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Aug 9, 2008

More HOT photos from the tennis training session at the Beijing Olympics

This is the final batch of training sessions photos taken before the men and women tennis players battle for medals at the Beijing Olympics 2008 tomorrow at 10.30 a.m.

Here's the hot Kei Nishikori, the tennis prince from Japan. This one is specially dedicated to you, Esther!

And I know many Rafael Nadal's fans who googled their way into my blog, will never get bored of his sexy photo.

And I find Elena Dementieva (Russia) rather sexy here in these pictures. Good job in handling the ball, girl.

(Images via ITF, BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

Top tennis players at the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony

Finally the Beijing Olympics 2008 has begun!

While some tennis players have their personal views and issues (such as injury) that keep them
from taking part in this world's biggest games, most of them including tennis star players join their compatriots for a historical moment at the Opening Ceremony, in the National Stadium or better known as the Bird's Nest.

Flag bearers including Roger Federer (Switzerland) and Fernando Gonzalez (Chile) certainly made tennis and their countries proud. Other tennis players spotted are Rafael Nadal (Spain), Novak Djokovic (Serbia), Andy Murray (UK), Ana Ivanovic (Serbia) and Lindsay Davenport (USA). There also a picture of Radek Stepanek (Czech Republic) taking picture of his tennis player girlfriend Nicole Vaidisova (Czech Republic). Their pictures are in sequence.

Lindsay Davenport, however, pulls out from the women's single draw due to knee injury. However she will still be playing doubles with partner Liezel Huber.

And by the way, Jelena Jankovic skips the Opening Ceremony cited injury she got during Friday's training session.

I missed the front part of the Opening Ceremony. Hope to catch the rerun of the event later.

(Images via Yahoo! Sports, ATP and Getty Images)


Aug 8, 2008

Kei Nishikori, Ai Sugiyama: The Japanese tennis team at Beijing Olympics

Together with Ayumi Morita (picture nowhere to be found), Kei Nishikori (錦織圭) and Ai Sugiyama form the Japanese tennis team at the Beijing Olympics (オリンピック) 2008.

Tennis veteran Sugiyama will face tough opponent Daniela Hantucova, the 10th seed in the first round, while Morita will be facing New Zelander Marina Erakovic.

In the men's single draw, Japanese tennis prince Kei Nishikori, the 124th-ranked wildcard entrant Kei Nishikori (JPN) is drawn to face 34th-ranked, Wimbledon 2008 semifinalist, Rainer Schuettler in the first round.

(Images via nikkansports.com)

Shirtless tennis players: It's hot right here in Beijing!

The Olympics 2008 will start in less than 12 hours! But before that...

It was hazy and it was definitely hot in Beijing yesterday!

With that kind of weather, there's only one things for the ladies, shirtless players. Novak Djokovic, Guillermo Canas, Nicolas Massu, Fernando Gonzalez, Jonas Bjorkman,
Lleyton Hewitt and Rafael Nadal (pictures all in sequence) sure couldn't stand the heat and took their shirts off. Nadal's picture is a repeat from this post.

UPDATES: Checking the latest weather report, it's raining now in Beijing, which is good for the Opening Ceremony tonight.

(Images by BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Olympic Tennis Draw is Out


The Opening Ceremony of Beijing Olympics 2008 is just 18 hours away.

Coincidentally, today is also Roger Federer's birthday. He received an early present, a tough draw in the first round against Russia’s Dmitry Tursunov.

It's slightly better for soon-to-be world no. 1, Rafael Nadal could face a tough second round match meeting either Lleyton Hewitt of Australia or veteran Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden.

No. 3-ranked Novak Djokovic faces American Robby Ginepri, and No. 8 James Blake will start against Chris Guccione of Australia on the path to a possible quarterfinal meeting with Federer. Chile’s Nicolas Massu, the gold medalist in Athens, faces Belgium’s Steve Darcis.

Both of host China’s representatives drew daunting first-round matchups. No. 7 David Nalbandian of Argentina will take on Zeng Shaoxuan, while Sun Peng will face 12th-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile, a bronze medalist in Athens.

The top seeds in the women side are luckier. Top-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia drew Ukraine’s Mariya Koryttseva, while second-seeded Jelena Jankovic also of Serbia will face Zimbabwe’s Cara Black, who drew an Olympic wild card to make the tournament after another competitor withdrew.

Fourth-seeded Serena opening against Belarus’ Olga Govortsova and No. 7 Venus facing Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky. Lindsay Davenport, the Olympic champion in Atlanta 12 years ago, drew Australia’s Alicia Molik, who won a bronze medal in Athens.

Three of China’s four women’s representatives also drew ranked opponents. Li Na must face No. 3 Svetlana Kuznetsova, while Wimbledon semifinalist Zheng Jie will meet 11th-seeded Agnes Szavay of Hungary, and Yan Zi takes on ninth-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia.

Well, I say it's tough for the Chinese men and women in tennis.

For the complete draw, click here for the men's singles draw and here for the women's singles draw.

(Images via ITF website, texts mostly via Yahoo! Sports)

Who else are here for Beijing Olympics 2008?

In less than 24 hours, we'll be witnessing the Opening Ceremony of Beijing Olympics 2008. Many top players are already here in Beijing.

We'll have a quick look at who has arrived yesterday. So far I've not seen Cincinnati Masters
champion, Andy Murray yet.

And too bad, many high profile players such as Marcos Baghdatis, Andy Roddick, Richard
Gasquet, Nikolay Davydenko as well as Mario Sharapova are not here to add glitter to this event. Shame on them.

Elena Dementieva (Russia)

Venus Williams (USA)

Lindsay Davenport (USA)

Jelena Jankovic (Serbia)

Novak Djokovic (Serbia)

And hey, the French tennis Olympic's team players (from left) Paul-Henry Mathieu, Youlia Fedossova, Alize Cornet, Gael Monfils, coach George Goven and former player Cedric Pioline pose at the "Club France".

And here's the bonus; as soon as Djokovic arrived he was seen shirtless and signing autograph after a training session at the Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Centre.


(Images via Great Tennis Photos, GABRIEL BOUYS/CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Mirka looking bored again

This is not the first time we see Miroslava "Mirka" Vavrinec looking bored, especially on court. Check out this post.

Mirka is a former women tennis player for Switzerland (she was born in Slovakia but later emigrated to Switzerland). Mirka and Roger Federer has been inseparable ever since they laid eyes on each other at the Sydney Olympics in the year 2000.

You can see her in almost every single tournament, including during this training session at the Olympic Green Tennis Centre in Beijing.

But seriously, I'm not sure if Mirka presence these days are going to help Federer in his upcoming games.

By the way, Mirka, have you plan a birthday party for Federer?

(Images via Reuters)

Aug 7, 2008

E-book: Journey to Beijing - Tennis Celebrates the Olympics

Honestly, you don't want to miss this publication by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

In this 140-page publication called 'Journey to Beijing – Tennis celebrates the Olympics' that is intended to promote the 2008 Beijing Olympic tennis event, over 40 of the world’s leading tennis players were photographed dressed as athletes from other Olympic sports.

These black and white photos are accompanied by exclusive interviews on the topic regarding the Olympics.

According to the ITF website, the photographs were taken over a six-month period by some of the world’s leading tennis photographers, with photo shoots held in venues as varied as Barc
elona, Beijing, Dubai, Indian Wells, Los Angeles, Miami, Melbourne, Moscow, Netherlands, Palm Beach, Santiago, Shanghai and Tel Aviv.

Among the 44 players represented in the book are the two current world number ones, Roger Federer, who poses as a fencer, and Ana Ivanovic, who is shown playing beach volleyball, both in Miami. Rafael Nadal appears as a footballer on location in Shanghai, while Novak Djokovic takes advantage of Dubai’s indoor ski slope.

Maria Sharapova takes time out from a photo shoot to try rhythmic gymnastics in Los Angeles, while Serena Williams demonstrates her ice skating abilities at home in Palm Beach. Olympic champions Nicolas Massu and Fernando Gonzalez become marathon runners on the streets of Santiago, while wheelchair world No. 1 Esther Vergeer shows her versatility as a basketball player in the Netherlands.

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “I believe the book shows how proud current tennis players are to represent their countries in the Olympic Games as well as the importance the Olympics has played in their lives. In turn, we have witnessed the continued growth, not only of the Olympic Tennis Event, but also of the international reach of our sport since tennis returned to the Olympic Games in 1988.”

Click on this link to view ‘Journey to Beijing – Tennis celebrates the Olympics'.

(Via ITF)

David Nalbandian is in Beijing but could miss the Olympics

David Nalbandian has arrived in Beijing together with other Argentine Olympic tennis players including Augustin Calleri and Juan Monaco.

However, the current world no. 7 player could miss the big event as he is still affected by muscular injuries and remains a doubt for both Beijing and the Davis Cup semi-final against Russia in September.

Nalbandian's physio Diego Rodriguez told Ole newspaper "David is going through a recovery program. He hasn't played tennis for two weeks and has done some work in the swimming pool and on the bicycle."

He added: "He will compete again when he is in good shape."

However, Rodriguez did not rule out the option of surgery if the recovery programme does not prove successful.

(Via The Press Association; Image via REUTERS/Tim Wimborne)

Aug 6, 2008

More photos from the Beijing Olympics training session

Many tennis players are already in Beijing practising at the Olympic Green Tennis Centre.

Samantha Stosur (Australia), Roger Federer (Switzerland), Ana Ivanovic (Serbia), Jonas Bjorkman (Sweden), Rafael Nadal (Spain), Fernando Gonzalez (Chile), Zheng Jie (China) and Lleyton Hewitt (Australia) are among the players spotted here. All pictures are in sequence. Latest updates:
Andy Murray.

Here's a bonus picture; Nadal shirtless!


(Images by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Updates: Roger Federer at Beijing Olympics 2008

The media and fans are going frenzy in Beijing with so many Olympic starlets arriving at the airport and the Olympic Village.

And one of the biggest star that we don't want to miss is Roger Federer.
Federer's performance might be going downhill lately, but I still believe he has a great chance to clinch a gold medal here. It's definitely not retirement yet for this talented player.

Here are some pictures of Federer arriving at his hotel (he's not staying at the Ol
ympic Village), going around the village along with girlfriend Mirka and at training session. For more photos, click here.

Instead of staying at the Olympic Village, Federer prefers to make his own arrangements and his decision has been backed by the Swiss delegation.
"It was quite difficult in Athens," said Federer of his experience of the 2004 Games.

"Taking the bus and not being in control of my own schedule, and many people recognising me in the village. It was not as enjoyable as Sydney, which I loved."
Ironically, at the Swiss apartments here, the only poster displayed of a squad member is one of Federer.

"He is sure to draw a lot of attention," said Swiss delegation chief Werner Augsburger.

"It's not because Federer doesn't like living in the Olympic village. It's because he has his own habits and prefers to live by himself."
On the other hand, Federer's great rival Rafael Nadal has no such fears about his privacy and is happy to stay with the rest of the Spanish team.
"It's very different from the regular tournaments on the tour. You are in the Olympic Village, so it's always very nice to be with the rest of the sportsmen of the world," said Nadal who is making his Olympics debut.
Britain's Andy Murray, who won a maiden tennis Masters title in Cincinatti last weekend, admitted he can't understand Federer's decision.
"Quite a few of the tennis players are staying in hotels, but I don't understand why they're doing that," said the Scot. "Having made the decision to play in the Olympics, I wouldn't want to be staying anywhere other than in the athletes' village. It will be a great experience to be around the best athletes in the world and to speak to some of them."
Federer's reluctance to commit to the village is shared by the big names of the NBA.

(Part of the text via Yahoo Tennis News; Images via Zimbio Pilot and BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

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