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May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day from HCFoo

I'll be away for the weekend to celebrate Mother's Day and Wesak Day.

Hence, I'm not going to update my blog.

So, are you planning something special for your beloved Mom?

If you haven't come up with any plan, let Nikolay Davydenko and Sabine Lisicki show you how to make the world famous Portuguese tarts "Pasteis de Belém" for your Mom.



The recipe is not a secret anymore. Check this out.

Looks like plenty of work but what the heck! It's your Mom's special day.

(Images by ATP via menstennisforums.com)

May 7, 2009

Jelena Jankovic has too much time to spend in Rome

Jelena Jankovic took time out while competing at the Italian Open to do some shopping at the GF Ferre boutique and visit the Piazza di Spagna or better known as the Spanish Steps in Rome.

Her mom Snezana accompanied her during the photo shoot.

Coming back to the court, Jankovic was leading 6-1, 1-0 when Kateryna Bondarenko called for the trainer and withdrew because of flu yesterday.

They were on court for only 35 minutes.
“I would have loved to finish the match, because I was playing pretty well in that first set,” Jankovic said.

“I felt the ball really well and I had good timing.”
Jankovic will play Svetlana Kuznetsova next, who ousted crowd favourite Flavia Pennetta 6-3, 3-6, 6-0.

(Images by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)


Dokic family drama... it never ends

Earlier this week, Jelena Dokic revealed to Sport & Style magazine in an exclusive interview that her father, Damir, physically abused her during their relationship.

After more than a decade of speculation, and bruises seen by coaches and competitors, Jelena confirmed those rumours are indeed true.

Then yesterday, Damir who was angry with the interview has reportedly threatened to blow up the Australian embassy in Serbia over the claims by Jelena that he physically abused her.

Serbian daily Blic reported that the senior Dokic phoned the Australian office in Belgrade saying he would blow up the building and threatened to “fire a rocket” on the car of the Australian ambassador to Serbia.

In the latest update,
Interior Minister Ivica Dacic confirmed that Damir has been detained in his home in northern Serbia and police has searched his house in the mountain region of Fruska Gora.

I wonder what's next... and when all these drama are going to end.

(Image by AP via watoday.com.au)

Astro SuperSport+: LIVE ARAG World Team Cup & French Open

Few weeks back, I wrote to a local paper expressing my disappointment with Astro (a subscription-based TV) for not showing the live telecast of the Monte Carlo Masters semifinal and final matches, although they showed the earlier rounds.

There were also no live coverage for the semifinal and final matches from Rome Masters and I presume this will happen again for the Madrid Masters.

However, thankfully, there will be an additional sports channel - Astro SuperSport+, which will broadcast 2 LIVE tennis events: the ARAG World Team Cup and the French Open 2009.

Astro SuperSport+ (channel 816) will be available to all Sports Package Customers from 11 May - 9 June 2009.

Here are the event highlights:

Tennis: ARAG World Team Cup
Mon, 18 May, 8am - Day 1 (Delayed)
Mon, 18 May, 7pm - Day 2 (Live)
Tue, 19 May, 7pm - Day 3 (Live)
Wed, 20 May, 7pm - Day 4 (Live)
Thu, 21 May, 6pm - Day 5 (Live)
Fri, 22 May, 7pm - Day 6 (Live)
Sat, 23 May, 6pm - Day 7 Finals (Live)

Tennis: French Open 2009
Sun, 24 May, 5pm - Day 1: Men’s & Women’s Singles 1st Round (Live)
Mon, 25 May, 5pm - Day 2: Men’s & Women’s Singles 1st Round (Live)
Tue, 26 May, 5pm - Day 3: Men’s & Women’s Singles 1st Round (Live)
Wed, 27 May, 5pm - Day 4: Men’s & Women’s Singles 2nd Round (Live)
Thu, 28 May, 5pm - Day 5: Men’s & Women’s Singles 2nd Round (Live)
Fri, 29 May, 5pm - Day 6: Men’s & Women’s Singles 3rd Round (Live)
Sat, 30 May, 5pm - Day 7: Men’s & Women’s Singles 3rd Round (Live)
Sun, 31 May, 5pm - Day 8: Men’s & Women’s Singles 4th Round (Live)
Mon, 1 Jun, 5pm - Day 9: Men’s & Women’s Singles 4th Round (Live)
Tue, 2 Jun, 8pm - Day 10: Men’s & Women’s Singles Qtrfinals Round (Live)
Wed, 3 Jun, 8pm - Day 11: Men’s & Women’s Singles Qrtfinals Round (Live)
Thu, 4 Jun, 8pm - Day 12: Men’s & Women’s Singles Semi Finals (Live)
Fri, 5 Jun, 7pm - Day 13: Men’s & Women’s Singles Semi Finals (Live)
Sat, 6 Jun, 9pm - Day 14: Women’s Singles Finals (Live)
Sun, 7 Jun, 9pm - Day 15: Men’s Singles Final (Live)

(Schedule is correct at time of Press Release. Schedule is subject to change)

Through this exclusive channel, tennis fans will have the opportunity to watch their favourite tennis players in action at their convenience through multiple screenings of each match and events, both LIVE and repeat.

So, unlike previous years, this year we won't miss Rafael Nadal creating another history at the French Open again. *Fingers crossed*

Thanks to Astro for the press release.

Shirtless Kei Nishikori hits the court

Here are some new shirtless photos of Kei Nishikori who went back to court recently after a series of arm injury.

Kei looks healthy and I think he's going back to tournament very soon.

(Images by IMG via Kei Nishikori's official website)

May 6, 2009

Fernando Verdasco: You've gotta love him!

Recently while in Barcelona for the Banco Sabadell Barcelona Open, Fernando Verdasco did a photo shoot for the Fundación Talita, an organisation dedicated to serving children affected by Down Syndrome.

Verdasco took part in Fundación Talita's annually published Solidarity Campaign, where celebrities are photographed with children helped by the foundation.


Photographed by Paco Berdmar, Verdasco posed with his young fan, Elena.



They will appear in Talita 2010, the eighth consecutive edition of a popular almanac that has become one of the most waited for Christmas presents in Spain.


For further reading, click here or here for the Spanish version.


(Via ohnotheydidnt; Image via La Wed del Tenis)

Serena Williams gets a big boo hoo, Dinara Safina gets down and dirty

While world no.2 Serena Williams was stunned by Patty Schnyder in the second round of the WTA Rome claycourt International, Dinara Safina got down and dirty to prove she deserves to be the no.1 player in the world.

Safina defeated Virginie Razzano 7-6, 6-1, but was really unhappy with tournament organisers for making her play in what she felt were dangerous conditions.

"I was just so angry because you can get injured," said Safina, who fell over twice during the match.

"I mean, it's not funny. They tell us go and play because they think the court is fine but they are not playing on that court."
"Thank God I didn't break anything but if I broke something, I mean, so many players get injured."

"Then what should I say to the tournament? I (should) say thanks for pushing us to play?"

"I mean, they would say: Oh, we are sorry. But it's my career, it's three months off court (if you're injured)."

"So they have to have a little bit of respect for us as players."
I bet Safina feels a whole lot better today.

(Images via Sky Sports)

Janko Tipsarevic to meet tournament owner Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic, whose family helped bring Serbia Open to Belgrade this year after buying the license to the ABN Amro Open, will play against his fellow countryman Janko Tipsarevic in the second round.

Tipsarevic beat Sergio Roitman 7-5, 6-2 in a delayed match due to the rain.

He will set up a meeting with home favourite and top seed Djokovic, who had a first-round bye, in the country’s first ATP Tour tournament.

Tipsarevic said he doesn't like to play against a friend and hoped for equal support from the homecrowd.

(Image by Andrej Isakovic/AFP/Getty Images)

Sometimes you shouldn't be over confident...

This is really funny!

On Monday, Serena Williams
insisted that she's no. 1 in the world even though the women’s tennis rankings indicate otherwise.
“We all know who the real No. 1 is,” Serena said.

“Quite frankly, I’m the best in the world.”
Dinara Safina, who has never won a Grand Slam title, overtook Williams in the rankings two weeks ago.

Just one day after that statement, Patty Schnyder proved Serena wrong by defeating her in the world no.2 Rome opener!

Serena lost 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.

I think Serena must have forgotten that she's playing on clay at the Foro Italico.

(Images via Yahoo Sports)

May 5, 2009

Verdasco tries hard to convince Georgina Chang ACE that he's ok with blonde or brunette

One of the very few tennis shows that I watch religiously on TV is ACE on Star Sports channel. It's a tennis magazine show like Tennis Week.

The news are updated and the host, Georgina Chang did a pretty good job on that show.

Georgina interviewed Ana Ivanovic at the French Open last year.

Here's the pre-recorded interview with Fernando Verdasco on that show which is scheduled to be shown on Star Sports tonight.


Watch Georgina getting up close and personal with Verdasco on cars, wine and women... but only to end up getting on his nerves! :D



(Image via Georgina Chang's Facebook)

Will Rafael Nadal miss Thailand Open for the 3rd time?

Rafael Nadal wonders if he will miss Thailand Open again this year.

Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand (LTAT) confirmed last week that Rafael Nadal will make his debut at the Thailand Open this September.

The sporting body said Nadal would be joined by reigning tournament champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga competing for the top prize of $608,500.
"I am very pleased to finally be able to come and compete at the PTT Thailand Open."

"I look forward to playing some great tennis for all the Thai fans," Nadal said in a press release.
LTAT president Suwat Lipatapanlop said he hoped Nadal's fame would help bring attention to the Thai competition and boost the country's ailing economy.

Nadal missed the tournament in 2006 and 2007 due to knee injury.

Hopefully he'll make it to the tournament this time.


The Thailand Open will be held from September 26 until October 4 in the suburbs of Bangkok.

Remaining players for the 32-player draw will be announced in the next couple of months, the LTAT said.

(Via AFP; Image by Ryan Pierse/ Getty Images)


May 4, 2009

Comedian Will 'King of Clay' Ferrell vs Mats Wilander

Probably you have seen comedian Will Ferrell as a figure skater, basketball player and even a racecar driver.

But you definitely have not seen him as a tennis player.

Last weekend, Ferrell, dubbed as the 'King of Clay" (yea, right) joined Swedish tennis champion, Mats Wilander, as well as Rainn Wilson and Justin Gimelstob for the K-Swiss Global Tennis Showdown.

The tennis match was a fundraiser benefitting the Swedish School of LA and The Sweden House.

Thanks to Zach of Prince Sports for the info and images)

(Images by Prince Sports, guillermoquezada)

Andy Murray to rise to no.3

After Novak Djokovic failed to retain his title at Rome, this means he will lose the world no.3 spot to Andy Murray on May 11.

Murray is set to become the highest ever ranked British player since the computerised rankings system was introduced in 1973.

Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski - have held the no. 4 spot, but none have gone higher than that.

Here's Murray's journey to no.3:

July, 2003 Andy Murray’s first ranking was No 774. He ended the year ranked No 539. Won US Open Junior Championship in September 2004 at No 479. Ended the year ranked No 449.

2005 Climbed to No 65 as he won first ATP Tour match at Queen's Club in June. Won two challenger titles in the United States in the summer and reached second round of US Open.

2006 Won his first ATP Tour title in San Jose in February, ranked No 42. Reached Wimbledon and US Open fourth rounds to become No 16 in September. Ended year on the same mark.

2007 Reached the top ten in April after semi- finals in Indian Wells and Miami Masters. In June, reached No 8 but had three months out with wrist injury and ended the year at No 11.

2008 Won five ATP titles, his first Masters title in Cincinnati when ranked No 6, reaching a career-high No 4 after reaching the final of the US Open. Won Masters Series event in Madrid and reached Masters Cup Final in Shanghai. Has been No 4 ever since.

2009 Reached Australian Open fourth round, won titles in Doha, Rotterdam and the Masters in Miami. Reached semi-finals in Monte Carlo in April.

(Via Times Online)

Rome-ancing the clay court season

If Rafael Nadal wins his fifth consecutive French Open later this month, probably 2009 will be the best clay court season he ever had.

Fresh from winning his fourth Rome Masters title on Sunday, beating reigning champion Novak Djokovic 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 in the final, Nadal looks confident for Madrid Masters and the French Open.

Now Nadal owns 15th Masters Series title and only Andre Agassi has won more with a whopping 17 titles!
"I would love to have more than 17."

"Right now I have 15, I'm very happy for that (but) I'm going to try my best in the next tournaments," said Nadal.
In the men's doubles final, Nenad Zimonjic and Daniel Nestor continued their European clay court domination by defeating defending champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 7-6(5), 6-3.

While in Stuttgart, Germany, Svetlana Kuznetsova stunned world no.1 Dinara Safina 6-4, 6-3 to win the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Sunday.

American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Russian Nadia Petrova won the doubles title with a 5-7, 6-3, 10-7 victory over Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta.

(Images Ryan Pierse/Julian Finney/Getty Images)


May 3, 2009

Not that I don't prefer women's tennis of late...

Too bogged down with work recently, I didn't have much time left to spend on women's tennis for the past weeks, missing the Fed Cup and Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.

At Stuttgart, looks like the new world no.1 Dinara Safina will play against Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final match tomorrow, after defeated Flavia Pennetta 3-6, 7-5, 6-0.

Earlier, Kuznetsova easily overcame compatriot Elena Dementieva 6-4, 6-2.

Meanwhile, Victoria Azarenka and Ana Ivanovic are already in Rome for a promotional event at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Someone in tennis forum suggested that Vika was flipping off Ana.

Okay, they are friends again :P

(Images via Quotidiano.net)

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