Make You Wanna HOLLA: Why Isn’t The Story – Serena Williams Is Going For Grand Slam #19?

Watching ESPN just now, coverage of the Australian Open, and the verbiage is all about age – “Serena is the oldest player to reach an Aussie final.” Falderal! Serena Williams is on a history-making journey to surpass her compatriots, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova , in the elite 18 Grand Slam club. And she is only one win away from doing just that.

SERENA FOCUSED 1000

Why then has this part of her competing in the 2015 grand slam down under been on mute? Simply unbelievable to me. Seems the greater Serena’s achievements the harder the media, specifically the US tennis media, attempts to devalue her greatness. They remain stuck on the power narrative when it comes to her. Will they ever acknowledge what they see when watching Serena play? She is a most intelligent player, which enables her to strategize and win? Overlooking Serena’s continuing dominance in her sport is plain out perplexing.

While in America the chat is all about “the changing of the guard”. It only took the World #1 two straight sets[7-6 (5), 6-2] in her match against fellow American Madison Keys to restore order and shut down that talking point.(Avenging her sister’s loss to Keys at the same time!) ShoutOut to Serena for her encouraging words to Madison after the match. [WATCH VIDEO]

Now I am thrilled for the rising young and obviously talented Keys who reached her first Grand Slam semifinal. That she is projected to make her top 20 debut is fantastic. Under new coach Lindsay Davenport I only expect continuing progress in her development.

Here me well now, I don’t begrudge her media attention, but it should not overshadow what winning this final means for Serena and history!  Australian Open TennisAnd at same time it should not make Serena’s elder sister Venus an after thought as she will move up the rankings after this Grand Slam to maybe as high as top 10.

Truth is the Williams sisters, top two American women in the game, are not products of the USTA. Father Richard Williams chose, wisely as time has proven, not to put his child prodigies Venus and Serena under their tutelage. Could that fact possibly be at work here in what appears to be an eagerness to see a “Changing of the Guard?”VENUS AND SERENA WITH DAD

ESPN and the USTA are contractually bound at the hip and therefore responsible parties in what I see as disrespectful treatment of the Williams sisters. Maybe it’s because the USTA is so desperate for legitimacy; with its failure in producing top tennis players that it experienced under the many years of Patrick McEnroe’s leadership? (Must have been one hellova contract that still keeps him in the booth at ESPN Tennis as a talking head!)

VOGVenus and Serena remain perfect examples of positivity; no matter what swirls in the media. Most endearing to me is their close bond, it’s as if they understood that it would always indeed be them against the world!

And in the case of Serena it is astonishing to watch her transform her steadfast belief that she is the greatest – in match after match –SERENA DEVASTATINGwhere she mentally constructs a strategy, then physically delivers play, resulting in the defeat of whomever is on the other side of the net!

 Serena Williams talks to Chris Evert  Source: espn.go.com
Serena Williams talks to Chris Evert Source: espn.go.com

In her December interview with Chris Evert, Serena said she was hard at work fine tuning movement and improving her serve; and when asked about Graf’s record of #22 grand slams, she said she  was going to go for the gusto this year.

                                                              Click Here for Interview→http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=12190332]

And aren’t we the lucky ones, Serena does the hard work of fending off those attempting to dethrone her…and all we have to do is watch!

Now the Australian Open gets the sexy championship final match it was probably hoping for with Maria Sharapova versus Serena. Now Sharapova has lost every encounter with Serena since the 2004 Wimbledon. And again I fear the lead story will be all about the fighter coming for Serena and not Serena going for her 19th Grand Slam!

SERENAWORKOUTLet’s talk a bit more about history-making and grand slams; Serena has only lost four times in finals.  This has her currently tied with Martina Navratilova (18-14) and Chris Evert (18-16) at fourth all-time. Beating Sharapova would place her alongside Helen Wills Moody (19-3), and behind only Margaret Smith Court (24-5) and Steffi Graf (22-9). That Williams continues her climb up the record accomplishments in women’s tennis at the age of 33 is beyond amazing, and  frankly, my dear, I’m out of superlatives…OK.

Meanwhile as the tennis season continues I’ll be watching another game that’s being played – the Dodge-Ball game the tennis media is playing as Serena Williams continues her pursuit of Grand Slam #19 and beyond.  Go get #19 Serena and let all the other damn games continue, then…LOL! ‘-)

submitted by guest blogger @BlackPearlMoi

“Serena Williams Will Play Ana Ivanovic Wednesday in IPTL” guest blogger BlackPearlMoi

 SERENAENJOY

IPTL’s Singapore leg continues on Wednesday December 2 with the struggling Singapore Slammers set to play the unbeaten Micromax Indian Aces.

Will the Singapore Slammers experience their best results on this day of competition or face their fifth team defeat? Photo below is evidence that we, team Singapore Slammers fans, believe today is V-Day – Victory!
Team Singapore Slammers & friends.
Team Singapore Slammers & friends.

ThoughGaelMonfilsandAnaIvanovic have been in winning form, playing well  for the Aces, they face a challenge today: Monfils against the World #7Berdych, who has not been in excellent form, andIvanovic in another face off with World #1 Serena Williams, who the Slammers are hopeful will cap a win for the team.

Serena Williams and Anna Ivanovic
Serena Williams and Anna Ivanovic participated in the 5th Annual all-star charity event at the Ritz Carlton in Key Biscayne.
In the Champions Competition Andre Agassi, who arrived for IPTL play a day ago, might struggle against Fabrice Santoro when it comes to fitness, but Santoro doesn’t have the overwhelming serve and against such a strong returner, expect the French player to be pushed a bit.
Unfortunately for the Slammers, they have not yet found a team in mixed or men’s doubles who can stand up to the very effective pairings of the Aces – Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna and Monfils and Bopanna.
The Singapore Slammers and Manila Mavericks are scheduled on court in Singapore at 7.30pm (11.30am)
Tennis stars and lengends, among them Andre Agassi (front, left) and Serena Williams (front, right) at a private party held by DBS ahead of the kick-off of the Singapore leg of the IPTL at Shangri-La Hotel. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE - See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/sport/tennis/story/tennis-andre-agassi-serena-williams-play-all-three-days-singapore-iptl-leg-2#sthash.WJHziHpY.dpuf
Tennis stars and lengends, among them Andre Agassi (front, left) and Serena Williams (front, right) at a private party held by DBS ahead of the kick-off of the Singapore leg of the IPTL at Shangri-La Hotel. — ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Rules reminder The International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) has a unique format, which pits each of the four teams against each other in a series of matches. Each match consists of five sets: Men’s singles, women’s singles, mixed doubles, men’s doubles and men’s legends doubles, with the team that wins the most games across all five sets winning the match. Sets are played first to six games, with a five-minute shoot-out at 5-5 and no-ad scoring.
HOW AND WHERE TO WATCH IPTL MATCHES TODAY
You can watch IPTL matches online at www.GFL.TV 
Stream the IPTL live at365 > live streaming > tennis.  To access the live stream and watch the match for free, sign in, then go to Tennis > Live streaming
SCHEDULE

“Fans Go Crazy when Serena Williams Plays IPTL in Manila”

Everyone, I mean, just walking out to the court to warm up and hear the crowd was spectacular and unexpected,” remarked Serena Williams. “It’s really an honor to feel that. The reception has been amazing. was so nice.

SERENAWELCOMEI’ve never played and never been here. So it feels good to come to countries like this because you realize that we have fans everywhere so it’s really a good time and great opportunity to play here,” Williams said.

SERENAWARM

When the tennis women’s World#1  stepped on the court in Manila to warm up, the crowd went absolutely crazy!

Watch Serena as she warms up side-by-side with Andy Murray; courtesy of fan xarlotieMarie Charlotte Ayao.

Even Serena’s remarks reflect that she was caught by surprise at the outpouring of love she received halfway across the world.  Today’s action is her only appearance in the Manila leg of the inaugural International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) tour.

RESULTS OF SERENA’S PLAY IN MANILA

AP Photo

Serena’s first appearance on court for her team, Singapore Slammers,  involved mixed doubles play. She partnered with  Lleyton Hewitt in competition against the duo of Manila Mavericks’ Andy Murray and Kirsten Flipkens.

Action resulted in a loss for Serena/Hewitt as Murray and Flipkens combined better to get a 6-1 win. Though playing against the home team, Serena was cheered on by the Filipino fans.

Keeping mindful that she had “Work To Do” for her Singapore Slammers team, inspite of the mixed double pounding 1-6 loss: the player IPTL is promoting as

“Hitting Like a Warrior”…

 [Photo/Agencies]
[Photo/Agencies]
Serena proceeded to serenainactiondefeat Kirsten Flipkens 6-3serenasquatin singles play. Next stop for the tour is Singapore and here’s hoping that Serena’s victory proves to be just what the doctor ordered for the still win-less Singapore Slammers in team based play.

After a year of ups and downs culminating with her joining tennis legends

AP Photo
AP Photo

Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova in the Elite “18 Club” (players with 18 grand slam titles):serenabracelet for this Serena Williams fan…it’s  great to see her having “a lot of fun”!!!

Awesome photo of the IPTL Singapore Slammers team with friends. Pictured :  Nick Kyrgios, Rohan Bopanna, Thomas Berdych, and, of course the Star of the team, Serena Williams.
Awesome photo of the IPTL Singapore Slammers team with friends. Pictured: Nick Kyrgios, Rohan Bopanna, Thomas Berdych, and, of course the Star of the team, Serena Williams.

Blog Post written by guest blogger BlackPearlMoi

“Serena Williams GOT WORK TO DO for Her Singapore Slammers Team in IPTL” guest blogger BlackPearlMoi

No easy play for the World Number One Serena Williams on Sunday! Her struggling Singapore Slammers team needs her greatness when she makes her first appearance at the inaugural International Premier Tennis League tournament.

SERENASINGAPORESLAMMERSTEAM

The team was defeated by the Roger Federer-led India Aces yesterday as the IPTL, a speeded-up, television-friendly tennis format, made its debut in Manila. (more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/sports/article/tough-job-for-serena-at-iptl#sthash.fskFKfRJ.dpuf)

And the UAE Royals, headed by Novak Djokovic, beat the Singapore Slammers on Day 2 of the IPTL. (See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/sports/article/tough-job-for-serena-at-iptl#sthash.fskFKfRJ.dpuf)

Serena is set to play Belgian professional Kirsten (“Flipper”) Flipkens,flipkens on the Manila Mavericks team, Sunday as the Manila leg of this year’s IPTL tournament ends. She will also play in the mixed doubles.

josheagle

Josh Eagle, former professional male tennis player & current professional tennis Davis Cup coach from Australia is coaching the Singapore Slammers. “She’s been sending us text messages. She’s really excited about going in,” said Australian coach Josh Eagle. “We’re really excited about Serena coming. She’s an international superstar…. Everyone here in Manila is pretty pumped up and our team has been talking about it,”

Afer Singapore, the IPTL Tour goes on to New Delhi and Dubai next month. The format is quite different and, I find, it most exciting.

A 20-second shot-clock between points guarantees quick play, and at 5-5, players go into a timed shoot-out in which they must accumulate the most points before time is up. Players receiving a serve can also call a “happiness power point” once per set, meaning the next point will count double. (More details at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/sports/article/tough-job-for-serena-at-iptl#sthash.fskFKfRJ.dpuf)

Featured in one of the promos for the inaugural International Premier Tennis League tournament – Serena is appropriately labeled as a tennis player who “Moves Like A Ballerina”…”Hits Like A Warrior”. (Note to US OPEN: this is how you promote the World’s #1 Women’s Champion…OK!!!!)

 

Seems her team, the SINGAPORE SLAMMERS, is in need of every bit of warrior she possesses…my wager…Serena delivers! Best of all we, Serena fans, get to see her in action and doing what the Isley Brothers sang about…#JAMZwithME  (LOL)

“Serena Williams headlines exciting International Premier Tennis League (IPTL)”: GuestBlogger BlackPearlMoi

singapore-slammers1-1416982834Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar and fellow Singapore Slammers co-owners announced Serena Williams will headline a star-studded line-up that includes legends when the inaugural International Premier League gets under way.

IPTL COO Eric Gottschalk; Singapore Slammers CEO Vikas Gehlot; IPTL founder Mahesh Bhupathi; Singapore Slammers co-owner Sunil Gavaskar; Quek Tun Lin, Vice-President of Singapore Tennis Association; and Singapore Slammers co-owners Kishan Gehlot, Shashi Kiran Shetty and Ajay Sethi at the official launch of the IPTL and Singapore Slammers.
IPTL COO Eric Gottschalk; Singapore Slammers CEO Vikas Gehlot; IPTL founder Mahesh Bhupathi; Singapore Slammers co-owner Sunil Gavaskar; Quek Tun Lin, Vice-President of Singapore Tennis Association; and Singapore Slammers co-owners Kishan Gehlot, Shashi Kiran Shetty and Ajay Sethi at the official launch of the IPTL and Singapore Slammers.

Along with current world No. 1 Serena, 17-time major tournament champion Federer, current world No.1; and, seven-time major champion Djokovic headline the players competing in the inaugural season of the IPTL.

Legends also feature in League play, including past champions such as 14-time majors Pete Sampras and career Golden Grand Slam winner Andre Agassi; along with other top current players including 2013 Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, 2014 Wimbledon finalist.

TEAM ROSTERS ARE BELOW

768-for-gallery-image_3 (2)MANILA MAVERICK

Maria Sharapova, Andy Murray, Joe Wilfried Tsonga, Kristen Flipkens, Daniel Nestor, Carlos Moya and Treat Huey

 

768-for-gallery-image_2MICROMAX INDIAN ACES

Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Gael Monfils, Ana Ivanovic, Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna and Fabrice Santoro

 

68-for-gallery-image_4SINGAPORE SLAMMERS
Serena is the star name on the Singapore Slammers side, with former Grand Slam winner Andre Agassi also on board for the legends competition. Team also includes Thomas Berdych, Daniela Hantuchova and Bruno Soares.  Add to team roster legend Patrick Rafter, former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt and fellow Australian, young talented, Nick Kyrgios.untitled

Singapore Slammers will take on Team Manila, Indian Aces and UAE Royals in successive three-day events in Manila (November 28-30), Singapore (December 2-4), Delhi (December 6-8) and Dubai (December 11-13).

 

768-for-gallery-image_1UAE ROYALS

Novak Djokovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Goran Ivanisevic, Genie Bouchard, Malek Jaziri and Nenad Zimonjic

 

HOW THE TOURNAMENT WILL OPERATE

Starting in Manila on Friday, the two-week competition will see four teams of tennis stars past and present play at four venues across Asia.

Organizers have billed the competition as a “revolutionary new take on tennis”! Promising an exciting, fast-paced format to include time-outs, power points and a shot clock to speed up the match.

The unique International Premier League format will see each of the four teams play three times in each city, with Singapore, Mumbai and Dubai hosting the latter stages of the challenge.

Each match will be played over five sets – a set of men’s and women’s singles, mixed doubles, men’s doubles and a past champions clash.

For each game won, that side will earn a point, with overall victory going to the side accumulating the most points overall.

The winners of each tie will earn four points for the leaderboard.

A pretty exciting & unique twist – a change to ATP and WTA tours, players will have the chance to call a ‘power point’ where the next point counts as double, while each coach has one time-out per set.

FULL SCHEDULE OF PLAY

Singapore Slammers opening match against Micromax Indian Aces, led by Roger Federer, will be the first encounter of the competition, and could see a legends match between Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras.th (2)

Dates and times from Singapore:
December 2nd
Aces v Royals (3:00 am ET/12:00 Midnight PT)
Slammers v Mavericks (6:30 am ET/3:30 am PT)

December 3rd
Mavericks v Royals (3:00 am ET/12:00 Midnight PT)
Slammers v Aces (6:30 am ET/3:30 am PT)

December 4th
Mavericks v Aces (3:00 am ET/12:00 Midnight PT)
Slammers v Royals (6:30 am ET/3:30 am PT)

Dates and times from India:
December 6th
Royals v Slammers (5:30 am ET/2:30 am PT)
Aces v. Mavericks (9:00 am ET/6:00 am PT)

December 7th
Aces v Slammers (5:30 am ET/2:30 am PT)
Mavericks v. Royals (9:00 am ET/6:00 am PT)

December 8th
Mavericks v. Slammers (5:30 am ET/2:30 am PT)
Aces v. Royals (9:00 am ET/6:00 am PT)

Dates and times from UAE:
December 11th
Aces v Slammers (7:00 am ET/4:00 am PT)
Royals v Mavericks (10:30 am ET/7:30 am PT)

December 12th
Mavericks v Slammers (7:00 am ET/4:00 am PT)
Royals v Aces (10:30 am ET/7:30 am PT)

December 13th
Mavericks v Aces (7:00 am ET/4:00 am PT)
Royals v Slammers (10:30 am ET/7:30 am PT

The International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) official website: www.iptlworld.com

Again, season will begin November 28 in Manila, Philippines. The November 28-30 matches will be played in Manila. The December 2-4 matches will be played in Singapore. It has been confirmed that the Singapore leg will be held at the 12,000-seat Singapore Indoor Stadium, which will hosted the WTA Finals.   The December 6-8 matches will be played in New Delhi, India. And the December 11-13 matches will be played in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

HOW TO WATCH SERENAuntitled (3)Via TV and On-Line Pay-Per-View

The International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), will be available for live viewing via TV and on-line pay-per-view in the United States by Integrated Sports Media beginning November 28th through the conclusion of the season on December 13. All 24 matches of the highly anticipated inaugural season will be available on both cable and satellite pay-per-view – live and for replay – via iN DEMAND, DirecTV, DISH and Vubiquity and online at www.GFL.TV..

I don’t know about you … as for me, what the IPTL has lined up has this tennis fan hyped for a tremendously exciting exhibition of tennis by tennis greats! Racquets up!!! ‘-)