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According To Mary Pierce: ‘Jesus Is Really My Best Friend’

In an interview, Mary Pierce, the two-time Grand Slam singles champion and also the winner of 16 WTA singles titles spoke about her strong trust in God. ‘When I retired, I felt the end was near, but I have to admit Jesus helped me a lot.’ She said this when she is in Mauritius since 2008, the tennis and while her stay at the place, she lives in an evangelical community devoted her time investing her energies in tennis sport. ‘Jesus is really my best friend. At some point of my life, I felt empty inside and tried to find meaning [in life]. I had everything to be happy: my career success as a tennis player, a big home, money everything.

I had won all the big trophies and many accolades, but there was always something that was missing and I didn’t know what. Then, I found Jesus, who accomplished many miracles in my life. He hit my heart and made me open my eyes,’ she said. ‘That is how it happened: on the WTA Tour I saw a very different player than the others,’
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Other people might be a little reluctant to have Rafael Nadal as their pick for the French Open this time around but Marion Bartoli reckons that, in spite of the poor form of the Spaniard, it will be him who is going to lift the trophy at Roland Garros.

According to Bartoli, if it had been any other tournament to be played on clay, then she might have thought twice before picking Nadal as favourite, but simply because it’s the French Open and the matches are going to be of 5 sets, it would be hard for anyone to topple the clay court king. Read more »

Gonzalez Beats Busta

David Nalbandian’s countryman, Maximo Gonzalez, has defeated Pablo Carreno-Busta of Spain in the first round of ATP Kitzbuhel which is taking place in Austria.

Busta was given 8th seed in this tournament and he was supposed to emerge victorious against a qualifier like Gonzalez, but, it wasn’t to be.

It was not a mere defeat. It was a hammering, an embarrassing result for Busta. Yes, he managed to win a set, but, he never looked better than his opponent.

Busta got trailed by 0-3 in the first set and couldn’t manage to wipe out that deficit ever after that. The start was poor for him in the following set too and it seemed that he might be losing in the straight sets, but, he bounced back with a couple of breaks to seal that set and equalize the proceedings.

But, in the decider, Gonzalez was dominant again as he clinched the match in style with 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 score line.

Gonzalez, who is an experienced player now having spent quite a few years in the professional circuit, is presently at the 83rd position in the World rankings. Busta is 28 places ahead of him at no. 55.

Apart from Busta, the only other seeded player who was in action yesterday in Kitzbuhel was Dominic Thiem. He was up against the Brazilian player Joao Souza.

That match was also a three setter, but, there was no upset there as Thiem pulled it off to move ahead in the tournament.

The 20-year old Austrian had actually put himself in trouble by serving quite a few double faults in the earlier parts of the match, but, he made up for that later on with superb winners.

Thiem is the 5th seeded player in the tournament. He is the 50th ranked player in the world.

Murray Just Scrapes Victory

Yesterday, the Rolland Garros could have seen one more big upset. Philipp Kohlschreiber had almost pushed Andy Murray to the verge of defeat. The Scot eventually managed to come out of that situation though. He showed tremendous fighting spirit in the final set to get through to the pre quarter final round.

The final score line of the match was 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 12-10 in the favour of Murray.

The match actually started yesterday, but, it couldn’t get completed. It had to be stopped because of bad light when both the players were tied at 7-7 in the fifth set. It started again today in the morning and Murray, with some delightful shots, didn’t waste too much time in pulling it off.

Speaking in the post match interview, Murray said, “I was struggling with a bit of cramp towards the end of yesterday, but, I felt alright when I got off the bed today. I came out fresh and thankfully, finished things off well.”

“That’s the difference between the grass court and the hard court. If you play a match on hard court, you don’t feel that good when you wake up the other day. Your body will be quite sore. But, that’s not the case with grass court.”

“I think Philipp was also looking better today. Some of his shots were quite remarkable.”

The match that went Murray’s way at the end could have gone Kohlschreiber’s way as well if he had converted the break point that he got in the 19th game, but, he wasted that opportunity and that proved to be the difference.

Now, Murray will get a couple of days’ break before he takes on Fernando Verdasco in his next match on Monday. Verdasco reached the pre quarter finals by defeating Richard Gasquet of France.


Roger Federer entered the pre quarter final round of the Miami Masters tennis tournament yesterday with a comfortable straight set win of 6-3, 6-3 over Thiemo De Bakker of Netherlands.

It was a fantastic, all round performance by the former champion. He was so dominant in both the sets that he didn’t let his partner get even one break point. He just cruised through.

In just about an hour or so, the match was over. This kind of win would increase the confidence level of Federer.

Speaking in the post match interview, the Swiss maestro said, “Everything is going quite nicely at the moment for me. My movement on the court has been good and I am happy about it.”

The next guy whom Federer will be up against is Richard Gasquet who is not too far away from him in the world rankings. The Frenchman also had a comfortable victory in the previous round against Kevin Anderson, so, he would also be bubbling with confidence.

Andy Murray was another of those top players who secured their place in the pre quarter finals in Miami yesterday. The Scot was on fire in his match against Feliciano Lopez of Spain. He was probably playing within himself at the start, but, in the second set, he absolutely demolished his opponent.

It was the 9th match between Murray and Lopez on the tour and the former has won all of them.

To see this contest, Murray’s former coach Ivan Lendl was also present in the spectators’ arena and he would have been thrilled to see the Scot back in rhythm.

Murray’s next match is against the French player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who had to struggle a little bit in his last match against Marcos Baghdatis to get through.


France has beaten USA in a Hopman Cup tie by a close margin of 2-1. Now, they have a very good chance of achieving glory for the first time ever in the Hopman Cup. In their next tie, they will be taking on an out of form Spanish team. If they win that tie, they will qualify for the final.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was the stand out performer for France in their tie against USA. He performed brilliantly in both the singles and the mixed doubles and guided his team to victory.

The French team hadn’t made a good start to the tie as in the first singles match Alize Cornet had suffered a straight set defeat against the young sensation Sloane Stephens. But, Tsonga levelled things up by beating John Isner.

It all came down to the mixed doubles and Tsonga again rose to the occasion. He held his nerves and didn’t let the lesser experienced pair of Stephens and Isner pull off an upset. The match went all the way down to the wire with the third and final set going into the tie breaker, but, eventually, the outcome went in the favour of the French pair.

Tsonga’s record in the Hopman Cup in the last couple of years has been fantastic. He has featured in 5 matches in the tournament during that period and has ended up winning all of them.

Talking to the reporters after her team’s win against USA, Cornet said, “USA was probably the strongest side in the group, so, beating them has certainly given us satisfaction.”

“It had really got very tight at the end, but, thankfully, we pulled it off.”

This is the 20th time that the French team is participating in the Hopman Cup.