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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Traditional colors of red, white, blue and black for Novak Djokovic:

Sergio Tacchini's kit for Novak Djokovic
Sergio Tacchini's kit for Novak Djokovic
Sergio Tacchini's kit for Novak Djokovic

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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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Site: O2 London
Dates: 20-27 November 2011
Surface: Hard
Visit official website

O2 Arena with Clipper

Singles:

Group A: Novak Djokovic (1), Andy Murray (3), David Ferrer (57), Tomas Berdych (7)
Group B: Rafael Nadal (2),Roger Federer (4), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (6), Mardy Fish (8)

Doubles:

Group A: Bob and Mike Bryan (1), Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes (4), Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau (6), and Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner (7).
Group B: Michael Llodra Nenad Zimonjic (2), Daniel Nestor and Max Mirnyi (3), Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (5), Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski (8).

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His name won’t mean much to sporadic tennis followers, but Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi will contend along with Djokovic, Nadal and Federer for the prize named after Stefan Edberg. Mauro Cappiello, founder and admin of STE…fans, the best Edberg tribute site on the web, explains why, in his opinion, he actually is the ideal winner.

At the end of last month, the nominees for the 2011 ATP Sportsmanship Award were made, so it will be Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi who will contend for the prestigious prize that was named after Stefan Edberg, once he retired from professional tennis back in 1996. With a disputable choice, the ATP decided to name a player unknown by large audiences like Pakistan’s doubles specialist Qureshi, together with three of the top four guys in the world singles ranking. But, even though his name won’t mean much to sporadic tennis followers and even though he will probably be overwhelmed by the other three contenders in the votations made by fellow members of the ATP World Tour, STE…fans wants to back Qureshi as the only deserving winner of the Award.

A career devoted to sports and peace
Considered he’s not an elite player, the 31-year-old man from Pakistan has done in terms of sportsmanship through the years (and not only in 2011) much more than what the other players have done combined. Through his sport, he’s gone beyond prejudice and discrimination from his country, promoting tennis as a mean for overcoming political barriers among different nations, which is the supreme way of “conducting at the highest level of professionalism and with the utmost spirit of fairness”, as specified in the award motivation.

After turning professional in 1998, Qureshi first came in the news in 2002, when he decided to partner Israeli Amir Hadad in Wimbledon and US Open doubles tournaments, despite the “cold relationships” that have always run between their two countries. This earned him and his doubles mate an Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year Award for 2002. A prize that Qureshi also won last year, together with his current doubles partner, Indian Rohan Bopanna (by the way, where is his nominee for the 2011 Edberg Award?), another player from a country Pakistan has stormy relationships with.

In 2010, Aisam and Rohan have created a campaign, Stop War Start Tennis, with the aim of playing a tennis match in Wagah, on the border joining India and Pakistan, with both players on either side of the border.

The “Sportsmanship Award” is not the “Player of the Year Award”
There’s no need to add more to indicate Qureshi not only as the ideal winner of the award for this year, but also as the man who could reverse a trend that, in recent years, has seen the ATP give the prize not to the real sportsman of the year, but to the player with the best results in the season.

This has clearly happened in 2009 and 2010, for example, when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal respectively have been voted “Sportsman of the Year”, when, in our humble opinion, they wouldn’t have either deserved a nominee. And let me remind you that, if it’s the other players who vote the winner, it’s the ATP who makes the nominees.

At the same time, it’s quite strange that, since 2004, the prize has gone to the year-end number one or two. Is it really so hard to find a true sportsman out of the top of men’s tennis? In our opinion, it’s a scandal that sportsmen like Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick didn’t get a nominee. Still they are American, so from a nation that gets high visibility, and are ranked or have been ranked in the top ten.

The impression is that the ATP is using this award to pump up the popularity of the most prominent players rather than to promote the fair spirit of tennis and positive behaviors by its protagonists, in and off court.

Questionable winners
We strongly believe that there should be an episode or a series of episodes to justify the nominee for a certain year and this has not happened recently.

In these two videos, you can see Roger Federer smash a racquet in frustration in Miami and speak roughly to the chair umpire in the US Open final against Juan Martin Del Potro.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-e-Ud-ly04[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZB9JfhzLzE[/youtube]

Those episodes both happened in 2009, when he was voted “Sportsman of the year”, overcoming the nominees of Ivan Ljubicic, Jarkko Nieminem and Carlos Moya. Generally speaking, Roger Federer is certainly a sportsman who has done a lot for tennis, in and off-court. He also has Stefan Edberg’s endorsement. After the two met last year in Stockholm, Stefan said: «He’s very smooth and easygoing, so I think he’s a great, great, great guy for tennis in general, I think both on and off the court». But, the fact that he is named every year, even when he doesn’t deserve it, just because he is Roger Federer, is ridiculous.

This other video shows Rafael Nadal vividly contest a decision by the umpire at the London ATP World Tour Finals, after the Hawk-Eye had shown his indication of a ball out was wrong.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJgYfTmzuYw[/youtube]

Earlier in Wimbledon, he was (rightly) accused by his third round opponent Philipp Petzschner of requesting a “strategic” medical time out when down two sets to one. Both episodes happened in 2010, when the Spaniard was voted “Sportsman of the Year”, overcoming the nominees of Marin Cilic (?), Taylor Dent and Roger Federer.

None of us who witnessed Stefan Edberg’s career needs to be reminded that Stefan never talked roughly to an umpire, never smashed a racquet in anger and never used a medical time out to escape a difficult score situation. That’s why the Sportsmanship Award was named after him and that’s why it should never be delivered to a player committing one of the above during a tennis season.

Vote for your 2011 Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award winner»

Article written by Mauro Cappiello, founder and admin of STE…fans – a tribute to Stefan Edberg.