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Happy 2008 Everyone!! Go Forth and Prosper!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year Bloggers Around The World

Chessnoid passed along this incredible link love that he received from Cotojo.

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Please take this award with Best Wishes for a Peaceful and Happy New Year. Now spread the love and pass it on to other Global Bloggers.

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Posted by Shelia

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USA 3, Czech Republic Goose Egg in Session 5 of Hopman Cup

Session 5 - USA 3 defeating Czech Republic 0

  • Serena Williams d Lucie Safarova 6-0, 2-6, 7-5 (Time: 111 minutes, Umpire: Alison Lang)
  • Williams/Fish d Safarova/Berdych 6-0 retired
  • Mardy Fish d Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-0 walkover

Lucie Safarova has been unwell for a couple of days and Tomas Berdych pulled up with a stomach virus overnight, forcing the mixed doubles to be played before the men’s singles in order to give him the best chance of recovering.

The world No. 14 managed to make it onto court for the doubles, but Berdych was clearly hampered by his illness as Serena Williams and Mardy Fish took the first set 6-0.

Berdych then decided he could not continue, giving the Americans a 3-0 win for the tie.

The United States are now ideally placed to make its ninth final and the chance at a fifth win at the Hyundai Hopman Cup when it plays Australia on Thursday.

The 112-minute battle with Serena wasn’t what Safarova would have hoped for if she was not feeling well, but she took it right up to the world No. 7 and current Australian Open champion.

Serena made an amazing start after missing her opening match on Saturday and being in Perth just a day before taking on Safarova. However, no jetlag problems were evident as she blew Safarova off the court to take the opening set 6-0.

Safarova isn’t ranked 23 in the world by chance, though, and she fought back tremendously to take the second 6-2 and force a third and deciding set.

While the first two sets were lopsided either way, the decider was a real fight. Safarova broke first to go to a 4-2 lead, but Serena broke back straight away to take it to 4-4.

Serena then showed that she is in tremendous shape and form by breaking Safarova to go up 6-5, then held serve to win the gruelling tussle.

Fish and Williams were well on top in the only set of the doubles, with Berdych in particular struggling with his fitness.

Source -- Hopman Cup Official Site

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Posted by Shelia

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USA Wins at Hopman Cup

Sunday, December 30, 2007

In her usual down-to-the-wire style, Serena Williams pulls out another win for the USA at Hopman Cup.

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Posted by Shelia

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Hopman Cup: Serena Williams In Play

Serena Williams and Lucie Safarova are currently representing the USA and the Czech Republic in this year's Hopman Cup. The ladies are current playing in the fifth session and tied at one set each. The first set went to Serena Williams who demolished Safarova 6-0. Safarova obviously awakened and found her game, defeating Serena 6-2. They are currently in the third on serve with Safarova leading 2-1 as of 9:52 p.m. eastern time.

Serena Williams arrived late, but arrival of Grand Slam queen Serena Williams at Perth’s Hyundai Hopman Cup has enabled the USA to go into their clash with the Czech Republic with added confidence.

The last match of 2007 sees the world No. 7 take on rising star Lucie Safarova, who has halved her ranking to 23 in the year since she made her Hyundai Hopman Cup debut.

The USA is seeded No. 2 for this year’s event, behind hot favourites Serbia and goes into the match with one victory to their credit, helped by substitute American Meghann Shaughnessy, who paired with Mardy Fish to beat India on Saturday.

Williams, a winner of the Hyundai Hopman Cup with James Blake five years ago, arrived in Perth overnight and had a hit on the practice court on Sunday afternoon after the long flight from Florida.

She has assured Tournament Director Paul McNamee that she had shrugged off a brief illness and her combination with Fish – who played extremely well in his 6-2, 6-4 win over India’s Rohan Bopanna in the opening match.

The third seeded Czechs were upset by Australia on Saturday night, when Alicia Molik and debutant Peter Luczak combined brilliantly in the doubles to down Safarova and her boyfriend, the 14th ranked Tomas Berdych.

The Czechs conceded that they need to do a little work on their doubles, having not won a rubber at last summer’s Hyundai Hopman Cup, with Berdych admitting it wasn’t his strong point.

“I didn’t help Lucie enough to win today,” he said. “I think the male partner needs to do more in the mixed, but that’s not my style, especially when we play normal tennis. I have to improve.”

Berdych, a winner of three singles titles on the men’s Tour, has secured his place in the upper echelons of world rankings, but has his sights set on a top-10 spot in the coming 2008 year.

His American opponent, Fish, has spent another year recovering from injury, this time damaging ankle ligaments in a friendly burst of grid iron.

However, he finished the year ranked at 39 and a strong showing against Berdych will boost his confidence for the year ahead.

The session begins at 10:30am on Monday.

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Source -- Hopman Cup Official site

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Posted by Shelia

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Manic Monday: "Key"

Single-session tickets for all 22 sessions of the 2008 Sony Ericsson Open will go on sale beginning at 9 a.m. on January 2. Fans can purchase tickets by calling the Sony Ericsson Open Ticket Office at (305) 442-3367 or by going online at www.sonyericssonopen.com.

The 24th Sony Ericsson Open is scheduled for March 26-April 6 and will feature the top 96 men and women tennis players in the world. The tournament will once again be held at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park located on beautiful Key Biscayne.

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Posted by Shelia

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Don't Fool Yourself, Playing Wii Tennis Won't Keep You Fit

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Think working up a sweat playing Nintendo Wii Tennis is a substitute for exercise, think again. Wii jocks will have to hit the treadmill like everyone else if they want to stay fit.

According to a study by the British Medical Journal, while the Wii provides more activity than passive videogames it is still no replacement for getting some good old fashioned exercise.

Wii is unlike other video game consoles out there. A standard videogame only requires players to move their thumbs and index fingers, whereas the Wii actually requires players to move their hand or occasionally their entire arm to interact with the game. The Wii console has done much to get couch potatoes off their duff and playing video games – but apparently not enough.

Full article at PC World link

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Posted by Shelia

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Serena Williams to Miss Opening Match of Hopman Cup

Serena Williams' new tennis season will start like several of her past - with an injury affecting her preparation for the first Grand Slam event.

The winner of last year's Australian Open, Serena will miss the United States' opening match at the Hopman Cup in Perth, organizers said Thursday. The American star is trying to recover from a lingering left knee injury that forced her to pull out of the WTA Tour's season-ending championships in Madrid in November. She had been scheduled to take on India's Sania Mirza on Saturday in the first match of the team event, but will be replaced by Meghan Shaughnessy.

Tournament officials said Serena will not arrive in the Western Australia state capital until the weekend, and plans to play for the Americans in Monday's match against the Czech Republic. Player substitutions are allowed between matches.

After an injury-filled 2006, Serena had an incredible win at the 2007 Australian Open - unseeded, ranked No. 81 and beating six seeded players en route to the title. By the end of the season, she was ranked No. 7.

Serena first injured her left knee in 2000 and had surgery in 2003, forcing her to pull out of all events after Wimbledon that year.

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Posted by Shelia

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Entrecard and a Meme

Monday, December 24, 2007

Lawd Jeezus! Is there no rest for the weary? Here it is Christmas Eve and F1-ToGo has tagged me with the Entrecard meme! And being the ever rule following automaton that I am, alas, I had to acquiesce. F1-ToGo has quickly become one of my favorites. From my first stop at this site I loved the appearance, organization and great use of photos and graphics. And I knew nothing about F1! I was so intrigued with the site that I Googled F1 so that I could quickly school myself sufficent to know what's going on. It's definitely worth a visit.

Okay, on to the meme which, by the way, was started by Sam. (I'll be writing him a strongly worded note of thanks, HA!).

The Entrecard meme:
Shameless self promotion and shameless promotion of other blogs participating in Entrecard advertising is what it’s about. Daily we tap the mouse button or the touch pad and drop cards and advertise and now with a little bit more time, (which, seeing as we read blogs all day, lol, we can afford) we can help each other out with this meme. Just follow along below and have some fun.

  • Read these instructions twice;
  • Drop your EntreCard at this site;
  • Drop your EntreCard at the 5 EntreCard users’ sites listed below;
  • Choose 5 other EntreCard users;
  • Copy these instructions to your own Entrecard meme article and tag (link) those 5 people;
  • Include a link to the Entrecard meme article of the person who tagged you;
  • Link to the original article “Sam Freedom’s Drop Squad - the First Entrecard Meme Known to Bloggers“;
  • Notify the people you choose that they’ve been tagged;
  • Comment below so even passers-by can drop their card at your site, too (it shows you are active and will likely return the favor)
  • (optional) IF you tag your blogs, use both “entrecard” and “entrecard meme” as tags so that others can find them AND so that we can find them all later as this grows. (If you don’t know what tagging is, don’t worry.)

Here are the Entrecard users tagged by me:

Debo Hobo Dot Com This is a wonderful travel resource site that I am very familiar with, and both the site and owner are great. I fly a lot and now consult this site often for the latest in all aspects of travel.

NetInfoWeb 2.0: Soul, R&B, Jazz and Blues on the 'Net In the short time that I have been participating with Entrecard, I have already met some great people. One of them being the owner of this site. As a staunch jazz and classic R&B lover, this site has quickly become one of my new favs. There's a great lineup of Christmas music over there, don't let it pass you by.

Cook-Italian-Way Once again, great cooking blog, great owner. This blog does a wonderful job with recipes and great photos of completed dishes.

Article Specialist I'm continuing to bat 1,000. Another great blog and great owner. This marketing blog has some very informative and useful maketing information.

General Marketing Blog I've recently become aware of this blog and I like what I've seen thus far. It has wonderful presentation and informative concise posts.

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Posted by Shelia

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Have A Blessed Sunday

Sunday, December 23, 2007

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2:11-14

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Posted by Shelia

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Entrecard Contest at impNERD

The internet, marketing and publishing site impNERD is giving away 1000 Entrecard credits. Entrecard credits can be time consuming to gain if you haven't acquired heavy traffic to this point. So 1,000 credits instantly could be a nice boost towards advertising your blog.

If you haven't heard of Entrecard by now, it's an interesting new way to network with other bloggers and advertise your blog at the same time. In order to advertise your blog, you need Entrecard credits with which you can purchase single day time slots on other blogs.

The 1000 Free Credits Contest will run until the end of the year, but that's just a little over a week away. So to get the full scoop on the details, read all about it here at impNERD.

Good luck!

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Posted by Shelia

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James Blake Suggests Davis Cup Change

World No. 13 James Blake believes the Davis Cup should take place as a one-off event rather than a competition lasting most of the year.

Blake, who was part of the USA team that won the trophy last month, said: "It would generate more excitement.

"As tennis players we see the Ryder Cup and how excited everyone gets and the patriotism and TV coverage. And to be honest, I'm a little jealous."

Source - The Press Association

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Posted by Shelia

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Australian Open Has Strongest Field In History

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Australian Open will have the strongest field in the tournament's 103-year history - all top-ranked 100 men and 99 of the top 100 women in January. Three-time champion Roger Federer heads the men's draw, while top-ranked Justine Henin - the 2004 champion - will be the women's No. 1 seed.

In the release of the first entry lists, the only omission from the top 100 women was Russia's Vera Dushevina, ranked 44th, who was forced to withdraw because of a right-foot injury.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said he was thrilled with the strength of the lineup for the Jan. 14-27 tournament.

"At this stage, it's the strongest field in the event's history and we're sure this will equate to one of the most exciting tournaments yet," he said.

The men's field will be completed by 16 qualifiers and eight wild cards, while the women's field has 12 qualifiers and eight wild cards.

The women's field has five former champions in Henin, the Williams sisters - Venus and defending champion Serena - Amelie Mauresmo and Lindsay Davenport. The men's field includes three past winners - Federer, Thomas Johansson and Marat Safin.

Defending champion Serena Williams is fit and playing well, what are the odds that she can take home a fourth title? That Roger Federer will continue his dominance? Or that Novak Djokovic will make a surprise run. There will be a variety of odds wagered for the 2008 Australian Open and the other grands slams as well. You can find out more about Tennis odds at this premium source for Tennis Betting.

I'm looking forward to a thrilling Australian Open with odds in favor of Serena Williams and Roger Federer adding more trophies to their cases. Who are you in favor of?

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Posted by Shelia

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Venus Williams One of Vogue's Best Dressed 2007

Whether wearing the beads in her braids that popped like pearls at a party, the sleek Diane Von Furstenberg-designed dress she wore at the 2003 Wimbledon, the hoop earrings that orbit her ears like small satellites, the ever-present adhesive tape wrapping her wrists during matches, the bold black mini-skirt that’s part of her recently-launched EleVen By Venus line or the cap and gown she donned for the graduation ceremony while receiving her associate’s degree in Fashion Design from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale last week, Venus Williams has always had her own singular sense of style.

It’s not enough for Venus to play great tennis, she wants to look great playing it.

Now the woman has complemented her decorating firm, V Starr Interiors, with the August launch her new clothing line, EleVen, has cracked a very exclusive top 10: Venus is in Vogue.

The four-time Wimbledon winner and dress designer makes her mark as one of the world’s best-dressed women in Vogue Magazine’s Top 10 Best Dressed List for 2007.

Venus joins Kate Bosworth, Kathryn Neale, Astrid Munoz, Georgina Chapman, Kelly Wearstler, Amy Greenspon, Caroline Sieber, Huma Abedin and Agyness Deyn on Vogue’s elite list.

For full article follow link to TennisWeek.com

Thanks for the referral Unit6109!

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Posted by Shelia

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Fit Williams Fires Up For Hopman Cup Comeback

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Defending Australian Open champion Serena Williams has shaken off a knee injury in time to take her place in the Hyundai Hopman Cup at the Burswood Dome later this month.

Williams had to pull out of the season-ending tournament in Madrid early last month due to a recurrence of the knee complaint.

But the eight-times grand slam champion proved her fitness for the $1 million ITF Perth mixed teams international, starting in a fortnight, when she played at a charity event in the United States last weekend.

Williams played mixed doubles with Mardy Fish, who she will partner at Hopman Cup XX, and James Blake.

Blake and Williams are former winners in Perth, combining to beat Alicia Molik and Lleyton Hewitt in the final of Hopman Cup XV in 2002-03. It was the last time Williams played in the tournament.

Blake was again successful a year later when he combined with Lindsay Davenport to defeat Slovak Republic pair Daniela Hantuchova and Karol Kucera in the final.

Davenport replaced Williams at late notice that year when Williams was forced to pull out after knee surgery and the death of her half-sister.

Hopman Cup tournament director Paul McNamee was pleased to see Williams on track for an Australian summer campaign starting in Perth.

“Serena played well at the charity event, she’s happy and it was a really good hit-out for the Hopman Cup,” McNamee said.

“It’s just good to see her back out on the court because she hadn’t played since she had to pull out of the year end tournament in Madrid.”

McNamee said he was keeping close tabs on Williams.

“The year after she won it (Hopman Cup) she did have to withdraw,” he said. “It’s a matter I want to keep on top of because you want to keep faith with the public. Along with Jelena Jankovic on the women’s side, Serena is the biggest star.

“She is the reigning Australian Open champion and a former winner of the tournament.”

Williams will be protecting an unbeaten record when she plays at the Hopman Cup.

The 26-year-old has singles wins against Uzbekistan’s Iroda Tulyaganova, Belgium’s Kim Clijsters, Spain’s Virginia Ruano Pascual and Australia’s Molik, and won all her mixed doubles rubbers with Blake.

Field – Group A: Serbia (No. 1 seed) Jelena Jankovic (world No. 3) Novak Djokovic (3); France (4) Tatiana Golovin (13) Gael Monfils (38); Argentina (5) Gisela Dulko (38) Juan Ignacio Chela (20); Chinese Taipei (8) Su-Wei Hsieh (156) Yen-Hsun Lu (110). Group B: US (2) Serena Williams (7) Mardy Fish (39); Czech Republic (3) Lucie Safarova (23) Tomas Berdych (14); Australia (6) Alicia Molik (56) Peter Luczak (79); India (7) Sania Mirza (31) Rohan Bopanna (267).

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Source -- The West.au.com Russell Reid

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Posted by Shelia

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Wordless Wednesday: "Merry Christmas Everybody, God's Blessings to Each and Every One"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

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Posted by Shelia

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Zina Garrison Out As Fed Cup Captain in 2009

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The USTA has announced that former doubles partners Zina Garrison and Mary Joe Fernandez will serve as Captain and Coach of the U.S. Fed Cup Team, respectively, for 2008.

In addition, it was announced that Fernandez will become the United States Fed Cup Captain in 2009. Fernandez will work closely with Garrison and the team for the 2008 Fed Cup campaign as she transitions from Coach to Captain. The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club will host the 2008 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas quarterfinal between the United States and Germany on February 2-3 in La Jolla, Calif.

“I anticipate an exciting final year as Captain in the hopes of bringing the Fed Cup home to the U.S.,” said Zina Garrison. “Mary Joe and I are looking forward to building a strong transition as she evolves from Coach to Captain over the course of 2008. I can think of no better person to assist as Coach in 2008 and serve as Captain in 2009.”

“I am thrilled to be part of the U.S. Fed Cup team once again,” said Fernandez. “Fed Cup was one of the most important and memorable times of my career. I am excited to be working with Zina in 2008, and then taking on the Captain’s role in 2009.”

"We have a great history in this competition and one of our top priorities is to bring the Fed Cup back to the U.S.," said Jane Brown Grimes, USTA President and Chairman of the Board. "With Zina and Mary Joe working together, we like our chances in 2008."

Zina and Mary Joe have been two of the most committed Fed Cup competitors and certainly two of the greatest ambassadors for the sport today, and we’re thrilled they will be working together in 2008,” said Arlen Kantarian, CEO, Professional Tennis, USTA. “In addition, we are very pleased that Mary Joe - one of the classiest and most respected people in the game - has accepted the role of Captain for 2009.”

The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, which hosted sold-out crowds for a U.S. Davis Cup first round tie in 2006, has been selected as the host site for the quarterfinal between the United States and Germany, February 2-3. The USTA will construct a temporary stadium for the two day, best-of-five match quarterfinal.

Fernandez, 36, helped the U.S. Fed Cup team reach the finals in four of her six years as a member of the U.S. Fed Cup team, including a title win in 1996. Overall, she posted a 16-10 Fed Cup record (12-8 singles) in 18 Fed Cup ties. Fernandez is a three-time Olympic medal winner, capturing a gold medal in doubles and bronze medal in singles in Barcelona in 1992, and a second doubles gold medal in Atlanta in 1996. In her pro career, she captured seven WTA Tour singles titles and 19 doubles titles. She won two Grand Slam doubles titles, one at the 1991 Australian Open and one at the 1996 French Open. Fernandez is a well-known ESPN
commentator and has been broadcasting US Open Series tournaments for the past four years. She also is one of the commentators for CBS Sports during its coverage of the US Open.

Garrison, 44, is the 18th U.S. Fed Cup Captain since the competition began in 1963 and first African-American Captain in the competition’s history. She debuted as the U.S. Fed Cup Captain in 2004, succeeding Billie Jean King, and has led the team to one runner-up and three semifinal finishes in her four-year tenure. As a player, Garrison spent eight years on the U.S. Fed Cup team (1984-87, 1989-91, 1994), helping the U.S. win three titles and posting a 22-5 overall record (7-4 singles) in 23 ties. Garrison also represented the U.S. at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, winning a gold medal in doubles and a bronze medal in singles.

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is the world’s largest annual international women’s team competition with 86 countries competing in 2008. The United States leads all nations with 17 Fed Cup titles, the last coming in 2000, and is one of eight nations competing for the 2008 Fed Cup title as part of the Fed Cup World Group.

Source -- USTA

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Manic Monday: "Carol"

Monday, December 17, 2007

Diahann Carroll (b. July 17, 1935) is an American Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning actress and singer. Born Carol Diahann Johnson in The Bronx, New York, she attended Manhattan's School of Performing Arts, along with schoolmate Billy Dee Williams. Her family moved to the Harlem neighborhood of New York City when she was one and a half years old.
Carroll has had four marriages, one of which produced a daughter, Suzanne Kay Bamford, who became a freelance media journalist. She married last in 1987 to her fourth husband, singer Vic Damone, which lasted until 1996. Carroll is a breast cancer activist and survivor, who in order to draw attention to the cause, invited a camera crew into her treatment room for a national broadcast special.

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