2014/08/27

Tennis Legends Gather At ‘No. 1 Celebration’ To Commemorate 40 Years Of Emirates ATP Rankings

 

From the ATP World Tour – AUGUST 24, 2013 -NEW YORK — ATP World Tour No. 1s past and present gathered to mark the 40th anniversary of the Emirates ATP Rankings at the ‘No. 1 Celebration’, Friday night at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

Ilie Nastase, who became the first ATP World No. 1 on 23 August 1973, was present to be honoured on the night, along with successors John Newcombe, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier, Marcelo Rios, Carlos Moya, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Gustavo Kuerten, Lleyton Hewitt, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Andy Roddick, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

The legends each took part in an on-stage Q&A with Justin Gimelstob and Guy Forget, sharing their experiences of reaching the summit of world tennis, before posing for a group photo with the ATP World Tour No. 1 trophy. Each year-end No. 1 received an engraved replica of the trophy.

No. 1 Celebration  Nadal, Federer

“It’s definitely an ultimate goal for any athlete, not just tennis players,” said current World No. 1 Djokovic. “Growing up, in early childhood, you are inspired to show that love and appreciation and passion towards the sport, and of course there is this big drive – waking up every morning, working so hard, developing skills to be No. 1 in the world. Not many players have achieved that and to sit with fellow champions, it’s an incredible feeling… I’m really honoured to be here.”

Watch Highlights Of No. 1 Celebration

Federer, who held the No. 1 ranking for a record 302 weeks, spoke about sharing the stage with the players who inspired him. “It was very important for me to have someone to look up to. Stefan was one of them, so it’s nice to see you here tonight and all the others players… We’ve put such huge effort in the game, and that’s a platform we can enjoy today. So it’s unbelievable. Thanks for being an inspiration Stefan, all of you here today.”

On a lighter note, a self-deprecating Roddick said, “It is an honour to be the worst player in the room.” Fellow American Courier added, “It’s a great honour to be here among friends. I dreamed of being in this arena, and to be part of this group is mind-blowing.”

Year-End No. 1s  McEnroe, Djokovic

The evening, part of the broader ATP Heritage programme, also included a tribute to former ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett, who passed away in May following a battle with Motor Neurone Disease. Drewett founded the ATP Heritage programme earlier this year.

“Brad cherished the history of the ATP and men’s professional tennis in general,” said Mark Young, CEO ATP Americas. “Tonight’s celebration is a reflection of that. It was his vision to see all the No. 1 players gathered together as we honoured their achievements.”

The ATP Heritage programme, with the support of its founding partner Rolex, will continue to serve as a platform to celebrate the rich history of the ATP and the remarkable achievements of the world’s greatest players throughout history.

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Gasquet Stuns Murray in Rome

Andy Murray

By Enrico Maria Riva

ROME – Matches usually tell two different stories: Andy Murray versus Richard Gasquet was no exception on Thursday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. While the Frenchman managed a great victory 6-7(1), 6-3, 6-2, helping him to gear up for the French Open, the Scot showed that he is still struggling on clay. Without coach Ivan Lendl anywhere in sight, Murray played a very confusing match, failing to hold his serve easily most of the time, and spending huge amount of energy battling Gasquet from the baseline.

 

Murray has an excuse, as his back seemed to bother him throughout the match an issue which he admits he has been dealing with since December, but most of all he has to blame himself for the attitude towards the whole match. He reportedly shouted “I hate this game, I hate it!” on one of the too many occasions where he had to deal with repeatedly having to save break points. Murray never found his inner peace during the match, failed to close the first set while up a break at 5-3. Somehow he won the tiebreak but didn’t manage to bring the momentum to his side and let Gasquet dictate the game.

 

Gasquet has been playing very well lately, reaching the final in Estoril and now this Murray victory confirms his progress. The fact that coach Riccardo Piatti is now traveling with him 100%, after Ivan Ljubicic’s retirement, it has given Gasquet more confidence and more stability. Friday he will have to play at his best considering that David Ferrer is in great shape. The early start at Noon doesn’t help either as Gasquet didn’t fail to mention his anger about the scheduling during his news conference”.

 

Big emotions in Rome with Italy’s Andreas Seppi who managed to win another epic match, this time against Stanislas Wawrinka, saving six match points and closing  the match 6-7(1), 7-6(6), 7-6(6) after three hours and 20 minutes. The Italian will now face Roger Federer who took out Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.

 

Another surprise was avoided on Thursday when Novak Djokovic managed to come back from a set down against Juan Monaco 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. The Argentinian showed that he has fully recovered from the Monte Carlo injury and he will be a serious threat in the Roland Garros. Rafael Nadal had no problem whatsoever in dismissing Marcel Granollers with a double 6-1 and David Ferrer prevented Gilles Simon from winning his first set ever on clay against him when he secured the second set tiebreak (6-0, 7-6). Tomas Berdych beat Nicolas Almagro 7-6, 6-3. There was an incident during a match at the Australian Open where the Spaniard involuntarily hit the Czech while volleying at the net. Yet the funniest episode involved the man who watered the court at the end of the set and an unlucky linesman who was soaked during the process.

In the night session Juan Martin Del Potro didn’t put much effort in the match he lost 6-4, 6-1 to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after having been up a break in the first set. Del Potro appeared to be dealing with knee pain.  The Argentinian didn’t appreciate the humidity and the match went quickly. Roger Federer struggled a bit to get rid of Juan Carlos Ferrrero but eventually won 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.

 

In the women’s draw Petra Kvitova needed three sets to beat Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 although she looked relaxed during the vastly deserted news conference. Venus Williams made a giant leap towards the Olympics with her win against Stosur 6-4, 6-3 and Serena Williams secured a big match against Flavia Pennetta disposing of Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3, 6-1. The Italian is the last local woman remaining thanks to her stunning performance against Petra Cetkovska 6-0, 6-1. Roland Garros champion Na Li won against Chanelle Scheepers 7-6, 6-2 and will face Dominika Cibulkova who received a walkover on Wednesday  when Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the tournament with a  shoulder injury. A solid win for Maria Sharapova who trailed early during the match against Ana Ivanovic, saving set points yet still managed to prevail 7-6, 6-3.

 

Enrico Maria Riva is in Rome covering the Internazionali BNL D’Italia for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his twitter updates on @TennisNewsTPN and his personal twitter @EnricoMariaRiva.

Enrico Maria Riva is the tennis columnist for the Italian online newspaper Il Post and also writes for the Matchpoint magazine and for the websites Spaziotennis.com and Thetennisspace.com.

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Kourtin’ Karen’s Tennis News Scoreboard – Week Ending January 9, 2011

15-0

Walking on air water – the 2011 tennis season has begun!


15-15

Back on the bottom

Fresh off of serving a shortened suspension for HGH possession,  Wayne Odesnik  will compete this week in a USTA Pro Circuit Futures event, the $10,000 Plantation Open in Plantation, Florida.


30-15

Planning Ahead

The WTA has announced the 2012 and 2013 calendars 2012_WTA_Calendar 2013_WTA_Calendar


30-30

Marital Mishaps

Stan Wawrinka announced his separation from his wife on twitter this week : “I would like to announce my separation with my wife Ilham Vuilloud. Our main concern now is to look after the best interests and….. education of our daughter Alexia.”

During Thursday’s loss to Andrea Petkovic in Brisbane, Jarmila Groth and her husband Sam were heard cursing at each other during an on -court coaching session. Mrs. Groth’s coach was absent so her husband filled in.  Mrs. Groth was later apologetic and blamed the outburst on the intensity of the match.


30-40

Break point- flu in the desert

Rafael Nadal was battling the flu last week in Doha Qatar and was ousted in the semifinals by Nikolay Davydenko. Nadal intends to delay his travel to Melbourne until he gets over his illness. Despite the flu, he and his partner Marc Lopez won the doubles title at the Qatar Open.


Deuce

In the News this week

Racquet swapping – Maria Sharapova is now with Head, Caroline Wozniacki with Yonex and Ernests Gulbis with Wilson.

Kei Nishkori has signed a five-year sponsorship agreement with a leading Japanese apparel retailer – UNIQLO.

Andy Murray is negotiations for renewing deals with Highland Spring water and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Former No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo has been named joint director of the WTA Paris Open.

Wilson Racquet Sports Rolls Out Social Media for the Australian Open.

Fed Cup Nominations for Asia/Oceania Zone Group I and II, and Americas Zone Group I announced

2011-12 USTA Board of Directors Takes Office

Expanded and Re-Formatted Champions Series Tennis Circuit to Debut in the Fall


Advantage

Ma-hoot!

With all the injures during Hopman Cup which forced retirements and team withdrawals, a special exhibition match was held with US team Bethanie Mattek -Sands and John Isner facing off against French team Nicolas Mahut and Kristina Mladenovic. Highlight of the quickly organized match – Nicolas Mahut wearing his partner’s dress and Mattek Sands’ socks.

The Hopman Cup was also the scene for a rematch of the combatants in the  longest match in tennis history- John Isner needed just 90 minutes to defeat Nicholas Mahut 6-3, 7-6.


Deuce

“Tweeners” of the Week

Laura Robson

Nicolas Mahut

Another week another between-the-legs shot, this week there were at least three of them – Roger Federer in Doha, Laura Robson and Nicolas Mahut at Hopman Cup.


Disadvantage

Injuries

Out of the Australian Open: Juan Carlos Ferrero, Laura Robson, Paul-Henri Mathieu.


Deuce

A double pleasure is waiting for you….

In a spoof of the old Doublemint Gum spots, the Bryan Brothers are featured in a new ESPN “It’s Not Crazy It’s Sports” promotional campaign.


Advantage

Outfits of the week


From Hopman Cup this week-Bethanie Mattek-Sands wearing what appear to be  pajama pants and Nicolas Mahut in a Lacoste tennis dress.


Game, Set, Match and Champions This Week:

John Isner and Bethanie Mattek-Sands took home the Hopman Cup for the USA.

Greta Arn of  Hungary took Auckland by storm, leveling Maria Sharapova along the way.

Petra Kvitova Czeched out the trophy in Brisbane.

Roger Federer captured the Qatar crown.

Another Swiss in the winner’s circle this week as Stanislas Wawrinka wins his second Chennai title.

Not only was Robin Soderling victorious in Brisbane, but his tournament win has moved him to No. 4 in the rankings leapfrogging Andy Murray.

[Read more...]

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