Tag: women’s tennis

Tennis Star Naomi Osaka to Sign Adidas’ Biggest Deal With a Woman Athlete at $8.5M

Naomi Osaka (AP Images)

via newsone.com

2018 U.S. Open women’s tennis champion Naomi Osaka is winning both on and off the court. After defeating Serena Williams, the 20-year-old Haitian and Japanese athlete has become a household name. According to Business Insider, Osaka is slated to make history by inking the biggest deal that Adidas has ever offered to a woman athlete.

Osaka is reportedly working on a deal with the sports brand that is worth $8.5 million per year, the news outlet writes. The deal could possibly make her one of the highest-paid women in the realm of sports; out-earning her tennis opponents. Osaka currently has a contract with Adidas for six figures which is ending this year.

It seems as if the Adidas deal is just the beginning of more endorsements to come for Osaka. She recently signed a three-year endorsement deal with Nissan to be one of their brand ambassadors. “With a combination of grit and grace, Naomi Osaka is not afraid to take on the best tennis players of our time, and win,” Asako Hoshino, Senior Vice President, Nissan, told the news outlet. Osaka is humbled to represent the brand and says she was drawn to Nissan because of its “strong Japanese DNA and global competitive spirit.”

Osaka’s win over Serena Williams at the 2018 US Open garnered a lot of attention after Williams was hit with a slew of unjust code violations for coaching, breaking a racket, and her exchange of words with umpire Carlos Ramos. Despite the drama surrounding the match, the tennis veteran displayed sportsmanship by giving her opponent encouraging words as the crowd booed the outcome. “She said that she was proud of me and that I should know that the crowd wasn’t booing at me. So, I was really happy that she said that,” said Osaka during a recent appearance on The Ellen Show.

Source: https://newsone.com/3826727/naomi-osaka-adidas-deal/

She’s Back! Serena Williams Wins Her 1st Grand Slam Match Since Having a Baby, at the 2018 French Open

PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 29: Serena Williams of USA celebrates her first round victory during Day Three of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros on May 29, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

by Britni Danielle via essence.com

Although Serena Williams might just be the greatest tennis player of all time, she still has something to prove.

After giving birth to her first daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., last September, Williams’ climb back to the top has been tough. The tennis champ won her first match back on the court in March at Indian Wells but was sent home by her sister, Venus. Later that month, Williams suffered a first-round defeat at the Miami Open, however, she’s been putting in work to reclaim her crown.

On Monday, Williams kicked off the French Open with a win, defeating the Czech Republic’s Kristyna Pliskova in straight sets.

After the match, Williams praised her opponent. “She played really really well,” Williams said before turning her attention to her comeback. “It’s been two years since I played on clay. It’s been a really long time but I trained really hard on the clay.”

Williams is no stranger to the French Open and has won the Grand Slam tournament three times: in 2002, 2013, and 2015. Still, she said she’s not taking anything for granted. “I feel good. I’m just happy to have won a match here,” Williams said. “I’m just taking it a day at a time.”

Williams, who donned a fabulous all-black catsuit for her return to the Grand Slam stage, said the form-fitting choice was a shout out to “all the moms out there that had a tough pregnancy and had to come back and try to be fierce.”

Source: https://www.essence.com/celebrity/serena-williams-wins-first-grand-slam-since-baby

Serena Williams Embraces Motherhood on Cover of Vanity Fair

Serena Williams (photo via vanityfair.com)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

According to colorlines.com, Serena Williams recently paid homage to the famous Vanity Fair cover of a nude, pregnant Demi Moore, by having the same photographer, Annie Leibovitz, shoot her recent pregnancy cover in a similar pose (the hand on that hip though – all Serena). Leibovitz also shot all of the story’s photos, including black-and-white images of Williams with Alexis Ohanian, her Armenian-American fiancé who co-founded Reddit.

The cover story focuses on Williams and Ohanian’s account of their year-and-a-half courtship, engagement last December and her subsequent pregnancy. Williams also discusses her plan to return to tennis in January, roughly three months after her child’s anticipated birthdate.

Read the article and view the full set of photos here.

Serena Williams Triumphs over Sister Venus to Win Record 23rd Major Title at Australian Open

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Serena Williams lifts her trophy after defeating her sister Venus Williams in their women’s singles final match at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Jan. 28, 2017. (Mark R. Cristino / EPA)

article via chicagotribune.com

Serena Williams held up a Grand Slam winner’s trophy for the 23rd time, celebrating her unrivalled place in history, and received a congratulatory letter and a pair of custom-made shoes from Michael Jordan, the name most synonymous with No. 23.

Venus Williams got to watch from close range again, and shed tears more of joy than regret after being beaten in a major final for the seventh time by her record-breaking younger sister.

Serena won the all-Williams final, the ninth in Grand Slam history and the second in Australia, 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday.  With her record seventh Australian Open title, Serena moved ahead of Steffi Graf for the most major titles in the Open era.

When Serena sat on the court, holding both arms up to celebrate on Saturday, Venus walked over to her sister’s side of the net for a hug.  “This was a tough one,” Serena said. “I really would like to take this moment to congratulate Venus, she’s an amazing person — she’s my inspiration.  There’s no way I would be at 23 without her — there’s no way I would be at one without her. Thank you Venus for inspiring me to be the best player I can be and inspiring me to work hard.”

Asked if it felt awkward to be on the receiving end of so many losses to her sister, the 36-year-old Venus didn’t flinch.  “No, because I guess I’ve been here before,” she said. “I really enjoy seeing the name Williams on the trophy. This is a beautiful thing.”

Venus won the last of her seven majors in 2008 at Wimbledon. She didn’t make the second week of a major for a few years as she came to terms with an energy-sapping illness after being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome in 2011. And she only made it back to the semifinals last year at Wimbledon.

Continue reading “Serena Williams Triumphs over Sister Venus to Win Record 23rd Major Title at Australian Open”

Serena Williams is Sports Illustrated’s 2015 Sportsperson of the Year

Serena William Sports Illustrated Cover

Real life? For Serena Williams, that’s the easy part now. That’s how it works when you zoom—beyond tennis, beyond $74 million in prize money, beyond one of the greatest late-career runs in sports history—into celebrity hyperspace. That’s how it is when each “Come on!” is taken as a war cry by everyone from “Lean in” women to age-defying codgers to body-shamed kids to #BlackLivesMatter protesters to, yes, the voices of racial conciliation. The outside world accommodates. Real life does you favors.

Indeed, in 2015 Williams hit this rare sweet spot, a pinch-me patch where the exotic became the norm. She danced with Donald Trump on New Year’s Eve. She spent a night telling bedtime stories to the children of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Growing up, Williams had devoured every Harry Potter book, marveled at the business empires of Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart. Now J.K. Rowling was tweeting against a critic of Williams’s body, now Oprah was hustling to watch her at the U.S. Open, now Stewart was calling Williams “the most powerful woman I know.” President Barack Obama, the most scrutinized man alive, told her how great it was to watch her.

Even Williams’s most dubious moves paid off. In July, just as her drive for tennis’s first Grand Slam in 27 years hit the bell lap, she appeared in Pixels, a comedic bomb in which she anticipated a Lincoln Bedroom sex sandwich with Stewart and Peter Dinklage. Yet she escaped critical savaging, and, oh, the movie grossed $243 million. Williams’s November decision to chase down a cellphone thief in San Francisco seemed equally foolhardy—until, that is, the guy gave her phone back. Meekly.

Photo: Yu Tsai for Sports Illustrated

No, this year only the game gave Williams trouble. Only the 78-by-36-foot confines of a tennis court, be it blue asphalt or red clay or green grass, produced the kind of pushback that no amount of money or fame can overcome. If the real world felt like one A-list club after another, eagerly waving Williams in, tennis was the world’s most annoying bouncer, forever checking her ID. Tennis made her desperate. Then it made her hurt.

The results, of course, hardly imply that: Williams, 34, won three major titles, went 53–3 and provided at least one new measure of her tyrannical three-year reign at No. 1. For six weeks this summer—and for the first time in the 40-year history of the WTA rankings—Williams amassed twice as many ranking points as the world No. 2; at one point that gap grew larger than the one between No. 2 and No. 1,000. Williams’s 21 career Grand Slam singles titles are just one short of Steffi Graf’s Open-era record. Such numbers are reason enough for Sports Illustrated to name Serena Williams its 2015 Sportsperson of the Year.

Continue reading “Serena Williams is Sports Illustrated’s 2015 Sportsperson of the Year”

Serena Williams Named WTA Player of the Year for the 4th Year In A Row

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Serena Williams had an awesome 2015. While her U.S. Open loss kept her from completing a calendar slam, she won the “Serena Slam,” racking up all four major titles in a row.

At 34, Williams is still the most dominant player in tennis, and the Women’s Tennis Association just confirmed it–again.

The WTA named Williams the Player of the Year for the fourth time in a row.

Here’s why the WTA honored Williams with tennis’ top award.

Her dominance of the tour was so great that she made WTA Rankings history in the summer, too. For six weeks she actually had over twice as many ranking points as the No.2, something that had never happened before – Maria Sharapova was that No.2 for three weeks, Simona Halep the other three.

But the Grand Slams and historic ranking points lead are just the tip of the iceberg on the World No.1’s season. Her overall record was a sensational 53-3 – she won two more big WTA titles at Miami and Cincinnati, the only losses coming in the Madrid semifinals, the Toronto semifinals, and the US Open semifinals.

Williams also pocketed $10,582,642 in 2015, second only to her own $12,385,572 from 2013.

While Williams’ reign is undeniable, she wasn’t the only one in the family to take home an award. Serena’s big sister, Venus Williams, was also named WTA’s Comeback Player of the Year.

 

article via clutchmagonline.com

Serena Williams Wins 21st Grand Slam by Defeating Garbiñe Muguruza for Wimbledon Singles Title

Serena Wins Wimbledon (Photo via latimes.com)
Serena Wins Wimbledon (Photo via latimes.com)

They will start preparing the red carpet in New York City soon for Serena Williams.

She won the Wimbledon tennis title Saturday, her sixth and her 21st Grand Slam title, by beating a young Spaniard, Garbiñe Muguruza, 6-4, 6-4.

That meant that Williams had completed her second “Serena Slam” — four major titles in a row — and also meant she would be gunning for a rare calendar-year Grand Slam at the U.S. Open in New York, starting in late August.

Only one other player in the modern era of tennis has achieved that, Steffi Graf in 1988, when she also won an Olympic gold medal. Mo Connolly in 1953 and Margaret Court in 1970 are the only women who have previously won calendar-year Grand Slams.

Williams, typically, started slowly against the 20-year-old, 20th-ranked Muguruza, falling behind in the first set, 1-3 and 2-4. But she roared back for a 6-4 victory and kept rolling to a 5-2 lead in the second set.

Usually, at this point on the women’s tour against the No. 1 and always dominant Williams, the other player packs it in.

Not Muguruza. To the delight of the packed Centre Court crowd of 15,000, she broke Williams’ serve twice to get back on serve, but then yielded at love in her 4-5 service game.

article by Bill Dwyre via latimes.com

Serena Williams Wins 2015 French Open for 20th Grand Slam Title

Ah, but when Williams plays her best, no one is better. Putting aside a lingering illness, a mid-match lull and a feisty opponent, Williams won her third title at Roland Garros and 20th Grand Slam singles trophy by beating 13th-seeded Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-2 on Saturday.

The No. 1-seeded Williams took the last six games and added to her 2002 and 2013 championships on the French Open’s red clay. Those go alongside six each from the U.S. Open and Australian Open, and five from Wimbledon.

“When I was a little girl, in California, my father and my mother wanted me to play tennis. And now I’m here, with 20 Grand Slam titles,” the 33-year-old American said in French. “This is very special for me. I haven’t always played very well here, but I’m really happy to win the 20th here.”

Only two players in the century-plus history of Grand Slam tennis have won more majors: Margaret Smith Court with 24, and Steffi Graf with 22.

Williams also stretched her Grand Slam winning streak to 21 matches, following titles at the U.S. Open last September and Australian Open in January. She is the first woman since Jennifer Capriati in 2001 to win the Australian Open and French Open back-to-back and heads to Wimbledon’s grass with a chance to extend a bid to accomplish just about the only thing she hasn’t: win a calendar-year Grand Slam.

“Why not?” said her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou. “That’s probably the most difficult thing to do in tennis. But it’s possible.”

Saturday’s victory did not come easily for Williams, who skipped practice Friday because she was sick, preferring to rest in her Paris apartment.  Owner of the most feared serve in women’s tennis, she double-faulted 11 times. She made 25 unforced errors in the second set alone, and 42 in all, 25 more than Safarova, a 28-year-old lefty with a whip-like forehand appearing in her first major final.

Williams got broken serving for the match at 6-5 in the second set, then was down 2-0 in the third.  But she kept aiming shots for lines and getting them to go where she wanted, improving to 32-1 in 2015, including 12-0 in three-setters.

“When she was on, she was just serving amazing and going for the returns, pressuring me right away,” said Safarova, who will play in the women’s doubles final Sunday with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands. “It’s just hard to do anything with that.”

When it was over, Williams dropped her racket, threw her head back and lifted her arms into a “V.” In the stands, Mouratoglou held aloft two fingers on his right hand and made a fist with his left, to symbolize “20.”

And to think: Four times in this tournament, Williams dropped the opening set before coming back to win, including in Thursday’s semifinals, when she was lethargic and bothered by the flu.  So the question leading into the final was: How healthy would Williams be? She began providing answers from the get-go.

Williams closed the first game with a 120 mph (194 kph) ace. She went up 3-1 by breaking with a cross-court forehand return winner. The first set flew by and even Safarova acknowledged afterward, “It was looking like it will be an easy match.”

At 4-1 for Williams in the second, seemingly all but over, she began to falter. A dull contest, and the Court Philippe Chatrier crowd, came to life.  “I just had goose bumps,” Safarova said, “hearing those people cheering.”

Coughing between points, Williams double-faulted twice in a row to get broken for the first time, then double-faulted again to make it 4-all.  When Safarova, growing ever more confident, held moments later, she had taken four consecutive games. She stood strong in the tiebreaker and at the outset of the third set, too, displaying the strokes that beat past champions Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic during what Safarova called an “amazing two weeks for me.”

As soon as Safarova made things interesting enough Saturday to perhaps begin thinking about clutching the silver trophy, Williams quickly regained control, as she so often does.

article by Associated Press via latimes.com

Serena Williams Wins The Miami Open, Continues Her Undefeated 2015

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(Source: ANDREAS SOLARO / Getty)

A knee injury and the end of her boycott at Indian Wells drew headlines when Serena Williams returned to the BNP Paribas Open weeks ago. After knee inflammation forced her to withdraw from Indian Wells, Williams returned and dominated Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-0 in the final of the Miami Open. The victory not only marked Williams’ eighth Key Biscayne title, but it maintains her undefeated streak in 2015.

The eight victories in Key Biscayne makes Serena Williams only the fourth woman to win a WTA event eight times. With a record of 18-0, Williams has claimed her 19th Grand Slam championship and her twelfth consecutive final.

Saturday afternoon’s victory also improves Williams’ record against Carla Suarez Navarro to 5-0, and Serena has a lifetime record of 73-7 at Key Biscayne.

article by Omar Burgess via theurbandaily.com

Russian Tennis Federation President Fined and Suspended for Derogatory Remarks Against Williams Sisters

Venus and Serena Williams

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Russian Tennis Federation President Shamil Tarpischev has been fined $25,000 by the WTA Tour and suspended from tour involvement for a year for questioning Serena and Venus Williams’ gender in comments on Russian television last week.

Tarpischev appeared on the Russian late-night show “Evening Urgant” alongside former WTA player Elena Dementieva last week. When Dementieva was asked what it was like to play against the Williams sisters, Tarpischev jumped in and referred to them as the “Williams brothers,” according to multiple reports.

After a back-and-forth with the show host and Dementieva, who did not laugh at the comment, Tarpischev reportedly continued: “It’s frightening when you look at them. But really you just need to play against the ball.”

The derogatory remarks by the head of the Russian Tennis Federation come out of nowhere and attacks not just two of the sport’s biggest stars, but the very foundation of the women’s game.

The WTA Tour said Friday that the $25,000 fine is the maximum allowed under tour rules and that it is seeking Tarpischev’s removal as chairman of the Kremlin Cup for one year. The tour also said Tarpischev owes the Williams sisters a personal apology.

Continue reading “Russian Tennis Federation President Fined and Suspended for Derogatory Remarks Against Williams Sisters”