Category: Tennis Events

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.

Is the WPA About Lack of Dominant Tennis Players or Depth?

When Naomi Osaka claimed her second Grand Slam title in succession during January at the Australian Open, it seemed like the WTA could have located a player with sufficient dignity to surpass Serena Williams. The primary obstacles that are standing in her way appear to be three other Grand Slam champions, including Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitová, and Simona Halep.

The hype was enormous. Referring to Osaka and Williams, a news article published in The Atlantic stated: “Women’s tennis is currently a two-headed monster while the rest are still lurking.”

The WTA Becomes a 14-Headed Monster

However, Osaka managed to draw a blank with the weeks that followed after the Australian Open. She was knocked out before the quarterfinals in two large tournaments, including the Miami Open and the BNP Paribas Open, which are both considered the most significant tournaments when it comes to Grand Slams. Perhaps more intriguing is the fact that her demise wasn’t the handiwork of Grand Slam champions, but instead at the hands of Su-Wei Hsieh and Belinda Bencic, neither of whom were ranked in the top 20.

Now, after 12 weeks into 2019, the WTA is not regarded as a two-headed monster anymore, but a 14 headed monster due to the number of single tournaments along with different tournament champions that have been produced in the new year. Meanwhile, Kerber, Kvitová, and Halep have one title between them which Kvitová managed to secure in Sydney. So what gives?

“It’s fantastic, isn’t it?” stated Ashleigh Barty after she claimed the Miami Open tournament earlier this month. “Especially when you look at the women’s side, I believe everything has evened out while the depth has grown considerably over the last couple of years.”

There’s no denying that the days when a top 8 seed could sleepwalk through to the quarterfinals without having to surrender more than a couple of matches are long gone. However, it still took the tour a couple of generations to fully achieve and mature the competitive depth we have now. The young generation, players up to 22 years of age, might be the strongest yet. Ashleigh Barty, currently ranked at number 9, might be its talisman.

The WTA Tournament Group

Ashleigh Barty was so well disciplined and schooled that she managed to burn out just after she turned 18. She decided to leave the tour for over a year and made her return in the minor league in May 2016. She’s only 22 years old at the moment, and there’s no one else that has claimed a WTA tournament on the hard courts in 2019. In recent years, some winners were considerably younger. The WTA tournament group includes Jelena Ostapenko who was the French Open Champion in 2017, Belinda Bencic, a struggling 21-year old who claimed a Grand Slam event, and Bianca Andreescu who was the first wild card entry to claim victory at Indian Wells. So there’s no denying that the competition is getting more difficult with each passing year.

Tennis Events

Roger Federer Wins at Miami Open


Roger Federer managed to win the 101st single title of his career during the Miami Open in March. There were several signs that Roger Federer could secure the title – and a handful that indicated that he wouldn’t – when he started his journey ten days ago. No tennis player in the world has won more than 1 title in a total of 19 ATP tournaments in 2019. The top seed in Miami, Novak Djokovic, managed to win the last 3 Grand Slam events and looked keen to rebound from a third-round defeat at Indian Wells.

Roger Federer at the Miami Open

Roger Federer had some severe doubts at the Miami Open. He was defeated in Miami during the second round in 2018 and returned after an Indian Wells final defeat at the hands of Dominic Thiem. “To be honest, it would have been quite easy to say that last year simply didn’t work out for me, let me rather not come back,” Federer stated in a news conference after he defeated John Isner in the final. “I’m delighted I decided to change my mind.”

Other ominous signs started to develop in real time for Federer. He was forced to produce an 11-hour rally against Radu Albot who was his first opponent to take down in the tournament. All spectators then turned to the group of young players who managed to run roughshod through the tournament where two teenagers managed to end in the semi-finals. The role of Federer seemed to transform from a primary candidate to elder statesman and then dangerous veteran to everyone’s role model.

Roger Federer, who is currently 37 years old, didn’t assist his cause with the phenomenal way he fielded all the unanswered questions about the promoting, young, gifted kids who wanted to replace Federer in the brackets. However, that’s the MO for Federer: Love and lull them to death.

“I was highly impressed and kept asking myself how old he actually was and how good will he eventually get?” Federer stated after he recalled the first time he witnessed Denis Shapovalov who was his semi-final opponent with a superb backhand. “He was, and the same can be said about his serve. It felt like he truly belonged in the tournament with a beautiful swinger.”

Federer continued by stating that he was extremely excited to play against Shapovalov who he managed to defeat without any remorse or mercy, 6-4, 6-2.

Roger Federer’s Opponents in the Miami Open

The assignments for Federer always give the impression of scripts from Mission Impossible. Eliminate Rafael Nadal in Europe on the red dirt. Outsmart Novak Djokovic in Wimbledon on spongy lawns. Outfox Andy Murray in Asia on hardcourts. However, the week at the Miami Open felt more like a lumberjack operation. Chop down the timber in 3 consecutive matches during the semi-final. Federer’s opponents included Daniil Medvedev, Kevin Anderson, and Isner who all offered dangerous serves, and he managed to defeat them all.

Tennis Events

Bianca Andreescu Wins Indian Wells Women’s Title

If Dominic Thiem required a clear reminder that anything is possible before his incredible three-set upset against Roger Federer at the BNP Paribas Open in the men’s final. Bianca Andreescu certainly provided that pep talk. She is only 18 years of age.

Bianca Andreescu vs Angelique Kerber

With her remarkable 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Angelique Kerber, a three-time Grand Slam champion. Bianca Andreescu managed to become the first wild card to claim the Indian Wells women’s title. She is now regarded as the youngest tournament winner since Serena Williams back in 1999. Bianca is considered the fourth unseeded tennis player to raise the prestigious trophy, joining Naomi Osaka, Kim Clijsters, and Serena Williams.

Towards the end of the third set, Bianca Andreescu was visibly exhausted, played injured, and had cramps in her legs against one of the toughest, fittest women in the world of tennis. However, for one day, the 18 years old Canadian managed to outsmart one of the greatest fighters in the sport.

“This is undoubtedly one of the most difficult matches I’ve played in my career,” Andreescu stated after the match. “I realised how much determination I have, and regardless of the score, anyone can come back. I certainly believe that I proved that anything is possible today.”

From Sunday’s first ball, Andreescu didn’t show any signs of the nerves that usually accompany players during their first WTA final. Mainly when she played against a tennis pro. Who was there to contest for her 29th final and was ranked number 8 in the world. On the other hand, Andreescu already managed to take down 5 Top 20 players in 2019, three in this tennis tournament alone, and accumulated more match wins than any other female tennis player.

Dominic Thiem vs Roger Federer

Even though he dropped the first set against Federer, who seemed every bit the champion. Thiem managed to rally to take the second set and during the 11th game of the last set. This prevented Federer from scoring on a back-to-back drop shot attempts before breaking him with a brilliant crosscourt forehand.

The 25-year-old from Austria then managed to close the match on his serve. This allowed him to claim his first Masters 1000 title along with the most significant tournament of his career with an astonishing 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 win. Thiem was instantly grabbed in the head, he dropped to the ground, and his legs/arms were splayed out. This was similar to how Andreescu did when she won the most significant single title on the history of Canadian tennis.

“It’s quite unreal what occurred in 10 days throughout the tournament,” Thiem stated after his victory. “I had terrible form in most categories, and I’m not the Indian Wells champion. It feels truly unreal. It’s remarkable that I managed to get here, my first massive title.”

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Serena Williams Retires at Indian Wells

The return of Serena Williams to the world of tennis, following a five-week break, ended rather early when she decided to retire from the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday due to a viral illness.

Williams vs Muguruza

Williams managed to race to an incredible 3-0 lead against Garbine Muguruza, a two-time major champion, in their third-round match before dropping six successive games as well as the first set 6-3.

“When you look at the score, it might have seemed that I started great. However, I wasn’t feeling physical well at all,” Williams stated in a recent interview.

Between sets when the changeover occurred, Williams requested to speak to her trainer. She managed to go out and unfortunately lost the first game during the second set. Soon after that, the match was declared over, and Serena Williams walked off the court.

“Before the match, I didn’t feel too great, and it just got worse from there with extreme fatigue and extreme dizziness,” Williams stated. “I will get better and prepare for Miami.”

Muguruza is the only tennis player to have defeated both Venus and Serena Williams in tournament finals. “It’s undoubtedly a weird feeling as I don’t feel like I won,” Muguruza stated to reporters. She merely looked forward to the next time the two will meet on the court.

Muguruza credited Serena Williams for being extremely dominating when the match was underway. “I quickly had to adapt my positions a little bit on the court, especially when it came to how I was hitting the ball. It took a few tries to get it right,” Muguruza stated. “I felt far more comfortable once I did.”

Serena Williams

Serena Williams, who is currently 37 years old, played her first major tournament since late January during the Australian Open where she, unfortunately, lost during the quarterfinals.

This is the second time in 4 years where Serena Williams had to withdraw from a tennis tournament. She managed to return to the desert during 2015 following a 15-year boycott. During the same year, she managed to reach the semi-finals before she had to withdraw from playing against Simona Help. She also missed 2017 due to her pregnancy.

Rafael Nadal managed to breeze past Jarden Donaldson, while Roger Federer defeated Peter Gojowczyk in the second round. Federer was able to save 6 of 7 break chances while playing the Germany-born opponent he lost only two points on his serve during the set.

“If I perhaps served a little better, I believe things would have progressed faster,” Federer stated. “However, towards the end, it was a complicated second set, and its perhaps also exactly what I required.”

Federer has managed to reach the desert tournament final in his last four appearances, claiming victory two years ago. Overall, he boasts with a total of 5 titles at Indian Wells. He also managed to win his 100th title in his career in Dubai last weekend.

Tennis Events

Nick Kyrgios’ Impressive Win Against Rafael Nadal

Nick Kyrgios only played his 6th match in 2019 before he faced Rafael Nadal in the Acapulco ATP 500 on Wednesday evening. Kyrgios certainly made up for lost time when he upset the top seed of the tournament in an electrifying 3-hour match in glorious fashion.

The curious factor about the match is that the action most witnessed as unsporting or inflammatory weren’t the kind of defenceless transgressions that have earned Nick Kyrgios notoriety.

The Controversial Bits of the Match

The controversial bits that occurred during the match on Wednesday evening were an injury timeout during the second and first sets. The underarm serves Kyrgios attempted, and a complaint regarding the amount of time Rafael Nadal took between points which occurred during the third set.

Nadal fumed after the game, stating to reports: Nick is someone that has enormous talent on the court. He can easily win several Grand Slams and battle it out for the top position. However, there’s a good reason why he is still ranked at number 72 in the world. He merely lacks respect for his rivals, for the public, and more importantly, towards himself.”

Rafael Nadal, who never actually criticises other players in public, was merely giving voice to the opinions shared by other tennis players and fans. Kyrgios is a careless, aggressive player who usually lacks a filter. Nick has treated highly regarded players with insolence and failed horribly to provide his best effort. He has also been known to make disparaging remarks regarding his profession — this all taking place while still reaping the rewards when it comes to his lavish lifestyle.

The Match Between Nadal and Kyrgios

Kyrgios managed to suck up all the oxygen from the match, and there’s no doubt that it irritated Nadal from start to finish. Nadal managed to win the first set before taking a timeout for injury. This is quite a common feature in tennis these days. Nick informed the trainer that he had lower back pain and was feeling sick. A microphone managed to catch him stating that if he decided to quit the media would blow it out of proportion.

Kyrgios managed to fight back during the match after the first set. During the third set, he attempted an underarm serve to take full advantage of the return position of Nadal deep in his court. The gamble provided a double fault along with a contentious debate over Twitter. Most regard the underarm serve as being unsporting. However, it does not violate the rules of the game in any way. Several players have attempted it before Kyrgios as well.

The final aspect of the match was the third-set complaint by Kyrgios regarding Nadal’s slow speed of play. Nadal enjoys using the full 25 seconds. However, Kyrgios possesses a fast pace when he serves. The rule of tennis state that plays must proceed at the speed of the server. So, although Kyrgios won the match, it’s the last thing fans thought about after the game.

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