Maria Sharapova and boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov to participate in Mexican Open

Russian tennis star, Maria Sharapova and boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov confirmed their participation for the XXII edition of the 2015 Mexican Tennis Open held in Acapulco from February 23-28. While Dimitrov will be back for seconds after winning the men’s field in 2014 against Kevin Anderson, this will be Sharapova’s first time playing in the famed Mexican resort town.maria sharapova

Other distinguished players confirmed for next year’s event include, Japanese US Open finalist, Kei Nishikori, #5 ATP-ranking player, David Ferrer and Juan Martin del Potro, winner of the 2009 US Open.

“We are very excited to welcome this caliber of athletes to Acapulco and be once again the host of this important event,” said Guerrero Tourism Board Secretary, Javier Aluni Montes. “Acapulco’s visibility as a sports town is increasing rapidly; this year alone, we have confirmed triathlons, fishing competitions, golf tournaments and international rally events,” he added.

The tournament will take place at the Fairmont Acapulco Princess and will feature outdoor hard courts for the second time (the change was introduced in 2014). Other novelties include a revamped “Grand Stand” which will now have capacity for 1,630 people. Prices for the men’s field will amount to $300,000 dollars and 500 points towards ATP classification. The price for the winner for the female series will consist of $37,000 dollars and 280 points towards their WTA ranking.

The Mexican Open is an attractive tournament for ATP and WTA players. Since 2014 it is part of the ATP’s “Hot Tour” along with Indian Wells and Miami. The event also represents an important economic boost for the state of Guerrero not only due to the creation of new job opportunities (600 new positions have been confirmed), but also for its role in tourism arrivals.

Tickets will be available to public beginning October 13, 2014.

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.

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!

 

sharapova withdraws from the 2013 u.s. open with shoulder injury

Maria Sharapova - Nike - 2013 Australian Open

 

Blowing us a red-lipped kiss goodbye: 2006 U.S. Open Champion Maria Sharapova withdrew from this year’s Championship because of bursitis in her right shoulder. “Maria has informed us that she will be unable to compete at the U.S. Open this year due to a right shoulder bursitis and has withdrawn from the tournament,” U.S. Open tournament director David Brewer said in a statement. “We wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to her return to New York next year.”

Sharapova also released a statement through her own website, saying “”I just wanted to let you know that withdrawing from the US Open has been a really tough decision to make. I have done everything I could since Wimbledon to get myself ready, but it just wasn’t enough time. I have done many tests, received several opinions and it all comes down to taking the proper amount of time to heal my shoulder injury properly. It’s certainly not an easy decision to make ahead of one of my favorite tournaments, but I know it’s the right one that will get me back on the courts soon. I plan on taking the next few weeks off, receiving proper treatment and rehabilitation. I will miss being part of the US Open, but can’t wait for next year!”

Moving on up: Because of this withdrawal, Agnieszka Radwanska moves up to the No. 3 spot in the seedings previously held by Sharapova. All the other seeds move up, with Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova moving up to the take the No. 32 seeding. (See: 2013 U.S. Open Women’s Singles Seeds | Men’s Seeds)

(via USATpicture of Maria Sharapova from the 2013 Australian Open via Getty Images)

fashion focus: sharapova wears david koma for sugarpova accessories launch

Sharapova wears David Koma at the Sugarpova accessories launch at Henri Bendel, 2013

For yesterday’s launch of the Sugarpova accessories collection at Henri Bendel,  Maria Sharapova wore a David Koma dress, shoes by Rupert Sanderson, and — of course — earrings from the Sugarpova line.

Flashback: Maria also wore a Koma dress during the Australian Open debut of her successful candy line.

Further reading: Koma is a Georgian-born, London-based designer. You can browse the rest of David Koma’s Fall 2013 RTW line at style.com.

(Photo by Getty Images courtesy of Sugarpova)

for its first birthday, sharapova’s sugarpova launches accessories line

Sharapova / Sugarpova launches Accessories Collection at Bendel

Maria Sharapova celebrated the one-year anniversary of Sugarpova by showing off the Sugarpova Accessory Collection on Tuesday at Henri Bendel.

The line, which includes jewelry, hair accessories, apparel, and cosmetic cases, officially launched at the Bendel flagship on Fifth Ave. on HenriBendel.com, and Sugarpova.com — all on Tuesday.

Sharapova co-designed the collection alongside the Henri Bendel team of accessories designers.

As part of the launch, Bendel has set up a “Maria’s Must-Haves On & Off the Court” pop up shop on the 2nd floor of the Fifth Avenue store.

“It has been such an exhilarating first year for Sugarpova and there is nothing more exciting than to celebrate this milestone by creating an exclusive accessories line with Henri Bendel,” said Sharapova via a press release. “These accessories are fun and chic while multifunctional.”

Sweepstakes: Maria fans that can’t make it to the New York City pop up shop will still have an opportunity to partake in the festivities by entering the Henri Bendel and Sugarpova sweepstakes on the Henri Bendel Facebook page. Entrants have the opportunity to enter-to-win a prize package including Sugarpova candy, all items from the accessory line, tennis product and gear and tickets for two to the U.S. Open.

(Images courtesy of Sugarpova)

the female HOATs of all time: a fine list of tennis girls to ogle

In case you are wondering why there is only a list of male of HOATs here on TSF, it’s because none of the writers had ever thought about writing up the women in that way. And so here I am with the tall task of balancing out our HOAT list with the WTAers that are catching my eyes:

  1. Victoria Azarenka
  2. Maria Kirilenko
  3. Ana Ivanovic
  4. Maria Sharapova
  5. Mandy Minella

What do you think? Who did I miss? I ask you readers to complement my list! (Well, to be fair, I just want to see who I am missing from my small list that I can include on the next update!)

And yes, this article is really worthless without pics, so happy ogling!

trophy watch: a bonus trophy for the ladies in doha

Nadia Petrova holds Diamond Ball trophy - Qatar Total Open 2013 -

A Girl’s Best Friend: The organizers of the Qatar Total Open 2013 in Doha are a bit more excited about this year’s draw, with the possibility of the Diamond Ball trophy being awarded at the end of the week. The secondary trophy can go to a player who wins the Qatar Total Open three times. Both Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova have each hoisted two Total Open trophies; Sharapova won Doha both in 2005 and 2008, while Petrova won Total Open titles in 2006 — in Doha and Berlin.

Trophy Watch: This isn’t the first time a special trophy’s been awarded to three-time winners. The Proximus Diamond Games, held for most of the 00’s in Antwerp, handed out a bedazzled racquet to Amelie Mauresmo.

(RELATED: TSF’s Trophy Watch archives)

Doha: Save for a few early dropouts in Kirilenko and Sloane Stephens — and breakthroughs in Barthel (over Kerber) and  McHale (over Safarova), it’s biz as usual. Results, draws, and orders of play available at the Qatar Total Open website.

(Photo Credit: Qatar Total Open)

sharapova’s sugarpova a sweet success

Surgarpova - Maria Sharapova candy line - logo

Bloomberg reports that Maria Sharapova‘s candy line, Sugarpova, estimates a return of 120% in investment for the Russian tennis star, who put down $500,000 for the venture. Max Eisenbud, her agent and CEO of the candymaking business, anticipates that they’ll sell 1 million bags within the first year. Sharapova makes $1.10 per bag sold.

Maria first launched the candy right before the 2012 U.S. Open, with a meet-and-greet with fans in NYC’s Henri Bendel store on Fifth Avenue, followed by a few other stops, including a West Coast launch at the Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles and another appearance in Melbourne ahead of the 2013 Australian Open.

maria sharapova shares her style tips with vogue australia

Maria Sharapova discusses her fashion style with Vogue Australia

A Q&A between 2013 Australian Open semifinalist Maria Sharapova (she lost to Li Na) with Vogue Australia’s Carmen Hamilton. Our favorite tidbit: Maria loves working with Alexander McQueen‘s Sarah Burton (this red dress comes to mind). The Russian also shares fashion tips for tall women: wear your flats (gladiators), and rock those wide leg trousers like its your job.

Carmen Hamilton: How do you choose an outfit for a big event, both on and off court?

Maria Sharapova: Off court, it usually depends on the event. I’ve had a few Sugarpova launches in the last few months so a lot of the things I’ve worn have been quite colourful and fun to go with the personality of the candy. For an event during the evening, I would go towards something like Alexander McQueen. I love working with Sarah Burton. I think she’s incredible. It’s been really amazing to see her creations come alive. Overall, I usually try to go for something more feminine and elegant.

(Photo Credit: Maria Sharapova for Tag Heuer; via vogue.com.au)