Maria Sugarpova?

Maria Sharapova no longer? According to several reports, Maria Sharapova has approached the Supreme Court of Florida to legally change her last name from Sharapova to Sugarpova. Sharapova recently launched a premium candy line, named Sugarpova, that reflects Sharapova’s fun side off the court.

Sharapova hopes to have her name changed by the U.S. Open which begins play Monday, August 26th. By law in the state of Florida, “before the court hearing on a petition for a name change, the petitioner must have fingerprints submitted for a state and national criminal history records check.” This may seem like a tough task considering that Sharapova is currently in New York City training for the U.S. Open. Reports have also been circulating that Sharapova would like to embroider her Sugarpova lips logo onto her clothes for the last Grand Slam tournament of the year. All of this seems like a reach due to the fact that the tournament starts on Monday.

Sharapova may be having fun off the court with her new candy line, but her on court production is a different story. Since making the finals at the French Open, which she proceeded to lose to Serena Williams 4-6, 4-6, Sharapova has only played in three matches. Of the three matches Sharapova has competed in,  she holds a 1-2 record, most notably losing in the 2nd Round of Wimbledon to 118th ranked Michelle Larcher De Brito. After Sharapova’s loss to Sloane Stephens in the 2nd Round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati,  she fired Jimmy Connors as her coach. Connors & Sharapova had only worked together for one match and a total of 34 days. The decision seeemed like a surprise to many, but Connors was in good spirits tweeting:

Visit our website to check out the Sugarpova Candy line!

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 (RL Midwest Sports)

 

That’s A Wrap

(Cincinnati, Ohio August 19th, 2013) – The 2013 Western & Southern Open concluded Sunday with Rafael Nadal and Victoria Azarenka each hoisting a Rookwood Cup for the first time in their careers. At the end of their respected tournaments, Nadal and Azarenka got to express their gratitude towards all the fans who attended the finals and any of their previous matches.

On behalf of all of us at Midwest Sports, we would like to show our deep appreciation for everyone who stopped by our 12,000 square foot retail tent throughout the great week at the Western & Southern Open. Without patrons, sponsors, and the tournament itself the Midwest Sports retail tent would not be possible. The Midwest Sports staff truly enjoys the face to face interaction that takes place in our retail tent which features all of the apparel and equipment that the pros use at the Western & Southern Open.

Each year we try to go a step further to ensure the Midwest Sports retail tent is a unique experience for all of the tournament goers who choose to pay us a visit. We hope this year we were able to achieve that unique experience for our patrons.  We’re already looking for ways to make the 2014 Midwest Sports tent even better!

Our year round retail store is located in Sharonville, Ohio and we encourage you to stop by anytime.  Also check out our website (www.midwestsports.com) for all your tennis needs.

Again, thanks to all the patrons, sponsors, and the tournament itself for making the 2013 Midwest Sports retail tent possible.

 

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Rafael Nadal Claims Rookwood Cup

(Cincinnati, Ohio August 18th, 2013) - The King of Clay looks like the King of every surface as Rafael Nadal claims his first career Rookwood Cup. Nadal defeated American, John Isner, 7-6(2), 7-6(4), in the finals of the 2013 Western & Southern Open. This was Nadal’s first career championship here at the Western & Southern Open. This was Nadal’s 26th career masters 1000 series tournament title & his 9th title of the year.

Isner’s incredible run ended today when he matched up with a more polished opponent in Rafael Nadal. Isner’s serve was never broken by Nadal, but Nadal was too tough during the tiebreaks. Isner gains not only confidence after reaching his second career masters 1000 final, but will pick up 600 points in the ATP rankings. Last week dated the 1st time in 40 years that there was no American men in the ATP top 20. Isner was trying to become the first unseeded player to win in Cincinnati during the Open Era since 1968.

Nadal will rise to #2 in the world rankings to go along with the #2 seed at the US Open.

 

Check out both Nadal & Isner’s pro player gear here:

Rafael Nadal: http://www.midwestsports.com/rafael-nadal/c/500068/
John Isner: http://www.midwestsports.com/john-isner/c/500921/

Western & Southern Open Men’s Finals

(Cincinnati, Ohio August 17th, 2013) - The Western & Southern Open Men’s finals is set. The 28 year old American, John Isner, will match up with the 26 year old Spaniard, Rafael Nadal. This will be John Isner’s second masters 1000 series finals appearance, the first coming in 2012 at Indian Wells where he lost in straight sets to Roger Federer. Isner is trying to become the only active American born player to have won a Masters 1000 series event.

Isner’s counterpart, Rafael Nadal, has been the best player on the planet in 2013. Nadal 52-3 in 2013 has won 94% of his matches & has now reached 11 finals in 12 events this year. A win tomorrow would be Nadal’s first in Cincinnati & 9th of the year. If Nadal defeats Isner tomorrow he will overtake Andy Murray and be the new world number 2, and US Open 2nd seed.

Wanting to look & play like John Isner & Rafael Nadal? Check out both there pro player pages here:

Rafael Nadal: http://www.midwestsports.com/rafael-nadal/c/500068/
John Isner: http://www.midwestsports.com/john-isner/c/500921/

Western & Southern Open ATP Saturday Preview

(Cincinnati, Ohio August 17th, 2013)- The day kicks off at 1:00PM on Center Court where World no.7, Juan Martin Del Potro takes on world no.22, John Isner. Isner is coming off arguably the best win of his career after he defeated world no.1 Novak Djokovic 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-5, yesterday in the quarterfinals. Isner quoted yesterday, “On any given day I think I can beat anyone.” Isner will need that kind of attitude today to defeat Del Potro. Del Potro holds a 4-0 record vs. Isner, most recently two weeks ago in the finals of the Citi Open in Washington, DC., where Del Potro defeated Isner 3-6, 6-1,6-2. Isner will have to rely on his powerful serve that got him past Djokovic for him to have any chance versus Del Potro.

PREDICTION: Del Potro is too polished of a player for any slip up here. Del Po cruises to a 6-4, 6-4 match as the American’s run ends in the semi’s in Cincy.

Fresh off his 21st career victory versus the 17 time grand slam champion, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal takes on Tomas Berdych in the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open. Nadal finished off his long time rival, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 in last nights prime-time match up with Roger Federer. Nadal is searching for his first career title at the Western & Southern Open. On the other side, Tomas Berdych polished off the 2013 Wimbledon Champion, Andy Murray, in straight sets 6-4, 6-3. Berdych improved his career record to 6-4 versus the Brit, capitalizing on both Murray’s unforced errors & Berdych’s hard hitting abilities.

PREDICTION: Rafa Nadal holds a 15-3 record vs. Berdych winning the last 14 matches. Berdych’s last defeat of Nadal was in Madrid in 2006. As well as Berdych has played Rafa is too tough. NADAL will advance to the finals beating Berdych 7-5, 6-4.

Top Seeds Upset at Western & Southern Open

(Cincinnati, Ohio August 16th, 2013)- Both the No.1 & No.2 seeds fall within a matter of minutes here at the Western & Southern Open. The four time finalist of the Western & Southern Open & world no.1 Novak Djokovic was upset by American (World no. 22) John Isner, 7-6, 3-6, 7-5 on Center Court. Djokovic quoted after the match, “I just played a bad match overall. Terrible match. From beginning to end, expect the start of the second set… I was a totally different player.”  The loss for Djokovic ends his bid to win all nine ATP Masters 1000s. Novak gets a head start on his training for the U.S. Open, where he will likely have to win the tournament for any chance to maintain his world #1 ranking by years end. The 6’10″ John Isner moves onto his first semifinals appearance here at the Western & Southern Open. After the match in regards to Djokovic, Isner quoted, ”he’s a better tennis player than me. His record proves that. But on any given day I think I can beat anyone.”

On the Grandstand Court, No.2 seed, and world No.2 Andy Murray, fell in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4 to Tomas Berdych. Berdych played an excellent match versus Murray. Berdych now leads the head-to-head match up 6-4 over Murray. Since winning Wimbledon in early July, Murray has lost in the 3rd round to Ernests Gulbis 4-6, 3-6 in Montreal & 3-6, 4-6 in the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open.

With both Novak Djokovic & Andy Murray losing today, Rafael Nadal No.4 & Roger Federer No.5 are the two highest ranked players left in the Western & Southern Open.

Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer XXXI

Cincinnati, Ohio (August 15th, 2013)- The match up is SET. World no. 3 Rafael Nadal will take on World no.5 Roger Federer on Center Court at 7:00PM in the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open. This will be the 31st meeting between the two long time rivals, Nadal leads the all-time series 20-10. The two have played twice in 2013, Nadal taking both of those matches in straight sets. Nadal has yet to lose on hard-courts this year on what generally is considered his worst surface (13-0).

This rivalry started off down in Florida at the Miami Masters in 2004, where 17 year old Rafael Nadal defeated the 22 year old Roger Federer in straight sets. (Federer was nursing a foot injury throughout the tournament) Since then the two have matched up 29 other times, 8 of those matches were in grand slam finals in which Nadal leads 6-2. These two spent 211 consecutive weeks as world no.1 & no.2 from July of 2005 to August of 2009, that is the record for the longest reign between two players holding the no.1 & 2 spots in tennis history. (Andy Murray took the world no.2 from Nadal in August of 2009).

This match up will come in an outdoor venue on a hard court, Nadal leads the overall series 6-2 on hard-courts in an outdoor venue, but is 0-4 lifetime against Federer on an indoor hard-court venue. Both players are a combined 80-13 this year, 50 of those wins belonging to Nadal with 10 of those loses belonging to Federer.

 

PREDICTION: Nadal has been the best player in tennis in 2013 posting a 50-3 match record. Federer has not been up to Federer standards partly because he is an aging player and he has been play testing a new 98 sq. in. frame. Federer went back to the old stick (Pro Staff Six One 90) for this tournament and will play with it through the U.S. Open (he has points to defend at both tournaments). This match will go three sets. 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3 NADAL

 

Western & Southern Open Recap of Thursday Day Session

Cincinnati, Ohio (8.15.2013) - Whoa, what a day of tennis. The Thursday day session kicked off at center court where the Worlds 2nd ranked player Victoria Azarenka, battled with 33rd ranked Slovakian, Magdalena Rybarikova. In little less than an hour and half Azarenka disposed of Rybarikova 6-3, 6-4.

On the Men’s side of things, Feliciano Lopez put up a great fight versus the Argentine, Juan Martin Del Potro, but ultimately came up short losing 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. Del Potro was just too tough down the stretch converting on a break chance opportunity.

After knocking of Maria Sharapova, Sloane Stephens run ends in Cincinnati, as former World #1 Jelena Jankovic, who has dealt with confidence issues as of late, 3-6, 7-5, 7-5. Sloane definitely had to gain some confidence after shocking Sharapova in arguably the match of the tournament, but leaves Cincy with a bitter taste in her mouth. Stephens travels to Winston Salem next week to compete in the Winston Salem Open.

David Ferrer bows out of the Western & Southern Open after he falls 6-2, 6-4 and now is a career 0-2 against Dmity Tursunov. Tursunov has been playing some wonderful tennis and will match up with JMDP in the quarterfinals.

Murray rolled in straight sets against Julien Benneteau. Will face the winner of the Tomas Berdych & Tommy Robredo match.

Big win for John Isner, coming back from 0-3 down in second to beat Milos Raonic 7-6(5), 6-4. He and USA back in the ATP top 20

In a rematch of last year’s Western & Southern final, Li Na beats the German Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-4. Li Nai will face Aga Radwanska next, in what is a pretty solid rivalry.

Tonight’s Schedule:
Rafael Nadal takes Maria Sharapova’s boy toy, 22 year old Bulgarian Grior Dimitrov.
Battle of the Thomas’ features Tomas Berdych vs. Tommy Robredo. The head to head match up is 4-4 between these two, Robredo getting the better of the Berdych in Barcelona 3-6, 7-6, 6-3.
To top off the night, Serena Williams will face Mona Barthel for the first time in her career.

Marion Bartoli Retires

Cincinnati, Ohio (August 15th, 2013)- In news that shocked the tennis world, 2013 Wimbledon Champion, Marion Bartoli, has decided to retire from the game of tennis. Bartoli quoted during her post match interview, “it’ never easy, and obviously there is never a time to say it or whatever, but that was actually my last match of my career.” The 2013 Wimbledon Champion recognized that it was one of the hardest decisions to make in her life, but she felt the time was right. Lastly, an emotional Bartoli said that “everyone will remember my Wimbledon title, no one will remember the last match I played here.”

Midwest Sports was honored to have the Wimbledon Champion stop by our retail tent during this tournament. Bartoli picked up a bag from Prince & she also decided to purchase one last tournament souvenir, an official Western & Southern towel. Thanks for all of the great tennis memories Marion!

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Western & Southern Open: Rafael Nadal vs. Benjamin Becker Preview

 

 

Rafael Nadal World (No. 3) vs. Benjamin Becker World (No. 100)

When: 7:00 PM
Where: Center Court

The Raging Bull, Rafael Nadal, comes into the Western & Southern Open fresh off a thrashing of the Canadian Missile, Milos Ranoic, 6-2, 6-2, in the finals of the Rogers Cup in Montreal, Canada.  During Nadal’s run north of the border, he took down world number 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals in a thrilling three set match that went into a tie breaker in the third set. Since missing the majority of the 2012 season, Nadal has shocked tennis fans around the globe posting a 48-3 record in 2013. Nadal has won 8 of the 11 tournaments he has entered this year including his eighth career French Open title.
The big question of 2013 still wavered over Rafa’s head, could he make the switch from the clay season to the hard courts? Well it seems like Nadal has answered many doubters by posting a staggering 11-0 match record on hard court surfaces this year. Will he lose here in Cincinnati? That remains to be unseen, but he will have no problem cruising past the Worlds 100th ranked player, Benjamin Becker. Surprisingly these two players have only met once in there careers, resulting in a 7-5, 6-2 win in the 2008 ATP Masters Series in Miami, Florida.  The 32 year old German will have his hands full tonight trying to contain the raging bull. PREDICTION: 6-1, 6-2. NADAL

 

To purchase Rafael Nadal apparel visit his player page: http://www.midwestsports.com/rafael-nadal/c/500068/