Archive for January, 2018

postheadericon Rae is Fine with Ending her Career on a High

Jocelyn Rae has her father, born in Scotland, to thank for the golden moment of her career playing tennis that she has ended at just 26-years old.

Born and raised in Nottinghamshire, Rae got thrust rather unexpectedly into the limelight as part of the Scottish team for the Commonwealth Games that travelled to Delhi in 2010.

Rae left India with a shining prize and memories to last a lifetime thanks to the fact that she won the Mixed Doubles title, along with Colin Fleming. This was all made possible by her dad, Robert, who was still a proud Scot despite the fact that he had left Plean, located near Stirling, as a child, calling the team organisers to check whether or not his daughter was eligible for the team.

The Best Thing He Ever Did

 Rae told BBC Scotland that the whole thing was very out of the blue, and that there was no point where the Commonwealth Games had even been on her radar. She added that it was possibly one of the things her father has done that she was most grateful for.

As punters who enjoy taking part in the tennis betting sites in Australia will remember, the 19-year old player was suddenly being spoken of as Elena Baltacha’s successor, and potentially the next Scot to break into the World’s Top 100 players.

A Foot Injury Put Paid to the Dream

 Unfortunately, an injury Rae sustained to her foot meant that she never managed to surpass the rank of 450 in singles that she had achieved at the time she won gold at the Commonwealth, and this was also one of the biggest reasons she decided to quit playing in December 2017.

Injuries Were the Main Reason

Rae explained that the main reason behind her decision to stop playing was her injuries, adding that she had been plagued with them growing up, as is the case with most professional athletes.

After the one she suffered to her left foot in 2011, only short months after the success she had enjoyed at the Commonwealth Games, she had to give up singles for two years after the surgery she required.

Rae said that these kinds of injuries were simply something she had always had to manage throughout the course of her career, and, in her final tournament, she actually got woken up by how sore her shoulder was. She said that that was when it clicked for her that she simply could no longer carry on with the constant pain of various injuries and it was time to acknoweldge that they were affecting her performance.

Rae did, however, manage to leave her mark on the doubles game, reaching a ranking of 67 in February of 2016, and she was also a part of the British team for 5 Fed Cup campaigns. She’s happy with her decision to retire, however, and, with wedding plans on the horizon, Rae has now accepted a position as coach with the Lawn Tennis Association, and will thus be able to keep a small part of her passion for the game satisfied.

postheadericon Fendrich Says the US is Just Having a Bad Day

One bad day at the Australian Open was all it took for the good feelings about US tennis generated by the level of success at the American Open some short months ago to unravel completely. Maybe that should not be what we take away from the first day of the Open in Melbourne though?

No Single Event Should be Viewed as a Statement about US Tennis

 Maybe neither the upset over the losses in the opening rounds by over half of the American women on the court at the first Grand Slam this year, nor the elation over four women from the USA reaching the semi-finals at the last Grand Slam last year is appropriate. Maybe neither of these should be seen as any kind of meaningful statement regarding the state of American tennis or the country’s player’s endurance.

Nicole Gibbs Weighs In

 It’s better to see each occurrence as an isolated one and take the longer view that progress is being made -it is an inevitability that there will be a mix of good days and those not so good, said Nicole Gibbs.

The 113th-ranked player, who will be familiar to players who enjoy  Australian sports betting, said that it had simply been a difficult day, and that tennis was a difficult sport. Gibbs, who was the lone American female player to win a match out of the ten athletes in action on Monday at the Open, added that it was not an indication of anything except that there was a lot of depth on the WTA tour and that the Americans had not had a good day.

The Women Fared Badly, but the Men Did Too

 It was not just the women who fared badly, going 1 – 9, but the exits included the US Open champ Sloane Stephens, Venus Williams who has won Grand Slam titles a total of seven times, and the tenth-seeded CoCoVandeweghe. Each member of this trio managed to reach the final four at Flushing Meadows in September, the first all-American semi-finals at that tournament since back in 1981.

The men did not much distinguish themselves on Monday, either, however. Two of the three highest-seeded American players lost too: Jack Sock, number eight, and John Isner, number 16.

It has been nearly 15 years since any US male player has won any Grand Slam singles title, however, so let’s stay focussed on the women for now, since there have been some very positive signs of late.

With Serena Williams out of the competition since winning the major singles championship at last year’s Australian Open for the 23rd time, there has been a chance for other players to step up. Older sister Venus, for example.

And yet, there was Venus, on Monday, losing at once to Belinda Bencic, ranked at number 78, from Switzerland, with 6 – 3 and 7 – 5, and so we saw Venus joining not just the 20-something players Vandeweghe and Stephens, but also CiCi Bellis, Irina Falconi, Alison Riske, Jennifer Brady, Sofia Kenin, and Taylor Townsend.


postheadericon Djokovic Shrugs Off Talks of Boycott Over Prize Money

Novak Djokovic, six-time Australian Open champion, has dissociated himself from rumours that he called for players to boycott the 2019 tournament unless the prize money was increased.

Media reports have said that the 30-year old Serbian, who also holds the position of president of the Player’s Council, was pushing for a rebellion over the way in which the revenues from the four Grand Slams are being distributed.

Reports also suggested that Djokovic demanded that officials from the Association of Tennis Professionals, the ATP, which is in charge of the Men’s Tour but not the Grand Slams, and Tennis Australia, leave a player’s meeting which took place on Friday.

Djokovic Sets the Record Straight

 When asked if he had threatened a boycott, the former world number one said that he had not and that it was a myth, adding that not much of what had been written was true, in fact. He stated that what had actually occurred was that the players simply wanted to discuss certain topics on their own, and added that he didn’t feel there was anything unhealthy in that, seeing as this was one place where they were all able to come together.

Nobody Was Thrown Out

 Djokovic said that the players wanted to use the opportunity to talk about certain things, and ascertain how everyone felt about these, and mentioned that no decisions were made, adding that at no point did anyone mention anything about boycotting.

Djokovic has won 12 Grand Slam singles titles, as punters who enjoy the betting NZ has to offer will well know, and further made it clear that no ATP officials had been thrown out of the meeting, and that there was no lawyer present. He stated that everything had been done normally, politely, and that the players simply wanted privacy. He finished off by saying there were about 100 players there, that they got to talking about what they wanted to talk about, and that that was all.

Reports Also Say That a Union Was Discussed

 The reports have also stated that the players were discussing the possibility of creating a union that would operate independently of the ATP, which would represent their concerns overall and assist in the push for a larger share of the prize money.

The ATP was established in 1972, and is jointly owned by the tournaments and the players.

Djokovic, however, stated that nothing regarding unions had been discussed, even though the former world number one, American Andy Roddick, had taken to social media in support of the idea.

Roddick released a tweet stating that the union has been a good idea for a while now, since it was impossible for an entity to represent both sides in any kind of negotiation. He ended his tweet by sharing his amazement that this concept was not being discussed more often.

Players who are at the Australian Open have been unwilling to discuss the issue, but Kevin Anderson, vice president for the Players’ Council, did confirm that talks about prize money allocation had taken place, and that the focus was on helping players who were lower down in the ranks make a better living from playi