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Jul 22, 2014

So when’s Dimitrov’s first Grand Slam win coming?


We’ve become used to the so-called big four dominating men’s tennis for quit some time now. But this is about to change. It will change not least because Roger Federer is getting on a little; 32 is quite an age for a male tennis star in the absolute upper echelons of the game these days.

Roger demonstrated that he still has it at Wimbledon when forcing Novak Djokovic to an incredible five sets. But at 32, his days are numbered, unfortunately. Meanwhile, Andy Murray and the second most successful player of all time, Rafa Nadal have both had more than their fair share o injury problems.

All in all, then, it seems more than likely that the big four will be no more pretty soon – and that other players will break into the absolute top flight. We saw Stan Wawrinka winning the Aussie Open in January – but it seems unlikely that this is the player who will really make the breakthroughs. Wawrinka is now 29 himself and hadn’t made a Grand Slam final before Melbourne this year and, whilst he’s been an amazing player at the top of the game for seven or eight years now, it’s hard to see him suddenly becoming a lot better.

The player most pundits are looking to after his excellent Wimbledon showing is, of course, Bulgaria’s best ever player Grigor Dimitrov. He hit a career high ATP ranking after this year’s Wimbledon at world number nine, and at just 23 years of age can surely improve a whole lot more yet.

He won his first ATP singles title last October in Stockholm and had previously enjoyed an immensely successful junior career – winning the Boys' Singles event at both Wimbledon and the US Open back in 2008.

So it’s surely just a matter of time before the Bulgarian youngster wins his first tennis major title. As things stand, he’s sixth in the tennis betting market for this year’s US Open at Flushing Meadows in August-September behind the traditional big four, with Stanislas Wawrinka fifth favourite.

This year’s US Open may still be a little too early yet, but his odds of 16-1 with Bet365 and other bookmakers looks highly tempting as it’s surely just a matter of time?

Dimitrov comfortably saw off the then reigning champion Andy Murray at Wimbledon before finding Novak Djokovic too strong in the semis in a match he lost 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6. But this was a tremendously tight affair and it would be very easy to see Dimitrov going one better next time.

What’s more - off-court, the young Bulgarian is reportedly stepping out in style with current world number six, Maria Sharapova. This will surely do his career no harm whatsoever and may help spur him on to greater things.

So we’re very probably already looking at a big five in men’s tennis – and five years from now, Grigor Dimitrov will still be at is peak whilst the other big four sadly won’t. So how many Grand Slam events will he have in his locker by then?

(Image via Grigor Dimitrov's Facebook page)

Jun 3, 2014

Andy Murray Passes a Tough Test


Reigning Wimbledon champion Andy Murray came through an epic match with Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to make it through to the fourth round of the 2014 French Open. The two players began their match the previous day but play was suspended at 7-7 in the fifth and final set due to bad light. Murray had to save a break point at a crucial stage before coming through 3-6 6-3 6-3 4-6 12-10. The Scot had been suffering with a leg injury during the first session of play and Kohlschreiber was able to take the first set with relative ease before Murray came fighting back, taking the next two sets by the same scoreline of 6-3. Having led by a break in both the fourth and fifth set, this should really have been a straightforward victory for the former world number two but Philipp Kohlschreiber dug in and although he was ultimately defeated, he should take a lot of confidence from this impressive performance.

This epic battle is almost as huge as football teams fighting to be the leading world cup bet. Just like an epic match between two dominant teams in the World Cup, the match between Phillip Kohlschreiber and Andy Murray is by far the most exciting game in the 2014 French Open.

While Andy Murray is currently not working with a coach, the rumour mill has been in overdrive throughout this tournament with speculation rife regarding who will take up the position following the departure of Ivan Lendl. When questioned on the matter, Murray would not dismiss the option of a female coach, with former Wimbledon and Australian Open champion Amelie Mauresmo being strongly linked with the vacant position. Andy Murray has already achieved a huge amount of success with two Grand Slam tournaments to his credit already, but he has the potential to be challenging Nadal and Djokovic for the number one spot and a new coach might give him that extra edge required. Having been coached by his mother Judy for the early part of his career, Murray should have no problems working with a female coach such as Mauresmo.

Following his third round victory, Betfair have cut the Scot to odds of 14/1 to win his first clay court Grand Slam by capturing the French Open title. He is now the joint third favourite alongside Spaniard David Ferrer. Betfair are struggling to split the front two in the market, with Novak Djokovic just edging things slightly at Even money, while Rafael Nadal can be backed at 5/4. I’d fully expect these two to flip flop in the market over the coming days and they look likely to meet in Sunday’s final. Nadal has an incredible record where the French Open is concerned and is the only male player to win a single Grand Slam tournament on eight separate occasions. Nadal’s only defeat at Roland Garros came in 2009 when he was beaten in the fourth round by Sweden’s Robin Soderling. I’m slightly surprised that Betfair make Djokovic favourite to take the 2014 French Open on that basis but the Serb has showed incredible form since losing to Andy Murray at Wimbledon last year. It will be extremely interesting to see if Andy Murray can make it to the semi final stage an upset either of the aforementioned tennis gods on this surface.

In the latest development, Andy Murray defeated Fernando Verdasco to move into the last eight at the French Open.

Image by Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images

May 27, 2014

Rafael Nadal Gets Secondary Treatment On Court Suzanne Lenglen Court


There wasn't any shocking moment in the first round of the French Open when it opened on Sunday, except for one: world number one and reigning champion Rafael Nadal has to kick off his campaign in the secondary Suzanne Lenglen court instead of the Philippe Chatrier court. Nobody saw that coming. To put it simply, it is easier to predict the favoured Wimbledon 2014 odds than the French Open organiser's snub.

The organisers decision to host Novak Djokovic versus Joao Sousa and Stanislas Wawrinka versus Guillermo Garcia-Lopez instead of the eight time champion versus Robby Ginepri, has prompted a furious reaction from fans on social media and amongst tennis players.

"That's really bizarre," American John Isner, ATP world ranking number 11 told AFP.

"I mean, how many times does the guy have to win the tournament to be able to have his first match on Chatrier?"

“It doesn’t go week by week. I don’t know who’s talking all the time, but Rafa is the favourite, and then Novak, and then the rest, you know. It’s very clear,” Roger Federer insisted.

Personally, the organiser made a huge mistake by making such a move. Not that it's disrespectful to Nadal but also to the fans who have bought tickets to watch him play on Philippe Chatrier. But I'm quite sure that if Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu made it to the second round to play against Nadal, they will definitely get to play on that main court.

(Image via FFT)

May 22, 2014

Novak Djokovic Donates Rome Prize Money to Serbia Flood Relief


I may not be the biggest fan of Novak Djokovic but what he had done recently to support his fellow Serbians back home deserves our respect. After defeating Rafael Nadal to win the Internazionali BNL d'Italia title in Rome, he donated the cheque from the tournament to relief efforts. So far, at least 43 people are reported dead in the massive flood in the Balkans. 

Djokovic's winnings are reported to be worth $749,934. Check out this year's Wimbledon betting odds or even the upcoming French Open if you're thinking of winning some money for yourself too.

Immediately after his victory in Rome, Djokovic drew a heart with his racket on the clay surface.

"This heart on the court is for you. It's also a special dedication to my country, which is suffering a lot right now. My heart is with them."


French Open will kick off next week and there is no doubt that Djokovic will come in as favourite to stop Nadal dominance in this Grand Slam tournament. As a Nadal fan, I can only say "may the best man win'.

Images via ESPN and internazionalibnlditalia.com


Mar 19, 2014

BMW Malaysian Open 2014 Tickets Up For Grabs

For immediate release
The BMW Malaysian Open 2014 returns to the Royal Selangor Golf Club (RSGC) from the 14th – 20th of April 2014. The most prestigious tennis tournament in the South East Asian region will see Defending Champion Karolina Pliskova as well as 2013 Wimbledon Doubles Champion and 2012 BMW Malaysian Open Champion, Hsieh Su-Wei returning to Kuala Lumpur to compete in this year’s tournament.
Also competing for the first time this year will be former World Number One Venus Williams and recent Australian Open finalist, Dominika Cibulkova together with a host of other accomplished international players compete for a prize purse of US$250,000 and valuable World Ranking Points.



The fourth edition of this prestigious tennis tournament will host an array of fun activities that will appeal to tennis enthusiasts, families and young adults. Fans can look forward to an exciting tournament with enhanced spectator experience and entertainment throughout the event week.



The public will also gain easy access to the ticketing entrance at the Royal Selangor Gold Club (RSGC) through various shuttle services provided. Fans can head to Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur and KLCC multi-level car park at Jalan Binjai opposite Platinum Park for free shuttle. On the 19th and 20th April, free shuttle will also be provided from the open air car park next to RHB Bank on Jalan Tun Razak. A variety of F&B outlets will be available for public such as Pizza Hut, KFC, Chatime, Cream & Fudge Ice Cream, to name a few.
The first 50 fans to register at the information counter of the BMW Malaysian Open from the 14th till the 17th of April will receive exclusive vouchers for exciting goodies.
Visitor with passes can stand a chance to win a pair of tickets to Paris, courtesy of Air France and complimentary Weekend Drive Experience by BMW Malaysia. Spectators have the opportunity to have their pictures taken at event to be run on OOHM LED screens that are displayed around Klang Valley and Penang.
Fans will not only catch their tennis idols perform but also get autographs taken at intimate player-fan sessions.
Ricoh Malaysia will host a variety of interactive games including mini tennis, speed serve and tennis video games with exciting prizes to be won. In addition, this year an exclusive photo exhibition themed ‘Strong Is Beautiful’ will be showcased at the BMW Malaysian Open, featuring inspirational women from all walks of life. From games to contest, food to exhibitions there would not be short of activities and entertainment for spectators at the BMW Malaysian Open 2014.
“Malaysian tennis enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to meet their tennis idols, take part in the fun activities lined up and catch the world-class tournament first hand. The BMW Malaysian Open 2014 promises to be the best tennis tournament in Malaysia and the tournament this year will be much bigger and much better than last year as we aim to raise the profile of the sport here.” said Dr. Gerhard Pils, President & CEO, BMW Group Malaysia.
The tournament will once again see 32 players from the WTA, the world’s leading women’s tennis tour. The leading tennis competition for women will also feature 16 teams for the doubles title. Similarly to its previous editions, the tournament will place local talents through wild card entries.
The BMW Malaysian Open takes place from the 14th – 20th of April 2014 at the prestigious Royal Selangor Golf Club (RSGC). For information on ticketing and discount information, please visit www.ticketpro.com.my.
For more information on the tournament check out (tournament information, scores and contest)
Website: www.bmwmalaysianopen.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BMWMalaysianOpen
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