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Feb 20, 2009

George 'Samurai' Bastl has fallen

Usually I don't blog about fashion or hairstyle but I don't want to miss talking about George Bastl's samurai hairstyle.

The lucky loser and fallen samurai was defeated by Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 in round 2 at the Open 13, in Marseille yesterday.

If do remember, Bastl is the guy who famously known for upsetting Pete Sampras in a five-set thriller at Wimbledon in 2002.

(Images via Open 13 official website)

Unseen before photos of Chinese players at the party in Dubai

Here are the photos of Zheng Jie, Yan Zi and Sun Tiantian (in sequence) taking their turn to hold a falcon during a party in the Gulf Emirate of Dubai.

*Yawn* Can't they have something more interesting to do?

By the way, Yan Zi looks as if she got knocked up :P


(Images via sports.sina.cn)

Zheng Jie on CNN TalkAsia

After Jelena Jankovic was featured on CNN's TalkAsia earlier this month, it was Zheng Jie's turn last week.

I missed this show on TV but managed to watch this one on website.

I couldn't embed the videos from CNN here again. So I have to do the alternative way, that is to upload the video files on youtube.

This interview is a bit boring, mainly shows Zheng Jie on practice court and at the gym.

Perhaps the only highlight in this interview (besides the interview itself) is Zheng Jie's and her hubby's flirtatious gestures in the gym, on the floor in part 2 :P

Part 1: Beating the Best



Part 2: Practice Makes Perfect



Part 3: Serving Up



International debut of the world’s most vibrant tennis court on Monday

Last year Kei Nishikori grabbed the headlines by becoming the first Japanese player to win at Delray Beach in almost 16 years.

But this year Kei will not be back to Delray Beach to defend his title as he'll be heading back to Japan to join his teammates for Davis Cup match against China.

Nevermind that Kei is not here because there's another reason why you should keep an eye on this tennis event.

From next Monday onwards, the world will be introduced to one of the most unique and visual tennis courts right here at Delray Beach!

Describing the tennis courts, yellowtennisball.com said, "Whales, dolphins, swordfish, waves and bubbles are emblazoned on the east and west sidewalls of center court in a palette full of eye-catching colors."
"Doug Hoekzema, Angel Mir, Brandon Opalka, Raphael Rodriguez and Peter Agardy are the visionaries who together in just two days—starting with only a concept—captured the essence and flavor of the waves and marine life to enhance the murals from the on-court wave scenes that first appeared at the 2008 tournament. "
According to the Executive Director of the International Tennis Championships (ITC), John Butler said, “When the world turns on their television or downloads the tournament on-line they will be shocked by the brilliant display of colors and art creatively found on our court backdrops."

“It is simply amazing, a feast for the eyes - which will in no part take away from the players concentration or block their field of play!”

(Via yellowtennisball.com)


Feb 19, 2009

Ana Ivanovic rejects James Blunt's VIP invitation

Looks like Ana just broke someone's heart.

James Blunt's hopes to meet the tennis beauty after his concert in Belgrade next week have been dashed simply because Ana is too busy.


In last week's post, James was said to have asked the organizers of his concert to invite the Serbian sensation to his concert as he is a big fan of her.
"Ana Ivanovic was honoured with the invitation as she listens to James Blunt's music," said her spokesman.

"However, she would not be able to be present in Belgrade on February 23rd (due) to career engagements."
Maybe Ana is only into sportsmen.

Well, James, just forget it and start writing a new hit song... perhaps with the title "You're Beautiful, But Goodbye My Love". :D


(Via Austrian Times)


Gilles Simon survives Grigor Dimitrov scare in Marseille

Gilles Simon almost become the latest victim of the upcoming, cute-looking and abs-flaunting kid.

The Frenchman had to come back from 5-2 down in the last set to beat Grigor Dimitrov who is affectionately known as Grisha 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the first round of the Open 13 yesterday.
"From the moment I broke back, I felt much better," Simon said.

"That hurt him physically and mentally, and I won the next games quite easily."
Well, Gilles, I don't think it's going to hurt Grisha in long term though.

Grisha who has just turned pro is certainly making his mark in the ATP tour this year.

Gosh, how I wish Yang Tsung Hua can achieve that too but it's not going to happen if he sticks with his current management. Tsung Hua already missed the opportunity of his lifetime by not taking IMG's offer.

Back to Grisha, I've just digged up a youtube of him showing middle finger to the chair umpire.



Boy, this kid sure have lotsa fire!

He reminds me of the young Roger who smashed his racquet right in front of the umpire.


(Images via downthelinetennis.com, Open 13 website)

Feb 18, 2009

Elena Dementieva celebrates 500th career wins

Congrats to Elena for becoming the 27th woman in the Open Era to record 500 career singles victories!

She was presented a huge cake for her achievement after defeated Sybille Bammer in the second round at the Barclays Dubai tourney.

(Images via tennisforum.com)

Work: It's either fun or suck

While Jelena Jankovic is having a boring day signing autographs at the WTA Barclays Dubai, Ana Ivanovic is having a great time looking pretty for a photo shoot.


(Images by Blahar (Ana's forum) via tennisforum.com)

Roger Federer to sit out of Davis Cup and Dubai tournament

Is he still recovering from the Australian Open heartache?

Roger Federer said he’ll miss Switzerland’s Davis Cup matches against the U.S. next month and next week’s tennis tournament in Dubai so he can fully recover from a back injury sustained last year.
“As a precautionary measure, I will use the next few weeks to make sure the back injury is fully rehabilitated and I am ready for the rest of the 2009 season,” Federer said on his website yesterday.

“This was a hard decision to make as I am missing not only one of my favorite events on tour in Dubai, but I am also missing out on an opportunity to help my country try and move on to the next round of Davis Cup."
Recover soon, Roger!

(Via rogerfederer.com)

Feb 17, 2009

What the players said about Shahar Peer UAE ban

Dinara Safina: "It's pretty disappointing she's not playing here. She's a great player and a great athlete. I hope she will have many more chances. I think the WTA is doing its best for them."

Amelie Mauresmo:
"It's not acceptable. I think sport should be above issues like that to do with religion and wars and whatever. I'm surprised."


Elena Dementieva: "I feel very sorry for her. She's a very good girl and very sensitive. I played her in Auckland and there was some kind of demonstration during the match. I just feel sad for her. She really cares about what's going on between Israel and Palestine and it's just a very tough situation. I think the tour takes it seriously and I wish she could play in Dubai."

Venus Williams: “All the players support Shahar. We are all athletes, and we stand for tennis.”

Ana Ivanovic: "It's very unfortunate, I feel very sorry for her. Shahar is a friend of mine and I feel sorry she's not here. It's always a pity to mix politics and sport. But the WTA is looking into it."

(Images via sports.sina.cn)

Rendy Lu Yen-Hsun is back as Asia's top-ranked ATP player

Rendy Lu has improved his ATP ranking again to no. 57 and overtakes Kei Nishikori as Asia's no. 1 ATP player.

Too bad for Kei, he becomes the biggest mover this week as his ranking dropped from no. 56 to 90!

In the meanwhile, here are some updates about Rendy.

He was at the SAP Open last week.

Although he did not play due to a knee injury, he was invited by the tournament director to attend several functions including an autograph session and meet the fans, participated in Kids' Day and spent the evening with fans (dinner and tennis matches).

Rendy will be playing in Memphis facing Mardy Fish in the first round. Kei will also be making his first appearance here.

Good luck to the both of them!

(Images via SAP Open website, Rendy Lu's official website)

Feb 16, 2009

Rafael Nadal: It's not the knee, so no worry!

Rafael Nadal who received treatment on his right leg during yesterday's final of the ABN Amro, which he lost to Andy Murray, said the problem it's not with his knee.
"It's not the knee, so there's no worry about that," Nadal said.

"I'm sure I will recover quickly. It's nothing similar to last year. It's a lot less worrisome, let's hope."
Hence, Nadal will skip the next ATP tourney in Dubai, but he should be back in time to play for Spain in the Davis Cup next month.

Angel Ruiz-Cotorro, the Spain team doctor, said Nadal had strained a ligament below the knee against Murray but that the injury was not severe and that he should recover quickly.
"The injury is a result of a combination of things, from fatigue to the change of playing surface," Ruiz-Cotorro said.
In the meanwhile, Nadal is back in Madrid today signing an agreement with an insurance company, Mapfre. Princess Elena of Spain also present at the sponsor event.



(Via The Canadian Press; Images via Rafael Nadal official website)

Ana Ivanovic is lack of love

Ana doesn't look good in this latest picture from Dubai, isn't she?

The acne caused by hormonal imbalance could only mean one thing (or two)... Ana is single and she needs lotsa love :D

(Image via tennisforum.com)

Feb 15, 2009

Rafael Nadal doesn't like losing to Andy Murray

The world no.1's face says it all! He seems pissed off LOL!

Andy Murray has beaten an injured (*yawn*) Rafael Nadal 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 at the ABN Amro tournament.

Just like the hard court, hopefully Nadal will find ways to deal with Murray soon.

Anyway, Nadal's fans shouldn't be worrying too much. Instead Novak Djokovic and his fans should because Murray is closing the gap to top three.


(Images by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

Shahar Peer denied visa by UAE; Dubai could lose its WTA membership

Why me???

Israeli Shahar Peer caught up in a political controversy (what else?!) again.

The UAE refused to grant a visa to Shahar, which means preventing her from competing in the Barclays Dubai.


WTA said it was "deeply disappointed" that Peer was being denied entry to the country hosting the tournament.

However WTA did not cancel the tournament.


The move is against WTA policy, whereby no player should be barred from competing in a tournament for which she has qualified.

Dubai could lose its WTA membership next year over the ban on Shahar, according to the WTA's rules.
"We are deeply disappointed by the decision of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) denying Shahar Peer a visa that would permit her to enter the country to play in the Dubai Tennis Championships," said Larry Scott, chairman and chief executive of the tour.
"Ms. Peer has earned the right to play in the tournament and it is regrettable that the UAE is denying her this right."

"Following various consultations, the Tour has decided to allow the tournament to continue to be played this week, pending further review by the Tour's Board of Directors."

"Ms. Peer and her family are obviously extremely upset and disappointed by the decision of the UAE and its impact on her personally and professionally, and the Tour is reviewing appropriate remedies for Ms. Peer, and also will review appropriate future actions with regard to the future of the Dubai tournament," Scott said.

"The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour believes very strongly, and has a clear rule and policy, that no host country should deny a player the right to compete at a tournament for which she has qualified by ranking."
The Dubai Tennis Championships began Sunday and a cool 2 million dollars in prize money is at stake.

Updates
While I believe a player shouldn't be denied his/her rights to play in any tournament he/she qualified for, let us just face it and accept that this practice is nothing new.

For example, Pakistani player Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi was simply delayed in his Indian visa resulted in his non participation in Chennai Open.

Read Reem's blog here (she's from Eygpt) and try to understand her point of view too.

I think Shahar and all of us have to start accepting the fact that she'll possibly be denied visas in other Islamic countries too.

At this moment Shahar should stay out of controversies until the political tension has improved (I wonder when) and play in only countries where is she welcomed.

(Via cnn.com; Image by Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images)

Sania Mirza right on track to be back in top 30

Suddenly Sania Mirza is in the final at the Pattaya Open and is ready to take on top seed Vera Zvonareva!

Unranked Sania had to pull off a tough fight before overcame eighth-ranked Magdalena Rybarikova 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 in the semifinal.

Sania was once ranked as high as 27th, before she fell to no. 126 due to a long-term wrist injuries last year.

Pattaya is her first trip to a singles final since Stanford in 2007.

Her only WTA-level singles title was way back in 2005!

It's a tough match up in the final tomorrow but who knows what's going to happen. I can only wish Sania all the best!

More good news about Sania.

She has been granted a wild card entry for this week's Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships.
"Sania Mirza has a huge fan following here and we have seen the stadium packed to capacity each time she has come here," said tournament director Salah Tahlak.
Updates:
Sania started off strong but Vera played better to win 7-5, 6-1 at the Pattaya Open.


(Image by Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images)

Rafa, would you be my Valentine?

Well, that's not what I said but a couple of fans at the semifinal match between Rafael Nadal and Gael Monfils at the ABN Amro :P

Has anyone seen Xisca at the player's box?

By the way the scores are out. Nadal wins 6-4, 6-4 to set up a dream final with Andy Murray.

It's revenge time!

(Image by AP Photo/Ermindo Armino)

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