Canadian Young Tennis Stars

Canada is celebrating its 40th year of delivering on world-class tennis, and they are enjoying unprecedented success in the international arena.

Forty years ago tennis was a sport for the select few. The Canadian stars were trained in private clubs and the entire tennis scene was immersed in an unhealthy presumed privilege. Today that picture has changed entirely, and most of the outstanding tennis talent delivered by the country is stemming from elsewhere in the world — the children of immigrants. Félix Auger-Alisassime is a teenage sensation whose father is originally from Togo in West Africa. Vasek Pospisil has roots in the Czech Republic. Milos Raonic is a child of Montenegro. Bianca Andreescu started her tennis career in Romania, the homeland of her parents. Fernandez’s parents lived in Laval in Ecuador. What seems to be the common denominator between all these stars is that somewhere in the more recent history, their parents moved from elsewhere to settle in Canada.

Their parents decided to make the sacrifice of working hard to provide a better future for their children. Tennis is no longer only for the Canadian elite. It isn’t only the children of immigrants who achieve success through hard work on the court. Eugenie Bouchard is from Canadian decent, and even though she has been going through a couple of tough times on the court, she is very dedicated and hard at work to achieve great success. They are very successful. For the first time in history, four Canadian male players are represented on the ATP 100 rankings. Canadian teen sensations Leyla Annie Fernandez and Bianca Andreescu are climbing the ladder of success on the women’s rankings. Some of the young Canadian talent to keep an eye out for is Felix Auger-Aliassime and Bianca Andreescu.

Felix Auger-Aliassime

There are many reasons why Felix is considered to be the 2019 breakout player. Not only is he dominating much more seasoned players, but he also moved up to be the youngest player featuring on the top 100. He defeated Tsitsipas during the Indian Wells, Grigor Dimitrov had to bend the knee before him at Queens Club and so did Nick Kyrgios. He also became the youngest star to reach the semi-finals during the Miami Open. The youngster is only 18 years old, and already he has the tennis world at his feet.

Bianca Andreescu

Her most inspiring attribute is coming back from dire situations. This year Andreescu is moving up the ladder at a tremendous speed and recently became the fifth Canadian to enter the courter finals since 1979 in the Rogers Cup. Her motto driving her to success is that if you don’t succeed, you need to find a way to deliver what is required to bring you back to where you belong. The 19-year-old star is currently 27th ranked on ATP rankings and is promising an exciting contribution to the future of Canadian tennis. Indeed it is no longer the face which was presented forty years ago by the Canadian tennis elite.

Women’s World Cup 2023 Expanding

FIFA announced this week that a unanimous decision was made that the 2023 Women’s World Cup will allow 32 teams to participate. This is equal to the number of teams participating in the Men’s Cup since 1998 and putting the two events on a level playing field.

Women’s Football Growing Undeniably

The great success that the Women’s World Cup had this year in France, as the hosting country, made it clear to all that women’s soccer is growing into a much larger sporting event. The event in France recorded record viewing numbers from all over the globe. It is considered to be the Women’s World Cup which was the most-watched in the history of the tournament. To keep up with the momentum which the competition created, FIFA made the change to allow an expanded version of the match. This was according to Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA. He also mentioned that he is very excited about this becoming a reality for women’s soccer and that this is only the first of many more proposal to enhance the game.

Updates on Hosting Requirements

Currently, eight countries have placed bids on hosting the event, of the nine states which were expected to bid by October this year. These include Australia, Argentina, South Africa, South Korea, Bolivia, New Zealand, Japan and Colombia. These countries, as well as other eligible countries, will receive updates on the new bidding requirements to host the more significant event. Those who have already placed their bids are now allowed to withdraw from the game if they so decide and others can still add their request. The process is due to close again in December this year and then during May, next year FIFA will announce the hosting country for the 2023 event.
FIFA made this decision remotely, and it came ahead of a formal meeting, which is due to take place later this year in Shanghai.

Allowing for Better Opportunities in Women’s Soccer

By expanding the event to 32 teams, many more women will now have the possibility of qualifying to play on the international level. Since the tournament is seen as the top of the pyramid of women’s soccer, being hosted only every four years, it is vital to give all women dedicated to the sport, a fair chance of excelling in it. It will also mean that much smaller clubs will now have a goal to work towards and start to prepare their teams to qualify on an international level. The decision made by FIFA is considered a great stride towards strengthening the future of this sport for women. Since 1991 when only 12 teams were participating, the event has grown to the 24 teams which competed in France. The United States National Women’s Team were the champions this year. Ultimately FIFA is aiming at strengthening not only the desire to achieve but also to develop the much-needed infrastructure to accommodate these events.

Shiseido WTA Finals Setting Record in Prize Money

This year the Shiseido WTA Finals taking place in Shenzhen is the highlight in a series of a great play. After the season-long ranking, based on the Porsche Race Rankings, eight of the best is determined to compete against each other for an actual record-breaking amount of money.

A Record in Sport History

After signing with Shiseido, the WTA Finals winner is set to win a historically record-breaking sum of money. This was made possible by the generosity of the name-bearing sponsor. The total prize money for the tournament has been doubled since last year from $7million to $14million, and the undefeated champion in the singles stand to win $4.75 million. This amount is exceeding not only the prize money for all four the major grand slams but also the price money of other international sporting events. These include the Masters Champions, the ICC Cricket World Cup, the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Tour de France.

The History of the WTA Finals

The first finals were held in 1972 in Florida’s Boca Raton. The amount on the champion’s check back then reflected $25 000. Since back then it was held in 12 different cities from various countries. During the years the list of hosts included the United State, Europe, the Middle East as well as Asia. When Singapore passed the honour on to Shenzhen during a 10-year hosting deal, it was considered to be a landmark in history.

Since the first finals, there have been 22 champions lifting the Billie Jean King Trophy in the air. The most successful of these was Martina Navratilova, who had the honour of holding it high eight times during her career, followed by German pride, Steffi Graff and the US Serena Williams both winning five times. Of the most recent 16 champions, eight were undefeated. With the 2018 winner, Elina Svitolina, being the most recent.

Shiseido

Shiseido is the largest cosmetic company in Japan and ranks as the fifth-largest in the world. They are known for their involvement in tennis due to having Naomi Osaka, the tennis sensation from Japan, as their brand ambassador. Shiseido is committed to the empowerment of women. They want to not only create better opportunities for the younger players but also create a great synergy between the company and the WTA Finals. The tournament’s slogan “Sparks Will Fly” is to celebrate the new relationship. Their marketing campaign is going to include some of the most influential women in the world of tennis, with Jennifer Zhang being the face with whom they start with. Zhang was the first Chinese female umpire in the WTA tour.

Shiseido considers the WTA as a leader in the world of professional sports when it comes to enabling equal opportunities for females. This is a perfect alignment with Shiseido’s vision and ideals of empowering women. Both sides are also very pleased with having Shenzhen being the hosting city. Shenzhen is a city which is in the lead of all innovation trends currently in China and maybe even the world.

Shane Lowry, Winning It for Ireland

The pressure of a local crowd rested firmly on this humble Irishman’s shoulders while the weather wasn’t in his favour. He managed to bring great jubilation for the local supporters when winning The Open in Portrush.

The Moment of Glory

The 32year-old Lowry managed to lift the Claret Jug, not only for himself but for entire Ireland as well. He started the final round with a four-shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood playing for England. Through adverse weather conditions of rain and wind, he managed to parlay and enter into a six-shot win. Lowry closed the tournament on 1-over-par 72, and he also posted 15-under 269 total.

He delivered an immaculate performance for the first three days, but it was on the final day when the weather turned against him, and he had to refocus himself into the game a couple of times. Success on the Antrim coast was his, and the crowds couldn’t contain themselves. The strong presence of local support was visible through the number of Irish flags in the groups, and you could hear them chanting his name. When victory belonged to Ireland, the marshals had their hands full to keep the crowds off the greens. Lowry admitted later on to the added pressure he felt playing in front of a local group. An Irish win on Irish soil brought him however more than just the prize money of $1 935 000, but he also becomes the number one player for the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. It is also bringing the hope to Ireland that this win will sway the vote towards Ireland being chosen to host the 2026 Ryder Cup.

His Career

Winning The Open was the first significant cup which Lowry held in his hands. The Offaly man as he is nicknamed as a child of Clara in County Offaly was a scholar at the Athlone Institute of Technology. His amateur career debuted when he won the Irish Amateur Close Champion in 2007. It was, however, his win of the Irish Open, while still an amateur player, which entered him into the Official World Golf Ranking. It was shortly after this victory that he turned professional and debuted this career with the European Open in 2009. Some of his early highlights include finishing third in the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament in 2009 in Japan and then in early 2010 he finished fourth in the Abu Dhabi Gold Championship. This win placed him in the ranks of the top 100 players on the Official World Golf Ranking list.

Lowry stems from a family of sporting legends representing Ireland. His family is initially from Ferbane and are mostly famous for Gaelic football. His father, Brendan Lowry as well as his two uncles, Mick and Sean Lowry achieved All-Ireland medals for their contribution in 1982. All of them played for the club in Offaly. Lowry’s dad was also the All-Star winner of 1981. He was the then best-left corner-forward playing for Ireland.

The Halfway-Line Goal from Harry Kane Sends a Message

As Harry Kane provided a phenomenal hallway line goal during stoppage time towards the end of the 3-2 defeat against Juventus, it was clear that the hangover from the Champions League would only affect him off the field.

The captain for England, who recently enjoyed celebrations for his 26th birthday, removed an agonized figure just seven weeks earlier when he returned from injury to play his first match in nearly two months against Liverpool during the Champions League final.

On that evening, Kane was nothing near his usual self. He was still hampered and off the pace after a seven-week layoff which was caused by an ankle injury. Virgil van Dijk had a pretty easy match against the striker from Tottenham.

The Comeback of Harry Kane

Harry Kane reflected over the past few weeks as he made his return to the preseason in Asia, informing reporters that Madrid will haunt him for a long time. However, the incredible goal over Juventus was a fantastic start to draw the line and start again.
Kane recently stated that the match against Liverpool in the Champions League final was challenging to get over, primarily because the entire team did so well to reach the final. He continued by saying that big games deserve the best performances and he, unfortunately, couldn’t play at his best, which hurt a great deal afterwards. The team was well aware that the Champions League was up for the taking, which is something Tottenham needs to deal with over the summer.

Although it’s a difficult one to get over, the team believes that they did exceptionally well to get that far in the Champions League which has given the team a boost of confidence as they start their new season at Wembley. It’s mainly down to the group to perform as well as they did last season and try their best to reach the finals once again to take the cup this time around hopefully.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Selection in Madrid

The selection of Harry Kane during the Champions League final in Madrid was perhaps the most important call from the head coach’s time in management. Without Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur managed to make it to the final where Lucas Moura, his replacement, managed to score a hat-trick against Ajax in a remarkable semi-final. During Harry’s absence, Fernando Llorente, Son Heung-Min, and Moura rose to the occasion along with Dele Alli finding his attacking force once again that was absent for most of the season.

However, when your primary striker scores consistently, it would have been a massive call for the head coach to overlook Harry Kane during the final in Madrid, even though he was unable to play for seven weeks. However, do you believe it was the right decision to include Harry Kane during the final? This is football at the end of the day, and everyone will have their opinion. Let’s hope the new season is better for Harry Kane.

How The Open Returned to Northern Ireland

Rory Mcllroy managed to get 61 on a course during his teenage years, Darren Clarke calls the famous Royal Portrush both the location and club home, and Graeme McDowell grew up in this town that only has 8,000 people, spending much of his youth learning golf on the layout next to the prestigious Royal Portrush. Three golf champions that all hail from this small country within Northern Ireland, preparing to welcome the world of golf to the 148th of The Open.

The Return of Royal Portrush

There’s no denying that the success of the three significant champions had a massive role in the return of Royal Portrush in The Open. The only staging of the oldest golf championship in the world last occurred 68 years ago at this prestigious golf course.

The victory by McDowell at the U.S Open in 2010, followed by the U.S Open triumph by Mcllroy in 2011, followed by the triumph from Clarke at The Open a month later, gave Northern Ireland a total of 3 champions in a matter of 6 months and assisted in shining a bright light on a country that has been headlined over its political conflicts as oppose to its glorious golf roots.

However, hosting The Open is a gigantic and daunting task, and making a return into the conversation took far more than just three local players. Mcllroy doesn’t waste any time when it comes to the subject of how the Royal Portrush golf course came back to life in The Open, pointing out to a club employee who he has known for years and her spearheaded attempt to get the golf course ready for The Open.

Wilma Erskine

Her name is Wilma Erskine, and she was the key to bring back the Royal Portrush golf course back into The Open. Wilma Erskine has been the club manager and secretary of the Royal Portrush for more than 35 years. However, she refuses to take credit for the return of the course. There’s no denying that she had a massive role when she envisioned something far more significant than a simple weekend of golf which is what she found when she first started working at the club back in 1984.

Once The Troubles arrived within Northern Ireland, absolutely nothing happened as the country was mostly part of an economic downturn which caused a decline in membership. The state also didn’t have any revenue from the United States, which left the golf club at the bottom. The Troubles was a conflict in Northern Ireland encompassing complicated political and religious struggle that lasted 30 years during the late 1990s.

Therefore, it was out of the question to host a golf tournament as prestigious as The Open. No golf tournament with any significance could have been organized by the club back then. Thankfully, that all changed with Wilma Erskine in the mix, allowing the golf course to be part of The Open in 2019 for the first time in a long time.

United States Claim Fourth Title in Women’s Soccer World Cup

The women’s soccer team from the United States have managed to dominate yet another group during the World Cup final to claim their fourth title on Sunday where they defeated the Netherlands in a phenomenal 2-0 victory that took place in Lyon, France to remain the World Cup champions successfully.

The Netherlands vs the United States

Rose Lavelle and Megan Rapinoe both managed to score second-half goals for the incredible United States. It took the team more than an hour to break through the Netherlands defence successfully, but once it broke after several rushes, the United States took complete advantage of the situation and score twice for good measure.
Rapinoe managed to break through the defence during the 61st minute with a penalty kick, while Lavelle managed to seal the win with a driving run that occurred during the 69th minute. After the match, Rapinoe was nominated as the most outstanding player of the tournament who stated that it was surreal how everything tuned out.

This was the second consecutive World Cup title for more than ten players in the United States squad, who managed to claim their first tournament four years ago in Canada. It also led to cement their exalted status as the gold standard when it comes to women’s soccer.

The tears started flowing freely after the incredible victory, ranging from Alex Morgan as the United States striker who managed to lead the tournament with six goals, to Kelley O’Hara who was unfortunately forced from the match after a dreadful head-to-head collision. The Netherlands was the only team that could actually match the United States in the tournament and even they shed a few tears after the match due to their unfortunate loss.

The Future for the United States

The Dutch were the only team in the tournament that managed to keep the United States from scoring a goal during the first half while playing in France. However, much like all the other teams before them, including England, France, Spain, Sweden, Chile, and Thailand, they were unable to hold off the United States forever.

The team provided everything they possibly could during their World Cup journey and Jill Ellis, the head coach for the United States women’s team, couldn’t thank her players enough for this prestigious win. Ellis managed to become the first head coach to claim successive titles in the Women’s World Cup, and her squad hasn’t lost a single game in this tournament since 2011. The future of the team is to reclaim the Olympic Championship that will take place in Tokyo.

There’s already massive plans set in motion once the team returns to the United States who will land in New York. After the group received their medals, the trophy was raised in a cloud of blue and gold confetti. There was also loads of chants from the crowd that promoted equal pay to women in a sport, which we believe is spot on after such an excellent performance.

How Red Bull and Verstappen Dominated in Austrian Grand Prix

If the Grand Prix in France was a showcase of everything wrong in modern Formula One, the Grand Prix in Austria proved what is still right in the world of motorsport. Despite having the same drivers, the same rules, and the same cars, all the necessary ingredients were available, including a surprise winner, wheel-to-wheel racing, and a decent serving of controversy. Why was the Grand Prix in Austria such a thriller and are we in for some more nail-biting races in 2019?

Red Bull Savours Victory

The victory by Max Verstappen was a considerable surprise for Red Bull and the millions of spectators from around the world. This was the first victory in 2019 that didn’t feature a Mercedes, and it managed to come from nowhere after Verstappen dropped from 2nd place on the grid to 8th during the opening lap, leaving him behind his teammate Pierre Gasly. Unexpectedly, Verstappen managed to take pole position at the end and lapped his teammate in the process.

The team boss stated after the Austria Grand Prix that the team was on fire during the second half of the race. The car was phenomenally quick, and the reality of the situation is that no one truly understands how this happened. However, the updates that were received over the last few races indicate that everything is finally coming together as it should. Victory in Austria was claimed the hard way as Verstappen had to pass three or the four primary opponents to claim pole position.

Although Red Bull doesn’t currently have a car to match it, the talent from Max Verstappen has been crystal-clear all year. He now leads both the Ferrari drivers when it comes to championship standings which tells you everything you need to know in terms of speed and consistency from this world-class driver, and while Sebastien Vettel and Charles Leclerc have made several mistakes, Max Verstappen took this opportunity to lead the pack.

The Austrian Grand Prix

The primary reason why the race on Sunday was so thrilling to watch was that all three of the top teams were racing for glory and pole position. Ferrari managed to get the fastest lap during qualifying. However, Vettel began the race out of place which meant Ferrari had their work cut out for them against a Mercedes that was second fastest in qualifying.

The Red Bull car seemed quite competitive in the race. However, no one anticipated that it would be the fastest car on the track during the second half of the Grand Prix. This was mainly down to the driver behind the wheel as well as the assistance from a remarkable tyre strategy that helped Verstappen to take control of the race on fresher tyres. Verstappen went for medium tyres, while Ferrari opted in for softer tyres which cost them dearly. Now that Max Verstappen has a victory, do you think it will create more opportunities going forward?

Formula One Results in French Grand Prix

You’ll have a difficult time finding a better performance in the world of Formula One than Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes on Sunday afternoon. He nearly had a perfect race, coped with several small concerns in the cockpit, and conquered his teammate by more than 18 seconds to win the French Grand Prix. However, perfection is nothing without perspective, and with no other racer close enough to provide a decent challenge for most of the race, it’s nearly impossible to get excited about Hamilton’s fourth victory in 2019.

The French Grand Prix, in many ways, was a showcase of problems in the modern world of Formula 1. One team dominated the entire race from the start, the whole Grand Prix was decided after the very first corner, and the only excitement in the race occurred when Daniel Ricciardo overtook on the final lap only to be blotted out by the racing stewards following the chequered flag. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the storyline behind the Formula One championship in 2019 has very little left in terms of a narrative.

Why is the Formula One Season so Dull?

If Ferrari was competitive in the French Grand Prix, it’s highly likely that the focus would have been entirely different after the race ended. However, if anything, team Mercedes looked even more dominant during the race when compared to the previous races in the 2019 season. The reasons for Ferrari’s struggles are plentiful and varied. However, it essentially boils down to Mercedes being far more adaptive to changes in terms of the aerodynamic regulations as well as the construction of tyres during the winter.

What’s quite hilarious is the fact that these changes were put in place to make the racing experience for spectators better, and the racing on Sunday would have been far more tedious if they weren’t in place. If the regulations in 2018 continued for another year without being checked, the cars’ aerodynamic surfaces might have become far more complex which would have ended up in the vehicles losing performance while attempting to overtake another vehicle. However, if there’s one thing you can take from Mercedes and their dominance in 2019, is that the team is quick to adapt to new changes this year.

Mercedes vs Ferrari

Mercedes worked extremely hard to successfully adapt the aerodynamic concept from 2018 to coincide with the new rules of 2019, while the development direction of Ferrari has managed to lead the team down a dark, blinding alley. Ferrari has an advantage when it comes to engine performance compared to Mercedes, but downforce is their biggest weakness on most of the tracks this year.

Ferrari introduced plenty of upgrades to the car at the French Grand Prix to assist in the new development direction. However, it only created more questions without any real answers during the race. Will it continue to stay a one-sided affair for the rest of the 2019 season or will Ferrari find a winning direction?

Who is the New PGA Tour Champion, Gary Woodland?

Gary Woodland, who hasn’t managed to finish in the top 10 until 2018, successfully held off a potent charge from Brooks Koepka, a two-time defending champion, to claim victory at the 119th U.S Open for his first major win at Pebble Beach on Sunday.

Woodland, who began the final round with only a one-stroke lead, managed to go 2-under par and ended 13 under for 72 holes to claim victory by three strokes against Koepka, who was attempting to become the first golfer in 114 years to claim victory in 3 successive U.S Open titles. If you don’t know much about Gary Woodland, here are a few things that will impress you about him.

He was a viral video star earlier in the season

When Gary Woodland made his arrival at the Waste Management Phoenix Open during January, the officials of the PGA Tour asked him if he would mind playing with Amy Bockerstette, a Special Olympics golfer with Down syndrome, on the famous 16th hole par-3.

Gary Woodland was happy to go ahead and play with Amy. He met her father and Amy Bockerstette once he reached the tee box on the 16th. Amy, who recently accepted a scholarship to play golf in Phoenix at the Paradise Valley Community College, knocked her tee shot straight into a bunker, chipped it out to just over 8 feet, and then sank the ball for par. Gary Woodland stated that it was awesome.

It was also the most-watched video of the PGA Tour with over 5 million views. Gary stated that he had done quite a bit in his life, but this is something that he will never forget.

Father’s Day Comes with Special Meaning for Woodland

During March 2017, Gary announced on Instagram that his wife was expecting twins. In the same month, he unexpectedly withdraws from the prestigious WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play that took place in Austin, Texas due to personal reasons.

After a week, Gary made another announcement that informed his fans that they lost one of their babies. Jaxson, Woodland’s son, was born in June 2017, ten weeks premature and had to stay at the hospital for 40 days. Thankfully, he is healthy and managed to walk with his dad during the par-three contest in April.

Gary Initially Wanted to Play Basketball

Woodland was raised in Kansas and was considered a golf and basketball star at Shawnee Heights High School. However, Division I schools didn’t recruit him even though he averaged 18 points and was named an all-state player. He loved playing basketball but ended up playing golf instead. Woodland initially signed to play basketball and golf at Washburn University Division II.

However, after he opened his freshman season, he quickly realized that golf is the sport for his future. Once he made that realization, he decided to transfer to Kansas, where he would play golf the very next year. Woodland stated that basketball still manages to assist him on the golf course.