The ITF started producing an official Olympic Book for the Olympic Tennis Event at Beijing 2008, and has continued this new tradition by creating another one for London 2012.
This year’s book Aspire, Inspire: Celebrating Tennis at the Olympics 2012 is based on the idea of who, or what, inspired you when you were young.
The publication features tennis’s most talked-about players revealing who their heroes were growing up, accompanied by some stunning photography and photos of the players themselves as a child.

The 36 Olympic and Paralympic players featured in the book include current world No. 1s Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka, doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan, and Olympic medallists Roger Federer, Stanislas Wawrinka, Rafael Nadal, and Vera Zvonareva.

Novak Djokovic – Alberto Tomba (skiing)

Victoria Azarenka – Sergey Bubka (pole vault)

Bob and Mike Bryan – The Dream Team (1992 US men’s basketball team)

Rafael Nadal – Spanish Olympic Team at 1992 Barcelona

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It’s been 80 years since a Japanese player the Grand Slam has seen a Japanese player reach the action in the quarterfinals. Kei Nishikori has done just that at this year’s Australian Open, rocking some sweat absorbing UNIQLO gear.

UNIQLO tennis wear

UNIQLO is developing a new line of tennis wear that will mimic the match wear worn by Nishikori at the 2012 Australian Open. The collection will include 12 items, ranging from apparel to accessories. Shirts, shorts, warm-ups, hats, wristbands, socks and a tennis bag are among the offerings.
The new line uses Uniqlo’s new Dry-Ex fabric, that absorbs perspiration, dries quickly, and is thin, light and breathable. Flat seam stitching provides extra comfort.

UNIQLO tennis wear

UNIQLO tennis wear

UNIQLO tennis wear

Prices of the clothing line range from 3,900 yen ($50) for shorts and tops to 6,990 yen ($90) for warm-up jackets. Accessories such as wristbands, a cap and a bag will also be available, ranging in price from 790 yen ($10) to 5,990 yen ($77).

The first pieces in the series will be released on April 2 and will be available only online in Japan and at the retailer’s new flagship in Tokyo’s Ginza district, opening March 16.

UNIQLO has sponsored Nishikori since last year, when it started creating one-off pieces for the athlete to wear during matches. Previously sponsored by adidas, Nishikori chose UNIQLO partly because it offered “greater long-term potential for Kei to earn money,” IMG agent Olivier Van Lindonk said.

“Uniqlo can become a partner for Kei for a long time, even after his playing days are over”.

Day 8:

Upset of the day: Elena Makarova defeats Serena Williams
Seriously, who saw that coming? Makarova stunned 5-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams 6-2 6-3.

Match of the day: Novak Djokovic (1) vs Lleyton Hewitt

Day 8 results:
Elena Makarova def Serena Williams (12)
Maria Sharapova (4) def Sabine Lisicki (14) 3-6 6-2 6-3
Sara Errani def Jie Zheng 6-2 6-1
Petra Kvitova (2) def Ana Ivanovic (21) 6-2 7-6
Novak Djokovic (1) vs Lleyton Hewitt
David Ferrer (5) def Richard Gasquet (17) 6-4 6-4 6-1
Andy Murray (4) vs Mikhail Kukushkin
Kei Nishikori (24) def Jo-Wifried Tsonga (6) 2-6 6-2 6-1 3-6 6-3

Day 7:

Match of the day: Kim Clijsters defeats Li Na
In a rematch of last year’s final, Kim Clijsters saved four match points before beating Li Na 4-6 7-6 6-4.

Stat of the day – 1: 50
The number of Jankovic‘s unforced errors in her 0-6 5-7 loss to Wozniacki. I feel really sorry for the spectators who had to endure this.

Stat of the day – 2: 31
Roger Federer is in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the 31st consecutive time. Last player to beat him before the QFs was Gustavo Kuerten at Roland Garros in 2004.

Day 7 results:
Caroline Wozniacki (1) def Jelena Jankovic (13) 6-0 7-5
Kim Clijsters (11) def Na Li (5) 4-6 7-6 6-4
Victoria Azarenka (3) def Iveta Benesova 6-2 6-2
Agnieszka Radwanska (8) def Julia Goerges (22) 6-1 6-1
Juan Martin Del Potro (11) def Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4 6-2 6-1
Roger Federer (3) def Bernard Tomic 6-4 6-2 6-2
Tomas Berdych (7) vs Nicolas Almagro (10) 4-6 7-6(5) 7-6(3) 7-6(2)
Rafael Nadal (2) def Feliciano Lopez (18) 6-4 6-4 6-2

Day 6:

Match of the day: Lleyton Hewitt defeats Milos Raonic
Love him or hate him, you’ve got to admit Hewitt always plays with the heart on his sleeve. And today he gave a big lesson of will and determination to big server Raonic.

Upset of the day: Mikhail Kukushkin defeats Gael Monfils
One day he beats Nadal and one day he loses to Kukushkin, ranked 92. Gael Monfils, King of inconsistency and missed opportunities.

The tournament really begins tomorrow with the fourth round matches:

Women’s singles:
Caroline Wozniacki (1) vs Jelena Jankovic (13)
Kim Clijsters (11) vs Na Li (5)
Victoria Azarenka (3) vs Iveta Benesova
Julia Goerges (22) vs Agnieszka Radwanska (8)
Ekaterina Makarova vs Serena Williams (12)
Sabine Lisicki (14) vs Maria Sharapova (4)
Sara Errani vs Jie Zheng
Ana Ivanovic (21) vs Petra Kvitova (2)

Men’s singles:
Novak Djokovic (1) vs Lleyton Hewitt
Richard Gasquet (17) vs David Ferrer (5)
Andy Murray (4) vs Mikhail Kukushkin
Kei Nishikori (24) vs Jo-Wifried Tsonga (6)
Philipp Kohlschreiber vs Juan Martin Del Potro (11)
Bernard Tomic vs Roger Federer (3)
Tomas Berdych (7) vs Nicolas Almagro (10)
Feliciano Lopez (18) vs Rafael Nadal (2)

Day 5:

Match of the day: Bernard Tomic defeats Alexandr Dogolopolov 4-6 7-6(0) 7-6(6) 2-6 6-3
It was all about Tomic at Melbourne Park today… again. Next opponent for the 19 years old Aussie: his idol, Roger Federer.

Stat of the day: 0
It’s the first time since 1973 that no U.S. men have reached round of 16 at the Australian Open.

Video of the day: Bernard Tomic: realising the potential

Day 4:
Petra Kvitova and David Ferrer fought hard to qualify for the third round: 2011 Wimbledon champion Kvitova defeated Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2 2-6 6-4. Davic Cup champion Ferrer needed 5 sets to overcome Ryan Sweeting 6-7(4) 6-2 3-6 6-2 6-3.
No problem for the other favorites: Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

Match of the day: Lleyton Hewitt defeats Andy Roddick
The match looked good on paper, but Roddick retired while trailing 3-6 6-3 6-4 with a right hamstring injury. The last time he retired was at the 2001 French Open, against Hewitt.

Seeds upsets:
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (15, lost to Vania King), Dominika Cibulkova (17, to Greta Arn), Roberta Vinci (23, to Jie Zheng), Kaia Kanepi (25, to Ekaterina Makarova), Nadia Petrova (29, lost to Sara Errani), Gilles Simon (12, to Julien Benneteau), Andy Roddick (15, to Lleyton Hewitt), Viktor Troicki (19, to Mikhail Kukushkin), Marcel Granollers (26, to Frederico Gil), Alex Bogomolov (32, to Michael Llodra)

Stat of the day: 500
Serena Williams notched her 500th career win today. Five-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams defeated Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-0, 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena.

Day 3:
Another match, another monster win for Aussie Bernard Tomic who defeats Sam Querrey 3-6 6-3 7-6(3) 6-3.
In a match between two “could have been” Stanislas Wawrinka takes down Marcos Baghdatis in 4 sets.
The first top ten to fall in the men’s draw is Mardy Fish, but he never looked like a top 10 to me.

Li Na, Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka and Rafael Nadal ease into third round.

Match of the day: John Isner defeats David Nalbandian 4-6 6-3 3-6 7-6 (5) 10-8 victory in 4 hours and 41 minutes.
Almost 5 hours to prevail over a semi-retired veteran, the victory is good, but seriously, Isner?

Seeds upsets:
Francesca Schiavone (10, lost to Romina Oprandi), Shuai Peng (16, lost to Iveta Benesova), Mardy Fish (8, lost to Alejandro Falla)

Video of the day: Behind the scenes of the Aussie Open

Day 2:

2011 US Open champion and local favorite Sam Stosur crashes out of the Australian Open in the first round. Not really surprising given her miserable start to the year. The pressure was just to high for Stosur.
An other Aussie favorite was on Rod Laver Arena today, and he didn’t disappoint: 2005 runner-up Lleyton Hewitt defeated Stebe and set up a clash against Andy Roddick in the second round.

Seeds upsets:
Sam Stosur (6, lost to Sorana Cirstea), Radek Stepanek (20, lost to Nicolas Mahut)

Day 1:

Easy first match for Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer who cruise through to the second round. No problem either for Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka who dispatched Anastasia Rodionova and Heather Watson respectively.
After a tight first set, defending champion Kim Clijsters eased to the second round, defeating qualifier Maria Joaoa Koehler 7-5 6-1.
Local wunderkind Ashleigh Barty was sent home by Anna Tatishvili.

Match of the day: Bernard Tomic defeats Fernando Verdasco
Tomic rallied from two sets down to oust 2009 semi-finalist Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 6-7 (7-3), 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 in four hours and 11 minutes.

Seeds upsets:
Flavia Pennetta (19, lost to Bratchikova), Yanina Wickmayer (28, lost to Voskoboeva), Fernando Verdasco (22, lost to Tomic), Juan Monaco (25, lost to Kohlschreiber), Ivan Ljubicic (28, lost to Lukas Lacko), Jurgen Melzer (31, lost to Ivo Karlovic)

Quote of the day: Bernard Tomic

“It was torture, I really don’t know how I won.”

Stat of the day:

Winner of the 2012 Australian Open?

  • Kim Clijsters (29%, 5 Votes)
  • Maria Sharapova (24%, 4 Votes)
  • Petra Kvitova (12%, 2 Votes)
  • Na Li (12%, 2 Votes)
  • Serena Williams (12%, 2 Votes)
  • Sam Stosur (6%, 1 Votes)
  • Victoria Azarenka (6%, 1 Votes)
  • Vera Zvonareva (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Other (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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Winner of the 2012 Australian Open?

  • Novak Djokovic (48%, 12 Votes)
  • Rafael Nadal (24%, 6 Votes)
  • Roger Federer (24%, 6 Votes)
  • Juan Martin Del Potro (4%, 1 Votes)
  • Mardy Fish (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Tomas Berdych (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (0%, 0 Votes)
  • David Ferrer (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Andy Murray (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Other (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 25

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Grand Slam Tennis 2 will include a host of gameplay features including:

All-New Total Racquet Control: Control every shot with the right analog stick, smashing forehands, backhands, overheads and volleys with precision, accuracy and power. Utilize this innovative control system to take your game to the top! But if you prefer the old school button controls, those are still available!

Become a Champion: Become a true Grand Slam tournament champion by capturing all four major championships in succession. The prestige of some of the most historic events in tennis come alive like never before, including the Australian Open, French Open, U.S. Open and exclusive to EA SPORTS Grand Slam Tennis franchise – Wimbledon.
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