2014/09/17

David Ferrer Moves Into US Open Quarterfinal Over Janko Tipsarevic

 

David Ferrer

(September 2, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – No. 4 David Ferrer in into his eighth consecutive major quarterfinal, a result of his 7-6 (4), 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3) win over No. 18 Janko Tipsarevic in the fourth round of the US Open.

The four-set struggle which lasted just short of four hours  saw the Spaniard Ferrer hit 46 winners.  Ferrer was the losing finalist at the most recent French Open.

“It was a very tough match,” Ferrer said.  Janko and me, we play a very good match.  We had a lot of chance(s), both players.

Well, I think it was my best match this week”.

“My goal is to win the matches as possible and to be consistent.  Now I am in quarterfinal.  After tomorrow, I will play in center court, perfect.”

Ferrer became the second Spaniard on the night to move into the quarterfinals.

Ferrer will play 8th seed Richard Gasquet of France  in the quarterfinals.

 

Share

Taste of Tennis Brings Tennis Stars and Culinary Celebrities Together for Pre-US Open Soirée

 

Serena Williams photo by Josh Meiseles

Serena Williams photo by Josh Meiseles

By  Vito Ellison  and Josh Meiseles Special to Tennis Panorama News

(August 22, 2013) NEW YORK, NY – There are few tennis events that reveal players’ personalities and exhibit their creativity outside the court quite like the Taste of Tennis. An annual pre-US Open event in midtown Manhattan, the Taste of Tennis serves as an amalgam of tennis, fashion and a premier culinary showcase from some of New York’s finest restaurants.

Venus

The 14th annual BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis was held Thursday evening with proceeds benefitting the James Beard Foundation, an organization that helps develop the culinary arts. Serena Williams hosted a star-studded event, featuring former ATP Top-10 talents James Blake and Janko Tipsarevic, as well as WTA stars Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and Venus Williams.

 

 

ESPN analyst and former World No. 4 Brad Gilbert made an appearance, along with doubles legend Mark Woodforde. Two-time Winter Olympic medalist Nancy Kerrigan also took part in the festivities.

“I had two or three different sushis, the little slider was good. Very good food,” the always animated Gilbert exclaimed. “This event I think I’ve gone every single year for 15 years and the lady behind it Judy Lerner is good people right there.”

Among the chefs that participated, Top Chef Masters champion Marcus Samuelsson joined fellow alums Harold Dieterle, Dale Talde, Jesse Schenker and Jonathan Waxman. World-renowned chef David Burke was also on hand.

IMG_0132

There was plenty of tennis discussion on the red carpet, with Tipsarevic discussing the grind of the ATP Tour and the current state of his game. “You really need to be focused every single day of your life, because you have other younger and better guys who are working to take your spot. I kind of lost my focus a bit and you can see the results. But I’m feeling good now, I’m playing good, it’s not the end of the world and I hope I’ll be back in the Top-10.”

Aga

Blake also commented on whether the J-Block will be out in full force at the US Open. “I think they’ll be here. They might not be as big as they used to be, because my friends had to go out and actually get real jobs, so some of them can’t make it out to the day matches. If there’s a night match, there’ll be plenty of J-Blockers.”

The evening also included some breaking news as 39-year-old Jill Craybas, who reached a career-high singles ranking of 39 in 2006, revealed that she will be retiring from professional tennis following the US Open.

“It’s a really tough decision to make because it’s been part of your life for so long,” Craybas said. “But I feel like lately my priorities have been starting to change, I’ve been starting to want other things in my life. I really struggled this past year with my tennis and how I was doing. I started pursuing some other things and started getting interested in other things, but it’s never an easy decision. You never know when you want to stop, but you kind of come to terms with it sooner or later.”

The BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis benefited the James Beard Foundation. The event was produced by AYS Sports Marketing.

 

Share

International Premier Tennis League Launched

Paris, France (May 24th, 2013) – Mahesh Bhupathi, Boris Becker and Justin Gimelstob announced the launch of the IPTL – International Premier Tennis League on Friday.

The IPTL  is a city/country based franchise led league involving not only the current Men’s and Women’s players but also the Legends of the game.

The Franchises in the League will be city based across Asia. The first season of the IPTL will witness participation of 6 teams. Additional teams will be added in the 2nd and 3rd seasons of the League.

Each match will consist of 5 sets with no-ad scoring: Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Legends Singles (Men)

The IPTL will be held in December 2014 as the Player Auction will be organized in Melbourne in January 2014. IPTL has confirmed player participation from Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Li Na, Thomas Berdych, Janko Tipsarevic, Lleyton Hewitt, John Isner, Caroline Wozniacki, Pete Sampras and Carlos Moya.

 

“I believe the future consumer wants to belong to something – and having a team they can support will be what motivates them to become a consumer of tennis. We have put together the ingredients to create something exciting that will activate the entire tennis industry,” said league founder and ATP doubles player Mahesh Bhupathi.

 

Former World No. 1 Boris Becker and Founding Partner of the league said, “This is what the sport needs, the best players in the world playing in a new time sensitive format that would get TV networks excited. Hopefully this can grow into a worldwide property with multiple team owners.”

 

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic said that it’s a revolutionary idea: “It will change the image of the sport and help its popularity. I really look forward to be part of that competition and play.”

 

“It’s like a dream come true to play with Legends. Playing on a team is fun and really kind of cool. I like it.” said world No.1 Serena Williams.

Share

Tipsarevic Pulls Pin and Sends Almagro Through to First Australian Open Quarterfinal

The Miami Cup tennis tournament held at Crandon Park Tennis Center.

By Jaclyn Stacey

(January 20, 2013) Tenth seed Nicolas Almagro has progressed through to his first Australian Open quarterfinal after Janko Tipsarevic retired injured down a set and 2-5 in the second set.

 

The Serbian looked frustrated and uncomfortable for the duration of the short lived match, requiring a medical time out at 2-5 down in the first set to get some extra padding and taping added to his heel on his already taped up left foot.

 

In the second set he was unable to play his best tennis and after being broken for the second time he pulled the pin on the match. In the post match press conference Tipsarevic said the initial diagnosis was a jarred heel and that before the match he was feeling good and had fully recovered from his previous two five set encounters. He said it was very frustrating to have to end the match under such circumstances.

 

The retirement puts Almagro through to his first Australian Open quarterfinal, equaling his best appearance at a Grand Slam, having reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros on three occasions. He will take on David Ferrer in an all-Spanish quarterfinal and goes into the match having lost all 12 previous encounters with his compatriot.

 

Regardless of the head-to-head statistics Almagro is looking forward to playing his good friend in their first Grand Slam match-up and said it “is a big opportunity for me to be in a semifinal. I’m ready to fight. I’m healthy and I’m happy with my tennis.”

 

“I’m playing good. I’m hitting the ball with confidence, playing really aggressive, going to the net to close the point, and, well, that’s it.”

 

When asked if he knew that something was wrong with Tipsarevic, Almagro said “Well, I don’t know. I don’t think so. I was talking with him and he said the problem start at 4-1 of the first set and after that he couldn’t move really well and he decide to retired.”

 

On weather Tipsarevic’s condition played on his mind he said, “Well, I was trying to be focused on my match, on my tennis. Well, I think I play a really good first set. After that, the mind start to work a little bit because you know something happen but you don’t know really good what happen.”

 

“But I think I was very focus all the match. With 5-1 in the second set, was really tough for him. I think he decide to stop because the injury would be worse.”

 

Jaclyn Stacey is a Melbourne based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open tournament as media for Tennis Panorama News.  Follow her Australian Open updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @JackattackAU.

Share

Players React to Lance Armstrong in Notes and Quotes

Players at the Australian Open were asked about Lance Amstrong in the January 18, 2013 news conferences.

 

Q.  There was a lot of talk today about the Lance Armstrong interview.  Did you catch any of it?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I saw a little bit of it, yeah.

Q.  Do you have any thoughts on his admission today, how he justified it as not cheating?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I think it’s just a really sad story, sad for that sport itself.  I’m happy that our sport is as clean as it can be and that we’re constantly tested.  You know, we give whereabouts of where we are every single day of the year.  Hopefully not on birthdays and Christmas Eve, that would be pretty tough.

Although they did show up on my birthday and I was very disappointed.  They did a couple of years ago.  I said, Unless you bring flowers, I’m okay with it.  But they came empty‑handed (laughter).

So as long as we’re getting tested, whatever it takes, urine, blood, we’re all here to make the sport as clean as it can be.

 

Q.  Do you feel tennis is pretty clean at this moment?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I do very much.  For the amount of times that we get tested throughout the year and as random as they are, definitely.

 

 

Q.  I’m not sure if you saw today, but Lance Armstrong admitted to playing performance enhancing drugs.  I was wondering if you thought tennis had a vigorous enough policy on anti doping?

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  You know what, you’re probably asking the wrong guy.  You know, actually came to Kenya to test me.  I wasn’t going to Kenya to hide from anti doping.  I was actually doing my pre season there.

One morning a person was waking me up.  I was so shocked and afraid somebody was like robbing us.  I wasn’t sure.

But I think it’s not cool what he did, cheating the sport and cheating so many people in the sport and so many people around him, believing that what he did actually did it on a clean and regular way.  So that’s really not cool what he did.

In regards of tennis, I think they test me often enough, blood and urine.  So, sure, if they want to increase it, why not?  But we have a tough enough time with this WADA process of us telling them every single day of our life where we need to be.

So I don’t really see how can it be more strict than that.

 

Q.  How comfortable are you that drug testing in tennis is rigorous enough?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, in tennis, you know, at least from my perspective, it’s really good.  Anti doping regulations a little bit maybe more strict in sense that you have to fill the whereabouts documents and you have to basically give an hour or two in every day of your life in a whole year, where you are.

But on the other hand, it gives them an opportunity to test you.  And you know it is the same for the other players.  At least from that point of view it’s fair.  And I have nothing against, you know, the anti doping federation, association, testing me 10, 20, 30 times a year.

I think as long as I know as many numbers of testing for the other players, I’ll be happy.

 

Q.  How about blood testing?  The ITF records tell us in the whole of 2011 there was only 18 blood tests taken of the top players.  How often would you or Andy or Roger or Rafa be blood tested?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, I wasn’t tested with blood for last six, seven months.  It was more regularly in last two, three years ago.  I don’t know the reason why they stopped it.

As I said, I mean, as long as it’s fair, it’s clean, we’re trying to protect the identity of this sport.  I believe tennis players are one of the most cleanest athletes in the world and one of the most competitive sports.

So as long as we keep it that way, I have no complaints about testing.

 

Q.  Would you disagree with Darren Cahill who said today that he believes the Anti Doping Program in tennis is inadequate and it’s been going backwards in recent years?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  What is the reason for that?

 

Q.  That’s his opinion.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I mean, I don’t know.  There has to be a reason why he said that, backstory.

I know Darren.  He’s a great guy, somebody that knows tennis really well, so must be something why he said that.

But in my opinion, yeah, there has been a complaints from players in few years, last few years, about this whereabouts system.  Why do we need to write where we are every single day of our 365 days when most of the time we’re spending on the courts and so forth.

Maybe that is something that is, you know, questionable.  But on the other hand as many urine, as many blood sample tests they take, the better.  Then you’re aware that it’s a clean sport and everybody has the same treatment.

 

Q.  I think part of the issue is out of competition blood testing is expensive to carry out.  Do you think the ITF should make it more of a priority to spend more money on that?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I mean, it’s a question for them, I guess.  From my point, I mean, I was more than clear.  I have nothing against the blood tests, you know.

Even though I prefer urine more.  I don’t like the needles too much.  But, of course, I mean, you know, the money in that direction should be invested because, you know, it’s always let’s say a safeguard for our sport that they’re investing money in our sport that is going to protect our sport and players.

 

Q.  A lot of cycling fans have lost a lot of faith in that sport now.  Do you think tennis fans should be confidant that nothing like this…

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I lost a lot of faith in cycling.  I used to watch it.  All the big champions that were there, Marco Pantani, now Lance Armstrong.  Yeah, I don’t want to say all.  I really don’t know.  There has been so much controversy about that sport.

I’m sure that there are many cyclists in the world who are training very hard and trying to not use any enhancing drugs for their competition.

But I think it’s not acceptable that they have physically so much races in short period of the time.  I think basically every single day, day and a half, they have to go through 200 miles.  Uphill, downhill in Giro D’Italia, Tour de France, that’s inhuman effort.  As you can see, Lance Armstrong, many other big champions, had to use something to succeed.

 

Q.  Do you think tennis fans should have faith that that won’t happen the same way?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  The results are showing that.  In last few years there maybe has been one or two cases, but those players were more or less outside of the hundred.  We are keeping this sport clean.  We are working towards it.  There is awareness with the players and with the officials.  As long as is like that, we are in a good road.

 

Q.  Would you be in favor of like a biological passport program that they’re instituting in cycling for tennis?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I mean, you know, we can discuss about the options for a while.  But generally I believe that the present regulations about anti doping tests in tennis are good, in my views.  I don’t think there should be any major changes because, as you know, it’s official.  We have to write where we are every day of our lives so they have an opportunity to test us every day of 365 days in a year.

I think that doesn’t give anybody a chance to do something that is unsportsmanlike.

 

 

 

Q.  The Lance Armstrong interview today, I was wondering what your thoughts are on drug testing in tennis?

NICOLAS ALMAGRO:  I’m not going to say nothing because I didn’t see nothing about that.  I want to see before to speak.

I don’t know what happened.

Q.  My question is what about the authorities in tennis are doing.

NICOLAS ALMAGRO:  You need to ask to someone better than me because I not going to say nothing.  Sorry.  It’s a very important things, and I not going to talk.

I thinks our sport is clear, is fair, and I won’t believe that is the only thing I can say.

Q.  I’m not sure if you saw today, but Lance Armstrong admitted to playing performance‑enhancing drugs.  I was wondering if you thought tennis had a vigorous enough policy on anti‑doping?

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  You know what, you’re probably asking the wrong guy.  You know, actually came to Kenya to test me.  I wasn’t going to Kenya to hide from anti‑doping.  I was actually doing my pre‑season there.

One morning a person was waking me up.  I was so shocked and afraid somebody was like robbing us.  I wasn’t sure.

But I think it’s not cool what he did, cheating the sport and cheating so many people in the sport and so many people around him, believing that what he did actually did it on a clean and regular way.  So that’s really not cool what he did.

In regards of tennis, I think they test me often enough, blood and urine.  So, sure, if they want to increase it, why not?  But we have a tough enough time with this WADA process of us telling them every single day of our life where we need to be.

So I don’t really see how can it be more strict than that.

 

Q.  On a non‑tennis note, did you watch any of Oprah’s interview with Lance Armstrong?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  No, I didn’t.

Q.  Is it something that players are talking about, his confession to doping?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  I think everyone is pretty much focused on the tennis.  Maybe other players are talking about it.  I have no idea.

Q.  Do you have any reaction?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  I can’t talk about anything I don’t know anything about, so I’m just going to keep my mouth shut.  I’m not an expert on that stuff.  That’s all I can say.

Share

Marathon Man Tipsarevic Through to First Australian Open Round of 16

Janko Tipsarevic

By Jaclyn Stacey

(January 18, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Janko Tipsarevic has won through to the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time in nine appearances after defeating Julien Benneteau in a gripping five set encounter on Margaret Court Arena on Friday.

 

He becomes just the second Serbian to complete a set of round of 16 appearances at the majors after world number one Novak Djokovic.

 

Benneteau used some smart net play early on in the match to take advantage of Tipsarevic’s lack of movement and claim the first set 6-3.

 

The Serbian struggled to get himself into the match, clearly fatigued from an epic second round encounter in which he defeated Lukas Lacko in five grueling sets.

 

He began picking up his game in the second set, saving break point opportunities and keeping the set on serve. He capitalized on his first set point opportunity with Benneteau serving at 4-5 30-40, producing an excellent backhand passing volley to level the match.

 

The Frenchman came out all guns blazing in the third set, claiming two breaks to close the set out 6-2.

 

Neither player could gain an advantage in the fourth set as it remained on serve to 4-5 with Benneteau serving. Tipsarevic made his move when it mattered at the same moment he did in the second set, pushing Benneteau to go down 0-40 on serve and claimed the set 6-4.

 

The fighting spirit of Tipsarevic never let up during the match as the fiery Serb bought himself a break in the second game of the final set with some punchy play to go ahead 2-0.

 

Benneteau looked tired by this stage as Tipsarevic picked up his game and began to serve bigger and come into the net more to try and finish points quicker.

 

Benneteau saved three match points down 0-40 while serving down 2-5 to force Tipsarevic to serve for the match. Tipsarevic missed a forehand on his fourth match point opportunity before closing it out on his fifth opportunity with a body serve that Benneteau couldn’t return. He finished the final set in 40 minutes and will move into an Australian Open fourth round for the first time in his career.

 

“You know I think it’s good for the crowd to watch me play but it’s really not good for my legs.” Tipsarevic said on court after the match. “I feel really tired and I consider myself lucky to win a match like that. It was a really windy day and Julien played a good match and nobody knew until the end who would win and it could have gone either way. I really consider myself really lucky to win that match.”

 

On his preparation for his fourth round match he said, “I guess my coaches are already preparing the ice bath for me. Tomorrow I’ll just have an easy hit because after playing Chennai and after Lleyton and today I think I’ve played enough tennis.”

 

Tipsarevic will play Nicolas Almagro on Sunday for a spot in the Australian Open quarterfinals.

 

“If I’m really wanting to go deep into the tournament, potentially playing Nicolas Almagro on the heat, my legs are going to feel the five‑set matches which I played in the last two rounds,” Tipsarevic said.

“I’m so happy I’m in the second week.  It’s the first time in my career that I’m able to be in the second week of the Australian Open and I’m really thrilled for that.”

Jaclyn Stacey is a Melbourne based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open tournament as media for Tennis Panorama News.  Follow her Australian Open updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @JackattackAU.

Share

Tipsarevic Grinds Down Veteran Hewitt to Progress at Australian Open

Janko Tipsarevic

By Jaclyn Stacey

(January 14, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK,  Australia – Eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic ground out victory in just over three hours against former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in a thrilling three set encounter on Rod Laver Arena in Monday’s evening session 7-6(4), 7-5, 6-3.

 

“I cannot tell you how happy that I am, first of all, that I managed to win, and second of all, to win in straight sets.”

 

An electric atmosphere for the first Australian Open 2013 night session greeted the players in the hotly anticipated first round matchup between the two time grand slam champion and the world No. 9.

 

With both players coming into the tournament on the back of some confidence building title wins, the scene was set for a thrilling match that was predicted to go the distance. Hewitt lead their head-to-head 3-1 before the match with their last meeting being played in 2007 before Tipsarevic became a prominent top 10 player.

 

Hewitt and Tipsarevic are well known for being fighting competitors who play with a lot of intensity and the tight match was a great example of this. The two matched each other blow for blow, producing scintillating rallies and groundstroke winners. Hewitt was more willing to come into the net and his decision to do so often paid off as he was able to surprise Tipsarevic and generate some superb angle volley winners.

 

The first set was evenly matched with neither player able to break serve. Tipsarevic had an opportunity to break with Hewitt serving at 5-5 but the Australian’s determination got him over the line as he saved the break with an ace. The crowd became more involved in the match from this point, stirred on by Hewitt saving a break point and employing his trademark ‘C’MON!’

 

Tipsarevic remained focussed and driven in the first set tie-break, taking a 4-0 lead before closing out the first set 7-6(4).

 

Competing in his 17th consecutive Australian Open, Hewitt was not disheartened following the first set loss and fired up immediately to go ahead two breaks points.

 

Tipsarevic leveled the match at 5-5 after being gifted the second of two break point opportunities as Hewitt sent his shot beyond the baseline while serving for the second set. He then held and broke Hewitt again to take a two sets to love lead in the match.

 

Tipsarevic started the third set in a much stronger fashion than he did in the second, holding his first service game before grinding out a break against Hewitt in a tough second game to lead 2-0.

 

With Tipsarevic serving at 3-1 Hewitt had the opportunity to break back and did so on his second opportunity, demonstrating his never say die attitude and ending a rally with an aggressive lob forehand that swept past Tipsarevic and landed deep in the court to put the set back on serve.

 

While Hewitt remained focused, determined and driven throughout the contest, Tipsarevic was able to take advantage of Hewitt’s consistent height and speed in his hitting and put away more winners. Hewitt fought hard to stay in the match but Tipsarevic managed to claim a break to lead 5-3 in a heartbreaking moment for the patriotic crowd.

 

Completely in control of the third set, Tipsarevic then confidently served out the match, sealing victory 7-6(4) 7-5 6-3.

 

In his post match news conference Tipsarevic said “I think I was a little bit too passive in the first and the beginning of the second set. But luckily I was able to get out of trouble with my serve. I was serving really well I think all throughout the match.”

 

“But when I really started playing well was I think when I was a double break down in the second set. That’s when I realized that if I  continue running, pushing, relying on my first serve, that I will not be able to beat this guy in a  best-of-five-set match.” 

 

“Especially because it was a night session match, it was getting colder, the serve was not going as fast as it did in the first set. I stepped up, I started to hit, I started being closer to the line, my backhand down the line was making more damage later in the match.” 

 

Tipsarevic was full of praise for his more experienced opponent, marveling at Hewitt’s ability to continue to play at such a high level at his age and after dealing with so many injuries.

 

“I think Lleyton Hewitt is as tough as it gets for a first round Australian Open first Grand Slam of the year. With all the respect to all the other guys who are potential threats, like Davydenko or Monfils or Dimitrov or whatever, I think this is as tough as it gets, knowing that he plays really good tennis here, knowing that he won Kooyong last week, beating Raonic, Berdych, and Del Potro in the same tournament, even if that was an exhibition event.”

 

The win continues a run of great form for Tipsarevic coming off his most successful season in 2012 in which he won the title in Stuttgart and was runner-up in Chennai, the tournament he won just over a week ago to kick start his 2013 season.

 

Tipsarevic will play Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko in round two who  defeated Gilles Muller in straight sets  earlier on Monday 6-2 6-4 7-6(3).

Jaclyn Stacey is a Melbourne based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open tournament as media for Tennis Panorama News.  Follow her Australian Open updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @JackattackAU.

Share

Venus Williams, Sharapova, Tipsarevic and Others in Notes and Quotes From Down Under – Day One

6966565079_e9c1bc41c7

(January 14, 2013) A look at some the questions and answers from day one of the 2013 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne.

 Maria Sharapova

Q.  You have now gotten a double bagel win at every slam.  It completes your double bagel slam or calendar slam.  Is that something you’re proud of? (Editor’s note – Sharapova needs a double bagel at Wimbledon to complete “the double bagel” slam.)

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I don’t think that’s very relative to anything.  (Laughter.)

You know, when you’re out there and playing, you’re just focusing on every point and every game and trying to win as many as you can, and today was just a good scoreline.

 

Q. You aren’t aware that you may have to face [Venus Williams] in the third round?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I have seen the draw, yes. Thank you.

 

It is speculated that Maria Sharapova is dating fellow tennis player Grigor Dimitova who lost on Monday. ESPN’s Chris Fowler told Sharapova during an interniew that Dimitrov lost. She laughed and said “Come on. I’m not saying anything.”

In his post-match news conference, Dimitrov was asked about the rumors to which he answered:

“I don’t think (the rumors) are a distraction. I just believe I go on the court and I’m not here to speak about my private life.

“Of course, people love gossip, who doesn’t? But I think it’s a private invasion and I don’t think that’s right, not because we’re different, but it’s not right towards the athletes in general. I think it needs to be even forbidden to be asked.”

 

Li Na

Q.  Do you feel more confident with him (new coach Carlos Rodriguez) this year?

LI NA:  I mean, I was working with him start of last August, so I was feeling pretty good.

I don’t know how is he feeling, but looks okay.

Yeah, he was, how you say, he’s not only teacher about tennis.  Not only about technique.  Also about like my mind more stronger on the court.

 

 

Sam Stosur

Sam Stosur on her preparation for the Australian Open: “Well, I didn’t read any papers or watch any news.”

Q.  Do you feel like a fridge has been lifted off your shoulders?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Well, obviously I feel very happy, a little bit relieved, and, yeah, just nice to get through that first round finally.  You know, from here hopefully I can loosen up a little bit and keep playing better and better.

 

 

Venus Williams

Q.  Are you still trying to maintain that kind of vegan whatever diet?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  Yeah I think it’s pretty well known I’m a cheagan.

 

Q.  What do you get to cheat with when you get to cheat?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  If it’s on your plate I might get to cheat.  If you’re sitting next to me, good luck.  You turn your head once and your food might be gone. (Laughing.)

I’m not perfect, but I try.

 

Q.  You have been coming down here for a long time.  How has this tournament changed in your eyes?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  I feel like this tournament definitely has the best facilities out of any of the majors.  Constantly improving.  I think it’s unbelievable what they have done at the National Tennis Center over there in just improving the player facilities.

So that’s fantastic, you know, reinvesting back into the tournament.

 

 

Q.  A couple of Miami tournament questions.  They made a few improvements last year, temporary, but they have pretty much been okayed to revamp the site and everything.  You have been going there.  It’s your home tournament.  How important do you think it is for them to kind of upgrade that facility?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  Well, obviously you have to update.  Don’t be late.  That’s one of my mottos.  You don’t want to keep wearing the mullet when it’s not the ’80s anymore.  (Laughter.)

You know, it’s maybe a strange comparison, but it’s important to update the facilities, because after a while they get old and undesirable.

I think it’s wonderful for the tournament they are updating.  I know they had to fight really hard for that, so I’m glad it’s happening.

 

Tomas Berdych

Q.  Do you ever sort of go into a Grand Slam thinking, Something really strange has to happen for me to have a chance to win, or is it just about how well you can play yourself?

TOMAS BERDYCH:  Well, I wouldn’t say ‘strange,’ but if you look at the draw, if you want to win the slam, you have to beat at least three of them, then it’s really tough, so…  Maybe you were finding for this word ‘strange.’

That’s how it is.  Today’s tennis is really, really strong.  I think we were in the best era of our sport ever.  That’s how it is.

I mean, it’s the same for everybody.  I think we all try our best to, you know, break that huge barrier in front of us.  You know, let’s see.

I mean, if this happened once at least, then it would be I would say like at least 10 times better than it was before.  You know, let’s see.

 

 

Novak Djokovic

Q.  What did you write on the camera lens?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I tried to write, Aussie, Aussie.  The people either didn’t see it or understand my writing.  Maybe I misspelled it (laughter).

 

 Janko Tipsarevic

Q.  What is the meaning of the tattoo on your right arm?

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  What does it mean?

 

Q.  Yes.

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  It means that beauty will save the world.

 

Q.  Chinese or Japanese?

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  It’s Japanese.

 

Q.  What time did you make it?

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  What time?  I don’t know the time of the day that I made it (smiling), but I believe I was 21 or 22.

 

Q.  How many tattoos on your arm?

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  Six.  Do you have any tattoos?

 

Q.  Yes.

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  Good.  That’s good.  That’s great stuff.

 

Q.  Do you have any regret?

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  So far no.  I am currently on an embargo from my wife not allowing me to do any more.

 

Jelena Jankovic

 

Asked if she’s thinking about a possible 3rd round match against Ana Ivanovic:

“No, to be honest I’m not thinking too far ahead. I just want to go one match at a time.

“We both have to go there, you know, to reach third round. So one match at a time and we see how it goes.

“I really don’t want to focus like who is in my third round or semifinal first. Let’s see how it goes.”

 

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

Share

Tennis Players and Chefs Serve Up a Feast for Charity at Taste of Tennis

 

Taste of Tennis1

By Jaclyn Stacey

(January 10, 2013) MELBOURNE, Australia – A service game of a different kind was on the menu for the tennis stars who attended the 4th Annual Melbourne Swisse Taste of Tennis event held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on Thursday night.

 

Players joined with chefs from Melbourne’s top restaurants to serve up gourmet treats to A-list guests in the name of charity.

 

Many top 20 ATP and WTA players featured among the guests at the event which raised money for Diabetes Australia and the National Institute of Integrative Medicine. Top ten players Janko Tipsarevic and Richard Gasquet graced the red carpet, along with other notable players including Marion Bartoli, Marin Cilic, Kevin Anderson, Lucie Safarova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Ivo Karlovic.

 

Former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt paired with celebrity chef George Colombaris to kick off the evening with a special presentation on stage before chefs and players combined to act as food servers, handing out small gourmet delights throughout the night.

 

Celebrities and chefs began arriving at the venue from 6.30pm sporting a wide variety of outfits based on the ‘elegantly casual’ dress theme. Many of the men came smartly dressed in jeans, while Marion Bartoli and the Rodionova sisters glammed up the red carpet in sky high heels and sleek dresses.

 

British Fed Cup captain Judy Murray is known to tweet her love of desserts to her 49,000 plus twitter following, and expressed her delight at the event’s offerings. She said “we’ve had a great time because to be able to go around and try small amounts of lots of different things is great. I think the trick is to pace yourself so that you have enough room left for desserts.”

 

Murray also spoke of her hope for the British girls at the Australian Open starting on Monday and said she is hopeful for a good run from Heather Watson and Laura Robson who have both recently broken into the top 50 singles rankings for the first time.

 

Swedish doubles specialist Robert Lindstedt enjoyed the social aspect of the evening and said it’s a welcome break from the day to day. “It’s great. It’s nice for the people to turn out where most of the guests are not players so it’s quite nice.” He said that on tour “we enjoy good food. We always try to find maybe not always the nicest restaurants because they’re a bit expensive but we always try to eat well so food like this is what we look for.”

 

Serbia’s Nenad Zimonjic said he loves eating out at restaurants. “It’s something that I enjoy doing and also traveling around the world I have the chance to try different cuisines. But when I’m at home I like a home cooked meal and I’m really lucky that my wife cooks really well so I enjoy that as well.”

 

Silent auctions were held throughout the night to raise money for the elected charities. Items up for auction included signed memorabilia of international sporting stars such as Tiger Woods, Sebastian Vettel and Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as experiences including dining packages and the opportunity to have a personal chef serve you at your home.

 

The Norman Brookes Challenge Cup and the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup were also a popular attraction on the night, with guests lining up for the chance to hold and have a photo taken with the Australian Open championship trophies.

Jaclyn Stacey is a Melbourne based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open tournament as media for Tennis Panorama News.  Follow her Australian Open updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her persona @JackattackAU.
All photos by Melinda Samson who runs the site Grand Slam Gal. Follow her on twitter @Grandslamgal.
[nggallery id=70]
Share

New Season, New Goals

Andy Murray 12 26 Abu Dhabi

By Abigail Hinto

(December 26, 2012) ABU DHABI – Six of the top eleven players in the world,  are gathered in Abu Dhabi to start their season at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships (MWTC). Three of the players, namely Janko Tipsarevic, Tomas Berdych and Andy Murray showed up on Tuesday for their pre-tournament news conferences.  No. 11 Nicolas Almagro replaced Rafael Nadal, who withdrew from the event with a stomach virus.

Despite all three belonging in the top 10, and despite the small gap in their rankings, these three players are in vastly different stages in their careers with varying expectations, pressures and goals. And the goals they’ve set for themselves for the new season give an interesting insight to how they see their careers, where they’re at now and what they feel they should be able to accomplish.
Tipsarevic, the relative newcomer in the top 10 has set his sights on qualifying for the World Tour Finals in London. And with his best showing at a grand slam only consisting of two quarterfinal appearances, both at the US Open this year and last, he aims to have deeper runs at the slams this year. His tight quarterfinal loss against David Ferrer at this year’s US Open has shown him that though he’s not quite there yet in the level he needs to challenge the top players, he’s getting close.
Tomas Berdych meanwhile has already made finals and a couple of semifinals at the majors. His goal now, is to hold that trophy. Saying that he was happy for Andy Murray finally winning his slam, noting that it’s good that someone had once again broken the stranglehold Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic had on winning the majors, could acknowledging Murray’s breakthrough give Berdych the inspiration to try to win one for himself as well? Davis Cup this year, a grand slam next year?
As for Andy Murray, after finally winning that major he’s been working so hard for and been pressured on winning since he was first considered a contender in 2008, how does he re-set his goals? Murray is a short-term goal-setter which he says he’s always been with his career. So, it’s one major at a time for him, now focusing solely on the Australian Open trophy. Asked if reaching no.1 is a top priority, Murray answers that it’s not, as that ranking only comes with the results from every tournament he plays.
And as the Mubadala World Tennis Championships starts on Wednesday, we’ll get to see these three players finally begin their first step towards their goals.
Abigail Hinto is covering the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi, UAE as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her updates on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN.
[nggallery id=69]
All photos by Abigail Hinto for Tennis Panorama
Share