This time last year there were very few of the top men left in fighting form at the end of the season – this year it’s the WTA that’s suffering from extensive injuries to top players. The WTA tour players are frequently accused of being inconsistent, under-prepared and lacking depth of talent, now with the more popular players prematurely ending their seasons, the year end tournaments are lacking sparkle.
Serena played one exhibition match in Belgium since winning her Wimbledon title earlier this year, and hasn’t returned to the court since. Williams was replacing the injured Justin Henin, in a match against Kim Clijsters which was supposed to be “The Best of Belgium”. After the exhibition match Williams cut her foot on a piece of glass in a restaraunt and required surgery to help recovery from the injury. She missed the US Open and then re-tore the affected muscle when trying to return to play. She has since had another procedure to correct the new damage and intends to return to play in 2011.
Henin was injured in her comback year when she fell on an outstretched arm in her Wimbledon match against Kim Clijsters. Henin suffered a “partial ligament fracture” in her elbow and has been off ever since. She recently returned to training and has not yet confirmed her 2011 schedule.
Safina has struggled all season in an attempt to return to play after suffering spinal stress fractures. When she originally tried to return in April she said “I saw what I would be doing without tennis. I can’t sit at home or stay in one place; it’s just not me. You miss the adrenaline, the competition, the nerves before a match… every athlete misses this. I’m still full of energy and desire to play tennis. Hopefully, I can play many more years.”
After ignoring her big brother Marat Safin’s advice to rest for longer Safina has struggled enormously in her bid to find some confidence and form. In early October she announced via Facebook her season was at an end.
“Hey guys, unfortunately I’ve pulled out of Moscow and won’t be playing Linz either. It has been the worse year of my career, mainly because of my injury that has kept me away from several tournaments and kept me from playing my game of tennis. I am sorry for the fans who expected me to continue on the same track as the… last two years. I will heal my back and prepare for 2011 when I intend to show my real value to the tennis fans.”
Dinara recently attended the Moscow players party, despite not playing in the tournament.
Over the last two years Venus has struggled with knee injuries, most recently sustaining one just prior to Wimbledon. After skipping the US hard court season except the US Open she announced at the beginning of October that her season was over.
“I have been getting treatment and therapy on my knee and have been making progress but unfortunately must continue to keep weight off my knee for the short term and won’t be ready to return to competition in 2010.”
After people ask “What is that coloured tape?”, the next thing they want to know is how does it work and why is it different to other tapes. Read more
>Justine Henin has announced that her 2010 season has been ended by the elbow injury she sustained during a fall in her match against Kim Clijsters at Wimbledon a few weeks ago. Henin was last see at the exhibition match between Clijsters and Serena Williams that was originally intended to be ‘The Best of Belgium’.
At the event Henin was wearing an elbow brace to try and rest a partially ruptured ligament.
“I’m doing everything required by my medical team to get a good recovery of the injury I had at Wimbledon. I took several medical examinations in recent days and (things) are going in the right direction, it is encouraging news. It is still a slow recovery so I need to be patient again until the end of 2010.
For my preparation for competition in 2011 I cannot take any risks, so I hope to go back to practice in October and I will work hard to get ready for the new season.”
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. Read more
Justine Henin has announced that she will miss this years US Open due to an elbow injury she sustained during her fourth round match against Kim Clijsters. She will also skip the ‘Best of Belgium’ exhibition match that was to be played soon against Kim which was touted to be the biggest tennis exhibition the world has seen thus far.
According to a statement left on her website Justin has partially ‘fractured’ a ligament in her elbow. Whether this means she has just partially torn the ligament (most likely) or the ligament has caused an avulsion fracture (least likely – ligament pulls a chip of bone off with it) is not entirely clear. Given the fact that the word ‘partially’ is used it is likely that it is just a partial tear of the ligament as opposed to an actual fracture.
This is a significant issue as it effects the stability of the elbow joint which undergoes huge stresses during the course of play. Ruling herself out of tournaments for a full two months is a good idea to allow the ligament to heal.
Following my fall at Wimbledon tournament in 8th final, I took several medical examinations which have revealed a ligament partial fracture at the right elbow. Therefore, I regret to announce to you that I can’t unfortunately play in Best of Belgium this July 8. I’ll be nevertheless present for this wonderful Belgian event which is important for me.
This injury will keep me away from the courts during a rough period of two months with the consequence the withdrawal of my US round including the US Open.
In four weeks, I’ll take complementary medical examinations that will give me certainty about the end of this season.
I really thank you for your understanding and your support.
Kim Clijsters and Venus Williams both had bad days at the office being defeated in the quarterfinals. Venus fell first to the tournaments ‘hot’ player on the women’s side, Tsvetana Pironkova ranked 80 places behind Williams. Pironkova has never previously made it passed the second round of Wimbledon but has hit peak form for the tournament, scalping some big players along her path to the semi’s including Marion Bartoli. Tsveta secured the 6-2, 6-3 win over Williams in just an hour and 25 minutes. Read more
>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.
- Evgeny Korolev was giving the ball a good thumping in his match against Lleyton Hewitt. Hewitt was serving incredibly well and controlling the match from the beginning. At one point Korolev went for a return, swung and miss and accidentally released his racket instead, hurling it into the net before shaking his head with a rye smile. Anna Kournikova’s cousin started struggling with a shoulder injury late in the second set and received and medical time out. After that he stopped thumping the ball so much and Hewitt raced into the third round when Korolev was forced to retire as he struggled to serve. Hewitt won 6-4, 6-4, 3-0.
- Justine Henin won her second round match in straight sets over Kristina Barrois 6-3, 7-5 after failing to serve the match out at 5-1 in the second set. Henin talked about the lapse after the match saying, “It was good until 6-3, 5-1. My intensity dropped. I reacted well to it, though. It had happened to me a lot in the past, but I have experience. And everything else was positive. I was serving well today, so that was really good.”
- Jurgen Melzer took out Viktor Troicki in their 2nd round match winning 6-7, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-3, doing the same thing he did in the French Open against Novak Djokovic, battling back from a two set deficit.
- Florian Mayer followed up his first round scalp (Marin Cilic) with that of Mardy Fish, recent finalist at Queens. Mayer won the match 6-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
- Gael Monfils played a topsy turvy match, occasionally hopping on his heavily taped left leg at times looking like he was dancing and other times looking like he was testing the knee. Monfils had looked fairly comfortable after taking the first two sets 6-4 before becoming a little sloppy and getting distracted in the tie break by a point that went against him. As Beck served to stay in the match at 3-5 in the fourth set it became obvious the the knee was a definate issue and that once again the ticking time bomb that is Gael Monfils was looking at disaster.
It has been an injury riddled season for the French star. Monfils withdrew from Brisbane with a shoulder and Estoril with a stomach virus. He has also spent some time off this year with a hand and wrist injury as well as struggling at various times with his knee.
The hobbling Monfils eventually won 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 and will face Lleyton Hewitt in the next round.
Posted in Anna Kournikova, Brisbane, Estoril, Evgeny Korolev, Illness, Injury, Jurgen Melzer, Justine Henin, Lleyton Hewitt, Novak Djokovic, Viktor Troicki, What happened today?, Wimbledon
Just after Justine Henin managed to book her place in the third round after failing to serve for the match at 5-1 (eventually she beat Barrois 6-3, 7-5), Kim Clijsters has also secured her third round match. Clijsters and Henin move closer to a possible all-Belgium fourth round. Neither of the two have won Wimbledon and have set it as one of their goals for their ‘second’ careers, both having come out of retirement in the last 12 months.
Clijsters defeated Karolina Sprem in a routine match 6-3, 6-2 after Sprem made a promising start but failed to maintain her efforts. Sprem tried to take advantage of her huge serve, but was unable to maintain a consistent level of play that really troubled Kim. It took Kimmy just 73 minutes to wrap up the match.
In her post match interview, Clijsters said the scoreline was not indicative of the quality of the match.She also talked about her desire to with the tournament. “To win Wimbledon would be a dream come true. It was such a pleasure to be part of the event here last year when they opened the roof. It was tempting last year when they offered me a wild card but I just wasn’t quite ready.”
Sam Stosur has the best chance of becoming a Grand Slam champion she is likely to see in the near future, having taken out Henin and Serena Williams along the way and playing on her better surface. Coming up to the grass and hard court season where the Williams sisters always excel, and with Kim Clijsters making her return to the circuit, things are likely to get harder for the big hitting Australian.
After blasting past Jelena Jankovic, who seemingly couldn’t put a ball into the court, Sam Stosur is set to face Francesca Schiavone, someone she has had expeirence beating before. It is Sam’s best chance at becoming a Grand Slam Champion, and Australia’s first female champ in three decades.
It’s fair to say that the in-form Stosur has the power and the serve to blast past the diminutive Italian but she has had difficulty closing out big matchs and matches against big players in the past.
The question remains…. Will Sam’s nerves get the better of her?