Tennis-X Notes: Evert Divorce Fallout, Women Stars No-Shows

Posted on August 20, 2007

Tennis-X News, Notes, Quotes and Barbs
American Donald Young improved to 1-12 in career ATP matches on Sunday, defeating countryman Amer Delic in the first round of play at New Haven...The Times is reporting Tim Henman will retire next month after Britain's Davis Cup match against Croatia...From AFP on Chris Evert wife-stealing accusations: "Tennis legend Chris Evert's former husband says Australian golfing great Greg Norman stole his wife. Andy Mill, a US Olympic skiing champion, said he was broken-hearted by Norman's betrayal, saying he once regarded the golfing legend as his best friend. "Greg Norman at one time was my best friend, and a year and a half ago I would have taken a bullet for this guy," Mill was quoted saying in Australia's Sunday Telegraph. "I didn't realise he was the one who was going to pull the trigger."

Andy Roddick after losing in the third round at Cincinnati: "I just didn't do anything that I've been working on. I was standing too far back. I wasn't imposing myself and I was giving away free points. It was a pretty ordinary performance. I'm not going to go into panic mode. I know what I did wrong today. Don't get me wrong, I'm pissed off about it, but the good thing is that I have time to fix it. [Coach] Jimmy [Connors is] not happy. He said: 'I don't care it you lose but do what we've been working on and do it the right way.' He's right. We have eight, nine days to get on the practice court. I need to some footwork drills and get my feet going and readjust my court position. Get back to the basics."...From the London News on Boris Becker: "Wimbledon legend Boris Becker's has been termed "a runaway train" in a new book by Russian model Angela Ermakova, with whom he has a seven-year-old daughter, Anna. The book entitled 'In One Breath', published in Russia this week, reveals how the tennis star bedded Ermakova in a storeroom at the Nobu restaurant in London. The 39-year-old says that Becker and she first met at the restaurant by chance, and that they went for a date after bumping into each other again. "I understand that it is just senseless to stop the runaway train in full flight. It would have been like trying to stop a volcano or any other natural phenomena. So I relax to try and enjoy it and resolve to think about it tomorrow," the Mirror quoted her as writing. "Thus the invincible fortress of Angela Ermakova fell," she writes. Currently, Ermakova is residing in a luxury home bought by Becker for her and their daughter."...From the New Haven Register: "Perhaps the most intriguing aspects of the men's main draw are the potential semifinal matchups. Davydenko and James Blake, the champions in 2006 and 2005, respectively, would meet in one semifinal, and Spaniards Tommy Robredo and David Ferrer would square off in the other, if seeds held true to form." -- Robredo vs. Ferrer? Intriguing to who?...Justine Henin on Roger Federer: "There's nothing I don't like in his game, but I like the person most of all. I had the occasion to have lunch with him once and he has an exceptional air about him. He's very intelligent. To be at that level for a long time, you have to be intelligent and serene and calm. And he does everything while remaining very natural and unpretentious."...From the Canadian National Post: "Meghann Shaughnessy does not play doubles with long-time partner Anna-Lena Groenefeld anymore. The reason is because Shaughnessy's coach and manager, Rafael Font de Mora, is suing the 22-year-old Groenefeld for US$1-million. "I want to get out what I put into my players, so I demand the same effort," said Font de Mora, who coached and managed Groenefeld from March, 2003 until April, 2006. "She breached so many things of the contract. She didn't pay money."...From the Toronto Star on the WTA top-player bailout at Toronto: "One can only hope the women's tennis tour is paying attention. The profile of the Rogers Cup has been badly damaged by a variety of factors, from pre-tournament withdrawals to curious in-match retirements to an overall absence of high-level tennis. But nobody, at least outside of Tennis Canada, expected what happened yesterday. The audiences for the two semifinal matches, one in the early afternoon featuring the world's top player, Justine Henin, and one later in the evening, managed to fill slightly more than half the 13,000-seat capacity of the Rexall Centre. It was a sobering turnout for the key matches of what is supposed to be one of the top dozen events on the women's tennis calendar. But tennis fans in Toronto are apparently responding to the product being offered by largely staying away. Sponsors could soon follow. A "legends" night last Monday featuring John McEnroe and Anna Kournikova drew very disappointing numbers."...From the New York Times on Serena Williams: "For Williams, however, thinking of herself as a rock star isn't necessarily antithetical to thinking of herself as a tennis champion. When asked after losing in the 2004 Wimbledon final what advice, as a tennis superstar, she would give to the victor, Maria Sharapova, Williams shot back, "I'm not a tennis superstar -- I'm a superstar." She immediately laughed it off as a joke -- "I'm just kidding" -- but the quote made the rounds, in part because it seemed to confirm to her critics something that they had been suspecting: that Williams believed she had transcended tennis and that, in indulging her ego, she had let her game suffer."...Serena Williams has pulled from New Haven, and will enter the US Open without having played a match since Wimbledon...As of the Aug. 15 ATP Rankings, Andy Roddick and James Blake were the only American players ranked in the Top 50...From Reuters and John McEnroe, both jumping on the hammer-the-WTA-player-absences bandwagon: "While the $1.3 million Toronto Cup can still boast a top-flight field featuring world number one Justine Henin, without Sharapova's glamour or the Williams sisters' charisma the most anticipated match on Monday was a Legends exhibition with McEnroe, Jim Courier, Anna Kournikova and Carling Bassett-Seguso. "It's unbelievable how much this is happening in the women's game," said McEnroe. "I don't think there is anyone here that could not say it isn't a big problem. I mean, obviously, Serena hasn't played since Wimbledon, and you'd want her to come play here. Venus is not playing. I heard Sharapova pulled out. I'm not even sure. I'm afraid to mention other players because they may have pulled out."...The future of Aussie tennis is looking up since Australia won the 14-and-under ITF world junior tennis team title for the first time, beating host nation Czech Republic in the final. The Aussies were unbeaten in a week of five Davis Cup-style ties in the competition in Prostejov...From the AP: "Michael Chang, the youngest male player to win a Grand Slam tennis title, will open an academy in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, media reported Tuesday. The announcement of Chang's plan came as China is counting down for the Beijing Olympic next August. A Chinese-American, Chang said he aimed to nurture young Chinese players in a bid to bring the level of Chinese tennis up to the international standard. He planned to open his academy in Shenzhen's Mission Hills Country Club, where there are 51 tennis courts."...From the London Free Press: "The word comes from David Shoemaker, chief operating officer and general counsel of the Women's Tennis Association: "The tennis war against doping began in the early 1990s. It was more rudimentary in those days, but now it is handled by the International Doping Test Management company of Sweden, a sampler accredited by the World Anti Doping Agency in Montreal. Two of the early cases would not be considered offences today, but the other two resulted in suspensions. Spain's Lourdes Dominguez-Lino was suspended for three months in 2002 for use of cocaine and Bulgaria's Sesil Karantcheva is still serving a two-year suspension for the use of anabolic steroids. But you can consider tennis as a pretty clean sport."...Men receiving US Open wildcards: Wimbledon junior champion Donald Young, 6-foot-9 John Isner, Alex Kuznetsov, Jesse Levine, Michael McClune, Wayne Odesnik, Ryan Sweeting, and Australia's Alun Jones...Cara Black and Liezel Huber are the first team to qualify for the doubles event at the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Madrid...NCAA singles champ Audra Cohen is among the women receiving wildcards for the 2007 US Open. The 21-year-old Cohen has decided to forgo her senior year at the University of Miami to turn pro. Also receiving wildcards were Americans Jamea Jackson, Lauren Albanese, Madison Brengle, Alexa Glatch, Ahsha Rolle, 2007 USTA Girls' 18s champion Ashley Weinhold, and Australian Jessica Moore...The 50th anniversary of Althea Gibson becoming the first black player to win a title at what is now the US Open will be honored on Aug. 27 at Flushing Meadows...German former tennis umpire Rudi Berger has died of cancer at age 55...Amelie Mauresmo has pulled out of the US Open citing recovery from a pulled groin and appendicitis.

Also see:

Blake a Jolt for U.S.; Says Will Stay Aggressive, But Will the ATP?

Nadal retires, Djokovic flat, but players support back-to-back Masters Series

Djokovic Another Foe For Federer