You realize your avatar is you with a ball in your mouth, right? Just checking.
So...Domi was kind of excited securing a point when Ana was forced to retire in tears due to her abdominal injury on Sunday. Eyewitness accounts describe her as celebrating like a fucktard while Ana was busy crying into her racquet bag (paraphrasing, mine). I wish I could show you what happened but the YouTubes are empty.
What I do know is that if she did what everyone says she did (again, assumption) then it was, inarguably, a pretty classless move. If Amelie Mauresmo can hold her shit together and show some compassion when she WON A GRAND SLAM off a retirement, then surely you can keep your shit together when you secure a non-decisive point in a Fed Cup relegation tie. Am I being controversial here?
But let's give Midge the benefit of the doubt and say she got caught up in the moment (and yes, I'm ignoring my Ally McBeal instincts to yell "But it's an excited utterance and thus admissible hearsay!" Trying to be mature here). But they she took to the Twitter and tweeted her excitement. I gotta say, this short-sightedness sure does make me appreciate Caro's boring but classy post-match tweets.
Whoops. Got distracted. The point of this post was actually just to post up tweets at her that cracked me up:
They may not be best friends, they may not be great tennis players all of the time, and they may have disagreements from time to time. But after this weekend they both share one unbreakable bond:
Daniela Hantuchova hates them both equally.*
In what was hands-down the most ridiculously dramatic tie of the weekend, Team Serbia overcame every fucking obstacle thrown in their way to stage in improbable comeback to take the tie over Slovakia 3-2, thus avoiding relegation to World Group II.
I'm going to guess that the only person who is happier than JJ, Ana, Bojana, and Alexandra about Serbia surviving this dicey tie is Dejan. When he announced on Friday that he wasn't putting in JJ to play a singles match on Saturday, people (read: me) were like "THE FUUUUUUUUUUCK????" You're *not* going to play the Serbia #1 and player who's been making quarterfinal and semifinal runs for the past month and a half? Watchu smokin' and can I have NONE OF IT.
No one was providing any clarification other than "I just think it's the right move." We would find out after the tie that JJ wasn't feeling well so she essentially tapped herself out of Saturday's action. I totally get why Dejan wouldn't say that in the first place. But seriously, it would have saved everyone a lot of heavy drinking.
Shit could have been baaaad after Saturday. Bojangles couldn't hold on to a one-set lead over Domi and collapsed in three, shifting the pressure on Ana. AND WE KNOW HOW MUCH ANA LUUUUUUUURVES PRESSHA!
Actually, she lurved it quite fine. She threw down the best Fed Cup performance of her career, beating Dani easily, and no there was no squeaking so don't even start with me, Dani. WHEEE!!! 1-1 after day one. Surely Dehan would put JJ in on Sunday and Ana and JJ would win their rubbers, hop on a plane, and go broker some peace in the Middle East.
After dropping the first set 63 to Domi, Ana was up 3-0 when she went for a backhand and felt a twinge in her abs. Yup, the same abs that forced her to retire from Hopman Cup earlier in the year. After dropping three straight games after that, she pulled the ripcord and retired from the match. Oh, and when Ana retired in tears, Domi danced around and celebrated like she won a Slam.
And that's when the Tennis Gods were like, "HAIL NAWWWWW, MIDGET."
Help us JJ-Wan Kenobi. You're our only hope.
And so, like death and taxes (which are due today, btw #PSA), JJ summoned Falkor (anyone?) and rode in to save the, what turned out to be, very very very long day. First she needed over two hours and 45 minutes to beat Dani, 7-5 in the third. Then she powdered her nose, took some time to explain to AK-47 what it means when Aunt Flo comes for a visit (mentoring!), and took the court for the decisive doubles match. Which turned out to be nuts.
Clearly the fact that it was a decisive doubles match wasn't dramatic *enough* for Team Serbia so they decided to make it interesting: by going down a set and 5-1, 30-0 to Dani and Rybarikova. Just for shits and giggs.
Final score? 26 75 97. Serbia advances, Slovakia relegated.
I honestly had no idea whether those guys were Serbian coaches who were celebrating via dog pile, or Slovak fans who bumrushed the court to tear JJ's head off. Either way, that looked kinda scary. But also very very awesome.
A gutsy Sunday for JJ who should totally get a Heart Award for spending over six hours on court, and a wonderful win by TEAM Serbia. Ana secured a point, JJ secured a point, and AK-47 comes through YET AGAIN in a decisive doubles rubber. And before people even try to slag off Bojana, let us not forget that much like Tipsy's DC heroics from last year, Serbia wouldn't have even been in a position to get back into World Group if not for Bojangles' Heart-Award-Worthy performance in the first round against Canada.
As for all the stuff on the Twitter about pitting JJ fans against Ana fans and all that nonsense (if you don't know what I'm talking about don't worry about) all I have to say is this: Whatever. This is a great accomplishment and result for these four ladies and I would personally rather spend my energy celebrating that than trying to turn shit all negative. It just seems so unnecessary. For now, let's pop some champagne, link arms, and sing made up songs that involve words like "ajde", "idemo", and "swimming pools". We can all return to throwing poo at each other tomorrow.
That's Fed Cup, people. It brings people together for a united cause. Crazy shit happens when you stich that flag on your kit. Sorry, did I say "crazy"? I meant AWESOME.
(Pics: AP, Fed Cup Site)
*No, I do not know why JJ was dressed like the Hamburglar.
It's about midnight and I'm packing up my stuff but I would be remiss if I didn't leave a note to let you know that Bepa just lost to Domi in three sets.
Yes it happened. I was there.
Domi needed six match points and got a case of the chokes the likes of which I have literally never seen before. Serving for the match she had triple match point at 40-love and literally froze. Two horrible swings at the ball got Bepa back to 40-30. Domi walked up to the line to serve and just stood there frozen in her pre-serve stance staring at the ground for a good 10 seconds and finally backed off the line, much to Bepa's annoyance. She got back to the line, stood frozen for a while longer and threw up an errant toss, which she had to catch. It was nutty.
But whatever. She finally converted her sixth match point and she's now chalked up wins over Caro and Vera in 2011. Get into the semis, Fran.
In other news, Zeljko's still fat.
I've never understood this whole "dinner on the beach" business. Why do you want (a) sand in your food, (b) wind turning your hair into a Bride of Frankenstein fro, (c) having to scream over the sound of crashing waves and wind to have a conversation, and (d) sand up your butt?
Have I mentioned that I'm not fond of the beach generally? Or Valentine's Day? (High five, Petko. Concert and beer. Word).
But side-ponytailed Bepa asking for a surprise? I just heard a lot of men and women squee their pants.
But the real news out of the Wozniacki camp was her presser, which was fairly ballsy and savvy, I think. Word got back to her of a couple of North American journos basically calling her bland and calling her out for giving cliched pressers. I know she wasn't talking about me but I also know she very easily could have been.
So how does a 20 year-old kid hit back? By giving this presser, which was in my opinion, fantastic.
There's been chatter all over the place regarding the thing. I've heard people say it was passive-aggressive, I've heard people say she pwned the media, and rather shockingly, I've heard people criticising her for saying anything and acknowledging the criticism.
Eff that, man. I think she handled it perfectly. Kudos to you, Caro. We already know you're media savvy. You and your team played this one just right.
But you still look like a doily. And you sound like a Muppet. But I like you a little bit more today than I did yesterday.
Caro loses to Domi 3 and 3, Vera loses to Flavia, 5 and 5, and in the best match of the tournament so far, Sveta takes out Sam, 36 63 64. That's #1, #2, and #4 out in one day. Ouch.
Caro was predictably delusional in her presser. More on that later.
As for Vera, she acknowledged, as she should, that Flavia is no slouch, but it was her inconsistency that was her undoing. "There were some good points, good shots, and there were some bad points and bad shots. I think overall the consistency wasn't there, but I tried to, you know know, keep doing what I had to do. There were moments where I was thinking too much about technical stuff, sometimes too much about tactical stuff, and I was not able to find that good balance between playing technically good and tactically good. That imbalance gave me a lot of inconsistency."
The kid has a way with words. More:
"I came here from Hong Kong, and I didn't really get the chance to really play points and some practice sets, so of course I had to try to find my rhythm in the match. Different conditions from what I've been training in and what I played in Hong Kong. The courts are different, balls are different, windy. So taking all this in consideration, it was very difficult for me to produce very good tennis today. but I tried my best, and I definitely can see some moments where I can improve. That's why I'm pretty conident and positive that next few days, if I train well and if I play those practice sets, I will be able to put it together. Then i can really raise the level of my game for the Australian Open."
So there you go. It was actually a really positive presser from Vera. She was smiley, had good perspective, and as always, thoughtful. But watching a bit of her match all I could think was that she didn't look as fit as she did in New York or Doha. She seems to be carrying a bit of extra weight and I honestly couldn't tell if it was "unfit" weight or "hit the gym and bulked up JJ-style" weight. But it worried me.
And then there's this girl, who I must say, I'm the least worried about. There's no shame in losing to Sveta when she's playing well. And by golly she played great today. As she acknowledged afterwards, it was for sure the best she'd played since San Diego. I mean, Sveta was hitting the ball into the court, you guys. That's a victory in and of itself. She did a good job of moving Sam around the court, but also holding her own in their brutally crushing forehand rallies. You want to see some hitting? Watch a Sam and Sveta match when they bring their B+ games. Holy crapola.
Sam played well. She served at 75% and was 2/2 on her break point chances. But her forehand let her down on the big points, missing by less than a centimeter a few times. She's feeling confident going into Melbourne, though. She'll stick around Sydney to practice given the weather issues in Melbourne making practice courts scarce. Then again, I'm writing this as the skies have opened up to cancel matches, so I'm not too sure the weather here is that great either.
And for those who are wondering, her family hasn't been affected by the horrible flooding in Queensland. Knock on wood.
So I'm sitting here catching on a month's worth of Tivo and I started going through my files. Sometimes, as you're surfing the interwebz, you just see funny or interesting photos and you save them, not having any idea if you're going to actually have a reason to use them in the future.
So here's me unloading a few randoms on you.
Vania and Shveddy at the Wimbledon Champions Ball.
I...don't want to talk about it.
If there's one thing we know about Igor, it's that he likes pretty things.
Ah. A classic.
Masha, about to eat her dinner.
Robbo and one of her two pooches.
Leather brings out the best in everyone.
Flavi and Sveta, yukking it up before Sveta's dubs match.
I wish Bepa would do *this* on the changeovers.
I'm thinking the security folks get really confused when they check her badge.
Z and Domi watching the JJ match. I burst out laughing when I spotted him coming down in that shirt. Because seriously, you could spot him from space.
Sveta, Bepa, and Sergey watching Dinara.
"It's not a tumor."
Dinara enjoying a latte while watching Dani beat Mono.
It was tres cute.
Oh, Sam. I'm gonna need a ring, not a ball. But yes. A THOUSAND TIMES YES.
Round 1 is done (almost) and 64 players are drowing their sorrows in champs and berries.
In the grand scheme of things, that doesn't suck.
Yeah, you fuck that air, Daveed. Vamos!
Aw, shit. Game on.
And by "Game On" I mean, "I'm leaving Wimbledon drunk, poor, and working off my debt owed to Pimmy by doing things that I dare not write on a blog that my parents read."
Posted by C Note on June 23, 2010 in Andy Murray, Anne Keothavong, Caroline Wozniacki, Daniela Hantuchova, David Ferrer, Dominika Cibulkova, Fernando Verdasco, Flavia Pennetta, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Maria Sharapova, Pic This!, Robin Soderling, Serena Williams, Wimbledon | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)
These are the shoes of a woman who insists on destroying both my spirit and my general affinity towards short people. First, she ruins what could have been the greatest sports story of all time. Then she had to beat Robbie today. Now it turns out, SHE'S BEING COACHED BY ZELJKO and she's going to play Portoroz.
Singles - First Round
Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) d. (2) Dinara Safina (RUS) 67(4) 64 64
(7) Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Petra Kvitova (CZE) 63 76(6)
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. (WC) Laura Robson (GBR) 63 64
It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Walk with me.
"So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to hit more to his forehand, like high topspin, and push him back behind the baseline. Then I'm going hit this shot, have you heard of it? It's called a forehand drop shot. Anyway, apparently it works on clay. I just figured this out. Yeah, I know, I'm brilliant. So like I was saying..."
More after the jump.
Posted by C Note on May 23, 2010 in Andy Murray, Anna Chakvetadze, Aravane Rezai, ATP, Dominika Cibulkova, Janko Tipsarevic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Maria Kirilenko, Novak Djokovic, Pic This!, Robin Soderling, Roland Garros, The Mighty Fed, WTA | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)
"So then I was like, why would you ask that? I'm Russian, so what, you know? So all I have to say is 'fuck the haters. Only one person can jurge me, and that's God. You're either with me or against me."
"But, I mean, to be clear, I don't really mean you should actually fuck the haters. It's a figure of speech, Domi. Like when someone says 'Fuck You', that's not literal. They don't want to have sex with you. Why are you looking at me like that? Well, shit, maybe that's your problem...."
(Pics for Forty Deuce by Love All)
A number of crazy dog fight matches in Dubai, as Caro came back from being down 5-1 in the second to beat Domi (C Note fistpump), JJ had to fight off Aravane in three, and Nails withstood MJMS. Then again, Bepa's off baking bagels again.
Do they have bagels in Dubai? Seems like...they wouldn't....
And in Memphis, Mels, the #2 seed (weird) beat Alexa Glatch and holy shit, Nikki V won a WTA match. Get the woman all the buttermilk biscuits she requires.
I have to say, I'm really looking forward to a Pova/Mels final in Memphis. Don't fuck that up for me, ladies.
Singles - Second Round
(1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 62 76(2)
(2) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) w/o (low back injury)
(3) Venus Williams (USA) d. Sabine Lisicki (GER) 62 63
(4) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 41 ret. (left knee sprain)
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. (5) Elena Dementieva (RUS) 64 11 ret. (right shoulder injury)
(6) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. Aravane Rezai (FRA) 46 64 75
(8) Li Na (CHN) d. María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) 76(7) 26 64
(10/WC) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. Andrea Petkovic (GER) 63 63
(11) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU) 62 61
(12) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. (Q) Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 60 60
Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. (14) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 64 64
Shahar Peer (ISR) d. Virginie Razzano (FRA) 62 62
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Tathiana Garbin (ITA) 46 61 62
(Q) Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) d. (Q) Alicia Molik (AUS) 64 64
(Q) Regina Kulikova (RUS) d. (WC) Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 63 60
Singles - First Round
(2) Melanie Oudin (USA) d. (Q) Alexa Glatch (USA) 62 62
Karolina Sprem (CRO) d. (4) Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 64 64
(8) Elena Baltacha (GBR) d. Renata Voracova (CZE) 75 61
Lilia Osterloh (USA) d. Stéphanie Dubois (CAN) 36 64 64
(WC) Nicole Vaidisova (CZE) d. Laura Granville (USA) 64 62
So here we go.
Notably absent: Uh...all of Russia, The "real" Belgians, The Williamses, The Golden Flowers, Sabine, and Gisela Dulko. And it still cracks me up that Mono isn't on France's team.
World Group I
Saturday - Play starts at 16:00 (15:00 GMT)
Ana Ivanovic (SRB) v Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) v Alisa Kleybanova (RUS)
Sunday - Play starts at 14:00 (13:00 GMT)
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) v Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)
Ana Ivanovic (SRB) v Alisa Kleybanova (RUS)
Ana Ivanovic / Jelena Jankovic (SRB) v Vera Dushevina / Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)
Ukraine vs. Italy
aka "Aw, hell no! I did *not* leave the South Side for this!"
Saturday - Play starts at 13:30 (11:30 GMT)
Alona Bondarenko (UKR) v Francesca Schiavone (ITA)
Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) v Flavia Pennetta (ITA)
Sunday - Play starts at 13:00 (11:00 GMT)
Alona Bondarenko (UKR) v Flavia Pennetta (ITA)
Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) v Francesca Schiavone (ITA)
Mariya Koryttseva / Viktoria Kutuzova (UKR) v Sara Errani / Roberta Vinci (ITA)
aka "Yeah, have fun, Cones..."
Saturday - Play starts at 13:30 (12:30 GMT)
Alize Cornet (FRA) v Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA)
Pauline Parmentier (FRA) v Melanie Oudin (USA)
Sunday - Play starts at 13:00 (12:00 GMT)
Alize Cornet (FRA) v Melanie Oudin (USA)
Pauline Parmentier (FRA) v Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA)
Stephanie Cohen-Aloro / Julie Coin (FRA) v Liezel Huber / Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA)
Saturday - Play starts at 13:00 (12:00 GMT)
Lucie Safarova (CZE) v Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER)
Petra Kvitova (CZE) v Andrea Petkovic (GER)
Sunday - Play starts at 12:00 (11:00 GMT)
Lucie Safarova (CZE) v Andrea Petkovic (GER)
Petra Kvitova (CZE) v Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER)
Lucie Hradecka/Kveta Peschke (CZE) v Kristina Barrois/Tatjana Malek (GER)
Marta Domachowska (POL) v Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) v Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)
Sunday - Play starts at 12:00 (11:00 GMT)
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) v Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)
Marta Domachowska (POL) v Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)
Klaudia Jans / Alicja Rosolska (POL) v An-Sophie Mestach / Sofie Oyen (BEL)
Slovak Republic vs. China
aka "Why does Domi have to ruin everything?"
Saturday - Play starts at 14:00 (13:00 GMT)
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) v Xinyun Han (CHN)
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) v Shuai Zhang (CHN)
Sunday - Play starts at 13:00 (12:00 GMT)
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) v Shuai Zhang (CHN)
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) v Xinyun Han (CHN)
Dominika Cibulkova / Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) v Xinyun Han / Shuai Zhang (CHN)
Saturday - Play starts at 18:00 (07:30 GMT)
Samantha Stosur (AUS) v Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP)
Casey Dellacqua (AUS) v Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP)
Sunday - Play starts at 16:00 (05:30 GMT)
Samantha Stosur (AUS) v Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP)
Casey Dellacqua (AUS) v Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP)
Alicia Molik / Rennae Stubbs (AUS) v Nuria Llagostera Vives / Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)
Saturday - Play starts at 12:00 (10:00 GMT)
Maret Ani (EST) v Maria Irigoyen (ARG)
Kaia Kanepi (EST) v Paula Ormachea (ARG)
Sunday - Play starts at 11:00 (09:00 GMT)
Kaia Kanepi (EST) v Maria Irigoyen (ARG)
Maret Ani (EST) v Paula Ormachea (ARG)
Maret Ani / Kaia Kanepi (EST) v Mailen Auroux / Aranza Salut (ARG)
Marcel Granollers, ranked #118, scored the biggest upset so far on the men's side, with five set come from behind win to oust #8 seed, and general asshole of the highest order, Robin Soderling.
Good fucking riddance, you pissy piece of shit. I have not been seduced by your supposed "charms".
Now that I have that off my chest, tough loss for Sods. A lot of people, including me, are looking at his first half performance this year to see if he's the real deal, or just a flash in the pan. He a great opportunity to pick up a shitload of points, too, which would give him some rankings insurance heading into RG. This was such a lost opportunity for him. This was the weak part of the draw.
Which of course makes my happy dance that much happier.
And of course, how about a shout out to Vania, who took out Domi in three sets. She came back from 1-5 in the third set. Then again, she also served for the match in the second. But a win is a win and more importantly, a Domi loss is a Domi loss.
"The Economist, once a year, heads out on this mission to see the
future. They try to predict the coming year... I am a fan of The
Economist-- that said, I think this project where they try to predict
the coming year is totally ridiculous. You have these great reporters
who have to write about, for instance, what's going to happen in
China in the year 2010 and they bring so much knowledge to this
question, but in the end, because no one can know the future, they
end up making these kind of equivocal 'on the one hand, on the other
hand' kinds of predictions... who cares?? ... 'Here's a bunch of random
things that may or may not happen, believe whatever you want.'"
-- Ira Glass, This American Life ("2010")
That right there is pretty much my personal opinion of predictions in sports like tennis. Who cares? Mostly, nothing means anything. The business of predictions, proclamations, assertions made on the basis of a single match (or one good week) is misleading and serves no purpose in an objective sport like tennis. This year especially, when there are so many comebacks (from both retirement and injury) and a string of Very Good Players who had Very Bad Years last year, proclaiming the future seems particularly futile. Trust me, I've been in sports where predictions and what certain people say and who won which events actually matters. You don't want any part of it.
I don't even get why people like to do it (is it so you can say later that you were right? Usually I could get into that). All you can do in tennis is watch and see what happens. To me, that's part of the beauty of it. I hate trying to guess what's going to happen. I'd much rather take stock as I go along.
Things That--Really Guys-- Seem Completely Meaningless Right Now
Posted by Carrie on January 07, 2010 in Alize Cornet, Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Commentary, Daniela Hantuchova, Dominika Cibulkova, Elena Dementieva, Flavia Pennetta, Guest Blogger, Justine Henin, Nadia Petrova, Sabine Lisicki, Sam Stosur, Sorana Cirstea, Vera Zvonereva, Victoria Azarenka, WTA | Permalink | Comments (19) | TrackBack (0)
Auckland has always been my second favourite tournament of the new season (behind Hopman Cup, natch), because of the stupidly Morning Zoo-like antics that go on around it. (For those lucky enough to be unfamiliar with the concept of "Morning Zoo", click here.) I mean...
So far this year, they seem to be trying to make Flavia into the Horse Whisperer. New Zealand is weird.
Nadia Petrova: Burger and french fries with everything on it, and Coke. At a nicer restaurant though!
Elena Dementieva: Chips. It’s my favorite bad habit. Potato chips and pizza. The chips are simple – just sea salt. I like to keep it as natural as possible
Vera Zvonareva: My mom makes this Napoleon cake a few times a year…
Liezel Huber: Chips. Not fries, but as in chips from the packet!
Cara Black: My favorite bad food is ice cream!
Sabine Lisicki: Ice cream. Italian ice cream!
Vania King: Fried chicken.
Dominika Cibulkova: A Slovakian dish my grandma cooks called Bryndzove Halusky… it’s potato dumplings with cheese and bacon… and it’s unbelievable.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands: Dark chocolate-covered almonds and sweet potato fries… not together, of course!
Aleksandra Wozniak: My indulgence is chocolates.
Caroline Wozniacki: Crêpes with nutella… it’s SO good.
Ana Ivanovic: Pancakes with nutella!
Michaella Krajicek: Porridge with pieces of chocolate in it. I really love it.
Katarina Srebotnik: Chocolate
Dude. Nads. Indian Wells. You. Me. In n Out.
Wow. That sounded really dirty. Also dirty? Whatever the heck Domi is talking about.
WTAers tell you about their love (in Vania's case) or not (Jesus, calm the fuck down, Liezel) of video games:
Ana Ivanovic: "I never did until I was introduced to Guitar Hero, and I love it."
Vania King: "YES. I love video games. I play mostly RPGs, MMORPGs and action/adventure games."
Aleksandra Wozniak: "When I was little, my sister Dorota and I would play Nintendo for hours. Now I just travel around the world with a PSP!"
Katarina Srebotnik: "No, not at all. When I was younger I used to love them and I have to say I was pretty good because I couldn't stand the words GAME OVER on the screen! I played the games over and over again until I would go all the way or at least reach a very high score."
Dominika Cibulkova: "I do - I play tennis video games! I'm not very good at them though, everyone is always beating me..."
Caroline Wozniacki: "I do, with my brother. Race car games, singing star... it's a lot of fun!"
Cara Black: "I don't play video games."
Liezel Huber: "NO!"
Vera Zvonareva: "Not really. I used to play Super Mario and Tetris on Gameboy. I would play Tetris for such a long time..."
Elena Dementieva: "I don't play video games. My brother is a big fan of them though. I could never understand his passion for them!"
- We get it, Ana. You LOVE Guitar Hero. That answer is getting as canned as her pool story, through no fault of her own, really.
- I can totally see Bepa dominating on Tetris. I can also see her banging her head into the controller when she realized she flipped the "S" piece one too many times.
- I love that A-Woz's sister shares the same name as this piece of awesome.
- Domi was so that girl who pretended to suck at video games so guys would think she was cute. Or, you know. She would just suck. Dick.
- I would totally pull a Domi if I ever played video games with Caro's brother.
- Vania King rules. Even I had to look up MMORPGs.
That is a true fan. She's wearing the Olympic kit and showing off her belly and everything. Good on you, Papa. He's even rockin the Krajan hair.
Dina needed all the help she could get to scrape by Roberta Vinci today. She dropped the first 26 and then had to battle back from breaks down in the second and third set, before breaking for the win, 26 75 64. Looks like the serve was pretty wonktastic, as she threw in 10 double faults.
Dina's not the only one who had to grind out a win. It took Sorana 75 75 to beat Meghan Shaughnnessy (she's still playing?), Dani had to come back from a set down to beat Errani, And Agnes needed 5 and 5 to take out the always riveting Ula.
Interesting quotage from James LaRosa's blog on friendships on tour. Much like James, I too am obsessed with wanting these girls to (a) be buddies on tour and (b) be buddies with me (well not all of them, just the awesome ones, cuz that's how I roll). It's cute to see CanWoz down on court and congratulating Caro in her semifinal win in that fake clay tournament that I can't think of right now, or Caro coming standing courtside cheering on Sorana, despite the fact that she was already out of the tournament. And I like to think that, especially among the veteran players, that as crazy as I make these women out to be, they're actually way awesome people that I just want to drink beers with and watch get into bar fights (I'm looking at you, Flavs).
Unfortunately, it looks like the stakes are just too high these days, for both the men and the women. Per Marat:
So what you're saying is that *after* tennis you and Dina will be BFFs? Sigh. Fine, I'll take it.
Oh, and just because I can and should, y'all should follow James on Twitter. You'll thank me later: http://www.twitter.com/JamesLaRosa
Who’s your ideal mixed doubles partner?
Gael Monfils because I really enjoyed playing with him in last year’s Roland Garros.
-- Up Close and Personal with Dominika Cibulkova
Seriously, Maria, it has to be said. Well done. Well done. Would anyone ever have guessed that she'd make her comeback at a Slam on her least favourite surface after 10 months out and actually improve on her performance from last year? That's pretty fucking amazing, actually.
Okay, so, it has to be done. We all know it. Think of it as ripping a Band-Aid off. Do it fast and don't think about it anymore. So, as fair warning, I will cover the matches in the following order, in what I think is the order that FDers would prefer to read about them. This way, you can see the least offensive one first, and then if you want to comment, just click and scroll to the comment box without even looking at the other ones. At least... that's how I'd do it. So: Dina/Aravane, Masha/Nails, Domi/Agnes, and then... well, you know. Just up front, I only saw Dina/Aravane and That Other One.
Vika d. Ana: Vika played well, especially in the first set and a half. Her serve percentage was somewhere in the low 80s, which is obviously excellent. But the major story was that Ana looked terrified. Despite her impressive play in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, today she looked as if-- once matched against an opponent who was a real threat-- she had absolutely no belief that she could control the match. She had some spots of good play, particularly in the first half of the first set and the last half of the second, and there were some excellent rallies in those portions of the match. But mostly, she looked scared. Tentative shotmaking, overhitting, that toss... it's heartbreaking to watch an athlete who's obviously battling herself as much or more than she's battling her opponent, and that's what Ana looked like today. As for the reports of neck pain and dizzyness, hopefully it's nothing serious and can be taken care of relatively quickly.
The Cone collapsed, Momo stood tall, and Slovakia gave it their all. And in the end, France avoided relegation by taking the tie 3-2.
Poor Cone. Is there any other player right now that has lost so many close matches? She lost the first rubber to Dani 67 63 64, and the third rubber to Domi 62 57 64. She's now 0-6 in Fed Cup.
Which meant it all rested on the strong shoulders of Momes. She took her singles rubbers over Dani (75 64) and Domi (46 62 63), then teamed up with Natalie Dechy to beat Dani/Domi 46 61 64.
So congrats to the Pastries. They're the only team in the playoffs not to get relegated.
Second, this picture makes me feel like I'm on acid.
Third, Ana has, in addition to Man Hands, Man Feet. Look at those boats!
Congrats to Team Serbia, who knocked out the expected win today with both AI and JJ going 4-0 in the tie. They love on to the World Group I playoff, where they'll play one of the teams that lost their World Group I tie (China, Argentina, France, or Spain). Since we all know the Chinese are like kryptonite to our Lady Serbs, let's not hope for them. Or France. Or Spain. So basically, Argentina.
Team Slovakia is into the World Group playoff after Domi clinched the tie with her win in the first rubber of the day. Dani sat out the second match and was replaced by Wienerova.
That's not important, really. I just wanted to say Wienerova.
No word on whether Alona still has to marry that old dude.
Last but not least, Germany took the doubles match to beat Switzerland, 3-2. ALG led the way after Sabine dropped the first match of the day to Peppermint Patty. ALG went on to beat the racoon-eyed Timea in straight sets, and then tamed up wth Tatjana Malek to beat Patty and Voegele 4 and 3.
The draw for the World Group playoffs will be held on Tuesday.
It was a little touch and go there and Ana's still serving like crap, but she somehow came away with a 64 64 win over Ai to kick off Team Serbia's 2009 campaign to get into World Group I. JJ had a much easier go, beating Morumi 61 60. So Serbia is 2-0 and they'll kick off the reverse singles with JJ/Ai (rematch of AO) and then, if necessary, Ana/Morumi. At this point it wouldn't surprise me if Ana took the match just for the court time. Let's also hope that the girls stick it out for doubles in front of the home crowd.
The drama tie so far has to be Italy/France. Even though Italy has a 2-0 lead, it didn't come easily. Flavia came back from a set down to beat Momo 26 76(7) 64. Great win for Flavs. Maybe this will kick start her season. But sad face for Momo. She really should have taken this in straights.
SuperGirl returned and took her match in straights over Wickmayer, 76(2) 63. And Domi took out The Flipper, 76(4) 61. Looks like they're well on their way in advancing to play the winner of Germany/Switzerland. Dur. Nevermind.
The two split Day 1 but Day 2 should be the interesting one. Lisicki will play Patty and ALG will play Timea. You have to think ALG has the game to beat Timea easily, which means the Swiss hopes are all on Patty to beat Sabine. That should be a fun match, actually.
Petra Kvitova had a nice win over CSN, holding off a late comeback charge, 64 64. But perrenial midriff flaunter Iveta couldn't keep her lead, eventually losing to Llagostera Vives 16 61 64. Still, you have to think Spain has this one given their doubles prowess.
Shahar Peer is one of those players that always scares me in Fed Cup. Like she kicks it into a whole different gear when you slap that flag on her back. Must be the military training. Anyway, she kept Israel in the hunt by beating K Bond 63 67(6) 63. The winner of this tie will play Serbia (if Serbia wins).
Lena and Flavs won 4 and 1, Domi dished out a bagel winning 0 and 2, and Kuz finally cruised, taking her match 2 and 2. I know upsets are fun and all, but if you look at the full draw, all you want are the favorites to play well and keep the draw in order.
Anywho, all the come ons, salutes, and fistpumps in the world couldn't help Team Australia last night, who lost the rubber 2-1 to the Slovak Republic. Congrats to Domi for fighting her way to the win over Dellaqua, who played valiantly, but in the end still hasn't hit the gym enough to be as fit as she needs to be to compete with the top ladies. No matter what they say, those Target pizzas are not good for you, honey.
With the win the Slovak Republic is is looking good for the Final. Their next match is against Germany.
But seriously, what's her deal? I can't figure out if I like her or kind of hate her. On one hand, she's a little jack rabbit who runs everything down and does a pretty good job of holding her own against players twice her size. On the other hand, she seems to know how cute she is and works that angle a bit too much in my opinion.
So yeah. I guess I kind of hate her a little bit. I can't put my finger on it but she's kind of annoying. This is 100% baseless but I can't help it.
They make a cute couple and all, but I can't get over the fact that he's 27 and she's 19. Kinda skeevy. But what else do you expect from a dude with a Douche Stamp.
Thanks to the lovely poster who sent these along.
According to this article (my 4 years of German finally pays off), Juergen Melzer and Domi Cibulkova are now an item. I guess they hooked up when they played mixed doubles at the US Open. I didn't even know she broke up with LaMonf. That's a shame. Because they made a visually hilarious couple:
Yay! Pictures from the Tokyo Players' Press Conference Extravaganza! Is it just me or should the WTA should out a memo to players telling them EXACTLY what the dress code is. I mean, Ana, Dinara, and Lena look like they're going to a cocktail party, Ai Sugiyama looks like she's going to a business meeting, Dani and JJ look like they're in St. Bartz, Momo, Domi, and Agnez look like they're going to the mall, Francesca Schiavone looks like she's going to a concert, and Na Li is wearing army capris.
I find Ana's attempts to dress up adorable because she clearly has no idea what she's doing. It's so relatable.
Oh, honey. You so need a Best Gay. Because here's what my Best Gay would say: "Oh my gosh. What. Are. You. Thinking? You cannot pack a silk dress and then put it on without steaming it first! And don't tell me you "steamed it" by hanging it in the bathroom while the shower was running. Because that shit is a LIE. It doesn't work. And honey, if you're going to wear heels, you need to OWN IT. Don't fucking slouch down like you're embarrassed you're so tall and hot. It's not your fault they decided to put some midget next to you. Augh! I don't even know why I'm friends with you. Sometimes, it's embarrassing! Cute Prada clutch though!"
So you're in good company.
Uh, this picture is AMAZING. Why? Ok, I do this all the time. I'll be dressed up for a wedding or something and I'll just be sitting there minding my own business, zoning off on some random thought, and without thinking, I relax, slouch down a bit, and then RELAX MY ABS SO THAT MY GUT IS TOTALLY HANGING OUT. Because yes, I (and apparently Ana) have to think about it to make sure my gut doesn't hang out. I have said it once and I will say it again: BABY ELEPHANT RULES!!!
AI and Company sharing what looks like a very genuine laugh about something. You know, for someone who is French and therefore ostensibly up to date (whether she likes it or not) on fashion trends, the fact that Momo still wears a scrunchy baffles me.
When will the WTA learn? You put MaKiri in the front row. It doesn't matter what her ranking is, it doesn't matter how successful she is, it doesn't matter if she's even there to play. Front Row. Always. Come on!
Can we officially say that JJ cannot perform under pressure? This choke #4 in her lazy attempt to "earn" the #1 ranking (lost to Ana at RG, lost in the round of 16 at SW19, and lost in the semi last week in LA).
Note to JJ -- Ana is doing everything in her power to help you out and you're just spitting in her pretty little face. You're an idiot.
More to come after I get home and watch the match tonight.