Friday, January 19, 2007

Same between Martina Hingis & Maria Kirilenko

martina hingis at Wimbledon 1997

Wonder what Maria Kirilenko is up to these days? Is she trying to bring back Hingis' "Indian flag" look!!!

Although i think a teenage Hingis looked cutter there!!! :P what do you think?

Technorati Tags: martina hingis , maria kirilenko

Fashion trends at Australian Open

Kirilenko ahhaaa

Nicole "Sharapova_Clone" Vaidisova in mastard... Paddy fields anyone?

Golovin turns "orange" at 'lemon Aus Open' for a change... how tasty! :P

Radek Stepanek with his "warrior look"!!! wonder what hingis thinks?!

American Zack Fleishman oh well never mind any comments to that! roll eyes...

N.B. all images from

source: Source link here

Technorati Tags: australian open , maria kirilenko , radek stepanek , nicole vaidisova , golovin

Big Brother UK racial fiasco

So after taunting Shilpa Shetty relentlessly, the inmates of the house have apologised to Ms. Shetty after there was an avalanche of protests from the public both of Asian origin and Britishers!

High time the public condemed such acts especially on t.v. i think the channel should have warned the inmates themselves and it good they telecast it (comments) otherwise we might have never known what was happening to Shilpy!!!

Racism and entertainment dont mix at any level. its to crass.

and being labelled "Paki" et all is the worst espcially for an Indian!

Technorati Tags: Shilpa Shetty , big brother UK

Interesting article about Hingis

Martina Hingis serves during her 6-2, 6-2 victory over Russian Alla Kudryavtseva in the Australian Open's second round yesterday.
Photo: Eddie Jim

Martina the elder still holds court
Peter Hanlon
January 19, 2007

MARTINA Hingis is avoiding the questions. No matter how they are phrased — Are you a better player than this time last year? Have your goals changed now that your comeback has been deemed a success? Can you win another slam? — she returns with a blocked racquet straight back to the server.

Occasionally, she gives a little ground, although only to place a landing bag should she take an unexpected tumble. The early points in every match are critical — "as they usually are in today's women's tennis". The early matches are tougher — "before, it was probably quarter-finals (where the real testing began), now it's first round already".

Hingis was reminded soon after her first-round win over Nathalie Dechy how swiftly modern tennis moves, finding her name alongside Alla Kudryavtseva, of whom she knew nothing. The Russian qualifier had the heavier groundstrokes and made the bigger winners early in yesterday's clash, but soon discovered what so many have before her — it takes more than a big stick to beat Hingis.

Kudryavtseva lost 6-2, 6-2, meaning the soon-to-be Swiss Missus (Hingis is engaged to world No. 19 Radek Stepanek) has dropped just six games en route to the third round. She has won five major titles — three of them here — but has dipped under the radar as far as adding another goes.

She played under the roof again yesterday, morning rain forcing a repeat of the sterile conditions of her first match, and multiple outings en route to a quarter-final here last year. She is 26 now, relatively a grand old dame of the circuit, and is clearly becoming an indoorsy type in her dotage.

Hingis was happy enough with her work, but berated herself for going missing at 4-0 in the second set. There are times when the brain just has to relax, she began to explain, then the hard taskmaster interjected. "It did, but it shouldn't."

She won career singles titles 41 and 42 last year, and remembers her return after a three-year lay-off with fondness. She finished 2006 in the top 10, having sailed past so many of the fresh young things who moved in during her absence, and passed a few old friends — the Williams sisters, Capriati, Davenport — as they headed in the opposite direction.

There is a little of the Luddite-versus-the-PlayStation-generation in her speech. "The young girls, they just really attack …" She acknowledges the difference between those at the top and those pushing, but every match gives her confidence that she belongs at the pointy end.

Also pushing after years in mid-rankings limbo is Daniela Hantuchova, who rose to world No. 5 after a quarter-final here four years ago, but has since remained a good arm's length away from the elite.

Yesterday, she fell behind to the veteran Frenchwoman Emilie Loit, but persisted to emerge with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win and a date with American Ashley Harkleroad, who swept past the 17th-seeded German Anna-Lena Groeneveld 6-2, 6-2.

After feeling delusional from the heat in her first-round win, Maria Sharapova felt her usual dominating self in her 6-0, 6-3 victory over Anastasia Rodionova.

While admitting to being far from her top, despite the emphatic score, Sharapova was pleased to have suffered no ill effects from the scorching temperatures of Tuesday.

"I still think that I can play a lot better," she said. "I think I can get better as I play more matches."

From her perch as elder stateswoman and modern-day sage, Hingis had noted that, now more than ever, anyone on the tour could take anyone else on their day. Confirmation was not long coming.

Having spent a few moments giving the fourth estate her thoughts on the game of rising Indian Sania Mirza, her prospective third-round opponent — "huge forehand, improved backhand, you've got to get her sooner than she gets you" — she emerged to find Aiko Nakamura had got Mirza already.

Beyond the unheralded Japanese, the ninth seed Dinara Safina, another comfortable winner yesterday, should be waiting. Then another quarter-final, and the meeting of expectation for Hingis. Or is it?

with Michael Gleeson


my own comments:

oh so what has changes, hingis always avoids the tough questions, its a good thing though from her career part-1 where she shot from the lip first before asking any questions.

ohh its her mental frmae of mind that has always troubled her since the 99 RG meltdown. A lilttle bit of not being able to concentrate and "finish" it off has been her problem for too long. if taken to 3 sets, Hingis seems to loose steam much too often. her part 2 act will suceed only if she can get a grip on her mental floating!

not that her "necklace" will always help her, the key is her own self".

and funny too, she is now part of the "older" generation herself with Sharapova finind herself to be the youngster here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Bollywood star and ex-Miss World 1994, Miss Aishwarya Rai got engaged to Bollywood's current blue-eyed boy Abhishek Bachchan. All the T.V. channels and newspapers are tirelessly inking every drop of news about the biggest story in tinseltown this year.

With the astrologers predicting marriage dates, the daily "tamasha" is talking its toll on viewers and readers alike. That the groom happens to be the "Guru" of "Sarkaar-fame", gives this "fame-jodi" much hype and gripe.

After AB Junior, the scion of the Bachchan family planned to get hitched to Ash, we have now to hitch a routine ride about the whole saga on no less that the front page with big fonts.

It seems TNN, Mumbai Mirror, DNA, Midday have all gone beserk along with NDTV, Zee, Star et all.

From the pujas that Ash performed to quell her Mangalic(Mars-ridden) Kundali(horoscope) to the dresses and tresses she will wear before the inevitible Shubh(mangal) Saavdhan, all the stories are front, mid and entertainment section news.

It seems entertainment is now the theme of page1 & page 3 party regulars could soon be gazing at you upfront when the wedding party is finally done.

The big 'A' of the Bachchan pariwar cant help but praise his soon-to-be-bahu. Typically Junior B has been the dignified & gentleman boyfriend (unlike his father who seems to be screaming from pagetops). After his & Karishma Kapoor(of the Prithviraj-Raj Kappor khaandaan) engagement went kaput & Karishma Kapoor got married to Delhi based, polo playing businessman Sanjay Kapur, Abhishek concentrated on his career. Soon enough he was the darling of the masses and won accolades for his performances in Bluffmaster, Sarkaar, Dhoom-2, B&B, Guru.

After proposing to Rai in New York at the Guru premier, Junior B landed at her parents then his parents in India to seek their permissions and blessings, in typical traditional fare.

The trio of As; Amar, Amit(abh), Anil attended the Sunday "mangani"(engagement) along with Sonali Bendre, directors Apoorva Lakhia and Karan Johar(with mother Hiroo Johar), Tina Ambani, designers Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla, & Anupam and Kiran Kher.

Ash is rumoured to recieve 21 sarees from Lucknow worth Rs.2.33 lakh as "shagun". A priceless "Banarsi Lehenga" has also been ordered estimated to be Rs2 lakh. Crafted by a master weaver, it will have Banarsi zardozi and Kokatan-Jaipuri embroidery on silken base.

Soon after the enagement AB Jr left for Jaipur along with mom Jaya for Goldie Behl's Drona shoot. Ash is shooting for Jodha-Akbar in Karjat.

Collectively though Bachchan brand is estimated by adman Prahlad Kakar at around 600-700 crores now! The individual or combo pack of Amitabh, Jaya, Aishwarya & Abhishek will be mind-blowing.

Hopefully a "chat-mangni-pat-bhya' will save the onslaught & overkill of poeple like me who are being constantly bombarded by every neew piece of date. God bless the luck couple.

And finally we have our very own hyped superstar couple to boot along the lines of Angelina Jolie & Bard Pitt.

The new couple can be christened "ABHAISHEK"

Technorati Tags: Aishwarya Rai , Abhishek Bachchan

Radek Stepanek video

hmmm look at this guy.

video continued below:

Technorati Tags: Radek Stepanek

Safin and Federer looking Hot

Topless Marat Safin & Roger Federer looking hot in hot Melbourne

Technorati Tags: Marat Safin , Roger Federer

Serbo-Croat fans clash at Aus Open

Around 150 spectators had to be ejected from the ongoing Australian Open after Serbian and Croatian fans clashed at the venue.

Bitter fighting broke out in the Rod Laver arena after rival sets of fans heaped insults on each other and started kicking & punching each other!

The shame of it all was that they not only used fists & legs but flagpoles, bottles & chairs!

Such kind of unruly and hooliganistic behaviour has been unheard of in tennis.

Sure the French boo and reduce players to tears, or sometimes flares have been thrown and crowd support can get pretty vocal, but this has been fan behaviour at its worst.

Whatever the trigger was, this kind of behaviour cannot be condoned. They were rightly shown the door by police & security staff. The mostly Serbian crowd was ejected although the Croatian fans should have been docked as well, cause it takes two to brawl.

Tennis which is especially considered a genteel sport with laisse-faire fans showing up with kids, the outrageous behaviour by some, could be potentially dangerous. Items that are allowed into the arena can now become weapons of assault.

All in all the beginning of the tennis season will be remembered for this wild incident at an international and family event like the Australian Tennis Open.

Latest developments police said they would study video footage of scuffles between Serbian and Croatian youths at the Australian Open to try to identify the culprits, though it wasn't clear if criminal charges would be pursued.

Superintendent Chris Duthie said yesterday that police were seeking video footage shown on news media as part of further investigations into the fighting.

"They have already started investigating. We need to obtain the footage now and we can go from there," Duthie said.

Technorati Tags: australian open tennis , brawl at Australian Open

Hingis interview after round 1 at A.O.

Hingis' interview after round 1 at the ongoing Australian Open:

Q. Are you satisfied with the way you qualified today?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, for sure. Especially the first set, I played very well. I think sometimes really the first game was almost key. I was very nervous. So was she. But I started to loosen up and play some really good tennis, very focused, very intense.

I knew it's not going to be easy against Nathalie first round. It's a little bit similar than when I played Vera last year. You had to be ready first match.

Q. How would you compare the level of tennis today with the level of your tennis last year at the same time?

MARTINA HINGIS: I don't know. Tennis‑wise, you always have to improve, there's no question. I think also today mentally I'm a different level because last year I was ranked somewhere, nowhere, and today I'm going into the tournament being seeded six. It's definitely a different situation I'm in.

Q. Potentially a very difficult first match for you. Are you surprised it was so routine?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I made it routine, but it definitely wasn't. If I had somebody else on the other side, sometimes you have a wildcard or a qualifier or something, then you take it on the ease. I didn't today because I played her in Zurich last time. It was a good match. I played well there. I was confident I could come out and play well again. But, I mean, she was a semifinalist here a couple years ago. I knew she can play on this surface.

I don't mind that the roof was closed though, either (smiling).

Q. Do you think that helped you?

MARTINA HINGIS: Not only ‑‑ in past year, it was always a day where it either rained or was the heat rule, as well. You know, I was happy. I knew that my match is going to be on. Like you see the other girls in the locker room, and they're like there waiting, waiting, waiting. I knew I would get on today.

Q. How do you mentally prepare for the heat?

MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, you just have to be fit. I mean, there's no mental preparation. If you're not fit, you can't go out there and feel like you're going to make it easy because the heat is going to affect you no matter what at the end of the day.

Sometimes the fitter survive, and you can see that in the matches the past couple days.

Q. Last year one negative in the year was you found it difficult to maintain long matches. How have you worked to combat that?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, I try to keep 'em short (smiling).

Q. Have you done extra training or changed any kind of training?

MARTINA HINGIS: Well, definitely. I mean, in the Swiss Alps, in the forest, you got enough altitude to train, go out there and have a run for a couple hours, things like that.

Q. Do your fond memories of Rod Laver Arena help you in any way when you step out on the court?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, definitely, having all those great memories definitely helps. Going out there, being in the finals three times, have won it three times, I can adjust. It just feels really like going back home, yes.

Q. What are your memories of playing Jennifer on that incredibly hot day?

MARTINA HINGIS: Oh, gee. Some ladies in the locker room, they were like, because of the heat rule and everything, I think since then it's been placed in the rules, or they have it pretty much because of that match. I wasn't the only one who suffered cramps. Well, I didn't have cramps. I was just exhausted. But, yeah, the next year they invented that.

You know, when I saw today like that match with Maria playing such a long time, they were like almost joking with me, Does that remind you of something? I'm like, Yeah, right (laughter).

But, no. I think it's a good thing to have it. But I think right now it's like 7:00 and they still push it out. I think that's a little bit too much. I just went out and had a hit. It's windy now. I think the people could be playing. Either they cancel it or just let them go out there because the sun has gone down pretty much. I don't know the reason now why they still don't let them go out there.

Technorati Tags: martina hingis , Australian Open tennis

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Australian Open turns green with envy comments on the same: The world's top tennis players have opted for vivid fluorescent tones to get themselves noticed at this year's Australian Open and ditched the baby-doll nightie look that dominated in 2006.

"I'm not doing baby doll any more. Baby doll has gone out the window," said top seed Maria Sharapova, who raised eyebrows last year with her powder-blue nightie.

Instead, Sharapova played her opening match in a high-waisted lemon and white chiffon number with an orchid detail on the thigh.

But the corset-style string back on the new dress proved a squeeze in the extreme heat of Melbourne's centre court and Sharapova had to replace the sweat-soaked garment with an identical outfit at the end of the first set.

The Russian 19-year-old's white frilly-necked warm-up jacket also proved unflattering when a red-faced and flustered Sharapova donned it after the heat-affected match and was quickly discarded for the post-match interview.

Maria Sharapova

Serena Williams

Radek Stepanek

Shenay Perry

It’s lime time in MelbournePublished: Tuesday, 16 January, 2007, 01:26 PM Doha Time

MELBOURNE: Day-glo lime is this season’s colour — according to the tennis fashionistas at the Australian Open anyway.
One by one, male or female, an array of loud outfits have been unveiled by the players at this year’s tournament, leading the purists to reach for their sunglasses.
First Shenay Perry chose to blind women’s champion Amelie Mauresmo with her choice of wardrobe for Monday’s first-round match. The American flew around court sporting a white shirt with green trimmings over her short lime skirt.
Mauresmo could have been forgiven if she blamed her lapse in concentration in the second set — when she lost three successive games from 5-1 up — on the floating fluorescent vision before her.
While the world number three gathered her wits in the nick of time to secure a 6-3 6-4 win, the same cannot be said of Serena Williams’s opponent Mara Santangelo.
Serena’s one-piece dress glowed brightly in the floodlit Rod Laver Arena and Santangelo could only muster three games under the glare.
The 2003 and 2005 champion was quick to defend her choice of costume. “A lot of people now are wearing a similar colour to this,” Serena said following the 6-2 6-1 win. “I wouldn’t worry if someone wore that colour against me. It wouldn’t affect me, and that’s the attitude I take.” Not to be outdone, 2005 men’s champion Marat Safin followed Serena on court wearing a shirt virtually the same colour.
Martina Hingis’s fiance Radek Stepanek’s fashion sense also bordered on the bizarre as he is playing his matches in attire that would not look out of place on a battle front.
“The clothes are from the company I’m using, because I’m doing my own design on the shirts,” he said referring to his army-style uniform.
“While I was six months out from the tour, they have been thinking of what I should wear this year, and they said, ‘You are coming back to the war, so you have to wear the camouflage’.” (Reuters)

Seriously all of them, at once!!! :P and Masha too

Hingis Form Analysis: Comeback & Year next

Its been a mixed bag year for tennis in general. Except for Roger Federer’s dominant form mildly eclipsed only by Rafael Nadal at the French Open final and Justine Henin consistently reaching all 4 slam finals.

The big story of the year though was Martina Hingis’ ‘dream’ comeback at Goldcoast. With 2 titles (one of them a tier 1 mind you) to boot and offcourse the Australian Mixed doubles title, it has been what most would call a ‘successful’ comeback.

Her making it to the quarters at A.O. (beaten by Kim Clijsters) in her first slam since retiring with ankle & foot injuries in 2003 showed her tremendous class. But Hingis has always done well at the first slam of the year which also happens to be her favourite. The surface is much favoured with her too; she has a court in her native Switzerland where she practices before flying to Australia. Plus this is the one slam she has done consistently well at winning 3 singles and doubles crowns for 3 years running (1997 to 1999).

No surprises there. The big surprise though was her maiden mixed doubles title with India’s Mahesh Bhupathi (Her best mixed doubles result had been the semis of the U.S. Open). Bhupathi is a top doubles specialist. Teaming with him and her inherent aptitude for doubles play meant they were going to show some good performances. They got to the final and eventually won it 6-3 6-3 beating Elena Likhovtseva & Daniel Nestor, without a doubles rank and seeding for Martina! But Martina had previously amassed 36 career doubles titles, so it wasn’t like she was a newcomer. Infact it was the ease at which she came back atleast in the initial months which surprised both seasoned experts, critics, fans and her fellow playing mates.

In the Far East, at Japan’s Tokyo Open she reached the final beating Maria Sharapova (after her much publicized comment about ‘I want to see what she has got’ or something to that effect). There she was beaten by Elena Dementieva and finished runner up.

Over to Europe and she won her first tier 1 tournament, the Italian Open title. She beat Venus Williams on the way to the finals, but Venus was hardly the player of yore. At her best Venus could over power Hingis but Venus hasn’t been having a great time lately with injuries, indifferent form and offcourt distractions. Beating Safina in the finals was easier for Hingis to win her 41st title. She had to beat only 1 top ten player i.e. Venus.

Then she made it to the French Open Quarterfinals.

Promptly made it out of Wimbledon in the 3rd round losing to Ai Sugiyama. A match everyone expected to be tough but for her to win.

As is her customary dip in form mid-season, she fared fairly at the same level.

To the American hard courts then and she made not much of a splash.

At the U.S. Open she exited in round 2! Surprising many a people who hoped she would have made it atleast to the quarters. She has a phenomenal record at the U.S. Open but has all of one crown to show for it all. Her 2nd round exit in 2006 was her worst result ever at Flushing Meadows. True the rains played a part and might have disrupted her concentration with several rain & weather related delays.

By this time the knives were out again to slice and dice her performances. With critics weighing heavily on her lack of results, and suggesting that it could all be too late.

She landed in India next to play at the Sunfeast Open in Kolkatta where she paid a visit to the tomb of Mother Teresa, got her print of the inaugural ‘starwalk’ and won the tier 3 tourney. Obliging her Australian Open doubles partner Mahesh Bhupathi she made a maiden appearance to play and visit the city. Bhupathi’s sports & event management company globosport had a great time but the event wasn’t well marketed even in India. Frankly the title was already in her bag the moment she decided to play. With a weak field, indifferent form of Sania Mirza, the result was never in doubt.

After her career title number 42 and 2nd title of the year it was back to Europe. She reached the quarters in her home tournament of Zurich falling to Kuznetsova. Another top ten player beat her.

Reaching the year-end championship played in Madrid where she didn’t fare too well beaten in 2 of her 3 group matches and failing to advance.

She ended up finishing the year ranked no. 7 on the WTA singles ranking list. Now who would have thought that she could manage that after coming back from a 3 year hiatus, from no ranking to the top ten!

What to look forward to in the new year for Hingis:

The biggest surprise of 2006 was still left for the fans & also for Hingis when her beau Radek Stepanek proposed to her!

So Hingis is now engaged and set to marry which could very well happen this year. What effect it will have on her game is being hotly debated on her fan sites. (From the wedding date to accidental pregnancy, the entire gamut!)

Hingis, romance and boyfriends have never been far. And all too often she has been distracted in her career --- read that as part 1 (according to her). The second innings has started on a winning note at the Gold Coast Mondial Australian women’s Hardcourt Open. She defeated Sybill Bammer.

Although Hingis has been strongest in Australia throughout her career, the real test will be when she moves out of her favourite domain. Deftly avoiding the vexing questions about focus, expectation and distraction owing to the engagement, Hingis said, “I don’t think I’m in a position to be saying that I’m going to win a Grand Slam so I wont do that”. Clearly she doesn’t want to raise hopes.

She either clearly knows how far she can go, or is being diplomatic to not serve warnings. Either ways she will only take each match/tournament as it comes. Not really surprising since she has said before she lives in “the now”.

She will very well be distracted if & when she and Radek play at the same tourney due to the constant media onslaught and fan’s attention. That will first happen this year at the first slam of the year, The Australian Open. As it has been with Kournikova-Philippoussis, Hewitt-Clijsters, Graf-Agassi, Evert-Llyod; there will be hungry reporters ever present. The first test & results of her mental focus will be seen soon enough. That could set the tone for the rest of the year.

As with other tennis pro relationships which have either made the player’s game bloom or doom, her cause of the return back to the game will either bare good fruit this year or leave her and us wondering ‘what if’.

The other contenders like Sharapova, Justine Henin, Mauresmo & the Russian brigade could get her number. Interesting she hasn’t been able to beat the top 3 consistently last year to win at the slams. Beating players ranked outside of the top 10 wasn’t a problem similar to her career part 1 where she could easily beat lower ranked players. It’s the top 10 players against whom she has string a series of victories to have any shot at the grand slams. She wasn’t able to do that before her retirement in 2003 and hasn’t given any indication till now that she can do it this time round. If she is hungry this year for the French Open again, she will need to beat a lot of them. Depending on her draw she could face atleast a couple of them. And dark horses ever loom. Last year Hingis herself was the darkhorse with not even she knowing how she would fare. But 2006 has given everyone a fair indication of what to look forward to. Hence several players may better prepare against her.

The French Open will again be a major focal point for her and hopefully only on the professional front. Since Paris is also the summer romance & love capital, her love for Radek could reach its peak, hopefully making her reach peak performance there and lift the only slam and only major title to elude her. Prediction for the year would be a semi-final to the French Open and from there on its upto her.

Wimbledon will be anything but a bed of roses. The tabloid and scandal hungry British press probes hard and fast. Add to that the impending date of her wedding (Radek has said he has an idea), and the media frenzy will be unbelievable.

Her grass court performances have been good except offcourse those 2 first round exits. She might make it to the quarters.

The U.S. Open will be the one where she might hold good if her body does. Hard courts will be hard on her especially in long 3 set matches. Last year didn’t give any clear indication since she got bumped out soon.

Meanwhile she could pick a couple of titles this year. Her confidence is getting better and better but I would refrain from stateing she will win several titles. This isn’t 97, 98 or 99 and it isn’t the same Hingis who could string a series of titles then.

Prediction: One slam this year hopefully the French & 3-4 titles.

Technorati Tags: Martina Hingis

Apollo tires signs Radek-Bhupathi team

Apollo Tyres teams up with Mahesh Bhupathi & Radek Stepanek

In continuation of the company’s efforts to support the development of Indian tennis, Apollo Tyres Ltd today signed up the doubles team of Indian tennis icon Mahesh Bhupathi and one of the world’s top tennis players Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic, for the ATP and Gland Slam Tours of 2007.

This comes exactly a year after Apollo Tyres decided to undertake the training expenses of teenage prodigy from Delhi, Yuki Bhambri. In the summer of 2006, Yuki has trained under Bob Brett in San Remo, Italy, and held the Number 1 position for both Asia and India Under-14 in 2006. Yuki has begun 2007 in true style, with wins over ranked players in the ITF World Junior Circuit.

Speaking on the announcement, Mr Neeraj R S Kanwar, Joint Managing Director and COO, Apollo Tyres Ltd, said: “Mahesh is a perfect fit for us, given our desire to promote tennis and develop young talent. Through this association, we hope to create a strong, youthful and energetic Brand India in the international circuit.”

Apollo decided to back Mahesh Bhupathi and his doubles partner Stepanek, keeping in mind the work Mahesh has been doing to develop tennis talent in India, while continuing to be a top ranked player on the international circuit. A Padmashree holder, Mahesh has the record for the maximum Grand Slam titles won by an Indian -- four Doubles and six Mixed Doubles. He has partnered with some of the best players like Martina Hingis and Mary Pierce for Mixed Doubles and Leander Paes and Mario Ancic for Doubles.

However, it is Mahesh Bhupathi’s off-circuit work, developing and promoting the sport, that has led Apollo to back the Mahesh-Radek duo. While not on the ATP tour, Mahesh devotes his time to promoting the tennis in India by holding tennis camps for youngsters and running a full-time tennis academy in Bangalore. His company Globosport manages the careers of rising Indian players. In recent times, Mahesh has been instrumental in bringing into the country some of the biggest names in the sport – Martina Navratilova, Mary Pierce, Martina Hingis, Mario Ancic, Tommy Robredo and Carlos Moya amongst others.

Said Mahesh Bhupathi, “Radek and I are looking forward to a challenging 2007 and our association with Apollo Tyres creates that perfect opportunity to become an Unstoppable Team!” Bhupathi and Stepanek have decided to play the circuit after promising results both times they played together in 2006. The duo reached the semifinals at Monte Carlo in 2006, beating top teams like Paes-Damm and Federer-Allegro along the way. The duo will begin their season with the Australian Open, later this month, where they will play their first Grand Slam of the year. Bhupathi will be playing his preferred left court while Radek is a natural deuce-court specialist and will be playing on the right.

Source Here

Technorati Tags: Radek Stepanek , Mahesh Bhupathi

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sharapova hints at retirement!!!

TENNIS beauty Maria Sharapova revealed yesterday she may quit the game early to have children.

The 19-year-old said that "tennis isn't everything" and said she wanted to try other things in life.
The world face of women's tennis, Sharapova said she could retire at a similar age to Belgian Kim Clijsters, who will leave the game this year aged 24.

"I want to have a family, of course. I want to try other things in my career," Sharapova said.

"But I can definitely see myself retiring at that age."

Sharapova, who plays 61st-ranked Frenchwoman Camille Pin in her first round match, practised with Martina Hingis at Rod Laver Arena yesterday.

The reigning US Open champion is aiming to win her first Australian Open crown after having been knocked out in the semi-finals of the previous two tournaments.

The Russian said she had undergone several weeks of solid training and issued an ominous warning to opponents.

"I might not have that many matches under my belt, but I feel fresh and healthy, which is most important," she said.

Damn i am shocked to read this. Whatever are the women thinking?

Technorati Tagssharapova

Martina Hingis in Smash Magazine

Hilarius again! Hingis in Smash Magazine
Translation of a new "old" interview by Michael Hasler, Smash magazine no 1/2 of 2007

Translation of an an interview by Michael Hasler in Smash (Swiss Tennis Magazine) in the January/February number of 2007.
The interview dates apparently from a pre-tournament press conference of the Zurich Open in October 2006. I think I had read the bigger parts of this interview in other papers or websites in October 2006.
Furthermore I noticed that the interviewer is not always accurate. I don’t believe that Martina said the following “My Asian tour. Seen from the point of sport I was very successful”. Martina knows exactly how she played in Seoul and she will never say such blunder.

Smash: Martina Hingis, this interview is made at the Zurich Open. It must be a satisfaction for you to return as as top ten-player to your home country after such a fine come-back year.
Martina: Satisfaction is not exactly the right word. I am rather proud what I achieved in the last months. When I decided to return to the Tour after a 3 year break, I did not know, where I stand today.

Smash: Did you even surprise yourself?
Martina: At the beginning of the year, yes. I prepared very seriously, but I had only a small match practice. Really, I didn’t dare to think about a QF at the Australian Open. This was great.

Smash: Did the Australian Open give you the necessary self-confidence for the rest of the first half year?
Martina: Yes, you can say so. I started into an uncertainty and saw that my feel for the ball and my comprehension for the play still worked.. And what is much more important: my body endured the strains.

Smash: You had rather doubts about your body?
Martina: Yes, I am no teenager anymore. My body needs more recovering as formerly. I prepared myself very carefully and I had always again breaks. But I still had concerns, that my body just cannot swallow the strains.

Smash: Upto to the US Open you had apparently no problems with your body?
Martina : I also made again breaks before the US Open. I t looked as my timing was not perfect. Later I found out that I had a deficiency of iron. Today I know how to react to phases of weakness. Experience is a great help too. Apart from that, I am satisfied with my fitness.

Smash: Was it difficult to train again every day?
Martina: No, quite the opposite. Formerly this was a element of my life. In my three years away from the tour I lacked a clear structure of the the day. Partially I really enjoyed to have again a daily routine. And I always loved to play tennis, also before my come back.

Smash: How do you experienced your come back seen from the sport side.
Martina: I perceived that the pace increased during my absence. I had do get used to it first. But with the new material you can do things, which were formerly not possible. Technically, I play better than at the times before my retirement. I had mainly to adapt to the tactics. The women tennis was getting much more aggressive. Defensive “artists” do not longer exist.

Smash: And how did you feel to be again on the stage?
Martina: Great. It was just unbelievable, which echo may come back caused, especially with the media. But also the public reacts differently as formerly. I think the cause is, that I am older. When I was the no 1 with 16, I was a teenager. Now I am a woman and more mature.

Smash: Do you experience the tour now as an “adult” differently?
Martina: Yes. As I already said, I was a teenager in my first career. I live now more consciously. I also try to witness more besides the tournaments.

Smash: Could you give us an example?
Martina: My Asian tour. Seen from the point of sport I was very successful (sic!). But the poverty in these countries touched me. One of the highlight was the visit to the home of Mother Teresa.

Smash: Why did you risk to destroy your own myth when you returned to the tour. Which was the basic consideration?
Martina: Wistfulness and wishfulness. I commented matches and was ambassador in Zurich. I was also near to the Tour and especially during the Grand Slams I had the feeling that I wanted to play again. And finally I decided to return to the Tour.

Smash: And you trained with Patty?
Martina: Yes, she was the first player, who was informed of my plans. We trained together in Wollerau and it worked well. I informed her about all, so that she was prepared when the media suddenly where interested for my person.

Smash: But nevertheless you both go separate ways?
Martina: Yes, but not because of a rivalry. That we do not train together has a simple reason. We play just at other tournaments.

Smash: How important is it for you to be No. 1 in Switzerland?
Martina: To be honest? This is not so important.

Smash: Patty travels with her husband and coach around the world. You just separated from your mother. Do you search a new coach?
Martina: Two points are important. First, I separated with my mother without any quarrel Secondly, I consider my mother to be the best trainer. I am now 26 years old and I dare to know what I need. I am not looking for a coach.

Smash: Did you ever question your come back this year?
Martina¨No, I had three years to enjoy my life, to do what I wanted and I have become aware that my backlog demand was not so great. Upto now I have not regret my decision.

Smash: From the bottom into the topten. As a former no.1 do you imagine to be no 1 again?
Martina: I was asked this question again and again this year. I think the people look at the facts not intently. It is a long way from the no. 7 or 8 to the no. 1. I do not think at the no. 1, but I shall prepare for the next season as well as possible.

Smash: Ho do you like the life as a Tour player? And how does the home matter you?
Martina: My home has a greater importance for me now. When travelling I am not only interested in the tennis places, as I want to see also other things. But most of all I enjoy my own home and my life in Wollerau.

Here a pic from the website of Smash. In the printed edition there are 3 more: 1 from the Zurich Open(probably 1st round), 1 from the James Bond-première in Zurich and a double page pic in the middle of the magazine.

Technorati Tagshingis , hingis interview

Sharapova in January Vogue Issue

Pictures of Maria Sharapova in January 2007's Vogue Issue. Enjoy the pictures

Technorati Tags:Sharapova , Maria Sharapova , Sharapova in Vogue

hingis at SydneyWTA VIP cocktail party

Martina Hingis, James Blake, Ana Ivanovic

Hingis answering questions

Martina Hingis at the Sydney WTA cocktail party

2 more pictures from getty (full length) wow here:

More Pictures

Technorati Tags:martina hingis , hingis , James Blake , Ana Ivanovic

Will have to updrage template

Hey i will have to upgrade template and it seems like the green-white combo will be gone.

Hmm hopefully not everyone will be shocked. i am still working on details.

will keep you posted. Dont be surprised though if you land up one day and see some changes! :o

Monday, January 08, 2007

Hingis bumped out in round one!

Hingis puts on brave face over early defeat in Sydney
By Julian Linden

SYDNEY, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Martina Hingis was putting on a brave face on Monday after her Australian Open preparations were cut short when she was bundled out of the opening round of the Sydney International.

The former world number one crashed to her second defeat in three days when she lost 6-4 4-6 6-3 to in-form Serbian Jelena Jankovic.

Hingis's first-round exit came just two days after she was beaten by Dinara Safina in the final of the Australian women's hardcourt championship on the Gold Coast and left her without another competitive match before the first grand slam of the year.
The 26-year-old Swiss said, however, that the loss might prove a blessing in disguise as it would allow her to feel fresh when the Australian Open starts in Melbourne next week.

"I always take positive out of a loss," Hingis told reporters.

"Endurance-wise, it definitely was good playing three sets going into Melbourne. I have a few days off now so I should be fresh when I get there."

Hingis won the Australian Open three years running from 1997 to 1999 when she was in her prime but lost the next three finals.

Her last appearance, in the 2002 final, was especially agonising. On a scorching hot day that sapped her strength, Hingis blew four match points and a 4-0 lead in the second set to hand the title to Jennifer Capriati in one of the greatest turnarounds in grand slam history.

Hingis, who announced earlier this month that she is to marry Czech tennis player Radek Stepanek, retired later that year because of a combination of foot, heel and ankle injuries but made a comeback in 2006.

She made a stunning return to the grand slams by reaching the quarter-finals at the Australian and French Opens then the third round at Wimbledon and second round of the U.S. Open.

Hingis added to her list of tournament titles by winning in Rome and Kolkata to finish the year ranked seven in the world but her goal of adding to her grand slam collection continues to elude her.

Sunday Travel

Hey friends i had posted here i would be going to the jetty but the trip couldnt materialise cause i got up at 8.30!!!

so we didnt let the day go waste and went all the way to Banganga. The 2-day Banganga festival was on in the evening. So we visited the temples around and took a lot of snaps. I had never previously gone to this place in Bombay although i have been to the Hanging Gardens as a child.

Surprising how few Mumbaikars actually visit the city hot spots but not its cultural hot spots.

I will post pictures later on.
Meanwhile a picture from the net.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Hingis at the races in Australia

Tennis star on new turf

By Tony Meany
January 01, 2007 11:00pm

MARTINA Hingis might be one of the world's top female tennis players – but at the Gold Coast races yesterday she was just another happy punter.

Hingis posed for photos on a brief visit and along the way had a chat with leading jockey Glen Colless.
"She asked me how the horse would go and I told her that I thought it would run very well," Colless said.

Hingis hurried away to the committee room for a drink and also had a bet on Colless's mount, Grand Laddie.

Grand Laddie duly saluted at $4 in the Class 1 (1800m), and Hingis was as excited as any of the owners.

"She said she was dirty that she only had $100 on him," Colless said. "She said she wished she had had more."

As Hingis collected her $400 she looked as happy as if she had won a major championship.

She was casually dressed and did not stand out in the small crowd.

She was accompanied by her coach Radim Valigura, who did not upstage her in the fashion stakes. He entered the enclosure in thongs, and stood beside her as she got the good oil from Colless.

Unfortunately, Valigura didn't open his wallet – and Hingis playfully flashed her winning ticket at him several times in triumph.

"It's my first time at the races and the first time I've ever had a bet," she said. Yet she's a competent horsewoman, who has regularly competed with her horse Lytizia in regional showjumping events in her time away from the tennis circuit.


Hingis in Hurden home picture

nice picture. enjoy!!!

Technorati Tagshingis , martina hingis , hingis home

Betting on tennis: interesting article

I came across an interesting article about betting on tennis.

How to bet tennis

By Stephen Nover
Wed, Jan 3, 2007

Stephen Nover is a handicapper with Covers Experts.

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to wagering on tennis. The good news is you can definitely beat it with proper handicapping, which we’ll discuss shortly.

The bad news is many books only take action on the four grand slam events and don’t put up matches until the quarterfinals. Tennis also involves betting via a moneyline rather than pointspread.

There are some British and other European Internet books, however, that deal various tournaments besides Wimbledon, the French Open, U.S. Open, and Australian Open. Good luck, though, trying to find odds on non-major tournaments in Nevada. The hotels don’t write much business on tennis, even on Wimbledon, so they’re not real interested in booking it. Some don’t even bother with the Australian Open.

Tennis wagering is far more popular in the United Kingdom, ranking behind soccer and horse racing. It’s hard to make money on tennis betting futures, especially on the women’s side. Only a few women are capable of winning a major and their odds are almost always very low.

It’s more wide open with the men, although Roger Federer has replaced retired Pete Sampras as the dominant force. Federer has won the past two Wimbledon titles. Sampras captured seven Wimbledon titles in eight years from 1993-2000.

The way to make money betting tennis is on matches. Sometimes you can find a bad line on a championship match. I still remember taking a huge price with Andres Gomez in the finals of the 1990 French Open against Andre Agassi and collecting. The match should have been closer to pick’em because Gomez was a clay court specialist.

Surface is the No. 1 handicapping factor in tennis. Few players are at their best on all types of surfaces. Wimbledon, for instance, is a grass surface that favors serve-and-volley players with big serves.

Roland Garros, site of the French Open, is a clay surface. This gives an advantage to baseline players, slowing up big serves. It’s not a shock Sampras never won a French Open title during his brilliant career. Europeans and South Americans, who are exposed more to clay courts, usually capture the men’s French Open title.

The past four men’s French Open winners are Gaston Gaudio, Juan Carlos Ferrera, Albert Costa and Gustavo Kuerten. Not exactly household names in the U.S. Americans are better suited for the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., which is a hard-court surface found in most courts in the U.S.

Either Serena Williams, Venus Williams or Lindsay Davenport – all Americans – won the women’s U.S. Open singles title each year from 1998-2002.

Current form obviously is important when handicapping tennis. You need to be current not only on how a player has been performing lately, but his or her mental state. The mental aspect is huge in tennis.

A textbook example is Martina Hingis in the finals of the ’99 French Open. Hingis won the first set against Steffi Graf, but then unraveled after the supposedly neutral French crowed booed her while openly pulling for Graf. Psyched out, Hingis ended up losing the second and third sets.

Be alert for letdowns following a major upset or extremely satisfying victory. Just look at this past year’s women’s Wimbledon finals when two-time defending champion Serena Williams fell to Maria Sharapova in a stunning upset.

Williams, returning from an eight-month layoff for an injured knee, had knocked off long-time rival Jennifer Capriati in the quarterfinals and then beat Amelie Mauresmo in a grueling three-set semifinal final coming back from 3-1 in the second set after losing the first set. So the situation laid out well for Sharapova.

Injuries, fatigue (both physical and mental) and styles all are major handicapping components. Sampras was arguably the greatest ever at Wimbledon in his prime, but on clay at the French Open, he was vulnerable and often overpriced by linesmakers catering to an American betting public.

It helps to have sources that really know and follow tennis closely. I have two excellent sources. One is a local tennis pro in Las Vegas. He knows all the player’s strengths and weaknesses. He can tell when there’s value on a future book line, and if the price on a match is right or not.

The other source is a gambler who specializes in tennis wagering. His contacts are so good he can come up with legitimate inside information such as so-and-so is breaking in a new racquet or so-and-so is having relationship problems and hasn’t been paying much attention to tennis. These kinds of tips can prove valuable because often they’re not reported by the mainstream media and thus out of information reach for the bookmaker.

These are the edges that make tennis wagering profitable. So its good bookmakers, who deal mainly to North American bettors, that don’t care much about the sport. Except for Wimbledon, it’s a betting sport that remains under the radar screen. That’s just fine for those making money on it each year. No need to call attention to a sport where you have a nice edge.


Technorati Tags:tennis , tennis betting

Tennis Magazine 2006 fashion trends

Tennis Magazine has a online article about "2006 fashion trends"

Makes an interesting read.

and dont forget to read about Radek!
quote"Radek StepanekWhen did Foot Locker salesmen learn toplay so well?"

Technorati Tags:radek stepanek , tenis magazine

Monday, January 01, 2007

Hingis and Radek at WTA Championship in Madrid

Here are the pictures: Hingis with fiance Radek Stepanek at the WTA Madrid Championships in 2006

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The Stepanek In-Laws like her too

The proud parents-in-law, Article in Blick about the parents of Radek Dec. 31, 2006

Thanx again to Hilarius for translations

I think this is the last translation in 2006 (Central European Time)

Text by Barbara Lienhard publ. in “Sonntagsblick” of Dec. 31, 2006

Proud parents-in-law: There couldn’t be a bigger pleasure”

Vlastimil Stepanek trained formerly his son Radek and Martina Hingis. Now they want marry.
A visit to the happiest parents-in-law in the Czech Republic.

“You better sit down first, , otherwise you will fall dawn” Radek Stepanek advised his parents Vlastimil (60) and Hana (55). He tenderly held the hands of Martina and announced: “ We shall marry!”

When Vlastimil remembers this moment in November he still gets moved: “We cannot wish a better wife for our son”. Mama Hana is overjoyed about the engagement of her son with the Swiss tennis champion. “I like Martina very much, she is a girl with humour” she says. “We know each other for a long time”. In contrast to her husband, the educated librarian is not surprised about the proposal. “The relation is good, both have a similar character”.

No wonder, the two tennisplayers know each other since early childhood. The beginning of her love was 22 years ago on a claycourt in the town of Prerov. At this time pro trainer Vlastimil Stepanek trained not only his son, but also the four years old Martina, born in Slovakia , as the daughter of tennis player Karoly Hingis and the player Melanie Molitor. Vlastimil remembers that Martina came daily with her mother Melanie to play tennis. Her exceptional talent could already be seen. “She was so good, that she didn’t find an equal partner among the girls and she even beat the boys” says the future father-in-law. “When there was any boys doubles, she played with Radek”. He shares with the former number 1 the passion for tennis: “Radek grew up more or less on the courts. He had tears when he should go home in the evening, even he was so tired that he couldn’t play”, says the proud father.

In 1998 Karoly and Melanie Hingis divorced and Martina went with her mother to Switzerland. But the friendship between the two tennis-children lasted on. At the Australian Open in 2006 Cupid threw a dart and Martina and Radek fell in love. For the Stepaneks the nicest gift: Parents can’t have a bigger joy”.

Technorati Tags:martina hingis , hingis , hingis radek , radek stepanek

Hingis reasons why Radek is right for her

Thanx to Irinska & Hilarius

Radlek gefiel mir schon vor 22 Jahren,
a new article where Martina explains why Radek is the right man for her

Translation of an article in Sonntagsblick of Dec. 31, 2006 by Barbara Lienhard.

I hesitated to translate the article as there are more or less no new facts, but an order by Irinska is an order to be obeyed.

“ I took a fancy at Radek already 22 years ago“

Q: Congratulations to the engagement, Mrs. Hingis. How do you feel?

Martina: I am overjoyed that Radek proposed to me. Thank goodness it was a month ago. Now I am clear-headed again after this surprise So I can focus on playing tennis.

Q: Where and when did Radek Stepanek proposed to you?

Martina: On November 24, quite romantically in a restaurant under the Karls bridge in Prague.

Q: Why do you know that Radek is the right one?

Martina: Love you cannot define by the intellect. I simply feel that he is the right one. We know each other already since 22 years and I took always a shine to him.

Q: How did this friendship developped suddenly to love?

Martina: Cupid simply threw his dart. This too I cannot explain. The attraction between us was always so big, that I never forgot him, even when I was dating other men.

Q: How important is it for you, that your future husband is a tennis pro?

Martina: Radek knows the tennis circus and has an understanding of my life. Therefore we match perfectly.

Q: The tennis-princess and her tennis-prince: This sounds like a fairytale wedding.

Martina: We are engaged, because we form a pair and as I want to spend my future with Radek. For both of us this decision is important. About the details of the wedding we have not yet talked.

Q: Even not about the date?

Martina: No. We just do not know it.

Q: Do you want to have children?

Martina: At the moment this is no theme. But who knows, what will be in five, ten years.

Q: Do you leave now Switzerland and will you go to live with Radek in the Czech Republic?

Martina: Surely not. I shall always stay in Switzerland, where I have my family, my roots(sic!), my horses. Probably we shall commute between Switzerland and the appartments of Radek in Florida, Monte Carlo and Prague. Where we live is not important, the main point is that we are together.


Happy New Year 2007!!!

Wishing Hingis-Radek Happy New Year: Two birdies in love.

Coming back to...

Heh so we had a blast yesterday at our place wherein the kids of our colony organised a grand celebration with lots of cool dances to the latest songs.

and Dhoom 2 was the theme of many songs. lol

the programs went till 2.00 a.m. with the entire 80 families being awake!!!

The only bump was the smell of burning rubber towards the end of the program. From our building, since the electricity to the stage, speakers & lighting was taken from our supply.

Damn everyone got scared cause only last to last Wednesday was a major electrical fire in our adjoining building and everyone came running down to douse the flames then. All the women and kids there were stuck up on the terrace since the fire was burning on the ground floor passageway.

the entire electrical casing got thoroughly burnt!!!

with those memories we were left afraid. in the end it turned out the rubber burning smell was from the shoes that were put on the doll we burst to celebrate the passing of 2006. heheee

quite comic.

so i have been smsing and calling friends and people. ;)

and to all my friends reading this "Wishing you all the best in 2007"

tag:happy new year 2007