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Aug 28, 2015

The Top 3 Favourites to Win the Us Open and the Dark Horses

The Top 3 Favourites to Win the Us Open and the Dark Horses The fourth and the last Grand Slam event of the year is just round the corner, and exciting matches are bound to happen. According to TonyBet bookie some favourites are very clear, but as last year’s US Open has shown, a dark-horse win can always happen. Here’s the top 3 leading players in our opinion – both at men’s and women’s courts – and the extra potential dark horses to watch out for.


Men’s Favourites:

1. Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic is firmly at the top of the ATP rankings. The world‘s no. 1 has already triumphed in two Grand Slam events this years – the Australian Open and Wimbledon – and went through to the finals in French Open. Even with these results, he lost to Roger Federer in Cincinnati and before that, to Andy Murray in Montreal Masters, both times playing in the finals. This shows he can be beaten – but he may also be saving up his best form for the US Open.

2. Roger Federer
While Roger Federer haven‘t had as impressive a year as Djokovic, he still did well in the previous Grand Slam events, climbing up from third round in Australian Open, to the quarter-finals in the French Open, to the final in Wimbledon. The Swiss legend has been named 2nd seed and whilst he lost again to Djokovic in Wimbledon finals, Federer then beat him in Cincinnati, along with a win against Murray in the semis. He seems to be in a brilliant form and definitely has good chances at winning.

3. Andy Murray
The world‘s no. 3 has won the US Open in 2012, but hasn‘t gone further than the quarter-final ever since. Murray started the 2015‘s Grand Slam going to the finals in the Australian Open, followed by making it to the semi-finals in both the French Open and Wimbledon. He has managed to beat one of his main contenders, Djokovic, in Montreal Masters, but afterwards lost to Federer in the semi-final in Cincinnati. Still, he is able to win the championship if he‘s in a good form.

The Dark Horse: Grigor Dimitrov
For a good chunk of promising players it would be quite a jump to dominate the US Open, however, Grigor Dimitrov looks like the one who just might be able to do it. Although it‘s admittedly unlikely that the world‘s 17th would become the champion, his recent loss against Murray actually revealed that he’s in a good enough form and what’s lacking is mostly in his mental game. Dimitrov has competed in all Grand Slam events, going to 4th round in Australian Open, 1st in French Open and 3rd in Wimbledon.


Women’s Favourites:

1. Serena Williams
The phrase “Serena Williams is the only Serena William’s real contender” is quickly becoming a big cliché in the tennis world. The world’s no. 1 is in absolutely amazing form, having already won three of the major titles this year and is going for a calendar year Grand Slam. Besides, she’s already won US Open 6 times, and she’s a three-time defending champion. By now, it’s going to be far more surprising if Williams doesn’t win rather than if she does.

2. Victoria Azarenka
The Belarusian is a former no. 1 and current 20th seed. She has made it to the US Open finals twice, and to the quarter finals last year. Victoria Azarenka‘s 2015 season is looking very solid so far, and even though Williams looks unbeatable, Azarenka is the one tennis player that could challenge the no.1 - if she‘s in a good form. Even with her left thigh injury that had her retire from Cincinnati, Azarenka should be able to play some world-class tennis.

3. Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova hasn’t won a Grand Slam title this year yet, but she made it to the finals in Australian Open, semi-finals in Wimbledon and the fourth round in French Open. She was ranked as the 3rd seed, and should be well rested to play in the US Open, as she hasn’t had any matches since Wimbledon. Sharapova had a good year, and she will be a tough challenge for any opponent in the upcoming tournament.

The Dark Horse: Belinda Bencic
The world‘s no. 12 is only 18 years old – and yet she managed to beat S. Williams in Toronto on 16th of August. Overcoming the world’s no. 1 on an extremely good year – even though it wasn’t in a Grand Slam event – shows that Belinda Bencic definitely has the potential to be the next big name in tennis. However, in Cincinnati she had to retire with a right wrist injury. If that doesn’t prevent her from being is a good shape, Bencic should be able to shake up the tennis world in the upcoming US Open. The first round of the US Open 2015 starts on Monday, 31st of August, and the championship will conclude on September 13th. Marin Cilic is the defending champion in the men’s singles, whilst Serena Williams is the three-time defending champion in the women’s singles. Together, the participating tennis players will share more than 40 million US dollars in prize money.


Images via US Open official website

Jul 28, 2015

24/7 Top Stars' Non-Stop Competition

What’s so impressive about the big names in the game isn’t just what they can do - again and again - in tournament play. What they do the rest of the time is, if anything, even more inspiring. It’s so easy to take for granted the incredible athleticism, stamina and sheer competitive drive that the likes of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray demonstrate every time they set foot on the court.

But the truth is what we see on court is just the tip of the iceberg. What we see is the product and the outcome of dedicated regimes of diet, exercise, skills-based training and so much more. What we take easily for granted is the way those guys are competing 24/7. Everything they eat, everything the drink and just about every other aspect of their lives, 365 days a year, is a competition to be the best to top the rankings and to be the bookmakers’ favourite.

Imagine turning your breakfast into a competition every day to make it just that little bit more effective than the other guy’s. No wonder they are so emotional when they win. Those guys really do put just about everything on the line.



Jul 15, 2015

Arthur Ashe Kids' Day Feat. Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic



WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 15, 2015 – Today, the United States Association (USTA) announced a star-studded lineup for the milestone 20th annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess. The stadium show will include live performances from Rolling Stone “Artist You Need to Know” Bea Miller, “hip-pop” duo Kalin and Myles, Flo Rida protégé Natalie La Rose, MTV's "Artist to Watch" Jacob Whitesides and chart-topping pop-rock act American Authors. They’ll team-up with tennis superstars Novak Djokovic, last year’s US Open champion Marin Cilic and more for a day of tennis, music and fun to honor the legacy of legendary pioneer Arthur Ashe. The annual event takes place Saturday, August 29th at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow, NY, from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m to kick-off the 2015 US Open, which runs from August 31st – September 13th.

From 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., families can enjoy an exciting array of free tennis games geared toward kids, plus 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 Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic as well as musical performances by Bea Miller, Kalin and Myles, Natalie La Rose, Jacob Whitesides and American Authors. Additional participants will be announced in the coming weeks.

Stadium show tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster (1-866-OPEN-TIX), www.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 $25. Arthur Ashe Kids' Day will be broadcast nationally by ESPN2 on Sunday, August 30, from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (ET). 

“It’s an historic occasion for Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, as we mark two decades of bringing the best in tennis and music together on a truly special day for families," said Gordon Smith, USTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. “The event also captures the spirit and vigor of Arthur Ashe and is a fantastic way of encouraging youth to be active in tennis and life, while developing healthy habits early on.”

Over the years, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day has been a launching pad for many of music’s biggest acts including Shawn Mendes, Ariana Grande, Ne-Yo, Demi Lovato, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Hunter Hayes, Fifth Harmony, The Wanted, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jonas Brothers, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys and Hanson, among many others. 

This year’s lineup will feature:

Bea Miller  Singer/songwriter Bea Miller began tapping into her vocal prowess by belting out “America the Beautiful” after a Venus vs. Serena match at the 2008 US Open, sparking a serious desire to devote her life to making music. Years later, she emerged as a top-ten finalist on The X-Factor, and signed a deal with Syco Music/Hollywood Records. She released her debut EP Young Blood in the spring of 2014 with singles “Young Blood” and “Fire N Gold” both landing on the Billboard charts. She also honed her performance skills touring with Demi Lovato. Her raspy vocals and sharp-edged pop have already earned her recognition as one of Rolling Stone’s “10 Artists You Need To Know,” as an MTV “Artist to Watch for 2015,” as one of Billboard’s “10 Artists to Watch in 2015,” and as Radio Disney’s “Next Big Thing.” With her debut album Not An Apology dropping July 24, Bea’s excited about performing her new songs live and deepening her connection with her fanbase.

Kalin and Myles – Continuing the tradition of artists “graduating” from the Hess Festival Stage to the AAKD Stadium Show, Bay area twosome Kalin and Myles stir up pop, hip-hop, and R&B into an irresistible and inimitable hybrid affectionately and appropriately dubbed “Hip Pop.” First meeting at a house party in 2011, they began making music together, creating their own beats, singing, and rapping. In April 2014, they inked a deal with Republic Records for the release of the Chase Dreams EP, where they steered pop music down their own lane. The collection's first single "Love Robbery” quickly racked up over 5 million views on YouTube while snagging the #1 “most played” spot at Power 106FM in Los Angeles. The band has gone on to sell nearly 800,000 digital singles to date and their success amplified once more with the release of their Dedication EP followed by this summer’s Dedication 2015 Tour. The album elevates Kalin and Myles to a new plateau with the title reflecting their commitment to delivering for the countless fans worldwide, who are turning them into a household name.

Natalie La Rose – Dutch native Natalie La Rose’s debut single for I.M.G./Republic Records, “Somebody” featuring Jeremih, is one of this Summer’s biggest singles. Now certified platinum by the RIAA, “Somebody” hit #1 at Rhythm and entered the Top 3 on Top 40 airplay charts nationwide.  “Somebody” entered the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as the Top 10 of both iTunes’ Pop and Overall Top Songs chart.  It’s also been one of the Top 5 “Most Shazamed Records in the USA.” To date, the song has over 105+ million streams on Spotify worldwide, with over 65+ million YouTube/Vevo views and counting. La Rose made her national television debuts this Spring on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and the Late Late Show with James Corden. She also opened the Radio Disney Music Awards with Fifth Harmony, who she is touring with this Summer. With the release of her second buzzworthy single, “Around The World” featuring Fetty Wap, La Rose is quickly proving that she is more than just somebody, she is an artist to watch!

Jacob Whitesides – An undeniably talented songwriter and performer, Jacob Whitesides—chosen as MTV’s “Artist To Watch” this August—has caught the ears of millions of music fans with his debut EP A Piece Of Me which reached #1 on the iTunes U.S. Singer/Songwriter chart, #3 on the Pop Albums chart and #5 on the Overall chart. Jacob’s unprecedented independent success to date has been accomplished entirely on his own, simply relying on his music and a genuine dialogue with his millions of devoted social followers around the globe (aka “Whitesiders”), who have allowed Jacob to land at the top of the charts in seven countries and help him sell out his first European shows in only minutes. Jacob—raised modestly by a single mom in the smoky mountains outside of Knoxville, Tennessee—is breaking virtually every music industry rule by maintaining full control of his career as CEO of his own touring, merchandising and record label, Double U Records. At 17, Jacob is proving how musicians can establish a credible career for themselves by using the available democratic and free media platforms to support their music. Jacob is currently on a U.S. Amphitheater tour with R5.

American Authors – Brooklyn based band American Authors hail from the four corners of the country, each bringing their own influences and experiences to the writing table to create pop-flavored alt rock sprinkled with four-part harmonies, spirited lyrics, and contagious optimism. “Go Big Or Go Home” is the follow-up to their triple-platinum Top 5 hit “Best Day Of My Life,” which boasts over 47.5 million streams and 58.1 million YouTube views to date.  “Best Day Of My Life” and “Believer” were back-to-back hits from the debut album Oh, What A Life, which rose to #3 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart. “Go Big Or Go Home” premiered earlier this month on U.S. television when they returned (for their third appearance!) on ABC’s Live with Kelly & Michael.  The band’s headline summer tour across the U.S. continues in Tulsa on July 24th and Baton Rouge on August 1st. On August 2nd in Birmingham, AL, they segue into two weeks of co-headline shows with Andy Grammer. American Authors’ second album on Island Record is due out September 25th.

The AAKD Grounds Festival offers a wide range of interactive activities and the opportunity for children of all ages to test their skills, hit with top tennis pros, win prizes and enjoy music:  

·         Hess Festival Stage – the Grounds Festival’s free concert featuring up-and-coming musical talent including girl-pop trio Sweet Suspense and rising Def Jam artist Alessia Cara (additional acts to be confirmed) is hosted by Radio Disney.

·         YouthTennis.com – Tennis is sized right for kids! With shorter courts, smaller racquets and lower-bouncing balls, the focus is on the fun so kids enjoy the game right from the start.

·         USTA Play Day – Experience a “Play Day”—a welcoming way for kids to experience the social and competitive aspects of tennis. Play points and rally against other players and pros.

·         Family Fun Court – Kids aren’t the only ones who can have fun playing tennis. Join your child on court and see how you can play tennis anywhere.

·         Hess Toy Truck Obstacle Course – Test agility, balance, running and tennis skills on the engaging and challenging obstacle course.

·         Hess Target Time – Intermediate and advanced level-kids can test their skills hitting targets.

·         Xerox Beat the Pro – Challenge the best playing points against some of the top touring and teaching pros in the world.

·         PTR 10 and Under Tennis – Have some fun with PTR professionals and work on improving your beginning serve, scoring and rally skills.

·         USPTA 10 and Under Tennis – USPTA-certified teaching professionals host this court consisting of 30 colorful hitting stations using a variety of teaching aids.

·         Nike Tennis – Tennis and skill activities on two courts featuring Nike sponsored athletes.

·         Esurance Champions of the Court – Exciting doubles play for all levels. Which team will win Champions of the Court?

·         Tennis and Education Zone – Innovative and fun tennis-based, educational activities to develop the skills of beginning players of all ages.

·         Coca-Cola Get Fit and Play – Challenging tennis courses for varying skill levels focusing on agility, balance, coordination, speed and strength.

·         IBM Speedzone – Just like the pros, utilize IBM's speed serve technology to test the power behind your shot.

·         Wilson Burn Challenge – Try the new Wilson Burn racket to see how your serves, groundstrokes and footwork rank against competitors worldwide. 

·         The US Open American Express Fan Experience – Step inside the US Open American Express Fan Experience for even more tennis fun! The Fan Experience is located in the Chase Center near the East Gate.

·         Watch the Pros Practice – See tennis’s biggest stars up close as they prepare for the US Open. Public practices are featured on Louis Armstrong Stadium, Grandstand and Court 17.

·         Also – Autographs, Face Painting, Juggling Workshop, Hair Beading and Braiding, Storytelling, Balloon Artists, Roving Entertainers and more!

Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess is the largest single-day, grassroots tennis and entertainment event in the world and has been supported by Hess since 2003. Withchart-topping performers, celebrities and professional tennis players, the day helps to promote youth tennis and encourages children of all ages to develop healthy habits through fun activities. Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day also celebrates the life and values of tennis legend and humanitarian Arthur Ashe.

Proceeds from Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day benefit the USTA Foundation which helps fund the National Junior Tennis & Learning Network (NJTL), a nationwide group of more than 500 nonprofit youth-development organizations that provide free or low-cost tennis, education and life-skills programming to more than 225,000 children each year, founded 45 years ago by Arthur Ashe, along with Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder. 

For more information on Youth Tennis and Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, log on towww.YouthTennis.com and/or www.AAKD.comTo connect via social media, please “like” the official Facebook page facebook.com/ArthurAsheKidsDay and/or follow@AAKidsDay on Twitter and InstagramIn the event of inclement weather, ticket holders can log on to any of the sites listed above for the most up to date information.

The 2014 US Open surpassed 700,000 attendees for the seventh time, with the final tally of 713,642 ranking fourth-highest US Open attendance in history.

Coverage of Serena Williams' third consecutive women's singles title and Marin Cilic's first men's singles win aired on CBS Sports, capping a 47-year relationship with the US Open.  A new 11-year partnership with ESPN will commence for the 2015 US Open, whereby ESPN will become the exclusive domestic television and digital media partner.  The 2014 US Open was broadcast in more than 200 countries around the world, and aired on CBS, ESPN and Tennis Channel in the U.S.

The 2015 US Open will be held Monday, August 31 through Sunday, September 13. Tickets for the 2015 US Open can be purchased four ways: 1) at USOpen.org; 2) by calling Ticketmaster at 1-866-OPEN-TIX; 3) at all Ticketmaster outlets; or 4) at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center box office.  American Express is the Official Card of the US Open.

Hess Corporation (NYSE: HES) is a leading global independent energy company engaged in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas. More information on Hess Corporation is available at www.hess.com.

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level -- from local communities to the highest level of the professional game.  A not-for-profit organization with more than 750,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Olympus US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns the 90-plus Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S, and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. TheUSTA’s philanthropic entity, the USTA Foundation, provides grants and scholarships and helps underserved youth and people with disabilities. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com, “like” the official Facebook page facebook.com/usta or follow @usta on Twitter.

Jul 14, 2015

3 Reasons You Can't Miss the US Open


The 2015 US Open is around the corner, and one thing is certain – it’s a can’t-miss experience for both diehard and casual fans alike. Grab your tickets now – they are going fast.

These are the top 3 reasons that you can’t miss out on the 2015 US Open.

1. The tennis is electrifying. Have you ever seen Serena, Roger or Rafa play, their talent and shot-making on full display? Now, imagine seeing them live and in person. There’s nothing like it. It’s exciting, it’s intense – and it’s impossible to fully appreciate through a television set. 

2. The celeb-spotting opportunities are endless. At the US Open, the stars are on the court and in the stands – oftentimes sitting right next to you. The US Open is an event to see and be seen. Alec Baldwin is a regular and several other celebrities have made appearances in years past.

3. The food is really good. The only thing more diverse than the players and crowds at the Open is the international cuisine you’ll find once you’re inside the gates. From a full sushi bar to a Latin-inspired restaurant with Cuban fare and cool, refreshing cocktails, the restaurant scene at the Open brings the heat.

The 2015 US Open starts Aug. 31. Tickets are on sale now. Don’t miss out on the action – get your tickets here!

 

2015 US Open Sneak Peak from Traction Labs Videos on Vimeo.


The US Open is the can’t-miss event of the summer. Check out this video to find out why. Tickets are on sale now, and they’re going fast. Don’t miss out on the grandest Slam in tennis. Get your tickets here!

Jun 29, 2015

Wimbledon 2015 Men's Singles Favourite


With the Wimbledon Championship going to kick start on Monday, it will be exciting to see who is the favourite men tennis players to win on the prestigious lawn surface. You'll find many predictions on the Internet including on Betfair Wimbeldon odds but I'm going to share with you my take on who will be the potential champion in London in two weeks time.
      
The recent French Open was a pleasant (or shocking to some) surprise for many. We almost did not see it coming when Stanislas Wawrinka overpowered world no. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic to walk away with a second Grand Slam title. Many tennis fans around the world will be excited to find out if Novak Djokovic is able to walk away with a Grand Slam trophy this time around.

Meanwhile, eighth seed David Ferrer just announced that he has to pull out from the tournament due to an elbow injury. Although grass is not his strongest surface, he managed to get into the quarterfinal in 2013 and has always been a threat to the men's tennis players in the ATP.

Based on Djokovic's consistency and coming into the tournament as a defending champion, it is only wise to believe that the Serbian is the favourite player to win at SW19. Meanwhile, Wawrinka might not be able to repeat the same success he had in Paris. In the past, his inconsistency usually crept up after a big win.

Rafael Nadal's success on grass in Stuttgart recently cannot be underestimated although he failed to make it through the first round at the Queen's Club the following week. Without the pressure and high expectation like he had at the French Open, there could be a possibility for Nadal to make a shocking success on this surface, where he once had the most epic win against Roger Federer. As for Federer, he is still a strong contender especially on this surface where he holds a record of 7 championship wins.

Lastly, the crowd favourite Andy Murray might be the closest bet we have to win the Wimbledon title after Djokovic. Murray has over the years built his confidence and games under the guidance of coaches like Ivan Lendl and Amelie Mauresmo. Mauresmo is just days from giving birth and may not be around to give the moral support that Murray needs. However, it will be the most beautiful gift Murray can give to his coach if he wins on his homeground surface.

Image via telegraph.uk


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