Maria Sharapova’s Stay in Tokyo is Short but Sweet

Even though it’s still early in the tournament , the Toray Pan Pacific has been very surprising already so far. Before this tournament started I had high hopes for a good series in Tokyo but Sharapova never really launched at this year’s Toray Pan Pacific. She lost in the first round to WTA Tour veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm.But Sharapova ended up losing in the first round in three sets 7-5 3-6 6-3.

As you may know, Maria Sharapova has been struggling ever since her shoulder surgery back in ’08.  She has won three Grand Slam tourneys but after that operation nothing ever really was the same for Sizzlin’ Sharapova.

Said Date-Krumm: “Playing against a player who used to be number one and the defending champion I knew I had to play my best. I just got back from Korea yesterday and felt really tired but my body felt a little better today.”

And what did Sharapova about her 40 year old opponent:

“It’s incredible,” said Sharapova. “It just shows you how she has stayed in such great shape while away from the game. She is incredibly fit.”

But at least Sharapova had some fun at Kids Day:

And here are some photos of the first round match between Maria Sharapova and Kimiko Date-Krumm

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Player Bounces Racquet Over Fence, Where It Gets Stuck!

Santiago Giraldo of Colombia was involved in a very unusual circumstance in his first-round US Open match Tuesday against Feliciano Lopez of Spain.

Playing on Court No. 7 at the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center, Giraldo was disgusted in his play, trailing two sets to love and a service break in the third set. After he committed an unforced error, Giraldo smashed his Babolat racquet to the hard court surface, where it bounced over the 10-foot fence landing in the shrubbery that lined the back of the court. The racquet was out of reach for the Colombian Davis Cupper and he had to go to his bag sitting courtside and pick up another stick to play with.

After receiving a code of conduct warning for the abuse of his racquet, Giraldo finished the game and then grabbed a lines person’s chair and stood on it to reach and grab the bounced racquet.

In the corresponding photos, note Giraldo’s racquet sitting in the shrubbery in the middle of the back of the court and him retrieving it with the linesperson’s chair. Lopez went on to win the match 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

Breast-Reduction Surgery Gains Simona Halep New Followers

The best match so far today at the US Open is the one between Simona Halep and Jelena Jankovic.  Jankovic barely won and survived a major scare in the first round of the final major of the year versus the 18 year old Romanian.

I recalled hearing the name Simona Halep before. I just couldn’t figure out where I got that name from. So I asked my big friend Google and I remembered fairly quicky who Simona was: Simona is the girl who had breast-reduction surgery a few months back.

In an interview with Belgian newspaper “De Pers” she told that she felt better after the surgery and that she didn’t care what others thought of it.

Halep also didn’t care much about the fact that her breasts often drew more attention than her qualities as a tennis player.  She complained that breasts would often get in the way of her game, were the cause of a serious backache and made it hard for her to serve. She would have also performed surgery even if she wasn’t a tennis player.

Halep may have disappointed her fans by reducing her breastsize but gained a new bunch of followers who like her for her tennis qualities.

Check the photos of Simona Halep before and after the breast-reduction surgery:

Before the surgery:

After the surgery:

The Prague Picture Post

Another week another tournament. And another tournament where we find our glorious photographer Ralf Reinecke. What can I say? The guy is just all over the place.

Some great photos inside here. Enjoy and feel free to reply with a comment to give our photographer Ralf Reinecke a thumbs up!

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After one week of Wimbledon and I am simply buried under the large quantity of photos. Photos of Maria Sharapova,  Jelena Jankovic, Caroline Wozniacki and extra bonus pics of the UNICEF Open of Maria Kirilenko and Ana Ivanovic.

Finding some privacy to sort out the photos is like looking for a quiet place in South Africa during a World Cup match! But I managed  and as a result I have selected the following pics:

Maria Sharapova – You just gotta see that dress. I think it’s the best looking dress of this Wimbledon. Well she is also very pretty ofcourse.

Caroline Wozniacki – Check Caroline supporting the Danish team earlier this week  by showing them how it’s done!

Jelena Jankovic –  Jelena doing her warming up before the match. Crucial for any athlete to have a proper one before you start a match.

Ana Ivanovic and Maria Kirilenko at the UNICEF Open were added as an extra bonus. Why? There is no party without the two of them. So I just added them to complete this mega photo  post of Wimbledon.

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So more photos are coming in from our photographer at the scene, Ralf Reinecke.  Great shots this time of Benjamin Becker, Anastasia Rodionova and the Henin and Kerber match.

Great photos of one of the best tennis photographers in the world: Ralf Reinecke!

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You ever feel like you’re dreaming and then wake up and realize it wasn’t actually a dream. I imagine that that’s how it felt when Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer and broke the Agassi record of 17 titles on clay and actually getting 18.

Nadal made history  winning his 18th Masters title by beating number 1 in the world Roger Federer in straight sets 6-4, 7-5.

I read Lisa’s blog entry and she was elated with Rafa’s victory. Ofcourse, if I were a big a fan as she is of Rafa then I would be over the moon with this double victory. Setting a record that you know won’t be broken for the next few decades. I can’t imagine how that feels. Nor can I imagine to get one over my archnemesis.

The Madrid Open is a good test for Roland Garros next week I reckon and Rafael Nadal proved that he is once more a favorite for the Roland Garros title.

Did you know that, if Rafael Nadal wins at Roland Garros, Roger Federer will have to reach the semifinals to hold on to the No. 1 ranking

For now these photos I think will do fine.

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And the photos just keep strolling in.  This time we got Alona Bondarenko and I was just reading my edition of Superman when this photo came in. It made me wonder:

What is Alona Bondarenko looking at? Let me know what you think she is looking at:

And we got more pics of Alona Bondarenko, who unfortunately suffered a defeat versus Li Na in Madrid today. Losing 6-3, 6-4.

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We managed to obtain a few snapshots of Martina Hingis training with French talent Camille Pin at Roland Garros. This is a pleasant surprise. Hingis recently announced that she and Anna Kournikova are going to play at the Wimbledon Legends tournament.  The return of the Spice Girls will surely generate a lot of publicity.

Hingis will also participate in doubles with Lindsay Davenport on the WTA Tour. The veterans have yet to announce their schedule however.

More Hingis news. Hingis will also play the World Team Tennis tour this July and a few exhibitions such as Nottingham.

It’s nice to see Hingis back in tennis. I won’t lie, I have always been a huge fan of her style of play and I hope that  she will grace the courts for a little while longer than she did back in 2007.

Enjoy the photos!

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Rockstar John Mayer hit the tennis courts in Sydney, Australia this week, sporting some great Nike duds! His shorts are bit high – harkening back to the days of Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors. Mayer actually went to the same high school – Fairfield High School in Connecticut – as U.S. Davis Cup star James Blake and is friends with the standout American.