25 July 2006

A great weekend for Spain!

This weekend was full of success for Spanish tennis, starting in the hands of David Ferrer, in a action packed match which lasted almost five hours, after overcoming Argentinian Acasuso 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (3), 7-5 6-4. The Stuttgart titile is the first of the season for Spaniard David Ferrer. With this great result, Ferrer has a great chance to gettting into the top ten, his current position is 12 in the ATP rankings. lovetennis would like to extend our words of Congratulations to David Ferrer,his family and coaching team, all of their hard work has finally paid off.

David Ferrer with his new Mercedes CLK 200, given by the tournement sponsors.

The other Spanish success of the day was for Anabel Medina Garrigues, who managed to defend her title on the Italian clay of Palermo, after defeating Italian player Tathiana Garbin. This is the fourth time Medina Garrigues has lifted the Palermo trophy.

Anabel Medina Garrigues

Another title of the day was won by Russian Vera Zvonareva in the US city of Cincinnati, after beating Slovenian Katarina Srebotnik in straight sets 6-2 6-4.

Vera Zvonareva celebrates her new title

Returning to the ATP, American James Blake, won the Indianapolis Open from his compatriot Andy Roddick, 4-6, 6-4 7-6(5). The New York tennis player, currently ranked sixth in world thanks to his run of recent good form at Vegas, Sydney and Queen's Club, he is now seventh in the champions race.

James Blake poses with a little puppy at Indianápolis

Last title of the day goes to Serbian Novak Djokovic who defeated Chilean Nicholas Massú in Holland, 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 giving him his first professional tour title.

Novak Djokovic

Davis Cup Results:

Europe/Africa Zone Group I 2006 - 1st Round Play-Offs
Great Britain v Israel 2 - 3

Americas Zone Group I 2006 - 1st Round Play-Offs
Peru v Ecuador 4 - 1
Canada v Venezuela 3 - 2

Europe/Africa Zone Group II 2006 - 2nd Round
Norway v Macedonia, F.Y.R. 2 - 3
Finland v Algeria 4 - 1
Bulgaria v Hungary 2 - 3
Poland v Georgia 2 - 3

Europe/Africa Zone Group II 2006 - Play-Offs
Greece v Zimbabwe 4 - 1
Ireland v Slovenia 1 - 4
Egypt v Cyprus 2 - 3
Latvia v South Africa 3 - 1

Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus

For more info - Official Davis Cup website

Davis Cup

15 July 2006

Mauresmo awarded Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur

French No.1 Amelie Mauresmo has been awarded with the highest honour given in France the l'Ordre nationale de la Legion d'honneur, announced in Paris on friday. The 2006 Wimbledon womens champion will be given the prestigious chevalier award - equivalent to the British knighthood.

Also included on the honours list is Greek singer and Unicef Ambassador Nana Mouskouri, President of the French Triathlon Federation Philippe Lescure and Alain Methiaz President of the French Ski Federation.

09 July 2006

Wimbledon Champion - Roger Federer

Roger Federer applauded rival Rafael Nadal after beating the Spaniard 6-0 7-6 6-7 6-3 on Sunday to win a fourth consecutive Wimbledon title.

The Swiss dropped his only set of the tournament on his way to an eighth grand slam title but ended a five-match losing sequence against the 20-year-old Spaniard.

"I would like to say it's been a great tournament for Rafael as I honestly didn't think he was going to play in the final," Federer said on Centre Court after slipping on his cream blazer.

Federer, who has won a record 48 consecutive matches on grass, said he was just relieved to get through this one.

"It's fantastic, I never thought it possible but I made it," he said. It's an incredible feeling. I was doubting myself early on in the tournament, with the draw and the expectations so to win this all over again is fantastic.

On matching Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg's feat of winning four consecutive Wimbledon titles, the only other players to manage it in the professional era, Federer said: "They are heroes of the game.

"This is the most important tournament and to win four is out of this world. I'll come back and try for a fifth. I'm not going to quit."

08 July 2006

Wimbledon Champion - Amelie Mauresmo

Like a cherished bottle of wine, Amelie Mauresmo said the sudden fulfilment of her career tastes even better because the pleasure has been a few years coming.

The French 27-year-old's 2-6 6-3 6-4 victory over Justine Henin-Hardenne at Wimbledon on Sunday sealed a second grand slam title in six months after seven years of near misses and questions about her nerve.

"It is very sweet, I think," the world number one told reporters. "Maybe if it had come the first time I was in a grand slam final seven years ago, maybe it would have not had the same taste.

"Things come when they have to come. For a few months now it seems to be working pretty well for me.

Asked if it felt different holding aloft the Venus Rosewater Dish on Centre Court, she joked: "It's a different trophy. It's round, it's smaller," before adding: "Of course the way it ended is different, I had the final moment, the final point."

Saturday's match looked to be slipping away from the popular Mauresmo in a first set in which the tension got the better of her. However, this time she did not buckle.

"I'm very proud the way I kept coming in to the net even though it didn't work very well in the first set.

"I was nervous on match point but I think that's understandable... I was just focusing on the game."

Mauresmo is a keen collector of wine, although she has not decided which one to open yet in celebration of her Wimbledon singles title -- the first by a Frenchwoman for 81 years.

"I haven't though about it. I was not too optimistic," she said. "We'll see when I get back."

07 July 2006

Wimbledon lovetennis Exclusive!

Earlier this week it was reported in the British press that former Baywatch star, David Hasselhoff was seen in a drunken state and asked to leave the ground at the Wimbledon All England Club.

Security guards "knew nothing" of the claims, said a Wimbledon spokeswoman, adding that Hasselhoff "wasn't rejected". He tried to enter the press centre while searching for Court 13 but was not correctly accredited, she added.

lovetennis can exclusively reveal that David Hasselhoff was indeed at the All England Club on monday and he was seen on the main concourse entrance of Center Court. He was standing around chatting with the fans, having his photo taken and seemed to been in a great mood - it was impossible to tell if he was drunk or not, but it was obvious that he had been told to leave Centre Court (for what reason, I don't know) he was laughing and asking the security to let him back into the members entrance, the security keep refusing him and said someone would be down soon to speak to him.

Though we don't know what actually happened, one thing that was very clear was that David Hasselhoff was a really nice guy! He seemed to be very embarressed by the treatment of the security, but he handled it very well and made time to meet the fans - in our book, that makes him a true star!

Wimbledon Reports - Part 2

My next day started once again in the queue at 7.30am - there was lots of freebies being given out today too! I got another free visor with my newspaper, then some promotions people form the WTA Tour came round with free Sony Ericsson lanyards (neck straps to hold your mobile phone) and packets of WTA mints!! (Also later in the day I got given free copies of Ace tennis Magazine) Chatted to a lot of people in the queue today, spoke to a nice Spanish man who was in front of me and to an American woman who was behind me in the queue. I got through the gates at 9.45am and then went up to the practise court. Players seen walking around the grounds - Kim Clijsters, Andrew Murray, Leander Paes, Sania Mirza. On the practise courts was Amelie Mauresmo with her coach Loic, Francesca Schiavone hitting with doubles partner Kveta Peschke, Leander Paes and Sania Mirza.

Today was incredibly hot, so I tried to stay out of the sun as much as possible, I went down to the far end of the grounds watched a bit of the men's doubles match that was on Court 5, then I went to Court 14 to see some of the Verdasco match but it was far too hot, so I went and got a yummy Haagen Dazs strawberry cheesecake ice cream and sat in the cool area under Centre Court - whilst sitting there I saw Tracey Austin rushing through at top steed eating a sandwich on her way to the commentry boxes. After I went back to Court 5 and the endless men's doubles was still going so I went and got a cold drink, then went to see the Paola Suarez/Vivi Ruano Pascual v. Samantha Stosur/Renee Stubbs doubles match. Paola and Vivi were in total control and looked like they were loving being out on the grass of SW19!! Then I went to Court 4 to see Jana Novotna in a women's veterans match - even though Jana hasn't played on the tour in years, she looked great!!! It was so good to see her back at Wimbledon again.

Finally, when the endless men's doubles match had finished, I went to Court 5 to see Eleni Daniilidou/Anabel Medina Garrigues v. Anastassia Rodionova/Andrea Vanc - Eleni and Anabel were in great spirits, chatting and laughing with eachother. Eleni seems to be the tachtical mind behind the partnership, giving advice to Anabel on stratagie, while Anabel's job seems to be the motivator for the pair. Daniilidou was definately the best player on the match, in the first set she was doing some amazing serving and awesome net play!! Throughout the match Rodionova kept complaining and questioning all the linecalls which was really irritating Daniilidou - at one point in the match Eleni started to question the linecalls also and said in a comical sarcastic way to the umpire "Well, if she's allowed to complain about everything, then I can too!" hahahha Really love the humour of Daniilidou!!! The second set saw the Daniilidou serve starting to go a bit off, and the Rodionova/Vanc partnership were starting to play a bit better - but Daniilidou/Medina Garrigues came back strong again in the third to win the match!! As they were leaving, the court staff tried to take the Wimbledon towels from them, but Anabel stepped in and said "This towel is mine, you're not getting it back! I was given this towel to use and I'm not finished with it, so you can't have it!" hahaha She then got the umpire involved in the whole thing and eventually won the argument and walked off (very happily) with her Wimbledon towels!!

02 July 2006

Wimbledon Reports - Part 1

My first day at the All England Club started in the same place as usual - at 7am in the Wimbledon queue! This year there was lots of freebies being given out - a free visor given away with one newspaper, a nice purple and cream bag with another newspaper - then they came round giving out pieces of free cake and free boxes of tea bags! (hahahhahahhaha....typically British!) Then after 2-3 hours of queuing was given free glasses of fruit juice and mineral water followed by the last freebie of the queue - a lovely ice cold pink apple!

After getting through the security screening I made my way into the club, met with a friend and headed over to Court 15 for the match of Eleni Daniilidou v. Shuai Peng - Eleni played some really beautiful tennis. She was really mixing it up, never afraid to come into the net and playing the most beautiful backhand passes that even Henin-Hardenne would have been proud to have hit!! Once again though, the main thing that let her down was the serve - if she could sort that serve out once and for all, she would definately shoot straight up to the top 10! Daniilidou was getting quite frustrated, talking and shouting at herself for silly errors - she was being incredibly animated throughout the whole match. Eventually, Peng took control and won the match in straight sets.

I then headed over to Court 3 to watch some of the Baghdatis match - he is such a showman and the Wimbledon crowd love him!!! The court was very busy so after a set I went for a walk - saw some of Meghann Shaughnessy v. Alona Bondarenko, then on to see Emilie Loit v. Anastassia Rodionova on Court 9, then to see Ana Ivanovic v. Emmanuelle Gagliardi for a set - after I headed up to Court 13 to watch Michaella Krajicek v. Samantha Stosur. Really surprised that Krajicek lost that match, she seemed so calm, in total control and with her current form she would have been one of picks to do really well at these Championships. After I went over to see Mashona Washington v. Julia Schruff, there was no doubt Mashona was gonna win that one! I then went for a walk around the club, walked past Richard Williams and as I looked over at him - he smiled, waved and said 'Hello' (He definately recognised me from Roland Garros a few weeks ago!!!)

After that match I met up with some friends, then headed over to Court 15 again to see Anabel Medina Garrigues v. Su-Wei Hsieh. Anabel was on great form and was way too good, winning easily in 2 sets. At one stage in the match a group of Su-Wei Hsieh's male fans turned up and called out 'You're hot, Su-Wei!' at the change of ends which was very funny!!! Anabel was laughing and poor Su-Wei looked very happy at the compliment but her face was bright red with embarrassment!! hahahhaha When the match finished I went over to get Anabel to sign one of my photos for me - she was lovely, she willingly signed for me and said how much she loved the photo, she was showing it to the woman who was standing with her (I guess it was her Mother) Anabel kept saying how much she loved the photo and I promised to get some copies made for her and she was sooooooo thrilled!!!! She was really excited and said thanks that would be fantastic!!!

Then I went to Court 14 to watch Nicole Vaidisova v. Katarina Bondarenko - wow, Nicole is a really talented player!! She has a great serve and seems so focused, she definately my tip for a future Wimbledon Champion! After, I headed back to Court 3 to see some of Dinara Safina v. Jill Craybas match, then I made a very quick dash to Court 1 to see Tathiana Garbin v. Martina Hingis - my match of the day! Even though I didn't have a Court 1 ticket, I managed to talk my way on the court just in time for the start. Considering the time was about 7.30pm the court was really packed, which gave the whole match a great atmosphere. Garbin gave it her all, she played some great tennis with some added trick shots which you would usually played by Mansour Barhami!! hahahha Throwing her racket at the ball in the hope that it will get back over the net, doing 'hot dogs', slam dunks and at one time, she ran so hard for a shot she ended up in the front row of the seating!! hahahha After much laughter she 'high fived' everyone one around her and the match continued - Just to add, her shot was good and called in! ;) The crowd were all cheering for Garbin, and at the changed of ends the crowd started to do the Mexican Wave which went non-stop around the stadium about 5 times! Eventually, Hingis took full control of the match and went on to win in straight sets. The crowd gave both players huge cheers and everyone seemed to really enjoy the match - it was a great way to finish the day!