Thursday, April 30, 2009

Face Of The Day

Na Li  from China throws the ball to serve against Svetlana Kuznetsova from Russia in their second round match at the Porsche Grand Prix tennis tournament  in Stuttgart, Germany, Thursday, April 30, 2009.
AP

Li Na from China throws the ball to serve against Svetlana Kuznetsova from Russia in their second round match at the Porsche Grand Prix tennis tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, Thursday, April 30, 2009.

Singles - Second Round
(1) Dinara Safina (RUS) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 64 62
(2) Elena Dementieva (RUS) d. Agnes Szavay (HUN) 76(4) 61
(3) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. (WC) Sabine Lisicki (GER) 75 57 63
(5) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Li Na (CHN) 46 64 75
Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. (6) Nadia Petrova (RUS) 62 62
Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. (7) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 76(6) 64
(8) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (Q) Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 63 63

Doubles - Quarterfinals
(3) Ruano Pascual/Zheng (ESP/CHN) d. Borwell/Kops-Jones (GBR/USA) 75 64
(WC) Petkovic/Woehr (GER/GER) d. Benesova/Zahlavova Strycova (CZE/CZE) 75 63

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Internazionali BNL d'Italia

Singles - Third Round
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d R Soderling (SWE) 61 60
[2] R Federer (SUI) d [16] R Stepanek (CZE) 64 61
[3] N Djokovic (SRB) d [13] T Robredo (ESP) 61 61
[5] J Del Potro (ARG) d [10] S Wawrinka (SUI) 62 67(5) 63
[6] F Verdasco (ESP) d R Gasquet (FRA) 75 64
[Q] M Zverev (GER) d [8] G Simon (FRA) 64 61
[12] F Gonzalez (CHI) d J Melzer (AUT) 36 63 75
[Q] J Monaco (ARG) d [15] M Cilic (CRO) 64 64

Doubles - Second Round
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d J Knowle (AUT) / J Melzer (AUT) 64 63
[2] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d J Blake (USA) / M Fish (USA) 63 46 10-6
[3] L Dlouhy (CZE) / L Paes (IND) d I Karlovic (CRO) / D Vemic (SRB) 61 61
[4] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Knowles (BAH) d S Bolelli (ITA) / A Seppi (ITA) 76(5) 26 10-3
[5] B Soares (BRA) / K Ullyett (ZIM) d M Melo (BRA) / A Sa (BRA) 62 64
[6] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) d J Benneteau (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) 75 63
[7] M Mirnyi (BLR) / A Ram (ISR) d [WC] D Bracciali (ITA) / P Starace (ITA) 75 63
[8] J Coetzee (RSA) / J Kerr (AUS) d [WC] F Cipolla (ITA) / F Fognini (ITA) 61 75

Third Round Open Thread

http://www.paologatti.it/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=1183&g2_serialNumber=1

I'll be away for much of the tennis day today. Share your thoughts on the third-round matchups in Roma. There are some good ones in the mix.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Face Of The Day

Argentina's Gisela Dulko reacts in her first round match against Victoria Azarenka from Belarus at the Porsche Grand Prix tennis tournament  in Stuttgart, Germany, Wednesday, April 29, 2009. Dulko won the match 6-4, 6-3.
AP

Argentina's Gisela Dulko reacts in her first round match against Victoria Azarenka from Belarus at the Porsche Grand Prix tennis tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, Wednesday, April 29, 2009. Dulko upset the pundits' answer for the missing-in-action blonde from Florida, ahem, I mean Siberia, 6-4, 6-3. And to think someone called Azarenka the favorite to win Roland Garros shortly after her Miami crown.

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Singles - Second Round
Gisela Dulko (ARG) d. (4) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 64 63

Singles - First Round
(3) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 61 61
(5) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. (Q) Andrea Petkovic (GER) 64 57 61
(6) Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. Zheng Jie (CHN) 64 57 64
Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. Anna Chakvetadze (RUS) 62 60
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. Alize Cornet (FRA) 63 61
(WC) Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. Patty Schnyder (SUI) 64 63

Doubles - First Round
Spears/Sun (USA/CHN) d. (2) Hantuchova/Sugiyama (SVK/JPN) 46 62 107
Mattek-Sands/Petrova (USA/RUS) d. Jugic-Salkic/Poutchek (BIH/BLR) 60 75
Dulko/Pennetta (ARG/ITA) d. Parra Santonja/Sfar (ESP/TUN) 64 62
(WC) Petkovic/Woehr (GER/GER) d. Errani/Senoglu (ITA/TUR) 63 26 108

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Internazionali BNL d'Italia

Singles - Second Round
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d A Seppi (ITA) 62 63
[2] R Federer (SUI) d I Karlovic (CRO) 64 64
[Q] J Monaco (ARG) d [4] A Murray (GBR) 16 63 75
[5] J Del Potro (ARG) d V Troicki (SRB) 63 16 63
[6] F Verdasco (ESP) d M Fish (USA) 64 57 63
J Melzer (AUT) d [7] N Davydenko (RUS) 75 76(5)
[10] S Wawrinka (SUI) d [Q] M Youzhny (RUS) 63 76(5)
[12] F Gonzalez (CHI) d J Tipsarevic (SRB) 64 64
[13] T Robredo (ESP) d P Kohlschreiber (GER) 62 76(5)
[15] M Cilic (CRO) d C Rochus (BEL) 60 57 62
R Soderling (SWE) d [Q] V Crivoi (ROU) 61 67(2) 61
[Q] M Zverev (GER) d P Mathieu (FRA) 36 76(5) 60
[16] R Stepanek (CZE) d F Lopez (ESP) 62 61
[8] G Simon (FRA) d [WC] F Fognini (ITA) 67(6) 62 63
R Gasquet (FRA) d E Gulbis (LAT) 62 16 64

Singles - First Round
R Gasquet (FRA) d [9] J Tsonga (FRA) 76(2) 64
P Mathieu (FRA) d [11] D Ferrer (ESP) 63 26 62
[16] R Stepanek (CZE) d F Serra (FRA) 76(1) 46 75

Doubles- First Round
[WC] D Bracciali (ITA) / P Starace (ITA) d A Montanes (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP) 62 76(8)
[Alt] I Karlovic (CRO) / D Vemic (SRB) d F Cermak (CZE) / S Huss (AUS) 76(6) 57 10-8
J Blake (USA) / M Fish (USA) d S Aspelin (SWE) / W Moodie (RSA) 76(4) 61
M Melo (BRA) / A Sa (BRA) d R Lindstedt (SWE) / R Soderling (SWE) 75 62

Order In The Court!



I couldn't help but laugh. Gotta keep those bottles upright and in their proper place.

Hype Kills

Andy Murray of Britain reacts during his match against Juan Monaco of Argentina at the Rome Masters tennis tournament April 29, 2009.
Reuters

Juan Monaco just showed "all I need to do is break serve and I can be No. 1" Andy Murray the door.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Face Of The Day

The hair of Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki flies after serving the ball to Iveta Benesova from the Czech Republic in their first round match at the Porsche Grand Prix tennis tournament  in Stuttgart, Germany, Tuesday, April 28, 2009.
AP

The hair of Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki flies after serving the ball to Iveta Benesova from the Czech Republic in their first round match at the Porsche Grand Prix tennis tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, Tuesday, April 28, 2009.

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Singles - First Round
(1) Dinara Safina (RUS) d. Sara Errani (ITA) 60 61
(2) Elena Dementieva (RUS) d. (WC) Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) 64 36 63
(7) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Iveta Benesova (CZE) 63 75
(8) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 76(2) 60
Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. (Q) Karolina Sprem (CRO) 63 26 61
Li Na (CHN) d. Peng Shuai (CHN) 62 63
Agnes Szavay (HUN) d. Ai Sugiyama (JPN) 63 26 76(4)
Gisela Dulko (ARG) d. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 63 63
(Q) Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) d. (Q) Alberta Brianti (ITA) 06 64 64

Doubles - First Round
(1) Black/Huber (ZIM/USA) d. Dushevina/Husarova (RUS/SVK) 62 63
(3) Ruano Pascual/Zheng (ESP/CHN) d. Dekmeijere/Peng (LAT/CHN) 26 64 107
Benesova/Zahlavova Strycova (CZE/CZE) d. (4) Groenefeld/Schnyder (GER/SUI) 60 64

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Internazionali BNL d'Italia

Singles - Second Round
[3] N Djokovic (SRB) d A Montanes (ESP) 76(5) 60

Singles - First Round
[12] F Gonzalez (CHI) d J Chardy (FRA) 64 61
[13] T Robredo (ESP) d M Safin (RUS) 26 76(5) 62
P Kohlschreiber (GER) d S Bolelli (ITA) 46 61 60
R Soderling (SWE) d M Granollers (ESP) 63 60
[Q] M Zverev (GER) d T Berdych (CZE) 46 62 75
F Lopez (ESP) d [Q] T Bellucci (BRA) 64 62
J Melzer (AUT) d J Benneteau (FRA) 36 62 63
M Fish (USA) d I Andreev (RUS) 63 46 76(2)
A Seppi (ITA) d S Querrey (USA) 36 64 63
J Tipsarevic (SRB) d J Acasuso (ARG) 63 64
[Q] M Youzhny (RUS) d [Q] D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 75 64
E Gulbis (LAT) d N Almagro (ESP) 36 76(5) 62
[WC] F Fognini (ITA) d [WC] F Volandri (ITA) 67(3) 61 76(4)

Coria Hangs Up His Racquet

Not surprising, but sad nonetheless.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina(AP)—Guillermo Coria retired from tennis at age 27 on Tuesday.

Coria, a finalist for Roland Garros in 2004 and formerly ranked third in the world, said he had been considering stepping down from the sport for months.

“I didn’t feel like competing anymore,” Coria said in statements published on the Argentine Tennis Association’s Web site. “I’ve made the decision I will not play again.”

Coria won nine titles during his career, reaching his peak in 2004, when he lost in the final of the Roland Garros to Gaston Gaudio, catapulting him to third in the world rankings.

Coria’s decline began a year later after he won the Umag tournament – his last title.

“In 2005 I began to feel less and less like competing,” he said. “My passion just wasn’t the same and it’s impossible to do things well when it’s like that. In this sport, you have to be at 100 percent,” added Coria, who is currently ranked 672.

Israeli Harold Levy beat Coria in the Argentine’s last match in March, 6-3, 6-2 in a challenger tournament in Bangkok.

“I’m very happy with the decision I’ve taken, since I have new projects and I will be able to spend more time with my family,” Coria said.

Quote For The Day

"That said, there’s one other notable aspect about Nadal that continues to stick out this clay season: Even while he’s doing something unprecedented, and even while he can appear for long periods to be utterly invincible, he remains human on the court. That is, he remains subject to anxieties, dry spells, inexplicable shanks, and even the occasional tactical blunder. After winning the first set over Ferrer pretty much at will, Nadal’s level dropped in the second, and more than a few shots flew wildly off his frame. John McEnroe once said of Federer at his peak that he screwed up just enough to let you know he was human, before rising to the occasion and becoming infallible again. This combination made Federer even more impressive than if he’d been perfect all the way through. If anything, I’ve always felt this was even truer of Nadal: He lets you know that winning is work, and that one missed shot here or there—Ferrer nearly reached set point on Nadal’s serve in the second—is all it would take for him to end up on the losing side of any given day. As with Federer once upon a time, this only makes the fact that Nadal doesn’t lose those key points that much more impressive."--Steve Tignor

Monday, April 27, 2009

Face Of The Day

James Blake, of the United States, reacts during his match against Romania's Victor Crivoi at the Italian Rome Masters tennis tournament in Rome, Monday, April 27, 2009. James Blake struggled with the windy conditions and lost to Romanian qualifier Victor Crivoi 7-5, 6-3 Monday in the first round of the Rome Masters.
Getty

James Blake reacts during his match against Romania qualifier Victor Crivoi at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia Masters in rainy Roma today. Blake struggled with the blustery conditions and lost 5-7, 3-6.

Though Roma is my favorite clay event (yes, I do have one) there was no tennis watching for me today.

Dirt darkens my nails. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and peas are now in the ground, along with several varieties of onions and all sorts of spring greens and herbs that flourish in cool soil. Now, a break before preparing the summer fields for sowing and transplanting.


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Singles - First Round
[10] S Wawrinka (SUI) d I Kunitsyn (RUS) 63 64
[Q] V Crivoi (ROU) d [14] J Blake (USA) 75 63
[15] M Cilic (CRO) d [WC] F Cipolla (ITA) 62 62
C Rochus (BEL) d J Chela (ARG) 61 62
[Q] J Monaco (ARG) d N Kiefer (GER) 62 63
V Troicki (SRB) d V Hanescu (ROU) 63 63
I Karlovic (CRO) d [Q] J Hernych (CZE) 46 64 62
A Montanes (ESP) d [WC] P Starace (ITA) 76(8) 64

Doubles - First Round
J Benneteau (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) d R Hutchins (GBR) / A Murray (GBR) 64 64
J Knowle (AUT) / J Melzer (AUT) d J Chardy (FRA) / G Simon (FRA) 62 61

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Porsch Tennis Grand Prix

Singles - First Round

(4) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) 61 64

Doubles - First Round
Borwell/Kops-Jones (GBR/USA) d. Hsieh/Scheepers (TPE/RSA) 36 63 105

Singles Qualifying - Final Round
(1) Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) d. Katalin Marosi (HUN) 63 36 62
(7) Alberta Brianti (ITA) d. (2) Vera Dushevina (RUS) 76(3) 63
(6) Karolina Sprem (CRO) d. Arantxa Parra Santonja (ESP) 63 64
(WC) Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Julia Schruff (GER) 63 64

Quote For The Day

"I don't necessarily need to get to No. 1; I just need to win the French Open. That's what my goal is. For me, it doesn't matter if I'm 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 or 10 in the world. For me, it's either No. 1 or somewhere else. Especially for me, who has been No. 1 for so long and won so many titles. If you're not No. 1 then it's about winning titles and getting back No. 1. That's the position I'm in now."--Roger Federer

Faces Of The Day

Alexa Glatch, Liezel Huber and Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the U.S. (L-R) celebrate after defeating the Czech Republic's Iveta Benesova and Kveta Peschke during their Fed Cup semi-final tennis match in Brno April 26, 2009.
Reuters

Alexa Glatch, Liezel Huber and Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States celebrate after defeating the Czech Republic's Iveta Benesova and Kveta Peschke during their Fed Cup semifinal tennis match in Brno April 26, 2009.

::

They fought off a match point in the doubles. Which wouldn't have even mattered if Alexa Glatch didn't win both of her singles rubbers. I was impressed. She claims clay is her favorite surface -- yes, this is an American player -- but with her big serve and slow skidding slices off both wings, she could find success on grass. Nice to see Mattek-Sands redeem her terrible singles play in the last half of the doubles. And Liezel Huber is scary.

Savannah has more.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Five Squared


Getty

I didn't see the match. Had no Internet connection for the duration, so I couldn't even post an open thread, and had to leave home during the telecast replay. But, as expected, Rafael Nadal beat David Ferrer 6-2, 7-5 for his fifth consecutive Barcelona title.

Model Behavior


I don't have anything to say. There are 27 images in all.

(Thanks, Great Tennis Photos)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tennis and Politics

Sometimes, tennis and politics mix quite well. Sometimes they don't. This is a tennis blog. It will remain a tennis blog unless or until I shut it down, and I ask all of my readers to respect that. It doesn't mean that politics is never discussed, because I don't compartmentalize my life with any rigidity. As some of you know, I often post links to other subjects in the sidebar to raise awareness about them.

I do, however, have another blog where politics is more front and center. That blog is called Fumbling Toward Divinity, named after my adoption reunion memoir that I published back in 2005. That blog doesn't get too many comments because it's so personal it doesn't have high traffic. I'm perfectly fine with that. But I invite you all to discuss political, social and cultural issues with me over there if that's your passion.

If you desire more rigorous discourse with many more participants, I'm a regular reader and commenter at Jack and Jill Politics. It welcomes people from every background and political persuasion and the discussions are wonderful. There's a daily open thread where people can bring up any issue they like, post links to articles, stories, and essays and the discussions are never boring. I encourage readers of this blog who want to engage me in politics and other non-tennis topics to come visit me there and we can go at it.

Thank you all for your readership. I appreciate everyone who comments here, whether I agree with you or not, especially if I don't, and I hope that people continue to visit.

Thank you all in advance for your cooperation.

Peace.

Face Of The Day

Fernando Gonzalez of Chile  protests during his match against Spain's Fernando Verdasco of the Barcelona Open tennis tournament  on April 24, 2009 in Barcelona. Gonzalez won 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
Getty

Fernando Gonzalez of Chile reacts protesting to a lines man during his match against Fernando Verdasco of Spain on day five of the ATP 500 World Tour Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell 2009 tennis tournament at the Real Club de Tenis on April 24, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.

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I caught a glimpse of the battle of the Nandos and what little tennis I saw between chores and whatnot was excellent.

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Singles - Quarterfinals
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d [7] D Nalbandian (ARG) w/o (right hip)
[5] [WC] F Gonzalez (CHI) d [2] F Verdasco (ESP) 63 46 64
[3] N Davydenko (RUS) d [9] R Stepanek (CZE) 67(4) 62 62
[4] D Ferrer (ESP) d [6] T Robredo (ESP) 63 64

Doubles - Quarterfinals
[5] B Soares (BRA) / K Ullyett (ZIM) vs [2] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB)
[4] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Knowles (BAH) vs L Arnold Ker (ARG) / F Gonzalez (CHI)
S Aspelin (SWE) / W Moodie (RSA) d R Stepanek (CZE) / V Troicki (SRB) 64 63

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Busy, Busy

Planting season is in full swing, in-laws are arriving from the Netherlands for 10 days, and I've been involved in some local political activism on a huge issue. I'll post as much as I can.

Face Of The Day

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 23:  David Nalbandian of Argentina in action during his match against Nicolas Almagro of Spain on day four of the ATP 500 World Tour Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell 2009 tennis tournament at the Real Club de Tenis on April 23, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain. Nalbandian won the match in two sets, 6-3 and 6-4.
Getty

David Nalbandian of Argentina in action during his match against Nicolas Almagro of Spain on day four of the ATP 500 World Tour Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell 2009 tennis tournament at the Real Club de Tenis on April 23, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain. Nalbandian won the match in two sets, 6-3 and 6-4. He then pulled out of the tournament with a right hip injury. Or maybe he didn't want to face Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals.

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Singles - Third Round
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d C Rochus (BEL) 62 60
[2] F Verdasco (ESP) d [15] T Berdych (CZE) 75 57 64
[3] N Davydenko (RUS) d [16] F Lopez (ESP) 76(8) 36 64
[4] D Ferrer (ESP) d P Starace (ITA) 46 75 62
[5] [WC] F Gonzalez (CHI) d J Monaco (ARG) 76(6) 63
[6] T Robredo (ESP) d [12] I Andreev (RUS) 46 62 63
[7] D Nalbandian (ARG) d [10] N Almagro (ESP) 63 64
[9] R Stepanek (CZE) d [8] S Wawrinka (SUI) 64 16 75

Doubles - Second Round
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) 61 62
[4] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Knowles (BAH) vs L Arnold Ker (ARG) / F Gonzalez (CHI)

Doubles - First Round
[2] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d J Knowle (AUT) / J Melzer (AUT) 76(3) 61
[5] B Soares (BRA) / K Ullyett (ZIM) d [WC] G Alcaide (ESP) / A Martin (ESP) 63 62
R Stepanek (CZE) / V Troicki (SRB) d [7] J Coetzee (RSA) / J Kerr (AUS) 64 61

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Face Of The Day

Irina Davydenko celebrates after her husband Russian Nikolay Davydenko won his match against Arnaud Clement of France duirng the Barcelona Open tennis tournament on April 22, 2009 in Barcelona.
Getty

Irina Davydenko celebrates after her husband Russian Nikolay Davydenko won his match against Arnaud Clement of France duirng the Barcelona Open tennis tournament on April 22, 2009 in Barcelona.
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Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell

Singles - Second Round
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d [Q] F Gil (POR) 62 62
[2] F Verdasco (ESP) d [Q] N Lapentti (ECU) 75 63
[3] N Davydenko (RUS) d A Clement (FRA) 76(2) 62
[5] [WC] F Gonzalez (CHI) d J Acasuso (ARG) 64 64
[6] T Robredo (ESP) d [WC] G Gaudio (ARG) 76(6) 61
[7] D Nalbandian (ARG) d I Kunitsyn (RUS) 75 64
[8] S Wawrinka (SUI) d M Youzhny (RUS) 75 61
[9] R Stepanek (CZE) d J Tipsarevic (SRB) 76(2) 60
[10] N Almagro (ESP) d J Chela (ARG) 36 76(4) 63
C Rochus (BEL) d [13] R Gasquet (FRA) 61 67(2) 63
P Starace (ITA) d [14] R Soderling (SWE) 76(5) 26 62
[15] T Berdych (CZE) d O Hernandez (ESP) 62 46 63
[16] F Lopez (ESP) d [Q] S Ventura (ESP) 26 64 63
J Monaco (ARG) d [Q] D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 75 64

Doubles - Second Round
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d T Parrott (USA) / F Polasek (SVK) 63 64
S Aspelin (SWE) / W Moodie (RSA) d [3] L Dlouhy (CZE) / L Paes (IND) 76(5) 76(3)
[4] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Knowles (BAH) d R Lindstedt (SWE) / R Soderling (SWE) 46 61 10-8
L Arnold Ker (ARG) / F Gonzalez (CHI) d [6] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) 62 63
L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) d [8] M Melo (BRA) / A Sa (BRA) 75 64

Doubles - First Round
[WC] G Alcaide (ESP) / A Martin (ESP) d S Huss (AUS) / R Hutchins (GBR) 36 75 10-8

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Faces Of The Day

Spain's Rafael Nadal (R) and Spanish former tenNis player Manolo Santana exchange rackets at the Barcelona Open tennis tournament  on April 21, 2009 in Barcelona. Santana gave Nadal the racket he used during the Wimbledon tournament in 1966, and Nadal gave Santana the racket he used during Montecarlo tennis open last weekend.
Getty

Spain's Rafael Nadal and Spanish former tennis player Manolo Santana exchange rackets at the Barcelona Open tennis tournament on April 21, 2009 in Barcelona. Santana gave Nadal the racket he used during the Wimbledon tournament in 1966, and Nadal gave Santana the racket he used during Monte-Carlo tennis open last weekend.

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Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell

Singles - Second Round
[4] D Ferrer (ESP) d [Q] M Kukushkin (KAZ) 63 36 61
[12] I Andreev (RUS) d [WC] A Martin (ESP) 62 62

Singles - First Round
[9] R Stepanek (CZE) d G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 64 26 64
J Monaco (ARG) d [11-WC] M Safin (RUS) 64 61
[13] R Gasquet (FRA) d J Hernych (CZE) 46 63 62
[14] R Soderling (SWE) d T Gabashvili (RUS) 61 64
[16] F Lopez (ESP) d J Nieminen (FIN) 62 61
[Q] D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) d [Q] F Fognini (ITA) 61 63
O Hernandez (ESP) d E Schwank (ARG) 62 64
A Clement (FRA) d G Canas (ARG) 76(0) 63
[WC] G Gaudio (ARG) d D Junqueira (ARG) 64 36 64
[Q] N Lapentti (ECU) d P Mathieu (FRA) 64 26 62
M Youzhny (RUS) d V Troicki (SRB) 67(5) 76(6) 64

Doubles - First Round
L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) d M Granollers (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP) 63 36 10-8
J Knowle (AUT) / J Melzer (AUT) d N Davydenko (RUS) / I Kunitsyn (RUS) 36 64 10-6
S Aspelin (SWE) / W Moodie (RSA) d [WC] M Lopez (ESP) / F Vicente (ESP) 76(0) 26 12-10
L Arnold Ker (ARG) / F Gonzalez (CHI) d N Almagro (ESP) / A Montanes (ESP) 63 63
T Parrott (USA) / F Polasek (SVK) d F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) 67(4) 62 10-7

Monday, April 20, 2009

Face Of The Day

Argentina's Jose Acasuso returns the ball to Dudi Sela of Israel during their Barcelona Open Tennis in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, April 20, 2009. Acasuso won 6-4, 7-5.
AP

Argentina's José Acasuso returns the ball to Dudi Sela of Israel during their Barcelona Open Tennis in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, April 20, 2009.

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Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell

Singles - First Round
[10] N Almagro (ESP) d V Hanescu (ROU) 36 76(7) 22 - ret. (cramping) - Saved 2 M.P.
[12] I Andreev (RUS) d A Seppi (ITA) 63 36 75
[15] T Berdych (CZE) d M Vassallo Arguello (ARG) 52 - ret. (back)
C Rochus (BEL) d N Devilder (FRA) 64 64
J Tipsarevic (SRB) d A Montanes (ESP) 64 76(1)
J Acasuso (ARG) d D Sela (ISR) 64 75
[WC] A Martin (ESP) d M Gicquel (FRA) 63 64
[Q] S Ventura (ESP) d M Granollers (ESP) 76(3) 63
P Starace (ITA) d E Gulbis (LAT) 46 63 63
J Chela (ARG) d T Bellucci (BRA) 62 36 64
[Q] M Kukushkin (KAZ) d [Q] P Riba-Madrid (ESP) 62 76(5)
I Kunitsyn (RUS) d [WC] J Ferrero (ESP) 75 76(3)
[Q] F Gil (POR) d Y Lu (TPE) 62 61

Doubles - First Round
R Stepanek (CZE) / V Troicki (SRB) d M Safin (RUS) / D Vemic (SRB) 63 36 10-6
R Lindstedt (SWE) / R Soderling (SWE) d F Lopez (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) 67(4) 62 10-7

Quote For The Day

"Can we now agree, after this weekend's play, that clay is the best surface for the men’s game today? Seeing Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray hit every shot imaginable and run down every ball possible, I’m willing to say yes. Clay, which keeps topspin from skipping though the court while at the same time enabling players to slide themselves into position for hard-to-reach balls, allows the current generation to show off all of their skills like no other type of court."--Steve Tignor

No, we can't.

The best tennis the sport has to offer is still played on grass, the decline of serve-and-volley notwithstanding.

See the 2008 Wimbledon final.

Nothing that happened in Monte-Carlo remotely compares.

The Grooms (Updates)


ATP

This is about the only photo I can find of Andy Roddick's nuptials last Friday.

UPDATE: Slide show of wedding photos can be found here. (Thanks, Pamela)

::

And I found this photo of Roger Federer with his new bride.



UPDATE 2: Slide show of wedding photos can be found here.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shots Of The Day

by Helen W

Here are two incredible shots from today's final.



Five


Getty

Many of you know the power of the number 5 even if you aren't aware of it. Rafael Nadal has achieved a powerful feat by winning the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters five consecutive times. It wasn't easy. And he was in a decidedly pissy mood throughout the tournament. His passive twin made several appearances. But he prevailed in the end 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 over a re-energized Novak Djokovic to secure his place in history.



Sabine Lisicki has won her first WTA final on her first attempt at the Family Circle Cup. With bullet serves, forehands and backhands; a much-improved second serve; deft dropshots; and a singular focus on victory -- at times it appeared as though she was in a hurry to get somewhere--she hit Caroline Wozniacki off the green clay 6-2, 6-4. The German teen is kind of fierce.



Didn't see the match, but Roberta Vinci, no relation to Leonardo, blitzed Maria Kirilenko 6-0, 6-4 to take the Barcelona Ladies Open title.

Family Circle Cup Final


Reuters

If anyone is watching the young women go at it on the green clay of South Carolina, tell us what you see here.

Stat For The Day

In the middle of the first set of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters final, the players went 16 consecutive points without striking an unforced error. Nine of those points were clean winners. That passage was followed by four consecutive unforced errors. Rafael Nadal struck a forehand wide and then Novak Djokovic committed three backcourt errors to drop serve.

The Final


Reuters/AP

Rafael Nadal attempts to win his fifth consecutive Monte-Carlo crown to make history. Novak Djokovic, the player in the blue suede shoes, stands in his way.

Discuss.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Faces Of The Day

Prince Albert II of Monaco and his friend Charlene Wittstock attend the semi-final of the Monte Carlo Masters tennis tournament in Monaco April 18, 2009.
Reuters

Prince Albert II of Monaco and his friend Charlene Wittstock attend the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Masters tennis tournament in Monaco April 18, 2009.

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Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters
Semifinals

[1] R Nadal (ESP) d [4] A Murray (GBR) 63 76(4)
[3] N Djokovic (SRB) d [13] S Wawrinka (SUI) 46 61 63

Doubles - Semifinals
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d [3] L Dlouhy (CZE) / L Paes (IND) 67(3) 63 14-12 - saved 1 M.P.
[2] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d N Djokovic (SRB) / V Troicki (SRB) 36 61 10-5

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Family Circle Cup
Semifinals
(5) C Wozniacki (DEN) d (1/WC) E Dementieva (RUS) 64 57 75
(16) S Lisicki (GER) d (6) M Bartoli (FRA) 63 61

Doubles - Semifinals
(4) Mattek-Sands/Petrova (USA/RUS) d. (1) Peschke/Raymond (CZE/USA)
75 16 106

Wedding By Candlelight

Brooklyn Decker, Andy Roddick
Getty

I know, I know. It's People again. But they get the scoop on this stuff, no?

Andy Roddick married his fiancée, Brooklyn Decker, in a twilight ceremony at his Austin, Texas, home on Friday, PEOPLE has confirmed.

The tennis pro, 26, and the swimsuit model, 21, exchanged vows in an intimate candlelit ceremony before a group of close friends and family.

"They are absolutely perfect for each other," a family friend tells PEOPLE. "I think they knew that from the moment they met that they were perfect for each other."

At the ceremony, bridesmaids wore strapless, chocolate-colored gowns, and the setting was decorated with bright, tropical flowers. The bride's gown was by Vera Wang. Guests – including tennis greats Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi – were also treated to a musical performance by Roddick's longtime friend, Sir Elton John.

The wedding was followed by dinner at Roddick's local country club.

Roddick and Decker, who started dating in 2007, announced their engagement in March 2008. The pair first met after Roddick asked his agent to track down a number for Decker, who appeared in Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition.

Rematches & Shirley Bassey

MONTE CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 11:  Singer Shirley Bassey attends the ATP Masters Series launch party at the Grimaldi Forum on April 11, 2009 in Monte Carlo,Monaco.
Getty

Singer Shirley Bassey attends the ATP Masters Series launch party at the Grimaldi Forum on April 11, 2009 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.

::

The 2008 Roma final will be re-contested first, followed by the 2009 Indian Wells final.

Hey Stan, don't take your foot off the pedal now, buddy. You have an opportunity to beat three top 5 players at the same event. Make the very best of it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Face Of The Day

Nikolay Davydenko of Russia hits a return to Andy Murray of Britain during the quarter-finals at the Monte Carlo Masters tennis tournament in Monaco April 17, 2009.
Reuters

Nikolay Davydenko of Russia hits a return to Andy Murray of Britain during the quarterfinals at the Monte-Carlo Masters tennis tournament in Monaco April 17, 2009.

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Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters
Singles - Quarterfinals
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d [WC] I Ljubicic (CRO) 63 63
[3] N Djokovic (SRB) d [7] F Verdasco (ESP) 62 46 63
[4] A Murray (GBR) d [8] N Davydenko (RUS) 76(1) 64
[13] S Wawrinka (SUI) d [Q] A Beck (GER) 62 64

Singles - Third Round
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d [Q] N Lapentti (ECU) 63 60
[4] A Murray (GBR) d [Q] F Fognini (ITA) 76(11) 64
[8] N Davydenko (RUS) d [12] D Nalbandian (ARG) 64 57 63
[WC] I Ljubicic (CRO) d S Bolelli (ITA) 75 76(2)

Doubles - Second Round
[4] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Knowles (BAH) d F Lopez (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) 64 64

Doubles - Quarter-finals
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d [6] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) 46 62 10-4
[2] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d M Cilic (CRO) / N Kiefer (GER) 67(3) 64 10-8
[3] L Dlouhy (CZE) / L Paes (IND) d [7] J Knowle (AUT) / A Ram (ISR) 76(3) 63
N Djokovic (SRB) / V Troicki (SRB) d [4] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Knowles (BAH) 64 46 12-10

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Family Circle Cup
Singles - Quarterfinals
(1/WC) Elena Dementieva (RUS) d. (7) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 64 10 ret.
(left adductor strain)
(5) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. (13) Virginie Razzano (FRA) 62 60
(6) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Melinda Czink (HUN) 64 61
(16) Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. Elena Vesnina (RUS) 64 60

Doubles - Quarterfinals
(1) Peschke/Raymond (CZE/USA) d. Chan/Govortsova (TPE/BLR) 64 63

Stat For The Day

Rafael Nadal has won 25 consecutive matches in Monte-Carlo and hasn't dropped a set since the 2006 final against Roger Federer.

Serena's Jewelry



I wasn't aware of this appearance this morning on the Today Show. I need to pay closer attention to my media alerts.

(Thanks, Aaress)

Take Two

A general view of the Monte Carlo Country Club is seen during a match between Andy Murray of Britain and Feliciano Lopez of Spain in their first round match in the Monte Carlo Masters Series tennis tournament in Monaco April 21, 2008.
Reuters

The skies are blue, the sun is bright, the Mediterranean calm. The warriors return to the court in Monte-Carlo to complete their third-round matches, to play their quarterfinals. A few will have to do both.

Discuss.

Tennis Stars Receive Laureus Nods

Venus Williams, Rafael Nadal, Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic were nominated for the prestigious 2009 Laureus World Sports Awards.

Venus and Rafa were nominated as World Sportswoman and World Sportsman of the year. The Serbs were nominated in the category World Breakthrough of the Year for winning their first major titles.

The Laureus World Sports Awards are widely acknowledged as the premier honors for the international sporting calendar. Due to the global economic downturn, Laureus will not host a full-scale spring awards ceremony this year, choosing instead to honor the winners individually in a series of smaller events troughout May and June.

Quote For The Day

“I did a great match, but [it] is always difficult to play against a good friend. You're always different on court. But today I think I was playing better. He came only two days before the tournament, so it's not easy to play great on clay courts. So I think it was the difference. It’s had many opportunities and I won in two sets. Both of us were very tentative today and there were ups and downs in the match. I believe he hasn't found his rhythm on clay and he made many errors. I was very happy because I think I played my best match physically. Maybe not the most spectacular tennis, but it’s my most beautiful victory.”

--Stanislas Wawrinka


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Serena In New York

[SerenaandSelitaWednesdayPERFECT.jpg]
Wire Image

Serena Williams and model Selita Ebanks attend the 6th Annual New Yorkers For Children Spring Dinner Dance at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City on Wednesday, April 16, 2009. The event benefits children in foster care. via

Face Of The Day

Venus Williams of the U.S. reacts during her women's tennis match against Sania Mirza of India at the Family Cup Circle Tennis Tournament in Charleston, South Carolina April 15, 2009.
Reuters

Venus Williams of the U.S. reacts during her women's tennis match against Sania Mirza of India at the Family Cup Circle Tennis Tournament in Charleston, South Carolina April 15, 2009.

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Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters
Third Round
13] S Wawrinka (SUI) d [2] [WC] R Federer (SUI) 64 75
[3] N Djokovic (SRB) d A Montanes (ESP) 61 67(4) 60
[7] F Verdasco (ESP) d [10] D Ferrer (ESP) 62 61
[Q] A Beck (GER) d J Monaco (ARG) 36 62 75
[Q] N Lapentti (ECU) leads [1] R Nadal (ESP) 10 - match suspended due to rain
[4] A Murray (GBR) leads [Q] F Fognini (ITA) 76(11) 10 - match suspended due to rain
[12] D Nalbandian (ARG) vs [8] N Davydenko (RUS) - match postponed due to rain
S Bolelli (ITA) vs [WC] I Ljubicic (CRO) - match postponed due to rain

::

Family Circle Cup
Third Round
(1/WC) E Dementieva (RUS) d V Lepchenko (USA) 61 61
(16) S Lisicki (GER) d (2) V Williams (USA) 64 76(5)
(13) V Razzano (FRA) d (3) V Zvonareva (RUS) 11 ret.
M Czink (HUN) d (4) N Petrova (RUS) 36 64 75
(5) C Wozniacki (DEN) d (10) P Shuai (CHN) 63 64
(6) M Bartoli (FRA) d (Q) M Oudin (USA) 64 61
(7) D Cibulkova (SVK) d A Rodionova (RUS) 67(6) 62 63

Keeping His Heart Out Of His Mouth

MONTE CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 16:  Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in action during his third round straight sets victory against Roger Federer of Switzerland during day four of the ATP Masters Series at the Monte Carlo Country Club on April 16, 2009 in Monte Carlo,Monaco.
Getty

."Wawrinka played the point beautifully and then suddenly, his heart was in his mouth."

That's what commentator Jason Goodall said halfway through the second set of Stanislas Wawrinka's 6-4, 7-5 victory over compatriot and defending finalist Roger Federer in the third round of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters today.

His heart was in his mouth. That described the entire match, really. Just about every time Stan would get a break point on Raja's serve, he'd hit a ball out. His conversion rate was 3 of 14.

MONTE CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 16:  Roger Federer of Switzerland looks on during his third round straight sets defeat against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day four of the ATP Masters Series at the Monte Carlo Country Club on April 16, 2009 in Monte Carlo,Monaco.
Getty

The only thing Raja did well all day was hit passing shots. His forehand was a wasteland, his first serve AWOL, his attitude abysmal.

It almost looked like he didn't even care.

He might not have.

Mirka, hiding behind dark glasses beneath dark and ominous clouds, didn't look all that concerned.

MONTE CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 16:  Stanislas Wawrinka (r) of Switzerland looks towards Roger Federer (l) after winning the first set in the third round match during day four of the ATP Masters Series at the Monte Carlo Country Club on April 16, 2009 in Monte Carlo,Monaco.
Getty

Still, I didn't think Stan would be able to close him out. It would be the first time, after all. Serving for the match, the Swiss No. 2 seized up again. After saving a few break points, he opened his shoulders, played two aggressive points, and ended the match with his trademark backhand down the line.

MONTE CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 16:  Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in action during his third round straight sets victory against Roger Federer of Switzerland during day four of the ATP Masters Series at the Monte Carlo Country Club on April 16, 2009 in Monte Carlo,Monaco.
Getty

He found a way to keep his heart out of his mouth.

Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland reacts after he defeated Roger Federer of Switzerland in their third round match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco, Thursday, April 16 , 2009.
AP

Stanislas Wawrinka (L) of Switzerland shakes hand with his compatriot Roger Federer during the Monte Carlo Masters tennis tournament in Monaco April 16, 2009.
Reuters

Stanislas Wawrinka (L) of Switzerland hugs his compatriot Roger Federer after defeating him during the Monte Carlo Masters tennis tournament in Monaco April 16, 2009.
Reuters

Raja In Heels

Here Comes The Rain Again...

When tournament officials had to re-schedule the order of play today because of the massive rain delay, when they knew the weather would break for two good hours, if that, between 3 pm and 5 pm Roquebrune-Cap-Martin time, the reigning world No. 1 and four-time defending champion should have been first up on Court Central, whether he requested it or not.

Period.

Tom And Jerry

How the great Hanna and Barbera cartoon created a great American tennis champion.

Patriot Games

Stanislas Wawrinka, left, and Roger Federer  both of Switzerland are seen during the third round match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco, Thursday, April 16 , 2009.

I was stoked to watch the all-Spanish third round between Fernando Verdasco and David Ferrer, and really can't wait to see what Stanislas Wawrinka brings to the dirt against Roger Federer in their all-Swiss affair, but, alas, it's raining on the French Riviera this morning.

I can't say I ever recall that happening in my years of watching this event.

Anyway, when the clouds clear, use this as the third-round Monte-Carlo open thread.

Andy Roddick To Wed This Weekend



I'll source People magazine for this, because, oh, mercy, mercy me, whenever else and I'm going to source People magazine?

Tennis champ Andy Roddick will marry his fiancée, Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker, this weekend, a source confirms to PEOPLE.

Roddick, 26, and Decker, 21, plan to celebrate the nuptials with two days of festivities near Roddick's Austin, Texas, home. "They wanted to keep it local," the source says. And very private. The pared-down guest lists includes mostly family and a few close friends of the pair, who met when Roddick spotted Decker in a magazine and asked his agent to find her number.

But part of the celebration is already in full swing. This past weekend, the festivities kicked off with a bachelorette party in Decker's native North Carolina, and included her bridesmaids, including fellow S.I. model Julie Henderson.

Of their then yearlong courtship, Decker told PEOPLE last May, "I was stalked. He'll tell you that," she joked. But "it was charming. He was charming. Eventually, I fell for it, and five months later I called him back and that was that."

She added that planning for her wedding was surprisingly fun: "This has been the happiest time. I'm very much a tomboy and this is being a total girl, being with my friends and my mom. We're shopping for a dress right now."

Roddick has also expressed his excitement. "We feel lucky to have found one another," Roddick told PEOPLE last March, after he had popped the question to his girlfriend, and even joked of her Tiffany engagement ring: "I got it in a gumball machine."

(Thanks, Graf_Sampras)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Face Of The Day

Marat Safin of Russia reacts during his second round match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco against Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuator, Wednesday, April 15 , 2009.
AP

Marat Safin of Russia reacts during his second round match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco against Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador, Wednesday, April 15, 2009.

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Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters
Singles - Second Round
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d J Chela (ARG) 62 63
[2] [WC] R Federer (SUI) d A Seppi (ITA) 64 64
[WC] I Ljubicic (CRO) d [5] J Del Potro (ARG) 46 61 64
[7] F Verdasco (ESP) d P Kohlschreiber (GER) 63 64
[8] N Davydenko (RUS) d I Karlovic (CRO) 64 63
[10] D Ferrer (ESP) d M Gicquel (FRA) 61 60
[12] D Nalbandian (ARG) d M Granollers (ESP) 46 63 61
[13] S Wawrinka (SUI) d M Vassallo Arguello (ARG) 26 75 62
[Q] F Fognini (ITA) d [14] M Cilic (CRO) 62 60
A Montanes (ESP) d [WC] J Lisnard (MON) 62 64
S Bolelli (ITA) d J Tipsarevic (SRB) 75 63
[Q] N Lapentti (ECU) d M Safin (RUS) 76(6) 26 76(6) - saved 3 M.P.

Doubles - Second Round
[3] L Dlouhy (CZE) / L Paes (IND) d A Montanes (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP) 26 76(5) 10-8
[6] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) d N Davydenko (RUS) / O Marach (AUT) 63 64
[7] J Knowle (AUT) / A Ram (ISR) d S Aspelin (SWE) / W Moodie (RSA) 76(3) 62
N Djokovic (SRB) / V Troicki (SRB) d [8] J Coetzee (RSA) / J Kerr (AUS) 64 64
[WC] M Gicquel (FRA) / P Mathieu (FRA) vs [2] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB)

::

Family Circle Cup
Singles - Second Round

(2) Venus Williams (USA) d. Sania Mirza (IND) 61 36 62
Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. (8) Patty Schnyder (SUI) 62 67(5) 75
(Q) Melanie Oudin (USA) d. (9) Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 75 60
(10) Peng Shuai (CHN) d. Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB) 75 26 75
Viktoriya Kutuzova (UKR) d. (11) Alona Bondarenko (UKR) 64 75
Anastasia Rodionova (RUS) d. (12) Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 62 64
(13) Virginie Razzano (FRA) d. Stephanie Dubois (CAN) 63 76(3)
(16) Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. (Q) Lenka Wienerova (SVK) 64 63
Melinda Czink (HUN) d. Vania King (USA) 64 62
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. (Q) Shenay Perry (USA) 62 63

Quote For The Day

"If I had an opportunity to choose what I wanted to do in childhood, I wouldn't have gone for tennis. It is a sport that I was always pushed to do, first by my parents, then provincial and national sports administrators. I love what it is right now. In the past, national or the provincial sports administrators arranged everything for you and you had no options but to follow their arrangements. It is very important for us to have the right to choose. I really mean it."--Li Na, calling for an overhaul of China's rigid sports program to give athletes the right to pursue their careers without strict government controls.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Face Of The Day


AP

Unseeded Shenay Perry, of the United States, returns a shot to No. 15 seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, of the Czech Republic, during Family Circle Cup tennis action in Charleston, S.C. Tuesday April 14, 2009.

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RESULTS

Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters
Singles - Second Round
[3] N Djokovic (SRB) d [Q] O Hernandez (ESP) 61 62
[4] A Murray (GBR) d V Hanescu (ROU) 63 62
[Q] A Beck (GER) d [6] G Simon (FRA) 75 61
J Monaco (ARG) d [11] T Robredo (ESP) 62 64

Singles - First Round
J Tipsarevic (SRB) d [9] G Monfils (FRA) 63 61
[12] D Nalbandian (ARG) d P Mathieu (FRA) 64 36 63
A Montanes (ESP) d [16] N Almagro (ESP) 76(6) 46 76(5)
[Q] F Fognini (ITA) d T Berdych (CZE) 16 63 63
[WC] J Lisnard (MON) d C Rochus (BEL) 62 62
M Vassallo Arguello (ARG) d I Andreev (RUS) 26 76(5) 62
[10] D Ferrer (ESP) d F Lopez (ESP) 62 63
I Karlovic (CRO) d F Serra (FRA) 64 64
M Safin (RUS) d [WC] L Hewitt (AUS) 64 75

Doubles - Second Round
M Cilic (CRO) / N Kiefer (GER) d [5] B Soares (BRA) / K Ullyett (ZIM) 64 16 10-7

Doubles - First Round
N Davydenko (RUS) / O Marach (AUT) d J Chardy (FRA) / G Simon (FRA) 64 61
S Aspelin (SWE) / W Moodie (RSA) d R Lindstedt (SWE) / R Soderling (SWE) 62 64
[WC] M Gicquel (FRA) / P Mathieu (FRA) d L Arnold Ker (ARG) / P Cuevas (URU) 76(5) 63

::

Family Circle Cup
Singles - Second Round
(1/WC) Elena Dementieva (RUS) d. Julie Ditty (USA) 60 62
(3) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. Rossana de los Rios (PAR) 63 62
(4) Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. Patricia Mayr (AUT) 61 26 62
(6) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. (Q) Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) 61 63
(7) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Tamira Paszek (AUT) 64 60

Singles - First Round
(9) Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) d. (Q) Abigail Spears (USA) 63 46 60
(12) Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) d. Mariana Duque Marino (COL) 76(3) 75
(Q) Shenay Perry (USA) d. (15) Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 75 61
(16) Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. (Q) Marie-Eve Pelletier (CAN) 75 64
Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) 60 62
Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) d. (Q) Angela Haynes (USA) 64 57 60
Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB) d. (WC) Alexandra Stevenson (USA) 62 64
Sania Mirza (IND) d. Sesil Karatantcheva (KAZ) 64 64
Viktoriya Kutuzova (UKR) d. Mariya Koryttseva (UKR) 61 61
Stephanie Dubois (CAN) d. Katie O'Brien (GBR) 46 62 61

Doubles - First Round
(3) Peng/Yan (CHN/CHN) d. King/Kudryavtseva (USA/RUS) 63 46 119
Dekmeijere/Schnyder (LAT/SUI) d. Czink/Zahlavova Strycova (HUN/CZE) 75 64

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Barcelona Ladies Open
Singles - First Round
Stephanie Cohen-Aloro (FRA) d. (1) Alize Cornet (FRA) 60 63
(2/WC) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. Petra Kvitova (CZE) 63 63
(7) Sara Errani (ITA) d. Mathilde Johansson (FRA) 26 75 63
Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 61 36 60
Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) d. Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 61 76(7)
Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 64 76(7)

Doubles - First Round
(1) Llagostera Vives/Martinez Sanchez (ESP/ESP) d. Dominguez Lino/Parra Santonja (ESP/ESP) 61 46 10-7
Cirstea/Klepac (ROU/SLO) d. (2) Groenefeld/Senoglu (GER/TUR) 26 64 10-4

Sleep Deprived

I had to catch up on some much-needed sleep today, so I missed all the matches in Monte-Carlo, save the final few games of the Lleyton Hewitt and Marat Safin encounter.

I'm sure Pamela is thrilled with the result.

Share what you saw in the comments if you saw anything at all.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Face Of The Day

Kristof Vliegen of Belgium hits a return to Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia during their first round match in the Monte Carlo Masters tennis tournament in Monaco April 13, 2009.
Reuters

Kristof Vliegen of Belgium hits a return to Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia during their first round match in the Monte Carlo Masters tennis tournament in Monaco April 13, 2009.

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RESULTS

Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters
Singles - First Round
[14] M Cilic (CRO) d [Q] F Cipolla (ITA) 63 62
[Q] N Lapentti (ECU) d [15] R Stepanek (CZE) 63 16 63
[Q] O Hernandez (ESP) d J Benneteau (FRA) 64 64
J Chela (ARG) d I Kunitsyn (RUS) 64 26 75
V Hanescu (ROU) d [Q] A Martin (ESP) 62 63
A Seppi (ITA) d J Melzer (AUT) 62 60
M Granollers (ESP) d J Acasuso (ARG) 76(4) 76(2)
J Monaco (ARG) d J Chardy (FRA) 62 75
M Gicquel (FRA) d E Schwank (ARG) 36 61 76(2)
[Q] A Beck (GER) d N Kiefer (GER) 16 76(1) 64
[WC] I Ljubicic (CRO) d [Q] K Vliegen (BEL) 64 67(5) 64

Doubles - First Round
A Montanes (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP) d T Berdych (CZE) / F Cermak (CZE) 64 75
F Lopez (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) d I Andreev (RUS) / M Safin (RUS) 76(3) 64
G Monfils (FRA) / S Wawrinka (SUI) d [WC] G Couillard (MON) / J Lisnard (MON) 75 63
N Djokovic (SRB) / V Troicki (SRB) d M Melo (BRA) / A Sa (BRA) 61 64

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Family Circle Cup
Singles - First Round
(10) Peng Shuai (CHN) d. (WC) Anastasia Pivovarova (RUS) 60 62
(11) Alona Bondarenko (UKR) d. Anne Kremer (GER) 64 60
(13) Virginie Razzano (FRA) d. (WC) Mallory Cecil (USA) 61 62
Vania King (USA) d. (14) Olga Govortsova (BLR) 67(3) 76(5) 63
Tamira Paszek (AUT) d. Julia Schruff (GER) 75 62
Patricia Mayr (AUT) d. Yan Zi (CHN) 62 62
Melinda Czink (HUN) d. Jill Craybas (USA) 62 64
Rossana de los Rios (PAR) d. Carly Gullickson (USA) 61 64
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) 61 63
Julie Ditty (USA) d. Ayumi Morita (JPN) 61 61
Anastasia Rodionova (RUS) d. (Q) Madison Brengle (USA) 62 76(4)
(Q) Lenka Wienerova (SVK) d. Alexa Glatch (USA) 64 75
(Q) Melanie Oudin (USA) d. Olga Savchuk (UKR) 64 60
(Q) Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) d. Marta Domachowska (POL) 61 16 64

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Barcelona Ladies Open
Singles - First Round
Stephanie Cohen-Aloro (FRA) d. (1) Alize Cornet (FRA) 60 63
(2/WC) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. Petra Kvitova (CZE) 63 63
(7) Sara Errani (ITA) d. Mathilde Johansson (FRA) 26 75 63
Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 61 36 60
Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) d. Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 61 76(7)
Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 64 76(7)

Doubles - First Round
(1) Llagostera Vives/Martinez Sanchez (ESP/ESP) d. Dominguez Lino/Parra Santonja (ESP/ESP) 61 46 10-7
Cirstea/Klepac (ROU/SLO) d. (2) Groenefeld/Senoglu (GER/TUR) 26 64 10-4

What Happened To Moroccan Tennis?

El Aynaoui explaines his retirement to Arazi

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PARIS - OCTOBER 28: Younes El Aynaoui of Morocco (right) explains to Hicham Arazi of Morocco why he is retiring from his second round match against him during the BNP Paribas Masters Series on October 28, 2003 at Paris, France.

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Then:

Karim Alami’s stunning defeat of Pete Sampras at Doha in 1994 announced to the world Morocco's rise into the tennis elite. The next decade saw the popular trio of Alami, Younes El Aynaoui and Hicham Arazi all make their mark on the world stage.

Between them they made eight Grand Slam quarterfinals, won seven ATP titles and all made the world’s top 30 with El Aynoui [sic] going as high as 14.

They made a formidable Davis Cup team competing in the World Group in 2001, 2002 and 2004 and even pushed host Spain to a deciding fifth rubber on clay as El Aynaoui knocked off both Alex Corretja and Juan Carlos Ferrero on Spanish soil — four months before Ferrero would win the French Open.

Now:

The Morocco Tennis Federation website no longer exists, there is no ITF Development Officer for North Africa — despite there being a presence in Southern, East and West/Central Africa. Interestingly the West/Central African Development Officer is Moroccan (although there’s been no publicized news from him since April 2008).

You can’t deny that the ITF and ATP have put some work into tennis growth in Morocco — it has an ATP and WTA tournament, four challenger events and many future titles up for grabs. However has it been the right development


I, for one, miss the fluid game of Arazi and the explosive game of El Aynaoui. I know of the latter's injuries, but it seems Arazi disappeared from tennis without a trace. El Aynaoui's ebullient personality made him an endearing poster boy for Moroccan tennis, and I thought his successes would have inspired a generation of hungry Moroccan players. I'm sure there are many factors for the stunted growth of tennis in Morocco, but it would be nice to see more players from the region in main draw events on both tours.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nadal And Murray Kick Off Monte-Carlo


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Rafael Nadal of Spain and Andy Murray of Great Britain in action during a mini tennis exhibition match ahead of the ATP Masters Series at the Place du Palais on April 12, 2009 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.

Friend of Prince Albert II of Monaco, Charlene Wittstock is seen during an exhibition tennis match between Rafael Nadal of Spain and Andy Murray of Great Britain in front of the Monaco palace before an exhibition tennis match, Sunday, April 12, 2009.
AP

Friend of Prince Albert II of Monaco, Charlene Wittstock is seen during an exhibition tennis match between Rafael and Andy in front of the Monaco palace before an exhibition tennis match.


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Prince Albert II of Monaco walks towards Rafa and Andy as they stand with national guards after an exhibition match ahead of the ATP Masters Series at the Place du Palais.


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Prince Albert II of Monaco poses with Rafa and Andy.

Veterans Day


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Even though it's Easter Sunday, I'm calling it Veterans Day because it featured the resurrection of two veteran players, former world No. 1's and Slam champions virtually left for dead.

No. 88-ranked Lleyton Hewitt, back from hip surgery, won his first title in nearly two years with a US Clay Court Championship title over first-time ATP finalist and American Wayne Odesnik, who was clearly overwhelmed by the occasion. Hewitt, on the other hand, threw in a couple of over-the-top, manufactured "C'mons!" and lawn mower celebrations to punctuate his return to the winner's circle. A demoralized Odesnik, despite a second-set display of nerves from the 28-year-old Aussie who dropped 5 straight games, was never in the match, struggling to hold serve throughout, losing 2-6, 5-7. That's why all the outbursts from Hewitt were so annoying. Alas, some things never change. But he gets credit for winning in his Houston debut over a decimated field where the quarterfinals featured not a single seed.

Australian Lleyton Hewitt shares his prize with his 3-year-old daughter Mia after beating Wayne Odesnik, of the United States, to win the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship on Sunday, April 12, 2009, in Houston. Hewitt won the tennis match 6-2, 7-5.
AP

But the day belonged to Juan Carlos Ferrero, pictured above with Nawal El Moutawakil, Moroccan Minister of Sports. He won the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca without dropping a set to clinch his first victory in 5 1/2 years and 111 tournaments. Florent Serra, who'd never lost a final or a macth to his opponent, was certainly the favorite. But after a break-fest to open the match, Ferrero was more solid on the big points, his 29-year-old feet a bit more fleet, his groundstrokes more precise. The final verdict: 6-4, 7-5. The Spaniard hasn't raised a trophy in victory since the 2003 Madrid Masters when he was still the world's best player. Now ranked No. 115, he's a winner once more. I'm sure someone has the data, but his has to be one of the longest title droughts in recorded history.

"This is a special tournament for me," said Ferrero. "Ten years ago I played my first ATP World Tour tournament here and now I'm back winning the title. I'm very happy, it was a great week for me."

Poetry.

Jelena Jankovic of Serbia holds her winner's trophy after defeating Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain in the final at the Andalucia Tennis Experience WTA tournament in Marbella, near Malaga, southern Spain, April 12, 2009.
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Over on the WTA, Jelena Jankovic celebrated her own comeback of sorts with a tough three-set victory over Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to take the Andalucía Tennis Experience title in Marbella, while Caroline Wozniacki won her firth WTA title and second of the year with a 6-1, 6-2 rout of Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak at the MPS Group Championships in Ponte Vedra Beach.


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