- Jay Busbee at Busted Racquet8 days ago
Chances are pretty good that if any of us ever earned a $1.45 million check, we wouldn't forget to pick it up. And yet that's exactly what happened to Caroline Wozniacki after she finished runner-up to Serena Williams at the U.S. Open. Wozniacki gathered her trophy and her gear and took off, returning a short while later to claim her prize money.
It's one of many fine anecdotes in a new profile about Wozniacki in the Wall Street Journal. While most mainstream sports press of late had focused on Wozniacki as the jilted bride-to-be of golfer Rory McIlroy, she's coming out from under that perception, in part because of her U.S. Open performance and in part because she's a compelling figure regardless of whom she's dating. As the article notes, Wozniacki is communicative in eight languages, with more than 700,000 Twitter followers, and approximately $10 million in annual endorsement earnings.
- Stephanie Myles at Busted Racquet12 days ago
Above are some of the best wire photos of Li Na over the last few years.
Below are some of the more candid shots we took around the Tour – on the practice courts, with coach Carlos Rodriguez, some lighter moments and, of course, long-suffering husband Jiang Shan – better known to American audiences as Dennis.
- Busted Racquet13 days ago
There will be an official press conference on Sunday in Wuhan, China as the WTA Tour event that comes to life for the first time in her hometown gets under way. But in the meantime, Chinese tennis superstar Li Na has announced her retirement, effective immediately, in a letter to her fans on her Facebook page.
A season that began with her watershed victory at the Australian Open – which bills itself as the Grand Slam of Asia-Pacific – cannot even be completed.
"The task of finally making a decision to hang up my racquet felt a lot more difficult than winning seven matches in a row in the Australian heat. It took me several agonizing months to finally come to the decision that my chronic injuries will never again let me be the tennis player that I can be. Walking away from the sport, effective immediately, is the right decision for me and my family," Li wrote in the letter.
Over the last six years, Li had three surgeries on her right knee, which was never without its intricate black tape job on court. There were countless injections and treatments designed to try to manage the knee well enough to remain on court.
U.S. Davis Cup team will have an opportunity for revenge against Great Britain – but will have to go on the roadBusted Racquet13 days ago
The draw for the 2015 Davis Cup World Group was made Thursday in Dubai. And when all the pairings were finalized, some intriguing matchups emerged.
The American team, forced to contest a playoff tie last weekend against Slovakia because of its first-round loss to the Andy Murray-led Great Britain squad last February in San Diego, will have an opportunity for immediate revenge.
The two teams will meet again in the first round, March 6-8, 2015. Because the U.S. was the host nation the last time, it will be the road squad for this one.
The question today was: if the Scottish independence vote passes today, will Murray be a part of the British team in six months' time? Without him, the Americans would be overwhelming favorites. But Murray himself confirmed Thursday that regardless of the outcome, he would indeed play for Great Britain in 2015; there would not be an official team representing Scotland until at least 2016, at any rate.
Here are the other first-round ties in the World Group:
*France at Germany
*Japan at Canada
- Busted Racquet13 days ago
The people of Scotland go to the pools today to vote on whether they want to achieve independence from the mothership in Great Britain.
And Scotland's greatest tennis player, Andy Murray, who plays under the Great Britain banner, took a stand on Wednesday:
Huge day for Scotland today! no campaign negativity last few days totally swayed my view on it. excited to see the outcome. lets do this!
Six months ago, Murray contended he wouldn't go there, because it was a no-win situation. He had a last-minute change of heart.
Reaction, not surprisingly, came quickly.
Thanks, Andy Murray, for disappointing my mum. She's defended your grumpy face and foul-mouth all these years. Shame on you.
Murray has 2.7 million Twitter followers. As of 10 a.m. EDT, he was reTweeted nearly 16,000 times, and favorited more than 10,000 times.
There is irony to his stand, of course.
“@andy_murray: The no campaign negativity last few days totally swayed my view on it. lets do this!”You live in England. Can't vote 👋👏😂
- Stephanie Myles at Busted Racquet14 days ago
There have been persistent reports the last few months that Li Na, the Chinese mega-star who won the Australian Open this year, is about to retire.
The latest, from a Chinese news outlet (we have no way of knowing how reliable this is, so take it for what it's worth and, if you understand Chinese and can translate some of the video report, please pass it along) says management company IMG will hold a press conference on Friday in Li's hometown of Wuhan to make the announcement.
The report states that Li traveled to Germany, where she has based her operation in recent years because of proximity to the medical team that has kept her ailing right knee fit for play, on Sept. 2. The news was that not only is the right knee in poor shape, but the left knee is getting worse as well.
Another report on Thursday states Li may make a statement on social media Friday, with a briefing to be held on Sunday.
How to shake hands at the net, by Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (and other less-awesome tennis handshakes)Stephanie Myles at Busted Racquet15 days ago
The drive-by handshake is about as commonplace on the women's Tour as the bathroom break.
But Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, a 28-year-old from the Czech Republic who upset Li Na and Caroline Wozniacki on her way to the Wimbledon quarter-finals this summer, would have none of it from 20-year-old Elina Svitolina after their first-round match in Tokyo Monday.
The image seems to be a little faster than real time. But only a little. And the funniest thing was that Svitolina – who was the WINNER – hardly seemed the least bit fazed by it, just accepted it and carried on with her day – which means she might not have gotten the point.
Zahlavova Strycova has been a shining example for her peers of late. Look at these moments from Arthur Ashe Kids' Day on the weekend before the U.S. Open.
She was practicing on one of the field courts as the official festivities for the kids were wrapping up. But approached by one of the dads of these two adorable girls, she took the time move to an adjacent court to hit a few balls with them and pose for photos.
- Stephanie Myles at Busted Racquet15 days ago
In an era when professional players are away from the Tour for three weeks and bemoan their lack of match play, Nicole Vaidisova took to the court in Albuquerque, NM Tuesday afternoon after four and a half years away from the game ... and won in straight sets.
A year off a second shoulder surgery and a breakup with her husband, much-older ATP Tour player veteran Radek Stepanek, the 25-year-old Czech's comeback began against a contemporary and fellow former prodigy, Sesil Karatantcheva of Kazakhstan.
She won, 6-3, 6-4, advancing to the second round of the ColemanVision Tennis Championships, a $75,000 ITF pro circuit event that's a couple of levels below the WTA Tour, but still boasts a high calibre of play.
- Stephanie Myles at Busted Racquet21 days ago
As if all but the most ardent tennis fans didn't have enough trouble following the Davis Cup from year to year, the International Tennis Federation confirmed Wednesday that the dates for the four rounds of the annual team competition will play a confusing game of musical chairs going forward.
Here's what the dates will look like for the next four years, including the yet-to-be-determined ones in the compressed tennis schedule caused by the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
The challenges of the semi-final dates remain throughout. Even though this is the last year the U.S. Open should be held on a Monday (scheduled or otherwise), the players involved in the final weekend still have to scramble from two weeks in the New York heat to somewhere halfway across the planet, likely on a different surface, to play best-of-five set singles matches two days out of three (and possibly doubles in between), with all the patriotic pressure and drama that Davis Cup brings.
- Stephanie Myles at Busted Racquet21 days ago
Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion who has missed significant time due to injury the last few years, will miss even more time than he had hoped.
The Argentine, who turns 26 in two weeks, had his left wrist operated on May 4.Originally, he had hoped to return for the U.S. Open in late August, but that proved unrealistic. He was working hard towards a second targeted return in September for the ATP Tour's Asian swing, and optimistically entered the Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo and Shanghai events.
Del Potro announced via his Facebook page today that while his recovery is going well, it's not going well enough to return that soon. He needs "a little more time."
Ranked as high as No. 4 in February before the wrist injury hit, del Potro's ranking has fallen to No. 14 as of this week. And in missing another chunk of the season, he will fall even further.