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Stepanek out of Czech Davis Cup team: report

February 24, 2011 Leave a comment
Czech Radek Stepanek will not take part in the Davis Cup first-round
tie against Kazakhstan in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava from March
4-6 because of flu, the CTK news agency said.
Czech Radek Stepanek, seen here in January 2011, will not take part in
the Davis Cup first-round tie against Kazakhstan in the eastern Czech
city of Ostrava from March 4-6 because of flu, the CTK news agency
said.
It was a tough decision to make, but I must look after my health,” Stepanek, the world number 65, told the agency.
Team
captain Jaroslav Navratil may also be without Jan Hajek, the world
number 102, who retired from the Delray Beach tournament on Tuesday.
The
other two Czech players named to face Kazakhstan are world number seven
Tomas Berdych and 17-year-old Jiri Vesely, who won the junior
Australian Open this year.
The Czechs led by Berdych and Stepanek reached the Davis Cup semi-finals in 2010 and the finals in 2009.
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Categories: Sport News, Tennis

Andy Murray pulls out of Dubai tournament

February 17, 2011 Leave a comment


Andy Murray has withdrawn from next week’s Dubai Championships citing a wrist injury.

The
world No 5 had hinted he would take a break after reaching the final of
the Australian Open last month but instead chose to play in Rotterdam
only a week later.

However, Murray was well below his best and
won only five games in losing his first-round clash to Marcos
Baghdatis. His decision means the 23-year-old is not due to play again
until the Masters Series event in Indian Wells in the middle of next
month.

A statement on his website read: “Andy has withdrawn
from the forthcoming ATP World Tour 500 event in Dubai due to a wrist
injury. Andy would like to apologise to both the tournament and its
fans.”

The Dubai tournament is popular with the world’s top
players, despite being among the second tier of ATP events, and was
Murray’s first outing after his run to the final in Melbourne last year.

However,
he lost in the second round to Serb Janko Tipsarevic and was criticised
after revealing he was under-prepared for the tournament.<!—
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Sport.Scotsman
Categories: Sport News, Tennis

Get the ball boy some scuba gear… Tennis stars Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer play match on floating court IN the Persian Gulf

January 4, 2011 Leave a comment
When tennis legends Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer face each other, the last thing you want is for rain to stop play.
But in their latest clash, a flooded court was unavoidable – it took place on a floating platform on a lagoon in Qatar.
Federer of Switzerland took on his Spanish rival, the world No 1, on the
specially made stage in Doha ahead of the Qatar Open,
which marks the start of the tennis calendar.

They have 25 Grand Slam titles between them, though 29-year-old Federer, older by five years, has won 16 – the male record.

Flooded court doesn't stop play: Spain's Rafael Nadal (left) and Roger Federer of Switzerland warm up at the Westbay in Doha during an exhibition match to promote the city one day before the Qatar Open

Flooded court doesn’t stop play: Spain’s Rafael
Nadal (left) and Roger Federer of Switzerland warm up at the Westbay in
Doha during an exhibition match to promote the city one day before the
Qatar Open

Gods of the tennis world: Nadal (left) and Federer (right) volley to each other on the specially made floating court in Qatar

Gods of the tennis world: Nadal (left) and Federer (right) volley to each other on the specially made floating court in Qatar
The
Swiss star will be looking to bounce back from a string of Grand Slam
defeats in 2010 while his biggest rival Nadal is hoping to resume the
dominant form that saw him capture the French Open, Wimbledon and US
Open titles.
Spectators can
expect to see much of the pair in 2011, starting with the tournament
held in Doha, the Qatari capital, which begins today.

Last year, Russian Nikolay Davydenko
came from a set down to defeat Nadal 0-6, 7-6, 6-4. And the year before
that, Great British hope Andy Murray took the crown.

Floating: The two best players took each other on in an exhibition match on a submerged court

Floating: The two best players took each other on in an exhibition match on a submerged court
 
A taste of the Nadal-Federer rivalry was also on display in Abu Dhabi on aturday, when Nadal edged
Federer 7-6, 7-6 to defend his title at the invitational World Tennis
Championships.

Before leaving for Doha, Federer said
he saw Abu Dhabi and Doha as a chance to try out new shots.
He added that
he was looking forward to resuming his duel with Nadal that will get
its first big test at the Australian Open where the Swiss player is the
defending champion.

‘It’s a special Australian Open with me being the defending champion,’ Federer said.

Flashback: Roger Federer and Andre Agassi play an exhibition match on the helipad of the Burj Al Arab in 2005

Flashback: Roger Federer and Andre Agassi play
an exhibition match on the helipad of the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai
in 2005 – 700ft off the ground

‘Obviously the focus is going to be on the two of us. Tennis is really going to be exciting down in Australia.’

Nadal said he doesn’t feel any pressure
ahead of this year’s Australian Open, even though a tournament victory
there would make him the first man to win four major titles in a row
since Rod Laver pulled off a calendar Grand Slam by claiming all four
in 1969.

‘It’s not extra pressure, for me
it’s extra motivation,’ said Nadal, who lost in the Doha final last
year to Russian Nikolay Davydenko.

‘The
pressure is every day to play well and keep winning matches and I don’t
think (about) winning the Australian Open immediately,’ Nadal said.

‘You never know what’s going to happen since it’s going to be a very difficult tournament.’


Daily Mail.co.uk

Categories: Sport News, Tennis

2011 starts with ‘dream final’

January 1, 2011 Leave a comment
James Jose

1 January 2011,

Many had dreamt of it for the last two years but
Andy Murray and Robin Soderling had prevented that. This time though,
neither Soderling and Tomas Berdych could deny fans in the UAE that
‘dream final.’

World
No.1 and defending champion Rafael Nadal and World No.2 will battle it
out for the winner-takes-all $250,000 on the first day of the year
after the Swiss and the Spaniard came through their semi-finals in the
Mubadala World Tennis Championship at the Abu Dhabi International
Tennis Complex on New Year’s eve.
Federer,
who had lost to eventual champion Andy Murray in the first edition in
2008 before going down to runner-up Robin Soderling last year, rallied
from a set down to defeat Swedish World No.5 Soderling 6-7 (3), 6-3,
6-3. Defending champion Nadal, who had gone down to Murray in the final
in 2008 before winning it last year, cruised past World No.6 Czech
Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-4.
Earlier,
it was a matter of who would blink first but neither Federer nor
Soderling gave it away, though both did have a couple of chances to
earn a break in the first set. Soderling matched Federer and the World
No.2 had to work hard against a stoic Soderling.
Federer
had the chance first up to earn a break in the second game. Federer had
a break point after whipping a neat backhand cross court winner to go
up 30-40. But a powerful serve by the Swede saw Federer send his
backhand wide. Then, Soderling came up with a superb forehand
down-the-line before holding serve.
Federer
had two break points in the fourth game after he had conjured a
forehand cross court winner and a beautiful drop. Soderling sent his
forehand wide as Federer went up 15-40. But Soderling averted that by
firing an ace, his first of six aces in the first set. He took the
advantage after Federer netted his backhand before holding serve with
another ace.
Then,
it was Federer’s turn to be on the firing line as Soderling had the
chance to break in the next game. Federer double-faulted before sending
his twin backhands wide, to give Soderling three break points. But
errors by Soderling saw Federer come back before holding serve.
It
was cat-and-mouse as Federer had the chance to break Soderling in the
next game after coming up with a nice backhand cross court after a long
rally. But Soderling held on. Soderling then had a break point in the
ninth game after Federer had netted a forehand. But Soderling sent his
forehand long as Federer held serve.
The
issue went into the tie-breaker and Soderling was right on the ball
while a couple of errors crept into Federer. Soderling won the
tie-break 7-3 to take the first set. It seemed to be a big
psychological advantage for Soderling, who had halted a 12-match losing
streak to Federer at Roland Garros and has a 1-15 head-to-head record
against the Swiss.
But
it wasn’t so as Federer went for broke in the second set. The
29-year-old legend broke Soderling in the third game as Soderling’s
string of errors cost him. It was Soderling who finally flinched and
Federer won it on his second break point after Soderling netted a
backhand cross court.
Federer
broke him again in the ninth and took the game and the set on his third
break point after errors crept in into Soderling’s game.
Federer
went into auto-pilot mode in the third and Soderling had no answer to
that. Federer broke Soderling in the eighth game after Soderling had
netted a forehand and sent another wide and before the Swiss ace
wrapped up the match with an ace.
Categories: Sport News, Tennis