Tuesday, July 31, 2012
London - Four-time Grand Slam winner Kim Clijsters will face Serbia's Ana Ivanovic in a battle of former world number ones in the third round of the Olympics at Wimbledon.
Clijsters is playing the penultimate tournament of her career as she prepares to retire for the second and final time after next month's US Open.
The 29-year-old, competing in the Olympics for the first time, remains on course to fulfill that dream after a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro in the second round on Monday.
Clijsters can expect a tougher challenge from her next opponent, Serbian 11th seed Ivanovic, who is also taking part in her first Olympics.
Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open winner, moved into the last 16 with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) victory over Britain's Elena Baltacha.
Clijsters has won all five of her previous meetings with Ivanovic, but she is prepared for a stern test when she meets her old friend again.
“It will be a tough one. Ana is a good player, she's a good friend as well and we've been playing for many years,” Clijsters said.
“Usually if I don't play her I root for her because I always want her to do well.
“We know each other pretty well and it's exciting to play each other in this kind of atmosphere. I'm going to enjoy this one.”
Monday, July 30, 2012
There were no dramas for world number one Roger Federer today as he brushed aside France's Julien Benneteau to reach the last 16 of the Olympic tennis tournament at Wimbledon.
The pair met in the third round of Wimbledon last month when Benneteau almost pulled off a huge shock as he led Federer by two sets to love before the Swiss star turned things around.
Had the Frenchman taken the opening two sets today, he would have won, with the Olympic competition being played over best-of-three until the final, which is best-of-five.
But Federer, who is the reigning Olympic doubles champion with Stanislas Wawrinka but is looking for a first singles medal, broke serve at the first opportunity and was never troubled as he eased to a 6-2 6-2 victory.
The standout second-round match tomorrow will see second seed Novak Djokovic, who struggled a little bit yesterday, face former world number one Andy Roddick.
American Roddick, who is unseeded here, came through a tight clash with Slovakia's Martin Klizan 7-5 6-4, while another old-stager, Australia's Lleyton Hewitt, dug out a 6-3 4-6 6-3 victory over Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky.
Eleventh-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro joined Federer in the third round with a 6-2 6-2 victory over Alex Bogomolov Jr, while in the first round there were wins for Juan Monaco, Marin Cilic and Richard Gasquet.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Bristol Palin, Pamela Anderson, Shawn Johnson, Joey Fatone, and Drew Lachey are among the contestants on the upcoming all-star edition season of "Dancing With the Stars."
Kirstie Alley, Helio Castroneves, Gilles Marini, Kelly Monaco, Apolo Anton Ohno, Melissa Rycroft, and Emmit Smith round out the cast. Viewers will be able to vote on which of three past contestants will be the thirteenth and final competitor this year: Sabrina Bryan, Carson Kressley, or Kyle Massey.
ABC announced the competitors at the Television Critics Association summer press tour Friday. "Dancing" producer Conrad Green compared his new cast to "The Avengers" -- a group of superheroes banding together.
The show's first all-star season is an attempt to reignite a show that has lost heat and ratings in recent seasons. Palin's inclusion, at least, is likely to get people talking. The daughter of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin made it to the final three on the show in her previous appearance, when critics said she would never have gotten so far if not for a concentrated campaign by fans of her mother.
She was asked during a TCA panel why she would subject herself to criticism from the public and press again.
"I just think that God provides opportunties like this," she said. "The press is going to talk about me no matter what, so I might as well be having fun."
She was also asked if she would be okay with being partnered with a gay dancer.
"I like gays," she said. "I'm not a homophobic and I'm so sick of people saying that. Just because I'm for traditional marriage doesn't really mean I'm scared or anything of anyone else, and I don't hate anybody. You know, people are going to make up stuff about me no matter what. Whatever. I'm going to go dance and I'm going to have fun. ... It's not about politics and it's not about traditional marriage and anything like that. It's just about dancing and it's going to be fun."
Pressed on whether there was anything she liked about the media coverage she receives, she responded: "Do I like to provide for my son? Yes, I do."
Both Palin and Lachey are also connected to an upcoming NBC reality show: Lachey's brother, Nick, will compete on "Stars Earn Stripes" alongside Palin's father, Todd.
I love all the choices aside from Bristol, and I really hope America brings back Sabrina :). That girl was fantastic!.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Kim Clijsters' first taste of Olympic action lasted little more than an hour as she saw off Italy's Roberta Vinci to reach the second round of the women's singles at Wimbledon.
London 2012 is both a Games debut and swansong for the Belgian, who will retire for the second time after the US Open in September.
She has struggled with injuries this year and was hampered by an abdominal strain at Wimbledon three weeks ago, where she lost in the fourth round to Angelique Kerber.
However, she looked in good form on Saturday, racing through the first set and then edging out Vinci in a closer second to win 6-1, 6-4.
In the second round Clijsters, who has won three grand slam tournaments, could meet Australia's Sam Stosur, the No5 seed, who faces Spain's Carla Suárez Navarro on Saturday afternoon.
Clijsters is relishing the chance to compete at the Games and was very happy with her form against Vinci.
"It's a great feeling knowing that I'm here because there were moments in the last year-and-a-half where I definitely thought about retiring and not even getting to the Olympics," he said.
"So I'm happy that I stuck with it and that I kept working hard. I'm happy that I'm healthy and that I got to play a good match in the first round.
"I still feel that whenever I step out on court and I feel good physically, if I play good tennis, I can beat a lot of good players. With that attitude, I'll go until I play my last match. That's a good attitude. It's something that I need to have."
Switzerland's Roger Federer has taken the first step in his pursuit of Olympic gold, defeating Colombia's Alejandro Falla 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 in the first round of men's singles tennis at the London 2012 Games on Saturday.
He will face France's Julien Benneateau in the second round.
Federer looked to be in full control in the early going, taking the first set from Falla with relative ease. But he fell out of sync in the second set, squandering three match points and six break point opportunities to go along with 14 unforced errors.
"I've struggled against him in the past at times. I was able to mix it up well and played well for the first set-and-a-half and all of a sudden I missed the match points, things got difficult and he played a great match to come back, so I'm relieved of course," Federer said. "Falla is a great player, counter-punches well, plays really well and made things really difficult for me."
The tournament's top seed fell behind 3-2 in the third set but rebounded to take the next four games from the overmatched Colombian.
Federer, participating in his fourth Olympics, has not had much success in singles competition, although he did win doubles gold alongside Stanislas Wawrinka at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. His best finish at the Olympic Games was a semifinal loss at Sydney 2000 when he was 19 years old. At Athens 2004, Federer, the top seed, was eliminated in the second round; at Beijing 2008 he was upset by James Blake in the quarterfinals.
Although Federer, 30, said earlier in the week he hasn't ruled out competing at the 2016 Olympic Games, his window to win a gold medal is closing. And despite all the individual achievements and Grand Slam titles, Federer is well aware of what is at stake in London.
"It's a huge deal, it would be a massive highlight of my life. I remember the emotions I had winning the gold (at Beijing 2008) with my buddy Stan (Stanislas Wawrinka) who was sitting in the crowd today, how vivid and emotional it was for me," Federer said. "I have a chance, I'm the No.1 player in the world so I should have a chance, at medals and hopefully gold. It's already the fourth Olympics for me so I will give it all I have."
Friday, July 27, 2012
Exclusive interview: Kim Clijsters has told The Tennis Space that she will be skipping Friday’s Opening Ceremony of the Olympics because she wants to “rest my legs”.
How has your preparation been?
“I am feeling pretty good. I had a good few practice weeks. We had a lot of rain in Belgium but I did my rehab and I feel pretty good. I hit with Ana Ivanovic this morning and it’s going well.”
You have not played that much lately – are your expectations still high?
“I want to play well and I know that if I play well I am capable of beating a lot of the top players out there so I am trying to give myself the best preparation possible so I can reach my best level. To win a medal would be amazing. But it’s still a long way ahead and I really have to focus on one match at a time and then we’ll see what happens.”
Will you go to the opening ceremony?
“I just can’t. It’s just too close to the start of the tennis. Even walking around here I’m (thinking) I want to rest my legs, I don’t want to do too much, especially in the heat.”
How’s the Olympic experience so far?
“This is my first time at the Olympics and my first time in the Village so I just came by to have a look. It’s great. It’s fun to see and it’s great to see all the other athletes. We’re staying in the same house we use every year for Wimbledon, so it’s the same routine, but I’m excited to be here and to be a part of it. This is my second last tournament so I want to do well. It’s fun.”
After taking time out after her defeat in March in Miami, Kim Clijsters is back on the grass courts in time for the Olympic season and preparing for what is one of the most important events that she has looked forward to since the beginning of the year - Olympic Wimbledon.
Fresh from the semi-final in 's-Hertogenbosch and the second round at Wimbledon (where she was beaten by Angelique Kerber, a semifinalist), the Belgian said she was confident of what participating in London may bring:
"Until recently I was still feeling pain when I served and it was the main reason why I did not want to use too much power. Thursday is the day of truth for me. I cannot wait to taste the atmosphere. I have worked hard, I was careful, I did everything I could and had to do. Now it's all a lot better and I still have three days to prepare. I will train until the day of my first match. I will do different exercises to prevent any risk, but physically I still feel more than ready. "
Thursday, July 26, 2012
MIDDLETON — Normally, a player of Martina Hingis’ stature and ability will only play in a handful of matches during a World TeamTennis season.
But this summer, for the most part, if the New York Sportimes are competing, so is Hingis, and the five-time Grand Slam singles champion has looked good enough to still hold her own on the WTA Tour.
The former world No. 1 came into last night’s match with the Boston Lobsters with the second-highest winning percentage in women’s singles. She also ranked near the top in both women’s and mixed doubles.
Last night wasn’t her best performance, however. Hingis and Ashley Harkleroad suffered a 5-3 loss at women’s doubles to the Lobsters’ Irina Falconi and Carly Gullickson-Eagle. She was then substituted out of her singles match against Falconi before Harkleroad rallied for a 5-4 tiebreaker win.
Hingis did not compete in mixed doubles, as the Lobsters won, 22-20, at Ferncroft Country Club’s Joan Norton Stadium.
While her memories of last night’s match won’t be rosy, the ones of her days atop the WTA still are.
“Obviously my career was pretty cool to be up there, the No. 1 spot for so long. Playing the (Williams) sisters . . . Jennifer (Capriati), Lindsay (Davenport). That’s always been the best matches.
“Win or lose, no matter what, we’d bring the best out of each other.”
Hingis, 31, retired from the tour in November 2007 when she revealed that she’d tested positive for cocaine at Wimbledon the previous summer, although she maintained her innocence. While her International Tennis Foundation suspension was lifted in 2009, Hingis is happy not to grind through a full WTA season anymore.
“Sometimes the (WTA) schedule is pretty grueling,” she said. “I mean, it’s not after playing one or two matches. To win tournaments, you have to win five, six. That’s different. An exhibition is different. You play one match, and then you can take off the next two, three weeks.”
Hingis clearly enjoys playing for the Sportimes, as this is her fifth WTT season. She enjoys the team aspect of the sport.
“We’re all very competitive. Team tennis sometimes gets the best out of you because you want to win for the team,” she said. “And sometimes you’d probably give a little bit more and you’re just trying to fight until the last point. Even if things aren’t going that well, the team is there to lift you back up. It’s pretty cool.
“The tour is pretty selfish, right? You have your team to protect you and everyone’s around you to help you. I’ve always liked the team competitions, whether it’s the Hopman Cup — I never lost a match — or the Fed Cup — I barely lost one match. In doubles, that’s like the teamwork, so I always like that because you have responsibility and stuff like that. Yeah, you just fight harder and try to win the match.”
In a match last week against the Lobsters, Falconi pushed Hingis to a tiebreaker before falling 5-4. Hingis sees similarities between the two.
“I was very surprised that Irina beat Venus (Williams) 5-0 (in an earlier match against the Washington Kastles). She’s the kind of player that kind of fits my game,” Hingis said.
“We play very similar, so it’s kind of like playing your shadow. She’s a very good counterpuncher. She gets no points for free. She gets a lot of balls back and takes her opportunities. Yeah, it’s playing like myself a little bit.”
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
"If it were not for the mixed doubles I probably would never have gone to the Olympics but I tried anyway until the end."
Olivier Rochus was refused participation by the selection criteria of the Belgian Committee, thanks Kim Clijsters who has given him the opportunity to take part in his third Olympics:
"I saw Kim at the tournament in Hertogenbosch where she approached me about playing in the doubles together. It is outrageous that the number 60 in the world could not go to London, so it was nice of her. Together we reached the quarter-final at Wimbledon and also the Hopman Cup. We hope to get a wild card because the twelve teams present are very strong - there will be Mirnyi and Azarenka for example. "
If the two manage to get a wild card they will be inserted in the mixed doubles draw.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
World number one tennis player Roger Federer will not be the flag bearer of Switzerland’s contingent at the opening ceremony of London Olympics as the honour has been given to his fellow tennis player and close friend Stanislas Wawrinka.
Federer was offered to carry his country’s flag after he won the Wimbledon Championships and rose to the top of the world tennis rankings once again but the Swiss Maestro declined the offer, saying that he had already got this honour twice and would like someone else to have it this time.
The 17-time Grand Slam winner suggested Switzerland’s Olympic Committee to appoint Wawrinka as the flag bearer, with whom he had won the Gold Medal in the doubles category at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
After getting the confirmation of being the flag bearer of Switzerland’s contingent, Wawrinka tweeted, “Thank you for giving me the honour of carrying the Swiss flag. It’s a moment of immense pride for me.”
Wawrinka is currently at the 26th position in ATP Rankings. The Swiss number two achieved his highest career ranking of number nine back in 2008.
The 27-year-old has won three titles in his career so far, with the biggest being the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event at Internazionali BNL d’Italia in 2008. His noticeable Grand Slam performances are reaching the quarter-finals at the 2010 US Open and 2011 Australian Open.
Tennis players have beaten athletes from all sports in the competition of carrying flag of their country at the London Olympics. Some of the most prominent players who will carry their country’s flag on the Olympics opening ceremony are the world number two men’s player Novak Djokovic of Serbia, world number two women’s player Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and number three Maria Sharapova of Russia.
2008 men’s Gold Medallist Rafael Nadal was named to be Spain’s flag bearer but he was forced to withdraw from the Games with knee injury.
Well that's disappointing but understandable, nice of Roger to share the honor.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
On July 16, Roger Federer will enter the week as the world's top ranked tennis player for the 287th time.
The mark is significant because it will break the record held by Pete Sampras, the man many considered the greatest tennis player - men's or women's - of all time until Federer came along.
The debate between Federer and Sampras was settled long before this week, but the number 287 does put a sort of formality to the proceedings.
To celebrate the occasion, Nike has put together a special colorway of Federer's signature shoe, the Nike Zoom Vapor RF - which is a re-skinned Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour - that will be limited to only 287 pairs.
The black upper will be complimented by gold accents all throughout the shoe and will come with a special box and certificate of authenticity that is signed by Federer himself.
Each serial number commemorates a week of Federer's reign and it looks like each shoe will come with a little news blip about that particular week.
The shoe will be available July 16 at 8am Eastern Time/5am Pacific Time at Nikestore.com for $287. Sizes will only be limited to 9, 10, 11 and 12.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Washington (CNN) -- The FBI says it has launched an investigation into the discovery of sewing needles in four turkey sandwiches on separate Delta Air Lines flights from Amsterdam to the United States.
The objects were discovered in food on planes as they were en route Sunday from Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands to Minneapolis, Seattle and two flights to Atlanta, according to Delta spokeswoman Kristin Baur. Two of the needles were found by passengers, she said, at which point Delta told all 18 flights from Amsterdam to stop serving the sandwiches.
Unsavory truths about airplane food
Two more needles were discovered, including one found by a federal air marshal. One passenger on the plane going to Minneapolis was injured by the needle but declined medical treatment upon landing, according to Baur.
Federal agents have begun a criminal investigation, said Special Agent Stephen Emmett, an FBI spokesman in Atlanta.
Gate Gourmet, which provided prepared sandwiches to Delta, said the sandwiches originated at the firm's facility in Amsterdam. The company has been in business since 1992.
"This is a terribly upsetting situation," said Gate Gourmet spokeswoman Christina Ulosevich. "First and foremost is the safety of the traveling public. There's nothing more important to us at all than the safety of the passengers and crews."
Delta is now serving sealed prepackaged food on these flights instead of the sandwiches, and no other needles have been found, Baur said.
Airline drops salads from flights in food scare
The Transportation Security Administration says it notified all U.S. airlines with flights from Schiphol to the United States of the findings.
"TSA continues to closely monitor the review of the incidents as well as the security protocols being conducted by the air carrier and the airport authority," spokesman David Castelveter said.
"Delta requires all its in-flight caterers to adhere to strict criteria in order to offer our customers the very best onboard meals," Baur told CNN in a statement. "The safety and security of our passengers and crew is Delta's number one priority."
Delta says it has been in contact with the FBI, authorities in the Netherlands and Gate Gourmet and is fully cooperating with them in this investigation.
Why air travel snacks matter
Asked whether Gate Gourmet had taken any job action against any employee, Ulosevich said, "We don't have any comment. It's part of an active investigation."
"We are absolutely cooperating fully with federal and local authorities who are involved, and concurrent with that, we'll be conducting our own full-scale investigation."
Ulosevich said the company provides food to other airlines, "but we have received no other reports" of tampered products from other customers.
"We are monitoring every aspect of our operation," she said.
Like airplane food itself wasn't bad enough!.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Roger Federer, already the holder of a record 17 Grand Slam titles, reaches another landmark today, when he celebrates an unprecedented 287th week as world No. 1.
After a two-year absence, the Swiss legend, who turns 31 in August, had pulled level with Pete Sampras's record of 286 weeks, when he reclaimed top spot with his seventh Wimbledon title.
With the Olympics and US Open fast approaching, Federer shows no sign of his passion for the game waning, despite being the second oldest man - after Andre Agassi - to hold the world No. 1 ranking.
"I'm so happy I'm at the age I am right now, because I had such a great run and I know there's still more possible," said Federer. "To enjoy it right now, it's very different than when I was 20 or 25 - I'm at a much more stable place in my life.
"I wouldn't want anything to change, so this is very, very special right now."
Federer holds a 75-point lead over world No. 2 Novak Djokovic and is guaranteed to hold the top ranking into the London Olympics.
He now has a tour-best five titles in 2012, including his 20th Masters crown in Madrid in the run-up to the French Open. Federer has compiled a 63-6 match record since last year's US Open, going 17-0 at the end of 2011, and is 46-6 this season.
Despite equalling Sampras's record for Wimbledon titles, Federer believes it wasn't just his victory over Andy Murray in the final at the All England Club that enabled him to return to the top. He believes it was due to a series of highs and lows, notably a heartbreaking loss to Djokovic in the US Open semifinals last September when he had been two sets to love ahead with match points.
"I think it was a time where I just had to believe that things were going to turn around for me," said Federer. "I think when I came back to Basel [last autumn], which was a home tournament, things obviously changed for me to winning ways again.
"Then the confidence rose as I went to Paris and also to London [where he won the World Tour Finals]. I think this is when I realised a lot is possible in 2012."
Federer first took the world No. 1 spot in February 2004 and held it until August 2008. He reclaimed it in July 2009, before being deposed by Rafael Nadal after the 2010 French Open.
This actually happened on Monday the 16th so it's almost old news at this point, but I decided to share nonetheless. Lesson to the media never count Roger out of anything whether it's records or Grand Slams.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
WASHINGTON — A year after she made waves in Switzerland and in the tennis world with the revelation that she had been asked by Roger Federer about coming out of retirement to play mixed doubles with him for Switzerland at the London Olympics, Martina Hingis seems content with where the year has taken her — even if that’s not to the Games.
Hingis, 31, and Federer, 30, ultimately agreed that it was in his interest to focus his energies on singles and on defending his 2008 gold medal in men’s doubles with his partner, Stanislas Wawrinka.
“I was kind of flattered that he asked me, but at the end we decided not to play,” Hingis said in an interview Thursday in Washington before a World Team Tennis match. Hingis and Federer reached the mutual decision during a phone call in November. It was at her visit to Washington for World Team Tennis in 2011 that Hingis first disclosed that she had been asked to consider a comeback by one of Federer’s coaches.
“I mean, I would have to get back into great shape, playing doubles or mixed doubles at the Grand Slams,” Hingis, who retired in 2007 and is now working as a coach for junior prospects in Paris, said of her reasons for not wanting to return to competition. “And him, having finished up the season so well, he had a great opportunity, his sights on getting back where he is today.
“He kind of felt that feeling, that tingling sensation that he had a chance. And you could see when he was winning those indoor events that he felt like, O.K., he beat Nadal, he beat Djokovic, so maybe he has his opportunities to do it at a Grand Slam. And now at Wimbledon it just all came back together. And wow, back to No. 1, and being able to have only 20 days in between, this is his chance to win the Olympics as well.
“So that’s what I said back then: ‘If I was your coach? I would tell you you have to focus on the singles.’
“He became No. 1, he won Wimbledon. So all his dreams, they got realized. And now having the pole position to win the Olympics, the one thing he hasn’t got yet, I think is a great opportunity.”
“I haven’t seen Roger in such fantastic shape in two and a half, three years, since the last time he won a Grand Slam,” Hingis said. “I think the moment Nadal loses at a Grand Slam, he felt like this is his opportunity. I think mentally, Nadal, for him, is such a barrier, that once he lost he saw the draw open — and he’s not afraid of Djokovic. He never was, and I think every time he sees the opportunity to beat him. And although he didn’t a couple times — U.S. Open, match points — but he beat him last year. So I think he’s not afraid of someone like Djokovic, but Nadal is not his kind of player.
“But wow, the matches, the tennis he produced in the semifinals, finals. There’s not much to say. Wow. And I think also it helped him that the roof was closed, it felt more like playing indoors. Sometimes everything falls in place, and this was his year.”
Though the two ultimately decided against the potential Olympic partnership, Hingis seemed to have enjoyed the excitement surrounding the possibility that she and Federer might team up, calling the sudden attention and speculation “unbelievable.”
“I think both of us, we didn’t think that it’s going to be such an explosion, you know?” Hingis said. “The people kept asking me, ‘So, you’re playing with Federer?’ and all that: ‘That’s great! Wish you luck!’ And I’m like, ‘Well, we haven’t decided!’ ”
“Then when we decided not to play, everyone was like, ‘Aw, it would have been so great.’ But yeah, I loved that kind of positive attitude about it.”
But though she enjoyed the encouragement, it seemed Hingis was perhaps most daunted by the possibility of facing one particular opponent — Serena Williams, the Wimbledon champion, who may not enter the mixed doubles competition.
“Really, it’s for people who are out there right now,” she said of the Olympics. “If we had to face some team like, I don’t know, Serena and Roddick, or Serena and like one of the Bryan brothers — I mean, this is crazy! I mean, I would play with Roger, but I’m not the same player as when I was winning Grand Slams.”
Hingis, who sat in the royal box at Wimbledon’s Centre Court to watch the women’s final for a second straight year, took special notice of Williams’s record-setting serving.
“Twenty-four aces?” Hingis said in disbelief, citing the number Williams struck in her straight-set win over Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals. “That was probably the aces I did in a whole season! And she does it in one match.”
Monday, July 16, 2012
Babolat keeps upping it's sponsorship commitment in pro tennis and announced its new partnership with Wimbledon. Starting in 2013, and for a period of five years, Babolat will become the official shoe brand of The Championships, Wimbledon.
“Wimbledon is an iconic tennis tournament and an international tennis brand. With Wimbledon, we share both being at the origin of tennis and being on the cutting edge of the sport,” said Eric Babolat, Chairman and CEO of Babolat.
As from 2013, Babolat will equip the ball boys and girls during Wimbledon
Babolat is also a major sponsor of Roland Garros and claims to be the number one in racquet sales in the United States, Japan, France, Spain, and Italy. It sponsors racquets and strings for players including Rafael Nadal , Kim Clijsters, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga , Li Na and Andy Roddick.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
After weeks of intensive training and preparation for Wimbledon, add to that his 7th Wimbledon title, 17th Grand Slam title and return to the no.1 spot, Roger Federer and his wife Mirka decided to take a break from the tennis world and have their vacation at Sardinia, Italy.
Leaving Myla Rose and Charlene Riva behind, the couple engaged on a day-long yacht cruise from Porto Cervo off the northern coast of the Italian Island.
rogerfedererfans.com via federernews blog
Awww, poor Roger can't relax without the paparazzi following him and his family everywhere.
Mirka certainly doesn't look happy about it can't blame her.
Leaving Myla Rose and Charlene Riva behind, the couple engaged on a day-long yacht cruise from Porto Cervo off the northern coast of the Italian Island.
rogerfedererfans.com via federernews blog
Awww, poor Roger can't relax without the paparazzi following him and his family everywhere.
Mirka certainly doesn't look happy about it can't blame her.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Roger Federer, fresh off his record-tying seventh Wimbledon title, strolled around the tournament grounds on Monday, conducted media interviews in several languages and marveled as workers began to dismantle the familiar signage and shops to make way for London Olympics organizers, who officially took over the All England Club on Tuesday.
The Olympic tennis tournament begins July 28, and many of the world’s top players will reconvene to compete for their countries on quickly refurbished grass. It will be the fourth Olympics for Federer, who has yet to win a singles gold medal.
Like Williams, Federer is eager to win Olympic gold. He finished fourth at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, where he met his wife, Mirka, who was competing in tennis. In 2004, he entered the Athens Games as the No. 1 player in the world and heavy favorite. He was upset in the second round by 74th-ranked Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic. Four years later, in Beijing, Federer was again the favorite. He beat Berdych in the third round but was stunned in the quarterfinal by American James Blake, 6-4, 7-6 (2). Rafael Nadal went on to win the gold medal.
Federer said he isn’t sure if he’ll carry the Swiss flag in the opening ceremonies. He carried it twice, and said it might be time for another athlete to have the honor. He will not stay in the Athletes Village, choosing instead to stay in the same house he rents for Wimbledon, which is near the grounds. A house is more comfortable for Mirka and their twin daughters, who turn 3 this month.
He was asked whether the twins understood what he accomplished on Centre Court on Sunday, tying Pete Sampras’ record with seven Wimbledon titles, winning his 17th Grand Slam title and at 30 becoming the oldest Wimbledon men’s winner since Arthur Ashe in 1975.
He smiled and replied: "I don’t know about other 3-year olds, what they understand, but mine almost understand the difference between a match and a practice. So, there you go. Winning and losing? They don’t quite get that yet, which is a good thing, I think.’’
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/07/11/2891727/roger-federer-focuses-on-olympics.html#storylink=cpy
Friday, July 13, 2012
Tennis Canada announced Wednesday that Jim Courier, Martina Hingis, and Lorne Main will be inducted into the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame during the 2012 Rogers Cup in recognition of their contribution to Canada’s premier tennis tournament.
Courier and Hingis will be inducted on Centre Court in Montreal during Legends Night on Monday, August 6 where they will also participate along with Andre Agassi and Martina Navratilova in an exhibition match. Main will be inducted into the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame in Toronto during a special evening ceremony on semifinal Saturday, August 11.
As for Hingis, she was a prolific performer in Canada, not to mention the fact that she was always a fan favourite. The “Swiss Miss” is one of six players to win consecutive titles at the Rogers Cup (1999 and 2000) and one of three players to win the singles and doubles title the same year.
At the Australian Open in 1997, at 16 years, 3 months and 28 days, Hingis became the youngest player in history to capture a Grand Slam singles title, the first of five she would win during her illustrious career.
In fact, Hingis was virtually invincible in 1997, winning 37 consecutive matches, six straight tournaments and three of the four Majors that year. While her peers were all about one-dimensional power tennis, Hingis utilized an all-court-game and every shot in the book to map out a Hall of Fame career.
Rogers Cup presented by National Bank will be held from August 4-12 at Rexall Centre in Toronto and from August 4-13 at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal.
Damn it why couldn't she be in Toronto for this with each passing year my chances of being able to see her live are dwindling. Hopefully the whole ceremony will be televised.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Martina Hingis and the New York Sportimes visit the Washington Kastles on Thursday night at Kastles Stadium with hopes of ending their 18-match undefeated streak. But before she took the court, she addressed several topics in a press conference.
Hingis, who has been with World TeamTennis for five years, contemplated joining Switzerland’s mixed-doubles Olympics team with Roger Federer early this year, but she ultimately decided against it. Not only did the retired Hingis feel unprepared, she also felt it was the best decision for Federer, who will be busy competing in the singles and doubles in London.
“I haven’t played [professionally] in five years, so I’m not the same player,” said Hingis. “I wouldn’t be that kind of help that [Federer] would need in a partner.”
The New York Sportimes have been Hingis‘ home for the past four years, and she can’t help but enjoy the atmosphere of the team and the league.
“I love the team spirit,” said Hingis. “Even if you don’t feel great in the morning, you know you have to go out and play for the team. I feel like there is more responsibility and it’s great to share the memories and the victories.”
Hingis is well-known for her abilities in doubles where she has won nine of her 15 Grand Slams, and she sees a lot of similarities even when she plays with the Sportimes. Teams are comprised of two men and two women, and doubles and mixed doubles are essential to a team’s success.
“I feel more responsibility,” said Hingis on her role with the Sportimes. “Even more than when I teamed up with [Mirjana] Lučić and [Anna] Kournikova.”
Hingis began her professional career at age 14 and believes the current format of waiting until you’re 18 to play a full schedule hurts the development of young players.
“From 16 to 18 is when you still can learn a lot and adjust your game to the top players,” said Hingis. “I wasn’t traumatized losing at [a young age] … you learn easier at 15 or 16 and waiting until 18, you lose two years.”
Hingis seems to be enjoying her time with her teammates, and a return to the Women’s Tennis Association seems unlikely.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Martina Hingis, a former world number one, talks to The Tennis Space about her new clothing line – Tonic Tennis by Martina Hingis.
“Fashion is very important when you’re playing tennis. I remember when I was on tour, everyone would always be looking at everyone else to see what they were wearing. Someone like Anna Kournikova, she would look good in a potato sack – she could wear anything. I think everyone wants to look good on court, and when you look good you’re going to feel better about your tennis. I first saw Tonic clothing when I was in England filming Strictly Come Dancing and I was shopping on the King’s Road in London for some clothes to wear in the dance studio. I loved the look, feel and design of their clothes, and bought a few items in different colours as they were filming us in the studio and I didn’t want to wear the same thing every day, I wanted a bit of variety. I discussed with my manager about the range and she got in touch with Tonic and a year later following many discussions we launched my Tonic Tennis range. It was an exciting moment.
“Our clothes fit all sizes. Players comes in all sizes – someone like Maria Sharapova is tall and thin and I’m shorter and curvier. I’m really enjoying working with Tonic to produce clothes that women want to wear on court. I work closely with the team at Tonic. They’re a fantastic team who are passionate about creating beautiful pieces that won’t let you down performance wise nor aesthetically. We spend many hours discussing the fabrics, colours, cuts and I also personally play-test the clothes and give my feedback regarding the performance aspect of the garments. The whole process for me is enjoyable and I love to hear feedback about the range. My mother sent me a photo the other day of her playing while wearing my clothing line, and that was great. I look forward to seeing more women wearing the range. I would get pleasure out of that.”
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
The US military is developing “Xena: Warrior Princess”-style body armor for women that it hopes will give them greater protection on the battlefield, with more curves in the chest and hips.
It is a considerable engineering challenge to make body armor that better fits the bodies of female troops, US military officials acknowledge, and such armor may be years in the making.
In the meantime, Army engineers are forging ahead with improvements that they hope will provide much-needed changes after a decade of women serving on the front lines of an unpredictable battlefield.
Much of the impetus to change the body armor came in 2009, when the female soldiers of the storied 101st Airborne Division deployed to war and had some concerns about the gear they had to use on a daily basis.
“It rubbed on the hips, and the vests were too long in the front, so that when you had female soldiers climbing stairs or climbing up a hill or a tree, or sitting for a long time in a vehicle, that would create pressure points that in some instances could impact blood flow and cause some discomfort,” says Lt. Col. Frank Lozano, who helps develop female body armor.
Ill-fitting body armor is “more than a matter of comfort,” according to a subsequent US Army study. “It affects combat effectiveness.”
The study found that the poor fit of the body armor on female soldiers “made it difficult for [them] to properly aim their weapons and enter or exit vehicles.”
And so the Army set about to see what it could do to improve the fit of body armor for women. “It became clear to us that there was a difference in torso length,” says Lozano, who is the product manager for the Army’s soldier protective-equipment program. “The other point that we realized is that there is a significant difference in shoulder width. I read this data, and it seems so obvious.”
The most important goal is to be able to “spread out the energy” when a bullet hits the body armor plates, says Douglas Graham, a spokesman for the Army’s Office of Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment.
“Some people would like to eventually make plates so it’s like ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’ and conforms to the shape” of female soldiers, he adds.
Yet there are engineering challenges. The more curves the plates have, the heavier they get. It also creates potential weaknesses in the armor, like creasing a paper, Lozano explains.
“There are some complex curvatures that come into play with female hard-armor plates,” he says. “I could make female hard armor, but it would be twice as heavy.” As a result, some of the Army’s developmental efforts involve “unique chemical designs” to create plates that are lighter and conform to different body shapes.
Currently, female soldiers have a choice of 11 male body-armor sizes.
Now, the Army is testing eight additional sizes made specifically for women, with, among other changes, more-narrow shoulders and “bra-shaped darting” in the chest.
Some 100 women of the 101st Airborne Division, who will soon be headed to Afghanistan, are testing them and have given positive early feedback. “They say, ‘I could wear this all day,’ ‘I could run a marathon in this,’ and ‘It feels much lighter,’ even though it really isn’t any lighter,” Lozano says.
Now, he adds, the challenge will be finding the money, in the midst of robust calls for cuts in defense spending, to mass-produce them.
It's amazing how a little show like Xena Warrior Princess still serves as an inspiration in all kinds of different areas all these years later.
Monday, July 09, 2012
Q. A seventh. Got to feel unbelievable. But how different does it feel because of the circumstances around here? Very unusual today.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think any Grand Slam final, particularly here at Wimbledon, are unusual. You never quite get used to it. Today was unique because of playing Andy. Obviously, you know, being able to play or finish a match under the roof, I don’t think that’s ever been done before here for a final. So that’s been different, as well. And nice, of course.
I know the occasion and how big it was for Andy and myself. I’m happy I got a victory today, but obviously it was a very, very special ‑‑ I mean, yeah, we’ll talk more about it I guess as questions will come.
Q. You have a good memories in Wimbledon, seven titles. Do you feel destiny in Wimbledon?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, yeah, I mean, I guess to some degree. You know, of course I feel better here for some reason. I don’t know why. But it’s very unique and special in many ways, this tournament.
From the get‑go I really felt sort of I’m supposed to play well here, I guess. Over the years I’ve been able to keep up, you know, a great run. Obviously, last couple of years maybe slightly disappointing, but, again, I thought Berdych and Jo both played unbelievable the last couple years against me.
This year I guess I decided in the bigger matches to take it more to my opponent instead of waiting a bit more for the mistakes. Yeah, this is I guess how you want to win Wimbledon, is by going after your shots, believing you can do it, and that’s what I was able to do today.
Q. Can you rate this win among all your Grand Slams?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, honestly this one hasn’t quite sunk in yet for some reason. I guess I was trying to be so focused in the moment itself that when it all happened I was just so happy, you know, that it was all over and that the pressure was, you know, gone basically.
I guess that came due to the tough loss I had here last year. US Open, as well. A couple tough, you know, moments for me the last couple years, you know, I guess. So I really almost didn’t try to picture myself with the trophy or try to think too far ahead really.
So now even right now, I mean, there was so much on the line, so I didn’t try to think of the world No. 1 ranking or the seventh or the seventeenth. So I think that’s going to actually, for a change, take much longer to sort of, you know, understand what I was able to achieve today.
Yeah, it was crazy how it all happened under the circumstances. Yeah, I played terrific.
Q. How hard was it to listen to the same questions done in different ways about will you win a Grand Slam again?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it didn’t happen the day after I won Australia. Right then things were great. Like they will be tomorrow. Then the day after they are going to go, When is he going to retire, again?
It hasn’t always been like this, the pressers. I think they’ve been somewhat easier for me since I was able to win here three years ago and since I was able to win in Paris. Things are much more easy now in the press room. They’re at peace, even though I understand everyone wants to be the first to have mentioned it or said it first that, Okay, this is the decline.
I also said that I think this is just a temporary thing. That maybe down the stretch, like with Agassi I guess in some ways, you’ll be happy that I’m still playing a few years from now. So I see it more as a steppingstone, a period I have to go through as well. That I’m, you know, going to win 90% of my matches throughout the year, it’s impossible every single year. So you’re always going to go through ups and downs.
But I knew how close I was for the last few years, and some people didn’t quite see that maybe out of different reasons. But I knew and I think the belief got me to victory today, and almost two other ones in the last couple years, as well.
Q. Andy said you were one of the greatest athletes of all time, rating you alongside Pele. Do you consider yourself that way?
ROGER FEDERER: Anyway it’s opinions of people, you know. It’s nice, obviously, having had I’d say a positive effect on the game of tennis in the first place, that I was able to live a dream in the first place, I guess, here in tennis.
And then to represent tennis, you know, across sports has been nice, you know. Not that I feel like obliged to do all the right things or whatever, but it’s nice to be compared to other sporting greats.
If I can help the game of tennis with the image or with, you know, making it more popular, that’s enough for me really. I want to leave the game better off than when I came into this great game, which was already unbelievable with the great rivalries we had: Becker‑Edberg, Courier and Agassi and Sampras. You name it, there were so many other great ones I must have forgotten.
So I think that, for me, is most important, you know. And then the other sports, I mean, that’s so different anyway that you can’t compare.
But I drew a lot of inspirations from other great athletes in other sports. I think like Pete and Edberg and Becker, I don’t know, maybe Jordan, Tiger Woods, you name it, Valentino Rossi. They inspire me to keep on pushing further.
You know, not just being happy with world No. 1 or being happy with a Grand Slam title, but maybe to reach for more. Then obviously I have to drive myself. But you sometimes do need to see someone else do it for a long time so that you feel it is actually possible.
Q. This title and No. 1 didn’t happen in two weeks. It’s a process. Is there a point you can pinpoint when the run up to this actually began?
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, wonder when. Maybe French Open last year potentially. I played an amazing French Open last year. I was very close against Rafa in the finals. And I think did play actually very well here, as well, you know, against Jo. Things just didn’t turn out well for me here.
I guess it had a little effect on me through Toronto and Cincinnati potentially. But then again, I did play great as well at the US Open. Again, unlucky; Djokovic played well, whatever you want to call it. But things were tough for me there.
So I think it was a time where I just had to believe that things were going to turn around for me, and not just naturally, but work at something. You know, this is where I did take a long break off. Mean, I did play Davis Cup after the US Open in Australia. You know, just took a break.
Because I played a lot of tennis, good tennis, but I wanted to win titles, not just lose in quarters and semis. I think when I came back to Basel, which was a home tournament, things obviously changed for me to winning ways again, I would believe.
Then the confidence rose as I went to Paris and also to London. I think this is when I realized a lot is possible in 2012.
Q. You mentioned Tiger Woods a moment ago. He’s obviously also trying to regain the major tournament magic which you had today again. He tweeted that we saw why you’re the greatest. What are your thoughts on receiving that message from him?
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, I didn’t need to get it through Twitter, I got one from himself. He was very pumped up these last couple days, you know, for me. He was very supportive.
Yeah, it’s nice, you know, when other greats like this do, you know, believe in me. They push me further, even in the rain delay basically when they cheer you on. You know, so it was big.
Yeah, I mean, I wish him the best as well. He knows that. Obviously with all these Facebook and Twitters and all this it’s much more public now.
But it feels great, you know, to receive so much support from such great athletes.
Q. What did he say to you specifically?
ROGER FEDERER: Just happy, you know. Whatever. You can make it up.
Q. What concessions, if any, have you had to make to age in the last couple years? Schedule? Training?
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, well, people forget sometimes I do have twin girls, you know. That has had a massive impact on my life. My game, I think it’s helped my game more than anything because I think I’m playing some of the best tennis of my life right now, and since a long time now.
But just to be able to juggle everything together has been, you know, a challenge. And I think you learn from mistakes. You try to make it work for everyone involved. Hasn’t always been easy, you know. I admit that.
But, of course, the victory today is a dream come true today for me and my family, you know, seeing them there. Yeah, it’s big.
Q. Did you change your tactics at all after the rain delay?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I tried to play more aggressive. Obviously there was a lot of wind involved as well in the first couple of sets. There was sort of a downwind from the right‑hand side of the umpire’s chair, which maybe makes you play more with the elements and less with tactics at times.
And when the wind is gone you get more back into tactics you know, what you can do, what you can’t do.
Yeah, I tried to take it more to Andy, and I was able to do that. I think, yeah, I went to maybe fetch victory more than he did potentially. I don’t know, but I’m happy that closing the roof maybe helped me today, because I wasn’t sure if that was going to help me or not.
Q. I imagine when you were 22 that you felt like a better tennis player than you were at 18. I’m curious, how you feel about that now? Do you feel like you are a better tennis player now than you were than five years ago?
ROGER FEDERER: I hope so. God, I’ve practiced so much that I ‑‑ you don’t want to be worse five years later, you know. (Laughter.)
I feel I have, you know, a great game today. But then again, maybe there were times I had such incredible confidence that you do pull triggers and you pull off shots that maybe today I don’t because I maybe do play a bit more the percentages.
I know how hard it is, you know, to pull off those great shots and I know how easy it is to miss, so I’m more aware of these things.
But I’m so happy I’m at the age I am right now, because I had such a great run and I know there’s still more possible. You know, to enjoy it right now, it’s very different than when I was 20 or 25. I’m at a much more stable place in my life. Yeah, I wouldn’t want anything to change. So this is very, very special right now.
Q. Clearly very emotional for him. You must have felt for him.
ROGER FEDERER: For Andy?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes. I mean, are you kidding me? Yeah, I mean, I told him it’s supposed to be easier, this part, than playing the match. It’s hard. I mean, I’ve been there, as well. I think he’s done so, so well, to be quite honest. Because I see him every day. I see him, what he goes through on a daily basis on tour.
At Wimbledon I think he handle is it so perfectly, to be quite honest. I think he’s giving himself so many looks at big titles. Grand Slams I think is what you guys are focusing on the most. I really do believe deep down in me he will win Grand Slams, not just one. I do wish him all the best. This is genuine. He works extremely hard. He’s as professional as you can be.
Things just didn’t quite turn out for him in the finals that he hoped for. But today I’m sure he got another step closer to a Grand Slam title for him. I really do believe and hope for him that he’s going to win one soon.
Sunday, July 08, 2012
Blowing kisses cuteness personified♥
That look and the tears of joy one of many reasons I love watching this man play
WIMBLEDON, England — Once the Centre Court roof was closed, nothing could stop Roger Federer from winning his record-tying seventh Wimbledon title.
The 30-year-old Federer finally equaled Pete Sampras’ record at the All England Club, and won his 17th Grand Slam title overall, by beating Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 Sunday.
Once Murray’s forehand landed wide on match point, Federer collapsed to the grass with tears welling in his eyes. He got up quickly and shook hands with Murray at the net.
Up in the players’ box, Federer’s wife and twin daughters cheered and smiled as Federer took his seat to await his seventh Wimbledon trophy presentation.
Federer is now 17-7 in Grand Slam finals, including 7-1 at Wimbledon. Murray dropped to 0-4 in major finals, with three of those losses coming against Federer.
Besides Sampras, 1880s player William Renshaw also won seven Wimbledon titles, but he did it at a time when the defending champion was given a bye into the following year’s final.
Britain has been waiting 76 years for a homegrown men’s champion at the All England Club, and the expectations on Murray were huge. Thousands of fans watched the match on a huge screen on “Murray Mount,” but left the grounds still waiting for a British winner.
Inside the stadium, Prince William’s wife, Kate, sat in the Royal Box along with David Beckham, British Prime Minister David Cameron and a slew of former Wimbledon champions.
Many of them left a bit disappointed as well.
With his victory, Federer regained the No. 1 ranking from Novak Djokovic, allowing him to equal Sampras’ record of 286 weeks as the top-ranked player.
At the start of the match, Murray was the one dictating play and winning the tough points. He broke Federer in the first game of the first set, and then broke again late before serving it out. It was the first — and only — set Murray has won in his four major finals.
The second set was much more even, and both had early break points that they couldn’t convert. Federer, however, finally got it done in the final game of the set, hitting a backhand drop volley that Murray couldn’t get to.
Both held easily to start the third set, but then the rain started abruptly, suspending play for 40 minutes. Shortly after they returned, it turned into a one-man show.
With Federer leading 3-2, they played a 26-point, 20-minute game in which Federer finally converted his sixth break point — after Murray had slipped on grass three times.
Federer lost only five points on his serve in that set.
Sorry Andy, guess you'll just have to wait another year for your first one, or you know until Roger retires :P.
No but in all seriousness I did feel sorry for the guy he played really well especially given this was his first ever Wimbledon final (handled the pressure a lot better then I thought he would).
Most of my tears consisted of happiness though. Cried right along with Federer as he dropped to the ground on that last point.
And how cute were his twin daughters waving and blowing kisses to their daddy as he posed with his 7th Wimbledon trophy. Adorableness ♥♥.
So that's number 17 overall & a return to number one ranking. Not bad for an old (30 year old) guy eh?.
Congrats Roger!. Knew you could do it!. 17 and counting :). You are and still remain the Greatest of All Time.
Still on such a happy high at the moment might comeback and add some more coherent thoughts on the match another day. For now I am busy simply basking in the joy.