The All England Club has won a vote to a acquire a neighbouring golf club, giving its ambitious expansion plans a huge boost.
Wimbledon Park Golf Club members voted to allow the All England Club to buy their 73 acres of land, which will pave the way for the existing tennis complex to triple its size.
The All England Lawn Tennis Club announced the vote had gone in its favour on Thursday night. Pending court approval, the transfer will go through on December 21.
Each of the 750 members of the Golf Club will receive £80,000 as part of the sale, and the golf course will continue to operate until December 31, 2021.
Chairman of Wimbledon Park Golf Club, Jenny Gaskin, said: "This has been a long but thorough process and I and the rest of the board would like to thank all members who participated in and voted either in person or by proxy.
"2018 has been a period of considerable uncertainty and the decision of members, subject to the final approval of the court, has important consequences. 18-hole golf is set to continue for a further three years with 9- or 10-hole golf continuing until at least 31st December 2022 and hopefully beyond.
"It will be the objective of the new golf committee to ensure that we make the most of this period and that the high standard of golf we have enjoyed and the camaraderie of the clubhouse continues undiminished. In this, we have the full support of our new owners at the All England."
Former Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska says there is no chance she will reverse her decision to retire from tennis at the age of 29.
The Pole shocked everyone by announcing her retirement from the sport last month due to injury.
Radwanska has been troubled by a foot problem in recent months that has restricted her movement, prompting her to make the decision to call it a day.
“Life has taught me ‘never say never’ but for me this is the end," she told Polish newspaper Przeglad Sportowy. "I arrived at an obstacle which I could no longer get through. I now need a minimum year or two in order to recover and rest.”
Radwanska said she didn't take the decision lightly, and only decided upon the course of action after a series of discussions with medical professionals.
“I thought about this for a very long time. Believe me, this is not a rashly made decision. I have been battling with my thoughts for weeks. I was looking in every direction. I was in consultations with doctors, physios and we analysed my current health situation with my entire team,” she said.
“Following these consultations I came to a conclusion that rebuilding everything in half a year on the grass made no sense.”
At her peak, Radwanska was ranked second in the world. She won 20 WTA titles, and notably reached the final of Wimbledon in 2012, losing to Serena Williams.
She was the first Polish player ever to reach a grand slam final in the Open Era and the first to earn more than $1 million in prize money.
Radwanska sees a bright future for women's tennis, which she reckons is more competitive and exciting now than it has ever been.
“Women’s tennis has drastically changed. Intensity in every aspect of the game in incomparable to what I remember 10/12 years ago," she added.
“The world has moved in a direction where even for the smallest of tournaments I had to go there 100% ready. Easy games in first rounds have finished.”
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will resume their iconic Laver Cup partnership at next year's event, European captain Bjorn Borg has confirmed.
Fans were treated to the unusual sight of all-time greats Federer and Nadal teaming up in doubles at the inaugural edition in Prague two years ago, followed by Nadal rushing out to embrace Federer after the Swiss ace secured victory for Europe by beating Nick Kyrgios.
Injury prevented Nadal from taking part in the 2018 event, but both men are once again pencilled in for Team Europe next year.
“It doesn’t get much better for a captain than naming both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the Laver Cup in Geneva,” Borg told the official Laver Cup website.
“Bringing together two of the greatest players, and rivals, the sport has ever seen together on one team is very exciting for our sport – and will give us the best possible chance to win the Laver Cup three years in a row.
“When we first played Laver Cup in Prague, with both Roger and Rafa on the team, we knew it would be very special, bringing together two such great champions. But I think we all underestimated how powerful it would be to see them sitting side by side, coaching each other and cheering each other on, along with their team-mates from the player bench.
“We saw again the same special moments in Chicago, and how much this event means to the players. I can’t wait to see how the Laver Cup unfolds in Geneva as Team Europe regroups to defend our title.”
The WTA Tour has confirmed that mothers returning to tennis after giving birth will have increased protection for their rankings.
Players coming back from childbirth will now be able to use their previous ranking to enter 12 tournaments over a three-year period.
However, returning mothers will not be seeded in line with that ranking, as Serena Williams requested - they will only be able to enter tournaments based on it.
Instead, the WTA has decided to guarantee that players will not have to face a seeded player in a tournament's opening round.
The changes are being implemented largely because of what happened to Williams when she returned after giving birth in 2017. The former World No 1 was not seeded at the French Open, her first Grand Slam since her return, but was then given a seeding of 25 for Wimbledon, despite being outside the top 32 in the rankings.
The WTA canvassed the opinions of all players earlier this year, and the decision was made to change the rules based on their feedback.
Not everyone was in favour of changing the rules, however - while World No 1 Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova did offer their support to Williams, the likes of Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka and Johanna Konta did not appear to be in favour of any changes.
Meanwhile, the WTA has also clarified its clothing rule to ensure Williams is able to wear the black catsuit which caused controversy at this year's French Open.
"Leggings and mid-thigh length compression shorts may be won with or without a skirt, shorts, or dress," the new rule reads.
If French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli has his way, however, Williams will still not be allowed to wear the outfit at Roland Garros, as he is intent on introducing a stricter dress code at the Grand Slam which would ban the catsuit.
World number eight Dominic Thiem has set some lofty goals for the 2019 ATP season after somewhat of a breakthrough season.
The Austrian native added three more titles to his collection, taking his total to 11. Thiem continues to prove his efficiency on clay, winning trophies in Buenos Aires and Lyon before heading to the French Open.
The 25-year-old continued his red hot form in Paris, dropping just three sets on his way to his first grand slam final. Unfortunately, he was then faced the King of Clay himself - Rafael Nadal - and settled for second place.
But the Thiem believes he can go one better in 2019.
"To win my first Grand Slam title," revealed Thiem at a training camp in Tenerife, Spain.
"I have been dreaming about that since my childhood. At the end of 2019, I would like to be placed in the top five."
Juan Martin del Potro appears to be making solid progress in his recovery from his latest injury, according to his agent.
Del Potro experienced a welcome career resurgence during 2018 - notably making it all the way to the US Open final where he lost to Novak Djokovic - but had to bring his season to a premature end after fracturing his knee cap during his third-round match at the Shanghai Masters in October.
After being forced to miss the season-ending ATP Finals, Del Potro is eyeing a return to competitive tennis early in 2019, having already confirmed his participation at the Kooyong Classic, which takes place from January 8-10.
The tournament will be Del Potro's only warm-up for the Australian Open, which starts January 14.
“Back from holidays, Delpo resumed rehab and training this week, with two daily sessions of gym and pool,” wrote Del Potro's agent Jorge Viale on Twitter.
“The doctors are very pleased with the progress of the recovery from the knee fracture suffered almost two months ago.”
Rafael Nadal has given fans a first glimpse of his return to the tennis courts after his recent surgery.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion hasn't played any competitive tennis since September when he retired from his US Open semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro with a knee injury.
He was then further kept out of action due to an abdominal injury, and decided to have surgery on a troublesome ankle while he recuperated.
But it comes as no surprise that Nadal is already back in action, ready and raring to go ahead of the 2019 season.
The Spaniard took to social media to share a picture of himself in full swing on the practice court, looking as hungry and full of drive and determination as ever, along with a caption that simply read: "Training, Practice!"
Nadal is expected to make his competitive return at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi from December 27-29, an exhibition event that will also feature World No 1 Novak Djokovic and defending champion Kevin Anderson.
Mark Philippoussis believes Alexander Zverev will continue to struggle in Grand Slams unless he changes his reliance on energy-draining baseline tennis.
Zverev is seen as the young player with the best chance of ending the dominance of veterans Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic next season, having seemingly realised his potential with his impressive victory at the ATP Finals in London where he defeated Federer and Djokovic on the way to the trophy.
The young German has frequently underperformed in Grand Slams, however, with a quarter-final appearance at this year's French Open his only real achievement of note.
And while Philippoussis acknowledges that Zverev is the only player currently threatening the big three, he expects his Grand Slam struggles to continue unless he makes some changes to his game.
“The only guy who has stepped up is Zverev,” Philippoussis told metro.co.uk. “But he hasn’t done it in Grand Slams yet.
“He’s far from done it at Grand Slams.
“He needs to step it up, starting at the Australian Open.
“His game is staying back on the baseline and that’s no problem but when you’ve got seven best-of-five set matches to win you need to, you know, kind of get through that first week without working as hard.
“In my opinion, he just stays three or four feet too far back behind that baseline and he’s just doing a lot of work.
“That’s fine in the best-of-three sets, the tournaments that he’s winning three or four of this year but in Grand Slams it’s just a different story.
“He’s working way too hard and he’s getting hurt by guys he just shouldn’t be getting hurt by.
“He’s just way too far back.”
Maria Sharapova says she has no intention of retiring just yet, as there is still a lot she wants to achieve in tennis.
Since her return from her doping suspension in 2017, the Russian has found results harder to come by, although she did manage to play her way back into the world's top 25 this past year, notably reaching the quarter-finals at Roland Garros.
That's still a fairly modest level of success for a former five-time Grand Slam champion, leading some to speculate that the 31-year-old may be nearing retirement.
Not so, says Sharapova, who wants to continue doing what she loves, as it's one of the few things in her life she feels she has truly excelled at.
"It's a nice feeling to know you're really good at something," said Sharapova.
"I don't know. It's a good self‑esteem booster because I'm not good at any other sports. I'm worthless at many other things, but I go out on the court and I feel like I'm really good at this. I've accomplished a lot, and why wouldn't I continue? Why wouldn't I want to get better and improve? It's something that I've done for a very long time and something that I feel, you know, there's still so many opportunities for me and things to achieve.
"Motivation has never really been an issue. Obviously the shoulder has been a big part of my career and something that I've had to get through.
"I'm very privileged to do what I do, and I love it.'
Sharapova also said she was lucky for things to come together like they did in her career, allowing her to achieve incredible success at a very young age.
"There are little pieces of the puzzle that makes or breaks somebody's career, absolutely," she said. "I mean, it's easier to say that when you've been there and you've won Grand Slams and been No 1.
"The guidance that you have is so important. The people that take care of your body, that have a plan in place, that do the fitness, that also has to get along as a group, it's a lot of pieces to the puzzle.
"I've been fortunate. I have had a fairly consistent team in my career. I have changed coaches a couple of times, a couple of physios but have been on the tour for many years. Some have families, and they come and go. But I have been very lucky with the people I have had on my team."
Amelie Mauresmo has passed on an opportunity to become France’s new Davis Cup captain after choosing instead to take on a coaching role with countryman Lucas Pouille.
The French Tennis Federation (FFT) confirmed Mauresmo's change of heart on Thursday, less than six months after it announced that she was to become the first woman to captain the French team.
Mauresmo, a former Fed Cup captain, was due to take over the role from Yannick Noah, after he failed to guide France to victory in this year's Davis Cup final against Croatia.
“(Amelie Mauresmo) has accepted this challenge and renounces the position of captain of the Davis Cup France team to carry out this mission,” the statement said.
“The French Tennis Federation supports and encourages this project which serves the interests of French tennis.”
The FFT’s National Technical Director, Pierre Cherret, said the search for a new Davis Cup captain has begun, with the recipient of the honour also set to lead the men’s team at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“It was important and logical for Lucas, after his fruitful collaboration with Emmanuel Planque, to look for the person most likely to continue his development,” Cherret said.
“As head of the French teams, I will soon make my proposal for the new captain to the committee.”
Mauresmo's decision was likely influenced by the radical revamp the Davis Cup is set to undergo, having previously expressed her disappointment at the proposed changes. From next year, the 118-year-old competition will decided with a season-ending, 18-team tournament at a neutral site, rather than a year-long series of head-to-head knockout events.
“I tell myself that all these young people who watched the Davis Cup on television, who have had incredible moments in the stadiums, will never be able to live this again,” Mauresmo said earlier this year.
Pouille, meanwhile, has expressed his excitement at working with Mauresmo, who also had a succesful coaching stint with Andy Murray, tweeting: “I am very happy to start my new collaboration with @AmeMauresmo! Her experience as a player and coach can help me achieve my goals. I’m sure we’re going to do great things together.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, John McEnroe doesn't think Serena Williams needs to apologise for her actions in the US Open final.
Williams drew widespread support and criticism for her dramatic meltdown in New York, as she labelled umpire Carlos Ramos a “liar” and a “thief” and claimed sexism after she received three code violations.
The American has not played or spoken out the incident since, but McEnroe - obviously mindful of the proverb that says people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones - doesn't think she has anything to atone for.
“If thief is the worst word she used, I have got some bad news for you. There are a lot of other players, including myself, in a lot of other sports, that have done far worse. Come on," said McEnroe, who was famously disqualified from the 1990 Australian Open after a meltdown of his own.
“If I use a four-letter word and say that you are a “blanking blank”, which let's say hypothetically I have used in the past, do you think that would be worse than saying that you are a thief?
“She was absolutely right to say men have got away with worse. I am surprised she didn't invoke my name there. I wasn't disappointed just surprised!”
McEnroe continued: “The way it panned out with Serena, she was wrong and so was the umpire.
“Maybe she just wanted it too bad. In the end, she shot herself in the foot.”
Tennis legend John McEnroe believes Andy Murray has the will and the talent to return to the top of men’s tennis following an injury hiatus.
The Scot missed three of the four grand slams in 2018 while trying to recover from hip surgery, dropping to outside the top 800 at one point.
This is a far cry from his purple patch of form in 2016, which would see him finish the year ranked number one, fresh off his third grand slam title at Wimbledon.
Now, Murray has gained entry in the upcoming Australian Open with a protected ranking of world No.2. At 31-years-old, he is certainly not beyond his prime and McEnroe believes he can emulate the likes of Roger Federer and Nadal, who are still winning grand slams deep into their 30s.
"Look at what Federer did at 36, look at Nadal,” McEnroe told The Independent.
"I'm sure he looks at those guys and thinks 'I should be able to do something akin to that'.
"He was able to be one of the best best players of the last ten years and winning majors by his athletic ability. If he is at 100 per cent or close to it, I would expect he would be in the top ten within six to nine months.
"He has to handle the pressure emotionally knowing there's a full year ahead."
The 107th Australian Open kicks off at Melbourne Park on January 14th, where Federer and Caroline Wozniacki are the defending singles champions.
Word number nine Kei Nishikori has set his sights on bagging a maiden major title in 2019 after enjoying a decent return from a serious injury.
The Japanese native suffered through a five month layoff due to a wrist injury. Nishikori went back to the Challenger Tour at the start of 2018 to work his way back into shape.
It paid off, as he would reach the final of the Monte Carlo Masters, only to lose out to the King of Clay himself, Rafael Nadal. Nishikori backed it up with a last eight appearance at Wimbledon then reached the semi-finals at the US Open, forcing his way back into the ATP’s top ten as a result.
"I want to gun for my best, as I always have, and win a Grand Slam title or a Masters title...that is my goal," the 38-year-old told Kyodo News.
"I played without pressure this year. I was able to take a full swing at tennis, but I know I need to aim higher next year."
Nishikori went on to explain the seriousness of his wrist injury, which doctors said could end his career unless he gets surgery. The 11-time ATP winner decided against it and opted for rehabilitation instead.
"I was scared,” revealed Nishikori.
“The wrist is needed in tennis. I just kept thinking I would always have to play with this feeling of anxiety.
"I went without surgery but I was told there was a possibility that it might happen again. I kept playing with my major goal being a return [to the top of the rankings]. I had a feeling throughout this season that I was climbing a staircase, one step at a time.
"I played at the net more this season and was able to pull off more aggressive plays. Getting injured gave me the opportunity to re-examine some small things like my serves. I trained well during the layoff, so I'm in good physical shape."
Former world number one Serena Williams' participation in the upcoming Australian Open has been confirmed.
The 23-time grand slam champion will attempt to equal Margaret Court’s long-standing record of 24 grand slam titles when she takes the court in Melbourne in January.
At the Australian Open in 2018, the American played a warm-up tournament to test readiness after she gave birth to her first child Olympia in September. Williams withdrew at the 11th hour, saying she was not in tournament shape.
The 37-year-old bounced back to reach the fourth round at the French Open, the final at Wimbledon and the US Open, the latter of which was marred by allegations of sexism against chair umpire Carlos Ramos.
Also joining Williams is former world number one Andy Murray, who has spent most of 2018 recovering from injury. The Scot will benefit from a protected world ranking of No.2 which allows him to make the draw.
Defending champions Roger Federer - who will attempt to win a record seventh crown - and Caroline Wozniacki return to Melbourne Park as well.
Tennis legend Boris Becker has dropped a claim that he had diplomatic immunity from bankruptcy proceedings because of his role as a sporting ambassador for the Central African Republic.
The 51-year-old German lodged the claim earlier this year, which enabled him to block a sale of his sporting trophies and personal memorabilia to recover outstanding debt.
But at a court hearing in London on Monday, a lawyer for the bankruptcy trustees said Becker had stated in writing that he had "no alternative but to abandon the claim for diplomatic immunity".
Previously, his lawyers had argued he was protected by the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
Becker also revealed that he was not financially able to pursue his case any further.
The tennis star, who won Wimbledon three times, was declared bankrupt in 2017 over money owed to Arbuthnot Latham bank.
His diplomatic immunity claim caused widespread criticism, with the Central African Republic saying his diplomatic passport was part of a batch which had been stolen in 2014.
But Becker claimed to have received the passport directly from one of the country's ambassadors.
Former world number one Andy Murray went on an expletive laden rant following a slip up by a French DJ at the recent Ballon d’Or Awards.
The annual awards ceremony recognising the best football players was hosted in Paris, with Norway forward Ada Hegerberg taking home the inaugural Women’s Ballon d’Or.
Following an inspirational speech about girls believing in themselves, DJ Martin Solveig cued the music and asked Hegerberg: “Do you know how to twerk?”
Hegerberg responded with a “no” and walked off stage. Her negative reaction sparked a buzz on social media and Murray was soon part of the chorus.
“Why do women still have to put up with that s***?" the three-time grand slam winner wrote in an Instagram story.
"What questions did they ask [Kylian] Mbappe and [men's winner Luka] Modric? I’d imagine something to do with football.
“And to everyone who thinks people are overreacting and it was just a joke… it wasn’t. I’ve been involved in sport my whole life and the level of sexism is unreal.”
Solveig apologised to Hegerberg personally after the event, saying it was meant as a joke. The Lyon playmaker excepted the Solveig’s words and brushed off the incident.
"He came to me afterwards and was really sad that it went that way," Hegerberg told BBC Sport.
"I didn't really think about it at the time. I was just happy to do the dance and win the Ballon d'Or to be honest. I will have a glass of champagne when I get back."
The debate surrounding the greatest tennis player of all time tends to involve Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal - but Richard Krajicek reckons the real GOAT is Novak Djokovic.
Krajicek, who won the Wimbledon title back in 1996, acknowledges that Federer has won seven more Grand Slam titles than Djokovic, but believes the Serb has competed at a higher level than Federer throughout his career.
"When you look at the results and length of his career, you say Roger. But when they play at their best each other, Djokovic is the better player and he wins most of the times," said the Dutchman.
Krajicek also reckons that Djokovic has pulled off the most impressive feat in tennis by holding all four Grand Slam titles at the same time, which he achieved in 2016 after winning the French Open.
"He is unbeatable in the level of tennis. Novak had two or three amazing years. Federer played for 20 years at the top, his consistency is incredible. But Novak has won four Grand Slams in a row, which Federer and Nadal have not done."
Krajicek is the tournament director at the Rotterdam Open, and would love to see Djokovic return to play in the ATP event. The Serb last played Rotterdam in 2010, but has reserved the month of February for Dubai or Acapulco ever since.
"We would like to have him as a World No 1. It's a tournament that doesn't fit in his schedule. He is winning basically everything and we will always keep trying. If he wants to play Rotterdam, the doors are open, Krajicek added."
World number one Simona Halep reflects on a season where she won her maiden grand slam but was also hampered by injury.
The diminutive Romanian started the year with a bang, reaching the Australian Open final where she lost out to Caroline Wozniacki in a thrilling three setter.
But finally, in her fourth grand slam final, Halep would get that monkey off her back, coming from a set down to defeat Sloane Stephens to win the French Open.
Halep backed it up with an 18th WTA title a the Canadian Open in August but a debilitating back injury forced her to withdraw from the season-finale WTA Finals. Despite this, the Constanta native still managed to finish the year ranked number one for the second time running.
"It's been amazing,” reflected the 27-year-old on wtatennis.com.
“There have been many bad moments and many good moments - it was a very emotional year. When I lost the final in Melbourne it was tough to come back stronger but what meant a lot is that I came back stronger and could win my first Grand Slam title.
"I have to take it like it is. Look back and take the positives from this year. I'm number one in the world, so it means a lot to me and gives me confidence to go ahead."
Halep will kickoff her 2019 campaign at the Sydney International in January, where she will be joined by seven of the world’s top ten players.
After Julien Benneteau re-ignited the controversy over whether Roger Federer gets preferential treatment at big tournaments, ex-players and coaches are offering their opinions.
A storm erupted after Benneteau was quoted as saying that it was unfair that Federer is given the choice of playing when he wants at Grand Slams and major events, whether it be evening or day sessions, or even choosing which days of the week to play.
Benneteau pointed to the last two Australian Opens, where Federer was able to avoid the sweltering Melbourne heat by playing evening sessions, as an example of the kind of preferential treatment he receives.
But as far as Federer's former coach Paul Annocon is concerned, there is no reason for controversy, as the Swiss great isn't the only player that gets treated in this way.
“When the issue came out I said, Yes? And so?” Annacone said on the Tennis Channel.
“This happens in every tournament. I took part in many meetings where I walked in and they said, Pete Sampras would like to play this day, Roger Federer would like to play this day, Tim Henman...
“You do it at every single tournament.
“And I can guarantee you, I have been there with the coaches of Nadal, Djokovic. They all ask for it - they just don’t always get it.”
And former World No 1 Jim Courier is in complete agreement.
"I think Roger Federer gets an appropriate treatment for who is in the game, what he means to the fans, what he means to the broadcasters," he said.
"I don't think there is any scandal or that the USTA, Tennis Australia are doing anything different than they would normally do.
“I think that's a little bit misguided from Julien Benneteau, he did say a lot of nice things about Roger Federer in that radio interview as well.
“This is obviously the one grab, the media obviously love to go negative and make a story out of it, otherwise we wouldn't be talking about it.”
John McEnroe says that while he's a big fan of Nick Kyrgios, he fears the fiery Australian is in danger of bringing his career to a premature end.
Tennis legend McEnroe believes that too often Kyrgios is his own worst enemy, and that it could come back to bite him.
"He's going to run himself out of the game at this point, which I don't want to see. But that's what's going to happen. It's as clear as day," McEnroe told Australia's 60 Minutes program.
McEnroe's claim comes just a few weeks after Kyrgios publicly announced he was seeking professional help to overcome his mental demons.
As a player who had a similar reputation and could be every bit as hot-headed, McEnroe once offered to help mentor Kyrgios, a proposal that was swiftly shot down by the Australian.
The pair have since gotten to know each other better at the Laver Cup, where McEnroe is captain of Team World and Kyrgios is one of their most important players.
"I like him a lot. I think he's a great kid and actually I think he's the most talented tennis player that I've seen in 10 years," McEnroe said.
"The difference between Nick and I at the moment is I tried all the time. He doesn't, for whatever reason. I'm not Sigmund Freud.
"I wish I was 'cos I like Nick and he'd be good for the sport (if he fully committed).
"Obviously it would be good for him. That it goes without saying.
"I think Nick's a really nice kid."
McEnroe was also asked about a controversial incident earlier this year when Swedish umpire Mohamed Lahyani gave Kyrgios a courtside pep talk during a match.
McEnroe said that Lahyani should have been promoted - not suspended - following the incident.
"I think the guy who should be promoted and encouraged would be the guy who got off the chair and tried to help Kyrgios," he said.
"That guy should be applauded."