Friday, December 31, 2010

Chanda Rubin's house heavily damaged by fire

There has been a whole lot of weather, lately, and here in Louisiana, the cold temperatures have been accompanied by heavy rains. Chanda Rubin's Lafayette house caught fire Wednesday night, and the most likely reason is that lightning struck her attic. The alarm triggered a call from Rubin's home security company while the former WTA Tour star was watching television. She got out with some jewelry, photos, important documents, and a few of her trophies (most of her trophies, however, are at her parents' house). Ten minutes later, the roof caught fire.

It took firefighters over an hour to get the fire under control. The roof caved in, and there is both smoke and water damage. The attic and the second floor of the house are gone. Rubin had lived in the house for only two and a half years.

Friday cat blogging--existential edition


"I believe, at the end of the day, personally, my life is not about a banana."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Laura Robson, who has been training at the Mouratoglou Academy for a year, has hired Patrick Mouratoglou to be her coach for the 2011 season.

Serena Williams and her crystal-encrusted rehab boot are now being spotted on tennis courts.

Tennis Channel is now airing its Hot Shots of 2010. Look for the feature to be shown several times.

Hopman Cup competition begins on January 1.

Justine Henin reports that it may take months for her elbow to be fully healed.

Olivia Rogowska has been given a wild card into the main draw of the Hobart Inernational tournament. She recently won the Australian Open wild card playoffs in Australia.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Quote of the week

"Six months later, I remember. Six months later, it still feels good. Grazie to you, Francesca."
 Steve Tignor, who chose the French Open women's final as his favorite match of the year

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Dokic gets Australian Open wild card

Though she lost to Olivia Rogowska in the wild card playoffs, Jelena Dokic will not have to go through qualifying in Melbourne. Tennis Australia has awarded Dokic a wild card into the main draw.

In 2009, Dokic was awarded a wild card, and she made it all the way to the quarterfinals in an especially dramatic and emotional run.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What's next for Sharapova?

Maria Sharapova, who will play at least one Australian Open warm-up tournament in January, faces an uncertain future. Please follow me to On the Baseline to read about the former number 1, and to share your thoughts.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Maria Sharapova is considering accepting a wild card to play in the Medibank International in Sydney. She is already scheduled to play in the Auckland Classic, which begins on January 3. Sharapova has never played in Sydney, and the tournament's organizers say that they are willing to give her a wild card at the last minute. The Medibank International begins on January 9.

Alex Williams says that Serena Williams is the Player of the Year for 2010, and that Francesca Schiavone gave us the Performance of the Year.

Mary Carillo, who does sports reporting for NBC, Tennis Channel, CBS, and HBO, has--at her request--ended her ESPN contract a year early.

Yaroslava Shvedova has hired Dimitri Zavialoff as her coach. Zavialoff coached ATP star Stanislas Wawrinka for fifteen years.

Zheng Jie, who reached the semifinals of the 2010 Australian Open, has withdrawn from the 2011 tournament because of her wrist injury.

Finally--though this has nothing at all to do with the WTA--for those needing a holiday pick-me-up, here is a compilation of all the Roger Federer on-camera break-up moments captured on video.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Davis wins Australian Open wild card

In the USA version of the Australian Open wild card playoffs, Lauren Davis--recent Orange Bowl and Eddie Herr champion--has emerged the winner. Davis defeated last year's winner, Coco Vandewegh, 6-2, 6-2.

Olivia Rogowska won the playoffs in Australia, and the French wild card, which is selected the old-fashioned (and, in my opinin, the right) way, went to Virginie Razzano.


Maria Sharapova has ended her contract with Prince, and will not be using a Prince racquet in 2011. She has not yet announced which racquet she will use.

Melanie Oudin has traded her famous Addidas shoes for Wilson shoes and clothing. She already plays with a Wilson racquet.

Philippe Bouin has left his 30-year position as L'Equipe's head tennis writer.

Here are some good tips for preparing your tennis gear for the cold weather.

Check out the WTA Backspin Prediction Blowout.

I read recently that most used tennis balls are discarded. If you have a physical rehabilitation center near you, you can deliver your used tennis balls to the staff. Rehab centers always need them for use on walkers. The best use of old tennis balls that I have ever seen was their conversion to living spaces for the harvest mouse, a threatened species in Great Britain.

Rogowska wins Australian Open wild card

Olivia Rogowska was down 1-6, 1-3 to Jelena Dokic in the Australian Open wild card playoffs. There was a rain delay, and--according to Rogowska--Dokic returned from it with a little less swing. But also, Rogowska, who had lost two other wild card playoff finals, said she felt she just shouldn't lose three. She saved two match points and defeated Dokic 1-6, 7-6, 6-3.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Vandeweghe and Davis to compete for Australian Open wild card

Coco Vandeweghe is just a match away from winning her second consecutive Australian Open wild card. Today, in the semifinals of the USA wild card playoffs, Vandeweghe defeated Beatrice Capra 6-1, 6-4. Her opponent in the final will be Orange Bowl champion Lauren Davis, who defeated Krista Hardebeck 6-2, 6-1.

Dokic advances to wild card playoff final

Jelena Dokic has defeated Alicia Molik 6-3, 6-1 in the Australian Open wild card playoffs in Australia. She will play Olivia Rogowska in the final.

The USA playoffs semifinals take place today. In the meantime, France has awarded its Australian Open wild card to Virginie Razzano.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Australian Open wild card playoffs begin in U.S.

The USA version of the Australian Open wild card playoffs began today, with the following results:

Coco Vandewegh def. Madison Keys, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
Lauren Davis def. Jamie Hampton, 7-5, 7-5
Beatrice Capra def. Shelby Rogers, 6-2, 6-3
Krista Hardebeck def. Irina Falconi, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1

Meanwhile, in Australia, Olivia Rogowska has reached the final of the wild card playoffs. Rogowska defeated Sophie Ferguson 7-6, 6-4. She will face either Jelena Dokic or Alicia Molik in the final.

Friday cat blogging--full stretch edition

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dokic to play Molik in wild card playoff semifinal

Jelena Dokic has reached the semifinals of Australia's wild card playoffs for the Australian Open, and her semifinal opponent will be Alicia Molik. Both Dokic and Molik are former WTA top 10 player who left the tour, then returned. They have both had a hard time since coming back. Molik is 2-1 against Dokic; the last time they played was in 2003.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Valerie Tetreault has retired. Tetreault, who became a professional tennis player only four years ago, said, in her announcement: "I still have the same passion for my sport I have always had, but I am ready to take on new challenges, all while maintaining a more stable lifestyle." Tetreault, who lives in Canada, will seek a career in communications, and plans to remain involved in tennis.

Martina Navratilova, who had to come down off of Mount Kilimanjaro because of pulmonary edema, was discharged from the hospital on Sunday. 18 of the 27 Laureus fundraisers reached the top of the mountain. Navratilova reports that she is feeling much better.

Agnes Szavay, who sustained a left thigh strain in September, will not be playing in any of the 2011 Australian tournaments, including the Australian Open. Szavay has not yet begun training for the season. She plans to play for the Hungarian Fed Cup team in February.

On Friday, December 10, Martina Hingis married Frenchman Thibault Hutlin in Paris. Hutlin is a showjumper; he and Hingis met earlier this year at a jumping event in St. Tropez. The former tour star, who won five majors, is an experienced competitive equestrian.

Steve Flink's choice for WTA Match of the Year is the Brisbane final between Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin.

Clijsters and Henin, by the way, say that they may form a doubles team for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Altitude forces Navratilova down from Kilimanjaro

Martina Navratilova's dream of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro has been halted by her worst fear about the adventure--the effect of altitude on her body. Trekking through heavy snows and mist, and unable to perform some of the needed acclimatization exercises, Navratilova developed pulmonary edema, and had to be taken off the mountain on the fifth day of the six-day trip. She is currently resting in a hospital in Nairobi, where she was treated with diuretics. She is expected to have a full recovery.

Navratilova, a former WTA Tour great, and one of the world's leading sportswomen, made the Kilimanjaro trip to raise money for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Before the climb, she said that she knew she was fit enough to complete the trek, but that she didn't know how she would respond to the altitude; Kilimanjaro is over 19,000 feet high.

On the fourth day of the trip, Navratilova wrote: "The weather is a little better, but the going is getting tougher and tougher. It seems to be constantly steep and as we started to approach the highest point yet, 4,500 metres above sea level, sheer exhaustion sets in for much of the group, and with heavy legs and chests pounding due to a lack of oxygen, every step becomes an effort."

Navratilova did not write another blog entry after the fourth day, and interviews were canceled. However, she did make a statement from her hospital bed: "It was something that I have wanted to do for so long, but it was not to be," she said, and added that she was looking forward to hearing about the successful end of the climb.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


World number 1 Caroline Wozniacki is rumored to be making a racquet change in 2011. Her contract with Babolat expires at the end of this month, and there is speculation that she will switch to Yonex next year. Wozniacki played a recent exhibition match with a Yonex racquet whose brand name was blacked out.

Flavia Pennetta, who plays with a Wilson Blade racquet, will be using the new Wilson Blade 98 Pink BLX, which is described by Wilson as "aggressive yet feminine." Thank goodness.

Yaroslava Shvedova has a new website.

More than half of Martina Navratilova's fundraising goal for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation has been reached. Navratilova plans to raise $134,000 for the foundation as she climbs Mount Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro is over 19,000 feet high, and Navratilova has never climbed higher than 12,000 feet; she said she is not concerned about fitness, but about the lack of air at that height. Should she reach the top as planned, she will be hitting tennis balls. "With the air being that thin, they should go a long way."

Jelena Dokic has received a wild card into the main draw of the Brisbane International.

Oudin enters Family Circle Cup

Melanie Oudin has entered the 2011 Family Circle Cup, which will be played in Charleston April 2-10. Oudin has a 5-2 record at the event, which she began playing in 2009. That year, she received a wild card into the qualifying rounds, and reached the third round of the main draw, in which she was defeated by Marion Bartoli. Last year, Oudin reached the quarterfinals, and lost to eventual finalist Vera Zvonareva.

Following her 2010 quarterfinal appearance, Oudin reached her career-high ranking of number 31 in the world; she is currently ranked number number 61. The 19-year-old recently scored the USA Fed Cup team's only victory in the Fed Cup final by defeating French Open champion Francesca Schiavone

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ladies with an attitude

It's the video of the year. C Note got it from ziamiki, so thanks to both of them--and now I'm sharing it with you. In a moment that is somewhere beyond camp, the members of the Italian Fed Cup team (take special note of Roberta Vinci) give us their interpretation of Madonna's "Vogue" video.

Sharapova hires extra coach

Maria Sharapova has hired Thomas Hogstedt to be a "co-coach" with her long-time coach, Michael Joyce. The idea of having an extra coach was Joyce's idea. Hogstedt, who coached Li Na when she surged into the top 10, will be working this week with Sharapova at the Bollettieri Academy in Florida.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Stosur wins Newcombe Medal

Samantha Stosur is the recipient of Australia's inaugural Newcome Medal, presented last at the Australian Tennis Awards. The medal is cast in white gold and features John Newcombe's signature. The other three finalists for the new award were Lleyton Hewitt, Anastasia Rodionova and Jarmilla Groth.

Newcombe recently said of Stosur, ''I think if she could improve her backhand, she'd have a real possibility of becoming number 1. I'd give her backhand probably a six out of ten, and if she could get that up to a seven and a half or an eight out of ten, she could become number 1.''

Newcombe also said that Stosur needs to come to the net more, and  that she needs to develop a slice serve. He noted that both her mentality and her physical fitness have improved, and that she has made some needed technical adjustments to her game.

Stosur, who won this year's Family Circle Cup and was a finalist at the 2010 French Open, is currently ranked number 6 in the world.

Newcombe is a former ATP world number 1. He won six majors in singles, seventeen in doubles, and one in mixed doubles. He is a former member and captain of Australia's Davis Cup team.

Friday cat blogging--cozy friendship edition

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Clijsters named WTA Player of the Year

For the second time in her career, Kim Clijsters has been named WTA Player of the Year. Clijsters defended her U.S. Open title, won the WTA Champioships, and also won titles in Brisbane, Miami and Cincinnati. Clijsters was also the recipient of the Player Service Award.

Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta were named the Doubles Team of the Year. Dulko and Pennetta won seven titles together in 2010.

The remaining awards follow:

Comeback Player of the Year--Justine Henin
Newcomer of the Year--Petra Kvitova
Humanitarian of the Year--Maria Sharapova
Karen Krantzche Sports(wo)manship Award--Elena Dementieva

Once again, the players chose the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart as their favorite premier tournament. The Pattaya Open was chosen as the favorite international tournament.


The Australian Open wild card playoffs for U.S. players will be held December 17-19 at the Racquet Club of the South in Atlanta.

Elena Dementieva has been offered the position of vice president of the Russian Tennis Federation.

Jelena Jankovic has a new puppy named Stella.

Leslie Nielsen, who died Sunday, once played the role of sportswriter Nelson Fisher, in the 1978 television movie, "Little Mo." It was Nelson who gave Maureen Connolly her now-famous nickname.

Sabine  Lisicki and Melanie Oudin hit together this week at the Bollettieri Academy.