ATP Rankings
Message Board
Tenis en Español
WTA Rankings
Message Board
Tenis en Español
Wednesday, January 10
Updated: January 15, 3:07 PM ET
Serving it up from the Australian Open

Galo Blanco
Galo Blanco, from Spain, hits a winner from between his legs during his center court opening-round match against Marat Safin of Russia on Monday. Despite Blanco's efforts, Safin won 6-4, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6.

  • Tennis officials accepted Jelena Dokic's decision to play for Yugoslavia instead of Australia on Sunday. Dokic's father Damir reacted angrily after his daughter was drawn to play world No. 2 Lindsay Davenport in the opening round, saying his daughter had cried and suggesting the draw had been rigged.

    "I'm number one in Australia," Jelena Dokic said, "and yet I have to play Lindsay Davenport ... that was one of the reasons for my decision."

  • Tommy Haas made the debut of his new coach, Gavin Hopper, a successful one by winning his second career ATP title with his Adelaide victory Sunday. Haas hired Hopper, a former coach of Mark Philippoussis, in December after a split with Nick Bollettieri. Gaston Gaudio, a 22-year-old Argentinean, began the year working with Eduardo Infantino. Greg Rusedski begins the New Year under the tutelage of former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash. Carlos Moya and Jose Perlas, his coach of the past six years, have parted ways. Moya will journey Down Under working with friend Juan Bosch.

  • Monica Seles has turned to Harold Solomon as coach in a bid to return to being No. 1. Solomon helped revive Jennifer Capriati's before they split in October. Before, Seles had traveled with several hitting partners, including her brother Zoltan and Bobby Banck.

  • Not the same game

    To Rod Laver's eye, tennis was more attractive back when he was becoming the only player to win the Grand Slam twice.

    "There was more variety in the strokes and the rallies that we played," Laver said Sunday after he helped christen the newest court at the Australian Open.

    When rackets were wooden and he was young, the 62-year-old Laver said, "Seems like the drop shot became very important because you just couldn't do so much with the rackets."

    For recreational tennis players, he added, "it used to be when you had a tiny wooden racket it would come back and hit you in the eye. You'd say, 'I don't like this game.'"

    Aside from racket technology, "I get the feeling that the courts are quicker, maybe the ball is quicker," he said.

    The 15,000-seat center court at Melbourne Park was named Rod Laver Arena last year in honor of the Australian who won the four major tournaments of tennis in both 1962 and 1969.

    Laver, who has 11 titles from Grand Slam tournaments, said he did not expect today's younger players to dominate tennis the way Pete Sampras has, winning a record 13 singles titles at Wimbledon and the Australian and U.S. Opens.

    There are "just so many young players out there that can rise up and play their best tennis," he said.

    He mentioned U.S. Open champion Marat Safin, a 20-year-old Russian now No. 2 in the rankings, and Lleyton Hewitt, a 19-year-old Australian who won last week's ATP tournament in Sydney and is seeded seventh for the Australian Open.

    Laver might have won more Grand Slam tournaments, possibly surpassing Sampras' total, if they had been opened sooner to professionals.

    "I am very, very happy that Pete is the record holder. ... You don't see him play just average matches. He is always playing at his peak."

    Wedding Bells: Alex Corretja and longtime girlfriend Marta Cors plan to marry at the end of the year. No wedding date has been set for the couple who met when they were 15. Swedish star Thomas Johansson and girlfriend Gisella Kaltenecker got engaged during last month's break. They have not revealed a date for the wedding. Also, Todd Martin tied the knot with Amy Barbato on Dec. 16 in Florham Park, N.J.

    The Honeymooners: Before heading Down Under, Marcelo Rios and new wife Juliana enjoyed a day off cruising sand dunes in the Inland Sea desert outside of Doha, Qatar. Rios donned traditional Arabic dress before surfing down the dunes on a ski board. "It's something really fun and different. I've never been in a desert and coming all the way here it was a great experience," Rios said.


    On Jelena Dokic:
    "Everybody is pulling her from one side to the other. She's just going to have to concentrate on playing."
    On being prepared for the Aussie Open:
    "Mentally I'm very fresh. I had some time to chill. I've been keeping a lot of time indoors, as newlyweds do."
    On Brie Rippner retiring after spraining her ankle:
    "Now I can rest a couple more days. I've got a low-grade fever, and I'm just really weak."

     ESPN Tools
    Email story
    Most sent
    Print story
    Daily email