Sunday, January 31, 2010

Roger Federer sweet 16...Grand Slams that is =)

Photo from Reuters
Roger with his dad (awww)

Photos from Getty Images


Well the master was back in full force winning his 16th Grand Slam title.

Unlike in last year's final the only tears shed were from his opponent Andy Murray who once again found the expectations of the entire British nation a little too much to handle.

Roger made it look easy winning with his usual steadiness and grace. Unlike Nadal Muray was unable to rattle his composure.

The Fed-express was in full control right from the get go his serve was working as was his forehand, backhand, and shot making ability. He won the first 2 sets with relative ease 6-3 6-4.

The 3rd set got a lot more interesting, Andy Murray finally seemed to wake up and started playing more competitive tennis.

He broke Federer and was leading 5-2 before Federer switched into another gear (as he so often seems to do in Grand Slam finals) and leveled things at 5-all.

Both men held their serve to take the 3rd set into a tie-break. As with all Federer tie-breaks this one proved no less exciting.

Roger denied Andy 5 set points, and Andy fought of 2 of Roger's championship points before he was finally able to close it out on his 3rd chance winning the tie-break 11 points to 13.

Yep, that's another one for the books.

Despite their often not so friendly off-court rivarly at the trophy ceremony Roger was gracious as always telling Andy that someone who plays that well will win a slam for sure (just not on your watch, right Rog? lol).

I would say the only shot Andy has is when Roger retires.

Loved Andy's joke about being able to cry like Roger, but wishing he was able to play like him (hehe). Don't we all?!.

Hopefully this win will help erase that 2009 Aussie final out of people's minds a bit.

I never get tired of watching this guy win slams, it's amazing how he can have lackluster matches throughout the year but always bring his A game for the Grand Slams.

That he can do it so consistently is just extraordinary.

I don't think anyone will ever be able to match the record breaking stats that he has accumulated over the years.

That's what makes him such a great champion.

Congratulations Roger, your first grand slam title as a dad!. Nice start to the new year. =) Here's to many more!.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Roger Federer post-semi interview

Entertaining as always. :D

I get the feeling Sunday is going to be another thriller (yet another sleepless night for me since it starts at 3:30 am lol).

Something tells me though that this one will end with Federer as the victor.

As for now I'm getting ready for what is no doubt to be another thriller on the women's side tonight Serena Williams vs. Henin. Ale Justine!.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Roger Federer into his 23rd semi-final at Aussie Open

Well Roger Federer finally got his revenge on Nikolay Davydenko who has beaten him in the last 2 tournaments (in the best of 3).

But it wasn't easy in fact it was one of the weirdest up and down matches of the tournament.

I actually stayed up quite late and listened to the match play by play on the Australian Open website (stupid TSN didn't show the match till the very end) at around 4am.

As the match started I was checking the scores on the site and I could not believe Roger had lost the first set 6-2 due to some spectacular shots from Davydenko who kept firing right and left.

Roger could not hold his serve nor could he stop the unslot of unforced errors that kept piling up courtesy of his racquet. And as Roger went down 3-1 in the second I honestly thought it was all over.

Then the bathroom break happened and all of a sudden the match took a complete 180. Roger proceeded to win the 2nd set 6-3 and the 3rd 6-0.

Just as all the fans started breathing a sigh of relief at 5-4 match point. Davydenko comes up with some amazing returns out of nowhere to level at 5-all.

The next 2 games were a tense affair right down to the second match point. But thankfully Roger delivered the goods.

I loved his post match interview comment when asked whether he was worried about losing to Davydenko and him admitting that he was a little worried. A little.

A little he says while his fans are no doubt loosing what's left of their finger nails and pulling on their hair from frustration. A little indeed *lol*. It was a strange match but (as it usually is with Roger) a memorable one.

With him coming out as the victor once more. Good thing too I was not ready to lose both Nadal and Federer in a span of just 24 hours.

Next it will be Jo Willfried Tsonga in the semi although dangerous I think he's got a good chance of getting through to the finals where another test awaits him in the form of Andy Murry (unless Marin Cilic can pull another rabbit out of his magic hat).

After so many 5 setters highly doubtful. Once again good on you Roger!. Thanks for giving all of us a reason to continue watching the championships to the end =).

On the women's side Venus Williams lost to Li Na and Serena was in danger of being ousted as well but managed to stage a comeback and win it in 3 sets.

Too bad had she lost it would have pretty much paved the way for Justine to take the title.

But all is not lost I have faith in Li Na I think she could produce an upset. Let's just hope Justine makes it past Zheng Zie.

Here's to both Roger and Justine, let's hope they both win and make this Aussie Open an unforgettable one.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Maura Tierney on road to recovery and headed to the theatre

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Former "ER" star Maura Tierney is headed to the stage.

The actress, who dropped out of NBC drama "Parenthood" last year in order to undergo treatment for breast cancer, will appear in the play "North Atlantic," Variety reported.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: TV's Favorite Doctors

The play - about a peacekeeping group in the North Atlantic on an aircraft carrier -- will also star "Burn After Reading" actress Frances McDormand.

"North Atlantic" will run in Los Angeles from February 10-21 and in New York, from March 10 - April 25.

The Wooster Group will produce the show.

On Sunday, Maura's former "Parenthood" co-executive producer, Jason Katims, updated reporters on the actress' condition.

"She's doing well... She's doing really good," he told reporters at NBC's Television Critics Association panel for "Parenthood." "She's in treatment and I spoke to her a few weeks ago and she's doing good."

That is very good news indeed =).


Friday, January 22, 2010

'Amazing Race' 16 cast announced

The cast of The Amazing Race

Before you know it, it will be time for another whirlwind race around the world as the Emmy-winning reality show,
The Amazing Race, returns for its 16th season. The new season is set to premiere at 8 PM ET/PT on Sunday, February 14.

Today CBS announced the teams we'll be loving or hating as we vicariously travel around the world with them from the comfort of our own homes. The official CBS website is up and running with in-depth bios of the teams.

Once again, it looks like we have a diverse cast with a good range of ages. Hopefully it won't be like last season with one team never making it past the finish line!
  • Big Brother 11 winner Jordan Lloyd (22) and her fan favorite BB11 showmance gone romance Jeff Schroeder (31) are amongst the teams.
  • Brent Horne (28) and Caite Upton (20), dating models.
  • Carol Rosenfeld (47) and Brandy Snow (40), dating couple.
  • Adrian Davis (40) and Dana Davis (39), high school sweethearts/married.
  • Cord McCoy (29) and Jet McCoy (30), brothers/cowboys.
  • Jody Kelly (71) and Shannon Foster (22), grandmother and granddaughter.
  • Joe Wang (42) and Heidi Wang (37), married couple.
  • Dan Pious (24) and Jordan Pious (22), brothers.
  • Michael Naylor (45) and Louie Stravato (47), friends/police detectives.
  • Monique Pryor (39) and Shawne Morgan (39), friends.
  • Steve Smith (57) and Allie Smith (23), father and daughter.


Very interesting teams indeed, also I think this is the second year in a row where the countries the teams will travel are not revealed.

I guess that's incentive for viewers to tune in. Good enough for me!.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Justine Henin moves on Kim Clijsters goes out at Aussie Open

In an inexplicable fashion, Kim Clijsters crashed out of the Australian Open against the Russian Nadia Petrova, winning just one game on the way to a loss’s Ravi Ubha called a “savage beating”.

Day 5 provided the most dramatic day of tennis for this year’s tournament so far, as Andy Roddick fought off a spirited opponent and Justine Henin and Svetlana Kuznetsova mounted furious comebacks to keep their title dreams alive.

Playing sloppy tennis, Clijsters was ushered off the court in 52 brisk minutes in the worst loss of her career. Ben Smith wrote in The Times that Clijsters could do nothing to “stop the rot,” and the Belgian agreed.

“I was just questioning myself, just questioning myself out there a lot,” Clijsters said in her postmatch interview. “You don’t really know, why is this all of a sudden happening? You just try to stay calm because there were points where I really like wanted to break my racket into pieces.”

Her countrywoman Justine Henin held up her end of the Belgian bargain on Friday, storming back from a set and a break down to defeat a gutsy Alisa Kleybanova, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Peter Hanlon of The Age said Henin weathered Kleybanova’s blows well to chalk up her 500th career victory.

Source: nytimes straight sets blog

Wow while Justine fought like a tiger and moved on to the round of 16 poor Kim Clijsters went out with a whimper.

It was heartbreaking to watch.

This is the woman who just last year won the U.S. Open (after being away from the game for almost 3 years) and just a week ago in an epic with Justine Henin won Brisbane International.

She just wasn't there mentally today at all, her serve just went away. I don't know whether she was just distracted with family stuff, or what but it's too bad.

Because she really had a shot at this thing with the way she was playing up to this point.

Hopefully she'll regroup and do better in the next major. Guess I'm rooting for Justine.

Thank goodness Roger Federer is still in this thing

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Roger Federer, Jim Courier Aussie Open post match fun

(Sorry embedding is disabled).


Oh Roger, sometimes I forget that you're just as much fun off the court as you are on.

And way to put him on the spot there Jim Courier with the intro of Prince William.

Not that Roger had any problem with it, I think Prince William was the one who was more embarrassed.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Joss Whedon new show in the works for FX cable?

With all the buzz of the awards season and of the beginning of a new late night feud, other news is somehow lost in the crossfire. Normally, a story like this would be big news. A major show runner like Joss Whedon talking to a cable network? Yup, It seems that Whedon’s work with FOX might finally be done now that Dollhouse is closing out.

FX President John Landgraf told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour that he would be meeting with Whedon about potential future projects with Whedon. “You know, his representatives called and scheduled a lunch,” Landgraf said. “I think I’m supposed to have lunch with Joss in the next two or three weeks, and I have, you know, enormous respect for him. By the way, if you look at Shawn Ryan, who created ‘The Shield’ and is running ‘Terriers,’ Shawn learned at the feet of Joss Whedon in the Joss Whedon school and Carlton Cuse, by the way as well. So I don’t really know Joss, but I’m really looking forward to meeting him. I love his stuff.”

“I’ve been now at the channel for six years. We’ve made nine drama pilots, and we’ve picked eight of them up,” said Landgraf. “So we really don’t make very many pilots that we don’t order. Sometimes we have to go in and do a little reshooting or a little recasting, but I think we tend to grapple and struggle with that question of, if this show is really well executed, will we program it, will we put it on the air.

We tend to grapple with that question before we pick shows up. And, again, we don’t have to feed as large a mouth as a 15 hour a week broadcast network like FBC or a 22 hour a week broadcast network like CBS, NBC, or ABC. So we had the luxury of time and sort of careful consideration.

That said, I think we’ll probably only make one drama pilot right now because we have seven drama series currently on our roster. We have three that have not aired yet that we’re preparing ‘Justified,’ ‘Terriers,’ and ‘Lights Out.’ And I think, in all probability, if we make a drama pilot, we’ll pick it up, and probably we only need one sort of back up drama right now.”

This could be a major move for Whedon. FX is a great place for Whedon, it is a major enough cable network that would catch all the hardcore Whedonites, and plenty of new viewers that FX grabs with its edgy programming. Imagine if his last couple projects had been on a cable network where they could’ve played out a bit longer (and also had numerous repeats).


Oh please let this be true!. It's about time!. I've been saying Joss should try cable for years now.

Although I'm not sure how I feel about FX (from what I've been able to gather that stands for Fox Extended).

You would think Joss would have had it up to here with Fox by now (considering their horrible habit of cancelling all his shows). But it's still cable, so I have hope.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Martina Hingis says yes to more exhibitions no to 2nd career comeback

BERLIN — Swiss tennis legend Martina Hingis said on Sunday that she would love to keep playing exhibition tournaments, but insisted that reports she was about to launch a second comeback were way off the mark.

"I don't want to train every day anymore, but I would like to play more exhibitions. I have already had offers from the USA," said the 29-year-old after defeating fellow former world number one Lindsay Davenport here.

The 29-year-old Hingis tested positive for cocaine at Wimbledon in 2007, although she denied using the drug, and later announced her retirement.

But with her two-year ban having expired in September 2009, the five-time Grand Slam winner admitted she missed the game.

"I cannot imagine a life without tennis," she told the Berlin Hurier newspaper earlier in the day. "It's still so much fun for me. I'd like to play more exhibition matches and see what happens. Past that, I just don't know at the moment."

Kim Clijsters returned to the sport last year after a prolonged absence and won the US Open, while her fellow Belgian Justine Henin has cut short her retirement in time for the Australian Open, which starts on Monday.

Hingis said she was not surprised to see the veterans returning.

"I think the women's game is somewhat monotonous at the moment," she said.

"The young girls all play the same way, whereas Justine and Kim are successful because they vary their game."

Davenport also said there is no hope of her returning full-time to tennis.

"If I play again it will only be at selected events and only then for fun," said the 33-year-old American.

Hingis won 43 career titles in her career with five Grand Slam trophies.

She retired for the first time in 2003 because of injury but returned to the tour in 2006, winning three tournaments including the 2006 Australian Open mixed doubles with India's Mahesh Bhupathi.

Source: AFP

I love how a lot of the press took what Hingis said about playing more exhibitions and turned it into Hingis planning another comeback (desprate much? lol) not that I can blame them.

And leave it to Hingis to boldly state what many seem to continually deny, the fact that the women's game has become quite monotonous in recent years (again thank goodness for the return of Henin and Clijsters!).

Oh, and congrats to Martina on her win over Davenport 6/4 6/4 not to shabby for someone who no longer plays on a regular basis.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Roger Federer raises funds for Haiti relief

MELBOURNE, Australia - More than 14,000 tennis fans swarmed onto the grounds of the Australian Open on Sunday afternoon here in an impromptu show of financial support for Haiti relief efforts — and the chance to see top players in an exhibition staged at the last-minute suggestion of Roger Federer.

“It’s something as a tennis family we’re very happy to do,” Federer told reporters late Saturday after conferring with several top players.

“I got some connections, you know,” he said with a smile. “They all said, ‘Yes, we should do something.’”

Among the players who volunteered to appear were Rafael Nadal of Spain, Serena Williams and Andy Roddick of the United States, Kim Clijsters of Belgium, Novak Djokovic of Serbia, and Samantha Stosur and Lleyton Hewitt of Australia.

When organizers opened the gates at 1 p.m., thousands of people clutching special $10 tickets (about $9.20 in U.S. dollars) ran up steps to crowd into Rod Laver Arena from its busy Batman Avenue entrances. From the rear of the grounds, thousands more entered after jogging and trotting across Grand Slam Oval, a vast park area.

Within in 45 minutes, organizers said all but about 1,000 seats of the 15,000-seat arena were filled. Federer said all funds would be contributed to victims of the Haiti earthquake.

“I heard about it on Facebook,” said Kevin Ha, 23, a specialist in mergers and acquisitions at a Sydney financial firm. “It’s a good gesture. It’s inexpensive, so it seems like a good way to raise the money.”

Caspar Kaut, 19, a waiter, said he could not afford tickets to the tournament, so “this is a great chance to see them and do a good thing as well.”

Judy Fella of Cambridge, England, said: “I thought it was a terrific idea. There’s so much rubbish in the world. This is good spirit and I want to be part of it.”

The crowd burst into loud cheers and applause as the players appeared and began a series of doubles and mixed-doubles matches.

“Love you, Nadal,” shouted a young girl as the Spaniard teamed with Roddick to play a no-jokes-barred doubles match against Federer and Hewitt. In the umpire’s chair sat Jim Courier, the former two-time Australian Open champion. The players wore wireless microphones so the crowd could hear their comments.

Cheers and laughter filled the arena when Federer hit a between-the-legs forehand racing away from the net. Nadal reached high to block it, but hit the ball into the net. Roddick and Federer joked about what they call the inaccuracy of the Hawkeye line-calling system.

Clijsters and Djokovic squared off against Stosur and Williams in a mixed-doubles match later.

The late arrangement for the exhibition was worked out by the players and the Australian Open tournament director, Craig Tiley.

“Roger asked and Craig said, ‘Let’s do it,’” said Darren Pearce, a tournament spokesman. The event was expected to raise about 150,000 Australian dollars (about 138,000 U.S. dollars at current exchange rates).

“I think it was a great way to support the cause,” said Nibin Varghese, 24, a software engineer, who stood in a line that at one time numbered more than 200 people at a box office in the city’s Federation Square.

Source: New York Times Blog

Monday, January 11, 2010

Kim Clijsters Brisbane International Final Highlights

I'm still trying to find the whole thing. But in the meantime enjoy some highlights of this amazing match.

There was so much ebb and flow in this one, just when you thought one player had the edge the other one came back.

Matches like these is what the sport is all about, and to think this is only the first one of the year!.

If these 2 meet again in the Aussie Open it'll no doubt be one hell of a memorable match.

One thing is for sure the Williams sisters better watch out! (with the way these 2 are playing I doubt Serena will be the one lifting the trophy this year).

Awww, how nice was it of Kim to donate the money she won to the Children's Hospital she visited.

"Aussie Kim" has such a great big heart =). We really need more players like her out on tour.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Memorable Martina Moment: 2006 Rome Final

Along with the Pan Pacific Open this was one of my fave victories from her comeback year.

Those trophy photos are among some of the best =).

Evan Rachel Wood & Marilyn Manson engaged?

Marilyn Manson & Evan Rachel Wood: Engaged?

Reunited couple Marilyn Manson and Evan Rachel Wood are reportedly engaged.

On Monday, the 41-year-old rocker proposed to Evan, 22, onstage while performing in Paris, according to People.

“It may surprise you just how healthy and loving our relationship is,” Evan told Elle in 2007, adding that she found Marilyn “lovely” and “just amazing”.

This would be the first marriage for Evan and the second for Marilyn, who split with burlesque beauty Dita Von Teese in 2007.

Read more:

I'm going to refrain from making any comments on this pair since I've voiced my opinion on this subject quite clearly in past posts.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Kim Clijsters wins thriller final against Justine Henin in Brisbane

Kim Clijsters holds aloft the Brisbane International trophy. Picture: Darren England (I love that cheeky smile =)

Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters enjoy the limelight after their epic final. Picture: Darren England

IF last night's Brisbane International women's singles final was the reunion, then bring on the rematch.

Kim Clijsters and compatriot Justine Henin renewed their gripping rivalry after almost four years apart, with Clijsters winning the Belgian civil war in a dramatic three-set thriller.

It took a third-set tie-break to separate the pair, Clijsters throwing her arms skywards in relief and jubilation after the 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6) triumph.

The pair traded blows as first Clijsters then Henin climbed on top of the contest before the tense finish.

The tennis was not the highest quality from two stars of the past decade. Both made forced and unforced errors, more so as their legs tired in the third set, and fired almost 20 double faults between them.

Clijsters had the stronger legs, saving a championship point when down 4-5 in the third to lift her 36th career title.

The win could send her into the world's top 15 by the start of next week's Australian Open while the encouraging hit-out will give Henin faith that she can trouble more top 20 players in her comeback season.

Clijsters hit the ground running, setting her compatriot on her heels by taking the first two games of the match.

Henin, however, would not go quietly. Looking just as fit and agile as she did before retiring from the tour two years ago, the former world No.1 moved well and made Clijsters chase hard for her points.

Henin counterpunched and worked all the angles, virtually running herself back into the match.

She broke back immediately to give the capacity crowd the sense that this contest would go the distance.

Clijsters seized on the 2-2 first set deadlock to take control of the match.

She recovered from a double fault in the fifth game to string together a succession of clean winners.

The rumbling of freight trains along the line behind the Tennyson stadium seemed to mimic Clijsters' gathering momentum.

Clijsters' power and metronomic rhythm from the baseline helped her dominate on service and capitalise on two break points to forge ahead 4-2.

Not many would have spotted the understated fist pump from Clijsters as she finished an easy service game to stretch her lead.

But no one at Pat Rafter Arena missed the repeat performance, another clenched fist, this time more emphatic than the first, accompanied by a guttural "c'mon" after winning a crucial rally that all but clinched the first set.

The momentum from her powerful finish to the first set continued early in the second.

Clijsters had a 2-0 lead before fans who had stepped out for a coffee could reclaim their seats.

Henin was gone, unravelling by the minute.

She made errors that were uncharacteristic for a player with a reputation for consistency and precision. Or so it seemed. Down 4-1, she staged a spirited comeback that wrestled the whip from Clijsters' fingers. Then it was Clijsters' turn to feel the pressure.

From a seemingly impregnable position she conceded four consecutive games to hand Henin the second set but pulled herself together to take the final-set tiebreak.

Ok, now I REALLY wanna see this match!.

Friday, January 08, 2010

It's an all-Belgium final in Brisbane

Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters will meet in a battle of the comeback queens at the Brisbane International event.

Both are former world number ones and Henin, playing her first event since May 2008, crushed Serbia's Ana Ivanovic 6-3 6-2 in a little more than an hour.

Clijsters, who made her own return from retirement to win last year's US Open, had a similarly comfortable win against Germany's Andrea Petkovic 6-4 6-2.

The Belgian duo have met 22 times, with Henin holding a 12-10 advantage.

Playing her fourth match in five days, Henin proved her fitness levels were in excellent order and showed a glimpse of the form that saw her win seven Grand Slam titles.

"It's a perfect situation for me as I'm in the final of my first tournament, it's a great feeling," she said after her victory on the Pat Rafter centre court.

Clijsters looked at one stage to be in for a more difficult afternoon when locked at 4-4 with Petkovic in the opening set, but proceeded to win the next six games and took complete control of the contest.

Looking ahead to Saturday's final, which will be her first match with Henin since the 2006 Wimbledon semi-finals, she said: "I don't think anyone around the world expected to see this again.

"I look forward to it. Back to the old days. We grew up playing under-12s and sharing rooms together and we have history together."

Henin, meanwhile, remarked that her relationship with her compatriot had always been cordial and said: "There is so much respect between the two of us so, I know sometimes people would love to hear there have been problems between us but that's not the case.

"We are so different but we have good memories. When we were younger we were travelling a lot together... but after that we grew up differently and went in different directions."

Good luck Kim!. *goes off to find the match online*.

Source: BBC Sports

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Kim Clijsters on life on the WTA tour with a toddler

IT'S AN image that went around the world of a happy little girl with golden curls, a proud mother and a precious piece of silverware.

But nowhere in the home of Kim Clijsters in Bree, Belgium, would you find a picture of the night that her daughter Jada, who turns two next month, greeted her mum on court at Flushing Meadows Arthur Ashe Stadium after Clijsters became the first mother in 29 years to win a grand slam singles title.

This says a lot about Clijsters and where tennis sits in her life.

When Clijsters made her comeback to tennis after a 2 1/2-year retirement and won a grand slam title in her third event back, she said Jada was her priority. She wasn't kidding.

The little girl, who travels to tournaments with Clijsters, her husband Brian Lynch and the nanny she has at home in Belgium, has a cast-iron routine.

Jada proved herself a team player when it mattered most - by not waking up or coming in for a cuddle during the night before Clijsters' US Open semi-final win over Serena Williams or before the final.

"We are actually very lucky. She sleeps really well usually," Clijsters said this week.

"We had been in the US for some time and she had gotten used to the time change. She was very good on schedule those days."

Clijsters, 26, rated her win over Williams that night as the best of her life.

The explosive end to the match, in which Williams abused a lineswoman and received a point penalty, ended a long and trying day.

The match was delayed by rain and tested the nerve of Clijsters, whose temperament had been questioned after she had lost her first four grand slam finals.

"I remember we played that match against Serena at 9pm and I watched (film) Ice Age that afternoon with Jada in our hotel room," she said.

"That's something that keeps you relaxed and not worried. Life has changed."

Clijsters' "first career" had high points of a 2005 US Open title and a hold on the world No. 1 ranking for 19 weeks.

But the regard she is held by fans, particularly in Australia, owes more to her happy demeanour, which seems to never change in defeat or victory or with the added responsibility of motherhood.

"My husband and I and the nanny we have . . . I am very strict on food and routine and nap-time. As long as she (Jada) keeps having a routine, that's important," Clijsters said.

Life in hotels with a small child has its challenges.

When she left the hotel in Cincinnati last August to play her first match since Jada was born, Clijsters' daughter cried at the separation.

"But it's just a very comfortable feeling knowing when you're out there that she's in bed sleeping quietly, doing her thing," Clijsters said.

She has traded kids-on-tour stories with another former world No. 1, Lindsay Davenport, who went back on the tour with a young son until she became pregnant a second time, and current tour player Sybille Bammer.

Evonne Goolagong Cawley, who lives on the Sunshine Coast and won Wimbledon as a mother in 1980, was invited to the Brisbane International this week, but was unable to accept.

Clijsters hopes they can catch up in Melbourne, where she will spend the next three weeks preparing for the Australian Open, for which she is second favourite with the bookies behind Serena Williams.

She believes that she is better equipped, physically, to handle the demands of professional tennis after becoming a mother.

"Your body changes so much with the pregnancy and the delivery," Clijsters said.

"I've also learnt that I started from zero (after childbirth). The bad habits that our bodies build up from when 13 or 14, they all got pushed aside and you get a new start to prepare your body a little bit.

"I had the time (when training for a comeback last year) to really focus on a lot of weaknesses I had which in the past were unnoticed or pushed aside because there were so many other things to focus on. That year and a half after she has been born, I could focus on a lot of those weaknesses and also make my strengths stronger. It was balancing out your whole body."

Beyond the Australian Open, Clijsters plans to play 14 tournaments this year.

She declined to be specific about her commitment beyond 2010.

"This is not something I'm going to be doing for the next five or 10 years. I might as well (play) until we try for No. 2, I guess," Clijsters said after winning the US Open.

Clijsters says she is more organised than she was in her "first career".

"I was kind of a person who just goes with the flow, and now everything has to be a little more planned obviously," she said.

"It's fun and it's definitely helped me a lot, as well, as a tennis player. I'm more capable of adjusting on the court and adjusting, you know, my emotions a little bit better and reading my emotions. I think that's something that's very important out there, especially in big matches."

Source: heraldsun

I can't wait to see the great reception she will undoubtedly receive at the Aussie Open (9 days and counting!).

Though I got a little sad when I read the part about her not planing on doing this (playing tennis) for 5 or 10 years.

It's obvoiusly inevitable that she will have another child in the future, personally I'm hoping it's not for at least 2 or 3 more years.

Until then I'll just enjoy it while it lasts =).

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Justine Henin's return triumphant with win in Brisbane

Justine Henin made a triumphant return to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in Brisbane on Monday with a 7-5, 7-5 win over second seeded Nadia Petrova.

In her first competitive match since retiring eighteen months ago, Henin showed no signs of rust as she advanced against an opponent she has dominated 11-2 in their career head-to-head meetings.

Henin also defeated Petrova last month in an exhibition match in Cairo by a score of 7-5, 6-2, so the result should come as no surprise.

The crafty Henin only lost five points on her first serve in the opening set and broke Petrova at 5-5. She would later close out the frame with an ace.

In the second set Petrova staked an early 2-0 lead before Henin fought back and again broke at 5-5 to march towards victory.

Petrova seemed to take the defeat in stride and had nothing but praise for Henin in her post-match press conference.

“I think she is a better player than before she retired. She’s more aggressive,” Petrova said. “Previously, she was more of a clay court player, but now I see her a hardcourt player as well. She’s certainly playing high level of tennis.”

Personally, I would be embarrassed as a professional tennis player to lose to someone who has been away from the game for a year and a half. Henin however is not just any returning player. The Belgian has won 7 Grand Slams, an Olympic Gold as well as 41 other WTA titles in her career. At only 27 years old, there is still plenty left in the tank both physically and emotionally for Henin.

“I feel better today than when I retired, that’s for sure,” Henin said. “Better emotionally, mentally, better with myself—and that makes a big difference that I will enjoy being on the tour again.”

Under normal circumstances, a win over a top-twenty player like Petrova after such a sustained absence from the game would garner more attention and praise. While many eyes are on Henin, the bar has been set high by her compatriot Kim Clijsters. Winning a couple of rounds will not suffice and anything short of a title in the near future may be deemed a disappointment by some – a fact that would have seemed ridiculous before Clijsters’ incredible run at Flushing Meadows in August.

The comparisons to Clijsters are inevitable and not simply because of their shared Belgian heritage. Both took approximately the same amount of time away from the game and both are former top level players who have enjoyed Grand Slam success. The immediate returns that Clijsters enjoyed during the summer spoke volumes about the immense talent that she possesses. As much, if not more, will be expected from Henin.

Henin now advances to the second round where she will face qualifier Sesil Karatantcheva.

Source: tennisgrandstand

I can't wait to see the clash between these two again. Should be interesting, both have changed their play in the time they've been away.

I get the feeling it's gonna be one hell of a match!. I gotta say thank you to both of them for actually making the WTA worth watching again. About time!.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport to meet in exhibition

exhibition match: Martina Hingis / Lindsay Davenport (January 17, 2009)

This is a nice meeting in perspective, a dual tennis feminin, January 17 Martina Hingis will next meet her old friend and great rival Lindsay Davenport in Berlin for an exhibition tournament tennis-Arcaden the classics and all in a room with a capacity 6,000 seats. Admission is free

NEWS: The British newspaper listed the top 5 of the decade in tennis. The winners were:

1 Roger Federer Simply the greatest player of any modern decade, and a stylist too, proving that grace and power can co-exist.

2 Rafa Nadal A phenomenon in his own right, and in many ways the antithesis of Federer.
The Spaniard's appeal is to the youth culture, and it is to be hoped he is not similarly transient.

3 Serena Williams The greatest competitor of her generation who surprisingly endeared herself to all but the starched-white, po-faced with her outburst at this year's US Open
. Now where was it she was going to stick that tennis ball?

4 Venus Williams The greatest grass court player of the decade, though second best to her sis on all other surfaces - but my, how the two have stuck together.

5 Martina Hingis The complete player, and most cerebral champion, though prone to self-destruct both on and off court.
If only she had been 6in taller then it would have been her decade beyond question.

Courtesy of the Google translator and edited by me.


Looking forward to this!. I just hope it's televised.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Kim Clijsters on how motherhood has helped her play better

A great short interview with Kim.

Momlogic sat down with championship tennis star and Fila spokeswoman Kim Clijsters to find out what life is like for her off the court. She tells us being a mom is a love match.

Momlogic: How hard was your decision to leave the game two years ago to start a family?

Kim Clijsters: It wasn't hard at all, it felt right at the time -- and it was the most enriching time of my life. Coming back was the hard part; I did hardly any tough exercise for 18 months, as I was busy taking care of my daughter and father [who was suffering from lung cancer].

ML: Was it tough for you to get back to work when you started playing tennis again? How long after you had your baby did you start training again?

Kim: Hitting the ball came back pretty quickly, but the movement took a lot longer. I started training again after my dad passed away in early January, so about 11 months after Jada was born.

ML: How has motherhood changed your game?

Kim: I think motherhood has made me more organized, as I have to have good quality training time so I can spend as much time as possible with my family. I think it's also made me more focused and tougher in certain situations.

ML: You're the first mother to win a Grand Slam title since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won Wimbledon in 1980. How proud are you of that accomplishment?

Kim: I was very proud when they told me I was the first mother to win a major in almost 30 years, and Evonne Cawley was a terrific player and person.

ML: Did Serena Williams' much-publicized U.S. Open outburst affect your matches at all?

Kim: Serena's outburst didn't affect me at all; there was still one more match to play -- the final, the next day.

ML: How was it having your daughter Jada with you at the U.S. Open?

Kim: Having Jada in New York relaxed me, as I played with her a lot on my off days, and helped keep my mind off tennis the whole time. It really hit me after I won, seeing her running around the court -- how special all this was.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Kim Clijsters visits Royal Brisbane Children's Hospital

Kim Clijsters took time out before playing the Brisbane International tournament in Australia to help bring some joy to kids suffering with cancer.

Boy, I can only imagine how emotionally draining this day would have been for her (especially considering she has a little girl who's around the same age as many of these kids).

Stories like this really tug at the heart, and at the same time put life into perspective.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, these pics say so much about what a great mom Kim is. Jada is one lucky little girl.

Kim Clijsters of Belgium interacts with a young patient while on a visit to the Royal Brisbane Childrens Hospital on December 31, 2009 in Brisbane, Australia. Clijsters is in Australia to compete in the Brisbane International tennis tournament commencing January 3, 2010.
(December 30, 2009 - Photo by Pool/Getty Images AsiaPac)

(December 30, 2009 - Photo by Pool/Getty Images AsiaPac)

(December 30, 2009 - Photo by Pool/Getty Images AsiaPac)

(December 30, 2009 - Photo by Pool/Getty Images AsiaPac)
(December 30, 2009 - Photo by Pool/Getty Images AsiaPac)
(December 30, 2009 - Photo by Pool/Getty Images AsiaPac)
(December 30, 2009 - Photo by Pool/Getty Images AsiaPac)
(December 30, 2009 - Photo by Pool/Getty Images AsiaPac)


You can also check out a short video on Kim's Youtube channel.