And yes, she still plays tennis. I think.
An absolute must-read on our favorite enemy of birds, Mikhail Youzhny. Seriously. Read it.
God love him.
An oldie but goodie.
Man, I'm gonna miss Stubbsy.
No one wants to talk to you, SOD.
The boys donned their suits to pay a visit to Downing Street and British PM David Cameron. Obviously Daveed showed up in his tennis kit and had to borrow a suit from the "proper attire" closet.
Downing Street: It's like a fancy steakhouse.
"You assholes told me grey!"
I just cannot deal with that tie sitch. No one thought to tell him?
"Hey, did one of you step on Daveed?"
All in all, a bit meh.
Hopefully we'll get more pictures tomorrow at media day.
(Pics: Getty, Reuters)
Paris? Check. Pam? Check. Strip club? Check.
My Serbian sources tell me that this is how crazy Belgrade Arena could get for Davis Cup. At least, it's how crazy Belgrade Arena *should* get for Davis Cup. But from what I understand, people who actually want to go and cheer on their boys are having trouble getting tickets, and fancy bougies who just want to go to be seen are buying up all the tickets. They'll probably sit courtside and look bored and shit.
Huh. That sounds a hell of a lot like the U.S. Open.
But hey, if I can incite a near-riot* by cheering on Janko from the last row in the upper decks at Ashe, the hardcore fans, even if few in number, should be deafening in Belgrade.
Hell, give Ana and Petko some thundersticks and let them go at it.
Wait...that might have come out wrong...
Thanks to Miljan and Noleksa for the links.
Heh. I love that Sam still has her Doha polish.
WTA Superfans rounds up some of the ladies' vacay plans.
Long torso. Short legs. Corgi. Rest up, Sammy. I want you to be like this in eight weeks:
BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAMS.
I'm going to Hopman Cup, Ana's going to Hopman Cup. I'm going to the Medibank International in Sydney, Ana's going to the Medibank International in Sydney. I'm going to the Australian Open, ANA'S GOING TO THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN.
This is really creepy.
I've never been to Switzerland. Now that I've seen this video, I don't have to.
White people? Check. Chocolate? Check. Fedz? Check.
I'm going to Australia in January.
Hopman Cup, Sydney, Melbourne, Fed Cup.
I am excited.
I'm trying to do it on the cheap. So if you're in Australia and want someone to hang out for whom you can buy alchohol and food, let me know. I ain't getting paid for this. Just doing it because I have the time and, well, what's money for other than to do the things you want to do with your life. You don't get to keep it when you die.
Oh, what's that? It's for providing a roof over your head?
But seriously. HALP.
Group A: Rafa, Nole, Berd, A-Rod.
Group B: Fed, Moose, Sod, Daveed.
Lots of questions in Group A: Rafa's shoulder, Nole's motivation given Davis Cup, Berd...sucking, and A-Rod being A-Rod. But it should be Rafa and Nole out of that group. Main question for Group B: How tired are you guys? Here's hoping Fed and Sod are EXHAUSTED. Do it, Moose and Daveed.
Leave your thoughts in the comments. I honestly don't know what to think.
Do not adjust your television screens. Delpo dropped 224 spots in the rankings and ends the year at #259, behind the likes of Chucho, Kristof Vliegen, and that off-the-charts asshole, Daniel Koellerer.
KRISTOF VLIEGEN, YOU GUYS.
The bright side? After an intense amount of thorough research (read: I asked Uncle Jamie on Twitter), I can confirm (kinda) that Big Juan should have a protected ranking that will get him into the main draw at the Aussie Open. The absolutely hilarious side? The first round match-up possibilities.
Fed vs. Delpo, 1R, AO11.
Oh, Jesus. I'm laughing so hard I'm crying.
Or...wait. Maybe it's the other way around.
While all you white people are off vacationing and whatnot, Asia don't sleep. That's right, it's Joy Luck Club meets Outsourced meets Denis Istomin as the nations of the Far East battle it out at the 16th Annual Asian Games in Guangzou. Sania, Nails, Kimiko, Tammy, Somdev and a host of other recognizables are all in action.
Also, there's someone named Sabine Sharipova. Just FYI.
C Note Fact #3856: I will find any excuse to make a Les Mis reference.
It's odd to think that this is Sod's first Master's title. But I can't think of a more appropriate place for Sod to pick one up than Paris, the very city wherin he's wreaked havoc for the past two years. He was a killjoy for Rafa fans two years ago, a killjoy for Fed fans this year, and, as just because he is THE SOD, he just had to be a killjoy for French fans, beating Mikey Llodes in the semis and Gael in the finals.
BECAUSE THAT'S THE KIND OF PERSON HE IS.
And it really was too bad. Mikey Llodes was playing some inspired tennis all week on the fast Bercy courts, only to blow an easy forehand pass on match point to give the satanic one new life (does Satan actually "live"? Crap, another joke fail).
And then Gael. Oh, Gael. He notched what could be a career-turnaroundy three set, three tiebreak, save 5 match points win over Fed in the semis, only to be competely tanked for the final in front of his home crowd. But that's a hell of a way to end a season for the Monfilsy one. He put on a tremendous show throughout the week and served notice to all of us that, well, shit, we're going to have to keep paying attention to his facepalmishness because he is, as I think we all believed, capable of greatness.
Oh, don't even try to soften our hearts by going in for a post-win nuzzle with your totally adorable girlfriend, Jenny. I'm pretty sure Satan's girlfriend is pretty fucking awesome, too. Oh what's that? Satan's girlfriend is Ke$ha? Well (a) that explains a whole lot and (b) fuck, logic fail.
And no, I have not forgotten that with the win, Devil Viking Man-Boy rises to #4 and Ugly Ginger Git Boyfriend drops to #5.
Hold me, Maggie.
(Pics: Getty, AP)
And we're back. And we tried to talk about actual tennis. But really, we just wanted to talk about Liezel.
And Dinara's hair.
Just a reminder, you can download the podcast directly below (right-click save), listen to it on the page (just click the arrow), listen to it from the Forty Deuce Facebook Page, or subscribe to the podcast via iTunes (iTunes lists "0 items" but if you subscribe and then refresh your subscriptions, it'll download).
He won, though. I know that for a fact. Roger, Llodes, and Sods also won. Tomorrow's semifinals will be Roger vs. Gael, Sods vs. Llodes. Pretty sure Momo will be in attendance. But aside from all that I can offer you no substantive commentary on how any of these matches went.
What I *can* offer you is this awesome video of a rapey dolphin. Cheers.
Ok, fine, not everybody. But it sure did seem like today. Every match featured at least one tiebreak except for Fed's win over Steps. Whatever Fed. You're SO fucking special.
Nole, Tomas, Fer, and Daveed all took a seat today. Three of them will have some time to settle into London. One of them will have time to further experiment with hair gel.
Oh, what's that? Was I being to cryptic? Fer. Fer is the one experimenting with hair gel.
Yup, with today's results, Fer was officially eliminated from London and the Tomas, Daveed, and A-Rod confirmed their spots in the final eight.
Singles - Third Round
 R Federer (SUI) d R Stepanek (CZE) 64 63
M Llodra (FRA) d  N Djokovic (SRB) 76(6) 62
 A Murray (GBR) d  M Cilic (CRO) 76(6) 36 63
 R Soderling (SWE) d S Wawrinka (SUI) 76(3) 63
 N Davydenko (RUS) d  T Berdych (CZE) 46 76(5) 60
 G Monfils (FRA) d  F Verdasco (ESP) 67(4) 76(2) 75
 J Melzer (AUT) d  D Ferrer (ESP) 76(6) 26 63
 A Roddick (USA) d E Gulbis (LAT) 63 76(8)
Doubles - Quarter-finals
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d W Moodie (RSA) / D Norman (BEL) 76(2) 76(5)
 F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) d  L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) 75 46 11-9
Doubles - Second Round
 M Bhupathi (IND) / M Mirnyi (BLR) d J Erlich (ISR) / M Kohlmann (GER) 36 61 10-5
M Knowles (BAH) / A Ram (ISR) d  R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) 63 62
 F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) d S Stakhovsky (UKR) / M Youzhny (RUS) w/o (Youzhny - back)
ORDER OF PLAY - FRIDAY, 12 NOVEMBER, 2010
CENTRAL COURT start 2:00 pm
 A Roddick (USA) vs  R Soderling (SWE)
 N Davydenko (RUS) vs M Llodra (FRA)
Not Before 7:30 PM
 R Federer (SUI) vs  J Melzer (AUT)
Not Before 8:30 PM
 A Murray (GBR) vs  G Monfils (FRA)
COURT 1 start 2:00 pm
 M Bhupathi (IND) / M Mirnyi (BLR) vs  D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB)
 L Dlouhy (CZE) / L Paes (IND) vs M Knowles (BAH) / A Ram (ISR)
Really? You made him come all the way to Paris for this?
And I know it's not cool but the one thing I pride myself in here at Forty Deuce is truthiness and honesty. Sometimes the truth is cruel, unwanted, and hurtful. But you know what? It's the truth and I think I would lose a lot of credibility as a fan and blogger if I were sidestep the obvious just because I didn't want to hurt people's feelings. So I'm just going to say this and you can call me an asshole in the comments:
Xisca's looking busted, you guys.
Thanks to Rachel for the pics.
So what this ad is telling me is (1) David Villa is so fast he can fly (true), (2) Xabi may not be able to fly but he very fast on land (true), and (3) Fernando Verdasco is faster than Justin Bieber (true).
Taking this one seriously, huh, boys?
By my possibly incorrect count, 12 of the 16 seeds are still in the tournament, with Misha, Nico, Lubes, and Halpert out. And for as much I was anticipating today's lineups, the blockbuster matchups ended up being relative duds. Reeshie made you wonder why his nickname was ever "Baby Fed". Pico gave Novak a tough test but couldn't do much once Nole started grooving. Nalby and Moose had some tremendous shotmaking but Tubbs once again showed why he's a total headcase and Andy once again caused a nation to frazzle when he had to call an MTO in the third for a bum wrist. Oh, and Sod bageled Gilles. Oddly, the most entertaining match of the day was Daveed vs. FogHat.
Blech all around. I do wonder how much of it has to do with the players' inability to adjust to the quickness of the Bercy courts. Cuz that shit be fast, yo.
Here's hoping tomorrow's matches are more competitive.
Scores and OOP after the jump.
Wednesday's Paris OOP is off the fuckin' chain, y'all:
CENTRAL COURT start 10:30 am
 A Roddick (USA) vs [Q] J Nieminen (FIN)
J Monaco (ARG) vs  N Djokovic (SRB)
 A Murray (GBR) vs D Nalbandian (ARG)
 J Isner (USA) vs M Llodra (FRA)
Not Before 7:30 PM
 R Federer (SUI) vs R Gasquet (FRA)
Not Before 8:30 PM
G Simon (FRA) vs  R Soderling (SWE)
COURT 1 start 10:30 am
S Stakhovsky (UKR) vs  M Cilic (CRO)
 I Ljubicic (CRO) vs S Wawrinka (SUI)
 J Melzer (AUT) vs [Q] S Giraldo (COL)
T Bellucci (BRA) vs  N Davydenko (RUS)
[Q] F Fognini (ITA) vs  D Ferrer (ESP)
[WC] A Clement (FRA) / M Llodra (FRA) vs  D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB)
COURT 2 start 1:00 pm
N Almagro (ESP) / D Marrero (ESP) vs  L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT)
M Granollers (ESP) / S Ventura (ESP) vs M Knowles (BAH) / A Ram (ISR)
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs M Cilic (CRO) / I Ljubicic (CRO) - After Suitable Rest
Not Before 8:30 PM
W Moodie (RSA) / D Norman (BEL) vs  M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL)
It all started innocently enough. Lexi, Victoria, and I were laughing about Team Italy's "Parmigiano Reggiano" patch. A joke was made about how the Americans should have a "Hamburger" patch on their kits, and given our propensity to take every opportunity to highlight Liezel's outspoken American Pride, a new internet meme was born:
Honestly, I thought this was just going to be an inside joke type thing, but people who understood the joke seemed to like it (random tennis player, random factoid, opportunity to make fun of American idiocy? -- what's not to love?) and it quickly began filling up people's Twitter timelines, much to the dismay of many. Not everyone understood the joke but that's ok. So long as people had a good time and were trying to make people laugh, it's all gravy. The genius of the meme was that it really wasn't about making fun of Liezel at all. It was about making fun of America.
And believe me, that's a really deep well of comedic material.
Here were some of my favorites:
Because I kind of love this idea. Yet, because I'm normally such a hater, I find myself in a state of confuzzlement.
On one hand, who wouldn't want a combined event that features the men and the women in a modified Davis/Fed Cup format that is played in alternating years? If it's going to be a competition among nations then let's a make it a COMPETITION AMONG NATIONS. Let's give our men and women a break from having to play so many matches and flying all over the world to represent their countries during the most inopportune times of the season (Immediately after AO? Immediately after USO? Come on.) Oh, and did I mention mixed doubles? DID I MENTION MIXED FUCKING DOUBLES?!?!?!?!?
This sounds too good to be true!
But then there's the traditionalist in me. I like that the men and women are kept on different slates. I mean, could Spain really win this new competition given the weakness of its women's field? Could Italy's women show off its awesomeness if it had to deal with Fabio Fucktard Fognini? What about Argentina? If you thought Nalby got pissy with Delpo, wait until he has to deal with Gisela. And would any umpire crew actually agree to work a tie that involved BOTH A-Rod and Serena? Doubtful. And, if there were 7 rubbers for each tie (so dirty) we wouldn't have thos awesome ties where one dude/dudette totally carried the team to victory and became a national hero. I love those moments.
All reservations aside, I *think* I really love this idea. How it will work alongside the ITF's competitions, who knows. If this just means that the talent pool for the ITF competitions will get diluted (with some players choosing Davis/Fed Cup and others choosing Butchapalooza), then that's complete and utter bullshit. It seems to me that in order to exhibit the best of what nation-based competition has to offer, only one of these two ideas can survive.
But the tennis community ain't the swiftest in embracing change. While the ATP and WTA seem on board with this new idea, will the players and federations just immediately bail on Davis Cup and Fed Cup to love up on this new competition? Or will we have to deal with an idiotic schism, where Moose, Rafa, and Sam play the ITF, and Fed, Moose, and Flavia play the Buchholz version.
Pfft. That was a horrible example. Moose ain't playing either because we know Britain ain't winning shit either way.
But it's an intersting thing to think about. Thoughts?
How is it that Jamie still has "groom hair" but Andy's "best man hair" has been completely obliterated? The guy must be a Chia Pet or something.
Mucho congrats to the Moose Brothers for taking their first title together.
Not only was Andy nice enough to give Jamie some of his Adidas hand-me-ups, he really took the doubles seriously, even after being dumped out of Valencia in singles. That pic is from match point. That's, like, the most intense match point doubles celebration I have ever seen. Dude even teared up after they won:
"It wasn't a laugh, it was a big week for Jamie and obviously I wanted to do well for him. It's not just about singles and my tennis all the time. I love playing with Jamie and when I get the chance I have to take it. It's the first time I've won a tournament with him and it's the most emotional I've been after a match since the Australian Open. It was really important, and I was welling up big time. There are more important things than just simple tennis matches and doing something great with my brother meant a lot to me."
Meanwhile, Maggie couldn't even be bothered to tweet a congratulatory message and Mama Joods was like, "Whatevs":
Those Murray women are tough to please.
Oh, look. Doubles-playing-brothers celebrating a point by doing a non-douchey bump. Who'd have thought it was possible?
(Pics: Getty, AP)