Archive for the 'Billy Jean Cup' Category


Kim will join the other Slam winners in the Billie Jean Cup.

kim cl2Belgium’s Kim Clijsters went from a player with no ranking to 19th in the world with her spectacular comeback victory at the U.S. Open.

Fourteen competitive matches since ending her two-year absence from the professional ranks, Clijsters became the envy of all those tennis players who toil away for years by reaching the top 20 in the new WTA rankings published on Monday.

Clijsters, who rose to world No. 1 in August 2003 and won her only previous grand slam event at Flushing Meadows four years ago before heading into retirement in 2007, said she had not expected her progress to be so easy.

With her win at this year’s US Open, Kim Clijsters has qualified for an invitation to the 2010 BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup. Pending her acceptance, Clijsters will join Serena Williams (Australian Open/Wimbledon) and Svetlana Kuznetsova (French Open), who have already qualified. The fourth player will be named in the next several weeks and will come from a list of former Grand Slam winners or world No. 1 players.

The BNP Paribas Showdown on March 1, which is part of “Tennis Night in America,” will bring together the 2009 Women’s Grand Slam winners or world No. 1 players, vying for $1.2 million in prize money and the Billie Jean King Cup.

“Mentally I really had to just tell myself: ‘OK, Kim, you’re starting from zero here’,” the 26-year-old Belgian told reporters after her 7-5, 6-3 triumph over Dane Caroline Wozniacki in New York on Sunday.

A first-round loss in New York would have seen her ranked around 181st, the WTA said on Monday, after creditable performances in her comeback events in Cincinnati and Toronto.

However, after steamrolling her way to the U.S. Open title, eclipsing both Williams sisters en route, the affable Belgian was propelled into the world’s top 20.


no surprises at billy jean cup…serena wins!


Serena Williams looked up at the rafters after beating her older sister Venus to win the Billie Jean King Cup. Following a short trip to her courtside chair, she walked to the center of the court, held her racquet up and waved to the crowd.

Yes, the world’s No. 1 player enjoyed her first tennis tournament at Madison Square Garden.

Serena wore down Venus in a 6-4, 6-3 victory Monday night, wowing the fans with her impressive power as women’s tennis returned to the Garden after a nine-year absence.

“Definitely winning in Madison Square Garden, also with Billie Jean and this Cup is just really fun and it being the first time is really cool,” said Serena Williams, who took home $400,000 of the $1.2 million purse.

“I’m really excited about that opportunity. Hopefully it will continue to open more doors for women’s sports and women’s tennis.

The Williams sisters gave the crowd of 12,026 exactly what it wanted by advancing to the championship, but Venus was never the same after she was broken in a marathon game in the first set.

“The crowd was really nice, definitely,” said Venus Williams, who won the Mexican Open on Saturday night for her second WTA Tour title in two weeks. “I thought they were rooting for me to get back in and take it to the third, which I couldn’t quite do.”

The Garden hosted the WTA season-ending championships every year but one from 1977-2000, but the marquee event hasn’t been back since. After Roger Federer beat Pete Sampras in a riveting three-setter at MSG last year, four of the top seven women’s players in the world agreed to stage their own exhibition at “the world’s most famous arena.”

Serena Williams shook off an early challenge from seventh-ranked Ana Ivanovic and won 6-3 in the second semifinal after Venus advanced with a 6-4 victory over Jelena Jankovic in the one-night exhibition.

The sisters were tied at 4 in the championship when they engaged in easily the longest game of the night. After nine deuces, Venus dumped a backhand into the net on Serena’s eighth break point of the game. Serena then held to take the first set and opened the second with another break as a weary Venus struggled with her serve.

“I just would’ve loved to have held there,” Venus said of the critical stretch in the first set. “That’s tennis—you can’t get broke that much. Too many breaks today.”

Before the final, former President Bill Clinton, figure skaters Sarah Hughes and Nancy Kerrigan and race car driver Janet Guthrie participated in a tribute to Billie Jean King, who founded the Women’s Tennis Association in 1973.

“She has probably done more than any other woman in the world to empower women and educate men,” Clinton said.

The Williams sisters were clearly the biggest attraction for the crowd, which braved a winter snowstorm to catch the stars before they come back to the area this summer for the U.S. Open. Many of the fans filed out after Serena won the first set of the championship.

The first semifinal featured solid serving and erratic groundstrokes. Venus Williams got the only break when the third-ranked Jankovic hit a backhand wide and won when the Serb belted a forehand long on match point after Williams failed to put away an overhead.

Serena Williams rallied from 15-40 down to hold serve in the third game of her semifinal, then broke Ivanovic to go up 3-1. Ivanovic earned two more break points in the seventh game but Williams rallied to take a 5-2 lead.

The Billie Jean King Cup was part of “Tennis Night in America,” an effort by the U.S. Tennis Association to get youth registered for the sport. More than 750 tennis and community centers were signing up kids for spring and summer leagues.

“Billie Jean King has done so much for the game,” Jankovic said. “She’s really a true legend in the sport. I think this is a really great tribute to her.”

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ana ivanovic talks about new york.

ana-rolex1I’m looking forward to playing Serena again on Monday night in New York. It’s a little strange that we play each other two times in a row, considering that I only played her once in a number of years before this month. I really enjoyed our match in Dubai and felt like I had my chances.

In Dubai the tournament kindly invited us to stay at the Burj Al-Arab hotel, which was amazing. It’s one of the most famous hotels in the world, and they say that they are the only seven-star hotel: it’s easy to see why! Everything about the hotel is incredible, especially the service: they really don’t let you lift a finger!

Craig and I have been working well together on the court. He is very positive and I like his coaching philosophy so far. For example, he is more concerned with tactics and dominating opponents instead of looking closely at technique and videos; I think this suits me.

Dubai was good progress for me. I felt like I was getting my confidence back and playing some aggressive tennis. It was a good start to our coaching relationship and hopefully I can continue to improve in America over the next month.

The exhibition in New York promises to be a great event. I’m very much looking forward to playing at Madison Square Garden for the first time, and this no-advantage scoring is going to be very interesting.

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billy jean cup tickets on sale now.


 Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic and the Williams sisters will face off in a one night only, single elimination event which will also celebrate tennis legend Billie Jean King. The BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup is scheduled for Monday, March 2 at Madison Square Garden and will be telecast live on HBO at 7:30pm.

Limited front row VIP tickets for $1,000.00 and additional tickets listed at $325.00, $175.00, $125.00, $75.00, and $50.00 have gone on sale and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office.

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