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Feb 14, 2009

Virtua Tennis 2009 set to be a smash hit this May

The new edition of Virtua Tennis 2009 will be released this May!

Having played Virtua Tennis 3 before, I'm looking forward to the new
fully integrated online ranking system (under the World Tour Mode), as well as the improved volleying, serving and net play, and player stumbling!

This is how the Virtua Tennis 3 looks like if you haven't played before. It's very realistic!



There will also be a new line-up of players such as Andy Murray and Ana Ivanovic whom I supposed will be replacing players like Sebastian Grojean and Martina Hingis.


Virtua Tennis 2009 will feature singles, doubles and mixed doubles matches, as well as Davis Cup play and a number of minigames.

In those Court Games, don't be surprised to see "crocodiles, fruit and pirates".

Actually many of these functions are already available in Virtua Tennis 3. Check out Rafael Nadal practicing his footwork with huge tennis balls and apples :D



SEGA also announced that Virtua Tennis series will be available on Wii platform.
"The Virtua Tennis series is perfect for the Wii platform."

"SEGA is excited to be able to bring this uniquely interactive experience to Wii."

"The multiplayer Court Games in particular will be a feature that family and friends can enjoy together," Sean Ratcliffe the VP of Marketing SEGA of America said.
Virtua Tennis is also available on PC, Xbox, Playstation and PSP platforms.

(Via sega.com, shacknews.com)


James Blunt's VIP invitation for Ana Ivanovic

Guess what, James Blunt wants to serenade Ana Ivanovic with his melancholic vocals!

The British singer will be performing a concert in Expo Centre, Belgrade on February 23 and he has extended an official invitation to Ana to come to his performance.

James said he is a "great lover of tennis" and his "favourite tennis player is Ana".


You know, last year Josh Hartnett also revealed his secret crush on Ana but never acted on it.

Okay I like James (especially after his appearance on Oprah).

But the idea of him dating Ana ain't working for me!

Updates:
Too bad for James Blunt. Ana just rejected his invitation.

(Via WTA Women Tennis, Blic Online; Image via tennisforum.com)

Feb 13, 2009

Grigor Dimitrov steals the show at ABN Amro

Wimbledon and US Open junior champ, Grigor Dimitrov made his professional debut at the ABN Amro this week and he certainly made good use of the wild card given him.

First he defeated Tomas Berdych 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

And last night, he pushed Rafael Nadal to a three setter.

Nadal survived after pulling out a 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 victory to advance to the quarterfinals.
“He will certainly be a great player and for sure reach the top 10,” Nadal said.
Grigor Dimitrov's new coach, Peter Lundgren, who has coached Marcelo Rios, Marat Safin and Roger Federer, considers the Bulgarian one of the world's biggest talents.
"This boy has the potential to win a "Grand Slam" tournament. He's even better than Federer was when he was his age.

"Grigor makes excellent volleys and has better physic than Roger. We are now starting to advance in the men's tournaments and hope to enter the top 100 this year", Lundgren comments.
With his good looks and talent, this boy is definitely going to go far.

Check out a couple of his photos from the US Open and Wimbledon last year.


(Via AP, news.bg; Images via zimbio, daylife.com)

Who will fill Pistol Pete's tennis shoes?

I never believe Pete Sampras is actually a funny guy.

I grew up watching him play on TV. To me he was a boring and serious (but a great) tennis player.

He played against Tommy Haas in an exhibition match on Monday. And I'm sure you already know who was the winner.

Updated: Tommy's pictures specially for Mila :D



(Images via SAP Open website)

Serena Williams joins Rafael Nadal against new drug-testing rules

Serena Williams joins Rafael Nadal who criticize the new anti-doping procedures in tennis.

In the new rules, players must let drug-testers know their whereabouts for a period of 1 hour on EVERY DAY of the week - a measure which Nadal said makes players feel "like a criminal".

Andy Murray called it "draconian".


Previously players only need to keep anti-doping authorities informed of their whereabouts on 5 days a week.


After her 6-1, 6-2 victory over Karolina Sprem in the second round of the Paris Open last night (I slept half way through the match), Serena spoke to the press and backed Nadal over the drug-testing issue.

"It's too much," she said.

"If I want to go on vacation to Barbados for one day, I shouldn't have to say I'm going to Barbados.
"

"I'm always complaining to my agents. I never tell people where I am, because I like to do my own thing."
According to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rule operates on a 'three strikes and out' basis over a period of 18 months.

Serena thinks she had already fallen foul of that rule!

"One time, I was out at dinner and someone turned up at my house to test me. I think I might even have got a strike."

"It's bizarre. I can't run home from dinner and get tested. It's very invasive."
However Serena believes this move is to help make tennis drug-free and safeguard the sport's reputation.
"I think tennis is the purest sport out there," she said.

"We won't have problems in tennis that we have in other sports, so it's definitely a pure sport and that's the only upside to it."

(Via AFP, Image via opendfsuez.com)

Feb 12, 2009

Pre-Valentine's Day post: Jelena Jankovic and boyfriend Mladjan Janovic say Hello!

I think it never really crossed our minds that Jelena Jankovic and boyfriend Mladjan Janovic would do a photo shoot together for a magazine.

The couple is featured on the cover of the latest Serbia's Hello magazine.

Aren't they match made in heaven? Now bring on the wedding!


Now back on court news, I've just finished watching the match between JJ and Li Na on Eurosport.

I can't believe JJ needed 3 sets to beat Li Na 6-0, 3-6, 6-2 to reach the Paris Open quarterfinals!


JJ will have a tough match against French player Alize Cornet next.

Updated: Gosh, I can't believe I ended this post in such an unromantic note.

(Images via tennisforum.com, Serbia's Hello! magazin)

The Ratiwatana twins simply not ready for the Bryan twins

Wildcard recipients, the Ratiwatana twins knew they were in trouble before lost to world no. 1 doubles team Bob and Mike Bryan 6-0, 6-3 in the opening match at the US$436,000 SAP Open in San Jose on Tuesday.

The Thai twin brothers were simply not prepared for tough opponents like the Bryan twins.

The problem started on Monday when
Sonchat and Sanchai were stuck at the airport in Philadelphia due to flight delays and were only due to fly to California on Tuesday morning for the match scheduled for evening.
"We asked the organisers to move the match to Wednesday but they didn't seem to sympathise with us."

" We just hoped to have a day's practice and be fresh for the match,'' complained Sonchat, who won a challenger event in Poland on last Sunday.
However the
Ratiwatana twins expressed they were excited to play the world top doubles pair, especially when they are twins like them.

(Via nationmultimedia.com; Image via SAP Open website)

Rafael Nadal meets Esther Vergeer & his brand new Aston Martin

Champion wheelchair tennis player Esther Vergeer of Netherlands finally met Rafael Nadal at a tennis exhibition at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

Vergeer, a multiple Paralympic champion, is well known for her winning streak. So does Nadal who dominates the clay court.

Some off court news, Nadal received his perk for winning the Australian Open. It comes in a cool Aston Martin!

He took his Mom for a ride in the brand new car instead of girlfriend, Xisca.


(Images via zimbio)

Tennis babes trade court time for the beach in Sports Illustrated 2009 swimsuit issue

Grab a copy of the Sports Illustrated 2009 swimsuit issue this week because Daniela Hantuchova, Maria Kirilenko and Tatiana Golovin are the latest tennis babes who posed for the magazine.

The three players spent five days on a secluded beach of Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic for their photo shoot, which was photographed by Walter Iooss Jr.

Here are some of my favourites.

Daniela Hantuchova





Maria Kirilenko





Tatiana Golovin




(Via sportsillustrated.cnn.com)

Feb 11, 2009

An interview with John Lee, the team leader of Taiwan Cheering Team

Finally I'm back in the blogosphere after disappearing for few days.

Let's start off with the Davis Cup match between Taiwan and Kazakhstan.

During the week when the absence of Taiwan's top player Rendy Lu Yen-Hsun and Kazakhstan's three top-200 Russian imports threatened to grab the headlines of their Asia/Oceania Zone Group I Davis Cup tie, unheralded Chen Ti had the last laugh.

Chen defeated world no. 180 Yuri Schukin 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1 to give Taiwan a 3-1 lead in a 4-1 victory over the visitors.

In that crucial 4th rubber, credit has to be given to the Taiwan cheering team who cheered Chen and his teammates to success.

Elvis took the picture of John Lee in his famous wig.

Thanks to Elvis Dai who was there at the stadium and managed to get hold of John Lee, the Taiwan cheering team leader.

Hey, Esther, thank you for the translation too :-)

It's time for tennis blogger to recognise the cheering team leader his effort!

Q1. How does it feel as the leader of the cheering team?
JOHN LEE: I am proud to be the leader, and fans were part of the team members besides the players. In example, the cheering group played an important role during the double's match and Chen Ti's 4th rubber. That was a crucial moment and the support had given the players spirit to fight hard.

Q2. What motivates you to form a cheering team?
JOHN LEE: I used to be a member of The Fanatics cheering group which is based in Australia. My participation in the Fanatics cheering team had inspired me to form my very own Taiwan cheering team. It feels great when a group of people gather together to support the sportsmen. So, I formed a group called "Taiwan Woo"
.

John Lee in his Bruce Lee uniform holding cutie pie baby Savi.

Q3: Why do you choose yellow as the official team colour? And why the Bruce Lee image?
JOHN LEE: I didn't choose blue or green because there have political meaning in Taiwan.
So, I think yellow is a brighter colour and suitable for my team and the most important is, it is a political-free colour.

About Bruce Lee, that was a coincidence image that I brought into my team, i didn't have the intention to use Bruce Lee as our trademark. I bought the yellow attire from Japan and I had wore it at one of the Davis Cup event in Taiwan. My friend told me, I was like Bruce Lee and the image does suit Taiwan Woo. That's why I wear the attire until now.


You can visit John Lee's blog at http://kunlinjohnlee.pixnet.net/blog

By the way, Taiwan will host India on March 6-8. I think most of us will expect a stiff competition between these two countries.

(Images by Elvis Dai and via John Lee's blog)


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