Ashleigh Barty Rises to the Top at French Open

Even though she only turned 23 recently, it feels like we’ve known about Ashleigh Barty for decades. Her business-like demeanour and dimpled smile while playing in prestigious matches have been familiar sightings for several years now.

Who is Ashleigh Barty?

When Ashleigh was 15 years old she was already a junior Wimbledon champion. When she was 16, she became a Grand Slam doubles finalist. Any athlete who can succeed at such a young age deserves to be at the top when they are only 23 years old. She is one of the most admired and well-liked players when it comes to tennis and continues to improve with each passing year.

Tennis is a sport that sees plenty of young kids enter the sport, hit the wall, and never seem to completely bounce back from it. However, Ashleigh managed to make a return to the sport on her own time where she first made her mark in doubles and then later in singles. She appeared rejuvenated and full of life when she made her return. During her time away she decided to play professional cricket, a sport where she excelled for a short time after she picked it up without any prior experience. She played it due to the team component that came along with it.

When she made her way back to tennis, she was under the impression that doubles would be her ticket to receive a major title. She never expected that singles would be her way to glory. Ashleigh Barty is still incredibly young even though her opponent at the 2019 Roland Garros was only 19 years of age. Their ages combined is the lowest that any major championship has seen since Dinara Safina and Ana Ivanovic played in the French Open championship of 2008.

Ashleigh Barty’s Victory

Ashleigh Barty was the number 8 seed and she managed to execute a phenomenal range of things in her creative and crisp game. The only thing she was required to do was fire on all cylinders to win a tournament and she did exactly that while was she playing against Vondrousova to claim a win in only 70 minutes. It was very similar to the men’s semi-final victory by Dominic Thiem.

Disbelief and joy crossed Ashleigh’s face when she realised that she won. The managed to become the first player from Australia to lift the Suzanne-Lenglen Cup in 46 years where she fulfilled two prophecies on social media that were made this week by Rod Laver, a legendary countryman.

The only misstep from Ashleigh occurred during the national anthem of the prestigious trophy ceremony where she had to be told where to stand. Once she was alone on the podium, emotions took over and she was unable to hold back her tears. This obviously didn’t matter much as her lyrical style managed to sing for itself on the stage. She is one remarkable player that will surely win more trophies.

Persons

Can Rafael Nadal Win at Wimbledon?

Toni Nadal, the long-time coach and uncle of Rafael Nadal, patiently waited for his nephew after Sunday’s 2019 French Open, ready to congratulate him on his 12th Roland Garros title. This was an accomplishment that Toni Nadal described as phenomenal, mainly because everybody in the world of tennis never through that the record set by Bjorn Borg would be broken and he only managed to accumulate 6 French Open titles.

Rafael Nadal’s French Open Career

Rafael Nadal currently has twice as many French Open titles as Borg which is a record that will be impossible to beat, especially given the fact that Rafael Nadal can still win a few more titles before he decides to retire from the sport. What’s even more impressive is that no one had managed to achieve a Roland Garros-Wimbledon double since Rafael Nadal made it in 2010 when he claimed his second Wimbledon title only two years after his original title.

Rafael Nadal was also the runner-up during 2011. However, for a couple of years, after that, his creaking knees were not up for the challenge. He only managed to win two matches at Wimbledon during 2012, 2013, and 2015. He was stuck in fourth place during 2014 and missed the tournament entirely in 2016.

Thankfully, in the past two years, it seems like Rafael Nadal managed to find a way to excel on grass once again. During 2017, he advanced to the fourth round and was defeated by Gilles Muller. In 2018, he performed at his best on the lawn since back in 2011 and was extremely close to defeating Novak Djokovic in an incredible semi-final. If it didn’t go into the second day of playing, he might have won.

Rafael Nadal and His Confidence

Nadal recently stated that he wouldn’t be playing on grass as a warm-up event as he prefers to stay healthy, rest, and prepare for Wimbledon. However, he might participate in a few exhibition matches to get familiar with the match-court.

Wimbledon was once considered the domain for the big hitters and big servers, giving players more opportunities on their returns. Volley and serve still play a significant role, though, while players that move forward will always reap the benefits. And as Rafael Nadal demonstrated on Sunday, he volleys just as good as anyone else.

However, the key for someone like Rafael Nadal is not grass. It’s pure confidence. After he experienced a low once he arrived in Barcelona during April, he admitted that his overall attitude was negative and managed to turn things around since then. A win in Rome led to restoring his belief, and a victory at Roland Garros provided a satisfying feeling that gave him an even more significant boost to potentially win Wimbledon later this year. Rafael Nadal’s 18 Grand Slam titles mean that he is only two titles away from Roger Federer to take the top spot. This will be more than enough motivation to keep him going.

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Roger Federer to Face Rafael Nadal in French Open Semi-Final

Roger Federer managed to set up an excellent semi-final match at the French Open against Rafael Nadal as the defending champion when he defeated Stan Wawrinka in only four sets.

A few moments before Roger Federer claimed victory against Wawrinka, Rafael Nadal claimed a 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 win over Kei Nishikori during the French Open quarterfinals. However, the 20-time Grand Slam winner, Roger Federer, endured a draining 3-hour match on Court Suzanne Lenglen where he claimed a 7-6, 5-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory.

After the energy-sapping match, Roger Federer stated that the ultimate dream would be to win the entire French Open tournament. However, he is happy with reaching the semi-finals of a Grand Slam tournament as it hasn’t happened for quite some time. He also endured four heavy defeats in quarterfinals in the past, so from that point of view, he is pleased with the result already. Both quarterfinals experienced slight interruptions with thunderstorms in Paris.

Roger Federer at Roland Garros

Roger Federer will be playing at the famous Roland Garros for the very first time in the last four years when he missed the event back in 2016 due to a back injury which also caused him to miss the previous 2 clay-court tournaments to get back to health. He faced the most challenging test since he made a comeback to clay when he went up against Wawrinka, the champion of 2015, who managed to advance beyond the second round in a Grand Slam event for the first time since he lost in the French Open final in 2017.

The third seed, Roger Federer, managed to drop his 1st set of the tournament and converted only 2 out of his 18 breaks, even though the second of those – during the 9th game of his 4th set – proved to be decisive. Roger Federer stated that Stan Wawrinka still managed to make it to the final four even though he suffered several injuries in the past and had to break his rhythm with a few lucky shots.

Rafael Nadal Looking Forward to Semi-Final Clash

Rafael Nadal, who is currently 33 years of age, will be enjoying his 12th semi-final event at Roland Garros and has managed to claim victory in the tournament a total of 11 times where Roger Federer only claimed it twice.

It only took him an hour and 51 minutes to defeat Nishikori as the seventh seed and stated that he is playing very positively at the moment. He also said that facing Roger in the semi-finals will be unique as both of them shared some critical moments in tennis during their careers.

Nadal will face Federer for the 39th time this Friday, who managed to win his only Roland Garros title more than a decade ago. Nadal also impresses with a remarkable 23-15 record against Federer. However, it’s Federer who is currently boasting with more victories in the last five matches.

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The Coolest Tennis Courts from Around the World

Tennis is a phenomenal sport that can be played just about anywhere in the world when there’s a tennis court available. However, some tennis courts have been correctly positioned in the most beautiful locations known to man, allowing tennis players to marvel at Earth’s beauty while enjoying a competitive game of tennis in the process.

Gstaad Palace, Switzerland

During the winter, Switzerland offers some of the most beautiful terrain and scenery for skiing. However, you’ll be a fool to overlook the months of summer, especially when you consider the Gstaad Palace where you’ll find several clay courts that are surrounded by magnificent mountains which will provide you with a remarkable Alpine experience.

II San Pietro, Italy

If you ever find yourself on the incredible Mediterranean yacht circuit in summer, a stop at Positano is highly recommendable. Once you are off the boat, you’ll struggle to find a better hotel than the II San Pietro. Even though cruising it’s crystal clear waters, lounging around the crescent-shaped pool, and dining like royalty is going to be your primary objectives, don’t forget about the tennis court, offering cinematic ocean views and towering rock formations.

Tennis de la Cavalerie, France

A couple of kilometres away from Roland Garros, situated on the grounds of Bois de Boulogne, is another spectacular tennis court, known as La Cavalerie. The property only offers one tennis court. However, it features arched walls and ceilings that are constructed from 1,400 pieces of solid wood that are arranged in a magnificent diamond shape. It’s so beautiful. You’ll quickly forget that it’s situated on top of an Aston Martin dealership.

Pikes Ibiza Rocks House, Spain

Ibiza is the last place that comes to mind when you think of athletic activities. However, the famous party island impresses with one of the boldest and most vibrant tennis courts in the world at the legendary Pikes Ibiza Rocks House. It comes equipped with a bright pink and neon green surface that will certainly give you a shock. However, what would you expect from a place that used to host orgies during the 1980s?

Enchantment Resort, Arizona, United States

While the primary objective is to focus on the ball during a competitive match at the Enchantment Resort, you might find it quite challenging to concentrate. You don’t have to look inside yourself for the lack of concentration but will instead lose focus due to the breath-taking backdrop that boasts several red sandstone formations.

All Iowa Lawn Tennis Club, United States

The All Iowa Lawn Tennis Club can be seen as the Wimbledon of Iowa. Even though there’s only one tennis court available and thousands of miles away from the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, if you forget about the wind turbines that surround the court, you can easily see yourself at Centre Court. Denise and Mark Kuhn, the owners of the tennis court, even decided to intern with the groundsmen at Wimbledon to ensure the grass is the same.

Rafael Nadal Defeats Novak Djokovic to Win Italian Open

Ranked as the number 2 tennis player in the world, Rafael Nadal managed to defeat the number 1 tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic, to win Sunday’s Italian Open in Rome for his first victory of the season along with his 9th title at the prestigious event.

The Italian Open was Nadal’s first clay-court final victory against Djokovic since the French Open in 2014. This was also the 54th meeting between the two tennis stars, and Djokovic currently leads by 28-26 against Nadal in all sessions.

Statistics Between Nadal and Djokovic

This was considered their 8th clash in Rome, and their 5th meeting in the final. Rafael Nadal currently leads 5-3 over Djokovic in Rome, and 3-2 in terms of finals in Rome.

The only tournaments that Rafael Nadal has managed to win more frequently than the Italian Open are the Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and French Open – all of which he has claimed a total of 11 times.

Rafael Nadal recently informed reporters that while a win is essential, he considers health and competitiveness more important than winning in his mind and that always improving his game is one of his biggest joys in life.

Novak Djokovic is still leading by 15-11 when it comes to all finals, while Rafael Nadal is leading Djokovic on clay by 17-7. Both these exceptional tennis players will now make their way to Paris where there’s even more up for grabs in the French Open.

Rafael Nadal will be looking for his 12th Roland Garros title, while Novak Djokovic will be looking to hold all 4 Grand Slam titles simultaneously for a second time in his tennis career.

Rafael Nadal’s Win in Rome

After Rafael Nadal won his 11th title a year ago at the French Open, Novak Djokovic claimed victories at the Australian Open, US Open, and Wimbledon, where he defeated Rafael Nadal in straight sets during the final to claim his 15th Grand Slam.

In more than five years, Novak Djokovic has been 13-3 over Rafael Nadal within the final of the Australian Open. All 3 of Rafael Nadal’s victories occurred on clay which included 2 in Rome and the semi-final of last year.

However, with his recent victory in Rome, Nadal managed to gain a massive confidence boost before making his way to Paris where he has managed to win 11 out of 17 Grand Slam titles.

In the match, Nadal looked like he was playing at his peak during the first set, while Novak Djokovic seemed a little off, allowing Nadal to hand Djokovic a bagel. This was mainly the first time that either of these players managed to take a 6-0 set against the other player in a total of 142 matches.

Should these two players meet again at the Roland Garros final in there weeks’ time, with Rafael Nadal leading 17-15 in the major count, the match could determine if Nadal will close the gap to Roger Federer or if Djokovic can close the gap of Nadal.

The French Open Storylines That Could Unfold in Rome

The last significant warm-up before the French Open – the final choice prize on the loaded circuit of Euro clay – is already taking place in Rome. There’s a mere week left following the conclusion of the Italian Open this week – a WTA Premier 5 and an ATP Masters 1000 tournament – before play begins in Paris. However, the players at Roland Garros usually skip the small events to focus more on the second Grand Slam event for the season.

In recent years, the narrative for the French Open was already determined when the Italian Open started. However, things are different this time around in Rome, giving the impression that things aren’t entirely settled. This means that the questions we asked carry a greater urgency than before and the next few days will be able to tell us the narrative for Ronald Garros.

Will Serena Williams Win in Rome?

If you want to determine how to fit Serena Williams is for the French Open, you can’t create an ideal tournament. The Italian Open is Serena’s most fruitful tournament on clay. She is a four-time champion with her most recent win in 2016. However, she has only dominated at the Met Gala in past months. She had a decent run during the Australian Open, but that was almost four months ago. She also managed to play in Miami and Indian Wells but pulled out in both events.

She will be facing her sister, Venus Williams, during Round 2 in Rome as the number 10 seed. She will also have Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens in her quarter, while she is in the same half as Naomi Osaka as the number 1 seed and Kiki Bertens as the number 6 seed.

Is Novak Djokovic Back at the Top?

Nobody, other than Rafael Nadal, has advanced to the French Open recently feeling like a top contender when it comes to men’s tennis. However, if Novak Djokovic managed to claim victory in Rome, he will have the right to brag about it, and he is well aware of it too. He recently informed reporters, after the great win over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday in Madrid, that the victory was significant for his motivation and a confidence boost for Rome.

This is essentially a warning to every rival when it comes to how dominant Djokovic was during the Slam run from July through to February. However, motivation is a challenging aspect, as Djokovic demonstrated recently with his under-par performance.

Djokovic managed to equal the record by Nadal of 33 Masters titles with his incredible victory in Madrid. It’s difficult to imagine that he wouldn’t love to surpass his rival while playing in Rome. Hi, might get outplayed or outclassed in Rome. However, a defeat to a player outside the top 10 players would be a significant sign. Djokovic has been on top of his game recently, and there’s no doubt that he will continue that run in Rome.

Roger Federer’s Return to Clay After 3 Years

When Roger Federer makes his way onto the court on Tuesday evening in Madrid, it will be the first time in three years he steps onto the clay. Restricted by injury to only five clay matches during 2016 and avoiding the clay surface entirely in 2018 and 2017 to primarily focus on Wimbledon, the tennis star, as well as his friends and family, is very excited.

Madrid Open

Madrid has welcomed the 20-time Grand Slam winner by rolling out the red carpet in the last couple of days. In a country that has primarily enjoyed the success of Rafael Nadal over the last decade, it’s the face of Federer that has been promoted across posters in the capital of Spain. When it was announced that the Miami Open would feature Roger Federer, ticket sales increased significantly.

Federer stated on Sunday that he is pleased to finally return to clay after avoiding the surface for most of the last three years. He was indecisive about his return to the clay court but is happy to make his return to the Madrid Open this time around. Federer doesn’t have any high expectations walking into the tournament, but he thinks that anything is possible. Madrid is known for its high altitude, and Federer is interested to see how far he will get in the prestigious tennis tournament.

Roger Federer only started practising on clay last month. The last time he played a match on clay was during the 2016 Italian Open where he lost against Dominic Thiem due to lingering injuries in the third round.

Roger Federer’s Return to Clay

Considering he claimed victory at Wimbledon in 2017, after he decided to skip the clay circuit while he reaped the benefit of resting while others tackled the dirt, Federer’s return is quite surprising. Taking a break from clay for three years certainly increases the risk of an injury, not to mention that the movement also takes some getting used to. However, even though Wimbledon is his number 1 goal, he has been planning his return to the clay circuit for quite some time.

Federer stated that he needs to be ready for long matches and long rallies which means he needs to work on his endurance more than anything else. He already started with endurance training back in December as he already knew that he would be playing on clay during 2019. He also stated that he put loads of hours in on clay before the Madrid Open as he needed to get used to sliding all over the place as that is something that is key to winning matches when it comes to the clay courts.

With absolutely no points to defend this time around, there’s no real pressure in Madrid for Roger Federer. That’s beside the pressure he places on himself, of course. Roger Federer is going to play against Richard Gasquet in his first match along with a quarterfinal match against Thiem.

Juan Martin del Porto Is Making Another Return

Juan Martin del Potro is going to be among us again very soon, bringing back those monstrous serves and forehands. This is unless something goes wrong before he returns, and in Del Porto’s case, the worst-case scenario is always a possibility.

The tennis star from Argentina is entering the Madrid Masters tournament that will take place between 5 May and 12 May 2019. Apart from the aborted comeback, he attempted to make in February; this will be considered the first tournament for the 6-foot master since October of 2018 where he fractured his knee.

Del Porto’s Injuries

In September of 2018, del Porto celebrated his 30th birthday. He has managed to outgrow most aspects of his early years when it comes to tennis, from his introvert fear when speaking to the public to his sleeveless shirts. However, del Porto still hadn’t gotten over his physical weaknesses that had constantly interrupted his career since that surprising evening that occurred in 2009 when he managed to overpower Roger Federer during the final of the US Open.

The victory against Roger Federer remains his one and only Grand Slam title. He could have claimed a handful of additional titles since, but his intimacy with rehab and surgery during his long career started just four months after his remarkable breakthrough.

Del Porto’s Tennis Career

When del Porto is fit and healthy, he is considered one of the most disruptive forces when it comes to tennis. He is regarded as someone that is more feared than fearful, and this is true to even the most elite players in the game. An ATP specialist has recently informed reporters that del Porto has the unique power to take the game into his own hands due to the immense power he has with his services along with his forehand, as well as his potent backhand when he needs it. He never beats himself and has every single weapon needed to defeat anyone on the court, regardless if its day or night.

Even the Big Four can confirm this report. Del Porto boasted with a two-set lead over Rafael Nadal during the US Open semi-finals in September before Nadal decided to retire from a knee problem. During the Olympics in 2012, del Porto lost a match to Federer during the semi-finals. However, he managed to defeat Djokovic to claim the bronze medal.

In recent years, del Porto managed to stop Federer in a 3-set thriller during the Indian Wells final in 2018. Although he is trailing Federer 18-7 in a series, he does have a 4-2 edge over the Swiss when it comes to finals.

Due to several injuries, del Porto hasn’t had the opportunity to impress everyone with his spectacular skills and abilities consistently. The tennis star is currently ranked in 9th position. However, if he makes a return and plays the way he ought to, he will quickly climb the ranks as one of the best players in the world, especially to challenge the big four.

Serena, Federer, and Nadal Questions That Will Assist in Shaping the Clay Season

The season of clay-courts will begin next week and will pick up steam as it travels across Europe in the upcoming weeks, concluding in the French Open towards the end of May, promising to be both unpredictable and intriguing.

This is due to the fact that the landscape in both the WTA and the ATP has changed considerably. For instance, who would have thought that neither Rafael Nadal, Naomi Osaka, Novak Djokovic, or Serena Williams wouldn’t be in the final for both the Miami Open or the Indian Wells in March?

Can Rafael Nadal Still Dominate This Year?

The answer to the question is a definite yes. He is considered the defending champion at the moment and has won the grandest clay event a total of 11 times at the French Open. He also owns the record for the most victories at the Masters 1000 tournaments, with a total of 33, due to the fact that the King of Clay has played consistently at the Master’s events each and every time. If Nadal is able to stay healthy, he will undoubtedly add to his title record, making it an even dozen victories at Roland Garros.

Will a Healthy Serena Williams Contend?

Serena Williams, who is currently 37 years old and still attempting to get traction after she returned from giving birth to her child, has faced illness and injury in all tournaments she participated in. She managed to roll her ankle while playing against Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinal at the Australian Open which opened the door for a remarkable comeback victory over her rival. At the Indian Wells, she decided to retire during the second match and withdrew at the Miami Open after playing once. However, she’s back to full health at the moment, giving her the perfect opportunity to make a comeback at the French Open.

Will Roger Federer Return To Clay?

In late September, Roger Federer informed reporters that his primary motivation after he skipped the clay circuit in both 2018 and 2017 was his simplistic love of the sport. However, in March, the tennis superstar also informed reporters that skipping clay will not be beneficial over the long-term as he initially expected. He feels that a few baseline battles and hard training on clay might give him greater stead over the long term, that’s if he stays in good health.

Who boasts with the inside edge when it comes to the WTA?

The last week of play in WTA, that took place in North America, this week came equipped with 4 finalists, including Garbine Muguruza vs Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki vs Madison Keys. Everyone except for Keys has been number 1 and claimed Grand Slam title victories. However, none of them has won a tournament as of yet in 2019. Muguruza and Keys eventually cracked the code. However, you can expect much of the same in the months yet to come.

Tennis Stars Get Paid to Drive These Luxurious Cars

Tennis stars are supported by millions of fans and all the major stars has partnered with one of the leading automobile brands. In promoting some of the most luxurious cars via social media or adverts, there are many benefits to both the sports starts as well as the companies. In return for promoting the automobile brands, the tennis players receive tons of cash, and they get to drive the car of their choice.

Rafael Nadal Ambassador for Kia Motors

Rafael Nadal has been the promoter of choice for Kia Motors, and since the start of 2004, he was at first the primary ambassador for the brand in Spain. Since 2006, only two years after becoming the ambassador for Kia Motors in Spain, Nadal became the Kia Motors ambassador for the global brand.

Roger Federer Partnered with Mercedes-Benz

Since 2010, Roger Federer is the Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador, and this means that he receives a new car from Mercedes every six months.

Maria Sharapova Associated with Porsche

Maria Sharapova is a huge Porsche fan and became the brand ambassador for the brand in 2012.

Kei Nishikori is the Ambassador for Jaguar

Nishikori loves everything about Jaguar, and by 2014 he got the deal of a lifetime when he became the brand ambassador for the brand in Japan.

Serena Williams Choose Lincoln Motors

Serena Williams selected Lincoln Motors which is the Ford Motor Company’s luxury car division. In 2018 the tennis superstar was appointed as the brand ambassador for none other than the 2018 Lincoln Navigator model. Williams has also been allied with German automakers previously, which included Aston Martin and BMW’s Mini brand.

Andy Murray is the sports Celebrity promoting Jaguar.

Andy Murray first became the Ambassador for the Jaguar brand in 2016 and is known by most as the Jaguar man.

Dominic Thiem

Since 2015, Dominic Thiem is the Kia Motors brand ambassadors in Austria while Rafael Nadal is the ambassador for the Kia Motors brand worldwide.

Alexander Zverev

Since March 2017, Zverev is the brand ambassador for the luxury automobile brand, Peugeot.

Garbiñe Muguruza

Garbiñe is the official ambassador of Mazda since 2014. While the deal is not active at the moments, it could be prolonged in future.

While tennis superstars get to drive the most luxurious cars around, it is also interesting to know which earns the most. According to Forbes, the wealthiest tennis superstars in the world makes around $77.2 million per annum. The yearly income of $77.2 million was for the period June 2017 up to June 2018, which have increased considerably since then. His/her income does not determine the highest earner only as a $300 million endorsement deal signed by Federer for the next 10-years almost ensures that he will remain at the top of the list. The top-earning female tennis star remains Serena Williams who earned for the same period an income of $18.1 million.

The top earners include Novak Djokovic at around $23 million per year, Kei Nishikori earning a yearly income of $34.6 million and Rafael Nadal earning $41.4 million. At the top of the list is Roger Federer earning $77.2 million.