Umpires Leave With More Cash in Their Tennis Bag Than the Tennis Players

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Money for NothingSome major athletes have made millions by showcasing their talent in public arenas, leaving matches stuffing loads of cash into their tennis bags. Roger Federer, for instance, is the top paid tennis competitor with about 41.8 million in prize winnings.  Maria Sharapova, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick and the Williams sisters have also made a pretty penny  by playing in some of the world’s most prestigious tennis tournaments.  Although the lucky few earn a living that would be hard to spend in a lifetime, the payoff for some athletes is surprisingly small. At Futures tennis events, for example, the players may leave with less than the chair umpires.

The USTA Pro Circuit can easily be compared to the minor leagues of tennis. The circuit is composed of 88 events; “Futures” events with the prize money totaling around $10,000 to $15,000 and “Challenger” events with the total prize money running in the $50,000 to $100,000 range.

Recently, in Vero Beach, Fla. there was a $10,000 futures event where Australian player, John-Patrick Smith won the title over Brazilian, Pedro Zerbini. The crowd consisted of more than 300 tennis fans that each paid either $10 or $20 for their seat.

Smith`s prize money for his title win totaled $1,300 as well his prize money for willing the doubles title which totaled $630 which he split with his partner, American, Benjamin Rogers. Runner- up Zerbini took home $900. Zerbini was participating in Vero Beach for nine days playing eight matches; the breakdown being $100 per day.

Another player, Kriegler Brink earned $200 when he made it to the second round of the singles matches where he lost to Zerbini.

Up and coming American player, Tennys (pronounced “tennis”) Sandgren also made it to the semifinals in this Futures event and raked in a whopping $480.

The players who took place in this event were able to stay at hotels in the area and in some cases can stay for free with local families willing to help out an aspiring athlete. The hotels typically run about $125 per night. In Zerbini`s case, if he did stay in a hotel for the nine days he participated in the tournament , it would have cost him $1125, before tax, which put him at $225 in the hole!

The hotel is only one expense that the players must accept when playing at this event; although the tournament offers lunches, every other meal and expense must come out of the players pocket, so in reality, it costs some, if not all of the players money to compete in this specific event.

Surprising as it may be, however, the umpires and officials working this event may actually leave with more money in their tennis bag than the players. Vero Beach Futures tournament director, Mike Rahaley, was given $4,500 to pay the umpires and officials  (at a tournament at this level there is typically three to five umpires and officials). Not only that but the tournament pays for the official’s room and board fees which ran about $3,000.

Similar to an aspiring actor, a young tennis player trying to make it to the Grand Slams is going to have to sacrifice in more ways than one including accepting these small paychecks.  Despite the small paychecks that don`t even cover their expenses, the motivation is obvious. Leaving with less cash in their tennis bag than they came with is hopefully just a stepping stone to the “major leagues.”

Courtney Sloan is a copywriter and a college student majoring in mass media. As a copywriter with a love of tennis, Courtney has made it her assignment to research tennis news, highlights, products and more and share her findings with the tennis community. 

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  • Author:
  • Published: May 14th, 2012
  • Category: Tennis
  • Comments: Comments Off on The History of the Grand Slam

The History of the Grand Slam

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Originally applied to golfing tournaments in the 1930s, the term “Grand Slam” was first used for tennis by John Kieran, a newspaper columnist. Today, The Grand Slam refers to the four major tournaments in the sport of tennis. The tournaments are ranked according to world tour ranking, public attention, prize-money, number of players and player field size. The four major grand slam tennis tournaments include Wimbledon, The French Open, the US Open and the Australian Open.

Image courtesy of Shreyans Bhansali, Flickr

The term grand slam is used to indicate that a player has won all the four major tennis tournaments in a single calendar year. For many years, the term grand slam has also been used to refer to the major tournaments themselves.
A Timeline of Grand Slam Tennis Tournament Wins
1938: John Donald Budge (Don Budge), the American tennis champion, won all of the four men’s singles titles
1962 & 1969: Rodney George Laver (Rod Laver), the Australian tennis champion, has won the grand slam twice in his seven years as the world’s top ranking tennis star
1969 – 1971: Margaret Smith Court, the Australian World No.1, won the grand slam three times; once for the Ladies’ singles and twice in the Mixed Doubles category – 1969 US Open to 1971 Australian Open
1983: Stefan Edberg won the grand slam in the junior discipline being the only tennis player to do so
Wimbledon Tennis Tournament
Wimbledon is held every year in June/ July and is one of the oldest, most highly respected of all tennis events ever held. Wimbledon, as it is commonly referred to, has a rich history of some of the world finest players demonstrating their skills on this prestigious tournament’s grass courts. Wimbledon is preceded by the Australian Open and the French Open tennis tournaments, coming third in the line-up of the grand slam events.
Wimbledon hosts five main events each year including: Gentlemen’s Singles; Ladies’ Singles; Ladies Doubles; Gentlemen’s Doubles; Mixed Doubles, and a number of other tournaments as well. Image courtesy of Kol Tregaskes, Flickr
Winners’ Records:
• Gentlemen’s Singles – William Renshaw and Pete Sampras have both won 7 titles each
• Ladies’ Singles – Martina Navratilova holds the record for 9 wins during her career
• Gentlemen’s Doubles – Todd Woodbridge with 9 titles
• Ladies’ Doubles – Elizabeth Ryan with 12 titles
• Mixed Doubles – Elizabeth Ryan with 12 titles
• Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova have both won 20 titles each and continue to hold the record for most number of wins at Wimbledon
The French Open 
The prestigious French tennis tournament is named after the famous aviator, Roland Garros. The event spans two weeks from late May to Early June and is played at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France. The second of the four grand slam events, French Open is the only grand slam event to be played on clay courts.
Considered one of the toughest tennis tournaments in terms of physical capabilities, the men’s five-set singles matches do not have the tiebreak option in the final set.
Begun in 1891, the first championship matches were one day events and did not have the world’s best players participating. When the tournament became fully international approximately 24 years later, a number of tennis stars began appearing on the courts of Roland Garros.
Rafael Nadal won his sixth title beating Roger Federer to become the current Men’s Singles winner for 2011. Li Na of China won her first grand slam title to take the Women’s singles French Open title. Image courtesy of y.caradec, Flickr The U.S. Open
The United States Open Tennis Tournament is the fourth event in the grand slam series of four. The tournament is held from August to September each year and hosts five championship titles: Men’s and Women’s singles; Men’s and Women’s Doubles; Mixed Doubles. The tournament also hosts additional matches for junior player participation.
Title wins include:
• Men’s Singles
Bill Larned, Richard Sears and Bill Tilden of the USA – 7 wins (before 1968)
Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras of the USA – 5 wins (after 1968)
• Women’s Singles
Molla Bjurstedt Mallory of the USA – 8 wins (before 1968)
Chris Evert of the USA – 7 wins (after 1968)
Image courtesy of Pabo76, Flickr
The Australian Open
The first of the four grand slam tournaments, the Australian Open is held over the last two weeks of January in Melbourne, Australia. Featuring Men’s and Women’s Singles; Mixed Doubles; Junior matches; Wheelchair matches; Legends and Exhibition events; the tournaments have been held at Melbourne Park since the late 1980s.
The Australian Open is a high attendance grand slam event and the first to introduce indoor play to cope with extreme weather conditions. The two primary courts are the Hisense Arena and Rod Laver Arena. The Australian Open is also the richest tennis tournament worldwide.
The current champions for 2012 include: Novak Djokovic – Men’s singles; Victoria Azarenka – Women’s singles; Leander Paes/ Radek Stepanek – Men’s Doubles; Svetlana Kuznetsova/ Vera Zvonareva – Women’s Doubles. Image courtesy of Two Big Paws, Flickr

This article was produced on behalf of Keith Prowse, the UK’s leading provider of corporate hospitality. With an affinity to sport, Keith Prowse offers official hospitality at some of the finest sporting events – visit their website for Wimbledon hospitality 2012.

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  • Published: Apr 27th, 2012
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The View from the Umpire Chair: Not Always the Best Seat in the House

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Typically, when we watch tennis matches we focus on the players; watching it on our television or, if we are lucky enough, from a seat in the stands. But do you ever wonder what a tennis match would look like sitting in the umpire chair?

Sitting in the umpire chair during a match not only gives you the best view but you are the final say on all calls; a rather powerful position.

Although sitting in the umpire chair gives a sense of authority, the view from the top isn’t always as great as you would think.

In September of 2011, many top tennis officials decided not to participate in the US Open and opted to give up their prime seat on the umpire chair.

The 2011 US Open raked in a record high $23.7 million in prize money with the tournaments total earnings exceeding $200 million. Despite the tournament`s high revenue,  the gold badge chair umpires, some who officiate at the legendary Wimbledon tournament, only make $250 per day sitting in the umpire chairs at the US Open; the lowest pay for any Grand Slam tournament.

A retired gold badge chair umpire, Norm Chryst, stated that, “The U.S. Open makes more and more each year, but very little of that goes to the officials. Gold badge umpires don’t want to come here. Why? A lot of the answer is money.”

Not only do chair umpires have to sometimes deal with unfair pay rates but along with the prime view of the players from the umpire chair, sometimes come harsh words from pros when officials have to make  difficult calls that the athletes don`t agree with.

In September 2011, again at the US Open, Serena Williams was extremely upset with umpire, Eva Asderaki, after she made a call ruling that Williams grunted with the intent of distracting her opponent, Samantha Stosur.

Eva Asderaki kept her cool while getting berated by Williams who also confused Asderaki with a US Open official from two years prior saying, “Aren’t you the one that screwed me over last time? Yeah, you are. Seriously, you have it out for me.” Asderaki, looking down at Serena from her umpire chair, shook her head “no,” but Williams continued her insulting rant.

More recently, in January of 2012, David Nalbandian criticized the chair official, Kader Nouni, for over-ruling a point. Later, Nalbandian told reporters he felt that Nouni wasn`t fit to sit in the umpire chair.

In another recent incident involving umpire, Kader Nouni and pro, Caroline Wozniacki, Wozniacki was upset that Nouni overruled a call on a match point. Wozniacki felt that he should have stayed out of it because of the fact that she had no more challenges while opponent, Maria Sharapova did.  The replay showed that Nouni`s call was right however, an angry Wozniacki, who ultimately lost the match, refused to shake Nouni`s hand at the end of the match when he came down from his umpire chair.

Those are just a few instances where sitting front-row-center in the umpire chair is not so rewarding. What players fail to realize when arguing with the chair umpire is that no matter what, the official`s position gives them the final say.

SI.com journalist, Courtney Nguyen, said in an article that “Umpires are damned if they do, damned if they don’t, damned the minute they start climbing that little chair of theirs.” As you can see the view from the umpire chair can be quiet controversial at times.

Courtney Sloan is a college student studying the field of mass media and a copywriter. As a writer and a tennis enthusiast, Courtney has made it her top priority to research and write about topics including tennis news, tennis products, fashion and more and report her findings to the tennis community. 

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  • Author:
  • Published: Apr 24th, 2012
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The Grand National

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2011 Grand National

2011 Grand National (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s one of those races which pulls in visitors from all over the planet – The Grand National is an iconic horse race which punishes both horse and rider, with a long history of injury for both.

Origins of the Grand National

The Grand National, or simply ‘National’ is known throughout the world as one of the toughest horse races on earth, with terrifyingly tall jumps, ditches and water troughs which pose serious threats to both horse and rider. The original course was laid out by a local hotel owner, William Lynn and a local Lord, the 2nd Earl of Sefton.

There is actually quite a bit of debate over when the first race took place, with some saying that this happened in 1836, whilst the majority saying that races before 1838 happened on a different course. It is clear that in 1838-89 the small, local race turned into a national extravaganza when the railway arrived in Liverpool, enabling a large influx of visitors to the race and an explosion of publicity.

Further Changes

The Grand National captured the imagination of the public in the UK and worldwide, however the race wasn’t originally a handicap race. This was done after the original owner Lynn became ill and this laid the groundwork to drastically increase both the interest in the race and it’s noteriery as a real challenge. Ever since the change to a handicap format, The National has been one of the most popular betting races in the calendar, attracting bets worldwide.

Many Memorable Winners

There have been many memorable races at the now famous Liverpool race course Aintree – probably one of the most recognisable names on this list would be Red Rum. Red Rum was originally bought for 6000 guineas, however after successive wins at the National and many other races became priceless and a national treasure, eventually being given the honour of being buried on the finishing line at the Liverpool course.

Love Hate Relationship

There have been many changes to the course over the years, with recent calls for the fences again to be lowered following the last race in 2012. In the race, two horses died after falls and riders were injured. Despite this, the 2012 Grand National race was deemed the closest finish in history, with a photo finish which took quite a while to decide.

The public at large have a real love hate relationship with The Grand National, with some animal protection societies calling for the race to be banned altogether and others asking that again the course be altered to reduce the chance of injuries to horses. It’s in a way sad that the extreme nature of the course is slowly being eroded, with the highest jumps being made slimmer and lower, but in the end the special nature of this race is made from the whole atmosphere of the event.

Citations:
  • Image courtesy of RacingKel

The Equine Warehouse offer a great range of equine respiratory supplements- perfect for your horse to prepare for that big race!

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  • Published: Mar 27th, 2012
  • Category: Cycling, Hockey, Other
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Super Summer Sports Perfect For A Sunny Day

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Français : Ludovic Dubau au Roc d'Azur 2008

Français : Ludovic Dubau au Roc d'Azur 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Super Summer Sports Perfect For A Sunny Day

Enjoy the summer sun with some great sports to get the heart rate pumping. Do them in combination with your diet to help the pounds slide away. Here is a list of summer sports to start you off.

With spring and summer comes the chance to brush off those winter cobwebs and get out of doors. The warmer summer months are perfect for enjoying a range of sports, from something simple to the more adventurous, here’s a list of some great activities for enjoying the summer.

1: Tennis. This traditional spring game can be played anytime during the warmer months, outdoor or indoor. Whether you’re a complete novice or a bit of a pro, there’s nothing better than a quick knock around to start off the season and it’ll help you earn those strawberries and cream.

2: Mountain Biking. Get out and about in the fresh air with this exhilarating sport. Suitable for any age or ability you’ll be sure to find the perfect track for you. Whether it’s a gentle peddle through the forests to an adrenaline fuelled whiz through the hills, mountain biking is a great way to get out and about, on your own or with a group.

3: Canoeing. There’s nothing better for cooling down in the summer sun than getting out on the water. Canoeing is fast becoming one of Britain’s most popular watersports and with man-made lakes and water courses popping up all over the country due to the Olympics, there’s sure to be one on your door step.

4: Cricket. If you want to tone it down a bit, why not wile away the days with the most British of games. Nearly every village, town or city has its own cricket ground, so it’s easy to find a club or group to suit any age or ability.

5: Orienteering. If you’re one for getting out into the countryside then orienteering is definitely the sport for you. With few overhead costs and expensive equipment required, all you need is the mindset to get up and go.

6: Rock-climbing. This is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to get out doors and keep fit. With climbing walls being put up all over the country, indoor or outdoor, you really can’t go wrong. With the proper training and guidance this great summer sport will have you climbing up the walls for another go.

7: Track and Field. This is a great way to get out and meet new people all while getting fit and trying new sports. With a range of different activities, from running and jumping to javelin throwing, you’ll be sure to find something new and different to get you in the mood for the Olympics.

8: Free Running. And now for something a bit different- If you’re a city dweller looking for an adrenaline filled sport that won’t take you too far from your urban home, then give this exciting new sport a go. Once the past time of a few adventurous souls, Free Running is become the sport of choice for many, with clubs and societies popping up in cities all over the country.

Super Summer Sports Perfect For A Sunny Day

Enjoy the summer sun with some great sports to get the heart rate pumping. Do them in combination with your diet to help the pounds slide away. Here is a list of summer sports to start you off.

With spring and summer comes the chance to brush off those winter cobwebs and get out of doors. The warmer summer months are perfect for enjoying a range of sports, from something simple to the more adventurous, here’s a list of some great activities for enjoying the summer.

1: Tennis. This traditional spring game can be played anytime during the warmer months, outdoor or indoor. Whether you’re a complete novice or a bit of a pro, there’s nothing better than a quick knock around to start off the season and it’ll help you earn those strawberries and cream.

2: Mountain Biking. Get out and about in the fresh air with this exhilarating sport. Suitable for any age or ability you’ll be sure to find the perfect track for you. Whether it’s a gentle peddle through the forests to an adrenaline fuelled whiz through the hills, mountain biking is a great way to get out and about, on your own or with a group.

3: Canoeing. There’s nothing better for cooling down in the summer sun than getting out on the water. Canoeing is fast becoming one of Britain’s most popular watersports and with man-made lakes and water courses popping up all over the country due to the Olympics, there’s sure to be one on your door step.

4: Cricket. If you want to tone it down a bit, why not wile away the days with the most British of games. Nearly every village, town or city has its own cricket ground, so it’s easy to find a club or group to suit any age or ability.

5: Orienteering. If you’re one for getting out into the countryside then orienteering is definitely the sport for you. With few costs and equipment required, all you need is the get up and go.

6: Rock-climbing. This is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to get out doors and keep fit. With climbing walls being put up all over the country, indoor or outdoor, you really can’t go wrong. With the proper training and guidance this great summer sport will have you climbing up the walls for another go.

7: Track and Field. This is a great way to get out and meet new people all while getting fit and trying new sports. With a range of different activities, from running and jumping to javelin throwing, you’ll be sure to find something new and different to get you in the mood for the Olympics.

8: Free Running. And now for something a bit different- If you’re a city dweller looking for an adrenaline filled sport that won’t take you too far from your urban home, then give this exciting new sport a go. Once the past time of a few adventurous souls, Free Running is become the sport of choice for many, with clubs and societies popping up in cities all over the country.

Exercise needn’t be a chore, there are plenty of great sports for summer and with your diet plans you’ll be in great shape in no time.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Mar 2nd, 2012
  • Category: Other
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Who To Watch For The London 2012 Summer Paralympics

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While people may well recognise household sporting names such as Usain Bolt or Chris Hoy from the Olympics, sometimes I get the feeling that equally talented athletes in the Paralympics are overlooked by the general public.

With that in mind, here are some of the most promising athletes in the run-up to the 2012 Paralympics.

Image by Ben Sutherland, some rights reserved.

 

Chinese Superiority

China dominated the 2008 Summer Paralympics with 211 medals, with stunning performances from many athletes.

Especially interesting were Guo Wei, who won gold in his category in Discus, Javelin and Shot put, and intends to compete again in 2012, and the Chinese  4×100 metre teams, were strong in various categories.

Keep an eye on their relay teams, throwing athletes, and on the blind judo.

Great Britain

Needless to say, as host country Great Britain will be looking to do well. As the second placed team in the 2008 Paralympics, they might even be looking to challenge China for the top spot.

If so, they face a stiff challenge, but if they can keep competitors like Darren Kenny, David Roberts and Lee Pearson doing so exceptionally well (with three to four golds each), they might stand a chance.

Great Britain should do well in the swimming, cycling and equestrian events.

United States

The US of A fielded a team for the 2008 Paralympics that included 16 veterans.

Army training appeared to pay off, as with help from swimmers like Erin Popovich and Jessica Long, they stormed to third place in the medal tables.

Popovich has since retired, but watch out for Jessica Long, she could do even better this time around.

South Africa

South Africa have some of the most famous Paralympics competitors there have ever been.

Oscar Pistorius, also known as the “Blade Runner”, is a forceful and charismatic character whose understated confidence is backed up by track results. He’s faced challenges over the years from people unable to believe that his speed is entirely natural, and is an excellent ambassador for disabled sports.

Another great athlete of theirs, Natalie du Toit, was accepted onto Time’s list of 100 Olympic Athletes to Watch at number 100 back in 2008. Not content with winning five paralympic golds, she also became the first amputee to qualify for the Olympic Games, finishing 16th in the 10K swim.

Who I’ll Be Watching

While all the events at the Paralympics promise to be incredibly competitive and exciting to watch, I’ll go out of my way to see the so-called “fastest man on no legs”, Oscar Pistorius. As a runner, he is truly world class, and I can only hope the controversies over his entry to the Olympics don’t obscure his performance in the Paralympics.

As well as the rest of the incredible athletes on this list, I’ll keep an eye on the Ukraine and Australia for emerging talents and personalities. They’ve given us some great competitors in the past, ranking fourth and fifth respectively in the medal tables for 2008, and I’ve no doubt that London 2012 will continue the trend.

I’ll see you there!

 

 

Luna MacGroode writes for Mobility Aids Direct, an online retailer who stock a wide range of daily living aids including electric mobility scooters.

 

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