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  #121  
Старый 3rd January 2005, 01:12
Kasper Kasper вне форума
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Регистрация: 17th February 2003
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Cash defends Open surface
02jan05

PAT Cash, the last Australian to contest an Australian Open final on Rebound Ace, believes the rubberised court is "a great surface".


But the 1987 Wimbledon champion believes the surface can be bad for tennis if it is slowed down too much.

"I think Rebound Ace is a great surface," said Cash, who lost the first Australian Open final at Melbourne Park to Swede Mats Wilander in 1988.

"It's a tough surface, but it is fair. One of the differences between the Australian Open and the US Open is that the US Open has faster balls. You just can't have slow balls and slow courts and it gets back to what's good for the game of tennis.

"Slow balls and slow courts do not produce good tennis. The balls at the Australian Open might be a problem."

Cash's comments came in the wake of world No3 Lleyton Hewitt's fear that the centenary Open courts are too slow.

Wimbledon and US Open champion Hewitt's claims have been rejected by tournament chief executive Paul McNamee.

No Australian man has won the Open since Mark Edmonson beat John Newcombe in 1976. Hewitt has never made it past the fourth round in eight attempts.

Hewitt says the surface is too slow for Australian players and has accused McNamee of ignoring requests to speed it up to enhance local hopes.

"At the end of the day, it's their (Tennis Australia's) tournament. It's the Australian Open's business how they want the court," Hewitt said.

"But I know the US Open would definitely be going up to (Andy) Roddick and (Pete) Sampras and (Andre) Agassi and asking them what kind of surface they want and how quick they want it.

"If one of those guys are in the semi or the final, it's making the USTA a hell of a lot of money."

Cash, ranked No4 in the world at his peak, also said the rash of ankle injuries suffered on Rebound Ace had nothing to do with the surface.

"There are two things about Rebound Ace which are overrated," Cash said.

"The first one is heat. Heat has always been a challenge in Australia and I don't think it helps when the Europeans come out here without properly preparing.

"The other thing is shoes. You have to adjust the type of shoes you use. It's the same as going from grass to clay to hardcourt. "It's the same with Rebound Ace. They should use the right shoes. I never had a problem with it."

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  #122  
Старый 10th January 2005, 00:09
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Exclusive: Week of January 10 Men's Preview
Men's Look Forward: Sydney, Auckland

There is a strange air about Sydney. Is it possible for an event to pay negative appearance fees?

This is usually one of the stronger optional events of the year. This year, it isn't particularly noteworthy -- there are two Top Ten players in Lleyton Hewitt and Carlos Moya, last year's finalists, with #11 Joachim Johansson taking the #3 seed -- but the number of strong mid-level players is amazing. It's as if they had a near-Masters field, and then started driving away the top players.

If nothing else, it should help Lleyton Hewitt's chances of earning his first title of the year.

The full seed list is Hewitt at #1, Moya at #2, Johansson #3, Andrei Pavel #4, Feliciano Lopez #5, Nikolay Davydenko #6 (there must have been a lot of flights from Dubai to here), Thomas Johansson at #7, and Taylor Dent #8. That means only eight Top 30 players. But in the range just below that we have Filippo Volandri, Florian Mayer, Robin Soderling, Mardy Fish, Fernando Verdasco, Tomas Berdych, Jurgen Melzer, Xavier Malisse, Albert Costa, Igor Andreev, and Radek Stepanek, plus fast-recovering Greg Rusedski. Max Mirnyi and Wayne Arthurs are pretty strong threats on their best days, also, though they like their courts faster and had rough years last year. Mark Philippoussis was supposed to get a wildcard, but his injury forced him to withdraw, letting Jarkko Nieminen get in as a Lucky Loser (also known as, The gone-to-pieces replacing the gone-to-pieces).

If Sydney is weaker than usual, Auckland is as strong as we can recall it being in recent years; it actually has a Top Ten player in Guillermo Coria (assuming he plays; he had a back problem at Hopman Cup). It's still the weaker event -- Coria is the only Top Ten player -- but it's at least respectable. Tommy Robredo is the #2 seed, last year's champion Dominik Hrbaty is #3 though his ranking just took a nosedive, Vincent Spadea is #4, Fernando Gonzalez #5, Juan Ignacio Chela #6.

The biggest name and best news, though, may be the #7 seed: Juan Carlos Ferrero will be trying to find some sort of form before the Australian Open.

The #8 seed goes to Luis Horna. That still leaves some interesting unseeded players: Sjeng Schalken. Jonas Bjorkman. Max Mirnyi. Rafael Nadal. Agustin Calleri. And James Blake, though he needed a wildcard to get into the draw. Happily, he looked reasonably good at Hopman Cup -- not up to his old standards, perhaps, but at least much better than he was last fall.

It's unfortunate that all this has to happen at low-level optional events the week before the Australian Open. The results will affect the seedings only at Vina del Mar, Delray Beach, and Milan -- and there is every reason to think that those events will be incredibly weak.

For this week, though, we get a very nice long list of...

Noteworthy First Round Matches

At Sydney, there is interest even at the very top, where top seed Hewitt faces Karol Beck. Hewitt is clearly the better player -- but Beck can make anyone work; Hewitt will probably be forced to bring out more than just his plain speed.

Arnaud Clement collapsed so badly that he had to qualify for this event. He succeeded, and will face Tomas Zib in the opener for the right to face Lleyton Hewitt. (Talk about a fast section of the draw: The first three names in the field are Hewitt, Clement, and Beck!) It's hard to imagine Clement winning that, but how well he does might give us an indication of whether he's recovered his form at all.

Wayne Arthurs was struggling with injury in the off-season, but he came back fairly strong. His contest with Filippo Volandri might prove a good measure of how fast this court is.

Florian Mayer and Thomas Johansson were some of the fastest movers in the 2004 rankings. We might get a hint at which one will move more in 2005 when they face off.

Big serves will be the order of the day when Joachim Johansson faces Greg Rusedski -- though there will be some contrast, since Rusedski tends to follow his in and Johansson stays back. On the other hand, if you want to see a pure big-serving netrusher face a true baseliner, the contest between Max Mirnyi and David Ferrer might be more to your liking. We'll also be seeing lots of big serves as Mardy Fish faces Robin Soderling; the key there will be to see who executes his other shots better.

There are a lot of promising young players here, including Igor Andreev and Florian Mayer among others. But the best match of young talents will surely be between Fernando Verdasco and Tomas Berdych.

At Auckland, before we saw the draw, the big question in our minds was, "How will Ferrero do?" The good news is, he opens against a qualifier, so he might have a little time to ease into things.

Not so defending champion Dominik Hrbaty; he'll have to start against last year's finalist Rafael Nadal. Top seed Guillermo Coria also faces an interesting task: He was experiencing back problems, and he'll have to start against Sjeng Schalken, who won this tournament back in 1999. Other seeds facing tough tasks include #8 Luis Horna, who faces Adelaide semifinalist Olivier Rochus, and #5 Fernando Gonzalez, who will have to deal with the seemingly-recovered James Blake.

The Rankings

As we said above, this tournament by itself won't mean much. In fact, with the exception of the #5-#6, spots, entire Top Ten appears to be fixed: After this is over, it will still be Federer, Roddick, Hewitt, and Safin will be #1, #2, #3, and #4, while Henman, Agassi, Nalbandian, and Gaudio will take the #7-#10 spots. Still, the outcome here could affect the rankings after the Australian Open. If Lleyton Hewitt fails to defend his title, it will be a little harder for him to take the #2 ranking from Andy Roddick in Melbourne.

And there are Moya and Coria at #5 and #6. Moya has 120 points to defend this week, and 75 in his nineteenth tournament; Coria could pass him with a good result. On the other hand, Moya leads Marat Safin in safe points after Melbourne, and Coria isn't far behind; either or both could make a run at Safin come the Australian Open.

And then there are all the players with points to defend, many of whom aren't here. Last year, Gustavo Kuerten and Jiri Novak made the Auckland semifinals, and neither is playing; Martin Verkerk and Wayne Ferreira made the Sydney finals, and they aren't playing (in Ferreira's case, of course, that's because he's retired).

Hewitt and Moya were the Sydney finalists, and we've covered them. The Auckland finalists were Dominik Hrbaty and Rafael Nadal. A bad result could cost Nadal some of the points he picked up at Doha, but Hrbaty is the one who really stands to lose. His decision to play at Hopman Cup was a great moral success, in that the Slovaks took home the title -- but it still cost him his Top 20 ranking. Another bad result and he could find himself in the nether regions of the Top 30.

Key Matches

As we already noted, an incredibly tough draw means that last year's Auckland finalists, Hrbaty and Nadal, will face each other in the first round. That spells a big rankings hit for somebody. It has Match of the Day written all over it.

Whichever player survives that will also face an interesting quarterfinal, since -- if the seeds hold -- the winner will end up facing Juan Carlos Ferrero. That will be Ferrero's first really big test, though -- given his form of last fall -- Alberto Martin in the second round is no fun either.

It will also be interesting to see how Guillermo Coria does, first against Sjeng Schalken, then probably Cyril Saulnier, then Luis Horna. How bad are his back problem?

Sydney doesn't have a single match comparable to the Hrbaty/Nadal contest, but there are so many questions we want answered! There is the Hewitt/Clement second round match we already mentioned. Jarkko Nieminen really needs to get himself together; can he do anything against Jurgen Melzer? Carlos Moya wants to pick up enough points to stay #5; he'll have a tough path against Radek Stepanek, Igor Andreev or Albert Costa, and Feliciano Lopez.

We'll also be interested in the performances of the "No, We Aren't Related" Johanssons. Thomas has to deal with Florian Mayer, then perhaps Volandri, then Hewitt. It's hard to imagine him winning through that draw, but again, it will indicate his level of progress. Joachim is going to get sick of big servers, it looks like. He'll have to face Greg Rusedski, then Max Mirnyi, then a rematch of the Adelaide final against Taylor Dent (unless Mardy Fish or Robin Soderling intervenes; it's a big server in any case). Then it really gets interesting: He would have to face Lleyton Hewitt, the brother of his girlfriend. It won't be the first time (remember the U. S. Open semifinal?) -- though Jaslyn Hewitt might not be around this time; she lost in Sydney qualifying, and could still be playing Australian Open qualifying. But, given her record, she is likely to be done at Melbourne before the Hewitt/Johansson face-off. We don't envy her. If Hewitt wins that match, it improves his chances of being #2. But if Johansson wins it, his odds of hitting the Top Ten at Melbourne will be that much stronger. He can't quite pass Gaston Gaudio at Sydney -- but a title would put him bare points behind the Argentine going into Melbourne.
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  #123  
Старый 10th January 2005, 00:12
Kasper Kasper вне форума
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Exclusive: Week of January 9 Women's Preview
Women's Look Forward: Sydney, Canberra, Hobart

Call Sydney the most ironic event on the WTA Tour. For years, it was permitted to pay less in prize money than any other Tier II (because of currency exchange rates), but it still had one of the strongest fields of any event on the Tour.

Why? Because it is the one and only Tier II available as an Australian Open warmup. For the top players, it's a choice between playing Sydney or coming into Melbourne cold.

As a result, we've frequently had every top player except the Williams Sisters in the Sydney draw, and a cutoff for direct entry somewhere around ##28.

Not this year. Sydney now pays full Tier II prize money, but while it's still pretty strong -- the top player in qualifying was Flavia Pennetta, #38 when entries closed, and she lost first round! -- it's no longer frighteningly so.

The qualifying was still mildly interesting, if for no other reason than the presence of all the young Russians. It fell off swiftly below Pennetta; with two Tier V events this week, most mid-level players elected to be seeded at Canberra or Hobart; the only other Top 50 player to sign up was Maria Vento-Kabchi, and she pulled out. But Anna Chakvetadze, of win-over-Myskina fame, beat #5 qualifying seed Virginie Razzano in the opening round of qualifying, Evgenia Linetskaya took out #7 seed Marissa Irvin, and Maria Kirilenko also made the second round -- though all three lost in that round.

The main draw, after Justine Henin-Hardenne withdrew (see story in today's Daily Tennis), has only three Top Ten players -- but it's three pretty solid Top Ten players: World #1 Lindsay Davenport, #3 Anastasia Myskina, and #6 Elena Dementieva. And below that -- well, below that it looks like Sydney always used to. #11 Vera Zvonareva is the #4 seed, Nadia Petrova is #5 though there is doubt about whether she can play, Australia's #1 Alicia Molik is #6, and Gold Coast champion Patty Schnyder is #7, meaning that the field includes 7 of the top 14 players in the world. The #8 seed went to Ai Sugiyama, though she is no longer Top 20. But we have a couple of unseeded Top 20 players in Karolina Sprem and Francesca Schiavone. Top 30 players in the field include Nathalie Dechy, Lisa Raymond, Tatiana Golovin, Magdalena Maleeva, Jelena Jankovic, Elena Likhovtseva, and Fabiola Zuluaga. Australians will be cheering at the presence of Samantha Stosur, who was given a well-deserved wildcard after her performance at Gold Coast. As you can well imagine, there are some fine first round matches.

The doubles has its interest, too. The rumors from last year are true: Lisa Raymond and Rennae Stubbs are back together; they're the #1 seeds. Conchita Martinez, who needed a wildcard to get into the singles, is again playing with Virgina Ruano Pascual; they're the #2 seeds. Elena Dementieva has apparently decided to stick with Ai Sugiyama for a while; they're #3. Barbara Schett is playing her next-to-last event; she and Patty Schnyder are #4. Martina Navratilova and Daniela Hantuchova will be making their debut together; they are unseeded. And, in a surprising move, Lindsay Davenport chose to play doubles; she is once again teaming with Corina Morariu.

An interesting feature of the draw is the emptiness of the bottom quarter: Myskina's section of the draw contains four qualifiers or Lucky Losers, the injured Nadia Petrova (which means we might well see another Lucky Loser), plus Daniela Hantuchova. That might be the easiest path to the semifinal ever recorded in a Tier II.

The week's other two events, Canberra and Hobart, are both Tier IV tournaments, but Canberra has long been slightly the stronger, and it appears that it's so this year also. It has, in Silvia Farina Elia, the only Top 25 player at either event; she is, naturally, the #1 seed. The #2 seed is Anna Smashnova, who last year was talking about retirement but obviously has recovered enough from her divorce to at least try playing; we'll have to see if she's over the slump she suffered. Meghann Shaughnessy is the #3 seed, Marion Bartoli #4, Emilie Loit #5, Nicole Pratt #6 if she can play (she withdrew last week), Maria Sanchez Lorenzo #7, and Tathiana Garbin #8. Tatiana Panova, Vera Douchevina, Tamarine Tanasugarn, and Anne Kremer give us interesting floaters. Auckland champion Katarina Srebotnik is also here, and Michaella Krajicek will once again be trying to translate junior success into a WTA win -- which she might finally manage, given that she opens against a wildcard.

The doubles hasn't nearly the interest of the singles, or of the Sydney doubles; the most interesting point is that Marion Bartoli and Emilie Loit are both here, but not playing together. Bartoli is #1 with Anna-Lena Groenefeld; Loit is #2 with Claudine Schaul. And Tina Krizan is trying out Tathiana Garbin as the #3 seeds. But it's a weak field even for a Tier IV; Bartoli/Groenefeld is the only team with a combined ranking above #100.

The top seed at Hobart is last year's winner Amy Frazier. Gisela Dulko, just off reaching the Hopman Cup final is #2. Iveta Benesova takes the #3 spot, with Shinobu Asagoe #4 even though her results at Auckland made her the #2 player in the field. Anabel Medina Garrigues is #5, Maria Elena Camerin #6, Dinara Safina a surprisingly low #7, and Klara Koukalova #8. We have three interesting floaters: Nicole Vaidisova (though she was sick last week), Li Na, and Kveta Hrdlickova Peschke, who earned direct entry based on very strong Challenger results last fall; based on the form she showed then, she is probably playing better than some of the seeds.

Noteworthy First Round Matches.

Almost all of these are at Sydney. At Hobart, we'd mention only the contest between top seed Frazier and Li Na -- the more so since Frazier will come in tired. Canberra features a match between top seed Farina Elia and Tatiana Panova; there is also Krajicek's match with Lauren Breadmore. But Sydney -- just about everything is good there, even though the top four seeds have byes.

For starters, we have two matches between Top 20 players: #6 seed Alicia Molik will face Francesca Schiavone in a replay of a Hopman Cup match won by Molik; we'll also be treated to a contest between #7 seed Patty Schnyder and Karolina Sprem.

#8 seed Ai Sugiyama will also have her problems, since she opens against Tatiana Golovin, and Golovin looked better at Gold Coast than did Sugiyama.

Other noteworthy matches feature Nathalie Dechy against Lisa Raymond in a contest of players without big power; Samantha Stosur's big serve against Jelena Kostanic's touch; Eleni Daniilidou facing Conchita Martinez in a contest of slowcourt-loving one-handers who slumped badly last year; and Jelena Jankovic against Elena Likhovtseva in a contest which could have Top 25 implications if Jankovic is over her sickness.

The Rankings

In one sense, this week hardly matters: The rankings after Sydney will be used to seed only the Pan Pacific and Pattaya, which are weak enough that the outcomes won't matter much. But there are some interesting implications, related mostly to the fact that last year's champion Justine Henin-Hardenne and finalist Amelie Mauresmo aren't playing (Mauresmo has another minor injury, though she doubtless wants to play Melbourne). Mauresmo's absence means that Lindsay Davenport is sure to stay #1 -- but Mauresmo leads Anastasia Myskina by only 534 points, and has 226 to defend. If Myskina can win Sydney -- and this seems like a good surface for her, apart from the fact that Davenport has been hobbling -- she will likely move up to #2 in the world, with chances for #1 at Melbourne.

#6 Elena Dementieva is less than 100 points behind #4 Maria Sharapova. If she can win, she will certainly hit #4; a final would probably do it.

For the moment, Justine Henin-Hardenne should stay #8. That will last only one more week.

Vera Zvonareva needs to pick up only 60 points to pass Jennifer Capriati and reach the Top 10, but she has a huge "tail" of points in her eighteenth and higher tournaments; she will need at least a semifinal to do it.

Several other players have significant amounts to defend. Canberra champion Paola Suarez isn't playing, and will almost certainly lose several ranking spots; she might even fall out of the Top 20 if everything goes wrong -- though the player she beat in the final, Silvia Farina Elia, obviously also will have points come off, which helps Suarez's situation a bit, as does the fact that Francesca Schiavone has 130 points to defend. Hobart champion Amy Frazier will also lose some ground, though she'll probably stay Top 30, but the player she beat in that final, Shinobu Asagoe, will probably lose the career high she just gained. Asagoe also won the Hobart doubles, and isn't playing this week, though she built a bit of a cushion for those points at Auckland. We might well see Cara Black and Rennae Stubbs swap the #3 doubles ranking, since they won Sydney last year, and Stubbs is playing Sydney while Black is sitting out the Hobart doubles to concentrate on singles qualifying!

Key Matches

There are only a few which are really key for rankings reasons, most of them at Sydney. We'd mention the Davenport/Dementieva semifinal, which will determine whether Dementieva makes #4; the Zvonareva/Molik quarterfinal, which would likely put Zvonareva in the Top Ten if she wins (though the odds of her beating Myskina seem remote), and the final, which if won by Myskina would make her #2.

There are, however, quite a few players with question marks hanging over them; we can hope this week will answer those questions. Perhaps the biggest question of all occures at the very top of the rankings, with Davenport. She pulled out of Hopman Cup, and there was talk that she might miss the entire Rebound Ace season. Has she recovered? She'll be fairly well tested in her opening match, when she faces either her friend Lisa Raymond or Nathalie Dechy.

Conchita Martinez and Eleni Daniilidou are both in poor form, and Martinez skipped the entire indoor season. They face each other in the first round to see which is more messed up.

Ai Sugiyama hasn't looked very good lately, either. Tatiana Golovin is a tough test.

Jelena Jankovic made big strides in the second half of last year, but she still has trouble against top players. She will have to tackle first Elena Likhovtseva, then Alicia Molik. And to think she could have signed up for a nice easy Tier V....

Just how badly is Nadia Petrova hurting? She gets to open against a qualifier, but then she has to take on Daniela Hantuchova. Away from Sydney, the big question appears to be Anna Smashnova's mental state. She won't face much opposition in the early stages, but her semifinal against Meghann Shaughnessy could be revealing. Handicapping the Australian Open is very tricky right now. It is likely to become much easier over the next week.
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  #124  
Старый 3rd March 2005, 08:25
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По материалам газеты "Спорт-Экспресс" 2 марта

ВНИМАНИЕ: ГОНСАЛЕС!
"В отсутствие травмированного олимпийского чемпиона Николаса Массу у сборной Чили крайне мало шансов победить в Москве. Фернандо Гонсалес - хороший игрок, но в одиночку ему будет трудно противостоять Марату Сафину, Михаилу Южному или Николаю Давыденко. У нашего второго номера Адриана Гарсии против ваших теннисистов вообще нет шансов. Думаю, что выездной матч против сборной России - один из худших вариантов из тех, которые мог подкинуть нам жребий в прошлом году", - написал мне на прошлой неделе Родриго Лопес - журналист чилийской газеты La Tercera, с которым мы по электронной почте обменялись мнениями перед матчем первого круга Кубка Дэвиса-2005, начинающегося в пятницу в Москве.

То, что гости выглядят в этом матче явными аутсайдерами, очевидно. В нашу пользу вроде бы все - и куда более ровный состав российской команды, и быстрое покрытие салатового цвета, уложенное в "Олимпийском", и болельщики, которые ждут не дождутся увидеть в деле чемпиона Australian Open Сафина и его товарищей по сборной.

Однако относиться к чилийцам свысока было бы большой ошибкой. Хотя бы потому, что в распоряжении их капитана Серхио Элиаса все-таки есть один высококлассный мастер - олимпийский чемпион Афин-2004 в парном разряде и бронзовый призер - в одиночном, победитель пяти турниров АТР (Орландо-2000, Винья-дель-Мар-2002, 2004, Палермо-2002, Окленд-2005), четвертьфиналист US Open-2002 и Roland Garros-2003 Фернандо Гонсалес.

На счету у этого темноволосого крепыша с зубодробительным ударом справа еще две яркие победы. В составе сборной Чили он дважды подряд выигрывал в Дюссельдорфе командный чемпионат мира АТР. Конечно, этот турнир по престижности значительно уступает Кубку Дэвиса, а по формуле и условиям проведения сильно отличается от него. Тем не менее можно не сомневаться: с командным духом у чилийцев все в порядке, и сдаваться на милость фаворитов они не намерены.

Не знаю, как Гонсалес чувствует себя на синтетике "Олимпийского". Думаю, что не очень уютно. Но на вчерашней предматчевой пресс-конференции он выглядел раскрепощеннее Сафина. В один из моментов 19-й номер мировой классификации, почувствовав себя, видимо, настоящим лидером сборной, потребовал от отмалчивавшихся товарищей по команде - Гарсии, Хермеса Гамонала и Пола Капдевилле, чтобы они включились в разговор с репортерами. Те, однако, ограничились улыбками - и в итоге отдуваться за всех пришлось Элиасу.

Ничего сенсационного, правда, он не сказал. Московские морозы гостей не испугали, организацией тренировок и условиями проживания довольны, а на экскурсию по столице собираются только после победы. Последние слова, в свою очередь, вызвали у собравшихся в зале улыбки, хотя улыбаться пока особенно нечему. Ведь в пятницу соперником Гонсалеса теоретически может стать либо Южный, который только-только залечил травму колена (по словам тренера теннисиста Бориса Собкина, оно у Михаила все еще побаливает), либо Давыденко, лишь вчера прилетевший в Москву из Германии и не присутствовавший на пресс-конференции, либо Андреев, у которого Гонсалес выиграл все три их предыдущие встречи. Если, не дай бог, счет после двух пятничных матчей окажется ничейным - 1:1, будет совсем не до улыбок. Неудивительно, что Шамиль Тарпищев, который недавно перенес грипп, не стал раскрывать все свои карты.

"В глубине души я уже принял решение по поводу того, кто вместе с Сафиным примет участие в одиночных поединках. Но называть фамилию этого игрока пока не буду", - сказал наш капитан, который мог встретиться со сборной Чили еще в полуфинале 1976 года. Однако матч тот по политическим мотивам не состоялся - даже несмотря на то, что Тарпищев в специальном письме гарантировал победу "на своей территории" (рассматривался также вариант на нейтральном корте).

Спрашивать у Тарпищева о том, подписал бы он аналогичную бумагу, если бы это было необходимо на сей раз, я, честно говоря, посчитал делом несерьезным. Вот если бы у чилийцев не было еще и Гонсалеса...


По материалам газеты "Спорт-Экспресс" 3 марта

Сегодня в спорткомплексе "Олимпийский" пройдет жеребьевка матча первого круга Кубка Дэвиса Россия - Чили.

Михаил ЮЖНЫЙ: "ДАЖЕ БЕЗ МАССУ ЧИЛИЙЦЫ НЕПРЕДСКАЗУЕМЫ"

Кто в пятницу у россиян будет играть вторым номером в одиночном разряде? Ответ на этот вопрос капитан нашей команды Шамиль Тарпищев обещал дать лишь перед сегодняшней жеребьевкой.

Вчера же расклад был следующим. У Игоря Андреева счет личных встреч с лидером чилийцев Фернандо Гонсалесом в комментариях не нуждается - 0:3. Николай Давыденко только во вторник прилетел в Москву из Германии. Выходило, что по крайней мере в первый день матча у россиян вместе с Маратом Сафиным должен играть Михаил Южный. Однако и у него ситуация выглядела неоднозначной.

В нынешнем сезоне герой финала-2002 в "Берси" по большому счету ничем себя не проявил. Четвертьфинал в Дубае на прошлой неделе - главное пока его достижение. Причиной тому стала травма, полученная в межсезонье.

- Как ваше колено, Михаил?

- У меня был микронадрыв, но сейчас все вроде бы срослось, однако остался рубец, и я чувствую небольшую боль. По словам врачей, это будет продолжаться еще долго. Поэтому надо привыкать.

- Вы хорошо провели конец прошлого года, выиграли турнир St. Petersburg Open. Уверенность в своих силах повысилась?

- Концовка прошлого сезона действительно была очень хорошая. Хорошим получился и декабрьский сбор в Таиланде. Считаю, что я прибавил в игре практически во всех компонентах. К сожалению, из-за колена на Открытом чемпионате Австралии показал не все, на что был способен, а потом вообще месяц не играл.

В то же время не могу сказать, что потерял уверенность. Я очень доволен последним турниром в Дубае. Продемонстрировав далеко не лучший свой теннис, обыграл тем не менее двух сильных игроков - Томаса Юханссона и Райнера Шуттлера. Швед, кстати, перед этим был в полуфинале в Роттердаме. Для меня эти победы очень важны. Они показали, что если выйти на хороший уровень игры, то реально будет показать еще лучший результат.

- Тактику под таких оппонентов, как Юханссон и Шуттлер, приходится строить по-разному?

- Безусловно. Приходится подбирать ключи к каждому сопернику. Тут мне, конечно, подсказывает Борис Львович (Собкин, тренер Южного. - Прим. "СЭ"). В принципе я знаю, какую тактику использует тот или иной игрок. Однако за нюансами их выступлений на каждом турнире мне следить не удается. А на высоком уровне каждая мелочь играет большую роль.

- В четвертьфинале турнира в Дубае вы играли против Роджера Федерера. Был ли у вас хоть минимальный шанс?

- При том уровне тенниса, который я показывал, шанс если и был, то действительно минимальный. Но надо отдать должное Федереру, который, чувствуя опасность, в ответственные моменты заметно прибавлял.

- Федерер по сравнению с прошлым годом остался тем же самым или он, даже будучи первой ракеткой мира, человеком, выигравшим за сезон три турнира "Большого шлема", по-прежнему способен прибавлять?

- Трудно сказать. В прошлом году его отрыв от остальных был сумасшедшим, но сейчас Федереру выигрывать матчи стало сложнее, поэтому мне кажется, что он мало в чем прибавил. По крайней мере раньше Роджер не позволял сопернику уровня чеха Минара, с которым он встречался в первом круге в Дубае, доводить дело до тай-брейка в решающем сете. Впрочем, Федерер может показывать такой теннис очень долгое время - и все равно оставаться первым или вторым. Реально с ним сейчас может соперничать только Сафин.

- Покрытие корта в "Олимпийском" и мячи вас устраивают?

- Да. Единственное, по-моему, мы немного ошиблись с цветом покрытия. При отскоках мяч иногда сливается с кортом. Поэтому к салатовому цвету покрытия надо привыкнуть.

- Как оцениваете уровень соперников?

- Гонсалес в этом году показывает очень хороший теннис. Что он продемонстрирует на этом покрытии, я не знаю, однако готовились к матчу чилийцы целенаправленно. Так что, скорее всего, Фернандо подойдет к поединкам с нами во всеоружии. Адриан Гарсия, третья ракетка Чили, наверняка постарается на все сто процентов использовать шанс, который предоставила ему травма Николаса Массу. Поэтому он вдвойне опасен.

- Можно ли сказать, что Гонсалес - игрок одного удара справа?

- Нет. Фернандо хорошо подает. К тому же не забывайте, что они с Массу выиграли пару на Олимпийских играх. Это говорит о том, что он и с лета может хорошо играть. Да и слева у него довольно противный резаный удар. Сейчас очень тяжело находиться в двадцатке, имея один козырь.

- Сборная Чили с Массу и без него - разные по уровню команды?

- Наверное, да. Если бы в Москву приехал Массу, нам было бы намного сложнее. В то же время, как я уже сказал, даже без олимпийского чемпиона чилийцы непредсказуемы. Любой игрок в Кубке Дэвиса может провести один сумасшедший матч. Гарсия, как мне кажется, как раз из таких.
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  #125  
Старый 3rd March 2005, 11:56
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Davis Cup
Hewitt and Peya up first in Sydney

The draw for the World Group first round tie between Australia and Austria has been made and is as foillows:

Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) v Alexander Peya (AUT)
Wayne Arthurs (AUS) v Jurgen Melzer (AUT)
Wayne Arthurs/Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) v Julian Knowle/Alexander Peya (AUT)
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) v Jurgen Melzer (AUT)
Wayne Arthurs (AUS) v Alexander Peya (AUT)

Australia's Lleyton Hewitt and Austria's Alexander Peya will kick off the first round of their tie in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas. Then Wayne Arthurs will take on Jurgen Melzer. The doubles rubber on day two will feature Todd Woodbridge and Arthurs against Peya and Julian Knowle. The reverse singles on day three has Hewitt and Melzer first up with Arthurs and Peya closing the tie.

"It didn't bother me one way or another about playing first or second," said Hewitt. "Hopefully I can go out there and get the boys off to a 1-0 start and put a lot of pressure on Melzer. I think that can be a huge bonus for us. If I can go out there and get the job done, Melzer knows he is going to have an extremely tough match against Wayne anyway, but if they are 1-0 down, it's a bit of a must win for them.

"Hopefully I can put Wayne in that position, to go out there with the confidence he has picked up in the last week and a half, and hopefully we'll be in for a big day."

The world No. 2 ranked player indicated that he expected Peya to be the second singles player for the visitors but says he doesn't know that much about him. He did however see him in action at Wimbledon last year. The Austrian lost to Andy Roddick in the third round and did push the American in that match. It showed that Peya is reasonably comfortable on grass, the surface that has been laid down at the Sydney International Tennis Centre.

"It's an amazing honour just to play Davis Cup at any stage and it's fantastic back playing a World Group match again after losing in the first round last year, after winning it the year before, and having to concentrate on playing a relegation match for six months last year," added Hewitt. "It's good to be back in the World Group and you don't want to let these opportunities slip. I know myself and the rest of the team are looking forward to the challenge of getting through to the quarterfinal."

Arthurs comes into this tie in a slightly different frame of mind to most of the other ones he has played. He is legitimately the number two ranked player having taken his ranking to 63 following his first ever title win the weekend before. During his recent run at tournaments in the USA he defeated Melzer in Memphis in two tiebreaks, but his title victory in Scottsdale, Arizona, has lifted his confidence. The lanky lefty said that is crucial for him because he tends to be a "confidence player."

"When you win a different tournament you have a different mindset, the confidence oozes out of you and it's nice to come into the tie knowing that I am the second singles player by right and probably I will come out with a different mind set and more confidence," said Arthurs. "I have a very tough match. It was a tight match when I played him a couple of weeks ago. I think it's good for me to come out second, with Lleyton being a very hot favourite going into the first match. Hopefully I will play as well as I have in the last week and a half."

Austrian captain Thomas Muster believes that the match Arthurs and Melzer played in Memphis will not have a bearing when they meet in the second rubber. He said that Melzer actually didn't want to play in Memphis after twisting his ankle the week before in San Jose, and still took Arthurs to 7-6, 7-6.

In the doubles, Arthurs and Woodbridge have teamed up in Davis Cup eight times and have lost on three occasions while the Austrian combination of Knowle and Peya have played four times together in the competition and have a 50:50 record, however they have beaten the serve-volley combination of Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski in Davis Cup.

With the reverse singles, captains are able to change their players and it will be interesting to see if John Fitzgerald will throw in surprise recruit Chris Guccione on the final day. Certainly the betting is that he will if the reverse singles are dead rubbers in an effort to give the very tall left-hander with a bullet serve a taste of what it is like to play in the greatest annual team sporting event.

Исчтоник: http://www.daviscup.com/news/newsarticle.asp?id=13139
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  #126  
Старый 3rd March 2005, 11:59
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Davis Cup

Roddick ecstatic at playing alongside his idol

"We’re ecstatic about it.”

Andy Roddick, blunt and to the point as usual, summed up the US Davis Cup team’s reaction to having Andre Agassi in their midst when the squad gathered for practice at Carson, California.

Patrick McEnroe’s team will meet Croatia this week end at The Home Depot Center in a contest that might have seen the Americans start as underdogs had not Agassi’s agreement to play for the first time since 2000 tilted the odds back toward the home side.

Croatia, captained by Niki Pilic as they were when the US lost to them in 2003 without the injured Roddick, will be led by the in-form Ivan Ljubicic who has already reached four finals on the ATP circuit this year and the talented Mario Ancic. Both are capable of beating anyone on their day – as Ancic proved when he upset Roger Federer on the Centre Court at Wimbledon in 2002 – and, as in any closely contested tie, the doubles will be crucial.

Here the US should have the advantage because the Bryan twins, Bob and Mike, have an amazing Davis Cup record. Not only have they remained unbeaten in the five rubbers they have played but have yet to drop a set in Davis Cup.

Saturday will see the Bryans have their moment in the spotlight but, for the world at large, the interest will rest solidly on Agassi, an athlete who has already ear-marked a place for himself amongst those destined to be called the greatest of all time.

He returned to Davis Cup play only when McEnroe flew to Las Vegas for a long dinner on his way home from the Australian Open. The US captain was determined to allay Agassi’s fears about over committing himself and insisted that he would not be forced to play every tie. He was also at pains to make Agassi realize he would not be upsetting the team spirit that McEnroe had done so much to foster amongst his young squad.

Agassi, who had just flown in from his amazing trip to Dubai where he and Federer played an exhibition 360 metres in the air on a helicopter pad, addressed both issues in his usual down to earth manner.

“I knew I couldn’t play the entire year and I just didn’t want to play conveniently,” he said.

“For me it was about making a phone call to all of the guys and hearing it from them; if it was something they felt wouldn’t undermine their goals and the team spirit. And when I got that support it was the best of both worlds for me.”

Agassi, who first played Davis Cup in 1988 and will now, at 34 years and 10 months, be the oldest man since Arthur Ashe in 1978 to represent America, was asked what specific memories he brought with him.

“You remember all the Davis Cup matches you ever played,” he said. “That’s what separates Davis Cup from everything else. And, you know, I feel I’m still learning from these guys which is a good feeling.”

Roddick expressed his own feelings just as clearly. “I know myself, Bob and Mike, we all really idolised this guy growing up so now it’s pretty surreal. We’re excited.”

The crowd will feel the same way as the oldest Davis Cup nation takes on one of the newest in a duel that promises to provide drama to match the star power of the contestants.

Источник: http://www.daviscup.com/news/newsarticle.asp?id=13126
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Старый 3rd March 2005, 14:28
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Davis Cup

Gonzalez Carries Chilean Hopes In Moscow

A weakened Chile team will rely heavily on Fernando Gonzalez as it takes on 2002 Davis Cup Champion Russia in Moscow this weekend.

The draw which took place today at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow, has put Gonzalez first onto court against Russia's No.2, Mikhail Youzhny, the hero of the 2002 final, followed by his compatriot Adrian Garcia taking on Australian Open champion Marat Safin in what will be the Chilean player's first live Davis Cup singles rubber.

The full draw is :

Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) v Fernando Gonzalez (CHI)
Marat Safin (RUS) v Adrian Garcia (CHI)
Igor Andreev/Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) v Adrian Garcia/Fernando Gonzalez(CHI)
Marat Safin (RUS) v Fernando Gonzalez (CHI)
Mikhail Youzhny(RUS) v Adrian Garcia (CHI)

Russia, with three of its team members currently ranked in the top 20, starts as a strong favourite to maintain its unbeaten record against Chile, having being successful in the nations' previous two meetings, both also in Moscow. The fast Taraflex surface will also give Russia a further advantage.

Safin comes into this tie with the confidence gained from winning a Grand Slam title and will be ably supported by Youzhny, Nikolay Davydenko, who reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal in Melbourne and Igor Andreev.

Chile, appearing in the World Group for the first time since 1985, after three 5-0 victories in the 2004 Davis Cup, will miss the presence of double Olympic champion Nicolas Massu, who is currently sidelined with a foot injury.

Its fortunes will depend on current world No.19, Fernando Gonzalez, who has reached two ATP finals this year and has a 16-5 Davis Cup record and will hope to display that form and subdue the Russian crowd. Gonzalez and Garcia are due to shoulder the responsibility of playing all five rubbers between them.

Despite the absence of Massu from the Chile team, Russia will bear in mind its surprise loss at this stage of last year's competition to neighbours Belarus and will take nothing for granted.

Источник: http://www.daviscup.com/news/newsarticle.asp?id=13145
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  #128  
Старый 3rd March 2005, 14:40
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Davis Cup

Lopez to get Spanish Defence Underway

Karol Beck (SVK) v Feliciano Lopez (ESP)
Dominik Hrbaty (SVK) v Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
Dominik Hrbaty/Michal Mertinak (SVK) v Albert Costa/Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Dominik Hrbaty (SVK) v Feliciano Lopez (ESP)
Karol Beck (SVK) v Fernando Verdasco (ESP)

Feliciano Lopez will begin Spain’s defence of Davis Cup by BNP Paribas on Friday, playing Karol Beck in the opening rubber of their first round tie with Slovak Republic. In a surprise move, he will be followed in the second singles by Fernando Verdasco against Dominik Hrbaty.

One of the charms of the Davis Cup is the fact that it is completely unpredictable. Rankings, Grand Slam titles, head-to-heads – they are all in the shade besides team spirit and the honour of representing the motherland.

Spain is one of the tennis super-nations. The Spaniards waited for almost eight decades for their first title, but as two-time champions (2000 and 2004) and 2003 runner-up, they are by far the most successful nation in the new millennium. On paper the titleholders should be clear favourites in this first round tie in Bratislava. The Slovak Republic is a two-time quarterfinalist that made it back to the World Group last year.

Although the Spanish Armada have proved many times that clay is not the only surface they can play on and that they are no strangers to other surfaces, they have been shocked by, and critical of, the speed of the court in the Sibamac Arena at the National Tennis Centre in Bratislava. They start their defence of the title on an express surface, even faster than grass.

“Fortunately I have strong players and our task and responsibility is to play for the one hundred Spanish fans who have come to root for us in Bratislava, and also for the thousands back home who will be watching the tie on the TV screens,” said captain Jordi Arrese.

The surface might be the main reason why Arrese gave up Rafael Nadal as a singles player. In recent weeks the teenage star, who played a key role in the last year’s final victory against the United States, has played on the slow clay courts of South America, winning back-to-back titles before joining the team after a day’s delay.

“I came here two days ago and I haven’t adapted to the surface yet. But I am fine with the captain’s decision and I have absolutely no doubts in the strengths of Feliciano and Fernando,” Nadal said. He will join forces with Albert Costa for the doubles match on Saturday, and they will play Hrbaty and Michal Mertinak.

“The ITF rules allow the host team to choose the surface. The one we chose is internationally approved. We played on a similar kind of court in the United States and there was never a single problem or complaint,” said Slovak captain Miloslav Mecir. “But we know that the Spanish team has very strong and tough players on every surface. And we are aware that the tie could go either way. This is the reason why every point will be very important for both teams.”

ITF Francesco Ricci Bitti is at this weekend’s tie. “One of the reasons I came to Bratislava is the fact I wanted to see this beautiful new complex with my very eyes. I wanted to congratulate the Slovak Tennis Association for this achievement, realized in only five years. The Slovak Republic is an important tennis nation and they definitely deserve a facility like this,” he said. The main stadium at the National Tennis Centre has a capacity of 4,100 seats and it is equipped with a closing roof similar to those at Melbourne Park, Australia.

The President was also asked about the fast surface controversy. “We received a comment about the court which we appreciate, while it could help us improve the rules. But for the time being the rules allow even faster surfaces than this one.”

Источник: http://www.daviscup.com/news/newsarticle.asp?id=13146
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  #129  
Старый 22nd March 2005, 18:16
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Виктория Кутузова благодаря своему успешному выступлению в Индиан-Уэллсе (см. новости Тенниса) совершила самый внушительный прорыв в рейтинге WTA этой недели. В Топ-500 теннисисток мира Кутузова показала наивысший прогресс, "+124" пункта рейтинга. Благодаря отличной игре на "Пасифик лайф опен" Вика с 473 места поднялась на 249 место в мире.
Первым номером как одиночного, так и парного украинского женского тенниса остаётся Татьяна Перебийнис. В одиночной классификации харьковчанка занимает 80 место (+1 за неделю), в парном рейтинге 73 (-14) место в мире.
В первой сотне одиночно классификации остаются Алёна Бондаренко (86 место, +2) и Юлиана Федак (87 место, -1).
Во второй сотне рейтинга от Украины представлена только Юлия Бейгельзимер (191 место, -34). В парной классификации Бельгельзимер занимает 90 место в мире (-7).
Сообщает сайт wtatour.com. Фото Марк Терелл ("Ассошейтед пресс")
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  #130  
Старый 25th March 2005, 00:56
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На турнире ВТА первой категории в Берлине согласились участвовать все четыре победительницы турниров «Большого шлема» прошлого года – Жюстин Энен-Арденн (Открытый чемпионат Австралии), Анастасия Мыскина («Ролан Гаррос»), Мария Шарапова («Уимблдон») и Светлана Кузнецова (Открытый чемпионат США), - а также Серена Уильямс, победившая в этом году на Australian Open.

Турнир с призовым фондом в 1,3 миллиона долларов пройдет в Берлине со 2 по 8 мая. Организаторы обещают самый представительный турнир за все время существования этих соревнований. На участие в Berlin Open дали согласие еще четыре российских теннисистки: Елена Дементьева, Вера Звонарева, Надежда Петрова и Елена Бовина, сообщает официальный сайт турнира.

Помимо этого в Берлине будет играть прошлогодняя победительница, второй номер рейтинга ВТА француженка Амели Моресмо.
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  #131  
Старый 25th March 2005, 19:14
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Американские спонсоры и агенты не пускают лучшую теннисистку России Марию Шарапову играть за национальную сборную в Кубке Федерации. В том случае, если чемпионка Уимблдона-2004, лучшая теннисистка мира прошлого года примет американское гражданство, ее рекламные доходы резко возрастут, пишет "Родная Газета". Первый матч в этом турнире сборная России, прошлогодний обладатель Кубка Федерации, проведет 23-24 апреля в Италии. Президент Федерации тенниса России Шамиль Тарпищев заявил в интервью изданию, что заявит Шарапову на матч, однако твердой уверенности в том, что она сыграет, у него нет. "Да, некоторые проблемы есть. Но я почти уверен: в конце апреля Шарапова выйдет на итальянские корты, чтобы впервые сыграть за сборную своей страны, - сказал Тарпищев. - Я не знаю подробностей ее контракта с IMG, но, думаю, дело не в агентах. Во время январского чемпионата Австралии Маша лично пообещала мне, что в Кубке Федерации будет выступать за Россию".
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  #132  
Старый 5th April 2005, 19:30
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Победительница Уимблдонского турнира прошлого года, третья ракетка мира в текущей классификации Мария Шарапова откладывает свой дебют в сборной России. Она не примет участия в матче первого круга розыгрыша Кубка Федерации с теннисистками Италии 23-24 апреля в городе Бриндиси. Как рассказал капитан российской команды, президент федерации тенниса России Шамиль Тарпищев с Машей и ее отцом Юрием общался на прошлой неделе во время турнира в Майами его помощник, в недавнем прошлом один из ведущих игроков страны Александр Волков. В числе причин, по которым Шарапова не может принять приглашение на ближайший матч, ее "команда" назвала насыщенный и заранее спланированный график личных турниров теннисистки, которой 19 апреля исполнится 18 лет. "Практика показывает, что матчи и Кубка Федерации, и Кубка Дэвиса требуют от их участников дополнительных физических и психологических усилий, - говорит Тарпищев. - А у Маши есть шанс в ближайшее время впервые возглавить мировой рейтинг-лист и это необходимо учитывать". Тарпищев сообщил, что уже заручился согласием играть в Италии Анастасии Мыскиной, Елены Дементьевой и Елены Бовиной. Возможно к ним присоединится Динара Сафина, которой предстоит небольшая операция. Рассматриваются также кандидатуры двух других дебютанток Марии Кириленко и Анны Чакветадзе.
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  #133  
Старый 25th April 2005, 13:48
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Мария Шарапова. Интервью «New York Post». Перевод на русский. 23.04.2005
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  #134  
Старый 25th April 2005, 21:03
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Марат Сафин. Интервью журналу L'OPTIMUM. Перевод на русский
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  #135  
Старый 17th May 2005, 16:58
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Открытый чемпионат США по теннису пройдет на синих кортах

Теннисная ассоциация США решила внести изменения в правила проведения US Open. Теперь все матчи открытого чемпионата США будут проводиться не на зеленых кортах, а на синих. По словам представителей ассоциации, это сделано для того, чтобы спортсменам, судьям и болельщикам было удобнее визуально следить за желтым теннисным мячом.

Игровая поверхность синего цвета будет обрамлена прежним зеленым цветом. Такая же цветовая гамма кортов будет на всех североамериканских турнирах, предваряющих US Open. Это первое изменение цвета кортов на открытом чемпионате США, с тех пор, как его проведение перешло от центра Forrest Hills к Flushing Meadow в 1978 году. С 1881 по 1974 годы US Open проводился на травяных кортах, а с 1975 – на зеленом "харде".

"Новые цвета были многократно протестированы, чтобы доказать, что визуально игрокам и болельщикам станет легче различать мяч, - отметил в интервью официальному сайту турнира руководитель ассоциации профессионального тенниса США Арлин Кантарян.

Напомним, что в прошлом году US Open выиграли Роже Федерер и Светлана Кузнецова. Нынешний турнир продлится с 29 августа по 11 сентября.
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  #136  
Старый 17th May 2005, 20:42
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Post Анастасия Мыскина будет защищать титул чемпионки "Ролан Гаррос", несмотря на травму

Россиянка Анастасия Мыскина, ставшая в прошлом году победительницей открытого чемпионата Франции, будет защищать свой титул, несмотря на травму плеча. В четверг Мыскина, которая сейчас проходит лечение в Москве, планирует прибыть в Париж вместе со своим тренером Йенсом Герлахом. До последнего времени ее участие в "Ролан Гаррос" было под вопросом. Открытый чемпионат Франции пройдет с 23 мая по 5 июня.

Свой последний пока матч Мыскина провела две недели назад на открытом чемпионате Германии в Берлине. Тогда она уступила получившей wild card немке Юлии Шруфф. После этого Анастасия отказалась от выступления на открытом чемпионате Италии в Риме и улетела в Москву. "Мы вновь начали тренировки и планируем играть в Париже", - сообщил Йенс Герлах в интервью Reuters.

"Даже если Анастасия будет в Париже полностью здорова, ей придется преодолеть серьезные психологические проблемы. Она же была чемпионом и прекрасно знает, насколько высоким должен быть уровень игры. Может быть, выигрыш нескольких матчей на "Ролан Гаррос" поможет ей", - добавил тренер.

"Я не собираюсь находить какие-то оправдания своей плохой игре, - отметила Мыскина. – Я постоянно теряю свою подачу, неуверенно играю на задней линии, и вообще, далека от лучшей формы. Мне нужно заново учиться выигрывать важные мячи".

Напомним, что в прошлом году Анастасия Мыскина стала первой российской теннисисткой, которой удалось выиграть турнир "Большого шлема". В финале "Ролан Гаррос" она обыграла другую россиянку Елену Дементьеву. Прошлый год она закончила на третьем месте в мировом рейтинге и заявила, что в нынешнем сезоне попробует стать первой ракеткой мира.

Однако поражение от Натали Деши на открытом чемпионате Австралии в начале года серьезно сказалась на дальнейших результатах Анастасии, наивысшее достижение которой в нынешнем сезоне – выход в полуфинал турнира в Антверпене. Дементьева, которая является подругой Мыскиной, отметила, что у Анастасии сейчас "личные проблемы". Чемпионка "Ролан Гаррос" отказалась обсуждать, насколько сильно они влияют на уровень ее игры.
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  #137  
Старый 18th May 2005, 08:41
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Hewitt may be fit for French Open

Hewitt was injured playing Andy Roddick in the Indian Wells semis
Lleyton Hewitt has not given up hope of playing in next week's French Open despite injuring two ribs in a fall at his Sydney home earlier this month.

"We're still holding out some hope although, obviously, the odds get longer the more time goes by," said Hewitt's manager Rob Aivatoglou.

"Any time frame that allows him to get there in time to compete is what we would consider."

Hewitt has not played since March because of a persistent foot problem.

The injury blow forced him to pull out of this week's World Team Cup in Dusseldorf.

Hewitt's coach Roger Rasheed said the accident was "an unfortunate mishap".
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Старый 14th June 2005, 11:52
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Цитата:

Former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek is to make a one-off comeback at this year's tournament.

The 34-year-old Dutchman, who won the title in 1996, retired in 2003 but is to play in the mixed doubles with his 16-year-old sister Michaella.

Krajicek still suffers from the elbow problems that ended his career agreed to fulfil a wish of his father, Petr.

"This is not a comeback. I can still serve of course, but after a couple of sets you feel the arm," Krajicek said.

Michaella Krajicek is ranked 99th on the WTA Tour and will also play in the Wimbledon women's singles and doubles competitions.

"It's an honor of course," Michaella said of playing with her brother. "There are some difficult couples in there. But in any case, it's a dream come true."

Richard Krajicek said: "You never know what can happen."
Получается Ричад просто решил немножко тряхнуть стариной и сыграть со своей сестой в паре. Будем знать против кого ставить...
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  #139  
Старый 19th June 2005, 15:34
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Men's Preview: Week of June 20 (Exclusive)
Men's Look Forward: Wimbledon

It takes a lot of remembering, trying to recall the last time so much attention was directed toward one player. Roger Federer, they whine, hasn't won either of the last two Slams! Ignore the fact that he has been hovering around the highest point total ever recorded under Required and Optional. Set aside the amazing feat of winning 20 straight finals. Obviously he's all messed up.

We just wish we were messed up like Federer....

Still, this is a Slam he'd like very much to win. It would give him three straight Wimbledons. And it would definitely strengthen his chances for the year-end #1.

The interesting question is, who is there to threaten him? Marat Safin is generally regarded as the biggest threat to Federer, in terms of raw abilities -- but grass is not a very satisfactory surface for him. Rafael Nadal was the best clay player going into Roland Garros, but his game is by no means built for grass and he doesn't have much experience on it. Lleyton Hewitt stoutly maintains that he's Federer's main competition -- but Federer has pretty much toyed with Hewitt in their recent meetings, including the U. S. Open final on what should be a Hewitt surface. Grass isn't nearly as good for the Australian. Federer himself hasn't lost a grass match since 2002. There really is no obvious competition.

Especially at an event where there are so few past champions in the draw. Andre Agassi isn't playing, and Goran Ivanisevic and Pete Sampras and Richard Krajicek are all retired, meaning that, other than Federer and Hewitt, there are no past champions in the draw. Of active finalists, we have Andy Roddick and Mark Philippoussis and David Nalbandian, and that's it -- and Philippoussis, even though he seems to be coming back to life, suffers the handicap of being unseeded, and Nalbandian is just too prone to breaking down.

By the looks of things, if you can figure out who will beat Federer, you can probably proceed from there to figure out who will win the tournament. But figuring out who will beat Federer is quite a trick.

There are, to be sure, some very good grass players who seem unlikely to go all the way. Tim Henman of course meets this description. The other underappreciated candidate is Sebastien Grosjean, who has made the semifinal two years running and is 17-6 in his career at Wimbledon.

The other thing about Wimbledon is the players it can bring out of the shadows. Because grass is a unique surface, the champions here tend to be great players. But because it rewards certain aspects of the game -- notably the serve, but also net skills, and slice groundstrokes, and even drop shots -- no one is ever entirely safe here. You can never tell when an Alexander Popp or Ivo Karlovic or even an Olivier Rochus will bounce up out of the grass and beat a top player.

It's times like this we're very glad we aren't in the prediction business.

Noteworthy First Round Matches

Draper vs. (8) Davydenko. A truly fascinating contest: A guy who seems to play only Slams against a guy who plays everything. Davydenko is of course the much better player -- but Draper knows what grass is for.

(3) Hewitt vs. C. Rochus. Christophe Rochus, based on history, isn't the grass player his brother is. But history in this case doesn't mean much; Rochus did, after all, just have the best clay season of his life after never looking like much on clay. Hewitt ought to beat the Belgian; after all, he's the stronger of the two. But it could prove a very, very long match.

Sargsian vs. (29) Massu. Sargsian has been having a tough year, but he likes grass as well as anything. Massu has been injured most of the year -- not a good way to prepare for a surface he doesn't like.

(24) Dent vs. D. Norman. This probably won't set a new record for aces -- but it won't be for lack of trying.

Burgsmuller vs. (16) Puerta. Lars Burgsmuller isn't much of a threat on grass (or anywhere else). But Puerta -- well, does he even exist away from clay? This will help us answer the question.

Saulnier vs. (22) Hrbaty. Cyril Saulnier, like a lot of French players, seems to like fast surfaces. Dominik Hrbaty doesn't -- not at all. An upset must at least be accounted a possibility.

Beck vs. Philippoussis (WC). They both like grass. In his career, Philippoussis has had better grass results. In the last two years, Beck has been much better. Though Philippoussis did well in 's-Hertogenbosch

Srichaphan vs. (5) Safin. Srichaphan is having a crummy year, but he seems to like grass; his first Slam win was at Wimbledon, and he made the fourth round two years ago. Safin has been having a decent year, and actually showed life at Halle -- but this is by no means his favorite surface.

Mirnyi vs. Schuettler. Schuettler has a 4-2 head-to-head lead, but that was when he amounted to something. And Mirnyi just had his best-ever grass result at Nottingham.

Wessels vs. (28) Novak. Peter Wessels is one of those guys who mostly exists for fast courts. Jiri Novak isn't so fond of them, and his motivation isn't great these days anyway.

(14) Stepanek vs. Ginepri. Stepanek is having a great year, and has never lost first round at Wimbledon. But he's never made the fourth round, either, and that's how far Robby Ginepri made it last year.

Spadea vs. (4) Nadal. Rafael Nadal's transition to grass was tough. He's now had more time to practice, but Vincent Spadea is an awfully tough customer to face in one's second Wimbledon (and first since winning one's first Slam).

(6) Henman vs. Nieminen. Now that Henman has announced how much he likes clay, can a player who likes slow surfaces do something against him?

Popp vs. Haehnel. Alexander Popp is one of those guys who lives and dies by the serve; his Wimbledon record is an amazing 11-3, and his every where else record doesn't bear mentioning. But he's been struggling after injury this year. Can he recover in time to defend fourth round points?

Arthurs vs. (32) Volandri. Another guy who lives by the serve, against a player who seems to think that even dry clay is awfully fast.

Llodra vs. (9) Grosjean. France's best grass player against its other best grass player. Llodra, to be sure, will be very tired -- not only did he play five matches in the Netherlands, but they were marathon matches.

Melzer vs. (20) Ljubicic. This is a strange match. You'd think Ivan Ljubicic, with his great serve, would be a major force at Wimbledon -- but it's his worst Slam (and he's struggled at all of them). Jurgen Melzer appears to have a great grass game -- but it's never shown in his results; he's 1-4 at Wimbledon. Can he snap out of it?

The Rankings

It will tell you how utterly dominant Roger Federer is that he is currently holding two Slams. Take both of them away, giving him zero points for them, and let #2 Lleyton Hewitt win both Wimbledon and the U. S. Open, and Federer would still be #1.

Not much doubt about who will be #1 after this is over, is there?

#2 is altogether another question. Lleyton Hewitt, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Roddick come in almost tied. Marat Safin is about 450 points off the pace, but he isn't defending anything. So any of them could end up at #2.

The edge, of course, is with Nadal, who has nothing to defend; Roddick, though ranked #4, is actually fifth in safe points, because he has the 2004 final to defend. Hewitt has quarterfinal points, putting him midway between Nadal and Safin in safe points. Our rough cut gives the following ways for each player to become #2:
  • Roddick is #2 if he wins Wimbledon and Hewitt doesn't make the final and Nadal doesn't make the semifinal
  • Hewitt is #2 if
    - he makes the quarterfinal and Nadal loses in the first two rounds and Safin loses by the quarterfinal and Roddick loses by the final, or
    - he makes the semifinal and Nadal loses before the quarterfinal and Safin before the final and Roddick loses by the final, or
    - he makes the final and Nadal loses before the final and Safin does not win, or
    - he wins Wimbledon
  • Safin is #2 if
    - he makes the semifinal and Hewitt loses before the quarterfinal and Nadal loses second round and Roddick does not make the final, or
    - he makes the final and Hewitt loses by the semifinal and Nadal loses by the quarterfinal and Roddick does not win, or
    - he wins and Nadal does not make the final
  • Nadal is #2 in any other scenario.
It's effectively guaranteed that these five will remain the Top Five; the next guy down the rankings it Andre Agassi, and he isn't playing, and neither is Guillermo Canas. That means that the only one of the Top Five who could possibly fall out is Roddick, and only if he loses early and Nikolay Davydenko wins Wimbledon -- and Davydenko is still struggling to win grass matches, let alone a grass Slam.

It doesn't seem particularly likely that we'll see anyone enter or leave the Top Ten, either; most of the guys right below #10 are clay-courters.

Below the Top Ten, the odds of big moves are much higher. Mario Ancic has been pushing himself back into the Top 20 -- but he has semifinalist points to defend, and could end up below #30. Sebastien Grosjean also has semifinalist points, and he's below the Top 25; he could end up in the #50 range. Sjeng Schalken, a quarterfinalist last year, has withdrawn; he'll see half his points come off and will be ranked below #200. Another 2004 quarterfinalist, Florian Mayer, could end up in the #90 range. Mark Philippoussis, who made the fourth round, could give back all the points he earned at 's-Hertogenbosch, and then some, and fall back below #200. Alexander Popp also has fourth round points -- half his total. Other players to make the fourth round last year were Ivo Karlovic, Carlos Moya, Joachim Johansson, Robby Ginepri, Xavier Malisse, and Vincent Spadea. And Moya isn't playing this year.

Key Matches

Looking at the guys who have the most to defend, we observe that Grosjean's first match is his toughest; after facing Llodra, he should be in reasonably good shape until he faces Henman in the quarterfinal. It's truly too bad the Slams don't promote seeds once the draw is made; if they followed regular Tour rules in that regard, Grosjean would have take Guillermo Canas's spot in the draw when the latter withdrew and would have been relatively safe until the quarterfinal. As it is, Henman and Grosjean face each other for the right to face Roddick.

The other 2004 semifinalist, Ancic, is more fortunate in his draw; he faces almost no opposition until he takes on Marat Safin in the fourth round. The winner of that is drawn to face Hewitt.

Hewitt himself also looks relatively fortunate until the fourth round, when he would face Taylor Dent. And then Safin. That Safin/Hewitt quarterfinal is probably the single most important match in determining who will be #2.

The third contender for #2 is Roddick, and his draw is tough. He'll be favored in every match, but he faces big-serving Ivo Karlovic in the second round, big-serving Robin Soderling in the third, possibly big-serving Ivan Ljubicic in the fourth, and then Grosjean or Henman.

#4 seed Nadal, who has the inside track for #2 anyway, doesn't face any really big threats; the next-highest seed in his quarter was Canas, and he's out. But if the Spaniard doesn't face one overwhelming threat, there are lots of middle-sized threats. Spadea is a tough first round opponent, though his career record at Wimbledon isn't great. Potential third round opponent Richard Gasquet earned his first career title at Nottingham, so he's definitely discovered the joys of grass. In the fourth round, Nadal is seeded to face Radek Stepanek, who is having the best year of his career -- but he might end up facing #18 seed David Nalbandian, a past finalist here. And then, were the remaining seeds to hold, Nadal would go against Thomas Johansson, who has earned fully a quarter of his career titles on grass. 2004 quarterfinalist Florian Mayer could face a lot of clay players in the first three rounds -- Santiago Ventura, Tommy Robredo, Juan Carlos Ferrero. But if he survives that, he has to take on Roger Federer. Joachim Johansson faces Greg Rusedski in the second round; he's the one Top Ten player who is in some genuine real danger of losing his spot, and this might be the match.


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Старый 19th June 2005, 15:57
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Women's Preview: Week of June 20 (Exclusive)
Women's Look Forward: Wimbledon

It's as close to a staredown as you can get when the players aren't on the court at the same time.

In this corner, Maria Sharapova, winner of two of the five biggest events in tennis over the past year, and possessing a 17 match grass winning streak -- but with only one small title since Lindsay Davenport pasted her at Indian Wells.

In that corner, Davenport, #1 in the world, and with the best per-tournament score -- but with no major titles at all in the past year, plus she hasn't played any grass warmups; indeed, she's played only a handful of events since Miami.

Who should be #1? We don't have to answer that. Who will be #1? That's up in the air, too, though Davenport has a very big lead in points; it's going to be very difficult for Sharapova to take the top spot.

And what about Serena Williams, who is 20-1 in the last three Wimbledons but who has only one match -- a first round loss at Rome -- since hurting her ankle in the green clay season?

And then there is Justine Henin-Hardenne, whose game has a lot of great grass elements, and who hasn't lost since the spring hardcourt season -- but who has never won Wimbledon and who, like Serena and Davenport, didn't play any grass warmups.

Throw in Kim Clijsters, who reached the semifinal at her last Wimbledon and who comes in off a great run at Eastbourne, plus Amelie Mauresmo, who doesn't win Slams but who has two semifinals here and is another player with great grass tools. Then, too, throw in two-time champion Venus Williams, and Svetlana Kuznetsova, who is the only Russian to have won Eastbourne, and Nadia Petrova and her great serves and her even greater nerves (plus she hurt herself at 's-Hertogenbosch). Mix it up, and what do you have?

It looks like what you have is a wide-open Slam.

We are missing one player we'd consider a serious contender: Alicia Molik is still out due to the effects of her ear infection. Plus Jennifer Capriati, whose balance of results says that Wimbledon will probably always elude her but who certainly could scare a few people. And Elena Bovina, whose power would probably serve her well. But, other than Molik, all the leading candidates are set to play. And there are some low-seeded or unseeded players who might have the chance to do damage, though a title is probably out of the question.

Start with the young Russians. Vera Douchevina just had the best result of her career. Anna Chakvetadze is at a career high. Evgenia Linetskaya isn't, and she's been having some troubles lately, but she still looks like she has real potential. Maria Kirilenko is a bit behind the others, but she is not to be ignored, either.

Ranked even higher, of course, is Ana Ivanovic, who will have another chance to hit the Top 20 this week. The problem is, she pulled out of Eastbourne with an undisclosed injury.

Lucie Safarova has also been moving fast, though she still hasn't hit the Top 50. This might be the week she does it.

If we were to list an underappreciated veteran with the best chance to do damage, it would have to be #22 seed Silvia Farina Elia, who likes grass and who is in a pretty nice spot in the draw.

There should be no complaining that having 32 seeds produces a shortage of big early matches at this Wimbledon. Our list:

Noteworthy First Round Matches

(23) Sugiyama vs. Vinci. A week ago, we wouldn't have called this a very noteworthy match; Roberta Vinci just hasn't been a strong contender in singles. But her game is suited for grass; she just hadn't learned the surface. Based on her results at Eastbourne, she's solved that problem. If she's healthy (she ended up withdrawing from the Eastbourne doubles), Ai Sugiyama had better watch out.

Spears vs. Kremer. This may not be much of a match. But grass was the only surface on which Anne Kremer was competent last year. This is her last chance to get things working again.

Maleeva vs. (24) Asagoe. Shinobu Asagoe, being Japanese, likes grass, and made the Wimbledon fourth round two years ago. But Magdalena Maleeva (who has rarely done well at Slams) has probably had her best results at Wimbledon, including a fourth round last year -- and her last title came on grass, at Birmingham 2003, where she beat none other than Asagoe in the final. Asagoe is playing better now, and Maleeva worse -- but enough worse?

(27) Vaidisova vs. Kostanic. Jelena Kostanic is slumping, but her stuff should work well on grass. Nicole Vaidisova is climbing -- but her grass record is poor, and this will be her first Wimbledon.

Tanasugarn vs. (25) Sprem. Tamarine Tanasugarn's best surface is certainly grass; witness the fact that she's made the Wimbledon fourth round in six of the last seven years. Karolina Sprem likes grass, too, but she isn't playing at all well right now. Lots of upset potential here.

Smashnova vs. (13) Likhovtseva. Anna Smashnova really doesn't like grass. But she's a former Top 20 player, and Elena Likhovtseva isn't strong enough to blow her off the court.

Chakvetadze vs. (26) Jankovic. They're both fairly young. They're both quite good. Jelena Jankovic has been posting the best grass results of her career, including a final at Birmingham. But Anna Chakvetadze has been improving very fast.

Sfar vs. Loit. This is one you won't hear about anywhere else. But Sfar is willing to come to net, and Loit hits the sort of ball that just dies on grass. If you're wandering around looking for an outside-court match, this could be really interesting.

Benesova vs. (6) Dementieva. Elena Dementieva doesn't like grass much, and she's hurt.

(7) Henin-Hardenne vs. Daniilidou. Grass is arguably Eleni Daniilidou's best surface; her best-ever title was 's-Hertogenbosch 2002. And she made the quarterfinal at Birmingham this year, and pushed Sharapova to three sets. Henin-Hardenne ought to win -- but she'd better not take it for granted.

Koukalova vs. Granville. Klara Koukalova just won her first career title -- but Laura Granville has had her best career results on grass, and was in the Birmingham semifinal.

(19) Ana Ivanovic vs. Douchevina. The best young player on the Tour, versus the highest-ranked of the young Russians. Ivanovic is certainly the better player -- but she's been hurt. Plus Douchevina has had grass matches, though that does leave her rather tired.

Safarova vs. (12) Pierce. Grass is probably Mary Pierce's worst surface, though she did win 's-Hertogenbosch last year. She's at last back in competitive form. Still, Safarova is a very tough opponent. Obviously Pierce is favored, but it's a tough draw.

Linetskaya vs. (20) Hantuchova. Daniela Hantuchova has spent the last year slowly rebuilding her ranking, only to lose a bunch of ground at Eastbourne. This is a chance for her to re-announce herself -- but also a chance for Evgenia Linetskaya to remind people that she's a youngster to contend with.

(29) Bartoli vs. Fujiwara. Rika Fujiwara is Japanese; she likes grass. Marion Bartoli is two-handed on both sides; she doesn't. And she was hurt at Eastbourne. This may not come off, and if it does, an upset seems likely.

Haynes vs. (4) S. Williams. There were rumors, a few years ago, of Serena trying very hard to help out Angela Haynes. We've no idea if they are true. But it will be an interesting meeting if they were.

(8) Petrova vs. Ruano Pascual. Nadia Petrova is hurt. Virginia Ruano Pascual can make the unique claim of having beating both Martina Hingis and Serena Williams at Wimbledon. Petrova had better get well fast.

(21) Schiavone vs. Brandi. Francesca Schiavone is much the better player, but grass is probably her worst surface, and Kristina Brandi loves it.

Panova vs. Raymond. Two veterans, both ranked well below their best, both trying for comebacks. Raymond has looked better on grass so far, but "better" isn't really the same as "good."

The Rankings

This much is certain: Maria Sharapova has to defend if she wants to take the #1 ranking. She's more than 800 points behind Lindsay Davenport in safe points. Given her draw, it is flatly not possible to earn that many points for a final. And if Davenport reaches the quarterfinal, it's over; Davenport will stay #1. Theoretically, Amelie Mauresmo could also reach #1, but the conditions for her are incredibly strict: Davenport has to lose in the first two rounds, Mauresmo has to win, and she has to beat Sharapova in the final, with good quality points along the way also. In other words, Mauresmo is out of the race for the top spot.

That doesn't mean Sharapova is safe at #2, though; she's only about 200 points ahead of Mauresmo. And there are four other players within about 900 points of her: Serena Williams, Elena Dementieva, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Justine Henin-Hardenne. Making things even more interesting, those four are all within a few dozen points of each other.

#8 Nadia Petrova is 600 points back, #9 Alicia Molik isn't playing, and #10 Anastasia Myskina is 800 points off the pace, so we it's unlikely that anyone will overtake the Top Seven. To what it comes down to is this:
  • Davenport is almost certain to be #1, and can clinch with a quarterfinal
  • Sharapova and Mauresmo gunning for the #2 ranking; if both reach the quarterfinal, the one who lasts longer will probably get it, with ties going to Sharapova
  • Dementieva, Serena, Kuznetsova, and Henin-Hardenne come in in a virtual tie; chances are that the will end up in order based on who lasts longer. If one of them wins the title, she has a chance to become #3 or even #2, but only if Mauresmo and Sharapova lose fairly early.
Because Slams are worth so much, nearly anyone in the Top Twenty could hit the Top Ten with a title. But it is also quite possible that we will have the same players in the Top Ten after Wimbledon as before; the only players who could fall out are Petrova, Molik, and Myskina, and Petrova has only 136 points to defend and the others even less. The obvious Top Ten candidate is Kim Clijsters, and she needs at least a quarterfinal.

Beyond that, it's hard to predict who can move up. We can point to some people who will be moving down: Jennifer Capriati, with 284 points to defend and unable to play, will probably fall to around #40. Karolina Sprem, with 386 points coming off, could end up below #60. Ai Sugiyama, with 206 points to worry about, is below #30 in safe points. Amy Frazier, who has 232 points to defend, is right next to Capriati on the bad side of #40. And Paola Suarez, with 190 points coming off, has withdrawn (she was supposed to play Amelie Mauresmo in the first round) and will end up probably around #85. She is also out of the doubles, where she and Virginia Ruano Pascual were supposed to be the #1 seeds. By withdrawing when she did, after the draw was made, she not only cost herself the chance to complete the Career Slam, but she deprives Ruano Pascual of the chance to play with another partner -- potentially, a partner who actually knows how to play on grass.

Key Matches

In light of the above, one match sticks out like a sore thumb: The Round of Sixteen match between Lindsay Davenport and Kim Clijsters. If Davenport wins it, she clinches the #1 ranking. But if Clijsters wins it, then Davenport does not clinch, and the thing won't be settled until Sharapova loses. What's more, the win might well put Clijsters in the Top Ten.

It doesn't appear that Davenport will face any threats until then. But Clijsters might have to face her old doubles partner Ai Sugiyama in the third round. It's an interesting meeting, anyway.

For Amelie Mauresmo, the draw says she would face Sprem in the third round. (She was also supposed to face Suarez in the first round, but Suarez is out.) Given Sprem's recent form, that doesn't look like a real problem, either, even if Sprem makes it that far. The fourth round is more interesting, since Mauresmo might face Silvia Farina Elia, who really is a threat on grass. Win that, and Mauresmo might have the chance to become #2. Lose, and she has no hope.

Of the four players gunning for the #4 spot, Elena Dementieva has perhaps the best draw -- if she can play. The first even semi-serious threat is Amy Frazier in the third round, and then perhaps Jelena Jankovic in the fourth. Serena Williams, if she is in playing shape, looks good at least for the Round of Sixteen, where she is drawn to face sister Venus. (Assuming Venus makes it past the Hantuchova/Linetskaya winner in the third round, which these days seems far from certain.) Whichever sister wins that would be up against Justine Henin-Hardenne in the quarterfinal, assuming Henin-Hardenne can beat Ivanovic or Pierce or Safarova in the fourth round. There is, obviously, a very good chance that the semifinalist from that section will be the world's #4 player. And she'll likely get to face Sharapova for the right to be #3. For Kuznetsova, it looks like generally clear sailing until the quarterfinal, when she faces Davenport or Clijsters. If she can win that, she becomes the obvious favorite to be the top half finalist.

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