from Photographers' Blog:

My first Australian Open

January 31, 2011

Photographer Yuriko Nakao stands on centre court at the Australian open in Melbourne.

When I was first told that I would be covering the Australian Open tennis tournament, I was very excited as it is a major global sporting event and I would get to fly out from Japan where it was cold, to a hot and sunny down under.

Schiavone shows final set tiebreaks are for wimps

January 24, 2011

TENNIS-OPEN/Francesca Schiavone and Svetlana Kuznetsova rescued the
women’s singles at the Australian Open from anonymity on Sunday
when they contested a four hour 44 minute epic that contrasted sharply with some of the dross served up by their rivals.

Nadal hopes his numbers add up as he chases Rafa Slam

January 15, 2011

TENNIS-OPEN/Fourteen days, seven matches, 21 winning sets and at least 126 winning games – that is all that is separating Rafael Nadal from pulling off the “Rafa Slam”.

from India Insight:

The Indian Express chugs in again

January 11, 2011

It was a victory long overdue and the reunion was perhaps destined to happen in no other tournament but the Chennai Open.

Will anyone gatecrash the Roger-Rafa party in 2011?

December 30, 2010

SPAIN/Will 2011 be the year when Rafael Nadal’s stock rises even further? Or will it be the year when Roger Federer will leave Australia with a lighter suitcase? Or will it be the year when someone finally gatecrashes the Roger-Rafa party?

Analyzing Serbia’s first Davis Cup win

December 9, 2010

The Davis Cup finals between Serbia and France were always going to be a tight affair. A lot of tennis pundits and players thought it was going to go down to the final rubber. Day one was very predictable with Gael Monfils beating Janko Tipsarevic in 3 straight sets. The only surprise was how poorly Tipsarevic played and would his performance cost him his place in the singles on the final day?

Serbian players, fans set new Davis Cup celebration standards

December 6, 2010

TENNIS-DAVIS/Passers-by in downtown Belgrade unfamiliar with Serbia’s appetite for sports success would have been forgiven for thinking that the Balkan country won the soccer World Cup on Sunday evening and not the Davis Cup, an annual tennis competition featuring 16 teams in its top tier.

Post-mortem on the Paris Masters

November 24, 2010

The Paris Masters Series is the last event of the season to qualify for the ATP Tour Finals at the O2 Arena. I have very fond memories of this event because I won the event in 1998. Unfortunately, this year’s event didn’t get off to a good start with the withdrawal of World Number 1, Rafael Nadal. After that we saw some great tennis this week because of the speed of the court. The court was low bouncing and quick which is unusual on tour. This allowed us to see more serve and volley tennis, which I love to watch. The French player, Michael Llodra, is one of the few pure serve and volley players left in the game and caused the first major upset by beating Novak Djokovic in the third round. He then went on to beat Davydenko before losing to Robin Soderling in the semi-finals, despite having had a few match points. The match against Soderling was superb and could have gone either way. It was wonderful to see a baseliner versus a serve and volleyer. The shot making was majestic.

Why Italy won the Fed Cup

November 8, 2010

Italy was victorious in the Fed Cup final versus the USA this past weekend. It was not a surprise at all because the American side was missing Serena and Venus Williams. Had the Williams sisters been healthy it most likely would have been an American victory.

Rusedski on Doha and Dementieva

November 2, 2010

The WTA Tour end of season championships in Doha did not start very well. The crowds for the event’s first few matches were poor. Considering that the top eight players are playing, in a round robin format, all tickets for each session should have been sold out. However Serena and Venus Williams not being able to play due to injury was a major blow for the event. Despite a quiet start, there were a lot of stories to follow. Would Caroline Wozniacki become the 10th woman to end the year world Number 1? She would need to reach the semi-finals to do so. How would US Open champion Kim Clijsters perform after not playing since her grand slam triumph?