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Nov 15, 2008

Showdown of Champions Tennis: 10 x 1 pair of tickets to give away to bloggers

It's simple.

You just have to blog about Showdown of Champions, the players (Roger Federer, James Blake, Bjorn Borg or John McEnroe), your experience from Clash of Titans, last year's tennis exhibition match, or anything regarding about tennis.

Just make sure your post link back to this post. Then inform me by posting in the comment box.

The first 10 bloggers who submit their posts will walk away with 2 tickets to the Showdown of Champions on November 18, 2008. The venue is Stadium Putra Bukit Jalil and the event will start at 7.30 p.m.

Winners will be announced tomorrow (Sunday Nov 16, 2008) at 8.00 p.m. I will also personally contact you via email on prize collection.

Happy Blogging!

Kings of Tennis: Arianna Teoh's official media statement

Personally I think we should listen to Arianna's side of her story too regarding the cancellation of Kings of Tennis.

Here's what I received last night:

PRESS STATEMENT OF ARIANNA TEOH

1. I refer to the various press reports in relation to the "Kings of Tennis" tournament which was scheduled to be held on 14.11.2008 to 16.11.2008 at the Esplanade in Penang.

2. In press reports, it has been suggested by the Producer of the event, Show Administration Europe AB ("Show Administration"), that the event was actually cancelled by their company, due to my failure to remit certain funds to them.

3. I wish to refute this allegation as it was made without any basis whatsoever. The truth of the matter is, that I was hired by Show Administration as a Vice President for the "Kings of Tennis" event, at which time I agreed to organise and manage the event in Malaysia.

4. The budgeting, revenue and invoicing were obligations to be undertaken by Show Administration. Show Administration were obligated to set up a Malaysian company controlled by them to be named "Kings of Tennis Malaysia". I was supposed to be made a director of this company "Kings of Tennis Malaysia" in order to issue all invoices in relation to all sources of revenue pertaining to the event. This would include corporate boxes, sponsors and hospitality packages.

5. If and when this company was registered, it would have been the entity that would have received all funds for the event. As indicated above, these funds would have been under the control of Show Administration.

6. At no time was I under any obligation to personally remit funds to Show Administration for the event.

7. Show Administration failed to set up a company called "Kings of Tennis Malaysia". What they did was set up a company known as Profound Quality Sdn Bhd. This company was set up by Show Administration and was intended by them to be the vehicle for fund collection. This company was set up extremely late in the day despite my repeated reminders to them that it was imperative for collection of funds that this entity be set up and the necessary bank account opened as quickly as possible.

8. By this time, it was far too late to collect the projected revenue prior to the event.

9. Although I had lined up various sponsors and various corporate customers willing to purchase corporate boxes, I refused to collect any monies until the necessary entity was fully and legally set up by Show Administration. I did not want to be in the position of holding other peoples monies personally. The question therefore of me remitting funds to Show Administration could not have arisen.

10. I wish to stress that I have come up with my own money on various occasions. This was despite the fact that it was not my obligation to fund the event.

11. I am a Penangite and I am very proud to be one. I believe that for Penang, this was a golden opportunity to put it back on the world map. Penang has just received world heritage status and this event was to be the first global celebration of this fact. The event was to be held at the Esplanade which is completely surrounded by historical landmarks. Furthermore, the event was to be televised to over forty countries.

12. Those of you who have visited the stadium or even seen the picture of the set up, must realize that the local production team delivered a world class facility.

13. I therefore remain committed to promoting Penang globally. Although this is a set back for my team and for Penangites, I intend to do my very best to make up for this unfortunate episode.

14. Rest assured that the Esplanade will be restored fully as promised.

15. Finally, I take these allegations very seriously and will not hesitate to take any action in order to defend my position. I have engaged Ranjit Singh from Kuala Lumpur to act as my lawyer. If you require any further clarification please do not hesitate to contact him at ranj@rorl.com.my.

In another email, she said, "I look forward to a new chapter.I love Penang and we had the best venue and we were let down."

Nov 14, 2008

Showdown of Champions: Roger Federer autograph-signing session at KLCC

The organiser confirmed that there will be a meet-the-fans/autograph-signing session with Roger Federer on November 18 at KLCC foyer from 1145 - 1225.

During the same time, James Blake will be conducting a tennis clinic for the LTAM juniors at Mandarin Oriental tennis court.

So who will you choose???

But let me remind you, Roger seldom do meet-the-fans or autograph-signing session, so grab this opportunity alright?!!


Come join us in stalking the players at the official hotel Mandarin Oriental and KLCC :D

And if you still haven't get your tickets to the Showdown of Champions range from RM188 to RM498, and are obtainable at the official website www.showdownkl2008.com.

But I advise you guys to get the tickets from Axcess outlet directly instead of going through the online method. I said so because because I thought it's kinda hassle to queue up again on event day to get the actual tickets.

By the way, do join our Unofficial Showdown of Champions Facebook Event Group for more detail information. Most of us are RogerFederer.commers.

Again, for those who are still confused, Kings of Tennis HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH Showdown of Champions!

Roger Federer loves Malaysia so much he's coming back again for the second time!

Nov 13, 2008

X'mas comes early for Danai Udomchoke and friends

Danai Udomchoke from Thailand is already in the Chrismas mood.

Together with team mate, Tamarine Tanasugarn and Korean Woong-sun Jun, they were out in the snowy, freezing cold weather making snowmen.


The tennis players are in Astana, Kazakhstan for the Asian Hopman Cup from 12-15 November.

Below are team photos taken before and during the Opening Ceremony of the Asian Hopman Cup, all taken from Danai's official site.


Kudos to Danai for keeping his website updated!

To check out the OOP and results, click here to join the forum thread at Tennis Forum.

Updates:
In the finals the 2007 Asian Hopman Cup winners Lu Yen-Hsun / Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) defeated Golubev Andrey / Shvedova Yaroslava (KAZ) 2-0 and secured their position in the final eight teams of the A $1,000,000 Mixed Team event at Perth, Australia in January 2009.

The final standings are as below:
Winner : Chinese Taipei ( US$20,000)
Runner Up : Kazakhstan ( US$12,000)
2nd in Group : India & Thailand ( US$10,000)
3rd in each Group: China & Korea ( US$9,000)

(Images via Danai Udomchoke's official site)


Camilla Belle ditched BFF Maria Sharapova, hooks up with Joe Jonas

Maria Sharapova and actress Camilla Belle used to be inseparable.

They were seen everywhere from basketball matches to fashion shows and from parties to going on vacations together.

Some people suggests they were more than just BFFs.

In recent months, Sharapova and Belle have not been seen together. Sharapova is not seeing Charlie Ebersol either.

But according to the People magazine, Belle is now dating Joe Jonas, one third of the boy band The Jonas Brothers.

The couple met on the set of The Jonas Brothers "Love Bug" music video.


(Images via zimbio.com)


Fernando Verdasco and Ana Ivanovic spotted together at Real Madrid match

There's no PDA (public display of affection) like Jurgen Melzer and Domonika Cibulkova yet.

But this is the first time we see Fernando Verdasco and Ana Ivanovic, or better known as Anando, together in a photo, off-court after China Open.


Verdasco (or Nando who is what he is affectionately called) flew all the way to Doha to support Ana at the WTA Championships and of course to celebrate Ana's birthday.

Now this week, Nando will be celebrating his birthday on Nov 15. So, to see them together at the Real Madrid vs Real Union match doesn't come as a surprise to me at all.

From the youtube video, it looks like the hottest couple in tennis right now is pretty comfortable opening up their relationship.



Come Anando, give us more...

(Via downthelinetennis.com, womenstennisblog.com)

Nov 12, 2008

Do you eat, sleep and watch tennis?

Do you...

EAT


SLEEP


&

Heart
Tennis Stars Like Us?
If you share the same interest, join my friend Esther in Facebook. Check out the upcoming event, Showdown of Champions at the sidebar too!

(Images via Forty Deuce, Yahoo! Sport)

Showdown of Champions KL 2008: Want to meet the players on the 18th November?

Hey guys, if you're still confused, Kings of Tennis HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH Showdown of Champions!

Roger Federer and James Blake as well as tennis legends Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe will be arriving Malaysia on Monday!

Federer and Blake will not only be playing each other in the Showdown of Champions tennis exhibition on Nov 18 but will also be giving valuable tips to the national junior players.

But you must be asking, what's in store for the fans?

The organiser confirmed that there will be a meet-the-fans/autograph-signing session with Roger Federer on November 18 at KLCC foyer from 1145 - 1225.

During the same time, James Blake will personally conduct a tennis clinic for the LTAM juniors at Mandarin Oriental tennis court. Aren't they lucky???

Blake is like the tai-kor in the US after Andy Roddick. If you have followed my post on the US Open, you know Blake is so huge, you don't want to miss the opportunity to meet this player in person!

And guys, if you are a fan of Roger, don't neglect Mirka too, ok? Ask her for a photo, if you have the opportunity. She gets bored too easily especially when Roger is busy entertaining his fans.

Last week, the CEO of LD Sports Adlan "Mr Blackberry Guy" Zabri told the press that fans should not wait too long to get their tickets as nearly half have been sold.

If you still haven't know, one lucky fan will drive out of Putra Stadium on Nov 18 in a Proton Neo car.

"The cheapest tickers (RM108) have been sold out and the most expensive (RM498) are nearly gone leaving only the intermediate ones available."

"We can also announce that a Proton Neo car will be given away on the night of the matches to one lucky fan," he said.
Also Ning Baizura and Jaclyn Victor will be performing at the pre-event and during game change overs ! Yay! Now that's some class (compared to last year's boy group).

Tickets for the Showdown of Champions range from RM188 to RM498, and are obtainable at the official website www.showdownkl2008.com.

Here's my tickets already! Are you sitting somewhere near me at the silver category???

I advise you guys to get the tickets from Axcess outlet directly instead of going through the online method. I said so because I thought it's kinda hassle to queue up again on event day to get the actual tickets.

By the way, do join our Unofficial Showdown of Champions Facebook Event Group for more detail information.

(Extract from NST)

Michael Chang and Amber Liu wedding photos

Finally we get to see the lovely wedding photos of Michael Chang and Amber Liu.


(Images by Ira Lippke via mchang.com)

Kings of Tennis is OFFICIALLY cancelled

Thanks to Johan P. the press officer at Kings of Tennis for forwarding the official media statement to me issued by Ming, KH & Associated Sdn Bhd on behalf of Kings of Tennis.

Here's the content of the release. To download the file, click here and "save file to your PC".

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

KINGS OF TENNIS EVENT CANCELLED


11 November 2008: As the producers of the Kings of Tennis concept, we wish to inform and confirm that we have with regret, removed the players from participating in the Kings of Tennis event scheduled to take place in Georgetown, Penang on 14-16 November 2008. Consequently, the event has been cancelled as we notified the local promoter/organiser last week.

We express our sincere apologies to the public and all those parties concerned but we simply could not provide the players without payment of promised funds that did not materialise despite a number of ultimatums given to the local promoter/organiser by our organisation.

Kings of Tennis

I believe we will see the official news in papers tomorrow and on how you can get your refund back.

Updates:
Official news of event cancellation is available at The Star today.

Jurgen Melzer and Dominika Cibulkova's P.D.A in Maldives

Down the Line! thinks Jurgen Melzer and Dominika Cibulkova still aren't hot enough compare to Ana Ivanovic and Fernando Verdasco?

Aww, c'mon!

Melzer and Cibulkova fell in love at the US Open this year, where they played mixed doubles together.

The new couple have started their off season holiday vacationing in Maldives.

I'll pick them as my favourite sizzling hot couple for now... unless Anando start camwhoring and display their affection in public too!

Fans are waiting....


(First three images via downthelinetennis.com)

Nov 11, 2008

Rafael Nadal out of Davis Cup final


This is not the kind of news I want to hear from Rafael Nadal. The world no.1 player will miss Spain’s Davis Cup final against Argentina because of a knee injury.

The top-ranked Nadal said Monday he was still struggling with tendinitis in his right knee following a week of treatment.
“The knee said no,” the 22-year-old said.
Spain team doctor Angel Ruiz-Cotorro said Nadal would need three to six weeks to recover.
“These are very difficult moments, but I have done all that I could to be ready for the final,” he said.

“It was a huge objective, and I’m used to playing with pain, but this is a distinct, new pain that I couldn’t control.”
Nadal’s absence deals a big blow to Spain’s bid for a third Davis Cup title since 2000. Spain captain Emilio Sanchez Vicario has until Tuesday to name his team.

Spain plays Argentina on indoor hard court at Mar del Plata from Nov. 21-23.
“We’re sorry for him, but it’s good news. Spain is one thing with Nadal, and another thing without him,” Argentine captain Alberto Mancini told Buenos Aires-based radio station Continental.
Nadal was a key player when Spain beat the United States 4-1 in the semifinals, winning both his singles matches.

Sanchez Vicario most likely will replace Nadal with Tommy Robredo, clay-court specialist Nicolas Almagro or Marcel Granollers. David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco are expected to be back on the team.

Nadal withdrew from the Paris Masters last month with an injury to the same knee after losing the first set of his quarterfinal against Nikolai Davydenko.

He then pulled out of this week’s season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, China.
“I don’t know if the injury (resulted) from my fight to be No. 1 because in reality, I didn’t play in any extra tournaments, I only played what I had to for the ranking and I don’t think you can reproach me for that,” Nadal said.

“I didn’t do anything crazy to be No. 1.”
Ruiz-Cotorro said the injury was not career threatening, but that it was “totally impossible” for Nadal to be ready in time for the final.
“Rafa comes in off a very tough year and his body has been warning him for weeks. It’s an acute injury that needs time to recuperate,” Ruiz-Cotorro said.

“If he played in Argentina, it could become worse.”
Robredo helped Spain to a 5-0 rout of Peru in a first-round match in February, but has reached the quarterfinals of only one of nine tournaments since winning at Bastad in July. The 21st-ranked Robredo has been a Spain regular since 2004.

The 19th-ranked Almagro made his debut against Peru, winning both singles matches, while 56th-ranked Granollers has never been selected.
“Spain has top-level players capable of achieving victory,” said Nadal, who didn’t rule out traveling to South America to support his teammates.
Agustin Calleri and Jose Acasuso will join David Nalbandian and Juan Martin Del Potro for the Argentine team.


(Via AP, Image via Yahoo! Sport)

Asian Hopman Cup in Astana starts tomorrow

Danai Udomchoke has posted some photos from Astana, Kazakhstan. He is there to represent Thailand in the Asian Hopman Cup.


Thanks to Esther for getting in touch with the media team in Kazakhstan for the latest press release regarding the tournament. Here you go:

A unique team superiority on tennis will be held in November 12 -15 in Astana.

For the first time the Asian qualifying stage of the Hopman Cup where the teams of China, India, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Korea and Kazakhstan will participate, takes place in the capital of Kazakhstan.

The tournament winners will get a chance to play in a draw of the Australian Hopman Cup among 8 best world teams.

Hopman Cup - is a yearly international tennis team tournament, which was found in 1989 and is held in Perth of the Western Australia in the beginning of January (sometimes at the end of December).

The competitions were named in honour of Harry Hopman (12.08.1906-27.12.1985) - one of the greatest tennis players and a famous Australian coach.

For 30 years he guided young talented players to victories on 15 Davis Cups and 21 Challengers rounds.

What the difference of Hopman Cup from other team tennis competitions?
Unlike other major international team tennis tournaments like the Davis Cup and the Fed Cup, which are strictly for men or women only, the Hopman Cup is a mixed competition where male and female players team up together on combined teams.

Each team consists of one male player and one female player. Each match-up between two teams at the championships consists of:
  • one women's singles match
  • one men's singles match
  • one mixed doubles match
In the Asian qualifying stage 6 competing teams will be divided into 2 groups. The winner of each subgroup will play for the pass to Australia.

The honour of their countries will be defended by: Udomchoke Danai and Tamarine Tanasugarn (Thailand), Lu Yen-Hsun and Hsieh Su-Wei(Chinese Taipei), Jun Woong Sun and Chae Kyung Yee (Korea), Li Zhe and Zhou Yimiao (China), Vishnu Vardhan and Shikha Uberoi (India).

The Kazakhstan banner will be carried by our first rackets –Andrey Golubev and Yaroslava Shvedova, who recently has gotten into best hundred tennis players in the WTA ranking.

The Tournament Director: Daniel Chambon
Referee: Andrey Kornilov (Uzbekistan)

(Images via Danai's official website)

Kings of Tennis or Kings of Comedies?

Thanks to TennisPunk for inspiring the title of this blog.

I've lost count of how many times I've stressed in my blog that the cancellation of Kings of Tennis is based on reliable source: media at Kings of Tennis Sweden, player's statement and also endless investigation from tennis fans including SK Boey and I.

And in the latest email I received from the webmaster at Marat Safin OFFICIAL website, denisem the webmaster confirmed that Marat Safin is NOT COMING to Malaysia for King of Tennis!


From his official website, it seems that Safin is in Miami beach building his tan to match his girlfriend Nastya Osipova!

And for one last time before tomorrow comes, please read the latest update from SK Boey's blog.

Updates:
Click here to read about the event which is now officially cancelled.

Nov 10, 2008

Kings of Tennis: OOP is available; Marat Safin & Jim Courier are the other 2 players coming

Here's what arthur13 has posted in a forum in lonelyplanet.com.

Surprisingly there are no similar press release published in the mainstream media (international or national yet). Also Arthur did not provide source of the article.

Anyway this is what he had posted:
For the first time ever a tournament featuring former world number ones in Tennis is being staged and Penang (press release error, should be Georgetown, Penang is the state) designated as a World Heritage City by UNESCO seems to be the perfect place to hold its first edition. Dubbed as “Kings of Tennis” Big Bang Penang, it is being held from 14th–16th November, 2008 at the scenic Esplanade in Georgetown, Penang.

Be ready to witness a keen battle between Tennis greats like John McEnroe, Marcelo Rios and Pete Sampras from America and captained by Australia’s Roy Emerson and Europe’s Bjorn Borg, Stefan Edberg and Mats Wilander, captained by the all time Romanian great, Ilie Nastase. Both teams will have one extra player – battle hardened Jim Courier from America and enigmatic once-upon-a-time big-serving Russian Tennis prodigy, Marat Safin.

Will style and grace of John McEnroe’s volleys triumph over the booming service of Marat Safin or the impeccable serve and volley tennis of Stefan Edberg triumph over strong-serving Pete Sampras, still the holder of maximum numbers of Grand Slam singles titles among men. Definitely a sumptuous fare for all those tennis fans who were either not born or were too young when these greats ruled the courts.

The event is interestingly planned to bring out the drama among these Tennis Hall of Fame players who have enthralled the audiences across the world in the last 4 decades. On the first two days of the event, there will be two singles matches and one doubles match respectively while on the final day there will be four singles matches. This three-day event will be staged on a temporary tennis court with a 13,000 seating capacity (although Sunday Star reported only 5,000 seats). The court and the seating arrangements are almost ready and the overhead spot lights are being tested.

THE 'King of Tennis' showdown in Penang has been sanctioned by the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM). The tournament received the endorsement two weeks ago. There has been rumors of the tournament been cancelled but our reliable sources have confirmed that this unique battle of titans is on and will be held as scheduled.
According to Arthur here's the order of play:

Friday, 14th November, 2008
3.00 pm Gate Opens
5.00 pm M. Wilander vs J. Courier
6.30 pm M. Safin vs M.Rios
8.00 pm S. Edberg/B Bjorg vs P. Sampras/J. McEnroe

Saturday, 15th November, 2008
2.00 pm Gate Opens
4.00 pm M. Safin/M. Wilander vs M. Rios/J. Courier
5.30 pm B. Borg vs J McEnroe
8.00 pm S. Edberg vs P. Sampras

Sunday, 17th November, 2008
1.00 pm Gate Opens
3.00 pm M. Wilander vs J. McEnroe
4.30 pm B. Bjorg vs J. Courier
6.00 pm S. Edberg vs M. Rios
7.30 pm M. Safin vs P. Sampras


Also someone left a comment saying that the stage is beautiful.

I don't know what kind of stage she meant but I can only find a small pathetic picture of the incomplete court covered with a canvas. Anyone from Penang want to send a photo of the newly built stadium to me?

So despite all the confusion and misunderstood created by the media guy at Kings of Tennis based in Sweden, Emerson saying that it's cancelled and the organizer unhappy with the Penang government for being unsupportive, it seems that this event is ready to roll, although there are still doubts about this event.

Hopefully everyone will enjoy the great opportunity to meet the former champs in action in Penang starting this Friday. I hope I can drop by this weekend to witness the event myself (if the event on Friday is on).

Updates
The webmaster of Marat Safin's official website said Safin coming to Malaysia is NOT true. Now I'm really pissed off for those who's responsible to give us false hope!

More Updates:
Click here to read about the event which is now officially cancelled.

Venus Williams wins season-ending WTA Championship; Cara Black & Liezel Huber win dubs

Venus Williams wins the WTA’s Sony Ericsson Championships for the first time, defeating Vera Zvonareva 6-7 (5), 6-0, 6-2 Sunday at the season-ending event.
“I’m so excited,” Williams said. “That was a hard-fought match, every point, right down to the end.”
Williams won $1.34 million at the event, which for the first time offered the same prize money as the men at the ATP’s season-ending Masters Cup.

The first lady of Qatar, a conservative Muslim sheikdom, presented the trophy to Williams, shaking her hand and kissing her on both cheeks. Sheika Mozah bint Nasser al-Missned wore a traditional black head scarf and robe.
“Thanks to your Royal Highness for coming. Wow!” Williams said.
Such a public appearance by a ruler’s wife is unusual in the region. Mozah might be one of several wives; many emirs and kings in the Gulf have multiple wives—up to the four permitted by Islam.

Billie Jean King sat with Mozah and other dignitaries during the match and joined Williams on the court for the awards ceremony.

The trophy is named for King.
Williams’ ranking will improve to no. 6 from no. 8, while the 9th-ranked Zvonareva also will move up two spots.

The two were the lowest-ranked players at the event, which featured the top eight players in the world.

“I know I can go higher” in the rankings, said the 28-year-old Williams, a former No. 1 who defeated top-ranked Jelena Jankovic in the semifinals.
Williams qualified for the championships for the eighth time since 1998.

She had reached the semifinals twice and withdrew five times because of injuries and illness.

“It was missing, this one,” Williams said of the WTA Championships title.
She has won 39 tour singles titles, including five Wimbledon and two U.S. Open crowns.


Williams’ career earnings rose to $21.9 million.


In doubles, Cara Black and Liezel Huber defeated Kveta Peschke and Rennae Stubbs 6-1, 7-5.

(Via AP, Images via Yahoo! Sport)

Nov 9, 2008

Here comes sexy Tsonga!

Andy Murray said Jonas Bjorkman catwalk was hysterically funny.

And I say Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is hysterically sexy! Don't you just love his pouty lips?

To watch the video of the catwalk, click here.


(Images via andymurray.com, fft.fr, zimbio.com, Tennis Masters Cup official website)

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