Posts Tagged ‘serena

08
Dec
08

serena out of Hopman Cup!

shaughnessyComplaining of a continuation of a sore hamstring, Serena has withdrawn from the Hopman Cup, but says she intends to go to Melbourne for the Australian Open on Jan.19th. Her place on the USA team will be taken by Meghann Shaughnessy, who will patner James Blake.

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08
Dec
08

Daddy’s little Girls?

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Whenever I read a news item about who Maria Sharapova is dating, or see a picture of Serena on the beach in Hawaii with her ‘boyfriend’, I have to wonder if their over protective Daddy’s are still lurking behind the scenes somewhere. I have a vision of Maria and her beau Charlie having dinner in a fancy restaurant, and there is Daddy hiding behind the potted fern looking like a Russian spy from an old TV movie. I wonder if Venus still has to check in with Richard if she wants to snuggle up to her mate and try out a different forehand stroke? I always felt sorry for Jelena Dokic when her Dad was in the stands, and I have a feeling that her demise has a lot to do with her mental stability resulting from his well-intended interference. She is in Melbourne right now trying to qualify for the Aussie Open, but don’t tell her Dad.
Proud parents are wonderful and deserve to relish in their kids achievements, but enough is enough! The Djokovic family handles the success of their eldest son with enthusiasm, and always appear to be genuine in their appreciation of what he is doing for himself and for his country. The new ‘Novak’ restaurant in Belgrade has given the family a new interest, and they have also secured a commitment from the ATP to have a tournament in their home country. Nole is busy canvasing the top players for their participation in the inaugural event.
Tennis Dads must be something like Hockey Mums, and for a coach they can be worse than the plague.
It must be tough to have a celebrity as a daughter, and difficult to see provocative pictures of her plastered over the front pages of the newspapers, but it is the price of stardom. Dads and daughters often have a special relationship, different to a son’s, and for most Dads the pride they feel gets mixed up with their natural protectiveness.
These parents have become rich because of their kids talents,so sit back and enjoy it, and let them enjoy it too!

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03
Dec
08

Women Grand Slam winners for 2009?

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So much depends on Maria Sharapova’s condition after her long absence from action that choosing her as a 2009 winner is not a foregone conclusion, but it must be assumed that she wouldn’t be playing again if she wasn’t completely recovered. But will she be ‘match’ ready in January for the Australian Open, or will she require a few weeks of competition to get back into the swing of playing? She is participating in an exhibition in Hong Kong early in the new year where she will play Venus and Jelena Jankovic, a tough combination to play against if she is less than 100%. Maria is young and strong and is motivated to regain the top spot, so I think she will be ready to defend her title in Australia. I’m picking her to repeat as champion.
Jelena Jankovic ended the 2008 season as the number 1 player even though she has yet to win a major title. She has developed a retrieving style of play that is ideal for the red clay of Roland Garros, and of all the top women she is the fittest and the most patient. She will have her best chance of winning that elusive major in Paris, and if she is seeded first or second she will probably make it through to the final relatively easily. She’s my pick for the French Open.
Venus is the dark horse on the Women’s side(pun not intended). She showed in Doha at the season’s end that she can beat virtually anybody if she has her mind set on winning. She is playing the best tennis of her career, and could surprise everyone by winning all four events to cap of her amazing career and to reinforce her position as one of the all time great players. She could do it, but she won’t. Her good nature is her problem, she likes to win but she also unconsciously doesn’t want to dominate, especially when she plays her sister. Wimbledon is the place she considers as her home, and as she showed in 2008, it’s the place where she shines her best. She is the best grass court player and I pick Venus to win again in London.
The US Open in 2009 is wide open for someone to come along and beat the top 3 players. But who? Dinara Safina? Ana Ivanovic? Elena Dementieva? Or a relatively unknown player who has come along during the season and shown that she is ready to win a major event? Predicting what will happen in August is a fool’s game, but if the hat fits then here goes. Just two players will come into the US Open vying for the title of number 1 in the world, and the stage in New York will settle the situation. One of the two will be Maria Sharapova, and the other will be Venus Williams. The 2009 US might be the last Grand Slam for Venus, and if she does decide to retire from active competition, she will go out in style by winning at home in front of her American fans. Make it two for Venus!

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02
Dec
08

The 2009 Hopman Cup.

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There are so many tennis events scheduled for January 2009 that it is hard to keep track of them all, and difficult to figure out who is playing where. Each year a select group heads to Western Australia’s capital of Perth to participate in the Hopman Cup. It is the official mixed doubles team championship of the ITF, and is named after the celebrated Aussie coach Harold Hopman. Hyundai Corp. is the event sponsor and this is the event’s 21st. year of competition. The format is for 8 teams divided into 2 groups, that will play a round robin, the winners from each group will meet in the final on Jan. 9th.

 

Group A.

USA.            Serena Williams & James Blake.

Australia.    Casey Dellacqua & Lleyton Hewitt.

Germany.    Sabine Lisicki & Nicolas Kiefer.

Slovak Rep. Dominika Cibulkova & Dominic Hrbaty.

 

Group B.

Russia.       Dinara Safina & Marat Safin.

France.       Alize Cornet & Giles Simon.

Italy.          Flavia Pennetta & Simone Bolleli

Taipei.       Su-Wei Hsieh & Yen-Hsun Lu.

 

This will be the return to active competition for Aussie favourite Lleyton Hewitt who has been out with an injury since August. Both Serena and James Blake are former champions of the event though not with each other as playing partners. The brother and sister act of Dinara and Marat pose a threat and are favoured to win Group B and meet the USA in the final. The team from Chinese Taipei were the winners of the Asian Hopman Cup that was played in November. All these players will head to Melbourne for the Australian Open at the completion of this tournament.

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29
Nov
08

Serena wins big in Africa.

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serena-7Serena Williams won the hearts and the gratitude of the children of the Makueni District of Kenya when she opened the Serena Williams Secondary School. It is her first charity project in Kenya, and in a courtesy visit with Prime Minister Raila Odinga she promised to more in the future. While in Kenya she visited the Sadili Oval Sports Club where she provided tennis tuition to a group of enthusiastic African Tennis prospects.
In an intimate heart felt statement, Serena has expressed her feelings about her charity work and her motivation for the Foundation’s work which bears her name, “I thought to myself as I toured Africa, what can I do? Then I thought to myself, I have finally found my calling, I have finally found my love. I love education. I love helping people, and I love seeing people succeed. I want this to be a better place for tomorrow. Therefore I am building a school in Senegal that will allow kids to attend school for free. This school will be controlled by my Foundation. These kids will have a chance to be the best that they can be and more. What is most important is that these kids will have a chance, and that’s what matters the most.”
I like her motivating thought for the day, ‘Go where you’re celebrated, not where you’re tolerated.’

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05
Nov
08

Williams Sisters headed for a Showdown in Dohar.

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The best eight women tennis players are in Dohar competing for the Sony Ericsson season ending championship, and a share of the $4.45 million prize money. The eight are split into two groups of four players each, referred to as the White and Maroon groups. I wonder why Maroon was chosen? The white group consists of Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic, Svetlana Kuzvetsova, and Vera Zvonoreva. The Maroon group comprises Serena Williams, Dinara Safina, Elena Dementieva and Venus Williams. The format of the tournament is for a first round round robin against the players within each group, twilliams-31he two winners will move on to semi final and then to a final. It is possible for the two Americans to meet in the final, if they do they would have to play against each other twice, and the final would be their third meeting in a major event. Serena said that they were getting used to playing one another, and when they are both entered in the same event a confrontation is inevitable, but having to play my sister 3 times is a bit much. The understatement of the year in my book, and it goes without saying that Venus faces the same prospect. Between them they won 2 of the four Grand Slam events in 2008, the others were won by Maria Sharapova in Australia and Ana Ivanovic in France. All eight players are familiar with the styles and techniques of their opponents, most have played against the other players many many times, and a first round loss makes it very difficult to get back into contention. Day one saw Venus beating Safina 7-5, 6-3, which means that for Dinard Safina to reach the next stage she must win both her matches against fellow Russian Elena Dementieva and Serena Williams. A tough task, but not impossible. In a first day match between Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic, it was Jelena who turned the tables on her fellow Serbian after losing 5 out of 6 of their previous meetings, by beating Ana 6-3, 6-4. Miss Ivanavic complained of the humidity, the wind and the slowness of the court, said she felt dizzy and was dehydrated. She does seem to whine a lot when she loses, but then I suppose it was only humid on her end of the court! In the other day one match, Zvonoreva beat Kuzvetsova 6-2, 6-3. In the matches scheduled for today Safina takes on Serena, a replay of the US Open final, and a loss by Safina would mean her elimination, Venus plays Dementieva, a win for Venus would ensure that she would move on to the semi final. In the other match Ivanovic will play Zvonoreva, a must win situation for Ana. Whether she wins or loses Jelena will remain as the number 1 ranked player at year’s end, but if she loses to either of the Williams sisters it will undermine her confidence as she goes into 2009 and the Australian Open in January.

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