Another European clay title for Rafael Nadal. This the first of the season for him. And the 27th Masters Tournament victory of his career at the Madrid Open.
European clay title in Madrid:
His opponent Kei Nishikori was forced to retire through injury. Before that, Nadal had won seven straight games to lead 3-0 in the third set. Then the match was halted having lost the first set 6-2. And then it came for a break down to win the second 6-4.
Previously Nishikori was struggling with a back spasm. In Saturday’s dramatic semifinal victory over David Ferrer, he was badly injured. But he couldn’t understand this can haunt back again on Sunday game time.
He must be disappointed after losing his first European clay title in such an unfortunate manner. But still the Japanese can take comfort from his performances this week. As this is bringing him to the world top 10 for the first time. Probably in the latest ranking of Monday.
At the clay court in Madrid, Nishikori out-played Nadal for a set and a half with some aggressive shots. Some of them were big winners for him too.
It was clear after the trainer was called on seven games into the second set, that Nishikori‘s movement was inhibited. Rafael Nadal capitalized to break twice and level the match at a set apiece.
Probably the third set was an anti-climax. Rafael was easing ahead of his injured opponent before Nishikori decided he couldn’t continue any more of this game.
“I am very disappointed about what happened today in this final”
Said Nishikori after the match.
He acknowledged that the final was quite unfortunate for him. He tried his level best with being hurt. But after the game he congratulated Nadal as he believes that his opponent played too good. And so, Nadal was gracious in victory with the European clay title.
Rafael Nadal also felt sorry for his opponent. He knew well about the tough job against his opponent as he previously met him in London at the ATP World Tour.
“Winning at home is always more special than winning anywhere. To play in front of your home crowd… is unforgettable for me”
Sharapova rebounds back:
Maria Sharapova recovered from a horrendous start to defeat Romania’s Simona Halep 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 to claim the women’s title ( European clay title ).
She had previously lost the first four games of the match to the World No. 5. As a matter of fact she conceded the first set in less than half-an-hour.
The Russian turned things around as the game progressed. And now she wins seven of her last nine titles on a clay court.
The 27 year old, after the match said,
“Last year I lost in the finals and I really wanted to go one extra step this year.it has just been a fantastic week”
She believes that her opponent is now at another different level. It is clear from her come back from 64th position to number five in less than a year. So she is happy with the way she pulled it off.
From his speech, it was clear that he was happy playing a great match. And he is expecting a lot of positive things about the Rome Masters final. Nadal thinks that match as a good confirmation of playing better with the forehand flying and top spins.
It will be the eighth crown for the Spaniard in the Italian capital. On the contrary it was a slightly more circuitous route for his Serb adversary as to play the fifth Rome Masters final.
But definitely Novak Djokovic is the world’s no. two right now. At the past game, he was out on court nearly three hours against Canada’s Milos Raonic. But he prevailed eventually in three sets 6-7 (7/5) 7-6 (7/4) 6-3.
“It was a big win, it gives me a lot of strength and belief that I hope I can carry into tomorrow’s final and the rest of the season”
Errani has taken her game to another level. She must be having a lot of confidence having beaten two really good Top 10 players. And William needs to do a lot of work to beat her as everyone believes Errani has nothing to lose.
No one has ever before dominated the French Open (a Grand Slam tennis tournament) like Rafael Nadal. He has an unmatched numbers of titles at the French Open.
Another record that reflects his talent is the 59-1. Looking at the 60 matches we can easily understand how he tips the balance in his favor.
Rafael Nadal opened his latest title defense Monday against Robby Ginepri of the United States. He has played 11,485 points at the French Open in nine years. All these points has significance beyond the win-and-loss column.
Nadal’s set and match percentages are overwhelming. Things are a lot closer on the level of games and points. Rafael Nadal has had such remarkable success at the French Open. He did this while remaining so close to a 50-50 battle in points won.
All the statistics of tennis show that each year the number one player in the world typically wins about 55 percent of all the points he plays. Particularly for that very season. So we can always say that every point matters.
Rafael Nadal has spent a total of 150.7 hours on court at the French Open since 2005. He has always been torturing the opponents with heavy topspin and controlling the flow of each match.
It looks like he has his opponent on a yo-yo. Unbelievably he been stretched to play a fifth set for only two times. Against John Isner and in last year’s semifinal victory over Novak Djokovic.
Rafael Nadal at the French Open
Percentage of Winning
Rafael Nadal has served 177 aces and 83 double faults in nine years. This is actually splendid performance for a better than 2-to-1 ratio in this critical first-strike area. He never did serve more than four double faults in a match. Only once did he reach double figures (10) in aces.
May be these numbers can suggest a heavy aversion to risk. Strongest thing about Nadal’s service games is getting his first serve in. he does this almost 71.1 percent of the time at the French Open. It can be considered extremely tough to break him as he wins 71.3 percent of first-serve points and 57.7 percent of second serves.
Break Point opportunities:
Another thing matters most for Rafael Nadal at the French Open is break-point opportunities. Converting 50 percent of his break points, is a great advantage for him. Which is 5 percent higher than his career average. While opponents could only convert 30 percent of their break points against him.
Percentage of Winning
Opponent’s 2nd Serve
Opponent’s 1st Serve
Combining all the eight finals, Rafael Nadal’s opponents converted only 25 percent of the break points. For the first five of those finals the conversion rate was only 15 percent. Which is ridiculously low.
May be returning Serve is the arm by which the King of Clay hurts opponents the most. Surprisingly Rafael Nadal wins 40.2 percent of opponent’s first-serve points and 57.6 percent of their second-serve points. This can effectively mean that he has three serves for the match and his opponents have one only.
In the last nine years Nadal has won 67.4 percent of all points serving and 47.1 percent of his return points as well.
Unlike any other year he has lost more at the clay-court lead-in events in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. It is said that Rafael Nadal grows a foot taller when he walks onto Court Philippe Chatrier. He has already proven himself almost impossible by slaying clay’s greatest gladiator in that arena.
Along with enormous joy associated with tennis itself, there are a number of fantastic stars of this sport who’ve risen to celebrity status. Those interested in tennis will be au fait with stars of the court such as Andy Murray and Caroline Wozniacki, the stars who have enjoyed plenty of commercial success over the years. Even for those who don’t have any idea about tennis, there are numerous names for them and it seems virtually impossible to escape with the figures like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Venus and Serena Williams firmly in the international spotlight. However, it’s the well-known names in tennis who’ve made the millions from both their games and celebrity sports endorsement deals.
Prize money may not be the largest income sources for these tennis stars, but success in the Grand Slams is very much crucial for raising the rank. As the players climb the ranking, they become increasingly attractive to world famous brands and that’s when they’ll start earning the big bucks.
Here is the list of top 10 richest tennis players of the World:
Top 10 richest tennis players in the world:
10. Caroline Wozniacki
Prize money: $16 million
World Ranking: 12 (August 11, 2014)
Age: 24 years
Lives in: Monte Carlo, Monaco
Past and present sponsors: Adidas, Yonex, Rolex, Proactiv, Sony Ericsson
At just 24, the former world No 1 was the first Scandinavian woman to hold the top spot,despite being yet to win a grand slam. Caroline Wozniacki was named 9th most marketable athlete in the world in 2011.
Despite her young age, she has already built up an impressive relationship with the sponsors-she has become the face of Stella McCartney’s tennis line for Adidas in 2009, signed a contract of three years to endorse Turkish Airlines’ business class service and released her own line of underwear in September 2012.
9. Agnieszka Radwańska
Prize money: $16.4 million
Current world ranking: 5 (August 18, 2014)
Age: 25 years
Lives in: Krakow, Poland
Past and present sponsors: Rado, Lexus, Lotto sport italia, Babolat, Amica, Play
On July 2012, Radwanska achieved a career-high singles ranking of World No 2. She is the first Polish player ever to reach the singles final of 2012 Wimbledon Championships. In 2006, she won the WTA award for most Impressive Newcomer.
For her achievements in tennis and for representing Poland with distinction, she was awarded “the Gold Cross of Merit” by the Polish President.
8. Li Na
Prize money: $16.5 million
Current world ranking: 3 (August 11, 2014)
Age: 32 years
Lives in: Wuhan, Hubei, China
Past and present sponsors: Visa, Häagen-Dazs, Samsung, Rolex, Mercedes-Benz, Babolat
She is the first and only Asian to win a grand slam singles. Li Na is seen as a strong role model across Asia and increasingly the rest of the world. In 2011, Li Na reached the finals of two grand slams and won the titles in French Open. Her winning led to seven three-year multimillion-dollar endorsement deals. She has been backed by Nike for years, but as her ranking has risen, so has demand for Li Na’s endorsement amongst the biggest global brands as well as multiple Chinese companies. She also graced the cover of Time magazine, which placed her as one of only four athletes on the list of 100 most influential people of the world.
7. Venus Williams
Prize money: $29 million
Current world ranking: 20 (11 August, 2014)
Age: 34 years
Lives in: Linwood, California, USA
Past and present sponsors: Wilson, Electronic Arts, Ralph Lauren, Kraft, American Express, Tide.
Venus Williams has a sizeable fortune of her own both from endorsement and prize money. She was one of the main campaigners for equal prize money for men and women at Wimbledon. With 21 Grand Slam titles she has been in the world no 1 ranking three times. Venus designs her own clothing line,” Eleven” and not only that, she has her own interior design company named “V Starr Interior”. She has also written various books, the latest one names as “Come to win”.
6. Maria Sharapova
Prize money: $30 million
Current world ranking: 6 (4 August, 2014)
Age: 27 years
Lives in: Florida, USA
Past and present sponsors: Nike, Evian, Head, Samsung, Motorolla, Land Rover, Tag Heuer
The golden girl of tennis, Maria Sharapova has unsurprisingly been particularly attractive to world famous sponsors. Her biggest endorsement is with Nike and in 2010 she re-signed with this global brand in an eight-years deal. That dealing could earn her over $70 million. She has her own collection for Nike’s subsidiary fashion level, Cole Hann. Sharapova’s ballet flat is Cole Haan’s best-selling female shoe ever.
5. Andy Murray
Prize money: $32 million
Current world ranking: 9 (18 August, 2014)
Age: 27 years
Lives in: London, England
Past and present sponsors: Adidas, Head rackets, Highland Spring, Jaguar, Fred Perry, Rado watches
The value of Andy Murray soared after his US open win in 2012. After being a member of elite Grand Slam winners club, Andy Murray suddenly became much more marketable and then after becoming 2013 Wimbledon Champion his marketing potential is set to go through the roof.
In 2009, he signed up to a five year deal with Adidas, which became one of his largest sponsors that worth $4-5 million per year. From the Swiss watch company, Rado, he earns seven-figure sponsorship money.
4. Serena Williams
Prize money: $56 million
Current world ranking: 1 (11 August, 2014)
Age: 32 years
Lives in: Florida, USA
Past and present sponsors: Nike, Wilson, OPI, Puma, Hewlett-Packard, Tampax, Gatorade
The younger William sister is currently ranking No 1 in the world for the seventh time in her career. Serena Williams has earned the most career prize money than any female athlete in the history of sports and also has a wide range of outside business ventures.
In 2009, Serena launched her own line of handbags and jewellery, but most of her endorsements have been thanks to the joint Williams brand. With her sister,Venus, she has co-written a book “ Venus and Serena: Serving from the hip: 10 rules for living, loving and winning”. The Williams sisters also own a share of the Miami Dolphins, the American football team they have supported since childhood.
3. Novak Djokovic:
Prize money: $65 million
Current world ranking: 1(18 August, 2014)
Age: 27 years
Lives in: Monte Carlo, Monaco
Past and present sponsors: Mercedes-Benz, Audemars Piguet, Fitline, Srbija, Sergio Tacchini
Despite his No 1 world ranking, Novak Djokovic has earned less in endorsement than Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. However, since 2011 he has won six Grand Slams and earned $30 million prize money alone. In the same year, he signed endorsement deals with Audemars Piguet and Mercedes-Benz. Djokovic left his clothing sponsor Italian brand Sergio Tacchini in 2012 and announced as global ambassador for Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo for five years.
The current world no 1, Djokovic grabs no 3 position in our list of top 10 richest tennis players and it wouldn’t be long enough to see him with more money as well as with more sponsors.
2. Rafael Nadal
Prize money: $70 million
Current World ranking: 2(7 July, 2014)
Age: 28 years
Lives in: Mallorca, Spain
Past and present sponsors: Lanvin, Nike, Emporio Armani, Richard Mille, Kia Motors
The “King of Clay” has won 14 Grand Slam singles titles as well as a Gold medal in 2008 Beijing Olympic. It was unfortunate for Rafa that a knee injury kept him out of London in 2012 and off the courts for seven months. That injury made him suffer both in terms of ranking and prize money. Nevertheless, Rafa still has plenty to flash thanks to his endorsements.
Famous watch making brand Richard Mille have released two Nadal signature timepieces, the latest of which costs $690,000. In April 2009, Nadal became the face of Lanvin’s L’Homme Sport cologne and taking the reins from football legend Cristiano Ronaldo, he has become the face of Emporio Armani underwear and Armani Jeans in 2011.
In our list of top 10 richest tennis players, Rafael Nadal remains in second position.
1. Roger Federer
Prize money: $84 million
Current world ranking: 3 (18 August, 2014)
Age: 32 years
Lives in: Bottmingen, Switzerland
Past and present sponsors: Gillette, Rolex, Mercedes-Benz, Jura, NetJets, , Moët & Chandon
Roger Federer is the world’s second highest paid athlete, beaten only by the golfer Tiger Woods. Roger Federer is the record-holder for the most Grand Slam wins (an impressive 17) and for longest period in the top (302 weeks) position. Roger Federer holds the no 1 position on our list of top 10 richest tennis players of the world.
Federer appears to be a solid investment for the brands as unlike others he’s never been out of action from injury for a long time. Many of his endorsement dealings have signed for ten years and his sponsors collectively pay him more than $40 million annually.