Archive for January, 2009

31
Jan
09

Billy Jean King’s equal pay policy is wrong!

billyjeankingFor some reason we have all been hood-winked by the equal pay syndrome expounded by feminists and liberal minded fair play supporters. I include myself in this second group because I believe in the equality of the sexes, and for equal pay for equal job performance. But the key word in the equation is equal performance. If I had paid $480 for a ticket to the women’s final I would be pissed off. Serena won because of the lack of competition, she is so much better than all the other players, with her sister being an exception, and yet, until the final she didn’t have to play at much more than 50% of her potential. She played one good set against Dementieva, and two good sets against Safina, and walked of with a cool $1.2 million! She was on the court for a total time of about 13 hours for the entire tournament. Whichever of the men win in the men’s final, they will have spent more than twice the amount of time on court than Serena, and yet they will take home the same prize money. Is it fair? No. Was a ticket to the Nadal/Verdasco match worth the money? Yes. Is the prize money amount irrelevant to the degree of entertainment supplied, and only equalized because it is politically correct?
Golf professionals are often compared to tennis professionals, neither receives a salary or a contract, they only get paid if they win. In a few instances the prize money for a women’s event is comparable to the mens, but the Grand Slams are not combined, the LPGA stands alone on their own two feet and does not benefit directly from the PGA. Why should tennis be any different? In golf the women play the same number of rounds and the same number of holes, maybe the course is a little shorter, but in all other aspects it is the same.
In tennis the women play best of 3 sets while the men play best of 5 sets, so shouldn’t their compensation be 3/5th’s of the mens compensation?
The answer has to do with entertainment value, and who will pay for a ticket to watch tennis live or on TV. There can be no argument that men tennis players are stronger, faster and better than their female counterparts, and if it is great tennis that the public wants to see, then the men’s game is the choice. But if the public choice is to see pretty, fist-pumping women in designer clothes, some with diamonds and jewels befitting a queen adorning their bodies, perspiring and acting like drama queens, then this too has a huge entertainment value.
So ask yourself this question. Are you a tennis watcher or a people watcher?

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31
Jan
09

Billy Jean King’s equal pay policy is wrong!

billyjeankingFor some reason we have all been hood-winked by the equal pay syndrome expounded by feminists and liberal minded fair play supporters. I include myself in this second group because I believe in the equality of the sexes, and for equal pay for equal job performance. But the key word in the equation is equal performance. If I had paid $480 for a ticket to the women’s final I would be pissed off. Serena won because of the lack of competition, she is so much better than all the other players, with her sister being an exception, and yet, until the final she didn’t have to play at much more than 50% of her potential. She played one good set against Dementieva, and two good sets against Safina, and walked of with a cool $1.2 million! She was on the court for a total time of about 13 hours for the entire tournament. Whichever of the men win in the men’s final, they will have spent more than twice the amount of time on court than Serena, and yet they will take home the same prize money. Is it fair? No. Was a ticket to the Nadal/Verdasco match worth the money? Yes. Is the prize money amount irrelevant to the degree of entertainment supplied, and only equalized because it is politically correct?
Golf professionals are often compared to tennis professionals, neither receives a salary or a contract, they only get paid if they win. In a few instances the prize money for a women’s event is comparable to the mens, but the Grand Slams are not combined, the LPGA stands alone on their own two feet and does not benefit directly from the PGA. Why should tennis be any different? In golf the women play the same number of rounds and the same number of holes, maybe the course is a little shorter, but in all other aspects it is the same.
In tennis the women play best of 3 sets while the men play best of 5 sets, so shouldn’t their compensation be 3/5th’s of the mens compensation?
The answer has to do with entertainment value, and who will pay for a ticket to watch tennis live or on TV. There can be no argument that men tennis players are stronger, faster and better than their female counterparts, and if it is great tennis that the public wants to see, then the men’s game is the choice. But if the public choice is to see pretty, fist-pumping women in designer clothes, some with diamonds and jewels befitting a queen adorning their bodies, perspiring and acting like drama queens, then this too has a huge entertainment value.
So ask yourself this question. Are you a tennis watcher or a people watcher?

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31
Jan
09

Junior champions at the 2009 aussie open.

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Indian youngster Yuki Bhambri turned in a dominating performance to beat Germany’s Alexandros-Ferdinandos Georgoudas 6-3 6-1 and take home the junior boys’ singles championship at Australian Open 2009.

It took only 57 minutes for 16-year-old Bhambri to make his official mark in the tennis world, overpowering his opponent with his trademark forehand and volley tactics.

He joins a long list of former Australian Open junior champions including Andy Roddick, Marcos Baghdatis and Gael Monfils.

 

Ksenia Pervak has scooped the Australian Open girls’ singles title for the first time in her career with a no-nonsense 6-3 6-1 win over Laura Robson on Saturday.

The Russian No.3 seed spent much of last season successfully playing satellite ITF tour events, and now holds a women’s world ranking of 154. The experience certainly stood her in good stead for today’s encounter with the young Brit.

Pervak dominated the game from the outset, driving balls deeps into the angles of the court while showing no sign of the leg problems that troubled her earlier in the week.

In contrast, Robson – who attracted column inches galore after winning the 2008 Wimbledon girls’ singles title – appeared flat. While rallies were plentiful, the No.5 seed rarely appeared in control of them.

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31
Jan
09

Serena wins a ‘no contest’ 4th. Aussie title!

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Serena Williams has won her fourth Australian Open title following an utterly masterful mauling of Russian Dinara Safina.

The American blitzed the No. 3 seed 6-0 6-3 in under an hour, smacking 23 winners and four aces while committing just seven unforced errors.

From the first point, Williams looked amazingly sharp, her groundstrokes grooved, serve dominant and return devastating.

Safina had no answer to Williams’ all-court power, and could only watch as 12 winners whistled by her in the first set.

Williams had already raced ahead 5-0 within 18 minutes when the Russian No. 3 seed decided to change her approach, attacking the net in the sixth game in a bid to disrupt the American’s momentum.

It was a tactic that failed to pay dividends – she only one won point in that game as Williams took the opening stanza in 22 minutes.

Safina was thankfully more competitive in the second set, clinching an unlikely break to move ahead 1-0 – her first lead of any kind during the match.

Her advantage was dishearteningly short-lived, however, as Williams broke back immediately and went on to hold for a 2-1 lead.

Safina was completely shell-shocked, and her game responded accordingly – she committed further double faults and errors to hand the American a 4-1 lead, and in just 44 minutes, the match was rapidly nearing a close.

To her credit, the Russian held firm in her subsequent service game, holding after a battle in the eighth game to force Williams to serve for the title.

As expected, the American wasted little time, serving out the final game to love and clinching the tournament after Safina attempted a drop shot on match point that landed just wide of the sideline.

It was a performance reminiscent of Williams’ annihilation of Maria Sharapova in the 2007 Melbourne Park final, and she joyously headed over to her player’s box to celebrate with her tight-knit entourage.

Williams now ascends to world No. 1 following the win.

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30
Jan
09

Men’s Doubles final set…….go knowlee!

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Second seeds Bob and Mike Bryan will contest their fifth straight Australian Open final against third seeds Mark Knowles and Mahesh Bhupathi, who will be appearing in their first Grand Slam championship title-match, on Saturday.

The Bryan twins defeated fourth seeds Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes 6-3, 6-3 in 54 minutes on the Hisense Arena, in what was a repeat of the 2008 US Open final. Dlouhy and Paes committed nine unforced errors, as the Bryans converted five of eight break point opportunities.

The 30-year-old Californians finished runner-up in 2004 (l. to Llodra-Santoro) and 2005 (l. to Black-Ullyett) and won back-to-back titles in 2006 (d. Damm-Paes) and 2007 (d. Bjorkman-Mirnyi).

They are currently fourth in the all-time doubles Grand Slam title leaders of the Open Era behind Australians John Newcombe and Tony Roche (7), Americans Peter Fleming and John McEnroe (7) and Australians Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde (11). 

The Bryans opened their 2009 ATP World Tour season by capturing their 50th ATP World Tour title at the Medibank International in Sydney (d. Nestor-Zimonjic). They are only the fourth team in the Open Era to win at least 50 titles, joining Woodbridge-Woodforde (61), Fleming-McEnroe (57), and Bob Hewitt and Frew McMillan (57).

Knowles and Bhupathi earned a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 win against the unseeded Polish-Austrian duo of Lukasz Kubot and Oliver Marach. They raced out to a 3-0 lead in the opening set, and then capitalised on three of their four break point chances in the second set to secure the victory in 58 minutes.

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30
Jan
09

Junior finals are set…..Robson is in!

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Rising British star Laura Robson has advanced into the girls’ singles final of Australian Open 2009 after defeating first seed Noppawan Lertcheewakarn of Thailand 6-4 6-3 on Friday afternoon.

Lertcheewakarn, who hadn’t lost a set coming into the match, began the first set in blistering form. She broke the 15-year-old Briton in the opening and third games to dash to a 3-0 lead.

But the 17-year-old from Thailand failed to hold in the following game as she struggled to get a first serve into play.

After making numerous errors in the first three games, the fifth-seeded Robson found some form, breaking Lertcheewakarn’s serve again to level the set at 4-4 en route to closing out the first frame in 41 minutes with a forehand winner down the line.

“I just did my best today, and that was good enough,” Robson said in her post-match press conference.

“I didn’t start so well. I felt really out of energy throughout the whole match, so it was good to get through it.”

Buoyed by her first set success, Robson then took control, racing to a 5-1 lead in the second set and eventually winning in 74 minutes on her way to her second Grand Slam girls’ singles final. Robson shot to prominence when she won the girls’ singles title at Wimbledon in 2008.

The Melbourne-born Briton will meet Ksenia Pervak of Russia in the final. Pervak, the third seed, ousted second-seeded Romanian Ana Bogdan 6-1 6-3 in 74 minutes to advance into her first girls’ Grand Slam singles final.

This will be the first encounter between Robson and Pervak, and the Russian thinks she has a good chance against the Briton.

“If I will play my game and if I will be aggressive and … [have] the confidence on the court, everything will be OK,” she said.

Meanwhile, top seed Yuki Bhambri of India was the first player to progress into the boys’ singles final after he overcame seventh seed Adrien Puget of France 6-4 6-4 in their semifinal.

Bhambri faced a tough encounter with his French opponent, and was pushed hard until the end. The 16-year-old Indian looked like he had the match under control after sealing the first set in 37 minutes.

But Puget bounced back in the second set, breaking the Indian to snatch a 4-1 lead. Bhambri then clawed his way back into the match, winning the next four games to get ahead at 5-4 and earn a chance to serve for the match. He sealed the hard-fought contest in an hour and 19 minutes.

Bhambri will face German Alexandros-Ferdinandos Georgoudas, who knocked out second seed Julen Uriguen of Guatemala 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 27 minutes.

This is the first time Bhambri and Georgoudas have reached a Grand Slam boys’ final, and their clash will be their first-ever meeting.

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30
Jan
09

nadal outlasts a game verdasco in 51/4 hours.

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Top seed Rafael Nadal has advanced to his first Australian Open final, defeating compatriot Fernando Verdasco 6-7(4) 6-4 7-6(2) 6-7(1) 6-4 in an epic Friday’s men’s singles semifinal to set up a dream match-up with second seed Roger Federer on Sunday.

Nadal, who hadn’t dropped a set en route to Friday’s semifinal, withstood a staggering 94 winners from the 14th-seeded Verdasco, who was appearing in his maiden Grand Slam semifinal.

At five hours and 14 minutes, the match was the longest in Australian Open history, surpassing the 1991 Boris Becker/Omar Camporese marathon, which lasted for five hours and 11 minutes. I can just imagine Roger Federer relaxing in his hotel room encouraging Verdasco to keep going and keep Nadal on court. A rematch between the two superstars has been anticipated by the Aussie Open officials, and now their hopes have been realized. It will be an unbelievable feat if Nadal can recuperate and have enough energy left to give his best against the 3 time champion.

The meeting will be the 19th between the best two players in the world since 2005, with Nadal winning 12 of their previous 18 meetings, including all four times they played in 2008. Sunday’s final will be their first meeting since their memorable Wimbledon final last year, an epic five-setter than lasted nearly five hours, Nadal winning it 9-7 in the final set. Sunday’s match will be their seventh Grand Slam decider, Nadal having won four of their six meetings in major finals so far. The pair has met five times on a hard court, Federer winning three of those encounters. Their most recent meeting on a hard court was in the semifinals of the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai in 2007, which Federer won in straight sets.

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29
Jan
09

Junior girls final four features laura robson.

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Tennis fans in the UK have been starved for someone to root for since before I was born. Andy Murray has lifted their spirits and their dreams of finally having a champion, and some day he might win a ‘big’ one. But Laura Robson could fulfill the British void before Murray does. She will play today in the semi final of the junior girls event against the #1 ranked junior Noppawan Lertcheewakam from Thailand, in a match that will draw a lot of attention from the loyal British fans and the British press. The talented Miss Robson just turned 15 on January 21st, 3 years younger than her opponent, but at 14 she became the youngest girl to win the Junior Wimbledon title. An injury forced her to retire from the Orange Bowl in December, and eliminated any chance she might of had of being ranked as #1. She already has an ITF title to her credit, and she seems destined to become a future star of the women’s circuit. The other semi final will be played between the #2 and #3 seeds, Ana Bogdan of Romania and Ksenia Pervak of Russia.

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29
Jan
09

Federer moves on to the Aussie final.

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World No.2 Roger Federer has advanced to the men’s singles final of Australian Open 2009 after defeating Andy Roddick 6-2 7-5 7-5 in their semifinal on Thursday night.

After a second straight scorching day in Melbourne, one where temperatures hovered at 43 degrees for much of the afternoon, the conditions became kinder before the 7.30pm start, with the mercury dropping six degrees in eight minutes just after 7pm. The roof on Rod Laver Arena, closed all day because of the Australia Open’s Extreme Heat Policy, was opened just before play commenced.

In the opening set, Federer secured the first break with a down-the-line forehand in the third game, and broke Roddick again when the American netted a forehand volley to sprint to a 4-1 lead. An agitated Roddick displayed his displeasure with two video line-calling decisions that went Federer’s way on back-to-back points in the sixth game, and his mood wouldn’t have improved when he squandered two break point chances in the eighth game, gifting Federer the set 6-2 in 32 minutes. 

Roddick saved two break points in the opening game of the second set, but could make little impression on the Swiss’ serve, Federer leveling at 2-2 with an audacious backhand chip down the line. Games then went on serve, with Roddick imposing himself on the contest with six aces in his first four service games. Both players served at better than 65 per cent on their first serves for the first eight games of the set, and with a tiebreak looking inevitable, Federer piled on the pressure to break Roddick to love in the 11th game of the set, with the American netting three volleys in a scrappy game. The Swiss then served out the set to love, winning it 7-5 in 43 minutes. After two sets, the second seed had won 33 of the 37 points where he’d landed his first serve, serving nine aces to Roddick’s seven. Roddick’s impressively low error count – just eight in the first two sets – was largely negated by Federer’s serving dominance.

The American got on the board first in the third set, Federer not winning a point in either of the American’s first two service games. Federer was then forced to scramble in the fourth game, saving two break points. The Swiss then earned two break points on Roddick’s serve in the fifth game, squandering them both with atypical errors, and Roddick held on after a gorgeous chip backhand down the line that left Federer flailing. Games then went comfortably on serve until the ninth game, where a Roddick double fault and a sprayed forehand saw him behind 0-30. The American recovered to deuce, took advantage with a brave overhead, and then clubbed a crosscourt forehand to go up 5-4. Roddick had Federer under pressure at 15-30 in the next game after a superb backhand volley, but the Swiss served his way out of trouble to level at five games apiece. Federer’s 20th forehand winner of the match gave him an early look-in on Roddick’s serve in the next game, and the American saved three break points before Federer’s wristy cross-court forehand on the fourth opportunity gave him a break and a chance to serve for the match. He did so comfortably, wrapping up the match in 127 minutes.

Federer, who is chasing his 14th Grand Slam title to equal the number won by the great Pete Sampras, improved his head-to-head record with Roddick to 16-2, and will now play the winner of tomorrow night’s semifinal between Spaniards Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco on Sunday.

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29
Jan
09

Serena will meet Dinara in the Aussie final.

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Calm, collected and cool—with the Rod Laver Arena roof closed to keep out Melbourne’s oppressive heat wave—the second-seeded American ended Olympic champion Elena Dementieva’s 15-match winning streak with a 6-3, 6-4 victory Thursday to reach the Australian Open final.

All that stands between her and a 10th Grand Slam title is third-seeded Dinara Safina, who is hungry to take home her first major trophy to go along with the two that brother Marat Safin has earned. Safina ousted fellow Russian Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 7-6 (4) in the other semifinal. The winner Saturday also will rise to the No. 1 ranking.

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