Henin, Sharapova Take to TV; Tennis Week Mag Exits Print
by Staff | March 23rd, 2009, 11:06 pm
  • 27 Comments

TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS

Best headline of last week goes to the New York Times: “Nadal Shows Why He’s No. 1, and Safina Shows Why She Isn’t”…


NO MORE STELLA — Drop a tear in your beer for the disappearance of the Stella Artois Championships. The beer maker has dropped sponsorship of the grasscourt event at the Queen’s Club, which this year will be known as the AEGON Championships. AEGON is an insurance group. Not nearly as delicious sounding…

Robin Soderling won the Sunrise Challenger after taking a late entry into the qualifying event. “I haven’t played qualifying in a Challenger in seven years,” Soderling said. “I’m really glad I didn’t go to practice because winning matches is the best thing for your confidence.”…

Victoria Azarenka joined the Top 10 at No. 10 this week, only the second player from Belarus to crack the Top 10 after Natasha Zvereva…

Former No. 1 Carlos Moya has a hip injury, has pulled from Indian Wells and Miami, and may be done with tennis…

Former world No. 1 Kim Clijsters will return to competitive tennis this summer playing for the World TeamTennis St. Louis Aces…

Roger Federer says he will skip Monte Carlo where last year he was runner-up to Rafael Nadal, so with the ranking points loss, don’t look for him to challenge Nadal’s No. 1 ranking anytime soon — if ever…

HUH? — WTA player Mashona Washington was tossed in jail during Indian Wells for doing $5,000+ in damage to her hotel room — reportedly two days BEFORE she lost in the doubles at the event. She got out on bail, but has to be back in May for her arraignment…

According to data released by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, tennis is the fastest growing sport in America among traditional sports with an increase in participation of 43% from 2000 to 2008…

HENIN TAKES STAR POWER TO BELGIAN TELEVISION — Former No. 1-ranked Justine Henin will be hosting two television shows in Belgium according to the Belgian newspaper Le Soir: one, titled “De twaalf werken van Justine Henin” (The Twelve Works of Justine Henin) will feature her taking on sports, cooking, fashion, etc., challenges. The other will be a music-themed show…

MARIA CRAFTING REALITY SHOW — Maria Sharapova will follow in the footsteps of the Williams sisters with her own television “reality show.” Daniel Kaplan of the Sportsbusiness Journal says Sharapova will be executive producer of a drama series for MTV that is loosely based on her life on the pro tennis tour. “MTV has agreed to the concept, but Sharapova, who is working on the project with her agent and screenwriters, must first produce a pilot that MTV agrees to, the source said. Sharapova in 2007 had an agreement with the CW network, but that deal fell apart with last year’s writers strike.”…

The ATP Johannesburg event has signed a three-year deal with the city, and will be called the Soweto Open, contested at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Complex in Central Western Jabavu, and will be a combined men’s and women’s event, according to the City of Johannesburg’s website…

Former Romanian tennis star Ruxandra Dragomir, 38, has been elected as the new president of the Romanian Tennis Federation…

FEDERER’S BACK GETS BETTERER — Roger Federer on skipping Dubai and Davis Cup to rest his back: “The back was real bad in Basel, Paris and Shanghai at the end of last year and maybe I played too much when it was hurting already and I couldn’t really rest enough. I had to take a tough decision as to whether I would be keep playing with a little pain or take a rest and be sure I would be able to play the next six months without a problem. I took that decision because Davis Cup was important, but I didn’t say I wanted to win it this year yet, I said I would play the first round, but then after that it would be open. But then I decided if I’m not even sure I want to win the Davis Cup yet, why put myself in the position and why not take a rest? My priority is to look at the long term and to play for many more years. I guess I could have played if I knew that my career would be over after Davis Cup but that’s not how I look at it. It was a tough decision and I would have loved to play in the states against the great team they have. I know I let some people down, but I felt after the US Open and the Olympics that the schedule was good enough so I could play Davis Cup, so I announced it, but the back problems occurred and I had to make a different decision. I know some people don’t understand, but if they listen to me, I’m sure they will.”…

Russian Nikolay Davydenko pulled from Indian Wells last week due to his ongoing heel injury, and is also out of Miami, as is Maria Sharapova (shoulder)…

TENNIS WEEK SHUTTERS PRINT EDITION — IMG, which bought the venerable Tennis Week magazine in 2006 after the passing of founder and publisher Eugene L. “Gene” Scott in March of that year, has announced it is halting print publication for the remainder of 2009. Tennis Week positioned the move as “a strategic restructuring” and a “shift in focus to its online web site and its video distribution platform.”

TOMIC SUSPENDED — Australia’s bright young hope, Bernard Tomic, was suspended from playing ITF events until April after an incident last December when he walked off the court during a match. The 16-year-old can’t play ITF events until April 6, and was fined $1,560 (AUS), but he can play ATP events during that period if he can wrangle wildcards. Tomic walked off the court at the Sorrento Challenger after some disputed officiating at the behest of his father, who has developed a reputation as the prototypical “tennis father.” John Tomic then made a public apology at the request of Tennis Australia.

‘HE’LL BE BACK,’ THE BRIT WORLD GROUP TERMINATOR — Brit Davis Cup captain John Lloyd, after refusing the services of Greg Rusedski and then watching his team lose a lowly zonal match to the Ukraine, says he will not step down as captain. Lloyd told BBC Radio 5 Live, “That’s up to my bosses, you can ask my bosses. I’ve got a contract for a little while now and if they’re not happy with me then that’s up to them.” Britain will next host Poland in September as they try to stop their tumble further away from the World Group. “I enjoy the job — I don’t enjoy the losses, that’s for sure,” Lloyd told BBC Radio 5 Live. “If someone thinks they can do better with someone else then that’s up to them, but as far as I know I’m still going to be here in September — unless they kick me out!”

Darren Cahill won’t be coaching Roger Federer, as the travel demands are too much for the Aussie, who has put down roots in Las Vegas and doesn’t want to travel as much with his young children…

From TENNIS magazine’s Steve Tignor writing for ESPN.com on the Williams sisters skipping IW: “On the other hand, [the Williams sisters' Indian Wells] absence isn’t a problem for many serious fans, people who already know all about the Williamses and would rather watch an up-and-comer like Victoria Azarenka or get the first look at a brand-new talent like 15-year-old Croat Ajla Tomljanovic.” — Really? Serious U.S. tennis fans would rather watch Ajla Tomljanovic than the Williams sisters? Now that’s news…

San Francisco news tennis writer Bruce Jenkins on the Williams sisters flap at Indian Wells: “The people in charge of women’s tennis would never admit this, but the Williams sisters control the sport. If they show up for a tournament, there’s an automatic buzz. If they don’t, well, then you have the Indian Wells tournament this week…It’s remarkable to think that after all these years, the women’s tour is still defined by the Williams sisters and their remarkable longevity.”…


Also Check Out:
Henin, Sharapova Face Serbian Challenge at French Open
The Week That Was
Henin, Clijsters in Same Quarter; Williams Sisters Semifinal Looming?
WTA Championships Preview
Serena Willams Might Open 2010 Tennis Season Against Henin in Sydney

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27 Comments for Henin, Sharapova Take to TV; Tennis Week Mag Exits Print

TD (Tam) Says:

quote Staff: “According to data released by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, tennis is the fastest growing sport in America among traditional sports with an increase in participation of 43% from 2000 to 2008″

Every year we hear new attendance records are broken and tennis is growing more popular every year. Tell us American fans, if tennis growing then why can’t we find any tennis to watch on TV???


Giner Says:

“FEDERER’S BACK GETS BETTERER — Roger Federer on skipping Dubai and Davis Cup to rest his back: “The back was real bad in Basel, Paris and Shanghai at the end of last year and maybe I played too much when it was hurting already and I couldn’t really rest enough. I had to take a tough decision as to whether I would be keep playing with a little pain or take a rest and be sure I would be able to play the next six months without a problem. I took that decision because Davis Cup was important, but I didn’t say I wanted to win it this year yet, I said I would play the first round, but then after that it would be open. But then I decided if I’m not even sure I want to win the Davis Cup yet, why put myself in the position and why not take a rest? My priority is to look at the long term and to play for many more years. I guess I could have played if I knew that my career would be over after Davis Cup but that’s not how I look at it. It was a tough decision and I would have loved to play in the states against the great team they have. I know I let some people down, but I felt after the US Open and the Olympics that the schedule was good enough so I could play Davis Cup, so I announced it, but the back problems occurred and I had to make a different decision. I know some people don’t understand, but if they listen to me, I’m sure they will.”…”

Well when DOES he want to win it? When he’s too old to win anything else? If not now, why ever? This year he has the injury excuse, but what about past years? He always skipped the first round and came back to play the relegation tie. His deal was, I’ll help in later rounds, but the Swiss didn’t get past the 1st round without his help, so he never had to keep his end of the deal.

He skipped the 1st round in other years because he wanted to focus on his ranking. It’s ONE damn weekend. It’s not going to kill you. Especially when other top players who also played Indian Wells did play the DC. Nadal played it in 07 and won IW a week later.

If he doesn’t play DC next year (All rounds), I’ll refuse to believe he has any interest in EVER winning it. He’s always been about himself, not his country. Even at the Olympics, he viewed a medal as a personal achievement, and not something out of national pride.

I know this because he used to be a loyal DC player until he became #1. If DC was good enough for him to play back then, why not when he’s #1? Because his ranking started to mean more to him after that.

“TOMIC SUSPENDED — Australia’s bright young hope, Bernard Tomic, was suspended from playing ITF events until April after an incident last December when he walked off the court during a match. The 16-year-old can’t play ITF events until April 6, and was fined $1,560 (AUS), but he can play ATP events during that period if he can wrangle wildcards. Tomic walked off the court at the Sorrento Challenger after some disputed officiating at the behest of his father, who has developed a reputation as the prototypical “tennis father.” John Tomic then made a public apology at the request of Tennis Australia.”

No big deal. ITF if I’m not mistaken doesn’t include Challengers and Satellites. Maybe I am mistaken. But a few months ago, I read that his ban from Challengers, Futures and Satellites would have been 3 years or permanent. April is pretty lenient. That’s only a few weeks away.

“‘HE’LL BE BACK,’ THE BRIT WORLD GROUP TERMINATOR — Brit Davis Cup captain John Lloyd, after refusing the services of Greg Rusedski and then watching his team lose a lowly zonal match to the Ukraine, says he will not step down as captain. Lloyd told BBC Radio 5 Live, “That’s up to my bosses, you can ask my bosses. I’ve got a contract for a little while now and if they’re not happy with me then that’s up to them.” Britain will next host Poland in September as they try to stop their tumble further away from the World Group. “I enjoy the job — I don’t enjoy the losses, that’s for sure,” Lloyd told BBC Radio 5 Live. “If someone thinks they can do better with someone else then that’s up to them, but as far as I know I’m still going to be here in September — unless they kick me out!””

I feel bad for this guy. He has a tough job. I don’t think Rusedski would have made too big a difference. That Canadian supposedly retired, twice. He entered a Challenger event at the end of the season (after TMC) a few years back, to try and supplant Henman as top ranked Brit (he had a chance to do so at the event) and ended up losing in the first round, making an ass of himself.


Giner Says:

“His deal was, I’ll help in later rounds, but the Swiss didn’t get past the 1st round without his help, so he never had to keep his end of the deal.”

I would wager that he knew this. He KNEW that the team wouldn’t get past the first round, so he wouldn’t have to honour his commitment, and no one can blame him for not playing later rounds. He made it appear that he was going to help without ever really needing to. A commitment he could make without consequence yet without looking bad.

He was actually blunt about not playing the 1st round. He said the team was too dependent on him and that he alone couldn’t carry the team. It was time they found someone else to share the burden with before he’d return. Well they did when Stanislas Wawrinka became top 10, but Fed didn’t change his tune.

Even his excuse of wanting to win Indian Wells didn’t add up, when Nadal won it in 07 and 09 whilst still playing DC (and Djokovic winning IW in 08 although he did retire in DC that round).

I wish he would be honest about it. He just doesn’t give a crap about DC. But he’s more than willing to make use of the DC captain’s coaching services.


Giner Says:

Miami draw is out.

Nadal has Murray in his half.

Federer has Djokovic. Roddick landed in Federer’s quarter. I expect Fed to beat Roddick then Djokovic back to back. Probably lose to Murray in the final, who will be after revenge against Rafa.

The draw is pretty balanced. Can’t say any quarter is tougher than any other. Davy is defending champ and not playing.

Nadal’s first seed he could run into is Karlovic, which is always going to be dangerous. For Murray it’s Fish. Federer could face Kiefer as his first seed, and Djokovic could face PHM.

Its a pity that Roddick will have to beat Federer to get a rematch against Djokovic. These two are starting to become rivals.


zola Says:

of all these, I am glad that Stella is leaving. How awful to have a sports event sponsored by beer or cigarette companies!

and poor Tomic!
It seems to be a recurring story. But why Tomic was suspnded. Couldn’t they just ban his father from tournaments? Reminds me of Dokic’s dad.


zola Says:

Karlovic is tough. Let’s see how Rafa will handle the match.

Djoko-Fed-Roddick should be interesting and Murray-Rafa too, should it happen.

As I said before, I don’t mind an early exit for Rafa. He has enough points not to worry about his ranking. Hard courts are hard on his knees and there is a loooooooooooooooooooooong season ahead.


Giner Says:

zola: there was some tournament being sponsored by a sportsbetting house..

Nadal doesn’t tank his matches. He plays to win every match, and every point actually. He’ll run down every ball to send a message to his opponents.

If he loses in Paris, he might change his MO.


zola Says:

Giner,
I didn’t say he would tank his matches. I know he wouldn’t. Even Toni didn’t want him to play doubles and he did. He just loves to be on court!

what I said was that if he loses early I won’t be too sad. I think there’s a difference.


zola Says:

what is MO?
sorry. I am very internet language illiterate!


Von Says:

Zola: MO is an acronym for the Latin words Modus Operandi = a person’s mode/manner of operation.


zola Says:

Thanks Von for the explanation.


tenisbebe Says:

“If he doesn’t play DC next year (All rounds), I’ll refuse to believe he has any interest in EVER winning it. He’s always been about himself, not his country. Even at the Olympics, he viewed a medal as a personal achievement, and not something out of national pride.” Really? How do you know? Did he say that or elude to it?

“I know this because he used to be a loyal DC player until he became #1. If DC was good enough for him to play back then, why not when he’s #1? Because his ranking started to mean more to him after that.” Alot of players stop playing DC when they hit the big time: Sampras for a start.


tenisbebe Says:

I am not a beer drinker but love Stella Artois – why is it objectionable if a beer company sponsors tennis? Others (Coors, Bud) sponsor all kinds of sports. These companies have big bucks & are for the most part recession-proof. IMO any loss of a sponsor is a negative for tennis as they are getting harder to replace.


zola Says:

I think advertising something that is not healthy for the body negates the whole purpose of the sport.


MMT Says:

“and poor Tomic! It seems to be a recurring story. But why Tomic was suspnded. Couldn’t they just ban his father from tournaments? Reminds me of Dokic’s dad.”

Tomic has to be suspended because he walked off the court. If his father had walked on the court, or created a ruckus outside of it, then he can be banned, but the boy walked off the court. No matter who incited him to do so, he still did it, and he has to face the music.

Anyway, if this is all just the influence of the father, and he’s under his thumb, then there’s better way to get him to declare his independence for him to realize that he suffers the consequences of his father’s behavior, not his father. But I digress…

My point is: if you have to dance with the devil, then you’ll have to go to hell to do it.


MMT Says:

Correction: “…and he’s under his thumb, then there’s [NO] better way to get him to declare his independence…”


Nadal is the GOAT Says:

There are more chances of Nadal winning the calendar slam in 2009 than him losing a set at the Roland Garros.


di-10S Says:

I’m more bummed about TennisWeek not publishing. Not only can you not find tennis on tv, but now you can barely find magazines or even scores in newspapers. The only survivor seems to be Tennis magazine- which sucks. :(


Von Says:

I personally don’t see anything wrong with beer commercials. Beer, in some respects is healthy: hops, malt, etc., except for the alcohol portion, which ranges from 8-12 percent, which isn’t very high v. vodka, gin, scotch.

I’d be thrilled if there were more beer sponsors in tennis, and agree with tenisbebe, that’s where the money’s at, so why not welcome it, instead of shunning its tennis sponsorship. There’s very little anyone can do about beer drinking which is similar to soda consumption nowadays. I say bring on the beer, and just maybe we’ll see more tennis on TV here in the US.


Von Says:

MMT: “My point is: if you have to dance with the devil, then you’ll have to go to hell to do it.”

Absolutely. Maybe Tomic should divorce his dad. It’s so sad to see what some of the tennis parents are doing to their children’s careers. Instead of helping their children, the parents are ruining them and are setting them up for all kinds of mental problems and media ridicule. It blows my mind to think of the agony these children are suffering. I think the parents should remain home and let the coaches do their jobs.


jane Says:

Yeah, I’d “third” tenisbebe and Von’s notions that beer is in fact a desired sponsor for tennis events. As tenisbebe noted, beer is pretty much “recession proof” and so that keeps tennis afloat, so to speak, and as Von mentioned, beer has some healthy qualities, as does, say, a glass of wine a day.

I loved the grasscourt Queens event, all decked out in red for Stella. An insurance company is much, er, drier.


Von Says:

jane; “..as does, say, a glass of wine a day.”

Well, I’m going with St. Paul, who said: “A little wine is good for the soul”. And, my soul needs all the help it can get. Not to mention the body, where studies have found wine is beneficial for the ticker. Yeah, bring on the beer and the wine — cheers everyone, and down the hatch.


Von Says:

A footnote on wine — The Tennis channel has a sponsor, McMillan’s? Wines, and I’m glad they’re advertising on TC because we’ve been getting some better programming. I only wish there were more such sponsors then maybe we’d see the IW and Miami matches on TC instead of FSN, which has me wondering what type of coverage we’ll have for Miami from FSN. I feel a headache coming on.


Giner Says:

Heinekken has sponsored the Australian Open for over a decade. I believe they still do. Johnny Mac was a big promoter in their commercials. It’s no big deal.

But the betting house sponsoring a tournament is just ironic.


zola Says:

MMT,
Right, but how old is Tomic? 16? I think at this age many kids are still under the influence of their parents. Sure he shouldn’t have walked off but it is hard for a kid at that age to stand up to his own father.

overly controlling parents are a big problem in sport. A stupid dad can ruin a child’s future.


MMT Says:

Zola, I agree. Tomic is just a kid, but he has endeavored to succeed in a man’s game, and he has to play by the rules. I think he was lucky he didn’t get a longer suspension, and it should have been harsher. As it is, he has been given a “light sentence” which can in fact precipitate similar behavior in the future.

Now, both he and his father know that as long as his father is in the picture, he will be on the receiving end of special consideration because he’s a kid, and as such, have a freedom to flout the rules in a way that other players cannot, which is not fair, in my opinion.

There are men with families on tour trying to earn a living, that have to play by one set of rules, and apparently phenoms with domineering parents that are allowed to play by another. I understand that tennis is a business, and there’s a lot of money to go around for a young Australian prodigy, but it’s still wrong to give him special treatment because he’s a kid.

The suspension should have been harsher. After all, a man has to finish what he starts and he didn’t.

Not that anyone should care what I think, but he gets no sympathy from me.


zola Says:

MMT

You are right . Rules are rules. If he is in the tour he should be treated the same.
I didn’t know if that match was a pro or a junior.

But anyway, I think more than anything I am annoyed with his father. He has great potential and it is sad to see it destroyed like this.

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2 Rafael Nadal2 Simona Halep
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6 Milos Raonic6 Na Li
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