Friday, June 30, 2006
thanx to sravani for posting it.
Q. When you're up 3 Love in the third, you must have thought you were going to win that. What went wrong?
MARTINA HINGIS: So did I, yeah. Still I was up, I think it was a really long game to go up 2 Love. Then 3 Love, it was still very draining, those games. At 3 Love, I kind of made this weird step, so I started feeling my thigh.
But, I mean, there's no excuse.
She didn't miss. She played a great match. She's probably, on this surface, harder to play than anything else because she's very fast. She likes those flat balls. Tried to be even faster, but not today.
Q. How big is your disappointment to be out at this stage of this tournament where you've been so good?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, of course, I wish to come further in the tournament, I mean, no question. But I knew I had to face a tough opponent today. I mean, maybe from the previous two matches, everyone was thinking, you know, I'm going through easy. But I knew today, it's going to be crucial because she is a very good player and she's been around for a long time, and I haven't played her since my comeback.
You know, she's a tough cookie. She's a strong survivor.
Q. Three Grand Slams now into your comeback to tennis. You started out the season getting your feet back under you, making some progress. Would you agree you've hit a plateau right now; you're not really moving forward very much, if at all?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I wouldn't say so. I mean, I won Rome. I was still moving up. At the French Open, I just really had a bad day of food. I didn't think there I did anything wrong. I was playing better as the tournament progressed. It's just Kim, you can't play her if you're not hundred percent.
You know, then last couple weeks, I've been training. I thought I was doing better. Also here in the tournament. But I definitely Sugi was a different level from the other two matches. I mean, it's not even today. I still was close of winning this I mean, not really close, but I had the momentum definitely. It's not like I lost 1 1.
You know, definitely there is certain things I have to think about.
Q. You don't see this as any kind of a setback?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, you can take it either way. I mean, usually in the past, losses made me stronger. I knew what I had to work on and continue to progress.
Q. How did it feel to be back on Centre Court? Did it feel odd?
MARTINA HINGIS: No, it felt really nice. I actually like that court a lot better than Court 1. Somehow it felt familiar when I stepped out there. Also in the beginning I was up a break, 3 1. Unfortunately, I lost it again. It's not like I, you know, didn't feel comfortable. It's just today was not the right day. I don't know. I mean, there's no explanation right now for me. Somehow I got to have to figure out, yeah.
Q. How do you avoid getting frustrated, and keeping positive for the rest of the year?
MARTINA HINGIS: The year is still long. I usually always had, you know, French Open, and midway through the season, I always had a little crisis. It's no news. I always came back strong in San Diego. I mean, I've got three, four weeks to work on myself. Usually I always did well there.
Q. Would you call this a little crisis then?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, in the past, I mean, I had couple first round losses here. So, I mean, I can't say, consider this either I did really well, had a victory here, semifinals and a quarterfinals, but always up and down. So usually I made it through the French, and then Wimbledon either I made it or I didn't.
Definitely it's middle of season. Everyone's getting a little more tired because the clay court season was long and tough. Here is just very different circumstances. I think everyone's always going to get a breather before the hard court season.
Q. What's missing? What are the couple key components to your game that you feel you need to get back?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I think it's in a way the lack of momentum to carry yourself on. It's just when I had her, you know, even in the first set, in the third set again, just keep going. You can't just let anything slip away like that.
Maybe in the past, I would get away with it sometimes but not against the top 5 or 10 players. But now anyone can go out there and bite you.
Q. Do you deal with defeat differently than the way you did earlier in your career?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, maybe today is less pressure. You know, I'm still not kind of the favorite to win Grand Slams. Definitely I'm in that kind of circle to be able to, but not someone who won it recently. Definitely the pressure's not as big on me as some of the other players.
But definitely I'm just as disappointed, you know, as some of the other players. But Wimbledon's always kind of special because we've had some, even losses today, you know. Kuzie went out, Groenefeld had an early loss, Patty yesterday. It kind of makes you think, Wimbledon you have to really be there and ready.
Q. Which part of her game annoyed you most, her running tennis or...
MARTINA HINGIS: She doesn't really have a weakness. I mean, she has a very, you know, solid game from the baseline, then her backhand down the line was deadly today, maybe more effective on this type of surface than anything else, yeah.
Q. Which woman do you think is going to win Wimbledon now?
MARTINA HINGIS: That's hard to say. Venus had a scare yesterday. She survived it. Well, Justine's looking strong. Amélie, Maria. All the top players have been playing very well so far.
Q. What are your thoughts on Swiss tennis development?
MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, that's probably not the right question to ask myself. I have not been really working with the Swiss Tennis Federation, so...
Q. Did you get as familiar with the grass as you hoped you would? As you came back, did it all work out okay or is there something different you might have done?
MARTINA HINGIS: I felt fine when I stepped on it. I mean, it's just very fast. You have to really move quickly around the court. I mean, if you're fast, it does help. If you have a big strong serve. I mean, I don't think that was why I lost today, definitely not. Maybe in the first set, it was. But just the aggressiveness, that was a little lacking in the important points. Just really having the confidence.
But, no, I mean, I played well. Even in the third set, I definitely had the momentum. It's just, you know, couldn't finish it off.
Q. How would you sum up your experience of Wimbledon 2006 both on and off court?
MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, I loved it until now. I really like coming back and playing here. The first couple rounds, I did well. But still somehow at Wimbledon you're never safe. I mean, when you're out on the grass, it seems like you never know how the next point's going to go, so you don't have like a certainty to make winners out of always the same positions. I mean, yeah, you can get yourself in good position with the same things, but it's never sure compared sometimes to other surfaces.
But, no, I mean, I like being in London, in Wimbledon village. I mean, so far it's been a great stay. But, yeah.
Q. Did you feel that way when you won it here, that you're never sure on grass? Is that a new development in your thinking about grass?
MARTINA HINGIS: No, I think it's always been like that. I mean, you can go one way, and right away it can also turn against you. I was up, and all of a sudden I lose the next four games. It's like, Okay, how did that happen? Lack of concentration sometimes.
Radek beat former Roland Garros champion Juan Carlos Ferrero 5-7 6-7 6-4 6-2 11-9.
Radek seeded 14 here had been beaten at the 3rd round in his 7 preceding Grand Slams!
The Czech-born and Monte Carlo based player will play Fernado Verdasco of Spain, in the fourth round.
On the other hand his girlfriend Hingis a 1997 ex-champion here was beaten in 3 sets thanks to her own ability to finish of the match.
After being up in the 1st set and losing in 7-5 she rallied to win the 2nd 6-3; in what seemed like an easy win with her being 3-0 up on the 3rd, Ai not only squared at 3-all but went on to win the match 6-4 in the third.
In a scene from many matches Hingis again seemed to be disturbed by a disputed line call in the 5th game of 3rd set!
1:52 AM 7/1/2006
Martina Hingis was beaten in 3 sets, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 by Japan's Ai Sugiyama on her return to centre court.
After losing the 1st set 7-5 Martina promptly won the 2nd set and was 3-0 up in the 3rd when Sugiyama rallied to win the set 6-4.
A line call in the 5th game of the 3rd set went against Hingis, she disputed the call with television replays showing the ball clearly out. From that point on Hingis seemed to have lost steam and eventually went on to lose the set and the match.
The Swiss player seeded 12th this year was playing on Centre court since 2001.
Sugiyama seeded 18th also came from behind to win the 1st set 7-5. Hingis let the match slip which was well within her grasp.
This is not to say that Ai was not resolute in her performance. It was the first time Sugiyama had beaten Hingis in 6 previous meetings since 1996.
After her loss Martina said, "It's not like I didn't feel comfortable out there. There's no explanation right now for me."
"I played well, even in the third set. I had the momentum, I just couldn't finish it off. Sugi doesn't really have a weakness. She's a very good player. She's really strong on the baseline and her game's more effective on this surface. She's a tough cookie."
pictured: Germany's striker Miroslav Klose
After playing full time and both the extra time at a score of 1-1, the match had to be decided by way of penalties with Germany winning 4-2.
With the match being goalless at half time, the deadlock was broken in the 49th minute by Argentina's Roberto Ayala who headed a corner from Riquelme past Germany's goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.
Germany was restored parity thanks to striker Miroslav Klose's 5th goal of the tournament. Klose scored in the 80th minute by heading a cross from Ballack.
The scores were tied at 1-1 even after the 2nd extra time were.
With the partisan German crowd cheering their team on it was Germany which came out on top in the shootout.
German goalie Lehmann saved 2 shots from Ayala and Cambiasso each to seal Argentina's fate and send them packing home. Oliver Neuville, Michael Ballack, Lukas Podolski and Tim Borowski scored for the Germans.
Argentina managed only 2 goals with Julio Cruz and Maxi Rodriguez scoring.
With this win Germany has added to its perfect World Cup penalty shootout win record.
The end of the match saw pushing on field when Argentine and German players clashed and Argentine players surrounded the referee. German manager Bierhoff also got involved in the unfortunate incident.
Argentina's pain was compounded when their coach Pekerman announced that he quit his post.
As anyone knows how Wimbledon reporters are, this year the new "topic" is her hobby.
Maria is getting inundated by questions, so much so that she now feels like a "dork"
Sharapova The Stamp-Collecting Nerd
Maria Sharapova feels such a dork after confessing she likes collecting stamps.
The willowy Russian teenager would much rather talk about her passion for the new Nelly Furtado album.
"Enough is enough", cried her agent who is being bombarded with requests for interviews from stamp-collecting magazines.
For one of the most marketable players in modern tennis, poring over a stamp album does jar with her image -- and she wishes she had never let on.
The 2004 Wimbledon champion, who has dropped just six games in her effortless progress through this year's first two rounds, was peppered at her latest post-match news conference on Thursday with all the usual sports questions about how she felt she was playing.
Then reporters got serious.
In reply to the question "You're a stamp collector then?" she laughed and said "Oh God, stop. Everyone's calling me a dork now."
"My agent said not to talk about that because he's definitely got so many e-mails from people," she said. "We're getting e-mails from, like, stamp-collecting magazines asking if I can do an interview. I mean, it's just a hobby."
When a reporter with deadpan face asked what her favourite stamp was, the 19-year-old Sharapova smiled and said "Let's get off this subject because I'm going to be an absolute geek tomorrow."
For many young players, the iPod is not just a fashion accessory. Their favourite songs help to psyche them up when they step on court.
So what is Sharapova's musical choice before she goes on court and, with an ear-splitting grunt, smashes the living daylights out of a tennis ball?
"I was just listening to Nelly Furtado's new CD," Sharapova said of the Canadian singer-songwriter topping the charts. "She sounds really rebellious these days."
Eager to underline that stamp-collecting players can have street cred too, she said of the rebellious streak in Furtado's new album "Yeah I love it. She's a strong girl."
AND LITTLE MORE ADDITIONAL:
Supercool Sharapova is outed as a closet 'dork' after stamping her class on hapless Harkleroad
Eleanor PrestonFriday June 30, 2006
It is perhaps surprising to hear that Maria Sharapova has more than a passing interest in philately, because somehow the thought of her being a stamp collector in her spare time seems at odds with her image as tennis's supercool fashionista.
After brushing aside Ashley Harkleroad 6-2, 6-2 to earn a place in the third round yesterday, Sharapova was faced with a series of probing questions on her hobby and for a second she almost seemed flustered.
"Oh, God, stop. Everyone's calling me a dork now," she said, before revealing, semi-seriously, that her agent had banned her from talking about it for fear that her sponsors might start frantically searching for geekiness clauses in her endorsement contracts.
"We're getting emails from, like, stamp collecting magazines asking if I can do an interview. I mean, it's just a hobby," said Sharapova. "I'm actually good at telling stories but that is one I should have never talked about. Oh, my goodness. Let's get off this subject, because I'm going to be an absolute geek tomorrow."
It is somehow reassuring to think that Sharapova has a nerdy side that she is anxious to conceal. Being outed as a stamp collector was about the only time she showed any sign of vulnerability yesterday. Certainly there was not an ounce of it against Harkleroad, a good player who was made to look like a third-rate journeywoman. The Russian was almost vicious in her shot-making and attacked Harkleroad at every opportunity.
Those were the excerpts, read the complete article here:
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Q. How does it feel to be back at Wimbledon after so long?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, five years it's been. It's really a great place to be back and they have done some interiors on the top of the roof, the garden, it's just so peaceful up there. You see the whole grounds and even when you have a cup of coffee and just look down at the court, it's nice.
Q. Is it more special to you since you have won here and you already cemented your place in Wimbledon history, does it feel a bit more comfortable coming back, less pressure?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, because you have won here you don't get questions like, oh, this is the only one you haven't won yet, but no, it's been a while, though, yeah, nine years, and it's just -- every year you get this member card this purple little thing with your name on it and definitely, when I came here two years ago for the commentary, you still get to go to some places where normally, you know, you get there either you are a member and get a cup of tea when no one is there, you have your peaceful time.
Q. Does it seem an awfully long time ago at the age of 16 when you won at Wimbledon or does it seem like yesterday?
MARTINA HINGIS: Sometimes it feels like it's not that long, but sometimes it does feel like it's long because you see it. It's nine years, and you have all the other names on the list and somehow kind of -- I look at it like this is the second time around, you know, second career. In some ways I feel like a rookie again because it has been so long since I have played here so it all feels very new again.
Q. Can your second career possibly be better than your first career?
MARTINA HINGIS: It is hard to do. But obviously it would be great if it could happen, but you have so many great players out there who are fighting for the same reason and working on the same goals, so again here, it's a very strong field. You always try to make the best out of it.
Q. If it can't be better than what is it that you are actually trying to achieve, would you say?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, really the game, to be able to perform at the best. A lot of people wouldn't think that I could really handle that anymore, the power game and all these ideas people had, and it was really nice that I showed that it was still possible. I didn't win a Grand Slam yet or didn't get all the way, but I was able to win a tournament, which was very nice to do again, and we'll see - step by step.
Q. Earlier this afternoon we had Andre Agassi sitting in this seat announcing his retirement this year. He's one of of the few rare examples of a player who has been able to be at the top, have time out and then come back from a very low-level. Is he an example to you to see that as an inspiration?
MARTINA HINGIS: Of course, he is an example for different reasons, you know, his game, his force he had on and off the court, just really the game itself and it was such -- such a personality you have to look for many years. I don't think there's another Andre Agassi ever going to be like that. There never has been and I don't think ever will be because times change and he just really played such a great game and I am sure that tennis will miss him, but, yeah, he's an inspiration in many ways.
Q. How did you feel this time every year for the last three, four years when you have not been able to play here? How was it for you to watch this thinking I may never play here again?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, when I was here two years ago, you know, you somehow when you are 22 you still have things in the back of your head you don't want to give up or you still have hope that maybe some day you can, I don't know, maybe play here again. That was a thought too far away, but when I was watching the matches and the games, my biggest fear was if I can last that long with my body and maybe one set I would last, but, who knew if I could last for longer than that. That was my probably biggest fear that couldn't cure again but I don't want to have any regrets either so that's why I wanted to try again. I just really love the game. When I was watching it, yeah, I did some matches in the commentary and there was the same people, same faces, which I was facing back then, so I thought, well, this still maybe I get another chance.
Q. What are your memories of your last match here?
MARTINA HINGIS: Not the greatest. I can only do better, right. (Laughs)
Q. What do you remember about that day? You had trouble with your back, didn't you?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, later you always know better, right, I shouldn't have played at all under those circumstances, but as a player you never want to give up and you just want to go out there and still try, but yeah, nothing like that hopefully will happen ever again.
Q. Can you tell us what your preparation on grass has been this year?
MARTINA HINGIS: I was at home and I was practicing indoors.
Q. You actually practiced on grass?
MARTINA HINGIS: We don't have that many grass courts around in Switzerland. I did it in the past. I went once up in the mountains, but it's just so different. You can't compare any grass to Wimbledon grass. Yeah, maybe in Queens or Royal Hampton (phonetic) or clubs like that, which is so close, but I don't think anything else can come even close to Wimbledon. So you just try to make the exercises and I think indoors -- actually in the past when I won in 1997 I practiced on clay, but it is all a matter of what you do on clay; it's not how you practice. That's the main --
Q. You were horse riding as well?
MARTINA HINGIS: I still did, but only a couple of times. Two weeks -- once a week, it's enough this time. (Laughs)
Q. What are your memories of winning in 1997 and secondly, did you think when you won in 1997 I hope to win many more titles?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, that's when you are 17 you think that. It is only natural. At that point it was normal to me when I won three out of four Grand Slams and made the Finals at the French and I had a great winning streak and, in a way, you feel invincible, but, you know, I had players -- players are starting to get better and perform at the same level and it was always, you know, very equal when we played against Williams sisters and Monica, Jennifer, Lindsay, so, you know, sometimes it was a matter of one point.
Q. Have you been practicing here this week?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, today was my first day.
Q. Was that the first time that you have been on a grass court since 2001?
MARTINA HINGIS: No, I played last year. I played an exhibition in Eastbourne, just doubles, I had a hit earlier before that, it was preparation with Jana. She still plays unbelievable. I lost a tiebreaker. I was like wow. Whenever she steps on grass she's unbelievable.
Q. What did it feel like back on the court here having not played here for five years?
MARTINA HINGIS: It felt good. I like it. I think in some ways it's -- I wouldn't say similar, but because we have a lot of indoor courts in Switzerland, my mom has an indoor place as well, so it's very similar, but sometimes, yeah, you have the bounces and it is still outside so you have the sun and the wind effects, but other than that, I very much welcome the surface, yeah.
Q. What is your goal for this tournament? What is your realistic game?
MARTINA HINGIS: Hard to say. In a way, I am definitely satisfied with the draw. I have made quarterfinals in the last two Grand Slams, so in a way somehow you feel that's the least you want to do, but I don't know.
I just don't want to have any bad surprises, you know, that's the only thing. It's just to stay healthy and perform at the best and really take it one-by-one.
Q. Who would you consider the favorites in the women's tournament?
MARTINA HINGIS: In a way you have the same players who are very good at all Grand Slams. You can always count on them, who are the Top-10 players, Amelie, Justine, who won today in the Finals of Eastbourne, Kim Clijsters, Maria, who won here two years ago and Venus, you can never count her off. She's still got some skills last year, so she's definitely also a dangerous player.
Q. You see yourself amongst players who can potentially win here this fortnight?
MARTINA HINGIS: I definitely have hopes, yeah. I wouldn't say, you know, I don't know. I mean, definitely a good outsider.
Q. Some of the players have expressed amazingly how well you have done so far in your comeback. How would you assess your first six months?
MARTINA HINGIS: I am happy with my performances. Then you always wish for more and better, but that's the only natural thing you have as a competitor and just want to keep going and keep improving and keep, yeah, the balance keep going up, right, the scale.
Q. What is your opinion on the prize money not being balanced between women and men?
MARTINA HINGIS: I think in today's world it would be time to have equal prize money, but, you know, you can only do one thing to keep fighting.
Q. As a 14 year old when you played Steffi was that on the Centre Court or not?
MARTINA HINGIS: Yes, we played on Centre. And I played her the year after at the forefront and it was Centre again.
End of FastScripts...
Matthew Cronin / tennisreporters.net
"Matthew Cronin says while her opponents probably aren't thrilled that the highly opinionated Hingis is back, she's a legit contender to recapture her Wimbledon glory of 1997."
WIMBLEDON - On the day that Roger Federer broke Bjorn Borg's grass court match win streak with his 42nd consecutive win, another beloved champion from Switzerland, Martina Hingis, had fans singing her praises.
Hingis, the 1997 champion, is playing her first Wimbledon since her desultory first-round exit in 2001, and is hoping that she's a real contender here.
She's had a fine, yet unspectacular, comeback to the tour this season after taking more than three years off due to injury and burnout.
She's gradually improved month after month, but has convinced no one that her legs and lungs are strong enough yet to contend with the other elite players in two-week long Grand Slams.
But Wimbledon could be different, because the points on grass are much shorter and she won't have to go sideline to sideline chasing down sizzling bombs like she did at the Australian and French Opens when she was beaten up by the stronger and faster Kim Clijsters in the quarterfinals.
At Wimbledon, she's hoping that her quick hands, sound volleys and intelligent overall play will be good enough against any other main contender.
"It's mentally more intense," she said, after scoring a 6-2, 6-2 win over Olga Savchuk, "You have to bend your knees, that's for sure. If you're not going to do that, you're nowhere. I've been practicing that (indoors). But indoors, still you're not forced to do it as much as probably here on grass, to just really be that low. It's so much up in the head, the mental focus is so important as well. It can just turn against you, like in an instant. If you're not watching, one or two shots, you lose a break, it's hard to come back from that here."
Hingis has always had a quick wit and sharp tongue. She's says she matured a lot since she was a teenager trading barbs with the Williams sisters, but given a chance to criticize others, she rarely backs off when she feels that someone else is severely wrong.
After her win on Tuesday, she was asked why there are so many players out there with who only bring out sheer power, rather than great technique, like she and fellow five-time Grand Slam champion Justine Henin-Hardenne bring to the table.
"Myself, I do not respect many of the coaches who are out there because I don't think they're doing the right thing with the girls," said Hingis, who is coached by her mother, Melanie. "I don't know what the reason is, whether they're not watching or why they do things that are technically incorrect. But everyone has their own way how they got there. They don't teach the girls the right things, what's played today. If you watch Federer, who's playing really the top notch tennis out there, I think you always have to learn from the best. He is the best, so you better watch him and try to learn from that."
It was an amazing criticism from Hingis, who despite the questioner's fawning praise, is not a completely technically correct player. The way she hits both her forehand and serve leaves a lot to be desired in the technical department. For example, why did her mother insist on teaching her an open-stance forehand when she's too small and is therefore lacking in enough upper body strength to be able to properly deliver sufficient power on the shot?
But that aside, exactly who is Hingis referring to when she says that others are badly coached. The Williams sisters, who are coached by their parents and own 12 Grand Slam titles between them? Maria Sharapova, who strikes a very clean ball and like another former student of coach Robert Lansdorp, Lindsay Davenport, has also won Wimbledon? Was it Clijsters, who does have her share of technical glitches, but who did win the 2005 U.S. Open and just dusted Hingis twice?
No matter, because once the rest of the tour finds out what she said, Hingis will be topical enemy No. 1 when the coaches sit down for lunch, and maybe in the top five amongst the sensitive players.
But that's OK for Hingis, who lives for confrontation, which is why she came back to the tour in the first place. She loves to face off, on court and off.
The 25-year-old also loves to be loved and for the first time in her career, she's being wildly applauded. Playing Savchuk on Court 2 (the so-called graveyard) she was thrilled when fans began to sing the theme song from Top Gun, "Danger Zone."
"They were pretty good, too," she said. "It was special. I don't think that happens all the time. It happened to me for the first time, especially here at Wimbledon."
Anyone who knows Hingis, including her hard-driving mother, knows that Martina won't be satisfied with being a secondary player. She's not tooting her own horn with regards to how far she can go in England, only saying that she's "wishing for more and better."
She's got a terrific draw to the quarterfinals, where she'll likely have to face the red-hot Henin-Hardenne, one of the top three favorites with Venus and Sharapova.
She's lost to her already this year, but on a great day, if the Belgian is feeling a little put out, Hingis has a legend's chance to pull off an upset.
Just ask Federer, who is as smitten with her as she is with him.
"I'm very impressed," he said. "Here she is, in the top 15 already. She breaks all the records she sets herself. She doesn't just say it, she does it, too."
while surfing i landed up at the following site:
Although most of these names are American, i am surprised to know about the proportion of Leftys that are famous.
We in India will offcourse have our own list of famous Left handers.
Top among them would be Senior B.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
After full time and 2 extra times and still the score being 0-0, the match had to be decided by penalties.
Here astonishingly the Swiss didnt manage to score a single penalty with Switzerland's penalty takers Marco Streller, Tranquillo Barnetta and Ricardo Cabanas all missing their chances.
Ukraine's Atryom Milevsky, Sergei Rebrov, and Oleg Gusev all made the kicks count and Ukraine eventually went through. The World Cup debutants booted out the Swiss who became the first team to be eliminated from the World cup without a single goal being scored against them!
One thing noticible in this match was the referee's lack of strictness giving out yellow cards, perhaps due to referee Ivanov's exploits in the Portugal versus Holland game.
The Swiss didnt help their own cause by many inept passing shots and out of position players.
The player for the swiss was Wicky who on many occasions looked impressive.
For the Ukrainians it was Shevchenko who was most impressive although he missed Ukraine's first penalty shot.
Undoubtedly this was the World Cup's most non-impressive match.
Grosso was great in his acting and did his level best to trip over defender Lucas Neill.
The penalty was finally taken by Totti which sealed Australia's fate.
Lack of big match experiance clearly did Australia a lot of harm. They had ample chances, more possession than Italy and Italy down for some 40 minutes with 10 men after Marco Materazzi was shown a red card for challenge on Marco Bresciano.
Italy has now booked a place in quarterfinals.
Monday, June 26, 2006
here is a link to the article:
Like a bunch of "unruly" school boys both sets of players went at each other.
Much ado is made of the football hooligans. But here the hooligans were all "on-field" LOL
With 16 yellow and a record 4 red cards churned out by referee Ivanov, the match looked more or less like Shakespeare's "A Comedy of Errors".
An exasperated Blatter even blathered, "There could have been a yellow card for the referee. He was not at the same level as the players."
He also added, "This was a game of emotion, with high drama but the referee was not consistent and there was a lack of fair play by some players."
Portugal tempestuous 1-0 win over Holland was nothing short of chaos especially in the 2nd half!
With 2 sent offs (Costinha which was well deserved and Deco which was a little harsh: 2nd yellow card for both), 5 cautions and an injury for Cristiano Ronaldo on Portugal's side and 2 sent offs (Khalid Boulahrouz and Giovanni van Bronckhorst: 2nd yellow for both players again), 3 cautions for a whopping 16 yellows and 4 red!
Luis Figo was later cleared and is now allowed to play in the quarter final versus England. And clearly that was a horrible decision for a headbutt on Holland's Mark Van Bommel, with Van Bommel pretending to be gravely hurt holding his face!
I think both sets of players employed a lot of "revenge" tactics. Holland being desperate to win against the Portuguese since 1991 and Portugal trying to break their dismal record in major championships!
Under Luis Scolari the former coach of Brazil, Portugal have been making much progress.
Remains to be seen how Portugal will fare with the injury and suspension of its star players in the coming match against England.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
So the news is out and from Karan Johar's own mouth that Kajol will not be making her special guest appearance in the movie.
Kajol whom Karan regards as his "lucky" mascot along with a host of other things isnt going to be featured in the latest 'K'aper by Johar.
After acting in his films Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gum and Kal Ho Na ho, a fleeting appearance in the last of those; it was well expected that she would be seen in KANK too.
But Johar has squashed all speculation by firmly stating, "I’d love to cast her in all my films. But the fact is that she isn’t making an appearance in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. Frankly, there’s no situation in the film where I could accommodate Kajol.”
It comes as little surprise though with Kajol relaunching her own comeback of sorts after her motherhood with the sensational and controversial movie Fanaa.
In addition i was surprised to read this report:
When Preity Zinta bawled like a baby…
By IndiaFM News Bureau, April 24, 2006 - 23:57 IST
Preity Zinta is known to be quite a toughie. But under that exterior is a Preity who can break down so very easily.
She recently completed her portions of Karan Johar’s Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. Back in Mumbai, she saw the rushes of the film and was weeping away. And this is not just because it’s her own film! In her words, she was ‘sobbing like a baby.’ It was pretty surprising because Preity does not shed tears so easily. While not a person was left dry-eyed after watching Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black, Preity did not shed a single tear!
But we’re not surprised that it was finally Karan Johar’s film that did the trick. If his past films are anything to go by, the audience had better start stocking up on the tissues and handkerchiefs!
Friday, June 23, 2006
BJP onions, Congress tomatoes and public soup!
So after the BJP's "onion" exploits we now have the Congress "exploiting" the public.
From its heyday slogan of "Garibi Hatao" its gone to "Garibo ko Hatao". With even middle class consumers now unable to adjust their budgets to the new "trend" in increase of prices for vegetables and pulses.
In a matter of weeks the cost of these essential food items have gone up alarmingly. Moong dal and tomatoes have now become luxury items.
Various reasons have been blamed for this situation, chief among them being "shortfall in production".
Also the tomatoe produce has been struck down by the leaf cull disease leading to lower output.
Hike in transportation costs because of increasing fuel prices have meant supply has been lower than usual.
And as if all this was not enough hoarding of food items by shopkeepers and baniyas leading to price speculation means the rates had to climb rather alarmingly.
With food comodity prices rising higher than the rate at which our highrises come up, the government has finally woken up and allowed import of wheat, sugar and various pulses. Also an immediate ban on
export of pulses has come into effect.
Inflation rate has climbed high enough and now the government has reacted. Waiting for the prices to plateau on their own, the Congress led government stood by for weeks as a silent spectator.
Now only if the government would come down heavily on traders who are hoarding items.
It is very interesting to read about the facets of Justine's life. The loss of her mother at a young age, the rift in her family, her marrying Pierre-Yves (and married tennis players are rare on the WTA tour!) and the forging of a "champion"; all seems like one heck of a blockbuster plot!
Except that its not.
If anyone has such a life story, its sure hard.
But then all of us have stories which some of us reveal, others dont.
Here is another chapter from Juju's life:
Wimbledon the missing peace in a tumultous life story
Tuesday June 20, 2006
Sometimes I think I might be the oldest 24-year-old in the world," Justine Henin-Hardenne says with a faint smile. In the midst of explaining how she survived terrible adversity to emerge as the most iron-willed competitor in women's tennis, with her recent domination of the French Open lending more weight to the belief that she is finally ready to win Wimbledon, Henin-Hardenne seems to feel the trauma of her past with renewed intensity. "I was 12 when my mother died and my sister was only
eight," she says, "which is not a good age to lose a parent. So even now there is not an hour in my life when I don't think of my mum. I know I will never recover from that experience."
She shrugs gently, and looks away, as if any other reaction would be almost unbearable. On a muggy afternoon in Eastbourne, as the familiar thwack of tennis balls being hit hard and true merges with the muted applause of a genteel crowd, it is plain that the impact of her mother's death in 1994 still haunts Henin-Hardenne. That hurt is deepened by her estrangement from the rest of her family in Belgium and a brutal illness which almost ruined her in 2004.
Henin-Hardenne turns back and smiles more clearly. "What do you do? Do you just give up? No. I always try to find something positive, and so I can say that I'm the same person I was before my mother died - only much stronger. To survive you keep going - that's the only secret to life, because we will all lose someone we love. That's why everyone has a story."
She might have climbed back to No3 in the official Sony Ericsson world rankings, and just won her fifth grand slam title, but her more personal story resonates far beyond the insular women's tour. It is a story which is illustrated best by the intimate image of her mother, Françoise, sitting on the edge of Justine's bath most nights in the last year of her life. Looking down into her daughter's serious but youthful face, which would be wet with bath-water rather than tears, Françoise knew she was dying of cancer but "she never showed that to us. She wanted to teach me instead to believe in my dreams because she gave up everything for her kids. And so, even when she was dying, the only thing that scared her was the thought of leaving us."
In 1992 Françoise Henin had crossed the French border and driven all the way to Paris with her daughter. Justine was only 10 but she and her mother shared an evocative day at Roland Garros, on the Saturday of an epic French Open final which was finally won, 10-8 in the third, by Monica Seles - who beat Steffi Graf, Justine's idol. Eleven years later, on the day the now married Henin-Hardenne won her own first grand slam in Paris, she "warmed up for the final that morning and I kept looking over at the spot near the umpire's chair where my mother and I had sat together in 1992. My coach [Carlos Rodriguez] could tell something was happening to me and so I showed him the seats where we had watched that match. And I thought of that day just a couple of weeks ago when I won the French again."
In cruising to her third French Open title this month, without dropping a set, Henin-Hardenne looked ready to build a legacy which could one day be compared with some of her most illustrious predecessors. "I've won five grand slams now and, if you gave me the chance, I'd sign for another five right now. But what Steffi, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert did in winning so many more was phenomenal. I don't think anyone will achieve what they did. They were great champions and we have to be realistic. This is also a different era of tennis and I look more at Venus Williams and [Martina] Hingis, who've also won five. My goal is to win a few more and I believe I can actually win Wimbledon, which is a big passion of mine" - comparable perhaps to Roger Federer's to win the French title.
Henin-Hardenne takes particular pride in stressing that her first grand slam final came on the grass of SW19 rather than the dirt of Paris. She also offers up another tangled family memory to heighten its meaning to her.
"I think people forget that I made it to the Wimbledon final in 2001 - two years before the French. That match was supposed to be a big party in my life - but everyone I knew in the stands looked very sad. I knew it couldn't be for my match because I took Venus Williams to three sets. I guessed
something else was wrong and then they told me just after my press conference - I had lost my grandfather that day. He was almost the last family member on my mother's side who had still been alive and so it was very painful.
"He was 81 but he seemed in great shape and he drove to lots of my tournaments. The last time we spoke was when I called after I beat [Jennifer] Capriati in the semis. He was so happy for me, and so proud, that I'm glad he knew I made it to the final. He always believed in me and never judged my decisions."
Others in her family were less forgiving - especially of her decision, at the age of 17, to leave her overbearing father, two brothers and younger sister to live instead with Pierre-Yves Hardenne, a 21-year-old Belgian tennis coach. After describing her departure "as like leaving prison", and marrying Pierre-Yves in November 2002, the strained relationship with her family collapsed.
She looks guarded at the thought of one day seeing Sarah, her younger sister. "It's something . . ." she begins, before faltering briefly. "Well, it's difficult. I don't really get a chance to see her. We'll see . . . I don't know."
"And your dad?" I wonder. "I don't want to talk about him," she says firmly, but with a placatory wave of her hand to show that she does not wish to sound too clipped.
There has been so much darkness in her life, in a tennis career which is otherwise burnished with titles and plaudits, that it seems cruel to probe further. It is enough to ask how she feels physically - for even here there has been tribulation. Apart from a catalogue of injuries, some of which resulted from her battle to overcome far stronger and bigger women, Henin-Hardenne suffered her greatest ordeal in 2004 when she was stricken with cytomegalovirus - an illness which left her bereft of all energy. She was pinned down by a need to sleep for 18 hours a day and an inertia so debilitating she could barely raise an arm to clean her teeth.
"I thought it was the end of my tennis. Even as a person I could feel myself changing. I just wanted to stay at home and not see anyone, not even my friends. It was another tough time - not just in my career but my life. But, slowly, I got better. I still have to be very careful and I can't train or work as hard as I once did. But I have a great team around me and I get checked every two months."
Improved health has sharpened her desire for that first Wimbledon title. And right now it appears as if no one in women's tennis can match her steely purpose or the sheer voracity of her appetite for success. "I think the mental side will be very important at Wimbledon. These championships, like the whole of women's tennis right now, are wide open.
"I would say that six or seven girls have a big chance to win. There is no obvious favourite this year and, on grass, we're all so close. But I always fight, maybe harder than anyone, and never give up. And that's very important on grass because it's a frustrating surface. I've already done well at Wimbledon - with a final and two semis - and I'm much better now than I was then. Wimbledon is a big dream of mine because I've won all the other grand slam tournaments. So I really will try to win it this time."
Her anticipation is so palpable that I wonder if she can sustain such intensity for many more years. "I'll always be like this," she insists. "I'm totally intense in everything - with tennis, my husband, my coach and my friends. If I do something I give everything of myself. If you are my best friend I will expect to call you every day, and we speak for an hour at least. I know it helps me - that's why I'm on the phone all the time talking to everyone I love."
She sinks back into her chair and, for once looking and sounding like an ordinary 24-year-old, laughs softly when I ask if controlling that famous compulsion has been the hardest aspect of her slow road back to full health. "Definitely. I now know how important it is to take time off and not push myself too far. I need to give my body time to recover and I'm learning how to do that. Maybe that's the best sign that I'm starting to mature as a person. I also have good people around me - which is why I'm very happy right now." That happiness will be complete at Wimbledon if all the heartache she has endured over the last 12 years is stripped down into one more burst of searing commitment which sees her lift the greatest prize in women's tennis. "Oh," she says in amazement, as if a bright light has suddenly switched on inside her, "if I actually win Wimbledon it would feel very special. It would feel like this story has a very happy ending."
So this was a shocker when i read the story. Its seems Ms Sharapova is rather fond of collecting stamps and has been doing it since she was a child. (lol i think she still is)
read the story:
Sharapova not only has opponents licked
Young tennis star is keen collector
Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has revealed that when she’s not whacking the opposition all over the tennis court she enjoys nothing more than indulging in her favourite hobby – stamp collecting.
The former Wimbledon champion, 19, claims to have a huge collection and has been collecting since she was a child.
“I’ve collected stamps since I was nine or ten years old, and I’ve so many, millions. I’ve stamps passed down from my mom’s grandmother. They’re that old they’re almost rusty!”, she said following a victory at the DFS Classic at Edgbaston Priory Club.
"The coolest thing is finding an excuse to go to the post office and do something different. It's exciting, something different. Not too many people do it. It's a cool collection I have.
"I know the whole process of how to remove stamps and dry them, but now I get catalogues from around the world and I get my mum to order them.
"I look at them and enjoy them. It's a nice distraction away from tennis."
Sharapova won the Ladies’ Wimbledon Singles title in 2004 and is among the top seeds for this year’s tournament which begins on 26 June
Saturday, June 17, 2006
and now how did they get Justine to play that part!!! :P
"Rafa" Nadal has injured his shoulder at the Queen's Club semi-final he was playing against Lleyton Hewitt and now looks in doubt about his up coming Wimbledon quest.
In answer to his plans Nadal had this to say, "I felt a lot of pain here. It would have been stupid to continue." And on his chances to play on the hallowed grass: "I don't know, I hope so."
since i didnt know how to do that, i did what anyone would do which is "to google" the query.
and there you go! Voila!!! lol
i now have the answer. and what great answers they are so i will share with one and all how one can work with images in Adobe Photoshop.
since i have Adobe Photoshop 7.0 i dont have any problems. i think most of these instructions work best with Adobe Photoshop 5.0 and above.
first up Princeton University has a downloadable Doc file.
you can download it here:
also if you have Adobe Acrobat you can view another .pdf file by University of Alberta.
working with images and photos could never have been easier!
BEGINNING OF THE NEW BLOG.
ok so taking into account Kartik Kanan's suggestion and a little prodding by manfred i have also started a blog on http://www.sulekha.com
it will be updated by RSS feed from my current blog.
this is the site address:
since i have more tennis related news on my blog i have categorised it under "tennis".
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Infact it leaves most of her opponents wrong footed and stunned... (how i love to see that.)
so this little piece will be of special interest ( which i found while exploring http://www.protennisfan.com
The drop shot: For players who like to stay deep behind the baseline, Martina Hingis has been making people pay with drop shots. It's something that's rarely seen in the women's game.
"In general, when you look at girls in the academies, they are just not taught that way," Hingis said. "I think it's just because they're always so one-sided, playing with their coach or playing with their hitting partner. And you know, just boom, boom, boom all the time. I think it's also the problem of the coaches or parents, because they don't teach them different. I don't think it's (because of) the girls, because I think if you show them how to do it, how it's done, I think a lot of them, they would use more skill."
Tennis commentator Bud Collins said he agreed with Hingis, adding, "Most of the coaches should be shot … with rubber bullets."
"You said that," Hingis said laughing.
the whole article is from the Pacific Life Open and can be found here:
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Saturday, June 10, 2006
by Peter Bodo
I started the day at Suzanne Lenglen Court, where Venus Williams, wearing a daffodil and looking good in it, mixed it up with surprise quarterfinalist Nicole Vaidisova. The first set was interesting stuff; the ladies threw roundhouse punches and led with their chins, neither of which was made of glass.
When Vaidisova blew a 5-2 lead in the tiebreaker (losing five points in a row; about as thorough a collapse as you could script) it appeared like it might be all over. But credit the first time Grand Slam quarterfinalist: she screwed down her wayward elbow and turned up the heat, roaring back to take the last two sets.
Venus, meanwhile, was all over the map. She looked great one moment, awful the next, and went down rather meekly, getting just four games in the last two sets.
The striking thing for me was that here was a multiple Grand Slam champion and former World No. 1 , a girl who had to be well-rested and, at least theoretically, hungry. How does someone with that resume, still at the physical peak of her powers, slash back the way she did and then get cut to ribbons – by a quarterfinal debutante, no less?
The key, I think, is in the way Venus lost. It looked to me like she ran out of steam in the final set, but not because she was out of shape. She looked more like she was mentally tired, and just unable to keep her concentration and enthusiasm up for that much longer.
Notably, one of the first questions in her presser was a refreshingly brief and clear one: Did you tire in the third set?
No, no. I didn't tire. In fact, no. Actually, I didn't tire. That's the answer (smiling).
Always mistrust the several "nos", sports fans! Anyone else think that sounds suspiciously like Venus of yore, the Queen of De-Nile?
As far as pressers go, it was a classic. I think even Ruth, TW’s favorite Venus KAD, may have to admit that Venus gives the worst quote among all the top players. She’s just incredibly coy and obtuse, win or lose. Charlie Bricker tried privately to find out who Venus has been practicing with - curious geekery at it's best and least threatening - and he couldn't even get a straight answer from her on that!
Someone asked Venus what she planned to do between now and Wimbledon, and she replied:
. . . I just want to just get stronger and just get better. You know, I'm doing better. I can practice my serve a lot more. Obviously, at Wimbledon you'll see more consistency on that with my arm doing better and that kind of thing. Yeah, that's what I'll do, I'll be better every time.
I don’t know if the boast rings hollow, but it sure sounded that way, live. Venus delivered it in that distracted, spacey way that has become her trademark. Fair enough, that’s her style, but the substance is worth contemplating.
I think the biggest battle Venus will face will be staying focused and mentally alert. Fresh, if you will. Because right now, she seems to have the tennis pro's equivalent of what Viet Nam veterans took to calling “the thousand-yard stare.” It was a sign of having seen too much. Too much of everything.
We know that can happen to tennis players, too. Even recreational ones. It’s basically a loss of interest, a form of deep ennui. And if you get to the point where you can actually identify it, you may even think you’re capable, by sheer will, of transcending it.
It’s hard, though. Because no matter how hard you whack the ball or how diligently you hit the gym, you can’t win nearly as many tennis matches if the pure blue flame of desire is absent. It’s like being a good partner to someone you no longer love. You can do it, but it’s awfully hard.
Contrast, if you will, the attitudes of Venus and Martina Hingis. Even though she lost today, she had that spark in her eye and that hunger in her heart. She loves being in the game. The contrast was sharp as a slap in the face when she followed Venus and Vaidisova into the interview room, shortly after being spanked by Champagne Kim Clijsters.
Hingis was effervescent, that Cheshire Cat grin firmly pasted on her broad, pale face. She practically laughed through her answers, even though the very first question was unusually frank – and accurate - in the way that would earn an outraged glare from Sharapova.
She was asked, “Seems you’ve been able to deal with Clijsters’s power in the first set, then collapsed. What happened?”
Hingis took the medicine straight from the spoon. She answered, semi-sarcastically, but in a jovial way:
That's a nice analysis (smiling).
Well, she started off well. I was down 3 0 in like no time. Actually, 2 1, don't know. 3 0, it was. It would have been better if I had made one of the three games before, just stay close with her. It was always kind of running from behind.
Yeah, I mean, playing her only in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam, it's not going to teach me how, you know, play someone like her. But hopefully I get to play her more and be in a better condition next time.
Hingis went on to talk about how nice it was to be back on tour, and to be doing the things she missed so much. I thought it might be interesting to know if he’s at that point in her comeback yet where she sometimes says or thinks, “Yep, now that’s one of reasons I left the game in the first place!”
Oh, yeah, no kidding. It happened a few times. But then it's like the desire and just really to be playing, feeling good, winning matches that overcomes those things where you feel like, okay, you're exhausted, tired, really down. You have to get back to the basics. That's when you feel like, okay, this is not what I enjoyed when I was still playing like every day, the discipline.
Like during these 10 days I was here, just really, you know, always have to watch out what you do, how much you don't want to overdo it. Just always those two days I need to rest and recover and then, you know, just recharge batteries, then you overcome all these things. No, definitely a lot more joyful days than when you sit back and don't do anything.
I’d felt all along that Clijsters would probably be the biggest obstacle Hingis would face enroute to a potential final, and it turned out to be true – even more dramatically than I expected. Hingis said she was tired and a mite slugglish, fair enough. I thought Clijsters was bouncy and more than a mite slugger-ish. I asked Hingis to draw a quick thumbnail sketch of her opponent. She obliged.
Oh, she's just very. . .you know, she's very powerful, very physically strong from difficult situations. Although, somehow I felt like I wasn't playing the greatest tennis, which I had in the first few days and last week, that I was still kind of staying with her in the game. That's probably for me right now the tournament is over, I can take a lot of positives out of it.
In a way, this is the sport, this is tennis. You can't think that, Okay, whatever, what would have happened if? It just didn't. Just today she was better prepared.
You know, her game is on a very high level. You have to be ready to be pushing her. Otherwise, if you let her dictate, she's too good.
Nice analysis, right? Still, I don’t see Clijsters muscling Justine Henin-Hardenne around in the way she did Hingis. The Little Backhand that Quit is a more nimble, tensile, hardened combatant and, frankly, I think Clijsters is scared of her.
I wish Hingis would have a little more of Venus’s power, and that Venus would have a little more of Hingis’s power. By which I mean the Firekitten’s joie de jouer.
Thanx to member sassygirl from hingis.org
Friday, June 09, 2006
Thanx to member Aqi from hingis.org and here is also a rough translation of the accompanying article.
here's the translation..
excuse my english
She arrived already on wednesday.
Pretty hat deep in the face, in airport hall Ruzyně didnt look on right or left.
Though Martina Hingis(25) didnt escape before Blesk!
Recent tennis queen arrived on few days to Prague to 'go out' with Radek Štěpánek(27). For both ended Roland Garros sooner than they wished.
Yesterday afternoon they scheduled walk on Castle. ''But arent you expecting, we are gonna tell you all our plans, are you?''laughed Martina during lunch in Demínka and was excited about visiting Prague after 4 years. ''I didnt arrive because of shopping, mainly i want take a look around city. But, i will probably buy some glass, i cant never resist that"
Unfortunately she havent got time on visit of Rožnov, where she has house and also horse Sorrenta. Radek Štěpánek flies this weekend on tournament in Queens and Martina...''I have break till Wimbledon'', she grinned. Comeback on courts, after tough leg injury she doesnt regret ''Not even a minute! Now I enjoy it everything completely different, I'm just not 17 anymore'', smiled.
With Radek they are jollying each other and they are in great mood. But they dont play tennis together. ''No, we play only backgamon together'' sniggered Radek and on a question who wins more often, he without words stretched out chest.
''what a talk again'' replied Martina.
And then tennis lovers went on Castle....
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Laureus World Sports Awards, Barcelona 2006
BARCELONA ENJOYS AN UNFORGETTABLE DAY WITH THE BEST PLAYERS OF THE LAST DECADES AT THE IWC TENNIS TROPHY
· Bahrami, Berasategui, Bruguera, Albert Costa, Carlos Costa, Casal, Hantuchova, Kuznetsova, Nastase, and Arantxa, Emilio and Javier Sánchez-Vicario came together for a memorable set of games
· Laureus World Sports Academy member Monica Seles shared some of her secrets with 80 children during a morning clinic
· Prince Albert of Monaco and Iñaki Urdangarín to share the court with Boris Becker and Albert Costa on Monday – reserved for Laureus guests
BARCELONA, May 21, 2006 – The public of Barcelona enjoyed many exciting moments on the first day of the IWC Tennis Trophy at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona. Some of the greatest legends of tennis such as Mansour Bahrami, Ilie Nastase and Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario wowed the crowd with their skills.
The day began with a children’s clinic given by Laureus World Sports Academy Member Monica Seles on the centre court. Eighty boys and girls from tennis schools across Barcelona, aged between seven and 10 were divided into four teams to learn from this exceptional teacher. Emilio Sánchez-Vicario collaborated with Seles in the clinic that was organized by Luis Mediero, well-known for his tennis school.
At the end of this exciting activity the children were each given a prize by IWC, a model version of the Spitfire airplane, as well as an autograph from Monica Seles. On courts one and two, some members of the press were able to play against some of the greatest names of Spanish tennis: Alberto Berasategui, Albert Costa, and Javier and Emilio Sánchez-Vicario.
The Pro-exhibition games were the highlight of the day. The trio formed by Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario, Bahrami and Alex Corretja beat former Davis Cup team members Casal and Emilio and Javier Sánchez-Vicario, 6 - 4. This pattern was reversed in the other semi final where Svetlana Kuznetsova, Nastase, and Costa, lost to Berasategui, Sergi Bruguera and Carlos Costa, who also shared moments of glory on the Davis Cup team, in a tight game that finished 7 - 6. The final was just as exciting, with Berasategui, Bruguera and Carlos Costa coming out victorious 6 - 4.
Georges Kern, CEO IWC Schaffhausen, and Edwin Moses, Chairman of Laureus World Sport Academy, presented the winners with a trophy, and commended them for their involvement in the day’s events, while underlining their joint commitment to bettering the lives of underprivileged children all over the world through sports thanks to the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
Many of Barcelona’s tennis lovers and their families gathered at the open day at the IWC Tennis Trophy to enjoy the passion and the glamour of the best players of the past few decades. The Swiss luxury watch brand IWC Schaffhausen, a founding partner of Laureus, believes it is vital that the general public is able to share in this way the excitement and the build-up to the seventh annual Laureus World Sports Awards at the Parc del Fòrum, Barcelona, on the evening of Monday, May 22.
Monday glamour at Pro-Am event
Monday’s activities will place special emphasis on the glamour side of the event as Laureus guests come to the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona to watch Pro-Am games and an exceptional Exhibition match. Kimiko Date, Laureus World Sports Academy Member Sergey Bubka and Mercedes-Benz guest Uta Baudsch will play against Seles, Lorenzo Quinn and Argentinian supermodel Valeria Mazza at 10am and then Bahrami, Slavika Ecclestone, wife of Bernie Ecclestone, and Dr. Buhlbecker will measure their strength against the formidable trio of Navratilova, Laureus World Sports Academy Member Hugo Porta and German sports presenter Monika Lierhaus. The winners of both matches will then come face to face in what is sure to be an exciting final at noon.
The final exhibition match will see two exceptional partners coming together in what is sure to be an unforgettable event. Prince Albert of Monaco will pair off with vice-chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy Boris Becker on one side of the court, while on the other Iñaki Urdangarin will unite forces with Alberto Costa. Both Prince Albert of Monaco and Iñaki Urdangarin share a passion for sports, and both have participated in Olympic Games, Prince Albert as member of the bobsleigh team and Iñaki Urdangarin, as part of the Spanish handball team, won a bronze medal in the Atlanta 1996 Olympics. With such credentials, the game will no doubt be an interesting grand finale to the IWC Tennis Trophy.
Martina Hingis' successful comeback continues with now Laureus Academy recognising her comeback fairytale by presenting her with an award for Laureus World Comeback of the Year a day after her first singles title success in over four years.
Hingis won her 15 th grand slam title (2006 Australian Open doubles with Mahesh Bhupati of India).
In addition she also won the Italian Open this year. Her 41st title and first one since 2002.
Roger Federer who won the Sportsman of the Year title said, "I'm very impressed. Here she is, top 15 after five months. She breaks all the records she sets herself. She doesn't just say, she does it too."
“This is a tribute to the incredible comeback that Martina Hingis has engineered this year,” said Larry Scott, CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. “Martina is one of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s most exciting players. The fact that professional tennis was once again so well represented among both the winners and nominees of these prestigious global awards is an indication of the both the athleticism and global popularity of our athletes.”