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May 23, 2016

A birthday cake for Novak Djokovic


World no. 1 Novak Djokovic was presented with an impressive multi-tiered tennis-themed birthday cake that came with edible tennis balls and a miniature racquet on the first day of the French Open tournament on Sunday. He also received a towel embroidered with his name by France's Davis Cup captain Guy Forget as his birthday present.


Djokovic who was upset by Stan Wawrinka in last year's French Open final, will begin his campaign against Taiwanese qualifier Rendy Lu Yen-hsun today. Overall, the Serb has a comfortable draw until the semifinals where he is scheduled to play nine-time champion Rafael Nadal.

Nevertheless, pressure is mounting on Djokovic to win the only major that has eluded him. While, Nadal is still finding his best form on clay surface, Andy Murray has risen and poses serious threat after defeated Djokovic at the Italian Open two weeks ago.

"Of course I anticipate myself, as everybody else (does), to try to get my hands on this title this year," Djokovic said.

"Even if my career was done tomorrow, I made some achievements that I must be proud of. So that's how I approach things. I don't try to approach them from a point of view of being obsessed with this tournament or with any other tournament, for that matter."

Should he win the French Open, Djokovic will become only the eighth player in history to complete a career Grand Slam of Australian, French, Wimbledon and US titles.

(Via ESPN, Images via Daily Mail Online)

Apr 25, 2016

Andy Murray and the quest for Wimbledon glory

This summer, Andy Murray will once again be Great Britain’s main hope for a success at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Since bursting onto the scene in 2005, Murray has matured into a fan favourite and the British number one is particularly well supported at his home event... but is he good enough to win this year’s competition?

On current form, yes. Murray has been phenomenal throughout the last eighteen months and the Scot is surely on the verge of a third Grand Slam title if he continues to play at his very best. At the time of writing, punters who want to bet on Andy Murray to win this year’s tournament can get 4/1 on the British number one to do just that.


But it will NOT be easy. Novak Djokovic is at the top of his game and the Serbian is on target to surpass Roger Federer’s all-time record of 17 Grand Slam titles. The world number one will be hoping to end his French Open drought next month before Wimbledon and Djokovic may benefit from the added confidence boost if he wins a maiden title at Roland Garros.

If Murray faces Djokovic in the final of the competition, it will be a titanic clash between two of tennis’ top heavyweights. Both players are capable of beating each other on their day and it would take a brave man to back against either player – especially considering Djokovic’s record over Murray but Murray’s support at the Wimbledon event.


One player who could once again throw a spanner in the works is Roger Federer. Last year, the Swiss superstar produced a world class performance to knock Murray out in the semi-final stage and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the 34-year-old go all the way this summer. After all, it might be his last realistic opportunity to win the Wimbledon crown...

And while Federer is decent value at 6/1 in Betway’s betting markets, all eyes will be on Murray as he attempts to get the better of Djokovic in what is widely regarded as the most prestigious event on the tennis calendar. Wimbledon is, without a doubt, the one that everyone wants to win and with a bit of luck, Murray can continue his assault on the tennis world.


Djokovic will be Murray’s main threat this summer and the British number one will have to be at his best to cope with the resilient Serbian. However, Murray could take advantage of Djokovic’s busier schedule – especially after he had a break following the Australian Open in January.


Apr 4, 2016

Novak Djokovic continues to dominate men's tennis with 63rd career title in Miami


World no.1 Novak Djokovic continued his domination of men's tennis with a 6-3 6-3 win over fellow Uniqlo's ambassador Kei Nishikori in the Miami Open final at Key Biscayne, a win which sees him become tennis' all-time leading money winner.

Djokovic collected a sum of USD1,028,300 on weekend and his career earnings has approached USD100 million.


With four titles in 2016, following victories at the Australian Open, Qatar and Indian Wells, Djokovic will definitely be looking forward to the upcoming clay court season. The French Open remains to be the only Grand Slam title that is missing from his collection.

The Serbian only needed 85 minutes to join Andre Agassi as a six-time Miami Open winner.

Djokovic said his first Miami win in 2007 paved the way for a career that now includes a massive total of 63 ATP titles.

"It gave me a lot of confidence, a lot of self belief that I can finally win these big tournaments, finally beat the top players," he said.

"Every year I come back to this tournament I get goose bumps from those days. I was still 19 years old and making my way to the top."

Djokovic seems invincible and untouchable at the moment

It was his fourth consecutive championship, and a record 28th overall, in the Masters 1000.

(Images via Zimbio)

Jan 18, 2016

2015 Final Rankings - Women

In a world where Serena Williams is head and shoulders above the competition, it’s not a question of which tennis player is going to finish first in the WTA rankings at the end of the year, it’s which player will be second.
Serena defeats the competition as easily as Jack Hammer outsmarts the desperate Evil Dr. Wüten in the classic online slot game by NetEnt casinos. In fact, this and other slot games you can play on your mobile are both an entertaining way to pass the time, but also give you an insight into how Serena feels when she sends her opponents packing.

1. Serena Williams
This is the third year in a row that Serena is number one on the WTA rankings. She was off to a flying start at the beginning of the season and defeated Sharapova at the Australian Open. This was Sharapova’s 16th consecutive defeat at the hands of the American, and she is surely having nightmares just at the thought of Serena.
Williams then went on to announce that she is going to stop the boycott towards the Indian Wells Masters tournament, which has been going on for 14 years before that.  She got to the semis there, but had to forfeit the match due to problems with her knee.
At the Miami Open she won her eighth title there, and managed to take her winning run to 21 consecutive matches without a loss. The Miami title was followed by the French Open one, and the French Open one was followed by the Wimbledon title. In doing so, Serena completed the ‘Serena Slam,’ meaning that she won all 4 majors in a row. That was the second time she had achieved to do that.
However, she didn’t succeed in winning the ‘Grand Slam’. At the US Open she reached the semi-final and had to face Roberta Vinci, who was a huge underdog before the match. During the match though, Vinci outplayed the American and recorded one of the biggest surprises in 2015.



2. Simona Halep
Halep had a great 2014, and this year she has kept the same level of performance. At the Australian Open she managed to reach the quarter-final round where she suffered a surprise defeat by the tenth-seeded Ekaterina Makarova.
At the Indian Wells Masters, Halep capitalized on Serena Williams’ injury and withdrawal in the semi-final, and progressed to the final where she defeated Jelena Jankovic 2-1 in the most important match of her career and her highest point of the season.
Her lowest point of the season however, was her first round elimination at Wimbledon at the hands of Jana Cepelova. She did manage to recover from that defeat though, and reached the semis at the US Open later in the season.

3. Garbine Muguruza
The Spanish, slash, Venezuelan tennis player should no longer be considered as a star in rising. She has already risen and is currently number 3 at the WTA rankings. She’s still only 22 and has the tennis world at her feet.
The undoubted highlight of this season for her was her participation in the Wimbledon final. There, she sent several high profile players home early. Kerber, Wozniacki, Bacsinszky and Radwańska were all dispatched with style by the talented youngster on her way to the final and the match-up with Serena Williams. She lost in straight sets, but her road to the final was enough for her to get in the Top 10 for the first time in her career.



4. Maria Sharapova
What is so remarkable about Sharapova’s season is that even though she missed four months of competitive matches, she still managed to finish 4th at the end of the year. Basically, had she stayed fit until the end of the season she could have claimed 2nd place in the WTA rankings.
At the start of the season she reached the final at the Australian Open, where she expectedly lost to Serena. Regardless of the loss though, the year ahead looked promising for the Russian. However, a poor run of form, and several injuries, resulted in a less than impressive year for Sharapova, who is now 5th in the rankings, behind Agnieszka Radwanska.

5. Agnieszka Radwanska
The Pole didn’t start the season impressively and had to part ways with her coach Martina Navratilova. Radwanska’s first title of the season was at the 2015 Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, and it was won in late September. If there was ever a strong finish to the season, this was it.
Before that, she managed to return to the Top 10 in the rankings by reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon. It was her third appearance in four years. Unfortunately for her though, she was eliminated by the talented Garbine Muguruza in three sets.

However, her biggest achievement of the season and her career in general, was when she defeated Petra Kvitova and won her first WTA Finals title in Singapore. Because of the strong finish to the season, and defying the odds Radwanska finished as number 5 at the rankings last year.

2015 Final Rankings - Men

When looking at last season’s performances of the top 5 on the ATP list there are some pretty clear conclusions to draw from it. This was definitely a year to remember for Nole and a year of misery and disappointment for Rafa. Murray’s season was a huge improvement compared to 2014, which he mostly spent recovering from injury. And the Swiss duo of Federer and Wawrinka played to the best of their capabilities, but didn’t warrant a top 2 position at the end of the year.

1. Novak Djokovic
This year there was a period of three months when Novak lost just once. The Serb had an absolutely brilliant season, which includes wins at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in which he only missed on the final played in Madrid and reached a record breaking 8 finals in the process.
This was complemented by a third win in his fourth final appearance at Wimbledon, and a win at the Australian Open. That win at the Australian Open was so comprehensive and dominant (he didn’t lose a set in the first five rounds) that many fans of Djokovic compared it to a dream-come-true performance.
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The only negative, in an otherwise stellar season for Djokovic, was the loss in the Roland Garros final, when Stan Wawrinka prevented him from finishing off one of the greatest ever runs in a tournament, and completing a career Grand Slam. In Paris Nole didn’t drop a set in the first five rounds, beat Murray in a match that lasted for two days, and beat Nadal on his favourite surface at his favourite tournament, but still couldn’t prevail when faced with ‘Stan the Man’.

2. Andy Murray
Murray entered the 2015 season by failing to win in 36 events on clay, but all that changed with his victory in Munich over home favourite Philipp Kohlschreiber. He also entered the year with the embarrassing stat of not being in the top 4 of the rankings for a full year.
That changed when the UK native managed to get to the Australia Open Final, only to be defeated by Novak Djokovic in four sets. He also got to the semi-finals at Roland Garros, but again lost to Djokovic, this time in five sets.
This was also the year in which he joined the elite company of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as the only players to get to at least the semi-final round in all nine of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments.

3. Roger Federer
Numbers 3 and 4 are reserved for the Swiss duo of Federer and Wawrinka. Federer managed to win in the first edition of the Istanbul Open, and the Turkish city became the 19th place where a tournament was won by the Swiss maestro.
He also reached his forty-first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final on Rome’s clay, and by winning in Halle, he took his tally at his favourite grass court to eight titles. By doing this he became the fifth tennis player to win eight titles at a single tournament.

4. Stanislas Wawrinka
Wawrinka will probably remember this season as the year in which he managed to defeat Nadal, Federer and Djokovic on clay. This was also the second season in a row in which he reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. But when he got there he lost to Gasquet. He went one step further in the US Open where he was defeated in straight sets by Roger Federer.
However, the tournament by which Wawrinka will definitely remember this season is the French Open. On the clay courts of Paris he defeated Federer in straight sets, in what was his first win over his compatriot in a major tournament. He then outplayed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semis, earning himself a place in the final against the top seeded Djokovic. He won in four sets, and in doing so he defeated the most in-form player this season.

5. Rafael Nadal
2015 was a season to forget for Rafa. It was a year in which his confidence was shattered. He tried, but couldn’t get past his so called ‘mental injury’ and prompted many to start speculating that the best was behind the Spaniard and that his injuries have dealt the final blow.
He did recover however, and started looking like his former self. In the second part of the season by playing noticeably better he managed to take his tally of wins to 61, which when combined with the 21 losses he suffered this season, is not such a bad wins-to-games ratio.
 But we are talking of a serial winner here, and that win ratio of 75%, was his worst since 2004, and was achieved by playing part in as many matches that he could. He won most of those matches, but got eliminated when the going got tough and when he had to reach the latter rounds.
Rafa will certainly hope that 2016 will be much better for him. It surely cannot get any worse than this. Or can it? We’ll all have to wait and see whether his doubters were right, and whether his career is on a downward spiral already.



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