Thursday, 1 October 2015

Konta has potential to win a Grand Slam

Johanna Konta has achieved British Number one spot and it could be the start of something very special.

The US Open this summer for our female British hopefuls was highlighting the usual duo of Heather Watson and Laura Robson. This is despite Robson being no where near scratching the surface of the top 100 rankings.

Then you hear the name Johanna Konta representing the Union Jack, a name not to be familiar with in the flushing crowd. To make a name for yourself in tennis, it takes a hard fought run in a major tournament or overcoming a name who has millions of fans following every movement.

The 24-year-old ticked both boxes by reaching the third round, further than Watson and Robson, and defeating seeds Garbine Muguruza before Andrea Petkovic. Take a bow.

Konta's US Open run

1st qualifying round: bt Reka-Luca Jani (HUN) - 7-5, 6-4
2nd qualifying round: bt Naomi Osaka (JPN) - 6-4, 6-4
3rd qualifying round: bt Tamira Paszek (AUT) - 6-4, 3-6, 6-2

1st round: bt Louisa Chirico (USA) - 6-3, 6-0
2nd round: bt Garbine Muguruza (ESP) - 7-6, 6-7, 6-2
3rd round: bt Andrea Petkovic (GER) - 7-6, 6-3
4th round: lost to Petra Kvitova (CZE) - 5-7, 3-6

The run ended from Petra Kvitova, a two time Grand Slam champion, which in Konta's eyes is a learning curve.

With Konta still learning the ropes, she could only get better by aiming to reach further rounds in Grand Slams and WTA tournaments. There is a real killing attitude in Konta's performances as she has no fear and is giving it a really good go.

While writing this opinion piece Konta has broken serve on Victoria Azarenka, a two time Australian Open champion, in the first game at the Wuhan Open. Johanna, stop it.

Since Wimbledon, Konta has only conceded one defeat and has come out on top 19 times so there is no wonder why this promising up comer has climbed up the ladder in the WTA rankings and to now be the best Britain can offer on the courts.

What is going on with Watson and Robson?

In the last three years or so, Watson and Robson were the faces of promise. They have been the country's hope of conquering a Grand Slam or two since Virginia Wade was the last to achieve.

But those plans are not going in the right direction, yes we saw Watson go the distance at Wimbledon coming very close to kicking Serena Williams off the mark but 2015 is not enough evidence to back her.

Another British hopeful who has taken more than a mile step back is Robson. The 21-year-old has been struggling with injuries which took her down to 951st spot at one point but has gone up by 563 places.

You could say there is less pressure on Robson's shoulders when you consider her being the youngest out of the three players. With the remaining weeks of the season left this year, it is a two horse race between Watson and Konta for the precious British No. 1 spot. Watson has to prove she is the best and with this change she will feel more determined to take up this challenge.

British rankings
1) Johanna Konta (WTA: 66)
2) Heather Watson (WTA: 60)
3) Laura Robson (WTA: 539)

As of Monday October 5

From our Blogger Jamie Davies (@JamieODavies)

Friday, 25 September 2015

How to pack your racket for a shipment by ParcelHero!

Our friends at have shared a great piece of content on how to pack & ship your most important piece of equipemt on the tennis court :)

"From the Davis Cup to Wimbledon, shipping your tennis racket in a secure and easy way is essential to any pro or non-pro player; This is a guide for both. It can be notoriously difficult to find a box that fits and a method to do it. Here, we cover all of those requirements – just follow our simple step-by-step guide below and you will be sipping Pimms court-side in no time.
The stuff you need:
  • Long box
  • Bubble wrap
  • Scissors
  • Packing Tape
  • Tennis Racket
  • This guide
Sending sports equipment? Book with us today and receive £50 free shipping cover with every order, we are up to 70% cheaper than booking direct. 

Box 1

First, grab yourself a box that is longer than the tennis racket you are trying to ship. If you don’t have a specialist box designed for tennis rackets, then you will find that most boxes just aren’t the right size for them. So, we found a normal long box and simply cut it to size.

box 2

Take some scissors and cut your box down to shape. You will want to leave it a little longer than your racket, with a flap at the end like the lid of an envelope (see below). Above, we have opened ours up so you can see how the racket can fit inside, turned either way.  

Racket 557

This is our racket of choice. It just happens to be the one Andy Murray loves so dearly, it made him scream. Now you will need to package it – we recommend simply wrapping it in bubble-wrap – look below for a technique on wrapping it like a cone, but common sense does apply here. Just make sure it’s securely wrapped and use tape to keep it firm.

box 45 

Now is the time to make your parcel. First, using packaging tape, stick both sides and edges together and leave your slightly longer side (the lid) open, to slip the racket in. You can see our stuck-together-sides on the below picture as well as the fitting of the racket.


Make sure you stick down the lid of the parcel with more packaging tape. Reinforce any sides, edges and corners – if you have any left over box parts from the cutting stage then slip them inside on either side of the racket for added protection.
screenshot 11 

Now your package is ready to go, it’s time to book your shipment. Once you have booked your shipment, you will automatically be provided with the needed shipping labels. Simply print and attach to your parcel, ready for pick-up by our expert couriers.
ParcelHero Top Tip: Wrap the package in nice paper if you want a professional finish, especially if it is a gift or sold item.

About the Author;

Richard Heasman

Richard Heasman is a content writer for the ParcelHero family of brands. He writes blogs, news stories and SEO targeted website content, specialising in business and sustainability. Richard joined the ParcelHero content team in March 2015.
For news and comments, email Richard on:

Friday, 9 January 2015

Top 5 Tennis Matches of 2014

What a year 2014 has been in the world of tennis, we fans have seen it all happen with our own eyes, witnessing two Grand Slam shocks in Melbourne and New York from hard working underdogs from Switzerland and Croatia, Stanislas Wawrinka and Marin Cilic.


We’ve been proven that the age of 33 is just a number from the Grand Slam King, Roger Federer, grabbing two ATP Masters Titles and coming so close at the Wimbledon final.


Serena Williams kept her cool at the top of the ladies rankings sealing another Grand Slam title on home turf against the improved Caroline Wozniacki.


So much to look back at in the last 12 months but there is just not enough time to talk about it all.


After many hours of short listing the top 5 matches played from present back to when the 2014 season started…


We have our best 5 out of the hundred games recorded.


5) US Open Semi-Finals – Cilic (CRO) bt Federer (SUI)



On September 6th earlier this year was the US Open men’s semi-finals with the first game out of the two caused huge drama. Kei Nishikori handled off Novak Djokovic in four sets booking a place into a Grand Slam final for the first time.


Moments after the match saw Marin Cilic and his opponent Roger Federer entering the Arthur Ashe Stadium.


Cilic’s run of form was a dangerous threat against the Swiss maestro including his powerful serves that picked up many aces.


Federer had no answer against the Croatian throughout the match; he couldn’t even win a set.


In the final game of the match, Cilic saved his unstoppable serves until the end to complete a shocking day to be remembered in the history books.



4) Wimbledon Gentlemen’s ¼ Finals – Dimitrov bt Murray (GBR)



This match was probably noted as the shocking result of this year’s Wimbledon tournament.


Murray was unbeaten after two competitions that took place at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, winning Olympic gold and his second Grand Slam.


The man from Dunblane reached the quarter finals and was expected to at least make an appearance in the semi-finals but Dimitrov played to disappoint.


3) ATP World Tour Finals Semi-Finals – Federer (SUI) bt Wawrinka (SUI)

Two players representing the same country of Switzerland had to fight scrappy for a place in the season ending final.


Wawrinka had displayed his potential by winning his first ever Grand Slam against a 14 time winner back in January while Federer was still finishing high in the tournaments on the calendar.


The match took place less than a week before the Davis Cup final with both players set to work together to win their country the world cup of tennis.



2) Valencia Open Final (ATP 500) – Murray (GBR) bt Robredo (SPA)


This year’s Valencia Open finale was staging a second battle between Andy Murray and Tommy Robredo within a month from the Shenzhen final which was won by Murray.


Robredo was hoping for sweet revenge in front of his fellow Spaniard fans and the 32 year-old had one hand on the trophy. 5 times the man from Spain was just a point away from claiming glory but Murray spoiled the party denying each chance.


Both players used up all their energy in the three hours and 20 minutes that was played breaking sweat in the indoor court.


After displaying the never give up attitude, Murray had won the tournament dropping to the floor showing how tired he was, Robredo showed his feelings by jokingly giving the 27 year-old two middle fingers.




1) Wimbledon Gentlemen Singles Final – Djokovic (SER) bt Roger Federer (SUI)



In the 2012 semi-finals of Wimbledon, Roger Federer gave Novak Djokovic a big challenge by attempting to overcome one of the best players that had entered the grass courts.


Unfortunately for the Serb, he had failed the challenge resulting in missing out on the final.


Two years on they both met in the grand final which would be noted as one of the most thrilling finals we had seen on Centre Court.

Written by and all credits to: Jamie Davis.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Recap: the US Open 2014

From August 25 on we have all enjoyed watching the US Open. It has been a tournament with lots of surprises and many highlights for different players.

The tournament has shown that the top of the men’s tennis is getting more vulnerable. The absence of Nadal and the relapse of Murray were clearly visible in the third quarter of the playing schedule. However, even the rest of the top men players could not make it to the final. This meant that for the first time in years there was a final that was not played by one of the famous names like Nadal, federer or Djokovic. Does this mean a new era starts with new names at the top?

The women also showed us some amazing matches after which the powerful Serena Williams eventually won her third title in a row by winning the final from Wozniacki.

Here are some movies from the most high-profile matches and other highlights of the tournament.
The women's final:

The men’s final: 

Sometimes Monfils makes the most crazy shots: 

There were also some funny moments during the tournament.

After all the US Open, again, was a controversial tournament during which we have enjoyed watching all the players.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Andy Murray ready for Wimbledon!

Andy Murray begins defence with Amelie Mauresmo in his corner

Andy Murray

Andy Murray’s audacious move to appoint Amelie Mauresmo as his coach faces its first test of reckoning on Monday when the Scot steps onto the turf of Centre Court as a defending Wimbledon Champion for the first time.

Since the announcement of the Scot hiring the 2006 Ladies’ Singles Champion during last month’s French Open, huge interest has centred on how the trial partnership would pan out.
The Frenchwoman returns as a defending champion of sorts herself. She was called in to Marion Bartoli’s camp and helped guide her countrywoman to an unlikely Wimbledon triumph last year.
And while not renowned as a heavyweight in handling the weight of expectations on home soil, Mauresmo knows what it is like to step onto Wimbledon’s Centre Court as a defending champion.
“I think tomorrow when I sort of go out on the court, I need to enjoy that moment when I walk back on the court. But as soon as I start playing the match, yeah, it's about trying to win,” Murray said. “I'm aware when I walk out on the court tomorrow I'm going to be nervous. I know there's going to be pressure. Yeah, that's why today when I woke up there's butterflies there. You're one day away from starting the tournament.”

Despite his Queen’s Club title defence on the eve of The Championships hitting a snag against veteran Czech Radek Stepanek in his first match on the grass this season, the Murray-Mauresmo camp was not losing sleep over the setback.

Murray was adamant the former women’s No.1 had a better understanding of the psychological elements of the game, in part due to her own struggles. She was, after all, not brought in to fine-tune the technical aspect of his game.

“I think she was someone who struggled with nerves and conquered them later in her career, which I think when you start to coach someone, I think you can help more than someone that hasn't had those issues before,” Murray said. “She understands the psychological part of the game maybe more than some because of that. And in terms of what she's like, her game style, she had quite a creative game style. She used a lot of spins, slices, she came to the net, good variety in her game. That's something that I've always tried to use during my career. So I think she can help with that.
“And then in terms of what she's like as a person, she's a very, very nice person. She's very easy to speak to. She's very easy to communicate with. She listens well. She's firm, as well.”
Murray’s 2014 comeback from back surgery has been steady if not extraordinary. He has not beaten a player in the top 10 this year, with only one top 20 scalp to his name, but will be buoyed in part by a run to the semi-finals at Roland Garros, typically his weakest of the four majors.
Wimbledon is the slam where the world No.5 feels most comfortable. He has reached the semi-finals or better for the past five years and has arguably the most favourable draw of the top four seeds. He opens his defence against David Goffin and has not left his homework on the bus when getting an understanding of the Belgian’s credentials.

“He's played some very good tennis on the big stages before. I think he played Roger [Federer] a few years ago at the French Open and pushed him close in four sets. I think he also played Novak [Djokovic] in one of the slams on the hard courts before and had a tight three-set match with him,” Murray said. “He's a solid player in all parts of the court. It will be a tricky match.”
Murray will receive a welcome unlike any he has experienced on the opening day at Wimbledon on Monday and his teaming with Mauresmo enters new territory. Both arrive having tasted Wimbledon success last year. It is up to Murray whether both will taste that success again.

Also interesting to read:

Monday, 16 June 2014

10 things you should know about Wimbledon and its traditions

Wimbledon and its traditions


As compared to the other Grand Slams-Australian, French and US Open, Wimbledon has a unique name and tradition associated with it. Here are 10 interesting facts about the lawn-tennis tournament.
Almost all tennis players have a dream of playing on Wimbledon's Centre Court and winning the trophy there. Here's probably why they harbour this ambition:

10 Wimbledon facts

  1. Wimbledon is the is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and has been played since 1877. It is considered to be the most prestigious of all the four Grand Slams.
  2. This is the only tournament that is still played on the sport's original surface-grass. Earlier, the Australian Open and US Open that are played on hard court now and French Open that is played on clay were played on grass. Hence, tennis is called lawn tennis.
  3. Player have to strictly wear white at the tournament. The rules state, "No solid mass of colouring; little or no dark or bold colours; no fluorescent colours; preference towards pastel colours...and all other items of clothing including hats, socks and shoes to be almost entirely white."Roger Federer who sported orange soles to his shoes during his first round match was pulled up by the organisers as they saw the shoes as flouting the rules. This shows how strict the organisers are about the all-white apparel rule.
  4. Spectators and players are offered strawberries and cream as the typical stand food at the tournament. The New York Times reported that a librarian for the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum once told them that the strawberries date back to the first Wimbledon tournament in 1877. She said strawberries and tennis both signalled the arrival of summer.
  5. Players are referred to as Mr, Miss and Mrs as per their marital status especially in the case of women. For men, the chair umpires sometimes just say their names instead of Mr. But using Miss for all female players is still practised today at Wimbledon.
  6. At Wimbledon, the ball boys and girls are known as BBGs and play a crucial role in the smooth running of the tournament, with a brief that a good BBG "should not be seen. They should blend into the background and get on with their jobs quietly."Since 2005, BBGs work in teams of six, two at the net, four at the corners, and teams rotate one hour on court, one hour off for the day's play. Teams are not told which court they will be on so as to ensure the same standards across all courts.
  7. The Centre Court has survived a War World II bombing and now boasts of a roof that prevents rain delays from causing scheduling problems during the tournament.
  8. This is the only Grand Slam which is patronised by a Royal Family. The Queen of Britain often visits Wimbledon and meets the players. The Royal Family seated in the Royal Box and players earlier had to courtesy al members of the family. But the tradition has been discontinued since 2003 by the Duke of Kent who is the President of the All England Club. Now only if the monarch or the Prince of Wales are present, players are expected to courtesy them.
  9. Wimbledon does not have any sponsor advertising around its courts.
  10. The tournament has a 'day of rest'. The middle Sunday of the Wimbledon fortnight is always a day off.

Also interesting to read:

  • French Open 2014 Predictions
  • French Open 2014 Prize Money

  • Tuesday, 10 June 2014

    Rafael Nadal overcomes Novak Djokovic to win ninth French Open title

    Victory secures fifth consecutive Roland Garros crown

    Rafael Nadal

    Rafael Nadal saw off the threat of Novak Djokovic for another year to win his ninth French Open title and a record fifth in succession. The Spaniard, 28, coped better in hot conditions as he won 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4 in three hours and 31 minutes. Nadal is the first man ever to win a major title nine times, taking his Grand Slam total to 14.

    With the victory, Nadal, who will retain the No. 1 ATP ranking, snapped a four-match losing streak to Djokovic and maintained his dominance over his No. 2 rival at the Grand Slam, having now won nine of their twelve meetings at the majors. Nadal’s win moved him into second place with Pete Sampras for most major titles amongst the men with 14 — just three titles behind Roger Federer’s mark of 17. He also extended the record he set last year to become the first man to win nine titles at any Slam.

    It was an emotional match for both men, as the two held back tears during the trophy celebration. Djokovic was playing in his second French Open final and was trying to complete his career Grand Slam. He started out well to take the first set and was the better player for a set and a half. However, he appeared to struggle physically under the Parisian sun, and a poor service game at 5-6 in the second set allowed Nadal to break and level the match.

    Hot circumstances played a significant role

    “It was a great start, [but Nadal] came back in the second. Could have gone to the tiebreak and was quite even,” Djokovic said. “I lost that service game, and then the momentums went his side. I started playing quite bad, you know, and didn’t move as well. Struggled a little bit physically throughout that third set.”

    Neither man was able to play their best tennis for the next two sets, but Nadal remained steady. With the pressure of match point for Nadal on his shoulders, Djokovic double-faulted to hand over the trophy.

    These kind of big matches obviously take the best out of players, and of course it’s a huge challenge,” Djokovic said. “I tried to do my best. My best wasn’t as the best against him in Rome a couple weeks ago. But, you know, it’s how it is. Congratulations to him. He was a better player in the crucial moments. Of course it’s disappointing for me, but life goes on. It’s not the first time or last time that I lost a match.”

    Also interesting to read: