Saturday, June 29, 2013

Singing is good for your health too!

Not only is singing a great way to raise money, research shows that it's also good for you.
Professor Graham Welch, Chair of Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, has studied developmental and medical aspects of singing for 30 years: "The health benefits of singing are both physical and psychological. Singing has physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting. Singing has psychological benefits because of its normally positive effect in reducing stress levels through the action of the endocrine system which is linked to our sense of emotional well-being. Psychological benefits are also evident when people sing together as well as alone because of the increased sense of community, belonging and shared endeavour."
Regular exercising of the vocal cords can even prolong life, according to research done by leading vocal coach and singer Helen Astrid, from The Helen Astrid Singing Academy in London. "It’s a great way to keep in shape because you are exercising your lungs and heart. Not only that, your body produces ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins, which rush around your body when you sing. It’s exactly the same when you eat a bar of chocolate. The good news with singing is that you don’t gain any calories! Not only can it increase lung capacity, it improves posture, clears respiratory tubes and sinuses, and can increase mental alertness through greater oxygenation. It even tones the muscles of your stomach and back, that is if you’re singing correctly."
Singing even helps you live longer according to the findings of a joint Harvard and Yale study which showed that choral singing increased the life expectancy of the population of New Haven, Connecticut. The report concluded that this was because singing promoted both a healthy heart and an enhanced mental state. Another study at the University of California has reported higher levels of immune system proteins in the saliva of choristers after performing a complex Beethoven masterwork.
A while back I posted an article about the benefits of listening to music well, now it turns out singing along is beneficial too.  Who knew?!.

Friday, June 28, 2013

"Uncharted" the movie might still become reality?

Naughty Dog, developer of action-adventure third-person shooter Uncharted, has asked Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to write the script for the Uncharted movie, according to the duo.
In an interview with IGN for his latest movie, This Is The End, Canadian stand-up comedian, actor, producer, director, Seth Rogen said, “They’re constantly asking me and Evan to make the Uncharted movie.”
Evan Goldberg, Canadian film screenwriter and producer said, “They’ve been asked multiple times over the last four years, but have declined the job, despite being huge fans of the games, because they can’t think of the right treatment.
“It’s just going to be Indiana Jones,” If we could figure out a way to make it not Indiana Jones, it’d be awesome.”
In 2010, Columbia Pictures revealed by that David O. Russell will be writing and directing the film, but on May 26, 2011, Russell left the project.
And in July 2011, Neil Burger took up the position as the director for the film adaption, but dropped out in August 2012 to work on another film and the studio hired the Marianne and Cormac Wibberley (writers of National Treasure and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle) to rewrite the film, that’s all we know for now.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Roger Federer shares his thoughts on devastating 2nd round loss at Wimbledon

“What do you do after something like this?” 
It’s a question Roger Federer posed on Wednesday after being ousted by Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round of Wimbledon to suffer his earliest exit at a major tournament in more than 10 years. After taking a second to compile his thoughts, Federer’s response was firm.
“You don't panic at this point, that's clear,” Federer stated. 
“You just go back to work and come back stronger really. It’s somewhat simple. It’s hard to do sometimes. But usually, I do turnarounds pretty good.  I'm looking forward to what's to come. I hope I can play a good summer, a good end to the season. This is clearly not what I was hoping for here today at this tournament.”
Federer’s loss ended one of the most impressive streaks in sports. Entering The Championships at SW19, Federer had made 36 successive trips to the quarter-finals or better at the four major tournaments, which began nine years ago at the All England Club. Though now in territory he hasn’t been in during the pinnacle of his career, Federer declared that his time is far from up.
“I still have plans to play for many more years to come. It's normal that after all of a sudden losing early after being in the quarters 36 times, people feel it's different,” said Federer. “You guys hyped it up so much: me playing Rafa, and we're both out. So there's a letdown clearly. Maybe it's also somewhat a bit disrespectful to the other opponents who are in the draw still. I think it sends a message to you guys as well that maybe you shouldn't do that so often next time around.”

While he denied that it was the end of an era, Federer was pragmatic about the implications of his defeat. Wimbledon had been a place Federer relied on to find inspiration or jump start his results. Last year, after narrowly avoiding an early loss to Julien Benneteau in the third round, Federer went on to defeat Andy Murray in the final to reclaim the No. 1 Emirates ATP Ranking.
“Right now, this is a setback, a disappointment, whatever you want to call it,” Federer said. “But then overall, I think I played great eight months ago at the Barclays World Tour Finals, I played great at the Australian Open. You know, if things would have gone my way, maybe I could have done a bit more. 
“Overall, I think I've been playing actually not so bad, like some have portrayed it.  Season's not over here.  Only just in the middle.  Still have a lot of tennis left.  That's what I try to use for a good end to the season.”
The 31-year-old Federer also credited his opponent for executing a game plan that he fully expected. 
“I knew he was going to do that. He does it regularly. So he's comfortable doing it,” said Federer. “I believe it is a tactic you can use, if you play it the right way, if you have a big enough serve, you move good enough.
“Clearly you also got to be good enough from the baseline on the return because you need a break once in a while. That's exactly what he was able to do today. I was impressed. I don't think from this point on I'm going to start serve volleying, but hopefully other players will in the future.”
Coming into the match, Stahkovsky had been 0-20 against Top 10 opponents. Federer believes experienced players, like Stakhovsky, have become more confident playing on the grand stages against the game’s elite, in comparison to year's past.
“I think there was a time where some players didn't believe they could beat the top guys. So maybe there's a little bit of a thing happening at the moment,” said Federer. “I'm happy about that, that players believe they can beat the best on the biggest courts in the biggest matches. 
“I think that belief is very important. We're missing the teenagers overall, so it's up to other guys to do it like we've seen this week, at other places as well. All we can do is give it all we have, be a professional, train hard, do all the right things, what you're supposed to be doing. I hope they are also doing it if they're lower in the rankings.”
Having just shared my own thoughts and feelings on the subject I thought it would be a good contrast to post views from the man himself. 
And although this loss will take quite a while to get over I agree with him wholeheartedly.  Onward to the U.S. Open!.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My thoughts on Roger Federer's shocking loss in 2nd round of Wimbledon

I debated on whether or not to post the usual match summery via reputable news source but that seemed a bit lazy and I decided it's best I share my personal opnion on the subject.

And also as part of my therapy to try to get over this crushing loss I needed to put my feelings out into the interwebs.

If my thoughts seem jumbled it's because as I write this I am still trying to get over the shock of it all.

The sports journalists will undoubtedly say things like Federer's age is finally catching up to him, or simply that his younger opponent was just too good. I won't be surprised if retirement rumors start rearing their ugly head again.

As for myself I honestly don't know how to summarize this loss, it certainly will be categorized as Federer's worst loss in what is an illustrious 15 year career.

I could say that indeed the journalists are right and Federer is finally showing some signs of decline with age, or give full credit to his opponent (because it certainly is not easy to beat someone like Roger). But I think the simple truth is that Roger like many elite athletes just had a bad day.

Having said that as an admirer of the man for many years I couldn't help but hope that despite squandering important chances to break his opponent in the 3rd and especially the 4th set, he would turn on that extra gear and pull through in the end.

After all we've seen him have bad days like this countless times in recent past, but being Roger Federer he always found a way to shake it off just at the right moment and achieve the impossible.  Last year's 4th round against Benneteau  being the perfect example.

But instead I along with the rest of the tennis world got a sad and perhaps sobering reminder  that despite how super human he may seem sometimes he is in fact a fallible human being who simply wasn't good enough on this day.

I think the hardest part of this loss as a fan is accepting the unrealized potential chance of  Roger grabbing his 8th Wimbledon title (which no other man has ever done). Thus equaling Nadal's 8 French Open titles

Those chances were greatly improved with Nadal going out on the first day of the tournament. That disappointment of failing to capitalize on it is the one thing that I think will take me and many of his fans the longest to get over.

On a day that seemed to be cursed with injuries and withdraws (7 in total) there's one thing I know for certain June 26th is officially my least favourite day of this calendar year.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Roger Federer through in routine fashion on to 2nd round at Wimbledon

Not really digging the outfit but love the shoes

World No. 3 Roger Federer opened his campaign for an unprecedented eighth Wimbledon title on Monday at the All England Club with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-0 victory over Romania’s Victor Hanescu
“I thought overall I played a good match, no hiccups on the serve,” said Federer. “I returned good, sometimes aggressive, sometimes with the chip, the way I usually do it on the grass. Then I was moving pretty well even though I thought it was quite slippery, because it is opening Monday. I think I handled that well. [There] was just a bit of a breeze and it was cold. I'm happy to get out of there early and quickly. So it was a perfect day.”

This Swiss is looking to make history on the 10th anniversary of his first Wimbledon win in 2003 (d. Philippoussis), having won a record-equalling seventh crown last year with victory over Andy Murray. He took the first step in what is projected to be a very testing draw, with the possibility of Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals, Murray in the semi-finals and top seed Novak Djokovic in the final. 

The 31-year-old Federer came into The Championships having won his first ATP World Tour title of the season eight days ago at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle (d. Youzhny). He improved to a 67-7 record at the All England Club and to a perfect 6-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head mark against the No. 47-ranked Hanescu as he swept through his opener in 69 minutes

Federer goes on to face Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky, who was the day’s first winner with a 6-4, 6-0, 6-4 victory over Rogerio Dutra Silva. Federer won his one previous meeting with the No. 116-ranked Stakhovsky, two years ago in the Dubai quarter-finals.

With Nadal out in first round things are looking a little brighter for Mr. Federer.  
Having to beat Murray & Djokovic is more doable then having to beat all three. 
But of course we're so far from that (one match at a time).  
Sadly Nadal just never really showed up for the match today but all credit to his opponent 135 ranked Belgian Steve Darcis who knew?!.  
Breathing a huge sigh of relief nonetheless.  Go Roger!.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Roger Federer gets the draw from hell at Wimbledon

Roger Federer could potentially have to beat Rafael NadalAndy Murray and Novak Djokovic if he is to retain his crown at The Championships. The Swiss was drawn in the same half as Murray and the same quarter as Nadal on Friday at the All England Club, Wimbledon.
World No. 1 Djokovic will begin his quest for a second Wimbledon title against Florian Mayer. Djokovic is guaranteed to remain at No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings after Wimbledon. Djokovic could face No. 13 seed Tommy Haas or No. 19 seed Gilles Simon in the fourth round, followed by a potential clash against 2010 runner-up and No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych or ninth seed Richard Gasquet in the quarter-finals. Fourth seed David Ferrer, who takes on Martin Alund, joins Djokovic in the top half of the draw.
Third seed Federer starts his bid for a record eighth crown against Victor Hanescu on Centre Court. He could potentially meet fifth seed Nadal in the quarter-finals. They came face to face in the 2006-2008 Wimbledon finals. Last year, Federer equalled the Wimbledon titles record of Pete Sampras and William Renshaw when he lifted his seventh trophy at the All England Club. He leads the FedEx ATP Reliability Index with a 121-17 (.877) record on grass courts.
Fifth seed Nadal, who captured the Wimbledon title in 2008 (d. Federer) and 2010 (d. Berdych), has been drawn to meet Steve Darcis in the first round. He could face Igor Andreev or Lukasz Kubot in the second round. Since returning from a seven-month injury lay-off in February, Nadal has won seven titles from nine finals. He arrives at SW19, where he lost to Lukas Rosol in the 2012 second round, on a 22-match winning streak. Nadal recently won his eighth Roland Garros crown.
Second seed Murray, the first British runner-up since Bunny Austin in 1938, first plays Benjamin Becker and could challenge sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last eight. Tsonga plays David Goffin in the first round. Murray, who is looking to become the first British male Wimbledon champion in 77 years, beat both Becker and Tsonga last week en route to his third Aegon Championships crown.
Djokovic, Murray, Federer and Nadal are competing together at a Grand Slam championship for the first time in 12 months.
There are four stellar first-round match-ups, including former World No. 1 and 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt versus No. 11 seed Stanislas Wawrinka, who is competing this week at the Topshelf Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Marin Cilic, the No. 10 seed and runner-up at The Queen’s Club, takes on Marcos Baghdatis, while No. 14 seed Janko Tipsarevic takes on fellow Serbian Victor Troicki. The winner could potentially meet Murray in the fourth round. Simon meets Feliciano Lopezin his opener.
The last time a player seeded outside of the Top 4 won the Wimbledon title was No. 125th-ranked Goran Ivanisevic in 2001 (d. Rafter). 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Serena Williams is not and never will be the "Greatest of All Time"

When it comes to sporting acronyms, the US has given birth to a few great ones.
We're pretty familiar with MVP by now; we know we're in for a long ride if it's OT; things get noisy around NASCAR; and you never want to be DQ'd.
Some need a bit of explanation, like AOL (All Outta Luck), BTE (Best Tournament Ever) and BLOW (Beautiful Ladies of Wrestling, obviously). Others have even come to be re-named, hence the NFL is often referred to as the No Fun League.
But now we have the latest word in the acronym vernacular - the G.O.A.T., or Greatest of All Time. And we're increasingly seeing (or hearing) it in connection with Serena Williams.
With the world No 1 currently on an unbeaten 31-match run and a prohibitive favourite for a fourth Wimbledon crown in five years, it might seem a valid question.
Except for the mountain of evidence that positively screams: this is the lowest quality women's tennis in more than 40 years.
Let me explain.
Much is made of the fact Serena has won three of the last four Grand Slam events and, at the "ripe old age" of 31, she now has 16 major titles in an 18-year pro career. She also dominated virtually the whole of 2002-03, claiming five of the six Slams she competed in during a truly golden spell (she was absent injured for the other two).
Signs of greatness, indeed. But take a closer look at the recent run, and things look a little less than stellar. She won this year's French Open for the loss of exactly ONE set. She breezed through the first four rounds dropping only 10 GAMES, then ambled through the semi-final and final for the loss of only nine more.
Competitive? Not exactly.
Last year's US Open was just as much of a cakewalk, with her only challenge coming in the Final from Victoria Azarenka. Last year's Wimbledon? A bit tougher - three matches that required three sets, plus a battling semi-final win over Azarenka.
But it's a recurring theme in women's tennis in recent years. There is precious little challenge in the first week, and not a whole lot more in the second. The strength in depth just isn't there - witness the almost non-stop parade of No 1s not called Williams in the past 10 years: Justine Henin, Lindsay Davenport, Anastasia Myskina, Kim Clijsters, Jelena Jankovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova and Azarenka.
With the exception of Henin and Clijsters, they are not exactly an all-star cast, while several are barely household names in their own houses. And that's the supposed crème de la crème.


The only real surprise is that Serena hasn't won EVERY title going, when she's been fully fit. Certainly her sister is no longer a threat. Venus hasn't been a contender, mainly for health reasons, in five years. And apart from her dominant spell of four Grand Slam wins in 2000-01, it's arguable if she has ever been a serious obstacle to her sibling's success on the biggest stages, losing an amazing six of eight major finals to Serena - including ALL FIVE in 02-03.
Then contrast that lack of competitive balance in the past decade with the 1990s, 80s or even the 70s.
Go back to the mid-1990s, as the mantle of greatness passed from Martina Navratilova to Steffi Graf and Martina Hingis and you immediately notice one thing - there were no gimmes at the top.
Navratilova was no longer a major force, even though she claimed an unprecedented ninth Wimbledon title in 1994, but Graf faced challenges from Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati, Jana Novotna and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, as well as the up-and-coming Hingis. Even the likes of Mary Pierce and Conchita Martinez were a serious threat on their day.
That's eight genuine contenders at every event, year in, year out. You're lucky if you can scrape together four at any tournament in the last 10 years.
Go back to the 80s and things were even tougher. Navratilova was a true colossus of the game but she certainly didn't have things all her own way, especially in the tough French Open (which has also eluded Serena in all but two of 12 attempts).
There was still Chris Evert to deal with, the precocious Hana Mandlikova, Gabriela Sabatini, Sanchez-Vicario and the almost irresistible force of Fraulein Forehand, Steffi Graf herself, plus the teen uprising of Tracy Austin, Andrea Jaeger, Zina Garrison and Seles.
Make that 10 players with Grand Slam credentials - very possibly the toughest era of all time in women's tennis, when the last four rounds were hardly ever a walkover and almost every final was keenly contested. Contrast that with fully 10 of Serena's major finals that were a simple two-set affair, including several in which she conceded three games, total.
Then go back to the 70s and there was Margaret Court, or Evonne Cawley, or Billie Jean King, or the young Evert, or the nascent Navratilova, or even our own Virginia Wade, winner of three Slams, don't forget. Another six genuine front-line contenders, five of them also in the 'greatest ever' conversation.
You couldn't pick five players today who would give Serena even a run for her money on a grass court. It is almost a lost art in men's tennis, let alone the women's event.
And yes, Serena, DOES have an impressive haul, and over a prolonged period. Only a handful of players can match her sustained productivity, notably Court, King, Navratilova and Evert. But Serena has yet to top them for longevity.
And yes, her 16 titles are a serious number. She is behind only Navratilova (18), Evert (18) and Graf (22) for Grand Slam wins in the Open era (and behind Court and Helen Wills Moody if you look further back). But she IS behind Martina, Chris and Steffi. In pure number terms, she doesn't figure in the top three.
You could also argue that Yesterday's Heroines never sent spectators running for cover with their hands over their ears like the current crop of shrieking harpies, but that's just a personal observation.
Just to put the tin lid on it, though, none of the above-named players not called Serena ever bullied an umpire or an opponent the way the younger Williams has done on numerous occasions.
And none of them ever conducted themselves with the kind of graceless, me-first attitude we see all too often from the current world No1 (of which her truly classless comments about a 16-year-old rape victim earlier this week are just the latest example).
The likes of King, Navratilova and Seles also encountered MUCH tougher off-court issues than Serena will ever do. They tackled them head-on, without complaint and always with the touch of elegance and finesse that true champions display.
Serena Williams, the GOAT? Only if it stands for Greatest Over-rated Attitude in Tennis. And don't let any American commentator tell you otherwise.
If she gets to 19, you MIGHT put her ahead of Evert. If she gets to 23, you MIGHT put her ahead of Graf. But she could get 30 and she would NEVER be ahead of Navratilova. There has never been a champion of such sheer, unadulterated class, determination and will to win.
And it's unlikely there ever will be.

Thank you! this is exactly what I have been trying to say about this player for years (glad someone finally had the courage to do just that), and it's also exactly why I'm not the least bit interested in the women's game anymore. 
The men's field at the moment is 100 times more competitive with the top 4 constantly battling it out, too bad the women's game doesn't live up to the same standard.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Roger Federer Incognito Wilson ad

Ok, I wanna see the outtakes & behind the scenes from this because I am sure Roger giggled like a school boy through out! :D.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Martina Hingis no longer coach to Pavlyuchenkova

MOSCOW, June 17 (R-Sport) – Former World women’s tennis No. 1 Martina Hingis is no longer coaching Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russian national team coach Vladimir Kamelzon told R-Sport on Monday.
The 21-year-old Russian hooked up with the Swiss star in April and soon took her fifth title in Oeiras, Portugal.
But since then her results have taken a slide, with only one win in her last three tournaments, and she crashed out of the French Open with a second-round defeat to 171th-ranked Petra Cetkovska.
It took the 21st-ranked player to seven wins and four defeats under Hingis.
“Pavlyuchenkova and Hingis didn’t agree on the methods of preparation and I had expected it,” Kamelzon said. “In order to win Grand Slam tournaments you need to have a coach, not a player with a big name.”
Pavlyuchenkova is to reunite with her brother Alexander, who coached her from September 2009 through October 2010 and guided her to her first two WTA titles in Monterrey and Istanbul.
“Pavlyuchenkova is back in training with her brother Alexander who will take her through preparations for Wimbledon,” said Kamelzon, referring to the third Grand Slam of the season which starts next week.
“He has done a lot for her, then they parted for some time, but now she realizes that it’s best to work with him.”
Pavlyuchenkova is looking to improve upon two third-round appearances at Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010.

Guess the trial run is over, too bad.  Pavlyuchenkova may not have been the right player but I wouldn't count Hingis out as a coach just yet.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Roger Federer 6-time Halle Champion!

Happy Father's Day indeed! (love that face)

And one from Roger's Official Twitter :)

7th of his career, on Sunday as he came from a set down to beat Mikhail Youzhny 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle. His 77 titles see him draw level with John McEnroe in third position in the career titles list.

The Swiss lifted the trophy in Halle for the sixth time, having previously triumphed in 2003-06 and 2008 (d. Kohlschreiber). He also finished runner-up in 2010 (l. to Hewitt) and 2012 (l. to Haas) and has a 43-5 event record.

The 31-year-old Federer clinched his 13th tour-level grass-court title, having also won The Championships at Wimbledon seven times. He will look to complete the Halle-Wimbledon double for the fifth time (2003-06) by retaining the Wimbledon crown he won last year with victory over Andy Murray.

Federer improved to a 15-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Youzhny, dropping a set for only the fourth time against the Russian, whom he beat at both Halle and Wimbledon last year. 

The Swiss failed to convert five break points in the first set and paid the prices for 13 unforced errors as Youzhny clinched the opener in 57 minutes. A tidier second set from Federer saw the Basel native cut his unforced error count to just four, and he secured the first service break of the match in the eighth game to level the match. The Swiss then broke Youzhny in the seventh game of the decider to claim victory in just over two hours.

The 30-year-old Youzhny was bidding to win his first title since last year’s PBZ Zagreb Indoors and dropped to an 8-11 finals record. He was contesting his first grass-court final, having knocked out No. 2 seed Richard Gasquet in the semi-finals.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Roger Federer moves past Haas into the finals in Halle

Top-seeded Roger Federer came from behind to beat defending champion Tommy Haas 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and reach the Gerry Weber Open final on Saturday in Halle, Germany.
Federer lost last year's final to the German veteran but he is on course for his first title — in his second final — of the year. Federer will play Mikhail Youzhny in Sunday's final. Youzhny upset second-seeded Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-2 in less than hour.
"It's a good win for me, especially after losing the first set," Federer said. "I felt I played well from start to finish, even in the first set."
Federer is seeking his sixth title on grass in Halle, his favourite warm-up for Wimbledon. Four of Federer's seven Wimbledon titles have come after triumphs in Halle.
While Federer fired 15 aces, Haas finished with nine double-faults. Two consecutive ones at the end of the third game of the final set gave Federer the decisive edge.
"This was my best serving by far this week," Federer said.
Youzhny broke serve for a 2-0 lead and never looked behind. Ha raced to a 4-0 in the second and wrapped it with a volley winner. Youzhny is seeking to become the first Russian winner in Halle since Yevgeny Kafelnikov's last of three titles in 2002, the year before Federer began his run of five.
Although he owns five titles in Halle, where a street going past the stadium is called the Roger-Federer-Allee, the 31-year-old Swiss last won here in 2008.
"It's a big final for me, after that I'll start thinking about Wimbledon," Federer said.
Federer, ranked No. 3 in the world, will be the defending champion in Wimbledon and seeking to add to his record 17 Grand Slam titles.
Federer dropped his serve in the sixth game, hitting a forehand error after being passed by Haas on the previous point.
"Clearly, I wasn't sure how well I was really playing until today," said Federer, who blanked Mischa Zverev 6-0, 6-0 in Friday's quarterfinal and had not been challenged at the tournament.
"When you are a set down, one break and that could be the end for you. Fortunately, I was able to turn it around."
Haas lost his first service game of the second set and would never earn a break point again on Federer's serve.
"On the big points, Roger showed again what qualities he has," Haas said. "I think I still played well and gave my best."
Haas is 3-11 against Federer throughout his career.
The semifinal featured two men over 30. The 35-year-old Haas, the oldest player in the top 100, is enjoying his second spring and is ranked No. 11.
Haas was No. 2 in the world in 2002. Hip surgery in 2010 left him No. 896, before he started climbing again. Unlike Federer, he already has a title this year, in Munich.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Roger Federer dominates to reach semis in Halle

Roger Federer recorded the second 6-0, 6-0 victory of his career on Friday.
The top seed required just 40 minutes to beat Mischa Zverev at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle.
Federer, 31, has played 1,107 tour-level matches (902-205) since turning professional in 1998. He also beat Gaston Gaudio 6-0, 6-0 at the 2005 Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai (now known as theBarclays ATP World Tour Finals).
The Swiss is making his 11th appearance at the ATP World Tour 250 grass-court tournament in Halle (41-5 record). He has won five titles from seven finals.
Federer will next meet third seed and defending champion Tommy Haas. Haas beat Federer in the 2012 title match, but trails the Swiss 10-3 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
Haas withstood 14 aces from the racquet of Gael Monfils in a 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3 win over one hour and 54 minutes.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Martina Hingis Tonic clothing line signs with La Costa

Clothing company Tonic Active Wear’s division, “by Martina Hingis,” has been named Official Clothing Partner of the Southern California Open, held at La Costa, tournament organizers announced.

Hingis, who is scheduled to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame later this year, made history as the youngest Grand Slam Champion of this era and the youngest top ranked player in the game. Having moved on from competition on the Pro Tour, the retired player is busy exploring new ventures, such as coaching, playing World Team Tennis and now, collaborating with Tonic to create her own signature tennis collection.

“We are extremely proud to have Tonic by Martina Hingis as the official clothing partner of the Southern California Open,” said Tournament Director Alastair Garland.

Since 2004, Tonic Lifestyle Apparel has been designed and manufactured in Vancouver, Canada.

“Tonic is delighted with the opportunity to sponsor this top tennis event. Martina loved to play at the La Costa Resort and Spa when she was on tour, so we’re excited to be involved in this tournament as our first major sponsorship,” said Leopoldo Gutierrez, CEO Tonic Active Wear.

In collaboration with 15-time Grand Slam Champion Martina Hingis, this collection was created for the high intensity movements of tennis.

The Southern California Open, a WTA Premier 700 tennis event and a major stop on the Emirates Airline US Open Series summer calendar, will once again be hosted at the l La Costa Resort and Spa on July 27-August 4.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Music good for the soul and good for your health

Scientists have found that playing music, and listening to it, triggers neurological reactions that reduce anxiety – even in stressful situations like preparing for surgery.
In fact, the experts said, music can play a positive part in health care settings ranging from operating rooms to family clinics.  And the researchers, from McGill University in Montreal, found concrete evidence for why this is so.  Daniel J. Levitan, professor of psychology, said in a statement that  his team had documented “neurochemical mechanisms by which music has an effect in four domains: management of mood, stress, immunity and as an aid to social bonding.”
The research found that listening to music increased both the antibody immunoglobulin A, which plays a critical role in immunity of the mucous system, and cells that attack invading germs. They also found that listening to and playing music reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
To reach their conclusions, published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Science, the experts looked at 400 research papers analyzing the neurochemistry of music.
The study authors said future research could examine the effect of music compared with other media,  including comedy programs and audio books.

Personally I cannot imagine my life without music & now I know why.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Roger Federer moves to the quarters in Halle

HALLE: Defending Wimbledon champion Roger Federer made a seamless transition from clay to grass on Wednesday as he cruised into the quarterfinals of the ATP Halle Open after brushing aside German wildcard Cedrik-Marcel Stebbe 6-3, 6-3.

Federer, who is using the tournament as a tune-up for the defence of his title at the All England Club later this month, needed just 67 minutes to see off Stebbe in what was the Swiss star's first outing since losing to Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last eight at Roland Garros.

Federer, a five-time winner at the ATP event in Germany but without a title to his name this season, came out firing immediately with a break of serve in the opening game as he raced 5-1 ahead, only to squander a chance to close it out before breaking Stebbe for a third time to take the set.

A service break in the second game of the second set then proved decisive as Federer sealed his passage into the quarters, where he'll face another German in World No.156 Mischa Zverev, who beat Bosnia's Mirza Basic 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 earlier on Wednesday.

Earlier, fourth seed Kei Nishikori of Japan was stunned by Russian veteran Mikhail Youznhy 6-1, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 in the second round.

Youzhny, 30, will face one of German pair Philipp Kohlschreiber, the sixth seed, or Tobias Kamke in the next round.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Roger Federer hoping for better start to 2nd half of season with Halle warm-up

HALLE, Germany (AP) -- It's nearly mid-June and Roger Federer is still without a title in 2013. Back on grass in one of his favorite tournaments, Federer is confident his best is yet to come.

Federer is the top-seeded player in Halle, one of the grass-court warm-up tournaments for Wimbledon. Four of his Wimbledon titles came after Federer also won in Halle.

"Halle is one of my favorite places on the tour, and being successful there makes it even more likable,'' said Federer, who will be seeking his sixth title in the cozy event, where players step on court practically from their hotel rooms.

Federer is coming off a quarterfinal loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the French Open last week.

"Paris has little to do with Halle or Wimbledon, but looking back I am really disappointed with my match against Tsonga,'' Federer said. "There are days like that, but fortunately there haven't been so many in my career, and I hope there won't be that many to come.''

Federer reached 10 straight Grand Slam finals from 2005-07, winning eight titles. He also appeared in eight major finals from 2008-10, winning four. But since that run ended, Federer has played in just two of the last 13 Grand Slam title matches, winning one at Wimbledon last year.

At 31, the winner of a record 17 major titles could be slowing down. He has also nursed a back injury during the first half of the year.

"I didn't really expect to necessarily win a lot of titles, and I thought I played well in Rome and Paris, until the match with Tsonga,'' Federer said Monday at the start of the Halle tournament.

He lost the Rome final in two quick sets to Rafael Nadal, who pulled out of the Halle event to rest after his eighth French Open title.

"I now feel that the best time for me is still to come in the second half of the year. It's a very important phase of the year, leading to Wimbledon and the North American swing with the U.S. Open,'' Federer said.

"To win here (in Halle) would be a good buildup for Wimbledon,'' he said.

Federer will also play doubles, teaming with German veteran Tommy Haas, who beat him in last year's Halle final. Federer hasn't played doubles for two years.

But since arriving in Halle from Paris on Friday and practicing for three days, Federer felt he could get in some doubles matches as well, since he won't be scheduled to play singles before Wednesday.

"I've seldom played doubles on the tour. There is always that threat of injury; it just wasn't as much fun. But now I am in the mood to play some doubles, change it up a little. Hopefully, it may even help me in the singles,'' Federer said.

It was a brief run, however. Federer and Haas lost 7-6 (3), 6-4 to Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner, who are two-time Grand Slam doubles champions.

The singles field also includes second-seeded Richard Gasquet, third-seeded Haas and No. 4 Kei Nishikori.

In the opening singles Monday, qualifier Jan Hernych defeated Daniel Brands 6-4, 6-2, Mikhail Youzhny beat Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-1, 6-2 and eighth-seeded Florian Mayer swept past qualifier Martin Fischer 6-2, 6-2.

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