Nature Valley International Wildcard Goes to Andy Murray

Andy Murray accepted a Nature Valley International Wildcard wildcard as he continues his comeback after a hip injury that kept him out of action for almost a year. Murray suffered a loss in three sets as he returned on Tuesday to face Nick Kyrgios at Queens. After the match the three-time Grand Slam, 31-year-old champion said he was unsure of what would be the best way forward in his return. The Scot remained positive and said it was good to be back at Queens and that he was hoping to build on that in the next week.

Wimbledon starts on the 2nd of July and therefore the Nature Valley International held at Eastbourne is the final warm-up event available to Murray. He had surgery on his hip in January, and the former number one in the world has since moved the 156th on the rankings list. Before slipping to defeat, Murray was on the court for well over two-and-a-half hours in his match against Kyrgios. He is now looking forward to the opportunity to get more time on the grass courts.

Stan Wawrinka Also Accepted A Wildcard into Nature Valley International

Murray played in 2010 in the Davis Cup at Eastbourne and already knows that the facilities, as well as the courts, are excellent. Another former world number three has also accepted a wildcard into the events after suffering an injury, which is Stan Wawrinka. In the women’s event featuring Heather Watson and Johanna Konta, the top seed is Caroline Wozniacki the Australian Open Champion.

Murray to Experience the Competition Heat Once More Before Wimbledon.

According to BBC’s Russell Fuller, Andy Murray could have decided to play in one of the Wimbledon exhibition events, although he opted to accept the wildcard and play at Eastbourne. By playing in the Nature Valley International, Murray can look forward to playing a considerably weaker field. The top 20 players in the line-up are Diego Schwartzman and Kyle Edmund only, although all players who received entry are inside the top 60 of the world.

During the 2-hour 39-minute match against Kyrgios, Murray mentioned some stiffness in his lower back. He was positive that he could play the Nature Valley International at Eastbourne, but not yet at Wimbledon as in his opinion, five-set matches will be detrimental at this stage of his recovery.

Murray told reporters that Tuesday was an emotional day for him as he waited eleven months to return to the action, after losing to the Australian player Nick Kyrgios. Murray gives his recovery priority and has learned that taking care of his body comes first, and he has decided to do whatever it takes to look after his body to ensure a speedy and complete recovery.

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Rafael Nadal Defeats Dominic Thiem – Wins French Open Final

Nadal entered the Phillipe-Chatrier court by acknowledging the screaming fans by dropping his bag, then taking off his jacket he did a little jig that previously had the full house crowd at his feet. Dominic Thiem broke Rafael with a forehand in round three and to his credit, he did bring his biggest shot to the game.

For Nadal or any other professional tennis player, winning 11 titles is not even a dream, it is simply unbelievable. Nadal raised his arms in celebration as he turned towards his team, it was indeed celebration time as the 2-hour 42-minute French Final ended.

Rafael suffered from cramps during the third set, which made victory so much sweeter, the cramps he explained, is what happens when you as a player are really pushed, in a match. In the final Nadal triumphed 6-4, 6-3 and 6-2 against Dominic Thiem.

Dominic Thiem Waited Since His 11th Birthday to Play Rafael Nadal in a Final

Played under heavy skies the final ended on a high note for the 32-year-old, while the 24-year-old Thiem continued to fight until the end. Dominic Thiem later told the press that he watched his first final on television when he was only 11 years old. He also watched the match in which Nada won his first Roland Garros title on television in 2005. It was his dream to one day, play a final against Rafael Nadal.

Dominic Thiem feels what Nadal achieved is amazing. In total, the Spaniard has 17 major crowns, each as special as the one before it and he wept as the 80-year-old legend, Ken Rosewell presented him the Coupe des Mousquetaires.

Rafael Nadal Applauded Dominic Thiem for Great Play

The eleventh time champion, Rafael Nadal went home with €2,200,000 for this victory, after he praised and applauded the young Dominic for great play. He also ensured the young opponent that he’ll be a big winner. Nadal shared that Dominic is not only a fantastic player he is even a greater person.
World number one Nadal earned his 17th grand slam, which only three adrift of that of the all-time men’s record holder Roger Federer. In Grand Slam totals the last six were win by either Federer or Nadal.

While Thiem had few answers to the brilliance of Nadal, the 7th seed used both his mental resilience and athleticism during the match, after he did show some nerves as he failed to find his rhythm in the opening game.

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Wimbledon Place at Risk for Andy Murray After Injury

It is a race against time for Andy Murray after he had to pull out form another warm-up session this week, while Novak Djokovic also admitted that he too might have to miss out on this year’s event starting on the 2nd of July.

The Libema Open was supposed to be the big comeback for the Scot, although he had to withdraw again from the event in Hertogenbosch in Holland. It was the withdraw that Djokovic confessed that he might not be able to play on the grass this year, following being dumped out of the French Open by Marco Cecchinato.

Andy Murray has been out for the past year after he had hip surgery in January. He regretted not being able to play in Hertogenbosch as he was excited to finally play at the Libema Open, although he realised that he was still not ready to return yet. Murray wants to be 100% in shape when he returns and is still planning to play in the coming weeks.

Murray Hopefull to Participate at Fever Tree Championships

He is hoping to participate in the Fever Tree Championships starting next Monday at the Queens Club, which is the last event he could play, the only other alternative is Eastbourne, which is only one week before Wimbledon.

Neither Murray nor his team expected him to be out of tennis for almost a year, but recovery is slow, and now finally he is getting closer to participation, and hopefully, thousands of fans will see him back on the grass court this season. With his training schedule already planned, Murray had a bit of a setback in April, which delayed his practising on the court by over a month. Last year Murray had no choice but to pull out from the US Open, followed by the Brisbane International taking place in January and then the Australian Open since he had his operation in January in Melbourne.

Murray has not participated in an event since his last year’s quarter-final defeat by Sam Querry at Wimbledon which means he is no longer in the world top 150 after he had 42 weeks in number one, just before his hip injury worsened.

Depending on his progress over the next week, Murray might still decide to play at Eastbourne one week before Wimbledon to gain some competitive match time. In order to build-up his match fitness, he needs matches as he realises he won’t come back and start immediately where he left off. The only thing he can do is to listen to his body and let how he feels guide him as at the end of the day he is the only one that really knows how he feels.

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Stan Wawrinka Defeated – Novak Djokovic Advances at French Open

Stan Wawrinka time at the French Open came to a close after being defeated by Novak Djokovic. Wawrinka, who is still building strength after back surgery and ranked low in the world lost to Djokovic in straight sets.

Wawrinka and Djokovic were playing first round action. Previous to sustaining his back injury, and having won major titles on the tour, for Wawrinka, he was unable to carry on the level of play needed

Commenting on his performance, Wawrinka said,

“I won three Grand Slams in my career, and I know what it takes to do it, and my goal is to get to my top. Sooner or later, I will.”

After being out of competition for the last three months due to a knee injury, Wawrinka had only participated in tournaments twice in almost a year. He has played only eleven matches this year. Wawrinka, who is ranked 30th and seeded 23rd for the tournament, is playing in territory that he is not familiar after climbing the ranks since joining the tour in 2008.

The match on Monday lasted over 3 hours. The physicality of that was a strain for Wawrinka was obvious as he had yet to go five sets since facing and beating Andy Murray a year ago.

“It was more the difficulty of continuing to go for it mentally.”

The Swiss player is known for having one of the best backhands in tennis. Wawrinka is once again now being coached by Magnus Norman. The match saw Wawrinka with thirty-five unforced errors and only winning 12.

For Wawrinka, who achieved third in the world rankings in his career, he said

“There is no frustration. It’s just tough, but I’m on the right way. It was very close today.”

Djokovic Drops to 22

Djokovic has previously held the top ranking with the World Tennis Tour but is now listed in 22nd, the worse he has held since 2006. Djokovic moved on to face Brazil’s Rogerio Dutra Silva beating the Brazilian in three sets after dropping two games during the opening set.

After successfully winning the French Open in 2016, Djokovic was the first male player to win four major titles in a row. However, since that accomplishment, he has failed to add any achievements to his career after sustaining several injuries, one to his right elbow that required surgery.

While at the French Open this week, Djokovic said,

“I had to dig deep. It has been difficult to face … the most, say, challenging injury that I have ever had. It’s been a long 12 months behind me, but I’m starting to play better, I feel like, in the past couple of weeks. Playing pain-free, which is the most important thing at the moment.”

Tournament play at the French Open continues through to the 10th of June. With recent rain and several matches having to be cancelled, it is expected that additional matches will be re-scheduled. Djokovic will next play on June 1st when he faces Roberto Bautista-Agut.

Colombian Players Creates History With Winning of First Master Title

During the Foro Italico, two players, Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah were pinned against a wall and a hard place through the entire week. Though, on Sunday the two Colombian based players stunned again as they went on to claim their Maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns.

Farah and Cabal easily rode past Pablo Carreno Busta along with Joao Sousa with a 3-6, 6-4, and 10-4 in their pursuit to achieve the title during the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. As their appeared at their second final match at the Masters 1000 level, while finishing up as only runners-up during the Miami tournament in 2014, the iconic duo trained harder and played with true preciseness to come out as victors.

Cabal commented on the duo’s win with a smile before saying that the title they received was one they were striving to get for years now. He continued that he and Farah worked hard since their Miami tournament to reach where they are. He finished up the sentiment by stating wins like keeps the duo motivated to keep achieving their goals.

The Only Colombians to Win Masters 1000 Title

The duo of Cabal/Farah are making headlines, not only because they are the first Colombians to win the prized Masters 1000 title. They are doubling as the world’s first all South American team to prevail so flawlessly at this elite level. After their win, the duo is taking home a total of €289,670 in prize money along with an impressive 1,000 additional points for the ATP Doubles Ranking. The point increase has raised the duo to third place in the ATP Doubles Race to London.

Farah added on that they feel amazing before reminiscing about how they played in finals the previous years but never won a title. He continues by stating that winning a Masters 1000 event feels even more special due to the elite level. He finished off with a smile proudly saying that this is something they worked hard before, and it is something that they are going to remember for the rest of their lives.

All the six seeds were told to work and practice in Rome all week, with a shocking three of the four wins coming from the Match Tie-Breaks. Opening with a narrow win over the well-known Dutch pair Robin Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer. The upset the top seeds, Marcelo Melo Lukasz Kubot played straight sets and easily battled against players, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares in a match during the semi-final that took place on Saturday.

This was the 11th title won by the Cabal/Farah duo, who, at the beginning of the 2018 campaigns, opened with the first Grand Slam Final at the highly anticipated Australian Open.
On the other hand, the other duo of Carreno Busta and Sousa will remain to keep themselves in high spirits as they make an impressive run to the final matches. The duo was the as the team in the field as they Spanish-Portuguese pair were appearing in their first Masters 1000 title competition.

This was due to the pair of Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan withdrawing due to a hip injury that Bob received. This immediately gave Busta/Sousa a chance to take their place and test their abilities on the field. This was Carreno Busta’s first doubles final since the impressive win in Rio de Janeiro last year. On Sousa side, this was his first double final at the prestigious tour-level. The pair split a total of €141,820, along with 600 points of the ATP Doubles Ranking.

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Rafael Nadal wows crowds at Internazionali BNL d’Italia

Rafael Nadal witnessed firsthand his 4-1 set lead vanish on Friday, thus prompting him to give it his all to beat the famed and skilled Italian player, Fabio Fognini. Fognini name gained more fame as he was boosted by the capacity Court Central audience that was spectating the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Nadal, also dubbed as the Spanish superstar, brutally denied Fognini his wishes of scoring a win as an early present for his young son, Federico. During the match, Nadal managed to score an impressive 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory that is keeping him in the strong pursuit of retiring to the prized number one spot in the ATP rankings.

If Nadal manages to score his eighth trophy during the Foro Italico competition in Rome, it would be his 32nd record ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown. Nadal will then be in the process of succeeding and eventually replacing the skilled player from Switzerland, Roger Federer at this upcoming summit for men’s professional tennis on May 21st, 2018. On Saturday, Nadal will be playing his 10th Rome semi-finals game against the Siberian number eleven seed and four-time recorded finalist, Novak Djokovic or, depending on the results, The Japanese player, Ken Nishikori.

Nadal – Multiple Championship Wins


Nadal has been the Rome champion of 2005-2007, 2009-2010, and 2012-2013, is currently ranked 54-6 at the historical and ironically known clay-court tournament. Nadal’s intensity was obviously shown as he netted the first break of the match, which had a 3-1 lead at the time. At first, Fognini led the Spanish based player through an extremely wide backhand volley into the open court. However, Nadal flawlessly ran back in and hit the winning backhand strike.

As Fognini was cheered on by his courtside companions, he was finally broken during the 2-4 during the fourth break point with a miscalculated forehand return down the court. Thus, causing Nadal to lead 4-1. During this match, Nadal won 11 out of 41 of the available points. Moreover, Fognini was moving at a fantastic pace and skill around the court, managing to win the first set against Nadal. However, Nadal showed that he wasn’t ready to give up yet as he made a shocking return and refocused his intentions. On the set point moment of the game, Nadal managed to hit a perfected slice serve out wide before striking a crosscourt backhand.

After the game, the beaming Spanish player commented on his performance. Nadal stated how having a break as early as the second set gave him a much-needed confidence boost for this match. The 31-year-old player added on to his statement, reflecting on his playing skills, stating that as he used his forehand strikes more aggressively, his backhand strikes become more precise and effortless. As the Spaniard chucked, he reflected on how every part of the game was a positive learning experience that was needed for his career at this point. Nadal finished his sentiment with a piece of advice that he always keeps in his heart, stating the importance of having the ability to change the dynamics in the match to achieve the desired result – winning.

While Fognini competitor suffered a minor setback during the match, Nadal managed to come back with a passion for victory scored him that desired win after a two hour and fifteen-minute game. This was Fognini first quarter-final in Rome, during his 11th showing at his home tournament.

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What are some benefits to playing tennis?

Over the last few decades, tennis has been growing in popularity. Everyone from all age groups can play this simple yet intensive sport to improve their physical health – along with just having a fun sport to play. One of the main attractions of tennis is that it can be played solo with an automatic tennis ball machine, competitively at school or during tournaments, professionally, or just for a recreational activity. Though, scientists have stated that tennis is one of the best athletic disciplines that anyone can choose to play in their free time.

Even Serena Williams, a prominent and well-respected name in professional tennis, has claimed her love for the sort on multiple occasions. Even going as far as to state that while her life may not be dedicated to it, she truly enjoys playing it and loves the effects it has had on her during her tennis career and recognizes there are  benefits to playing tennis

Listed below are some of the key benefits that scientist has correlated with playing tennis.

1) Tennis can slim down the risk of death

While this claim may seem outlandish, many sports do have this ability. However, since tennis is a sport that requires full body participation due to its usage of the arms, legs, and core – people who play tennis for at least three hours a week are cutting down their risk of death in half from an array of causes. This claim was made after a Harvard University of Public Health physician, Ralph Paffenbarger, studied a whopping 10,000 people over a period of 20 years. He labelled this study “College Alumni Health Study”, and the focus of it was to see the overall effects that playing sports, mainly tennis, had on the human body for 20 years. He studied people from all age groups to ensure the accuracy of his results.

2) Tennis can improve the mental state

It has been proven through multiple studies that tennis the  benefits to playing tennis can increase the player’s mental state along with the physical state. Throughout multiple tests, tennis players scored higher in vigour, self-esteem, optimism, and overall happiness. While they also scored incredibly lower in depression, anxiety, and tension compared to other athletics, and people who did not play a sport at all. Many believe that due to the high intensity that this sport requires, players are releasing more endorphins, a chemical in your brain that is connected to happiness and satisfaction, and the higher release of endorphins can last even while players are off the court.

3) New brain connection could be created

Due to tennis requiring a high amount of overall alertness and physical awareness – some players may generate new connections between nerves in their brain and body. These connections can also promote the development of the brain – regardless of the player’s current age. Plus, tennis can serve as a great way to help some patients suffering from medical illness or injuries.

4) Calorie Burning

Tennis has been provided time after time again as being one of best way to burn calories.The sport is known to burn more calories than aerobics, skating, or even cycling for 30 to 34 minutes. This means that this sport is even perfect for those who are trying to tone their shapes, or just find a fun way to workout outside of the gym

The History of Wimbledon

The history of Wimbledon is a rich one, and it is one of the four Majors. It is also the most prestigious of the Majors, and it is formally referred to as The Championships, Wimbledon. The first Wimbledon was back in 1887, and it takes its name from its location of Wimbledon, which is a suburb of London. The tournament is played at the All England Club, is the only major played on grass courts, and takes place from the end of June to mid-July.

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club is the full name of where Wimbledon takes place, and it was established in 1868. In 1875, they added lawn tennis to the activities and at this time held the Lawn Tennis Championship which is now known as the Wimbledon Championship. In the first tournament, rules were laid out for the event, and it was held at Worple Road in Wimbledon. The rules of the tournament have not changed much, but some that have included the height of the net, and the distance from the service line to the net.

First Wimbledon Tournament


For the first Wimbledon tournament, there was only the Gentlemen’s singles with Spencer Gore being the first champion. The ticket to the inaugural even was a shilling, and 200 people were in attendance for the finals. The main court at Wimbledon is referred to a Centre Court since it is in the centre of the All England Club. In the first Wimbledon, there were 22 players competing for the title and these days there are 128 in both the men’s and women’s singles.
In 1884 ladies’ singles and men’s doubles were added to the tournament and in 1934 the ladies’ doubles and mixed doubles were added. One of the main rule changes to the tournament occurred in 1922, as previous to that year the defending champion automatically made it to the finals where they would face the challenger, who had advanced through the draw. This is why early on in the tournament’s history there are many that won consecutive titles. After 1922 byes into the finals for the defending champion was eliminated and that champion was in the main draw just like every other player.

Wimbledon: The Biggest Sporting Event in Britain


Wimbledon is not only the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world but one of the biggest sporting events in Britain. The British had a long drought for the Men’s title, as no British person had won the event since 1936 until Andy Murray won in 2013. No British woman has won the tournament since Virginia Wade won in 1977.
British Royalty attends the tournament every year, and they have their own Royal Box at Centre Court. One of the things Wimbledon is well known for is the strawberries and cream served at the tournament and in 2017 34,000 kg of strawberries, and 10,000 litres of cream were served. As of 2018, Roger Federer holds the record for the most men’s singles titles with eight and Martina Navratilova holds the record for the most women’s singles titles with nine.

Tennis Events

Serena Williams Biography

Serena Williams was born Serena Jameka Williams on the 26th of September, 1981. The tennis player is from the United States of America and is currently unranked after only recently returning to the sport after giving birth to a daughter.

As a player, Serena began at the tender age of three, and as she entered the Women’s Tennis Association, she won her first major championship in 1999 and achieved the first of several Grand Slams in 2003. Williams went on to earn twenty-three Gram Slams to date, with her last coming with her defeat of sister Venus at the Australian Open 2017.

Record of Grand Slams

Serena Williams has won a staggering twenty-three Grand Slams since 1999 and has the most on record after her 2017 surpassed the 22 Steffi Graf had won, putting Williams in the history books once again. September 2012 saw Serena beating Victoria Azarenka at the U.S Open to earn her 15th Grand Slam. This was a final that many thought Williams would not win but as history has shown, Williams is one never to count out, yet the win even surprised Williams due to the level of play she faced.

While Williams has won twenty-three Grand Slams as a single, she also has racked up thirteen in the Women’s Doubles. Her sixteenth Grand Slam came at the French Open after defeating Sharapova in two sets. In 2002, Williams added three more titles to her record with victories at Wimbledon, the U.S Open and French Open.

The following year saw her win the Austria Open for the first time and again won the U.S Open in 2013. Her 20th Grand Slam came once again in 2014 at the U.S Open after she proved victorious against Caroline Wozniacki. The wins continued to accumulate with another victory at the Australia Open in 2015.

Serena Williams Personal Life

Serena Williams is married to husband Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit. Engaged in 2016, the married in November 2017 in Louisiana. Williams was adorned in a stunning dress designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen dress. The wedding included a long list of celebrities such as Eva Longoria, Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé.

In the spring of 2017, it was announced that Williams was pregnant and expecting her first child after a snapchat picture was posted with a caption that said “20 weeks”. While the picture was soon deleted, the information quickly spread and was confirmed by Williams shortly thereafter.

On the first of September of 2017, Serena gave birth to a healthy baby girl that they named daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. Williams posted a picture of her daughter on her Instagram account and included a video on YouTube and her website to share the news of her daughter’s birth.

Net Worth

Serena Williams has had a lucrative career in the sport of tennis, having earned many million dollar prizes for her multiple Grand Slam victories. To add to her net worth, the star has entered into multiple endorsement deals with the likes of Mike, Gatorade, Beats By Dre, Intel and others. Her estimated net worth is $84million based on earnings and endorsement deals.

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Jelena Ostapenko – What You Need to Know

Jelena Ostapenko was born in June 8, 1997. At 20 years old, she has reached the biggest stage in her career in tennis. She has played in the 2017 French Open, for the women’s single final, winning her first opportunity to be in the finals for a Grand Slam tournament. She is also considered as among the younger tennis stars who quote Serena Williams as their idol.

One thing about Ostapenko is that sports run in her blood. Her father, Jevgenij Ostapenko served as a professional soccer player. Despite this, it was her mother, Jelena Jakovleva-Ostapenko who boosted her interest in sports. Her mother is a tennis coach, encouraging her to develop a deep love for this sport. It was the ambiance at home that probably sparked her interest in sports.

With this said, there was no doubt that her very first, ‘personal’ coach was her own mother. Her father also served as her personal fitness coach. During her professional career, she is coached by professional Spain player Anabel Medina Garrigues. Even though Garrigues never actually won at a Grand Slam Tournament, she won 11 titles in singles, and 20 titles in doubles. She won Silver Medal at the 2008 Olympics in Doubles.

Aside from tennis, Jelena Ostapenko is also fond of ballroom dancing. In fact, she danced starting when she was five years old, and until 12 years old, she was simultaneously enjoying both dancing and tennis. After that, she decided to focus more on tennis. Jelena also credited her skills in ballroom dancing to her success in becoming a good tennis player. The coordination required in dancing is essential in the sport.

With both parents as sports fanatics, it was quite surprising that both of them did not pressure her to pursue a career in tennis. During an interview in 2014, right after winning in Junior Wimbledon, Jelena Ostapenko stated that her parents never pushed her to playing tennis. It was her personal decision to do so because she loves the sport. In fact, her own mother noticed this desire and her talent even when she was still 3 years old.

When it comes to personal life, Jelena Ostapenko has a half-brother, Maksim Ostapenko. She explained that her brother currently resides in Los Angeles, after graduating from an Academy of Arts. As she turned 20 on June 8, only two days before the finals during the French Open, she became the very first athlete from Latvia to reach the finals for the French Open. She was ranked at 47 prior to January 2017, where she eventually reached rank 33.

This Grand Slam final is also her very first. In 2015, she was able to make it to the second round of Wimbledon. Earlier this year, she also reached the third round. Wherever tennis would take Jelena Ostapenko, fans would be assured that she is there because she loves what she is doing, not because somebody is pushing her to it.