Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Miami Results: Berdych Saves 1 MP to Beat Fed; Nadal, Roddick and Williams Move On

Despite the numerous records and 16 majors, Roger Federer tends to appear human at the Masters events, and Tuesday night in Miami was no different. Federer was ousted early on the American swing again, this time by Tomas Berdych, who saved a match point in the 6-4, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (6) win. Robin Soderling and Fernando Gonzalez played another thriller in a rematch of their classic French Open semifinal. This time Soderling prevailed 6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-2. Mikhail Youzhny advanced after Mardy Fish retired down 6-1, 1-0 and Marin Cilic was upset by Fernando Verdadco 6-4, 7-6 (3).

Venus Williams continued her dominance with a straight set win over 6th seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, 3 and 1. Marion Bartoli, seeded 13th, outlasted Yanina Wickmayer, 12th, 6-4, 7-5 to reach the semis. Bartoli and Venus will face off on Thursday for a spot in the final.

Andy Roddick defeated Benjamin Becker 7-6 (4), 6-3 while Rafael Nadal knocked out countryman David Ferrer, also in 2 sets. Nicolas Almagro reached the final 8 with a 7-6 in the third win against Tomaz Bellucci and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga earned an easy win over Juan Carlos Ferrero, 6-2, 6-2.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tennis What? Novak Justs Wants to Party

An early loss to Olivier Rochus at this week's Sonyv Ericsson open isn;t going to stop the ATP's resident bad boy, Novak Djokovic, from making the best of his trip to Miami. In fact, several days after his defeat, Djokovic stayed in South Beach to party it up with the locals.

Serbian website Svet caught the world number 2 getting cozy with the blond below (the one with the MAJOR case of side boob) who is apparently named Karen.

Then Novak relaxed a bit, got a glass of beer and watched some conspicuously desperate bikini ladies indulge in some girl-on-girl action, much to Nole's liking.

Oh, the CRAY CRAY worlds of tennis stars.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Miami Heats Up as Kim K Cheers on Nando, Fed and Feli

KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 28: Kim Kardashian looks on from the stands during day six of the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 28, 2010 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

We all knew that soon after Kim Kardashian's sudden break up with Reggie Bush, the hot reality tv star would be scouting out new men. Girlfriend doesn't like to stay single for long.

That's why she attended a few matches at the Sony Ericsson Open on Monday. Kardashian and her mom Kris watched Roger Federer (taken), Feliciano Lopez (single) and Fernando Verdasco (in a relationship with his Calvins) and we all know she wasn't there for the tennis. In the above pic she's obviously marveling at something other than Nando's groundies. *wink wink*

Who doesn't love a beautiful, and not to mention tan, couple? Get in there Nando!

KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 28: Kim Kardashian looks on from the stands during day six of the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 28, 2010 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 29: Kim Kardashian (L) and her mother Kris Jenner watch as Roger Federer of Switzerland plays against Florent Serra of France on day seven of the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 29, 2010 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

BTW......forgive me for not doing a results post today. The family passover dinners wear me out.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Miami Results: Fish Upsets Murray, Federer, Venus and Kuznetsova Win

Roger Federer began his Miami campaign successfully, earning a 6-3, 6-3 win over Nicolas Lappentti while holding in every service game. Robin Soderling and Marin Cilic joined the Swiss in the 3rd round. Soderling defeated Peter Luczak 7-6 (5), 6-0 and Cilic clinched 6-3, 6-1. Mikhail Youzhny, who made headlines a few years ago in Miami with his head-banging abuse, surrendered just one game in his win, while 16th seed Tomas Berdych and 22nd seeded Juan Monaco advanced as well. Marcos Baghdatis and Feliciano Lopez each earned comfortable wins.
The women's tournament's top seed, Svetlana Kuznetsova, made quick work of 27th seeded Agnes Szavay, and the tour's hottest player, Venus Williams, kept up her 12 match winning streak, defeating Roberta Vinci 6-1, 6-4. Prior to Indian Wells, which venus skipped, the 29 year-old had won three consecutive tournaments. "I’ve come from down, up, around and over,” said V, wearing a new red-corseted dress, coincidentally matching her current form. “Being on a winning streak helps my confidence every time." Daniela Hantuchova dominated Nadia Petrova, seeded three spots higher than her opponent at 16, and Timea Baczinsky beat Polona Hercog 6-2, 6-2 to reach the 4th round.

The tournament's 3rd seed, Andy Murray, stormed out of the tournament 6-4, 6-4 after Mardy Fish played the match of his life behind rocket serves and huge forehands. Fernando Gonzalez won by the same score over Randy Lu. Fernando Verdasco earned an easy win over Dudi Sela of Israel 6-1, 6-2 and Jurgen Melzer took out Alejandro Falla, also in straights. Florent Serra and Phillip Petzschner also won.

Ana Ivanovic's losing ways continued when 5th seeded Agnieszka Radwanska defeated the Serb 7-5, 7-5. Yanina Wickmayer and Marion Bartoli also won in straight sets over Petra Martic and Gisela Dulko, respectively, while Yaroslava Shvedova defeated Andrea Petkovic 6-0, 5-7, 7-5 in a dramatic 3-setter.

Odesnik Busted for HGH; Roddick Not Happy

News broke just a few days ago that American Wayne Odesnik, who reached a career-high ranking of 77 last Spring, was busted for his attempt to bring human growth hormone (HGH) into Australia at the beginning of the year. Odesnik has pleaded guilty and faces a two-year ban from the sport after officials discovered eight vials of the substance, each one containing six milligrams, in his baggage at the year's first slam. Odesnik has already been fined $7,000 by a Brisbane court.

Andy Roddick is one player who is particularly angry about the situation.

"If he pled guilty, there’s nothing worse than that. I’m normally the one to give people the benefit of the doubt. If that’s the case, what we read today, that’s just plain cheating and they should throw him out of tennis," the world number 8 said at the Sony Ericsson Open "There’s just no room for it. I was shocked. We don’t need stories like that. I know that’s the minority. If that’s the case, I have zero sympathy.”

Other Americans such as Sam Querrey and James Blake have also commented. Querrey said,"Hopefully he'll learn his lesson… It's pretty easy to not cheat. I don't know why some guys do." Blake added, "If I didn't get there (to the finals of tournaments), I wasn't going to do anything to my body first of all to be unfair to the other players, unfair to the sport that I love and possibly to do harm to my body in the future.''

“HGH is the one in every sport where I hope they come up with a test and I hope they start just slamming guys,” said Roddick. “I hope when they do come up with a test for it they don’t tell anybody and they just implement it and start picking people off…. We don’t need that stigma. I take a lot of pride in what we have to do on a daily basis and how responsible we have to be for one jackass to ruin it for the rest of us.”
Such a shame so many people try to take the "easy" way out, despite the obvious consequences.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Miami Results: Rochus Upsets Djokovic, Venus, Rafa, Azarenka and Wozniacki Advance

Olivier Rochus became the first player to bust the brackets in Miami when he took out the tournament's second seed and defending runner-up Novak Djokovic in 3 sets, 6-2, 6-7 (7), 6-4. Juan Carlos Ferrero defeated Daniel Koellerrer 4-0 after Koellerrer retired with an injury. The Americans didn't have a great days as both James Blake and Sam Querrey lost to Tomaz Bellucci and Jeremy Chardy, respectively.

Venus Williams debuted a new dress in her line EleVen last night in her straight set victory over Sorana Cirstea. 2nd seeded Caroline Wozniacki got off to a rocky start against Tszvetana Pironkova but recovered to win in 3 sets. Vera Zvonareva and Kim Clijsters both dominated in their matches, surrenduring just 3 and 2 games respectively. Shahar Peer advanced with 6-1, 6-0 win. Joining the Israeli in the second round were Russians Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Maria Kirilenko and Elena Vesnina.

The tournament's 4th seed, Rafael Nadal, earned a solid victory over Taylor Dent, 6-4, 6-3, while fellow Spaniards David Ferrer and Tommy Robredo also advanced. Ivo Karlovic and David Nalbandian reached the 2nd round with 3 set victories.

Last year's Sony Ericsson Open champion Victoria Azarenka kept her title defense alive with a 6-3, 6-2 victory against Alexandra Dulgheru. Sam Stosur and Lucie Safarova both earned 3 set wins while Jelena Jankovic and Francesca Schiavone won with ease. Virginie Razzano, Sara Errani and Dominika Cibulkova rounded out the day's winners.

Serena Brings Some Color to the Beaches of Miami

Serena Williams had some fun in the Miami sun with friends at the beach yesterday, while sporting colorful and sexy assymetrical bikini. The world's top tennis player splashed in the waves and then tried her hand at a little jet-skiing.

Williams pulled out of this week's Sony Ericsson open with a knee injury, but that hasn't stopped her from having a ball in Miami. According to tweets made by the Kardashian sisters, Serena is hitting the town with the reality stars and a few other friends tonight.

Just make sure don't re-injure that knee riding the waves.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Serena and Kimmie Win Big at WTA Player Awards Ceremony

KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 24: (L-R) Elena Dementieva, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Yanina Wickmayer, Kim Clijsters and Liezel Huber pose with their awards during the SEWTA Awards Ceremony during day two of the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 24, 2010 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

On Wednesday the WTA and it's top stars gathered to announce the winners of the 2009 awards. Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters each took home two awards while some of the tour's up-and-coming talents took home the others.

KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 24: Serena Williams pose with her awards during the SEWTA Awards Ceremony during day two of the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 24, 2010 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The world number 1 Serena took home Player of the Year and then was honored with her sister for Doubles Team of the Year.

“2009 was one of the best seasons of my career and winning the Player of the Year award for the third time is a great achievement for me,” said Serena. “2009 will always be memorable for me not just for my singles accomplishments, but because Venus and I won four titles together and I am thrilled to be sharing the Doubles Team of the Year award with my sister.”

KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 24: Kim Clijsters poses with her award during the SEWTA Awards Ceremony during day two of the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 24, 2010 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Kim Clijsters was recognized for her stellar comeback, which included a title at the 2009 US Open just 3 tournaments into her return to the sport after retirement and having a child, by being awarded with Comeback Player of the Year.

Clijsters was also awarded the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award for the seventh time for her top-notch conduct and graciousness.

KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 24: Elena Dementieva pose with her awards during the SEWTA Awards Ceremony during day two of the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 24, 2010 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Wimbledon semifinalist Elena Dementieva took home Fan Favorite Singles Player of the Year, an award voted on through the WTA website.

KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 24: Liezel Huber poses with their awards during the SEWTA Awards Ceremony during day two of the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 24, 2010 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Liezel huber won the Player Service Award for a 4th time due to her constant effort outside of the tennis community to help those less fortunate.

KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 24: Melanie Oudin poses with her award during the SEWTA Awards Ceremony during day two of the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 24, 2010 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

With a 4th round appearance at Wimbledon and a quarterfinal at the US Open, Melanie Oudin was honored with Newcomer of the Year.

KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 24: Yanina Wickmayer poses with her award during the SEWTA Awards Ceremony during day two of the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 24, 2010 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

US Open semifinalist Yanina Wickmayer was chosen as the Most Improved Player of the Year after a year that included her first two WTA Tour titles.

KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 24: (L-R) Venus Williams, and Serena Williams pose with their awards during the SEWTA Awards Ceremony during day two of the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 24, 2010 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Finally, The Williams sisters were honored as Doubles Team of the year as they triumphed at 4 events, most notably, the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

“I love playing doubles with Serena as we have so much fun on the court together,” said Venus. “At the beginning of the 2009 season Serena and I decided to put a lot of emphasis on doubles and I am thrilled that we were able to achieve so much together.”

Bryan Bros Profiled on 60 Minutes

The world's number 1 doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan were profiled on CBS 60 Minutes. Above is the video.

Nice to see the chemistry those guys have. Couldn't imagine spending every living minute with your sibling but it seems to be working out pretty well.

Ana and Jay Sean Come Out on Top in Glam.Set.Match Exho in Miami

Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic teamed up with Jay Sean and Melanie Brown (Scary Spice), respectively, in an exhibtion dubbed "Glam. Set. Match" at the Sony Ericsson open pre-tournament festivites. Ana and pop-star Sean were crowned the champions in front of the barely-there crowd.

You'd think the PR peeps over At Sony Ericsson would've gotten the word out. Guess not. There's def no more than 50 people there.

WTA Stars Hit the Carpet at Miami Players Party

Tennis' top stars hit up South Beach on Tuesday night to attend the Sony Ericsson Open Players party. As usual, the style savvy stars glowed while some looks garnered double takes, and in a bad way. The guys all wore jeans, button downs and battered-up old sneakers, so they'll be saved from the critiquing.

Above, Venus Williams looked great in what I THINK is a 3.1 Phillip Lim Spring 2010 frock. She paired her look with black peep-toe heels.

Serena glowed in a blue knee-length dress with strappy black heels. She's also still rocking her shorter haircut, which I am digging.

I don't even know what to say. Caroline Wozniacki usually looks great, but on this occasion the entire look is absolutely heinous.


Agnieszka Radwanska looked sultry and sexy in a white leopard-print mini, paired, once again, with black heels.

Urszula Radwanska, Aggy's little sister, also attended, and dressed to impress in a light pink one-shouldered dress.

MIAMI BEACH, FL - MARCH 23: Jelena Jankovic attends The Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off Party at LIV nightclub at Fontainebleau Miami on March 23, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Sony Ericsson)

Jelena Jankovic proved less is more in a glittery LBD.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

WTA Miami Predictions

Svetlana Kuznetsova is the top seed this year in Miami as Serena is out due to a knee injury.
And Sveta got damn lucky because despite how poorly she has been playing, her quarter of the draw is weak. I mean WEAK.
After Kuzzie comes 8th seeded Li Na and Yanina Wickmayer. Wickmayer was my Indian Wells pick last week but she was ousted relatively early. But because of how soft this top section is, I'm tempted to pick her for the semis again. After those three come Marion Bartoli and Alona Bondarenko, who could meet each other in the 3rd round and then play Kuznetsova. Both present problems for the Russian and are potential bracket busters. Szavay, Aravane Rezai and Alekzansdra Wozniack round out the seeded ladies.
Quarterfinals: Wickmayer def. Bartoli

Venus did her regular parade around Indian Wells with her cardboard boycott sign last week, but prior to that, girl was on a roll. She had 3 titles in 3 weeks, in Dubai, Acapulco and at the BJK Cup. If she can pick up where she left off, she'll get to the semis without much trouble, but Agnieszka Radwanska, who played beautifully in California last week, does present some threat, albeit small. Flavia Pennetta and Nadia Petrova are dangerous on hard courts and are prone to make a run. Ana Ivanovic, lucky to be seeded as the draws came out before the new rankings, which have her out of the top 50, is a possible 3rd round match for Radwanska. Daniela Hantuchova and Petrova could meet early on as well, providing for an entertaining battle.
Quarterfinals: Williams def. Radwanska
Victoria Azarenka comes in as the 3rd seed and defending champ ready to redeem herself after bowing out of Indian Wells pretty early. It won't be easy though. Her quarter is arguably the toughest, featuring Jelena Jankovic, IW champion, Sam Stosur, IW semifinalist, Kim Clijsters, Shahar Peer, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, IW quarterfinalist and Jie Zheng. It's near impossible to pick a darkhorse, as any of these ladies could end up as the semifinalist. Stosur and JJ could meet in the round of 16 in a rematch of their semifinal last week, while Kimmie and Azarenka are headed for a 4th round clash as well. This section is loaded, but current form is always a big factor.
Quarterfinals: Jankovic def. Azarenka

Caroline Wozniacki is the headliner here as the number 2 seed, and like good friend Azarenka, has a daunting task ahead of her. Justine Henin and Elena Dementieva, who will probably meet in a blockbuster 2nd round match, are both capable of derailing Wozzi, and Vera Zvonareva, Francesca Schiavone and Alisa Kleybanova all turn in their best results at the spring hardcourt events. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Schiavone could create an entertaining 3rd round match of contrasting styles, while Russians Zvonareva and Kleybanova are headed for a clash in that same round.

It's anyone's call.

Quarterfinal: Kleybanova def. Wozniacki

Semifinals: Williams def. Wickmayer, Jankovic def. Kleybanova

Finals: Williams def. Jankovic

Rankings Update: Ivanovic and Zvonareva Fall and Henin is Back on the List!

After his Indian Wells win last week, Ivan Ljubicic has improved his ranking 13 spots to number 13. Quite an impressive number for a 30+ year old.

Take note, James Blake.

Also, Ana Ivanovic has fallen out of the top 50 (finally!) and my guess is we won't see her near the top ever again, unless she dumps golfer boyfriend Adam Scott, who is also playing like crap. Hey Ana and Adam, we're all in this together!

So much for those of you who believed she was going to be a big force when she reached number 1 in 2008.

Also, Vera Zvonareva fell to 23rd after failing to defend her IW crown. And Justine Henin has entered the rankings for the first time since her comeback and is sitting at 33rd. Don't get comfy girl, you can do WAY better.

The Miami Draws are Out!!!!

The Sony Ericsson Open draws have been released and the fields are looking pretty strong, despite the losses of Serena, DelPo and Maria. But last year's champions, Murray and Vika, are competing, along with Rog, Rafa, Venus and many more.

I'm currently at the airport (LEAVING MIAMI), and I wish I could stay a little longer to see the tennis, but tennis channel, and their ALWAYS wonderful commentators *wink*, will have to do for now.

Here are the draws!

p.s. this woman next to me is orange and needs SPF 70 ASAP.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Indian Wells Results: Ljubicic Puts the Cherry on Top, Beats Roddick for IW Title

In last year's "5 Bold Predictions" I wrote that Ivan Ljubicic would retire in 2009. I find myself eating my words now, as the Croatian came out of nowhere to capture the Indian Wells title this week. His final round match with Andy Roddick was a serving fest, and despite the serve being the American's best shot, Ljubicic matched him ace for ace to win his first ever Masters 1000 title 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5).

“It was really a mind game,” Ljubicic, who at 31 is the second oldest IW winner ever, said. “When you have two big serves, not a lot of rallies happening, it’s a very mental match. I was fortunate enough to be more relaxed by the end of the match.”
Ljubicic was assisted by having gotten off to great starts in both breakers, as he raced out to 6-2 and 6-3 leads in them. The match featured no service breaks. After defeating Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick this past week, Ljubicic will have plenty to show for his efforts, as he will improve to 13th in the ATP rankings and will take home a hefty $605,500 pay check.

“I felt like I was winning my fair share of the rallies once we got into them,” Roddick, was was aiming to become the first American to win the BNP Paribas Open since Jimmy Connors, said. “I just ran into a guy who served great on the big points. Unfortunately that’s probably the one thing that I don’t have control over out there.”

Indian Wells Results: Jankovic Captures First Title of '10 with IW Win

It's been quite a long time since we were talking about Jelena Jankovic as a Grand Slam contender, as her results didn't accurately represent her obvious talent, but the Serb has decided she's ready to be taken seriously, and her flawless run in Indian Wells has shut up all the doubters.

On Sunday in the finals of the BNP Paribas Open, Jelena Jankovic really took it to Caroline Wozniacki, dictating all the rallies with a constant aggression that the soon-to-be world number 2 could not match. “I wanted to be really aggressive, but at the same time patient, and not really go for too much or go over the limit with some balls,” said Jankovic following the 6-2, 6-2 win. “I waited for my opportunities, and when I had them, I took them.”

When the errors were flying and the first serves weren't hitting, Wozniacki called her coach, also known as dad, onto the court for strategic support, but it was no use as Jankovic, who will improve her ranking to 8th next week, was simply too good.

The win is Jelena's first since August 2009, and she plans on keeping it up, telling the press, "I’m looking forward to playing some good tennis and really doing the right things out there, and if I’m doing that, I’ll be winning big titles and the ranking will come on its own. I’m looking to do well in the big events."