Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Grand Slam Wimbledon Prize will be $1.8 million for singles winner

WIMBLEDON, England - The singles champions at Wimbledon this year will each receive $1.8 million.

The All England Club chief executive Ian Ritchie announced Tuesday the total prize fund for the 125th championships will increase to $23.8 million.

“Leading international sports events, such as Wimbledon, are all about the quality of the players on show,” All England Club chairman Philip Brook said. “It is important that we offer prize money which suitably rewards the players both for the box office appeal they bring to the event and for their supreme performances on court.”

Last year, prize money for the singles champions was $1.54 million.

Ritchie said tournament organizers had not heard from Serena Williams on whether she intends to defend her singles title. Williams hasn’t played competitively since winning the tournament last year because of complications following two foot surgeries.

Ritchie said the All England Club has been asking the British government to relax tax rules to make the tournament more attractive to competitors.

Athletes visiting Britain for team sports such as soccer are not taxed on earnings and endorsements for their time in the country, but individuals are.

Ritchie said the All England Club had also spoken with Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone, who is also making a presentation to the government for the change.

“If Lionel Messi comes here for a Champions League final, he does not get taxed, but Roger Federer does,” Ritchie said. “We don’t believe it is an impediment to Wimbledon in terms of people coming here. But it is on their radar screen, let’s put it that way.

“It’s the same with golf. There are certain international golfers who don’t come and play here, as I understand it, for that reason.”

The 2011 tournament will also feature a new 2,000-seat No. 3 court featuring the same Hawk-Eye technology used on the other show courts.

With a new No. 4 court also open for the first time, the total number of courts will be back up to the traditional 19 following several years of redevelopment.

Ground capacity will increase this year from 37,500 spectators to 38,500.

The All England Club will host the tennis competition at the 2012 London Olympics, but Ritchie said spectators expecting the tradition and pomp of the Wimbledon tournament may be disappointed.

“It will look and feel different to the championships,” Ritchie said. “And that is entirely right and proper.”

My Comment : "Instant millionair"

Monday, April 18, 2011

The King of Clay Court (Nadal) wins The Monte Carlo Masters for the 7th time

Nadal and Ferrer (image by AP)

MONACO, April 17 - Rafael Nadal continued his extraordinary love affair with the Monte Carlo Masters by sealing his seventh straight title on the Monaco clay after a 6-4 7-5 win over fellow Spaniard David Ferrer on Sunday.

The top seed, whose victory here last year made him the first man in the professional era to triumph in the same tournament six times in a row, showed few signs of letting his grip on the trophy loosen despite a generally scrappy display.

“King of Clay” Nadal first broke in the third game when his compatriot netted but Ferrer struck back immediately with his own break of serve thanks to an exquisite drop shot in the final of the first claycourt event of the European season.

However, Ferrer’s joy was short-lived with Nadal breaking next game and winning the first set before seizing the initiative in the second with a superb passing shot only to be broken in the eighth game and then hitting back for 6-5.

He leapt into the air with delight when Ferrer hit the net to seal his victory in one of the world’s most glamorous spots.

“It’s perhaps the best tournament in the world,” Nadal beamed after picking up a trophy he virtually owns.

“I congratulate David on his good start to the year and wish him well. For me today is very special, to win here seven times is much more than a dream. I could never have imagined it.”

My Comment : "Hail to King of Clay Court Rafael Nadal"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Nadal bet Murray to meet Ferrer in Final

Nadal celebrate victory over Murray
Clay king Rafael Nadal shook off a dogged Andy Murray 6-4 2-6 6-1 to set up a Monte Carlo Masters final against fellow Spaniard David Ferrer.

World number one Nadal, who lost to Ferrer in the Australian Open quarter-finals, broke for 3-1 in the first set when shaggy-haired Murray sent a booming shot long but the Briton hit back in the seventh game only to lose the set's final act.
Murray uncertain
Determined third seed Murray refused to lie down and a superb crosscourt backhand gave him the fourth game of the second set after nearly 20 minutes of slugging before breaks of serve were exchanged three times and the Scot took the set.

Nadal though raced to a 4-0 lead in the third as Murray tired and needed treatment on an arm injury before succumbing.

What happen to federer ? (lost in quaterfinal Monte Carlo)

Federer lost in QF Monte Carlo
Roger Federer refused to panic or blame the blustery conditions after Friday's defeat by Juergen Melzer in the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals threatened to blow his career further off course.

The Swiss is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time thanks to a male record of 16 grand slam titles but the winds of change are gusting through men's tennis.

His 6-4 6-4 loss to the Austrian was his first by anyone other than world number one Rafael Nadal or world number two Novak Djokovic since his Paris Masters defeat by Gael Monfils in November, but since then he has only won two tournaments.

The world number three was slightly unlucky against Melzer, who turned almost everything he hit into gold, but Federer also uncharacteristically missed several easy shots.

"Things didn't go my way. All those things accumulated to make it hard," Federer told a slightly tetchy news conference.

"(The wind) always has an effect on both players but being down in the score it didn't help. It was hard."

The second seed, who has never won the Monaco tournament on his least favoured clay surface, had looked imperious in his previous two matches but never got going against the seventh seed on the breezy shores of the Mediterranean.

Melzer broke for 3-2 in the first set when Federer netted the first of a number of forehands and the Austrian then immediately saved a break point on his own serve before taking the set and similarly sealing the second.

The Austrian, keen to reject comparisons with compatriot and former claycourt specialist Thomas Muster, was overjoyed but cautioned against writing off 29-year-old Federer just yet.

"You always have to respect Roger," left-handed Melzer said having shrugged off a back problem in the first game to win.

"For him to be three in the world is a downgrade and if you think about that it's stupid. For me he's the greatest player ever. Every time he loses it's tragic."

Melzer has now beaten Federer, Nadal and Djokovic but acknowledged he would boast about beating the Swiss more than the Spaniard when regaling tales to his children.

"It started to be difficult conditions because the wind picked up. I played a really good match with no mistakes," the world number nine added.

"I'm climbing to the top of my game on clay and it's not Roger's favourite surface."

My Comment : Don't give up yet Federer.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Shame on you Andy Murray !!!

Andy Murray (image by AP)
MONACO, April 14 - Andy Murray was booed by the mainly French crowd at the Monte Carlo Masters for using drop shots in his 6-3 6-3 third-round win over France’s injured Gilles Simon on Thursday.

Simon twisted his ankle at the start of the second set and had heavy strapping applied before gingerly carrying on.

Murray showed no mercy and after the first drop had a struggling Simon stranded, the Briton regularly used his favourite shot with the boos for the world number four and cheers for Simon intensifying after each attempt.

“I wasn’t bothered at all. I was doing what I had to,” Murray, who a day ago was saying how the Monte Carlo Country Club was one of the best venues in the world, told reporters.

“Every player on the tour would have done exactly the same thing. I wasn’t doing anything wrong. We’ll see the reaction tomorrow,” he smiled.

Giles Simon (image by AP)
 Simon backed his opponent saying :”You play to win.”

Murray earlier told Sky Sports: “You know you are in the driving seat and you want to put the foot down and finish the match as efficiently as possible. Drop shots were winning me virtually every single point, I had to keep moving him.”

Before Tuesday’s second-round win over Radek Stepanek, third seed Murray had not won a match in almost three months since his Australian Open final defeat by Novak Djokovic.

The 23-year-old, whose public image in the past suffered from occasional teenage strops, could face more grief from the crowd when he plays Frederico Gil in the quarter-finals on Friday after the Portuguese beat another Frenchman Gael Monfils.

“I don’t know a lot about him (Gil) but I watched his game,” Murray added. “He did well in Estoril and can play well on clay, he’s proved that by getting to the quarters here this week. I’ll have to be on my game tomorrow.”

Asked if he could win the tournament featuring world number one Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer, Murray added: “Yeah, why not?”

My Comment : I understand, "do whatever it takes to win"

Nadal and Federer cruise to Quater final in Monte Carlo Masters

Rafael Nadal (image by AP)
MONACO, April 14 : Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer continued on a collision course towards the Monte Carlo Masters final after easily winning their third round matches in contrasting conditions on Thursday.

Nadal braved unusually chilly temperatures on the sun-kissed Cote d’Azur to seal a quarter-final spot against Ivan Ljubicic with a straightforward 6-2 6-4 victory over Richard Gasquet.

While the crowd huddled for warmth deciding whether to cheer six-times champion Nadal or local favourite Gasquet, the Spaniard had already broken the Frenchman in the first game as his sheer power on clay again overawed an opponent.

The top seed, bidding to be the first man to win the same tournament seven times in a row as he warms up for next month’s French Open, almost lost the next game but held serve thanks to a stunning backhand down the line and hardly looked back.

“I think I played better than yesterday. In general I think it was a very positive victory against a very difficult opponent,” Nadal told reporters.

“I feel when I’m playing well with the forehand, it’s a very important shot for me. So I can have the control of the point most of the time with the forehand. That’s my style always, no?”

Gasquet broke for 4-4 in the second set to reveal a chink in Nadal’s armour, offering pretenders to his crown a glimmer of hope that the Spaniard is beatable on his favourite surface.

Second seed Federer staked his claim with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Croatia’s Marin Cilic after the sun had broken through.


Federer (image by AP)
  The Swiss barely got out of first gear but unleashed some superb winners and next meets Austrian Juergen Melzer on Friday.

“I’m mixing it up well (with the serve). Today was another solid performance which I was happy about,” Federer said.

Murray (image by AP)

World number four Andy Murray outwitted France’s Gilles Simon 6-3 6-3 to build on his opening victory over Radek Stepanek—his first win in two and a half months.

Simon had lengthy treatment after turning an ankle but then went on to break the Briton in the first game of the second set only for Murray to storm back using drop shots which the booing crowd felt were unfair given the Frenchman’s injury.

My Comment : Clash of the TITANS

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kenapa 2nd Serve mesti lebih kuat daripada 1st Serve ?

Soalan yang menarik dan juga amat menarik perhatian, kenapa 2nd serve mesti lebih kuat daripada servis yang pertama ?. Kebanyakkan pemain lebih suka untuk melemahkan pukulan untuk servis ke dua agar kebarangkalian bola untuk masuk ke gelanggang pihak lawan adalah lebih tinggi, betulll keee ... atau sekadar risau permainan akan tamat begitu sahaja dan akan menyesal dengan tindakan sendiri kerana tidak mengawal pukulan servis tadi ?
Apa yang hendak di risaukan ? pernahkan anda mendengar mengenai "muscle memory" ?.
Saya pernah terbaca mengenai suatu artikel lama-lama dahulu, di mana bagi seorang pemain tennis yang selalu melakukan servis yang sama setiap hari dan setiap masa akan membentuk tindakkan refleks yang serta merta ataupun tanpa disedari. Bagaimaan ini berlaku ?.
Pencetusnya adalah kerana latihan dan habit yang berterusan menyebabkan pukulan servis pemain tersebut semakin konsisten dan mantap.

Wallpaper of Maria Sharapova

All wallpaper are 1024 x 768 in dimensions
To get wallpaper : Right click on image and then choose "Save Target As"

Andy Murray moves on in Monte Carlo

Murray (image from AP)
 Andy Murray ended his three-month losing streak with a 6-1 6-4 victory over Radek Stepanek in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters.

The Scot booked a third round match against France's Gilles Simon with a much-improved performance on Centre Court, storming past the Czech Stepanek with a variety of sensational shots.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal dazzled Finland's Jarkko Nieminen with a florescent yellow shirt and his all-round game in a comfortable 6-2 6-2 win.

The world number one, bidding for a record seventh straight title by the turquoise sea in Monaco, broke straight away and the Finn received ironic cheers from the packed crowd when he finally won a point but Nadal was still not quite at his best.

Spain's Nadal, playing his first match of the year on his favoured surface after receiving a first-round bye, will meet France's Richard Gasquet in round three on Thursday after the 13th seed beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2 6-1.

Fourth seed David Ferrer trounced Feliciano Lopez 6-2 6-0 but sixth seed Fernando Verdasco surprisingly lost 6-4 6-3 to Tommy Robredo in another all-Spanish tie.

Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon, Frederico Gil and Viktor Troicki went through.

Roger Federer won on Tuesday to set up a meeting with Marin Cilic but world number two Novak Djokovic has skipped the first men's claycourt tournament of the year in Europe with a knee problem.

P/S : What's wrong with Andy Murray's hair ?

Rafael Nadal won his super 33rd straight match

Image from AP

Rafael Nadal won his 33rd straight match at the Monte Carlo Masters on Wednesday, defeating Jarko Nieminen, 6-2, 4-1 in their second-round match. The Spaniard hasn't lost at the tournament in eight years.

A few facts about Nadal's historic winning streak:

1. His last (and only) loss at the tournament came to Guillermo Coria on April 17, 2003. Nadal had to qualify to reach the tournament and entered the match ranked No. 104. He defeated No. 7 Alberto Costa in the second round (the biggest win of his career up until then) before dropping the third-rounder in straight sets to the 26th-ranked Coria.

2. Nadal got revenge for the defeat, beating Coria in the next two Monte Carlo tournaments in which he played (2005 and 2006).

3. During the win streak, Nadal has defeated players ranked Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. The only single-digit rank he hasn't bested in his Monte Carlo career? No. 2, a position he held for much of the run.

4. Nadal defeated No. 1 Roger Federer in three straight finals (2006-2008).

5. Since the start of the 2007 tournament, Nadal has dropped one set in Monte Carlo, to Novak Djokovic in the 2009 final. Last year he dropped 14 games in the entire tournament.

6. Nadal has won 23 sets by a score of 6-0, 6-1 during the streak. That's 34 percent of all the sets he's played.

7. Only four of his 68 sets have gone to a tiebreak. (Two came in one match against Federer.)

8. Last year was Nadal's easiest run to the title as he didn't face a single player in the top 10. In the previous tournaments, the nine-time Grand Slam champion faced as many as three top-five players en route to a championship.

The last time Nadal lost in Monte Carlo: Michael Jordan was still on an active NBA roster (he officially retired from the Washington Wizards later that day.) 50 Cent's "In Da Club" was the No. 1 song in the country the last time Nadal lost in Monte Carlo. "Bend It Like Beckham" was still in movie theaters. The Concorde was still flying. And Roger Federer hadn't won a Grand Slam.

 My Comment : Rafael Nadal is quite talented, no match is too hard for him.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Biography of Lleyton Hewitt

Lleyton Glynn Hewitt (born 24 February 1981) is a professional tennis player, and a former World No. 1 ranked player, from Australia. In 2000, Hewitt had won ATP titles on all three major surfaces (hard, clay and grass) and reached one final on carpet. By 2001, he became the youngest male ever to be ranked number one, at the age of 20.

His career achievements include winning the 2000 US Open men's doubles, the 2001 US Open and 2002 Wimbledon men's singles, and back-to-back Tennis Masters Cup titles (2001 and 2002). In 2005, TENNIS Magazine put Hewitt in 34th place on its list of the 40 greatest tennis players since 1965. Hewitt is known for his competitiveness and has won most of his matches with fitness, consistency and skilled footwork.

Playing Style
Hewitt is a defensive baseline counterpuncher. He typically likes to stay back towards the baseline during a rally and will usually approach the net only to catch a short reply or drop shot from his opponent. At the 2004 Cincinnati Masters Final, commentator MaliVai Washington said that Hewitt was even more difficult to "ace" than Agassi because he gets more returns in play. Hewitt's tactics typically involve putting difficult service returns in play, consistently chasing down attempted winning shots from his opponent, and waiting for his opponent to make an error.

Although he is known primarily as a baseline defender, Hewitt is a skilled volleyer and is known for having one of the best overhead smashes in the game. His signature shot, however, is the offensive topspin lob, a shot that he executes efficiently off both wings when his opponent approaches the net. US Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe and Jim Courier have both described Hewitt's lob as being the best in the world. In Andre Agassi's book "Open", Hewitt is described as one of the best shot selectors in the history of Men's Tennis.

Hewitt is currently sponsored by the Japanese sports manufacterer Yonex, with whom he signed a "Head to Toe" deal in late 2005. Yonex provides all of Hewitt's clothing, racquets, shoes and accessories. Hewitt's Yonex shoes (SHT-306) are inscribed with his nickname "Rusty" along with an image of an Australian flag.

As of 7 August 2007, his first appearance with a new racquet at the Montreal Masters, Hewitt used to use the Yonex RQiS 1 Tour. He used to use the Yonex RDS tour 90 Model, but switched to the Yonex RDiS 100 mid in 2009.

Federer wins second round in Monte Carlo

MONACO, April 12 : Roger Federer boasted he could finish a point at will as he reminded the tennis world of his destructive power with a 6-2 6-1 rout of Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Monte Carlo Masters second round on Tuesday. All the talk in the buildup to the first men’s claycourt tournament of the year had been about the in-form Novak Djokovic and his recent domination of world number one Rafael Nadal.

But record 16-times grand slam champion Federer took the chance to lay down a marker and show he is not yet a spent force by immediately finding his rhythm against German Kohlschreiber with forehand and backhand. “It’s clearly a good start for me to the claycourt season,” the 29-year-old told reporters. “I was able to do all the things I wanted to. I was consistent. I could finish a point almost when I wanted to.”

The day had started grey and cold but just as the Swiss stepped on court the sun burst through the clouds, the stands filled up and the crowd gave him a superb reception. Second seed Federer, who has never won the title here, has long battled an inferiority complex on clay despite his 2009 French Open title but there was no sign of nerves against the hapless German apart from a mini wobble late in the first set.

Top seed Nadal starts his quest for a record seventh straight title in the wealthy principality on Wednesday when he takes on Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen in the second round as stuttering third seed Andy Murray faces Radek Stepanek. World number two Djokovic, who beat Nadal in the final in his last two events, is skipping Monte Carlo with a knee injury.

“Nadal will be hard to beat,” added Federer, who could meet the Spaniard in Sunday’s final at one of the circuit’s most glitzy events. “He is clearly the overwhelming favourite even though I haven’t seen him play yet. But I still wouldn’t be happy losing to him in the final.”

My comment : A great for our maestro, but please don't be too over confident.
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