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Nov 29, 2008

What's up with Rafael Nadal?

Here are some updates of the world no. 1 player Rafael Nadal.

On November 26, Nadal joined the rest of his Spanish team mates in meeting the Prime Minister of Spain Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero at the Moncloa Palace, in Madrid after the country's victory at the Davis Cup final.


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On the following day, Iker Casillas and Nadal met to discuss the charity event called 'Friends of Iker vs Friends of Rafa'.

This is the second year of their charity event with the main objective to free the world of malaria. The event will involve both tennis and football, and as an extra treat, a bit of karting action.

All the players have not yet been confirmed but F1 driver Fernando Alonso will definitely be taking part and Casillas and Nadal could not resist taking pops at the other today.
"Rafa has a good pair of feet but he does not have the vision," quipped the Real Madrid goalkeeper before Nadal responded with: "Iker could do with some tennis lessons, I would even give them for free if he wanted.
The event will take place three days after the clash in the Camp Nou on the December 16.



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On Friday, Nadal was a celebrity representative of a vendor at the Moscow Millionaire Fair, an annual event that attracts some of the wealthiest people on the planet.
"Moscow's not like Ibiza, it's a lot colder," Nadal, who traveled to the Russian capital to promote the luxury houses of Ibiza-based Vitaeibiza Homes.
A throng of journalists met Nadal upon his arrival at the Crocus Expo fair complex, where more than 200 Russian and foreign companies have been exhibiting their luxury goods - everything from cars to yachts to helicopters - amid tight security measures.

Nadal was pictured here with Marat Safin in Moscow.


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A biography called Rafael Nadal: The Biography written by Tom Oldfield and published by John Blake Publishing Ltd will be released in early April 2009.

You may pre-order the book now at Amazon.

(Images via Yahoo! Sport, kickette.com, menstennisforums.com, amazon.co.uk)

Rendy Lu Yen-Hsun featured on Taiwanese version of 'Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader'

Yesterday Rendy Lu Yen-Hsun was featured on a Taiwanese version of the popular game show 'Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader'.

The show was know as 百萬小學堂 hos
ted by the popular Zhang Hsiao-Yen.


According to gare315 on menstennisforums, Rendy appeared to be slightly nervous on his debut TV show appearance.

Rendy was said to be able to reach the 7th stage (out of 9 stages) and earn about 10,000 NT dollars.

(Via menstennisforums.com, Image via Rendy's official website)

Nov 28, 2008

Fernando Verdasco & Ana Ivanovic on a shopping spree in Madrid before Davis Cup final

Fernando Verdasco and Ana Ivanovic were caught on camera while on a shopping spree in Madrid before Davis Cup final.

Looks like the couple were at Hugo Boss getting Nando some suits to wear at the Davis Cup official dinners and receptions. Ana definitely helped pick those suits.


(Via tennisforum.com)

Nov 26, 2008

Davis Cup champion Spain returns to home

Spain’s winning Davis Cup team returned home on Tuesday looking worn out from a night of celebrations followed by a long flight from Argentina.

Fernando Verdasco, Feliciano Lopez, David Ferrer, Marcel Granollers and captain Emilio Sanchez Vicario (photos in sequence) arrived at Madrid’s international airport at 5 a.m. local time.

Due to the early hour, there was little fanfare to greet them.

The Davis Cup trophy wasn’t on the flight but will arrive at the Spanish tennis federation’s headquarters in Barcelona next week.

The trophy’s nationwide tour begins next year at tournaments in Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia.


(Via AP; Images via sportsya.com)

If tennis players were rock stars...

Found a hilarious post on Bleacher Report called "If Tennis Players Were Rock Stars: Who Would They Be?"

Top professional tennis players are no difference from celebrities. They get 5-star treatment wherever they go. And whether it's on-court or off-court, their move are being watched constantly.

According to contributor Vinny Do, "Tennis players are a lot like rock stars. They all have a certain voice."

Here are what he thought the tennis players would be if they were rock stars.

Roger Federer: John Lennon. Just greatness all round, from songwriting to singing to leadership.

Rafael Nadal: Carlos Santana. Virtuoso skill and grit; enough vibrato to make you go wow!

Lleyton Hewitt: Bon Scott from AC/DC.
Both Aussies, and wear school uniforms.

Serena Williams: Tina Turner. Simply the best, and those hmm...thunder thighs.

Marat Safin: Bon Jovi. The looks and the women.

Andy Murray: The guy from "The Darkness." Looks like him, scruffy. Slim.

Andy Roddick: Any boy band member. But he thought it's Brian from the Backstreet boys, can hit the notes, but rarely anything special (Ouch!)

John McEnroe: Bob Dylan. They are both magicians, but couldn't give a hoot what anyone else thinks.

(Via Bleacher Report)

Nov 25, 2008

Making money from tennis blogging

A couple of weeks ago I was surprised to receive a cheque from Cafepress.

I've created an account with them exactly a year ago but I've never hope to make money by selling tennis t-shirts online.

Well, USD$130 is nothing to shout about but the joy of receiving a cheque in the mailbox unexpectedly is simply awesome.

Because of that I've created new prints, RAFABITES and Kei's Gambatte in Japanese. But I still don't have the time to organise my shop yet. So it's a bit messy.

So, what's the joy of blogging about tennis?

Is it because of the money from selling tees, from Google Adsense and ads?


Well, honestly it's not exactly about the money.

I gain more satisfaction from reading about the latest tennis news in other blogs and forums and getting to know other tennis fans and bloggers.

Plus I get the privilege to meet my favourite tennis players and interview them when they are in town.

Now I'm considering to save up the money I make online and watch real tournaments next year. Perhaps a trip to Bangkok or Bali for Thailand Open or Bali Open would be great.

Love is in the air for Kei Nishikori and Ai Fukuhara (updated)

Here's another love story in tennis!

A Japanese gossip weekly magazine reported that Kei Nishikori is dating Japanese table tennis star, Ai Fukuhara.

The 20-year old Fukuhara is best remembered as the flag bearer for the Japanese national team at the recent Beijing Olympics.

According to bunny from MTF, the young couple were seen holding hands in the fashionable Harajuku area in Tokyo while Kei was on holiday in Tokyo earlier this month.

Picture credit to this site.

Apparently, they met at the Beijing Olympics, but only started dating recently after Kei came back to Japan this time.

During the Olympics, Ai Sugiyama was sharing the same flat with Fukuhara in the athletes village, and Kei was in the same flat with table tennis player Shun Muzutani. It is said that Sugiyama was the one who introduced the younger Ai to Kei.

After the Olympics Ai was spotted at the AIG Open.

According to bunny who read in Sugiyama's blog around October, Sugiyama has became good friends of Fukuhara since the Olympics.

Fukuhara is 20 and is one year older than Kei.

Fukuhara is very huge in Japan and every of her move has been followed by the press ever since she emerged as a table tennis wonder kid when she was about 10!

However, Kei's management declined the romance and has only said that they are good friends.

If the romance is indeed true then they will have to endure a long distance relationship because Kei will have to go back to the US and while Ai-chan (whom Fukuhara is affectionately called in Japan) will be in Germany to play at the German Open.

(Via menstennisforums.com; Images via sina.com, nikkansports.com )

David Nalbandian devastated by Davis Cup loss

Guess what David Nalbandian's doing?

No, he's not picking his nose.


Instead he's picking up the pieces after a terrible loss at home in the Davis Cup final last weekend.

A sullen-looking Nalbandian said he was devastated by the loss.
“Understand the pain of a player not being able to score a point in an important series,” Nalbandian said.

“Understand the anguish and unease right now.

“Things went badly, but the terrible weekend is over,” he said.
Nalbandian gave Argentina its only point in the best-of-five series, beating David Ferrer 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in the first singles match Friday.

Nalbandian and Agustin Calleri lost the doubles Saturday to Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco, which left Argentina with the nearly impossible task of winning both reverse singles Sunday to win the title.

Top player Juan Martin Del Potro was injured Friday and did not play Sunday.

Nalbandian, upset by the doubles loss, skipped the mandatory news conference after the match and was fined $5,000.

Argentina Coach Alberto Mancini said Nalbandian left the Islas Malvinas Stadium because he was not feeling well emotionally.


Nalbandian apologized to reporters for missing the Saturday news conference but accused them of spreading rumors that he argued with Calleri following the doubles loss.
“It really hurts the players when people say things that aren’t true,” Nalbandian said, sitting alone in front of a room full of reporters.
Despite his disappointment, Nalbandian questioned those who are pessimistic about Argentina’s future chances in the Davis Cup.
“We made it to two finals in three years. Why aren’t we going to continue having the possibility of reaching our goal (of winning the Davis Cup)?” he said.
Argentina reached the finals in 1981 and 2006, losing to the United States and Russia.

David Nalbandian confirmed Monday he will play for Argentina in the Davis Cup next year, setting aside the possibility he would step down following a painful loss to Spain in the final.
“It bothers me that people have questioned whether I’m continuing with the Davis Cup or not. For me, representing my country is really an honor,” Nalbandian said Monday during a televised news conference in Mar del Plata, the site of Spain’s 3-1 victory over Argentina last weekend.

“I’m going to continue — like I’ve done until this point—defending Argentina’s flag the best way possible.”
(Via AP; Images via Yahoo! Sport, menstennisforums.com)

Nov 24, 2008

Spain dominates the world tennis; upsets Argentina in Davis Cup

No wonder Rafael Nadal can be so relaxed in Mauritius.

The world no. 1 knows Spain doesn't need him to win the Davis Cup.

Spain took its third Davis Cup by beating Argentina on Sunday, thanks to Fernando Verdasco’s five-set victory over Jose Acasuso.

Verdasco became an unlikely hero after successfully outlasted Acasuso 6-3, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 at Islas Malvinas Stadium.

The fans went quiet as Argentina lost at home for the first time in 10 years in Davis Cup competition.
“It’s the most exciting victory of my life,” Verdasco said.

“Playing for my country, against the best players, it’s a dream.”
Verdasco, replacing David Ferrer in the reverse singles, overcame nine double-faults to beat a shaky Acasuso in 3 hours, 56 minutes.

A Spanish supporter holds an underpants that says "Del Potro, we took your underpants off your ass" during the single match of the Davis Cup final.

The 48th-ranked Acasuso was a late replacement for Juan Martin del Potro, who lost his underpants before the match started. Well, no, JMDP was actually injured :D


The 20-year-old Del Potro, one of the hottest players on tour this year, injured his right thigh in a four-set loss to Lopez on Friday.

After winning match point, Verdasco dropped to the court in celebration and was embraced by his teammates.
“Spectacular,” Nadal said on Spanish state television.

“Sincerely, this is history.”
Nadal said he would’ve loved to have been in Argentina to celebrate with his teammates.
“Moments like these, sharing them with your teammates are unforgettable,” Nadal said.

“They played a tremendous tie—it’s time for them to enjoy it.”

Verdasco recognized the efforts of other players who helped Spain reach the final, including Nadal, Tommy Robredo and Nicolas Almagro.
“We have to thank Rafa, Tommy, Almagro,” Verdasco said.

“It is thanks to them we are here.”
Despite the support of nearly 10,000 Argentine fans, Acasuso was not able to keep up with Verdasco, who played well in the doubles win alongside Feliciano Lopez on Saturday.

“I was prepared for the match, but Verdasco played very well in the fourth and fifth sets,” Acasuso said.

“He started serving better and deserves a lot of credit for this win.”
“When you lose such an important player like Juan Martin, it opens a big hole in the team,” Argentina captain Alberto Mancini said.
“After that, things got complicated for us.”
(Via AP, Davis Cup official website; Images via Yahoo! Sport)

Nov 23, 2008

Maria Sharapova in the December issue of GQ Spain

Sexy Maria Sharapova is featured in the December issue of GQ Spain.



By the way, for those who have attended the exhibition match in Kuala Lumpur earlier this week, I'm sure all know that Maria Sharapova will be making her way to Malaysia in November 2009 for an exhibition match.

Not sure who will be joining Ms Sharapova, but from the list of tennis stars under IMG label, I hope it's Nicole Vaidisova or Venus Williams. I don't mind Monica Seles either.

(Via Great Tennis Photos, Women's Tennis Blog)

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