Both Leylah Fernandez and Shelby Rogers needed to play qualifiers in order to make it to the main draw and today Rogers was the one that proved better than her opponent 6-4 5-7 6-1.

The match was a very interesting one as Fernandez demonstrated her typical up-and-down tennis with Rogers being the more stable player. It was rather predictable in the way it went as Rogers was able to win the first set 6-4 after Fernandez missed a huge chance to go up a break. She was up 40-15 on the serve of Rogers but she failed to get it done and then got broken in the next game.

The second set was one where both players played really well as neither player was able to get a breakthrough. We eventually ended up in a tiebreak with Fernandez jumping out to an early 6-2 lead. Rogers crawled back to make it 6-4 but Fernandez converted it with sa service winner. Many expected her to show up and dominate in the final set but that didn’t happen.

She produced a really disjointed effort losing her service early and after that, she fell apart. It’s nothing unusual for Fernandez as it’s been happening for a while now. Rogers moves on after a gifted third set 6-1.

Tiger Woods and his golf course design firm TGR Design have announced their venture into a new experience in the mountains of Utah.

Marcella Club in the Park City-area of Utah is set to be host to the ‘Marcella at Jordanelle Ridge’ course. It marks the first mountain course Woods will design.

The 18-hole championship venue that Woods is creating will be the first half of a 36-hole golfing facility.
‘The course will offer engaging play for every ability. My intent is to create a world-class golf experience to pair with Marcella Club’s vision for modern luxury living.

TGR Design’s website says the club will have ‘unparalleled 360-degree views of the Uinta Mountains, Jordanelle Reservoir, Deer Valley Resort, and the Heber Valley… Marcella Club will have some of the most spectacular views in all of golf.’

The site also says that the course ‘has been routed to take advantage of the incredible long-range vistas while also incorporating contrasting intimate valleys between the ridges to create a truly unique and memorable golf experience.

‘The course will provide a stern test for low handicap golfers, yet also present a fun, family friendly experience to allow individuals of all skill levels to come together and enjoy the course.’

For those who look to play the course, TGR Design gives a greater insight into what will await them.
‘The championship course will feature generous landing areas helping players to keep the ball in play while still challenging players with strategic choices and angles off the tee for the best opportunities to score.

‘The greens will vary in size and contouring to reinforce the tee shot strategy, but with green surrounds mowed tight, players missing the green will be able to use their creativity to make interesting recoveries.

‘The partnership between Marcella Club and Tiger will be the premier golf experience in the Mountain West resulting in a championship course that will fully take advantage of the stunning Utah setting and be strategically designed to be playable for all.’

‘Two key factors for me are being able to work with great partners on great properties. My team has built a superb relationship with our partners on Marcella.

‘That said, I am thrilled about the location of this property. The canvas for my course is one of the most dramatic I’ve ever seen.

‘It has ridgelines with some of the most stunning views in the world, valleys with amazing contours and topography, and groves of trees that allow me to use creativity to bring to life a golf experience that’s something special.’

This marks the ninth course that TGR Design will be building.

In addition to Marcella, TGR has built Bluejack National in Texas, Payne’s Valley in Missouri, The Hay at Pebble Beach in California, a full restoration of the South Shore & Jackson Park Golf Course in Illinois, Jack’s Bay in the Bahamas, and three courses in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

PARK CITY, Utah — Tiger Woods is coming to Park City and he’s bringing a golf course with him.

The Marcella Club announced the legendary golfer, considered one of the best to ever play the game, will design the new 18-hole course at their Park City location. It will be the first course created by Woods’ company, TGR Design, in Utah and the entire Mountain West.

According to a release Tuesday, the mountain course will be integrated into the natural landscape and will be the state’s longest and highest-elevated course.

“Utah is an incredible place, with favorable year-round weather that offers opportunities to be active outdoors throughout all four seasons — golfing, skiing, biking, hiking, and fishing — the list goes on and on,” said Woods. “I’m thrilled to be designing a course in such a special location.”

A winner of 15 major championships, Tiger Woods is one of the most popular players in golf history. As his career on the course winds down, TGR Design is ramping up with courses across the U.S., Mexico and Bahamas.

When opened, Marcella Club will be part of the new Mayflower Mountain Resort and feature ski trails, lifts, dining, and golf.

“The canvas for my course is one of the most dramatic I’ve ever seen,” Woods shared. “It has ridgelines with some of the most stunning views in the world, valleys with amazing contours and topography, and groves of trees that allow me to use creativity to bring to life a golf experience that’s something special.”

The golf course is scheduled to open in 2025.

Former Masters champion Trevor Immelman has expressed his hope that golf legend Tiger Woods could take part in as many as seven tournaments this calendar year.

Tiger Woods, who has been struggling with injuries, has been involved in just a few events since his serious car accident back in 2021.

“I just want him to be healthy,” Immelman told PGATOUR.COM.

“I spent some time with him in the Bahamas [in December]. He was in pain, and that’s why he was unable to play down there, which was disappointing.

“He said to me that he’d been hitting a lot of balls, the game felt pretty good, it’s just being able to walk and play at the same time. It’s a lot to ask right now.

“I hope he plays seven events. That will mean that his body is working about as well as he can expect, and I think if he gets seven starts, he’ll have one tournament where he’ll give himself a shot at it.”

Possible Masters participation

Immelman also spoke to Reuters to predict that the golf legend will be fit enough to feature in the Masters that will take place at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia in April.

“I spent quite a lot of time with him towards the end of last year and as always he’s working hard,” Immelman noted.

“His work ethic is unparalleled and he is trying to do everything he can to live a functional life for his family but also to be able to compete. I do anticipate him playing the Masters.

“He has to make sure he is really ready to walk that course four or five days in a row. That for me would be the only question mark for him because his game looked pretty good when I seen him.”

Dating back to 2009, an exemption has been given to a minority golfer for the Genesis Invitational as a way to represent the advancement of diversity in golf. In 2017 the exemption was re-named the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption in honor of Sifford, the man who broke the PGA Tour color barrier.

On Monday morning, tournament host Tiger Woods announced Marcus Byrd would receive the exemption for the upcoming event, Feb. 16-19, at Riviera Country Club near Los Angeles.

“Marcus has shown resiliency and perseverance in pursuit of a professional playing career,” Woods said via a release. “These are qualities that remind me of Charlie and his journey. I look forward to watching Marcus compete at Riviera.”

A former star for Middle Tennessee State and 2019 Conference USA Golfer of the Year, Byrd currently competes on the Advocates Professional Golf Association Tour, where he finished atop the standings for the Farmers Insurance Fall Series back in November. The Genesis Invitational will be Byrd’s second career start on the PGA Tour after he debuted at the 2022 Corales Puntacana Championship.

“It’s a true honor to receive the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption into the 2023 Genesis Invitational,” added Byrd. “To think that I’ll forever be a part of this tournament’s storied history means a lot. I cannot wait to compete at Riviera and represent Mr. Sifford with my play.”

Former recipients of the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption include the following:

Vincent Johnson (2009)
Joshua Wooding (2010)
Joseph Bramlett (2011, 2020)
Andy Walker (2012)
Jeremiah Wooding (2013)
Harold Varner III (2014)
Carlos Sainz, Jr. (2015)
J.J. Spaun (2016)
Kevin Hall (2017)
Cameron Champ (2018)
Tim O’Neal (2019)
Willie Mack III (2021)
Aaron Beverly (2022)

Australian Open 2023: Leylah Fernandez credits father for giving her mental toughness

Leylah Fernandez said her early tennis education under her father Jorge had focused heavily on the mental aspects of the game, something she was thankful for on Tuesday after the Canadian won her first match at the Australian Open.

The 20-year-old, who was runner-up to Emma Raducanu at the 2021 U.S. Open, beat tricky Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 7-5 6-2 in searing conditions at Melbourne Park and faces fourth seed Caroline Garcia next.

Fernandez said her Ecuadorian father – a semi-professional footballer who took to coaching tennis despite not playing the sport himself – had imparted important values for success in the sport.

“For me, the mental to the physical is three to one. Mental is extremely important,” Fernandez told reporters. “I’m very grateful my parents, especially my dad, has reinforced that.
“He hasn’t really taught me about tennis or technique but more of the mental side of the sport. Because it’s hard. You’re all alone out there on the court. Most of the time you don’t have a coach with you, or the coach can’t talk to you during points.

“You have to figure some things out, you have to be your own cheerleader, own biggest critic, own biggest supporter. I’m just happy he taught me those values from a young age and that I was able to kind of implement that now.”

Fernandez, who has won two WTA titles – both at Monterrey in the last two years – but has largely struggled to match her form from Flushing Meadows, said notching a first victory at the Australian Open was a welcome boost.

“Before the match (against Cornet) and during the match, I wasn’t thinking about that, but after when I did hear it was my first win at the Australian Open, it did feel like it’s a good step in the right direction,” Fernandez said.

“I’ve been playing this tournament for a couple of years, and always fell short of a first-round win. It wasn’t easy to accept, but I was just happy that I was able to get through it and to get another chance to play here.”

From winning streaks to perfect finals records to the biggest jump to No. 1 ever, Nole just keeps piling on the numbers.

Novak Djokovic made another flawless start to a season in Australia this year, not just winning the lead-up event in Adelaide, but going on to win his 10th Australian Open title—and 22nd Grand Slam title—with a 6-3, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.

Here are 22 things Djokovic achieved Down Under this year:

He tied the all-time men’s record for most Grand Slam titles. Rafael Nadal also has 22.

He extended his all-time men’s record for most Australian Open titles. Roy Emerson and Roger Federer are tied for the next-most with six each.

He’s now one of only three players in tennis history to have won a single Grand Slam event 10 times or more. Margaret Court won 11 Australian Opens and Nadal has 14 French Opens.

He’s now 10-0 in his career in Australian Open finals. He’s actually 10-0 in his career in Australian Open semifinals, too—so he’s a terrifying 20-0 at the event once he gets past the quarterfinals.

He’s one of only two players in tennis history with a 10-0 record or better in finals at a specific major. Nadal is 14-0 in French Open finals. Court lost her eighth Australian Open final (she finished 11-1).

He broke the record for longest men’s winning streak at the Australian Open in the Open Era. He’s now won 28 matches in a row at the event, surpassing Andre Agassi’s 26 in a row from 2000 to 2004.

He’s won 10 of his last 12 Grand Slam finals, and 14 of his last 17. Midway through the 2015 season, he was 8-8 in his career in Grand Slam finals—since then he’s a scary 14-3.

He passed Nadal for fourth-most tour-level titles for a man in the Open Era. The top five is now Jimmy Connors (109), Federer (103), Ivan Lendl (94), Djokovic (93) and Nadal (92).

Novak Djokovic
Djokovic now has 89 career wins at the Australian Open, the most at any major. He has 85 at the French Open, 86 at Wimbledon and 81 at the US Open.

He’s now won 47 of his last 50 tour-level matches. In a stretch that began with his run to the title in Rome last May, his only three losses have come to Nadal (quarterfinals of Roland Garros), Felix Auger-Aliassime (Laver Cup, which is officially counted as tour-level) and Holger Rune (final of Paris).

He’s now won six of the last seven tournaments he’s played. Starting with his run to the title at Wimbledon, the only tournament he’s played but hasn’t won was the Masters 1000 event in Paris, where he fell to Rune in the final, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5—and he was up 3-1 in the third set of that one.

He’s not only won his last 17 matches in a row, but the only three sets he’s lost in that run have been close tie-breaks. They came in his 6-3, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2) win over Medvedev in the round robin of the ATP Finals, his 6-7 (8), 7-6 (3), 6-4 win over Korda in the Adelaide final and his 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-0 win over Enzo Couacaud in the second round of the Australian Open.

He’s now won at least two tour-level titles every year since 2006. That’s 18 years in a row now.

He tied Serena Williams’ all-time men’s and women’s record for most career Grand Slam titles on hard courts. They both have 13—Serena won seven Australian Opens and six US Opens, while Djokovic has won 10 Australian Opens and three US Opens.

And finally, he also tied Serena’s Open Era record for most Grand Slam titles won after turning 30. He already had the men’s record with nine, but with his 10th now, he ties the men’s and women’s Open Era record.

Tiger Woods says 2022 was “one of the more rewarding years I’ve had in a while” and is aiming to play all four majors next year.

The American, a 15-time major winner, is still recovering from severe leg injuries suffered in a car crash in February 2021.

He has also developed plantar fasciitis – pain in the base of his foot.

It means the 46-year-old has been limited to only nine rounds of competitive golf this year.

Before taking part in the Match – an exhibition tournament in Florida – last week, Woods had not played since the Open Championship at St Andrews in July, when he missed the cut.

This weekend he played in the PNC Championship family golf tournament in Orlando, Florida, alongside son Charlie, 13.

And when asked how he felt compared to when he played in the event last year, Woods said he had made “a lot” of progress.

“Last year I played with a broken leg. This year nothing was broken, but it was good that all the pieces are there again all lined up,” he said.

“Plantar fasciitis is no fun and now I get to truly recover and heal and progress forward on this.

“There are so many good things that I’ve been able to do physically – be able to hit the golf ball and practice and do everything in a standstill.

“But I haven’t been able to get from point A to point B and we’re obviously going to work on this,” added Woods, who used a cart to get round the course in Orlando.

“It was a tough year but also one of the more rewarding years I’ve had in a while.

“It was an incredible week just to be able to play with Charlie,” added Woods, who also said he did not yet know what his 2023 schedule would look like but that he was aiming to play in all four majors.

The Woods pairing tied for eighth at the event, which was won by Fiji’s Vijay Singh and his son Qass Singh.

Country music stars celebrated the New Year at home over the weekend, while many of them enjoyed a few last days with their families before they hit the road in 2023.

Artists including Lainey Wilson, Scotty McCreery and Blake Shelton will launch new tours in the first six weeks of 2023, with Carrie Underwood and Reba McEntire set to resume their journeys on the road. Dozens of their country music counterparts will follow in their footsteps over the next six months.

Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert and Garth Brooks are set for Las Vegas residencies in 2023. When Brooks’ residency at Caesar’s Palace was announced, he sold out the entire year of concerts in the first day. He immediately added more shows to the schedule.

“My whole life I have heard the saying, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day,'” Brooks said on Instagram. “Well, thanks to God and the people, ours was. Truly grateful and unapologetically excited.”

CMT compiled a list of 2023 Tours and Las Vegas residencies already announced, and more are expected to come in.

MELBOURNE: Victoria Azarenka said it took her 10 years to get over being accused of cheating when she last won the Australian Open, and defended Novak Djokovic who has been accused of dramatising his injury during this year’s tournament.
The 33-year-old two-time champion rolled back the years at Melbourne Park on Tuesday night, dismissing Jessica Pegula 6-4, 6-1 to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2013.
During her run to the second of her back-to-back Australian titles that year, Azarenka took a nine-minute medical timeout in the semi-final against Sloane Stephens after failing to convert five match points.
Azarenka went on to turn the match around and eventually lift the trophy, but she had to defend herself from accusations of gamesmanship and cheating.

The Belarusian revealed later she had suffered a panic attack on court and couldn’t breathe, which caused the long delay.
Azarenka said Tuesday she had only just learned how to cope with self-doubts and anxiety during matches, which can be overwhelming, and only recently got over that “worst” moment of her career.
“It was one of the worst things I have ever gone through in my professional career, the way I was treated after that moment, the way I had to explain myself until 10.30pm at night because people didn’t want to believe me,” she told reporters.
“I actually can resonate what Novak said the other day,” she added, referring to Djokovic hitting back about comments on his hamstring injury.
The 35-year-old Serb looked hampered and in pain in his early matches, with a heavily bandaged leg.
But the nine-time champion seemed unhindered as he raced past Australia’s Alex De Minaur and into the quarter-finals on Monday for the loss of just five games.
Djokovic told Serbian media he was fed up with suggestions that he might have faked the injury — and that such slurs only motivated him more.
Djokovic, who plays Russian fifth seed Andrey Rublev in the men’s singles quarter-finals on Wednesday, said this week he was an “easy target to be the villain”.
“There is sometimes, like, I don’t know, incredible desire for a villain and a hero story that has to be written,” said Azarenka.
“But we’re not villains, we’re not heroes, we are regular human beings that go through so many, many things,” added the 24th seed after reaching her first semi-final at the Australian Open since 2013, where she will face Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.
She said the “assumptions and judgements” meant nothing “because nobody’s there to see the full story”.
“It didn’t matter how many times I said my story, it did not cut through,” Azarenka said.
“Actually it’s funny that you’re saying that because I was thinking about it. It took me 10 years to get over it. I finally am over that.”