| Nikolay Davydenko: До свидания to the ATP Tsar |
It is only natural that the crop of tennis stars we’ve watched for years begin to wind down and consider retirement. While some are forced from the game with long standing injury, others simply lose the will to win. Thursday’s announcement of Nikolay Davydenko’s retirement from the ATP Tour during this week’s Kremlin Cup was surprising only in how long it took for the Russian to make things official; with a seemingly unflappable desire to continue, the 2009 World Tour Finals champion struggled with multiple injuries just as he began to play his best tennis. Davydenko reached a career high of No. 3, and amassed 21 singles titles, including three Masters 1000 titles and the World Tour Finals, where he beat three of that year’s four Grand Slam champions en route. Perhaps most impressively, he presently stands as the only man to have a winning record against Rafael Nadal over eleven career meetings. While Davydenko may have not possessed the glamour of Roger, the raw ferocity of Rafa, or the gymnastic splits of Novak, he was still an integral frontrunner of Russian men’s tennis. Following his retirement, Davydenko hopes to pursue international business, tapping into the Chinese market following his sponsorship ties. There is no doubt that he will be sorely missed on the tour.
| Strong Is Officially Beautiful: The Next Chapter |
In a week where social media went into Singapore overdrive to promote the WTA Finals, the masterful Stacey Allaster decided to allow us a sneak peak of the brand new WTA marketing ad, one that would stand in continuation from 2012’s ‘Strong Is Beautiful’ campaign. (I’ll have you know Stacey, strong had been beautiful for way too long). While I’m clinging to a single tweet sent by Serbian sensation Ana Ivanovic overseeing her promo test shot – and giggling at her quote – it’ll be interesting to see how the WTA will market the tour for the next generation. Given that our forever rising star Genie Bouchard seems to be sneaking her way into the elite Top 5, my opinion stands that Ms. Allaster ought to take inspiration from the present and the past. Serena Williams is reaching even higher legendary status after clinching her 18th grand slam. Ivanovic is once again relevant for the first time since 2008, while Maria Sharapova has catapulted herself back to world No. 2 after an erratic year that threatened her Top 10 ranking.
The next chapter? We’ll have to wait for Stacey to turn the page.
| Ivanovic Shakes It Off |
Speaking of Ivanovic, multi-platform sports entertainment group Outside The Ball decided to dedicate their very own parody of Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ to the Serbian star in a hilarious montage of on-court clips and ingenious lyrical mash-ups. Ivanovic shared the link to her personal twitter timeline, allowing her fans to revel in the glory of Outside The Ball’s pseudo Ana costumes and dance moves. And just for reference, here’s some of my favorite lines:
And she keeps moving
while she’s playing
like she’s got this music in her mind
saying I’m gonna win alright
And who can forget?
When the crowd is going yay (yay, yay, yay, yay)
and Ana’s gonna say (say, say, say, say)
so when you gonna shake (shake, shake, shake, shake)
shake it off, shake it off.
| Sharapova Launches Official Instagram Account |
Fans of the WTA will be excited to learn that Maria Sharapova has launched her official Instagram account. There was speculation earlier in the year when her handle appeared on the photo sharing platform. While the account lay stagnant for months, it is only now that the Russian has launched into an Instagram-posting frenzy over the past few weeks, documenting her travels from Thailand to China, and now in Singapore. Her artsy snaps and penchant for every Instagram filter under the sun calls for a must-watch profile to follow. Below are some of her most dreamy snapshots for your pleasure:
| Elite 8 Descend on Singapore |
So, is anyone excited for the WTA Finals in Singapore to start? It’s lucky that the twittersphere is on call to provide us with every insight for each of the eight (or should I say ten?) ladies set to showcase – hopefully – some of the best tennis of the year. Word on the street is tickets for the final are already sold out. But before we even consider the crescendo lets take a look at the latest arrivals to hit Southeast Asia.