Archive for December, 2006

Nadal to kick the year off playing doubles also

Friday, December 29th, 2006

Spaniard Rafael Nadal will team up with compatriot Bartolome Salva Vidal in the doubles event of the Chennai Open tennis tournament starting on Monday, the organisers said on Friday. DNAIndia

Yay, the year is about to start!

Team Agassi helps Philippoussis

Friday, December 29th, 2006

I kinda thought Hewitt might try to grab this opportunity…

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS has sought the assistance of Andre Agassi in a bid to revive his career.
The Victorian, who begins his summer campaign in Perth tomorrow at the Hopman Cup, has spent the off-season in Las Vegas training with Agassi’s former coach Darren Cahill and fitness trainer Gil Reyes.
He said Agassi had also been an occasional practice partner in Las Vegas and that he had sought advice from the recently retired star while dining with him.

“He is helping me when he can. I have had dinner with him a couple of times,” Philippoussis said.

“He has also jumped on the court with the three of us. That is the guy I have always looked up to.”

Philippoussis said he hoped to use Agassi’s own comeback from obscurity as a motivational tool. The Australian

Stepanek won’t play Davis Cup

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

Maybe this relates to more of what I was saying about his focus moving to singles? Or maybe he wants to spend some more time with Martina? ;)

World number 19 Radek Stepanek has decided he has played his last Davis Cup match for the Czech Republic.
The 28-year-old will not be available for his country’s home tie against the USA from 9-11 February. He last played for the team in 2004 against Paraguay.

The Czechs, led by captain Jaroslav Navratil, have yet to announce their line-up to face the Americans. BBC

Americans get Aus Open wildcards

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

American teenager Sam Querrey might be virtually unknown on the international tennis tour, but two of the world’s top five players have already discovered he is no pushover.

The 19-year-old from Thousand Oaks, California, has had an impressive year on the secondary tour and his form earned him a wildcard into next month’s Australian Open.

Madison Brengle, from Delaware, won the women’s wildcard available under the reciprocal arrangement between the USTA and Tennis Australia (TA). The Age

I saw Querrey in Indian Wells - definitely no pushover! If you are interested in young Americans that still have a bit of game, check him out for sure.

Philippoussis is single again?

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

Looks like some big changes for Mark in prep for this upcoming season - from coaching to his dating life, things are changing!

An Australian newspaper reports Mark Philippoussis and American model/actress Alexis Barbara have split. Barbara, who had been a constant companion, was not with him when Philippoussis arrived last week in Melbourne, where he hopes to gain a wild-card entry to the Australian Open.

He and Barbara became engaged in February 2005. He previously had been linked with Aussie singer Delta Goodrem, Anna Kournikova, Tara Reid and Paris Hilton.

Philippoussis was seen hitting the bar scene with friends.

‘’Patrons at the clubs that night said he had no shortage of female admirers trying to catch his eye and observed him exchange numbers with several striking clubbers,'’ the Sun Herald said.

No word on the fate of Barbara’s $200,000 engagement ring. Chicago Sun Times

What on EARTH was he doing with Paris Hilton and Tara Reid!? Ugh!

Is Hingis the ‘black widow’?

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

I think this is mostly coincidental when you date tennis players almost exclusively - but the timing is also coincidental, since she and Stepanek are now engaged.

Hingis returned to tennis this year after a three-year absence, with a new beau, Radek Stepanek. But, the former world No. 8 men’s player was benched by a late-season back injury.

Her previous boy friend Magnus Norman retired after a hip injury, having made it to No. 2.

Others like Julian Alonso and Justin Gimelstob also injured themselves after being linked to the Swiss Miss. Alonso’s injury turned out to be so grave that he had to leave tennis altogether.

Even Anna Kournikova quit the sport in 2003, after having been her doubles partner, reported the New York Daily News. Daily India

I am a bit curious of the reaction of Stepanek’s management team - when I talked to them last year in Miami at one of his matches, they were more than a little concerned about his focus (playing doubles versus singles) and this may be another distraction issue for them to worry about.

Hingis engaged to Stepanek

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

Wow. :)

TRIPLE Australian Open tennis champion Martina Hingis has won her biggest love match, becoming engaged to Czech player Radek Stepanek.

A happy Hingis arrived in Queensland yesterday to launch her 2007 campaign as top seed of the Mondial Australian Women’s Hardcourt championships, which start at the Gold Coast on Sunday.
Stepanek, 28, is ranked No. 19 in the world and seeded fourth for Adelaide’s Next Generation International next week.

Hingis, who made a valiant comeback this year to reach a world ranking of seven after three full years off the world tour, remained silent yesterday.

But the 26-year-old Swiss miss wore a diamond ring while practising at Royal Pines yesterday and chatted happily to tour regulars about her engagement.

Hingis showed off the ring to countrywoman Emmanuelle Gagliardi with a beaming smile when they crossed paths on the practice court.

Hingis and Stepanek will be reunited next month at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Herald Sun

Federer’s goal: French Open

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

No big shock here - he’s definitely capable of doing it, but we know that at least one guy stands in his way - and maybe someone else will turn up this year as a player who can beat Federer.

“[Winning the] French Open will definitely be a dream come true but on top of the list there is always Wimbledon and staying No. 1,” Federer said. “These are the ones that changed my life and made me the player and person I am today.” ESPN

Philippoussis and dad reunite on court

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

It has been mentioned quite a bit that Phili seemed to do better with his dad around - similar to Spadea’s father - looks like we’ll have the chance to see if that is still true in the near future.

MARK Philippoussis is poised to share a Hopman Cup reunion with his father and long-time coach Nick.

Philippoussis Sr has been absent from virtually all the major tournaments and ATP events his son has contested this year, but Australian tennis circles are abuzz with rumours of a reconciliation.
Dual grand slam finalist Philippoussis will lead Australia’s Hopman Cup charge with South Australian Alicia Molik in Perth starting on Saturday.

It is expected Nick Philippoussis will arrive from the US to oversee the final stages of Mark’s preparation for the round-robin event. Herald Sun

Sharapova challenges LeBron James

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

Here’s one to watch!

Just in time for New Year’s resolutions, Nike has announced a new feature on its Nike+ website that lets users post challenges to other runners, and the consequences of those challenges if their goals aren’t met.

The most publicized challenge will come from tennis superstar Maria Sharapova and be directed at NBA All-Star LeBron James. If Sharapova runs more miles than James in January, the basketball star will act as a ball boy during a match of Sharapova’s choice. If she fails, the tennis star will serve as James’ personal water girl at a game of his choice. iLounge