Is it Interational Maria Sharapova Week? The Russian tennis beauty would like you to think so as the four-time Slam winner's name was in the news for her 26th birthday over the weekend (which she celebrated with "plenty of sangria"). Monday it was announced Sharapova signed a three-year deal
with Porsche, becoming the brand's first global ambassador. Sharapova was also the focus of Open Court
, CNN's monthly tennis show. Max Eisenbud, Sharapova's agent, said he wouldn't be surprised if Maria played into her early 30s, including the 2016 Rio Olympics. Oh and if that's not enough Maria for you the Porsche (sponsor plug!) Grand Prix, in Stuttgart, started Monday, where Sharapova is defending champ.
Wimbledon Raising the Roof:
London calling? Wimbledon organizers made headlines
earlier on Tuesday with the announcement of prize money hiking 40% from last year, up to some $34 million USD. But the press conference also announced a roof over Court No. 1
as of 2019, which would make Wimbledon the second major to have two roofs over show courts, joining the Australian Open (which will have a third roof in the near future). The French Open is in the works to add a roof over its main court while the US Open currently has no plans for such covering. The grounds are also due for a complete renovation, continuing to modernize the game's most historic venue.
Courting the Tennis Channel:
While reports began leaking a few days ago that Al Jazeera, the Middle East news channel that has continued to branch out globally, is eying the Tennis Channel
, the sports channel continues to be tied up in court with Comcast over distribution. Joe Flint wrote in the Los Angeles Times
Tuesday that anyone considering a TC buy (he noted Fox Sports and ESPN as potential interests) to wait out the continued court tangle for the channel, which is currently in 35 million homes but could gain another 20 million with Comcast on as a provider.
Kamakshi Tandon writes on ESPN
about Ernests Gulbis' Monte Carlo breakdown
. Unexpected? "It was right on cue," mused Tandon of the flashy and unpredictable Latvian's outburst and continued antics. | She's back! Petra Kvitova has been confirmed
for the New Haven Open later this summer. The Czech is defending champ at the US Open warm-up event. Marion Bartoli was also announced for the event, which is headlined by Angelique Kerber and Sara Errani. | Rice University has announced a new tennis facility of 14 courts, new locker rooms and training facilities estimated at $8 million that will be ready for the 2013-14 season. | Compton High School is starting to roundup a tennis team thanks to a local teen's goodwill. Katie Olson helped organize donations of tennis equipment
for the school, which is in the same area Venus and Serena Williams took up the sport two decades ago. | Speaking of the sisters, with their Fed Cup win over the weekend, why not take a look back at their best fashions through the years? Sure, we're into that
The WTA All-Access Hour continues in Stuttgart. How long does it take five Germans to open the trunk of a Porsche? Find out.
(Photo Credit: Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images)