Tennis star Maria Sharapova officially launched ETA Star Group’s iconic Dh2.4 billion lifestyle project the Dubai Lifestyle City (DLC) in Dubailand, the region's largest tourism, leisure, entertainment and lifestyle destination. Sharapova also inaugurated the Dubai Lifestyle City Wall of Fame... IMG Academies, which houses Maria Sharapova’s alma mater Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, is partnering with Dubai Lifestyle City to set up the first branch of the famed academy outside the United States.
Israel's top players on the brink of another kind of breakthrough - Bonnie D. Ford, ESPN
Ram and Erlich said ATP officials have discouraged them from playing in Doha or Dubai in past years. "It's better not to start making a big mess," was the way Ram characterized the tone of tour administrators' advice. "They kind of put us in the situation that it's not the end of the world if you don't play this tournament," Ram, 27, said this summer of previous discussions with the ATP. "They said, 'You have 50 other tournaments during the year if you want to make the Masters [Cup], that's not the tournament that's going to change it.'"
The door has been propped open more recently, but at this year's U.S. Open, the 30-year-old Erlich said he was still on the fence about going. "A few years ago when we asked [the ATP], they said no," Erlich said. "Now they say yes or maybe. They said they will do the best effort to allow us to go if we want. But talk is going one side and action is going a different side. At the end of the year we have to decide if we really want to go. I don't know if I really feel comfortable going there or not."
..."[Dubai] is a big tournament, very important, and the week before Indian Wells is a week that everyone else is playing this tournament, getting points, and obviously money, and we're the only ones who have to stay home," Ram said. "I wouldn't say that it's the most important tournament of the year, but it's one we'd like to play. … For me, it would be an adventure. I would go if they gave me a visa."
...Israeli Tennis Association president Ian Froman, a pioneer in founding grassroots tennis programs in his country, enthusiastically endorsed the idea. He said last week he doubted there would be any objections from the Israeli government or tennis officials, and added that he thought Israeli players would be well received if they make the journey. "I've been to Qatar for ATP meetings, on a visa arranged by the Olympic committee of Qatar," said Froman, a South African-born dentist who represented that country in Davis Cup play before emigrating to Israel more than 40 years ago. "Everyone was fabulous. I felt no animosity.["]
ATP upholds Davydenko appeal, $2,000 fine rescinded
"Following an extensive review of the match between Nikolay Davydenko and Martin Cilic that included a full video analysis, it was decided that Davydenko's appeal should be upheld and the US$2,000 fine rescinded," Gayle David Bradshaw, the ATP's executive vice president for rules and competition, said in a statement Tuesday.
Davydenko has blamed his poor performance on exhaustion. With one of the heaviest annual schedules of any player, the 26-year-old Russian has said he plans to cut back next year because he feels his body is breaking down.
THE Australian Open is joining Wimbledon in giving players more line challenges under the Hawk-Eye system in a bid to bring in a uniform number of calls for all Grand Slams as well as Davis and Fed Cup ties.
..."I would very much expect the ATP and WTA and the ITF (International Tennis Federation) to be adopting the same system," Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said yesterday. "We decided to lead off in creating some kind of uniformity."
Let's say baseball's Mitchell Commission comes back with a stinging rebuke against clubhouse attendants for facilitating widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs and says they are at fault for Barry Bonds looking like Adonis as he pays senior greens fees for golf. We'd all howl. That's kind of what tennis is doing, except that any similarity between the popularity of baseball and tennis is purely delusional. For the moment, Di Mauro has become the poster boy for tennis reform. At least this way he gets his name in the paper.
...One player told The Times that he had turned down a credential request from a guy who merely wanted access to the players' lounge at a tournament. The player turned him down, knowing why he wanted it, but noted that he had shown up, anyway, getting the credential from somebody else. The player said the person was around for the first few days of the tournament, then retired to his hotel room and his laptop for the rest of the event, where he could use all the casual information he had acquired while hanging around the players' lounge. "The guy said he made a killing that week," the player told The Times.
Andy Murray reaches break point
- Neil Harman, The Times
Murray is ready to part company with Brad Gilbert after falling out with the high-profile American coach who helped to build the 20-year-old Scot into one of the finest tennis players in the world.
...Theirs has been a tempestuous relationship and, at the end of a period in which Murray was within one victory in Paris this month of qualifying for the Masters Cup in Shanghai, it is believed that they prefer to go their separate ways... Gilbert, 46, normally a verbose individual, was reluctant to discuss his situation last night. “I don’t really want to talk about it,” he said from California. “I haven’t spoken to the LTA [Lawn Tennis Association].” Murray is believed to be on holiday in the United States, but not on the West Coast.
...This decision does, however, leave the LTA in a deep dilemma. The national governing body had appointed Gilbert and was happy to indulge him his wages of about £750,000 a year to make sure that Murray was content. In the weeks he was not overseeing the Scot’s career, Gilbert would help the coaching staff at the National Tennis Centre.
Murrays' double life key to Britain’s future
- Neil Harman, The Times
Perhaps he will turn to Louis Cayer, the Canadian brought in to help to shepherd Andy’s elder brother, Jamie, through his doubles career, to see him over the apparent loss of Gilbert. It was after a recent three-day training session with Cayer that Andy said he had never spent a better time on the practice court.
...The arrival of Leon Smith – a fellow Scot, erstwhile junior coach and at present head of boys’ under16 coaching at the LTA – at the Mutua Madrileña Masters in Madrid recently indicated that Murray wanted more people around him with whom he felt truly comfortable. Smith may be inclined to help out his friend on a semi-permanent basis.
...Would Murray’s next choice be high profile or low?
Rafael Nadal fights on despite David Ferrer loss
- Alix Ramsay, The Telegraph
"I can only congratulate him," Nadal said. "He is playing with incredible confidence, he is moving unbelievably and playing like crazy. I played well, he played better."
Nadal, though, did not look too worried. With only the exhausted Djokovic to face, he is feeling relatively confident.
..."I need to get my schedule better for next year," Djokovic said. "I know the cost - I am really exhausted, mentally and physically."
Now, Davydenko's manager, Ronnie Leitgeb, has warned that his client may sue the ATP. He said: "This is what the lawyers have to think about - how much damage was done by going public from Betfair without results or evidence. This is being called the Davydenko case but, in the end, this is a tennis case."
ATP under fire after clearing Davydenko of not trying - Steve Bierley, The Guardian
There has always been a suspicion, given Nikolay Davydenko's personal attack in April on Etienne de Villiers, the chief executive of the ATP, accusing him of incompetence, that the Russian has been a marked man... The betting investigation is ongoing although, according to Leitgeb, the ATP has failed to unearth any incriminating evidence against Davydenko. It has done little or nothing to dilute the mounting insinuations that have washed over the Russian and has now been left with egg on its face over the non-trying fine that should never have been issued. Worse, there was no official word of apology yesterday, which was disgraceful. Should the betting investigation also clear him, the pressure will mount on De Villiers's leadership. Indeed the whole fabric of the ATP, an intrinsically flawed body, will come under increased scrutiny.
There is no secret to Ferrer's success; he simply runs and runs... Perhaps the ATP will try to fine him for trying too much.
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