2015/01/31

Players Participate in 12th Annual Taste of Tennis

Rafael Nadal

 

Vera Zvonareva

 

James Blake

 

 

 

Tamira Paszek

 

Gilles Simon

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Tommy Haas

 

Janko Tipsarevic

Marin Cilic

NEW YORK, New York (August 25, 2011) – The world’s top tennis players and chefs served without racquets and balls at the 12th Annual BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis on Thursday night at the W New York Hotel.  The players teamed-up with guest chefs to create culinary delights for tasting. Among the players on the “green” carpet – Rafael Nadal, James Blake and Tommy Haas.

The BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis will benefit the New York Junior Tennis League. NYJTL is the largest tennis and education-themed community organization in the United States serving 100,000 children each year.

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Some photos provided by Getty Images used with permission from Taste of  Tennis

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“Meet the Press” WTA Style at All-Access Hour at the Mercury Insurance Open

Top Seeds Meet the Media

By Curt Janka

CARLSBAD, California – The top seeds for the 2011 Mercury Insurance Open sat down, answered questions and laughed with the media at the Lacosta Resort  just north of San Diego. The high seeds enjoy a later start at the event so the players were all very relaxed and candid with their answers. In addition to what their goals are for the summer, Tennis Panorama News asked each player if they were planning on entering mixed doubles at the 2012 Olympics.

 

Agnieska Radwanska
The 2010 finalist is back with hopes to go one step further than she did last year. When asked how important the tournaments leading up to the U.S. Open are in preparing for the slam, she said, “I want to win every match. It’s not just to warm up for the Open. There are a lot of points to win between now and then.”

Radwanska says she’s really looking forward to the Olympics and would love to play singles, doubles and mixed if possible, but hasn’t lined up a mixed partner yet. Of course, she’d love to play doubles with her sister, Ursula “if their rankings allow for it at the time.”

She had fun playing golf here last year but noted that because part of the course was under construction, she might not get the chance to swing a club this year.

Ana Ivanovic
Seeded fifth this week, Ivanovic is waiting to play the winner of the match between Jelena Dokic and Ayumi Morita. Morita beat Ivanovic in straight sets last week in Stanford. Asked whether she’d prefer to play Dokic or get another crack at Morita, Ivanovic said emphatically, “Definitely Morita, to get some revenge. That was a hard loss last week.” However, losing early in Stanford did give Ivanovic the opportunity to come down to San Diego early and start training which she thinks will help her at this event. “The conditions down here are very different. It’s hotter and very humid.”

She doesn’t have specific goals in mind for the summer, just to keep trying to execute the things she is working on in practice. “If I do that, the results will come.”

Ivanovic revealed she has also been trying to eliminate gluten from her diet, like compatriot Novak Djokovic. “I try to eat rice before matches and avoid pasta and bread.”

She is excited to be playing with Nenad Zimonjic in mixed doubles at the next Olympics. She’d love to play all three tennis events at the Olympics, but doesn’t know yet whether she’ll play women’s doubles. She will, however, be playing doubles with her friend, Andrea Petkovic, next week.

 

Vera Zvonareva
The top seed says she feels “at home” here in San Diego. She’s played this tournament many times and has some great memories. Asked about the marathon match she played here against Anastasia Myskina in 2004, she said “it seems like yesterday.”

Zvonareva said that because she feels so comfortable here and because of the way the site is set up, she feels like she gets to watch more matches here than at other events. She couldn’t say who she’d like to see play this week, but she’d just “see how the week goes.”

While the Olympics is something Zvonareva is looking forward to, she couldn’t say who she would play mixed doubles with or if she’d even get to play mixed. “That’s up to the captain to decide.” She said she’ll do her best to prepare for singles and hopes to be selected to play doubles or mixed doubles when the time comes.

 

Andrea Petkovic
The second seed is enjoying a great year. Asked what she thinks about Serena Williams coming back from injury to win last week in Stanford, she said “There are two kinds of confidence. Serena was born with it. In my case, I had to work to get the confidence.”

She hasn’t come to San Diego with any new dances. She said she “has to wait for inspiration to hit her. It hasn’t hit yet but it usually does just in time.”

Fellow German, Julia Goerges is a potential quarterfinal opponent and friend. Petkovic says that, along with Sabina Lisicki, the three have a “healthy competitiveness” between them. When one does well, it inspires one of the others to do well. She says it’s always a little awkward to play friends in tournaments, but that is part of being a professional.

Asked who she would like to play mixed doubles with at the Olympics, she smiled and said, “I don’t know yet. I’d have to see all the photos and decide which one is cuter.”

Martina Hingis
Playing in a nearby ProAm event, Martina Hingis stopped by. She was quickly hounded by questions about the reports that she would play mixed doubles with Roger Federer at the Olympics. “No decisions have been made yet” she said. “It’s more up to Roger, but there are a lot of ifs.” She wouldn’t rule it out, but insisted that it most likely wouldn’t happen.

She said while she was encouraged by how well she played against Serena Williams recently in World Team Tennis, but was not making any comeback plans for singles. “Doubles is more on my mind,” she said only when pressed.

Hingis is currently touring the U.S. and Canada promoting clothing by Tonic. She said she approached them after wearing the clothes for yoga and fitness. She has been meeting with the designer at Tonic to provide input on a Martina Hingis branded line of tennis clothes by the company to launch in the Spring of 2012.

Asked if she could give any advice to Caroline Wozniacki, Hingis said “she has to be more in charge” adding that the women’s tour is so deep now that you need a weapon to win the quarters, semis and a final at a Slam.

Curt Janka is covering the Mercury Insurance Open in Carlsbad this week. Follow his updates on twitter at @GVTennisNews. Follow his personal twitter @CurtJanka.

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Sony Ericsson Open Players Party – Welcome to the Oscars


View the slideshow

by Craig Hickman

Tuesday night, the players chose their fashion-forward best for the “Oscars” of the player party circuit. Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, and Ana Kournikova were the biggest stars of the tennis world in attendance, as well as world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, Fernando Verdasco, and pretty boy Feliciano Lopez, who made one of the photographers weak-kneed.

Robin Soderling
, along with his girlfriend, were among the first to show up and they were already walking out when we arrived. Tomas Berdych and Lucie Safarova were the last to arrive on the red (blue) carpet. An adorable couple close up, their chemistry was palpable. Tomas has always had the look of an angel and Lucie’s baby-doll face was all aglow. I was thrilled to see Anastasia Myskina who arrived with the self-proclaimed “Russian Mob,” led by Svetlana Kuznetsova in another one of her head-scratching get ups.

Mixed in with the players were a few actors, a couple professional gamers, some well-known local DJ’s, and a few mystery men.

Venus Williams arrived about midway through and when Serena Williams wasn’t far behind, it was clear the superstar wasn’t coming. Also noticeably absent was Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Kim Clijsters.

Tweeting the photos was a stroke of genius suggested by photographer  JD Blom. I was all set to tweet my best descriptions of the outfits when he looked over my shoulder and said, “Just snap a photo.” Ah, technology. I’m not a wizard with the latest toys, so I had no clue you could do such a thing. Once I got the hang of it, it was all over. Would love to do that again someday.

Right before the paparazzi packed up equipment to leave, one of the Getty photographers asked my to identify most of the players he’d just captured for he only recognized a few big names. Who knew?

More photos from the live tweets – here.

On the Red (Blue) Carpet of the Sony Ericsson Open Players Party

Craig Hickman is founder and editor of Craig Hickman’s Tennis Blog He is covering the Sony Ericsson Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow him on twitter @CraigHickman.  Find his Sony Ericsson Open tweets on @GVTennisNews.

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On the Red (Blue) Carpet of the Sony Ericsson Open Players Party

The Sony Ericsson Open Players Party took place at the Paris Theater in Miami Beach. Here are a few photos from the event held on March 22, 2011.

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More photos from the live tweets – here.

Sony Ericsson Open Players Party – Welcome to the Oscars

Craig Hickman is founder and editor of Craig Hickman’s Tennis Blog He is covering the Sony Ericsson Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow him on twitter @CraigHickman.  Find his Sony Ericsson Open tweets on @GVTennisNews.

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Of War and Radiation: Kim Clijsters Speaks


By Craig Hickman

Tuesday morning at the Sony Ericsson Open, Caroline Wozniacki, Kim Clijsters, Vera Zvonareva, Samantha Stosur, Francesca Schiavone, Jelena Jankovic, Li Na, and Victoria Azarenka made themselves available for the WTA All-Access Hour.

But it was Clijsters who spoke most candidly about recent world events. Probably because she was sharing her thoughts and feelings in her native tongue to journalists from her country. Something about being around your people that opens you up. What follows is translated from Flemish.

::

Q: When you are looking at the world events of Japan and Libya do you think about what is happening to the world and Jada’s future?

KC: Certainly. As soon as I heard that there was a radioactive cloud on its way to the west coast, normally I would not have worried about that, because you think it’s so far away. But this time I was “Let’s get out of here as soon as possible,” and also with Jada you think about it differently. When I was younger I used to worry about stuff, like when we had to go to Australia or Tokyo, and the war in Kuwait (sic) was going on and then on your flight map you could see that we were flying over Iraq and Iran and I had quite a bit of fear. I want to follow world affairs, but I do know that when Jada is walking around I don’t want her to see those things. But Brian looks at it quite differently. He knows what is happening and feels badly about it but it does not affect him as much as it affects me.

I was like, “We need to get those pills.” I went to all the natural food stores to look for products with natural iodine like seaweed, spirulina, and kelp. I bought it all. And Brian just laughs at me. He is like, “If the government says it will not have any influence no problem,” but I think they are lying. Of course, they say that because they can’t evacuate the whole west coast. But I won’t be fooled. Even in Belgium my sister and aunt called me saying, “You gotta leave because the cloud is coming, or you can just put Jada alone the plane and we’ll pick her up here at the airport.” What a panic. It was a bum. Do you really think it can get here in Indian Wells? I didn’t even want to imagine it.

Q: Then there’s the Toray (Pan Pacific Open) in Tokyo in October.

KC: I won’t go. And I won’t go to Beijing either.

::

The world No. 2 retired from her fourth-round match in Indian Wells against Marion Bartoli citing a shoulder injury. She’s now happy to report that her shoulder and her wrist are improving and she’s ready to defend her title in Miami.

Craig Hickman is founder and editor of Craig Hickman’s Tennis Blog He covering the Sony Ericsson Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow him on twitter @CraigHickman.  Find his Sony Ericsson Open tweets on @GVTennisNews.

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