January 31, 2009
SAO PAULO, Brazil: Three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten is going to college.
Kuerten, a former top-ranked player who retired from the circuit last year, found out on Monday that he had won admission to attend a theater college in his hometown of Florianopolis in southern Brazil.
The Brazilian is scheduled to begin classes on Feb. 16, spokeswoman Clarissa Machado Santos said.
Kuerten is one of Brazil’s biggest sporting idols, and when he took the admission test last year security was needed to prevent fans from bothering him.
The 32-year-old Kuerten gave up professional tennis last year because of a chronic hip injury that required surgery in 2002 and 2004.
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January 31, 2009
From the USTA:
NEW YORK — On the same day that the United States entered into a new era of leadership with Barack Obama officially sworn in as the 44th president, another smaller partnership was created to help grow the sport of tennis.
At Gabriel’s Bar and Restaurant in Manhattan on Tuesday, Jan. 20, the USTA and Advanta World TeamTennis Pro League, with its co-founder Billie Jean King, announced their new relationship. The USTA will become a 25-percent owner of the Advanta World TeamTennis Pro League, which just completed its 33rd season in 2008.
The new partnership will work to continue to grow and develop more tennis players, and it touches on every level of the game, from the professional ranks to player development to local communities.
“We hope that we can truly be a great partner with the USTA,” King said. “It is a special day for me in many ways, with the inauguration, also, to announce this partnership with the USTA.”
For the USTA, the partnership will help expand the Junior Team Tennis program, a recreational tennis league for children from ages six to 18 that was created in 1991. It allows children to play tennis on teams with others of the same age and skill levels, with more than 80,000 participants across the country. For children under 10, the USTA QuickStart format is used.
“I am extremely proud and pleased to announce that the USTA is investing in World TeamTennis. We will be partners going forward. It is a natural fit for us,” said Lucy S. Garvin, Chairman of the Board and President of the USTA. “We have a strong emphasis on Junior Team Tennis and team tennis overall, on the college level and throughout the organization.”
“Recently our Board made that decision, and we are just thrilled,” she added of the new partnership. “Billie is the icon and icons. It is an honor to work with her and Ilana (Kloss, World TeamTennis CEO/Commissioner).”
The Advanta World TeamTennis Pro League has 11 teams, and it is a professional co-ed league based on equality, with a level playing field for men and women. Each team has two men and two women (as well as a coach), with everyone working together to contribute to a team victory. The 2009 season will be played July 2-26, followed by the Championship Weekend.
In each of the 11 cities where the pro leagues are located, the USTA’s 17 sections and World TeamTennis will work together to expand QuickStart programs as well as Junior Team Tennis to help more children start playing the game. The children in Junior Team Tennis leagues will have opportunities to interact with the professionals and to play some of their championship matches on the same courts.
In addition, this year the Advanta World TeamTennis Pro League Championship Team and Award winners will be recognized at the 2009 US Open.
“It is really about unity and about all of us helping each other and being on the same page. There is one goal, and that is to get more people playing,” King said. “We have different ways of helping this sport. World TeamTennis has always been a big believer in equality and having a level playing field. It is a fantastic day for us, for our owners, our pro cities, for the people who play in campus (team) tennis.
“I think the USTA has really been trying to weave and really help create something that is very special, getting everyone in the tennis world together, and we are a part of that. Only a part, but hopefully we can help in many ways,” she added.
Legends, including King herself, Pete Sampras, Monica Seles, Steffi Graf, Chris Evert, Bjorn Borg, Martina Navratilova, Rod Laver, Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors and Tracy Austin, have played World TeamTennis. Current professionals also have played, including Serena and Venus Williams, Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova, as well as up-and-coming players – something the new partnership will aid, as well.
“We have been trying to make this happen for a long time, and we have worked closely with the USTA for many years, so to formalize the partnership and to actually be on the inside means a lot to us,” Kloss said. “The World TeamTennis format, we really believe that it is one of the building blocks to help grow tennis in America. I think World TeamTennis is one of the few entities that really has a lot of touch points, not just on the grassroots level but all the way up to professional tennis. We really are going to try to leverage the relationships in our pro league team markets and help make an impact.
“It is our goal to use the pro team franchises and the sections to engage kids and get them on teams. Community tennis has a huge push on QuickStart and Junior Team Tennis, so I think that will be a huge focus for us,” she added.
January 31, 2009
HEAD Introduces New Performance Tennis Footwear
Kennelbach – Austria - January 2009 - HEAD is stepping up its game in the tennis footwear business. In 2009 HEAD will re-launch its line of footwear with updated technology and cosmetics for today’s youthful, aggressive and stylish tennis player. The new footwear collection will be available in February 2009.
Both men’s and women’s lines’ technology will complement existing product attributes, continue to enhance and improve player performance on any court surface while adding updated cosmetic and aesthetics looks for the modern athlete.
The 2009 line incorporates three new lines of technology:
- HEAD Vi-PodTM Technology, which is integrated into the midsole heel area and eliminates vibration, absorbs energy, then distributes to the entire foot.
- HEAD Energy BridgeTM Technology, which connects the heel and the forefoot area providing torsion stability, ensures increased transfer of power from the heel to the forefront. The Energy Bridge is made of breathable net mesh material to ensure ventilation.
- HEAD Lateral ControlTM Technology is integrated into the forefoot area with a squared edge. It is composed of a harder rubber which provides an optimum in lateral stability and enables quick changes in direction.
“HEAD’s line of footwear products is constructed with the highest quality materials while maintaining cutting edge design. More importantly, the shoes are made to perform. The footwear can stand up to even the most aggressive tennis player,” said Robert Marte, Executive Vice President of HEAD’s Racquet Sports Division.
These new technologies will add to the line’s four existing technologies, which include:
- HEAD CXGTM Comfort Grid which provides comfort, shock absorption, decreased foot fatigue, stability and motion control.
- HEAD Cooling System® which creates “climate control” within the shoe by absorbing and releasing excess heat build-up.
- The HEAD Radial ContactTM ensures constant traction with maximum flexibility.
- The HEAD HyBrasionTM outsole technology was developed to enhance resistance for the high stress areas of the tennis shoes.
January 31, 2009
Here is some video of Rafa promoting tourism for the Balearic Islands in a deal we covered here back a few months ago. It is a cool ad with awesome special effects and of course the Spanish Bull himself. I think Rafa is officially in a good place. The video is in spanish.
January 31, 2009
Prince sent us this new add for their newly hired star Gael Monfils and his new EXO3 sticks. The video shows off his skills including “a la Sampras” slam dunk overhead. If only the guy could get a new mind. Anyways, cool commercial and we will always love Monfils no matter how underachieving he is!
January 31, 2009
Different Name, Better Game
As you have noticed by now, The ATP Blog has now changed their name to Tennis Connected. Along with this name we have made numerous enhancements to the site to make the site better for you our readers. We would like to thank you for the continious support throughout our first year and we will strive to bring you even more from the tennis world. Below is a summary of the changes we have made and as always, if you have any suggestions or feedback please send it to us via our contact page located here.
New logo and color scheme
This was probably (or hopefully) the first thing you noticed when seeing the site. The new color scheme was done with the help of some of our dedicated readers who volunteered and devoted their time to answering our surveys.
Now available in 34 different languages
Yes that is right. Tennis Connected is now translated (sometimes roughly) in 34 different languages! To change the language click on the appropriate flag in the sidebar when viewing a post or at the bottom of the homepage. Warning: This may cause the layout of the site to do some funny things and we are trying to get this resolved.
Now we have made it easy for you to share some of your favorite articles on the site. At the bottom of every post, you will see a few icons like the image below. Just click on your favorite sharing site and off you go.
Tennis Connected is now on Twitter. What is Twitter you ask?
January 17, 2009
Head answered our call for more images of the new Djoko racket and bag. We are still waiting for some catalogue images but those won’t be around for a little while so these shots will have to quench your thirst for now.