Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Vlog – U.S. lose Fed Cup as Serena stays away

Italy clinched their second Fed Cup final with a 4-0 victory over the United States on Sunday.

The U.S. were hampered by Serena and Venus Williams opting not to compete. But as Mark Meadows discusses above, would it be better for America if the pair definitively ended their Fed Cup careers?

(additional reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian)

Safin signs off in Beijing with advice for Safina

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Safin of Russia holds up a Chinese personal seal spelling his name that was presented to him as a gift after he lost his quarter-final match against Nadal of Spain at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing

Marat Safin and his sister Dinara Safina both made emotional departures from the China Open this week but for very different reasons.

Safin, 29, has decided to hang up his racket at the end end of the season after 12 years as a professional and organisers of the Beijing event held a special farewell ceremony for him after his entertaining defeat to Rafa Nadal in the quarter-finals.

Think Clijsters is world’s most famous Belgian? Not so fast…

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tintinI was very disappointed to log on to FamousBelgians.net this morning and see nary a mention of Kim Clijsters. How much more famous can a Belgian get?

According to the interweb’s leading authority on all things Flanders and Walloon, the world’s most famous Belgian is, currently, Eddy Merckx, who last raced professionally about 20 years ago.

Serena outburst: was there any excuse?

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TENNIS-OPEN/OK, don’t shoot me down for saying this, but can anyone see Saturday’s double-fault storm at the US Open from Serena Williams’s point of view?

With a place in the U.S. Open final at stake — and with many believing the winner of the Williams-Kim Clijsters showdown would go on to win the title — how frustrating is it to get foot-faulted on a second serve at 4-6 5-6 15-30 down?

Hit with Maria? A perk of the job for China’s leaders

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Maria Sharapova of Russia speaks at news conference in Beijing.

As mayor of Beijing for most of the period running up to the 2008 Olympics and now Vice Premier of China with responsibility for financial and economic affairs, Wang Qishan has been a very busy man over the last few years.

 

He has, however, made time to indulge his passion for tennis and been highly influential in the growth of the China Open tournament, now one of the top events in women’s tennis with ambitions of becoming an Asian major.

A tale of two draws at Flushing Meadows

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roddickIt has been a tale of two draws at the U.S. Open, with the men’s seeds advancing full steam ahead and the women’s field in disarray.

Eight of the top 16 women’s seeds have been given the boot at Flushing Meadows, while all 16 men have strolled forward — the first time men’s seeds have marched in lock step into the third round of a grand slam.

Lay off Dinara Safina

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Safina reacts during her match against Barrois at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New YorkI have had enough of the unfair abuse she is getting so I’m starting the ”lay-off Dinara Safina” campaign.

The woman has had enough mocking for being world number one despite her failure to win a grand slam title. If she was 31 I may have some sympathy but she is only 23! Her ranking shouldn’t be a noose to be used to hang her with, instead she should be praised for her successful year.

Why is your nose so red? The wacky world of Wimbledon

With hundreds of members of the international press descending on the All England Club every year to cover Wimbledon, players inevitably face a range of questions in their post-match news conferences as reporters seek to find a new or quirky angle for a story.

Most of the more bizarre questions never make it in to their final reports, but now the dust has settled on Roger Federer’s record-breaking win, here is a collection of the strangest.

Does women’s tennis offer value for money?

lisickiNow is not a good time to compare the men’s game with the women’s and the question of value for money, both for the people who hand out the prize money and for those who buy the tickets, has come up again.

Three of the four women semi-finalists have yet to drop a set and three of the four quarter-finals — Dinara being the exception — together lasted less time than the fourth round battle between Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka under the new roof.

From the sublime to the ridiculous at Wimbledon

The trouble with a match as riveting as Andy Murray’s against Stanislas Wawrinka is that it’s very hard to find something good enough to follow it … and women’s quarter-final day at Wimbledon was singularly unable to do so.

venusFrom the sublime tennis provided by the British number one and the Swiss number two in an historic match under the new Centre Court roof, we went to a 6-1 6-2 victory for Venus Williams over Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska that was ridiculously easy.

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