Nadal Struggles Against Berlocq, But Gets Through in a Tough Three-Setter



By Barbara Galiza

(February 15, 2013) São Paulo – In an unexpected struggle, Rafael Nadal took two hours and 24 minutes to beat Carlos Berlocq, the 78th ranked player in the world, on clay. To the delight of the Brazilian crowd, the number one seed in ATP 250 São Paulo came back to beat the Argentinean in three sets, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.


“Today all wins are important for me, specially after six months without playing. This is the first match I win in three sets since my return. It helps me feeling physically better and having a little more confidence in my body. I am very happy for surviving”, he said.


The Spaniard had an injury scare in the first set, serving at 3-4. Nadal was sliding on clay – that has been the aim of criticism by players during the week – at break point when his foot got stuck. He was broken and play was stopped right after, at 5-3, for the court to be fixed.


After the win, Nadal complained about the enforcement of the “25 seconds to serve” rule yet again:


“I believe it’s an unfair rule. I believe it harms the show, 25 seconds it’s not enough to play point after point after point. It seems like an error from the ATP. I hope it will be changed soon.”


In the semifinals, the world number five will play the lucky loser Martin Alund.


Barbara Galiza is a journalist from Rio de Janeiro covering the Brasil Open  as media in São Paulo for Tennis Panorama. She likes tennis and writing. Sometimes she blogs, most of the time she tweets. – @fiercetennis. Follow her São Paulo updates on @TennisNewsTPN.











Nadal Blames ATP for São Paulo Tournament Conditions


Rafael Nadal photo by William Lucas/Inovafoto

Rafael Nadal photo by William Lucas/Inovafoto

By Barbara Galiza

(February 14, 2013) São Paulo – During the week, players and coaches complained about the indoor clay courts in the  ATP World Tour 250 event in São Paulo, but Rafael Nadal doesn’t think they are in a bad state. The Spaniard, that got through the second round Thursday night, admitted the playing conditions are complicated, but believes the tennis balls are to blame.


“The balls are very fast and with very little hair, it’s hard to control. The problem isn’t the courts, it’s the ball”, said Nadal after beating Brazilian João Souza in two sets 6-4, 6-4. “It’s the ATP’s fault, not the tournament’s. The ATP doesn’t have the capacity and infrastructure to choose balls before the start of the tournament.”


Nadal’s quarterfinal match will be played Friday at 8pm local time. The world No. 5 faces Carlos Berlocq, from Argentina, the 78th ranked player.

Barbara Galiza is a journalist from Rio de Janeiro covering the Brasil Open  as media in São Paulo for Tennis Panorama. She likes tennis and writing. Sometimes she blogs, most of the time she tweets. – @fiercetennis. Follow her São Paulo updates on @TennisNewsTPN.


ATP World Tour and HEAD Extend Partnership Through 2017

Brad Drewett, ATP Executive Chairman & President with Ottmar Barbian, Vice President and Division Manager HEAD Racquet Sports Photo credit: Red Photographic.

The ATP has announced the extension of their partnership with HEAD for another five years. Under the agreement, HEAD will continue to be the official tennis ball of the ATP World Tour, as well as the official ball of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, through 2017.

The agreement marks an extension to a partnership which began back in 1994, one which will celebrate its 20-year anniversary on 1 January 2013, making HEAD the longest-standing partner of the ATP.

All matches at this week’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 in London are being played with the HEAD ATP ball, which also served as official ball at the Shanghai Rolex Masters and BNP Paribas Masters in Paris this season.

“HEAD is one of the most established brands in our sport and has been a great partner for the ATP for many years,” said Brad Drewett, ATP Executive Chairman & President. “We’re delighted to extend our partnership a further five years and look forward to continuing to build on our successful relationship.”

“The continuation of our long-term partnership with the ATP strengthens our position as a leading brand on the ATP World Tour,” added Ottmar Barbian, Vice President and Division Manager HEAD Racquet Sports. “We are proud to not only provide the racquets for several outstanding players in the Top 10, but also to be trusted as official ball supplier to the Tour on an ongoing basis.”

“It’s the best ball in tennis,” said 2012 ATP World Tour No.1 Novak Djokovic. “Whenever I can, I definitely choose that ball!” Alongside Djokovic, HEAD players Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych are once again among the eight contenders battling for the title at this year’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 in London this week.


Dunlop Statement on Tennis Ball Issues at Roland Garros

In response to some of the recent tennis ball issues at Roland Garros, Dunlop Sport has released the following statement:

GREENVILLE, SC, May 24, 2011 – In response to the major tennis ball issues at Roland Garros, Dunlop would like to point out some inaccuracies in the statements from the FFT and Babolat claiming that the Babolat balls are made in exactly the same way as the Dunlop balls.


The 2011 Roland Garros tennis balls are not made in the same way as our Dunlop balls.


Dunlop have manufactured tennis balls for over 100 years, including the past 40 in the same facility to exacting standards, using core compound formulae and manufacturing processes which are highly confidential and unique to Dunlop. Furthermore, the nature of our composition formulae and bespoke production processes mean that it is impossible for another manufacturer to replicate the finished product.

Dunlop appreciates the impact that minute changes to composition or production can have on the playability of the finished balls and made every possible effort to secure the sponsorship rights to all the major European clay court tournaments to maintain consistency for the players. In 2010, Dunlop managed to achieve this and received no complaints from either tournament organisers or from players.


Dunlop are very proud to have signed long term agreements with the key ATP clay court tournaments in Europe and made every effort to maintain this consistency by offering the FFT the best possible offer to continue the sponsorship of Roland Garros. Disappointingly, the FFT chose to reject Dunlop’s offer to renew the sponsorship of the Roland Garros event for 2011 and opted to go with the French tennis brand Babolat. This means that Roland Garros is the only major clay court tournament not utilising Dunlop balls.


Barry Leach, Managing Director of Dunlop, commented, “Dunlop have a proud history of producing the very best tennis balls in the market and have never received negative feedback from media, fans or most importantly the players, regarding our balls. It is impossible to replicate our balls and we felt it was important to clarify this fact given the statement from the FFT and media interest in the matter. Should the FFT decide they would like to provide the ball consistency that the players desire then we would welcome the opportunity to make it happen”.


Tournaments Where the Dunlop Fort Clay Court Ball is Played

ATP World Tour Masters 1000, Monte- Carlo Rolex Masters

ATP World Tour 500, Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell

ATP World Tour Masters 1000, Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Rome

ATP World Tour 250, BMW Open, Munich

ATP World Tour 250, Estoril Open

ATP World Tour Masters 1000, Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open

ATP World Tour 250, Open de Nice Côte d’Azur

WTA Premier, Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Stuttgart

WTA Premier, Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Rome

WTA International, Estoril Open

Additional Info on Dunlop Sports:

Official Website: www.dunlopsport.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dunlopsport

About Dunlop Sports Group Americas
Dunlop Sports Group Americas, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Dunlop Slazenger International, Ltd. is known worldwide by sports enthusiasts who value quality and performance in their sporting goods equipment. Headquartered in Greenville, SC, the company’s product line spans tennis rackets, accessories and balls; squash rackets, accessories and balls; Dunlop badminton and shuttles; Carlton badminton rackets and shuttles. International endorsers include tennis legend John McEnroe in addition to current ATP World Tour stars Fernando Verdasco and Nikolay Davydenko, squash champions Ramy Ashour, Amr Shabana and Nick Matthew, along with US # 1 Julian Illingworth and a host of other great players and ambassadors.