2015/05/22

Rafter Rallies Past McEnroe To Win NASDAQ Indexes Cup in Madison Square Garden

(November 5, 2012) NEW YORK, NY– Two-time US Open Champion, Australia’s Patrick Rafter won his second PowerShares Series title in four days by defeating hometown boy John McEnroe, 8-3 in the championship match of the NASDAQ Indexes Cup Monday night at Madison Square Garden. Rafter won last Friday’s event I Philadelphia. Rafter, down 1-3 in the final, won the next seven games to take the match.

 

“It’s just a thrill for me to be back out here competing in front of the fans again,” said Rafter. “I had never played in this building, so what an added thrill, and a dream come true for me. I can’t thank the fans enough for coming out tonight to watch us play, in light of what this part of the country has been through lately. I hope we were able to provide some good entertainment.”

Rafter who promised before the match that he would serve and volley on every chance he could, used his aggressiveness to take down Pete Sampras 6-3 in the first semifinal of the night. Sampras was sporting knee-high socks due to a calf strain.

 

In the second semifinal, New York’s own John McEnroe, zoomed out to a 4-0 lead over Andre Agassi. Agassi eventually gained back the two service breaks to draw even on serve at 4-5, but McEnroe broke him to seal the match 6-4.

 

For Rafter, this was his first time playing in Madison Square Garden. “I’m excited,” he said before the matches began. He said that had attended the Knicks game on Sunday and it made him very nervous. He said that he’d hope to play well and that he did.

The win moves Rafter into a tie for third in the 2012 PowerShares Series rankings with Jim Courier.

Monday Night Scores
Semifinal 1: Rafter def. Sampras, 6-3
Semifinal 2: McEnroe def. Agassi, 6-4
Final: Rafter def. McEnroe, 8-3

UPDATED 2012 POWERSHARES SERIES RANKINGS
1.            McEnroe              1200
2.            Sampras               1100
3.            Courier                 800
Rafter                   800
5.            Lendl                     400
6.            Chang                   200
7.            Agassi                   100
Martin                    100

More to follow

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Serena Williams, Azarenka, Del Potro Celebrate Next Year’s BNP Paribas Showdown

New York, NY – On Wednesday the sixth annual BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden was announced. The event which is scheduled for Monday, March 4, 2013 will feature World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, facing off against Serena Williams. Following the ladies will be Juan Martin del Potro, versus Rafael Nadal.

Friday early evening Azarenka, Williams and Del Potro met a select group of media at a small party to celebrate the Showdown.

Tennis Panorama News asked Del Potro about playing in the “World’s most famous arena.”

“I’m very proud to be part of this big, big show with big players, Rafa also playing, said the 2009 US Open winner. “It’s nice, I will enjoy it.”

Azarenka also spoke to Tennis Panorama on playing for the first time in Madison Square Garden: “I’m really excited to be part of this event and playing against Serena I think will be a great show. I always have been watching it on TV, so it’s definitely a great honor to be a part of and to play in Madison Square Garden, you know it’s extra special. I’ve never been here so, I’m really, really excited as well.

Rafael Nadal out of the US Open with a knee injury, was unable to attend.

Azarenka is the top women’s seed at the US Open which begins on August 27, with Williams at No. 4. Del Potro comes in to the tournament as the No. 7 seed.

 

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama

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Sharapova and Roddick Win with Laughs and Quality Tennis at the BNP Paribas Showdown

Caroline Wozniacki watches boyfriend and PGA Professional Rory McIlroy walk on the tennis court in her match against Maria Sharapova at the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 5, 2012. UPI/John Angelillo

 

 

NEW YORK, NY (March 5, 2012) – On Monday night in Madison Square Garden 18,079 people attended the BNP Paribas Showdown exhibition which saw World No. 2 Maria Sharapova defeat No. 4 Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-4, while No. 31 Andy Roddick topped No. 3 Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6 (7).

This was all a part of Tennis Night in America an annual celebration of tennis in collaboration with the USTA since 2008, with over 1,400 facilities hosting youth tennis events featuring 10 and Under Tennis throughout March all in an effort to get more children involved in playing tennis. Before the matches there was a demonstration of of 10 and under tennis with smaller racquets, foam balls played on the court with blended lines showing the shorter court lines within.

Maria Sharapova hits a backhand in the second set of her match against Caroline Wozniacki at the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 5, 2012. UPI/John Angelillo

In the first match Demark’s Wozniacki was broken in the opening game of the match and in the ninth game to give Russia’s Sharapova the first set 6-3.

The second set opened with Sharapova broken at love and Wozniacki headed for a 4-2 lead and lost the next four games – game, set, match Sharapova 6-3, 6-4.

The match was not without its lighter moments despite mostly intense tennis- Wozniacki and Sharapova danced with spectators. With Wozniacki a game away from losing she invited her boyfriend the No. 1 golfer Rory McIlroy to pay a point against Sharapova which he won when Sharapova hit a lob wide on the sideline.

 

Wozniacki said, ”He was not too pleased with me but at least he can say he played tennis at Madison Square Garden.

“Not a lot of people can say that, so he got an experience out of it and he got to play against Maria.”

McIlroy also noted that ”I’ve won a few (points) off Caroline.”

 

In jest, Sharapova told Patrick McEnroe covering the event for ESPN “He (McIlroy) won more points than Caroline did.”

Andy Roddick shakes hands with Roger Federer after their match at the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 5, 2012. UPI/John Angelillo

The men also had some fun of their own.  During the American’s  win over the Swiss, a few fans yelled, “Let’s go, Rafa!” So Roddick obliged them by pushing up his sleeves and placing his racquet in his left hand, but ended up playing the point right-handed and grunting with each strike of the ball like Rafael Nadal. After Roddick won the point, he celebrated Nadal-style with by copying the Spaniard’s vintage “vamos” fist pump.

The men also exchanged between-the-leg shots (aka “tweeners”) in one rally, Federer made it, Roddick hit his into the net.

 

The first set saw both men exchange breaks, Roddick with the ultimate break for the set to go up 6-5 and he closed it out on his serve. Both men held serve in the second set and forced a tie break. Roddick saved a Federer set point at 5-6 and took the tiebreak 9-7 and the match in straight sets.

“It’s pretty clear tonight. . . I’m in Roger’s head.”

“I was real excited when I got the invite to play here” Roddick said. “I grew up an avid sports fan and the things I remember most vividly are Jordan playing here, him coming back here, and the first time he came back after that, Reggie Miller and Spike Lee talking trash to each other- all that great stuff. To be able to play here, where so much history has happened in every area of entertainment, was a real special experience for me.

“Tonight it felt good. Honestly I really enjoyed myself and that lead to me playing well. So hopefully I can use this a little bit. I had a great time.”

 

Federer added: “lt was a chance to build great momentum but it was a tough trip and was a tough day today. Andy played great. I was really happy to see him playing so well. I have been around the globe playing tennis myself. I heard Andy was struggling a little bit so it is good to see him play so well and hopefully he can make another run at the top-10. I really enjoyed myself tonight and hope to be back some day.”

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

Morning “Showtime” for BNP Paribas Showdown For Federer, Roddick, Sharapova and WozniackiTennis Night in America Spokesman McEnroe Says There is “Work to Be Done” To Get Kids into Tennis

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Morning “Showtime” for BNP Paribas Showdown For Federer, Roddick, Sharapova and Wozniacki

NEW YORK, NY – Jumeirah Essex House (March 5, 2012) – In a Monday morning news conference preceding Monday night’s BNP Paribas Showdown featuring Maria Sharapova taking on Caroline Wozniacki and Roger Federer playing Andy Roddick at Madison Square Garden, the participants enjoyed a little “hit and giggle” banter.

Raw audio of  news conference – warning low audio levels.

The BNP Paribas Showdown is produced by MSG Sports and StarGames, Inc.

The BNP Paribas Showdown is part of Tennis Night in America, an annual celebration of tennis that includes youth registration events at facilities around the country throughout March. Tennis Night in America is a joint effort between the BNP Paribas Showdown and the United States Tennis Association.

Tennis Panorama News will media for the event, follow us here and on our twitter account for live updates.

The Showdown is being broadcast live on ESPN3.com  and ESPN International beginning at 7 p.m. ET. It will re-air at 11:30pm on ESPN2. MSG Networks will re-broadcast the BNP Paribas Showdown beginning on March 16 at 8:00 p.m. on MSG Plus and again on March 18at 10:00 p.m. on MSG.

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Kourtin’ Karen’s MSG Scoreboard

15 – 0
Tennis is back at Madison Square Garden after almost a decade absence!

globalvillagetennisnews.com16 by you.
The snow did not stop the show! The greatest disservice done by both the ATP and WTA tours was the day that they moved their respective Year End Championships out of MSG! Tennis needs to played in the World’s Greatest Arena!

15-15
Leave the babies at home!

I know that childcare is difficult to find, but crying babies do not belong at a tennis match! I’m sure this threw off Venus’ serve.


30- 15
Strike a pose…
globalvillagetennisnews.com26 by you.

Is it my imagination or does Jelena Jankovic think she’s the only one in the picture! Vogue, baby, vogue! Work, supermodel, work!

30-30
MSG Tennis Fashion Police

Winners:

Venus Williams and her yellow dress! She always looks fabulous in it.

Jelena Jankovic’s orange dress. JJ can go from hopping the court to hopping the clubs and all she needs to do is to change her shoes.

Misdemeanor:
Serena Williams, great dress and a great color but too tight! Ree you do need to breathe!

Felony:
Ana Ivanovic – the “Goddess Dress” looks gosh-awful! Love the color but the design has issues.

40-30
And the Applause Meter award goes to……

gvtn12 by you.

….former President Bill Clinton! With the exception of a few Serbs in the audience, New York City loves Bubba Clinton.

Deuce
Table Centerpiece of the night….

gvtn13 by you.

The VIPs were out and about at MSG but they were especially in full force inside MSG’s Expo Center located on the fifth floor. Take a look at this unusual table decoration which was essentially a bowl of grass. At first I thought that the horse show was coming to MSG after the tennis and these centerpieces were hors d’oeuvres for the future animal visitors or perhaps for the police horses?  Maybe someone thought it was a Wimbledon promotion or someone with a unique sense of humor. Hmmmm.


Advantage Disadvantage Fans

Call me a tennis purist, but I hate when fans cheer faults and yell in middle of points!

Again, please leave the babies at home!

Where was Hawkeye? There actually were some questionable calls. Someone should re-think that for next year’s showdown.


Deuce
Dashing “Dans and Danettes,” Change at Jamaica for……

Inthe spirit of full disclosure, I was born and raised on Long Island so when I saw tons of spectators dashing to the exits at around 10:20 PM,I knew that they were trying to catch the 10:40 train on the Babylon branch of the Long Island Railroad.

Advantage Serena Power

Serena Williams strokes were so powerful that NYC Mayor Bloomberg should ask her to hit a few forehands down Broadway. I’m sure that the force of the shots would move the snow better than the snowplows.

Deuce
Bring Back Michael Barkann!
gvtn19 by you.
Since USA Network will no longer carry the US Open, I personally will miss Barkann’s on court interviews. I hope that some network will come to their senses and hire him!

Advantage: Press Freebie of the Day:
gvtn26 by you.
A can of Penn tennis balls made just for this special event. The BNP Paribas logo is also on the balls!

Advantage – a happy (despite losing) Venus
gvtn25 by you.

Afterall the  conferences and the interviews, Venus shares a smile with a friend. I’d be smiling too having won 300K for less than three hours work!

Game, Set, Match and Favorite Photo of the day….
gvtn17 by you.

After her News Conference Ana Ivanovic takes the time to sign autographs for fans. She’s as sweet as she looks. The happy gentleman next to Ana will brag about this photo to his pals for the rest of his life!

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Serena Stars in MSG Showdown

globalvillagetennisnews.com21 by you.

Serena Williams is the Queen of Madison Square Garden! She knocked out Ana Ivanovic and then out powered her sister Venus to win the BNP Paribas Showdown for Billie Jean King Cup. Not bad for her debut in MSG. She takes home a nice check for 400K. The event was broadcast live by HBO Sports.

A special ceremony highlighted by former US President Bill Clinton honored Billie Jean King.

The “Showdown” was part of “Tennis Night in America” sponsored by the USTA to encourage youngsters to sign up and participate in the sport. More than 750 community and tennis centers were involved in the event.

Semifinal #1 Venus Williams vs Jelena Jankovic
gvtn6 by you.
Jelena Jankovic just could not keep up with the power of Venus Williams, especially on her serve. In the critical ninth game of the match Venus broke Jelena at love as Williams’ power forced Jankovic into errors. Venus Williams wins the set 6-4

Semifinal Match # 2 Ana Ivanovic vs. Serena Williams

Ivanovic failed to capitalize on multiple break points and when you don’t take advantage, Serena Williams makes you pay. Serena Williams takes the set 6-3.

Losing Semifinalists’ News Conference
gvtn16 by you.

Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic’s News Conference. Listen to part one here Part two.

gvtn15 by you.

Ana and Jelena were presented tokens of appreciation for their participation.

The Final Showdown: Venus vs. Serena

gvtn18 by you.
You knew it had to happen in the “World’s Most Famous Arena.” It’s the match most wanted to see and fans got their wish. Venus started strong taking a 4-2 lead, after that Venus seemed to have no control over her serve. She began to have issues with her ball toss and placement. Serena began to stomp all over Venus’ shaky serves and won the next six games in a row and 11 out of 12 games taking the first set 6-4 and going up multiple breaks in the second set  to take a 5-1 lead. Venus fought back to take a break back, but Serena closed out the set and the match. Serena wins 6-4, 6-3.

Although not a packed house due to the blizzard, credit the souls who braved the weather to support women’s tennis. Save the date –March 1, 2010. This is the anticipated date for next year’s battle for the Billie Jean King Cup.

Finalists’ News Conference
gvtn21 by you.

Williams Sisters during post-match News Conference. Listen to it here.

gvtn23 by you.
gvtn24 by you.
Venus and Serena do a post-post-match interview with television.

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©Kourtin’ Karen’s MSG Scoreboard for the BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup!



15 – 0
Tennis is back at Madison Square Garden after almost a decade absence!

globalvillagetennisnews.com16 by you.
Thesnow did not stop the show! The greatest disservice done by both theATP and WTA tours was the day that they moved their respective Year EndChampionships out of MSG! Tennis needs to played in the World’sGreatest Arena!

15-15
Leave the babies at home!

Iknow that childcare is difficult to find, but crying babies do notbelong at a tennis match! I’m sure this threw off Venus’ serve.


30- 15
Strike a pose…
globalvillagetennisnews.com26 by you.

Isit my imagination or does Jelena Jankovic think she’s the only one inthe picture! Vogue, baby, vogue! Work, supermodel, work!

30-30
MSG Tennis Fashion Police

Winners:

Venus Williams and her yellow dress! She always looks fabulous in it.

JelenaJankovic’s orange dress. JJ can go from hopping thecourt to hopping the clubs and all she needs to do is to change hershoes.

Misdemeanor:
Serena Williams, great dress and a great color but too tight! Ree you do need to breathe!

Felony:
Ana Ivanovic – the “Goddess Dress” looks gosh-awful! Love the color but the design has issues.

40-30
And the Applause Meter award goes to……

gvtn12 by you.

….former President Bill Clinton! With the exception of a few Serbs in the audience, New York City loves Bubba Clinton.

Deuce
Table Centerpiece of the night….

gvtn13 by you.

TheVIPs were out and about at MSG but they were especially in full forceinside MSG’s Expo Center located on the fifth floor. Take a look atthis unusual table decoration which was essentially a bowl of grass. Atfirst I thought that the horse show was coming to MSG after the tennisand these centerpieces were hors d’oeuvres for the future animalvisitors or perhaps for the police horses?  Maybe someone thought itwas a Wimbledon promotion or someone with a unique sense of humor.Hmmmm.


Advantage Disadvantage Fans

Call me a tennis purist, but I hate when fans cheer faults and yell in middle of points!

Again, please leave the babies at home!

Where was Hawkeye? There actually were some questionable calls. Someone should re-think that for next year’s showdown.


Deuce
Dashing “Dans and Danettes,” Change at Jamaica for……

Inthe spirit of full disclosure, I was born and raised on Long Island sowhen I saw tons of spectators dashing to the exits at around 10:20 PM,I knew that they were trying to catch the 10:40 train on the Babylonbranch of the Long Island Railroad.

Advantage Serena Power

SerenaWilliams strokes were so powerful that NYC Mayor Bloomberg should askher to hit a few forehands down Broadway. I’m sure that the force ofthe shots would move the snow better than the snowplows.

Deuce
Bring Back Michael Barkann!
gvtn19 by you.
SinceUSA Network will no longer carry the US Open, I personally will missBarkann’s on court interviews. I hope that some network will come totheir senses and hire him!

Advantage: Press Freebie of the Day:
gvtn26 by you.
A can of Penn tennis balls made just for this special event. The BNP Paribas logo is also on the balls!

Advantage – a happy (despite losing) Venus
gvtn25 by you.

Afterall the  conferences and the interviews, Venus shares a smile with afriend. I’d be smiling too having won 300K for less than three hourswork!

Game, Set, Match and Favorite Photo of the day….
gvtn17 by you.

Afterher News Conference Ana Ivanovic takes the time to sign autographs forfans. She’s as sweet as she looks. The happy gentleman next to Anawill brag about this photo to his pals for the rest of his life!

- ©Kourtin’ Karen

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