Henri Leconte

Krajicek wins maiden BlackRock title at home

KRAJICEK WINS MAIDEN BLACKROCK TITLE AT HOME

Richard Krajicek finally won a title on the BlackRock Tour of Champions when he beat Goran Ivanisevic 7-6, 7-5 in front of his home fans at the AFAS Classics in Eindhoven, Holland.

The Dutchman was pushed all the way by Ivanisevic, but finally broke through in the tenth game of the second set to register the only service break of the match.

It was nice to finally win a title on the BlackRock Tour of Champions after five years on the circuit, especially here in Holland, said Krajicek. Goran beat me in the final here once before so it was really nice to win one.

Ivanisevic was stunned by the quality of his opponents backhand.

Normally when I played Richard he makes about three backhand passing shots in the whole match, but he killed me with that shot today. He was just too good, said Ivanisevic.

Earlier, Sergi Bruguera saved five match points to win a pulsating marathon with Michael Chang 6-7, 7-6, 14-12 (Champions Tie-Break) and take third place in the tournament.

Matches on the BlackRock Tour of Champions are played over the best of three sets, with a Champions Tie-break (first to 10 points with a clear advantage of two) to decide the winner.

Last week in Luxembourg, John McEnroe won his first BlackRock Tour of Champions title in three years by defeating Leconte to take the Vivium Victory Challenge.

Next, the Tour moves on to the Tennis Classics in Budapest. It will be the first time that the BlackRock Tour of Champions has visited Hungary. McEnroe and Bjorn Borg will both be in action, as will Ivanisevic.

In the final event of the year, Pete Sampras and Stefan Edberg will take on McEnroe and Ivanisevic in an eight-man field at the BlackRock Masters Tennis in London, December 2-7.

GORAN IVANISEVIC INTERVIEW – PART ONE

Goran Ivanisevic took time out from winning the AFAS Classics in Eindhoven to answer fans questions on the BlackRock Tour of Champions and BBC Sport websites.

In part one of the interview, which appeared on the official tour website:  www.blackrocktourofchampionscom , Ivanisevic told readers about his greatest career regret, the most talented opponent he ever faced and why Ivo Karlovic and Marin Cilic will both be Top Ten players.

The second part of the interview will appear on the BBC Sport website soon.

RESULTS FOR SUNDAY 5TH OCTOBER

Final

Richard Krajicek d. Goran Ivanisevc 7-6, 7-5

3rd/4th place play-off

Sergi Bruguera d. Michael Chang 6-7, 7-6, 14-12 (Champions Tie-Break – Bruguera saved five match points)

FINAL STANDINGS

GROUP A (The Miracle)

Matches won/lost (sets)

Richard Krajicek                         2-1 (5-2)

Sergi Bruguera            2-1 (4-2)

Michael Stich            2-1 (4-3)

Henri Leconte     0-3 (0-4)

GROUP B (Ndlovu)

Goran Ivanisevic 3-0 (6-1)

Michael Chang 2-1 (4-3)

Paul Haarhuis 1-2 (4-5)

Yevgeny Kafelnikov            0-3 (1-6)

BLACKROCK TOUR OF CHAMPIONS POINTS ALLOCATION

Winner   400 points

Finalist   250 points

3rd place   200 points

4th place   125 points

5/6th place   80 points

7/8th place  60 points

SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS 2008 TOUR OF CHAMPIONS RANKINGS (after ten events)

POS. PLAYER PTS

1 Goran Ivanisevic            1220

2 Marcelo Rios 1130

3 Michael Stich            980

4 Henri Leconte 890

5 Sergi Bruguera 810

6        Cedric Pioline 740

7 Thomas Muster 655

8 Anders Jarryd  525

9        John McEnroe                     480

10= Marc-Kevin Goellner (WC) 455

10= Fernando Meligeni (WC) 455

12 Pat Cash  420

13=    Richard Krajicek  400

13= Patrick Rafter  400

13= Pete Sampras  400

13=   Stefan Edberg                      400

17 Mikael Pernfors  330

18 Chris Wilkinson (WC)  325

19= Jaime Oncins (WC)  200

19=    Johny Goudenbour             200

21 Bjorn Borg  185

22=   Guy Forget                           125

22= Jeremy Bates (WC) 125

22= Albert Costa 125

22=  Michael Chang 125

26=  Carl Uwe Steeb  120

26= Guillermo Vilas 120

28=  Mats Wilander                        80

28=  Joao Cunha e Silva (WC)  80

28= Magnus Larsson  80

28= Andrei Cherkasov  80

28= Mansour Bahrami                  80

28= Paul Haarhuis 80

34 Yevgeny Kafelnikov 60

34= Jaime Yzaga  60

34= Alladin Karagoz (WC)  60

34= Andrei Chesnokov  60

WC denotes Wild Card.

The BlackRock Tour of Champions Calendar 2008

Belfast, Northern Ireland – February 21-24 (Tennis Legends)

Champion: Anders Jarryd; Runner-up: Mikael Pernfors

Barcelona, Spain – April 24-27 (Champions Cup ’08)

Champion: Marcelo Rios; Runner-up: Michael Stich

Rome, Italy – May 10-11

Champion: Thomas Muster; Runner-up: Goran Ivanisevic

Hamburg, Germany – May 14-17 (BlackRock Tennis Classic)

Champion: Michael Stich; Runner-up: Marc-Kevin Goellner

Sao Paulo, Brazil – June 19-22 (Nossa Caixa Grand Champions Brasil)

Champion: Pete Sampras; Runner-up: Marcelo Rios

Istanbul, Turkey – July 17-20

Champion: Goran Ivanisevic; Runner-up: Fernando Meligeni

Graz, Austria – July 29-August 2 (s Tennis Masters)

Champion: Patrick Rafter; Runner-up: Michael Stich

Algarve, Portugal – August 5-8 (Vale do Lobo Grand Champions CGD)

Champion: Marcelo Rios ; Runner-up : Goran Ivanisevic

Paris, France – September 18-21 (5e Trophe Jean-Luc Lagardre)

Champion: Stefan Edberg; Runner-up: Sergi Bruguera

Luxembourg, Luxembourg – September 25-28

Champion: John McEnroe; Runner-up: Henri Leconte

Eindhoven, Netherlands – October 2-5 (AFAS Tennis Classics)

Budapest, Hungary – October 9-12

Macao, China – November 20 (Special Event)

London, UK – December 2-7 (BlackRock Masters Tennis)

OTHER INFO

About BlackRock

BlackRock is one of the world’s largest publicly traded investment management firms. At June 30, 2008, BlackRock’s AUM was $1.428 trillion. The firm manages assets on behalf of institutions and individuals worldwide through a variety of equity, fixed income, cash management and alternative investment products. In addition, a growing number of institutional investors use BlackRock Solutions investment system, risk management and financial advisory services. Headquartered in New York City, as of June 30, 2008, the firm has approximately 5,700 employees in 19 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at www.blackrock.com.

South Africa’s international flagship airline and the continent’s most awarded carrier, South African Airways is the official airline of the BlackRock Tour of Champions. Its modern fleet features a comfortable Economy Class cabin recently reconfigured for extra legroom and a Premium Business Class cabin featuring the airline’s award-winning, lie-flat seat. Complimentary South African wines, inspired cuisine and personal on-demand entertainment for all travellers make the trip to Africa fly by. Built on a venerable 72-year history of bringing the world to Africa and taking Africa to the world, the airline’s network is unsurpassed on the continent – connecting travellers to more than 20 destinations within South Africa and more than 20 cities across Africa. As a recent member to the worldwide Star Alliance, South African Airways is now able to offer its customers 852 destinations in 152 countries and more than 15,500 flights daily.

For the Latest News, Features and Updates from the BlackRock Tour of Champions: www.blackrocktourofchampions.com

and for further information:

www.blackrockinternational.com/tourofchampions

Yevgeny Kafelnikov interview – ‘I put two photographs of myself together. It was like looking at two different people’

INSPIRED KRAJICEK SEEKS FIRST EINDHOVEN TITLE
Richard Krajicek knew that he needed to beat Sergi Bruguera in straight sets to reach the final, and thats exactly what he did. The Dutchman produced a barrage of bullet serves and huge forehands to win 6-4, 6-4 and set up a Sunday showdown with Goran Ivanisevic at the AFAS Classics in Eindhoven. Ivanisevic won nine of their 12 meetings, but Krajicek is a man on a mission this week.
Earlier, Ivanisevic fired his way past Yevgeny Kafelnikov 6-4, 7-5. The 3rd/4th place play-off will be contested by Bruguera and Michael Chang. Chang defeated Paul Haarhuis 6-7, 6-4, 10-6 (Champions Tie-break). In the other match of the day, Michael Stich overcame Henri Leconte 6-2, 7-5.
YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV INTERVIEW – I put two photographs of myself together. It was like looking at two different people.
It is a familiar story. A former World No.1 tennis player burns out after a decade of training and playing himself into the ground. He retires, breathes a sigh of relief and isnt seen or heard for five years.  He relaxes, goes on holiday and does all the things he wasnt allowed to do when he was a tennis player. One day he wakes up and doesnt like, or even recognise, the person that he sees in the mirror. He is unfit and overweight, and he wants to do something about it. He hears about the BlackRock Tour of Champions and asks his old rivals what they think of it. They tell him that it is a chance to experience the competition, camaraderie and limelight that they used to enjoy, but without the stress. Perfect.
It happened to Pete Sampras, it happened to Thomas Muster and now it has happened to Yevgeny Kafelnikov.
The Russian won French and Australian Open titles, topped the world rankings and won the Olympic gold medal in Sydney 2000. Renowned for his work ethic, he played 915 singles matches and 571 doubles matches in an 11-year career.  Then, after a 6-2, 6-2 loss to Mikhail Youzhny in St Petersburg in 2003, he was not seen on a competitive tennis court again.  He played poker, golf and devoted his time to bringing up his now 10-year-old daughter, Alesja. He didnt work out at all, and began to tip the scales at 120 kg (264 lbs) – 36 kg (79 lbs) more than in his prime. It was time to act.
I put two photos together, one when I was playing and a recent one, and it was like looking at two different people, said Kafelnikov at the AFAS Classics in Eindhoven, where he is making his debut on the BlackRock Tour of Champions.
I said to myself, no, you cant do that to your body, its not going to last long if you do. So I needed to gather myself. Sometimes you need those moments in your life when you draw the line and see what its like to be at your best – at your highest level, and also at your lowest level. Fortunately, my lows were not too deep so I got out of it and I want to say thanks so much to everyone for giving me the opportunity to come back and play.
Kafelnikov talks with pride about his record as a tennis player, but he knew when it was time to call it a day.
Basically I burned out, he said.
I got to the stage where I couldnt take it any longer. The fact that you need to travel, the media attention, and the saddest thing – the losses. Deep down inside I felt like I belonged to the really elite group of players, which is the top five or top ten at worst. But it got to the stage where I was out of the top ten, and then 2003 was a really difficult time and I started to lose to players who would hardly win a game against me when I was at my best. I just said look, I cant take it anymore and that was when I really decided to quit.
Kafelnikov was never the most media-friendly of tennis players, but he learned a few lessons while out of the limelight, and admits that he began to miss the attention.
I wanted to get away from all the pressure that I had during the years when I was playing, and I really did that. But then, after one or two years of being away in the shadows where nobody sees you, you dont talk to people or to the media, it becomes boring.  As you get older and wiser you see life from a different angle and your perspective changes, definitely. When I was playing on the tour on a regular basis I had quite an ego and thats understandable. I was there to win and it comes with the territory. Thats why Im here – people want to see me because I was once the Number One in the world and won Grand Slam titles. People want to see the guys who they idolised. Now, as we get older, were really thankful that people want to see us. Its really wonderful, and were going to try to give our best back.
He has been good to his word. Over the first two days of the AFAS Tennis Classics in Eindhoven, Kafelnikov could not have been more hospitable. He spent an hour laughing and joking with the media on the first day, offered to visit the Tour and Tournament sponsors whenever they needed him and hasnt stopped smiling since he arrived. Accompanied by daughter Alesja wherever he goes, his demeanor could not be more different to the man that reached No.1 in the world in 1999.
My daughter told me that if I go to this tournament, she goes too, so thats part of the deal, said Kafelnikov.
I had to talk to the teacher and shes allowed three days off school so shell be back to school on Monday, but shes enjoying it very much. The first day she was shy and she didnt know any of the guys but I told her look, this guy I played doubles with and this one gave me a hard time when we played, so now she knows everyone. Its a very nice feeling to see the guys that I used to share a locker room with. We had good chats before when we were on the tour together and now after those years that I have been away its pretty much the same, it never changed. They are all good guys. The BlackRock Tour is doing a good job of giving these guys another opportunity to be with each other. Were definitely now at a stage where we need to give back as much as we can to fans who really love the game of tennis. Were doing the pro-ams, talking to the sponsors and thats what we need to do.
On the court he has been less successful, losing all three of his round-robin matches against Michael Chang, Paul Haarhuis and Goran Ivanisevic. But he has already lost 15 kilos over the past six months as he bids to regain his fitness, and he isnt about to stop now.
Slowly, slowly, slowly I am getting into better shape and hopefully if I get more opportunities to play next year, I will definitely perform better, he said.
Matches on the BlackRock Tour of Champions are played over the best of three sets, with a Champions Tie-break (first to 10 points with a clear advantage of two) to decide the winner.
Last week in Luxembourg, John McEnroe won his first BlackRock Tour of Champions title in three years by defeating Leconte to take the Vivium Victory Challenge.
After Eindhoven, the Tour moves on to the Tennis Classics in Budapest. It will be the first time that the BlackRock Tour of Champions has visited Hungary. McEnroe and Bjorn Borg will both be in action

In the final event of the year, Pete Sampras and Stefan Edberg will take on McEnroe and Ivanisevic in an eight-man field at the BlackRock Masters Tennis in London, December 2-7.

Kafelnikov quotes supplied by the BlackRock Tour of Champions. If used, please credit accordingly.

RESULTS FOR SATURDAY 4TH OCTOBER

M. Stich  d. H. Leconte 6-2, 7-5
M. Chang d. P. Haarhuis 6-7, 6-4, 10-6
G. Ivanisevic d. Y. Kafelnikov 6-4, 7-5
R. Krajicek d. S. Bruguera 6-4, 6-4
FINAL STANDINGS
GROUP A (The Miracle)
Matches won/lost (sets)
Richard Krajicek                         2-1 (5-2)
Sergi Bruguera            2-1 (4-2)
Michael Stich            2-1 (4-3)
Henri Leconte     0-3 (0-4)
GROUP B (Ndlovu)
Goran Ivanisevic 3-0 (6-1)
Michael Chang 2-1 (4-3)
Paul Haarhuis 1-2 (4-5)
Yevgeny Kafelnikov            0-3 (1-6)
SCHEDULE
Sunday 5th October
1.45pm
3rd/4th place play-off
Michael Chang vs. Sergi Bruguera
Final
Richard Krajicek vs. Goran Ivanisevc
BLACKROCK TOUR OF CHAMPIONS POINTS ALLOCATION
Winner   400 points
Finalist   250 points
3rd place   200 points
4th place   125 points
5/6th place   80 points
7/8th place  60 points
SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS 2008 TOUR OF CHAMPIONS RANKINGS (after ten events)
POS. PLAYER PTS
1 Marcelo Rios 1130
2 Goran Ivanisevic            970
3 Michael Stich            900
4 Henri Leconte 830
5        Cedric Pioline 740
6 Thomas Muster 655
7 Sergi Bruguera 610
8 Anders Jarryd  525
9        John McEnroe                     480
10= Marc-Kevin Goellner (WC) 455
10= Fernando Meligeni (WC) 455
12 Pat Cash  420
13= Patrick Rafter  400
13= Pete Sampras  400
13=   Stefan Edberg                      400
16 Mikael Pernfors  330
17 Chris Wilkinson (WC)  325
18= Jaime Oncins (WC)  200
18=    Johny Goudenbour             200
20 Bjorn Borg  185
21=   Guy Forget                           125
21= Jeremy Bates (WC) 125
21= Albert Costa 125
21=  Carl Uwe Steeb  120
21= Guillermo Vilas 120
26=  Mats Wilander                        80
26=  Joao Cunha e Silva (WC)  80
26= Magnus Larsson  80
26= Andrei Cherkasov  80
26= Mansour Bahrami                  80
31= Jaime Yzaga  60
31= Alladin Karagoz (WC)  60
31= Andrei Chesnokov  60
WC denotes Wild Card.
The BlackRock Tour of Champions Calendar 2008
Belfast, Northern Ireland – February 21-24 (Tennis Legends)
Champion: Anders Jarryd; Runner-up: Mikael Pernfors
Barcelona, Spain – April 24-27 (Champions Cup ’08)
Champion: Marcelo Rios; Runner-up: Michael Stich
Rome, Italy – May 10-11
Champion: Thomas Muster; Runner-up: Goran Ivanisevic
Hamburg, Germany – May 14-17 (BlackRock Tennis Classic)
Champion: Michael Stich; Runner-up: Marc-Kevin Goellner
Sao Paulo, Brazil – June 19-22 (Nossa Caixa Grand Champions Brasil)
Champion: Pete Sampras; Runner-up: Marcelo Rios
Istanbul, Turkey – July 17-20
Champion: Goran Ivanisevic; Runner-up: Fernando Meligeni
Graz, Austria – July 29-August 2 (s Tennis Masters)
Champion: Patrick Rafter; Runner-up: Michael Stich
Algarve, Portugal – August 5-8 (Vale do Lobo Grand Champions CGD)
Champion: Marcelo Rios ; Runner-up : Goran Ivanisevic
Paris, France – September 18-21 (5e Trophe Jean-Luc Lagardre)
Champion: Stefan Edberg; Runner-up: Sergi Bruguera
Luxembourg, Luxembourg – September 25-28
Champion: John McEnroe; Runner-up: Henri Leconte
Eindhoven, Netherlands – October 2-5 (AFAS Tennis Classics)
Budapest, Hungary – October 9-12
Macao, China – November 20 (Special Event)
London, UK – December 2-7 (BlackRock Masters Tennis)
OTHER INFO
About BlackRock
BlackRock is one of the world’s largest publicly traded investment management firms. At June 30, 2008, BlackRock’s AUM was $1.428 trillion. The firm manages assets on behalf of institutions and individuals worldwide through a variety of equity, fixed income, cash management and alternative investment products. In addition, a growing number of institutional investors use BlackRock Solutions investment system, risk management and financial advisory services. Headquartered in New York City, as of June 30, 2008, the firm has approximately 5,700 employees in 19 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at www.blackrock.com.
South Africa’s international flagship airline and the continent’s most awarded carrier, South African Airways is the official airline of the BlackRock Tour of Champions. Its modern fleet features a comfortable Economy Class cabin recently reconfigured for extra legroom and a Premium Business Class cabin featuring the airline’s award-winning, lie-flat seat. Complimentary South African wines, inspired cuisine and personal on-demand entertainment for all travellers make the trip to Africa fly by. Built on a venerable 72-year history of bringing the world to Africa and taking Africa to the world, the airline’s network is unsurpassed on the continent – connecting travellers to more than 20 destinations within South Africa and more than 20 cities across Africa. As a recent member to the worldwide Star Alliance, South African Airways is now able to offer its customers 852 destinations in 152 countries and more than 15,500 flights daily.
For the Latest News, Features and Updates from the BlackRock Tour of Champions: www.blackrocktourofchampions.com
and for further information:

Stich edges Krajicek as Kafelnikov continues comeback

Watching the 22-point Champions’ Tie-Break shared by Michael Stich and Richard Krajicek in Eindhoven on Friday was like being catapulted back in time by 15 years.

Both men walloped serves down, neither gave an inch, and a packed Dutch crowd at the AFAS Classics sat transfixed, if ultimately a little disappointed, as their man went down to Stich 6-3, 3-6, 12-10.

This was serious, heavyweight tennis, and the 37-year-old Krajicek stood motionless for a few seconds as he watched the 39-year-old Stich’s backhand clip the outside edge of the baseline on match-point.

Krajicek even queried the call to the Chair Umpire such was his disappointment at not maintaining his 100% record this week.

It means that the Dutchman must now beat Sergi Bruguera, who overcame Henri Leconte 6-3, 6-4, to stand a chance of making the final. He must also hope that Leconte defeats Stich on Saturday.

In the Ndlovu Group (Group B), Yevgeny Kafelnikov lost again, but this time he pushed Paul Haarhuis all the way. Haarhuis has kept himself in immaculate shape while Kafelnikov is still trying to regain full fitness, and in the end, it showed.

The Russian took the first set 7-5, showing glimpses of the sparkling return of serve that took him to No.1 in the world. But Haarhuis hit back to win the second 6-3 and then the Champions’ Tie-Break 10-7.

In the final match of the day, Goran Ivanisevic assured his place in the final with a thumping 6-4, 6-4 win over Michael Chang.

Matches are played over the best of three sets, with a Champions’ Tie-break (first to 10 points with a clear advantage of two) to decide the winner.  After all round-robin matches are complete, the top two players in each group will meet in Sunday’s final.

Last week in Luxembourg, John McEnroe won his first BlackRock Tour of Champions title in three years by defeating Leconte to take the Vivium Victory Challenge.

After Eindhoven, the Tour moves on to the Tennis Classics in Budapest. It will be the first time that the BlackRock Tour of Champions has visited Hungary. McEnroe and Bjorn Borg will both be in action.

In the final event of the year, Pete Sampras and Stefan Edberg will take on McEnroe and Ivanisevic in an eight-man field at the BlackRock Masters Tennis in London, December 2-7.

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LATEST STANDINGS

GROUP A (The Miracle)

Matches won/lost (sets)

Sergi Bruguera                                                                    2-0 (4-0)

Richard Krajicek                                                  1-1 (3-2)

Michael Stich                                                                        1-1 (2-3)

Henri Leconte                                                                      0-2 (0-4)

GROUP B (Ndlovu)

Goran Ivanisevic                                                                  2-0 (4-1)

Michael Chang                                                                    1-1 (2-2)

Paul Haarhuis                                                                      1-1 (3-3)

Yevgeny Kafelnikov                                                             0-2 (1-4)

RESULTS

Friday, 3rd October, 2008

Sergi Bruguera d. Henri Leconte 6-3, 6-4

Paul Haarhuis d. Yevgeny Kafelnikov 5-7, 6-3, 10-7 (Champions’ Tie-break)

Michael Stich d. Richard Krajicek 6-3, 3-6, 12-10 (Champions’ Tie-Break)

Goran Ivanisevic d. Michael Chang 6-4, 6-4

SCHEDULE

Saturday 4th October – Afternoon session

At 1pm

H. Leconte vs. M. Stich

P. Haarhuis vs. M. Chang

Saturday 4th October – Evening session

At 6.30pm

G. Ivanisevic – Y. Kafelnikov

S. Bruguera – R. Krajicek

Sunday 5th October

1.45pm

3rd/4th place play-off

Final

BLACKROCK TOUR OF CHAMPIONS POINTS ALLOCATION

Winner –                400 points

Finalist –                250 points

3rd place –            200 points

4th place –            125 points

5/6th place –  80 points

7/8th place –          60 points

SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS 2008 TOUR OF CHAMPIONS RANKINGS (after ten events)

POS.       PLAYER                                                PTS

1              Marcelo Rios                                        1130

2              Goran Ivanisevic             970

3              Michael Stich                   900

4              Henri Leconte                      830

5        Cedric Pioline                            740

6              Thomas Muster                    655

7              Sergi Bruguera                    610

8              Anders Jarryd                        525

9        John McEnroe                     480

10=         Marc-Kevin Goellner (WC)                455

10=         Fernando Meligeni (WC)   455

12           Pat Cash                                                420

13=         Patrick Rafter                         400

13=         Pete Sampras                       400

13=   Stefan Edberg                      400

16           Mikael Pernfors                    330

17           Chris Wilkinson (WC)          325

18=         Jaime Oncins (WC)                              200

18=    Johny Goudenbour             200

20           Bjorn Borg                                              185

21=   Guy Forget                           125

21=         Jeremy Bates (WC)                             125

21=         Albert Costa                                          125

21=  Carl Uwe Steeb                           120

21= Guillermo Vilas                                            120

26=  Mats Wilander                        80

26=  Joao Cunha e Silva (WC)          80

26=         Magnus Larsson                   80

26=         Andrei Cherkasov                                80

26= Mansour Bahrami                  80

31=         Jaime Yzaga                                         60

31=         Alladin Karagoz (WC)          60

31=         Andrei Chesnokov                               60

WC denotes Wild Card.

The BlackRock Tour of Champions Calendar 2008

Belfast, Northern Ireland – February 21-24 (Tennis Legends)

Champion: Anders Jarryd; Runner-up: Mikael Pernfors

Barcelona, Spain – April 24-27 (Champions Cup ’08)

Champion: Marcelo Rios; Runner-up: Michael Stich

Rome, Italy – May 10-11

Champion: Thomas Muster; Runner-up: Goran Ivanisevic

Hamburg, Germany – May 14-17 (BlackRock Tennis Classic)

Champion: Michael Stich; Runner-up: Marc-Kevin Goellner

Sao Paulo, Brazil – June 19-22 (Nossa Caixa Grand Champions Brasil)

Champion: Pete Sampras; Runner-up: Marcelo Rios

Istanbul, Turkey – July 17-20

Champion: Goran Ivanisevic; Runner-up: Fernando Meligeni

Graz, Austria – July 29-August 2 (s Tennis Masters)

Champion: Patrick Rafter; Runner-up: Michael Stich

Algarve, Portugal – August 5-8 (Vale do Lobo Grand Champions CGD)

Champion: Marcelo Rios ; Runner-up : Goran Ivanisevic

Paris, France – September 18-21 (5e Trophée Jean-Luc Lagardère)

Champion: Stefan Edberg; Runner-up: Sergi Bruguera

Luxembourg, Luxembourg – September 25-28

Champion: John McEnroe; Runner-up: Henri Leconte

Eindhoven, Netherlands – October 2-5 (AFAS Tennis Classics)

Budapest, Hungary – October 9-12

Macao, China – November 20 (Special Event)

London, UK – December 2-7 (BlackRock Masters Tennis)

OTHER INFO

About BlackRock

BlackRock is one of the world’s largest publicly traded investment management firms. At June 30, 2008, BlackRock’s AUM was $1.428 trillion. The firm manages assets on behalf of institutions and individuals worldwide through a variety of equity, fixed income, cash management and alternative investment products. In addition, a growing number of institutional investors use BlackRock Solutions investment system, risk management and financial advisory services. Headquartered in New York City, as of June 30, 2008, the firm has approximately 5,700 employees in 19 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at www.blackrock.com.

South Africa’s international flagship airline and the continent’s most awarded carrier, South African Airways is the official airline of the BlackRock Tour of Champions. Its modern fleet features a comfortable Economy Class cabin recently reconfigured for extra legroom and a Premium Business Class cabin featuring the airline’s award-winning, lie-flat seat. Complimentary South African wines, inspired cuisine and personal on-demand entertainment for all travellers make the trip to Africa fly by. Built on a venerable 72-year history of bringing the world to Africa and taking Africa to the world, the airline’s network is unsurpassed on the continent – connecting travellers to more than 20 destinations within South Africa and more than 20 cities across Africa. As a recent member to the worldwide Star Alliance, South African Airways is now able to offer its customers 852 destinations in 152 countries and more than 15,500 flights daily.

For the Latest News, Features and Updates from the BlackRock Tour of Champions: www.blackrocktourofchampions.com

and for further information:

www.blackrockinternational.com/tourofchampions

Kafelnikov and Chang to clash on Champions Tour debuts in Eindhoven

Former World No.1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov and the 1989 French Open champion Michael Chang will lock horns on their BlackRock Tour of Champions debuts in Eindhoven on Thursday.

Kafelnikov and Chang have been drawn into the same group for the round-robin stages of the AFAS Classics alongside the 2001 Wimbledon Champion Goran Ivanisevic and co-Tournament Director Paul Haarhuis. Haarhuis’s former doubles partner Jacco Eltingh co-directs the event which began in 2002 and is one of the best and longest-running tournaments on the BlackRock Tour of Champions.

Kafelnikov retired from the ATP circuit having played more than 900 matches in an 11-year career. The Russian won the 1996 French Open, the 1999 Australian Open and an Olympic Gold medal in Sydney in 2000 before retiring in 2003.

Chang became the youngest male Grand Slam title winner in history when, at 17 years and three months, he lifted the French Open crown in 1989. The American memorably beat Ivan Lendl in the semifinals, hitting under-arm serves as his legs cramped. He overcame Stefan Edberg in the final.

Kafelnikov dominated Chang in their personal head-to-head, leading it 4-0. Their most-recent encounter took place at the 1999 French Open, which Kafelnikov won in four sets.

In the other group, defending champion Sergi Bruguera will take on the 1996 Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek, Henri Leconte and the 1991 Wimbledon winner Michael Stich, who replaces the injured Malivai Washington.

Matches are played over the best of three sets, with a Champions’ Tie-break (first to 10 points with a clear advantage of two) to decide the winner.

Last week in Luxembourg, John McEnroe won his first BlackRock Tour of Champions title in three years by taking the Vivium Victory Challenge.

After Eindhoven, the Tour moves on to the Tennis Classics in Budapest. It will be the first time that the BlackRock Tour of Champions has visited Hungary. McEnroe and Bjorn Borg will both be in action.

In the final event of the year, Pete Sampras and Stefan Edberg will take on McEnroe and Ivanisevic in an eight-man field at the BlackRock Masters Tennis in London, December 2-7.

GROUP A (The Miracle)

Sergi Bruguera

Henri Leconte

Richard Krajicek

Michael Stich

GROUP B (Ndlovu)

Goran Ivanisevic

Michael Chang

Yevgeny Kafelnikov

Paul Haarhuis

SCHEDULE

Thursday, 2nd October, 2008

At 3pm

P. Haarhuis vs. G. Ivanisevic

M. Stich vs. S. Bruguera

At 7pm

R. Krajicek vs. H. Leconte

Y. Kafelnikov vs. M. Chang

Friday, 3rd October, 2008

At 3pm

H. Leconte vs. S. Bruguera

P. Haarhuis vs. Y. Kafelnikov

At 7pm

R. Krajicek vs. M. Stich

G. Ivanisevic vs. M. Chang

Saturday 4th October – Afternoon session

At 1pm

H. Leconte vs. M. Stich

P. Haarhuis vs. M. Chang

Saturday 4th October – Evening session

At 6.30pm

G. Ivanisevic – Y. Kafelnikov

S. Bruguera – R. Krajicek

Sunday 5th October

1.45pm

3rd/4th place play-off

Final

BLACKROCK TOUR OF CHAMPIONS POINTS ALLOCATION

Winner –                400 points

Finalist –                250 points

3rd place –            200 points

4th place –            125 points

5/6th place –  80 points

7/8th place –          60 points

SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS 2008 TOUR OF CHAMPIONS RANKINGS (after ten events)

POS.       PLAYER                                                PTS

1              Marcelo Rios                                        1130

2              Goran Ivanisevic             970

3              Michael Stich                   900

4              Henri Leconte                      830

5        Cedric Pioline                            740

6              Thomas Muster                    655

7              Sergi Bruguera                    610

8              Anders Jarryd                        525

9        John McEnroe                     480

10=         Marc-Kevin Goellner (WC)                455

10=         Fernando Meligeni (WC)   455

12           Pat Cash                                                420

13=         Patrick Rafter                         400

13=         Pete Sampras                       400

13=   Stefan Edberg                      400

16           Mikael Pernfors                    330

17           Chris Wilkinson (WC)          325

18=         Jaime Oncins (WC)                              200

18=    Johny Goudenbour             200

20           Bjorn Borg                                              185

21=   Guy Forget                           125

21=         Jeremy Bates (WC)                             125

21=         Albert Costa                                          125

21=  Carl Uwe Steeb                           120

21= Guillermo Vilas                                            120

26=  Mats Wilander                        80

26=  Joao Cunha e Silva (WC)          80

26=         Magnus Larsson                   80

26=         Andrei Cherkasov                                80

26= Mansour Bahrami                  80

31=         Jaime Yzaga                                         60

31=         Alladin Karagoz (WC)          60

31=         Andrei Chesnokov                               60

WC denotes Wild Card.

The BlackRock Tour of Champions Calendar 2008

Belfast, Northern Ireland – February 21-24 (Tennis Legends)

Champion: Anders Jarryd; Runner-up: Mikael Pernfors

Barcelona, Spain – April 24-27 (Champions Cup ’08)

Champion: Marcelo Rios; Runner-up: Michael Stich

Rome, Italy – May 10-11

Champion: Thomas Muster; Runner-up: Goran Ivanisevic

Hamburg, Germany – May 14-17 (BlackRock Tennis Classic)

Champion: Michael Stich; Runner-up: Marc-Kevin Goellner

Sao Paulo, Brazil – June 19-22 (Nossa Caixa Grand Champions Brasil)

Champion: Pete Sampras; Runner-up: Marcelo Rios

Istanbul, Turkey – July 17-20

Champion: Goran Ivanisevic; Runner-up: Fernando Meligeni

Graz, Austria – July 29-August 2 (s Tennis Masters)

Champion: Patrick Rafter; Runner-up: Michael Stich

Algarve, Portugal – August 5-8 (Vale do Lobo Grand Champions CGD)

Champion: Marcelo Rios ; Runner-up : Goran Ivanisevic

Paris, France – September 18-21 (5e Trophée Jean-Luc Lagardère)

Champion: Stefan Edberg; Runner-up: Sergi Bruguera

Luxembourg, Luxembourg – September 25-28

Champion: John McEnroe; Runner-up: Henri Leconte

Eindhoven, Netherlands – October 2-5 (AFAS Tennis Classics)

Budapest, Hungary – October 9-12

Macao, China – November 20 (Special Event)

London, UK – December 2-7 (BlackRock Masters Tennis)

OTHER INFO

About BlackRock

BlackRock is one of the world’s largest publicly traded investment management firms. At June 30, 2008, BlackRock’s AUM was $1.428 trillion. The firm manages assets on behalf of institutions and individuals worldwide through a variety of equity, fixed income, cash management and alternative investment products. In addition, a growing number of institutional investors use BlackRock Solutions investment system, risk management and financial advisory services. Headquartered in New York City, as of June 30, 2008, the firm has approximately 5,700 employees in 19 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at www.blackrock.com.

South Africa’s international flagship airline and the continent’s most awarded carrier, South African Airways is the official airline of the BlackRock Tour of Champions. Its modern fleet features a comfortable Economy Class cabin recently reconfigured for extra legroom and a Premium Business Class cabin featuring the airline’s award-winning, lie-flat seat. Complimentary South African wines, inspired cuisine and personal on-demand entertainment for all travellers make the trip to Africa fly by. Built on a venerable 72-year history of bringing the world to Africa and taking Africa to the world, the airline’s network is unsurpassed on the continent – connecting travellers to more than 20 destinations within South Africa and more than 20 cities across Africa. As a recent member to the worldwide Star Alliance, South African Airways is now able to offer its customers 852 destinations in 152 countries and more than 15,500 flights daily.

For the Latest News, Features and Updates from the BlackRock Tour of Champions: www.blackrocktourofchampions.com

and for further information:

www.blackrockinternational.com/tourofchampions

Mondays With Bob Greene: I played unbelievable tennis against Novak

STARS

Andy Roddick won the China Open by beating Dudi Sela 6-4 6-7 (6) 6-3 in Beijing, China

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Novak Djokovic 7-6 (4) 6-4 to win the Thailand Open in Bangkok, Thailand

Jelena Jankovic beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3 6-2 to win the China open women’s singles in Beijing

Maria Kirilenko defeated Samantha Stosur to win the Hansol Korea Open in Seoul, South Korea, 2-6 6-1 6-4

Alberto Martin beat Julian Reister 6-2 6-0 to win the ATP Challenger Trophy 2008 in Trnava, Slovakia

John McEnroe won the Vivium Victory Challenge in Luxembourg, beating Henri Leconte 6-1 6-4

Jim Courier beat Todd Martin 6-2 3-6 10-5 (match tiebreak) to win the Citadel Group Championships at The Palisades in Charlotte, North Carolina

SAYINGS

“I’ve been dreaming about this, so I’m very happy. I played unbelievable tennis against Novak. It’s one of the great moments of my life.” – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, after beating Novak Djokovic to win the Thailand Open, his first ATP singles title.

“I lost to a great player. Bravo to Jo and his team for his first ATP title. I’m sure we’ll be seeing him again often in the future.” – Novak Djokovic.

“This feels really good. It’s been a lot of years since I’ve won one of these events, so many that I can’t even remember the last one I won.” – John McEnroe, after beating Henri Leconte to win the Vivium Victory Challenge.

“At first I couldn’t believe it. I thought that maybe they were joking or something. Me, playing with all these great players like Borg, McEnroe, Guillermo Vilas and Henri Leconte, is incredible. When I started to play tennis, Borg was my idol, so this is the most fantastic thing for me.” – Johny Goudenbour, who was given a wild card to play in a BlackRock Tour of Champions event in Luxembourg.

“If I was more consistent I think I would be ranked higher, maybe Top 10 or Top 15. But I have time to improve. I’m only 21 and I’ll get more experience in the time to come.” – Maria Kirilenko, after winning her third singles title of the year.

“Svetlana beat me two times this year. I was really motivated to get a win against her, and winning in two sets is very satisfying.” – Jelena Jankovic, after beating Svetlana Kuznetsova to win the China Open.

“I’m disappointed. I wasn’t moving the ball or doing the right things on the court. I love playing here, so it was disappointing to not play well in the final.” – Svetlana Kuznetsova.

“This was a good win for me. It was in China and in front of my home crowd. There were lots of fans supporting me, which gave me even more motivation.” – Zheng Jie, after upsetting Ana Ivanovic in the China Open.

“I was defending a lot. It was like running a marathon out there. She was really aggressive and was dominating a lot. I didn’t even realize how much I was running out there.” – Ana Ivanovic, after losing to Zheng Jie.

“I had a lot of pressure on me during those years and I was too young for it. … This time, win or lose, I’m just trying to enjoy it. I’m going to have more fun. And I think this will be good for Japanese tennis too.” – Kimiko Date-Krumm, on her returning to tennis after a 12-year hiatus following her retirement.

“I didn’t feel comfortable on court. Unfortunately, I didn’t win. The other guy was better than me.” – Marat Safin, after suffering a 6-4 7-6 first-round loss to Philipp Petzschner at the Thailand Open.

“Roger (Federer) has said he wants to put the Davis Cup into his calendar, but he wants to see all the details first. He will do anything possible to be there.” – Swiss Tennis spokeswoman Sandra Perez on whether Federer will play in a first-round Davis Cup tie against the United States.

“I will have to digest this one and make sure I go back on the right track for the next few tournaments.” – Amelie Mauresmo, a former world number one who has lost her last two first-round matches.

“People tend to think athletes have a glamorous life, traveling all the time to international destinations and staying at five-star hotels. But in reality it is not all that great. We do go through some difficult moments in our careers, with struggles, intrigues and fights, like in any other job.” – Fernando Meligeni, who has written a book about his 14-year career as a professional tennis player.

“As an American player it meant a lot to me to break the record. It’s nice to have the opportunity to play so many great pro circuit events in this country. I’ve played most of the pro circuit events held in the US and have met a lot of wonderful people, and have a lot of good memories from the different tournaments.” – Julie Ditty, after becoming the new record-holder of the most career USTA Pro Circuit titles.

SERVING WITH THE STARS

Johny Goudenbour’s day job is with the local tourist board in Luxembourg. But he lived a dream this past week at the Vivium Victory Challenge, a stop on the BlackRock Tour of Champions. Goudenbour was Luxembourg’s highest ranked tennis player for six consecutive years in the 1980s, and he reached a career high world ranking of 304. Now 45 years old, Goudenbour still plays inter-club level tennis in neighboring Germany, but his main job these days is putting together cultural films promoting his home town. He was surprised when he received a telephone call offering him a wild card into the seniors tournament being played in Luxembourg. Goudenbour upset both Carl-Uwe Steeb and Cedric Pioline before losing to Henri Leconte 6-2 7-5.

SECURITY CONCERNS

With tennis tournaments scheduled for the country in November, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has expressed its concern to Pakistan about security. A Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) offical said the ITF did not call for cancellation of the events, but asked for details on security arrangements in view of travel advisories issued by the United States, European and other countries. A record number of players from Great Britain, Australia, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tanzania, Romania, Kazakistan, Iran, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Taiwan and India have entered the first tournament, which will be held in Islamabad.

SUING ATP?

His lawyer says Nikolay Davydenko is considering suing the ATP to get the men’s tennis organization to pay the Russian’s legal costs following a 13-month gambling inquiry that found no evidence that he did anything wrong. Attorney Frank Immenga said Davydenko wants the ATP to issue a more positive press statement and “maybe apologize,” according to the Bloomberg news agency. Davydenko also is considering taking action against Betfair Ltd., the British gambling site, for making public details of its probe into a Davydenko match.

STILL TOUGH

Andy Roddick says the game of tennis in the United States is in good health despite no American man winning a Grand Slam title in five years. Roddick was the last American man to win a major, the US Open in 2003. But the former world number one notes that the United States has three players in the top 25 and two in the top ten. Plus, he points out that the US won the Davis Cup in 2007 and the fact that the brothers Bob and Mike Bryan are the world’s top-ranked doubles team. “If you compare us with other countries, we’re very, very strong,” Roddick said.

SINO STAR

Zheng Jie is proving her Wimbledon showing was no surprise. The right-hander upset second-seeded Ana Ivanovic 7-6 (4) 2-6 6-4 at the China Open in a quarterfinal baseline slugfest that lasted six minutes short of three hours. It was Zheng’s second straight win over her Serbian opponent in as many 2008 meetings. She beat Ivanovic at Wimbledon to become the first Chinese player to topple a reigning world number one. It also was her first Top 10 win. In the Beijing tournament, she also beat Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, giving Zheng her second and third career wins over players ranked in the Top 10.

SPORTS HALL INDUCTEE

Billie Jean King is in yet another hall of fame. The tennis great is one of four athletes elected to the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame (BASHOF). Others included in the 2009 class are baseball pitcher Gaylord Perry, football tight end Dave Casper and quarterback Craig Morton. The four will be inducted at a banquet March 9 in San Francisco.

SELECTED

Two-time Grand Slam champion Rod Laver has been elected a Life Trustee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, Rhode Island. Nine new members have been elected to the Hall’s board of directors: Douglas Fonte, Lucy Garvin, Elizabeth Jeffett, Ted Leonsis , Andrew McElwee Jr., David Westin, Allen Brill, David Tyree and Nancy von Auersperg. Returning to the board are Robert Downey, Steve Lessing and Sue Ann Weinberg.

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SKIPPING OUT

Simone Bolelli has been banned by the Italian Tennis Federation from national team events for skipping the country’s Davis Cup matches with Latvia. Bolelli, ranked 45th in the world, chose instead to play tour events in Bangkok, Thailand, and in Tokyo, Japan. Bolelli said he told Italian Davis Cup captain Corrado Barrazzutti well in advance of the international team competition that he preferred to work on his fast-court game in Asia.

SWISS START

For the second time in nine years, the United States could face a Roger Federer-led Switzerland team when the two countries meet in a first-round Davis Cup match next year. The last time they faced each other, Federer won three points to lead Switzerland to victory in 2001. Spain and Argentina, this year’s finalists, will begin next year’s play at home, Argentina facing the Netherlands and Spain playing host to Serbia. In other World Group first-round matches, France will be at the Czech Republic, Chile at Croatia, Israel travels to Sweden and Austria goes to Germany.

SHRIVER CHARITY CLASSIC

US Open champion Serena Williams and Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva will face each other at the 23rd annual Pam Shriver Charity Tennis Classic in November. Williams is ranked number one in the world, while Dementieva is ranked number four. They will meet in a “Battle of Olympic Gold Medal Champions.” Williams teamed with her sister Venus to win the doubles gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. Net proceeds from the Tennis Classic are distributed to children’s charities under the guidance of the Baltimore Community Foundation.

SAYING IT ALL

Former ATP star Fernando Meligeni has turned author. His book – “Aqui Tem! Vitórias e Memórias de Fernando Meligeni com Andre Kfouri” – was released last week in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The book was written by Meligeni and Andre Kfouri, a well-known sports journalist in Brazil who currently is working for ESPN. Ranked as high as 25th in the world, Meligeni was a French Open semifinalist in 1999. He said he wrote the book to unveil some funny and stressful behind-the-scenes moments of his 14-year career on the tour.

SETS RECORD

Julie Ditty is the new record-holder for most career USTA Pro Circuit championships. The 29-year-old swept the singles and doubles titles at a recent ITF Women’s Circuit event in Albuquerque, New Mexico, earning her 31st and 32nd career USTA Pro Circuit titles, the most of any player, man or woman. On the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, the 29-year-old Ditty’s best result came last November when she reached the semifinals of an event and broke into the Top 100 for the first time. The previous record of 30 titles was held jointly by Paul Goldstein and Nana Smith.

SIXTH SENSE ACADEMY

Justine Henin and Carlos Rodrigez have opened a tennis academy in Florida. The superstar player, who was ranked number one in the world when she retired from the sport earlier this year, and her coach opened their second 6th Sense Tennis Academy, this one in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida, located 30 miles northwest of Orlando. Their first academy was opened in Belgium almost a year ago.

SUCCESSFUL PAIR

When Stephen Huss and Ross Hutchins won the doubles at China Open, it was their first title as a team. The 32-year-old Huss had won two other doubles crowns, including Wimbledon in 2005 with Wesley Moodie. Hutchins, nine years younger than his partner, won his first title in just his second ATP final. But Hutchins has done well in Beijing, having reached the semifinals last year when he was teamed with Eric Butorac. Huss and Hutchins became partners in Valencia, Spain, in April where they lost in the first round. Prior to winning in Beijing, their best result had been reaching the third round at Roland Garros.

SHARAPOVA OUT FOR YEAR

Because of her lingering shoulder injury, Maria Sharapova has decided to stop playing tournaments until next year. She is currently in Arizona where she is rehabilitating her shoulder. The injury has kept her from practicing the past several weeks, but she hopes to return to practice soon. She has decided to skip tournaments in Asia, Europe and the season-ending Championships. Sharapova won the Australian Open in January along with two other singles titles and has been ranked number one in the world this year.

SHARED PERFORMANCES

Beijing: Anabel Medina Garrigues and Caroline Wozniacki beat Han Xinyun and Xu Yi-Fan 6-1 6-3

Bangkok: Chuang Chia-Jung and Hsieh Su-Wei beat Vera Dushevina and Maria Kirilenko 6-3 6-0

Beijing: Stephen Huss and Ross Hutchins beat Ashley Fisher and Bobby Reynolds 7-5 6-4

Bangkok: Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes beat Scott Lipsky and David Martin 6-4 7-6 (4)

Trnava: David Zkoch and Igor Zelenay beat Daniel Koellerer and Michael Mertinak 6-3 6-1

SITES TO SURF

Tokyo: www.jta-tennis.or.jp/aigopen/e/

Stuttgart: www.porsche-tennis.de

Tashkent: www.tashkentopen.uz

Eindhoven: www.afastennisclassics.nl

Mons: http://www.ethiastrophy.be

Vienna: www.ba-ca-tennistrophy.at

Stockholm: www.stockholmopen.se

Moscow: www.kremlincup.ru

Henin: www.6senstennisacademie.com.

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

(All money in USD)

ATP

$832,000 AIG Japan Open Tennis Championships, Tokyo, Japan, hard

$416,000 Open de Moselle, Metz, France, hard

$125,000 Ethias Trophy, Mons, Belgium, hard

WTA TOUR

$650,000 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Stuttgart, Germany, hard

$175,000 AIG Japan Open Tennis Championships, Tokyo, Japan, hard

$145,000 Tashkent Open, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, hard

SENIORS

AFAS Tennis Classics, BlackRock Tournament of Champions, Eindhoven, Netherlands, carpet

TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK

ATP

$1,000,000 ATP Kremlin Cup, Moscow, Russia, carpet

$800,000 IF Stockholm Open, Stockholm, Sweden, hard

$755,000 Bank Austria TennisTrophy, Vienna, Austria, hard

WTA TOUR

$1,340,000 Kremlin Cup, Moscow, Russia, carpet

SENIORS

BlackRock Tour of Champions, Budapest, Hungary, carpet

Edberg hits back to seize maiden BlackRock title

Stefan Edberg completed a miraculous comeback against Sergi Bruguera on Sunday to claim his first BlackRock Tour of Champions title at the Jean-Luc Lagardere Trophy in Paris. Edberg, was in trouble while down by a set and 4-2 , but he turned the match around in impressive fashion to triumph 3-6, 7-5, 10-5 (Champions Tie Break) in an hour and 20 minutes.

In tennis things can change pretty quickly, said Edberg. You just have to believe that you can do it one way or another. You need one or two points to get you going and make you feel like youre in with a chance and thats what he gave me, a few free points.

I thought I played very well today, he added. I found it a little bit difficult in the beginning because Sergi was playing well and with a lot of spin so I was having trouble getting the timing.  But I managed to get back in the match and I actually played very well in the end, which was necessary because Sergi is such a great clay court player.

The match was a tale of two halves. In the early stages Edberg looked overwhelmed by the vicious topspin of the Spaniard, making uncharacteristic errors and hitting few winners. Bruguera succeeded where previous opponents failed,  sending one passing shot after another past the bewildered Swede. But, after losing the first set and going a break down in the second to trail 2-4, Edberg suddenly began to turn the tide. After recuperating the break of serve to level the set at 4-4, and with the full weight of the crowds vocal support behind him, Edberg started to find his range. He went on to clinch the second set with a winning backhand volley and forced the decider that such a high quality match deserved. Edberg carried his momentum into the Champions Tie Break and at 9-5 down and facing 4 match points a dejected Bruguera dumped his second serve into the net to hand the match and the title to his opponent.

After such a successful run in Paris, Edberg said he would like to play more events on the BlackRock Tour of Champions in the coming year.

If I can make some kind of arrangement with my family so that we can travel a bit together then theres a good chance Ill be back in Paris next year as the defending champion, he said.

For now, Edberg, will now turn his attention to the BlackRock Masters Tennis  at the Royal Albert Hall in London, where he is due to play alongside fellow Wimbledon Champions Pete Sampras, John McEnroe and Goran Ivanisevic.

Im really looking forward to playing in the BlackRock Masters Tennis in London, said Edberg. London is my second home because I lived there for a long time. Its a great event at the Albert Hall and theres usually lots of good matches there so that should be a really good week.

In third/fourth place play-off, Cedric Pioline defeated fellow Frenchman and Tournament Director of the Jean-Luc Lagardere Trophy, Guy Forget 7-5, 4-6, 10-5.

The Tour will now move on to Luxembourg for the first Vivium Victory Challenge (September 25-28), and then the AFAS Tennis Classics in Eindhoven (October 2-5). Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe will renew their rivalry in Luxembourg (for a taster, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUa2ltLC0hw).  In Eindhoven, former World No.1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov, 1989 French Open champion Michael Chang, and the 1996 Wimbledon finalist Malivai Washington will make the BlackRock Tour of Champions debuts.

RESULTS SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2008
Cedric Pioline d. Guy Forget 7-5, 4-6, 10-5 (Champions Tie Break)
Stefan Edberg d. Sergi Bruguera 3-6, 7-5, 10-5 (Champions Tie Break)
FINAL GROUP STANDINGS
GROUP A
Matches won/lost (sets)
Stefan Edberg             3-0 (6-0)
Guy Forget        2-1 (4-2)
Henri Leconte              1-2 (2-4)
Thomas Muster            0-3 (0-6)
GROUP B
Matches won/lost (sets)
Sergi Bruguera 3-0 (6-0)
Cedric Pioline 2-1 (4-3)
Mats Wilander           1-2 (2-4)
Guillaume Raoux       0-2 (1-6)
BLACKROCK TOUR OF CHAMPIONS POINTS ALLOCATION
Winner   400 points
Finalist   250 points
3rd place   200 points
4th place   125 points
5/6th place   80 points
7/8th place   60 points
SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS 2008 TOUR OF CHAMPIONS RANKINGS (after nine events)
POS. PLAYER PTS
1 Marcelo Rios 1130
2 Goran Ivanisevic          970
3 Michael Stich 900
4      Cedric Pioline          660
5 Thomas Muster         655
6 Sergi Bruguera         610
7 Henri Leconte          580
8 Anders Jarryd         525
9= Marc-Kevin Goellner (WC) 455
9= Fernando Meligeni (WC) 455
11 Pat Cash         420
12= Patrick Rafter         400
12= Pete Sampras         400
12=   Stefan Edberg                   400
15 Mikael Pernfors         330
16 Chris Wilkinson (WC) 325
17 Jaime Oncins (WC) 200
18=   Guy Forget                        125
18= Jeremy Bates (WC) 125
18= Albert Costa 125
21=  Mats Wilander                    80
21=    Joao Cunha e Silva (WC) 80
21= Magnus Larsson 80
21= John McEnroe         80
21= Andrei Cherkasov 80
26= Bjorn Borg 60
26= Carl Uwe Steeb         60
26= Jaime Yzaga 60
26= Alladin Karagoz (WC) 60
26= Andrei Chesnokov 60
26= Guillermo Vilas 60
WC denotes Wild Card.

The BlackRock Tour of Champions Calendar 2008
Belfast, Northern Ireland – February 21-24 (Tennis Legends)
Champion: Anders Jarryd; Runner-up: Mikael Pernfors
Barcelona, Spain – April 24-27 (Champions Cup ’08)
Champion: Marcelo Rios; Runner-up: Michael Stich
Rome, Italy – May 10-11
Champion: Thomas Muster; Runner-up: Goran Ivanisevic
Hamburg, Germany – May 14-17 (BlackRock Tennis Classic)
Champion: Michael Stich; Runner-up: Marc-Kevin Goellner
Sao Paulo, Brazil – June 19-22 (Nossa Caixa Grand Champions Brasil)
Champion: Pete Sampras; Runner-up: Marcelo Rios
Istanbul, Turkey – July 17-20
Champion: Goran Ivanisevic; Runner-up: Fernando Meligeni
Graz, Austria – July 29-August 2 (s Tennis Masters)
Champion: Patrick Rafter; Runner-up: Michael Stich
Algarve, Portugal – August 5-8 (Vale do Lobo Grand Champions CGD)
Champion: Marcelo Rios ; Runner-up : Goran Ivanisevic
Paris, France – September 18-21 (5e Trophe Jean-Luc Lagardre)
Champion: Marcelo Rios ; Runner-up : Goran Ivanisevic
Luxembourg, Luxembourg – September 25-28
Eindhoven, Netherlands – October 2-5 (AFAS Tennis Classics)
Budapest, Hungary – October 9-12
Frankfurt, Germany – November 13-16 (klarmobil.de Champions Trophy)
Macao, China – November 20 (Special Event)
London, UK – December 2-7 (BlackRock Masters Tennis)
OTHER INFO
About BlackRock
BlackRock is one of the world’s largest publicly traded investment management firms. At June 30, 2008, BlackRock’s AUM was $1.428 trillion. The firm manages assets on behalf of institutions and individuals worldwide through a variety of equity, fixed income, cash management and alternative investment products. In addition, a growing number of institutional investors use BlackRock Solutions investment system, risk management and financial advisory services. Headquartered in New York City, as of June 30, 2008, the firm has approximately 5,700 employees in 19 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at www.blackrock.com.
South Africa’s international flagship airline and the continent’s most awarded carrier, South African Airways is the official airline of the BlackRock Tour of Champions. Its modern fleet features a comfortable Economy Class cabin recently reconfigured for extra legroom and a Premium Business Class cabin featuring the airline’s award-winning, lie-flat seat. Complimentary South African wines, inspired cuisine and personal on-demand entertainment for all travellers make the trip to Africa fly by. Built on a venerable 72-year history of bringing the world to Africa and taking Africa to the world, the airline’s network is unsurpassed on the continent – connecting travellers to more than 20 destinations within South Africa and more than 20 cities across Africa. As a recent member to the worldwide Star Alliance, South African Airways is now able to offer its customers 852 destinations in 152 countries and more than 15,500 flights daily.
For the Latest News, Features and Updates from the BlackRock Tour of Champions: www.blackrocktourofchampions.com
and for further information:

Edberg rolls on in Paris

Stefan Edbergs impressive return to professional tennis continued today as he notched up another straight sets win, this time 6-4, 7-6 against Tournament Director Guy Forget at the Trophee Jean-Luc Lagardere in Paris.
Despite the scoreline, Edberg was made to work hard for victory in only his second BlackRock Tour of Champions match. A stroke of luck for the Swede separated the two men in the first set, with Edberg clinching the decisive break of serve courtesy of a net cord. The second set was closer still with both players delighting the crowd with deft volleys and scintillating passing shots. Edberg deserved the victory though, fittingly clinching the match in the tie-break with a drop volley.
After the match, Edberg admitted that he had been pushed all the way by Forget.

I had to work really hard today he said. It was just a few points that made the difference. I thought Guy played really well and I had to hit a lot of good shots to be able to win.

I got a little bit tight out there, I have to admit that. Although I feel that my fitness it good, I havent played a lot of matches so its just getting used to that. Well see tomorrow how fit I really am, but for the moment I feel good.

On Saturday, Edberg will take on Henri Leconte who earlier put in an impressive performance to beat an out-of-sorts Thomas Muster 6-3, 6-4. The winner of that match is likely to progress to Sundays final.

Im really looking forward to that match, said Edberg. Henri is a great player and a great showman on the court so for me its always a pleasure to play him. He does so much for tennis and the spectators really love to watch him play so its just nice to be on the same court as him again. There is only one Henri Leconte!

In Group B, Sergi Bruguera continued his seven-match unbeaten run in Paris, proving he is still the man to beat on clay. The Spaniard raced past Mats Wilander in just under an hour for the loss of just 6 games and will now meet Guillaume Raoux on Saturday in the final round of matches in Group B.

In the last match of the day, Raoux, a replacement for the injured Mikael Pernfors, put in a valiant effort against Cedric Pioline before eventually losing 6-7, 6-4, 10-8 (Champions Tie Break) in a match which lasted over 2 hours and finished in the last moments of daylight.  Pernfors watched the days play on crutches after injuring his achilles tendon against Mats Wilander yesterday. Two years ago, Pernfors ruptured his achilles tendon, but doctors are hopeful that the injury is less serious this time.

Matches are played over the best of three sets, with a Champions Tie-break (first to 10 points with a clear advantage of two) to decide the winner.

All the players in each group will play each other over the first three days, and the players finishing top of each group will meet each other in the final. Those finishing second in each group will contest the 3rd/4th place play-off.

Last month in the Algarve (Portugal) Marcelo Rios won the Vale do Lobo Grand Champions CGD to overtake Michael Stich as No.1 player in the South African Airways Champions Tour Rankings.

After Paris, the Tour will move on to Luxembourg for the first Vivium Victory Challenge (September 25-28), and then the AFAS Tennis Classics in Eindhoven (October 2-5). Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe will renew their rivalry in Luxembourg (for a taster, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUa2ltLC0hw). In Eindhoven, former World No.1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov, 1989 French Open champion Michael Chang, and the 1996 Wimbledon finalist Malivai Washington will make the BlackRock Tour of Champions debuts.

tel: +44 7509023344
RESULTS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2008
GROUP A
Henri Leconte d. Thomas Muster 6-3, 6-4
Stefan Edberg d. Guy Forget 6-4, 7-6(3)
GROUP B
Sergi Bruguera d. Mats Wilander 6-4, 6-2
Cedric Pioline d. Guillaume Raoux 6-7(6), 6-4, 10-8 (Champions Tie-Break)
LATEST GROUP STANDINGS
GROUP A
Matches won/lost (sets)
Stefan Edberg             2-0 (4-0)
Guy Forget        1-1 (2-2)
Henri Leconte              1-1 (2-2)
Thomas Muster            0-2 (0-4)
GROUP B
Matches won/lost (sets)
Sergi Bruguera 2-0 (4-0)
Mats Wilander           1-1 (2-2)
Cedric Pioline 1-1 (2-3)
Guillaume Raoux       0-2 (0-4)
SCHEDULE SATURDAY 20 SEPTEMBER
13:00                                                   Sergi Bruguera/Guillaume Raoux
Not before 2:30pm                              Stefan Edberg / Henri Leconte
Followed by                                         Cedric Pioline/ Mats Wilander
Followed by                                         Guy Forget/Thomas Muster
BLACKROCK TOUR OF CHAMPIONS POINTS ALLOCATION
Winner   400 points
Finalist   250 points
3rd place   200 points
4th place   125 points
5/6th place   80 points
7/8th place   60 points
SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS 2008 TOUR OF CHAMPIONS RANKINGS (after seven events)
POS. PLAYER PTS
1 Marcelo Rios 1130
2 Goran Ivanisevic          970
3 Michael Stich 900
4 Thomas Muster         595
5 Anders Jarryd         525
6 Henri Leconte          500
7 Cedric Pioline          460
8= Marc-Kevin Goellner (WC) 455
8= Fernando Meligeni (WC) 455
10 Pat Cash         420
11= Patrick Rafter         400
11= Pete Sampras         400
13 Sergi Bruguera         360
14 Mikael Pernfors         330
15= Chris Wilkinson (WC) 325
16= Jaime Oncins (WC) 200
17= Jeremy Bates (WC) 125
17= Albert Costa 125
19    Joao Cunha e Silva (WC) 80
20= Magnus Larsson 80
20= John McEnroe         80
20= Andrei Cherkasov 80
23= Bjorn Borg 60
23= Carl Uwe Steeb         60
23= Jaime Yzaga 60
23= Alladin Karagoz (WC) 60
23= Andrei Chesnokov 60
23= Guillermo Vilas 60
WC denotes Wild Card.
The BlackRock Tour of Champions Calendar 2008
Belfast, Northern Ireland – February 21-24 (Tennis Legends)
Champion: Anders Jarryd; Runner-up: Mikael Pernfors
Barcelona, Spain – April 24-27 (Champions Cup ’08)
Champion: Marcelo Rios; Runner-up: Michael Stich
Rome, Italy – May 10-11
Champion: Thomas Muster; Runner-up: Goran Ivanisevic
Hamburg, Germany – May 14-17 (BlackRock Tennis Classic)
Champion: Michael Stich; Runner-up: Marc-Kevin Goellner
Sao Paulo, Brazil – June 19-22 (Nossa Caixa Grand Champions Brasil)
Champion: Pete Sampras; Runner-up: Marcelo Rios
Istanbul, Turkey – July 17-20
Champion: Goran Ivanisevic; Runner-up: Fernando Meligeni
Graz, Austria – July 29-August 2 (s Tennis Masters)
Champion: Patrick Rafter; Runner-up: Michael Stich
Algarve, Portugal – August 5-8 (Vale do Lobo Grand Champions CGD)
Champion: Marcelo Rios ; Runner-up : Goran Ivanisevic
Paris, France – September 18-21 (5e Trophe Jean-Luc Lagardre)
Luxembourg, Luxembourg – September 25-28
Eindhoven, Netherlands – October 2-5 (AFAS Tennis Classics)
Budapest, Hungary – October 9-12
Frankfurt, Germany – November 13-16 (klarmobil.de Champions Trophy)
Macao, China – November 20 (Special Event)
London, UK – December 2-7 (BlackRock Masters Tennis)
OTHER INFO
About BlackRock
BlackRock is one of the world’s largest publicly traded investment management firms. At June 30, 2008, BlackRock’s AUM was $1.428 trillion. The firm manages assets on behalf of institutions and individuals worldwide through a variety of equity, fixed income, cash management and alternative investment products. In addition, a growing number of institutional investors use BlackRock Solutions investment system, risk management and financial advisory services. Headquartered in New York City, as of June 30, 2008, the firm has approximately 5,700 employees in 19 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at www.blackrock.com.
South Africa’s international flagship airline and the continent’s most awarded carrier, South African Airways is the official airline of the BlackRock Tour of Champions. Its modern fleet features a comfortable Economy Class cabin recently reconfigured for extra legroom and a Premium Business Class cabin featuring the airline’s award-winning, lie-flat seat. Complimentary South African wines, inspired cuisine and personal on-demand entertainment for all travellers make the trip to Africa fly by. Built on a venerable 72-year history of bringing the world to Africa and taking Africa to the world, the airline’s network is unsurpassed on the continent – connecting travellers to more than 20 destinations within South Africa and more than 20 cities across Africa. As a recent member to the worldwide Star Alliance, South African Airways is now able to offer its customers 852 destinations in 152 countries and more than 15,500 flights daily.
For the Latest News, Features and Updates from the BlackRock Tour of Champions: www.blackrocktourofchampions.com
and for further information:

Edberg continues Muster dominance on BlackRock debut in Paris

BlackRock Tour of Champions debutant Stefan Edberg made an impressive start to his champions tennis career today as he swept past Thomas Muster 6-2, 6-1 in just 59 minutes.

Edberg, who held a 10-0 record against Muster during their ATP careers, continued where he left off against the Austrian 12 years ago. From the outset, Edberg appeared to be in control of the match, breaking early to secure a 3-1 lead in the first set. The second set was an equally comfortable affair as Muster dumped a forehand in the net to lose his serve and go 3-0 down. From then on the result never looked in doubt as the Swede overwhelmed his opponent with winners on both wings from every corner of the court.

After the match, Edberg was pleased with his performance.

“I actually felt really good on the court today,” he said. “I’ve prepared quite a bit over the last 3 or 4 months because I wanted to enjoy my tennis here in Paris. It’s one of the best feelings to have when you strike the ball well and today I did that.”

The 42-year-old Edberg seemed to abandon the classic serve and volley style which won him two Wimbledon titles and looked at home battling from the baseline against former French Open Champion Muster.

“I felt really comfortable on the clay out there today,” said Edberg. “It’s a lot easier on your body and it gives you a little bit of extra time on the ball and to prepare yourself for the shot.”

“Paris is a great city and the atmosphere here is really good. Playing against these guys and seeing all the old faces is a bit like turning the clock back. It really is nice to be back.”

Elsewhere, Mikael Pernfors was forced to retire against Mats Wilander after rupturing his achilles tendon at 1-1 in the second set.

The Swede had looked to be turning the match around after dropping the first set to his compatriot, Wilander, who accompanied his injured opponent to hospital after the match. Pernfors, who had stepped in at short notice to replace the injured Bjorn Borg in the Paris draw, will now be replaced in Group B by 38-year-old Frenchman Guillaume Raoux.

Earlier in the day, two-time defending Champion Sergi Bruguera edged past a below par Cedric Pioline, 7-6, 6-2 and Guy Forget, who doubles up as the tournament director in Paris, beat countryman Henri Leconte  7-5, 7-5.

Matches are played over the best of three sets, with a Champions’ Tie-break (first to 10 points with a clear advantage of two) to decide the winner.

All the players in each group will play each other over the first three days, and the players finishing top of each group will meet each other in the final. Those finishing second in each group will contest the 3rd/4th place play-off.

Last month in the Algarve (Portugal) Marcelo Rios won the Vale do Lobo Grand Champions CGD to overtake Michael Stich as No.1 player in the South African Airways Champions Tour Rankings.

After Paris, the Tour will move on to Luxembourg for the first Vivium Victory Challenge (September 25-28), and then the AFAS Tennis Classics in Eindhoven (October 2-5). Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe will renew their rivalry in Luxembourg (for a taster, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUa2ltLC0hw). In Eindhoven, former World No.1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov, 1989 French Open champion Michael Chang, and the 1996 Wimbledon finalist Malivai Washington will make the BlackRock Tour of Champions debuts.

[ad#adify-300×250]

RESULTS – THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2008

GROUP A

Stefan Edberg d. Thomas Muster 6-2, 6-1

Guy Forget d. Henri Leconte 7-5, 7-5

GROUP B

Sergi Bruguera d. Cedric Pioline 7-6(4), 6-2

Mats Wilander d. Mikael Pernfors 6-4, 1-1 ret.

LATEST GROUP STANDINGS

GROUP A

Matches won/lost (sets)

Stefan Edberg                       1-0 (2-0)

Guy Forget                             1-0 (2-0)

Henri Leconte                       0-1 (0-2)

Thomas Muster                    0-1 (0-2)

GROUP B

Matches won/lost (sets)

Sergi Bruguera                    1-0 (2-0)

Mats Wilander                      1-0 (2-0)

Mikael Pernfors                   0-1 (0-2)

Cedric Pioline                      0-1 (0-2)

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY 19 SEPTEMBER

13:00                                                   Henri Leconte/Thomas Muster

Not before 14:30                              Stefan Edberg / Guy Forget

Followed by                                         Sergi Bruguera/ Mats Wilander

Followed by                                         Guillaume Raoux/ Cedric Pioline

BLACKROCK TOUR OF CHAMPIONS POINTS ALLOCATION

Winner –                400 points

Finalist –                250 points

3rd place –            200 points

4th place –            125 points

5/6th place –  80 points

7/8th place –         60 points

SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS 2008 TOUR OF CHAMPIONS RANKINGS (after seven events)

POS.       PLAYER                                                PTS

1              Marcelo Rios                                        1130

2              Goran Ivanisevic          970

3              Michael Stich                                        900

4              Thomas Muster                           595

5              Anders Jarryd                              525

6              Henri Leconte                              500

7              Cedric Pioline                              460

8=           Marc-Kevin Goellner (WC)                455

8=           Fernando Meligeni (WC)   455

10           Pat Cash                                                      420

11=         Patrick Rafter                               400

11=         Pete Sampras                             400

13           Sergi Bruguera                           360

14           Mikael Pernfors                          330

15=         Chris Wilkinson (WC)         325

16=         Jaime Oncins (WC)                             200

17=         Jeremy Bates (WC)                             125

17=         Albert Costa                                          125

19    Joao Cunha e Silva (WC)         80

20=         Magnus Larsson                  80

20=         John McEnroe                             80

20=         Andrei Cherkasov                               80

23=         Bjorn Borg                                             60

23=         Carl Uwe Steeb                          60

23=         Jaime Yzaga                                        60

23=         Alladin Karagoz (WC)         60

23=         Andrei Chesnokov                              60

23= Guillermo Vilas                                            60

WC denotes Wild Card.

The BlackRock Tour of Champions Calendar 2008

Belfast, Northern Ireland    – February 21-24 (Tennis Legends)

Champion: Anders Jarryd; Runner-up: Mikael Pernfors

Barcelona, Spain                                 – April 24-27 (Champions Cup ’08)

Champion: Marcelo Rios; Runner-up: Michael Stich

Rome, Italy                                            – May 10-11

Champion: Thomas Muster; Runner-up: Goran Ivanisevic

Hamburg, Germany            – May 14-17 (BlackRock Tennis Classic)

Champion: Michael Stich; Runner-up: Marc-Kevin Goellner

Sao Paulo, Brazil                                 – June 19-22 (Nossa Caixa Grand Champions Brasil)

Champion: Pete Sampras; Runner-up: Marcelo Rios

Istanbul, Turkey                   – July 17-20

Champion: Goran Ivanisevic; Runner-up: Fernando Meligeni

Graz, Austria                         – July 29-August 2 (s Tennis Masters)

Champion: Patrick Rafter; Runner-up: Michael Stich

Algarve, Portugal                                 – August 5-8 (Vale do Lobo Grand Champions CGD)

Champion: Marcelo Rios ; Runner-up : Goran Ivanisevic

Paris, France                        – September 18-21 (5e Trophée Jean-Luc Lagardère)

Luxembourg, Luxembourg – September 25-28

Eindhoven, Netherlands    – October 2-5 (AFAS Tennis Classics)

Budapest, Hungary                             – October 9-12

Frankfurt, Germany             – November 13-16 (klarmobil.de Champions Trophy)

Macao, China                       – November 20 (Special Event)

London, UK                          – December 2-7 (BlackRock Masters Tennis)

OTHER INFO

About BlackRock

BlackRock is one of the world’s largest publicly traded investment management firms. At June 30, 2008, BlackRock’s AUM was $1.428 trillion. The firm manages assets on behalf of institutions and individuals worldwide through a variety of equity, fixed income, cash management and alternative investment products. In addition, a growing number of institutional investors use BlackRock Solutions investment system, risk management and financial advisory services. Headquartered in New York City, as of June 30, 2008, the firm has approximately 5,700 employees in 19 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at www.blackrock.com.

South Africa’s international flagship airline and the continent’s most awarded carrier, South African Airways is the official airline of the BlackRock Tour of Champions. Its modern fleet features a comfortable Economy Class cabin recently reconfigured for extra legroom and a Premium Business Class cabin featuring the airline’s award-winning, lie-flat seat. Complimentary South African wines, inspired cuisine and personal on-demand entertainment for all travellers make the trip to Africa fly by. Built on a venerable 72-year history of bringing the world to Africa and taking Africa to the world, the airline’s network is unsurpassed on the continent – connecting travellers to more than 20 destinations within South Africa and more than 20 cities across Africa. As a recent member to the worldwide Star Alliance, South African Airways is now able to offer its customers 852 destinations in 152 countries and more than 15,500 flights daily.

For the Latest News, Features and Updates from the BlackRock Tour of Champions: www.blackrocktourofchampions.com

and for further information:

www.blackrockinternational.com/tourofchampions

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