Showing posts with label The Artois Championships London/Queens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Artois Championships London/Queens. Show all posts

Monday, June 16, 2008

LTA looks for reassuringly expensive sponsor after final Artois Championships

Artois Championships
LTA looks for reassuringly expensive sponsor after final Artois Championships
By Neil Harman

The Sports News Reporter of the Year raises a glass as 30-year sponsorship at Queen's comes to a close.

It is over now, the Artois, a tennis championship that succeeded in doing what it set out to do better than anywhere in this sport's world. After 30 years, the last chalice glass has been put down, the walk to Barons Court tube station is done and it was impossible to resist looking over a shoulder last night and wonder what on earth will be the view that greets one at the foot of Palliser Road, West London, this time next year.

These summers have raced by. They will not be forgotten. John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker, Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and finally Rafael Nadal have won and won brilliantly on the famous grounds. But what of what lays ahead? The Lawn Tennis Association is in charge of the tournament from here on, insisting that by the time we reach next June, they will have unveiled the 'lead partner' that will have opened its pockets and invested hugely in brand "British Tennis".

The reluctance for anyone to step into the breach may have something to do with the reasons behind the splintering of InBev's relationship with the LTA that resulted in the buyout that was concluded amid civil oratory. InBev is a leading emerging markets brewer - with a presence in seven of the ten fastest growing beer markets - and just recently they offered $46 billion ($65 a share) for Anheuser-Busch, makers of Budweiser. Though the boss of Anheuser, August Busch, is exploring potential alternatives, the fact that InBev are in such a profoundly secure financial state makes one wonder why they couldn't have maintained their interest in tennis, which has to be loose change to them, after all.

One of Anheuser's catchphrases is "making friends is our business". Maybe the LTA ought to consider something along similar lines. When the deal with the LTA was done, Stuart MacFarlane, President of InBev UK, said: "We have been delighted to support British tennis over such a long period, and are proud to have created and been associated with such a prestigious event as the Artois Championships – a shining jewel in the UK tennis crown. The LTA's decision to expand the sponsorship deal just no longer fitted with our own strategic vision for the brand and so we have, very amicably, agreed to go our separate ways."

Common sense suggests that when you lose a sponsor that has been as integral to the sport as Artois, you have the next tucked up your sleeve, for work on next year's tournament started the minute the last ball of yesterday was struck. Chris Kermode, the tournament director, has to head to the US Open in August with his wish list of players and, one suspects, an appreciation of how much he will be able to offer to them in terms of guaranteeing their presence next year and beyond. And whose money will he have in his pocket - that promised by a new sponsor or, should one not have been found, from the LTA's coffers, which are supposed to be used to develop the sport here?

Initial indications suggest that the LTA have little idea of what it takes to build and secure the kind of stellar field that has been the Artois staple over three decades. They had better start building bridges and relationships for such goodwill is not everlasting. Kermode's position as TD appears safe and so it should be. The rapport with his staff and the players is excellent, marked by the kind of episode the Net Post learned of this week. Remember the Frenchman Nicholas Mahut, who was within a point of beating Andy Roddick in last year's final but whose ranking meant he was not a direct entry into Wimbledon and, by the time the final was played, he had missed out on a wild card?

Mahut had to journey to Roehampton to play in the Wimbledon qualifying competition and, each day, Kermode travelled across to find out how he was playing. When Mahut secured his place in the main draw, Kermode gave him a bottle of champagne. Mahut told the French newspaper L'Equipe last week that such a thing had never happened to him before.

It is all these little things behind the scenes - not the stuff laid out before a television audience - that makes an event so special. The event has run like clockwork because they have gathered experienced, knowledgable staff and allowed them to do their jobs without interference. There are fewer tournament press attaches with more clout and expertise than Jolyon Armstrong and yet he is being allowed to depart. It is a shameful decision, the reason for which varies depending upon who you talk to on which given day. It is alleged one minute that the decision is all to do with cost and the next because the LTA believes it can run the operation better, yet there was not a single member of their staff in the media areas this past week to see how it ought to be done.

No, for many reasons, the Artois is irreplaceable and one gets the feeling in the pit of one's stomach that, unless they can offer a sustainable vision for the future direction of the sport, an astonishing opportunity will be lost. The LTA had better start making friends very soon.

Article from TimesOnline - Here

Rafael Nadal's five best quotes of the week at Queen's

Rafael Nadal Wueens Champion 2008
Rafael Nadal's five best quotes of the week at Queen's

1) On the wet courts - "I felt when I am running, I can't stop. Because I felt every time, if I stop, I gonna go."

2) On the future prospects for Kei Nishikori, the Japanese he beat in the third round - "With the time, one more year, that's it. For the rest, I think he has everything."

3) About playing Ivo Karlovic: "I thought before the match, if he has a break, I'm finished, no?"

4) What goes through your head facing the Karlovic serve?: "Nothing. Is like a penalty. You have 50 per cent for one place to other place. And after, with this 50 per cent, you have 50 per cent because if you go to the good place, after you have to try to touch the ball good. And is very difficult, too, no?"

5) Q: When you're fishing (at home in Majorca), what do you fish for? A: "Fishes".

TimesOnline- Here. Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Superb Nadal Captures Artois Championships Crown

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates with the trophy after he won the Men's Singles Final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on Day 7 of the Artois Championships at Queen's Club
Superb Nadal Captures Artois Championships Crown

Top seed Rafael Nadal continued his amazing streak by defeating Novak Djokovic to capture the first grass court title of his career at The Artois Championships.

In front of a packed Centre Court crowd, the French Open champion came through 7-6(6), 7-5 in a thrilling final of the highest quality, a fitting way to celebrate 30 years of the event.

“The tournament here was very, very tough, best players of the world,” said Nadal, who overcame Ivo Karlovic and defending champion Andy Roddick along the way. “I can't imagine I would be here with the title before the tournament.”

He now joins the likes of McEnroe, Becker, Edberg and Sampras on the roll of honour, and the Spaniard was proud to be alongside such illustrious company.

“[To] win here, win a prestigious tournament like this, very traditional tournament here in London, in Queen's, best players of the world are here in the past. So be here, near close to the other players, for me is very nice,” added Nadal.

Meeting for the 12th time in their careers and third in as many tournaments, it was Djokovic who made the better start to their encounter. Just as he had in Hamburg a month ago, the Australian Open champion broke Nadal in his opening service game and had a point for a 4-0 lead before the Spaniard hit back in some style to level at 3-3.

With both players producing incredible shots from all parts of the court, the first set eventually went to the tie-break and even there it was difficult to predict who would come out on top.

Djokovic had the first mini-break at 2-1 but again Nadal hit back, only for the Serb to take another lead at 5-4. Djokovic had a set point at 6-5, and with both players trading rockets from the baseline, Nadal’s wrong-footing forehand again saved the day as the Serb slipped to the ground.

After averting that moment of crisis, Nadal wrapped up the first set after an hour and 15 minutes, with literally just a point separating the two – Nadal winning 50 to Djokovic’s 49 in that epic opener.

The frustration for Djokovic was there for all to see as he threw his racquet to the ground, and his mood wasn’t helped as Nadal broke to take a 2-0 lead in the second set.

However, just when you thought Nadal was in cruise control, Djokovic broke back with more attacking play of his own and the pendulum began to switch again. After seeing two break points slip away at 4-3, some uncharacteristic errors from Nadal handed Djokovic a break to love at 4-4 and the Serb then had the opportunity to serve for the set.

Again, back came Nadal who converted his third break point in the following game to level matters at 5-5 and the Spaniard sensed victory was near. On his first match point, Djokovic’s attempted drop shot landed short and after a short exchange, Nadal smashed a volley into the open court before falling to his knees in celebration.

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester presented the Spaniard with his fifth trophy of the season and his third in succession following wins in Hamburg and Roland Garros.

Meanwhile, Djokovic rued his missed opportunities in both sets. “This is not the first time I have a lot of chances against him but again, he managed to come through,” said the World No. 3. “Partly was my fault and partly was luck as well. You got to have a little bit of luck. I didn't go for the shots in 5 4 second set. And even in the set point, in tiebreaker, I was bit defending too much. This is wrong tactic against him.

“I should have been a little bit more aggressive and maybe I would get positive outcome. But, you know, it was a great achievement, so I'm happy in general.”

With the win, Nadal became the first reigning French Open champion to win at The Queen’s Club since Ilie Nastase in 1973 and the first Spaniard to win here since Andres Gimeno in 1960. He is also the first Spaniard to win a grass court title since Gimeno won in Eastbourne in 1972.

Article from The Artois Championships Website - Here
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Artois Championships Tournament Review Video

The Artois Championships Tournament Review Video

Watch the best moments from the 2008 Artois Championships, which culminated in Rafael Nadal winning the singles title.

Rafael Nadal beats Djokovic to win Queen’s Club title

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal beats Djokovic to win Queen’s Club title

Rafael Nadal rubber-stamped his grasscourt credentials by winning his first Queen’s Club trophy with a 7-6 7-5 victory over Serbia’s Novak Djokovic on Sunday.
The top seed became the first Spanish man to win a title on green turf since Andres Gimeno walked away with the Eastbourne trophy in 1972.

With just over a week to go before Wimbledon begins on June 23, the victory will provide Nadal with a much needed boost as he aims to improve on his two runner-up finishes at the All England Club in 2006 and 2007.
After recovering from a terrible start, when he trailed 0-3 in the opening set, Nadal rebounded in spectacular style and wrapped up victory with a thumping smash.

Yahoo Sports - Here. Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

The Artois Championships Final Results: Rafael Nadal Champion

Rafael Nadal The Artois Championships 2008 Champion
The Artois Championships Final Results: Rafael Nadal Champion

Rafael Nadal claimed his first title on grass after defeating Novak Djokovic in 2 very close sets at the The Artois Championships. It looks like Nadal it's finding his winning form on grass as well.

Singles - Final

(1)R. Nadal (ESP) d (2)N. Djokovic (SRB) 76(6) 75

Photo: AFP/Ian Kington

Watch Live The Artois Championships ATP Queens Final Nadal vs Djokovic Online Free Video Streaming

Watch Live The Artois Championships ATP Queens Final Nadal vs Djokovic Online Free Video Streaming

Sunday 6/15
The Artois Championships - ATP Queens - Final
Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic

09:00am ET
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The Artois Championships Final Preview

Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal
The Artois Championships Final Preview
By Barry Newcombe

Rafael Nadal v Novak Djokovic
Played-Nadal leads 8-3

The last final in the Artois Championships brings together the colossal talent which drives both Rafael Nadal of Spain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia. Since 1979 these championships have provided a platform for most of the best grass court players and today continues the theme.

Go back through the years at the Artois and you will find names like John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Michael Stich, Pete Sampras, and Lleyton Hewitt, all Wimbledon champions, on the list of winners and either Nadal or Djokovic has every right to join them. This final presents two players who are both humble and intensely ambitious at the same time. Neither of them would want to lose to the other today, or any time.

The greater significance of this match lies in the fact that neither player has won a grass court title and with Wimbledon a week away this is a marvelous opportunity to state a case on the surface, no matter what Roger Federer is doing elsewhere. Nadal plays here today one week after destroying Federer in the French Open final. "He is just so match sharp right now," observed Andy Roddick, the defending champion, who Nadal beat in the semi-finals yesterday.

Nadal makes a strong case for his cause after making his best transition yet from French clay to grass and says: "It's going to be a very tough final. I try my best for a win. But if I lose I go home very happy about my tournament here."

Djokovic has made the journey to this stage almost as convincingly. He started the year by winning the Australian Open, his first Grand Slam title. Along with Ana Ivanovic, champion of France, he has fuelled unprecedented interest in tennis in Serbia. Hitting form on grass simply adds to the speculation even if he did lose to Nadal in the French semi-final nine days ago.

He played Nadal at Wimbledon last year and retired in the semi-final, a piece of history which may matter no longer. Perhaps Nadal will punch his weight more today, perhaps Djokovic will use his astounding footwork to real effect. Either way, impact beckons in the last showdown for the Artois title and both players will do it justice.

Verdict-Rafael Nadal to win

Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa v Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic
Played-never previously met

Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa, the young Brazilian pairing who have already demonstrated their skills as a doubles team, will be challenging hard for the Artois doubles title when they take on the left-handed Daniel Nestor, the Belgrade born Canadian, who has won the Artois twice before in partnership with Mark Knowles, and is now with a new team mate Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia.

Nestor's knowledge of the courts here is considerable and with Zimonjic, Nestor Is chasing a third title here. The form book says they have a strong chance of winning from their base of third-fourth place in the doubles rankings. They came together after the US Open last year and reached the French Open final last Sunday. Nestor can look back on a major career in doubles because he has won 48 titles. Zimonjic has twice been runner-up in doubles at Wimbledon. Zimonjic was a proficient doubles player with Fabrice Santoro of France and with him was runner-up at Wimbledon two years ago,

Melo and Sa won through to the final last evening when they defeated Britain's Jamie Murray and his partner from Belarus Max Mirnyi. The Brazilians teamed up last year and were impressive on grass at Wimbledon when they triumphed in three five set matches and reached the semi-finals. But in this year's Artois championships they gained a classic victory over the top seeded American twins Bob and Mike Bryan in the quarter-finals and if anything should fill them with confidence as they aim for the title, it is that special win.

Verdict-Nestor and Zimonjic to triumph

Junior Championship final

Henrique Cunha (BRA) v Marcus Willis (GBR)

Henrique Cunha of Brazil, ranked eighth in the world, takes on Britain's Marcus Willis in the junior final which precedes the Artois Championship final. The left-handed Cunha, 18, has risen into the top ten with his adventurous game and the impact of his double handed backhand. Willis, 17, loves playing on grass and lives close to Queen's Club so has every reason to set out to enjoy himself today.

Article from The Artois Championships Webiste - Here

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Novak Djokovic Books Final Date With Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic Books Final Date With Rafael Nadal

Second seed Novak Djokovic cruised through to his first grass court final after crushing former Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinal on Saturday.

Djokovic, the reigning Australian Open champion, took just 48 minutes to overcome Nalbandian and set up a mouth-watering final with top seed Rafael Nadal.

“Having these kind of performances, these easy victories, is always good before the finals,” said Djokovic, who won 12 consecutive games in the semifinal. “Honestly, I wasn't expecting such an easy match. Knowing that Nalbandian has a lot of experience and he loves to play on this surface, he had quite a bit of success in the past years, he played the finals of Wimbledon and he managed to get here to the semifinals quite comfortably, you know, I was preparing for a tough match, tough encounter.

“But obviously I did everything that I needed to do. In the most important moments, I was playing great tennis.”

It will be third time Djokovic and Nadal have met in as many tournaments, with the Spaniard winning a classic three-set battle in the semifinals in Hamburg before repeating his victory at the same stage at the French Open just over a week ago. Nadal leads their head-to-head rivalry 8-3 overall, with the Serb’s last victory coming in the semifinals in Indian Wells in March.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Djokovic. “We played only one time on grass courts, last year Wimbledon. I was unfortunate to finish that way due to injury. But this time I feel much more comfortable on this surface, more experienced. I gained a lot of confidence, matured. Physically, I'm much better. So it can be very interesting match.

“The way he plays on grass, it's very impressive. He's improved a lot, especially on his serve. So he gained a bigger serve percentage, so he has this advantage a lot. And, of course, always he plays very well from the baseline, puts a lot of pressure on an opponent. He's making very few mistakes these days on grass courts, so this can be a trouble for me. I need to step it up and just be aggressive because it's much better playing him on the faster surfaces than on his favorite, clay.”

If Djokovic wins the title here, he will become the first man this year to win titles on three different surfaces having won on hard courts at the Australian Open and Indian Wells and on clay at the Masters Series event in Rome.

The final will be the first between the top two seeds here since Lleyton Hewitt defeated No. 2 Tim Henman in 2002.

Article from The Artois Championships Website - Here

Video: John Isner and Sam Querrey Connect to NYC from London

Video: John Isner and Sam Querrey Connect to NYC from London

John Isner and Sam Querrey Connect to NYC from London

John Isner and Sam Querrey Connect to NYC from London
John Isner and Sam Querrey Connect to NYC from London

Rising American stars John Isner and Sam Querrey made contact with home during The Artois Championships on Monday, but not in the most conventional of ways.

Rather than making a call home like most overseas visitors, the ATP duo took advantage of a Mercedes-Benz, the Official Car of The Artois Championships, and headed into the heart of London to check out a tunnel linking the English capital with New York, a project that was started more than a century ago.

Isner and Querrey were able to interact with fans in New York and much to their surprise, a locker room attendant from the 2002 US Open was waiting for the two players, and scribbled down on a piece of paper for Isner, "Who beat you in the 2002 US Open Junior?"

Isner lost to Richard Gasquet, who is now ranked 10 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings and also competing at the Queen's Club this week.

"It's crazy, I'm not exactly sure how it works, but obviously it does some how," said Isner. "We saw a guy talking on the phone with a friend of his in New York so that was pretty neat. There was a locker room attendant from the 2002 Junior US Open and he was there asking me a question from when I played there and I remembered him from when I played it. It's insane, I'm not sure how it works, perhaps they should put some more of these structures up around the world."

Querrey echoed the sentiments of his American counterpart but also questioned the reality of the project.

He said: "I saw it on CNN about two weeks ago. It seems pretty cool, it looks a giant telescope and there is one here and New York, but I am not sure if its real or not, I think it might be a video camera, I mean with the curvature of the Earth and the direction of the tunnel, how can you be sure New York is in the direction the tunnel has it, so I am going to study up on it and find out more but it's a good idea, you can talk to your friends if you are in New York, so it's pretty cool."

The project is open 24 hours a day, and uses an extraordinary optical device called a Telectroscope, which allows people in both cities to see each other in real time. The visual art project is produced by Artichoke in partnership with Tiscali. For more information about the Telectroscope project, visit

The two Americans will both be in action Tuesday, with Querrey taking on Frenchman Olivier Patience, while Isner takes on South African Kevin Anderson in a battle of the giants.

Article from

The Artois Championships Semifinals Results and June 15th Order of Play

Novak Djokovic
The Artois Championships Semifinals Results and June 15th Order of Play

Top 2 seeds, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will meet at the The Artois Championships final in Sunday.

Singles - Semifinals
(1)R. Nadal (ESP) d (3)A. Roddick (USA) 75 64
(2)N. Djokovic (SRB) d (4)D. Nalbandian (ARG) 61 60
Doubles - Semifinals
(2)D. Nestor (CAN) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) d (7)F. Cermak (CZE) / J. Kerr (AUS) 63 76(3)
(5)M. Melo (BRA) / A. Sa (BRA) d (6)M. Mirnyi (BLR) / J. Murray (GBR) 63 67(4) 10-6

Sunday June 15h - Finals Order of Play
CENTRE COURT (start 2:00 PM)
(1)R. Nadal (ESP) v (2)N. Djokovic (SRB)
(5)M. Melo (BRA)/A. Sa (BRA) v (2)D. Nestor (CAN)/N. Zimonjic (SRB)

AP Photo/Sang Tan

Rafael Nadal stops Roddick in his tracks

Rafael Nadal of Spain greets Andy Roddick of USA after Nadal won the Men's Singles Semi Final match on Day 6 of the Artois Championships at Queen's Club
Rafael Rafael Nadal stops Roddick in his tracks

Rafael Nadal ended Andy Roddick’s bid for a record fifth title at the ATP tournament at Queen’s Club by charging into the final with a 7-5 6-4 win on Saturday.

The four-times French Open champion barged into his first final at the warm-up tournament for Wimbledon by easily overpowering the big-serving American on the slick green surface.

American Roddick, champion here in four of the past five years, had not dropped his serve all week but came unstuck against an opponent who barely put a foot wrong during the 87-minute contest.

Roddick fired down 14 aces but his power was blunted by the astonishing retrieving skills of Nadal, who extended his winning streak to 16 matches.

The top-seeded Spaniard, bidding for his first grasscourt title, will face either Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic or fourth seed David Nalbandian in Sunday’s final.

Article from Yahoo Sports Tennis - Here

Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Watch Live The Artois Championships ATP Queens Online Free Video Streaming

Watch Live The Artois Championships ATP Queens Online Free Video Streaming

Saturday 6/14
The Artois Championships - ATP Queens

08:00am ET
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Friday, June 13, 2008

The Artois Championships Andy Roddick Interview

Andy Roddick
The Artois Championships Andy Roddick Interview

Q. Disappointing to win that way?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it's just unfortunate. You know, for a number of reasons. Obviously, Mardy is a friend. I don't want him to be hurt. I want to see him be okay. Next week might be a question, but hopefully for Wimbledon.
I thought we were having a pretty good match. I thought the level was pretty good. You know, it's disappointing in that regard, too.

Q. Is it disappointing also because you'd have liked a bit longer of a game, more time on court?
ANDY RODDICK: No. You know, me coming off of an injury, you know, we were out there for about an hour, so that's about right for me.

Q. (Question regarding pieces in the media indicating the injured shoulder, but that it was not hampering play too much.)
ANDY RODDICK: That's fine. That's fair. I hit it pretty well yesterday and today. So it's pulling up all right.

Q. When it comes to having to play five sets, are you confident?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I'll be fine. It's only going to get better over the next week and a half. So, you know, I feel like I'm ahead of where I might have thought I was going to be a week and a half ago.

Q. Four wins, where are your priorities between winning this again and getting your shoulder moving on and ready for Wimbledon?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, first and foremost, you have to be healthy to play Wimbledon. If I win here and can't play Wimbledon, that's not exactly an option that I'm excited about.
But, you know, hopefully we can have both. I mean, that would be great. That's what we're shooting for.

Q. Do you consciously perhaps take anything off the serve or is it full out?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, right now I'm trying to hit it. It's not going in probably as big as it normally does. But that being said, I think I served close to 80% today, so that helps.
It's just gonna get better. If you don't serve for three or four weeks, it's gonna take a little bit to get the pop back. It's not because I'm in pain that it's not coming off. It will just take a little bit of time to get those three, four, five miles an hour back.

Q. Can you give us a little bit on your future possible opponents.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it's kind of going to be -- they're not really similar at all. You know, Gulbis takes a swing at every ball and kind of just goes for broke. You know, I feel Andy's a lot more kind of methodical and is able to vary his game a lot more. Maybe doesn't hit the ball as big as Gulbis, but has a lot more options.

Q. How have things been working out for you with your brother as your coach since the split with Jimmy?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, he's been my coach since before my split with Jimmy, too. I feel that gets lost in the shuffle a lot of times because it's not as fun of a story.
No, it's fine. I'm happy with the way things are going right now.

Q. Obviously you're a very experienced player now. How much do you actually pick into what your brother helps you with and how much do you draw from your own experiences?
ANDY RODDICK: I draw a lot from my own experiences. I mean, I don't think it's rocket science to figure out what I need to do to win matches. You know, Jimmy was great at helping me get my confidence back when I was kind of down and out a couple years ago, when I wasn't playing well. I think it took someone of his pedigree to kind of help me get back.
And now I feel like I'm at the point where I'm able to know what I have to do to go out and win tennis matches.

Q. Was that part of the reason why it came to its end?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I mean, he just called it. But there were no hard feelings. There was no ill will. You know, I'm sure we'll get together if he's coming over to do commentary.

Q. Do you feel strong going forward to Wimbledon now?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I feel fine.

Q. You were saying yesterday you hoped you'd be among the five put down as a possible Wimbledon winner. Apart from the three obvious ones and yourself, who would be the fourth?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. It's a tough one. There's a couple of names you have to look for. Obviously, Andy Murray, he knows how to play on grass. I don't think it would shock anybody if Lleyton made a run, if he was in the semis. I don't know if that would surprise anybody just because of his past success, the fact that he knows how to play on this stuff. Then you run into a bunch of guys who can beat anybody on a given day.
But I think probably those are my other two.

Q. The Federer thing, obviously the guy won the thing five times, you said.
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't say that; it's factual information. It's not just my opinion.

Q. There were questions about his ability to win it again.
ANDY RODDICK: To win Wimbledon?

Q. My question actually was, for somebody who wins four games in the final of a Grand Slam, is it likely to linger in his mind a lot?
ANDY RODDICK: They're separate events. Playing the final on red clay against Nadal is not the same as playing on a grass court. It's just two entirely different things. And, if anything, it's going to piss him off to where he wants to prove everybody wrong.
Maybe if he wins it six times, people won't question him. People are sitting here saying, Can Roger win Wimbledon? Yes, he can. He's won it five times. I don't understand. I understand that it makes a good story. But I'm going to go out on a limb here and say Roger's pretty mentally strong, you know, and is capable of overcoming a defeat to win a tennis tournament.
He's still the favorite no matter how you look at it.

Q. You were quoted once after a Wimbledon final saying you threw the kitchen sink at him and he chucked the bathtub at you. Do you need to throw anything bigger at him these days to win?
ANDY RODDICK: It's just a matter of what I can lift. You know, we'll see. I don't see the point in me talking about what I have to do to Roger at Wimbledon when we're three weeks away. I think it's getting a little ahead of ourselves.

Andy Roddick's Interview from ASAP Sports - Here
AFP PHOTO/Carl de Souza

Rafael Nadal anxious to get home to play golf

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal anxious to get home to play golf

Although Rafael Nadal still has unfinished business at Queen’s Club this week the Spaniard is itching to get back home to Mallorca for a game of golf.

The world number two edged past Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic 6-7 7-6 7-6 to reach the semi-finals of the prestigious Wimbledon warmup tournament on Friday and faces another big server in defending champion Andy Roddick on Saturday.

However, after an exhausting claycourt campaign culminating in his rout of Roger Federer last Sunday to claim a fourth consecutive French Open title, the 22-year-old said he needs to recharge his batteries before Wimbledon starts on June 23.

“It was a tough win today, no? Tough because tonight I could have had Friday night in Mallorca,” Nadal joked.

“I need three days off. Four would be amazing! I’ve spent nine days in the last four months at home. I need to be with friends, family, forget the tennis for a few days. I need to play some golf.”

Top seed Nadal said should he beat Roddick and reach Sunday’s final he would not return to London until next Thursday.

“I have an important match tomorrow, it’s going to be a good test,” Nadal said of his first meeting with Roddick on grass. “If I reach the final it will be good points for me.”

Looking ahead to Wimbledon, Nadal said he was still wary of the grass court grand slam tournament despite finishing runner-up to world number one Roger Federer two years in a row.

“I could go there and lose in the first round because on this surface you don’t have 100 percent control of everything,” he said. “Hopefully I can prepare physically and arrive 100 percent and the draw is good.”

Article from Yahoo Sports Tennis - Here
AP Photo/Tom Hevezi

The Artois Championships Quarterfinals Results and June 14th Order of Play

Richard Gasquet
The Artois Championships Quarterfinals Results and June 14th Order of Play

Top four seeds made it into the The Artois Championships semifinals.

Top seed, Rafael Nadal, had to really battle against giant, Ivo Karlovic.
Nadal won the quaterfinal match in 3 tie break sets.

Novak Djokovic, second seed, had a much easier match against Lleyton Hewitt. Djokovic won with a doubles 6-2.

Andy Roddick had a fress pass to the semifinals after Andy Murray withdrew from the tournament because of his right thumb.

Finally David Nalbandian, 4th seed, made it through Richard Gasquet in 2 sets.

Check out all the results from the The Artois Championships Quarterfinals and Saturday's Order of Play.

Singles - Quarterfinals

(1)R. Nadal (ESP) d (8)I. Karlovic (CRO) 67(5) 76(5) 76(4)
(2)N. Djokovic (SRB) d (11)L. Hewitt (AUS) 62 62
(3)A. Roddick (USA) d (6)A. Murray (GBR) W/O (right thumb)
(4)D. Nalbandian (ARG) d (5)R. Gasquet (FRA) 64 36 76(3)

The Artois Championships Saturday June 14th Order of Play

Coming soon...

AFP PHOTO / Adrian Dennis

Rafael Nadal survives in London

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal survives in London

Rafael Nadal was taken to the limit, but managed to reach the semifinals of The Artois Championships nonetheless.

The top-seeded Spaniard received a mighty test from No. 8 Ivo Karlovic before finally pulling out a 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4) quarterfinal victory on Friday at the grasscourt event.

Less than a week removed from capturing his fourth consecutive crown at the French Open, Nadal is in line to reach the final of this Wimbledon tune-up for the first time.

Yahoo Sports Tennis - Here. AFP PHOTO/Adrian Dennis

Andy Murray pulls out of Queen’s with sore thumb

Andy Murray
Andy Murray pulls out of Queen’s with sore thumb

Briton Andy Murray withdrew from the Queen’s Club ATP tournament on Friday shortly before he was due on court to face Andy Roddick in the quarter-finals.
The 21-year-old injured his thumb during his third round victory over Ernests Gulbis on Thursday and said at the time he would check with doctors before deciding whether to face defending champion Roddick.

Murray’s withdrawal comes little more than a week before the start of Wimbledon and revives unhappy memories of last year when the world number 11 missed the grasscourt grand slam with a right wrist injury.
Roddick, who needed just one set to beat Mardy Fish on Thursday when his fellow American sprained his ankle, will face either top seed Rafael Nadal or Ivo Karlovic in the semi-final.

Roddick is looking for a record fifth title at the traditional Wimbledon warm-up.

Yahoo Sports Tennis - Here AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Artois Championships: Fernando Gonzalez in hall of shame, Rafael Nadal into last eight

Fernando Gonzalez of Chile greets Ivo Karlovic of Croatia after Gonzales lost the match after his second court violation and lost the game on Day 4 of the Artois Championships at Queen's Club
Artois Championships: Fernando Gonzalez in hall of shame, Rafael Nadal into last eight
By Mark Hodgkinson

Rafael Nadal needed three sets last night to beat Japanese teenager Kei Nishikori and move into the quarter-finals of the Artois Championships for the third year in succession.
The Spaniard, a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 winner, will today play Ivo Karlovic, after the Croatian went through into the last eight when Fernando Gonzalez yesterday entered the tennis hall of shame for racket-abuse and ball-abuse.

Gonzalez, a Chilean who was the runner-up to Roger Federer at last year's Australian Open, was trailing in his third-round match against Karlovic, at a set and 5-6 down, when he belted a ball in anger, and the umpire gave him a one-game penalty.

So, with that, it was immediately game, set and match to Karlovic, and Gonzalez went out of the pre-Wimbledon tournament in the strangest of circumstances.

The one-game penalty came about because Gonzalez had been moving up the sliding scale of punishments that is used in tennis.

Gonzalez had originally been warned by the umpire for smashing a ball away on the second show court. But the South American later cracked a racket, a misdemeanour which brought him a point penalty. Yet Gonzalez was unable to keep his emotions under control, and after losing his serve at 5-5 in the second set, he thrashed his racket at a ball.

That meant that Karlovic, a former finalist at Queen's Club, did not have to serve out for a 6-3, 7-5 win; he was simply helped over the line by his opponent's temper.

Karlovic can be an infuriating opponent to play against, as he is the tallest man on the tour at 6ft 10in, and has a serve that generates both pace and wicked bounce. Nadal, though, has never broken a racket on the tour so he will not be doing a 'Gonzalez'.

Lleyton Hewitt remains on course for a record fifth Queen's title after the Australian's 6-4, 6-4 win over Paul-Henri Mathieu.

Article from Telegraph - Here
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images