miércoles, 31 de diciembre de 2014
martes, 30 de diciembre de 2014
There are some exciting changes coming to the WTA calendar in 2015, most notably the grass court season going from four weeks to five weeks - three lead-up weeks, then the two weeks of Wimbledon. This year there will be three weeks of lead-up tournaments before the big one at Wimbledon, starting with a pair of International-level events the week of June 8 ('s-Hertogenbosch and Nottingham) and then Premier-level tournaments during the weeks of June 15 (Birmingham) and June 22 (Eastbourne). Check out what a few of the biggest names in the business - John McEnroe and Michael Stich - had to say about the expanded grass court season in the below video, courtesy of CNN Open Court.
One of the other big changes comes early on in the year, a week after the Australian Open in fact - the Premier event in Paris is gone, but another Premier event in Antwerp takes its place. Former World No.1 Kim Clijsters is back as Tournament Director for the BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games. "After seven years, world class tennis is coming back to Antwerp," she said. "The new BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games will not only become a high-level tennis event, but much more than that." And the year-end Tournament Of Champions in Sofia is gone as well, replaced by the WTA Elite Trophy, which brings a dozen of the best players in the world to Zhuhai, China to fight for $2.15 million.
There's another new stop on the tour - Prague will host the International-level Sparta Prague Open the week of April 27, opposite the Grand Prix SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Marrakech, Morocco. Two more cities saying goodbye are Oeiras, Portugal and Nürnberg, Germany. Oeiras spent 16 years on the WTA calendar with former Top 10 players Anke Huber and Maria Kirilenko among its champions; Nürnberg only had a short two years but its champions were noteworthy, with WTA Rising Stars Simona Halep and Eugenie Bouchard winning their first WTA titles there in 2013 and 2014.
lunes, 29 de diciembre de 2014
domingo, 28 de diciembre de 2014
Serena Williams isn't just the best tennis player in the world, she's also one of the most charitable
Serena Williams' charity, the Serena Williams Foundation, has announced a grant to the Caliber Foundation, which helps victims, families and communities damaged by gun violence in the US.
"When someone is killed or wounded through acts of senseless violence, there are many victims," Williams said at the launch event.
"Aside from the person whose life was lost, there are the children, families and communities left struggling for answers or simply left with a hole in their heart."
sábado, 27 de diciembre de 2014
viernes, 26 de diciembre de 2014
miércoles, 24 de diciembre de 2014
martes, 23 de diciembre de 2014
This month, Caroline Wozniacki will fly from her home in Monaco to Australia in an attempt to fulfill her wildest dream: “I want to win a grand slam,” she says.
Now, more than at any other time in her career, the 24-year-old Dane is poised to do it. She’s fine-tuned her trademark backhand with the help of her coach (and dad), Piotr, and trainer, Przemyslaw Piotrowicz. She has the support of her tennis powerhouse friends, including Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic. And she is in the best shape of her life, both physically and mentally. “That’s one of my strongest points,” she says.
“No matter the score, I always fight until the end. I never give up.”
A victory at the Australian Open, the first grand slam tournament of 2015, could usher in a triumphant new era for Wozniacki, who spent 2014 showing us not only how hard she can play but also how strong, centered and optimistic she can remain, even during trying times. “Honestly, 2014 was a very up-and-down year,” she says. “There’s been big happiness, and sadness as well.”
lunes, 22 de diciembre de 2014
Agnieszka and Urszula Radwanska in the Noble Box project back in Poland, helping families get through the holidays
domingo, 21 de diciembre de 2014
Prize Money: $250,000
Director: Karl Budge
The formation of what now is known as the ASB Classic occurred when Ari Hallenberg and Global Sports saw a hole in the marketplace and asked Tennis New Zealand about creating an event in Auckland.
The first staging was held in 1985 as part of the 1986 tour and it moved to its current pre-Australian Open spot on the calendar, New Zealand's lone stop, in 1996. Champs at the tournament - staged at the ASB Tennis Arena - include Marion Bartoli, Lindsay Davenport, Elena Dementieva, Jelena Jankovic, Agnieszka Radwanska and Ana Ivanovic.
Auckland, also known as the City of Sails, features black sand beaches, endless water activities and fantastic dining options. It is the largest and most populous urban region in New Zealand.
Dual Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka (BLR) and 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic (SRB) will join the battle for the Evonne Goolagong Trophy at Brisbane International presented by Suncorp in 2015.
The two former world No.1s have confirmed their entry into this summer’s event alongside five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova (RUS) and 2011 US Open title-holder Sam Stosur (Qld).
Their entry into the field takes the number of Grand Slam champions set to descend on Brisbane in January to seven, with the four female champions to be joined by 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer (SUI), two-time major winner Lleyton Hewitt (SA) and 2014 US Open victor Marin Cilic (CRO) in the blockbuster field.
The women’s final now looks set to be an all-star affair, with glamour girls Sharapova and Ivanovic, hometown hero Stosur and 2009 Brisbane International champion Azarenka likely to start hot favourites for the 2015 title. Azarenka will return to the scene of her first ever career singles title when she arrives in Brisbane in January. The 25-year-old, who was sidelined for much of the 2014 season by a persistent foot injury, will use this summer’s tournament to launch her charge back up the world rankings.
“Brisbane has always been a very special tournament for me after winning the title there in 2009. I feel very at home in Brisbane, there’s a great atmosphere, the crowd is always a lot of fun and I’m really looking forward to competing there again this summer,” she said.
“I know it’s going to be a very strong field and give me the best possible start to the new season. For me, winning the title in front of a full house at Pat Rafter Arena would be the perfect start to 2015 and I’ll be doing my best to make that happen.
“My 2014 season was a little disrupted due to injury so I can’t wait to get the new year under way and climb my way back up the rankings, starting in Brisbane in January.
” Azarenka won the event’s inaugural women’s singles title in 2009, collecting the first major trophy of her career, and finished runner-up to Serena Williams (USA) in 2014. Since announcing her arrival on the world stage in Brisbane five years ago Azarenka has won two Grand Slam titles, taking out back to back Australian Open crowns in 2012 and 2013. Ivanovic, the current world No.5, will return to Brisbane for a fourth time next year following a successful season on tour.
The 27-year-old has scooped WTA Tour titles in Auckland, Monterrey and Birmingham in 2014 to rocket back inside the world’s top 10. “I can’t wait to return to Brisbane next year, it will be my first time competing at the tournament since 2012 and I’m really excited to have the opportunity to play there again,” she said. “I’ve had some dramatic matches in Brisbane, the field is always strong and the fans make it a lot of fun.
Next year will be a big challenge with the high class field, but I’m looking forward to it.” Ivanovic’s best result in Brisbane to date came in 2010, when she charged to the semifinals before losing to Justine Henin (BEL). Brisbane International Tournament Director Cameron Pearson said the women’s field now boasted four Grand Slam champions, setting the scene for a blockbuster decider. “We’re thrilled to welcome both Vika and Ana back to Brisbane in 2015,” he said.
“Vika and Ana will add a lot of firepower to the women’s draw and are great personalities to have at the event. “After an interrupted season in 2014 Vika is raring to go in the new year and we can’t wait to see her back on court in Brisbane. She has a great track record at the event and will be keen to continue that form this summer. “Ana is always very popular with fans and has had a great season in 2014.
The women’s draw is shaping up as a real showdown between some of the biggest names in tennis.”
PRIZE MONEY: $1,000,000
DIRECTOR: Cameron Pearson
Staged the first week of the year during the lead-up to the Australian Open, the Brisbane International has had quite an increase in status since its debut as a combined ATP-WTA tournament in 2009. It went from International to Premier level in 2012, with prize money for the women increasing from $220,000 to $655,000. Then in 2013 the purse went all the way up to $1 million.
Brisbane's champions include Victoria Azarenka, Kim Clijsters, Petra Kvitova and two-time winner Serena Williams. Clijsters' 2010 triumph was especially memorable, as she saved two match points in the final against rival and fellow Belgian Justine Henin in Henin's first event back after more than a year and a half away from tennis.
The capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland, Brisbane is classified as a global city. It has hosted several international sporting extravaganzas, including the 1982 Commonwealth Games, the 2001 Goodwill Games and the 2008 Rugby League World Cup final.
sábado, 20 de diciembre de 2014
viernes, 19 de diciembre de 2014
SINGAPORE ; December 2014.
To accompany the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, the WTA opened an office in Singapore - and that Singapore office had its opening ceremony recently.
It was an action-packed day - here are some of the best pics from that opening ceremony! Melissa Pine, VP of WTA Asia-Pacific and WTA Finals Tournament Director, cut the ribbon.
jueves, 18 de diciembre de 2014
Martina Navratilova and her longtime partner Julia Lemigova were married in New York City on Monday, the couple confirmed to the BBC. Speaking to the news service shortly after the ceremony, Lemigova admitted she was "overwhelmed," while Navratilova said her new status felt "just really odd."
"I'm 58 years old, I got married for the first time – it's about time, right?" said Navratilova, who began dating Lemigova in 2006.
"Growing up as a gay woman you just don't ever think about that, and then I thought, about 10 years ago, 'You know, I think within 10 years gay marriage will be legal.' And here we are, 10 years later, making it legal." Navratilova proposed during the U.S. Open last September, in a moment that was telecast on the Jumbotron at New York's Arthur Ashe stadium.