Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Rankings

World No. 1’S Roger Federer And Dinara Safina Named 2009 US Open Top Seeds

FLUSHING, N.Y., August 25, 2009 – The USTA announced today that five-time defending US Open champion and world No. 1 Roger Federer of Switzerland and world No. 1 Dinara Safina of Russia will be the top seeds at the 2009 US Open in men’s and women’s singles, respectively.  The 2009 US Open will be played at the USTA BillieJean KingNational TennisCenter in Flushing, N.Y., August 31 – September 13.

Federer, winner of the French Open and Wimbledon this summer, is the No. 1 seed at the US Open for the fifth time.  He will be followed by No. 2 Andy Murray of Great Britain; No. 3 Rafael Nadal of Spain, the reigning Australian Open champion; No. 4 Novak Djokovic of Serbia; and No. 5 Andy Roddick of Austin, Texas.

Safina, a three-time Grand Slam singles finalist, is followed by No. 2 seed and defending champion Serena Williams of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., winner of 11 Grand Slam singles titles; No. 3 seed Venus Williams of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., a two-time US Open champion and winner of seven Grand Slam singles titles overall; No. 4 seed Elena Dementieva of Russia, the women’s singles gold medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics; and No. 5 seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, the 2008 US Open runner-up.

Federer, 28, has won four titles this year including his first French Open title to become the sixth man to complete the career Grand Slam.  He then won his 15th career Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon to break Pete Sampras’ record.  On Sunday, he won his 61st career singles title at the Olympus US Open Series event in Cincinnati.  Federer will attempt to win three Grand Slam singles titles in the same year for the fourth time in his career.

Safina, 23, has won three titles this year, including her back-to-back victories at Rome andMadrid.  She also reached the final of the French Open for the second consecutive year, as well as the Australian Open.

For 2009, the US Open followed the ATP World Tour and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour rankings to determine the men’s and women’s singles seeds.  This is the eighth consecutive year that the US Open has seeded 32 players in both singles events.

The singles draws for the 2009 US Open will be announced live on the US Open Draw Show on ESPNews, Thursday, August 27 at 12 PM ET.  Chris McKendry will host the show along with U.S. Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe and U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez serving as lead analysts.

Women

  1. Dinara Safina, Russia
  2. Serena Williams, United States
  3. Venus Williams, United States
  4. Elena Dementieva, Russia
  1. Jelena Jankovic, Serbia
  2. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia
  3. Vera Zvonareva, Russia
  4. Victoria Azarenka, Belarus
  1. Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark

10. Flavia Pennetta, Italy

11. Ana Ivanovic, Serbia

12. Agnieszka Radwanska, Poland

13. Nadia Petrova, Russia

14. Marion Bartoli, France

15. Samantha Stosur, Australia

16. Virginie Razzano, France

17. Amelie Mauresmo, France

18. Na Li, China

19. Patty Schnyder, Switzerland

20. Anabel Medina Garrigues, Spain

21. Jie Zheng, China

22. Daniela Hantuchova, Slovak Republic

23. Sabine Lisicki, Germany

24. Sorana Cirstea, Romania

25. Kaia Kanepi, Estonia

26. Francesca Schiavone, Italy

27. Alisa Kleybanova, Russia

28. Sybille Bammer, Austria

29. Maria Sharapova, Russia

30. Alona Bondarenko, Ukraine

31. Elena Vesnina, Russia

32. Agnes Szavay, Hungary

Men

  1. Roger Federer, Switzerland
  2. Andy Murray, Great Britain
  3. Rafael Nadal, Spain
  4. Novak Djokovic, Serbia
  1. Andy Roddick, United States
  2. Juan Martin Del Potro, Argentina
  3. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France
  4. Nikolay Davydenko, Russia
  1. Gilles Simon, France

10. Fernando Verdasco, Spain

11. Fernando Gonzalez, Chile

12. Robin Soderling, Sweden

13. Gael Monfils, France

14. Tommy Robredo, Spain

15. Radek Stepanek, Czech Republic

16. Marin Cilic, Croatia

17. Tomas Berdych, Czech Republic

18. David Ferrer, Spain

19. Stanislas Wawrinka, Switzerland

20. Tommy Haas, Germany

21. James Blake, United States

22. Sam Querrey, United States

23. Philipp Kohlschreiber, Germany

24. Juan Carlos Ferrero, Spain

25. Mardy Fish, United States

26. Paul-Henri Mathieu, France

27. Ivo Karlovic, Croatia

28. Victor Hanescu, Romania

29. Igor Andreev, Russia

30. Viktor Troicki, Serbia

31. Lleyton Hewitt, Australia

32. Nicolas Almagro, Spain

Mondays With Bob Greene: I was the number one player in the world

STARS

Andy Murray beat Juan Martin del Potro 6-7 (4) 7-6 (3) 6-1 to win the Rogers Cup in Montreal, Canada

Jelena Jankovic beat Dinara Safina 6-4 6-2 to win the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Peter Luczak beat Olivier Rochus 6-3 3-6 6-1 to win the Zucchetti Kos Tennis Cup Internazionali del Friuli Venezia in Cordenons, Italy

Greg Rusedski beat Stefan Edberg 6-3 6-4 to win the Vale Do Lobo Grand Champions CGD in Algarve, Portugal

SAYING

“My smile is back and I’m having fun playing the matches. This is what I missed. I missed this for maybe seven months this year.” – Jelena Jankovic, after winning the Western & Southern tournament.

“The number two – maybe it’s because it’s something different – that means maybe a little bit more. But winning a tournament here is still great.” – Andy Murray, who moved ahead of Rafael Nadal and is now ranked number two in the world.

“I’m very happy to be in the final. I lost, but I’m happy. I don’t have to think in the past and now see the future.” – Juan Martin del Potro, who lost to Andy Murray in the final of the Montreal Masters.

“I would love to come back to number one, but the important thing is to play well. The thing that makes me happy is to be competitive (and) to win important tournaments.” – Rafael Nadal, who fell to number three in the world.

“I’m definitely pleased with the level I’ve had … in these four matches.” – Kim Clijsters, who in her first tournament after a two-year retirement reached the quarterfinals at Cincinnati.

“I’m realistic. I know I am not going to win (another title). There is no way. It’s getting tougher and tougher with each tournament. It really gets into you and it’s not easy to play. Every match is a battle. It’s tough not to choke in the important moments. But I want to finish up in a right note. I should enjoy it more. I just want to finish up nice.” – Marat Safin, following his first-round loss to Gael Monfils at the Montreal Masters.

“It happens in tennis, it’s never over until it’s over and it showed today. … I never should have allowed it but it did happen.” – Roger Federer, who led 5-1 in the third set before losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

“I haven’t seen her in two years. That’s the reason I didn’t start well. I was trying to figure out what she was doing instead of playing my game. By the time I figured out her tactics, I was down 0-4. It’s just a really bad draw, I guess.” – Marion Bartoli, who lost to Kim Clijsters in their first-round match.

“I look like I had a kid more than she does. She looks amazing.” – Serena Williams, on how fit Kim Clijsters looked in her return to the WTA Tour following her marriage and birth of a daughter.

“She is the same as she was before. She moves well. You can see she hasn’t been all the time on the tour but she was playing great.” – Svetlana Kuznetsova, on Kim Clijsters.

“I was the number one player in the world, and I want to start winning big tournaments again. I just need to start finding my game and start playing better and better and better. But the more I play, the better I get.” – Jelena Jankovic, after winning her semifinal match.

“Definitely I want to get a grand slam, no doubt about it. It’s not that I’m number one and I want to stop. There is another goal. I want to win a Grand Slam. I will do my best to win at the US Open. If not, next year I will work even harder to get it.” – Dinara Safina.

“Just walking down to that stadium, the reception that I received, the signs, the pictures and the high-fives going to the matches … I said, ‘You know what? This feels like home. I made the right decision.’” – Monica Seles, recalling the reaction she received from Toronto fans when she returned to tennis following her stabbing.

“I was joking with my coach that now I should probably buy a flat here since it is my fifth title in Canada.” – Mahesh Bhupathi, who teamed up with Mark Knowles to win the doubles at the Montreal Masters.

SECOND IN LINE

Even before he won the Montreal Masters, Andy Murray had surpassed Rafael Nadal as the number two-ranked player in the world. The 22-year-old Scott became the first player to win 50 matches this season as he won his fifth tournament of the year, matching Nadal. Murray is the first British player to win the Rogers Cup, a tournament that once was called the Canadian Open, and becomes the first player other than top-ranked Roger Federer and Nadal to be ranked number two in the world since Lleyton Hewitt on July 18, 2005. The last Briton to reach the Canadian final was Roger Taylor, who lost in 1970 to Rod Laver. Both Federer and Nadal lost in the quarterfinals, while Murray finished the week by beating Argentine’s Juan Martin del Potro 6-7 (4) 7-6 (3) 6-1 in the title match.

STAYING THE COURSE

Form followed rank at the Montreal Masters. For the first time since the ATP rankings were introduced in 1973, a tour-level event wound up with the top eight ranked players in the quarterfinals. Once there, top-ranked Roger Federer, second-ranked Rafael Nadal and fourth-ranked Novak Djokovic all lost to lower seeded players. The other quarterfinalists were third-ranked Andy Murray, the eventual winner, fifth-ranked Andy Roddick, sixth-ranked Juan Martin del Potro, seventh-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and eighth-ranked Nikolay Davydenko.

SHOWING THE WAY

Flavia Pennetta has made Italian tennis history. The 27-year-old right-hander is the first Italian woman to be ranked in the top ten in the world. Her rise up the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour rankings has come with some well-known victims added to her resume. Pennetta beat Maria Sharapova when she won the tournament in Los Angeles, then followed with a shocking upset of Venus Williams in the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open. After winning 11 matches in 13 days, a visibly tired Pennetta lost in the semifinals at Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, to top-ranked Dinara Safina.

SNAZZY COMEBACK

Marriage, a baby and two years away from the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour didn’t seem to slow down Kim Clijsters. The former world number one left some highly ranked players in her wake as she reached the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open before finally losing. “I’ll just take each day at a time and try to be as professional as possible whenever I’m playing and we’ll see what happens,” Clijsters said after losing to top-ranked Dinara Safina. “Obviously so far it’s worked. I’ve had some really good results and I feel like my level here has risen.” Less than 18 months after giving birth to her first child, a daughter, Clijsters beat Marion Bartoli, Patty Schnyder and French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova before running into Safina. “There’s still a lot of things to work on,” said Clijsters, who owns 34 career singles titles. “I need to keep working on the good things as well.”

STRANGE STAT

Jelena Jankovic has been ranked number one in the world, a fact that had drawn some criticism, seeing that she has yet to win a Grand Slam tournament. But her victory over Dinara Safina in the final of the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, was the first time Jankovic had beaten a player ranked number one in the world. She dedicated her victory to her mother, who is at home recovering from surgery. “I dedicate this win to her,” Jankovic said. “I wanted to make her happy. It’s important.”

SELES RETURNS

When Monica Seles returned to tennis following a two-year hiatus caused when a fan stabbed her in the back, she chose the Canadian Open. Seles won the 1995 event, but she was more impressed by the warm reception she received from the fans. One of the newest members of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Seles will participate in an exhibition doubles match in Toronto during the women’s Rogers Cup event. She is being inducted into the tournament’s hall of fame as the only player in the modern era to win four straight Canadian titles, beginning with the 1995 victory. Violet Summerhayes won four straight Canadian titles from 1899 through 1904.

SOMEONE SPECIAL

It seems to make no difference as to who Mahesh Bhupathi teams with to win doubles championships. When Bhupathi and Mark Knowles won the Rogers Cup doubles in Montreal, it was the fifth time the Indian right-hander has captured the title – with four different partners. The 35-year-old won in1997 with Leander Paes, in 2003 with Max Mirnyi, in 2004 with Paes, and in 2007 with Pavel Vizner. Bhupathi and Knowles teamed up as a regular pair at the start of the 2008 season. This was the duo’s first title since last October in Basel, Switzerland, although they reached the finals at the Australian Open in January and Barcelona, Spain, in April. Bhupathi has now won at least one ATP World Tour doubles crown every year since 1997.

STRAIGHT IN

Chase Buchanan, an 18-year-old from New Albany, Ohio, and 17-year-old Christina McHale from Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, won the 2009 United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Boys’ and Girls’ 18s championships to earn wild cards into the main singles draws at the US Open. McHale also competed in the women’s main draw of this year’s Australian Open after winning the 2008 USTA Australian Open wild card playoff. Buchanan earned a wild card into the 2008 US Open men’s doubles draw by winning the USTA Junior Boys’ 18 doubles title last year.

SAYONARA

Tzipi Obziler is finally stepping down from Israel’s Fed Cup team. “This is the right time for me to retire,” she said. “I’m grateful for this wonderful and small country which gave me the opportunity to have a great career.” Obziler played 61 Fed Cup ties for Israel, equaling former teammate Anna Smashnova’s Fed Cup participation record. Obziler has played 90 matches, compiling a 51-39 win-loss record in her 16-year Fed Cup career. She was part of the Israeli team that reached the World Group in 2008 for the first time in the nation’s history. Obziler, however, didn’t completely close the door to her retirement. “If captain Lior Mor decides he wants me on the team and I see that I’m physically capable of playing, than of course I wouldn’t refuse,” she said.

SETS TARGET DATE

Recovering from a serious knee injury, Britain’s Anne Keothavong hopes to be back in action in February. The 25-year-old tore both the anterior cruciate ligament and the meniscus in her left knee when she ran into a fence while playing a doubles match at a tournament in California, USA. Keothavong, Britain’s top player on the WTA Tour, broke into the world’s top 50 for the first time earlier this year. “I hope to be back by February, which is ambitious, but achievable,” she said.

STAYING HOME

Former world number one Carlos Moya of Spain and Kei Nishikori of Japan have withdrawn from this year’s US Open because of injuries. Moya’s biggest victory came at the 1998 French Open. He has been sidelined for most of this season with a foot injury and his ranking has slipped out of the top 100. Nishikori was the top alternate and would have taken Moya’s spot in the draw, but he also withdrew because of an injury. That means Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador is directly in the main draw of the year’s final Grand Slam tournament.

STOP IT, I SAY

Lleyton Hewitt’s wife has gone to court over a magazine article. The actress wants to know the source of the story that ran last April that implied she was having an affair. New Idea magazine has twice published apologies over the article, titled “Bec’s Other Man,” which pictured Bec Hewitt with whom the magazine identified as a “hunky American fitness trainer” named Minder Mark. The man in the picture actually was Bec’s brother, Shaun Cartwright, who frequently accompanies the family on the tennis circuit.

SHARED PERFORMANCES

Montreal: Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles beat Max Mirnyi and Andy Ram 6-4 6-3

Cincinnati: Cara Black and Liezel Huber beat Nuria Llagostera Vives and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-3 0-6 10-2 (match tiebreak)

Cordenons: James Cerretani and Travis Rettenmaier beat Peter Luczak and Alessandro Motti 4-6 6-3 11-9 (match tiebreak)

SITES TO SURF

Cincinnati: www.cincytennis.com/

Toronto: www3.rogerscup.com/404.html

Newport: www.championsseriestennis.com/newport2009/

New Haven: www.pilotpentennis.com/

Bronx: www.nyjtl.org/tournaments/ghiBronx/index.htm

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

(All money in USD)

ATP

$3,000,000 Western & Southern Financial Group Masters, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, hard

WTA

$2,000,000 Rogers Cup, Toronto, Canada, hard

SENIORS

International Tennis Hall of Fame Champions Cup, Newport, Rhode Island, USA, grass

TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK

ATP

$750,000 Pilot Pen Tennis, New Haven, Connecticut, USA, hard

WTA

$600,000 Pilot Pen Tennis Presented by Schick, New Haven, Connecticut, USA, hard

$100,000 EmblemHealth Bronx Open, Bronx, New York, USA, hard

Tennis Legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley Officially Recognised

Evonne Goolagong

Written by the WTA Tour

ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – Australian tennis legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley has been officially recognised as one of only 16 women to have attained the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s World No.1 singles ranking since computer rankings were introduced in 1975.

It was recently discovered that Goolagong ascended to the top spot for one ranking period (rankings were issued bi-monthly during 1975-1990) shortly after her gripping 63 57 63 win over Chris Evert at prestigious 1976 Virginia Slims Championships held at the Forum in Los Angeles.

The belated accolade comes about following a recent search in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Rankings archive in St. Petersburg, Florida, which revealed that a handful of paper records were in fact missing between April and July 1976, most notably was the ranking period April 26 to May 9.

On looking at the point differential between No.1 Evert and No.2 Goolagong on the April 12 printout, there was little separating the two. When the Jenkins method was applied to compute the rankings following the results of the Virginia Slims Championships on April 17, and with the 1975 Family Circle Cup points (which Evert won) from the 52 weeks previously coming off on April 26, Goolagong moves into the No.1 spot by 8/10ths of a Rating Point.

Two weeks later on May 10, when Evert’s victory at the 1976 Family Circle Cup and Goolagong’s non-entry are factored in, the American moves back into the No.1 spot for and would continue to hold it for 112 consecutive weeks until Martina Navratilova’s victory at Wimbledon in 1978.

To celebrate the achievement, the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour sent Goolagong Cawley a Waterford Crystal trophy, something new No.1s in recent years have received. She is pictured in this story with the trophy.

“I’m simply delighted,” said Goolagong Cawley from her home in Noosa, Queensland. “In Australia at the end of 1975 and during the ’76 Virginia Slims Tour (which finished just before Easter – Chris and I then played World TeamTennis with no more official tournaments until the WTT break for Wimbledon) I played at the highest level, the most consistent tennis of my career. The tournaments were on grass and on mostly quick carpet which helped the serve and volley part of my game and for five or six months I felt virtually unbeatable.

“Prior to this time, I had lost to Chris a number of times in a row mostly on clay – her best surface – but strangely during that time it was my ground strokes that improved and subsequently gave me such an edge on everyone, including her. Today I am happy and gratified that what I felt at the time has now been recognised officially. It’s personally very satisfying and this has been the best Christmas present.”

“Evonne was always one of the most beloved and gracious of champions,” said Sony Ericsson WTA Tour CEO & Chairman Larry Scott. “We felt once it came to light that she did in fact assume the No.1 ranking for a period in 1976, it was important to recognise the achievement, just like we had with all the other 15 women who have achieved that pinnacle in women’s tennis.

“Unfortunately our record keeping wasn’t perfect in those early days of women’s tennis and our ranking system was viewed as a means of just accepting tournament entries. It wasn’t until the early 1980s that the media and players started to pay attention to the changes in the rankings during the year as opposed to only the end of season rankings. Media coverage has evolved to the point now when a player cracks the Top 10 for the first time or attains the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour No.1 Ranking that it attracts world-wide attention and deservedly so.”

Veteran observers of the tennis writing community had this to say:

“Back in the Seventies, most of us as tennis writers didn’t pay much attention to the weekly rankings; we were more concerned with where the players stood at the end of the year, and that was when we paid serious attention. The computer rankings in the seventies were only just evolving and most of us were still writing on typewriters; of course there was no internet.

“Hence, when the WTA, through an innocent mistake, did not give Evonne Goolagong the honor she deserved as an authentic No.1 in 1976, that error went right by us in the press. We knew that Evonne was having a great year and was involved in an exciting battle for the top spot with Chris Evert, but the oversight regarding her rise to No.1 during that season was simply not noticed. Blame that on the times, the circumstances, and the fact that the week in, week out rankings were not a top concern of many writers, and that is why Goolagong never got her due.

“She was one of the great players of the Open Era and it is a very good thing for all of us historians that she is finally getting recognition for having achieved the No.1 ranking in the world. It adds to her legacy of seven Grand Slam singles championships and a wonderful overall record through the years.

“I do not blame the Tour in the least for what happened; in fact, it is setting the record straight now, and 31 years later Goolagong is at last being officially given an honor she deserved long ago. It is good for her and good for the game. When historical errors are made, they should be corrected, and that is the case right now. Good for the Tour and good for Goolagong, because now everyone will know that she was indeed the No.1 player in the world during her prime.”
Steve Flink

“Evonne was certainly one of the most graceful and charming of champions – a delight off the court and on. She was very shy as a young player and I think she surprised many of us by maturing into a powerful advocate for the Aboriginal people. I would imagine a strong family life when she got married helped her develop the confidence off the court and on it. 1976 was most certainly her most consistent year.

“The rankings were, indeed, less noted on the women’s tour than the men’s in those early days and records were badly kept so week by week would have been difficult to check at the time. It’s terrific that she gets her just reward now. But Evonne’s game transcended statistics. As Bill Tilden might have said, she played her own sweet game.”
Richard Evans

“Hurrahs to the diggers who discovered that Evonne Goolagong should have been ranked No.1 during 1976, not No.2. It took a while, but never too late for justice. This fact will be noted in the next edition of my Tennis Encyclopedia in 2008.”
Bud Collins