Video by Emmanuel Pampuri

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)
  • Victoria Azarenka (6%, 1 Votes)
  • Sam Stosur (6%, 1 Votes)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Vera Zvonareva (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)
  • Andy Murray (0%, 0 Votes)
  • David Ferrer (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Tomas Berdych (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Mardy Fish (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Other (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 25

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2011 US Open visitor guide

Here’s a quick visitor’s guide if you plan to attend this year’s US Open.

Arthur Ashe Kids Day kicks off the 2011 US Open by bringing the sports and entertainment worlds together for a full day tennis and music festival for children and family, including interactive games, musical entertainment and free tennis clinics. The ground open at 9:30 am on Saturday, August 27. Admission is free for the interactive games and clinics with top pros. Special tennis and music shows inside Arthur Ashe Stadium do require tickets.
This year’s lineup will feature defending champions Rafael Nadal and Kim Clijsters, world No.1 ranked Novak Djokovic, 2003 US Open Champion Andy Roddick but also actor Bradley Cooper, basketball player Carmelo Anthony and singer Cody Simpson.

Kids' Day
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Wimbledon Centre Court roof

If you are intrigued by what goes on behind the scenes at Wimbledon, Chris Gorringe‘s book Holding Court is a must-read. Gorringe tells the story of his 26 years journey as All England Club chief executive. The book is full of anecdotes about legendary players (McEnroe, Sampras, Borg to name a few), but also describes in details the structure of the Club, the organization of the Championships, and Wimbledon’s Long Term Plan.
A few pages are of course dedicated to the Centre Court roof, which has been the real star of the 125th Championships so far.

Enjoy of few extracts of Holding Court:

“When we had first laid out the LTP (Long Term Plan) in the 90s, a retractable roof had been possible in as much as the technology was available, but what had not been proved to our satisfaction was that you could have a sliding roof that would work for grass court tennis. We had not seen a roof design that would: retain the grass at a quality that would withstand two weeks of play, and that would not make it sweat and be slippery; that would provide the right ambiance for the spectators; and that would allow grass to grow for the rest of the year.”

Australian Open roof vs Wimbledon roof

“We did not have all the answers, but certain members of the media and our committee wanted it as they had be to the Australian Open and seen the roof in action there.
However, the Australians had a different set of circumstances. When they moved from Kooyong’s private members’ club to Flinders Park (now Melbourne Park), in order to finance the set-up, the main centre court had to be a stadium design, not just a tennis arena. They needed the stadium to be used for as many days a year as possible, for concerts or whatever, which meant adding a roof but saying goodbye to grass. Once grass is taken out of the equation, the addition of a roof becomes very much easier.
Theirs is infinitely heavier than ours, is not translucent in any way, and is presumably specially designed in order for it to work well for concerts or musical events: there is no escape of noise or light through their roof. As well as having the roof over the main stadium at Melbourne Park, they have also built an adjacent stadium – again another multi-purpose building with a roof on it.”

Wimbledon Centre Court roof

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The WTA‘s new global advertising campaign features 38 players in TV, print and digital ads.

WTA - Strong is beautiful

“Drawing upon athleticism and grace, the campaign places the personal stories, pressures and dreams of the players front of stage. The creative is designed to support the WTA’s efforts to establish a deeper engagement with fans around the world and to promote both the sport’s next generation of players along with current established names.”

The first in a series of advertisements for “Strong is Beautiful”, this 30 second commercial focuses on all of the characteristics necessary to become a successful professional tennis player.

Featured players: Sam Stosur, Ana Ivanovic, Li Na, Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva, Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka & Kim Clijsters.

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