Monday, August 30, 2010

Kim Clijsters continues winning streak at U.S. Open

By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Defending champion Kim Clijsters of Belgium overcame a second-set scare to defeat Greta Arn of Hungary 6-0 7-5 in the first round of the U.S. Open on Monday.

Clijsters sailed through an 18-minute opening set on a sun-kissed Arthur Ashe center court but fell behind 4-0 in the second set before roaring back to seize command.

The second-seeded Belgian ran off 12 straight points to pull within 4-3 and then broke in the 10th game and again in the last game to close out the match.

It was the 15th successive Open win for Clijsters, who last year claimed an inspirational triumph in her return to grand slam tennis after taking two years off to start a family.

Clijsters began her current win streak by winning the 2005 U.S. championship, but missed the next year's tournament due to a wrist injury and then stepped away from the tennis circuit.

The 27-year-old Belgian treated the big center court crowd to a near-perfect opening set at Flushing Meadows.

Committing only two unforced errors on her crackling groundstrokes, Clijsters was rolling along until 104th-ranked Arn began finding the range on her serve, and errors crept into the defending champion's game.

Clijsters sprayed four faulty forehands and three backhand errors in the second set but found her form in time to avoid a third set.

After Clijsters charged out to a 0-40 lead for triple match point in the 12th game, Arn dug deep and won the next two points before the Belgian ripped a backhand down the line to complete her victory.

Clijsters, who has won three tournaments this year, next meets Australian qualifier Sally Peers, who advanced with a 6-0 6-1 victory over Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak.

Reuters Canada

Good victory, though I really wish she hadn't lost focus in the second set.

I think that's always been one of her problems even before retirement.

Once she got rolling to a great start she always seemed to lose concentration, and ended up having to battle back.

I think that's one of the biggest differences between Clijsters and Hingis.

Martina never lost concentration (not until around her second retirement).

It's what made her so dominant, and why she was the #1 player in the world for 209 weeks.

On the other hand Kim has always been better at battling back from a deep whole (score-wise).

Hingis had a tendency to give up if she didn't control the match right from the first set.

At least Kim was able to close things out in straight sets.

Her serve is looking much more solid (hopefully it'll keep improving as the week goes on).

Looking forward to her second match later in the week.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kim Clijsters on balancing Tennis and life as a mother

Kim Clijsters speaks about her family and the upcoming US Open

The second seeded tennis ace from Belgium, Kim Clijsters is a defending champion of the United States Open tennis tournament starting from Monday in the city of New York.

Clijsters, who is also a mother of a two and a half year old baby girl named Jada, made a comeback to professional tennis back in 2009 after a two year break. The Belgian got the better of current top seed, Caroline Wozniacki, from Denmark in straight sets to win the US Open title in New York.

Kim while commenting on her family and profession recently said in an interview that, ''It's all about keeping a balance, just taking care of both sides. There are days when I don’t practice much on the court and give my whole time to my little daughter Jada, as I want to make sure that she never feels neglected. And thankfully I am not the kind of player who will start panicking if I decide to rest for few days”.

There are a great variety of players, said the twenty-seven year old Kim, who feel obligated to strictly follow the work out rules as set for them by their trainers.

The Belgian however, on the other hand, is quite ok with taking a day off, if she thinks her daughter and family need her more.

''I am the kind of player that if I don’t practice on a single day or two, my game won’t be affected in any way”, said Clijsters with a tattoo of her daughter’s name on her left arm. ''In this way, I am perhaps more easy going kind of a person. I love to live in the moment and don’t want to miss them”.

With a tennis racket in Clijsters hand, she is at her best on the hard surface. All three of her Championship trophies this year came on hard courts, including her ATP Cincinnati Masters title which serves as a tune up event prior to the United States Open tennis tournament.

''I have always played more comfortably on hard courts. It is not just a case this year but in fact when I was a teenager during the initial stages of my career I used to play more effectively on hard courts”, Clijsters said. ''I don’t know the reason, all I know is that I can move more freely on such surfaces and I can hit the ball better. Everything seems easier on it”.

She holds a fourteen match winning streak at the United States Open tennis tournament, grabbing the trophy on the last two occasions she appeared at Flushing Meadows back in 2005 as well as in 2009.

Clijsters skipped the Championship in 2006 as a result of a wrist injury, and then remained away from the tour for a period of two and a half years during which the Belgian got married and gave birth to a baby girl.

Clijsters, while commenting on her possibilities at Flushing Meadows this season said that she does not go for numbers like her 14-0 record. Rather she said, “All I know is that if I play well I can beat anyone on the court in New York”.

Kim suffered a hip injury earlier this month at the Rogers Cup women’s tennis tournament held in Montreal, however, she says that she is fit enough to contest at Flushing Meadows.

If she genuinely is able to play at her very best, the Belgian is likely to advance to the later stages of the tournament. Particularly when the top ranked Serena Williams and two time champion Justine Henin are both out of the competition as a result of injury.

''As Serena and Henin are not participating in this year’s United States Open tennis tournament, Kim definitely has bright chances of successfully defending her title at Flushing Meadows”, said John McEnroe.

Yep, Kimmy has a real shot at defending the title provided she stays healthy through out.

As interesting as it would have been to see a re-match of last year's final.

I'm kind of glad all the drama with Serena will be avoided, so we can focus on the actual game instead.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

McEnroe says women's schedule should be trimmed down more

LOS ANGELES — Former men's star and current TV analyst John McEnroe said Thursday that there should be fewer events for female pro tennis players because they seem to be unable to deal with the physical and mental demands.

"Women have it better in tennis than any other sport, but you shouldn't push them to play more than they're capable of playing," McEnroe said in a conference call promoting CBS's U.S. Open coverage. "… They should be required to be in less events. … It seems it takes an actual meltdown on the court or women quitting the game altogether before they realize there's a need to change the schedule."

Vera Zvonareva wept at last year's U.S. Open and tried to tear off knee bandages during a match. Prominent players such as Kim Clijsters and former No. 1 Justine Henin have taken breaks from the game over the past five years.

Stacey Allaster, CEO of the WTA Tour, is mindful of scheduling issues and noted that Serena Williams will be absent from this U.S. Open not because of a chronic injury but because of an accident that resulted in a cut foot. "John is more than entitled to his opinion," she told the Los Angeles Times, "and he is a well-respected leader in our sport, but I hope when someone makes comments he's also looking at the data. Venus is 30, and she is very careful with her body because she wants to continue to play. … We're always looking at the schedule and requirements, and looking out for what's best for the players."

In response to players' requests, Allaster said the schedule already has been trimmed from 26 to 20 events. The top players are asked to play in at least 10.

"We did that because we knew the game has changed,'' Allaster had previously told the St. Petersburg Times. "The physical demands on the athletes' bodies was making them break down. We couldn't deliver the top-10 player field to those 26 tournaments. We had to streamline."

I'm sort of split on this issue. While I completely agree that John has a point, the WTA CEO makes some good points as well.

I do admit that even though supposedly the schedule has been trimmed down, sometimes it doesn't feel like it.

Given all the injuries the women suffer by the time we get to the last Grand Slam of the year in New York.

Granted often times the injuries are just unfortunate, the number of tournaments they participate in does play a big role in it.

But I think the chances of even more streamlining are pretty much slim to none given the organizers would lose a lot more money.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal the giggle twins

I'm sure everyone remembers the giggle-fest that was this CNN interview with Roger, right?.

Well here's something even better Rafael Nadal and Roger shooting a commercial together.

Rivalry?, what rivalry?. :D.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Roger Federer Cincinnati Masters Champion!

I'm sure Mirka will be quite happy to have this lovely flower vase :D. Seriously. Lamest. Trophy. Ever.
1st pic from

The Swiss ended one of the most barren spells of his career in impressive fashion on Sunday, defeating the American Mardy Fish in a rugged three-set encounter in Cincinnati and, in so doing, recording his first ATP Tour title success in seven months.

It was Federer's 17th Masters title and, perhaps, one of the most timely, given one of the former world No 1's favourite Grand Slams, the US Open, begins in New York later this month. On this evidence, few would bet against Federer adding another major to his collection.

He has played far better than Sunday's rather scratchy performance against Fish, the home favourite, but his determination to win out in a war of attrition was an ominous statement of intent for the likes of Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.

The lesson is clear: write off Federer at your peril.

In a match dominated by the serve, Federer secured the only break deep into the deciding set to clinch a 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 triumph in two hours and 40 minutes. The outcome means Federer will be in perfect shape to regain the crown at Flushing Meadows after his run of five successive titles was ended by Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro in last year's final.

Fish can also take a great deal of confidence to New York after a wonderful week in which, after entering as a wild card, he saw off Murray and Andy Roddick en route to the final.

The American certainly held his own against Federer although the few opportunities which did arise fell the way of the former world No 1.

Federer held four break points in the first set – including one set point – but was unable to execute and he paid the price as Fish upped his game to clinch the tiebreak.

The second set followed a similar pattern of service dominance with both players struggling to gain any fluency on their returns.

Fish had the only break point which came and went. This time it was Federer who found the reserves to up the tempo in the breaker, clinching it for the loss of just one point to take the match all the way.

A third tiebreak loomed large only for Fish to lose concentration for a moment, allowing Federer a break point at 4-4 which he converted when the American netted a routine backhand.

Federer showed his opponent no mercy by serving it out with ease to claim his fourth title in Cincinnati.

"It was a perfect match for both of us," Federer said afterwards, "but only one can win it."

Fish, for his part, was equally magnanimous. "He's a true champion, the greatest of all time," he added.

Federer can go some way to proving that statement at Flushing Meadows.

Master craftsman

Roger Federer’s three-set success in Cincinatti against Mardy Fish on Sunday puts him joint second on the list of all-time wins in ATP Masters Series events, with retired American Andre Agassi.

Rafael Nadal (Spain) 18
Roger Federer (Switzerland) 17
Andre Agassi (United States)17
Pete Sampras (United States) 11
Thomas Muster (Germany) 8
Michael Chang (United States) 7
Andy Murray (Great Britain) 5

Now that's the Roger Federer I know and love :) .

And once again all it took for the press to change their tune and suddenly consider him a contender for the U.S. Open was one convincing title win

( *shakes head* so predictable ).

Congratulations on a great tournament Roger, now go get some well deserved rest. See you in Flushing Meadows!.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Evan Rachel Wood & Marilyn Manson engagement over?

Evan Rachel Wood and Marilyn Manson have reportedly broken off their engagement.

The 22-year-old actress and her 41-year-old on-again, off-again beau ended their engagement last week, a source told People.

Marilyn was spotted out clubbing with friends and a former Playmate of the Year in L.A. this weekend. “They just broke off their engagement, and he needed a night out with friends,” another source told the mag.

Marilyn proposed to Evan on stage in France back in January.

Read more:

Evan's relationship tally is starting to remind of a certain tennis star named Martina Hingis :D.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Kim Clijsters out of Rogers Cup in Montreal

MONTREAL — Defending U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters couldn't shake off a thigh injury at the $2-million Rogers Cup, falling 6-3, 2-6, 3-6 to Russian Vera Zvonareva in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Clijsters, seeded fifth in Montreal, seemed to be cruising toward victory after the first set. But the 27-year-old Belgian dropped the second set and was noticeably slow of foot by the end, leaving centre court for an injury timeout.

She began the third set with her left thigh tightly wrapped and couldn't keep up with the 25-year-old Zvonareva.

Limited mobility only allowed her to score on five of 19 first return chances in the final set. Zvonareva, the No. 8 seed, broke Clijsters to start the third set and ran out to a 5-0 led before the Belgian took her last stand.

She took the next two games before succumbing to Zvonareva, who improved to 2-5 in head-to-head matches against Clijsters.

Zvonareva moves on to face the winner between Marion Bartoli of Franceand Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

Clijsters says her hip had tightened up over the previous two days and became uncomfortable during the second set Friday but that she never considered quitting.

"I don't like to give up," said Clijsters, who will have an MRI on her leg in the next few days.

"I was still able to hit the ball. I'm not blaming my injury at all. I lost to (Zvonareva) at Wimbledon where I was feeling totally fine."

Clijsters says the injury doesn't appear to be serious and she expects to be in form for the U.S. Open, which gets underway at the end of the month

Damn, of all the stinkin' rotten luck.

Kim was in total control of the first set. I really think she would have made it all the way to the end, and won the title had it not been for this thigh injury.

I just hope she's right, and it really isn't anything serious.

Is it me, or is poor Kim jinked when it comes to this Canadian tournament?.

In 2006 she injured her wrist (when the ladies were playing in Toronto I think), and of course decided to completely retire from the game at 24 years of age.

If it weren't for the fact that we totally love having her here, I would tell her to skip it next year.

Get well Kim, I wanna see you kick butt, and finally get a chance to defend your title on August 30th.

Needless to say I will no longer be following the rest of Roger's Cup.

Sticking with Roger Federer now to see if he can keep hope alive in Cincinnati.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Kim Clijsters through to the quarters in Montreal

MONTREAL, Canada — Reigning US Open champion Kim Clijsters cruised into the quarter-finals of the two million-dollar WTA Montreal Cup on Thursday by defeating Estonia's Kaia Kanepi 6-2, 6-1.

The Belgian fifth seed, who won her third title of the year last week at Cincinnati, took just 55 minutes to reach a quarter-final Friday against Russian eighth seed Vera Zvonareva, who beat Hungary's Agnes Szavay 6-3, 6-3.

Clijsters, who rose to fourth in the WTA rankings released Monday, ended a two-year layoff to start a family last year at Cincinnati and went on to win her second Grand Slam title at the US Open, which she also won in 2005.

Clijsters seeks a 39th career singles crown at the final major hardcourt tuneup for this year's US Open and bids for her fourth title of 2010, having already won at Brisbane and Miami in addition to last week.


That's more like it!. Much more straight forward, routine match. Granted the other player didn't seem to be playing at her best, but still all credit to Kim.

She seemed much sharper today, her ground strokes were sharp, her forehands and backhands as well. The serve was slightly better, but still could use improvement.

She seems to be having issues with her second serve a lot.

Interestingly in the post-match interview she mentioned that she's currently in the process of trying to change her service motion to a more abbreviated one.

But ended up going back to her old one in the end. Guess we'll see how that effects her at the U.S. Open.

Very solid win, her next match could be a toughie. Zvonareva beat her in the quarters of Wimbledon this year so she'll have her work cut out for her.

But if she starts as well as she did today she should have no problems moving on to the semis.

Well done Kim, keep it up! (I'm pretty sure all of Montreal is rooting for you ).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kim Clijsters forced to fight hard to get into 3rd round @ Montreal's Roger's Cup

MONTREAL -- Kim Clijsters dug herself out of a deep hole to post a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over American Bethanie Mattek-Sands on Wednesday night at the US$2 million Rogers Cup.

After dropping the first set, the fifth-seeded Clijsters was down 4-1 in the second and had to fight off two break points to keep her match alive against the aggressive Mattek-Sands, a qualifer ranked 101st in the world.

Mattek-Sands continued to attack the net in the third and got a service break, only to give it back to the 27-year-old Clijsters, a two-time U.S. Open champion, is gunning for a second straight title after winning her 38th career tournament last week in Cincinnati.

Clijsters capped the match with a perfect passing with Mattek-Sands poised at the net waiting for a volley.

Clijsters was in her first match at Uniprix Stadium since injuring a wrist in a fall during a match with Stephanie Dubois of Laval, Que., in 2006, a setback that contributed to her decision the following year to take a more-than two-year break from the Tour.

She advanced to a third-round meeting with Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, a 7-5, 6-2 winner over Sybille Bammer of Austria.

Another topsy-turvy match, credit to Mattek-Sands though because Kim wasn't playing badly other then some unforced errors here and there and a few double faults (thankfully not as many as in Cincinnati against Maria Sharapova).

For the first set and a half Kim was simply being out played, especially at the net. Where Kim is very comfortable herself.

So all credit to her.

I have to say that Kim's serve has become worrisome of late.

I don't remember her hitting as many double faults in the beginning of her comeback where it was understandable for her to be rusty (after being away from the game for a few years).

The serve was the most solid thing about her game that's why she won the U.S. Open last year against someone like Serena Williams.

So that's all a bit strange. But to Clijsters credit she has won 3 titles this year which is more then can be said for most WTA players on the tour.

I have to give it up to Kim for her fighting spirit as well, her ability to turn the match around has been outstanding first against Sharapova last week (saving 3 match points).

And now against Mattek-Sands being down 15-40 1-4 in the second set. That kind of match toughness will help her tremendously at the U.S. Open in a week and a half.

In fact I think once Kim gets her serve under control I would watch out if I were Serena. At the rate she's going Kim might just take her top spot by the end of next year.

Kaia Kanepi could prove to be another interesting challenge for Kim tomorrow but if she starts off well, she should go through hopefully in straight sets.

Well deserved win for Kim hope she gets lots of rest tonight (something tells me she'll need it). Kanepi is a tricky player.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Roger Federer's amazing shot for Gillette Fusion Commercial

I've been posting a lot of match stuff lately here's a little something different to brighten your Monday. Enjoy ;).

Dude has mad skills I tell ya, mad skills!.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Kim Clijsters Cincinnati Open Champion!

One of the weirdest trophies I've seen in a while

Pics courtesy of

MASON, Ohio, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Kim Clijsters produced a remarkable comeback to beat Maria Sharapova 2-6 7-6 6-2 and win the Cincinnati Open on Sunday.

Sharapova had three championship points in the second set before a cloudburst led to a 74 minute stoppage, with the Russian just two points from victory.

After the break Clijsters came back and won the set 7-4 in the tiebreak.

The Belgian swept her way through the final set for her 38th WTA win and her fourth victory since returning to the sport last August following a two year maternity break.

Read more:

After watching Roger's Cup and the disappointing loss Roger suffered at the hands of Andy Murray in straight sets (fighting hard) but squandering his chances.

It was nice to see some happy news on the women's side for once.

Interestingly enough both matches were halted due to rain, the Cincinnati match being the longer of the two. Both players also started playing better after the delay.

But it was Kim who was most successful rallying from a set down to win a tough three setter against Maria Sharapova.

The match itself was a bit up and down with both struggling with their serve.

The rain delay proved most beneficial to Kim who came out playing like a different player and started dominating Sharapova, while she came unglued.

Gotta give full credit to Sharapova though she made Kim fight hard for her championship point Sharapova saved 4 of them (with Kim being up 40-love on her serve) and taking it to duece before Kim finally won it on the 5th try.

After watching Kim make this great come back I'm actually looking forward to seeing her in Montreal next week (hopefully she'll get a day's rest before having to play again so soon).

I'm guessing her match won't be until Tuesday. And the question remains will Federer head to Cincinnati now?.

Lot's more tennis to come in the next 3 to 4 weeks *squee*. Congrats Kimmy on a great win!.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Roger Federer battles past Djokovic to reach Roger's Cup final

Roger Federer booked his spot in the Rogers Cup final with 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 victory over Novak Djokovic on Saturday night.

Federer will meet defending-champion Andy Murray of Britain, who defeated top-ranked Rafael Nadal earlier in the day.

The No. 3-ranked Swiss master improved to 10-5 all-time (8-4 on hardcourt) against the 23-year-old Djokovic, who won the Rogers Cup title in his debut appearance in 2007.

He also raised his ranking to No. 2 on the ATP Tour, dropping Djokovic to a spot below.

Federer broke serve early in the first set to go up 2-0, looking dominant with sharp cross-court forehands. He aced a fourth straight point to hold serve and take a 3-0 lead, putting Djokovic on his heels. The Serb pulled one back in the next game but couldn't fend off Federer's pressure, committing multiple unforced errors to lose the first set decisively.

Federer opened the second with a break point, setting the tone for what looked to be an rout. His forehand continued to create havoc for Djokovic, who dashed from corner to corner to pull himself out of a hole, level the score 2-2 with a much-needed break point, and hold serve to go up a game.

Federer pulled even in the sixth game with sharp-angled shots, but Djokovic fought hard in a marathon seventh to retake the lead 4-3. Djokovic collected his second break in the next game, and then held serve to force a third set as Federer appeared vexed by the Serb.

As daylight faded at Rexall so did Djokovic's momentum. Federer broke serve then held for a 4-1 advantage in the third, but Djokovic rallied once again to level at 5-5 as the crowd grew electric with each point.

Djokovic's emotions got the best of him just before dropping the 11th game, smashing his racket with verve before his elimination was sealed in the next and deciding game at the US$2.43-million ATP event.


Oh, the drama!. Just when it looked like Roger would run away with the match, and have an easy time of it.

With Djokovic holding serve only once in the 1st set and Federer being up 2-0 in the second.

Roger took his foot off the tight control he had up to that point which allowed Djokovic to relax and finally start hitting his shots.

Which he kept missing the entire first set.

At 2-0 I thought I would be able to breathe easy and that Roger basically had it in the bag, but no all of a sudden it was Roger who started shanking his forehands and missing shots.

The second and third sets were a complete see-saw affair right up to the very last game.

The crowd certainly got their money's worth from a first set that took just under 30 minutes to a total 2 hours and 22 minutes of play.

I hope Roger gets lots of rest tonight, since Murray is sure to have a bit more in the tank beating Nadal in straight sets

I think if Federer wants to win against Murray tomorrow he will have to be relentless, and not have a repeat of what happened with this match.

And to think this is just the Masters 1000 event. With Cincinnati and U.S. Open still to come I may have to invest in an oxygen tank :D.

I get the feeling tomorrow will be another hair-puller.

With all this constant drama on the men's side I'm ready for the women in Montreal where I know I'm guaranteed little to no drama.

Plus let's face it who's really that excited about the women's line up these days?.

Certainly not me. Even with Kim Clijsters, who I'm not even sure is playing.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Roger Federer gets sweet revenge on Berdych in Toronto

Don’t know who wanted it more Friday night: Roger Federer or the enthusiastic pro-Federer crowd at the Rexall Centre.

Don’t know who had more to lose: The crowd desperately wanting Federer to remain alive in the draw at the Rogers Cup or the once almost-perfect Federer fighting valiantly for his international relevance in the tennis world.

It was something to see, something unforgettable. Maybe not a match for the ages but a match for the Canadian ages.

It was Federer at his best, and his worst, and then somewhere in between. I saw it. Not sure I believed it all. Not sure I understood it all.

“Thank you guys, you made it so worth it,” Federer told the crowd after the match. “It was an incredible atmosphere.”

It was that trying Friday night. It was that dramatic. It was that up and down, emotional, with Federer so alive and in control in the first set, so average in the second set, so seemingly done in the third set, trailing 5-2 in games, and right until the final point of the third set tiebreaker, which went to a players’ challenge, no one knew the epic two hour, 40-minute quarterfinal match was over.

This was a once-in-a-lifetime match for a once-in-a-lifetime player, with Federer hanging on to beat Tomas Berdych 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5) in 160 minutes of tennis.

For the fans it means the top three players in the world have all advanced to Saturday’s semifinal, and assuming Novak Djokovic won his quarterfinal match late Friday night, which was expected, that would mean that for the first time this year in any tournament the top four players in the world — Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Djokovic and Federer — were alive to play in semifinals.

That should make today one of the memorable days in the history of Canadian tennis. But it will be difficult to top the drama of Friday night.

This is why you want to see the best in the world, the legends, the athletes who really matter. They invent ways to win. They write stories from the impossible.

Federer won the first set almost methodically Friday, holding serve, breaking once, winning 6-3. Then Berdych started to find his power game late in the second set, breaking Federer’s serve for the first time in the 12th game, winning the set 7-5.

The third set was from the tennis museum of the hard to believe. In the third game, Federer led 0-40 with Berdych serving. He couldn’t win the game. The next game, he lost serve to trail 3-1. At 5-2, with Berdych in the lead, Federer looked tired and finished. The crowd would have none of that, and a service break in the ninth game meant the match would be decided by a tiebreaker.

Even the tiebreaker was ridiculously unusual. Federer won the first four points. Berdych won four of the next five points, looking he had again stolen momentum back.

Berdych tied it up 5-5. And two points later, Federer was advancing and Berdych, the Rogers Cup party pooper who knocked Nadal out four years ago, was somehow going home.

“Berdych,” the crowd inappropriately chanted in the tiebreak, “are you nervous?” He wasn’t. The crowd was.

But the raucous Toronto crowd carried Federer home. At the end of the night it was hard to tell whether Federer was excited, relieved or exhausted. Hard to tell if he’ll have anything left for Saturday and Sunday.

Toronto Sun

The match was just as the Toronto Sun describes it, and more. In short?. Total madness!.

I knew that with Berdych it was bound to be a roller coaster (given the man has beaten Federer the last two times they played most notably at this year's Wimbledon.).

But I certainly didn't expect to be treated to so much drama.

Especially since Roger came out of the gate playing like he had something to prove, firing on all cylinders and winning the first set with relative ease.

At 5-2 in the third set I was honestly this close to turning off the match.

Thinking Federer would need a miracle of epic proportions to make it through this.

Good thing something told me to keep watching (well that and when it comes to Federer I'm a total masochist lol).

A champion like Federer is nothing if not resilient. Just when all seemed lost he was able to find that extra gear.

Although I will admit that at 5-all in the tie-break my computer screen was dangerously close to being thrown out my window.

And I guess the old adage of Federer winning a match after winning the first set still holds true. This win could be a sign of good things to come for the U.S. Open.

It certainly sends a clear message to all those media doubters out there, Federer is here to stay and he's not going away anytime soon.

As the article points out though, it'll be interesting to see how much gas Federer has left in his tank for tomorrow night's semi.

Djokovic won in straight sets so he'll have a bit of an advantage over Federer in terms of energy.

On the other hand if they play in the day time Roger will be a shoe in (Djokovic doesn't deal well with humidity).

Roger has always had better conditioning, so I'm giving him the edge. Onward to the final!.

As much as I enjoy watching thrillers like this one I'm rooting for an easy straight sets win tomorrow.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Roger Federer through to the quarters at Rogers Cup

Roger Federer will get a chance for a small measure of revenge on Friday after advancing with a straight-sets win at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

Federer trailed early on but battled back in the first set for a 7-6 (2), 6-3 victory over French veteran Michael Llodra at Rexall Centre on the grounds of York University.

The match was a return to old-school tennis, with both players showing creativity and aggressiveness instead of the more common baseline power game used by many at the sport's top level.

Federer, the Swiss star who has won the Rogers Cup twice before, will next face the man who sent him to his earliest Wimbledon exit in eight years earlier this summer.

No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic gets Federer again after fighting off the tough challenge of Ukrainian qualifier Aleksander Dolgopolov, who earlier this week upset Mikhail Youzhny.

Berdych beat Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-1.

Berdych toppled Federer 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and went on to finish runner up to Rafael Nadal. Federer had made the Wimbledon final in the seven previous years.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Martina Hingis to play exhibition match in Croatia

According to this Croatian site Martina along with Iva Majoli and Goran Ivanisovic will be playing an exhibition there on the 8th of September.

Guess she's not planning on stopping by the U.S. Open (for doubles, or otherwise). Too bad.

I was looking forward to possibly seeing her in the crowds in N.Y.C.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Roger Federer makes successful return in Toronto

TORONTO -- After winning the first match he had played in more than a month, Roger Federer reclined in a snow-white track suit emblazoned with his initials and tried to explain what it was he still wanted to accomplish in his career.

The 29-year-old is no longer the king of men's tennis, but he remains royalty, proving his class again at the Rogers Cup on Tuesday night. Federer dispatched Argentine challenger Juan Ignacio Chela with a 7-6, 6-3 win on centre court.

"There's many things I'd like to do, but I'm not going to say my career is incomplete if I don't get to it," Federer said. "I'd love to win another 10 Wimbledons, another five French Opens, an Olympic gold in London, a Davis Cup and whatever -- you name it."

Federer's appearance on the court at Rexall Centre marked his first competitive game since his quarter-final loss at Wimbledon earlier this summer. It came a month after another early exit at the French Open that ended his remarkable run of 23 consecutive appearances in the semifinal round of a major tournament.

He is ranked No. 3 on the ATP World Tour, and has made Toronto his first step in an attempted climb back to No. 1.

Federer allowed Chela back into the first set Tuesday night before prevailing in the tiebreaker. He was not as generous in the second set, which lasted 34 minutes.

"I thought it was a good match, overall," he said. "It's always nice to come back after six weeks and get the win. I think that's what counts the most tonight. It's normal that you're a bit rusty after six weeks."

His victory is also a boon for the event promoters, who can still dream of seeing Federer face world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the final. Nadal will play his first match in the singles draw Wednesday.

The tournament lost one big name on Tuesday when it was announced American Andy Roddick had withdrawn with an undisclosed illness. The eighth seed will be replaced by France's Paul-Henri Mathieu in the main draw of the US$2.43-million event at York University.

Tomas Berdych was among the other big-name winners on Tuesday, dispatching Sergiy Stakhovsky in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, on centre court. Berdych was the man who dispatched Federer at Wimbledon, but he is also a player who has become known almost as much for his defeats as for his victories this year.

The 24-year-old lost in the semifinal round at the French Open, and followed that with a loss to Nadal in the Wimbledon final a month later. And, after winning his first match on Tuesday, he said he would not trade either experience.

"These are the best moments," he said. "If you have money, you can buy whatever you want, but these -- the memories from the tennis -- are really nice. This is the reason why you are doing this sport."

Berdych, ranked No. 7 on the ATP World Tour, has won five singles titles over his career, but none this year.

"I wouldn't change it for anything," he said. "I was really sad that it didn't happen in Wimbledon, because there was really something special, that I'd never been in a Grand Slam final."

Federer, on the other hand, has won more Grand Slam events than any man in tennis. He has won 16 over his remarkable career, claiming 62 singles titles over a stretch that has also included an uninterrupted four-year run at No. 1.

He is still adjusting to life at No. 3.

"I look at what I've achieved in my career, what I still want to achieve and what I've done the last few weeks to get prepared again to hopefully get to a higher playing level," Federer said. "Rankings are what they are. You can't control them that much unless you win tournaments, and that's not what I've been doing lately."

Not a bad start for Roger a bit shaky at times but that's understandable.

I think having a coach is already proving to be quite beneficial for him. Many people have already noticed some subtle differences in his play.

He's coming forward to the net a lot more then I remember. Which is good, in recent years he's gotten too used to playing on the baseline out hitting the guys.

Let's see how the rest of the tournament plays out before I make any more comments on his game.

I just have to add this. The pink shirt?. The brown pants?. So not flattering. I would rather he went back to his standard blue, or red.

Here's hoping that's the case at the U.S. Open in a few weeks.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Happy Birthday Roger Federer!

It's the first day of Rogers Cup, it also happens to be the day when Roger Federer turns 29.

He doesn't look a day over 20 :).

Photo: Roger Federer celebrates his 29th birthday with Sidney Crosby. (AP / Gregory Strong)

Roger being the classy guy that he is wrote a nice thank you message on his website

Dear Fans

It is a great feeling to be celebrating my birthday with my family here in Canada. I am excited to compete again these days after having spent several weeks preparing intensely for the second half of the 2010-season.

Thank you so much for all your kind messages and wonderful gifts that I have received these past days and continue to receive today. This really motivates me as I can see how much my passion for tennis also means to you. I would like to thank you all for your loyalty over all these years - let's hope for many more to come!

All the best and see you soon,

Happy Birthday Roger!.

May this week and the rest of the year bring you lots of happiness.

Lifting the Rogers Cup trophy on Sunday would be a great start ;).

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Possible new boyfriend for Martina Hingis?

Yes it seems that 4 months after breaking off her engagement to 39-year old lawyer Andreas Bieri Martina may have a new man in her life.

A 24-year old French show jumper named Hutin Thibault (seen above). He was first spotted at Martina's WTT matches in Washington.

In all fairness there's probably nothing going on between them and he's most likely nothing more than a supportive friend.

But given Martina's record I can see why the press would automatically jump to that conclusion.

A friend of Martina's in one of the articles claims as much saying that it isn't serious at the moment, and refers to him as a boy toy (lovely phrasing *chuckle*) who's young and easy to care for.

What is he a horse? *LOL*. Kidding, but they do have their love of horses in common.

So that's boy toy number 11, 12?. I honestly have lost track.

The two articles also speculate on this guy being the reason for the break-up of the engagement. Guess we'll never know.

In all seriousness though, at this point I'm just sad for Hingis.

Unlike her male Swiss country man Roger Federer, she has absolutely no luck in regards to matters of the heart.

Sources: and

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Roger Federer Wilson BLX blooper

Yes, yes I know I'm a bad blogger and it's been ages since I've updated.

Here is a cute video I hope will make up for it ;).

*LOL* Dorky, and adorable. As a person for whom English is not the first language either I can totally relate.

Only it's about 100 times tougher for Roger seeing as he knows at least 3 or 4.

And here is the actual ad.

It's been a slow boring summer, but the good news is Rogers Cup finally starts next week.

Just in time too I'm suffering from some major Roger Federer withdrawal :D.

I've recovered from the heartbreak that was this year's Wimbledon bring on more tennis!.