Bianca Andreescu – the new WTA sensation

The WTA competition is becoming more and more surprising. A number of young players have actually caught the attention of the public, to the detriment of the already famous ones. It all started last year, when the almost unknown Naomi Osaka won the Indian Wells title. Then, the young Japanese had a drop in shape, but she again appeared in the spotlight at the US Open, where she managed to win the trophy. After another less productive period, Naomi won the next Grand Slam in Melbourne.

In 2019, history seems to repeat itself, and it all starts at Indian Wells, again. Young Canadian Bianca Andreescu received a wild card from California organizers. Even though Bianca had had good results in the first two months of the season, absolutely no one expected her to reach the final. The absolute surprise was that young Bianca managed to win the trophy in front of much more experienced Angelique Kerber. All this at only 18 years old. She thus managed to climb not only in the 24th place in the world, but also in the third place in the tennis prize money list for 2019, so far.

Obviously, the performance is absolutely extraordinary. On the other hand, at only 18 years, Bianca Andreescu still has a long time to prove she will be a top tennis player. Recent history tells us that there are notable disappointments: Jelena Ostapenko did not had much success after her Roland Garros victory, while Eugenie Bouchard became an anonymous player. What will be in the future depends only on Bianca.

Bianca with the Indian Wells trophy

Who is Bianca Andreescu?

Many people wonder, rightly, who is this young player who has taken up the world of tennis. She was born in Mississauga, Canada, in a Romanian family. Her parents returned to Romania, where Bianca started tennis at the age of 7-8 years. Then the family relocated to Canada, Bianca continuing tennis at the National Training Program in Toronto. In 2016, Simona Halep encouraged her (the link is in Romanian) to become a professional player as fast as possible. Actually, her idols in tennis are Simona Halep and Kim Clijsters. Therefore, Bianca switched to professional tennis at only 16 years old. Now, it looks like the right choice.

With an aggressive style of play and a very powerful serve, Bianca reminds us somehow of Serena Williams. The only possible handicap would be the height, as she is not very tall at only 1.70 m. On the mental level, she is already at the level of top players, a special thing for her young age. Besides, Bianca practices daily meditation, something that I think will become more and more common in the future, for all tennis players.

It remains to be seen if the 2019 Indian Wells will drive another young player to the world’s first place. Everything is possible, but it also matters how Bianca will deal with the new wave of publicity and attention from the media.

The Dream Final – Australian Open 2019

Even though it has not yet been decided, the Australian Open men’s final will be played, most likely, between Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

The great rivalry

This leads us to the great rivalry between Nadal and Djokovic, probably the most exciting rivalry in modern tennis.
They played togheter 52 times, which is absolute record in the Open Era (for male tennis players) and the Serbian leads with 27-25. Djokovic also leads the finals played against Nadal (14-10), but Nadal is leading the Grand Slam finals (4-3).

Everyone remembers the 2012 final of the Australian Open, which took almost 6 hours (it is the longest Grand Slam final ever) and was won by Djokovic. Then it was pretty much the same as now: Djokovic had already won Wimbledon and US Open (by defeating Nadal in both finals) and he was also seeded #1 (and Nadal #2). Even more, during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, Djokovic managed to win seven times in a row against Nadal, all in finals.

Will Djokovic made it through the final?

Most probably, yes. He will play against Lucas Pouille of France and, of course, he has the first chance. He’s fit and ready to take on Pouille. But the Frenchmen is also eager to make it big in Melbourne.

“It feels great. This has been my most successful Grand Slam throughout my career, the first one that I won back in 2008. The past two years have been a bit tough with the elbow injury and everything, but over the past 10 years, I’ve had plenty of success here. Obviously, that has helped to kick-start the season in a great fashion and, obviously, served as a great confidence boost for what was coming up after that.” said Djokovic for ATPTour.

Everyone is expecting the semifinal tomorrow, and, if all things go according to the plan, we’ll have a dream final on the 27th of January, the 55 meeting between these two tennis giants.

US Open 2018: Preview, Prize Money & how to watch live

The 2018 edition of the US Open starts on August 27th. This year, the total prize money is an absolute record. The winner, in both competitions, will receive $3,800,000. Qualifying in the second round brings a $93,000 check. The amount is the equivalent of winning an ATP 250 tournament, but the ATP / WTA points received are only 45. So it’s all about glory and money. And the competition will be fierce.

Men’s competition

Last year, the men’s event had a definite favorite: Roger Federer. However, the Swiss lost in the quarterfinals and Rafael Nadal won the trophy. So far, there is no definite favorite in men’s competition. We do not have a super player like Federer in 2017. We have, on the othe hand, more players with outstanding performances this year. Novak Djokovic is considered the favorite of the trophy in 2018. The Serbian is in an incredible return of form. Novak took Wimbledon and managed to be the only man to win all the Masters tournaments, with the victory in Cincinnati.

novak_djokovic_cincinnatiLet’s not forget that Novak is again the only player who has a positive record against his two big rivals: Nole leads Nadal with 27-25 and Federer with 24-22. Even more, Djokovic also leads Del Potro (14-4).
Rafael Nadal did not shine in the season after Roland Garros. Sure, he won the Rogers Cup and reached the Wimbledon semifinals. But Nadal seems to be in a slow drop in shape. On the other hand, the Spaniard is an indisputable world leader and will pull hard to defend the points won last year. It remains to be seen if Rafa is not already tired and his performance will start falling towards the end of the year.

Roger Federer seems to have reached the end of the line. Sure, the Swiss still plays at an incredible level for his age (37), but I do not think he will have the energy needed to win a new Grand Slam. It is possible to see him in the quarter-finals or even in the semifinals, but no further.

After an excellent start of the year, Juan Martin Del Potro entered somehow on a flat line. The Argentinian has not won a title since Indian Wells, which was played in March. Del Potro, however, had good progress in the tournaments that followed, which propelled him to the third place. We can say that Del Potro is in a good and stable form, ready to “explode” anytime.

From the young generation, Zverev still fails to keep a good and steady form. Obviously, the German has his chances at the US Open, but the volatility of the evolutions does not make him a true title contender. Grigor Dimitrov is in a clear drop of form, and Nick Kyrgios plays as nonchalantly as ever. Of all three, Kyrgios is the only one capable of a big upset in the first rounds, but he will get out before the semifinals.

Women’s competition

halep_hitting_ballLast year, in the women’s competition, the final was a surprise and ended with the victory of Sloane Stephens. Sloane has also played a new Grand Slam final this year at Roland Garros. But the only player to show great performance in the US Open Series is Simona Halep. She won the Rogers Cup and lost (hardly) the final at Cincinnati. However, bookmakers see Serena Williams as the top favorite, then Simona Halep. At a short distance, Kerber and Stephens are also in the list.
Let’s take a look at Serena Williams’s case.

The American has succeeded, just a few months after returning to the circuit, to play the Wimbledon final against Kerber. Williams had a poor evolution in the finals, and Kerber won easily. For Serena, a decline in form followed. She lost to Johanna Konta in San Jose and Petra Kvitova in Cincinnati. Why is Serena considered the favorite at the US Open? Because she can always mobilize and win any tournament in any circumstances.
Logically, Simona Halep is the most in-form player in the circuit right now. For me, Halep is the favorite, followed by Kerber. The players that can produce surprises or upsets are Maria Sharapova, Aryna Sabalenka and Kiki Bertens.

US Open 2018 Prize Money

The tournament has record prize money this year: $ 50,565,840 for all competitions. Here’s a breakdown for ATP/WTA:

Winner – $3,800,000
Runner-Up – $1,850,000
Semifinalists – $925,000
Quarterfinalists – $475,000
Round of 16 – $266,000
Round of 32 – $156,000
Round of 64 – $93,000
Round of 128 – $54,000

US Open 2018 Live

US Open 2018 can be watched live in Europe on Eurosport and Eurosport Player. If you are in the US, you can make a Eurosport Player account using a VPN.

Below is a list of sites that are best to watch the event online:

US Open Live Streaming on Eusportslive: you have the official stream where you can watch all the games, but you need to access a betting company. If not, find links to free streams (in the Web Streams section) on the same site. I cannot put the links here for obvious reasons.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbdYMgh6dv0&w=560&h=315]

Another good way to find free streams is to search Google, but beware, not all sites are trustworthy.

Australian Open 2018 (Live Stream and Preview) Early Withdrawals Reducing Competition

The Australian Open 2018 gets into the grove from Monday with the first round of action scheduled on 15th of January. This is the first major tennis tournament of the calendar year and excitement levels are ramped up ahead of this event.

Live streaming will be available for the Australian Open. Depending on your location, you can choose to watch it via official links or free links. Free streaming links come with lots of ads and adware, so official live streaming links might be a better choice. Check out this for Australian Open live streaming.

There are a lot of interesting combinations with regard to the singles draw in the women’s and men’s game. The latter is expected to be more complex, as the women’s game is likely to be the usual affair as Serena Williams has withdrawn from the event. Here are the ways to approach the 2018 Australian Open:

Men’s Singles
The 2018 tournament is likely to be a great opportunity for Roger Federer to add to his recent successes. The Swiss master comes into the event as the strong favourite by a significant margin. This is due to the withdrawal of Brit hero, Andy Murray. In his absence, one may that it would be a fight between Federer and Rafael Nadal in the latter stages once again. However, Nadal continues to suffer from injury issues – just like Novak Djokovic. As a result, Federer is the strong favourite and he is closely followed by the likes of Nadal and Djokovic.
Surprisingly, Jo Wilfried Tsonga can be backed to recover from a disappointing 2017, as his only success last year came at the Australian Open.

The men’s draw can be found here.

Women’s Singles
Now that Serena Williams will no longer be taking part in the competition, it comes as a major blow to the rest of the field. The favourite to some levels for most players have shot to the roof following this arrangement. Simona Halep may be creating a lot of waves across the world, and she can be considered as a potential candidate to end up successful. Meanwhile, Karolina Pliskova was one of the quality names in 2017 and she will be looking to go one further and win the first Grand Slam title.

The women’s draw can be found here, because WTA haven’t updated their site yet.

Serena Williams Still Doubtful for the 2018 Australian Open

Not much has been happening in the world of tennis over the last few weeks, as tennis fans and enthusiasts are waiting for the 2018 campaign to kick-off. The new season will once again pose a lot of questions that need to be answered in the first few weeks. One of those first questions for the 2018 season may be the availability of Serena Williams at the Australian Open. The high-profile tennis star will gain an automatic entry into the Australian Open as a result of the 22-rank deadline for entries. Serena, now a mom, struggles with different kind of problems.

This is easier for the likes of Serena Williams, who has made her name as one of the top 107 players to make it to the tournament automatically. The key question is with regard to the interest levels from Serena Williams after having been part of several such tournaments in the past. There appears to be a greater possibility of the Australian Open fans being treated to the presence of Serena, as tournament director Craig Tiley claims that the 36-year-old has once again resumed training in the hope of going it will at the 2018 Australian Open.

The American has been able to win every Grand Slam in her career, while she was the recipient of the Australian Open title back in 2017. She has been able to lift seven Australian Open titles since her first success in 2003. Hence, the organisers would appreciate the availability of such a global star like Serena Williams in their ranks – even if Australian Open is one of the biggest tennis events in the world and the curtain raiser to a new campaign.

ATP Finals London: Live Stream and Groups Preview (2017)

Live streaming of the ATP Finals in London will start on Sunday, 12 November 2017. The first match of the tournament is Federer vs Sock.

The ATP World Tour finals is all set to kick off from Sunday and it features the top eight players from around the world in the men’s game. The event includes Roger Federer, who is the World No.2, and Rafael Nadal, who leads the ATP rankings. They are placed as the top two seeds. The tournament will also comprise of Grigor Dimitrov from Bulgaria, Alexander Zverev from Germany, Jack Sock from the United States, David Goffin from Belgium, Dominic Thiem from Austria, and Marin Cilic from Croatia.
These eight players have been split up into two groups with four players each. Two of those players will reach the knockout stages.

Before we review the groups, here’s the live streaming info:

ATP Finals live streaming on tennisfans.tv

ATP Finals live streaming on livetv.sx

Group Pete Sampras:
Rafael Nadal, Grigor Dimitrov, David Goffin, and Dominic Thiem
One of the biggest questions of this group is the availability of Rafael Nadal for latter stages in the tournament. His knee injury has been a major worry and it forced him to pull out of the Paris Masters. Even now, his participation is in doubt, but he has the biggest opportunity to win the title. Nadal has not been able to win this event after only managing to reach the finals in 2010 and 2013.
After having gone through a resurgent 2017 with titles at Roland Garros and US Open, Nadal is a likely candidate to win this event – if he is fit.
Dimitrov comes into the event with a reputation for aggressive in attacking tennis. His record against Nadal is a disappointing 1-10, but he has come close on the last few occasions. Dimitrov also has a poor record against Thiem but the Austrian has been going through a disappointing run of form over the last few months. Thiem has been able to get just two victories in his recent five tournaments. Thiem is also having a disadvantage in the head-to-head record against Nadal and Goffin. It would take a huge effort from Thiem to come out successful – or even get past the group stages.
Goffin has not been going through a great run, and he is also not a likely candidate to back for victory.

Group Boris Becker:
Roger Federer, Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic and Jack Sock
Federer is unsurprisingly a strong candidate to win the title. He has been able to win the event six times, and he has also reached the final in three out of the last four editions. Even though he has not been able to lift the title since 2011, Federer comes on the back of a tremendous run of form in 2017.
The Swiss master has a strong 12-3 record against the three opponents. He is also helped by the inexperience of the players, as Sock and Zverev are featuring at the ATP finals for the first time in their careers. They are up against a formidable opponent in the form of Federer, who looks to have regained his former glory days. Yet, Zverev is the most promising in the group. The 20-year-old German decided to skip the NextGen finals in order to be part of this tournament.
Sock has had a surprise entry that he is unlikely to make much impact. The same also applies for Cilic, although he can be backed to reach the knockout stages.

ATP Next Gen: The New Rules – Live Streaming by Amazon and Controversial Draw

The first edition of the ATP Next Gen will be a special one. ATP has been thinking of introducing experimentally new rules for the tennis game.
Next Gen is a competition for players of 21 years and the first edition will be hosted by Milan. The tournament will be played on the ATP Finals London format, with two groups of four players, the semifinals and the final.
The new rules, adopted after extensive ATP research among fans, are made to increase the attractiveness of tennis as an experience for both spectators and TV viewers.

Here are the new rules for ATP Next Gen:

  • Sets will be shorter – best out of four games. Tiebreaks will be played at 3-3.
  • The winner will be the best out of five sets (like in a Grand Slam) but with shorter sets. However, the number of games required to win the match will remain the same.
  • No Ad-Scoring.
  • Five minutes warm-up then the match begins – shorter warm up.
  • Shot clock on the serve. The players will have only 25 seconds for both serves.
  • No Let rule on serves. This means that the umpire will no longer call lets serves, which will give a much entertaining game play (really?)
  • One short medical timeout per match.
  • Players and coaches will be able to communicate with each other at some point during the match, but the coaches will not be allowed on court (!)
  • Live Hawk Eye – no more line umpires. The HawkEye will do the job.
  • Free movements for the public during games. The public will be free to walk in and out of the arena, except for the baselines.

The Next Gen finals are just an experiment. After this tournament, the ATP will decide when and how to implement the new rules, some of which seem simply stupid.

The draw ceremony was also controversial and an apology was issued by the ATP, later in the day. So, it started badly.

Another premiere is that Amazon Prime has decided to broadcast the tournament live online, for its customers. It’s the first time Amazon ventures into sports live streaming and we hope we’ll see more from them in the following years.

Obviously, there are other possibilities to watch live the Next Gen ATP:

Overall, the Next Gen will be an interesting event.

 

ATP Vienna: Stars Head into the Erste Bank Open 500

The ATP World Tour enters into Vienna with the Erste Bank Open 500 hosting some of the biggest names in the sport. German Alexander Zverev is one of the participants along with Dominic Thiem, who happens to be a home favourite. These big names will be looking to win one of the final titles in the 2017 ATP Tour. Zverev is coming into the event hoping to get his title in Vienna for the first time, while he has been able to lift five titles in 2017. He has already made it to the Nitto ATP Finals after having won the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles in Rome and Montreal. He comes into this event as the top seed.

Thiem has been placed as the second seed and he is the local boy coming into the event. It is not surprising that he has featured in seven editions of the tournament already. Thiem will also be taking part in the ATP finals and will have one eye on this event. The first game of the tournament will witness Thiem coming up against Andrey Rublev from Russia. Rublev is no easy opponent, as he was able to recently qualifying for the Next Gen ATP finals. This event will be held from November 7-11 in Milan.

Meanwhile, one of the favourites for the tournament, Jo Wilfried Tsonga, will be going up against Karen Khachanov as the eighth seed. He is aiming for his fourth title in 2017. The Erste Bank Open 500 promises to provide a great excitement.

Live Streaming:
Learn how to watch ATP Vienna live streaming on TennisFans.TV
You can signup on TennisTv.Com or try
Livetv.Sx

ATP Vienna and the Race to London

The conclusion of the 2017 Emirates ATP Race To London is coming to an end. Only two weeks are left in the race for this event and a couple of the qualification spots at the ATP finals are also up for grabs. The event is already set to witness Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, and Alexander Zverev, but the remaining places are yet to be confirmed for this prestigious event. It will be held at the O2 Arena in London from November 12 to 19.

Since four players will still be able to qualify for the event, the competition is intense between Kevin Anderson, Grigor Dimitrov, Sam Querrey, and Pablo Carreno Busta. The upcoming Erste Bank Open 500 that takes place in Vienna provides a great opportunity to qualify for the event. Meanwhile, the Swiss Indoors Basel will be providing the same opportunity for the likes of Juan Martin del Porto, Marin Cilic, and David Goffin. Dimitrov will be able to reach the London finals even now, as he takes on Juan Martin del Porto in the final of the Intrum Stockholm Open. Dimitrov will be able to reach London with a victory at Stockholm for a second title.

Maria Sharapova to Feature at the Kremlin Cup 2017

Maria Sharapova has been given the opportunity to compete at the WTA Kremlin Cup. Only a few days ago, the possibility of the Russian featuring in front of her fans in Moscow looked unlikely. A wildcard entry was the possibility for Sharapova to feature in this event, and it seemed that the organisers were not ready to let Sharapova back into the tournament. The 31-year-old last competed in the event back in 2007. She has not been in a WTA event at home for a decade now.

The five-time Grand Slam champion was able to get back to her best after winning the Tianjin Open. Even though Sharapova faced a disappointment at the China Open, the Russian was able to claim Tianjin Open. This was her first WTA title in two years and this seems to have played a huge role in convincing the organisers to grant her a wildcard entry. In the past, Sharapova has played at the Kremlin Cup only on three occasions. In two of those appearances, she was able to reach the quarter-finals of the event. Apart from featuring one of the former greats, the Kremlin Cup 2017 will also witness other Russian stars like Margarita Gasparyan and Alisa Kleybanova get back to action.

Kleybanova his coming back from several injury problems that have prevented her from building on the 20th spot in the world rankings, which is her highest ever position. Gasparyan, meanwhile, was able to hit a career-high 41st ranking back in February. However, she has spent a long spell on the sidelines due to a number of injury problems and surgeries.

Nadal: Tension was too much

nadalpantsTension is no strange feeling at the Laver Cup. It is all about levels. And this time, that level was appreciably higher than usual for Rafael Nadal, who ended up doing something on the sidelines that, well, it is kind of a big deal now. Some would cringe at it. Some would appreciate it.
Even though Nick Kyrgios was one match point ahead, it was not enough to stem a backhand onslaught by Roger Federer who ultimately took the game away from him and Laver Cup along with it.
The match took place in Prague. But as sensational as Federer’s victory was at the center of the court, the sidelines did not turn out to be too boring either while Rafa was there. In a moment of extreme tension about how proceedings were going center court, Rafa gripped his shorts in pure frustration as the odds seemed to favor Kyrgios many times in the match.
Had Kyrgios managed to secure a victory that would have resulted in even scores for Team World and Team Europe and consequently, a doubles final to decide the winner. Nadal certainly was not keen to play that.
“It was tough,” Kyrgios said about losing to Federer, “When I’m playing for myself, sometimes I don’t put the greatest effort in. When I play with these guys I’m playing for something as a team.
“I’m playing for the whole team. It’s the same in Davis Cup. I’m playing for the country, playing for the guys on the bench.”