‘Aussie Kim’ needed her fans today after a nasty tumble at 3-3 in the first set against Li Na saw the Australian Open defending champion roll the ankle she struggled with last year. After halting play immediately Clijsters returned with a heavily strapped ankle and impaired movement and it looked as though Kim’s final day as a professional athlete at the Australian Open was over.
Despite looking like she might get steam rolled Kim said she didn’t want to retire from her last match at Melbourne Park and said “You just keep fighting because you never know what goes on the other side of the court,” and sure enough something was happening down the other end of the court. Read more
Maria Sharapova is working herself into form ahead of the US Open and has won the title she should have won last year. In 2010 in Cincinnati, Maria failed to convert three match points in a final against Kim Clijsters. This year, with Clijsters out injured, Maria battled Jelena Jankovic who’s form has fluctuated this season.
Sharapova won 4-6, 7-6, 6-3 eventually but let go of a 4-1 lead in the first set. Despite 11 double faults in the match Sharapova worked hard to stay in the match, earning her second title this season.
We knew Bethanie Mattek-Sands was planning some sort of tennis ball meets Lady Gaga inspired dress but we weren’t sure when it was going to appear. Bethanie has stunned, and not in a good way, the tennis community at the pre-Wimbledon party overnight. The American recently played at Roland Garros with war stripes painted under her eyes.
Other more fashion friendly players such as Maria Sharapova looked fabulous on the night. Meanwhile Serena Williams’ appearance at the players party fueled speculation that the American superstar has undergone plastic surgery during her year long injury time out.
Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic may have looked better, and Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova may have had the most horrendous tan lines on display, but Mattek-Sands was definitely the undisputed worst dressed for the evening (and probably forever) Read more
Posted in Alize Cornet, Ana Ivanovic, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Andrea Petkovic, Anne Keothavong, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic, Laura Robson, Maria Sharapova, Player Party, Sabine Lisicki, Serena Williams, Vania King, Yaroslava Shvedova
Vera Zvonareva should have beaten Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in two easy sets but as is often the case it didn’t work out so well for the often emotional Russian. Instead Pavlyuchenkova upset the highest seed left in the draw on the women’s side 7-6, 2-6, 6-2.
Vera, despite dropping serve early, quickly moved to a comfortable 5-2 position with a set point in hand before the wheels fell off. Pavlyuchenkova somehow managed to fight back and force a tiebreak and quickly found her way to a 4-1 advantage. Read more
>Jelena Jankovic was heavily criticized when she was number one in the world for her inconsistent play and ability to be at the top without really winning anything significant. She seems to retire with various ailments at times of crisis and I don’t remember the last time I saw her play consistently for two tournaments.
Maybe I’m being harsh but she’s the epitome of the inconsistent WTA player.
Today she suffered another early round Grand Slam defeat, being called the “highest seeded looser” which maybe a simple statement but it seems to be an opinion of many people.
Jankovic was beaten today in the second round by Peng Shuai in straight sets 7-6, 6-3. Despite the loss the world number 8 said physically she was fine, blaming the off-season for her rust.
She was beaten in the first round in Sydney by Aravane Rezai and seems more interested in the glamour side of tennis.
“Now I feel really good physically. I’m healthy. You know, I can really be on the court and enjoying myself out there. It’s the beginning of the season, only my third match of the year. I’m still rusty. I just have to get match tough again and play right, you know, in the important times of the match.”
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.
>Kim Clisters had a nervous start against rival Justine Henin. Kim has pegged Justine in the third set tie breaker of both matches they have played since both players returned from retirement. After the match Kim said Justine “came out of the blocks really fast” and that she had felt “overwhelmed”.
Clijsters improved her first serve percentage in the second set and started using her forehand to get into the games and pushing Henin back into a more defensive position.
In the end Clijsters yet again proved to be too strong for her compatriot winning 2-6, 6-2, 6-3. Henin will no doubt be devastated, having planned her comeback around Wimbledon in an attempt to claim the Grand Slam that has eluded her.
On another court Jelena Jankovic, who played with a heavily strapped thigh, retired in her match against Vera Zvonareva. Jankovic retired at 6-1, 3-0 after falling behind 0-4 in the first set, allowing Zvonareva to take the set in just 24 minutes. Jankovic double faulted 6 times during the match. It was later reported that Jankovic was struggling with a back injury.
Sure they were white. Sure they were probably expensive. Sure they were nice, BUT they were still tracksuits pants and Novak you were meeting the Queen of England. Even Andy Murray and Jarkko Nieminen managed to change shirts and look less like they were heading down to the gym, and they had just played three sets of tennis.
Roger Federer, Jelena Jankovic, Martina Navratilova, Andy Roddick, Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki dressed appropriately to meet the Queen but Novak seemed to forget that his appearance showed a lack of respect to a Queen who religiously wears white gloves.
Maybe Novak got a bit confused in terms of proper protocol after seeing a dirt covered Rafael Nadal reach up and kiss Queen Sofia of Spain, but there is some familiarity and friendship between Nadal and the Spanish royalty, whereas Novak was meeting the Queen for the first time.
Queen Elizabeth has not attended Wimbledon since 1977 and after hearing that Andy Murray was worried about what the appropriate bowing protocol was, and that Serena Williams had been practicing her curtsy, only to be moved to a court the Queen was not watch (although she did get to meet her), Novak should have known how important the event was.
Maybe in another few decades he’ll be get it right with Charles or Wills.
To meet a Queen who wears white gloves and prides herself on tradition, etiquette and everything, even butter at the table being immaculately presented, tracksuits simply ain’t gonna cut it Novak.