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.

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.

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

 

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!

 

uniqlo releases novak djokovic’s 2013 u.s. open kit

Uniqlo releases Novak Djokovic 2013 U.S. Open kit

UNIQLO previewed the 2013 U.S. Open kits to be worn by World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and at the same time announced that it would sell a collection based on these styles, available to the public.

The designs keep simple, as has been the case for Djokovic’s UNIQLO uniforms thus far, and the Japanese outfitter’s design director, Naoki Takizawa, explained their concept behind the pieces. “The collection captures [Novak's] calm demeanor as well as his strong energy on the court in a striking yet unconventional black scheme and includes a mint green color that was chosen by Novak. The red version of his performance wear portrays a sense of passion while incorporating the UNIQLO official company colors of red and white. Once again the lines are an important design element aimed to help visualize his physical strength and speed on the court.”

Uniqlo releases Novak Djokovic 2013 U.S. Open kit

The company also offered another description for the collection on their website: “While unusual in the tennis world, we chose black as a key color in this year’s U.S. Open Collection.” JFTR, it’s really not that unusual, at least not for the U.S. Open (See: Roger and Serena wear black in NYC.)

“To us,” UNIQLO continues, “the color represents the strength and elegance of Novak Djokovic’s playing style. The mint blue detailing matches the tournament’s official color and symbolizes the cool agility of Novak’s movements on the court.”

Buy: Novak Djokovic Performance Wear; polo, shorts, track jacket, track pants priced at $49.90; socks, $9.90; uniqlo.com

Looking forward: Djokovic heads into the final Slam of the year with a 5-2 record for the summer hard court season; he lost in the semis of Montreal to Rafael Nadal and the quarters of the Western & Southern Open to John Isner.

Novak Djokovic - #meetnovak - Uniqlo - U.S. Open 2013

#meetnovak: Uniqlo arranged a meeting between Novak and fans at their Fifth Avenue flagship on Monday night.

(product images courtesy of UNIQLO; #meetnovak photo via @TheSliceTweets)

fashion focus: novak djokovic wears audemars piguet watch in australia

Novak Djokovic wins 2013 Australian Open, wears Audemars Piguet watch

Time on his side: World No. 1 Novak Djokovic became the first man in the history of professional tennis to win three consecutive Australian Open titles when he beat Andy Murray in the final: 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2.

It took nearly three hours for either player to break serve, and then only when Djokovic produced perhaps the best point of the match to expose a rare soft spot in Murray’s resolve. The win consolidated Djokovic’s position as the No. 1-ranked player in the world.

Commenting on his win Novak said: “I’m just trying to play every game with 100% of devotion, love, passion but also fun. I always try to embrace every moment and enjoy it as much as possible”.

Novak Djokovic wins the 2013 Australian Open
No Big Deal: Novak wears the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Arnold Schwarzenegger The Legacy Chronograph, about $45,000.

(Photo Credit: courtesy of Audemars Piguet)

shirtless: novak djokovic defeats wawrinka in melbourne

Novak Djokovic Shirtless

Part of the deal: What would the Australian Open be without a marathon match involving Novak Djokovic? The No. 1 seed got all tangled up in a five-setter against Stan Wawrinka, who saved two match points before going down 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7(5), 12-10.

And what would a Djokovic post-match celebration be without the Serb tearin’ up his (Uniqlo) top?

(viaPhoto Credit: Getty Images)

short balls: digging deep on sergio (+ a visual version)


How’d they do it?
Bloomberg Businessweek posted a lengthy story last week on how Sergio Tacchini, the Italian brand that is now controlled by Chinese investors, saved itself — from itself. Their biggest move? Nabbing Novak Djokovic, of course. But our favorite part of the feature was this snippet on player-turned-fashionista Martina Hingis, who had a sour relationship with the company:

Hingis dominated the women’s tour during the second half of the ’90s. She seemed to fit well into the Tacchini firmament, appealing to wealthy, casually athletic, European-oriented fans. It didn’t work out. Three years into Hingis’s five-year deal, worth $5.6 million, Tacchini fired her, accusing Hingis of not wearing the clothes as contracted. Two years later, Hingis sued, claiming that the “defective” Tacchini shoes she wore had wrecked her feet and ruined her career. (Hingis had surgery in 2001 and 2002 to repair ligaments in her ankles.) A New York court dismissed the suit, ruling that the case should be heard in Milan, where Hingis had signed the contract and where another suit was pending. In 2006 her manager, Mario Widmer, told a German newspaper that “the Tacchini problem is resolved. We have come to a compromise and at the same time have agreed to keep silence on both sides.”

More from those financial folk: While Businessweek was focused on Sergio, The Economist‘s new “Game Theory” blog is paying plenty of attention to tennis. Who now? Andy Murray.

We’re a little biased, but… designer fashion at super marked-down pricers all in the name of a good cause?! We dig that, Housing Works. The New York-based non-profit is putting on its annual Fashion for Action sale starting Nov. 16 (which is sooner than you think!). NYers: Get your tix here.

That you, Princess B? Yes that’s Princess Beatrice. Yes, she needs to wax her mustache. Whatevs, it’s Halloween! What a fierce lady.

Look. Listen. Watch. Yes, we get the Siri craze. But a Scottish accent and a cute face. We’ll repeat anything he says, too. | TSF Vault: Short Balls

Short(er) balls: Want to have dinner with Roger Federer? Tennis Channel and Lindt, the chocolate company, are all about setting you up. You have til Tuesday, folks. | USA Today contributor Doug Robson goes searching for the best racket on the market and finds it. | Back in Newport next year? That’d be defending champ John Isner, who has committed to the grass court event. | Nike and Tennis Warehouse launch an exclusive partner shoe on Tuesday. 0:37 of anticipation! (We love this ad.)

(screengrabs via businessweek, housing works and time.com respectively. beatrice photo by getty. tennis warehouse video)

(wednesday's) sunday survey: striking situation

Would these boys really do it? Strike. It’s not something tennis fans really want to think about, and even though Tennis Channel’s James LaRosa does point out some ways that a lack of tennis-playing might make fans’ lives better, we here at TSF would miss the weekly fashions (and trophies!) with great sadness. Andy Murray recently told the BBC that if the tennis bodies don’t step up then the players will, and Rafael Nadal echoed that players could take “strong action.” It doesn’t help that 2011’s king, Novak Djokovic, fell to the ground unable to continue during Davis Cup 10 days ago. Not the best image for the (functional) end of the tennis season, right?

Do you think a players’ strike could really happen? Weigh in below.

(photo by Getty Images)

imitations by andy

Not just Nole. On Sunday night in Oklahoma City, Andy Roddick showed attendees at the exhibition featuring himself and Mardy Fish that it wasn’t Novak Djokovic who can pull out impressions of fellow tennis players. Skip ahead to the 1:51 mark if you want to see Roddick’s Serena impression, including (just for a flash!) her 2009 US Open tirade.