I particularly love how he's the color of the wall. Well done, Pasty McPasty.
But seriously, this is going into my spank bank.
''Women's tennis is limited by what they mentally are achieving, and I think the men's game is more about the tennis. And if Sam can make it about the tennis, her tennis is good. Maybe the tennis is good enough to be [number] one in the world. If Caroline has reached that point, why not Sam? I think Sam is maybe more explosive, Caroline is better mentally, you could say, and if Sam can improve that part, she's got the tennis. She's top five, for sure, tennis [wise]; maybe not top five mentally at the moment.''
-- Dave Taylor, before Sam beat Caro. If that's what he's willing to tell the press I wonder what he actually says to her face. No wonder she's freaked out all the time.
Not that he's wrong. I mean...really. Besides, I would much rather have a coach who told me like it is rather than blow sunshine up my ass.
And no, that wasn't an accidental choice of words.
But thankfully, Sam's got friends like Frank:
''I think always before to win a grand slam you have to be a big person inside. A champion inside is not just tennis, forehand and backhand. So Sam is [a] fantastic person. She has the mentality part that she can do it. At the end of the match I say to her 'I played very good', but she has for sure the chance to win one day a grand slam. Of course, she has to work harder every day, but is good way for Sam.''
From your mouth to Sam's ears, Frankie.
And yes, this was just an excuse to post that picture.
Kim says she wants to retire after the London Olympics to have a second kid.
Well by my calculations that would be about a 6 year difference, which is the same age difference between my sister and I. It's worked out well for us so I approve.
But here's a tip from one big sister to another: Yo, Jada, enjoy the only childness as much as you can. Because it really does suck when you get older and you can actually remember what it was like to not have a little runt, who will most likely be cuter and cooler than you, running around and stealing your shit.
No, that's not my locker combination. It's the ages of our semifinalists.
Alright. With Vera's surprise win over Kim, in straight sets nonetheless, the semifinals are finally set. Thanks for nothing, Vera. You better fucking beat Caro, that's all I'll say about that.
Kim's 4-0 against Sam. BUT Sam did finally take a set off her at the USO and, really, should have won that match. So...ah, who am I kidding? Just get a set off her, Sam. That would be nice.
Despite their 3-3 H2H, based on form you gotta go with Bepa.
Let's do this, ladies.
Here's your OOP, which now includes the doubles championship:
1. Raymond/Stubbs vs. Peschke/Srebotnik (15.00hrs)
2. Kim Clijsters vs. Samantha Stosur (NB 17.30hrs)
3. Caroline Wozniacki vs. Vera Zvonareva
4. Dulko/Pennetta vs. King/Shvedova (NB 20.30hrs)
(Pics: WTA Site, Getty, AP)
If you look closely, even the forecep is crying. It was that kind of day.
Needless to say, I was initially in a complete state of shock. Tennis *without* Elena Dementieva? The ill-fitting dresses, the shrieking screams of anguish, my envy of Vera's always amazing glasses, those ridiculously reliable groundstrokes, the fact that "she goes to change. She always goes to change", my eyeroll *everytime* the commentators have to go off on her serve. These are things that comprise the fabric of my tennis-loving soul. And given Elena's resiliency and consistency, as well as the London Olympics in 2012, I just didn't think this would come so quick.
I think it's the right time for me. I never wanted to wait until my ranking dropped and I'm not going to be able to go to the main draw. I always wanted to leave this sport with a passion for it.
But Elena's been thinking about it for a while and it sounds like she had made up her mind before the start of the season but she kept it under wraps. Why?
Still, it's very tough decision to make. Very emotional. I made the decision in the beginning of this season, so it was very hard coming to the tournaments knowing that this was my last one. It was very emotional for me to play the whole year.
I didn't want to make it public. I didn't want everybody talking about the whole season. You know, I only told to my family and close friends, so today in the court I was very surprised that everyone kind of knew about my secret. They all were standing, and it was very special for me.
Isn't that just so Elena? She spent 12 years quietly going about her business in an almost workmanlike manner, never jockeying for the spotlight (though the spotlight would find her on its own). She clocked in, she clocked out, met disappointment with the unparalleled grace, and all the while she did it on her terms. And in the course of it all she gained the utmost respect from both fans and peers. Ever heard Serena give genuine props to other players not named Venus? Well she given big ups to Elena. That's something.
Lena wants to have babies, guys. I mean, that's the upshot of her comments after the match:
To be honest with you, I mean, if I would be a man I would never stop playing. But in the age 29; I have to think about something else. I think I'm ready for the big change in my life.
Mama Lena? Grandma Vera? Daddy Max? Nice ring to them all. Can't wait to see her struttin' around Moscow with a Baby Bjorn as Vera walks alongside, concerned that Lena's gonna drop the baby or something.
The post-mortems will talk a lot about "The Slamless Wonder" and all the would of, could of, should ofs of Elena's career. They also talk about her triumphs, namely that Beijing gold medal that no one can ever take away. But when I think of Elena I won't think about those things. I won't think about the nutty serve, that match point at Wimby 08, or her almost backboard-like qualities that would give my favorite players fits.
Nope. I will simply remember that she was a professional tennis player, and I mean this as the ultimate compliment. She worked hard, traveled the globe, clocked in hour after hour on the court, never let her fitness down, and she tried to maximize her talent as best she could. She fought, she tried, and she worked and she never complained about it.
In this day and age of tennis, it's a hell of a lot easier to be wowed by natural talent. Strength, speed, power, flexibility, fitness, etc. But work ethic is a natural talent, too, and that's something I will always attribute to Elena. She was a grinder. In the best sense of the word.
I have no regrets. I think I was practicing very hard; I was trying very hard; that was my way. If it didn't happen, it didn't happen, but I have nothing to blame myself. I was very professional and I had nothing but tennis, tennis, tennis, and I did it with passion.
So I have absolutely in regrets. I have so many things to be proud of. It was a very difficult and long way for me. So, yeah, I just have very nice and unforgettable memories.
I was far away from being perfect, but, you know, I had a great fighting spirit. Even without good serve, I was struggling for so many matches, but I was fighting and I was never give up. I was giving 100% on the court no matter who well I was playing. This is what I like.
You don't have to be perfect, but you have to try very hard, and I did all the time.
Yes, you did Elena. And to me, that will be your legacy.
That and the dresses. Goddamn those things were ugly.
Elena Dementieva has retired from tennis. Like...FROM THE SPORT. So that's kinda news.
After losing to Fran 64 62, Lena was joined by a bevy of old-guard compatriots as she announced that Doha was her last tournament and she would be retiring from tennis at 29:
Has there ever been a situation where "Thanks, Mom" didn't make you burst into tears?
And Bepa, on behalf of a nation, says thanks.
More thoughts in a bit.
Oh yeah. Doubles!
First, let us stop for a second and give it up for the awesomeness that is in that picture. Stubbsy, Vania and Shveddy, Kata, Flavia, it's all gravy (and yes, I left out some names intentionally). I honestly have no idea who I'm rooting for here. Rumor has it that this will be Stubbsy's last YEC and that she'll retire after AO11. So you have to want Stubbsy to go out on top, right?
But what about Vania and Shveddy! The picked up two Slam trophies this year and always look like they have so much fun together. And remember Vania's speech at the USO about almost retiring? What's not to love there?
And then there's Kata! I never get to see her, she's awesome as all get out, and I just think she should win at life. That's a pretty strong rooting interest for me.
But of course, who can forget Flavi and Gisela. They've won a crapload of titles all year, they have a joint Twitter account, and we can all agree that at least when it comes to Flavi, you root against her at your peril.
So given all those great options, here's my rationale:
Flavi and Gisela: You guys have won so much this year. And Flavi, you've got Fed Cup in a week, too. I mean, if I root for you I kind of feel like I'm rooting for Warren Buffett to make more money. That seems odd.
Kata and Kveta: I think I need a more compelling storyline than just "I like Kata!" Besides, you guys beat Nads and Sam at Indian Wells. That kind of sucked. And Kata, you won mixed dubs with Nenad at Roland Garros. So you've got some solid hardware on the year.
Stubbsy/RayRay: I want this for you, Stubbsy. I really do. I want you to go out a champ. You've been sitting courtside during Sam's matches, you're fun to watch, and you can drink yourself a lot of Molly Dooker wine. But Lisa's holding you back, not so much on the court as in my heart. I just can't set it aside. Sorry. Also, you never really look like you're having much fun with her. That's a dealbreaker, ladies.
Vania/Shveddy: It's weird. You guys are the ones with the two Slam titles and yet I feel like you're kind of the underdog. Vania, you just got shafted by MJ for Fed Cup. That blows. And while rooting for Flavi and Gisela felt like rooting for Warren Buffett, I feel like rooting for you guys is like rooting for that dude in the cheap suit who walks up to the craps table with his last $100 and starts getting on a hot streak. I mean, you never root against that guy. You actually want to see if he can keep that hot streak going. So yes, I choose you guys.
You're also Rafa approved and you seem to know Sergey. This just feels right.
So there it is. The format for the dubs championship is single elimination. Here's the draw:
Play begins Saturday. Go tennis.
Editor's note: This is officially the longest fucking post ever written on the subject of doubles ever.
(Pics: Getty, AP)
For the first time in her career, Masha will kick off her Australian campaign at an actual, real, live WTA sanctioned tournament. Go nuts, people of Auckland. You got a supastah in town.
Some cool (or not cool, depending on your fandom) facts and figures out of Doha:
Wasn't that fun?
Don't worry. It's still there. And it's bigger than ever.
Gilles came back to beat Nalby 36 76(5) 75. Impressed am I. He plays Jo today. I do believe I'll be tuning in to that one with nothing on but a smile.
And a bucket of popcorn. That's just how I roll.
Another match of note in Montpellier: Isner vs. Gael. I don't have enough crazy pills for that one.
The Bali field has been in flux for quite some time, as a number of top players have suffered injuries or called it a season (see e.g., Justine, Masha, Kaia). But it's finally set:
I know what you're thinking. Mariana Duque Marino got shafted.
Based on current form you have to like Ana and Kimiko's chances but all around this is a solid field. If all eight ladies can bring their A/B game, we should be in for a highly competitive week.
(Pics: Getty, AP)
Thanks to GoToTennis for reminding me about this video, which I saw a while ago but forgot to post, mainly because I thought it was kind of "meh". But it's worth seeing if you're a tennis fan.
For my money, this is the better "Hello" video:
It's like the best movie you've ever seen! Sorry. Correction. It's like the best creepy movie you've ever seen!!!
The semifinalists are set for Doha and if you look at that group it's hard to argue, as Brodie said, that of the eight players in Doha these aren't the four impact players of 2010. You've got the world #1 who was virtually unbeatable for the second half of the year, the world #2 who found her stride and made two back to back Slam finals, a defending Grand Slam champ who will likely end the year at least #3 in the world despite having to skip a Slam, and a new giant killer who proved this year that she has the game to beat anyone on any day (yes, even people named Serena) and will finish the year as the only player to beat both Serena and Woz while they were reigning #1s, aka, the chick who turned this blogger's stone heart into melty goo.
If that alone doesn't qualify as "huge impact" then you need to go read a dictionary for a bit.
While you do that I'll be in the corner with my Strunk & White trying to learn how to not write a sentence that goes on for seven lines.
But congrats to all four. Sam clinched her spot after she took the first set over Elena. Clearly she knew this and decided, as I did, to take a celebratory nap after that. Elena would take the next two sets, 64 76(4).
Just kidding. It was nice to see Elena pick up her game and play well. After that dismal performance against Caro on Tuesday it wasn't looking good for her. But she gets her revenge on Sam. Good on her.
Speaking of Caro, it was looking dicey has hell for the wannabe #1 after that first set, which Fran took 63. But the Kid righted the ship and took the next two 61 61 to clinch her spot in the semis and the year-end #1 ranking.
I haven't seen this match yet but I can't wait. Despite the scoreline I hear there were some tremendous rallies. You get on with your bad self, Fran. Now go win tomorrow to get yourself a $200k paycheck (well-deserved given the amount of on-court entertainment she's brought all week) and get thee to San Diego, where I will be rooting for you to raise that Fed Cup.
Sigh. What are we supposed to do with you, Vika? Look, everyone knows your potential is HUGE. I'm pretty sure we all thought you were going to be the first kid from your generation to hit #1, not that Danish Muppet. But it seemed as though every time you were under the radar you'd come out of nowhere with a quality run (Stanford) and when you were over the radar (I don't know...that works, right?) you would collapse, sometimes literally. The talent is there. But you gotta get fitter in the body and the head. It's just really frustrating to watch.
And mind you, I'M NOT EVEN A FAN! I actively root for you to lose. In fact, if I were to be blatantly honest, I pretty much root for you to literally collapse on the court (caveat: so long as you don't actually hurt yourself). When you walk by me at tournaments I have to hug the wall for fear that I might spontaneously kick you in the kidney. But I don't hate you as much as I love tennis and for the good of the game you need to be good. Besides, I can't hate on you when you're losing all the time. It just seems cruel.
Oh. She lost to Kim, 64 57 61. Yet another third set collapse (figuratively). Kim's win meant both she and Bepa clinched the group.
But don't go anywhere! There's still stuff to play for tomorrow! I'm really looking forward to Lena vs. Fran and Kim vs. Vera. Kim and Vera are the only undefeated players left and whoever wins will play Caro (loser gets Sam, as is life) and be eligible for bonus money for going undefeated in RR play if they win the title. Plus, and maybe I'm naive here, but I don't think any of those four will be tanking their matches. There's a lot of pride on the line.
Totes cute video of Fran, Kim, Nails, and Bepa doing a kids clinic in Doha. I just love this combination of players. What a great group to present to aspiring tennis players.
Also, if Sam's ok with it, I want to have your babies, Bepa. Now, I know at least one of you out there in FD land is going to object to this and tell me to get in line. But I'm bigger than you and I'm pretty sure I could beat you up.
So...end of the line, shorty.
So Andy tweeted this two days ago and a plethora of Twitter jokes ensued. Clearly the dude hurt his hand choking his chicken, right? I mean, it's his right hand, he's got a laptop nearby, and the sheets are all pulled off. I've walked in on this shit before. I know what's up.
But apparently some real journos did some investigating and it's being reported that he's got a strained tendon.
I mean, I'm sure he does have a strained tendon. IN HIS PANTS.
It's a shame they're not both wearing flannel. Opportunity lost.
Thanks to the hard working folks at the WTA, here are the Doha scenarios going into tomorrow:
Gotta love all the ink that Bepa's been getting lately. Much deserved, even if it means doing photoshoots that force you to almost roll an ankle.
Um...hi, BOOB I'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE.
Hey, remember when they had to stuff Bepa's bra that one time? Yeah, nice to see they've never had to do *that* again.
Props to Lexi for emailing me the pics.
BONUS: Bepa did a shoot with Harper's Bazaar (Russian edition, we presume), too. Cari Champion of Tennis Channel tweeted a preview:
To quote P-Mac: "HELLO!"
Yes, there is tennis outside of Doha this week. And yes, it involves cute boys. And yes, I will try to run it down for you:
This is my ATP tournament of the week, with a bunch of Frenchies, a tall white dude, and a balding Russian all in action. Isner is serving up a storm. He served 27 aces today in his three set win over Mannarinno and is one ace shy of 1,000 on the year. Kolya, Gilles, Nalby, and Jo are all still in the mix. In fact, Gilles and Nalby play tomorrow. Whee! Meh.
Misha's the top seed and he's still in, along with Janko. Viktor wasn't able to follow up his win in Moscow. He's out, along with #2 seed Staks.
Juergen is defending but really, I can't pay attention now that my new boy toy GGL lost. Oh, and Marin is actually still in the tournament, which...shocker.
In other sausage headlines, Jim Courier, the Clay Ginger himself, has been appointed the new US Davis Cup captain. I love Jim so I'm happy with this pick. He's smart, witty, knows his tennis, and he's a great face for US Tennis.
On the heels of that announcement, A-Rod announced he was in for Davis Cup next year. It's always best when we have the best players representing in Davis Cup so that was nice to hear.
Sod is the fifth dude to qualify for the ATPLDNWTFYECs. There are three spots left and Tomas, Daveed, A-Rod, FeVer, and Misha are fighting for them.
Phew! That was a lot of dicks to get through.
First up, we've got this rematch. It would be great if Elena were fully fit and able to compete at a top level, but based on what I saw against Caro on Tuesday, that looks doubtful. She said after the match that it wasn't her ankle but the heat that was affecting her. Either way, she did not look great on Tuesday.
Let's go, Sammy! Win and clinch not only your group but a year-end top 5 ranking.
And in the nightcap we have a rematch of the RG quarterfinal, where Fran really started her remarkable run by busting Caro 2 and 3. Fran leads the H2H 2-1, but Caro won their last hard court meeting this year in Montreal fairly easily. If Caro wins, she'll clinch the year-end ranking. If Fran wins, well, she'll be awesome and the WTA's collective foreheads will hit the desk.
The most anticipated match of the day for most will be Vika vs. Kim. Vika is 0-1 after losing to Bepa in straights. Kim is 1-0 after beating JJ in straights. Needless to say, this is a must win for Vika and it will be a good test to see where Kim's game really is.
This one's a toss-up for me, but I'm going with Kim. She leads the H2H 2-1 with both wins coming on hardcourts.
Sorry, Sunshine. Not today.
Or as Sven might say, NOT TODAY!!!!
A fantastic match from Sam, where we saw her play within herself, engage in intelligent shotmaking, and play the big points well, beating the current #1 and Never-Loser Caro, 64 63. Seriously, this only her third loss since Wimbledon, which is crazy because she also plays, like, four tournaments a week.
Just a really clean and awesome performance from Sam. The first set was pretty tight, with Sam having to climb out of break point holes seemingly on every service game. But once she finally started serving and hitting into Caro's forehand, things seemed to get easier. She was able to open up space on the court and not let Caro dictate with her backhand, which she hits much harder, flatter, and with more angle. Caro can't dictate with her forehand and started leaving balls shorter or more in the middle of the court, which gave Sam a chance to take control with her forehand.
But perhaps more importantly than her tactical execution, Sam played well on the key points. Caro had six break point on the match. Sam saved them all. Sam had three. She converted them all. Not bad for a chick who was down 0-4 in the first set to Fran yesterday.
So Sam takes the clear lead in the Maroon Group. She'll play Lena tomorrow. A win obviously clinches the group for her (and she would play the #2 to come out of the White Group in the semis) and a loss would still get her into the semis depending on the result of the Fran/Caro match.
"Turnaround, bright eyes..."
Well you won more games than I thought you would so that in and of itself is a victory.
Even though I watched this match I kind of don't remember this match. Like, at all. I remember the commentators saying that JJ fainted in the locker room yesterday, was advised that she should go to the hospital, refused, and had an IV drip all night. I think after I heard that I may have stopped paying attention to the match.
Jim Fleming from USA Today (@USATgolftennis) brought up an interesting debate topic via Twitter. He said he gave JJ a lot of credit for taking the court and trying her best. I countered that it's her job as a professional athlete to try her best, that I give her credit for the hard work to qualify for Doha, but not so much for her competitive spirit once she got here. Matt Cronin has been adamant all week that he thinks JJ should have called her season and skipped Doha to heal up and let an alternate (Nails) take her spot.
I kind of agree that JJ should have skipped Doha. She's clearly not even close to 100% and when you're fainting and needing IV drips after one match that lasted less than an hour, you're not even fit enough to be competitive. But at the same time I totally understand wanting to take the court to try, because you just never know. And of course, there's the money issue. You get $100,000 for showing up and another $100,000 for every RR match you win.
But this brings me to my take on it: I get JJ wanting to make the trip to Doha, try and heal up, and take the court against Vera yesterday to see if she could compete. Why not at least give your body a chance to heal and pocket the $100,000 "appearance fee" while you're at it. No fault in her there. But once you pocket that $100k, you don't get any more money (or rankings points, obvs though you do get rankings points for each match played regardless of result) unless you win matches. So if it's true that after yesterday's match she was fainting and was advised to go to the hospital, refused, and drank from a banana bag all night then she should have sat out today's match against Kim and called it a season. I can't think that she thought that she could beat Kim given her physical state. And I can't think that the fans tuning into the match were watching because they wanted to see Kim get a punching bag as an opponent.
Feel free to voice your disagreement in the comments. I really do want to hear people's thoughts on this.
Anyway, speaking of Kim, she looked great in that first set. She was actually serving quite well, hitting cleanly, and moving great. Then things started to get loose towards the end of the first and into the second. She was double faulting like a mofo (10 for the match, I believe), which means that the serving woes she's been dealing with since her return at Wimbledon are still an issue.
But this was probably a good match for Kim to make her competitive return. JJ really couldn't hurt her, not in her state, so it was a nice way to easy into things. But she'll have her work cut out for her tomorrow when she takes on Vika.
Sergey says "Quiet, please."
In what was probably the best match of the tournament so far (and most dramatic, I'd say), Bepa was able to keep clawing back from being a break down to overtake a frustrated Vika, 76 64. I tuned in towards the end of the first set and all know is that Vika looked on the verge of tears, her grunt has somehow gotten even longer than it used to be, and Vera was monologuing like a champ, muttering and gesticulating like she had the lead in Hamlet.
Yeah, it was awesome, guys.
So Vera moves to 2-0 in the white group and still has a mathematical chance to catch the year-end #1. She basically has to run the table and win the championship and Caro has to lose her next two.
Oh, what's that? You say there's absolutely no way Vera can do it?
Sergey say "Quiet Please."
(Pics: Getty, AP, Reuters)
Day two should see more competitive matches, primarily because there are more healthy players on the slate. That's always a plus.
First up, Vera vs. Vika. This one's juicy and Vika's coming off a win in Moscow, but I'm going with Bepa, who leads the H2H 5-2. Vika doesn't have a great history of performing well at back-to-back tournaments. Then again, they've met three times this year with Vika winning two and retiring in one. So...shit, I don't know.
Yup. That's some quality tennis analysis right there.
Next up, Kim vs. JJ. Something tells me I will be napping during this one. JJ only took 3 games off Bepa and had to be put on an IV drip after the match. So...how many do we give her off Kim?
Yeah...that's what I thought.
Kim leads the H2H 6-1, with JJ winning their last match in Toronto in 2009.
Rounding out the night, Sam vs. Caro for supremacy in the Maroon Group. Their H2H is 2-2, though they haven't played since Osaka in 2009. Based on recent form I'll go with Caro, though if Sam can go a full match serving the way she did in the second set against Fran, this could go Sam's way.
Doubt it, though. Sorry, Sammy.
Oh, also, if Caro wins she secures the year-end #1 over Bepa.
Play starts at 5pm local time, 10am EST.
I really don't know how I feel about this whole "Comeback Kid" thing. On one hand, I mean, it's better to be known for comebacks than to be known as a loser. On the other hand, WTF??? Why are you digging yourself these holes, Sam? Is it so you can show off your amazing muscles as you scratch and claw yourself out of them? Come on, kid. Inquiring minds want to know.
In the most competitive and entertaining match of the day, Fran built up a 4-0 lead over a UFE-tastic Stosursaurus (credit to Ben), only to have Sam finally find her rhythm to roar back, reeling off the next six games to take the first set 6-4. Sam even served for the set and held. Held! AT LOVE! With, like, aces and shit! It was weird.
The second set remained tight as both players showed some gutsy shotmaking interspersed with some dumb errors. But I thought the quality was high and I really enjoyed the match. There were slices, drop shots, power, and net play from both. These two have such different games and yet they match up so well. Whoever can execute their game plan better wins and today, Sam's serve, once she found it, really put her in the driver's seat. She was finally able break at 4-4 and then she served out the match. And held. SHE HELD TO SERVE OUT THE MATCH. It was weird.
But awesome. But weird. Whatever, I'll take it.
Oh, come here, you.
(Pics: Getty, AP)
Caro and Bepa cruised in their first round matches, with Caro beating a hobbled Elena 1 and 1, and Bepa beating a ailing (is that vague enough?) JJ, 3 and 0. Everybody was all like "ZOMG, this purple vagina tour is such a LOLZ! How can anyone take it seriously?"
Well, we all know that JJ and Lena are hobbled, right? And we know their results in the last few months haven't been great, no? And we know that Caro and Bepa are, according to the rankings, the top two players in the world who actually play tennis full-time. I mean, even if you can't accept that fact you have to agree that they have both had waaaaaaaay better years than Lena and JJ. And we know that Caro and Bepa have been in good to fantastic form over the past few months.
So...how are these results surprising? Disappointing? Sure, I mean, everyone *hopes* for competitive matches but I don't think we had any reason to believe these were actually going to be close ones. And if anything, wouldn't it have been more pathetic if the top two players couldn't blitz a player with one leg and another with no nose?
Calm down. I'm referring to JJ's respirtatory issues, knee jerks. She skipped her post-match presser, by the way. You just keep on keepin' on, JJ.
So I'm going to be the one to say great job Caro and Bepa. You're the top seeds in your groups and you played like it today, playing smart and contained tennis to get on and off the court quickly.
And you did it while still being you. Well done.
Oh, and PS, I can't wait for the handwringing and rending of garments when Rafa and Roger dole out some breadsticks and bagels in London. Because you know there's absolutely no double standard here. Not at all.
This one goes out to you, Hewitts.
So if I'm to understand this correctly, Lleyton and Becs will only reveal their new kid's name if you give them $2. If you give them $2 they will text you the name.
This is dumb for a number of reasons, all of which seem completely obvious.
First, in this technology age, only one person needs to pay that $2. The information will spread like wildfire (to the extent anyone cares, which is a separate point) immediately. Anyone who actually pays this money is clinically brain-dead. Second, y'all would make way more money if you just sold the first baby pictures to some major Aussie tabloid or something. Have we learned nothing from Brangelina? Third, and most importantly, does anyone really care?
I mean, I would pay $2 for a text message giving me news that is so important it keeps me up at night, like whether or not we've found the WMDs, election results, or whether Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal are actually dating.
You know, news that matters.
Because $2 is a lot of money. After a bit of research, I have learned that I could buy the following things for less than $2:
I would sooner drop $2 on any of these things, particularly those Russian lessons with that foxy lady, than on a text message for Baby Hewey #3.
Or the Barbie Accessories. No, the Russian lessons. Wait, nevermind. The button. I want the button.
Play begins tomorrow at 5pm local time.
Here's hoping JJ wears clothes.
First up is new world #2 Bepa vs. an already whining about injury and fatigue JJ. JJ's just going to go out there and try her best, you guys. The two have a 6-6 H2H but you have to like Vera in this one. Reports from the ground say Vera is looking great in practice, JJ not so much.
Also, is she breaking out in hives or something in that picture? That's a distracting amount of splotch all along her neck and upper chest.
Next up, very nice blond ladies who haven't won shit. Or so the narrative would read if I weren't me and I were someone else. Elena is coming off an ankle injury that forced her to withdraw from Luxembourg so who knows what her form is. Caro is coming off -- what's this? -- a two-week break since she won in Beijing. That's like a three-month break for most people.
Caro leads the H2H 4-3, but she's beaten Elena both times they've met in 2010, most recently in the Tokyo finals. Gotta tap the kid here. She kinda really needs to win this title.
I don't even want to talk about it.
I'm still smarting.
Though, Sam, if I may, can I just as you one teensy-weensy little favor? Please get that nail polish off. Otherwise I'm going to spend the entirety of your match laughing my ass off, and that's not the type of support or intensity I want to be bringing to this match.
(Pics: Getty, AP)
Here's the group breakdown for Doha:
Here's a handy chart compiled by the WTA summarizing the H2Hs:
Let me sum it up for you: Kim owns everyone.
Round robin play begins Tuesday. Who knows what we can expect from Kim, who'll take the court for the first time since the USO. I like Caro, Vika, and Vera's form coming into the tournament, Sam and Fran are wildcards (Fran beat everyone in her group to win RG), and JJ and Elena should just tap out and go home.
Oh, and do a shot every time JJ whines about how tired she is. We'll all be drunk by Thursday.
The ladies are finally in Doha (doesn't it seem like we've been talking about the YECs for forever now?) and kicked off the festivities by glamming up for the sole purpose of showing off their amazing sock tans. Which is kind of the only thing they really can show off given that it's, you know, Doha.
This is actually the last year Doha will host the YECs, which is kind of a shame because it looks like the ladies finally figured out how the hell they're supposed to do their hair and makeup. I hope they take everything they've learned with them to Istanbul next year.
Yes, Vera, I said Istanbul. Try to act enthused, Kim.
But really, they all looked great.
Most "Yeah, What Up Now, Tracy? Say It To My Face"-iest.
Most--wait, is that FRAN???
Most "I Really Don't Want To Be Here-iest."
Uh...JJ? Yeah, hi, sorry. I'm gonna need that award back.
Here you go, Kim.
Most--wait, is that SAM???
(Pics: Getty, AP)
If the "future" was the early 1980s. I mean, watch that video again. Doesn't it have the feel of one of those safety education videos you had to watch in school back in the day? It's so 80s.
The WTA unveiled a new logo in Doha and I think it's safe to say that people either "meh" to "huh?" about it, which, between the public's reticence towards change and the hilarious uproar over the new/old GAP logo, I'd say is a win.
Sure, I have a lot of questions. Why does the "A" have to be birthing a tennis ball? Is it because they feel compelled to remind us that these ladies have vaginas? I'm no linguistics expert, but I'm pretty sure the "W" establishes that pretty clearly. And why the comic-sansy round and curvy font? Is it to remind us that these women are round and curvy? And while I'm happy they didn't incorporate pink into the logo (because you *know* they bandied that possibility about), why did we have to go with an egg? I just don't think the Purple Egg of WTA Fertility is going to attract more fans.
But I'm no marketing expert.
In the end, it's a fine new logo that is going to be waaaaay easier to put on t-shirts and badges than the overly wordy SEWTA one.
That said, it's times like these that make me wish I knew how to use graphic design tools. I could mine a lot of jokes out of this one if I could make some "alternative" logos.
Congrats to Viktor, Vika, and Vinci on their weekend titles.
Especially Viktor, who has played so well this year but particularly the last few months.
A much deserved maiden title, Viktor.
He beat some quality players, including Jo and Baggy, to get it.
On the ladies' side, Vika took out MaKiri in straight sets, 3 and 4, to hoist her second trophy of the year. She immediately hopped on a plane to get her ass to Doha, but not before spilling some haterade in the Moscow airport.
And last but not least, Roberta Vinci picked up the title in Luxembourg, outlasting an exhausted Julia Goerges 63 64 for her third career title. Her reward? A piece of shit that was molded into a trophy.
Seriously. That thing is gross.
Oh, and Fed won in Stockholm and ties Pete for 64 titles. Whatever.
(Pics: Reuters, AP, Getty)