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Archive for March, 2007

McEnroe calls Nadal a liar

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

No doubt in my mind at all that McEnroe is right - I think Nadal has done this before, and will continue to do it. He isn’t the only one. What are you going to do?

American Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe says he doesn’t believe injury is behind Rafael Nadal’s decision to withdraw from the Spain team for next week’s quarter-final clash.

World number two Nadal asked to be left out of the Spain team for the April 6-8 tie tie in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, claiming he did not want to aggrevate an injured foot.

However, McEnroe said he had mixed feelings about Nadal’s decision, especially as he is continuing to play in this week’s Miami Masters tournament.

“As a captain, part of you is happy because they’re without their best player,” he said. “But when I put on my hat as a commentator, for the good of the sport, you’d like to see him play.”

McEnroe added that he believes Nadal pulled out because he wants a break before starting the clay-court season.

“Obviously, he’s not hurt,” McEnroe said. “It doesn’t fit into his schedule. You can sit there and knock Nadal and knock [Roger] Federer all you want, but you’re putting these guys in a position where they have to make difficult decisions.

“Then again, our guys have always committed. They make the time in their schedule to do it. They’ve played on clay in Russia and Belgium the last two years the week after the U.S. Open.

“You have to give credit to Andy Roddick. He’s missed one match in the seven years I’ve been captain, and he was legitimately injured.”

Serena wins her 4th Miami title

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Serena defeated Henin 0-6 7-5 6-3.

She does look like she is in better shape than she was for the Australian Open…and in typical Serena fashion, she proves yet again that she just can’t be counted out.

I’ll post more from her interview later, as it hasn’t started yet.

Roddick may not play Davis Cup

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Now Andy Roddick’s status for the Davis Cup quarterfinal between the United States and Spain at Joel Coliseum is in question.

Roddick was forced to retire with a hamstring injury in the first set of a match against Andy Murray yesterday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Fla.

An MRI performed later in the day showed that Roddick had a Grade 1 strain of his left hamstring, which is the least-severe category on the scale.

Patrick McEnroe, the U.S. Davis Cup captain, said last night that initial reports were good and that Roddick is still hoping to play.

Roddick, the No. 3-ranked player in the world, has eight full days to recover before the first singles matches, scheduled for Friday, April 6.

“The word is from Andy that he is going to do everything he can to try to play Davis Cup,” McEnroe said. “Of course, that is great news to my ears, the captain’s ears. If he can’t play, we’ll have a better idea in about three days how he has come up. The problem is that it is not the sort of injury that you can sort of play through. It will either heal quickly and he’ll be able to practice for a few days and be able to go, or he won’t. And we obviously will have to go to Plan B. But he is certainly going to do everything in his power to give himself a shot to play next week.”

Roddick retired 29 minutes into his quarterfinal match against Murray yesterday, trailing 5-3 in the first set at the time. He said that the injury occurred while he was lunging for a shot in the fifth game. He took a medical timeout at one point but eventually made the decision to retire when it became clear that the injury wasn’t going away.

“He hit a volley behind me, and I kind of lunged at it, and I just kind of jarred something at first,” Roddick told reporters at the tournament. “And more and more it started becoming like a sharp pain, and then I started feeling it even when I was just kind of cruising around the court, not even in points.”

Winston Salem Journal

When you run out of tennis stories, write one about Rebound Ace

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

The other popular tennis filler story I like is about crazy tennis parents. Sharapova’s grunting is the filler specific to a player. Anyway, I hate this story, and am annoyed that Serena got on the bandwagon for it, but here we go:

TRIPLE champion Serena Williams yesterday urged Australian Open organisers to dump Rebound Ace in favour of hardcourt.

Former world No. 1 Williams welcomed the probable replacement of rubberised Rebound Ace as the Open’s surface, a move exclusively reported in the Herald Sun almost two months ago.
Tennis Australia is reviewing all aspects of the 2007 Open, including the performance of the courts.

In use at the Open since it replaced grass in 1988, Rebound Ace has come under heavy criticism because of its heat reflection, variation in pace and tackiness in extreme conditions.

Williams, who surged to her third Melbourne Park triumph with a stunning straight-sets triumph against Maria Sharapova eight weeks ago, was excited at the prospect of a new surface.

“That would be awesome,” Williams said after her 6-1 6-4 win against Czech Nicole Vaidisova in the quarter-finals of the Miami Open yesterday.

“I mean, I’m tired of the blisters I get down there (Melbourne). It’s just too much. The Rebound Ace kills your feet. My feet are still suffering from that.

“Every year I go there, I get bad blisters and I’m sore.

“And then I tape my ankles because you always twist them because it’s like playing on rubber.

“I can’t complain because I’ve done pretty well there, but I do well on hard surfaces.

“I wouldn’t be upset at all. It would be a lot easier on everyone, to be honest.”
Herald Sun

Murray gets congrats from the Queen

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Murray is out of Miami now, as of the semi-finals.

The Queen congratulated Judy Murray, the mother of British tennis number one Andy, on her son’s climb up the world rankings yesterday.

The young Scot from Dunblane has made a massive impact on the tennis scene in recent years and beaten notable players, including Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick.

The Queen, who is patron of the Lawn Tennis Association, was opening its new training facility in Roehampton in south-west London when she met Judy Murray, who is recognised as one of the UK’s best coaches, and asked about her youngest son’s progress, adding that she thought his latest quarter-final victory over Andy Roddick in the Sony Ericsson tournament in Miami was “very good”. Herald

Sharapova’s Chernobyl experience

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

In her first interview about the impact the calamity at the nuclear power station has had on her family’s history, she spoke of how she could very easily have been among the victims. “When I look back at what happened, I just think, ‘Oh, my God, I just can’t believe it. I feel so lucky that I got out of it, that I got out of there.’ So many people didn’t get out of it. I am lucky to be alive and well,” she said.

Sharapova disclosed that the key to her coming through unharmed could have been the action taken by her parents, Yuri and Yelena. In the months after the reactor exploded in April 1986, which is said to have thrown out contamination equivalent to more than 100 medium-sized atomic bombs, Sharapova’s parents were living in Gomel in Belarus, 128 kilometres north of Chernobyl. Sharapova’s mother was pregnant with her at the time, and was fretting about what the toxic fallout could do to her unborn daughter.

And so they fled Belarus and moved to Siberia, where temperatures in winter can drop to minus-40 degrees, one of only a few places to which the then-poor Sharapova family could afford to move. It was there, in the town of Nyagan, that Sharapova, a thankfully healthy child and a future Wimbledon champion and world No.1, was born in April 1987. “I still talk to my mother about that, it pops up in conversation from time to time,” Sharapova, 19, said. “She has told me that she was really worried about the radiation possibly affecting me before I was born, and about all the possible illnesses and cancers.”

No retrial for Williams sisters

Saturday, March 31st, 2007
Tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams are off the hook in a breach of contract suit.

A Palm Beach County Circuit judge has ruled that the Williams family should not be dragged back into court for a retrial of a breach of contract lawsuit they won in December.

The 14-page decision sets the stage for them to head back to court to seek reimbursement for the expenses they incurred fighting would-be promoters Carol Clarke and Keith Rhodes in a legal battle that began in 2002. After a nearly six week trial, and four hours of deliberation, a jury found Clarke and Rhodes deserved nothing.

The family’s lawyers will seek nearly two-hundred thousand dollars in legal fees.

Sharapova to play Fed Cup

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

I think she is chomping at the bit to play the Olympics…

World number two Maria Sharapova will make her long-awaited Fed Cup debut for Russia against Spain in next month’s World Group first-round tie.
“It’s all has been agreed and unless she is injured, we will see Maria in Moscow in April,” Russia’s tennis chief Shamil Tarpishchev, who is also their Fed Cup captain, told Reuters on Wednesday.
Sharapova will be joined by world number three Svetlana Kuznetsova and world number seven Nadia Petrova for the two-day indoor tie at Moscow’s Luzhniki Sports Palace from April 21 to 22.
Tarpishchev must choose between 11th-ranked Anna Chakvetadze and 14th-ranked Dinara Safina to replace Elena Dementieva, who has a rib injury..
“Aside from Dementieva, we’ll have our strongest team there,” said Tarpishchev.
There have always been doubts in the Russian media over whether Sharapova would ever play for her country, but the Florida-based 19-year-old made herself available shortly after winning last year’s U.S. Open title.
Playing Fed Cup for Russia would make Sharapova eligible to play in next year’s Bejing Olympics.

Players can adopt dogs at Bausch & Lomb tournament

Saturday, March 31st, 2007
As in past years, the Nassau Humane Society’s Barking Lot will be behind the Main Tent all week. People can meet the professional tennis players’ dogs and adopt one of their own from the Nassau Humane Society.

“The Barking Lot originated when we were asked to provide professional tennis players doggie day care,” Nassau Humane Society Treasurer John Landregan said. “We would take care of the players’ dogs during matches or practices.”

Eventually, tournament officials said the Humane Society could bring dogs, too, for adoption.

“Lindsay Davenport adopted one of our dogs two years ago,” he said. “And gave us a $5,000 donation for the adoption.” Jacksonville

Henin tries to stay focused

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

We all know about the marriage debacle that derailed the start of the season for Henin - here’s some of her thoughts on moving on:

“I try to move forward from what has happened in my personal life. You can take something positive from any experience in your life, and that’s what I’m trying to do.

“I had a couple of tough times in my life before. You can either say, ‘Well, I’m not lucky, I don’t have any chances, it’s not fair’. Or it can make you stronger. That’s what I tried to do in the past. Even if I do feel that it’s unfair sometimes,” said Henin, who has always been known for her mental strength.

“You need to move forward and find something that helps you, and that’s what I did in every difficult time of my life. That’s what I’m still doing now. I’m 100 per cent committed to play tennis.”