2016 BNP Paribas Showdown to be “A Salute to Serena”

Each year since 2008, the BNP Paribas Showdown has been held in New York City at Madison Square Garden as part of the World Tennis Day festivities.  The one-night event features exhibition matches bringing out the best, with past participants, including Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki, Rafael Nadal and most recently Grigor Dimitrov and Roger Federer in 2015.

With advertising generally focused on several of the headliners, 2016 will look to spotlight one key player: Serena Williams. The 2016 BNP Paribas Showdown is being billed as “A Salute to Serena”, an apt title considering Serena’s many accomplishments (including a potential calendar Grand Slam).

The event will take place on March 8, 2016, and though details are limited, pre-sale information may be available through www.thegarden.com/inline.

(Source: Ad from the 2015 US Open tournament program.)

Thank You Notes: 2014 French Open

If you are a Jimmy Fallon fan, you may have seen his recurring segment “Thank You Notes” on his late night show.  If you haven’t, check out a clip below. Clearly, there’s a lot of sarcasm to be had in tennis, so why waste the opportunity, right?

2014 French Open Edition

  • Thank you, Rafael Nadal, for winning your 9th Roland Garros title. Besides it being a ridiculous achievement, it gave the world this hashtag: #DREAMIN9.

  • Thank you, NBC slow motion cameras, for capturing Novak Djokovic throwing up. We weren’t quite sure if that was spit or mouth bubbles, so thank you for clarifying.
  • Thank you, Garbine Muguruza, for you know what. We’re not saying Maria couldn’t have done it herself, buuuuttt….
  • Thank you, Maria Sharapova, for not crumbling under the pressure in capturing your 2nd French Open. Four straight 3 setters (and coming 1 game away from defeat) was clearly all part of the master plan.
  • Thank you, everyone who complained about women’s grunting.  Wait — forget those people.
  • Thank you, Lotto and H&M, for clothing Aga Radwanska and Tomas Berdych. A 1990’s bed comforter never looked so good on an athlete.
  • Thank you, Ernest Gulbis, for not having a filter. You make us all love Andy Murray that much more.

“A woman needs to enjoy life a little bit more. Needs to think about family, needs to think about kids. What kids you can think about until age of 27 if you’re playing professional tennis, you know.”

  • Thank you, Andy Murray, for hiring Amelie Mauresmo as your new coach. No, really…pretty great.
  • Thank you, Tennis Channel, for not falling for stereotypes. These hats on Milos and Genie were probably just an homage to Pharrell.

Maria Sharapova attends 2014 Sochi Olympics

Putting tennis on pause, Maria Sharapova landed in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics as an NBC Correspondent and participant in the Opening Ceremonies.

Proving to be the opposite of Waldo, it’s been fairly easy to spot Sharapova in Sochi, as she’s been fulfilling many corporate sponsor commitments, along with filming NBC segments. It’s clear, though, that being apart of the entire Olympic movement is what it’s all about for her (as evidenced by her many high-fives during the opening ceremonies).

Check out what Sharapova has been up to:

Running the Olympic flame into the Games. NBD. (In Spanish!)

Visiting the court where it all started.

Taking in some figure skating.

“Working” for NBC with Mary Carillo.

Yeah, I’d say it’s pretty good to be Maria Sharapova.