Grand Slam Tennis

The tennis season began again at the end of January, starting with the Australian Open. Who will finish the year on top? Here, we look at all the Grand Slam's that will be taking place over the next 12 months.

Australian Open (14th- 27th January)

The first Grand Slam of the New Year came from down under, in Melbourne, Australia. Tennis fans were expecting to see last year’s champions, Roger Federer and Serena Williams attempt to repeat what they had achieved 12 months prior. One main difference between this tournament and the other three top tournaments is that this Grand Slam is the most gruelling with the weather conditions- as it is played in the height of the Australian Summer.

However, both champions were ultimately dethroned, as both Federer and Williams both failed to make the final. Novak Djokovic went on to win the men's title, as he beat Rafael Nadal in straight sets. The women's title went the way of Naomi Osaka. She earned her second Grand Slam title as she beat Petra Kvitova by two sets to one.

French Open (26th May- 9th June)

The stars will have to wait a few months before locking horns with their rivals again, as the French Open takes place nearly four months after the curtain raiser for the season. The picturesque Rolland Garros plays host to the French Grand Slam, and this is the only Slam which is played on a clay surface. The king of clay and last year’s winner was Spaniard, Rafael Nadal. The women's champion was Simona Halep.

Nadal has won the French Open ten times, an achievement that has or never will be equalled, last year he beat Dominic Thiem in straight sets in the final. Halep won her title at the expense of American Sloane Stephens.

Wimbledon (1st-14th July)

The biggest and best Grand Slam of the year takes place in mid-summer at London's Wimbledon. The grass tournament is the most spectacular of the year, and the history that comes with it reflects with the importance that the players rank it.

Last year’s extravaganza was won by Djokovic, who won his 13th Grand Slam title. He overcame the underdog of competition in Kevin Anderson. The South African shocked the tennis world in reaching the final was just a step too far as he lost in straight sets. The Ladies title went to Angelique Kerber who beat the returning Serena Williams in the final.

 

US Open (26th August- 8th September)

The final Grand Slam of the year comes from New York City and the US Open. The Grand Slam played on a hard court at Flushing Meadows is the most lucrative of the season, and all players will be looking for the millions of dollars that come with winning the title.

It was Djokovic again who reigned supreme in the States, as he claimed his third US Open title, as he beat Argentinean Juan Martin Del Potro. The women's final was an emotional affair as Serena Williams was hoping for a historical win but ultimately made the headlines for all the wrong reasons after shouting at the officials. The eventual winner was Naomi Osaka, who became the first Japanese winner of a Grand Slam, but the actions of Williams overshadowed what should have been a monumental achievement.

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Rising Tennis Stars Likely to Make Their Break In 2019

2018 was the year for Naomi Osaka as she did the unthinkable in defeating arguably one of the best tennis players to ever take to the field i.e. Serena Williams. Though her moment to celebrate was overshadowed by controversies surrounding her opponent as well as the umpire, she indeed announced herself to the world in style. In recent times, this has become the trend as young emerging stars have announced their arrival on the big stage by defeating established world stars. As we look ahead to 2019, we hope that once again this will be the case as we want to see another young talent making it.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas

It’s always a great thing when you win the ‘Most Improved Player of the Year’ award as it shows that you are doing something right. At the end of 2018, Stefanos Tsitsipas was awarded the most improved award to cap off a brilliant year for him. At the start of the year, Stefanos Tsitsipas was ranked 91st on the list of top professional tennis players in the world by ATP. However, at the end of the year, he has risen remarkably to occupy position 15th. On this own, this just demonstrates the good work that Stefanos Tsitsipas did in the calendar year of 2018. One of the reasons which catapulted Stefanos Tsitsipas to the dizzy heights of 15th on the ATP rankings is the fact that he won 41 matches in 2018 alone! Before that, he had won just four professional matches. Among the 41 matches he won, they include wins in the Stockholm Open Final and a quarterfinals appearance at the Dubai Tennis Championships and at the Qatar Open.

Denis Shapovalov

In 2017, Denis Shapovalov received the ‘Newcomer of the Year’ award after posting some impressive wins against two of the world’s finest tennis players in Rafael Nadal and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. From thereon, he was dubbed the next big thing and indeed, in the whole of 2018 he showed that he has what it takes to reach the dizzy heights in world tennis. Though he failed to win any title in 2018, he put in consistent performances which indicate that with a little improvement, a title is not very far (probably one will come his way this year). In 2018, Denis Shapovalov reached a career-high ranking of number 23.

Alex de Minaur

Denis Shapovalov’s successor as the ‘Newcomer of the Year’ in 2018 was Alex de Minaur. The Australian teenager had his best year to date in professional tennis in 2018 as he managed to rise from outside the world top 200 at the start of the year to finish at an impressive position 31 at the end of 2018 on the world rankings. Alex’s year started off brilliantly as he reached the semifinals of the Brisbane Open before he did the unthinkable to reach the final of the Washington Open towards the end of the year. Alex’s exploits in 2018 certainly make him a man to watch in 2019.

Grand Slam Favourites in 2015

Over the last decade, four men have dominated when it comes to Grand Slam tennis events. Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and to a lesser extent, Andy Murray are in a different league when it comes to the four major tournaments, and in the last five years, they have won 18 of the 20 Grand Slams that have taken place. With Federer now 33 years of age, and Rafael Nadal continuing to struggle with injuries, it may be that others stand a chance in upcoming events. While Novak Djokovic has already landed the first Slam of 2015 with his victory at the Australian Open, we could well see a first time Grand Slam winner at one of the three tournaments that remain this year. Players such as Kei Nishikori, Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer are all knocking on the door and there should definitely be more opportunities for those outside the big four in the coming months.

Bookmaker Betfair have some special markets on exactly how many Grand Slams will be won by the big four, and it's Novak Djokovic who is currently in the driving seat as far as those odds are concerned, with the Serbian available to back at a shade of odds on to end the current campaign with two Slams to his name. Djokovic has already taken the Australian Open, and the Betfair odds compilers feel that the world number one is more than likely to take another major title before the end of the season. Novak is 11/4 to win one Grand Slam, 3/2 to land two, 2/1 is available on Djokovic winning three, while the Serb going all the way at all four Grand Slams during 2015 is currently on offer at odds of 7/1.

Andy Murray once again finished runner-up at the recent Australian Open, but when you consider the struggle that the Scot has had with a back injury, the Murray camp can take plenty of encouragement from his run to the final. Andy Murray is currently a 2/5 chance not to win any of the three remaining Grand Slams this year, but he has previously been successful at both Wimbledon and the US Open and with those two tournaments still to come, the 15/8 on offer about Murray winning one Grand Slam title in 2015 could well be the more attractive bet. Murray will need to perform well before the clay court season starts if he is to overtake Rafa Nadal as world number three, with the Spaniard playing his best tennis on that particular surface. Nadal has looked a shadow of his former self since returning from a wrist injury, but may well be seen to better effect once the clay court matches begin in earnest, and would certainly have decent claims come the French Open. His chances are very much reflected in the Betfair specials market, with the sportsbook going 11/10 about the Olympic gold medalist winning one Grand Slam in 2015, while there is even money available for Rafael Nadal to end the season having won no Grand Slams.

Grand Slam roundup looking towards 2015

Looking back at 2014, it shows that it was a watershed year and the cartel of the "big 4" was broken and although not over, the domination is certainly is. Novak Djokovic is still in his prime and will be the guy to beat in 2015, but as the US Open showed that when he is slightly distracted and his priorities were marriage, a baby due and full of the joys of life, he got beat by the young Kei Nishikori. Winning a Slam is a tough business, that even the best need to have as an all-encompassing mission, one that takes enormous energy and focus. Rafa Nadal is interesting because it is hard to imagine that he will be able to come back as quickly and strongly to top level form as he did after a similar injury break in 2013. I will stick my neck out and discount him for the Australian Open and see if he can win the French again. Wimbledon is a week later for the first time in 2015, so he will have the extra week to recover for Wimbledon. Roger Federer has had a great year and is attacking the net more to shorten points, benefitting greatly from Stefan Edberg, one of the greatest volleyers in history. However time slowly ravages at the edges of an athlete’s body and a little speed, flexibility and recovery time is lost. Winning seven matches is probably beyond him unless he can get through six of them without a marathon as he did at Wimbledon this year on his way to the final leaving enough in the tank to push Novak to the limit in a five set thriller. Roger is such a great champion and I have so much respect for his ability to keep reinventing himself to keep pace, for his pure love of the sport, competing because he enjoys it, not just to win. I humbly say that Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam that he can still win. Andy Murray has not been mentally on it at Grand Slam focus level since he won Wimbledon. He has to somehow find the level of calm aggression that he had for eighteen months from January 2012 through to his Wimbledon triumph where he was arguably the best player on the planet.

Wimbledon Master Plan

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The Wimbledon Master Plan sets out the All England Club's vision for the future of the Club’s grounds and is a framework against which new development will be assessed and refined.

In the video below, All England Club Chairman Philip Brook discusses the origins and vision for the Wimbledon Master Plan.

Djokovic: "World Group should be once a year"

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World No 1 Novak Djokovic said that Davis Cup comes at wrong timing and that it should be organised once a year.

"This is the only official team competition we have in sport and that is the reason why it has a unique place in our career," he said. "Unfortunately, it comes at a very bad timing. Right after Australia, right after U.S. Open, right after Miami. It comes after a very long period of tournaments, and most of the top players reach the final stages of those tournaments."

Emirates Announces Sponsors hip of Roland Garros Tennis Tournament

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PARIS, France – 17 April 2013: Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines and Roland Garros have announced a five-year agreement appointing Emirates as Official Partner of the Roland Garros tournament® starting with the 2013 edition from May 21st to June 9th, 2013.

The announcement was revealed today by Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline and Jean Gachassin, President of the French Federation of Tennis, during a press conference held in Roland Garros Stadium in Paris.