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Who are the 2020 French Open winners & losers?

French Open winners

Who are the 2020 French Open winners & losers?

After a long delay due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the French Open was moved from its typical prime time slot in May & June to October. A tournament typically played under the blue sky of Paris and in temperatures approaching 30 degrees. It appeared tough to predict the French Open winners this year as the popular opinion at the start of the fortnight was that a combination of unfamiliar weather conditions and heavier balls may create opportunities for the rest of the draw to upset the status quo.

Another determining factor was the number of fans allowed through the turnstiles. Across 13 days of the Championship there was a maximum of only 5000 fans per day totalling 75,000. A fraction of the 520,000 who attended in 2019.

However, with all the restrictions in place it should be lauded that The French Open served up a fantastic Championship. Against all the odds the event went ahead as rescheduled and on Saturday for the woman’s final it was Iga Swiatek, a first-time winner, crowned as champion. On Sunday it was the “King of Clay” Rafael Nadal who was able to clinch his 13th title at Roland Garros on his favoured Philippe-Chatrier court.

French Open Winners – Iga Swiatek

The first major trophy for Iga Swiatek may have come as a surprise to herself and her team as well as the rest of tennis, as she entered the tournament unseeded and ranked 54th in the World. She is the first Polish tennis player to win a major trophy and at 19 is the youngest ladies champion at Roland Garros since Monica Seles in 1992. Despite the unlikeliness of her story Iga only required 1hr 24mins to defeat Americas Sofia Kenin (ranked No4) and in doing so did not drop a single set throughout the whole Championship.

A young, hugely talented tennis player who was full of humility throughout her post match press conferences should be a name to remember. It was not all that long ago that a young Menorcan burst onto the scene in a similar fashion… We all know how he turned out.

French Open winners – Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal with his 13th Rolland Garros title has drawn level with his great friend Roger Federer. In typical Bull like fashion, el toro dismantled Novak’s game with his power and athleticism. All things considered (weather, change of balls, surface conditions) this win could well have been his best performance on the French clay where a lot of similarities can be drawn from his 6-1 6-3 6-0 semi-final win over Rodger Federer back in 2008 when Nadal himself announced he was at the top of his game. A year in which Rafa went on to clinch the Wimbledon title on the grass at SW19.

Rafael Nadal chose to sit out the US Open which now with the benefit of hindsight can be deemed a masterstroke. He looked fresh and focused throughout the championships – a man on a mission. As with Swaitek, Nadal did not drop a set throughout the tournament for the second time.

His 20th title is surely just another milestone on his incredible journey. A record that stands at 100 wins and 2 losses on the clay at the French who can bet against him in 2021?

French Open Losers – Novak Djokovic & Sofia Kenin

It is difficult to classify two tennis players who have reached the final of a Grand Slam as losers but knowing the competitiveness of the pair, they will see it that way. Novak Djokovic arrived at the French having not lost a completed match in the whole of 2020. Until Sunday Novak had won 37 contests in a row. His only loss coming at the US Open where he was disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct. In the post-match press conference Novak highlighted how strong he felt and how well he had been playing throughout the year and in the run up to the final. For Rafael Nadal to swat him aside in such dismissive fashion, truly highlights the extent to which Nadal has mastered this patch of clay on the outskirts of Paris.

In the Woman’s final Sofia Kenin could not cope with the explosiveness of Iga Swaitek whose power from both her back hand and forehand was as impressive as it was consistent. Kenin will be disappointed as she racked up a total of 23 unforced errors contributing to her own downfall.

We must not forget however, that it was only in January that Kenin herself was crowned Australian Open Champion, her first major trophy. To be beaten in straight sets in the final is a bitter pill to swallow, but at the age of 21 Kenin has an exciting future ahead.

French Open winners – The Fans

Sport and tennis alike have been hit hard by the effects of Covid-19. Since March there has been a near worldwide ban on fans attending sporting events. There have been very few opportunities for audiences to watch live sport and where there has, like the French Open attendances have been greatly reduced.

Fans did however manage to see Dominic Thiem’s fourth round win over Frenchman Hugo Gaston, which was a topsy turvy match that the Austrian won. In the next round however, it was Diego Schwartzman’s win over Thiem in the quarter finals on the Philippe-Chatrier which was one of the biggest upsets of the tournament. Touted to give Nadal a run for his money this year Thiem was able to fight back from 1 set down to 1-2 but was eventually beaten 3-2.

In the men’s doubles German duo Andreas Miles & Kevin Krawietz beat the British pairing of Jamie Murray & Neal Skupski in a game which could have gone either way. In the Woman’s third round Spain’s Garbine Muguruza & Americas Danielle Rose Collins were involved in a slug match, both big hitters going all out for their winners before the American underdog won in three sets.

French Open winners & losers conclusion

The curtain has closed on another French Open and although the playing circumstances of this championship were significantly different to the previous 92, none of the drama that is so often associated with the red clay was missing.

For the small contingent of 1000 fans on the Philippe-Chatrier they will all take a memory away to cherish, especially those that witnessed Nadal’s 13th French Open title and his record equalling 20th Grand Slam title with Federer.

Wimbledon unfortunately were not able to reschedule in 2020, but the 2021 Championship is in the diary, starting on Monday 28th June. Don’t miss out on a fantastic opportunity to watch the tournament with our premium hospitality packages. Give us a call or register your interest for the 2021 Wimbledon championships now.

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Are the Guinness Six Nations 2020/21 going ahead?

Guinness Six Nations

Introduction

The current situation of International Rugby and more specifically the Guinness Six Nations 2020/21 and Autumn Internationals here in the UK are rather unclear. Some of the biggest questions on the lips of rugby fans are “Will the 2020 Six Nations be completed?” and “Are the 2021 Six Nations going ahead?” In any ‘normal’ year this would be met with a resounding “Yes” however it’s clear that this is unlikely to be the case.  Let’s explore the impact of Covid-19 to the rugby calendar and how you can still watch the major upcoming events.

Will the 2020 Guinness Six Nations be completed?

The 2020 Guinness Six Nations will have its final round of fixtures completed in October. There are currently 4 men’s games to be finished. One Round-4 fixture: Ireland v Italy 24/20/2020 at the Aviva Stadium. Followed by three Round-5 fixtures all to be played on the 31/10/2020: Wales v Scotland, Italy v England, and France v Ireland. All matches are set to be played at their regular locations apart from Wales v Scotland where a venue has yet to be announced as the Principality is still in operation as a field hospitality.

What are the remaining 2020 Six Nations permutations?

England

The current standings after 4 almost complete rounds sees England top the group. Beating Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, a first Triple Crown for England in 4 years. England’s final game is against Italy at the Stadio Olimpico where they would expect to win and by a considerable margin. Tries will be the name of the game as the Championships could come down to points difference.

France

Second place France have an outside chance but have a tough match against Ireland at home at the Stade de France. A difficult task as the French are infamous for being slow starters, however, the French have recently had a resurgence under Jacques Brunel and defence coach Shaun Edwards (what a difference he has made) adding the required steel to complement French flair. To win, France would require England away in Italy to win by a smaller margin. Tough ask!

Ireland

The final team in contention is Ireland. Currently sitting in fourth they have 2 games remaining. Similarly, to England one of those games is away to Italy and if recent history is anything to go by this should be an Irish win and by a decent margin. Andy Farrell’s men then head to the Stade de France needing a second win to be crowned Champions. It’s worth noting a BP win against Italy and a win against the French would crown the Irish Champions irrespective of other results.

Will fans be able to attend the 2020 Guinness Six Nations?

Unfortunately due to the recent change in government regulation, the pilot scheme, which was intended to be rolled out in October and would have allowed fans back into stadiums for sporting events, has been pushed back.
The Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) met with officials from the respective governing bodies to announce the continuation to the ban of fans from sporting venues. The 2020 Six Nations is therefore likely to be completed behind closed doors.

Are the 2020 Autumn Internationals going ahead?

Typically, the Autumn Internationals would be played throughout November. This offers players and coaching staff alike the opportunity to pit their wits against the best of the Southern Hemisphere rugby powers. In recent years these Test matched have been seen as a barometer, the litmus test, to where teams are positioned in the World Rankings and ultimately who would likely go on to raise the most coveted of all trophy’s; the William Web Ellis Cup at the IRB World Cup.
This year however, has been affected by the Covid-19 virus which has put restrictions on the ease of travel often afforded to International Sporting teams. A period of quarantine of around 2 weeks and the risk afforded to players physically and mentally has been rightly deemed too high.

What is the Autumn Nations Cup 2020?

This is the new competition proposed by the IRB to run in place of the Autumn Internationals. The teams include those of the Guinness Six Nations plus Georgia and Fiji. Fixtures from November 13 (unfortunately it is a Friday, I’ve checked!) to December 6.
The teams are split into two groups and will play each other once. After the final round of group fixtures, winners of group A will play the winners of Group B. The second-place team in Group A will play the second-place team in Group B… you get the picture.
Twickenham, The Aviva Stadium, Murrayfield and the Stade de France have so far been confirmed as host Stadia.

England v Ireland – Premium Virtual Hospitality Package – 21/11/2020

England v Ireland is the stand out fixture of the new Autumn Nations Cup Tournament at Twickenham and we’re ready to give you the best possible experience outside of the home of rugby.

Behind Closed Doors is the perfect way to re-engage and entertain your clients where you can enjoy the full Twickenham matchday experience from in the comfort of your home.

On the 21st November, Engage takes you and your guest to an exclusive pre match cook along at home with former England Captain Dylan Hartley.

Everything you need for the perfect day of International Rugby will be delivered to your door, then along with our professional chef, Dylan will take you and your guests through how to cook the perfect rugby meal.

In the build up to the match you will be joined live for pre-match interactive chats with international rugby stars before tuning in to England v Ireland live on Amazon Prime.

Register your interest here or give us a call on 0207 048 4848 for further details.

Are the 2021 Guinness Six Nations going ahead?

The good news is the 2021 Guinness Six Nations are going ahead as planned. A full 5 rounds of fixtures and will compete as usual for the available silverware. An added incentive for the players and potentially coaching staff, is the opportunity to join the Lions Tour. To be on tour with the Lions is a special occasion, however to play against the World Champions certainly adds a level.

Register your interest here or give us a call on 0207 048 4848 for further details.

Will fans be able to attend The 2021 Guinness Six Nations?

Chiefs from the Guinness Six Nations have met with representatives from governing bodies to discuss ways to allow fans to attend the Championship. This could involve hosting the event later. Currently, discussions are in their very earliest stages and all options are on the table. It’s in the interest of World Rugby that fans are back watching matches as safely and as swiftly as possible.

Register your interest here or give us a call on 0207 048 4848 for further details.

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Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Engage is working closely with governing bodies and venues to ensure the wellbeing of all our clients and staff are safeguarded during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The situation regarding events is changing rapidly and a number of events have been either postponed or rescheduled. We will keep all of our clients informed about their options as soon as we have notification regarding any changes to booked events.

In line with the government guidelines our London office is now closed however all lines of communication remain open and the team are working from home. So please feel free to contact us if you require any information.

We are sorry that inevitably we will not be able to welcome you to some of the amazing events we run over the summer. However, we look forward to getting back up and running and seeing you again before too long.

Useful contacts:

Enquiries about existing bookings info@engage.co.uk

New enquiries enquiries@engage.co.uk

Or call 0207 330 1188

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The Hundred Cricket like never before!

The-Hundred

The Hundred cricket is coming to a ground near you – Summer 2020

Innovative, exciting, explosive, uncharted, rebellion, all words to describe the English answer to the T20, a game developed by the Brits but which has become a global phenomenon.

Australia, South Africa, West Indies and Pakistan have created commercially viable tournaments but none more so than the Indian Premier League (IPL). To give an idea of the scale of this behemoth in 2015 the IPL contributed eleven billion rupees to the GDP of the Indian economy. A staggering tournament which in global broadcast rights stakes is second only to the Premier League (English Football) and The NFL (American Football).

The Hundred cricket tournament you would think would have a lot to do to catch up with the T20 brand, however, this new innovative game is positioned to be inclusive, aimed at the younger generation of non- cricketers aiming to inspire the next Ben Stokes or Jofra Archer to take up this global game. This is highlighted in two ways, firstly the tournament will be played throughout June and July (UK summer holidays) to allow the greatest amount of families to attend and secondly will be free to air on the BBC making the new competition accessible to those who are unable to attend live games.

In brief The Hundred cricket will be played across 7 cities, with 8 franchises of both men & women. Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, London (two teams), Manchester, Nottingham and Southampton. Innings will last 100 balls and take just over an hour to complete.

Birmingham Phoenix Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, Pat Brown Amy Jones, Kirstie Gordon
London Spirit Rory Burns, Dan Lawrence, Eoin Morgan Heather Knight, Freya Davies
Manchester Originals Jos Buttler, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone
Northern Superchargers Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid, David Willey Lauren Winfield, Linsey Smith
Oval Invincibles Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Jason Roy Laura Marsh, Fran Wilson
Southern Brave Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, James Vince Anya Shrubsole, Danni Wyatt
Trent Rockets Joe Root, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales Nat Sciver, Katherine Brunt
Welsh Fire Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Colin Ingram Katie George, Bryony Smith

On 20 October, the remaining places in the 15-man squads will be filled via a full draft – West Indies opener Chris Gayle and Australia batsman Steve Smith are among those to have made themselves available for the tournament.

Trent Rockets will select first in the draft, following a random draw, and teams are allowed a maximum of three overseas players. The draft will be streamed live on the BBC Sport website.

There are seven set salary bands, with up to two players to be picked at each of the following levels: £125,000, £100,000, £75,000, £60,000, £50,000, £40,000 and £30,000.

New competition. New rules.

All you traditionalists brace yourselves for some rebellious revelations.

  • It’s 100 balls per innings. Whoever scores the most runs wins.
  • The fielding side change ends after 10 balls.
  • Bowlers deliver either five or 10 consecutive balls. The captain decides.
  • Each bowler can deliver a maximum of 20 balls per game.
  • Each bowling side gets a strategic timeout of up to two and a half minutes.
  • The coach can walk out to the middle of the ground and discuss tactics with their players mid game.
  • A 25-ball powerplay for each team.
  • Two fielders are allowed outside of the initial 30-yard circle during the powerplay. A match of The Hundred will last two and a half hours.

Register your interest today to be a part of this exciting new tournament!

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“Short & sweet” Your intro to the Rugby World Cup

The Rugby World Cup gets underway in Japan today, 153 years in the making.

First played in Japan’s treaty ports, popular participation from Universities began in 1899 yet it would be another 33 years until Japan competed in their first International against Canada.

A country full of intrigue with its fascinating and multifaceted culture. Steeped in the deepest of traditions dating back thousands of years Japan is now on the frontier of popular culture with continually shifting fads, fashions and technological developments.

The 2019 World Cup is the 9th time the Webb Ellis trophy has been competed and the first time  outside of a test playing nation. The IRB have chosen a fantastic location to hold this year’s tournament, testament to their decision 16,000 fans arrived for Wales’ first training session in Toyota.

In short, 20 teams will compete across 4 groups over 12 stadia. The top two teams from each group will progress to the Quarter Finals, followed by two semi’s and the Final on the 2nd  November 2019 in the International Stadium Yokohama. New Zealand are the current World Champs having successfully negotiated two back to back tournaments.

One would suspect this year the outcome is not pre-determined which will only fuel the excitement and suspense for this incredible occasion. The top five teams in the World are currently Ireland, New Zealand, England, South Africa and Wales; each would argue they will be crowned 2019 World Champions.

The 2020 Guinness Six Nations will follow the World Cup and three of the top five teams are at Twickenham. England host Ireland on the 23rd February followed by the reigning Grand Slam Champions Wales on 7th March.

Engage provide official onsite hospitality within the coveted ICON Club. Arrive to a Champagne reception followed by a four-course lunch hosted by Rugby legends. VIP match seating and a post-match reception with match day player appearances makes for an unforgettable day at HQ.

Secure your attendance today on 0207 330 1188