Cross-sport love match between tennis star Maria Kirilenko and hockey superstar Alex Ovechkin is no more.Stephanie Myles at Busted Racquet1 day ago
Russian lovebirds Maria Kirilenko and her hockey superstar fiancé, Alex Ovechkin of the NHL's Washington Capitals, are no more.
According to this news report, which cites the Russian Tennis Federation and an official release from Kirilenko's camp (and re-Tweeted by Kirilenko on her Twitter feed), they have broken their engagement but, of course, remain the best of friends.
A rough translation:
"There are many reasons, but do not want to go into details. I will say one thing: our relationship is over, but I respect Sasha as a person and athlete and I sincerely wish him continued athletic success."
"I am currently also focused on preparing for the next tournament and I hope that will soon be able to provide fans with news not only about my personal life, but also about my athletic success."
After a long relationship with fellow player Igor Andreev, Kirilenko surprised tennis fans – and dismayed many, if the reaction to this exclusive was any indication – by taking up with Ovechkin in November, 2011.
- Stephanie Myles at Busted Racquet2 days ago
The awarding of a wild card to former top-20 player Viktor Troicki of Serbia into this week's clay-court ATP Tour event in Gstaad, Switzerland has generated quite a bit of buzz.
One side thinks the Serb shouldn't be rewarded with freebies necessitated by a doping suspension, which is a little like saying a jailed prisoner who has served his sentence shouldn't be offered a job to help him get back on his feet. The other posits that the man has served his time, and there's no downside to giving him a helping hand to make a fresh start.
Troicki, now 28, was given a one-year suspension after refusing to take a blood test at the Monte Carlo tournament in April 2013. He said he was feeling under the weather, and also that he had a major fear of needles.
He did take a urine test; what happened after that was basically a matter of "he said, she said" with his story contradicting the version provided by the doping control official on site, Dr. Elena Gorodilova. Here's a summary of the original decision.
- Stephanie Myles at Busted Racquet2 days ago
Tennis fans and critics are quick to judge every move made by Aussie Bernard Tomic, who certainly has given everyone plenty of juicy material during the early stages of his tennis career.
The 21-year-old – yes, he's just 21 – was once thought of as a leader among the next generation of players that includes Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov and the like. He reached a career best No. 27 in the world after reaching the round of 16 at the Australian Open as a teenager two years ago.
Going into this week, he was nearly 100 spots below that, at No. 124.
- Stephanie Myles at Busted Racquet4 days ago
One of the compelling things about tennis is that there are no age or weight classes. Whatever their age, size, weight or reach, the two players compete on a level playing field and bring their individual skill sets to the court.
But you have to appreciate the sense of humor displayed by Israel's 5-foot-9 Dudi Sela after a 7-6, 7-6 defeat to 6-11 Croatian Ivo Karlovic in Bogotá on Thursday.
What made it even funnier is that the two players were dressed identically - white shirt, dark shorts, white baseball cap.
Karlovic, the 35-year-old defending champ in Bogotá, broke into a big smile when he saw Sela head over to get a chair, quickly realizing what he was up to.
There is plenty of photographic evidence of these types of handshakes during Karlovic's long career. Here's one with American Tim Smyczek, who also is listed at 5-9.
Taller isn't always better, though. Smyczek defeated Karlovic 6-4, 7-6(5), 7-5 in their first-round match at the Australian Open last year.
- Stephanie Myles at Busted Racquet11 days ago
It should be a great time in the life of Czech tennis star Petra Kvitova, as she basks in the glow of winning her second Wimbledon title on Saturday.
But there has been criticism back home of Kvitova's decision to establish residency in Monte Carlo for tax purposes.
And this has reportedly led to a man making threats over the telephone, about a "publicly known person," believed to be Kvitova.
The man was arrested, according to this Associated Press report, because the threats were considered serious.
Monte Carlo residency is almost a rite of passage for any successful athlete, and dozens (probably hundreds) from many countries do it.
Among the tennis players are Serbia's Novak Djokovic, Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki, Canadian Milos Raonic, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, Australia's Bernard Tomic, and on and on.
Kvitova's Monte Carlo residency is nothing new. But her winning the Wimbledon title and coming to Prague to show it off obviously sparked renewed criticism.
- Stephanie Myles at Busted Racquet12 days ago
Whatever was wrong with Serena Williams during that bizarre, short-lived doubles appearance with her sister Venus last week at Wimbledon, she's still suffering from it.
The Collector Swedish Open, taking place in Bastad, Sweden next week, regretfully announced Thursday that Williams – a huge get for the small tournament who was to make her second consecutive appearance there – has withdrawn.
From the press release (Swedish version can be found here), Williams's statement says that she is still not 100 per cent recovered, and doesn't want to compete until she is. She hopes to resume training next week.
- Stephanie Myles at Busted Racquet13 days ago
It seemed, this time, that Ana Ivanovic had found the right coach.
He wasn't one of those "superstar" type coaches, the big names of Ivanovic's past that included David Taylor, Sven Groeneveld, Craig Kardon (that didn't last long), Nigel Sears, Antonio Van Grichen and Heinz Gunthardt. He was closer to her age, spoke her language, understood where she came from and during their time together, she certainly appeared to regain a semblance of her former form.
Well, Nemanja Kontic is no more, after just one year.
Ivanovic announced on her website today that she and Kontic had parted ways by mutual agreement.
Kontic’s contract expired after Wimbledon, the brief statement on the website says, and after "amicable discussions" it will not be renewed.
Ivanovic won three titles this season, after a few drought years. She reached the third round of the French Open and Wimbledon, which might have been a disappointment to her after her recent efforts, including winning the grass-court warmup event at Birmingham.
The new coach will be announced "in the coming weeks."
- Stephanie Myles at Busted Racquet14 days ago
The WTA Tour hereby nominates Canadian Genie Bouchard for best actress, supporting actress, AND best documentary.
Well, not quite, but close.
For the month of June, the 20-year-old Wimbledon finalist is one of three finalists for the "Player of the Month" award, as well as one of three for the "Rising star of the month" award.
Vote here for the Rsing Star award.
Vote here for the Player of the Month award.
In the "Rising Star" category, Bouchard is up against Americans Madison Keys and Coco Vandeweghe, both of whom won their first WTA Tour title in June.
Keys, 19, is ranked a career-best No. 27; Vandeweghe, 22, is ranked a career-best No. 42.
Bouchard is ranked No. 7.
Is is just us, or is being nominated for "Player of the month" AND "Rising Star of the month" sort of like being nominated for the "best player" and also "most improved?"
- Stephanie Myles at Busted Racquet14 days ago
Since Wimbledon champ Novak Djokovic spoke in his post-match press conference about an upcoming wedding (and it obviously won't be during the summer U.S. hard-court season), it appears that all the reports out of Serbia may eventually get it right.
This wedding is a big deal in Djokovic's home country; it's almost a royal wedding.
Original reports had the right location at the Aman Sveti Stefan in Montenegro, on the Adriatic coast, but the date (a week before the start of Wimbledon) wrong.
- Shane Bacon at Busted Racquet16 days ago
Sports aren't supposed to give us the perfect matchup on the perfect stage, but that's what happened on Sunday at Wimbledon, when Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer battled it out in one of the most historic Wimbledon finals ever.
Djokovic, a man in desperate need of a Grand Slam finals win, took down Roger Federer, a man fighting that unbeatable battle with Father Time, in a five-set final Sunday that nobody will soon forget.
The crazy thing about this Wimbledon final is it looked over early in the fourth set, when Federer found himself down a set and inn a 3-5 hole to a man who was battling injury at times, but seemed to bounce back faster and stronger with each visit from the trainer.
Djokovic was serving for the match at 5-3 in the fourth after some loose service games from Federer, but the 17-time Grand Slam winner was able to break Novak to keep himself in the match. Federer went on to win the final four games of that fourth set, and took all the momentum of the match to the deciding fifth set where Federer has seen both triumph and heartbreak.