Sunday, September 30, 2012

Martina Hingis to promote kids tennis in Kazahstan

ASTANA. September 27. KAZINFORM Martina Hingis, a Swiss legendary professional tennis player, will arrive in Kazakhstan to promote and promulgate children's tennis in the country, the Kazakh Tennis Federation said.

Her two-day trip program early October suggests master classes, press conferences and photo sessions.

Hingis, born September 30, 1980 in Kosice, Czechoslovakia, is the Swiss former professional tennis player who spent a total of 209 weeks as World No. 1

She won five Grand Slam singles titles (three Australian Opens, one Wimbledon, and one US Open). 

She also won nine Grand Slam women's doubles titles, winning a calendar year doubles Grand Slam in 1998, and one Grand Slam mixed doubles title.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kim Clijsters match (from few years ago) causes prison riot

7:00AM BST 09 Sep 2010

The prisoners at Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institution in Rochester, Kent, even took one of their own 'hostage' in a bid to try and force prison supervisors to let them switch on the television.
According to sources imates went 'mad' after being told they could not watch the quarter final match between Russian player Vera Zvonareva and Kim Clijsters on June 29 this year.
They led the 'victim' - who was part of a ploy to get the TV switched back on - around with his arms tied behind his back and legs tied together before shoving him to the ground in front of wardens as they shouted 'We want TV we want TV'.
During the five-hour stand-off the 32 inmates caused more than £10,000-worth of damage to the 157-capacity prison.
A riot team had to called in to deal with the thugs, and three were arrested and charged with violent disorder at Medway Magistrates Court last week.
The court heard how TVs were switched off on the afternoon of June 29 after wardens told 40 inmates that a recreation break had ended.
Only eight complied with the request, with the remainder shouting and screaming at wardens, chanting 'We want TV, we want TV."
As wardens tried to break up the group, the court heard how the scene 'turned ugly' as prisoners started smashing windows and breaking bits of concrete off walls and hurling them at wardens.
Some of the prisoners even dismantled a set of indoor goal posts and threw them at staff.
Staff were forced to retreat and called in a specialist riot squad - called the Tornado Team - to deal with the chaos as inmates picked up pieces of smashed glass and began making threats to wardens.
The riot officers moved in after a the five-hour stand-off and arrested the ringleaders.
A prison source said: "The group were all fired up by Wimbledon and the World Cup and wanted to watch as much sport as possible.
"When they were told that recreation break had ended and the TVs had to be switched off they went mad and started smashing the place up.
"The incident took place just as the women's quarter final was underway."
A prison spokesman said that one female member of staff was hit on the thigh by a lump of concrete, but that there were no other injuries to staff.
He said: "Three prisoners were treated in the prison for superficial injuries.
"The events have been subject to investigation and appropriate disciplinary actions has been taken."
No idea how I missed this!.  That's what i call avid tennis fans.  Crazy! :D.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Roger Federer celebrates 15 years at the top

World’s no.1 Roger Federer celebrated last week his 15th year in the ATP rankings since booking his place in the elite list on September 22, 1997.

The 31-year-old Federer broke into the ATP world rankings following a solid performance at a four-week tennis circuit, which saw him earning his first 12 ATP points by clinching a semifinal appearance at the Switzerland 1 Masters in Bossonnens.

Ironically, it was in that same tournament Federer faced his friend and eventual doubles partner Yves Allegro. Waiting for the winner of Federer-Allegro match was another familiar member of the Swiss team Severin Luthi – the Davis Cup captain for Switzerland.

“I was already qualified for the semi-finals. I was waiting for my opponent, so I was watching the match,” Luthi reflected with Wednesday. “I can remember on paper, Yves was still the favourite, but we all expected Roger to win. He ended up losing and had something in his eye at the end of the match.

Afterwards, when Yves went to the referee, he told Yves, ‘Congratulations but this is the last time you’ll beat Roger.’ It was pretty funny. We’re still laughing about that today because it’s so tough to say that to someone.”

Luthi described the young Federer as a dangerous player who didn’t back out from anybody, whether it’s a fellow upstart or a veteran.

“I would have loved to play him. I only played him once in a club match in doubles,” said Luthi. “It would have been a great thing, because he was upcoming and I was older with a bit more experience. He was very dangerous. He played against all the best guys on the satellites. Winning or losing, it would have been nice to play him either way.

“I was not professional at the time. I was only playing tournaments in Switzerland. I had an apprenticeship and was already working. I didn’t play international tournaments anymore.”

When asked if he expected Federer to eventually won 17 Grand Slam titles and become the best tennis player in history, Luthi simply answered with a big ‘No.’

“I would never have expected the success he had. I thought he was very talented and was playing great, but at that time, it was tough for me to imagine a Swiss would become No. 1 one day. I was too young and didn’t see that many players enough. We had a lot of talented players that never got to a great level. Every few months I saw Roger, he was getting better. But I wasn’t able to say how good he was going to be.”

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Billie Jean King wants more Federer support on prize money issue

Billie Jean King wants more support from Roger Federer when his constituents on the ATP World Tour start to complain about the unjustness of equal prize money in men’s and women’s tennis at the Grand Slams.

King wasn’t surprised to hear Gilles Simon and others bring up the old familiar argument in the build up to the recent US Open. She would like long time ATP Players Council chairman Federer to be more vocal in his response as King believes he would hopefully support the women.

Interviewed in USA Today, King believes Federer doesn’t personally object to women earning equal prize money,  but she wonders why the world no.1 isn’t more openly supportive on the subject.

King said: “I have a feeling, knowing his mother, who is a fantastic mother, Lynette is just unbelievable as a human being. She’s helped shape a lot of his thinking in life. He’s very close to her. I just think if you’re a father of daughters you should think twice before you complain.”

The winner of 12 Grand Slam singles titles is more than aware of the male argument that they play the best of five sets in majors whereas the women only play three. But she answered: “I just cringewhen they go to five sets.

“Nobody should play best-of-five sets. That tennis is more physically demanding, and long matches are shortening players’ careers. That, and it’s just not entertaining.”
In the current economic times, King is insistent Stacey Allaster is doing a tremendous job as the WTA’s chief executive officer in terms of bringing in revenue from sponsorship.

“We’re women, and it’s harder for us to get sponsors,” said King. “We have equal prize money at all the majors — that’s where Venus (Williams) stepped up. The women also are sticking together better. They’re understanding how the Old Boy Network works.”

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wimbledon contemplating night matches?

The BBC, with British television rights to Wimbledon extended until 2017, is in discussions with the All England Club about the possibility of screening more prime time late evening tennis from the Championships.

Rainy weather at this summer’s Wimbledon saw the Centre Court’s retractable roof used more than ever before and one result was a major boost in viewing figures for the BBC who have been broadcasting the Championships on radio and television since 1927.

Now Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, would like to see more floodlit play after 9pm, regardless of the weather. “It’s been very successful,” she said in an interview with Bloomberg. “Inevitably, when play moves into the peak evening, audiences are higher.”

Andy Murray’s fourth round match with Marcos Baghdatis, that famously finished just after the 11pm curfew for night play under the roof, set by the London Borough of Merton, drew a television audience of 8 million.

“It is safe to say that of course we as a broadcaster would love more tennis, and for that tennis to extend, but we are very aware there are constraints on the club,” said Slater, who was in charge of the BBC’s Olympics coverage this summer. “We have conversations with the All England Club, and they evolve their strategy going forward.”

ESPN, the American broadcaster that landed all the television and digital rights to Wimbledon coverage across the United States would also be in favor of night play at the Championships with a five hour time difference to the East Coast.

The All England Club have always been consistent that they regard Wimbledon as a day-time/day-light tournament and the erection of the roof and its’ floodlighting was not intended to herald night play on a daily basis to satisfy the demands of television.

Johnny Perkins, the official spokesman for the All England Club insisted: “At this stage there are no plans,” to add night matches to the schedule. We stick to what we are; an outdoor daytime event with the capacity to play late if we need to.”

Set nighttime tennis would not only impact on the local residents who live close to the All England Club but would also require major changes in London Transport arrangements, policing and the work patterns of those who work at the Championships.

Sounds like a no to me. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Roger Federer to take part in Shanghai Masters

Roger Federer, the No.1 ranked men's tennis star, will return to the Shanghai Masters this year after sitting out in 2011, according to a press release issued Monday by Juss Event, the tournament's organizer. 

Federer's presence at the annual local tennis tournament was uncertain after he said at a press conference last week that he would rest during the recent Davis Cup semifinals due to injuries and fatigue, according to the press release. 

Federer missed the Shanghai Masters in 2009 and 2011 due to injuries. 

This year, he will return to Shanghai accompanied by his wife and twin daughters. 

"I enjoy each time I play in Shanghai, a city I like very much. I am very glad to meet my passionate fans again this year," he said in the press release. 

The Shanghai Masters will run from October 6 to October 14 at the Shanghai Qi Zhong Tennis Center in Minhang District.

Federer won his 21st masters title at the Western & Southern Open in August, matching the record held by Rafael Nadal, according to Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). 

The world's No.2 men's player, Novak Djokovic, trails Federer in the rankings by 1,300 points. 

The winner of the Shanghai Masters can earn up to 1,000 points.

Federer, Djokovic and Andy Murray, the defending champion, will compete in Shanghai this year, according to a press officer surnamed Li with Juss Event. 

A draw to decide the tournament's schedule will be held on October 6.

Monday, September 24, 2012

"Buffy" star Sarah Michelle Gellar has a boy!

Sarah Michelle Gellar
 and hubby Freddie Prinze Jr. welcome a baby boy into the world!
Their rep confirmed the good news to Access Hollywood.
“Sarah Michelle and Freddie Prinze, Jr. are thrilled to announce that they welcomed a baby son into the world this past week. Mother and baby are doing great.”
The couple have one daughter Charlotte Grace, who was born in September 2009 and "is very excited to be a big sister,” the rep added.
Sarah, 35 and Freddie, 36, were married in 2002 and met on the set of the thriller I Know What You Did Last Summer, in 1997.
The name of the baby has not been released.
Congrats to the family!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Song of the Moment: Scala & Kolacny Brothers-Blowers Daughter

Realized it's been a while since I've done this.

Thanks Covert Affairs for introducing me to this beautiful version of the song ♥

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kim Clijsters: A Career Retrospective

Fellow retiree Roddick, Kim Clijsters spent much of her career in the shadow of a more overtly talented and more decorated rival.  
In the case of the Belgian, this rival arose in the form of her compatriot Justine Henin, who swept to seven major titles while Clijsters collected just one before her initial retirement in 2007.  
Returning to the Tour two years later with a husband and daughter to support her, she quadrupled that total to transform her legacy from the anti-Henin to a champion in her own right.  
Known for her engaging personality throughout her career, Clijsters brought a fluid brand of athleticism to women’s tennis likely equaled by none in her generation but Serena.  We count down the ten signature moments in a career of two halves.

10. 2012 Australian Open:  Despite battling injuries for much of 2011, “Aussie Kim” came within a set of the final in the first major of 2012.  Saving four match points against Li Na in the fourth round, she clawed her way past her opponent in the previous Australian Open final in a three-set rollercoaster.   And her commanding quarterfinal upset of world #1 Wozniacki represented a fitting conclusion to her last Melbourne appearance.  Although Azarenka solved her in an uneven semifinal, Clijsters left Australia having exceeded expectations and provided her fans with a worthy memory to close her career there.

9. 2010 Miami:  More impressive than her victory over an injured Venus Williams in the final was a three-set semifinal epic against Justine Henin. Betrayed by the oscillating quality of play, the nerves of both rivals played a central role in a match filled with stunning momentum shifts.  Having allowed a substantial lead to slip away, Clijsters later rallied from 2-5 in the third set and saved two match points before prevailing in a third-set tiebreak.  Earlier in the fortnight, she also dominated defending champion Azarenka and rising star Kvitova, holding the younger generation in check for the moment.

8. 2003 year-end championships:  Defending her title from the previous year (see below), Clijsters won all five of her matches at this prestigious event.  She rallied from losing the first set against Capriati and Mauresmo en route to the final, where she crushed the Frenchwoman for the loss of only two games.  Curiously, Clijsters finished both her semifinal and her final with a bagel set, showcasing an apparent killer instinct that many felt absent throughout her career.  These victories over older rivals demonstrated her readiness to assert herself at the summit of the women’s game.

7. 2002 year-end championships:  For the first notable trophy of her career, the Belgian swept through her elite opposition in stunningly authoritative fashion.  Handed a retirement by Venus, Clijsters lost just six total games en route to the final, including the most resounding victory of her career over Henin.  In the final, she overcame Serena Williams in her home territory of Los Angeles after two relatively straightforward sets.  At her best on hard courts and during the second half, she would collect three total titles at the year-end championship, more than anyone since Graf in the 1990s.

6. 2001 Roland Garros:  Just before her eighteenth birthday, Clijsters stood toe to toe with the more experienced Capriati in the first major final of her career.  Through five rounds at Roland Garros, she lost just a single set, and her comeback against Henin—the future queen of the terre battue—resulted in her best performance ever at a European major.  Clijsters looked likely to become yet another teenage WTA champion when she swept through the first set.  Once the match extended to a final set, though, one might have expected the veteran to comfortably outlast the novice.  To the contrary, Clijsters battled to 10-10 in the final set, twice breaking Capriati when she served for the match, before she exhausted her last reserves of energy.  This match remains among the longest and most thrilling Roland Garros women’s finals of the Open era.

5. 2005 Miami:  The only woman of her generation to complete the coveted Indian Wells-Miami double, the Belgian did not drop a set en route to her first of two Miami crowns.  In five of her seven matches, she lost five or fewer games, while her tournament culminated with victories over the impressive trio of Dementieva, Mauresmo, and Sharapova.  Having won Indian Wells the previous week, Clijsters had secured 14 victories in less than a month, a tribute to the durability on which she built her comeback and other successes.  Although major titles continued to elude her grasp at this stage, the Indian Wells-Miami doubles foreshadowed her breakthrough at the US Open by underscoring her elevated performance level in North America.  Eleven of her fourteen career titles at majors, Tier I (Premier Mandatory/Premier Five) tournaments, and the year-end championships would come on this continent.  

4. 2010 US Open:  As in many of her title surges, Clijsters encountered her sternest test in the semifinal of her championship defense.  Able to edge past future US Open champion in a three-set quarterfinal, she hovered on the brink of defeat against former US Open champion Venus Williams a round later.  Left helpless during the first half of that match by the American’s impenetrable serve, Clijsters clung desperately to her own delivery and forced a second-set tiebreak.  Once she escaped that perilous turning point, she echoed her opponent in failing to sustain a lead, but an exquisite lob to break Venus in the ninth game preceded a series of pulsating rallies in the tenth as she served out the match.  Overcoming her nerves to find confident tennis when she most needed it, the Belgian rode the ensuing momentum through a dominant victory over Vera Zvonareva in a final that lasted less than an hour.

3. 2011 Australian Open:  A three-time champion at the US Open, Clijsters bolstered her reputation immensely by capturing another of the sport’s four marquee tournaments.  In Melbourne, she delivered a statement of intent with an opening double bagel against former #1 Safina and did not lose a set en route to the final.  Among the most impressive of her first six victories was a quarterfinal against Agnieszka Radwanska, whose intelligent style tested the limits of the Belgian’s patience and focus.  Clijsters entered the final against first-time major finalist Li Na as the clear favorite, only to see the fierce Chinese veteran snatch away the first set and nearly the match before she could collect herself.  Refusing to crumble under the unexpected pressure, Clijsters gradually slowed the tempo of the match and the underdog’s momentum with it, striking for a timely break midway through the third set and serving out the final at love for her fourth and last major title.

2. 2005 US Open:  Thwarted in four finals at three different majors, this fan favorite must have wondered (like Murray, until lately) whether she ever would break through on the grandest stages.  But Clijsters accumulated confidence from victories over Venus and Sharapova in the penultimate rounds before crushing Mary Pierce in the final.  After losing the first set to Venus in a quarterfinal, she recovered to win eight of the last nine games in an impressive display of resilience.  The opposite dynamic described her semifinal against Maria, which she initially dominated before needing to escape a mid-match surge by the Russian and reassert herself.  Without those tests of her mettle, Clijsters might not have found the courage to cross the threshold on which she had stumbled so often.  Curiously, she never would lose a major final again, winning four straight over the next six years.

1. 2009 US Open:  Mere weeks after launching her comeback from a two-year retirement, Clijsters entered the only major that she had won before as an unranked wildcard.  With each victory that she earned, the attention mounted and the pressure as well.  Perhaps fortunate to escape Bartoli in the first week, the former US Open champion survived a bizarre three-setter against Venus at the start of the second week.  (In fact, Clijsters won three-setters from the American en route to all three of her US Open titles.)  After the pair traded bagels, the Belgian slipped away with the third set and never suffered another dip in form as she won her last three matches in straight sets.  Foot fault or no fault, she thoroughly outplayed Serena in their semifinal, showcasing an explosive athleticism that must have contributed to the frustration ultimately released by her rival in such an infamous manner.  While Wozniacki claimed an early lead in the final, Clijsters never seemed seriously threatened against the first-time major finalist.  She converted championship with a bold forehand-smash combination and memorably brought her daughter onto the court for a photo shoot with the trophy.

Setting her sights on the Olympics this year as the last significant goal of her career, Clijsters did not earn a medal but produced a creditable quarterfinal result despite the injuries that crippled her 2012 campaign.  She appropriately chose the US Open to bid tennis farewell and appeared to genuinely enjoy her last match as a professional tennis player in mixed doubles with Bob Bryan.  Her last shot struck and last autograph signed, her features relaxed into a smile of satisfaction.  Whatever she pursues after tennis, Clijsters will enter the next phase of her life knowing that she made the most of the last.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Roger Federer continues winning for Switzerland in Davis Cup

Federer clinches Swiss victory in World Group
AMSTERDAM -- Roger Federer beat Robin Haase 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 to clinch Switzerland's victory against the Netherlands in their Davis Cup World Group playoff.
The world's top-ranked player was rarely troubled by the 50th-ranked Haase on the temporary clay court in Amsterdam as he comfortably sealed victory and his team's return to the World Group next year.
With the outcome already determined, Thiemo de Bakker beat Stanislas Wawrinka 6-2, 7-6 (4) to make the final score 3-2.
Federer and Wawrinka won their opening singles Friday and lost in doubles Saturday to Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Exhausted Roger Federer says he needs more time off

Roger Federer has admitted to suffering from exhaustion following his return to the top of the world rankings, saying he is "wounded” and "needs some time off".

Federer, 31, had a fantastic return to form this season, winning the Wimbledon title for a seventh time to retake the world number one slot.
However, he has since suffered defeats in the Olympic final and the quarters at the US Open, and the Swiss master believes his body is paying the price for a run which has seen him play 69 matches so far in 2012.
"I need a holiday badly," Federer said after leading the Swiss to a Davis Cup play-off win over the Netherlands.
"I'm wounded, tired, and exhausted and need some time off right now and see where I go from here. 
"Nothing has been decided for the rest of year, even though there is a plan in place, that plan might change. I need to go back to drawing board to see what's important."
Federer has had a remarkable season even by his standards, returning to the top of the pile after relinquishing the top spot two years ago in what seemed to be the start of a decline.
He has been helped by the physical struggles of Rafael Nadal and the inevitable calm after the storm of Novak Djokovic’s record-breaking 2011, but some of Federer's tennis has been magnificent, not least in his Wimbledon final win over Andy Murray.
However, Djokovic is back in form while Andy Murray – winner of the Olympics and US Open titles this summer – has emerged as a major contender after his well-documented struggles in the big finals.
With the added competition, not to mention the season-ending World Tour Finals in November, Federer admits he is not overly concerned by the Davis Cup.
"Not really a whole lot to be quite honest," Federer said when asked how much he valued the tournament.
"For me it’s more about taking part with my team-mates, I enjoy being with them, and that's about it really.
"I have a good time and my team-mates are all my best friends - I don't see them regular basis on tour and we have a great friendship and it’s always a lot of fun."

69 matches?!.  Yes I think he's about due for a long well deserved break.  Rest up Rog, so you can be at your best at the end of the season.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Federer/Wawrinka lose in Davis Cup doubles

AMSTERDAM — Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka lost to Robin Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands 6-4, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 in doubles to cut Switzerland’s lead to 2-1 in the Davis Cup World Group playoff.
The Dutch pair dominated the 2008 Olympic doubles champions in the first two sets before Federer and Wawrinka rallied to take the third on the outdoor clay court.

Haase and Rojer broke Federer’s serve in the seventh game of the fourth set and broke Wawrinka to seal the match.
Federer plays Haase in reverse singles on Sunday and Wawrinka takes on Thiemo de Bakker in the final match.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Roger Federer back on track at Davis Cup


AMSTERDAM -- Top-ranked Roger Federer beat Thiemo de Bakker in straight sets and Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Robin Haase to give Switzerland a 2-0 lead Friday over the Netherlands in their Davis Cup World Group playoff.

Federer overcame wet and windy conditions on a temporary outdoor clay court in Amsterdam to beat the 159th-ranked de Bakker 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
"On the serve, it can play tricks on you," Federer said of the gusty wind. "The ball, after you tossed it, it was moving away from you and you had to adjust the whole time. So to find a way to move the serve was pretty difficult."
Federer said the match probably wouldn't have started on the regular tennis circuit because of the rain, but he played down the conditions.
"It's OK, no problem," he said. "I mean, I'd prefer a sunny day, who wouldn't? But this is a challenge as well."
Federer's doubles partner Wawrinka had a tougher time against Haase, but won 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
Federer and Wawrinka, the 2008 Olympic doubles champions, can wrap up the playoff Saturday by beating Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer in the doubles. Reverse singles are scheduled for Sunday.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Patrick Swayze gone but not forgotten

Today marks the 3rd year anniversary of Patrick's passing.


R.I.P. Hope you're dancing up in heaven.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Justine Henin pregnant with first child

BRUSSELS (AP) -- Seven-time Grand Slam tennis champion Justine Henin is expecting her first child.
The retired Belgian player announced Wednesday on her Facebook page that she is pregnant and the baby is due in March.
Henin says she and partner Benoit Bertuzzo ''have some nice news to announce. Yes, soon there will be three of us.''
The former top-ranked player retired for the first time in 2008. She made a comeback in 2010 and retired for good the following year because of an elbow injury.
Henin won four French Opens, two U.S. Opens and one Australian Open.

Who wants to bet Martina Hingis is next, although I get the feeling Kim Clijsters might beat her to it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Maura Tierney to reunite with "ER" co-star as guest star on "The Good Wife"

It's an "ER" reunion on "The Good Wife" when Maura Tierney makes her debut as Maddie Hayward, a millionaire business professional who considers giving to Peter Florrick's (Chris Noth) gubernatorial campaign.
In the photos from "And The Law Won," Julianna Margulies reunites with her former "ER" co-star Tierney. It looks like Christine Baranski's Diane Lockhart will also have a meeting with Tierney's character. Take a look at the new photos below.
"The Good Wife" Season 4 premieres Sun., Sept. 30 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

So nice to see her back and doing so well :).

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering the true "Spartacus" Andy Whitfield

Gone but not forgotten R.I.P. Andy, so glad we got to know you even for a little while miss you :(.

10 years.....

Remembering all the souls lost on this day 10 years ago R.I.P.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Martina Hingis nominated for International Tennis Hall of Fame

(Reuters) - Swiss former world number one Martina Hingis, a winner of five grand slam singles titles, has been nominated for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Hingis, 31, was announced as a nominee on Thursday along with 1991 Wimbledon champion Michael Stich of Germany and Czech Helena Sukova, one of the greatest doubles players of all time.
Other nominees included veteran Thelma Coyne Long of Australia, who won 19 grand slam titles from the 1930s to 1950s, and former players Charlie Pasarell of the United States and Ion Tiriac ofRomania who each became successful tennis promoters.
Hingis, who won the Australian Open and Wimbledon at the age of 16, quit tennis for the first time in 2003 at the age of 22, suffering from ankle injuries. She returned in late 2006 and finished the following year ranked seventh.
However, she quit for a second time in 2007 under a cloud after she tested positive for cocaine at that year's Wimbledon. Hingis served a two-year ban but maintained her innocence.
She also won nine grand slam women's doubles titles and one grand slam mixed doubles title.
The Hall of Fame's 2013 class will be announced early next year and an induction ceremony will be held on July 13.

So wait does a nomination mean an automatic win?.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Federer U.S. Open Berdych loss could benefit him

It seems like whenever Roger Federer loses, the only thing that people want to talk about is how age is catching up to him, or how he isn't the player he used to be.
After losing to Tomas Berdych at the 2012 U.S. Open quarterfinals, Federer does have work to do, but it can be a learning experience, too. 
Johnette Howard of wrote a piece about how this loss hearkened back to when Federer went two years without winning a Grand Slam event. 
It is unrealistic to expect Federer to win every event, but to compare this one loss to a time when he was in a long, by his standards, down period is unfair. He was competitive in the 7-6 (1), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 loss, so it wasn't like he got blown out of the water. 
Plus, Federer did a lot more damage to himself than Berdych was doing, though that is not to take away from Berdych because he did what he had to do in order to win. 
Sometimes a loss is a loss, nothing more, nothing less. Federer does not have to completely overhaul his game after losing this one match. He is still the same player, after all, who has won six tournaments this year, including the Wimbledon. He is doing okay, even by his lofty standards. 

So what does Federer need to take away from this loss?
First and foremost, he just needs to maintain his focus. Within that same ESPN article, Howard points out that Federer gave up his serve two times in the first set, which is almost unheard of for him. 
That kind of sloppiness can be attributed to a one-time bad game or a sign of fatigue. As much as I am championing Federer for the great season he has had, there can be instances where he will need to take a little extra time off in between events to recharge his batteries. 
This loss, while it stings, can be the slap in the face that Federer needs for the remainder of the year. He is not going to fall apart and retire, a la Andy Roddick, so don't overreact to the loss. 
Recognize that he is a superstar capable of playing at the highest levels on any given day. It just didn't happen on this one day.

I like this positive take on the loss, though I'm still processing a lot of my own negative feelings of frustration more then disappointment I can't help but wholeheartedly agree here.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Roger Federer gets walkover moves to quarters at U.S. Open

World No. 1 Roger Federer advanced into his 34th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final without touching a racquet on Monday when American Mardy Fish withdrew from their US Open match for health concerns.

The 31-year-old Swiss star, seeking his 18th Grand Slam title and sixth US Open crown, advanced into a last-eight matchup against Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych, who dispatched Spanish 11th seed Nicolas Almagro 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 6-1.

"I probably need to have something more than 100 percent," said Berdych, who has lost 11 of 15 career meetings to top seed Federer.

The walkover stretched Federer's record for consecutive quarter-final Grand Slam appearances in the Open era to 38, three shy of the record 41 achieved by American Jimmy Connors.

Federer, who won his 17th Grand Slam title in July at Wimbledon, has not dropped a set in the Flushing Meadows fortnight.

"Maybe if I would be in his situation I would rather play a match and win it and keep the rhythm of one day a match, one day off," Berdych said. "But probably he's going to be fine with that."
British third seed Andy Murray, who won Olympic gold last month, will face Canadian 15th seed Milos Raonic later with the winner booking a last-eight date against Slovakian Martin Klizan or Croatian 12th seed Marin Cilic.

Fish missed two months of the season earlier this year because of a heart problem, being hospitalized after the Miami Masters event in March when his heart rate increased to three times its normal resting pace.

Fish, 30, then had a cardiac catheter ablation in Los Angeles on May 23 to address his heart condition.

"I regret that I have to withdraw from the US Open for precautionary measures," Fish said. "I was reluctant to do so, but am following medical advisement.

"I had a good summer and look forward to resuming my tournament schedule in the fall."
Berdych, who took only two hours to reach his first US Open quarter-final, has won three of his past six meetings with Federer, including a US Open tuneup last year at Cincinnati and a 2010 Wimbledon quarter-final.

Berdych finally reached the last eight after 10 tries with his 200th career hardcourt triumph. He joined Petr Korda and Ivan Lendl as the only Czech men in the Open era to have reached the quarter-finals at all four Grand Slam events.

"I'm very happy that I can compete in all Grand Slams at least in quarter-finals. It helps my confidence," Berdych said.

At last January's Australian Open, Berdych was fuming at Almagro, accusing the Spaniard of hitting a ball at his face while he was at the net during a rally in a fourth-round match. The ball struck him in the arm.

Spectators booed Berdych for refusing to shake hands with the Spaniard after the match, but the Czech said Almagro's apology was not enough to satisfy him.

Berdych dismissed the acrimonious incident this week as "nothing at all", noting they have since split two ATP matches, although this was their first Grand Slam meeting since.

They clasped hands after Monday's match at Louis Armstrong Stadium, Almagro flashing a quick smile at his conquerer as they met at the net.

Almagro, 27, figures to replace injured Rafael Nadal on the Spanish Davis Cup team that will host the United States next week in a semi-final tie. Almagro is unbeaten in four Cup singles matches so far this year.

Berdych, whose best Grand Slam result was a 2010 Wimbledon final loss to Nadal, improved to 7-3 lifetime against Almagro and snapped a five-game losing streak to top-20 rivals dating to a Rome victory over Almagro last May.

Berdych took three of the last four points to win the first-set tie-breaker, a forehand volley winner claiming the set after 48 minutes.

"It was really close, especially in the first set," Berdych said. "It was a fight for every point. It was a tough match."

Almagro had a break point in the fourth game of the second set but Berdych erased it with a 127 mph ace and then broke Almagro in the seventh game and held serve twice more to take the second set.
Berdych broke at love to begin the third set and again in the third and final games.


Sunday, September 02, 2012

Verdasco no contest for Federer who moves to 4th round of U.S. Open in straight sets

NEW YORK -- Roger Federer is getting to the net, closing out points more quickly of late.

Of course, when the going gets tough -- which it rarely has so far at the U.S. Open -- he's sticking to what he does best.

Top-seeded Federer faced only a single break point in his 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over No. 25 Fernando Verdasco on Saturday and won it with the longest point of the match -- a 20-stroke rally he captured by moving Verdasco back and forth on the baseline until the Spaniard finally sprayed a forehand wide.

The rest of the time, Verdasco found Federer doing an unusual amount of damage at the net, closing out 26 of 27 points from the front court. Federer added that effort to the 32 points he won in 47 trips to the net two nights earlier in a second-round win over Bjorn Phau.

"I really tried to play offensive against ... Phau in my second match," Federer said. "I did lose more points than I was hoping to. But I think that gave me the confidence to move forward today. And conditions helped that because it was quicker during the day."

Indeed, the wind and the quicker surface put more pressure on Verdasco, a baseliner who had trouble getting the ball past Federer. It was hard for him to get comfortable against the 17-time Grand Slam champion, who got 67 percent of his first serves in, many at tough angles that drove Verdasco off the side of the court.

"He served well the whole match," Verdasco said. "He always has great control close to the lines with his serve."

Federer, who hasn't lost a set through three matches over the first week at the U.S. Open, stayed on course for a semifinal meeting against No. 3 Andy Murray.

Murray came from behind in all three tiebreakers to defeat 30th-seeded Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (4).

The biggest moment, however, might have come a few minutes before the fourth-set tiebreaker when Murray saved a break point in a 24-stroke rally in which he drew Lopez into the net, then pushed him back and finally got him to net a backhand to push the game to deuce.

"There was obviously a lot going on," Murray said. "He came to the net, there was a drop shot, I made a good volley cross court. Points like that can change the match."

Lopez fell to 0-7 lifetime against Murray and was lamenting opportunities lost in the tiebreakers.

In the second set, the Spaniard framed a forehand out to drop set point. In the fourth, Lopez tried a drop shot on match point that didn't clear the net. Those were two of Lopez's 55 unforced errors. He also had 68 winners.

"Everyone gets tight when you have to win the most important points of the match," Lopez said. "I think Andy played a little bit better at the end of tiebreakers."

Murray won his 250th career match on hard court and improved to 104-65 lifetime in tiebreakers. His next match is against No. 15 Milos Raonic, a straight-sets winner over American James Blake.

Federer will play the winner of a late match between Gilles Simon and Mardy Fish.

With two more wins each, Murray and Federer would meet for the third time this summer. They split the last two -- Federer winning in the final at Wimbledon and Murray taking the Olympic gold-medal match, also at the All England Club.