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Archive for February, 2007

Henman’s back

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Tim Henman made the perfect start to his season with a 6-1 6-2 win over France’s Nicolas Mahut in Las Vegas.
The 32-year-old has not played since October because of injury and illness but eased through the round-robin tie.

Having saved two break points in game one, the Briton reeled off four straight games to secure the first set and broke twice to take the second.

“To play so consistently, to not drop serve having not played for so long, it was a bit surprising,” he said. BBC

I still think it’s time to retire for Timmy - but mostly because of his complaining last year that he would quit if he dropped out of the top 20. He’s ranked 37 now I believe.

Andy Murray’s brother

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Okay, so I didn’t know this.

The Murrays

Jamie Murray succeeded where younger brother Andy failed by winning back-to-back ATP Tour titles.

The 21-year-old and doubles partner Eric Butorac clinched the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships doubles crown to add to last week’s success at the SAP Open in San Jose. thisislondon

Roddick takes some time off before Indian Wells

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

“It’s been a pretty hectic three weeks, or even first two months of the year,” Roddick said Sunday after a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Tommy Haas in the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships.

“I’ve seen my house a couple of times. Get home, kind of recharge the batteries and go into Palm Springs with a really good week of training under my belt.” SportingNews

Hewitt back in action

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Here’s the typical self-talk we hear from all the players.

Hewitt believes his game is in a solid state despite his injury-interrupted campaign this year.

“During the Davis Cup (in Belgium from February 9-11), I was playing some of my best tennis,” Hewitt said last week.

”I was looking forward to the following weeks and I had entered as many tournaments as possible.

“I wanted to get on a roll, get some rough matches under my belt

“I was hoping to get onto autopilot and work hard.

“But again I’m fighting a niggling injury.

“I’m as disappointed as anyone that I could not play.

“But, I have a good group behind me, and I have to deal with this as best as possible.” The Australian

Nadal thinks the kids have a shot at Federer

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

“There is a whole pool of young players coming through and all of them are capable of displacing Federer at the top,” Nadal told mediapersons a day before the start of the men’s event.

At only 20, Nadal has shown maturity beyond his years to be one of the few players to defeat the otherwise invincible Federer. “There are youngsters like [Tomas] Berdych, [Richard] Gasquet, [Novak] Djokovic and [Marcos] Baghdatis - who are all capable of beating any of the top players,” Nadal said.

“And he is going to have more rivals and players trying to take his place up there,” the Spaniard stated.

Nadal also fancies his chances at climbing one step higher on the rankings. “I am happy to be the number two player for two years now. But I need to improve if I want to give myself a better chance and be at the top,” Nadal said.

Knowing his drawbacks and weaknesses, Nadal stated that there are certain aspects of the game where he can do better. “I can work on my serve and volley or on my forehand winner or the backhand. There is scope left for improving,” Nadal observed.

“I am always working hard to take my chance to get past Federer,” said Nadal.

Haas wins Memphis title

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

It seems liek Tommy Haas is frequently on the edge of making a some solid wins and climbing to near the top of the rankings…only to slide back down.

He beat Andy Roddick 6-3, 6-2 Sunday to retain his title in the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships. The German completed a week in which he didn’t face a break point in 47 games.

Haas won his sixth straight final and 11th title overall. He also won in Memphis in 1999 and is only the second three-time winner of this event. Jimmy Connors, now Roddick’s coach, won in 1978, 1979, 1983 and 1984.

“I’m probably playing some of my best tennis,” Haas said. “It’s hard to compare to where I was four or five years ago when I had my highest ranking.”

Roddick, trying to win his second Memphis title, didn’t come close to breaking serve. Haas gave up only seven points off his serve in the final, and two of those were double-faults.

“I guess it is quite a good record,” Haas said. “I’ve been serving well. Every time I get my first serve in … I feel like I’m dictating play. Against players like these, you have to really try to be solid on your service games.”

The German won in 61 minutes, and that might have helped his travel plans. He needed to fly to the United Arab Emirates for his Tuesday match in Dubai. Metronews

Mauresmo okay with playing best of five sets

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

I have no doubt why she is - I think she’s fit enough most of the time to handle it (but maybe not so much through an entire tournament). But if everyone is complaining about the tour being too strenuous now (with the number of events), why add more sets into it?

The number one player would probably have to be the only uninjured one at the end of the year.

Amélie Mauresmo believes that women would be prepared to play the best-of-five sets in grand slam finals. Her opinion, expressed yesterday on Radio Five Live, suggests she agrees with those who reckon that, if women are now to be paid the same as men, they should play best -of-five set matches like men. Guardian

J Johansson has shoulder surgery

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Looks like he is out for a minimum of 3 months…

“I don’t think I’ll play again until summer,” the Swede said. “I haven’t set a date because I know it seldom turns out the way you plan.”

Johansson was operated on in Milan, Italy, and was told by his surgeon that “everything looks perfect.”

“He believes I can play tournaments again in the summer,” said Johansson, who also had shoulder surgery in July 2005 and missed seven months. “It was very nice to hear. But I must play several matches and tournaments in a row before I can say I’m back.” LA Times

Venus sets her rankings goal

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

This commentary came after her win in Memphis.

Now she is taking three weeks off with plans to work on her fitness and strength.

If she stays healthy, her next tournament will be close to home at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. Then there will be Charleston, the Fed Cup against Belgium in Delray Beach, Florida, on April 21-22, Istanbul and finally the French Open.

Winning here should push her ranking from 54th in the world to the Top 40, probably 39, according to the WTA pending Sunday’s final at an event in Colombia.

“My goal is definitely to be in the Top 16 by the French … I think that’s pretty reachable,” she said.

It does sound do-able if she can stay healthy and get some matches in…

And now for Roddick’s thoughts on beating Murray

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

“You don’t want to go out of tournaments two weeks in a row to the same guy. That’s not much fun.

“I tried to switch the strategy. He’s good at baiting you.

“It’s weird because he almost invites you to come in. He’s one of the few players who will do that.

“He’ll hit that slice in the middle of the court without a whole lot on it and then he’ll pass.

“He does that really well so I didn’t want to come in unless it was on my terms. That was a big difference.

“Coming into today I didn’t think I was hitting the ball that well and I wasn’t getting the depth that I wanted to.

“Today I thought I did a lot better and to feel like you’re doing that well against Andy is a good sign because you normally feel the other way.” Sportinglife