By Justin Cohen
The ATP announced late last week the extension of their partnership with HEAD for a further five years. Under the agreement, HEAD will continue to be the official tennis ball of the ATP World Tour, as well as the official ball of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, through 2017. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The agreement marks an extension to a partnership which began back in 1994, one which will celebrate its 20-year anniversary on January 1, 2013, making HEAD the longest-standing partner of the ATP. “The continuation of our long-term partnership with the ATP strengthens our position as a leading brand on the ATP World Tour,” added Ottmar Barbian, Vice President and Division Manager HEAD Racquet Sports. “We are proud to not only provide the racquets for several outstanding players in the Top 10, but also to be trusted as official ball supplier to the Tour on an ongoing basis.” All matches at the recently completed Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 in London were played with the HEAD ATP tennis ball, which also served as the official ball at the Shanghai Rolex Masters and BNP Paribas Masters in Paris.
Sharapova signs Big Money India Deal with UK Real Estate Developer
According to an article on 10sBalls.com, after a 10-day vacation in Indonesia, Maria Sharapova stopped in India on Sunday to promote her new deal with the UK-based real estate company Homestead, which is in the process of constructing celebrity themed and branded lifestyle living spaces. Sources say she was paid several million to lend her name to the project, which is also backed by the famous racecar driver Michael Schumacher. The Russian’s name is being placed on the Maria Sharapova Tower Gurgaon, which has apartments with four spacious bedrooms, an L-shaped living and dining area, and a utility room. The complex has imported marble in the living, dining, lobby and passage and lobby areas, and wooden laminated flooring in all the bedrooms. Homestead aims to make homes differently in terms of aspirations of individuals who live there and one way they doing that is by creating the concept of ‘branded apartments.’ The Sharapova apartments open in three sides, are well ventilated and can contain solar water heaters. Schumacher’s tower not only will have residences to live in, but will also double as a resort with clubs and swimming pools. The Michael Schumacher tower is located in New Delhi will consist of only 90 apartments and the tower itself will be the tallest one in the vicinity.
Davis Cup First Round Tickets Available starting December 7
The USTA recently announced that tickets for the 2013 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group First Round between the United States and Brazil will go on sale to the general public on Friday, December 7, at 10 a.m. EST. An exclusive pre-sale for USTA members begins on Tuesday, December 4, at 10 a.m. EST and ends on Wednesday, December 5, at 11:59 p.m. (or while supplies last). The best-of-five match series will be played at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, February 1-3. Ticket prices range from $90 to $500 and are sold as three-day packages. Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or www.usta.com/daviscup. You can also purchase tickets by calling Ticketmaster at (888) 484-8782.
1 Million Fans Attend Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London
On Sunday, the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals welcomed its 1 millionth fan through the doors at the O2 in London. The attendance milestone was reached during the semifinal session, when a sold-out crowd of 17,800 people were on hand for Roger Federer’s straight sets win over Andy Murray. Brad Drewett, ATP Executive Chairman and President, said, “On behalf of the ATP, the players, and all of our event partners, I would like to thank the one million passionate tennis fans who have come through the gates at The O2 over the past four years to watch the best players in the world at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. We appreciate your incredible support and look forward to welcoming you back over the next three years.” Over the past 42 years, the tournament has been contested in 14 different world cities from Tokyo to New York to Lisbon to Sydney and most recently Shanghai, before moving to London. Many of the greatest names in the history of the sport have won this the prestigious title, including Vilas, Connors, McEnroe, Becker, Edberg, Agassi, Sampras, Federer and Djokovic. In 2011, the matches were watched by more than 70 million fans in 184 countries. In the Monday night final, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic rallied to defeat Federer in straight sets in front of a sold-out crowd. Winning the title earned the Serb a winner’s check of $1.76 million and 1,500 South African Airways ATP Rankings points. Federer, who will finish the season ranked No. 2, earned a finalist check for $800,000 and 800 ranking points.
James Blake raising money for Hurricane Sandy victims
Former ATP Top 10 player James Blake, who currently resides in Connecticut, is helping raise money to benefit those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Blake is auctioning off three match worn shirts featuring his autograph along with those of Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and Sam Querrey. All proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross. “Seeing the devastation in areas I grew up around is difficult,” said Blake. “The people of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut are surely resilient, but there’s still room for us all to help. I’ve selected the Red Cross because it does an amazing job on multiple levels; it provides everything from food and blankets to mental health support for those affected.” The EBay Giving Works auction last 7 days. If you are interested in participating in the auction, please visit www.ebay.com and search “EBay Jerseys”. More information on the auction can be found at www.JamesBlakeTennis.com.
Stosur, Hewitt, Dellacqua, Matosevic nominated for Newcombe Medal
Yesterday, World No. 9 Samantha Stosur, former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, Casey Dellacqua and Australia’s new top-ranked player Marinko Matosevic were announced as nominees for the Newcombe Medal, which is awarded annually to Australia’s most outstanding tennis player. “As well as honoring Australia’s top player at the Newcombe Medal we look forward to recognizing the outstanding contributions made by communities, coaches, clubs and schools around Australia,” said Tennis Australia’s Director of Tennis Craig Tiley. “This is a tremendous opportunity for the tennis community at all levels to come together to celebrate the achievements in our sport.” The Newcombe Medal will be awarded at the Australian Tennis Awards at the Crown Palladium in Melbourne on Monday, December 3.
Washington Tennis & Education Foundation announces Opening of Landmark $10 million center
The nationally acclaimed Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF), which provides academic help to underprivileged children and teaches them how to apply lessons learned on the tennis court, in the classroom and beyond, will dedicate its long-awaited $10 million Tennis, Education and Community Center in D.C.’s Ward 7 on Saturday, November 17 from 2-4 pm. Dubbed “WTEF’s East Capitol Campus,” the new Center is located at Benning Stoddert Recreation Center, 200 Stoddert Place S.E. WTEF was the first program in the country to combine academics with tennis training, and has served as a model for programs across the country. It is unique in its academic rigor and comprehensive student training. A pre-dedication tour for b-roll/photos is available on Friday, November 16 by request. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander will join with WTEF at the Nov. 17 dedication ceremony to celebrate the unique public/private partnership between WTEF and the District of Columbia. The city leased seven acres of Benning Stoddert Recreation Center land for construction. Donations for the $10 million project came from area individuals, foundations and corporations. The Center marks a significant investment by WTEF and the city in Ward 7, and offers WTEF’s students and their families premiere, year-round tennis, education and mentoring resources, in their own backyard. Major donors/contributors include: attorney and philanthropist C. Boyden Gray; businessman and philanthropist Calvin Cafritz; and Joe Horning of Horning Brothers. “We are thrilled about WTEF’s investment in our community to help children and families,” said Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander. “Our Ward needs these services and resources. Thank you WTEF!” Currently, WTEF helps some 1,000 students every year. The Arthur Ashe Children’s program reaches over 400 students in 2-9 grades at 24 D.C. public schools across the city. For the past eight years, Arthur Ashe Children’s Program students continue to have higher promotion rates and lower absentee rates than the general school population. One hundred percent of the organization’s Center for Excellence graduates have gone onto college for 14 consecutive years, virtually all with financial aid or an academic or athletic scholarship. WTEF’s East Capitol Campus will have six indoor hard courts, nine outdoor courts, three classrooms, a large computer room, a study room, an exercise/weight room, staff offices and a community room, providing a meeting space for neighborhood needs.
Qureshi announces new book
Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, Pakistan’s greatest tennis champion and highly regarded world humanitarian, announced today that his book “STOP WAR, START TENNIS: LESSONS OF LIFE AND UNDERSTANDING FROM A PAKISTANI TENNIS PLAYER” is now available for sale as an e-book electronically on Kindle at Amazon.com. STOP WAR, START TENNIS: LESSONS OF LIFE AND UNDERSTANDING FROM A PAKISTANI TENNIS PLAYER, (available for $4.99 in the United States here: http://m1e.net/c?96279329-QXFuk5BfIt4B.%408047560-iLYzeKKTfqKxI details inspiring stories of the life and tennis career of Qureshi, Pakistan’s most celebrated tennis player, with the hopes of inspiring people to learn from both defeats and triumphs in sports or other endeavors. “I am excited to make my story available to a wider global audience and hope that it can inspire people in their daily lives,” said Qureshi. “I have been blessed to have many experiences – good and bad – in my lifetime that have taught me many great lessons about life and understanding and I am pleased to share them with people around the world.” The hard-cover version of the book was originally launched in Pakistan earlier this year under the title “Lessons Learnt From The Tennis Tour.” The book was co-written with Qureshi’s coach Robert Davis, also a contributor to such outlets as the ATP World Tour’s Deuce magazine, Tennis.com, Tennis Magazine Australia, the Bangkok Post, the Jakarta Post among others. The book is available on all Amazon.com and Kindle related book outlets, including the United Kingdom here: http://m1e.net/c?96279329-z1w7t6KYWXpxk%408047561-FUNNSbq00LpoI in Japan here: http://m1e.net/c?96279329-av27hLYvghrK6%408047562-dBmVstK/I8dXs in France/Europe here: http://m1e.net/c?96279329-jwbvo0tFmOoZY%408047563-LnziWp1zhI3/%2e The digital rights for the book were published by New York based publishing company TennisGrandstand, LLC.
“Tennis Fantasies with John Newcombe and the Legends” celebrates 25th Anniversary
Camaraderie and competition were the watchwords for the 25th rendition of tennis’ longest-running and most successful fantasy camp, “Tennis Fantasies with John Newcombe and the Legends.” This year’s camp was held October 21 – 26 at its longstanding location, the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch in New Braunfels, Texas (30 miles from San Antonio). As befits a silver anniversary, the event was rapidly sold out, with 100 campers in attendance – including 79 alumni. “Tennis Fantasies embodies the spirit we Aussies created during the years we were circling the globe,” said Newcombe. “We looked out for each other and made new friends wherever we went. By day, we practiced and pounded each other’s brains in. By night, we enjoyed our mates.” For this year’s silver anniversary, founder and director Steve Contardi gathered the biggest cast in the event’s history. Thirteen legends were in attendance — all of whom have won Grand Slam titles or represented their nation in Davis Cup play (often both). Legend captains were Hall of Famers Newcombe, Roy Emerson, Fred Stolle, Owen Davidson, Mal Anderson and Mark Woodforde, as well as such notables as Rick Leach, Brian Gottfried, Marty Riessen, Charlie Pasarell, Ross Case, Dick Stockton and rookie legend Murphy Jensen. Said Jensen, “It’s amazing to be around people who I grew up watching as a kid – players who built the game. To be with them here, coaching and playing, has made for a wonderful experience.” The 2013 rendition of Tennis Fantasies takes place October 20-25, 2013. Newcombe, Emerson, Davidson and Ross Case are also the headliners for a mixed doubles Tennis Fantasies event that will take place March 7-10, 2013. For more information, contact Steve Contardi at (800) 874-7788 or (513) 489-9700 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.tennisfantasies.net.