Guy Forget will be the French Davis Cup captain for the next two years.
The French Tennis Federation (FFT) confirmed that the 45-year-old has been retained for the position he has held since 1999.
Forget has guided the team to four finals, including in 2001 when France won the title. This year they were runners-up to Serbia, going down 3-2 in Belgrade, Serbia, a week ago.
“After leading Les Bleus to the 2010 Davis Cup final, Guy Forget has been confirmed as captain for the next two years,” the FFT said in a statement.
France will begin its 2011 campaign with a first-round match against Austria in Vienna in March.
American tennis received a major boost when it was announced by the USTA that Andy Roddick will be back playing Davis Cup in 2011. The top-ranked American took a break from the competition this season, saying he felt unable to commit himself to the whole year. The team then lost 3-2 to eventual champions Serbia in a World Group 1st round tie, before beating Colombia 3-1 in a World Group play-off.
"I'm very excited to be back on the U.S. Davis Cup team," said Roddick, who will be available for the tie against Chile in Santiago, to be played March 4-6. "I have always said that Davis Cup is something you should commit to for the entire season and not when it is convenient. Trying to win the Davis Cup again is a top priority for me in 2011. Nothing compares to the atmosphere of playing a Davis Cup match and representing your country."
With all of the world’s top 100 men and 98 of the top 100 women entered into the year’s first Grand Slam event, the Australian Open expects to have a very strong field.
The first entry lists have been released with injured Serena Williams and Agnes Szavay, the only omissions from the top 100 women.
The 104 direct acceptances into the men’s draw include Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) and Dmitry Tursunov (RUS), both of whom used their injury protected rankings.
The women’s draw includes 107 direct acceptances, with notable exceptions Elena Dementieva (RUS) who retired at the end of the season and world No.37 Szavay(HUN), also out with injury.
The men’s field will be completed by 16 qualifiers and eight wildcards, while the women’s field has 12 qualifiers and eight wildcard to be added.
She’s had several high-profile romances and even a couple of engagements, to lawyer Andres Bieri and player Radek Stepanek. But now Martina Hingis has transformed from the Swiss Miss to the Swiss Mrs. after marrying Frenchman Thibault Hutin in Paris. At 24, he is six years her junior.
According to Schweizer-illustrierte, which carried pictures of the private ceremony as well as many of the pair at a function, they met last April at a horse show in St. Tropez. Although they only went through a low-key civil ceremony, they plan a more ‘romantic’ wedding in the summer. Which begs the question of why they didn’t wait until then.
"Our marriage may come as a surprise to many, but it was long planned in advance," Martina was quoted as saying.
Hingis has not played on the WTA Tour since 2007, after she tested positive for cocaine during Wimbledon. Although she strenuously denied involvement with the drug she did not bother to contest the charge, which resulted in her receiving a two year ban and ultimately signaled the end of her career. She had returned to the Tour in 2006 after a lengthy break caused by a severe ankle injury, but by the second half of the following year she was clearly struggling and, without the ban, it is possible she might not have continued beyond 2007 anyway.
Her last match was a second round loss to Shuai Peng in Beijing that year, although she did play with former doubles partner Anna Kournikova in the Ladies Invitational event at Wimbledon this year after her ban had expired. Recently, Hingis did hint that she might consider a return to the Tour once again, but only to compete in doubles. Presumably, following her marriage and also her considerable involvement in competing on the show-jumping circuit, that possibility can now be dismissed.
Roger Federer is insistent 2010 was not substandard by standards, regardless of the fact Rafael Nadal won three of the four Grand Slam event titles. However the Swiss public clearly were not too impressed as the winner of a record 16 major singles titles only came third in the nation’s Sports Personality of the Year poll. Federer, a four times winner of the award ended up behind the double Olympic ski jump champion Simon Armann and outdoor wrestler Kilian Wenger who starred this year at the annual Eidgenossisches Schwingfest. The award is made with 50% of the voting carried out by Switzerland’s sporting media and the other half the public at large. A year ago Federer was shown to be way in front when the media had their say but the public vote elevated downhill skier Didier Cuche in the winning spot. In his victory speech Cuche made a public apology to Federer who was philosophical four years after voicing his dismay when motorcyclist Thomas Luthi took the prize under similar circumstances. This year looks like being no different. Federer was resigned to not winning three weeks ago when en route to winning the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, he admitted: “The other guy won two Olympic golds in ski jumping. That's probably going to do the trick for him. That's my feeling anyway.
“Look, all I can try is to have a good season myself. One thing for sure, the Swiss are not going to vote me ten times in a row. It's not just going to happen. I've already won plenty enough times. It's been nice to win.
“I've got great admiration from the Swiss people. I don't think this award is how the Swiss people see me. Ask others.”
Armann, curiously a couple of months older than Federer, is the only man in history to win two Olympic ski jump golds in two separate Olympiads. He was supreme at the Salt Lake City games of 2002 and repeated his twin triumphs earlier this year in Vancouver.
The Atlanta Tennis Championships is moving again – this time across town. Beginning in 2011, the tournament will be played at the Racquet Club of the South in suburban Norcross.
The tournament previously was held at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek.
Reigning singles champion Mardy Fish and finalist John Isner have committed to return to Atlanta next year. Both players finished in the Top 20 in the year-end South African Airways 2010 ATP World Tour Rankings.
The Racquet Club of the South is no stranger to major tennis tournaments. The facility was the site of Fed Cup in 1990 and a men’s World Championship Tennis (WCT) tournament during the 1980s.
The club features a permanent outdoor stadium along with 26 outdoor courts, eight indoor courts and two platform tennis courts.
Billed as the oldest event in professional tennis, the Cincinnati Masters is set to get a makeover in 2011, plus the event, to be contested August 13-21, 2011 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, OH, has been renamed the Western & Southern Open after tournament officials announced the complete rebranding of the event.
Begun in 1899, the Cincinnati Masters is the oldest event still played at its original location. It has been named the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women’s Open since 2004. The Western & Southern Financial Group remains the event’s title sponsor and is closely involved in the creation of the new brand and logo. A change in tournament format and major facility investments are impetus for the rebranding after it was announced earlier this year that Cincinnati will become a combined ATP/WTA event. This new change in the tournament makes the event one of those five where a Masters 1000 ATP event and a WTA Premier level event will be played simultaneously.
The total prize money for the Western & Southern Open will exceed $5 million in 2011, and to accommodate the new format the site is currently undergoing a $7.5 million, 5.4 acre expansion. Highlights of the renovation are: six new courts including a 4000-seat new television court, a new ticket office, grand entry and large retail plaza. The new event will be played on up to eight courts daily, up from a maximum of four in previous years.
World no.1 Rafael Nadal is to succeed football icons David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo as the male face of Emporio Armani Underwear and Armani jeans.
The 24 year-old Spaniard is now building a massive portfolio of endorsement deals with concerns such as Richard Mille watches, Mapfe SA (Spain’s largest insurance company), Kia Motors, Lanvin fragrances and of course Nike Inc. and Babolat.
Even the most conservative estimates maintain that Nadal’s commercial appeal will boost his annual earnings to somewhere comfortably in excess of $US 40 million a year. With three major titles to his credit in 2010 he has collected $10,171,998in prize money alone.
Simon Chadwick, a professor of sports business strategy and marketing at the Coventry University Business School in England, confidently predicted: “Nadal will even transcend the Federer brand.”
Nadal’s first campaign shots for Armani will not be released until in the New Year and the decision to switch sporting focus for its’ underwear brand from football to tennis is seen as a bold move in a sector of male fashion that is worth more close to $US 10 billion a year.
Armani’s campaign involving Real Madrid and Portugal star Ronaldo was deemed a success across global markets. Other fashion companies including Milanese rivals Dolce and Gabbana recruited the entire Italian World Cup squad.
The only tennis player to previously make a global impact on the underwear market was Bjorn Borg who started his own brand in Sweden that became a worldwide concern. Patrick Rafter is the current image of Bonds underwear in Australia.
Interestingly, no one at Armani seems to realize the irony of signing Nadal who is notorious for taking time between points for readjustment because he habitually seems to struggle with the fit of his underwear.
Martina Navratilova was airlifted to a Nairobi hospital after having to halt prematurely her attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro because the 54 year-old felt unwell.
Navratilova was leading a team of 27 climbers to raise funds for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation charity, was taken ill on the fourth day of the climb up the 19,341 ft mountain in Tanzania.
She was assisted down the mountain by porters and driven to the nearby Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre for assessment, then, as a precaution, she was flown to the Nairobi Hospital for further tests which showed she was suffering from high altitude pulmonary edema – an accumulation of fluid in the lungs.
Dr David Silverstein, consultant in cardiology and internal medicine at the Nairobi Hospital, said: “Basically this is fluid in the lungs related to high altitude. It is potentially dangerous when someone is at high altitude, but once brought down, recovery is quick. Martina is doing well and will continue to do well.
“Treatment is to remove the fluid through diuretics and to make the patient more comfortable with oxygen. She will spend two to three days in hospital. There will be no effects to long term health and patients get back to full fitness in due course. Martina's acute condition is not reflective of her health or fitness. It occurs in some people in conditions of low oxygen.”
From her bed at the Nairobi Hospital, Martina said: “I’m disappointed not to be able to complete this amazing journey. It was something that I have wanted to do for so long, but it was not to be.
“I am so pleased that we got it going and I will be watching and waiting for news from the climb when they reach the summit tomorrow (Sat). I didn’t make it, but I think it has been a great success as we have raised funds and awareness for the work that Laureus does
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