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Jul 4, 2009

Murray disappoints home crowd, fails to reach first Wimbledon final

Andy Murray could have become the first British man to reach the Wimbledon final in 71 years on Sunday.

Sadly, British fans have to wait for another year.

Although Murray did not play poorly, his 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (7) loss to Andy Roddick had done enough damage to crush Murray's Wimbledon dream final.

Here's an excerpt of Murray's press conference after the heartbreaking loss.

Q. You seem to have run into the Roddick of 2003. Were you expecting that?

ANDY MURRAY: You always expect your opponents to play well, especially at this stage of the tournament. And he served great. Served really, really well in the tiebreaks. I think he maybe missed two first serves. The second one wasn't until 6‑4 in the tiebreak. He was serving really well at the start.

And I had a few chances, you know, in the first tiebreak. I had chances early in the third set. I didn't take them.


Q. How do you rate your own performance?


ANDY MURRAY: I thought I played well. I mean, you know, if you look at the stats, I hit more winners, less unforced errors, more aces. I'm sure the points that we won were very, very similar. It just came down to a few points here or there on his serve.
And he served really, really well. You know, very close to the lines. Hitting at that pace, at such a high percentage, I think he was high 70s for a lot of the match.

You know, sometimes there's not a whole lot you can do with that. But definitely didn't play a bad match.


Q. Do you think you were playing too passive or he was playing too great?


ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I don't think I played that passive. I think I hit a lot of winners. You know, my game style against him is not always to sort of go on the court and try and blast winners, you know, all the time. Because he has such a big serve that you need to try and, you know, get into points and make returns.
I used my slice well. I didn't passes as well as I normally do. But he came up with some good volleys and big serves, and that is what happened. Like I say, it wasn't through being too passive or me playing a poor match.

Q. Were you surprised with the sheer quality of his play at the net?

ANDY MURRAY: No. I mean, he came up with some good volleys. You know, the one when I had the set point in the third set, well, he apologized. He completely miss‑hit the volley. He was trying to hit it to the other side and it dropped very short and I couldn't get it.
I mean, he makes volleys. He doesn't normally miss a lot. You just have to make the passes, and I didn't make as many as I needed to. But I wasn't surprised by anything that he did. I expected him to play very well.

Q. Could you talk about Andy's return? And secondly give us an assessment about the final. Does he have a good chance against Roger?


ANDY MURRAY: His return of serve?


Q. Yes.


ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I think a lot of people think that necessarily he doesn't return that well. But he has a decent return. It's not the best and it's definitely not the worst. But, you know, he makes quite a lot. He doesn't miss that many returns on second serves.
Because he serves so well, it makes it even more important for you to serve well. If you don't do that, then he's going to create chances. Because he came to the net a lot today. I think if he serves like that he's got a chance against anyone, 'cause it comes down to, like I say, a few points in each set.

So regardless of whether it's Roger or, you know, me or anybody else, if he serves high 70s with the pace he's got on his serve, he's got a good chance.


Q. Despite his record against Roger?


ANDY MURRAY: I had a pretty good record against him as well going into today. Like I say, if someone serves 130 miles an hour consistently throughout the match, and above, you know, in the high like 75s to 80%, it's very tough to break them, especially on a court like this that's quick.


Q. On that point, you went a round further than last year; you're 22 years old. You'll leave here more convinced that you can win Wimbledon now?


ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think I have a chance. And I think the way that I played this year, you know, it was very, very close to getting to the final. If I give myself those sort of opportunities and keep playing well, and my consistency in the Grand Slams the last year or so has been much, much better, you know, a final, a semi and a quarter, I'm going to give myself opportunities to do it. I believe I can win a Grand Slam, whether it's Wimbledon or US Open or Australia or whatever, I'm going to give myself chances.

Q. Will you be able to move on from this, or do you think, you know, I lost to a better guy on the day?


ANDY MURRAY: No, I'll move on very, very quickly and go and work on my game and improve and come back stronger. That's a pathetic attitude to have, if you lose one match and you go away and, you know, let it ruin your year.
You know, I've had a very good year so far. I'm very close to, you know, the top of the game. The US Open I've always said is my best surface, my best chance to win a slam, and I'll give it my best shot there.

Q. Talk about the matchup and shots between Andy's serve and Federer's incredible return of serve. How do you think that might work out?


ANDY MURRAY: I think Federer has a good return. I don't think that it's incredible. He doesn't break serve as much as a lot of the guys. But he'll make Andy play. And Andy gives him enough chances, Roger's gonna take them. That's the one thing he needs to serve very well, especially at the start of all of the games to try and get ahead, not give Roger that chance to sort of swing freely at balls. If he can always sort of stay 15‑up, 15‑Love, 30‑Love up in games, it's gonna be tough.


But obviously Roger is the favorite. If he plays his best and passes well, then there's no reason why he can't win.


The US Open is going to start end of this month, and Murray's dream to clinch his first Grand Slam is far from over.

(Images via Getty Images)

Jul 3, 2009

Pre-semifinals practice photos

Here are some practice photos taken a day before the semifinal matches.

Roger Federer will play against Tommy Haas first at the Centre Court today and followed by Andy Murray and Andy Roddick.

Bonus: Federer showing off his sexy back...


(Images by Getty Images)

Stepmom Lakeisha Graham an added strength to the Williams team?

Serena and Venus Williams' mom, Oracene was spotted sitting far away from her ex-husband Richard and his new bride Lakeisha Graham during the semifinal match between Serena Williams and Elena Dementieva yesterday.

While Richard was busy wiping off his sweat under the beaming sun, his 30-year-old Rihanna-look alike wife cheered for Serena and looked very excited as if that was her first time on the player's box.

The Williams sisters dominate the women's singles and made it to the final at the Wimbledon this year.



Serena beat Dementieva 6-7, 7-6, 8-6 in the longest women's singles match in Wimbledon history, while Venus totally crushed world no.1 Dinara Safina 6-1, 6-0.

Serena and Venus have played each other 20 times and are currently tied at 10-10 in head-to-head meetings.

Surely, Lakeisha will be there at the women's singles final on Saturday to cheer for the girls.

It doesn't matter who wins because the Williams family have proven themselves to be a strong team at Wimbledon this year.

(Images via Getty Images)

Jul 2, 2009

Federer, Haas, Roddick, Murray: Thoughts before the semifinals on Day 12

Here are the final scores for yesterday's men's singles quarterfinals:

Roger Federer beat Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 7-5, 7-6(3), Andy Murray beat Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-3, 6-2, Andy Roddick beat Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 6-7(10), 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-4, Tommy Haas beat Novak Djokovic 7-5, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-3.

Let's go through some of their thoughts on their opponents and tomorrow's semifinals:

Federer vs Haas

Q. Before the tournament started, you said you wouldn't start thinking, it wouldn't creep into your mind, about Pete's record until maybe the semifinals. Now you're here. What are your thoughts about Pete's slam record and your opportunity here at Wimbledon this year?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, first of all, I'm happy the way I'm playing, which is always most important, is to focus on my own game.

So from that standpoint, obviously everything is good. I just won, you know, my quarters, so obviously my mind has not started wondering yet. I think tomorrow, you know, I'll prepare for a tough weekend ahead of me, you know, heavily.

Against Tommy I have to play, you know, a good match from the start. And as we saw in Paris, it was brutal. Yeah, it's gonna be tough. But, you know, I'm happy to be back into another semifinals. 21st in a row. It's amazing. Means the world to me. Let's see what happens now.

Q. Wimbledon has been a happy hunting ground for German tennis players in the last 25 years. Are you beginning to believe that you might be able to follow in their footsteps?

TOMMY HAAS: Those are big footsteps to get into. I mean, obviously Steffi had such great success here. I was watching Boris when I was young. Every year I was looking forward to watching it on TV, him playing Wimbledon. He had, what, seven finals here; he won it three times. One time Michael Stich came along and beat Boris in the finals.

We were very blessed in Germany having three of those players. So it was very hard for all of us to maybe try to get in their footsteps. But I don't think you really want to get in their footsteps. You want to try to maybe accomplish some of the stuff they have, but it's not an easy task.

I think German tennis is still, in many ways, if you look at the past with Kiefer or Schuettler, we've had some success with getting very far in Grand Slams. Not as much as they have. Which country has, by the way? How many Steffi Grafs are there, or Boris Beckers? There's not many.

We just go out there, I just go out there and try my best no matter what. You know, like I said, my next opponent is somebody that's probably gonna go down as the greatest player ever. It's gonna be a tough hurdle to go by, but we'll see what happens. It's not over yet.

Q. You mentioned a moment ago that your next opponent will probably go down as the greatest player ever. What do you marvel at most when you consider what has made Roger the greatest?

TOMMY HAAS: What do I like about his game the most or in general?

Q. Everything.

TOMMY HAAS: Oh, well, let's talk about that after the match.


Murray vs Roddick

Q. Have you got anything left in the tank for Andy Murray?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I should. I mean, I felt fine out there physically. I'm sure I'll pull up a little bit sore tomorrow, but that's to be expected. That's not a new condition.

Q. A lot was made after Monday's game about Andy Murray's recovery, that he's only 22. You have four years on him. Is that a significant time in tennis or are you still there or thereabouts at the same level as a 22 year old?

ANDY RODDICK: Physically?

Q. Yes. Is it a significant time factor, that four years, in your recovery compared to his?

ANDY RODDICK: Not yet. I'm sure when I'm 30 it will be. You know, you can look at it in years. Also matches played. I've played a lot more in my career. But, you know, I'm looking at it as far as a two day thing, not a years thing.

At this point I feel fit and I feel healthy. You know, I'm in better shape now than I was when I was 24. Shouldn't be too much of a factor.

Q. Is it possible to grind with him and win?

ANDY RODDICK: You're gonna have to do some of it. You're gonna have to. You know, obviously I'm not gonna get into a match where we're both trying to poke the ball around on the court. That probably wouldn't work. But you're gonna have to do it at certain times, for sure.

Q. What do you think are the weaknesses of Andy Murray's game?

ANDY RODDICK: That's one of the things. He doesn't really have a lot of weaknesses, or any for that matter. He's improved his serve a lot. He returns well.

You know, but to be fair, once you get into the top part of the game, that's why a lot of the guys are up there.

Q. Having come through that, having won comfortably today, do you feel unstoppable now? Do you feel this is the best tennis of your life?

ANDY MURRAY: No, I understand that I can lose the next match if I don't play my best. That's been one of the things that I've learned, and it's made a huge difference to me over the last year or so.

I realize that if I don't bring my best game then I'm gonna lose to guys like Roddick. I feel confident because I've won a lot of matches on the grass. But every day when I get up to play the matches, I know that I'm gonna have to perform very well, and that gets the nerves and the adrenaline going and makes me play better.

(Via Wimbledon official website; Images by Getty Images, Reuters)


Tennis stars let their hair down for Life magazine

Maria Elena Camerin, Julie Coin and Severine Bremond Beltrame

Professional tennis players work hard when on court.


So LIFE magazine wanted to see what happens when these players leave their competitive spirit behind.


Check these players letting their hair down for some relaxing (as well as some cheeky) poses.

Here are the players in sequence: Severine Bremond Beltrame, Jill Craybas, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Vera Zvonareva, Sabine Lisicki,
Gisela Dulko, Jelena Jankovic and Alla Kudryavtseva.

For more pictures, go to Life.com.







A note of thanks to Natasha for this info.

(Images by Lee Jenkins Grooming: Kenny Campbell For Premier via Life.com)


Jul 1, 2009

Wimbledon Day 9: Girls, Girls, Girls... But surprisingly no drama...

Boring day, I should say?

And the results were predictable too...

Besides Dinara Safina, who was made to sweat by Sabine Lisicki, other favourites easily sailed through to the semifinals.



Safina who thought she was a Santa Claus on court yesterday, served 15 double-faults!

However, the top-ranked Russian reached the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time after a 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-1 victory of unseeded Lisicki.


Venus Williams, the favourite to win the Wimbledon again seems too hot for Agnieszka Radwanska to handle.

Venus won 6-1, 6-2.
Venus's baby sister Serena who was out on a revenge against Victoria Azarenka with a 6-2, 6-3 win.

Serena admitted that the heavy defeat inflicted on her by Azarenka earlier this year in the Miami final did much to fuel her victory.

Finally Elena Dementieva also performed a "Williams" demolition job on Francesca Schiavone, winning 6-2, 6-2.

Tonight the gentlemen will play for places in the semifinals.

(Images by Getty Images)

Andy Murray goes gaga for Lady

While many girls and tennis fans are going crazy in their support for Andy Murray, the tennis star has revealed that he’s actually a big fan of music misfit Lady Gaga.
Recently he told channelbee.com, "I listen to whatever is good… I really like listening to Lady Gaga at the moment."
The current world no. 3 has long been a fan of playing music to help him focus before a match, but as his on-court fortunes have changed so too, it seems, have his musical tastes.
He added, "I used to really like Shakira, I even went to see her live in Abu Dhabi on New Year’s Eve."

"But I don’t really listen to her that much anymore."
Not quite a poker face...

Let’s hope Murray will keep his Poker Face when he plays Juan Carlos Ferrero in the quarterfinal round at the Centre Court today.

Here's the full interview with Andy Murray:



(Image by Getty Images)

Serena & Venus Williams: Sisters love

Venus Williams got out from the shower in time to catch baby sister Serena on court with Victoria Azarenka.

Earlier Venus had an easy win over Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-2 in the quarterfinal round.

Now, since we're already in July, the US Open series and US Open are coming up. So, here's a video of Serena talking about the love she has for Venus in anticipation of the events.



(Images by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

Jun 30, 2009

Ana Ivanovic's injury update

Ana Ivanovic has been adviced to rest for the next one to two weeks after sustaining a slight tear in her left thigh during her fourth-round match at Wimbledon yesterday.

The former world no.1 left the court in tears following one game in the second set after dropping the first set 6-1 to defending Wimbledon champion Venus Williams.
A statement on Ivanovic's website announced, "Although highly painful, the injury is not serious and, considering that her next planned tournament is not until 3 August, it is not expected to affect her playing schedule.”
(Via Ana Ivanovic's official website; Image by Getty Images)

Wozniacki-Lisicki bump: Move bitch, get out the way!

Sabine Lisicki was not trying to emulate the Bryan Bros by giving Caroline Wozniacki a chest bump.

Apparently, the girls who dressed like twins, were walking towards their seats during the changover.

The thing was, Lisicki didn't notice Wozniacki, or vice versa. And so they bumped into each other!


Check out Wozniacki's reaction... she looked pretty pissed and had a quick word with the umpire thinking that it was intentional and rude.



(Images by Getty Images)

Wimbledon Day 8: Fans cheer, vintage Hewitt, Haas, Federer, Ferrero roar

Thousands remained transfixed to the giant screen on Henman Hill to join the 15,000 fans inside the stunning arena cheering for Andy Murray to a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3,5-7, 6-3 victory against Stanislas Wawrinka.
Dubbed as Prince of Darkness, Murray survived the five-set sweat-fest against the Swiss no.2 under Centre Court’s new roof.

Earlier of the day,
Federer outserved Robin Soderling 6-4, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals—three weeks after downing the Swede in three sets in Paris for his first French Open title.
Lleyton Hewitt, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Tommy Haas also produced vintage displays at Round 4 at the Wimbledon.

Former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt fought back from two sets down on Monday to defeat Radek Stepanek 4-6 2-6 6-1 6-2 6-2 and take his place in the quarterfinals.

Juan Carlos Ferrero swept through to the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the second time in three years on Monday, downing French eighth seed Gilles Simon 7-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The Spaniard wildcard will face Murray for a place in the semifinals.

Tommy Haas reached the “elite eight club” at Wimbledon for the first time in his long career after beating Russian Igor Andreev 7-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Next he will face off with Novak Djokovic whom he beat in Halle.


Joining Djokovic at the quarterfinals are big servers Ivo Karlovic and Andy Roddick.

In the women's singles, a tearful Ana Ivanovic retired 1-6, 1-0 after a leg injury in her fourth-round match against Venus Williams.

Ivanovic took a 10-minute break during the first game of the second set to have her left thigh taped by a trainer.

She returned for two more points, but after hitting a service winner to take the game, she began crying as she walked to her chair and told the umpire she was retiring.


The new retractable roof over Centre Court was closed for the first time Monday after a light sprinkle halted play during the second set of a match between Dinara Safina and Amelie Mauresmo.

The world no.1 Safina defeated Frenchwoman Mauresmo 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Unseeded German Sabine Lisicki continues her great run at the Wimbledon after defeated Caroline Wozniacki with a 6-4 6-4 victory in the fourth round.

Others who also made it to the quarterfinals are Serena Williams, Elena Dementieva, Francesca Schiavone, Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska.



(Images by Getty Images)

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