Dec 28, 2017

Maria Sharapova arrives at Shenzhen Open

Source: Maria Sharapova's Twitter

Tennis icon Maria Sharapova and 16-year-old Chinese sensation Wang Xinyu got themselves ready for a roaring start to the new season with a visit to the Longgang Dragon Square here in Shenzhen. ‘Long Cheng Guang Chang’, as it’s known locally, is a famous landmark square in the heart of the Longgang district of Shenzhen city and features a towering statue of a bronze dragon as its centerpiece.

Sharapova made her long-awaited return to tour this April and has steadily climbed up the rankings since, culminating with her first title in two years coming at Tianjin in October.

“Last year’s title in Tianjin was quite meaningful after not having a title for a couple of years. I felt like I’ve built quite a good base at the end of last season and now to start the year in a new place is always exciting. We travel around the world often to the same places and see the same people, so to see a new set of fans here in Shenzhen and to experience a new environment and stadium - it’s always invigorating to start a year that way,” said the 30-year-old Russian, who will be making her Shenzhen Open debut next week.

Meanwhile, Wang is set to be the youngest female player in the main draw of next month's Australian Open. The plucky lass defeated top seed Misaki Doi in the semi-final and Abigail Tere-Apisah in the final of the Australian Open Asia-Pacific wildcard playoff early this month to book her spot in Melbourne.

“I think the key to my victory was to just keep going and never give up, even when you’re not playing your best tennis. It just felt amazing because me and my team, we didn’t think I could make it and so we’re very happy I did. I haven’t played matches in a long time because of the off season so it would be nice to start 2018 with a good performance in Shenzhen. I’m excited to play here in front of my home fans as I’m sure I will get a lot of support,” said the Shenzhen native, who will be youngest ever Chinese tennis player to feature in the main draw of a Grand Slam.

The Shenzhen Open is organized by the Chinese Tennis Association, Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sport and Tourism and CCTV-IMG Sports Management Company and is co-organized by the Bureau of Culture, Sport and Tourism of Longgang District, Shenzhen Gemdale Sports Industry Co. Ltd. and Kaisa Culture Sports & Tourism Group.

Roger Federer engages in 'a cooking match' with Michelin star chef Davide Oldani

Press release

A nice plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce, the triumph of simplicity and a true symbol of Italian cuisine and the Mediterranean Diet around the world, marks the encounter of two extraordinary champions in their respective fields. On one side, the greatest tennis player of all times, Roger Federer, an icon of style and lover of good food who does not hide that he’s “unfamiliar” with cooking. On the other, Davide Oldani, the Michelin star Chef who made ‘Pop’ cuisine his tenet: simple ingredients affordable to all, but always cooked with great mastery. Two talents who meet for the first time in front of an icon of Italian food for a special occasion: the shooting of a global commercial in Italy for Barilla, the world’s most loved pasta brand.

Roger Federer & Barilla: Masters of Pasta 
“I’ve travelled a lot of countries, with different traditions and gastronomic cultures… but pasta remains one of my reference points. I’ve been eating it since I was little; I find it to be a fantastic food. Yet, I don’t know how to cook it” – the Swiss champion admits – “To tell you the truth, when it comes to cooking, I’m far from perfect”.

Federer is not someone to shy away from challenges, however. He will not stop halfway on the path to perfection. The time has now come to engage in a very difficult challenge for him, the quest for perfection in the kitchen. This is the first step in a journey that will see Roger Federer succeed in bringing his mastery perfection from sports to daily life.

A box of Barilla Spaghetti N°5 and a few simple ingredients are his tools. His gestures and the way he puts himself to the test show that he has the makings and talents of a champion. This is the narrative framework of the partnership between Roger Federer and Barilla.

So one discovers that, like in tennis, the recipe for perfection is made of simplicity, passion and commitment. An accessible and daily art that yet needs training and perseverance.

“Pasta has been in my daily diet since I was a kid. I am really happy to be part of the Barilla team: they are the best in their field”.

Federer & Oldani: Together in the quest for the excellence of simplicity 
Federer & Oldani: an impromptu meeting that promises plenty of surprises. An unexpected pair that actually share many traits: talent, discipline, commitment and - most of all - the passion for the excellence of simple things. A master playing the role of the apprentice and a challenge that proves rich of surprises. All this seasoned with glamour, style, humor and fun. But what will the strict “maestro” think of Roger’s début in the kitchen?

“You can immediately recognize a champion: whatever he does, he puts all he’s got in it. Filming the spot with Roger was a real pleasure,” coach Davide Oldani said.

Spaghetti with tomato sauce: A symbol of Italy all over the world 
Just like Roger Federer represents the apparent simplicity of the technical gesture in the tennis world, so the instant translation of “less is more” in the cooking world is represented by spaghetti with tomato sauce: the simplest pasta recipe, healthy and iconic, the symbol of the Mediterranean Diet. A recipe that Oldani has proposed with a touch of creativity by adding mint instead of the traditional basil, to reinforce the concept that simplicity and tradition are always evolving, as long as one keeps the importance and quality of the raw materials in mind.

An ageless champion with a healthy lifestyle 
During his long and brilliant carrier, Federer has collected many records and titles: he holds the no. 1 ranking for total weeks as best tennis players in the world (302); he won 91 single ATP tournaments, with a record 19 victories in Grand Slam tournaments. In his career, he also won two Olympic medals. In 2017, he won three tournaments, including the Australian Open and Wimbledon. At these levels, nothing can be left to chance, least of all the diet.

This is particularly true for a perfectionist like Federer, who has become an example of longevity in sports also thanks to a correct dietary lifestyle.

Pasta is the centrepiece of his dining table: “A correct diet is essential to my success: pasta perfectly combines my nutritional needs with the desire to eat good-tasting food”, Roger Federer concludes.

Dec 26, 2017

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! If you haven't watched the Christmas themed videos by ATP and Tennis TV, we have them covered for you in this post.

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