Monday, October 31, 2016

Kim Clijsters welcomes third child

He finally arrived :-) Meet Blake Richard Lynch ... ❤️

Tennis - Former World No. 1 Kim Clijsters has given birth to her third child - Blake Richard Lynch, the Belgian star tweeted to her fans on Twitter on Sunday. 

The 33-year-old Clijsters is married to American basketball player Brian Lynch since 2007 and the two already had two children earlier - Jada Elle in February 2008 and Jack Leon Lynch in September 2013.

TennisWorld wishes the Clijsters family all the very best for the latest addition to their family.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza ousted out of WTA Finals in Singapore

Singapore: Indian star Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis lost a hard-fought semi-final to crash out of the WTA Finals on Saturday.

The second-seeded Indo-Swiss combination squandered a one-set lead to go down 6-3, 2-6, 6-10 to the Russian pair of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.

Mirza-Hingis won the season-ending championships in 2015 but were edged out by the Russian duo in one hour and 30 minutes. The defending champions had split up in August this year, but reunited for one last time in an attempt to defend their title.

This win was Makarova and Vesnina's first triumph over the Indo-Swiss pair in five attempts. The second seeds created multiple opportunities to break their opponents but could only capatalise on four of the 15 break points they had. On the other hand, the Russians came back strongly after a poor opening set, and converted five out of the six break points that they set up in the match.

The fourth-seeded Russians will meet third seeds Lucie Safarova of Czech Republic and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the final on Sunday.

Safarova and Mattek-Sands defeated top seeds Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 7-5 in the other semi-final on Saturday. 'Team Bucie', as they are fondly called, are heading into the final on a 17-match winning streak, which started at the US Open.

As a result of Mirza's loss, Mattek-Sands now has a chance of replacing the Indian as the women's doubles world number one. If the Czech-American pair emerge victorious in the final on Sunday, the 2016 WTA year-end No 1 ranking will go to Mattek-Sands.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza reunited and back to winning ways in Singapore

Defending champions Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza won their first match together since August, surging past Chan Yung-Jan and Chan Hao-Ching to reach the semifinals in Singapore.

SINGAPORE - No.2 seeds and defending champions Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza won their first match as a pair since splitting in August, defeating Chan Yung-Jan and Chan Hao-Ching, 7-6(10), 7-5, to reach the semifinals at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global and help keep Mirza's hopes of finishing 2016 at World No.1 alive.

Watch interviews and highlights from Singapore on the WTA Facebook page!

"It's great to be back in Singapore," Mirza said during their on-court interview. "It's also great to be back with Martina, and it's good to get that win."

The team formerly known as "Santina" started the season as the team to beat, riding a 41-match winning streak into the Middle East Swing and winning their third straight Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. Splitting in August, Hingis and Mirza vowed to defend their WTA Finals crown at year's end, and the two were true to their word come Friday afternoon.

"Our bond is what made us so strong, to win those tough points in the past," Hingis said. "No matter how you play, or what's happening on the court, you have to work through the tough moments and get the momentum going. It's been two months since we were last on court together, and it was great to be back out there with Sania."

Across the net were the Chan sisters, who came to Singapore having won their third title of the season at the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open; a formidable team in their own right, they were the last team to beat Hingis and Mirza before they began their aforementioned winning streak, the longest since Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova's 44 in 1990.

The Chans pushed the No.2 seeds into a tense first set tie-break, one that saw each team engineer three set points before the defending champions converted to take the opening set in just over an hour.

"They're a really tough team and we've played them a bunch of times," Mirza said. "But it was so important to win that first set. The momentum was in our favor after that, but it so tough and we had to stay mentally tough. I'm glad we got through."

Edging ahead an early break in the second, Santina appeared on course for a straightforward victory before the No.6 seeds roared back from a 2-4 deficit, winning three games in a row to get within one game of a match tie-break.

Undaunted, Hingis and Mirza won the last three games to advance into their second straight semifinal in Singapore. Awaiting them in the final four will be either Olympic Gold medalists and No.4 seeds, Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, or 2012 WTA Finals runner-ups Andrea Hlavackova or Lucie Hradecka.

Battle For Year-End No.1 Continues

Friday's win keeps Mirza in the hunt to retain her No.1 ranking through the end of the season,

Mirza is up against top seeds Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic along with No.3 seed Bethanie Mattek-Sands, all of whom have a change to take the top spot.

The French must go one round better than Mirza, while Mattek-Sands will have to win the title to unseat the Indian star.

Garcia/Mladenovic and Mattek-Sands (with partner Lucie Safarova) all advanced into the semifinals on Thursday.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sony's 'Uncharted' movie gets a director

Uncharted has set its course by finding a director.

Night at the Museum’s Shawn Levy will direct Sony’s adaptation of the popular video game franchise, EW has confirmed. Joe Carnahan, who’s directing Bad Boys for Life with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, penned the most recent version of the script. No release date has been pinned yet after the studio moved it from its June 30, 2017 slot.

The Uncharted franchise tracks adventurer Nathan Drake and his world travels hunting for artifacts and treasure. Naughty Dog and Sony’s series has garnered acclaim for its four games. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End holds a 93 aggregate rating on Metacritic, tabbed as having received “universal acclaim.”

Levy is on a roll right now. He directed two episodes and executive produced Netflix’s sleeper hit Stranger Things. He also produced the upcoming Denis Villeneuve sci-fi picture Arrival starring Amy Adams, which has picked up tons of buzz on the film festival circuit.

No mention of Neil Druckman anywhere...hmmm.

Also no news on who will play the role of Ellie.  I'm becoming less and less confident this will turn into anything good.

But given how many script writers and changes this project has already gone though, who knows maybe they'll find a way to make it half decent in the end. 

Neil Druckman has to be there, otherwise they shouldn't even bother. That's like having The Walking Dead without Robert Kirkman.  Unthinkable.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Cautious Roger Federer hoping for an extra long last hurrah

Roger Federer gave a deep, insightful interview to Swiss publication Tages Anzeiger last week in which he went over the details of his rehab and spoke about his goals for his return.

Read the Full Interview Here

The 17-time major champion, out of action since Wimbledon, says he knew by the end of that event that his only choice was to shut down his tennis to try to build his fitness back to 100 percent.

“The difficult phase was between Rome and Wimbledon,” he said. “Because I realized: Something is wrong with my knee, I am not doing well, I do not feel any progress, I am not well prepared for Wimbledon.”

Federer would go on to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon, and because it was such a surprise, he called it one of his most rewarding Wimbledon experiences.

As far as the looming possibility of retirement goes, it’s not really on Federer’s mind. “My last hurrah could take years, depending on the perspective,” Federer said when asked if he was thinking about the end. “Yes: I hope there is again a real hurrah. Otherwise I would not have taken such a long break. I would have come back half-fit after a few months and would have played something. But when I knew I would have to miss the Olympics and the US Open, I said: ‘Come on, now we do it right.’ That will be good for my body… maybe even after my career. Such a long break once in 20 years is okay.”

Federer said he has made no plans beyond Indian Wells for next year, and he adds that he isn’t really sure what to expect.

“First I have to see how it goes,” he said. “But I think Hopman Cup, Australian Open, Dubai and Indian Wells are fixed. For other tournaments I have not yet enrolled.”

Federer said he plans to head to Dubai and continue with his training. He has played tennis sparingly in his time off but he will begin to play more by December.

“I go [to Dubai] in November,” he said. “Now I was always in Switzerland, first in the mountains, now in Wollerau. In between, I was in New York.” He adds: “In the past two months, perhaps ten or twelve times [I have played tennis], and maybe three times more than an hour… I did not want to burden my knee after I had made a lot of specific strength training for the thigh and knee.”

Federer says that all has gone as expected, but he adds that he has yet to put the knee to the full test, so there are still unknowns.

“Now I feel strong but I did not go to the limit,” he said. “Because I have still about 80 days until the Australian Open, which is an enormous amount. I just hope that everything goes well. After this injury, I do not want to be too euphoric.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza reunite for WTA Finals in Singapore

Months after splitting, Santina has reunited in Singapore.

Defending WTA Finals doubles champions Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis came together at today's draw ceremony.

The second-seeded Santina will try to rekindle their once strong chemistry when they open their title defense against sisters Yung-Jan Chan and Hao-Ching Chan in the eight-team doubles draw.

During the summer, Hingis and Mirza ended a hugely successful partnership in which the pair won 14 titles in a 16-month span, including three Grand Slam championships, amassed a 41-match winning streak and grew into one of the most popular pairings in recent years.

Time will tell if it's a stressful or successful reunion.

However, even if they successfully defend their Singapore title and reclaim the Martina Navratilova trophy, Hingis and Mirza have called this week a one-time reunion and say they are not planning to rejoin forces in 2017.

Hingis, who paired with Timea Bacsinszky to win the Olympic silver medal in doubles, partnered CoCo Vandweghe in the second half of the season, while Mirza played primarily with Barbora Strycova.

The pair beat Hingis and Vandeweghe in the Cincinnati final, won the Tokyo title and reached the Wuhan final falling to Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova. The 36-year-old Hingis made her WTA Finals debut 20 years ago when the tournament was called the Chase Championships and staged at Madison Square Garden in New York City. 

Hingis reached the 1996 final falling to world No. 1 Steffi Graf in the five-set title match (the season-ending singles final was once a best-of-five set affair).

The woman who has held the No. 1 ranking in both singles and doubles said she surprised herself partnering with Mirza to win three Grand Slam titles: The 2015 Wimbledon and US Open and the 2016 Australian Open championship.

"Definitely not (what I was expecting) when I was coaching three years ago," Hingis said. "I was happy to have great partners along with Sania in the last couple of years. It was just a dream come true as well winning a couple of more Grand Slams here and there and being back fighting for Grand Slam titles. Its been amazing."

Friday, October 21, 2016

Don't write off Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal just yet

IN July 2003, Beyonce topped the charts with Crazy in Love, Roman Abramovich purchased Chelsea and a certain Roger Federer entered the top five for the first time after capturing his first major title at Wimbledon.

The era of the Swiss maestro had commenced and his unwavering attacking strategy earned him a hatful of Grand Slam titles and an army of adoring fans across the globe.

Federer and his unrivalled forehand appeared to be an unstoppable force but the emergence of a muscle-bound and unassuming teenager from Manacor soon dramatically changed the landscape.

Rafa Nadal was the antithesis of the Swiss. The Spaniard was defined by his remarkable court coverage and outstanding defensive capabilities, and his heavy top-spin forehand was perfectly constructed to break down Federer’s single-handed backhand.

The contrast in styles between the graceful Swiss and industrious Spaniard ensured that their rivalry transcended tennis and captured the imagination of the masses.

The head-to-head count is heavily-weighted in Nadal’s favour, and their unforgettable and highly-charged duels at Wimbledon and beyond are lasting memories which are unlikely to fade.

The updated ATP rankings on Monday made headlines due to Federer and Nadal both being absent from a top four position for the first time since 2003. At first glance it would appear that the ‘Fedal’ era has finally come to an end, but perhaps the pair, who have amassed 31 Grand Slam titles between them, have been written off too soon.

Nadal occupies fifth spot in the rankings and at some stage in the near future he will likely re-enter the top four. The Spaniard, by his own high standards, has had a disappointing season, having been hindered by inconsistent form and a wrist injury that put him out of action for three months.

For the second consecutive year, Nadal has struggled to perform at optimum level and his aura has been diminished. He appears vulnerable and susceptible to upset and his famed ability to produce under intense scrutiny has become a distant memory.

Perhaps the most concerning aspect of Nadal’s game has been the unpredictable and erraticnature of his performances. In Beijing last week he was flawless against Paolo Lorenzi in his opening match but he followed up with an error-strewn display against Grigor Dimitrov and exited the tournament with barely a whimper.

The 30 year-old appears bewildered by an inability to execute routine shots that he would have made in his pomp without a second thought, and his confidence has taken a battering as a consequence.

Nadal needs to emerge from the fringes and become a major contender once again. Attempting to achieve La Decima at his beloved Roland Garros will be his ultimate target. His chances in Paris will always be strong as there are very few players who have the capability to take down the ‘King of Clay’ in a five-set match on the vast Philippe-Chatrier Court.

Federer’s season was curtailed after Wimbledon due to a knee complaint but the consummate professional is grafting hard ahead of an eagerly-anticipated return in next year's Hopman Cup.

After such a lengthy lay-off, the odds are stacked against the 35 year-old reaching the top again but his supreme natural talent and flair will not have diminished in his short time away from match action.

It may take time for Federer to find his groove but if he remains healthy, a return to the top ten is almost certain.

Whether the Swiss can compete with Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka in the twilight of his career remains to be seen but it would not be a surprise to see the majestic Swiss roll back the years and inflict serious damage with his Wilson wand at SW19 once again.

2017 promises to be an important year for Federer and Nadal as both will feel they have a point to prove. Doubters will question whether the two legends can still mix it with the current elite but such esteemed champions can never be counted out.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Roger Federer helps Rafael Nadal open a tennis academy in his home town

On the court, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been intense rivals. But on Wednesday, the two all-time greats were nothing more than old friends as Federer joined Nadal to celebrate the official opening of the Rafael Nadal Academy by Movistar in Nadal's hometown of Manacor, Mallorca.

“I'm really here to honour the great man, Rafa. I think it's wonderful that he's taken this journey on to give the kids something back,” Federer said. “I've been around the game 17 years. I've seen a lot of hard workers and inspiring players, but you've been the one in my opinion who has been the most inspiring and most influential and made me the player I am today. Because you're left-handed, because of your spin, because of the intensity you bring to the court, I had to re-invent and re-work my game entirely. And that's because of the person you are and how much you've trained.”

Federer and Nadal have played 34 times. The left-hander leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 23-11 and has won five of the their past six matches. Federer, though, took their most recent contest, the final at the Swiss Indoors Basel last season.

“I've seen you prepare for tournaments and practices the same way, which I can't do, because my mind doesn't allow me to, I can't prepare for matches and practices this long. We're completely different when it comes to this,” Federer said. “I admire everything and how you do it, and I hope you can still do it for many more years to come. I really wish you good health. I think it's of the utmost importance.”

The 35-year-old Swiss endured his first major injury this season, 17 years into his professional career. Federer announced in July that he would sit out the remainder of the 2016 ATP World Tour season to continue rehabbing from knee surgery in February. He joked about injuries with Nadal, who's had his fair share, including a left wrist injury that forced him to miss 10 weeks earlier this season.

“I'm going through my first big injury now. It's been fairly easy for me. I've enjoyed my time at home. I've enjoyed seeing my family, practise has been easy,” Federer said. “But I don't know how it's going to be when I come back. You've done it a million times, so there again I can be inspired by you. How easily you always came back, and you made it look easy! You were always right away back in the Top 10, Top 5, World No. 1. That's something I'm going to be thinking about when I come back to the tour in January.”

The Rafael Nadal Academy by Movistar includes 26 indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a fitness centre, two swimming pools, mini-football pitches, a multi-sport court and seven paddle tennis courts.

“To share this with Roger is an unforgettable day,” Nadal said. “For Roger to share this important moment, for me and my family, [it] really means a lot.”

Nadal might have earned a few potential future clients from Federer's visit as well.

“I hope the kids are going to learn from this great man. He's one of the greatest we've ever had. His attitude speaks for itself. I hope it's going to be a wonderful academy,” Federer said. “One thing's for sure, I know where I'm going to send my kids if they want to learn tennis. I'm going to send them right here!”

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Roger Federer to make his comeback at IPTL in December

Roger Federer, who has been nursing a knee injury, announced that he will make his return at the season-opening Hopman Cup next year.

However, the 17-time Grand Slam champion will make his comeback on court even before that.

According to, the Swiss will feature in the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) that is scheduled to be held in December this season.

Federer, who hasn’t played a match since the Wimbledon this year, has been an integral part of the IPTL, a team exhibition event that is held across five countries, Japan (December 2-4), Singapore (Dec. 6-8), Philippines (Dec. 9-11), UAE (Dec. 13-15), and India (Dec. 16-18).

The Swiss maestro led the Indian Aces to victory in the inaugural tournament in 2014, before moving to UAE Royals in the subsequent year.

Besides, Grand Slam champions Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic will be among the other marquee players to feature in the third edition of the IPTL.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Maria Sharapova Rips ITF, ITF Strikes Back

I'm honestly conflicted on the whole Sharapova thing. Both parties have their faults really.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Stan Wawrinka can't wait to see Roger Federer back on tour in 2017

Stan Wawrinka has only one wish for 2017: seeing Roger Federer healthy after a very tough season for him. ´For tennis in general, I would like to see Roger back at the top with no injury. I think it’s always good for everybody when he’s playing´, he said during his pre-tournament press conference in Shanghai.

He also commented on how he feels heading to the Shanghai event: 'So far I’m quite happy with the practice. I would say (the courts are) a little bit faster than last year, but in general I’m feeling good. Always enjoy to come back. I think we have a chance that the tournament is doing amazing job first for the player, not only on-site but also off-site if we want to discover the city, if we want to go to nice restaurant. So I always enjoy my time here, for sure.'

He also commented on Ernests Gulbis' remarks. In May the Latvian had said that he was not respected like when he was two years ago in top 10 of the ATP Rankings. For Stan this is normal: 'If you win more probably your life changes', Wawrinka said to Schweizer Illustrierte. 'It's obvious that Federer has all the privileges, he earned them over the years. I won some Slams and a Davis Cup title, I have my place in tennis. But I am aware that between being top 5 and being a lower ranked player, there is a difference.'

He won three Grand Slams, a Davis Cup, he has been nominated Swiss athlete of the year. Why does he keep playing? 'Because I like to do it. I live of the sport and I am very lucky. I like to practice and to compete either if I win or lose. There is no reason why I should stop now, although I am 31. At this age you are old for the sport but very young in life. I want to enjoy as much as possible.'

His Weight is 81kg and is 1.83 meters high. Asked if he took in consideration to be thinner in order to be faster, Wawrinka said: 'Obviously you have to be very fast at these levels. I spoke about it with nutritionists and my fitness trainer Pierre Paganini, but for my tennis and for my speed of shots I need a certain weight.'

Djokovic is six Grand Slam titles away from breaking Roger Federer's record. Asked what would mean for Roger to see it happen, Wawrinka replied: 'First of all we need to say that Djokovic still has to win five Majors and it's not granted that he does it. We were saying the same about Nadal Two years ago. It's not worth to speak about it now.'

Friday, October 07, 2016

Roger Federer to play Hopman Cup in January

PERTH, Australia -- Roger Federer will compete at the Hopman Cup in January as part of his buildup to the Australian Open.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion will join Belinda Bencic for Switzerland at the eight-team tournament, which runs from Jan. 1-7.

Federer missed the second half of the 2016 season to fully recover from his knee surgery, which he had last February, and had targeted the Australian Open for his return. His last match was a semifinal loss at Wimbledon, and he did not compete at the Rio Olympics and the US Open.

Nick Kyrgios and Daria Gavrilova will return to defend the title they won this year when they became the first Australians since Mark Philippoussis and Jelena Dokic in 1999 to win the Hopman Cup.

"Australia hadn't won it for a long, long time, so, to be coming back there, it's pretty exciting to be defending the title," Kyrgios said.

Also in the field will be Jack Sock and Coco Vandeweghe from the United States, and Petra Kvitova and Adam Pavlasek from the Czech Republic.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Doubles field set for Singapore, Sania Mirza & Martina Hingis to play together at the event

The doubles field for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global is now set after events in Beijing saw the final four qualifying berths decided on Wednesday.

Defeat for Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova in the Chinese capital confirmed that Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova, Chan Hao-Ching and Chan Yung-Jan, Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, and Julia Goerges and Karolina Pliskova will all be heading to Singapore for the season finale.

The four join earlier qualifiers Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic, Martina Hingis and Mirza and Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the eight-team knockout draw.

There is a wealth of experience amongst the final batch of qualifiers, with only Goerges and Pliskova making their Singapore debut. Two-time major winners Hlavackova and Hradecka were runners-up at the Finals in 2012, before reaching the semifinals on their return in 2015. The Chan sisters were also semifinalists 12 months ago, while Babos and Shvedova, have also qualified in the past, albeit with other partners.






















Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Hall of Fame Ambassador Martina Hingis Leads China Open Junior Clinic

BEIJING, China - 2015 China Open doubles champion and Global Ambassador for the International Tennis Hall of Fame Martina Hingis headlined a youth clinic featuring the nation's top junior prospects.

"Tennis has definitely come to China," the Swiss Miss remarked in a press conference. "I played in Guangzhou, I played in Wuhan last week, now Beijing, then Tianjin.

"You can see the improvement over the past 10, 15 years, many more academies, and more top players. How many more will come out of this country? The kids today, you see how much better they are. The infrastructure of the country, there are so many opportunities and possibilities."

The junior clinic was a collaborative effort of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the China Open, the Chinese Tennis Association, and Hingis herself. The young players in the clinic were gathered by the coaches at Star River Professional Tennis Club, which is the first professional tennis club in mainland China.

"I always say, I wish we had one of these stadiums in Switzerland," Hingis continued, referencing the National Tennis Stadium housing the China Open. "But here they're like mushrooms popping up everywhere. Hopefully this will help, having the right infrastructure, the coaches, the possibilities will happen to have many more like Li Na and Shuai Peng, many more players like that in the future."

Offering technical advice, the 2013 International Hall of Fame Inductee also gave a historical perspective to the clinic, aiming to impart a love of tennis history in the hopes that the youth in attendance might look back on how far the game has come.

"Tennis history, it's always been very important to me. My mom always encouraged me to learn about Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, who invented the WTA Tour, she started the tour, all of that history," said Hingis. "You have to go and check out the Hall of Fame. Definitely if you're in America, it's a beautiful place to visit and a great place to learn about our tennis history."