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Offline conchita

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2007, 07:12:16 AM »
AUSTRALIAN TENNIS CAN FLOURISH AGAIN!!!  :)

Craig Tiley is taking Australian tennis back to the future.

Amid forecasts of doom and gloom, the South African-born mover and shaker can see a ray of sunshine through the clouds.

Since arriving from the US in mid-2005 with a mandate to "re-design, re-organise and re-energise" tennis in Australia, Tiley has made tremendous gains.

The short-sighted will point to the rankings freefall of Lleyton Hewitt – now 21st in the world and without a Grand Slam in more than five years – and the relegation from the World Group of Australia's Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams as evidence to the contrary.

The true believers – who include Tiley's hand-picked TA staff he describes as the best working unit in the business – will argue the emergence of a raft of world-class juniors is proof the future of Australian tennis is indeed bright.

The neutrals must wait and see.

But here are some telling facts:

- Australia this year completed the rare double of Junior Davis Cup–Junior Fed Cup success and have 15 boys and girls in the world's top 100 under 18 years players, second only to the United States with 19. Considering 54 nations are represented in the top 100, Australia's strike rate is quite something.

- Boys alone, Australia has 10 juniors in the top 100, second only to America's 11, and five in the top 20, more than double any other country and including the world's premier 15-year-old in Queensland wonder kid Bernard Tomic.

- Australia is home to reigning Australian Open junior champion Brydan Klein and French Open junior runner-up Greg Jones.

- Australia has five girls in the top 100, the fourth-most of any nation and trailing only prolific Russia (10), USA (8) and Romania (7).

- Among the pros, Australia now has 16 players in the world's top 250, up from just nine pre-Tiley in 2004, which was the lowest total since rankings were introduced in 1973.

"That's a remarkable turnaround, so we're back to similar sort of levels to where we were in 1997," Tiley said.

But Tiley, a former South African Davis Cup captain who came to TA's attention after twice being named America's national coach of the year for transforming the University of Illinois into the US's No.1 college team, is anything but satisfied.

The 46-year-old has a vision to revive the halcyon days of Australian tennis of the 1950s and '60s .

Besides, cold, hard statistics don't tell half the story of what Tiley is building at Tennis Australia.

With a strong focus on improved coaching and a particular emphasis on making his staff accountable, Tiley has implemented an impressive though fundamentally simple strategic plan designed to make Australia the No.1 tennis nation in the world once again.

In his words, Tiley inherited "a disorganised system, which wasn't very clear in what the objectives were or which direction it was going".

In other words, the previous administration had taken their eyes off the ball and, consequently, an entire generation of potential champions was lost between the mid-80s, when Australia won two Davis Cups and Pat Cash won Wimbledon, until the emergence a decade later of Pat Rafter, Mark Philippoussis and Hewitt, who between them accrued two Davis Cups from four finals and four Grand Slam titles and six runner-up trophies.

Tennis Australia was in such a mess when Tiley took over as director of player development two-and-a-half years ago that he has since added several more functions to his portfolio, including directorship of the Australian Open, in order to help TA chief Steve Wood oversee four very specific divisions within the organisation.

They are coach development, athlete development, tournaments and competitions and community tennis.

Part of Tiley's initial charge aimed at ultimately "developing our next champion" was to "evaluate the current systems and it was very clear that there was not a clear athlete pathway with entry and exit points".

"And the results were not forthcoming," Tiley quickly learned. "The results were fairly poor.

"So there was a significant change – an 80 per cent change in staff in the first six months.

"I had to do a lot of hiring and firing. Then we brought a new team on board.

"There were some carryovers from the old team and we now have a business model in place where strategic policy is owned by someone – either by one person or a team of people – and they are going to be held accountable for delivering between now and 2012."

Among a host of initiatives, TA introduced a national talent search program, which includes luring youngsters from other sports, as well as the "Hot Shots" participation program "to get more kids playing tennis more often and for longer".

TA established five national academies in the five major capital cities – each with a head coach – to ensure a consistent developmental pathway for juniors across the country and also introduced one national ranking system.

"So we no longer focus on (excelling in) the juniors. We now focus on preparing your tennis for the professional scene," Tiley said.

"There is no such thing as being good in the 12s and good in the 14s anymore. It's one ranking for everyone.

"When the kids reach 16 and they meet certain criteria, we provide them with a coach and fully fund their preparation for the professional tour.

"We redefined the pathway. It's now three simple steps.

"If you're under-12, it's the talent search program. Through ages 10-16, you're in the national academy program. And 16-plus, you're on the pro tour program."

TA established AMTs – Australian Money Tournaments – including 30 × $10,000 events open to anyone and 23 pro circuit events ranging in prize money from $15,000 to $50,000.

To help the game grow at grassroots level, TA introduced a $6 million court rebate program aimed at improving facilities across the country.

Significantly, in a bid to banish synthetic grass – the surface which Todd Woodbridge once famously described as cancerous to Australian tennis – TA is installing more Plexipave and Plexicushion courts.

And, perhaps most importantly of all, there has been a conscious effort to construct more clay courts, the premier surface for developing players' games.

Because of the great cost in maintaining clay courts in Australia, TA is even helping clubs get more water tanks and has helped developed a chemical that can improve retention of water on courts.

The changes at TA go on and on.

"One of our more successful initiatives has been accountability," Tiley said.

"Across the board, we've required accountability from everyone and that includes playing off for wildcards, meeting certain criteria to receive scholarship opportunities ... we're no longer in the business of handouts.

"That time has gone. It's all about earning your place. Everything we provide is not a right. It's a privilege, and you earn privileges.

"We've been very aggressive in putting these programs in place. I've been very focused, I'm holding people accountable – if they perform, they stay on board. If they don't, they're out of here.

"And that's been a simple message to everyone. Most of our coaches are on a contract. They're not on full-time employment, so there is a pressure to perform."

Tiley, though, has every faith in his staff to deliver, not least the coaches.

Partly because he has achieved a priority to bring some of the world's best coaches home, with the likes of Tony Roche, Darren Cahill, David Taylor – to mention but a few – all now 100 per cent committed to Australia's cause.

There are lesser names, of course, and they carry as much responsibility, with Tiley adamant that he will measure the performance of his coaches by the success of his players.

Tiley is reluctant to publicly predict how many players Australia will have in the world's top 100 and top 250 by 2012 other than to say TA's goals are "lofty".

"Success in the juniors is no prediction or guarantee of success in the seniors, and that's pretty common knowledge and well researched," he said.

"You absolutely have to be focused on long-term success and long-term gain, and that means having a developed mental focus on your game primarily with a laser-like focus on fundamentals; correct technique.

"In my view – and we've measured this on biomechanical screen sketches – Australians over the last 10 or 15 years have generally been poor technically and, consequently, our results have shown that.

"However, that's changing. I believe we have the best coaches but I think we've looked for too many shortcuts – not necessarily the coaches but everyone has – Tennis Australia, the coaches, some of the players and the parents. And there's no such thing as a shortcut.

"It's a long process, it involves a tremendous amount of effort and hard work but it's extremely rewarding if you get it right.

"We've put all these programs in place. They're still young, only about 18 months old, and they take about three or four years to really stick.

"But if everyone does this right, we'll have tremendous results; and Australia, I'm very confident, will lead the world in tennis again."

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

BERNIE'S THE HEAVY HITTER OF JUNIORS!  :cool:

The world's leading junior, Bernard Tomic, wants to emulate the achievements of his idols Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. But along the way, he is making his own history.

The Australian teenager collected his third Orange Bowl in Florida on Saturday - and is now the only junior to have won the prestigious title, the unofficial world championship, three times, having claimed the under-12, under-14 and now the under-16 division. World No.1 Federer also claimed an Orange Bowl during his ascent through the ranks.

The world's highest-ranked 15-year-old player might have proved himself as the junior shining light of Australian tennis, but he wants more.

"I am really excited about what I achieved until now, but this is nothing if I can't compete with the big boys," Tomic said.

As he headed out to dinner on Saturday night to celebrate with his father and coach, John, and manager Lawrence Frankopan, Tomic said the momentous victory felt like all the others.

"The feeling is the same as winning all the other titles but now I've won a hat-trick, which is good," Tomic said. "I was a bit nervous going into the match because I have been playing bad over the last couple of weeks. So, I'm happy I've had a win."

Tomic cleaned up his opponent, Jose Pereira of Brazil, in the final, 6-2, 7-5.

While former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt last week lamented the lack of determined Australian juniors coming through the ranks, Tomic is proving an anomaly.

This year, despite being four years younger than most of his rivals, he moved into the top 20 of the under-18 world rankings.

"I have had a solid year and feel that I have definitely grown as a player," Tomic said.

"I have worked really hard on my development and I feel I am far from my best and I really have a long way to go still. The highlight of my year must have been winning Kentucky [ITF] Grade 1. All the big players were there and I tested myself to the limit.

"My immediate goal is to keep on developing and play some futures next year and just keep on progressing and making the change from juniors to seniors. It's a long road and I want to work hard and stay healthy."

Tomic admires the games and grit of Federer and Nadal but has had little time to mix with his heroes while furiously training, touring and playing.

"I'm a bit busy myself with training. I admire their calm and hustle for every ball and I also admire their belief."

Encouraging his own belief is his father, John.

"My father is my coach still and that is going great," Tomic said. "Sean [Fyfe] is helping me a lot with other areas of my game but my father is still a big force in my life and in my playing career."

Frankopan said that the past year has been critical to the teenager's development as he steadily moved towards the senior circuit.

"He really has made a very important step in becoming more of a complete player [this year]," Frankopan said.

"We are just taking one step at a time so that we can build a solid foundation for the future. We are very happy to have selected to play Orange Bowl 16 and not 18 as this stage of his career is a marathon not a sprint. We believe that he needs to win at every level so this foundation is secure. We are in no rush to push him to play above himself and this will, in our professional opinion, bear more fruit in the future."

Tomic said he had focused on improving his mental toughness in his game this year and is yet to do strength work in the gym.

"[I've been working on my] all-round mental toughness," Tomic said. "My body is still growing and I can't hit the weights room yet."

He is aware success will mean sacrifice.

"The travel has been tough and being away from Australia and my family, which I love, but I know that I have to sacrifice things to get ahead. It's frustrating sometimes to keep playing from week to week but I love tennis and I feel the luckiest guy in the world to have this opportunity".
Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.

Offline euroka1

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2007, 10:58:35 AM »
conchita, that's music to my ears.  :harp:
Thanks ever so.

Offline conchita

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2007, 05:00:07 PM »
Countdown: 24 days, 1 hour!  :)
Melboune Time: 10.00 am

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

Tennis Ranks As Top Sport Among Australians!!!!  :)

 Tennis has regained its lead as the sport of choice among Australians with a surge in television viewing and print media readership propelling it to the No. 1 spot for the first time since 2001.

Swimming, football, cricket, soccer and rugby follow tennis as the sports generating the highest level of interest, according to the winter edition of the Sweeney Sports Report.

Tennis attracted the highest viewership of any sport with nearly six of every ten people (56%) tuned in. Meanwhile, the Australian Open ranked third among the country's most important sporting events, following the Australian Rules Grand Final and the Melbourne Cup, the annual thoroughbred horse race.

In addition to the Australian Open, the country hosts two other ATP tournaments: the season-opening Next Generation Adelaide International and the Medibank International in Sydney. Earlier this month, Australian No. 1 and four-time Sydney champion Lleyton Hewitt helped open the new-look Sydney Olympic Tennis Park.

The Sweeney Sports Report is recognized as Australia’s most authoritative sports and sponsorship survey and calculates ‘interest’ by combining data about the proportions of adult Australians in capital cities who participate in, attend, watch television programs, listen to radio broadcasts, read print media reports and use the internet for information about each sport.

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

Australian Open Play-offs!  :grind dance:
Finals!  :)

Flinders Park!  ://

Today's finals 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).
 
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."

------

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).
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 #23 on: December 20, 2007, 06:01:05 PM »
Coundown: 24 days!
Melbourne Time: 11:00 am

American Madison Brengle Earns Australian Open Wild Card

Madison Brengle defeated Alexa Glatch, 6-3, 6-4, on Thursday to earn her second Australian Open singles main draw wild card.

The eight player field in the women's competition for a wild card entry to the 2008 Australian Open began on Monday with round robin play. Brengle and Glatch advanced to the final with perfect 3-0 records in round robin.

The women’s competition included Bethanie Mattek, Brengle, Coco Vandeweghe, Asia Muhammed, Ahsha Rolle, Gail Brodsky, Glatch and Ashley Weinhold. In order to be eligible to compete, players had to born in 1985 or later, be in the top 300 in the WTA rankings and have U.S. citizenship.

Five of the eight women made the women’s main draw at the 2007 US Open with Rolle having the most success. She upset No. 17 seed Tatiana Golovin in the first round and reached the third round before falling to Dinara Safina.

John Isner, Wayne Odesnik, Jesse Levine and Alex Kuznetsov are the four players in the men's competition battling to win a wild card to the 2008 Australian Open. The criteria for the men were being ranked in the top 200 in the world and being born in 1985 or later. They will play December 18-20 in Boca Raton and will also use a round robin format (in best of three matches) and the player with the best record then wins the wild card entry.

If two players finish with a 2-1 record, an additional match will be played between those players to decide the winner. If three players finish at 2-1, head-to-head matchups will be looked at next and then total games won.

Isner broke through at the 2007 US Open, upsetting No. 26 seed Jarkko Nieminen in the men's first round and advanced to the third round where he faced defending champion Roger Federer. Isner won the first set in a tiebreak over the world No. 1 before falling in four sets. Odesnik advanced to the second round in the men’s draw in Flushing, falling to Juan Ignacio Chela. Kuznetsov and Levine also were both entered in the men’s main draw at the US Open, losing in the first round.

The 2008 Australian Open will be played January 14-27 in Flinders Park.

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

Australian Open 2008 finals draw

Friday 21 December
Women
Starting at 11.00 am
Olivia Rogowska v Christina Wheeler

Men
Not before 12.30 pm
Joseph Sirianni v Adam Feeney

*If it rains matches will be moved indoors.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2007, 06:01:58 PM by conchita »
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 #24 on: December 20, 2007, 08:00:37 PM »
Countdown: 23 days, 22 hours!!!!
Melbourne Time: 1:00 pm

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

Wheeler wins play-off and AO wildcard!

Christina Wheeler won the Australian Open 2008 women's wildcard today, after beating 16-year-old Olivia Rogowska in the play-off at Flinders Park.

Wheeler, 25, dominated until the final stages of the match, closing out 6-0 6-4.

Now ranked 217 in the world in singles, Wheeler from Mlebourne earned her passage to the main draw of Australian Open 2008, making it her third appearance at the Grand Slam of Asia-Pacific.

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.

Later today, the men's wildcard will be decided when Victorian Joseph Sirianni plays Adam Feeney of NSW.


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 #25 on: December 21, 2007, 12:30:10 AM »
Countdown: 23 days, 17 hours, 30 minutes!!!!
Melbourne Time: 5:30 pm

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

Wheeler wins play-off and AO wildcard!

Christina Wheeler won the Australian Open 2008 women's wildcard today, after beating 16-year-old Olivia Rogowska in the play-off at Flinders Park.

Wheeler, 25, dominated until the final stages of the match, closing out 6-0 6-4.

Now ranked 217 in the world in singles, Wheeler from Mlebourne earned her passage to the main draw of Australian Open 2008, making it her third appearance at the Grand Slam of Asia-Pacific.

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.

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

Sirianni wins play-off and AO wildcard!

Joseph Sirianni defeats Adam Feeney 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

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

Dokic optimistic about injury!

Jelena Dokic has vowed to continue her quest to make next year’s Australian Open only days after a thigh injury forced her withdrawal from the wildcard play-off.

Dokic cited a limited preparation as a major factor behind her injury.

“You can do as match as you can in practice, but lack of match play, you can’t substitute that with anything,” she said.

An optimistic Dokic was quizzed about the severity of her injury, but insisted that it was only minor and would not keep her out of action for long.

“It was something that happened straight after the first match, but I went through every match waiting to see how it would be,” she said.

“Every match it was gradually getting worse, but I could play with it.

“Now it’s better than it was since my last match, but it’s something that will take a couple of days.

“It just needs some time, but is nothing major.”

Dokic has said that the Australian Open is not her main concern at the moment; instead she would rather concentrate on returning to the court as soon as possible.

She said that the Mondial International on the Gold Coast was probably too soon to target a return, but firmly set her sights on the Moorilla International in Hobart.

“I think Gold Coast will be a little bit soon. I’m still deciding on that, so I think Hobart will be probably a little bit more suitable for me,” she said.

Dokic assured fans that her hunger and passion to make a successful comeback have not been diminished by her latest setback.

“I would love to be able to play a tournament again today. I’m really looking forward to playing again,” she said.

Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said that Dokic is still very much a drawcard for fans and said that organisers will take circumstances into account when deciding whether or not to grant her a wildcard.

“She made it pretty clear she wants to play matches,” Tiley said.

“We believe she is (a drawcard) and it’s been fun to watch her the past three months make some strides with her tennis.”

“She’s doing it the right way. She’s not expecting anything; she’s going out and trying to find a way to make it happen.”

There are seven wildcards available for entry into the women’s draw, and four of them are discretionary

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

Gooch and Looch join forces for Australian Open 2008!!!!

Australia’s number two and three players are teaming up to contest the doubles at Australian Open 2008.

The pair have or played together once before, at the Sunrise Challenger in the United States last year where they lost in the first round.

The pair are hoping to better that performance at the first Grand Slam tournament of 2008.

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John Isner and Ivo Karlovic pair up!!!

Big-hitting American hope John Isner will join serving forces with Croatian ace-maker Ivo Karlovic in a powerhouse doubles pairing at the Australian Open.
 
Both men stand just short of seven-feet tall, with opponents set to feel the forces of the new pairing. Karlovic, at 6-foot-10 is the only player on the tour taller than Isner.
 
"When I get up there with the bigger players, that's when I start playing my best. If I get into the Australian Open, I'm pretty sure I can do some damage," Isner said of his singles chances, which will likely have to come through qualifying

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Just one thing ... Peter Luczak!!!   
 
Peter Luczak.One thing you are passionate about? (Apart from tennis.)
Fishing, I love my fishing.

One thing we wouldn't expect to find in your tennis bag?
Poker chips.

One thing you can't live without?
My family and I love a good book. I just read a great book called Ultra Marathon Man.

One thing you wish you hadn't done?
I regret not getting x-rays on my foot as soon as I hurt it.

One thing you would like to do?
I'd love to run a marathon one day or climb Mount Everest.

One thing we might not know about you?
I love going to the footy. I'm a mad Essendon supporter.

One thing you'd like to be remembered for?
I'd like to be known as a hard worker, an honest bloke and a down-to-earth person.

One thing you do before a big match?
I like listening to music, I love a lot of the Aussie music. My favourite would have to be AC/DC.

One thing you have done today?
Rode in on my bike to tennis (Flinders Park). Same stuff - gym, tennis, running.

One thing you will do today?
Play with my little mate (son, Sebastian), he loves to wrestle, we have a good laugh.
Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.

Offline pawan89

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2007, 12:57:47 AM »
Isner and Karlovic. Damn. Can either return a slice :rofl_2:
That's a scary though though. They could cause some upsets.


Offline conchita

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2007, 01:00:14 AM »
Countdown: 23 days, 17 hours!!!!
Melbourne Time: 6:00 pm

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

Aussie tennis Open adopts anti-corruption measures!  :cool:

Australian Open organisers have introduced anti-corruption measures designed to prevent illegal gambling and match-fixing during next month's grand slam tournament.

Tennis Australia on Friday unveiled its anti-corruption policy, which includes a hotline to report alleged corruption, a ban on unauthorised use of laptop computers courtside and enhanced security measures designed to restrict access to players.

The moves follows reports of suspicious betting activity on several overseas matches this year, as well as players claiming they had been approached to throw matches.

TA chief executive Steve Wood said strict sanctions would apply for players and their support staff for breaches of the policy, ranging from fines to life bans.

Offenders could also face prison terms, with offences arising from match-fixing facing a maximum of 15 years' jail under Victorian state law.

"We don't believe our sport has a corruption problem but we do recognise that a threat to the integrity of tennis exists," Wood said.

The January 14-27 Australian Open is the first grand slam tournament to introduce such measures.

Tennis Australia’s newly-established Anti-Corruption Commission (TAACC) will be chaired by Brian Collis, QC, and former detective Sal Perna will be its investigative officer.

"We’ve conducted a thorough analysis of the issue and consulted with a variety of stakeholders, including other sporting organisations, betting agencies and law enforcement," Wood said.
Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.

Offline Dallas

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2007, 09:45:05 AM »
Isner and Karlovic. Damn. Can either return a slice :rofl_2:
That's a scary though though. They could cause some upsets.

Frankly I think this would be a boring team.  All service winners and nothing else.  Like watching paint dry! :\

Offline conchita

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2007, 10:30:17 AM »
Countdown: 23 days, 7 hours, 30 minutes!!!
Melbourne Time: 3:30 am

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

Christina Wheeler and Joseph Sirianni both won wildcards into the Australian Open main draw in the play-off finals at Flinders Park.

Wheeler dominated until the final stages of her match, winning 6-0 6-4 over 16-year-old Olivia Rogowska.

Now ranked 217 in the world in singles, Wheeler, from Melbourne, earned her passage to the main draw of Australian Open 2008, making it her third appearance at the Grand Slam of Asia-Pacific.

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.

The best-of-five men’s play-off final, between Victorian Joseph Sirianni and Adam Feeney from New South Wales, commenced on the outside courts, but after a rain interruption, was moved inside to Rod Laver Arena.

Under hot and humid conditions, Sirianni held off a determined Feeney, eventually winning 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-4.

“I’m really stoked.  This is the best Christmas present I’ve ever had,” said an elated Sirianni.

“I’ve been runner-up three times in the wildcard play-off, and you have no idea, I can’t describe how good it feels to have finally won. 

“If I was to draw one of the top players, I’d just get out there and really enjoy it.  It would be something I could one day tell my kids or my grandkids, that I’d played a Federer or Nadal in the Australian Open,” said Sirianni.

This will be Sirianni’s fourth Australian Open appearance.  His best result saw him post a first-round win over Belarussian Max Mirnyi in 2003.

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6-foot-9 Isner intends to pair up with 6-10 Croatian Ivo Karlovic to play doubles in Australia. "It was my idea for them to do it in Washington [D.C.] last summer, but I just couldn't make it happen," Duvall said.

The two players have spoken since and agreed to combine their supersonic serves in a brief campaign for world domination. Neither is a total stranger to the discipline. Isner was an NCAA doubles champion at the University of Georgia, and Karlovic won an ATP doubles title in Memphis last year.

"Those guys are not going to be a lot of fun to play," said Bob Bryan, who makes up one half of the world's No. 1 doubles team with his brother Mike. "If they are serving well and the tiebreakers are going their way, they have the potential to beat anyone. Any result they have Down Under won't be a surprise to me."

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Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden is another possible scratch, depending on when wife Petra delivers their second child, due in mid-January.

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Madison Brengle and Jesse Levine Win Australian Open Wild Cards 
   
Madison Brengle defeated Alexa Glatch, 6-3, 6-4, to earn her second Australian Open women's singles main draw wild card and Jesse Levine went 2-0 in the men's competition to earn the wild card into the men's singles main draw at the 2008 Australian Open.

The eight player field in the women's competition for a wild card entry to the 2008 Australian Open began with round robin play. Brengle and Glatch advanced to the final with perfect 3-0 records in round robin.

The women’s competition included Bethanie Mattek, Brengle, Coco Vandeweghe, Asia Muhammed, Ahsha Rolle, Gail Brodsky, Glatch and Ashley Weinhold. In order to be eligible to compete, players had to born in 1985 or later, be in the top 300 in the WTA rankings and have U.S. citizenship.

Five of the eight women made the women’s main draw at the 2007 US Open with Rolle having the most success. She upset No. 17 seed Tatiana Golovin in the first round and reached the third round before falling to Dinara Safina.

Jesse Levine, John Isner, Wayne Odesnik, and Alex Kuznetsov were the four players in the men's competition battling to win the wild card to the Australian Open. The criteria for the men were being ranked in the top 200 in the world and being born in 1985 or later. They also played a round robin format (in best of three matches) and the player with the best record, Levine, won the wild card entry.
 
Levine is currently ranked No. 174 on the ATP Tour, a career-high that he reached in December 2007. He also reached the men's main draw at the US Open, falling in the first round.

Isner broke through at the 2007 US Open, upsetting No. 26 seed Jarkko Nieminen in the men's first round and advanced to the third round where he faced defending champion Roger Federer. Isner won the first set in a tiebreak over the world No. 1 before falling in four sets. Odesnik advanced to the second round in the men’s draw in Flushing, falling to Juan Ignacio Chela. Kuznetsov was also entered in the men’s main draw at the US Open, losing in the first round.

The 2008 Australian Open will be played January 14-27 in Flinders Park.

Men's Results

Wednesday, December 19
Kuznetsov d. Odesnik, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2

Thursday, December 20
Levine d. Odesnik, 6-4, 6-0

Women’s Results

Monday, December 10
Glatch d. Weinhold, 6-4, 6-3
Brengle d. Muhammed, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
Brodsky d. Rolle, 6-2, 6-2
Vandeweghe d. Mattek, 1-6, 7-6, 6-3

Tuesday, December 11
Rolle d. Weinhold, 6-2, 6-4
Glatch d. Brodsky, 6-3, 6-4
Brengle d. Vandeweghe, 7-6 (1), 6-4
Muhammed d. Mattek, 6-2, 6-1

Wednesday, December 12
Weinhold d. Brodsky, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
Glatch d. Rolle (sick)
Vandeweghe d. Muhammed, 7-6, 2-6, 6-2
Brengle d. Mattek, 6-3, 6-1

Thursday, December 13
Brengle d. Glatch, 6-3, 6-4
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 #30 on: December 21, 2007, 01:00:13 PM »
Coundown: 23 days, 5 hours!!!!
Melbourne Time: 6:00 am

Injured tennis player Hrbaty misses Aussie Open!!!!  :(

Dominik Hrbaty has pulled out of the Australian Open after announcing Friday he will be forced to undergo a new operation on his right elbow.

Hrbaty, who will turn 30 on January 4, went under the knife in September but that operation appears not to have resolved his injury problem.

"After I resumed training, I began to feel the pain again. Following consultation, I've opted for an arthroscopy," said Hrbaty, the winner of six ATP tournaments.

The Slovak should return to the courts at the end of January.

Missing the Australian Open, which begins on January 14, means Hrbaty, currently ranked 84 in the world, will miss a grand slam tournament for the first time in the last 11 years.

Elbow problems already cost "Domino" his place in the Slovak Davis Cup team for the world group play-off against South Korea in September, which Slovakia lost.
Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.

Offline Chris1987

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2007, 02:34:33 PM »
Saw a few minutes ago Hrbaty was the latest to pull out, already before the season has started we have had a few withdrawals from tournaments, I sure do hope this isn't a sign of things to come.
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Offline conchita

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2007, 02:41:38 PM »
Saw a few minutes ago Hrbaty was the latest to pull out, already before the season has started we have had a few withdrawals from tournaments, I sure do hope this isn't a sign of things to come.

right now with only 23 days to start action at Flinders Park:

out: Canas, Hrbaty, J.Johanssson

perhaps: Gasquet (withdraws from Adelaide) and Bjorkman (depending on when wife Petra delivers their second child, due in mid-January).


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Offline Chris1987

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #33 on: December 24, 2007, 02:23:35 AM »
Samantha Stosur has pulled out of her home Grand Slam, probably more significant in the doubles event as her and Lisa Raymond are one of the very best pairings in the world.

Samantha Stosur will miss next month's Australian Open after failing to recover from illness in time.

Australia's top ranked women's player missed the latter half of last season after being diagnosed with viral meningitis, an illness which affects the soft tissue surrounding the brain.

The 23-year-old, who is currently ranked 46th in the world, was only able to resume training last month and will not be ready in time for the first Grand Slam event of the season.

"I have been back training for the last three weeks, but I've realised that I won't be fully ready to compete at the Hardcourts, which starts in six days, and I've also withdrawn from the Australian Open," she said.

"I am very disappointed I won't be able to compete during the Australian summer."
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Offline euroka1

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #34 on: December 24, 2007, 04:16:56 AM »
Isner and Karlovic. Damn. Can either return a slice :rofl_2:
That's a scary though though. They could cause some upsets.

Frankly I think this would be a boring team.  All service winners and nothing else.  Like watching paint dry! :\

I agree with Dallas. That's the way it was at the Legg Mason.  :yawn:
Hopefully Isner has upped his ground game since then.

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #35 on: December 24, 2007, 04:56:35 AM »
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.


Chris, the BBC are also showing all the evening matches on BBCi and BBC Sport Website  :) so we don't have to fork out for Eurosport for 2 weeks :yahoo:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/6102132.stm

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #36 on: December 24, 2007, 05:09:09 AM »
Isner and Karlovic. Damn. Can either return a slice :rofl_2:
That's a scary though though. They could cause some upsets.

Frankly I think this would be a boring team.  All service winners and nothing else.  Like watching paint dry! :\
Hey, watch it lady, that's a part of my job!
It's actually quite fascinating.  If you look closely you can check for uniformity of application and proper leveling.
Actually, fascinating probably isn't the right word...... ;-()
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Offline Chris1987

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #37 on: December 24, 2007, 05:10:16 AM »
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.


Chris, the BBC are also showing all the evening matches on BBCi and BBC Sport Website  :) so we don't have to fork out for Eurosport for 2 weeks :yahoo:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/6102132.stm


Yeah thanks Kickserve, I saw that the BBC were going to be doing that again this year which is really handy to know if Eurosport do a trick they do sometimes and show a repeat of a Murray match from earlier in the day instead of the live action from the evening session. It's also great that its on the website and I'm just wondering now whether my computer at work may let me watch the match on BBC website in between doing my actual job  :) would be great if it could for the first week so that I can see the evening matches, then 2nd week I'm off all week and not missing any of the action  :cheer:
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Offline conchita

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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #38 on: December 24, 2007, 11:30:43 AM »
Countdown: 21 days, 6 hours, 30 minutes !!!!
Melbourne Time: 5:30 am
-------------------------

Australian Open - Stosur forced to withdraw!

Australia's number one Sam Stosur has been forced to withdraw from next month's Australian Open having failed to recover from illness, Tennis Australia have confirmed.

The world number 46, who reached the fourth round at Flinders Park in 2006, was struck down with Lyme disease in July which disrupted her US hardcourt season.

But shortly after being dismissed by rising French star Alize Cornet in the opening round of the US Open Stosur discovered she had also contracted viral meningitis.

"I was flying from New York to Tampa and that's when I started to get a headache," Stosur said from the Gold Coast last week. "I put up with it all night and then by six o'clock the next morning I couldn't handle it any more and I called friends and they took me to hospital.

"They worked out within 24 hours it was viral meningitis but it took another four weeks to find out there was another underlying factor why this was happening.

"The doctors say as long as I'm careful not to push myself too hard and do a controlled rehab program the physios have set out for me, I should be fine with no-long term effects."

But Stosur, who reached the final of the women's doubles at the 2006 Australian Open before going on to lift the French Open trophy that year both with Lisa Raymond, has since decided that she will definitely not be fit enough to compete during the Australian summer.

"I am very disappointed I won't be able to compete during the Australian summer," said the 23-year-old, who was also scheduled to play in a warm-up tournament on the Gold Coast.

"I have been back in training for the last three weeks but I've realised that I won't be fully ready to compete at the Mondial Australian Women's Hardcourts, which starts in six days, and I've also withdrawn from the Australian Open.

"I always love competing at home in Australia and have had some of my best results here, which makes the decision not to play especially hard. But I need to concentrate on the long-term goal of getting my health and fitness 100 percent again so I don't want to start competing again until I'm fully ready."

The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year, runs from January 14-27.
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Re: Australian Open
« Reply #39 on: December 24, 2007, 04:51:44 PM »
We haven't even started the season and we already have players withdrawing due to injuries. :innocent: