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Archive for July, 2008

Sharapova out of Olympics after shoulder tear

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

It was rumored to be in the works after yesterday’s near loss by Maria Sharapova, and nwo the rumors are starting that this is true - Maria Sharapova will not play in the Beijing Olympics.

Maria Sharapova pulled out of the Beijing Olympics on Thursday after getting an MRI in Montreal which revealed that she has two small tears in her right shoulder.

Sharapova is said to be relieved that she has finally discovered what was causing her shoulder to ache since re-injuring at Indian Wells in March, but is also extremely disappointed that she’s be unable to compete in the Olympics, which has long been one of her dreams.

Sharapova is headed to New York to visit with the renowned sports physician Dr. David Alchek, who will give her a second opinion as to how much time she should take off. In her 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 win over Poland’s Marta Domachowska on Wednesday night, Sharapova was unable to get her arm back far enough to hit a kick serve and when she came off court, told her coach, Michael Joyce, that the shoulder felt different.

The doctor that Sharapova visited with in Montreal said she needed to take off a substantial amount of time to allow the injury to heal, which puts the 2006 US Open champ’s chances on competing in America’s Grand Slam, which begins on Aug. 25, in serious doubt. Sharapova may decide to let the injury heal entirely before picking up a racket again, as she’s been frustrated at playing than less than 100 percent, which might also put her entire fall season at risk.

So many shoulder problems for a young player - this issue has been coming up for years now, and is now seriously impacting her career.

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Federer loses at Cincy, Nadal has clear shot at #1

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Ivo Karlovic just took out Roger Federer at the Cincy Masters event, opening the door wide for Rafa Nadal to make a play for #1 this week. Final score was 7-6 4-6 7-6, with Karlovic delivering 22 aces in the two-hour, ten-minute match.

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Photos: More Nadal with girlfriend, beach vacation

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Since my previous posts of photos of Rafael Nadal and his girlfriend Xisca seemed to be pretty popular, I decided to post a few more from earlier this month.

I never want to see this hairstyle again:

Much better:

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Roddick withdraws from Western & Southern

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
Roddick, who had felt fine the previous few days, woke up with a stiff neck and, after receiving treatment all day, warmed up for five minutes before his scheduled 7 p.m. second-round match with Philipp Kohlschreiber before calling it quits and grabbing a microphone to address the Lindner Family Tennis Center crowd which has backed him so strongly so many times.

“(The chiropractor) said it felt like a golf ball in there,” said Roddick, who couldn’t turn his head as he left the interview room because of the neck spasm. Cincinnati.Com

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Safina wins East West Bank Classic

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

I wasn’t very excited about this tournament - while Jankovic had a chance to make it to #1, she was eliminated before that could happen, and most would agree that she is not to world #1 caliber yet. We can rehash the reasons why women’s tennis just isn’t any good as of late, but I’m saving that for a later post.

The matches I watched of this tournament were pretty lame - it was a display of underconfident women shooting deer-in-headlights looks at their coaches after every point. Maybe we’ll see better this week?

Dinara Safina could smash rackets with the best of them. She could let her temper lead her astray, get lost in a fog of exasperation.

Sunday, she was just another mellow soul in California, comfortable with moving at her own pace, doing her own thing.

The 22-year-old Russian’s coach, Zeljko Krajan, looked at her quizzically.

“I don’t know what is going on with you,” Krajan told her. “But you are so quiet on the court.”

Yet she scared the heck out of Flavia Pennetta in the East West Bank Classic final at Home Depot Center. Somehow, this was the same Safina who survived a match point earlier in the week.

That’s tough to believe, especially the way Safina blasted her way to a seventh career title with a 6-4, 6-2 dismantling of Pennetta.

It continued Safina’s summer cruise, in which she has reached four finals in her past five events and two victories. She has won 23 of her past 25 Tier II or higher matches.

She’ll reach a career-best No. 8 in the world when today’s latest rankings are announced. Daily News (LA)

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The Road to #1

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Rafa Nadal is certainly poised to be #1 this year, and many commentators already consider him to be #1 with his Wimbledon win. I found this great snippet on how it can happen over the next few weeks:

Update: Can Nadal become No. 1 in Cincinnati?
Yes, but he’ll need some help from Federer. The Swiss world No. 1 still controls his rankings fate – no matter how Nadal does, if Federer reaches the Cincinnati final, he will hold on to No. 1 till the Olympics.

To become No. 1 this week, Nadal must reach the final or win the title as well as have Federer lose three rounds earlier.

But Nadal has a better shot in two weeks because of schedule changes and their staggered effect on the rankings. If Federer reaches the Cincinnati semifinals, Nadal can become No. 1 in two weeks if he wins the title. If Federer loses before the semifinals, then Nadal can become No. 1 in two weeks if he reaches the final.

In any event, Nadal must outperform Federer by 300 points to become No. 1 this week, and by 175 points to become No. 1 after the end of next week.

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Video: McEnroe saves Gimelstob US Open Series commercials

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

I really wanted to post a video of the US Open series commericial with Roger Federer and John McEnroe, but the USTA folks have thrown down the copyright hammer on all those youtubers I rely on. But I think I found something better.

Originally, all the commercials featured Justin Gimelstob, not McEnroe, until Mr. Gimelstob revealed himself to be a complete moron on a DC-based radio show by insulting Anna Kournikova and several other female tennis players. The video below details the problem this caused the USTA, and how they handled it. The end of the video shows the original Gimelstob-Federer commercial, then the re-done version. Both are funny and worth watching. I like the McEnroe one a bit better, but it could have been even funnier had the USTA had an opportunity to rewrite and then reshoot the spot.

There’s also a brief clip of Rafael Nadal’s commercial with McEnroe.

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Nadal and Kiefer to meet in Rogers Cup final; #1 ranking is within Nadal’s reach

Sunday, July 27th, 2008
Rafael Nadal beat Andy Murray of Britain 7-6 (2), 6-3 to reach the final of the Rogers Cup on Saturday night and put himself in line for his seventh title of the year.

He’ll face Nicolas Kiefer, who reached the championship with a 6-7 (4), 6-3, 7-6 (5) win over Gilles Simon on Saturday.

Nadal, who won in Toronto in 2005, won the French Open and Wimbledon earlier this year. In three career meetings, he’s never a set to Kiefer.

Kiefer hasn’t won an ATP event since 2000 in Hong Kong and hasn’t appeared in a final since 2005 in St. Petersburg.

Looks like Nadal could be #1 as soon as the Cincy tournament end - I’m not getting my hopes up too much, but I’m more than ready for the change.

I’m not looking forward to seeing Kiefer play anymore - ever since the Australian Open where he tossed his racquet at another player in mid point (and wasn’t penalized for it), he’s made my least favorite player list.

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Venus on Shape Magazine cover - August 2008

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Venus Williams has a really nice cover on Shape magazine’s August 2008 issue:

The site also mentions her workout thoughts:

You’ve heard all about her Grand Slam titles and friendly competition with her sister Serena, but there’s a whole other side to Venus Williams. In the August issue of Shape, she reveals who, and what, inspires her most. In the process, Venus reveals the tools she uses every day to stay on top of her game.

As the Shape photo shoot is being set up Venus, 28, and her sister (and housemate) Serena, 26, stand with their arms draped around each other, laughing conspiratorially. After years of watching them compete on the court, seeing how close they are—not to mention witnessing the two giggling like schoolgirls over text messages—makes it clear there’s much more to the Williams sisters than just tennis. As Serena leaves for practice, Venus sits down to discuss where she is in her life and how she got there.

To kickoff Venus’ list, she recommends you practice and practice more! It’s the key to confidence, says Venus. “You have to practice to develop your talents-and learn to enjoy putting the effort in,” she explains. She doesn’t just practice on the court; her gym routine keeps her in the winner’s circle.

As far as motivation goes, Venus tells us who has inspired her the most. It’s Serena, no question. “Without her, I couldn’t have achieved anything. She’s helped me believe in myself.” Serena loves to give Venus little sayings to remember, such as, ‘If you take your opportunities, more opportunities will come.’ “That got me through one final at Wimbledon,” recalls Venus. “It was a ridiculously difficult match and I was behind until the last three minutes. I kept saying that line over and over in my head: ‘If I take the opportunities on the court, more will come.’ I was also thinking, ‘I want to be like Serena; I want to win like Serena.’ And I did.”

Check out the August issue of Shape for Venus’ workout. Do it two or three times a week and you’ll notice a stronger core and a boost in your performance in and out of the gym! Shape

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Nadal, Federer and Djokovic first to qualify for Masters

Thursday, July 10th, 2008
Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are the first players to qualify for the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai in November, organisers said Thursday.

The trio have already earned enough points to book their berths in the eight-player circuit finale which will take place from November 9-19, organisers said on the tournament’s website.

“I have just been informed that I have qualified for the Masters in Shanghai,” Nadal, a semifinalist in his two Tennis Masters Cup appearances, was quoted as saying in the statement.

“I have never managed to win it, so I am really looking forward for this year’s event and as always I’ll try my best knowing it won’t be easy,” the site quoted Nadal as saying. AFP

By the time this event happens, I already feel like players are far from their best form - November is so close to vacation time.

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