Sunday, July 23, 2017

Kim Clijsters inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame









NEWPORT, RI, USA – Former WTA World No.1 Kim Clijsters received one of the highest honors in tennis on Saturday, being officially inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017.

Read more: WTA Insider: Kim Clijsters reflects on Hall of Fame career

Clijsters was inducted alongside former men’s No.1 Andy Roddick, legendary wheelchair tennis player Monique Kalkman-van den Bosch, distinguished tennis journalist Steve Flink and groundbreaking tennis instructor Vic Braden at a ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island.

"This is really special not just for me but for all of my family,” Clijsters said at the ceremony. "Everyone who has stood on this stage before and will stand after has a passion for the sport of tennis."

One of only six women in tennis history to simultaneously top the world rankings in singles and doubles, Clijsters held the WTA World No.1 ranking for 19 weeks and was a Top 5 player for 250 weeks of her career. She won four Grand Slam singles titles – the 2011 Australian Open and 2005, 2009 and 2010 US Open – and two doubles titles, the 2003 French Open and Wimbledon, as well as three WTA Finals titles.

Clijsters retired from tennis in 2007, taking a break to start a family, and then made her comeback to the sport in 2009, going on to win three of her four Grand Slam titles and return to No.1 in 2011.

Since retirement, Clijsters, now a mother of three, has been focused on her family and the Kim Clijsters Academy in Belgium, where many juniors train, as well as competing in Legends events at the Grand Slams.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Martina Hingis back with the Washington Kastles after Wimbledon mixed doubles win

WASHINGTON — Martina Hingis looked confident warming up ahead of the Washington Kastles match on Tuesday night. After all, her last doubles win came just two days ago.

Hingis and Jamie Murray beat defending champions Henri Kontinen and Heather Watson, 6-4, 6-4, to take the mixed doubles title at Wimbledon on Sunday.

“I don’t really have much time to celebrate. I made it to champions dinner, kind of made it through. Four o’clock got up, got a car, and am here now,” Hingis said Tuesday. “Luckily, it’s not my first time.”

Her first Grand Slam title came in 1996 at age 15, when she and Helena Suková won the women’s doubles title at Wimbledon. Since then, Hingis has gone on to win 23 Grand Slams, with all but five of them coming in doubles.

“Even in my singles career, I was much better doubles player than singles player,” she said.

Her success in doubles has kept her playing. Hingis, 36, has retired from the sport twice, first in 2003 and again in 2007.

Lately, she has found increased success in mixed doubles. Of her six major championship titles in mixed doubles, five have come since the beginning of 2015. Alongside Leander Paes of India, she won each of the Grand Slam titles, before teaming up with Murray this year.

In women’s doubles, she has switched partners more often, winning 12 Grand Slams with seven different partners. The most recent came in 2016 at the Australian Open with Sania Mirza, the pair’s third major title in two years.

“Sometimes it takes more psychology than skills to handle different partners,” she said. “I think my game just is meant to adjust to different types of partners, and I think I try to bring the best out of both of us, and I think I’ve been pretty capable of doing that.”

Hingis has certainly found success in the doubles game, but she has also found solace in playing with a partner.

“I always enjoy that part always even more because you’re never alone on the court,” she said.

“You’re with your partner, and even on a bad day or a good day, you try to help each other.

"And you win as a team, and that’s what for me it’s about.”

It is that same team aspect that draws her back to Mylan World Team Tennis every year. She is now in her 10th WTT season, having played five seasons in New York.

“Playing for the Kastles, you don’t have just one partner - you have five or six,” the 2013 WTT Female MVP said.

“That’s what I enjoy even more - not just being out there for yourself, but having that responsibility, you have the whole stadium that carries you, and that’s really cool.”

At Tuesday’s home opener against the New York Empire, fans shouted her name throughout the match, as others held a sign that read “Martina is the queen of the Kastles”.

She held court for the first two sets, representing the Kastles in mixed doubles and immediately after in women’s doubles. Hingis and Treat Huey dropped the first set 5-4, but alongside Anastasia Rodionova, Hingis reversed the second set, winning 5-4, and evening the overall score at 9-9. The Kastles would go on to win 24-23 in a supertiebreaker, with Frances Tiafoe clinching the match.

Earlier in the night during a courtside interview, Hingis took a moment to reflect on her cross-continental celebrations.

“Just a couple of nights ago I was celebrating in London, and now tonight I’ll hopefully have more to celebrate.”

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Martina Hingis wants to coach Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska in the future

Martina Hingis revealed she would love to work with Caroline Wozniacki or Agnieszka Radwanska if she could coach any current players on the WTA Tour.

The Swiss ace and former world No. 1 is competing in both the mixed doubles and the ladies doubles in 2017 – 20 years after her singles title at the All England Club – having won five Grand Slams between 1997 and 1999.

After retiring from tennis twice and taking on several smaller coaching roles, Hingis has returned to tear up the doubles scene and now boasts majors in all four Slams in both mixed and ladies doubles.

However, she admitted she would be interested in returning to coaching after she hangs up her racquet again.

‘I already did some coaching and really enjoyed it,’ she exclusively told Metro.co.uk. ‘I did help some really young upcoming players – four or five girls who were past junior champions or No. 1 in the junior events and helping them make that transition.

‘I see them around today – one of them actually was Naomi Broady who I hit with a few times and Yulia Putintseva, [Daria] Gavrilova so to make the breakthrough and they’re ranked 30/40 in the world now so it’s great.

‘Also helping someone like [Anastasia] Pavlyuchenkova or Sabine Lisicki, who I partnered in the doubles later on. I really enjoyed that part. You know, you see the instant improvement and also mentally, sometimes it’s more of a psychology not only coaching with the tennis game – it’s a whole.’

While enjoying her previous time in coaching, Hingis picked out two current stars who would she would enjoy working with: Wozniacki and Radwanska.

The pair were both knocked out of Wimbledon in the fourth round on Monday, losing to Coco Vandeweghe and Svetlana Kuznetsova respectively, and have been up to first and second in the WTA rankings.

However, neither have won a Slam, with Radwanska losing to Serena Williams in the final of Wimbledon in 2012 and Wozniacki losing twice in the final of the US Open in 2009 and 2014.

And Hingis – who is playing alongside Jamie Murray in the mixed doubles at the All England Club – would love the chance to help them go one step further at a major.

‘I usually let it come to me, I don’t like making that first step,’ she said of any potential future coaching work. ‘Also the player and the surroundings have to be right.

A player I think definitely has a great game or would have the possibility to win a Slam, which she hasn’t done yet, is Caroline Wozniacki.


Or someone like Radwanska who probably have similarities to my game but they have made finals in Slams and not been able to do that yet.

‘It’s not a mental thing, it’s just a little tweaser – just a little tweak to their games.’

metro.co.cuk  the article also includes a great video interview



Monday, July 17, 2017

Martina Hingis captures 2nd mixed doubles title at Wimbledon with Jamie Murray







TOI Sports Twitter

Martina Hingis Twitter




LONDON, Great Britain - Former World No.1 Martina Hingis captured her 23rd Grand Slam title on Sunday, partnering Jamie Murray to dethrone defending champions Heather Watson and Henri Kontenin, 6-4, 6-4.

"It's easy to play with Martina," Murray said in the post-championship press conference. "I mean, she's always smiling and happy and stuff. Makes it easy for me.

"She takes care of her side of the court, makes my job a lot easier."

Hingis won her first Wimbledon crown as a 15 years, 282 days old in 1996, triumphing in women's doubles with Helena Sukova to become the youngest Grand Slam champion in the Open Era.

Top seeds in mixed doubles, Hingis and Murray were playing together for the first time at a major; Hingis typically partners with Leander Paes, with whom she'd won three of the four Grand Slam tournaments in 2015.

Murray had planned to focus on men's doubles because of its grueling best-of-five format, but when reconsidered when the Hall of Famer gave him a call.

"I'm not used to 'No,' Hingis laughed after the match. "No, I don't take 'no' as an answer pretty much. But I understand in the past guys would have said no because they really want to focus on doubles only because it's three-out-of-five. This is the only tournament that still does it.

"It's definitely easier to ask somebody on the other three Grand Slams and not Wimbledon. But I definitely was hoping for a big yes."

With Murray, the Swiss Miss didn't drop a set en route to the final, where they were set to face Watson and Kontenin, who won the title last year.

Watson and Kontenin came through the tournament unseeded, beating four seeded teams to return to the final, including No.4 seeds Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig, No.10 seeds and reigning French Open champions Gabriela Dabrowski and Rohan Bopanna, and No.2 seeds Elena Vesnina and Bruno Soares.

Murray last won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title in 2007 with another former WTA World No.1 in Jelena Jankovic, and his shared experience with Hingis proved too tough for Watson and Kontenin, saving break points in the final game to serve out the win in 70 minutes.

"You had to also cheer me up a couple times," Hingis said, addressing her partner. "I get down, feeling frustrated when I can't return the guy's serve. I'd pick the right side, but still he served so good today.

"Today we didn't really get nervous about it. Like even if we didn't get to play the things we usually did in the last four matches, today we did when it mattered."

Hingis has now won six mixed doubles titles to add to her 12 in women's doubles and five in singles; her latest partnership with Chan Yung-Jan has helped her become No.1 on the Porsche Race to Singapore leaderboard after they won two of the first three Premier Mandatory tournaments at the BNP Paribas Open and the Mutua Madrid Open.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Roger Federer wins record #8 & his 19th Grand Slam at Wimbledon!








Roger Federer Tumblr

wimbledon facebook


Roger Federer stands alone. The Swiss achieved Wimbledon immortality on Sunday, becoming the all-time titles leader at The Championships with a resounding 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Marin Cilic.

Federer notched a record eighth crown at the All England Club, surpassing Pete Sampras for solo first place on the all-time list. The Swiss added to his unprecedented Grand Slam titles haul, lifting a 19th trophy in total and second of the year, having prevailed at the Australian Open in January.

The World No. 5 will ascend two spots to No. 3 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday, capping a remarkable return to the Top 3 for the first time in nearly one year. The oldest man to win Wimbledon in the Open Era, the 35 year old added 2000 Emirates ATP Rankings points and £2,200,000 in prize money.

"It means the world to me to hold this trophy, particularly when I haven’t dropped a set," said Federer on BBC TV after the match. "It’s magical, I can’t believe it yet. It’s too much, really. It’s disbelief that I can achieve such heights. I wasn’t sure if I’d be in a final again after last year, especially some tough losses to Novak [Djokovic] in 2014 and 2015. But I kept believing and if you believe you can go a long way in your life. Here I am with an eighth title, it’s fantastic."


In claiming the title in straight sets, Federer became just the second player to reign at Wimbledon without dropping a set in the Open Era, with Bjorn Borg (1976). He also joins Borg and Rafael Nadal as the only men to race through a major tournament on multiple occasions. He previously did so a decade ago at the 2007 Australian Open.

Grand Slam Titles Won Without Dropping a Set

Player
Titles Tournaments


Bjorn Borg

3


1976 Wimbledon, 1978 & '80 Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal


3 2008, 2010 & '17 Roland Garros

Roger Federer


2


2007 Australian Open, 2017 Wimbledon

Ilie Nastase


1


1973 Roland Garros


Ken Rosewall 



1971 Australian Open


It has been a vintage first half of the season for Federer, who improved to 9-0 against Top 10 opposition with a tour-leading fifth tour-level crown. Employing the same aggressive and authoritative gameplan that saw him prevail at Melbourne Park, seal the Sunshine Double in Indian Wells and Miami and notch a staggering ninth Gerry Weber Open title, Federer dropped just four service games in capturing the Wimbledon crown.


It was a slow start for Federer on a crisp Sunday afternoon, striking an early double fault on game point and conceding a break chance to Cilic. But the Croatian squandered the opportunity and the Swiss seized the initiative, breaking immediately in the next game after racing to a 0/40 lead. Federer would break again for the opener behind a ruthless returning display, surging to a one-set lead.

An edgy Cilic would continue to succumb to Federer's pressure from the baseline. A backhand wide gave the 35 year old a quick break in the second game of the second set. An emotional Cilic was assessed by tournament doctors on the subsequent changeover and Federer would stay the course, breaking once again for a commanding 5-1 lead.

Cilic did well to make the third set competitive, but the seventh seed could not halt Federer's indomitable momentum. The Basel native would take the decisive break in the seventh game and did not look back, streaking to the title after one hour and 41 minutes. He would secure his eighth Wimbledon crown with his 13th ace of the match. It was a 93rd tour-level title and record 17th on grass for Federer.

Most Grand Slam Titles At Same Tournament

Player
Titles Tournament

Rafael Nadal 


10


Roland Garros


Roger Federer


8


Wimbledon


Pete Sampras


7


Wimbledon



Federer extended his dominant FedEx ATP Head2Head lead over Cilic to 7-1, defeating the Croatian for the second straight year at Wimbledon. The Swiss saved three match points in that quarter-final encounter at SW19.

“I never gave up throughout my career. I gave my best today and that’s all I could do," said Cilic. "I have had an amazing journey here and have played the best tennis of my life. I’d like to thank my team, they gave me so much strength. To all my fans in Croatia and here, it was really tough today. I gave it my all and I hope to come back here and go one better next time.”

Cilic, who takes home £1,100,000 and 1200 Emirates ATP Rankings points, was appearing in his second major final (2014 US Open). Champion at the 2012 Aegon Championships at The Queen's Club, he was also bidding for a second grass-court crown and 17th in total at the tour-level. The 28 year old was vying to become just the second Croatian player to win the Wimbledon title, joining Goran Ivanisevic (2001).

atpworldtour.com

It took 5 years, but Roger Federer is the undisputed king of Grass once more. 

Magic # 8 & 19.  The first Wimbledon without dropping a set ♥

I am on cloud 9 right now. All I can say is 2017 tennis season I ♥ you.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Roger Federer into his 11th Wimbledon final with straight sets win over Berdych












Roger Federer Tumblr

Following his Wimbledon semi-final loss last season and his six-month layoff last year, Roger Federer had to doubt if he'd ever return to the Wimbledon final. He doesn't need to wonder any longer.

The seven-time champion will play in his 11th final at The Championships after overcoming some big hitting from Czech Tomas Berdych 7-6(4), 7-6(4), 6-4 on Friday during their semi-final. Federer still has not dropped a set at SW19 this fortnight and will be the favourite when he plays for his record eighth Wimbledon title and 19th Grand Slam crown on Sunday.

Federer will meet seventh seed Marin Cilic, who beat No. 24 seed Sam Querrey of the U.S. 7-6(6), 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-5 in Friday's first semi-final. Cilic, the 2014 US Open titlist, reaches his second Grand Slam final.

Federer leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 6-1, including a 2016 Wimbledon quarter-final win. But the Croatian held three match points during that match and has beaten Federer in the latter stages of a Grand Slam. The 6'6" right-hander upset Federer in the 2014 US Open semi-finals.

If Cilic celebrates his first Wimbledon crown, he'll jump to No. 5 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday when the new list is published. If Federer wins the title, he'll rise to No. 3.

The Swiss star was tested by Berdych, who beat Federer en route to the 2010 Wimbledon final. But Federer served himself out of holes and came through in clutch moments to beat Berdych for the eighth straight time and improve to 19-6 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

Berdych erased a break point in his opening service game to start strong in his third Wimbledon semi-final. But Federer, who's playing in his 12th Wimbledon semi-final, came back at him at 2-2, smashing a jumping forehand before hitting a swinging volley for the break. He consolidated the break with a hold to love.

Federer used variety, including a steady diet of slice backhands, to keep the big-hitting Berdych off balance. The Swiss sought to stretch Berdych and not allow the 6'5” Czech time to setup on his lethal forehand.

But Berdych responded well, swinging freely from both sides while trying to attack Federer's serve. The Swiss double faulted twice at 4-3, including on break point, to give the break back. At 5-5, Berdych erased two break points with two aces. But his forehand let him down in the tie-break as he netted a sitter at 3/4 to give Federer the mini-break.

In the second set, Federer faced pressure on his serve at 3-3 when Berdych nailed a forehand winner to bring up a break point. But the 35-year-old Swiss crushed Berdych's hopes, hitting three consecutive winners – one forehand and two service – to hold.

In the tie-break, the 18-time Grand Slam champion brought more stellar shot-making, teeing off on a Berdych second serve to earn a mini-break at 2/1. Federer then struck back-to-back forehand winners to lead 4/1.

Berdych turned away a break point at 2-2 in the third set and had two break points during the very next service game to get himself back into the match. But Federer barely let him hit another ball in that game. From 15/40, Federer hit two aces, a service winner and another ace to hold. He'd break the next game.

atpworldtour.com

Berdych played surprisingly well, the first 2 sets is what I expected would happen when Roger played Raonic (with the 2 tie-breaks).   But Federer was on another level. 

And for the first time in a while he's going into a final without losing a set.  

Let's go Roger!. 

Time to get passed the Sampras record and get #8.  

Martina Hingis will play for a 2nd mixed doubles title at Wimbledon with 1st time partner Jamie Murray

LONDON, Great Britain - Martina Hingis will play for her second mixed doubles title at Wimbledon, as the top seeded Swiss and her partner Jamie Murray advanced to the final with a 6-2, 7-5 win over unseeded María José Martínez Sánchez and Marcelo Demoliner on Friday.


Hingis and Murray haven't lost a set together at the Championships, as the Swiss looks to win another trophy at the All-England Club, to go along with a singles trophy (1997), three ladies' doubles trophies (1996, 1998, 2015) and the 2015 mixed doubles title.


Standing in her way will be the Cinderella sequel of Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen, who defeated No.2 seeds Elena Vesnina and Bruno Soares, 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3 to return to the final for the second year in a row.


The Brit and the Finn knocked off their fourth seeded team in five matches this week, as their semifinal match was their second straight three-set victory after a quarterfinal win over Roland Garros champions and No.10 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Rohan Bopanna.


wtatennis.com

Friday, July 14, 2017

Martina Hingis & Jamie Murray reach Wimbledon mixed doubles semis

Jamie Murray and Martina Hingis beat British pair Ken Skupski and Jocelyn Rae to reach the Wimbledon mixed doubles semi-finals.

Britain's Murray and Switzerland's Hingis won 6-4 6-4 in one hour four minutes on Centre Court.

Both Murray and Hingis are bidding for their second Wimbledon mixed doubles titles.

The Scot won in 2007 alongside Serbia's Jelena Jankovic while Hingis won in 2015 with Indian Leander Paes.

The pair only announced their partnership last week and again looked comfortable as a partnership on the court.

Hingis has won five mixed doubles titles at Grand Slams as well as 12 women's doubles and five singles competitions - including Wimbledon in 1997.

Murray won men's doubles titles at the Australian Open and US Open last year with Brazil's Bruno Soares.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Roger Federer avenges 2016 Roanic loss to reach 12th semi at Wimbledon











Revenge is a dish best served with a cold. Roger Federer has been playing with the sniffles this Wimbledon, but on the evidence of the impact upon his play in these Championships to date, perhaps the affliction should be renamed a hot.

Twelve months on from his semi-final defeat here by Milos Raonic, the seven-time champion delivered a hiding in the opening two sets of this quarter-final, and then stonewalled the Canadian’s best efforts in the third.

Raonic came into this match having won the most recent two of their 12 career meetings, but Federer redressed the balance by reaching his 12th Wimbledon semi-final 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(4) in one hour and 58 minutes. He will face Tomas Berdych for a place in the 11th Wimbledon final of his career.

It was remarkable that Federer could so much as move around the court, given that he was wading through his usual number of astonishing new records in this match. If all of them were to be listed here, this report might need to become one of one of those 100-week part works still occasionally advertised on television (“buy Part One and get Part Two free”).

However, for those seeking a digest of the main bullet points… (Draws deep breath)… This was Federer’s 50th Grand Slam quarter-final (a record), his 89th match win at Wimbledon (a record), which earned him his 12th Wimbledon semi-final (a record), and his 42nd Grand Slam semi-final (a record). He even contributed to another record, by being among the five men over 30 in the quarter-finals here (an Open Era record).

For those wondering, the fact that this was his 100th match on the Wimbledon lawns counted merely as a personal landmark; ironically, however, it was not a record – although should he reach Sunday’s final, he will equal Jimmy Connors’ mark.

On a fitfully sunny Centre Court, Raonic got off to a textbook fast start, holding to love with a game in which he delivered a serve of 140mph. It looked like an excellent confidence-booster for a player hamstrung this year by – well, a hamstring problem, actually. But moments later he was fending off the Federer attack. At 2-2 a loose volley gave Federer an opening, and a really fabulous running crosscourt pass from the No.3 seed fooled Raonic at the net. Even by this early stage, Federer had amassed nine winners to zero errors, while the Canadian’s figures were 6-4. With ironic emphasis, Federer served out the opener with his fifth ace, having surrendered just three points on his delivery all set.

Raonic simply wasn’t converting enough of his first serves – his key weapon – into actual points on the board, and at the start of the second set the crisis deepened. The latest winner from the Federer forehand gave the Swiss the chance to breach right at the off, whereupon Raonic’s attempt to make Federer play a backhand drifted wide. With the Canadian’s signature lugubrious demeanour more dispirited than ever, at 1-3 he couldn’t reach a pass at the net, and the double break came up. If Raonic hadn’t got the message, Federer served out the set to love, with the clock still short of the hour mark.

All that was left to last year’s runner-up was to take a bathroom break, which he did at some leisure, adding a change of shoes on his return for good measure (something he likes to do every couple of sets in any match). A short rash of forehand mistakes from Federer gave Raonic a break point, but he couldn’t capitalise. At 4-3, though, he really threatened the Swiss serve, earning four separate break points, two of which were gorgeous stuff – a marvellous running crosscourt winner, and a punchy return.

But all four chances fell on stony ground – and perhaps that game ultimately was the most remarkably for witnessing the rarest of sights this Wimbledon, the Federer double fault. It was his second… not of the match, but of these Championships. Raonic pushed the set into the tiebreak, and edged ahead, but the Federer forehand struck again to devastating effect, pulling him back from 0-3 to 5-3. It was soon over.

As for all those records, at least one member of the Centre Court crowd was happy that Friday’s semi-final will not see Federer become the oldest man to reach the last four here in the Open Era. At the age of 35 years 342 days, he is a mere whippersnapper by comparison with Ken Rosewall, who was 39 years 246 days as runner-up to Jimmy Connors in 1974. Watching the Swiss youngster from the stands, Rosewall, now 82, has changed so little that he remains instantly recognisable.

There may be three semi-finalists at Wimbledon 2017 whom few had forecast, but with Rosewall in SW19 and Federer in the last four again, familiarity still has much to recommend it. There are some things hereabouts we never want to change.


Ah, revenge how sweet it is.  

I'm just gonna say it, in my last post I said he would beat Raonic in straights. And I've never been happier to be right. What I didn't expect was how easily he won the first 2 sets.  I thought for sure he would have to win it in 3 tie-breaks.  

But Roger definitely came to play and he delivered yet another master class. What I did not foresee (along with pretty much everyone else) was the fact that Roger would be the lone remaining guy out of the big four. With Murray beaten in 5 sets by Querrey and most surprising Djokovic retiring vs Berdych. 

No one could have predicted this. To say I'm looking forward to Federer's next 2 matches would be an understatement. Don't get me wrong Berdych is a tough opponent and I expect he will give Roger a fight, but I get the feeling he'll come through that one with not too much difficulty. 

As for the other 2 semi-finalists,  Cilic would be Roger's biggest challenge.  If I remember correctly he give him a run for his money in last year's Wimbledon, (in fact he was match points down and 2 sets down) so it's not going to be a cake-walk despite the big 3 not being there. 

Bring it on  Wimbledon 2017.  I am loving the way things are shaping up.