Scoring Tennis for the Novice

12. June 2013 12:37 by Clayton Smith in Sports   //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments ()

Have you ever tuned into a tennis match halfway through and found yourself confused by the score? Hey, not to worry, you’re not alone. Tennis is unique in that it's scored unlike any other sport out there, and unless you're familiar with the style, it can be hard to follow. The good news is that the scoring method is relatively simple. All it takes is a little time to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the game to be a tennis scoring pro.

When it comes to scoring tennis, the most obvious question is, how do you win? On the men's side, you have to win three sets to come away as the winner, while women have to capture two sets. That seems simple enough, but what exactly is a set? That's where things get a bit more complicated. Each set is composed of games, which are in turn made up of individual points - each of which requires a little further examination. 

So, to recap so far, players score points in order to win games, and each game is a part of a set. Got it?

To win a set, you have to be the first player to capture five games, and to win a game you need to be the first to get to 40 points. Points are scored a little bit differently than in most sports. Like many other competitions, players start out tied 0-0 in each game (the technical term for “zero” in tennis is "love"), but that's where the similarities end. After hitting a point-winning shot, a player moves from 0 to 15, then 15 to 30 and then 30 to 40. After reaching 40, the next point gives them the win. Easy enough, right? At least, it is until the players are tied at 40-40, which is known as "deuce" around the tennis circles. When the players find themselves tied, one needs to score two consecutive points to win the game. In other words, if you’re tied at 40, the winner has to win by two points to win the game.

The first player to capture six games wins the set - most of the time. Just like you have to win by two points to capture a game, you have to win by two games to capture a set. Of course, this particular rule can vary from tournament to tournament, but it’s a good, general rule of thumb. 

Okay, so maybe scoring tennis isn’t the easiest exercise in the world. But hey, watch a few matches, and it’ll all start to make sense! The best way to watch tennis, of course, is live and in person. You can “score” your tickets to the 2013 US Open on the official US Open Ticket Exchange!



UFC: The Road to the Octagon

Anyone who has caught a glimpse of a UFC fight knows that mixed martial artists are among the most finely tuned athletes in professional sports. Not only do they put their bodies on the line every time they get in the octagon, but the skill, flexibility and dedication it takes to master multiple kinds of martial arts can only be achieved by a select few. Watching them in action certainly is a testament to their athleticism, but a more detailed look at their training regimen makes their achievements even more impressive.

To truly understand the work it requires to make it to the highest levels of MMA, you need look no further than Tito Ortiz. As one of the most accomplished athletes in the sport, his workout routine is certainly impressive. Speaking with in 2011, Ortiz detailed just how strenuous his workout regimen is. He trains six days a week, and that includes a 3-mile run followed by sparring, Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, and boxing. All in all, he estimates he puts in about eight hours of exercise each day - which basically makes working out his full time job.

It's a demanding profession to be sure, but Ortiz certainly reaped the rewards of his hard work. The Huntington Beach Bad Boy was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2012, and his bouts with legends such as Randy Couture and Chuck Liddel will ensure he lives on in the annals of UFC history for decades to come. 

Of course, Ortiz isn't the only UFC fighter with jaw-dropping training regimens. Ronda Rousey - who made history when she became the first female athlete to sign with the UFC - has a routine that's hard to top. She credits the wide variety of skills an MMA fighter needs to learn with helping her sculpt her envy-inducing abs and arms. Aside from having to focus on technical striking, Judo, and wrestling, she says she mixes in things like Pilates and training on sand dunes to get a truly well-rounded experience. 

Getting to the highest levels of any sports, whether it be basketball, football, golf or swimming, takes commitment, but few endeavors are quite as demanding as MMA. Yet Rousey, Ortiz, and the other members of this elite crew have managed to do just that with an impressive combination of skill, dedication, and strength. 


Want to see these finely-tuned athletes in action? Grab your UFC tickets on TicketsNow!

The Circus: Then and Now

11. April 2013 15:17 by Clayton Smith in Theater, TicketsNow  //  Tags: , , , , , ,   //   Comments ()

The origins of the circus date as far back as Ancient Rome, but back then it largely referred to a circular arena where events such as chariot races, equestrian shows, and staged battles took place. It wasn't until the later 1700s that the circus began to resemble what we think of today. The concept originated in Europe, where the likes of Philip Astley and Andrew Durcow brought their impressive displays of horsemanship on tour.

In the United States, however, the circus world did not really take off until the early 20th century when James Anthony Bailey and P. T. Barnum teamed up with the Ringling Brothers Circus in 1919. The partnership - which is still in operation today - is a circus in the most traditional sense. Clowns, elephants, acrobats, lion tamers, and daredevils have all become staples of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, and today the touring company still sells out arenas across the country.

While traditional acts such as Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey are still popular, the concept of a circus has shifted dramatically over the last several decades, thanks in large part to the emergence of Cirque du Soleil. The company was founded in Montreal in 1984, and what started as a unique blend of circus acts and street performers has grown to become a worldwide phenomenon. 

Cirque du Soleil has made a name for itself thanks largely to its elaborate costumes, classic music, and mind-bending acrobatics. The Canadian circus troupe has operated dozens of original shows throughout the years, including Love, which first kicked off a tour in 2006. Today, Love is performed at The Mirage in Las Vegas and features music from The Beatles that has been set to complement the breathtaking choreography of the acrobats. 

Whether you prefer traditional circuses or have fallen for the allure of Cirque du Soleil, it's hard to deny the appeal of these one-of-a-kind shows!

-Image courtesy of Getty Images



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