I think the Justine Comeback Train officially became a reality to JJ today. It wasn't a concept, a banner, or a far off news event she occasionally read about in the paper (pssh...we know JJ doesn't read the paper). It finally hit her where it hurts the most.
Justine retired having a 9-0 record against JJ. And these weren't all wins in tiny podunk tournaments. Justine ended JJ's runs at the US Open, French Open, YEC, Rogers Cup, Doha, and Berlin. To say that Justine's existence changed the trajectory of JJ's career is an understatement.
The more things change, the more things stay the same. Justine's now 10-0 after a three set win in Stuttgart. This has to be disheartening for JJ going into the Roland Garros. I wouldn't blame her if she went out for a drink after this.
Just don't drink and drive, JJ. Don't do it.
As I just wrote over at the Forty Deuce Facebook Fan Page (see what I did there?) I'm really happy to see Ernie play well. He has, for so long, been the guy that other players pointed to as having Top 10 or Top 5 talent if he could just pull it together. He has this week and it's been awesome to watch.
But I miss the old Ernie. The Ernie that was best buds with Nole and used to act as a kid. I miss the dorkily shorn Richie Rich who would laugh at his own idiocy on court, hit some RETARDED impossible shots, and then follow it up with just plain retarded shots for the next 40 minutes. I miss the Ernie who would give good quote. Granted, this might give you some insight into why I love watching the WTA so much.
But I hope Ernie can find a balance. Because honestly? It's not really all that fun watching you play joyless high-quality tennis. If I wanted that I'd go watch Fed or something.
Defending champ Sveta big the red dust yesterday along with A-Rad The Ana Annihilator. Seeds are not safe here in Stuttgart and today saw Thelma & Louise ousted in surprising fashion. Caro went down to Lucie in straights, later complaining about her bum ankle, and Vika was doused 3 and 3 by Lapuchenkovaova...or something. Not sure what Vika's excuse is but it's probably a combination of lingering injury and...well, I'll just man up and say it: SLUMP.
Hey old people who read my blog! And by "old" I mean anyone over 30.
Remember Geocities? Ever wonder what Forty Deuce would look like if it were 1996 and it was hosted by the blingtastically obnoxious Geocities?
Thanks, Geocitiesizer! I'm gonna go Geocitiesize Perez Hilton.
Oh wait. No difference.
The good news is that I'm having a baby!
The bad news is, it's not yours.
Rumors have been swirling on the internets and the Spanish tabloids for weeks that Feli knocked up his girlfriend, Maria Jose Suarez. But without confirmation from the spermer or the spermee, we were left just giggling by our lockers while Finn and Quinn shuffled by in sunglasses.
But thanks to James LaRosa, we now have confirmation:
I'm sure more info will come out soon. But from what I can gather from the Twitterverse, she's a bit pissed at him and it sounds like she ambushed him by talking to the press first. Something tells me his Barca pressers are gonna be off the hook.
Oh, and if you haven't, you should check out James' Twitter page. His background image is just...love.
Wow. Some tasty matchups today in Rome and Stuttgart. You know, for a chick with a busted wrist, JJ sure is playing a lot. Just throwing that out there.
Center Court (from 12.00hrs)
1. Gisela Dulko vs. Jelena Jankovic
2. Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Shahar Peer (NB 14.00hrs)
3. Flavia Pennetta vs. Victoria Azarenka (NB 15.45hrs)
4. Justine Henin vs. Julia Goerges (NB 18.20hrs)
5. Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Li Na (NB 20.15hrs)
6. Jans/Uhlirova vs. Peschke/Srebotnik
Court 1 (from 13.00hrs)
1. Marion Bartoli vs. Samantha Stosur
2. Yanina Wickmayer vs. Francesca Schiavone
3. Selima Sfar vs. Lucie Safarova
4. Huber/Jankovic vs. Marosi/Scheepers
CENTER COURT start 1:00 pm
[WC] P Lorenzi (ITA) vs  R Soderling (SWE)
 R Nadal (ESP) vs P Kohlschreiber (GER)
 F Verdasco (ESP) vs [WC] S Bolelli (ITA)
Not Before 8:30 PM
 D Ferrer (ESP) vs [WC] P Starace (ITA)
F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) vs  B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA)
PIETRANGELI start 1:00 pm
[WC] F Volandri (ITA) vs J Benneteau (FRA)
 T Berdych (CZE) vs S Wawrinka (SUI)
 J Tsonga (FRA) vs V Troicki (SRB)
F Lopez (ESP) vs  M Cilic (CRO)
COURT 5 start 1:00 pm
G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs L Hewitt (AUS)
[WC] Y Allegro (SUI) / R Federer (SUI) vs  S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS)
 J Isner (USA) vs T Bellucci (BRA)
COURT 6 start 1:00 pm
[Q] M Llodra (FRA) vs [Q] S Giraldo (COL)
Not Before 3:00 PM
 I Ljubicic (CRO) vs N Almagro (ESP)
 D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs P Cuevas (URU) / J Monaco (ARG)
So...this was recorded two weeks ago. I'm really sorry. I just had a really tough time cleaning up the sound.
BUT on this FD Podcast, we talk about Muzzard's slump, why a certain someone keeps ragging on the WTA, why clay is fucking awesome, and we talk about what our "walk-out" song would be if we actually knew how to play tennis.
And Katie goes back into the closet.
Aw, shit, y'all. DinaRa's back!
So what I'm saying is...this probably isn't going to end well. Uh, but she looks good.
In other news, I want that hat:
IT WAS ICE CREAM!!!
So you're at a party, right? And one of your friends is like, "Hey, I want you meet a friend of mine. We go way back." So you meet her. She seems fun. You chat with her, just making small talk really, and the conversation is actually enjoyable. She's regaling you with crazy stories and she's a great storyteller. You're kind of envious of that.
As the months pass you see her around more often. In fact, she's slowly being integrated into your circle of friends. And if you were to be honest with yourself, you like having her around. Sure, she's kind of an attention hog and she says stuff sometimes that make you pause and scratch your head ("Did you know that spaghetti was actually invented by the Ethiopians in 84 B.C.?" or "You can *totally* tell if a guy is packing by the size of his left knee cap. Trust me.") but she's a good time. You can tolerate her brand of crazy because, well, you're usually too drunk to notice. All you really remember is that she was there and you laughed a lot. That's enough for you.
You had debated with your friends over dinner which bar to head to for a nightcap. You pushed for that casual wine bar down the street, knowing that you could probably get a nice large table, split some moderately priced wine, and sit and talk with your friends as Johnny Cash played in the background. A nice quiet night with friends, you thought. Adult.
She wasn't on board. She got her way. She always got her way. Annoyed, you caved.
That twinge of annoyance would open the floodgates in your mind as to how horrible a person she actually was. She dragged the group to the cheesiest club in town where the boys wore tight black v-neck Armani t-shirts (you know, because if it's Armani than it's not *just* a t-shirt) or pressed, untucked, striped button-up shirts (as if untucking the shirt would hide the fact that they no longer had the metabolism to burn off all those beer calories), and the girls wore what can only be described as a one-piece bandana. Despite your crinkled nose and roll of the eyes, you went in to the deafening sounds of bass and Fergie. Remixing does not a Black Eyed Pea save.
She's a complete mess. She's barking at the bartender to the point that you feel compelled to make eye contact with him to offer your silent shrugging apologies. As she tumbles away from the bar with some neon concoction, you sheepishly slip the bartender another $20, hoping that your small offering will clear your conscience and make amends with the cosmos.
A song comes on. She screams a blood-curling scream. She throws her purse in your direction because she's accurately identified you as that girl. You're the one who will patiently wait this out and hold her shit. She's right. And you curse her under your breath for that.
Hours pass. You're back at the bar, scream-talking with the bartender, reveling in the fact that you are the only two sane and sober people in the club. You pat yourself on the back for your earlier tithe. A small price to pay for the safety net being offered by your new tattooed friend. You scan the room to try and find her.
You check the bathroom, pushing your way past all the drunk girls, some leaning, some sobbing, all reeking of pathetic desperation, and call her name. Nothing. You walk outside. Nothing. You circle the club, peering into every dark and seedy corner, hoping (and not) that you find her. You shoot a confused look back to your tattooed bar minder. He shrugs and shakes his head.
You're over it. You're going home.
You rest your head against the bolster of the cab, chiding yourself for even being worried. She's an adult. Whatever. But you're worried. You're still worried as you slowly walk up your stairs and unlock the door. And you're still worried as you climb into bed to put an end to a pathetic night.
You wake up on your own accord in the morning and attempt to piece together your night. As it slowly comes together you hear a faint buzzing. You ignore it, thinking it's just the hum in your ears from being subjected to that godawful excuse for dance music from the night before. You hear it again.
Oh, fuck. Her phone.
You burst from your bed and scramble to find her purse. You curse it because it is her only real connection to you right now and it's the reason you stayed at that damn club until closing time.
Hello? Hey. Where are...uh huh. Ok. No, I was there. I stayed until closing time. I looked for you. Yes, all your stuff is still here. Well I'm supposed to meet someone for brunch and I can drop it off lat--... um, ok. Well I guess I can drop it off now. Ok.
You cancel your plans and head out the door. As rude as she was and as inconvenienced as you are, you're just anxious and excited to do the exchange and get her out of your life. You pull up to her apartment and head to her front door. With each step you wonder how someone can be this inconsiderate? This selfish? This impossible? This tactless? This unreasonable? This...dumb?
And that's when you meet her mother. And after she chides you for abandoning her daughter alone at a bar on a Saturday night, calls you irresponsible and unfeeling, tells you her daughter could have been raped or killed because of you, demands you hand over the purse so she can count the money left in the wallet, and slams the door in your face, you stand there stunned into silence.
And then you smile a wry grin.
The apple don't fall far from the tree.
I love how Ernie isn't even trying anymore. Could the guy look like any more of a scrub these days?
Well the scrubby one took out Fed in the first round of Rome, 26 61 75. That's like, 500 tournaments straight now that Fed hasn't made it past the quarterfinals. Or is it three? I don't know, I'm not good with numbers.
Speaking of numbers, you know what as on Ernie's mind during his SEVEN match points? Number 2.
I have been told that there is a certain subset of the human population that finds pictures like this to be sexy. I have also been told that there is a certain subset of the human population that likes kiddie porn. All I'm saying is just because you like it, doesn't mean it's ok. But I'm an enabler, so there you go.
So *this* is what it feels like to win? IT'S AWESOME!!!
Something tells me that 'Roo has seen some things. Oh yes. It has.
The Fashion Police strikes again.
You can't win them all, JJ. Of course, all you really had to do was beat Dani and you would have single-handedly (with some help from Bojana) secured this rubber for Serbia and actually become the national hero that you have always imagined yourself to be in your own delusion. Alas. Dani came through to steal that tie, and then JJ and Bojana dropped the doubles match.
World Group II it is. Let's be fair, that's about right.
Leave it to the member of Team USA who didn't whine about Venus and Serena to be the absolute HOSS of the weekend. Bow down to Badass Bethanie, y'all. She secured two points for the US on the second day by winning her marathon singles match and then turning around to take the doubles over Lena/Alla.
Oh, yeah. Liezel was on that doubles team, too.
I love how Bethanie always looks like she's ignoring Liezel. She's like, the normal kid in chemistry class who has a super geeky/dorky/social misfit lab partner. You're just happy that class ended and you still have your eyebrows.
The U.S will make their second straight Fed Cup final and will face Italy, this time on U.S. soil.
You know how all the talk at the beginning of the season was how 2010 was going to be awesome for the WTA because two of its big stars were coming back and they would add depth and intrigue to the game?
Yeah, fuck that shit.
Kim injured her foot over the weekend being all patriotic and shit. She's possibly out for six weeks, which makes her French Open campaign questionable. Justine broke her finger...uh...doing something. Let's just say it was tennis related and leave it at that. Because I rocked, what I thought was, a pretty hilarious fingering joke on Twitter and it went over like sand on ham. Though, it did elicit a "LOL" from Matt Cronin. What can I say? The Bay Area loves a good fingering joke. San Francisco values and whatnot.
Where was I?
Oh, right. Yeah, Kim and Justine are injured. At a minimum they'll both go into RG not 100%. It sucks. But Kim's taking it well.
Listen, Liezel. We get it. You're proud to be an American. On some delusional level (that you make readily apparent to everyone who will listen) you think that you are more "American" than born and bred Americans. I'm not saying you are or you aren't. I'm just saying that the fact that you even think this proves that at some point you fell down and hit your head on something very hard. Possibly repeatedly. I don't know. I don't know your life.
Your basis for this seems to be some idiot notion that because you appreciate America more, love the Country without apology more, and take every opportunity to wave your America flag, that God (who, incidentally, is American in case we all missed it) will let you through the red, white, and blue pearly gates before the rest of us.
Although let's be real. You're still probably in line behind Toby Keith.
But I have something to tell you, Liezel. And while I'm at it, Mel, pull up a chair.
If you guys want to insist on calling out Serena and Venus for their refusal to play Fed Cup that's fine. That's your prerogative. I think the Constitution thing says something about that. But there are consequences to what you say. And here are a few:
(1) You come off as an idiot. Though, really, Liezel, I'm not sure that can be helped even if you shut up about Fed Cup.
(2) You're pretty much guaranteeing that Serena and Venus will never play Fed Cup. Way to show them there's a "no grudges" team that's ready to take them in whenever they want. And where are you in all this, MJ? You're the one who is constantly in the press telling everyone that you want S&V to play Fed Cup. If that's true, lock your team down. These comments don't help shit.
(3) You shine a light on the fact that hmmm...in the most prestigious international athletic competition in the world, The Sisters Williams have fared pretty darn well wearing Old Glory on their backs. You've got...Fed Cup. With all disrespect: Point, Williams.
So here's a little lesson that I hope you, Liezel, and you, Mel, take to heart: MAYBE SERENA AND VENUS DON'T WANT TO PLAY BECAUSE THEY JUST DON'T LIKE FED CUP. It has nothing to do with love of country, patriotism, or loyalty and your intentional or unintentional attempts to turn it into that is distasteful.
They don't hate America. They just don't want to play Fed Cup. It's not rocket science.
The Armada did their thing again, posing for wet and shirtless for Spanish Elle.
What can we conclude?
(2) Jeans > Sarongs. I mean, I know we call him Florence but putting him in a skirt was just wrong.
(3) As much as anyone with a brain hates Abercrombie, we have to thank them for introducing the hip-crack to the world. Because seriously, it is a glorious thing.
I honestly don't know what to make of this picture. All I know is that the sarong should not be there. And I don't even mean that in a "OOH! LET'S LOOK AT NEKKID FER!" way. It is wet, it is clingy, it is see through, and it is gross.
It's really the pink flops that elevate this picture from "Daveed contemplates the meaning of life" to "Shit. What the hell happened last night..." awesomeness.
In case you missed it, Forty Deuce reader Bobby Chintapalli was on the grounds at Charleston armed with a press pass and a smartphone. The result? Really great coverage of the event. You can catch up on her coverage here, here, and here. You can also follow her on Twitter at @bobbychin.
Nice job, Bobby. And thank you for asking all my inane questions at the pressers. Ok, not "all". I really think you missed an opportunity with my "So, does Pam's breath smell like gin?" question to Sam.