sharapova withdraws from the 2013 u.s. open with shoulder injury

Maria Sharapova - Nike - 2013 Australian Open

 

Blowing us a red-lipped kiss goodbye: 2006 U.S. Open Champion Maria Sharapova withdrew from this year’s Championship because of bursitis in her right shoulder. “Maria has informed us that she will be unable to compete at the U.S. Open this year due to a right shoulder bursitis and has withdrawn from the tournament,” U.S. Open tournament director David Brewer said in a statement. “We wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to her return to New York next year.”

Sharapova also released a statement through her own website, saying “”I just wanted to let you know that withdrawing from the US Open has been a really tough decision to make. I have done everything I could since Wimbledon to get myself ready, but it just wasn’t enough time. I have done many tests, received several opinions and it all comes down to taking the proper amount of time to heal my shoulder injury properly. It’s certainly not an easy decision to make ahead of one of my favorite tournaments, but I know it’s the right one that will get me back on the courts soon. I plan on taking the next few weeks off, receiving proper treatment and rehabilitation. I will miss being part of the US Open, but can’t wait for next year!”

Moving on up: Because of this withdrawal, Agnieszka Radwanska moves up to the No. 3 spot in the seedings previously held by Sharapova. All the other seeds move up, with Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova moving up to the take the No. 32 seeding. (See: 2013 U.S. Open Women’s Singles Seeds | Men’s Seeds)

(via USATpicture of Maria Sharapova from the 2013 Australian Open via Getty Images)

li na in nike women’s 2013 looks

Li Na - Nike Women's Spring 2013 lookbookWristband tan chic: The folks at Nike released these pictures of Li Na wearing pieces from the company’s Spring 2013 Women’s collection. The Chinese superstar is still recovering from the ankle injury she sustained during that tense 2013 Australian Open final, which she lost to Victoria Azarenka. As such, Li did not participate in this week’s Dubai Duty Free Championships. Other ladies have fallen out, too: Vika withdrew because of a foot injury, and Serena Williams bowed out before her second round match against Marion Bartoli because of a lower back issue. The semifinal match-ups will pit Sara Errani against Roberta Vinci and Petra Kvitova with Caroline Wozniacki. (Draw: Dubai Women’s Singles) More: See the rest of the photos from Li Na’s Nike Women’s Spring 2013 shoot.

tennis channel to air rafael nadal’s return

Tennis Channel will air Rafael Nadal's return to competitive play in 2013

Tennis Channel will air Rafael Nadal‘s first single match back after being sidelined for seven months due to various ailments. Nadal, who already won a doubles match with teammate Juan Monaco, will play in the main draw of the VTR Open in Vina del Mar, Chile, on Wednesday at 4pm ET. This marks the return of Nadal after a roller coaster absence involving knee injury and a stomach virus, among others.

With an unprecedented seven French Open championships to his name and the best clay-court record in the Open Era (254-19; .930), Nadal is considered by many to be the greatest player of all time on clay, the surface used at this week’s event in Vina del Mar. He will face the winner of Delbonis/Pella. (Browse: VTR Open Singles Draw)

Leif Shiras will call the match for Tennis Channel. Encore presentations of Nadal’s comeback will air Wednesday at 8pm ET and Thursday, Feb. 7, at 10pm ET. The network had already planned to carry the singles semifinals and championship in Vina del Mar this weekend prior to Nadal’s entry into the tournament. That schedule is as follows (all times live):

Saturday, Feb. 9
5pm – Semifinal #1
8:30pm – Semifinal #2

Sunday, Feb. 10
4pm – Championship

sightings in the stands: pam and sam

Sam and Pam: Do you really need us to explain this awesomeness? Pam Shriver sat down with Sam Querrey on Sunday afternoon at the Farmers Classic in LA for a little chatski on air for the ESPN broadcast. We were pretty shocked how long the two sat there chit-chatting (perhaps almost a half hour?), though we couldn’t ear out anything they were actually saying. Querrey was the two-time defending champ at UCLA, but is out indefinitely with an elbow injury. Below: Pam shows off her pearls before heading back courtside.

More: TSF’s Farmers coverage | Sightings in the stands


(TSF photos)

 

short balls: good bye, counselor

by Benjamin Snyder

Serena is outta the Nike exo, but staying on as a ref. Think Shino will be there to join her? (Reuters)

Forget becoming an esthetician, Serena Williams is taking on a new career as a lineswoman. The sidelined former no. 1 won’t be playing in a much-anticipated return at the Nike exhibition on March 8. Instead, she’ll be a referee. That’s tough luck for the 12,000 fans expecting to see the 13-time major champion’s form alongside Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova. Citing the foot injury that’s been kept her out since after Wimbledon, Serena released the following statement: “I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to play … as I had anticipated. I’m thrilled, however, to still be able to participate … in the exhibition as a referee during the mixed doubles.”

Is something sketchy going on here? Columnist Greg Crouch thinks so. Taking her place on court is Victoria Azarenka. With Masha and Vika both on court, make sure to bring the ear plugs, Eugene.

Pakistani dubs expert Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi is flashing his pearly whites (and wavy locks) in a recent ad with CloseUp toothpaste. Seriously, Rafa and Fernando, this dude is nipping at your modeling heels. He’s just going for a – er – cleaner approach.

He’s not just a hot head, he’s also an art aficionado. Getting a custom-made sculpture in the process, tennis legend and New York City art collector John McEnroe took to the streets of Delray Beach against Mats Wilander in a game of street tennis as part of the “On the Ave” exo. Although Mayor Woodie McDuffie served as the chair umpire, it didn’t make Johnny Mac bite his tongue or keep the snide remarks at bay. He called Mayor McDuffie’s math “fuzzy” on his way to winning the TB 13-11. “I was down 2-1, and now I’m up 3-1; I like that. Is that how they count in Florida?” McEnroe quipped.

After being honored with work from artists of the Milagro Youth Center, McEnroe said, “This is definitely unique. Anybody that knows about me knows that I’m a big fan of the arts. I’ve been a collector for 30 years since I first made money playing the sport I love… The greatest compliment I’ve received as a player was that I was an artist on the court.” But seriously, what is hanging over his headboard? Oh the things we wonder.

Caroline Wozniacki has reclaimed the world’s no. 1 ranking after winning in Dubai over Svetlana Kuznetsova. Kim Clijsters nabbed the distinction from Caro for just one week ago. Kamakshi Tandon and Steve Stignor volleyed back and forth on their thoughts of the flip flop. Whether the system’s flawed or not, expect much more of the Caro-Kim ranking fight in the coming months, especially with Serena playing referee.

Splitsville: “Super Mario” Ancic has called it quits on his ten-year career due to a severe back injury. According to the 2004 Wimbledon semifinalist and former world no. 7, “It was one of the toughest decisions I ever had to make. I’m only 26 but my body said I would not be able to continue on a high level.” Although he’ll be missed on the tennis courts, expect him to put his energy into a different type of court. The University of Split law grad now plans on pursuing a career as a lawyer. So long, counselor. | TSF Vault: Mario Ancic

(serena and ancic photos by reuters)

short balls 2.0: like a train, we’re still going

Who knew today would be such a busy tennis news day?! And here we were thinking all we’d have to do is count how many times John McEnroe used “she” in his commentary instead of identifying Zvonareva, Pironkova or Kvitova by name. We think it was somewhere in the ball park of 2,000 or so.

My first-person account of trying out to be a US Open ballperson is up on the New York Times Straight Sets tennis blog. No, I haven’t heard back yet, but I can assure my tryout wasn’t quite as entertaining as Jimmy Fallon’s from last year’s Open. Hilarity.

In case you haven’t heard yet, Justine Henin has sustained an elbow injury at Wimbledon and has already stated she’s likely not to play the US Open. So much for that comeback, eh? Oh, and remember the 35,000-seat stadium that was going to host the Justine versus Kimmy exhibition? 34,999 people are breathing a sigh of relief that Serena signed on to take her place.

(OT) The Target Corp. is opening a new store in Manhattan’s Spanish Harlem nabe, on 116th and Pleasant Avenue. The company is going all out with advertising, including buying and entire 6 Train (which runs on the east side through Spanish Harlem) – inside and out – for brand advertising. Click the image above to see video.

Pardon our forgetfulness, but we had somehow lost track of the kennethinthe212 blog, a witty and well-written corner of the web that dedicates a good deal of virtual ink to the world of tennis. Or, more importantly, the catfights of tennis. Most recently, Kenneth made sure to post Sandra Bernhard‘s angry Tweets scolding Pam Shriver for existing… er, we mean, for ridiculing Venus Williams. You tell ‘em honey!

And in a not-so-surprising move, the Huffington Post has selected Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovicas the top two male hotties at Wimbledon. #3? John Isner. We’re not so sure about that one…

short balls: reality bites sania, rafa swallows bitter pill, vaidisova returns, etc.

Reality bites: In response to Mahesh Bhupathi advising Sania Mirza to “concentrate on her physical abilities and training methods to prevent injury rather than to cure them,” she says:

Injuries happen to everyone. I mean Sharapova has struggled with so many injuries this year. Also Indians are not genetically as tough as the Europeans are. We are not cut out to be in a totally physical sport. That’s a fact. A lot of people may disagree with me but I still believe that. And because of that we have to push our bodies a lot more. And hence if you are going to punish your bodies everyday I don’t think then it’s humanly possible to remain injury free. I lost three months this year because of my knee but that is something which happened when I was the fittest. (CNN-IBN)

Fan fave: The fans of Maria Sharapova weigh in on their favorite outfit of 2007. I agree with their pick. (WTB)

More Maria: While in town for promo work with Tag Heuer, Masha takes in some Hong Kong sites with gal pal Camilla Belle. (Celebrities Stars)

Nadal owns up to bum foot: After months of brushing off questions about the source of his (relatively) poor performance in 2007, Rafa finally speaks out about his chronic injury. Now that the Aussie Open has traded Rebound Ace for DecoTurf, will he have the same problems he faced during this past U.S. Open? DTL: Nadal reflects on a tough 2007.

A fellow grinder rests up: Lleyton Hewitt is hoping his ankle soreness will disappear in time to play in his home country’s Grand Slam. Meanwhile, Tennis Australia hopes that the two-time Grand Slam champ will benefit from the surface change; Lleyton’s first win was on ‘Turf at the 2001 U.S. Open. (Herald Sun)

Becker splits with GF: Boris announced the end of his relationship with Sharlely Kerssenberg. (DTL)

King’s gold: Billie Jean King thinks that the WTA is free of match-fixing and sides with Martina Hingis on that cocaine scandal. (WP, WTB)

First Borg, now Sampras: C’mon, wrist — heal yourself! Clearly your owner, Andy Murray, has been pegged with lots of potential by tennis greats Borg (here) and now Sampras. (The Scotman)

Vaidisova’s back?: Mono washed away most of her 2007, but Nicole Vaidisova should be back on track in 2008. (ESPN)

What can’t he do?: First it was Novak the actor, then Novak the disco diva, now Novak the baritone?

Geek love: If you haven’t yet fallen for the number-crunching ways of Robert Waltz, then take in this latest article analyzing the performance of top WTA players. (tennis.com)