So here's what I wrote for the Wimbledon site.
The Most Interesting Man In The World.
Ok. There's "Required Reading" and then there's ZOMG REQUIRED READING. Uncle Jamie's backseat interview with one Ernests "Mr." Gulbis is an absolute must-read. I won't bother quoting anything because there's just too much.
Just kidding. My fave bits:
"If you meet a girl, I’m not ready to go in relationship with her straight away, so it’s like, what is in my mind? For every normal guy, in your mind is to get the girl in bed. As soon as possible. It all takes energy. In a tournament I don’t do that."
"What do people do when they go out? They get drunk. To go out and not drink, I don’t understand it. If you go to a nightclub, what is to enjoy there? Nothing. The music is too loud, everybody’s sweating, everybody’s dancing, it’s dark, everybody’s pushing, everybody’s drunk. And if you’re the only guy sober in the nightclub, you don’t enjoy it at all. If you’re into the groove, you know, you have a couple drinks, you’re on the same level as the club, you can sometimes get something positive out of it. But it’s not what I like. I prefer to stay in my friends’ company, invite girls over, we have drinks in a normal quiet environment.
Also when you’re in a tournament you can’t drink. It’s just stupid. I believe tennis players shouldn’t drink at all. If I start drinking I’m going to drink until the morning. I can’t go to a nightclub and drink four beers and I’m good. If I go out, I go full night out. I have nothing to do the next day, I can sleep, then afterwards I go for a run or something like that. But if you’re in a practice week or in the middle of a tournament there is no chance I’m going to go out."
"I like pure vodka. Shots, with some nice food. Also one very good drink which I like, you drink a shot of vodka and then you drink milk. The milk is very good for your stomach. After vodka it calms you down. You don’t get the burning feeling. Try it.
Vodka is dangerous. You really need to control yourself not to get a blackout. If you want to go easy, beer. I enjoy beer, but not this piss kind of beer you have in America."
Standing O Slow Clap for Uncle Jamie. Nailed it.
(Pic: Forty Deuce)
Posted by C Note on March 16, 2011 in Agi Radwanska, Andrea Petkovic, Andy Murray, Daniela Hantuchova, Dinara Safina, Ernests Gulbis, Feliciano Lopez, Fernando Verdasco, Francesca Schiavone, Gilles Simon, Igor Andreev, Indian Wells, Janko Tipsarevic, Jelena Jankovic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Kei Nishikori, Maria Kirilenko, Milos Raonic, Pic This!, Sam Stosur, Sania Mirza, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Vera Zvonereva | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)
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.
So my first full day at the [Wait, It A Bank? A Mortgage Company? In The Southwest?] Open kicked off with a little bit of Ernie action. I was actually watching Rafa when I saw some puff of hair bopping along on the court behind him. Sure enough, some Latvian homeless man had jumped the fence to go for a light hit with Mischa.
Just a quick note about the tournament venue: It's awesome. I really really mean that and I've been to my share of big and small tourneys. The event is really well-organized, the staff have been more than friendly, and the grounds are spacious enough so that you don't feel overwhelmed by crowds, but small enough so that you can walk them without packing a lunch. We'll see if this assessment holds up as crowds grow over the week but right now, I'm impressed. This has the potential to be an amazing joint event next year.
After Ernie/Rafa, it was off to sit with my good buddy DonkeyGrooming to watch a shirtless Fernando practice for nearly two hours. It actually ended up being pretty fun.
He was in a pissy mood for most of his practice session but started to lighten up in the last 20 minutes, chatting with the crowd, trash talking with his hitting partner, and trying to catch returns in his pocket.
A smiley Fernando is the best kind of Fernando. Now if only we can get him to cut that damn hair.
In the end, the two hours of FerWatching was worth it. Not only was he looking fine he also stopped for a picture with DG. And I must say, the picture is awesome. He's smiling, she's smiling, everyone was happy.
Except for me. I needed some shade (though I have to give a shout out to the weather gods because it was damn near perfect today compared to the searing heat and humidity of yesterday), some spaghetti topped with chili, cheese, and onions, and a beer. OH YES, A BEER.
I did sneak off for a few minutes of Fernando's tan-fest to catch me some Gilles. And once again, I was reminded how much I adore him. Uh...please ignore that evil blue blob in the background. I sure did.
Unfortuntately, because of my much needed 45 minutes of cool down, this is all that I saw of Pico today. He to de Bakker. Here's hoping he sticks around and hits the practice courts tomorrow. I promise I'll be on it.
Then it was off to see some Ferru, who had his hands full with the always confusing Alexander Dolgopolov. First of all, Dolgo's got really bad subcutaneous acne. I'm sorry, I don't like talking about it, but it's relevant insofar as I find him really difficult to watch. And for whatever reason it actually looks worse in person. Second, he's got a crazy serve that is literally a "throw it up and hit it hard" motion that clocks him 115-120mph. I have no idea how he gets that power with such limited motion.
A-Rod's playing right now. Um...we all know how I feel about that. I'm going back to the hotel and getting my drank on.
Tomorrow's OOP looks awesome: Gilles and Jeremy in action, PHM/BigBerd, Reeshie/Mischa, Llodra/Benneteau, and Feli/Fer doubles. Oh, and Nalby vs. Lubey on Grandstand tomorrow. STOKED.
It took him three sets, but Nalby was able to knock out the always game Daveeed to keep his momentum going. And with Nalby, that's a lot of momentum. Is it weird that I want to see him do well in Toronto and then lose early or pull out of Cincy? I want a healthy and hungry Nalby in New York. Well, like, hungry in a tennis way.
Sod survived the [insert appropriate adjective here] Ernie, who could not fucking convert a break point in the second set to save his life. He had so many opportunities to get up break early and just couldn't. So Sod won. And Gay God cried.
And Tomas won. But more importantly, I LOVE his summer kit. Pop that collar, Tommy.
Pop it like you own it.
Ernie and Dinara are confirmed withdrawals from Wimbly. Ernie's out with the hammy injury that knocked him out of RG and Dina's out with her back injury. Uh, ostensibly.
Ernie's withdrawal has to be a bit of a relief for Rafa fans. He'll be replaced by Petzchner. As for Dina, her withdrawal means Mel is a seeded player and will face ALG in the first round.
Check out the revised draws. There've been a few other withdrawals since they were released on Friday. Masha now avoids the always dangerous K-Bond and gets Pivorova instead.
Ernie got the results of his MRI and he's suffered a hamstring tear that will require at least 3 weeks to heal. He's likely to miss Queens and we'll have to wait and see for Wimbledon. Blah.
A behind the scenes look into the "cool" WTA.
Tignor's awesome take on Ernie.
Kamakshi Tandon previews the Moose/Dickie match.
Doug Robson takes a look at Rafa's knees.
QuIsner blog from Paris.
An interview with Ana Ivanovic.
Well that changes things a bit, doesn't it?
Ernie, trailing 64 62 10, retired from his match with Apricot after sustaining a thigh injury early in the match. So...the pressure's on you, Gael.
Perhaps the worst thing about Ernie's retirement is we get no Ernie pressers. That is fucking bullshit.
UPDATED: Quotes from Ernie:
Fantastic write-up on Ernie from the Telegraph with more Air Quotes than I could possibly do justice. But my favorite part, other than the mental image of what "Nights Out With Marat and Ernie" entail, is this:
Money doesn’t motivate or interest him. “Because I come from a wealthy family, it’s more normal for me to have this money as a tennis player. It’s OK if it’s there, it’s OK if it’s not there. It’s not a big issue for me. If you come from a poor family, you want to pull yourself up, you have a goal to earn money. I don’t have that goal.”
And he isn’t playing for celebrity either.
“The fire in me is that I want to prove to myself that I can do it, that I can be at the top. I don’t care about money, I don’t care about fame. I don’t like money and fame, I don’t need them and I’m not living for them. I don’t know if I like or love the game so much.
"I enjoy competing. I don’t like practising. When I’m on court and it’s a competition, I enjoy it. I enjoy having a goal. When you reach a goal, it’s OK, but also an empty feeling. When I won my first ATP tournament this year, I was happy for maybe 10 minutes, and that was it. Then I had an empty feeling,” he said.
“And then we are on to the next week, that’s OK. It’s good in tennis that you always have to push yourself for new achievements.”
Keep playing well, Ernie. The Rebel Alliance needs you.
Use your words, Rafa.
How fun was that? I had such a blast watching that match. Some of the shotmaking by both guys was just awesome. I love that Rafa finally got a strong challenge on clay and he was able to steel himself and come out on top. No one competes like Rafa. No one.
Hell of a match, Ernie. Hell, that was one fuck of a tournament you just had yourself. Please don't be crazy and lose all this momentum and belief. You played so well until that last game. Some of those forehands had me gasping for air. Well, and if I can just be honest here, so did some of those dropshots. But not in the same way, unfortunately.
You're awesome. I love that people are talking about you again. I loved seeing you play up to your oft-discussed potential this week. And I love that you look homeless. Now please don't fuck, Vika. Seriously dude, your dick will fall off.
As I just wrote over at the Forty Deuce Facebook Fan Page (see what I did there?) I'm really happy to see Ernie play well. He has, for so long, been the guy that other players pointed to as having Top 10 or Top 5 talent if he could just pull it together. He has this week and it's been awesome to watch.
But I miss the old Ernie. The Ernie that was best buds with Nole and used to act as a kid. I miss the dorkily shorn Richie Rich who would laugh at his own idiocy on court, hit some RETARDED impossible shots, and then follow it up with just plain retarded shots for the next 40 minutes. I miss the Ernie who would give good quote. Granted, this might give you some insight into why I love watching the WTA so much.
But I hope Ernie can find a balance. Because honestly? It's not really all that fun watching you play joyless high-quality tennis. If I wanted that I'd go watch Fed or something.
I love how Ernie isn't even trying anymore. Could the guy look like any more of a scrub these days?
Well the scrubby one took out Fed in the first round of Rome, 26 61 75. That's like, 500 tournaments straight now that Fed hasn't made it past the quarterfinals. Or is it three? I don't know, I'm not good with numbers.
Speaking of numbers, you know what as on Ernie's mind during his SEVEN match points? Number 2.
I have been told that there is a certain subset of the human population that finds pictures like this to be sexy. I have also been told that there is a certain subset of the human population that likes kiddie porn. All I'm saying is just because you like it, doesn't mean it's ok. But I'm an enabler, so there you go.
Contrary to what Slate and Business Week might tell you, the events of this weekend (namely, Ernie and Kleybs winning) did not send the Earth off its axis*. What's that? You want proof? I got better than proof.
I got proofs:
Congrats to Nole, Vee, and Daveed for their tourney wins. Why can't we get a picture of Nole captaining his new boat on the open seas as Venus lounges in her sombrero and a shirtless Daveed cuts up some pears. I don't see why that's a lot to ask.
*Thoughts and prayers to the people in Chile. I've only been through a 20 second 6.9 quake in 1989, and that alone caused bridges and buildings to collapse in San Francisco. I'm not a skilled enough writer to adequately articulate how much this sucks, so I'll just leave it at that. It sucks.
This feels like it's been a regular occurrence, but once again, apologies for the silence. I've been out of town since Friday up in the snowy mountains of California enjoying the spoils of knowing people who know people who have nice things. In this case it was a way too fancy cabin up in Tahoe. As I am currently healthcare-less and therefore not trying to do anything that might leave me injured but short of dead, I didn't hit the slopes. I hit the bar.
As if that should shock you.
So imagine my confusement (that's totally a word, right?) when I woke up dehydrated, groggy, and breathing thin mountain air to check the weekend's scores only to find this:
At first I thought it was the lack of oxygen. I must be hallucinating. Then I thought it was a weird dream where Ernie and Kleybs were celebrating the invention of some new sex toy I hadn't heard about. And then I thought, "Calm down. Head back to the safe sea-level confines of San Francisco, drink a shitload of Gatorade, and get your head right. Things can't be what they seem."
BUT THEY WERE.
Well, for a 250, Doha's got a nice little set of top seeds. Interesting. They also have an eclectic assortment of lower ranked players and wild cards, including this guy, who turned pro 20 years ago.
Nice win by Ernie over Steps and Reeshie's not losing early in tournaments. I am pleased about this.
Singles - Second Round
 G Monfils (FRA) d [Q] M Chiudinelli (SUI) 76(5) 63
 S Wawrinka (SUI) d S Greul (GER) 63 62
Singles - First Round
 J Tsonga (FRA) d M Zverev (GER) 64 63
[Q] E Gulbis (LAT) d  R Stepanek (CZE) 64 64
M Youzhny (RUS) d T Bellucci (BRA) 62 63
A Beck (GER) d R Schuettler (GER) 63 46 76(3)
J Monaco (ARG) d G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 50 ret. (illness)
R Gasquet (FRA) d P Petzschner (GER) 63 62
While the ladies are imploding over in Tokyo, the guys aren't doing *that* much better. The only difference is that the results are surprising, in a good way.
Marat, Ernie, and EvG all notched wins. Weird. Daveed and Lleyton well in KL, the latter not being surprising except for the fact that he lost to a qualifier.
Singles - First Round
M Safin (RUS) d  P Petzschner (GER) 62 36 61
 J Melzer (AUT) d M Daniel (BRA) 63 62
E Korolev (RUS) d  F Santoro (FRA) 46 76(4) 76(7) - Saved 2 M.P.
[Q] M Ilhan (TUR) d B Becker (GER) 46 76(4) 63
A Beck (GER) d [Q] E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 75 76(1)
[Q] M Chiudinelli (SUI) d [Q] F Mayer (GER) 63 63
E Gulbis (LAT) d [WC] S Devvarman (IND) 76(7) 62
R Ginepri (USA) d [WC] D Udomchoke (THA) 64 63
Singles - First Round
 T Berdych (CZE) d I Kunitsyn (RUS) 61 36 62
M Youzhny (RUS) d  D Ferrer (ESP) 76(3) 62
[WC] J Johansson (SWE) d  L Hewitt (AUS) 76(7) 63
M Vassallo Arguello (ARG) d F Lopez (ESP) 63 63
[Q] R Bopanna (IND) d J Acasuso (ARG) 46 63 64
K Beck (SVK) d [Q] M Kukushkin (KAZ) 16 76(4) 63
He took a rough tumble in the third and left some skin on the court, but he withstood the at times brilliant and most times numbnut play of Ernie to take it 75 63 75. It was actually a pretty entertaining match to watch. Some spectacular shotmaking from both.
As for Ernie, yet another beautiful loss against a top 10 player on Arthur Ashe. Bless, you idiot.
Dismissed by fat Marc Gicquel, 2 and 3 in the first round of Cincy. Even the AFP is over Ernie. Here's the photo caption:
Horrible sentence structure aside, it's pretty rare for the AFP to add editorial commentary to a fairly innocuous pic.
No upsets in Queens today, unless you're an idiot and think Ernie losing in the first round is an upset. I mean, don't get me wrong. *I'm* upset. "It's* not. That said, I'm sure someone will pick him as a sleeper for Wimbly. And now that I've called person an idiot I'm sure Ernie will pull a LaMonf and march to the quarters just to spite me. Which I would totally be ok with.
The American boys put a bold-face, underline, small caps, on their "WE HATE CLAY! WE LOVE GRASS. IT AWARDS AGGRESSION" deal. Blah, Sockless, Rod, and Sam all won.
Singles - Second Round
 A Roddick (USA) d K Vliegen (BEL) 61 64
 J Blake (USA) d I Ljubicic (CRO) 62 76(4)
 M Fish (USA) d M Llodra (FRA) 57 76(5) 63
 G Monfils (FRA) d A Golubev (KAZ) 63 36 76(5)
 F Lopez (ESP) d D Istomin (UZB) 76(3) 46 76(5)
S Querrey (USA) d [Q] K Anderson (RSA) 75 63
Singles - First Round
 I Karlovic (CRO) d T Gabashvili (RUS) 63 76(11)
A Martin (ESP) d  E Gulbis (LAT) 76(9) 64
J Ferrero (ESP) d [WC] S Grosjean (FRA) 62 21 ret. (right shoulder)
S Darcis (BEL) d P Capdeville (CHI) 36 63 64
J Benneteau (FRA) d D Koellerer (AUT) 63 64
All credit to ESPN for calling itself out. From their 5 things we learned today feature:
1. Dinara Safina is playing like the favorite: Through two rounds she has lost a total of exactly … uh, two games -- in less than two hours. The No. 1-ranked Russian rolled qualifier Vitalia Diatchenko 6-1, 6-1. Since she ascended to the top spot, Safina has won 16 of her 17 matches on clay. She got to the final here a year ago and made the Australian Open final earlier this year. This, clearly, represents her best chance to join brother Marat as a Grand Slam champion.
Safina's coach, Zeljko Krajan -- naturally -- was again disappointed in her play.
"If one day he's going to be happy, I think I'll finish my career," she said. "He's never happy. Even today, he's not happy."
2. And Ana Ivanovic is starting to play like the defending champion: There have been some dicey moments this year -- like losing in the third round of the Australian Open and her second matches in Miami and Rome -- but her form seems to be returning.
Ivanovic torched Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-1, 6-2 and she said she thinks she can repeat at Roland Garros.
"I do," she said, "and I worked very hard for it and know I have a game."
3. ESPN.com's "experts" asleep at the wheel: The four women tabbed by six ESPN.com writers as sleepers -- Amelie Mauresmo (2), Patty Schnyder (2), Sabine Lisicki and Kaia Kanepi -- all lost in the first round. Sleepers, did we say sleepers? We meant to place them in the early-exit category.
"If Gulbis loses, I'm completely inept with my pre-tournament picks," said tennis writer Bonnie Ford, eyeing the scoreboard with disgust early in the day.
Ten minutes later, Ernests Gulbis -- Ford's male sleeper -- fell to Nicolas Almagro in four sets. What's the French word for inept?
"Incapable," said Ford, who speaks fluent French, explaining that the word is the same in both English and French.
4. Andy Roddick is the last American man standing: As a corollary to No. 3 -- and a public service, no doubt -- we are compelled to further mention that no fewer than four ESPN.com experts (who shall remain nameless) chose Roddick as their candidate for an early exit. With the loss by California native Robert Kendrick to Gilles Simon in the second round, 5-7, 0-6, 1-6, Roddick is the LAMS.
Did we mention that Simon and fellow Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who now appear to be in terrific form, were the other two early-exit choices?
Tapping Momo as a sleeper and Gilly and Jo as early exits weren't bad calls. But Sabine? Everyone knew she was pretty injured coming into RG. Kaia Kanepi? Uh...yeah...I don't know what that was about.
But really, say it with me...ERNIE???
I guess I don't really understand how Bonnie Ford can be SO SHOCKED that Ernie lost. My only guess is that while the rest of us are waking up in the middle of the night to watch Ernie lose ever so beautifully (though let's face it, he hasn't been losing beautifully lately) Bonnie's doing the smart and rational thing and sleeping.
Pfft. Weak humans.
I really kind of meant it in a "lookit all those straight set wins" kind of way, but then I found this...
Posted by Carrie on May 27, 2009 in Agnes Szavay, Alize Cornet, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Andy Murray, ATP, Ernests Gulbis, Feliciano Lopez, Fernando Gonzalez, Fernando Verdasco, Gilles Simon, Guest Blogger, Janko Tipsarevic, Marin Cilic, Na Li, Roland Garros, Victoria Azarenka, WTA | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Sadly this is the last we'll be seeing it in Munich, as he went out to Colin Farrell. Then B-Pow had to retire with a right hand injury. And then DerEvKo had to go and lose to Chardy.
Singles - First Round
 N Kiefer (GER) d E Gulbis (LAT) 26 63 62
P Kohlschreiber (GER) d B Phau (GER) 62 21 ret. - right hand
M Youzhny (RUS) d I Minar (CZE) 63 76(5)
J Chardy (FRA) d E Korolev (RUS) 63 63
Doubles - First Round
 R Bopanna (IND) / T Parrott (USA) d N Almagro (ESP) / S Prieto (ARG) 64 57 10-8
[WC] D Gremelmayr (GER) / D Meffert (GER) d P Marx (GER) / F Moser (GER) 36 63 10-1
Interesting tidbit from Matt Cronin re Ernie:
I also appreciated this insight, because I too was wondering about the Sharapova withdrawal stories that hit the news this week. I kept having a heart attack thinking that she had announced her withdrawal from IW and Miami:
The matches were drama filled for stupid reasons, primarily related to the poor line calling. Elf went a little nuts on the umpire in the second set, slamming his racquet into the padding by the umpire's chair. He then went off to sulk at the back of the court. Sensing this as my moment, I yelled "Vamos!" pretty loudly (there weren't that many JMDP fans in the arena) . All of a sudden Elf started spouting off in Spanish for a good 15-20 seconds. I have no idea what he said but I'd like to believe that my well-timed "Vamos!" instigated it.
Elf is damn impressive to watch live. The kid is tall and not as lanky as he seems on TV. He's seems sturdier. And boy can he cover the court. I have no idea how he doesn't trip over those legs of his, but it's impressive.
As for Ernie/Andy, it really came down to Ernie just serving like crap. Couldn't get a first serve in to save his life in the first set, and he couldn't get a second serve in a few times, throwing in back to back double faults eary in the first set. Twas a real shame he couldn't make more of a match of it. There were about 4 of us in the crowd rooting for him. Again, I got a lot of weird looks from the people sitting around us whenever I cheered for Ernie.
The Andy/Ernie match ended on a weird note. Andy served an ace that Ernie thought was out. They had some words at the net and kept glaring at each other while they were packing up their things. During his post-match interview Andy was asked what was said, to which he replied "Pleasantries. You know it's Valentine's Day" or something to that effect. Charming to some I'm sure. Not to me.
You're not as funny as you think you are, Andy. Just sayin'.
Capped off the night with a nice In 'n Out run. Fun times. Hopefully, depending on who makes the semis and final, I'll make it down there again this weekend.
Here are links to the rest of the pics:
I hope they work. Let me know if they don't.
Here were the scores out of San Jose:
 A Roddick (USA) d E Gulbis (LAT) 63 76(3)
 J Del Potro (ARG) d K Nishikori (JPN) 62 62
 J Blake (USA) d F Serra (FRA) 64 63
 M Fish (USA) d [WC] J Isner (USA) 62 67(4) 75
 S Querrey (USA) d D Gremelmayr (GER) 63 62
[Q] T Widom (USA) d T Dent (USA) 67(5) 63 62
That's a lot of red, white and blue.
Baby Ernie acting with his Mom is a Latvian movie. Yes, you heard me correctly.
You know what the best part of that video is? Vika's not in it.
I'm warning you, woman. Stay the eff away.
I'm really starting to lose my patience with this kid. He has the talent and the game to win these smaller 250 events and yet he goes on complete walkabout and seemingly can't focus.
You know, Ernie. You wouldn't get shit draws if you upped your ranking. In case your coach hasn't told you, you can up your ranking BY WINNING MATCHES.
Of course, all hell is breaking loose in Zagreb anyway, with Dr. Ivo and PHM also losing today. Mario has yet to play. Let's hope he doesn't catch the bug too. Nevermind. He won, 61 61,
In the clash of young guns, JMDP came out on top in three sets, 46 64 61. I'm beginning to question Ernie's ability to play more than two sets, let alone five. I don't know if it's a fitness thing (though he looks like he bulked up in the off season) or if it's mental. But something ain't right.
Otherwise, it was a day of three setters in Auckland but in the end, the only seed to fall was Juan Monaco. And how about a tip of the cap to Johnny Isner, or as I like to call him, Jim Halpert. He's come through qualifying beating Bellucci and now Ginepri. Air five, Halpert.
 J Del Potro (ARG) d E Gulbis (LAT) 46 64 61
 D Ferrer (ESP) d M Gicquel (FRA) 67(3) 64 64
 R Soderling (SWE) d [Q] B Reynolds (USA) 63 46 62
 N Almagro (ESP) d Y Lu (TPE) 67(4) 63 62
 P Kohlschreiber (GER) d J Ferrero (ESP) 64 46 76(5)
 S Querrey (USA) d [Q] G Muller (LUX) 36 63 64
V Troicki (SRB) d  J Monaco (ARG) 36 64 62
[Q] J Isner (USA) d R Ginepri (USA) 64 67(1) 76(5)
Is it just me or does Ernie have a different look in his eyes these days. I get the sense that he's no longer just happy to be there. He wants to win. Watch out, boys.
5] P Kohlschreiber (GER) d [WC] D Hrbaty (SVK) 61 62
[Q] J Isner (USA) d  A Montanes (ESP) 76(4) 75
 J Monaco (ARG) d V Hanescu (ROU) 63 64
[Q] G Muller (LUX) d F Serra (FRA) 63 64
Y Lu (TPE) d S Darcis (BEL) 76(5) 62
E Gulbis (LAT) d M Granollers (ESP) 64 67(5) 61
[Q] B Reynolds (USA) d [Q] O Hernandez (ESP) 76(4) 57 62
M Gicquel (FRA) d A Calleri (ARG) 36 64 64
Day 4 OOP:
Center Court (11am)
Lu vs. Almagro
Gulbis vs. Del Potro
Gicquel vs. Ferrer
Soderling vs. Reynolds
Kohlschreiber vs. Ferrero (7:30pm)
Querrey vs. Muller (11am)
Troicki vs. Monaco (2pm)
Ginepri vs. Isner (2pm)
Nole needs to talk to Serena. Because clearly he doesn't subscribe to the "You have to show up, so why not play well?" philosophy on life. Not once throughout the match did he show a flicker of intensity. I'll be honest, it was pathetic. It's one thing to play like crap but keep working your way through the match and at least show that you care. It's quite another to play like crap, realize you're playing like crap, and just want to throw in the towel and get off the court. It was a sorry display of non-competitiveness.
After the match, Nole blamed it on rust. Bullshit. Rust explains the poor movement and failure of execution. But heart and competitiveness don't get rusty. It doesn't matter if it's a Grand Slam final or a practice match. An elite athlete hates to lose. At everything and anything.
He also blamed his new racquet apparently. Does this guy know what it means to SUPPORT YOUR SPONSORS? Word is they paid him $4.5M. Say something nice, idiot.
Not to take anything away from Ernie. He played a pretty contained match. Except for a few rough patches he wasn't going for everything on every shot. It wasn't a flashy style of play, but it showed better match sense of when to be aggressive and when to construct points. I was impressed.
E Gulbis (LAT) d  N Djokovic (SRB) 64 64
 T Berdych (CZE) d [WC] B Klein (AUS) 60 64
F Serra (FRA) d J Ferrero (ESP) 63 76(3)
M Ancic (CRO) d [Q] A Delic (USA) 76(2) 67(4) 76(6)
K Nishikori (JPN) d [Q] B Reynolds (USA) 63 62
P Mathieu (FRA) d [Q] T Gabashvili (RUS) 63 63
As for the ladies, #2 seed Vika survived a valiant challenge by Jarmila Gajdosova but not before making my shit list. The kid was just plain annoying today, mouthing off at the umpire, crying, and generally acting like a petulant child, which I would forgive except that I realized that she's 19 now. She was the victim of a number of bad line calls and at one point accused the Aussie umpire of favoritism for Gajdosova, who has strong ties to the country. For whatever reason though, that wasn't what bugged me. At one point during a changeover she complained to the umpire that Gajdosova was taking too long between serves. In the game immediately after that she held up Gajdosova's serve (and continued to do so later in the match) so that she could catch her breath. What is that?
Oh yeah, and once the crowd started getting on her for her antics she muttered "Fuck you people." She really is taking this whole "The Next Sharapova" thing a little too seriously.
Gajdosova's one to watch this season, though. She hits the ball hard and flat but she could get fitter to improve her movement and ability to rally, and she needs to have better match intelligence. She had her chances but chose the wrong times to go for broke and made some really stupid errors at key break point chances.
(2) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Jarmila Gajdosova (SVK) 76(4) 75
(3) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. (Q) Melinda Czink (HUN) 57 63 61
Tathiana Garbin (ITA) d. Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 46 64 62
1. Ferrero vs. Serra (following a doubles match)
2. Delic vs. Ancic
3. Llodra vs. Sirriani
4. Gasquet vs. Dent (NB 8pm)
1. Garbin vs. Kleybanova
2. Gabashvili vs. Mathieu
3. Reynolds vs. Nishikori
4. Beneteau vs. Soderling (NB 8pm)
Dude, I know Australia loves Jo, but come on. Nole/Ernie should be the night match for sure. That's gonna be a cracker. I'm also looking forward to Stosur/Lucie, mainly because I want to see Lucie's form. I want her to get back up into the top 20.
I really like the color choices and the one thing I really like about Adidas gear is that it's actually wearable. It LOOKS LIKE sportswear that's easy to wear and sweat in. So I give them props on that. I do have one complaint: WHERE'S GILLES?!?
Well it's Thanksgiving here in the States, the day in which Americans gather around a roasted bird and pretend to forget that in exchange for the generous hospitality the indigenous peoples occupying this great land offered, white settlers gave them disease, war, subjugation, and casinos. So you know, win-win!
Putting all that aside, it is the day where we gather around the table with people we may or may not like and give thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us. This year I'm spending it in NYC with my sister and it looks like I'll be attending a very Felicityesque T-Day with a bunch of NYC transplants. I'm genuinely looking forward to it. Well, the mulled wine at the very least.
All this is a roundabout introduction to my list of the 10 Tennis Related Things I'm Thankful For:
10. JJ -- Shocker, right? But seriously, I'm thankful for JJ. She keeps it fun and interesting. After all, who else would we talk about if she wasn't around? The girl gives good quote, hilarious picture, and non-stop glitter-infused drama. To that, I raise my glass of Aqua Viva water.
9. My Wilson KFactor kTour Racquet -- Sigh. It was love at first strike with this puppy, which I got about 8 months ago. I resisted it for so long because it was Lindsay and Justine's racquet of choice, two players I didn't like that much. But I demoed Masha's Prince 03 White, Ana's Yonex RQiS 1, Nole's Wilson kBlade, and even JJ's Prince Speedport White and couldn't find one I loved. At my wits end I finally demoed the kTour, and it was absolutely perfect. For anyone who's interested, try it out with Wilson Sensation strings at 57 lbs. It's just a pure and clean hit.
8. The First Half of 2008 -- It was fun while it lasted. My girls (Masha/Ana) and boys (Rafa/Nole) were winning, they were looking good, and my life as a tennis fan was all rainbows and handbags. And then we all stepped on the grass of Wimbledon and it all (well, almost all) went to shit.
7. Crazy Eyez Fed -- I love this guy. He needs to come back, ASAP.
6. Crazy Russians -- What is it about the home of Stalin, Rasputin, and Vodka that it keeps rolling out the crazies? Hmmm...I think I may have answered my own question. Between CrazySexLostHisCool and his potty mouth of a baby sister, Casper The Melting Ghost, Underachieving Kuz, NoServe McGee, Angry A-Chak, and of course, their greatest export, Maria "Fuck The French" Pova, they really keep things interesting.
5. New Pretty Faces -- Hot Crazy Elf Train, Gilly, Jo, and Ernie. Not only are they new cute boys to fawn over, but they actually have game and are exciting to watch. Sometimes God does give with both hands.
4. Davis Cup -- Sure, maybe this is inflated given the events of the past week, but still. Even if Spain hadn't won the Cup in the manner in which they did, Davis Cup was awesome this year. And looking forward to next year it can only get better, what with TMF agreeing to grace us with his presence. So for all the HoYay! awesomeness that Davis Cup brings on a quarterly basis, I bring thanks. Now, if only the ladies took Fed Cup as seriously.
3. Rafa -- Sure, I love my Nole, but Rafa's ridiculous 2008 drew me back into men's tennis. I love his fight, his competitive spirit, his strut, his ADD, his humility and grace, and his perfectly bulbous ass.
2. Baby E -- Come on, this one's obvious, right? She single-handedly brought me back into tennis, as it had been a long time since I had a WTA player that I genuinely rooted for. She's a breath of fresh air in the diva world of the WTA. And on this day of overeating let us never forget: She's a nerdy fat girl stuck in a hot body.
1. You guys -- I really didn't know what to expect when I started this blog in July. It all came down to the fact that I had all these stupid and immature tennis thoughts running in my head all the time that it was distracting. So I started the site just to get these ideas "on paper" so I could move on. I never expected a an international coaltion of like-minded tennis fans, who love the sport and the players but don't put them on a pedestal, would come together to create the rad community that we have going here. Seriously, you guys make me check my own site on a quarter of an hour basis to keep up with your hilarious comments and insights. So on the serious, with no sense of cynicism or or irony intended, thanks.
Alrighty, off to get drunk now. If you see a drunken Asian girl stumbling the streets of Spanish Harlem, steer clear. I can't promise the turkey is staying down.
Posted by C Note on November 27, 2008 in Ana Ivanovic, Anna Chakvetadze, Davis Cup, Dinara Safina, Elena Dementieva, Equipment, Ernests Gulbis, Gilles Simon, Jelena Jankovic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Juan Martin del Potro, Marat Safin, Maria Sharapova, Rafa Nadal, Svetlana Kuznetsova, The Mighty Fed | Permalink | Comments (37) | TrackBack (0)
Heartbreakers, both of you! Both Marat and Ernie lost in St. Petersberg yesterday. But it's not even about them losing. It's about how they played. Their quality just wasn't there and it's so frustrating because we all know they're better than this. But to get repeatedly dumped out early at these tournaments is just getting so exasperating.
Of course, Ernie had a bit of an excuse as he was playing the pasty white hot Muzzah, losing 4 and 2. I totally agree with the commenters who have said that he needs to play challenger tournaments to get his ranking up so that he's not facing the top seeds in the early rounds. Something tells me Ernie's not that driven though.
As for Marat. Really? Losing 4 and 2 to a qualifier I've never heard of (Gobulev)?
Nice abs though. Yum!
Remaining scores from St. Petes:
J Tipsarevic (SRB) d J Chardy (FRA) 64 76(3)
V Hanescu (ROU) d [Q] M Kukushkin (KAZ) 63 76(7)
[Q] M Zverev (GER) d  M Youzhny (RUS) 75 64
Quarterfinal lineup and OOP:
Tabasco v. Old Man Rainer
Golubev v. Zverev
Tipsy v. Murray
Hanescu v. Elgin (17.00 hrs on Court 1)
Play starts at 15.00hrs.
Can Tipsy get himself up for a showdown with Muzzah? Let's hope so. I just want to see a good match.
 A Roddick (USA)d R Ginepri (USA) 76(5) 76(3)
S Darcis (BEL) d  R Gasquet (FRA) 64 36 76(5)
 J Tsonga (FRA) d F Santoro (FRA) 62 57 63
 G Simon (FRA) d A Seppi (ITA) 76(5) 57 64
 R Soderling (SWE) d [Q] C Rochus (BEL) 61 62
J Ferrero (ESP) d  P Mathieu (FRA) 64 61
Quarterfinal lineup and OOP:
A Rod v. The Evil One
Simon v. Ouanna
Ferrero v. Tsonga
Benneteau v. Darcis
Play starts at 14.00hrs
Ernie Linguine was busy drooling over Rafa. Ernie once again aquitted himself well against Rafa, but Rafa was able to take the third, winning 75 36 63. Nice job, Ernie. You're still one of those "aw crap, I gotta face that guy in the first round?" players. Nothing but love for you!
In other Linguine news, Reeshard was able to come back and outlast The Sockless Wonder in three sets, 67(3) 64 63. A nice win for Reeshie, but can I just go ahead and say that Mardy Fish looks like an old man on the court? He doesn't move well, nothing other than his serve looks natural, he just swats at everything. Blah.
Speaking of Blah, Blah Blah Blake (trying something new here) crashed out as I expected against the ever pesky Gilles Simon, 36 61 64. Simon is just the type of player that drives the Blah Blahs and the Gonzos of the world crazy. They like to go for their shots, Simon runs them all down, and then they try for too much out of frustration and impatience and they miss.
Here are the rest of the day's results. Quite a fun one!
 A Murray (GBR) d [LL] S Bolelli (ITA) 60 21 - ret. (shoulder)
M Cilic (CRO) d  F Verdasco (ESP) 62 63
G Monfils (FRA) d [WC] F Fognini (ITA) 62 64
[Q] M Granollers (ESP) d P Mathieu (FRA) 64 64
J Nieminen (FIN) d M Youzhny (RUS) 75 36 62
P Kohlschreiber (GER) d C Moya (ESP) 62 62
[Q] R Ginepri (USA) d M Llodra (FRA) 64 64
R Soderling (SWE) d [Q] F Serra (FRA) 63 64
[Q] V Hanescu (ROU) d D Tursunov (RUS) 46 62 63
This is an election year here in the Colonies, and what better way to whet your appetities for the November bloodbath/election than voting on important, landscape changing, historic issues. Issue that are destined to shape the American social, economic, and cultural landscape and have a profound effect not just on our lives, but on the lives of our children and our children's children. As Rutherford B. Hayes so wisely put it, "To vote is like the payment of a debt—a duty never to be neglected, if its performance is possible."
So, who looks more like Linguine, Ernie or Reesie?
“The best place to play against (Nadal) is at Roland Garros. That’s a joke, of course.”
-- Ernests Gulbis, making funny in anticipation of his second round match against Rafa in Madrid.
I agree with Diane over at Women Who Serve that Na Li might be the most dangerous floater these days. Her ranking just doesn't do her justice so she just goes into every tournament upsetting players for at least two rounds. In fact, I think you have to say that about both Na Li and Zheng Jie. The Chinese women just wreak havoc on the draw.
Na Li dispatched of the greatest young talent in all the world, Nikki V., 61 62. Not great for Nikki in her first tourney since the US Open. I just don't know what her deal is. Is she just content being a "journeywoman" tennis player and watching Radek all the time? She's strikes me as someone who gained such success without really "trying" early, and now, when things are hard, doesn't know how to deal or get out of it. That sucks because as much as I was giving Carlos Rodriguez crap, she really is a great talent. She's still young and maybe 2009 will be a fresh start for her. But for now, she's just a sorry player to follow.