Rafael Nadal dealing with nasty blisters on his hand

Rafael Nadal blisters

Rafael Nadal has been battling some nasty blisters on his hand during the Australian Open. That sort of thing will happen when you’re playing best-of-five matches in temperatures that frequently exceed 100 degrees.

Nadal had to be bandaged during his fourth-round win over Kei Nishikori. He had a huge reddish/pink mark on the palm of his left hand that was treated and needed to be taped:

Rafael Nadal blister hand

After the trainer got done bandaging him, Nadal’s left hand was mummified:

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Sloane Stephens denies celebrating when Serena Williams lost at Australian Open

Sloane Stephens smilingA new layer of drama was added to the rocky relationship between Sloane Stephens and Serena Williams when it looked like the youngster was happy to see the veteran tennis star lose at the Australian Open over the weekend.

7 Sports in Australia was filming Stephens’ reaction to watching Williams lose her fourth-round match to Ana Ivanovic on Sunday afternoon in Melbourne. Stephens was working out in a gym at the time and Channel 7 says they had a right to film the shot, which showed Stephens smiling and appearing to celebrate Serena’s defeat.

However, Channel 7 says she was mimicking the elaborate celebration from Ivanovic’s entourage rather than cheering Serena’s loss. Stephens, for her part, lost in the fourth-round of the tournament as well, and expressed displeasure with Channel 7 for showing her reaction.

“Yeah, it’s a little much,” Stephens said of 7 Sports. ”Then for them to put it on TV was a little extra.”

Stephens also explained that she was imitating Ivanovic’s crew, not celebrating Serena’s defeat.

“At the end of the match, Ivanovic’s coaches pretty much gave each other headbutts and kisses and I thought that was the funniest thing ever,” Stephens said after her defeat to Victoria Azarenka via the Sydney Morning Herald. “Andrew [hitting partner Andrew Fitzpatrick] and I were like, ‘Oh my God, we, we’re going to do the same thing.

“Then, of course, in posts and everything … I’m cheering against Serena, which had nothing to do with it. So that was it. We were just having some fun.”

So was Stephens just laughing about the reaction from Ivanovic’s crew, or was she celebrating that Serena lost? That’s up to you to decide. And if you are unfamiliar with the tension between Sloane and Serena and don’t understand why Stephens theoretically would be happy to watch Serena lose, read this.

I know that Sloane likes to smile a lot by nature, but I’m not sure if I completely buy her excuse. I think she was probably happy to see Serena lose, and for good reason.

Genie Bouchard would like to date Justin Bieber (Video)

19-year-old Genie Bouchard has been one of the biggest stories on the women’s side of the Australian Open. The Canadian youngster advanced to the semifinals of the tournament by coming back to beat Ana Ivanovic in three sets in Melbourne on Tuesday.

After the match, Bouchard, who has gained many male fans during her run, was asked in her on-court interview with 7 Sports which celebrity she’d like to date. Bouchard was totally embarrassed by the line of questioning, but she did manage to sheepishly provide an answer.

“Justin Bieber,” she said.

Bouchard’s answer was not taken well by the fans, who mostly groaned or booed.

Bouchard was asked what she’d say to him if he were watching, and she gave a cute, flirty wave and smile:

Genie Bouchard

Look, Genie, you’re 19, emerging, and you look like the next big thing in women’s tennis. I want to like you. I really do. But despite being Canadian and all, you could not have given a worse answer. I mean Justin Bieber? You really like this guy?

Victoria Azarenka tells boyfriend Redfoo her engagement ring better be bigger than Wozniacki’s

Victoria Azarenka defeated Sloane Stephens in straight sets in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Monday to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament. Though her easy win was quite impressive, it’s not what we want to focus on.

After her match, Vika did an interview with 7 Sports that was televised on ESPN. Azarenka talked about how she spent time in Australia prior to the tournament with boyfriend Redfoo and enjoyed it. She talked about hanging out by Bondi Beach, seeing the surfers, and loving the atmosphere and energy. Interviewer Rennae Stubbs said it seemed like Azarenka wanted to purchase a home in the area, and Vika mentioned that Redfoo, who has been in Australia serving as a judge on a reality TV show in the country, talked about that. That’s when Stubbs put the pressure on the couple.

Stubbs held up Azarenka’s left hand, tapped Vika’s ring finger and said to Redfoo, “I see something’s missing,” implying that they need to be married before they buy a home together.

That drew laughs from Vika, Redfoo and the crowd, but it led to a great quote from Azarenka.

“It better be bigger than [Caroline Wozniacki's],” she said.

Wozniacki’s ring, given to her by fiance Rory McIlroy, is 8 carats. That’s a lot to compete with, Redfoo!

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Serena Williams’ boyfriend/coach says Serena had back injury

Serena WilliamsWhen Serena Williams loses a match, the media usually turns it into a conversation about what went wrong with Serena rather than what the triumphant opponent did right. That’s probably because Serena is by far the best female player in the world and expected to win every event she enters. But Serena was upset by Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round of the Australian Open, and her boyfriend/coach Patrick Mouratouglou revealed to the media that Serena was limited by a back injury.

Serena seemed like she didn’t want anyone finding out about the back injury, and she playfully called out Mouratouglou for “snitching” about her bad back. She admitted she took painkillers and contemplated not playing in the match, but she tried to go through it and said she felt good about the way she played.

“I almost pulled out. I probably should have,” Serena said when asked about her back. “I don’t want to blame anything. I feel like Ana deserves all the credit. I feel like she played unbelievable today. It’s not like I gave her the match; I tried to fight with the best I could today. I almost didn’t play, but I did and at least I feel good that I tried the best I could on this day.”

Williams was complimentary of Ivanovic and wanted to emphasize that her opponent played well and that nothing should detract from that. She made every attempt to deflect the focus from her back to Ivanovic’s good play.

“Yeah it’s OK,” Williams said of her back. “It wasn’t the best, but I thought she played really well.

“Maybe I wasn’t the best physically, but that had nothing to do with it. I think Ana just played a really good match. She did what it takes to win. I’m not going to make excuses.”

Serena was down on herself for missing so many shots and making so many errors, but she had a positive outlook despite the loss.

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Serena Williams takes you behind the scenes of her bra shoot (Video)

Serena Williams is immensely successful off the tennis courts as a product endorser, and she recently added an underwear company to her portfolio.

Williams is now endorsing Berlei bras, which she says she has been wearing for 10 years ever since her mother introduced her to them. In an interview with “Today Tonight” in Australia, Williams said she didn’t always feel comfortable in her body — which is nothing new — and that it took her a while to accept her body image.

According to Forbes, Williams cut back her endorsements in recent years but still earned $12 million for the year.

Among the companies she endorses are Nike, Wilson, Gatorade and OPI. She also has equity deals with HSN, Sleep Sheets, Mission and the Miami Dolphins, according to Forbes. And now you can add Berlei to that group.

Serena Williams bra

Bernard Tomic holds second press conference to defend quitting after first set

Bernard TomicBernard Tomic held a second press conference after his first-round loss to Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open to defend himself for quitting because of a groin injury.

The Australian player was booed by fans for retiring after dropping the first set to Nadal 6-4. Tomic says he was hurt that the fans doubted and questioned him, so he went out of his way to defend himself. He spoke to the media again to explain that a doctor told him he could have been out for 3-4 months had he continued to play on his bad groin. He says he has a partial tear.

Tomic said getting booed was “unfair” and that he felt the fans “misunderstood” why he quit. He said he wanted to get his side out, which he was able to do.

I’m guessing the fans were booing because they were disappointed more than anything else. They paid to see a best-of-five set match between Tomic and Nadal and only got to see one set. Combine this with Tomic’s issues on the road and underwhelming performances on the court, and the fans have good reasons to be disappointed. Not only that, but based on what Tomic did against Andy Murray two years ago, they had reasons to suspect he could have been tanking.