Friday, November 21, 2008

Roddick hires Stefanki

Andy Roddick has a new coach. Larry Stefanki, ex-coach of Fernando Gonzalez, will be preparing A-Rod for the 2009 season.
Well, Andy, after so many short-term famous faces in your camp such as Brad Gilbert or Jimmy Connors, maybe now it's time for a longer relationship.

Anyway, we think that what Rafa says, would be a proper conclusion: "Who's next?".


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Anna home alone

Anna Kournikova has kicked Enrique Iglesias out of their house in Miami.
The hot couple had a fight over the singers dogs.

"We were living together for six months, but she kicked me out. We had a fight. We did make up, but she didn't let me move back in." - Iglesias told the press.

"It was a stupid fight - something about my dogs. I'll move back in when she lets me."

Yeah right Enrique, you better watch out, coz we are already used to hear Anna talking about comebacks, but we never really seen one...


Borrowed Masters Cup

World No.27 Radek Stepanek wasn't on anybody's list to reach the Masters Cup, but after Andy Roddick has withdrawn it was the Czech who got into the event as an alternate.

He had to shorten his holiday in Thailand to arrive in Shanghai on time. Lately Stepanek revealed he came to the event not as preapered as he would like to.

"I had racquets from Novak Djokovic and socks from Andy (Murray). He uses the same ones I do."

The Czech also had to buy new contact lenses ahead of his group clash with five-time champion Roger Federer. Although Radek lost the match, he could have been proud of himself, as he managed to break the defending champion in every set.

"I think I dealt with it pretty well. You know, I had my chances, but I didn't take them."

"For me it was always a dream to play in the Masters Cup because you're in the elite eight best players in the world," he said. "It's an honour for me to be here."


Serena Williams in Kenya

This year's US Open champion Serena Williams arrived in Kenya in order to open a Secondery school, that she helped to build. The school will be named after the tennis superstar.

The school was build in a record time of one month. It is fully equipped with a computer laboratory and Internet facilities for the students.

“I would like to contribute more to education projects in Africa, and I really want to thank the Hewlett Packard Company for choosing to partner with me in this noble project" - said the touched younger Williams sister.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ave Wimbledon, R.I.P. French Open

"That's a pretty hard question to answer, I'll probably have the answer in August."
- Roger Federer still lying to himself, that winning the French Open ain't that important to him, answering a reporters question, if he would choose another Wimbledon title over a Roland Garros trophy.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ferdana Verdascovic at Real Madrid match

Every week seems to bring some new stuff on the latest hottest tennis couple. Fernando Verdasco and Ana Ivanovic, also known as Ferdana Verdascovic, have been seen together at the futball match between Real Madrid and Real Union.

Right after Ana took part in the WTA Season Ending Championships (where Fernando supported her), the two flew to Madrid, where they watched the match. Real Madrid won that rubber 4:3, but who really does give a damn about it...???

A link to a video of those two at the match you can find here.


Jankovic at the premiere of her film

Jelena Jankovic once again drew attention in Serbia as her documentary film saw it's premiere in Belgrad. On November 12th the current World No.1 attended the premiere of "Jelena's World" ("Jelenin Svet"). The film is a great success. It is told to have sold more tickets than the new James Bond movie. There is some talking, that the producers might release an english version.

Here you can see the filming and the trailer.


Lindsay may not come back

It doesn't look good for last year's comeback queen. Lindsay Davenport will skip the Australian Open 2009. The former world No.1 still hasn't recovered from a knee injury, that has forced her to withdraw from Wimbledon, US Open and several other tournaments this year. Having in mind how long it takes to recover in her tennis-age (see Capriati and Pierce) a final retirement isn't out of question.

According to Linda Pearce from The Age:

"Lindsay Davenport is not expected to contest January's Australian Open. Still troubled by a knee injury, the 2000 champion at Melbourne Park is considered unlikely to play at tour-level again, having made a comeback in 2007 following the birth of her first child, Jagger."

Let's keep our fingers crossed Lindsay once again pulls of a stunning return to the Tour!


Soft ass

"It's soft like my ass"
- Mervana Jugic-Salkic complaining (not only) about the tennis court in Kraków during an ITF event.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Navratilova in "I'm a celebrity... Get me out of here!"

Tennis-legend Martina Navratilova was always up for a challenge. This time she decieded to go for an extreme one. The former World No.1 will be part of the star line-up for UK's reality show "I'm a celebrity... Get me out of here!"

She will be joined by Star Trek's Mister Sulu - George Takei, MEP Robert Kilroy-Silk, TV presenter Esther Rantzen, ex-EastEnder Joe Swash, ex-Blue singer Simon Webbe, TV presenter Dani Behr and former police chief Brian Paddick.

Navratilova said she has never seen the show and "will be flying very blind"

"So I'm sort of going in on trusting in my ability to adjust - as Billie Jean King says, 'champions adjust'. So we'll see if I can adjust."

When it comes to her "biggest worries" the 18-time Grand Slam Champion cited the contact with snakes and spiders.

Let's keep our fingers crossed Martina actually survives this one...


Hewitt selling his house

Bec and Llyeton Hewitt decieded to sell one of their properties. The Hewitts are selling an extravagant five-bedroom, waterfront mansion - complete with indoor moss waterfall - in Adelaide's prestigious Island Point at West Lakes. The property has no listed price, with the selling agents requesting potential buyers to submit an "expression of interest".

The former World No.1 bought this place in 2003 for $3.2 Mio, but the pair, who are expecting their second child, have really seldom lived there. Llyeton is planning a comeback to the tour after surgery, so they decieded there's no sense in keeping the house.

"It's a great place, it's a unique place, it's just a shame that it just doesn't get the use" he said.

Let's hope the Hewitts quickly find a buyer for this house, that features an indoor pool, spa, sauna, commercial cool room, home theatre, billiards room and sports bar and an interior moss rock waterfall - but no tennis court.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cibulkova and Melzer in Maldives

It seems like this relationship will be a longer one. Dominika Cibulkova and Jurgen Melzer still seem pretty much in love with each other. They decieded to spend some time of the off-season in the Maldives.


Enchanting way of describing a victory

“It was a second accident,”
- Gilles Simon having been told he now holds a 2-0 head to head against Roger Federer after beating the Swiss superstar the openning day of the Masters Cup in Shanghai.


Keothavong trapped

Just few days after winning the biggest title of her career - a $100K in Kraków - Britain's No.1 tennis player Anne Keothavong posted her thoughts on the tournament win, her final opponent and the way she might have been killed by a dog while jogging in Kraków...

Here's what Anne had to say about that particular expirience:

"Before my second round match, I was running around a car park near the tennis club with Sophie. We didn’t realise it was a private car park and were minding our own business when a Polish man started shouting at us. We looked round to see him locking us in the car park! He refused to unlock the gate and pointed to a huge dog behind another gate implying he was going to set it on us! After shouting for help, we found a way to climb over the gates thanks to a kind passer-by. It’s funny when I think about it now, but at the time we definitely weren’t laughing!"


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No towel for Tsonga

Current world No.7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was furious during his first match at the Masters Cup in Shanghai. The Australian Open finalist gesticulated and ranted at the Qi Zhong Stadium staff when they were slow to give him towels and balls during his loss to Russian Nikolay Davydenko.

"You say one time, two times, three times, and then you ask the other guy. The other guy looks around, so you have to say one time, two times, three times, and the towel comes," he said.

"Sometimes in this match I lost energy with that. Sometimes I had to fetch my towel myself. So for me it's maybe 10m more. But if you count at the end of the match, it's like 1km."

Yes, tennis players have their own way of dealing with tough losses. Blaiming others for their own inability is one of their methods to say it wasn't their fault they lost...


Ivanovic wins Tour Aces Diamond award

Ana Ivanovic
received the Tour Aces Diamond award for off-court promotional activities. The award goes to the player, who does most for promoting the sport to fans, media and sponsors.

"I'm very happy to win this fun competition," Ivanovic said. "Being a professional tennis player is about a lot more than just hitting tennis balls and winning matches. The off-court side of things is also very important, and it's essential that we as athletes do what we can to promote the sport. There have been a lot of enjoyable ACES activities this year. I always enjoy meeting fans, sponsors and other guests when I'm at tournaments. Two of my most enjoyable activities this year were playing doubles with some amateur players in Tokyo and the photo shoot we did in Dubai."

"Ana is not only an incredible athlete and champion, but also a player who has earned the respect and admiration of fans, media and sponsors by continuously giving back," said Larry Scott, Chairman & CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. "Throughout the 2008 season, Ana has given of herself selflessly and been a true ambassador in promoting our sport."

"Ana has made a significant effort to promote women's tennis this year and it gives me great pleasure to present her with this award during the Sony Ericsson Championships," said Aldo Liguori, CVP and Global Head of Communications and PR, Sony Ericsson. "It's great to see some very strong contenders for the 2008 ACES Award and to recognise the players who are so dedicated and passionate towards promoting women's tennis to fans and new audiences."

This is how this years Diamond Aces rankings looked like:

1. Ivanovic, Ana (595)
2. Jankovic, Jelena (565)
3. Williams, Serena (345)
4. Chakvetadze, Anna (315)
Dementieva, Elena (315)
Hantuchova, Daniela (315)
7. Kuznetsova, Svetlana (265)
8. Williams, Venus (245)
9. Schnyder, Patty (240)
10. Petrova, Nadia (230)


Federer buys holiday home

World No.2 Roger Federer has bought a holiday home in the eastern canton of Graubünden, a local official confirmed on Thursday.

"It's true. Federer bought a house with grounds in Valbella," said Urs Häusermann, a local politician. Häusermann was pleased with the 27-year-old athlete's choice though, saying it spoke highly of the region as a holiday destination. The house is located near the village of Lenzerheide, south of Chur. The tennis star also has a condominium in Dubai and in March moved to the town of Wollerau, where taxes are low.

Feliciano Lopez single again

One of ATP Tours most famous playboys is single again. Feliciano Lopez and Maria Jose Suarez are no longer an item.

The couple decieded to split up one year ago, but got together very quickly again. This time, there's no happy ending in sight, as the Maria Jose wants a stable relationship cemented by a commitment to marriage, while Feliciano is not ready for it. One of their biggest obstacles may also be their difference in age, as Lopez is 26 and Suarez 32.


Safin thinking about retirement

Former World No.1 Marat Safin stated he is not sure if he will continue his tennis career after losing his 1st round match at the Paris Masters Series to Juan Monaco 0/6 6/7(4).

"I need to enjoy my life without tennis, I will see if I continue," Safin said.

"I need to think it through. I will see, it was too intense these last three years. We will see. I have no pressure, nothing to show, nothing to prove."

The Russian superstar hasn't won a title since his famous win at the Australian Open 2005. Plagued by a variety of injuries and lack of form Safin managed to reach semifinals at this year's Wimbledon, his best result there to date.

"If I feel like I want to continue to play I will - if not it will be over."


Luzzi dies

Sad news for the tennis world. Federico Luzzi, a former top-100 tennis player, has died of leukemia. He was only 28.

Luzzi died at a hospital in Arezzo, the Italian Tennis Federation said Saturday. He had been there for a few days after retiring last weekend from an Italian league match citing a high fever.

Luzzi reached a career-high ranking of No. 92 in 2002 before a shoulder injury that affected him the rest of his career.

He had a 2-2 record with Italy's Davis Cup team. In 2001, Luzzi beat Ville Liukko of Finland 14-12 in the fifth set after 4 hours, 35 minutes — the longest Davis Cup match ever played by an Italian.

Impresa Rinaldini, a friend of Luzzi's remembers:
"In the semifinals of an under 16 year old boys competition Federico was losing to Fernando Gonzalez 0/6 0/5. Yes, this was the same Gonzalez, who went on to become world No.5. Only great champions can turnaround a match like this. Fede was able to do this. He saved 9 match points and then won the set. During the changeover he told Gonzalez; "- You know, you're not gonna win this one?"

In February, Luzzi was suspended for 200 days and fined US$50,000 by the ATP for betting on tennis.

Luzzi is survived by his parents, Paola and Maurizio, and his sister, Francesca.


Cibulkova and Melzer a couple

It seems like love is in the air lately. According to the austrian press Jurgen Melzer is now dating the Dominika Cibulkova. This must of course mean the Slovak tennis beauty and Gael Monfils are no longer an item.

The two played mixed doubles at this year's US Open and it looks like they are not only a pair on court.
The only question is - how long will this relationship last - as we all know how Melzer likes to change his tennis-girlfriends. Anastasia Myskina and Nicole Vaidisova might know a little bit about it as well...