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Oct 23, 2009

Anna Kournikova to launch Showdown of Champions Kuala Lumpur

It's confirmed! Anna Kournikova will arrive in Kuala Lumpur to launch the yearly tennis exhibition 'Showdown of Champions 2009' this coming Monday.

Unfortunately, the organisers decided to keep Kournikova for themselves.

No invitation was given to HCFoo's Tennis Blog and sadly there's also no meet-the-fans session although they knew a lot of local fans would die to meet the tennis babe.

However, thanks to my involvement in politics years ago, I managed to sneak in and get some info regarding the launching by the Tourism Minister Dato' Dr. Ng Yen Yen and Kournikova.

WHO: Anna Kournikova
WHAT: Showdown of Champion 2009 Launch

WHEN: Monday, Oct. 26, 2009 (10.15 AM)

WHERE: Café Stelle (2nd floor) Couture Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur


Hope you can catch a glimpse of Kournikova!

To junior players, please contact your coach or Selvarajoo as Kournikova will be meeting you guys at the National Tennis Centre at 3 PM on the same day.

Do prepare some questions for her. Kournikova is very generous in answering questions especially from fans (as you can see from her website)

(Image via Anna Kournikova official website)

Caroline Wozniacki under scrutiny after match-throwing controversy

Caroline Wozniacki and her father Piotr denied the speculation that the 19-year-old threw her first round match at the Luxembourg Open earlier this week against local player Anne Kremer.

Wozniacki was leading 7-5, 5-0 before quitting the match due to injury, causing tennis authorities to investigate the event.

Who in their right mind would do that? So, I'm not shocked by the allegation.

Viewers watching online streaming were said to be able to hear Piotr tell her daughter to quit at 3-0 in the second set in order to save herself from further injury.

This sparked a series of bets on her opponent who was already on the verge of losing.

Piotr defended his 'innocent intentions".
"I went onto the court and said to her, 'Caro, it does not matter whether it's going to be 5-0, 4-1 or 3-2. You can not play the next round, so you shouldn't take the risk,"' he explained to Danish radio.

"I'm very proud of Caroline, because she stopped the fight and gave her opponent a chance."
Last year, tennis governing bodies created a Tennis Integrity Unit in an effort to combat gambling and match-fixing in the sport.
"We're just looking into everything that happened in this match," WTA spokesman Neil Robinson said, adding that he believed the information would go to the integrity unit.
Wozniacki immediately dismissed suggestions that the result was rigged.
"So, people bet on my matches. Some win, others lose. I just know that I am clean. It is most important to me," Wozniacki said.

"And if anyone is in doubt about my injury, I can both produce scan from the hospital and a report from the tournament physiotherapist."
Despite her injury, Wozniacki has confirmed her participation in the season-ending WTA Tour Championship in Doha next week.

On the lighter side of Wozniacki, I would prefer her being watched this way than by the tennis authorities. Check out the video.



(Via Sky Sports)

Rafael Nadal honoured in Barcelona

Rafael Nadal was in Barcelona yesterday to receive a full size replica of the ‘Conde de Godo’ trophy at the Barcelona Royal Tennis Club.

Being the only player to have won the tournament five times, Real Club de Tenis Barcelona 1899, decided to honour Nadal with a full size replica of the giant trophy.

The Spaniard is set to play at the Paris Masters early November, before the London World Tour Finals and a Davis Cup final in Barcelona against the Czech Republic from December 4-6.

(Images via Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images)

Roger Federer's not done yet

Roger Federer brushed off the rumour saying that he'll extended his break all the way into the New Year.

He wrote this on Facebook yesterday.
"I have been back practicing and training now for some time and all is going well. I feel much better. I am looking forward to playing my hometown tournament in Basel . I have also had a chance to spend some amazing time with my family. Myla and Charlene are doing great. After training yesterday, Mirka and I took them for a walk along Lake Zurich. I am always excited to be back in Switzerland!"
Federer will be playing on his home soil in Basel again to defend his Davidoff Swiss Indoors title which he has won from 2006 to 2008.

Oct 22, 2009

Jelena Jankovic smiles her way into the Guinness Book of World Records

Jelena Jankovic must have accepted the fact that she can't break any records in tennis.

But that doesn't stop her from breaking the Guinness Book of World Records!


Through a campaign named “We collect smiles and we need the one from you as well” which was organized by Wrigley and promoted by Jankovic the ambassador for the chewing gum company, they put together 137,264 photographs of smiling faces in Belgrade Arena, Serbia on October 15th 2009.


(Via Jelena Jankovic's official website; Images via tennisforum.com)

Still in relaxing mood...

There's no pressure in ending a 6-month title drought for Rafael Nadal.

He's currently taking a break to play golf in the Pro-Am of the Castello Masters Costa Azahar at the Club de Campo del Mediterraneo in Castellon de la Plana, Spain.

With golf pro Sergio Garcia

In the meanwhile, do expect lesser posts (maybe just 1 or 2 posts per day) from me during this time of the year as I'm trying to focus more on my work.

(Image via menstennisforums.com)

Oct 20, 2009

Swedish Sex Scandal: Pim Pim said Gulbis confessed it was him!

Sheraton Hotel where the 'players' were arrested.

I'm pretty sure that most of you already know about the latest sex scandal in tennis by now - "two foreign tennis players" were suspected to be involved in soliciting prostitutes before the Stockholm Open.

Investigation leader Jonas Trolle said the players were detained as they entered a hotel in Stockholm early Sunday with their escorts.

According to Sweden’s prostitution law, it punishes those who pay for sex but not the prostitutes.

Despite the on-going investigation, the tournament organiser said they wouldn’t stop anyone from competing in the tournament.

C'mon, we all know Ernie doesn't need to pay for sex...

Now, in the latest twist of the story, Joachim "Pim Pim" Johansson wrote in his blog saying that Ernests Gulbis has confessed he was involved!

Monaco fick sent igår kväll reda på att han blivit anklagad i argentinsk press för att han var den skyldige spelaren som köpt sex under helgen trots att Gulbis redan erkänt."

(Translated into English:) "Monaco found out last night that he was accused in the Argentine press of being the player who bought sex during the weekend while Gulbis already acknowledged. He will probably have a difficult time before the match on Wednesday. I'll try to take advantage of it early in the match ..."
(Updates: It seems that Pim Pim has removed this part from his blog post. Perhaps he didn't realised the commotion he had caused by ratted out Gulbis :P)

Although some media pointed their fingers to Simone Bolelli (he withdrew from Stockholm Open due to personal reason) and Juan Monaco as the second person to be involved, source told me otherwise.


Gulbis' accomplice in that scandal COULD BE Deivids Juksa (or
David Juksha as he spelt it in his FB), a former Latvian junior player and Gulbis' hitting partner.

Anyway, so far all these are just allegations. Probably more details will be revealed in the next few days.

I'll keep you posted.

(Images by Jerkker Ivarsson and via menstennisforums.com)

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Marvel superheroes photoshoot in Linz

This is not the usual WTA Superheroes marketing campaign you normally see.

Recently some WTA players and Austrian player 'Crazy' Daniel Köllerer took part in a 'Marvel Superheroes' photo shoot during Generali Ladies Linz tennis tournament.

Here's the outcome.

Daniel Köllerer

Tamira Paszek

Babsi Schett

Agniezska Radwanska and Timea Bacscinszky

Anna-Lena Grönefeld and Andre Petkovic

(Images via laola1.at)

Oct 19, 2009

Weekend winners: Davydenko, Stosur, Wickmayer

Sorry for the lack of post recently. I was enjoying my break from tennis blogging and twittering :P

Thanks to Astro, I did not miss a single night match of the Shanghai Masters.

It was a bit frustrating because I really thought Rafael Nadal could have clinched his 4th Masters title this year in Shanghai.

Nevermind, let's wait for Paris in early November.

After winning the Malaysian Open earlier this month, Nikolay Davydenko is taking home yet another trophy.

This time he upset Nadal 7-6 (3), 6-3 to win the Shanghai Masters for his fourth title of the year.

A kiss from wifey Irina.

In the men's doubles Frenchmen Julien Benneteau and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga surprised us by defeating Poles Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 6-2, 6-4.

In Osaka, Samantha Stosur finally earned her first WTA singles title with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Francesca Schiavone at the Japan Women’s Open.

In the women's doubles final, Chuang Chia-Jung and Lisa Raymond win their first doubles title together after defeated Chanelle Scheepers and Abigail Spears 6-2, 6-4.

Somewhere far from Asia, Yanina Wickmayer won her second career WTA Tour title, defeating Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-4 in the Generali Ladies final in Linz, Austria.

Meanwhile Katarina Srebotnik and Anna-Lena Groenefeld won the women's doubles title by overcoming Meghann Shaughnessy and Roberta Vinci 6-1, 3-6, 14-12.

(Images via Yahoo! Sports)

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