May 28, 2017

Aussie Open vs French Open: Battle of the Grand Slams using Google's new Data GIF Maker

Each of the Grand Slam majors claim they offer the best tournament in tennis, offering fans with the best of tennis from live experience to social media presence. There's no doubt the intense competition between them from the number of tickets sold and prize money to players engagements on courts and off-courts and multiple offerings from sponsors at the venues.

To get us warmed up to the Grand Slam tournament in Roland Garros, here are some fun numbers about the French Open compared to the Australian Open, which already took place earlier this year.

Total staff in 2016:




Attendance in 2016:




Revenue (in USD) in 2015:




Prize money (in USD) in 2017:




Followers on Twitter (as of May 2017):



The winner is obvious, isn't it? Not quite. 

Both Majors are special and a winner of its own. The Australian Open is known as the Happy Slam because everyone from the fans to the players and even the press always have an enjoyable time at the tournament. Players always look forward to this tournament because the players who get the titles here will have the mental advantage over the other players. Roger Federer who won this year's Grand Slam continued to win several titles including in Miami and Indian Wells after that and becoming the oldest champion in those tournaments.

Meanwhile, the French Open is well known for its red clay. This year will be extra special for the Major because nine times champion Rafael Nadal will be campaigning for his 'La Decima' (10th in Spanish) after having a good run this clay season compared to two years ago. Fans and the world will be watching this tournament very closely to witness one of the most historical events ever happened in tennis history.  

Reference: Forbes.com

May 20, 2017

Thai youths shine with WTA Future Stars

Press Release


From left: Tamarine Tanasugarn, Pat Vasuratna, Melissa Pine, Nat Punnin and Yayuk Basuki at the WTA Future Stars Bangkok Clinic (Photo credit - WTA)

WTA Future Stars served up a smashing success on the first stop of the junior Race to Singapore, with WTA Finals Legend Ambassadors Tamarine Tanasugarn and Yayuk Basuki leading a clinic for 20 local juniors and 16 children from Childline Thailand Foundation (CTF), at Bangkok’s LTAT National Tennis Centre.

Tanasugarn and Basuki offered advice on a range of themes, such as the importance of teamwork, doubles match strategy and the keys to success on court. The accomplished pair also inspired the children with tales of WTA life, travelling the world. The tour veterans were then joined by two former WTA Future Stars participants – Nat Punnin, Thailand’s 2015 representative and Pat Vasuratna, a 2016 representative – to stage a doubles masterclass.

Sharing her thoughts on the clinic, Tanasugarn said, “Every time I get on the court for WTA Future Stars, I feel more passionate and excited about the future of tennis in South-East Asia. It was great to share some of my experiences and especially the importance of teamwork, and hope that they will take our advice to heart.”

The clinic gave the children from CTF a chance to learn a range of basic tennis skills, some picking up a tennis racquet for the very first time. For the 20 junior players, the clinic provided a unique opportunity to enhance their play with advice from their seniors in the WTA Future Stars programme, as well as the two WTA Legends. The WTA Legends and WTA Future Stars then paired up to demonstrate the formations, strategies and movement required in the doubles game.

Speaking after the clinic, Salakthip Ounmuang and under-14 junior player said, “My dream is to be a professional tennis player and to represent Thailand. Meeting and learning from the two WTA legends has inspired me even more, and I’m very thankful for the experience. After today, I better understand how the doubles skills will help me improve my game.”

The session was part of WTA Future Stars, a tournament that brings together players from across the Asia-Pacific region. Each country sends two representatives, one each in the U14 and U16 categories, to compete against each other during the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

The WTA Future Stars regional outreach will make its next stop in India in July, before wrapping up in Indonesia in August.
Basuki, Indonesia’s highest ever ranked tennis player, said, “I am glad to see the enthusiasm and joy on the faces of these kids and I hope their passion for tennis continues to grow. I also look forward to welcoming Tamarine to Indonesia in August and having her share her stories with some of our junior players too.”

"The LTAT is pleased to welcome the WTA to Bangkok to conduct the WTA Future Stars Masterclass with one of our local heroes, Tamarine Tanasugarn, as well as Asian legend Yayuk Basuki. It is our honour to host the event at the LTAT Stadium and we are delighted that our junior players enjoyed this invaluable experience today which hopefully inspires them to pursue their passion for tennis,” said LTAT President Mr. Kitsombat Euammongkol.

Speaking after the session, Melissa Pine, Vice President of WTA Asia-Pacific and Tournament Director of the WTA Finals, said, “WTA Future Stars continues to provide an opportunity to touch the lives of youth in this region. It is heartening to see how passionate the children are about learning how to become better athletes and tennis players.” “Seeing our WTA Legends inspire the next generation with their valuable expertise and wisdom is truly a heart-warming experience,” Pine added. “We are thankful for the support of WTA alumnae such as Tamarine Tanasugarn and Yayuk Basuki, and the wider tennis family for helping us engage and impact the lives of children in Asia-Pacific.”

To wrap up the day, the WTA and WTA Finals promoters Lagardère Sports will host a cocktail evening for media and stakeholders at Rajpruek Country Club to promote The BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore 2017 presented by SC Global. The crown-jewel of the WTA calendar will take place in Singapore from October 22 – 29 2017 where the best in women’s tennis will compete for the year’s biggest prize purse of US$7 million. Players accumulate points throughout the saeason and the top eight singles players and doubles teams on the Porsche Race to Singapore leaderboard then compete in the season finale at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

May 14, 2017

How is technology helping our tennis stars?



For a game as seemingly simple as tennis, it’s been one of the main sports that has made great use of technology to improve the skills of the players in order to reach phenomenal levels.

From improvements in racket technology, Hawk-Eye ball tracking, to the psychological benefits of playing online games, it’s clear that technology is not only helping tennis players of all levels improve their gameplay but also tennis fans to enjoy their fullest experience including in tennis betting.

Racket technology has advanced from the likes of wooden and metal rackets to the current range of composite rackets that feature graphite, carbon and titanium to deliver more power and precision. And many of today’s tennis courts routinely feature an advanced plexicushion surface that has helped the likes of Melbourne’s Australian Open become such a gripping competition.

Even the performance of our tennis stars have been enhanced by technology. As well as 3D motion tracking hardware that can help deliver more precise serving and avoid injury, there’s been the interesting introduction of a theory that allows something like games to provide transferable skills that can be used on the tennis courts. This means that even something as simple as a game could be used to provide tennis players with a little extra practice in terms of how they approach the long-term strategy of a tennis game. It’s the fact that these classic table games provide players with the opportunity to develop their skills of concentration that has helped online gaming become a valuable tool in the development of many stars.

However, in an outdoor game, things are a little more difficult in a fast-paced game of tennis. This is why the Hawk-Eye ball tracking system has revolutionized the way that calls are made in the game as the technology is able to produce a digital image of where the ball lands with startling accuracy.

Such technology helps many coaches implement a Big Data approach to the simple game of tennis that helps players isolate any troublesome areas of the game in a way that was unimaginable just a decade ago.

So much as technology may appear to offer a gamified approach to tennis practice for the 21st century, it also looks to be providing us with faster, better and more accurate games of tennis too.

Apr 25, 2017

Tickets now available to watch the greatest in women's tennis at the 2017 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore

Press Release

The BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global will return on 22-29 October 2017 at the Singapore Sports Hub where the greatest in women’s tennis will face off in the year-end crown jewel event of the WTA calendar. The Top 8 singles players and Top 8 doubles teams will compete for a record US$7 million in prize money and the prestigious Billie Jean King Trophy and the Martina Navratilova Doubles Trophy respectively.

Public sale of tickets launched today at WTAFinals.com by reigning champion Dominika Cibulkova and new WTA Finals Legend Ambassador Kim Clijsters, at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany. Clijsters, a former WTA World No.1, had an illustrious career claiming three WTA Finals titles, 41 singles and 11 doubles WTA titles, along with four singles and two doubles Grand Slam titles before retiring in 2012.

Melissa Pine, Dominika Cibulkova, Kim Clijsters, Steve Simon - (Photo Credit - Getty Images)

Clijsters will join fellow WTA Legends Martina Navratilova and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario to promote the WTA Finals at various tournament stops throughout the year. She will be in Singapore to engage fans and the community during the WTA Finals, hosting tennis clinics and meeting fans at the Fan Village and the Racquet Club.

The WTA Finals festival will start two days before the tournament on Friday, 20 October, with the glitzy red-carpet public Singles Draw Ceremony followed by the opening of the Fan Village on Saturday at the Singapore Sports Hub, where fans can meet and have their pictures taken with the stars of the WTA amongst other tennis-themed activities. The award winning hospitality program, Racquet Club, will also be back with its five-star dining experiences, which includes access to the Aces Lounge and premium baseline seats.

“It is such an honor to be an ambassador of the WTA Finals which is probably the toughest tournament to compete in because every match is against the best,” stated Kim Clijsters. “I have heard so much about Singapore and how great the tournament is, so I am really excited to be part of the event. It seems the fans in Singapore are a lot of fun so I am looking forward to meeting them and visiting the beautiful city.”

“The unique beauty of the WTA Finals is that it brings together not only the greatest players of the season for some show-stopping tennis on court, but also some of the biggest names in women’s tennis,” said Steve Simon, WTA CEO and Chairman. “This allows us to celebrate the sport and build a strong legacy through many impactful initiatives. We are pleased to welcome Kim to join us at what is sure to be a very exciting WTA Finals in Singapore.”

WTA Finals 2016 Champion Dominika Cibulkova - (Photo Credit - Lagardère Sports)

Reigning WTA Finals champion Dominika Cibulkova recounted her finals experience, “I really enjoyed my first time in Singapore - the event experience was first class, the atmosphere on court with all the show lights was electrifying, and most importantly it was a monumental win for me that left me wanting more and dreaming bigger. I definitely hope to make it back to Singapore this year.”

The 2017 Road to Singapore began in January and the season’s first quarter has progressed with a mix of players climbing and breaking into the top 8 on the leaderboard, demonstrating the strength and depth of the WTA player field.

Melissa Pine, Tournament Director of the WTA Finals and Vice President of WTA Asia Pacific said, “We have seen some strong performances in the first quarter from young players like Karolina Pliskova and Johanna Konta, doubles players like Kristina Mladenovic and Elena Vesnina achieving breakthrough in the singles and legendary performances from the Williams sisters. The WTA Finals field last year brought fans eight days of exhilarating tennis and sporting excellence and I am looking forward to even more thrilling action at the Singapore Indoor Stadium this October.”

Tickets for the WTA Finals 2017 start at just S$27*. All tickets, including single sessions, packages and hospitality tickets are available for purchase via WTAFinals.com from 26 April. The All Singles Evening Pass, launched for the first time last year, returns this year to give fans an opportunity to watch all eight players on court over two consecutive days. Groups of 10 or more will also receive further discounts of up to 10% or more.

Apart from watching the matches, fans and ticket holders this year can also look forward to more perks throughout the WTA Finals qualification season, as there will be opportunities to win special, money-can’t-buy experiences. From meet and greet sessions as well as access to clinics and private practice session viewings, ticket buyers this year even stand a chance to win a trip to catch some exciting grass court action at the Aegon International Eastbourne in England and attend WTA’s PreWimbledon Party to build up their excitement to the WTA Finals.

Sarah Clements, Vice-President of Tennis, Asia, at Lagardère Sports said, “Singapore is hosting our fourth tournament, and we aim to raise the level of fan engagement and experience even higher. With initiatives and opportunities to win exclusive experiences for ticket buyers, fans are going to enjoy the year-long Road to Singapore even more.”

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