May 23, 2009

Jelena Jankovic at Cannes Film Festival for amFAR benefit gala

Let's not forget that Jelena Jankovic is a movie star herself.

Remember her documentary movie, Jelena's World?

Jelena took some time off from her Roland Garros preparation and attended the amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS 2009 gala at the Hotel du Cap in Antibes, France, during the annual Cannes Film Festival.

The lovely dress Jelena was wearing was designed by Georges Hobeika.

Bad hair day? Love her dress but Jelena needs to fire her hairstylist.

The event was attended by many celebrities included Sharon Stone, Robert Pattison, Annie Lennox, etc.

Here, Jelena shared some light moment on stage with kungfu star/Bond girl Michelle Yeoh.

The tennis star seemed a lot tougher as if she could take Michelle down anytime with just one hand.

(Images by Francois Durand/Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

May 22, 2009

2009 French Open draw

I'm happy that Novak Djokovic is on Roger Federer's half.

Tough road ahead for Rafael Nadal but I'm happy with the draw.

I'm not going to say much.

Click here for the complete men's draw and the women's draw.

(Images via Yahoo! Sports, French Open website)

Somdev Devvarman in French Open qualifying finals

Somdev Devvarman survived another three-setter to move into the final round of the French Open qualifiers after defeating Alex Bogdanovic 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-4.

The world no. 138 is just one match away from making it to the main draw of the clay court Slam.

Standing in his way now is third seed Marcos Daniel, who beat Ivan Dodig on 7-5 6-4.
“I played well in patches, but hopefully I can raise my level of play in tomorrow’s match."

"Today I stayed tough right through and that’s what helped me,” Devvarman said.
Updates: Somdev couldn't materialise his dream of playing in the main draw of the French Open after suffering a straight sets defeat at the hands of Brazilian Marcos Daniel in the final round of qualifiers today.

Somdev lost 0-6, 1-6 in the one-sided affair that lasted just 58 minutes.

(Image via French Open official website)

Yuki Bhambri & Ryan Harrison to play with tennis legends in Macao

Looks like tennis exhibition match has becoming a tradition and yearly event for IMG in Asia.

For the third consecutive year, the people in Macao get to meet tennis stars of yesteryear as well as the current ones.

This time the Venetian® Macao Tennis Showdown will see the appearance of Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras as well as rising stars Yuki Bhambri and Ryan Harrison.

I'm not kidding.

Yuki and Ryan will be making their way to Macao this October.

The fearsome and intense rivalry between Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras will be renewed at the 15,000 seat CotaiArena in their first clash in seven years.

Returning to Macao for the second time, Pete commented, “I enjoyed my visit to The Venetian® Macao tremendously in 2007 so it was an easy decision to accept the invitation to return to The Venetian Macao and to renew the great rivalry with Andre.”

The popular Agassi said, “I have followed The Venetian® Macao events featuring Roger, Pete, John, and Bjorn so when the opportunity arose to be part of The Venetian® Macao Tennis Showdown 2009 that would include Pete as well as two of the top juniors in the world, I was excited to join such an illustrious roster of top tennis names.”
The highly anticipated match-up between Sampras and Agassi will be preceded by a 45-minute timed singles match between two of the finest juniors in world tennis.

Indian rising star and ITF Junior World no.1 Yuki Bhambri will face Ryan Harrison, an American prodigy and one of two brothers scaling the junior heights.

Both train at the famous IMG Bolletieri Sports Academy in Florida where Agassi trained as a junior.

The third match of The Venetian® Macao Tennis Showdown will feature Pete and either Bhambri or Harrison against Andre and Harrison or Bhambri, with the pairings decided by draw at the Meet-the-Players Press Conference on October 24th.

The one-day extravaganza will kick off at 2:00 p.m. on the long weekend of Sunday, October 25th.
Yuki commented, “To play with Andre Agassi or Pete Sampras is of course a dream for any aspiring tennis player. To play with both is simply amazing. To do it in front of 15,000 people is beyond description. To say I am excited, is an understatement.”

His opponent Ryan said, “To travel to Macao to participate in an event featuring two of the greatest American players of all time is a huge privilege and an honour, and extremely motivating to me to train and improve, in the hope that I may one day achieve a few of the things that they have achieved.”
Executive Match Director, Nick Freyer, Senior Vice President, IMG, Head of Tennis, Asia, concluded, “Continuing the fine tradition of world class tennis, with the confirmation that Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras will be coming to Macao in October is an enormous pleasure, and I would like to thank The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel for their continued support in allowing history to be made.

History, I hope, that will bring joy and smiles to the 15,000 people we think will attend, but also to the millions who will be able to watch on television.”
The Showdown will once again feature an online charity auction, which will offer prized personal items from both players and experiences such as the on-court coin toss, with proceeds being divided between the Andre Agassi Foundation, Sampras’ Aces for Charity Program and Make-A-Wish HK/Macau.

Tickets is available for sale today (Friday, May 22nd at 10 a.m) and can either be reserved online at or by phone at +853 2882 8818 (Macao) and +852 6333 6660 (Hong Kong), or in person at Sands Macao Lobby and CotaiArena™ Box Office.

Ticket prices have been set at MOP/HKD $980, $780, $480 and $280. Corporate Boxes are also available.

Fans can visit the event’s website at for further details of the event.

May 21, 2009

Maria Sharapova loses to Bond girl in Warsaw

I'm not talking about the battle of sexiness between Maria Sharapova and Alona Bondarenko.

Sharapova who was playing her first singles tournament in nearly 10 months after her shoulder surgery, finally lost in the third round match at the Warsaw Open.

Maria Sharapova was defeated by Alona Bondarenko 6-2, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the Warsaw Open.

The 39th-ranked Bondarenko was leading 5-0 lead in the second set before she sent Sharapova packing.

Adam Nurkiewicz/AFP/Getty Images)

2009 Roland Garros - French Open Preview

It's the time of the year again for the (some say) most challenging grand slam, the French Open.

Here's a preview of the tournament.

This year's tournament will run from May 24th to June 7th, which means there are only 3 days left before the players are tested on the dusty, challenging red clay courts of Roland Garros.

So, are you ready for some brutally brilliant tennis?

I bet Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic fans are ready.

Gael Monfils doubtful for French Open after knee injury

Reuters reported that Gael Monfils was on the verge of withdrawing from the French Open on Wednesday because of a knee injury.

In an interview after the exhibition match in Rueil where he lost 6-4, 6-0 to Marcos Baghdatis, Monfils said, "If I had to decide today, the answer would be no," the world number 11, who reached the semi-finals at Roland-Garros last year.

"I clench my teeth but my knee is still hurting. I'll make my decision at the last minute. I have six days left as I have asked to play on Tuesday. I still believe a miracle will happen," he added.

According to French federation doctor Bernard Montalvan, the 22-year-old Monfils suffers from an inflammation of the kneecap which could require surgery and a long period of rehabilitation.

Updates: Monfils was at the Disneyland Paris together with Stanislas Wawrinka for a promotional event.

Go read it at Black Tennis Pro's blog.

(Via; Image via,

Players hit the practice court prior to French Open

Here are some photos of some of the star players at the practice court.

Sorry but there's no shirtless photos... This is not the Australian Open.

Roger Federer

Sebastien Grosjean did some shopping at the Roland Garros souvenir shop.

Paul-Henri Mathieu

Marcos Baghdatis

Gaston Gaudio

Amelie Mauresmo

Venus Williams

Serena Williams with daddy Richard who just got married recently.

Jelena Jankovic

(Images via French Open official website)

May 20, 2009

Rafael Nadal fears no one

Rafael Nadal will grace the cover page of Men's Journal magazine in June.

The title on the magazine seems to appear at the right time, after the world no.1 was humbled by his biggest rival, Roger Federer at the Madrid Masters last Sunday.

It's like a reminder to all of us that whoever his opponents are at the French Open, Nadal fears no one including Federer.

Nadal is still very much the favourite to clinch a fifth consecutive French Open title.


May 19, 2009

Venus & Serena Williams go for a bike ride in Paris

Venus and Serena Williams were spotted taking a bike ride in Paris after shopping at Sonia Rykiel.

Check out Serena.

She could be rocking an Adam Lambert's song on her ipod while waiting for Venus who was on the phone.


Maria Sharapova survives comeback match in Warsaw

Maria Sharapova comeback performance was slightly rusty last night, but we're not complaining.

Wearing criss-crossed strips of white tape on her right shoulder, Sharapova played her first singles match at the Warsaw Open in nearly 10 months and still managed to pull off a win.

The three-time Grand Slam title winner needed nine match points (!) to finally put away 68th-ranked Tathiana Garbin 6-1, 6-7 (6), 6-3.

“When you haven’t been there, haven’t done that in a while, it throws you off a little bit,” said Sharapova, whose last competitive singles match was July 30, “and then there you are after nine months, and you have an opportunity to win your first match back, and you start thinking of everything that’s gone on, and you kind of lose the present time.”
The Russian had surgery for a torn rotator cuff last year and missed last year's Wimbledon and US Open as well as the Australian Open earlier this year.

Sharapova who is currently ranked at 126th, refused to discuss the French Open, which starts Sunday—and is the only major championship she hasn’t won.

“I’ve been absent for so long, and I’ve said it many times: You can do so many things, you can practice and you can play practice matches, but it’s never the same as going out and playing in a tournament, and I think that’s what I’ll need,” she said.

“I’ve played millions of matches in my career, and I’ll play millions more, and I think right now it’s just going to be getting that experience back and the thought process on the court and doing the right things to finish the match.”

“I was definitely a little bit nervous closing that second set out."

“I certainly had desire to win my first match back."

“I’m hungry. I haven’t played for a while, and I want it really bad, and sometimes I actually have to stop myself at times and tell myself to be patient.”

“In these nine months, the only thing I’ve accomplished is probably a good pasta carbonara."

“At the end of the day, that’s not my specialty. My specialty is to go out and compete and win Grand Slams.”
(Via AP, Images by Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images)

Thai trio conquer Busan Open

Second seed Danai Udomchoke of Thailand successfully captured his first ATP challenger title this year in the US$75,000 Busan Open in Busan, Korea on last weekend.

The Thai 27-year-old avenged his Bangkok challenger final defeat to Florian Mayer with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over the German third seed in the semifinals, then defeated Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic(ATP-243) in straight sets 6-2, 6-2, to win the title.

Danai, who recently quit his national team, received US$10,800 and 90 ATP entry points for singles champion.

In the men's doubles, twin brothers Sonchat and Sanchai Ratiwatana took home the title after defeating Japanese pair of Toshihide Matsui and Tasuku Iwami in straight sets 6-4, 6-2.

It was twin brothers' fifth ATP challenger title this year and the seventeenth in their career.

The 26-year-old Ratiwatanas who won two ATP titles in Bangkok 2007 and Chennai in 2008, awarded US$4,650 and 90 ATP entry points.

(By Jirobkk via

Kei Nishikori pulls out of French Open

Kei Nishikori who went back to court for practices earlier this month after a series of injury.

However the latest updates confirmed that Kei is pulling out from the French Open next week due to an injured right elbow.

Kei has not played since losing in the first round at Indian Wells in March.

Once ranked as high as No. 56, Kei is currently 117th.

(Via AP; Image by IMG via

May 18, 2009

Roger Federer & Mirka at Lenny Kravitz concert in Madrid

These are unseen before photos of Roger Federer and Mirka who attended Lenny Kravitz concert in Madrid recently.

Isn't she lovely?

Someone in the forum suggested that she still has strong legs especially for a heavily pregnant woman.

(Images via

Wimbledon unveils Centre Court roof in grand opening

It was a perfect day to showcase the new retractable roof at Wimbledon's Center Court yesterday.

The roof was closed when it started to rain.

The event kicked off with the performance by British crossover opera singers Faryl Smith and Katherine Jenkins who sang “Amazing Grace” in the center of the court.

Katherine Jenkins with 13-year old Faryl Smith.

Katherine Jenkins making the O face.

Il Divo wannabe, Blake.

A crowd of 15,000 spectators were watching Andre Agassi, his wife Steffi Graf, Tim Henman and Kim Clijsters play mixed doubles and singles matches.

The players praised the new retractable roof.
“The conditions were really good,” Clijsters said.

“And I love the sound. Wimbledon already had that, where you feel like when (the crowd is) really into the match, the sound really comes down to the players."
And now even more so with the roof. For the players, it just feels like they’re right there next to you.”
Agassi also said the closed surrounding will take the atmosphere to a new level.
“The sound was magnificent,” he said.

“I think when you get two people out there who can really play, and move and hit the ball, I think you’re going to feel a level of titanic battle that you haven’t seen yet. … That’s an environment that lends itself to some spectacular tennis.”
The roof was built to limit the frequent rain delays that occur at the Wimbledon Championships each season.

Steffi Graf should keep that at home.

The crowd was entertained by the husband and wife team, Graf, a seven-time Wimbledon champion, who returned to the Centre Court for the first time in 10 years, and Agassi who won his first Grand Slam title here in 1992.

The couple drew a large cheer by exchanging a good-luck kiss on the court before the doubles match.

Kim Clijsters can consider a career change to a footballer if tennis doesn't work for her anymore.

Everybody's a winner.

Henman and Clijsters won the one-set match 7-6 (6).

Agassi then beat Henman 6-4 in singles and Clijsters defeated Graf by the same score.

Andy Murray and girlfriend Kim Sears.

Andy Murray who attended the event with his girlfriend also praised the new structure.
“It’s beautiful,” said Andy Murray, who hopes to become the first Briton since Fred Perry in 1936 to win Wimbledon.

“It looks very nice, compared to most roofs.”
The roof takes about 10 minutes to close, and the Centre Court’s ventilation system then needs about 30 minutes to get moisture out of the air and create the right conditions.

During short rain showers, organizers still plan on using the traditional covers on the court to create shorter breaks. Once the roof is up, it will not open up until a match is over.

(Via AP, operachic; Images by Hamish Blair/Neal Simpson/AFP/Getty Images)

Roger Federer & Dinara Safina win at Madrid Open

Roger Federer finally got his confidence boost ahead of the French Open, beating clay favourite Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-4 yesterday to win his first title of the season at the Madrid Open.

This is Roger second victory against Nadal on clay, with the other coming at the Hamburg final two years ago.

The win also ended Federer’s five-match losing streak to Nadal, a stretch that included losses in the finals at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and Australia.

Federer called his first win over Nadal since the 2007 Masters Cup “very satisfying".

Federer and Nadal were chatty and joked after receiving their trophies in a scene that contrasted with the one in Melbourne when Federer was in tears after losing to Nadal in the Australian Open final.

Earlier, WTA world no.1 Dinara Safina won her second straight title on clay by beating Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-4 in the women’s final.
“Since I became no. 1 I’m playing better and better,” the 23-year-old said.
Wozniacki will become the first Dane to crack the top-10 in next week’s rankings after reaching her third final of the season.

Safina is 14-1 on clay this season and will go into Roland Garros with the hope to earn her first Grand Slam.

In the men's doubles final, Nenad Zimonjic and Daniel Nestor clinched their fifth ATP World Tour title of the season with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Simon Aspelin and Wesley Moodie.

The women's doubles final was won by Cara Black and Liezel Huber who beat Kveta Peschke and Lisa Raymond 4-6, 6-3, 10-6.

Here are more photos at the Madrid finals.

What rivalry? The top two players in the world are chatty and happy.

Not no.1 in the world but first title this season.

What is Hilary Swank doing in Madrid Open?

Safina is admiring the no.1 player in the world because others don't.

Real Madrid stars like Raul and Arjen Robben appreciate tennis too.

I would like to file an official complaint against Madrid Open because of the lack of hot ball girls compare to previous years.

(Via AP; Images by Predo Armestre/Jasper Juinen/Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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