Author: Mildred Shaw

Andy Murray’s Career In Question

Merely a few weeks after announcing that he will slowly be returning to the court after a hip replacement earlier on in the year, Murray’s career is once again in question. Previously he was urged by his surgeon, referred to as the royal surgeon after operating on the Queen Mother’s hip a couple of years ago, to continue playing. Now he was advised to stop immediately due to the high possibility of cobalt poisoning in his blood if he does stay.

Dr Hannes Rudiger is a medical practitioner at the Schulthess Clinic in Zurich. He has advised Murray to stop playing immediately or otherwise face the catastrophic consequences of cobalt poisoning in his blood. Murray suffered hip resurfacing surgery early on this year and was pain-free for the first time in quite a while after suffering severely from his hip previously.

Since he felt great and was urged by his surgeon to continue playing, that was what he did. He performed very well being back on the court and won the European Open title last week. Dr Rudiger, however, had dampened the joyous moment when he urged Murray to stop immediately. Dr Rudiger stated that he didn’t even think that it would be possible that someone would perform so well after a hip replacement with an artificial hip, but he is concerned about the high risk involved if the player continues to play.

The Birmingham Hip Resurfacing

This procedure has already been performed for the past ten years in Switzerland, although it is still relatively new in England. With the system, a prosthetic hip is implanted to replace the injured bone. Two parts of the bone then rub against each other with their metal surfaces. Dr Rudiger stated that often this kind of surgery had had catastrophic results in Switzerland.

He stated that not only did these hips had to be replaced much sooner than their alternative and that contributed significantly to damage to the body, but they also caused poisoning. Even though Murray did take the option of a slow return to playing competitively, he did now step up to the level of playing singles once again. This is very worrisome for Dr Rudiger.

He explained that the stop and go movement, especially prevalent in tennis, is very damaging to the prosthesis. He is so much in opposition to this procedure that he refuses to do that kind of surgery at all. He stated that these movements which are so damaging to the prosthetic hip cause abrasion to the surface of the prosthetic and that would cause cobalt poisoning in the player’s blood. This will lead to further terrible consequences like the bone mass being attacked, visual damage as well as damage to the nervous system. Dr Rudiger furthermore stated that he strongly advises anyone against that kind of surgery and that the risk is too high and the consequences too severe. Especially for someone with Murray’s career.

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Daniil Medvedev for Russian Tennis

The tennis star was inspiring Russian fans when he was signing balls and caps in Moscow, merely hours after his arrival from China where he secured the title in the Shanghai Masters. The native of Moscow is seen as an inspiration to an increasing number of young male tennis players currently infusing the Russian tennis scene. Now, Medvedev is standing at a career-high with his best ranking yet, being at number four in the world.

Being visibly tired, the 23-year-old star admitted to relying on caffeine to keep him awake and still he took the time to smile for selfies and to hand out signatures to his fans. He stated that the support which he gets from the Russians is brilliantly strong and that it is great to have so many people backing your career. Also, the social media in Russia, as well as his many Russian friends, were mentioned for their loyal support.

Inspiring the Young Stars

According to a young fan, Daniil Trefilov, a 19-year-old student, tennis is becoming better and more popular within the country thanks to Medvedev’s influence on the local tennis scene. This is echoed by another young supporter and the leader of an online group who expresses their support for Russia, David Umarkhadzhiyev, who stated that he fell in love with the game of tennis by watching how Medvedev plays. He continued saying that after Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov moved out of the tennis scene, there was a certain kind of stagnation in the sport within Russia. For a relatively long period, no men were playing tennis until Medvedev, Andrei Rublev and Karen Khachanov appeared onto the scene. These three players are the top-ranked players presenting Russia on the international courts. Among themselves these three have an internal competition going, continually pushing each other to higher levels of success.

The Kremlin Cup

The Kremlin Cup is set to take place this week in Moscow, but at his time of arrival within the city, Medvedev was still unsure whether he will be playing within the tournament. Even though he is looking relaxed and tanned, he is highly fatigued with his eyes often half shut as he speaks to his fans and the media.

Beyond the friendly rivalry of his fellow Russian players, lies a much stronger competition which needs to be taken head-on. When Medvedev states this rivalry, he is referring to Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. He says that they are playing as if they are coming from another planet. They are truly brilliant and powerful on the court. Everybody else is always trying their utmost best to beat them. He didn’t comment really on a statement earlier made by Boris Becker stating that the young and upcoming generation of tennis players doesn’t have the mental strength to dethrone the older players. He merely confirmed that he is always trying to deliver his best performance.

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Danielle Collins Arthritis Diagnosis

Lately, fans of this American tennis star must have noticed that she has been in and out quite often in tournaments. Now, after she made a public announcement this week, it became clear what the cause of her regular absence is. The Australian Open finalists announced via a press statement that she has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

This auto-immune disease is categorized within the same group as lupus and Sjögren’s syndrome. The latter being the disease with which Venus Williams was diagnosed after it influenced her life for more than ten years. Rheumatoid Arthritis is associated with chronic inflammation in the joints, which causes constant pain, swelling and stiffness. Even though it is never pleasant to receive any lousy diagnosis, this has been kind of a revelation to the 25-year-old tennis star and explained a lot of the questions about her health lately. Collins stated that she hadn’t been feeling healthy for a while already and that knowing is serving as a form of relieve.

She also stated that she isn’t the first person ever to be diagnosed with such a condition and that she’ll have to learn to deal with it as other people do too. Collins is also not the first person in the world of international tennis to be diagnosed with this condition. During October last year, Caroline Wozniacki went public with the same diagnosis after the WTA Finals. She then stated that regardless of being the fittest athlete in the world, when something like this crosses your path, you need to deal with. She also acknowledges that there are individual choices that you can make to feel better.

Collins’s Career

Collins recently experience a career highlight for her when she made it to no 23 on the rankings after her four runs in Melbourne. This included a 6-0, 6-2 defeat over Angelique Kerber who stood at second place at that stage in the rankings. This diagnosis is in no means a career-ender according to her doctor, Dr Clifton L Page. He stated that early diagnosis is an excellent way of combatting the effects of the condition and that there have been many advancements in the creation of treatments to manage not only the symptoms but also the joint destruction which occurs due to the inflammation. Due to the medical world being much better educated now, management plans can be worked out for athletes to allow them to play for a long time still.

Collins’s most recent performance was at the China Open when Kristina Mladenovic defeated her during her opener in Beijing. Now the young star has to face a much more significant challenge, but considering her recent Instagram post stating that she has this condition and still portrays a positive outlook on life as well as an inborn tenacity, it seems that she is well equipped to deal with this too. She said that she is grateful for every day, which she feels healthy and that she will stay committed to continue a fierce battle on the court.

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Dismissed Umpire for Inappropriate Remarks

In the global arena of international tennis, it is not uncommon for legends of the court to misbehave sometimes. This kind of behaviour is frowned upon by the ATP and often results in players being slammed with hefty fines. This time around it is however not a Nick Kyrgios or even a Williams sister who has been misbehaving, but indeed an umpire who made himself guilty of sexual harassment towards one of the underage ball girls. In addition to this offence, he was also in conversation with one of the players during their toilet break, which is considered to be another violation of ATP rules. Gianluca Moscarella has been dismissed from his position with immediate effect, while the investigation continues into his alleged offences.

Calling Her Sexy

During last week’s Florence Challenger, Gianluca Moscarella was in the chair as an umpire during a match between Pedro Sous and Enrico Dalla Valle. It was roughly around the end of the first set which they played that the voice of Moscarella could be heard, speaking to the ball girl who was kneeling next to his umpire chair. The ball girl was only sixteen years old. Even though he was talking in a foreign language, it was understood that he said to the girl that he thinks she is fantastic and that he considers her to be very sexy. He also asked her if she was physically or emotionally hot. His behaviour is deemed to be sexual harassment of the young girl. This was not his only time which he disregarded the ATP rule book.

Some video footage also surfaced of Moscarella in conversation with one of the players during a toilet break, Pedro Sousa, telling him to stay focused and commenting about the heat which is too much. Moscarella was not enjoying the hot temperature and urged Sousa to finish the game off quickly so that all can get out of the heat sooner. Umpires aren’t allowed to converse with players except when on the court.

Gianluca Moscarella

The Italian umpire has been in his position since 2010. During his career as an umpire, he has excelled to the point where he was one of the ATP’s gold badge umpires. This is the highest level that an arbitrator can achieve. Moscarella was immediately suspended when the video footage was brought under the attention of the ATP until further investigation has been completed.

Moscarella isn’t the first ATP umpire who was dismissed from his position this year. Recently they also suspended the 44-year-old Damian Steiner from Argentina. Steiner was umpire during the men’s finals at Wimbledon. According to an ATP spokesperson, Steiner granted many interviews which the ATP didn’t permit. Steiner had many interactions with the media in Argentina, and the ATP didn’t allow him to discuss any of the events which occurred during the match. They considered this improper conduct as enough reason to relieve him from his position with immediate effect.

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Andy Murray Surgery

During January at the Australian Open, Murray hit rock bottom, announcing his retirement due to his ongoing battle with a worsening hip injury. The injury was causing him constant pain, and he was content to put down his racket forever in exchange for a pain-free life. Now, after surgery, he is openly discussing his surgery and his reason for return to the court once again.

Murray is back on the court after undergoing hip surgery. He stated that it was, in fact, his surgeon, Sarah Muirhead-Allwood, who urged him to get back to play. Muirhead-Allwood is known as a royal surgeon after operating on the Queen Mother’s hip many years ago. Initially, Murray was content with the fact that his career is over and was only hoping to live a pain-free life. During rehab he was, however, realizing that he is now pain-free and happy again and that is enough. He thought that he didn’t have to play tennis. It was then when Muirhead-Allwood urged him to get back.

She stated that him being able to play once again would give surgeons confidence in the kind of treatment which he received. He is hoping that when people see him play again after the operation, that it would give them hope to recover from the same kind of painful situation too. Murray is however aware of the fact that he would have to go for a complete hip replacement later on in his life and that the surgery which he had of hip resurfacing, will only last up to 20 years. This estimated time frame might be shortened though through playing tennis on his level again. Alternatively, he also has his hopes on the train of thought which indicates that an active and healthy lifestyle like that of a top athlete, might cause the bone to be stronger around the hip area and making the resurfacing last longer.

The Near Future

This past week Murray was in action for two hours and 42 minutes against Alex de Minaur. The positive from this game was that he didn’t experience any pain either during the time on the court or afterwards. Soon he will be in Beijing for the ATP 1000 event which takes place in Shanghai. Murray is stating that in the past he placed his body under a lot of stress and that he is planning on taking a more relaxed approach now. He is allowing more time to relax and rest within his schedule. He stated that he is still not ready to take on players at the level of Nadal or Federer, but he is back on the court and enjoying himself. This is something which he was always very clear about, the fact that he will retire the day when he doesn’t enjoy playing anymore. Hopefully, for fans of this 32-year-old star, this won’t be the case for a long time to come.

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Laver Cup Exceeds Expectations

A couple of years ago Roger Federer had an idea which would be referred to as the Laver Cup. The vision entailed a tennis festival, an event where the legends of the sport are honoured, and the upcoming generation is inspired. It had to be fun for those who competed and those who attended. Today we know this vision became a reality which exceeded his expectation. 20-22 September is when the third edition of this event is taking place in Geneva, home turf to Federer himself.

Within a short period of only three years, the Laver Cup became extremely popular. During the first edition which took place in 2017 in Prague and the second in 2018 in Chicago, the event showed itself as an absolute hit on the tennis calendar. In such a degree that this year the ATP decided to let go of their antagonistic attitude towards the tournament and finally recognize it as one of the official world tournaments. The event will however not influence the ATP rankings, due to various tour rules which prevent ranking happening at the tournament. Chris Kermode, the CEO of ATP, expressed their excitement over the event. He mentioned that the players had contributed passionately, and the tennis fans of the world responded with sold-out events.

The Structure of the Laver Cup

The cup is named after Rod Laver, a living legend in the world of tennis. The tournament exists out of two teams competing against each other. The team representing Europe is named after German tennis legend, Bjorn Borg and the opposing team, Team World is named after the former bad boy in tennis history, John McEnroe. The core of Federer’s vision was to deliver a fun event for tennis fans globally which give honour to legends who made history in the game. The immediate appeal which it had from the crowds was, however, exceeding his own expectations. The Laver Cup is being played indoors in many significant areas. The venues resemble those which are used for WWE or even rock concerts. These are chosen specifically to attract the attention of younger interest.

Staring the Best

Even though the tournament is scheduled shortly after the US Open, Federer managed to get a brilliant lineup for the weekend tennis extravaganza. Winner of the US Open, Rafael Nadal and good friend to Federer, is one of the great stars showcasing his talent over the weekend. Nadal’s loyalty to both his good friend and the Laver Cup is represented in the fact that this tennis superstar announced shortly after taking victory in the US Open, that he will need to rest, to let the tendinitis in his knees heal. He said that his schedule for the remainder of the year would have to be delayed for a couple of days, but the one event which he will most definitely be present at is the Laver Cup.

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Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka faced fierce competition and on her way to becoming the WTA’s number one ranked player. During June and August this year, she had a short slip down to the position of number two, but since she defeated the Coco Gauff, she was once again in her favourite place. Except for her brilliant skills on the court, the star’s personal life is also often hitting the headlines. She is considered to be the face of multiculturalism, but what more is there to this star’s own life?

100 Most Influential People of 2019

The 21-year old player’s cultural identity seems to be a constant reason for discussion. Osaka is the daughter of her Japanese mother Tamaki Osaka, and her father is a Leonard Francois is a citizen from Haiti. The couple met when her father visited Japan during his student years. She was born in Japan and is currently representing Japan when competing on an international level, but since she was three years old, she lived in Long Island in the United States. Thanks to this multicultural home which she grew up in, she is considered by many as the face of a multicultural future of the world.

Influence of the Williams Sisters

Naomi Osaka became the first singles champion to win a Grand Slam title for Japan. She was only 20 years old during the US Open in 2018 when she defeated Serena Williams for this title. Her victory was somewhat in the shadows of William’s outburst for which she was fined $17 000 during the match. Williams showed a strong reaction when she received a code violation, and her behaviour took the limelight to a certain degree away from the victory of the Japanese star.

Like the Williams sisters, Osaka is also being coached by her father. Francois stated that he found the inspiration to coach Osaka when he read that Richard Williams coached his daughters without ever playing much tennis himself. Francois decided to follow the approach which Williams had with his daughters and applied that to his own two girls since they were still very young. It was already during these early days of their tennis careers that the girl’s parents decided that if their daughter performs well in tennis, they will be representing Japan on an international level.

The Dilemma of Dual Citizenship

The tennis star is currently in possession of dual citizenship. This is another hot topic for many since Japanese law doesn’t allow citizens to have dual citizenship, and by law, Osaka is supposed to hand in one of her passports. The uncertainty remains, however, whether Japan would enforce this law or just let it pass since she is such a star. Others feel again that because she is a star, the government should implement this law. Nothing has been done, and she still has dual citizenship, living a life of true multiculturalism.

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Tennis Bad Boy Daniil Medvedev

Some adore him, and others can’t stand him, either way, ranked fifth on the ATP rankings, this 23-year old Russian tennis superstar is bringing about many emotions in the crowd. Often slapped on the wrist for his temper tantrums on the court and usually having to pay a couple of fines, yet his performance is keeping the crowds engaged.

Fines and Bad Behaviour

Certain kinds of behaviour won’t be tolerated on the court and Medvedev is regularly overstepping the boundaries of tennis etiquette. During the US Open, he threw a towel towards a ball boy in anger and received a $9 000 fine for doing that. He continued however on his rampage and threw his racket towards the umpire’s chair and was regularly showing the middle finger to the crowds. In total thus far in the US Open, his fines amounted to $19 000. He made sure that his feelings towards the masses were clearly stated in his sarcastic commentary after defeating Lopez, thanking them for the energy which they provided so that he could win.

A Sports Psychologist in the Player Box

The player box is usually reserved for family and close friends, but this is the place where Medvedev keeps his therapist. Francisca Dauzet is a Paris based sports psychologist who has been working with Medvedev for just over a year. She is the one who makes notes during his play and seems to calm him down in between or assist him in channelling his rage into a productive outcome and excellent game. Her path crossed with his shortly after a 2017 outburst at Wimbledon when Medvedev started to throw coins towards the umpire accusing him of bribery. He later on admitted that he is ashamed of his behaviour and began to work with her to take control of his outbursts.

Transforming Anger into Achievement

Experts do believe that at least some of his success on the court stems from his anger, yet it needs to be harnessed for the greater good, instead of misbehaving. This is the main focus of a sport psychologist like Dauzat. She needs to assist him in getting positive outcomes from his anger and using it to achieve greatness. Just like others before him, including Federer and McEnroe, he too had to take control of his behaviour.

An additional instigator of his anger is the pain which he experiences due to some injuries. He urged the crowds to boo him since he states that their commentary gives him the energy to overcome the anxiety of his injuries which painkillers don’t numb so that he can deliver his best.

His coach Gilles Cervara mentioned that he is aware of the fact that Medvedev is always ashamed of his behaviour afterwards, but that he needs to stop crossing the line so often. He also mentioned that Medvedev is a tennis genius and that he needs to deal with his behaviour as needed.

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Serena’s Wealth

Serena Williams is, without any doubt, one of the most famous athletes in the world of tennis. Since she debuted her career, both Serena and sister, Venus, gripped the attention of tennis fans globally. Serena is also not known for only her success in the world of tennis, but too often made the news as an inspirational icon to many women and not only limited to the world of professional sports. Hence being a star in every single sense of the word, her net worth has accumulated to quite an impressive amount.

Serena’s Career

Serena has a long and successful career, which started when she was only 14 years old when she won her first Grand Slam title. Since then she raked in 23 Grand Slam titles in total. Showing the world her real strength when she won the Australian Open while being pregnant. Without a doubt, all this success brought an impressive income over the years, and it is no wonder then that Serena is the highest-paid champion in women’s tennis. The total amount of her income through her successful career, standing on $88.6 million.

The Battle to Equal Pay

Serena has been very vocal for many years already about the enormous pay gender gap, which exists in the world of professional sport. Hence she is also in strong support of the US Women’s Soccer team’s, appeal for equal wages and prize money. This battle to achieve equal pay is not without reason. Already in 2016, it was reported that Serena made a mere $495 000 dollar to defend her title, while $731 000 was earned by her male counterpart at that stage, Roger Federer.

Tennis Is Not Her Sole Income

When someone reaches the level of success and fame, which Serena managed through her successful career, many opportunities unfold which deliver their high financial returns. Serena is also actively involved in the upliftment of women, and she is an ambassador in support of positive body image. This is fitting well with the clothing line which she launched in 2018. The range is described as a unique balance between glamour and comfort and includes sizing up to a 3X. The clothing line is also a reflection of her motherhood and the effect that it had on her life. She is convinced that not only fashion icons can look amazing, and she wants to create a look where even moms can look like fashion icons and still be comfortable in what they wear.

Another additional income to her already healthy bank balance comes from endorsements. Her five-year contract with Nike brought her a profit of $40 million in endorsement fees. All these additions to her financial status contributed to her total net worth of $180 million. This is almost double of that of a sister, Venus who is set at $95 million. Serena Williams is indeed impressive both on and off the court and most definitely too when it comes to financial strength.

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Nick Kyrgios Better Future For Tennis

Nick Kyrgios is, without a doubt this decade’s bad boy in the world of tennis. This very talented 24-year old Australian star has made a name for himself of being the one who would throw a temper tantrum over something as simple as a towel, yet his talent can be unrivalled if his head is in the game.

Kyrgios Always Keeping the Crowds Entertained

Over the years, Kyrgios proved himself to be an excellent player. In the past, he has been able to win those in the ranks of Nadal, yet he also managed to lose against competitors who are much lower-ranked than himself. His emotions are often getting the better half of him during play. When he is, however on the court, he keeps the crowds entertained with jokes and comments and often handing out high-fives. He was showing his best once again during the recent Citi Open in Washington, where he won his sixth ATP title. Regardless however of whether it is due to a temper tantrum or his winning side, Kyrgios is living out his full personality on the court, and that draws spectators. This is precisely the core of his advice towards the sport to remain valid for an even more massive spectator crowd.

Players Need to Be Who They Are

Kyrgios advised that tennis players shouldn’t be hesitant to show the fans who they indeed are and should much rather live out their personalities on the court than being crowd-pleasers. Considering that he has been able to bring a breath of fresh air into the sport while living out his character, his words do carry reason to ponder on. Kyrgios, who is not willing to change his personality to fit into a particular mould accepted on the court, stated that players should embrace who they are and that it draws more excellent media coverage for the sport in general. He also compared the future of tennis with other national league sports including the National Baseball League, National Football League and so forth. These sports draw a much broader type of fan base, which is good for the sport. Tennis can be reserved, and some prefer it that way. Some consider the discipline on the court as the heart of the game, but true to what Kyrgios is stating, this discipline only draws a limited type of spectator and isn’t contributing to the expansion of interest in the sport.

The Future Can Be Exciting

Kyrgios went on to refer to the new upcoming teenage stars like Felix and Tsitsipas, stating that they have such different personalities and if they showed the crowds who they are, they would draw much higher interest in their games. According to him, this would up the cool factor of the sport, by being entertaining on a different level than what crowds are used to. Whether Kyrgios’s advice would be taken to heart by these young stars, remain to be seen. Some might resent his style, and others love the entertainment.

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