Ana Ivanovic Rothesay International Eastbourne Wimbledon

Mentally exhausted Ana Ivanovic withdraws from Wimbledon warmup

World No.1 Ana Ivanovic has withdrawn from next week’s International Women’s Open at Eastbourne.

The official reason for Ivanovic’s withdrawal is a problem with her abductor. However, the Serb also claims to be mentally exhausted after winning her first Grand Slam title on Saturday, and doesn’t feel ready to compete yet.

“I’m very sorry to to anyone who was hoping to see me play in Eastbourne,” said the 20-year-old Ivanovic. “I’ve heard great things about the tournament and I was looking forward to going there, spending some time near the sea, and preparing for Wimbledon.”

Dinara Safina Jelena Jankovic Maria Sharapova Nature Valley Classic Wimbledon

Jankovic, Sharapova, Safina to skip Wimbledon warmup event

Defending champion Jelena Jankovic, last year’s finalist Maria Sharapova, and the 2008 French Open finalist Dinara Safina have all decided to skip the DFS Classic in Birmingham, a Wimbledon warmup event which starts June 9.

World No.3 Jankovic withdrew from the grass-court tournament with the same arm injury that caused her to fly home to Belgrade after losing to Ana Ivanovic in the semifinals of the French Open.

Sharapova, who has won the DFS Classic twice, will skip the event after five consecutive years in the draw in order to be able to focus on Wimbledon better. The Russian world No.1 has also withdrawn from Eastbourne which means she will play no competitive grass-court tennis before Wimbledon.

Safina, ranked 14th in the world, pulled out of Birmingham with a bad back.

Ana Ivanovic Wimbledon

Ana Ivanovic’s adidas dress for Wimbledon 2008

Ana Ivanovic’s adidas dress for Wimbledon 2008

Many people were disappointed by adidas for not changing the look of Ana Ivanovic for the French Open. The soon-to-be world No.1 has been wearing the exact same outfit, the Neo Red Edge Dress, since the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships which took place in late February. However, for Wimbledon 2008 adidas has prepared something new for the tennis star — a scoop-neck tank dress with a knit fabrication on top and woven pleats.

The dress costs $65 and is available in white/mauve tint.

BTW: I’m also all for fresh looks, but Sharapova had such a cool new dress for the French Open, and she was dumped out early. Better old dress, than bad results. Ivanovic is starting her second successive French Open final in just a few minutes.


Singles champions at Wimbledon 2008 to get 7.1 percent more money than last year

Wimbledon has announced that the Men’s and Ladies’ Singles Champions will each receive £750,000 ($1.48 million), an increase of 7.1% over 2007 (£700,000).

The total prize money will increase by 4.7% to £11,812,000 from £11,282,710 in 2007, while prize money for each of the Men’s and the Ladies’ Doubles events will exceed £1 million for the first time.

Still, the winners of this year’s French Open singles will get the most of any Grand Slam, 1 million euros each ($1.56 million). Roger Federer and Justine Henin won $1.4 million each by taking the singles titles at last year’s US Open. The US Open purse for this year hasn’t been announced. This year’s Australian Open champions, Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova, each won A$1.37 million ($1.28 million).

Reminder: Last year marked the first time women and men earned equal prize money at Wimbledon.


Fila signs five-year contract with Wimbledon

Italian sportswear brand Fila is to be the new official footwear licensee to Wimbledon. The five-year contract will see Fila provide a range of dual branded performance tennis and leisure footwear styles, until 2012.

The partnership will mark the launch of the new Fila Alfa tennis shoe that utilizes superior components to ensure step in comfort and lasting performance. The Alfa Wimbledon shoe will be worn and merchandised at The Championships, Wimbledon, and be available with a hard court and grass court sole unit.

Marc Travis, Fila UK Marketing Manager, said, “Tennis has been an essential part of the Fila heritage and this agreement with The All England Lawn Tennis Club is another key partnership that will build the future of the brand within the sport. 2008 marks 35 years of Fila’s involvement in tennis with Wimbledon being the setting for a great number of the brand’s historic memories.”

Robert McCowen, Marketing Director of The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club said “The All England Club is delighted to be associated with Fila who have such deep historical roots here at Wimbledon and we are excited about the opportunities for marketing the dual branded Fila/Wimbledon range of shoes internationally.”

Reminder: The most famous women’s tennis players that wear Fila are Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova and Hungarian Agnes Szavay. (via Tennis Served Fresh)

Justine Henin Wimbledon

Justine Henin’s main goal to win Wimbledon, her coach worked out tactics

World number one Justine Henin has always claimed that she would prefer another Roland Garros title over winning Wimbledon. However, her opinion has changed, and when asked “A fifth Roland Garros or a first Wimbledon?” she replied “Wimbledon!” without hesitation.

Henin’s coach, Carlos Rodriguez, has prepared a plan, some tactical and psychological changes, which will enable the Belgian to win the only Grand Slam title she misses.

Justine’s father Jose said: “Carlos is right about the way to go for a better Justine next year. He is going to make her more and more positive, stronger in the head. She will be going to the net much more so that she can feel more comfortable making volleys. Wimbledon is the goal.”

Even though Henin is the best female tennis player the world has at the moment, she feels there is room for improvement. “I think I can still improve a lot, in my attitude especially,” said the 25-year-old Belgian. “I have to keep improving my aggressive game, moving forward and taking my opportunities.” (sources: Daily Mail, Reuters)

Jelena Jankovic Wimbledon

Jelena Jankovic can console herself with Wimbledon mixed doubles crown

Jelena Jankovic was stunned by Marion Bartoli’s fantastic performance at Wimbledon; the Serb was helpless in the fourth round match against the determined Frenchwoman (the eventual surprising finalist), and lost in singles earlier than planned.

However, by coincidence, Jankovic made best of bad situation — she paired with Jamie Murray, and I think completely unexpectedly for her, won mixed doubles on Sunday! They beat fifth seeds Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden and Australia’s Alicia Molik 6-4 3-6 6-1.

Jelena Jankovic admitted that a first Grand Slam win was especially sweet.

“It’s really an incredible feeling for me to be there and to hold the trophy,” she said.

“It’s something that I always dreamed of, and I would love one day to have that feeling with the singles trophy.” (via BBC)

Venus Williams Wimbledon

Venus Williams lowest seeded Wimbledon champion, again!

About two weeks ago I have written an article on women’s tennis Wimbledon history and records, and among the players mentioned was Venus Williams who was the lowest seeded Wimbledon champion, winning the title in 2005 when she was seeded 14th.

Two days ago, the American beat Marion Bartoli in the final to win her fourth trophy at the grass-court grand slam, but this time she was seeded even lower, that is 23rd.

Apparently, she was not in the race for the title on paper, but seedings and rankings do not take into consideration character and determination, something that Venus and her sister Serena have in abundance.


Cara Black and Liezel Huber win Wimbledon women’s doubles title

Zimbabwe’s Cara Black and South African Liezel Huber defeated Katarina Srebotnik and Ai Sugiyama 3-6 6-3 6-2 to take the trophy at Wimbledon 2007. The second seeded winners were too strong for a relatively new partnership of their fourth-seeded opponents.

Black and Huber are also 2005 Wimbledon champions, as well as this year’s Australian Open champions.

As for Slovenia’s Katarina Srebotnik and Japan’s Ai Sugiyama, this was the second consecutive grand slam final they lost – at last month’s French Open they were defeated by Alicia Molik and Mara Santangelo.

Jelena Jankovic Wimbledon

Jelena Jankovic and Jamie Murray reach mixed doubles final at Wimbledon

Jelena Jankovic and Jamie Murray have proved to be a successful partnership, reaching Wimbledon mixed doubles final defeating Daniel Nestor and Elena Likhovtseva 6-4 4-6 6-4.

Murray wanted Jankovic to be his partner, and she has accepted it although she doesn’t consider herself a good doubles player. (Read more about the beginning of their partnership at Jelena Jankovic — top spot on Jamie Murray’s list)

Maybe Jelena doesn’t play doubles so well, but it seems to me that they enjoy each other’s company and that that’s where the good results come from. I’ve read an amusing interview of Jelena and Jamie (after their victory over Julian Knowle and Tiantian Sun on July 6) and they seem to have a lot of fun together; they are relaxed and positive.

Here are some parts of the interview which I find most interesting:

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