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Here is our Best and Worst of June 2012. (Read here our Best and Worst of Roland Garros 2012).

Best:

Tamira Paszek:
5-3 down in the third set, she saved 5 championships point to win her first title since 2010, defeating Angelique Kerber 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, in Eastbourne. A few days later, she upset former number one Caroline Wozniacki in the first round at Wimbledon 5-7, 7-6, 6-4 in an encounter lasting 3 hours and 12 minutes.
After an easy second round win over Alizé Cornet, she defeated Yanina Wickmayer in another gruelling match 2-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5 in two hours and 40 minutes

Kim Clijsters:
Last Wimbledon for Kim who beat Jelena Jankovic, Andrea Hlavackova and Vera Zvonareva. Next opponent: Angelique Kerber.

Sania Mirza‘s reaction to the Indian Olympic team mess:

“As an Indian woman belonging to the 21st century, what I find disillusioning is the humiliating manner in which I was put up as a bait to try and pacify one of the disgruntled stalwarts of Indian tennis.”

“While I feel honored and privileged to have been chosen to partner Leander Paes, the manner and timing of the announcement wreaks of male chauvinism where a two time Grand Slam champion, who has been India’s number 1 women’s tennis player for almost a decade in singles and doubles is offered in compensation to partner one of the feuding champions purely in order to lure him into accepting to play with a men’s player he does not wish to play with! This kind of blatant humiliation of Indian womanhood needs to be condemned even if it comes from the highest controlling body of tennis in our country.”
Well said.

Tommy Haas:
German veteran Tommy Haas beat Roger Federer in Halle to capture his 13th career title, its first since 2009.

Andy Roddick:
Roddick ended a 16 months title drought by winning his 31th career title in Eastbourne. He entered the event as a wild card after losing his opening match at Queen’s Club the week before, a defeat that stretched his losing streak to six matches dating to mid-March.

Arnaud Clément:
Arnaud Clément is France new Davis Cup captain. He was hired to replace Guy Forget, who resigned after 14 seasons in charge.

Arnaud Clément

The WTA says NO to grunting, finally!
The WTA is developing a “sport-wide plan” to keep future players from grunting by educating them and instituting rule changes. USA Today reported the plan includes developing a device for umpires to measure grunting during matches, and a rule to set limits on how much noise is acceptable.

Maria Sharapova

ATP says NO to blue clay:
ATP President Brad Drewett has announced blue clay courts will not be allowed at tour events next season.
He said that while the new color, in place of the traditional red clay, “may have offered better visibility on television, there were clearly issues with the quality of the courts in Madrid this year, which were not acceptable.”

Tournament winners:

Bad Gastein: Alizé Cornet
Birmingham: Melanie Oudin
‘s-Hertogenbosch: Nadia Petrova, David Ferrer
Queen’s: Marin Cilic
Halle: Tommy Haas
Eastbourne: Tamira Paszek, Andy Roddick

Worst:

David Nalbandian: disqualified at Queen’s and ousted by Tipsarevic in the first round at Wimbledon.

Venus Williams:
For the first time since her debut appearance at the All England Club 15 years ago, five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams failed to get past the first round of Wimbledon. She was beaten by doubles specialist Elena Vesnina 6-3 6-1.
I must say I don’t get why she keeps playing. Perhaps retirement is the best option right now.

Gilles Simon:
He totally has the right to express what he thinks about women’s tennis and equal money, but offence people and say stupid thing like there was 20 spectators attending the women’s Rome final, it’s simply stupid.

I really liked Bartoli‘s reaction:

He should wake up earlier (to have a practice court)

and Sloane Stephens comments:

“Whatever he says means nothing to me. He hit me with a ball when I was ball kid for the first time. He hit me right in my chest because he lost a point and set he turned around and slammed the ball and it hit me,”

Stephens told a small group of U.S. reporters.

“Whatever he says, that means nothing to me. We had discussion about it on the court last year because he was trying to kick me off the practice court in Estoril and I’m like dude you don’t have this court. His coach was nice and he asked me, ‘Why don’t you like him?’ and I said because when I was 10 he hit me with the ball and he didn’t even say sorry and kind of walked off. So I was like, ‘I don’t like him.”

And for all of you who have no idea who Simon is, that’s him:

2012 French Open adidas outfits

Flavia Pennetta:
The first seed eliminated at Wimbledon was No. 16 Flavia Pennetta, who fell 6-4, 6-3 to fellow Italian Camila Giorgi. With the recent achievements of Sara Errani and Francesca Schiavone, nobody remembers that in 2009, she became the first female Italian player to reach the top 10.

The whole Indian olympic team mess, Paes, Bhupathi and co: none of them deserve a medal

The new ATP Player Council was announced at a pre-Wimbledon player meeting yesterday.

Members elected by their peers to serve on the ATP Player Council through to June 2014 are:
1-50 Singles: Kevin Anderson, Roger Federer, Jarkko Nieminen, Gilles Simon
51-100 Singles: Robin Haase, Sergiy Stakhovsky
1-100 Doubles: Mahesh Bhupathi, Eric Butorac
At-Large: James Cerretani, Andre Sa
Alumni: Brian Gottfried
Coach: Claudio Pistolesi

The ATP Player Council meets several times a year and makes recommendations to ATP Management and the ATP Board of Directors through the three Player Board representatives, whom the Council elects.

The new ATP Player Council will have its first meeting in New York prior to the US Open, where a President and Vice President will be elected.

Nalbandian injures line judge, disqualified at Queen's

Queen’s final today: Nalbandian up a set, smashes a panel in front of Andrew McDougall’s seat, causing his leg to bleed heavily. Nalbandian received a code violation for unsportsmanlike behaviour, the chair umpire decided to end the match, and awarded Cilic the match and the tournament.

Nalbandian “apologized” but blamed the ATP and insisted he shouldn’t have been disqualified:

There is a lot of rules, and sometimes they (ATP officials) don’t do anything. The rule book is very big and I can tell you that the ATP do a lot of mistakes to the players and nothing happens

Even worst than the worst of McEnroe. What an asshole.

In the other men’s final played today, veteran Tommy Haas stunned Roger Federer in Halle. It’s Haas 13th career title, its first since 2009, when he beat Novak Djokovic in the final of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle.

Read part 1 of Mauro’s report here.

Where to start from? When you have the chance to meet your childhood idol, suddenly every word becomes foreseen. So I would like to begin from the kindness of the staff at the press office of the Gerry Weber Open. It was only thanks to them that, without any media credential, I managed to access the press conference of the Champions Trophy and, believe it or not, without really knowing how, I found myself sitting in the first row, watching the winners of 70 Grand Slam tournaments combined speak, two meters away from the man I had always only watched on tv and who was the owner of my feelings back in my teenage days.

I was there, waiting to come in at a sign of the tournament communication director after all the players had ended speaking. He, indeed, introduced me to Stefan who saw me and smiled at me, when he recognized the outfit I was wearing: «Ah… and he has a nice Adidas jacket!», he said, maybe going back with his memory to 25 years ago, when he lifted his second Australian Open trophy with that on.

I was not shaking as I thought I would be, it was such an informal situation, after all, and, no need to say, Stefan is surely not the guy who makes you feel uncomfortable or out of place. I had the chance of shaking his hand and came in with very straight words:

«Hello, Stefan, nice to meet you. My name is Mauro and I’m from Italy. I’m the admin of STE…fans, the international fan community dedicated to you. I want to give you this special screenshot of the home page of my site in memory of this day, that, for me, ranks at the very top of the best moments that I had in my life».

Stefan didn’t know of the site (secretly I hoped he would…), but nevertheless he said: «Thanks very much, I appreciate it!». Then, he came down to the space before the seats in the media room and kindly accepted to take pictures of the moment. Unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to exchange more words with him. But, just the meeting itself was an extraordinary opportunity that I received from the tournament staff only thanks to the quality of my work and, maybe, to the human interest of the story of a fan who had flown to Westphalia from Italy just to hand his hero a little gift.

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Thanks a lot to Mauro for his report from Halle. Check out his website STE…fans for more news, pics and videos about Stefan Edberg.

Halle is the Gerry Weber Open. Everywhere you can see the logo of the tournament, that turns 20 years old in 2012, and the walk from the quiet and tidy historic centre of the town to the Gerry Weber Stadion, along Alleestraße and Gartenstraße, is filled with indications that seem to celebrate it as the most important touristic attraction. Surely not everybody is a tennis expert here, but everybody knows (or has heard of) the tennis tournament, even the nice taxi driver that takes me to the hotel from Bielefeld, a town 18 kilometers away, and doesn’t speak a word of English.

Halle, Gerry Weber Stadion

Many would say there’s not much more to see in Halle Westfalen, but, in my opinion, this is not true. Surely not the best destination if you’re looking for “movida” and intense night life (you would hardly meet twenty other persons in the centre if you take a walk from 7 to 9 pm, just as I did), but there are at least a couple of things that catch the eye of a foreigner.

Halle is definitely a “green” city. Without need to reach the near Teutoburg Forest, you will find plenty of nature-friendly spaces inside the town itself and going slightly outwards. Most of the houses built in the characteristic half-timbered style, that remind of the Medieval history of the town, have a very well kept garden space that shows the love and respect for nature by the inhabitants. More bikes than cars around, and this, for an Italian abroad, is always something amazing to watch, just like the “culture of silence” they have here and, generally, in this area of Europe. If you were to think of a tennis tournament for Halle, it could only be on grass, and the rainy weather, the temperature just over 13-14 Celsius degrees of these days reflect the perfect “scenario” for the typical grasscourt tournament of middle June.

Halle Gerry Weber Open
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