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OCTOBER 2012

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OCTOBER 2012 VOL 37 No. 10

FEATURES

A $7.50 (inc. GST) NZ $8.40 (inc. GST) US $7.50

14

A Dream Delivered

18

Greater than Ever

25

Farewell to the Favourites

38

Money Talk

Andy Murray’s US Open breakthrough heralds a new era in the men’s game.

A fourth US Open and 15th major title underlined Serena Williams’ status as a great of the modern game.

Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick, who ended their respective careers at the US Open, will be remembered for far more than the titles they amassed.

Player demands for bigger pay cheques highlight many complex layers in the business of tennis.

40

42 2

Sara Errani … Giant Steps With a new racquet and unprecedented confidence, Sara Errani is among the biggest movers in the women’s game.

AustrAliAn tennis MAgAzine | October 2012

Dutch Domination Esther Vergeer continued the most dominant streak in tennis history in claiming a fourth Paralympics title.


OCTOBER 2012 REGULARS 7

Topspin

12

Your Serve

24

Tennis Talk

32

Aces & Places

45

My Game

50

My Coach

57

Proshop

58

Rankings

62

Club of the Month

25

FROM THE EDITOR

ld be more Big Four in men’s tennis cou here was a time when the y gallantly Big Three. While Andy Murra accurately described as a Nadal, he Novak Djokovic and Rafael challenged Roger Federer, pany until he’ d added a self among their elite com couldn’t quite consider him Grand Slam title. jor victory at the rray claimed a maiden ma That all changed when Mu far better than those world No. 4 who performed 2012 US Open. No longer a se ranked above him, quite at the standard of tho not but him h eat ben ked ran t’s unlike any that’s lified member of a group tha the Scot is now a fully qua previously existed in tennis. showcased his title, Murray rose to No. 3 and By claiming that first major for further Grand ge other Big Four members ability to continually challen at the London on from a gold medal victory Slam successes. Following erer in two of the defeated Djokovic and Fed Olympics, Murray has now biggest occasions of 2012. r Grand Slam titles t since 2003 in which the fou firs the d rke ma son sea s Thi mpions and finalists nt men. In 2012, all those cha were shared by four differe finals have featured r. In fact, the past 10 men’s are members of the Big Fou the world’s top four men. yer at world No. 5, rer, the next best ranked pla Any wonder that David Fer s unlikely to be exclusive club to which he’ speaks of the Big Four as an , with the injured haps, through circumstance granted access (except, per son). for the remainder of this sea Nadal unlikely to compete top rankings ere wh e, h the women’s gam That situation contrasts wit status as a highly a Azarenka underlined her are interchangeable. Victori en final but it was testing a top-quality US Op qualified world No. 1 in con jor on home soil. inated to claim her 15th ma Serena Williams who dom rd she’s determined Serena is setting a standa Azarenka acknowledged ces s. Murra y would for fur ther Grand Slam suc to reach in her own quest fur ther inspiration in model if she’s looking for also provide a perfect role that objective.

T

VIVIENNE CHRISTIE, Editor

EDITOR CONSULTING EDITOR ASSISTANT EDITOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER ADVERTISING MANAGER ADMINISTRATION & SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER PHOTOGRAPHS COVER PHOTO

Vivienne Christie Alan Trengove Daniela Toleski Andrea Williamson Breanna Kray Ben Carenco Getty Images, John Anthony (All photographs by Getty Images unless specified) Getty Images

Australian Tennis Magazine is published monthly by TENNIS AUSTRALIA LTD, Private Bag 6060, Richmond, Vic 3121. Ph: (03) 9914 4200 Email: editor@tennismag.com.au Distributed by Network Distribution Company Printed in Australia by Webstar The views expressed in Australian Tennis Magazine are not necessarily those held by Tennis Australia. While the utmost care is taken in compiling the information contained in this publication, Tennis Australia is not responsible for any loss or injury occurring as a result of any omissions in either the editorial or advertising appearing herein.

AustrAliAn tennis MAgAzine | October 2012

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tennis talk “I’m sure he’s smiling from up there that someone has finally managed to do it from Britain. I’m very, very happy, and I just hope it’s not a long, long way – I hope I can see another British player in my lifetime win a Grand Slam.” – US Open champion Andy Murray senses the approval from Fred Perry, the last British man to win a major in 1936, while looking forward to victories his own Grand Slam breakthrough might inspire.

“It’s a privilege to be part of this era. It’s obvious that the four of us, you know, we get to the later stages of every single Grand Slam. Andy winning tonight makes it even more competitive and more interesting for people to watch.” – Novak Djokovic recognises tennis as the winner as four separate men claim the four Grand Slam titles of 2012.

“I’m happy … It’s been an incredible journey, and a lot of dreams for me have come true because of tennis.” – Kim Clijsters has no regrets as she completes her career in New York. “You know, there were some good moments and some tough ones, but it’s a process. I understand it better now … I put myself lots of times in opportunities for the big matches and the big wins, and I never managed to do that. You know, now I have another chance, and I really hope I can pull it together this time.” – Ana Ivanovic, a US Open quarter-finalist, explains the “rollercoaster” years of the four-year period since last achieving that milestone in a major. “It was emotional, but not emotional like we normally have it. It’s normally a very selfish emotion for us. It’s if we do badly, then it costs us something; if we do well, we get great things. This was about something bigger. It wasn’t about ranking points or pay cheques or anything else. It was fun … I felt like I was 12 years old playing in a park.” – Andy Roddick explains the emotions of contesting his last professional match at the US Open. “For me to come back to world No. 1 was obviously a goal I always had. When you lose it you want it back right away. Then when three months go by, six months go by, and you understand how much more difficult it is to get back ... so when you get there it’s a great feeling, because (it) doesn’t happen by chance.” – Roger Federer explains the mountain he climbed to reclaim the top spot. “It means a lot, but it’s nothing like lifting a trophy … It’s just a number. It’s a great achievement. It’s something that you work really hard for your whole life to be, but this will not compare.” – Victoria Azarenka ranks Grand Slams ahead of her world No. 1 ranking.

“For me that’s normal. Djokovic and Murray and Federer, they deserve the attention because they are amazing players. So not a problem for me. I’m trying do my best … I don’t care.” – David Ferrer, who maintained his career-best season with a semi-final showing in New York, is happy to remain in the shadows of the ‘big four’ players ranked above him. “Every time I play Serena, it really pushes (me) to be better, to improve, to move forward. I have to be thankful to her for that.” – Even at world No. 1, Victoria Azarenka acknowledges that Serena Williams sets and raises the standard in the women’s game. “It’s been a rough year. I mean, I came off a pretty rough spot before coming to the US hard court season. I have really been able to turn my form around really quickly … that’s definitely a pleasing aspect of what’s happened out there the last couple of weeks.” – Sam Stosur acknowledges her US Open quarter-final exit as a turning point in a difficult season. “First of all, I don’t think that we are in the same position, that it’s actually that big (an) upset. But all right, you said that … is it something wrong that we are from Czech and beating big guys? No? Good.” – Tomas Berdych bristles at comparisons between his US Open quarter-final victory over Roger Federer and countryman Lukas Rosol’s shock win over Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon. 24

AustrAliAn tennis MAgAzine | October 2012

“My motivation is so up there. I’m ready for the next tournament. I really want to be focused and do well there and just keep the dream alive.” – Serena Williams 15th Grand Slam title only adds to her ambition for further successes.


Farewell to the favourites For all their contrasts as players, Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick are similarly charismatic as people. After ending their respective careers at the US Open, the retiring favourites will be remembered for far more than the titles they amassed there. By ViVienne ChRiStie

AustrAliAn tennis MAgAzine | October 2012

25


G

rand Slams, title counts and rankings are always a measure, but the assessment of a true champion can require more than a simple review of the numbers. And so it is with Andy Roddick and Kim Clijsters, who each played their final matches at the US Open, leaving a mark that extends well beyond career statistics. While both players’ records favourably reflect all those usual measures, they don’t show the character they demonstrated in amassing them. “Had I won a match or two more, we’d be looking at something a little different,” Roddick conceded. “But that’s also shaped kind of who I am and how I’ve been able to learn … If everything would have been easy the whole way, who knows how I would do? “I don’t know that I’d change much.” That’s a sentiment with which the many fans of both champions would almost certainly agree. For all their obvious contrasts, Roddick and Clijsters also shared a striking commonality. Winning or losing, playing or not, neither player was ever afraid to show their human side. Becoming two of the most popular players

of their generation was not only inevitable but in many ways, natural. “I think for me the most important thing is I’ve always followed my heart,” said Clijsters. “I’ve always done what I felt was right. I’ve always stayed true to who I am. I think that’s been something that I’ve seen. Players change … There are so many other things involved than just tennis and practising. I think you see players kind of losing the true sense of life, I think, and of the sport … I know I always gave myself 100 percent. So I don’t have any regrets.” Despite attracting the sort of attention that might overwhelm other players, Roddick retained a similarly refreshing perspective on the privilege he’d been granted. “I hear people who have some sort of success, you know, and complain about it sometimes,” he said.

Andy Roddick and Kim Clijsters, at the 2005 US Open, added character to every occasion.

Runner-up in French and US Opens

Wins second WTA title Contests all four Grand Slam events for the first time With Lleyton Hewitt, finishes runner-up in Wimbledon mixed doubles

Played first tour match as pro at Koksidje in Belgium on ITF Tour

Contests first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros, losing to Jennifer Capriati 1-6, 6-4, 12-10

Wins first WTA title in Luxembourg Debuts in top 50, following fourth round run at Wimbledon

Debuts in top five on 30 July

Rises to a career-high No. 3 in March, before finishing season at world No. 4 Defeats Serena Williams to claim the WTA Championship

AustrAliAn tennis MAgAzine | October 2012

2003

2002

2000

1999

1998

Wins two singles and three doubles titles on ITF tour

1997

1989

1983 26

1994

Wins Belgian junior championship

Born 8 June, in Blizen, Belgium

Rises to world No. 1 in August, spending 12 weeks in top spot before finishing season at No. 2

Debuts in top 20 in November

2001

Begins playing tennis at age six with encouragement from father, Leo, a soccer star and mother Elke, a gymnast

A semi-finalist or better in all but one of 21 tournaments contested


“I don’t get it. I don’t understand it all the time. Like I have told you all forever, for every one negative there are 10 positives. I don’t think that’s ever not been the case.” Boosting the positives for both players, of course, were the on-court highs. For Roddick, that started with the first of 32 career titles at Atlanta in 2001, peaked with US Open victory and the world No. 1 ranking in 2003 and in a demonstration of near unmatched consistency, included at least one career title in each of the past 11 years. The last of those victories occurred, in a neat book-end style, in Atlanta only weeks before last week’s retirement announcement. Clijsters’ career, played over two parts, was more fractured but no less impressive. Progressing to her first Grand Slam final as an 18-year-old at the 2001 French Open, the Belgian would contest four major finals and become a world No. 1 before finally achieving her Grand Slam breakthrough at the 2005 US Open. “Maybe then I felt like I had achieved everything I wanted to achieve,” Clijsters says of that success, which was

followed by her first retirement from tennis in 2007. But after marriage to Brian Lynch that year and the birth of daughter Jada early the next, Clijsters opted to give tennis one last try in 2009, eventually adding another three Grand

of their victories in 2010, to record an eventual 12-13 head-to-head record. For Roddick, the what-might-havebeen memories will be a further three Grand Slam finals, all of which he lost to Roger Federer. Most poignant was his

“It’s been an incredible journey, and a lot of dreams for me have come true because of tennis.” – KIM CLIJSTERS Slams, including the Australian Open in 2011, to exit the game at age 29 with 41 career titles. As with every player’s career, there were also the near misses and some of them were heartbreaking ones. Clijsters fought hard but surrendered that first French Open final to Jennifer Capriati with a 12-10 loss in the third set and admits to regretting her inability to play her best tennis in finishing runner-up to Justine Henin in the 2003 French Open final. It was only after her return from her first retirement that Clijsters truly asserted some authority against her Belgian tour-mate, claiming every one

loss at Wimbledon in 2009, the dramatic final spanning more than four hours and finishing with a 16-14 loss in the final set. As difficult as such losses might have been, however, they also highlighted the depths of both players’ competitive spirit. “You know, I always tried to give my best, even from when I was eight years old until this last match, I always tried to give my best in everything that I did, whether it was sitting here (or) on the practise court,” said Clijsters. “Maybe that’s something that I would like to be remembered for.” Depth of character is something that’s never been lacking in either player. Continued in Australian Tennis Magazine

Returns to the WTA Tour in July, winning titles in August, reaching the Cincinnati quarter-finals in first event

Announces her retirement from tennis on 6 May while ranked world No. 4 – only two players have retired with a higher ranking: Steffi Graf at world No. 3 and Justine Henin at world No. 1

As US Open Series champion, received double prize money of $2.2 million at US Open (biggest winner’s cheque in women’s sports history)

Claims US Open as an unranked wildcard, becoming the first mother to claim a Grand Slam title since Evonne Goolagong Cawley at 1980 Wimbledon

Marries professional basketball player Brian Lynch on 23 July

Returns to world No. 19, equalling the record for highest-ranking debut in history

Runner-up at Australian Open

Returns to world No. 1 on 14 February, becoming the first mother in history to hold top spot Defends US Open title, defeating Vera Zvonareva in the final

Does not compete; daughter Jada Ella Lynch is born on 27 February

Withdraws from Wimbledon with an ankle injury and the US Open with an abdominal injury

Plays last match at US Open, finishing career with 41 singles and 11 doubles titles, plus $US 24.4 million prize money

2011

2010

Finishes season at world No. 3

2009

2007

2006

2005

Reclaims No. 1 on 30 January, remains in top spot for seven weeks

2008

Underwent surgery on 12 June to repair torn tendon and remove cyst in left wrist; withdraws from remaining three Grand Slams

2004

Wins Australian Open, defeating Li Na in the final

AustrAliAn tennis MAgAzine | October 2012

2012

Wins first Grand Slam title at US Open

27


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Australian Tennis Magazine - October 2012