Leave it to Shakira to have a totally intellectual justification for picking Rafa. Not sure why she couldn't just say "Have you seen that ass???" and be done with it, but good on her.
So, I never have dreams. I mean, I *have* dreams, like aspirations and whatnot, but I don't dream while I sleep. Or, at least, I don't recall them when I wake up.
But last night I totally had this dream about Muzzard that basically involved us getting into arguments, screaming at each other, walking away from each other, following each other, arguing some more, and then somehow, after 5-6 of these episodes, reaching a quiet detente in the back of a London taxi. And no, that "detente" is not a euphemism. We literally were too tired to continue arguing.
And then I wake up and see that he lost to Janko. Weird, is all I'm saying.
But enough about Muzz. Here, without further ado, is some love for Janko. Because there haven't been very many opportunities this year:
The first round of Davis Cup is next week and the teams have announced their rosters. No Fed, Rafa, FeVer, Feli, A-Rod, JMDP, Nalby, Blah, or Haasi.
Spain vs. Switerland: In Spain
Spain: Juan Carlos Ferrero, David Ferrer, Tommy Robredo, and Marcel Granollers
Switzerland: Stanislas Wawrinka, Marco Chiudinelli, Michael Lammer, and Yves Allegro
France vs. Germany: In France
France: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils, Michael Llodra, and Julien Benneteau
Germany: Philipp Kohlschreiber, Benjamin Becker, Simon Greul, and Christopher Kas
Russia vs. India: In Russia
Russia: Nikolay Davydenko, Mikhail Youzhny, Teimuraz Gabashvili, and Igor Kunitsyn
India: Somdev Devvarman, Rohan Bopanna, Leander Paes, and Mahesh Bhupathi
Sweden vs. Argentina: In Sweden
Sweden: Robin Soderling, Andreas Vinciguerra, Simon Aspelin, and Robert Lindstedt
Argentina: Juan Monaco, Horacio Zeballos, Leonardo Mayer, and Eduardo Schwank
Croatia vs. Ecuador: In Croatia
Croatia: Marin Cilic, Ivo Karlovic, Ivan Dodig, and Antonio Veic
Ecuador: Nicholas Lapentti, Giovanni Lapentti, Ivan Endara, and Julio-Ceser Campozano
Serbia vs. United States: In Serbia
Serbia: Novak Djokoivc, Viktor Troikci, Janko Tipsarevic, and Nenad Zimonjic
United States: John Isner, Sam Querrey, Mike and Bob Bryan
Chile vs. Israel: In Chile
Chile: Fernando Gonzalez, Nicolas Massu, Paul Capdeville, and Jorge Arguilar
Israel: Dudi Sela, Harel Levy, Jonathan Erlich, and Andy Ram
Belgium vs. Czech Repubic: In Belgium
Belgium: Christophe Rochus, Oliver Rochus, Steve Darcis, and Xavier Malisse
Czech Rebublic: Tomas Berdych, Radek Stepanek, Jan Hajek, and Lukas Dlouhy
I'm still a bit surprised that P-Mac finally cut the old guard loose. And by "surprised", I mean relieved.
Kolya and Marin came through, with Playstation needing three sets to finish off Serra. And with all the speculation regarding Jo, he did take the court against Marseille champ, Llodra, and pulled out a tight first set before Llodra retired.
In other news, Janko won. That's news.
Singles - First Round
 N Davydenko (RUS) d F Serra (FRA) 67(5) 64 61
 [WC] J Tsonga (FRA) d M Llodra (FRA) 76(9) ret. (left hamstring)
 M Cilic (CRO) d A Clement (FRA) 62 64
 M Youzhny (RUS) d. L Lacko (SVK) 67(3) 76(5) 61
J Tipsarevic (SRB) d A Seppi (ITA) 76(4) 75
M Berrer (GER) d S Stakhovsky (UKR) 64 76(3)
T Robredo (ESP) d J Benneteau (FRA) 62 61
[Q] S Devvarman (IND) d M Chiudinelli (SUI) 64 75
[Q] B Phau (GER) d [WC] M Ghareeb (KUW) 30 ret. (back)
Uh, Atomic's been named to the Australia Davis Cup team, making the 17 year old the youngest to play for the team.
"As a young player he's already showed us that he handles big courts, big situations well so if he gets the opportunity to play a live match here I've no doubt that he'll handle that pretty well," he said.
Psst! Taiwan! Two words for you: late matches. Also, if you want to play them on Rod Laver, I'm sure that can be arranged.
Ok, the counter goes to her knees. She is a giant.
Seriously, Masha is to that kitchen as Giada's head is to her entire body.
Somewhere in Venice, Dinara is pumping her fist at the idea of chocolate chip cookies being baked in Manhattan Beach. That girl's got a nose.
(Source: HCFoo's Blog)
You know, normally I do these "who's playing where" posts as a simple formality. But this week it seemed necessary with all the withdrawals to keep track of. So here we go:
What was slated as a blockbuster field fizzled a bit when Fed withdrew last week and A-Rod withdrew over the weekend. On top of that, Jo is rumored to be doubtful for his match due to the lingering ab strain.
To me, it's going to come down to the Serb, the Ugly, the Playstation, and Not-Mario. Should be fun any which way.
It's really hard for me not to root for JCF to take his third straight title in three weeks, so that's where my rooting loyalties lie this week. And what's up with FeVer? He accepted a late wildcard to enter the tournament. He's like the Caro of the ATP with his packed schedule. I mean, bless him, but Jesus, dude. He had SAP (win), Memphis (1st week), now Acapulco, then Davis Cup, and then IW and Miami.
Oh, and Halpert? Huh? Did he get lost?
Um...so...I'm not really going to be paying attention to this tournament. As most know, it's pretty much my least favorite tournament on the entire schedule. Just look at their crap website. Volleygirls? REALLY?
Venus is back to defend her title in Acapulco. So long as she still has her legs after Dubai she should be fine. I don't see anyone in the field worth worrying about. Then again, it's on clay....
Lena leads the field in KL, with Nails, Jay-Z, and Kleybs in tow. I'm a bit surprised that Lena would go from retire from injury in Dubai to flying all the way to KL for a smaller tournament, only to then fly back to the States for the IW/Miami double.
Blink and you'll miss him. Goth Bols and Feli lost in Dubai, Reeshard pulled a Flavi and dumped Carlos in Acapulco, and top seeded American Tommy lost in Delray Beach.
Singles - First Round
 N Djokovic (SRB) d G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 64 64
 A Murray (GBR) d [Q] I Kunitsyn (RUS) 62 63
M Baghdatis (CYP) d  G Simon (FRA) 76(3) 64
J Melzer (AUT) d S Bolelli (ITA) 61 75
V Troicki (SRB) d [WC] R Schuettler (GER) 63 64
[Q] S Koubek (AUT) d F Lopez (ESP) 76(4) 64
I Ljubicic (CRO) d [LL] J Hernych (CZE) 62 67(3) 64
Doubles - First Round
 L Dlouhy (CZE) / L Paes (IND) d M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) 76(7) 63
 M Bhupathi (IND) / M Mirnyi (BLR) d [WC] M Al Baloushi (UAE) / A Magdas (KUW) 75 60
Singles - First Round
[Q] E Schwank (ARG) d [WC] S Gonzalez (MEX) 76(4) 76(4)
R Gasquet (FRA) d [WC] C Moya (ESP) 46 63 62
T Bellucci (BRA) d O Hernandez (ESP) 63 62
Doubles - First Round
 L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) d I Andreev (RUS) / D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 62 64
 M Melo (BRA) / B Soares (BRA) d J Erlich (ISR) / A Ram (ISR) 62 64
 M Damm (CZE) / F Polasek (SVK) d S Huss (AUS) / J Levinsky (CZE) 63 62
P Cuevas (URU) / F Gonzalez (CHI) d V Hanescu (ROU) / D Sela (ISR) 76(3) 62
Singles - First Round
T Gabashvili (RUS) d  [WC] T Haas (GER) 76(3) 75
 E Korolev (KAZ) d N Lapentti (ECU) 62 16 61
W Odesnik (USA) d R Ram (USA) 63 62
Well that was the shakiest 62 63 opening round win I've ever seen. It took Muzzard an hour and and 41 minutes to beat Consumption, with the second game of the match taking 25 minutes to complete. This was his first match since Australia. Let's hope it get's slightly more workmanlike going forward.
Nole had a bit of match as well, leading a set and 5-0 up before Garcia-Lopez reeled off four straight games. Nole would get hit focus back and break for the set to win 64 64. He describe the win as "sweaty." Which...
I'm sorry, what was I saying? I lost my train of thought.
The ATP has signed a five and a half year deal with Corona to make them the top tour sponsor, replacing the ever so trashy Mercedes Benz. So get ready to see those Benz logos replaced with limes, people. I give it six months until we start seeing Corona Girls handing out bottle openers and dancing to Ke$ha on changeovers.
"They're pretty savvy marketers, and we think they're going to bring new creativity and energy to our tour and to tennis in general," Helfant said in a telephone interview.
In September, he acknowledged that not having a tour-wide sponsor was "a hole" he needed to fill but said then the global economic turndown made it difficult to make progress.
Ah, Corona. Helping dudes fill holes since 1925.
Dear Israeli Embassy: You are fucking retarded.
Ana finally hired a coach: Thank GOD.
Ana hired Heinz Gunthardt, former coach of one Ms. Stefanie Graf:
THANK THE GOD OF GODS!!!
I am excited. As anyone who has asked me for my thoughts on Ana's suckitude knows, I blame a lot of it on her forehand. In fact, I blame her forehand more than her serve sometimes. I haven't seen her hit through that shot in quite some time. Here's hoping Heinz can, at a minimum, get that shot back. Without it, kid as ZERO weapons.
Dude! You're John Isner! You were leading a set and 5-2 in the second set tiebreak! And you lost! Even John Shuster would shake his head at this one.
But congrats to Bionic Sam on a great tournament. He upset A-Rod in the quarters and made sure we wouldn't have to see the hairy mess that Ernie has become in the final. So congrats to him and to Isner for tourneys well done.
Now rest up for Davis Cup, boys.
JCF was en fuego in South America this month, winning back to back tournaments over some pretty stiff competition (heh). He took out Daveed in three hard-fought sets in Argentina, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.
Either that or he just saw an advanced copy of the Shakira video.
More JCF pic spam. It's cheaper than a site redesign:
Second verse, same as the first. Venus successfully defends her Dubai title, beating Vika 63 75.
I must say, you are less annoying when I don't watch your matches and only look at pictures and follow you on Twitter. Which of course means that Indian Wells is going to be awesome. You should probably invest in some knee pads and *really* dark sunglasses. It's for your own safety, dear.
Let us not forget that in order to get to the final, Venus had to take out Shahar.
It's really too bad that Melanie couldn't hold up her end of the bargain and give us the Pova/Oudin that everyone outside of Sweden was rooting for. I'm really starting to think that kid is a total waste of time. What a disappointment she is. I mean, why does Mels even bother playing tennis? She's like the John Shuster of women's tennis.
That's right. A curling reference.
Oh, what's that? Is my forehead hot? THAT'S CUZ I GOTZ OLYMPIC FEVER.
American failure aside, I think I speak for the two Maria fans in the blogosphere (that would be me and Maria at The Double Bagel, who I got to finally meet in LA last week) when I say, "Yippee, Masha!" This is her first title of the year, 21st career title, and she'll move up to #13 on Monday.
At least Michael Llodra's heart, anyway. Dude had one hell of a run in Paris Marseille, beating Sod and Jo on his way to the final before coming out on top over Apricot. Good on him. He rocks that red Lacoste well *and* he skipped out on wine tasting with Momo to be sure he wasn't drunk or hungover during the tournament.
I mean, *that's* dedication, people. Also, his kid is fucking adorable.
Sorry for the lack of blogging during a week that seemingly had a shitload of stuff going on. But sometimes you have to take a vacation from unemployment.
Oh, I'm not talking about me. Dinara needed some sun and a small crew of Forty Deucers met up in San Diego and obliged. More on Dinara's adventures later.
But for now, please accept my apologies. I promise that I will most assuredly do it again.
Lots of falling seeds today but can I get some love for Pavs? Nice run to the quarterfinals.
Singles - Third Round
Shahar Peer (ISR) d. (1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 62 75
(Q) Regina Kulikova (RUS) d. (2) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 57 76(2) 64
(3) Venus Williams (USA) d. Olga Govortsova (BLR) 75 60
(4) Victoria Azarenka d. (Q) Anna-Lena Groenefeld 61 46 63
(12) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. (6) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 63 62
(7) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (10/WC) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 63 60
(8) Li Na (CHN) d. (11) Marion Bartoli (FRA) 36 75 60
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 63 64
And tomorrow's OOP:
Centre Court (from 14.00hrs)
1. Kleybanova/Schiavone vs. Petrova/Stosur
2. Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Regina Kulikova
3. Vera Zvonareva vs. Victoria Azarenka (NB 19.00hrs)
4. Venus Williams vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Court 1 (from 14.00hrs)
1. Shahar Peer vs. Li Na
2. Peschke/Srebotnik vs. Chan/Zheng
3. Chuang/Govortsova vs. Llagostera Vives/Martínez Sánchez
4. Black/Huber vs. Dzehalevich/Kudryavtseva
For some insight into the security detail being provided "for" Shahar, check this out.
Maybe that's her landlord.
ESPN's reporting that JJ is moving to Dubai and making it her home base. Burqa bedazzling party at my place!
Some really shocking second round matches today: Agi/Flavs, Pavs/Dani (noooooooooo!), JJ/Bepa, and A Rod/Blah. And in a particularly juicy storyline, Caro gets an AO rematch with Shahar, which is a no-win situation for Boots. If she wins she'll end Shahar's Dubai run. If she loses...well, she loses, which is not a win. Also, if Caro wins Dubai she'll ascend to the #2 ranking, pushing Dina to three.
How does Dina feel about this, you ask? Hold on, let me ask her.
SHE DOES NOT GIVE A SHIT.
Anyway, go Shahar!
Centre Court (from 12.00hrs)1. Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Flavia Pennetta
Court 1 (from 10.00hrs)
1. Ajla Tomljanovic vs. Karolina Sprem
2. Kaia Kanepi vs. Nicole Vaidisova
3. Anne Keothavong vs. Michelle Larcher de Brito
4. ATP: Korolev vs. Petzschner
5. Daniilidou/Woehr vs. King/Krajicek
6. Glatch/Haynes vs. Niculescu/Zalameda
7. Domachowska/Keothavong vs. Oudin/Perry
A number of crazy dog fight matches in Dubai, as Caro came back from being down 5-1 in the second to beat Domi (C Note fistpump), JJ had to fight off Aravane in three, and Nails withstood MJMS. Then again, Bepa's off baking bagels again.
Do they have bagels in Dubai? Seems like...they wouldn't....
And in Memphis, Mels, the #2 seed (weird) beat Alexa Glatch and holy shit, Nikki V won a WTA match. Get the woman all the buttermilk biscuits she requires.
I have to say, I'm really looking forward to a Pova/Mels final in Memphis. Don't fuck that up for me, ladies.
Singles - Second Round
(1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 62 76(2)
(2) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) w/o (low back injury)
(3) Venus Williams (USA) d. Sabine Lisicki (GER) 62 63
(4) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 41 ret. (left knee sprain)
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. (5) Elena Dementieva (RUS) 64 11 ret. (right shoulder injury)
(6) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. Aravane Rezai (FRA) 46 64 75
(8) Li Na (CHN) d. María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) 76(7) 26 64
(10/WC) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. Andrea Petkovic (GER) 63 63
(11) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU) 62 61
(12) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. (Q) Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 60 60
Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. (14) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 64 64
Shahar Peer (ISR) d. Virginie Razzano (FRA) 62 62
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Tathiana Garbin (ITA) 46 61 62
(Q) Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) d. (Q) Alicia Molik (AUS) 64 64
(Q) Regina Kulikova (RUS) d. (WC) Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 63 60
Singles - First Round
(2) Melanie Oudin (USA) d. (Q) Alexa Glatch (USA) 62 62
Karolina Sprem (CRO) d. (4) Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 64 64
(8) Elena Baltacha (GBR) d. Renata Voracova (CZE) 75 61
Lilia Osterloh (USA) d. Stéphanie Dubois (CAN) 36 64 64
(WC) Nicole Vaidisova (CZE) d. Laura Granville (USA) 64 62
Sad Face: Fer, Gilles, and Reeshard lost their first round matches.
Whoo Face: Jeremy, Evgeny, Ernie, and Nalby won.
Singles - First Round
J Chardy (FRA) d  F Verdasco (ESP) 76(4) 63
 T Berdych (CZE) d [Q] R Sweeting (USA) 62 61
E Korolev (KAZ) d  P Kohlschreiber (GER) 75 75
L Lacko (SVK) d [WC] B Reynolds (USA) 26 76(6) 64
E Gulbis (LAT) d [Q] R Kendrick (USA) 64 64
I Karlovic (CRO) d B Becker (GER) 76(6) 76(4)
M Russell (USA) d [WC] W Odesnik (USA) 06 75 64
J Nieminen (FIN) d D Sela (ISR) 62 75
Y Lu (TPE) d [WC] R Ginepri (USA) 46 64 64
Singles - First Round
O Rochus (BEL) d  G Simon (FRA) 75 62
 J Benneteau (FRA) d [Q] S Bohli (SUI) 76(5) 76(3)
S Stakhovsky (UKR) d S Bolelli (ITA) 63 36 64
M Llodra (FRA) d [Q] E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 67(5) 63 64
A Seppi (ITA) d A Clement (FRA) 76(2) 75
[LL] I Marchenko (UKR) d [Q] R Bemelmans (BEL) 46 63 62
*[LL] J Ouanna (FRA) d D Istomin (UZB) 64 16 63
*[LL] J Ouanna (FRA) replaces C Rochus (BEL) - lower back
Singles - First Round
 D Ferrer (ESP) d S Greul (GER) 62 76(3)
 J Ferrero (ESP) d R Mello (BRA) 61 62
 J Monaco (ARG) d L Kubot (POL) 64 76(1)
 A Montanes (ESP) d P Cuevas (URU) 62 62
 I Andreev (RUS) d F Fognini (ITA) 75 76(4)
 H Zeballos (ARG) d [WC] G Gaudio (ARG) 63 36 63
[WC] C Moya (ESP) d [Q] F Volandri (ITA) 62 75
J Chela (ARG) d R Gasquet (FRA) 76(3) 75
D Nalbandian (ARG) d P Starace (ITA) 62 76(2)
[Q] P Andujar (ESP) d O Hernandez (ESP) 64 61
M Daniel (BRA) d P Lorenzi (ITA) 61 63
[Q] S Ventura (ESP) d D Koellerer (AUT) 64 62
M Granollers (ESP) d [Q] D Junqueira (ARG) 61 62
In other news, check out those sandals. Sveta dressed up!
That is a creepy-ass camel.
In other news, check out that bra. Sveta dressed up!
I'm going to assume that the airline lost her luggage and Franny rummaged through Sveta's bag. Either that or a homeless person has wandered onto the grounds, thus proving that Dubai security forces are fucking useless.
In case you guys didn't notice, Fernando works out.
But this gem had me rolling:
Fernando Verdasco knew before he turned 1 what he wanted to be. Or at least according to a Verdasco family legend, which tells the story of a crying baby who could only be placated by the rhythmic thumping of a tennis ball on television.
“I don’t know if it was the sound of the ball or what, but when they put on a match I stopped crying. From that point forward, every time I cried they put tennis on,” Fernando says.
Reminds me of the Note family legend of a child who took her first steps because her dad was dangling a one dollar bill in front of her. The rest, as they say, is history.
Serena is training to be a nail technician. You need 240 hours to get certified. Serena's done 3.5. Who wants to bet that she ain't gonna get close to 240?
Thankfully she's blogging the experience. I want to go to Sanrio with Serena Williams.
And she's on the board.
Masha chalked up her first win of the year with a 60 62 win over Shenay Perry in Memphis last night.
Singles - First Round
(1) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Shenay Perry (USA) 60 62
(3) Kaia Kanepi (EST) d. Arantxa Rus (NED) 60 64
Anne Keothavong (GBR) d. (6) Kristina Barrois (GER) 61 63
Michelle Larcher de Brito (POR) d. (Q) Madison Brengle (USA) 63 63
Michaella Krajicek (NED) d. Julia Schruff (GER) 26 61 62
(Q) Valérie Tétreault (CAN) d. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 63 64
(Q) Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) d. Marta Domachowska (POL) 57 64 63
(WC) Ajla Tomljanovic (CRO) d. Kristina Kucova (SVK) 64 64
"The first moment when I became number one in the world was six years ago now and it was a magical moment in my career. It was pretty special and I always wanted to get back there. Some people have that drive more than others who've been No. 1. Rafa doesn't seem like he cares as much for No. 1, or he doesn't show it."
-- The Might Fed. Um...you can question a lot of things with Rafa, but drive ain't one of them, homie.
I don't know what the Marseille tournament director was thinking, calling out Andy Murray for his decision to withdraw from the tournament and suggesting he should be suspended by the ATP. It's probably because he wasn't thinking at all. Fucking deal with it and maybe not whine like a little boy.
Not surprisingly, the ATP rolled its eyes and moved on with its life.