Friday, December 31, 2010

Rafa Nadal Meets Locals In Abu Dhabi

Rafael Nadal has arrived in Middle East ahead of his first match of the 2011 season at an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi. He will play his first match today against Tomas Berdych.

After being dubbed the World Champion of Champions (or ‘Champion des Champions monde de l'année 2010’) by L'Équipe, Nadal talked to media about the things that lie ahead.

"2010 has been the most emotional year in my career and the best in terms of results. I am very happy with the way things have gone and I can' t really ask for more.

The season is always very long and there is a lot of time to do things either well or badly, but I will start next year without too much pressure because things went so well in 2010. It will be difficult to repeat my results."

Rafa also talked about how his knees are feeling, almost a year after retiring from the Australian Open quarterfinals after injuring his knees again. "We can't fool ourselves, injury is a part of sport and although I have had moments when my condition has been a bit complicated, it has been much different to that of other players. I have been in the top two in the world for the past six years and that would not have been possible if I had not been in condition and had suffered long term injuries. I feel lucky."  
If Rafa wins in Australia he will be the first man since Rod Laver to hold all four Grand Slams. Despite winning in 2009, Nadal is not optimistic but insists he will try. "That is almost impossible, it is almost a utopia. It is very hard to win three in a year. I have the chance to do that, but it is another Grand Slam. I think it is the only chance I will have to win the four titles consecutively and if I am going to do it, then this will have to be the time." 

Nadal has traveled with long time girlfriend Xisca Perello.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tennis Players Have Hissy Fits

Watch some top players like Vera Zvonareva, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco have meltdowns on court. One guy even manages to snap his racket with ease on his thigh.

Who do you think had the biggest dummy spit of the season?

Nadal Nike Interview

I stumbled across an interview with Nadal when he was shooting a Nike ad quite a few months ago and thought I'd share it... Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Andy Roddick Arrives In Brisbane

After his flight looked to possibly be snowed in, Andy Roddick has landed in Brisbane ahead of his title defense which starts in the new year. Roddick arrived with wife Brooklyn Decker to adjust to the hot Australian climate and get some practice in on an out door court.

Roddick, who spent most of last year dealing with mono, has worked hard in his down time, particularly since the world tour finals in London, to get fit and ready to make a challenge for a Grand Slam title in Melbourne.

"For me it's just a matter of getting right, getting healthy - I battled sickness for a big part of last year and from there I just felt like I was playing catch-up. You train hard and you get hurt in training coming back. You don't train you rest and you try and come back and your body is not right and it shows.

I think it's the first time I've felt right since last May so when you are fit it takes a lot of the mental pressure off. You feel like you can play any way you want so I feel fresh and I feel enthused and ready.

I came in last year and hadn't been playing much so this was a really good springboard into the year for me. I like being in the same country but also I like this event - my wife enjoys coming here so let's not pretend I make any decisions.''

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Nadal's New Nike Ad For Your Christmas Present

For your Christmas present this year, we at Tennis Perspective thought it only appropriate to give you Armani's new waxed wonder boy.

Enjoy and have a happy and safe holiday.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tomic's Summer Hangs In The Balance, Dokic And Luczak Take Wild Cards

Bernard Tomic is going to have to wait a little longer to find out if he will be given a wild card after Tennis Australia has decided to make him sweat. Jelena Dokic and Peter Luczak, both finalists in the qualifying have been awarded wild cards into the Australian Open in January.

"Last week was good practice because it's a good sign I was getting through matches pretty easily. Overall I'm happy in the whole performance in that week. I played well and I got better with each match - there was a big difference between my first match and my semis and finals. Now I just have to focus on the summer and no matter what happens after the summer, continue to play as many weeks as I can and I think I'll improve with that a lot.

I had a similar scenario two years ago, winning the playoff and doing well, then I was unlucky with injury and glandular fever kind of stopped my year and I still finished 50 in the world. I've got to look at things like that.

My goal is not just to play well in the Australian Open but to play well and to see where I am from maybe the top 20 and the top 10 players and then to keep working." - Jelena Dokic

Rafa Nadal Takes Second Exhibition Match In Madrid

The second and final exhibition match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal was played in Spain yesterday and locals were thrilled to see Manacor's favourite son defeat his rival  7-6, 4-6, 6-1. The two top players of this generation usually only meet each other in finals, and of their last three tour level matches, two have been played at Madrid.

When the Caja Magica became the home to the Madrid Masters when it switched to being a clay court tournament, Federer defeated Nadal in the 2009 final and Nadal returned the favour this year.

After the first exhibition which raised $2.5million for the Roger Federer Foundation's African interests, the second raised money for the Rafa Nadal Foundation with the title "Joining Forces For the Benefit Of Children." It has been estimated that both events have raised in excess of $5 million.

With Carlos Moya and the Spanish royal family in attendance the two players were accompanied on to the court by some very lucky children.

“To me, today is a very special day. I am lucky enough to be able to do what I love to do, which is to play tennis, but at the same time, through my Foundation, I get the opportunity to help hundreds of kids who are not as lucky.” - Rafael Nadal

“I just can say thank you very much to Roger to come here to Madrid and support my Foundation today. I did yesterday, and both of us are very happy that we can finally have this event and raise a lot of money for these kids. I know with what we’re going to raise yesterday and today, it’s not going to be decisive for that, but it will be a help and if everybody is convinced that everybody can help, it’s going to be important to improve a little bit this world.” - Rafael Nadal

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Federer Takes First Exhibition Match

In the first of two exhibition matches in two days, this one in Zurich, Roger Federer has beaten Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. The exhibition raised $2.5 million for children in Africa through the Roger Federer Foundation. Tomorrow the pair will play in Madrid for the Rafa Nadal Foundation.

While Nadal still leads their head to head match up, even though this win doesn't count, Rafa joked that after two consecutive losses to the Swiss Maestro that he liked him "a little bit less."

"This is a special match for me, which I will remember forever. I'm just so proud and so happy that we all made it work. I thought obviously of doing a match like this for a long time, but I felt comfortable doing it this year and Rafa was so supportive and coming over and helping… I’ll look back on this with very fond memories forever and that I was able to pull off this event here in Switzerland for the first time so nicely and with such hype, it was just amazing." - Roger Federer

"It was an unforgettable experience. I'm very happy to be part of this event." - Rafael Nada

“The atmosphere is quite different; it’s not a tournament really, it’s just one particular match, which honestly I’m not quite used to doing. The focus is just solely on two players and one match. There was quite a pressure going into a match like this, but at the end of the day, it’s so not important who won the match tonight. It was a match for Africa, this money is going to go to a good cause, for my Foundation, for kids in Africa, so I’m so proud and so happy that we all made it work, so thanks again to everybody.” - Roger Federer

“It wasn’t an easy match with new conditions, no days of preparation… The important thing is what he said is the money for the Foundation, for very good causes, for the kids, for the people that really need help, so I’m very happy to be part of this event. Thank you to Roger who invited me here. It was an unforgettable experience." - Rafael Nadal

"It’s really difficult to play today. We haven’t had any practice on this court – they build it up, tear it down – but it was for a great cause. I’m so happy Rafa came here today. We tried our best to put in a good effort and I thought the crowds were amazing.” - Roger Federer

“It’ll be very exciting for me, and very emotional for me also. Thanks to Roger for coming tomorrow. We never played together in Switzerland before, but in Madrid it’s going to be the third time I think. We’re going to be 1-1, he beat me in 2009, I beat him in 2010, so it’s going to be a decisive moment.” - Rafael Nadal

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bernard Tomic Continually Controversial

The controversy surrounding Bernard Tomic's Australian Open chances, and career in general, continue to make the rounds. Tomic will find out within the next week if his apparent "illness" will cost him a place in the Australian Open.

Tomic reportedly has a medical certificate to prove he was advised against playing in the qualifiers, despite being seen on a practice court the day the tournament started. Media outlets have stated that Camp Tomic is confident that 'the next big thing' in Australian tennis will get a wild card and pulled him from the qualifiers to concentrate on his practice - an accusation that Tennis Australia is investigating.

Fellow Australian Peter Luczak, who has talked about retiring if he doesn't see much improvement in his rankings, has had a public dig at Tomic, sharing in the opinion with many Australian's that the excuse is weak and just another indication that Tomic, or his team, are leading him astray.

"You couldn't have stopped me playing this. Unless I had a twisted ankle or a broken leg I would have been out here trying. But you don't know, he might be severely ill. You'd have to ask him."

It's just another incident in a long line of issues that don't seem to be being addressed by the Tomic team. There was the infamous Wimbledon issue with Lleyton Hewitt where his team came back and said Lleyton wasn't good enough for Tomic to hit with, later excusing themselves by saying Bernard had swine flu and didn't want to give it to Lleyton.

Then after Tomic made it to the second round of last years Australian Open he winged and complained that his match was scheduled after the Henin V Dementieva night match. In Australia it's very common that the men's match is scheduled after the women's and it's not unheard of for a tight four or five set battle to extend into the wee hours of the morning. Apparently Tomic was unaware of this and had the nerve to complain it was past his bed time and that his requests (as a wild card player ranked 289 in the world) for a centre court day time match was ignored.

Someone needs to tell Tomic to man up.

If you're going to play with the big boys you play when you play just like everyone else. The scheduling is never ideal but it is what it is and you either want to play or not. End of story. Put in the time, earn the respect, and get the results that will give you more right to request scheduling changes. Even Nadal, Federer and Djokovic don't always get what they want but you never hear them complaining about missing their bed time because they are hungry. Yes they acknowledge the late starts can be troublesome for the rest of the tournament, but it happens. You deal with it. You rise to the occasion, you don't whinge like a petulant child.

Australian legend John Newcomb agrees that Tomic is yet to really reach his potential or put in the effort required to do so.

"I don't know what is going on, but I think he can be playing a lot better than what he is. I think he's only playing to 60 per cent of his potential, and I say that as a compliment to Bernard.... He can produce a game that can get him to the top 20, and who knows after that. But, first of all, you've got to get 100 per cent physically fit and you've got to maximise the potential that you have and I don't think that that's been happening." - John Newcomb

“After 1am, 2am, for a 17-year-old to go out and play, it’s difficult. For the people I requested to play during the day, and it didn’t happen, I think it’s ridiculous.” - Bernard Tomic

"Do you think that you over stepped the mark in terms of criticizing the scheduling?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, look, I put in a request and that didn’t happen. But I mean, you know, I got picked for a night match prime time and it got a little bit late. After, when I finished and lost, which I was a point or two away from winning, I got a little bit upset and said those things.
You know, right now I’m thinking totally different. If they pick me ever again to play, I will play anyway." 

"Today’s discussion has been about what you said rather than how you played, which seems a shame. Do you feel like you kind of learned a lesson as far as just being a little bit more careful in your post‑match comments?
BERNARD TOMIC: No, not really. Haven’t learned anything. What’s there to learn? I just finished the match and I said a thing that I was probably ‑‑ what was I supposed to say? It was 2:00 in the morning.
No, hopefully next schedule will be during the day when I play."

Nadal Talks About Possible 'Rafa Slam'

Rafael Nadal has talked about the possibility of completing what is becoming known as the 'Rafa Slam'. If Nadal wins the 2011 Australian Open which starts in just a few weeks he will be holding every Grand Slam title having claimed Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open this year. If he manages to complete this 'slam' he will be the first male since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all of the titles at the same time.

Laver remains the only player to have claimed a calender year Slam (twice) in the Open Era.

"It's bit scary to think that if I win in Australia I would close the circle of four Grand Slams in a row. But what's also scary is that I have already won three straight. For me it's a big dream to get there and try to play well and compete to reach the finals. Once you've gone that far, anything can happen. This is a unique opportunity. I'll try to be well-prepared and try to play well every day."

It will be impressive if Nadal manages to reclaim the Australian Open title. When he won it in 2009 talk swirled that he could complete a calender year Slam having always dominated Roland Garros and having proved himself the year before at Wimbledon. You have to wonder how much good fortune and form the world number one will need because rival Roger Federer will certainly be trying his best to stop Nadal from achieving what he hasn't been able to.

Then again we've all seen how dominant Nadal can be when he really wants something... just look at this years Wimbledon and US Open.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Reviewing The Year Of Nadal

I think it's probably difficult to debate that the player of the year is anyone other than Rafael Nadal. The amazing success of his 2010 season has been compared endlessly to his 2009 season where his body, confidence and personal life seemed to fall apart.

This year Rafa has won Monte Carlo, Rome, Madrid, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, the US Open and a title in Toyko. He has been runner up in Doha and the World Tour Finals and has had numerous awards given to him such as the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship award, Manacor's Favorite Son, BBC Overseas Sportsperson of the year and many other Spanish Awards.

Nadal has been widely acknowledged, even by Roger Federer, to have been the world's best player this year.

So lets look at Nadal's year in review which has not only claimed him numerous titles and awards but seen him splashed all over our screens and magazines.

It all started with a music video for Shakira's song Gypsy that got fans attention world wide and created gossip that Nadal and Xisca Perello were no longer an item and that his attention had been diverted to the Columbian singer. His performance in the video was also the subject of a skit at the players Monte Carlo party.

The flood gates opened when Nadal fell to the ground and wept as he claimed sixth consecutive Monte Carlo title and first title in almost a year. This was a key moment in his season, restoring his confidence and sending a message to everyone that he was back and more aggressive on clay than ever before. There were some incredible points but Fernando Verdasco was annihilated by the in form Nadal.

After sweeping the field at Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid, Rafa went on to crush everyone in his path in Paris, avenging his fourth round 2009 defeat by Robin Soderling, his first and only defeat at Roland Garros.

A post- Roland Garros interview in which Nadal talks about his 5th clay Slam and jokes about being a grass court specialist.

Nadal then returned to Wimbledon, a site of such significance in his career the year before when he had been forced to withdraw from the tournament, unable to defend his title due to injury. He returned and reclaimed the title just as he had done with the number one ranking.

Then there was some new territory for Nadal. The US Open final. Nadal had never previously made it past the semi finals in New York, always looking somewhat exhausted or injured by the end of the American hardcourt season. This year was different, and driven by his will to complete a career Grand Slam and do something Federer has been unable to do, win three consecutive Grand Slams in a a calender year, Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic to make history.

After his best ever performance at the World Tour Finals, Rafa is now at home in Mallorca preparing for a charity exhibition match against Roger Federer which is to be played in Madrid in a few days time.

Congratulations to Nadal on an incredible season.

Player Profile: Novak Djokovic

Full Name: Novak Djokovic

DOB: 22 May 1987

Height: 188cm

Weight: 80kg

Turned Pro: 2003

Highest Rank: 2 (1st February 2010)

Current Rank: 3

Plays: Right handed, double handed backhand

Career Prize Money: $20, 262, 956 USD


Born in 1987 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia to Srdjan and Dijana Djokovic who have two other sons who hope to become tennis professionals. "Nole" started playing tennis at aged four in Serbia where tennis legend Jelena Genčić at the age of eight, who stated: "This is the greatest talent I have seen since Monica Seles."  Genčić has talked about the first day she met Djokovic, a moment that stands out in her memory.  

"I shall never forget the day when a four year old boy came to my tennis camp with a bag neatly packed, as if for professional training. I asked him who packed it for him, and he replied he did it himself. When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, without hesitation he said: “number one in the world”, the same answer I was given many years ago by Monica Seles when she was a little girl."

At age 12 Novak moved away from home for a period of three months to work on his tennis, his parents unable to accompany him as they continued to work to support the family.

In 2006 rumours swirled that the LTA in the UK was trying to convince the Djokovic family to defect to the UK to play for Davis Cup because Andy Murray was their only promising player. Novak has since confirmed these rumours.  

"Britain was offering me a lot of opportunities and they needed someone because Andy was the only one, and still is. That had to be a disappointment for all the money they invest. But I didn’t need the money as much as I had done. I had begun to make some for myself, enough to afford to travel with a coach, and I said, ‘Why the heck?’ I am Serbian, I am proud of being a Serbian, I didn’t want to spoil that just because another country had better conditions. If I had played for Great Britain, of course I would have played exactly as I do for my country but deep inside, I would never have felt that I belonged. I was the one who took the decision"

In 2007 Novak had his break through year making the US Open semi finals where he became famous for his imitations of Rafa Nadal and Maria Sharapova. Novak also made the semi finals of Wimbledon a few weeks earlier after surviving a 5 hour match against Marcos Baghdatis only to retire in the semi's against Nadal, citing back and foot injuries. In 2007 Novak won the Rogers Cup and Miami Masters title. The Rogers Cup title was particularly impressive because he beat Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals, Rafael Nadal in the semis and Roger Federer in the finals.

2008 saw Djokovic reach the heights of his career, beating Jo Wilfried Tsonga in the finals of the Australian Open, claiming his first, and so far only, Grand Slam, and the first Grand Slam for a Serbian tennis player. He also claimed Masters titles in Indian Wells and Rome and defeated Nikolay Davydenko to claim the Tennis Masters Cup title. In Beijing Djokovic claimed the bronze medal for Serbia with Nadal claiming the gold medal and Fernando Gonzalez claiming the silver.

At the beginning of 2009 Djokovic switched from a Wilson racket to Head and was widely critised for making such a risky decision when he was defending his only Grand Slam title. Djokovic was upset in the first round of the Brisbane International by Ernests Gulbis before quickly claiming a wildcard in Sydney.

As defending champion of the AO Djokovic struggled in the extreme heat of the 2009 tournament which was somewhat overshadowed by huge bush fires in Victoria, the state in Australia where the Open is held. He retired in the quarterfinals against Andy Roddick with heat exhaustion and cramps and was again subject to criticism for poor conditioning and not spending enough time in hot environments to adapt to what can be an extremely hot tournament. After his retirement Roger Federer pointed out that Novak had now retired from three of the four Grand Slams which only added to the attention created by his latest withdrawal.

Novak then went on to play some incredible clay court tennis being defeated in the finals of Monte Carlo and Rome, and the semis of Madrid in an incredible match - all at the hand of Rafael Nadal. Djokovic has been quite open that the Madrid defeat left him feeling jaded, and took him months to get over. The match also affected the rest of Nadal's 2009 season pushing his knees to a point of no return.

After a few months Djokovic found his form and was defeated in the 2009 US Open semi finals by Roger Federer. He then went on to claim the Paris Masters title.

In 2010 Novak was again forced to defend himself after being forced to retire from his quarterfinal match against Jo Wilfried Tsonga with what was clearly a very upset stomach. Novak had bathroom breaks but still looked like he was ready to be sick on the court. He then lost in the first round of Indian Wells to eventual champion Ivan Ljubicic where he parted ways with Todd Martin. The effect of Martin's coaching on Djokovic's service technique has been well documented and it took some time for the Serbian star to re-find his service form after struggling with an unusual amount of double faults.

Djokovic continued to have a successful season after making the top two for the first time in his career. He made the quarterfinals of Roland Garros, the semis of Wimbledon and the Final of US Open. He performed well in the World Tour Finals in London and until he was troubled by his contact lens.

The Serbian team won the Davis Cup title in their first ever final that was played against France in Belgrade. After the match the Serbian team shaved their heads in celebration. Novak was awarded the Serbian Sportsman of the Year award by the Olympic Committee of Serbia for the second time in his career.

Djokovic now wears Sergio Tacchini after switching from Adidas in 2009. He has been dating Jelena Ristic for the past 5 years and often models in his off time.

Nadal Receives BBC Sports Personality Of The Year Award

The awards keep coming from Rafael Nadal after his incredible year. This year he has won three consecutive Grand Slams, reclaimed the number one ranking, completed a career Grand Slam and made his first ever tour end final. Now Nadal has claimed the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award (overseas) just days after being award the title of Favourite Son of Manacor, his home town.

Roger Federer has received the award three times in 2004, 2006 and 2007.

"For me it's an honour, thank you very much to the BBC for giving me this award. It's just a dream being in the list of great champions to receive this award."

Watch the video below of Nadal's year and the Spaniards acceptance speech.

The video included some interviews with other top players talking about Rafa's phenomenal year.

"I think what Rafa has done at such a young age, so consistently, is quite phenomenal really and he's the best player by far in 2010" - Roger Federer

"What's amazing about him is his mental ability to play continuously, each year better and better. He's actually improving. He's a real example of a tennis champion." - Novak Djokovic

"Rafa's a great competitor first and foremost. There's been a lot of great tennis players but with Rafa he's always been humble which is probably more impressive than his on court accomplishments... which is saying something." Andy Roddick

"He fights so hard on the court, he treats every match like it's going to be the last one and he's one of the best players of all time." - Andy Murray

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Martina Hingis Marries In Paris

Martina Hingis has married French show jumper Thibault Hutin in Paris on December 10th. Despite dating for less than a year, Hingis says the wedding has been in the works for some time. “Our wedding came as a surprise for many, but it has been in planning long in advance."

In March this year Hingis announced her engagement to Swiss lawyer Andreas Bieri. The former world number one has also been engaged to Radek Stepanek.

Hingis originally retired in 2002 after a brilliant career was halted by chronic ankle problems. When she tried to return to the circuit she tested positive for cocaine at Wimbledon in 2007 and retired again, being forced into a two year ban as a result of the test.

According to Martina wedding photos will be released on Monday.

Nadal V Verdasco: My Favourite Match Of All Time

It's the end of the season and people are always talking about what the best match of the season was and I can't pick one. For some reason most people's favourite, the Murray V Nadal Barclays Tour Finals match, just doesn't do it for me. Murray was struggling to control his anger, Nadal letting good leads slip... It just wasn't it for me. There's no doubt it was a match with huge intensity but for me the best match I've ever seen remains Nadal V Verdasco at the 2009 Australian Open, followed by Nadal V Federer at Wimbledon in 2008.

This season has had some hugely emotional and unthinkable highs,  with a weeping Nadal laying in the dirt in Monte Carlo, Kim Clijsters US Open glory, and Isner and Mahut almost literally battling to the death. There were also some lows and disappointments like the Murray's performance in the Australian Open final and subsequent form, Djokovic's eye problems ending what had been a great match between him and Rafa, and Serena Williams' ongoing injury problems.

In my mind the quality of play, sportsmanship, and intensity of the five set match between compatriots Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco is yet to be matched and we certainly haven't seen a match of it's caliber this season.

What was your favourite match of the season?

Maria Sharapova Leaves Prince

A press release dated December 18, 2010 has stated that after 10 years Maria Sharapova has ended her relationship with Prince, her former racket supplier. Sharapova is the latest in a going list of top level players to be changing rackets, a widely agreed upon risky move for notoriously superstitions athletes such as tennis players.

Some changes seem to have been occurring for financial reasons, for example, Head took one of Novak Djokovic's old rackets and worked hard to create a replica for the star with its new branding. It took Djokovic the better part of a season to adjust to his new racket. Some, like Fernando Verdasco, seem to be trying a range of different rackets to find one to give them a slight edge, with even the smallest improvement at such a level making a significant difference.

Sharapova's reasons for changing remain to be seen.

Press Release:

Bordentown, NJ, - December 18, 2010 - Prince Sports and Maria Sharapova today jointly announced that their partnership of over ten years will be coming to an end. Sharapova has been playing Prince since she was nine years old and won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open with Prince racquets. 

Sharapova’s contract with Prince allowed the parties to mutually agree to end the relationship this year and Sharapova and Prince have decided to do so. Commenting on the announcement, Gordon Boggis, CEO of Prince Sports said: 

“Maria has been a great partner for Prince and we are delighted that together with Prince she achieved three Grand Slam titles and numerous other successes. I would like to thank her for all the support she has given to us and wish her all the very best for the

Maria Sharapova added: 

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my partnership with Prince. Their racquets helped me to three great slam victories and much more. I will always retain nothing but the highest
admiration for Prince.”

As the partnership is wound down, Prince will continue to have the rights to market and sell Maria Sharapova signature line products throughout 2011.

Rafael Nadal Officially Manacor's Golden Child

On Friday Rafael Nadal was named the Favourite Son (Hijo Predilecto) of Manacor, the town in Mallorca where he was born and still lives. His family supported him as he received the award that is traditionally only awarded posthumously in Manacor.

A quote (translated) from the municipal spokesperson stated; "The city of Manacor on Friday appointed tennis player Rafa Nadal, born in this county, the city's favourite son. The appointment will be adopted in a plenary session of the municipal corporation." 

Nadal was accompanied by his parents, Uncle Toni's family and his grandparents.

The award caps off Nadal's most successful season after sweeping the field at the major clay court tournaments and winning Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open among his amazing haul.

Feliciano Lopez Presents Documentary

At the beginning of December Feliciano Lopez presented his documentary on BIO TV Channel at Urban Hotel in Madrid. The feature was filmed in January this year.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tommy Haas Introduces Daughter Valentina

Tommy Haas has just posted some photos on Facebook of his baby girl Valentina who was born a few weeks ago. Haas has kept the babies name a secret since her birth. The photos were taken for BUNTE magazine (a German publication) which has been released, allowing some of the photos to be shared with fans.

Tommy has also recently returned to the practice courts and says he hopes to make a successful return to the ATP tour.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Kim Clijsters And Justine Henin Talk Olympics And Retirement

Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, who have in the past been known to have a somewhat difficult relationship, have been discussing the option to join together as a formidable force in the women's doubles at the London 2012 Olympics. Clijsters recently said "we have to get together to discuss this, see what the possibilities are and assess how far we want to go in this."

Henin, on the other hand, seems more willing to make it work, saying "there is a real willingness to be there."

When Clijsters was talking to media she seemed to indicate 2012 would be her final complete season, having returned from her first retirement in the middle of last year. Kim's daughter Jada may be set to receive a sibling after that year. "Because of my family situation, the doubles game is not something I want to get hung on too much.It would be nice of course to do it for the Olympic Games, because I tell myself that that year might be my last full season. So it would be nice to end that season in beauty." 

The superstars from Belgium were talking to media about the possibilities just prior to a exhibition match in Antwerp which Clijsters won 6-1 3-6 10-5. It was Henin's first match since her season ending injury at Wimbledon. The injury still affects Henin, most particularly on serve, but she intends on being fit for the Australian Open. "I have had to limit myself enormously when it comes to serve," she said. "My goal is to progress little by little, step by step. I take minimum risks. Each time that I stepped up the rhythm there was a backlash of inflammation in my elbow, as a result I had to slow down the last few weeks so that my elbow can adapt itself to this. 

So my preparation didn't progress that far, but that didn't prevent me from working on a lot of things. I am not at all panicked or stressed with that in mind, there is still a couple of weeks left. Moreover, the beginning of a season might well serve that aim, to get back the old reflexes and rebuild things little by little."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Verdasco Charity Calendar Shoot

This is not the first time a top sportsman, or Fernando Verdasco himself, has posed for Solidario de la Fundacion calendar for the month of March.

Also featured in the 2011 calender are Sergio Ramos and Andrés Iniesta.

Rafael Nadal has also posed for a calendar month some years ago.

Tennis Players As Kids; Nadal, Federer, Ivanovic And More

Who was the cutest tennis baby? You decide.

Fernando Verdasco


Roger Federer 

Kim Clijsters 


Ana Ivanovic 


Rafael Nadal


Novak Djokovic

Serena and Venus Williams


Andy Roddick

Andy Murray

Rafa Nadal and Nicolas Almagro


Maria Sharapova


Rafael Nadal and Uncle Toni