2015/01/31

Stosur, Tomic, Radwanska and Janowicz to Play Hopman Cup

Janowicz 88

Jerzy Janowicz

(August 19, 2013) Australia’s top ranked players Sam Stosur and Bernard Tomic  have confirmed they will play at Hyundai Hopman Cup 2014.

 

Current world No.4 Agnieszka Radwanska and Wimbledon semifinalist Jerzy Janowicz are also set to team up as Poland makes its debut at the event.

 

World No.13 Stosur is excited to return to Western Australia for the first time since 2010.

 

“I just wanted to get back to Perth. I thought this year I’d try something different again,” said Stosur, the 2011 US Open champion.

 

“It will be nice to be able to play. You know that you’re going to get three matches … and maybe that’s going to be good for me going into the Aussie Open.

 

“Hopefully that’s going to be the secret formula to me doing well,” added Stosur.

 

Tomic, 20, and the youngest player currently in the top 100, will pair with Stosur as he looks to continue his unbeaten record at Perth Arena.

 

“I had some success there earlier this year so hopefully I can do well again in 2014,” said the world No.42, who recently reached the fourth round at Wimbledon.

 

“The event always attracts strong teams so you know you’re going to get some tough matches against high quality players.

 

“The local crowds love their tennis and it’s always exciting to play in front of them,” added the Queenslander, who won his first ATP singles title in Sydney in January.

 

Radwanska and Janowicz will be looking to make their mark when Team Poland makes its first ever appearance at the event.

 

“I’m really excited to play the Hopman Cup for the first time,” said Radwanska, who holds 12 WTA singles titles at just 24 years of age.

 

“I’ve never played mixed doubles with him [Jerzy] before.  Actually my last mixed doubles match was I think five years ago so that will be fun for sure.”

 

Twenty-two-year-old Janowicz has climbed up the rankings by 73 places to be just outside the top 10 in the past 12 months.

 

“We decided it might be a lot of fun to play together at Hopman Cup,” said Janowicz.

 

Hyundai Hopman Cup Event Director Steve Ayles is delighted with the signing of the top Australian and Polish pairs.

 

“Sam and Bernie, Australia’s highest ranked players, have committed to play this event, which shows the strength and value of the Hyundai Hopman Cup. The players look at the event as a solid starting point for the new season.

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ATP Chief Brad Drewett Diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease

BradDrewett

(January 15, 2013) MELBOURNE, Australia — ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. The ATP World Tour released the following statement:

Brad Drewett will enter a transition period as ATP Executive Chairman and President due to illness, the ATP announced today.

Drewett, who took over as ATP Executive Chairman and President on 1 January 2012, has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). He will continue in his current role on an interim basis as the ATP Board of Directors begins the search process for his successor in the near future.

“It has been a privilege to serve as Executive Chairman and President of the ATP, an organization that I’ve been a part of for more than 35 years since I became a professional tennis player,” said Drewett. “I hold the ATP very close to my heart, and it’s with sadness that I make the decision to enter this transition period due to my ill-health.”

Roger Federer, President of the ATP Player Council, said: “Brad has become a good friend of mine over the years and this is very sad news for all of us at the ATP and the entire tennis community. He is well liked and respected by everyone and has done a tremendous job in leading the ATP over the past 12 months, overseeing some major initiatives and a record-breaking year in 2012. His dedication and service to the sport over the years has been truly admirable and he has been a central figure in helping to grow the ATP product across the globe. Our thoughts are with him and his family during this difficult time.”

Drewett has been part of the ATP for more than 35 years, as a player, ATP Player Council member, ATP Player Board member, as CEO of the International Region, Tournament Director of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, and most recently as the ATP Executive Chairman and President for the last 12 months.

“The thoughts and prayers of the WTA family are with Brad, his family and the entire ATP community at this very difficult time,” said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman & CEO. “We know he will fight this terrible disease every step of the way, and have our full support for whatever he needs.”

“Brad’s incredible contribution to the game in Australia and worldwide is obvious to all. For more than three decades he has been a much loved member of the Australian tennis family. All of our thoughts are very much with Brad and his family at this time.”  – Steve Healy, Tennis Australia President and Steve Wood, Tennis Australia CEO

“The Grand Slam tournaments are saddened to learn of Brad’s condition and everyone sends their prayers and any support needed to him and his family during this difficult period. Brad’s longstanding commitment to the Sport marks him as a true member of our tennis family and we wish him well in the fight ahead.” -Bill Babcock, Director, Grand Slam Committee

“Everyone in the ITF family is saddened to learn that Brad Drewett will step down from his position as ATP Chairman following his diagnosis with ALS. Some of us at the ITF have known Brad since he was a player; many others have known him in his various roles at the ATP and all of us like and respect him. We were very happy to support him when he worked through the ATP International Group and then the Tennis Masters Cup to help to open the great country of China to our sport which will always be noted as one of his outstanding achievements. For the ITF and for me personally, he is more than a colleague, he is a friend, and I want Brad to know we are available to do whatever is needed to help support him and his family. We send our thoughts and good wishes to Brad and his family and to everyone at the ATP during this difficult time.” -ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti

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Stephens Battles Past Davis to Gain Hobart Semis

SloaneStephens

(January 10, 2013) American Sloane Stephens won a hard-fought battle past her countrywoman qualifier Lauren Davis to win 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 to move into the semifinals of the Hobart International.

 

Australia’s Jarmila Gajdosova fell to Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-2. Vesnina will face Stephens next.

 

Defending champion Mona Barthel if going for back-to-back Hobart titles won 6-3 6-3 win over Tsvetana Pironkova


 

MOORILLA HOBART INTERNATIONAL
Hobart, Australia
January 6-12, 2013
$235,000/International
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Thursday, January 10, 2013
Singles – Quarterfinals
(8) Sloane Stephens (USA) d. (Q) Lauren Davis (USA) 63 46 75
(9) Mona Barthel (GER) d. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 63 63
Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) d. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 26 64 60
Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. (WC) Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) 63 62

Doubles – Quarterfinals
Muguruza/Torró-Flor (ESP/ESP) d. (2) Gajdosova/Zakopalova w/o (Zakopalova: right ankle injury)

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Tennis Australia and ATP Issue Statements on Player Meetings in Shanghai

 

The ATP Player Council has been meeting with Tennis Australia and the ATP during the Shanghai Masters tournament. On Thursday, the ATP and Tennis Australia released Statements in regard to the discussions.

Tennis Australia Statement on Australian Open prize money

“Tennis Australia has had some very constructive and positive discussions with the ATP and the Player Council.

“We feel we have been well received and are buoyant about the future. We have talked about our long term plans for player compensation, including further significant increases, and the feedback we have received from the ATP and the players has been positive.

“We have plans for further discussions regarding distribution and will also be having talks with the WTA to get their feedback.

“Our intention has always been to make a major contribution toward improving the compensation of professional tennis players to make their profession more viable throughout their ranks. The attitude of the players has been very pleasing.”

Steve Wood, Tennis Australia CEO

ATP Statement On Australian Open Prize Money Discussions

Following meetings in Shanghai, ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett said:

“The ATP has had encouraging and positive discussions with Tennis Australia regarding the long term plans for player compensation at the Australian Open. Tennis Australia deserves credit for the way they have recognized the significant input the players have in the success of the tournament.

“I’m delighted the players have given their full support to the ATP leadership during this process with the Australian Open, as well as backing our decision to pursue this issue through constructive dialogue. I am confident that the ATP and our players will remain committed to the ongoing discussions with the other Grand Slam tournaments.”

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Venus Williams and John Isner sign up for Hyundai Hopman Cup

 

Venus Williams and John Isner will represent the USA at Hyundai Hopman Cup, the first to be staged at the spectacular new Perth Arena.

 

“I’ve never been to Perth – I’ve never played the Hopman Cup, so for me it’s going to be a wonderful experience,” said Venus Williams. “I’ve watched it literally every year on TV so now I get to play, I’m very excited.”

 

Former world No.1 Williams is one of the most successful female athletes ever, boasting seven Grand Slam singles titles, second only to sister Serena in active players, and four Olympic gold medals, for singles in Sydney in 2000 and most recently in doubles with Serena at London 2012.

 

With 43 career titles to her name, Williams has enjoyed a recent resurgence to form following a comeback from illness. She reached the semifinals in Cincinatti and quarterfinals in Miami, Charleston and Rome, and with sister Serena hoisted another Wimbledon doubles trophy.

 

Planning his third Hyundai Hopman Cup appearance, world No.10 John Isner is a big fan of the format and the guaranteed three matches the event provides. The 206cm tall Isner is also looking forward to playing mixed doubles with Venus.

 

“For me it’s [Hopman Cup] the perfect way to start the year,” Isner said. “It has the pressure of matches but then it’s not exactly an ATP tournament.
“My previous two partners have been very very small. But Venus is a little bit taller so I’m not going to look like such a giant out there. She’s obviously one of the greatest players ever so I think our team has a good shot to do well,” Isner continued.

 

Isner has enjoyed a tremendous 2012, with highlights including a career high ranking of No.9, and collecting scalps from two of the most invincible players of the era, winning over Roger Federer on clay in a Davis Cup tie against Switzerland, and Novak Djokovic in the semifinal of Indian Wells.

 

He defeated Lleyton Hewitt to take out the title in Newport and also won in Winston Salem. He reached the finals at both Indian Wells and Houston.

 

“The US team is a formidable one with John Isner currently top ten and having a magnificent year, and Venus Williams a former number one and seven-time Grand Slam champion and multiple Olympic gold medal winner,” Event Director Steve Ayles said.

 

“Venus Williams is one of the most high profile sportswomen on the planet, a great athlete and an intriguing personality, and Isner has really made his mark over the past twelve months, as evidenced by his top ten ranking and the ability to take on and win over players such as Federer and Djokovic.

 

“Confirming both Venus and John is a major coup for Hyundai Hopman Cup and we look forward to welcoming them to Perth.

 

“With two highly competitive teams – Serbia and USA – confirmed, Hyundai Hopman Cup is shaping up to be a great event,” Ayles continued.

 

Hyundai Hopman Cup field so far:

 

Team Serbia:                     Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic

Team USA:                          John Isner and Venus Williams

Team Australia:                Bernard Tomic

 

Further Hyundai Hopman Cup team announcements will be made in October.

The Hyundai Hopman Cup is the official mixed teams competition of the ITF. It will take place at the new Perth Arena from Saturday 29 December 2012 to Saturday 5 January 2013.

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Li Na joins Premier Ted Baillieu to announce Australian Open Wildcard Play-off in China

Former French Open champion Li Na joined Victorian Premier the Hon. Ted Baillieu to announce the inaugural Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off set for Nanjing, China in October.

The Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off, which will see the region’s top players compete for a coveted Australian Open wildcard was announced today in Beijing by the Hon. Ted Baillieu, Premier of Victoria, who was joined by Grand Slam® champion and 2011 Australian Open finalist Li Na, Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood and Crown CEO Greg Hawkins.

“I’m delighted to announce the first Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off for Australian Open 2013 will take place in Nanjing, China, in October,” Premier Baillieu said.

“Melbourne boasts a world class events calendar and the Australian Open, Grand Slam of Asia-Pacific, is one of Victoria’s, and indeed Australia’s, most successful events and attracts thousands of visitors from Asia each year. The success of China’s home-grown champion, Li Na, continues to build interest and excitement for both the sport and the tournament.

“We are very pleased to have Grand Slam champion Li Na with us here today, along with the magnificent Australian Open women’s trophy, the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup. Li Na, we look forward to seeing you in Melbourne in January and wish you all the very best for Australian Open 2013,” Premier Baillieu continued.

Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood outlined the importance of the Asia-Pacific region to the Australian Open, announcing a new exchange program with the China Open that will see six Chinese ballkids displaying their skills on court at the Australian Open.

“The Chinese Ballkid Exchange Program, the Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off and the Australian Open International Trophy Tour are all just part of our ongoing mission to promote and develop the sport of tennis in China and the Asia-Pacific region. We are also working closely with the China Tennis Association and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their assistance with the delivery of the Wildcard Play-off tournament in Nanjing,” Steve Wood said.

“We appreciate the support of the Victorian government, not only for their assistance in promoting the event internationally, but for their long term commitment to upgrading our home at Melbourne Park. The current $363 million redevelopment project will see the Australian Open lead the world in Grand Slam facilities, with three stadium courts featuring retractable roofs by 2015.

“There has been a 400% increase in visitation to the Australian Open from the Asia Pacific region over the past eight years and in 2012 the Australian Open’s official ticketing agents and tour operators saw a 30% increase in ticket sales from the previous year.

“More than half the Australian Open’s global media value is now generated from the Asia-Pacific region and new broadcast deals include access to an additional 65 million homes.”

“And when Li Na made her historic run to the final in 2011 we achieved the highest ever broadcast exposure throughout Asia, and China in particular, with 135 million tuning in across the region,” Wood continued.

“Crown is thrilled to support this exciting Tennis Australia event by providing best-in-class accommodation for the winners of the Australian Open Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off in Nanjing,” Crown Melbourne CEO Greg Hawkins said.

“The Crown Melbourne integrated resort features three world-class hotels, over 40 premium and casual restaurants, a luxury retail precinct and a wide range of entertainment to choose from 24 hours a day. Crown looks forward to welcoming the winners and providing them with the best possible accommodation experience for the duration of their stay in Melbourne. Crown is also extremely proud to sponsor the great Li Na and awaits her highly anticipated return to Melbourne and Crown this summer for the Australian Open,” Hawkins continued.

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