In the match after Blake defeated Robert Kendrick 7-5, 7-5 at the Delray Beach Tennis Center, upstart Donald Young led Amer Delic 5-0 in the first set and appeared on his way to an easy victory. But perhaps inspired by the wicked weather that forced postponements of most matches Tuesday and again Wednesday, Delic came storming back.
Delic saved six set points and rallied all the way back to win the first set by winning the tiebreaker 9-7, prompting Young, an 18-year-old from Atlanta who is considered to be one of tennis' future stars, to turn around and throw his racket out of the stadium in disgust. The toss cleared about 20 rows of seats. "I was very frustrated, and I tried to hold the emotions in," said a contrite Young, who is ranked No. 95 in the world and is the youngest player in the top 100. "It didn't work."
...Defeating Young was a bit of revenge for Delic, who was the first player to lose to Young on the ATP Tour when Young beat him at the Pilot Pen tournament last year in New Haven, Conn. "He did unravel really bad," said Delic, who had to qualify to get into the main draw. "It's tough because a match like this is going to stick in his head."
For tennis fans who tend to live and breathe the game, there actually could be name recognition for Gilles Muller, a 24-year-old Luxembourg native who recently began training in Boca Raton.
...Some players might view victories over Grand Slam champions as something to boast about, but Muller says they actually were a detriment to his development.
'What's been happening is that those matches, especially the match against Roddick, messed me up a little bit because, every place I went, people were talking about it, saying, `This guy beat Roddick,' '' Muller said. ``I had a feeling that I had to prove myself.''
At the risk of sounding sexist, shouldn't the tennis world be promoting the heck out of Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova to add some sex appeal to attract new fans or cement casual fans? The NBA does this with Lebron James, and the NFL doesn't seem to mind that Tom Brady is a pin-up boy. It seems women's tennis has a golden opportunity to ramp up the PR machine with its athletic, yet comely players....
Ummm ... don't you worry. They're on it.
>> Still laughing.
Behind every good man is an even better woman coach - Joel Drucker, ESPN
Little is known of Jelena Gencic as a tennis player. She played four Fed Cup matches for Yugoslavia in 1973 and is now 71 years old. Other players she helped from that region include Monica Seles and Goran Ivanisevic. Gencic began working with Djokovic when he was 7. Five years later, Gencic suggested Djokovic head to Germany to be mentored by another former Yugoslavian pro, Nikki Pilic.
But Gencic had laid the foundation. The fingerprints of a female coach are apparent in every step Djokovic takes on the court. Young Novak was clearly instructed with exquisite discipline. Watch the way he carefully measures his groundstrokes, efficiently using his entire body to turn and strike. Pay attention to the way he uses small steps -- sculpted footwork as distinct from blazing footspeed (though that comes into play when necessary). Even the serve, right down to the occasionally excessive ball-bouncing, represents the triumph of deliberate technique over excessive power. Added to this is an acute awareness of space and time.
Blueprint to improve team competitions comes under much scrutiny - Sandra Harwitt, ESPN
The ITF has experimented with different mutations for the Fed Cup, but it has settled on the current formula since 2005. The Fed Cup began in 1963 as a weeklong, knock-out event and held to that format though 1994. From 1995 to 1999, the ITF used a formula similar to the current one, but between 2000 and 2004, it briefly tested playing the semifinal and final at the same venue in one week, which proved to be unsuccessful. Indeed, when host Russia lost in the semifinals of the 2003 Fed Cup, France defeated the United States 4-1 for the title with about 75 French fans in attendance for the final two days in the cavernous Olympic stadium in Moscow. Current Fed Cup captain Zina Garrison was the U.S. coach under Billie Jean King in that 2003 final, and she doesn't have fond memories of the experience: "Remember when we played in Russia that time and the Russians lost? The place was empty for the final, and it was horrible."
..."As far as getting players, sometimes it's very difficult," said Garrison, who acknowledged that Serena Williams passed on the quarterfinals because she was hard-designated by the WTA Tour for this week's Paris Indoors, a tournament she ended up withdrawing from anyway.
“For me nothing changed after my success [in 2006],” she said. “After Wimbledon I was flying back to Beijing and there was only my husband waiting for me at the airport. In China they care about the winner. We had another two girls who won the doubles (Yan and Zheng) and there were like 50 or 100 journalists waiting for them.”
...Despite the fact that she is now free in choosing tournaments, Li still has to give up a chunk of her prize money to the Chinese Federation, just like any other Chinese player. She isn’t allowed to disclose any numbers or a percentage of her earnings. “It’s a secret, I can’t tell you (laughs),” she said. “It’s like asking a woman for her age.” In return, the players’ expenses are completely covered. “They pay everything,” confirms Li. “Flight tickets, hotel and coaching.”
Pedro Muñoz, president of Real Federación Española de Tenis (the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation), announced today on a local Lima radio station that Spain will donate the court to the city of Pisco, which is located 300 kilometers south of Lima.
The emotional scars Seles was dealing with led to a significant weight gain.
"I had a lot of inside emotional traumas going on," she told co-anchor Harry Smith Wednesday. "You could see that reflected in the body that I had."
Now, though, Seles has shed those excess pounds.
And The Early Show's newest contributor is back in championship form off the court, spending much of her time in a mode she says is very important to her -- being a role model -- trying to empower young women to be all they can be -- and offering advice on getting and staying slim.
Vaidisova quits Fed Cup team to focus on ranking - Reuters
French Fed Cup captain Georges Goven said that one of the Chinese quartet - Peng Shuai - did not attend the obligatory dope-testing on the first evening of the match which China eventually won 3-2.
Plenty of passion, but anger and dejection hold court - The Times
[David] Lloyd: I’m still deeply passionate, I want to see someone at the LTA who has the desire to do what Philippe Chatrier did in France [the former president of the French Tennis Federation created a regional and national structure and presided over a 20-year rise in registered players from 225,000 to 1.3 million and of the number of courts from 6,700 to 35,000]. I just haven’t seen that person. There is no one there driven enough to make the decisions that need to be made and not worry if it upsets people.
Let’s be honest, Andy Murray has put himself before his country and if I was in charge I wouldn’t pick him again.
...Who is best suited to run British tennis? I am. Who could do it? I could. The president [Stuart Smith] came around to my house and implored me to be involved and the next thing I get a call telling me he’s appointed someone called [Roger] Draper. I don’t need the money – all I know is that I could help the game and yet I’m pushed aside and it is made impossible for me to help. It’s never going to change.
...Harman: What about the LTA’s treatment of juniors who went off the rails a bit? Two players were suspended for inappropriate appearances on Bebo and another sent home from the Australian Open.
Castle: I can relate to that. Remember my “No to the Poll Tax” placard at the British nationals a few years back? I was called into a boardroom and was accused of a heinous crime, the LTA fined me half my prize-money and banned me from the old European Cup.
"The reason that it causes problems is because it's in two pieces. A regular kneecap, when you bend, just moves as one, but mine bends when I go into a squatting position, which puts more pressure on the back of the kneecap and the cartilage.
"Funnily enough, when I actually hurt it when I was 16-17, I'd started doing more weights and a lot of squatting. I wasn't to know at the time that I had this problem. It's just one of those things that I have to be clever about and I should be OK to get by. It's going to take a lot of time and effort to get rid of it."
Murray said that at times during matches, he was unable to bend his knee for two or three points. "Once I sort of crack it a little bit it's fine again, but it takes a bit of time," he said. "It's just something I'm going to have to deal with and monitor, I guess, on a monthly basis.["]
Murray brothers yet to speak as Andy returns fire over Davis Cup - Simon Chambers, The Guardian
"It was a little bit disappointing," Murray said. "But he obviously felt pretty strongly about it and he's entitled to his opinion. If he knew what it was like playing three five-set matches in a row on clay then maybe he'd understand my position a little bit better.
"I've not spoken to him yet. I'll see him soon. I guess we'll have to have a chat about it and just discuss our feelings on Davis Cup and the sort of position that I am in, but it's probably not going to be the most fun conversation to have with your brother."
..."I feel like in the past when I played Davis Cup I've given 110% every time I stepped on the court. People forget when I played against Holland [last April] I had a problem with my groin. I couldn't move in Miami and had physios telling me not to play.
"But I went and played, and won my match and got the job done. Then the week after, I hurt my back in Monte Carlo because I couldn't practise enough to get ready for the tournament because I had to take some time off after the Davis Cup.
"When the Davis Cup was in Glasgow I was literally so sick. In hindsight I shouldn't have played, but I did and I went out and played doubles and played poorly and probably let the team down a bit by playing.
Champions of the world: Argentina's sporting miracle - Paul Newman, The Independent
Tennis is typical. The national federation runs on an annual budget of just £750,000 and does not own any premises, let alone a tennis court. The national tennis centre is housed in a private club 30 miles outside Buenos Aires. Eighty per cent of the tennis federation's resources come from Davis Cup revenue, the rest from subscription fees and sponsors. In Britain, the Lawn Tennis Association's income last year was more than £43m, of which £26.3m was provided by the surplus from Wimbledon.
The Argentine federation is rarely able to offer financial support to juniors, but Jaite believes that only reinforces the players' determination to succeed.
"In other countries you might think that being given an air ticket to travel to a tournament is normal, but in Argentina you treat it like a trophy," he said. "And when you travel to that tournament you make sure you play your absolute best. You know you might not get another chance."
This site is not responsible for the content of external websites and does not vouch for the accuracy of material excerpted above.
This page is updated Monday-Friday except as noted. Comments, corrections and suggestions may be made via email.