Nadal Returns to Hard Court Play at the BNP Paribas Open This Weekend



Rafel Nadal photo from http://wsenetwork.com


(March 4, 2013) NEW YORK, NY – Rafael Nadal will play his first hard court event since his return to the tennis tour later this week at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California. Nadal was sidelined seven months due to a knee injury. He bgean his comeback on the “Golden Swing” going 12-1, winning clay court events in Sao Paulo and Acapulco.


Nadal said that he can’t predict the future with his knee.”I go day by day,” Nadal noted in a morning news confernce in cojunction with BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, where he will play Juan Martin Del Potro. Serena Williams will play Victoria Azarenka to open the event which part of World Tennis Day.


“After seven months with a lot of pain in my knee, I don’t have the chance to decide which one will be my schedule for the future. I try to enjoy every one.”

“I have to see how the knee will last at Indian Wells next week, Nadal said. “Having the chance to play at Indian Wells is great. I didn’t know one week ago if I would be able to play at Indian Wells.”


“Today I know I can play on clay. I will try next week on the hard, he added. “Playing tennis will be a process to adapt my knee to the competition. I hope I will keep having the chances to play the normal calendar as I did in past years.”


Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama


Tennis’ BNP Paribas Showdown Live from MSG on March 4


(February 26, 2013) ESPN3 and ESPN2 will present live the BNP Paribas Showdown 2013 from Madison Square Garden in New York on Monday, March 4, with two matches: a US Open rematch between the world’s top two ranked players, Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka followed by Rafael Nadal – who recently returned to action after being sidelined since Wimbledon last summer – facing former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro.

ESPN holds exclusive live rights to the matches, and ESPN3 will begin at 7 p.m. ET with ESPN2 joining at 9 p.m. Chris Fowler will call the matches with Cliff Drysdale, Mary Joe Fernandez and Patrick McEnroe. The Nadal-Del Potro match will also be available on broadband in the U.S. in Spanish on ESPN Deportes +.

“The BNP Paribas Showdown – with top stars in compelling matchups from a venue rich in tennis history – launches a great month of tennis from ESPN, crisscrossing the country from Indian Wells to Miami and in early April the Family Circle Cup from Charleston,” said Jason Bernstein, senior director, programming and acquisitions in ESPN’s programming department. “We enjoyed a successful start to the year with the Australian Open, and ESPN is there with a year-round narrative, showcasing the deepest tennis schedule on television, broadband and via WatchESPN for fans on the go.”

Williams, holder of 15 major titles, regained the world’s top ranking after last week’s WTA event in Qatar, despite losing to Azarenka in the final 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-3. Azarenka, winner of the last two Australian Open championships, is now ranked No. 2. The two return to New York, where Williams defeated Azarenka in last September’s thrilling three-set US Open final.

Nadal, who counts seven French Open titles among his 11 major victories, recently returned to action after a seven-month hiatus because of injury. He recently reached the final of both singles and doubles in his first comeback event and is ranked No. 5 in the world. He has not competed in the U.S. since playing in Miami last March. Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champ, is currently ranked No. 7.

The BNP Paribas Showdown from MSG will air live internationally on ESPN’s networks in more than 130 countries and over 47 million households throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, UK, Middle East, Africa and the Pacific Rim, including on ESPN Latin America in Del Potro’s home country of Argentina. In addition, ESPN’s broadband players in Latin America & the Caribbean (ESPN Play) and Australia & New Zealand (ESPN3) will also stream live simulcast coverage of this event.

BNP Paribas Showdown
Tickets remain available for the BNP Paribas Showdown and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office and all Ticketmaster outlets. The event is produced by StarGames and MSG Sports, and it takes place on Tennis Night in America as part of World Tennis Day. Youth participation events will be held around the world on March 4 in conjunction with the ITF and national governing bodies, including an extensive roster of events in the United States in partnership with the USTA. To find a participating location in the US, visit www.youthtennis.com. More information on the global events, including the BNP Paribas Showdown, can be found at www.WorldTennisDay.com.

Upcoming Tennis from ESPN
In addition to the BNP Paribas Open from New York on March 4, in March ESPN will present action from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., March 15 – 17, the Sony Open Tennis in Miami from March 27 – 29, and the WTA Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C. April 4-7.


2013 BNP Paribas Showdown to feature Nadal, Del Potro, Serena Williams and Azarenka



New York, NY (August 22, 2012) – New York area tennis fans are in for another great night of tennis  with some of the world’s top players scheduled to appear for the sixth annual BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden on Monday, March 4, 2013.   World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, the reigning Australian Open champion and Olympic bronze medalist, will get the night started against Wimbledon champion and Olympic gold medalist Serena Williams. Following the women will be Argentine Davis Cup star, 2009 US Open champion and Olympic bronze medalist Juan Martin del Potro, who will step onto The Garden court against one of the game’s all-time greats, former World No. 1 and eleven time Grand Slam champion, Rafael Nadal.


The BNP Paribas Showdown is produced by MSG Sports and StarGames. Tickets will start at $50.00 and will go on sale October 9 @ 10:00 a.m. and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, online at www.thegarden.com and all Ticketmaster outlets.  For more information and an opportunity to sign up for pre-sale alerts prior to tickets going on sale, fans can visit www.tennisshowdown.com.


“While I am disappointed to be missing a trip to New York for the US Open I am happy to announce that I will be coming to New York to play at Madison Square Garden on March 4,” said Nadal.  “New York has many great memories for me and I am really looking forward to playing against Juan Martin in front of all of the New York tennis fans that night.”


“New York and the New York fans represent something special for me as I had my first Grand Slam win here,” said del Potro.  “So it will be great to come to Madison Square Garden and play in a world famous arena against Rafa which should bring out a lot of flags from Spain and Argentina, making it an exciting night of entertaining tennis. I am really looking forward to playing in the Showdown.”


“I always love playing in New York and at Madison Square Garden,” said Williams.  “The last time I played there I won the Billie Jean King Cup which was a huge honor for me. It will be exciting to be back at the Showdown with the other great players. I am sure it will be another fantastic night.”


Azarenka added: “I have heard from some of the other players how exciting it is to play in the Showdown at Madison Square Garden so I am really looking forward to being part of the event. It should be a great night for tennis.”


“We have had tremendous success with The BNP Paribas Showdown, building on the storied tennis history at The Garden that spans more than 80 years. The annual event continually attracts the biggest names in the sport, garners support from industry leading brands as marketing partners and fills The World’s Most Famous Arena with a sold-out crowd that includes the who’s who of New York,” said Scott O’Neil, president, MSG Sports. “The Garden is the place where legends come to perform, and we are thrilled to have Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin del Potro, Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka perform on the world’s biggest stage on March 4.”


“It is hard to believe that this is the sixth year of the BNP Paribas Showdown which has now established itself on the tennis calendar as one of the most entertaining nights of the year,” said Jerry Solomon, Executive Producer and President of StarGames.  “We are honored to have Rafa, Serena, Juan Martin and Victoria join a list of only the very best in tennis who have played at the Showdown. It promises to be another ‘must see’ event for New York tennis fans.”


“We at BNP Paribas are delighted to be the title sponsor of this terrific event in the heart of NYC for the fifth consecutive year,” said Michele Sicard, BNP Paribas Managing Director of Corporate Communications.  “It keeps getting better every year and we look forward to another fantastic BNP Paribas Showdown featuring some of the best tennis players in the world.”


“Tennis Night in America” has annually marked the start of the tennis season in the United States and begins a month of professional events that include the BNP Paribas Open and Sony Ericsson Open.


One of the most exciting players of all-time, Rafael “Rafa” Nadal, is currently ranked No. 3 in the world and is a former World No.1 player.   Nadal, “The King of Clay,” has won a total of eleven Grand Slam singles titles, including an all-time record seven French Open championships; the 2008 Olympic gold medal; and a record 21 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments; and was also part of the Spain Davis Cup team that won the finals in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2011.


The Spaniard is the seventh player in history to complete the Career Grand Slam by winning the 2010 US Open and only the second male player to complete the Career Golden Slam (winner of the Career Grand Slam and the Olympic gold medal) after Andre Agassi. He has at least two Grand Slam titles on each of the three surfaces and is the second male player to win any Grand Slam tournament seven times, matching Pete Sampras’ and Roger Federer’s seven Wimbledon titles.


Juan Martin del Potro, is currently the eighth ranked player in the world and the highest ranked Argentine player on the tour.  He broke the top-10 ranking in 2008 and reached his career-high ranking or No. 4 in 2010.  He was named the Comeback Player of the Year in 2011 after rising from a low of No. 485 to finish the season at World No. 11.


In 2008, del Potro became the first player in ATP history to win his first four career titles in as many tournaments. Del Potro captured his first Grand Slam title at the 2009 US Open, defeating Nadal in the semifinal and Roger Federer in the final becoming the first man to defeat both heavyweights in the same Grand Slam tournament. Del Potro is the only player other than Novak Djokovic, Nadal and Federer to have won a grand slam singles title since 2005. He became the second Argentine and the fifth-youngest man to win the US Open title in the Open Era. Del Potro recently captured the bronze medal at the London Olympics in 2012.


Serena Williams, currently ranked No. 4, has held the World No. 1 ranking on five separate occasions, dating back to 2002 and is considered one of the greatest players of all-time.  She has recorded 29 Grand Slam titles (14 singles, 13 women’s doubles, 2 mixed doubles), making her ninth on the all-time list and is only the fifth woman to hold all four Grand Slam singles titles.  The 14 Grand Slam singles titles is sixth on the all-time list and among all active players she holds the most Major titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.


Additionally, Serena has won four Olympic gold medals, one in women’s singles and three in women’s doubles.  During the London Olympics  she became the second player after Steffi Graf to win a career Golden Grand Slam after winning the gold medal and the first player in history, male or female, to win the Golden Grand Slam in both singles and doubles (with Venus Williams).


Williams captured the inaugural “BNP Paribas Showdown” held on March 2, 2009 at Madison Square Garden with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over sister Venus Williams. The field also included 2008 French Open Champion Ana Ivanovic, as well as year ending No. 1 Jelena Jankovic.


Victoria Azarenka is the current World No. 1 female player in the world.   She won the 2012 Australian Open singles title, becoming the first Belarusian player to win a Grand Slam in singles. Her other achievements include winning the Bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, two mixed doubles Grand Slam titles, the 2007 US Open (Max Mirnyi), the 2008 French Open (Bob Bryan) and the gold medal in the mixed doubles at the 2012 London Olympics (Max Mirnyi).


Back in January of this year Azarenka won her ninth WTA title at Sydney and won first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open becoming No.1 on January 30 (rose from No.3 to No.1 – first player ever to skip No.2 en route to No.1).


With the exception of Serena Williams, this will be the Madison Square Garden debut for the players.


The Madison Square Garden Arena has been host to some of the greatest matches and biggest names in the sport for more than 80 years.  The men’s and women’s year-end tour championships took place at The Garden from 1977-1989 and 1979 – 2000 respectively and featured the likes of Björn Borg and Martina Navratilova.


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.  In 2011, four legends of the game took to the court when Ivan Lendl squared off against John McEnroe followed by Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras.


As part of the second phase of The Garden’s three-year top-to-bottom Transformation, the upper bowl of the Arena will be completely transformed, including significantly improved sightlines, an expanded Garden Concourse (eighth Floor) with city views and new first-class food and beverage options, new Madison Suites and an all-inclusive Madison Club. Final work will also be completed on the Madison Concourse (sixth Floor), including the addition of an homage to The Garden’s more than 130-year history. Work on the Madison Square Garden Transformation will continue to be a year-round project, with the majority of construction taking place during the offseason when the building will be shutdown. For more information on the MSG Transformation, visit www.msg.com/transformation.








YEAR       EVENT                                                     SURFACE                 ROUND                   WINNER                  SCORE    

2008        AUSTRALIAN OPEN                                HARD                      R32                          WILLIAMS               6-3 6-4

2009        AUSTRALIAN OPEN                                HARD                      R16                          WILLIAMS               3-6 4-2

2009        MIAMI                                                     HARD                      F                              AZARENKA              6-3 6-1

2009        WIMBLEDON                                          GRASS                     Q                             WILLIAMS               6-2 6-3

2010        AUSTRALIAN OPEN                                HARD                      Q                             WILLIAMS               4-6 7-6(4)

2011        TORONTO                                               HARD                      S                              WILLIAMS               6-3 6-3

2011        US OPEN                                                 HARD                      R32                          WILLIAMS               6-1 7-6(5)

2012        MADRID                                                  CLAY                        F                              WILLIAMS               6-1 6-3

2012        WIMBLEDON                                          GRASS                     S                              WILLIAMS               6-3 7-6(6)

2012        OLYMPICS                                               GRASS                     S                              WILLIAMS               6-1 6-2




YEAR       EVENT                                                     SURFACE                 ROUND                   WINNER                  SCORE

2011        ESP vs. ARG DC Final                              CLAY                        RR                           NADAL                     1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-6(0)

2011        WIMBLEDON                                          GRASS                     R16                          NADAL                     7-6(6), 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4

2011        ATP WORLD TOUR – MADRID                CLAY                        R16                          NADAL                     W/O

2011        ATP WORLD TOUR – INDIAN WELLS     HARD                      S                              NADAL                     6-4, 6-4

2009        US OPEN                                                 HARD                      S                              DEL POTRO             6-2, 6-2, 6-2

2009        ATP WORLD TOUR – CANADA               HARD                      Q                             DEL POTRO             7-6(5), 6-1

2009        ATP WORLD TOUR – MIAMI                  HARD                      Q                             DEL POTRO             6-4, 3-6, 7-6(3)

2009        ATP WORLD TOUR – INDIAN WELLS     HARD                      Q                             NADAL                     6-2, 6-4

2007        LONDON / QUEEN’S CLUB                     GRASS                     R32                          NADAL                     6-4, 6-4

2007        ROLAND GARROS                                   CLAY                        R128                        NADAL                     7-5, 6-3, 6-2

2007        ATP MASTERS – MIAMI                          HARD                      R16                          NADAL                     6-0, 6-4



World of Tennis Presented by BNP Paribas Returns for Second Season

MSG Sports and StarGames announced today that the popular “World of Tennis Presented by BNP Paribas” will return for a second season. This year, Tennis Channel will first air each episode on Wednesday nights throughout the summer at 10:00 p.m. followed by repeats on MSG Plus every Saturday at noon. The magazine-style show will debut July 6th on Tennis Channel (re-airs on Thurs. at 11:00 a.m. and Sun. at 7:30 p.m.) and July 9th on MSG Plus.


The annual eight-week series takes an inside look at the sport, from the professional tours to the history of the game. The magazine-style show covers the sport in a way that no one else does, providing something unique for tennis fans. Each 30-minute episode of “World of Tennis Presented by BNP Paribas” is hosted by former professional tennis player and current television personality, Justin Gimelstob.


“I’m very excited to be part of the 2011 edition of the World of Tennis presented by BNP Paribas,” said Justin Gimelstob. “I am especially looking forward to my new segment “Holding Court with Justin.” The stretch of tennis between Wimbledon and the US OPEN is one of the most intense and interesting of the year. I am going to be catching up with some of my friends on and off court as the action heats up. It should be a lot of fun.”


Each week the show will highlight a special guest including Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova and Lindsay Davenport as well as feature segments where you can hone your game with tennis and fitness tips from former world # 1 Ivan Lendl. Additionally, challenge your tennis acumen with new and riveting round table discussion topics brought to you by Tennis.com featuring the editors of Tennis Magazine.  Gimelstob will also host a segment called “Holding Court with Justin,” an insider’s look at a variety of factors on the professional tour which leads off with an unusually frank sit down with American star, Roddick. Furthermore, USTA President Jon Vegosen will take us behind the scenes at the USTA providing an in depth look at each facet of the sport’s governing body.


“World of Tennis Presented by BNP Paribas” will be produced by StarGames and MSG Sports with accomplished producer Jennie Silverstein.  Presenting sponsor BNP Paribas will be joined by partners Tennis Magazine, Ivan Lendl International Junior Tennis Academy, the United States Tennis Association, Wilson, Getty Images, Tennis Night in America and the BNP Paribas Showdown.


The annual BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden, dating back to the inaugural event in 2008, has been produced by MSG Sports and StarGames.  Featured players have included Roger Federer, Serena and Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova.  Last year four legendary players and two classic rivalries took to the court when John McEnroe took on Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras squared off against Andre Agassi before over 17,000 fans and a worldwide television audience.