Author Topic: ATP - 2008 AO Thread  (Read 184819 times)

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Offline yellowball

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ATP - 2008 AO Thread
« on: December 18, 2007, 11:54:54 AM »
I know it's a little early, but I'm ready. The AO is going to provide a "pay" option for the tournament. It will be explained fully on their official website, it will offer 6 live courts coverage (which is great). Australia is 17 hours ahead of us, so our programming would begin in the a.m. I think it's going to be about $35. ESPN will have evening coverage on matches previous day matches (blah).  :Confused:

I don't know if I can avoid work that long (maybe I can go in at night  :) ), but I want to see the matches LIVE!  :))  I dunno.

I'm surprised no one else is going to televise it? I'm not crazy about ESPN coverage.

« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 09:12:43 PM by Tennis4you »

Offline BGT

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2007, 12:01:44 PM »
The Tennis Channel is showing live coverage. Good thing I've got it now. :thumbs-up:



Offline JadeFox21

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2007, 01:56:17 PM »
The Tennis Channel is showing live coverage. Good thing I've got it now. :thumbs-up:
Yeah, between Tennis Channel and ESPN2...we should get alot of tennis.  Thank goodness we have Tennis Channel because last year, ESPN2 was awful in its massive over-playing of American players.  It was horrible how they kept repeating the American matches over and over again despite 'live' tennis. 

And...Tennis Channel is supposed to be HD by then!
« Last Edit: December 18, 2007, 03:38:16 PM by JadeFox21 »
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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2007, 01:57:11 PM »
Over here in England Eurosport will cover it right from the start of the day until the last shot of the evening session, we're fully covered over here, although I hate it when our channels purely focus on the Brit(s) as if nobody else is playing the tournament. This is most annoying when they are showing Murray highlights when there's live matches on. That's why sometimes at the Slams I really don't mind if the Brit goes out early.
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Offline dmastous

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2007, 03:17:26 PM »
I know it's a little early, but I'm ready. The AO is going to provide a "pay" option for the tournament. It will be explained fully on their official website, it will offer 6 live courts coverage (which is great). Australia is 17 hours ahead of us, so our programming would begin in the a.m. I think it's going to be about $35. ESPN will have evening coverage on matches previous day matches (blah).  :Confused:

I don't know if I can avoid work that long (maybe I can go in at night  :) ), but I want to see the matches LIVE!  :))  I dunno.

I'm surprised no one else is going to televise it? I'm not crazy about ESPN coverage.



Is this going to be similar to Wimbledon's live option? Is it an on line thing?

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Offline pawan89

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2007, 03:23:07 PM »
I know it's a little early, but I'm ready. The AO is going to provide a "pay" option for the tournament. It will be explained fully on their official website, it will offer 6 live courts coverage (which is great). Australia is 17 hours ahead of us, so our programming would begin in the a.m. I think it's going to be about $35. ESPN will have evening coverage on matches previous day matches (blah).  :Confused:

I don't know if I can avoid work that long (maybe I can go in at night  :) ), but I want to see the matches LIVE!  :))  I dunno.

I'm surprised no one else is going to televise it? I'm not crazy about ESPN coverage.



Is this going to be similar to Wimbledon's live option? Is it an on line thing?

cuz if it is i might consider it.


Offline dmastous

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2007, 03:25:25 PM »
I know it's a little early, but I'm ready. The AO is going to provide a "pay" option for the tournament. It will be explained fully on their official website, it will offer 6 live courts coverage (which is great). Australia is 17 hours ahead of us, so our programming would begin in the a.m. I think it's going to be about $35. ESPN will have evening coverage on matches previous day matches (blah).  :Confused:

I don't know if I can avoid work that long (maybe I can go in at night  :) ), but I want to see the matches LIVE!  :))  I dunno.

I'm surprised no one else is going to televise it? I'm not crazy about ESPN coverage.



Is this going to be similar to Wimbledon's live option? Is it an on line thing?

cuz if it is i might consider it.

Consider? Heck I'm all over it! :yahoo:

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Offline euroka1

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2007, 04:11:55 PM »
I know it's a little early, but I'm ready. The AO is going to provide a "pay" option for the tournament. It will be explained fully on their official website, it will offer 6 live courts coverage (which is great). Australia is 17 hours ahead of us, so our programming would begin in the a.m. I think it's going to be about $35. ESPN will have evening coverage on matches previous day matches (blah).  :Confused:

I don't know if I can avoid work that long (maybe I can go in at night  :) ), but I want to see the matches LIVE!  :))  I dunno.

I'm surprised no one else is going to televise it? I'm not crazy about ESPN coverage.


Is this going to be similar to Wimbledon's live option? Is it an on line thing?


If it's an online thing I'll be happy to pay out:

1, Because my computer gives a better picture than my TV right now.
2, I'll be able to avoid endless reruns of matches featuring my less-than-favorite americans.
3, There'll hopefully be no commercials.
4, I'll hopefully be able to avoid the ravings of Johnny Mac.




Offline pawan89

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2007, 04:38:39 PM »
I know it's a little early, but I'm ready. The AO is going to provide a "pay" option for the tournament. It will be explained fully on their official website, it will offer 6 live courts coverage (which is great). Australia is 17 hours ahead of us, so our programming would begin in the a.m. I think it's going to be about $35. ESPN will have evening coverage on matches previous day matches (blah).  :Confused:

I don't know if I can avoid work that long (maybe I can go in at night  :) ), but I want to see the matches LIVE!  :))  I dunno.

I'm surprised no one else is going to televise it? I'm not crazy about ESPN coverage.


Is this going to be similar to Wimbledon's live option? Is it an on line thing?


If it's an online thing I'll be happy to pay out:

1, Because my computer gives a better picture than my TV right now.
2, I'll be able to avoid endless reruns of matches featuring my less-than-favorite americans.
3, There'll hopefully be no commercials.
4, I'll hopefully be able to avoid the ravings of Johnny Mac.





you could also connect your computer to your tv and watch it on tv. i like the computer and all but my undrestanding is its not the best for watching something for long, for that you need the tv, sit far back and relax.


Offline yellowball

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2007, 05:08:54 PM »
I know it's a little early, but I'm ready. The AO is going to provide a "pay" option for the tournament. It will be explained fully on their official website, it will offer 6 live courts coverage (which is great). Australia is 17 hours ahead of us, so our programming would begin in the a.m. I think it's going to be about $35. ESPN will have evening coverage on matches previous day matches (blah).  :Confused:

I don't know if I can avoid work that long (maybe I can go in at night  :) ), but I want to see the matches LIVE!  :))  I dunno.

I'm surprised no one else is going to televise it? I'm not crazy about ESPN coverage.




Is this going to be similar to Wimbledon's live option? Is it an on line thing?


My understanding is that's it's much like the ATP Masters Series pay view but owned by the AO and will show 6 courts. They are expecting perhaps $25,000 of subscriptions (that's not many) and you would be able to access matches you miss later, just like on that site. I just saw a blurb about it saying to check the AO website (it's not updated yet).

**************

Here's the info on the webcast/telecast

Australian Open lobs play over the net
Lara Sinclair | December 17, 2007

TENNIS Australia has taken its racquet and ball and gone online to launch its own on-demand broadband television channel for next year's Australian Open.

The sport has followed Cricket Australia in attempting to develop its own revenue stream from internet content, but while cricket retains its internet rights, Tennis Australia recently signed - two years early - another five-year deal that gives its local free-to-air broadcast and online rights to the Seven Network.

Tennis Australia will offer domestic internet users free match and session highlights and off-court video coverage on the australianopen.com website.

In Australia, Seven will also screen highlights packages online. But in markets where there is no broadcast agreement - such as China, South America and the Middle East - viewers will be able to watch live coverage of the action on up to six courts for a subscription expected to cost about $35.

Tennis Australia general manager (commercial) John Clark said the website would be a promotional tool in its launch year. "It won't be a significant revenue stream in the short term but in the long term the internet will become a complement to TV and pay-TV," Mr Clark said. "If we make $10,000 or $20,000 (in the first year), fantastic."

(Some cricket info edited out)

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22933463-7582,00.html

*************************

ESPN looks like it's going to have full coverage but you never know when they'll break in with arm wrestling or something.  :\  But, now I'm wondering if we'll have the option to subscribe to the AO online service.  :\

I hope they get the info on the website soon, I think I'd rather trust them than ESPN.
I confused now about the coverage areas for Seven ... maybe they'll clear it all up soon.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2007, 05:40:02 PM by yellowball »

Offline euroka1

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2007, 08:49:47 PM »

If it's an online thing I'll be happy to pay out:

1, Because my computer gives a better picture than my TV right now.
2, I'll be able to avoid endless reruns of matches featuring my less-than-favorite americans.
3, There'll hopefully be no commercials.
4, I'll hopefully be able to avoid the ravings of Johnny Mac.





you could also connect your computer to your tv and watch it on tv. i like the computer and all but my undrestanding is its not the best for watching something for long, for that you need the tv, sit far back and relax.

I could but with my present set up it's a bit complicated. But on the whole I prefer the computer anyway. The resolution on the large monitor is about the same as on the TV screen and when I've had the chance to compare say the ATP web tennis with ESPN, I've liked the former mainly because of the lack of commercials and because of the absence of Pmac (not JMac as stated above). I'm all for more pay tennis-online.

Offline dmastous

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2007, 09:02:31 PM »

If it's an online thing I'll be happy to pay out:

1, Because my computer gives a better picture than my TV right now.
2, I'll be able to avoid endless reruns of matches featuring my less-than-favorite americans.
3, There'll hopefully be no commercials.
4, I'll hopefully be able to avoid the ravings of Johnny Mac.





you could also connect your computer to your tv and watch it on tv. i like the computer and all but my undrestanding is its not the best for watching something for long, for that you need the tv, sit far back and relax.

I could but with my present set up it's a bit complicated. But on the whole I prefer the computer anyway. The resolution on the large monitor is about the same as on the TV screen and when I've had the chance to compare say the ATP web tennis with ESPN, I've liked the former mainly because of the lack of commercials and because of the absence of Pmac (not JMac as stated above). I'm all for more pay tennis-online.

Unless you have an Hi Def TV, the resolution on your monitor is much much better than your TV. The difference is your TV treats the pixels differently than your monitor does. The TV does some dithering which make the pixels mesh together better, while the moniter just displays what's being sent it, pixel by pixel.
Normal TV resolution is 320 x 280 which is pretty poor.

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Offline euroka1

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2007, 03:41:34 AM »
According to its label, the computer monitor resolution is 1680 x 1050 so it must be better then. It's probably the other reasons that make me prefer to watch tennis here 'though if its available. HD TV is coming but it's a question as to whether I want it before it is forced upon me.

Offline Swish

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2007, 05:17:23 AM »
According to its label, the computer monitor resolution is 1680 x 1050 so it must be better then. It's probably the other reasons that make me prefer to watch tennis here 'though if its available. HD TV is coming but it's a question as to whether I want it before it is forced upon me.

Yeah, most computer monitors are much better. Print this small wouldn't make it on even HDTV.

Offline pawan89

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2007, 06:07:13 AM »

If it's an online thing I'll be happy to pay out:

1, Because my computer gives a better picture than my TV right now.
2, I'll be able to avoid endless reruns of matches featuring my less-than-favorite americans.
3, There'll hopefully be no commercials.
4, I'll hopefully be able to avoid the ravings of Johnny Mac.





you could also connect your computer to your tv and watch it on tv. i like the computer and all but my undrestanding is its not the best for watching something for long, for that you need the tv, sit far back and relax.

I could but with my present set up it's a bit complicated. But on the whole I prefer the computer anyway. The resolution on the large monitor is about the same as on the TV screen and when I've had the chance to compare say the ATP web tennis with ESPN, I've liked the former mainly because of the lack of commercials and because of the absence of Pmac (not JMac as stated above). I'm all for more pay tennis-online.

Unless you have an Hi Def TV, the resolution on your monitor is much much better than your TV. The difference is your TV treats the pixels differently than your monitor does. The TV does some dithering which make the pixels mesh together better, while the moniter just displays what's being sent it, pixel by pixel.
Normal TV resolution is 320 x 280 which is pretty poor.
its more clear on the computer for sure, as euroka pointed out, the resolution on computer is much more than the tv, but that's also why i think its worse for your eyes. especially with lcd screens, they're way too bright. now if they have plasma screen monitors like they do tv now-a-days and the image was 'softer' then i'd be happy.


Offline dmastous

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2007, 08:51:01 AM »
Stand real close to a big screen hi def TV and notice how pixelized things become. It's actually pretty bad. They are designed to be seen from 10 feet or so. Regular TVs look much better up close than hi def TVs.
I don't have a hi def TV, but I will probably get one next year. I'm guessing a 32-39 inch will be in around the $400-$500 range.

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Offline barbadosan

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2007, 01:27:43 PM »
Stand real close to a big screen hi def TV and notice how pixelized things become. It's actually pretty bad. They are designed to be seen from 10 feet or so. Regular TVs look much better up close than hi def TVs.
I don't have a hi def TV, but I will probably get one next year. I'm guessing a 32-39 inch will be in around the $400-$500 range.

Count your blessings lad... here they from BDS $3,000.00 - $8,000.00  (USD $1= BDS 2.00), but as you would know, a dollar is a dollar once you earn and spend it the same place.

Offline dmastous

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2007, 04:49:57 PM »
Stand real close to a big screen hi def TV and notice how pixelized things become. It's actually pretty bad. They are designed to be seen from 10 feet or so. Regular TVs look much better up close than hi def TVs.
I don't have a hi def TV, but I will probably get one next year. I'm guessing a 32-39 inch will be in around the $400-$500 range.

Count your blessings lad... here they from BDS $3,000.00 - $8,000.00  (USD $1= BDS 2.00), but as you would know, a dollar is a dollar once you earn and spend it the same place.

I'm not complaining. I'm being prudent. It wasn't more than 3 or 4 years ago that a 32" LCD was around $5000 here. I'm just waiting for all the early adopters to finish getting fleeced then I'll get mine at a reasonable price.

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Offline conchita

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2007, 07:03:04 AM »
Countdown: 24 days, 11 hours!!!

Melbourne Time: 12:00 am

-------------------------------

Australian Open Play-offs!!!!

Aussie Assault!!!!

Thursday 20 December

Flinders Park, Melbourne!!!!!

-----

Court 5, Christina Wheeler (VIC) defeats Jessica Moore (WA) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4

Court 7, Olivia Rogowska (VIC) defeats Sophie Ferguson (NSW) 6-3, 7-5

Rogowska to play Wheeler in final!

Third seed Christina Wheeler advanced to the final of the Australian Open play-off today, beating Jessica Moore 6-4 1-6 6-4.

Wheeler, an experienced campaigner from Victoria now ranked 217 in the world, will face 16-year-old newcomer Olivia Rogowska.

Also from Melbourne, Rogowska is the surprise package of the play-off, and continued her giant-slaying ways with a gutsy 6-3 7-5 victory over second seeded Sophie Ferguson, who holds a singles world ranking of 169.

“I’m really enjoying this tournament, another big match tomorrow,” beamed Rogowska. “I don’t think many people expected me to go all the way but from the beginning I always had faith.”

Wheeler looked like her play-off might end today at Flinders Park after West Australian Moore broke for a 4-3 lead in the deciding set.

However, she was unable to hold serve despite a promising 40-0 start to the eighth game, and spiraled out of semifinal. “I think I just really relaxed and made her play,” said the pint-sized Wheeler, now 25 and working her way back to her best form. “I don’t think I can quite believe I was in that situation. I’m just really pleased and I’m kinda glad it’s over.”

Wheeler held a career-high ranking of 159 in 2001, but 12 months ago was heading towards the 400 mark. She made a commitment to arrest the tide and from sheer hard work has regained form and a ranking that would gain a place in the Australian Open qualifying tournament.

She has played in six Grand Slam main draw tournaments, sensationally upsetting Russian Anna Kournikova to reach the second round at Roland Garros in 2002.

“It’s funny because I don’t mind playing the qualifying. For me it would be a really nice bonus to be in the main draw."

---------------------------------------------------

Court 5, Joseph Sirianni (VIC) defets Brydan Klein (WA) 6-4, 6-3.


Court 7, Adam Feeney (NSW) defeatsSamuel Groth (VIC) 3-6 7-6(2) 7-6(5).

Sirianni to play Feeney for wildcard!

The finalists for the Australian Open 2008 Play-off have been decided – Victoria's Joseph Sirianni will play NSW's Adam Feeney for a wildcard into the main draw.

Sirianni showed his experience in defeating junior Australian Open champ Brydan Klein 6-4 6-3.

The 32-year-old Sirianni is yet to drop a set in the play-off and has been in rare form.

For Klein it was the end of a tough week – after losing to Mark Philippoussis in his first round-robin match and retiring in his match against substitute Mark Verryth, Klein showed his class in defeating Sam Groth and Rameez Junaid.

In the other semi, Adam Feeney put an end to Victorian Sam Groth's run. In a very tight affair Feeney came back from a set down to take the final two sets and the match 3-6 7-6(2) 7-6(5).

------------------------------------------

Tomorrow's finals will begin at 11.00 am with surprise-packet Olivia Rogowska taking on the more experienced Christina Wheeler. The men's final will follow (not before 12.30 pm).

-----------------------------------------

Scud concedes career probably over!!!!

A philosophical Mark Philippoussis all but conceded his professional tennis career was over yesterday as he prepared for a fourth round of knee surgery.


"I'm not thinking about a comeback at the moment," Philippoussis said after breaking down yet again this week at the Australian Open wildcard playoffs in Melbourne.

"I'm just going to be thinking about spending time with my family, spending time at home and then assessing things – you know, where life will lead me and what direction I want to take in life and whether I'll be going again.

"And I'll be honest, you've got to understand it's more a mental battle getting back from injury after injury."

The dual Davis Cup champion and two-times grand slam finalist faces at least a two-month recuperation period after tearing cartilage in his right knee, the same leg he injured seriously at the Hopman Cup in January.

That setback sidelined 31-year-old Philippoussis for the entire 2007 ATP season and the one-time world No 8 said he was reluctant to attempt another comeback, describing the process as a painful ordeal.

"I want to have that surgery and then I just don't want to be getting up sore and going to the gym and battling day after day," he said.

Philippoussis, widely considered the best player of his generation not to have landed a grand slam title, said he was prepared to face up to retirement.

"That's life," he said.

"Of course, I'm going to be sad. But sooner or later, you know it's going to end and, if it does, I've had amazing memories and two of the biggest memories without a doubt have been the two Davis Cup wins."

Philippoussis lost to Pat Rafter in an all-Australian US Open final in 1998 and to Roger Federer in the 2003 Wimbledon decider.

He also reached three other Wimbledon quarter-finals and most fans lament his retirement with his first knee injury while leading Pete Sampras by a set and service break in the 1999 quarterfinal at the All England Club as his greatest missed opportunity in a career littered with squandered chances.

He has won 11 ATP titles, the most recent coming at Newport in July 2006, and has earned $US6,984,682 ($NZ9,377,929) in prizemoney.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Dokic to rely on invite for Australian Open!!!

Former world number four Jelena Dokic will need to rely on an organiser's invitation for next month's Australian Open after pulling out of the wildcard qualifying tournament with a thigh injury.

Dokic had been trailing 16-year-old Olivia Rogowska 6-3 3-1 in the quarter-final of the tournament when she called for the trainer and then withdrew from the match.

"A decision on the discretionary wildcards for Australian Open will be made later in the summer based on performance and, of course, with our youth policy in mind," Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley was quoted as saying by the Australian Associated Press.

A former Wimbledon semi-finalist, Dokic, 24, has hardly played since she won the Australian Open wildcard qualifying tournament in late 2005 but was then knocked out in the grand slam's first round by France's Virginie Razzano.

The Australian Open runs from Jan. 14 to 27

--------------------------------------------

CANAS AND J.JOHANSSON OUT OF AO2008!

Roger Federer will have one less rival to worry about when he begins his Australian Open title defence next month after Guillermo Canas withdrew due to wrist tendonitis.

The Argentine who beat the Swiss No.1 back to back last March in Indian Wells and Key Biscayne will not play in the first Grand Slam tournament of the season due to his condition.

The South American made the biggest ranking jump of any player in 2007 by reaching the year-end 2007 top 20. Canas will hope to start his season late due to his right wrist problems. He underwent surgery on a wrist several seasons ago.

The 30 year old is said to be in a cast for the next two months. Canas missed three months with a left wrist injury and was troubled by his right wrist in 2002 and 2003.

Also out of Australian Open 2008 is Swede Joachim Johansson, whose once-promising career lies in tatters after a run of injuries and poor health.

The Swede will not play in Australia due to a lack of match practice after suffering from an illness. Johansson had been due to play in the Stockholm Open in October but withdrew sick before his second round match.


Doubles merry-go-round starting to settle
There will be some new teams as the men get ready for the 2008 season. For Australian Open 2008 there are two teams that are testing the chemistry:

Lukas Dlouhy/Frantisek Cermak
Jamie Murray/Kevin Ulyett (Jonas Bjorkman is skipping Australia)
The teams that are set are:
Daniel Nestor/Nenad Zimojic
Mark Knowles/Mahesh Bhupathi
Leander Paes/Paul Hanley
Max Mirnyi/Jamie Murray
Martin Damm/Pavel Vizner
Eric Butorac/Ashley Fisher
Christopher Kas/Rogier Wassen

The teams that are staying together are:

Bob and Mike Bryan
Jonathan Erlich/Andy Ram
Simon Aspelin/Julian Knowle
Jan Friberg/Marcin Matkowski
Ricardo Mello/Andre Sa

--------------------------------------------------

FEDERER LOOKS FORWARD TO NEW SURFACE!

World number one Roger Federer has given the first public indication of his keenness to get a look at the new courts at Australian Open 2008.

“Once again, I am very excited to start the new year’s Grand Slam season in Australia and to try and defend my title once again,’’ Federer said.

“I am looking forward to the new surface and especially playing in front of the Australian fans … they are some of the best fans in the world!”

The world number one has just completed a series of exhibition matches in Asia against the greatest Grand Slam title winner in history Pete Sampras, who has won 14.

After winning the US Open, Federer sits tied for second on 12 alongside Australian legend Roy Emerson. Australian Open 2008 is the perfect opportunity to scale another rung on the all time list.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said it was appropriate that Federer’s next tilt at greatness was here at Melbourne Park.

“He is forever part of tennis folklore here. Who will ever forget Roger and Rod Laver in 2006, or his elation at winning our event last year,” Tiley said.

“Roger is a class act and I think tennis fans throughout the world are very grateful to be witnessing one of the greatest careers in the history of our game.”

Tiley is not surprised to hear that Federer’s focus has already turned to Australian Open 2008.

“His preparation is so meticulous, his intent is unwavering. These are just some of the characteristics that make Roger Federer so good.”

Tickets for Australian Open 2008 are still available. Vodafone Arena will be fully ticketed for the first time in 2008.

-------------------------------------------------------

AUSSIES MOVE ON MATCH FIXING!

Tennis Australia has moved to prevent match-fixing at the Australian Open by hiring a security consultancy firm.

Chief Executive Steve Wood said that Tennis Australia had hired the firm and formed a working group to ensure player integrity at January's grand slam.

"These measures are designed to ensure that we address the issue of player integrity generally and illegal gambling specifically," Wood said.

He said the security review would address "potential vulnerabilities".

The working group will liaise with police, examine match-fixing in other sports and prepare a plan to expose instances of illegal conduct.

"I want to stress that we are continuing to work closely with the governing bodies of world tennis to coordinate a collective and comprehensive approach toward protecting the integrity of our sport," Wood said.

"While we have never had a reported match-fixing incident in Australia, we're taking the situation seriously as it's an emerging issue for tennis administrators worldwide."

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AUSTRALIAN OPEN REVISE HEAT POLICY!

The Australian Open have revised their extreme heat policy after a number of complaints including one from Maria Sharapova, who labelled the conditions she was forced to play in this year as "inhuman".

The most significant policy change is that players in the upcoming Open will no longer have to complete matches that are already underway once the policy is invoked but instead will only have to complete the current set.

Another major change to the policy sees the decision to suspend play entirely at the discretion of the tournament referee. Previously Open organisers used a specific cut-off point based on calculations from a set of weather readings.

"Previously if we invoked the heat policy the matches continued until the conclusion of a match," tournament director Craig Tiley said. "Some players were out here in very extreme conditions for another three to four hours.

"Now we're saying at the end of a set the matches will come in so we're not going to create that situation where players have to battle it out with a lack of performance because of the heat for a long time.

"We can take all those factors [with an on-site weather station and meteorologist] and put them together. The most important is the actual forecast that's something that's going to really be able to help us.

"If there's a sea breeze coming in we know we'll probably be all right by the afternoon

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WEATHER FIRST FOR 2008!

Australian Open 2008 will have a weather forecaster and a weather station on site for the first time, Tennis Australia and Bureau of Meteorology officials have confirmed.

Tournament Director Craig Tiley said it coincided with a new heat policy at the Australian Open this year.

“Any decision regarding potential stoppages in play will be solely at the discretion of the tournament referee,” Tiley explained.

Last year tournament officials relied solely upon an indicative comfort calculation to decide if the conditions demanded that play halt.

“This new policy allows the referee to take impending weather patterns and other factors into play. He isn’t just ruled by a figure,” Tiley said.

“Having all of the relevant weather information immediately and constantly at his disposal will help him in the decision making process. It will also help us plan for unexpected weather that could affect the Australian Open.”

The Bureau’s Special Services Unit - its commercial arm - will provide a forecaster and set up a state-of-the-art automatic weather station at the Australian Open to continuously monitor temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure.

The inclusion of the weather station and a dedicated forecaster at the Open means that the tournament will have precinct specific weather measurements at Melbourne Park for the first time.

According to Bureau forecaster Bob Leighton: “Weather measurements taken at Melbourne Park will be combined with other Bureau weather observations received in the Melbourne area to provide an unprecedented level of weather information for Open organisers and tennis-goers.”

The on-site presence is also expected to help with decisions on rain and the timing of roof closures.

“This is designed to get the best information from the experts in the field to the tournament decision makers to ensure the right decisions at the right time for the benefit of players and fans,” Tiley said.

Australian Open 2008, presented by Kia Motors in association with Garnier and GE Money, will take place at Flinders Park, Melbourne, from January 14–27, 2008.

Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.

Offline conchita

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2007, 07:08:03 AM »
AUSTRALIAN RANKINGS

Top 8
1 Lleyton Hewitt 21
2 Peter Luczak 79
3 Chris Guccione 91
4 Alun Jones 131
5 Robert Smeets 150
6 Joseph Sirianni 197
7 Nick Lindahl 248
8 Nathan Healey 258

LUCZAK PRIMED FOR THE BIG TIME!

Peter Luczak, Australia’s No.2 player, rarely hits the headlines. You won’t see him splashed across the front page embroiled in controversy – it’s just not his style.

Luczak has had what could be considered a breakthrough season but has received less attention for his on-court achievements than others have for their off-court exploits.

In March this year, Luczak’s ranking blew out to 246 and in the affable Australian’s own words ‘things weren’t looking too good’. At the end of the month Luczak ground out a hard-fought victory at the Fes Challenger in Morocco. It was to be the beginning of Luczak’s ascent.

Three months later, in front of family and friends in Poland, the Polish-born Australian cracked the top 100, for the first time, at the Bytom Challenger. But that’s not all he’d cracked.

While playing in South Africa, shortly after competing in his fifth Australian Open, Luczak suffered a foot injury, but was given the all-clear without having an X-ray. Unbeknownst to him, he had cracked one of the sesamoid bones in his foot, an injury that would not be diagnosed until August.

Despite this injury, Luczak continued to work hard and the results started to come. This season has been Luczak’s most successful – four Challenger wins and he was a finalist in three others, enough to entrench him in the top 100 at year’s end (at the time of writing he is ranked 79 in the world).

Luczak credits his rise up the rankings to being a part of the AIS team, led by head coach Brent Larkham. Most weeks he has an AIS coach travel with him and has benefited from this enormously. Luczak has spent most of his time working with the AIS’s Shannon Nettle, who happens to be a close friend and was the best man at Luczak’s wedding to his Swedish partner in July this year.

‘We’re hoping for some bigger and better things in 2008,’ says Nettle. ‘Looch is one guy I’ve been fortunate enough to coach and when he goes out on court he always gives a strong performance and leaves everything out there. Next year our goal is to be top 50 in the next four or five months and if he can stay injury free I’ve got no doubt he can achieve that goal.’

Family, wife, Katarina, and their son, Sebastian, is a great source of inspiration for Luczak. ‘It’s [family] so much motivation … If you lose a match it’s no big deal, you see them and it’s OK … There are other things that are a bit more important than tennis,’ says Luczak.

Home for the Luczaks is Melbourne, but they also have an apartment in Sweden where they spend a lot of time. When speaking about his family, Luczak lights up.

For now, though, the focus is squarely on Australian Open 2008. Having a ranking in the top 100 means Luczak is a direct entrant into the main draw, which has enabled him to finish his 2007 season a few weeks earlier than usual. This has given the Melburnian extra time to train at Melbourne Park.

Luczak still has two more weeks of solid training ahead of him on the new Plexicushion courts at Melbourne – ‘I like them a lot … a lot more consistent’ – a couple of days off for Christmas, then he will play in the Hopman Cup with Alicia Molik in Perth. Then, all going well, he hopes to join the field for the Medibank International, but he will need a wildcard to get in. And then he’ll join the best players the world has to offer at Australian Open 2008.

In 2003 and 2006, Luczak made it to the third round, this year he hopes to go a step or two better and, if he does, he will be guaranteed a few headlines of his own.

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HEWITT CONFIDENT OF AUSTRALIAN OPEN CHANCES !

Lleyton Hewitt believes a month-long layoff with an ankle injury puts him in a good position to mount a serious challenge for the Australian Open title next month.

The 26-year-old former world number one's best result in Melbourne is a final appearance in 2005 when he was beaten by Marat Safin.

Hewitt who missed the last month of the 2007 season because of the injury, said the year-ending schedule for most of the world's top players, including world number one Roger Federer, could take its toll in the heat at Melbourne Park.

"I'm going to be a lot fresher than Federer," Australian Hewitt told reporters. "Even when you look at (Novak) Djokovic, (Rafael) Nadal ... (Nikolai) Davydenko were getting tired at the Masters Cup so I'm going to be a lot fresher than those guys but I've just got to try and get some matches under my belt."

The world number 21, who annually carries the weight of his country's hopes of a first home champion at the Australian Open since Mark Edmondson in 1976, has been working with Federer's former coach Tony Roche to climb back up the rankings and prepare for 2008.

"It's long hours, trying to get the miles in my legs but also working on specific areas," he said of working with compatriot Roche, who helped Federer win six grand slam titles before they parted in May.

"The hard work's probably been done up until now and the next week or so and then try and taper off a bit more."

Hewitt, who will warm up for the Australian Open by appearing at the Sydney International event which starts on Jan. 6, added he would also compete at next year's Beijing Olympics.

Super-coach Tony Roche says Lleyton Hewitt will be primed to give the Australian Open a "real shake" next month and 2008 could be a "real big year for him".

Roche has been working with Hewitt to add variety and aggression to his game in the tour off-season and made it clear today that nothing was being left to chance in terms of fitness and sheer hard work.

"He's doing a lot of training off court and doing three hours a day on court, so the first part of the preparation has gone very well," said Roche.

"There's no question that he's going to be so fit that the five set matches in the heat are not going to be a problem, it's just now getting the matches under his belt in (the) Adelaide and Sydney (tournaments), and I think if he can do that then he'll be a real threat."

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ROCHE TIPS HEWITT TO WIN AUSTRALIAN OPEN!

Lleyton Hewitt's new coach, Tony Roche, believes the former world No 1 can win the 2008 Australian Open.

Roche, who began coaching Hewitt in July after parting company with Roger Federer, said Hewitt was ready for a career renaissance and that he was "definitely" capable of returning to the game's upper echelon.

Roche revealed Hewitt intended to change his game style slightly, adding more variation and aggression, recognising that Federer and Rafael Nadal were playing a different game to the one that Hewitt "dominated" some years ago.

Asked what Hewitt's goal was for the upcoming Australian Open, Roche replied bluntly: "To win it."

"You're dealing with a world-class player who's been there with that experience ... obviously he wants to win the Australian Open," Roche said.

"It's something that means a lot to him, and he's already got a Wimbledon and a US [Open]. So he wants to win the Australian Open and it's been too long since we've had a winner here. So I'm sure the public are going to get behind him and he'll give it a real shake. There's no question about that."

Roche said Hewitt "most definitely" could climb back into the elite bracket.

But, Roche insisted, he had to add new dimensions to his game.

"That's where he needs to work," Roche said.

"When he was dominating, it was a certain way the players played, but now you've got Nadal and Federer playing a different type of tennis."

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HEWITT 'S TRAINING TORTURE!!

Lleyton Hewitt is spending up to six hours a day steeling his body for a renewed tilt at the Australian Open title.

Hewitt, 26, has been ravaged by injury and fitness concerns since reaching the 2005 Melbourne Park decider and this year failed to reach a grand slam quarter-final for the first time since 1999.

But the South Australian yesterday declared he was on track to be the fittest he had ever been for the Australian Open after a series of searching workouts with coach Tony Roche

"I'm hitting every day with 'Rochey' for three hours," Hewitt said yesterday.

"I'd be spending about the same time in the gym each day.

"By the time the Australian Open comes around, I'd like to be fitter than I ever have been going into it."

Two years ago, Hewitt stunned the tennis world when he arrived at Rod Laver Arena carrying more muscle than ever before after an intensive strengthening program devised by then coach Roger Rasheed.

Since then, Hewitt's effectiveness has been compromised by ankle and knee complaints.

Recovered from an ankle problem which prematurely ended his season in Tokyo in October, Hewitt is in the throes of a brutal pre-season under Roche.

Hewitt conceded the training was tough.

"Rochey and I are hitting on my court every day and doing all the preparation for the Australian Open series (Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne)," Hewitt said.

"He's very tough and we've been spending a lot of hours getting things right.

"It's been great.

"Every day he's working with me on specific things.

"We're working on specific shots, specific tactics. There's a purpose behind every drill and I'm really enjoying it."

This year Hewitt reached the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon, the third round in Melbourne and the second round at the US Open.

He remains confident, however, of rebounding strongly at the Australian Open.

"Everything is good at the moment and I'm really looking forward to getting back to the Australian Open," Hewitt said.

"It's the one tournament I'd love to win."

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NEW SURFACE FOR 2008

In 2008, the Rebound Ace surface which has been in place for the past 20 years at Flinders Park, will be replaced by a cushioned acrylic surface known as Plexicushion.

The main benefits of the new surface: better consistency and less retention of heat (due to a thinner top layer).

This change will be accompanied by changes in the surfaces of all lead-up tournaments to the Australian Open.

Work began on the removal of the old surface on 4 June 2007.

The decision has been met with much controversy, primarily due to the new surface's similarity to DecoTurf, the surface already being utilised by the US Open.

Tournament director Craig Tiley said the speed of the courts would continue to play in the medium to medium-fast range, would be firmer and would also have lower heat retention to reduce the chances of the event's extreme heat policy being invoked.

Tiley said the new surface would also have more consistent pace and bounce.

"The court characteristics for next year's Australian Open will be very similar to what we achieved in 2007, with the surface playing in the medium to medium-fast range," Tiley said in a statement.

"The annual review of the courts had to be more extensive this year because of their age and condition. Once it was established that a major rebuild was required, an exhaustive selection process was undertaken."

Tiley insisted the court was not classified as hard, maintaining its difference from the other grand slam events on the calendar, particularly the US Open at Flushing Meadow.

Former US Open and Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt has long been a critic of the Rebound Ace surface used at Flinders Park, saying a faster court would improve his chances of winning his home grand slam event.

Organisers used the extreme heat policy in Melbourne in mid-January when temperatures soared above 40 degrees Celsius on court, with several players forced to retire under the intense conditions.

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HEWITT IN FAVOUR OF NEW AUSTRALIAN OPEN SURFACE

Lleyton Hewitt says the new Plexicushion hardcourts to be used at next month's Australian Open will help reduce wear and tear injuries for the players.

Plexicushion will replace Rebound Ace as the official court surface for this summer's Australian circuit, culminating with the year's opening grand slam tournament in Melbourne, starting on January 14.

The Australian former world No.1 was a strident critic of the Rebound Ace hard court surface and said heat was a major factor in playing on the surface.

Hewitt unveiled the new Plexicushion surface at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre on Thursday ahead of next month's Sydney International, the major lead-in tournament to the Australian Open.

"I think the biggest thing about the Plexicushion is hopefully it can take out the different variations in speed that we've had with Rebound Ace over the years," Hewitt said after cutting a ceremonial ribbon on centre court along with his new coach Tony Roche.

The world No.21, who missed the last month of this year's season with an ankle problem, said he hopes the new blue courts will reduce injuries.

"I think the heat was a major factor in Rebound Ace, not only the way it played but also how grinding it was on your body, your hips and lower back, areas like that," he said.

"We saw a lot of twisted ankles over the years and that's due to the amount of heat that was held in the court and how sticky it got.

"If you just put your hand on the Rebound Ace surface on a 35 (Celsius) degree day you're nearly blistering straight away."

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SMEETS AWARDED AUSTRALIAN OPEN WILDCARD!

Queensland left-hander Robert Smeets has been rewarded for the best season of his career with a wildcard into the main draw of Australian Open 2008.

This year Smeets, 22, has lifted his world singles ranking from 391 to a career high 149 (it is currently 150), with a 53-25 win/loss record in the 34 events he has contested.

“Robert has had an outstanding year,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said. “He has massively improved his ranking, been our best performed under 23 player on the circuit and is close to direct entry into the Australian Open.

“Those achievements, in addition to our youth policy, means that Robert has already earned a wildcard, so it makes sense for him to get it now and begin preparations for the Australian Open.

“We’ve made this decision early because it frees up another position in the 16-man field for the Australian Open play-off and provides opportunity for another young player to get some valuable experience against the country’s best talent,” Tiley said.

A very happy Smeets said he was grateful for the opportunity to try and improve on his second-round appearance at Australian Open 2007.

“I got to play against (Czech) Tomas Berdych on Margaret Court Arena in the second round and I am really looking forward to coming back and trying to go further in 2008,” he said.

In 2007 the Queenslander won a Challenger in the United States and Futures tournaments in Great Britain, Spain, Kuwait and Australia (Wollongong). He credits a lot of his improvement to the AIS Pro Tour program, better scheduling and his AIS program coach, James Trotman.

“In the past I have gone along and won or lost and not really been able to analyse where I went right or wrong. Working with James has been fantastic and allowed us to really break down all aspects of my game and focus on what needs to be done to get better.”

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Li plans Oz Open comeback!

Injury-hit Li Na will re-launch her Olympic ambitions at two events in Australia next month.

China's top-ranked women's player, who has been sidelined since May, will play the Australian Women's Hardcourts tournament and the Australian Open as she sets her sights on Olympic glory, the China Daily said.

"I am more motivated now and I feel my desire for the Olympics is bigger than ever before," the 26-year-old told the state-run newspaper.

Li was 16th in the world last January, her best ever position and the highest by a Chinese player, but suffered a rib injury during a pre-Wimbledon warm-up event.

That forced her to pull out of the Grand Slam tournament and sent her on a downward spiral that lasted months, seeing her drop 13 places to 29th in the rankings.

"I just cannot believe what happened to me in the summer," Li said in Guangzhou, southern China, where she is training.

"They were really dark days for me," she added. "I was anxious and just kept on asking people when I could come back. But what I got is just wait and wait."

The previous year's Wimbledon was the scene of Li's greatest triumph, when she became the first Chinese player ever to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam tournament.

That year Zheng Jie and Yan Zi also wrote their names in the record books by taking China's first ever Wimbledon title in winning the women's doubles.

Both Li and Zheng, who has also suffered a series of injuries this year, are on their way back. China's national team coach Jiang Hongwei said Li would need about six weeks to regain her form.

"I know I won't get back my form very soon, but I am not in a hurry," said Li.

Meanwhile Zheng, 24, has also been passed fit for Australia after winning the China Tennis Grand Prix doubles title last week with Yan, her first event since June.

Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.