Thursday, July 30, 2009

Billie Jean King Awarded Presidential Medal Of Freedom

WASHINGTON - JUNE 23:  Former tennis champion Billie Jean King (R) speaks during an event to mark the 37th anniversary of the enactment of Title IX at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House June 23, 2009 in Washington, DC. Also attending the event were former Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes (L), Education Secretary Arne Duncan (2nd L) and White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett (3rd L).
Getty

Former tennis champion Billie Jean King (R) speaks during an event to mark the 37th anniversary of the enactment of Title IX at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House June 23, 2009 in Washington, DC. Also attending the event were former Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes (L), Education Secretary Arne Duncan (2nd L) and White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett (3rd L).

::

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 16 people, including political ally Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, tennis legend Billie Jean King and retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.

The White House announced the list of recipients Thursday.

The medals, representing the nation's highest honor for a civilian, are the first to be awarded by Obama. He will present them at a White House ceremony on Aug. 12.

Other names on the list are: Race for the Cure founder Nancy Brinker, physicist Stephen Hawking, civil rights activist Rev. Joseph Lowery, and entertainers Sidney Poitier and Chita Rivera.

Former Rep. Jack Kemp, who died in May, and gay rights activist Harvey Milk, who was assassinated in 1978, will receive posthumous awards.

Accomplished in fields ranging from sports and art to science and medicine to politics and public policy and representing a diversity of backgrounds, the White House announcement said the recipients were selected for their work as "agents of change."

"Each saw an imperfect world and set about improving it, often overcoming great obstacles along the way," Obama said. "Their relentless devotion to breaking down barriers and lifting up their fellow citizens sets a standard to which we all should strive."

President Harry S. Truman established the Medal of Freedom in 1945 to recognize civilians for their efforts during World War II. President John F. Kennedy reinstated the medal in 1963 to honor distinguished service. Those who receive it have made noteworthy contributions to the security or national interests of the U.S., world peace or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

The 16 recipients are:

—Nancy Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a leading breast cancer grass-roots organization. Brinker created the organization after her sister died of breast cancer in 1980 and raises money for research and other service through events like the Race for the Cure.

—Pedro Jose Greer Jr., a doctor and assistant dean of academic affairs at Florida International University School of Medicine. He is the founder of Camillus Health Concern, which provides medical care to more than 10,000 homeless patients annually in Miami. He also is founder and medical director of the St. John Bosco Clinic, which provides medical care to poor children and adults in the city's Cuban community. His work has been recognized by several former presidents.

—Stephen Hawking, an internationally recognized physicist and mathematics professor at Cambridge University in London. The 67-year-old scientist is well known for his work on black holes. Hawking has been almost completely paralyzed for years and communicates through an electronic voice synthesizer. At age 21, he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, an incurable degenerative disorder.

—Former Republican Rep. Jack Kemp of New York, who died in May. Kemp also was secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development under President George H.W. Bush and the GOP nominee for vice president in 1996. He was a quarterback for the Buffalo Bills before entering public service.

—Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., a member of the Senate for 46 years who endorsed Obama for president. Kennedy has been behind legislative efforts to improve the public schools, strengthen civil rights laws, support working people and provide health care for all. He was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer last year and has largely been absent as Congress debates Obama's plan to overhaul health care.

—Billie Jean King, the 1960s and 1970s tennis legend who became one of America's first openly gay major sports figures when she revealed her sexual orientation in 1981.

—Rev. Joseph Lowery, a leader in the civil rights movements since the early 1950s. Lowery helped organize the Montgomery bus boycott. He later co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a leading civil rights group, with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Lowery also led "Bloody Sunday" march from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama in 1965.

—Joe Medicine Crow, the last living Plains Indian war chief who fought in World War II, wearing war paint beneath his uniform. He became an acclaimed Native American historian who lectured extensively on the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

—Harvey Milk, who became the first openly gay elected official from a major U.S. city when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Milk encouraged lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to live their lives openly. Milk, along with San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, was shot and killed in 1978 by Dan White, a former city supervisor.

—Sandra Day O'Connor, the first female U.S. Supreme Court justice. Nominated in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan, she retired in 2006.

—Sidney Poitier, the top black movie star in the 1950s and 1960s. He is the first African American to win an Academy Award for best actor, to receive an award at a top international film festival (the Venice Film Festival) and be the top grossing movie star in the U.S. Poitier began his acting career without any training or experience by auditioning at the American Negro Theatre.

—Chita Rivera, an accomplished actor, singer and dancer and winner of two Tony Awards. In 2002, Rivera became the first Hispanic recognized with a Kennedy Center Honor. She was propelled to stardom by her performance as Anita in the original Broadway premiere of "West Side Story."

—Mary Robinson, Ireland's first female president, serving from 1990-1997. She also is a former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

—Janet Davison Rowley, a doctor and distinguished professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. Rowley was the first scientist to identify chromosomal translocation as the cause of leukemia and other cancers. She was awarded the National Medal of Science, the nation's highest scientific honor, in 1999.

—Desmond Tutu, the retired Anglican Archbishop emeritus and formerly a leading anti-apartheid activist in South Africa, widely regarded as the country's moral conscience. As general secretary of the South African Council of Churches, he led an effort in support of justice and racial reconciliation in his country, work that earned him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. Tutu also chaired the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1995.

—Muhammad Yunus, a leader in global anti-poverty efforts who has pioneered the use of "micro loans" to provide credit to poor people who don't have collateral. He founded the Grameen Bank in 1983 in his native Bangladesh to provide these low-interest loans. Yunus was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work.

(AP via sportingnews)

All About Rafa

Spain's tennis player Rafael Nadal plays golf during a charity tournament, on 18 July, 2009, in Llucmajor, on Mallorca Islands.
Getty

Spain's tennis player Rafael Nadal plays golf during a charity tournament, on 18 July, 2009, in Llucmajor, on Mallorca Islands.

::

JULY 29 | 2009 TVE: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH RAFA NADAL

Lorenzo Mila and Rosana Romero from TVE (the leading news channel in Spain) interviewed Rafa Nadal yesterday at his summer house in Porto Cristo.

During the show, Rafa spoke about his days away from the tennis courts, about his recovery, his return to the tennis circuit, but most importantly, how he is...

So how is Rafa Nadal?

“Good, the truth is that I feel good. But also, I have to wait and see how I continue to recover because I’ve only been back training for a week and a half and you always feel a bit better anemically. You start with lots of hope, but again, the real test would be to see how I go when I really push my knees and I think that is likely to happen in the upcoming days. So I hope it’s all good,” said Rafa.

What happened?

“What happened was that I was in a lot of pain for a while, when I came back from Miami and I was training in Manacor, I started to feel a strong pain, especially in my right knee. It was a different kind of pain [to what I’ve experienced before], so I took off the bandages in my knees,” he explained…”and everyone thought that it was because I felt great, but the problem was that it didn’t hurt there anymore, now it hurt in the superior end of the knee cap. And well, the bandages weren’t helping me at all and that’s when it all started to get worse, little by little.”

Rafa said that he should have rested after Rome to play at his best in Roland Garros, but he wanted to play the Masters Series Tournament in Madrid, which turned out to be a big mistake. At the same time, he admitted that he had “been playing almost every day with an anti-inflammatory and I had too much pain to play well at both tournaments that were important for me, Roland Garros and Wimbledon."

"I decided it was best to stop and recover," because "you lose the drive to go back to train and compete, because you are not with the same energy, little by little it destroys you," he explained.

According to Rafa, it is "knowing how to overcome difficult situations or face them with a positive mindset and learn to enjoy suffering," that has kept him going. "It is a virtue that I’ve always had, I like to suffer, I have learned to enjoy suffering and I believe that is what helps me."

At the same time, the support and love he has received from his fans and family has been the one highlight out of this painful experience. “Without doubt, the best memory in the last two months has been the support I have received from everyone. From my website, where they’ve sent me tons of messages. I have nothing but gratitude for their gesture”.

So what has Rafa been doing in the last two months?

"I have spent more hours on the couch these past two months than in the past four years", he confessed.

This time away from competition has also allowed Rafa to follow other aspects of the sport today, politically and economically, "I've been able to follow many things, to see how colleagues have won some very important things, such as Contador at the Tour of France, or Pau Gasol in the NBA when he won 'the ring'. Of course I'm interested in the [economic] crisis and also in politics, but I never like to talk about those things".

The four-time Roland Garros champion said that his "dream" is to return to the ATP for the August 9 start of the Montreal Masters Series event, "I would like to come back in Montreal in a week and a half. I [will] have to force the knees and just see how far I can go."

"My main objective is not to regain the number one ranking. My main goal is to be well and happy to be playing tennis," Rafa said.

"I’m mentally ready to return now!"



(Thanks, Savannah)

Faces Of The Day

Nadia Petrova, of Russia, returns to Maria Sharapova, of Russia, during the Bank of the West tennis tournament in Stanford, Calif. , Wednesday, July 29, 2009. Sharapova won 6-1, 6-2.
AP

Nadia Petrova, of Russia, returns to Maria Sharapova, of Russia, during the Bank of the West tennis tournament in Stanford, California , Wednesday, July 29, 2009.

Bank Of The West Classic

Singles - Second Round
(3) Elena Dementieva (RUS) d. Maria Kirilenko (RUS) 61 62
Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (5) Nadia Petrova (RUS) 61 62
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. (7) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 46 76(6) 61

Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 61 75

Doubles - Quarterfinals
(2) Williams/Williams (USA/USA) d. Dekmeijere/Ditty (LAT/USA) 61 60

Doubles - First Round

(1) Black/Huber (ZIM/USA) d. Haynes/Savchuk (USA/UKR) 61 63
(3) Mattek-Sands/Petrova (USA/RUS) d. Kudryavtseva/Poutchek (RUS/BLR) 46 64 104
Chan/Niculescu (TPE/ROU) d. Foretz/Spears (FRA/USA) 64 26 106

::

Russia's Dmitry Tursunov wipes his face as a trainer looks at his ankle during his match against Australia's Carsten Ball at the L.A. Tennis Open tournament in Los Angeles, California, July 29, 2009. Tursunov later retired the match due to his ankle injury.
Getty

Russia's Dmitry Tursunov wipes his face as a trainer looks at his ankle during his match against Australia's Carsten Ball at the L.A. Tennis Open tournament in Los Angeles, California, July 29, 2009.

LA Tennis Open

Singles - Second Round
[1] T Haas (GER) d [WC] J Levine (USA) 61 63
[Q] C Ball (AUS) d [3] D Tursunov (RUS) 64 01 ret. (left ankle)
[8] M Safin (RUS) d E Gulbis (LAT) 26 63 64
J Isner (USA) d M Baghdatis (CYP) 63 76(11)

Doubles - First Round
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d [WC] C Ball (AUS) / K Van't Hof (USA) 75 62
E Gulbis (LAT) / D Tursunov (RUS) d [2] B Soares (BRA) / K Ullyett (ZIM) 62 64
J Coetzee (RSA) / J Erlich (ISR) d [3] M Damm (CZE) / R Lindstedt (SWE) 64 64
M Melo (BRA) / A Sa (BRA) d R Ginepri (USA) / J Kerr (AUS) 63 62
B Becker (GER) / F Moser (GER) d J Isner (USA) / S Querrey (USA) w/o (Isner - left ankle)
D Istomin (UZB) / L Mayer (ARG) d E Butorac (USA) / S Lipsky (USA) 76(5) 67(4) 10-4

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Faces Of The Day


Getty

Li Na of China serves to Serena Williams during their match at the Bank of the West Classic Day Two at Stanford University.

::

Bank Of The West Classic

Singles - First Round
(1) Serena Williams (USA) d. Li Na (CHN) 63 76(6)
(2) Venus Williams (USA) d. (WC) Stéphanie Dubois (CAN) 62 63
(4) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. (Q) Angela Haynes (USA) 63 61
Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. (6) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 64 63
(8) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Ayumi Morita (JPN) 76(6) 63
Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. (Q) Lilia Osterloh (USA) 62 63
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 64 46 75
Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. Anna Chakvetadze (RUS) 64 57 76(5)
(Q) Melanie Oudin (USA) d. (WC) Hilary Barte (USA) 62 61
(Q) Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) d. Julie Coin (FRA) 61 76(5)

Doubles - First Round
(4) Cirstea/Kirilenko (ROU/RUS) d. Granville/Gullickson (USA/USA) 57 63 105
Kleybanova/Rodionova (RUS/RUS) d. Craybas/Hsieh (USA/TPE) 62 62
Coin/Pelletier (USA/CAN) d. Keothavong/Morita (GBR/JPN) 46 53 ret. (Keothavong: left knee injury)

::

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 28:  Taylor Dent returns a shot to Ryan Sweeting during the LA Tennis Open Day 2 at Los Angeles Tennis Center - UCLA on July 28, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.
Getty

Taylor Dent returns a shot to Ryan Sweeting during the LA Tennis Open Day 2 at Los Angeles Tennis Center.

::

LA Tennis Open

Singles - First Round
[5] I Kunitsyn (RUS) d [Q] S Devvarman (IND) 75 62
[6] S Querrey (USA) d D Istomin (UZB) 62 60
J Isner (USA) d [7] B Becker (GER) 76(8) 76(3)
[8] M Safin (RUS) d R Ginepri (USA) 36 63 64
E Gulbis (LAT) d Y Lu (TPE) 75 62
[Q] R Sweeting (USA) d [WC] T Dent (USA) 64 26 63
M Baghdatis (CYP) d F Dancevic (CAN) 76(3) 63
[Q] C Ball (AUS) d M Gicquel (FRA) 62 76(6)
L Mayer (ARG) d [Q] J Ouanna (FRA) 62 63

Doubles - First Round

Y Lu (TPE) / D Vemic (SRB) d [4] S Huss (AUS) / R Hutchins (GBR) 63 67(4) 10-6

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Faces Of The Day


Getty

Pete Sampras poses for a portrait with (L-R) sister Marion, sister and UCLA women's head coach Stella Sampras Webster, father Sammy, mother Georgia, son Ryan, wife Bridgette, son Christian and brother Gus after being presented with a plate as the tournament honoree during the LA Tennis Open Day 1 at Los Angeles Tennis Center - UCLA on July 27, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

::

Bank Of The West Classic

Singles - First Round
(3) Elena Dementieva (RUS) d. Anne Keothavong (GBR) 61 64
(5) Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 63 36 63
(7) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 60 61
Melinda Czink (HUN) d. Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 60 75
Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Ai Sugiyama (JPN) 64 67(6) 61
Monica Niculescu (ROU) d. Meghann Shaughnessy (USA) 61 60

Doubles - First Round
(2) Williams/Williams (USA/USA) d. Chen/Washington (TPE/USA) 64 62
Dekmeijere/Ditty (LAT/USA) d. (WC) Barte/Burdette (USA/USA) 64 76(5)

::

LA Tennis Open

Singles - First Round
[WC] J Levine (USA) d B Reynolds (USA) 62 63
R Kendrick (USA) d V Spadea (USA) 60 60
[WC] C Guccione (AUS) d K Kim (USA) 61 64

Doubles - First Round
I Kunitsyn (RUS) / M Safin (RUS) d [WC] M Baghdatis (CYP) / D Sela (ISR) 67(6) 62 11-9 - saved 1 M.P.

Quote For The Day

"I think winning the US Open final in 1988 against (John) Lendl stands out as my best tennis memory. I had watched Bjorn Borg win the French Open and win Wimbledon but never be able to win the US Open, so us Swedes thought it was the hardest Grand Slam to win. Up to the point that I won it I knew I had a chance on hard courts because I was beating Lendl, (John) McEnroe and (Stefan) Edberg on the surface, but at the US Open it just seemed that bit tougher. So to beat Lendl in ’88 after having lost to him in ’87 and to win playing a really tactical game and hitting shots that I wouldn’t usually hit, that was incredible."--Mats Wilander

Monday, July 27, 2009

Who's Ready For Bank?

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15:  Tennis players Venus Williams (L) and Serena Williams presents the Arthur Ashe Courage Award onstage during the 2009 ESPY Awards held at Nokia Theatre LA Live on July 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The 17th annual ESPYs will air on Sunday, July 19 at 9PM ET on ESPN.
Getty

Venus Williams and Serena Williams present the Arthur Ashe Courage Award onstage during the 2009 ESPY Awards held at Nokia Theatre LA Live on July 15, 2009 in Los Angeles.

::

A 32-player WTA draw with no byes for the top seeds.

Bank of the West Classic got it right.

Wimbledon champion Serena opens against Li Na, while Wimbledon runner-up Venus gets Canadian wild card Stephanie DuBois.

Elena Dementieva and Jelena Jankovic are also in the field.

Maria Sharapova
claims she's now 100% and lands in . Whatever that means. She landed in Venus' quarter.

After playing that elite event in Slovenia, the world No. 1 didn't bother with this event.

See the entire draw.

::

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Winner's Circle

Robby Ginepri, of the United States, hoists the championship trophy after defeating countryman Sam Querrey 6-2, 6-4 in the finals of the Indianapolis Tennis Championships in Indianapolis, Sunday, July 26, 2009.
AP

I tried to watch the final. Really, I did. But Sam Querrey's hang-dog attitude turned me right off, so the action on ESPN was background noise rather than focus.

I used to like Robby Ginepri. Really, I did. But he often exhibits no fight and can evaporate in a match quicker than gasoline. A win is a win. It's been a long time between drinks.

BoldNikolay Davydenko of Russia poses with the trophy after defeating Paul-Henri Mathieu of France in their final match of the International German Open tennis tournament at the Rothenbaum stadium in Hamburg July 26, 2009.
Reuters


I'm not in love with Nikolay Davydenko as a few of our readers are, but it's nice to see him win another title. Too bad he did it in an event I disregarded.

Russia's Dinara Safina holds the trophy after defeating Italy's Sara Errani in their Slovenia Open final tennis match in Portoroz, Sunday, July 26, 2009.
AP

So as not to get into any more trouble, the less said about the world No. 1 the better.


Getty

Germany's Andrea Petkovic celebrates with the trophy after defeating Romanian Ioana Raluca Olaru in the final of the WTA Tennis Tournament in Bad Gastein on July 26, 2009. Petkovic claimed her first WTA title here with a convincing straight sets win over Olaru. The 21-year-old, ranked 98th and playing in her first WTA final, came through 6-2, 6-3 winner against her 66th-ranked opponent in the clay court tournament in 1hr 29 minutes.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Quote For The Day


Getty

"Oh, my goodness. That really is a Tier III event, isn't it?"--hubby, upon seeing the finalists for Indianapolis

Grace Loren

I suppose it's baby season. My teeny tiny premature baby niece was born by emergency C-section yesterday afternoon. She's 25 weeks, less than two pounds, and just over a foot long.

Pray for Grace.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Twins

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 05:  Wimbledon 2009 men's singles champion Roger Federer and his wife Mirka Federer attend the Wimbledon Winners Party at Hotel Intercontinental on July 5, 2009 in London, England.
Getty

Myla Rose and Charlene Riva Federer were born last night.

Wow.

Face Of The Day


Getty

Robby Ginepri cools down between sets against Eduardo Schwank of Argentina during the Indianapolis Tennis Championships on July 23, 2009.

::

Singles - Second Round
[1] D Tursunov (RUS) d M Daniel (BRA) 63 63
[Q] A Bogomolov Jr. (USA) d [2] D Sela (ISR) 64 76(5)
[3] S Querrey (USA) d [WC] R Ram (USA) 75 63
W Odesnik (USA) d [4] I Kunitsyn (RUS) 26 61 61
F Dancevic (CAN) d [5] B Becker (GER) 62 75
[7] M Gicquel (FRA) d [Q] J Levine (USA) 62 62
J Isner (USA) d [8] D Istomin (UZB) 64 64
R Ginepri (USA) d E Schwank (ARG) 67(1) 63 60

Singles - First Round
M Daniel (BRA) d [WC] T Dent (USA) 62 64

Doubles - Quarterfinals
[1] A Fisher (AUS) / J Kerr (AUS) d J Levine (USA) / D Sela (ISR) 26 62 10-7
B Becker (GER) / I Kunitsyn (RUS) d [4] R de Voest (RSA) / R Ram (USA) 64 61

Doubles - First Round
[1] A Fisher (AUS) / J Kerr (AUS) d Y Lu (TPE) / F Moser (GER) 61 67(12) 12-10

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Blasé

A reader writes:

The whole summer Master Series thing just leaves me limp - who cares who wins and who does not[?] Right now, the only things that matter, tennis-wise, are the majors, and even the master series Montreal/Toronto men/women, will not really mean that much in the scheme of things.

Indy this week, here in LA next week - just going through the motions.

Need some new blood with quality talent - Raja and Rafa, or Rafa and Raja if you prefer, cannot be the only thing about the men's game, yet....

And anything beyond the Williams sisters and the clash with the minimal talent called #1 on the women's side is just wasted hot air.

I asked why I was feeling so blasé about tennis right now. I'm trying to find something to argue with this reader about, but I can't.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Face Of The Day

INDIANAPOLIS - JULY 21:  Go Soeda of Japan walks to his chair between games against Benjamin Becker of Germany during the Indianapolis Tennis Championships at the Indianapolis Tennis Center July 21, 2009 in United States, Indiana.
Getty

Go Soeda of Japan walks to his chair between games against Benjamin Becker of Germany during the Indianapolis Tennis Championships at the Indianapolis Tennis Center July 21, 2009 in United States, Indiana.

::

There are clay court events across the Atlantic right now.

I simply disregard them.

It's the North American summer hardcourt season, after all.

Play is still underway in Indianapolis.

Singles - First Round
[1] D Tursunov (RUS) d M Berrer (GER) 63 26 60
[2] D Sela (ISR) d V Spadea (USA) 75 61
[4] I Kunitsyn (RUS) d B Dabul (ARG) 64 61
[5] B Becker (GER) d [Q] G Soeda (JPN) 62 63
E Schwank (ARG) d [6] Y Lu (TPE) 46 63 62
[Q] J Levine (USA) d D Udomchoke (THA) 61 76(10)
R Ginepri (USA) d [Q] S de Chaunac (FRA) 75 57 62
[Q] A Bogomolov Jr. (USA) d F Cipolla (ITA) 62 63

Doubles - First Round

[4] R de Voest (RSA) / R Ram (USA) d [WC] H Mankad (IND) / D Martin (USA) 62 64
B Becker (GER) / I Kunitsyn (RUS) d A Clement (FRA) / M Gicquel (FRA) 75 62
S Querrey (USA) / A Qureshi (PAK) d [WC] M Baghdatis (CYP) / J Spina (ARG) 75 76(8)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Face Of The Day

Spain's tennis player Rafael Nadal talks to the press during his first trainning after his knee injury on July 20, 2009 in Manacor, on the Spanish Island of Mallorca. Rafael Nadal, who has lost his French Open and Wimbledon titles, as well as his world number one spot, in a summer of injury misery, plans to return at the Montreal Masters in August.
Getty

Spain's tennis player Rafael Nadal talks to the press during his first training after his knee injury on July 20, 2009 in Manacor, on the Spanish Island of Mallorca. Rafael Nadal, who has lost his French Open and Wimbledon titles, as well as his world number one spot, in a summer of injury misery, plans to return at the Montreal Masters in August.

::

The dog days of summer are upon us.

Last year, Gilles Simon and Juan Martin del Potro stormed into the Top 10 with some surprise and some expectation. Something tells me only one of the will defend a good chunk of points he earned in the lead up to the US Open, and I can't even say I'm sure about that.

How will the recent world No. 1 fare coming back from rehabilitation and family disarray?

How will the top American Andy Roddick recover from an injury absence and the heartbreak of another Wimbledon title that got away?

Will Serena Williams stay healthy and play a fuller summer than she has in recent years?

How will the new mother Kim Clijsters, returning from her relatively brief retirement, handle all the new girls?

Will Venus Williams finally get herself back to a US Open final?

Will Elena Dementieva?

It seems to me the only top player around which there is no question mark is none other than Roger Federer.

"Pamela" Files Suit Against Richard Gasquet

by Savannah


Maître Yassine Bouzrou

The woman identified only as "Pamela" has filed a lawsuit against Richard Gasquet in France. Her lawyer says, among other things, that her character has been "defamed."

Savannah's World

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer's Finally Here

http://images51.fotki.com/v1546/fileA7QZ/af1b5/3/1213243/7751366/IMG_1809.jpg

And I don't mean the US Open Series. We'll get to all that later.

I'm talking about the weather in Maine. And that's why I just got in from the field and gardens, sore-hipped and sun-whipped.

I'll be back to looking at tennis tomorrow sometime.

Meantime, Savannah's talking about it.

http://images51.fotki.com/v1544/fileURqL/af1b5/3/1213243/7751366/IMG_1812.jpg

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Face Of The Day


Getty

Tathiana Garbin
of Italy returns the ball to Flavia Pennetta of Italy during their WTA Tournament semi-final match in Palermo on July 18, 2009.

::

Mercedes Cup

Singles - Semifinals
[4] V Hanescu (ROU) d F Fognini (ITA) 63 67(4) 62
J Chardy (FRA) d N Kiefer (GER) 63 75

Singles - Quarterfinals
J Chardy (FRA) d M Zverev (GER) 76(4) 61
N Kiefer (GER) d [Q] L Kubot (POL) 62 61

Doubles - Semifinals
V Hanescu (ROU) / H Tecau (ROU) d [1] L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) 64 75
[4] F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) d [2] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Melo (BRA) 36 62 10-4


::

Catella Swedish Open

Singles - Semifinals
[2] R Soderling (SWE) d [WC] A Vinciguerra (SWE) 61 76(6)
J Monaco (ARG) d [3] T Robredo (ESP) 60 62

::

Internatzinali Femminili di Tennis di Palermo

Singles - Semifinals
(1) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. Tathiana Garbin (ITA) 61 61
(5) Sara Errani (ITA) d. Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) 63 46 61

Doubles - Final
(2) Llagostera Vives/Martínez Sánchez (ESP/ESP) d. Koryttseva/Kustova (UKR/BLR) 61 62

Friday, July 17, 2009

Roddick Withdraws From Indy



andyroddick on twitter: "Me and the dog watching Davis cup."

::

INDIANAPOLIS - Wimbledon runner-up and two-time Indianapolis Tennis Championship presented by Lilly champion Andy Roddick, 26, has announced his withdrawal from this year’s tournament. Roddick’s coach Larry Stefanki made the call late today citing a right hip flexor injury that also kept him out of the US Davis Cup match against Croatia.

“We are obviously very disappointed that Andy will not be able to return to Indianapolis, but we support his decision 100 percent to put his health first. We know that some fans have planned their vacations and a night out with friends around Andy’s Tuesday night play and potential to earn his third title on finals weekend, so we can only imagine how disappointed they are also,” said Indianapolis Tennis Championships Tournament Director Kevin Martin.

“On a positive note, however, fans will still be able to see great tennis at the tournament this year and enjoy numerous fan friendly events throughout the week. In addition we are working to secure one additional player into the main draw. Robby Ginepri’s acceptance into our main draw freed up his wildcard. The # 17 player in the world and the second highest ranked American James Blake is our leading candidate.

“This is one of those instances where our tournament must support the decision by Andy and his medical team to do what’s best for Andy and American tennis versus what’s best for Indianapolis. We will look forward to seeing Andy back on the hardcourts very soon and performing at the high level we saw him during Wimbeldon. We wish him a speedy recovery for this hip injury, and of course we hope to see him headlining for us at next year’s Indianapolis Tennis Championships.”

The Indianapolis Tennis Championships, the first tournament in the hardcourt season, will feature several ATP tour veterans, including 2007 Champion Dmitry Tursunov, 2005 Champion Robby Ginepri, Sam Querrey, Taylor Dent, Marcos Baghdatis and many others. This year’s Indianapolis Tennis Championships will be held July 18-26 at the Indianapolis Tennis Center on the campus of IUPUI. Tickets for the Championships can be purchased online at tennisindy.com or by calling 800-622-LOVE.

The Indianapolis Tennis Championships Presented by Lilly is a world-class ATP Tour event held annually in Indianapolis and is a part of the Olympus US Open Series. The event traces its roots back to 1921 and has hosted such notable players as Pete Sampras, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, and Andre Agassi.

For more information, please visit http://www.tennisindy.com.

::

Okay. It's now clear to me that fall in the fourth set of the Wimbledon final and the look on his face in the photos I posted means he played the rest of that match on will, desire, and adrenalin.

Back-to-back tournaments where injury impedes his ability to play with a healthy body for the duration of his last match.

This is more serious than I hoped it would be.

If it wasn't for bad luck....

Faces Of The Day

Tennis star Serena Williams arrives on the red carpet for the premiere of the movie "The Ugly Truth" at the Pacific Cinerama Dome cinema in Hollywood on July 16, 2009. The Columbia Pictures comedy about the battle of the sexes, opens in cinemas on July 24.
Getty


Getty

Tennis star Serena Williams arrives on the red carpet for the premiere of the movie "The Ugly Truth" at the Pacific Cinerama Dome cinema in Hollywood on July 16, 2009. The Columbia Pictures comedy about the battle of the sexes, opens in cinemas on July 24.

::

I really have a thing for the "girls". I really really do.

:: :: :: ::

Mercedes Cup

Nikolay Davydenko from Russia watches  the ball as he returns it to Fabio Fognini from Italy  in their quarterfinal at the ATP Mercedes-Cup tennis tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, Friday, July 17, 2009.
AP

Singles - Quarterfinals
F Fognini (ITA) d [2] N Davydenko (RUS) 61 36 75
[4] V Hanescu (ROU) d[LL] A Sidorenko (FRA) 76(2) 64

Doubles - Quarterfinals
[4] F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) d I Navarro (ESP) / G Simon (FRA) 62 60

::

Catella Swedish Open

Andreas Vinciguerra of Sweden reacts after winning his quarter final Swedish Open ATP tennis match against Jurgen Melzer of Austria (unseen) in Bastad, Sweden, 17 July 2009. Vinciguerra won 2-1.
Getty

Andreas Vinciguerra of Sweden reacts after winning his quarter final Swedish Open ATP tennis match against Jurgen Melzer of Austria.

Singles - Quarterfinals
J Monaco (ARG) d [1] F Verdasco (ESP) 61 31 Ret. (right calf)
[2] R Soderling (SWE) d [5] N Almagro (ESP) 75 63
[3] T Robredo (ESP) d T Gabashvili (RUS) 64 60
[WC] A Vinciguerra (SWE) d [4] J Melzer (AUT) 26 64 63

Doubles - Semifinals
[3] J Levinsky (CZE) / F Polasek (SVK) d N Almagro (ESP) / S Ventura (ESP) 64 67(5) 10-7
R Lindstedt (SWE) / R Soderling (SWE) d [4] M Lopez (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP) 64 76(7)

::

ECM Prague Open

Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky reacts during a match against compatriot Stefanie Voegele at Prague Open tennis tournament July 16, 2009.
Reuters

Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland.

Singles - Quarterfinals

(1) Francesco Schiavone (ITA) d. Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 61 61
(2) Sybille Bammer (AUT) d. (7) Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 75 57 75
(3) Iveta Benesova (CZE) d. (WC) Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 64 61
(Q) Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) d. (4) Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) 64 64

Doubles - Semifinals
(1) Benesova/Zahlavova Strycova (CZE/CZE) d. (3) Hlavackova/Hradecka (CZE/CZE) 16 61 1210
(2) Bondarenko/Bondarenko (UKR/UKR) d. Rybarikova/Voracova (SVK/CZE)
64 75

::

Internazionali Femminili di Tennis d Palermo


Singles - Quarterfinals
(1) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. (7) Aravane Rezai (FRA) 64 64
Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) d. (2) Patty Schnyder (SUI) 43 ret. (left hip flexor strain)
(5) Sara Errani (ITA) d. Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 62 75
Tathiana Garbin (ITA) d. Olga Govortsova (BLR) 62 61

Doubles - Semifinals
(2) Llagostera Vives/Martínez Sánchez (ESP/ESP) d. Jans/Rosolska (POL/POL) 61 62
Koryttseva/Kustova (UKR/BLR) d. Pennetta/Vinci (ITA/ITA) 63 64

Quote For The Day

"It's a very good sign for women's tennis when you look at the fact five of the 10 women in our poll are tennis stars. When it comes to the Williams sisters in particular their dominance of this list shows they have the annual dominance on the court. Other athletes on this list have come and gone, but Serena and Venus are there every year since we've done this poll. We do this poll every year around the time of the French Open so people see them on TV for the French Open and Wimbledon. The strength of Serena's appeal is clear when you see she's tops among both men and women and across almost every age group."--Regina Corso, director of the Harris Poll

Walk Of Fame

World number one tennis player Swiss Roger Federer gestures as he poses behind a plate bearing his name at the Basel "Hall of Fame" during an unveiling ceremony on July 16, 2009 in Basel. Federer's Wimbledon triumph last July 6 has seen him regain the world number one spot from arch-rival Rafael Nadal. Federer won both the French Open and Wimbledon to chalk up a record 15 Grand Slam titles, one more than Pete Sampras.
Getty

World number one tennis player Swiss Roger Federer gestures as he poses behind a plate bearing his name at the Basel "Hall of Fame" during an unveiling ceremony on July 16, 2009 in Basel. Federer's Wimbledon triumph last July 6 has seen him regain the world number one spot from arch-rival Rafael Nadal. Federer won both the French Open and Wimbledon to chalk up a record 15 Grand Slam titles, one more than Pete Sampras.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Red Carpet

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15:  Tennis player Venus Williams arrives at the 2009 ESPY Awards held at Nokia Theatre LA Live on July 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The 17th annual ESPYs will air on Sunday, July 19 at 9PM ET on ESPN.
Getty

Tennis player Venus Williams arrives at the 2009 ESPY Awards held at Nokia Theatre LA Live on July 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The 17th annual ESPYs will air on Sunday, July 19 at 9PM ET on ESPN.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15:  Tennis player Serena Williams arrives at the 2009 ESPY Awards held at Nokia Theatre LA Live on July 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The 17th annual ESPYs will air on Sunday, July 19 at 9PM ET on ESPN.
Getty

Tennis player Serena Williams arrives at the 2009 ESPY Awards held at Nokia Theatre LA Live on July 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

Face Of The Day

SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 14:  Lombardi Sports employee Ronald Tsang strings a tennis racket July 14, 2009 in San Francisco, California. The Commerce Department reports that June retail sales increased 0.6 percent, the largest rise in five months, fueled by a spike in gasoline prices and an increase in auto sales.
Getty

Lombardi Sports employee Ronald Tsang strings a tennis racket July 14, 2009 in San Francisco, California. The Commerce Department reports that June retail sales increased 0.6 percent, the largest rise in five months, fueled by a spike in gasoline prices and an increase in auto sales.

::

Catella Swedish Open


Singles - Second Round

[2] R Soderling (SWE) d K Vliegen (BEL) 62 63
[3] T Robredo (ESP) d [Q] P Luczak (AUS) 62 63
T Gabashvili (RUS) d B Phau (GER) 63 62

Singles - First Round
[5] N Almagro (ESP) d M Safin (RUS) 63 76(6)
[Q] D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) d F Gil (POR) 61 64

Doubles - Quarterfinals
[3] J Levinsky (CZE) / F Polasek (SVK) d M Granollers (ESP) / P Starace (ITA) 63 63

Doubles - First Round
N Almagro (ESP) / S Ventura (ESP) d M Gonzalez (ARG) / J Monaco (ARG) 63 64
[WC] J Melzer (AUT) / A Vinciguerra (SWE) d D Koellerer (AUT) / C Rochus (BEL) 46 62 10-6
R Wassen (NED) / I Zelenay (SVK) d [WC] D Berta (SWE) / P Brydolf (SWE) 61 75

Mercedes Cup

Singles - Second Round
[4] V Hanescu (ROU) d R Schuettler (GER) 62 61
[LL] A Sidorenko (FRA) d O Hernandez (ESP) 26 64 63

Singles - First Round
M Vassallo Arguello (ARG) d A Golubev (KAZ) 36 63 60
P Mathieu (FRA) d M Youzhny (RUS) 76(4) 76(4)

Doubles - First Round
[4] F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) d C Kas (GER) / M Zverev (GER) 62 63
[WC] S Greul (GER) / M Kohlmann (GER) d [WC] J Delgado (GBR) / J Murray (GBR) 64 75
A Beck (GER) / N Davydenko (RUS) d P Andujar (ESP) / D Munoz-De La Nava (ESP) 64 62
I Navarro (ESP) / G Simon (FRA) d F Fognini (ITA) / D Junqueira (ARG) 76(4) 64
J Acasuso (ARG) / M Vassallo Arguello (ARG) d P Petzschner (GER) / R Schuettler (GER) 64 67(5) 10-4

ECM Prague Open

Singles - Second Round
(1) F Schiavone (ITA) d. P Hercog (SLO) 62 62
(2) S Bammer (AUT) d. A Kudryavtseva (RUS) 61 61
(4) C Suárez Navarro (ESP) d. B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE)
61 64
(7) L Hradecka (CZE) d. K Sprem (CRO) 62 46 64

Doubles - Quarterfinals
(2) Bondarenko/Bondarenko (UKR/UKR) d. Brozda/Kiszczynska (POL/POL)
64 61
Rybarikova/Voracova (SVK/CZE) d. Klemenschits/Malek (AUT/GER) 62 63

::
Internatzionali Femminili di Tennis di Palermo

Singles - Second Round
O Govortsova (BLR) d. (6) E Makarova (RUS) 62 62
(7) A Rezai (FRA) d. V Lepchenko (USA) 67(2) 64 62
Singles - First Round
(2) P Schnyder (SUI) d. (Q) A Pivovarova (RUS) 64 60

Doubles - First Round
Parra Santonja/Uhlirova (ESP/CZE) d. (4) Senoglu/Shvedova (TUR/KAZ)
63 46 107
Domínguez Lino/Errani (ESP/ITA) d. (WC) Anderson/Dentoni (RSA/ITA) 21 ret. (Dentoni: GI illness)

Serena Meets Barack Obama

Washington Kastles' Serena Williams answers question during her press conference before her match in a World TeamTennis event against the Newport Beach Breakers in Washington, Tuesday, July 14, 2009.

Washington Kastles' Serena Williams answers question during her press conference before her match in a World TeamTennis event against the Newport Beach Breakers in Washington, Tuesday, July 14, 2009.

WASHINGTON (AP)—It was tennis before baseball for President Barack Obama on Tuesday.

Before heading off to St. Louis to throw the first pitch at the All-Star game, the president welcomed Wimbledon champion Serena Williams to the White House.

“It was amazing,” Williams said before her World Team Tennis match with the Washington Kastles. “I love President Obama; he has such an unbelievable presence, and he seems to be so normal—and he noticed my shoes. I think that was the highlight of the whole day, was he liked my shoes.”

Williams said she was wearing 5-inch heels for the presidential visit.

“He asked me, ‘Should I be wearing high heels?’ So I thought that was kind of funny because he may have been right,” Williams said. “Because it is a job hazard for me, but I insist on wearing them.”

Williams got to meet Michelle Obama and the rest of the first family.

“I didn’t know she had such an amazing personality,” Williams said. “She had me cracking up and laughing. I knew she was a great person, but now I really understand how important this first family is to the United States. And the kids were just so cute and sweet, and the dog was nice.”

I thought I saw here there on television, but none of the cable anchors on the channel I watch mentioned it.

Doesn't top Willie Mays on Air Force One, but I'm not complaining. The Wimbledon champion got an invite to the White House.

Gasquet Gets Time Served

by Savannah

French tennis player Richard Gasquet (R) attends Pope Benedict XVI's general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican June 10, 2009.
Reuters

French tennis player Richard Gasquet attends Pope Benedict XVI's general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican June 10, 2009.

::

The ITF has ruled as follows:

London, England, 15 Jul 2009 - The International Tennis Federation announced today that an independent Anti-Doping Tribunal convened under the 2009 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme has found that Richard Gasquet, a 23-year-old French tennis player, has committed a Doping Offence.

Following a two-day hearing in July 2009, an independent Anti-Doping Tribunal found that a sample provided by Mr Gasquet on 28 March 2009 at the ATP event in Miami, USA, had tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine. Cocaine is a substance that is banned In-Competition under WADA’s 2009 List of Prohibited Substances, and is therefore also prohibited under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme on the same basis.

The Tribunal rejected the suggestion made by Mr Gasquet that, by virtue of his withdrawal prior to playing a match in the Miami event, the sample provided by him on 28 March should be treated as having been collected Out-of-Competition. In that regard, it upheld the applicability, and the legality, of Article F.4 of the Programme, which provides that a player who withdraws from an event may be target-tested and that such test is to be treated as an In-Competition test, even if the player withdraws before playing a match. The Tribunal therefore found that Mr Gasquet had committed a Doping Offence under Article C.1 of the Programme (presence of a Prohibited Substance in player’s sample).

With regard to sanction, the Tribunal accepted Mr Gasquet’s plea of No Significant Fault or Negligence, on the basis that he was able to demonstrate on the balance of probabilities how the cocaine entered his system (through inadvertent contamination in a nightclub the night before his scheduled match), and that, while he was at fault in exposing himself to the risk of such contamination, that fault was not significant. It further ruled that, in the exceptional and “probably unique” circumstances of the case, it would be unjust and disproportionate to impose a 12-month sanction on Mr Gasquet. Instead it ruled that Mr Gasquet be suspended from participation for a period of two months and 15 days, commencing on 1 May 2009, and thus ending at 08:00 GMT on 15 July 2009. It also ruled that his results, ranking points and prize money from events subsequent to Miami should remain undisturbed.


For the entire document click the above link.

I hope that Richard realizes he dodged a real bullet here and that he appreciates all the work his Federation and others did on his behalf. Richard has a lot of fans out there who want to see him live up to his potential.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Face Of The Day

Germany's Nicolas Kiefer returns the ball to Tomas Berdych  from the Czech Republic in their first round match at the Mercedes Cup ATP tennis tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, Tuesday, July 14, 2009.
AP

Germany's Nicolas Kiefer returns the ball to Tomas Berdych from the Czech Republic in their first round match at the Mercedes Cup ATP tennis tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, Tuesday, July 14, 2009.

::

Mercedes Cup

Singles - First Round

[1] G Simon (FRA) d P Petzschner (GER) 63 64
N Kiefer (GER) d [3] T Berdych (CZE) 63 63
[5] P Kohlschreiber (GER) d D Junqueira (ARG) 63 62
[LL] A Sidorenko (FRA)* d [Q] D Munoz-De La Nava (ESP) 76(3) 16 62
F Fognini (ITA) d [7] F Santoro (FRA) 57 76(3) 61
J Chardy (FRA) d [8] J Acasuso (ARG) 62 76(4)
M Zverev (GER) d G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 62 64
[WC] S Greul (GER) d A Beck (GER) 76(4) 76(5)
O Hernandez (ESP) d J Tipsarevic (SRB) 64 64
R Schuettler (GER) d I Minar (CZE) 26 76(2) 64
*[LL] A Sidorenko (FRA) replaced [6] A Montanes (ESP) - left leg

Doubles - First Round
[2] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Melo (BRA) d L Arnold Ker (ARG) / P Cuevas (URU) 61 64
V Hanescu (ROU) / H Tecau (ROU) d [3] L Dlouhy (CZE) / D Skoch (CZE) 62 46 14-12

Catella Swedish Open

Singles - First Round
J Monaco (ARG) d [8] M Gonzalez (ARG) 76(4) 36 61
D Koellerer (AUT) d S Darcis (BEL) 16 63 64
[Q] P Luczak (AUS) d A Martin (ESP) 62 62
B Phau (GER) d [WC] D Berta (SWE) 63 62
[Q] G Canas (ARG) d [WC] G Dimitrov (BUL) 63 76(2)
[Q] P Starace (ITA) d J Benneteau (FRA) 76(5) 63
K Vliegen (BEL) d M Granollers (ESP) 76(3) 64

Doubles - First Round
R Lindstedt (SWE) / R Soderling (SWE) d [2] J Brunstrom (SWE) / J Rojer (AHO) 64 64
[3] J Levinsky (CZE) / F Polasek (SVK) d J Cerretani (USA) / A Qureshi (PAK) 26 63 10-6
[4] M Lopez (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP) d S Darcis (BEL) / F Gil (POR) 63 62
M Granollers (ESP) / P Starace (ITA) d P Marx (GER) / B Phau (GER) 76(3) 46 10-4

Top Five

Under the radar, on the strength of his overall season in which he has made the second week of all the Slams, a semifinal and a final, Andy Roddick re-entered the Top 5 this week for the first time since the week of November 12, 2007.

Quote For The Day



"I am happy with the way the tests went and of the positive evolution of the injury as the doctors are saying. I am really looking forward to practice again and to do again what I most like: to play tennis. The event in Montreal is important and I expect to be there fit to play. Until then I need to continue to work on my recovery and practice well."--Rafael Nadal, on returning to training this coming Monday

(Thanks, Savannah)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Face Of The Day

Serena Williams laughs with Washington Kastles teammate Rennae Stubbs as they warm up before a World TeamTennis event, in King of Prussia, Pa. , on Monday, July 13, 2009.
AP

Serena Williams laughs with Washington Kastles teammate Rennae Stubbs as they warm up before a World TeamTennis event, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania , on Monday, July 13, 2009.

::

Mercedes Cup

Singles - First Round
[2] N Davydenko (RUS) d I Navarro (ESP) 46 75 63
[4] V Hanescu (ROU) d [Q] D Meffert (GER) 64 76(6)
[Q] L Kubot (POL) d [Q] P Andujar (ESP) 62 64
[WC] M Berrer (GER) d [WC] S Koubek (AUT) 06 76(3) 76(4)

Doubles - First Round

[1] L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) d J Chardy (FRA) / P Mathieu (FRA) 63 63

Catella Swedish Open

Singles - First Round
[WC] A Vinciguerra (SWE) d [6] F Serra (FRA) 67(5) 63 64
T Gabashvili (RUS) d [7] C Rochus (BEL) 46 61 60
V Crivoi (ROU) d D Istomin (UZB) 60 64

Doubles - First Round
[1] S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) d M Elgin (RUS) / F Moser (GER) 36 76(6) 15-13

Allaster is New WTA Leader



ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announced on Monday the appointment of Stacey Allaster, the Tour's President since 2006, as the new Chairman and CEO of the world's leading global sport for women. Allaster will begin her new role immediately and will continue to be based at the Tour's U.S. headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida. The naming of Allaster culminates an international search undertaken by the Tour's Board of Directors and led by leading global executive recruitment firm Korn/Ferry International.

Commenting on her appointment as Chairman and CEO, Stacey Allaster said: "I am honored to lead the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, which since its founding by Billie Jean King 36 years ago has continued to break barriers and grow into a premier global sporting league. The Tour and our sport have enjoyed unprecedented success over the past years, and we are poised for even greater heights in the years to come. Our primary and enduring focus will be our fans, our players and our tournaments, and continuing to build a premium sport and entertainment brand."

"Women's tennis and the Tour have never been stronger as a business, and Stacey has been at the center of this business success over the past years," said Sony Ericsson WTA Tour world No.3, seven-time Grand Slam champion and Player Council member Venus Williams. "Stacey has helped to lead the development of a stronger Tour product through the passage of a healthier and streamlined circuit structure. I believe that Stacey will be a great leader for the Tour, understands how players can help drive our business, and has all the tools to take our sport to even greater heights."

"Stacey Allaster is one of the most talented and respected leaders in our sport," said Steve Simon, Tournament Board Representative and Tournament Director of the BNP Paribas Open women's event. "Stacey brings to the role a track record of success in the areas of sales, marketing and television, possesses a deep understanding as to the needs of tennis fans, and has the respect of our players, tournaments and entire tennis industry. Stacey's appointment is great news for both the organization and the sport."

Read the rest...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Quote For The Day

"I got a ton of respect for Andy [Roddick]. I really can't see myself having any more respect for him than today. Being in the No. 1 spot, it shows me how hard his job has been for this many years and how outstanding he's really been as a teammate and a leader of this team because he's counted on as the No. 1 to put up two points, and he does it time after time. Davis Cup is always pressure-packed, but being in the No. 2 spot is less pressure-packed than being in that one spot."

--James Blake, after losing both of his live rubbers in Croatia

Lawn Tennis Champion

Rajeev Ram, of the United States, kisses the trophy after defeating Sam Querrey, of the United States, in the finals at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, R.I. , Sunday, July 12, 2009. Ram won 6-7 (3), 7-5, 6-3.
AP

Rajeev Ram, of the United States, kisses the trophy after defeating Sam Querrey, of the United States, in the finals at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, R.I. , Sunday, July 12, 2009. Ram won 6-7 (3), 7-5, 6-3.

::

To think, he only got in the draw when Mardy Fish withdrew to take Andy Roddick's place in Davis Cup.

The only American male to win a title on grass this season.

::

From the ATP


RESULTS - SUNDAY, 12 JULY, 2009

Singles - Final
[LL] R Ram (USA) d [3] S Querrey (USA) 67(3) 75 63

Doubles - Final
[3] J Kerr (AUS) / R Ram (USA) d M Kohlmann (GER) / R Wassen (NED) 67(6) 76(7) 10-6


FINAL REVIEW – LUCKY LOSER RAM WINS FIRST ATP WORLD TOUR TITLE

  • ATP World Tour No. 181 Rajeev Ram became the first lucky loser this season to win an ATP World Tour title when he defeated No. 3 seed Sam Querrey 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-3 in the final of the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport on Sunday. Afterwards, Ram capped his dream week as he clinched the doubles title alongside Australian Jordan Kerr.
  • By becoming the first lucky loser to lift the trophy in the grass-court tournament’s history, Ram earned 250 South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking points and $79,000. Meanwhile, runner-up Querrey received 150 Ranking points and $41,500 in prize money.
  • Ram, who gained entry into the main draw when top-seeded American Mardy Fish was enlisted for Davis Cup duty, is the first lucky loser to win an ATP World Tour title since Sergiy Stakhovsky triumphed at Zagreb in March 2008.
  • The 25-year-old Ram was contesting his career-first ATP World Tour final and became the third first-time winner this season, joining Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in Kitzbuhel and Benjamin Becker in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. At No. 181 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings, Ram is the lowest-ranked player to win an ATP World Tour title this season. He is projected to move from No. 181 to a career-high around No. 111.
  • With rain curtailing play on Tuesday and Wednesday, Ram contested eight matches over the last three days of the tournament. He spent a total of 13 hours and 13 minutes on the court in singles and doubles action (12:01 over the last eight matches).
  • In the first all-American final on the ATP World Tour since New Haven in August 2007 (Blake d. Fish), Ram held his nerve to save three break points in the second set and then levelled the match at one-set apiece after breaking Querrey's serve in the 12th game.
  • Ram, who had not won a tour-level match this season prior to his arrival in Newport, capitalised on his momentum at the start of the third set to break Querrey’s serve and establish a 2-0 advantage, however his lead was quickly clipped as Querrey fought back to level 2-2. Ram resilience was rewarded in the eighth game as he broke Querrey for the fourth time in the match before serving out the championship after two hours and one minute.
  • The Carmel, Indiana resident became the 15th homegrown champion in Newport, and the first American to triumph since Robby Ginepri in 2003. Ram and Ginepri are also two of 15 players to have won their first ATP World Tour titles in Newport.
  • The 21-year-old Querrey, who ousted two-time defending champion Fabrice Santoro in the semi-finals, was looking to win his second ATP World Tour title in his third final appearance. The Californian won his maiden title at Las Vegas (d. Anderson) last year and finished runner-up to Juan Martin del Potro in Auckland at the start of the 2009 season.
  • The No. 39-ranked Querrey led the field with 80 aces in his five matches this week. The right-hander dropped to a 23-17 match record on the season.

WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID

Ram: "This is the biggest moment of my career and I will enjoy it and keep working hard."

"These days don't come around too often and when you get to this stage you hope to take advantage of the opportunity. Even though Sam was the favourite there's pressure on both players because it's the final."

"I relaxed and loosened up on my serve in the third set and picked up my game. I just concentrated on my game and tried to keep pressure on him. My style is to rush in with my serve and volley game."

Querrey: "I wasn't serving as well as I did in my last four matches and he played well, credit to him. I was lucky to win the first set and he played the big points well. He started putting pressure on me in the third set and he did a good job. I thought I was playing all right but he served well in the third set."


DOUBLES FINAL – KERR/RAM WIN ON PARTNERSHIP DEBUT

  • The first-time pairing of Jordan Kerr and Rajeev Ram, the No. 3 seeds, rallied to beat Michael Kohlmann and Rogier Wassen 6-7(6), 7-6(7), 10-6 in one hour and 49 minutes.
  • It was the fifth title in Newport for Kerr, who is 9-2 lifetime in ATP World Tour doubles finals, and the second of the season for Ram, who won in Chennai (w/Butorac) in January. Kerr owns an 18-1 career record in Newport, and also won the event title in 2003 (w/Macpherson) and 2004-05, ’07 (w/Thomas). Vijay Amritraj is the only other player in tournament history to appear in five finals, winning the singles title three times and doubles title twice.
  • Ram became the third player to win both the singles and doubles titles at Newport in the same year, matching the accomplishment of Dan Goldie (1987) and John Fitzgerald (1983), and also the third double winner on the ATP World Tour this season, along with Tommy Robredo (Costa do Sauipe) and Radek Stepanek (San Jose). He was the sixth player to play in both singles and doubles finals in the same tournament this season.
  • Kohlmann fell to a 5-12 mark in ATP World Tour doubles finals, and Wassen to a 4-5 record. The two were playing together in their first ATP World Tour tournament.

WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID

Kerr: "I am really excited to win here again and I feel so comfortable playing in Newport. I didn't play here last year and it feels great to come back and win another title."

"It was really tight and at the end it was only a few points that decided the match. We went up 4-2 in the Match Tie-break and we were able to hang on from there."

Ram: "I can't put into words what this day has been like. I was satisfied to win the singles but to come back and win the doubles with Jordan made it an unbelievable day for me. I am so happy for Jordan to win here for the fifth time."

Davis Cup 2009 Semifinalists

Team captain Eyal Ran (2nd L), Jonathan Erlich (3rd L) and Andy Ran (R) celebrate with their teammates after defeating Russia's Marat Safin and Igor Kunitsyn in their Davis Cup World Group quarter-final doubles tennis match in Tel Aviv July 11, 2009.
Reuters

Team captain Eyal Ran (2nd L), Jonathan Erlich (3rd L) and Andy Ran (R) celebrate with their teammates after defeating Russia's Marat Safin and Igor Kunitsyn in their Davis Cup World Group quarterfinal doubles tennis match in Tel Aviv July 11, 2009.

::

The biggest surprise of the weekend, hands down.

Czech players celebrate their victory after Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic won against Juan Monaco of Argentina at the end of their Davis cup quarter-final match at the Cez Arena in Ostrava on July 12, 2009.
Getty

Czech players celebrate their victory after Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic won against Juan Monaco of Argentina at the end of their Davis cup quarter-final match at the Cez Arena in Ostrava on July 12, 2009.

::

The veteran. The hero.

Members of Croatian team celebrate after defeating team USA in Davis Cup quarterfinals, in Porec, Croatia, Sunday, July 12, 2009.
AP

Members of Croatian team celebrate after defeating team USA in Davis Cup quarterfinals, in Porec, Croatia, Sunday, July 12, 2009.

::

The US has never defeated Croatia in a Davis Cup tie? Interesting.

Spanish Juan Carlos Ferrero (2L) celebrates with teammates after winning the fifth Davis Cup match Spain vs Germany against Germany's Andreas Beck at the Marbella bullring, on July 12, 2009.
Getty

Spanish Juan Carlos Ferrero celebrates with teammates after winning the fifth Davis Cup match Spain vs Germany against Germany's Andreas Beck at the Marbella bullring, on July 12, 2009.

::

Another veteran. Another hero. How nice for Ferrero after all he's been through to enjoy such a season.

Faces Of The Day

India's tennis player Sania Mirza (R) and her fiancee Sohrab Mirza pose for a picture during their engagement ceremony at a hotel in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad July 10, 2009. Sania Mirza has become engaged to a business scholar from her hometown of Hyderabad but has no plans to retire from competitive tennis, domestic media reported on May 29. Picture taken July 10, 2009.
Reuters

India's tennis player Sania Mirza and her fiancee Sohrab Mirza pose for a picture during their engagement ceremony at a hotel in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad July 10, 2009. Mirza has become engaged to a business scholar from her hometown of Hyderabad but has no plans to retire from competitive tennis, domestic media reported on May 29.

Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony

(L-R) Former tennis players Betsy McCormack, Monica Seles and Mary Joe Fernandez fist pump before McCormack and Fernandez introduce Seles to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island July 11, 2009.

Former tennis players Betsy McCormack, Monica Seles and Mary Joe Fernandez fist bump before McCormack and Fernandez introduce Seles to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island July 11, 2009.

Members of the 2009 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductees (L-R) Andres Gimeno of Spain, Monica Seles, Donald Dell and Lange Johnson (receiving on behalf of the late Robert Walter Johnson) pose with their plaques in Newport, Rhode Island July 11, 2009.
Reuters

Members of the 2009 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductees (L-R) Andres Gimeno of Spain, Monica Seles, Donald Dell and Lange Johnson (receiving on behalf of the late Robert Walter Johnson) pose with their plaques in Newport, Rhode Island July 11, 2009.

Lange Johnson, center, the grandson of International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Robert Johnson, accepts his plaque posthumously, as Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, the widow of tennis great Arthur Ashe, applauds at left during ceremonies in Newport, R.I. Saturday, July 11, 2009. Dr. Johnson pioneered the integration of tennis at the junior level.
AP

Lange Johnson, center, the grandson of International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Robert Johnson, accepts his plaque posthumously, as Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, the widow of tennis great Arthur Ashe, applauds at left during ceremonies in Newport, R.I. Saturday, July 11, 2009. Dr. Johnson pioneered the integration of tennis at the junior level.

Related Article:
International Tennis Hall of Shame

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Serena On Letterman



Day late and a dollar short, but I missed it live.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Davis Cup Quarterfinals Open Thread

The United States is in the land of the giants this weekend.











No matter which team you're rooting for, talk about it here all weekend.

I see after Mardy lost his two-set-to-one lead, the comments stopped. I guess there's only so much frustration fans of American tennis can take in one week.

Salmon had this to say: After 10 Sets, Croatia 2-US 0.

The heartbreaking losses for the US both featured decidedly crappy play on both sides of the net, with no player able to sustain any sort of form. While the clay surface was picked by Croatia to disadvantage the Americans, it proved to be a much smaller factor than expected, as neither Croatian looked particularly sharp on the shifty red stuff, either. Cilic and and Karlovic both broke for the wins at the end of long fifth sets, benefitting from mental exhaustion on the parts of the Americans as much as anything.

(...)

For both Blake and Fish, this was their second back to back five set loss, counting the loss the pair suffered in the Wimbledon semifinals of men's doubles. It would be near impossible for these crushing defeats not to take a toll on them that will have an effect into Sunday's matches.


That just about sums it up, though I thought Karlovic's form improved as the match wore on. Salmon has complete Davis Cup coverage at his new site, so check it out.