Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nadal Commences Training For US Open

Rafael Nadal has started his hard court training in Manacor, Spain. Nadal says that after receiving PRP treatment on both knees he was unable to train for two and a half weeks and is still feelings some pain as he trains. He is due to have another treatment at the end of the year.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Murray Splits From Coach

Just after Roger Federer announced he was spending time with Paul Annacone, Andy Murray has announced that he has parted ways with his coach of almost three years Miles Maclagan. Miles, with Jez Green and Andy Irons, played a huge role in the development of Andy and his positioning in the rankings. Over the last three years Maclagan has facilitated not only the physical and tactical development but also the mental maturation of Andy that has seen him improve dramatically as a player.

As has always been the way in camp Murray, Andy his fired his coach when the times have gotten hard. This season since his poor showing in the Australian Open final against Federer, Andy has struggled to string many consecutive matches together and failed to produce any significant, or high quality, results.

For his part Murray has acknowledged Miles' impact, helping him make two Grand Slams finals and two Wimbledon semifinals as well as reaching a career high ranking of number two. “I’ve had a great relationship with Miles over the past 2½ years and I want to thank him for his positive contribution to my career. We have had a lot of fun and success working together.”

The statement released on Murray's website indicated that the split, that people have been talking about for some months, is amicable. It is unfortunate timing for Maclagan who was rumoured to be a favourite to take over the Davis Cup coaching position but he has since missed out because of his firm ties to Murray. Maclagan has been struggling with a back injury for many months now and has had difficultly physically participating in training sessions.

Murray is next scheduled to play in LA and has flown without a coach. It's an interesting move for a player who's best chance of a Grand Slam is in New York.

Murray had also been working with Spaniard Alex Corretja for insight for the clay court season. Alex was on a series of 12 week contracts with Murray and has also reportedly flown home because he doesn't want to work with Murray full-time. Corretja has been spending time with Murray since May 2008 intermittently.

The news comes just after Andy completed his Florida training. The rumour mills indicate that Alex will work with Murray until after the US Open at which point his management company has said he will review the situation. “Andy is completely focused on the U.S. hardcourt season and he will review the situation after the U.S. Open.”

Miles also released a statement which made the split sound as amicable as these things can be. “It’s been a privilege to work with Andy and I’m happy to have played my part in his career. I also want to thank the team for all their hard work over the years and I will miss working with them and Andy on a day-to-day basis. Andy is a great player and I know he will continue to have the success his talent and hard work deserves.” 

A likely replacement would be Daren Cahill who is part of the Adidas player development program. Murray will now have access to him, Gil Reyes and Andre Agassi since signing with Adidas this year.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Verdasco And Nadal Enjoy The High Life

Rafael Nadal has been spotted enjoying last years birthday present, a jet ski, with his family including Uncle Toni and his young cousins who clutched to his back as he raced around the water after putting life jackets on the young boys.

Nadal has been seen all over the Balearic Islands enjoying his time off after flying back to Spain from South Africa where he went to the World Cup finals. Rafa, who won the French Open and Wimbledon a few weeks ago, has received PRP treatment on his knees (see Physio Perspective tab) to help him in his long running battle with tendinitis.

Last week we brought you photos of Rafa and friends enjoying the beach in Formentera. The current world number one was scheduled to be commencing on Thursday last week ahead of the tournaments leading up to the US Open which starts at the end of August.

On the other side of the world fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco Tweeted photos of himself enjoying the practice courts in Las Vegas. Verdasco has been working with the Adidas development squad, most significantly Gil Reyes and Andre Agassi in an attempt to climb higher up the rankings. Since he started working with the Reyes/Agassi duo, Verdasco has seen an enormous improvement in his results, consistency in play, and his ability to challenge the top players.

Verdasco also Tweeted photos of himself pool side after training.

Images from Vamos Brigade and Twitter

Federer Asks Paul Annacone For Help

After an extensive period without any consistent coaching, Roger Federer has decided to look for help and has turned to Pete Sampras and Marat Safin's former coach Paul Annacone. Hilariously tennis media is saying Federer is in 'decline' because he is ranked a lowly 3 in the world. Despite it being Federer's lowest ranking since 2003, number 3 is hardly a crisis.

In 2008 and early 2009 the media talked extensively about the slow end of Federer's career before the Swiss star promptly found himself back at the top. While it would seem that Federer's game and focus good use a helping hand I think we should all wait a little longer before we say that Fed is truly in decline. Sure it is likely given his age and the fact he's been pegged by a lot of younger players that it is indicative of the end of Federer's significant dominance but the end of his winning ways... I don't know.

Let's wait and see if Annacone and Federer end up working together first. Last time Fed went  coach hunting Daren Cahill turned him down because he didn't want to travel full time.

Dear Fans

I've been looking to add someone to my team and I've decided to spend some days with Paul Annacone. As Paul winds down his responsibilities working for the Lawn Tennis Association, we will explore our relationship through this test period. Paul will work alongside my existing team and I am excited to learn from his experiences.

See you soon


Monday, July 26, 2010

Mardy Fish Claims Atlanta Title

Mardy Fish has showed his good form once again by defeating John Isner in a tightly fought three set final in Atlanta, winning 4-6, 6-4, 7-6. It as the first set Fish lost all tournament.

It is another impressive result for Fish who has made three finals in his last four tournaments, winning Newport two weeks ago and being runner up at Queens before Wimbledon.

Fish claimed 250 points and nearly $100,000 dollars for the win.

"This is as top as I’ve ever been,. I’ve never won two tournaments in one year, I’ve never won two tournaments in a row, and on the ATP Tour, I’ve never won 10 matches in a row. It’s probably as good as it’s been... It was a little lucky to pull through.Today was an extremely physical match just with the heat. He’s no fun to play, that’s for sure. He gives a lot of people a lot of trouble."

In reference to his recent good form after significant training Mardy said "It feels great, obviously putting in the work. This is what we wanted to do. This is where we wanted to be. These are the types of matches we targeting in October when we were rehabbing the knee. It feels like a long time ago. It feels great."

John Isner has also had some great results this season as well as participating in the longest ever match at Wimbledon. "I’ve made four finals this past year and I’ve lost my last three all in three sets. That’s hard to swallow, but it hasn’t stopped me from progressing. I know if I keep putting myself in this position it’s going to happen, and I know I will keep putting myself in this position."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fish Downs Roddick In Atlanta Semi

Mardy Fish has proven his form, making his third final in four tournament by beating good friend Andy Roddick. Fish, who has reportedly shed nearly 15 kg, has played well this year as he has returned after having knee surgery. Mardy defeated Roddick 7-6, 6-3 despite serving a dismal 40% of first serves in. "It's not something I try to do, but when I beat Federer at Indian Wells I only served at 35 percent."

Fish credits his weight loss for his improved form and ability to train. "You’d be amazed by taking away 30 pounds how much harder you can go. I can work and train harder. It's one of the best wins I’ve had... It's tough to beat a great friend… He said to me at the net: ‘I know how hard you’ve worked, so enjoy it.'... I’ve put away a lot of things I enjoy."

Federer Twins Turn One

Just over a year after a heavy pregnant Mirka Federer sat court-side at Wimbledon, watching he man play a five set final to claim his 6th Wimbledon title and break Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam titles, their twins, which nobody knew they were expecting, have turned one.

Just before their first birthday the girls enjoyed time with mum and dad on a luxury yacht in Corsica before returning to Switzerland to celebrate their birthday.

Federer released this statement and photo via his Facebook page.

We are celebrating Charlene Riva and Myla Rose's first birthday today!
We are currently staying in Switzerland and are having a great time
together. We will be enjoying a birthday party later today which will
certainly be a treat for our two little ones.

We would like to thank all fans and friends for your gifts, cards and
nice words for Charlene and Myla. We are very grateful to receive all
your support.

All the best and see you soon

Roger and Mirka

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Juan Martin Del Potro Talks About Injury

With all the recent talk surrounding Juan Martin's injury progress since he had surgery on his wrist in May. He had originally announced he would miss the US Open, and as a result wouldn't get the chance to defend his first Grand Slam title. Recently rumouors have been circulating that JMDP had not only started practicing but that he would also managed to play the US Open which starts at the end of August.

The towering Argentine has confirmed over Twitter that he has, in fact, not started practicing and is still not sure about when he plans to return to the sport.

"I haven't picked up a racquet yet so I can't tell an exact date. When I know I'll tell you the news here. I'm improving, that's a good thing." - JMDP

Jankovic Injured Again

Jelena Jankovic has been forced to retire from the Slovenia Open on Thursday after hurting her ankle while playing Anastasiya Yakimova. Jankovic was leading comfortably 6-1, 2-1 when she stepped awkwardly and rolled her ankle.

Jankovic continued to play but lost the second set 3-6. When she lost the first game of the third set she retired from the match.

Jelena retirement history is not favourable with numerous last minute withdrawals and retirements. She has been criticized for frequently citing illness of some sort of physical problem when she loses matches that should be straightforward. She also recently retired with a back injury from the fourth round of Wimbledon.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Del Potro Possible USO Title Defense

Juan Martin del Potro is looking increasingly likely to attempt a defense of his US Open title. Juan Martin has not played since the Australian Open and as a result has slipped to number 7 in the rankings, and will fall well outside the top ten if he doesn't do well in New York. Since having surgery on his wrist earlier this year the Argentine has apparently been doing better than expected.

USTA spokesman Tim Curry has said that the reigning US Open champion has started hitting balls and "is expected to return to Grand Slam competition" in NYC. Even Juan Martin's agent Ugo Colombini is optimistic that we may finally see his charge playing again, saying "Del Potro is working and hopefully he will be back soon."

It would be a shame to see him unable to attempt a defense on his maiden Grand Slam title. Even if he doesn't play in New York he has been scheduled to play th Thailand Open 27th September.

"I am looking forward to playing the PTT Thailand Open on my return from injury. I really enjoyed myself on my last visit to Bangkok and hope for good results at this years tournament." - JMDP

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Meet Feliciano's New Lady

According to Hola! Magazine Feliciano Lopez has a new girlfriend in the wake of news that his former girlfriend Maria Jose Suarez is no longer pregnant. The photos posted by Hola! show that not only does Feli own some seriously short shorts, but that he was also seen walking on the beach with the mystery lady in Marbella, Spain.

Apparently the two were seen kissing court-side, at the solarium and at the beach. Feliciano recently said to media that he was 'hurt' by the loss of the child.

Top Players Enjoy Beach Getaways

Three of the worlds top four male tennis players have been enjoying beach getaways. Just yesterday we brought you photos of Rafael Nadal enjoying some fun in the sun, posing for photos with fans and playing golf with his trusty girlfriend watching his every move. Before that there was Roger Federer enjoying a huge yacht with his family in Corsica, and before that Feli Lopez and Fernando Verdasco continuing their bro-mance in Ibiza.... Now it's Andy Murray's turn.

Normally this time of year Murray is in Miami doing the hard yards in the gym and on the fitness tracks. Instead he was seen with girlfriend Kim Sears in the Bahamas apparently ahead of his Miami training. Hilariously after he was rumoured to have been dumped by Miss Sears last year for spending too much time playing video games, he continued to do so pool-side while she wandered around the pool and rubbed sunscreen into his back. Another perfect exhibit of a tennis star's girlfriend being scarily attentive.

Now the only question that remains is... Which beach is Novak on?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ivanovic Snubbed

Ana Ivanovic won the Rogers Cup tournament four years ago but her recent poor form hasn't impressed anyone. She has been denied a wild card into the Canadian event. Tournament director Eugene Lapierre has said that Ivanovic will have to go through qualifiers to get a position in the main draw.

After losing the first round of Wimbledon, Ivanovic's ranking has plummeted from 45 to 64. Instead the wild card went to St├ęphanie Dubois the Canadian number two. It is an interesting decision given that Serena Williams and Justine Henin, two big draw cards have been forced to withdraw with injury. That leaves Kim Clijsters and Venus Williams as the biggest names - Williams also recently struggling with her form. Dinara Safina and Jelena Jankovic are also likely to play but both have had issues with injuries and one would've thought the tournament could use a little help from Ivanovic, but they have to be applauded for giving their juniors a chance, which is exactly what the wild card are for, not sparking the careers of fallen stars.

"The way I analyzed it was that, yes, she's a player who has done a lot for our tournament -almost saved it one year. She has a lot of charisma. Everyone likes her. But the fact is that she hasn't demonstrated  that she deserves a wild card. It's not the same as a player who has been injured and away for a while. ... She is the one who dropped down to No. 65, not because of an injury."

Davydenko Cruises In Germany

On a day of mixed results in Hamburg, Nikolay Davydenko has continued to work his way back into form after being off the tour for some weeks with a fractured wrist. Nikolay, the defending champion, needed just 58 minutes to defeat Florent Serra in straight sets 6-3, 6-1.

Juan Carlos Ferrero also secured a straight sets win in his match over Jan Hajek after recovering from a early service break in the first set. Ferrero will have to play Jarkko Nieminen in the next round.

Tommy Robredo was not so lucky. Robredo has had some average results lately. Although he made the semi's in Bastad last week, prior to that he hadn't reached a quarterfinal since Indian Wells, mostly dropping out in the first or second round of events. Today he was beaten 7-6, 5-7, 6-1 by Potito Starace.

Also out of the event is Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Rafa Nadal Hits The Beach

Rafael Nadal is expected to commence training for the American hard court season on Thursday after having PRP therapy on his knees over two weeks ago. Today photos have surfaced of the world number one enjoying some time on a boat with girlfriend Xisca and two other friends before he hit the beach showing off the effect of his training.

The sight of Nadal six pack on the beach has created more interest in Mallorca than his ads promoting the island.

Nadal has also been seen on a golf course being followed by Xisca before greeting some friends and playing with their baby as Xisca carried it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Video: Roddick Has a Britney Spears Moment After Wimbledon

Check out the video at around 2:22 where Roddick talks about his recent haircut.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Almagro And Montanes Continue Spanish Winning Streak

Just one week after Spain claimed the World Cup and two weeks after Rafael Nadal won Wimbledon, the winning ways of Spain have continued as Nicolas Almagro and Albert Montanes both claimed a title overnight.

Nico fought off Robin Soderling to secure his sixth career title in Bastard where Soderling was defending champion. It was the fourth consecutive match in which the world number five was pushed to five sets, having not played his best tennis since returning to the clay courts. Almagro, on the other hand, had taken to the clay like a fish to water (or really like a Spaniard to clay) and won the match, and the tournament 7-5, 3-6, 6-2.

“It’s a great feeling to win here. It’s always amazing to win a final and I’m very happy with the week. I’m going to enjoy this moment and then prepare for next week in Hamburg. I didn’t play very well in the 2007 final here, but today I fought very hard and I’m really happy with the physical and mental sides to my game. It was a big match, a big fight and we were both battling like gladiators. Robin is a great player and I’m sure he will have many more chances to win this tournament in the future.”

In Stuttgart, also on clay, another Spaniard was also claiming a title. Albert Montanes defeated Gael Monfils in the final after Monfils was forced to retire with an ankle injury. Montanes was leading 6-2, 1-2 when Monfils walked to the net. Not only did Montanes claim the 250 points available and €72,150 in prize money, but he also drove away in a white Mercedes-Benz E 350 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY convertible.

Despite the disappointing end to the final Albert was happy. "I played very well. In the first set I played good in the rallies and my confidence was good. I am very happy with the win today. It is unbelievable for me. All week I played unbelievably. I’m very happy about this week. The Mercedes is very nice."

The frequently injured Monfils talked about his injury after the match. "I twisted my ankle on the court and it was impossible to finish the match. The week was good. I played pretty good tennis, a lot of confidence came back. To reach a final again was pretty exciting. I had a bad experience but hopefully it will be better soon and I can get back to my best level and try to reach some other finals... My ankle just got worse and worse. I thought I could come back, but I wasn't 100% and Albert would have figured out he needed to just move me around for the win."

As a result of the wins Almagro moved up two places in the rankings to number 18 and Montanes moved up six places to number 24 - a career high for Albert. Nico's highest ever ranking was 11.

Monfils said on Twitter moments ago that he will miss Hamburg;

"Hey ankle is still painful so i m not gonna play hambourg.i m very sad i was in a good shape."

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Spanish Armada: Nadal Leads The Way

This generation of Spanish tennis players have frequently been referred to as the Spanish Armada, a reference to the Spanish fleet that tried to overthrow England's Queen Elizabeth in 1588. While the actual Armada failed in their quest the 'tennis Armada' has been far more successful.

As it stands today the Spaniards had some impressive statistics: 4 in the top 20, 7 in the top 30, 13 in the top 100.

The Spaniards have dominated Davis Cup in recent years, claiming the title in 2008 and 2009 before failing to France in the 2010 quarterfinals on French hard courts without their world number one, Rafael Nadal. The power of Spain, despite Nadal's occasional absence, is that they have more than enough quality players to make up two teams - all of whom are keen to play for the glory of Spain.

Let's take a little look at the Armada...

Rafael Nadal - World Number 1

Rafael Nadal, the King of Clay, is unquestionably the greatest tennis player Spain has ever produced. He recently claimed Roland Garros and Wimbledon consecutively for the second time in his career, taking his Grand Slam tally to eight just weeks after his 24th birthday.

Nadal has 41 ATP level titles and is third in the 'all time' earning on the circuit behind Federer and Sampras. Rafa also has an incredible Davis Cup record with 16 wins to only 5 losses.

One of Rafa's more impressive achievements is his head to head record against Roger Federer. Rafa leads 14-7. So dominant is Nadal on clay that he has claimed 10 victories over arguably the best player ever on clay. Federer and Nadal stand tied at 3-3 on hard courts, with Federer leading 2-1 on grass (all Wimbledon finals).

Nadal's career and issues with his knees have been well documented. After a phenomenal 2008 season which saw him claim his first French-Wimbledon double, closely followed by the Olympic Gold medal, Nadal won his first hard court Grand Slam at the 2009 Australian Open before his usual dominance on clay courts. Despite this dominance his private life was falling apart as his parents divorced and he was struggling to overcome bilateral knee tendinitis.

After being unable to find his form for the rest of 2009 and an early injury (again to the knee) in 2010, Nadal came roaring back to form when he hit the clay courts again creating history by winning 6 consecutive Monte Carlo titles, his 5th Rome title, the first 'Clay Slam', and three consecutive Masters Series titles.

Some of Nadal's records include:
  • Only winner of French Open 5 times in 6 years
  • Only player to complete Monte Carlo - French Open 'Clay Slam' 2010
  • Most French Open consecutive wins (31) 2005-2009
  • Most Masters Series titles (18)
  • Only Olympic Gold while holding Slam on all three surfaces (French 2008- Australian 2009)
  • Two French-Wimbledon back to back Slams (tied with Bjorn Borg)
  • Two French Open titles without losing a set (tied with Bjorn Borg)
  • Most consecutive clay court wins (81)
  • Only player to win Roland Garros, Queens and Wimbledon consecutively 2008.
  • Only player to win 400 matches in less than 500 total matches (401-91)
Nadal, the golden child of Spain, also had a belt of asteroids named after him in 2003.

Fernando Verdasco - World Number 10

Fernando Verdasco comes from a wealthy background, having access to a full time tennis coach from the age of 8 and two hard courts in his backyard. As a child he was diagnosed with ADHD but was unable to be medicated due to ITF doping rules.

Verdasco is an offensive baseline player who frequently travels with his father.

The pivotal moment in his career was his singles win in the 2008 Davis Cup final that secure the tie for the Spaniards. Verdasco battled to victory in five sets and has credited this win with improving his belief in his own abilities. Fernando then started spending time with the Adidas development program, being guided by Gil Reyes and Andre Agassi.

In fine form Verdasco then played one of the greatest matches ever in the Australian Open semi final against Rafael Nadal. Verdasco then became a regular quarterfinalist at most ATP events despite struggling with a foot injury.

This year Verdasco reached his first Masters level semi and final in Monte Carlo where he was thrashed by an in-form Nadal. He then went on to win the Barcelona title before again making the semi's in Rome where he was beaten by Ferrer. He was also runner up in Nice and lost in the fourth round to Nicolas Almagro.

Verdasco is a well known pretty/party boy and has become the face of Calvin Klein's X Marks the Spot campaign. He also frequently parties, most recently in Ibiza, with best friend, and fellow player Feliciano Lopez.

David Ferrer - World Number 12

David comes from an active family, his brother Javier works as a tennis coach. Ferrer is a clay court specialist, known for his ability to grind other players into fatigue, and ultimately submission.

Ferrer first broke into the top ten in 2006 and is known to struggle slightly on faster surfaces because it's harder to get into rallies. In 2010 he was finalist at Buenos Aires and Rome and winner of Acapulco - all on clay. Five of his eight titles have come on clay.

Ferrer boasts one of the most impressive Davis Cup win-loss career records (13-4), never having lost a match on clay. David is one of the most consistent players on tour and is frequently amongst those with the greatest number of matches won for the season.

Nicolas Almagro - World Number 20

This Spaniard also speaks Italian and English well and plays with a blistering single handed backhand.

Nico won his maiden title in 2006 in Valencia and successfully defended it in 2007. In 2008 Almagro claimed 21 wins in 26 clay court matches and achieved a career high ranking of 11.

This year he played an incredible three five set matches in four rounds at the Australian Open - all with a broken wrist. In order to play with a broken wrist he had to alter his ball toss and serve under 200kmph. After he recovered from the injury to his non-dominant side he reached his first Masters series title in Madrid and the French Open quarter finals where he challenged the in-form Nadal with his aggressive play, but ultimately fell.

Juan Carlos Ferrero - World Number 21

Juan Carlos has been inspired throughout his career by the death of his mother when he was 17.

The early years of Ferrero's career were extremely successful and he quickly became the second Spaniard to ever claim the world number 1 spot (behind Carlos Moya). In 2002 he was runner up at Roland Garros and in 2003 he won Roland Garros and was runner up at the US Open. He has not claimed another Grand Slam since.

Ferrero made a push to get back to the top of the men's game mid 2009 after improving his conditioning and his on-court focus.

Despite being pivotal to Spain getting to the Davis Cup finals in 2009, he was not selected to play, instead the previously injured Rafael Nadal was, however, Ferrero was present for the tie and supported his team mates despite not being part of the trophy ceremony.

In 2010 Fererro won both Buenos Aires and Brasil.

Feliciano Lopez - World Number 25

Feli is better known for his off-court antics than his on-court results, with years of inconsistent results and some great wins scattered amongst his results.

Feli, unlike the other Spaniards, prefers hard courts and has a game perfectly suited for grass courts. He was the first Spaniard to make it to the quarterfinal of Wimbledon in 2005 since 1972. Feli is a talented serve and volley player who frequently plays doubles for Spain with Verdasco.

Albert Montanes - World Number 30

Albert is perhaps one of the lesser known Spanish players and plays a single handed backhand.

In 2010 he claimed his most famous victory of his career, defeating Roger Federer in Estoril, going on to win the title, successfully defending his title from 2009.

Montanes has never been selected to play for Spain in the Davis Cup.

Just outside the top 30 sit Tommy Robredo (36) and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (39). Robredo frequently makes the fourth round of Grand Slams and has been a consistent player over numerous years. This year Robredo teamed up with Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez to win the Hopman Cup for Spain.

Serena Williams To Have Foot Surgery

It has been revealed that Serena Williams will miss the tournaments on the American hard court circuit after having foot surgery, however, she is adamant she will be ready for the US Open. This will be the second time this year that Serena has taken a large period of time off to deal with injury immediately after winning a Grand Slam.

Earlier in the year she spent more than two months resting a knee injury after winning the Australian Open, instead enjoying numerous parties, media events, nail school and beach fun.

According to Serena's website her foot was injured recently will dining at a restaraunt where she cut her foot with glass. The severity of the injury is not know.

"I'm so upset I won't be able to play in the upcoming events because of this foot surgery. Thank you for all of your support. I can't wait to get back on the courts." - Serena Williams

Soderling And Almagro To Face Off For Bastad Title

After being pushed to three sets a few times this week as he returned to clay, Robin Soderling will face a Spaniard, Nicolas Almagro for the title in Bastad. Soderling battled past clay court specialist David Ferrer, winning their semi 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

"I had to play better today because Ferrer puts a lot of balls back at a very high pace. I always liked to play high balls, though, it doesn’t seem to bother me to hit at shoulder height. I can still serve better and reduce the number of mistakes but it was much better today.”

Soderling will certainly have to deal with the heavy hitting pace of Nico, who blasted compatriot Tommy Robredo off the court. 6-1, 6-3. While Soderling leads their head to head 3-2 he has said the outcome of the match is not so straight forward. "He serves well and can hit really big from both sides. If his game is on, it's not just up to me. He has the ability to dictate the match."

While it's a fair point that Almagro can be very dangerous when he's in form, defending champion Robin should get the job done. Soderling has the ability to hit the ball through the court with incredible speed that troubles even Nadal on clay. He also has incredible strength at end of range so Nico's going to have his work cut out for him.

Vaidisova And Stepanek Marry

Radek Stepanek, 31, has been off the tour for some months with a fatigue related illness and then a knee injury. Radek had intended to return to play at Wimbledon before injuring himself trialing a racket. He was also forced to miss the most recent Davis Cup tie because of the injury. Over the weekend he had a reason to smile again as he married Nicole Vaidisova, 21, in the Prague Castle chapel.

It was just a few months after Stepanek and Martina Hingis broke of their engagement that it was announced that Vaidisova, then 18, would marry Radek. Since then Nicole, a former world number 7, plummeted down the rankings before retiring early this season, lacking the drive to continue.

The pair originally applied for a wedding license late 2007.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Maria Jose Suarez Loses Feliciano Lopez's Child

Spanish media has revealed that Maria Jose Suarez has lost the child she was expecting with ex-boyfriend Feliciano Lopez. The pregnancy was well documented with rumours circulating that despite their break-up, after years in an on-off relationship, Maria was expecting a child and Feli was not speaking with her. It had also been rumoured that Feliciano had asked her to have an abortion.

Maria confirmed the pregnancy to Spanish media before she reached the normal 3 months mark, however, recently a trip to the gynecologist (according to Spanish media) revealed that the baby was not developing.

After appearing regularly in the media lately discussing the pregnancy and her issues with Feli, Maria has reportedly gone into hiding to avoid the increased media interest.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Robredo And Simon Make Promising Starts

After a few weeks of disapointing results Spaniard Tommy Robredo has made a winning start in Bastad against Michal Przysiezny 7-6, 6-3 for a spot in the second round. After some initial rain delays Tommy claimed the match in just 80 minutes. Robredo will now face Andrey Golubev for a place in the quarterfinals.

Robredo has won the Bastad title twice previously and is looking to collect his third. Robredo, who currently sits at number 27 in the world rankings, last claimed a title in February 2009

Meanwhile in Stuttgart Gilles Simon claimed his fifth win of the season defeating Dustin Brown 6-3, 3-6, 7-6. The results comes after Simon defeated Almagro in a dead Davis Cup rubber in straight sets. Simon has struggled to be fit to play at all since the US Open last year with ongoing knee injuries.