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Old 08-07-2011, 02:51 PM   #1
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2011 US Open

2010 US Open Women's Singles Champion Kim Clijsters poses with trophy in Central Park


It's that time again. For me, this is like Christmas. The US Open is probably my favorite sporting event, tennis or otherwise. Even bigger for me than the Super Bowl. Maybe only the Summer Olympics move me in the same way. The build-up for the US Open is already underway with the Olympus US Open Series:



These are a series of North American hardcourt events leading up to the US Open in which players try to accumulate bonus points, like the old State Farm series on the LPGA. Depending on where a top player finishes in the US Open series, they get a bonus if they win the US Open. The bonus has changed over the years. For example, in 2005 Kim Clijsters won the points title on the US Open series going into Flushing Meadow. This caused her winning purse of $1.1 million to be doubled to $2.2 million for winning the US Open.



However, in 2010 it was an even $1 million bonus for winning the US Open Series. But there are tiers as well. You don't have to win the series to get a bonus. When Kim won last year, she finished 2nd in the US Open series. So her $1.7 million purse for winning in 2010 had a $500,000 bonus for finishing 2nd in the US Open series. Oddly enough, it was another $2.2 million dollar payday like 2005...but reached with more purse than bonus.

Serena wins 2011 Stanford


Serena Williams has already won the Stanford event. As I'm typing this, Vera Zvonareva will play Agnieszka Radwanska for the title in the Carlsbad event. In next week's Rogers Cup in Canada, all top 20 players plus the Williams sisters (who dropped out of the top 20 due to injury layoffs) will play. So unlike in the past, when players would pick and choose their summer hardcourt events, there is extra incentive for the top players to show up at US Open series events. But even more importantly, the summer events were not receiving much television exposure back in 2004, when the US Open Series was started. It was a way to generate more interest and television coverage of the summer events. It worked, as ESPN now covers the series.

Another US Open series event is the Western & Southern even at Cincinnati. Here, Kim Clijsters talks about defending her 2010 Cincinnatti title:

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Old 08-07-2011, 04:40 PM   #2
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I don't know if it's because I am simply excited over the US Open coming up or the commercials are really cool...but I do love these "It Must Be Love" promos:



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Old 08-07-2011, 05:39 PM   #3
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The US Open is run by the USTA. One of the programs I like from the USTA is 10 and under tennis. When I was at the USTA, their goal was to grow tennis at the grassroot level. One way is to make the game accessible to kids. The vast majority of kids will never be professional players, so the goal is to make the game fun, while teaching kids skill sets at an early age. As they say in the second video, to expect kids 7, 8, 9 years of age to cover the same court as Roger Federer is unrealistic. Plus the balls move so fast that they don't have to time to think about strategy or learn how to spin the ball. 10 and under tennis uses a special, slower moving ball and smaller courts to let kids play like the pros...that is hit with spin and use strategy...not just hit as hard as possible...



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Old 08-09-2011, 01:16 PM   #4
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Agnieszka Radwanska


Ok...Agnieszka Radwanska won the Mercury Insurance Open at Carlsbad to take the lead in the US Open Series point standings. But the big tournaments, like this week's Rogers Cup will likely greatly alter these standings:

1 Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 85
2 Serena Williams (USA) 70
T-3 Marion Bartoli (FRA) 45
Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 45
5 Sabine Lisicki (GER) 40
T-6 Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 25
Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 25
Andrea Petkovic (GER) 25
T-9 Marina Erakovic (NZL) 15
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 15
Ayumi Morita (JPN) 15
Shuai Peng (CHN) 15
Maria Sharapova (RUS) 15
Sloane Stephens (USA) 15

There are videos covering Agnieszka's win on my blog here: Agnieszka Radwanska Wins 2011 Mercury Insurance Open Fairways And Forehands
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:19 PM   #5
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video interview from Clijsters on my blog here: Kim Clijsters To Play Past 2012 London Olympics, Rogers Cup Interview Fairways And Forehands

Kim with junior players at launch of Rogers Cup LIVE!


Kim Clijsters, coming back from injury this week at the 2011 Rogers Cup, dispelled any talk of retirement immediately following the 2012 London Summer Olympics. She had made it known that the 2012 Games were her last big target event, leading many to believe she would retire thereafter.

“I am not saying I am done after the Olympics but that’s where so far I have set my schedule towards and what I am building towards and then we’ll see what happens from there. I might choose to end…in a smaller tournament just to have it a little more personal and where I can really enjoy it with my family, my friends and coaches.” – Kim Clijsters

She hinted that the US Open, the site of her first three Major wins, and the site of her first comeback victory, might be where she would end her career.







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Old 08-09-2011, 01:23 PM   #6
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video of Li Na meeting fans in Toronto here: Li Na Meets With Fans Prior To 2011 Rogers Cup Fairways And Forehands



2011 Roland Garros champion Li Na appeared at the Pacific Mall, Toronto’s biggest Asian Mall, to meet fans and sign autographs. After years of playing on tour, Li Na’s recent popularity and sponsor signings have placed her among the top 10 highest paid female athletes, as compiled by Forbes magazine.







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Old 08-09-2011, 02:59 PM   #7
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Victoria Azarenka


The top 8 women's seeds spoke to the press prior to the Rogers Cup. I have the video here: Top 8 Women’s Seeds Speak To Press Prior To 2011 Rogers Cup Fairways And Forehands

In order of appearance; #5 Victoria Azarenka, #4 Li Na, #3 Vera Zvonareva, #2 Kim Clijsters, #7 Francesca Schiavone, #8 Petra Kvitova, #6 Maria Sharapova and #1 Caroline Wozniacki.

Caroline Wozniacki (Rory's "friend" )
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:27 AM   #8
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Video highlights on my blog here: Ana Ivanovic Advances In First Round Of 2011 Rogers Cup; Kim Clijsters US Open Hopes In Jeopardy After Another Injury Fairways And Forehands

Ana Ivanovic


Although she lost in the semifinals of the Mercury Insurance Open at Carlsbad to Vera Zvonareva, I was impressed at how Ana Ivanovic kept fighting to the end, something she has not always done in the past. She kept that level of intensity up in beating the overmatched Zhang Shuai in the first round of the 2011 Rogers Cup, 6-1 6-1. If there were a nit to pick in her performance, it would be her 47% first serve percentage. She will have to get that up to make a run here. Up next is Iveta Benesova, who advanced when Dominika Cibulkova retired with an abdominal strain. With Ana, you can’t count any match as a win, but she should defeat Benesova.

Kim Clijsters leaves with trainer


Like Cibulkova, Kim Clijsters also had to retire with an abdominal injury. She had won the first set from Zheng Jie, 6-3, but the pain was too great to continue.

“During my warm-up today I felt my left stomach muscle really, really tight. Before the match I got taped to try and protect the muscle as much as possible, but it just went worse and worse. I already had an ultrasound here on-site, and I have a partial tear in my left stomach muscle. I have a few weeks until the US Open. I’ll do everything to be ready.” – Kim Clijsters

I don’t know about Kim’s future at this point. She said London 2012 is her goal, but she was hurt before Roland Garros, tried to play with no tune-up event and was dismissed early. She was injured again shortly thereafter and missed Wimbledon. Now she has to deal with another injury. From her statement, it seems as though she might not play Cincinnati, where she would be defending champion, and go into the US Open with no hardcourt warm-up except one set of play against Zheng Jie. Although hardcourt is her best surface, coming off of three injuries and playing almost no tennis all summer I can’t say I give the two-time defending US Open champion much chance at Flushing Meadow. She’s my favorite player. I always hope for the best. But more and more, I’m wondering if her body won’t hold up to get her to London 2012 or even the rest of this year.

Singles - Second Round
(Q) Zheng Jie (CHN) d. (2) Kim Clijsters (BEL) 36 21 ret. (left abdominal injury)

Singles - First Round
(11) Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. (WC) Eugénie Bouchard (CAN) 62 62
(13) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Elena Vesnina (RUS) 64 61
(Q) Iveta Benesova (CZE) d. (16) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 75 46 13 ret. (left abdominal strain)
Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. (Q) Zhang Shuai (CHN) 61 61
Peng Shuai (CHN) d. (LL) Lourdes Domínguez Lino (ESP) 61 75
Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 64 62
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. Gisela Dulko (ARG) 63 64
Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. Maria Kirilenko (RUS) 63 61
Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) d. Sara Errani (ITA) 75 61
Serena Williams (USA) d. Alona Bondarenko (UKR) 60 63
(Q) Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) d. Jelena Dokic (AUS) 20 ret. (right shoulder injury)
(Q) Petra Martic (CRO) d. Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 16 64 64
(WC) Stéphanie Dubois (CAN) d. (Q) Kathrin Woerle (GER) 76(4) 61
(WC) Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) d. Shahar Peer (ISR) 61 60
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:15 PM   #9
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Just saw that first pic of Kim C in the dress sitting on the wall in NYC.....about as pretty a young lady as I've ever seen.

Viva Annika/Kim
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Old 08-11-2011, 02:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Buzzer View Post
Just saw that first pic of Kim C in the dress sitting on the wall in NYC.....about as pretty a young lady as I've ever seen.

Viva Annika/Kim
Unfortunately, with all of her injuries and lack of match play, I doubt she will be posing with the trophy this year...but I'd love to be wrong about that...

Maria Sharapova


my blog entry on Day 3 is here: Maria Sharapova Advances In Second Round Of 2011 Rogers Cup; Top Seed Caroline Wozniacki Falls Fairways And Forehands

Day 3 highlights include Maria Sharapova winning, top seed Caroline Wozniacki upset and Li Na getting a walkover win...it's late...too tired to repost here...

Caroline Wozniacki
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