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STARS

Nicha Lertpitaksinchai beat Kumiko Iijima 6-4 6-3 to win the $25,000 Questnet Open in Bangalore, India

Lauren Davis beat Graced Min 6-3 6-7 (7) 6-1 to win the girls singles at the Dunlop Orange Bowl junior tournament in Key Biscayne, Florida, USA

George Morgan beat Jannick Lupescu 6-2 6-3 to win the boys singles at the Dunlop Orange Bowl junior tournament in Key Biscayne, Florida, USA

SAYINGS

“I didn’t feel badly, I just couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t get a full breath of air. Nothing hurt, and f for an athlete that’s weird. Nothing hurt but I (couldn’t) go on.” – Martina Navratilova, after her release from a hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, where she was treated for high-altitude pulmonary edema.

“The present TSS leadership, headed by Slobodan Zivojinovic, has nothing to do with Serbia’s Davis Cup victory. We are the world tennis champions thanks to the players and their families only.” – Srdjan Djokovic, calling for changes at the top of the Serbia Tennis Association.

“It’s my first singles title of my career and the richest prize money so far … Hopefully there will be more such title wins and bigger checks” – Nicha Lertpitaksinchai, after winning the Questnet Open, a USD $25,000  ITF tournament  in Bangalore, India.

“Having Andy commit to the 2011 campaign is huge for our team. Andy not only brings his outstanding Davis Cup record but also his experience and team leadership, which will be invaluable to our efforts. On a personal note I am very excited to get the opportunity to sit on the bench with Andy and help him continue to perform at his very best on the Davis Cup stage.” – Jim Courier, the new United States Davis Cup captain welcoming Andy Roddick back to the team.

STOPPED IN CLIMB

Three days after her fluid-filled lungs forced her to abandon her attempt to climb Africa’s highest mountain, Martina Navratilova was released from a Nairobi, Kenya, hospital. Now 54 years old, Navratilova was carried down Mount Kilimanjaro on a stretcher when she had difficulty breathing. She had reached nearly 14,800 feet when a doctor with the 27-person climbing team told her she needed to descent. The winner of 18 Grand Slam singles titles, the Hall of Famer said “when the doctor said you’re going down, you’re going down.” A few hours before she descended, Navratilova wrote in her diary, “I’ve never been so utterly exhausted. Everything is taking monumental effort, going to the bathroom, getting dressed, setting up tent. I don’t want to ever …” She said, “I can’t read it. I stopped writing because I was crying, because I was so disappointed at how I felt.” Navratilova was climbing Kilimanjaro to raise money and awareness for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. So far she has helped raise USD $80,000. “I always said the only failure is when you fail to try,” she said. “I guess the other failure is not giving your best effort. I did both: I tried and gave my best effort.”

Martina Hingis

SWISS MRS.

A Swiss celebrity magazine, Schweizer Illustrierte, says tennis star Martina Hingis has married French horseman Thibault Hutin in a Paris ceremony. The magazine, on its website, said the 30-year-old Hingis and 24-year-old show jumper held their civil wedding on Friday with only close family in attendance. “Our wedding came as a surprise for many, but it has been in planning long in advance,” Hingis told the magazine, which said it would publish exclusive photos of the event. Hingis won five Grand Slam tournament singles titles before retiring in 2007, when she was suspended for two years for testing positive for cocaine at Wimbledon. She denied taking the drug but did not appeal the ban, which ended in September 2009. She has ridden show horses almost her entire life.

SERBIAN STRIFE?

Winning the Davis Cup for the first time has ignited infighting for the Serbia Tennis Association (TSS). With the country still celebrating the capture of the prestigious international tennis team trophy, there is a fight over the posts of president and chairman. The Serbia Tennis Association General Assembly, where the new president and board chairman will be voted in, will most probably be held by the final week in December or in early January. TSS president Slobodan Zivojinovic wants to serve another four-year term, but the father of Novak Djokovic, Srdjan, has appealed publicly for changes in the association. Also, Davis Cup team coach Bogdan Obradovic has said that Serbia’s top players want changes.

SERENA IN HALL OF FAME

Serena Williams will be inducted in to the California Hall of Fame this week along with

singer Barbra Streisand, actress Betty White and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Inductees are individuals who have made legendary achievements in the areas of politics, activism, science, philanthropy, sports, business, entertainment, technology, fitness and literature. The other 2010 inductees are Gov. Edmund G. “Pat” Brown; director James Cameron; John Doerr, Silicon Valley investor; A.P. Giannini, who is considered the father of modern banking and Bank of America; country music singer Merle Haggard; author and activist Anne Lamott; former Secretary of State, George Shultz, Dr. Kevin Starr and artist Wayne Thiebaud. The recipients will be awarded the Spirit of California medal by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver.

SOUTHERN STAR

Candy Reynolds has been selected for her third Hall of Fame. The former WTA Tour doubles star will be inducted into the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia, USA January 22, 2011. Reynolds won 28 WTA doubles titles in her career – four with Martina Navratilova. She captured the 1983 French Open doubles with South African Rosalyn Fairbanks, and reached at least the semifinals of all four Grand Slam tournaments in her career. She also was a member of the United States Fed Cup and Wightman Cup teams. She already is in the Knoxville, Tennessee, Sports Hall of Fame, her hometown, and in the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Hall of Fame. “They’re all very special in a different sort of way,” Reynolds said. “There were all very important times in my life.”

STRONG COUPLING

Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin have put aside their differences and are considering teaming up to play doubles at the 2012 London Olympics. The two Belgians admit they are not close because of their fierce long-standing rivalry in singles. But they have played doubles together before, including a Fed Cup match against Russia in 2006. “There is a real willingness to be there (at the London Games),” Henin said. Clijsters said 2012 could be her last full season, and, “It would be nice to go out in such a way.”

SUITING UP AGAIN

Andy Roddick is returning to the United States Davis Cup in 2011. The former world number one will be on hand when the United States faces Chile in a first-round battle in Santiago, Chile, on March 4-6. “I have always said that Davis Cup is something you should commit to for the entire season and not when it is convenient,” the 28-year-old Roddick said. “Trying to win the Davis Cup again is a top priority for me in 2011. Nothing compares to the atmosphere of playing a Davis Cup match and representing your country.” Roddick has a career 31-11 Davis Cup record, second in American Davis Cup singles victories behind only John McEnroe’s 41. Roddick helped lead the USA to its first Davis Cup title since 1995 when it defeated Russia in the 2007 Davis Cup final.

The Americans are the all-time leader with 32 Davis Cup titles, but they have won just one championship over the last 15 years.

SIDELINED

According to the New York Post, Serena Williams may not return to the WTA tour until spring. The 29-year-old Williams has not played since she cut her foot in July right after winning Wimbledon then underwent surgery later that month.  “I hope to be out of the cast and back on court by spring,” the former world No. 1 told the newspaper. Williams, who has won five of her 13 Grand Slam tournament singles titles at Melbourne Park, including last year, withdrew from the Australian Open in January after she underwent a second surgery on her foot in October. The American was ranked No. 1 in the world when she was injured, but finished the year ranked fourth as Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki took over the top spot.

SAMPRAS THEFT

Thieves broke into a public storage facility in West Los Angeles, California, and stole most of the awards and trophies that Pete Sampras won during his Hall of Fame career, although only one Grand Slam tournament trophy. “I have 13 of my 14 Grand Slam trophies,” Sampras told the Los Angeles Times. “Some are at home and some up at Nike Town (in Beaverton, Oregon). My first Australian Open trophy is gone, and so is everything else.” Francesco Ricci Bitti, president of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), offered to provide Sampras with replicas of the two Davis Cup trophies that were stolen. The 39-year-old Sampras said he discovered the burglary three weeks ago and police have no clues about the identity of the thieves. Sampras is hoping his announcement of the theft will lead to the recovery of his stolen trophies.

SYDNEY-BOUND

Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro plans on returning to action at the Sydney International. The Australian Open warm-up event will be held January 9-15. Del Potro, who won the 2009 US Open, missed almost all of this year with injuries, playing in only three events because of a troublesome wrist injury. He has been granted a wild card entry in the Sydney tournament.

Tournament organizers said seven of the world’s top 10 women – including world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki – will play in the tournament.

SHAMROCK CAPTAIN

Garry Cahill is the new non-playing captain of Ireland’s Davis Cup team. Cahill has been employed as technical director with Tennis Ireland for the past seven years and will continue in this position. His main responsibility is the management of the BNP Paribas National Tennis Academy where he works with Ireland’s leading players, such as Conor Niland, Sam Barry and Amy Bowtell. Cahill replaces Sean Sorensen as the Irish non-playing captain. Cahill is giving up his position as Ireland’s Fed Cup captain in order to concentrate on the Davis Cup position. Ireland plays Luxembourg in Davis Cup in Dublin on March 4-6. Depending on first-round results, Ireland could meet Great Britain in the second round on July 8-10.

STILL THE MAN

Guy Forget will continue as French Davis Cup captain for the next two years. The French Tennis Federation (FFT) confirmed that the 45-year-old has been retained for the position he has held since 1999. Forget has guided the team to four finals, including in 2001 when France won the title. This year they were runners-up to Serbia, going down 3-2 in Belgrade, Serbia, a week ago. France will begin its 2011 campaign with a first-round match against Austria in Vienna in March.

SUPERB PAIRING

Known as “The Indian Express,” Leader Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi will reunite as a doubles team for the Chennai Open in January. In a Tweet, Bhupathi said: “Indian Express confirms first stop of 2011 will be the Aircell Chennai Open. That’s where is all began in 97 :) .” Although the two announced they would team up for the Australian Open, they have not made any plans past the year’s first Grand Slam tournament. After they split up, Paes and Bhupathi both had played with several partners. Paes has teamed with Lukas Dlouhy for the past three years, while Bhupathi has partnered both Mark Knowles and Max Mirnyi. With their respective partners, the two Indians qualified for the eight-team field at the year-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.

STEPPING UP

Philip Brook, previously vice-chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, has been elected the club’s new Chairman. Brook, 54, takes over for Tim Phillips, who retired after 11 years as chairman. Brook has been a member the All England Club since 1989 and was elected to the Club Committee and Committee of Management of the Championships in December 1997.

SHARED PERFORMANCES

Bangalore: Luksika Kumkhum and Nungnadda Wannasuk beat Chen Yi and Kumiko Iijima 7-6 (5) 5-7 10-8 (match tiebreak)

Key Biscayne (boys): Julien Cagnina and Jeroen Vanneste beat Liam Broady and Nik Razborsek 7-6 (6) 4-6 10-5 (match tiebreak)

Key Biscayne (girls): Lauren Herring and Madison Keys beat Margarita Gasparyan and Ganna Poznikhirenko 6-4 0-6 10-8 (match tiebreak)

SITES TO SURF

Dubai: www.dubaitennis.com

ITF: www.itftennis.com

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

(All money in USD)

WOMEN

$75,000 Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, hard



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About Bob Greene
Bob Greene, the esteemed former Associated Press tennis writer, wraps up the week that was in international tennis with his “Monday’s With Bob Greene” column – a revival of his popular weekly feature at the AP.

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