Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Myskina became mother

Former French Open champion Anastasia Myskina gave birth to her first child this night.
It's a baby boy. Mother and child are both well up. The baby has 54 cm and 3.600 kg.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Tatiana Golovin & Samir Nasri

The always injured Tatiana Golovin is now dating football star Samir Nasri. These are one of the first pics of those two together.

It's good to know, that Tati is happy outside of the tennis-courts. Let's just hope, that she'll be soon enough back on the WTA Tour playing, so that she can fulfill her potential...


Djokovic criticizes british players

Current Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic accused british players of being spoiled (with the exception of Andy Murray). Nole sees the problem lying in the mentality of the players, saying they have everything on the plate.

"I don't know if I should use the expression 'spoiled', but in the UK a lot of kids are a little bit spoiled because of all the conditions they have... and they don't work hard enough." - Djoko told the BBC.
"If you have perfect conditions and everything you want, you get a little bit spoiled and then you don't want to work as hard as you're supposed to. You don't have the hunger for success because you have everything on the plate. You still have a lot of potential. You just have to find the right moment and change the mentality of the coaches and the kids."

The only british player, who Djokovic wouldn;pt call spoiled at all is Andy Murray, who has been developing outside of the british system. The Serb sees Murray as a top 5 player

"He has enough quality, enough talent, and enough potential to be a top-five player, and everybody expects him to do that. But obviously he has so much pressure on him because Great Britain needs a champion, badly, and a Wimbledon champion especially, so they expect him to do that in the next couple of years, and obviously that creates some pressure."

"But, throughout his entire career, he's been mentally a very strong player, so I can expect that he's going to come fast to the top five."

Asked whether Murray was a future Wimbledon champion, Djokovic simply replied: "Yes."


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Clarissa Fernandez throws the racquet

Clarissa Fernandez decided to end up her career.
After years of struggle with knee injuries (3 major surgeries on both knees in 2004, 2005 and 2007), the feisty Argentinian decided it's about time to move forward in her life.

She will be remebered best for reaching the French Open semifinal in 2002 beating Kim Clijsters (6/4 6/0), Elena Dementieva (in three sets!!!) and Paola Suarez (coming back from a set and a break down). At No.87, was second-lowest ranked player ever to reach Roland Garros SF since No.99 Simon in 1978 and sixth-lowest to ever reach a Grand Slam semifinal.

Fernandez has reached one other semifinal and five quarterfinals in her career and owns one Top 10 win (the aforementioned Clijsters) and 4 Top 20 wins (over Dementieva, Myskina, Farina-Elia and Smashnova). In the rankings Fernandez peaked at 26.

"Reaching the Roland Garros semifinals was important for me, as was getting all the way to No.26 in 2003. I felt I was getting better and better and I have so many great memories from those years, despite the injuries. But when I started having problems again after the Australian Open this year, I decided it was time."

Fernández is in the process of finishing her high school degree and in September will begin studying at the University of Business Administration in Córdoba.

"If everything goes well, I'm hoping to spend the next few years focusing on my studies, and then hopefully I can find a new career in the tennis world. Tennis is my passion and I will always feel connected with it."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Princess of Estoril

After suffering a series of 5 losses in a row Maria Kirilenko bounced back in style. She won her third career title (and the first on clay) in Estoril. After this important win, her fans called her The Princess of Estoril...


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ancic earns law degree

Former World No.9 Mario Ancic became on Monday a graduate of the Law School of the University of Split. On Sunday, after leading his country to a 3-2 Davis Cup victory over Italy by winning the fifth and decisive rubber, Ancic drove four hours back home to get ready for his “big day” on Monday.In front of a crowd of 300 people, that included students and professors in the Law program, members of the Croatian Olympic Committee, Administer of Sport, family and friends, Ancic gave his 45-minute thesis on “ATP Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” describing the legal foundation and organization of the ATP Tour. Afterwards, Ancic took questions from professors and students.

“When I was going to high school with childhood friends I was always good in school and I wanted to see if I could do it,” said Ancic, who began the law program at the end of 2002. “It was a lot of work and I always wanted to play tennis but this is why I decided to continue and it was a huge day for me yesterday.”

“Obviously it’s not easy to compare (to tennis) but these will be memories I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

When Ancic was sidelined last year for nearly six months due to illness and injury, he became an everyday student and said, “It wasn’t good for my tennis not playing but I had something to focus on while I was out. This was good and I used my time well. I was spending a lot of time there and it was normal life for a 23-year-old not playing tennis.”

Ancic says education has always been stressed in his family. Older brother, Ivica, who played pro tennis briefly, earned a degree in economics, and younger sister, Sanja, who was a Top 10 junior in the world, is studying pharmacy in Zagreb.

“It shows the part of our family, the sport is big for us, but we always try to do both,” said Ancic. “It is so important and last year I had a lot of problems, and one day, it shows you what will you do when you’re not going to be playing tennis? You never know what could happen the next day. It’s something that’s going to stay with me for my lifetime.”

Ancic wrote his 68-page thesis in Croatian and he plans to get it translated in English and wants to give it to whoever is interested in reading it. “I want to thank Etienne (de Villiers) for helping with this and everybody with the ATP for their time.”

When asked what he will do with his Law degree, Ancic said, “It’s something that can open many doors after my tennis career and I hope to play eight to 10 more years. I would like to put together the sport and law that I like much and hopefully help the interests of the players.”


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Serena up for a challenge

"I'll play anybody with the exception of (Rafael) Nadal, (Roger) Federer and (Fabrice) Santoro. Other than that, I'm open for anybody."
- Serena Wiliams showing what she recalls a healthy self-confidence.


Ryan Harrison - the new Wunderkind

Fifteen-year-old American Ryan Harrison became the third youngest player (since 1990) to win an ATP match when he defeated Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 6-4, 6-3 on Monday at the US Men's Clay Court Championship in Houston.

Harrison, at 15 years, 11 months and 7 days, is the 10th player in the Open Era to win a match before his 16th birthday. He stands just behind current Top 10 stars Richard Gasquet and Rafael Nadal on the list of youngest match winners in the past decade. The two also won a match each at 15 years of age.

In the second round he will face the winner of the match between top-seeded James Blake and this year's Delray Beach titelist Kei Nishikori.

Harrison is the 10th youngest to appear in an ATP events main draw.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

new coach, new wins?

Roger Federer may look to a new coach in a bid to break out of his 2008 funk.

After spliting up with his latest coach- Tony Roche last May, Federer didn' t want any help from other trainers, but a poor start coming into the clay-court season may have persuaded him to look for help.

Jose Higueras (used to coach Jim Courier and Sergio Bruguera) will be alongside the top-ranked Swiss at this week's Estoril Open, tournament organizers said Saturday.
As a player, Higueras won 16 ATP tournaments and represented Spain in the Davis Cup.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Are Djokovic and Sharapova a couple?

The whole tennis world was left wondering what was Maria Sharapova doing in Novak Djokovic's supporter box during last year's US Open final? There was no end to the speculations:
"Are they... or aren't they...?"

Now the saga has it's next episode. The two were spotted together in one of Miami's trendiest clubs - the Opium Garden.

The two stayed in there pretty long and left the club together. Sharapova’s agent was driving the car while Djokovic and Sharapova had the backseat for themselves.

Here you can see the film, where the two were leaving the club:



Serbian contingent on stamps

There's no doubt - the small Serbia s expiriencing a massive tennis boom.
The tennis players are no longer simple sportsman, they already became celebrity's. Their every step has been followed by the Serbian media. Now the tennis player's have been honoured in a very special way. Their faces have been put on Serbian stamps.

The images of WTA stars Ana Ivanovic & Jelena Jankovic, the current Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, world No.38 Janko Tipsarevic, and world No.6 doubles player and Australian Open mixed doubles champion Nenad Zimonjic are now on stamps, that were created by academic painter Marina Kalezic.

The stamps were officially released on Friday, April 4th.


Serbian duo is into Hollywood actors

After having Jelena Jankovic make her Hollywood conections after the Miami final last week, now we have another Serb willing to be linked with an Hollywood actor. World No.2 Ana Ivanovic said she likes spending spare time watching television series Prison Break and out of all people that have ever lived she would like to spend a day with handsome Prison Break actor Wentworth Miller. The Prison Break star would like to meet Ana Ivanovic too. Wentworth said he would be honored to meet one of the most beautiful and most successful female tennis players.

A fan asked Ana Ivanovic on her official website: "If you can meet someone, just for one day, famous or not, living or dead, who would it be and why?"

"Wentworth Miller!" was Ana's immidiete reply

Then, on the Entertainment Channel Wentworth Miller was asked whether he knew who Ana Ivanovic was and what he thought about her. He said that you didn’t have to follow tennis to know about Ana. He said she was one of the most successful tennis players, and certainly one of the most beautiful athletes too.

Wentworth is glad Ana likes him, and he thanked her for the compliment. He said that unfortunately they hadn’t met, but added that he would like that to happen.


Serena's black bikini

Former world No.1 Serena Williams finally getting some rest after winning her fifth Miami title...


New coaches for Nieminen & Vaidisova

Finland's best Jarkko Nieminen has hired Joakim Nyström as his new coach. The current World No.26 is trying to break the spell of 7 matches lost in a row.

Nieminen had a very good start to the season reaching the final of Adelaide (beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semis) and the quarters at the Australian Open, but since then hasn't won a single match on the Tour.

The Fin will share Nystrom with Austrian Jürgen Melzer, who beat Nieminen at a Challenger event in Florida last month. Nieminen has worked with Swedish coaches before and often practises in Stockholm. His previous coach was Fredrik “Fidde”Rosengren who now is coaching Mario Ancic.


One of Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's brightest talents Nicole Vaidisova also has a new coach. The Czech shooting-star decided to split with her stepfather Alex Kodat, with whom she worked since the age of 6. The number 17 in the world will now be working with David Felgate, who has for a long time been Tim Henman's coach.

Oliver van Lindonk, Vaidisova's manager, said yesterday: "Nicole has been struggling a bit recently, she lost in the first round of both Indian Wells and Key Biscayne and said she wanted to spend a week away from the game getting her head together. She has been back this past week working harder than ever, doing fitness work twice a day and really excelling in practice.

"She will be 19 in a couple of weeks but she is a very mature 19, she had to make a big decision to part with Alex but she also needed to feel she could maximise her talents with the right coach. In many ways, David is similar to Alex, he is a person she respects tremendously, he is a calm individual but won't shy away from behind very frank about what he thinks she will need to do.

"And he is a coach who she knows will have the same goals for her that she has for herself. She is not just looking to return to the top ten (Vaidisova had a career-high ranking of No.7 in May, 2007) but to rise higher and challenge for the major titles."


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Daniela Klemenschits is dead

The Austrian doubles-specialist Daniela Klemenschits lost her fight against cancer.

The Austrian tennis federation said Wednesday that Klemenschits and her twin sister Sandra were diagnosed with a rare form of abdominal cancer in January last year, forcing them to retire.

Daniela and Sandra had several tumors removed and required expensive medical care. Roger Federer, Marat Safin, Justine Henin, Amelie Mauresmo, Martina Hingis and others donated items for an online auction in June to raise funds for her treatment.

Sandra is - according to the ORF Webpage - on the road to recovery.

The Klemenschits sisters won 20 titles on the ITF circuit. Although they didn't win a WTA Tour event, they entered the top 100 of the WTA doubles ranking in 2005.

She will be missed big time.

She was only 25.


JJ & Woody - Part 2

World No.3 Jelena Jankovic was never shy of cameras and of the Hollywood glow. That's why, it ain't no surprise, that after the Miami final, she went on a dinner with Hollywood stars Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson and... Woody Harrelson.

Woody and Owen were seen watching the Miami final. Fighting off all those break and match points didn't prevent Jankovic from spotting them too.

After the rollercoaster match world No.3 Jankovic met them.

"After the final was over, I got to meet actors Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson. They were accompanied with their producer since they are making a movie here in Miami. They came to watch the match and they seem to enjoy tennis. All of them invited me to have dinner with them so I accepted the invitation. They are really great individuals and I had a great laugh with them. They are outgoing and very natural which I really liked. I am very communicative and I like when others are like that as well."

So after making her already famous words: ("I was thinking that one of the actors was in that movie, if you know, 'White Men Can't Jump', I was feeling when I was playing that match, I thought, 'White Girls Can't Play'."), which were adressed to Woody Harrelson, we are starting to wonder, if there's something more going on...

How angry and jealous is Jamie Murray right now... ???


Harkleroad sad, depressed & pissed off about surgery

Just as Ashley Harkleroad seemed to get her act together and make the most of her undoubted talent, her career got a sudden, unexpected blow. The 22-year old beauty from Georgia underwent a sugery to remove her right ovary on March 31 after a frightening episode during the Sony Ericsson Open.

"The good news is that if I want to have babies, the doctors said no problem," Harkleroad told the reporters. "If I couldn't, I'd be really depressed. "It was still hard for me mentally. I felt like something had been stolen from me. First I was sad, then I was depressed, then I was pissed off. But I'm OK now," she said.

The problem started during her second round match against Virginie Razzano at the Key Biscane tournament in Miami. She experienced some abdominal pain, but chalked it up to menstrual cramps and tried to treat it with over-the-counter pain medication.

The discomfort worsened, and Harkleroad underwent a diagnostic ultrasound that showed she had a blood-filled cyst on her ovary.

"The advice I was given was that I could play with it as long as I could deal with the pain," she said. "So I took four Aleve and two Pamprin and went out for my third-round match."

Harkleroad nearly won her 3rd round match against Elena Vesnina, having lead 4/2 in the deciding set, but she was not playing freely, because of the pain.
"I really should have won the match," Harkleroad said. "I was moving tentatively on the court, because in the back of my mind, I was worried about making [the pain] worse."

After she got back to the hotel with her boyfriend and coach, Chuck Adams, Harkleroad spent several hours vomiting, unable to eat or drink, and grew progressively weaker.

"I finally looked up at him and said, 'Call 911,'" she said. "It's the first time I've ever been in an ambulance, and I had a panic attack. My hands and tongue went numb. It was so scary. I just wasn't sure I was going to make it."

The cyst had ruptured. Harkleroad said she bled internally, affecting her liver function, and wound up losing more than a quart of blood. She was rushed to Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables, Fla., where Dr. Luis Mendez performed emergency surgery. Afterwards, she said he cheered her up by telling her he had spared a small fish tattoo on her right hip. Harkleroad spent two days in the hospital and several more days confined to bed rest but said she is healing quickly now. A talented clay-court player, she hopes to return to tournament play in Prague the week of May 5 and start preparing for the French Open.


No Nott, just East

The ATP Nottingham event is set to be scrapped next year and replaced by a joint event at Eastbourne.

The men's grasscourt tournament, which started in 1995, has declined in popularity over the last few years and will no longer feature on the ATP Tour after this season. The WTA tournament in Eastbourne, on the other hand, has improved immensely, becoming the biggest tournament leading into Wimbledon. Every year you can find greater names wanting to participate in the Wimbledon build-up.

The leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, Councillor David Tutt, said, "This is really excellent news for Eastbourne and will confirm the town's status as a top tennis venue, with a key British tennis event held here on the south coast.

"Taking place the week before Wimbledon, the tournament will attract huge media interest and world class players.

"This is a great boost to the town and its tourist economy and I am proud that Eastbourne has been chosen to stage two such major tennis events."

A record 40,000 spectators turned up for last year's International Women's Open, which ended in a thrilling final between world number one Justine Henin and world number four Amelie Mauresmo.

This top event at the Devonshire Park saw the best crowd numbers in the event's 32-year history as Henin and Mauresmo, left tennis fans on tenterhooks as they played a tense tournament finale that lasted more than two and a half hours and saw Henin triumph.


Vee taking a timeout

Former World No.1 Venus Williams is taking a time-off of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. The American decided to take a break due to personal reasons.

“I’ve just been having some issues that I need to resolve, so I’m working on that at the moment and I’m hoping to be back playing as soon as possible,” Williams explained at a press conference Tuesday at the Bausch & Lomb Championships. “I’m not going to get any further into it, but of course I love the sport.”

This means, that the Anerican Fed Cup Team will one of their strongest player in the tie against Cup-defender Russia.

The six-time Grand Slam champion is planning to return to the Tour at the French Open. She hasn't decided yet, if she is to play some preperation tournaments before Roland Garros.

“Of course I want to be there (in France),” Williams said. “I don’t want to be at home watching on TV. Watching this week will be enough on TV, so hopefully not too many more weeks.”


Monday, April 7, 2008

White girls can't play

"I was thinking that one of the actors was in that movie, if you know, 'White Men Can't Jump', I was feeling when I was playing that match, I thought, 'White Girls Can't Play'."
- Jelena Jankovic explaining to the press, what she felt on the court while losing to Serena Williams in the Miami final in front of Woody Harrelson.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

The return of Kimiko Date

Japan's most accomplished singles player Kimiko Date is about to make a comeback to the WTA Tour at the age of 37 . After retiring 12 year's ago, the former World No.4 is due to make a formal announcement at a news conference on Monday.

In the mid 90's Date reached the semifinal stage at Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. She also made the quarters at US Open. The Japanese won 7 singles titles and got up to No.4 in the Rankings.

It seems like it has become very trendy to make a very late comeback to the WTA Tour, so maybe we're gonna see Navratilova coming back soon...


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Davydenko may skip the Olympic Games

World No.4 Nikolay Davydenko said he might skip the Beijing Olympics. The Russian explaines, that the long flight from China to the States could make him perform worse at the US Open, which he sees as a greater goal than a gold medal.

"I don't want to say 100 percent I go to the Olympics, because for me it's very important in America to play after the Olympics the U.S. Open," Davydenko said Thursday.

The Russian said he already had made the expierience with such a long flight and describes it as a painful one.

"It was 12 hours to fly and 12 hours difference between the USA and Asia," he said. "Recovery was maybe three or four days. It's so tough."

Should he really skip the Olympic Games, Davydenko would be in good company - Andy Roddick already decided he won't perform at the Games, 'coz he too thinks that the US Open are more important than the Olympics.


New Nike Commercial

Maria Sharapova and Roger Federer are in amongst the superstar filled cast of the new Nike commercial.

The 60-second ad has not yet been released on the wide screen, but is already being played in Youtube.

Also appearing in the video are basketball superstar Kobe Bryant, ring icon Manny Pacquiao, Chinese athlete Lui Xiang and famous football player Cristiano Ronaldo.


Murray hires Corretja

Andy Murray decided to hire former World No.2 and two-time French Open Runner-Up Alex Corretja for the claycourt season.

Corretja, a claycourt specialist and two-time French Open Runner-Up believes, that Murray has got the game to make it all the way at Rolland Garros, "I have watched Andy play several times over the last couple of years, and in particular his close match against (Rafael) Nadal in Madrid in October, and saw that he has tremendous potential to play well on all surfaces and I am flattered to have been asked to be part of his team during the claycourt season."

"It's great for me to be able to work with a clay-court specialist like Alex. He had a fantastic career and I am looking forward to learning from his experiences," said Murray.

The british No.1 missed the most part of last year's claycourt season, because of an wrist injury. He will be looking forward to make some places good in the standings, as he hasn't got any points to defend coming into this year's spring. He will play his first tournament on clay in Valencia, which starts on April 14.


Friday, April 4, 2008

5 times 4 Serena 4 the 1st time?

"I haven't won anything five times, except I win all the time in Uno. I don't think that counts."
- Serena Williams about the prospect of winning the tournament in Miami for the fifth time. Poor old Vee - not only did she lost so many times in Grand Slam finals against Serena, now she's even losing in Uno...


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Youzhny out for blood

We had many great matches at this year's Key Biscane tournament in Miami, but the battle between Mikhail Youzhny and Nicolas Almagro surely deserves to be crowned as the top of the cream! It was a trully memorable and bloody encounter between two players, who were about to give up their all to win this one.

The Russian took the early initiative and raced out to a 4/0 lead only to see the feisty Spaniard coming back to level the first set at 4-all. Afterwards both players held their serves and Youzhny won the tiebreak. Though ending up with nothing after such a good comeback in the first set, Almagro wasn't about to give up as he confidently won the second set 6/3.
For the most part of the 3rd set it was the Spaniard, who looked to be in better shape, time after time forcing the issue. Almagro took his chance at 4-all as he broke the Russians serve and went on to serve for the match at 5/4, but Youzhny got a break point on the Spaniards serve and after being not able to capitalize on it, he went totally crazy...

After the medical timeout Youzhny managed to finally break Almagro and saved himself into the tiebreak once again, where he looked to be on his way, but the Spaniard saved two match points and leveled the final set tiebreak at 6-all and looked to be in control once again, but this wasn't to be, as the No.11 seeded Russian won the next two points and with it, the match.

There was no bad blood between those two players, but Youzhny was baying for blood and in cold blood he managed to win this bloodbath!


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Dementieva signs a deal with Oriflame

The recent Dubai champion Elena Dementieva is featuring in the russian Oriflame catalogue. Oriflame is the official sponsor of the russian team at the Olympic Games in Beijing this year.


Cartoon Hero

India's best doubles player Leander Paes will be an animation superhero in the series titled The Magic Racquet. He will play a miracle man who comes to the aid of school kids in each of the 26 half-hour episodes being planned.

The main idea behind the show is to promote values of an active outdoor lifestyle, healthy eating habits and physical fitness. The series will be produced by Paes’ company, Leander Sport Private Limited (LSPL) in collaboration with leading Mumbai-based Maya Entertainment Ltd (MEL).

Leander, who became a father a year ago, speaks about the thought behind his new venture. “It pains me when I see kids today spending a lot of time in front of TV sets and on unhealthy diets. As a father and national sports figure, I feel it is my duty to impart love for sports and an active lifestyle so the next generation can develop the mindset of champions, both on and off the field,” he says.

There is not much being said about the action taking part in the cartoon. All that was revealed at this stage is the fact that Leander will play roughly his own age and will sport tennis gear. The story will revolve around a school with three to five central characters between the age group of 6 to 10.

Jai Natarajan, executive vice-president and business head of MEL, says that there was never a doubt about defining Leander’s role in the series. “We wanted him to be himself. Paes’ creative instincts, friendly screen presence and strong value system make him an ideal catalyst for promoting healthy attitude among kids,” he added. But he is also quick to add that “the character will have lots of style.”

There are also plans to include other sporting stars as guests in a few episodes. “Since we want to promote sports in general, other big sporting stars too can be included,” he says.

So yes! We're probably gonna see Sania Mirza cartoonized soon...


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Roddick is getting married

Andy Roddick is planning to marry 20-year-old model Brooklyn Decker. “The couple wanted to tell their family and close friends first but good news travels fast,” said a note on Roddick’s Web site. “With their hectic travel schedules, Andy and Brooklyn plan to enjoy their engagement and will wait to set a wedding date.” The couple began dating in 2007 when Roddick, 25, asked his agent to track down a number for Decker, 20.

For all those, who don't know, what Decker is doing 4 life, it will be no surprise to hear, that she's a model. She appeared in Sports Illustrated magazine in a swimsuit. Well, maybe not exactly "in a swimsuit", but "with a swimsuit"!
Well, after seeing those two without T-shirts, the Argwus-Team with one accord decided, that the future Mrs Roddick looks better without it, than Andy...