will have been a very carefully considered decision.

“He will have had an awareness of the intended benefits of resurfacing,” he told Betway Tennis. “If it fails, the next option would be a hip replacement.

“I’m sure he didn’t take the decision lightly – the vast majority of hip surgeons would be nervous about performing a hip resurfacing because of the potential risks, particularly in such a young, elite athlete.”

Hip resurfacing involves the implantation of a metal cap onto the ball of the hip joint and a metal socket into the ‘cup’ of the hip joint.

The risks of the procedure cause plenty of debate in medical circles, with research showing that high blood metal ion levels can result in osteolysis, the destruction of tissues around the joint.

“He wants to be able to play again, so he’s doing something relatively risky,” added Kim. “The average age for resurfacing is in the early 50s, so a 32-year-old elite athlete wanting to return to playing tennis at the highest level within four months is in unchartered territory.

“Research says that 90 percent of runners in their early 50s who undergo hip resurfacing are able to return to running. That’s just runners, and I’m not even giving you a timeframe, and it’s still just a 90 percent return.

“There’s a difference between being able to run and being able to play tennis at the highest level play with abandon.”

Despite Kim’s concerns, the three-time Grand Slam winner played impressively at Queen’s and he is eager to make an impression at Wimbledon when he partners Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the men’s doubles.

He has admitted it is a relief to be playing tennis again without any pain in his hip and Kim says it is pleasing to hear that Murray’s surgery gamble appears to have paid off.

“He was struggling to do even basic things,” Kim said. “Those things included sitting at the dinner table, playing with his kids, and putting on his socks.

“It sounds like it’s been a great success in terms of addressing the pain. It was obviously a quality-of-life decision.”

Wimbledon 2019: The Five Things We Would Love To See Happen

With Wimbledon underway, tennis fans will be eagerly anticipating the outcome of the most prestigious tournament on the calendar. The All England Club will once again play host to the third tennis major of 2019, where a whole host of players will all ensue in battle to try and take the coveted prize. The thing with Wimbledon, is that it tends to be the same old drill every year.

That’s not to say the tournament isn’t exciting, but wouldn’t it be a breath of fresh air with a bit more controversy and some stand-out talking points. Throughout its glorious history, Wimbledon has served up some of the most magical and iconic moments – but we would love to see the below happen this year. FYI, this is nothing more than light-hearted fun, so please take it with a pinch of salt… or a dollop of strawberries and cream!

John McEnroe to launch an unnecessary tirade at anyone

John McEnroe was perhaps more notorious for his foul-mouthed tirades than his superb tennis ability, and the current BBC commentator could cause quite the stir again this year. How I can hear you ask? Well, imagine a bad call being made and McEnroe revisits yesteryear and storms out of the media section and squares up to the umpire. I mean, it will have nothing to do with him but the humour factor would be brilliant.

Tim Henman make a comeback and wins a semi-final game

Ah, Tiger Tim. The nearly man who never quite made it in his heyday during the late 1990s and early noughties. Henman’s efforts were never in doubt, although he never made it to a Grand Slam final so wouldn’t it be a remedy of sorts if he hijacked the men’s semi-finals and took the match point to warrant a place in the final! Come on Tiger Tim, you can do it! Imagine the scenes!

Andy Murray branches out from his monotone voice

He won’t be featuring in the men’s singles this year, but Andy Murray will be flying the flag for Britain in the men’s doubles at least. The two-time winner is likely to retire after the tournament, which means we’ll be missing Murray’s lethargic and tiring post-match interviews. The seemingly unenthusiastic Murray has often been criticised for his monotone voice, so wouldn’t it be a breath of fresh air if he delivered his thoughts and feelings in a much more positive fashion. Sign off on a high note, eh Mr Murray.

Nick Kyrgios being nice to umpires

He is one of the most controversial players to grace the game and certainly someone who is no stranger to trouble, so imagine a certain Nick Kyrgios actually being nice to people, namely umpires. The hot-headed Australian has been the centre of many misconduct charges in recent years and his charge sheet shows no signs of slowing, so wouldn’t it be a welcome relief to see him actually be pleasant to everybody, for a change.
Federer, Nadal and Djokovic having a big fight

Okay, so this would be a rather peculiar sequence of events and one that would really tarnish the game, but what if the three best players on the men’s circuit all had a huge scrape in the middle of Centre Court? The reasoning behind it is unclear at this stage, but we’d guestimate that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic would all be trying to settle who is the best of the best. I mean, we could just determine it from the tennis the play and the H2H records but that’s just boring, isn’t it.

All jokes aside, take a look at all the latest prices for this year’s event at Paddy Power, where you can bet on Wimbledon right now.

New Fed Cup To Kick Off In Budapest

The ITF announced a new ‘World Cup of Tennis’ format for Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, including the launch of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals in Budapest, Hungary on 14-19 April 2020. The Finals will be staged at the Laszlo Papp Budapest Sports Arena on clay on two match courts for three years, 2020-22.

The bold new format will see an increase from eight to 20 nations competing each year to become world champions, with 12 nations qualifying for the Fed Cup Finals where they will compete for a total prize fund of $18 million, with $12 million going to players and $6 million to National Associations.
Sixteen nations will compete in the 2020 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Qualifiers on 7-8 February on a home-and-away basis over five matches to earn one of eight places in the Finals, where they will join the previous year’s finalists, Australia and France, host nation Hungary and one wild card nation to be confirmed.

The following 16 nations are currently set to contest the 2020 Fed Cup Qualifiers based on their performances in the 2019 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas: Belarus, Belgium, Brazil (*), Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Kazakhstan (*), Latvia, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, USA.
(*) two highest ranked losing nations in 2019 World Group II Play-offs.

The Finals will feature a round-robin format with four groups of three teams, followed by knock-out semi-finals and final. The top two nations will be guaranteed a place in the following year’s Finals, while the nations finishing 3rd-10th will contest the following year’s Qualifiers. All matches will consist of two singles and one doubles.

The new format was approved by the ITF Board following an extensive review and consultation process with National Associations, Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and WTA Player Council. The format respects the existing women’s tennis calendar by reducing Fed Cup to two weeks of competition in existing Fed Cup weeks, and supporting player health through the extension of the off season by moving the Finals from November to April.

There will be no change to the format of the regional group events, which will continue to consist of week-long round-robin tournaments. With the expansion of the elite level of the competition, the number of nations qualifying from the regional Group I events for the Fed Cup Play-offs has doubled from four to eight. These nations will face the eight losing nations from the Fed Cup Qualifiers to earn a place in the following year’s Qualifiers.

Balazs Furjes, Hungarian Secretary of State of Budapest’s Development and International Sports Events, said: “The announcement of Budapest as host for the new Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals is the jewel in the crown of the city’s global tennis ambitions and underlines our status as one of the prime global capitals of sport.”

Hungarian Tennis Association (HTA) President, Lajos Szucs, said: “Hungarian tennis has a proud history of hosting men’s and women’s tour events and more than 100 ITF tournaments, and we are delighted to welcome the world to witness the best in women’s tennis next year. The Finals will provide the ideal platform to showcase Hungarian tennis – and, of course, the beautiful city of Budapest.”

ITF President, David Haggerty, said: “The launch of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals will create a festival of tennis that elevates this flagship women’s team competition to a new level, yet remains loyal to the historic core of the Fed Cup. We have consulted and listened to stakeholders and worked with the WTA and its Player Council to make sure the new format represents the interests of the players. We pledged to our National Associations during the 2018 AGM that we would introduce reforms that will grow the competition’s global audience and enable greater investment into the future of the sport. We believe this bold new Fed Cup format delivers this pledge.”

Billie Jean King, recently announced as Global Ambassador for Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, said; “Fed Cup has evolved since I was part of the first winning team in 1963 but it has always remained true to its roots. These reforms are historic as they reflect the ITF’s commitment to unlocking the Fed Cup’s huge potential, hosting a competition with prize money deserving of the world’s best women’s tennis teams and players. It is an honour to be part of the next evolution of the greatest event in women’s team tennis.”

The increased prize money for Fed Cup by BNP Paribas starting in 2020 will include an additional $4.9 million for nations competing below the elite level of the competition.

These reforms will help the ITF in its mission to deliver tennis for future generations by ensuring the long-term growth and sustainability of the sport.

Rafael Nadal Had Difficulty Breathing During Roland Garros Final vs Dominic Thiem

Second-seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal wasted no time in defeating Roger Federer to advance to the final of the French Open last Friday, going 6-3 6-4 6-2 to reach his 12th final at the famed Roland Garros.

The two competitors met in their first French Open for the first time since 2011 but the third-seeded Federer would find that Nadal was still too good to usurp. The latter had never lost to Federer in Paris, improving his record to 6-0 on Friday, having also never lost a semi-final at a clay-court Grand Slam.

Federer hadn’t competed in the French Open since 2015, missing the next year’s tournament through a back injury and skipping the last two years in order to make preparations for grass and hard courts.

He looked great upon his return, that is until running into Nadal. Normally a composed and collected figure, Federer was prompted to smash a ball towards the stand after getting broken and going behind 2/1.

This was the first time the top four seeded men were in the semis of the Roland Garros since 2011, with No.1-seeded Novak Djokovic and No.4-seeded Dominic Thiem all still in the competition at the time.

The 37-year-old was understandably not the bookies’ favorite to advance to the final from this match and was +575 to win with 888 Sport. Nadal, meanwhile, was at -769.23 and the result went as expected.

Nadal made very easy work against Federer before going on to face Thiem in Sunday’s final. He did come out on top, going 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 against the latter to win a record-extending 12th French Open title. But, according to two-time finalist Alex Corretja, the Spaniard found it difficult to breathe during the match.

“I have just spoken to Rafa and he looked very calm, he said it was crucial he broke back in the first set and got ahead,” Corretja told Eurosport after the final. “He said the speed and intensity in the first two sets was very difficult, it was brutal conditions as well with long rallies and it was difficult to breathe.”

Nadal went into the match with Betfair offering odds of -450 on him claiming his 12th French Open title. Thiem, who pulled an upset by beating the No.1 seeded Djokovic 6-2 3-6 7-5 6-7 7-5 on Saturday, was +350 to win Sunday’s final with the aforementioned bookies.

The French Open is over but Wimbledon is nearly upon us; you could find some great Tennis Betting tips and odds at Online Sportbetting. The two-week tournament kicks off on July 1 and there are plenty of odds on offer. Nadal is at +50 to win the competition outright with Bet365 while Federer is +333.33 with the odds slightly in his favor. Djokovic, meanwhile, is at +150 to win the competition with Paddy Power.

Nadal, a two-time Wimbledon winner, will be hoping to follow his record French Open victory up with a third Wimbledon championship. He is now just two Grand Slam titles away from Federer’s all-time record of 20 and a win next month will take him one step closer to matching or potentially even surpassing the veteran.

Zverev Has to Live Up to Potential

Alexander Zverev proved his talent in London at the end of 2018, defeating Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to win the ATP Finals. The German now faces the challenge of replicating his form a few miles down the road in SW19 to make his Grand Slam breakthrough at Wimbledon.

Zverev has produced quality results in isolation, although he has not managed to progress further than the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam in his 16 attempts. The 22-year-old has reached the last eight in his last two appearances at the French Open. However, his best performance at Wimbledon was his fourth-round berth achieved in 2017.

It would take a significant improvement for Zverev to challenge for the crown at the All England Club, although he is backed behind the big three of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer as the next best option in the Wimbledon winner odds at 18/1. The German does have the star potential, but whether he can put it all together with a surge to the latter stages of the competition is another matter given the quality of the top three players.

He was extremely underwhelming last season, failing to emerge beyond the first week of Wimbledon. Zverev’s form on the ATP Tour earned him the fourth seed for the competition, and he brushed aside James Duckworth with ease in the first round. However, American Taylor Fritz took him all the way to five sets, forcing the German to battle back to win the final two to advance to the third round. His exploits against Fritz took their toll in his next outing, resulting in a five-set defeat at the hands of Ernests Gulbis, losing the final two sets 6-3 6-0.

It was the same story at the US Open, failing to progress beyond the third round after being beaten by his compatriot Philipp Kohlschreiber. Zverev put that disappointment behind him to end the year on a high note in the ATP Tour Finals. In his group, the German was defeated by Djokovic, but overcame John Isner and Marin Cilic to book his place in the semi-finals. Zverev put forward arguably the best performance of his career to beat Federer before topping that display by winning in straights sets in his revenge match against Djokovic.

The results proved that the German is more than capable of beating the elite players, although he could not carry that forward into the Australian Open. Milos Raonic saw him off with ease in the first Grand Slam of 2019 in the fourth round. He improved his performance at the French Open, earning a quarter-final berth for the second year on the bounce. The presence of Djokovic ended his charge, dumping him out in straight sets.

Zverev has impressed in short stints, but has not managed to make a strong impression over two weeks of a major competition. He has bogged down in the early rounds, which has resulted in fatigue and his eventual premature exit. The 22-year-old has to become more clinical in the early rounds of Grand Slams to prepare himself for the challenge of the big three in the latter stages. Zverev has the quality, but needs to deliver on his potential.

High-Profile Abu Dhabi Exhibition Tournament Moves Earlier Before Christmas

Abu Dhabi, UAE: The 12th Mubadala World Tennis Championship is swapping ‘new balls please’ for ‘new dates please’. Tournament owner Flash Entertainment has announced the Arabian Gulf’s leading professional tennis experience will return to Abu Dhabi’s International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City from 19-21 December 2019 – one week earlier than its traditional spot on the calendar.

The tournament’s new dates are expected to increase the number of tennis fans, families and friends from the UAE and beyond swinging into the festive season by catching eight of the world’s leading tennis players – six male and two female – live in the UAE capital.

The strategic date switch is also designed to increase international attendance at the event, as pre-Christmas tourists combine world-class tennis action with Abu Dhabi’s distinct blend of hospitality, culture, tolerance and outstanding event organisation.

“The Mubadala World Tennis Championship has always been a huge hit with people from across the globe, offering intimate and unrivalled access to the world’s best players in a special, festival atmosphere. We are constantly looking to evolve the event and the new dates will enhance the senses of visitors and further cement Abu Dhabi’s reputation as the perfect winter holiday destination,” said John Lickrish, CEO, Flash Entertainment.
“The 12th Mubadala World Tennis Championship is picture perfect for spectators, with top-class on-court action, our popular Kids’ Day, player activities and a diverse bill of entertainment options off-court. The new dates have enabled us to enhance the spectator experience and the Tennis Village will be packed with fun festive activities for all. We look forward to welcoming everyone over the three days.”

Rashed Alharmoodi, Head of External Corporate Relations for Mubadala, the title sponsor of the tournament, commented: “Our long-standing support of this tournament is focused on the benefits it offers the community. Bringing world-class sports stars to the nation’s capital provides a great spectacle for sports fans while presenting role models for young people. It’s an opportunity for us to work with our partners to promote healthy living and an active lifestyle through tennis. Zayed Sports City is a fantastic, world-class venue for this event and we’re pleased with the role the Championship plays in promoting Abu Dhabi internationally.”

In addition to nine top-class matches across the three days, spectators can enjoy tennis clinics, autograph and question-and-answer sessions with the players and get involved in interactive competitions. Tournament hospitality offers unmissable food and beverage, while the grand slam range of F&B in the Tennis Village caters to all tastes.
Pre-registration for tickets is now open at http://www.mubadalawtc.com/pre-register-for-one-of-the-most-exclusive-experiences/ with tickets going on sale in July. Those who register for the special three-day package will earn the chance to purchase some of the best available seats closest to the action and an opportunity to meet the star players in the ‘MWTC Human Letter’ activation during the media day on December 18.For more information, visit www.mubadalawtc.com.

US Open’s New Coaching From Stands Experiment Goes Against The Sport’s Individual Nature

by Sharada Rajagopalan

When Wimbledon announced in 2018 after an extended match between John Isner and Kevin Anderson that it would be introducing a tie-break in the fifth set at 12-all, all eyes were set on the French Open.

The second major of the year made no similar overtures to appease to sentiments of wanting matches to end early and continued with the tradition of regulation scoring in the deciding set. Each five-setter that was played, including the thrilling quarterfinal between Stan Wawrinka and Stefanos Tsitsipas, vindicated this continuity without compunctions even among those wanting for changes in the scoring format.

However, in mid-2019, nearly a year later, if the US Open organisers had expected its decision to trial on-court coaching – from the stands – in the main draw matches this year would have nothing but teeming positivity, reality has been the opposite. The ones clamouring for modifications are also hesitant about accepting these, unmindful of the polished putting out of its rationale.

This wariness surrounding the potential implementation of on-court coaching maps out the wider impression of the move beyond what any finessed language can provide. That it is not a good move for a sport that is defined by its individuality and in which players are expected to come up with solutions to problems on their own, without any external support during the match.

Even these are just a couple of fundamentals upon which tennis rests. Regardless of these, players and coaches’ unsubtle mannerisms to contravene this principle makes for familiar viewing. For example, the infamy surrounding the 2018 women’s singles final between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka in which Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou’s ostensible coaching gestures accounted for more reactive responses than Osaka’s first major win.

It is not hard to decipher the US Open’s organisers to extend this option to players is another reactive demonstration to that incident. Only this time, it has manifested itself in a manner of appeasement at least towards the coach, if not towards the player.

For this reason, the biggest voice protesting against the move should be from Williams, apart from others who have criticised it, including former world No. 4 Tim Henman. For all the vociferousness she displayed about not being a direct recipient of Mouratoglou’s coaching tips while arguing with Carlos Ramos who, as the umpire officiating that final, had penalised her, this is the time when her words would carry heft. It would mean she would not only be living up to her claims but also was inclined towards to retaining conventionality as is.

However, the onus on ensuring the retention of tradition does not rest on Williams alone. It is on every player regardless of the gender divisions. Rather, to be specific, the argument for and against on-court coaching falls on the generation gap – and the different mindsets – existing in tennis presently.

With the WTA using on-court coaching as an expedient tool for about the last decade or so, there is an interesting correlation to be made in this context. It applies not just to the women but for the men as well.

The women who have come through the ranks in the professional circuit in this lengthy time-span have become used to the phenomenon of having their coach assist them as needed in a match. For them to have their respective coach helping them out from the stands would only be an extension of the existing normalcy. The same parallel can be made with the ATP NextGen. Of the youngsters thinking of these changes as widening (of sorts) of the rules of the NextGen ATP Finals that has on-court coaching in place and welcoming it.

If these scenarios do come to pass, the scope of USTA’s path of placation widens substantially. To the point it becomes the pivot introducing a newer tradition as suited to the ever-in-flux contemporary needs.