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Tuesday, Jan 28th

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When the draw was made for the 2013 US Open, the first round match between world no.1 and title favourite Serena Williams and 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone promised to be an exciting contest. However, disappointingly perhaps for the neutrals the match turned out to be a comprehensive rout, once again reaffirming why Williams is arguably the best player in the world, and justifying why the Italian veteran is no longer in the top echelons of the women's game.

A bagel and a breadstick were on offer as Williams destroyed Schiavone 6-0, 6-1 in an hour to power into the second round where one hopes the fans will get to see more of a contest than what was provided by the usually battling Italian.

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Next month will mark 40 years since Billie Jean King authoritatively defeated Bobby Riggs in straight sets (6-4, 6-3, 6-3), in The Battle of the Sexes, the historic tennis match that caught the attention of the world far beyond the sports pages. The match itself was quite a spectacle-- celebrities and eager fans filled the sold-out Houston Astrodome, Riggs arrived in a rickshaw led by models, and King presented him with a tiny piglet at the net, symbolic of a male chauvinistic pig. The event was sports entertainment at its best. However, once King was declared the winner, the novelty subsided, and it became clear that the match was a pivotal moment in earning respect and awareness for gender equality in the United States.

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the historic match, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum will be showing a special exhibition on-site at the US Open entitled Forty Years Later: The Battle of the Sexes. The exhibit will be open daily, August 26 - September 9, and will be located in the American Express US Open Fan Experience in the Chase Center. Admission is complimentary for guests attending the US Open. This is the Hall of Fame's 15th year hosting an exhibit at the US Open.

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Simon Khan put his play-off defeat in the BMW PGA Championship behind him to secure one of the 12 spots on offer in the US Open qualifier at Walton Heath. Khan admitted he had a sleepless night after losing to Italian Matteo Manassero on the fourth extra hole at Wentworth in The European Tour’s flagship event on Sunday.

But he showed few side-effects in the wake of that disappointment as he led the 94 hopefuls competing in the 36 hole qualifying event for next month’s US Open Championship at Merion Golf Club.

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At long last the caravan that rolls around through the year beginning Down Under, traversing the entire the entire world before pitching tent in London signaled a temporary halting of proceedings for 2012. This tennis year was one that could be described in many ways notably historic, phenomenal and perhaps more than any other 'a season of parity'. In a season of split successes amongst the 'Big Four' Novak Djokovic emerged as the first among equals on the ATP Tour while Victoria Azarenka took her place on top of the WTA rankings holding off Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.

It was a rare year that included the Olympics, held at London on this occasion and on the hallowed Wimbledon turf to boot, and the tournament was a wonderful addition to the calendar bringing forth a level of emotion dissimilar from those seen at the annual tournaments storied though they may be. Like any year, it had its moments of bitterness and controversy to balance the wonderful storylines and the remarkable achievements over the year. All in all this year was memorable and on that note let's take a dive down memory lane to review the professional tennis year of 2012.

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