Emilio Sanchez

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Life after tennis for Andy Roddick, Kim Clijsters and Juan Carlos Ferrero?

retirement-road-sign

by James A. Crabtree

Former grand slam champions Andy Roddick and Kim Clijsters are retired. Now add 2003 French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero (well, after Valencia in October) to the list that has seen Fernando González and Ivan Ljubicic call it quits in 2012.

An era of big names and equally big characters is most certainly over. And they will all be missed. The sport will suffer for a short time, but new names shall replace them. The athletes themselves will surely enjoy the initial stages of not being on tour, but then they shall face a new problem. What on earth do you do when you are retired? Play bridge? Downsize? Renovate? Buy some ugly slippers? Purchase Grecian 2000? Play slot machines? Start a hobby, like pottery? Drive slowly and in your way? Play social tennis in the mornings?

Well these recent retirees are not the usual plus sixty vintage so they could settle down and have some kids. Or in the case of Kim and Ivan have more kids.

First of all is the unwritten prerequisite to enjoy oneself, take time out, relax and see the world. Okay, so the players in question have done a whole heap of travelling but maybe they need a get away from it all, with fine food in a beautiful location – minus the racquet. Hang on a minute, Juan Carlos Ferrero has his own hotel! Surely if Kim and Andy were to travel Juan would shout them a 10% discount as former grand slam champions. Seriously check out the food on the websites video!!!

http://www.hotelferrero.com/

Another idea is to do something different, perhaps apply talents to a different avenue such as Andre Agassi did with his school. Besides playing with Billie Jean, the pet bulldog, Andy Roddick has done something similar to Andre helping children improve their lives via his foundation. To date he has helped raise over ten million dollars. Maybe Fernando and Ivan could volunteer a day here and there now they have some spare time.

www.andyroddick.com/andy-roddick-foundation/

Other players in the past have set up businesses. Fred Perry launched the Fred Perry clothing brand (www.fredperry.com). Bjorn Borg set up the something similar with more emphasis on underwear (www.bjornborg.com). Other than his Davis Cup duties Pat Rafter has also spent a lot of time in his briefs for Bonds (www.bonds.com.au/pat-rafter).

Or perhaps these great players could pass on their knowledge like Sergi Bruguera and Emilio Sanchez have at their respective academies. It isn’t too hard to imagine Juan or Andy sitting as coach of a future great, such as Ivan Lendl has done with Andy Murray. Or perhaps even add their expertise within the commentary box like John McEnroe. Of the current crop it’s hard to imagine politics as an option, as it was for Marat Safin.

Lastly, we shouldn’t expect these guys to buy a condo and move down to Florida. Besides there is far too much tennis down there for them. Hang on a minute that could kick start a comeback! Maybe that is a good idea?

Happy Birthday Mr. Tennis Encyclopedia

Bud with Gavin Rossdale selling his book

Bud Collins, the walking tennis encyclopedia and author of the definitive tennis book THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS ($35.95, New Chapter Press, www.tennistomes.com) will celebrate his 80th birthday on Wednesday, June 17 – the same day that defending Wimbledon champion Venus Williams will celebrate her 29th birthday. Other events from June 16 and June 17 from the book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.tennishistorybook.com) are excerpted below.

June 16

1974 – Two eighteen-year-olds – Bjorn Borg and Chris Evert – win their first major singles titles with final-round victories at the French Open in Paris. Borg comes back from two-sets-to-love down to defeat Manuel Orantes of Spain 2-6, 6-7, 6-0, 6-1, 6-1 to become the youngest winner of the French Open at the time. Evert encounters much less resistance in defeating her doubles partner Olga Morozova of the Soviet Union 6-1, 6-2 to become the youngest winner in Paris since Christine Truman in 1959. Evert wins an $8,000 first prize, while Borg takes home a $24,000.

1985 – Three weeks preceding his break-through victory at Wimbledon as an unseeded 17-year-old, Boris Becker sends a warning shot to the tennis world and wins his first ATP singles title at the Queen’s Club championships in London, defeating Johan Kriek 6-2, 6-3 in the final. Says Becker following his first victory, “It has been a dream for me when I was 10 to win a Grand Prix final. This week has been fantastic. I played my best tennis and beat a lot of good players.” Says Kriek of Becker and his chances at Wimbledon, “If he plays like that every day at Wimbledon, Becker can win the tournament.”

1975 – U.S. Open Tournament Director Bill Talbert unveils 11 new clay courts at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, Queens, N.Y., that will be used in lieu of grass courts for the 1975 US Open. “It will take a complete player to win the Open this year,” says Talbert. Asked how he would react to any player criticism of not playing the U.S. Open on the traditional grass courts, Talbert states, “This is the U.S. Open, which I consider the world’s major tournament and I believe that every player should consider it a privilege to compete in it regardless of what kind of courts we have. They should be willing to put it on the line for this championship.”

2000 – Michael Chang, the 1989 French Open champion whose baseline game never translated well on grass tennis courts, beats 18-year-old Roger Federer, the future five-time Wimbledon champion, 7-5, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the grass court event in Halle, Germany.

2006 – Roger Federer nearly loses his first grass court tournament in three years, saving four match points in beating Olivier Rochus 6-7 (2), 7-6 (9), 7-6 (5) in the quarterfinals of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany. The win is Federer’s 39th straight on a grass court surface.

1991 – John McEnroe plays what ultimately is his final Davis Cup singles match, defeating Emilio Sanchez 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 as the United States closes out a 4-1 victory over Spain in the Davis Cup quarterfinal at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I.

1906 – The Doherty brothers – Reggie and Laurie – pair to defeat the American doubles team of Holcombe Ward and Raymond Little 3-6, 11-9, 9-7, 6-1 to clinch the Davis Cup title for Britain in the Davis Cup Challenge Round played at Wimbledon’s Worple Road courts. The win gives the Brits it fourth straight Davis Cup victory – and its second straight win over the United States in the Challenge Round. It also marks the end of the Davis Cup career of the popular Doherty brothers.

1985 – Pam Shriver needs only 43 minutes to defeat Betsy Nagelsen 6-1, 6-0 to win the singles final of the Edgbaston Cup in Birmingham, England. Nagelsen wins only 21 points in the entire match and says of Shriver, “She played much too well for me and there was little I could do about it.”

June 17

1980 – Venus Ebone Starr Williams, the sensational older Williams sister who, along with younger sister Serena, turn the tennis world on its head by taking their games from the urban streets of Compton, Calif., to Centre Court at Wimbledon, is born in Lynwood, Calif. Williams bursts on the scene as a 17-year-old wunderkind with beaded hair, reaching the final of the U.S. Open as an unseeded player ranked No. 66. Three years later, she is the champion of Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and singles and doubles gold medalist at the Sydney Olympics. In 2002, Williams becomes the first black player – man or woman – to be ranked No. 1 in the world. She and younger sister Serena play the first all sister major final since 1884 at the 2001 U.S. Open. During a stretch from the French Open in 2002 and the Australian Open in 2003, Venus reaches all four major singles finals, but loses all four finals to sister Serena.

1929 – Hall of Fame TV broadcaster, writer and tennis historian Arthur Worth “Bud” Collins is born in Lima, Ohio. Collins is best known for his work with the Boston Globe and with NBC Sports during its “Breakfast at Wimbledon” broadcasts from 1979 through 2007. An astute chronicler and tale teller of the history of the game, he is also known for his tennis encyclopedia – that most recent edition called The Bud Collins History of Tennis – not to mention his colorful wardrobe, featuring his trademark garish and bright-colored trousers.

1898 – In what became one of the most peculiar matches in the history of the U.S. Championships, Juliette Atkinson wins her third U.S. women’s singles title, coming back from a 3-5 final set deficit and saving five match points to defeat Marion Jones in the five-set women’s final 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. During one of Jones’s match points, she loses the point as the ball in play strikes a stray ball on her side of the court. The New York Times describes the match’s conclusion in the following way; “The final set was the best of all. Five times during this set Miss Jones was only one point from the match and the championship but Miss Atkinson tied her and beat her out each time. In the ninth game of the set, a brilliant rally took place, which was spoiled by the ball in play hitting a ball lying in Miss Jones’s court. At that time Miss Jones needed but one point to win, and her supporters groaned as the chance faded away. The score at the time stood five games to three in favor of Miss Jones, but Miss Atkinson won the next four games and the match by fast playing. Both contestants were heartily congratulated for their plucky work.”

1939 – Don McNeill of Oklahoma City, Okla., upsets fellow American Bobby Riggs winning a stretch of 13 straight games in a 7-5, 6-0, 6-3 victory in the men’s singles final at the French Championships at Roland Garros. Says McNeill, “I never played better in my life.” Says Riggs, “Don just beat me.” The French Championships suffer a six-year hiatus following the 1939 edition of the event due to World War II and are not played again until 1946.

1911 – Hazel Hotchkiss wins her third straight U.S. women’s singles title, defeating Florence Sutton 8-10, 6-1, 9-7 at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in Philadelphia, Pa. The New York Times describes the match as one “replete with sensational features which kept the large crowd of spectators constantly on edge.” Hotchkiss institutes a tactic of lobbing at 7-7 in the third set that helped throw off the upset bid of Sutton, witnessed by approximately 1,000 fans. Hotchkiss also wins the mixed doubles title on this day, pairing with Wallace Johnson to defeat Edna Wildey and Herbert Tilden 6-4, 6-4.

2007 – Maria Sharapova’s semifinal match at the DFS Classic in Birmingham, England with Marion Bartoli is temporarily delayed twice when two spectators need medical assistance. A woman and a child fall down a staircase in the stadium, knocking the woman unconscious and requiring her to be flown via helicopter to a local hospital. Later, in another part of the stadium, a man faints. Sharapova wins the match with Bartoli 7-5, 6-0 and later in the day, loses the championship match to Jelena Jankovic 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Mondays With Bob Greene: Lindsay Davenport Pregnant Again

Stars

Jelena Jankovic and Rafael Nadal have been named Player of the Year 2008 by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). Nadal becomes the first Spanish man to be named Men’s World Champion.

Nadal had a dream season in 2008 winning his 4th successive Roland Garros and a first win at Wimbledon in an epic final versus Roger Federer.

Jankovic becomes the first Serbian woman to win the Singles World Champion after she managed to keep top spot in a magnificent year. Jankovic reached her first Grand Slam final at the US Open and won more matches than any other player. She managed to capture 4 titles in respectively Rome, Beijing, Stuttgart and Moscow.

Sponsorships

Volvo Car India has announced that they will be partnering up with the Chennai Open 2009. Volvo will showcase a luxurious Volvo S80 Sedan in a unique fashion. The car will be on the courts of the Chennai Open 2009.

A New Successor

Albert Costa has been named Davis Cup captain for Spain last Thursday. Spain recently won the Davis Cup last month beating Argentina in the finals.

Costa, 33, is the successor for Emilio Sanchez , who stepped down after he led Spain succesfully to its’ third Davis Cup title beating Argentina 3-1.

Albert Costa was part of the team that won the Davis Cup with Spain as a player back in 2000. He has won 12 ATP singles titles including the French Open. Costa agreed to stay on for one year.

“I accomplished a lot of my dreams as a player, winning at Roland Garros and now I’ve managed another one, becoming captain of our Davis Cup team,” said Costa.

Lindsay Davenport is expecting her second child

She intended to play the Australian Open of 2009 but fate decided otherwise. Lindsay Davenport is pregnant with her second child. Davenport gave birth to baby boy Jagger back in 2007 and is said that she and her husband Jon Leach are elated with the news of the second child.

“I am thrilled that Jon, Jagger and I will be welcoming a new addition to our family this coming year,” said Davenport. “Of course this unexpected but exciting surprise now means I will be putting tennis on hold for the foreseeable future.”

Meningitis strikes Nadia Petrova

Nadia Petrova has been forced to pull out of the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand. Brenda Perry, tournament director for the ASB Classic, said that it was a shame that Petrova was unable to compete.

“I know she was looking forward to playing the ASB Classic, but in this situation she is obviously in need of medical care and our thoughts go out to her.”

The roof is on fire…again

Wimbledon will hold a small tennis event in May to test the new retractable roof over Centre Court.

“We need to get a capacity crowd of 15,000 people in there to recreate the conditions we encounter during the championships,” Johnny Perkins, a spokesman for the London club.

Former British No.1 Tim Henman is currently helping the club with preparations. An actual lineup of players for the event will be announced later.

The retractable roof took three years to build.

Sites to surf:

ATP Tour: http://www.atptennis.com/

WTA Tour: http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/1/

Women’s Tennis Blog: http://www.womenstennisblog.com/

On the Baseline: http://www.onthebaseline.com/

The Origins Of Olympic Tennis

Some say that tennis is relatively new sport in the Olympic Games. However, tennis was one of the nine sports on the original Olympic program at the first Modern Olympics in 1896 in Athens, Greece. The first Olympic tennis champion was John Boland, an Irishmen vacationing in Greece at the time of the first Modern Games. He entered into the tennis competition upon the urging of a Greek classmate from Oxford. Boland, who would later found the University of Ireland and serve Britain as a member of Parliament, won the singles competition in an eight-man field and paired with a German, Fritz Traun, to sweep the doubles title.

Tennis was a fixture on the Olympic program through the 1924 Games in Paris. The International Tennis Federation – the international governing body for tennis – and the International Olympic Committee saw differences on the definition of amateurism, and on whether Wimbledon should be played in Olympic years. What resulted was the exclusion of tennis from the Olympic Games as an official medal sport until 1988 in Seoul, South Korea.

Tennis triumphantly returned to the Olympic Games in 1988 in Seoul, becoming the first Olympic sport to allow professionals to compete (Basketball followed suit in 1992). Steffi Graf of West Germany completed the rarest feat in the sport by capping a “Golden Slam” at the Seoul Games, having won all four major titles in professional tennis heading into the 1988 Games.

A compilation of Olympic tennis results and medalists are compiled below…

1896 – ATHENS, GREECE

MEDALISTS

Men’s Singles

GOLD — John Boland (Great Britain)

SILVER — Demis Kastaglis (Greece)

BRONZE — Momcsillo Topavicza (Hungary)

Men’s Doubles

GOLD — John Boland (Great Britain) and Fritz Traun (Germany)

SILVER — Demis Kasdaglis and Demetrious Petrokokkinos (Greece)

BRONZE — Edwin Hack (Australia) and George Robertson (Great Britain)

RESULTS

Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match– John Boland (Great Britain) def. Demis Kastaglis (Greece), 7-5, 6-4, 6-1.

Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match– John Boland (Great Britain) and Fritz Traun (Germany) d. Demis Kasdaglis and Demetrios Petrokokkinos (Greece), 6-2, 6-4.

1900 – PARIS, FRANCE

MEDALISTS

Men’s Singles

GOLD — Laurie Doherty (Great Britain)

SILVER — Harold Mahony (Great Britain)

BRONZE — Reggie Doherty (Great Britain)

A.B.J. Norris (Great Britain)

Men’s Doubles

GOLD — Reggie Doherty and Laurie Doherty (Great Britain)

SILVER — Spalding de Garmendia (United States) and Max Decugis (France)

BRONZE — G. de la Chapelle and Andre Prevost (France)

Harold Mahony and A.B.J. Norris (Great Britain)

Women’s Singles

GOLD — Charlotte Cooper (Great Britain)

SILVER — Helene Prevost (France)

BRONZE — Marion Jones (United States)

Hedwig Rosenbaum (Bohemia)

Mixed Doubles

GOLD — Charlotte Cooper and Reggie Doherty (Great Britain)

SILVER — Helene Prevost (France) and Harold Mahony (Great Britain)

BRONZE — Hedwig Rosenbaum (Bohemia) and Archibald Walden (Great Britain)

Laurie Doherty (Great Britain) and Marion Jones (United States)

RESULTS

Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Laurie Doherty (Great Britain) def. Harold Mahony (Great Britain), 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.

Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match– Reggie Doherty-Laurie Doherty (Great Britain) def. Spalding de Garmendia (United States) and Max Decugis (France), 6-3, 6-3, 7-5

Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Charlotte Cooper (Great Britain) def. Helene Prevost (France), 6-3, 6-3, 7-5.

Mixed Doubles Gold Medal Match — Charlotte Cooper and Reggie Doherty (Great Britain) def. Helene Prevost (France) and Harold Mahony (Great Britain), 6-2, 6-4.

1904 – ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, UNITED STATES

MEDALISTS

Men’s Singles

GOLD — Beals Wright (United States)

SILVER — Robert LeRoy (United States)

BRONZE — Alphonso Bell (United States) and Edgar Leonard (United States)

Men’s Doubles

GOLD — Edgar Leonard and Beals Wright (United States)

SILVER — Alphonso Bell and Robert LeRoy (United States)

BRONZE — Joseph Wear and Allen West (United States)

Clarence Gamble and Arthur Wear (United States)

RESULTS

Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Beals Wright (United States) def. Robert LeRoy (United States) 6-4, 6-4.

Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Edgar Leonard and Beals Wright (United States) def. Alphonso Bell and Robert LeRoy (United States), 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

1908 – LONDON, ENGLAND (Outdoor)

MEDALISTS

Men’s Singles

GOLD – Josiah Ritchie(Great Britain)

SILVER – Otto Froitzheim (Germany)

BRONZE – Wilberforce Eaves (Great Britain)

Men’s Doubles

GOLD – George Hillyard and Reggie Doherty (Great Britain)

SILVER — Josiah Richie and James Parke (Great Britain)

BRONZE — Charles Cazalet and Charles Dixon (Great Britain)

Women’s Singles

GOLD — Dorothea Chambers (Great Britain)

SILVER — Penelope Boothby (Great Britain)

BRONZE — Joan Winch (Great Britain)

RESULTS

Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match – Josiah Ritchie (Great Britain) def. Otto Froitzheim (Germany), 7-5, 6-3, 6-4

Men’s Singles Bronze Medal Match - Wilberforce Eaves (Great Britain) def. Ivie John Richardson (South Africa), 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — George Hillyard and Reggie Doherty (Great Britain) def. Josiah Richie and James Parke (Great Britain) 9-7, 7-5, 9-7.

Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Dorothea Chambers (Great Britain) def. Penelope Boothby (Great Britain), 6-1, 7-5.

1908 – LONDON, ENGLAND — (Indoor)

MEDALISTS

Men’s Singles

GOLD — Arthur Gore (Great Britain)

SILVER — George Caridia (Great Britain)

BRONZE — Josiah Ritchie (Great Britain)

Men’s Doubles

GOLD — Arthur Gore and Herbert Barrett (Great Britain)

SILVER — George Simond and George Caridia (Great Britain)

BRONZE — Wollmar Bostrom and Gunnar Setterwall (Sweden)

Women’s Singles

GOLD — Gwendoline Smith (Great Britain)

SILVER — Angela Greene (Great Britain)

BRONZE — Martha Adlerstraille (Sweden)

RESULTS

Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Arthur Gore (Great Britain) def. George Caridia (Great Britain), 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.

Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Arthur Gore and Herbert Barrett (Great Britain) def. George Simond and George Caridia (Great Britain), 6-2, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Gwendoline Smith (Great Britain) def. Angela Greene (Great Britain), 6-2, 4-6, 6-0.

1912 – STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (Outdoor)

MEDALISTS

Men’s Singles

GOLD — Charles Winslow (South Africa)

SILVER — Harold Kitson (South Africa)

BRONZE — Oskar Kreuzer (Germany)

Men’s Doubles

GOLD — Charles Winslow and Harold Kitson (South Africa)

SILVER — Felix Pipes and Arthur Zborzil (Austria)

BRONZE — A. Canet and M. Meny (France)

Women’s Singles

GOLD — Marguerite Broquedis (France)

SILVER — Dora Koring (Germany)

BRONZE — Molla Bjurstedt (Norway)

Mixed Doubles

GOLD — Heinrich Schomburgk and Dora Koring (Germany)

SILVER — Gunnar Setterwall and Sigrid Fick (Sweden)

BRONZE — A. Canet and Marguerite Broquedis (France)

RESULTS

Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Charles Winslow (South Africa) def. Harold Kitson (South Africa), 7-5, 4-6, 10-8, 8-6.

Men’s Singles Bronze Medal Match - Oskar Kreuzer (Germany) def. Ladislav Zemla (BOH), 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1

Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Charles Winslow and Harold Kitson (South Africa) def. Felix Pipes and Arthur Zborzil (Austria), 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.

Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Marguerite Broquedis (France) def. Dora Koring (Germany), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Mixed Doubles Gold Medal Match — Dora Koring and Heinrich Schomburgk (Germany) def. Sigrid Fick and Gunnar Setterwall (Sweden), 6-4, 6-0.

1912 – STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (Indoor)

MEDALISTS

Men’s Singles

GOLD — Andre Gobert (France)

SILVER — Charles Dixon (Great Britain)

BRONZE — Anthony Wilding (Australia)

Men’s Doubles

GOLD — Andre Gobert and Maurice Germot (France)

SILVER — Gunnar Setterwall and Carl Kempe (Sweden)

BRONZE — Arthur Beamish and Charles Dixon (Great Britain)

Women’s Singles

GOLD — Edith Hannam (Great Britain)

SILVER — Thora Gerda Sophy Castenschiold (Denmark)

BRONZE — Mabel Parton (Great Britain)

RESULTS

Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Andre Gobert (France) def. Charles Dixon (Great Britain), 8-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Men’s Singles Bronze Medal Match - Anthony Wilding (Australia) def. Gordon Lowe (Great Britain), 4-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-0

Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match– Andre Gobert and Maurice Germot (France) def. Gunnar Setterwall and Carl Kempe (Sweden), 6-4, 12-14, 6-2, 6-4.

Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Edith Hannam (Great Britain) def. Thora Gerda Sophy Castenschiold (Denmark), 6-4, 6-3.

Mixed Doubles Gold Medal Match — Edith Hannam and Charles Dixon (Great Britain) def. Helen Aitchison and Roper Barrett (Great Britain), 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

1920 – ANTWERP, BELGIUM

MEDALISTS

Men’s Singles

GOLD — Louis Raymond (South Africa)

SILVER — Ichiya Kumagae (Japan)

BRONZE — Charles Winslow (South Africa)

Men’s Doubles

GOLD — Noel Turnbull (South Africa) and Max Woosnam (Great Britain)

SILVER — Seiichiro Kashio and Ichiya Kumagae (Japan)

BRONZE — Pierre Albarran and Max Decugis (France)

Women’s Singles

GOLD — Suzanne Lenglen (France)

SILVER — Dorothy Holman (Great Britain)

BRONZE — Kitty McKane (Great Britain)

Women’s Doubles

GOLD — Kitty McKane and Winifred McNair (Great Britain)

SILVER — Geraldine Beamish and Dorothy Holman (Great Britain)

BRONZE — Elizabeth D’Ayen and Suzanne Lenglen (France)

Mixed Doubles

GOLD — Suzanne Lenglen and Max Decugis (France)

SILVER — Kitty McKane and Max Woosnam (Great Britain)

BRONZE — Milade Skrbkova and Razny Zemie (Czechoslovakia)

RESULTS

Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match– Louis Raymond (South Africa) def. Ichiya Kumagae (Japan), 5-7, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.

Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Noel Turnbull (South Africa) and Max Woosnam (Great Britain), def. Seiichiro Kashio and Ichiya Kumagae (Japan), 6-2, 7-5, 7-5.

Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Suzanne Lenglen (France) def. Dorothy Holman (Great Britain), 6-3, 6-0.

Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Kitty McKane and Winifred McNair (Great Britain) def. Geraldine Beamish and Dorothy Holman (Great Britain), 8-6, 6-4.

Mixed Doubles Gold Medal Match — Suzanne Lenglen and Max Decugis (France) def. Kitty McKane and Max Woosnam (Great Britain), 6-4, 6-2.

1924 – PARIS, FRANCE

MEDALISTS

Men’s Singles

GOLD –Vincent Richards (United States)

SILVER — Henri Cochet (France)

BRONZE — Umberto Luigi de Morpurgo (Italy)

Men’s Doubles

GOLD — Vincent Richards and Frank Hunter (United States)

SILVER — Jacques Brugnon and Henri Cochet (France)

BRONZE — Jean Borotra and Rene Lacoste (France)

Women’s Singles

GOLD — Helen Wills (United States)

SILVER — Didi Vlastro (France)

BRONZE — Kitty McKane (Great Britain)

Women’s Doubles

GOLD — Helen Wills and Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman (United States)

SILVER — Kitty McKane and Dorothy Covell (Great Britain)

BRONZE — Evelyn Colyer and Dorothy Shepherd Barron (Great Britain)

Mixed Doubles

GOLD — Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman and R. Norris Williams (United States)

SILVER — Marion Jessup and Vincent Richards (United States)

BRONZE — Hendrik Timmer and Cornelia Bouman (Netherlands)

RESULTS

Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Vincent Richards (United States) def. Henri Cochet (France), 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 5-7, 6-2.

Men’s Singles Bronze Medal Match – Umberto Luigi de Morpurgo (Italy) def. Jean Borotra (France), 1-6, 6-1, 8-6, 4-6, 7-5

Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Vincent Richards and Frank Hunter (United States) def. Jacques Brugnon and Henri Cochet (France), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match– Helen Wills (United States) def. Didi Vlastro (France), 6-2, 6-2.

Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Helen Wills and Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman (United States) def. Kitty McKane and Dorothy Covell (Great Britain), 7-5, 8-6.

Mixed Doubles Gold Medal Match — Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman and R. Norris Williams (United States) def. Marion Jessup and Vincent Richards (United States), 6-2, 6-3.

1988 – SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA

MEDALISTS

Men’s Singles

GOLD — Miloslav Mecir (Czechoslovakia)

SILVER — Tim Mayotte (United States)

BRONZE — Stefan Edberg (Sweden)

Brad Gilbert (United States)

Men’s Doubles

GOLD — Ken Flach and Robert Seguso (United States)

SILVER –Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez (Spain)

BRONZE — Stefan Edberg and Anders Jarryd (Sweden)

Miloslav Mecir and Milan Srejber (Czechoslovakia)

Women’s Singles

GOLD — Steffi Graf (West Germany)

SILVER — Gabriela Sabatini (Argentina)

BRONZE — Zina Garrison (United States)

Manuela Maleeva (Bulgaria)

Women’s Doubles

GOLD — Zina Garrison and Pam Shriver (United States)

SILVER — Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova (Czechoslovakia)

BRONZE — Liz Smylie and Wendy Turnbull (Australia)

Steffi Graf and Claudia Kohde Kilsch (Germany)

RESULTS

Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Miloslav Mecir (Czechoslovakia) def. Tim Mayotte (United States), 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.

Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Ken Flach and Robert Seguso (United States) def. Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez (Spain), 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (1-7), 9-7.

Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Steffi Graf (West Germany) def. Gabriela Sabatini (Argentina), 6-3, 6-3.

Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Zina Garrison and Pam Shriver (United States) def. Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova (Czechoslovakia), 4-6, 6-2, 10-8.

1992 – BARCELONA, SPAIN

MEDALISTS

Men’s Singles

GOLD — Marc Rosset (Switzerland)

SILVER — Jordi Arrese (Spain)

BRONZE — Goran Ivanisevic (Croatia)

Andrei Cherkasov (CIS)

Men’s Doubles

GOLD — Boris Becker and Michael Stich (Germany)

SILVER — Wayne Ferreira and Piet Norval (South Africa)

BRONZE — Goran Ivanisevic and Goran Prpic (Croatia)

Javier Frana and Christian Miniussi (Argentina)

Women’s Singles

GOLD — Jennifer Capriati (United States)

SILVER — Steffi Graf (Germany)

BRONZE — Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (Spain)

Mary Joe Fernandez (United States)

Women’s Doubles

GOLD — Mary Joe Fernandez and Gigi Fernandez (United States)

SILVER — Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (Spain)

BRONZE — Natasha Zvereva and Leila Meshki (CIS)

Rachael McQuillan and Nicole Provis (Australia)

RESULTS

Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Marc Rosset (Switzerland) def. Jordi Arrese (Spain), 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 8-6.

Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Boris Becker and Michael Stich (Germany) def. Wayne Ferreira and Piet Norval (South Africa), 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3

Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match — Jennifer Capriati (United States) def. Steffi Graf (Germany),  3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Mary Joe Fernandez and Gigi Fernandez (United States) def. Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (Spain), 7-5, 2-6, 6-2.

1996 – ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES

MEDALISTS

Men’s Singles

GOLD — Andre Agassi (United States)

SILVER – Sergi Bruguera (Spain)

BRONZE – Leander Paes (India)

Men’s Doubles

GOLD – Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge (Australia)

SILVER – Tim Henman and Neil Broad (Great Britain)

BRONZE – Marc-Kevin Goellner and David Prinosil (Germany)

Women’s Singles

GOLD — Lindsay Davenport (United States)

SILVER – Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (Spain)

BRONZE – Jana Novotna (Czech Republic)

Women’s Doubles

GOLD — Mary Joe Fernandez and Gigi Fernandez (United States)

SILVER – Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova (Czech Republic)

BRONZE – Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Conchita Martinez (Spain)

RESULTS

Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match – Andre Agassi (United States) def. Sergi Bruguera (Spain), 6-2, 6-3, 6-1.

Men’s Singles Bronze Medal Match – Leander Paes (India) def. Fernando Meligeni (Brazil), 3-6, 6-2, 6-4

Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match – Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge (Australia) def. Tim Henman and Neil Broad (Great Britain) 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

Men’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match – Marc-Kevin Goellner and David Prinosil (Germany) def. Paul Haarhuis and Jacco Eltingh (Netherlands), 6-2, 7-5

Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match – Lindsay Davenport (United States) def. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (Spain), 7-6 (6), 6-2.

Women’s Singles Bronze Medal Match - Jana Novotna (Czech Republic) def. Mary Joe Fernandez (United States), 7-6 (8), 6-4

Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — Mary Joe Fernandez and Gigi Fernandez (United States) def. Jana Novona and Helena Sukova (Czech Republic), 7-6 (6), 6-4.

Women’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match – Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (Spain) def. Manon Bollegraf and Brenda Schultz-McCarthy (Netherlands), 6-1, 6-3

2000 – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

MEDALISTS

Men’s Singles

GOLD – Yevgeny Kafelnikov (Russia)

SILVER – Tommy Haas (Germany)

BRONZE – Arnaud DiPasquale (France)

Men’s Doubles

GOLD – Sebastien Lareau and Daniel Nestor (Canada)

SILVER – Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge (Australia)

BRONZE – Alex Corretja and Albert Costa (Spain)

Women’s Singles

GOLD — Venus Williams (United States)

SILVER – Elena Dementieva (Russia)

BRONZE – Monica Seles (United States)

Women’s Doubles

GOLD – Venus Williams and Serena Williams (United States)

SILVER – Miriam Oremans and Kristie Boogert (Netherlands)

BRONZE – Els Callens and Dominique Van Roost (Belgium)

RESULTS

Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match – Yevgeny Kafelnikov (Russia) def. Tommy Haas (Germany), 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

Men’s Singles Bronze Medal Match - Arnaud DiPasquale (France) def. Roger Federer (Switzerland), 7-6 (5), 6-7 (7), 6-3

Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match – Daniel Nestor and Sebastien Lareau (Canada) def. Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge (Australia) 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (2)

Men’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match – Alex Corretja and Albert Costa (Spain), def. David Adams and John-Laffnie de Jager (South Africa), 2-6, 6-4, 6-3

Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match – Venus Williams (United States) def. Elena Dementieva (Russia), 6-2, 6-4

Women’s Singles Bronze Medal Match – Monica Seles (United States) def. Jelena Dokic (Australia), 6-1, 6-4

Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match – Venus Williams and Serena Williams (United States) def. Miriam Oremans and Kristie Boogert (Netherlands) 6-1, 6-1.

Women’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match – Els Callens and Dominique van Roost (Belgium)def. Natalia Zvereva and Olga Barabanschikova (Belarus), 4-6, 6-4, 6-1

2004 – ATHENS, GREECE

MEDALISTS

Men’s Singles

GOLD – Nicolas Massu (Chile)

SILVER – Mardy Fish (United States)

BRONZE – Fernando Gonzalez (Chile)

Men’s Doubles

GOLD – Nicolas Massu and Fernando Gonzalez (Chile)

SILVER – Nicolas Kiefer and Rainer Schuettler (Germany)

BRONZE – Ivan Ljubicic and Mario Ancic (Croatia)

Women’s Singles

GOLD – Justine Henin-Hardenne (Belgium)

SILVER – Amelie Mauresmo (France)

BRONZE – Alicia Molik (Australia)

Women’s Doubles

GOLD – Li Ting and Sun Tiantian (China)

SILVER – Virginia Ruano Pascual and Conchita Martinez (Spain)

BRONZE – Paola Suarez and Patricia Tarabini (Argentina)

RESULTS

Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match – Nicolas Massu (Chile) def. Mardy Fish (United States) 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4

Men’s Singles Bronze Medal Match - Fernando Gonzalez (Chile) def. Taylor Dent (United States), 6-4, 2-6, 16-14

Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match – Nicolas Massu and Fernando Gonzalez (Chile) def. Nicolas Kiefer and Rainer Schuettler (Germany), 6-2, 4-6, 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4

Men’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match – Ivan Ljubicic and Mario Ancic (Croatia) def. Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi (India), 7-6 (5), 4-6, 16-14

Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match – Justine Henin-Hardenne (Belgium) def. Amelie Mauresmo (France), 6-3, 6-3

Women’s Singles Bronze Medal Match – Alicia Molik (Australia) def. Anastasia Myskina (Russia), 6-3, 6-4

Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match – Li Ting and Sun Tiantian (China) def. Virginia Ruano Pascual and Conchita Martinez (Spain), 6-3, 6-3

Women’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match – Paola Suarez and Patricia Tarabini (Argentina) def. Ai Sugiyama and Shinobu Asagoe (Japan), 6-3, 6-3

USTA Names 2008 U.S. Olympic Teams For Tennis

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., June 26, 2008 – The USTA, the governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S., today announced the nine players nominated for the U.S. Olympic team for tennis at the 2008 Olympic Games, August 10-17 in Beijing, China.

U.S. women’s tennis coach Zina Garrison announced a four-woman team with three singles entries and two doubles teams. All three singles players — Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Lindsay Davenport — are former Olympic gold medal winners. The two nominated U.S. women’s doubles teams consist of world No. 1 Liezel Huber with Davenport and the Williams sisters.

U.S. men’s tennis coach Rodney Harmon announced a five-player men’s team, also with three singles entries and two doubles teams. James Blake, Sam Querrey and Robby Ginepri were named to the team in singles. Bob and Mike Bryan, the No. 1 doubles team in the world, and Blake and Querrey have been nominated as the two U.S. men’s doubles teams.

The 2008 Olympic tennis competition will be staged August 10-17 on the hard courts of the Olympic Green Tennis Center in Beijing. The United States has won 15 Olympic medals in men’s and women’s tennis since it returned as a full medal sport in 1988 — more than any other nation.

“Selection to the U.S. Olympic team is a tremendous honor for these athletes, and one they truly deserve,” said Jane Brown Grimes, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. “The Olympics provides one of the greatest global platforms to showcase our sport, and we expect this to be a very memorable summer for tennis.”

“Each player selected to our U.S. Olympic team knows what playing for their country is all about,” said Arlen Kantarian, CEO, Pro Tennis, USTA. “All of these players have worn the Stars and Stripes as part of the U.S. Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams, and will be outstanding competitors — and first-class ambassadors — for our country in Beijing.”

“With three former gold medalists on our team and the No. 1 doubles player in the world, we are certainly capable of earning medals at this Olympics,” said Garrison. “I have great memories of the Olympics as a player and coach, and I am thrilled to be a part of the excitement once again.”

“The guys are all honored to receive the nomination to represent their country,” said Harmon. “With all of our singles players making their Olympic debuts and the Bryans searching for one of the few prizes they have still to earn in their accomplished careers, our goal is to be on the podium when all is said and done.”

Serena Williams, 26, will be making her second Olympic appearance having won a gold medal in women’s doubles at the 2000 Olympic Games with sister, Venus, becoming the first set of siblings to win Olympic gold in tennis. A resident of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Serena has won eight Grand Slam singles titles, and in 2003, became one of only five women to hold all four Grand Slam singles titles within a 12-month period.

Venus Williams, 28, will be making her third Olympic appearance having won a gold medal in both women’s singles and women’s doubles at the 2000 Olympic Games, joining Helen Wills in 1924 as the only player to sweep both titles at the same Olympiad. A resident of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Venus holds four Wimbledon and two US Open singles titles.

Lindsay Davenport, 32, will be making her third Olympic appearance having won a gold medal in singles at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Davenport took 11 months off from professional tennis to have her first child in June 2007, returning to the tour in September 2007. A resident of Laguna Beach, Calif., she has won 55 singles titles and 37 doubles titles in her career, including the 1998 US Open, 1999 Australian Open and 2000 Wimbledon titles.

Liezel Huber, 30, will be making her first Olympic appearance as an American (she competed at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney representing her native South Africa). A resident of Cypress, Texas, she became an American citizen in July 2007 with the hopes of competing for the U.S. in the Olympics. Ranked No. 1 in doubles since November 2007, Huber has won three Grand Slam doubles titles. She made her debut for the U.S. Fed Cup team in April.

James Blake, 28, will be making his Olympic debut in Beijing. A resident of Tampa, Fla., Blake has the chance to make history by becoming the first African-American male to win an Olympic tennis medal. Blake missed the 2004 Olympic Games while recovering from a broken vertebra. The winner of 10 singles and five doubles titles during his career, he is currently the No. 2 ranked American and in 2007, helped the U.S. win the Davis Cup title.

Sam Querrey, 20, will be making his Olympic debut in Beijing. Querrey is having a breakthrough year in just his second full season as a pro. He broke into the Top 50 in 2007 and his ranking continues to rise after winning his first singles title in March in Las Vegas. He currently resides in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Robby Ginepri, 25, will be making his Olympic debut in Beijing. He missed being named to the 2004 U.S. Olympic team despite being ranked No. 35 in the world (he was the fifth-ranked American entered and the maximum number of singles players per country is four). A resident of Kennesaw, Ga., Ginepri has the distinction of being the only active American man other than Andy Roddick to reach the semifinals at a Grand Slam event (2005 US Open).

Bob and Mike Bryan, 30, will be making their second appearance in the Olympics having reached the quarterfinals in 2004 in Athens, losing to eventual gold medalists Fernando Gonzalez and Nicolas Massu of Chile. The Bryans, currently residing in Wesley Chapel, Fla., joined the great, great uncles of President George W. Bush as the only two sets of brothers to play tennis for the United States in the Olympics (Arthur and George Wear competed in the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis and each won a bronze medal with different doubles partners). Together, the Bryans have won the career Grand Slam in doubles and in 2007, helped the U.S. capture its first Davis Cup title since 1995.

Venus and Serena Williams are the last American women to win Olympic gold in tennis. The women were shut out of the medal stand at the 2004 Olympic Games for the first time since tennis returned to Olympic competition in 1988.

Andre Agassi was the last American man to win Olympic gold in men’s singles when he defeated Spain’s Sergi Bruguera in the gold medal match at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Ken Flach and Robert Seguso are the last American team to win Olympic gold in men’s doubles when they defeated Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez of Spain in the gold medal match at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. Mardy Fish was the last American to earn an Olympic medal in tennis, winning silver at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Tennis was part of the Olympic program from the first modern Olympiad in 1896 until 1924. After a 64-year hiatus, tennis returned to the official Olympic program in 1988, becoming the first sport to feature professional athletes.

Team nominations are subject to approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

# # #

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level — from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Olympus US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns the 94 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. A not-for-profit organization with 725,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.

Mondays With Bob Greene: Nadal And Ivanovic Win Roland Garros

STARS

French Open

Men’s Singles: Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer 6-1 6-3 6-0

Women’s Singles: Ana Ivanovic beat Dinara Safina 6-4 6-3

Men’s Doubles: Pablo Cuevas and Luis Horna beat Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic 6-2 6-3

Women’s Doubles: Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual beat Casey Dellacqua and Francesca Schiavone 2-6 7-5 6-4

Mixed Doubles: Victoria Azarenko and Bob Bryan beat Katarina Srebotnik and Nenad Zimonjic 6-2 7-6 (4)

Boys Singles: Tsung-Hua Yang beat Jerzy Janowicz 6-3 7-6 (5)

Girls Singles: Simona Halep beat Elena Bogdan 6-4 6-7 (3) 6-2

Boys Doubles: Henri Kontinen and Christopher Rungkat beat Jaan-Frederik Brunken and Matt Reid 6-0 6-3

Girls Doubles: Polona Hercoq and Jessica Moore beat Lesley Kerhove and Arantxa Rus 5-7 6-1 1-0 (7)

Under 45 Doubles: Goran Ivanisevic and Michael Stich beat Richard Krajicek and Emilio Sanchez 6-1 7-6 (5)

Over 45 Doubles: Anders Jarryd and John McEnroe beat Mansour Bahrami and Henri Leconte 6-4 7-6 (2)

Men’s Wheelchair Singles: Shingo Kunieda beat Robin Ammerlaan 6-0 7-6 (5)

Men’s Wheelchair Doubles: Shingo Kunieda and Mailkel Scheffers beat Robin Ammerlaan and Ronald Vink 6-2 7-5

Women’s Wheelchair Singles: Esther Vergeer beat Korie Homan 6-2 6-2

Women’s Wheelchair Doubles: Jiske Griffioen and Esther Vergeer beat Korie Homan and Sharon Walraven 6-4 6-4

Other Tournaments

Agustin Calleri beat Martin Vassallo Arguello 6-0 6-3 to win the UniCredit Czech Open 2008 in Prostejov, Czech Republic

Tathiana Garbin won the Tiro A Volo in Rome, Italy, by defeating Yvonne Meusburger 6-4 4-6 7-6 (6)

SAYINGS

“Roger, I’m sorry for the final.” – Rafael Nadal, after destroying Roger Federer 6-1 6-3 6-0 to win his fourth straight French Open.

“After a loss like this, you don’t want to play Rafa again tomorrow, that’s for sure.” – Federer.

“Roger’s going to be back, and so will Rafa.” – Bjorn Borg, the only other player to win four consecutive French Open singles titles.

“This was amazing. I think we both played a very nervous match. I’m just so happy to keep my composure at the end.” – Ana Ivanovic, after beating Dinara Safina and winning the French Open women’s title.

“Tennis is an easy sport. You don’t need to change anything when you do things well.” – Rafael Nadal, who has never lost at Roland Garros, winning 28 consecutive matches.

“Not one job is easy out there. I mean, the great thing about being a tennis player is that there are some opportunities that you’re going to get during the year, and it’s really up to you to take those opportunities.” – Maria Sharapova, after a fourth-round loss in Paris.

“If Rafa continues to play the way he plays, it’s just impossible.” – Nicolas Almagro, after winning three games against Nadal, the most lopsided French Open men’s quarterfinal in the Open era.

“I was just, I think, tired, mental and physically. Even though I wanted to, my heart couldn’t and my body couldn’t do it anymore.” – Dinara Safina after the women’s final.

“Those are not drop shots. I don’t know what they are, but those are not drop shots. His balls were not bouncing up at all. They had a spin effect. I’ll ask him to explain to me because I don’t know what those were.” – Gael Monfils, on drop shots hit by Roger Federer in their semifinal.

“Kill myself? No, I will have some dinner and maybe get drunk or do something. I don’t know. Whatever makes me feel better.” – Jelena Jankovic, after losing to Ana Ivanovic in the semifinals.

“It was pretty horrible. I felt pretty bad out there.” – Svetlana Kuznetsova, after her semifinal loss to Dinara Safina.

“I feel like I’m playing a Russian championship, not Roland Garros.” – Elena Dementieva after beating compatriot Vera Zvonareva to set up a quarterfinal meeting against another Russian, Dinara Safina, who then went on to beat yet another Russian, Svetlana Kuznetsova.

“I am just mother. Win or lose, it’s my children.” – Raouza Islanova, a famed Russian tennis coach who is the mother of Dinara Safina and Marat Safin.

“I’m not the girl to keep all the emotions I have inside. I guess I have to pay lots of fines because that’s the way I am.” – Dinara Safina.

“If somebody would tell us when we were 12 or 13 when we were practicing that we would play on Suzanne Lenglen in a quarterfinal, I wouldn’t have believed it.” – Ernests Gulbis, after losing to Novak Djokovic, friends since the two trained together at the Niki Pilic academy in Munich, Germany..

“It’s hard to comprehend that a person so young had to die. He accompanied me, challenged me and motivated me over the years.” – Thomas Muster, about fellow Austrian player Horst Skoff.

“He’s the defending champion. … What he achieved back in Athens, winning singles and doubles, maybe it’s never going to happen again.” – Roger Federer, backing defending Olympic champion Nicolas Massu’s bid to gain a wildcard entry to the Beijing Olympics.

“Leander and Mahesh, being true patriots and professionals, have agreed to put in their best effort by pairing up for Beijing Olympics to win a medal for the country.” – India Tennis Association (AITA) secretary Anil Khanna, announcing Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi will team up again for the Summer Games.

“He wanted to work with me, a lowly tennis player. He saw something in me that no one else has ever seen, the side that’s classic tennis player with elegance and grace.” – Venus Williams, about photographer Koto Bolofo’s new book, “Venus.”

“I am fulfilling my role as president according to the constitution. I am not interfering in the government at all. These days I play a lot of tennis, go swimming. Sometimes I play a hand of bridge.” – Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

SURGE TO THE TOP

Ana Ivanovic left Roland Garros with her first Grand Slam tournament title and the world number one ranking. The first player from Serbia to reach the top in the rankings, Ivanovic replaced Maria Sharapova as number one when she defeated fellow Serb Jelena Jankovic in the semifinals.

SKIPPING BIRMINGHAM

Defending champion Jelena Jankovic and French Open runner-up Dinara Safina will skip this week’s DFS Classic, a grass-court tournament in Birmingham, England. Jankovic has been bothered by an arm injury, while Safina withdrew because of a bad back.

SOUTH AMERICAN SHUFFLE

Luis Horna of Peru and Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay became the first South American team to win a Grand Slam doubles title when they knocked off second-seeded Daniel Nestor of Canada and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia 6-2 6-3 at Roland Garros. Horna and Cuevas beat three other seeded teams in the fortnight, including top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan in the quarterfinals and number seven Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra in the opening round. The only other South American man to win a Grand Slam doubles title was Ecuador’s Andres Gomez, who captured the U.S. Open in 1986 with Slobodan Zivojinovic of Yugoslavia and Roland Garros in 1988 with Emilio Sanchez of Spain.

STICKING TOGETHER?

Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi are setting aside their differences and teaming for the Beijing Olympics. Winners of three Grand Slam titles together, the pair are India’s best shot at a medal in Beijing. The two will play together in two events before and after Wimbledon.

SHORT SCHEDULE

Maria Sharapova will play just one grass court tournament this year: Wimbledon. The 21-year-old Russian said on her web site that she will bypass grass-court warmup events in Birmingham and Eastbourne in order to focus on Wimbledon, a tournament she won in 2004.

STAR-STUDDED DINNER

Justine Henin, who retired just before defending her French Open title, was among those honored at the ITF World Champions Dinner in Paris for finishing the year ranked number one. Henin and Roger Federer were honored as singles champions. Other recipients were doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan, junior champions Ricardas Berankis and Urzula Radwanska, and wheelchair champions Shingo Kunieda and Esther Vergeer. The Philippe Chatrier Award, the ITF’s highest accolade, was presented to Neal Fraser, an integral part of Australia’s Davis Cup history. Fraser played on 11 Davis Cup-winning squads, including four as captain, a position he held for 24 years to become the competition’s longest-serving captain.

SPOT IN OLYMPICS GONE

Any chance Tzipi Obziler had to participate in the 2008 Beijing Olympics ended when fellow Israeli Shahar Peer lost in the quarterfinals of the French Open doubles. Obizer needed Peer to reach the tourney’s final, which would put Peer in the top ten in the rankings. And that would have allowed the two Israelis to have direct entry into the tennis event at Beijing.

SAYS NO WAY

Japan’s Akiko Morigami denied she was told by a coach to throw a doubles match at the French Open. It had been widely reported that she had been asked to deliberately lose the match in order to boost partner Aiko Nakamura’s chances of qualifying for the Beijing Olympics. “I am aware of the media reports, and unfortunately my comments were misunderstood,” Morigami said in a statement. On her blog, Morigami said: “I’m sorry for the trouble my remarks have caused.”

SKOFF DIES

Horst Skoff, who won four ATP Tour titles during his career, died in Hamburg, Germany, while on a business trip. He was 39. The Austrian tennis federation said Skoff died of a heart attack, but Skoff’s friend, Arno Puckhofer, said German police have ordered an autopsy to verify the cause of death. Once ranked as high as 18th in the world, Skoff helped lead Austria to the 1990 Davis Cup semifinals along with Thomas Muster. Skoff won the first two sets before losing a five-setter to Michael Chang in the decisive fifth match as the United States won 3-2.

STAR-STUDDED WEDDING

Two former U.S. presidents are expected to be on hand when Chris Evert and golfer Greg Norman are married later this month in the Bahamas. According to news reports, the guest list includes Lleyton Hewitt, Anna Kournikova, Lindsay Davenport, Jim Courier, Martina Navratilova and Jimmy Connors from the tennis world. Entertainers Chevy Chase, Jon Lovitz, Kenny Loggins, Gwen Stefani, Matt Lauer also will watch the nuptials, alongside ex-Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush Sr. Evert and Norman, both 53, will reportedly tie the knot in a dusk ceremony on a private beach at The One And Only Ocean Club Hotel on Paradise Island. An Australian newspaper, The Sunday Telegraph, reported that Norman’s son Gregory will be best man at the wedding.

SO LONG BARRY

Barry Lorge, who had been tennis writer for the Washington Post and sports editor of The San Diego Union, died after a long battle against cancer. He was 60. Lorge’s first Wimbledon was in 1970, right after he had graduated from Harvard with a degree in political science. Since leaving the Union, Lorge operated a public relations firm in San Diego.

SMALL WORLD INDEED

Another way of proving tennis is the number one sport in the world. The semifinalists in all the competitions played at the French Open – including men, women, boys, girls, singles, doubles and wheelchair – represented 32 nations: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, United States, Uruguay, and Zimbabwe. The senior exhibitions added two more countries: Paraguay and Croatia.

STAYING HOME

France’s top player, Richard Gasquet, will not compete in the Beijing Olympics this summer. Ranked number nine in the world, Gasquet withdrew from the French Open with a knee injury but is scheduled to play at Wimbledon later this month. Also skipping the Summer Games will be Americans Ashley Harkleroad, Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish.

SAHOF AWARDS

The 1950 Davis Cup-winning team has been honored by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Frank Sedgman and John Bromwich headed the squad that beat the United States 4-1 at Forest Hills in New York City, starting a golden era for Australia, which held the Cup for 15 of the next 18 years.

SALES GURU

Scott MacLeod has joined the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour as senior vice president of business development, a new position. MacLeod, who will be based in London, will be responsible for sponsorship sales development, on-line advertising sales and licensing.

SHARED PERFORMANCES

Prostejov: Rik De Voest and Lukasz Kubot beat Chris Haggard and Nicolas Tourte 6-2 6-2

Rome: Klaudia Jans and Alicja Rosolska beat Alina Jidkova and Marie-Eve Pelletier 6-3, 6-1

SITES TO SURF

London: www.artoischampionships.com

Halle: www.gerryweber-open.de

Warsaw: www.orangewarsawopen.pl

Birmingham: http://birmingham.lta.org.uk

Barcelona: www.bcnwta.com

Eastbourne: http://eastbourne.lta.org.uk/

‘s-Hertogenbosch: www.ordina-open.nl

Akiko Morigami: www.40love.jp/morigami/

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

(All money in USD)

ATP

$1,125,000 The Artois Championships, London, England, grass

$1,125,000 Gerry Weber Open, Halle, Germany, grass

$670,000 Orange Prokom Open, Warsaw, Poland, clay

WTA TOUR

$200,000 DFS Classic, Birmingham, Great Britain, grass

$145,000 Torneo Barcelona KIA, Barcelona, Spain, clay

TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK

ATP

$584,000 Ordina Open, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, grass

$584,000 The Nottingham Open, Nottingham, Great Britain, grass

$125,000 Braunschweig Challenger, Braunschweig, Germany, clay

WTA TOUR

$600,000 International Women’s Open, Eastbourne, Great Britain, grass

$175,000 Ordina Open, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, grass

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