A Look Back at Pro Tennis in 2003
Posted on December 15, 2003
By TennisX Staff
From A to Z, from Anna to the Zagreb Challenger, from Enrique Iglesias photographed with his hand down Anna's pants on a park bench to Brad Gilbert hurling after Andy Roddick takes him skydiving, take a trip down memory lane with the month-by-month odd happenings and stats from the 2003 Tennis-X Notes, Quotes, and Barbs section:
Out of the 56 commercials shown during the Super Bowl, the hick-voice-over ATP Tennis Masters Cup-Houston commercial finished dead last in popularity on the annual USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter...Andre Agassi's crushing of Schuettler in the Aussie Open final was the most one-sided defeat since Jack Hawkes also lost only five games to fellow Aussie Jim Willard in 1926...Aussie doubles specialist Sandon Stolle, whose career highlight was being the son of Aussie great and ESPN tennis play-by-play man Fred Stolle, has officially retired...Venus Williams is also the first women to complete the "Loser Slam," losing in four consecutive slam finals...Martina Navratilova's mixed doubles title at the Australian Open put her in the books with one title each in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at all four grand slams...26-year-old Rainer Schuettler is the first German to reach a grand slam final since Michael Stich who was runner-up at the 1996 French Open...Jenny Cap did not get rave reviews from the ball boys and girls at the Aussie Open: "She's impatient and she doesn't say thank you," a ball boy told Tuesday's Herald Sun newspaper. "She tells us to hurry up with the towels."...Martina Hingis would face no problem from her injured ankle if she decides to return to tennis, according to her surgeon Heinz Buehlmann...31-year-old Younes El Aynaoui, a 13-year tour veteran, had never played a night match in a grand slam before facing and beating Lleyton Hewitt at the Australian Open...Local Australian radio in Melbourne is referring to Kim Clijsters as "our adopted Aussie daughter"; in related news, radio stations in New York are referring to Lleyton Hewitt as "that racist piece of %$"...Brent Larkham, the brother and coach of Australian player Todd Larkham, revealed Sunday that he threatened to punch John McEnroe after the former No. 1 criticized Todd's performance against Lleyton Hewitt, calling it "pitiful"; Brent asked McEnroe to step outside into the parking lot, but McEnroe refused...Aussie Open officials gave the Williams sisters a wildcard and seeded them No. 1 in the women's doubles draw, even though Venus does not have a doubles ranking...WTA Tour CEO Kevin Wulff announced yesterday he is abandoning ship, leaving his position after only a year; he will stay with the WTA until March, then go to work for adidas USA...Andre Agassi called Aussie Andrew Ilie "irresponsible" for making comments about drug use on tour, such as "The problem is so bad at the moment you might as well let them use it and when players see people dying out there and exploding then it's going to change their minds...People are just happy to sacrifice their health for three years of fame."...Jeff Tarango has announced, to the relief of many, that 2003 will be his last year on the ATP circuit...Here was some bad Tennis-X early-season prophesizing: "Tuesday's results in Auckland give a glimpse into what will transpire for players during the 2003 campaign. Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian lost a tight three-setter to countryman Mariano Zabaleta in the opening round. Zabaleta was once one of the "New Balls" boys until his results fizzled, and look for Nalbandian who has had his day in the sun (or on the grass) to do the same. Jan-Michael Gambill, on the other hand, is a head case whose good start (runner-up last week in Doha, first round thumping this week of the Swiss Kratochvil) could convince him he belongs on the same U.S. David cup team as Andy Roddick and James Blake." We're good.
Nutty tennis dad Leo Clijsters, father of Belgian No. 1 Kim Clijsters, said on Monday he and his daughter would no longer talk to certain sections of the press after they had suffered a "defamatory campaign," but he would not be more specific...Goran Ivanisevic played his first tour singles match in nearly a year yesterday in Dubai, but is now out of action again after wrenching his knee midway through the match in what is likely a ligament sprain...Tennis players face tougher out-of-competition drugs testing after the International Tennis Federation (ITF) signed a deal with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Thursday...Andre Agassi, who has still not convinced wife Steffi to play mixed doubles with him at the French Open, broke ground Thursday on an $11 million expansion of the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, a Las Vegas charter school supported by his Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation; he also announced a multi-year deal with Aramis and Designer Fragrances, a division of Estee Lauder, for a new fragrance to be introduced in September...Anastasia Myskina's title at Doha lifted the 21-year-old into the Top 10 for the first time...How freaking talented is Arnaud Clement? The Frenchman has been out of action in 2003 with a wrist injury, but with the permission of the French Tennis Federation, he played an amateur tournament in the south of France LEFT-HANDED and WON...Croatian Ivan Ljubicic served 59 aces in two matches against the U.S. in Davis Cup singles...Serena Williams defeated Amelie Mauresmo to win the Gaz, France title; it was Mauresmo's first event of the year after being sidelined with injury last October...22-year-old Martina Hingis calls a return to tennis "inconceivable"...Thankfully, Chris Evert has decided to leave the broadcast booth to concentrate on family...Pete Sampras pulled out of next week's Siebel Open in San Jose, saying he is not prepared to play a tournament: "Although I have made significant progress in recent weeks, I am not fully prepared to compete at the highest level."...Tennis Australia can expect to be fined up to £7,000 by the International Tennis Federation for the failure of Lleyton Hewitt to attend a pre-match Davis Cup press conference yesterday in Sydney; Hewitt becomes the first player to fall foul of the new Davis Cup rule...Mark Philippoussis will be making his first Davis Cup appearance for Australia in three years...Martin Verkerk, winner at Milan (d. Yevgeny Kafelnikov), was the last direct entry into the main draw, and became the first Dutch winner in Milan (1978-2003)...The Williams sisters have committed to playing Fed Cup (for the first time in four years) for the next U.S. match in April against the Czech Republic...Former No. 1 Marcelo Rios had no regrets after boozing it up late into the morning and forcing the Chilean Davis Cup team to miss their flight to Ecuador...Citing a sore right wrist, Andy Roddick withdrew from the Siebel Open in San Jose.
Former ATP executive Larry Scott was named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the WTA Tour...Serena Williams is still on task for the undefeated season, a never-before accomplished feat; the closest was Martina Navratilova, who went an unbelievable 86-1 in 1983...Argentine Guillermo Canas underwent surgery on his right wrist on March 14 at The Hand Clinic in New York...Jennifer Capriati showed her trailer park insensitivity earlier in the week when she requested the 1999 Outkast song "Bombs Over Baghdad" to be played during her match warm-up at the Nasdaq-100 Open: "I like the song, and I wanted to support the troops."...It has been seven years and three surgeries for Chanda Rubin since last ranking in the Top 10...Frenchman Nicolas Escude was put off by fans shouting anti-French remarks at Miami: "It's the first year I have this problem," Escude said. "I think it's because of the events in Iraq, but I don't know."...Lleyton Hewitt and reportedly 50 other ATP players signed on with the fledgling International Men's Tennis Association (IMTA) this week in Miami, designed to represent players' interests separate from the ATP...Anna Kournikova has lost in the first or second round in 19 of her last 24 tournaments...ATP Tennis Masters Cup-Houston tournament directors and bazillionaires Jim and Linda McIngvale host a press conference at the Westside Tennis Club in Houston to unveil plans for the multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art Tennis Masters Cup stadium being constructed...Andre Agassi, 2001 TMS-Indian Wells champion, withdrawn from the Pacific Life Open because of a right shoulder injury...Indian Wells was the third tournament this year in the Pete Sampras Pull-Out Farewell Tour after San Jose and Scottsdale, with the next pull-out expected in Miami...Czech Bohdan Ulihrach, who has not played this year due to a torn calf muscle, will appeal against a two-year ban handed him by the ATP after testing positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone...Tim Henman's former coach David Felgate has taken over as performance director of England's Lawn Tennis Association, succeeding Patrice Hagelauer who is leaving to take over as France's Davis Cup coach...ATP Player Council member Alex Corretja said the sport's administration must take seriously the proposed International Men's Tennis Association, and said the players are not going to go away quietly: "I think now the ATP understands that if we ask for something, we deserve it, and it's not because we are just cocky. I really like (ATP CEO) Mark Miles and respect him, but he needs to understand players feel they deserve to be heard."...An Australian newspaper conducted a poll of Australia's native "heroes and villains," and Lleyton Hewitt made the Top 10 in both, No. 1 in the hero category and No. 8 as a villain, two spots behind Jelena Dokic...Ai Sugiyama's win at Scottsdale (d. Clijsters) was her first win of any kind since the 1998 Japan Open...Andre Agassi's 12-0 start this year is his best since 1995 when he began 15-0, losing to Thomas Enqvist in the Philadelphia semifinals.
Wimbledon's antiquated tradition of players bowing and curtseying to the royal box on center court will largely stop from this year, tournament chairman Tim Phillips said...Big Russian Marat Safin showed his fighting spirit, or lack therefore of, in the Barcelona final against No. 2 seed Carlos Moya Sunday, retiring after going down 3-0 in the fourth set because he was "too tired." Moya led 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 3-0 when the No. 4 seed threw in the towel in the great tanking Russian tradition of fellow former No. 1 and countryman Yevgeny "Put On the Flippers" Kafelnikov. "I could not finish the match since I was extremely tired," said Safin, who cited no injury, but ATP staff later referred to a "stomach problem." Yeah, his stomach couldn't digest that bagel coming his way in the fourth set...The Bryan brothers ended their losing ways in the Barcelona final, picking up their first title of the year in their third final...Goran Ivanisevic and fiancé model Tajana Dragovic celebrated the birth of daughter Nina on April 20...Tim Henman is back on the tour in Munich where he'll test his right shoulder against Nicolas Lapentti...Lindsay Davenport has married Jonathan Leach, an investment banker and former college player whose brother Rick briefly coached her earlier this year...Andre Agassi will take over the No. 1 position on the ATP Entry Rankings, ending Lleyton Hewitt's run of 75 consecutive weeks...U.S. Fed Cup captain Billie Jean King says she will not invite Jennifer Capriati to rejoin the American team until she agrees to meet her and iron out their differences: "We have to sit down face to face like champions do with each other," said King, who has not spoken to Capriati since last April, probably a bonus for Jen...In perhaps an effort to shake up the Jamie Delgado's and Arvind Parmar's of British tennis, who in many instances get their only big-stage opportunities of the year at Wimbledon, All-England officials announced this week that they are changing their wildcard selection guidelines...Paradorn Srichaphan become the first Asian man to enter the Top 10 since the ATP Entry Rankings were introduced in August 1973...Will Steffi break down and play mixed dubs with Andre at the French? Will then Lleyton and Kim play?...Tommy Haas (remember him?) pulled out from the Munich event scheduled for later this month. Haas, who has been sidelined with a sore shouldler, has not hit a ball since last October...ESPN reached a four-year agreement to televise Wimbledon from 2003-06...Lleyton Hewitt is playing hardball, and will sue the ATP for $1.5 million unless they agree to drop a $20,000 fine imposed on him for failing to do a television interview last year with the host broadcaster ESPN in Cincinnati...Conspicuously absent-but-not-injured from the TMS-Monte Carlo are Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, Marat Safin, Jan-Michael Gambill, and Mark Philippoussis...At the Charleston event, the WTA surprised Serena Williams with a crystal trophy in recognition of her "Serena Slam," winning four consecutive slam titles...This is the first time on the WTA Tour Rankings that three African-American women (Serena, Venus, Chanda Rubin) rank in the Top 10...33-year-old Swede Magnus Larsson said he is retiring.
Former French player Nathalie Tauziat said she was shocked by Daniela Hantuchova's physique at Roland Garros: "When she arrived on the circuit, she was not at all like that. I just hope she's not anorexic."...For the second straight year, Andre Agassi and Vince Spadea are the only American men advancing to the third round of the French Open...U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe gave Andy Roddick a verbal thrashing in a written web article following A-Rod's first round loss at Roland Garros, saying among other things "He needs to learn how to rely on more than just his big first serve."...Can you name the American player with the most clay titles earned under the age of 21? Jimmy Arias with five, then Andy Roddick with four...Fernando Gonzalez became only the second player after John McEnroe (1984) to go undefeated through the ATP World Team Championship, winning his four singles and four doubles matches...Following their results in Hamburg, Guillermo Coria (No. 7) and David Nalbandian (8) moved into the Top 10 on the ATP Entry Rankings, the first time two Gauchos ranked in the Top 10 since Vilas and Clerc in 1983..Steffi Graf won't be playing mixed doubles at the French Open with Andre Agassi since it was revealed that Mrs. Agassi is pregnant again...Andre Sa improved his 2003-03 tour-level losing streak to 0-15 yesterday at St. Polten, showing he is not shy about going after Vince Spadea's record 21-match streak set in 2001...The 46-year-old Bjorn Borg celebrated the birth of his son Leo...Pete Sampras has played his last match says coach Paul Annacone...A thigh injury forced Anna Kournikova to withdraw from the USTA Circuit's Cloister Cup before her semifinal match on Saturday. Probably hastening Anna's decision was the fact she would be facing fellow Russian Maria Sharapova, who went on to win the title...Roger Federer's streak of 12 consecutive match wins ended in the Rome final (l. to Mantilla)...In Rome Saturday, AIDS activist Gabriele Paolini leapt from his seat while Roger Federer was questioning a line call in his match against Juan Carlos Ferrero and started throwing condoms at the players. Known as the "Prophylactic Prophet," Paolini has disrupted other events, publicizing the use of condoms after one of his friends died of AIDS. Security guards led Paolini from the court amid chants from the crowd of "imbecile."...Juan Carlos Ferrero has pulled from next week's TMS-Hamburg with a shoulder injury. That leaves Hamburg with no Pete, no Andre, no Marat, no Juan Carlos, and no fans...Damir Dokic has severed all ties with daughter Jelena, blaming the feud on her continued relationship with Brazilian racing car driver Enrique Bernoldi...If the "ATP Tennis Show" is such a hot worldwide commodity, why isn't it broadcast in the U.S.?...At the Sea Island USTA Circuit event this week, Anna Kournikova has been forced to fetch her own balls, and was scolded by officials for listening to music and text messaging on her cell phone during an injury time-out...Venus Williams' injury suffered Sunday in the Warsaw final has forced her to pull out of Berlin this week, and puts her in doubt for the French Open: "The injury isn't good. They've told me that an abdominal strain needs more time to heal than a regular strain, so I have to take advice and see how I'm doing."
Andy Roddick, who has had trouble beating anyone ranked above or below him of late, has joined up with tennis super-mind Brad Gilbert for a trail basis. Gilbert is already with Roddick in England preparing for the grass season...Spain has four men in the quarterfinals of a slam (French Open) for the first time since the Open era began in 1968...Justine Henin-Hardenne ended Serena Williams' slam run at the French Open, with Serena drawing boos from the crowd when she barely broke stride on her way to the sidelines in shaking H-H's hand to end the contest. "She wasn't very happy, but that is sport...that is tennis," Henin-Hardenne said...Former Mark Philippoussis coach Peter McNamara was told of his sacking by his management company last month and has still not spoken to Philippoussis. "No one came to me," McNamara told Australia's The Age. "I got a message from IMG, but that's the way it goes. It's tough times for the kid. I wish him the best. It's up to him to come to me if he wants to talk to me. He knows I've been there since he was 12."...Juan Carlos Ferrero joined Bjorn Borg, Mats Wilander, Ivan Lendl and Jim Courier as the only men to reach the French Open semifinals or better for four consecutive years...Former Roland Garros semifinalist Fernando Meligeni says he is putting his racquets in the bag: "I always said that the day that I woke up and found it difficult to get out of bed to train, I would stop," said the Brazilian. "And recently, I've been having this difficulty."...14-year-old Michaela Krajicek, half-sister of Richard Krajicek, is through to the junior girl's singles semifinals and doubles final in her first junior slam event...American twins Bob and Mike Bryan threw the monkey off their backs with their first grand slam title at Roland Garros...Citing family reasons, Jason Stoltenberg has resigned as coach of Lleyton Hewitt. Roger Rasheed will take over coaching duties heading into Wimbledon...The ITF and slams laughed and refused the ATP's request for $50 million to help support their tour and pro tennis...Brian Baker's attempt to become the first American Junior Boys champ since Johnny Mac (1977) was foiled by Stanislas Wawrinka, who topped the Nashville native 7-5, 4-6, 6-3...Rainer Schuettler debuted in the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings this week, the first sign of the apocalypse...Sweden’s Magnus Norman and coach Fredrik Rosengren have gone their separate ways after almost five years together...Aussie Wayne Arthurs is talking about possibly hanging it up after Wimbledon, after battling a number of injuries recently and saying he has lost the desire...Pete Sampras will not be at Wimbledon for the first time since 1988...Brian Baker, the 18-year-old French Open junior runner-up from Nashville, Tenn., turned pro...Croatia's Karolina Sprem, the qualifier playing in the final in Vienna, won her first 28 matches of the year while winning four ITF Circuit titles...After losing in the second round of the French Open, Jelena Dokic parted with former coach Heinz Gunthardt...Lleyton Hewitt has filed in the Australian Supreme Court against the ATP regarding his fine from last year at Cincinnati...Richard Krajicek announced his retirement...The WTA Tour announced the launch of a marketing campaign, "Get In Touch With Your Feminine Side," featuring 30-second television commercials and print ads...Martina Navratilova, John McEnroe, Guillermo Vilas, and BBC commentator John Barrett will make a proposal to the International Tennis Federation for a reduction in the size of racquet heads to reduce topspin and power...Maria Sharapova explained the media training she has gotten from the WTA: "None."...British women went 0-5 in the first round at Wimbledon, while the men went 3-7...Greg Rusedski was fined only $2,500 out of a potential $10K for his outburst directed at the chair umpire in his match against Andy Roddick, which included f-bombs and the masterbatory-likening slang "wanker."
No past champions are in the men's Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time since the 1973 boycott, and no former Slam winners in a quarterfinal for the first time in the Open Era...Lindsay Davenport has now lost six matches in a row against Venus, and Jennifer Capriati has lost eight straight against Serena...WTA Chief Executive Larry Scott said he is planning to "review" the WTA's age eligibility rule that restricts 14 to 18-year-olds to playing only a few events, now that he sees dollar signs with the rise of 16-year-old Maria "Orgasmo" Sharapova...H-H came with the denial when a reporter asked her in a press conference: "Someone just said in the last press conference that you told your coach you didn't admit the hand-raising incident (at the French Open) because Serena is arrogant and haughty."...More than 20 players have signed the petition to slow down the game with smaller racquets -- the issue is due to be debated at the second ITF International Congress on Tennis Science and Technology in London...Alex Corretja and former coach Javier Duarte had been together 16 years until they split this month...Roger Federer's Wimbledon title is the biggest Swiss men's win since Marc Rosset won Olympic gold in 1992...John McEnroe suggested that Serena took it easy on Venus in the Wimbledon final so it would go three sets: "Was the match prearranged?" McEnroe said, "No. Did strange things go on? Yes."...The 46-year-old Martina Navratilova became the oldest Wimbledon champion Sunday, supplanting American Margaret duPont, who was 44 in 1962 when she won the mixed doubles...NBC's coverage of the men's Wimbledon final drew the lowest ratings ever...Jeff Morrison, who missed the last 10 weeks with a torn stomach muscle, lost in the first round at Newport...Boris Becker heads the 2003 class that will be inducted on Saturday at the Tennis Hall of Fame, along with Nancy Richey, Francoise Durr and Brian Tobin...ATP officials discovered that an electrolyte replacement product dispensed to players by ATP trainers may have been contaminated with the prohibited substance nandrolone -- doh!...Subsequently, since the ATP realized it has been playing dope dealer, it announced that player Bohdan Ulihrach's two-year suspension, fine and loss of ranking points have been dismissed, and Ulihrach is immediately eligible to play professional tournaments...As expected, Venus and Monica pulled out of the Fed Cup tie against Italy...Johnny Mac defeated Boris Becker in a World Team Tennis match between the NY Buzz and the NY Sportimes...ATP Trouble Update: Dealing illegal substances to its own players, bad marketing deals, unsuccessfully begging the slams for more money, being sued by Lleyton Hewitt, reportedly having ATP tournament directors asking the slam committee to start a competing tour, likely to be sued by Bohdan Ulihrach, threatening a potential slam boycott, players joining anti-ATP unions, CEO Mark Miles pissing off the ITF and the management companies, and players getting pressure from all sides, including their own clothing companies, to stop a boycott...Michael Chang, with a 2-6 record thus far on his 2003 Farewell Tour, is playing at the Aptos Challenger...Roger Federer launched his own line of fragrances at a press conference in Gstaad earlier this week. The line, which is called "RF - Roger Federer," was launched at the Allianz Suisse Open with the slogan "Feel the Touch." We're not making this up...Andre Agassi attended the launch of the new men's fragrance "Aramis Life" at Christie's in New York City on Wednesday...Has a change of date hurt Indianapolis? You be the judge. Last year the tournament featured six of the top 11 players in the world, this year, just three of the Top 20...Guillermo Coria has won 16 of his last 17 clay matches...Former British player Jeremy "Master" Bates has been appointed head of performance for the Brit Lawn Tennis Association...Guillermo Coria is on track to become the first Argentine to finish in the Top 10 since Alberto Mancini in 1989...Yevgeny Kafelnikov said the potential slam boycott is "not about the money," which is like Kobayashi saying "It's not about the hot dogs"...The ATP released their 2004 calendar Tuesday, highlighted by the expansion of the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells to a 96-draw, 10-day tournament (just like Miami), incorporating men and women, two four-tournament swings in Latin America and Asia, and the Olympics in Athens, Greece from August 15-22.
Frenchman Nicolas Escude is not expected to play again until the end of the year because of a hip injury. The 27-year-old has no plans to undergo surgery but will rest in preparation for 2004...Serena Williams underwent left knee surgery yesterday to repair a partially torn tendon. The injury will keep Serena off the tour six to eight weeks...Andre Agassi says he will not compete in the 2004 Athens Olympics, saying he would feel guilty if he played given he has not participated in Davis Cup the last few years...Next year Washington will host the only ATP event held during the second week of the Olympics...Anna Kournikova settled out of court with Penthouse over the alleged naked photos of the Russian tennis-bomb; the suit originally demanded damages of over 10 million dollars but no details of the settlement were released by Porn-ikova, said ESPN...Seven months into 2003 and Kim Clijsters has reached the semifinals or better in all 13 tournaments she has competed in...Guillermo "The Wizard" Coria has won three consecutive titles (Stuttgart, Kitzbuhel, Sopot) in three consecutive weeks, a feat last achieved by Austria's Thomas Muster in 1996...Tim Henman's win at Washington last week was his first title on U.S. soil...Former Aussie Open winner and Wimbledon runner-up Roscoe Tanner is on the wrong side of the law again, this time extradited from Germany on charges of writing a bad check worth $35,000 and failing to pay child support...Kim Clijsters is the new No. 1 on the WTA Tour Rankings after outlasting former No. 1 Lindsay Davenport 6-1 in the third set Sunday in the LA heat...Andy Roddick weathered two rain delays Sunday at the TMS-Canada in pounding David Nalbandian 6-1, 6-3 for his career-first Tennis Masters Series win...Fernando Meligeni of Brazil saved two match points in his defeat of Marcelo Rios 5-7, 7-6(8), 7-6(5), to capture the Pan Am Games Gold Medal...Kim Clijsters is the first player to reach No. 1 on the women's side without a Slam title (Lendl, Sampras and Rios did it on the men's side)...Kim Clijsters joins Martina Navratilova, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Martina Hingis and Lindsey Davenport as the only players to have held the No. 1 singles and doubles rankings...Andre Agassi was fined $60,000 by the ATP for skipping Cincinnati...Monica Seles' foot stress fracture, which forced her to miss Wimbledon, will also force her to miss the US Open...Max "The Beast" Mirnyi is 9-2 during the U.S. summer hardcourt season with three Top 10 wins over No. 5 Lleyton "I Used To Be Better Than Kim" Hewitt, No. 9 Paradorn "This Summer Sucks Compared to Last Year" Srichaphan, and No. 5 Guillermo "Can We Go Back To the Dirt Now?" Coria...Andy Roddick just keeps finding ways to win, Sunday fighting off two match points to defeat countryman Mardy Fish 7-6 in the third to capture the TMS-Cincinnati title, his second consecutive TMS title following Montreal...Andy Roddick has won 30 of 32 matches since teaming with coach Brad Gilbert in June and will take a 12-match winning streak into the first round of the US Open...Andy Roddick becomes just the third player in the past 15 years (his coach Brad Gilbert and Andre Agassi are the others) to amass 20 wins during the U.S. hardcourt season leading into the US Open...Michael Chang is 2-9 on his "Farewell Tour"...So you don't think racquet technology is taking it's toll on players, demanding more of their bodies in quicker reaction time with resulting injuries? Check out just a portion of the current WTA injury list: Serena Williams (knee), Lindsay Davenport (foot), Venus Williams (stomach), Amelie Mauresmo (rib), Jennifer Capriati (shoulder), Chanda Rubin (shoulder), Vera Zvonareva (elbow), Patty Schnyder (wrist/thumb), Meghann Shaughnessy (back), Anna Kournikova (back), Monica Seles (foot), and Ashley Harkleroad (wrist)...Leander Paes is being treated for a brain lesion and will miss the US Open...US Open just a few days away, if you're in the U.S. you're looking forward during the fortnight to getting off work, grabbing a beer from the 'fridge and hunkering down with USA Network and Johnny Mac for some screamingly-drunk NY fans and tennis under the lights...Pete Sampras has finally caved, and US Open officials announced there will be a special press conference Monday night at the Open where Pete will finally, officially, announce his retirement from professional tennis, along with a "special ceremony"...The doubles combo of Ruano Pascual and Suarez have the reached the last six women's slam finals...Top-seeded Lindsay Davenport retired in the second set at 6-2, 4-0 with her recurring foot injury Saturday at New Haven, handing No. 3 seed Jennifer Capriati her first title since the 2002 Australian Open...James Blake on recovering from his shoulder injury: "It has taken a lot of work, but constant exercise has helped rehab it. I've done them every day; it's just like brushing my teeth."...In USA Network's video clips celebrating Pete Sampras' career, how could they leave out Pete crying at the Australian Open against Jim Courier over his dying coach (and still winning the match), or puking at the Open against Alex Corretja (and still winning the match)? Careful USA, don't want to offend anyone, just make it a bland 14 slam highlights of Pete raising his arms, no best-of highlights, leave out the fantastic shots -- that's a "C-" effort...No night match send-off for Michael Chang tonight, ouch, nice one USTA...Ashley Harkleroad has been out virtually the entire summer prior to the Open with a ligament tear in her elbow...According to the New York Times, "Pam Shriver, a Hall of Fame player on the women's side, predicts that men's tennis is in for a drought." We wish Pam Shriver's commentary career would hit a drought...In another dumb-ass USTA move, patrons filing in Monday morning were greeted with a "No Food" sign, with the money-hungry USTA trying to put a halt to the New York fan tradition of bringing snacks in an attempt to avoid having to buy things such as the $18.50 (no joke) "triple-decker sandwich" or the $6.50 French fries. Angry fans voiced their opinion, and the new rule was overturned by the afternoon...Alex Corretja, ranked No. 2 in 1999, is now No. 102...The USTA say they "might do something next week" for Michael Chang's goodbye, keep dropping that ball USTA!...Moscow beat a Belgian bid to hold the Fed Cup finals which start Nov. 17, with the United States squaring off against Belgium, and Russia facing France...Props to USA Network commentator John McEnroe for saying players need to suck it up a little before retiring so quickly, you shouldn't be able to retire unless your legs no longer work, or you're face-planted on the court after a serve like Alex Bogomolov...What if Michael Chang said "Ow, I have cramps" and retired at the French in 1989? Some of these players need to reach down and find their nuts...Venus says she wants to play another 10 years, and Serena says when she comes back she is going to be "stronger and angrier" -- like the Hulk? "Without us, it is a little dry," Serena said...When teen tennis Barbie Ashley Harkleroad was asked what she remembered most about her debut at the Open two years ago, H-Road replied "My nice little outfit."...Jeff Tarango announced his retirement last night; the American will be best remembered for his on-court antics, winning two career singles titles...US Open wilcards went 0-16 this year. Nice effort...
Ivan Ljubicic cut loose on A-Rod in his post-conference after losing his match at the US Open: "I mean, generally, I don't like him. I mean, not me, nobody in the locker room like his acting on the court...He doesn't respect the others, that's all what I can say."...Much to the delight of network execs, Anna Kournikova has quit her job at a roving reporter for USA Network, saying she didn't like quizzing fellow players, and was eating too much while roaming around the US Open grounds (no joke). If that's the case, she should drag Daniela Hantuchova along with her...Most popular question asked by other players to Bohdan Ulihrach, who was falsely suspended by the ATP for drug use, and settled out-of-court: "Are you a millionaire?"...The past-her-prime Amanda Coetzer says she has no retirement plans, even after getting pasted 6-0, 6-1 by Nadia Petrova...Kim Clijsters is only the third woman in 20 years to reach 11 singles finals by mid-August -- the others were Chris Evert and Steffi Graf...According to The New York Times, Lindsay Davenport was the only player to send flowers to Serena Williams after her knee surgery last month: "They were very nice," Serena said. "I've been following her matches and I'm really rooting for her."...Kim Clijsters and Jennifer Capriati are the only players to have been ranked No. 1 never to have won the US Open...Guillermo Coria is 21-2 since Wimbledon...If you thought the rain was bad Monday and Tuesday at the Open, forecasters say the NY area will get hammered today and Thursday, with a band of rain sweeping through the state...Nice ESPN story about the poor tennis marketing effort, with Jeff Tarango chiming in, "I hate to say fire the (ATP marketing) lot, but they probably should."...According to the AP, the Team Canada junior squad in the player's lounge was playing a game of cards, with the loser of the game having to approach Russian hottie Maria "Orgasmo-Grunt" Sharapova and say, "I'm a loser." One of the coaches lost, and approached Sharapova while she was eating: "She was so confused," said the Canuck coach. "I left. If I hadn't left, she'd probably have called security."...The rain is expected to clear Thursday afternoon through Sunday in the NYC area -- with the backlog at the US Open, 106 matches (including junior and senior events) were scheduled for Wednesday...14-year-old Michaela "Sister Of" Krajicek is now No. 1 in the world and the No. 2 seed in the girl's singles at the Open...Andy Roddick finally caught the baton as the "next great American" Sunday at the US Open, giving newly-crowned No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero no chance with a 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-3 pounding for his first grand slam title. "No more 'What's it feel like to be the future of American tennis?'" said Roddick as he triumphantly entered the interview room...In the US Open men's doubles final, the Aussie/Swede combo of Todd Woodbridge and Jonas Bjorkman rallied to beat American twins Bob and Mike Bryan 5-7, 6-0, 7-5 for the title. It was Woodbridge's 77th doubles title, putting him level with John McEnroe on the all-time list and one behind Tom Okker's record...Andy Roddick is 37-2 since teaming with coach Brad Gilbert...After the US Open women's final, Justine Henin-Hardenne sent a message to the rest of the WTA players: "I'm feeling very strong right now and think the other players can feel it too."...Andy Roddick held serve 114 of 119 games at the 2003 US Open...Jimmy Connors' name was spelled "Jimmy Conners" on the big screen just before a video tribute to him at the US Open, go USTA...Guillermo Canas makes his return to the ATP circuit this week in Brazil after undergoing wrist surgery on March 14...Andy Roddick coach Brad Gilbert on comparing his charge to Pete Sampras: "He's like a young MTV version -— hip. He's into skydiving. Into bungee jumping, burning CDs. He's into all the modern extremist stuff." Next on ESPN, Extreme CD Burning...Tim Henman has split with his coach Larry Stefanki after two years...Spain’s Virginia Ruano Pascual and Argentina’s Paola Suarez finally won their slam last week at the US Open after finishing runner-up at the Australian Open (l. to Williams sisters), French Open (l. to Clijsters/Sugiyama), and Wimbledon (l. to Clijsters/Sugiyama) this year...Justine Henin-Hardenne is No. 1 over Kim Clijsters in prize money and in the "Porsche Race to the Championships" standings, but not on the WTA Rankings, even though she has two slam wins this year to Clijsters' zero...SI's Jon Wertheim says Jennifer Capriati "handled herself with uncommon grace after her defeat in he semis," guess he didn't see that half-second limp-wrist handshake she offered H-H...Kim Clijsters father Leo has insinuated that Justine Henin-Hardenne has been "doping" to augment her physicality...Paper No. 1 Kim Clijsters is a sad 6-6 in finals this year, while No. 2 Justine Henin-Hardenne s 7-1 in finals with two slam titles...US Open TV ratings on CBS fell to 1.9, an all-time low for the event. The men's final was down 44% over last year, while the women's dropped 52%...The Argentine D-Cup team is hurting big-time for their semifinal at Spain, with Guillermo Coria (leg injury) and David Nalbandian (wrist) out, leaving the task to Mariano Zabaleta, Agustin Calleri and Gaston Gaudio, ouch...Yetunde Price, 31, older sister of Venus and Serena Williams, was shot and killed shortly after midnight Sunday in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton...Could the Fed Cup be a lower priority for the Belgians? They've reached the semifinals against the U.S., but Kim Clijsters says she has no interest in playing, and now Justine Henin-Hardenne has pulled...Lleyton Hewitt says he will make no extra effort to qualify for the year-ending Masters Cup, which he has won the past two years...In a surprise move, U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe announced he will go with Mardy Fish over James Blake for the No. 2 singles spot versus Slovakia on the slow red clay...As expected, Swiss Davis Cup captain Marc Rosset, who has hardly practiced this week in Melbourne, has named himself to play the Saturday doubles with Roger Federer against the Aussie team. Being the captain is sweet...Australia will likely put Spain on grass for the Davis Cup final...The ATP sent Andy Roddick a message Monday, fining the No. 2 player $40,000 for pulling out of the Thailand Open...At last weekend's Davis Cup match in Slovakia, Andy Roddick continued to make friends on tour, yelling disparaging remarks across the net at opponent Karol Beck during the pivotal Sunday match: "I was trying to create a flow," Roddick said. "The other day (in his previous Friday loss) it was all about the Slovaks and the crowd. I definitely wanted to get on top and impose our energy on the match."...Check out the latest edition of "Us" magazine for a great photo spread of Anna Kournikova and boyfriend Enrique Iglesias dry-humping on a bench in the middle of a crowded walkway in New York with his hand down her pants, nice stuff kids...Kim Clijsters made the trip to Australia to support boyfriend Lleyton Hewitt in his Club Fed-beating Davis Cup win over the Swiss...Russian Maria "Orgasmo-Grunt" Sharapova broke into the Top 50 for this first time this week on the WTA Rankings...Boris Becker, convicted of tax evasion last year in Germany, plans to move to Switzerland, his spokesman told Reuters...Martina Navratoliva says she'll give it another full year on tour in 2004 playing doubles, then make the transition into politics: "If Arnold Schwarzenegger can run for governor in California, then who knows? I have the muscles."...After retiring with a hip injury this week in Shanghai, former No. 2 Magnus Norman says he will hang it up if the hip problems continue into the 2004 season...Boris Becker for one is shocked at Germany's Davis Cup tennis qualifying status: "We are all shocked," said the shocked Becker. "We now have to start all over again just like in football."...Andre Agassi has pulled from all his pre-Masters Cup events due to the birth of his second child, thus giving up any chance at finishing No. 1...Althea Gibson, the first black to play at and win Wimbledon, died Sunday at 76.
Belgium is 13-8 in WTA finals this year, while the U.S. is 11-16, and Russia is 8-2 (no other countries with more than two wins)...Roughly one-third of the WTA Moscow field this week is made up of Russians...Both the U.S. and Russians have 11 women in the Top 60...Marcelo Rios was cleared of assaulting two policemen in a "bar brawl," with Justice Juan Andres Troncoso dismissing the charges due to lack of evidence...With Santoro and Clement competing against each other for a place in the final at the Open de Moselle in Metz, an unprecedented five French players are competing in the semifinals of three ATP tournaments around the world this week...Taylor Dent, on a nine-match winning streak, is the first American to reach the Kremlin Cup final since Chuckie Adams lost to Alexander Volkov in 1994...For the first time in the Open Era, four French players will contest the doubles final of an ATP event, in Metz (France)...Taylor Dent has won 14 consecutive indoor matches...Vince Spadea won three times this week from a set down in Moscow...The No. 1 ATP ranking has been decided during the Masters Cup each of the last three years (as opposed to the Pete Sampras years, when Pete usually had it wrapped up around March)...Since the US Open, Russian women are 5-0 in singles finals...According to a Newsweek article this week, Venus Williams was courted by hoop superstar Kobe Bryant. Bryant sent the elder Williams flowers after her first Wimbledon title, but Venus said nothing doing...Australian press is reporting that in preparation for their Davis Cup final Down Under, Spain is spending over $50,000 to build a grass court near Barcelona where Ferrero, Moya, et al, can practice...The WTA Filderstadt draw this week is so strong that for only the second time in WTA Tour history, a Top 20 player (No. 17 Paola Suarez) had to play the qualifying...A current or former No. 1 has won Filderstadt for the last four years...Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf had their second child, a girl they named "Jaz," which could be a misprint...Robby Ginepri was visited in Lyon over the weekend by actress girlfriend Minnie Driver...Lleyton Hewitt has had a wart removed from his heel, and will likely pull from next week's TMS-Madrid. Hewitt said after beating Roger Federer in a five-set Davis Cup comeback almost three weeks ago that he would "train pretty hard for the next couple of months; don't know whether I'll play any tournaments or not, yet"...In Lyon Sunday, Rainer Schuettler joined four other players that have won back-to-back titles this year: Lleyton Hewitt, Guillermo Coria, Andy Roddick and Taylor Dent...The ATP is being rocked by allegations that players are throwing matches to gain from Internet betting...According to the AP, Martina Navratilova will play Fed Cup doubles for the U.S. next month against Belgium, likely partnering Lisa Raymond...Kim Clijsters has quieted the doubters to her right to claim the No. 1 mantle, finally subduing countrywoman Justine Henin-Hardenne in a final, raising her record in finals against H-H to 1-5...Aramis is the seventh brand Andre Agassi has been associated with during his career, after KIA Motors, Nike apparel and shoes, Head racquets, Canon cameras, Deutsch Telekom and Schick razors...Chanda Rubin wasn't too happy after losing in Zurich to Jelena Dokic, who is in a ranking free-fall: "She hasn't done much at all so it's a disappointing loss. She just hits the ball. There is no rhyme or reason." Doesn't that pretty much cover 95% of WTA players?...Martina Navratilova has now been officially named to the U.S. Fed Cup team in doubles...According to BBC Sport, Thai singer Tata Young caused an uproar by holding a press conference to announce she was officially dating Paradorn Srichaphan, and producing gifts from the Thai No. 1 for the assembled media...Former No. 1 Marat Safin is still going after his goal of winning a lone match (not a title) before the season ends: "I still have two tournaments left. But I'm definitely not in the best shape. It's difficult for me."...Lindsay Davenport had foot surgery Wednesday and will miss the rest of the season...Wayne Ferreira ripped the Spanish crowd after his three-set loss to Juan Carlos Ferrero yesterday at the TMS-Madrid: "I think people should be embarrassed. It's a disgrace -- classless behavior. I've been on the tour 15 years, played in pretty much every country in the world and never seen anything as disgraceful as this."...Mark your calendar girls, Andy Roddick will apparently host Saturday Night Live on Nov. 8...World No. 2 Justine Henin-Hardenne, still competing in Zurich this week, yesterday pulled from next week's Linz tournament citing exhaustion: "Unfortunately, I have no option but to rest after this week to ensure that I will be 100% for the WTA Championships in three week's time...Sweden's Magnus Norman underwent left knee and left hip surgery (again) in Gothenburg at the beginning of October...Justine Henin-Hardenne is on the top of the world, ascending to No. 1 after Sunday beating unseeded Jelena Dokic 6-0, 6-4 in the Zurich final for her tour-leading eighth title of the year...Serena Williams makes her first acting appearance in a dramatic role tonight on the Showtime series "Street Time." Serena plays the role of Meeka Hayes, a tennis player with an ego the size of New Jersey -- oh wait, that's real life...Guillermo Coria is the first Argentine in 20 years (Jose-Luis Clerc, 1983) to qualify for the Masters Cup...In true Y-Man style, Yevgeny Kafelnikov says he couldn't give a rat about the match-rigging allegations over the last month: "As you know, the Russian media has been heaping dirt on me for a long time, but I couldn't care less about it. Now, the foreign press does the same thing and I could care even less what they think of me."...Roger Taylor was canned as head of Britain's Davis Cup team, replaced by former player Jeremy "Master" Bates...Venus and Serena Williams got some camera time last night on Fox, attending Game 4 of the World Series in Miami...CNN chose Pete Sampras among their Top 10 Athletes of All Time...The Swedes are in danger this year of not winning a singles title for the first time since 1973...For the first time since 1974 in Melbourne, Australian, the Masters Cup will be played outdoors...The reviews are coming in for Serena's TV role on "Street Time," and they essentially say "Don't quit your day job."...Top-seeded Kim Clijsters collected yet another title and re-took the No. 1 ranking from countrywoman Justine Henin-Hardenne Sunday in Luxembourg, rolling over No. 2 seed Chanda Rubin...Gustavo Kuerten's last seven tournament finals have come on hardcourt or carpet...Guillermo Coria became only the third South American to win Basel after Nalbandian (2002) and his namesake Guillermo Vilas (1978)...Mardy Fish was the first American to win at Stockholm since Todd Martin in 1998...Mardy Fish is the sixth different American to win an ATP title this year, the most in a year since 1995...The WTA Tour will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a week of festivities at the WTA Tour Championships, honoring WTA tour founder Billie Jean King, as well as the tour's 13 former No. 1 players and the nine founding members of the Virginia Slims Tour...Like the ATP with the ATP University, Billie Jean King would like to see the WTA Tour give their players some schooling: "I would like the WTA Tour to have a rookie school, a real proper rookie school that would really help the player get started off correctly."
Lots of fireworks at the TMS-Paris Thursday, including the upset of top-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero, Andy Roddick gaining the No. 1 ATP Entry Ranking for the first time...Jonas Bjorkman's defeat at the TMS-Paris brought an end to the Swedish men's streak of at least one singles title each year since 1973...As expected, Venus Williams pulled from the WTA Championships with her abdominal injury, and is replaced by Chanda Rubin...Martina Navratilova has won seven WTA Tour doubles titles for 2003 for a record 173 career; Navratilova plans to play all next year with countrywoman Lisa Raymond: "I'm so excited about next year that I can't even stand it. Playing with Lisa is just a pleasure. I'm so relaxed playing out there."...Almost half of the best players (Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Lindsay Davenport) will be missing from the eight-woman field at the WTA Championships...WTA Tour choker Jennifer Capriati is the only player in the Top 15 with a losing record in tiebreaks...Spain has officially dissed Al Costa for their upcoming Davis Cup final against Australia, replacing him with the in-form lefty Feliciano Lopez, who will likely partner Alex Corretja in the doubles...Boris Becker's autobiography will be published later this month...A new "reality show" featuring Andy Roddick is in the works. "The Tour" will track the 21-year-old next summer as he deals with fame, fans and fellow players...In the WTA Championships media supplement, it says the doubles draw is eight teams (it is actually four). Nice one WTA! Your days are numbered...Justine Henin-Hardenne skipped practice Tuesday at the WTA Championships due to the flu. She requested and received a Thursday start...Only three times this year has Amelie Mauresmo failed to reach the QF at an event, and is the only player to beat both Williams sisters in an event this year...Nice WTA Championships television debut by ESPN in the U.S., delayed more than an hour by the finish of the Louisville vs. TCU college football game...Jennifer Capriati has not had a coach other than her father, Stefano, since working with Harold Solomon in 1999, but is now working with former Pete Sampras coach Paul Annacone on a trial basis...Martina Hingis is at the WTA Championships as a reporter for Eurosport...Lacking the drama of their earlier US Open encounter, Justine Henin-Hardenne unmercifully pounded Jennifer Capriati 6-2, 6-1 Friday night at the WTA Championships, simultaneously earning a berth in the semifinals and gaining enough points to secure the year-end No. 1 ranking over Belgian countrywoman Kim Clijsters...Lleyton Hewitt will caddie for Greg Norman at December's Australian PGA Championship, a plan they hatched together during a tennis pro-am event...Daniela "Feed Me" Hantuchova has split with her British coach of more than two years who guided her into the Top 10, Nigel Sears...Justine Henin-Hardenne's win last night at the WTA Championships ensured she will be only the eighth woman to finish with the year-end No. 1 ranking after Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, and Serena Williams...A slow start, but Andy Roddick ended up holding his own on Saturday Night Live last night, with the highlight the Andre Agassi past-present-future sketch...Could John McEnroe appear in more sketches yesterday on SNL? Nice effort...Anna Kournikova is considering surgery for her ailing back in an attempt to play on the tour in 2004: "That is one of the options I'm looking at. I hate needles, but I have to look at everything."...Andre Agassi has won the same number of career titles (58) as all the other Masters Cup participants combined...Andre Agassi says now is the time for a commissioner to oversee both pro tours: "It's sort of absurd to have so many people, so many organizations, working separately -- in some cases, arguably, even against each other -- for sponsorship dollars, for air time, for branding."...Martina Navratilova slammed the Williams sisters, among others including Steffi Graf, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Monica Seles, for not showing up for the WTA ceremony honoring all the past No. 1s on the 30th year anniversary of the WTA Tour: "You're part of the history and the present and future. It's too bad they (the Williams sisters) didn't make it. I know Serena is in town...I don't know where Venus is. They should have been here."...While Andy Roddick is all the buzz, Andre Agassi sees someone else dominating in the years to come: "(Roger) Federer is a guy with a lot of potential. He's had a great year. More people are talking about him as the player of the future more than anyone else."...Kim Clijsters became the first woman in sporting history to win over US$4 million in a single season after winning the single largest cheque in women's tennis history (US$1,000,030) at the WTA Championships...Amelie Mauresmo was the only player to defeat Serena Williams, Venus Williams, and Justine Henin-Hardenne this year...Andy Roddick has clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking at 21 years of age, a feat Andre Agassi accomplished only once over his illustrious career; Bob and Mike Bryan clinched the year-end No. 1 team ranking in doubles...With Roddick's rise to No. 1, Brad Gilbert becomes the first coach to lead two different players to the year-end No. 1 ranking...WTA CEO Larry Scott is in spin mode on L.A.'s poor attendance and why the WTA Championships should be on the move: "The initial strategy was this event should move from time to time. It is the crown jewel of the tour circuit. We have different constituents in different parts of the world that need to be served. Being in L.A. is not the ideal time zone for our European television broadcast partners, as an example."...Word is, the non-American players at the Masters Cup are also complaining about the basketball court player lounge, weak food selection and poor transportation service. And of course that court, which Coria gave a hand to after he slipped yesterday against Moya...Roger Federer says he will skip the ATP events before the Australian Open for the exhibition gravy train: "I'm playing an exhibition in Hong Kong, then Kooyong, then I'm going to play Australian Open."...How goofy does it look to see Masters Cup tournament promoter Jim "Mattress Mac (Whack)" McIngvale standing up clapping for the American players, appearing spastic in the stands, and wearing an American flag shirt during the international event?...For the first time in four years, the player ending the year at No. 1 was not be the winner of the season-ending Masters Cup...Jim "Mattress Mac" McIngvale is steamrolling ahead with his effort to merge the men's and women's year-end championships...American women took up half of the Top 10 in the year-end WTA Rankings, but only four more among the Top 100...With an overpowering twosome of world No. 4 Amelie Mauresmo and Mary Pierce, France clinched their second-ever Fed Cup title with an unbeatable 3-0 lead in Moscow...Australia clinched the Davis Cup over Spain with a 3-1 win in Melbourne.
Compiled by Tennis-X staff. (Editor's Note: This is a long one, eh? Someone sure has a lot of time on their hands! Geez.)