She has barely played in the past year, but that hasnt prevented Serena Williams being voted as the most popular female sports star in a Harris interactive poll among American sports fans. The poll was taken in June, at about the time Serena took to the match court for the first time in 11 months.
Two more inactive tennis players made the top 10, with Anna Kournikova coming in at number six and Martina Navratilova at seven. Two more tennis players made the list, making five of the 10. Venus Williams was second and Maria Sharapova fourth.
The Washington Kastles and St. Louis Aces swept the post-season honors for the 2011 World TeamTennis Pro League presented by GEICO. Leander Paes of the Washington Kastles and St. Louis' Liezel Huber were announced as League MVPs this evening prior to the opening matches of the 2011 WTT Finals Weekend presented by GEICO at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C.
Arina Rodionova of the Washington Kastles and Jean-Julien Rojer of the St. Louis Aces were named as WTT Rookies of the Year, while Murphy Jensen was named WTT Coach of the Year in his third season at the helm of the Washington Kastles.
The US Open isnt just about a trophy. Its about money, and there is a record amount of that on offer.
This year the US Open purse will top $23.7 million, an increase of $1.1 million from last year. In addition to the base purse of $23.7 million, the top three mens and top three womens finishers in the Olympus US Open Series may earn up to an additional $2.6 million in bonus prize money at the US Open, providing a potential total payout of $26.3 million.
Both the mens and womens US Open singles champions will earn a record $1.8 million with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money, based on their performances in the Olympus US Open Series. This is a 6.4 per cent increase in singles prize money over last year.
The winner will receive $1,800,000. With a first place finish in the US Open Series that will rise to $2,800,000, a second place takes the total to $2,300,000 and third place $2,050,000. The US Open finalist receives $900,000, with a first, second or third place in the US Open Series boosting the prize money to $1,400,000, $1,150,000 and $1,025,000 respectively.
The US Open semi-finalists win $450,000 with an additional $700,000, $575,000 or $512,500 for a first, second or third place finish, and the quarter-finalists win $225,000 plus a potential $350,000, $287,500 or $256,250 for a first, second or third place finish.
Former Wimbledon and US Open finalist Mark Philippoussis has finally given up on his ATP dream at age 34 after last playing an active role in the sport half a decade ago.
The player whose work ethic never matched his talent and whose knees have been the subject of six operations - three per side - has finally admitted that he's far happier in his new life. Philippoussis, who surfs from his southern California base near San Diego and participates in the occasional senior event, has played TeamTennis this summer with Boston.
"I don't really have any interest in returning to ATP," he told the Boston Herald. "I'd love to play some events. I'm very interested in playing some events, but I'm very happy playing senior events.
"I'm having a lot of fun. It's a great group of guys. It's laid back. It's got a great vibe, and I'm just really enjoying doing that. I'm not really into the traveling. I've done so much of it over the years. I'm not really happy traveling."
Philippoussis, who has had his share of love-life troubles and financial worries, seems to have scaled back his ambitions. Only a few months ago he was again dropping hints that a return to the ATP would be right up his street.
The women's WTA event at La Costa, California, won't have Kim Clijsters in the field starting a week from Monday but has added the three young German players who are re-making the standing of the one-time tennis power.
US Open champion Clijsters told officials she is still not fully recovered form a June ankle injury which forced her to also miss Wimbledon and is still concentrating on getting ready for the Open from August 29.
Also out of the field is Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, with the world No. 7 suffering with a pulled abdominal muscle. "I am sorry I am unable to play this year but I'm still recovering from an injury that happened at Wimbledon," said the Czech.
But riding to the rescue are the Teutonic trio of Andrea Petkovic, Julia Goerges and Sabine Lisicki. No. 11 Petkovic, captured her second career WTA singles title in Brisbane, and reached quarter-finals at the Australian and French Opens in 2011.
No. 16 Goerges holds the Stuttgart clay title while 26th-ranked Lisicki won on grass at Birmingham and reached the Wimbledon quarters in a revival of the German game which has taken off this season.
The event also includes entries from No. 3 Vera Zvonareva, defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic.
The debate on whether tennis should be an Olympic sport and is a Gold Medal the pinnacle of on-court achievement or will that always remain the domain of the majors, is likely to go on throughout time but Andy Murray insists this time next year things will be just as important for him as they are in the last week of June and the first of July.
In 2012 the best of the ATP World Tour and WTA roster will return to London SW19 less than a month after the All England Championships to battle for Olympic glory rather than the Wimbledon titles. It's very important, said Murray, who will spearhead the home bid for gold. It's right up there. All of the top players want to play in the Olympics now.
For all of the tennis players, playing at Wimbledon is special at any time, but obviously now it's part of the Olympics it's something different that we will never have experienced before. That place has got so much history as well, so combined with the history of the Olympics will make it amazing.
And the Scot has the added incentive of aiming for doubles glory alongside his brother Jamie. It would be a pretty special experience, he said. It would probably top most things we'll do in our careers if we do play together at a home Olympics at Wimbledon." Three years ago in Beijing almost all the best players, with the exception of the United States Andy Roddick, turned up to represent their nations and the lure of Wimbledon should ensure an even more prestigious entry. And of course thetraditional predominantly white clothing rule of the Championships will not be in force.
Rafael Nadal said winning gold for Spain in Beijing was one of his proudest moments while the Russian domination of the womens singles podium, featuring the now retired Elena Dementieva, Dinara Safina and Vera Zvonareva, remains one of the most popular pictorial images in Moscow.
Murray, who made his Olympic debut as a 21-year-old in Beijing but was beaten in the first round by Chinese Taipeis by Lu Yen-Hsun, continued: When you are part of the Olympics and have been to an opening ceremony and have stayed in an Olympic village, you see how great a competition it is and how important it is to win medals for your country and represent your country.
Obviously I didn't play very well in Beijing but it was one of the most amazing experiences I've had in sport. You move on, try to improve and you get better. I'll make sure that I'm as well prepared as possible for this one and try and put in a good performance. It's on the grass at Wimbledon, I have played well there in the past, so I'll try and have another good run.
Murray's results did not detract from his enjoyment of the Olympics, though, with the 24-year-old adding: "The opening ceremony was unbelievable, just being around so many great athletes was inspiring.
"I really, really enjoyed it and now having it in London is going to make a huge
difference. I'm sure they are going to put on a great show and I'm really looking forward to being part of it.
The USTA announced that 97 of the top 100 women, including two-time defending US Open champion Kim Clijsters, and fellow singles champions Li Na and Petra Kvitova, are entered in the womens singles field for the 2011 US Open Tennis Championships.
Clijsters, Li and Kvitova will be joined in the field by former US Open champions Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Maria Sharapova.
Serena Williams, who won the US Open in 1999, 2002 and 2008, utilized a special ranking to gain entry into the field after missing nearly an entire year of competition due to injury. Alona Bondarenko also gained entry via a special ranking.
The 2011 US Open will be played August 29 September 11 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. Both the mens and womens US Open singles champions will earn $1.8 million with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money (for a total $2.8 million
potential payout) based on their performances in the Olympus US Open Series.
Russias Alisa Kleybanova will miss this years event following her announcement that she is receiving treatment for Hodgkins lymphoma, and former world No. 1 Dinara Safina and Timea Bacsinszky will also sit out due to
Kim Clijsters, the reigning US Open and Australian Open champion, will have the opportunity to win her second major of the year, and fifth overall, at this years US Open. She will also attempt to become the first female to win three consecutive US Open singles titles since Chris Evert (1976-78). Additionally, she will look to extend her winning streak of 21 consecutive matches at the US Open, as she has won the title each of the last three times she has played (2005, 2009-10). Reigning French Open and Wimbledon champions Li and Kvitova will each attempt to win her first US Open and second career major title.
Leading the entry list is world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, who reached her first major final at the 2009 US Open. Following Wozniacki on the entry list are No. 2 Kim Clijsters, No. 3 Vera Zvonareva, No. 4 Victoria Azarenka; No. 5 Maria Sharapova, No. 6 Li Na, No. 7 Petra Kvitova, No. 8 Francesca Schiavone, No. 9 Marion Bartoli and No. 10 Samantha Stosur.
Other American women who received direct entry into this years tournament include No. 30 Bethanie Mattek-Sands of Phoenix, the highest-ranked American in the field; No. 35 Venus Williams, No. 67 Christina McHale. No. 90 Vania King, No. 99 Coco Vandeweghe, No. 100 Melanie Oudin, No. 101 Varvara Lepchenko and No. 102 Irina Falconi.
Misaki Doi of Japan, ranked No. 105, was the 104th and last player accepted directly into the womens field of 128. Sixteen more players will gain entry through the US Open Qualifying Tournament, August 23-26, while the remaining eight spots are wild cards awarded by the USTA.
The July 18 edition of the WTA rankings was used to determine the US Open main draw entry list. Seeds will be determined and announced closer to the start of the event.
The first blows struck in the 2011 US Open are still more than a month away at Flushing Meadows but former world no.1 and three times champion Serena Williams has elected to use an injury-protected ranking to gain entry to the concluding major of the year.
Initially 97 of the worlds top 100 players on the WTA world rankings have been announced by the United States Tennis Association in the provisional womens field for the tournament, which starts on August 29 at New Yorks Flushing Meadows.
Despite being a 13-time major champion, Serena Williams ranking has
plummeted to 172nd in the world after a playing just two tournaments in more
than a year and losing at the fourth round in defense of her Wimbledon title.
She has however contributed to Washington Kastles 100% 14-0 record in the
regular season of World Team Tennis.
Under WTA rules, Serena has the option of using a special injury-protected ranking to enter up to eight tournaments, including one major. I have nothing to lose, she maintained. I think thats when people are the most dangerous.
Speculation is mounting Roger Rasheed could become world no.4 Andy Murray’s full-time coach after the Australian announced his three year liaison with Gael Monfils has come to a conclusion.
Rasheedis both good friends and a business partner of Darren Cahill, his fellow Adelaide native, who has been working with Murray on a part-time basis for the last three months.
Cahill’s commitments to being a key member of the ESPN tennis commentary team and a leading light in the adidas Development Program mean he is unable to commit more time to working with Murray who clearly is in need of a full-time coach as he strives to narrow the gap between himself and the leading three players in the world game; newly crowned Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
Rasheed, aged 42 and a former Australian Rules footballer who spent three
and a half years coaching former world no.1 Lleyton Hewitt, is a known admirer of Murray and has a good understanding with the player’s mother Judy.
Announcing the split with seventh ranked Monfils on Twitter, Rasheed said:
“After three years, Gael and I think that the time has come for us to separate.
I enjoyed the challenge and I wish Gael the best.”
And Rasheed added in another Tweet: “Next coaching challenge? Can’t wait!”
Monfils and Rasheed forged an unlikely relationship in July 2008 when the 24-year-old Frenchman first broke through as a top ten player. He has subsequently reached two French Open quarter finals and got to the last eight once at the US Open but many believe he has still not come close to fulfilling his potential.
"We decided to stop our collaboration by mutual agreement," said Monfils
after helping France into the semi-finals of the Davis Cup with a comfortable
victory over Germany. "We had reached the end of a great story. I owe him
[Rasheed] a lot. I learned a lot with him."It went very well. We talked, we
had a good discussion. We're still very good friends."
Monfils will now work with Patrick Chamagne who has already been working as his fitness instructor.