caption

Roger Federer Named in Lawsuit

From the Australian Open to the US Open, I couldn’t get enough tennis. It seemed like there was a constant stream of news. I was attending tournaments almost monthly and if I wasn’t watching in person, I was glued to the TV. For those of you in Europe, I highly recommend a subscription to the online Eurosport player. They provide great tennis coverage, much better than what we have here in the US. Anyway, the last month has been tough for me, not because of my crazy schedule or copious amounts of work, but because I’m going through tennis withdrawal. My favorite blogs are only updated every few days, my twitter feed is as silent as I’ve ever seen it, and if I want to watch a match I have to stay up until 3am.

Luckily, next week the ATP tour moves back to Europe and I can stop being nocturnal. Even better, there’s actually been news. The last few weeks have been pretty boring. Rafa won another tournament. Yeah, that’s not really news anymore. Serena Williams claimed she was coming back at Linz and then tweeted that she was actually wrapping up the year instead. I guess that’s kind of news, but who didn’t see that coming?

Anyway, let’s talk about some of this week’s developments.

First up, Caroline Wozniacki has reopened the infamous WTA #1 debate. After winning the Beijing tournament Caro topped Serena Williams for the number one spot even though Wozniacki remains winless at Grand Slam events. I thought we exhausted this debate when Jelena Jankovic was #1, and then again when Dinara Safina was #1, but I was wrong. Everyone had to weigh in all over again and I was actually quite surprised by the overwhelming criticism of the adorable Dane. As far as I’m concerned the numbers don’t lie. She won the points and deserves the credit. Plus, Caroline Wozniacki has won as many tournaments this year as Serena Williams has played. Don’t tell me she doesn’t deserve this.

Nadal lost in Shanghai. I think there was actually more press about his loss to Jurgen Melzer than the fact that he won last week’s tournament. Frankly Nadal can afford to spread the wealth a little when it comes to winning and this was pretty darn impressive for Jurgen Melzer, who has never beaten Rafa before. Also, a great way for Melzer to underscore the point I made in my article a couple of weeks ago that the older players keep getting better. If he keeps playing this way, Jurgen actually has a reasonable chance of making the World Tour Finals.

Roger Federer was named in a betting lawsuit. Apparently the owner of IMG, Fed’s management firm, upped his bet on Fed to win the 2006 French Open final based on a tip. The IMG guy may be guilty or he may not, but I honestly don’t believe Fed had anything to do with this. Roger addressed the situation in his latest press conference, saying he was unconcerned as there was no truth whatsoever to the claim.

Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic are parting ways next year. If you don’t follow doubles, this means nothing to you. However, these guys are the number two doubles team and have won three Grand Slam titles together. Nestor will play with Max Mirnyi next year and more interestingly, Zimonjic will pair up with Michael Llodra. I’m pretty intrigued by this second pair. Nenad only plays doubles so I’m a little surprised he chose a partner that is currently a high ranked singles player.

Andy Roddick is injured, again. Poor Andy just can’t catch a break. He was forced to withdraw from his first match in Shanghai against Guillermo Garcia Lopez with a leg injury. He hopes to be back for Basel and almost certainly for Paris, but it’s going to be an uphill battle to make it to the World Tour Finals this year. Roddick looked pretty torn up about his withdrawal in Shanghai and I can’t blame him. Andy’s bestie Mardy Fish is also out, with some kind of ankle injury. Hopefully they both make a full recovery and we’ll see an American back in the Top 10 soon.

In weird tennis news, Ana Ivanovic was docked an entire game worth of points during a match in Linz. Apparently she had to leave the court to throw up but wasn’t given permission. It turns out the game was insignificant since Ana won quite convincingly, but you’ve got to think this was a little unfair. Would the ref have preferred she throw up on court?

Well, that’s a wrap for this week’s tennis news. Plus, it’s 3am and I’d really like to catch the Djokovic/Garcia Lopez match. I’ll be back next week, hopefully with something a little more interesting.

CELEBS WATCH AS VENUS WILLIAMS TAKES HOME BILLIE JEAN KING CUP

Venus Williams won the Billie Jean King (BJK) cup last night beating Belgian Kim Clijsters  6-4, 3-6, 7-5 at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.

Sister Serena was unable to attend the BJK cup due to a leg injury, missing the opportunity to avenge the loss of last year’s controversial match at the US Open.

“On the way here, I kept thinking, ‘I’m going to see Serena in New York,”’ Venus said. “We talked today, but we didn’t talk about tennis at all.”

Kim Clijsters was given a tough time in front of a Venus-friendly crowd of 11,702 and struggled especially in the beginning.

“In the beginning it took some time to find an aggressive game,” Clijsters said. “If you’re not feeling the ball 100 percent, it’s very hard. I kind of just had to look for my game a little bit, really look for my position on court. I got better as my match went on.”

Among the 11,702 people who attended in Madison Square Garden, New York,  were David Duchovny, Star Jones and Herb Wilson and Nancy Kerrigan.

Federer Rolls Past Djokovic To Capture Third Cincinnati Title

No. 1 seed Roger Federer of Switzerland capped off an impressive week by defeating No. 4 seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia, 6-1, 7-5, in two hours and six minutes on Sunday afternoon to capture his third Western & Southern Financial Group Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati.

The 28-year-old Swiss, who owns a record 15 Grand Slam singles titles, came out firing, jumping ahead 5-0, before closing out the 33-minute opening set, 6-1.

“He was just too good in the first set,” said Djokovic, who fell to 4-8 lifetime against the Swiss. “I didn’t start very energetic, and my body language wasn’t (what) it was last night (against Rafael Nadal).”

In the second set, Djokovic secured an early break in the second game and got ahead 3-0, but Federer quickly broke back to get back on serve at 3-2, before leveling the match at 3-3. Federer, who earned his 61st ATP World Tour title in 83 final appearances, had a break point opportunity at 3-all, but was unable to capitalize on the moment.

At 4-5, 30-40 down, Federer faced a set point but was able to come up with impressive shots to fight off the set point that Djokovic held.

During a very critical stage of the second set, Djokovic failed at a drop shot attempt at 5-5, deuce. Federer, who has now won 16 career ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, capitalized on the opportunity by winning the next point to break Djokovic’s serve.

Federer served out the match to win the title at ease and showed his excitement by raising his arms in happiness.

The Swiss, whose wife recently gave birth to twin daughters, insisted his first title as a new dad was very special.

“I think the special part (is) winning for the first time as a dad,” said Federer, who improved to 47-7 on the season. “It’s a great thing. Gets me going emotionally a little bit, because I know it’s been a wonderful summer.”

For the third straight match, Federer was remarkable on his serve, smashing seven aces and no double faults, while winning 85 percent of first serve points. Djokovic, who is now 4-6 in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals, hit three aces, one double fault and only managed to win 60 percent of first serve points. Federer broke Djokovic’s serve on four of 15 opportunities, while the Serb only broke once throughout the match.

Djokovic, who rolled past No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal on Saturday evening to reach Sunday’s final, earned a runner-up check worth $222,000, as well as 600 South African Airways ATP rankings points.

“It’s been a great week for me and I got a lot of matches in before the US Open,” said Djokovic, who has now lost in the finals for two straight years in Cincinnati.

The Swiss, who improved to 12-6 against Top 10 players in 2009, earned a winner’s check worth $443,500 and 1000 ranking points.

Having lost just one match since losing in the Masters 1000 in Madrid in May, Federer is the favorite for the US Open in New York that beings on August 31.

Krystle Clear: Videoblog for TennisGrandstand

[manfred]nIfz3uOVjuM[/manfred]

[manfred]obZZCQO0w4U[/manfred]

Krystle Nicole Russin is a freelance writer and model living in New York City. She covers business and politics for online and print publications and tennis for TennisGrandstand.com and has previously hosted Illinois Stories on PBS.