Tennis News Net Notes for December 13, 2011

In the News:

The International Tennis Federation named its 2011 World Champions:

Singles -Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova

Doubles – Bob and Mike Bryan, Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik 

Juniors - Jiri Vesely,  Irina Khromacheva 

Wheelchair – Esther Vergeer, Maikel Scheffers


The Bryan Brothers (©Ben Solomon, Tennis Australia)

Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan have set a new record as of  December 12, 2011, for the most weeks atop the individual doubles rankings. The twins are now tied with 271 weeks each, passing John McEnroe who had the record with 270.


“To achieve this record and surpass McEnroe, who we’ve always looked up to, is awesome,” Mike Bryan told ATPWorldTour.com. “This ranks up with our record of most team titles. It shows we were consistent throughout our whole career and we didn’t want to relinquish the top spot.”

Bob Bryan noted: “It is number two, right below getting married, and will soon be number three, after my wife gives birth to our daughter in January.”


Marin Cilic

Two-time winner Marin Cilic of Croatia has been pulled out of the 2012 Chennai Open, due to a patella tendon injury.

“Having started the previous five seasons at the Chennai Open, the city is a home away from home for me. Only an injury could have kept me away from the Chennai Open,” said Cilic.

“Thankfully, I am recovering well from the patella tendon injury and I’ll surely be back next year. I wish all the participants the best for the tournament. I’ll be following it closely.” The Soweto Open, the last major tournament in South Africa has been canceled due to the main sponsor the City of Johannesburg withdrawing citing financial constraints.


The Sunday Star-Times reported that the New Zealand Fed Cup team has been banned from playing in 2012 by the ITF because of a last-minute withdrawal by Tennis New Zealand last February when top players Marina Erakovic and Sacha Jones were unavailable due to injury. Tennis New Zealand didn’t want to pay the $50,000 fee to send an inexperienced team.


Tennis New Zealand’s CEO Steve Johns told the newspaper. “We have been stood down for a year. That is the penalty for pulling out at the late stage we did this year,” Johns said. “We could have received a reasonably hefty fine for doing that, or been stood down. So we won’t be competing in 2012 and will come back into the program in 2013.”


The New Zealand Herald reports that the New Zealand Olympic Committee are  set to deny New Zealand No. 1 Marina Erakovic a spot in the Olympics. Her world ranking of 61 is high enough to qualify her for a spot, but the country has a policy of not allowing athletes to complete if they are not in the top 16 of their sport.


Australian media reports that Wimbledon quarterfinalist 19-year-old Australian Bernard Tomic is under investigation by police for complaints of dangerous driving. Police sources stated that his distinctive bright orange BMW M3 was reported for “hooning offenses.”

Tomic has denied the hooning accusations, claiming that he is the victim of a vendetta by a Gold Coast police officer.

Tomic has a restricted “P-plate” license due to his age, but has an exemption to drive his BMW M3 sports car to and from training and other activities directly related to his tennis.

Casey Dellacqua and James Duckworth have been given wildcards for the main draw of the Australian Open. Dellacqua has also received wildcards for the Brisbane International and Moorilla Hobart International.

“After missing most of 2010 with a foot injury I have spent this year building on my confidence and match practice. I now finally feel like I am playing some good tennis and with six Pro Tour event wins under my belt I have the confidence I needed going into the summer,” Dellacqua said.


“I’m really happy with where I am at. I’m hitting the ball well, serving great and doing all the things I should be doing. I feel good and I am looking forward to some tough competition in January.”


“It is an amazing opportunity to be able to play the Australian Open, Brisbane and Hobart without having to worry about qualifying and it is really going to set me up for the year ahead.


“It’s nice to know my summer is set and hopefully I will get a few more wins and gain even more confidence coming into the Australian Open.”


The Sydney International has announced that 9 of the top 10 women will be in the draw. They include No 1 Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova, Li Na, and Samantha Stosur.  Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic will also participate in the tournament. Juan Martin Del Potro, Marcus Baghdatis and Lleyton Hewitt will be in the men’s draw.


Mardy Fish and Milos Raonic have been added to the field of eight-man AAMI Classic in Kooyong from January 11-14. The rest of the playing roster – Andy Roddick, Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Bernard Tomic, Jurgen Melzer, and Tomas Berdych.


Bernard Tomic, Carsten Ball, Sally Peers and Sophie Ferguson Awarded Australian Open Wildcards

Bernard Tomic,Carsten Ball, Sally Peers and Sophie Ferguson have been granted the final wildcards into the main draw of Australian Open 2011.

Eighteen-year-old Tomic put his precocious talent on display this week, winning three tough rounds to qualify for the Medibank Sydney International.

Tomic, ranked world No. 209, defeated the No.101 Russian Igor Kunitsyn in the first round and went on to win in straight sets over two top 100 players – No.2 seed and world No.60 Michael Berrer from Germany, and finally the fifth seed Lukasz Kubot, ranked No.72.

Carsten Ball achieved some solid results during 2010, including winning a Challenger in Lexington, reaching the final in Dallas and the semis in both Aptos and Tiburon. Ball qualified for Wimbledon and won first rounds at both the French Open and US Open. He and regular doubles partner Chris Guccione also won their first ATP doubles title in Newport.

Ball has become a Davis Cup regular, winning six of the eight matches he’s played since making his debut in 2008.

“These [wildcards] are always difficult decisions,” Tennis Australia’s head of men’s tennis Todd  Woodbridge said today.

“We wanted to see players achieve some results, and Carsten has certainly done that throughout the year.

“Bernard is a talent but cannot be rewarded with a wildcard on that along, nor should he ever expect that. He has not had much tennis and he missed the AO Play-off so the pressure was on him to perform, particularly after he did not play well in Brisbane.

“He had not done enough. He needed to produce something in Sydney and he has done that with three good wins. His tennis has now earned this wildcard.”

Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter added “In making these decisions we are also looking at creating a culture that will help us build a strong Davis Cup team.”

“I want to see a real work ethic, attitude and sense of camaraderie that reflects our proud tennis history. That’s always stood out as being a point of difference with the Aussie players.”

Nineteen year-old Victorian Sally Peers enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2010, qualifying and winning through to the second round at the US Open, where she made a memorable centre court debut against Kim Clijsters. Peers also won gold with Anastasia Rodionova in doubles at the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

Sophie Ferguson (NSW) reached a career-high ranking of 119 in June after an impressive run at Roland Garros, qualifying for the main draw and winning in the first round before falling to No.17 seed and eventual champion Francesca Schiavone. Ferguson was runner-up at two ITF events, at Fort Walton (USA) and Biarritz (FRA), and qualified for WTA events in Ponte Vedra Beach and Charleston in the US, and Birmingham in the UK.

“Congratulations to both Sally and Sophie on their Australian Open wildcards,” Tennis Australia’s head of women’s tennis Craig Morris said today.

“They are both well deserved. Sally has had a great year, with the highlight qualifying for the US Open and her first round win, as well having the chance to represent Australia and win gold in Delhi.

“Sophie has really improved throughout 2010 and I hope this will be a springboard into the top 100 in 2011.”

The following players have been awarded wildcards into Australian Open qualifying:

Winner of Optus 18s Australian Championships:

Sean Berman                                             Isabella Holland

Winner of Australian Open Junior Championships 2010:

Tiago Fernandes                                       Irina Khromacheva

Discretionary – men’s draw:

Chris Guccione , Matt Reid , James Lemke , Luke Saville, Ben Mitchell , James Duckworth and Maverick Banes.

Discretionary – women’s draw:

Jessica Moore, Sophie Letcher,Tammi Patterson , Viktorija Rajicic and Monika Wejnert.

The men’s qualifying draw will be done after 6pm on Tuesday 11 January, and the women’s draw will be completed after 4pm on Wednesday 12 January. Both draws and schedules will be available on www.australianopen.com. Qualifying commences at 10:00am on Wednesday 12 January and matches will be streamed live on www.australianopen.com/live.

Australian Open wildcards have been allocated as follows:

Reciprocal US:   Ryan Harrison (USA)                 Lauren Davies (USA)

Reciprocal French: Benoit Paire (FRA)                 Virginie Razzano (FRA)

Asia Pacific:          Somdev Devvarman (IND)      Kei-chen Chang (TPE)

AO Play-off winners: Marinko Matosevic (Vic)       Olivia Rogowska (Vic)


Peter Luczak, Jelena Dokic, Matt Ebden, Alicia Molik, Carsten Ball, Sally Peers, Bernard Tomic, Sophie Ferguson

Australian Open 2011, presented by Kia Motors in association with ANZ, Jacob’s Creek and Rolex, will take place at Melbourne Park, Melbourne, from 17 to 30 January.