serena williams joins Delta Open Mic to warm up for the US Open

Last night, Wednesday, August 20th at Arena in New York City, No. 1 tennis player Serena Williams joined Delta Air Lines for the first ever Delta OPEN Mic to warm up before she steps onto the court for New York’s most celebrated tennis tournament. Serena, along with celebrity friends, Orange Is The New Black’s Uzo Aduba and Laverne Cox, comedian Kathy Griffin, 30 Rock’s Katrina Bowden, Glee’s Darren Criss, celebrity fitness trainer Shaun T and tennis star Jack Sock, sang their favorite tunes to gear up for the tennis tournament kicking off on Monday.

Williams, a karaoke enthusiast, kicked off the night by channeling her inner Marilyn with “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” followed by Laverne Cox’s memorable rendition of “One Moment in Time.” The two were met with a resounding round of applause by fellow karaoke buffs and Delta guests.

And this post really is useless without the photos!

 

 

roger federer sits down with wilson for an interview

Roger Federer sits down with Wilson for an interview and discusses various topics.  Is he mentally and physically ready for the US Open 2014? Especially after the win in Cincinnati. How does a champion like Roger Federer prepare for a match. What is his pre-match routine and much more.

But the best questions were about the Wilson RF Pro Staff and the ALS Ice  Bucket Challenge.

Enjoy the interview because we sure did

roger “the betterer” federer and the wilson racket scientists celebrate the RF97

Since Wilson Sporting Goods Co. and 17-time Grand Slam Champion Roger Federer announced the technical specifications of the Wilson Pro Staff line in early July, the tennis community has eagerly awaited the final look of the rackets. This weekend, the stealthy, matte black racket will give way to a new design inspiration for the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph and the line of Pro Staff rackets.

The new family of Pro Staff rackets underwent an aesthetic reinvention worthy of its performance specification evolution. The Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph will feature a black throat and red hoop. Red is a color with close ties to both Federer and Wilson and black is a color prevalent in past Pro Staff rackets. Black standardized design elements have been placed at three and nine o’clock on the hoop to ensure Pro Staff rackets are unmistakably Wilson, while infusing a fresh, youthful look.

“This is a great example of the synergy that exists between Wilson and the tennis community,” said Mike Dowse, Wilson Sporting Goods Co. President. “As a brand, we are committed to listening to the needs of our professional and recreational players. With the new Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph racket we have created a stylish design while maintaining the premium performance and feel.”

The story behind the final graphics package for the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph proves their intimate connection with tennis fans. Wilson executives discovered Peter Figasinski, a freelance graphic designer and life-long Wilson racket player, after he posted a design concept on a popular tennis forum. After tracking down Figasinski, Wilson signed him to a one-year contract to do exclusive design work across a variety of products and platforms.

Figasinski set out to share his vision for the new Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph racket as a modern yet youthful tribute to the proud heritage of the storied racket line. The design was submitted to Federer, who took to the graphics instantly.

“When I saw the designs from Wilson, I knew right away that this was the look that I wanted to represent my legacy with the brand,” said Federer. “The design is young and modern, with a classic feel. It is a fitting look for the next generation of the Pro Staff rackets.”

The Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph is the first Autograph racket from Wilson in nearly 40 years, the last being the Chris Evert Autograph introduced in 1976. The Jack Kramer Autograph, launched in 1949, is the best-selling racket in tennis history. Autograph rackets are reserved for tennis legends and no one is more deserving than Federer, considered by many as the greatest tennis players of all-time. The RF97 Autograph is the centerpiece for the new and evolved Pro Staff line, with the flagship graphics set to become the design inspiration for the Wilson line for years to come.

The Wilson Pro Staff rackets have delivered uncompromising feel for players of all skill levels and the latest products preserve the consistent feel while introducing a 97-inch head in three of the four models. The re-engineered Pro Staff models feature a 26 percent wider racket beam providing a significant boost in power. Compared to Federer’s previous racket, the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph is seven percent larger, resulting in a 10 percent larger sweet spot. The use of braided graphite and Kevlar® maintain the consistent feel that players have come to know in the Wilson Pro Staff line.

Wilson has produced an episodic series of videos that highlight the unique relationship they share with the tennis legend. The third and final episode is now available for viewing at www.wilson.com/betterer.

The new Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph is projected to be available in stores on October 1, 2014 and a retail price will be announced in the near future.

 

caroline wozniacki and meb keflezighi enter the tcs new york city marathon

New York Road Runners announced Boston Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi and 22-time WTA singles champion Caroline Wozniacki as official entrants for the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon. In addition to participating in the 26.2 mile event, Keflezighi and Wozniacki will run as Ambassadors for New York Road Runners Team For Kids charity running team (TFK). TFK helps to raise funds for NYRR youth running programs, providing free health and fitness programs to more than 200,000 children in New York City schools throughout the five boroughs and around the world.

Photo credit: Courtesy NYRR

fitz and the tantrums headline the opening night ceremony of the us open 2014

The USTA today announced that energetic and genre-smashing band Fitz and The Tantrums will perform at the Opening Ceremony for the 2014 US Open in Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Following the band’s performance 3 Winans Brothers, the Grammy-Award-winning brothers Bebe, Marvin and Carvin, will take to the court to sing “The Star Spangled Banner.” The ceremony will be carried live by ESPN on Monday, August 25 as part of the cable network’s comprehensive coverage of the US Open.Fitz and the Tantrums

Fitz and The Tantrums will perform a three-song set, and will be surrounded by an immersive video and lighting spectacle, with dynamic projections of great US Open moments and tennis graphics on the court of Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Other elements of the Opening Night Ceremony will include a special appearance by Tennis Hall of Famers John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova, each of whom won a US Open singles title in 1984. They will join USTA Chairman of the Board and President Dave Haggerty on court to welcome fans, and in a US Open first, will remotely trigger the lighting of the Empire State Building. This special moment with one of New York’s most recognized icons will signal the start of Fitz and The Tantrum’s performance, and will be shown on the stadium’s big screens.

The performance of the “Star Spangled Banner” by the 3 Winans Brothers, will be especially poignant as 2014 marks the 200th Anniversary of the composition of our National Anthem. The colors will be presented by members of the NYPD and FDNY ceremonial units.

Fitz and The Tantrums – comprised of Fitz (vocals), Noelle Scaggs (vocals/tambourine), James King (saxophone), Jeremy Ruzumna (keyboards), John Wicks (drums) and Joseph Karnes (bass) – came onto the scene with the self-released EP Songs for a Breakup, Vol. 1 in 2009 and soon were appearing on KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic” and touring with Maroon 5. Their full-length debut, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, spent 73 weeks on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart, peaking at No. 1, and they were named a “You Oughta Know” artist by VH1.

The 2013 release of More Than Just A Dream – produced by Tony Hoffer (Beck, M83, Depeche Mode, Phoenix) – ratcheted things up several notches. USA Today noted, “the Los Angeles sextet is more than ready for the big leagues” while Rolling Stone said the group “is all about irrepressible energy: hopped-up rhythms, shout-it-out choruses, hooted background vocals.” Fitz and The Tantrumshave performed on numerous television shows, including “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Conan,” “Good Morning America,” “TODAY,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Their first and second single (“Out of My League” and “The Walker”) from More Than Just A Dream both have gone # 1 at Modern Rock radio and have been RIAA certified gold.

From a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, to 17 Grammys among them, BeBe, Marvin & Carvin Winans (3 Winans Brothers), have always been innovative in their music, their business savvy, their incredible groundbreaking shows, and more. The brothers have come together for the first time to create their supergroup, 3 Winans Brothers, and are ready to unveil their debut album Foreign Land, set for a September 2014 release via Regimen Records/BMG/eOne Music. Blessed with their family’s unerring sixth sense for fusing traditional gospel and urban contemporary music—without compromising the message or the spirit—the 3 Winans Brothers deliver a versatile album that speaks to all ages. Foreign Land, which includes their current hit single, “Move In Me,” brims with a wide range of styles.

IMG signs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

IMG announced  the signing of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France to a worldwide marketing and management representation. Tsonga, currently ranked World No.15 (as of Week of July 28, 2014), has a career high ranking of World No.5, achieved week of February 27, 2012.

The Le Mans native finished 2013 in the Top 10 for the third year in a row. Tsonga has 10 career ATP titles and has been the finalist at the 2008 Australian Open and the 2011 ATP World Tour Finals in London. He has reached the semifinals of the 2013 Roland Garros and the 2011 and 2012 Wimbledon.

‘’We are thrilled that Jo-Wilfried chose IMG to represent him. He is a terrific player and a great person, and we look forward to strengthening and growing his global brand on and off the tennis court,’’ said Fernando Soler, Managing Director of IMG Tennis.

Tsonga will be managed by Carlos Fleming whose athlete management portfolio includes seven-time Grand Slam Champion Venus Williams, NFL stars Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers), Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco 49ers) and Victor Cruz (New York Giants), and reigning US Open Women’s Golf Champion, Michelle Wie.

Tsonga joins IMG Tennis’s roster of stars which includes Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, Li Na, David Ferrer, Kei Nishikori, and John McEnroe, among many others.

Bryan Bros. foundation raises more than $100,000 for junior tennis in ventura county and santa barbara

Once again, the Bryan Bros. Foundation was the big winner as more than $100,000 was raised at the annual V-Grid Tennis Fest presented by Alexander Cadillac and Esurance and featuring Mike and Bob Bryan.

The all-time winningest doubles team in tennis history was joined by former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and other friends in presenting $16,000 checks to the Ventura County Junior Tennis Association, Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons, Boys and Girls Club of Camarillo and the Oaks Christian High School tennis program. The Foundation will distribute the remaining funds raised to other deserving groups throughout the year.

“We so appreciate all the fans coming out to support our Bryan Bros. Foundation’s big day,” Mike Bryan said. “The funds we raise from the Tennis Fest go right back into the community where we grew up and will benefit the area’s children’s programs.”

Added Bob Bryan: “It was great having Vika come out to help us entertain and play for the fans today. It was fun playing mixed doubles with her again and it was all for a good cause.”

In a very entertaining main exhibition mixed doubles match former French Open champions Bob Bryan and Azarenka beat Mike Bryan and Las Vegas’ Kimberly Yee, 6-2. Other pros playing exhibitions and in the pro-am included Justin Gimelstob, Jeff Tarango and Hank Pfister.

Junior exhibitions included the VCJTA All-Stars against the SBTP All-Stars as well as the Las Vegas Team Bryan juniors vs. the CIF-SS Division III Oaks Christian High team.

The event was attended by more than 800 people with 25 food and wine vendors serving throughout the day. This was the fifth year in a row Tennis Fest has been hosted at the Spanish Hills Country Club and was emceed by the twins’ father, Wayne Bryan. The day concluded with the Bryan Bros. Band entertaining the crowd.

Curtis Wright of Minneapolis, Minn., won the Pro-Am Tournament, while Trevor Short of Atlanta was second and Harold Edwards of Santa Paula, Calif., was third.

“Bob and Mike always make time in their very busy schedule to give back to the children of Ventura County and throughout Southern California,” said event organizer Dave McKinney. “The mixed doubles exhibition was so exciting and fun to watch, the fans wanted to see more. Vika was so good with all the fans and so entertaining and really added to the fun day for all the fans.”

ana ivanovic plays IPTL, redfoo talks azarenka split and novak djokovic pics of marriage surface on the web

Novak Djokovic got married as we reported last week. We found out that the place where they got married was completely secured and save for a few photos from a long distance we didn’t get to see much. But now Serbia’s Hello Magazine has managed to get the exclusive.

Novak Djokovic married Jelena Ristic

Meanwhile Ana Ivanovic has announced that she will be playing International Premier Tennis League (IPTL). The league will take place during the offseason starting at November 28 and ending on December 13.  The IPTL will start in Manila (Philipines) and then onto Singapore, Delhi and Dubai.

“It’s very excting,” said Ana. “It’s an intense, breathless concept that I’m sure will provide great entertainent for the supporters, and also for the players.

“This is a great innovation and I’m really looking forward to taking part, and visiting each city.”

But for now Ana is still enjoying her vacations in Mallorca.

Ana Ivanovic vacationing in Mallorca

Talk about emotional break ups, Redfoo opened up about the break up with Belrussian Victoria Azarenka. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Redfoo told that it was their busy schedule that drove them apart.

‘I want to cryogenically freeze the love, put it in a lab, and come back to it when everything is organised and I can appoint another captain of the ship,’ the quirky singer said.

‘We both had strong careers and we both want to support each other.

‘It was tough. I found myself oftentimes thinking more about their career.’

I have to admit that cryogenically freezing the love, it’s one of the most romantic sentences I have read in a long time.  In the meantime, Vika seems to be doing just fine.

Victoria Azarenka with a hat

 

former world no. 1 victoria azarenka to join bryan bros. at popular V-Grid tennis fest this saturday

Two-time Grand Slam singles champion and former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka will reunite with winning 2008 French Open mixed doubles partner Bob Bryan this Saturday at the popular V-Grid Tennis Fest presented by Alexander Cadillac and Esurance and featuring Mike and Bob Bryan.Bob Bryan and  Victoria Azarenka
A limited number of tickets are still available for the 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. event being held once again at the picturesque Spanish Hills Country Club in the twins’ hometown of Camarillo. Log onto www.bbtennisfest.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

The all-time winningest doubles team in history and holders of 15 Grand Slam titles, the Bryan twins will once again entertain friends and fans alike in a day of tennis, music, food and wine tasting. Similar to year’s past, there will be a Pro-Am, exhibition matches and the day will culminate with a concert featuring the Bryan Bros. Band.

“Of course we are really happy and thankful that our longtime pal, Vika Azarenka, is coming to help out our Foundation and play the event,” Bob Bryan said. “We had a blast playing mixed together at the French and what a thrill to win that title together.”

The Tennis Fest is headed up once again by Spanish Hills Tennis Director Dave McKinney and will be emceed by the twins’ father, Wayne Bryan. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Bryan Bros. Foundation. Over the past few years, more than $530,000 has been raised to support deserving kids and programs, specifically the Ventura County Junior Tennis Association led by Terry Lynch, and the Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons and CathyAnn Simon.

“We so greatly appreciate the support of the Ventura and Santa Barbara tennis communities that all come together to help with this event,” Mike Bryan said. “It is truly a team effort by so many people, including those supportive friends and fans who buy tickets and auction items.”

In the featured match of the day, Bob Bryan and Azarenka will take on Mike Bryan and one of the U.S.’s top juniors, Las Vegas’ Kimberly Yee, who over the weekend received junior tennis’ highest honor by winning the Bill Talbert Sportsmanship award at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Tennis stars that will be playing in the Pro-Am, besides the Bryan Brothers include Hall of Famer and former world No. 1 Tracy Austin; two-time winner of the French Open Doubles, Hank Pfister; four-time Grand Slam winner, Olympic gold medalist and No. 1 doubles player in the world, Ken Flach; former Roland Garros doubles finalist, Jeff Tarango; and former UCLA All American and NCAA singles finalist, Tony Graham.

“A very special thanks to V-Grid and Mike Cheiky for their wonderful support once again,” Mike Bryan said. “And we all appreciate the kind help of our wonderful sponsors Alexander Cadillac and Esurance.”

Added Mike: “Our young juniors girls will love being able to see Vika play up close. It will be a great inspiration to them. Vika is such a wonderful role model for up and coming juniors. She is really nice and has a sense of fun. Like, Bob, I am so glad she will be playing and adding so much to the event.”

The day after the TennisFest, the Bryans will play three home matches of Mylan World Team Tennis action for their new team, the San Diego Aviators, July 20th, 22nd and 23rd at the Valley View Casino Center (formerly the San Diego Sports Arena).

sharapova car chase, novak djokovic got married and roger federer water coloured

Novak Djokovic got married

Novak Djokovic  got  married to his longtime girlfriend Jelena Ristic.  The pair is scheduled to get married on Thursday , July  9 at the Aman Sveti Stefan resort in Montenegro.  Notable guests at the wedding are coach Boris Becker, Viktor Troicki and Janko Tipsarevic,  but not former World No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic.  Rumor has it that  best bud Andy Murray is Novak Djokovic’ best man.

The couple is currently expecting their first child. (Would you call that a shotgun wedding?)

Another coach for Ana Ivanovic

Ana Ivanovic has parted ways with coach Nemanja Kotic. The break up was a mutual one and Ivanovic will now be looking for a new coach.  According to the statement released on the official Ana Ivanovic website the contract expired after Wimbledon and after long amicable discussions the pair decided to call it quits.

“Ana and Nemanja Kontic have ended their coaching partnership by mutual agreement,” the statement said. “Kontic’s contract expired after Wimbledon and, after amicable discussions, the pair decided not to renew it.”

In more Ana Ivanovic news, Ana announced on her official Facebook page that she will partake in the Champions Battle exhibition  in November and will face none other than Serena Wiliams in a best of three match.

But first  Ana is taking a well deserved break by celebrating the summer before the US Open series starts and who better to show us how a beach vacations should be celebrated?  (Photo credit Ana Ivanovic Official Facebook)

Ana Ivanovic enjoying summer

 

Rafael Nadal enjoys vacations

So what do you do when you run into Rafael Nadal on the beach in Ibiza? Yes, you take a selfie!

Roger Federer in watercolour

Whilst browsing Reddit , I stumbled upon this beautiful water colour study of Roger Federer. I found an awesome photo of Nole as well. You can find that photo by visiting The After Image Blog and if you are interested in having a piece of art for yourself then please contact the artist called Skybending.

Roger Federer

 

Novak Djokovic artwork by Skybending

Nick Bollettieri enters International Tennis Hall of Fame

In an interesting interview conducted by Tom Perrotta for Tennis TuesdayNick Bollettieri  talks about entering the International Tennis Hall of Fame, coaching and life.

What’s the key to success, in tennis and in life?
You’ve got to be crazy enough to do things that most people wouldn’t even try because they are afraid of failure.

So there you go, the key of success, in tennis and in life delivered to you on a silver platter and no strings attached!

Victoria Duval is battling cancer

Tennis teen Victoria Duval is diagnosed Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She was diagnosed after the first qualifying match at Wimbledon.

“Vicky will undergo treatment right away and due to her overall good health and isolation of the cancer, the prognosis is a full recovery in a few months,” IMG said in a statement.

“I intend to put up my best fight and have a full recovery. I picture myself healthy, stronger and competing again soon with even more appreciation for the game I so love.” , said Duval.

And let’s hope she comes out on top!

Maria Sharapova knows her Porsches, wants you to know about a new Porsche platform

Maria Sharapova showed us how to drive a Porsche but mostly wants you to know about the new online platform for Porsche Communication. Yes, as if you are still reading the reasons as to why she is driving a Porsche. Please…dont kid yourselves. Have fun watching the video.

Eugenie Bouchard, tennis new it girl

Eugenie Bouchard has, with her impressive record this season and let’s not forget, stunning looks, attracted the attention of many agencies. IMG’s head of tennis Fernando Soler told Bloomberg that he’d love to sign on Bouchard.

“She is talented, she is beautiful, she has a very nice personality, she has a strong domestic market, she has international appeal.”

Bouchard’s current contract with Lagardere Unlimited is up this year and so the competition to sign her is fierce. While IMG has expressed a strong interest, Lagardare Unlimited is very keen to extend the contract with their newest big name player.  They even state that Bouchard is more marketable than Maria Sharapova, who netted 23 million last year.

Would Bouchard be a good fit for IMG or do you think that she should stay loyal to Lagardere Unlimited? Hit the comments and let us know. We are always intered in hearing from you!