Hola a todos!
Here's an interesting article:
Wimbledon unfair to Spaniards: Costa
| 7sport.com.au ... 03 January 2003 08:01am |
French Open tennis champion Albert Costa claims Wimbledon is unfair to the Spanish players and reckons it is time the tournament moved into the 21st century.
The 27-year-old is one of several clay surface experts who sometimes give the grass court Grand Slam a miss, and his New Year message to the All-England club is that it is wrong for it to decide the Wimbledon seedings itself.
"Wimbledon should do what the other Grand Slams do and follow the world rankings," he said.
"Sure grass is different, but so is clay and hard courts.
"I feel very disappointed, because we are playing all year to earn a ranking and when we come to Wimbledon we find that our ranking doesn't count - why?" Costa asked.
"Sure the surface is different, but it is also different on clay courts, but at the French Open they don't put Pete Sampras and Tim Henman down in the seedings," Costa said.
"If they are ranked one and three in the world rankings I don't mind if they are seeded one and three in the French Open."
Wimbledon has sought to avoid a wide boycott by Spanish and Latin American players by reducing the extent to which it adjusts the seeds according to their grass court records, and by getting an agreement to raise the total of seeds in Grand Slam events from 16 to 32.
This means that demoted clay-courters like Costa or Alex Corretja are unlikely to appear in the draw as floaters, but Costa still thinks it is unfair not to use the world rankings.
"We should talk," said Costa, an independent-minded Catalan.
"They should understand us. I understand them.
"They have a very good event but still we have now moved into the 21st century, and they should gradually change their view.
"(David) Nalbandian (raised on clay courts in Argentina) did well at Wimbledon (he reached last year's final losing to Lleyton Hewitt) and so can we."
Brought to you by AAP.
Armada can do it the hard way
By Ben Wyld
January 4 2003
If Spanish claycourt specialists Juan Carlos Ferrero, Carlos Moya and Albert Costa had their way, the Rebound Ace courts at the Sydney International Tennis Centre would be under a thick layer of slow European red clay.
But that particular court surface transformation won't happen until February, for Australia's tilt at Britain in the first round of the Davis Cup.
The international tennis bandwagon winds its way into town this weekend with players fine-tuning their games on the high-bouncing Rebound Ace courts for tomorrow's start of the adidas International. Of course, as last year's results show, the "Spanish Armada" - accustomed to success on clay surfaces - is more than capable of winning the hardcourt title.
Ferrero, No4 on the ATP Champions Race ladder, won a hardcourt event in Hong Kong last September. Carrying that form to the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, Ferrero downed more experienced hardcourt players Andre Agassi and Moya, before losing in five sets to Australian world No1 Lleyton Hewitt in the final.
Ferrero's confidence should be high, boosted by his ability to take Hewitt the distance on a surface more to the Australian's liking.
In one of the strongest men's fields in years, the Sydney tournament has five of the eight men who qualified for last year's Tennis Masters Cup.
World No3 Marat Safin heads the men's field, ahead of Spaniards Ferrero, Moya (No5 in the ATP race), Costa (No9), and Swiss defending champion Roger Federer (No6).
The men's event provides an opportunity to examine the games of those most likely to press the absent Hewitt for his No1 spot this year.
None has a stronger claim than former world No1 Safin. While it's too early to know if the 22-year-old Russian will have his bevy of blonde Safinettes in tow, supporting him from the sidelines, his form towards the end of the season suggests an ominous switch of attention to on-court matters.
Safin's devastating run to the Paris Masters title is a case in point. He accounted for both Moya and Hewitt in the latter stages to claim the title.
In the final, Safin steamrolled Hewitt in a straight-sets display of all-court power, and although he was disappointing in the Masters Cup that followed, Safin was back near his best in clinching his two singles matches in Russia's winning Davis Cup final against France on clay.
Another likely to challenge Hewitt is Moya, who proved to be the Australian's nemesis last year, winning the last four of their five encounters.
Moya enjoys a 5-2 lifetime record against the Australian and his game, somewhat different from those of his baseline-bound Spanish compatriots, provides a blueprint for success against Hewitt: take chances and finish points off at the net.
Federer has the necessary tools but continues to struggle for consistency. He broke through in Sydney last year for his first outdoor title and will be looking to start 2003 in the same fashion.
Affected by the death of his former coach, Australian Peter Carter, Federer had a mid-year slump before turning things around with an emotional win in Vienna last October, which he dedicated to Carter.
Outside chances Andy Roddick (No10) and James Blake (No28), making his Sydney debut this year, represent the new wave of American talent. With Sampras and Agassi in the twilight of their brilliant careers, expectation is shifting to the younger men.
Paradorn Srichaphan (No18) of Thailand, who scored wins over Hewitt, Agassi, Safin and Ferrero last year, will not be taken lightly.
Un otro articulo!
The ones to watch
January 4 2003
MARAT SAFIN (Russia).
Age: 22. 2002 Champions Race: 3.
Looking to continue the momentum he built up at the end of last season, when he won the Paris Masters title and helped Russia to their first Davis Cup win. But will Marat bring his top game?
JUAN CARLOS FERRERO (Spain).
Age: 22. 2002 Champions Race: 4.
On the lookout for his third hardcourt title, Ferrero will be boosted by his near defeat of Australia's Lleyton Hewitt on hardcourt at last year's Tennis Masters Cup. Ferrero should reap the benefits of the high-bouncing courts with his huge forehand.
CARLOS MOYA (Spain).
Age: 26. 2002 Champions Race: 5.
A proven performer on Rebound Ace courts with a runner-up finish in Sydney, and later at Melbourne Park, in 1997. Another Spaniard with a huge forehand, Moya is more comfortable charging to the net to finish points off.
ROGER FEDERER (Switzerland).
Age: 21. 2002 Champions Race: 6.
The defending champion, Federer is looking to repeat last year's success in Sydney. A polished all-court player, Federer is prone to inconsistency and was emotionally affected last year by the death of his former coach, Australian Peter Carter.
The above all my faves -- but they left out Alex!