Zheng Jie will play in the Hobart International

China’s Zheng Jie will head Down Under in January ahead of the Australian Open to compete in the Hobart International, according to organisers.

Zheng, 25, overcame an injury-plagued 2007 to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon in July, becoming the first Chinese player to ever reach the last eight.

She defeated then No.1 Ana Ivanovic in straight sets along the way before ceding to Serena Williams.

“Zheng has had an outstanding year on the tour and has really come of age,” director of the Hobart tournament Michael Roberts said.

“She has come a long way since winning the tournament here in 2005 and everyone is looking forward to watching her play again.”

Zheng, now ranked world number 25, will be the second-highest ranked player after Swiss number 14 Patty Schnyder at the January 9-16 Hobart tournament on the southern Australian island of Tasmania.

 

Ana Ivanovic photo during visit to Rolex display at China Open

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Ana Ivanovic photo during visit to Rolex display suite at China Open. During the visit Ana met the regional director of Rolex and signed autographs for her Chinese supporters

Photo from AnaSite

Ana Ivanovic is on the cover of Regio Aktuell magazine in Switzerland

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Ana is on the cover of the November issue of Regio Aktuell magazine in Switzerland. The following is a translated extract from the interview with Dominique Zahnd:

Regio: Why do you live here?
Ana: I came to Basel because of a sponsor. At the time I was 13.The tennis facilities were simply better than in Serbia. That is why I stayed. My coach was from here, and the offices of my management are in Basel. I love the city. It is so peaceful and quiet. It is easy for me for live here; I am able to relax.

Regio: Which are your favourite nightclubs in Basel?
Ana: I haven’t been to any! I’m not really a party girl. I was never really drunk. And I dance so badly! My friends always laugh at me for that! When I have some free time I prefer to have dinner with my family, or to invite friends to my home and talk through the night.

Regio: What kind of support did your parents offer to your career?
Ana: Very strong. I had lessons as a child. I was five when I got my first racket and I trained in Belgrade in an empty swimming pool. But it was only when I was 12 that we realized that I had the chance to become a professional.

Regio: Today, you are a role model for many. Who were your idols as a kid, and what about today?
Ana: Monica Seles. Today, I am myself a professional tennis player, so I don’t look to other tennis players. Of course I respect my competitors, but they are not role models. Although I guess there may be one – Roger Federer.

Regio: How would you describe your relationship with Federer?
Ana: I love watching him. His strokes are fascinating. I have met Roger a few times, he is very nice. I’ve even interviewed him – for the Tennis Channel.

Regio: What advice would you give to those trying to reach the top?
Ana: The most important thing is that that they love tennis. And that they feel passionately about it and always want to improve. If this is the case then training is a lot easier. Also, as a player you need to have a good team around you.

Regio: What is the peak of your career so far?
Ana: My victory at the French Open in May. I not only won my first Grand Slam tournament, but I also reached No.1 at the same time. I was in the clouds for days afterwards!

Info and Photo from AnaSite

The 2009 ASB Classic lined up

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The $220,000 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour tournament; The 2009 ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand announced its official player list.

“The 2009 ASB Classic field has plenty of variety with a lot of strength at the top, a lot of players who are at their career-high rankings and a number of exciting young players,” said ASB Classic tournament director Brenda Perry in a statement released by the tournament.

Russian Elena Dementieva, the reigning Olympic champion, will headline the tournament as the top seed, followed by her countrywoman Nadia Petrova. Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki is at her best ranking of No. 12 and will be seeded third.

The ASB Classic featuring the Kia Motors Singles and Doubles will be played at the ASB Tennis Centre January 5-10, with qualifying January 3-4. www.asbclassic.co.nz.

Maria Sharapova still on-Track for 2009 season

 

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She will be heading to Hong Kong for her first event to one of the beggist tennis exhibition tournaments in the world the JB Group Classic on January 7-10. 

After that she will defend her Australian Open title.

Maria Sharapova missed the fall season in 2008 due to shoulder injury, including the Beijing Olympics, the US Open and the Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha.

Photo from MariaSharapovaSite

Amelie Mauresmo decided to continue playing

 

Amelie Mauresmo has given herself another year on the WTA, after considering to retire during the summer after splitting from long-tim coach Loic Courteau.

“I was not that far from packing it all in because I was so far away from getting back to the level that I wanted to play at,” Mauresmo told L’Equipe sports daily. 

“But I am not the kind to take hasty decisions and so I though it over and decided to continue playing. 

“I want to prove to myself that I am strong enough to get back to my best form. I am not too much interested in where I am in the rankings but I want to be able to win tournaments again. 

“My last title was in Antwerp in 2007 and quite frankly I miss all that. I really want to once again be playing in big tournaments feeling that I can win them by beating the best players.” 

Mauresmo, who reached the world No.1 spot in 2007 after winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon, said that she was also encouraged by the instability at the top of women’s tennis since the retirement earlier this year of Justine Henin. 

“For the moment I am not looking past next year,” she said. 

“It all depends on how it goes. If it is a repeat of what happened in 2008, that will be it for me. But if I can succeed to do what I have set out to do we will see.”

 

 

Article from FoxSports

Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki Join Andy Roddick and Babolat for Rock-n-Racquets Tour

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Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki will join Andy Roddick for his annual Rock-n-Racquets exhibitions that is sponsored by Babolat.

Benefiting The Andy Roddick Foundation, Rock-n-Racquets features the world’s most exciting tennis players in a special exhibition.

Andy Roddick and Serena Williams will team up on court together in Rock-n-Racquets. They will be joined by John Isner and Caroline Wozniac

“From the start, I wanted an event that showcased my passion for tennis, music and the Andy Roddick Foundation, so we created Rock-n-Racquets,” said Roddick. “And thanks to Babolat for supporting these events in cities where the tennis community and participation is so strong.”

“Babolat has been an on-going sponsor and supporter of the Andy Roddick Foundation for many years,” Susan DiBiase, Director of Marketing for Babolat said. “We feel strongly about supporting our players and the causes they care about – we’re excited to be a part of Rock-n-Racquets.”

Showcasing the best in men’s and women’s professional tennis, the Rock-n-Racquets format consists of three components:

• Men’s and Women’s Singles – Roddick will take on Isner and Serena will take on Caroline as the present takes on the future of tennis.

• Mixed Doubles – Roddick and Serena will team up against Isner and Caroline to compete in a mixed doubles match.

The evening will be complemented by music and an atmosphere of high-energy and fun. In Columbia, SC, Justin Gimelstob, dubbed to be one of the most entertaining players on the ATP Tour during his playing days, will serve as event emcee and entertain the crowd through fan interactive activities.

In Louisville, KY, and Knoxville, TN, Wayne Bryan, father of the Bryan brothers, will take his turn at the mic as event emcee.

Schedule:

Louisville, KY: Friday, December 12, 7pm at Freedom Hall

Columbia, SC: Saturday, December 13, 7pm at Colonial Life Arena

Knoxville, TN: Sunday, December 14, 7pm at Thompson-Boling Arena

For more information, please visit www.rocknracquets.com.

Info from OnTheBaseline