TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH…WELL, THAT ONE WAS — Martina Navratilova had to abandon her climb of Africa’s highest mountain after getting sick during the ascent, climbing the peak to bring attention to a sports charity. She was released from the hospital on Tuesday. “I am feeling much better and really pleased to be going home. I’d like to thank all the staff at Nairobi Hospital, who were wonderful, and really took care of me,” she said. “I have also been very touched by all the messages of support I have received over the past few days, and want to thank Laureus Academy Chairman Edwin Moses in particular…I did joke that perhaps I have gone above and beyond the call of duty for Laureus on this occasion!” The 54-year-old was assisted down Mount Kilimanjaro and driven to the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, while the rest of the 27-person climbing team went on.
WHAT A COUNTRY(WOMAN)! – It looks like Maria Sharapova will represent Mother Russia in February when Russia faces France in the first round of the Fed Cup in Russia. The former No. 1 will step to the plate for Russia for the first time in three years — because she has to. If Sharapova doesn’t play Fed Cup in 2011, she cannot participate in the 2012 Olympics at Wimbledon. That will cut into her shopping time in the U.S.
Mark Philippoussis is targeting getting into the main draw at Wimbledon in 2011…The ATP New Haven men’s event has moved to Winston-Salem beginning in 2011…Tennis writer Jon Wertheim on the WTA’s public filing document of money generated versus the ATP’s: “I hate to write this and arm the bigots, but I think this document is an awfully damning exhibit against equal prize money. If Organization A generates of $83 million and Organization B generates revenue of $61 million, hasn’t the marketplace determined that one property delivers more value than the other? (And keep in mind: this is 2009, when the WTA still had Sony Ericsson sponsor money and the ATP didn’t have Corona; I suspect the disparity is greater right now.) One of tennis’ great virtues is its “big tent” ability to accommodate men and women at the same events. We all strive for equality. But strictly as a matter of economics, I’m struggling with the concept of equal pay here.”…World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki is hawking zit medicine: “Acne is the last thing I need to worry about when I wake up the day of a big match. I’m happy to speak out about Proactiv, it really works for me. As a female athlete I’m always sweating, under a lot of stress and traveling all over the world, so I needed something that worked with my lifestyle. Proactiv cleared my skin. When I have great skin, I’m confident. When I’m confident, I can focus on winning.”…Three Aussie players, Brydan Klein, Nick Lindahl and Dayne Kelly, have been told by Tennis Australia’s Todd Woodbridge that they are not welcome at the 2011 Australian Open wildcard playoff tournament. “This action has been taken following reports of numerous accounts of unacceptable behavior at tournaments both locally and internationally over the past few months,” Woodbridge told the Herald Sun. “All players are expected to abide by Tennis Australia’s code of ethics and behavior. The opportunity to participate in the Australian Open playoff is a privilege, not a right. This decision will send a clear message to all Australian players that breaching this code will not be supported by Tennis Australia through the granting of wildcards or other financial support.”…Andy Murray was surprisingly the No. 6 Yahoo! sports name search in 2010, behind No. 1 John Terry, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole, David Beckham and Tiger Woods. Roger Federer was No. 10…Andy Roddick’s grandmother died, resulting in the moving of the date for the ConAgra Food Rock-n-Racquets exhibition in Omaha, Neb., to Dec. 17…Robin Soderling has split with coach Magnus Norman after Norman announced he wants to “focus more on his personal life and new projects.” — Sometimes coach-speak for ‘wasn’t getting enough cash’? — ”I had the two best years of my career so far with Magnus as a coach,” Soderling said. “It was fun and exciting to continue, but I reached a point in my career where I need a coach who can put the necessary time and focus 100% on my tennis. That’s why I still feel like it was the right decision for us both and we parted good friends.” Now Soderling has hired Claudio Pistolesi as his new coach. Yikes. No Swedish coaches want to work with him?…Ivan Lendl talking to a local Florida newspaper on the new strings in the modern tennis game: “It’s not so much the rackets as the strings. It’s just amazing what you can do with them; how hard you can hit the ball with spin. The ball moves so much, it’s crazy. It takes away the serve-and-volley game. To me, they shouldn’t be allowed…”…From tennis writer Jon Wertheim on the ATP shortening the ATP calendar and increasing the off-season beginning in 2012: “My pet theory: a lot of the wear and tear isn’t from playing, per se, but from the rigors of travels. Players a generation ago could go through 80 matches in part because they were going from Miami to Tampa, not from New York to Asia to Europe. Maybe the ATP needs to fight space, not time.” — Uhhh, sitting relaxed on plane flights is the problem? Hmmmmm, ok…Lleyton Hewitt has announced he will work with coach Tony Roche again…From Matt Cronin writing for FOX Sports on American girl prospects: “Then there are U.S. junior girls who hold reasonable ITF junior rankings such as Lauren Davis, Beatrice Capra, Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys and Krista Hardebeck. All have had impressive victories at times, but all have question marks whether it is a lack of size, lack of big weapons, or lack of maturity.” — Keys, at around 6 foot, lacks size? How tall do you want her?….The ATP World Team Championship in Dusseldorf, the poor-man’s Davis Cup, is kaput, ending a 33-year-run, after the tournament could not replace outgoing sponsor ARAG…Former world No. 1 and horse showjumping fanatic Martina Hingis has married her French showjumping boyfriend Thibault Hutin. Hutin is 24 and Hingis 30. Rob that cradle Chuckie! “Our wedding came as a surprise for many, but it has been in planning long in advance,” Hingis told a Swiss magazine…Will Rafael Nadal’s new Armani underwear ads show him picking Armani out of his ass?…So all of Pete Sampras’ trophies and stuff got robbed from a storage facility that didn’t have security cameras, etc.? Sounds like Pete went the cheap route with the security place? Can’t image that…The Federer-Nadal exos begin next week, to be televised on ESPN apparently…Tennis-X Awards coming soon — brace yourselves, fools!…This week Maria Sharapova begins working with her new coach, Swede Thomas Hogstedt, at the Bollettieri Academy in Florida. According to Tennis.com, her ever present coach/hitting partner/semi-professional eater Michael Joyce recommended the Hog, who has formerly worked with China’s Na Li and former world No. 2 Tommy Haas. See if you can work on that double-fault-licious serve.
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