Sunday, May 31, 2009

Federer, Monfils, Haas Advance In Four Sets; Roddick Breaks New Ground In Paris

Three-time Roland Garros finalist and World No. 2 Roger Federer advanced to the fourth round for the 20th consecutive time in a Grand Slam tournament as he came back to beat No. 32 seed Paul-Henri Mathieu 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 at Roland Garros on Saturday.

The Swiss superstar, who came into Paris after winning the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Madrid, won his eighth consecutive match. He also improved to 35-10 lifetime at Roland Garros.

After losing the first set, Federer took control of the second set by breaking twice. In the third set, Federer broke in the ninth game and then served it out. Federer broke again early in the third set and then lost his serve in the fourth game on a backhand error. But Federer broke to take a 4-3 on a backhand winner and held on for his fourth victory in as many meetings against the Frenchman.

Federer fired 14 aces and overall hit 59 winners while committing only 29 unforced errors in the two-hour and 46-minute match. He converted five of 16 break points while saving five of seven on his serve.

"I'm disappointed with nothing and I'm happy I won," said Federer, who is 29-6 on the season. "I missed some opportunities in the first set and he played well. But as I said, we didn't have much rhythm. I was trying to put the ball in, but in that case it's difficult to win all the points. That's why he stayed into the match. He had more rhythm in the beginning. It was more difficult for me. I was not feeling my serve very well. But as the match progressed, I felt better with my serve. It's always dangerous to lose the first set."

He will take on German Tommy Haas, who is the only unseeded player and oldest player remaining at 31. Haas pulled out a hard-fought 7-5, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory over young Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who reached the fourth round last year. Former World No. 2 Haas hit 53 winners, including 16 aces, and converted six of 12 break point chances in the two-hour and 37-minute match.

Haas, currently No. 63 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings, is through to the fourth round at Roland Garros for the first time in seven years. The last time he advanced to the fourth round or better in a Grand Slam tournament was at the 2007 US Open, where he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Davydenko). His best results at a major have come at the Australian Open, where he is a three-time semi-finalist. Haas came into Roland Garros with two quarter-final showings in 2009 – at San Jose (l. to Roddick) and Houston (l. to Phau).

World No. 6 and 2003 ATP World Tour Champion Andy Roddick reached the fourth round at Roland Garros for the first time in eight appearances with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Frenchman Marc Gicquel.

The newly-married American, who played just one clay-court tournament in the lead up to Roland Garros, is yet to drop a set in his most successful Roland Garros campaign and demonstrated his new-found confidence on the clay in an impressive performance against World No. 46 Gicquel. Roddick raced out to a 5-1 lead in the first set with two breaks of serve and a strong serving display before closing out the one-set lead in 28 minutes. In the seventh game of the second set, a double fault from Gicquel presented Roddick with two break points and the Texas resident duly claimed the decisive break at the second opportunity as Gicquel’s drop shot landed in the net.

A comprehensive third set saw Roddick break in the third game with an accurate forehand passing shot and he claimed victory after one hour and 44 minutes as Gicquel returned a serve long.

The 26-year-old Roddick hit 27 winners to just 11 unforced errors, compared to an unforced error count of 25 for Gicquel. The Austin, Texas resident was dominant on serve, saving all three break points he faced and winning 84 per cent of points behind his first serve.

Roddick will next meet No. 11-seeded and last year's semi-finalist Gael Monfils, who defeated No. 24 seed Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 on Court Philippe Chatrier.

The pair have split the previous six meetings with Roddick winning the past two earlier this year in Doha and Miami but the Frenchman is 2-0 on clay.

Monfils, who has been bothered with a knee injury for most of the European clay court circuit, is playing in his first tournament since Monte-Carlo in mid-April. Thus far he has only dropped one set en route to the fourth round.

"It was not hurting that much and it was hurting less," said Monfils. "I knew how to move on the court, and I'm really satisfied with my knee. I've taken care of it. I spend a lot of time on it, and it seems it works well. So I'll continue like this, and I'll be very careful."

Monfils is looking forward to the second week in Paris for the third time in the past four years. "Now it's going to be week No. 2, which is quite pleasant, week No. 2 in a Grand Slam," said the No. 10th-ranked Frenchman. "This is quite enjoyable, and unfortunately I've not had enough opportunities to play on clay this season, so I have many regrets. Many regrets because I know I can win a number of matches. I could have won more matches."

(From Website :

Full-time: Chelsea 2-1 Everton

90+4 mins - Webb blows the full-time whistle and Chelsea have won The FA Cup for the fifth time to give their Temporary Manager the perfect send off. Goals from Drogba and Lampard are enough to give Chelsea their first trophy since 2007.

90+3 mins - Baines is booked for bringing down Jose Bosingwa on the edge of the area.

90+2 mins - Anelka outpaces Lescott to reach Lampard's ball forward, but he is unable to convert.

90 mins - With time running out, Cahill shoots from distance but it bends just wide. There are to be four added minutes.

88 mins - Chelsea left-back, Ashley Cole, is named the 'E.ON Man of the Match' as the clock ticks towards the 90-minute mark.

84 mins - Lampard receives a booking from Webb after he was adjudged to have dived under a challenge from Pienaar. The attendance at Wembley is 89, 391.

83 mins - Danny Gosling, Everton's hero against Liverpool in the Fourth Round, replaces Leon Osman.

81 mins - Howard collects a backward header from Drogba, before setting Everton up on the counter attack. Vaughan's first meaningful contribution since coming off the bench sees him send in a delicious cross from the left, but Cech gets his hand to the ball with Cahill lurking menacingly.

78 mins - Chelsea's French winger tries to atone for his earlier miss with an audacious attempt - another from distance - which cannons off the bar.

77 mins - Everton's goalscorer, Saha, is replaced by James Vaughan as Everton look for the equalising goal.

75 mins - After Cole expertly controls Drogba's cross field ball, Malouda should have extended Chelsea's lead, but shoots over after escaping the offside trap.

74 mins - Pienaar attempts to restore parity immediately, but his shot lacks direction.

72 mins - GOAL! After his sighter in the first half, Lampard drives Chelsea into the lead with just under 20 minutes left to play. He is found by Anelka almost 25 yards from goal, he turns Neville but is forced to hit the ball with his left foot following a slip. It matters not as his powerful shot bends away from Howard and into the corner of the net. It is one of the best goals we have seen in an FA Cup Final in recent years.

70 mins - Malouda bursts down the left and flashes the ball across the box at pace, but it is too fierce for Drogba to do anything with and it just cannons off the Ivorian and hits the stanchion.

67 mins - An Everton free-kick almost gives David Moyes' side the lead. Leighton Baines is played in down the left and his pinpoint cross is met by Saha who heads over from close range, when he should have at least hit the target.

63 mins - John Obi Mikel is the first Chelsea player to receive a caution this afternoon.

62 mins - Cahill and Terry climb for a high ball and the break favours the Australian. He drives the ball goalwards from distance, but Cech is right behind it.

61 mins - Guus Hiddink makes his first change of the afternoon as Essien is replaced by Michael Ballack.

60 mins - Lampard threads the ball through for Anelka to run on to, but the Frenchman can only lift the ball over the bar from an angle.

57 mins - Both sets of fans really turn up the volume at Wembley as they try to urge their team to victory with just over half an hour remaining.

51 mins - Alex cuts out a through ball from Pienaar which seemed destined to send Saha on his way.

50 mins - Malouda sends a ball high into the crowd from a corner.

48 mins - Everton skipper, Phil Neville, is the second player in Webb's notebook.

46 mins - Everton make one change at the break with Lars Jacobsen replacing Tony Hibbert at right-back. Drogba and Lampard get the second half up and running.

45+2 mins - Webb sounds his whistle and this FA Cup Final reaches its halfway point with the score locked at 1-1.

45 mins - There are to be two added minutes at the end of the first half.

44 mins - Cole benefits from a Fellaini deflection and embarks on a foray into the Everton area, but he slices his shot harmlessly wide.

36 mins - Pienaar then tries to thread the ball through to the Toffess' goalscorer, but John Terry is on hand to clear.

34 mins - Everton clear a Lampard corner, allowing Steven Pienaar to gallop into the Chelsea half. He finds Saha who chips the ball forward for Tim Cahill, but the ball has slightly too much weight on it and Cech collects.

23 mins - Having recovered from Saha's hammer blow, Guus Hiddink's side now attempt to take the lead. Lampard attempts a trademark long-range effort but it's narrowly too high to trouble Howard.

21 mins - GOAL! The Toffee faithful are soon silenced by Drogba's equaliser for Chelsea. Drogba gets ahead of Lescott on the edge of the six yard box to head home a Malouda centre. It is Drogba's second Cup Final goal in three years after his winner against Manchester United in 2007.

19 mins - Buoyed by Saha's opening goal, the Everton fans are in good voice as they long for their first FA Cup Final victory since 1995.

15 mins - Fellaini chases a bouncing ball into the Chelsea area, but he can't quite jump high enough and Cech gathers.

14 mins - Chelsea are beginning to see more of the ball and create another opportunity to equalise. Michael Essien fires a shot high and wide after being set-up by Drogba.

12 mins - Ashley Cole and Florent Malouda threaten down the left flank only to be foiled by Howard, but the Assistant Referees flag is raised for an offside against Cole.

8 mins - Frank Lampard sends a free-kick into the Everton box, but it dips harmlessly over Howard's bar. Tony Hibbert receives a yellow card from referee Howard Webb.

5 mins - After recovering from the very early setback, Chelsea begin to assert themselves. Nicolas Anelka crosses for Didier Drogba, but a combination of Tim Howard and Joleon Lescott prevents the Ivorian from doing any damage.

1 min - GOAL! Amazing scenes here at Wembley! Louis Saha writes himself into the history books by scoring the fastest goal in FA Cup Final history, slamming the ball home after just 25 seconds. A Steven Pienaar cross is nodded down by Marouane Fellaini and Saha fires the ball beyond Petr Cech in the Chelsea goal. The Everton fans go wild.

You can follow the action between the Blues of Chelsea and Everton here on and via our Twitter. To register for our updates go to

The Teams

1 Petr Cech, 3 Ashley Cole, 5 Michael Essien (13 Michael Ballack, 61), 8 Frank Lampard, 11 Didier Drogba, 12 Mikel John Obi, 15 Florent Malouda, 17 Jose Bosingwa, 26 John Terry (c), 33 Alex, 39 Nicolas Anelka
Subs 40 Henrique Hilario, 2 Branislav Ivanovic, 9 Franco Di Santo, 21 Salomon Kalou, 35 Juliano Belletti, 42 Michael Mancienne

24 Tim Howard, 2 Tony Hibbert (15 Lars Jacobsen, 46), 3 Leighton Baines, 4 Joseph Yobo, 5 Joleon Lescott, 9 Louis Saha (14 James Vaughan, 77), 17 Tim Cahill, 18 Phil Neville (c), 20 Steven Pienaar, 21 Leon Osman (32 Dan Gosling, 83), 25 Marouane Fellaini
Subs 1 Carlo Nash, 8 Segundo Castillo, 26 Jack Rodwell, 37 Jose Baxter

Kit Colours
Chelsea Yellow shirts, yellow shorts and yellow socks
Everton Blue shirts, white shorts and white socks

Chelsea West End
Everton East End

Match Officials
Referee Howard Webb
Assistants Michael Mullarkey and David Richardson
Fourth Official Martin Atkinson

Did you know?

  • Everton last appeared in an FA Cup Final in 1995, beating Manchester United 1-0.
  • Chelsea's last appearance in The FA Cup Final was just two years ago. They also beat United 1-0.
  • This is the 128th season of The FA Cup, and it will be the 75th FA Cup Final at Wembley.
  • The First Final was played at Kennington Oval in 1872, a 2,000 crowd paid a shilling (5p) each to watch.
  • This season’s Cup has had 925 matches and 3,035 goals. The biggest win was Mildenhall Town 8 Felixstowe & Walton United 0 in the Extra Preliminary Round (Attendance 166).
  • The Final will be seen by 90,000 fans inside Wembley and nearly 500 million around the globe on television.
  • The 88,141 crowd for Manchester United v Everton at Wembley last month was the highest ever for a Semi-Final.
  • Chelsea and Everton have already played in 20 Finals between them. Chelsea have lifted The Cup four times and Everton five times.
  • Twins Amar and Arjun Purewal scored for Bishop Auckland against Darlington RA in this season’s Extra Preliminary Round in August.
(From Website :

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Awesome Nadal Crushes Hewitt; Murray, Cilic To Meet

Four-time defending champion Rafael Nadal made clear his intentions to triumph once more at Roland Garros by lifting his game to clip former ATP World Tour No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 and reach the fourth round in Paris on Friday.

After a relatively low-key start to the tournament for Nadal by his exceedingly high standards, tennis fans looked with anticipation to see what challenge two-time Grand Slam champion Hewitt would present to the Spaniard. Nadal duly responded by significantly raising his level and, despite great tenacity and fine tactics from Hewitt, sent out a clear message to all his rivals with a resounding victory over the Australian.

Nadal was fast out of the blocks in the third match of the day on Philippe Chatrier, rallying from 0-40 in Hewitt’s opening service game to break the Australian and open up a 3-0 lead. The left-hander wore Hewitt down from the baseline, consistently coaxing him into unforced errors as the Adelaide native tried to go for too much in an attempt to get the ball past Nadal. A second break of serve in the sixth game aided Nadal as he closed out the one-set lead after 30 minutes.

Fans were treated to a taster of what might have been early in the second set as Hewitt reeled off three straight games to recover from an early break of serve and lead 3-2, courtesy of some varied and attacking play from the right-hander. However, it only served to further intensify Nadal - who accordingly raised his level to win the next four games and quash Hewitt’s resistance. The third set was a more straightforward affair for Nadal, with breaks in the first and sixth games spurring him on to victory after one hour and 51 minutes.

The loss for Hewitt, who is making his way back up the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings after undergoing hip surgery last August, extended his losing streak against Top 10 opponents to 14 matches. The two-time Roland Garros quarter-finalist won his 27th tour-level title at his first clay-court event of the season in Houston (d. Odesnik) and marked his 500th singles win in the first round in Munich (d. Petzschner).

The 22-year-old Nadal has won a record 31 successive matches at Roland Garros since making his debut in 2005. The Mallorcan has also won 32 consecutive sets at Roland Garros, the second-longest winning streak in the tournament’s history behind Bjorn Borg (41). He has enjoyed near-perfect preparation for his assault on a fifth straight title, winning three clay-court titles at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Monte-Carlo and Rome and on home soil in Barcelona. The only blemish on his 2009 clay-court record is the loss he suffered to Roger Federer in the final of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid.

Next in line for Nadal will be No. 23 seed Robin Soderling, who battled past 14th-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-2, 7-6(5). The Swede hit 64 winners and converted six of 17 break points, including winning 73 per cent of points at the net, to edge through in three hours and 36 minutes. Nadal has a 3-0 career record against Soderling, including two wins on clay.

World No. 25 Soderling is through to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time after winning his 15th match of the season. He is the 20th Swedish man to reach the fourth round at Roland Garros, and the first to do so since Jonas Bjorkman in 2007.

World No. 3 Andy Murray was granted a place in the Roland Garros fourth round for the first time when Janko Tipsarevic retired due to a hip injury with Murray leading 7-6(3), 6-3. Murray had fought back from a 2-5 deficit in the first set, with Tipsarevic also serving for the set at 6-5, to claim the one-set lead on a tie-break before clinching a more routine second set.

The 22-year-old Murray made his Grand Slam breakthrough at Wimbledon (l. to Nadal) in 2008, reaching the quarter-finals for the first time before advancing to his first major final at the US Open in September (l. to Federer). He is the first Briton to reach the fourth round at Roland Garros since Tim Henman made the semi-finals in 2004 (l. to Coria).

The Dunblane native has won three hard-court titles in 2009, at Doha (d. Roddick), Rotterdam (d. Nadal) and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (d. Djokovic) and entered Roland Garros with the third-best (31-5) match record on the season. Under the guidance of Alex Corretja, he reached his first clay-court semi-final at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo (l. to Nadal) and reached the quarter-finals in Madrid (l. to del Potro).

Murray will take a 2-0 career lead into his fourth-round clash with Marin Cilic. The No. 13 seed from Croatia was ruthless in his 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-3 victory over Czech No. 18 seed Radek Stepanek, hitting 40 winners and converting five of 14 break points.

The 20-year-old Cilic has matched his best showing at a Grand Slam, having reached the fourth round at the Australian Open in 2008 and 2009 and at 2008 Wimbledon. It is the first time that the right-hander has won three successive clay-court matches since reaching the Gstaad semi-finals in 2006. The Zagreb resident has compiled a 27-8 match record on the season, highlighted by winning two ATP World Tour titles at Chennai (d. Devvarman) and Zagreb (d. Ancic). He is currently a career-high No. 13 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings.

(From Website :


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Stylish Barcelona take United's crown

FC Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United FC

FC Barcelona were crowned European champions for a third time – and the second in four seasons – as a vibrant display of pass and move, capped by goals in either half from Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi, defeated Manchester United FC in Rome.

Holders toppled
United, bidding to become the first team to successfully defend the trophy in the UEFA Champions League era, began an open contest at breakneck speed as Cristiano Ronaldo threatened three times. After ten minutes, however, Eto'o put the Spanish champions ahead and they never looked back. Xavi Hernández struck a post early in the second period and, though the clinching second goal did not arrive until the 70th minute – via, unusually, the head of Messi – Josep Guardiola's side were worthy winners. The 38-year-old becomes the sixth man to lift the European Champion Clubs' Cup as player and coach; United are the sixth club to lose the final as holders.

Relentless Ronaldo
Fourteen of the players who started the game had featured in a UEFA Champions League final before, yet initially it seemed United's experience would prove more telling. Ronaldo made his presence felt by unleashing a dipping free-kick that Víctor Valdés could only parry; former United defender Gerard Piqué's last-ditch tackle prevented Ji-Sung Park from converting the rebound. Ronaldo then had Valdés scrambling across goal twice in as many minutes with shots from distance. If an early breakthrough looked imminent, disastrously for United it arrived when Barcelona struck with their first real attack.

Eto'o brilliance
Fit-again Andrés Iniesta was the orchestrator, finding Eto'o inside the area, but there was still plenty for the striker to do with Nemanja Vidić in close attendance. One swift turn inside the centre-back later, Eto'o was free to prod a shot inside Edwin van der Sar's near post. United's vocal supporters were stunned into silence and their team mirrored that reaction, with Barcelona enjoying the better of the half thereafter. Perhaps not surprisingly against the competition's best defence, however, clear chances were at a premium. Long-range efforts from Messi and Xavi, and a low Messi cross fumbled by Van der Sar, were the best Barça could muster.

United reprieves
Sir Alex Ferguson had said beforehand that his best team-talks "usually come to me about three in the morning" and the Scot sorely needed inspiration in his half-time instructions, opting to introduce Carlos Tévez for Anderson. This did little to stem the tide. Thierry Henry tricked his way past Rio Ferdinand only to shoot weakly against Van der Sar before Xavi curled a free-kick beyond the keeper, the post coming to United's rescue. Then Wayne Rooney's right-wing centre bounced over Park's lunge as the holders began to edge their way back into proceedings, disrupting Barcelona's rhythm though creating little of their own.

Messi decisive
Twenty minutes from time, that hard work was undone. Xavi was allowed to advance down the right; with time and space, the midfielder measured a pinpoint cross for Messi, enjoying similar freedom, and the UEFA Champions League's top scorer produced a fabulous header for his ninth goal of this campaign. Valdés promptly denied Ronaldo to preserve the two-goal cushion, yet the better openings continued to come at the other end – Van der Sar frustrating Carles Puyol twice and Iniesta. Sir Alex therefore missed out on joining Bob Paisley as the only manager to lift three European Cups. Instead, Guardiola's superbly inventive Barça became the first Spanish side to win league, cup and UEFA Champions League in the same season.

(From Website : )

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Djokovic Advances; Tsonga Wins All-French Tussle

ATP World Tour No. 4 Novak Djokovic (pictured) advanced to the Roland Garros second round after a strong opening performance against Ecuadorian Nicolas Lapentti in Paris on Tuesday. The Serbian’s commanding performance saw him open up a 6-3, 3-1 lead over Lapentti before the former Top 10 player was forced to retire with an ankle injury.

Djokovic broke early to lead 3-1 in cool and blustery conditions on a Tuesday that had earlier been interrupted by heavy showers in the French capital. With the Serbian well on top, he was put at an even greater advantage when former No. 6 Lapentti injured his ankle mid-point when trailing 2-5. The Guayaquil native immediately sought attention from the trainer and after strapping had been applied to his ankle he carried on to allow Djokovic to close out the first set 6-3. Djokovic then further added to the Ecuadorian’s woes by breaking at the start of the second set and Lapentti was forced to retire after Djokovic held for a 3-1 lead.

Djokovic, who celebrated his 22nd birthday last Friday, is bidding to reach the Roland Garros quarter-finals or better for the fourth straight year, after losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal in the 2006 quarter-final and in the semi-finals in 2007 and ‘08. The Belgrade native won his lone Grand Slam title at the 2008 Australian Open, with victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The right-handed Djokovic comes into his fifth Roland Garros appearance in strong form after enjoying much success in the European clay-court swing. Djokovic, who has a 38-11 match record on the season, reached back-to-back finals at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Monte-Carlo and Rome – where he was thwarted by Rafael Nadal on both occasions – before capturing his inaugural home-town title with victory over Lukasz Kubot.

He completed his Roland Garros preparations by reaching the semi-finals at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid, where he held three match points before being foiled once more by Nadal.

Djokovic next will face Ukrainian qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky, who rallied from a one-set deficit to knock out Argentina’s Brian Dabul 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(2), 6-3. It was the first Grand Slam main draw win for World No. 110 Stakhovsky.

No. 9 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came through an all-French tussle with Julien Benneteau, prevailing 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to win his first match at Roland Garros. The 24 year old lost to Andy Roddick on his only previous appearance in 2005.

The Le Mans native has enjoyed his strongest results on hard court in 2009, winning two ATP World Tour titles at Johannesburg (d. Chardy) and Marseille (d. Llodra) and reaching the quarter-finals at the Australian Open (l. to Verdasco) and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l. to Djokovic). The right-hander's greatest Grand Slam performance came at the 2008 Australian Open where, ranked No. 38, he defeated No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals to reach his first major final (l. to Djokovic).

Tsonga next will face Argentine Juan Monaco, who handed Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus his second successive first-round loss at Roland Garros with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win. Monaco capitalised on 41 unforced errors from Baghdatis to seal victory in one hour as 56 minutes. Tsonga won his only previous meeting with Monaco in the first round of the 2009 Australian Open.

Spanish No. 16 seed Tommy Robredo made a confident start to his Roland Garros campaign with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 victory over French wild card Adrian Mannarino. The 27 year old combated losing his own serve three times by converting 10 of 23 break point chances and hitting 21 winners to wrap up victory in just 98 minutes.

Robredo is a three-time former quarter-finalist at Roland Garros (2003, 2005, 2007), making it his most successful Grand Slam. The right-hander improved to a 29-10 match record on the season and has enjoyed his strongest results on clay – winning his eighth and ninth ATP World Tour titles at Costa do Sauipe (d. Bellucci) and Buenos Aires (d. Monaco).

The Hostalric native next will face Spanish compatriot Daniel Gimeno-Traver, who advanced when Russian Evgeny Korolev was forced to retire injured with Gimeno-Traver leading 6-4.

Philipp Kohlschreiber, the No. 29 seed from Germany, made light work of his first-round encounter against Australian Bernard Tomic, hitting 23 winners and breaking serve eight times as he defeated the wild card entrant 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.

He goes on to face 2003 champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, who prevailed over past Roland Garros semi-finalist Ivan Ljubicic 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in three hours and 17 minutes. The 29-year-old Ferrero has a 31-8 record at Roland Garros, where he was also a finalist in 2002 (l. to Costa). This past April, he ended a five-year title drought by clinching the clay title at the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament in Estoril (d. Serra).

Argentine Maximo Gonzalez booked his place in the second round as he upset No. 22-seeded American Mardy Fish 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(4). World No. 71 Gonzalez hit 39 winners and converted five of 13 break points to secure victory after two hours and 47 minutes. The 25 year old also reached the Roland Garros second round last year, defeating Roko Karanusic in five sets before losing to Mikhail Youzhny.

Gonzalez next will meet Italian Andreas Seppi, who accounted for last week’s Kitzbuehel champion Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 to avoid a fourth successive first-round exit at Roland Garros.

(From Website :

Monday, May 25, 2009

Premier League Football News

West Ham United 2-1 Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough's relegation from the Barclays Premier League was confirmed with this away defeat.

Gareth Southgate's men needed a big victory and for results to go their way but they failed to do their part, with Junior Stanislas' weak shot sneaking past Boro keeper Brad Jones for the winner at Upton Park.

Carlton Cole had given the Hammers a first-half lead but Boro were given hope when Gary O'Neil levelled and their relegation rivals were losing.

Arsenal 4-1 Stoke City

Arsenal finished the season on a high with victory over Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium.

An own goal from James Beattie was swiftly followed up by a penalty from Robin van Persie and Abou Diaby's bullet header.

Stoke, safe from any last-day relegation drama, pulled a goal back from the spot through Ricardo Fuller, only for Rory Delap to then gift van Persie his second four minutes before half-time.

Sunderland 2-3 Chelsea

Guus Hiddink's Barclays Premier League reign ended with a win as hosts Sunderland stayed up.

Ashley Cole struck four minutes from time to effectively clinch victory, although Kenwyne Jones' 90th-minute header set up a grandstand finish.

Nicolas Anelka had put Chelsea ahead with a 47th-minute piledriver and substitute Salomon Kalou restored the lead with 16 minutes remaining after Kieran Richardson had levelled.

Fulham 0-2 Everton

Despite going down to two goals from Everton's Leon Osman, Fulham clinched a place in the Europa League.

Everton made sure of fifth place in the Barclays Premier League with a comfortable victory over Fulham.

A brace from Osman, one in each half, helped the Toffees warm-up for next week's FA Cup final against Chelsea.

Fulham's season still ended on a high, though, as Tottenham Hotspur's defeat at Liverpool assured them of seventh place and qualification for next season's Europa League.

Hull City 0-1 Manchester United

Hull City have stayed in the Barclays Premier League despite losing their final fixture.

As expected, Manchester United rotated their squad ahead of the Champions League final and fielded several youngsters.

The champions took the lead on 24 minutes with a stunning 25-yard drive from Darron Gibson from just outside the left corner of the area. The ball arrowed across goal and into the far top right corner.

City were unable to find an equaliser but Newcastle United's 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa ensured the Tigers remain in the top flight.

Liverpool 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Liverpool claimed runners-up spot and denied Tottenham Hotspur European football with this victory.

The Reds stretched their unbeaten home record to 30 matches with this comfortable win at Anfield.

Fernando Torres' opener, an own goal from Alan Hutton and the third from Yossi Benayoun secured the points.

Spurs hit back with a second-half effort from Robbie Keane on his return to Anfield, but defeat ensured Spurs will not be playing in Europe next season.

(All From Website :

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sabbatini, Mallinger lead after 3 rounds at Nelson

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Rory Sabbatini has already won at Hogan's Alley. Now he shares the lead going into the final round at Byron Nelson's tournament.

"Anything associated with his name would be an absolute honor," Sabbatini said after a 5-under 65 Saturday to keep a share of the lead at the Byron Nelson Championship.

Two years after his last victory, at the Colonial where Ben Hogan's larger-than-life statue is prominent, Sabbatini is in position to win again after five birdies in a seven-hole stretch midway through his third round.

Sabbatini and John Mallinger, who entered the third round tied as co-leaders, both shot 65 to get to 13-under 197. That is two strokes ahead of three other players.

"Obviously got off to a good start, just putting the ball in the right spots, putting it on the greens, hitting some good putts," Sabbatini said. "And then never really got anything going until No. 5."

Even for the day until he got to the 174-yard fifth hole, Sabbatini's pin-high tee shot rolled back and lipped the cup to set up a 3-foot birdie. He also had three consecutive birdies before making the turn, capped by a 41-footer on the 427-yard ninth hole.

Mallinger, without a win in his first 76 PGA Tour events, had his second consecutive 65. The bogey-free round was much different from Friday, when he had two eagles, four birdies and three bogeys.

"Today was the type of golf that I like to play. Normally, that's my game," Mallinger said. "I kind of had a game plan going in and I stuck with it. I executed, and that was the biggest thing. Being the leader, it was always a little different feeling."

Dustin Johnson struggled after going 6 under through eight holes. He shot 66 to get in at 11 under with D.A. Points (65) and Brian Davis (66). At 10 under were Kevin Streelman (64), Glen Day (65) and Briny Baird (67), who was 5 under through seven holes before three bogeys in a five-hole stretch.

Sabbatini, playing only a few miles from his home this week and next at the Colonial, had a season-low round of 64 Friday. Now he has the best two-round stretch of the season.

After his only bogey, when he missed fairway at No. 14 and had to punch out short of the water, Sabbatini got that stroke back with an 11-foot birdie at No. 15.

Sabbatini wore a pink ribbon atop his cap, the symbol for breast cancer awareness. Phil Mickelson this week indefinitely suspended his golfing schedule following wife Amy's diagnosis.

"Phil and Amy Mickelson are definitely forefront in everyone's thoughts out here," Sabbatini said. "We all know that she's a strong and determined person, and she'll pull through it."

Mallinger made a 9-foot birdie at the 528-yard third, and tapped in for par on the next hole after missing an 8-footer. Consecutive birdies followed, and his only other birdies after that came at Nos. 14 and 15.

Sabbatini had supporters wearing black T-shirts that read "Rory's Rowdy Roadies" on the front and "Team Sabo" on the back. One of the supporters in Mallinger's gallery was his tennis-playing buddy Mark Knowles, who delayed his trip to Paris for doubles competition at the French Open.

"He was supposed to take off (Saturday), and we had a bet if I got in the leader group he had to change his flight," said Mallinger, who has to go to Paris if Knowles makes the finals.

Because of the threat of thunderstorms, players teed off in threesomes off Nos. 1 and 10 and everyone was done by mid-afternoon without any delays or rain. There will be normal tee times with twosomes off No. 1 in the final round.

Davis (66) was in the last-group threesome that included the leaders. He had two birdies the first three holes before the first of his four bogeys.

Johnson was 13 under when he capped a streak of four consecutive birdies with a 9-footer at the 461-yard No. 8 after hitting his approach from the rough.

But Johnson then went right and then left on consecutive wayward tee shots, taking penalty strokes on both. The tee shot at the 427-yard ninth hole went into the water and his 33-foot par putt slid just right of the cup.

After hitting his drive at the 435-yard 10th way left into an unplayable lie near more water, Johnson momentarily stood on the box staring ahead. Once he got to his ball, he took a drop in an adjacent fairway and knocked the approach to 3 feet to save par.

He had three bogeys the final six holes, including the par-5 16th.

"Turning on the back I struggled with my tee balls a lot," Johnson said. "I ended up with 66, so that's never bad. I'm right there in it."

Divots: PGA Tour rookie Marc Leishman had a career-low round of 63, the best of the day. Starting on the back nine, Leishman had three consecutive birdies, back-to-back bogeys and then three more birdies before his first par came on No. 18. ... There are four defending Nelson champions still playing. The closest to the leaders is 1987 winner Fred Couples at 8-under 202 after his three rounds in the 60s.

(From Website :,28136,1900713,00.html)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Germany To Meet Serbia In Final

Host nation Germany will meet Serbia in Saturday’s final at the ARAG ATP World Team Championship at the Rochusclub in Dusseldorf.

RED GROUP: Germany beats Sweden 2-1
Germany booked its place in the final on Friday, after recovering from a 0-1 overnight deficit against Sweden.

Nicolas Kiefer and Mischa Zverev dramatically clinched Germany a spot in the eight-nation team final for the first time since 2006, when the pair saved one match point against Sweden’s Robert Lindstedt and Robin Soderling in the Match tie-break. Kiefer and Zverev saved one match point at 9-10 in the Match tie-break en route to a 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-11 triumph in one hour and 33 minutes on Center Court I.

Earlier in the day, Philipp Kohlschreiber had got Germany back to 1-1 in the Red Group decider. Kohlschreiber saved all five break points he faced to beat World No. 657 Andreas Vinciguerra of Sweden 6-1, 6-2 in 71 minutes. The 25 year old improved to 3-0 in singles play this week and 18-9 on the 2009 ATP World Tour season.

On Thursday, Soderling thrashed Rainer Schuettler 6-0, 6-0 in the opening singles rubber. Sweden, the defending champions, and Germany both came into the tie with 2-0 records this week.

BLUE GROUP: Serbia beats Italy 2-1
Serbia advanced to Saturday’s final when Nenad Zimonjic and Viktor Troicki combined to beat Italians Francesco Piccari and Andreas Seppi 6-0, 7-6(5) in 69 minutes. Serbia completed the Blue Group with a 3-0 record in round-robin ties.

Earlier in the day, World No. 72 Janko Tipsarevic helped Serbia to 1-1 after beating World No. 406 Piccari 6-2, 6-3 in 73 minutes. Tipsarevic hit five aces and converted five of nine break point opportunities to record his 12th win of the season (12-13 record). The 24 year old is 1-2 in singles play this week, which includes a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Russian Stanislav Vovk on Tuesday.

BLUE GROUP: Argentina beats Russia 3-0
Argentina won its second tie of the week on Friday, after Maximo Gonzalez – a late replacement for Juan Monaco, who is still recovering from a left wrist injury – defeated Evgeny Korolev of Russia 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and eight minutes. Gonzalez hit five aces and won 57 of 85 service points.

Gonzalez and Juan Martin del Potro were later tied at 2-2 against Russians Evgeny Korolev and Dmitry Tursunov in the doubles rubber, when Korolev retired after 19 minutes of play with a left ankle injury.

(From Website :

Final practice - Alonso has the edge on Button

A fantastic qualifying session is in prospect this afternoon after Fernando Alonso narrowly set the fastest time for Renault in Saturday morning’s final practice hour.

The Spaniard lapped in 1m 15.164s, the fastest time thus far this weekend. It was just enough to dislodge Brawn’s Jenson Button, who had earlier popped up at the top for the first time with 1m 15.233s.

But right behind the Englishman, McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen (1m 15.278s), Brawn’s Rubens Barrichello (1m 15.286s on his 37th birthday) and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa (1m 15.293s) were also very quick. And Kimi Raikkonen (1m 15.382s for Ferrari) and Lewis Hamilton (1m 15.389s in his McLaren) were a stone’s throw away too in sixth and seventh. At this rate, it will be a real dogfight for the all-import first two rows this afternoon.

Sebastian Vettel was eighth for Red Bull, albeit a little bit adrift of the top seven with 1m 15.722s, with Williams’ Nico Rosberg (1m 15.758s) and Red Bull’s Mark Webber (1m 15.985s) completing the top 10 and the aces category.

Kazuki Nakajima was 11th for Williams with 1m 16.103s, then came Force India’s Adrian Sutil (1m 16.228s), Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Bourdais (1m 16.301s), Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella (who spun at the chicane in the only real incident of the session before recording 1m 16.317s), Renault’s Nelson Piquet (1m 16.382s) and Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi (1m 16.432s).

At the back, neither Toyota nor BMW Sauber were having a happy time. Timo Glock was 17th on 1m 16.527s and Jarno Trulli 20th on 1m 16.810s, with Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld between them on 1m 16.599s and 1m 16.661s.

(From Website :

Friday, May 22, 2009

Roland Garros Preview -- Big Four, Led By Nadal, Federer, March Into Paris

* BIG 4 LEAD THE WAY – The Top 4 players in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings have dominated the first five and a-half months of the season, combining to win 11 titles going into Roland Garros. Top-ranked Rafael Nadal leads the way with an ATP World Tour-best five titles, including his sixth Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open and three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, along with two other finals. Nadal comes into Paris as the top seed and World No. 1 for the first time. No. 2 Roger Federer's lone title came last week at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid where he beat Nadal in the final. Federer also reached the final at the Australian Open, losing to Nadal in five sets. Federer is not the top seed in Paris for the first time since 2003. No. 3 Andy Murray enters Paris with three titles and off to a career-best 31-5 start. No. 4 Novak Djokovic, a winner of two ATP World Tour titles while reaching three straight ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals (Miami, Monte Carlo, Rome), has advanced to the semi-finals at Roland Garros the past two years. Here is a look at the Big 4 this season:

Player Age 2009 Titles 2009 W-L
(on clay)
1 Rafael Nadal 22 5 – Australian Open,
Indian Wells
, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome
41-4 (19-1)
2 Roger Federer 27 1 – Madrid 26-6 (9-2)
3 Andy Murray 22 3 – Doha, Rotterdam, Miami 31-5 (5-3)
4 Novak Djokovic 22* 2 – Dubai, Belgrade 37-11 (15-5)
* Start of tournament
Bold indicates Grand Slam or ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament

Click here to view the Roland Garros Singles Draw

* NEW LOOK TOP 10 -- There are six new faces in the Top 10 going into Roland Garros since last year's tournament and only one player, No. 6 Andy Roddick, has not changed his ranking. The group of new Top 10 players (with ranking going into last year's Roland Garros) are: No. 3 Andy Murray (No. 12 at '08 RG), No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro (No. 68 at '08 RG), No. 7 Gilles Simon (No. 29 at '08 RG), No. 8 Fernando Verdasco (No. 23 at '08 RG), No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (No. 11 at '08 RG) and No. 10 Gael Monfils (No. 59 at '08 RG). Note: Nikolay Davydenko, who was No. 10 on May 18, will drop out of the Top 10 going into Paris next week since his '08 title points from Poertschach drop off.

* NADAL-FEDERER DOMINATION -- Since Nadal won his first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros in 2005, he and Federer have combined to win 15 of past 16 Grand Slam tournaments (except '08 Australian Open - Djokovic). During that stretch, Federer has won nine Grand Slam titles and Nadal six.

* THE REIGNING CHAMP/WORLD NO. 1 -- Nadal enters his third straight Grand Slam tournament as the No. 1 player in the South African Airways ATP Rankings. He reached the semi-finals at the US Open last year (l. to Murray) and on Feb. 1 earned his sixth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open (d. Federer in five sets). The 22-year-old Spaniard (turns 23 on June 3) has compiled an outstanding 150-5 match record on clay since 2005 and in his career is 25-2 in clay court finals, losing twice to Federer. Nadal's streak of 33 consecutive match wins on clay ended with his loss to Federer in Madrid. It was his first loss on clay since falling to countryman Juan Carlos Ferrero in the second round in Rome on May 7, 2008. In addition, since the beginning of 2008 Monte Carlo (mid-April) when he won his first title of the season through his last tournament in Madrid, Nadal owns an overall match record of 101-9 with 13 titles. Here is a year-by-year breakdown of his clay court success:

W-L Titles Losses
2009 -- 19-1 3 Roger Federer, Madrid Final
2008 -- 24-1 4 Juan Carlos Ferrero, Rome 2nd Rd.
2007 -- 31-1 5 Roger Federer, Hamburg Final
2006 -- 26-0 4 ---
2005 -- 50-2 8 Gaston Gaudio, Buenos Aires QF; Igor Andreev, Valencia QF

* TOUGH TO BEAT IN FIVE – Nadal enters Roland Garros undefeated in his career (45-0) in best of five set matches on clay. In fact, he’s been extended to five sets only twice, defeating Guillermo Coria in the 2005 Rome final and Roger Federer in the 2006 Rome final (both 7-6 in the fifth).

* NADAL VS. BORG - Nadal is trying to become the first man to win the Roland Garros title five consecutive years. He and Bjorn Borg (1978-81) are the only players to capture the title four straight years. Nadal is 28-0 lifetime at Roland Garros and he has never been extended to a fifth set in Paris. Nadal did not drop a set en route to last year's title and over the past two years he's only lost one set. Nadal lost three sets in 2006 and 2007 title runs. Borg, who compiled a 49-2 career record in eight appearances in Paris, only lost five sets in his four-year title run.

* 11 LUCKY NUMBER? -- Federer is playing Roland Garros for the 11th time and he's trying to become the sixth player in men's tennis history to win all four Grand Slam titles in his career, the first since Andre Agassi in 1999. The others to accomplish the feat are: Don Budge, Fred Perry, Roy Emerson and Rod Laver. Interestingly, Agassi won the Roland Garros title in his 11th attempt in Paris. Both Agassi and Federer came into their 11th Roland Garros with almost identical records. Agassi compiled a 31-10 match record and Federer 32-10.

* THE MISSING SLAM TITLE – At the moment Federer is on a list along with former greats who won three of the four except for Roland Garros: Arthur Ashe, Boris Becker, Jimmy Connors, Stefan Edberg, John Newcombe, and Pete Sampras.

* JOINING THE GRAND SLAM TITLE CLUB – History indicates a player is likely to capture his first career Grand Slam title at Roland Garros. In the Open Era, 21 players have notched their first Grand Slam crown in Paris, more than any other Grand Slam tournament. Of the past 20 winners since 1989 when Michael Chang captured his first and only Slam title, 12 claimed their first Slam crown in Paris, including Nadal in 2005. In addition, since ’89, only four players (Nadal, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Yevgeny Kafelnikov) have won another different Grand Slam title other than Roland Garros.

* GRAND SLAM CHAMPIONS IN FIELD – Four-time defending champion Rafael Nadal is one of eight Grand Slam champions (accounting for 27 Grand Slam singles titles) in this year's main draw. Carlos Moya, the 1998 Roland Garros champion, is sidelined with a hip injury. Here are the active Grand Slam champions in the draw:

Player Age* No. Titles
Roger Federer 27 13 2003-07 Wimbledon; 2004, ’06-07 Aust. Open; 2004-08 US Open
Rafael Nadal 22 6 2005-08 Roland Garros; 2008 Wimbledon; 2009 Australian Open
Lleyton Hewitt 27 2 2001 US Open; 2002 Wimbledon
Marat Safin 29 2 2000 US Open; 2005 Australian Open
Novak Djokovic 22 1 2008 Australian Open
Juan Carlos Ferrero 29 1 2003 Roland Garros
Gaston Gaudio 30 1 2004 Roland Garros
Andy Roddick 26 1 2003 US Open
* Start of tournament

(From Website :

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reserve League Play-off preview

Aston Villa and Sunderland meet in the Barclays Premier Reserve League Play-off at Villa Park on Thursday.

Sunderland won the North League by seven points from Manchester United. They clinched the title with a 3-0 victory at Manchester City.

Jean-Yves M'voto, Jack Colback and Jamie Chandler were on the scoresheet as Sunderland ran out comfortable winners.

The Black Cats now travel to Villa who held off a late challenge from Tottenham Hotspur to win the southern section.

great season

The Midlands men sealed the Barclays Premier Reserve League South title with a 2-0 win at home to West Bromwich Albion thanks to goals from Marc Albrighton and James Collins.

Albrighton gave Kevin MacDonald's team the lead on 35 minutes with a curling left-foot effort after a motoring run from Nathan Delfouneso.

The league title was wrapped up in the first minute of stoppage time when Collins converted an Albrighton cross.

It was the second successive season that Villa had won the southern division and Albrighton stressed they are desperate to avenge last season's play-off defeat against Liverpool at Anfield.

He said: "Last season was a great season - we won the academy title and just lost out to Liverpool in the reserve final.

"At the start of this season our thoughts were on going one better and winning the play-off final at the end of the season."

Villa have high hopes for some of their youngsters with Barry Bannan and Albrighton already receiving senior experience after playing in the 2-0 defeat away to CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Cup this season.

Nathan Delfouneso has also progressed through to the first-team and Villa are delighted with the return to action of midfielder Jonathan Hogg.

He was sidelined for 11 months following major knee surgery but has bounced back strongly, scoring the Reserves' Goal of the Season with a stunning 30-yard volley against Portsmouth.

With Villa's second string featuring 15 different marksmen this season, Hogg's four goals have made him their leading striker.

Manager Martin O'Neill is delighted with the back-to-back titles from MacDonald's team saying: "Kevin has once again done a magnificent job - even though I often leave him having to change his team plans right up to the last minute."

fantastic achievement

Sunderland lost just three times and conceded only 13 goals in their 20 matches. One of those rare set-backs came with a 2-0 defeat at runners-up Manchester United after the Black Cats had already sealed the Premier Reserve League North title, a feat recognised by a guard of honour from the United players.

Sunderland coach Neil Bailey said: "It's a fantastic achievement by the lads, they have had the bit between their teeth since day one.

"They've been top for so long and it's not easy to do, no matter what level you are playing at. They deserve a lot of credit.

"They've had a really good season, performed to high standards in training and taken it into the games and they are getting their rewards.

"If you enter something it's nice to win it and this group of players have that desire in them. They can be pleased with themselves, it was a job well done."

Manager Ricky Sbragia said: "It's been a fantastic season for our reserve side, especially as the squad is made up of mainly youngsters, which of course gives us great hope for the future.

"Neil has done a fantastic job, not only in achieving success for the reserve side but in his work with the first team too."

Sunderland Reserve team skipper Jack Colback said: "We've gone from strength to strength this season and, as a group of players, we have done really well," he said.

"Whatever competition you enter, you want to win it. We'll go into the play-off with a lot of confidence."

The Reserve League Play-off at Villa Park kicks off at 7pm on Thursday 21st May and admission is free.

(From Website :,,12306~1661128,00.html)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Federer Ends Title Drought In Style

ATP World Tour No. 2 Roger Federer ended his title drought in style on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over rival and reigning ATP World Tour Champion Rafael Nadal in the final of the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open, an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tennis tournament.

Four-time former Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Champion Federer earned 1000 South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings points towards his bid to qualify for the season finale for a seventh time, while Nadal – who is virtually assured of his participation at the O2 Arena in London - received 600 points and €270,000.

The 27-year-old Federer clinched his first ATP World Tour title since winning his hometown title in Basel (d. Nalbandian) in October 2008. The Swiss was contesting his 80th tour-level final and improved to a 58-22 lifetime mark after capturing his 15th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy. Andre Agassi holds the all-time record with 17 of the coveted shields, while Nadal is tied with Federer on 15.

Federer will now turn his attention to winning a first Roland Garros title and believes the confidence from this win will give him an advantage going into the clay-court Grand Slam: “I am very happy that I remained positive and I got the win I needed badly because I have had some rather bad losses this year in terms of the way I played but I think that everything is falling into place and I felt it coming the last few weeks so it is the right time to get a victory like this.”

Federer was contesting his second tour-level final of the season after finishing runner-up to Nadal in an epic Australian Open final, a loss that denied Federer the chance to equal Pete Sampras’ all-time record of 14 Grand Slam singles titles. The newly-married Federer, who is expecting his first child with wife Mirka Vavrinec in the coming weeks, also reached the semi-finals at Doha (l. to Murray) and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells (l. to Murray), Miami (l. to Djokovic) and Rome (l. to Djokovic).

The victory over ATP World Tour No. 1 Nadal marked Federer’s first success against a Top 4 player since defeating No. 3 Novak Djokovic in the US Open semi-finals last August.

“In other years it didn´t matter whether I won or lost, I was always one of the top two or favourites," said Federer. "This year it looked like other guys might come moving up but I always knew that I was going to get stronger week by week on clay.

“It´s not the moment to get carried away but it is definitely good for my confidence, especially beating Rafa in the final so it definitely proves that I am doing the right things and I am working extremely hard and it is paying off so it´s a nice feeling. I am very excited about going to Paris, whereas a couple of weeks ago I was still a little bit unsure about my game and not sure if I could win the French Open.”

Early in the match, Nadal showed no ill-effects from his gripping semi-final with Novak Djokovic – which lasted four hours and three minutes and saw the Spaniard save three match points - as he created a break point in Federer’s first service game courtesy of a couple of wayward forehands from the Swiss.

Federer was able to alleviate the danger on that occasion, and later in the seventh game when Nadal had a second break point chance, before turning the tables on the left-hander as he broke him in the ninth game at his first opportunity. The Bottmingen resident then confidently closed out the set with a love service game, a backhand into the net from Nadal handing the Swiss three set points, and Federer secured the one-set lead with an unreturnable serve.

With the prospect of becoming the first man to defeat Nadal on clay in over a year and the chance to stem a five-match losing streak against his rival, Federer kept his focus in the second set and capitalised on Nadal’s ever-increasing fatigue with a drop shot that the Spaniard could not chase down in the fifth game to earn a break point, which he converted as Nadal fired a forehand long.

As Federer continued to raise his level, Nadal fought hard to stay within touching distance of the Swiss and forced Federer to serve for the victory at 5-4. A forehand winner from the Spaniard, yearning to win his second title in Madrid (also 2005), gave him a 15-30 lead and as cries of “Rafa, Rafa, Rafa” echoed round Manolo Santana court, Federer’s forehand found the net to present the Mallorcan with a lifeline in the form of two break-back points.

Undeterred, 2006 Madrid champion Federer played strongly on the break points, forcing Nadal to go for an extra shot and reaping the rewards as the Spaniard made two backhand errors. Federer was denied on his first match point, born from a second-serve ace, as he netted the volley from Nadal’s dipping return. A strong forehand in the ensuing point forced Nadal out wide and his return shot into the net granted Federer a second chance to clinch victory, which he converted with his sixth ace of the match after one hour and 26 minutes.

“I thought I played really well, I think you have to against Rafa on clay, there are no easy ways there,” said Federer. “He is not going to hand it to you and that is what has made him so tough the last few years on this surface. I thought I mixed it up well; I served well and was dangerous on particular return games. I thought I took all the right decisions today and in the end it looked pretty comfortable so it was a perfect win for me.”

Despite a marathon semi-final with Djokovic, Nadal refused to blame his exertions on Saturday evening for the loss: “I never tend to use an excuse and if I’m tired it’s because I played longer than I should have yesterday and today I played less, that’s the way that sport works. The court was very, very fast. When you are lacking that spark, if you’re able to get into the game you can slowly get back and recover but he used his tactic. He went forth from the very beginning and he was better. That’s all there is to it.

“On any court Federer is tough and the conditions here are more favourable for him and if you’re not at a 100%, it’s very difficult to beat him and I think he deserved to win much more than I did today.”

It was Federer’s second victory over Nadal on clay and closed the gap in their head-to-head standings to 13-7 in Nadal’s favour. Federer’s previous clay-court victory over Nadal came in the 2007 Hamburg final, ending the Spaniard’s record streak of 81 matches unbeaten on clay. He and Gaston Gaudio (three times) are the only players to have defeated Nadal on clay at least twice.

The 22-year-old Nadal saw his current clay-court winning streak end at 33 singles match wins, dating back to his second-round loss to Juan Carlos Ferrero at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome on 7 May, 2008.

The Manacor native was bidding to become the first man to win all three clay-court ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles in the same season and earn his fourth Masters 1000 title of the year (also won four in 2005) after triumphing at Indian Wells (d. Murray), Monte-Carlo (d. Djokovic) and Rome (d. Djokovic).

Nadal was contesting his seventh tour-level final of the season in his eighth tournament this year. Together with his three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 victories, he captured his sixth Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open (d. Ferrer) and won his fifth successive title in Barcelona (d. Ferrer); he finished runner-up to Andy Murray in Rotterdam. The Spaniard dropped to an ATP World Tour-best 41-4 match record (19-1 on clay, 42-4 in sets).

(From Website :

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Nadal Closes In On Masters 1000 Clay-Court Title Sweep, After Saving 3 M.P. In SFs

Spaniard Rafael Nadal proved just why he is so hard to beat on clay Saturday, when he saved three match points in a dramatic final-set tie-break to beat Novak Djokovic of Serbia 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(9) in four hours and three minutes for a spot in the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open final. It is believed to be the longest best-of-three sets singles match on the ATP World Tour in the Open Era (since 1968).

Nadal will take a 25-1 career record in clay-court finals into Sunday's title-match against World No. 2 Roger Federer of Switzerland, who beat Juan Martin del Potro in the other semi-final. It will be the pair's first meeting since the Australian Open in January.

Nadal, the reigning ATP World Tour Champion is now just one victory away from completing the clean sweep of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court titles in one season.

It was the first time Nadal had played a third set tie-break on clay since 11 July 2003, when he lost to Nicolas Lapentti at Bastad, Sweden. It was Nadal’s fifth straight victory over Djokovic and the third time in the past five weeks he had beaten the Serbian (also ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo and Rome finals).

Nadal improved to 37-3 lifetime against Top 10 opponents on clay, including 30-1 while in the Top 10 on clay. His only loss while in the Top 10 came to then No.1-ranked Roger Federer in the Hamburg final in May 2007.

The 22-year-old Nadal extended his winning streak on clay courts to 33 matches and to 150-4 on his favoured surface since 2005. He improved to 27-1 lifetime in ATP World Tour clay-court semi-finals and to 19-0 on clay this year. His last loss on red dirt was against compatriot and former World No. 1/Roland Garros champion Juan Carlos Ferrero on May 7, 2008 in the second round of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome.

Nadal leads the ATP World Tour circuit this year with a 41-3 match record that includes five titles. By beating Djokovic in the Madrid semi-finals he has denied his Serbian rival the change to return to No. 3 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings next week.

"In a game like that with so many match points I think you need luck to win a match like that," explained Nadal. "There’s no doubt about it but I played with great courage and I think everything went well for me.

"I played the first set poorly; it looked very bleak to me. Here with the altitude it was very hard for me to hit the ball with confidence, I was always coming up short, I wasn’t getting the distance right. But I think that little by little I was able to get my rhythm and I ended up playing well.

"That’s why I felt that emotional with the public, with what happened in the game. The public really helped me and supported me and I don’t have any words to thank them for this final they helped me reach."

Djokovic, who turns 22 on 22 May, had the better of the opening exchanges and led Nadal 3-0 – courtesy of a service break in the second game. The third seed managed to maintain his advantage, winning 20 of 26 service points to take the first set in 51 minutes.

Djokovic’s fluency continued in the second set, but he was left to rue missed opportunities for service breaks in the third and ninth games. Nadal managed to fight off another break point in an 11-minute game for a 6-5 lead and went on to create his first break point opportunity, a set point, in the next game. With Djokovic approaching the net, Nadal was rushed into a backhand error and the second set was decided on a tie-break.

Nadal maintained his record of never losing a tie-break against Djokovic to level the score line at one-set apiece after two hours and 30 minutes of play. Nadal had hit nine winners and 21 unforced errors, while Djokovic went 0/4 on break points opportunities in the one-hour and 37-minute second set.

Djokovic regained his composure to open up a 3-1 lead, after breaking Nadal in the fourth game. But Nadal responded with an immediate service break of his own. Djokovic received treatment for a right knee injury and muscle fatigue after the fifth game at the change of ends. The pair’s 18th career meeting went with serve to a tie-break, which many spectators on the Manolo Santana Court at the Caja Magica could not bear to watch.

Djokovic created his first match point when he hit a forehand winner for a 6-5 lead, but he could not capitalise on the chance as Nadal hit a forehand winner down the line from a long baseline rally. A second match point went begging on a Nadal second serve at 7-6, when Nadal wrong-footed Djokovic with a series of forehands before hitting the winning forehand stroke on approach to the net.

Nadal’s first match point came and went at 8-7. Djokovic hit a nerveless forehand winner, having hit a second serve to Nadal’s forehand, for his third match point at 9-8 after four hours of play. Nadal gritted his teeth once again, and urged on by his compatriots was able to recover to 10-9 courtesy of a Djokovic forehand in the net and a forehand winner down the line. Nadal seized control of his second match point by forcing Djokovic out wide to lunge for a forehand, which landed in the net. Nadal has now won 31 sets to 13 for Djokovic in their 18 career meetings.

"I’m very disappointed that I can play this well and still not win a match," said Djokovic. "I’ve think that I’ve played my best tennis on this surface. A couple of points decided the winner."

Nadal hit 31 winners and committed 50 unforced errors in total. The top seed hit three aces and four double faults. He converted one of two break point opportunities and won nine of 14 points at the net. Djokovic, by comparison, had struck 37 winners, committed 43 unforced errors, hit six aces and three double faults, and converted two of eight break point opportunities.

Djokovic was making his fourth straight appearance at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tennis tournament (9-4 record). He also reached the semi-finals in 2007 (l. to Nalbandian).

This year the Monte-Carlo resident has captured two ATP World Tour titles at Dubai (d. Ferrer) and Belgrade (d. Kubot). He has also finished runner-up at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Miami (l Murray), Monte-Carlo (l. to Nadal) and Rome (l. to Nadal)

The World No. 4 was attempting to reach his fifth straight final and sixth overall. He dropped to a 37-11 record on the 2009 ATP World Tour season.

Djokovic said: "I'm taking positives [from] the last couple of matches we've played on this surface and the positives are that I'm one point away from the victory. I don't know, next time I’ll probably take two rackets on the match point. I don’t know what to do."

Spanish superstar Nadal captured his sixth Grand Slam championship trophy at the Australian Open (d. Federer) in January and has since clinched further trophies at Barcelona and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells (d. Murray), Monte-Carlo and Rome, (d. Djokovic both times).

The Mallorca native is making his seventh appearance in Madrid (16-5 record) and will look win the 37th title of his career in Sunday’s final. He won the Madrid title in 2005 (d. Ljubicic).

(From Website :

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Goydos opens 3-stroke lead at Texas Open

SAN ANTONIO(AP) Paul Goydos remembered hitting one mediocre shot Friday in the Texas Open, but not any bad ones.

Goydos followed his opening 7-under 63 with a 65 to reach 12 under on the La Cantera Golf Club course - three strokes ahead of three-time champion Justin Leonard and four others. It's the biggest lead Goydos has ever had on the PGA Tour.

``It's just kind of like being the pace car, for lack of a better word,'' the 44-year-old Goydos said. ``We're going to go out and play two more rounds of golf, but the tournament's going to be in front of me tomorrow, which is kind of cool.''

Goydos had six birdies after dropping a stroke on his first hole, the par-4 10th,

``This is why you play. If I wasn't comfortable where I am right now, I need to find another profession,'' said Goydos, the 1996 Bay Hill and 2007 Sony Open winner. ``This is why we play, practice and endure rough weeks, so we learn something, to improve and get better. And tomorrow is going to be another chapter in that learning process of becoming a better player.''

Leonard, tied with Goydos after the first round, shot a 68 to join Scott Sterling (63), John Mallinger (64), Mathias Gronberg (65) and Ted Purdy (67) at 9 under.

Gronberg opened the tournament with a 66, then went to work quickly chasing Goydos. Using a pitching wedge, he holed out for eagle from 123 yards on the par-4 12th and followed with birdies on the next two holes.

``It's a good place for me,'' said Gronberg, who finished third in 2007. ``Normally certain players play good in certain places, and this golf course has been very good to me over the years.''

Defending champion Zach Johnson was seven strokes back after a 67.

``Maybe a little polishing on the weekend, and hopefully we can make a push,'' Johnson said.

David Duval shot a 69 and was seven back, fading down the back nine after birdieing four of his first nine holes and getting within a stroke of the lead. Still, the world's former No. 1 made his first tournament cut in three months.

Trouble began for Duval, who hasn't won a tournament since 2001, when his tee shot on the par-4 11th hooked badly into the rough.

Duval and a rules official studied the ball, tucked around dry brush and rock, and Duval's options for about a minute. The 2001 British Open champion tried about every angle that might of given him a chance before resigning himself to take a penalty stroke and start over.

He sputtered to another bogey two holes later, when he missed a 12-footer on No. 13. The 37-year-old rebounded with a birdie on the next hole, but finished the round with by missing a 7-footer that would have saved par.

``I feel like I've been playing exponentially better than my scores have been,'' Duval said. ``I'm finally getting closer to scores I think are representative of how I'm playing. ... I'm trying to have a chance to win golf tournaments.''

Among those not making the cut was Jesper Parnevik - or his caddie, Lance Ten Broeck. In a rarity that PGA Tour officials in San Antonio believed hadn't happened on the tour in years, Ten Broeck caddied and played in the tournament when he filled in as an alternate.

The 53-year-old former tour regular shot an even-par 70 on Friday before toting Parnevik's bag the rest of the afternoon. He pulled the same double-duty Thursday, and was so unprepared that he was driven to a nearby mall to buy pants. Ten Broeck also had to borrow clubs both days.

He finished at 1-over 141 to miss the cut by two strokes.

But he finished ahead of Parnevik, who was 4 over.

``Physically, I'm fine,'' Ten Broeck said. ``I'm just disappointed that I didn't play any better. I know I was close.''

(From Website :,28136,1899053,00.html)

Federer Extends Winning Streak Over Roddick

Roger Federer recorded his 18th win in 20 matches over American Andy Roddick on Friday. Roddick fell to 0-9 lifetime against Top 10 opponents on clay when Swiss superstar Federer triumphed 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-1 for a place in the semi-finals of the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open, an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tennis tournament. Federer will play World No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro.

Second seed Federer hit 15 aces and won 71 per cent of service points for victory in two hours and 12 minutes. Roddick battled back from a 0-3 deficit to a 5-3 lead in the second-set tie-break, eventually clinching the set, but could not stem Federer’s power in the decider. Federer opened up a 3-0 lead and saved one break point in the fifth game before suffering his fourth service break in the next game. It was the pair’s first meeting on clay.

"I thought it was a good match," said Federer. "I think Andy was mixing up his serve very well and I think I came up with some nice points. I should have or could have won in straight sets but that is what happens when you play Andy sometimes."

The 27-year-old Federer, who captured the 2006 title (d. Gonzalez) and finished runner-up in 2007 (l. to Nalbandian), improved to 24-6 on the 2009 ATP World Tour season. He has a 193-59 lifetime record in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments and his 193 match-wins is second only to Andre Agassi (209).

Federer reached his sixth semi-final of the 2009 ATP World Tour season. On Saturday he will be looking to reach his first final since the Australian Open in January.

Roddick received a walkover into the quarter-finals when his third-round opponent Nikolay Davydenko pulled out ahead of the match with a left leg injury. The Texas resident, 26, struck nine aces past Federer but could only convert one of three break point opportunities in his 43rd match of the year (27-6 record).

"I think I would have been foolish to come here and expect to play great right away, but I played pretty well," said Roddick. "I mean, let’s be honest, I was one point away and then all of the sudden a default and then I’m staring at a third set in the quarter-finals. I played one loose game in the third set and I was actually already down a break but there are some good things to take out of it. I have definitely felt worse going into the French Open before."

Juan Martin del Potro broke up the Big 4 party when he upset World No. 3 Andy Murray 7-6(4), 6-3 to reach the semi-finals. Murray was attempting to join World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, No. 2 Federer and No. 4 Novak Djokovic in the last four.

Del Potro, who reached the Miami semi-finals earlier this year, advanced to his first clay-court ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final. The tall Argentine is chasing his second title of the year to add to his Auckland title in January. Murray had served for the first set at 5-3 before del Potro broke back and eventually took the set to a tie-break.

Del Potro's clean hitting and ruthless dispatching of mid-court balls proved too much for Murray, who this week moved to a career-high No. 3 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings.

Federer holds a perfect 4-0 record against del Potro and at their most recent meeting in January's Australian Open quarter-finals, the four-time ATP World Tour Champion destroyed del Potro 6-3, 6-0, 6-0.

The ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tennis tournament was contested on an indoor hard-court surface between 2002 and 2008, but has moved to a clay surface at the Caja Magica this year.

(From Website :

Nadal, Djokovic Square Off For 18th Time In Semi-final Showdown

Reigning ATP World Tour Champion Rafael Nadal extended his clay court winning streak to 32 matches in a row as he defeated No. 7 seed and hometown native Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 7-5, in the quarter-finals of the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open on Friday night.

The 22-year-old Spaniard improved to 9-0 lifetime against Verdasco and to an ATP World Tour-best 40-3 match record on the season. He is 18-0 on clay this year, losing only one set, that coming in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters final last month to Novak Djokovic, who he will meet in the semi-finals on Saturday. Nadal is 13-4 lifetime against Djokovic, including an 8-0 mark on clay.

Nadal comes into the semi-finals with a 149-4 record on clay since 2005 and he will be attempting to reach his seventh final of the season. He is trying to become the first player (since 1990) to win all three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay tournaments in the same year. He's won titles at the Australian Open and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells, Monte-Carlo and Rome along with Barcelona. He also reached the final in Rotterdam.

Nadal captured the opening set in 47 minutes by breaking in the 10th game at 0-40 as Verdasco hit a forehand long. In the previous game, Nadal escaped from a 0-30 deficit to hold.

In the second set, Verdasco took advantage of nine unforced errors by Nadal in the first three games to take a double break, 3-0 lead. Verdasco made it 4-0 before Nadal held for the first time. In the next game, Verdasco was broken at 15-40 as he netted a forehand on break point. Nadal held again and then broke Verdasco to level the set at 4-4. Verdasco saved two match points on his serve in the ninth game, rallying from 15-40 down. But in the 11th game, Verdasco was broken at 0-40 when he hit a forehand long.

Asked what his frame of mind was at 0-4 in the second set, Nadal said; "[I was] just trying to be more aggressive in order to prepare for the third and get a good feeling for the next set. I was playing rather poorly at that moment."

Looking ahead to the weekend, Nadal tried to play down his heavy favouritism to win the title and, more immediately, to win his semi-final against Djokovic. "In this tournament I don’t even think that I’m favorite. I’m one of the four players in semi-finals and we’ll see what happens, because I think that these conditions are quite different from a normal clay court tournament and playing against [Djokovic] is going to be a true challenge. Djokovic is going to try to make me be more inside and to make me use my forehand more."

Third seed Djokovic hit five aces and won 72 per cent of service points to beat Croatian wild card Ivan Ljubicic 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 45 minutes. Djokovic had also beaten Ljubicic in April 2008 at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo.

Djokovic, who celebrates his 22nd birthday on 22 May, also reached the Madrid semi-finals in 2007 (l. to Nalbandian). He has a 37-10 record on the 2009 ATP World Tour season (15-4 on clay), which includes two ATP World Tour titles at Dubai (d. Ferrer) and Belgrade (d. Kubot). He has also reached the past three finals at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Miami (l. to Murray), Monte-Carlo and Rome (l. to Nadal both times).

"The high altitude [was] more suitable to his style," said Djokovic. "I knew I had to get as many returns back as possible to get into the rally, where I knew I had more chances than he did and I think that was the key today. I was trying to open up the court more."

Ljubicic, 30, currently No. 54 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings, dropped to a 14-11 season mark. He reached the Madrid final in 2005 (l. to Nadal).

(From Website :

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tsonga Holds Off Safin Challenge; Wawrinka Cruises

ATP World Tour No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga withstood the challenge of former No. 1 Marat Safin to move into the second round of the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over the Russian on Tuesday at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournament.

The Frenchman broke decisively in the 10th game of the first set to steal it 6-4, having faced a break point himself at 4-4. The second set also went down to the wire, with Tsonga again stepping up a gear in the late stages to break Safin to 15 in the 12th game and wrap up victory in their first meeting after 89 minutes.

Tsonga, who received his trophy as the 2008 ATP Most Improved Player of the Year following the match, said: "Today I am happy with my game, I played great tennis, offensive tennis. I played some good serves, some good volleys and I was really aggressive so I am happy today."

The 24 year old made his debut in Madrid last year with a third-round loss to Roger Federer. He next goes on to face Ivan Ljubicic. The No. 2 Frenchman has compiled a 26-6 match record on the season, a striking comparison to 2008 – when he did not win his 26th match until the third week in October in Lyon. The 2008 Australian Open runner-up won his third and fourth ATP World Tour titles at Johannesburg (d. Chardy) and Marseille (d. Llodra) in February, and has reached the quarter-finals at five further tour-level tournaments this year.

World No. 20 Safin captured the Madrid title in 2004 with back-to-back victories over World No. 7 Andre Agassi and No. 10 David Nalbandian). The 29-year-old Russian slipped to a 6-9 match record on the season, and to a 0-3 mark against Top 10 players.

"I didn’t feel comfortable at any moment in the match, so I was all the time playing behind and I tried to find my game," said Safin. "I couldn’t do anything special so it was annoying to be there on the court and not be able to find the game, so basically I had to wait for his mistakes. It was a little bit absurd, so, it’s a disappointment but what can you do?"

Stanislas Wawrinka, the No. 11 seed from Switzerland, made a confident start to his campaign with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Italian qualifier Marco Crugnola. Wawrinka saved four of five break points and converted six of 10 break point opportunities on No. 188 Crugnola’s serve to wrap up just his second victory in Madrid after 59 minutes.

World No. 18 Wawrinka is coming off third-round exits at Barcelona (l. to Stepanek) and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (l. to del Potro). He enjoyed his greatest success of the season in Monte-Carlo at the start of the European clay-court season, when he defeated compatriot Roger Federer en route to reaching the semi-finals (l. to Djokovic). The 24-year-old Wawrinka next will face either Frenchman Jeremy Chardy or Jose Acasuso of Argentina.

Italian Simone Bolelli set up a second-round clash with new World No. 3 and defending champion Andy Murray after edging out Argentine qualifier Juan Ignacio Chela 7-5, 7-6(3). The No. 61-ranked Bolelli, who is closing in on his 50th tour-level victory (46-60 record), also met Murray in the second round last year and was forced to retire injured in the second set.

Meanwhile, German qualifier and former World No. 2 Tommy Haas battled to a 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 win over 20-year-old Latvian Ernests Gulbis in two hours and 17 minutes. Though he conceded four of five break points faced on serve, Haas capitalised on six of his 16 opportunities against Gulbis to reach the second round.

Haas, who entered the week ranked No. 75, is playing in his first tournament since a quarter-final finish in Houston last month (l. to Phau). The 31 year old takes a 7-4 head-to-head record into his next match against World No. 6 Andy Roddick, including a 4-0 mark on clay. Roddick will be making his 2009 clay-court debut in his first appearance as a married man; he wed model Brooklyn Decker on 17th April in Austin, Texas.

(From Website :