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Nov 1, 2008

Serena Williams dressed up as Roger Federer at Halloween party

Serena Williams uploaded quite a number of pictures on her website which include some off court photos from her last night's Halloween party.

Serena decided that she wanted to dress up as Roger Federer... in a very sexy way. That's the cardigan that Federer wore at this year's Wimbledon Open.

Erm, Serena, I have an idea. Why not get a newer camera that captures better quality pictures?


(Via serenawilliams.com)

Oct 31, 2008

Spooky tennis-theme ideas for Halloween party

You are heading for a Halloween party tonight and have no idea of what to wear? Here are some suggestions for you.

If you are lazy or just want to a simple so-called Halloween costume, try put on a Novak Djokovic's Zorro/Green Hornet mask. Simply match it with your usual tennis gears and hopefully you'll have a no djoke party tonight.

Alternatively you can try something more interesting.

If the Green Hornet mask does not work for you, what about try turning yourself into a Rafael Nadal the Incredible Hulk? How to do it? Get some green body paint and paint yourself all over. Great on guys with biceps.

Alright not spooky enough?

Try this one: Youzhny the Bloody Headcase. Easy to do and bloody scary too. Just put some fake blood on your head (where else?), dress up your tennis gears and with a broken racquet, voila your are ready for your Halloween party!


I'm wishing everyone a fa-BOO-lous and SPOOK-tacular Halloween :D (copied from my friend's comment in FB)! Have fun!

Veteran players roll on without Novak Djokovic

Nole continues to party hard and Muzza will take over his no. 3 position very soon.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer rolled into the Paris Masters quarterfinals but this time without Novak Djokovic.


Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, defending champion David Nalbandian and amazingly Nikolay Davydenko also made the last eight.

Rafa has bigger biceps than Monfils.

Nadal beat Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2, Federer defeated Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-4, while Djokovic lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
“I’m not playing my best level, but I’m not playing badly,” Nadal said.

“If I can improve a bit for tomorrow and for Shanghai I think I can finish the year playing well.”
Nadal will play Davydenko, who crushed 2005 champion Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-1.

Even though Nadal was guaranteed to start 2009 ahead of Federer in the rankings, he feels like he’s still behind him.
“Roger had four or five years with the No. 1, winning two, three Grand Slams a year,” Nadal said.

“So for that reason I think everybody says Federer is the best.”
Federer sets his eyes on his first semifinals at the Bercy Indoor Arena but he has to go through James Blake first, who defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-4, 6-4.
“I prefer to come back to a place where I had success in the past. This is not the case here,” Federer.
Federer is 8-1 against Blake, with the Swiss star’s only loss in the quarterfinals at the Beijing Olympics in August.
“I’m not the revengeful type, but I would be pleased to beat him,” Federer said.
Djokovic beat Tsonga in the Australian Open final for his first major title, but has lost to the Frenchman in successive matches since then including the recent Thailand Open.
“I just don’t feel quite comfortable on the court,” the Serb said.

“When you play indoors, points get quicker. (Tsonga) was serving really well.”
Tsonga will next meet Roddick for the first time in nearly two years.
“If I manage to stay in shape physically, I will go from strength to strength in this tournament,” Tsonga said.

Gilles 'Crybaby' Simon

The seventh-seeded Roddick overcame 10th-seeded Gilles Simon 6-3, 7-5 on his fifth match point.
“It wasn’t going to do me any good to play patty-cake back and forth with him today,” Roddick said.

“I’m not as quick as he is and I’m not as consistent as he is. It actually made for a pretty simple game plan.”
Murray topped Fernando Verdasco of Spain 6-3, 7-6 (6) for his 14th straight win, staying on track for a third straight Masters title.

Fat Dave shows del Potro he's still the big brother of Argentina tennis.

Murray will face Nalbandian in the quarterfinals, after the Argentine defeated countryman del Potro 6-4, 6-0.
“His results have been pretty special the last couple of years. Should be a great match,” Murray said of Nalbandian.

“He picks his schedule very well and is fresher than the other players toward the end of the year.”
After victories at Cincinnati and Madrid, Murray hopes to become the only player to win three straight Masters titles.

(Via AP, Images via Yahoo! Sport, zimbio.com)

WTA Announces ChallengeYourHero.com Winner

Thanks Bill for this info. The results are finally in!

Sony Ericsson and WTA Tour's ChallengeYourHero contest received over 260 video submissions from tennis fans around the world.

The first place winner is Yodhi Soemardjan for his video the Routine Hero, which is now also available on YouTube.



His video is hilarious! Yodhi, you are lucky, dude!
I do hope you get to meet up with your idol Ana Ivanovic!

The winner of this contest gets an exciting opportunity to meet up with the WTA heroes up close at the Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha this coming week.

Five second place winners will receive stylish Sony Ericsson mobile phones.

To watch all winning videos, go to: http://www.challengeyourhero.com/
For Championship information: http://www.sonyericsson-championships.com/1/en/home/

Oct 30, 2008

Xisca the new fashionista shopping alone in Paris

When the boyfriend (in this case it's Rafael Nadal) is getting all the attention on court...

Or out for early training...


What would you do if you are in Paris, the city of love?

Of course you go shopping because Paris is also the city of fashion!

I wonder why Xisca is walking alone in the city.

Nadal should consider beef up the security of his girlfriend because Xisca is a popular figure now and especially in a foreign country during a big tournament like Paris Masters.


By the way, don't you find these more like fashion photos rather than by the paparazzi's?


(Images via menstennisforums.com)

Is this Sam Querrey or Sam Queer-ey?

I just find these photos of Sam Querrey a bit fascinating. If you don't know what I mean, just look at his left hand.

Last night, Andy Murray defeated Querrey 6-2, 6-4 to stay on track for a record third straight Masters title after winning at Cincinnati and Madrid.

Probably Querrey was intimidated by Murray's magnificent run hence handed him an easy win.

(Images via Yahoo! Sport)

Oct 29, 2008

Malaysia to host US$400k Tier II WTA tournament under Petronas Twin Towers

I've missed this article last month but it's never too late to report this amazing news right now.

It's definitely beyond my imagination to watch WTA players like Maria Sharapova or Serena Williams playing with the Petronas Twin Towers as a spectacular backdrop.


According to the president of Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) Datuk Abdul Razak Latiff, this could become reality in the second half of year 2009 when Kuala Lumpur hosts the US$400,000 Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Malaysian Open.


The tournament, a Tier II WTA event, is expected to attract some of the top names in women's tennis.


A makeshift tennis stadium will be erected at the Twin Towers' open car park specially for the event.

WTF??? Playing on a open car park you might ask!

Nevermind, Petronas has tonnes of money to build a proper tennis court on any ground.

By the way, Malaysia do have a nice national tennis centre but the twin towers backdrop would be a sensational gimmick!


Of course, Malaysian players will not be left out of as the WTA is offering three wild cards to the hosts.

National No 1 Jawairiah Noordin will likely be offered the sole wild card in the main draw, while the other two are on offer for the qualifying round.

The event is tentatively slotted for sometime between August and September, to coincide with the WTA Bali, China, Japan and Taskent (Uzbekistan) events.


Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) president Datuk Abdul Razak Latiff said the Malaysia Open will consist of singles and doubles.


The singles will be a draw of 32 players while the doubles has yet to be confirmed.
"The Sports Ministry has given its blessing and we are currently negotiating with the WTA on the best available dates for the event," said Abdul Razak.
Abdul Razak confirmed that the association have identified the Twin Towers' open car park as the venue.
"However, this is subject to approval from the local authorities. The other option is to host it at Dataran Merdeka."
I'm dying to meet Serbian tennis players like Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic but they are very unlikely to come to Malaysia :( due to political reasons.

Serbian citizens were previously not allowed to enter Malaysia without special permission (now Serbian citizens can obtain visas for a maximum of 30 days*). But again, you and I will never know.


(Via The New Straits Times, tennisforum.com, Image via 2bangkok.com)
*cited from wikipedia

Novak Djokovic's best Halloween costume

Novak Djokovic arrived on the court wearing a mask before his match against Dmitry Tursunov at the Paris Tennis Masters tournament.
Djokovic said: "I got this mask at dinner (three years ago). I asked them, Can I take it? They allowed me to take it. The next day I say for fun I'm going to get into the court like that. I did. That's a little tradition I have with the mask at Halloween."
In that match, Tursunov retired with a shoulder injury. Djokovic was ahead of the match with 6-2, 4-3.


(Via Yahoo! Sport)

Rafael Nadal and Xisca arrived Paris in style

Down the Line reported on Rafael Nadal and girlfriend Maria Francesca Perello or better known as Xisca arriving in Paris in a rather stylish manner earlier this week.

Gone are the t-shirt and khaki shorts we sometimes see when Nadal arrived at the airports for tournaments.

Both Nadal and Xisca look absolutely stunning with those snuggly, stylish scarves!

Later that evening, the lovely young couple headed for a dinner with Nadal continued his argyle ways with the same scarf.

Perhaps that's a gift from Xisca?

Back to business at the BNP Paribas Masters, Nadal who is last year's runner-up finds himself in a quarter of the draw dominated by qualifiers – of the six players looking to secure a spot in the main tournament over the weekend, five are in the Majorcan's section.

Nadal will meet the surging Gael Monfils next up.


(Via Down the Line, Images by ELIOT PRESS @ BauerGriffinOnline.Celebuzz.com)

Oct 28, 2008

Shame on the organizers at Seoul Challenger!

Frankly, I don't blog about Challenger events until recently.

The first one I ever did was Tashkent Challenger. If you have followed the recent posts, you know I highly praised the organizer as well as the media team for their professionalism and passion in the tournament.

With the help from Esther, I thought why not blog about the next Challenger event in Seoul.

We quickly realized that Seoul Challenger is no Tashkent Challenger.

Firstly, the media team in Seoul doesn't provide materials (press conference, press releases, etc) in English.

Never mind the language barrier.

The saddest thing happened when the organizer practice favoritism and 'ill-treated' the players.

The following are some of the info that I've gathered from Rendy Lu's forum including posting from Rendy's brother, Thomas.
  1. Organizer did not change the venue from outdoor to indoor despite the windy condition and playing under the temperature of 5 degrees! Even Danai Udomchoke complained about the cold temperature in his website.
  2. When home boy, Lee Hyung Teik was playing against Rendy in the semifinal, the organizer decided to change the venue to indoor during the last minute.
  3. The organizer did not provide an umbrella for Rendy to walk from the players lounge to the indoor stadium to continue the semifinal match.
  4. When inside, things were chaotic as all seats were filled up with supporters and according to Thomas the organizer didn't allocate seats for player and team.
  5. After a few unfair judgments, during the 1st game of 2nd set, Rendy called for the trainer to check on his injured toe (a result from playing 2 matches in one day under cold weather and until night). Rendy who felt he was being treated unfairly decided to retire from the semifinal match and handed Mr Lee the walkover.
In the final result, Mr Lee beat Ivo Minar 6-4, 6-0 to take the Seoul Challenger title.

Now that they are playing in Busan, South Korea, we hope the organizer here would not repeat the same mistakes as what Seoul did last week.

May the best man wins.

Miss Universe Australia is big fan of Bec, not Lleyton Hewitt

Now don't worry about Laura Dundovic's arm over Lleyton Hewitt's shoulder.

The 2008 Miss Universe Australia said she's a fan of Hewitt's wife, Bec instead of the tennis player.
"When I was in primary school (Bec) went to the school around the corner from me and one day I chased her down for an autograph because I absolutely loved her and Home and Away," said Dundovic.
Dundovic and Hewitt were at the launch of his fundraising auction site eSwap in aid of Cure Out Kids, a children's cancer charity, at Travelscene yesterday in Sydney, Australia.

Although Bec wasn't fronting the cameras for the fundraiser, Hewitt said his wife - who is 6 months pregnant with their second child - is the brains behind Cure Our Kids.

Items being auctioned on the website include the tennis racquet used by world No.1 Rafael Nadal (notice the racquet held by Dundovic) when he beat Roger Federer in this year's Wimbledon final, Ana Ivanovic's pink tennis dress from her French Open win, as well as items from celebrities including Russell Crowe, Andre Agassi, Gwen Stefani, Toni Collette and Hugh Jackman.
"We've got a signed shirt from Federer that he actually gave me after he beat me, which is the last thing you want to see from someone who has beaten you in the locker room," Hewitt said.
By the way, Miss Dundovic also offered a date with her gorgeous self to the highest bidder.


(Via news.com.au, heraldsun.com.au, Images via Gaye Gerard/Getty Images AsiaPac, Women's Weekly)

Roger Federer hands out pizza; Marat Safin delivers bagel

It was pizza all-around for ballboys and girls after Roger Federer claimed the title at the Davidoff Swiss Indoors Tournament last weekend.

However, it's a different story with two-time Grand Slam champion Marat Safin who is now considering retirement after a 6-0, 7-6 (4) loss to Juan Monaco in the first round of the Paris Masters yesterday.

Safin, a former top-ranked player and a three-time champion at the Paris tournament, wants a long break before making a decision.
“I don’t know what happened. Just couldn’t find my rhythm and couldn’t find the game,” the 28-year-old Russian said.

“I need to think everything through. I have no pressure and I have nothing to prove or show. I just want to be comfortable with my decision, whatever I will take.”

“I need to sit down and relax and just enjoy my life without any tennis (for) a couple of months and then I will see,” Safin said. “If I feel like I want to continue to play, I will. If not, it will be over.”
Safin won the U.S. Open in 2000 and the Australian Open in 2005. He hasn’t won a tour title since the victory in Australia.
“I’ve been struggling throughout my career with injuries left and right,” said Safin, who is ranked 31st.

“It’s a little bit uncomfortable to find yourself in the top 10 for many years and to find yourself ranked 70 and 30 and 50 … It’s not really a comfortable position.”
(Via Yahoo! Sport)

Jelena Jankovic's offical website hacked!

World no.1 Jelena Jankovic's official website has been defaced by the Albania & Kosova Hackers Group.

I'm sure most of you know or heard a bit about the Serbia-Kosovo conflict.

Previous high profile attacks by the hacker group include the website of the Serbian parliament and the websites of several Bosnian and Montenegrin institutions.

Serbian Jankovic is not very 'popular' among tennis fans and players but I don't think the defacement of her website is anything personal.

Looking at the group's previous attacks, this attack is obviously politically motivated.

Wonder if Jankovic has anything political to comment.

At the time of publishing, her website is still down.

(Via Women's Tennis Blog)

Oct 27, 2008

Winners during Diwali break

First of all, wishing all Indian friends Happy Diwali.

Kinda miss a lot after taking a few days break from the blogosphere. However I'm glad I did spend the weekend holiday with bro and sis and the new addition to our family, Pepper who is just 7-week old.


So here are the weekend winners in brief:


Roger Federer conquers Basel

Roger Federer won his hometown tournament for the third straight year on Sunday, beating second-seeded David Nalbandian of Argentina 6-3, 6-4 in the Swiss Indoors final.
“Things are back into a groove the way I like it. I’m happy with the way I’m playing,” Federer said.

“It feels great to win at home. Once you had it you want more of it and you want to do it over and over again.”
In the doubles title, Mark Knowles became the 21st player in ATP history (since 1973) to capture 50 career doubles titles after partnering Indian Mahesh Bhupathi to the Davidoff Swiss Indoors champion Sunday with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Germans Christopher Kas and Philipp Kohlschreiber.

The final lasted 61 minutes.
“I’m elated,” said Knowles.

“It’s a big number and I’d be a liar if I said I hadn’t been thinking about it, as I’ve lost in a couple of finals lately. I’m really happy to win my 50th title and get past the milestone."

Andy Murray retains St. Petersburg Open title

Top-seeded Andy Murray won the St. Petersburg Open for the second straight year by beating qualifier Andrey Golubev 6-1, 6-1.
“I played well today, I really enjoyed myself this week,” Murray said.

“At the start of both sets it was quite close, but once I got ahead I started to feel much more comfortable. In terms of the score it was easy, but it wasn’t the easiest match I’ve played on the tour.”
In the doubles title, American Travis Parrott and Filip Polasek of the Slovak Republic earned a hard-fought 3-6, 7-6(4) 10-8 win over first-time pairing Indian Rohan Bopanna and Max Mirnyi of Belarus at the St. Petersburg Open.
“We are really happy to have won our first ATP title as a team. We started playing together in February. It is fun to have worked our way up from the Challenger circuit and get the chance to win an ATP title," said Parrott.

Robin Soderling wins at Lyon


Seventh-seeded Robin Soderling of Sweden beat Julien Benneteau 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-1 to claim his third career title and first since 2005.

Soderling is set to break into the top 20 for the first time on Monday at either No. 18 or 19.
“As a player you always have the goal of reaching the top 100. Once you get there, you want to get to the top 50,” he said.

“Reaching the top 20 feels great. It has been my goal for two or three years.”
Second seeds Michael Llodra of France and Israeli Andy Ram, playing together for the first time this week, captured the Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon title on Sunday after beating Australian Stephen Huss and Ross Hutchins of Great Britain 6-3, 5-7, 10-8 in 80 minutes.
“I'm very happy to win this title together with Andy,” said Llodra.

“Winning with him in Lyon makes it even more special since this place means a lot to me. I usually play with French partners, most of the time with Arnaud Clement and I'm happy that I won this title together with my friend Andy."

Elena Dementieva takes 3rd title of year in Luxembourg

Elena Dementieva won her third title of the year on Sunday, outlasting Caroline Wozniacki 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the Fortis Championships.
"I feel like I just won a Grand Slam," Dementieva said.

"I think it was the most difficult final I've ever played. Caroline was playing so well - she has such a good defensive game, but was also hitting really good drop shots and passing shots. I had to stay positive and aggressive and I'm so happy I was able to win today."
In the doubles titile, Sorana Cristea and Marina Erakovic took the title with defeat of no. 3 seeds Vera Dushevina and Mariya Koryttseva in a match tie-break 2-6, 6-3, 10-8.
"We clicked," said Erakovic after the 4th seeds' Tier III win.

"Sorana plays very well off the baseline, and has a great serve, and I can do a lot of things at the net. I think that combination helped us this week."

Ana Ivanovic ends title drought at Linz

Top-seeded Ana Ivanovic routed No. 2-seeded Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-1 in the final of the Generali Ladies to win her first title since the French Open.
"Every final is a new experience and winning a title is always special," Ivanovic said.

"Especially after coming back from an injury and putting in a lot of hard work, it's great to see the results. It's a very good feeling to win another title. I played better and better in every match and really enjoyed my week in Linz."
In the doubles final, second seeds Katarina Srebotnik and Ai Sugiyama upset top seeds Cara Black and Liezel Huber 6-4, 7-5, to capture the Tier II Generali Ladies Linz title.

(Via AP, ATP website, WTA website)

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