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.


ATP Chief Brad Drewett Diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease


(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


Stephens Battles Past Davis to Gain Hobart Semis


(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


Hobart, Australia
January 6-12, 2013

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)


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.”


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.


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.


Rennae Stubbs Retires from Fed Cup

HOBART, Australia – After 41 Fed Cup ties Rennae Stubbs has retired from the women’s team event.

Having played for the Australian Fed Cup team for16 years, the 39 year old leaves the court as the longest playing Australian woman with a 28-10 doubles record.

Over her Fed Cup career, which started in 1992, Stubbs has been an integral part of the team and instrumental in its return to the World Group this year.

“For me Fed Cup has been one of the great things of my career,” said Stubbs.

“No one thing stands out. The thing that stands out are the memories, the friends and the stories. Fed Cup are always the best two weeks of my year and I will miss these events.”

“It’s a daunting prospect. A new life because you know I have woken up every morning knowing what I was going to do was to go play tennis. So now to think that part of my life is not the norm is a strange prospect,” Stubbs said.

“I will miss the competitive spirit and feel when I am on the court but overall I will miss the people and the memories of my moments.

Italy defeated Australia at the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group tie at the Domain Tennis Centre 4-1.

In a replay of the 2010 French Open final,  world No.4 Francesca Schiavone once again triumphed over Australia’s No.1 player Samantha Stosur, 7-6(1) 3-6 7-5 in the first match on court today while Jarmila Groth did not show the same form going down in straight sets to Italy’s Flavia Pennetta (No.16) in the reverse singles, 6-3 6-2.

In the final match of the day Anastasia Rodionova (No.64) and Stubbs (No.11 in doubles) were defeated by  Roberta Vinci (No.38) and Sara Errani (No.44), 2-6 7-6(1) 6-4.

This is the sixth time the two countries have played in a Fed Cup tie. Italy has been Fed Cup champions in 2006, 2009 and 2010.

Australia and Italy are two of just four nations to have competed in every Fed Cup.

This is the Australian Fed Cup team’s first World Group tie since 2004. They will now play in the World Group Play-off in April to remain in the elite eight.


Rally for Relief to Aid Flood Victims

The superstars of world tennis will gather on Sunday afternoon in Melbourne for a special exhibition to raise money for the victims of Australia’s flood disaster.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Kim Clijsters, Sam Stosur, Lleyton Hewitt, Novak Djokovic, and Pat Rafter headline a glittering list of tennis’ elite who will momentarily put aside their Australian Open preparations for the Rally for Relief tennis match at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday at 2pm

Many in the international tennis fraternity have been horrified by the disaster.

“Along with many of the other players I was moved by the devastation caused by the floods in Australia,” Federer said today. “We just wanted to do something to help aid the recovery because we know there are thousands of Australians who will continue to suffer as a result of this disaster.”

“This is a terrible tragedy, not only the loss of life but the destruction of people’s homes,” Nadal said. I am pleased to be able to contribute in some way to help bring it to the attention of the world and raise some money for the victims in the process.”

“As an Australian I cannot help but be touched by such an awful turn of events. It is a disaster on a massive scale,” Hewitt explained. “Australians are incredible at pulling together in times of crisis and this is certainly one of those times. If the tennis community can also help play a role in the recovery then we should, both in Australia and internationally. I just think at a time like this it is a case of getting all hands on deck.”

Queenslanders Pat Rafter and Sam Stosur officially announced the Rally for Relief at the Medibank International Sydney as a key plank in a major fundraising campaign by the entire international tennis community

“The plight of the flood victims has well and truly struck a chord with the entire tennis fraternity,” Rafter said. “As a Queenslander I am really heartened by the concern and the keenness from our sport to get in and do something to ease the suffering.  I know on the scale of things our contribution is only a small one, but it is good to be able to help out.”

Sam Stosur said she was touched by the many expressions of concern for the flood victims from her fellow tennis professionals, officials, administrators, coaches and fans. Her own family was displaced by floods in the 1980s and she is keen to contribute to a big fundraising effort.

“A lot of us just want to make some sort of contribution. It breaks my heart to see what is happening to thousands of people in these floods. I am rapt that the biggest names in our sport are so keen to focus on this despite the fact that the Australian Open starts the next day.

Stosur is already donating $100 for every ace she serves this summer.

Players in lead up events in Brisbane, Sydney, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth and Kooyong have all been enquiring as to how they can help the flood ravaged communities and pledging money and assistance.

Tennis Australia will co-ordinate the tennis community’s fundraising effort which will run throughout Australian Open 2011. The campaign includes:

  • Sunday afternoon’s Rally for Relief
  • A gold coin donation at Saturday’s Kids Tennis Day
  • A special “Shirt off their backs” ongoing auction of autographed player apparel belonging to some of the biggest names in the sport
  • An ATP and WTA pledge of $10 for every ace served by players at the Brisbane International, Medibank International Sydney, Moorilla International in Hobart and the Australian Open.

All proceeds will go to flood relief across the nation.

Tickets to Rally for Relief are $20 for entry to Rod Laver Arena and will be available through Ticketek from 3:00pm today at www.ticketek.com.au.

Tickets will also be available from the Melbourne Park and Fed Square Box Offices, operating hours are as follows:

Thursday 13 January                                     3:00pm to 5.00pm

Friday 14 and Saturday 15 January          9:00am to 5:00pm

Sunday 16  January                                         from 9:00am


Seeds Are Set for the Australian Open

Heading up the men’s seeds is world No.1 and nine time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, while World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki is the top seed in the women’s draw.

The full list of men’s and women’s singles seeds are:

Men’s seeds

1          Rafael Nadal                                      ESP

2          Roger Federer                                  SUI

3          Novak Djokovic                                SRB

4          Robin Soderling                               SWE

5          Andy Murray                                      GBR

6          Tomas Berdych                                CZE

7          David Ferrer                                      ESP

8          Andy Roddick                                    USA

9          Fernando Verdasco                        ESP

10       Mikhail Youzhny                              RUS

11       Jurgen Melzer                                  AUT

12       Gael Monfils                                      FRA

13       Jo-Wilfried Tsonga                         FRA

14       Nicolas Almagro                              ESP

15       Marin Cilic                                          CRO

16       Mardy Fish                                          USA

17       Ivan Ljubicic                                      CRO

18       Sam Querrey                                     USA

19       Stanislas Wawrinka                        SUI

20       John Isner                                           USA

21       Marcos Baghdatis                            CYP

22       Michael Llodra                                 FRA

23       Nikolay Davydenko                        RUS

24       Ernests Gulbis                                  LAT

25       Albert Montanes                             ESP

26       Juan Monaco                                     ARG

27       David Nalbandian                           ARG

28       Richard Gasquet                              FRA

29       Viktor Troicki                                     SRB

30       Thomaz Bellucci                              BRA

31       Feliciano Lopez                               ESP

32       Guillermo Garcia-Lopez              ESP

Women’s seeds

1          Caroline Wozniacki                        DEN

2          Vera Zvonareva                                RUS

3          Kim Clijsters                                      BEL

4          Venus Williams                                USA

5          Samantha Stosur                             AUS

6          Francesca Schiavone                     ITA

7          Jelena Jankovic                               SRB

8          Victoria Azarenka                            BLR

9          Na Li                                                      CHN

10       Shahar Peer                                       ISR

11       Justine Henin                                   BEL

12       Agnieszka Radwanska                   POL

13       Nadia Petrova                                   RUS

14       Maria Sharapova                              RUS

15       Marion Bartoli                                   FRA

16       Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova          RUS

17       Aravane Rezai                                   FRA

18       Maria Kirilenko                                 RUS

19       Ana Ivanovic                                      SRB

20       Kaia Kanepi                                        EST

21       Yanina Wickmayer                         BEL

22       Flavia Pennetta                                ITA

23       Svetlana Kuznetsova                      RUS

24       Alisa Kleybanova                             RUS

25       Petra Kvitova                                     CZE

26       Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez     ESP

27       Alexandra Dulgheru                      ROU

28       Daniela Hantuchova                      SVK

29       Dominika Cibulkova                      SVK

30       Andrea Petkovic                              GER

31       Lucie Safarova                                  CZE

32       Tsvetana Pironkova                        BUL

The official draw for Australian Open 2011 will take place at Melbourne Park on Friday 14 January at 10.00am. Tennis legend and former world No.1 Ivan Lendl will be involved in the draw ceremony.

The official draw will also be streamed live on www.australianopen.com from 10.00am.