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Aug 22, 2009

Super Saturday's semifinals

It's going to be an explosive Saturday when all top 4 seeds at Cincinnati Masters collided in the semifinal matches tonight.



New world no.2 Murray will face no. 1 Roger Federer first.

Federer, who won this tournament in 2005 and 2007, extended his winning streak against Lleyton Hewitt to 13 matches with a 6-3, 6-4 win.

Murray, the defending champion, defeated 'lucky loser' Julien Benneteau 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.



Meanwhile third-ranked and second-seeded Rafael Nadal beat Tomas Berdych 6-4, 7-5, setting up a semifinals rematch with fourth-seeded Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic, who beat Nadal in straight sets in last year’s Cincinnati semifinal, won 6-4, 7-5 over Gilles Simon.

Nadal, playing just his second tournament since the French Open due to tendinitis in both knees, declared himself “very happy” with his progress.



In the women's singles, second-seeded Serena Williams breezed through to the semifinals of the Rogers Cup on Friday with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Lucie Safarova.

Williams will next face no. 4 Elena Dementieva, who advanced with a tough three-set win over Samantha Stosur.



In another semifinals, Alisa Kleybanova will face off with Maria Sharapova after a gruelling 6-7 (6), 7-6 (7), 6-2 win over Jelena Jankovic, while Sharapova overcame Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 7-6 (5).

(Via AP; Images via Yahoo! Sports)

Aug 21, 2009

Thailand Open 2009: Entry list, Paradorn Srichaphan

Paradorn Srichaphan, Danai Udomchoke

PTT Thailand Open (formerly known as ATP Thailand Open) is scheduled to run on the same week as the Malaysian Open, between September 26-October 4, 2009.

The player entry list was released on the same day as the Malaysian Open and equally impressive too. Here you go:

1 Nadal, Rafael ESP 3
2 Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried FRA 7
3 Simon, Gilles FRA 9
4 Querrey, Sam USA 26
5 Troicki, Viktor SRB 30
6 Sela, Dudi ISR 34
7 Melzer, Jurgen AUT 37
8 Petzschner, Philipp GER 39
9 Beck, Andreas GER 40
10 Santoro, Fabrice FRA 44
11 Zverev, Mischa GER 46
12 Becker, Benjamin GER 47
13 Nieminen, Jarkko FIN 52
14 Garcia-Lopez, Guillermo ESP 53
15 Benneteau, Julien FRA 55
16 Daniel, Marcos BRA 58
17 Isner, John USA 59
18 Safin, Marat RUS 61
19 Mayer, Leonardo ARG 65
20 (SE)
21 (SE)
22 (Q)
23 (Q)
24 (Q)
25 (Q)
26 (WC)
27 (WC)
28 (WC)

Alternates
1. Greul, Simon GER 66
2. Bellucci, Thomaz BRA 67
3. Ginepri, Robby USA 70
4. Hernych, Jan CZE 72
5. Koellerer, Daniel AUT 73
6. Lu, Yen-Hsun TPE 74
7. Crivoi, Victor ROU 75
8. Gabashvili, Teimuraz RUS 76
9. Zeballos, Horacio ARG 78
10. Luczak, Peter AUS 79
11. Kendrick, Robert USA 80
12. Korolev, Evgeny RUS 82
13. Srichaphan, Paradorn THA @82
14. Hernandez, Oscar ESP 84
15. Odesnik, Wayne USA 85

Is former world no.9 Paradorn Srichaphan ready to make a comeback since 2007?

Well, not quite so.

According to Srichaphan, he is not ready to make a comeback yet, but that doesn't mean he has effectively retired from tennis.

Married to former Miss Universe Natalie Glebova, Srichaphan had spent his time away from the tour motorcycling, appearing on a Thai sports TV show and most recently opening an Italian cuisine restaurant.

(Via menstennisforums.com, AP)

CONTEST: Malaysian Open goodies giveaway coming soon!

Did you guys remember I take home some goodies at the Malaysian Open media briefings?

I've decided to share it with you guys. These are the things that I'm going to giveaway:

Australian Open "mini tennis ball" keychain x 1
Malaysian Open notebook x 1
Official Guide To Pro Tennis x 1
and more...

Nah, not the huge Malaysian Open tennis ball as I've given it away to a friend.

Esther has "unofficially" won 2 Gold tickets to the final at the Malaysian Open because she was quicker than me in posting the correct answer on the Malaysian Open Facebook page. Or else I could giveaway the tickets here.

Instead I'm going to offer the Australian Open keychain to you guys, although I loved it so much...

So, do come back for this contest as I'll be posting the details this Sunday night.

P.S. This contest is open to all countries in the Asia Pacific only. Sorry to friends in other continents. I'll organise a different contest to you guys next time.

TENNIS WATCH: US Open wildcards, Serena Williams can't kick shopping habit

The U.S. Open men's and womens' wildcard recipients are out.

In the men's singles main draw, wildcards go to Devin Britton, Chase Buchanan, Taylor Dent, Brendan Evans, Jesse Levine, Rajeev Ram, and Chris Guccione, with the French reciprocal wildcard still to be announced.

Qualifying wildcards go to Lester Cook, Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Domijan, Ryan Harrison, Scoville Jenkins, Ryan Lipman, Tim Smyczek, Blake Strode, and Michael Venus.

In the womens' singles main draw, wildcards go to Gail Brodksy, Mallory Cecil, Kim Clijsters, Alexa Glatch, Vania King, Christina McHale, Kristina Mladenovic and Olivia Rogowska.

Qualifying wildcards go to Kristie Ahn, Lauren Embree, Irina Falconi, Nicole Gibbs, Asia Muhammad, Alison Riske, Laura Robson, Sloane Stephens and Coco Vandeweghe.

*******

Venus and Serena will join celebrities like Gloria and Emilio Estefan and Marc Anthony as stakeholders in the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins are scheduled to officially announce the William sisters investment coming this Tuesday, reports AP.

During the earlier part of her career, Serena Williams has dated two NFL players before.

(Via tennis.com)

Aug 20, 2009

VIDEO: Malaysian Open Tennis promo video, sponsors

Today I was at the Malaysian Open media briefing again.



This time around, the Tournament Director, Nick Freyer not only unveiled the tournament promo video, he also announced new and strategic associations with three major international companies.

Junji S. the Sales Director of CNN, SEA, Nick Freyer the Tournament Director and Giri the winner of "Best Job in Malaysia".

Malaysian Open welcomed CNN as the Official Sponsor and International Media Partner.

During the tournament, the sponsor will be showcasing CNN and the CNN World Sport products at the entertainment village and via player computer terminals.

Meanwhile TennisWeek.com, one of the world's most viewed tennis websites and Tecnifibre, the "Official Stringer" also come in to further strengthen the tournament.



During the event, the Tournament Director also announced the winner of "The Best Job in Malaysia" competition which went to 25-year-old Giritharan Sithambarnathan from Perak.

To read my tweets regarding the event, click here.

(Via IMG/Malaysian Open Tennis)


Malaysian Open Tennis 2009: Here's the official entry list...

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I have to republish this again.

1 Davydenko, Nikolay RUS (currently ranked at no.8)
2 Verdasco, Fernando ESP 10
3 Soderling, Robin SWE 11
4 Gonzalez, Fernando CHI 12
5 Monfils, Gael FRA 13
6 Berdych, Tomas CZE 18
7 Ferrer, David ESP 19
8 Tursunov, Dmitry RUS 32
9 Lopez, Feliciano ESP 36 (Wooohooooooooo! My prayers answered!)
10 Gasquet, Richard FRA 38 (Wonder if he's ready to make a return trip to Malaysia and play here...)
11 Hewitt, Lleyton AUS 42
12 Kunitsyn, Igor RUS 43
13 Vassallo Arguello, Martin ARG 49
14 Vliegen, Kristof BEL 50
15 Acasuso, Jose ARG 51
16 Serra, Florent FRA 56
17 Golubev, Andrey KAZ 57
18 Rochus, Christophe BEL 60
19 Youzhny, Mikhail RUS 64
20 (SE)
21 (SE)
22 (Q)
23 (Q)
24 (Q)
25 (Q)
26 (WC) (Will be given to Kei Nishikori if he can recover in time for this tournament... very unlikely though)
27 (WC)
28 (WC)

Alternates
1. Greul, Simon GER 66
2. Bellucci, Thomaz BRA 67
3. Ginepri, Robby USA 70
4. Hernych, Jan CZE 72
5. Koellerer, Daniel AUT 73
6. Lu, Yen-Hsun TPE 74 (If Nishikori can't recover in time for MO, then please bring Rendy, Asia's best here!)
7. Crivoi, Victor ROU 75
8. Gabashvili, Teimuraz RUS 76
9. Zeballos, Horacio ARG 78
10. Luczak, Peter AUS 79
11. Kendrick, Robert USA 80
12. Korolev, Evgeny RUS 82
13. Hernandez, Oscar ESP 84
14. Odesnik, Wayne USA 85
15. Phau, Bjorn GER 87

If you're impressed with the line-up, then get your tickets fast! Go to www.MalaysianOpenTennis.com

In the meanwhile, HCFoo is hoping and drooling for a pair up between Verdasco and Lopez at the Malaysian Open doubles match.

TENNIS WATCH: Richard Gasquet's return, Andy Murray's white boy rap

Richard Gasquet could be making his competitive return at New Haven next week.

He has not played since Rome after tested positive for cocaine in Miami.

A hair
test recently has cleared Gasquet of regular cocaine use, while a hair test on Pamela, the woman Gasquet cited as the source of the cocaine in his system, indicated regular use of the banned substance.

Gasquet said he repeatedly kissed Pamela at a nightclub the evening before his positive test.

Pamela is reportedly suing Gasquet for defamation.

*******

After Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray is the latest tennis star who will be featured in one of the Bryan Brothers Band's song.

The Bryanbros tweeted about Murray rapping a verse for one of their song to be included in their debut album, Let It Rip scheduled to release on September 1.

Aug 19, 2009

Fernando Verdasco upset in Cincy, narcissistic FeVer takes over

It's quite a rare occasion to see Fernando Verdasco lost in the first round.

He blamed the racquet. But Verdasco could have underestimated his fellow compatriot Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, which resulted him to lost 6-7, 6-7 in Cincinnati Masters.

Loss aside, Verdasco could be winning with his FeVer clothing range soon (I stole this picture from Forty Deuce).

Most probably inspired by the famous "RF" monogram, Verdasco's dad assured fans that their are working towards making FeVer available in the market soon!

Marat Safin: Life after retirement... the answer could be marriage

"Agassi is different. He likes to take care of the kids. He has some kind of a school. Courier, he has a band. McEnroe, he's commentating, and also he has a band. So everybody has a different approach. Some people get depressed and they try to come back. Some people they can't because they are overweight. Everybody has a different story. I will see. I think it's very interesting life afterwards."
~ Marat Safin, on life after retirement.

According to Down The Line Tennis, Russian media has reportedly said that Marat Safin will be marrying his pop singer girlfriend Nastya Osipova. No date were mentioned yet.

So a marriage could be something that he's looking forward to after retirement.

Updates:
Here's an interesting comment from an anonymous reader who denied the "marriage":

"This was a lie started by Life.ru. Marat himself said there would be no wedding and when in Paris when questioned by an Argentine sports announcer, he said he had a girlfriend "sort of. A little, a little." Marat is not in love with Nastya Osipova and will not be marrying her."
(Image via Yahoo! Sports)

Aug 18, 2009

Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki stop traffic in Toronto

Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki were at the Yonge Street in Toronto yesterday to recreate the 1995 Agassi/Sampras Nike ad.




They actually played real exhibition match on the street.

Ivanovic won 7-3 in the friendly game. Now, it's time to win real matches.


(Images via Great Tennis Photos, Toronto Grand Prix Tourist)

VIDEO: Bryan Bros Band [Featuring MC Djoker]

The Bryan Brothers Band is trying to bank on Novak Djokovic's vocal/rap instead of his body to create a viral video to help promote their yet to be released album, Let It Rip.



The band members leaked out the new song, Autograph before the official launch of their debut album on September 1, 2009.

Smart move by the twins. Wonder who's next...

(Video via downthelinetennis.com)

Aug 17, 2009

Maria Sharap-awe-va: A synonym for glamour and beauty

Maria Sharapova continues her strong comeback in Toronto at the Rogers Cup.

Before the tournament, she attended the tournament draw in a chic-looking dress.

Why is she always this beautiful?

Sharapova is scheduled to face fellow Russian Nadia Petrova in the first round today.


Earlier she stopped at a Tag Heuer event to promote her sponsor.



(Images via sports.sina.com.cn)

Montreal magic for new world no.2 Andy Murray, Jelena Jankovic proves Serbian tennis still kick ass

I only needed a cup of 3-in-1 white coffee to keep me awake whole night for the Rogers Cup final.

I would say that this is one of the best "non-Nadal" match I ever watched for a very long time.

Although I was rooting for Juan Martin del Potro, I didn't mind the eventual title winner was Andy Murray.

Andy, you suck!

After all, Murray, the new world no.2 was clearly the winner in that battle of the fittest.

The Scottish tennis star defeated the Argentine 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 6-1 to win his fourth Masters title.

In Cincinnati, Jelena Jankovic captured her only second title of the year after defeated world no.1 Dinara Safina 6-4, 6-2.

Haha... Safina, yours is smaller than mine!

Now that Jankovic is back in her game, I'm hoping that fellow Serbian Ana Ivanovic will improve her game and eventually end her title drought too.


(Images via Yahoo! Sports)

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