Federer Stunned By Berdych

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – To paraphrase the late Howard Cosell: “Down goes Federer! Down Goes Federer!”

A shocker in the Men’s Quarterfinal saw Czech Tomas Berdych beat No. 1 seed Roger Federer in four sets  7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

For the first time since 2003, the Maestro will not be in the US Open Semifinal and went home pretty unhappy to say the least.

“I’m sure it was a combination of many things,” Federer said.  “I mean, obviously I rarely go through matches where I have no chances, you know.

“So obviously I missed some tonight again, but that’s normal.  When you end up losing at the end, you know, you always hope that you made every chance you had.  It’s just not possible.

“He probably created more than I did, and that’s why he ended up winning tonight.”

It could have been the extra rest Federer received when Mardy Fish pulled out of the Open on Monday that ruined his sharpness. Like a pitcher, most tennis players tend to like the regular rhythm of a tournament, but the Swiss Master was forced to sit out Monday’s match when he received a walkover.

Federer though didn’t use that as an excuse.

“I have been there before,” he said.  “Once I had six‑and‑a‑half days off and I ended up winning Wimbledon.  I don’t think this was the issue tonight.”

Federer looked off from the outset, after electing to receive in the coin toss, was put on his heels by Berdych, who blew the Maestro away in the tiebreaker 6-1 and broke Federer early in the second set.

Only late in the second did Federer look like the Maestro, but down two breaks was just too much for the Swiss Master and Berdych eventually was able to come through.

But then the third set came and Federer was able to break Berdych and take the set rather easily.

“I still was down two sets to one, so I wasn’t celebrating too much,” he said. “It was good.  The momentum switch no doubt gave me a chance, put the score back to zero, put him further away from winning, and made the match go longer, make it more physical, more mental.

“Yeah, so obviously I was excited winning the third, but the problem was the first couple of sets ‑ particularly the first one.”

At that point it looked like Federer was going to paint another masterpiece, but Berdych was able to break him in the middle of the fourth to end it quickly for the Master.

“The fourth set all of a sudden ended quickly,” Federer said.  “He played good the last couple of points on my serve I think at 30‑All.  But that’s always a danger with Tomas if you’re down in the score and he can take some chances.  He’s obviously a shot‑maker, so, yeah, it’s dangerous.

“I should never lose the first set.  But anyway, it happens.  Move on.”

It will be a very different Open now that both the biggest story in Andy Roddick and its biggest draw in Roger Federer are no longer playing.

It also gives Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray excellent chances to win the whole thing.

 

Djokovic’s Choice Of Racquet Is The Perfect Stocking Stuffer For Your Tennis Player

Novak Djokovic really improved his game this year and become the World’s No. 1 Player.

How did he do it you might ask. Practice? Conditioning?

Why play with a new and improved racquet, of course.

Djokovic played 2011 with the second generation HEAD YouTek Speed racquet in his hand. Something that may have helped give him the edge.

“The name is Speed, and the racquet gives me a lot of speed in this aggressive game,” Djokovic said. We have been working hard on the racquet in order to improve it as much as possible.”

HEAD’s YouTek™ concept aims to provide tennis players with the perfect racquets for their individual game. The new YouTek™ IG Speed is specially designed for the needs of players like Novak Djokovic. Innegra™ promises to bring racquet innovation to another level. Extremely tough and light, Innegra™ has the lowest density of any existing fiber and, combined with carbon fiber, forms an ultra-tough hybrid-composite structure. The result: improved stability and increased shock absorption. Racquet vibration from ball impact is reduced by up to 17 percent, yielding unmatched control and precision.

There are five different YouTek 300 racquets out on the market for various types of performance.

YouTek IG Speed MP: The Speed MP is the perfect combination of power and control for heavy hitters with a long fast swing style. It is available in three models, accommodating a wide range of players. You’ll never want to put this racquet down!

– YouTek IG Speed MP 18/20 ($199.95): The MP 18/20 is Novak Djokovic’s Weapon of Choice

– YouTek IG Speed MP 16/19 ($199.95): The MP 16/19 has a more open string pattern and a slightly longer length for added reach.

– YouTek IG Speed 300 ($199.95): The MP 300 is a slightly more powerful version with added maneuverability

YouTek IG Speed Elite ($189.95): A Tour Light version providing complete tour performance with greater maneuverability. The slightly wider beam gives it even more power.

YouTek IG Speed Lite ($189.95): This is the lightest racquet in the Speed series. A great tweener providing the perfect combination of power, manoeuvrability, control and feel. It’s the excellent tour racquet for players with a moderate swing style.

The racquets are available at all major retail locations. Pick one up for your tennis pro.

For more information visit www.head.com/tennis.

Peer Moves Along In The First

There are few tennis players in New York more popular this week than Shahar Peer.And Peer is not even an American. The no. 24 seed is an Israeli.New York has a heavily Jewish population and many of them come out to Flushing Meadows on an annual basis to cheer her on.

It worked on Tuesday at beautiful new court 17 as Peer defeated Sania Mirza of India, 6-7,6-3,6-1.The large crowd was firmly behind her.

Peer recognizes that she is in part an ambassador from Israel when she plays in New York.

She reached a career high ranking of 11 this past January,which marks the highest ranking ever for an Israeli man or woman.Not bad for someone who had to do a 2-year stint in the army.

Peer will play young Sloane Stephens of the United States,most likely on Thursday.She and Stephens have played doubles together in the past.Peer recognizes that Stephens has a lot of talent,but Peer is playing with a lot of confidence right now.

Hall Of Famer, Tennis Legend Bjorn Borg Returns To New York To Replace Injured Jimmy Connors, Takes On John McEnroe In July 14 World TeamTennis Match At Sportime Randall’s Island

NEW YORK (July 7, 2011) – Tennis Hall of Famer Bjorn Borg will step in to replace fellow tennis legend Jimmy Connors to face long-time rival John McEnroe in a World TeamTennis match on July 14 at Sportime Randall’s Island.  Borg and McEnroe will compete against each other that night when the defending Eastern Conference Champion New York Sportimes face the Philadelphia Freedoms.  Connors is not be able to participate due to a knee injury.

The evening will be a special benefit for The Johnny Mac Tennis Project, with tickets sold by the Project to raise funds to provide scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area. Recipients will attend the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, which is completing its first year at Sportime Randall’s Island. Ticket prices for the match will be $250, $150 and $60; special VIP tickets are also available; please consult your tax advisor concerning the tax deductibility of ticket purchases. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 1-888-988-6921 or visit www.nysportimes.com.

This will be first WTT match in 17 years for Borg, who will be joining the Philadelphia Freedoms roster for the evening.  Borg last played WTT for the Atlanta Thunder in 1994.  Borg also played for the Cleveland Nets in 1977 and the Los Angeles Strings in 1993.

The centerpiece of the brief but enthralling rivalry between McEnroe and Borg was the epic 1980 Wimbledon final, which included an 18-16 tiebreaker in the fourth set. McEnroe won the tiebreaker but it was Borg who captured the fifth set and his fifth straight Wimbledon.

Borg won 63 singles titles, including 11 Grand Slam Championships, and also added four pro career doubles titles. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.

“We are elated that Bjorn answered John’s call to step in for Jimmy on what will be a fun and important night for tennis in New York,” said Claude Okin, Sportimes CEO. “The relationship that Bjorn and John haves very special.  Theirs is truly one of the great rivalries in sports history, and seeing them both on court, in New York, next week will be a great treat for everyone there. And the funds we raise that night will be critical in helping us to assist talented young people in learning the great game of tennis in New York City.”

The July 14 WTT matchup will feature Borg and McEnroe competing against each other in men’s singles in the five set WTT coed team format.  Former World No. 1 Martina Hingis will also play for the New York Sportimes that evening as McEnroe’s fellow team member.

In other 2011 WTT matches, the Sportimes will host the Boston Lobsters on July 6 with Martina Hingis leading the Sportimes squad; the Sportimes will take on the St. Louis Aces on July 11; the Springfield Lasers come to NYC on July 15, with John McEnroe and Martina Hingis playing for New York; Serena Williams of the Washington Kastles will battle Martina Hingis when the Sportimes host their Eastern Conference rivals on July 20.  In addition to the home matches at the state-of-the art, 2,000 seat facility at SPORTIME Randall’s Island, the Sportimes will play two home matches in Albany, N.Y., at the SEFCU Arena: July 18 versus Kansas City starring the World No. 1 Bryan Brothers, and July 19 when the Sportimes take on the Washington Kastles featuring Serena Williams.

For more information on the facility, the John McEnroe Tennis Academy or the NY Sportimes, visit www.SportimeNY.com/Manhattan or www.JohnMcEnroeTennisAcademy.com.

Contact: Joe Favorito, 917-566-8345, fatherknickerbocker1@yahoo.com

; Jerry Milani, 917-797-5663, Jerry.Milani@yahoo.com

Odds of a Federer Reemergence

With the frenetic pace of which a tennis match is played, most athletes barely get a foothold in the “professional” rankings before their careers are derailed by injury or simply a natural aging process which causes them to lose a proverbial step and fall behind the competition.

Roger Federer, undoubtedly one of the best tennis players of all time and possibly the greatest ever when it’s all said and done, has been on-again, off-again recently, seemingly falling victim to the relentless effects of aging.

29 isn’t old by any stretch of the imagination – but in a game where, if you’re expected to be worth your salt, you start an extensive training/playing regiment before puberty, athletes like Federer, while still young amongst the public at large, are aged warriors, battle-tested for nearly two decades.

Rafael Nadal, Roger’s archenemy and current no.-1 ranked tennis player in the world, is five years Federer’s junior and, after years of shellacking on every surface save clay, has finally caught up and, by many estimates, surpassed Federer’s skill level. But is Roger done?

What are Federer’s odds of reclaiming the type of dominance he had only a few short years ago?

If you were the gambling type, looking for sure bets in the best online casinos out there, you would probably shy away from Roger and put your eggs in Nadal’s basket.  The truth of the matter: Federer is not getting younger; and for every muscle that’s toned and prepped, flexing its way to success, there’s a screaming piece of cartilage and a flimsy ligament acting as a counterbalance.

Don’t make the mistake in writing Roger off, however. Federer still holds the no.-1 spot among some polls and is still a force to be reckoned with in the world of competitive tennis. He’s a huge favorite to make it to the finals of ATP Basel, and he utterly decimated his last opponent.

Roger is still extremely good and manages to show flashes of greatness on occasion, so to think he cannot go on a 5-tourny tear at this stage in his life is a little naïve. Nadal, however, is shaping up to be better – he doesn’t have the same number of victories (468 to 731), and his trophy cabinet is a little lighter than Federer’s (43 to 64), but his winning percentage of 82.4% is better than Roger’s 80.8%.

The reason Nadal’s percentage isn’t higher, of course, is due to playing Federer and losing on many occasions. But those tables are turning now, and Roger will need to show up with some Brett Favre-like heroics if he’s expected to reclaim his top spot for any extended period of time.

For Federer fans out there, nothing’s over ‘til it’s over. But if you want a safer bet, stick to playing baccarat online. Practically speaking, Federer is about 60:1 to jump in the way-back machine and take over like he once did.

It’s enough of a testament to Roger’s tremendous skill that he’s still the second-best player in the world and probably will be among the top tennis pros for at least another five years.

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.

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.

Celebrity Tennis Premieres Tomorrow

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 28, 2010 – Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle, will premier original series Celebrity Tennis, Monday, Feb. 1, at 6:30 pm ET.  The half-hour show is hosted by film, television actor and commentator of The World Poker Tour, Vince Van Patten, who takes viewers inside the lives of celebrities who are passionate about watching and playing tennis.

Van Patten grew up in New York playing tennis near the US Open’s then-Forest Hills home and took up acting when his showbiz family moved to California.  He became a professional tennis player in 1979 and spent eight years on the pro circuit.  In Celebrity Tennis Van Patten unearths the ways his guests are influenced by tennis and how the sport is a regular part of their lives, and offers a demonstration of their on-court strengths.

“The worlds of tennis and celebrity have long been intertwined,” said Laura Hockridge, vice president, original programming, Tennis Channel.  “Professional stadiums are filled with newsmakers of every type, from entertainers and politicians to business people and other sports’ athletes.  Pro tennis players today are just as likely to appear on red carpets or magazine covers.  Vince Van Patten is a perfect host for Tennis Channel’s Celebrity Tennis, having navigated both of these environments throughout his life.”

The premier edition of Celebrity Tennis profiles television’s top advice guru, “Dr. Phil” McGraw, on a red clay court at Church Estate Vineyards in Malibu, Calif., where he declares his backhand to be his best shot.  A serious tennis player who uses the game as his own form of therapy, McGraw hits the court six-to-eight times a week, and admits to Van Patten that he builds his daily schedule around getting in an afternoon match.  McGraw also offers viewers a glimpse inside his overstuffed tennis bag, which he says he always has on hand, as well as a look into his vast closet full of treasured tennis T-shirts.

“It is good to be back in the game I love and a relief to be away from the high stakes poker games for awhile,” said Van Patten.

The second episode of Celebrity Tennis (Feb. 8) visits all-American supermodel Christie Brinkley in East Hampton, N.Y., at a charity benefit for the Ross School, where she is joined by actor Alec Baldwin, tennis legend Andre Agassi and famed tennis coach Nick Bollettieri.

Brinkley, who coincidentally grew up in California on Rod Laver Lane (a street named for one of the sport’s all-time champions), hits with Van Patten on the court at her house, built to the same specifications as center court at the US Open.  Brinkley also demonstrates her air-guitar skills on a tennis racquet, plays tennis with neighborhood kids and divulges funny anecdotes about her many trips to the US Open.

Poker champion Gus Hansen is the focus of episode three (Feb. 15), which takes viewers to Las Vegas’ Stirling Club.  Hansen explains that, although he played in junior tennis tournaments as a youngster, he realized he did not have the goods to go all the way.  Having made close to $10 million as a career gambler, however, he tells Van Patten that he stopped putting his money down on tennis after losing seven figures on a bet that Rafael Nadal would win the 2009 French Open.  (Though at the time of the bet Nadal had never lost a French Open match, the perennial clay-court champion ultimately lost to Robin Soderling in an upset for the ages.)

Television and music superstar Brandy is profiled in the fourth episode of Celebrity Tennis (Feb. 22).  In addition to revealing herself as the hardest working tennis student in show business, Brandy notes that her introduction to the sport came at the hands of none other than her best friend, American superstar Serena Williams.  Van Patten goes for a workout with Brandy and her demanding tennis fitness routine as they get in court time in Calabasas, Calif.

Additional episodes of Celebrity Tennis will follow these initial editions.

Tennis Channel (www.tennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle.  A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community.  It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights to the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, Olympus US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier Sony Ericsson WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup.  Tennis Channel is carried by nine of the top 10 MSOs, Verizon FiOS TV, and has a national footprint via DIRECTV and DISH Network.

Prince Introduces New Lightspeed Footwear Series to Tennis Players

January 21, 2010Bordentown, NJ, – Prince, a global leader in performance tennis equipment, announces the arrival of Lightspeed footwear for competitive players.  Designed to be lower, lighter and faster, Lightspeed models feature sleek silhouettes on a low-profile platform that keeps a player’s center of gravity low for enhanced balance, agility and responsiveness on the court.  The new shoes, which hit shelves globally beginning in February, debuted Monday at the 2010 Australian Open on the feet of Marcel Granollers, who raced around the court in the new shoes during his five-set, first round upset of No. 8 seed Robin Soderling.

“What a great way to introduce these shoes,” said Steve Davis, VP or Product Development at Prince.  “To have the first player ever to lace these up in a Grand Slam go out and move the way he did and pull off that upset is not a bad start.”

In addition to Granollers, there are seven other men and two women in the 2010 Australian Open main draws who have already converted to Lightspeed.  On the men’s side, in addition to Granollers, fans will see Albert Montanes, Santiago Ventura, Rik DeVoest, Julien Rojer, Martin Damm, Filip Polasek and Johan Brunstrom wearing the Rebel LS.  On the women’s side, Kveta Peschke and Yvonne Meusburger will be sporting the new Poise LS.

“We broke away from the mold of conventional tennis shoe design to give players a lightweight, ultra-responsive match-day shoe,” said Jerome Jackson, Global Product Manager for Footwear at Prince. “We are excited to make Lightspeed footwear available to competitive players around the world.”

A key feature in Lightspeed is its Propulsion Plate – a lightweight chassis built to transfer energy fluidly from the heel to the forefoot, resulting in quicker reaction time, better acceleration, and a sense of being ‘on the balls of your feet’.  In addition, each shoe features an ultra-low profile midsole, giving players a much lower platform for better stability as well as Prince’s Shock Eraser Pro heel insert to deliver maximum impact protection.

Lightspeed will be available in two models – the Rebel LS for men and the Poise LS for women.  Both models will hit shelves in the United States on February 15, 2010.  The Rebel LS will be available in three colorways including Yellow/Black/Silver to ‘hook up’ with the popular EXO3 Rebel 95 racquet, Black/White/Green to ‘hook up’ with the EXO3 Graphite racquet, and White/Navy/Silver for a more traditional colorway.  The Poise LS will be available in White/Silver/Neon and features the same technology platform as the men’s Rebel LS but has a distinct upper design built specifically to appeal to female players.

Lightspeed replaces the O-Series as the new flagship model in Prince’s ‘All-Court’ series -one of the three segments in the Company’s footwear line along with ‘Grinder’ and ‘Traditionalist’.  Models in the ‘All-Court’ series are designed for the all-around player interested in lightweight performance footwear that fits like a glove.

The ‘Grinder’ series, which includes the popular T22 model, is defined by durable, tough footwear capable of holding up to the rigors of extreme lateral stops and starts.

‘Traditionalist’ models are built for players seeing classic looking models with an emphasis on comfort and fit.  Prince’s classic Quiktrac & NFS models can be found here.

Players can ‘Meet the New Speed’ online at www.princetennis.com.

Pricing:
Men’s
Rebel LS – SRP: $110.00US
Women’s
Poise LS – SRP: $105.00US

About Prince Sports, Inc.
Prince Sports, Inc, based in New Jersey, is a company of racquet sports enthusiasts whose goal is to create cutting edge, functional and technically advanced products that deliver performance benefits for avid players.  The Company’s portfolio of brands includes Prince (tennis, squash and badminton), Ektelon (racquetball) and Viking (platform/paddle tennis).   The Company has a history of innovation including inventing the first “oversize” and “long body” racquets, the first “Natural Foot Shape” tennis shoe, the first “synthetic gut” string and the first electronic ball machine.  Today, Prince markets leading technologies in racquets (EXO3), string (Premier LT), footwear (Lightspeed Technology) and apparel (Aerotech).   It has operations on three continents with distribution in over 100 countries. For more information on players, products or programs please visit www.princesports.com.

For more information, product samples/images contact: Chrissy Ott; Prince Sports, Inc.; cott@princesports.com; 609.291.5704

Sharapova’s Loss May Be More Than A Bad Day

Don’t weep for Maria Sharapova.

Don’t shed a tear for her, the same way you didn’t cry for Serena Williams, Tiger Woods, or even Conan O’Brien. These are rich celebrities, who make more money than any of us commoners would dream about.

And in Maria’s case, she just signed an extension of her Nike deal that will net her a cool $70 million over the next eight years.

So please don’t cry for Maria after her first round loss to fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko, 7-6 3-6 6-4, on the first day of the Australian Open because she will be just fine in the pocket book.

But the court is another animal entirely. You have to wonder is the shoulder is still bothering her or if there’s something else in the midst here. Much like many tennis players before her, has Sharapova started to believe her own hype and not put in the commitment to her craft?

“I wouldn’t say it’s ‘belief,’” said Sharapova, who just went into this tournament without playing any of the leadups. “I think ‘belief’ is either something you have or you don’t have. Whether it’s just a little bit of, uhm, you know, maybe confidence, uhm, obviously it’s the first tournament of the year and, you know, I just came up against somebody that just played really good tennis. That’s just the way it goes.”

You have to wonder why Sharapova is having this crisis of confidence. After coming back from surgery, she seemed to skip many of the smaller tournaments in favor of the majors and marquee events. Instead of getting back in shape against lesser competitions, she chose to live more on reputation instead of putting the time in to get back on her game.

And maybe the endorsements are her problem. With $70 million in the bank from Nike alone, there’s no reason for her to take the chump change payday that some of these smaller venues pay. Why put in the work there for peanuts?

Yet, that short sightedness seems to have cost her. Because she hasn’t put in the time, Maria’s serve still isn’t up to par and because she doesn’t have much tournament experience these past two years, there’s just no way to perfect it.

Practice will only get you so far. These days will just continue.

“It’s a bad day and you have to get on with your life,” she said. “You know, there are many worse situations in life. There are people that don’t even know what a tennis match is in the world.”

Yet, many do and because she’s a pretty face with some success there’s no reason for her to go out there and give it her all. The endorsement deals are still coming in and Nike says she transcends sports, so why even try. And until the gravy train runs out, there’s just no need for her to commit 100 percent to tennis.