The British media, in response to A-Rod's query as to what to do with his free time after his early exit at Queens, put their heads together to compile some suggestions. They're such good hosts.
The British media, in response to A-Rod's query as to what to do with his free time after his early exit at Queens, put their heads together to compile some suggestions. They're such good hosts.
“I’m not super concerned about the way I’m hitting the ball. I’m not stressed out about any one part of my game too much. But you know, if I’m being frank with you guys, I had a lot of time practicing before the French (after pulling out of Madrid with a virus), played some matches and had a lot of time practicing here. Now I have a lot of time practicing before Wimbledon. It’s basically getting over my own impatience as opposed to worrying about my game. If this match had happened in two days and the guy had played really, really well and I felt like I had not played badly, there wouldn’t be a whole lot of problems. But, you know, I’m just going to have to show off my awesome ability to be a patient person.”
-- A-Rod, on being antsy to just hit the court and play. Dude, just yank one in the shower. You'll feel better.
Rafa was pushed in three tight sets by Istomin, 76(4) 46 64. More problematic than the challenge was a Rafa calling the trainer to look at his famous ass. Afterwards, Rafa complained of some pain the back of his leg and up to his bum. It sounds like a typical grass court injury (the players, used to the balls bouncing high on clay now have to get low for the balls on grass). He said he'll get some tests and hopes he can play tomorrow. Let's just be happy it wasn't his knees.
You knew it was going to be a bad day at the office for A-Rod when Dudi broke him in his second service game. Gilbert observed that the grass was playing a bit slow and I have to agree. Dudi played some inspired tennis though. You have to think Andy needs more than just two warm-up matches for Wimbly though.
And then, to cap it all off, Mardy No-Socks had to pull the most chickenshit stunt I've seen in quite some time. After splitting sets with Muzz and jumping to a 3-0 lead in the third, No-Socks would drop the next three games to even it up at 3-3. At that point, he started bitching and moaning about the light (it was about 8:30pm), the tourney referee was called out, a conversation was had (which didn't include Andy), play was suspended, and then No-Socks abruptly packed his shit and walked off the court. Moose was livid and ripped the umpire for a good while. As he pointed out, No-Socks was perfectly happy to play 10 minutes ago when he was up in the set and "politely" reminded the chair that he had played until 9:30pm last week in Paris. The crowd wasn't too pleased either.
Seriously, Britain. With the amount of fight and lack of guile displayed by the Colonies these past few weeks, I have no idea why my dollar bills don't have the Queen on them. Maybe instead of muskets and frigates you should have just rolled out some grass turf back in 1775, poured yourself a hot cup of tea, and watched as we all ran to Canada.
Dear England: Please hand us our asses on Saturday. I'll be rooting for you.
Could it possibly be that I'm rooting for Andy to do well at Wimbledon? I'm really starting to think that women's final has fucked up my bearings beyond repair. I just think it'd be a bummer of A-Rod's Wimbledon story gets no further than last year's final, which still smarts for many many reasons.
You should take what you can get, Andy.
Oompa Loompa Doopity Do
I have another puzzle for you
Oompa Loompa Doopitee Dee
If you are wise you'll listen to me
What do you do if you can't play on clay
Try every year and pretend that you may
American hope as the others all flee
You will go down to Gabashvili
He's a fucking qualifier.
Hee. That was fun. Sometimes you just have to amuse yourself. I amuse myself by eating Twinkies at 5am and writing juvenile song parodies. Teimuraz Gabashvili (ranked #114) amuses himself by qualifying for a Slam, completely zoning out and making Andy Roddick look like a chump on clay (64 64 62), and progressing to the fourth round of Roland Garros.
I didn't see much of this match but from what I did see, YoGabbaGabba was off the chain and Andy just couldn't find the court or get any rhythm. Gabs plays a hard hitting, low margin game, which really shouldn't work over the course of two sets let alone three (his match record for the year: 1-6). But today it worked and the cold weather didn't help Andy either.
But super duper congrats to T-Gabs! He seems like a genuinely nice guy and his celebration was adorable.
Oh, Cone. I miss you.
More after the jump.
Posted by C Note on May 25, 2010 in Alize Cornet, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Dinara Safina, Jeremy Chardy, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Juan Monaco, Lleyton Hewitt, Maria Sharapova, Marion Bartoli, Pic This!, Rafa Nadal, Roland Garros, Sam Querrey, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Yanina Wickmayer | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)
A-Rod survived a weird five-setter over Niemenen. While his groundies and serve didn't look too rusty, his strategy and tactics clearly were. The guy hasn't played a clay court match prior to RG and it's clear that he's going to need time to see the court better. Good news for him: his draw has opened up with Pico surprise loss to a qualifier who has never played an ATP tour event. Sadz, Pico.
Call me naive (no, really, don't), but I'd be surprised if Andy didn't make it through to the fourth round. I just don't see anyone in his 1/8th challenging him.
Then again, it's clay, and as Fed has so generously pointed out, anything can happen.
And keep an eye on JCF for reasons other than his general hotness. With Sam the Tank's loss, JCF, who beat Cuevas 4 3 and 1, has a pretty clear path to the fourth round. And with a potential quarterfinal against Nole, all I have to say is hmmmm....
So there it is. Pics of Muzzard with his Queens trophy at a tournament announcement. Incidentally, you should read this post over at Mind The Racket on A-Rod's mild complaining about the lack of grass tournaments and the pithy prize money offered at the ones that do exist.
No really. A-Rod wants to know.
What the fuck is Aquiss? Well after some intense Googling I can report that it is manufactured by a Jacksonville-based company called Phlo Corp. Seriously, this reads like an Onion article.
But perhaps the most confusing thing about Aquiss? The fact that no one seems to know if it's "Aquiss" or "Aqiss". No really, Google it. It's spelled differently everywhere.
Yeah, yeah, I know. The company is called Aquiss Beverage Technologies but the drink is called Aqiss. Which is a retarded branding scheme, no? The company name makes me think "water" but the drink name makes me think "piss". Yeah, that sounds like that should have totally gotten the marketing stamp of approval.
Doesn't Gatorade have a couple of bucks they can throw Andy's way?
Duke and UConn win National Championships, A-Rod and Kim win Masters/Premier tournaments, and apparently it's 2003. Now where's my flux capacitor?
First off, mucho props to A-Rod on not just making his fourth final of the year, beating Rafa on the way, but clinching his first Masters title since 2006 (Cincy). A much deserved stamp on the end of a really strong first quarter for Andy.
As for Kim, a strong way to end what was an uneven hard court season. And what a way to go, beating Sam, Justine, and Venus for her second title of the year. The win gets her back into the top 10.
Congrats, you old fogeys. Way to show the kids how it's done.
And I'd be remiss if I didn't also give a shout out to Berdy and Venus for solid tourneys. Well done to all.
Q. Does Billie Jean [his dog] travel with you is one question, and then tradition says that paper is the first anniversary gift.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, we were talking about it the other day. Stupid paper. What do you, buy stationary?
Q. You’re not gonna get away with that, are you?
ANDY RODDICK: No, we had like the conversation like we don’t need gifts, and now I don’t know if that’s code for, You better get me a gift.
Q. Yes. I can tell you that.
ANDY RODDICK: Yes?
Q. Oh, yes. I’m helping you out.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah? Well, shit. (Laughter.)
Q. Stationary is pretty reasonable.
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, I would feel guilty if I gave my wife stationery. Not to ruin guys everywhere who gave stationery, but what am I gonna get, her name? She knows her name.
Q. Paper. You know, paper.
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, yeah. Money? No, she better give me money. She’s had a better year professionally than I have.
What was the other question?
Q. Billie Jean travel with you?
ANDY RODDICK: Sometimes. She was is out in Indian Wells for the whole thing, but now she’s Brooke’s out in L.A. working, so she’s with her. She kind of cruises around from place to place and normally is happy wherever that is.
Q. Does she fit underneath when you’re on a…
ANDY RODDICK: No. You know, we’ve had to keep up her self esteem, because the airlines have deemed her too fat to fit on a plane. So we have to constantly shower her with love and build up that self esteem and tell her she’s beautiful.
Q. It’s working?
ANDY RODDICK: Some days are better than others.
And with that, I get to plug an indie movie that I'm very excited to hopefully see. It just debuted in Austin at SXSW, Andy's hometown. So thanks, Andy!
In case you haven't heard, American Wayne Odesnik was caught in possession of HGH while trying to enter Australia. He pled guilty and will likely be banned from the ATP tour. Interestingly, he had just hired the recently retired Guillermo Canas as his coach. Willy isn't a stranger to doping inquiries.
A-Rod ain't havin' it:
Q. Sorry to be a rally killer, but I wanted to hear your comments and thoughts on Wayne Odesnik.ANDY RODDICK: If he pled guilty, which it looks like he did, there's nothing worse than that. I'm normally the one to give people the benefit of the doubt.
If that's the case, what we read today, that's just plain cheating and they should throw him out of tennis. There's just no room for it. I don't I was shocked. I was surprised. You know, we don't need stories like that. You know, I know that's the minority. If that's the case, I have zero sympathy.
Q. Your feelings are just as strong even though it was a possession and not a positive test?
ANDY RODDICK: If you have a possession, you know you're not supposed to have it. You're not supposed to be anywhere near it. You're not supposed to know about it. You're not supposed to smuggle it into a country. If you have I mean, if you caught your sons or daughters and they possessed some type of drug, they're guilty of probably using, as well, correct? You know, I don't see the difference. If you have it and it's not enough to you either have it to sell it or you have it to take it. So either way, it's not the play. It's no good.Q. How well did you know him?
ANDY RODDICK: I know Wayne a little bit. I mean, I wouldn't say we're friends. He used to train in Austin sometimes. You know, I don't think we ever really did much together. But it's just normally when this has happened in tennis it's been someone that is like I don't really know at all. To have it be one of our guys and for us to lose a guy in the top 100, it makes me a little angry, you know. I don't you know, I don't want that stigma attached to our country and to our players, so it really pisses me off.Q. That's the thing, the average person sees this in the paper tomorrow and they think...
ANDY RODDICK: That's what makes me angry. We have the most in your articles that you will write, I hope that they're at least researched to the point where we have the most stringent drug testing policies in sports. We're up there with the Olympics. We can't take Sudafed because something will come up. We have to be accountable for where we are I have to send in my forms next week to tell people where I'm gonna be for the next month every single day. If my wife and I want to drive for a day trip somewhere, I have to call in and say, We're going here, here, and here and provide an address. So I hope with the articles that they will at least acknowledge that. The ATP and the powers that be in tennis have done every single thing possible, you know, with the exception of assigning a person to follow each person around 24 hours a day and sleep with the person, to mitigate these problems, you know.
Q. So you do not think there is a problem in the sport?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't see how there can be. I mean, unless everybody's packing vials of stuff in their bags and smuggling it into countries, which I don't God, I have a hard time believing that, you know. You know, I think HGH is the one in every sport where I hope they come up with a test and I hope they start just slamming guys. I hope when they do come up with a test for it they don't tell anybody and they just implement it and start picking people off.
Q. There actually is a test, Andy, but it's not used in tennis.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, the sooner the better. I think they should use it everywhere. You know, I just hope that I wouldn't be surprised if there is a test out there that we're gonna be the first to come fly with it. I hope we do. I hope this will move it. There's no room for it. We don't need it. We don't need that stigma. I take a lot of pride in what we have to do on a daily basis and how responsible we have to be for, one lack of a better word for one jackass to ruin it for the rest of us.
I'm glad someone came out and said it. It would have been a worse mark on the sport if players tried to justify what happened.
I gotta break up all the vag-related posts somehow, but for whatever reason Getty didn't deem any matches involving cute tennis players photo-worthy. So unless you want a bunch of pictures of Nicolas Massu and his disgusto hair, this will have to do.
So here's a picture of Fed that doesn't make me want to hurl. He actually looks cute in it. Probably because he has his mouth shut.
I love how Kim always look like she just took a major bong rip. She's so boho.
To me, the title was a bonus. Fernando was finally able to show that he can beat a top 10 player. The last time that seemed to have happened was when he kicked off his career surge by beating Muzz at AO 09. In fact, he came into this match with a 15 match losing streak against Top 10ers. But there would be no TED this time. Dude came back from a set down to beat A-Rod in a tight three setter to claim his fourth career title, 36 64 64.
Good job, sweaty one. Sorry...the Spanish one. In case that was confusing.
After enduring the 1 hour and 20 minute drive (ok, yes, I'm whining. But I *never* drive so this is like...a cross -country trip for me. Also, I wasn't driving, which makes my whining even more pathetic) we finally arrived at HP Pavilion. We knew we had reached our destination because you couldn't walk without bumping into a banner of Andy Roddick.
Once we made it inside (after the door guy referred to DG as "the Mom of the evening" because she was carrying our tickets -- wha?) we checked our phones and saw that the BryBros were signing autographs. We wouldn't be good tennis fans if we didn't take the opportunity to stand within 10 feet of them and laugh. So we did.
After that we got some food and found our seats, which, bless DG, were right behind the players' chairs. She having of course dressed up for the occasion, it was clear that her four inch Stuart Weitzman "fuck me" heels weren't going to make it up and down the arena steps to get our liquid refreshments. So me and my trusty Dunk Lows ran up and down the steps to secure four white wines and two gigantic beers.
Note to the SAP Staff: If you have a sign that says "2 Alcoholic Beverages Per Transaction" don't try and pull this "Sorry, you already have 2 glasses of wine that you bought at the other stand. We can't sell you this beer" bullshit. Do you have a dictionary? Good. Go look up "transaction" and get back to me.
Anywho, once all was said and done we settled into the matches. First up with A-Rod vs. Ryler DeHeart.
If you remember the USO 08 then you remember Ryler as being the kid that Rafa destroyed on Ashe during the night session. Also, if you've been to his website, you know that Ryler wants you to know that "World Domination Is Imminent."
But he was so adorable then and he was just as adorable tonight. He came alive in the second set, playing a great game to break Andy, before choking when trying to serve out the set.
A-Rod broke back and the rest is history. But a good performance by him.
Then it was the main event. Well, at least for us. 30% of the crowd left after Andy won. Idiots. Yeah...we were sitting...kind of close.
I must say, the gangrene Adidas kit looks so much better in person. It's still baggy, but it definitely doesn't look as busy. He looks like a Listerine strip that you just want to put in your mouth. Or something.
It was really interesting to watch A-Rod and Fer back to back. Watching Andy, all I could think was "HIT THE DAMN BALL!!!" I am always amazed as to how much effort he puts into hitting the ball and it just goes nowhere. Yes, he puts a lot of work on the ball and he grinds opponents down, but with his wind up and extension you'd think he'd hit the ball harder. He doesn't. It's frustrating to me.
But with Fer, you know that if the ball is short or if he can get his weight behind it, he'll hit it. And his forehand is a beauty. There were quite a few fun points between the two and Rendy acquitted himself well, especially in the second set.
But after Rendy won the second set to force a third, I told a very worried DG "Don't worry, Fer's fitter. Rendy won't have the legs to keep up." Sure enough, that's what happened. Fer served better in the third and Rendy was hunched over gasping for air a few times.
So DG and I had a blast and should Fernando get scheduled for the Friday evening session we'll go again. Going to the SAP reminded me how much I love live tennis and how much I'm looking forward to IW this year. It sounds like we'll have a relatively large FD contingent (the regulars and some newbies) and this year DG is going to come along with Love All and I. Stock up on wine and beer, Indian Wells. Here we come.
Marin looked to be cruising, taking the first two sets fairly easily. As it turned out, it might have been because A-Rod was having some nerve problems (heh) in his shoulder that was causing numbness in his fingers. Andy would press on and decide, well, if I'm going win or end this quickly I'm going to have to swing away. And swing away he did. The third and fourth set was the most impressive performance I've seen from A-Rod. He was playing aggressively, flattening his groundstrokes, hitting winners, it was great. Well...great if I was an A-Rod fan.
So the fifth set came. And I was certain Cilic was going to cave. He looked tired and Anydy looked like he had figured him out. But for whatever reason, Andy retreated back into his conservative game. He had triple break point in the first game of the fifth and failed to convert, allowing Cilic to hold. From there, Marin settled down and Andy completely lost any foothold on the match.
So once again, Andy flirts with a big five set win, only to fall short. He and Fernando need to go to group therapy together. It's getting annoying. And yes, Andy was not 100%. But seriously, he totally had Marin. He just completely lost the plot and gameplan. P-Mac had some interesting thoughts after the match. He said that A-Rod's conservative game, the game that comes naturally to him, keeps him in the conversation. But it's not enough to beat the top guys. Everyone acknowledges that Andy's performance in the third and fourth sets should be the standard that he shoots for. Unfortunately, it just doesn't look like he wants to play that way.
Congrats on your first Slam semifinal, Marin! Now lose please. Thanks.
I feel like I've waited for a year for Marin to finally break through in a Slam. Sure, he beat Muzzard last year at USO, but that didn't count. Muzz played horribly. But I thought Elf, though a bit niggled by injury, played well enough to win today had Marin not upped his game. So good on the lanky Croat for getting it done.
He'll face A-Rod next, who withstood a strong challenge from Gonzo. Should be an interesting one, though Andy should be able to serve his way into the semis.
Guys like MaKiri? Weird.
Forrest Gump is in the draw? Ruh roh.
Muzz and Kolya are cruising.
I could name a number of players who would benefit greatly from HTOs.
It wasn't easy, but they're through. Some in spectacular fashion (Johnny!) and some in grinding fashion (Elf and Andy) and some in "last woman standing" fashion (Justine and Jay Z).
Florence played a fantastic match against A-Rod, but this not being Davis Cup, he faltered at the key moments. A-Rod played passively and refused to get anywhere near an attacking mode, and Feli took advantage. But in the end, it wasn't enough. He definitely gave A-Rod a scare though.
This was the match of the day for me, as Gael and Halpert played a fantastic three sets after Gael finally woke up after the first. This match pretty much came down to Halpert playing two *amazing* tiebreaks. He showed tremendous poise and guts, and its clear that he's improved in all aspects of his game: groundies, net, and movement. Gael played well, Halpert was just better. Really happy for him.
If Kleybs was going to pull this off it had to be in straight sets. Once she couldn't take that second set, eventually losing 4-6, she was gassed and Justine cruised. But I think she encouraged the field, showing that Justine is still vulnerable to big hitters. She also clearly suffered physically from her grueling match against Lena. She was a step slow and off on her groundies during the first set and a half. So kudos to Kleybs (who seems a good 10 pounds lighter) for making her play a tough 3 sets. Perhaps the field will tire Justine out as the tourney goes on. She doesn't have a break in the next round: Bring on Wickmayer.
I'm going to assume that somewhere in the middle of the second set, Mono found out that JJ lost that morning. And then all motivation left her. Or, you know, she's Mono and she ran out of gas. But yay, China!
As for Elf, I don't know what's up but he was fiddling with his forearm taping throughout the first set. Is it injury? Is it rust? I don't know. Hope he figures it out soon. Those big legs won't have enough left if he keeps this up.
Maybe if she was doing an awesome 80's dance I could get on board with her. Alas.
Well, two out of three ain't bad.
Please tell me he came up with a hot dog.
He's married. No.
I thought you were putting "The Bachelorette" on hold for now.
Hey, one-armed Feli is back!
This was on a changeover. No one stops Aunt Pimmy.
Except Uncle Jack.
I played around with the Jersey Shore Nickname Generator.
That was fun. I'm totally using Juice Springsteen from now on.
Posted by C Note on January 18, 2010 in Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Australian Open, Dinara Safina, Fernando Verdasco, Flavia Pennetta, Jelena Jankovic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Marat Safin, Maria Sharapova, Nikolai Davydenko, Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, Serena Williams, Svetlana Kuznetsova, The Mighty Fed | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)
So much amazing, I don't even know where to begin.
The fact that the event raised money and awareness for Haiti is enough of a reason to love it. But the kids actually brought the laughs on a consistent basis and made, what is essentially, porn for tennis fans. If you turn up the sound and close your eyes, it really does sound like porn. Not that, you know, I did that. I'm in an airport for God's sake.
Roger did pushups during the exo.
I pretty much love this entire seven minutes. I especially love Rafa's beleagured and obedient "Si" after Roger says "Vamos, Rafa." He's such a good kid.
But if you want the awesomeness of this exo summarized in one shot...
I love when people make the rounds at Australian zoos. Although, they all hold koalas, and all I can think of is this one time when Michelle Kwan had to hold a koala in Australia and afterwards she said it really smelled bad.
(pictures and some captions via sodapop)
Somehow I always forget Brisbane is a combined tournament. So I was pretty surprised to wake up this morning and see that the men's draw was out. Obviously this "new season" thing is going to require a couple days' adjustment.
Not just any sentence. The first sentence.
That's just infuriating and a slap in the face to tennis fans. No one, and I mean NO ONE, would consider the 09 final the Greatest Match Ever, *especially* given the fact that it came on the heels of, oh, THE ACTUAL GREATEST MATCH OF ALL TIME. Shit, it wasn't even a good final. Most everyone that I know who watched thought the actual match was boring as shit, but the drama that built as they kept holding serve was what made it fun.
Oh, and by the way, if you're going to call it the Greatest Match Ever, shouldn't you be nominating the guy who actually won the match?
Fail, Albert Chen. So much fail.
1. Is Shawshank Redemption the new Da Vinci Code on the ATP?
2. I'm not sure who the Romanian guy is, but something about envisioning him playing doubles with Ilie Nastase is hilarious.
3. Doubles players are pretty, too! Why hello, Nenad and Mark.
4. Enough of the self-pimping, Bryan brothers. Although the self-pimping might be preferable to listening to "#41" to get "pumped" before a match. The hell?
So this pic pretty much sums up my impression of the Wimbledon Museum.
It was unintentionally hilarious.
Another gem, which, when you pull back, reveals a third bunny:
Random? Yes. Awesome? Absolutely.
The Champions display is right when you get to the bottom of the stairs. I saw this. I laughed quite hard. I may have said, "They have the fuckin' Sergeant Pepper jacket???" a little too loud. I really shouldn't drink before noon.
Not gonna lie. Wanted to smell them.
Yes, dude. That guy. To quote Brodie, "I would."
In a rather impossible feat, it looks even cheaper in person.
Billy Jean King and Rod Laver's racquets. Seemed like something I should geek out at.
Ashamed to admit I did not.
There was actually quite a bit of historical stuff about the evolution of lawn tennis. Here's my problem though: I actually kind of hate grass court tennis. So it was difficult to actually care. Also, the whole grass thing seems elitist and Victorian. As you all know, I am a woman of the people. It was hard not to roll my eyes at some of the displays.
I was very confused by this.
Donkeygrooming found this one. Shirtless Marat? Wimbly knows what's up.
And in the most random pairing of players on the wall....
All in all it was a fun to see the museum but I wouldn't pay separately to see the stuff that was there. If you book a tour then the museum admission is included. One thing that surprised me: How little was made of the GMOAT. I hope that's because they're trying to figure out how to best commemorate the match. It would have been really cool to see the grass/dirt stained shirt Rafa wore when he fell to the ground. Or even some video with commentary.
Then again, maybe that's not Wimbledon's style. It's clear from the tour and the museum that they want to focus on the full narrative of Wimbledon and not just singular moments.
I mean, we get it. The season's long. People get hurt. No need for a demo.
Singles - First Round
 R Soderling (SWE) d V Hanescu (ROU) 63 64
 G Monfils (FRA) d P Mathieu (FRA) 62 62
T Berdych (CZE) d  M Cilic (CRO) 76(8) 36 64
 T Haas (GER) d B Becker (GER) 76(5) 64
J Melzer (AUT) d J Chardy (FRA) 64 64
L Hewitt (AUS) d J Isner (USA) 62 64
I Ljubicic (CRO) d J Benneteau (FRA) 63 36 61
N Almagro (ESP) d P Kohlschreiber (GER) 67(2) 61 76(6)
V Troicki (SRB) d J Monaco (ARG) 61 62
Singles - Second Round
S Wawrinka (SUI) d  A Roddick (USA) 34 ret. (left knee)
 N Davydenko (RUS) d I Kunitsyn (RUS) 64 62
 F Gonzalez (CHI) d [Q] T Bellucci (BRA) 63 64
 R Stepanek (CZE) d A Beck (GER) 75 64
The ATP season goes another 5 weeks (6, if you're playing Davis Cup finals), and players are not happy about it.
Congrats to Shuai Peng, who held her nerve to outlast the One-Armed Whiner in three sets. I really didn't think Peng had it in her but JJ clearly wasn't getting the stick on her shots. I don't doubt the arm is bothering her. I also don't doubt she could have served two fucking points 3 days ago with that arm. But whatever, I'm moving on.
JJ's still got one more tournament to go. She'll play Moscow in a couple of weeks and she's on the bubble for Doha. After the match she said that she would play Doha but not Bali. I'm sure the WTA loved that.
As for the boys, A-Rod was the big upset of the day, losing in straight sets to Lukasz Kubot. For all the talk about the amazing year Andy's had, he's really going to need to win a legit' tournament to have something to show for it. He's won only one title this year, Memphis, and he's still in the race for one of the last three YEC spots. First round losses sure aren't going help.
Well he's got a week to prepare for Shanghai, where he can pick up a lot of points with a good run.
The 2010 Davis Cup draw came out this morning and while everyone is understandably buzzing about the 1st round tie between Spain and Switzerland, I'm way more pumped for the USA vs. Serbia tie. Why?
Because it's in Serbia.
If you think about when Nole's career started to take a weird turn, you have to look back at Sarsapalooza 08, when Andy called out Nole for being injury prone, Nole got mad, New York got mad, and as a result, Nole's brain melted. I swear it was as though Andy somehow lobotomized him. The guy has been lost ever since.
So excuse me if I look forward to Nole finally playing Andy on pro-Nole territory. When they can finally have a match where Nole should feel comfortable letting the Falcon out. Who knows what will happen, but a Nole win would go a long way for his confidence and at least get Andy out of his head.
Because seriously? Of all the players to have in your head, does it really have to be A-Rod? Come on.
Also, will 2010 finally be the year when P-Mac gets his head out of his ass and plays Sam instead of Headband and Socks?
As for the Spain/Switzerland tie in Spain, I don't know why but I'll be surprised to see Roger there. And I don't mean that as a slight to him. I just wonder if that early in the season he'll be willing to go from Australian hardcourts, to clay, and back. Though, I guess if he was willing to play last week's relegation tie, he must want to add the Davis Cup to his NetJet. What better way to do it than to beat Rafa.
What weird Saturday at the Open.
Didn't have time to post about it but nice win for Nole over Jesse Witten yesterday, and heck of a match from Witten to really push Nole and make us all think an upset was brewing. Glad as hell that Nole made it through though and that he won't have to face A-Rod....
...thanks to this guy. Love it.
As my best gay would say, "Uh, pass."
Just when I thought Melanie's win would be the match of the day, Halpert brings it.
I honestly didn't think he had it in him. After A-Rod took the third set I figured Big John would go away. But he played a smart 5th set, focusing on holding serve and forcing a tiebreak. Once in the tiebreak it came down to one shot: The cross-court passing shot that gave him the minibreak. He had match point on his serve, the Bulldog stepped up and delivered despite cramping through most of the 5th set.
As for A-Rod I have no idea what to say. But this is yet another close match that he's lost out of nowhere. All credit to him for being able to fight back after being down 2-0, but once again he was stuck serving from behind in the 5th and in the tiebreak, too. Deja vu can kinda suck.
Melanie Oudin's shoes ushered in a crazy day four at the USO.
What is up with the obsession with Hubba Bubba?
Not so much.
The forgotten but adorable Swisser. You go on with your winky self, Chuds.
I have stared at this picture for 5 minutes now. I literally have nothing interesting or funny to say. So goes my relationship with Tommy Boredo.
Seriously. Sandwiches are your friend, Andy.
Choice quotage from Monday, all available at the USO site. Here's hoping they start posting a more diverse set of players. Sheesh.
Q. You were having some problems with your serve. Commentators started talking about serving in women's tennis. One of them said the person who serves best will win the tournament. Do you agree with that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't care what commentators say. So it's just all, you know, like they aren't on the court winning championships. I don't really... Yeah.
Q. You showed a lot of support for Gasquet when he was suspended. He says he appreciates that very much from you. Can you talk about the reason, what went through your mind? You showed so much support for him.
RAFAEL NADAL: The true is I support him a lot. First thing, because I believe in him. Second thing, because I think he's a very nice guy. I know him since 13 years old or 12 years old. I talk with him what happen. He told me he didn't take nothing. So I believe him 100%, and I think you know, it is open. I don't want to speak a lot about that and a lot of history is out about when I speak about that, but it's not 100% perfect sometime. If someone wants to kill you, somebody can kill you, you know? And you didn't do nothing. That's the true, no? That's my feeling what happened with Richard, and of course they say that, no? He won. In the beginning, it was three years, and then it was three years because he didn't take nothing. So I'm very happy for that, and I am sure a lot of players are very happy for Richard.
Q. Anything special about the jewelry you're wearing for this tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I'm wearing my whole collection from the Serena Williams, Signature Statement, which is available on HSN, which I'm really (laughter.) I'm sorry, but he asked, so...
I'm really excited about it because I love jewelry, and I think people really know me for jewelry. It will be available starting September 19.
Q. If you were writing the story about the 2009 US Open women's draw, what would be your lead?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, what would be my lead? Are you trying to get this for your story? (laughter.)
Just making sure. Well, Serena's back where she belongs.
THE MODERATOR: Roger today became the first player to win $50 million in prize money, just to let you know.
ROGER FEDERER: No need to write about that. (Laughter.)
Q. How did you injure your ear?
ANDY RODDICK: I have no idea. I have absolutely no idea.
Q. Come on, tell the truth.
ANDY RODDICK: No, I have no idea. I didn't go out there with it like that, I don't think. And then, I don't know, I saw like blood on my towel. I was looking around like this. No idea.
Q. Possible shaving accident?
ANDY RODDICK: No. My ears aren't actually that hairy.
Night session tennis at the USO. There's nothing like it. And by that I mean, I generally never watch it. It always showcases players I don't generally care for, the crowd kind of bugs, and I don't know, I just don't dig it. But one thing is certain: There's almost always drama.
And drama there was as Venus found herself hobbled and two points from getting bounced by Vera Dushevina.
Three games into the match Venus called the trainer to address what looked like a patella tendon issue in her left knee. After a 10 minute delay play resumed. To be clear, it didn't *really* look like the knee was hindering her that much. After some top notch investigative reporting from Pimmy, we've learned that she's been hobbled by the bum knee for as much as 6 weeks. Take note of that inside information, bookies.
As for Vera D, she didn't play great but she somehow found herself a set up after a pretty phenomenal backhand flick pass to seal the tiebreak. After some back and forth in the second, she was serving at deuce, two points from her biggest win ever. But Venus stepped up and would reel off the next 5 games and eventually close it out, winning 67(5) 75 63. All credit to the NY crowd for giving Vera a nice cheer as she left the court.
It was a gutsy performance from Venus. But this should pretty much put a death knell in all this "The Williams Sisters are the favorites" talk. Serena is the favorite. Venus will be lucky to get past the quarters. Of course now that I've said that she'll probably make it to the semis by just hitting out and serving big.
As for the boys, who didn't take the court until around 11pm, there was blood, tumbles, and Phau. Andy's ear started bleeding at some point (probably from the Rob Thomas performance earlier in the night) and Andy got pissed about having to have it treated. Apparently the ball kids can't handle any towels that have blood on them. You'd think Andy would understand that but he seemed really peeved.
The big money stars came out to entertain the kids on a wet Arthur Ashe Kids Day. And it looked like good times were had by all, even that unidentifiable popped-collar-dbag on the the left.
It's always something, with Serena, no? She was a born entertainer.
The look of shock and confusion is pretty great.
And the looks didn't really change for Serena either.
One of these things is awesome. And one of these things is James Blake.
And based on Andy's reaction here, I think you know which is which.
A-Rod's off doing some cross training at Yankee stadium.
(The jury's out on the "comfortability" of the Cole Haan gear.)
And then everyone and their mother showed up to the BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis event as if it were a free buffet. Even the Daveed's sensitive soul couldnt say no to that. But trust me, he was way emo about it. Well, or whatever the Spanish equivalent to emo is.
Shit, even Bepa showed up. BEPA!!! That's how crazy this is! And dudes! She even went to the K Swiss event! Dammit, now I want to just do Patron shots with her. And that's saying something. Because I feel about Patron the way Bepa feels about her racquets.
Let's face it, when Bepa is the only Russian at your cocktail party, something's gone horribly awry. Unless it's like...a U.N. peacekeeping envoy cocktail party, in which case, you better get ready for a shot of peace with a harmony chaser.
But seriously, where are the Serbs in all this? You're telling me a party was thrown and Ana wasn't the guest of honor, Nole wasn't invited, and JJ didn't crash it? What is this world? And where the fuck are Marat and Dina? My head hurts.
The Anti-Defamation League honored Venus for her "principled stand after an Israeli player was excluded from participating in a Dubai tennis tournament earlier this year."
That's nice and all, and yes, Venus was cool to mention Shahar in her speech. The speech that she gave AFTER SHE PLAYED IN THE TOURNAMENT AND WON.
"I feel like I did the minimum, just to speak and to say something," Ms. Williams said. "It shows that whatever little things you can do to make a difference really will help. I want to thank Shahar for her courage, and I share this award with her."
Ms. Williams said that every player deserves an opportunity to compete, and that while she was disappointed in Dubai's decision to exclude Pe'er, she doesn't think it will happen again.
"If it does, I wouldn't be happy with any player playing the event. We don't want to be a part of something that's not equal."
Yup, she did do the minimum. And why it was ok to play the tournament this year, but not if they ever do the exact same thing again, is a pure logic fail. In case the ADL didn't know, Andy Roddick actually refused to play the tournament completely, specifically citing his opposition to Dubai's shit visa policy. Oh, and unlike Shahar, Andy Ram was subsequently granted a visa to play.
There are so many factors that go into why that happened and cause and effect can't be directly proven. But it just seems a bit odd to recognize Venus and not Andy. He deserves a tip of the gross and disgustingly sweaty cap, too.