Tennis No 1 in Australia, Twin Towers Play Doubles: Tennis-X Notes


Posted on December 31, 2007

TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
Maria Sharapova says Michael Joyce is her coach rather than her father...

The Tennis Channel is available in HD on DirecTV...

Petr Pala is the new captain of the Czech Fed Cup team...

John Isner and Ivo Karlovic are planning on playing doubles together at the Australian Open...

Roger Federer is planning on skipping much of the indoor season after the Aussie Open to rest-up...

In a survey done by the Sweeney Sports Report, tennis is now the top sport in Australia. Tennis (62 percent) edged swimming (61 percent) in the country's top sports and sponsorship survey, with Aussie Rules football third (57 percent), followed by cricket (51 percent) and soccer (49 percent). "There could be a number of reasons for it, from the (Roger) Federer-(Rafael) Nadal phenomenon to the fact Lleyton Hewitt and Bec Cartwright are on every magazine cover," said Sweeney Sports General Manager Todd Deacon, speaking with Australia's Herald Sun. "It's also one of the few sports in the top 10 which is actually more popular with females than males."...

Chinese "bad girl" Shuai Peng had an eventful close to 2007, breaking up with coach Michael Chang, then retiring in the third set of the final in a local tournament in China, complaining about the umpire and citing an injury. Peng then left the court, skipping the awards ceremony. "We will fine Peng for such behavior, which is against sporting morality," read the Chinese Tennis Association's official website...

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the entire U.S. Davis Cup team of Andy Roddick, James Blake and the Bryan brothers signed a letter to the USTA asking that buddy Robby Ginepri receive a wildcard into the Australian Open. The request was politely declined, with the USTA sticking to its policy of no wildcards for players older than 22, and Ginepri is forced to play the Aussie Open qualifying rounds...

From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Charlie Bricker on 17-year-old, 5-foot-4 Madison Brengle winning the USTA's Australian Open wildcard playoff event in December at the Evert Tennis Academy: "She doesn't have one major weapon, and with her size, she must get better at finishing points at the net. On balance, looking at these eight players performing at the Evert Academy says a lot about the lack of talent U.S. women will be bringing to the women's tour in the next year. This was not a four-day display of impressive tennis."...

Anna Kournikova was the most-searched athlete in 2007 for the eighth consecutive year on Lycos.com...

Richard Gasquet pulled from Adelaide citing a knee injury...

Dominik Hrbaty will miss the Australian Open after again undergoing an operation on his right elbow...

The Italian Tennis Federation announced that Italian players Potito Starace and Daniele Bracciali have been suspended for internet betting, with their suspensions to commence on Jan. 1 of 2008. The 26-year-old Starace, Italy's highest-ranked player, has been suspended for six weeks and fined $30,000(US) for reportedly making five bets totalling around 90 euros two years ago. The 29-year-old Bracciali received a three-month ban and was fined $20,000 for making around 50 five-euro bets between 2004-2005. "Neither player has ever betted on one of his own matches," said the Italian Tennis Federation in a statement, also striking out at the ATP, the governing body of men's professional tennis. "The ATP must have known about these bets for years but they have only struck now to show that they are in some way handling this scandal."...

U.S. TV tennis commentator Ted Robinson: "Anna Chakvetadze, one of the WTA top performers in 2007, was robbed in her Moscow home this week. Bound for 30 minutes, she escaped unharmed. But hardly unaffected. Do we understand that Russian athletes are targets? Do we wonder any more if some unsavory characters might have approached Nikolay Davydenko and reminded him that they knew where his family members lived? I have no proof, but that rumor made the rounds of the tennis world after the Sopot scandal. And I am having a harder time dismissing the possibility. Tennis should be worried."...

Aussie Sam Stosur, after being hospitalized in Florida in September with viral meningitis, has pulled from the Australian Women's Hardcourt and the Australian Women's Open saying she is not fit. "I am very disappointed I won't be able to compete during the Australian summer," Stosur told the AP. "I have been back training for the last three weeks but I've realized that I won't be fully ready to compete at the Australian Women's Hardcourts, which starts in six days, and I've also withdrawn from the Australian Open."...

Roughly three years ago, Anastasia Myskina was the No. 2 player in the world. In December it was revealed that Myskina, who has not played since last year's French Open suffering various injuries, is 4-5 months pregnant and has broken up with the father, Russian hockey player Konstantin Korneev. In an interview for the Russian newspaper Tvoi Den, Myskina said, "That topic is closed. I'll just say that I am not getting married in the near future. I am a single person. I don't know about the baby's gender yet, and I haven't decided yet where I will give birth -- in Russia or abroad."...

Australia realized its first No. 1-ranked woman player in December 2007 when the WTA Tour, combing through old results from the 1970s and adding them to their computer system, realized that Evonne Goolagong was supposed to be briefly ranked No. 1 for a two-week period in 1976, supplanting Chris Evert. The WTA Tour Rankings were introduced in 1975, but records and results from the 1970s are sketchy, with the WTA Tour missing some records from 1976. Until 1990, the women's rankings were calculated every two weeks...

This is the final year of the ATP Adelaide event, which beginning in 2009 will be merged with the Gold Coast women's event to form a new ATP-WTA dual Brisbane super-event in 2009 at Queensland's $77 million State Tennis Centre, currently under construction...

Maria Sharapova on women's tennis and match-fixing/gambling: "[The] WTA does its best, through several meetings with us during the year, to encourage us, give us confidence regarding our talent and skills. Women's tennis is clean."...
Rankings
ATP - Apr 21 WTA - Apr 21
1 Rafael Nadal1 Serena Williams
2 Novak Djokovic2 Na Li
3 Stanislas Wawrinka3 Agnieszka Radwanska
4 Roger Federer4 Victoria Azarenka
5 David Ferrer5 Simona Halep
6 Tomas Berdych6 Petra Kvitova
7 Juan Martin Del Potro7 Angelique Kerber
8 Andy Murray8 Jelena Jankovic
9 Milos Raonic9 Maria Sharapova
10 John Isner10 Dominika Cibulkova
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