Tie Break Tens

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These past few weeks have been amazing, we have been working really hard on some great collaborations that I can’t wait to share with you all. Tomorrow we are off to Paris to shoot some cool looks and to attend some meetings, because although I am still posting about this season’s fashion week, we are already preparing next year’s fashion season where we hope to travel to all 4 main fashion weeks in February.

So amongst all this work it was amazing to be invited last weekend to attend and cover Tie Break Tens, an awesome tennis tournament that was aired on Sky Sports. Some of you may not know this, but I used to play professional tennis and was on the WTA world tennis tour for 4 years and part of starting my blog was to share our travels and adventure of our life on tour. It must therefore come as no surprise that I am a real sports fan so it was really great seeing such an incredible line up of famous players play at one London’s most iconic venues the Royal Albert Hall.

Tie Break Tens is such a great concept that I truly believe it has revolutionised competitive tennis. The whole tournament was to take place on one day, each match would be just 10 points long and the winner would take all, the massive $250,000 dollar prize! I could see that with such high stakes and such a quick victory or defeat that the intensity and the wow factor of the game would be increased but I could never have imaged in my wildest dreams the awesome events that ensued…

The tennis was being played from 6pm until 9pm on the Saturday, which meant that people who work during the week or who can’t take a full day or week off for some serious tennis watching could go too. We arrived early at the beautiful Royal Albert Hall just after 3.30pm to attend Andy Murray, John McEnroe and Kyle Edmund’s pre-match Press conference. We walked down into a very sumptuous green room, filled with match score boards from the previous tournament, Champions Tennis, that saw great veterans compete, with the winner Xavier Malisse earning a wild-card entry into Tie Break Tens to compete for $250,000. There were news channels, other bloggers, massive video cameras and us and we were all invited to sit in the front rows to ask the our questions to the players, two of whom had just come back from Belgium having won the Davis Cup for Britain! I lived streamed some of the press conference on my Snapchat (AbigailRoyston), it was great to hear what the players had to say – Murray hadn’t hit a ball since his massive victory but he had swung a racket in his bedroom at home and Kyle, only 20 years old was still wearing a look of disbelief that he was now amongst the legends.  John McEnroe was as animated as ever, playing some serious phycological games on the young players, knowing that he now had a better advantage without the three long sets that he would otherwise have had to play in order to win.

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After taking some photos in the green room we were invited up to the top balcony, into the VIP area to watch the pre-match warm up and to have canapés and champagne. The Lanson Champagne from was to die for, the setting was sublime, giant photos of all the greats adorned the walls, white illuminated rackets and the most beautiful table settings ever with white ivory candelabras. It really felt so special to be able to enjoy tennis in such an elegant setting and the view over the whole hall and the court was fabulous.

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After two flutes of champagne and unlimited canapés, we were accompanied by the awesome Tie Break Tens team to our seats. One by one Annabella Croft announced the players, Tim Henman, Xavier Malisse, Andy Murray, John McEnroe, Kyle Edmund and David Ferrer…I couldn’t have been more excited about the line up and seeing so many great players, essentially playing 10 match points and all in one day! I was living any tennis fans dream and the matches hadn’t even begun!

The tournament was structure was the following, the players made up two groups, group A and B and each player in the group had to play the other two in his group, so the first phase was a round robin and then much like the football world cup, the winner of Group A would then qualify and play the runner up of Group B and then the winner of Group B would quality and play the runner up of Group A. The winners would then play for the massive prize and the other two would battle it out for 3rd and 4th place. The veterans were put into one group and so the first match of the day was Tim Henman vs. John McEnroe, a match that was an absolute joy to watch and which Tim, after much crowd pleasing by John McEnroe, ultimately won. The short points meant that every match was unpredictable, John McEnroe just missed out on a place in the semi’s after loosing a 7-1 lead against Xavier Malisse 7-10, and of course having lost in the first round against Andy Murray, Kyle Edmund then made his way into the final to face him again having beaten the winner of the veteran group. The players were on great form laughing and joking with the crowd despite the high stakes, which made the whole event so much fun!

In a massive twist of fate, Kyle Edmund having lost easily to Andy Murray in the first round, ended up playing amazingly well in the final and won, thus doubling the total of his career prize money in a day! We were called down to view the prize giving ceremony from the reporters box and then, after Kyle received his prize, we went on court with Londongramer to watch vloggers Oakelfish and George Benson try to return Andy Murray’s serves. And I did say try…

After the match we had drinks and ate some amazing food with the players. I was meant to interview Tim Henman but due to scheduling difficulties this was put on hold, but I did get a few cheeky  photos for Andy Murray, when we discussed our time at the Open in Barcelona and caught up on some of the good friends that we have in common. Peruvian Charles, you know who I am talking about 😉 Andy was so nice, incredibly gracious in defeat, an incredible star and great role model who has raised over $50,000 with Andy’s Aces to help children in danger.

So here are some of the photos and videos from this amazing day with the most amazing team from Tie Break Tens. It was truly a privilege to cover such an incredible event, especially as one of the reasons why I started My Girls On Tour was to share my travel adventures and stories from my time playing the world tennis tour – hence the name My Girls On Tour!

Hope you like the photos of Tie Break Tens and I wanted to ask all you tennis fans out there, if you could pick one player from the history of tennis to join Tie Break Tens who would you pick and why…Can you imagine Roger Federrer vs. Nadal with the winner playing DJokovic all in one day! Mind blowing I know!

Happy Monday everybody, below is my full video of the event! 🙂

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Style Sportif Launch

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As some of you already know, I started My Girls On Tour to share my stories and experiences of life on the professional tennis tour…So I am super excited to have been invited to go this Saturday to Tie Break Tens held at the Royal Albert Hall- I won’t just get to see some of my favourite players play (some of whom have just won the Davis Cup this weekend), but I am also interviewing one of the world’s most famous players for My Girls On Tour! Eeek!

 I can’t wait to share it all with you soon 🙂 But before we get on to some serious tennis, I first wanted to talk about my time at the launch of the brand new fashion/fitness brand Style Sportif – an online market place that brings together some of the most famous names in sport fashion – to give us ladies some seriously stylish activewear, to not only feel good, but  to also look good whilst we are training! Or in my case, tree hugging, as I try to hold myself up after slowly dying from 5 minutes of slow running…

From super colourful leggings from Lexie Sport and Laurie Nouchka, to crazy sock designs from Move Active, chrome tops from SukiShufu and the bold very chic looks from Gymluxe, Style Sportif has a great range of stylish pieces that transition from sportswear to fashionable daywear.  At the launch, I loved looking at all the designs and I especially loved the London printed leggings and the street style pieces from Beth Richards!

The lauch was held at a very cool venue called Lights of Soho, which was just opposite where London Fashion Week had been held. The room was adorned with the coolest neon signs and riskee photographs, there was music, original cocktails on demand, Instaframs and goodie bags filled with all sorts of treats, from Coconut juice to Epoch pick me up scrub. A fashionista’s heaven!

It was in the evening and so I decided to wear black Guess Jeans, black heels and a backless sequin top from All Saints, that is perfect for events. It makes jeans look more formal and also swishes around as I walk, so it makes me feel like Cinderella – without the fear of tripping over my long ball gown.

Before Style Sportif I used to wear an oversized t-shirt and baggy sweats to do fitness in, but after seeing so many cool activewear designs I am starting to seriously re-think my poor training fashion choices…How about you, what do you guys like to wear when you work out?

So here are some pics and videos from the event.

Happy Monday everybody!

Abi xxx

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Pin Stripped Tartan Jacket for Golf

So my boyfriend is a great golf player and so when it was sunny the other day in London, I agreed (reluctantly) to accompany him to the golf club so that he could practice some shots at the driving range. Sitting there is never fun, so I had a quick go and actually was pretty fun. Tell me what you think of my new swing! Haha

It is quite funny how sports clubs can often be more strict on dress code than a Mayfair nightclub. Even at school we weren’t allowed on the tennis courts if we weren’t dresses head to toe in white. My uncle once got turned away because he was wearing white socks and was forced to buy a new pair with a “more suitable” color. This was the case even though he was the  golf club’s President! Another one of my friends had a to buy a whole new outfit for a date she was asked on to a golf course. So, it was naively that I went on to put on my pair of very smart grey Nike running track trousers and sneakers. Huge mistake. To a golf club, you never wear a tracksuit :/ , or shorts, or jeans – Jeans I understand, but the others…It just doesn’t really make any sense – I know golf is quite sedentary, but it is a sport right?! I started to re-think my decision to go…

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So having looked through all my things and having no Chinos (because really how many girls do!), I decided on my new baby blue trousers, which are jean (also forbidden), but don’t really look like jeans and a white crochet top, slip ons. Finally, as I wasn’t going to really be playing myself, I combined it with a grey pin stripped jean jacket, which is adorned inside with Tartan fabric. After all the Scots do have the most famous courses in the world right? What I love about the jacket is the detail in the buttons and I tend to refer to it as my “Michael Jackson jacket” with “all them zippers”. What do you think about sports and etiquette? Do you think it prevents a whole swathe of the population from participating? Do you think that these dress code rules are meant though for that? Or is it necessary in order to prevent people playing in the wrong kit, injuring themselves and damaging the greens?

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WEARING:

Blue Amelie Super skinny Jeans –  RIVER ISLAND

Printed Leather slip-ons with track sole – ZARA

Charm Bracelet – THOMAS SABO

Multi Button Pin Strip Jean Jacket with Tartan Lining – PEPE JEANS (Sold out)

Lace top  – H & M (sold out)

Diamond Bangle – MACY’S NEW YORK

Gaudi, Picasso…in Barcelona we all become ledgends

It is strange, seldom when you live in a city do you fully appreciate it for the things which the tourist fly thousands of miles to see. How many times do you venture to Westminster to admire the Houses of Parliament? Or do you make the trip up the hill to see the Sacre Coeur and the great vistas of Paris which the Cathedral enjoys? As a New Yorker do you venture up the Empire State Building often? Or make your way to the Great Wall if you live in Beijing?Playing, shopping,competing, partying, sleeping. Dramas and laughter. Sometimes a city is just a frame for the bigger picture,friends, networks and communities- invisible to the world and to Google.We engulf ourselves in humanity and the everyday. Are we mistaken to do this and do we lack culture and appreciation? Indeed, home is where the heart is, so I will start off with what made my heart beat stronger and what fueled my passions and my rages in this city of sun, dust and wine.

Barcelona. Countless parties, countless faces and memories. Some fade and yet others never will. I miss it and yet as it is part of me I will take it wherever I go. I remember the Hard Rock Cafe and the flocks of people when leaving the Nou Camp. Godo, Barcelona’s tennis open where a famous tennis player asked me out. Chupito, the shot bar, where we would order the “Monica Lewinsky” for the most extroverted ones of our group.The face of the tennis academy owner when he walked into the nightclub Shoko and saw 28 of his underage pupils dancing on the bar and

smoking.

Our beach parties, the Starbucks in Plaza Catalunya and the L95, the bus which we would wait hours for and curse when we had missed the last one after a night out. Port Olympic and its tiny English cinema – the only place to watch a film for the first 6 months for lack of language. El Bosc de les Fades, the fairytale wood, a bar decorated to look like an enchanted forest.

La Obeja Negra, the black sheep – sangria and pop corn, a fantastic mix. I remember the blue of the sky and the red of the Earth, the heat and the dry palm trees. The leathers and the dark browns, the dark hair. The loudness of the voices and the smells of the drains. Las Ramblas, magical, alive with birds, portraits and grotesque statues.

My firs trip to the magnificent mind blowing Parc Guele designed by Gaudi, when we raced each other up the stairs to the top. When we almost got run over crossing the boulevard Paseig de Gracia and the Ronaldinho look alikes who played tricks with a football along las Ramblas.

Late nights and excruciating hangovers. The Gothic quarter, and the beautiful woman who sang or maybe still sings in the square. The courtyards, and the great tapas restaurant which we found when we got lost trying to find the Picasso Museum.

Four years, and not once inside the Sagrada Familia and not once to Montjuic. Once to Plaza Espana, on a date to see the sun set and the waterfalls change color. What I would give now to see inside that Cathedral, now that I am more than 1,000 miles away. We have returned now, to see what we have missed.

The Opening Ceremony

The team gathered outside the arena, the music, chants and sounds deafeningly loud. We waited and waited and waited.The call finally came…SPAIN!It was finally our turn. We walked out and onto the catwalk, my eyes blinded by light. I waved at the cameras, at the thousands of supporters swaying and moving to the directions of the crowd leaders. The sight was incredible, the festivities only beginning.

             Drummer musicians     Animadoras red  Musicians Opening ceremony costume Opening ceremonyOpening ceremonyWalkway white

The Namsadang consists of male performers who present various performing arts. It is said that Namsadang was spontaneously formed before 1900 during the Joseon Dynasty and used to wander about marketplaces and villages.The troupe was well-organized and strictly disciplined by rules. Namsadang’s performances were held on the ground instead of theaters. Their sequence comprises of music, dance, acrobatics, spinning streamers, percussion, spinning dishes in the air using sticks whilst exchanging witty banter with a clown,tightrope walking and puppet plays.

Probably the most famous and eminent person ever in the history of nNmsadang is Baudeogi. Her real name was Kim Amdeok. She was born as the daughter of a poor peasant farmer and joined the troupe at the age of 5 in 1853. She had the great makings of the six performances, and with her amazing skills and artistic talent, became a big star among the public. When Baudeogi was 15, she was unanimously elected as the leader of the troupe by the troupe members. This was quite unusual because at that time only men could become leaders and she was so young. However this is testimony to her talents and high popularity. In 1865, Heungseon Daewongun, the regency, called in her troupe to court and had them cheer workers who engaged in constructing a new palace. They were very successful in their task, and the regency gave her a jade headband button. At that time, only high rank officials could possess this and from that point on her fame spread all over the country. This moment is regarded as the beginning of Korean entertainment business and Baudeogi is considered to be the first popular entertainer of Korea. A festival is held in Anseong every October and is called the “Baudeogi Festival” in her honour.

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