Tag Archives: Melbourne

Rafa parte II – escrevendo coluna de Melbourne

E para complementar o post que escrevi ontem sobre o Nadal, aqui vai o link da coluna que ele escreveu hoje para o jornal de Melbourne, The Age.




A coluna não é muito longa, nem excepcional. Ele mesmo conta que escreveu com o PR dele, o Benito Perez Barbadillo, com quem trabalhei muitos anos no circuito. Mas, é uma outra maneira de deixar o espanhol ainda mais perto dos fãs. Por isso, vale a leitura.

HELLO everybody. Well, this is new for me to write a column for a newspaper before a semi-final match. I suppose there’s always a first time for everything.

I do have to say I have what they call a ghost writer for this piece, which is my PR guy Benito Perez-Barbadillo since, (1) my English is not that good, and (2) he can help me express myself a bit better as he knows this world better than me.

Here I am again in a semi-final of the Australian Open. After the past two years reaching the quarters of this tournament and not being able to finish well in the matches – I had to retire in 2010 against Andy Murray and last year got injured after the third game against David Ferrer – finally I am playing again in a semi and I’m very excited about it.

For me, it is very important and a happy moment to start the season. Win or lose, it is a good start considering the end of the season I had last year with many doubts.

It is always special to play against Roger (Federer), for many reasons, but for me to play against arguably the best player of all time – together with Rod Laver – is always something special.

This is the tenth time I have played him at a grand slam tournament and in most of the previous encounters we played the final.

He is playing amazing. Remember when many were saying he was done? Well, here it is. I always said it, he is a great champion.

Many people have asked me about my memories of the last match I played against him here in Australia. It was the 2009 final and that is one of the matches that will always stay in my memory.

After that very hard and physical semi-final, I never thought I could go out and play the final with many chances to win. We both played a great match, a beautiful match and I managed to win that one. That meant for me something special since it has been the only time I’ve won this event.

I am sure this semi-final will be another great match – hopefully very different to the last match we played in London, and I hope all the fans will enjoy watching.”

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Djokovic comprova evolução mental e física na conquista do Australian Open

Lembro logo que o Australian Open começou de ter ouvido uma pergunta para o Djokovic, após uma de suas vitórias, que me chamou a atenção. A questão era. Desde Roland Garros você vem melhorando de produção nos Grand Slams. Foi às quartas em Paris, à semi em Wimbledon e a à final no US Open. Vai ganhar o Australian Open?

Sim, Novak Djokovic, o “Imperador da Sérvia,” ganhou o  seu segundo título de Grand Slam, convincentemente, derrotando Federer na semifinal e Andy Murray na decisão, por 6/4 6/2 6/3, sem falar do Berdych nas quartas.

Como a comparação da evolução dos resultados nos Grand Slams, a vitória para a Sérvia na Copa Davis, no fim do ano, é notória a evolução mental, física (lembra quando ele tinha que abandonar jogos, especialmente no calor, por não aguentar fisicamente?) e técnica do seu jogo.

Para duelar de igual para igual com Federer e Nadal, teve que  fazer mudanças em todos os planos do seu jogo.

Mudanças que ele mesmo explica e que foram principalmente mentais e físicas. Como costuma dizer o colunista de preparação física e mental da Tennis View, o internacional Steve Jack, não há como separar a mente do corpo. Djokovic comprova.

Veja o que ele disse na entrevista coletiva do campeão do Australian Open 2011.

N  Djokovic – 30 01 11 1

Q.  Do you think you could play any
better than this?  Is it a perfect match that
you expected, that you dream of, or not?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  This was a great match.  From the start to the last point, I did what I intended of doing tactically, what I talked with my coach, what I prepared for.  Physically I was very fit. I had two days between the semifinals and finals match, which was important at this stage of the tournament.  Because I was aware of the fact that I
am going to — yeah, bring it to me.  (Laughter.)  That will have long rallies and I will have a player who doesn’t miss a lot, a very talented player who is one of the best returners in the game.  And, yeah, you know, I had to step in.  That was the key.  When I had the chance to step in and try to move him around the court, that’s what I did.  Probably the turning point was the last game of the first set where we had some incredible exchange from the baseline, long rallies, and some passing shots that turned the
match around.  You know, when you have a set advantage, it’s much different, you know, instead of getting into the match.

Q.  It’s been three years between getting one of those.  Do you feel like now that you’re older and more experienced, it
won’t be as long the next time?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, I feel like more experienced player.  I feel a better player
now than I was three years ago, because I think that physically I’m stronger, I’m faster, mentally I’m more motivated on the court.  I know how to react in certain moments, and I know how to play on a big stage.  It’s the best way that I could ask for to start a season.

Q.  How did you fix your serve?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, hitting thousands and thousands of balls on the practice.  It’s all about hard work and patience, I guess, dedication to the hard work which in the end pays off.  That’s the situation.  There is no secrets.  Of course, I was aware of what I do wrong.  But once it gets into your head, it’s really hard to get it out of your habit.  Everybody was, you know, criticizing me, Why did I change my serve?  I didn’t change it intentionally.  It just came like that.  I worked hard the last 10 months, and
now it’s back.

Q.  You took a tough loss here last year, Roland Garros obviously, and then even
Wimbledon.  Did something happen in between Wimbledon and the hard courts where you regained confidence?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Something switched in my head, because I am very
emotional on and off the court
.  I show my emotions.  This is the way I am.  Everybody’s
different.  The things off court were not working for me, you know.  It reflected on my game, on my
professional tennis career.  But then, you know, I settled some things in my head.  It was all on me. You know, I had to try to find the best possible solution and try to get back on the right track.  That’s what I did.

Q.  Can you talk about some of those secrets that you discovered about yourself that helped you get back on track?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  As I said, you know, something switched in my head.  It’s been a big mental struggle, because I was trying to separate my, of course, professional life from my
more private life.  But, you know, if somebody’s emotional — we’re all humans.  It’s not possible.  If something isn’t working off court, then it’s going to reflect on the court.  I managed to solve that problems.
This is all part of life.  Of course, everybody’s facing difficult situations in their lives.  To overcome the crisis and to stand up
and try to still dedicate yourself to the sport was a big success for me as a person.

Q.  You said you were sure Andy would win one one day.  What makes you sure?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I just said.  He’s, first of all, a very talented player and he’s a hard
worker.  He’s been in finals three times, and he just needs to make that final step.
Of course, it’s not easy.  You could see his struggle and frustrations tonight, because he
felt his chances to win a first Grand Slam trophy tonight.
But, you know, it’s a learning process, I guess.  It wasn’t easy for me, as well.  I know
how he feels.  I’m sure that he knows how he feels the best.  He’s still young.  I’m sure he’s
gonna have more chances to win it, so…

Q.  Three sets to Federer and three sets to Murray.  How different were you  feeling against Federer and Murray?  When
you were more worried?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  You’re always worried, the semifinals and finals of Grand Slam.
You have your own worries and little pressure and expectations and things that you feel during the match.
But, you know, you work hard to be mentally prepared for these moments and physically fit to overcome the long five-setters.

You know, both of those matches were different, because I played against two different types of
players.  You know, I take always one match at a time.  I try not to look who I’m going to play, you
know, in the later stages of the tournament, even though maybe as a top player I’m expected to.
But, you know, it’s always been like that.  I always try to take one match at a time.

Q.  You have so much in common.  What’s the difference between having two Grand Slams and not having one?  What’s the
difference between you, do you feel?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it’s hard to say.  What do you mean?

Q.  Do you feel for him it’s a mental issue in the big matches?  You looked very confident and strong out there tonight.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it is in some ways a mental issue when you are facing a
situation, playing the finals of a Grand Slam, being so close to winning a title.  Every time you get it there, you know, you want to win it badly, but some things go wrong.  You’re thinking too much.  You’re worrying too much in your head.
It’s a mental battle, definitely.  Bottom line is that this is a very mental sport in the end
.  Everybody
is very fit.   I think tennis has improved so much in the last couple of years.  It’s incredible.  To compare the tennis from 2007, ‘8, to the tennis of 2010, ’11, I have the feeling the ball is traveling much faster, they’re big hitters, big servers.
So in order to keep up, you have to be always dedicated professional and consistent with your success.

Q.  There are a few people saying now that because Rafa and Roger went out before the final, the tide is turning, a changing of the guards, so to speak. Do you feel that’s the case?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Still Rafa and Roger are the two best players in the world.  No question about that.  You can’t compare my
success and Murray’s success to their success.  They’re the two most dominant players in the game for a while.  All the credit to them.  It’s nice to see that there are some new players in the later stages of Grand Slams fighting for a title.  That’s all I can say.

Q.  Some of your footwork was outstanding.  At the end when you took your shoes off to throw them into the crowd, you
took out the insoles.  Do you have to have special insoles?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes.  That’s the secret to my footwork.  You got me there

Q.  The Davis Cup win and now this, the last two months, has this been the best period in your life so far?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  On the tennis court, yes.  Yeah, Davis Cup title and another Grand Slam title.  I’m living the dream of a tennis player, definitely.

Q.  Are you more focused than ever on your game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, I’m very focused.  Yes, I have been more focused and dedicated to the sport than I have ever been before.

Q.  There are only two players but Nadal and Federer that have won two slams, you and Hewitt.  Hewitt when he did it, he
stopped.  What do you expect from yourself, to win many?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don’t want to stop here.  Definitely I want to keep my body healthy,
fit, and ready for some more challenges to come.

I feel that I have a good game for all the surfaces.  I have proven that in the past.

Q.  Which ones?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Hard court.  Hard
court is my favorite surface.  Two finals in US
Open and two finals here.  It’s obvious; results
are showing everything.
But, still, I feel I can do well at French
Open and Wimbledon.

Q.  You’ve driven yourself to the point of exhaustion, overplaying, in previous seasons.  How do you avoid doing that again
this year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I think you’re getting wiser by the time of being a part of this
sport.  You are more aware of the things that you should do and not do.  I was spending too much
energy on the things I shouldn’t spend on.  I mean, it’s school, a learning process.
That’s why I have a big team around me of people who are organizing my time and making me feel a bit released and making me perform the best that I can on the court.

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Anos depois, Clijsters vence o Australian Open e conquista o direito de ser “Aussie Kim”

Kim Clijsters poderia ter se tornado de fato a  “Aussie Kim” anos atrás, quando estava no auge da sua primeira carreira e era noiva de Lleyton Hewitt.

Era 2004, Clijsters tinha 21 anos e Hewitt 24. Os dois haviam acabado de anunciar o noivado (fim de 2003) – Hewitt fez o pedido em um romântico passeio de barco na baía de Sidney – e Kim chegava à final do Grand Slam australiano. Era a quarta decisão da sua carreira, com derrota nas outras três anteriores.

Mas, a vitória ficou com a compatriota Justine Henin, que nesta semana anunciou a aposentadoria das quadras.

A história todo mundo conhece. Clijsters e Hewitt terminaram o noivado no fim de 2004, poucos meses antes do casamento marcado para fevereiro de 2005.

Naquele mesmo 2005, Hewitt se casou com a atriz Bec Cartwright e Clijsters conquistou o seu primeiro Grand Slam, o US Open. Dois anos depois anunciaria a sua aposentadoria, para se tornar mãe de Jada e se casar, na Bélgica com o jogador de basquete Brian Lynch.

Dois anos se passaram e a tenista belga resolveu voltar a competir.

E desde meados de 2009 não para de ganhar.

Fez uma rápida passagem pela Austrália, no ano passado, sendo eliminada na terceira rodada por Nadia Petrova, fazendo apenas um game, no que descreveu como uma das piores derrotas da carreira.

De lá para cá, ganhou dois US Opens, o Masters de Doha e agora o seu primeiro Australian Open.

Mesmo em todo este período longe das quadras e de Lleyton Hewitt, a belga nunca deixou de ser querida pelos australianos. Muitos ficaram constrangidos, logo depois da separação, de chamá-la de “Aussie ,” como a chamavam quando estava por lá com Hewitt.

Mas, há algumas rodadas, acho que sentindo que a probabilidade de um título estava perto e sem australianos para torcer, o público e a mídia, voltaram a chamá-la de “Aussie Kim.”

Com a vitória sobre Li Na na final, de virada, por 3/6 6/3 6/3, Clijsters, na cerimônia de premiação, seis anos depois de quase ter se tornado australiana e acrescentado Hewitt ao seu sobrenome, finalmente se sentiu uma “Aussie Kim,” com o troféu do Australian Open em mãos, o quarto Grand Slam da carreira.

Além do fato de ter este laço estreito com a Austrália, desde a época de adolescência quando começou a namorar Hewitt, Clijsters ainda homenageou Evonne Goolagong, a australiana campeã de Grand Slam que assim como Clijsters, foi vencedora de Grand Slam ainda mãe, usando um uniforme verde do estilo que ela usava anos atrás.

Muitas perguntas foram feitas a uma sorridente e vibrante Clijsters logo após o jogo, na coletiva de imprensa da campeã.

Reproduzo aqui os trechos mais interessantes sobre Jogos Olímpicos de Londres, Aussie Kim, Evonne Goolagong, Jada, o Dentista, a emoção desta final, etc..

K  Clijsters – 29 01 11 1

An interview with:


Q.  Will you be back to defend the title

next year?

KIM CLIJSTERS:  Yeah, I hope


Q.  A tear in your eye at the end of the

match.  How emotional was your fourth

Grand Slam win?

KIM CLIJSTERS:  Yeah, they’re

all emotional.  Obviously, you know, I think what

overwhelms me is that it’s so intense up until,

you know, that last shot, and then all of a sudden

it’s finished.  Then it’s just like a big relief.

Yeah, you know, the disbelief

maybe a little bit too it’s over and that I was able

to turn it around is what makes it all so special.

Q.  How did you turn it around?

KIM CLIJSTERS:  Yeah, I mean,

she did everything better than me in that first set.

I mean, obviously her groundstrokes were

heavier, deeper.  She served better.  She

returned better.

So I think, you know, she was

playing really, really well – probably the best that

I’ve ever played against her, or that she played

against me.

I tried to just, you know, think

after that first set, you know, like, What can I do

differently so I can maybe break her rhythm a

little bit, try to make her think out there a little bit

more?  So I tried to mix it up a little bit, put some

slices in, also hit a few higher shots that, you

know, kind of just made her make some unforced


Yeah, I saw her get a little bit

aggravated, and just tried to hang in there.

Q.  We rarely see you so pumped up

or emotional during a match.  Does this one

mean more than some of the others?

KIM CLIJSTERS:  No, I wouldn’t

say more, but obviously I think ’cause it was such

an intense match.  I don’t think I had that in one

of the Grand Slams where I’ve won.  Obviously,

I’ve played intense matches.  Probably my first

Grand Slam final at the French was a very

intense one.

But to win it in this way means it

a lot.  I think it’s that moment that overwhelms

you, where your mind has been so focused, I’m

fighting every shot, running a lot of balls down,

and it’s finished.  That’s what makes it just nice,

and I guess this big relief that kind of just, yeah,

overwhelms you a little bit.

Q.  This year I read that this could be

your last full-time year.  Then I read that you

want to come back and play the Olympic

Games very much next year.  Then that you

may become a mother for the second time in

2013 and come back in 2015.

KIM CLIJSTERS:  That I never


I do think this is probably my last

full season that I’ll be playing.  I also would like to

try and keep going until the Olympics.  I’ve never

played the Olympics, which is in a year and a

half time, or a little under a year and a half.

Yeah, so and then we’ll see after that.

But, uhm, when I started, started

again, I kind of had the Olympics in my mind.  I

wanted to try to keep going till then.  I obviously

never expected things to be going so well so

quickly.  I thought it was going to take a little bit

more time to get back into the rhythm or get back

into my routine of traveling with a family and


But, no, I mean, the first two

were probably right that you read, and the next

two of having a baby is probably right, too.  But

then coming back, that one’s not right (laughter).

Q.  How do you explain these Grand

Slam wins to your daughter?  Does she

understand what you’ve done tonight?

KIM CLIJSTERS:  No, no, which

is fine obviously.  I mean, to her it really doesn’t

matter.  I mean, she’s always excited.  Although

when she saw the trophy, she was like, Who is

that trophy for?  And then she’s like, Did you win

that?  I’m like, Yeah.

I mean, to her, she knows I play

tennis, but that’s it.  She doesn’t know everything

else that comes with it, winning, losing.  You

know, obviously, I mean, she’s seen me like a

little bit disappointed and stuff.

She asks, Why are you

disappointed?  I explain to her that I lost.  But, I

mean, it’s not a big deal for her.

Q.  Li Na said she felt like she was

playing in Belgium tonight.


Q.  Because of the support for you.

Did you feel that?

KIM CLIJSTERS:  No.  I mean,

there was a lot of support, but I think it was nicely

divided.  I think there was obviously a lot of

Chinese or Asian people out there that wanted to

live this moment with her.  And I felt that support,


But it was nice.  I think it was

nice to see that culture in this sport, because

obviously over the years, I mean, it’s been

America, it’s been Europe, it’s all been very kind

of divided between those two continents.

It’s nice to kind of see that Asia

is, yeah, starting to – and especially China – is

starting to get recognized in this sport, too.

Q.  Before your comeback you didn’t

go into the Grand Slams as the out-and-out

favorite.  The last two you have and you’ve

won.  Can you talk about contending with that


KIM CLIJSTERS:  Yeah, I mean,

I’ve always — not always.  Obviously, the last few

years that I was playing, when I was No. 1 or top

3, I’ve always been kind of one of the players

that could win it.

When I was younger, it kind of

overwhelmed me a little bit.  The pressure or the

nerves that I put upon myself got sometimes in

the way of what I was trying to do out there and

what I had to focus on.

I think now that I’m a little bit

older, I mean, with all due respect, a lot of things

that are being said in here or that, you know, the

pressure leaves as soon as I leave through that

door.  I think I was able to do that throughout this

week, too.

I mean, I know how hard it is to

stay fit throughout two weeks, to try and be

focused, and to try to not have a bad day like I

had last year here.  You have to just try to stay

really focused.  There’s a lot of other players who

will try and achieve the same thing.

I was able to do that really well,

try to just focus on what I have to do out there,

try to focus on trying to be the best Kim out there

and not worry about the impact or the favorite

role.  I mean, that’s not going to make me play

better or play worse.  I just have to try and focus

on tennis.

Q.  What happened to your teeth at

the airport?

KIM CLIJSTERS:  To my tooth?

Yeah, it chipped off.  That’s what happened.  I

was eating a rice cracker, actually, nothing hard.

Just a nice, soft rice cracker.  I thought there was

like a piece of rice that that wasn’t cooked well or

something, and I just spat it out.  I felt my tooth

not being there completely, so I was like, Oh,


Yes, went to the dentist very


Q.  Are you going to name the

mystery dentist?

KIM CLIJSTERS:  I actually don’t

remember his name.  He was somewhere near

Chapel Street.

Q.  How big of a goal is it to win

Roland Garros and Wimbledon?  Are you

playing for different things other than just

major titles?  Just for the love of competing,

or would you really like to get those two other



course.  I mean, I’m not going to sit here and be

like, No, that wouldn’t be nice.  But to be honest,

I really haven’t thought about it.  It’s a little early I

think to already think ahead, focus on those kind

of things.

I’ve been really focused on this

last month, you know, two months, to try and be

ready for the Australian summer.  And now I kind

of just need a break from that whole, like, goals

and preparing and all that.

But, no, obviously the French is

a Grand Slam where, you know, I would like to

do well, as well.  All of them, of course.  But,

uhm, again, yeah, I’m just excited that I won this

one.  Like I said, not really thinking in those kind

of ways yet.

That will probably happen after

Fed Cup when I’m done and home for a few

weeks.  I’m playing Paris.  Once after that, I’ll

probably have time to sit together with the team

and kind of just relook at the whole kind of

schedule for later this year.

Q.  What does it mean to finally win a

Grand Slam outside New York?

KIM CLIJSTERS:  Uhm, it’s nice.

Obviously, I mean, you know, if I could win

another US Open it would also be nice.

But, no, I do enjoy this win,

especially here in Australia, as well.  It’s been a

country where I’ve always loved coming to and

where I’ve always been very well-received.

Yeah, I’ve been close to doing

well, you know, a few years in a row, so it’s nice

to finally get it this year.

Q.  You had a great speech after the

win.  It was funny and well-said.  I’d like to

know if you had to think much before when

KIM CLIJSTERS:  No, it just

comes out.

Q.  The Aussie Kim was just like that?

KIM CLIJSTERS:  Yeah, yeah.

Actually, I forgot to thank my doctor.  I feel really

bad about that.  ‘Cause, yeah, I mean, he’s

helped me out a lot.  I’ve had a lot of problem

with my feet and blisters, so I kind of regret that.

So I was like, I wish I could do it over and just

add him.

But, no, everything, there’s

nothing prepared at all.  I just, yeah.

Q.  Will you be wearing green for the

rest of the year in the Grand Slams?


There’s some more, some new and different

outfits coming, but that will bring a lot of people’s

memories back to some ex-Fila players.

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Irmãos Bryan e Bhupati/Paes jogam por recordes na final do Australian Open

Todo mundo está falando agora das finais de simples do Australian Open, Clijsters x Li Na, ou Na Li – como preferirem – e Murray x Djokovic.

Mas, o sábado é dia de final de duplas e tem muitos números e recordes em jogo no embate entre os irmãos americanos Bob e Mike Bryan, que estarão no Brasil na outra semana para jogar o  Brasil Open, e Leander Paes e Mahesh Bhupathi, da Índia.

Depois de terem se tornado os maiores campeões de todos os tempos no ano passado, passando os lendários australianos “Woodies” – Mark Woodforde e Todd Woodbridge, os Bryans podem se tornar, ainda neste ano, nos maiores vencedores de Grand Slams. Atualmente tem 9 títulos, contra 11 dos recordistas “Woodies.”

Só por estarem na final já deixaram todos os outros duplistas da história para trás, em número de decisões de Grand Slam. São 18.

Bhupathi e Paes estão em busca de completar o Grand Slam. Se vencerem o Australian Open, terão os trofeus dos quatro torneios mais importantes do mundo, juntos. A carreira deles é longa e já jogaram com diversos parceiros.

Tudo isso me chamou atenção em um comunicado que recebi da ITF e reproduzo aqui, com todos os recordes em jogo nesta final em Melbourne.

Ah, é a primeira vez que as duplas se enfrentam em 10 anos.

Road to the Final


d. Scott Lipsky/Rajeev Ram 63 36 64

1st Round

d. Ivo Karlovic/Dusan Vemic 57 63 60

d. Carlos Berlocq/Pere Riba 76(6) 63 2nd Round d. Feliciano Lopez/Juan Monaco 76(2) 64
d. Benjamin Becker/Michael Kohlmann 75 62 3rd Round d. No. 13 Marcel Granollers/Tommy Robredo 64 46 64
d. No. 6 Jurgen Melzer/Philipp Petzschner 63 76(7) Quarterfinals d. No. 8 Michael Llodra/Nenad Zimonjic 64 64
d. Eric Butorac/Jean-Julien Rojer 63 62 Semifinals d. Max Mirnyi/Daniel Nestor 76(3) 46 63


  • Defending champions Bryan/Bryan are bidding for their 5th Australian Open title following their successes here in 2006 (d. Leander Paes/Martin Damm), 2007 (d. Jonas Bjorkman/Max Mirnyi), 2009 (d. Mahesh Bhupathi/Mark Knowles) and 2010 (d. Daniel Nestor/Nenad Zimonjic). They are contesting their 6th Australian Open final in 7 years, having also been runners-up in 2004 and 2005.

  • The Bryans are today bidding for their 10th Grand Slam title. As well as winning here in 2006-07 and 2009-10, they won 2003 Roland Garros, 2006 Wimbledon and the 2005, 2008 and 2010 US Open. They sit in 2nd place for most Grand Slam doubles titles won by a team in the Open Era.

Most Grand Slam team doubles titles (Open Era)

Rank Team No. of titles
1. Todd Woodbridge/Mark Woodforde 11
2. Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan 9
3= Peter Fleming/John McEnroe 7
John Newcombe/Tony Roche* 7

* also won pre-Open Era titles

  • By reaching the 2010 Australian Open final, the Bryans broke the Open Era record for the most Grand Slam final appearances by a team. They are making their 18th appearance in a Grand Slam final [see table overleaf]:

Most Grand Slam team doubles final appearances (Open Era)

Rank Team No. of finals
1. Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan 18
2. Todd Woodbridge/Mark Woodforde 15
3. Peter Fleming/John McEnroe 10
Bob Lutz/Stan Smith 10
5. Mark Knowles/Daniel Nestor 8

  • Bryan/Bryan’s 2006 Wimbledon victory saw them complete a career Grand Slam of doubles titles. They are 1 of 7 doubles teams to own a career Grand Slam, alongside Frank Sedgman/Ken McGregor, Lew Hoad/Ken Rosewall, Roy Emerson/Neale Fraser, John Newcombe/Tony Roche, Jacco Eltingh/Paul Haarhuis, and Mark Woodforde/Todd Woodbridge.

  • The Bryans have reached at least one Grand Slam final per season every year since 2003.

  • This is the Bryans’ 52nd Grand Slam doubles event, and 12th straight Australian Open. They have played on the tour together for over 15 years, having made their team debut as wildcards at the 1995 US Open.

  • The Bryans won 11 titles in 2010: Australian Open, Delray Beach, Houston, Rome, Madrid, Los Angeles, Toronto, Cincinnati, US Open, Beijing and Basel. They have won a total of 67 titles together. They became the 4th team in the Open Era to register 50 titles or more after Todd Woodbridge/Mark Woodforde (61), Peter Fleming/John McEnroe (57) and Bob Hewitt/Frew McMillan (57).

  • The Bryans finished 2003, 2005-07, 2009 and 2010 as the No. 1-ranked team. They are currently jointly ranked No. 1 on the ATP doubles rankings.

  • Bob or Mike Bryan have also have won 9 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles between them. Mike has won 2 with Lisa Raymond, the 2002 US Open and 2003 Roland Garros, while Bob has won 7 with 6 different partners: the 2003 US Open (Katarina Srebotnik), 2004 US Open (Vera Zvonareva), 2006 US Open (Martina Navratilova), 2008 Roland Garros (Victoria Azarenka), 2008 Wimbledon (Sam Stosur), 2009 Roland Garros and 2010 US Open (both Liezel Huber).

  • Bob Bryan played in the mixed doubles here this year. He teamed up with Liezel Huber and, as No. 1 seeds, they gave a walkover in the 2nd round to wildcards Sally Peers and Carsten Ball.

  • The Bryans became the third brothers to win any Grand Slam event in the Open Era after fellow Americans Luke and Murphy Jensen (1993 Roland Garros) and Sandy and Gene Mayer (1979 Roland Garros). The Bryans are also the most successful brothers in terms of titles won in the Open Era; Tim and Tom Gullikson are the second best with 10 titles.

  • Bob Bryan plays lefthanded and Mike righthanded. They are coached by David Macpherson.


  • Bhupathi/Paes are looking to complete the career Grand Slam of doubles titles. The pair has teamed up at a Grand Slam for the first time since the 2002 Australian Open.

  • Bhupathi/Paes have won 3 Grand Slam titles together at 1999 Roland Garros (d. Goran Ivanisevic/Jeff Tarango) and 1999 Wimbledon (d. Paul Haarhuis/Jared Palmer), and 2001 Roland Garros (d. Petr Pala/Pavel Vizner).

  • This is Bhupathi/Paes’ 6th Grand Slam final as a pair. They reached the Australian Open doubles final together in 1999, losing to Jonas Bjorkman and Pat Rafter, and the US Open final in 1999, losing to Sebastien Lareau and Alex O’Brien.

  • Bhupathi had the chance to complete the career Grand Slam of doubles titles at the 2009 Australian Open. He lost as No. 3 seed (w. Mark Knowles) to today’s opponents in the final.

  • Since 2002, Bhupathi and Paes have teamed up to represent India at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, the 2006 Asian Games, where they won the gold medal in men’s doubles, and the 2010 Commonwealth Games, where they won a bronze medal in the men’s doubles event. They have played Davis Cup together since 1995 and have a staggering 25-2 win-loss record, their only two losses occurring in 1996. This is the longest winning streak by a doubles team in Davis Cup.

  • Paes and Bhupathi are the only two Indian players to win Grand Slam men’s doubles titles in the Open Era.

  • Bhupathi has won a total of 47 career doubles titles with 12 different partners, 24 of those with Paes.

  • Paes has won 44 career doubles titles with 10 different partners, 24 of those with Bhupathi.

  • In 1999, Bhupathi/Paes reached the finals at all four majors, a feat which had not been accomplished within a calendar year since Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgman reached all four finals in 1952 (winning three). The Bryans are the only other doubles team that has reached the finals at all four majors in one calendar year in the Open Era, doing so in 2005. (The Woodies, from 1996 Wimbledon through 1997 Wimbledon, played in five consecutive Grand Slam tournament doubles finals, winning four.)

  • Bhupathi and Paes are both Grand Slam doubles champions: Bhupathi has won 4 majors, Paes 6:

Grand Slam titles (4) Partner Grand Slam titles (6) Partner
1999 Roland Garros Leander Paes 1999 Roland Garros Mahesh Bhupathi
1999 Wimbledon Leander Paes 1999 Wimbledon Mahesh Bhupathi
2001 Roland Garros Leander Paes 2001 Roland Garros Mahesh Bhupathi
2002 US Open Max Mirnyi 2006 US Open Martin Damm
2009 Roland Garros Lukas Dlouhy
2009 US Open Lukas Dlouhy

  • Bhupathi is playing in his 10th Grand Slam final. He played a total of 5 Grand Slam finals with Paes (1999 Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open, and 2001 Roland Garros), 2 with Max Mirnyi (2002 US Open, 2003 Wimbledon) and 2 with Mark Knowles (2009 Australian Open and US Open).

  • Paes is playing in his 13th Grand Slam final. He played a total of 5 Grand Slam finals with Bhupathi (1999 Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open, and 2001 Roland Garros), 1 with David Rikl (2004 US Open), 2 with Martin Damm (2006 Australian Open and US Open) and 4 with Lukas Dlouhy (2008 US Open, 2009 Roland Garros and US Open, and 2010 Roland Garros).

  • Bhupathi completed a career Grand Slam of mixed doubles titles at the 2006 Australian Open. He has won 7 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles in his career with 7 different partners (1997 Roland Garros with Rika Hiraki, 1999 US Open with Ai Sugiyama, 2002 Wimbledon with Elena Likhovtseva, 2005 Wimbledon with Mary Pierce, 2005 US Open with Daniela Hantuchova, 2006 Australian Open with Martina Hingis and 2009 Australian Open with Sania Mirza).

  • Paes owns 6 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles in total – 1999 Wimbledon with Lisa Raymond, the 2003 Australian Open and 2003 Wimbledon with Martina Navratilova, as well as the 2008 US Open and 2010 Australian Open and 2010 Wimbledon titles with Cara Black.

  • Bhupathi and Paes both played the mixed doubles event here. Bhupathi and Anastasia Rodionova gave a walkover in the quarterfinals, while Paes teamed up with Cara Black, losing as No. 4 seeds in the 2nd round to Yung-Jan Chan and Paul Hanley.

Paes won a bronze medal, as a singles player, at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, matching his father’s achievement as part of the Indian field hockey team at the 1972 Munich Olympics. His mother also participated at the same Olympics in

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Nadal perde embate com Ferrer e se nega a falar sobre a lesão no Australian Open

Rafael Nadal enfrentou nesta quarta-feira em Melbourne, primeiro David Ferrer e após ser eliminado pelo amigo, por 6/4 6/2 6/3, nas quartas-de-final, na Rod Laver Arena, enfrentou os jornalistas na coletiva de imprensa.

Nadal insistiu em não falar sobre a lesão que sentiu no primeiro set. Primeiro por não saber sobre o que de fato aconteceu – virilha? -, já que a partida havia terminado há poucos minutos, depois por respeito ao adversário e amigo que “jogou muito tênis” e também por não querer usar a lesão como desculpa para cada derrota que tem.

O fato é que mesmo os super-heróis do esporte são humanos. O corpo de Nadal já vinha dando sinas de cansaço desde o torneio de Doha e apesar dele ter dito que estava se sentindo superbem antes do jogo contra Ferrer, em algum momento o corpo pede descanso.

O tão falado Rafa Slam ficará para um outro momento, ou um outro jogador. Antes do Grand Slam australiano começar, Nadal mesmo admitia que essa chance era praticamente única e que seria difícil chegar perto disso novamente, ganhar tantos Grand Slams na sequência.

Transcrevo aqui as partes mais interessantes do embate entre Nadal e os jornalistas no Australian Open.

D. FERRER/R. Nadal

6-4, 6-2, 6-3


Q.  What can you tell us about the

injury?  What did David say to you at the end

of the match?

RAFAEL NADAL:  I can say nothing

about the injury.  Seriously, I would prefer don’t

talk a lot about the injury.

Tonight, first of all, I don’t know nothing.

Second thing, for respect to the winner and to a

friend, I prefer to talk about the match.  I think he

played at a very high level.  I just congratulate

him and wish him all the best for the semifinal.  I

think he’s doing a fantastic tournament.  If he

keep playing like this, he going to have a good


What David told me at the net is for me

and that’s it.

Q.  How emotional is it for you


RAFAEL NADAL:  Yes, is a difficult day

for me.  I lost in quarterfinals another time.  So I

tried my best.  I couldn’t do more.  Tonight I think

I played against a great player, a great opponent.

Today I really can’t do more than what I did.  So

he played at a very high level, and I wasn’t able

to compete against him tonight.

Q.  It’s going to be difficult for us to

write a piece without appreciating how well

you could move.  It seemed to us you

couldn’t move as well as you would like to

have been moving tonight.  Is that a fair


RAFAEL NADAL:  You see the match?

Q.  Yes.

RAFAEL NADAL:  So you are ready to

write everything.  I don’t have to tell you about

what I felt on the court because I tried my best all

the time.  But is obvious that I didn’t feel at my

best.  I had a problem during the match, in the

very beginning.  After that, the match was almost

over.  So that’s what I can say.

But you know what, for me is difficult

come here and speak about.  In Doha I wasn’t

healthy.  Today I have another problem.  Seems

like I always have problems when I lose, and I

don’t want to have this image, no?  I prefer don’t

talk about that today.  If you can respect that, will

be a very nice thing for me.  Thank you.

Q.  What was the problem, though?

RAFAEL NADAL:  You are listening me?

I can’t tell you which problem I have.  First thing,

because I don’t know.  That’s my answer.

Q.  What you achieved in the last year

was nothing short of amazing.  Does this

break your heart a little bit that it had to

happen like this?

RAFAEL NADAL:  The tennis career,

you have higher moments and lower moments.  I

had almost all the time very, very happy

moments and very nice moments in my career.

That’s part of the sport.  Last year I was very

lucky.  I was healthy most of the year.  I was

playing unbelievable during all the year.

This year I did I think all the right things

to start the season playing really well.  And,

seriously, I was playing like this in the first

exhibition in Abu Dhabi.  After that starts the

problem.  Was a difficult month for me, no?

That’s part of the sport.  Accept; keep

working; try my best in the next tournament.

That’s what I can do.

Last year I had a fantastic year.  This

year the year just start.  Last year in the

beginning I had problems, too, and finally was

the best season of my career.  I think is almost

impossible to repeat that.  But remain a lot, and

remain a lot to have hopefully really good

moments, and at the same time, too, really

negative moments.

So this is one of bad ones, one of

negative moments.  That’s part of the sport.  I

think I am very, very lucky sportsman about what

happened in my career.  And I have to accept the

fantastic moments that I had during a lot of years

with the same calm that when I have problems.

And if I am ready to accept both things with I

think let’s say everything the same, I going to be

able to come back and play my best tennis

another time.

Q.  How do you think David will get on

in the semifinals?

RAFAEL NADAL:  He’s playing fantastic.

But I think he’s not the favorite.  But if he keep

playing like this, hopefully he can have a good

chance to be in the final or win the tournament.  I

would love.  Is a fantastic person.  Is a close

friend of mine.  So I wish him all the best.

I think that Andy is playing very good,

too, but David is playing at high level, no?

Q.  After what happened in Doha,

coming here a little bit late…

RAFAEL NADAL:  Coming late?

Q.  You were ill in Doha and came to

Melbourne a little bit late.

RAFAEL NADAL:  I didn’t came late.

You are wrong.  I was here one week before the

tournament.  Is more than enough.

Q.  The question is, with you being ill

in Doha, then what happened after the Tomic

match, did you feel that maybe this

tournament wasn’t meant to be, wasn’t

destiny to win?

RAFAEL NADAL:  I tried my best in

Doha.  Was a difficult week for me.  Here,

seriously, before the match of today I started to

feel that I am playing much better and I am very

healthy and don’t have no problem in general.

So I was happy about happened during the first

week because I was through without being


I started the second week with a very

good match against Cilic and improving my level

every day.  Seriously, I was practicing much

better than in the beginning of the tournament,

and I felt ready to play this quarterfinals.  But

wasn’t the day.

Q.  What will be your next


RAFAEL NADAL:  I don’t know yet.  I

have to think a little bit about everything and we

will see what’s going on in the next weeks.

Q.  We appreciate your fair play, and

we understand what you’re saying.  I just

would like to know if you didn’t have in front

of you a friend of yours, would you have kept

till the last ball and point to stay on court or

would you have left a little before?

RAFAEL NADAL:  I hate the retirements,

so this wasn’t the day.  I did last year.  I hate that

moment.  I didn’t want to repeat that.

Q.  The match against Cilic showed

you were recovering well.  Did you feel

anything unusual the last couple days?

RAFAEL NADAL:  I felt fantastic the last

couple days.  I practiced very good yesterday.  I

had a fantastic warmup today before the match.

Only feeling that I can say was very positive.  I

started the second week, and when the second

week started, everything was better and better

for me:  the health, sweat, the level of tennis.

Everything was better and better.

Q.  Earlier today Andy Murray said

there’s a number of guys on tour who on any

given day can beat each other:  yourself,

Robin, Roger…

RAFAEL NADAL:  I didn’t understand.

Q.  He said any one of the top six or

seven players on any day can beat each

other.  Do you think after the year you had

last year, our expectations of you are

probably higher than yours, given the

evenness of the top six or seven players?

RAFAEL NADAL:  For me there are

much more than six or seven on the tour that can

beat everybody.  I think is more than these few.

In general, the expectations, I don’t know which

expectations you have about me.  I have my

ones.  I have my goals.  Probably we think

different ways, no?

I live day to day with myself.  You see

everything from outside.  I know how difficult is

everything.  Probably, you know, not exactly the

same.  This part is difficult, no?  This part is very

competitive.  You have to have be in perfect

conditions to win.  The season is always crazy,

very long.  You can’t have time to rest and come

back to prepare perfect in a season.  That’s this

game.  Only the best players, only the more

prepared players physically and mentally are

ready to be here and to be in the top positions a

long time.

My expectations, I said before the

tournament, I said before the year start, is enjoy

every day and practice hard every day with same

illusion, humble and motivation that I did all my

career.  So that’s my principal goal, in general,


I lost in quarterfinals today.  We’ll see

what’s happen in next tournament.  I’ll work hard

to be ready.

Q.  Can you tell us your feelings

tonight compared to this time last year?

RAFAEL NADAL:  Is different because

last year was the knees.  I had a problem, big

problem, in the knee in the past.  So was hard for

me to have another time the same.  I didn’t see a

solution in that.  Is not the case.

I came last year after probably six, seven

months really hard for me of injuries and of

problems in general.  So was a hard situation.

This year everything is a little bit different.  I have

three more Grand Slams at home, a few more

Masters 1000s and a few more tournaments.

I can say nothing wrong because I had a

fantastic time last year.  Not possible be all the

time at hundred percent.  Not possible all the

time to have all the positive factors together to

win in every tournament.

Last year happened in almost every one.

This year we start with a little bit of unlucky.  I

gonna work hard to come back and to keep

having chances and to compete against the best

players and to keep being in the top positions of

the ranking, so…

I love playing tennis.  I love the

competition.  And I love, in general, the hard

moments because you are ready to change the

situation working hard, working every day with a

goal and with illusion.

Q.  You said your preparation was

good for this year.  Was the vacation long

enough after London?

RAFAEL NADAL:  The vacation long

enough?  No, one day is enough, you think?

Never is enough.  With this sport you never have

vacations enough.  This part is special for

different things.  This factor is one of the special

things that makes the tour hard and difficult.

Only the best players mentally prepared are

ready to be here long time.

I said before, wasn’t a problem of

holidays, the start of the season.  The only

problem was a little bit of unlucky.  In general, I

had a virus.  When you have a virus, your body

goes down and you have more risk of everything.

That’s probably what happened.  That’s the

simple thing.

Now we have to accept.  I said 100

times.  But the only thing I can say is, accept the

situation and work to try to have another very

good season.

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Tomic, o “garoto problema” da Austrália que pode enfim estar se tornando a solução. Aos 18 anos é o único australiano na 3ª rodada em Melbourne.

Por essa nem os australianos esperavam. O “garoto problema,” Bernard Tomic, fez valer o tão controverso wild card recebido para integrar a chave principal do Grand Slam, derrotou Feliciano Lopez e está na terceira rodada em Melbourne. Será o único do País a jogar no fim de semana e enfrentará o número um do mundo, Rafael Nadal.

A mídia australiana que já se preparava para escrever somente do tênis feminino, ganhou material de presente e com certeza, nos próximos dias é só dele que vai se falar daquele lado do mundo.

Aos 18 anos de idade, Tomic, com seu 1,95m de altura – e pode ser que ainda cresça mais -, e seus dois títulos de Grand Slam juvenil (ganhou o Australian Open em 2008 e o US Open em 2009), já conseguiu causar mais tumultos com a Tennis Australia do que muito jogador em toda a sua carreira.

Muito devido ao pai e técnico John Tomic.  Foi John que recusou um pedido de treinamento do clã Hewitt, em Wimbledon, há dois anos. Imagina, um juvenil recusando um convite de Hewitt para treinar o que causou de estranheza por parte dos australianos. Foi John também que brigou com juízes em um torneio Future há pouco tempo.

Há um ano, no Australian Open, com o seu segundo wild card seguido em mãos, reclamou do horário em que jogou – e perdeu em cinco sets – contra Cilic na segunda rodada. “Era muito tarde. Estou acostumado a dormir cedo.”

Foi John também que deixou o filho longe das quadras durante boa parte do segundo semestre do ano passado, colocando inúmeros pontos de interrogação na cabeça dos dirigentes do tênis australiano.

Há poucas semanas, o menino se viu envolvido em outra controvérsia quando decidiu não disputar o play-off pelo wild card no Australian Open. O pai enviou um comunicado com um comprovante medico alegando que o filho estava doente. Mas, qual não foi a surpresa dos dirigentes ao saberem que nos mesmos dias da competição “Bernie” estava treinando em casa, em Queensland. John saiu em defesa do filho e disse que o obrigou a treinar mesmo doente.

Diante destas situações só mesmo um bom resultado para provar que todo o trabalho que a Austrália, país que acolheu os Tomics – Bernard nasceu na Alemanha e a família se mudou da Croácia para a Austrália em 1996 – vem tendo, não está sendo em vão.

Sem garantia de um convite para a chave principal do Australian Open, Tomic foi jogar o qualifying do ATP de Sidney. Derrotou três top 100 na sequência – Kunitsyn, Berrer e Kubot – para perder na estreia para Dolgopolov e assim merecer enfim o convite para a chave principal em Melbourne, dado por Todd Woodbridge, chefe do tênis profissional e pelo capitão da Copa Davis, Patrick Rafter.

Bernard já entendeu que precisa melhorar a relação com os dirigentes do tênis australiano e com duas vitórias importantes no Grand Slam – derrotou Jeremy Chardy na estreia e passou por Feliciano Lopez, por 3 sets a 0 – começa a provar a que realmente veio.

Com patrocínio desde o início dos anos de juvenil, Tomic está sendo considerado um novo “Miloslav Mecir,” pelo seu jeito nada ortodoxo de jogar e a maneira de se posicionar em quadra.

Ele mesmo afirma que gosta de surpreender os adversários com suas jogadas estranhas e que um de seus pontos fortos é saber identificar rapidamente o ponto fraco do adversário.

Atualmente na 199ª posição no ranking mundial, é o adolescente mais bem colocado na ATP e se diz pronto para tentar surpreender Nadal. Diz que vai se preparar para não ficar com sono caso jogue à noite.

A Austrália agora se prepara para abraçar o novo herói que vem procurando há algum tempo para substituir Lleyton Hewitt e dar continuidade à tradição de Rosewall, Roche, Newcombe, Rafter, entre muitos outros ídolos surgidos daquele lado do mundo.

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Annacone, técnico de Federer “Tenho que me beliscar todas as manhãs para acreditar que é verdade”

O primeiro Grand Slam do ano, o Australian Open, começa amanhã à noite no horário do Brasil. São 128 jogadores na chave principal masculina e mais 128 mulheres. Mas, as atenções estão mesmo voltadas para apenas dois nomes, Roger Federer e Rafael Nadal.

Entre tantas matérias e notícias que li nos últimos dias, uma das mais interessantes que encontrei foi a matéria que a colega Linda Pearce, do jornal australiano The Age fez com o técnico de Roger Federer, Paul Annacone, em Melbourne.

Como tem se tornado cada vez mais raro entrevistar os técnicos das grandes estrelas – muitos deles tem cláusulas contratuais que os proíbem de dar entrevistas para falar sobre os seus respectivos jogadores – foi até surpreendente ler as declarações de Paul Annacone, que foi técnico de Pete Sampras também.

A primeira delas é que ele brinca que tem que beliscar todas as manhãs para acreditar que é verdade, que depois de ter trabalhado com Sampras esteja trabalhando com Federer.

O treinador diz acreditar que o suíço possa chegar aos 20 títulos de Grand Slam e que na verdade ele serve como um cara para implementar algumas coisas que Roger já sabe fazer e para deixá-lo motivado e sempre melhorando. “Não sou eu que vou mudar o jeito dele jogar. O cara ganhou 16 Grand Slams.”

Vale a pena ler – http://bit.ly/hU328d

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Enchentes no Brasil; Enchentes na Austrália – quanta diferença. Tenistas se mobilizam.

Estive ausente do blog, mas não distante das notícias e dos acontecimentos.

Nesta época de temporada da Oceania, aliás, antes dela começar, já no início de dezembro costumo começar a ler os jornais australianos para ficar por dentro das novidades nas competições, ler matérias escritas por jornalistas que vivem lá, que cobrem o circuito do tênis e que sempre fazem notas interessantes com os principais tenistas do mundo.

Desde o fim do ano passado, cada vez que abro a página de um jornal australiano na internet vejo uma notícia sobre enchentes.

As águas foram se acumulando na região de Queensland. Chove há dias e dias.

Os campeonatos de tênis na região tem sido prejudicados, mas tanto em Hobart, quanto em Sidney, quanto em Melbourne estão acontecendo. Sim, o qualifying está atrasado, mas eles encontram maneiras de realizá-lo, já que estão preparados para situações extremas.

As enchentes causaram e estão causando prejuízos, deixando inúmeros desabrigados, famílias desoladas, cidades embaixo d’agua, mas o número de mortes, por enquanto, não passa dos 20.

Autoridades já tomaram medidas para aliviar a vida da população local, extendendo prazo para pagamentos de contas, eliminando taxas, oferecendo auxílio, um guia do que fazer, entre outros.

Além disso celebridades e claro, tenistas, já se mexeram, para de alguma forma ajudar.

Neste domingo, a exemplo do que foi feito nas tragédias dos terremotos do Haiti e do Chile, os tenistas farão uma exibição no Melbourne Park, com entradas no valor de 20 dólares australianos e toda renda revertida para ajudar as vítimas das enchentes.

O valor que será arrecadado nem de perto é suficiente para reconstruir o que a natureza destruiu, mas serve para chamar a atenção para a tragédia e fazer com que mais pessoas contribuam.

Entre os jogadores que oficialmente declararam seu apoio ao evento e confirmaram participação na Rod Laver Arena, um dia antes do Grand Slam começar, estão Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Kim Clijsters, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic e os locais Lleyton Hewitt, Sam Stosur e Patrick Rafter.

Nascido em Brisbane, região de Queensland mais afetada pelas enchentes, o novo capitão da Copa Davis, deu o depoimento mais coerente de todos, ao comentar a realização do evento, que teve seus ingressos esgotados em pouquíssimas horas.

“Como um cara de Queensland, fico emocianado, do coração com a preocupação e a bondade do nosso esporte, de se envolver e fazer algo para aliviar o sofrimento. Sei que se colocarmos numa escala, a nossa contribuição é pequena, mas é bom poder fazer algo para ajudar.”


Vale lembrar que as principais estrelas do Australian Open entrarão em quadra para participar do evento beneficente, um dia antes da competição, a mais importante do ano até maio, começar.

Aqui no Brasil as campanhas de ajuda às vítimas das enchentes, principalmente no Rio de Janeiro, começaram em sua maioria hoje, em diferentes canais de televisão e mídias sociais.

Sempre solidário, Gustavo Kuerten já anunciou, dos Estados Unidos, onde passa férias, que doará os US$ 25 mil que ganhou no início da semana, em uma competição de poker nas Bahamas, para as vítimas.

Foi a primeira manifestação de um esportista, enquanto dirigentes, autoridades, responsáveis, continuam culpando a chuva, que todos os anos causa enchentes nesta época no Brasil, especialmente na região serrana do Rio de Janeiro, pela morte de quase 400 pessoas.

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Carlos Moyá, lembranças de 1997, ano que também transformou a sua carreira

A aposentadoria de Carlos Moyá, anunciada por ele ontem, em uma coletiva de imprensa, em Madrid, não pegou ninguém de surpresa. O espanhol pouco jogou nesta temporada, está com 34 anos de idade e nunca conseguiu se recuperar de uma lesão no pé, como ele mesmo afirmou.

Há dois anos ele vinha sofrendo ainda mais com a artrose e resolveu operar, no ano passado, buscando uma melhora para poder continuar competindo.

A cirurgia não trouxe o resultado esperado, trouxe efeitos colaterais e depois de muito relutar ele teve que optar por deixar as quadras da ATP.

página da Tennis View de 97, com a entrevista de Moyá (desculpem a falha, a foto dele saiu virada mesmo)

Ontem depois de ler algumas notícias sobre a coletiva dele em Madrid, fiquei pensando quando tinha ouvido falar do Moyá pela primeira vez.

Lembro dele ter ganhado o ATP de Buenos Aires em 1995, mas tenho claro na minha mente a ascensão dele em 1997, quando chegou à final do Australian Open.

Não sei porque mas aquilo marcou. Lembro da vitória sobre o Becker na primeira rodada, sobre o Chang na semi e o burburinho que se formou quando ele chegou à final. Não resistiu a Sampras na decisão, mas aquele verão australiano do mesmo 1997 que transformou a carreira de Guga, transformou a do espanhol.

E buscando ainda mais fundo na minha cabeça, tinha uma certa lembrança de que ele tinha sido o nosso entrevistado número dois da Tennis View, depois do Guga ter inaugurado a primeira edição da revista, dois meses antes.

Logo que cheguei hoje ao escritório fui abrir nosso livro de arquivos de todas as Tennis View e me deparei com a entrevista de Moyá na nossa segunda edição.

Não me pergunte como entrevistamos a sensação do momento na época, porque não me lembro.

Foi por telefone, mas valeu e as respostas estão bem interessantes.

Já naquela época havia 14 espanhóis entre os top 100. A resposta de Moyá para o sucesso era de que havia muitos torneios satélites na Espanha – os Futures de hoje – e os tenistas não tinham que sair do País para marcar pontos no ranking mundial. Além disso o programa da Federação Espanhola ajudava muito.

Na entrevista ele ainda parecia assustado com a repentina fama, fato que ele mesmo confirmou na sua conferência de despedida.

Assisti um vídeo da entrevista dele ontem e quando perguntaram qual o momento que mudou a sua carreira ele nem precisou pensar muito.

“O Australian Open, em 1997, foi o que mais impactou a minha carreira. Eu era conhecido no meio do tênis na Espanha, tinha ganhando alguns torneios e de repente saí de Mallorca par air para Austrália, fui vice-campeão em Sidney e fui à final do Australian Open, em quadra rápida.

Todo mundo falava que eu podia jogar bem na rápida, mas até você ir lá e realmente vencer é diferente.

Comecei bem com a final em Sidney, aí fui lá e ganhei do Becker em cinco sets.

De repente fui ganhando mais jogos e as minhas quadras de treino começaram a ficar cheias de gente assistindo, querendo tirar foto. Parecia que estava sonhando acordado.
Depois de ter chegado à final, quando volto para a Espanha, todo mundo estava no aeroporto me esperando. Não podia acreditar.

Para mim, tudo começou na Austrália, não só a popularidade, mas o meu tênis também.”


Lendo algumas matérias nos jornais espanhóis como o ABC, El País, Marca, o tio e técnico de Rafael Nadal, Toni é enfático ao dizer que foi Moyá que fez os espanhóis acreditarem que podiam jogar bem na quadra rápida. Antes só jogavam no saibro.

Foi Moyá também, o primeiro espanhol, muitos anos antes de Rafael Nadal, a chegar ao topo do ranking mundial, em 1999, ao derrotar Gustavo Kuerten na semifinal do Masters 1000 de Indian Wells.

A carreira de Guga e Moyá, nessa época, corriam lado a lado.

Guga ganhou Roland Garros em 1997, Moyá em 1998. O espanhol foi vice-campeão do Masters em 1998, Guga foi campeão no ano 2000.

Os dois travaram belos embates no circuito. Guga derrotou-o na final, na casa dele, em Mallorca, em 1998. Moyá já tinha vindo ao Brasil naquele ano, e perdido para Guga em Porto Alegre na Copa Davis.

No ano seguinte, Guga venceu o espanhol mais uma vez na Davis, em Lérida.

Moyá foi campeão em Monte Carlo em 1998; Guga em 1999.

Depois, no ano 2000, a carreira de Guga deslanchou, vencendo o Masters e mais dois Roland Garros. Moyá teve altos e baixos e continuou no circuito, surpreendendo quando conseguia e se mantendo ativo e vencendo títulos.

Assim como o amigo Guga, encerrou a carreira por lesão e com os mesmos números de títulos que o brasileiro: 20 (não são iguais em números de Grand Slams e Masters).

Outro momento marcante que Moyá destaca, além de Roland Garros, foi a vitória na Copa Davis, em Sevilla, em que também foi capa da Tennis View, em dezembro de 2004.

Ele ainda vai jogar o Masters ESpanhol no fim do ano e a Copa Peugeot Argentina, em Buenos Aires, cidade onde conquistou seu primeiro título, em 1995.

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Vitória de Tiago Fernandes na Austrália inspira juvenis brasileiros. Aqui no US Open são cinco.

Sell, Laranja, Semenzato e

Desde que o  qualifying juvenil do US Open começou no fim de semana venho me surpreendendo com os juvenis brasileiros.  A primeira surpresa foi ver três tenistas no qualifying: Karue Sell, Bruno Semenzato e Augusto Laranja.

Do qualifying veio outra boa notícia. Sell se classificou e ainda ganhou uma rodada na chave principal. Direto na chave e mais conhecidos, Tiago Fernandes e Guilherme Clezar.

O gaúcho Clezar virou notícia depois de treinar com Gasquet e Nadal e teve até seu jogo, em que perdeu para Collarini, transmitido ao vivo pelo SporTV, na quadra Grandstand.

Eliminado da simples, ele continua nas duplas, ao lado do amigo Fernandes. Nesta quarta, ganharam dos cabeças-de-chave 1, Fucsovics e Zsiga, e voltam a jogar na quinta contra Pavic e Dzumhur, valendo vaga na semifinal.

Fernandes e Clezar

Tiago já está nas oitavas-de-final de simples. Ganhou do croata Mate Pavic por 5/3 7/6(5) e enfrenta o russo Victor Baluda, que o derrotou nas quartas dos Jogos Olímpicos da Juventude.

Sell, que joga o seu primeiro US Open, perdeu hoje na segunda rodada para o japonês Taro Daniel, mas joga por vaga na semi de duplas, ao lado de Bruno Semenzato. Eles venceram hoje Barry e McLachlan e os próximos adversários são os cabeças 14, Goldinv e Vesely.

Semenzato e Sell

Augusto Laranja chegou a jogar a chave principal de duplas, mas foi eliminado.

O que mais me chamou a atenção, além dos resultados e de termos duas duplas juvenis nas quartas-de-final e o Tiago a um jogo das quartas, foi ver cinco brasileiros juvenis no Grand Slam.

Aproveitei para ver os jogos dos meninos e conversar com eles no final da tarde aqui no US Open.

Já tinha visto o Sell e o Laranja por aí, mas não os conhecia.  Ambos afirmaram que a vitória de Tiago no Australian Open, os inspirou e motivou para jogar os Grand Slams também.

“A gente nem pensava em jogar esses torneios antes,” disse Laranja, que treina no interior paulista com Edvaldo Oliveira.

Sell também falou que “mudou a cabeça” depois de ver o amigo Tiago vencer um Grand Slam juvenil. “É aqui que tem que estar. Aqui as coisas acontecem.”

Semenzato, apesar de já ter vivenciado um pouco mais o circuito por treinar na academia de Larri Passos há alguns anos, está pela primeira vez nas quartas-de-final de um Grand Slam. Depois do jogo, estava estudando para as provas da escola.

Para Clezar, que no ano passado foi vice-campeão de duplas de Roland Garros, não é novidade jogar um Grand Slam, mas com um campeão no País, ganham todos. É ele o parceiro de duplas de Tiago.

Apesar de Clezar estar com o técnico do Instituto Tênis, Luiz Carlos Enck e Tiago com Marcus VInícius Barbosa, da academia de Larri Passos e que também está com Sell – treinado por Patrício Arnold –, Laranja e Semenzato, através da CBT, os meninos estão sempre juntos.

Tiago, que está em Nova York desde a última quinta-feira, disse que agora já está bem mais à vontade no circuito. “É diferente do que era no ano passado quando alcancei as quartas aqui. Agora sou um dos favoritos, mas estou lidando bem melhor com tudo isso que aconteceu depois do Australian Open.”

A vitória em Melbourne alçou o juvenil de Maceió a fama no Brasil. Em Roland Garros seus jogos estavam sempre lotados de brasileiros e fãs em geral.

Aqui, com o torneio bem maior e mais espaçoso, Tiago parece estar mais à vontade.

“Gosto muito de jogar aqui. Foi muito bom ter chegado alguns dias antes. Deu para treinar bastante nessas quadras e estou bem adaptado. A velocidade da quadra está perfeita,” contou o pupilo de Larri, feliz com a companhia de tantos brasileiros no Grand Slam. “Já é uma evolução enorme ter cinco brasileiros juvenis no Grand Slam. Tomara que continue crescendo.”

Depois da experiência na Ásia, em que passou o qualifying e venceu uma partida na chave principal de um torneio Challenger, Tiago logo após o US Open, jogará o Challenger de Belo Horizonte e dois torneios Futures. “Foi um teste na Ásia. Foram duas semanas de bastante jogo. Uma experiência muito boa, em condições adversas, com muito calor, comida estranha, umidade…”

Clezar integrará a equipe de treinamento da Davis, na Índia.

Tentei reunir os cinco jogadores para uma foto, mas quando consegui quatro, Clezar já tinha voltado para o hotel. Por isso ele não está na foto com os outros tenistas.

E depois de conversar com os tenistas na sala dos jogadores aproveitei para subir até o topo do Arthur Ashe Stadium e avistar Manhattan.

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