October 31, 2005
Andre Agassi qualified for the Tennis Masters Cup in China, leaving only two spots open in the season-ending showcase.
Agassi made the eight-player field for the Nov. 7-13 event in Shanghai when David Nalbandian lost Saturday in the Swiss Indoors semifinals. Already in the field are Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and Marat Safin. The final two spots, as well as an alternate, will be determined at this week's Paris Masters. Guillermo Coria and Nikolay Davydenko are the leading contenders for the final spots and are in the same half of the draw in Paris.
The 35-year-old Agassi is the oldest player to qualify for the circuit-ending championships since Jimmy Connors did so at the same age in 1987. Agassi last played the Masters Cup in 2003 at Houston, where he finished runner-up to Federer. Federer is recovering from a foot injury and hopes to be ready for Shanghai. The top-ranked Swiss walked without crutches Sunday during a ceremony at the Swiss Indoors. He tore a ligament in his right foot during training in October while trying to hit a forehand. "The foot is better," he said. "The countdown is running now with two weeks to go before the Masters Cup. I hope it works out."
Federer was honored in Basel for winning the 2005 Laureus award in May as sportsman of the year. He addressed fans from center court, appearing tentative on his feet. Federer, who won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open this year, was sidelined for the Madrid Masters and Swiss Indoors. He also will miss the Paris Masters. In August, Federer pulled out of the Rogers Cup in Montreal because of another foot injury. He came back and won the Thailand Open on Oct. 2.
AOL sports news
October 21, 2005
Using female models as ball girls in Madrid last year sparked accusations of sexism. Accusations of sexism may be little harsh, but there was definitely an air of objectification. Madrid's response this year? Male models will be ball boys for the women's tourney. This certainly weakens the sexism argument, but as for objectification...well, who cares? Now we're even.
Male models to take centre stage at women's Tour Champs
Female models are once again engaged in tennis ball-collecting duties at this week's Madrid Masters, but organisers say their male counterparts will take charge when the women's Tour Championships are held in the Spanish capital next year.
The use of female models in place of the traditional ball boys and girls for the televised matches sparked objections from some local and national politicians who accused the organisers of sexism when they were introduced last year.
This year the response has been more low key, but organisers say the publicity stunt has been so successful they will now use male models when the top eight women players gather in Madrid for the WTA Tour Championships between November 7 and 12 next year.
By Simon Baskett - Reuters UK
October 21, 2005
Just as we have seen in the NFL with the coaches' ability to challenge a call and request a Replay Review by a referee, it seems professional tennis is heading in a similar direction. In the tennis world however, the request would be made by the players. The details haven't been ironed out, but here is a quick summary by Bonnie DeSimone.
Hawk-Eye on the future of tennis
The eyes still have it, unanimously -- but perhaps not for long. Tennis has taken another step toward using high-tech backup to review line calls.
The International Tennis Federation announced late last week that the Hawk-Eye electronic officiating system has been deemed technically sound by a committee made up of representatives from the ITF and the men's and women's pro tours. Still unsettled are a timetable for implementation and rules under which players would be allowed to request reviews. Hawk-Eye, developed by British entrepreneur Paul Hawkins, uses video feed and computer analysis to generate an image of a shot's precise landing point on a monitor within three to five seconds.
Bonnie DeSimone via ESPN.com
October 21, 2005
October 17, 2005
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Andy Roddick clinched a berth in the Tennis Masters Cup, leaving four of the eight spots open. As winners of the year's Grand Slam titles, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Marat Safin were assured places in the $4.45 million season-ending tournament, Nov. 7-13 at Shanghai, China. It's the third consecutive year Roddick qualified for the Tennis Masters Cup. "It shows that you have been one of the best throughout the year," the 2003 U.S. Open champion said. Among those in contention for the four remaining berths are Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt, Guillermo Coria, Gaston Gaudio, Juan Carlos Ferrero, David Nalbandian and Ivan Ljubicic.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS via seattlepi.com
October 14, 2005
The Williams sisters have made names for themselves not only in the tennis world, but also in pop culture. The most recent examples of this can be seen in mentions in popular Hip Hop songs by Snoop Dogg and Kanye west. Why does it matter? I would argue that anytime tennis players gain notice among popular celebrities (however unlikely), it's good for the game.
Hey it's no McEnroe / Connors rivalry...but it's something.
Signs by Snoop Dogg feat. Charlie Wilson & Justin Timberlake
"Mami, Mamasita, have you ever - flown on G5s
From London - to Ibiza
You gotta have cake (tell' em).
You'll have Sunday's with chiquitas.
You'll see Venus and Serena,
In the Wimbledon Arena.
And I can take you."
Gold Digger by Kanye West
"...but I'm lookin for the one
have you seen her
My psychic told me she'll have a ass like Serena"
October 13, 2005
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - James Blake rallied from a set down to beat Christophe Rochus 6-7 (9), 7-5, 6-2 Thursday to reach the Stockholm Open quarterfinals.
Rochus' older brother, Olivier, defeated Julien Benneteau of France 6-4, 6-2, and 2002 Stockholm champion Paradorn Srichaphan advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Alexander Waske of Germany.
Blake, a quarterfinalist in the U.S. Open, lost the first-set tiebreak 11-9 and was broken early in the second set. But he wasn't worried. "Being down a break and a set doesn't mean that much," Blake said. "I knew that I had the confidence to win the match and luckily it came through for me today. I knew I had to pressure early in the third set. He doesn't have much of an offensive game." It was the second time this fall the 24-year-old Blake played one of the Rochus brothers. "I played his brother a few weeks ago," Blake said. "Both fight very hard. They play great defense. So it tough to put balls away even on indoor hard."
Paradorn and Rochus have not lost a set in their first two matches at the Royal Tennis Hall.
In Friday's quarterfinals, Blake plays the winner of the match between Belgium's Xavier Malisse and Alberto Martin of Spain.
Paradorn will play two-time defending champion Thomas Johansson of Sweden, while Rochus will face either Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman or Mario Ancic of Croatia.
By STEPHAN NASSTROM, AP Sports
Roger injured a ligament in his right foot during training
and will miss at least two weeks of tournaments.
He was hurt in training while he tried to hit
a forehand drive shot.
Now he is walking with crutches.
The mishap will keep Roger out of action for up to three weeks.
Roger is likely to miss next week's Madrid Masters.
He will also miss his home event, the Swiss Indoors in Basel.
"After bad luck last year with my thigh and now this. I'm extremely disappointed, above all that I can't play at home for the second straight year in Basel. But I'm hoping to go to Shanghai again perfectly fit," said Roger.
Medical opinion is optimistic that Roger will be fit for the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai from November 13-20.
October 7, 2005
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Wimbledon champion Venus Williams has pulled out of next week's Kremlin Cup with a knee injury, tournament organisers said on Friday. The American has not played since pulling out injured of last month's China Open. The former world number one has been troubled by various injuries throughout her career. Williams, who was seeded third at the $2.3 million tournament which begins at Moscow's Olympic sports complex on Monday, will be replaced by French Open and U.S. Open finalist Mary Pierce. World number one Maria Sharapova, who will be making her Kremlin Cup debut, is the top seed followed by France's Amelie Mauresmo. Williams's withdrawal is the latest blow for organisers after Australian Open champion and home favorite Marat Safin withdrew with the same problem. The world number five has not fully recovered from a ligament tear in his left knee that has troubled him since Wimbledon and forced him to miss the U.S. Open.
Maintaining competitive composure throughout today's quarterfinal clash with Kim Clijsters, Elena Dementieva finally snapped on serve today. The fifth-seeded Russian snapped a seven-match losing streak to Clijsters in style, cracking an ace to reach triple match point and serving out the match at love to score a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 triumph and advance to the semifinals of the $650,000 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Filderstadt. It was Dementieva's first victory over Clijsters in five years. The 23-year-old Russian conquered Clijsters for the first time since scoring a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victory in their first professional meeting in the 2000 Chase Championships quarterfinals at Madison Square Garden in New York. Reigning U.S. Open champion Clijsters entered this encounter with a 23-match winning streak and had claimed four consecutive championships: Los Angeles, Toronto, the U.S. Open and Luxembourg. The sometime sporadic Dementieva serve was the key stroke in the final set a she held serve for 3-1. Pounding away with relentless aggression from behind the baseline, Dementieva pushed Clijsters in pursuit and scored her second service break to extend her lead to 4-1. Serving for the match at 5-2, Dementieva delivered an ace then closed out the victory at love to advance to her second Filderstadt semifinal in the last four years. The eighth-ranked Russian will take on either sixth-seeded compatriot Nadia Petrova or third-seeded French woman Amelie Mauresmo for a spot in the final. Clijsters, who leads the WTA Tour with eight tournament titles, has won 62 of the 69 matches she's played this season.
October 5, 2005
Paris - French Open finalist Mariano Puerta of Argentina tested positive for a stimulant at Roland Garros in June, sports daily l'Equipe reported on Wednesday. The player could face a life ban as he had already been banned for nine months for testing positive for an anabolic steroid in 2003. He tested positive for Etilefrine, used for hypotension. Puerta, who lost the Roland Garros final to Spain's Rafael Nadal, has climbed into the top 10 after starting the year at 400. L'Equipe said the player will not be identified by the men's ruling body, ATP, until he has appeared before a doping panel. Puerta, 27, is the fifth Argentine player to have tested positive for drugs. Guillermo Canas was suspended two years in 2005, Martin Rodriguez was docked ATP points and his winnings in 2003, Guillermo Coria was suspended seven months in 2001 and Juan Ignacio Chela suspended three months in 2000. In Paris in June, Puerta said his comeback from the tennis wilderness was due to hard work and sacrifice. The left-hander had tested positive for clenbutherol, a favourite drug of the former East German athletes in the 1980s, at a tournament in Vina del Mar in 2003.