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Dec 11, 2008

Fernando Verdasco to get street named after him

The City of Boadilla del Monte, which is located west of Madrid, has announced that it will dedicate a street to Fernando Verdasco.

The mayor of Boadilla, Arturo Gonzalez Panero, thanked Verdasco for his collaboration with the City Council that last year named him "the best athlete of the year."
"Boadilla can be proud of having international athletes like Verdasco, Angel Nieto and Jesus Carballo, and therefore we have decided we are going to named the streets in a new area of Boadilla after them."

"Soon we will have our street in the Fernando Verdasco street, " the mayor confirmed.
The municipal sources have pointed out that Verdasco, who is from Boadilla since childhood, is considered the fourth best tennis player in Spain.
"His main quality as a tennis player is his physical condition which helped him to break his rival Acasuso in the decisive match that gave Spain its third Davis Cup," he said.
(Via madridiario.es)

Dec 10, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: Q&A with Rendy Lu Yen-Hsun (盧彥勳)

This is an EXCLUSIVE interview with Rendy Lu Yen-Hsun (盧彥勳) who is now training in Kenya. Rendy is currently the world no. 64, just one rank behind Kei Nishikori.


Q1: 請問哪位球員是你的偶像, 尤其是在你職業生涯的初期階段, 哪位球員給你的啟發最大?
Which player is your idol who inspires you a lot especially at the beginning of your career?
A1: 小時候很喜歡山普拉斯打球, 尤其是他在溫布敦的時候,當時讓我們全家人對溫布敦有一種非常特殊的嚮往, 到後來踏入職業,也一直把進入四大公開賽當作是一種目標前進.
I liked to watch Peter Sampras playing when I was a kid, especially, when he played in Wimbledon. And because of him my family yearn for it, until I turned pro and playing in the Grand Slam is always my big aim.

Q2: 在Kei取代你成為亞洲男一號後,你認為他是怎樣的一位球員?而Kei的出現是不是意味著你更應該加倍的去訓練?
You are the no.1 Asian tennis player before Kei overtook you in the recent revised ranking. What do you think about Kei? How do you feel about the emergence of Kei? Does this inspire you to work even harder?
A2: 他是一位非常有淺力的選手,有好的移動速度,打球也有侵略性. 我覺得這是很好啊,只是我還是照我的方式去訓練,並不會因為他而亂了自己的腳步,大家彼此良性進爭,對我們是一個進步動力.
He is gifted, has good moves and plays aggressively. I think it is good, but I am training with my own way, I will not be changed by anyone, we learn from each other, make progress together, so for us, this kind of drives us to be better.

Q3: 能否與我們分享一下在本次北京奧運會上擊敗世界四號種子Andy Murray後的心情?而又是什麼激發了你,從而讓你最終戰勝了他?
Can you share with us how he felt when you beat the world no. 4 Andy Murray at the recent Beijing Olympics? What actually motivates you to win at that match?
A3: 興奮,證明我的能力可以擊敗頂尖的選手,也讓我更有信面對這些頂尖選手. 其實賽前我沒有想很多,我只告訴自己這是我的比賽我的時間,我會不會讓她好過的想法. 當時我就是這樣想,最終我做到了.
Excited, that proved to the people that I can win the top players, and also makes me have more confidences when I play with them. Actually, I didn’t think about too much things before the match, I just told myself, it was my show, I would not treat him well, that’s what I thought in the time, and in the end, I really made it.

Q4: 你是不是也是一位臺灣流行樂迷?誰是你最喜歡的臺灣歌手?
Do you follow the music scene in Taiwan? Who is your favorite Taiwanese singer?
A4: 我喜歡聽歌,但沒有特定的. 但我喜歡較慢的抒情歌,台灣有很多歌手都唱的非常的好,例如:王力宏 菜依琳 周杰倫…等. 每個真的都有不同特色,我會去選歌不會去選人.
Yes, I do, but at random. I like some tender songs, We have lots nice singers in Taiwan, such like Lee Hom, Jolin Tsai, Jay Chou, they are all stylish. In the most of the time, I follow to the songs not the singer.

Rendy thinks Jolin Tsai is stylish and talented :D

Q5: 在臺灣,誰是你的固定訓練搭檔?
Who is your regular practice partner when you are back in Taiwan?
A5: 我常在國外,但在台灣的時間並不常,在的時候都是以體能為主,之後我哥哥會花時間. 陪練習送球給我打,假如需要練習比賽可能在找一些青少年選手,所以我哥哥是我主要練習的對象之一.
I spend most of my time living overseas, so when I am in Taiwan, I usually have physical training, then my brother will be my practice partner. But if we have some practice match, I will practice with some junior players, so my brother is one of the regular practice partners.

Q6: 在你所參加過的所有巡迴賽中,哪一項是你最喜歡或者說最難忘的?
Of all the tournaments you have participated, which match is your favourite or memorable ones?
A6: 我喜歡英國女皇杯草地的賽是,因為那是我第一參加ATP單打會內賽的地方. 更重要也擊敗當時世界第二阿根廷選手(Guillermo) Coria ,我喜歡那邊的一切.
I like Queen's Club because that's the place where I started my first ATP match. And also, it is the place where I won former world No.2 Argentina player Guillermo Coria, I like every single thing there.

Q7: 請問你為何總是很少參加紅土比賽?
Why do you seldom play clay tournament?
A7: 第一原因我從小就在硬地球場長大,紅土球場的技術不是這麼的熟悉, 所以才會放棄紅土比賽去選擇自己叫擅長的場地,而我需要一些時間來練習紅土. 我想這市下個階段必要做的.
The main reason is, I was trained on the hard court when I was a kid, so for me, clay court is quite strange. So, I'd rather play on courts that I'm good at and give the clay court up. I need some time to train on clay court, and this is the thing what I need in the near future.

Q8: 你最喜歡哪個國家?
Which country is your favorite?
A8: 我最喜歡台灣,因為整年都在國外跑,其實沒有太多的時間待在台灣,雖然從小就習慣這裡的生活方式,但總覺得這裡是最親近自己的地方,也有很多地方我都還沒有真正去過.
I like Taiwan, because I have to travel around the world all the year, so I don’t have much time to stay in my homeland. Although Taiwan is my home land, but there are still lots places I haven’t been, and also Taiwan is the place where I can find myself.

Q9: 在雙打比賽中,你最喜歡與哪位球員合作?
Which player do you like to cooperate with in the doubles event?
A9: 到目前為止,我應該會選Rainer Schuttler,因為我們一起拿過一座ATP雙打的頭銜,而跟他搭配也讓我可以很盡情的發揮.
For now, I will say Rainer Schuttler, because we have won an ATP doubles title. Playing with him, I feel like I can play what I want.

Q10: 你是否覺得亞洲球員有能力在不久的將來贏得一項大滿貫的頭銜?
Do you see an Asian tennis player winning a Slam sometime in the next few years?
A10: 我覺得是有可能發生,現在亞洲選手實力越來越好,而要贏得大滿貫需要時力還要些運氣, 但我相信有一天會實現.
I think nothing is impossible because nowadays, Asian tennis players have improved their games, but we still need some luck to win the Grand Slam, but I still believe, someday we will make it.

Q11: 有沒有興趣在將來的某一天選擇去大學深造?如果是,請問你會選擇哪一項學科領域呢?
Would you be interested in going to university someday? What subject area(s) are you interested in?
A11: 我對歷史很有大的興趣,我不能確定我會選什麼科系,但歷史給我很多想像和知道之前發生什麼事情,我對它真的有很特別的感覺.
I am interested in history indeed, but I can’t be sure what subject I will choose. History gives me lots of imagination spaces to know what happened before. I really have special feeling of it.

Q12: 你覺得在亞洲發展網球運動還需要做些什麼?
What do you think could be done to further develop tennis in Asia?
A12: 很多,而有些國家已經發展的不錯也投入了很多精力,但畢竟網球在亞洲開始比較慢,所以一些資訊和發展相對落後其他國家,而現在趨向地球村,很多資訊越來越 容易得到,但亞洲需要一些時間,不管是在推廣或培育都要花更多精力去做,這樣網球在亞洲才能越來越普及,選手也會越來越好.
Lots, and some countries has already did a lot for the tennis, but as we all know, tennis in Asia, it started so late, so we still need to learn a lot from the countries which has a good tennis history. To get some information and experience from them. All in all, it still needs you to spend lots time on it, to popularize and develop it, so that tennis will become a popular event here in Asia, and our Asian players will play better than before.

Q13: 當我第一次看到你比賽的時候是在2004年的上海喜力公開賽,那個時候場上的你猶如一個剛剛轉入職業選手的新人(對不起),不過當我去年在北京看到你比賽的時候,你改變了許多,變地非常有自信,可否告訴我們,是什麼改變了你,讓你變的比以前更有自信?
The first time I saw you play was in 2004 Heineken Shanghai, that time you played like a freshman who just turned to pro, but last year I saw you play in Beijing, you changed a lot. You are more confident, so could you tell us, what changed you?
A13: 其實很多事情讓我慢慢轉變,經歷很多比賽的洗禮,受傷時的沉澱,而慢慢找出怎樣才是對的方向. 有時看似簡單,但也有可能一年過一年卻還沒有變法找到,但我覺得這幾年讓我領悟一些事情,不管球場上或是球場外,都對我很有幫助.
Lots of things makes me grow up and after playing so many matches, and during the injured times, they all have guided me to find the right direction. It looks very easy, but for sure, some times it really needs time to realize maybe one year, or maybe you can’t find the answer at all. But for me, I think, in the past few years, I’ve realized something not only in the court, but also off court, it all helped me a lot.

Q14: 在北京看你比賽的時候,我聽到你在回球時會叫喊,聽上去像是一個詞或者什麼的,可不可以告訴我,那究竟是什麼詞呢?
I heard you scream in the court when I was watching you play last year in Beijing, it sounded like a word or something else, could you please tell me what is it?
A14: 那是我一個換氣的方式,並沒有什麼特別意思.
It is just my breath way, nothing special.

Q15: 請問你一般每天會訓練多少個小時?
How many hours do you train daily?
A15: 一天至少四個小時,冬天訓練甚至到六個小時,但比賽期就依身體狀況而定.
4 hours at least per day, and during the winter, it might be 6 hours, but during the match season, it depends on my body.

Q16: 在你不比賽訓練的時候,你喜歡讀書嗎?喜歡什麼樣的書籍呢?
Do you read when you get off from the court? What kind of book you would like to read?
A16: 我喜歡看書,看書讓我心情平靜,我喜歡看有關歷史的書籍,這讓我感到興趣
I like reading, it makes me calm. I like historical novel, very interested in it.

Q17: 事實上, 我和我的朋友在4年前的上海喜力網球公開賽上成為了你的粉絲。那個時候你和你的媽媽在一起,可能你已經忘記了,那個時候你非常的害羞,所以大部分的時間, 我們都是和你的媽媽在交談。讓我印象深刻的是,你媽媽對我們說了“謝謝”。那是我迄今為止第一次聽到現役的網球運動員對球迷表示感謝,記憶非常深刻。最近 一次見到你是在北京,當你遺憾地輸給了韓國的李亨澤,當你走出賽場的時候看起來非常沮喪,但當我走向你並索要合影的時候,你卻依然給了我一個很燦爛的微 笑,真的非常感激!因此我的問題是,不管你的粉絲來自哪個國家,你最想對他們說些什麼呢?
Actually, my friend and I became a fan of yours since we met you in Shanghai 4 years ago, that time you were with your mum, you might forget, you were very shy, so in the most of the time, we talked with your mum. She said 'thank you' to us, till now, I never heard any tennis players did that like you do, so really impressed me. The latest time I saw you was the day in Beijing after you lost the game to Korean Lee, you were so close, but pity, you lost. You looked so sad when you came out from the court, I went up to you and asked for a picture, You gave me a sunny smile, I really appreciate! So my question is, What do you want to say to your fans wherever she/he comes from?
A17: 感謝你們的支持和鼓勵,其實運動選手的成功也需要你們不吝嗇給予掌聲,這才能激發我們的鬥志與信念.
Thank you all for your support and encouragement. To be honest, without your applause, your love, and your support nobody can become a good players, and you guys inspire me to fight to win matches.

Special thanks to Esther for forwarding these questions to Rendy via his brother Thomas. Also thank you to Xin Yue of Shanghai who helped us to translate this Q&A. And thanks to Ali, Kino, Elvis, Zara and others in menstennisforums.com for the questions.

Dominika Cibulkova is Slovakia's Women’s Tennis Player of the Year

Dominika Cibulkova received the 2008 Women’s Tennis Player Award in Slovakia.

And of course for amazing moment like this she shared it with boyfriend, Jurgen Melzer by inviting him to the ceremony.

By the way, Cibulkova will be teaming up with countryman Dominik Hrbaty in next month's Hopman Cup.

(Images via WTA Women Tennis)

Dec 9, 2008

Serena Williams pulls out of Hopman Cup

I'm actually looking forward to this tournament because of the great line up of players.

It's pretty sad that Serena Williams will not be teaming up with James Blake to play against the brother and sister team Marat Safin and Dinara Safina.

Williams announced that she has to withdraw from next month's Hopman Cup mixed teams event after suffering from a hamstring injury.

The US Open winner injured her hamstring in the year-ending WTA Championships and has not been able to recover in time to prepare for the Perth tournament, although she still intends to play the Australian Open later in January.

World No.10 Blake will now be partnered by Meghann Shaughnessy.

When Blake was in Malaysia last month, I had the opportunity to ask him a question regarding the Hopman Cup.



Teams who will be playing are: US (Meghann Shaughnessy/James Blake x1), Russia (Marat Safin/Dinara Safina x2), France (Alize Cornet/Gilles Simon x3), Australia (Casey Dellacqua/Lleyton Hewitt x4), Italy (Simone Bolelli/Flavia Pennetta x5), Germany (Sabine Lisicki/Nicolas Kiefer x6), Slovak Republic (Dominika Cibulkova/Dominik Hrbaty x7), Taiwan (Su-Wei Hsieh/Lu Yen-Hsun x8).

(Via AFP)

Novak Djokovic has both tennis & entrepreneurial skills

At first glance I thought Novak Djokovic's newly opened restaurant has exclusive karaoke rooms and selling Chinese food too.

Well, okay those are not chopsticks but drinking straws.

According to Great Tennis Photos, "Novak" is opened in Belgrade and its menu includes Argentinian, Spanish, Italian and many other international food.

Okay, perhaps there are Chinese food indeed.

Now opening a family restaurant is an achievement for the Djokovic family.

But bringing the first ATP tournament to Belgrade in May next year is an even bigger achievement for the world no. 3 player in the world and his family.

After excellent results of all our tennis players recently, we've managed to put Serbia on the tennis map of the world. Serbia deserves that. Belgrade lives for tennis, at least that's my impression", said Djokovic at the press conference.
The tournament will be organised by Family Sport, with $500,000 prize money (approximately 390,000 euros).

The tournament directors are Nikola Pilic and Novak's uncle Goran.
"I've already had talks with some players about their coming to Belgrade, but I couldn't do it more seriously, until we were sure we were going to get the tournament organisation, which happened only in the end of the season. We will certainly do that now", added Djokovic.

"It's not the most important thing that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray play in Belgrade. It's important that we have high quality matches, because no one of us has experience in organising tournaments, except Nikola Pilic."
"Pilic's experience is necessary, I will also help, because as a player I've seen what those small tournaments lack in. We also got a good schedule, because the clay season starts 2 weeks before our tournament", said Djokovic.
Goran Djokovic said that "Family Sport" had got the licence for the tournament that had previously been held in Amersfort, where Novak won his first ATP title in 2006, on indefinite period of time.

Pilic and Goran promised that the tournament in Belgrade would be the best in the world among the other of the same prize fund.
"The first year is always unpredictable, but we'll bring interesting players, and organise the best tournament of that grade", said Pilic.
Belgrade mayor Dragan Djilas thanked the Djokovic family, and described the fact that Serbia's capital will host an ATP tournament as "a great thing".

"This is fantastic thing for Belgrade, especially for all the children, that dream to become like Novak one day. We're back on the European map where we belong", said Djilas.
Ana Ivanovic is reportedly negotiating to buy a franchise for a WTA event in Belgrade next winter.

(Via Great Tennis Photos, Novak Djokovic's official website)

Kei Nishikori wins Mark Knowles Celebrity Invitational in Bahamas

Kei Nishikori is back from his knee injury with a win at the Mark Knowles Celebrity Invitational in Bahamas.

He participated along with other pros such as Mark Knowles (of course), Alex Kuznetsov, Xavier Malisse, Hugo Armando, Ryan Sweeting, Don Johnson, Sabine Lisicki, and Michaela Krajicek.

Kei won the Celebrity Pro-Am last weekend by playing against amateur and local Bahamian businessman Jeff Everett.

The event raised over $100,000 for three children’s charities.

Knowles who was born in Nassau launched the first Mark Knowles Celebrity Tennis Invitational in Paradise Island in order to support different Bahamian charities. Andre Agassi and James Blake are among the high profile tennis players who have hit the courts in the past.

(Images by Matt Dunn/Matt Dunn Photography via nicktennispicks.com, thebahamasweekly.com)

Ana Ivanovic & Vera Zvonareva pose on nothing but the couch

Can't they find other places to pose other than the couch? Personally I prefer seeing the players photo shooting outdoor.

Here are more photos of Ana Ivanovic on Sportet & Style L'equipe.


On the other hand, Vera Zvonareva is featured on the PRO Sports Magazine, a Russian magazine. Check out her pretty blue eyes.


(Images via WTA Women Tennis)


Dec 8, 2008

What do Anando & Kei-Ai have in common?

Both hot and young couples were caught hugging and kissing on camera (finally!) :D

Ana Ivanovic were seen picking up boyfriend Fernando Verdasco at the airport in Mallorca at night.

I guess they must be heading to Ana's 4.5 million euros villa after that?

Last month, Kei Nishikori and table tennis princess Ai Fukuhara were spotted hugging and kissing in Tokyo. Here's the kissing photo (small inset photo) which was not posted in my previous post.

Back to Ana and Nando, they were spotted training together many times. Hopefully they motivate each other to practice hard and play better in year 2009.

Last weekend Ana went to Ferrol to support Nando at the Master Nacional-Copa del Rey exhibition. However, he didn't make good use of those practice with Ana and lost to Robredo 1-6, 7-5, 6-4.


(Images via menstennisforums.com, tennisforum.com, Women's Tennis Blog)


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