2014/12/22

Tennis Channel to Air Federer vs Wawrinka Charity Exhibition – “The Match for Africa 2,” on December 21

Warinka Federer

(December 18, 2014) LOS ANGELES - Tennis Channel has exclusive live coverage of 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer as he faces off against Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka on Dec. 21 at 2:30 p.m. ET in a battle benefiting Federer’s charity. The Match for Africa 2 is an exhibition between the two friends and Swiss compatriots to benefit The Roger Federer Foundation.

The Roger Federer Foundation supports children living in poverty, helping them realize their potential through education. With seven countries running programs, 136,000 children currently benefit from the foundation. It hopes to reach 1 million by 2018.

 

The match will be held at Zurich’s Hallenstadion, Switzerland’s largest multifunctional hall. For more information about additional Tennis Channel programming events in December visit www.tennischannel.com/schedule.

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Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic named 2014 ITF World Champions

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(December 18, 2014) The ITF announced on Thursday that Serena Williams of the United States and Novak Djokovic of Serbia are the 2014 ITF World Champions. Williams is named Women’s World Champion for the fifth time, while this is the fourth occasion that Djokovic has received the honor.

 

Americans Bob and Mike Bryan are named Men’s Doubles World Champions for the 11th time in 12 years, while Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy become Women’s Doubles World Champions for the third successive year.

 

Catherine “CiCi” Bellis of the United States and Russia’s Andrey Rublev are named ITF Junior World Champions, while the ITF Wheelchair World Champions are Japanese duo Yui Kamiji and Shingo Kunieda, who becomes men’s champion for the sixth time.

 

The ITF World Champions will receive their awards at the 2015 ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday 2 June, in Paris, during Roland Garros.

 

Serena Williams is named Women’s World Champion for the fifth occasion, after maintaining the No. 1 ranking throughout the year. The 33-year-old captured her 18th Grand Slam title at the US Open to equal the achievements of Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. She won six other titles during the year, including the season-ending WTA Finals. Williams is the oldest player ever to be named an ITF Singles World Champion.

 

Williams said: “I’m so honored to be named ITF World Champion for the fifth time. This was a year of challenges and triumphs, so to win another Grand Slam and retain my year-end No. 1 ranking is an accomplishment I’m very proud of. I’m grateful to have the support of the tennis community in every way possible. I can’t wait for 2015.”

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic becomes Men’s World Champion for the fourth time after reclaiming the No. 1 ranking in 2014. The 27-year-old won his seventh Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, and was also a finalist at Roland Garros and semifinalist at the US Open. He won a total of seven titles during the year including the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals. Djokovic is one of only four men to be named World Champion four or more times, alongside Ivan Lendl, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer.

 

Bob and Mike Bryan become Men’s Doubles World Champions for the 11th time after capturing their 16th Grand Slam title and 100th title overall at the 2014 US Open. They won a total of ten titles during the year, including the ATP World Tour Finals, taking their total career titles to 103. They were also runners-up at Wimbledon. The brothers now stand within two trophies of the record of wheelchair tennis star Esther Vergeer, who was named World Champion 13 times.

 

Mike Bryan said: “The 2014 season was one of our best seasons on tour and it’s one we’ll fondly remember for a lot of reasons. We look forward to the awards dinner in Paris and sharing the stage with all the other world champions.”

 

Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci are only the second pair to be named Women’s Doubles World Champions on three occasions. The Italians completed the career Grand Slam with their first victory at Wimbledon, and were also champions at the Australian Open and runners-up at Roland Garros. They won a total of five titles during the year and finished 2014 co-ranked No. 1 on the WTA doubles rankings.

 

Errani and Vinci said: “We are both really happy to be Women’s Doubles World Champions for the third consecutive year. It is a great pleasure and honour to have finished this year as number one in the doubles ranking again. Our goal for 2015 is to defend our Australian Open and Wimbledon titles.”

 

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “All of our World Champions have demonstrated great consistency at the top of the game in one of the strongest eras for our sport. Serena Williams is one of the toughest competitors of all-time, while Novak Djokovic’s performances at the biggest events make him a deserving winner. Bob and Mike Bryan’s remarkable achievement is a testament to their continued drive and determination, while Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci have shown the importance of teamwork both on and off court.”

 

The ITF’s selection of its senior World Champions is based on an objective system that considers all results during the year, but gives special weight to the Grand Slam tournaments, and two ITF international team competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.

 

Catherine “CiCi” Bellis is the second American in three years to become ITF Girls World Champion, and is the youngest world champion since 2006. The 15-year-old won four singles title during the year, sealing the year-end No. 1 ranking at last week’s Orange Bowl. She also led the United States to victory in the Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, one year after being a member of the USA’s 14-and-under ITF World Junior Tennis winning team.

 

Bellis said: “It was my goal to be the year-end No. 1 from when I started playing in the juniors two years ago and I am ecstatic that I was able to reach this milestone as a 15-year-old.  It is an honour to be in such great company with all of the amazing and legendary juniors before me.”

 

Andrey Rublev is the first Russian male in any category to be named ITF World Champion after achieving the year-end No. 1 boys’ junior ranking. The 17-year-old was the most consistent performer on the ITF Junior Circuit, winning his first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, and capturing singles bronze and doubles silver at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing. He reached a total of five singles finals during the year, winning two titles.

 

Rublev said: “I am happy to finish this year as World Champion. I thank my family, coaches and team for all the support I was getting all the time. I also understand that this is just the first step and will do my best to score further victories.”

 

Shingo Kunieda becomes Men’s Wheelchair World Champion for the sixth time after retaining the year-end world No. 1 ranking. The 30-year-old only lost one match all year, winning 12 singles titles on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour and boasting a 51-1 overall win-loss record. He won all three Grand Slam singles events, taking his total major titles to 17, and was also champion at the season-ending NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters.

 

Kunieda said: “I am very happy to be world champion six times. I played well this year and still feel I am improving my tennis. I’d like to thank my team and am already looking forward to next season.”

 

Yui Kamiji is named Women’s Wheelchair World Champion for the first time after dominating the Grand Slam tournaments. The 20-year-old captured her first two major titles at Roland Garros and the US Open, and was runner-up at the Australian Open. She also partnered Britain’s Jordanne Whiley to the women’s doubles Grand Slam. Kamiji won a total of eight singles titles during 2014 and is the first Asian woman to receive this honour.

 

Kamiji said: “2014 is definitely the year to remember in my career. I was proud to win my first two Grand Slam titles and reach the final of the Australian Open. It was also very special to achieve the doubles calendar Grand Slam and win the Doubles Masters with my best friend on tour Jordanne Whiley.”

 

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “I would like to thank all the 2014 ITF World Champions for their contribution to another memorable year for our sport.”

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Serena Williams Hit the Road for the Ultimate RUN South Beach for Charity

 

Serena Williams Live Ultimate Run

Serena Williams Live Ultimate Run

 

(December 14, 2014) Most likely inspired by her close friend and fellow tennis pro Caroline Wozniacki, who completed the New York City Marathon in November, tennis’ world No. 1 Serena Williams hit the road with more than two thousand runners from South Florida and around the country for the inaugural Serena Williams Ultimate RUN South Beach on Sunday.

Williams ran her first quarter marathon among others who also participated in the 5K Run/Walk and Team Challenge – bringing together runners of all ages and abilities. The run raised money for the Serena Williams Fund, which provides assistance to families affected by violent crimes and providing underprivileged youth around the world with the highest quality of education available to them. Serena’s sister, Venus Williams, also gave her support by running the 5K.

Serena Williams Live Ultimate Run

Serena who completed the 6. 55 mile run in 1 hour 14 minutes, said after the race:  “Today’s run was so enjoyable and the spirit of everyone who came out was so passionate which helped me to build the energy I needed for my first quarter marathon.  I’ve never ran that far before, so I had to pace myself, but I was pleased with my finish time.  I’d like to thank all the sponsors and everyone who participated in the run to help raise money for underprivileged youth around the world.”

South Beach’s famous Ocean Drive which was closed to traffic for the Ultimate Run’s was the scene for the start and finish for the race. The course took runners through South Beach. Past New York City Marathon, Boston Marathon winner and 1984 Olympian, Alberto Salazar, fired the starting gun for the Ultimate Run.

Serena Williams Live Ultimate Run
“Our inaugural Serena Williams Ultimate Run was quite a memorable event,” said Marc Wachter, the event’s executive producer. “Runners of all ages and abilities were very excited to come out in their thousands on a very early and crisp Miami December morning to run alongside Serena for a great cause.  We are thrilled to have had such an iconic athlete behind the first in our Ultimate Run series and Serena’s enthusiasm really gave every participant the Ultimate experience.  We look forward to making this one of Miami’s most popular sporting occasions on South Florida’s annual event calendar.”

Event sponsors included Nike, Gatorade, Delta, Beats by Dre and MISSION Athletecare.

 

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ATP Announces Prize Money Increases Topping $100 Million in 2015

ATP

(December 12, 2014) ATP tour prize money will top $100 million for the first time in 2015. The ATP prize money will increase over the next four years and reach $135 million by 2018.

The Masters 1000 tournaments will see the biggest increases with an overall 14-percent hike over the next four years, while the 250 events will go up by an average of 3.5 percent.

The official ATP news release on the increases:

 LONDON — The ATP has announced significant increases over the next four years that will see overall player compensation on the ATP World Tour reach US$135 million by 2018. Player compensation at ATP World Tour events in 2015 will exceed US$100 million for the first time.

The increases at ATP events are a testament to the sustained success of men’s professional tennis, as well as demonstrating the ATP’s confidence in the strength of its product and projected growth in future years.

The biggest increases in player compensation come at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 category, with tournaments providing annual increases of 11%, and with the ATP contributing a further 3% increase, resulting in a 14% annual increase in that category through to 2018. Player compensation at the ATP World Tour 250s is set to increase at an average of 3.5% per year during the same period.

The latest decisions at Masters 1000 and 250-level mean that player compensation is now confirmed across all three ATP World Tour tournament categories for a four-year period. Player compensation for a five-year period for the ATP World Tour 500 category was decided at the end of 2013.

In addition to establishing player compensation levels on the Tour, the ATP will soon be releasing its 2016-18 calendars, meaning both these key issues will be accounted for over the next four-year period.

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WTA Sets Up 10 Year Media Rights Deal

wta-logo

(December 10, 2014) — The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Board of Directors approved a  10 year media agreement of more than US$525 million with incumbent partner, PERFORM.  This extended partnership is the largest live media rights and production venture in the history of the WTA and in women’s sports.

 

For the first time as part of a major strategic move for the WTA, the aggregation and centralization of all WTA tournament media rights will deliver every WTA event across linear, digital and over-the-top (OTT) offerings.  Ultimately, this will improve the fan experience by making it easier to consistently follow favorite WTA players throughout the year.

 

Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman & CEO, said, “This is a game-changing and historic moment for our fans and for women’s sport. Our new broadcast strategy to produce all 2000 main draw singles matches in partnership with PERFORM will deliver exponential global exposure for our players, tournaments and partners.”

The agreement introduces WTA Media, a joint endeavor between both organizations which will deliver unprecedented premium content to tennis fans worldwide.  WTA Media, together with tournaments, will produce all main draw singles matches and the semifinals and finals of all doubles matches from 2017. Furthermore, WTA Media will increase its production of news content by 40 percent. It will also deliver additional magazine shows and significant off-court content to support the WTA’s mobile, digital and social media strategy. WTA Media will provide unprecedented access to fans with more content on and off the court.

“We are thrilled to expand on our highly successful partnership with the WTA.  We are strong believers in the exceptional sport entertainment value of the WTA and are committed to driving the value for all WTA members and partners. This deal also delivers maximum exposure to the WTA’s global fans on multiple platforms. This is a ground-breaking and innovative partnership with the WTA and is also a major first step in a significant 10 year growth plan for PERFORM,” said PERFORM’s Joint-CEO, Simon Denyer.

“The remarkable growth by PERFORM in less than ten years as well as the company’s ambitious direction provides a perfect framework for our invaluable partnership.  We are extremely excited by a shared vision of delivering the quality and quantity content our fans deserve. PERFORM’s unprecedented investment in the WTA signals a new era – not only for women’s tennis but also for women’s professional sports the world around,” concluded Allaster.

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Radwanska Hires Navratilova to Coaching Team

Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova

(December 8, 2014) Joining the trend of some of the top male players in hiring former Grand Slam champions as coaches, Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 6 in the world has hired 18-time major winner Martina Navratilova to her coaching team.

 

   

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Tennis Hall of Famer Dorothy “Dodo” Cheney Passes Away at 98

Dodo Cheney photo courtesy of the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Dodo Cheney photo courtesy of the International Tennis Hall of Fame

(November 25, 2014)  –  The International Tennis Hall of Fame  announced on Tuesday the death of 2004 inductee Dorothy “Dodo” Cheney. She was 98 years old. She passed away surrounded by her family in Escondido, Calif. on November 23, following a brief illness.

Cheney first started playing as a young child and was an active competitor well into her 90s. Cheney won an extraordinary 391 gold balls – this is awarded by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to winners of its national titles, amateur or professional, junior or senior. Among her 391 national titles, Cheney was a champion numerous times in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, across various age levels, and on all surfaces.

 

In 1938, Cheney became the first American woman to win the Australian Championships (now known as the Australian Open). She was a runner up three times in women’s doubles at Grand Slam tournaments and four times in mixed doubles. In addition to her Australian Championships title, Cheney reached four semifinals at the U.S. Championships and one semifinal each at Wimbledon and the French Championships.

 

Cheney was ranked in the world top-10 in the late 1930s through mid 1940s. She reached a career high of World No. 6 in 1946. She was the No. 3 ranked player in the United States in 1937, 1938, and 1941. She competed against peers including Hall of Famers Helen Wills Moody, Alice Marble, Sarah Palfrey Cooke, and Pauline Betz Addie, among others.

 

Cheney was the daughter of Wimbledon and U.S. Nationals Champion, Hall of Famer May Sutton Bundy and U.S. Nationals Doubles Champion Tom Bundy. In 2002, at age 85, Cheney and her daughter Christie Putnam won the USTA National Grass Court Super-Senior Mother Daughter Championships.

 

Cheney was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur. She is survived by two daughters, Christie Putnam and May Cheney; a son, Brian Cheney; eight grandchildren; and fourteen great-grandchildren.

 

Cheney was passionate about the development of junior tennis players. In lieu of flowers, her family has suggested gifts to the junior tennis program of one’s choice in her memory.

 

A private memorial service will be scheduled at a future date.

 

Statement from USTA Chairman, CEO and President Dave Haggerty on the passing of Dorothy “Dodo” Cheney: 

 

“Dodo Cheney was one of the most prolific champions in the history of tennis and the personification of tennis truly being a lifetime sport. She played competitively into her 90s, and her remarkable grace, singular class and competitive spirit made her one of our sport’s greatest ambassadors. She will be sorely missed by the sport that she loved.”

 

A 2004 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee, Cheney was the personification of tennis as a lifetime sport. She became the first American woman to win the Australian Championships (1938) and reached the semifinals at every other major, including four such appearances at the U.S. National Championships.  Cheney went on to win more than 390 USTA National titles in a career that saw her play well into her 90s. She was 98.

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Roger Federer Win Clinches Switzerland’s First Davis Cup Title

 

(November 23, 2014) Switzerland became the 14th country to claim the country’s first Davis Cup title on Sunday when they defeated France 3- 1 in Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille, France.

In front of a record setting crowd of 27,448, world No. 2 Roger Federer clinched the tie for Switzerland defeating Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, falling to the ground in celebration after hitting a drop shot winner. Gasquet filled in for an ailing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The Swiss No. 1 was in command of the match from beginning to end, which lasted an hour and 42 minutes.

“He was playing fast. He was very focused and making very few mistakes. I was not even able to have a break point,” said Gasquet. “It was difficult for me to give him problems. We are all disappointed. I would have liked to do more for the team because the crowd was ready, ready to support me to the end. In that situation, the only thing you want to do is play a fourth or fifth set just to please the crowd.”

“He was not unbeatable today, but he only made a few mistakes,” Gasquet explained. “It’s a shame I could not get any break points.”

Federer was dominated in a straight set loss to Gael Monfils in the second singles rubber on Friday. Stan Wawrinka opened the tie with a four-set victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and teamed with Federer to claim the doubles rubber on Saturday to give the Swiss a 2-1 lead coming into Sunday.

Being a part of a winning David Cup, adds another victory to his career resume, in which he already holds 17 major titles.

“I’m unbelievably happy. Amazing feeling to be celebrating with my friends,” said Federer post match in an on-court interview. “Just a great match, great atmosphere. It was a beautiful weekend for tennis.”

“We fought hard for it, I’ve been playing this game for almost 15 years now and clearly I’ve never come as close as this last weekend. I’m happy I was able to stay calm and play a good match when I had to and I’m happy for all the guys on the team.”

With Federer coming into the Davis Cup final in questionable health due to a back injury which forced him to withdraw last week’s ATP World Tour Final against No. 1 Novak Djokovic, the Basel native gave full credit to Wawrinka as the “MVP” of the Davis Cup Final.

“Everybody worked incredibly hard to get me match ready, Stan has put in so much effort over the years and played an unbelievable weekend that gave me the opportunity today,” said Federer.

“I’m very much aware of that, this one is for the boys. It’s not for me. I’ve won enough in my career and did not need to tick any empty boxes. I’m just happy for everybody else. I’m happy we could live a great tennis historic moment in our country.”

Just over a week ago, there appeared to be friction between Federer and Wawrinka when some media reports claimed that Federer’s wife Mirka allegedly heckled Wawrinka by calling him a “crybaby” during the ATP World Tour Finals semifinals between Federer and Wawrinka. It was later reported that Federer and Wawrinka had an argument in the locker room after the match.

“At the end, it’s a tennis match, you feel great emotions,” Federer continued. “You’re unbelievably happy and relieved “We wanted this clearly very badly, especially being up 2-1. You inch yourself closer and closer. Clearly seeing Stan out there, the rest of the team supporting you, gives you an extra push. It was definitely one of the better feelings in my career, no doubt about it. So much nicer to celebrate it all together.”

“It’s an amazing feeling. The best,” said Wawrinka. “We all know how it’s great to watch such an amazing player when he’s playing good tennis.”

With the Davis Cup win on Sunday, Wawrinka, became the first person since Andre Agassi in 1992 to win his first Grand Slam title and his first Davis Cup trophy in the same year. Wawrinka also won his first Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo, taking out Davis Cup teammate Federer back in April.

Federer set a new record as the most successful Swiss player in the history of the Davis Cup. It was his 50th win, now ahead of Jakob Hlasek for total wins.

Asked about comparing this victory to winning his first major, Wimbledon in 2003, Federer said, “You can’t compare. When I won Wimbledon, it was a total shock honestly. Davis Cup is something that I knew was possible at some stage in my career.

“Of course, there was the pressure of being able to manage all this and make everyone happy with all the support we had for the team and everything. So it is a totally different feeling. Also I was not alone on the court. This changes everything.”

 

Final scores:

DAVIS CUP BY BNP PARIBAS FINAL

SWITZERLAND defeated FRANCE 3-1

Venue: Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille, FRA (clay – indoors)
Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 61 36 63 62

Gael Monfils (FRA) d. Roger Federer (SUI) 61 64 63

Roger Federer/Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d. Julien Benneteau/Richard Gasquet (FRA) 63 75 64

Roger Federer (SUI) d. Richard Gasquet (FRA) 64 62 62

Gael Monfils (FRA) v Stan Wawrinka (SUI) not played

 

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Switzerland Takes 2-1 lead over France in Davis Cup Final

(November 22, 2014) Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka gave Switzerland an important 2-1 lead in the Davis Cup final on Saturday, when they defeated France’s doubles team of Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in Lille, France.

Switzerland’s captain Severin Luthi made the move to place the 2008 Olympic champion doubles team instead of Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer, who were slated to play.

In the 2 hour and 12 minute match, the Swiss pair defended all five break points against them.

After Federer lost to Gael Monfils on Friday in the second singles rubber, the 17-time major champ said after the match that he would be ready to play doubles if he was needed despite the back injury.

Federer was clearly moving better on Saturday than on Friday.

Federer is scheduled to face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the opening rubber on Sunday, with Stan Wawrinka playing Gael Monfils in the fifth rubber if necessary.

France is looking for it’s 10 Davis Cup while Switzerland is seeking it’s first.

 

 

DAVIS CUP BY BNP PARIBAS FINAL

 

SWITZERLAND leads FRANCE 2-1

Venue: Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille (clay – indoors)
Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 61 36 63 62

Gael Monfils (FRA) d. Roger Federer (SUI) 61 64 63

Roger Federer/Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d. Julien Benneteau/Richard Gasquet (FRA) 63 75 64

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Roger Federer (SUI)

Gael Monfils (FRA) v Stan Wawrinka (SUI)

 

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France Evens Tie Against Switzerland in Davis Cup Final

(November 21, 2014) France leveled the Davis Cup final against Switzerland at 1-1 at the end of day one in Lille, France when Gael Monfils dispatched Roger Federer 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 on Friday. I was Monfils’ first win over the world No. 2 on clay. Monfils hit 44 winners in the less than two hour match.

Federer pulled out of the final of the ATP year-end event in London on Sunday due to a back injury, decided to play despite a back injury that forced him to pull out of the title match at the ATP Finals last Sunday.

Stan Wawrinka gave Switzerland a 1-0 advantage after the opening rubber defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Wawrinka was dominant at the net winning 25 points there. He hit 61 winners during the match.

The crowd of 27,432 has set a new record for an officially-sanctioned tennis match, more than the previous record, Spain versus United States Davis Cup Final at the Estadio Olympico de Sevilla in 2004 at 27,200.
 

More to follow.

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