Archive for June, 2009

30
Jun
09

Sir Andrew Murray of Oxshott?

andy mThe tennis superstar who is bidding to become the first British Wimbledon champion since 1936 is moving to Oxshott – leaving villagers delighted.

Andy Murray is swapping his river-side apartment in London for a six-bedroom home in the village. The house, which has an indoor swimming pool complete with sauna and Jacuzzi, and a cinema, doesn’t have a tennis court.

Mina Salahshourian, from Reeds Florist, in the High Street, said: “I think it’s a good thing he is coming here.

“It’s a good place to live and everyone here is excited about him moving here.

 “It is a small village community and everyone is friendly, so I think he will be very welcome.”

Peter Cross, from Surrey Hills Butchers, said he thought the Scottish star would fit in well in the village, which also boasts Premiership football players.

He said: “I only found out he was moving to Oxshott on Tuesday morning when one of our drivers said they saw Andy Murray’s mum walking past the shop.

“I think the villagers will be happy with him here and I think he will like our pretty, cosmopolitan village.”

Village resident Cherie Felgate added: “Oxshott has an excellent community and it can only be a good thing to have people like him living here.

“I am looking forward to welcoming him and telling people I know that I live near him.”

Murray will share his £5.45 million mansion, built by Cobham-based company Avicam Homes, with long-term girlfriend Kim Sears, 21.

Their new neighbours include England captain John Terry, and Chelsea’s Didier Drogba.

30
Jun
09

‘Women’s tennis is all about Sex!’……Hello!

sharapova-dulkoMichael Stich might have been on to something when he said that female tennis players are “just there to sell sex.” Sunday evening, the All England Club admitted that physical attractiveness is taken into consideration when deciding which women will play on Wimbledon’s Centre Court.

Spokesman Johnny Perkins said, “Good looks are a factor,” adding, “It’s not a coincidence that those (on Centre Court) are attractive.”

Many of tennis’ top female seeds have been relegated to lesser courts, while a string of easy-on-the-eyes unknowns have been appearing on Wimbledon’s prime time court. On Friday, for example, second seed Serena Williams’ match against Italy’s Roberta Vinci was held on the new No. 2 court, while 8th seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus went up against Romania’s Sorana Cirstea (28th seed) on Centre Court. In this case, it’s obvious that looks, rather than actual talent played a role in their placement.

The sparse crowds for the Azarenka vs. Cirstea match, however, are telling. It’s pretty clear that the crowds attending the matches are far more knowledgable about the sport and it’s players than are the BBC television audiences that they’re designing the match-ups for.

‘It’s the Wimbledon play committee, not us who decides on the order of play. But obviously it’s advantageous to us if there are good-looking women players on Centre Court.

No one has heard of many of the women now, so if they are pretty it definitely gives them an edge. Our preference would always be a Brit or a babe as this always delivers high viewing figures.”

Further evidence that the good looking players are being promoted to Centre Court over more talented, yet not as good looking players are demoted to the outer courts is evidenced. Centre Court featured on Wednesday the so called “Battle of the Babes”, with unseeded Gisela Dulko (world rank 45) up against unseeded Maria Sharapova (world rank 60). And then on Thursday it was 9th seed Caroline Wozniacki against Maria Kirilenko (world rank 59) on Centre Court, while number one seed Dinara Safina was downgraded to an outer court.

Not everyone is pleased with the way the schedule is being done. Safina, 23, said “I mean of course it’s not fair, but then I’m not doing the schedule.”

French Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova, 24, is also upset by the scheduling, She commented:

‘It’s weird. If you look at the schedule, it’s not only about me.

‘It’s about Dinara on Court No 2, Venus (Williams) on Court No 1 and the girls who are not very highly seeded they play on Centre.

‘I respect them. They’re great players for sure. But this is what’s weird for me; what’s their strategy, what’s their plan of making the schedule?

‘This is what surprises me a little bit.’

Serena Williams, who is used to being the center of attention and one of the sport’s top players, even got lost on her way to finding the No. 2 court Friday. She was 10 minutes late for her match.

This would never happen with the men, where the top players – no matter how good looking or ugly they are – will always play on Centre Court.

30
Jun
09

While you’re Grandad is looking away…

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30
Jun
09

…one has to win, and one has to lose…

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Only once in the last nine years has there been a Wimbledon women’s final that didn’t feature at least one of the Williams sisters. The sisters were the only two Grand Slam winners left in the women’s field—Serena has 10 major titles and Venus seven.

The sisters have met in three Wimbledon finals, including last year, and remain on course for a fourth title meeting. Venus has won two of the three. They are 10-10 in career meetings.

“I would love it to be a Williams final, and so would she,” Venus said. “That would be great.”

Venus is trying to become the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1991-93 to win three Wimbledon titles in a row.

30
Jun
09

#1?….not on today’s performance!

Dinara-Safina-Wimbledon-Day-Eight-2009-2_2323571Top seed Dinara Safina kept her hopes of a maiden Grand Slam title alive as she fought back to beat Wimbledon surprise package Sabine Lisicki.

The world number one came from a set down to triumph 6-7 (5/7) 6-4 6-1 and set up a semi-final meeting with defending champion Venus Williams. This match-up might do a lot to reinforce Serena’s claim that she is the ‘best’ player in the world. On today’s performance Safina was far from convincing and her match must go down as one of the worst quarter final games in Wimbledon history. Her only hope against Venus, is for Venus’s leg to cause her problems, but then she could probably beat Safina with just one leg anyway!

Some poor serving, particularly in the first set, threatened to undermine her efforts, but Safina dug in to end the hopes of the German teenager.

Three double faults in the third game of the match from Safina handed Lisicki the first break of serve and the Russian then missed a chance in the following game to hit straight back.

30
Jun
09

Nadal will miss the Davis Cup.

Rafael-Nadal-preWimbledon-2009_2319705Rafael Nadal has been ruled out of Spain’s Davis Cup quarter-final against Germany due to his ongoing injury problems.

The world number one was forced to miss Wimbledon with tendonitis in both knees and on Tuesday he announced he had lost his battle to be fit for the defending champions’ last-eight tie against the Germans in Marbella.

Fernando Verdasco, Tommy Robredo, David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez have been named for the clash which takes place from July 10-12.

30
Jun
09

It’s Lady’s Day at Wimbledon.

azarenka 5Serena Williams will concede eight years to her quarter-final opponent this afternoon but insists she is not feeling her age as she attempts to close in on a third Wimbledon crown.

The appearance of two teenagers in the last eight of the women’s singles suggests the arrival of a new order but the Williams sisters are strongly fancied to set up a repeat of their 2002, 2003 and 2008 finals.

Standing in Serena’s way today is 19-year-old Victoria Azarenka, the eighth seed who became the first woman from Belarus to reach the quarter-finals since Natasha Zvereva in 1998 when she defeated Nadia Petrova 7-6 2-6 6-3 in the fourth round yesterday.

“She’s obviously a good player and she’s really young,” said Serena. “She has nothing to lose, this is Wimbledon.

“When you’re playing the girls who are really young, they really want it, as bad as I still want it. It always makes for a good fight.

“It’s good to be young and hungry. It was great when I was 19, 20. I think I’m still in a great position because I’m really young in life. I feel really young out there on the court still so I’m excited.”

Azarenka, who has won three WTA Tour titles this year, knows she will have to produce the match of her life to halt her opponent, who has yet to drop a set so far in the tournament.

“Of course it’s a big match,” Azarenka said. “It’s going to be loud in the big stadium and everything.

“I just have to stay focused and just keep playing my game, not worry about the fact that I’m playing Serena in the quarter-finals.

“I think it’s going to be a good match. She’s obviously playing great and likes the surface.”

Azarenka lost to Williams in the Australian Open for the second successive year but gained a touch of revenge with a 6-3 6-1 victory in Miami, not that she is reading too much into that result.

“It’s tough to take something out of it because she was injured there and here it’s a completely different game,” she said.

Serena is second on Centre Court, with Venus opening up on Court One against 11th seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat American teenager Melanie Oudin to reach the last eight for the second successive year.

Top seed Dinara Safina is first on Centre Court today against Sabine Lisicki, the 19-year-old German who is one of two unseeded players in the last eight.

Lisicki followed up earlier victories over top-30 ranked Russians Anna Chakvetadze and Svetlana Kuznetsova with a 6-4 6-4 win against ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki, of Denmark, to reach her first grand slam quarter-final.

Safina produced her best tennis of the year to see off Amelie Mauresmo in the first match to be played under the Centre Court roof and will seek to avenge a shock defeat by Lisicki in the 2008 Australian Open.

The other tie today sees fourth seed Elena Dementieva take on the unseeded Italian Francesca Schiavone.

30
Jun
09

It was Ham & Swiss with no mustard!

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Andy Murray complained bitterly about conditions caused by Wimbledon’s new £80 million roof last night as he fought back from his biggest scare of this Wimbledon to win the most thrilling match of a tournament transformed by blazing floodlights. Murray showed a less likeable side to his nature as the enormity of the occassion is obviosly catching up to him. His facial expressions, hand wringing and temper tantrums were reminiscent of Serena the drama queen, and unless he can begin to come to grips with the pressure I’m afraid that the #1 Swiss player will have no problem  gobbling him up in straight sets.

The new Centre Court roof was fully closed for the first time for competitive action to allow Murray to complete a dramatic 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 win over Stanislas Wawrinka, of Switzerland, in 3hr 56min, with the rest of Wimbledon cloaked in darkness.

But he was not happy in the immediate aftermath of success. “We were sending for towels from the locker rooms because we were sweating so much,” Murray said. “My hands were drenched as though I had been in the bath. I struggled to serve because the ball wasn’t leaving the racket very quickly. After my first service game, I thought they had turned the lights up but the umpire said they hadn’t.”

This was Wimbledon for the 21st century, the Centre Court bathed in light with Murray playing under carefully controlled conditions late into the night, the epic contest engaging not just the 15,000 spectators in the extraordinary new stadium but an entire nation. Those who saw it will talk of this night for years to come.

Murray, though, criticised the authorities for not giving the players enough time to prepare to play under the roof for the first time and complained that the atmosphere was hot and humid and the court heavy.

29
Jun
09

Will Dr. Ivo serve his way into history?

karlovic_17Ivo Karlovic edged his way through a tense serve-dominated match against crowd darling Fernando Verdasco to reach the quarter-finals of The Championships for the first time.

 It was the giant Croat who had the best of the tiebreaks as he prevailed 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (4-6), 6-4, 7-6 (11-9) in three hours and one minute.

After one hour and 41 minutes, the match had boiled down to one tiebreak success each, during which the No.1 Court crowd had come out heavily in favour of the Spaniard, who was cutting a frustrated figure for the most part as he struggled to make any impact on his opponent’s booming serve.

With Karlovic’s serve in full working order – he served up 35 aces today – he should be approached with caution, even by his next opponent Roger Federer.

After securing victory, the usually reserved Karlovic treated his barmy army of shirtless fans to a victory jig that his fellow giant sportsman Peter Crouch, the England footballer, would have been proud of.

Speaking afterwards, Karlovic said: “I took a risk with a couple of shots in the tiebreak and luckily they came off. Now I will play Roger Federer who is perhaps the best tennis player ever. I’ll have my chances. We’ll see.”

29
Jun
09

Murray will have to do much better against Federer!

Andy-Murray-Wimbledon-2009-rd-4-celeb_2323214

Andy Murray is through to the Wimbledon quarter-finals after a late-night, five-set victory over Stanislas Wawrinka.

Murray prevailed 2-6 6-3 6-3 5-7 6-3 under the Centre Court roof in what was the latest-ever finish at the Championships.

Play finished at 2238 BST as Murray set up a last-eight meeting with former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero on Wednesday.

“That was pretty special,” said Murray after clinching victory. With the crowd behind him and everyone caught up in the drama of their ‘hero’ hopefully moving on to the Wimbledon final, there must be twinge of doubt in Murray’s corner about his stamina and his ability to produce enough of a winning style to defeat Roger Federer on grass. After watching this match the pendulum has swung strongly in favour of Federer.

“I thought Stan played a great match. The standard he set at the start of the match was very tough to keep up with. I had a lot of chances in the fourth set and didn’t take them. I was getting tired towards the end and I’m pretty sure this is now the latest finish at Wimbledon so it’s great.

“It was tough, he was playing great, I had my chances but he came out with some big shots and I got a little bit tentative sometimes and in five-set matches there are momentum shifts, but I stayed tough.”

In a match played entirely under the new Centre Court roof due to the threat, rather than the presence, of rain, Murray was pushed to the limit by the gallant Swiss.




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