News from 25 week 2012 : 17 June 2012 to 23 June 2012

WIMBLEDON, England —

As Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer step back on the grass at Wimbledon, each has reason to believe he’ll be hoisting the trophy overhead in two weeks’ time.

None of the other 125 men in the field can honestly say the same.

Indeed, it’s tough to imagine anyone outside that trio winning this year’s championship at the All England Club, where play begins on Monday.

“They’ve, you know, been pretty selfish about Grand Slam titles for a little bit,” said 2003 U.S. Open champion and three-time Wimbledon runner-up Andy Roddick.

Either Nadal or Djokovic has won each of the past nine major tournaments, and they have met in the last four finals.

“It’s up to somebody … to break that mould,” said Federer, owner of a record 16 Grand Slam titles. “I hope I can do that.”

Add him to the equation, and those three men have combined to win 28 of the past 29 majors, a seven-year run of dominance that began with Nadal’s victory at the 2005 French Open. (The lone exception was the 2009 U.S. Open, where Federer lost in the final to Juan Martin del Potro.)

The top-seeded Djokovic is the defending champion at Wimbledon — and while it’s the only grass-court title on his resume, it’s a rather significant one.

“I mean, this is what I’m born for,” he said after beating Nadal in four sets in the 2011 final. “You know, I want to be a tennis champion. I want to win more Grand Slams. I will definitely not stop here.”

Nadal once was thought to be a clay-court expert but has shown that he can adapt to, and excel on, other surfaces, joining Federer among the seven men who completed a career Grand Slam. At Wimbledon, the Spaniard reached the final in each of the last five times he entered the tournament, winning twice and finishing runner-up to Djokovic or Federer.

And Federer? All he’s done is win six championships plus make one final at the All England Club in a seven-year span from 2003-09.

“I would just like to get another Wimbledon crown. It would be amazing to get No. 7,” said Federer, who lost in the quarterfinals to Tomas Berdych in 2010, and to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2011.

He’s gone about 2 1/2 years without winning a Grand Slam title, his longest drought since he won his first nine years ago.

“The hunger is obviously big,” said Federer, approaching his 31st birthday on Aug. 8.

While players such as Berdych or Tsonga or Roddick or del Potro have shown they can compete with the best on their best days — and No. 4 Andy Murray, a three-time major finalist, gets plenty of home-crowd support because he represents Britain — the expectation is that Djokovic, Nadal or Federer will extend their hard-to-believe rule at Grand Slam tournaments.

Why has tennis’ top trio won major after major?

“Because they are too good,” Tsonga said. “That’s it. They’re just too good.”


Tamira Paszek of Austria fought off five match points to defeat fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 in the final at Eastbourne on Saturday.

It’s her first title since she won Quebec City late in 2010, and her victory comes after she won just two matches this year with 11 first-round defeats.

The unseeded Paszek battled back from a set and 4-0 down against defending champion Marion Bartoli in the semifinals, and she trailed Kerber 4-2 in the final set of their 2-hour, 45-minute final.

Kerber, who was chasing her third title of the year after winning the Paris Indoor and Copenhagen events, made a blistering start to the match, holding three break points for a 4-0 lead.

Paszek held off that threat and went on to level at 3-3 before Kerber broke again for the set.

Showing greater enthusiasm for battle than her opponent in the second set, Paszek levelled the match by breaking serve twice to set up a tense finale.

Kerber broke serve to lead the third set 4-2 and went on to hold five match points on Paszek’s serve at 5-3.

The Austrian fought off the challenge again but after slipping during the game she needed her right ankle strapped before continuing to play.

Kerber then failed to serve out the match at 5-4, and after Paszek held off a break point at 5-5 she clinched victory on her own third match point by breaking Kerber’s serve.

The men’s final was late Saturday between Andy Roddick and Italy’s Andreas Seppi.

WIMBLEDON, England —

For some perspective, consider what’s been going on in golf: WhenWebb Simpson won the U.S. Open last weekend, he was the ninth consecutive first-time major champion in that sport; he also was the 15th man to win one of the past 15 majors. That sort of parity does exist in tennis, too, but only in the women’s game, where six players divided up the most recent six Grand Slam titles, capped by Maria Sharapova’s triumph at the French Open.

That return to the top — and to No. 1 in the WTA rankings — makes her a popular pick to do well at Wimbledon, too. She did, after all, make her breakthrough at the grass-court tournament by winning it at age 17 in 2004.

There also are cases to be made for four-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams, who is sure to be intent on making up for a first-round loss at Roland Garros; defending champion Petra Kvitova; recent No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, a semifinalist a year ago; 2007 runner-up Marion Bartoli; former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, probably the best player without a Grand Slam title; and even Venus Williams, who might be slowed by an autoimmune disease but still knows how to get the most out of her big serve and powerful groundstrokes at a tournament she’s won five times.

It’s much easier to come up with a lengthy list of contenders for the women’s title than it is for the men’s.

The Wimbledon draw was revealed on Friday and four Canadians earned direct acceptance into the singles draws, while Daniel Nestor and his partner Max Mirnyi are the top seeds in the men’s doubles draw.

Repersenting Canada in singles are Milos Raonic of Thornhill, ON, Vasek Pospisil of Vancouver, BC, Stephanie Dubois of Laval, QC, and Aleksandra Wozniak of Blainville, QC.

Raonic returns to Wimbledon one year removed from suffering a hip injury that kept him out for three months after he took a spill on the famed grass courts at the All-England Club in the second round. Seeded No. 21 in the tournament, he will take on Santiago Giraldo of Colombia in the first round.

Pospisil will meet American Sam Querrey for his first main draw match at Wimbledon. A win for both Canadians would mean they would meet in the second round.

In the women’s draw, Wozniak will face world No. 94 Vera Dushevina of Russia in her opening match. The two players met on grass in 2009 and it was Wozniak who came away with a dominant 6-1, 6-0 victory.

For her part, Dubois drew No. 25 seed Zheng Jie of China in the opening round. Dubois lost in the first round last year to Andrea Petkovic.

Nestor and Mirnyi will open against the American pair of Michael Russell and Donald Young while Wozniak and her partner Simona Halep will play Yaroslava Shvedova and Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan.

News from 25 week 2012 : 17 June 2012 to 23 June 2012


News from 24 week 2012 : 10 June 2012 to 16 June 2012

HALLE, Germany —

Roger Federer will face German wild card Tommy Haas in a bid to win the Gerry Weber Open for a record sixth time on Sunday.

The second-seeded Federer beat Mikhail Youzhny of Russia by 6-1, 6-4 to reach his seventh final while the 87th-ranked Haas defeated defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (5), 7-5 in Saturday’s semifinals.

“It’s a dream to be able to play him again in the final, he’s a good friend of mine,” said Haas, the oldest player in the singles draw at 34.

Kohlschreiber knocked out Rafael Nadal on Friday, when 2009 winner Haas defeated third-seeded Tomas Berdych.

After taking the first set on a tiebreaker, recovering from 4-1 down by winning six of the next seven points, Haas broke decisively in the 11th game of the second set to lead 6-5 before wrapping up the match.

“I said it all week, that Tommy’s playing fantastic tennis,” Kohlschreiber said.

Federer is aiming to win his 75th tour title, only two behind all-time leader John McEnroe.

“That would be nice but I want more titles. If I only get three more, then the years ahead don’t look too good for me,” Federer joked.

“It was nice to come out and play some decent tennis after yesterday’s shootout drill,” Federer said, referring to his tiebreaker win over Milos Raonic of Canada in the quarterfinals.

The 29-year-old Youzhny has never beaten Federer in 13 attempts.

“Mikhail played a great tournament, and he deserves respect for the way he fought back in the second set,” Federer said.

Federer’s only final defeat at Halle was to Lleyton Hewitt in 2010. He is bidding for his fifth title of the season after wins in Rotterdam, Dubai, Indian Wells and Madrid.

“(Haas) is very dangerous on grass. So it won’t be an easy final for me,” Federer said.

BAD GASTEIN, Austria —

Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium followed Alize Cornet of France into the Gastein Ladies final after defeating Mandy Minella 7-6 (3), 6-3 on Saturday.

After a tight opening set, the second-seeded Wickmayer broke Minella three times in the second.

The 37th-ranked Wickmayer won one of her three career titles in Austria, the 2009 Generali Ladies in Linz.

Earlier, the seventh-seeded Cornet, who is looking for her second title after winning in Budapest four years ago, downed Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-2.

The third-seeded Pervak dropped all of her eight service games. She lost in the semifinals last year.


David Nalbandian of Argentina defeated Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-4 Saturday to reach the Queen’s Club final where he will face Marin Cilic of Croatia.

Sixth-seeded Cilic had earlier beaten American Sam Querrey 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Playing in windy conditions, the American failed to win any of the nine break points in the 20-minute third game and was broken at love to leave Cilic serving for the opening set at 5-3.

After an early exchange of breaks in the second set, Querrey broke his Croatian opponent to lead 5-3 with a backhand volley and served out the set.

Cilic broke to lead 2-0 in the final set after Querrey stumbled to give his opponent break point and then double-faulted.

Querrey recovered the break at 4-2 but gave up his serve again in the next game by netting a backhand.

“It’s tough to play out there and it’s just a few points here and there,” said Querrey, who won the title in 2010.

“But that’s my first semifinal in over a year and that feels really good. I’m heading to Eastbourne next week and feeling confident and look forward to it.”

Querrey faces a first-round showdown with fellow American Andy Roddick at Eastbourne.

Nalbandian will be looking for his first title since winning in Washington nearly two years ago.

“The conditions were very, very tough,” said Nalbandian. “So windy, it was tough to play and there were a lot of mistakes, but happy to win.”


News from 24 week 2012 : 10 June 2012 to 16 June 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Zheng beats Vinci to reach Aegon Classic semifinals

Federer beats Youzhny to reach final of Gerry Weber Open

Wickmayer and Cornet into Gastein Ladies final

Cilic beats Querrey to advance to Queen’s Club final

Rafael Nadal rules Roland Garros.


Rain or shine, clay or mud, Sunday or Monday, Rafael Nadal rules Roland Garros.

The man they call “Rafa” won his record seventh French Open title Monday, returning a day after getting rained out to put the finishing touches on a 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 victory over Novak Djokovic. He denied Djokovic in his own run at history — the quest for the “Novak Slam.”

The match ended on a Djokovic double-fault, a fittingly awkward conclusion to a final that had plenty of stops and starts, including a brief delay during the fourth set Monday while — what else? — a rain shower passed over the stadium.

They waited it out and Nadal wound up as he has for seven of the past eight years: Down on the ground, celebrating a title at a place that feels like home. He broke the record he shared with Bjorn Borg, improved to 52-1 at the French Open and beat the man who had defeated him in the last three Grand Slam finals.

“This tournament is, for me, the most special tournament of the world,” Nadal said.

After serving his fourth double-fault of the match, the top-seeded Djokovic dropped his head and slumped his shoulders, an emotional two-day adventure complete, and not with the result he wanted.

He was trying to become the first man in 43 years to win four straight major titles. He came up short and joined Roger Federer, who twice came up one match short of four in a row — his pursuit also halted by Nadal at Roland Garros in 2006 and 2007.

Nadal won his 11th overall Grand Slam title, tying him with Borg and Rod Laver on the all-time list.

“It was a very difficult match against the best player in the world,” Nadal said. “I lost three Grand Slam finals — Wimbledon, the U.S. Open last year, and the Australian Open this year. I’m very happy, very emotional.”

A match with so much of tennis history riding on it proved awkward and frustrating for both players.

Djokovic was throwing rackets around early in the match, then Nadal was complaining bitterly as the rain picked up late Sunday, the tennis balls became heavy and officials refused to stop the match.

Djokovic rolled through the third set as the rain turned the heavy red clay into more of a muddy paste. He had all the momentum when play was halted.

When they came back Monday under cloudy skies, the surface and the tennis balls had dried out and Nadal looked more like he usually does — sliding into his stops, spinning his shots, moving Djokovic around the court, always getting one more ball back.

“I’m not going back, saying it’s your fault and your fault because I lost,” Djokovic said. “It’s unfortunate because I was playing better, feeling better on the court in the third set yesterday. Today, he started strong, I started slower. I was a little bit unfortunate in that first game and things turned around.”

On the restart, Nadal broke serve right away to tie the set at 2-2 and the frustrated Djokovic was back — slamming himself in the head with his racket after missing an easy forehand that gave Nadal the break point.

It was one of 15 unforced errors in the set for Djokovic, who went back to trying to end points early and blunt the huge advantage Nadal has sliding around on clay. When the surface was muddy, the evening before in the third set, Djokovic only made eight unforced errors.

Play was nearly stopped with Nadal ahead 5-4 in the fourth set, but a rainshower passed and they went back out. Both men held serve and Djokovic needed to hold once more trailing 6-5. Nadal hit a big forehand winner to set up match point and Djokovic, who had saved four of those in a quarterfinal win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, had no more magic. He double-faulted and fell to 0-4 against Nadal at the French Open.

Image and text credits :


Champion’s point : 7 : Jan Kodeš

” The best I can do is do my best”

Jan Kodeš

Jan Kodeš (CzechJan Kodeš; born March 1, 1946, in PragueCzechoslovakia) is a right-handed Czech former tennis player who won three Grand Slam events in the early-1970s.

Kodeš’s greatest success was on the clay courts of the French Open. He won the title there in 1970, beating Željko Franulović in the final, and in 1971, defeating Ilie Năstase in the final. He also won Wimbledon on grass in 1973, although 13 of the top 16 players, and 81 players in total, did not play the tournament[1] that year because of a boycott over the ILTF banning Nikola Pilic from that Wimbledon. Kodeš beat home favorite Roger Taylor in the semifinals 8–9, 9–7, 5–7, 6–4, 7–5 and Alex Metreveli in the final 6–1, 9–8, 6–3.

Kodeš never played the Australian Open but he was twice the runner-up at theUS Open, in 1971 and 1973.

Kodeš reached his highest tour ranking of World No. 4 in September 1973. During his career, he won a total of 8 top-level singles titles and 17 doubles titles.

He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1990.

A lovely guy and one of the hardest fighters on tour, he looked tinny but had great stamina and an enormous menthal strength, that he used to win 3 GS titles, beating guys like Newcombe,Nastase,Franulovic or Metrevali.he also reached 2 more finals ( both at the USO which he never won, in spite of being a few games away to win it, both in 1971 and 1973).

Was a very complete player, solid and percutant groundies, a tigger at the net, he fought every single point and he had just an average serve for a top player.He led Checoslovaquia to his only DC win, heading the team of 1980 ( which had Ivan Lendl as the big star).

Tennis in eastern europe was first known because guys like Kodes and his close friend – yet distant personality-Nastase broke into the top of the tennis world.

To me, the group of 1970-71: Laver,Rosewall,Newcombe,Ashe,Kodes,Nastase,Smith,R oche,Gimeno and Okker may be, possibly, the best top 10 ever in terms of variety and talent.

text credits :

News from 23 week 2012 : 3 June 2012 to 9 June 2012


The picture she posed for at the beginning foreshadowed a mismatch in the making: the 188-centimetre Maria Sharapova standing at the net, towering over an opponent 25 centimetres smaller than her.

The pictures snapped at the end told a different story: Sharapova, down on her knees after a tougher-than-expected win, head buried in her hands, celebrating after completing a comeback three years in the making and cementing her name among the greatest in tennis.

The Russian star won the French Open on Saturday, defeating her tiny Italian opponent, Sara Errani, 6-3, 6-2 in the final at Roland Garros to complete the career Grand Slam.

Sharapova won the trophy at Roland Garros about three years after dropping as low as 126th in the rankings after shoulder surgery that threatened her career. She rededicated herself to the game and made a special effort to improve on red clay, the surface on which she moved to 16-0 this year.

She did it knowing it wasn’t really necessary. She’s a millionaire many times over, her endorsement cachet full — as comfortable on the red carpet as she now is on the red clay.

“I’ve had so many outs and I could’ve said I don’t need this,” she said. “I could’ve said, ‘I’ve got the money, I’ve got the fame, I’ve got the career victories and Grand Slams.’ But when your love for the game is bigger than those things, that’s when you continue to get up.”

She added this year’s French Open title to championships at Wimbledon in 2004, the U.S. Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008 to become only the 10th woman to win all four major tournaments, joining players such as Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Serena Williams and Billie Jean King.


Here comes the French Open final everyone expected and, except for other players, wanted:

No. 1 Novak Djokovic, one victory from becoming the first man in 43 years to win four consecutive major championships, against No. 2 Rafael Nadal, one victory from becoming the only man to win seven titles at Roland Garros.

How’s that for high stakes?

You can watch the match live on CTV2, Sunday at 9am et/6am pt.

Djokovic is undefeated in his past 27 Grand Slam matches, which includes beating Nadal in the finals at Wimbledon in July, the U.S. Open in September, and the Australian Open in January. Nadal has won 51 of 52 career matches at the French Open; only he and Bjorn Borg have won the clay-court tournament six times.

Never before have the same two men met in four Grand Slam finals in a row, so it’s apt that no matter who wins Sunday, his achievement will be monumental.

“I have this golden opportunity to make history. This motivates me. It really inspires me. I’m really grateful to be in this position, obviously,” said the 25-year-old Djokovic, who owns five Grand Slam titles to Nadal’s 10. “And look, I’ll try to prepare for that match and get my hands on that trophy, if I can.”

Won’t be easy, that’s for sure.


Daniel Nestor wasn’t about to lose his poise after collecting his third straight French Open doubles title at the expense of his biggest rivals.

Nestor and partner Max Mirnyi of Belarus repeated as French Open doubles champions with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan on Saturday.

“You don’t want to take your clothes off and start dancing around the court when you win,” said Nestor. “We have a lot of respect for the opposition today.”

The top-seeded Nestor team will keep the ATP No.1 ranking as a result of the victory — the third in a row for the 39-year-old from Toronto after winning the 2010 trophy with former partner Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia.

Nestor and Mirnyi took over the points lead on May 7, ending the Bryans’ 90-week reign as the top team.

Nestor, who came to Paris with a record 77 doubles titles, claimed his eighth Grand Slam title with the solid Paris victory.

“Unbelievable, it’s a great feeling,” said the Canadian. “It was not the best match by some of us on the court today, including myself and definitely them.

Champion’s point

“Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it.”

Stan Smith

“When you walk on a court, clear your mind of everything unrelated to the goal of playing the match …”

Stan Smith

“So many things had to happen in order for this to come true.”

Stan Smith

Stanley Roger “Stan” Smith (born December 14, 1946 in Pasadena, California) is a former American tennis player and two time Grand Slam singles champion who also, with his partner Bob Lutz, formed one of the most successful doublesteams of all time. Together, they won many major titles all over the world.

In 1970, Smith won the first year end championship Masters Grand Prix title. Smith’s two major singles titles were the 1971 US Open (over Jan Kodeš in the final), and1972 Wimbledon (over Ilie Năstase in the final). In 1972, he was the year-endingWorld No. 1 singles player. In 1973, he won his second and last year end championship title at the Dallas WCT Finals. In addition, he won four Grand Prix Championship Series titles.

His name is also used in a popular brand of tennis shoes. In his early years he improved his tennis game through lessons fromPancho Segura and the Pasadena Tennis Patrons.

Text credits :

News from 22 week 2012 : 27 May 2012 to 2 June 2012

Paris, France (Sports Network) –

Rafael Nadal continued his quest for a third straight French Open title with another straight-set win Saturday, while fellow top seeds Andy Murray and David Ferrer also moved on to the second week with comfortable third-round wins.

Nadal is gunning for a seventh title overall at Roland Garros and on Saturday advanced with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Argentina’s Eduardo Schwank. The second-seeded Spaniard has yet to be seriously tested, as he dropped just five games in the first round and four in the second before Saturday’s methodical triumph.

Next up for the 10-time Grand Slam champ will be another Argentine in Juan Monaco, who pulled out a grueling 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-4 slugfest against Canadian Milos Raonic. The 13th-seeded Monaco has never been past the fourth round in a major and will have his hands full trying to do so next week against Nadal, who owns a 3-1 record in the lifetime series with all three wins coming on clay.

“We know each other very well, personally speaking, but also from the point of tennis,” said Nadal about facing Monaco. “We spend a lot of hours together. We practice very often together. So we both know what we’re going to try and do when we play together. We’ll try and be very aggressive. We’ll try and speed up and change gears. And we’ll see who’s going to win.”

Paris, France (Sports Network) –

Maria Sharapova continued to dominate her early opposition at the French Open, while defending champion Li Na and reigning Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova each came away with tough wins on Saturday.

Sharapova needs only a French Open title to complete a career Grand Slam and has simply rolled through the first three rounds. The second-seeded Russian had her toughest match to date on Saturday with a 6-2, 6-1 pasting of China’s Peng Shuai.

“I just see it as I played really good matches, beat great players,” said Sharapova. “And I’ve got to keep moving forward and try to do that again.”

Another unseeded player awaits Sharapova in the fourth round, as Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic dumped 22nd-seeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-3, 7-5, on Saturday.

It wasn’t nearly as easy for Li or Kvitova.

Li, who beat Schiavone in last year’s final at Roland Garros to become the first Asian player to win a Grand Slam event, had to rally for a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory over American Christina McHale.

The fourth-seeded Kvitova also had to go the distance, claiming a 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 triumph over Russian Nina Bratchikova. Next up for the Czech star will be American Varvara Lepchenko, who took out Schiavone, 3-6, 6-3, 8-6.

“Tennis is the best of three sets,” said Li. “In the first set, I always followed what she did. I changed a little bit in the beginning of the second set and [got her] to play my way.”

The seventh-seeded Li will next meet Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova, who advanced Saturday with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro.

Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki made another early exit at a major, as Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi sent the ninth-seeded Dane home with a 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3 defeat. It marked Wozniacki’s second straight third-round setback at the French.

Wozniacki, despite finishing the 2010 and 2011 seasons as the top-ranked player, has never won a Grand Slam event. She reached one final, losing to Kim Clijsters at the 2009 U.S. Open, and her best result on the storied red clay of Paris was a quarterfinal in 2010.

PARIS — Milos Raonic came up short in the longest match of his professional career.

Raonic missed out on tennis history Saturday, failing to become the first Canadian man to reach the fourth round of the French Open as he lost to Argentina’s Juan Monaco 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4.

It was also the first time the 22-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., played a five-set match on the ATP Tour.

“I wish I could have played better,” said Raonic, who will start his grass campaign in just over a week at Halle, Germany. “I really didn’t do a lot of things well so I was just trying to make the most of it and I was able to have my opportunities — to have my chances.”

Raonic is the fifth Canadian to get this far in Paris, after Robert Murray in 1936, Robert Bedard and Lorne Main in 1954, and Greg Rusedski in 1994.

Raonic, the tournament’s 19th seed, duelled Monaco for four hours 33 minutes before going down as his forehand hit the net to end the match. Raonic saved two match points late in the fifth set to prolong his time on the court.

“I hung in but I wasn’t winning many of the rallies — I wasn’t hitting my forehand well and I was making a lot of mistakes with it,” said Raonic. “My backhand had fewer mistakes but it wasn’t doing anything.”

News from 22 week 2012 : 27 May 2012 to 2 June 2012

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Sharapova, Kvitova, Li advance in Paris; Schiavone bounced

Monaco tops Raonic in five sets in French Open’s third round

Nadal, Murray, Ferrer ease into fourth round at French Open