Archive for the 'Pro Tour' Category

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. tennis.com



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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. tennis.com

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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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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Andrea Jaeger claims to have intentionally lost ‘83 Wimbledon Final

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Andrea Jaeger, now a nun, apparently felt it is time to come clean about her performance in the 1983 women’s Wimledon final. The former tennis player apparently intentionally lost her match to Nartina Navratilova because she had interrupted Martina’s pre-final preparation in order to call a taxi.

Jaeger said she got into an argument with her father the afternoon before the final and fled the home she was renting. She was only 18 in 1983, and she said she went next door to where Navratilova was staying in order to call a taxi. After realizing she interrupted Navratilova’s preparation, she thought, “I can’t go out and try in the final now.” Chicago Tribune

I’m not sure how or why she came to that conclusion, but this was the result:

“During the match I missed balls on purpose. I hit right to Martina and when I was getting whipped in the first set 6-0, I tried to look upset about it,” said Jaeger, who lost 6-0, 6-3. “I glanced at my dad. He knew something was wrong.”

Why bring this up now?

I’m pretty suspicious of the admission overall - she waits this long and then uses this to make it sound as though Martina didn’t deserve the win she got. Realistically, I suspect that she never had a chance of winning, probably in part because she couldn’t get a handle on her fight with her father. Anyone who makes it to that level in tennis seems unlikely to just give up so easily, and with such poor reasoning.

Even if it is true, she should go back to being a nun and stop trying to stir up controversy.


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Photo: Nadal and Venus pose together with their newly won hardware

Monday, July 7th, 2008

AELTC / T. Lovelock / Wimbledon.org

Here are your 2008 Wimbledon champions, Rafael Nadal and Venus Williams, posing together with their trophies. Do you think that coat is part of the Venus Williams Eleven line?



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Video: Nadal climbs into the stands after win

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Here’s Rafael Nadal climbing into the stands to see him family and visit the royal spectator box after his defeat of Roger Federer.

I hope the tournament planned on having people walk on some of those structures!



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Video: Enjoy the Federer - Nadal 5th set again

Monday, July 7th, 2008

I’ll be watching this a bunch - this is a bit better quality than the youtube version I posted previously, and shows the complete 5th set.



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