It’s been a rough 2016 for the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) which was once promising as it has had to reduce its originally intended format to three cities from five.
That was just the beginning of its woes as reports coming in have alleged the pull out of two of the biggest names in the tennis world from the tournament. As such, the competition this year will not be featuring the duo of Serena Williams and Roger Federer.
The founder and Managing Director of the IPTL in a recently released statement, had said,
“We have had challenges this year, and we were hoping to get past them.
“With the current economic climate in India and the uncertainty of spending money, I reached out to both Roger and Serena to explain the situation. They have both been very supportive of the IPTL the first two seasons and we look forward to bringing them in future years.” Read more »
Apart from Serena Williams, the other female player whom the American fans have expectations from for an Olympic medal in Tennis is Sloane Stephens and Stephens has started her packing for Rio.
However, some time back the youngster was seriously thinking if she should be preparing to go or not.
Stephens says she has connected the telephone line to the medicos she knows and has spoken in length to each of them about Zika and what possibly it can do to a human being and based on the inputs she has got from the knowledgeable people, she has made the call that that she is going to put on the American shirt in the biggest sporting event.
According to Stephens, WTA, on their part, has also interacted with all the players who are playing Olympics and has made them aware what precautions can be taken to ensure protection against the mosquitoes. She has taken a note of everything and will be taking care of herself properly while being in Rio.
Actually, the main fear for the players regarding Zika is that if it gets into them, it might disable the growth of some of the body parts of their babies they may have in near future, but, Stephens is not planning to have babies in the next three-four years. So, she has no reasons to be that much worried in that regard. Read more »
The former Spanish player, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, reckons Serena Williams is a class above the rest on the tour at the moment.
According to Arantxa, Serena’s game is a combination of power and skill and she has got a huge appetite for success as well. If she remains this hungry and continues to be as fit as she currently is, it’s not going to be easy by any means to displace her from the top of the world rankings.
Arantxa is, however, of the view that the American veteran is not the greatest of all time. Steffi Graff is slightly ahead of her in that regard simply because of the fact that she has been the winner of more number of slams and she has managed to achieve the feat of having all the four slams under her belt during the same season, something which Serena is deprived of so far.
Speaking about Serena the other day, Arantxa said, “Watching Serena closely, you don’t really find any weakness there. She looks far superior to the others around her. There’s a big gap in quality. The way she is going and if she can maintain her fitness, I don’t think anyone would be able to stop her very soon.” Read more »
Serena Williams has managed to impress the legend Martina Navratilova with her consistency in the recent years.
Navratilova reckons Serena would add one more to her Grand Slam count in two weeks’ time and would step closer to becoming the greatest of all time.
French Open is however the tournament which Serena has been the least dominant in as far as the Grand Slams are concerned.
She has won it only a couple of times which is slightly lesser if compared to what she has done in the other three slams.
Talking about the list of the highest Slam winners, it’s Steffi Graff who is topping that list at the moment, but, she is only three ahead and it can’t be denied that Serena has a real chance of toppling her before she puts her career to an end.
And, Navratilova agrees to that too. Speaking as an analyst at a television channel, the Czech said, “It has never been easy for any player in the world to keep performing up to the same level after crossing the thirties, but, what has helped Serena is that the young players coming through the ranks haven’t shown the kind of skills that you expect from them.”
“However, having said that, you must credit her for maintaining her intensity. As I said, you physically get a little downhill after the thirties. The age starts catching up and it gets tougher and tougher, it does not remain the same ballgame and that’s why, it’s remarkable for Serena to keep winning this way.” Read more »