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Poor Pennetta, Venus Unyielding In Taking 41st Title

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams Abierto Mexicano Tecel Final
Got somewhere to go Venus?

My goodness! American Venus Williams took it to Italian Flavia Pennetta as if she had somewhere else important to go. The match lasted 62 minutes, but it seemed to go by much faster.

With an array of winning shots, five aces and a forehand that smacked everybody who doubts it in the face, Venus earned her 41st title at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco a short while ago.

Pennetta took her bruising like a woman though. After being assaulted 6-1, 6-2, she still smiled as she spoke Spanish during the trophy presentation.

Black Tennis Pro's Flavia Pennetta Abierto Mexicano Telcel Final
Venus said she was sorry that she couldn't speak Spanish like Pennetta, but she did say "gracias," and "I hope to be back here next year."

Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams Abierto Mexicano Tecel FinalBlack Tennis Pro's Flavia Pennetta Abierto Mexicano Tecel FinalBlack Tennis Pro's Venus Williams Abierto Mexicano Tecel Final Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams Abierto Mexicano Tecel FinalBlack Tennis Pro's Venus Williams Abierto Mexicano Tecel FinalBlack Tennis Pro's Venus Williams Abierto Mexicano Tecel FinalBlack Tennis Pro's Venus Williams Abierto Mexicano Tecel Final


Photos by:
Getty Images
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Gael's Guns

Friday, February 27, 2009


I don't know what kind of workout Gael is conducting in addition to playing tennis, but he definitely gets a 21 gun salute!




Photo by AP



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Venus Williams and Gael Monfils Continue Acapulco Surge

American Venus Williams won her second straight three-set match on Thursday to reach the semifinals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel. Venus defeated Agnes Szavay 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.

In the semifinal round Venus will play Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic.



The very animated Frenchman Gael Monfils showed that he can get up!

Also reaching the semifinals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel, Monfils was ahead in his match against Argentine Leonardo Mayer 6-3, 6-7 (3), 4-1, when Mayer retired due to cramps.

Monfils is scheduled to play another Argentine, Jose Acasuso, in the semifinals.



Photos by AP

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Portrait Of A First Lady

The White House has released the official portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama. It was taken in the Blue Room of the White House.

Absolutely beautiful - Work it First Lady!

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Andre Agassi Joins Teammate Venus Williams Playing World Team Tennis For The Philadelphia Freedoms

Thursday, February 26, 2009


NEW YORK, N.Y. (February 26, 2009) - Andre Agassi will return to professional team tennis competition this summer, playing two matches for the Philadelphia Freedoms of the Advanta World TeamTennis Pro League. League officials announced Agassi's return when they released the 2009 schedule today.

The 2009 Advanta WTT Pro League schedule includes 73 matches in 10 markets, beginning July 2 and running through July 26. The Eastern and Western Conference Champions will battle for the Advanta WTT Championship title on July 26.

Agassi, who previously played World TeamTennis from 2002 to 2004, will play for the Freedoms on July 10 in Philadelphia and one road match on July 17 in Newport Beach, Calif. "Playing World TeamTennis is a great experience," said Agassi. "Team play is a terrific way to showcase tennis, especially for kids. WTT is competitive, it's fun and there's a really great energy from the fans. I'm looking forward to playing WTT again."

Agassi, who won 60 career singles titles including eight Grand Slam singles championships, is the only man to win all four Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal. One of tennis' true superstars, Agassi is also widely respected for his philanthropy. In 1994, he established the Andre Agassi Foundation which is dedicated to transforming U.S. public education for underserved youth. Agassi opened a public charter school in Las Vegas in 2001, the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, in one of the city's most socio-economically disadvantaged neighborhoods to improve lives through education. The school will have its first senior graduating class this spring.

"It's exciting to have Andre back in the Advanta World TeamTennis Pro League," said WTT CEO/Commissioner Ilana Kloss. "Not only is he one of the game's greatest ambassadors, but he has a unique connection with fans. He always brings something special to the court."

Agassi joins previously announced marquee players including Serena Williams (Washington Kastles), Venus Williams (Philadelphia Freedoms), Martina Navratilova (Boston Lobsters), John McEnroe (New York Sportimes); Anna Kournikova (St. Louis Aces), Michael Chang (Sacramento Capitals) and Bob and Mike Bryan (Kansas City Explorers).

Serena Williams will play four times for her Washington Kastles this summer. The 2009 Australian Open champion begins her WTT season with three road matches - July 9 in Boston, July 10 in New York City and July 13 in Philadelphia. Williams makes her only home appearance in Washington, D.C., on July 14.


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2009 USA Davis Cup Roster Remains The Same

Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe is sticking with familiar faces in sending out Andy Roddick, James Blake and the doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan against Switzerland in the Birmingham, Alabama first-round match which has been hit by the withdrawal of Federer due to a back injury.

"With Roger pulling out, that changes the dynamic," McEnroe said in a conference call.

"If Roger had been playing it would have been pretty even. Roger being out makes us a pretty solid favorite, but we're not overlooking the team the Swiss are bringing."

World number two Federer, runner-up at the Australian Open in January, announced his withdrawal last week.

"To be honest, I was a little disappointed."

"We were all looking forward to the challenge of playing Roger and the buzz he would help bring to the match."

The United States won the Cup two years ago and last year reached the semifinals before losing to Spain, the eventual champions.

"For us the goal is to try to get back into the later rounds and try to win the cup again," the U.S. captain said.

"We certainly have the capability of doing that and that's the bigger term goal, so we certainly like the fact that we have a better chance to advance.

"I'll probably sleep a little bit better next week as we prepare for the match and not have to prepare for Roger."


Photo by Getty Images

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An American And A Frenchman Progressing In Mexico


Both American Venus Williams and Frenchman Gael Monfils have advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL.

Monfils defeated Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 7-6 (3), 6-7 (2), 6-1. His next scheduled opponent is Argentine Leonardo Mayer.

Venus defeated Hungarian Greta Arn 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. Her next scheduled opponent is Hungarian Agnes Szavay.



Photos by Getty Images

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Venus Blogs From Acapulco

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams in AcapulcoACAPULCO, México - In Dubai over the weekend, Venus Williams became the first active player to win 40 singles titles on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Now, after more than a full day of flying, she goes for No.41 in Acapulco. The picturesque Mexican city will also be the backdrop for the legend's Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Blog this week.

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hello one last time from Acapulco!

I had my best match of the tournament at the right time. It was tough making the transition from hard to clay so fast, but I think I've managed to do it. I had a lot of struggles and learned a lot from my other matches this week before finally playing well. I actually started feeling great in the warm-up, and in the match I was serving well, which always helps. I think she played well too but today came down to who controlled the points, and I think I did that better. Flavia and I have played some good matches back in the day though, and she definitely deserved to win the ones she did. This one was so important to me. Matches like this, in the final of a tournament, are the most important to me.

I also get to keep the hat! My dad wants the hat already. I've told him I'll give it to him, so I guess I've gotta give it up. The trophy was super cool too, but I don't get to keep it. I'm excited I got to hold it though.

I'm feeling good about the last two weeks. I've been able to win because I've been preparing better and staying healthy. Obviously the Australian Open didn't go the way I planned, but as long as I can keep my health up, I can still win like this. I learned a lot from that loss. I thought very hard about it. I went home and figured stuff out. It was annoying to me that it happened, because I worked so hard in the off-season... it just wasn't acceptable. But there's always something to make you work harder and try to do better - hopefully that's my something.

I'm going to Madison Square Garden in New York next. I was really tired before the final tonight. I was thinking, 'Oh my gosh, hopefully I can get through the next few days.' But as soon as I got out there I got a lot of energy. As long as you don't think about your fatigue, it helps. And now I'm really excited and energized about Madison Square Garden. I've already made my game plan. I'm excited about the clay court season too, and that's just around the corner.

When I get back home, I'll be taking at least six days off. I'm going to try not to do any exercise! Actually, my new thing is pilates. I do some yoga too, but my favorite thing now is the pilates reformer. I never used to like working out. It used to be the bane of my existence. But I had a life change last year and started liking it, thank the Lord. We turned our library into a gym (I love to reorganize!) I'd go to practice then grind it out in the library, then grind a little more, then another workout... I was insane! Anyway, I actually want to get certified for pilates... I'm so nerdy, I can't take enough classes and get enough degrees.

Thank you all very much for your recommendations on the fantasy books. I'll let you all know next time what I ended up going with!

That's all for this week... I really enjoyed doing the blog, thank you so much for reading, I can't wait 'til next time! Hopefully next time it'll be more action-packed!

Venus

Question of the Day: What's the first thing you'll do when you finally get back home? - Logan, Canada
I really want to just lie down on my bed, but I also want to see Harold, my dog. He's a Havanese. He was an impulse buy - I was at the pet shop and he was just so cute, so I called Serena and told her about him, and she said 'I love him already!' But she hadn't even seen him yet! Of course, I got him. I don't normally care much about breeds, but I really wanted a dog who would stay small, so I could travel anywhere with him. I'm getting off subject here though. The first thing I'll do when I get home is hang out, lay down, waste time and see Harold!

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Hi guys!

It was another relaxing day today, I was basically in a coma until my match. I did receive some terrible news though: they cancelled Starter Wife. I was just talking about how it's my new favorite show, and they go and cancel it! I was thinking about this. I'm always reading so many books, and I've been watching so many of these TV shows the last few weeks that I haven't done any reading at all. TV really does neutralize you. And you'd think I'd still have more episodes to go before I'm done the series, but when you sit in your hotel room all day...

My match tonight was well contested - I know the score was 60 63, but it took 90 minutes, which is pretty long for that score. It really takes more work on the clay. The first set was obviously great. The second set was a little tougher, but there was nothing I wasn't prepared to do. And I felt like whenever the big points came up, I came up with the goods, especially on my serve. I find a way.

The last time I did the blog, I was reading the book The Ruins. That story was so depressing, and it has become a movie since then. Now, I only read fantasy. I was waiting for the new Paolini book Brisingr to come out, but Serena has been holding me off on reading it, and I'm also trying to keep it for a long trip. For example, the one from Dubai to Acapulco... (I forgot to bring it!) It'll have to wait until later this year. I know once I start it I'll finish it so quickly, and then I'll be sad because there's nothing left to read! Anyway, I'm constantly looking for new fantasy books to read. I'm taking recommendations, if you guys have any?

I haven't really been to the restaurants here, but I like the food. Tacos make me happy. I'm getting tired of all the eating though! I have breakfast, then half my lunch before practice and the other half before I play, then some more food after the match. It's a little bit hard eating this much. I'll be happy to have a break from it next week! And if you're wondering about the pancakes and syrup I was talking about earlier in the week... I've had the pancakes, but I had them plain :(

This has been an early night compared to the other nights! It's about 1am... now I don't know what to do with myself! Maybe I'll call some of the other players' rooms and see if they'd like to play...

Venus

P.S. I've put a picture up of me and my friend and personal assistant Jessica...

Question of the Day: How do you get past those days when you wake up and don't feel like training? - Johnson, New Zealand
I call it the battle with the bed. Actually, Serena made that up. It's when you just don't want to get up. I'm much better than what I used to be: I would just sleep in and not care, and then my whole day would be wrecked. I'd be so behind in everything and would get so stressed. Now I can take a few days off, but if I take too many days off I start getting anxious, because I know I'm not paying the price. I feel comfortable when I do pay the price. When Serena and I would be losing the battle with the bed, we'd text each other. From across the house. I know, it's just ridiculous. I'd say 'I'm losing,' and she'd say 'Oh no, really? I am too!' We'd basically be laying down doing nothing and texting each other.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hey everyone!

After getting a little bit of ice at the physio and some food at the hotel, I was able to get to bed right away last night. It was a tough night though, because I'd lost my phone and kept dreaming about it. I kept waking up wondering where it was then trying to go back to sleep, but finally I just woke up and tried to figure out where it was. It was actually in the locker room! I was so happy it hadn't been thrown out with the towels. I really thought I'd lost it. Thankfully, I got it back.

I didn't do much differently during the day today, as I had to rest up then get ready for my match. I managed to watch a few episodes of The Starter Wife, my new thing now. I looked around to find things to do but when you're playing later in the day and have to wait around, it's important to rest most of the time.

I can't believe I finished before midnight tonight! It was another three-setter and my opponent played well. I had to take it to another level. I was aggressive and just didn't have any of the issues I had last night. I'm getting more comfortable with the courts here, and I've reached my first goal of getting to the semifinals.

They asked me about my dress, the Goddess Dress, in the press conference after the match. It's actually going to be retiring after this tournament :( It debuted last year at Wimbledon and had more life at the US Open and at the Australian Open. This is its last tournament though. It might be hard to say goodbye! But I'll be unveiling a new dress at my next event. I need to be as fashionable as possible!

I've been taking pictures with my new Sony Ericsson phone this week. I've put another one up in the gallery (and it's here in the blog too), of me gearing up for my match. As you can see from this picture and the others the hotel is really, really nice. And it's nice hanging out here. It's like I'm on vacation, even though I'm not. But, I guess I can look at other people vacationing.

I'm going to go back to the hotel and lay down now, maybe catch an episode of Starter Wife before I go to sleep. I'll write again tomorrow, maybe even earlier!

Venus

Question of the Day: As a fellow Grey's fan, are you a McDreamy or a McSteamy girl? - Bobby, USA

I like McSteamy. I don't know why, I just like him better. McDreamy's good, but he's constantly lost. McSteamy knows what he's going for and just does it.


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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It was another late night tonight. I don't even know if Greta and I got on the court before 10 o'clock, it was maybe 9:30, or something really late! I lost serve in the first game, which wasn't a great start, but I got going pretty good the rest of the first set. Then in the second set, she changed her game plan completely and started lobbing. I haven't seen that game since the juniors! I wasn't prepared emotionally and mentally for it, especially emotionally. I made a lot of errors. She made a lot of good shots too, some crowd-pleasing shots, but I'm happy I was able to win in the end.

Not much else happened today. I just rested during the day because I wasn't playing until night. Nothing too cool was going on!

It's almost 2am now, and I'm just going to go back to the hotel and go to bed. Last night I said I might have trouble convincing myself to go to sleep, but tonight I'll definitely be able to calm down. My legs are weak. I'm so sleepy...

Tomorrow I'm playing earlier. I'll talk to you all again after my match!

Venus

Question of the Day: Did you bring your Yorkshire Terrier to Acapulco with you? - Jane, USA
Noooo :( Harold isn't here. He couldn't come because the airline wouldn't let me bring him on the plane with me. I miss the little guy. I had everything all ready for him here in the hotel, but I didn't know he wouldn't be allowed on the plane. He's at a daycare right now, poor little guy. He'll be on the next trip for sure.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hello again everyone!

So Isha and I did end up going around Acapulco last night. We didn't drive around too much though, because I think I almost fell into a coma, I was ready to just give up and go to sleep! But I stayed out long enough to do a bit of shopping: I got a necklace, it has silver and opal on it. It's pretty cool.

Today went really well. I woke up in the morning and went to practice, and I was having so much fun that the hour went by so fast. In the afternoon I spent some time catching up on my e-mail and watching TV shows. I've been downloading TV shows from iTunes... like Grey's Anatomy (my favorite show), The Starter Wife and The Practice. It was a slow, slow afternoon!

Later on I went out and warmed up, hit some balls and ate, the typical routine for an athlete. I'm feeling confident about my game, so nothing too much.

I had a tough start to my match tonight. She was playing well and aggressively. I wish I could have gotten more serves in. I got through it though, and I'm just looking forward to my next match tomorrow night. I don't mind playing at night, I just play when the tournament tells me to!

Well it's midnight now, I've got to calm down and try to go to bed. I can't stay up reading or watching TV shows. I love to multitask. I have a fear of missing out. It sounds childish, I know, but I really have to convince myself to go to sleep.

I'll talk to you all again after my match tomorrow night!

Venus

Question of the Day: What do you always keep with you during your travels around the world? - Magdas, The Netherlands
I always have my bible with me when I travel. I read from it every day. When I don't, I feel like I'm going feral. I don't know if that makes any sense.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Hello again everyone! I'm excited to be blogging again, this time from Acapulco!

The trip here from Dubai... oh my gosh, it was long. I didn't realize it would be that long. It took 30 hours to get here, which was my longest trip ever! But I was mentally prepared for it. I was strategic: I only slept on the first flight, and after I landed in New York, I didn't sleep until I got here. It was a winning game plan. I got a full night's sleep last night and woke up happy.

I got to Acapulco around 10 last night, opened the windows and the sea was right there. I was SO happy! Then I went to the player party, it was a White Party. But I was wearing my black warm-up suit! With a green stripe... Anyway, the party was really nice. The chicken was great - I really love meat, I just had to try it.

This morning it got even better. I went down for breakfast and I just knew it was American breakfast, I could just smell it! I smelled the pancakes and syrup. I was way too happy about it. I even took a picture of myself at breakfast - it was just ridiculous. The strange thing is, I usually can't stand breakfast! I never eat it. But I was just so happy to smell the syrup. I think it was the feeling of smelling something from back home. It was a long way from Dubai and there were so many hardships along the way, I didn't think I'd ever make it here. But I kept a positive attitude on the trip. I took it one mile at a time.

I was very busy today. I practiced first thing in the morning and had my workout, then spent the afternoon in interviews and meetings. Now I have a little free time. I'm trying not to fall asleep - that would undermine my whole success so far! I'm about to go to the training room and then I'm planning on just relaxing. I'll be playing matches every day starting tomorrow, so I'm hoping I can get into a car and just have a look around Acapulco tonight. Then I'm going to settle in here and hopefully start winning matches!

So, nothing too interesting yet, just living the dream in Acapulco!

Venus

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Photo by © Getty Images


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Ellen To Serena: "Your Boyfriend Is So 'UnCommonly' Good"

If you missed the "Ellen" show when Serena Williams made a recent appearance, you missed a lot of fun.

Two particularly funny segments were the first part of the interview when the two had a shamelessly sponsor plugging moment, and then Ellen inquired about Serena's significant other.

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams on Ellen
Ellen: (Regarding the Australian Open) It was hot there right?

Serena: Oh my God, it was so hot. At one point it was like, I think they said it was 125 degrees on the court. And it was just like, literally I was running and like thinking this is almost not worth it... is this worth it? (laughs)

Ellen: How long does a set like that last, a match?

Serena: Well, ummm, it depends like, cause if it's that hot, normally you just, you know, no more than two hours - but that's just crazy.

Ellen: But two hours in 125 degrees, I mean... how are you not melting to the court? How, how are your shoes not melting onto the...

Serena: Well, I mean, Niki makes the best shoes so I clearly (laughs)... all the other people have lots of problems but I was fine.

Ellen: Good answer - you should buy them with American Express cards - and when you're done playing, put on Cover Girl makeup.


Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams on Ellen
Then, Ellen surprises Serena by beginning the segment with something that clearly was not true.

Ellen: Alright, we're back with Serena Williams, and you were talking about you wanted to mention your boyfriend's name.

Serena: (Looks at her in surprise) I don't, no...

Ellen: Well, anyway... but when he calls you it just must be music to your ears... cause he's so "unCommonly" good.

Okay, so she's going to play a little game called 'Smash My Face,' and here's how it's going to work.

Serena: Okay, I'm ready to smash your face. (Serena clapping) Let's play! Let's play!

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams on EllenBlack Tennis Pro's Serena Williams on Ellen



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WTA, ATP And USTA Pro Circuit Tennis Action This Week

SINGLES

Round 1

Venus Williams, USA defeated Nuria Llagostera Vives, ESP
6-4, 4-6, 6-2

Round 2

Venus Williams, USA defeated Greta Arn, HUN
6-3, 6-7(3), 6-4

Quarterfinal Round

Venus Williams, USA defeated Agnes Szavay, HUN
6-2, 5-7, 6-1

Semifinal Round

Venus Williams, USA defeated Barbora Zahlavova Strycov, CZE
6-0, 6-3

Final

Venus Williams, USA defeated Flavia Pennetta, ITA
6-1, 6-2


Eliminated during singles qualifying rounds:

Megan Moulton-Levy, USA
Danielle Mills, USA


DOUBLES

Round 1

Jeff Coetzee, RSA and Wesley Moodie, RSA
defeated
Janko Tipsarevic, SRB and Viktor Troicki, SRB
6-3, 6-4

Quarterfinal Round

Jeff Coetzee, RSA and Wesley Moodie, RSA
defeated by
David Ferrer, ESP and Marat Safin, RUS
7-6, 4-6 [10/12]


SINGLES

Round 1

Gael Monfils, FRA defeated Olivier Patience, FRA
7-6(4), 6-4

Round 2

Gael Monfils, FRA defeated Thomaz Bellucci, BRA
7-6(4), 6-7(5), 6-1

Quarterfinal Round

Gael Monfils, FRA defeated Leonardo Mayer, ARG

6-3, 7(4)-6, 4-1(Ret'd)

Semifinal Round

Gael Monfils, FRA defeated Jose Acasuso, ARG
6-3, 6-4

Final

Gael Monfils, FRA defeated by Nicolas Almagro, ESP
4-6, 4-6

SINGLES

Round 1

Donald Young, USA defeated by Somdev Devvarman, IND
6-4, 6-4


SINGLES

Round 1

Stephanie Foretz, FRA defeated Jessica Moore, AUS
6-4, 6-4

Round 2

Stephanie Foretz, FRA defeated by Evgeniya Rodina, RUS
1-6, 5-7


DOUBLES

Round 1

Megan Moulton-Levy, USA and Varvara Lepchenko, USA
defeated by
Mara Kondratieva, RUS and Sophie LeFevre, FRA
3-6, 6-2, [16/14]


SINGLES

Round 1

Nicholas Monroe, USA defeated by Alexander Somogyi, SVK
1-6, 6-4, 7-5

Jarmere Jenkins, USA defeated by Uladzimir, Ignatik, BLR
6-3, 6-2


DOUBLES

Round 1

Nicholas Monroe, USA and Fritz Wolmarans, RSA
defeated by
Lester Cook, USA and Shane La Porte, USA
6-3, 6-3


Paul Todd, USA and Treat Conrad Huey, PHI
defeated
Daniel Lustig, CZE, and Juho Paukku, FIN
7-6(5), 6-2

Quarterfinal Round

Nicholas Monroe, USA and Frit Wolmarans, RSA
defeated by
Luis Diaz-Barriga, MEX and Antonio Ruiz-Rosales, MEX
6-7(3), 4-6

Paul Todd, USA and Treat Conrad Huey, PHI
defeated
Tigran Martirosyan, ARM and Jesse Witten, USA
0-6, 6-3 [10-6]

Semifinal Round

Paul Todd, USA and Treat Conrad Huey, PHI
defeated
Luis Diaz-Barriga, MEX and Antonio Ruiz-Rosales, MEX
6-1, 6-4


UPDATE:

Last Week at the Sanderson Volvo Future Stars Women's $25K, Surprise, Arizona the doubles team of:

Asha Rolle, USA and Vanina Wickmeyer, USA
defeated by
Jorjelina Cravero, ARG and Ekaterina Ivanova, RUS
6-1, 6-1


At the Brownsville Men's Professional Tennis Tournament, Brownsville, Texas in the singles event:

Nicholas Monroe, USA defeated by Michael Russell, USA
6-2, 6-4

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Gatorade G2 "Everyday Athlete" Search: Serena Selects Serena

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Gatorade G2 Everyday AthleteSearch winner Serena Cuevas and Serena Williams attend the Gatorade G2 Everyday Athlete Search at the Roosevelt Hotel on February 24, 2009 in Hollywood, California.


TENNIS STAR SERENA WILLIAMS SELECTS HER MATCH AT

GATORADE G2 EVERYDAY ATHLETE SEARCH


Five Semi-Finalists – All Named Serena -- Share Their Inspired “Everyday Athlete” Stories

For Chance To Appear Next to Serena Williams in G2 Low-Calorie Sports Drink Campaign

HOLLYWOOD, CA. (February 24, 2009) – Top world ranked tennis player Serena Williams – who just came off winning her 10th Grand Slam Singles Title at the 2009 Australian Open - teamed up with Gatorade G2 today at Hollywood’s famed Roosevelt Hotel to select who will appear alongside her in a new national “Everyday Athletes” ad campaign for the Gatorade G2 low-calorie sports drink. Emceed by Access Hollywood host and upcoming Dancing with the Stars competitor, Nancy O’Dell, The G2 Everyday Athlete Search featured five semi-finalists –all named Serena – who traveled to the event from around the country to discuss their personal stories of how sports and exercise have helped them overcome a challenge or allowed them to reach and accomplish a significant, personal goal.

A casting panel consisting of Serena Williams, and representatives from Shape Magazine and Gatorade G2 selected winner Serena Cuevas, 23, from San Diego, Calif. based on Cuevas’ story of growing up with a passion to dance that was sidetracked by a horrific car accident at the age of 17. She was told by the doctors she may never dance again. With determination and passion, Cuevas recovered and went on to compete in national and international salsa competitions, as well as establish her own dance company - Deseo Dance Company – in San Diego.

Cuevas will appear with Serena Williams in the national ad campaign beginning this spring that will help draw attention to the Gatorade brand’s broadened definition of what it means to be an athlete. If your body is moving, Gatorade considers you an athlete. In addition to Serena Williams, G2 is also unveiling three more “everyday athlete” ads, featuring the NBA’s Kevin Garnett, WNBA’s Candace Parker, and Gold Medal Beach Volleyball star Kerri Walsh with their “everyday athlete” counterparts. Others are invited to share their own “everyday athlete” stories at missionG.com, the new sports and entertainment portal for Gatorade.

“Whether you are Serena Williams or Serena Cuevas, we all have it within us to achieve our dreams and goals, thanks to sports, exercise and being active,” said Sarah Robb O’Hagan, chief marketing officer for Gatorade. “This G2 campaign invites more consumers to see themselves as athletes while motivating them to be the best they can be.”

In recent weeks, Gatorade has launched a comprehensive marketing campaign designed to appeal to a broader range of athletes and beyond the traditional sidelines. The G2 Everyday Athlete Search, part of the new G campaign, is a call to action for all active people, not only to think about Gatorade in new and exciting ways, but also to search for compelling ways they can challenge themselves to achieve while promoting the low-calorie benefit of the beverage with a tagline of “Less Calories for More Athletes.”

Along with winner Cuevas, the other semi-finalists who traveled to Hollywood to meet with Serena include Serena Marrero, 47, Tillson, New York; Serena Lehman, 27, Seattle, Wash.; Serena Orgel, 34, Brooklyn, New York; and Serena Martinez, 38, Ventura, Calif.

For more information on the low-calorie G2 beverages, visit Gatorade.com. To view the G2 Everyday Athlete Campaign, visit missionG.com.

Event Photos


Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Gatorade G2 Everyday Athlete Serena and television personality Nancy O'Dell host the Gatorade G2 Everyday Athlete Search at the Roosevelt Hotel on February 24, 2009 in Hollywood, California.


Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Gatorade G2 Everyday AthleteSerena and search conteststants.


Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Gatorade G2 Everyday Athlete Serena and television personality Nancy O'Dell.


Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Gatorade G2 Everyday AthleteSerena Williams


Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Gatorade G2 Everyday AthleteSerena, television personality Nancy O'Dell and search contestants.


Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Gatorade G2 Everyday AthleteSerena and television personality Nancy O'Dell.



Photos by WireImage

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Dr. Robert Walter Johnson, MD: 2009 Inductee To International Tennis Hall Of Fame

Monday, February 23, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Dr. Robert W. Johnson 2009 International Tennis Hall Of FameDr. Robert Walter Johnson "Whirlwind", already inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, has been named an inductee with the class of 2009 into the International Tennis Hall Of Fame. Dr. Johnson received his nickname for his football prowess, however, he was best known for his contributions in the development of tennis programs in the United States.

ITHF Class of 2009 Announcement:

Robert Walter Johnson "Whirlwind"

Born: April 16, 1899

Died: June 28, 1971

Hometown: Norfolk, Virginia, United States

Citizenship: United States

Inducted: 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Dr. Robert W. Johnson 2009 International Tennis Hall Of Fame
Black Tennis Pro's Dr. Robert Johnson 2009 International Tennis Hall of Fame InducteeDr. Robert “Whirlwind” Johnson (1899-1971) is considered the man most responsible for launching the careers of world tennis greats Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe, the nation's first African-American tennis champions. During a time of racial separation, Johnson, through quiet diplomacy, was able to open the doors of tournament competition to young African-Americans barred from mainstream competition. He persevered, despite the racial barriers of that time, and through whispered entreaties and legal challenges he helped pave the way for minorities to gain entrance into tournaments and excel at the highest levels of the game. For more than 20 years, Johnson’s home in Lynchburg, Virginia became the destination for talented black tennis players to receive training and to participate in integrated tournaments and exhibitions with the likes of Pauline Betz Addie and Bobby Riggs. He provided food, equipment, financial support and guidance throughout their development.


Through the American Tennis Association (ATA), which was formed in 1916, Johnson created the ATA Junior Development Program. In the 1950s and 1960s, he sponsored, trained and nurtured hundreds of African-American juniors - and several white juniors - at his Lynchburg home, where he had a tennis court in his backyard. He initiated the integration of black tennis at the junior level, and ultimately at the highest levels of the game, working as coach, trainer, sponsor and fundraiser – and courageously approaching tournament directors and lobbying for his players’ full participation. He was also publisher of the ATA’s annual program, distributed at the national championships, and his vehicle for informing the membership of the achievements of his junior players.Black Tennis Pro's Dr. Robert W. Johnson 2009 International Tennis Hall Of Fame

The names of Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe (both Hall of Famers) and their life achievements will long be remembered in the world of tennis; they were the African-American trailblazers and became champions of the sport through their discipline and perseverance. However it was Johnson’s vision and innovative groundwork that gave Gibson and Ashe – and all future black champions – the training ground and road map to succeed.

Personal Biography
  • Graduated from Lincoln University in 1924
  • Named to the Negro All American Football Team in 1924
  • Attended Meharry Medical School in Nashville, TN
  • Completed his medical residency & moved to Lynchburg, VA in 1933
  • Served on the Lynchburg Commission on Interracial Cooperation & was active during the Civil Right’s Movement
  • Founder of the American Tennis Association’s (A.T.A.) Junior Development Program in the early 1950’s
  • Dr. Johnson’s Junior Development Program produced the first African-American major tennis champions - Althea Gibson & Arthur Ashe
Testimonials

“As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Althea Gibson?s wins at Wimbledon and the US Open, it seems natural to discuss Dr. Robert Johnson?s involvement in creating new opportunities for African-American tennis players. An active member in the tennis community, Dr. Johnson?s efforts led to greater possibilities for players like Althea and Arthur Ashe. I support his nomination for the International Tennis Hall of Fame for his contributions and efforts.”
- Serena Williams

"Without Whirlwind, neither Althea Gibson nor Arthur Ashe would have become the first African-Americans to win major tennis titles. Both acknowledged the significance of his role in their development several times during their storied lives."
- Alan G. Schwartz, March 31, 2003
USTA Chairman of the Board &
President 2003 - 2004

“Needless to say, our sport, our country, indeed the world community became a better place because of Althea and Arthur’s achievements. Dr. Johnson made it possible for them to succeed. His extraordinary role should be remembered, appreciated and applauded not just by African Americans, but also by everyone who strives for equality and justice. Let’s start by creating a major contributor’s spot for him at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. He deserves the honor.”
- John McEnroe, from the foreword of the book “Whirlwind: The Godfather of Black Tennis”

“Dr. Johnson was a major force in the careers of Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe, through his guidance, training and generosity. He also helped many other players on the tour through his wisdom and generous ways.”
- Billie Jean King, March 7, 2006


Sources:
The Legacy of Dr. R Walter Johnson
International Tennis Hall Of Fame

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Evelyne Tsonga Says Carol Thatcher Has Brought "Shame On Britain"

Evelyne and Didier Tsonga, parents of French player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Carol Thatcher has brought ‘shame on Britain’ by describing a French tennis star as a golliwog, the player’s mother said last night.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s mother accused Baroness Thatcher’s daughter of displaying ‘a racist, colonial attitude’.

Evelyne Tsonga said Jo-Wilfried, her eldest son, was ‘deeply hurt and upset’ by Miss Thatcher’s comment and praised the BBC for sacking her.

She told how the French-Congolese player had experienced racism in the past and said Miss Thatcher’s comment could encourage prejudice.

Mrs Tsonga said: ‘Nobody deserves to be described as a golliwog, least of all my son.

‘Such language is extremely unwelcome, but perhaps not surprising considering the kind of background which Carol Thatcher comes from.

‘Mrs Thatcher was famous for her imperial, Britain-is-best view of the world, even fighting a colonial war in the Falklands 27 years ago.

‘Such ideals should not be relevant in the modern world, but Carol Thatcher clearly still holds true to them.

‘Perhaps Margaret Thatcher passed these views on to her children, but this does not make them right. Carol Thatcher should be deeply ashamed of what she said.’

She added: ‘It was the same with Prince Harry calling a colleague a Paki, and Prince Charles calling a friend Sooty. They might claim that it is all harmless, friendly fun but it is not.’

Mrs Tsonga, a teacher from the town of Coulaine, near Le Mans, south-west of Paris, is married to Didier Tsonga, a former handball champion who was born in Gabon



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Tennis Ace Zina Garrison: Fed Cup Bouncing By USTA Was Racial

Black Tennis Pro's Zina Garrison Sues USTAThe New York Daily News is reporting that former tennis star Zina Garrison says she was dumped as captain of the Fed Cup team after objecting to racist comments about Venus and Serena Williams made by a top U.S. Tennis official.

Garrison made the claim in a race discrimination lawsuit filed Friday against the United States Tennis Association in Manhattan Federal Court. She also said she was paid less than her white counterpart, Patrick McEnroe, who led the men's team.

Garrison, who in 1990 became the first African-American woman to make the Wimbledon finals, was captain of the U.S. Fed Cup team, which competes against other nations' best players, for five years. In Garrison's tenure, the U.S. never made the Fed Cup final - the longest drought in the 45-year history of the competition.

"The USTA elected not to renew Garrison's Fed Cup captaincy based on her performance, and strongly denies any allegations of discrimination asserted by Ms. Garrison," said USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier.

Garrison says Fed Cup Chairwoman Sara Fornaciari once complained to her that Venus Williams hadn't called her back about playing in a tournament, saying: "Venus was like you and just like Serena; none of you people call back."


Source


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Serena Williams Graces Red Carpet Of Oscar Parties

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Oscar PartiesSerena Williams attends the Official "Slumdog Millionaire" and "The Wrestler" Post Oscar Party at ONE Sunset.


Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Oscar PartiesSerena and Simon Beaufoy Academy Award Winning Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy attend the Fox Searchlight Oscar Party at One Sunset.


Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Oscar PartiesSerena and Rick Fox at the Fox Searchlight Oscar Party at One Sunset


Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Oscar PartiesSerena attends the Official "Slumdog Millionaire" and "The Wrestler" post Oscar party at ONE Sunset.

Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Oscar PartiesSerena and actor Joel Moore at the Fox Searchlight Oscar Party


Black Tennis Pro's Serena Williams Oscar PartiesSerena Williams arrives at the 17th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's Academy Award Viewing Party held at the Pacific Design Center.



Photos by WireImage

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Tsonga Takes The Prize At The Open 13 In Marseille


MARSEILLE, France (AFP) — Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the French fourth seed, won the 576,000 euros ATP tournament on Sunday, defeating compatriot Michael Llodra 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) for his fourth career title which he dedicated to his sick father.

World number 12 Tsonga added the win a fortnight after his success in the South African Open, living up to his pre-match status as favourite on the heels of his fine win over top-seeded world number three Serb Novak Djokovic in the semis.

He finished Llodra off with his 11th ace before explaining his thoughts were with his father, former handballer Didier, who had surgery during the week.

"I almost didn't come here. I couldn't tell you that my father was operated on this week. Today, I dedicate this win to him," said Tsonga.

Alluding back to his fourth straight win over Djokovic, he added: "With this tournament I showed I was capable of beating one of the world's top players once again and that I was ready to make the step up to join the big guys."

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