Tournament director Craig Tiley said Tennis Australia tests have shown that the courts already were faster than the old Rebound Ace courts.
Tiley said the courts would get even faster by January 14, although they would still be slower than Wimbledon and the US Open.
"Our plan has been to be in the medium to medium-fast pace range. On the ITF (International Tennis Federation) scale, that's about 34 to 38, and we're very pleased to be able to tell everyone that scientific testing has got us right smack bang in the middle of that, which is where we want to be," Tiley said.
Mark Philippoussis lazy and hard to coach, says McEnroe - Leo Schlink, Herald Sun
Referring to the three players he coached - Boris Becker, Sergi Bruguera and Philippoussis - McEnroe said all of them "did not listen to a single word I said".
"If I said 'run', they would walk," former world No. 1 McEnroe told English newspaper the London Times. "It was unbelievable.
"With Boris it was like, 'Boris, you need to play some matches'. And he'd say, 'Yeah, yeah, arrange that', and I'd arrange it. And then he'd say, 'No, no, I'm going to Germany', and I'd say, 'Wait a minute', but he is ultimately making the decision.
"To Philippoussis, I'd say, 'You've got to work harder than this, Mark. You're a good guy'. (He'd say) 'Yeah, yeah, yeah'. 'Mark, you've got to serve hard'. (He'd say) 'Yeah, but my shoulder hurts'. What do you say?
"I could safely say with all three of them that they did not listen to a single word I said."
Yesterday's win made Federer the first tennis player to earn more than $10-million (all currency U.S.) in prize money and bonuses in a year. He wound up with $10,130,620 and was also given a Mercedes CLS 500.
There's a certain irony there because in Swiss writer René Stauffer's book The Roger Federer Story, the author tells the tale of Federer as a child being quoted by a newspaper reporter as saying he would buy a Mercedes when he received his first prize cheque. It did not ring true to his mother, Lynette, and she asked to listen to the reporter's tape recording. Sure enough, Roger had not said Mercedes, but "more CDs." That modest lad has grown into a worldwide superstar and celebrity with a growing sense of style.
Federer the fashion plate has lately taken to wearing a more form-fitting shirt with genuinely short sleeves as well as shorts that are more trim than the norm.
That is all by design, according to his agent, Tony Godsick of IMG. "Both Roger and Nike," Godsick said, "spend a lot of time together discussing what looks good, feels good and most importantly, what's functional. Some people prefer a baggy and unpolished look. Like Roger's game, he is meticulous in his dress and performance. It's just who he is and what he prefers."
Despite communication between them being minimal yesterday, Nestor and Knowles managed a celebratory leaping chest bump, initiated by Knowles, after Aspelin erred with a service return on the championship point. "For whatever reason, it was a surprisingly good week as far as getting along," Nestor said by e-mail. "But, definitely, it's still awkward."
...During the presentation ceremony, Nestor said: "We've had a very interesting year and it ended great. We're a great team and [Knowles] has carried me many years. Unfortunately, we're not going to be playing next year, but I just want to thank him for everything."
For his part, Knowles alluded to the friction between them, saying: "Believe it or not, I'd like to thank my partner. As he mentioned, it's been an interesting year. We'll leave the rest for the gossip tabloids."
..."The fact that we knew our time together was limited made us make the most of our situation as far as focusing and being more intense," Nestor said of their recent success.
Arantxa battles back, as a businesswoman - El Pais (via Expatica)
As the image of the Madrid tournament and a commentator for TVE television, she is now a 35-year old professional woman, at ease in any environment. She doesn't miss the tumultuous life of top competition, where she spent 18 years, winning four Grand Slam titles (10 including doubles).
...Apart from her involvement in the Madrid WTA ladies championship, she runs Barcelona's KIA tournament, and is mentor to the Russian player Svetlana Kuznetsova. "When she has any doubts, she asks for my advice. She gets the support of a player who knows what it was like to have been number one... the pressure that it took to get there."
What she won't hear of is talk about getting back on the court; not even as coach. "No, no, no. Now I'm on the organizational side, as a businesswoman. Now not everything depends on you. It's a new experience for me. You have to organize everything, coordinate sponsors, TV, everything. I like this side and it's a way to empower women's tennis."
From out of the darkness, Dudi Sela found the light - Ha'aretz
In a nearly hopeless situation, he succeeded in winning a qualifying match at the U.S. Open, and began to believe again that he had it in him, and put away any thought of retiring. After that came victories in Challenger events and his heroic performance in the Davis Cup, leading to his being placed in the 66th spot yesterday in the ATP singles rankings.At that U.S. Open match, the wind was bothering him, the rain interrupted the match, and even the electricity could not hold up against the difficult conditions and went dark. At that moment, Sela was also not too far from calling it quits. Over the summer, Sela arrived at the U.S. Open with a lot of confidence he accrued from three successful tournaments in Russia, but in that late New York night, with a crowd made up of just the crazies, Israel's top male tennis player found himself trailing 4-1 in the decisive set to Nathan Healey of Australia.
"Dudi was not playing well, but he fought for every point," says Dudi's brother, Ofer, a former tennis player himself. "Up until then, he had already lost a lot of close matches, and it was clear that another loss would drop him to No. 150 and that would be it - from there he would keep dropping.
"Dudi managed to break [Healey's serve] twice and win [the match] in a tiebreaker. Suddenly, he felt like he won a war... A few months later, when we were analyzing his progress, Dudi told me that victory made the difference that he was looking for."
For the record, I am not a fan of Justine Henin; I never have been. Yes, she was a proven tennis champion, a winner of five Grand Slams -- including three French Open titles -- entering the 2007 season. However, her vapid personality and sullen, Ivan Lendl-like court personality never made me want to break out a "Let's go HEN-in" cry and cheer her on to victory.
Her "incident" during the '03 French Open semifinal against Serena Williams, in which she refused to acknowledge raising her hand during Serena's service motion -- thus leading to a service fault on Serena's part -- nearly gave me a conniption fit.
Her decision to retire in the '06 Australian Open final after trailing Amélie Mauresmo 6-1, 2-0, simply because her tummy hurt, denying Mauresmo the glory that comes with a Grand Slam victory, was blasphemous in my book. Her cries of "Alléz!" when an opponent misses and (in my mind) feigning injuries to catch a breather would bother any tennis purist. So, no, I've never had much love for Henin and I most certainly never thought I would mention her name in the same breath as the phrase "Sportsman of the Year."
>> She should be a shoo-in after that ringing endorsement...
Tennis Canada is surely more aware than ever that Jesse Levine could potentially be a future player on its Davis Cup team.Born and raised in Ottawa until he was 13 when he moved with his family to Boca Raton, Fla., Levine has duel citizenship and could elect to play for Canada.
Back-to-back victories the past two weeks at Challenger events in the United States have helped elevate his ranking from No. 506 at the beginning of the year to No. 196.
...Stat-of-the-week: Difference in height between the 5-foot-9 Levine, and Isner, whom he beat 7-5 (3), 6-3 in the semi-finals in Champaign – one foot.
Federer deflates Ferrer at Masters Cup - Sandra Harwitt, Miami Herald
2003 Wimbledon champ, dressed in a shiny baby-doll dress, was spotted holding hands and getting "very close" with rapper Common last week at Tenjune during a party for her sister Venus. "They were very friendly, arm-in-arm.
Brad Gilbert gives Alex Bogdanovic rallying call to reach potential
- Neil Harman, The Times
The announcement of Wimbledon’s smallest surplus in 14 years did not make that much of an impact in Shrewsbury yesterday. There, as the players gathered for the men’s Challenger tournament, the most diverting conversation piece involved Brad Gilbert and what is arguably the most inconceivable of his varied challenges in the sport.
...Because of an age-old agreement, Wimbledon releases its surplus to the LTA. This year that figure is precisely £25 million, £500,000 down on last year and hovering around the mark that it has been at for a few years since it peaked at £33 million in 1998.
That the LTA has received nearly £320 million in the past 11 years, a period in which British tennis has gone from a 25-year high of men’s players in the top 500 to a 25-year low in the two years that the present hierarchy has been in place, poses serious questions.
Those concerns were far from Bogdanovic’s mind as he prepared for his first-round match in snowflecked Shropshire today before he heads to Tampa, Florida, where Gilbert and Paul Annacone, who has signed a three-year extension to his contract as head men’s coach at the LTA, are to oversee a training camp for British players... Not only that, Peter Lundgren, the Swede who is also the Great Britain Davis Cup coach, will accompany Bogdanovic to his first two events next year, up to the Australian Open, for which he will attempt to qualify, and then through a series of clay-court events before the Davis Cup tie against Argentina in Buenos Aires in early February.
The idea was prompted by the association of Tennis Professionals, who commissioned the broadcaster and former player Andrew Castle, and Dr David Fewtrell, senior lecturer in sports biomechanics at the University of Central Lancashire, to build an ideal male player from the best attributes of players currently active on the ATP Tour.
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