December 4, 2016

17th Annual Taste Of Tennis To Feature Rafael Nadal

 

 

tot2016

 

#tasteoftennis | @tasteoftennis

 

17th Annual Taste of Tennis NYC to Feature Chef Marcus Samuelsson and Tennis Legend Rafael Nadal, Presented by Olive Oils from Spain

 

Taste of Tennis NYC marquee culinary demonstration to feature James Beard Award winning Chef Marcus Samuelsson and 14-time major champion Rafael Nadal

 

JULY 2016 NEW YORK, NY – Taste of Tennis, the World’s Premier Food and Tennis Experience produced by AYS Sports Marketing, is excited to announce that this year’s marquee Taste of Tennis culinary demo will feature James Beard Award winning Chef Marcus Samuelsson and 14-time major champion Rafael Nadal. This unforgettable experience is made possible by Olive Oils from Spain, the world’s leading olive oil producer and exporter. Tickets are on sale now through the official website, http://www.tasteoftennis.com.

 

Olive Oils from Spain is the promotional brand of the Spanish Olive Oil Interprofessional, that has been created to increase the consumption of Olive Oils from Spain worldwide. The Spanish Olive Oil Interprofessional is a non-profit organization established by the entities representing the different operators in the olive oil industry (olive growers, cooperatives, factories, bottlers and exporters) with the aim of serving as an industry improvement tool. Rafael Nadal, is their ambassador thanks to the collaboration agreement signed between the athlete and the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

 

In addition to Rafael Nadal, expect to see at the Taste of Tennis the likes of Simona Halep, the always entertaining Gael Monfils, Legend Billie Jean King, America’s Top Tennis player John Isner and always a favorite Sloane Stephens, along with several of your favorite chefs such as Marcus Samuelsson, Jonathan Waxman and Floyd Cardoz showcasing their culinary skills on Thursday, August 25, 2016 from 7pm-10pm, with returning DJ Mad Linx. With an array of amazing food, this one-of-a-kind experience features a variety of themed lounges, signature cocktails and guest DJ segments by professional athletes.

 

On Friday, August 26th, Taste of Tennis Pavilion, hosted by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, is coming to the Mylan WTT Finals. This interactive culinary experience will feature cuisine prepared by top local restaurants, handcrafted cocktails and a variety of exciting VIP experiences including photo opportunities and meet and greets with some of your favorite tennis players. Following the Pavilion is the Celebrity Chef Tennis Challenge which kicks off the Mylan WTT Finals where 4 celebrity chefs step out of the kitchen and onto the court in an exciting tennis exhibition on center court!

 

Sponsors include: Lifeway Kefir, Jamaica Tourist Board, Russian Standard, Olive Oils From Spain, Government of Spain | Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and the Environment, Bulldog Gin, Saddlebrook Resorts, ChefWorks, Modern Luxury Manhattan, and Outside the Ball.

 

For more information or to purchase tickets to The Taste of Tennis MasterClass, The Taste of Tennis Gala or the Taste of Tennis Pavilion please visit www.TasteOfTennis.com. All media invitation and hard press inquiries please contact Ashli Urquhart at Ashli@theteslagroup.com.

 

  • August 17-25th The Taste studio appearance featuring various chefs & athletes (Media requests)
  • August 24th Taste of Tennis Master Class (Private Event)
  • August 25th World TeamTennis and Billie Jean King reception 5-7pm (Private Event-Media Invite)
  • August 25th Taste of Tennis Gala 7-10pm (Public Event)
  • August 26th Taste of Tennis Pavilion-Celebrity Chefs Challenge Hosted By Marcus Samuelson at the Mylan WTT Finals (Public Event)

 

 

ABOUT AYS

AYS is a full-service corporate hospitality and events company. With over 2 decades of industry experience, we have produced successful hospitality initiatives for our clients at the world’s most prestigious events and venues, such as, Super Bowl, NBA All Star Weekend, Madison Square Garden and many others.

 

 

ABOUT TASTE OF TENNIS

The Taste of Tennis is widely considered The World’s Premier Food and Tennis Experience. AYS created the Taste of Tennis in 2000, to kick off two weeks of tennis excitement in New York. The event, featuring food prepared by top chefs and appearances by the world’s top tennis players was an immediate hit and has become one of the most anticipated events on the tennis calendar.

 

Since its founding, AYS has produced the Taste of Tennis in New York for 17 consecutive years. They have also produced the event in Australia 4 times to kick off the Australian Open and twice in Miami. Www.TasteOfTennis.com

 

ABOUT OLIVE OILS FROM SPAIN

Olive Oils from Spain is the promotional brand of the Spanish Olive Oil Interprofessional, that has been created to increase the consumption of Olive Oils from Spain worldwide. Spain, the leader in quality and quantity of olive oil produced and sold, is also the largest exporter in the world. For that reason, we work to ensure that the greatest number of consumers appreciate the quality of our oils, a quality that is linked to their origin in Spain. The Spanish Olive Oil Interprofessional is a non-profit organization established by the entities representing the different operators in the olive oil industry (olive growers, cooperatives, factories, bottlers and exporters) with the aim of serving as an industry improvement tool.

Oliveoilsfromspain.org

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Djokovic, Murray, Federer and Nadal Headline US Open Men’s Field

Novak Djokovic

NOVAK DJOKOVIC, ANDY MURRAY, ROGER FEDERER, RAFAEL NADAL

HEADLINE 2016 US OPEN MEN’S SINGLES FIELD

Field Features Five Former US Open Champions

and Includes the World’s Top 98 Men

From the USTA: White Plains, N.Y., July 20, 2016 – The USTA today announced that defending US Open champion and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, world No. 2 and reigning Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, five-time US Open champion and world No. 3 Roger Federer, and two-time US Open champion and world No. 4 Rafael Nadal headline the men’s singles field for the 2016 US Open Tennis Championships. The field includes five former US Open singles champions, including Djokovic (2011, 2015), Murray (2012), Federer (2004-2008), Nadal (2010, 2013) and Marin Cilic (2014).

Each of the world’s top 98 men received direct entry into the US Open, representing 38 countries.

The 2016 US Open will be played Monday, August 29, through Sunday, September 11, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The US Open Men’s Singles Championship is presented by Mercedes-Benz.

Djokovic,who has reached the singles final in Flushing five out of the last six years, leads the men’s field as the world No. 1 and defending US Open champion. The Serbian won his 12th major championship at the French Open in June to complete the “Career Grand Slam,” and held all four major titles until Sam Querrey ended his 30-match win streak at Grand Slams in the third round at Wimbledon.

Murray, of Great Britain, won his third major and second Wimbledon title this month after finishing runner-up to Djokovic in this year’s Australian and French Open finals. Murray, the reigning Olympic Gold Medalist, defeated Djokovic in the 2012 US Open final to win his first Grand Slam championship.

Federer, of Switzerland, is the all-time leader with 17 major singles titles, and was bidding for his eighth Wimbledon title this summer before falling to Milos Raonic in the semifinals. Federer is competing for his sixth US Open title, which would surpass Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors for the most US Open men’s singles titles in the Open Era.

Nadal, of Spain, is a 14-time Grand Slam champion who won his 69th career ATP World Tour title in Barcelona this April. He has not played competitively since withdrawing from the French Open in June with a wrist injury.

Also included in the men’s singles field are: No. 5 Stan Wawrinka, of Switzerland, the 2014 Australian Open and 2015 French Open champion; No. 6 Kei Nishikori, of Japan, a 2014 US Open finalist; No. 7 Milos Raonic, of Canada, who reached his first Grand Slam singles final at Wimbledon this month; No. 8 Tomas Berdych, of the Czech Republic, a former world No. 4 and 2016 Wimbledon semifinalist; No. 9 Dominic Thiem, the 22-year old Austrian talent; No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, of France; No. 11 David Goffin, of Belgium; and No. 12 Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion.

Canadian Vasek Pospisil, ranked No. 98, is the last man to receive direct entry into the field of 128. Six players used a protected ranking to gain entry, including Nos. 39 Julien Benneteau, of France, and Janko Tipsarevic, of Serbia, No. 56 Brian Baker, of the United States, No. 81 Thanasi Kokkinakis, of Australia, No. 89 Dmitry Tursunov, of Russia, and No. 94 Jerzy Janowicz, of Poland. Sixteen more players will gain entry through the US Open Qualifying Tournament, held August 23-26, while the eight remaining spots are wild cards awarded by the USTA.

American men who received direct entry are No. 16 John Isner, of Greensboro, N.C., No. 25 Steve Johnson, of Orange, Calif., No. 26 Jack Sock, of Lincoln, Neb., No. 29 Sam Querrey, of Las Vegas, No. 56 Brian Baker, of Nashville, Tenn., No. 57 Donald Young, of Atlanta, and No. 67 Taylor Fritz, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion, is entered as an alternate and would be making his first appearance at the US Open since 2013.

Among the players competing in the US Open Qualifying Tournament will be the winner of the seventh annual US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship, held during the Emirates Airline US Open Series’ Connecticut Open in New Haven, Conn., prior to the US Open Qualifying Tournament. The USTA created the US Open National Playoffs in 2010 to allow players 14 and older, regardless of playing ability or nationality, to vie for a spot in the US Open Qualifying Tournament via one of 15 sectional qualifying tournaments.

The July 18 edition of the Emirates ATP Rankings was used to determine the US Open main draw entry list. Seeds will be determined and announced closer to the start of the event.

The 2016 US Open will mark the culmination of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, the North American summer season of seven ATP World Tour and WTA events that began this week in Stanford, Calif.

The US Open is the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world. 2016 marks the second year of an 11-year partnership between the USTA and ESPN, which will see the US Open carried on the ESPN family of networks through 2025. During this year’s US Open, ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to air nearly 130 hours of live match play with more than 1,200 hours of first-to-last ball coverage to be seen on ESPN3 on WatchESPN, which will also be available via the US Open website – USOpen.org.  In the continued expansion of its US Open coverage, ESPN will feature play from up to 12 courts.

US Open tickets can be purchased: at USOpen.org; by calling Ticketmaster at 1-866-OPEN-TIX; and at all Ticketmaster outlets.

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The Man with the Silver Bowl – Behind the Scenes at The Queen’s Club Draw

By Wendy M. Grossman

1-Queens Club draw Ceremony Wendy Grossman Tennis Panorama News

(June 11, 2016) LONDON, England – “Don’t look,” cautioned the man bearing the silver bowl.

Tennis conspiracy theorists always think tournament draws are fixed. Sometimes – for example, the 1996 US Open, when the players threatened to boycott unless the draw was remade – there are good reasons. In that case, the seedings had been announced after the draw had already been announced, and because they didn’t strictly follow the rankings, there were legitimate questions asked about whether the tournament was favoring American stars. A 2011 study of ten years of men’s and women’s singles Grand Slam draws found that the other Slams did indeed seem to produce random draws, but that that the US Open draws showed anomalies.

More common claims are that the draw is fixed to ease one or another player’s path or that the placing of seeds 3 and 4 is fixed in order to keep a particular pairing apart until the final. Every time a new draw for one of the majors is announced, you’ll find someone in a tennis discussion forum complaining that Roger Federer always gets an easy draw and Rafael Nadal a hard one, or  Novak Djokovic a tough road and Nadal an easy one…or some variation of that with whatever players the poster cares about.

Others would just like to tinker with the rules governing how draws are made. Over the years people have suggested that the semifinal pairings should always be 1-4 and 2-3, or that the entire draw should be remade before the quarter-finals to rebalance the gaps left by defeated seeds. Another favorite suggestion is that the majors should go back to seeding 16 players instead of 32, the rule until 2001. Doing so, the argument goes, would make the early rounds a little more tantalizing. I incline toward this latter idea myself, but it’s unlikely to happen because seeding 32 players was a concession Wimbledon made as part of a settlement of player complaints. The Spanish players were offended by the All-England’s habit of revising the seeding list to take into account past results on grass, which sometimes dropped the Spaniards out of the seeding list. This, they felt, was unfair: sure they often lost in the early rounds, but, they reasoned, they got no reverse consideration at the French Open, where they could be expected to do well but Pete Sampras was still top seed despite his habit of losing in the first two rounds.

2-Queens Club draw Wendy Grossman - portraits

Back to the man with the silver bowl. We are in the Presidents’ Room at Queen’s Club, surrounded by oil portraits, one of which is a dead ringer for Kaiser Wilhelm (it’s actually the Rt Hon Lord of Dalkeith, the club president from 1874 to 1879). The room is full of journalists and various people involved with running either the club or the tournament. (You can easily tell them apart. The people involved with the club are dressed for a cocktail party; tournament staff are wearing sponsored sports stuff; and the journalists look like they’ve been dragged in off the street.) At the front, next to a populated head table is a large screen with a blank 32-slot draw, and a load of numbered plastic tokens. We are introduced to three people who together have bid £250,000 (to be given to a children’s charity) for the right to be here today. Also on hand: Marin Cilic, the 2012 champion of this event. All of this, including the presence of a player, is fairly standard, though the exact mechanics vary.

The ritual begins with slotting the name of the top seed – Andy Murray – on line number 1 and second seed Stan Wawrinka on line 32. Next, the tokens for 3 and 4 are placed in the bowl and Queen’s man in the grey suit asks one of the dignitaries to pick one. This is where “Don’t look!” comes in. The one that is drawn – fourth seed Richard Gasquet – is placed on line 9, and the other, McEnroe-enhanced third seed Milos Raonic, on line 24. That settles the projected semifinal pairings. Next, the tokens for seeds 5 to 8 are placed in the bowl, and the man bowl is offered to three different people to fill the quarterfinal spots. Finally, the rest of the tokens are placed in the bowl, and the man goes around offering it to various people in the audience, even soliciting volunteers. Each person draws out one of the remaining numbers and the team at the front places it in the next empty line of the draw. There are tokens for qualifiers, whose names won’t be known until tomorrow (assuming the rain delay ends in time). These will also be drawn randomly to fill the empty spaces left for them.

As they go, the on-screen board fills in and profiles of the players and their match pairings pop up alongside. Some of the matches sound much tastier than the first round at Wimbledon will be. Cilic, interviewed, noted that the cut-off for the main draw this week was 44, which he thinks is the highest for any tournament on the tour. Murray, seeking his record-breaking fifth title here this year, draws Nicolas Mahut in the first round. Definitely a tough one: Mahut has grass cred. Besides being, famously, the loser in 2010’s three-day first-round Wimbledon encounter with John Isner, he’s a former finalist here who might have won the title but for an unlucky netcord, and recently the world’s number one doubles player. Other first-round contests that catch the eye: Nick Kyrgios versus Raonic sounds like an old-style serving contest; John Isner will have to contend with just-back Juan Martin del Potro; and Cilic faces Feliciano Lopez, the good-on-grass Spaniard who has troubled plenty of players here over the years.

Most draws, while not attended with quite as much ceremony, are pretty much like this: public events, with at least one player, some press, and various others in attendance. While it might be possible to fix the draw somewhere sometime, the intent is to make the process transparent and trustworthy. Conspiracy theorists should look elsewhere.

 

Queen’s Club Draws

Related articles:

A Look at the History of Queen’s Club with CEO Andrew Stewart

Keeping the Queen’s Club Grass Courts Perfect; Meet Graham Kimpton

Approach Shots: Getting to Know Tennis Umpire Ali Nili

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Rafael Nadal Withdraws From Wimbledon Due to Wrist Injury

Nadal at changeover

(June 9, 2016) Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal will be absent from the tournament this year, withdrawing with the same wrist injury which forced him to withdraw before his third round match at the French Open. He posted his announcement on social media:

Hola a todos. Quería anunciaros que tras consultar con mi médico y vistos los resultados de la pasada revisión médica, no podré participar en la próxima edición de Wimbledon.
Como podéis imaginar es una decisión triste pero la lesión sufrida en mi muñeca en Roland Garros necesita tiempo para sanar. Tampoco podré participar en el evento previo ‪#‎TheBoodles‬ en Stoke Park donde ya participé en anteriores ocasiones.
Gracias a todos por el apoyo, sobre todo a mis fans que siempre me envían notas de cariño.

Hi everybody. I’m sad to announce that after talking to my doctors, and receiving the results of my last medical revision, I won’t be able to play at Wimbledon this year.
As you can all imagine, it’s a very tough decision, but the injury I suffered at Roland Garros needs time to heal. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to join in the pre-tournament event #TheBoodles at ‪#‎Stokepark‬ that I attended in previous years.
Thank you all for your support, especially my fans. Your kind messages mean so much to me.

The world No. 4 will be replaced in the draw by Spanish countryman Albert Montanes. Nadal, who last won Wimbledon in 2010 has only been able to reach the fourth round of The Championships once since his last Wimbledon title.

Wimbledon announced other withdrawals on Thursday – Spain’s Tommy Robredo (elbow injury) and Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis (shoulder injury). Taking their place in the draw will be Portugal’s Gastao Elias and Facundo Bagnis of Argentina.

 

Related Article:

Rafael Nadal Out of French Open with Injured Left Wrist

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Novak Djokovic Wins French Open Title to Complete “Career Grand Slam” and win Fourth Straight Major Title

Djokovic thumbs up-001

(June 5, 2016) Novak Djokovic became the first man since Rod Laver won a calendar Grand Slam in 1969 to win four straight major titles, winning the French Open on Sunday over Andy Murray 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 on Sunday to complete a career Grand Slam. Djokovic is just the third man to hold all four majors titles at the same time which includes Don Budge 1938 and Rod Laver in 1962 and 1969.

The title gives No. 1 Djokovic his 12 major titles, tying him with Roy Emerson on the all-time list, behind Roger Federer with 17, Rafael Nadal and Pete Sampras with 14. The Serb is the eighth man to complete a career “Grand Slam” joining Don Budge, Fred Perry, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal. The 29-year-old is now 12-11 in major finals.

“It’s a thrilling moment,” said Djokovic. “One of the most beautiful I have had in my career. “It’s incredibly flattering to know that Rod Laver is the last one that managed to do that. There are not many words that can describe it. It’s one of the ultimate challenges that you have as a tennis player. I’m very proud and very thrilled. It’s hard for me to reflect on what has happened before and what’s going to happen after. I’m just so overwhelmed with having this trophy next to me that I’m just trying to enjoy this moment.”

“Perhaps the greatest moment of my career.”

After completing the victory, Djokovic took a page out of former Roland Garros champion Gustavo Kuerten’s book, by drawing a heart in the clay and laying on his back inside it to celebrate.

“The most important thing for me is that I wrote down that heart, like Guga did,” Djokovic said after the match. “He gave me the permission to do this. The most important is that I felt the love, and drawing a heart means I will remain on this court with you every day.”

“This is Novak’s day,” Murray said during the trophy ceremony. “Winning all four Grand Slams at once is a great achievement. This is something that is so rare in tennis. What he’s achieved the last 12 months is phenomenal. I’m proud to be part of it today.”

Djokovic has now won 28 matches in a row in major tournaments dating back to last year’s French Open final.

His collection of majors: 6 Australian Opens, 1 Roland Garros, 3 Wimbledons and two U.S. Opens.

The French Open crown marks his 65 title, which puts him at number six on the all-time list behind Jimmy Connors (109), Ivan Lendl (94), Roger Federer (88), John McEnroe (77) and Rafael Nadal (69).

Djokovic is now halfway through a calendar Grand Slam, winning the Australian and French Opens. The last time a man won the first two majors in a year was Jim Courier in 1992.

 

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Murray and Wawrinka Reach French Open Fourth Round in Straight Sets

(May 27, 2016) Andy Murray did not need five sets to win on Friday at the French Open as he did in his first two matches. The No. 2 seed after playing five-set marathons in his first two rounds, beat big-serving Ivo Karlovic 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (3) Friday. Murray will play American John Isner for a place in the final eight. The 15th seed Isner beat 79th-ranked Teymuraz Gabashvili 7-6(7), 4-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.

The biggest news came off the court at Roland Garros, when nine-time champion Rafael Nadal held a news conference to withdraw from the tournament with a left wrist injury.

Rafael Nadal Out of French Open with Injured Left Wrist

Defending champion Stan Wawrinka beat Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 to reach the round of 16.

No. 6 ranked Kei Nishikori needed five sets to survive Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-4. Nishikori will play Richard Gasquet next. Gasquet straight-setted Nick Kyrgios.

 

No. 8 seed Milos Raonic overcame and painful hip to beat No. 133 ranked lucky loser Andrej Martin 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-3.

 

No. 23-seeded Jack Sock fell 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to No. 55 Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a 4 hour, 11-minute marathon.

 

In women’s action, the last woman to reach the main draw by ranking cutoff, No. 108 Shelby Rogers upset No. 10 seed and two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova 6-0, 6-7(3), 6-0 to make the fourth round. For Rogers reaching the round of 16 is her best results at a major.

 

Seeds Garbine Muguruza, Simona Halep and Samantha Stosur all advanced. Halep had to rally to beat the 101st-ranked Naomi Osaka 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Last year’s finalist is out. Lucie Safarova lost to former French Open finalist Sam Stosur 6-3, 6-7 (0), 7-5.

 

No. 19 seed Sloane Stephens was dismissed by Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2, 6-1.

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Rafael Nadal Out of French Open with Injured Left Wrist

 

Nadal at changeover

(May 27, 2016) Nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the tournament with an injured left wrist.  The 14-time major champion called a news conference to make the announcement.

“I have to retire from the tournament because of problem in my wrist that I have had for a couple of weeks,” Nadal said.

“Yesterday I played with injection on the wrist. I could play, but yesterday night I start to feel more and more pain,” said the world No. 5.

“I did MRI. The results are not positive and the thing is it’s not 100 percent. If I keep playing it’s going to be broken the next couple of days. We took some risks with the injections. It is the tendon, and if I continue to play I would not be able to play the rest of the tournament.”

“If I go on playing, it’s going to break and that would mean months off the circuit.”

“Now is a tough moment but it’s not the end. I feel the right motivation and energy to be back at Roland Garros next couple of years.”

“We’re gonna work hard to be ready for Wimbledon. We expect to recover quick, to be ready for Wimbledon.”

He was scheduled to play his third round match on Saturday against Marcel Granollers, who will receive a walkover into the fourth round.

Nadal holds a 72-2 record in Paris.

 

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Roland Garros – Top Seeds Williams and Djokovic Dominate in Opening Wins; Murray Survives in Five

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(May 24, 2016) Top seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic had easy opening victories at Roland Garros on Tuesday. Williams, the defending champion going for her fourth Paris title destroyed No. 77 Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2, 6-0 in 42 minutes. The 21-time major champion hit 25 winners and made only five unforced errrors.

Sister Venus also advanced in straight sets. The ninth seed defeated No. 82 Anett Kontaveit 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4).

Djokovic is seeking to win his first French Open title to complete a career Grand Slam. The Serb defeated No. 95 Yen-hsun Lu of Taiwan 6-4, 6-1, 6-1. Also reaching the second round easily was nine-time champion Rafael Nadal who blasted past Sam Groth 6-1, 6-1, 6-1.

No. 2 seed completed his first round match which was held over due to darkness, surviving qualifier and former Top 10 player 37-year-old Radek Stepanek 3-6, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5.

“It’s unbelievable what he’s doing,” said Murray in an on-court interview. “He had an extremely bad injury last year and was our for eight or nine months. At 37 years old and coming out and fighting like that, playing that way, is unbelievable. I don’t expect to be doing that myself at that age! I’m just glad I managed to get through.”
Australian Open champion and third seed Angelique Kerber was the biggest upset on the day. The German suffering from a left shoulder injury lost to No. 58 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands. 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Bertens is fresh off winning a title over the weekend in Nürnberg, where she was a qualifier.

Another major surprise on the women’s side saw No. 5 Victoria Azarenka lose to No. 118-ranked Karin Knapp when she was forced to retire with a knee injury down 6-3, 6-7(6), 4-0.

2010 French Open champion, unseeded Francesca Schiavone lost to Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-4. It was announced on court that Schiavone was retiring, but she set the record straight during her news conference.

“Roland Garros announced my retirement but I didn’t.”

“So you can stand up all of you and go back to work in the office because I didn’t say that. I will announce when I will want to stop.”

 

More to follow…

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Novak Djokovic Could Face Rafael Nadal in the Semifinals of Roland Garros

 

(May 20, 2016) The French Open men’s and women’s singles draws were made in Paris on Friday and No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 4 seed, nine-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal could be on a collision course to meet in the semifinals. Nadal moved into the No. 4 seed position when No. 3 Roger Federer withdrew from the tournament on Thursday.

Djokovic comes into Roland Garros seeking the only major tournament he has not won. He’s looking to become the eight man to have a “career slam,” winning each of the four major title at least once. Should the Serb win the French Open, he would hold all four major championships at the same time.

Djokovic has lost in the final of the French Open three out of the past four years. He will begin his quest for the Roland Garros crown against No. 100 in the world Lu Yen-hsun in, while Nadal will play big serving Australian, Sam Groth.

On the other side of the men’s draw, a pair of two-time major champions could meet in the other semifinal – No. 2 Andy Murray and No. 3 seed and defending champion Stan Wawrinka. Murray will play a qualifier in the first round, while Wawrinka will face-off against

The top seed in the women’s draw, Serena Williams is going after her 22nd career major, which would tie her with Steffi Graf on the all-time list, the most in the Open Era. She’s coming off her first tournament win in nine months, winning the Italian Open trophy last weekend on the clay courts of Rome.

A hurdle for the American could come in the quarterfinals, where she is projected to meet No. 5 seed and two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka. Williams may also have play 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round and reigning Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber in the final four. Williams lost to the German in the Melbourne final.

Williams will open against No. 76 Magdalena Rybarikova.

Williams is the defending champion and is going after her fourth Roland Garros trophy.

In the bottom half of the women’s draw, No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska could play fourth seed Garbine Muguruza in the semifinals.

Play begins on Sunday, May 22.

Men’s draw

Women’s draw

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Djokovic Survives Test From Nadal to Reach Italian Open Semis; Serena Williams Dominates

Djokovic celebrates win-001

(May 13, 2016) Novak Djokovic came back from a break down in both sets and set points down in the second set to fight off Rafael Nadal 7-5, 7-6(4) to reach the semifinals of the Italian Open on Friday in Rome. The dramatic match lasted almost two-and-a-half hours. The world No. 1 has now beaten the 14-time major champion seven straight times and has raised his record to 26-23 over the current No. 5. The Serb has now won 15 straight sets against the Spaniard.

Nadal grabbed opening breaks of serve in both sets and had five set points in the second set  serving at 5-4, but Djokovic kept coming back from adversity.

“I held my nerve at the clutch moments,” Djokovic said in an interview after the match. “Even though I had nervy beginnings to both sets, with some good games and good play in the crucial moments, I managed to win. It’s a straight-sets win, but it feels like we played five sets.

“Winning against Nadal is the ultimate challenge on clay courts and one of the toughest challenges we have in sport. I have to be very pleased with the way I handled myself in the big moments today. I won against one of my biggest rivals on his preferred surface. We must not forget he’s in form. He won Monte-Carlo and Barcelona and has played well the past couple of weeks. That gives me confidence for the rest of this tournament.”

Djokovic said that it was special to be on court playing against Nadal.

Nadal said that he was not disappointed and felt that he played well against the best player.

Djokovic will face-off against Kei Nishikori in his semifinal on Saturday. The sixth seed Nishikori beat 13th seed Dominic Thiem 6-3, 7-5.

No. 2 seed Andy Murray moved into the final four with a 6-1, 7-5 win over David Goffin. Murray will play French lucky loser Lucas Pouille for s spot in the final on Saturday. Pouille advanced when Juan Monaco withdrew with a left hip injury.

On the women’s side, No. 1 ranked Serena Williams, getting a little revenge from her loss in Miami, when she demolished Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-0 in 51 minutes. She’ll play Irina-Camelia Begu next who beat Misaki Doi 6-2, 7-6 (3).

On the bottom half of the draw, Garbine Muguruza beat Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-2 and will play Madison Keys, who defeated Barbora Strycova 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA – ROME, ITALY
9-15 MAY 2016

RESULTS – MAY 13, 2016
Women’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[1] S. Williams (USA) d [9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 62 60
[3] G. Muguruza (ESP) d [11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) 75 62
I. Begu (ROU) d M. Doi (JPN) 62 76(3)
M. Keys (USA) d B. Strycova (CZE) 64 46 63

Women’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) d R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) 64 62
I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) 76(4) 63
[4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d [5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) 64 64
[7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) d A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 62 64

Men’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [5] R. Nadal (ESP) 75 76(4)
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [12] D. Goffin (BEL) 61 75
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [13] D. Thiem (AUT) 63 75
[LL] L. Pouille (FRA) d [PR] J. Monaco (ARG) w.o. (hip)

Men’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d [4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) 63 64
[6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) d P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / V. Troicki (SRB) 63 64
[8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) d P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP) 64 76(4)
[PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d O. Marach (AUT) / M. Matkowski (POL) 46 75 10-8

ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, MAY 14, 2016
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
WTA – [3] G. Muguruza (ESP) vs M. Keys (USA)

Not Before 2:30 pm
ATP – [LL] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs I. Begu (ROU)

Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [13] D. Thiem (AUT) or [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)
ATP – [PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs [5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)

PIETRANGELI start 12:00 noon
WTA – [4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs [7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)

Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – [8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) vs [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU)
WTA – After Suitable Rest – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)

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