27 August 2006

Henin & Davydenko reign in New Haven

Another tournament for the WTA tour - another week of rain, injuries and retirements.

Lindsay Davenport began Saturday seeking to defend her Pilot Pen title but ended the day not knowing if she would be able to play the U.S.Open. Davenport retired from the Pilot Pen final with an injured right shoulder, allowing Justine Henin-Hardenne to take the title in the last hard-court tuneup before the year's last Grand Slam tournament, which starts Monday.

"Rest is going to help no matter what. Of course, with the U.S. Open less than 48 hours from beginning, this is not where I want to be," Davenport said. "I certainly can't play if it's like it was today.

Both Davenport and Henin-Hardenne entered New Haven after long layoffs because of injuries and it was the 24-year-old Belgian that picked up the momentum heading into the U.S Open. Henin-Hardenne needed only 22 minutes to win the first set 6-0. Between sets Davenport called for a trainer and took a medical timeout. When she returned, Davenport lost her serve in the first game of the second set and was in obvious pain. She met Henin-Hardenne at the net and shook hands, and the longtime favorite drew an ovation from the crowd.

"I could feel from the beginning of the match she wasn't hitting the ball as usual," Henin-Hardenne said. "I did what I had to do. It's not easy in this kind of situation, but I stayed focused on every points."

Henin-Hardenne, the second-seeded player and wild-card entry, drew a first-round bye, but Davenport had to work her way to the title match from the first round. She won all four matches in straight sets, including against top-ranked Amelie Mauresmo.

"I just hope I can keep going this way," Henin-Hardenne said. "I've been very consistent." And most importantly, she said, she's having fun. "I enjoy my tennis," she said. "That's probably why things have gone so well these last few months."

In the men's final, Russian Nikolay Davydenko warmed up for the U.S. Open in the best possible manner as he beat Argentine 10th seed Agustin Calleri 6-4 6-3 to win the New Haven event on Saturday.

The second seed broke once in the first set and twice in the second as he wrapped up victory in one hour, 21 minutes. The win gave Davydenko his third title of the year, but his first on hard courts.

Davydenko has never been beyond the third round at the U.S. Open but said the victory was a big boost to his confidence going into the final grand slam tournament of the year.

"For my mind, to win the tournament here, I felt good already from the first round so I hope I play good (at the U.S. Open). Davydenko said.

Calleri rued a few missed chances to break in the first set. "I had three or four break points, but he served very well, he didn't give me a chance to break him. He just played very well on the important points." Calleri said.

"Obviously I would have loved to win the tournament. On the other hand, I felt very good here."

23 August 2006

US Open 2006

The matches for the last Grand Slam of the year have been drawn, the U.S. Open 2006

Women's Singles Draw
/ Version in pdf

Men's Singles Draw
/ Version in pdf


22 August 2006

Ferrero, Roddick & the legend of the Phoenix

The phoenix has been a symbol of the physical and spiritual Renaissance, the power of the fire, the purification and immortality - these are all the same qualities that were displayed in this year's Masters Series in Cincinnati. We have witnessed the resurgence of two greats of this sport, two ex-number 1's and Grand Slam winners, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Andy Roddick. A Masters Series that was plagued with emotion and the unexpected early defeat of an exhausted Roger Federer at the hands of raising star Andy Murray. The Scot won through patience rather than by good tennis, knew the exact moment to capitalize on the numerous errors of his exhausted rival and to take control of the most important victory of his young career. Murray is applying the wise advice given to him by his new coach Brad Gilbert, and it definately seems to be working.

Brad Gilbert

Federer even in defeat acted like a true sportsman, which makes him an even greater champion. The Masters news didn't stop there, we also witnessed another great event the defeat of Rafael Nadal to former champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, in a match which was a mixture of emotion and a great display of tennis from both players. Nadal playing at his best level was still no match for the inspired Ferrero who managed to play with great flare and determination, going on to eventually win the clash of the Spanish champions.

Ferrero © Andrew Lewis

Another player who has risen again from the ashes in Cincinnati this weekend is American Andy Roddick, playing with aggressive, forceful tennis and ignition that literally blew his rivals away, including Ferrero who he beat in a great final (6-3 6-4) Roddick played like the old Andy Roddick that we used to see a few years ago, his incredible serve was back, and with full power blows and acceleration, these were the determining factors what helped Roddick gain victory on American soil again and makes his a definate favorite to lift the men's title at the US Open in a few weeks time.

Andy Roddick and Carlos Ferrero, Foto © Andrew Lewis

Now for the WTA, this last week has been particularily tough for the organisers of the Montreal tournament, in a week that has seen numerous absences, retirements and rain delays. The week concluded with the final being played a day last due to the showers over Montreal, seeing Serbian player Ana Ivanovic against Swiss Martina Hingis. The latter could not match the power, talent and youth of Ivanovic, who took the title with a 6-2 6-3 victory. The player from Belgrade, aged just 19 years of age and 19th in the world rankings, this is her second title and her first at Tier I level.

Serbian Ana Ivanovic (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Another WTA success came this weekend for legend Martina Navratilova who managed to gain title number 176 in doubles with her partner Russian Nadia Petrova, They deafeated the partnership of Black and Groenefeld 6-1 6-2. This new victory is added to the four previous ones that the American already obtained in Canadian in the years 1981, 1982, 1985 and 2004, each one of them won with different partner.

Navratilova & Petrova

More WTA news; Amelie Mauresmo and Justine Henin-Hardenne were the first two players to qualify for this years 'Sony Ericsson Championships', This event will take place in Madrid from the 7-12 November and will feature the world's top eight players of the year.

Amélie Mauresmo - winner of the Sony Ericsson Championships 2005

This week's tournaments: WTA & ATP in New Haven - 'Pilot Pen Tennis'


and the WTA Forest Hills Women's Tennis Classic


For more information and results visit the lovetennis forum and blog!

Greetings from the 'lovetennis' team


14 August 2006

Roger Federer: 25 years, 40 titles

This weekend, we have seen Roger Federer extend his great statistical record even further, the 25 year old has managed to gaintitle number 40 at the Masters Seriesin Toronto, his second trophy Rogers Cups, and seventh title of the season, extending his record of this year to 62-4. With this new title Roger Federer ties with Pete Sampras for the greater number of titles won at the age of 25 years. In front of Federer there is Borg who at 25 years had won the great number of 59 titles, (of which 10 of them were of Grand Slam) Connors with 57 titles (4 Grand Slam), McEnroe with 47 titles (5 Grand Slam), Lendl with 42 titles (1 Grand Slam), Federer with 40 titles (8 Grand Slam) Sampras with 40 titles (7 Grand Slam) Boris Becker with 36 titles (5 Grand Slam).

With respect to the Masters Series of Toronto, we can say that in general terms it's left a great taste in the mouth, with such fantastic preformances throughout the last week, leaving a very good impression of the young players like Tomáš Berdych who brilliantly defeated Rafael Nadal, winner of the 2005 title, in the third round. Another player to stand out is scottish Andy Murray, who under the guidence of Brad Gilbert, is showing very complete tennis and of such great quality. Another special mention has to be for the losing finalist, frenchman Richard Gasquet who has made a great impression, by his quality, talent and magical timing for executing great shots. During the final Gasquet made amazing shots, used great tactics and strategic brilliance; nevertheless, Federer is Federer and knew the exact time to react, to take the match 2-6 6-3 6-2 in 1:48 hours.

Roger Federer

Now on to the WTA in Stockholm, the Chinese Zheng Jie raised herslf to win her third title, by beating Russian Anastasia favorite Myskina in the final, 6-4 6-1.

Zheng Jie recieved the trophy from Bjorn Borg

In Los Angeles, Russian Elena Dementieva obtained her second title of the year, when defeating Serbian Jelena Jankovic, 6-3 4-6 6-4 in two hours and 23 minutes of play. An exciting match in where both players showed aggressive, very spirited tennis and in where Dementieva managed to control her nerves to finally overcome Jankovic.

Elena Dementieva

Next to the doubles, and the outstanding pair this week were the Argentine/Hispanic duo of Vivi Ruano and Paola Suarez, who took the tiles after beating the partnership of Hantuchova/Sugiyama by 6-3 6-4.

This week starts in Cincinnati for another stage of the ATP Masters Series.

Tournament information: Cincinnati

Next stage for the WTA, is the Rogers Cup tournament in Montreal.

María Sharapova on the poster for Rogers Cup in Montreal

Tournament information: Rogers Cup Montreal

07 August 2006

Titles for Sharapova, Davydenko & Clement

This weekend Sharapova, Davydenko and Clement all won titles at San Diego, Sopot and Washington respectively.Russian player Maria Sharapova beat Belgian Kim Clijsters, who played with pains in the back, by a scoreline of 7/5 7/5. In her first victory of the summer season in the United States, Sharapova beat the present number two of the world for the first time in five confrontations.

Russian María Sharapova winning the San Diego tournament

For the ATP, Russian Nikolay Davydenko, took the Sopot title in Poland after defeating German Florian Mayer in the final, 7/6 (6) 5/7 6/4.

Nikolay Davydenko

Finally, an inspired Arnaud Clement of France beat British tennis player Andy Murray 7-6 6-2 in the final of Washington.

Arnaud Clement

This week the WTA tour travels of JPMorgan Chase Open and Nordea Nordic Light Open in California and Stockholm and to the Rogers Masters Cup, in Toronto, Canada for the ATP tour.

05 August 2006

Martinez honoured in the US

We have found some very interestings articles and comments about Conchita Martínez on internet, articles like this written by Bonnie DeSimone for ESPN.com

Conchita Martinez stood the test of time

How many of today's WTA players will hang in there for 18 years? The odds are increasingly against it, even if the calendar is shortened.

That sheer durability is part of what made Conchita Martinez's career distinctive. Her timeline spans two or three eras in women's tennis. She played then-33-year-old Chris Evert as a 16-year-old in 1988, then at the age of 33 she faced then-16-year-old Nicole Vaidisova last year. Martinez's year-end ranking was inside the top 40 in all but one of her 18 seasons on the women's tour, and she maintained a year-end top 10 ranking from 1991-96.

Martinez had a winning record against Martina Navratilova (4-1), most famously, of course, defeating her in the 1994 Wimbledon final to carve up the stereotype that Spanish players couldn't win on grass. Other leading players of the era handled Martinez better. She was 1-20 against Monica Seles, 1-13 against Steffi Graf and 4-14 against her great Spanish rival Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, and never defeated either of the Williams sisters in eight tries.

Organizers of the Acura Classic outside San Diego honored Martinez, who lives part-time in nearby Cardiff, in a tribute Tuesday night with speeches and gifts including a motor-scooter presented to her on stadium court. She thanked tournament officials for giving her "the opportunity to say goodbye to my American fans and my fans right here near my home … I'm really going to miss the friends I have made all over the world.''

Yet Martinez persevered through 2005 to win her first tournament in five years and finished the season at No. 32 -- still the highest-ranked singles player in her country. She ended the season ranked ninth in doubles and might come back to play the tandem game, following the lead of the ageless Navratilova and that of Rennae Stubbs, 35, of Australia, one of the few players still around who turned pro before Martinez did.


We also found lovely comments by true tennis fans, like mpcardenas
(thanks for photos and comments Mary!)

The tribute to Ms. Martinez was really
sweet. There were a ton of photographers
there, so hopefully you've already found
lots of photos online (mine won't be uploaded
tonight-too tired!)

San Diego did not give Ms. Martinez
a Harley; she got some Honda scooter.
But the fun part was that it was driven
onto the court by Ms. Tarabini!

Conchita gave a little speech at the end,
and thanked her partner of 5 years, and
said, "I love you." It was all very sweet
and nice. She said she wouldn't be happy
without her.

It's really lovely to see how much Conchita Martínez is loved around the world, by both fans and journalists.

Thanks for everything Conchita!

We hope to see you playing doubles again very soon!