2008 Rome WTA Singles Results     Jelena Jankovic, Champion

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  WTA: May 12-18 2008

Internazionali d' Italia Alice Cup
Rome, ITA Tier I $1,340,000
56 players - outdoor: red clay
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#2 Ana Ivanovic
#3 Maria Sharapova
#4 Svetlana Kuznetsova
#5 Jelena Jankovic
#6 Serena Williams
#7 Anna Chakvetadze
#8 Venus Williams
#11 Marion Bartoli
#12 Patty Schnyder
#13 Vera Zvonareva
#14 Agnes Szavay

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Rome:
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#34 Alize Cornet
5' 8" 132lb RH 2H-BH
Rome:
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#5 Jelena Jankovic
5' 9" 130lb RH 2H-BH
    On Sunday in Rome, in the final of the Internazionali d' Italia Alice Cup (aka the Italian Open), the 2007 tourney champ, 23-year-old 4th-seeded # 5 Jelena Jankovic from Belgrade, Serbia, won again, defeating the 2007 French Open junior champ, 18-year-old qualifier # 34 Alize Cornet from Nice, France, 6-2, 6-2 (the ladies are shown with glassware & hardware postmatch). Jelena's prize is $196,900; Alize's, $99,850.

    Jelena said: "I had a tough match... To be honest, I was not playing good tennis. I was playing much better throughout the week... and I didn't know what to expect from [Alize]. She's a young player with great potential, and I just didn't know what she's going how she's going to play... I was the favorite and I had the pressure on me... I'm glad I could cope with the pressure and win it for the second time." postmatch interview

    Alize said: "I knew that Jelena could be the maybe the most difficult player to play, because she moves very well on the court. So it was really hard for me to make winner. I was tired, so it was a much more difficult than the other day...
    "Right now I'm just disappointed... I couldn't do my best tennis today... I was tired because of my six matches before. So right now I just want to do better for everybody." postmatch interview

    Jelena and Alize had played once before, in the 3rd round of last year's US Open, when Jelena won on the DecoTurf II hardcourt, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

    Jelena is now 6-9 in WTA singles finals; her previous title was in Birmingham last year (all-terrain Jelena won titles on hardcourts, red clay, green clay, and grass in 2007) and she reached the Miami final a few weeks ago, where she was defeated by Serena Williams. Jelena has a 28-9 match record in 2008, despite starting the year with injuries and recurring respiratory illness. With the retirement of Justine Henin, many will now consider Jelena the favorite to win this year's French Open, where she will be seeded 3rd.

    Alize (that's Ali-zay Cor-neh) is 0-2 in WTA singles finals, but there is little doubt she is going to win some. Alize reached the Acapulco final earlier this year, where she was defeated by Flavia Pennetta, 6-0, 4-6, 6-1. After that Alize, who started the year at # 56, lost in the 1st round at Miami, but reached the semifinals on the green clay at Amelia Island and Charleston. Alize, who won 2 qualifying and 4 main draw matches to reach the final, has a 20-11 record for the season. On Monday Alize's ranking will be a career high at # 20; she will be seeded at the French Open.

WTA SCOREBOARD: Rome

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Italian Open,  Rome, Italy

 
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       = US EDT +6 hours
       = US PDT +9 hours

Italy News


Rome: The 56-player main draw for Rome has 16 seeds, with 8 1st-round byes. There are 12 qualifiers (4 more than previous years) and 4 wild cards in the main draw.
    Qualifying finals are on Sunday.
 

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2008: On Sunday, May 12, the 1988, 1989, 1991 & 1992 Rome champion, Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina, was in town,
looking not a day over 25 (Gaby will be 38 on Friday, don't say I told you)... also on Sunday, Flavia Pennetta gave a clinic for kids...
On Monday, top seeds Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova were looking way too good for those media rascals...
Also on the weekend before the tourney, players including Maria Kirilenko, Ana Ivanovic, Anna Chakvetadze, Jelena Jankovic,
Zi Yan, Venus Williams, and Daniela Hantuchova participated in ad shoots for the WTA's new marketing campaign...
Rome, 1st Rnd, Mon-Tue 1pm
losers' prize: $3,340 US; points: 1 Tuesday: rain delay
#12 s9 Patty Schnyder SUI d #57 q Mariya Koryttseva UKR 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 ppd-Wed
#13 s10 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #36 Ai Sugiyama JPN 6-3, 6-3 Mon

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Ai driving a forehand, and Vera's backhand

#14 s11 Agnes Szavay HUN d #40 Zi Yan CHN 6-1, 6-1 Mon

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Zi about to connect with a forehand with the Reverse Polish Notation grip she shares with Shuai Peng
and Marion Bartoli (forehand with 2-handed backhand grip), and Agnes driving a backhand, regular-like

#15 s12 Agnieszka Radwanska POL d #65 q Akgul Amanmuradova UZB 6-3, 6-0 Mon
*#74 LL Ekaterina Makarova RUS d #16 s13 Nicole Vaidisova CZE 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 Tue-rain-Wed
#20 s17 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #42 Lucie Safarova CZE 6-4, 7-5 Mon

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Lucie's backhand drive, and Fresca's forehand

*#27 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #22 s18 Nadia Petrova RUS 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 Tue-rain-Wed

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Maria driving a forehand on Tuesday

*#26 wc Victoria Azarenka BLR d #23 s19 Sybille Bammer AUT 6-1, 6-3 Tue
#25 Alona Bondarenko UKR d #100 wc Mara Santangelo ITA 6-2, 6-2 Mon

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Alona's backhand drive

#28 Virginie Razzano FRA d #47 Julia Vakulenko UKR 6-1, 6-2 Mon
#29 Flavia Pennetta ITA d #82 LL Olga Savchuk UKR 6(9)-7, 6-3, 6-1 ppd-Wed
#31 Dominika Cibulkova SVK d #48 Gisela Dulko ARG 7-6(1), 6-4 Tue

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Gisela and Dominika fielding backhands

#32 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP d #64 q Alisa Kleybanova RUS 6-1, 7-5 Mon

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Anabel driving a backhand

#34 q Alize Cornet FRA d #56 Vera Dushevina RUS 6-1, 6-3 ppd-Wed
#38 Caroline Wozniacki DEN d #45 Tamira Paszek AUT 6-3, 6-0 Mon
*#41 Olga Govortsova BLR d #39 Karin Knapp ITA 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 Mon
*#147 sr  Samantha Stosur AUS d #43 Michaella Krajicek NED 6-3, 6-2 Mon
*#85 q Iveta Benesova CZE d #44 q Elena Vesnina RUS 6-3, 7-5 Mon
#50 Kateryna Bondarenko UKR d #54 Tathiana Garbin ITA 7-5, 6-4 ppd-Wed
*#69 q Tsvetana Pironkova BUL d #51 q Klara Zakopalova CZE 6-4, 6-2 Tue
*#161 wc Roberta Vinci ITA d #55 q Kaia Kanepi EST 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 Tue

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Roberta after match point

#58 wc Sara Errani ITA d #68 q Shuai Peng CHN 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 Mon

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Shuai driving a forehand (with Reverse Polish Notation grip, like Zi Yan & Marion Bartoli), and Sara's backhand drive

*#108 q Monica Niculescu ROU d #66 q Jill Craybas USA 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 Mon
*#73 LL Virginia Ruano Pascual ESP d #70 LL Anastasia Rodionova AUS(RUS) 6-1, 6-3 Mon

Rome, 2nd Round, Tue-Wed 1pm Wed WTA story
losers' prize: $6,590 US; points: 35
*#69 q Tsvetana Pironkova BUL d #2 s1 Ana Ivanovic SRB 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 Wed

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Ana driving a backhand, and Tsvetana after match point

    Tsvetana first gained notice by defeated then # 10 Venus Williams in the 1st round of the 2006 Australian Open, 2-6, 6-0, 9-7. She has been slowly climbing up the rankings since then.

    Tsvetana said: "It's one of the best matches I've ever played. I don't think [Ana] was very sure with her game. I just tried to put the ball in the court, deep in the court, and I did a good job with that strategy."

    Ana said: "I just didn't have enough intensity today, and I'm very frustrated with myself and obviously disappointed. But [Tsvetana] played quite well in the third set. I made too many errors too soon in the rallies, so I have to work hard. Now I have about ten days to prepare for French Open." postmatch interview

#3 s2 Maria Sharapova RUS d #31 Dominika Cibulkova SVK 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 Wed

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Dominika's forehand drive, Maria's backhand, and Maria after winning a game

    Maria's usually good 2nd serve appears to have let her down this time. Maria fired 6 aces, but with 13 double faults, and although she won 63% of her 1st serve points, she only put her 1st serve in 55% of the time, and won only 37% of her 2nd serve points (Dominika: 0 aces, 5 DFs, 48% of 1st serve pts won, 64% 1st serves good, 46% of 2nd serve points won). Maria broke Dominika's serve 8 times (on 17 break points) while Dominika broke Maria's serve 6 times (on 14 opportunities). The match lasted 2 hours and 50 minutes.

    Maria said: "I knew I had a really tough opponent. I guess I can just say I’m lucky to get through it." AP story

#4 s3 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #41 Olga Govortsova BLR 6-0, 6-2
#5 s4 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #29 Flavia Pennetta ITA 6-1, 6-4 Wed

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Jelena driving a forehand, and Flavia volleying a backhand

#6 s5 Serena Williams USA d #25 Alona Bondarenko UKR 6-2, 6-0 ppd-Wed

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Alona and Serena driving forehands

#7 s6 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #50 Kateryna Bondarenko UKR 3-6, 7-6(1), 6-0 Wed
#8 s7 Venus Williams USA d #147 sr  Samantha Stosur AUS 6-4, 6-1 ppd-Wed

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Venus driving a backhand

#11 s8 Marion Bartoli FRA d #28 Virginie Razzano FRA 6-4, 7-5 ppd-Wed
#12 s9 Patty Schnyder SUI d #73 LL Virginia Ruano Pascual ESP 6-1, 6-0 Wed
#13 s10 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #85 q Iveta Benesova CZE 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 Wed
*#58 wc Sara Errani ITA d #14 s11 Agnes Szavay HUN 6-0, 6-3 Wed

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Sara's flying forehand

#15 s12 Agnieszka Radwanska POL d #161 wc Roberta Vinci ITA 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 Wed
*#34 q Alize Cornet FRA d #20 s17 Francesca Schiavone ITA 6-3, 6-2 Wed

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Alize's service toss

#26 wc Victoria Azarenka BLR d #108 q Monica Niculescu ROU 6-3, 6-2 Wed
#27 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #32 Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 Wed
#38 Caroline Wozniacki DEN d #74 LL Ekaterina Makarova RUS 6-3, 6-4 Wed

Rome, 3rd Round, Thu 1pm WTA story
loser's prize: $13,000 US; points: 60
#3 s2 Maria Sharapova RUS d #38 Caroline Wozniacki DEN 6-4, 7-6(3)

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Maria firing a cannonball, Caroline driving a backhand, and Maria volleying a forehand

    Maria said: "I'm making way too many unforced errors. That's something I'm going to have to work on, because not too many players are going to let me back in the set like Wozniacki today...
    "I went to sleep at 2 or 2:30 [after Wednesday's 3rd round match that lasted almost until midnight], and waking up was very difficult this morning, but obviously experience helps in those situations. The most important thing now is recovery." postmatch interview - AP story

*#34 q Alize Cornet FRA d #4 s3 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 6-2, 6-4

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Sveta's forehand drive, Alize's backhand, and Alize after match point

    Alize's best prior victory was over then # 13 Agnes Szavay at Charleston in April. Alize will play # 6 Serena Williams in the quarterfinals on Friday.

    Alize said: "I just beat my first top 5. I just feel unbelievable, and that's normal. We didn't play very good tennis because it was sometimes winner but a lot of faults [errors]. But the most important is that I was very solid on the important points. That's just a great victory for me, for sure. ...
    "At 4-1 [in the 2nd set] I played a very bad game on my serve. I made too many mistakes, and after [Svetlana] had more and more confidence and she played better. She start, to say, 'Vamos. Come on.' So it was a little bit hard for me because I was like, 'Do this or don't?' So at 4-3 she played a very good game, I think, so I have nothing to say.
    "But at 4-All it was very important to stay in the match, because I knew that 4-Love to 4-All she played very good tennis. After maybe she lost her concentration, so I just had to keep in the match." postmatch interview - AFP story

#5 s4 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #27 Maria Kirilenko RUS 6-1, 6-1

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Jelena and Maria driving forehand and backhand

    Jelena said: "I didn't expect such an easy match. [Maria is] a very good player. I just went out with the plan to play aggressively and really go for my shots, and that's what I did."
    Jelena had been plagued by lengthy respiratory infections this season. Jelena said: "The doctors gave me a lot of things to take, and that's what I have to do to play. I'm still on antibiotics and trying to recover."

#6 s5 Serena Williams USA d #58 wc Sara Errani ITA 6-4, 6-3

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Sara and Serena driving backhand and forehand on the run

    Serena said: "I'm definitely feeling like I'm much fitter than I was even last year, and probably the year before. Going into this event, I'm feeling like I have enough match play and I'm ready on the clay." postmatch interview

#7 s6 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #15 s12 Agnieszka Radwanska POL 6-4, 1-6, 6-1

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Anna volleying a backhand

#8 s7 Venus Williams USA d #13 s10 Vera Zvonareva RUS 7-5, 6-2

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Venus and Vera driving forehand and backhand

*#12 s9 Patty Schnyder SUI d #11 s8 Marion Bartoli FRA 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(7)

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Marion driving a backhand, and Patty's forehand drive

    Until this week, Patty had won only 3 matches since reaching the Bangalore final in early March, where she was defeated by Serena Williams. Now Patty has raised her 2008 record from 12-10, to a more comfortable 15-10. She will play 2nd seeded # 3 Maria Sharapova (who will be # 1 in the rankings on Monday) in the quarterfinals on Friday.

*#69 q Tsvetana Pironkova BUL d #26 wc Victoria Azarenka BLR 6-2 1-0 retired-- left knee injury

Rome, QFs, Fri 1pm
losers' prize: $25,650 US; points: 110
#3 s2 Maria Sharapova RUS d #12 s9 Patty Schnyder SUI 6(3)-7, 7-5, 6-2

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Maria driving a forehand, Patty's backhand, Maria volleying a backhand, and after match point

    The match lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes; it was the second time this week that it has been nearly midnight when Maria has finished playing.

    Maria trailed 2-5 in the 1st set. Maria said: "In the beginning I was making a little too many errors. I was going for a little too much... And then as the match went on I just, for some reason, became a little more comfortable and stepped in and started doing what I do best, which is being aggressive and not letting [Patty] get back into the points." postmatch interview

#5 s4 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #8 s7 Venus Williams USA 5-7, 6-2, 6-3

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Venus and Jelena driving backhands, and Venus congratulating Jelena after match point

    Jelena said: "In the first set I was really struggling with my serve. I had a really low percentage, and [Venus] took advantage of that. I wasn't really holding any service games in the first set, and then that changed in the second. I tried to go for it a little bit more, and I tried to play a little bit more aggressive, and it paid off." postmatch interview

*#34 q Alize Cornet FRA d #6 s5 Serena Williams USA walkover-- Serena's back locked up while warming up for match

    Serena said: "It happened all of a sudden in practice. I went for a shot and then my back got a little stuck...
    "I'm just going to keep training for Roland Garros and get ready for that. I'm in really good form, so I'm going to be going in with a couple wins under my belt...
    "I tried to wait until the last possible moment to see if I could play." DPA story

#7 s6 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #69 q Tsvetana Pironkova BUL 6-2, 3-6, 6-1

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Anna driving a backhand, and Tsvetana about to swat a forehand

    Tsvetana's rank is projected to rise to a career-high #54 next week. Both players combined hit 87 unforced errors. Anna was troubled by pain in her right shoulder, and lost concentration in the 2nd set.

    Anna said: "I don't know what happened, I felt like I was playing against myself. I was not there in the second set. I'm just glad I got through this match. In the second set I didn't feel that well, and the shoulder was still bothering me."

Rome, SFs, Sat 1:15pm
losers' prize: $50,600 US; points: 195
*#5 s4 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #3 s2 Maria Sharapova RUS walkover-- left calf strain

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Maria addessing the media

    Maria said: "Yesterday, I think it was in the beginning of the second set, I started to feel my calf a little bit on one movement, and I felt it throughout that second set. In the third set it got better.
    "Last night consisted of about two and a half to three hours of treatment. I thought it felt good last night, but I woke up this morning and it's really, really sore. I took a little jog and it didn't go too well. It's obviously very unfortunate...
    "I'm going to Paris in a couple of hours. I'm going to get some treatment over there and try to be ready as soon as possible. Obviously rest is the most important thing right now, and treatment. Just it's a day by day thing. I hope in two days I'll be able to be on court and be normal." interview

*#34 q Alize Cornet FRA d #7 s6 Anna Chakvetadze RUS 3-6, 6-4, 6-4

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Alize about to slice a backhand, Anna launching a lob on the run, Alize driving a backhand, and after match point

    After winning the 1st set, Anna led 3-0 in the 2nd, but could not hold on.

    Alize said: "It was 6-3, 3-Love, Love-30 on my serve. I was just afraid to lose like 6-3, 6-1 in 50 minutes... ten minutes later it was 3-All... I don't know exactly what's happened, but I just keep fighting and that works."

Anna said: "I just made too much unforced errors, and this kind of things happen with me this season actually. I can't win in two sets. I always have three set matches.
    "It's tough when you have all the chances, all the opportunities in your hands and then you're losing them. It's very tough to come back in the third set... I feel very tired, but I hope I will recover. And maybe it was a good preparation for French Open...
    "[My right shoulder is] still bothering me, but not that much. I mean, I still could play, and I even didn't call trainer during the match." postmatch interview

    About the final, Alize said: "Jelena Jankovic is a very, very good player, especially on clay. She runs everywhere. It's quite impossible to make a winner against her because she has a very good physique... But it's my second top 10 today, and why not my third one tomorrow? I hope so." postmatch interview

Rome, Final, Sun 4pm
loser's prize: $99,850 US; points: 300
winner's prize: $196,900 US; points: 430
#5 s4 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #34 q Alize Cornet FRA 6-2, 6-2

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Jelena driving a forehand, Alize and Jelena driving backhands, and Jelena after match point

Rome, Doubles Final, Sun 1:30pm
losers' prize: $29,940 US
winners' prize: $59,000 US
cdr19 s5 Yung-Jan Chan & Chia-Jung Chuang d cdr57 Iveta Benesova & Janette Husarova 7-6(5), 6-3

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Yung-Jan and Chia-Jung

Rome, Qual Finals, Sun May 11 noon
losers' prizes: q1 $865 1pt; q2 $1,700 10pts; qualifier 15 points
#34 Alize Cornet FRA d #70 Anastasia Rodionova AUS(RUS) 6-0, 6-3
#44 Elena Vesnina RUS d #148 Andreja Klepac SLO 7-6(5), 6-3
#51 Klara Zakopalova CZE d #89 Galina Voskoboeva RUS 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
#55 Kaia Kanepi EST d #114 Maria Elena Camerin ITA 6-4, 7-6(3)
#57 Mariya Koryttseva UKR d #103 Julie Ditty USA 6-2, 6-4
#64 Alisa Kleybanova RUS d #73 Virginia Ruano Pascual ESP 0-6, 6-4, 6-3
#65 Akgul Amanmuradova UZB d #82 Olga Savchuk UKR 6-2, 7-6(4)
#66 Jill Craybas USA d #90 Rosanna de Los Rios PAR 7-5, 6-1
#68 Shuai Peng CHN d #93 Yung-Jan Chan TPE 6-3, 6-4
#69 Tsvetana Pironkova BUL d #122 Catalina Castano COL 6-1, 6-0
*#108 Monica Niculescu ROU d #74 Ekaterina Makarova RUS 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
#85 Iveta Benesova CZE d #124 Yuliana Fedak UKR 6-1, 6-2

Rome, Withdrawals
#1 Justine Henin BEL fatigue-- will be fined $20,000
#10 Daniela Hantuchova SVK right foot stress fracture
#17 s14 Dinara Safina RUS back injury
#18 s15 Shahar Peer ISR right shoulder tendonitis
#19 s16 Amelie Mauresmo FRA right intercostal muscle strain
#21 Tatiana Golovin FRA WTA says "back injury;" still recovering from March surgery?
#33 Sania Mirza IND right wrist
#35 Na Li CHN

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    (May 13, 2008) Maria Sharapova told reporters in Rome on Monday that she had been able to come to terms with WTA officials concerning the photo-video ad shoot she had balked at participating in a week ago, and that the shoot had been completed on Sunday. Maria had stated she might not participate in the shoot, which she had been told might take 5 hours, and the WTA had then told Maria she might be fined as much as $700,000.
    Maria said: "The timing of the shoot got reduced to about 90 minutes and I did that yesterday. The compromise was still pretty difficult since it's before a very big event. [But] the time reduction definitely makes it a lot easier than going into a four or five-hour shoot, without [time for] hair and make-up, which adds another hour...
    "I've obviously made my point. I didn't feel people were listening to me. I think it's in our best interest to listen to all players. Over the last few years all the players have been to numerous mandatory meetings, and sometimes you go back feeling you are talking about the same things, and having the same issues, and your voice is never being heard." Reuters story

    (May 12, 2008) The Rome main draw has been modified again: Dinara Safina (back injury) has withdrawn. Shahar Peer and Amelie Mauresmo withdrew earlier. The link is above (although the drawsheets have not yet been modified as of this writing; Bammer is replacing Safina and Makarova replacing Bammer), and the matchups are below.

    (May 5, 2008) # 3 Maria Sharapova sharply criticized WTA officials over the weekend for compelling players to participate in lengthy promotional activities without concern over the potential affect on their play.

    Maria has been required to participate in photo and video shoots prior to the Italian Open (May 12-19). Participation is also mandatory for Justine Henin, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and Serena Williams. The shoots are intended to result in commercials and print ads that will be part of a new worldwide WTA campaign, reportedly budgeted at $5 million for this year. Maria was originally told that the shoots, which would take place on May 11, 12, or 13, would take 5 hours. A WTA spokesman later told the press that the shoots be done in 2 hours. Maria has been threatened with a fine as high as $700,000 if she does not attend the shoot.

    Maria said: "To ask me, or any of the other players, to do a long shoot like this is not right. Do you think the NBA would ask their top players to do a five-hour shoot the day before a playoff game?...
    "The Tour needed to challenge their agency to come up with creative that only needs 45-60 minutes of the players time, like the USTA does with their US Open Series ads. Or they could of been better prepared and did it at a tournament like Indian Wells where players arrive five to seven days early...
    "For them to threaten me with a $700,000 fine is just not right. The tour does not care what any of the players think, not just top players... The tour will say: 'We have done all these amazing things that the players wanted'. But trust me, these things they wanted as well and financially benefited from, including this shoot.
    "I want people to understand that I took this action because this is one in a long list of things that the tour has ignored the players. This is not about just one shoot, I could not just sit back anymore." Reuters story - MariaSharapova.com

See also: QuickShop: Sporting Goods - Martina Hingis - Anna Kournikova

Current WTA Results & Tennis News (tennis home page) - 2008 WTA Schedule with links & photos


Link to many postmatch interview & match highlight videos of WTA players at the 2008 WTA Player Videos page.

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