2014/10/21

Golfer Rory McIlroy calls off Engagement to Tennis Player Caroline Wozniacki

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(May 21, 2014) Two-time golf major winner Rory McIlroy has broken off his engagement to former tennis world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, apparently just days after the couple sent out their wedding invitations.

McIlroy issued a statement through his management company in regard to the split:

“The problem is mine. The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realise that I wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails.”

“There is no right way to end a relationship that has been so important to two people.

“I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves and thank her for the great times we have had. I will not be saying anything more about our relationship in any setting.”

The Irish McIlroy, 25 and the Danish Wozniacki, 23, who had been seeing each other since 2011, announced their engagement on New Year’s Day.

Wozniacki, currently ranked 13th on the WTA Tour awaits the start of the second tennis major of the year French Open, which begins on Sunday.

McIlroy is preparing to participate at the BMW PGA Championship.

McIlroy, speaking to a group of reporters in a news conference in Wentworth said: “Look, I’m no different than anyone else. Everyone has been through breakups and it obviously has been very, very difficult.”

Transcript of news conference: bit.ly/1m6upaw

Related article:

Caroline Wozniacki and Rory McIlroy Ring in 2014 with an Engagement Announcement

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Caroline Wozniacki Battles Past Sabine Lisicki in Dubai; Talks Engagement Ring in Press

Wozniacki engagement ring

(February 18, 2014) DUBAI – Former No. 1 and Dubai 2011 champion Caroline Wozniacki battled back to stop 2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki, winning 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.

“I have had to fight pretty hard against her quite a few times,” said the woeld No. 11.  “I knew she was going to come out hot and just go for her shots, and I felt like I was just a step behind.  I couldn’t really do what I wanted from my backhand side, and I was playing a little too short.

“In the second set I started serving really well, I was really pleased with my serves, and I got a lot of her returns back deep, and all of a sudden, you know, the game was different.  I started attacking more from my backhand side onto her backhand and started to make her run a little bit.”

Asked if she was disappointed with the loss Lisicki who is still nursing a shoulder injury said:

“Definitely, but I still see it as positive, because I didn’t have a racquet in my hand for more than two weeks or two weeks.  I practiced four days, and, you know, my shoulder, I did a lot of rehab to be able to come here.

“So I’m very happy that I was able to play and to actually play that well.  It wasn’t enough to play the two whole sets that way yet, but in general, I’m pretty satisfied the way, you know, I started and went into the match, so that’s definitely something that I can build on.”

Wozniacki came into her news conference, sporting her 8 carat diamond engagement ring from fiancé and fomer No. 1 golfer Rory McIlroy. She doesn’t wear it on court for fear of losing it.

She explained the significance of the 8 carats:

“That’s my lucky number.  That’s how he picked eight.  Very thoughtful.  I should have said 18, but…,” she said jokingly.

“Date, everything, location set,” the Dane said when asked about her wedding plans. “Such an exciting time.”

Asked to name the date, she quipped, “You never know.”

 

No. 5 seed, Jelena Jankovic, had to fight to get past qualifier Maryna Zanevska, winning 6-4, 6-3.

“I worked really hard. It was not easy for my first match here,” said Jankovic. “I just came from Doha like one day ago, so it’s completely different. Playing there during the night it’s slower, and here it’s faster and the balls fly. It was quite windy out there, and I felt kind of like I couldn’t play my game totally, you know, play the lines.”

Related articles:

“Rusty” Serena Williams Opens Dubai with a Win; Ana Ivanovic Squeaks by Angelique Kerber

Simona Halep Retires with Injury in Dubai Opening Match

 

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Phone-Gate and Other Stories in Notes and Quotes From Day Two at the 2013 French Open

 

Sergiy Stakhovsky and phone-gate

Sergiy Stakhovsky upset by a line call during his his losing effort against Richard Gasquet, the Ukranian pulled out his phone to take a photo of the mark on the clay where ball landed.

He argued with Chair Umpire Carlos Ramos on a ball which landed near a line in the first set.

World No. 101 and a membr of the ATP Players Council even tweeted a photo:

 

Stakhovsky who expects to get fined, intends to fight it and plans to show the picture to the tournament supervisor

“I believe it was a bad call, it was a bad judgment,” he said. After all, we are playing on clay, where you should be clearly able to read the mark,” he added, “and unfortunately, not all of our referees are able to do so.”

During the first set on Court Suzanne Lenglen, the 101st-ranked Stakhovsky hit a shot that landed right along a line. The ball was ruled out, but Stakhovsky was sure it was in.

This is not the first time Stakhovsky has done this. He also did the same thing at a tournament in Munich last month.

Gasquet spoke about the incident in his post match news conference:

“I think he was pretty sure the ball was on the line, Gasquet said.  I’m not sure about it.  It’s very close.  Maybe it’s good; maybe it’s out.  I agree it was very close.

“So he’s a funny guy.  I think he’s one of the funniest guys in the draw.  For sure it’s not usual to see that, but I can understand he’s frustrated, because the ball is close.

“I was winning 2‑0.  I broke him.  So for sure not bothering me at all.  I prefer to break him and to be confident.  And I prefer the umpire say no to the ball.  I agree it was a little bit close.

“I think it’s funny.  It’s not problem, for sure.  When you are winning 2‑0, is better for you.  Can laugh a little bit more.

“But I think, yeah, I really don’t know about this ball.  As I said, it’s a very close one.  So I can understand he did that because some weeks ‑‑ two weeks ago I had problems in Rome, so I can understand when a guy is becoming crazy sometimes.

“But I think it was a funny situation.  As I said, he’s a very funny guy, smart guy, so I have no problem about it.”

Sloane Stephens Tennis Panorama Carlsbad

Sloane Stephens and the media

Sloane Stephens met the media after her straight sets win over Karin Knapp.  She had many questions posed to her about her recent slump since the Australian Open and the reaction to her recent controversial interview with ESPN Magazine and article in Time Magazine

 

Stephens: “Obviously I haven’t had that many good results leading up to the clay season, so to get some match in on my favorite surface and get some confidence back and kind of just start feeling ball better.

“Just really excited to be on the court again and, like, loving it again.  Even though ‑‑ I mean, I didn’t win a tournament or I didn’t final a tournament, but I think just having some good results and getting some wins, that really helped.

“Now everything is settled and I’m handling and balancing everything better, so it feels ‑‑ you know, being on the court feels a lot better, and I’m really happy with the way things are going.

 

“I’m only 20 years old, so I have a lot to learn and a long ways to go.  Just finding the right balance is what we’re doing.

 

“It’s been fine for me.  My really good friend came and my mom is here.  I’m just having a good time.  It’s been fun.

 

“I mean, obviously attention is attention.  It comes, it goes.  When you’re winning they love it; when you’re losing they love it.  It’s all the same really.

“Just good to be playing and playing well again.

On what she has leaned in the past few months: “I think most importantly just tough times, they obviously don’t always last.  To get through it is awesome.  I wouldn’t say I had ‑‑ the last couple months have definitely been difficult, but I think I’ve worked my way through it.

I’m feeling good about myself, and I think that’s all that really matters.

 

Asked if she regretted anything she said about Serena Williams or the way it came out: “No.  It’s all been discussed and everything is fine.  Just moving forward.”

 

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki and her golf swing

Caroline Wozniacki snapped a five- match losing streak on Monday when she defeated No. 1 British player Laura Robson in straight sets. In press she was asked if she would work on her golf game for next year’s Masters. Wozniacki’s boyfriend is Rory McIlroy.

“You know, I told Rory, I said, I am not going to hit a ball at the par‑3.  I said, There is no chance.  He goes, Okay.  I respect that.  Of course.  What does he do on the 9th?  Tees it up.  Gives me the club.  He goes, Here you go.  I’m like, First of all, I’m not prepared; second of all, I don’t want to hit the shot.  He said, I don’t think you have a choice now because the crowd is going crazy.  I’m like, I can’t back out now.  And I’m stubborn, as well.  So I was like, Okay, as long as I don’t air it, I’m going to be fine.

“But I think I made the biggest divot on the grass.  And I got quite a few comments after that.  For example, like, you know, How much did you have to pay Augusta for the one acre of grass that you tore up?  I mean, I had to hear about that for quite a long time afterwards.

“I can actually hit the ball decent sometimes; it just didn’t really show on that one.

“And Andy Roddick, he tweeted me afterwards going, Oh, you know, the grass almost went further than your ball.  I’m like, well, as far as I remember, his ball hit the water, too.  So it doesn’t really matter if it’s, you know, how far in the water?  Water is the water, right?

“So I gave him a bit of slack for that.”

TomasBerdych

“The referee is gonna win.”

After losing a tough five setter to Gael Monfils, Tomas Berdych was asked which player he favored in the second round match between Monfils and Ernesst Gulbis.

“The referee is gonna win.

The referee is gonna win.  I mean, whatever.  What you gonna say?  They are both great players.  One or the other is gonna win, so I really don’t have any magical feelings to say who’s gonna win.  That’s it.

Radwanska news conf

Aga Radwanska and her hair

Agnieszska Radwanska was questioned about her recent hair color – going from brunette to blonde just before Fed Cup in April.

“Well, you know, it’s just to change something.  Yeah.”

“But I think I go back to dark hair because everybody telling me to come back to the dark, so I will do it soon, probably.

“What do you think?”

Radwanska’s sister Urszula went from blonde to brunette but didn’t like it. “She was brunette for I think two weeks, but she didn’t like it at all, so she changed to blonde again.  We’re both blonde now.”

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Kourtin’ Karen’s Tennis News Week in Review

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(March 11, 2013) NEW YORK, NY –  Kourtin’ Karen takes brief look at the week that was week in the offbeat world of tennis.

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BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden in New York City

March 4 was World Tennis Day. BNP Paribas sponsored two showdowns –  in Hong Kong and the other in New York City.

Highlight of the Madison Square Garden event – Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro were in the middle of the second set of the showdown whe Nadal pulled out Ben Stiller to play with him. Del Potro brought out 9-yeear-old left Rebecca Suarez who proved to be the best player on the court for the “doubles” match

 

BNP Paribas Showdown Debuts in Hong Kong with Wozniacki, Radwanska, McEnroe and Lendl

 

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Jelena Jankovic’s Fila Heritage Carwash tennis dress at Indian Wells

Jelena JankovicJ Jankovic skirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BNP Paribas Open Players’ Party

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On the Green Carpet – Photos from the 2013 BNP Paribas Open Players’ Party

Many of those in the tennis media are not really fans of these type of events and exhibitions, but it draws people who are not normally fans of the game. I’m for whatever draws people to watch tennis.

All of the majors should have a “red carpet” event like this. It’s all in good fun and fans and journalists alike can play “Fashion Police.”

 

 

30-30

No American Men in the Top 20?

With John Isner’s loss to Lleyton Hewitt in his first match at the BNP Paribas Open, depending on how Sam Querrey and Mardy Fish do, there would be no US men in the top 20 of the rankings – this has never happened since the rankings began in 1973.

 

30-40

TMZ Alert

TMZ as well as other media outlets were reporting that there was an arrest warrant out for Jennifer Capriati in conjunction with an alleged assault on her ex-boyfriend Ivan Brannan. Capriati’s publicist denied reports that a warrant had been issued for her arrest.

“What happened has been over-exaggerated. When the full story comes out Jennifer will be vindicated of these charges,” said the spokesperson in a written statement.

 

Deuce

Redfoo sightings

Victoria Azarenka and Redfoo

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Let’s face it,  pop singer Redfoo is here to stay.  Not only is he a big tennis fan, he supports a USTA Pro Circuit event – the Party Rock Open and is now the significant other of No. 2 Victoria Azarenka.

 

Advantage exhibitions

Pete Sampras adn Novak Djokovic

Tennis was back in Los Angeles with the LA Tennis Challenge featuring, Novak Djokovic, Pete Sampras, Mardy Fish, James Blake, Bob and Mike Bryan.

Djokovic, Sampras, Fish and the Bryan Brothers Among Those to Particpate in LA Tennis Challenge

 

 

Deuce look-a-likes

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Separated at birth, the hair anyway – Redfoo and Thing 1 and Thing 2 of Dr. Seuss fame.

 

Advantage Karaoke

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In the post-match news conference at the BNP Paribas Showdown, Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka announced that they revealed that they will be shooting a karaoke video to Rihanna’s “Stay.”

Deuce

The Rumor Mill

"Austin Powers" and Caroline Wozniacki

“Austin Powers” and Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki put to bed rumors that she and her boyfriend golfer Rory McIlroy had split.

A British tabloid speculated that the reason the golfer had pulled out of the Honda Classic was due to relationship problems with Wozniacki. Meanwhile, why did Wozniacki attend the BNP Paribas Open Players party with Austin Powers. (See above photo)

 

Advantage news

Tennis will introduce biological passports this year and increase the number of blood tests.

Nadal Returns to Hardcourt with Indian Wells Win; Still Unhappy with 25-Second Rule

 

Mardy Fish

Game, Set and Match – Welcome back Mardy Fish

Mardy Fish has returned to the tour from a heart ailment, his first event since the US Open.

 

Photo galleries from the past week

Photos by Curt Janka, Jennifer Knapp, Maria Noble and Karen Pestaina.

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Kourtin’ Karen’s Tennis Week in Review

(January 2, 2013) NEW YORK, NY – After a hiatus longer than Rafael Nadal’s current one from the tour, Kourtin’ Karen is back with her weekly scoreboards. A brief review of the previous week in the world of tennis news, on and off-court.

 

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Rafael Nadal withdraws from Australian Open

Eleven- time major champion and current world No. 4 Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Australian Open due to a continuing stomach virus.

The ailment caused Nadal to withdraw from this week’s World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

Rafael Nadal has been off the tour with a knee injury since his second round loss at Wimbledon in June.

Andrea Perkovic  may join Nadal  on the Australian Open sidelines as the German suffered a meniscus tear of her right knee during her Hopman Cup match.

 

Maria Sharapova pulled out of Brisbane with a right collarbone injury.

 

Murray at Olympics

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“Sir” Murray

Andy Murray has been awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Murray said in a statement on his website:

“It is with incredible pride that I have been named in the New Year’s Honours List to receive an OBE from Her Majesty the Queen for services to sport.

‘This has been an amazing year for British sport and I am proud to have been able to play my part.

“I reached my first Wimbledon final, competed and won gold at the London 2012 Olympics with Team GB at Wimbledon, and then won my first grand slam title at the US Open.

“Being recognised in such a way at the end of such a great season is the finishing touch on 2012. Thank you all for your support, I hope everyone has a very happy New Year…..and here’s to 2013!”

 

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Ring-gate

In Brisbane Caroline Wozniacki was spotted with a large ring on her on her left ring finger.  Her boyfriend, golfer Rory McIlroy had to deny there was an engagement and his management company issued the following statement:

“On behalf of Rory McIlroy, I would like to confirm that he has NOT become engaged to Caroline Wozniacki as was originally reported in Australian press. Rory is in Australia to support Caroline before he heads in January to Abu Dhabi.”

The ring which was a Christmas gift was…just a gift.

”It’s not an engagement ring,” Wozniacki said.  ”Those rumors once again I’ll have to shut down and say we’re not engaged … not yet anyway.”

 

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Love is in the air

Washington Capitals hockey player, two-time NHL MVP and boyfriend of Maria Kirilenko, Alex Ovechkin announced the couple’s engagement via his twitter account.

Hew tweeted ”We are engaged !!!!!!! )))))))))”

 

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Beware the barricades

 

 

Novak Djokovic has a scare at Hopman Cup on Monday. A crowd barrier collapsed while he was signing autographs for fans following his singles win over Andreas Seppi.  The barrier hit the Serb’s legs but he said he was fine.

 

Deuce

Hello, Goodbye IMG

Novak Djokovic signed with IMG while Rafael Nadal is leaving IMG to begin his own management company.

Also on the business front:

ATP Unveils New Global Promotional Campaign As 2013 ATP World Tour Gets Underway

USA TODAY’s Jon Swartz reports Nadal has a new iPhone app called Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy . Look for it one iTunes.

Emirates Named Official Airline of the ATP World Tour and Rankings Sponsor

 

Ad – Out of Davis Cup

Juan Martin Del Potro is skipping Davis cup at least in February for Argentina

Spain’s David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro told Sport360 that they may not play the February tie against Canada.

 

Deuce

No donkey cheese

Novak Djokovic has not cornered the market on donkey cheese as had been reported by British newspapers.

“I did not expect this story was going to get so much attention, and everywhere in the world, too. It is not completely true that we have bought the whole supply of donkey cheese, even though it was the first time in my life I heard that donkey cheese existed.”

 

Advantage

Working in a coal mine

Retired Pros Marcelo Rios and Guillermo Coria will play an exhibition match inside El Teniente, the world’s largest copper mine.

Djokovic1228abudhabi

Speaking of exhibitions, Djokovic captured the World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi this past weekend.

 

Game, Set, Match – Welcome to the 2013 tennis year!

Tournaments and events this week in Auckland, Brisbane, Chennai, Doha, Perth and Shenzhen.

(Karen Pestaina is the woman behind Tennis Panorama News. She freelances for various media outlets in and out of tennis and has worked for many a broadcast news entity. She witnessed her first live tennis match as a young child at Forest Hills when Guillermo Vilas upset Jimmy Connors to win the 1977 US Open. This branded her as a Vilas fan for life. Follow her on twitter @TennisNewsTPN )

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