A Triumphant Return
The Atlanta tennis event, the Infinite Energy Atlanta Slam pro tennis exhibition is back again at the Arena at Gwinnett Center on Saturday night. This year’s action will take place on Saturday evening.
Bob and Mike Bryan headline the event as they will take on Atlanta residents Luke and Murphy Jensen. The event not only has doubles scheduled but also singles matches. James Blake and Sam Querrey are scheduled to play as well.
With the 2009 season still a month away the exhibition comes in the middle of the off season the Bryan brothers.
“We like to play these kind of matches in the offseason,” said Mike Bryan. “A lot of guys put the racket down and head for the gym, and they may get a little rusty. This helps keep us sharp, but it’s less pressure and a lot more fun (than a normal tour event). Of course, you never want to lose in front of 7 or 8,000 people. We want bragging rights (with the Jensen brothers).”
Andy Murray and Fred Perry. You thought of Andy Murray, you thought of Fred Perry. Andy Murray has decided however to move on to K-Swiss which offers him a much more lucrative deal.
The deal with K-Swiss is believed to be worth 3 million US Dollars and will be announced early next month at the Abu Dhabi exhibition event.
British Tennis to be coached by Brits
The British Tennis Association, the LTA, has given off signals that they no longer wish to rely on foreign coaches. In recent years, the LTA has hired a lot of foreign coaches Brad Gilbert and Paul Annacone among others. With Stuart Smith stepping down as the president of the LTA after serving 3 years term it was also announced that the British Tennis Coaches Association (BTCA) has disaffiliated from the LTA.
The roof is on fire
The Arthur Ashe Stadium might get a retractable roof. Managing director of the USTA Danny Zausner has thrown out scenarios as his group prepares to issue a proposal in January to give the 22,547-seat venue a retractable roof.
The roof could cost $100 million would protect the stadium against rain delays and washouts that have plagued the US Open tournament in recent years. The USTA hasn’t quite figured out yet how to finance the new roof but maybe there is a NBA opportunity, Zausner said.
Zausner also said that it makes sense to consider turning the stadium into a multipurpose facility.
Philippoussis retirement draws near
Even though his mind is still willing, his beaten up body tells him to stop. Philippoussis has told Australian media that he is close to giving up trying to ressurect his career.
Philippoussis has lingered from one injury to the other in recent years.
‘It’s in my heart to give it one more go, and at the end of the day it comes down to my body,’ Philippoussis told the Age newspaper. ‘If my body doesn’t allow it, it doesn’t matter how much my heart wants it or my mind wants it.
‘I honestly believe, 100 per cent, but I know what it’s going to take for me to get to that level. It’s going to take a hell of a lot of hard work and discipline.’
Mardy Fish’s foundation gave a very generous donation to 110 students of the Pelican Island Elementary school. With the money the kids can now take guitar, dance and drama lessons for free.
The Mardy Fish Foundation’s program provides a place for children to participate in sports, art and music as after school activities. It is free of charge but parents will have to pay a small fee for transportation and a small insurance fee for each child. All the equipment such as musical instruments, excercise equipment, staff salaries and snacks are provided by the foundation.
The club are currently talking about expanding to tennis lessons which should start in January.
ATP Tour has trouble attracting sponsors
Six tennis tournaments on the ATP Tour have trouble finding sponsors for their events. The six events make up for 10% of the total of tournaments on the tour.
The current global financial crisis has effected sports leagues and tournaments including the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB) and soccer and golf are all affected. Earlier this year the Dutch Open sold its’ license to the family of Australian Open 2008 winner Novak Djokovic after failing to attract a sponsor. The Paris Masters event also indicated that they lost one of their sponsors.
The ATP are however cautiously optimistic about their situation.
“We continue to have very encouraging discussions with a number of partners from different sectors,” Kris Dent, an ATP Tour spokesman, said when asked how close the tour was to finding a new title sponsor. “We are in a fortunate position that as a business we can afford to take the time required to get the right kind of deal for the ATP.
“While clearly the current financial climate is an added challenge, we are very confident of finding the right kind of partner for the ATP at the right price for the ATP,” Dent said.
Having events spread out all over the world “means regional economic difficulties do not affect us in the way they might national associations or leagues.”
The ATP Tour will continue to keep a careful eye on the global financial situation.
The prize money for the 2009 season will not be affected. The total prize money for next year is set to a record of $80 million.
A Triumphant Return