Saturday, February 28, 2009

Win title = lose hair

Tommy Robredo is never shy of a challenge. After his Tour buddies Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Albert Montanes and Marcel Granollers all had their hair cut last week, Tommy made a bet he would also get shaved, if he was to win the tournament.

After he won a marathon against Juan Monaco in the final, he already knew there was no escape from the new haircut. The Spaniard kept his word and went to the barber.

Of course, he didn't go there by himself. He had support Santiago Ventura, Marcel Granollers and Ruben Ranirez Hidalgo, who all were luaghing there shoes off...


Friday, February 27, 2009

Ivanovic's photoshooting for L'Equipe

Tennis starlet and world No.7 Ana Ivanovic will be on the cover of L'Equipe Sport & Style.

Hell yes! She's smoking hot as always!


Agassi playing again

If you're lucky enough to be spending your summer in the States, you might be able to see Andre Agassi playing again.

"Playing World TeamTennis is a great experience. Team play is a terrific way to showcase tennis, especially for kids. WTT is competitive, it's fun and there's a really great energy from the fans. I'm looking forward to playing WTT again." - Agassi said.

The winner of 60 career titles will play in World Team Tennis for the Philadelphia Freedoms. You can see the great man on July 10th in Philadelphia and 7 days later in Newport Beach (California). He'll join the Williams sisters, Martina Navratilova, John McEnroe and Anna Kournikova in the stars filled league.

Agassi last participated in WTT in 2004.


It's getting hot in here...

The skillfull oldie Fabrice Santoro might have sung this to himself while losing to Gilles Simon yesterday in Dubai 6/7 1/6.


Fed redefining the word genius

“I have never believed in working on my weaknesses. My serve and my forehand are my strengths and I work on them to get better.”
- Roger Federer. Oh Geez, this sooo good, it doesn't even require a sarcastic comment...


Bad earlier, worse now

Australian Open quarterfinalist Carla Suarez-Navarro is going from bad to worse with her haircuts. We just hope, she doesn't do a Sinead O'Connor and go bald in the next couple of months!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dubai (not) Israeli Free

"Sport is a bridge that connects people, countries, culture, everything, religions, and that's the beauty of it. That's why I decided to go into sports and not politics. I decided it was the right decision to play here and I will come and try to do it again"
- Andy Ram on his Dubai expirience


Hewitt in legal fight with Octagon

This has been a week to forget for Lleyton Hewitt. The former world No.1 is struggling on court, losing to Yen-Hsun Lu on his birthday, and outside off it he's also facing problems. Octagon, his former managment company, is about to sue the Aussie.

"You wanna screw with me? Just try me!"

Hewitt is accused of breaching the Trade Practices Act, reneging on agreements and breaching exclusive contracts. The two time Grand Slam champion fought back with claims against U.S.-based Octagon Inc of misleading and deceptive conduct, unjust enrichment and management incompetence.

In the years 2005-2006 the Aussie is said to have earned $6,75 million from endorsments and tournament guarantee's. New Idea magazine paid Hewitt $84,000, Nike $3.5 million, Yonex racquets $2.3 million and Optus $130,000, it is claimed. He received $330,000 from endorsing tennis games for two video companies. Tournament organisers in Sydney, Adelaide and London paid him $340,000 just to turn up.

"If they ask me in court, I'll show them!"

Octagon is suing the former world No.1 and Llyeton Hewitt Managment claiming they should've get a bigger slice of his earnings since 2000 onwards. The sued once claim, they have ended their work with Octagon in 2004.


Discipline change

We all know that Rafael Nadal loves football nearly as much as tennis. What's more he is a huge fan of Real Madrid (we would prefer him to be FC Barcelona fan). Having some time off, Nadal traveled yestarday to Madrid and went to see Real vs Liverpool on Santiago Bernabeu.

The match was a nice spectacle, however it was Liverpool who eventually won by one goal.

“I’m simply one more fan, but I have to say that I saw them playing often from the back, it was real hard for them to come forward. It’s a pity that with the one chance (Liverpool) had, they scored. In their next match they have to go out there and believe in victory. They have to go to Liverpool with their hearts full” - said Rafael Nadal.

In other words Rafa could say: Real has to play the rematch like I play tennis :)


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Injury or what?

There have been some talks the last few days about Roger Federer's injury that caused him to withdraw from Dubai and Davis Cup. Is it really an injury or just a precaution?

"I want to make this clear: Roger is not injured. What we are doing is purely precautionary. We will be training in Dubai for the next two weeks." said Federer's physical trainer Pierre Paganini.

Meanwhile, Swiss Davis Cup coach Severin Luthi stated: "People who think that Roger is faking an injury don't know anything. He really wanted to show himself in Davis Cup this year."

Did Federer really wanted to show himself in Birmingham for a Davis Cup clash against U.S.A.?
We are not sure about it. Instead of flying to the States he attended the Players Party in Dubai.

Here are some of the pictures from this nice event:

Roger looks really good on those pictures. No signs of the injury ;)

Who want's to touch dirty socks of Granollers?

Is this lady working on the project called "Dirty socks of tennis players"?


Turn off your mobile phone Kei

Kei Nishikori, world nr. 93, has been warned not to let his mobile phone go off on court during next week's home Davis Cup clash againt China. Why is that?

Imagine, that during his last week defeat by Marcos Baghdatis his cellphone kept bleeping during some rallies.

"He will have to be very careful about his mobile phone. I'll be warning him about that just to be on the safe side." said Japan's Davis Cup coach Eiji Takeuchi.
"At the very least he will have to learn to put it on vibration mode." added Takeuchi.

Don't you know where the off key is, Kei?


Simon visits Dubai Duty Free

Usually it is the girls who like to do the shopping, but it seems like in Dubai the men also catch the shopping-flu. Gilles Simon took the time to visit Dubai Duty Free...

Maybe it is about time to watch "Confessions of a shopaholic", huh?


Sela says "it's also the fault of Shahar"

Isreal's best singles player Dudi Sela shared some views on Shahar Peer's visa denial. He partly blaimed his countrywoman for the scandal, that had developed after the UAE didn't grant Peer the visa.

"I think it's a pity they didn't let Shahar play, but it's also the fault of Shahar, because she asked for the visa a few [days or two weeks] before. The average person, if you want to go, you do it [several] months before." - said the Israeli

Sela, though being critical of Peer admitted, the whole situation was unnecessary.

"Even though, it's still bad. It's sports, not war. Everybody should play.''

He also shared his view on an eventual boycott from the WTA players.

"If it was two weeks before and not two days before then they should do what you say, boycott the tournament, but they were already there and spent a lot of money to come there.''

Sela's close friend on the ATP World Tour, Marcos Baghdatis, said he would support a boycott, had the UAE not given Andy Ram the visa.

"Yes, why not?. Even if I was playing there. I'd arrange for every player to get half points, the same points, and just cancel the tournament. It's ridiculous to have politics in sports. We're not in politics; we're in sport. You have to give everybody a chance to play.''

One little visa, such a big mess...


Time to say good-bye, Ljubo!

Former world No.3 Ivan Ljubcic is seriously thinking about retiring. The Croat is frustrated by the amount of his losses and the low ranking position.

"I need to get these first round matches right or the end is very near if I continue this way"

The former French Open semifinalist is now ranked 53 in the world and managed to win only 2 of the 7 seven matches he played this season.

Hey, Ljubo, you might share your views with the oldies like Moya, Hewitt, Ferrero, Haas, Massu, Gaudio and Canas. They all don't seem to know, when to say - "stop"...


Safin's last tango in Paris

Former world No.1 Marat Safin is now certain not only that he's gonna hung up his racquet, he now even knows when. The Paris Masters in November, where he won 3 times, will be the last event of his rollercoaster career.

bye-bye Marat

After attending this season with a brand new attitude, he must have felt like he would do better then over the last few years. The Russian wanted to get the pressure off his shoulders by going into the matches with no expectations, only wanting to enjoy it. The question is - how much will you enjoy it if you constantly lose?

After losing in the first round in Dubai to Richard Gasquet 3/6 7/5 3/6, the two time Grand Slam champion is now on a three match losing streak.

"Paris, that's where we'll have to make it the last tournament, a tournament where I play the best tennis, where I won the Davis Cup. So I would love to say bye-bye there"

Safin also added it would be nice to actually win the tournament (his last title being the Australian Open 2005). He wouldn't be himself, if he hadn't turned it into a joke...

"Of course, I have to agree with all the players and make it happen. A nice farewll, bye-bye, and well, just win the tournament and just a present for me. I will give away the prize money to everybody"

The ATP World Tour surely won't be the same without Marat. Who will take over his legacy as the top entertainer and racquet smasher...?


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Radwańska sisters won't play Dubai next year

"It's not politics. We just won't play, where we are not welcomed."
- Robert Radwański, father of Agnieszka & Urszula on why the girls won't play in Dubai next year.

"For the organizers of this tournament, if you're not Williams or Sharapova, you're noone. They have let us all emphaticaly feel it"
- Wiktor Archutowski, the Radwańska sisters manager.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Rafa starting to promote Lanvin L'Homme Sport

World No.1 Rafael Nadal has developed a fragrance line called Lanvin L'Homme Sport. Last year the Spaniard signed a deal with Inter Parfumes, now he's starting the promotion of it. This is the first pic.

You just start wondering which shape the bottle's gonna have. Let's hope Rafa's famous butt won't be an inspiration for the makers... ;-P


And the Oscar goes to... Serena Williams!

Did Serena Williams lose her semifinal in Dubai against sister Venus on purpose?
It seems like she didn't wanna miss out on the Oscar night in Hollywood. Or rather the Afterparties...She attended the Fox Searchlight official 'Slumdog Millionaire'/'The Wrestler' post Oscar party at ONE Sunset in West Hollywood. She also attented the 17th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's Academy Award Viewing Party held at the Pacific Design Center.

Looks like Serena has had a tight schedule. Not a tennis one, of course.

Poor Vee did miss out on the Oscars, having to play the main role in the Dubai final...


Nole reaching new hights?

Novak Djokovic hasn't reached a final this season yet, but he's 4 sure setting his expectations high. He comes to Dubai as the top seed and one of the favourites to take the title.

As the top star, you always got to do a lot of promo stuff for the tournament. Nole had the luxury of doing something really cool. He attended a photo call on a A380 aircraft flight simulator provided by Emirates Airlines.

It seems like Nole found out, what he may be doing in the future...


Give it 2 me, give it 2 me, give it 2 me

Former Wimbledon semifinalist Xavier Malisse is trying to make it back to top 100, but in order to do so, he's having to win a lot of matches. Being a world No.167 ain't no fun, 'cause you have to play qualifications to every worthy tournament. Even to those, where you might have expected to get a wildcard...

"I think it's pretty embarrassing to be in five finals in eight years, winning twice and not get a wildcard. There's no loyalty in tennis" - said an angry Malisse after losing to Taylor Dent in the qualifying of Delray Beach.

The Belgium has reached the finals in Delray Beach in 1999, 2001 and 2006. In 2005 & 2007 he went all the way winning the title.

The Organizers decided to give the wildcards to former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt and to the American Sam Querrey. The third one went to Evan King, the winner of the USTA boys' claycourt Championships.

"I truly adore Malisse, but I didn't know if he was healthy. Hewitt's a better draw... I told Malisse was leaning toward Querreybecause he's an American" - said Mark Baron, the tournament director.

Yes, nobody said life was fair and you could state a comeback the easy way around. Even Jelena Dokic had to play play-offs for an Australian Open wildcard...