TENNIS : LOVE GAME OF GOD : 20 week 2012

Rome, Italy (Sports Network) –

To win his sixth Italian Open title, Rafael Nadal will have to beat a familiar opponent.

Nadal and Novak Djokovic advanced to the final of the $3.145 million event with straight-set wins Saturday in a star-studded pair of semifinals.

After the second-seeded Nadal knocked off fellow Spaniard Ferrer, world No. 1 Djokovic topped Roger Federer to set up a rematch of last year’s final, won by Djokovic.

He beat Djokovic for one of his five Italian Open titles in 2009.

“Best thing possible after a fantastic time in Barcelona and Montecarlo, to keep playing in clay tournament and then in the final without losing a set is something fantastic and I am happy,” Nadal said.

Djokovic, who also won this event in 2008, fended off six aces to beat the third-seeded Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) in 99 minutes.

The winner of the final will earn $595,000.

Rome, Italy (Sports Network) –

Reigning champion Maria Sharapova and Li Na of China will meet in Sunday’s title match at the $2.168 million Italian Open tennis event, a clay-court French Open tune-up.

Li advanced to her second final of the year without having to play a match on Saturday, as American Serena Williams withdrew prior to their scheduled semifinal match due to a lower back injury.

“Everyone. I’m soooo sad and sorry I had to pull out of what has become my favorite tournament in Rome,” Williams said on her Twitter account. “Everyone has become so nice here in Rome and the tournament Director is amazing. I will be here next year for sure.”

Williams said that she will be ready for the French Open, which is just eight days away.

Li will do battle with Sharapova in Sunday’s title match.

The second-seeded Russian beat German Angelique Kerber, the No. 12 seed, 6-3, 6-4 to reach her fourth final of 2012.

The three-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova beat reigning U.S. Open champ Sam Stosur in last year’s finale in Rome.

“Coming back to a place where you have accomplished so much, and to be in a position to regain that success, makes me very happy,” Sharapova said. “It was a tough match today and I’m looking forward to another tough one tomorrow.”

Sharapova is 6-4 lifetime against Li.

The 2012 Rome titlist will collect $385,000.

MELBOURNE, Australia — Tennis Australia says two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt and rising star Ashleigh Barty have been awarded wild cards into the main draw of the French Open.

Tennis Australia said in a statement Wednesday that Hewitt, who had foot surgery in February, has made a speedier than expected recovery and has been training well on clay. He won the U.S. Open singles title in 2001 and Wimbledon the following year.

The 16-year-old Barty is the 2011 Wimbledon junior champion and was a first-round loser at this year’s Australian Open.

A reciprocal agreement between the French Tennis Federation and Tennis Australia allows the Australian group to select two players for the French Open, which starts May 22 at Roland Garros. 

News from 20 week 2012 : 13 May 2012 to 19 May 2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Canadian Bouchard wins Futures Rising Star title in Sweden

Nadal to face Djokovic for Italian Open title

Serena withdraws; Sharapova, Li Na reach Italian Open final

Champion’s point : 5

“The next point — that’s all you must think about.”
Rod Laver

Rodney George “Rod” Laver MBE (born 9 August 1938) is an Australian formertennis player who holds the record for most singles titles won in history of tennis, with 200 career titles.

He was the World No. 1 player for seven consecutive years, from 1964 to 1970 (from 1964 to 1967 in the professional circuit)

. He is the only tennis player to have twice won the Grand Slam (all four major singles titles in the same year) – first as an amateur in 1962 and second as a professional in 1969. He is the only male player and was the first player, male or female, to have won the Grand Slam during the open era (in 1988 Steffi Graf also achieved this feat).

Within his slams there are also 6 in doubles and 3 in mixed doubles.

Laver won a total of twenty major tournaments, including eleven Grand Slamtournament titles and nine Pro Slam titles. In 1967, Laver also won theProfessional Grand Slam. In addition he won nine Championship Series titles (1970–75) the precursors to the current Masters 1000. Laver won and excelled on all the surfaces of his time (grass, clay and wood/parquet), and was ranked as the best professional player in the world during the five-year period he was excluded from the Grand Slam tournaments.

Rod Laver is the second and last male player to win each major title twice in his career. Only Roy Emerson and Margaret Court had won all four Grand Slam tournaments twice before Laver in the history of tennis.

Laver is regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.   Within his slams there are also 6 in doubles and 3 in mixed doubles.

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