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Jun 7, 2008

Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer: The rivalry continues

Okay, it's a Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer final again for the third consecutive year at Roland Garros. They met in the 2005 semifinal with Nadal winning the match.

Nadal now owns a 10-6 career record against Federer, including 8-1 on clay, but he knows a difficult task lies ahead. (Nadal and Federer head-to-head statistics here)

Nadal said, "I'll always play against Federer is special, no? It's different atmosphere. It's different, no? The tactic, well, is always a little bit different. But anyway, try to play my game, no? I know for him I have to play my best level. If it's not like this I never going to win him, beat him. But I just going to try my best. That's the best tactic: play very well."

While Nadal is aiming for an historical fourth consecutive title at the French Open, Federer is attempting to become only the sixth player in the history of the sport to win all four Grand Slam titles in his career.

"So we'll see how it goes. I've been able to get off to good starts in the last few times I've played against Rafa, and I hope I can do the same again on Sunday. I feel I have the right tactics, I have the right game, and I have the fitness to beat him. I wanted to be in this position, I told you a long time ago. That is, Rafa again across the net. I think it's the ultimate test on clay. It would be so much better to win the French Open by beating him, as well. It looks good for Sunday, for me anyway, said Federer.

Well, my bet is on Nadal, of course.

(Images by PATRICK KOVARIK/PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images)

Ana Ivanovic: Tennis beauty takes the French Open and world no. 1 crown


Ana Ivanovic not only going to be crowned as the new world no. 1 by the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour on Monday, June 9, she made it at the final and taking home her first Grand Slam!

Ivanovic beats Dinara Safina 6-4, 6-3, in the women's final at the French Open. I'm so glad I made the decision to miss The Click Five concert, save petrol and watch this match from the comfort of my living room.

Now, a top ranked WTA player with the prestigious Grand Slam title under her belt, I'm pretty sure this Serbian beauty will have more sponsors knocking on her door with lucrative endorsements soon.

(Image by PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images)

Jun 5, 2008

Tennis is the no. 1 sport in Australia

After 17 years, tennis is now back as Australia's favourite sport.

According to the latest '07/08 edition of the Sweeney Sports Report, 57% of Australians in the major capital cities are interested in tennis, followed by swimming (55%) and cricket (53%).

Sweeney general manager Todd Deacon said tennis has become more popular despite the lack of any Australians in the top 10 largely due to savvy marketing by local administrators and because spectators often followed the fortunes of a favourite player regardless of nationality.

"They attract the world's top players to the lead-up events to the Australian Open; the likes of the Sydney International and the Kooyong Classic; and people want to see them," he said.

Deacon said tennis was also popular with women; 60 percent were interested in the sport compared to 40 percent for cricket.

(Image by GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

Quote of the Day: Andy Murray on bananas

"To be honest, I think bananas are a pathetic fruit."
~ Andy Murray

Andy Murray addresses his aversion to bananas, a fruit favoured by many tennis players in his autobiography, Hitting Hard.

"Players sit there and eat them at changeovers but it can't be to give them energy because they take ages to digest," he says.

(Image by AFP/Getty Images/File/Matthew Stockman)


Andy Murray: I sat next to Dunblane killer Thomas Hamilton

Andy Murray's autobiography is published by Random House.

Andy Murray revealed in his new autobiography, Hitting Back, about how Dunblane Primary School killer Thomas Hamilton, once sat next to him when his mother gave him a lift in their car.

In the 1996 shooting, Hamilton burst into the gym and opened fire. 16 of Andy's classmates and a teacher were murdered.


On that fateful day, Andy, 8, and his older brother Jamie (also a professional tennis player), who was 10, were on their way to the gym. They hid under a desk in the headmaster's study.

The Dunblane killer committed suicide after the shootings.

Andy admits he has struggled to cope with the thought that he could easily have been one of Hamilton's victim.

(Image from Random House)

Random thoughts

Despite last night was in a chaos due to the petrol hike announcement by our not-so-popular PM, Pak Lah, life still goes on. I simply think that this is the time to change our lifestyle and live moderately. I wouldn't want to comment so much about this issue as I want to stray away from talking about anything political in this blogosphere. There's too much about it already.

Fernando Verdasco a popular key word in hcfoo.com this week.

Throughout this French Open weeks, there has been quite a surge in my blog traffic this week especially on Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. And 'Nadal naked' still remain as a popular key word here. I'm still trying to blog about tennis as much as I can but time does not permit me to do that often.

I'm sure I'll have a great time watching women's final too. So how do I choose?

Hey, I've just won 2 'exclusive' tickets to watch The Click Five concert at Genting Highlands this Saturday night. Anyone going? I don't really know their songs except 'Jenny' and 'Happy Birthday'. Wait, if I go, then I'll have to miss the women's final!

(Images from ATP.com and genting.com.my)

Gael Monfils through to the semis to meet Roger Federer @ Roland Garros

Spanish 5th seed David Ferrer bites the dust when he lost to the unseeded Gael Monfils who became the first Frenchman to reach the last four at Roland Garros for seven years with a 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-1.
"I prepared well for this tournament, I'm trying to take as much as pleasure as I can but also to keep focused. With the crowd and my family backing me, I feel very strong. I have raised my level progressively, I played beautiful tennis."
Monfils is now bidding to become the first home winner since Yannick Noah in 1983. He will meet world no. 1 Roger Federer tomorrow for a place in this Sunday's final.

Now Monfils sure has all the reasons to celebrate and join the shirtless players Hall of Fame.

(Images by AP Photo/ David Vincent/ Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Jun 4, 2008

Birthday boy Nadal crushes Almagro to meet Djokovic in semis

Three consecutive French Open champion, Rafael Nadal celebrates his 22nd birthday on June 3 with a convincing win against fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 6-1, 6-1, 6-1. This means we'll be able to watch Nadal plays against Novak Djokovic in the semifinal tomorrow.

With the kind of game he's playing at Roland Garros and Djokovic performance thus far, it's not too much for me to say that Nadal will crush Djokovic in three sets too.

(Images from PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images)

Jun 2, 2008

Maria Sharapova: The fashionista lost at French Open

Any tennis fans can't miss talking about Maria Sharapova's Nike Paris Dress at the French Open 2008.

Sharapova might have lost her campaign in Roland Garros and possibility in losing her WTA no. 1 crown to Ana Ivanovic too if Ivanovic wins (which I think she will!), but she is definitely winning with the classy Nike Paris Dress and Tiffany & Co jewelry.

Sharapova arriving in her navy blue cape windbreaker. Looks classy, eh?

Sharapova oozes the charisma of a tai-kah-jeh (big sister).

She's loaded with weapon ready to go on war against Dinara Safina.

Isn't she's graceful like a ballerina girl?

Novak Djokovic can do better with this pose.

Boohoo, the world no. 1 lost 7-6, 6-7, 2-6 to Dinara Safina, Marat Safin's sister.

(Images from JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images)

Jun 1, 2008

How to celebrate a win like a Frenchman

The French players are always passionate especially when it comes to celebrating a win.

Julien Benneteau must be overjoyed defeating by Robin Soderling in their third round match at the French Open tennis tournament.

The world no. 55 celebrates by kissing the red clay court.

Then of course we love the part when he takes off his shirts!

Not enough of that, Benneteau takes off his Asics Gel Resolution shoes and throw them to the spectators.

However that's where he stops.

(Images from AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova are gay icons

It's official that Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova top the male and female tennis-pin ups amongst the gay community in the UK.

Gawd, the English gay men and gay women really have bad tastes.

Research conducted by dating website gay-PARSHIP.co.uk puts Murray and Sharapova atop a long list of players gay men and gay women would most like to date with.


Top 5 Male Tennis Pin-Ups are:

1 Andy Murray 24%
2 Mark Philippoussis 20%
3 Andy Roddick 18%

4 Roger Federer 18%
5 Rafael Nadal 14%

Speaking before his second round at the French Open, Andy said: "I'm flattered. The more fans I have, the better."


Top 5 Female Tennis Pin-Ups are:

1 Maria Sharapova 33%
2 Anna Kournikova 28%
3 Serena Williams 14%
4 Martina Hingis 11%
5 Ana Ivanovic 8%


Anna Kournakova might have hung up her sneakers a while ago, but that doesn’t stop her taking the second place.



(Images from andymurray.com and Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


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