April 30, 2017

Tennis Anti-Doping Programme to Introduce Enhanced Measures

Tennis Anti-Doping Programme to Introduce Enhanced Measures

Fromt the ITF: (April 28, 2017) The governing bodies of tennis have approved enhanced measures for the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (the “Programme”) for 2017, including an increase in the volume of testing and a strengthening of the sample storage policy. These enhancements to the Programme, which is a joint initiative between the ATP, Grand Slam Board, ITF and WTA, come into effect on 1 May.

 

The changes will see a significant increase in the volume of testing up to an annual total of 8,000 samples (from 4,899 in 2016). This will include the collection of more urine and blood samples both in-competition and out-of-competition across more events, thus providing greater coverage of professional tennis.

 

The number of players included in the International Registered Testing Pool (IRTP) will increase to approximately 250, with all players subject to testing under the Athlete Biological Passport programme.

 

More samples (up to 50 per cent for top-ranked players) will be placed into long-term storage, allowing reanalysis of those samples, such as when new or more sensitive detection methods become available.

 

To fund these changes, the annual budget for the Programme will be increased by over 50 per cent to approximately $4.5 million in 2017 (excluding administration costs).

 

ITF President David Haggerty said: “On behalf of the partners in the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme, we welcome this strengthening of the sport’s anti-doping efforts. Protecting the integrity of tennis is an ongoing priority of the governing bodies of tennis to ensure that tennis is and remains a clean sport, and these enhancements will make a positive contribution to achieving that priority”.

 

The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme applies to all players competing at Grand Slam tournaments and events sanctioned by the ITF, ATP, and WTA. Players are tested for substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency and, upon a finding that an Anti-Doping Rule Violation has been committed, sanctions are imposed under the Programme in compliance with the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code. More information on the Programme, sanctions, statistics, and related matters can be found at www.itftennis.com/antidoping

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Tennis Channel To Broadcast Roger Federer Match in Seattle on Saturday

 

LOS ANGELES, April 27, 2017 – Tennis Channel will be live in Seattle on Saturday, April 29, at 9 p.m. ET, with Roger Federer’s first match in the city during an exhibition that will feature American star John Isner and Microsoft founder, philanthropist and Seattle resident Bill Gates. The Match for Africa 4 charity exhibition will include singles and doubles competition, a kickoff celebration and fundraising activity, the proceeds of which will benefit the Roger Federer Charitable Fund/Roger Federer Foundation, which promote children living in poverty in Africa.

 

The event will feature a three-set match between Federer and former World No. 9 John Isner. This will mark Federer’s first time playing tennis in Seattle, a city that has not held a men’s professional tournament since 1973. As part of the exhibition, Federer and Bill Gates will team up to take on Isner and lead guitarist Mike McCready of Seattle band Pearl Jam in a one-set doubles match.

 

Tennis Channel’s Mary Carillo will call the action from Seattle’s Key Arena and be joined by Federer’s former coach Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone) and former professional player Mark Knowles (@knowlzee10s) as analysts.

 

Tennis.com – part of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Tennis Channel family – will stream the opening ceremonies beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET, followed by the entire event live. Tennis Channel’s telecast will begin with the doubles match featuring Federer and Gates against Isner and McCready at 9 p.m. ET. Following the conclusion of the doubles match there will be three-set singles match between Federer and Isner.

 

This is the foundation’s fourth Match for Africa and the first to be located outside of Zurich, Switzerland. Previous installments have featured star players like Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and, most recently, World No. 1 Andy Murray. Proceeds go to the Roger Federer Foundation, which received $1.4 million from The Match for Africa 3 earlier this month.

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Maria Sharapova Wins First Match After Serving 15-Month Doping Ban

(April 26, 2017)Maria Sharapova returned to the court on Wednesday after a 15-month absence due to a doping ban. The five-time major winner defeated No. 34 Roberta Vinci 7-5, 6-3 to advance at the Porsche Grand Prix WTA event in Stuttgart.

Sharapova was suspended from the tour for testing positive for the drug meldonium. She had been taking the drug for many years. Her ban was reduced from two year to 15-months.

Maria Sharapova’s Ban Reduced to 15 Months

The 30-year-old was not allowed to set foot on the grounds of the tournament until Wednesday morning for practice, as her suspension ended at midnight.

This was the Russian’s first match since the 2016 quarterfinals of the Australian Open where she lost to Serena Williams.

Sharapova who was given a wildcard into Stuttgart, has also been given wildcards into Rome and Madrid.

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Sharapova said on court after her “I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time.”

“It’s a journey, and it starts today and I’m looking forward to playing as many matches as I can.”

As for the match itself, Sharapova hit 11 aces, 39 winners and made 21 unforced errors. In her post-match news conference, Sharapova was asked about other people’s comments about her returning to the tour.

“It’s not my job” to think about other people’s comments, she said.

“Words and quotes and articles is not what matters in life, I have learned that very well over the past year.”

“Articles, they go away, that is not life. What matters is what happens on the court.”

“I’m not getting a wild card to receive a trophy. I still have to win the matches and that’s my job.”

Sharapova will face countrywoman Ekaterina Makarova next.

 

Maria Sharapova news conference, begins at the 7-minute mark:

Related Articles:

Maria Sharapova Set to Return From Doping Ban at Stuttgart Tourney

ITF Statement Regarding the Case of Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova Announces She Failed Drug Test at Australian Open

 

PORSCHE TENNIS GRAND PRIX – STUTTGART, GER
$776,000
24 – 30 APRIL 2017

RESULTS – APRIL 26, 2017
Women’s
Singles – Second Round

[4] S. Halep (ROU) d B. Strycova (CZE) 62 63
[Q] A. Kontaveit (EST) d [5] G. Muguruza (ESP) 26 76(1) 61
First Round
[6] [WC] J. Konta (GBR) d [Q] N. Osaka (JPN) 76(5) 36 61
K. Mladenovic (FRA) d M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) 64 62
E. Vesnina (RUS) d D. Kasatkina (RUS) 76(2) 62
C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d [Q] T. Korpatsch (GER) 62 64
[WC] M. Sharapova (RUS) d R. Vinci (ITA) 75 63
C. Vandeweghe (USA) d [Q] J. Ostapenko (LAT) 76(3) 76(3)

Women’s
Doubles – First Round

[1] A. Spears (USA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) d E. Rodina (RUS) / A. Sevastova (LAT) 62 61
L. Kichenok (UKR) / L. Tsurenko (UKR) d R. Olaru (ROU) / O. Savchuk (UKR) 26 64 12-10

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2017
CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
[8] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs [WC] L. Siegemund (GER)
[6] [WC] J. Konta (GBR) vs A. Sevastova (LAT)
[WC] M. Sharapova (RUS) vs E. Makarova (RUS)

Not Before 6:30 pm
[1] A. Kerber (GER) vs K. Mladenovic (FRA)
C. Vandeweghe (USA) vs [2] K. Pliskova (CZE)
N. Broady (GBR) / A. Smith (GBR) vs [3] R. Atawo (USA) / J. Ostapenko (LAT)

COURT 1 start 1:00 pm
E. Vesnina (RUS) vs C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
A. Hlavackova (CZE) / S. Stosur (AUS) vs S. Halep (ROU) / A. Rosolska (POL)
After suitable rest – [1] A. Spears (USA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) vs A. Muhammad (USA) / L. Siegemund (GER)

TEB BNP PARIBAS ISTANBUL CUP – ISTANBUL, TUR
$250,000
24 – 30 APRIL 2017

RESULTS – APRIL 26, 2017
Women’s
Singles – Second Round

[3] I. Begu (ROU) d K. Flipkens (BEL) 61 16 63
[5] S. Cirstea (ROU) d M. Sakkari (GRE) 64 62
[WC] D. Yastremska (UKR) d [LL] A. Kalinskaya (RUS) 61 64
First Round
[1] E. Svitolina (UKR) d [Q] V. Kamenskaya (RUS) 64 06 61
[2] T. Babos (HUN) d [Q] C. Perrin (SUI) 63 62
[6] E. Mertens (BEL) d K. Kozlova (UKR) 64 61
[Q] A. Cadantu (ROU) d N. Hibino (JPN) 26 60 63
[WC] A. Aksu (TUR) d [Q] E. Kulichkova (RUS) 75 61
C. Buyukakcay (TUR) d M. Zanevska (BEL) 62 61

Women’s
Doubles – First Round

D. Jakupovic (SLO) / N. Kichenok (UKR) d [1] S. Hsieh (TPE) / I. Soylu (TUR) 76(5) 62
E. Bouchard (CAN) / K. Flipkens (BEL) d A. Kalinskaya (RUS) / L. Marozava (BLR) 61 63
N. Dzalamidze (RUS) / V. Kudermetova (RUS) d A. Omae (JPN) / R. Voracova (CZE) 62 67(5) 10-6

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2017
GARANTI KOZA ARENA start 12:30 pm
[6] E. Mertens (BEL) vs S. Errani (ITA)
[Q] B. Eraydin (TUR) vs [WC] A. Aksu (TUR)

Not Before 5:00 pm
C. Buyukakcay (TUR) vs [2] T. Babos (HUN)

Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] E. Svitolina (UKR) vs [Q] A. Cadantu (ROU)
After Due Rest – T. Babos (HUN) / C. Buyukakcay (TUR) vs M. Duque-Mariño (COL) / A. Mitu (ROU)

COURT 1 start 1:00 pm
J. Cepelova (SVK) vs S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP)
After Due Rest – [WC] A. Aksu (TUR) / D. Yastremska (UKR) vs [4] N. Melichar (USA) / E. Mertens (BEL)

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Serena Williams Responds to Nastase’s Comments

Serena Williams

(April 24, 2017) Serena Williams has responded to comments from Tennis Hall of Famer and Romanian Fed Cup Captain Ilie Nastase who made disparaging comments about the skin color of Williams’ baby that she’s expecting in the Fall. Williams is black and her fiance, co-founder of Reddit  Alexis Ohanian is white.

“It disappoints me to know we live in a society where people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments towards myself and (my) unborn child,” she wrote on her Instagram.

“I humbly thank the ITF for any consideration given to all the facts in this case. They will have my full support,” the 35-year-old 23-time major champion wrote.

“I have said it once and I’ll say it again, this world has come so far but yet we have so much further to go. Yes, we have broken down so many barriers- however there are a plethora more to go. This or anything else will not stop me from pouring love, light and positivity into everything that I do. I will continue to take a lead and stand up for what’s right.”

Nastase was ejected from the Romania- Great Britain Fed cup tie over the weekend for verbal abuse directed at British player Johanna Konta, British captain Anne Keothavong and the chair umpire. He has also been provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation.

This is the full post from her Instagram account:

 

 

 

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The U.S. Defeats the Czech Republic 3-2 to Reach Fed Cup Final Versus Belarus

(April 23, 2017) The United States advanced to its first Fed Cup Final since 2010 by defeating the three-time defending champion Czech Republic, 3-2, on Sunday in a World Group Semifinal tie at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa Bay.

 

The U.S. clinched the best-of-five match series when doubles world No. 1 Bethanie Mattek-Sands and CoCo Vandeweghe defeated Katerina Siniakova and Kristyna Pliskova, 6-2, 6-3, in a fifth, decisive doubles match in front of 2,756 people.

 

After the two countries came into the day tied, 1-1, following Saturday’s singles matches, world No. 24 Vandeweghe defeated No. 38 Siniakova, 6-4, 6-0, to put the U.S. up, 2-1. Marketa Vondrousova, a 17-year old who won her first WTA title last week, then defeated Lauren Davis – substituted for Shelby Rogers – 6-2, 7-5, to push the tie to the decisive doubles match, a first for the U.S. since 2015, when it lost to Italy in a World Group Playoff.

 

Both countries made substitutions to their doubles teams. U.S. Captain Kathy Rinaldi elected to pair Vandeweghe with Mattek-Sands, while Czech Captain Petr Pala subbed in Siniakova for Denisa Allertova. The victory made Vandeweghe the first U.S. Fed Cup player to win three matches in a single tie since Lindsay Davenport in the 2005 World Group Quarterfinals.

 

“It was an amazing day as a team,” noted CoCo Vandeweghe. “It shows that every point counts in this event, and we all came together when it mattered most. That’s what you expect out of a Fed Cup tie.”

 

U.S. Captain Kathy Rinaldi on reaching the final in her debut in her debut year as captain: “It’s been an unbelievable couple of ties for me. Coco said it well: These girls are amazing. It’s been a lot of fun it’s super special. It’s something that I’ll never forget. Looking forward to the final.”

“I love everything about the role. I knew what I was getting into, and I love it. I love the girls, the competition. Yes, at this level you always have little bumps in the road or what have you, but that’s part of it. And I like that part. I like the challenge.”

 

Asked if she was in contact with Venus and Serena Williams, Rinaldi said: “Well, we just won this and haven’t gotten that far. Yeah, I’ve spoken to Venus and Serena. They’ve been extremely supportive. We’ve had great communication with all the players. That’s part of it as captain. I care about these girls more than

just Fed Cup.

 

“I’m thinking about them for the long run and the big picture as well. You know, that’s great thing about American tennis right now, the exciting part, that we have so many players. These girls have been absolutely amazing. It’s their goal to win a Fed Cup title and I know that.

“It’s actually tough to pick a team because we have so many great players, and I’ve known them since they were so young. I believe in them all.”

 

The U.S. will travel to Belarus, a surprise 3-2 winner over Switzerland, for the Fed Cup Final, Nov. 11-12, at a site and on a surface to be determined by the Belarussians. Rinaldi follows Mary Joe Fernandez as U.S. captains to reach the Final in their debut year. The U.S. team made its last appearance in the Final in 2010, when a team featuring Vandeweghe and Mattek-Sands, lost to Italy, 3-1, in San Diego. The U.S. won the last of its record 17 Fed Cup titles back in 2000.

 

Final results of the tie 

DAY/LOCAL TIME

 

Saturday, 12:00 p.m.

Singles A:             CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) d. Marketa Vondrousova (CZE), 6-1, 6-4

Singles B:             Katerina Siniakova (CZE) d. Shelby Rogers (USA), 6-3, 6-3

 

Sunday, 11:00 a.m.

Singles C:            CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) d. Katerina Siniakova (CZE), 6-4, 6-0

Singles D:            Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) d. Lauren Davis (USA), 6-2, 7-5

Doubles:             Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) / CoCo Vandeweghe (USA)

Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) / Katerina Siniakova (CZE), 6-2, 6-3

 

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Rafael Nadal Wins 10th Monte-Carlo Crown for 50th Clay Court Title, Most in Open Era

(April 23, 2017) Rafael Nadal became the first man to win a singles event ten times, when he defeated countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the Monte-Carlo Masters final on Sunday 6-1, 6-3.

The win not only gave Nadal his 29th Masters title, but his 50th tournament title on clay surpassing Tennis Hall of Famer Guillermo Vilas’ record of 49 clay court championships in the Open Era.

The fourth seeded Nadal has now won an ATP World Tour title for the 14th year in a row. Nadal will also be attempting to win his tenth titles in Barcelona and at the French Open.

“It’s really unbelievable,” Nadal said. “To win 10 times in such an important event like Monte-Carlo is something difficult to describe. Every year has been a different feeling. At the same, it’s always a unique moment every time I have this trophy with me.”

“I feel lucky to keep playing tennis, being healthy all these years and to compete in one of the most beautiful events of the year. Very happy to win another one. It’s a very important day in my career.”

“Nobody likes to play a final and lose 6-1, 6-3.” said Ramos-Vinolas. “But I know how it is. I know that I have another tournament. I have to keep going. I will try to have my feedback with the good things I did this week. Not today, but maybe tomorrow I will be proud of myself, and I will restart again for the next tournament.”

 

It was a career week for Ramos-Vinolas reaching his first Masters final and he’ll be rewarded for it moving into the Top 20 in the rankings.

 

For Nadal, this was his 70th career title.

 

ib vsgbv

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It’s Official – Serena Williams is Pregnant, Will Be Back in 2018

 

View image on Twitter

(April 19, 2017) A spokeswoman for Serena Williams has told multiple media outlets that the 23-time major champion is pregnant, the baby is due in the Fall. Williams posted a photo of herself on Snapchat with the caption: “20 weeks.” She took down the post later in the day.

Williams who is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, was last on a tennis court in late January when she won the Australian Open. She was about two months pregnant at the time.

The spokeswoman also noted that the 35-year-old Williams will be back on the tour in 2018.

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Schiavone, Coric, Vondrousova and Johnson win Tennis Titles This Week

Borna Coric

(April 16, 2017) Francesca Schiavone, Borna Coric, Marketa Vondrousova and Steve Johnson claimed titles on the tennis tour this week.

Francesca Schiavone

In her final season on tour, 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone won her eighth career title with a 6-4, 7-5 win over fourth seed Lara Arruabarrena at the Claro Open Colsanitas on Saturday.

The 36-year-old Italian veteran had not won a main tour match all season.

Winning on Bogota ups this former world No. 4 to 168th in the world as she tries to gain direct entry into the French Open.

“I’m not thinking about retirement,” she said. “I’m enjoying tennis.”

 

Borna Coric

Croatia’s Borna Coric saved five match points to win his first ATP World Tour title on Sunday beating German Philipp Kohlschreiber 5-7, 7-6 (3), 7-5 in the Grand Prix Hassan II final. Last year’s finalist became this year’s winner in 2 hours, 38 minutes – the longest final this year according to the ATP.
The 20-year-old Coric is the third first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this year, joining Gilles Muller who won Sydney and Ryan Harrison who claimed the Memphis title.

“I would say that’s my biggest comeback, I’ve never saved five match points,” noted Coric. “Especially in such an important match, I served very well in the big points. It’s an awesome feeling. I didn’t know what to expect when I came here and I wasn’t in the best shape. But I’ve been working very hard the past three or four months and now it’s paying off.”

“It’s one of those days where you have many good opportunities,” explained Kohlschreiber. “It was a big fight and great drama in the end. Losing a match with match points and to be so close to the title is always very difficult. But it was a very good week for me. I played great tennis this week and I’m looking forward to more clay-court matches.”

Steve Johnson survived late cramps to win the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship, besting Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5) on Sunday at River Oaks Country Club. For the 27-year-old Johnson, this is his second ATP Tour title, he won Nottingham last year.

“A lot goes into cramping. For me today, it was the nerves of trying to close out the title. I haven’t been there enough to feel very comfortable.”

“To win on U.S. soil and win when you’re not feeling great is a testament to my willpower and competitiveness,” Johnson said.”
“My body has just physically run out of gas after this week… I was very fortunate to get out of that.”

“He was playing unbelievably… I’m a little bit sad because I think I could have won, but I’m happy to make another final, Bellucci said”

Johnson beat two former champions on the way to the title, Fernando Verdasco (2014) in the quarterfinals and American Davis Cup teammate Jack Sock (2015) in the semifinals, to reach his third career final.

“Both players were very tired in the third set and we were missing more shots than before,” Bellucci said. “I’m happy for my week but today I am disappointed. I (thought) I could win because I was a little better than him physically. He deserved it more than me.”

Seventeen-year-old Marketa Vondrousova won her first WTA Tour title on Sunday, surprising Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-4, 7-6 (6) in the Biel Ladies Open final.

Rankled at 233rd in the world, the Czech captured the first edition of the Swiss indoor hard-court tournament.
The southpaw will be part of the Czech Fed Cup team next weekend as they take on the United States in Tampa, Florida.

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Memphis Open Moving to Long Island’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Starting in 2018

GF SPORTS PARTNERS WITH BROOKLYN SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT

TO MOVE THE MEMPHIS OPEN MEN’S TENNIS TOURNAMENT

TO NYCB LIVE’s NASSAU VETERANS MEMORIAL COLISEUM STARTING IN 2018

 

The Event is one of the Longest-Running North American Tournaments on the ATP World Tour

LONG ISLAND (April 10, 2017) – GF Sports, a live events and sports media entertainment company, has partnered with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE) to move the Memphis Open men’s tennis tournament to NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which is located on Long Island in New York. As part of the long-term agreement, the Coliseum, which reopened on April 5 following a nearly two-year, $165 million renovation, will host the tournament for the first time from February 10-18, 2018. The Memphis Open, which was acquired by GF Sports in 2015, is one of the longest-running American tournaments on the ATP World Tour and the only indoor ATP event contested in the United States.

“We are proud to partner with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment to bring the historic Memphis Open to the new Coliseum,” said Gary Fuhrman, Managing Partner at GF Capital and Board Member of GF Sports. “The spotlight of New York will help to elevate this important tournament and this move is part of GF Sports’ larger goal of re-establishing American tennis as a global powerhouse within the sport.”

“This event diversifies our programming mix at NYCB LIVE’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and further delivers on our promise to bring major sporting events back to Long Island,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “I also want to thank Gary Fuhrman and his team for the opportunity to bring world-class tennis to Long Island and for working with Jeff Gewirtz, our Executive Vice President of Business Affairs, to consummate our partnership.”

The New York Metropolitan area has a rich tennis history highlighted by the U.S. Open, one of the most well attended annual sporting events in the world. The arrival of this ATP World Tour event will add another major tennis event to the New York sports calendar, and marks the first time in its 45-year history that the Coliseum will play host to a sanctioned tennis tournament. The event adds to the Coliseum’s growing lineup of top entertainment and sports events following the unveiling of new first-class amenities for fans, performers, and athletes, as part of top-to-bottom renovations, making it Long Island’s premier entertainment destination.

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President, said: “GF Sports has shown a strong commitment to invest in professional tennis with a particular focus on the United States. They have demonstrated their ability to operate ATP tournaments, including the Memphis Open, with the goal of growing the sport. The relocation of the Memphis Open to New York and to the newly renovated Coliseum is consistent with their vision, and will elevate this tournament, with over 40 years of history, to a new level of excellence.”

The Memphis Open is an ATP World Tour 250 event that was established in 1976 and boasts a who’s who in the tennis world as former champions, including Andre Agassi, Björn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Jim Courier, Stefan Edberg, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Kei Nishikori, Andy Roddick and Pete Sampras. In recent years, young American players have emerged at the tournament, including 2017 winner Ryan Harrison and 2016 runner-up Taylor Fritz.

Similar to years past, in addition to showcasing top men’s singles and doubles talent, GF Sports will look to add complimentary entertainment programming to the week-long tournament schedule and establish community platforms and grassroots initiatives to embrace the event’s new home.

Moving the Memphis Open is part of GF Sports’ overall commitment to supporting the growth of American tennis and another step in the company’s expansion as it continues to actively look for investment and acquisition opportunities in sports and entertainment.

GF Sports has a long-term agreement with Lagardère Sports for worldwide television rights to the Memphis Open that will continue at the new home of this event on Long Island. Participants and ticket information for the tournament will be announced at a later date. To stay up to date on all the latest news surrounding the event visit NYCBLIVE.com.

About GF Sports

GF Sports is a live events and sports media entertainment company created by New York-based private equity firm GF Capital. Formed in July 2015, the GF Sports event portfolio includes two of the ATP World Tour’s longest running American tournaments – the Memphis Open and the BB&T Atlanta Open, the world renown BNP Paribas Showdown played at “The World’s Most Famous Arena”, Madison Square Garden, as well as World Tennis Day, the annual and worldwide celebration of the sport of tennis.

GF Capital makes control-oriented, growth capital investments in branded consumer product and media companies, and its investments have included a number of sports and live entertainment companies. These include Repucom, a global leader in sports measurement, evaluation and intelligence, which was sold to Nielsen in 2016; Blue Man Group, the world-renowned entertainment company; and EEM World, a global leader in equestrian event production that owns and operates the Longines Masters. Additionally, GF Capital incubates new and emerging sport concepts utilizing its global perspective to help develop niche sports. In this vein, GF Capital has partnered with the Wolfpack Ninjas, widely known for their performance on the hit series “American Ninja Warrior”, to operate the Wolfpack Ninja Tour. Veteran sport, media and entertainment executive Hank Ratner is a co-investor with GF Capital across the company’s various sports properties.

For additional information, please visit www.gfcap.com.

About Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment

Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE) develops and operates state-of-the-art venues and manages premier sports franchises, delivering dynamic content and experiences for audiences. BSE oversees programming, marketing, sales, and operations for Barclays Center and NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Presented By New York Community Bank, and manages and controls the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and its Development League team, the Long Island Nets, as well as the business operations of the NHL’s New York Islanders.

Barclays Center, which opened on September 28, 2012, offers 17,732 seats for basketball, 15,795 for hockey, and up to 19,000 seats for concerts, and has 101 luxury suites, four bars/lounges, four clubs, and 40/40 CLUB & Restaurant by Tanduay.

NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, is scheduled to reopen April 5, 2017 after extensive renovation. The Coliseum offers 14,500 seats for basketball, MMA and boxing, 13,900 for hockey, up to 16,000 for concerts, and 4,500 seats for its theater configuration. With a focus on emerging businesses, BSE identifies and creates alliances, strategic partnerships and other business opportunities to ensure the success of its assets.

For additional information, please visit brooklynse.com.

About The ATP

The ATP is the governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuits – the ATP World Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour. With 64 tournaments in 31 countries, the ATP World Tour showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the 2017 ATP World Tour will battle for prestigious titles and Emirates ATP Rankings points at ATP World Tour Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events, as well as Grand Slams (non ATP events). At the end of the season only the world’s top 8 qualified singles players and doubles teams will qualify to compete for the last title of the season at the ATP Finals. Held at The O2 in London, the event will officially crown the 2017 ATP World Tour No. 1 presented by Emirates.

For more information, please visit www.ATPWorldTour.com.

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Victoria Azarenka To Make Her Return To Tennis at The Bank of the West Classic

Victoria Azarenka

(April 9, 2017) STANFORD, Calif. (www.BankOfTheWestClassic.com) – 2017 Bank of the West Classic will feature two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka who has announced she will make her return to the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) at Stanford.

Azarenka, a former World No.1 and two-time Australian Open singles champion, will make her return to the WTA tour following the birth of her son Leo in December.  Azarenka will be making her fifth appearance at Stanford where she won the singles title in 2010 and the doubles title in 2011.

“I am very excited to be returning to the WTA at the Bank of the West Classic,” said Azarenka. “Becoming a mother has been the most rewarding thing that has ever happened to me and really puts things in perspective. I am looking forward to beginning this new stage of my career.”

The Bank of the West Classic has also received a commitment from World No. 11 Madison Keys. The young American had a breakthrough 2016 season, winning her second WTA title, breaking into the World Top 10 and qualifying for the prestigious year-end WTA Championships for the first time in her career.  She ended the year ranked a career-high World No.8.

 

The Bank of the West Classic, a Premier WTA event, features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw. The event is owned and operated by IMG and serves as the opening women’s event of the Emirates Airline US Open Series.

Past champions of the event include some of the biggest names in women’s tennis, such as Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters.

Log on to www.BankoftheWestClassic.com for more information.

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