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TENNIS INDUSTRY: Oracle Challenger Series Brings Men, Women Pros Back to New Haven

Tournament to Feature Oracle Champions Cup, a Special One-Night Men’s Legends Event; Additional Stops on the Road to Indian Wells to be Announced 
 
New Haven, Conn. (June 6, 2019) – The Oracle Challenger Series announced today that the first event of the 2019-2020 Series will be held in New Haven, Conn. at the Yale Tennis Center on September 2-8, 2019 and will also feature the Oracle Champions Cup, a one-night men’s legends Invesco Series QQQ event headlined by Connecticut native James Blake. 
 
Now in its third year, the Oracle Challenger Series aims to help up-and-coming American players secure both ranking points and prize money at home in the United States. The two American men and two American women who accumulate the most points over the course of the Series receive wild cards into their respective singles main draws at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA. As part of the Series’ mission to grow the sport of tennis and make professional events more accessible, each tournament is free and open to the public.  
 
The 2018-2019 Oracle Challenger Series made stops in Chicago, Houston, Newport Beach and Indian Wells, with Reilly Opelka, Donald Young, Lauren Davis and Jessica Pegula earning the coveted wild card spots into the 2019 BNP Paribas Open. The Series also served as a launching pad for 18-year-old Canadian sensation Bianca Andreescu, who captured the title at Newport Beach in January before becoming the first-ever female wild card to win the BNP Paribas Open; while American Taylor Fritz successfully defended his own title in Newport Beach. 
 
This year, the New Haven tournament will launch the 2019-2020 Series and be instrumental in determining which players make the most of the opportunity to receive wild cards into the largest ATP Tour and WTA combined two-week event in the world. Additional stops on the 2019-2020 Road to Indian Wells will be announced in the coming months.  
 
“We are thrilled to bring the Oracle Challenger Series to New Haven this fall,” said Philippe Dore, Marketing Director, Oracle Challenger Series. “With such a rich tennis history, there is no better place for us to kick off the 2019-2020 Road to Indian Wells, and we look forward to ushering in a new era of men’s and women’s professional tennis in New Haven this September.” 
 
Additionally, the Series’ inaugural 2019-2020 tournament will feature the Oracle Champions Cup, an Invesco Series QQQ event, on Saturday, September 7. The one-night tournament is part of the competitive circuit featuring legendary tennis icons and world-renowned champions, and will be headlined by Fairfield, Connecticut native and former World No. 4 Blake; 2003 U.S. Open Champion and former World No. 1 Andy Roddick; former World No. 2 Tommy Haas; and two-time Davis Cup titlist and former World No. 8 Mark Philippoussis. The event will consist of two one-set semifinals, with the winners meeting in a one-set championship match. 
 
Tickets to the Oracle Champions Cup will be available to a select audience in a pre-sale beginning Monday, June 24, and will go on-sale to the general public on Wednesday, June 27 at 10:00 a.m. local time. Special VIP packages will also be available, including a pro-am, backstage meet-and-greet, exclusive player party, and more.  

 For more than three decades, New Haven has hosted both men’s and women’s professional tennis events. For 21 years, New Haven hosted the annual Connecticut Open – consistently welcoming some of the biggest names in women’s professional tennis – before the WTA sanction was sold earlier this year, and now the Oracle Challenger Series will ensure that professional tennis is played in New Haven once again.  
 
For more information about the Oracle Challenger Series, visit oraclechallengerseries.com. If you are interested in becoming a ballkid or volunteer for the event, please email [email protected] For more information about the Oracle Champions Cup and to purchase tickets and VIP special packages, visit https://www.invescoseries.com.  

 

READ MORE AT https://www.tennisindustry.org/cms/index.cfm/news/oracle-challenger-series-brings-men-women-pros-back-to-new-haven/

TENNIS INDUSTRY: USTA Signs U.N. Sports for Climate Action Framework

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., June 4, 2019 – The United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced that it has signed the United Nation’s Sports for Climate Action Framework.

The USTA, which has long been a leader in the sports industry when it comes to environmental sustainability through its US Open Green Initiative, joins a group of international sports organizations that have committed to drive climate awareness and action in support of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
 
The Framework’s two overarching objectives are to promote a set of principles for the global sports community to adopt in order to combat climate change and to use sports as a unifying tool to drive climate awareness and the action among global citizens. The five principles of the Framework are:
Undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility
Reduce overall climate impact
Educate for climate action
Promote sustainable and responsible consumption
Advocate for climate action through communication
 
“The USTA is proud to support the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework and become an international voice for environmental responsibility,” said Gordon Smith, CEO and Executive Director, USTA. “Tennis is truly a global sport and we are looking forward to using the US Open as a platform to promote the important principles set forth in the Framework.”
 
The US Open Green Initiative, which is now entering its 12th year, was originally championed by International Tennis Hall-of-Famer Billie Jean King when the National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., the site of the US Open, was named after the legendary champion and activist in 2006.
 
The USTA’s decade-plus commitment to reducing the environmental impact of the one of the highest-attended annual sporting events in the world has resulted in the reduction of greenhouse emissions by more than 110,000 metric tons through waste diversion, recycled paper use, carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates.
 
The Framework was launched in December 2018 at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, and included founding signatories: International Olympic Committee (IOC), Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, French Tennis Federation (Roland Garros), International Sailing Federation, World Surf League, Forest Green Rovers Football Club, Formula E. Since then, U.S.-based organizations including the New York Yankees, the National Basketball Association, and AEG have also signed on.

READ MORE AT https://www.tennisindustry.org/cms/index.cfm/news/usta-signs-un-sports-for-climate-action-framework/

TENNIS INDUSTRY: Rakuten to Become Global Partner for Davis Cup

(June 4, 2019) — Rakuten, Inc. and Kosmos Tennis have announced a multiyear agreement with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for Rakuten to become the Global Innovation and Entertainment Partner and Global Presenting Partner for the Davis Cup in 2019 and 2020. 

Under the terms of the agreement, the competition will be renamed the Davis Cup by Rakuten. The partnership agreement links the Davis Cup and Rakuten until 2020, with the option of a further two-year extension. Rakuten will have high visibility in the Finals and Qualifiers. 

Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc. said, “By becoming the global partner of the Davis Cup, Rakuten has taken another important step forward in our mission to inspire and empower people across the globe. We are firm believers in the power of sport to bring people and communities together, and to inspire optimism and innovation.”

David Haggerty, ITF President, said, “We are delighted to welcome Rakuten as Global Presenting and Global Innovation and Entertainment partner. The Davis Cup has always been about maintaining tradition while embracing innovation. Adopting new technologies for the Davis Cup is allowing us to enter exciting new partnerships, and we look forward to working with Rakuten to reach a global audience in new and diverse ways.”

Javier Alonso, CEO Kosmos Tennis, said, “Having Rakuten as the main sponsor of the event is great news for the Davis Cup, the World Cup of Tennis. Innovation and entertainment is key both Rakuten and Kosmos. We are excited about working together to create new engagement formulas of interaction with the fans both inside and outside of Caja Mágica in order to improve their experience with the Davis Cup Qualifiers and the Madrid Finals.”

Rakuten, empowering people and society through sports

With over 1.2 billion members worldwide, Rakuten will leverage its experience and expertise in e-commerce and membership loyalty programmes to bring global innovation to the Davis Cup through digital and offline activations aimed at enhancing the complete fan experience. Future plans include opening up new avenues of online communications and content-sharing for supporters, including use of the Rakuten Viber global messaging platform and creating new programmes that will engage and reward fans both in-venue and globally.

Rakuten is globally recognised for its partnerships with sporting icons such as FC Barcelona, the Golden State Warriors and the National Basketball Association, and its ownership of J.League professional soccer team Vissel Kobe and Nippon Professional Baseball team Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. The company also serves as the title sponsor of the ATP Rakuten Japan Open since 2009 and contributes to sports worldwide as part of its mission of empowering people and communities. 

Tickets on sale now

Tickets for the Davis Cup Madrid Finals, which will be held from 18-24 November at Caja Mágica in Madrid, are on sale now via the official website. Tickets start from €25 and special rates for children are also included. 

The 18 teams competing for the chance to become world champion and lift the Davis Cup trophy are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Russia, Serbia, Spain and USA.

 

READ MORE AT https://www.tennisindustry.org/cms/index.cfm/news/rakuten-to-become-global-partner-for-davis-cup/

TENNIS INDUSTRY: Top Tennis Stars Offer Advice to Players In New ‘Up Your Game’ Campaign

A dozen tennis stars offer advice on how recreational players can get the most out of their equipment in a series of public service announcements airing on Tennis Channel.

NEW YORK, N.Y. (May 27, 2019) — A new industry campaign designed to help consumers get the most out of their equipment has enlisted the help of some of the game’s biggest stars—including Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal. The tennis stars offer their advice on videos produced by and airing on Tennis Channel and social media channels, and in print ads in Tennis Magazine.

The “Up Your Game” campaign brings advice from a dozen top pros on their gear, new technology, the importance of new strings and other areas to help recreational players enjoy the game and play better. The tour pros interviewed were:

* Kevin Anderson (plays with Dunlop racquet)
* Marin Cilic (Head racquet)
* Roger Federer (Wilson racquet)
* Taylor Fritz (Head racquet)
* Angelique Kerber (Yonex racquet)
* Madison Keys (Wilson racquet)
* Christina McHale (Head racquet)
* Garbine Muguruza (Babolat racquet)
* Rafael Nadal (Babolat racquet)
* Denis Shapovalov (Yonex)
* Serena Williams (Wilson racquet)
* Caroline Wozniacki (Babolat racquet)

The Tennis Channel sat down with the tour players in March, during the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif. Not only did the top pros take the time to share advice and insights designed to help all players, but Tennis Channel also interviewed key equipment directors at each of the five brands: Babolat, Dunlop, Head, Wilson and Yonex.

“Getting the most out of your gear is vital to getting the most out of your game,” says Jeff Williams, president of the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) and director of publishing with Tennis Channel/Tennis Magazine. The TIA worked with Tennis Channel and racquet manufacturers to help coordinate the messaging.

“The latest game-improvement tennis equipment and products are constantly evolving, and we look to better inform and encourage recreational players to get or seek advice,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “With our partners at the Tennis Channel, the tips and recommendations we’ve compiled from both top professional players and key racquet manufacturing executives will help all players to enjoy the game more and play better.”

The best advice for players, when searching for a new racquet and even new strings, is to demo the products, de Boer emphasizes. “Find a tennis facility or retailer near you and ask the experts to properly match the correct gear to your game.”

The tips for recreational tennis players compiled by the Tennis Channel and TIA include these general guidelines and recommendations:

  • Recreational players should restring their racquets three to four times a year.
  • Seek the advice of professional stringers or Master Racquet Technicians, since string tension affects control, power, spin and playability, all of which are lost over time with any type of string. Visit playtennis.com/gear to find a stringer/technician.
  • Racquets and strings are very susceptible to the environment, particularly to heat and humidity. Do not leave racquets in your car or trunk.
  • Materials used in racquet frames break down over time, resulting in loss of power and less control. The TIA recommends that recreational players upgrade their racquet every two to three years.
  • Racquet technology continues to improve with every new model released, which can help players gain more control, spin, power and comfort.
  • Players’ games change over time, so it’s important to ask the expert and match the correct equipment to help maximize your playing style.

To view all the videos from top tour players, searches and tips on the proper care of tennis gear and advice from leading manufacturers, visit playtennis.com/gear.

 

READ MORE AT https://www.tennisindustry.org/cms/index.cfm/news/top-tennis-stars-offer-advice-to-players-in-new-up-your-game-campaign/

TENNIS INDUSTRY: Laver Cup and ATP Join Forces

(May 24, 2019) — The Laver Cup and the ATP announced today an agreement that will make the annual men’s team event, in which Europe takes on the rest of the world, an official part of the annual ATP Tour calendar.

The agreement gives the event, now approaching its third competition in Geneva, Switzerland this September, access to ATP services, including marketing and social media, along with operational personnel such as officials and physios.

"The Laver Cup team is incredibly excited about this partnership with the ATP. It has always been our hope to build the Laver Cup in partnership with the tennis world, and certification by the ATP after only two editions is an overwhelming validation of our vision,” Tony Godsick, President and CEO of TEAM8, and Chairman of the Laver Cup, said.

"We created the Laver Cup to celebrate the greats of the game – past, present and future – and grow interest in our great sport of tennis," Godsick added. "Partnering with the ATP positions us to continue to achieve that mission and reach even greater audiences."

Chris Kermode, Executive Chairman and President of the ATP said that the reception by tennis fans globally was a major factor in the ATP’s wish to form a partnership. 

"The Laver Cup has struck a chord with fans worldwide in a very short time," Kermode said.

"It’s been great to see the passionate participation of the players and the response from the fans at the sold-out events in Prague and Chicago. This event has great potential to reach new fans around the world, and all of us at the ATP are excited to include the Laver Cup as an official part of the ATP Tour calendar and have it featured alongside other tournaments on all our platforms."

Roger Federer, a partner in TEAM8 who tasked his team with creating the Laver Cup to honor not just the great Rod Laver, but the coterie of tennis legends who paved the way for the success of the current game, said he was delighted with the news.

"As I come closer to the end of my playing career, it’s wonderful to know that the Laver Cup will be part of the tour that I’ve dedicated more than 20 years of my life to. This partnership is a wonderful example of how the tennis family can unite to promote and grow the sport we all love."

Currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of winning the ‘Grand Slam’ for the second time in 1969, Rod Laver praised the ATP’s official endorsement of his namesake event which has further cemented his legacy.

"I am grateful to the ATP for recognizing that the Laver Cup plays an important role in raising awareness of the amateur era of tennis and my fellow ‘barnstormers’. I am honored and thankful for what has been achieved and to Roger for doing this for us,” Laver said.

The values of the Laver Cup – commitment to excellence, focus on the team, respect for the opponent, and love for the game – has been embodied by the two inaugural captains, Björn Borg and John McEnroe.

"Anyone who has seen the Laver Cup knows this is an event that everyone had to get behind. I am proud to have been a part of its genesis, and thankful to the ATP for choosing to endorse it,” John McEnroe said.

"The Laver Cup is my favorite week of the year," Bjorn Borg said. "I have enjoyed working with all the generations of players and being in front of the fans once again."

World No.1 Novak Djokovic, who played the second Laver Cup last year in Chicago, said, "The Laver Cup is a true celebration of tennis that is loved by the fans and embraced by the players. I experienced it first hand as a player, and as President of the ATP Player Council I’m proud to support this collaboration.”

ATP Tournament Board Representative Charles Humphrey Smith said, "The Laver Cup showcases the world’s greatest male tennis players in a whole new way. It grows interest in the game which benefits all of us in the industry."

The third edition of the Laver Cup will be held in Geneva, Switzerland on September 20-22, 2019.

 

 

READ MORE AT https://www.tennisindustry.org/cms/index.cfm/news/laver-cup-and-atp-join-forces/

TENNIS INDUSTRY: The Road to Roland Garros Leads to Tennis Channel

With more live matches and exclusive coverage than anywhere else, Tennis Channel and Tennis Channel Plus are the homes for Roland Garros. Tennis Channel will have more than 120 hours of live French Open action and Tennis Channel Plus gives fans at least 350 live matches from the outer courts that are not seen on the network. With wall-to-wall coverage over the course of the tournament, Hall of Fame analysts and award-winning broadcasters, Tennis Channel has you covered.
 
TIA Members will receive a special 20% discount on the Tennis Channel Plus digital subscription service (available in the United States). Throughout the year, subscribers can watch hundreds of live matches not seen on Tennis Channel from some of the year’s biggest events like the French Open, BNP Paribas Open, Miami Open and much more including ATP Masters 1000s. Go to www.tennischannel.com/subscribe and enter code TIA20 to subscribe.
 

 

READ MORE AT https://www.tennisindustry.org/cms/index.cfm/news/the-road-to-roland-garros-leads-to-tennis-channel/