Sunday, January 2, 2011

Passing shots

Elena Dementieva has accepted the position of vice president of the Russian Tennis Federation, which can be only a good thing for Russian tennis. The recently retired Dementieva was honored on Thursday by President Dmitry Medvedev. (Thanks to Forty Deuce for providing this news.)

Jelena Dokic has hired Glenn Schaap to be her coach.

Maria Sharapova, who recently ended her contract with Prince, will play with a Head racquet this season. She's been playing for a while with a Head racquet with the logo blacked out, so this is hardly a surprise. Sharapova's new endorsement contract is worth $2 million a year.

Kim Clijsters recently repeated her statement that 2011 may be her last full season on the tour.

Recently retired tour member Alina Jidkova was married over the holiday break. Jidkova married Sascha Ghods, who is also her partner in an international fine pearl business.

The January issue of the Russian version of Glamour contains a feature on Vera Zvonareva. You can see some photos here.

Dinara Safina spent part of the off-season in Argentina.

Jarmila Groth is blogging from Brisbane (warning: reading the first post will involve learning about Sam Groth's bleached mohawk).


Sunny nine said...

I think that is great for Dementieva. She seems like she can be diplomatic in dealing with press or public. I think her professionalism and care for the sport will be translated into good action for the Russian Federation.

Anonymous said...

Hi Diane, the first day at ASB classic was awsome, really good matches, full sell out crowd, super hot/sunny weather. This is my first time watching Sharapova live and she is as loud as reports say. (Her top also matched the colour of the pink flower arrangements)
Saw Safina on the practice courts (she's playing today vs Yanina - a prev winner here). I can report Safina is looking good, there's a fire and concentration in her that came out even during practice. (+ she wore a cute micky/mini mouse T-shirt with the words "you belong to me" on the back. :-)
Kuzzy, who played against a young kiwi - Sacha Jones, didn't have as a easy time, Jones really suprised the vocal crowd in that she dug really deep and kept up with Kuzzy on many of the shots. Both plays hitting really flat and hard + some great placements. Kuzzy even started grunting (which I don't think she does too often) I think they both had some problem with serving in the sun - was about 2pm when they were playing so the sun was right above us.
Poor Sania Mirza broke her racket on court after her loss to Sabine Lisicki in the final round of qualifying played in front a 90% full center court. (first set Mirza was asleep, she woke up in the last two sets winning the second in a tie break but losing the match in the third set tie break) Lisicki was a good sport joking with the on court commentator who kept getting her nationality wrong (she was Spanish, then Russian and finally she's German again).
In the night session, Kimiko Date-Krumm lost but she moved/played like a 20 something year old, she was still very nibble, great fitness too.
There were 2x doubles matches playing in center court too. I'll send you some photos as soon as my camera is charged. lol

over all the atomosphere was great, I've read reports that all the day sessions for the tournament have sold out. About 65%-70% also stayed for the night matches (the last match being doubles). Yesterday was really hot too, we felt really baked sitting in the uncovered stands and the players were sweating out their shirts - good training for Aussie open.

I'm going to be watching the rest of the tournament on TV, I'm pretty sure there's free official live stream online. I'm looking forward to potential Sharapova vs Kuzzy match as they are both on the same side of the draw.


Diane said...

What a great report! Nice to hear that Safina looks good; fingers crossed that her back doesn't give out again.

I saw Sharapova play a couple of years ago--yes, she's loud. It was fun to watch her practice; she had moments of being really funny, and moments of being really intense.

Thanks, Dani!