ITF launches iPhone App for Davis Cup

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) today launched an iPhone App for Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, bringing the excitement and drama of the largest annual international team competition in sport to the mobile devices of tennis fans around the world.

The iPhone App provides fans with live scores, schedules, results, news, photos, rankings, event information, and player and team profiles, and is available for free download on the App Store. Other smartphone users can access a mobile optimised version of the website, equipped with the same features, while an Android App will be available later in the year.

The iPhone App is part of a wider digital offering that provides comprehensive online coverage of Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, including live scores, reports and videos on DavisCup.com, live streaming on DavisCup.tv, and social media conversations on Facebook and Twitter. The launch of the Davis Cup App follows the success of the ITF’s Olympic Tennis App, which had over 67,000 downloads during the recent event at Wimbledon.

“With iPhones and other mobile devices becoming an increasingly popular choice when accessing the Davis Cup website, we are pleased to be able to provide a dedicated smartphone App for iPhone users to enhance their experience of following Davis Cup by BNP Paribas,” said Mat Pemble, ITF Information & Communications Technology Manager.

“With instant updates of live scores, news and results, we hope this dedicated mobile App will provide fast and easy to access information for tennis fans all around the world, bringing to life the excitement of Davis Cup wherever they may be.”

The Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals and play-offs are taking place this week (14-16 September). The semifinal ties see Spain host USA in Gijon, and Argentina meet Czech Republic in Buenos Aires.

Download the Davis Cup iPhone App on the App Store.

Williams leads next round of qualifications for TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul

NEW YORK, NY, USA – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced today that Serena Williams and the doubles teams of Andrea Hlavackova/Lucie Hradecka and Liezel Huber/Lisa Raymond have qualified for this year’s TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships, which will be staged at the Sinan Erdem Arena in Istanbul, Turkey. The WTA’s year-end finale, to be held from October 23-28, will feature the world’s top eight singles players and top four doubles teams, competing for the coveted title and a share of $4.9 million in prize money.

“I would like to extend my congratulations to Serena, Andrea, Lucie, Liezel and Lisa on qualifying for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul,” said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman and CEO. “Serena has had an incredible year, becoming the only player in history to achieve a golden career Grand Slam in both singles and doubles, and winning her 5th Wimbledon and 4th US Open titles. Serena’s love of the sport and relentless determination to win continues to inspire generations of tennis fans from around the world.”

 

“Andrea and Lucie’s outstanding play has seen them reach the finals of Wimbledon and the US Open, in addition to winning a silver medal at the Olympics. It is a wonderful moment for them to qualify for their first WTA Championships. Liezel and Lisa continue to set the bar for dedication and commitment, capturing five titles and spending 20 weeks as co-No.1s on top of the WTA doubles rankings. It will be great to see them back in Istanbul to defend their title.”

 

Serena Williams

 

This season Williams has added more highlights to her resume, including winning two gold medals at the Olympics to achieve a career golden Grand Slam in singles and doubles, securing her 14th and 15th Grand Slam singles titles at Wimbledon and the US Open, and surpassing sister Venus for the most titles won by an active player (45).

 

The 30-year-old has compiled a 53-4 record this season and a tour-leading six titles, bolstering her Wimbledon, Olympics and US Open victories with wins at the Family Circle Cup (Charleston), Mutua Madrid Open and Bank of the West Classic (Stanford). She is undefeated against Top 5 opponents this year (10-0), and with her tally of 15 wins, only one player can boast more defeats over World No.1 players (Navratilova, 18; equal with Davenport, 15).

 

Williams has qualified for the WTA Championships on nine occasions during her career, and is set to compete for the first time since 2009. The American is a two-time champion at the event – receiving a walkover in the 2001 final against Davenport, and defeating sister Venus in 2009 – in addition to reaching the final in 2002 (runner-up to Clijsters) and 2004 (runner-up to Sharapova in three sets).

 

Click on the link to hear Serena’s thoughts on her season and qualifying for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul: http://youtu.be/D-xgx4R9gvg

 

Andrea Hlavackova/Lucie Hradecka

 

“It is such an unbelievable feeling to have qualified for the WTA Championships,” said Hradecka. “I watched the matches last year, and Petra Kvitova told us how amazing the tournament was, so we are really looking forward to it.”

 

“When we were planning our goals at the start of the year, our focus was really on the Olympics, but as the results started to come, we began to think it might be possible to qualify for Istanbul,” said Hlavackova. “It’s great that we’ll be playing indoors on a fast surface, and we’re going to have some fun and make the most of the week.”

 

The Czech team of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka has advanced to seven finals so far this season, winning titles at ASB Classic (Auckland), Memphis International, and Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati), in addition to finishing runners-up at Wimbledon, US Open and the Olympics.

 

First teaming together in 2008 they have collected eight titles, including last year’s Roland Garros, and in doing so became the first all-Czech pairing to win a Grand Slam doubles title since Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova won Wimbledon in 1990. Both players will be making their WTA Championships debut, and will follow in the footsteps of Novotna/Sukova who were the last Czech team to contest the WTA Championships, also in 1990.

 

Liezel Huber/Lisa Raymond

 

“One of our goals this year was to return to Istanbul and defend our title at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships,” said Huber. “Istanbul was a memorable experience last year and I am excited to be heading there again in October. The doubles competition there will be tough and I’m sure the fans will see some of the best tennis all year.”

 

“I’m thrilled to qualify for my twelfth WTA Championships and am looking forward to ending the year hopefully on a high note in Turkey!” said Raymond.

 

Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond are two of the WTA’s most decorated doubles players. This season they have reached eight finals and captured five titles: Open GDF SUEZ (Paris [Indoors]), Qatar Total Open (Doha), Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells) and New Haven Open at Yale.

 

Between them, Huber and Raymond own 132 doubles titles, including 11 Grand Slams and 7 Championships, including last year in Istanbul. Huber has spent 199 weeks at the top of the WTA’s doubles rankings – behind only Navratilova’s 237 weeks – while at 39 years of age, Raymond is the oldest player ever to hold the WTA No.1 ranking in singles or doubles.

 

Huber will be making her sixth appearance at the year-end finale. The 36-year-old is a three-time winner of the WTA Championships, having won in 2007-08 with Cara Black, and last year with Raymond. This will be 39-year-old Raymond’s 12th journey to the event, having first qualified in 1994. Including last year’s victory, she has won the title four times; also in 2001 with Rennae Stubbs, and 2005-06 with Samantha Stosur.

 

These players join the already-qualified Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, and doubles team of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. Five singles and one doubles spot remains open for this year’s player field.

 

RACE TO THE TEB BNP PARIBAS WTA CHAMPIONSHIPS-ISTANBUL

(players/teams in bold already qualified)

PLAYER

POINTS

  TEAM

POINTS

Victoria Azarenka (BLR)

8686

  Errani / Vinci

10097

Maria Sharapova

8190

  Hlavackova / Hradecka

7100

Serena Williams (USA)

7900

  Huber / Raymond

7036

Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)

6296

  Kirilenko / Petrova

4555

Petra Kvitova (CZE)

5310

 

Llaogstera Vives / Martinez Sanchez

3737

Angelique Kerber (GER)

5080

  Kops-Jones / Spears

3143

Sara Errani (ITA)

4820

 

Li Na (CHN)

4152

 

Samantha Stosur (AUS)

3571

Marion Bartoli (FRA)

3345

 

 

 

Tickets for the 2012 TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships–Istanbul, as well as info about the event, are available for purchase through Biletix – either online at www.biletix.com or at Biletix ticket counters in Turkey.

 

Follow all the latest news about the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul on www.wtachampionships.com, www.facebook.com/WTA, and www.twitter.com/WTA using #WTAChamps.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Eloise Tyson, WTA, +44.207.386.4100, etyson@wtatennis.com

Feray Akşit Güney, TEB, +90.216.635.6487, feray.aksitguney@teb.com.tr

Elodie Verbeke, BNP Paribas global sponsorship, +33632300396, elodie.verbeke@bnpparibas.com

Hatem Vural, Accord PR, +902122754710, hvural@accord-pr.com

 


 

About BNP Paribas:

BNP Paribas (www.bnpparibas.com) is one of the strongest banks in the world*. The Group has a presence in more than 80 countries and more than 200,000 employees, including more than 160,000 in Europe. It ranks highly in its three core activities: Retail Banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail banking model across the Europe-Mediterranean zone and boasts a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Investment Banking and Investment Solutions activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia.

* Rated AA by Standard & Poor’s i.e. 3rd rating level on a scale of 22.

 

About Türk Ekonomi Bankası (TEB):

Türk Ekonomi Bankası (TEB), a reputable and prestigious institution in the Turkish banking sector, was established in 1927. Since its establishment, TEB, with its expanded network of branches and a diversified range of products and services, pursues operating in various fields of the banking sector as investment, leasing, factoring and portfolio management. In February 2005, BNP Paribas, one of the top 10 most important banks in the world and the largest in the Euro zone, operating in 83 countries, became a partner of TEB which went public in February 2000. In the wake of its strategic partnership with the BNP Paribas, Türk Ekonomi Bankası carries its expertise in foreign trade, corporate, commercial and private banking over into the fields of retail banking and banking for small and medium-sized businesses. Today TEB is one of the major players of the Turkish Financial Services Market with consolidated asset size of 40.5 billion TL and more than 9.000 employees.

 

About BNP Paribas and Tennis:  

Long-standing partner to the sport of tennis since 1973, BNP Paribas is actively involved in the game at both local and international level, and in club, schools and social tennis as well as professional events. BNP Paribas has gradually become the number one sponsor in world tennis: official sponsor of Roland Garros since 1973 and sponsor of five ATP Masters 1000 events – the BNP Paribas Masters since 1986, Monte Carlo Masters since 2005, Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome since 2006, BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells since 2009 and the Shanghai Masters since 2010. The Group is also title sponsor of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas since 2001 and the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas since 2005, as well as being actively involved in many other international competitions including the Bank of the West Classic in California, the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca, the Open 13 in Marseille and the BNP Paribas Showdown in New York. BNP Paribas is also an official partner of International Wheelchair Tennis, such as the the “BNP Paribas World Team Cup”. Through its support for more than 20 national tennis associations, 2000 clubs, 550 amateur tournaments, plus schools and social programs around the world, BNP Paribas helps to promote tennis and encourage widespread participation in the game. The Group’s commitment to social values is reflected in the sports sponsorships it has undertaken in numerous projects, including Yannick Noah’s ‘Fête le Mur’ Association and the tennis Téléthon in France, the Oberer Tennis Camp in Switzerland and the BNP Paribas ‘Taste of Tennis’ in the United States. As part of its creative sports sponsorship policy, BNP Paribas has launched a website “www.wearetennis.com” entirely dedicated to tennis news.  The Group’s new sponsorship slogan ‘We are tennis’ underlines the fact that BNP Paribas promotes tennis for all, at all levels.

Andy Roddick Discusses His Retirement

Flushing Meadows, NY – Andy Roddick shocked tennis fans, players, and media alike with his announcement of his retirement after the 2012 US Open yesterday evening. Here are some comments he made last night at his press conference announcing his retirement.

When Roddick was asked, why now, he responded “I just feel like it’s time. I don’t know that I’m healthy enough or committed enough to go another year. I’ve always wanted to, in a perfect world, finish at this event. I have a lot of family and friends here. I’ve thought all year that I would know when I got to this tournament. When I was playing my first round, I knew.”

Roddick also talked about his ability and desire to compete. “I don’t know that I’ve ever been someone who’s interested in existing on tour. I have a lot of interests and a lot of other things that excite me. I’m looking forward to those.” He continued, “I’ve always, for whatever my faults have been, felt like I’ve never done anything halfway. Probably the first time in my career that I can sit here and say I’m not sure that I can put everything into it physically and emotionally. I don’t know that I want to disrespect the game by coasting home. I had plans to play a smaller schedule next year. But the more I thought about it, I think you either got to be all in or not.”

Some in the tennis world thought Roddick took extra time saying good bye at a Grand Slam tournament earlier this year. “On some big moments this year, I think I’ve known. You know, walking off at Wimbledon, I felt like I knew,” he said.

When asked if he made the decision on that day to give fans a chance to say good bye, Roddick responded “those are good reasons. I think I wanted an opportunity to say good bye to people, as well. I don’t know how tomorrow’s going to go. I hope it goes well and I hope I’m sticking around. I just imagine being off the court tomorrow in an empty locker room. I think I wanted a chance to say good bye.”

When asked what he is most proud of looking back on his career, Andy responded “you know, I was pretty good for a long time. The reason I gave earlier about not feeling like I could be committed to this thing a hundred percent, that’s one of the things I’m proud of. That for 13 or 14 years, I was invested fully, every day.”

When asked about being the face of American Men’s tennis for so long, Roddick said “it’s been a pleasure. It’s not something that’s easy every day, for sure, especially when you get kind of anointed at a young age, 17, 18.”

Finally, Roddick talked about playing at Arthur Ashe Stadium for night matches. “I mean, it’s the most electric atmosphere in our sport,” he said, referencing the 23,000-seat arena that is the biggest in the sport. “There’s something about it. There’s a lot of eyeballs on TV sets from people who don’t even normally watch tennis during night matches of the US Open. I think I’ve played as many as anyone. Again, it’s just something I’ll look back on with really fond memories. Hopefully won’t be my last one,” he said. Many in the tennis world hope that tonight isn’t his final match on the court as well when he takes on Bernard Tomic.

TENNIS FANTASY OPPORTUNITIES WITH EDBERG, COURIER, SAFIN AND CHANG IN GRAND CAYMAN

NEW YORK, October 6, 2010 – Ever wanted to play doubles with Stefan Edberg?

Or wonder what feels like to be in the firing line of a Jim Courier forehand?

Ever wanted to have a beer with Marat Safin or see if Michael Chang could run down your drop shot?

Tennis fans can find out first hand at The Residences at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Legends Championships to be held November 5-7 in Grand Cayman, where, for the first time, an exclusive and intense pro-am tournament has been added to the event, providing some of these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

Edberg, Courier, Safin and Chang will be joined in Grand Cayman by former top 10-ranked Americans Aaron Krickstein and Jimmy Arias for the six-player Champions Series event and the pro-am activities.

In addition to the competing for a first-prize paycheck of $45,000 and Champions Series ranking points, the players will participate in the pro-am that will see the legends playing matches and enjoying meals and social time with participating amateurs over multiple days. Tennis fans interested in participating in the pro-am with the legends can find ticket, travel and tournament information by visiting www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com.

“This is an ultimate, once-in-a-lifetime tennis fantasy opportunity to have the chance to play with and against some of the biggest legends in the game – and have quality social time in an amazingly beautiful luxury resort,” said Jon Venison, co-founding partner of InsideOut Sports & Entertainment, the owners and operators of the Champions Series tennis circuit. “In addition to playing and socializing with these greats of the game, fans will also have up-close and personal access as they compete for prize money and ranking points in the official Champions Series event held in Grand Cayman for the third year at The Residences at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman.”

Edberg, Courier, Safin and Chang have combined to win 13 major singles titles, with Edberg, Courier and Safin having achieved the world’s No. 1 ranking and Chang reaching a career-high ranking of No. 2. The event will be played on red clay courts in a single-knockout format event with each player vying for a first-prize paycheck of $45,000 and ranking points that determine the year-end No. 1 ranked player on the Champions Series circuit.

To be eligible to compete on the Champions Series, players must have reached at least a major singles final, been ranked in the top five in the world or played singles on a championship Davis Cup team. Courier finished the 2009 season as the top-ranked player on the Champions Series, followed by Pete Sampras and Todd Martin. Courier won the 2009 edition of The Residences At the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Legends Championships beating Arias 6-4, 6-2 in the final.

Earlier this year on the Champions Series circuit, former U.S. and Wimbledon finalist Mark Philippoussis defeated John McEnroe in May to win the Staples Champions Cup in Boston and take over the No. 1 Champions Series ranking. Former French Open semifinalist Fernando Meligeni of Brazil was the surprise winner of the opening event on the 2010 Champions Series, winning the title in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil by defeating Philippoussis in the final in March.

CHAMPIONS SERIES VIDEO FOOTAGE

The Champions Series video page features exclusive behind the scenes footage of events and candid player chats. Videos can be seen at http://m1e.net/c?117624092-e0OZwEToXP4k.%405777254-IJHpH7rq444KI

BECOME A FAN OF THE CHAMPIONS SERIES ON FACEBOOK & FOLLOW US ON TWITTER facebook.com/championsseriestennis | twitter.com/cs_tennis

CHAMPIONS SERIES WEBSITE:

http://m1e.net/c?117624092-CLggdvDBanAlw%405777255-1WPdmKceiZLIw

InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a New York City-based independent 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 tennis circuit, 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, charity events, corporate outings and tennis fantasy camps such as the annual “Ultimate Fantasy Camp”. Through 2009, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment events have raised over $4 million for charity. For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

PART-TIME VEGAS RESIDENT CIRSTEA TO FACE LEPCHENKO FOR LEXUS OF LAS VEGAS OPEN TITLE ON SUNDAY

LAS VEGAS, Nev., (Oct. 2, 2010) – Sorana Cirstea has played on the grandest stages in tennis, including the All-England Club at Wimbledon and Roland Garros at the French Open. But the 20-year-old Romanian told the Lexus of Las Vegas Open tennis fans there was no place she would have rather been on Saturday than Las Vegas.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s Roland Garros or wherever, it’s just a pleasure to play before all these wonderful people,” said the No. 3 seeded Cristea, after her 6-3, 6-4 win over her countrywoman and top-seeded Edina Gallovits in the semifinals of the USTA $50,000 Pro Circuit event being held at the Red Rock Country Club in Summerlin.

Cirstea, who lives in Las Vegas a quarter of the year training with the Adidas group led by Darren Cahill and Gil Reyes, will meet American Varvara Lepchenko in today’s final. Lepchenko, the No. 2 seed, beat No. 4 Mirjana Lucic in similar fashion, 6-3, 6-4, in the first semifinal on Saturday.

Cirstea controlled the match opening up a 5-1 second set lead with her popping first serve and consistent groundstrokes. “She is tough to play because she is such a good friend,” Cirstea said of the 25-year-old Gallovits, who she now holds a 3-0 career head-to-head against, including a straight-set win over her in the first round at the 2009 Wimbledon Championships.

Cirstea has dropped just one set in the tournament, which came in the first round against American Irina Falconi. “After I survived that first round I started feeling more confidence,” she said.

The lefty Lepchenko got her revenge against Lucic, who beat her last week in the semifinals at the Albuquerque, N.M., Pro Circuit event. In that match, Lepchenko was actually up a set and a break before letting Lucic back in the match which Lucic ultimately won, 1-6, 7-5, 6-1. “I did start to remember about last week when I was up 3-0 and 4-1 in the second set,” Lepchenko said. “I just had to keep reminding myself to stay aggressive.”

A native of Uzbekistan, Lepchenko currently resides in Allentown, Pa. She has lived in the United States since 2001 after receiving political asylum and became a U.S. citizen in 2007.

In the doubles final on Sunday at 11 a.m., wild cards Falconi and Maria Sanchez will face No. 4 seeds Lindsay Lee-Waters and Megan Moulton-Levy.

Saturday’s Semifinal Singles Results

wc: wild card

Varvara Lepchenko, U.S. (2), def. Mirjana Lucic, Croatia (4), 6-3, 6-4

Sorana Cirstea, Romania (3), def. Edina Gallovits, Romania (1), 6-3, 6-4

Sunday’s Finals Order of Play

Stadium Court Starting at 11 a.m.

Irina Falconi, U.S. / Maria Sanchez, U.S. (wc), vs. Lindsay Lee-Waters, U.S. / Megan Moulton-Levy, U.S. (4)

Followed by Varvara Lepchenko, U.S. (2), vs. Sorana Cirstea, Romania (3)

The tournament title sponsor is Lexus of Las Vegas with the presenting sponsor Hand Surgery Specialists of Nevada. Thank you to all the members who sponsored the tournament, including Dan Jackson with Raymond James, Kate Lowe of State Farm. Dwain Frazier of All State, Rob Weisbord of CW Las Vegas, Keith Brille of Women’s Specialty Care and Dr. Jeffrey Ng, .MD, among many others.

For additional event and ticket information, please visit www.lexuslvopen.com.

LAS VEGAS PAST CHAMPIONS

Singles

Year                Winner                                                Runner-up

2009                Regina Kulikova (RUS)                      Aniko Kapros (HUN)

2008                Camille Pin (FRA)                               Asia Muhammad (U.S.)

2007                Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)                 Akiko Morigami (JPN)

1999                Erika de Lone (U.S.)                           Hila Rosen (ISR)

Doubles

Year                Winner

2009                Aniko Kapros (HUN) – Agustina Lepore (ARG)

2008                Melinda Czink (HUN) – Renata Voracova (CZE)

2007                Victoria Azarenka (BLR) – Tatiana Poutchek (BLR)

1999                Erika de Lone (U.S.) – Annabel Ellwood (AUS)

PRIZE MONEY

SINGLES: Prize Money               Points

Winner                         $7,315                         70

Runner-up                   $3,990                         50

Semifinalist                 $2,185                         32

Quarterfinalist             $1,235                         18

Round of 16                $760                            10

Round of 32                $475                            1

DOUBLES:                   Prize Money (per team)

Winner                         $2,660

Runner-up                     $1,425

Semifinalist                 $760

Quarterfinalist             $380

Round of 16                $285

USTA Pro Circuit

With 94 tournaments throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed on the USTA Pro Circuit for approximately $3.2 million in prize money and valuable ATP and WTA Tour ranking points. Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Lindsay Davenport, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Jelena Jankovic are among the top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit. The USTA Pro Circuit is world-class tennis administered on the local level and played on local tennis courts as part of the fabric of communities nationwide — an opportunity for current and new fans to experience the excitement and intensity of the professional game in their neighborhood.

ATP Launches Art Series

LONDON, ENGLAND – The ATP has commissioned the world’s top tennis players to create a series of one-of-a-kind self-portraits in celebration of their qualification for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, to be played at The O2 in London from 21-28 November.

The world’s leading players used their tennis skills to create individual masterpieces by hitting paint covered tennis balls against large art canvases. Each canvas was overlaid with a stencilled image, which, when removed, revealed a unique self-portrait showing one of the player’s signature moves on court.

The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals sees the Top 8 men’s tennis players in the world battle it out against each other for the last title of the season. Players compete for South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings points throughout the season in a bid to earn one of the eight coveted berths and a chance to win the $1.6m prize money on offer for the winner.

The artwork created by the final eight players will be exhibited for public viewing in Central London in early November, and during tournament week at the new Fan Zone at The O2. The artwork then will be auctioned off for charity with tennis fans around the world getting the chance to bid on a rare piece of art created and signed by their favourite player.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have already qualified for the tournament. The remaining six places are still up for grabs, as a chasing pack featuring the likes of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick continue to battle for rankings points at ATP World Tour events during the remainder of the season in order to finish among the Top 8.

Nadal, the 2010 Wimbledon, Roland Garros and US Open Champion, is looking forward to returning to London in November. “Making the artwork was fun and something I’ve never done before. It’s a great way to celebrate the World Tour Finals coming back to London. Last year the crowd and the stadium were amazing although I didn’t play my best tennis. Hopefully this year I will arrive playing well again and will try to do my best in front of the London fans who add such a special feeling to the event,” said the World No.1.

Federer, a four-time winner of the season-ending tournament, has qualified for the event for a ninth consecutive year. “They staged a fantastic event at The O2 last year and I look forward to returning in November and finishing the season strong. It was great fun being invited to create my self-portrait and I’m excited to see how the finished artwork looks hanging in the gallery,” said the Swiss.

The tournament is the world’s biggest indoor tennis event, where each of the top eight players are drawn to play a minimum of three round-robin matches to determine which four players advance to the knockout semi-finals. Tickets are available online at www.BarclaysATPWorldTourFinals.com.

USTA Juniors Win Five of Eight Singles Matches on Day 2 of Land Rover Napa Valley Classic

ST. HELENA, Calif., (Sept. 25, 2010) – Cal tennis fan Brad Gilbert stopped by the Meadowood Resort on Saturday to watch the youngest and most local USTA junior boy compete on the second day of the Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic.

Fifteen-year-old Mackenzie McDonald, who comes from the same Northern California town as Gilbert was raised 90 miles southeast in Piedmont, met his match against Illinois’ best player, Dennis Nevolo, falling 6-1, 6-2, on a day that saw the USTA’s eight top juniors win five singles matches against six of the nation’s best collegiate teams.

Gilbert said despite the result, McDonald, who is referred to as Mackie by his coaches and teammates, is still one U.S. tennis fans should keep an eye on in the future.

“It was good to finally get a sense of his game,” said Gilbert of McDonald, who won the 14s Easter Bowl Spring Nationals in 2009. “He’s just 15 so the next 18 months will tell a lot. But from what I saw, I would be surprised if he doesn’t become a top player.”

Nevolo, a junior who finished with 27 wins as the Fighting Illini’s No. 1 player last year, proved too strong physically for McDonald. “It was a tough match for me,” said McDonald, who fell to 1-1 in the round-robin formatted tournament. “I mean, he’s No. 1 for Illinois. I felt like he was pressuring me and overpowered me. That was actually my game plan going in against him since there were no expectations for me. But I wasn’t able to execute it.”

Gilbert agreed: “The guy he’s playing is 21 and just physically too strong. He just got overpowered.”

USTA coaches Jose Higueras, Jay Berger and Ricardo Acuna watched the match and were even able to go on court during the match and coach McDonald and the other players, something new for them but not new for the other college coaches.

“That’s one of the great things about this event,” said USC assistant coach George Husack. “We get a chance to see some of these juniors up close and actually be on the same court with them. It’s good to be in front of them. They see what I’m like on the court interacting with my players and I can also see how they’re reacting to the coaching that is going on with them with some of the USTA coaches.”

He continued: “I think the event also shows the college guys that these juniors aren’t messing around. They aren’t here just because it’s a great opportunity. They’re here to win.”

The USTA juniors were led by Jack Sock, Alexios Halebian and the two Mitchell’s, Krueger and Frank, who each won on Saturday and have two wins in two days. The final day of round-robin play is Sunday with the winners of each of the eight flights advancing to a single-elimination, 10-point tiebreak tournament.

Florida coach Jeremy Bayon was in agreement with the other seven collegiate coaches in his high praise of the event. “I think it’s a great idea and it’s a great format,” Bayon said. “It shows that the USTA and the college coaches can work together. Most of the freshmen and sophomores still know the juniors so it’s bring a great atmosphere. It’s good because it shows how good junior tennis is in the U.S. It shows that college tennis is also at such a high level.”

Count veteran Kentucky coach Dennis Emery as one in favor of the event. He couldn’t stop raving about the event. He said he got the coveted invite from Cal coach Peter Wright after Georgia had to drop out. “I think it’s a really unique event and I think it has so much potential to get even bigger,”  Emery said. “I think it’s great getting to see the USTA coaches on the court with their players. It’s a innovation that they don’t have in any other setting. I think that’s what makes it such a big thing for the USTA.”

Emery said he’s seen firsthand the positive support the USTA has recently given to college tennis. “I don’t think there’s been any question there’s a huge turn in the way the USTA is approaching college tennis,” Emery said. “As a 33-year Division I veteran, I can tell you it’s something that’s been long-awaited. It’s been a very serious commitment to college tennis on behalf of the USTA. I went to a coaching clinic in June in Boca and the entire program with Patrick (McEnroe) and Jose (Higueras) and Jay Berger was fascinating.

“Just the whole thing is on a good path right now. It’s a group of guys that I think understands that it doesn’t matter where the players are coming from but that they’re coming prepared and ready to play. It’s a much less territorial thing than in the past.”

Emery continued: “The thing that I’m most impressed with is that the juniors are not getting overpowered. I thought that the college guys would be able to come in and overpower them with their serves and their aggressive play. But that’s just not the case. I’ve been very impressed with how technically sound these junior players are. They play a lot of balls. I think the reason they are able to compete so well is because they are so technically sound. That’s the biggest thing I’ve seen.”

The winner of the tournament will receive a USTA-sponsored wild card into a USTA Pro Circuit event that is yet to be determined.

The juniors were selected by USTA Player Development based on ATP rankings (if applicable), national rankings and results, and a selection of younger players for developmental purposes.

DAY 2: Saturday’s Singles Results

Eric Quigley (Kentucky) def. Carlos Cueto (Cal), 7-6 (5), 6-2

Bjorn Fratangelo (USTA, Pittsburgh, Pa.) def. Raymond Sarmiento (USC), 6-0, 6-3

Dennis Nevolo (Illinois) def. Mackenzie McDonald (USTA, Piedmont, Calif.), 6-1, 6-2

JT Sundling (USC) def. Maks Gold (Kentucky), 6-0, 6-2

Vasko Mladenov (Texas) def. Bob Van Overbeek (Florida), 7-6 (4), 6-1

Abe Souza (Illinois) def. Pedro Zerbini (Cal), 6-4, 7-5

Bruno Abdelnour (Illinois) def. Hunter Harrington (USTA, Spartanburg, S.C.), 6-2, 6-3

Alex Musialek (Kentucky) def. Marcos Giron (USTA, Thousand Oaks, Calif.), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4

Ed Corrie (Texas) def. Nick Andrews (Cal), 6-1, 6-4

Mitchell Krueger (USTA, Aledo, Texas) def. David Holiner (Texas), 6-3, 7-6 (4)

Alexandre Lacroix (Florida) def. Johnny Hamui (Illinois), 6-2, 6-2

Jack Sock (USTA, Lincoln, Neb.) def. Christoffer Konigsfeldt (Cal), 6-4, 6-2

Mitchell Frank (USTA, Annandale, Va.) def. Anthony Rossi (Kentucky), 6-4, 6-1

Daniel Nguyen (USC) def. Jean Andersen (Texas), 2-6, 7-5, 6-1

Alexios Halebian (USTA, Glendale, Calif.) def. Nassim Slilam (Florida), 6-3, 6-2

Sekou Bangoura (Florida) def. Jaak Poldma (USC), 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3)

DAY 2: Saturday’s Doubles Results

Nick Andrews / Christoffer Konigsfeldt (Cal) def. Mitchell Krueger / Bjorn Fratangelo (USTA), 8-6

Alexandre Lacroix / Nassim Slilam (Florida), def. Mitchell Frank / Jack Sock (USTA), 8-4

Zack Gilbert / Sky Lovell (Cal) def. Marcos Giron / Alexios Halebian (USTA), 9-8 (3)

JT Sundling / Raymond Sarmiento (USC) def. Mackenzie McDonald / Hunter Harrington (USTA), 8-4

DAY 3: Sunday’s Schedule

8:00 a.m.

Alex Musialek (Kentucky) v. Vasko Mladenov (Texas)

Bob Van Overbeek (Florida) v. Marcos Giron (USTA)

Alexios Halebian (USTA) v. Jean Andersen (Texas)

Jaak Poldma (USC) v. David Holiner (Texas)

Sekou Bangoura (Florida) v. Mitchell Krueger (USTA)

Ed Corrie (Texas) v. Bruno Abdelnour (Illinois)

9:15 a.m.

Christoffer Konigsfeldt (Cal) v. Johnny Hamui (Illinois)

Eric Quigley (Kentucky) v. Raymond Sarmiento (USC)

Pedro Zerbini (Cal) v. Anthony Rossi (Kentucky)

10:30 a.m.

Daniel Nguyen (USC) v. Nassim Slilam (Florida)

Nick Andrews (Cal) v. Hunter Harrington (USTA)

Alexandre Lacroix (Florida) v. Jack Sock (USTA)

Carlos Cueto (Cal) v. Bjorn Fratangelo (USTA)

Abe Souza (Illinois) v. Mitchell Frank (USTA)

Dennis Nevolo (Illinois) v. Maks Gold (Kentucky)

JT Sundling (USC) v. MacKenzie McDonald (USTA)

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level — from local communities to the highest level of the professional game.  A not-for-profit organization with 750,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game.  It owns and operates the US Open, and launched the Olympus US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open.  In addition, it owns the 90-plus Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., is a minority owner and promotional partner of World TeamTennis, and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games.  USTA Serves, the National Charitable Foundation of the USTA, provides financial support for disadvantaged youth and people with disabilities through tennis and education programs.  For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.

Tennis.com Delivers a Grand Slam To Tennis Fans and Advertisers at the 2010 US Open

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 20, 2010 – During the two weeks of the 2010 US Open, TENNIS.com, the world’s most popular tennis website, experienced a significant increase in user sessions, page views and podcast downloads according to Adam Milner, Associate Publisher of The Tennis Media Company.

According to Milner, whether tennis fans were looking for upsets, following their favorite players or tracking a potential Federer-Nadal showdown, they were doing it on TENNIS.com.  In the two weeks from August 30th through September 13th, the site recorded 658,072 unique visitors – about 10% more uniques than a typical full month of traffic. The 1,832,638 user sessions, an 11% increase from the 2009 US Open, shows that visitors are returning to the site throughout the tournament for the latest news and information.  The 26% increase in page views to 12,493,249, proves that tennis fans are not just checking scores but are discovering robust content throughout the site such as daily videos, twitter feeds and blogs.

Advertisers who benefitted from the substantial online audience included: American Express, Wilson, K-SWISS and POLO.

The company’s explosive growth surrounding its podcast programs continued during the 2010 US Open as more than 39,000 podcasts, sponsored by American Express and Prince Sports, were downloaded from iTunes, Zune and TENNIS.com.

About The Tennis Media Company: The Tennis Media Company publishes TENNIS Magazine and SMASH Magazine. TENNIS, published 8 times annually, is the world’s largest tennis title, with a circulation of more than 600,000. The Tennis Media Company also owns TENNIS.com, the world’s leading tennis website, plus the blog Peter Bodo’s TennisWorld (peterbodostennisworld.com).

Edberg, Courier, Safin, and Chang Headline Field at Grand Cayman

NEW YORK, September 13, 2010 – InsideOut Sports & Entertainment today announced that Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier, Marat Safin and Michael Chang will headline the field at the 2010 The Residences at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Legends Championships to be held November 5-7 in Grand Cayman. Former U.S. Davis Cup standouts Aaron Krickstein and Jimmy Arias will round out the six-player field at the fourth event on the 2010 Champions Series, the U.S.-based global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over.

This year’s tournament will also feature for the first time a multi-day pro-am experience that will be combined with the world class tennis competition to create an exclusive tennis destination happening. All six competing pros will participate in the pro-am tournament that will see the legends playing matches and enjoying meals and social time with participating amateurs over multiple days. Tennis fans interested in participating in the pro-am with the legends can find ticket, travel and tournament information by visiting www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com.

Edberg, Courier, Safin and Chang have combined to win 13 major singles titles, with Edberg, Courier and Safin having achieved the world’s No. 1 ranking and Chang reaching a career-high ranking of No. 2. The event will be played on red clay courts in a single-knockout format event with each player vying for a first-prize paycheck of $45,000 and ranking points that determine the year-end No. 1 ranked player on the Champions Series circuit.

In the opening quarterfinal match at 7 pm on November 5, Chang will play Krickstein, followed by Courier taking on Arias. On Saturday, November 6, starting at 2 pm, the winner of the Chang-Krickstein match will play Safin while the winner of the Courier-Arias match will play Edberg. The schedule of play on Sunday, November 7 will feature the third-place match between the two losing semifinalists starting at 1 pm followed by the championship match.

“It’s hard to think of any place more relaxing and beautiful to see and compete with some of the greatest legends in tennis than this event at The Residences at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman,” said Jon Venison, co-founding partner of InsideOut Sports & Entertainment and the Champions Series tennis circuit. “We have assembled the best field ever in Grand Cayman with three former No. 1 players and a former world No. 2 who have combined to win two Wimbledon titles, three US Open titles, three French Open titles and five Australian Open titles. We are also especially excited about our expanded pro-am and hospitality offerings where fans can have the ultimate tennis fantasy experience that they will remember and talk about the rest of their lives.”

To be eligible to compete on the Champions Series, players must have reached at least a major singles final, been ranked in the top five in the world or played singles on a championship Davis Cup team. Courier finished the 2009 season as the top-ranked player on the Champions Series, followed by Pete Sampras and Todd Martin. Courier won the 2009 edition of The Residences At the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Legends Championships beating Arias 6-4, 6-2 in the final.

Earlier this year on the Champions Series circuit, former U.S. and Wimbledon finalist Mark Philippoussis defeated John McEnroe in May to win the Staples Champions Cup in Boston and take over the No. 1 Champions Series ranking. Former French Open semifinalist Fernando Meligeni of Brazil was the surprise winner of the opening event on the 2010 Champions Series, winning the title in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil by defeating Philippoussis in the final in March.

CHAMPIONS SERIES VIDEO FOOTAGE

The Champions Series video page features exclusive behind the scenes footage of events and candid player chats. Videos can be seen at http://m1e.net/c?117624092-/xeeD7URGaYks%405702273-YNkZFDwhedoxU

BECOME A FAN OF THE CHAMPIONS SERIES ON FACEBOOK & FOLLOW US ON TWITTER facebook.com/championsseriestennis | twitter.com/cs_tennis

CHAMPIONS SERIES WEBSITE:

http://m1e.net/c?117624092-zitkzgEjC1OXA%405702274-/13Lkiz69.twM

InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a New York City-based independent 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 tennis circuit, 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, charity events, corporate outings and tennis fantasy camps such as the annual “Ultimate Fantasy Camp”. Through 2009, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment events have raised over $4 million for charity. For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Zvonareva Goes To Finals After Darkening Sunshine

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – It was fitting the clouds started to cover the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center after Vera Zvonareva whisked Caroline Wozniacki out of the tournament, because Sunshine set.

The Russian’s 6-4 6-3 win over the No. 1 seed raised a few eyebrows – especially the CBS executives who wanted to see the rising star in the finals – but it didn’t surprise the hardcore tennis fans, who saw Zvonareva lost to Serena Williams in the Wimbledon finals. Much like Wozniacki, she is also a rising star, who went from the 21st seed at Roland Garros to No. 7 here in Flushing.

“I always believe in myself,” Zvonareva said.  “I always believe I can beat anyone on the other side of the net if I’m able to play my best tennis.  There is nothing really changed for me, you know.  I know I’m not gonna play perfect tennis all the time, like most of the players, but that’s what we all trying to do.

“I know if I’m doing it, if I’m playing well, I can beat anyone.”

Today she proved just that. Controlling the match from the outset, the 26 year-old was able to break and then hold Wozniacki during the third game of the first set to easily cruse to a 6-4 win.  Zvonareva was able to control the match from the baseline, putting her younger opponent on heels, running from side to side, trying to track down balls.

“I think it’s the same probably as the previous match, very similar,” Zvonareva said. “It’s the right balance between being patient and being aggressive.  You know, with those windy conditions you have to play sometimes ugly, you know.  You don’t have to expect to play your best tennis.”

“That’s what I did well.  I was not expecting to play my best tennis, but, you know, I was trying to be patient when I needed, and step up when I got the chance.”

She got chances also early in the she when she went up a break, but Wozniacki broke back to show some fight. Yet, that game was the last the Pilot Pen winner won, as Zvonareva was able to break back and then serve for the win.

“She played a really good game, definitely,” Wozniacki said.  “You know, she was not missing a lot.  She was going for her shots.  Most things were going in.  You know, I had chances, and I don’t know, I made some mistakes today that I usually don’t do.

“Yeah, it was a tough day for me in the office, and unfortunately it was today.  That’s the way tennis is sometimes.”

Now Zvonareva will look for her first Grand Slam win by taking on Kim Clijsters tomorrow night. It will be a very interesting matchup as Clijsters is undefeated in Flushing Meadows since her comeback last year and leads the head to head matchup 5-2, but the two losses came this year. One at Wimbledon and then later this summer in Montreal.

“Any match with Kim will come down to the tough challenge, you know,” Zvonareva said.  “She’s a great mover on the court.  She has a lot of experience.  She won here last year.  You know, it’s going to be tough.  You know, we played a couple of matches for the past couple of months, but those matches are in the past.

“I will think about what worked the best for me, and I will try to take it with me tomorrow, and, you know, do it again.  Those things that didn’t work well for me, I tried to avoid them.  That’s it.”

And as for Wozniacki, it’s back to the drawing board for her Grand Slam, but as Annie once sung, “The sun will come out tomorrow.”

That means Sunshine as well.