Monday, June 8, 2009

Roger Federer

Roger Federer, born on August 8, 1981, is a Swiss professional tennis player. He is a former World No. 1 ranked player, a position he held for a record 237 consecutive weeks. Federer is considered by many to be the greatest male singles player of all time.
Federer holds numerous records in the sport, including 14 Grand Slam men's singles titles (3 Australian Open, 1 French Open, 5 Wimbledon, 5 US Open), equalling the all-time record with Pete Sampras. Federer is only the sixth male player to achieve a career Grand Slam.
As of June 2009, he has reached at least the semi-finals of 20 consecutive grand slam tournaments. Federer has also equaled Ivan Lendl's all-time record of 19 grand slam finals. As a result of Federer's success in tennis, he was named the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for 4 consecutive years (2005–08).

Federer started playing tennis at the age of eight. He began participating in group lessons aged nine and began weekly private coaching the following year. He played football until the age of twelve when he decided to focus solely on tennis. At fourteen, he became the national champion of all groups in Switzerland and was chosen to train at the Swiss National Tennis Center in Ecublens. He joined the ITF junior tennis circuit in July 1996.[33] In 1998, his final year as a junior, Federer won the junior Wimbledon title and the prestigious year-ending Orange Bowl. He was recognized as the ITF World Junior Tennis champion of the year.
Federer's versatility was epitomised by Jimmy Connors' statement: "In an era of specialists - you're either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist or a hard court specialist... or you're Roger Federer". David Foster Wallace described Federer's exceptional speed, fluidity and brute force of this forehand motion as "a great liquid whip", while John McEnroe has referred to Federer's forehand as "the greatest shot in our sport".[108] Federer plays with a one-handed backhand, and has an excellent slice, and can also fire top-spin winning shots. His serve is difficult to read because he tosses the ball in the same spot no matter where he intends to serve it and he turns his back to his opponents during his motion. His first serve is typically around 190 km/h (118 mph); however, he is capable of serving at 220 km/h (137 mph). Though Federer stands at 185 cm (6 feet 1 inch), he uses his superior speed and fluidity of movement to reach tough shots instead of using only his reach.

Rivalry with Rafael Nadal. Federer and Nadal have been playing each other since 2004, and this rivalry is a significant part of both men's careers. They are the only men in the open era who have played each other in 7 Grand Slam finals, with Nadal leading 5-2. Their 2008 Wimbledon final has been lauded as the greatest match of all time by many long-time tennis critics, while many critics consider their rivalry to be the greatest in tennis history. Nadal leads head-to-head 13-7. (wikipedia - -

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dinara Mikhailovna Safina, Muslim Tatar parents

Dinara Mikhailovna Safina (Russian: Дина́ра Миха́йловна (Муби́новна) Са́фина; Tatar: Динара Мөбин кызы Сафина, Dinara Möbin qızı Safina), born April 27, 1986, is a Russian professional tennis player. As of April 27, 2009, she is ranked World No. 1 by the Women's Tennis Association. She has been the runner-up in three Grand Slam singles tournaments and won the women's doubles title at the 2007 US Open with Nathalie Dechy. She also won the Olympic silver medal in women's singles at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Her most recent achievement is runner-up in the 2009 French Open. She is the younger sister of former World No. 1 men's player Marat Safin. She and her brother are the first brother-sister tandem in tennis history to both achieve a #1 ranking.
Safina is an aggressive baseliner. She likes to take the ball on the rise with full power on every shot. Her sharp angled forehand can set up a point that will be hit with a big and heavy forehand which will be converted to a winner. Her backhand can be flat and heavy and can be devastating on some of her games. She boasts a powerful first serve that sometimes lacks consistency in tight moments. Her primary weakness is her mental toughness, particularly in Grand Slam finals. Her emotions on court can adversely affect her game, though her mental toughness has considerably improved. She was also regarded as one of the most healthy and fit players on tour. Though an adequate lateral mover, she is less nimble moving forward and tends to avoid net play.

Safina began the year by representing Russia with her brother Marat Safin in the Hopman Cup in Perth. She defeated her first three opponents: Flavia Pennetta of Italy, Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei, and Alizé Cornet of France, but lost in the final to Slovak Dominika Cibulková 6–7, 6–1, 6–4.
Safina was seeded second at the Medibank International in Sydney. She defeated Sorana Cirstea in the first round, compatriot Vera Dushevina in the second round, Cornet in the quarterfinals, and Japanese veteran Ai Sugiyama in the semifinals. In the final, she lost to compatriot and third-seed Elena Dementieva.
At the Australian Open, Safina defeated Alla Kudryavtseva, Ekaterina Makarova, and 25th-seeded Kaia Kanepi in rounds one, two, and three, respectively. In the fourth round, she overcame Cornet 6–2, 2–6, 7–5 after having been down 5–2 and facing two match points in the third set. Safina defeated the Australian wild card entry Jelena Dokic in the quarterfinals 6–4, 4–6, 6–4, and Vera Zvonareva in the semifinals to reach the second Grand Slam final of her career. She lost to Serena Williams in the final in 59 minutes. Had Safina won the tournament, she would have assumed the World No. 1 ranking.
At the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, a Premier 5 event on the tour, Safina lost in the second round to eventual finalist Virginie Razzano 6–4, 6–2 after receiving a bye in the first round.
Although she was seeded first at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, Safina made 56 unforced errors while losing in the quarterfinals to eighth-seeded Victoria Azarenka 6–7, 6–1, 6–3. Safina would have replaced Serena Williams as the World No. 1 player had Safina reached the final of this tournament.
At the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Safina lost in the third round to Australia's Samantha Stosur 6–1, 6–4.
On April 20, Safina became the 19th player, and second Russian after Maria Sharapova, to be ranked World No. 1 by the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Safina and her brother Marat Safin are the first ever brother-sister World No. 1 pair, with Safin having been ranked World No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals earlier in his career.
On clay, Safina lost in the final of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart to Svetlana Kuznetsova. The following week at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, a Premier 5 event, Safina defeated Venus Williams in the semifinals 6–7, 6–3, 6–4 and Kuznetsova in the final. She was the first Russian to win this tournament. Safina then advanced to the final at the inaugural Premier Mandatory Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open. She defeated Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki 6–2, 6–4 in the final to win her second consecutive title in the space of two weeks.
Competing as the top seed at the 2009 French Open, Safina advanced to the quarterfinals dropping just five games, defeating Anne Keothavong 6-0, 6-0, Vitalia Diatchenko, 27th seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and Aravane Rezai. Safina was tested by Belarussian Victoria Azarenka in the first set of the quarterfinals, but ultimately prevailed 1-6, 6-4, 6-2. She beat Dominika Cibulkova in the semifinals with a score of 6-3, 6-3 to reach her third Grand Slam Final where she lost to Russian compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-2.
Like Jelena Jankovic a former world #1 who hadn't won a major title, Safina has been criticised by Justine Henin and many others about her No. 1 ranking because she has not won a major title. Unlike Jankovic, Safina had at least made a Grand Slam final before acheiving her #1 ranking. (wikipedia - -