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Roddick, Blake And Bryans Comprise U.S. Davis Cup Team

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's 2009 U.S. Davis Cup Team(l-r) Andy Roddick, James Blake, Bob and Mike Bryan, Captain Patrick McEnroe



WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — James Blake is joining Andy Roddick and the Bryan brothers on the U.S. Davis Cup team that will play Croatia in next month's quarterfinals.

U.S. captain Patrick McEnroe has picked Blake over Sam Querrey and Mardy Fish.

Blake lost in the first round at Wimbledon last week. Fish reached the third round, Querrey the second.

This is the 12th time in the last 13 Davis Cup contests that McEnroe is using the same quartet of players.

The best-of-five quarterfinal will be July 10-12 on an indoor clay court in Porec, Croatia.

Croatia has beaten the U.S. both times the countries have played in Davis Cup — the only country that has a winning record against the Americans.

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I'm Sorry... Black Tennis Pro's Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Monday, June 29, 2009


I apologize for the delays in accessing Black Tennis Pro's. My file hosts server is down. Hope to be running smoothly soon.

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Entertainment Icon Michael Jackson Dead At 50

Thursday, June 25, 2009


(CNN) -- Entertainer Michael Jackson has died after being taken to a hospital on Thursday after suffering cardiac arrest, according to multiple reports including the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press. CNN has not confirmed his death.

Jackson, 50, had been in a coma at the hospital, sources told CNN.

Brian Oxman, a Jackson family attorney, said he was told by brother Randy Jackson that Michael Jackson collapsed at his home in west Los Angeles, California, Thursday morning.

Family members were told of the situation and were either at the hospital or en route, Oxman said.

Fire Capt. Steve Ruda told CNN a 911 call came in from a west Los Angeles residence at 12:21 p.m.

Ruda said Jackson was treated and transferred to the UCLA Medical Center.

Asked specifics of the patient's condition, he said he could not discuss them because of federal privacy laws.

The music icon from Gary, Indiana, is known as the "King of Pop." Jackson had many No. 1 hits and his "Thriller" is the best-selling album of all time. Video Jackson "as big as it gets" »

Jackson is the seventh of nine children in a well-known musical family. He has three children, Prince Michael I, Paris and Prince Michael II.

At the medical center, every entrance to the emergency room was blocked by security guards. Even hospital staffers were not permitted to enter. A few people stood inside the waiting area, some of them crying.

A large crowd was also gathering outside the hospital, according to video footage.

Outside Jackson's Bel Air home, police arrived on motorcycles. The road in front of the home was closed in an attempt to hold traffic back, but several people were gathered outside the home.


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Posted by Shelia

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Venus Williams Makes Quick Work Of Voegele

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams 2009 Wimbledon Day 2Venus Williams, USA
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)



Black Tennis Pro's Stephanie Voegele 2009 Wimbledon Day 2WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Five-time champion Venus Williams recovered from an early stumble in her opening match at Wimbledon on Tuesday to beat Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland 6-3, 6-2.

It was Williams' first appearance on Centre Court since the 2008 final, when she beat sister Serena for her second Wimbledon title in a row.

Venus slipped five points into the match, one of several wobbly moments as she began her bid for a three-peat. She double-faulted in the opening game and had to erase two break points. She was passed the first two times she reached the net. She slipped and nearly fell a second time.

Then Williams found her footing, winning 14 consecutive points to help her take a 5-1 lead. She had another spurt in the second set after losing serve for 2-all, and swept the final four games.

Williams improved to 51-4 at the All England Club since 2000, when she won the title for the first time. She's seeded third but is the tournament favorite with London bookmakers.

The new retractable roof again worked as a deterrent for rain, with dry weather for a second successive day. Play began on a cloudless afternoon, prompting an official on the club's public-address system to urge that fans use sun block.

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Posted by Shelia

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(PHOTOS) Venus And Richard Williams Get In Early Morning Practice At Wimbledon

Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams 2009 Wimbledon Practice Day 2Venus Williams, USA
(Photos by Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)


Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams 2009 Wimbledon Practice Day 2Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams 2009 Wimbledon Practice Day 2Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams 2009 Wimbledon Practice Day 2Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams 2009 Wimbledon Practice Day 2Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams 2009 Wimbledon Practice Day 2Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams 2009 Wimbledon Practice Day 2Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams 2009 Wimbledon Practice Day 2

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Posted by Shelia

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Tsonga And His New Beard Through To Round Two

Black Tennis Pro's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2009 Wimbledon Day 1Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France
(Photos by AP)


Wimbledon's first round saw Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeat Kazakhstan's Andrev Golubev 6-3, 5-7, 77-64, 77-65 on Monday.

Tsonga's next opponent will be Italian Simone Bolelli.


Black Tennis Pro's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2009 Wimbledon Day 1


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Posted by Shelia

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In Style And In Form, Serena Advances At Wimbledon

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams 2009 Wimbledon Day 1Serena Williams, USA
(Photos by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)



Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams 2009 WimbledonWIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Serena Williams has advanced to the second round of Wimbledon by beating Neuza Silva of Portugal 6-1, 7-5.

Williams breezed through the first set and then relied on her powerful serve in the second. She did not face a break point in the entire match, only losing nine points on her serve.

Silva sent a shot wide to set up two match points for Williams, who converted the first one when her Portuguese opponent netted a backhand.

Williams is looking for her third Wimbledon title, while the 154th-ranked Silva was making her main draw debut.



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Posted by Shelia

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(PHOTOS) Serena Preps For First Wimbledon Match

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Wimbledon Day 1 WarmupAmerican Serena Williams practices prior to first match at Wimbledon 2009



Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Wimbledon Day 1 WarmupBlack Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Wimbledon Day 1 WarmupBlack Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Wimbledon Day 1 Warmup

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Posted by Shelia

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James Blake Out Of Wimbledon On Day One: "I Just Haven't Been As Confident"

Monday, June 22, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake 2009 Wimbledon Day 1James Blake, USA
(Photo by Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images)


Black Tennis Pro's Andreas Seppi 2009 Wimbledon Day 1WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — James Blake is finding it tough to pinpoint why he keeps losing matches he thinks he should win.

Once ranked in the top 10, once a fairly regular participant in the second week of major championships, Blake is now on a three-match losing streak at Grand Slam tournaments. The American's latest setback came Monday at Wimbledon, where the 17th-seeded Blake was beaten 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (5) by 50th-ranked Andreas Seppi of Italy.

"I still feel like I can play with anyone in the world, but it's just, for some reason lately, it's been very inconsistent," Blake said. "I've been doing all the training. I've been doing all the conditioning. I'm fit as I've been. I just haven't been as confident, I guess. Maybe that's just from not winning a lot of matches."

He also bowed out in the first round at the French Open last month, following a fourth-round exit at the Australian Open in January.

There were chances to get back into the match against Seppi. He held one set point in the third, leading 6-5, but missed a forehand long to end a 23-stroke exchange. Blake then took a 5-0 lead in the tiebreaker, before Seppi won the match's last seven points.

"I don't think I've ever done that before," said Seppi, who never has made it past the third round at a Grand Slam tournament. "I didn't think I would win that tiebreaker."

Blake thought he might be ready for a run at Wimbledon after reaching the final at the Queen's Club tuneup tournament on grass.

"I know I still have the ability," said Blake, who reached No. 4 in the rankings in November 2006 and is a three-time major quarterfinalist. "It's just frustrating, because it's happening at big tournaments where I'm having my not-so-good performances."

His best shot is his forehand, but Seppi neutralized that by repeatedly drawing Blake into backhand exchanges.

"Backhand-against-backhand is to my advantage. It's not like his backhand is all that strong," Seppi said. "I played more aggressively than usual, especially on his serve. If you let him take the initiative, especially on his forehand, he's very dangerous."

Not on this day. And not lately on tennis' top stages.

"I've had a lot of success, a lot of wins, but I still want more. That's why it's tough to accept nowadays, because I know I've done that and I know what it feels like to win and to go deep in Slams and to win tournaments, and I just haven't had that feeling lately," said the 29-year-old Blake, who was born in Yonkers, N.Y, and lives in Florida. "I definitely want it back, and I hope I have it enough times before I retire that I won't miss it as much when I retire."

He beat Seppi in their two most recent meetings, but the Italian wasn't intimidated when he found out Blake would be his first-round opponent. Seppi originally was drawn to face No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro, but the bracket was changed after defending champion Rafael Nadal pulled out of the tournament.

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Posted by Shelia

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Happy Father's Day Gentlemen!

Sunday, June 21, 2009



It's an important day...
one for recognizing qualities you've always possessed,
like intelligence, patience, devotion, humor, and for celebrating how they shine even brighter in a brand-new, beautiful light-
FATHERHOOD!



Mahogany/Hallmark Cards

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Posted by Shelia

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Nothing To Do With Tennis: Why Is Stephanie Mills Not Getting Any Props As The Wiz Hits Broadway Again?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Ashanti In The WizAshanti as Dorothy in "The Wiz"


Black Tennis Pro's Stephanie Mills Home Album CoverLet me begin by saying that I am very glad to see The Wiz back on Broadway, if only for a short period. I really like Ashanti, who will be playing the fabulous role of Dorothy. She's beautiful and talented and should be able to turn in a great performance. That said, why in the hell is Diana Ross still getting props for her "portrayal" of Dorothy?

The fact that Diana Ross was cast as Dorothy in the film version of The Wiz mystifies me to this day ... oh, wait, no it doesn't. Motown acquired the film rights didn't they? That explains it.

Can the international entertainment superstardom of Ms. Ross be denied? No indeed, and you would never catch me even considering the thought. Ms. Ross has my unyielding respect for the career she has amassed - Stop. Ms. Ross was no Dorothy. I believe the woman was in her early thirties, and though attractive, she did not look like the 'young' woman she was supposed to be portraying.

Although I was particularly peeved that Stephanie Mills had been given the boot from the film, I was even more bitterly disappointed when I saw the movie. Karma is a bankable currency and those who thought placing Ross in the role of Dorothy found that out - right in the pocket. Shame on them all these years later for dismissing Mills for what they thought would be a box office bonanza.

The Dorothy that should be getting some residual love off of this new production is none other than the originator of the role, Stephanie Mills. Anyone that has ever sat in a theater seat and heard that big voice come out of such a petite woman would never forget it. I have NEVER heard anyone sing "Home" like Mills, or turn in a better performance than her in this role. Ignoring the life that Mills breathed into Dorothy simply to keep Ross elevated for her lukewarm attempt is just ridiculous.




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Posted by Shelia

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Hello... Ladies Of The WTA Strike A Pose At Player Party

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's(L-R) Vera Zvonareva, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Anne Keothavong, Ana Ivanovic and Elena Dementieva pose during a studio session at The Ralph Lauren Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Pre-Wimbledon Party hosted by Richard Branson at The Roof Gardens on June 18, 2009 in London, England. (L-R) Vera Zvonareva, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Anne Keothavong, Ana Ivanovic and Elena Dementieva pose during a studio session at The Ralph Lauren Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Pre-Wimbledon Party hosted by Richard Branson at The Roof Gardens on June 18, 2009 in London, England.


Black Tennis Pro's (L-R) Vera Zvonareva, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Anne Keothavong, Ana Ivanovic and Elena Dementieva pose during a studio session at The Ralph Lauren Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Pre-Wimbledon Party hosted by Richard Branson at The Roof Gardens on June 18, 2009 in London, England. (L-R) WTA CEO Larry Scott, tennis players Vera Zvonareva, Venus Williams, Richard Branson Serena Williams, Anne Keothavong, Ana Ivanovic and Elena Dementieva


Black Tennis Pro's(L-R) Vera Zvonareva, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Anne Keothavong, Ana Ivanovic and Elena Dementieva pose during a studio session at The Ralph Lauren Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Pre-Wimbledon Party hosted by Richard Branson at The Roof Gardens on June 18, 2009 in London, England.
Black Tennis Pro's(L-R) Vera Zvonareva, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Anne Keothavong, Ana Ivanovic and Elena Dementieva pose during a studio session at The Ralph Lauren Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Pre-Wimbledon Party hosted by Richard Branson at The Roof Gardens on June 18, 2009 in London, England. (L-R) WTA CEO Larry Scott, tennis players Vera Zvonareva, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Anne Keothavong, Ana Ivanovic and Elena Dementieva, and Sony Ericsson Corporate Vice President of Global Communications Aldo Liguori (R)



Photos by WireImage


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(PHOTOS) Serena Gets Her Jog On As She Preps For Wimbledon

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams jogging in London before 2009 Wimbledon Serena Williams and her trainer working it out in London ahead of Wimbledon.


Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Jogging In London Ahead of 2009 Wimbledon


Photos by PA

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Angela Haynes And Shenay Perry Eliminated In Wimbledon Qualifying

Black Tennis Pro's Angela Haynes 2009 Wimbledon QualifyingAngela Haynes, USA


As day four of qualifying at Wimbledon wrapped up, two Americans, Angela Haynes and Shenay Perry, did not make the cut.

Ladies top seed Viktoriya Kutuzova was the first player to reach the main draw on the final day after a blistering 6-0, 6-2 win over Shenay Perry.

Haynes was knocked out by fellow American Abigail Spears 77-64, 5-7, 6-4.

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Posted by Shelia

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(Photos) Venus And Serena Attend WTA Tour Pre-Wimbledon Party


Americans Venus and Serena Williams attend the WTA Tour Pre-Wimbledon Party hosted by Ralph Lauren and Sony Ericsson at Kensington Roof Gardens on June 18, 2009 in London, England.


Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams Attends 2009 WTA Tour Pre-Wimbledon PartyBlack Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Attends 2009 WTA Tour Pre-Wimbledon Party
Black Tennis Pro's Kelly Rowland Attends 2009 WTA Tour Pre-Wimbledon PartySinger and television personality Kelly Rowland


Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams And Larry Scott Attend 2009 WTA Tour Pre-Wimbledon PartyVenus with WTA CEO Larry Scott


Black Tennis Pro's Ana Ivanovic Attend 2009 Pre-Wimbledon PartyAna Ivanovic, Serbia


Singer Michelle Williams


Black Tennis Pro's Venus and Serena Williams Attend 2009 WTA Tour Pre-Wimbledon PartyBlack Tennis Pro's Venus and Serena Williams Attend 2009 WTA Tour Pre-Wimbledon PartyBlack Tennis Pro's Venus and Serena Williams Attend 2009 WTA Tour Pre-Wimbledon PartyBlack Tennis Pro's Venus and Serena Williams Attend 2009 WTA Tour Pre-Wimbledon Party


Photos by
WireImage
PA


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Posted by Shelia

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Oh No! Frenchman Gael Monfils Withdraws From Wimbledon With Injury

Black Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils Withdraws from 2009 Wimbledon Championships

Gael Monfils, France


LONDON (AP) — Gael Monfils of France has pulled out of Wimbledon due to a wrist injury.

Tournament organizers announced his withdrawal on Thursday. His place in the men's singles draw will go to a loser from the qualifying rounds.

The withdrawal comes a week after the 14th-ranked Frenchman had to pull out of his scheduled match against Belgian Steve Darcis in the last 16 of the Queen's Club tournament.

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Posted by Shelia

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USA TODAY: Traveling With The Stars - Venus Williams

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Venus Williams, USA
(Photo by Charles William Bush Photography)


By Kelly Carter, special for USA TODAY


Venus Williams, the two-time defending Wimbledon singles champion and reigning doubles champ, begins her quest for her sixth Wimbledon singles trophy and eighth Grand Slam singles title when the tournament gets underway June 22 at the All England Club. The world's third-ranked player circles the globe on an annual basis and shares her travel highlights and tips with USA TODAY.

Q: Where have you been recently that you liked or were surprised by?

A: I went to the (Florida) Keys to Little Palm Island. It's really quiet and there are no TVs so you really have to have your books ready. And you have to be ready to get into the water. It was cool. I did two dives there. I'm now a scuba diver. I had been taking classes but I never got a chance to dive. I've never gone on vacation before. Since I travel so much, I really just want to be at home.

Q: What's the best place you've ever visited?

A: The best place is when I go to the Olympics. I went to Sydney, Athens and Beijing. Those are the best times. The whole city is magical. Everybody is happy and really enjoying the city. Olympics transform a city. I don't have a chance to see much. In Athens I had just one or two days. I went to the Plaka and to see the Acropolis, which for me was probably one of the most impressive things I've seen. In Beijing the Bird's Nest was just awesome. Those two were my most impressive sights — and St. Basil's church in Moscow.

When I lost early in Moscow I went to Crete (in Greece). It was really cool. There are so many things you can see there like the ruins. I stayed at the Blue Palace and it was fantastic — plus they have tennis courts. Little did they know my dog was staying there too. He's a Havanese and his name is Harold. He's so quiet and I took him everywhere I went. I was fighting for him too. They were telling me I couldn't take him on the airplane. I paid them some money.

Q: What's the most surprising/unexpected place you're ever visited?

A: Slovenia. It's really beautiful. I went to Portoroz. It's right by the Italian border and really pretty. Every day I took walks. It's so strange when you go to these places. I'm walking down the street and people are honking their horns. I'm like, "I didn't think anybody cared about me in this part of the world" but they do. It was pretty funny. I was actually there playing but I only played on the weekends. During the week I went shopping and took walks. There's not a ton to see there but it's a nice seaside town that is really pretty and relaxed.

Q: What's your favorite vacation spot?

A: I like Kauai. I went there after the Keys on a fitness vacation. It was me, my two sisters, Lyndrea and Isha, and my mom. We did yoga in the morning and mat pilates then we went on hikes and went to the beach. We had the chef cook us meals. It was great that my family was there.

Q: Can you offer an insider tip or recommendation for your favorite vacation place?

A: Stay at the Acapulco Princess in Acapulco. I went this year but I was playing. It was really nice and really pretty. You're so happy every morning when you wake up. I was actually lying in bed and I thought, I need a vacation. And then I realized I'm in Acapulco. Everybody else is vacationing except for me.

In Hawaii I would recommend, if you can, to rent a house. And I would recommend going see the Waimea Canyon.


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Posted by Shelia

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Blake and Kops-Jones Edged Out In London

Monday, June 15, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake 2009 AEGON FinalAmerican James Blake reacts after losing a point against Britain's Andy Murray during the singles final at The AEGON Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London
(Photo by Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)


Black Tennis Pro's Andy Murray Queens ClubLONDON (AP) — Andy Murray defeated James Blake 7-5, 6-4 Sunday to win the Aegon Championships at Queen's Club for his first grass-court title.

The top-seeded Murray became the first British player to win the tournament since Bunny Austin in 1938, who then went on to become the last Briton to reach the Wimbledon final.

"I was quite nervous," Murray said. "People were telling me that no (Briton) had won here for 70-odd years so that got the nerves going, especially when I was serving for the match."

Murray took an early lead with a break in the third game, but Blake immediately evened it with a forehand winner down the line. Both players then easily held serve until 5-5, when Blake missed a forehand on break point.

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake runner up AEGON Finals trophy presentationBlake accepts the runners up trophy from HRH Duchess of Gloucester (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


The second set was equally competitive until Murray broke for a decisive 4-3 lead when a fierce return forced Blake to net a backhand volley.

"I didn't quite know what to expect, but this is some of the best tennis I've played in my life," said Murray, who did not drop a set all week. "I'm a long way from winning Wimbledon, but I feel confident. I'll try and not get too far ahead of myself and focus on my first match there, but if I play my best like I did this week, I've got a chance."

Blake said he was beaten by a better player, but that he was pleased with preparation for Wimbledon, which starts June 22.

"I had a good week," Blake said. "Playing on the grass, I always have a lot of fun playing here. I feel great. I've been working with my coach and trainer, and I know I'm doing the best preparation possible for Wimbledon. I'll be ready to play and feel great about my chances."

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake and Andy Murray 2009 AEGON Final
It was Murray's fourth title of the year, following victories in Doha, Rotterdam and Miami.

The sixth-seeded Blake was playing his third grass-court final, after finishing runner-up here in 2006 to Lleyton Hewitt and losing the Newport final in 2002 to Taylor Dent. He was seeking his first title since August 2007.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal pulled out of the tournament to rest his knees ahead of Wimbledon.



Black Tennis Pro's Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears 2009 AEGON doubles finalAmericans Abigail Spears and Raquel Kops-Jones
(Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)


On day seven of the AEGON Classic at the Edgbaston Priory Club in Birmingham, England, Zimbabwean Cara Black and American Liezel Huber, the top seeds and No.1 pair in the world, won the doubles title in Edgbaston on Sunday afternoon.

Black and Huber retained the title they won together last year by defeating American No.4 seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears 6-1 6-4 in under an hour.

Black Tennis Pro's Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears 2009 AEGON doubles finalBlack Tennis Pro's Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears 2009 AEGON doubles final


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Posted by Shelia

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