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post #1 of 214 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 2005, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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2005 Media



Williams, Sharapova prepare to clash

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CHIANG MAI, Thailand (AP) - Women's tennis stars Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova both rode elephants Saturday, a day before playing an exhibition match in northern Thailand as part of their preparations for the Australian Open.

After ending an injury-hit 2004 as the world's No. 9 player, Williams predicted better things for this year.

"I think 2005 will be a great year for me," she said in the city of Chiang Mai, where she was scheduled to take on Wimbledon champion Sharapova on Sunday at the 700th Anniversary Stadium.

Chiang Mai is a town in the hills of northern Thailand, hundreds of kilometres from the devastation and death wreaked on the nation's southern beaches by the Dec. 26 tsunami.

The official death toll in Thailand from the giant waves rose Saturday from 4,560 to 4,812. Another 6,541 were still listed as missing and authorities fear most were dead.

Williams said that after a frustrating 2004, during which she won only two titles, she felt her game was returning.

"I feel very good and hit the balls very well," she said. "Last year was a challenge for me. I have learned a lot about myself."

Venus is in the northern city with mother and coach Oracene Price.

On Saturday she visited an elephant training centre and rode one of the giant symbols of Thailand.

"I would never imagine that I would ride an elephant in Thailand," she said. "I've never had this kind of experience because we don't have things like this back home in California."

Sharapova trained in the morning and then also hopped on the back of an elephant in the afternoon.

On Sunday morning, the stars were to conduct a coaching clinic for Thai children before their afternoon singles showdown, after which they planned a doubles match, with Williams teaming up with Thai No. 2 Suchanan Viratprasert and Sharapova with Tamarine Tanasugarn.

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post #2 of 214 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 2005, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Venus Williams waves to the crowd as she arrives at Chiang Mai airport yesterday.

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post #3 of 214 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 2005, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Sharapova beats Williams in Thai exhibition

WebPosted Sun, 02 Jan 2005 14:17:28 EST



CBC SPORTS ONLINE - Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova of Russia stamped her authority over American Venus Williams on Sunday, using her strong baseline strokes to overpower the former world No. 1 in straight sets in an exhibition match in Bangkok. Sharapova downed Williams 6-4, 6-3 in the TAT Tennis Invitational Exhibition at the 700th Anniversary Stadium.

The match began with a 30-second tribute to victims of the tsunami that killed more than 123,000 people from Asia to Africa, including nearly 5,000 confirmed dead in Thailand. It ended with the players auctioning off their rackets to raise funds to help victims.

With her flat powerful deep ground strokes, Sharapova, ranked No. 4 in the world, did not allow Williams to build any momentum in the match, which lasted just 78 minutes in front of 4,000 fans.

Williams's vaunted power game was eclipsed throughout the match and she added to her problems with a string of unforced errors, mostly from her forehand.

After several deuces, the ninth-ranked Williams was broken in the first game and dropped to 0-2 before breaking back to draw level at 2-2.

But Sharapova, 18, broke back immediately and produced a string of winners to lead 4-2 before Williams levelled again at 4-4.

Sharapova broke again to lead 5-4 and fought off several break points to finally win the first set by blasting two impressive forehands down the line.

The Russian star then reeled off five straight games to build a solid lead at 5-0 before her game fell apart and Williams won three straight games.

However, Williams continued to be plagued by errors and finally served a double fault to lose the match.

Williams and Sharapova next head to Hong Kong for another exhibition match.

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post #4 of 214 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 2005, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Posted on Sun, Jan. 02, 2005
Sharapova Beats Venus Williams 6-4, 6-3


Associated Press


CHIANG MAI, Thailand - Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova beat four-time major winner Venus Williams 6-4, 6-3 Sunday in an exhibition match two weeks before the start of the Australian Open.

The match began with a 30-second tribute to victims of the tsunami that killed more than 123,000 people, including nearly 5,000 confirmed dead in Thailand. After the match, the players auctioned off their rackets for $2,560 each to raise funds to help victims.

Sharapova used her flat, deep groundstrokes to keep Williams off-balance in the 78-minute exhibition before about 4,000 fans. Williams was hurt by a string of unforced errors, mostly from her forehand, and she double-faulted on the final point.

Williams and Sharapova next head to Hong Kong for another exhibition match

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post #5 of 214 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 2005, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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U.S. tennis star Venus Williams (news) returns the ball to Russian Maria Sharapova (news) Sunday, Jan. 2, 2005 in Chiang Mai province during an exhibition match in northern Thailand as part of her preparations for the Australian Open (news - web sites). Sharapova won 6-4, 6-2.(

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post #6 of 214 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 2005, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Federer, Henin-Hardenne return to defend Dubai tennis titles
By A Correspondent

4 January 2005




DUBAI — Dubai Duty Free’s announcement that World No 1 Roger Federer and former French and US Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne will both return to defend their respective Dubai Tennis Championships titles adds extra spice to what is shaping to be another mouthwatering tournament.

Wimbledon champion Federer is among the hottest properties on the tennis circuit, while Henin-Hardenne, who succumbed to a virus mid-way through the season but still managed to win Gold at the Olympics, will be looking for her third consecutive Dubai Women’s Open. Both Federer — who is also chasing his third straight Dubai title — and Henin-Hardenne will spearhead a top-class player line-up. In the Men’s Open, superstar Andre Agassi will make his first ever appearance in Dubai, while the big hitting Russian Marat Safin returns for his fifth tournament.

In the Women’s Open, Venus Williams will be joined for the first time by her sister Serena while World No 1 Lindsay Davenport will make her first appearance at the Championships.

“We are delighted that some of the biggest names in World tennis are coming to Dubai for what will no doubt be another spectacular event,” said Colm McLoughlin, Managing Director of Dubai Duty Free.

“Dubai has earned a reputation as a leading sports city and the confirmation of these much sought-after players will only further underline its position as a truly great sporting destination.”

The 23-year-old Federer, who has drawn comparisons to a young Agassi due to his flamboyance on court and trademark ponytail, followed his success at the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open this year with the biggest trophy of them all at Wimbledon. With 11 titles this season including the Dubai Men’s Open, three Grand Slams, the Tennis Masters Cup and three ATP Masters Series events, it is no wonder Federer is being mentioned among the game’s greats.

And to cap off a remarkable year, Federer was named Swiss Sportsman of the Year for his performances in 2004. It completed a hat-trick of honors within the space of a week for Federer who was also named Overseas Sports Personality by the BBC and European Sportsman of the Year by the European Sports Journalists Association.

Henin-Hardenne, meanwhile, will be keen to re-establish herself as one of the sport’s greats after a difficult, and at times, frustrating season. The former World No 1 missed much of 2004 due to a viral problem which she was unable to shake off. The pocket-sized Belgian is now back to full fitness and will be determined to continue her run of success in Dubai.

The Women’s Open will offer plenty of big clashes, and the return of the hard-hitting Venus Williams to Dubai is also a massive boost to not only the tournament, but to the women’s game in general. Venus has played in the Dubai Women’s Open twice previously, including last year when she was knocked out in the quarterfinals.

The Williams sisters are arguably the biggest stars of the women’s game, but a series of injuries has seen them slide from the top rankings.

Rarely seen at the same tournaments on the tour - other than Grand Slams and Tier 1 events - their appearance at the tournament is somewhat of a coup for organizers Dubai Duty Free and further confirms the popularity of the Championships amongst players.

For the first time in its history, the two-week Dubai Tennis Championships will be launched by the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open from February 21-27 with the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open following from February 28 to March 5. Both tournaments will be held at the Dubai Tennis Stadium.

Although the 2005 Dubai Tennis Championships — which, for the men, will be in its 13th year — is expected to attract half of the world’s top 10 players as well as Agassi, Dubai Duty Free will freeze ticket prices at 2004 levels.

“The Dubai public has helped this event to grow into the success story it is today and we want to repay them by keeping ticket prices at an affordable level,” said McLoughlin.

“We confidently expect the appearance of these big name players to be a great boost not only for the tournament but also for sport in the Middle East.”

The Dubai Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free and takes place under the patronage of General Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Minister of Defence.


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post #7 of 214 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 2005, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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American tennis star Venus Williams (news) smiles during a press conference at a Hong Kong hotel Monday, Jan. 3, 2005. She is in Hong Kong to take part in an exhibition tournament.

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U.S. player Venus Williams (news) attends a party in Hong Kong January 4, 2005. Williams will participate in a tennis challenge which includes five of the top ten women tennis stars in the territory starting Wednesday

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post #9 of 214 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 2005, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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L-R) Nicole Vaidisova (news) from Czech Republic, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (news) from Spain, Svetlana Kuznetsova (news) from Russia, Venus Williams (news) from the U.S. and Russians Maria Sharapova (news), Vera Zvonareva (news) and Elena Dementieva (news) pose during a party reception in Hong Kong January 4, 2005. The players, along with Serena Williams (news) of the U.S., will participate in a tennis challenge in the territory starting Wednesday

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post #10 of 214 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 2005, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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post #11 of 214 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 2005, 09:25 PM
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post #13 of 214 (permalink) Old Jan 5th, 2005, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Top Open contenders battle injury



Wednesday, January 5, 2005 Posted: 0956 GMT (1756 HKT)


Williams is only playing doubles in the Hong Kong tournament







MELBOURNE, Australia -- Top contenders Serena Williams and Amelie Mauresmo both have injury worries less than a fortnight before the Australian Open gets under way in Melbourne on January 17.

Both were set to tune up for the first Grand Slam of the season at an exhibition event in Hong Kong but have been forced to drop out of the singles tournament.

Russian Vera Zvonareva, the world number 11, has replaced the injured Mauresmo and Williams is playing only doubles with sister Venus.

Her place in the singles draw was taken by Nicole Vaidisova, entering a field which includes Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova, U.S. Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova and Russian compatriot Elena Dementieva, finalist at two Slams last year.

Mauresmo, who held the top WTA ranking briefly in 2004, is not playing in Hong Kong after suffering a stomach injury in training.

Williams suffered the same problem last November in the season-ending event in Los Angeles, where she lost in the finals to Sharapova.

Kim Clijsters is still battling a wrist problem and Australian Nicole Pratt is doubtful after tearing a meniscus in her right knee.

World number one Lindsay Davenport is expected to recover from an injury which kept her away from this week's Hopman Cup and defending champion Justine Henin-Hardenne is ready to return after battling an energy-sapping virus.

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post #14 of 214 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2005, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Le Lumiere Launches Hearts and Arrows Diamond Pen By Sheryl KatzPosted: 1/6/2005 4:40 AM (Rapaport… January 6, 2005)

Tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams launched the Le Lumiere "Hearts and Arrows Diamond Pen" in Hong Kong on January 6.

The pen, a first of its kind and already patented in 107 countries, features a 0.10 carat to 1.0 carat/VVS/G-H, hearts and arrows diamond. The stone is mounted at the 18K white gold crown of the upper barrel. The barrel itself features a built-in loupe. The consumer price for the pens starts at $500.

Designed for women and men, the pen comes with a Le Lumiere inscription on the clip and a Le Lumiere certificate. All diamonds are supplied by Le Lumiere’s parent company EMA Diamond Manufacturing Ltd, an Israeli company and DTC sightholder.

The pens will be available on the global jewelry retail market once the company selects distributors who will get exclusive distribution rights for their specific market.

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post #15 of 214 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2005, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Tennis players Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (news) (1st-L) of Spain, Elena Dementieva (news) (3rd-L) of Russia, Venus Williams (news) (5th-L) of the United States and Russians Maria Sharapova (news) (6th-L), Svetlana Kuznetsova (news) (4th-R) and Vera Zvonareva (news) (2nd-R) pay tribute to the earthquake and tsunami victims of south and southeast Asia before a tennis challenge in Hong Kong January 5, 2005

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