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Djokovic, Nadal or Murray – Who Will Win The 2016 French Open?

The second Grand Slam of the year has started – and there‘s a big buzz about the victor-to-be already. Will we continue to see the same legendary players snatching their consecutive titles, or could we hope for a bit of fresh air in terms of a new star? Let‘s take a look at who‘s the most likely to win French Open.

 

A Debut Title for Djokovic?

While it may sound hardly likely that any title could be a first for a player like this, all tennis fans know that the only Grand Slam that Djokovic is yet to win is Roland Garros.  He managed to go to the finals thrice – and was defeated by Rafael Nadal in 2012 and 2014 and by Stan Wawrinka in 2015. Could this finally be his year?

According to the UK-licensed bookie TonyBet, it absolutely can: the odds for his outright win are 1.80, which is way ahead of anyone else. It’s only fair, too, as the world’s #1 has double the points that #2 Murray managed to collect, and he’s been in incredible form for a ridiculously long time.

Djokovic started off his season with a sixth Australian Open title, and while he did have a blip in his performance when he lost to Jiri Vesely in Monte Carlo, it seems to have gone away. He won Madrid Masters against Murray and even though the Scot managed to then stop him in Rome finals, the Serb remains a powerful contender.

Could Rafael Nadal Make a Phoenix Comeback?

If Djokovic seems to have disproportional amounts of trouble at French Open, Nadal is the exact opposite. He’s got nine titles, of which four and then five were consecutive, although Rafa did struggle last year and only went through to the QF. If there’s a Grand Slam he can rule though, it’s this one: can we expect the old Nadal back?

The TonyBet bookies think that he’s got a fair shot at this as they’ve given him the odds of 4.75 at winning his tenth Roland Garros. The world’s #5 has been having struggles with his form since 2014 when he suffered an injury, and his first Grand Slam of 2016 ended in the first round.

However, since then he’s managed to win Monte Carlo and Barcelona, although he did lose to Murray in Madrid Master’s SF and to Djokovic in Rome’s QF. Nadal seems to have gained at least some of his form back, and the upcoming tournament will really be a good show of that. And who knows – maybe he’ll finally win another Grand Slam title!

Andy Murray to Keep Climbing?

The Scottish player had a pretty good season last year – even though he didn’t bring home any Grand Slam titles, his form was pretty good and he managed to push Britain’s national team to the first Davis Cup trophy in 79 years. Could Murray go on to win his first French Open?

Even though the furthest that world’s #2 has managed to go in this tournament before is semi-finals, TonyBet bookies seem to have a reasonable amount of faith in him. The odds for Murray winning Roland Garros are at 4.90 which is just a smidge behind what Nadal got. Obviously, Djokovic remains a force to be reckoned with, but even he can fall.

The Serb has already been a big hurdle for Murray this year, beating him at the finals of Australian Open and Madrid Masters. However, the Scot managed to win against Djokovic at Rome finals, which is definitely a very good sign – although it remains clear that this is one of the scariest opponents he could face.

Still, we never know what surprises may strike us. A dark horse win is always a possibility, and we have seen that plenty of times in the past. While Djokovic, for example, absolutely dominates the ATP ratings, that doesn‘t mean he‘ll get every title. In any case, there‘s a lot to look forward to in the French Open, so make sure to not miss it!

Juan Carlos Ferrero Academy In Spain Adds “PlaySight” Technology

Juan Carlos Ferrero’s – Equelite Sport Academy joins an elite group of pioneers in Europe to introduce Playsight to their tennis courts and is the first academy in Spain of its kind to debut the smart video-analysis technology.

Playsight, a technological system developed by Israeli engineers, allows tennis players to monitor and analyze their on-court activity. Equipped with a similar technology akin to the revolutionizing Hawk-Eye, this innovative technology can generate the ability to perform a number of various, timed on-court exercies. As a feature of technology already largely affixed on tennis courts throughout the United States, Playsight is readily becoming more diffused throughout the world. It stands to mention that all Grand Slam training courts are equipped with Playsight technologies.

Juan Carlos Ferrero and Antonio M. Cascales (Ferrero’s career-long coach) have opted to install this smart court technology on their courts at their high performance academy in Villena. On Thursday, May 12th the academy hosted an official presentation to unveil Spain’s first Smart-Academy with the leading edge techonology, Playsight, in place. On hand for the event were Ferrero accompanied by leading academy players, Pablo Carreño-Busta (Currently ranked No. 43 in the ATP and No. 5 in the National Spanish rankings respectively) and Nicola Kuhn, a rising junior star with much awaited promise of a professional future who exhibited a live-demo of the Playsight system technolgies.

“This leading technology allows a player to improve their strokes more quickly thanks to instantaneous, personalized information made readily available at one’s fingertips. We’ve installed these smart courts with a clear objective in mind; to foster continuous player development mediated through an elite, game-changing technology used by the professionals.” Commented Cascales.

Ferrero highlighted a renewed sense of motivation that Playsight has generated among tplayers: “The target objectives of the exercises are defined much more visually. The machine tells you when you have successfully met your obectives, it even commends you with applause. Moreover, it makes players more aware of how they play, they can see their mistakes and learn how to improve along with their coaches.” Which in his day, the former world No. 1 noted that, “It would have been much better to have this technology available.”

“With this technology, we can now present to whatever class of player whether it be a child, adult, or professional the opportunity to go home with a new and unique experience. An analysis of their game can be readily accessed 24/7 at the touch of a button through their mobile phones,” concluded representatives of the academy. With its implementation of smart court technologies, JCFerrero-Equelite Sport Academy has asserted itself as a clear front-runner in Spain serving as a model to incite a revolutionizing wave of smart courts around the country.

Ferrero’s academy is featured in the book “The Secrets of Spanish Tennis” by Chris Lewit for sale and download here via Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1937559491/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_-9Gpxb0EANP9A

 

Ivan Lendl’s Lefty “John McEnroe Double” Practice Partner To Be Honored In Vero Beach

Kriegler Brink, Ivan Lendl’s left-handed sparring partner in Vero Beach, Florida, is moving on from teaching tennis to pursue a job in finance and being honored at the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships during its Pro-Am and Kick-Off Cocktail Party Monday, April 25 at The Boulevard Tennis Club in Vero Beach.

Brink, the assistant tennis pro at Quail Valley Club, recently announced that he will be moving to Dallas, Texas this month where he will pursue a job in finance, real estate or insurance. A popular participant at the annual USTA Vero Beach Futures event since 2011, Brink will not participate this year in the tournament, now called The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, but will play in the pro-am event as a “going away” party to help raise funds for the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation.

Kriegler was known as the left-handed sparring partner for Hall of Fame tennis legend and Vero Beach resident Ivan Lendl, who frequently trained with the left-handed Kriegler in anticipation of matches with his left-handed rival John McEnroe in senior tennis events around the country, most notably their match at Madison Square Garden in 2011. Brink was a former No. 1 singles and doubles junior in South Africa and a standout player for Texas Christian University, where he finished his four-year career not losing a singles match in dual-match play his junior and senior years. He worked as an assistant pro at The Moorings Yacht & Tennis Club in Vero Beach from 2010 to 2012 before moving to work at Quail Valley. He played in the USTA Vero Beach Futures five times, with his best result coming in 2011 when he reached the singles semifinals in memorable fashion, defeating current world No. 149 Dennis Novikov in the first round and current and former top 300-ranked player Daniel Kosakowski in the quarterfinals before falling to eventual champion and Mexican Davis Cup team member Daniel Garza in the semifinals.

Brink listed his 2012 exhibition match with Lendl in Vero Beach as one of the best favorite memories in Vero Beach, writing in an email, “When Ivan Lendl was coaching Andy Murray, a couple days after they won Wimbledon together, I came up with the idea to ask my good friend Ivan if he will play an exhibition at Quail free of charge, to raise money for my permanent residency. I ran it through the leaders at Quail and they thought it was a great idea!  I called Ivan up to congratulate him on helping Andy win Wimbledon and asked him, he was happy to help any way he can! It was a member only event and the tickets were not cheap but when the members found out that the money is going to help me get my Green Card, if I remember correctly the tickets sold out within 2 days and had a big waitlist. It was the most fun night because it is always fun to hit tennis balls with Ivan.”

Pro-Am slots, where patrons can play doubles with Kriegler and ATP-ranked tennis pros from around t world competing in the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, are for sale for $150 per person (90 percent tax deductible). Entrants will get two hours of doubles tennis – playing with a rotation of competing pros – and will include cocktails and heavy appetizers. Entrants will also receive two tickets for any main draw session of the tournament (April 26-May 1) and a gift bag. The 90 percent tax deductible fee for non-players who just want to attend, watch and enjoy cocktails, appetizers and fun – and say good-bye and good luck to Kriegler – is $80 per person, and also includes one ticket for the main draw of the tournament. A 18-and-under kids ticket for the night will also be available for $40. To reserve a spot, email Randy Walker at [email protected]

“Kriegler has been a big part of the tennis community here for the last six years and our pro-am event will be like a going-away party for him to help raise funds for our Foundation, which is a very thoughtful gesture,” said Tom Fish, tournament director for the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships. “Kriegler is a tremendous young man with a bright future in the corporate world. Some company is going to be very lucky when they hire him. We will miss him in Vero Beach.”

Starting in 2016, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation is the new operator of the $10,000 “Futures” tennis tournament in Vero Beach, one of the longest-running and best attended events on the U.S. Tennis Association Pro Circuit. The tournament, now called The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, benefits the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the non-profit tennis 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. The event was managed for 20 years by Vero Beach tennis teaching professional Mike Rahaley, who made the annual Vero Beach stop one of the crown jewels on the USTA Pro Circuit. The 2016 tournament will be held April 22 through May 1 at The Boulevard Tennis Club.

Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishFoundation.com and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) currently supports over 2,100 children in 15 elementary schools and six middle schools in Indian River County, Florida by providing after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives. The Foundation introduced the “Six Healthy Habits” in 2012 which are Get Sleep; Drink Water; Exercise Daily, Eat Healthy; Brush and Floss; Make Friends.” Mardy Fish recently completed his ATP professional tennis career at the 2015 U.S. Open, highlighted by a career-high ranking of No. 7, six ATP singles titles, eight ATP doubles titles and an Olympic silver medal in singles at the 2004 Olympics. He reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and was a mainstay on the U.S. Davis Cup team from 2002 to 2012.

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 Australian Open semifinalist 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.

Tickets for the qualifying rounds of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships from April 22 – April 25 will cost $10, while tickets for the main draw of singles and doubles from April 26 – May 1 will be $20. Season tickets that include both the qualifying and main draw events cost $100. Advance tickets can be purchased at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com. Admission for children 18 and under is free. Fans can follow news and developments on the tournament on Facebook and on Twitter at @VeroFutures and by going to the website www.TennisVeroBeach.com

Sponsors and supporters of the 2016 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships are as follows

 

Grand Slam Sponsors

SorensenRealEstate.com

Boston Barricade

Laser Spine Institute

George E. Warren Corp.

Indian River Medical Center

Syde Hurdus Foundation

PNC Bank

 

Backhand Sponsors

John’s Island Real Estate

Coastal Van Lines Storage

Indian River Press Journal / TCPalm.com

Barbara Ettinger

Dr. Larry Landsman

Dr. John Sarbak

Citrus Grillhouse

White Orchid Day Spa

Gene Simonsen

Michael & Kathleen Pierce

Center Court

Publix

 

Forehand Sponsors

Rosato Plastic Surgery Center

Kay C. Betancourt, DMD

Jeff & Rosanne Susi

Mello Financial

Jean Ueltschi

Sam & Susie Bell

Cravings

Sue Powell Rentals

William Barhorst

Peter Bernholz Family

Don & Linda Proctor

The Whole Person Project, Inc.

Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery

Ocean Drive Elite Physiques

Huryn Construction

Riverside Café

Barker Air Conditioning

Bill & Laurie Stewart

Steve McCloud / Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

Coggin BMW of Ft. Pierce / Mercedes of Ft. Pierce

Twig Swim & Sportswear Shop

Osceola Bistro

 

Supporting Sponsors and Patrons

The Moorings Yacht & Country Club

New Leaf Designs

A Pampered Life / Disney Spa

Carpe Antiperspirant Hand Lotion

Robert Kowalczyk

Win Detergent

Calvetti & Company

NewChapterMedia.com

Steve Hardin

Aurelija Merrill

Carol Donnelly

Roy & Tish Wissel

Boast

Hutchinson’s Florist

Casey’s Restaurant

Chelsea’s Market

Tennis Resort at the ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disney

Publix

Sassy Boutique

Quail Valley Club

Bottle Shop

Sebastian Roadhouse Restaurant

Busy Bee

Twig

Veranda

Avanzare

Maison Beach Gifts

Center for Advanced Eye Care

Diamond Resorts International

Monreal London

Rock City Gardens

Quail Valley Club

Tina Simone Company

Pogues, Inc.

Kevin Healy, M.S., D.S.

Chiropractic Nutrition and Wellness

Treasure Coast Sports Commission

 

Andy Roddick Beats Andre Agassi To Win PowerShares Title In Charleston, S.C.

Andy Roddick picked up in 2016 just where he left off in 2015 on the PowerShares Series, winning his debut event of the new season in Charleston, S.C. Saturday night, defeating Andre Agassi 6-1 in the one-set championship match.

Roddick’s win at Daniel Island, played in conjunction with the Volvo Car Open, is his 11th career title on the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30. Roddick, 33, dominated the PowerShares Series in 2015, winning a single-season record eight titles. In his debut year on the Series in 2014, he won two of the three tournaments he played.

Roddick beat in his former Davis Cup teammate James Blake 6-3 earlier in the night to advance to the final, while Agassi beat Mardy Fish 6-2 in the other semifinal.

Roddick and Fish were returning to the site of their 2004 U.S. Davis Cup semifinal win against Belarus, where Roddick made tennis history by hitting a 155 mph serve, then the fastest recorded serve in history. Saturday night, 12 years removed from his record-breaking service performance, Roddick was still serving heat, his fastest serve being struck at 135 mph.

On Friday night, Blake won the opening event on the 2016 PowerShares Series in Chicago defeating John McEnroe 6-4 to win his fifth career PowerShares Series title. Through two events, Blake leads the PowerShares Series rankings with 500 points, followed by Roddick with 400 points and Agassi with 300 points and McEnroe and Fish with 200 points each.

Saturday’s event marked the first time a Champions Series event was played on clay since 2010 when Stefan Edberg defeated Marat Safin in the finals in the Cayman Islands.

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

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

 

April 14                St. Louis (Chaifetz Arena) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake

April 22                Memphis (Landers Center) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

April 23                Tulsa (BOK Center) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

July 17                  Newport, R.I. (International Tennis Hall of Fame) – Andy Roddick, James Blake + 2 Players TBA

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

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

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

November 5         Denver (1stBank Center) – Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake and TBA

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

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

 

In 2015, Andy Roddick won the PowerShares Series points title in his second year of competing on the series with 1,600 points. Roddick won a record eight events Los Angeles, Lincoln, Chicago, Austin, Little Rock, Dallas, Richmond and Minneapolis. Blake finished second in the points rankings with 1,200 points, winning events in Boston and Cincinnati. Mark Philippoussis finished in third with 1,100 points, winning titles in Salt Lake City and Vancouver. The year before in 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the nine-year history of Champions Series tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte.

ABOUT INSIDEOUT SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT

InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a Los Angeles based producer of proprietary events and promotions founded in 2004 by former world No. 1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. In 2005, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Champions Series, a collection of tournaments featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including “Legendary Night” exhibitions, The World Series of Beach Volleyball and numerous corporate outings. Since inception, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment has raised over $4 million for charity. In 2014, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment merged with Horizon Media, the largest privately held media services agency in the world.  For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or www.powersharesseries.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

ABOUT HORIZON MEDIA

Horizon Media, Inc. is the largest and fastest growing privately held media services agency in the world. The company was founded in 1989, is headquartered in New York and has offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Chicago. Horizon Media was chosen as 2011 Independent Media Agency of the Year by Mediapost, 2010 U.S. Media Agency of the Year by Adweek, Brandweek, and Mediaweek as well as by Ad Age and as one of the world’s ten most innovative marketing and advertising companies by Fast Company in 2011. In 2012, Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO and Founder, was honored by Advertising Age as Industry Executive of the Year. Most recently, in 2014, Bill Koenigsberg was named 4As Chair of the Board and is the first person from a media agency to hold this prestigious position in the 100 year history of the 4As, the marketing industry’s leading trade association. The company’s mission is “To create the most meaningful brand connections within the lives of people everywhere.” By delivering on this mission through a holistic approach to brand marketing, Horizon Media has become one of the largest and fastest-growing media agencies in the industry, with estimated billings of over $5.3 billion and over 1,200 employees. The company is also a founding member of Columbus Media International, a multi-national partnership of independent media agencies. For more information, please visit horizonmedia.com.

ABOUT INVESCO POWERSHARES

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

ABOUT POWERSHARES QQQ

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

James Blake Wins PowerShares Series Opener In Chicago Beating John McEnroe In Final

James Blake won the opening event on the 2016 PowerShares Series tennis circuit Friday defeating John McEnroe 6-4 in the one-set championship match at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.

The tournament win was the fifth career title for Blake on the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30. All four previous titles for Blake also came beating McEnroe in the final in Salt Lake City in 2014 (7-6), Sacramento in 2014 (6-3), Boston in 2015 (7-5) and Cincinnati in 2015 (6-2).

Blake, 36, broke McEnroe in his first service game of the match and never looked back in the final, serving at a high percentage on the slick indoor court.

McEnroe, who turned 57 on February 16, returned to the UIC Pavilion 25 years after he won his 77th and final ATP singles titles of his career, where he won a memorable final against younger brother Patrick McEnroe in 1991. He opened the 10th anniversary season of the PowerShares Series by beating Mardy Fish 7-6 (3) in the opening semifinal match, saving a match point serving at 4-5. Fish, 34, was playing in his debut PowerShares Series event and as a replacement for an injured Jim Courier. Blake advanced into the final with a 6-3 win over Andre Agassi.

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

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

 

April 9                  Charleston (Family Circle Tennis Center) – Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Mardy Fish

 

April 14                St. Louis (Chaifetz Arena) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake

 

April 22                Memphis (Landers Center) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

 

April 23                Tulsa (BOK Center) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

 

July 17                  Newport, R.I. (International Tennis Hall of Fame) – Andy Roddick, James Blake + 2 Players TBA

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

November 5         Denver (1stBank Center) – Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake and TBA

 

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

 

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

 

In 2015, Roddick won the PowerShares Series points title in his second year of competing on the series with 1,600 points. Roddick won a record eight events Los Angeles, Lincoln, Chicago, Austin, Little Rock, Dallas, Richmond and Minneapolis. Blake finished second in the points rankings with 1,200 points, winning events in Boston and Cincinnati. Philippoussis finished in third with 1,100 points, winning titles in Salt Lake City and Vancouver. The year before in 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the nine-year history of Champions Series tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte.

ABOUT INSIDEOUT SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT

InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a Los Angeles based producer of proprietary events and promotions founded in 2004 by former world No. 1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. In 2005, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Champions Series, a collection of tournaments featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including “Legendary Night” exhibitions, The World Series of Beach Volleyball and numerous corporate outings. Since inception, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment has raised over $4 million for charity. In 2014, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment merged with Horizon Media, the largest privately held media services agency in the world.  For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or www.powersharesseries.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

ABOUT HORIZON MEDIA

Horizon Media, Inc. is the largest and fastest growing privately held media services agency in the world. The company was founded in 1989, is headquartered in New York and has offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Chicago. Horizon Media was chosen as 2011 Independent Media Agency of the Year by Mediapost, 2010 U.S. Media Agency of the Year by Adweek, Brandweek, and Mediaweek as well as by Ad Age and as one of the world’s ten most innovative marketing and advertising companies by Fast Company in 2011. In 2012, Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO and Founder, was honored by Advertising Age as Industry Executive of the Year. Most recently, in 2014, Bill Koenigsberg was named 4As Chair of the Board and is the first person from a media agency to hold this prestigious position in the 100 year history of the 4As, the marketing industry’s leading trade association. The company’s mission is “To create the most meaningful brand connections within the lives of people everywhere.” By delivering on this mission through a holistic approach to brand marketing, Horizon Media has become one of the largest and fastest-growing media agencies in the industry, with estimated billings of over $5.3 billion and over 1,200 employees. The company is also a founding member of Columbus Media International, a multi-national partnership of independent media agencies. For more information, please visit horizonmedia.com.

ABOUT INVESCO POWERSHARES

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

ABOUT POWERSHARES QQQ

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

The 2016 PowerShares Series Tennis Circuit Kicks Off Friday In Chicago

The PowerShares Series, the tennis circuit for champion players over the age of 30, will kick off its 10th anniversary season for 2016 Friday, April 8 at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. The kick-off event for the 12-city tour will be highlighted by 57-year-old John McEnroe, the 2014 PowerShares Series points champion, returning to the venue where he won his 77th and final ATP singles title with a famous final-round win 25-years-ago over younger brother Patrick McEnroe in 1991. McEnroe will be joined in Chicago by rival and former Davis Cup teammate Andre Agassi, the 2012 PowerShares Series points runner-up, as well as James Blake, the 2015 points runner-up, and PowerShares Series rookie Mardy Fish, a late replacement for Jim Courier, who was forced to withdraw from the event with a lower-back injury.

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

Ticket and VIP experiences information – including play-with-the pros opportunities – can be found at www.PowerSharesSeries.com. The full 2016 schedule with player fields are listed below;

 

April 8                       Chicago  (UIC Pavilion) – Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, James Blake, Mardy Fish

April 9                       Charleston (Family Circle Tennis Center) – Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Mardy Fish

April 14                    St. Louis (Chaifetz Arena) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake

April 22                    Memphis (Landers Center) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

April 23                    Tulsa (BOK Center) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

July 17                      Newport, R.I. (International Tennis Hall of Fame) – Andy Roddick, James Blake + 2 Players TBA

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

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

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

November 5         Denver (1stBank Center) – Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake and TBA

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

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

 

In 2015, Roddick won the PowerShares Series points title in his second year of competing on the series with 1,600 points. Roddick won a record eight events Los Angeles, Lincoln, Chicago, Austin, Little Rock, Dallas, Richmond and Minneapolis. Blake finished second in the points rankings with 1,200 points, winning events in Boston and Cincinnati. Philippoussis finished in third with 1,100 points, winning titles in Salt Lake City and Vancouver. The year before in 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the nine-year history of Champions Series tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte.

ABOUT INSIDEOUT SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT

InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a Los Angeles based producer of proprietary events and promotions founded in 2004 by former world No. 1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. In 2005, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Champions Series, a collection of tournaments featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including “Legendary Night” exhibitions, The World Series of Beach Volleyball and numerous corporate outings. Since inception, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment has raised over $4 million for charity. In 2014, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment merged with Horizon Media, the largest privately held media services agency in the world.  For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or www.powersharesseries.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

ABOUT HORIZON MEDIA

Horizon Media, Inc. is the largest and fastest growing privately held media services agency in the world. The company was founded in 1989, is headquartered in New York and has offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Chicago. Horizon Media was chosen as 2011 Independent Media Agency of the Year by Mediapost, 2010 U.S. Media Agency of the Year by Adweek, Brandweek, and Mediaweek as well as by Ad Age and as one of the world’s ten most innovative marketing and advertising companies by Fast Company in 2011. In 2012, Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO and Founder, was honored by Advertising Age as Industry Executive of the Year. Most recently, in 2014, Bill Koenigsberg was named 4As Chair of the Board and is the first person from a media agency to hold this prestigious position in the 100 year history of the 4As, the marketing industry’s leading trade association. The company’s mission is “To create the most meaningful brand connections within the lives of people everywhere.” By delivering on this mission through a holistic approach to brand marketing, Horizon Media has become one of the largest and fastest-growing media agencies in the industry, with estimated billings of over $5.3 billion and over 1,200 employees. The company is also a founding member of Columbus Media International, a multi-national partnership of independent media agencies. For more information, please visit horizonmedia.com.

ABOUT INVESCO POWERSHARES

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

ABOUT POWERSHARES QQQ

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

 

American Teenagers Win Singles Wild Card Tournaments For Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tournament

 

Two American teenagers, Adam Ambrozy of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Pietro Rimondini of Boca Raton, Fla., were awarded main draw wild card entries into the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, the $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Vero Beach, Fla., April 22-May 1, by virtue of winning wild card tournaments last weekend in Orlando and Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., respectively. Both players will seek their first ATP World Tour ranking points later this month at The Boulevard Tennis Club.

Ambrozy, 18, defeated former 13-time member of the Venezuelan Davis Cup team Jonathan Medina in an incredible 3 hour, 28-minute final 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-2 Monday in the final of the wild card tournament at the Tennis Resort at the ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disney in Orlando. Ambrozy served for a straight-set victory at 6-5 in the second set, but faltered when trying to close out the title. He quickly lost the second-set tie-breaker 7-3 and was immediately broken in the opening game of the final set. After fighting off break points to go down a double-break in the final set, Ambrozy held serve en route to streaking to win the final six games of the match to close out the incredible victory. See the last two points of the match here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP8741iARbo&feature=em-upload_owner Ambrozy, who will attend Columbia University in New York City in the Fall, will be playing in only his second “Futures” level professional tournament.

Rimondini, 17, defeated fellow American Christian Langmo 7-6 (7), 2-0, retire (rib injury) Sunday in the final of the wild card tournament at BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Rimondini, who has committed to play college tennis at Cornell starting next season, will be playing in his third career Futures event in Vero Beach.

In the doubles wild card tournament in Orlando, Igor Schattan and Antonio Balau, both 17 from the Montverde Academy in Monteverde, Fla., won a six-team competition that was reduced to one-set matches due to rain, beating Americans Jack Najjar and Joseph Sopko 6-4 in the Sunday final. The Brazilian team won the last four games of the match, winning a sudden-death. three-all game point to end the match.

Ticket and sponsorship opportunities – all that benefit the non-profit Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation – are available for the event. For sponsorship opportunities, contact co-tournament director Tom Fish at [email protected]. Tickets are available for pre-sale at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com

Starting in 2016, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation is the new operator of the $10,000 “Futures” tennis tournament in Vero Beach, one of the longest-running and best attended events on the U.S. Tennis Association Pro Circuit. The tournament, now called The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, benefits the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the non-profit tennis 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. The event was managed for 20 years by Vero Beach tennis teaching professional Mike Rahaley, who made the annual Vero Beach stop one of the crown jewels on the USTA Pro Circuit. The 2016 tournament will be held April 22 through May 1 at The Boulevard Tennis Club.

Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishFoundation.com and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) currently supports over 2,100 children in 15 elementary schools and six middle schools in Indian River County, Florida by providing after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives. The Foundation introduced the “Six Healthy Habits” in 2012 which are Get Sleep; Drink Water; Exercise Daily, Eat Healthy; Brush and Floss; Make Friends.” Mardy Fish recently completed his ATP professional tennis career at the 2015 U.S. Open, highlighted by a career-high ranking of No. 7, six ATP singles titles, eight ATP doubles titles and an Olympic silver medal in singles at the 2004 Olympics. He reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and was a mainstay on the U.S. Davis Cup team from 2002 to 2012.

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 Australian Open semifinalist 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.

Tickets for the qualifying rounds of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships from April 22 – April 25 will cost $10, while tickets for the main draw of singles and doubles from April 26 – May 1 will be $20. Season tickets that include both the qualifying and main draw events cost $100. Advance tickets can be purchased at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com. Admission for children 18 and under is free. Fans can follow news and developments on the tournament on Facebook and on Twitter at @VeroFutures and at www.TennisVeroBeach.com

Milos Raonic Serving Woes Leads To One-Sided Loss To Novak Djokovic – Passing Shots with Kevin Craig

by Kevin Craig

@KCraig_Tennis

 

  • Ana Ivanovic was given the 2nd quickest loss of her career as Karolina Pliskova beat her 6-2, 6-0 in the third round of Indian Wells in 49 minutes.
  • In the men’s singles final in Indian Wells, Milos Raonic managed to win only three of 30 points on his second serve, leading to a 6-2, 6-0 defeat.
  • Andy Murray was beaten by a left-handed player other than Rafael Nadal for the first time since 2011 as Federico Delbonis beat him in the third round in Indian Wells.
  • At one point in the John Isner-Kei Nishikori fourth round match at Indian Wells, Nishikori’s average first serve speed was 108 miles per hour, while Isner’s average second serve speed was 115 miles per hour.
  • On a negative note for Isner, each of his last three losses have been decided by third set tiebreaks. In each match, Isner held match point and did not face a break point.
  • Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Nenad Zimonjic were able to saved eight match points in the semifinal win over the Bryan brothers in Indian Wells.
  • 16-year old Denis Shapovalov of Canada became the first player born in 1999 to win a match on the challenger level. This comes after Felix Auger Aliassime, also of Canada, became the first player born in 2000 to win a match on the challenger level last year. Shapovalov would also go on to become the first 16-year old to make a challenger semifinal since Stefan Kozlov made the semifinals at the Sacramento Challenger in 2014 as a 16-year old.

After Delray Beach Return, Juan Martin del Potro Faces Next Test In Indian Wells

Kevin Craig

@KCraig_Tennis

 

Juan Martin del Potro made his return to tennis last month in Delray Beach, Florida after an 11-month absence due to recurring wrist problems. While he didn’t win the tournament, which nobody, not even himself, should have expected, he came out of the event with a very positive outlook and is eager to continue his progression towards playing full time on the ATP World Tour again.

In his post-match press conference after his loss to Sam Querrey in the semifinals of the ATP 250 event, del Potro was clearly disappointed, yet still exclaimed his satisfaction with the overall result he came up with this week. Beating a Top 30 player, a promising young American, and an inspired qualifier en route to the semifinals in Delray Beach were all impressive results for the Argentinian in his return event. While Denis Kudla and Jeremy Chardy didn’t play their best tennis in their matches against del Potro, it was still an impressive feat for him to knock out two Top 70 players in his first live match action since Miami in 2015.

In the loss to Querrey, the American was able to dominant his service games and crush the ball from anywhere on the court, forcing del Potro to move around and hit more backhands than he would have liked. The American only lost nine points on serve throughout the match and didn’t have to face a single break point, allowing him to relax on del Potro’s service games and apply pressure. The pressure built up at the latter stages of both sets, allowing Querrey to break at 5-5 in both sets, giving him the 7-5, 7-5 win. Querrey’s high level of play in the match can give del Potro some relief as it was arguably the best match that Querrey had played all week.

Despite the loss, Del Potro stated in his post-match press conference that he felt as if he had “won more than a tournament,” a sign that he is more than happy with where his game currently is. The 2009 US Open champion confirmed that he will be accepting a wild card to play in the masters level event in Indian Wells, and is well aware of what he needs to work on to improve his game before then.

The competition in Indian Wells surely will most likely be tougher than what del Potro came across in Delray Beach, and will possibly give a better test as to where he truly is with his game. While the entire tennis world is glad to have one of the best players in the world back on tour, no one is happier that del Potro is back on the court than del Potro himself, stating that he is “so glad to play tennis again.” After both his quarterfinal and semifinal matches, he expressed how tired he was, but his happiness could not be hidden behind his exhaustion.

Del Potro stated that he has “many positive things to take from” his experience in Delray Beach as he looks forward to continuing to take the next steps in his comeback.

Stan Wawrinka Wins Ninth Final In A Row, Djokovic Wins No. 700 – Passing Shots with Kevin Craig

by Kevin Craig

@KCraig_Tennis

 

  • Novak Djokovic earned his 700th career match win in Dubai, beating Jaziri in straight sets. He is now the third active player with 700 wins, behind Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
  • The 28-point tiebreak in Dubai that was played between Stan Wawrinka and Marcos Baghdatis was the longest in an ATP final since Andy Roddick beat Mardy Fish in San Jose in 2004, also playing a 28-point tiebreak.
  • Wawrinka’s title in Dubai extends his win streak in finals to nine after starting his career 4-9 in finals.
  • There were four finals played last week that involved a player with a one-handed backhand and a player with a two-handed backhand. All four of the players with one-handed backhands prevailed, including Dominic Thiem over Bernard Tomic, Pablo Cuevas over Pablo Carreno Busta, Wawrinka over Baghdatis, and Carla Suarez Navarro over Jelena Ostapenko.
  • Cuevas played seven left-handers in a row, including all five of his opponents that he beat en route to his title in Rio de Janeiro, becoming the first player to win a title playing only left-handers along the way. Cuevas played Facundo Bagnis twice, Thiago Monteiro twice, Federico Delbonis, Nadal, and Guido Pella.
  • Nick Kyrgios held all 47 of his service games during his title run in Marseille before being broken in his first service game in Dubai.
  • Baghdatis served up a bagel to Roberto Bautista Agut in Dubai. The last time he had won a set 6-0 was against Andy Murray at the French Open in 2010. Baghdatis has won four 6-0 sets against players in the Top 20, but only won two of the four matches that included bagels.
  • Franko Skugor of Croatia won his first match on the ATP World Tour in six years in Dubai, beating Teymuraz Gabashvili in straight sets. His most recent win came in July of 2010 in Umag when he beat Filippo Volandri.