Home » HEADLINES AND FEATURES, This Week in Tennis Business with Justin Cohen, Top Stories » FEDERER SIGNS LIFETIME CONTRACT TO PLAY HALLE: THIS WEEK IN TENNIS BUSINESS




By: Justin Cohen

  • Roger Federer signed a lifetime contract with the ATP World Tour Gerry Weber Open in Halle, guaranteeing he will participate in Germany’s only grass court tournament until he retires from professional tennis. “I am delighted,” said Federer. “It feels a bit like I am getting married. I wanted to plan more long-term. I want to build up friendships and I get on really well with Ralf and Gerhard Weber.” Since 2003, Federer has won the Gerry Weber Open five times. “Halle has always been a really important tournament in my career,” said Federer.
  • A record breaking 30,670 tickets have been sold for the July 8 tennis exhibition match between Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin. The “Best of Belgium” event is expected to break the tennis attendance record that was set in 1973 when 30,472 watched the famous “Battle of the Sexes” between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs at the Astrodome in Houston.
  • US Davis Cup Captain and ESPN tennis commentator Patrick McEnroe’s highly anticipated book “Hardcourt Confidential” ($25.95, Hyperion) was released yesterday. Throughout the book, McEnroe discusses his life on the ATP Tour as a player, as well as life as a coach and television commentator. Although not revealing too many “confidential” nuggets, the book is extremely entertaining and gives a very honest and exclusive look at professional tennis from an industry veteran’s point of view. McEnroe teamed up to write the book with Tennis magazine senior writer and editor, Peter Bodo.
  • Emmy Award-winning play-by-play sportscaster Ted Robinson has signed a contract with Tennis Channel through 2013. “It’s been a privilege to have Ted on our Grand Slam team and to offer his incomparable voice to our viewers,” said Larry Meyers, the Senior Vice President of Production, and Executive Producer at Tennis Channel.  “Ted’s presence on our air ensures Tennis Channel viewers will continue to get the best tennis commentary on television.  We couldn’t be happier to extend our relationship.” Robinson started broadcasting for Tennis Channel at the 2007 French Open. Robinson, who also broadcasts the US Open each summer, is a veteran sportscaster with experience at the Olympics and with various major league baseball teams.
  • After capturing his fifth Roland Garros title in Paris, Rafael Nadal has overtaken Roger Federer at the top of the South African Airways ATP Rankings. Nadal, who has now won seven career Grand Slam singles titles, is the first player to qualify for the season-ending 2010 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 in London. “When you qualify for the World Tour Finals you have to be very happy because it proves you have had a very good season. Last year the crowd and the stadium were unbelievable. Playing in London is always a special feeling. I have amazing memories of London,” said Nadal.
  • Chris Evert, who won 154 titles including 18 Grand Slam singles titles, will be inducted into the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame this summer in Montreal at a ceremony on August 16. “Chris Evert is one of the greatest players of all time, a legend of the game who has become a significant part of tennis history as well as the history of the Rogers Cup,” said Tournament Director Eugene Lapierre. “She remains one of the most popular and recognizable faces in women’s tennis and we are thrilled to be inducting her into our Hall of Fame.” Evert won three singles titles at the Rogers Cup event including on her very first appearance in 1974.
  • Top ranked doubles team Bob and Mike Bryan have become the designers of the free “Tennis App,” which launched last week. “We’re really into it. We have weekly conference calls to keep looking for ways to make it better, we’re wearing a Tennis App patch on our match shirts and we’re doing all we can to promote it,” said Bob. The Tennis App features rankings, scores, tweets, news and super-slow motion shot instruction of the Bryans, including a feature that allows users to ‘flip’ the footage to suit their own playing hand. So a left-hander can still learn frame-by-frame how to hit a world-class backhand return from the right-handed Mike, and a right-hander can follow the signature serve of left-handed Bob. The Tennis App’s animation control, including smart zoom, allows users to slow down and zoom in on each stroke. The Bryans are hoping other pro tennis players will get on board with the stroke analysis, so they can build a library full of content.
  • The Grammy Foundation announced that three-time Grammy Award winner Keith Urban will headline its signature benefit Starry Night concert on July 23, 2010, at the LA Tennis Center on the campus of UCLA. The concert is presented in association with the ATP World Tour Farmers Classic tennis tournament and will be held three nights before the start of the main draw. “The Farmers Classic again delighted to collaborate with the GRAMMY Foundation to help raise funds for this worthy charity,” said Bob Kramer, the Farmers Classic Tournament Director. “The Southern California Tennis Association and UCLA are extremely proud to be involved with such important causes and to provide a lively and entertaining kick off for the 84th annual Farmers Classic at UCLA.”
  • Nicolas Kiefer, Kei Nishikori, Teimuraz Gabashvili, Andrey Kuznetsov and Britain’s Jamie Baker each received a wild card into the main draw at Wimbledon. Laura Robson, Heather Watson, Melanie South and Katie O’Brien were among the four British women granted main draw wild cards.
  • Fernando Gonzalez has withdrawn from Wimbledon with tendinitis in his left knee. Argentine David Nalbandian, who has played only a few tournaments since missing most of the 2009 season with a hip injury, said he will try to be ready in time to participate at Wimbledon. “I’m focused on my recovery and training double to try to play Wimbledon,” said Nalbandian. Nalbandian is a former singles finalist at the All England Club.
  • Russian Elena Dementieva could miss the upcoming Wimbledon Championships due to a left calf tear that she sustained in her second round match at Roland Garros. Dementieva played through the injury for majority of the tournament until the pain was too much to handle and she retired in the middle of her semifinal match against eventual champion Francesca Schiavone. “I was very close to stop the match in my third round with Aleksandra (Wozniack), but I was able to win this one,” said Dementieva. “I was waking up every morning and couldn’t make a first step. You know, it was that painful. But I really wanted to play because it’s a very special tournament for me.”
  • Lindsay Davenport announced on Tuesday that she will team with Bob Bryan in the mixed doubles tournament at Wimbledon. Last week, Davenport announced on Roland Garros Radio that she will play doubles this summer with Liezel Huber at WTA Tour events in Stanford and San Diego. The former World No. 1 singles and doubles player has not played since the end of 2008 when she found out she was expecting her second child. Huber said that she does not know if Davenport will play doubles at the US Open in August.
  • French Open finalist Samantha Stosur has committed to the play in the 2010 Bank of the West Classic at the Taube Family Tennis Center on the campus of Stanford University. The tournament, which will be held from July 26-August 1, will also feature Maria Sharapova, Elena Dementieva and defending champion Marion Bartoli.
  • Former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis has committed to play in the 2010 Atlanta Tennis Championships from July 19-25. Baghdatis joins a strong field which already includes Lleyton Hewitt, John Isner, Sam Querrey, James Blake and Robby Ginepri.
  • Defending US Open champion Kim Clijsters will team with fellow Belgian Xavier Malisse in the mixed doubles tournament at Wimbledon. British doubles player Jamie Murray, best known as Andy Murray’s brother, will team with Laura Robson.
  • Former Top 10 player Paradorn Srichaphan has officially announced his retirement from the ATP World Tour. Srichaphan, who a compiled a career record of 239-193 including winning five ATP singles titles, had been off the tour for almost three years due to a persistent wrist injury. The most famous Thai player to date will remain involved in tennis, as he is currently the Davis Cup Captain for Thailand.
  • Fed Cup pairings for 2010 have been released:
    • World Group I
      • Australia vs. Italy
      • Russia vs. France
      • Slovak Republic vs. Czech Republic
      • Belgium vs. United States
  • World Group II
    • England vs. Spain
    • Slovenia vs. Germany
    • Serbia vs. Canada
    • Sweden vs. Ukraine



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2 Responses to “FEDERER SIGNS LIFETIME CONTRACT TO PLAY HALLE: THIS WEEK IN TENNIS BUSINESS”

  1. Well loyalty is very important and Fed seems to be very loyal. Although, and I have a doctorate degree and studied pyschology intently, it does seem that many tour players develop co-dependency issues with their support team, family and coaches.
    For one, to always have a group of people always at your practice, matches all the time seems a little over the top. Its great to have support but sometimes too much is just too much.
    Its great family comes and visit for the important matches, but it does seem like Myrka is at every practice, and every match.
    Co-dependency in the long run can be damaging to families and relationships. As we all known when dad’s get too involved in their daughters tennis, problems come up.
    Next all women should have freedom and pursue some of their own goals in life.

    I find it hard to believe that sitting at practice matches and even matches Fed can win blindfolded is that stimulating but I could be wrong every one has different goals in life.
    Its great to see the family at the more important matches like finals and so. But its nice to see the tennis players treating it like a job too and practice is for the coach and player, and practice partner and fitness trainer.

    Big big big fan of Fed and his lovely family, such a sweet family, little codependent though…
    Love that he is loyal in his contracts…
    K