TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
CLIJSTERS IS WILD — Former world No. 1 Kim Clijsters, mowing through the competition this week in Cincinnati, has just been awarded another wildcard, this for the Rogers Cup, which begins Monday in Toronto. “So many things have changed. I got married, had a daughter, and that’s something that has a big impact on my life,” Clijsters, the 2005 Rogers Cup champion, said in a statement. “It will change me as a player as well. I’ve been practicing for seven months and I’m looking forward to my second career.” Canucks Stephanie Dubois and Valerie Tetreault were also awarded Toronto wildcards. Clijsters on Thursday defeated French Open and US Open champ Svetlana Kuznetova in Cincinnati, and will next face world No. 1 Dinara Safina if the Russian wins her late Thursday match.
BILLIE JEAN, NOT JUST A GIRL — Billie Jean King on Wednesday in a ceremony at the White House was recognized as a founder of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and champion of gender equality, among 16 global luminaries receiving the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom from U.S. President Barack Obama. America’s highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom is awarded to individuals who make an especially significant contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
At the ATP senior tour event in Portugal this week, Henri Leconte took off his shoes and socks and jumped in a nearly pool in the middle of a match to cool off in the searing temperatures.
US OPEN PULLS — Former No. 1 Carlos Moya is out of the US Open with a foot injury and has been out most of this year, while Kei Nishikori is out with an arm injury.
OUCH — Headline from one of the content experts, AMDC Tennis Examiner, at blog-your-own-crap Examiner.com: “Wayne Carlos Ferrero, former no. 1 defeats Nicolas Lapentti at Legg Mason” then the name repeated throughout the story…
HEAD GOES GREEN — OR NOT: “HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports has been fined USD $24,780 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for allegedly failing to report the amount of toxic chemicals released by its plant in Phoenix, Arizona, USA,” reported TennisGrandstand.com. “According to the EPA, the sports company failed to report emissions of N-hexane and zinc compounds from its facility to EPA’s annual Toxics Release Inventory for 2007.”
MAKE THAT A DOUBLE — From the Montreal Gazette’s Stephanie Myles on the double- and triple-faulting Maria Sharapova: “We always knew she was a mediocre athlete. She herself has said there’s little else she can do athletically beyond hitting a tennis ball…That serve is in tatters now. Technically, Sharapova has shortened the service motion to spare the shoulder. But she also had one of the highest service tosses in the game, and she hasn’t adjusted that to compensate. She’s ready to hit it earlier than before, but the ball is still way beyond her reach. So she has to wait, and the timing is completely off. The first serve is going miles long; the second delivery is going into the net. The double-faults are mounting. She and her coach have to be aware of this. But in the five events since her return, it’s been the same thing every time. Maybe the fact she’s so limited and mechanical (just watch her try to hit a slice, or a volley, if you’re unconvinced) means she’s just unable to modify something she’s done the same way for so long.”
U.S. DAVIS CUP: ANDY RODDICK AND… — U.S. Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe asked when Sam Querrey is going to get a shot at Davis Cup singles, possibly replacing James Blake: “Well, Sam has made great strides no doubt. And James has certainly had an inconsistent year. Our next Davis Cup match is not until March 2010. A lot can happen between now and then. But I’m very optimistic about Sam’s progress and think in the not too distant future, he’ll certainly be playing a larger part in Davis Cup. But I must say James Blake has answered the call every time he has been asked in singles, doubles, and as a practice player, and has been doing that for 10 years, and we should all thank him for his dedication to the Davis Cup effort.”
Maria Sharapova has not won a title since 2008 Amelia Island [CORRECTED].
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