Friday, April 26, 2013

Quotes on the Global Rise of Tennis

On the Global Rise of Tennis in the Face of Economic Recession

*Attendance at ATP is 4.4 million fans since 2009
*Television audience is 800 million viewers in 2012
*ATP Official Website has 4 million visitors per month
*Commercial revenues from tennis, according to ATP, increased 165% since 2009
*ATP and its 62 tournaments now generating half-billion dollars annually

"We are in the strongest financial position ever, and we have the biggest and best group of corporate partners ever in the game."
--Brad Drewett, ATP Chairman

"Tennis has a long history  . . . You have great stars in the truly international sport, not based on one continent, and whether you are from Asia, Africa, the Americas or Europe, you have your favorites."
--Boris Becker, Six-time Grand Slam Champion

"Tennis has this golden opportunity with the players you have at the top of the game [Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal, the invincible "Big Four"]. We didn't have that five years ago . . . [And] the fact is that women's tennis [also] has two iconic figures at the top in Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova -- it's a potent combination."
--Neil Harman, Tennis Correspondent, Times of London

For more, see:
How Tennis Aced Austerity, Paul Gittings,

Video: Beyond Gold - The Rise of Tennis in China

Saturday, April 13, 2013

In Memoriam: "Shaker" Bala (1959-2013)

My younger brother, "Shaker", suffered a massive heart attack, and was rushed to the hospital this past week. The doctors could not revive him and he passed away this Friday. He lived a rich and varied life. He was 53. Rest Now in Peace.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Masters of Miami 2013: Andy Murray & Serena Williams

Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Key Biscayne, FL - Andy Murray (No. 3, Britain) prevailed over David Ferrer (No. 5, Spain) in a grueling, see-saw 3 set battle this past weekend to take the Men's Singles Championship at the Sony Open in Crandon Park Tennis Center, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1). 

The match lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes in a blistering South Florida humidity before a sell-out crowd and national TV audience.

The win was Murray's second Sony Open title in Miami, and propelled him to World No. 2 rank, past Roger Federer.

Murray, the 25 year-old Olympic Gold and U.S. Open champion, saved a match point in the third set and closed out the tie-break in convincing fashion. He explained later that it was really a battle of attrition to see who could out-last the other.

"It was a just a brutal, brutal match today, and both of us were kind of on our last legs," confessed Murray. "It was one of the toughest matches I've had to play in a Masters series, for sure."

Murray is known for his off-court regimen, and is considered one of the fittest players on the tour.

Meanwhile, in the Women's Singles Championship, Serena Williams (No. 1, USA) defeated Maria Sharapova (No. 2, Russia) in a dramatic 3 set final, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.

Williams won each of the last 10 games, for her 6th Sony Open title in Miami, overtaking the previous record held by Steffi Graf.

The match produced some high-quality tennis, with both players displaying slam-bang points with sometimes ferociously long rallies.

Congrats to all the winners, players, fans and supporters of this year's Sony Open in Miami.

See you next year!