Novak Djokovic turns to acting
If you are a fan of movies and especially of 80s action movie heroes like Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Arnold Schwarzenegger and a fan of tennis, in particular of Novak Djokovic, then the movie Expendables II is definitely a must see.
The Serbian number one of the world is set for a cameo in the ensemble movie.
As New York Magazine puts it so eloquently:
Nole will play himself in the cameo, meaning either that Expendables 2 will involve a terrorist attack on Wimbledon or that the Expendables crew now requires a tennis impressionist among its ranks.
Maria Kirilenko and Alex Ovechkin: What will their celebrity couple name be?
Has anyone heard of the break up between Russian bombshell Maria Kirilenko and Igor Andreev? I haven’t heard or read anything about that. Imagine my surprise when I read about Kirilenko dating Washington Capitals hockey player Alex Ovechkin. I suppose that somebody had to succeed Anna Kournikova who was the NHL mascotte in her early career in the early 2000s, I just never thought it was going to be Maria Kirilenko. And while we are at it: What will be their celebrity couple name? We have got Wozilroy but the word is still out on Ana Ivanovic and Adam Scott. Kirilenko and Oveckin: MariaLex? I really have no clue. Help us out here and leave a comment. For some more hot shots of Maria Kirilenko follow this link to Lawntennisnews.
Rafael Nadal, the champion who drinks responsibly!
And for those of you who are of legal drinking age. This is what I just got in the mail:
Bacardi Limited today launches an international free prize draw competition to meet its Global Social Responsibility Ambassador Rafael „Rafa. Nadal as part of the award-winning “Champions Drink Responsibly” social responsibility campaign. Starting today, legal drinking age consumers and fans from around the world will get the opportunity to “Ace Rafa” in an online virtual reality video game created by Bacardi Limited.
Fans who successfully “ace” the ten-time Grand Slam winner in the game will go into a free prize draw to win a spot in the Grand Final. The lucky finalists will get to meet Rafa Nadal face-to-face in Mallorca, Spain, in 2012 for the chance to try and “ace“ him in-person.
Legal drinking age consumers can enter the competition via the “Champions Drink Responsibly” Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ChampionsDrinkResponsibly) where they will face Rafa by using the RoboServ 3000 –– a state-of-the-art 12-foot tall tennis-serving robot.
And it even included a great video:
Never can say goodbye
It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing that my time at TennisGrandstand has come to an end. After four years of editing, recruiting and all of that jazz I have decided to move away from TennisGrandstand. I leave the site in the capable hands of Romana Cvitkovic and you can already see her hand in many things that are TennisGrandstand. Such as the great articles of the past couple of weeks. What will I do? I am going to be the editor of Lawntennisnews.com with a few TennisGrandstand Alumni like Stephane Carter.
I will miss you all!
And to make sure that I am really gone from TennisGrandstand I leave you with this video:
By Luís Santos
Sad day today at Roland Garros as beautiful Maria Kirilenko says goodbye to the singles’ tournament. She went down to Franny Schiavone 6-4 6-4 but it was a great match to watch!
Maria can play every shot in the book and we got to see some great volleys and dropshots today from her. Adding to that she managed – on occasions – to be as explosive off the ground as she can get. However, Schiavone was not letting this chance of getting to the quarters slip by and saved 8 out of 10 break-points throughout…
Maria has become somewhat of a giant-killer in slams, beating the likes of Sharapova and Safina Down-Under and now sending defending champion Kuznetsova back home as early as the third round.
Today was not to be her day but it still marked Maria’s best French Open to date.
May 25 is chock full of historic – and interesting – happenings in tennis history. Here’s a list as it appears in the book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.TennisHistoryBook.com)
1999 – Ranked No. 111 in the world, 17-year-old Roger Federer plays in his first main draw match at a major tournament at the French Open, losing to two-time reigning U.S. Open champion Patrick Rafter of Australia 5-7, 6-3, 6-0, 6-2. Writes Rene Stauffer in the book The Roger Federer Story, Quest for Perfection, “He (Roger) jumped out to win the first set against the world’s No. 3-ranked player who then was at the peak of his career. However, the sun came out and the conditions became warmer and faster. The clay courts dried out and balls moved much faster through the court. The Australian’s attacking serve-and-volley style seemed to run on automatic and he won in four sets. ‘The young man from Switzerland could be one of the people who will shape the next ten years,’ the French sports newspaper L’Equipe wrote during the tournament. Rafter shared the same opinion. “The boy impressed me very much,” he said. “If he works hard and has a good attitude, he could become an excellent player.’”
2004 – Frenchmen Fabrice Santoro and Arnaud Clement finish play in the longest-recorded match in tennis history in the first round of the French Open as Santoro edges Clement 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 3-6, 16-14 in 6 hours, 33 minutes. The match is played over two days and is suspended from the previous day with the two playing for 4:38 the previous day – stopping at 5-5 in the fifth-set – and for 1:55 the second day. Santoro saves two match points during the marathon – one on each day. The first match point comes with Santoro serving at 4-5 in the fifth set on day one and the second comes at 13-14 on the second day. Says Santoro, “I came very close to defeat, it’s a miracle. I tried to stay relaxed on the important points and if it looked that way, then I did a good job because I was very tense.” Santoro and Clement break the previous record – curiously held by two women in a straight-set best-of-three match – held by Vicki Nelson-Dunbar and Jean Hepner, who played for 6 hours, 31 minutes in the first round of the WTA event in Richmond, Va., in 1984, Nelson-Dunbar winning 6-4, 7-6 (13-11). Says Clement of establishing the new record, “”I don’t care. What do I get? A medal? There may be an even longer match tomorrow. I don’t play tennis to spend as much time possible on court.”
1976 – Adriano Panatta saves an astonishing 11 match points in defeating Kim Warwick of Australia 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 in the first round of the Italian Championships. The result becomes even more significant when Panatta goes on to win the title, defeating Guillermo Vilas in the final.
1958 – In one of the most spectacular comebacks in the history of the French Championships, Robert Haillet of France beats 1950 French champion Budge Patty, 5-7; 7-5, 10-8, 4-6, 7-5 in the fourth round after Patty serves at 5-0, 40-0 in the fifth set and holds four match points.
1993 – Three-time French Open champion Ivan Lendl experiences one of the worst losses of his career, losing 3-6, 7-5, 6-0, 7-6 (2) to No. 297th ranked qualifier Stephane Huet of France in the first round of the French Open. The match marks the first ATP level match victory for Huet, against Lendl’s 1,027 match victories. It was also Huet’s first Grand Slam match against Lendl’s 51 Grand Slam events.
1993 – Brad Gilbert wins his first match at the French Open in six years, registering a two-day 5-7, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 10-8 first-round victory over fellow American Bryan Shelton. Gilbert and Shelton share 87 unforced errors in the three-hour-and-52-minute match. Says Gilbert, the author of the book Winning Ugly after the match, “It was a chapter out of my book…Unequivocally ugly.”
1928 – George Lott defeats China’s Paul Kong 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 in the Davis Cup second round in Kansas City, Mo., to become the first U.S. Davis Cup player to win a match without losing a game. Lott would register another triple-bagel in Davis Cup play in 1930 against Mexico’s Ignacio de la Borbolla. Frank Parker is the only other American to win a Davis Cup match without losing a game, turning the trick in 1946 against Felicismo Ampon of the Philippines.
1993 – Goran Ivanisevic overcomes throwing up on court in the first set to defeat Franco Davin of Argentina 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 in the first round of the French Open.
2005 – No. 2 seed Andy Roddick is eliminated in the second round of the French Open, blowing a two-sets-to-love lead in his 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 8-6 loss to Argentina’s Jose Acasuso.
2008 – Three-time French Open singles champion and former world No. 1 Gustavo “Guga” Kuerten bids goodbye to tennis, playing the final singles match of his career losing to Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in the first round at Roland Garros. Kuerten plays the match wearing the canary yellow and blue outfit he wore when he won the first of three French titles in 1997, but due to the wear and tear at this ailing hip, the 31-year-old was unable to compete at the same level that saw him rise to the world’s No. 1 ranking in 2000. Says Kuerten following the match, “I think I’m very satisfied, especially with the memories that are going to stick with me from this match. I thought I played much better than I expected, and there wasn’t a single shot I didn’t make. I played forehand, backhands, serve, drop shots, volley. I did everything I think I was able to do in the past, just not with the same frequency. But at least I had the feeling to do it once more.”
It’s true what they say: A picture is a 1000 words. And with our photographer Ralf Reinecke still running around in Madrid to send us pics, I am left wondering how many words I won’t have to write. Ralf possesses the uncanny talent to capture world’s finest at their best!
Roger Federer beat David Ferrer 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 to set up the dream finale against archnemesis Rafael Nadal.
Now on with the pics, this is after all a pictorial.
Oh and please do check out Lisa’s Fan Watch on Rafael Nadal.
Venus Williams and Lucie Safarova are the first semifinalists in Madrid. Lucie Safarova is getting the reputation of “giant killer” having beaten numerous top ten players in the past few weeks.
Venus Williams will be the world number 2 when the new rankings come out next week and that means the Williams’ sisters are No.1 and 2 on the WTA Tour rankings. This hasn’t happened since 2003.
Venus Williams beat Sam Stosur 6-3, 6-3 while Lucie Safarova beat Nadia Petrova 6-1, 1-6, 6-4.
Our photographer Ralf Reinecke is currently in Madrid and captured shots of Venus Williams and Lucie Safarova.
Despite her early loss in Madrid our photographer managed to snap a few shots of a leggy Maria Sharapova. And when I say leggy I seriously mean leggy. The short skirt is a huge improvement over the dress she wore at the Australian Open I have to say.
This is what she had to say about her early exit:
“It’s a struggle trying to find the rhythm,” Sharapova said. “I thought she played really solid, good tennis and did everything she needed to win the match. More solid than me anyway.”
I talked to Marija from Womens Tennis Blog and she reworded Sharapova’s comment about her playing on clay just fine:
I always remember Sharapova’s statement that she’s like a cow on ice when playing on clay.
I don’t think she will Roland Garros any time soon.
I woke up this morning, enjoying my cup of tea, reading the sports news on Yahoo! when a headline caught my eye. Martina Hingis to play the World Team Tennis. I was baffled by this news. I have been a fan of Hingis since 1998. When she won, we won. When she lost, we lost. When she cried, I usually turned off my tv or switched channels. But Hingis won a lot. She continued to win. Held top ranking on the WTA Tour for 209 weeks in a row.
And then came the sad news that she was forced to retire.
We wouldn’t be able to enjoy her marvelous tactical game that graced the courts anymore. We wouldn’t be able to get into chat rooms and cheer her on as any Hingis fan would. Or post on forums, from results to opinions. We panicked, who would we cheer on now? There is no greater champion than her.
With her gone, I lost interest in the WTA Tour for a while. There was nobody to cheer for in my opinion. The WTA Tour felt dead, black and empty without her.
Until November 29, 2005. That was the day Hingis announced her return to the tour. Fans and pundits worldwide cheered her come back. The media frenzy that followed made sure that there was no way around letting you know that the “Swiss Miss” was back on the tour.
The chatrooms were filled again with fans. People who kept live scores updated us throughout the matches that followed. And new friends were made. This went on for about a year and a half.
It was great to be part of the community again.
Then on November 1, 2007 Hingis announced her second retirement from the game. She failed a drug test as cocaine was detected in her system. She denied the allegations but was banned by the ITF for two years. Two years would pretty much be the end of her career. According to a lot of fans. While the chatrooms ran empty, the forums were less visited we never forgot the one player who made us smile when she smiled.
So today I open my browser, drink my tea and read that Hingis will make a return to World Team Tennis tour. I am baffled.
She told the press that she has watched a lot of Australian Open this year.
“Of course it makes you think. Tennis was all my life, and the most natural thing is that it makes you think. It would be sad if it didn’t make me think, don’t you think?” Hingis said.
“Tennis is still my life. Well, part of it,” she continued. “But my life is very comfortable, on the other hand. Tennis gave me a lot of things and sometimes you have to put things behind. It’s a lot of sacrifice, as well. I wouldn’t want to risk it anymore.”
When asked what she missed the most about tennis she replied with the following:
“What I miss is probably … the winning moments—when you hold up the trophy and you know you are the best in the world and you end up winning Grand Slams. That is probably the moment an athlete is most happy,” Hingis said.
“You miss that, but you know that getting to that point takes a lot of years, a lot of hard work, a lot of practice. It doesn’t come from heaven,” she added. “You never forget how much work, how much pain, you go through to get there.”
Now let’s hope that she hungers for those moments and makes a return to the tour. If Lindsay Davenport, Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin can do it then why not her?