Player of the week: Tamarine Tanasugarn

31 years old Tamarine Tanasugarn completed an extraordinary tournament last week in 's-Hertogenbosch. Former Top 20 and 10 times Top 100 finisher, the veteran Thai player started the year out of the Top 100 and was ranked #85 last week. So she needed to go through the qualification to get a place in the Main Draw.
But that wasn't a problem for Tanasugarn, who won six matches in a row to reach the final, defeating previous week champion in Birmingham Kateryna Bondarenko, american Ashley Harkleroad, local favourite Maichaella Krajicek and Top 30 Alona Bondarenko on her way. But in the final she had to face a very though opponent and at the best moment of her tennis career, Berlin champion and Roland Garros runner-up Dinara Safina.
Tanasugarn took advance of all her experience and her best adaptation to grass courts (in fact she has got her best Grand Slam results in Wimbledon, reaching the Last-16 round 6 times in the last 9 years) to defeat Safina 7/5 6/3 and capture her 2nd career title. I guess no seeded player will like to have Tamarine in her part of the draw this week in Wimbledon.


WTA ranking as of 23-Jun-2008

Maria Sharapova and Jelena Jankovic exchange spots #2 and #3 again, while Marion Bartoli gets back into the Top 10. Eastbourne champion Agnieszka Radwanska climbs 3 places up to a career-high ranking at #11 and is likely to break into the Top 10 after Wimbledon, while runner-up Nadia Petrova gets back into Top 20 going from #22 to #18. Good climbs for Russian Ekaterina Makarova, breaking into the Top 50 form #62 to a career-high at #48 and for 's-Hertogenbosch champion Tamarine Tanasugarn, going 25 places up to #60, although the greatest gainer is Samantha Stosur who gets back into the Top 100 climbing 59 spots up to #98 after reaching the semifinal in Eastbourne.

CurPrvNameCountryRank pts.Tours.
1(1)Ana IvanovicSRB418817
2(3)Maria SharapovaRUS370614
3(2)Jelena JankovicSRB368522
4(4)Svetlana Kuznetsova


5(5)Elena DementievaRUS274520
6(6)Serena WilliamsUSA267613
7(7)Venus WilliamsUSA260613
8(8)Anna ChakvetadzeRUS243624
9(9)Dinara SafinaRUS225722
10(11)Marion Bartoli




Week #26 preview: Wimbledon

Wimbledon (GBR), Grand Slam, £3,925,000
Here it is again the most historic and elegant Grand Slam, played on the grass courts of The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London. And as in Roland Garros a few weeks ago, there will be another battle for the World's number 1, with Ana Ivanovic defending her leadership, and Jelena Jankovic, Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova trying to take it. The battle for the title will also be very open and, aside from the players already named, we must consider 4-times winner Venus Williams and 2-times winner Serena Williams amongst the favorites. Other players who could also have a good performance are last year runner-up Marion Bartoli, former champion LLindsay Davenport, Roland Garros runner-up Dinara Safina and youngster Agnieszka Radwanska.

Week #25: 3rd title of the season for Radwanska

Polish Agnieszka Radwanska confirmed once again that she's one of the best players at the moment and captured her third title of the season in Eastbourne. She has already won titles on hard (Pattaya), clay (Istambul) and grass (Eastbourne). The first rounds were a bit dissapointing as Lindsay Davenport withdrew and favourites Svetlana Kuznetsova, Vera Zvonareva, Nicole Vaidisova, Victoria Azarenka and Alize Cornet lost at their first match. On the other hand, Marion Bartoli and Nadia Petrova found her best tennis back and progressed to the semis, as Samantha Stosur who finally got a good result after coming back from a long illness absence. But Radwanska was too strong and defeated Bartoli in the semis and Petrova in the final to take her 4th career title in 4 finals.
In 's-Hertogenbosch, veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn won 7 consecutive matches to get a surprising victory. WTA #85 Tanasugarn had to go through the qualy to get into the main draw and defeated players such as Kateryna Bondarenko, Ashley Harkleroad, local favourite Michaella Krajicek and Alona Bondarenko for a place in the final. On the other half of the draw, 1st seed Elena Dementieva faced Roland Garros runner-up Dinara Safina for the third time in a few weeks. After coming back from a set down in Berlin's final and Roland Garros quarters, this time Safina just needed two sets to defeat Dementieva. But she suffered a big upset in the final, where WTA #9 Safina was surprised by experienced Tanasugarn.

Eastbourne (GBR), Tier II, $600,000
Final: Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) def Nadia Petrova (RUS) 6/4 6/7 6/4

's-Hertogenbosch (NED), Tier III, $175,000
Final: Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA) def Dinara Safina (RUS) 7/5 6/3


Hot shot: Looking for a hero?

Source: Sony Ericsson WTA Tour

Promotional prints of Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's brand new campaign "Looking for a hero?" featuring Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anna Chakvetadze, Amelie Mauresmo, Nicole Vaidisova, Maria Kirilenko and Dominika Cibulkova amongst other players

TV ads, video clips, prints and individual shots can be found on


Hot news: "Looking for a hero?" campaign launched

Source: Sony Ericsson WTA Tour

The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour has unveiled the television and print creative for its landmark global advertising campaign to the international media at an exclusive screening at the Charlotte Street Hotel in London.

The 60- and 30-second television advertisements are the pinnacle of the Tour's multi-million dollar, pioneering global marketing campaign which will also include print and digital advertising, along with viral and community generated elements. In all, the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour expects to invest $15 million in the campaign over the course of the next three years. Over thirty players took part in the film and photographic shoot for the campaign which took place at various locations in Rome, Italy, at the start of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia tournament in May 2008.

... (read more)

To view the TV commercials and sample print ads, visit www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/lookingforahero


Player of the week: Maria Kirilenko

Following the advices of coach Eric Van Harpen, Russian star Maria Kirilenko has been working hard on her clay court game and it seems this work is providing great results. A month ago she won her first title on clay in Estoril, and this week she has captured another title in Barcelona. Moreover, she's back in the Top 20 and has reached her career-high ranking this week at #19.
On her way to the final she had to defeat experienced players such as Lilia Osterloh and Stephanie Cohen-Aloro, last year runner-up Edina Gallovits and new spanish sensation and Roland Garros quarter-finalist Carla Suarez, which was the only one taking a set from her. Kirilenko felt more confortable as the week passed and captured the title with an impressive 6/0 6/2 win over Maria Jose Martinez in the final.

It seems that Maria doesn't want to be just a pretty face and a promising player anymore, although she still lacks a remarkable performance in a Grand Slam, where a 4th round in this year's Australian Open is her best result.


WTA ranking as of 16-Jun-2008

Jelena Jankovic goes one spot up to #2 and gives Serbia an historic #1 and #2 lead, while Daniela Hantuchova gets back into the Top Ten replacing Marion Bartoli. Barcelona champion Maria Kirilenko climbs 4 spots, breaking into the Top 20 and reaching a career high ranking at #19, while Birmingham champion Kateryna Bondarenko moves from #69 to #45. Great climb also for Birmingham runner-up Yanina Wickmayer from #85 to #66 and for Barcelona runner-up Maria Jose Martinez who is the greatest gainer breaking into #100 from #140.

CurPrvNameCountryRank pts.Tours.
1(1)Ana IvanovicSRB422218
2(3)Jelena JankovicSRB371523
3(2)Maria SharapovaRUS370614
4(4)Svetlana Kuznetsova


5(5)Elena DementievaRUS275020
6(6)Serena WilliamsUSA267613
7(7)Venus WilliamsUSA260613
8(8)Anna ChakvetadzeRUS254124
9(9)Dinara SafinaRUS222222
10(11)Daniela Hantuchova




Hot gossip: Nasri or Noah, who is Tati's boyfriend?

A few weeks ago we reported about the relationship between WTA star Tatiana Golovin and soccer player Samir Nasri
But last week, Tati attended Roland Garros men's final with basketball player Joakim Noah, son of former tennis star Yannick Noah, and they were caught in very affective attitude by Closer magazine.

It could seem that she had splitted up with Nasri, but a few days ago she was watched along with other football player wives cheering the French squad in the European Championships.

So, who's Tatiana with actually?

Week #25 preview: Eastbourne & 's-Hertogenbosch

Eastbourne (GBR), Tier II, $600,000
Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova and French Marion Bartoli will be the only Top 10 players competing on the biggest grass event on the way to Wimbledon after the withdrawal of world's leading players Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova due to different physical problems. Three of the best players of the season so far, Vera Zvonareva, Agnieszka Radwanska and Victoria Azarenka will contend for the title, as veteran Lindsay Davenport, while Amelie Mauresmo, Nadia Petrova and Nicole Vaidisova will try to get her best tennis back.

's-Hertogenbosch (NED), Tier III, $175,000
This combined ATP & WTA tournament in Netherlands will feature a very interesting field highlighted by Russians Elena Dementieva, Anna Chakvetadze and Roland Garros finalist Dinara Safina. Title winners last week Kateryna Bondarenko and Maria Kirilenko will also be there, along with Kateryna's sister Alona, comeback Indian Sania Mirza and young Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova, while local favourite Michaella Krajicek will try to get her confidence back.

Week #24: Kateryna Bondarenko gets the title in Birmingham, Kirilenko wins in Barcelona

In Birmingham, Ukranian Kateryna Bondarenko got her first WTA singles title ever. 12th seed Bondarenko, who hadn't even reached the semis in any WTA event, was the only seed remaining in the semis of a tournament plenty of upsets where the top seeds suffered early defeats. Bondarenko didn't need to beat any Top 50 player to take the title (WTA #52 Petra Cetkovska was the highest ranked player she beated), although she had to fight to the limit to defeat promising Belgian Yanina Wickmayer in a very though match that was decided in the third set tie-break. New Zealand young talent Marina Erakovic and American Bethanie Mattek completed the semis.
In Barcelona, Russian Maria Kirilenko confirmed her improvement on clay and captured her 2nd title of the season amongst Estoril, also on clay. Kirilenko took advance of an easy draw and dropped only one set, in the 2nd round against Roland Garros quarter-finalist Carla Suarez, WTA #49, who was the highest ranked player she faced. In the final, Kirilenko demolished surprising finalist Maria Jose Martinez, WTA 140, who got into the Main Draw with a Wild Card and progressed to the final defeating Wozniak, 5th seed Parmentier, 4th seed Safarova and fellow Spanish Nuria Llagostera. 1st seed Shahar Peer was upsetted in the 1st round by Llagostera, as 3rd seed Dominika Cibulkova, who retired due to abdominal pain.

Birmingham (GBR), Tier III, $200,000
Final: Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) def Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 7/6 3/6 7/6

Barcelona (ESP), Tier IV, $145,000
Final: Maria Kirilenko (RUS) def Maria Jose Martinez (ESP) 6/0 6/2


Player of the week: Ana Ivanovic

Serbian Ana Ivanovic enjoyed a fantastic week in Roland Garros. Not only she got her first Grand Slam title, but she also become the #1 in the WTA ranking. Her way to the final was not too difficult, as Swiss Patty Schnyder (WTA #12) was the best ranked player she had to face, but she solved her matches without dropping a set and showing a very solid game. In fact she dropped no more than 7 games on each match and even double baggeled Petra Cetkovska in the Last 16 round. But the semifinal was another story as she had to face fellow Serbian Jelena Jankovic. Moreover, the winner of that match would have the prize of becoming #1. The match was really dramatic and emotional with two very competitive players that are not friends in spite of being country mates. Ana took the match in an exciting third set and got the #1 spot and the chance of winning her first Grand Slam. It was the third Grand slam final for Ana, while opponent Dinara Safina was playing a Grand Slam final for the first time. Ivanovic was much more solid than erratic Safina and secured the title in two sets.

WTA ranking as of 09-Jun-2008

After her Roland Garros title, Ana Ivanovic gets the top spot in the WTA ranking for the first time in her career. Russian Elena Dementieva gains three spots up to #5, while Roland Garros runner-up Dinara Safina gets back into the Top Ten moving from #14 to #9. Czech players Petra Kvitova and Petra Cetkovska who reached the Last 16 round in Roland Garros climb from #87 to #60 and from #77 to #52 respectively, while Roland Garros quarter finalists Kaia Kanepi and Carla Suarez go from #49 to #34 and from #132 to #49. Suarez makes her Top 100 and Top 50 debut and is the greatest gainer in the Top 100. French Olivia Sanchez and German Julia Goerges also make their Top 100 debut at #90 and #98 respectively. Good climbs also for Flavia Pennetta (8 places up to #22), Iveta Benesova (22 places up to #48), Marina Erakovic (16 places up to #64), Bethanie Mattek (25 places up to #81), Emilie Loit (25 places up to #83), Vania King (25 places up to #88) and Aleksandra Wozniak (47 places up to #93).

CurPrvNameCountryRank pts.Tours.
1(2)Ana IvanovicSRB422218
2(1)Maria SharapovaRUS380615
3(3)Jelena JankovicSRB375524
4(4)Svetlana Kuznetsova


5(8)Elena DementievaRUS275020
6(5)Serena WilliamsUSA267613
7(7)Venus WilliamsUSA260613
8(6)Anna ChakvetadzeRUS254124
9(14)Dinara SafinaRUS222222
10(9)Marion Bartoli




Week #24 preview: Birmingham, Barcelona

Birmingham (GBR), Tier III, $200,000
The first grass tournament of the season will take place in Birmingham. In spite of some late withdrawals due to different injuries after Roland Garros, the tournament will feature stars as Marion Bartoli, Nicole Vaidisova, Alona Bondarenko and the comeback of Sania Mirza. The presence of Dinara Safina, Roland Garros finalist, is in doubt due to fatigue.

Barcelona (ESP), Tier IV, $145,000Despite most of the players are already focused in Wimbledon preparation, a clay tournament is hold in Barcelona. Although it is a Tier Iv, it will present an interesting field including Shahar Peer, Maria Kirilenko, Dominika Cibulkova,home favourite Anabel Medina and Roland Garros surprising quarter-finalists Kaia Kanepi and Carla Suarez.

Week #22-23: Ana Ivanovic wins Roland Garros and becomes #1

This has been a perfect tournament for Serbian Ana Ivanovic. Not only she has captured her first Grand Slam title, but she also has become new World's number one taking Justine Henin's crown as French Open champion and World's leading player. Unexpected retirement of Justine Henin left an exciting and open competition for the Roland Garros title and the number one in the rankings. As Dinara Safina defeated Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova on her way to the final, the number one was decided in a very emotional semifinal between Serbians Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic. That was the best match of the tournament and Ivanovic took it in the third set. The other part of the draw was plenty of Russians and Dinara Safina was the strongest of them, completing two memorable comebacks against Maria Sharapova and Elena Dementieva after losing the first set, being down in the second and saving match points in both cases, and defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semis. With these premises the final looked exciting, but Ivanovic, who had already played two Grand Slam finals, was very confident after becoming number one while Safina looked tired and suffered some nerves on her first Grand Slam final.
As in any Grand Slam there was a lot of surprises and dissapointments. Positive surprises by Czech Petra Kvitova and Petra Cetkovska who reached the Last 16, quarter finalist Kaia Kanepi and specially Spanish Carla Suarez, who went through the qualy to reach the quarter finals in her first Grand Slam appareance. Dissapointing performances by Serena and Venus Williams who lost in the 3rd round, Anna Chakvetadze and Amelie Mauresmo, who lost in the 2nd round, and Shahar Peer and Marion Bartoli who couldn't win a match.
Doubles title was taken by Spanish pair Anabel Medina and Virginia Ruano. That was the 5th doubles title in Paris for Ruano. They defeated Francesca Schiavone and Casey Dellacqua, who played together for the first time. And young Victoria Azarenka got another Grand Slam title in mixed doubles with American Bob Bryan.

Roland Garros (FRA), Grand Slam, €7,077,680
Singles: Ana Ivanovic (SRB) def Dinara Safina (RUS) 6/4 6/3
Doubles: Medina/Ruano def Dellacqua/Schiavone 2/6 7/5 6/4
Mixed: Azarenka/B.Bryan def Srebotnik/Zimonjic 6/2 7/6


Latent heat: Petra Kvitova

Although she had just entered the Top 100, there were already big expectations around 18 years old Czech Petra Kvitova, and her breakthrough was just a matter of time.
She had already won some ITF titles and collected some good victories on WTA tournaments over Anabel Medina, Katerina Bondarenko, on Fed Cup over Shahar Peer and the most noticeable over Venus Williams in Memphis. But in Roland Garros 2008 she has finally got into the spotlight, reaching the 4th round and beating experimented players such as Morigami, Stosur and 12th seed Szavay on her way.

1.81 metres high and left handed, her powerful serve and forehand are her greatest weapons and her gamestyle reminds of Sharapova. If she gets some regularity, she definitively has the potential for reaching very high goals.


Hot shot: Sony Ericsson WTA Tour stars by Lorenzo Agius

Premier photographer Lorenzo Agius has captured the spirit and glamour of the upper echelons of women's tennis in a captivating series of portraits shot in Dubai.
This photoshoot features players such as Justine Henin, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Anna Chakvetadze, Elena Dementieva, Maria Kirilenko, Agnes Szavay, Alona Bondarenko and Katerina Bondarenko.

You can watch the slideshow here via Contour by Getty images


Hot stuff: Roland Garros fashion

Here it is another Grand Slam tournament and another great chance to show the world the new lines and creations from each brand. We'll have a look on them.
In the competition between Nike and Adidas, Nike was the clear winner in my opinion. As always they were big expectations on Maria Sharapova's dress, which was quite elegant, remarked by the jewelry earrings she was wearing. And this time they also succeeded fitting Serena Williams in a white dress.

But they also produced great designs that really fitted the players, as the t-shirt and skirt worn by Lucie Safarova, simple and nice. Or the t-shirts worn by Chinese pair Jie Zheng and Zi Yan.

On the other hand Adidas was a bit dissapointing as they didn't present anything new and used the same lines as in the Australian Open. I was possitive to Ivanovic's dress on last year's YEC but I now I'm getting a bit tired of it, although she changed to red. And I'm getting tired of Stella McCartney's designs for Maria Kirilenko too, the colour was dreadful.

The line that Henin used to wear and that is worn by Schnyder and Medina is just okay. In fact the only line I like from Adidas are the tops worn by Wozniacki, Lisicki or Brengle.

Nothing new on Reebok's side neither, Jankovic used the same dress as in Australian Open just changing the colour, and also similar design for Mauresmo. They can do better.

Fila was the most innovative but with bad results in my opinion, I don't like the circles in their designs for Kuznetsova and Szavay. I'm used to watching Kuznetsova wearing horrible Fila designs, but I'm blaming the moment that Szavay, who in my opinion was the best dressed in 2007 with that US Open Series white dress, signed with Fila.

I was really expecting K-Swiss' designs for Bondarenko sisters, but they lost in 1st round so there wasn't a big chance of watching them. The design for Zvonareva was nice but nothing spectacular. Also a nice design for Dementieva by Yonex, same as in Australian Open.

Venus Williams wore her own designs by her brand Eleven and gets a good mark, always colorful. Original designs worn by Betthanie Mattek are always expected, and she didn't dissapoint wearing a nice pink dress on her match against Sharapova.

And last but not least, French brand Lacoste produced in my opinion the best designs of the French Open. At their home event they launched a new line of dresses, t-shirts, tops and skirts based in blue lines that were classy and innovative at the same time. Their designs looked great on every player, such as Cibulkova, Cetkovska, Cornet and Johansson.


Hot gossip: Ivanovic to appear on cover of FHM

Following the steps of Spanish Nuria Llagostera, who posed nude for Spanish men's magazine Interviu (see post), and American Ashley Harkleroad, who will appear in August edition of Playboy (see post), Ana Ivanovic will be featured on cover of men's magazine FHM.
Here is the note and a preview on her website:
"Ana will appear on the cover of the August issue of FHM. The 20-year-old was captured earlier this year near Palm Springs by renowned photographer Don Flood.
The feature is expected to run to at least eight pages and promises to include some of Ana's best ever imagery. It goes on sale in Britain on 1 July, and other editions around the world are due to be published around the same time."

Note and photo via Ana Ivanovic's official website