2014/11/22

Champions Series Tennis Circuit renamed PowerShares Series

InsideOut Sports + Entertainment announced on Friday that the Champions Series tennis circuit has been renamed the PowerShares Series. As the marketing agent for PowerShares QQQ Trust, an ETF based on the NASDAQ 100 index, Invesco PowerShares signed a multi-year agreement in 2011 to become the title sponsor of the InsideOut owned tennis tour.

 

The PowerShares Series will feature Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Jim Courier and other Grand Slam winners competing in twelve one-night tournaments across the United States this fall. Each PowerShares Series tournament will showcase four of the legendary players playing in two, 1-set semifinals followed by a 1-set championship match.

 

The champions will compete for a prize pool totaling $1 million to be shared by the top three finishers at the conclusion of the season. Pete Sampras finished the 2011 season as the #1 ranked player, followed by Jim Courier and Andre Agassi.

 

Event details, including ticket information, player fields, dates and venues, will be announced this summer.

 

“We look forward to a fantastic season of PowerShares Series tennis,” said Jon Venison, founding partner of InsideOut Sports + Entertainment. “With legendary players competing across the United States this fall, PowerShares Series events will bring top flight tournament tennis and star power to the greatest sporting arenas in the country.”

 

“The name change to PowerShares Series tennis reflects our ongoing support for this highly successful tour which has garnered valuable exposure for PowerShares QQQ,” said Jason Schoepke, Chief Marketing Officer at Invesco PowerShares. “We are confident the 2012 PowerShares Series tennis circuit will continue to advance the PowerShares brand with our core audiences and look forward to this year’s events.”

 

The PowerShares Series is a tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30, created in 2005 by InsideOut Sports + Entertainment, the New York based firm which is co-owned and operated by former SFX executive Jon Venison and former world No. 1 Jim Courier.

 

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Federer Joins 1000 Match Club with Straight Set Win Over Del Potro to Advance to Semis

MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Roger Federer joined the exclusive 1000 matches played club with his 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 win over Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.  This will mark the ninth consecutive year that Federer has advanced to the Australian Open semifinals. The Swiss joins the ranks of Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Guillermo Vilas, Andre Agassi, Stephan Edberg, Illie Nastase and John McEnroe who have played in 1000 matches or more.

On achieving the milestome, Federer said, “Well, 1000 matches, not 1000 wins.  Big difference.

“I wish it was 1000 wins, but I’m happy with 1000 matches in total, too.  It’s nice to win this one.  I mean, eventually I will forget which was one was my 1000th match and someone will remind me again.

I do not remember my 500, and that was the US Open final against Agassi.  No bigger matches than those ones.

“It’s a big milestone, I agree.  It’s a lot of matches and a lot tennis.  Either I have been around for a long time or I’m extremely fit.  You decide which way you want to describe it.  I don’t know.  But I’m happy.”

“We have played some big matches against each other,” Federer said of his match with Del Potro.  “So just knowing how well he’s been playing as of late, I was just hoping that I would get off a good start.  But I was able to mix it up well and control the ball, and right away sort of felt confident, which then sort of helped me to use all aspects of my game.

“Then it got tough with the shadow creeping in, and I knew that was going to happen rather sooner than later just because the matches before me took some time.  I knew it was going to happen eventually.  That’s why the second set, serving out the second set was key for me.  You know, get through that tough patch, and then in the third it was a bit more free swinging for me.

The almost two hour match saw Federer hit 38 winners with an 89% first serve percentage.

For the first time since 2005, Federer is on the same side of the draw at a major as Rafael Nadal. Federer will face the winner of the Nadal-Tomas Berdych quarterfinal on Tuesday night  in the semis for a spot in the Australian Open final.

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Behind the Scenes at the 2011 Tennis Hall of Fame Inductions

By Jack Cunniff

On Saturday, July 9th, just a few hours before their inductions into the Tennis Hall of Fame, 2011 inductees Andre Agassi and Fern “Peachy” Kellmeyer met with the media to share thoughts on their careers, Hall of Fame inductions, and futures.   Christopher Clouser, Chairman of the Tennis Hall of Fame, moderated the discussion in the Casino Theater at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island.

The morning featured some light-hearted moments.  Kellmeyer, as she acknowledged in her Hall of Fame speech later that afternoon, recognized she wasn’t the headliner of the day.  When the early part of the press conference focused on Agassi, Kellmeyer showed her appreciation when posed a question: “Thanks for asking me a question; I’m so happy!”  And Agassi said the Hall of Fame tribute helped him put his career in perspective: “the journey, the choices, bad choices,… outfits, hair.”  But both of them were obviously moved by the honor of becoming the latest Tennis Hall of Fame inductees.

Early Careers

Agassi spoke about the important role that the Stratton, VT event played in his career.  In 1986, the then sixteen-year-old Agassi upset world No. 12 Tim Mayotte, en route to a quarterfinal contest against John McEnroe.  When rain delays interfered with match scheduling, the Agassi-McEnroe quarterfinal match started play on an outside court.  In response, some of the Stadium Court crowd marched to the outside court, began to shake the fence around it, and demanded the match be moved to the Stadium Court. Eventually, the match was moved and McEnroe completed a victory over his young opponent.  When he returned to Stratton in 1987, Agassi admitted he was struggling with his game and nervous because of the ranking points he had to defend from the prior year.  But he came through a big second round match, defeating the reigning Wimbledon champion, Pat Cash, before losing a close match to world No. 1 Ivan Lendl in the semifinals.  Stratton helped put Agassi on the map.

Kellmeyer reminisced about her first day on the job for the Women’s Tennis Association. It was in Houston, the site of the first WTA event.  And oddly, it was snowing in Houston.  Being a brand new tour, it was missing some basic items: there was no rule book and no prize money breakdown.  So while Kellmeyer and the late Gladys Heldman worked to write a rule book and calculate prize money, Gladys’ two cats brought in dead birds from the Houston cold. “That was my first day on the job, watching a bunch of dead birds come in.”

Growing Up With Tennis

The pressure Agassi was under to succeed in tennis started when he was very young.  When he first played, he was playing for others, not himself.  It wasn’t until Agassi was 27 that he says he finally “chose tennis” for himself.  Agassi explained he was in Germany, having dropped down to No. 141 in the world, and he gave himself permission to quit the sport.  And once he did that, Agassi chose tennis and started to play for himself.  For his last nine years in professional tennis he was able to play and love the sport.

Kellmeyer spoke about growing up in Charleston, West Virginia with a father and brother who played multiple sports.  A self-described tomboy, Kellmeyer would follow her brother to the tennis courts after school; her passion for tennis started at a very young age.

Career Highlights

Agassi mentioned the 1999 French Open victory as one of his most satisfying moments.  It was not only the fact that he won the event, and secured the final Grand Slam event in his portfolio, but he also completed his comeback from “rock bottom”. In winning the event, he lifted his ranking up from No. 141 back into the top ten, and secured one of his biggest titles of his career just weeks after his divorce (to actress Brooke Shields).  Agassi also noted that his last match, at the 2006 U.S. Open, was a moment he will never forget.  The reception of 23,000 New Yorkers cheering him for his career accomplishments was a moving experience.

Kellmeyer said one career highlight was working closely with her hero Billie Jean King. But the moment in her career that was most meaningful to Kellmeyer came in 2007, when Roland Garros and Wimbledon followed the Australian and U.S. Opens in granting equal prize money to the women players, meaning all four Grand Slam events would reward equal prize money to men and women.

The Honor of Being Inducted

When asked about the reception of family and friends to the Hall of Fame announcements, Agassi provided an immediate example by reading from his phone a congratulatory text message from former pro Justin Gimelstob.  Agassi said his induction is even more special because he has experienced the Hall of Fame from the fan’s perspective when he witnessed wife Steffi Graf’s induction in 2004. When asked for his reaction to the new section of the Tennis Museum dedicated to Agassi’s career, Agassi’s first thought was “Gosh, there’s a lot of cameras in here!”

Kellmeyer also received accolades in response to her Hall of Fame announcement. She shared that she never before had as many flowers in her room.  She nicknamed Chris Clouser her “Santa Claus”, because it was immediately following the holidays that Clouser flew down to Melbourne to announce Peachy’s entry into the Hall of Fame at a player meeting.

What the Future Holds

Agassi has gone on record many times to share that tennis is a means to an end.  It’s enabled him to do his life’s work, the ability to change other’s lives for the better though the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas.  Agassi finds his work today more rewarding than anything he’s experienced on the tennis court.  As for the future of tennis, Agassi hopes junior players are pursuing their own passion and not someone else’s.

While Kellmeyer still works for the WTA as a consultant, she intends to stay involved in the sport by planning alumni reunions for former WTA players.  She also feels it’s important for tennis to remain the number one sport in the world for women professional athletes.  While she’s proud of her role in paving the way for Title IX, that work has opened up multiple different sport opportunities for women. Kellmeyer feels it’s the responsibility of the tennis establishment to continue to promote the sport, and it’s important that she play a role in that.

And Some Final Words…

When asked about his tagline from the 80s, “Image is Everything,” Agassi said he doesn’t think he could come up with a new slogan for his life today.  When “Education is Everything” was suggested, Andre acknowledged “That works for me at the moment.”

It was noted that Kellmeyer has a court named after her at the Charleston WV Tennis Club, and she shared a story in response. Kellmeyer returns to her hometown once a year, and when she does, she drives by the club to make sure they haven’t taken her name down, chuckling “I don’t have many things named after me.”

 

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Agassi’s Inspirational Remarks Highlight 2011 Tennis Hall of Fame Inductions

 

By Jack Cunniff

NEWPORT, Rhode Island – On Saturday July 9th, 2011, the International Tennis Hall of Fame inducted its two newest members: eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi, and Fern Lee “Peachy” Kellmeyer.  Under bright, sunny skies, a packed house of 3,710 witnessed the latest inductions along with the friends and family of the honorees.  Christopher Clouser, Chairman of the Tennis Hall of Fame was master of ceremonies, held on Center Court at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island.

Kellmeyer, the first employee of the Women’s Tennis Association, was the first to be celebrated Saturday in the category of Contributor.  Stacy Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA, performed the honors by providing opening remarks for Peachy.  She spoke of how Kellmeyer made tennis history very early in her life.  In 1959 Kellmeyer was, at the time, the youngest woman to play in the U.S. Championships at age 15, and later was the first woman to compete on a Division I men’s collegiate tennis team.  Allaster also acknowledged Kellmeyer’s role in Title IX legislation, by suing to overturn the practice of universities refusing scholarships to women.

In her acceptance speech, Kellmeyer thanked those that helped her through the years, and those that believed in her when she didn’t believe in herself.  She cited the late Gladys Heldman and Billie Jean King who were responsible for laying the foundation for the women’s tour.  Once the WTA was created, Peachy said, “I had a job.”  Kellmeyer also acknowledged the support of friends and co-workers, including Stephanie Tolleson and Larry Scott.

Kellmeyer grew up in Charleston, West Virginia, with her parents, her brother Freddie, and her sister Kay.  She inherited “my grandmother’s name, Fern Lee, and I also inherited a club foot.”  While it was easy for her to get rid of the name Fern Lee, it wasn’t as easy to get rid of a club foot.  But through this, Kellmeyer learned the lesson “you don’t have to be 100% to give 100%.”

As Kellmeyer herself said, she wasn’t the main attraction Saturday, but was happy to play opening act for Andre Agassi.  Simone Ruffin, an 18-year-old 2009 graduate of the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas, NV, introduced Agassi.  Ruffin, salutatorian of the 2009 class and now a student at Concordia University, charmed the crowd by talking about her “hometown hero”.  She spoke of Agassi’s skills on the tennis court and his ability to put fear in the hearts of his opponents.  He wasn’t perfect, “there was that mullet thing,” she joked about Agassi’s 1980s hairstyle.  But more important than his tennis skills has been Agassi’s commitment to the children of Las Vegas.  His efforts to give back to his community have lead to the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, a children’s medical facility, and a Boys and Girls club.  Ruffin sited his service and guidance as what makes him “one of the greatest men of all time.”

Agassi began his comments by sharing that his father Mike recently asked him during a Q&A session Andre was giving in Las Vegas, “How do you know when to stop telling your kids what to do?” While Agassi was caught off guard at the time, and didn’t know what to say, he answered his father today. Explaining that his father told him to win Wimbledon, to win all four Grand Slams, to become a Tennis Hall of Fame Champion, and to marry Steffi Graf, Agassi’s response was: “Dad, don’t ever stop telling me what to do.”

Agassi thanks tennis whenever he thinks of the students in his Las Vegas school, whenever he thinks of his wife and children, and whenever he thinks of his plans for the future.  While he “fell in love with tennis far too late in his life,” he has tennis to thank for making all these possible.  He credited tennis for teaching him his life lessons.  He noted that tennis uses the language of life: “service, advantage, break, fault, love.”  He learned that “what I do instantly affects what you do, and vice versa,” and that there’s no such thing as perfect.  In a lighthearted moment, Agassi explained tennis is a lonely sport which is why so many players not only talk to themselves, but answer.  But that loneliness taught him to stand alone.

Others that Agassi noted in his remarks were Arthur Ashe, who showed courage by treating others fairly, while he himself was often treated unfairly, and Billie Jean King, who brought change to society through women’s equality.  He thanked his parents, Mike and Betty, his brother Phil, his trainer Gil Reyes, past coaches Nick Bollettieri, Darren Cahill, and Brad Gilbert, and finally his wife, Stefanie Graf.  Agassi told the crowd that he wrote each of them letters of thanks that he’s posting on his website to serve as a public tribute to them.  He spoke of an influential meeting with Nelson Mandela, who told Agassi, “We must live our lives carefully.” Taking that advice to heart, and being true to his character, Agassi pulled himself up from rock bottom, and achieved the number one ranking – not an accomplishment, but “a reflection of an accomplishment, the symptom of good choices, and the result of being careful.”

He closed the day’s celebration by sharing his personal mission statement:  that we have a responsibility to each other, and that it’s never too late to be inspired and to change. “We are here to do good quietly, to shine in secret, to give when there’s no crowd applauding, to give of ourselves to someone who can offer us nothing.” He encouraged his children, son Jaden and daughter Jaz, and all young children to reach for their dreams, because no dream is impossible.  It was an inspirational speech that moved the Newport crowd, and worthy of a Hall of Fame induction.

Tennis legend Andre Agassi reacts after winning a point against fellow legend Pete Sampras during their exhibition match at the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden in New York February 28, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT TENNIS HEADSHOT)
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Agassi and Kellmayer to be inuducted into Tennis Hall of Fame

Andre Agassi, who captured eight grand slam tournament titles, an Olympic gold medal, and the hearts of countless fans worldwide, will be presented the highest honor in the sport of tennis this weekend, induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Agassi is the sole inductee in the Recent Player category. In the Contributor Category, Fern Lee “Peachy” Kellmeyerwill be inducted. Kellmeyer is a tennis industry executive who was hired as the very first employee of the WTA Tour in 1973 and is still dedicated to the growth and development of the sport today. The Induction Ceremony will take place at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. on Saturday, July 9 at 12 pm. It will be broadcast live on Tennis Channel.

 

“Andre Agassi and Peachy Kellmeyer have achieved extraordinary success in their tennis careers, while improving the lives of so many. Through their determination and commitment they have made the sport of tennis better and have had an immensely positive impact on the world. We are very pleased to recognize their hard work and great accomplishments with the highest honor in tennis- induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame,” said Christopher Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. “The Induction Ceremony will be an extraordinary day and we look forward to sharing it with their families, friends and many fans- those attending the ceremony and those following the festivities on television around the world.”

 

The Induction Ceremony will feature speeches by the inductees, as well as presentation speeches by people they have selected. Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA, will give Kellmeyer’s presentation speech. Agassi’s presenter will be revealed at the event.

 

The Induction Ceremony will be attended by special guests of the inductees, including Agassi’s coaches and trainer from throughout his career, other Hall of Famers and tennis legends, and more than 3,500 enthusiastic fans. Tickets for the ceremony are now sold out, but a limited number of tickets are available for a live simulcast, which will be shown on a giant, stage-sized screen in the newly restored, air-conditioned Casino Theatre at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The simulcast festivities will kick off with never-before-seen tribute videos, compiled from footage of great career moments and messages of congratulations from colleagues and friends. Following the ceremony, Agassi and Kellmeyer will visit with the audience for their first interviews after induction. Tickets for this event are $75 and may be purchased on tennisfame.com or by calling 401-849-6053.

 

Since 1955, the International Tennis Hall of Fame has honored 220 people representing 19 countries, inclusive of the Class of 2011. The International Tennis Hall of Fame features a comprehensive tennis Museum that commemorates the greatest champions and contributors of the sport and chronicles the history of tennis from its 12th century beginnings through present day. Special exhibits paying tribute to the Hall of Fame Class of 2011 have recently been installed and will be showcased for one year.

 

In Andre Agassi: From Changing the Game to Changing Lives, visitors are treated to dynamic, colorful photos showcasing some of the most exciting and emotional moments of Agassi’s tennis career, as well as imagery of his work since retirement- namely, the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy. Additionally, the exhibit features a collection of memorabilia ranging from memorable tennis apparel to tennis trophies, along with a video reel of career highlights. The exhibit is displayed in the Atrium Gallery.

 

In the Billie Jean King WTA Gallery, Peachy Kellmeyer: The Soul of Women’s Tennis highlights the inspiring story of the woman who dedicated her life to growing women’s professional tennis from its humble beginnings to the popular, global sport the world enjoys today. The exhibit highlights notable moments in the history of women’s tennis, and features photos of Peachy with the women she has worked closely with for more than 35 years- such as Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova.

 

Andre Agassi, 40, of Las Vegas, Nevada, held the No. 1 singles ranking for 101 weeks, and is regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. His passionate performances, non-traditional apparel and style, and extraordinary skill made him one of the most iconic athletes in the history of the game. He is credited for inspiring a generation of tennis players.

 

Agassi achieved a career singles record of 870-274, winning 60 titles, including four at the Australian Open, two at the US Open and one victory each at the French Open and Wimbledon. Within his 60 tournament wins, he captured 17 Masters 1000 events. In 1990, he won the season-ending ATP World Tour Championships. Agassi earned a Gold Medal at the 1996 Olympics by taking the Singles title in Atlanta. A member of two winning American Davis Cup teams (1990, 1992), Agassi achieved a career record of 30-6 in Davis Cup play for the United States.

 

Agassi turned professional in 1986 at the age of 16, and made his way into the top-100 in his first professional year, finishing the season ranked No. 91. He won his first Tour-level title in 1987, and closed out his second professional season ranked No. 25 in the world. In 1988, his year-end ranking was No. 3 and he surpassed $2 million in career prize money, after playing in just 43 career tournaments- the fastest anyone in history had reached that mark.

 

Agassi enjoyed a long, successful career through 2006, during which time he earned more than $30 million in prize money, fourth only to Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Rafael Nadal to date. In June 2003, at the age of 33, Agassi became the oldest player to hold the No. 1 singles ranking, a position that he held onto for twelve weeks. Agassi retired from professional tennis on September 3, 2006, after losing in the third round of the US Open. He delivered a memorable retirement speech and was honored with an eight-minute standing ovation from the crowd.

 

During his career and into retirement, Agassi has been a dedicated philanthropist. In 1994, he founded the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, which is devoted to reforming public education in the United States. Since the inception of the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, $150 million has been raised to benefit the mission of the Foundation, including $92 million from the Grand Slam for Children fundraising event. In May of 2011, Agassi partnered with Canyon Capital Realty Advisors on an innovative new real estate fund to promote the success and growth of best-in-class charter schools by building educational facilities in urban communities across the United States.

 

In 2001, Agassi opened the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, a tuition-free public charter school in Las Vegas’ most at-risk neighborhood for kindergarten through grade 12. The school utilizes advanced technology, smaller class sizes and extended school hours, among other tactics, to combat lowered academic expectations and to foster a sense of hope among this community’s most challenged children. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, the school’s graduating class had a 100% acceptance rate for higher education.

 

Agassi is married to retired professional tennis player and 2004 Hall of Famer Stefanie Graf, and they reside in Las Vegas with their two children.

 

Fern Lee “Peachy” Kellmeyer, 66, of Wheeling, West Virginia, became involved in the game as a talented junior player, went on to be a star collegiate athlete, and then launched an administrative career in tennis. During her career with the WTA, Kellmeyer has led the WTA’s operations, player and tournament relations and has been at the center of all major policy decisions. Kellmeyer currently serves as WTA Operations Executive Consultant. She is also a member of the ITF Fed Cup Committee and oversees the WTA’s alumni program to ensure that past players and tournament directors remain engaged with the WTA that they helped build.

 

Women’s professional tennis has come a long way during Kellmeyer’s tenure. Prize money on the WTA has increased from $309,000 in 1973 to more than $89,000,000 in 2011, and the number of WTA events has increased from 23 domestic tournaments to 53 events in 33 different countries. Attendance at WTA events has increased dramatically with nearly 5 million in-stadium fans annually, and television exposure has increased with hundreds of millions of homes receiving more than 6,000 hours of international TV coverage on an annual basis.

 

Simultaneously with her efforts to build women’s tennis, Kellmeyer has been a tireless fighter for women’s rights in sports. When she was the Physical Education Director at Marymount College in Boca Raton, Florida in 1966, Kellmeyer spear-headed a lawsuit that ultimately led to the dismantling of an Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) rule that had prohibited athletic scholarships from being awarded to female athletes at colleges across the nation. The landmark case paved the way for Title IX and contributed greatly to the increase of female athletes in intercollegiate athletics. Additionally, Kellmeyer was a driving force behind the WTA’s campaign to achieve equal prize money for women.

 

On court, Kellmeyer began winning junior titles as early as age 11. By the age of 15 she was competing at what is now the US Open, and she was the youngest player at the time to be invited to such a prestigious event. She went on to be a tennis star at the University of Miami, where she became the first woman to compete on a Division I men’s team. As an adult, Kellmeyer was ranked nationally in both singles and doubles, and was a competitor at Wimbledon and the US Open.

 

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Raw and Uncut – Sounds of the Showdown with Agassi, Sampras, Lendl and McEnroe

Monday, February 25, 2011 – Jumeirah Essex House, Grand Ballroom – Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe shared a few laughs among the serious questions during a morning news conference for the BNP Paribas Showdown. The player’s portion of the news conference begins at the 12 minute mark.

Warning – due to technical issues the levels of these recordings may be low so you may have to raise your volume. Also be wary of the background sounds of reporters milling about with papers and such and doors opening and closing.

Morning News Conference

Runs 31:17 – forward to the 12:00 mark when players begin to banter.

John McEnroe

John McEnroe was forced to retire due to an ankle sprain while leading Lendl 6-3. Listen to what he had to say:

John McEnroe Post Match News Conference

Runs 9:45

 

Ivan Lendl

Between Ivan Lendl’s comments during the morning news conference and this post match news conference, he could easily be a stand up comedian:

Ivan Lendl Post Match News Conference

Runs 13:45

Agassi – Sampras Post Match News Conference

Runs 9:53

Tennis Panorama was media for the BNP Paribas Showdown. On Occasion we like to include raw sound in our articles and sometimes a podcast.

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Kourtin’ Karen’s Tennis Week in Review

0-15

“The Hand”  that Rocked the 2003 French Open Confesses

Justine Henin gave a very lengthy interview to Belgian TV in which among the many revelations  she admitted that she lied in the now infamous “hand” incident in the 2003 semifinal of the French Open against Serena Williams where Henin raised her hand to signal she was not ready to receive Williams’ serve. Williams netted the serve and thought she would be allowed to replay the serve but the umpire did not see that Henin had raised her hand and Henin did not admit that she did.

“I think she saw it and she was disturbed by that,” she said. “There is a lot of tension, actions are a bit by instinct. So it’s true that it is not the best memory. If I had been convinced that she had seen it, had been bothered by it, I might have reacted. But you react on instinct. At the same time what happened was magic. I don’t know if that changed the match. I hope I’m not saying that in bad faith.

“Maybe it was a way to give me respect, because you know that Williams have an attitude, sometimes difficult. They play with a lot of intimidation. know that the Williams had attitudes that were sometimes difficult. Today, it doesn’t scare me any more. When they walked on the court, the other one was already there at her side. It was a big moment in my career, in the history of Roland Garros, too. That handshake, the start of a long story between us, but I think we kept mutual respect. Not one of the warmest moments in the history of tennis, but still remains a great memory.” (Translation from Tennis.com)

Serena Williams’ response on twitter:

15-15

Giving the Boot to the Boot

Serena Williams announced on her twitter account that her boot is off. However, earlier in the week she had to give the boot to playing in the March 8 Nike Clash of Champions exhibition in Oregon. Victoria Azarenka will take her place.

 

30-15

Nadal Opening Night in Miami for Nadal


World No. 1 Rafael Nadal will  play the opening night session at the Sony Ericsson Open on Saturday, March 26 at 8:00 p.m.

 

 

30 -30

New Zealand Quake Stops ITF Events

 

The earthquake which hit Christchurch, New Zealand, forced the ITF to cancel all four ITF Seniors World Team Championships.

 

30-40

Break Point for Srichaphan

 

Former top ten player Paradorn Srichaphan reports that he and his wife, the former Miss Universe Natalie Glebova split since July after three years of marriage. Despite the break-up the former couple will still continue their business relationship.

 

Deuce

Davis Cup Team Nominations

Davis Cup Team Nominations for the 2011 World Group First Round and 25 Zonal Ties

World No.11 Mikhail Youzhny has called it quits to Davis Cup participation as he wants to spend more time with his family and recovering in-between tournaments.

Other top players not participating in Davis Cup later this week include Czech Radek Stephanek (flu),  and Frenchmen Jo-Wilfred Tsonga (knee ), Gael Monfils (wrist) and Richard Gasquet (shoulder).

 

Advantage

Tennis Panorama News  Coverage Notes

BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden and other coverage announcements

Tennis Panorama News will be covering all the action at the “world’s most famous arena” on Monday, February 28 with Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl and John Mcenroe. Look out for reports on the web site and live reports on our twitter account @GVTennisNews.

TPN will be covering the US vs Chile Davis Cup tie  in Santiago with reports from a couple of the “NetHeads” – a group of  tennis fans who cheer for the US Davis Cup team.

TPN will also be at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

BNP Paribas Open to Offer Special Off-Court Activities for Fans

Tips to Enjoying the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells

 

TPN was just in Memphis and its coverage and twitter received a mention in the recent edition of USA Today’s Net Post.

Memphis Tournament Musings

 

Game, Set, Match Champions

Acapulco

Women’s Singles -(4) Gisela Dulko (ARG) d. (6) Arantxa Parra Santonja (ESP) 63 76(5)

World Doubles No. 1 Dulko has captured her fourth WTA singles title with her Acapulco win.

Women’s Doubles - Koryttseva/Olaru (UKR/ROU) d. Domínguez Lino/Parra Santonja (ESP/ESP) 36 61 104 (Match TB)

Men’s Singles – [1] David Ferrer (ESP) d [3] Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 76(4) 67(2) 62
David Ferrer defends last year’s title and has a 2011 record of 14-2.


Men’s Doubles –
V Hanescu (ROU) / H Tecau (ROU) d [4] M Melo (BRA) / B Soares (BRA) 61 63

 

 

Doha

Singles -(2) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. (1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 64 64

Zvonareva wins her first tournament in more than a year.

Doubles-(1) Peschke/Srebotnik (CZE/SLO) d. (2) Huber/Petrova (USA/RUS) 75 67(2) 108 (Match TB)

 

 

Dubai

Singles – [2] Novak Djokovic (SRB) d [1] Roger Federer (SUI) 63 63

Djokovic remains perfect on the 2011 season with his destruction of Federer.

Doubles – S Stakhovsky (UKR) / M Youzhny (RUS) d J Chardy (FRA) / F Lopez (ESP) 46 63 10-3

 

Delray Beach

Singles- Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) d [6] Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) 6-4, 6-4

Del Porto wins his first tournament since the 2009 US Open and enters the top 100.

Doubles – S Lipsky (USA) / R Ram (USA) d C Kas (GER) / A Peya (AUT) 46 64 10-3

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Sampras, Agassi, McEnroe and Lendl Getting Ready for BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden on February 28

New York, New York – February 3, 2011 — With only weeks remaining before the much anticipated BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden, tennis legends Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl are in preparations for their respective match ups at The World’s Most Famous Arena on February 28, 2011.

The 2011 BNP Paribas Showdown will renew classic rivalries of the 80’s and 90’s, John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl will compete in a one set pro match (first player to win eight games), followed by a best of three set match between Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.

The official ‘Countdown to The Showdown’ begins Sunday, and will mark the 22 days leading up to the event. The number 22 is significant as it represents the number of Grand Slam titles of Sampras (14) and Agassi (8) combined. The Countdown will be marked on the event website (www.tennisshowdown.com), as well as the event’s Twitter and Facebook pages, with a daily dose of information highlighting the four legendary players in the BNP Paribas Showdown.

Agassi, who will face Sampras in the featured match, recently returned from Taiwan where he was fine tuning his return of serve and overall game during a couple of matches with Marat Safin.  Agassi won both matches in third-set match tie-breaks.  After an emotional final appearance at the 2006 US Open, Agassi returns to New York to face his long-time rival, before joining him in the International Tennis Hall of Fame, where Agassi will be inducted this coming summer.

Sampras, who took Roger Federer to three sets in 2008 at Madison Square Garden is accustomed to these settings and is preparing for a grudge match against Agassi.  Before making his way to New York, Sampras will play in a featured exhibition against Gael Monfils, who is currently ranked No. 12 in the World, on February 7 in San Jose, CA.  Sampras debuted in 1988 and played his last professional tournament in 2002, when he captured the US Open, defeating his rival Agassi in the final.

New York native, John McEnroe is no stranger to Madison Square Garden where he captured the Masters title three times, twice beating his rival Ivan Lendl.   McEnroe will head south to the Delray Beach International Tennis Championship where he will face Jimmy Arias on Feb. 19, Todd Martin on Feb. 20 and Aaron Krickstein on Feb. 21, before heading home to show off his shot making artistry against Lendl on The Garden court one last time.

Lendl, who advanced to the Master’s final at Madison Square Garden a record eight times with winning five titles, has been gearing up for his showdown against McEnroe.  The two legends have history at MSG with Lendl beating McEnroe in the 1983 Masters Final (6-4, 6-4, 6-2), and McEnroe winning back to back titles against Lendl in 1984 (6-3, 6-4, 6-4) and again in 1985 (7-5, 6-0, 6-4).  Recently, McEnroe beat his old foe during a round robin tournament in Adelaide prior to the Australian Open.  Lendl recently was in Berlin, Germany where he beat Carl Uwe Steeb (6-3 5-7 10-7) (tiebreak for the 3rd set) in an exhibition match.

The BNP Paribas Showdown is produced by StarGames and MSG Sports. Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office and all Ticketmaster outlets.

The BNP Paribas Showdown, in partnership with the United States Tennis Association, will continue their efforts to grow youth participation in the sport of tennis through “Tennis Night in America”, a national program which is among the largest grass roots initiatives the sport has ever seen. To find a sign-up location please go to www.tennisnight.com.

After an eight year hiatus professional tennis returned to The World’s Most Famous Arena on March 10, 2008 with the sold-out NetJets Showdown between World No. 1 Roger Federer and former Grand Slam record holder Pete Sampras.

The following year women’s tennis returned to The Garden with the BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup in 2009 and 2010.  Players who have participated include: Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters, Ana Ivanovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Jelena Jankovic.

About BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas (www.bnpparibas.com) is the Eurozone’s leading bank in terms of deposits, and one of the 10 most important banks in the world in terms of net banking income, equity capital and market value. Furthermore, it is one of the 6 strongest banks in the world according to Standard & Poor’s. With a presence in 85 countries and more than 205,000 employees, 165,200 of which in Europe and 15,000 in the United States, BNP Paribas is a global-scale European leader in financial services. It holds key positions in its three activities: Retail banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking. BNP Paribas also has a significant presence in the United States and strong positions in Asia and the emerging markets. This year, BNP Paribas celebrates its 37th anniversary of its partnership with tennis. Since 1973, BNP Paribas has been actively involved with the sport and has consistently strengthened its commitment since then to support it both locally and worldwide.  BNP Paribas has historically been a privileged partner in all aspects of tennis: as an Official Sponsor of the French Open for 37 years, and a sponsor of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas since 2001, of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas since 2005, and of the BNP Paribas Masters since 1986, as well as other major international tournaments including the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, WTA Bank of the West Classic in California, Master Series Monte Carlo, BNP Paribas Women’s Open in Strasbourg and Grand Prix de Lyon.

MSG Sports owns and operates several premier sports franchises, including the NBA’s New York Knicks, NHL’s New York Rangers, WNBA’s New York Liberty, and the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL). As well as promotes, produces and/or partners on a broad array of world class live sporting events, including world championship boxing, college and high school basketball, track and field, mixed martial arts, gymnastics, tennis, professional bull riding and others. Madison Square Garden is a fully-integrated sports, entertainment and media business. The company is comprised of three business segments: MSG Sports, MSG Entertainment and MSG Media, which are strategically aligned to work together to drive its overall business, and built on a foundation of iconic venues and compelling content that MSG creates, produces, presents and/or distributes through its programming networks and other media assets. MSG Sports consists of the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), the New York Liberty (WNBA), and the Hartford Whale (American Hockey League). MSG Entertainment is a leader in managing and creating concerts and events at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Beacon Theatre, the legendary Chicago Theatre, the Wang Theatre in Boston, and produces the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes. MSG Media is comprised of leading television networks MSG, MSG Plus, MSG HD and MSG Plus HD, as well as MSG Interactive, which oversees all company wireless and online initiatives, and Fuse and Fuse HD, the national television network dedicated exclusively to music. The company owns and operates the Madison Square Garden arena complex located in the heart of the New York metropolitan area.  More information is available at www.thegarden.com.

StarGames, LLC (www.stargamesinc.com) is a fully integrated sports marketing, management and entertainment company based outside of Boston, MA. Now in its 16th year, StarGames represents current and former professional athletes, produces original content for mass media distribution, operates its own broadband television channels and produces live and made for television events. StarGames orchestrated the return of tennis to Madison Square Garden with the 2008 NetJets Showdown and the BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup; with tennis legend Ivan Lendl, launched the Champions Academy in Florida for elite junior athletes and most recently produced the Caesars Tribute: A Salute to the Golden Age of American Skating for NBC in Atlantic City, NJ.  StarGames partners on various projects with Lagardere Unlimited which represents the international television rights for the BNP Paribas Showdown.

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