andy roddick added to Mylan World TeamTennis Smash hits field

Former world No. 1 Andy Roddick has joined the all-star lineup for Mylan World TeamTennis Smash Hits in London. The event, which benefits the Elton John AIDS Foundation and is co-hosted by Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King, will be Sunday, December 7 during the final session of the Statoil Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall. Andy Roddick

Roddick is a longtime supporter of the event and returns for his 10th Mylan WTT Smash Hits appearance. Roddick won 30 singles titles on the ATP World Tour, including the 2003 US Open and was ranked in the top 10 for nine consecutive years. He is also a member of the Austin Aces, the Mylan WTT professional team based in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

The field for Mylan WTT Smash Hits also includes former world No. 1s John McEnroe and Kim Clijsters, former British No. 1 Tim Henman and 2013 Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki. The players will form two teams, coached by King and John, and will play a Mylan World TeamTennis match. The one-night event will be during the final session of the IMG-owned and staged Statoil Masters Tennis tournament. More players to be announced in the coming weeks.

Since 1993, Mylan WTT Smash Hits has raised more than $12 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and various local AIDS charities throughout the United States. This is the first time in the event’s 22-year history that it will be staged outside the U.S.

Tennis action is set for 6:00 p.m. and Team Elton has the edge in the overall series 11-10 after defeating Team Billie Jean in Orlando, Fla., in 2013.

Tickets are available from £18.50 through www.WTTSmashHits.com, www.statoilmasterstennis.com or through the Royal Albert Hall Box Office on +44 (0) 20 7070 4404.

Sponsorship and Group VIP packages are also available by contacting Natalee Jarrett at njarrett@wtt.com or 212-586-3444 x. 111.

For more information on Mylan WTT Smash Hits, visit www.WTTSmashHits.com.

For more information about the Statoil Masters Tennis tournament, go to: www.statoilmasterstennis.com.

For more information on the Elton John AIDS Foundation and how you can help create an AIDS-free future, go to ejaf.org/London. Elton John AIDS Foundation is a registered UK charity – No. 1017336

unlikely hero marin cilic can use US Open win as catalyst

Marin Cilic believes his shock US Open victory can be the catalyst for him to become a big player in future Grand Slams – and judging by the stylish way he saw off Kei Nishikori in the final it’s hard to disagree.cilic us open 2014 a

The effusive Croat has gone as far as describing his win at Flushing Meadows as “life-changing” as he suddenly and unexpectedly proved he can match the best in the world and win the very biggest tennis tournaments out there.

Cilic was seeded way down in 14th for the US Open before the competition began but he successfully overcame the odds to claim a memorable victory. The way he has reacted to the triumph suggests he is determined to build on it and go toe-to-toe with Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic and co in future. Cilic’s chances in future tournaments should now be positively reflected in the betting markets .

Very few people gave the 25-year-old much chance of going deep into the tournament and, while he always had the ability to compete with anyone across a set or two, there were doubts he had the staying power to close out big wins when it really mattered in Grand Slams. However, after a tough five-set victory over Gilles Simon in New York, he then despatched the rest of his opponents in straight sets.

Tomas Berdych was expected to provide a big challenge but he was comfortably brushed aside in the last eight to set up a meeting with the old master Roger Federer. Again Cilic defied expectations and proved too strong on this occasion for the Swiss star.

And now he had momentum. Nishikori was seen off without too much fuss to give Croatia a new tennis hero to follow in the footsteps of legend Goran Ivanisevic.

He has credited fellow countryman and coach Ivanisevic for inspiring him as he landed the big prize and admitted he has been blown away by the achievement.

“It’s life-changing, completely like I was on a different planet so far,” he said, when asked how he felt after the final. “It just feels incredible.”

Cilic says Ivanisevic, who is remembered well for his 2001 Wimbledon success, worked with him to quickly improve his serve and now his target in tennis is to emulate the Croatian legend moving forward.

He added: “Every grand slam is worth the same, but Wimbledon is very special for all the Croatians and probably for most of the guys that are playing.

“It’s just something in the air.”

Something certainly seems to be in the air for Cilic after his US Open win and he has proved his critics and doubters wrong that he does indeed have what it takes to win the big tournaments but the next step could prove to be just as difficult.
Securing one Grand Slam title is tricky enough – especially with the competition around – but building on it and sustaining challenges in the big four tournaments in 2015 will be the acid test.
However, judging by the way he dismantled his opponents in New York, more success looks to be on the horizon.

davis cup: swiss take on italy, czech take on france while usa fights slovakia for next year

It’s Davis Cup weekend and the USA is taking on Slovakia to ensure a spot in the 2015 Davis Cup tournament. Captain Jim Courier has selected John Isner, the top ranked US player who was the last player to exit the US Open 2014.  Sam Querrey, who recently defeated Guillermo Garcia-Lopez to reach the semi’s at  Winston-Salem for the third year in a row only to be defeated by Jerzy Janowicz and they are both joined by tennis twins  Mike and Bob Bryan, who are widely considered to be the best men’s doubles team of all time. The Bryans bros won the US Open 2014 which marked their 16th Grand Slam win and 100th title.

The USA hopes to uphold their unbeaten record versus Slovakia but their last victories already dated from the 2002 and 2003 season.  The 2014 US Davis Cup team shows parallels with the 2003 when the team took on Slovakia at the same stage in Bratislava and beat the Slovaks with an epic 3-2 victory. In order for the USA to compete in the Davis Cup 2015 they must beat Slovakia this coming weekend.

If Slovakia wins then they will be the ones who will compete in the 2015 Davis Cup.  The Slovakia Davis Cup team is captained by Miloslav Mecir and features Martin Klizan, Lukas Lacko, Norbert Gombos and Michal Mertinak.

Meanwhile Roger Federer leads Swiss’ Davis Cup challenge as they take on Italy in the semi’s of the tournament. Swiss is captained by Severin Luthi and the team consists of Roger Federer, winner of 17 Grand Slam tournaments, Stanislas Wawrinka, winner of the Australian Open 2014 and is completed by Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer.  The Italian team consists of Andreas Seppi and Fabio Fognini.

Federer considers Swiss to be the favorite in this encounter.

“We obviously are favorites,” the third-ranked Federer said. “We have a formidable team. We are playing at home and we chose the surface. We can do it.”

Swiss captain told the press that having Federer and Wawrinka with the team has greatly improved the preparation for the upcoming weekend.

“We could train together as soon as Tuesday, which was not the case in our opening two rounds,” Luthi said, referring to the tight 3-2 wins over Serbia and Kazakhstan.

If the Swiss win they will take on the winner of the match between France and the Czech Republic.

France takes on the Czech Republic who have proved themselves to be great cupfighters as they have won the Davis Cup twice in a row.  France’ team consists of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils, both players who are currently in top form. Tsonga recently won the Rogers Cup in Toronto while Gael Monfils reached the fourth round of the US Open 2014 where he lost to Federer in an epic five set match where he failed to convert two match points.

France coach Arnaud Clement called the Czech team “the best team in the world” and is looking try to stop the impressive winning streak of the Czechs.

“This is the best team in the world,” France captain Arnaud Clement said of the Czechs. “One can’t win the Davis Cup twice in a row by chance. We’ll be trying to put their amazing run to an end.”

The Czech team consists of Radek Stepanek, Tomas Berdych and is completed by Lukas Rosol and Jiri Vesely.

Stepanek is looking forward to playing at Roland Garros and even more so when he found out that Roland Garros was originally built to host Davis Cup matches.

“It’s special when you come here for a Grand Slam tournament and it’s definitely even more special for us to play here and play for our country. It’s even more special to play here in the semifinals.”

Make your predictions for the upcoming Davis Cup weekend matches and check if it is a good bet with the best tennis betting online sites.

serena williams wins 6th U.S. Open and 18th grand slam; kei nishikori makes tennis history with finals appearance

Long-time Wilson player Serena Williams won her 6th U.S. Open and 18th Grand Slam title this past Sunday, tying Wilson’s Chris Evert for third most Grand Slam titles of all-time. Meanwhile, Wilson’s Kei Nishikori made tennis history of his own by becoming the first Asian-born male to compete in a Grand Slam final.

Williams relied heavily on her signature attack style of play (Wilson Blade Racket) en route to defeating Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-3 in the final. She dominated the field throughout the tournament with her hard-hitting serve and baseline game, never dropping a set. Her six U.S. Open singles titles also ties Evert for the most all-time – Williams’ first Open title came at age 17 while using the Wilson Hyper Hammer.

“Serena is one of the greatest tennis players ever, and we’re thrilled to have her as a member of the Wilson Advisory Staff,” said Hans-Martin Reh, General Manager of Racquet Sports at Wilson Sporting Goods Co. “The fact that Wilson has played a role in her success leaves us overflowing with pride. On behalf of everyone at Wilson, we want to congratulate her on winning the U.S. Open and adding another chapter to her remarkable story.”

Nishikori’s historic run to the finals wasn’t as smooth as Serena’s, yet his powerful and precise groundstrokes (Wilson Steam Racket) helped him dictate points as he won back-to-back four-hour matches in the 4th round and quarterfinals against the No. 5 and No. 3 seeds respectively. Two days later, he came back to take down the current world No. 1 seed to reach the finals.

“Kei has played inspirational tennis the past two weeks,” said Reh. “We at Wilson are proud to equip Kei and feel lucky to partner with someone whose talent on the court is only exceeded by his humility off of it. A big congratulations goes to him as well.”

Earlier this year, Kei also made history when he became the first Asian-born player to be ranked top-ten in ATP’s world rankings.

tennis legend roger federer opens up in october issue of Town & Country

 

Tennis legend Roger Federer covers the October issue of Town & Country, on newsstands nationwide September 16th. In the magazine, he opens up about how he deals with failure, his wife and children (two sets of twins!), and why he still has the urge to keep playing tennis.

Some of the interview highlights:

On feeling joy when he steps onto the tennis court:

“I want to be happy when I play. For me it’s the only right thing to do: to be happy, feel happy, and also share that with the people. It’s very important to me.”

 On his love for the game, and why he’s not quite ready to retire:

“I didn’t expect to become a professional tennis player. Everything after top 100 and even top 10 for me was, like, way beyond. Yeah, I was joking about winning Wimbledon when I was younger, but did I ever really, really believe that it was going to happen? Probably not. But let’s just sort of dream big and give it a chance, you know? So everything, the whole last 10 years, has been more than I could ever ask for. And for that reason, I think, I have this pleasure and this fun, because I remember how it feels to play on Court 23. I remember how sad and angry I was when I was younger. I remember how much work I put into it. And that’s why I don’t want to give it away just like that.”

 On his namesake foundation, a charity that helps children gain access to education, primarily in southern Africa, and currently assists 86,400 children, with the goal of 1 million by 2018:

“I just want to focus on one thing and do that a hundred percent. It’s important for the people who give you the money to see clearly what you’re trying to stand for. If somebody gives you one dollar, they know what’s going to happen with that dollar. For me it’s been a privilege being able to do that and having the trust of people.”

 On his legendary battle with Rafael Nadal at the 2008 Wimbledon finals:

Fans “relate to you sometimes more when you lose. And then I think I got unbelievable support from 2008 onward. They wanted to see me win again.”

Read the full interview on the Town & Country website

the tennis channel unveils signature series: arthur ashe at the us open 2014

Tennis Channel will celebrate the illustrious career of tennis pioneer, devoted activist and Hall of Famer Arthur Ashe in Signature Series: Arthur Ashe during the 2014 US Open. The newest edition to the network’s original Signature Series documentary lineup – Ashe’s first authorized television biography – will debut Sunday, August 31, at 11 p.m. ET at the conclusion of Tennis Channel’s US Open coverage. A complete schedule of episode airdates can be found on the channel’s website at www.tennischannel.com/schedule.

Signature Series: Arthur Ashe delves into the brilliant tennis career, passionate activism and untimely death of one of the most respected athletes of all time. In a pantheon with other 20th Century agents of change like Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens and Muhammed Ali. Ashe is remembered as a man who broke color barriers and affected human rights issues. With perhaps nothing more important to him than education and the opportunities it can afford people, of all walks of life, Ashe took a leading role in advancing this cause of using a locker room as a means of promoting the classroom. The dignity and grace with which he led his life, on and off the tennis court and in the face of his own mortality, remain respected around the world.

“Arthur Ashe’s legacy transcends tennis and even sports, and this is a story that simply had to be told,” said Ken Solomon, chairman and CEO, Tennis Channel. “For the first time television audience will experience Arthur in the context of history and learn why he was one of the greatest social leaders our world has seen.”

An eventual World No. 1, Ashe began as an outsider in tennis, an African-American unable to play junior tournaments – or even walk onto the same court with a white opponent – because of racial segregation laws in his home state of Virginia. He went on to lead the University of California Los Angeles’ championship tennis team, and became the first African-American to play for the U.S. Davis Cup team in 1963. This landmart “first” was one of many in a lifetime of firsts for Ashe. He later became the first man to win the US Open in 1968, its inaugural year. In doing so, he also became the first – and to this day only – African-American man to win the singles title at the US Open or the U.S. National Championships, as the tournament was known before the Open Era.

Ashe added to his place in history with championships at the Australian Open in 1970 and Wimbledon in 1975, also firsts for an African-American man. Even today his Wimbledon championship upset of Jimmy Connors is considered a match for the ages. Ashe remains the only black man to win singles championships at the US Open, Wimbledon or the Australian Open. He also, with 1983 French Open winner Yannick Noah of France, became one of only two black men to win a major tennis singles title. He finished his career with 33 titles overall.

This documentary, however, charts the story of not only a Grand Slam champion, but also a lifetime leader, humanitarian, philanthropist and human rights activist who worked with three different U.S. presidents. Known for his character, Ashe’s passionate and tireless leadership translated into many causes – both politically and socially. He protested South African apartheid, championing human rights and serving as a beacon of hope to the people suffering under segregation there. Ashe became such a virtuous example to South Africans that they nicknamed him “Sepo” or “Hope.” After decades in prison, future South African president Nelson Mandela immediately sought a meeting with Ashe upon his release. Ashe was also committed to protesting U.S. crackdowns on Haitian refugees. He was arrested twice while demonstrating his beliefs regarding these issues. Above all Ashe was a fierce advocate of educational empowerment, and gave back to his community throughout his life. Paramount among his achievements may be his role as a founding member of National Junior Tennis and Learning, a non-profit dedicated to helping underprivileged youth through tennis.

“We are humbled to be able to honor Arthur Ashe’s memory in this edition of Signature Series,” said Laura Hockridge, vice president, original programming, Tennis Channel. “His actions as a player have helped to mold the sport as we know it today, and his convictions as an activist continue to inspire people and motivate positive change in the world.”

In 1992, Ashe announced that he had contracted AIDS during a blood transfusion years earlier while receiving treatment after heart surgery. In doing so, he became an early and public face for raising awareness about the disease. Ashe, with his wife Jeannne, helped to bring attention to AIDS by founding the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS, which generated funds for study into treating, curing and preventing the disease, with the eventual goal of finding a cure. He continued to bring light to the plight of AIDS victims by speaking before the U.N. General Assembly, inciting a call to action for delegates to increase funding for research and see the virus as a global issue. At a local level, Ashe also founded the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health. He designed the institute to address poor health care delivery issues amongst urban minorities. Ashe died in 1993 of AIDS-related pneumonia.

“The greatness of Arthur Ashe was not his tennis. It was the way he carried himself and what he tried to create. He represented so many good ideals and values … and I always believed that America lost a great deal when we lost Arthur Ashe,’ said longtime friend and agent of Arthur Ashe, Donald Dell, in an interview that appears in the documentary.

Spending nine years in the World Top 10, Ashe contributed more to the sport than just great match play and big wins. In response to tennis’ growing popularity and the stalemate of tennis professionals’ earnings, he co-founded the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) with Jack Kramer and others in 1972. The ATP was formed to represent the interests and rights of the men who made their living on the pro tennis circuit. Ashe served as president for two years and went on to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985. Today he is the namesake of the main venue at the US Open, “Arthur Ashe Stadium,” the largest tennis arena in the world. It was Ashe’s dedication to promoting equality and championing human rights – both in his professional and personal life – that keeps him in the hearts and minds of the public.

Ashe’s family, friends and contemporaries have joined together to help Tennis Channel honor the tennis great by speaking about their fondest memories of him on camera. Each was asked to write a personal letter to Ashe from the present, addressing the ways in which his legacy lives and the changes in the world today because of him. Read in “Dear Arthur” segments throughout, the letters form the pillars of the film’s structure. His brother Johnnie Ashe, Ambassador Andrew Young, prize winning sports writer Frank Deford and tennis icon Billie Jean King are among those featured. Other interviewees include contemporaries like all-time great Rod Laver and Cliff Drysdale, and tennis chroniclers Richard Evans and Steve Flink.

Signature Series: Arthur Ashe is a a part of Tennis Channel’s on going Signature Series documentary lineup. Other tennis personalities and subjects have included Rod Laver, Andre Agassi, Vitas Gerulaitis, Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras, Rene Lacoste, Bud Collins and the sport’s centuries-old origins.

tennis legend mats wilander coaches GQ’s rosecrans baldwin for the US Open

GQ’s Rosecrans Baldwin is a tennis fanatic. He didn’t start playing tennis until the age when most pros retire, but he’s pretty decent at it. It was the longest of shots, but that didn’t stop him from gunning for this year’s U.S. Open. He hooked up with a former champ (Mats Wilander!), trained for months, and took his first step toward becoming a Grand Slam winner.

Baldwin on his experience training with Wilander:

“My first time out, a ball from Mats came fast to my backhand. I was caught off guard and returned a weak slice, rather than a more powerful topspin shot. Mats said immediately: ‘Why did you do that? You’ve got a good backhand—why hit a slice?’ Twenty minutes later, there was a drill where Mats fed me overheads so fast I might as well have swung my arm like a propeller to hit them all. Instead, I lost focus and dumped three into the net. Mats was pissed. ‘You should never miss an overhead! It’s the easiest shot in tennis. Federer misses maybe five overheads in a season.’”

Watch Roger Federer’s pre-match routine

“It was a master class. He disassembled everything he’d noticed in my game, down to the tiniest hiccups in my strokes. ‘Against these guys’—meaning the opponents I’d see at the tournament—‘you have nothing. No weapons. Maybe two things: your footwork and your determination. That’s it.’ From there came tips, tactics, solutions. He jumped out of his chair to demonstrate positioning. Compared situations I might face to moments in matches he’d played twenty-five years ago. By the end, my notes ran to seven pages.”

The September issue of GQ is available on newsstands now in New York and LA and nationally August 26.

sony develops smart tennis sensor to improve your game

Tennis Sensor on Racket

The Sony Smart Tennis Sensor is a device that is developed for players who want to optimize their play. With the  Smart Sensor you are able to keep track of various shots such as top spin forehand, slice forehand, topspin backhand and many more.  And even  tracks your attack style. And you can keep track of all aforementioned things using your smartphone and / or tablet.

Sony has partnered with Wilson, Yonex and Prince to realize real-time optimization of play and more to select tennis racket models accross the USA and Canada.

“Wilson is thrilled to be the exclusive distributor and marketing partner with Sony on this important Tennis technology advancement,” said Mike Dowse, President of Wilson Sporting Goods Co. “As a leader in Tennis for more than 100 years, Wilson has always been at the forefront of sport innovation and is dedicated to providing the best technologies to athletes of all levels. In some cases we build that innovation, but we also seek out partners, like Sony, who have developed innovation that we view as best in class.”

With an IP65 waterproof/dustproof rating and officially approved by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for use during competition*, Sony’s Smart Tennis Sensor aligns to play of all levels and intensities.

“As of May, Yonex has had great success in introducing Sony’s Smart Tennis Sensor exclusively within Japan. This product has brought a new enjoyment to the game and has stirred strong praise among many tennis fans in Japan,” said Manji Kanemasu, Assistant General Manager of Global Marketing. “As the Smart Tennis Sensor expands globally, it will surely bring about a fun new experience to tennis fans all over the world.”

The Smart Tennis Sensor will be available at Wilson.com and through select Wilson tennis dealers, by the end of January 2015, at a MSRP of $200. More specifications and a full list of compatible tennis racket models will be available at: http://www.smarttennissensor.sony.net/NA/

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.