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CONGRATULATIONS!! Word On The Court Is That Rafael Nadal Is Engaged To Longtime Girlfriend Mery Perelló

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

 (People Magazine) - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal is reportedly off the market.

The athlete is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Mery Perelló, according to Hola! Spain.

A rep for Nadal declined to comment to PEOPLE, and the 32-year-old has not publicly addressed the reported relationship news.

Hola! reported that the couple got engaged in May while they vacationed in Rome, Italy. The outlet claims that Nadal and Perelló will get married this fall on Spanish island Mallorca.

Read full article here .

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INSTAGRAM: Frances "Big Foe" Tiafoe Continues Elation After 2019 Australian Open Quarterfinal Run

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

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2014 WIMBLEDON DAY 1: Rough First Round For Sloane Stephens, Taylor Townsend, Donald Young, and Dustin Brown - All Eliminated

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

American Donald Young lost to Germany’s Benjamin Becker, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4

Sloane Stephens, ranked and seeded No. 18 at Wimbledon, was beaten by No. 109 Maria Kirilenko, who was ranked No. 10 in the world just a year ago. Plagued by shoulder and knee injuries, Kirilenko is on the comeback trail now—apparently with a vengeance.

“She's done well here in the past. I knew it was going to be tricky, but that's like every other Grand Slam first-round match,” Stephens said of the 6-2, 7-6 (6) loss.
This loss could drop her out of the Top 20 by the end of Wimbledon.

Court 12 was so brimful with charisma when Marcos Baghdatis and Dustin Brown faced one another in the first round that you wondered if there would be room for all that magnetism and the tennis too.

Brown came into this match on the up after his spectacular demolition of Rafael Nadal on the grass of Halle earlier this month, and many would have favoured him to down the former world No.8, who is now ranked 119 and needed a wild card to secure his place in the draw. But in the event a typically flamboyant display from the 6ft 5in German came at too great a price. It was Baghdatis who won 6-4, 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(4).

Eighteen-year-old American Taylor Townsend enjoyed a wonderful spell on the red clay of the French Open last month, reaching the third round before bowing out to No.14 seed Carla Suarez Navarro, but was not able to fare as well at Wimbledon.

Townsend lost 7-5, 6-2 to Klára Koukalová of the Czech Republic, but is determined not to dwell on the loss.

“I definitely am not pleased about my match, but it's just a learning experience really,” she insisted. “I'm just going to take what I've learned over the past two slams. I'm going to go back home. I'm going to work extremely hard and get ready for the US Open Series. I have tons of tournaments to look forward to and a lot of great things are ahead, but it's time to just put my head down and work again.

source: wimbledon.org, ATP World Tour

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2014 FRENCH OPEN DAY 9: Nadal's Match Brings Out Royalty... Well, Kinda - The Prince of Purple Rain Makes An Appearance

Monday, June 2, 2014

PARIS (AP) — So "King of Clay" Rafael Nadal's record 32nd consecutive French Open victory was fit for a prince. Well, actually, Prince.

The American musician known for hits such as "Purple Rain" and "1999" was nearly hidden in the stands Monday, sitting in the very back row of the presidential box in the main stadium at Roland Garros and clutching a shiny cane.
Stayed till the last note of Nadal's easy win, too.

When the match ended, Prince rose to leave. As he walked toward the exit, though, he paused and paid his respects by applauding.



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2013 U.S. Open Champion Rafa Nadal Hits Grand Slam Title No. 13

Monday, September 9, 2013

2013 U.S. Open Champion Rafa Nadal chalks up his 13th Grand Slam Title

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal crowned his brilliant year by defeating world number one Novak Djokovic 6-2 3-6 6-4 6-1 to win the U.S. Open men's singles title at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday.

The number two ranked Spaniard added a second grand slam crown this season to his French Open triumph when the top-seeded Serb dumped a forehand into the net, sending Nadal down onto his back before rolling face down and sobbing in joy.

The triumph improved Nadal's career total to 13 grand slam wins, moving him one ahead of Australian Roy Emerson and into third on the all-time list behind Roger Federer (17) and Pete Sampras (14).

source: Yahoo Sports
Phots by: AP

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2011 U.S.OPEN: 10 And Under Tennis To Be Prominently Featured - Reigning Champ Rafael Nadal To Put On Clinic

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Reigning U.S. Open Champion Rafael Nadal, shown in 2011 U.S. Open promotion.

The USTA announced that 10 and Under Tennis will once again play an important role in the 2011 US Open, including a clinic with reigning US Open champion Rafael Nadal, an on-court demonstration of 10 and Under Tennis in Arthur Ashe Stadium and a full day of other fun-filled activities beginning on August 23.  

Similar to other youth sports where equipment and playing fields are scaled to size for kids, 10 and Under Tennis provides the youngest players with the ability to achieve immediate success by playing tennis on smaller courts, using smaller and lighter racquets and slower-moving and lower-bouncing balls.

The 10 and Under Tennis activities officially kick-off during qualifying week.  From August 23 - 26, instructors and local tennis pros will be manning two 10 and Under Tennis courts in the South Plaza to give kids pointers and educate their parents.

On Thursday, August 25 and in conjunction with the US Open Draw Ceremony, reigning US Open champion Rafael Nadal will appear at a 10 and Under Tennis clinic with kids from The Child Center of NY, a Queens-based organization whose mission is to help 18,000 at-risk children and youth each year succeed in life.

Families will have the opportunity to view and experience 10 and Under Tennis at Arthur Ashe Kids Day presented by Hess on Saturday, August 27.  Two of the outer courts will be entirely dedicated to 10 and Under Tennis, and it will also be on display during one of the celebrity matches during the AAKD Stadium Show with players from Chicago and New York City taking on some of the top pros in the sport on a 60 foot court.   

Kids and parents wanting to experience 10 and Under Tennis first hand can at SmashZone, the premier fan interactive attraction in tennis located in the Indoor Tennis Center.  SmashZone will highlight 10 and Under programming with a number of 36 ft. courts for kids and their parents to use throughout the tournament. Back again will be the “Get Sized Right” racquet displays and other information designed to teach parents more about Kids Tennis.

On Family Day Tuesday August 30, for the first time ever, 10 and Under Tennis balls will be signed and hit into the crowd by the winning player following each match played.  The balls that they will be hitting are lower compression balls that allow children under the age of 10 to hit them with more control, thus allowing tennis to be more fun.

Families will get a chance to pick up a racquet, work with USTA coaches, and experience the benefits of the play format for themselves when 10 and Under Tennis takes over Court 12 on Saturday, September 3 from 1:00-7:00 pm.

10 and Under Tennis will be on display on center court in Arthur Ashe Stadium with a demonstration featuring kids from tennis facilities in the New York City area prior to the night session on Thursday, September 8.

On Friday, September 9 a 10 and Under Clinic given by a special guest will be taking place in SmashZone involving local children from the Harlem Junior Tennis League and the New York Junior Tennis League both local National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapters.  

Throughout the run of the tournament the USTA will be offering a free USTA Junior Membership to all children ages ten and under. The membership promotion is open to all first-time junior members until December 31, 2011. This special USTA membership offer will allow more kids to try USTA programming including USTA Junior Tournaments and USTA Jr. Team Tennis.  All parents will need to do is stop by the USTA membership booth located near SmashZone.

“Tennis is the sport of opportunity. And there is no better opportunity to showcase the fun and excitement of 10 and Under Tennis than during the US Open—the world’s highest-attended annual sporting event,” said Jon Vegosen, USTA Chairman of the Board and President.

“The USTA is committed to growing the game at every level and we are excited that 10 and Under Tennis is a driving force to fostering new tennis players and hopefully new champions,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA.  “It’s never been easier to get young kids started in the sport of a lifetime, from our SmashZone Mobile Tour to the First Year Free Ten and Under Membership, we’re excited about the potential for growth of these young players.”

source: usopen.org

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2011 U.S.OPEN: Arthur Ashe Kids Day - Summer's Biggest Hit - Saturday, August, 27

The USTA announced that reigning US Open Champions Rafael Nadal and Kim Clijsters, world No. 1 ranked Novak Djokovic, former US Open Champion Andy Roddick and the 2010 US Open Wheelchair Champion David Wagner will team up with actor Bradley Cooper, New York Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony, Music Sensation Jason Derulo and rising pop stars Cody Simpson, Diggy Simmons, Jessica Jarrell and Mindless Behavior  at the 16th Annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess Saturday, August 27 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., from 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Hosted by TV personalities/actors La La Anthony and Quddus, the popular full-day tennis and music festival for children and adults alike – including interactive games, musical entertainment and tennis activities – will also feature performances from up-and-coming stars including Girls Nite Out, Action Item, Jacob Latimore, Nickelodeon's The Fresh Beat Band, Love Jones Girlz and New Hollow .  Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day Presented by Hess will kick off the 2011 US Open, which runs from August 29 - September 11. 

From 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., kids and their families can experience an exciting schedule of free tennis games, live music and attractions taking place throughout the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.  Inside Arthur Ashe Stadium from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m., the live tennis and music show will feature fun exhibition matches and skills competitions with Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Kim Clijsters, Andy Roddick, David Wagner and other top players and celebrities with musical performances by Jason Derulo, Cody Simpson, Diggy Simmons, Jessica Jarrell and Mindless Behavior.

Stadium show tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster (1-866-OPEN-TIX), usopen.org and at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center box office.  American Express is the official card of Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day.  General admission promenade tickets cost $10 and loge tickets are $20.  Arthur Ashe Kids' Day will be broadcast nationally by CBS on Sunday, August 28, from 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m (ET).  Kids 12-and-under with stadium show tickets will receive a free Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day hat from the USTA and Hess on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We are excited to kick off the 2011 US Open with the biggest names in sports and entertainment at the 16th annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess,” said Harlan Stone, Chief Business and Marketing Officer, USTA. “We look forward to serving up a day of family fun as we celebrate the life of a tennis legend whose mission was to empower kids through sport and education.”

Over the years, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day has featured many of music’s biggest acts including Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato, Sean Kingston, Jordin Sparks, Britney Spears, Ne-Yo, Gavin DeGraw, Jessica Simpson, Backstreet Boys, Bow Wow and Hanson.

source: usopen.org

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WIMBLEDON DAY 6: Serena Continues To Improve As She Eases Into 4th Round

Sunday, June 26, 2011

American Serena Williams reacts as she advances to the Round of 16 after win over Russian Maria Kirilenko

WIMBLEDON, England -- Serena Williams has been known to say she isn't satisfied with this or that aspect of her game, even after easily winning a match, say, 6-3, 6-2.

So it was somehow refreshing to hear Williams actually praise herself after a victory by that very score over 26th-seeded Maria Kirilenko at Wimbledon on Saturday.

Yes, only five matches since returning to the tour after nearly a full year off because of a series of health scares, Williams produced a performance worthy of the 13-time Grand Slam champion that she is. And then Williams talked the talk of someone finally ready to concede that British bookmakers might very well have been right to make her the pre-tournament favorite.

Asked whether she was surprised by the odds, the seventh-seeded American smiled widely and said: "I wouldn't bet against me."

After hitting 10 aces and compiling a 32-9 edge in winners against Kirilenko, Williams termed the showing her "best I've played since I came back."

"I was a little more consistent, and I played mygame more," said Williams, trying to become the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1991-93 to win three consecutive Wimbledon titles. "Wasn't as tight and nervous and uptight. I was able to relax more today."

She was part of a parade of past champions who breezed into the fourth round Saturday, joined by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova, who all were straight-set winners, too. Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, seeking her first Grand Slam title, and two-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, who is now 44-1 in 2011, also moved on.

Serena explained she'd been playing tentatively until Saturday.

"You're always thinking, 'I can get hurt again.' You just kind of have to let those thoughts go or anything could happen," Williams said. "And I wasn't thinking that at all today. It was just a big difference."

On Monday, she'll face 2007 runner-up Marion Bartoli. Other fourth-round women's matches include Williams' older sister Venus vs. No. 32 Tsvetana Pironkova, who upset the five-time Wimbledon champion a year ago; Wozniacki vs. No. 24 Dominika Cibulkova; and Sharapova vs. No. 20 Peng Shuai.

After beating Kirilenko -- her first straight-set victory in five matches since returning -- Williams revealed another, if less serious, mishap from her annus horribilis: She scraped her right shoulder and face when she fell off her pink bicycle during a ride near her home in Florida in October.

"I'm thinking, 'Oh, nooooooo,"' Williams recounted, as though replaying her words in slow motion. "All I thought was, 'Don't fall on my face. Don't fall on my face.' When I fell on my face, I was like, 'No!"'
Since then, she's been sticking to stationary bikes.

Photos by Getty Images

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SERENA ON COURT TWO ASSIGNMENT: "I Don't Make It A Big Issue... I Think At Some Point, Maybe I Should"

Saturday, June 25, 2011

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Serena Williams wonders why she and her older sister Venus have played once each on Court 2 at Wimbledon this year — instead of Centre Court or Court 1.

After winning her second-round match Thursday on Court 2, four-time Wimbledon champion Serena was asked about being put in that venue, where five-time champion Venus won Monday. Each also has played one match on Centre Court this week.

"They like to put us on Court 2 — me and Venus — for whatever reason," Serena said. "I haven't figured it out yet. Maybe one day we'll figure it out."

Told of Serena's comments, tournament spokesman Johnny Perkins said there was no intentional snub, noting that several factors go into scheduling decisions, including TV broadcasting considerations, where players stand in the draw, and what ticket-buyers want to see.

"I don't think it's anything deliberate, clearly," Perkins said. "It's a hugely complex jigsaw puzzle. Everyone probably looks at it from their own point of view, so she's obviously quite entitled to."

The Williams sisters have combined to win nine of the past 11 Wimbledon singles championships, including Serena's titles in 2009 and 2010.

"I don't really think about it. I don't make it a big issue," Serena said about the scheduling. "I think at some point, maybe I should."

Stacey Allaster, the head of the women's professional tennis tour, said in a statement: "Serena Williams is a four-time Wimbledon singles champion, the defending champion of Wimbledon and a 13-time Grand Slam singles champion. I share her disappointment."

WTA CEO Allaster continued: "Scheduling decisions at Wimbledon are made by the All England Club and only they would be able to explain the rationale behind their decision for the scheduling of Serena's match today."

Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Andy Roddick have had all of their matches scheduled for Centre Court or Court 1 so far this year.

"Yeah," Serena said, "they're never moved across."

The Court 2 she played in Thursday was built before the start of the 2009 tournament and holds about 4,063 spectators — 7,330 fewer than Court 1, and 10,916 fewer than Centre Court. For years before that, the name "Court 2" at the All England Club was assigned to a venue about half the size and a few minutes' walk away.

That old Court 2 was known as the "Graveyard of Champions" because of a series of surprise losses by top players — including Serena against Jill Craybas in the third round in 2005. That particular match actually originally was scheduled for Centre Court but was shifted when others there went long. Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Pete Sampras — in his final match at the All England Club — all lost on the old Court 2.

After watching his daughter defeat Simona Halep of Romania 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 at the new Court 2 on Thursday, Richard Williams downplayed the issue of court placement.

"I can't say where she should be," he said. "I don't do the scheduling."

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Well Work It Out Tsonga!! The Frenchman Halts Nadal's Advance in London

Friday, June 10, 2011

 Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates after defeating World No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the Queen's Club Championships.

A weary Rafa Nadal had his Wimbledon warm-up cut short when he was beaten 6-7 6-4 6-1 in the quarter-finals of the Queen's Club championships by Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday.

The Spanish world number one, who claimed a record-equalling sixth French Open title on Sunday, looked on course for the semi-final when he took an opening set tiebreak but appeared to run out of steam as fifth seed Tsonga seized control.

A full-length diving volley helped Tsonga earn two break points at 4-4 in the second set and, when Nadal hit long, the match began to slide away in the evening sunshine.
Tsonga broke Wimbledon champion Nadal's serve at the start of the deciding set and for once there was nothing left as he slumped to defeat.

Tsonga will play British wildcard James Ward or fellow Frenchman Adrian Mannarino for a place in Sunday's final.

Photos by Getty Images

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Roland Garros 2011: Getting To Know Sloane Stephens

Saturday, May 28, 2011

American Sloane Stephens, French Open 2011 
Photo ©FFT

Smiles and easy conversation go hand in hand for Sloane Stephens. The Floridian with the sunny disposition has qualified for her first main singles draw in a major event. As luck would have it, not only is it a Grand Slam, it is also her favourite tournament. "Americans usually don't like clay but I like it a lot. Also, here, I have to share my good moments with my worst moments and that stays with you," explains Sloane. For example, this year "it's my high school prom, which breaks my heart. I am missing so many important events, but I guess the more I miss, the better it is for my career"

Patience and confidence

Two years ago, Sloane had to deal with the death of her father who had been absent from her life until she was 13 years old, and this has made her even more sensitive to missing important family events. "I am missing my brother's baseball games, which makes me sad but that's the way it has to be," she confides.

After studying at Evert Academy, she decided to concentrate on her tennis and is now coached by former pro Roger Smith, who like her is a doubles specialist (Sloane has three wins in the juniors at Grand Slams). She is new on tour and approaches everything with excitement, like talking to the media ahead of her first round tie against Elena Baltacha. She answers questions with humour and an ease that lets one imagine that she would be just as comfortable doing stand-comedy up on a stage as she is hitting her two-handed backhand on the French clay.


Being confident does not mean that Sloane Stephens is not realistic. She is a fan of Kim Clijsters and the Williams Sisters, and the Belgian recently complimented the world no.138. Sloane simply talks about patience and hard work. "Fulfilling my potential may take time, but it will happen. There is a lot of pressure and expectation, but this is true for all the other young American players. Right now, no one really believes in us, and we know it. I also know that when I start having good results, the same people will say that they supported me from the start and they knew I could do it." She is travelling with her aunt, who she says is "my good luck charm because since she's been with me in Europe, I haven't lost."

Stephens certainly does not shy away from telling things like they really are. "I'm on a mission, but so are all of my friends because we all have to face the critics. In the US, no one believes in us and some have even questioned our work ethic. Some even say that there is no hope for professional women's tennis in the medium term..." said Stephens, firmly but without losing her trademark smile. "I'm really happy though," she continues, as well she might be after winning the 50,000 dollar tournament at Reggio Emilia on 15 May. She is reaping the rewards of a "really intensive week of work in Barcelona with Francis Roig (one of Rafael Nadal's coaches) in early May". Stephens has now entered the big leagues, but "one thing is certain, and that's that I'll be home on 4 July to celebrate the holiday with my family." In the meantime, she will have settle for going out to dinner with her aunt in Paris, with a thought for her father, as always since September 2009.

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Donald Young Begins BNP Paribas Open Quest With A Win

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Donald Young, USA, BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, CA, after round one defeat of Italy's Potito Starace.
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

American Donald Young earned his first win at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in three years as he came back to defeat Italian Potito Starace 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in just under two hours on Thursday at the BNP Paribas Open.

The 21 year old fought off nine of 12 break points faced on serve, while delivering on four of his six opportunities against the 47th-ranked Starace.

Young, currently at No. 143 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, reached the third round at this tournament in 2008 with wins over Bobby Reynolds and Feliciano Lopez before falling to Rafael Nadal. He next faces World No. 5 Andy Murray.

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Monfils And Nadal Wore Matching Short Sets, But Their Games Had Nothing In Common

Saturday, May 15, 2010

(l-r) Gael Monfils, France and Rafael Nadal, Spain
(Photos by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

At the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open on Friday, Frenchman Gael Monfils and Spaniard Rafael Nadal hit the court in matching Nike attire for their quarterfinal match, and Nadal busted out of the gate in the same 'take no prisoners' form that he has displayed in each of his previous matches.

It wasn't as if Monfils didn't make the effort, he managed to get four games off of the Raging Rafa, but there was just very little else he could do to counter Nadal's assault. The longer the match went on, the more rattled Monfils seemed to get, serving double faults and over hitting on Nadal's serve whenever he could get a racquet on it. Nadal cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 win.

It's good to see Monfils again, and this was not a bad warmup tournament for his first back since his hand/wrist injury after Indian Wells.

We'll see what happens at his home grand slam... here's hoping.

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Venus And Monfils See Quarterfinal Action On Friday - Williams Sisters Doubles Semifinalists

Friday, May 14, 2010

Black Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils and Venus Williams at Madrid OpenFrenchman Gael Monfils and American Venus Williams
(Photos by Getty Images)

In today's quarterfinal action at the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open, American Venus Williams, who won her third round match against Italy's Francesca Schiavone on Wednesday, will meet Australian Samantha Stosur against whom she currently stands 3-0. All of those matches came in straight sets, and none of the sets went past 6-4.

It would appear that Stosur has her work cut out for her.

On the men's side, Frenchman Gael Monfils, who has been on the injury list as of late, will meet Spain's one and only Rafa. Rafael Nadal, who is undefeated on clay this season (12-0), holds a 5-1 career mark against Monfils.

Monfils obviously has his work cut out for him too.

Black Tennis Pro's Venus and Serena Williams doubles team at Madrid Open
Lastly, No. 1 doubles seeds Venus and Serena Williams who are well on their way to becoming the world no. 1 doubles team, will go up against Iraeli Shahar Peer and her Italian teammate Francesca Schiavone.

The sisters defeated Russian Maria Kirilenko and Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals.

Should be good tennis on tap for today!!


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Australian Open Hit For Haiti A Huge Success

Sunday, January 17, 2010

You know you are part of something special when eight of the world’s top tennis stars are under the same roof.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters and Aussies Lleyton Hewitt and Samantha Stosur united as a tennis family today by taking part in the Hit for Haiti fundraiser at Rod Laver Arena.

The 90-minute exhibition match was organised in less than 24 hours. The charity event proved to be a huge success, with a sell-out crowd. Representing the colours of the Haiti flag, Team Red (Federer, Williams, Hewitt and Stosur) defeated Team Blue (Roddick, Nadal, Djokovic, Clijsters, and late substitute Bernard Tomic) 7-6. Former Grand Slam champion turned tennis analyst Jim Courier was the chair umpire for the afternoon.

Spectators over the age of 12 paid $10 to watch the entertaining match, buying their tickets on the door. Russian star Maria Sharapova donated $10,000, while $20,000 was also collected in tin cans around the arena and around the grounds at a packed Garden Square. Today, $159,000 was raised through ticket sales and public donations alone.

It is very rare that you are given an opportunity to see Williams and Djokovic exchange banter from across the court or see Federer doing push-ups during a match, and the crowd lapped up every minute.

As soon as the gates to Melbourne Park opened on Sunday, thousands of excited tennis fans flocked into Rod Laver Arena for the charity event. From the moment the players stepped onto court, the crowd knew they were in for a special treat. The players were wearing microphone headsets, which meant the crowd were able to hear them joke amongst themselves and tease each other during the match.

After the opening game, Djokovic gave Roddick a shoulder rub when he sat down. It’s also not very often that you see defending Australian Open champion Nadal playing the role of a ballkid, handing out water bottles and towels.

Tournament Director Craig Tiley was delighted with the outcome of the charity event.

“It’s fantastic to see the tennis family from around the globe band together to help make a difference in this time of need” Tiley said.

“I would like to thank the players, staff and everyone involved in pulling off this event in such a short amount of time.”

Haiti was decimated by a devastating earthquake that measured 7.0 on the Richter Scale last Tuesday. The United Nations has launched an appeal for hundreds of millions of dollars to try to help around three million people in need.

Donations can be made online to Partners in Health: www.pih.org

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Around The Net...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Sydney Press ConferenceSuper-confident American Serena Williams arrived in Australia on Saturday welcoming a potential blockbuster second-round showdown with Justine Henin at the Medibank International Sydney.

“It’s good. It will be a good test for her, and for me,” Williams said.

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake and Andy Roddick in the semifinal round of the Brisbane InternationalAmericans James Blake and Andy Roddick had their hopes of advancing to the doubles final at the Australian Open Series Brisbane International Tournament dashed as the duo fell to the French pair Jeremy Chardy and Marc Giquel 4-6, 6-3, [11/13].

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams practicing in Sydney Serena trains in Sydney, Australia, on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010. She will play in the Australian Open Series Sydney International Tennis Tournament in the lead-up to the Australian Open.
(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams practicing in SydneyBlack Tennis Pro's Serena Williams practicing in Sydney
Black Tennis Pro's Younes El Aynaoui and Rafael Nadal watch Roger Federer in semifinal round at Qatar Open.Moroccan Younes El Aynaoui (R) and Spanaird Rafael Nadal watch the match between Switzerland's Roger Federer (L) and Russian Nikolay Davydenko during the ATP Qatar Open in the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha on January 8, 2010.
(Photos by Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images)

Black Tennis Pro's Younes El Aynaoui and Rafael Nadal watch Roger Federer in semifinal round at Qatar OpenBlack Tennis Pro's Younes El Aynaoui and Rafael Nadal watch Roger Federer in semifinal round at Qatar Open

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Gulf Times: El Aynaoui's Final Fling

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

written by Anil John/Doha

Black Tennis Pro's Younes El Aynaoui to announce retirement in BrisbaneMoroccan tennis legend Younes El Aynaoui will announce his retirement in Doha after taking one last shot at the ExxonMobilQatarOpen, which he had won in 2002.

El Aynaoui, the most successful player of Arab descent in history, has been given a wildcard by the Qatar Tennis Federation so that he can bow out of the game at one of his favourite venues.

“Younes asked for a wildcard because he wants to retire in Doha. The Khalifa Tennis Complex is one of his favourite venues, and he thought it would be apt for him to call it quits at a place which is very close to his heart,” tournament director Karim Alami told the Gulf Times yesterday.

El Aynaoui, who has won singles titles on the ATP Tour, has had a chequered career. He had to endure long spells of inaction because of several injuries and has not played top-level tennis since September 2008.

“He has been unlucky to suffer many injuries, but he is very fit now and you never know what he is capable of,” Alami, a fellow Moroccan, added.

In March 2008, after a seven-month lay-off due to injuries, he won a Futures event in Castelldefels, Spain on clay, and in April he won a challenger event in Chiasso, Switzerland. In May that year, he reached the semi-finals of the BMW Open in Munich to become the oldest player to reach the semi-finals of an ATP Tour level event since Jimmy Connors in 1993.

He also reached the quarter-finals of the Casablanca Open in Morocco, but retired due to an injury in his left calf. Those were the last two ATP tournaments he ever played.

El Aynaoui is an extremely popular figure in Morocco where he received the country’s highest sporting honour from King Mohammed VI. In a 2003 poll by leading Moroccan newspaper L’Economiste, readers named El Aynaoui their favorite role model for society, ahead of the prime minister and athletics star Hicham El Guerrouj. The centre court of the Royal Tennis Club in Marrakech is named after El Aynaoui.

El Ayanoui’s matches in Doha always drew packed houses, which even players such as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal cannot boast of.

Meanwhile, the draw for the QatarExxonMobilOpen beginning tomorrow was held yesterday with World No.1 Roger Federer and World No.2 playing Belgian Christophe Rochus and Italian Simone Bolelli respectively in the first round.

World No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko and El Aynaoui will take on qualifiers.

Nadal and Federer are scheduled to arrive in Doha today after playing an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi.

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(PHOTOS) Gael Monfils And Serena Williams At Nike Tennis Challenge

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils and Serena Williams At Nike Tennis Challenge, New YorkFrenchman Gael Monfils and American Serena Williams attend the Nike Tennis Challenge on the streets of Manhattan on August 26, 2009 in New York City.

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams and Spaniard Rafael Nadal Nike Tennis Challenge 2009.Serena Williams and Spaniard Rafael Nadal

Black Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils Nike Tennis Challenge 2009
Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams 2009 Nike Tennis Challenge, New York

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Prize Money Still Good At Wimbledon, Better If You're Not From The U.S.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams and Rafael Nadal 2008 Wimbledon Champions2008 Wimbledon Champions Rafael Nadal, ESP and Venus Williams, USA

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — The Wimbledon champions are getting a big increase in prize money this year, at least when it comes to the British pound.

The prize for each of the men's and women's champions went up by 13.3 percent to $1.24 million, organizers said Tuesday, but the pound's weak exchange rate means that translates to a reduction in dollars of 17 percent from last year's $1.49 million.

Buoyed by a new television contract in Asia and the extension of its commercial agreement with IBM, the tournament has also raised the total prize fund for the June 22-July 5 tournament by 6.2 percent to $18.38 million.

But that still compares unfavorably to last year's $23.46 million despite the increase being nearly double the 3.4 percent hike the All England Club managed 12 months ago.

All England Club chairman Tim Phillips said the event was doing what it could to help offset the weakened exchange rates and maintain the prestige among players of the only grass-court Grand Slam.

"Most of the players here don't bank in sterling," Phillips said. "We have to be mindful of the fact that a year ago it was $2 to the pound."

The pound has dropped by more than 25 percent against the dollar since last year's prize money was announced, and has slumped by about 11 percent against the euro. On Tuesday, the exchange rate was $1.45 to 1 pound.

The All England Club also announced a five-year extension of its sponsorship with IBM, which advises on and helps implement new technologies at the event, and said that it had signed a new broadcast deal with Star Sports Asia.

"In this climate, it's a vote of confidence in Wimbledon," All England Club chief executive Ian Ritchie said. "In the current climate, it would be foolish for anyone to be complacent, but we feel the strength of the brand is coming through and commercial opportunities continuing unabated."

This year's tournament will feature the unveiling of a sliding roof over Centre Court.

Ritchie said the tournament was in good financial health despite the global economic crisis, pointing out that the All England Club had received 20 percent more ticket applications than in 2008.

Photo by Getty Images

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Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off Party At Liv Nightclub In Miami

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off PartyAmericans Serena Williams and James Blake

MIAMI - MARCH 25: Sony Ericsson Open players and others arrive on the red carpet of the Liv Nightclub at the Fountainbleu Hotel in Miami, Florida.

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off PartyJames Blake, USA

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off Party
Venus Williams, USA

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off PartyRafael Nadal, Spain

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off PartySerena Williams, USA

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off PartyAgnieszka Radwanska, Poland

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off PartyProducer Wyclef Jean

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off PartyJelena Jankovic, Serbia

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off PartyVania King, USA

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off PartyNovak Djokovic, Serbia

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off PartyBethanie Mattek-Sands, USA

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off PartyDominika Cibulkova, Slovakia

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off PartyMaria Sharapova, Russia

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off PartyActress Megan Goode and football player Thomas Jones

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off Party
Mary-Joe Fernandez, U. S. Fed Cup Captain

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off PartyCaroline Wozniacki, Denmark

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off PartyFernando Verdasco, Spain

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off PartySinger Santigold

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off PartyRyan Sweeting, Bahamas

Photos by
Marc Serota/Getty Images for Sony Ericsson

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