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.”

Apr 16, 2017

Will Rafael Nadal return to his best on clay at Monte Carlo?



Rafael Nadal had a few good performances at the start of 2017 but when compared to his closest rival Roger Federer, it is far from being great. He comes in with a 19-5 match record on the season with three runner-up placing, at the Australian Open where he lost to Roger Federer, in Acapulco to Sam Querrey and in Miami to Federer again.

Now that he's back on his best surface, he has the chance to prove his critics wrong. With the Monte Carlo Masters tournament happening this week, Nadal is setting his sights on winning the 10th crown. Just a year ago, he won his ninth title against Monfils. This is the sixth time since 2005 Nadal enters Monte-Carlo without an ATP World Tour title on the season.

"When you come back in a tournament where you have been so successful, memories are always special. I would like to win in Monte Carlo, and if I will be doing well, I will have my chances," he said.

After Monte Carlo, Nadal will be playing in Barcelona, Madrid and Rome before heading to Paris for the French Open where he will compete for his tenth title.

Jan 31, 2017

WTA Malaysian Open returns to Kuala Lumpur for the eighth consecutive year with new title sponsor


WTA Malaysian Open 2016
Image via WTA website

The country’s premier women’s tennis tournament, ALYA WTA Malaysian Open 2017, will serve up the action in Kuala Lumpur on 27 February 2017 for its eighth consecutive year.

Sanctioned by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), the ALYA WTA Malaysian Open 2017 will take place at TPC Kuala Lumpur amidst the green surroundings of ALYA Kuala Lumpur, the newly launched luxury leisure development by Sime Darby Property, formerly known as KLGCC Resort. The high-end property brand is the new title sponsor for this highly-anticipated sporting event for the first time since its inaugural staging in 2010.

The event will open its gates on 24 February 2017 for the qualifying draw and will last until 5 March 2017, when the winners of the Singles and Doubles tournaments will be decided.

The new tournament website is yet to be available and scheduled to be launched on 13 February 2017, where information on the event, players and matches, as well as side activities and promotions will be made available.

Based on the info shared in forums, here's the Main Draw list as of 31 January 2017.

1. Suarez Navarro
2. Svitolina
3. Garcia
4. Putintseva
5. Knapp (SR)
6. Q. Wang
7. King
8. Nara
9. Cirstea
10. Mertens
11. Peng
12. Rodina
13. Buyukakcay
14. Duan
15. Hsieh
16. Ozaki
17. Sakkari
18. Linette
19. Kozlova
20. Hibino
21. Falconi (#104)


Jan 16, 2017

Australian Open 2017 Players Party

Some of the biggest names in tennis were missing from the weekend's 2017 Australian Open players party at Crown in Melbourne, Australia. Nevertheless it was very refreshing to see some of the most familiar faces in tennis below all dressed up in their casual outfit to the party. The tournament has officially kicked off today and we're looking forward to exciting tennis as well as upsets over the course of the next two weeks.

Garbine Muguruza

Kei Nishikori

Agnieszka Radwanska

Stanislas Wawrinka

Gael Monfils

Bryan brothers




Images via zimbio

Jan 14, 2017

Get Into The Spirit Of The Aussie Open!


The Australian Open is upon us! The draws have been announced and you can find the match-ups at the official Australian Open webpage. The players are descending on Melbourne, and for the next two weeks we'll get a good look at the world's best professionals during the first Grand Slam event of the 2017 season. For a lot of tennis fans, it may as well be a two-week holiday signaling the return of the sport. Here are a few fun tips for fully embracing the spirit of the Aussie Open.

First, you should consider adjusting your sleep schedule to whatever extent possible. That is, If you live in Europe or the United States and you want to watch the Open, you'll be faced with some tricky timing decisions. Matches can be going on in the middle of the night or the early hours of the morning, and it's a shame to miss out on the action when there are only four Grand Slams to watch each year. Naturally, you have to account for work, family, and other aspects of your day-to-day schedule. Within reason, use the early days of the Open to get on a sleep routine that allows you to be up for the best matches. You won't regret it when you catch that epic five-setter!

Second, you should think about getting out on the courts yourself. It's difficult to watch an event like the Aussie Open and not be inspired to play, so it's a great time to seize the momentum to learn some tennis skills on your own. If your game got a little rusty during the off-season you can get back into shape by searching for a private coach online using Play Your Court to find tailored instructions for the parts of your game need the most work. Get a few lessons under your belt and you'll have that backhand ready in no time for the tournament.

Third, you may want to get your hands on some of the official clothing being put out for the stars at the Australian Open. As always, Nike has put out a collection for its signature athletes and Baseline has broken down the looks you'll see sported by the likes of Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Eugenie Bouchard, and Nick Kyrgios, but there are other options as well. You might get inspired by any number of player outfits during the tournament, and you can always check out the official shop of the Open online. There's no need to go nuts, but a new tennis shirt or an Aussie Open towel makes for a nice way to embrace the tournament.

Then you should take some time to read up on the exciting young talent starting to impact the game. If you're reading about tennis, you already know all about the top players but 2017 is looking like a particularly interesting year in tennis because of a lot of young players who are beginning to challenge the old guard. On the women's side, 22-year-old Ukrainian Elina Svitolina has secured the 11-seed and Australian Daria Gavrilova (also just 22) will be looking to thrill local fans and improve upon her ranking at number 25 in the WTA. On the men's side, 25-year-old Grigor Dimitrov is looking to make good on his sensational potential, and The Australian reports that 19-year-old German Alexander Zverev is fresh off a win over Federer and is seeded 24th. These are just a few of the names that could make this a particular
ly interesting tournament.

Finally, just kick back and enjoy the tennis. It's going to be a wonderful two weeks!

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