Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová

Barbora Strycova tested positive for sibutramine, a banned stimulant, in Luxembourg on October 16. She has been given a back-dated six-month ban and will be eligible to play again on April.

She claimed the stimulant had entered her system via weight-loss supplement ACAI Berry Thin and denied any intent to enhance her performance.

Strycova has won one WTA singles and 17 doubles titles since turning professional in 2003. She has reached the third round at all four Grand Slam tournaments and achieved her best ranking of 39 in July 2010.

I wonder why:
– they needed more than 3 months to announce the ban
– there is no mention of the ban on the official site of the WTA

Current doping bans:
– Filippo Calorosi (Ita)
– Dimitar Kutrovsky (Bul)
– Ryan Newport (USA)
– Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (Cze)

As you can see a bunch of nobodys. Time to clean up tennis for real!

Photo by Tennis Buzz (Open GDF Suez 2011)

Mardi 19 février, lancement de MCS Tennis, la 1ère chaîne française 100% tennis.

MCS Tennis proposera chaque année plus de 40 tournois en direct et en exclusivité:
– circuit WTA (22 tournois incluant les Masters)
– circuit ATP (Brisbane, Houston, Gstaad…)
– Hopman Cup
– circuits ATP Seniors et Tennis Classic

MCS Tennis proposera également chaque semaine de nombreux magazines entièrement consacrés à l’univers du tennis: entraînement, tennis, préparation… Grâce à des accords avec les tournois du Grand Chelem, la matinée sera consacrée aux grands matchs de l’histoire du tennis.

La saison débutera sur MCS Tennis avec les tournois WTA de Dubaï et ATP de Buenos Aires à suivre en direct du 19 au 23. Rendez-vous ensuite à Indian Wells du 6 au 17 mars et Miami du 20 au 31.

La chaîne s’appuiera sur l’expertise de Sandrine Testud, ancienne 9è mondiale. Sophie Amiach, Sarah Pitkowski et Patrick Proisy complèteront l’équipe.

MCS Tennis sera disponible su le canal 171 de Numericable.

One of the busiest and most attention-grabbing weeks of the tennis year has just finished. With players returning from the off-season in need of match practice, the first week of 2013 saw all members of the WTA top ten in action. Most chose to kick-start their Australian Open build-up in Brisbane, but Shenzhen and Auckland also attracted some big names.

Here is a brief rundown of what the WTA top ten achieved last week, and where they stand leading up to the first Grand Slam of the year…

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka

The world number one looked in sensational form during her first two matches in Brisbane, defeating the dangerous floater Sabine Lisicki and then thrashing Ksenia Pervak. Unfortunately, a toe infection – apparently the result of a bad pedicure – forced her to pull out of a semi-final against Serena. Azarenka says should be fit and ready to defend her Australian Open title, and the limited match practice shouldn’t be a problem for such a focused player, but if the going gets tough in the early rounds in Melbourne, the injury may become a factor in the latter stages of the tournament.

Maria Sharapova

The French Open champion will be the only top ten player not to have struck a ball competitively before the year’s first Grand Slam, as a collarbone injury forced her out of her only planned warm-up event in Brisbane. The Russian is practising intensively, however, so the ailment appears to have been only a minor setback. Moreover, she didn’t play any lead-up tournaments before last year’s Australian Open, and made it all the way to the final.

Serena Williams

The American legend is the hot pick for the 2013 Australian Open title, and her exploits in Brisbane last week only confirmed her status as the front-runner. Serena charged through all four of her matches without dropping a set, and looked focussed and intense throughout – a worrying sign for her competitors. The younger Williams sister remains favourite to not only win a 16th Grand Slam title, but also recapture the number one ranking.

Read More

The new tennis season is fast approaching, and the best players in the world are busy training hard in preparation for another demanding and gruelling year on tour. But before we launch into 2013, we should take a moment to reflect on the careers and legacies of those who hung up their racquets for the last time in 2012…

Biggest ATP Retirement: Andy Roddick

Andy Roddick

On his 30th birthday, Andy Roddick called a press conference and revealed that the 2012 US Open would be his final competitive tournament. The decision caught everyone by surprise, but it seemed fitting for a man who, used to giving his all, knew that his body was no longer able to withstand a brutal training and playing regime.

Roddick had been his country’s number one player for most of the last decade. Blessed with one of the biggest serves in the history of the game, he regularly sent down unreturnable deliveries of over 220km/h, accompanied by his trademark compact swing and shotgun-like pop. He resembled an exuberant puppy on the court, pouncing on short balls and unleashing his formidable off-forehand with relish. Not the most naturally fluid of players, Roddick constantly strove to expand his arsenal of shots, and developed a very effective all-court game. Occasionally, his temper got the better of him, and umpires were often in his firing line, but he earned a reputation for being extremely gracious in defeat, and was a fan favourite wherever he played.

At the time, his 2003 US Open win seemed to herald the arrival of a new hero in American tennis, but Roddick’s main misfortune was to have shared an era with Roger Federer. He fell to the Swiss in four Grand Slam finals, including three at Wimbledon. The most heartbreaking was a 16-14 loss in the deciding set of the 2009 Wimbledon final, a match in which Roddick’s serve was broken only once. In all, he had a 3-21 record against Federer, and one wonders how much more decorated the Nebraskan’s career would have been without that perennial obstacle.

Biggest WTA Retirement: Kim Clijsters

Kim Clijsters

Kim Clijsters has the distinction of retiring for a second time in 2012. The Belgian originally called it a day in 2007, citing mounting injuries and her desire to start a family. The lure of competition proved too strong, however, and she returned to the WTA tour in 2009.
Read More

Next champion to retire?

Juan Carlos Ferrero joins Andy Roddick, Kim Clijsters, Fernando Gonzalez, Rainer Schuttler, Arnaud Clement and Ivan Ljubicic as 2012 retirees.
Former No. 1 and 2003 French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero says he’ll retire after playing in his hometown Valencia Open next month.

“It was a complicated decision to leave a world you have lived in intensely. But I have had a tough year and you start to notice that you don’t have the same ambition and motivation.”

Next champion to retire?

  • Lleyton Hewitt (29%, 24 Votes)
  • Venus Williams (17%, 14 Votes)
  • Rafael Nadal (14%, 12 Votes)
  • Francesca Schiavone (11%, 9 Votes)
  • Tommy Haas (11%, 9 Votes)
  • Robin Soderling (8%, 7 Votes)
  • David Nalbandian (7%, 6 Votes)
  • Other (4%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 84

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