As the saying goes if looks could kill. Maria Sharapova gives one of those killer looks in her early round loss in Miami!
International tennis sensation, Maria Sharapova, announced today the launch of the ‘’Official Maria Sharapova App’’. Sharapova’s app is a first of its kind 360-degree experience that takes Maria’s engagement with her fans to an unprecedented level. Maria’s app offers exclusive content not available anywhere else – straight from Maria’s computer and phone to her fans.
Maria will share personal videos and images; give fans the opportunity to participate in live chats; stream live video from her travels all over the globe; send text and voice messages directly to app users on their mobile devices; and make available live scores from all her matches. This combination of the behind-the-scenes content and live interaction gives fans an intimate view into the public, private and professional life of one of the most successful female athletes in history.
“In today’s ever-expanding social media world, the level of engagement that I am able to have with my fans is unprecedented. I am fortunate to play tennis, the most global sport in the world, and be in a position to reach my fans across the globe. While tennis is my greatest passion, I have a lot of various interests and hobbies, and through my app, I will be able to give my fans a closer look at my life’s most candid moments,’’ said Sharapova.
Sharapova’s visionary approach to building her social media platform started more than five years ago and today, with more than 19 million fans across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Sina/Weibo, she is the most popular female athlete in the world of digital space. Maria has a special and authentic relationship with her fans and her interaction has been focused on sharing personal stories behind her social posts. In 2013, Maria launched the ‘’Maria Sharapova’s Social Channel’’, a video series with more than 185,000 fans tuning into the first episode. 140 episodes later, her per-episode audience exceeds 1.2 million.
Maria’s new app is available for free download on both apple and android platforms. Maria will stream her post-match press conference on Thursday, March 26 after her first match at the Miami Open.
As summer approaches, the tennis tournaments start to come thick and fast across the globe. Of the four Grand Slams, just the Australian Open has been and gone in 2015, with Serbian player Novak Djokovic claiming the men’s singles title and Serena Williams taking the women’s title. We take a look at the three remaining majors; French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, and discuss our thoughts on who may go on to win the tournaments. You can bet on all of the major tournaments at a number of bookmakers, including Betsafe.
Although Rafael Nadal has won this competition a record nine times, including the last five in a row, some have touted Novak Djokovic to beat the ‘king of clay’ and win his second major in succession. If successful, Djokovic would stand an excellent chance of becoming the fifth player to win all four Grand Slams in the same year – which would be an outstanding achievement.
In the women’s, it could be wise to look at last year’s winner Maria Sharapova, but Simona Halep – last year’s runner up – has come into a bit of form and may go far in the tournament for the second successive year. It wouldn’t be a huge shock to see the Romanian, who recently won the Indian Wells final, take the crown.
It would be fantastic to see Andy Murray go far on home soil, but the seven-time champion Roger Federer may surprise a few and win his eighth title. Realistically, this is the Swiss legend’s last real shot at winning his favourite grass court event and, if the draw is favourable, he certainly boasts the skills needed to go far in the tournament.
In last year’s ladies final, Petra Kvitova pulled off a dominant display to win 6-3, 6-0 and earn her second Wimbledon singles title. However, it would be foolish to write off Serena Williams on the grass court, and she will be one of the favourites to take the crown for the sixth time, and a first since 2012.
When the weather halts the play on the outdoor courts, it’s a common site to see people grab their mobile phones and tablets. Until all courts get overhead cover, it should come as no surprise to see #Wimbledon status updates bemoaning the British weather. There’s always an alternative though and the world of entertainment sits in that 4G device. BBC iPlayer will allow you to watch what people at home are seeing, a good old flashback game of tennis. Alternately put some music on and play a game. At times like this, light hearted and fun games are what’ll improve a sour period of the day. 1Can2Can is a recent release that’ll have people looking over your shoulder as they’re also trying to find ways to pass the time until the players come back on court. Be prepared for the weather if you’re going to Wimbledon this year and charge your phone battery!
Novak Djokovic last won this event in 2011, and you have to feel that he will add to his Australian Open at some stage throughout the year. The world number one is likely to reach the latter stages of the tournament and it could be his year to finally get his hands back on the trophy.
Meanwhile, the women’s tournament may be a close one and the likes of Williams and Sharapova could take the title. Williams will have the home advantage and has won the tournament for the past three years, while Sharapova is due a major scalp at some stage and she may sneak through, given a good draw.
For many the Miami Open at Key Biscayne Florida is the unofficial fifth grand slam. Its scheduled perfectly to fall between Australia and the French Open and attracts huge crowds from Latin America. The heat, humidity and slow hard courts provide players with a different challenge than the other slam conditions. The huge 96 player draw in both the mens and womens side attracts every big name to the courts of Crandon Park.
Lets look at the contenders.
Fresh from his victory against Roger Federer in Indian Wells, Novak Djokovic will be hoping to do the double and set himself up nicely for the European clay court season which is just around the corner. Although I am sure Djokovic wouldnt turn down a victory in Miami again the Serb seems focused on winning Roland Garros for the first time. Do not be surprised if he has an early round shocker. Federer has decided to skip this event and head straight to Europe to prepare for his 4 tournament warmup for Roland Garros.
2014 saw a shock result in the quarter finals as Kei Nishikori beat the mighty Federer in cool night time conditions. Kei has since gone from strength to strength and has shown the world he is a force to be reckoned with on all courts. The Japanese definitely prefers the slower courts of Miami but he will have his work cut out against potential opponents such as Raonic, Dimitrov and Isner. I would still give him the edge to make it at least to the final four and from there who knows.
Murray has won this tournament before but his abrupt loss to Djokovic in the semis last week and his 4 sets loss in Australia would indicate that he is not on the same level as he once was. Should Nadal and Djokovic go out early it would leave the path clear for the Scot. The biggest name in his quarter of the draw is Stanislas Wawrinka and when the Swiss is on he is on. Murray has suffered big tournament defeats to Stan before and he will be susceptible to being beaten up if he hangs back behind the baseline.
Nadal is also strugggling with an ankle injury also and seemed flat against Raonic in Indian Wells, he too may long to get back on the dirt and let the real tennis season for him begin. In Nadals quarter he has players he owns like Berdych, Monfils and Tsonga but much will depend on the Spaniards motivation for this event. The next 10 days will reveal a lot about the Spaniards game and desire.
Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and Croatian Borna Coric are both unmistakeably on an upward curve in their careers to date, and 2015 must be the year in which they start to make an impact. Sooner rather than later these guys must make waves on the hard courts.
CLARO BECOMES SPONSOR OF THE MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITAÚ
Joins Itaú, Lacoste, MasterCard and Lexus on Impressive Roster of Global Brand Partners
MIAMI (March 25, 2015) – The Miami Open presented by Itaú announced today that Claro has signed on as an event sponsor. With operations in 16 countries, Claro is a subsidiary of América Móvil, the largest telecommunications company in Latin America.
Claro joins the Miami Open as the second biggest sponsor. With a longstanding tradition of supporting tennis in Latin America, the partnership with the Miami Open marks Claro’s first sponsorship of an event of this level (ATP Masters 1000/WTA Premier Mandatory). Claro is also the presenting sponsor of the Rio Open, the biggest combined ATP/WTA tennis event in South America. Partnering with the Miami Open reinforces Claro’s commitment to supporting major sporting events in the region and leverages Miami Open’s global TV exposure and best-in-class hospitality. Additionally, Claro will provide complimentary WiFi on site during the tournament.
“We are thrilled to welcome Claro to the Miami Open family of partners, offering our fans immediate benefits that can be felt as soon as they step on site. Claro has been a pioneer in growing the sport of tennis in Latin America. The Miami Open platform will give us the opportunity to enhance the fan experience for those on site and at home in Latin America,” said Fernando Soler, Managing Director of IMG’s tennis business.
“Claro has a strong commitment to sports and we feel very proud of being part of the 2015 Miami Open. Our goal is to increase the presence of tennis throughout Latin America. We are confident that this will be a remarkable experience for all,” said Marcela Velasco, Marketing Director at América Móvil.
The 2015 Miami Open has significantly upgraded the event for both players and fans. Last week, the event announced The Miami Open Experience – a new offering which will be unveiled during the second week of the tournament and consists of three major elements:
1) Taste of the Open: a culinary program curated by chefs Tom Colicchio, Scott Conant, Josh Capon and Michelle Bernstein.
2) Tori Praver Fashion Show: model-turned-fashion designer Praver will showcase her latest line of swimwear.
3) AVP Pro Beach Volleyball: an exhibition tournament with participation from some of the world’s best volleyball stars, led by three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings.
Located in one of the most-visited vacation destinations and featuring all the world’s top players, the Miami Open is regarded as the most glamorous event on the ATP and WTA calendars. The Miami Open’s international fan base, exotic yet metropolitan location, and on-site shopping, food and entertainment experience gives the tournament an energy and excitement that is unique in the industry.
Each spring, the Miami Open attracts more than 300,000 guests, including some of the biggest names in music, entertainment and sports, and is broadcast to 193 countries and territories around the world, giving its partners tremendous global exposure.
Ticket packages for the 2015 Miami Open are available at www.MiamiOpen.com or through the ticket office at +1.305.442.3367.
Rafael Nadal has chosen to play Queens Championships this June as he tries to figure out his recent struggles on grass. The Spaniard has not played in the event since 2010 due to strict UK Tax laws and instead has honed his grass court skills on the courts of Halle Germany. The Spaniard will be joined by the biggest names Murray, Tsonga, Wawrinka, Nishikori and Dimitrov who will all vie for the title and grass court form ahead of Wimbledon.
DEFENDING CHAMPION NOVAK DJOKOVIC WINS
FOURTH INDIAN WELLS TITLE
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2 to win the
Indian Wells Masters title for a second year in a row. Djokovic, who recommends the
HEAD Graphene XT Speed, joined Federer on four titles at the Tennis Garden. He
has now won two this season after beating fellow HEAD player Andy Murray in the
Australian Open final.
Djokovic lifted his record against Federer to 18-20 and improved to 21-10 at the
Masters 1000 level. The HEAD ambassador was playing in his 31st Masters final and
now owns 50 career trophies.
“It’s great that I managed to win this match in the big tournament and to win it in a
way that I felt like I was the better player on the court. That definitely will help for the
future,” said Djokovic.
In a HEAD-to-HEAD semi-final, Djokovic dominated Andy Murray 6-3, 6-2 to win
his sixth straight match over his fellow HEAD Racquet Rebel, who endorses the HEAD
Murray put in a fighting effort against his career-long rival: “At the middle of both
sets, I started to play a bit better and made it tougher and was able to push him a bit,
but not enough at the beginning of the sets to make it challenging enough for him,”
said the Scot ranked fourth. “When playing against Novak you obviously know what
to expect. He’s extremely consistent these days, he rarely plays poor matches – one
or two a year; whereas maybe a couple of years ago it might have been a few more.”
One of the great things about sport and about tennis in particular, is how unpredictable it can be and the astonishing stories and events which this can create. That makes it very difficult to predict what might happen in an individual event or through a full season, but that doesn’t meant that it isn’t fun to try. That’s why you will find below a selection of tennis predictions for the three remaining grand slams of the 2015 ATP season, from the sensible and reserved all the way to the more out-there tennis predictions which might surprise some but could just still happen.
If you like to read tennis previews and predictions of upcoming tennis matches then I recommend Stevegtennis.com.
The French Open
Rafael Nadal won’t win. When it comes to tennis predictions for Roland Garros that is a pretty bold one to get us going. In spite of the Spaniard’s incredible record in Paris which has seen him win nine of the last ten editions of the French Open, his recent struggles with form and injury make it look near impossible for him to grab a tenth this campaign.
If Nadal does struggle on the clay for once, Novak Djokovic will undoubtedly fancy his chances of finally managing a career grand slam by winning on the Phillipe Chatrier clay but the pressure of that opportunity might just be too much for the Serb. Instead then, our grand slam tennis predictions are going to include a shock winner of the French Open in the shape if either David Ferrer or Kei Nishikori.
Ferrer has undoubted pedigree on clay and whilst his 2014 ended a little disappointingly, the Spaniard may not ever have a better chance of winning a slam than at this year’s French Open. Nishikori on the other hand is arguably the hottest property in men’s tennis right now, having just risen into the top four and could go one better at Roland Garros than his final appearance at the US Open last year.
Still the big one in the minds of most tennis fans, this year’s edition of Wimbledon could be one of the most exciting in recent memory. The number of players with a realistic chance of going all the way at SW19 this season is arguably the highest it has been for a decade and that makes the business of previewing tennis matches for the All England Club showpiece a difficult but intriguing one.
Questions abound regarding the event, such as whether this will finally be the year that someone outside of the ‘big four’ could win or whether Andy Murray could delight home fans for a second time. It is difficult to rule out either of those possibilities but this writer believes that Wimbledon 2015 will actually see a bit of history being made in the shape of Roger Federer collecting his eight title. During the Wimbledon championships you can keep up to date with live tennis scores on your computer or mobile phone here:
The US Open
Being so far down the line as far as the amount of tennis to be played between now and when the players reach Flushing Meadows, the US Open is arguably the most difficult grand slam to pin down with definitive tennis predictions. Instead of making an outright prediction regarding the winner in New York then, instead we will suggest two lower ranked players who might just prove to be the big stories at the season’s last slam.
Australian Nick Kyrgios and Canadian Milos Raonic are both unmistakeably on an upward curve in their young careers to date, and 2015 might just be the year that one or even both really start making an impact. With the hard courts probably representing their best surface, watch out for Kyrgios and Raonic to make some waves at Flushing Meadows and maybe even going all the way.
Online gambling on tennis is starting to become big business, with the sport actually being one of the fastest growing in terms of the amounts wagered on events the world over. There are many reasons for this, including the huge number of tournaments which are played almost year round and the depth and availability of statistics for each match. Whatever the reason, alongside this growth in popularity of tennis betting there has also been an explosion in the number of websites offering tennis betting tips.
Now that there is such a wide array of choice of tennis betting tips sites, we thought it would be useful to provide a rundown of some of the better options around. What follows then, is a countdown of some of those better options and a brief description of what they offer prospective tennis punters.
There is a new kid on the block and they seem to offer the best free tennis betting tips in the UK right now and the website is Matchstat.com – As you can see on their website they also have a fun virtual betting game users can play for free and win cash prizes sponsored by Bet365.
They also have head to head stats for all pro players: Tennis head to head stats at Matchstat.com.
Online Betting Guide (OLBG) is a well-established and highly respected online presence in the gambling industry which covers a wide variety of sports and offers a huge array of tips. Fortunately for tennis fans, the site does have a dedicated tennis section and it is undoubtedly one of the best resources for anybody looking to research tennis betting tips.
The site offers a selection of tips for each day, has tips available a number of days in advance for general events and tournaments and offers antepost tips for the four grand slams. What’s more, the site is attractively presented and easy to understand and the tips offered are rated in terms of value to guide users toward the very best bets.
The tips supplied by the site are also compiled from an aggregate opinion of the extensive OLBG community, meaning that the tennis betting tips found there are not simply the picks of one individual. As if all of that weren’t enough, OLBG.com also provides real odds on the tips from a selection of bookmakers to inform prospective punters of where they can get the best value on offer.
Bettingexpert.com is another site which offers tips for a wide array of different sports including tennis, and is interesting in the way in which it presents tips from a large number of varied individuals.
Users of the site can post their own tennis betting tips, giving prospective punters a choice of different tips to choose from. The previous success rate of those users is also provided to give an idea of their tipping prowess and to allow readers to make an informed choice about which tips to follow.
Bettingexpert.com also supplies real odds from differing bookmakers for each tip and whilst it doesn’t have as varied a selection of actual tips for future events as OLBG offers, it does provide in-depth betting guides for the grand slams giving background information and analysis.
Another online site offering free tennis betting tips as provided by the site’s users, Bettingkingdom.com is slightly smaller by dint of being a UK specific enterprise. It does still however have a number of positive aspects and redeeming features.
The site offers in-depth statistics regarding the success of its tipsters to allow users to make educated betting choices and also has an active and entertaining community aspect whereby competitions, blog posts and discussions are available.
Each tip is also accompanied by a suggested bookmaker and the odds which they offer, and can be liked by other users in order to show how popular or otherwise that tip is. Whilst not quite in the same league as our previous two sites, Bettingkingdom.co.uk is certainly head and shoulders above a lot of the other sites around.
No matter what site you use, have fun with sports betting and only gamble what you can afford to lose!