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Roger Federer is a happy man, Serena Williams faces stalker, Kim Clijsters’ French Open still in doubt

Roger Federer is a happy man

Roger Federer happy with just one title? Say it ain’t so…but unfortunately it is. Federer says in an interview that he is quite happy with his form in  2011 . I am sorry…one title, happy with form and it is May 2011 now? That’s very un-Federer-like. It’s too little for the man who has won everything there is to win, except the Olympic Gold medal for singles. But he is motivated and trained hard for Madrid and getting ready for a long stretch at Wimbledon. So he isn’t even aiming for the French Open? Is that what it means? I do hope the man can add at least one other major to his name.

In other news Federer has already committed to continue playing after the Olympics in 2012 and I hope he will continue to play for a long time.  “Serve grandpa, before you fall down!” is what comes to mind but to be honest; I don’t think anyone will break his record of 16 majors anytime soon and he has had a great career up until now.

Roger Federer is the escape artist of the week so far avoiding defeat at the hands of Feliciano Lopez with the set scores 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 in a match that lasted almost three hours.

“It felt like a really quick court out there and as the match wore on the more difficult it got to return Feliciano’s serve,” said Federer. “Obviously I don’t have too much rhythm going into tomorrow’s match with Malisse, a steady baseliner.”

Serena Williams stalker

Serena Williams is going to have to rethink her social media strategy after a stalker followed her through Twitter and showed up at her gated subdivision in Florida.  The man, 40-year-old Patenema Ouedraogo, has been following Serena Williams around the country. First in LA where Williams was meeting with her agent, he pretended to be her assistant in Tampa while she was at the Home Shopping Network and now her subdivision in FLA.   Ouedraogo has been slapped with a restrainment order but that didn’t keep him away.  Ouedraogo is said to have told officers that he loved Serena and that “he knows the feelings are reciprocal.”

Now I don’t what to think. Especially after seeing the South beach photos. Is that out of line? If so then get a grip.  But having someone following you and showing up at the exact places you are just because you tweeted it makes me more careful with my Twitter or at least turn off the GPS that determines where I am at the time of tweeting and it also makes me avoid Tweeting about where I am now. But ofcourse, you can’t just blame it on Twitter and Ouedraogo  sounds like confused man.

Kim Clijsters back in training

Yes, you read that well. Kim Clijsters is back in training after her injury woes.  On her website Kim Clijsters wrote: “I held a tennis racket in my hands for the first time in about five weeks. It felt good.”  She also ruled out playing any of the warm up tournaments before the French Open later this month.

The big question however is: Can she play the French Open?

“It depends on a great many factors: What is the reaction to the first days of training? What if we increase the training intensity?” she said.

I do hope we will see her play but I don’t want her to play unless she is 100% fit.

 

Novak Djokovic amazing streak continues

And he has hit the big 30. He is unbeaten for 30 matches in a row and on a crash course to meet Rafael Nadal, the King of Clay.  Will he maintain his winning streak or will Rafael Nadal end it abruptly and show him who’s boss?

“It’s a fact that I am playing the best tennis of my life and I’m definitely happy about it,” said Djokovic, who attributed his good form to a “strong mental ability to handle the pressure and play the right shots at the right time.”

 

Weekly links

Our good friend Justin Cohen talked with Jim Courier and Andre Agassi about the re-formatted 12 city Champions Series. (World Tennis Magazine)

While Real Madrid lost to FC Barcelona Tuesday for a spot in the finale of the prestigious Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo can still enjoy some good tennis at the Mutua Madrid Open. (On The Go Tennis)

Fans of Racquet Required, check Jennifer’s new supercalifragilisticexpialidocious website http://www.racquetrequired.com/

Interesting interview with Ana Ivanovic who admits the three must have qualities of a man. (Ana Ivanovic Official site)

Our photographer Ralf Reinecke has been in Madrid all week and shot a lot of photos. I love them all and so should you!!

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WIN SERENA WILLIAMS’ LUCKY RINGS!

This offer is no longer valid. The contest is over!

Anyone else enjoyed Serena Williams’ magnificent performance during the first week of Wimbledon?  I always enjoy watching this natural born champion. Not just for her marvelous and excellent tennis game but also for her attire.   I am always curious what Serena will wear on the courts. It are mostly clothes that make her look classy and feminin.

Serena has been into fashion for as long as she plays and I couldn’t help but Google about her fashion endavour.  I found out that she has her own jewelry line called “Serena Williams Signature Statement”.

And this is what Serena had to say about that:

I always try to make a statement both on and off the court. My passion and drive have enabled me to explore many creative paths throughout my life. It makes me smile when I think back to when my mother and I used to sew all of our own clothes together. I understand the talent and precision it takes to make beautiful things come to life.

Attending design school reminded me of my love for creating clothes, jewelry, accessories… you name it. One of my dreams has always been to share gorgeous gifts of fashion and luxury with the world, which is why I have created the Serena Williams Signature Statement collection.

All of my pieces are designed with love to offer you feminine and elegant beauty that you can wear all of the time. Know that a part of my heart goes into every piece and I hope my collection inspires you to make your very own signature statement for your lifestyle!”

In collaboration with the Home Shopping Network  (HSN.com) I am allowed to give away not 1, not 2 but 3 of Serena Williams Lucky Rings.

They come in the following colors: Yellow, Crystal,  Pink and Purple.

All you have to do is answer the following question:  How many times has Serena Williams won Wimbledon?

Answer the question and the first 3 to get it right will receive Serena’s Lucky Ring! It’s that easy folks!  Please leave your email address so I can contact you about shipping the rings to you!

Please watch Serena Williams on the Home Shopping Network that airs on July 22! Don’t miss out what this champion has to say to you!

This offer is no longer valid. The contest is over!

SERENA’S “MINI-RETIREMENTS” HELP HER LONGEVITY

By Blair Henley

It’s been almost three months since Serena Williams last played a tennis match.

Since her victory at the Australian Open, she has visited Kenya to open a secondary school in her name, appeared on the Home Shopping Network to sell her Signature Line and even enrolled in courses to become a nail technician. Her interests outside of tennis have raised eyebrows regarding her dedication to the game, but perhaps her frequent layoffs, injury related or not, are actually what have enabled her reign atop the women’s tour for so long.

It’s easy to root for the grinder who eats, sleeps and breathes tennis. Society says that hard work pays off, and we love seeing proof. When Ana Ivanovic won the French Open in 2008, fans cheered her gritty style of play and analysts seemed to think there were big things in store for the marketable Serb. Her ranking now sits at No. 57 and she has not come close to replicating her Grand Slam success. The same could be said for Nicole Vaidisova, who went from the world top 10 in 2007 to the top 200 in 2010. She recently announced her retirement at the ripe old age of 20. Jelena Dokic is another young and promising baseliner who reached the top 5 in 2002 before slowly sliding out of the spotlight.

These are just a few examples of players who have clawed their way to the top only to have trouble staying there. On the other hand, Serena has proved herself against the best in the world for over ten years and doesn’t seem fazed by the pressure of heightened expectations that has knocked many would-be stars off their short-lived pedestals.

Despite her incredibly successful career, critics are quick to say that she has failed to make the most of her talent and athleticism. They wonder what she could achieve if she completely immersed herself in the game, but I’ve yet to hear anyone laud Serena’s unusual approach as a contributing factor in her unparalleled longevity in tennis’ modern era.

There’s no denying that tennis is a training intensive sport, and any top tour competitor has paid her dues. For some, however, tennis becomes all-consuming – and not in a good way. There is pressure to train constantly and play as many tour events as possible at the expense of a well-rounded existence.

Serena seems to shrug off what people think she should be doing and as a result comes into events with a rested body and a fresh outlook. If all her spare time were spent on the court and at the gym, perhaps her career would have fizzled a long time ago like so many of her peers.

Tennis fans were amazed at Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters’ recent comeback success, but their dominance was simply a result of a renewed perspective. The intermittent breaks from competition that we are used to seeing from Serena are, in a sense, mini retirements. Like Henin and Clijsters, she returns refreshed and hungry after having pursued other passions.

While it may not be in every player’s best interest to step away from the game to develop a new line of merchandise, I do think there is value in Serena’s approach. Taking time to remember that there is more to life than wins and losses on a tennis court could be a good thing.