2014/07/29

International Premier Tennis League Launched

Paris, France (May 24th, 2013) – Mahesh Bhupathi, Boris Becker and Justin Gimelstob announced the launch of the IPTL - International Premier Tennis League on Friday.

The IPTL  is a city/country based franchise led league involving not only the current Men’s and Women’s players but also the Legends of the game.

The Franchises in the League will be city based across Asia. The first season of the IPTL will witness participation of 6 teams. Additional teams will be added in the 2nd and 3rd seasons of the League.

Each match will consist of 5 sets with no-ad scoring: Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Legends Singles (Men)

The IPTL will be held in December 2014 as the Player Auction will be organized in Melbourne in January 2014. IPTL has confirmed player participation from Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Li Na, Thomas Berdych, Janko Tipsarevic, Lleyton Hewitt, John Isner, Caroline Wozniacki, Pete Sampras and Carlos Moya.

 

“I believe the future consumer wants to belong to something – and having a team they can support will be what motivates them to become a consumer of tennis. We have put together the ingredients to create something exciting that will activate the entire tennis industry,” said league founder and ATP doubles player Mahesh Bhupathi.

 

Former World No. 1 Boris Becker and Founding Partner of the league said, “This is what the sport needs, the best players in the world playing in a new time sensitive format that would get TV networks excited. Hopefully this can grow into a worldwide property with multiple team owners.”

 

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic said that it’s a revolutionary idea: “It will change the image of the sport and help its popularity. I really look forward to be part of that competition and play.”

 

“It’s like a dream come true to play with Legends. Playing on a team is fun and really kind of cool. I like it.” said world No.1 Serena Williams.

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Gimelstob Among Those to be Inducted Into Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame

USTA Eastern Logo (150)

New York, N.Y. – A former ATP pro and tennis TV commentator, a New York City tennis legend, and a lifelong Eastern volunteer will become part of USTA Eastern history on April 25, 2013, as the Junior Tennis Foundation hosts its 26th Annual Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame Dinner at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City.

The three people who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame are: Justin Gimelstob, a commentator for the Tennis Channel and 1998 Australian and French Open mixed doubles champion; Steve Ross, a teaching pro in Brooklyn and a legendary Eastern player in the late 1960s and 1970s; and Marina Nudo, a longtime Eastern volunteer from Rochester, N.Y. and a former president of Eastern and the Junior Tennis Foundation.

 

Proceeds from the annual dinner benefit the Junior Tennis Foundation, which provides scholarships for junior players and special populations throughout the Eastern section.
“For 26 years, the Junior Tennis Foundation helped create opportunities for the next generation of Eastern tennis players,” said Bob Ingersole, President of the Junior Tennis Foundation. “And this year, we are excited to recognize three outstanding individuals who have each played a major role in the section’s history.”

Since its creation in 1979, the JTF has given out more than $2 million in grants to junior and special populations in the Eastern section.

“The Junior Tennis Foundation has been an important supporter of USTA’s Eastern junior players and programs,” said Gerry Cuva, President of USTA Eastern. “And the Hall of Fame Dinner is a great way to thank the organization for all it has given to the sport.”

The dinner will be held from 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm. The Rubin Museum of Art is located at 150 W. 17th St in New York, NY. To buy tickets for the dinner or advertise in the dinner journal, visit http://easternhalloffame.com. For more information, contact the Eastern office at 914-697-2300.

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Djokovic, Sampras, Fish and the Bryan Brothers Among Those to Particpate in LA Tennis Challenge

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(March 4, 2013) LOS ANGELES – The inaugural LA Tennis Challenge took place on Monday night on the campus of UCLA at the recently renovated Pauley Pavilion. Participating in the event to raise money for charity were world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Former No. 1 and member of the tennis Hall of Fame Pete Sampras, Bob and Mike Bryan, James Blake, Tommy Haas and former player Justin Gimelstob.

Los Angeles’ ATP World Tour event, the Farmers Classic, their license was sold to Colombian investors who took it to their home country. Former UCLA Bruin Gimelstob wants to keep pro tennis alive in Los Angeles and organized the event.

Singles and doubles exhibition matches took place including Djokovic pairing with his idol Sampras.

Celebrities in attendance included actress Jodie Foster, actor Bruce Willis and actor/comedian and tennis fan Rainn Wilson.

Proceeds from the event are to benefit the Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the Novak Djokovic Foundation, Call to Cure and the Southern California Tennis Association’s community tennis initiatives.

 

All photos by Maria Noble

 

 

 

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Tennis Channel’s Davenport and Gimelstob to Appear on CSI

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 21, 2013 – As Tennis Channel’s analysts Lindsay Davenport and Justin Gimelstob fulfill their current on-air duties during the network’s extensive coverage of the Australian Open, they will also debut their acting chops in a tennis-themed episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on CBS on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 10 p.m. ET.

Tennis Channel CSI Photo

Davenport, a three-time Grand Slam champion, and Gimelstob, a two-time mixed doubles champion, will guest star as themselves when the CSI team investigates the death of a professional female tennis player in the episode titled, “Double Fault.”

 

Tennis Hall of Famer and ESPN analyst Chris Evert will also appear in the episode.

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A Peek Into Season Three of “World of Tennis”

 

(December 5, 2012) NEW YORK, NY – The “World of Tennis Presented by BNP Paribas” enters its third season this year debuting on Tennis Channel.

The 30-minute seven episode program includes “Holding Court,” an interview segment hosted by Justin Gimelstob.

“It’s an opportunity to go deep,” said  show host and former touring pro turned tennis broadcaster Gimelstob of his “Holding Court” segment.

“It’s not a post-match ‘How did you play, what do you need to do to win your next match.’ It’s an opportunity to learn about people and I love people, I love telling the stories. I love the connection. I love being able to help people know more about the sport of tennis and the people that they look up to. I’m truly a lover of the sport a proponent and believer in tennis. The best way to grow the sport is to get people folks that are connected. To be able to do that is a long form interview. So I think that’s been something missing from our sport. Hopefully this could be something that could be the start of something very, very significant.

“Hopefully my relationships with the players in the sport make them more comfortable and more comfortable means they are more willing to open up.”

The show’s producer Jennie Silverstein talked about what would surprise viewers most about what goes on “behind-the-scenes” at “World of Tennis.”

“I think it might be how genuine what you see on the air is,” said the veteran tennis producer. “If you were to be hanging around while we were filming, you might not know when we actually started rolling the cameras. So many of these conversations you see on air continue once the camera stops.

“Some of the issues we get into with the Tennis.com team are things I think they could debate for hours if you gave them the chance. The “Holding Court” segments tend to be more conversations than a Q&A, so it’s almost like you just happened upon Justin and the guest in a coffee shop, not a formal interview set. I think that feeling of comfort is one of the strong suits of the show.”

“I think viewers will enjoy this new season. Our roundtable discussions with the Tennis.com editorial staff is always enjoyable because these guys know the sport so well. It’s like a guilty pleasure to eavesdrop on their debates. To have Jimmy Connors sit down for a long form interview with Justin for “Holding Court” was a great thrill because he doesn’t do a ton of interviews. There’s a long way to go during the season, but I look forward to the World Tennis Day preview in our final episode because that’s such a great initiative for the sport and I think we’ll be able to uniquely look ahead to what’s in store on March 4 with not only the BNP Paribas Showdown events in New York and Hong Kong but also the grassroots activities around the world.”

So what does it take to produce this type of program? “From start to finish, it takes a few weeks to do each episode, but the amount of day-to-day work varies during those weeks,” Silverstein elaborated. “Like anything, it starts with planning. We work to line up guests for Holding Court and topics for the Tennis.com staff to discuss. There are considerable logistics for the “Holding Court” interviews, including getting personnel to the interview locations, hiring crews, etc. So that’s time consuming. It’s easier with the Tennis.com group because they are here in New York, but we still have to coordinate schedules and a crew. The interviews take a day to shoot. Then the shows take a few days to edit, and that’s probably the trickiest part. You have to balance managing the time allotted for a particular segment against the content that is available. Once we have that formatted, we go through add other imagery and graphics to really complete the package.

“Producing live tennis and producing this show are very different,” said Silverstein who has produced at all of the “Grand Slams, ” Masters Series tournaments and many other tennis events.  “World of Tennis has a specific length, so everything we do has to fit within that parameter. A tennis match has it’s own pace and no set time limit. We can set an agenda for World of Tennis, and plan what stories we want to tell. A live match is more reactionary to how the match unfolds. So they both have unique challenges. I enjoy being able to be involved in both sides of it because they are so different. Regardless of that format, tennis is intriguing because of how many individual stories there are in the sport. Whether it’s World of Tennis or a match, the story telling is something I enjoy.”

Gimelstob is excited about the upcoming season with interviews with Hall of Famers Jimmy Connors and Boris Becker, current pros Serena Williams, Andy Murray, Juan Martin Del Potro and tennis enthusiast, skier Lindsay Vonn.

“It’s a really nice mix of the most well-known people in the sport from the past, the present and the future,” said Gimelstob.

The show will air every other Wednesday  beginning December 5, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. EST, until February 27 with a re-broadcast on Tennis Channel.

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

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Third Season of “World of Tennis” to Debut on Tennis Channel December 5

(November 29, 2012) NEW YORK, N.Y. – StarGames and MSG Sports have announced that the third season of “World of Tennis Presented by BNP Paribas” will debut next week. The first of seven episodes of the bi-weekly series will premiere on Tennis Channel at 7:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 5.

The 30-minute show will feature “Holding Court,” a profile segment hosted by Justin Gimelstob that this year will include interviews with tennis legends Jimmy Connors and Boris Becker as well as Olympic gold medal skier and tennis fan Lindsay Vonn. In the first two years of the show, Gimelstob’s guests included Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick and “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson.

The hot topics of tennis will also be covered on each episode during a round table discussion with Sports Illustrated Senior Writer Jon Wertheim and the editorial staff at Tennis.com.

Tennis Channel will debut a new episode of the magazine show every other Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. EST, until February 27. Each show will then re-air on Tennis Channel.

“We’re happy to have the new season of World of Tennis back on Tennis Channel again,” said David Scott, vice president, programming, Tennis Channel. “Since its inception the series has allowed our viewers to get an insider’s look at some of the most exciting players and pressing issues in the sport today.”

The season finale on February 27 will be a preview of World Tennis Day, which includes BNP Paribas Showdown events in New York City and Hong Kong on March 4. The sixth annual event in New York at Madison Square Garden is part of Tennis Night in America (TNIA) and will feature Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams, Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal. TNIA is an annual celebration of the sport in the United States which encourages 10-and-under tennis.

The BNP Paribas Showdown at AsiaWorld-Arena will mark the event’s first year in Hong Kong and will feature Li Na, Caroline Wozniacki, Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe.

“There is a lot of tennis on television, but I think ‘World of Tennis’ separates itself as a unique look at the personalities and stories in the game,” said Jerry Solomon, executive producer and president of StarGames. “It is only possible to present this show with the help of our partners at MSG and BNP Paribas. Collectively, we want to present tennis to the widest possible audience, and this show is a chance to not only showcase tennis but also to give fans a real inside look at the stories and personalities that make the game so compelling.”

Long-time tennis producer Jennie Silverstein will produce “World of Tennis Presented by BNP Paribas” for StarGames and MSG Sports. BNP Paribas, a leader in banking and financial services and the world No. 1 tennis partner, will be presenting sponsor, with additional support being provided by Tennis Magazine, Wilson, Getty Images, USTA, Tennis Night in America and the BNP Paribas Showdown.

Video highlights and uncut versions of the interviews from “World of Tennis Presented by BNP Paribas” are found on www.stargamesinc.com.

More information on the BNP Paribas Showdown events in New York and Hong Kong can be found on www.worldtennisday.com.

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