Lead Story

Shenzhen, China To Become New Host City For WTA Tour Finals

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced its selection of the city of Shenzhen, China to host the WTA Finals, the most prestigious event on the WTA calendar, from 2019 through 2028.

Gemdale Corporation, one of China’s largest and leading real estate developers, submitted the winning bid. The company’s bid includes building a state-of-the-art venue in the city’s downtown area, with seating for 12,000 people, and record prize money of $14 million for the Top 8 singles players and Top 8 doubles teams, double the previous purse.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce that the dynamic city of Shenzhen has been chosen to host the WTA Finals, the WTA’s crown jewel season finale, for the next decade,” said Steve Simon, WTA CEO and Chairman. “This will easily be the largest and most significant WTA Finals deal in the 45 years since the WTA was founded and promises to take the event to a spectacular new level.”

“Shenzhen is an exciting, fast-evolving metropolis of 68 million people and staging the WTA Finals there will ensure the WTA’s global fan base goes from strength to strength,” added Micky Lawler, WTA President. “As China’s new generation of players follow in the footsteps of Li Na, the local fans will have their own national heroines to cheer, but we also know from our existing events in the region led by the China Open that they will support all of the stars of the WTA with tremendous enthusiasm.”

“Shenzhen is honored to have been selected as host for the WTA Finals,” said Liu Fengning, General Manager, Shenzhen Gemdale Sports Industry Co., Ltd. “This world class event will attract local and foreign tennis fans and add to Shenzhen’s reputation as an outward-looking and vibrant global city. We embrace the WTA’s values of inclusiveness and equality, and are grateful for the opportunity to add to China’s tennis legacy by staging an event that encourages young generations to take up the sport.”

Billie Jean King, pioneer and founder of the WTA, remarked, “It is absolutely incredible to witness the growth of the WTA season-ending event and Shenzhen will be a fantastic home for the WTA Finals. The first Finals were played in 1972, in Boca Raton, Florida, before the WTA was formed, and had $100,000 in total prize money. The record setting $14 million purse set for Shenzhen reflects the global strength of our sport and how Shenzhen and China have embraced women’s tennis.”

Sam Stosur, WTA Player Council member, former World No.1 doubles and World No.4 singles commented, “I am really impressed by the sheer magnitude of the offer that Shenzhen has made. The increased prize money and the construction of an amazing new stadium with naming rights is incredible. But significantly, the financial backing and government commitment is an exceptional investment in the WTA that will help us to develop women’s tennis in all corners of the world for years to come. It’s an exciting day and time for me and for all of our WTA players.”

WTA World No.1 Simona Halep, who was runner-up at the WTA Finals in Singapore in 2014 and won the Shenzhen Open in 2015 and 2018, said, “I have chosen to start my season in Shenzhen for a few years now, and I am thrilled that the city has been selected to stage the WTA Finals.” Halep added, “It’s a fascinating and friendly place, with some of the best tennis fans in the world. I know the WTA’s partners in Shenzhen will deliver a wonderful and memorable experience for the players, fans and sponsors.”

2019 will mark the 49th staging of the WTA Finals (with the inaugural staging in 1972). There have been 21 different winners in the event’s history with champions from 13 different nations including Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams.

Shenzhen is set to become the 10th different city – and the second in Asia – to host the WTA Finals following Boca Raton (1972-1973), Los Angeles (1974-1976, 2002-2005), Oakland (1978), New York City (1977, 1979-2000), Munich (2001), Madrid (2006-2007), Doha (2008-2010), Istanbul (2011-2013) and Singapore (2014-2018).

Since 2008, when the WTA began its strategic priority to grow the brand and tournament footprint in China and the wider Asia-Pacific region, attendance, broadcast and digital exposure have soared as new audiences have embraced the sport.

A new record was set on the ground at the WTA Finals in 2017 as the event welcomed 133,000 fans, the largest attendance over the four years in Singapore. Overall, WTA social media initiatives increased fan engagement globally, with total social video views growing from 22.9 million in 2016 to 27.8 million in 2017.

Surprises, Comebacks Highlight Start of Australian Open

The first Grand Slam is already underway in the beautiful city of Melbourne, Australia. Since the 10th of January with the start of qualifying, we have seen great action and endurance from some of the emerging talents in the world of tennis as they battle Down Under.

This is not just a great time for the players themselves but for fantasy players as well as they try to win big in the first Grand Slam of the year and lay down the marker for future success. If you want to become a tennis fantasy player, you need to keep in mind that it’s less than football fantasy betting and more of the lottery. At the start of the year, you need to bank on chance that your fantasy players will play to their potential rather than base your choices on player’s current form. Even if it’s more of a game of chance, you still possess the ability to win just like when you play the Powerball lottery online.

Below is a recap of some the early highlights so so far at the Australian Open.

Three of the four women’s semifinalists from the previous Grand Slam, the US Open, lost in the first round! Sloane Stephens, the 2017 US Open, was defeated in the opening round to China’s Zhang Shuai 2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2. She is now 0-8 in matches since her US Open triumph last September. Coco Vandeweghe, an Australian and U.S. Open semifinalist last year, couldn’t fight through her flu and lost in the first round to Timea Babos 7-6, 6-2. Venus Williams, last year’s finalist at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and a semifinalist at the U.S. Open lost 6-3, 7-5 to Belinda Bencic, who is still on an inspiring high after pairing with Roger Federer to win the Hopman Cup for Switzerland.

Six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic played his first tournament match since Wimbledon, with a new service motion, a sleeve on his right arm to protect his injured elbow, and new coach Radek Stepanek in the coaching box alongside Andre Agassi. He had little trouble in the first round with American Donald Young, who played helped Djokovic into the second round with poor play in a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 decision.

Stan Wawrinka, the 2014 Australian Open champion, also played his first tournament match since Wimbledon and sported a nasty looking scar on his right knee from his summer surgery. The Swiss man only dropped a set in his first round win over Ricardas Berankis. Wawrinka’s fellow Swiss Roger Federer, the defending champion and No. 2 seed, had little trouble with Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene winning in three sets.

 

 

Expect The Unexpected At The 2018 Australian Open

The Australian Open has a history of producing unpredictable results with healthy helping of long-shot champions, finalists and semifinalists. A primary reason for this is because the event is played in the third week of the tennis season and a players off-season training – or lack thereof – showcases itself.

Injuries and comebacks are the major theme heading into the 2018 Australian Open. On the men’s side, five-time finalist Andy Murray is out of the event after undergoing hip surgery. Former top 10 star Kei Nishikori of Japan is also not competing due to injury. Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka are expected to post in their returns to tournament tennis. Djokovic has not played since last summer with a right elbow injury. Wawrinka has also not played since the summer after undergoing  knee surgery.

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal had a much shorter injury layoff, not playing an official tournament since having to withdraw from the ATP World Tour Finals at the end of the 2017 season with a hampered knee.

The Australian Open has a long history of long-shots advancing deep into the tournament and also claiming the men’s and women’s singles titles. On the men’s side,  some most recent surprise performances have been champions Petr Korda (1999), Thomas Johannsson (2002) and also Marcos Baghdatis, Fernando Gonzalez and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who made their only major singles final appearances in 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively. Since then, winners and runners-up have been among the elite of the elite – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – with the lone exception being Stan Wawrinka, who was ranked No. 9 when he won his first major title in Melbourne in 2014.

In 2017, Grigor Dimitrov had another breakthrough major tournament by reaching the semifinals, where he lost in an epic five-set thriller to Nadal. After his victory at the year-end ATP World Tour Finals in London to end 2017, Dimitrov is the top choice to win the title in Melbourne this year other than No. 1 Nadal and No. 2 seed and defending champion Roger Federer. Austria’s Dominic Thiem, ranked No. 5, and Germany’s Alexander Zverev, ranked No. 4, are also poised for greatness and could begin this next generation of champions with an Australian Open win. Australia’s immensely talented Nick Kyrgios, ranked No. 17, could put his temperament aside and rise the tide of local support to fulfill his massive potential. His title in Brisbane leading into the event have buoyed his tennis betting odds.

On the women’s side, the Australian Open has also crowned unheralded champions such as Kerry Reid in 1977, Chris O’Neil in 1978 and Barbara Jordan in 1979. Angelique Kerber was the Australian Open surprise in 2016, winning her first major title with a final-round upset of world No. 1 Serena Williams.  Kerber and 2008 champion Maria Sharapova are the only two former Australian Open winners in the 2018 women’s singles field. Defending champion Serena Williams has pulled out of the event, not feeling her post-pregnancy comeback has progressed fast enough for her liking. Vika Azarenka, the 2012 and 2013 Australian Open champion, also pulled out of the event since she is not able to travel overseas in a custody battle of her son.

The top two women’s seeds, Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki respectively, have never won a major singles title, which may place No. 3 seed Garbine Muguruza, the 2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon champion, as the favorite. Elina Svitolina, the No. 4 seed, has also never won a major singles title but appears as though she is a future candidate for that role and Australia would be an appropriate stage for this kind of breakthrough.

Johanna Konta of Britain, born in Australia and ranked No. 9, may be a surprise pick to win the title. She was a surprise semifinalist Down Under in 2016 and also at Wimbledon in 2017 so she could make a move to a later round.

Simona Halep Wins Shenzhen Open Title In China

Romanian World No.1 Simona Halep enjoyed a winning start to her season as she lifted the Shenzhen Open singles title with a strong 6-1, 2-6, 6-0 victory over defending champion Katerina Siniakova in 74 minutes.

After a four hour rain delay, the match was played at the indoor tennis stadium of the Shenzhen Longgang Sports Centre.

The singles top seed did not face a single break point and won 70% of her service points in a powerful first set display but had her serve broken three times in the second as her 21-year-old Czech opponent staged a comeback.

However, 26-year-old Halep showed just why she was the world No.1 in the final set, winning 24 out of 30 points as she served her opponent a bagel to complete the victory in some style. The trophy marks Halep’s sixteenth career title and second here in Shenzhen after her win in 2015.

“It’s been a great week for me as I’ve been playing very well. It was a difficult match and (Siniakova) played very well. She beat Sharapova which is great – I know that feeling. I think we had a great match today. I tried everything to win. I was a little bit less nervous and just tried to enjoy the moment even if we are playing indoors. It’s not easy but we did our job and I’m happy that I could win the first title of the year,” said Halep.

En route to the title, Halep defeated American Nicole Gibbs in the first round, China’ Duan Ying-Ying in the second, Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka in the quarterfinal and fourth seeded compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu in yesterday’s semifinal. The Romanian only dropped two sets the entire tournament.

World No. 47 Siniakova, who defeated Halep in the second round here last year, paid tribute to her opponent’s performance.

“I didn’t play as well as I did last year in the final but Simona really played well today. It’s a good start to the season for me, but of course, a better start for Simona. Last season I won two titles after making the final here so hopefully I can get more titles again this year,” said Siniakova, who was the singles sixth seed.

Both Halep and Siniakova are also in the doubles finals with their respective partners Begu and Barbora Krejcikova. The match commenced just over thirty minutes after the singles final was completed.

The Shenzhen Open is organized by the Chinese Tennis Association, Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sport and Tourism and CCTV-IMG Sports Management Company and is co-organized by the Bureau of Culture, Sport and Tourism of Longgang District, Shenzhen Gemdale Sports Industry Co. Ltd. and Kaisa Culture Sports & Tourism Group.

The event is proud to have prestigious commercial sponsors that include the premier sponsors Kaisa Group and Gemdale Group together with Crowne Plaza Shenzhen Longgang City Center, Iqiyi Sports, Erke, Life Fitness, Yonex, Head and Master Kong You Yue Purified Drinking Water.

The official tournament website www.ShenzhenOpenTennis.com has additional information about the tournament.

USTA Celebrates One-Year Anniversary Of USTA National Campus In Orlando

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) today commemorated the one-year anniversary of the USTA National Campus, which officially opened on January 2, 2017, in Lake Nona in Orlando, Fla., as the new “Home of American Tennis.”  In its inaugural year, nearly 200,000 players visited the groundbreaking facility, with more than 100 international, national and local tournaments held throughout the year. The USTA National Campus, featuring 100 courts over 64 acres, is open to the public and serves the entire spectrum of the tennis community, including youth players, recreational players, collegiate athletes and future and current professional tour level players.

“The USTA National Campus has truly exceeded our expectations and delivered on our vision,” said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “The facility was built to elevate industry standards and expand opportunities. We are excited to see how it will continually thrive and support the next generation of players and providers.”

Today’s one-year celebration included tennis icons Jim Courier and Gigi Fernandez, joined by the City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams, USTA Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Gordon Smith, state and regional partners, as well as ESPN’s Chris McKendry, serving as emcee.

In addition to serving as a premier destination for tennis players and fans from throughout the country and the across the globe, the USTA National Campus has become a cornerstone of activity for residents in Central Florida through local programs, lessons and camps.

“Not only has USTA’s National Campus, state-of-the-art facility become the anchor of Lake Nona’s emerging ‘Sports and Performance District’ but it has bolstered Orlando’s position as a global magnet for sports, health and wellness innovation,” said Mayor Buddy Dyer. “I am proud to say that in one year, this campus has set the national standard for player development and community tennis.”

In its first year, the facility has provided and hosted a broad range of events, tournaments, training and programs to create memorable experiences for players of all ages and abilities. Highlights include:

  • Nearly 200,000 players and visitors
  • More than 100 international, national, regional and local events
  • More than 600 current and aspiring American professional tennis players have trained at the USTA National Campus
  • Participants from more than 50 countries
  • More than 500 children participate each week in tennis programming
  • Nearly 150,000 court hours were reserved
  • More than 17,000 tournament participants
  • 540 Pro Circuit matches held
  • Selected as the host site of the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships in 2019 and 2021, as well as the NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships in 2022
  • Hosted more than 300 universities and colleges
  • Nearly 6,000 fans attended the six College MatchDay events
  • Home of the University of Central Florida’s Men’s and Women’s Varsity Tennis Program

The USTA National Campus focuses on the complete player pathway – housing the USTA’s Player Development, Pro Circuit, Team Events, Collegiate Tennis, USTA-U and Community Tennis divisions. The facility has enabled the USTA to host a wide variety of events, including national junior championships, adult league championships, buddy-up programs, veterans programs, wheelchair events, professional tournaments, collegiate conference championships, the ITF Super Seniors world championship, junior and adult sectional championships, Junior Team Tennis championships and many others.

The state-of-the-art adidas Performance Center has made it possible to fully implement USTA Player Development’s “Team USA” philosophy of collaboration, inclusion and support of aspiring American players and their coaches. Throughout the year, current and former legendary pros that have trained, coached, visited and played at the facility include Madison Keys, CiCi Bellis, Frances Tiafoe, Jack Sock, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Jennifer Brady, Chris Evert, Jim Courier, James Blake, the Bryan Brothers, Ivan Lendl and many others.

Additionally, the facility has become an epicenter of innovation allowing opportunities for the testing of new and emerging technologies. By incorporating the latest technologies and equipment to assist with coaching education, advanced training techniques and improved athletic performance, the USTA National Campus has become a testing ground for new technologies to improve play and the player experience.

The USTA National Campus has redefined how the USTA delivers on its mission and provides a new vision for the future of tennis in the U.S. For more information, please visit ustanationalcampus.com.

Kevin Anderson Wins In Abu Dhabi; Serena Williams Loses First Match In Post-Pregnancy Comeback

 Abu Dhabi, UAE – 30 December 2017: The Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) has a new name on the winner’s trophy as world number 14 Kevin Anderson defeated Spain’s world number 20 Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets 6-4, 7-6 (7-0) in 1 hour and 39 minutes at the International Tennis Center at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi.

The Championship trophy was handed over to Anderson by Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports. Also present were Homaid Al Shimmari, Deputy CEO, Mubadala Investment Company and John Lickrish, Chief Executive Officer, Flash Entertainment organisers of the MWTC.

Before the final, however, fans were treated to a special exhibition match as 23-time Grand Slam Champion, Serena Williams made her first public on court appearance since becoming a mother just under four months ago.

Williams’ opponent in her first competitive match, and the first women’s match ever played at MWTC, was world number seven, Jelena Ostapenko. The 20-year-old Latvian has had a breakthrough season, winning the French Open after defeating current world number one Simona Halep in the final. But Ostapenko was too strong for Williams as she went down 6-2, 3-6, (10-5).

In the Championship match, the big-serving Anderson, who was in red hot form throughout the three days, continued his powering run as he broke Bautista Agut in the very first service game before going on to win the set in just 37 minutes.

The second set proved to be a far tighter affair as the Spaniard found his range. He broke Anderson in the second game, but the 6’8” South African used his serve to good effect as he broke right back. The contest then went on serve and in the tie-break, it was an absolute masterclass from Anderson as he took charge with aggressive play from the baseline to wrap up the set and match 7-6 (7-0).

After receiving his Championship trophy, which is officially sponsored by Lasvit, Anderson said, “It is obviously nice to get a win. It’s been three very good matches for me. In terms of my preparation I could not ask for more out of these matches. They were very close matches and I had to compete. I was able to implement a lot of the things we were working on during the off-season but overall I am very, very pleased with these last few days.”

Looking ahead to the new season, he said, “I’ve set big goals for next year. The year is just getting started, so there is a lot of tennis to be played. I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks and the new season.”

In the first-ever Women’s match at the Championship, Jelena Ostapenko, playing against her ‘idol’, as she acknowledged her in the post-match press conference, showed signs of nervousness as she lost the first service game before recovering to take a 3-1 lead. Playing in front of a very excited crowd, Williams initially showed signs of rustiness and her opponent took full advantage to win the first set 6-2.

In the second set, Williams finally came into her own finding her rhythm and racing away to a 3-0 lead. Two further breaks in serves saw the 36-year-old American claim the second set 6-3. In the super set, a series of unforced errors from Williams saw the Latvian take a 6-1 lead before the American staged a brief fight back to bring the score to 4-8. However, Ostapenko had just enough in the tank to claim the match 6-2, 3-6, (10-5).

Williams said, “It felt good to be back out there. I miss playing, I missed the competition, the crowd and the atmosphere. I’m taking it one day at a time. In the beginning, it was a little tough. But as the match moved on I was less afraid. The more I played, the more confident I felt. I think this was a wonderful opportunity for me to kind of test and see where I am not only physically but also mentally. I think it was perfect.”

She added, “For me it was all about how I feel physically, how I am physically recovering. I’m just really proud to be playing again and competing. I’ve just had a few tough months and I’m really excited to be out here.”

After her win Ostapenko said, “It was great as she was my idol growing up. It’s hard for her to come back after the baby but I am honoured to be playing in her first match back. Both of us had some good rallies and were also serving and returning well. This experience has been great for me.”

Earlier in the day, Austrian world number 5 Dominic Thiem and Spain’s world number 10 Pablo Carreño Busta played out an exhibition match as both players prepare for the Australian Open.

Thiem, who was beaten by Anderson in yesterday’s semi-final, went on to win 6-3, 6-4 with the help of 11 aces in just over an hour. The world number five broke Carreño Busta’s serve in each of the two sets to register a comfortable victory. Carreño Busta has now lost 11 of his last 12 matches after losing to Kevin Anderson in the opening round of the MWTC and Russian Andrey Rublev for the fifth and sixth place play off.

After his match, Thiem said, “I’m very pleased with the way I served and it was the perfect preparation for me (ahead of the Australian Open). I’m quite satisfied with the way I played over these two days.”

Thousands of fans witnessed three-action packed days of tennis from some of the best players in the world. Due to its success, the organisers revealed during the trophy ceremony that the tournament will return in 2018, for the 11th consecutive year, and will be played between December 27-29.

The three-day MWTC, which is now well established as an annual season-opener, attracted thousands of fans who witnessed high-quality tennis action as the players battled it out for the winner takes all prize of US $250,000.

For more information on the 2018 tournament, stay tuned to www.mubadalawtc.com or follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/mubadalaworldtennischampionship.

About Mubadala World Tennis Championship

The Mubadala World Tennis Championship was launched in 2008 by FLASH Entertainment, the region’s leading events consultancy, in partnership with IMG.  Now celebrating its tenth edition, the 2017 Mubadala World Tennis Championship will take place 28 to 30 December 2017 at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City. Beyond the three-day tournament itself, the Championship is committed to creating a lasting legacy for tennis in the UAE through various community programmes that raise awareness of the benefits of tennis and the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle.

About FLASH Entertainment

Based in Abu Dhabi, FLASH Entertainment (#ThinkFLASH) is the region’s premier live events company, with a proven track record in delivering world-class events from movie premieres and classical shows to international sports events and megastar music concerts. FLASH offers comprehensive event management solutions from concepts and designs through to coordinating every stage of production. The company is committed to providing the region with diverse entertainment programmes, grassroots creativity and stimulating the local economy and events’ industry. For more information visit www.thinkflash.ae or email [email protected]

About Mubadala Investment Company

Mubadala is a pioneering global investor, deploying capital with integrity and ingenuity to accelerate economic growth for the long-term benefit of Abu Dhabi. As Abu Dhabi’s leading strategic investment company, Mubadala is active in 13 sectors and more than 30 countries around the world, creating lasting value for our shareholder, the Government of Abu Dhabi.

Our work includes the development of global industrial champions in sectors such as aerospace, ICT, semiconductors, metals & mining and renewable energy, utilities, and the management of diverse financial holdings. We build on legacy expertise in oil and gas to invest across the hydrocarbon spectrum and enhance the UAE’s growth potential through investments in healthcare, real estate and defense services. Our investment approach prioritizes partnership with best-in-class organizations and a commitment to the highest standards of governance.

beINSPORTS Announces Coverage of WTA Tour, ATP Tour Tennis for 2018

Are you a tennis fan in the United States searching for TV coverage of the WTA Tour? Check out beIN SPORTS  The network released its programming lineup for the 2018 season of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) events.

beIN SPORTS will offer exclusive live coverage of 44 tennis tournaments, (39 WTA + 5 ATP), from 26 different countries. The coverage will be easily accessible across beIN SPORTS television channels and on beIN SPORTS CONNECT, the network’s online streaming service, which features a dedicated tennis channel (beIN SPORTS CONNECT 10).

The championship matches of the Premier events in Doha, Dubai, Stuttgart, Madrid, Rome, Wuhan, Beijing and Singapore will air live on the beIN SPORTS US YouTube channel, which will be embedded on the beIN SPORTS homepage. Furthermore, finals of Premier events and events in Hispanic countries will also be broadcasted on beIN SPORTS en Español.

Coverage begins on Monday, January 1st, with the Brisbane Tournament, live from Australia. For live match schedules, please visit www.beinsports.com/us/tv-guide.

Below please find the beIN SPORTS schedule for the WTA 2018 season.

WTA 2018 Schedule
DATETOURNAMENTLOCATIONTYPE
January 1Brisbane InternationalBrisbane, AustraliaPremier
January 1Shenzhen OpenShenzhen, ChinaInternational
January 2ASB ClassicAuckland, New ZealandInternational
January 8Sydney InternationalSydney, AustraliaPremier
January 8Hobart InternationalHobart, AustraliaInternational
January 29St. Petersburg Ladies TrophySt. Petersburg, RussiaPremier 5
February 4Taiwan OpenTaipei, TaiwanInternational
February 12Qatar OpenDoha, QatarPremier
February 19Dubai Duty Free Tennis ChampionshipsDubai, United Arab EmiratesPremier
February 26Abierto MexicanoAcapulco, MexicoInternational
April 3Abierto Monterrey AfirmeMonterrey, MexicoInternational
April 10Claro Open ColsanitasBogota, ColombiaInternational
April 10Ladies Open LuganoLugano, SwitzerlandInternational
April 23Porsche Tennis Grand PrixStuttgart, GermanyPremier
April 26TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul CupIstanbul, TurkeyInternational
May 2J&T Banka Prague OpenPrague, Czech RepublicInternational
May 2Grand Prix SAR La Princesse Lalla MeryemRabat, MoroccoInternational
May 7Mutus Madrid OpenMadrid, SpainPremier Mandatory
May 14International BNL d’ItaliaRome, ItalyPremier 5
May 23Internationaoux de StrasbourgStrasbourg, FranceInternational
June 14Ricoh Open‘s-Hertogenbosch, NetherlandsInternational
June 18Aegon Classic BirminghamBirmingham, EnglandPremier
June 19Mallorca OpenMallorca, SpainInternational
June 25The InternationalEastbourne, EnglandPremier
July 19Bucharest OpenBucharest, RomaniaInternational
July 2301 Properties Moscow OpenMoscow, RussiaInternational
July 23Jiangxi OpenNanchang, ChinaInternational
August 6Rogers CupMontreal, CanadaPremier 5
September 13Japan Women’s Open TennisHiroshima, JapanInternational
September 17Toray Pan Pacific OpenTokyo, JapanPremier
September 19Guangzhou International Women’s OpenGuangzhou, ChinaInternational
September 20Korea OpenSeoul, South KoreaInternational
September 24Wuhan OpenWuhan, ChinaPremier 5
September 26Tashkent OpenTashkent, UzbekistanInternational
October 1China OpenBeijing, ChinaInternational
October 11Prudential Hong Kong Tennis OpenHong Kong, ChinaInternational
October 15Kremlin CupMoscow, RussiaPremier
October 17BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg OpenLuxembourg City, LuxembourgInternational
October 22BNP Paribas WTA Finals SingaporeSingapore, MalaysiaPremier

 

For more information, visit www.beINSPORTS.com. Follow us on Social Media:

Twitter: @beINSPORTSUSA and/or @ESbeINSPORTS; Facebook: beIN SPORTS USA and/or beIN SPORTS En Español; Instagram: @beINSPORTSUSA; Snapchat: @beINSPORTSUSA.

 

“The Greatest Tennis Matches of All Time” Makes For Great Holiday Gift

Having trouble thinking of the proper holiday gift for the tennis player in your life? Consider the book “The Greatest Tennis Matches of All Time” by 2017 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Steve Flink

“The Greatest Tennis Matches of All Time” features profiles and rankings of the greatest matches of all time dating from the1920s 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.

The hard-cover book, that makes for a centerpiece of a coffee table or at your local tennis club, retails for $28.95, and can be purchased here on Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/dp/0942257936/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_Qj-rybVBRK7ZW or at www.NewChapterMedia.com and where ever books are sold.

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 Greatest Jewish Tennis Players of All Time” by Sandra Harwitt, “The Secrets of Spanish Tennis” by Chris Lewit, “Sport of a Lifetime” by Judy Aydelott, “Absolute Tennis: The Best and Next Way To Play The Game” by Marty Smith, “Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection” by Rene Stauffer, “The Bud Collins History of Tennis” by Bud Collins (a new third edition published in late 2016), “The Education of a Tennis Player” by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, “The Wimbledon Final That Never Was” by Sidney Wood, “Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match” by Cliff Richey and Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, “Your Playbook for Beating Depression” by Cliff Richey and Mary Garrison, “Titanic: The Tennis Story” by Lindsay Gibbs, “Jan Kodes: A Journey To Glory From Behind The Iron Curtain” by Jan Kodes with Peter Kolar, “Tennis Made Easy” by Kelly Gunterman, “On This Day In Tennis History” by Randy Walker, “A Player’s Guide To USTA League Tennis” by Tony Serksnis, “Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games” by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli (www.Boycott1980.com), “The Lennon Prophecy” by Joe Niezgoda (www.TheLennonProphecy.com), “Bone Appetit, Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog” by Susan Anson, “How To Sell Your Screenplay” by Carl Sautter, “The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According To Hoyle” by Stewart Wolpin, “People’s Choice Guide Cancun” by Eric Rabinowitz, “Lessons from the Wild” by Shayamal Vallabhjee among others.

Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships In Vero Beach Set Again For April

The 2018 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, Vero Beach’s $15,000 “Futures” professional tennis tournament – one of the longest-running and best attended events on the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) Pro Circuit – will be played April 20-29 at the Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club.

It will mark the 17th time that Grand Harbor has hosted the event, returning as the site last year after a hiatus of seven years. The event benefits the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the non-profit foundation benefiting children, named for Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish, a former top 10 tennis star, U.S. Davis Cup hero and silver medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games.

“We are excited to once again host at Grand Harbor in Vero Beach some of the world’s most talented young tennis players as they attempt to earn ATP ranking points and make their way up in the world of pro tennis,” said Tom Fish, Chairman of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation. “We are very grateful for all of the support from the Vero Beach community to help raise money for our foundation that benefits children in Indian River County and beyond.”

Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishFoundation.com and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) currently supports over 1700 children grades KDG-8th in Indian River County, Florida by funding after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives. Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, collaborates with various community organizations, including Boys and Girls Club of Indian River County, Dasie Hope Bridgewater Center and LOTA Sports.   Kids on Courts After School Tennis program is facilitated by LOTA Sports offering progressive tennis instruction from world class professionals.  The Foundation introduced the “Six Healthy Habits” in 2012 Get Sleep; Drink Water; Exercise Daily, Eat Healthy; Brush and Floss; Make Friends. Fish achieved a career-high ranking of No. 7 in 2011 and won 14 career ATP singles and doubles titles in his career. After retiring from the ATP World Tour in 2015, Fish now competes on the celebrity pro golf tour and the PowerShares Series legends tennis tour while serving as a coach for the USTA Player Development Program and a TV commentator for ESPN.

Tournament tickets and sponsorships are now on sale and can be purchased at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com Until Christmas, tickets are 10 percent off using the code HOLIDAY17. Tickets for the qualifying rounds from April 20 – April 23 cost $10, while tickets for the main draw of singles and doubles from April 24 – 29 are $20, with “night session” tickets starting at 5 pm from April 24-27 costing $10. Season tickets that include both the qualifying and main draw events cost $100. Admission for children 18 and under is free. Fans can follow news and developments on the tournament on Facebook and on Twitter at @VeroFutures. Detailed sponsorship information can be obtained by emailing Tom Fish at [email protected] or Randy Walker at [email protected]

The annual USTA Vero Beach Futures has an economic impact of approximately $500,000 per year on the Vero Beach local economy. Approximately 3,000 fans annually attend the event, which is seen as one of the best-attended events in the world on the “Futures” level of professional tennis tournaments.

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

Last year, Calvin Hemery of France won the singles title defeating top American teenager Sam Riffice in the final. Recent notable tournament entries include 2016 Wimbledon sensation Marcus Willis of Great Britain, who reached the singles and doubles quarterfinals last year, and Denis Shapovalov of Canada, the ATP World Tour’s Most Improved Player in 2017, who reached the semifinals in Vero Beach in 2016.

Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club is majestically set upon the Indian River in Vero Beach, and overlooks a mile of scenic Intracoastal Waterway. Grand Harbor presents exceptional value with two nationally acclaimed golf courses, an oceanfront beach club, a richly appointed Mediterranean-style clubhouse, 10 Har-Tru court tennis complex and fully equipped fitness center. A diverse enclave of home designs captures the essence of a romantic Mediterranean Village. A 144-slip, deep water protected, Marina is also located in the Grand Harbor Community for boating enthusiasts. Exciting new construction began in 2016 with plans for more than 200 new residences including condominiums, courtyard homes, estate homes and direct riverfront homes with prices from the mid 400′s to over two million. For more information please visit www.GrandHarbor.com or www.grandharborverobeach.com.

“WINNING” Documentary Featuring Martina Navratilova, Jack Nicklaus Now Available In Digital Formats

WINNING, the compelling and inspiring story of the journeys of nine-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova, Paralympic tennis legend  Esther Vergeer, golf great Jack Nicklaus, Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci and track and field star Edwin Moses and how they achieved and maintained greatness at the highest level of sport is now available for rent and purchase in digital formats.

The film, that was named by INC Magazine as one of its nine “must watch” documentaries, features candid interviews and archival footage of each athlete’s most exciting championship moments, as well as unique “behind-the-scenes” access to their lives on and off the field of play. The film portrays through the words of these all-time greats what kind of mind-set, passion and dedication are needed to become a champion and to remain on top for decades.

WINNING is available on iTunes, Amazon Video and Google Play here: http://bit.ly/WINstore

The film is produced and directed by Jacqueline Joseph, the former head of The Arthur Ashe Foundation and Executive Producer for IBM’s first-ever Official Grand Slam tennis tournament websites at the US Open, Wimbledon, French Open and Australian Open. A trailer for the film can be seen here: http://bit.ly/WINNINGFILM

“WINNING is a film that shines a spotlight on five of the greatest athletes in sports history,” said Joseph. “The revealing stories that these athletes share in WINNING speak to everyone, young and old, on the court and outside the lines… because as they say, ‘Sports is a metaphor for life.’”

In WINNING, these iconic athletes reminisce about the highs and lows of their careers and share a unique and intimate window into their lives. The film features rare archival footage of the athletes’ childhoods, as well as some of their most memorable and historic moments at the Olympics, Wimbledon, The Masters, US Open, British Open and The Paralympics.

The film also features interviews with the athletes’ families, coaches, agents and competitors including Olympic Gold Medalists Bart Conner and Derrick Adkins, track and field Olympians Benn Fields and Herb Douglas, tennis star Pam Shriver, legendary coaches Sven Groeneveld and Robert Lansdorp, Duke University Professor of Sports Psychology Greg Dale, Barbara Nicklaus, Jana Navratilova and former Olympic gymnastics coach Paul Ziert.

Navratilova is the most prolific winner of tennis titles in the professional era of tennis. She holds the records for the most singles (167) and doubles titles (177) won by a professional tennis player. She won 18 major singles titles, a record 31 major women’s doubles titles and 10 mixed doubles titles, including her final title at the age of 49 at the U.S. Open. She ranked as the No. 1 player in the world for a total of 332 weeks in singles and a record 237 weeks in doubles. The 2017 U.S. Open marks the 30th anniversary of her becoming the last player to sweep the singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles at a major championship.

Vergeer has been described as the most dominant athlete in professional sports, losing only 25 matches in her 17-year career in wheelchair tennis. She won 42 Grand Slam tournaments, 22 year-end championships and seven Paralympic gold medals, including four in singles. She was the No. 1 player in the world from 1999 to her retirement in 2013, not losing a match in 10 years, winning the last 470 matches she played.

Nicklaus is regarded as the greatest golfer to ever play the game, winning a record 18 professional major titles, including a record six Masters titles, a record-tying four U.S. Open titles and a record-tying five PGA Championships. Equally as impressive is that Nicklaus finished as the runner-up at 19 other major championships while winning 73 career PGA Tour titles.

Comaneci was the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10.0 during her famous performance at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. She earned a total of seven perfect 10s in Montreal en route to winning three gold medals for Romania. At the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, she won two more gold medals, concluding her career with nine total Olympic medals and four World Championship medals.

Moses won gold medals in the 400-meter hurdles at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal and at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Between 1977 and 1987, Moses won 107 consecutive finals and 122 consecutive races, setting the world record in the event four times.

More information on the film can be found at www.thewinningfilm.com and also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thewinningfilm and Twitter at www.twitter.com/thewinningfilm and Instagram at www.instagram.com/thewinningfilm