Fernando took some time to pose for some AO 09 promo pics. He's just all kinds of delicious, and a WAY better model than his girlfriend.
You can see more pics here.
A really impressive display by Fernando today as he demolished Paul Henri Matthieu 2 and 1. By far the best match I've seen him play. Ever. Everything was clicking, the movement was great, and the forehand was just money. You know how commentators will talk about how heavy a player's ball is (heh)? I would honestly play a lot of money to just hit 20 balls with guys like Rafa or Fer, just to see what they mean. Because honestly, when Fernando's using his forehand just to rally, it doesn't look all that impressive. But for some reason PHM couldn't handle it. I'm so curious what it feels like.
Basically what I'm saying is that I want to feel Fernando's balls.
As for Radek, what a weird match. He basically got into Reeeshard's head with his usual fist pumping, running around, showboating tactics, and you could see Reeshie getting pissed. But at the end of the day, whether you like the tactics or not, Radek played spectacularly when it mattered. I can't stand the guy but whenever he plays I love watching him. He's so old school. He won 26 62 64.
BTW -- Fernando's actually got two finals tomorrow. He's in the doubles final where he'll face Tsonga/Giquel. That's a nice little tourney for him, no?
Take a flawless slicing, dicing, and lobbing Momo and a tired off-form Baby Koala and you get a 63 62 drubbing. No bones about it. Did Ana play well? Nope. But I wasn't really paying attention to her. Momo was mesmerising. Seriously, it was awesome. You know that Tennis Channel One Minute Tip with the drill where you're supposed to hit four balls with different spin? That's pretty much what Momo did and it completely kept Ana off balance and didn't allow her to get any rhythm. She'll face the winner of Mono Bartoli/Garbin.
As for Baby K, what can I say. The positives? She's a fighter and she fought until the end. But missed volleys and smashes, and poor decisionmaking didn't help her cause. It was a frustrating match to watch because it made me miss RolandGarros!Ana. The Ana who allowed herself to get into rallies, who hit with margin, who used angles and constructed points until she got the short ball she could put away. Right now we just have IWanttohittheballreallyreallyhard!Ana. She's definitely hitting the ball really really hard. Unfortunately they're missing the lines by four feet.
(5) Amélie Mauresmo (FRA) d. (1) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 63 62
(2) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Lucie Safarova (CZE) 76(5) 64
Sara Errani (ITA) d. Olga Govortsova (BLR) 63 63
Not all is lost though in the Ivanovic camp. A freshly shorn Fernando had a very nice win over the hard hitting Florent Serra, coming back from a set down to take it 46 60 63. And really, it was a tighter match than the scoreline indicates. He'll face the winner of PHM/Special K.
"I was watching her match because I was on after. But if I had to play tomorrow and she was playing (after) tonight, I would be at the hotel resting. Here we're doing our jobs. We will have time to be together after the Australian Open. For now, it's time to play tennis and to be focussed on it."
-- Fernando Verdasco, on whether he'd stick around if the roles were reversed.
Let me get this straight. I spend all day yesterday watching the Brisbane day session on livestream, only to find out at 1am that no one's broadcasting the night session??? What gives, Australia? No love for Aussie Ana?
Well even without TV coverage Baby K let the AI-Nation take a huge collective sigh of relief as she seemingly battled her way to a straight set win over Kvitova, 64 62, in an hour and 45 minutes. Almost every game went to multiple deuces and Kvitova definitely had her chances. But in the end, AI was able to take it. Yay!
Anywho, here's some video of the happy couple leaving the match. Ana clearly wants to get the hail out of dodge.
Thanks to Kiki and babypanda, Forty Deuce's resident Ana stalkers ;)
Still, Tennis Wub is adorable.
(Pics from WTA Women's Tennis Blog)
FeLo and Fernando on some Tonight Show clone on Monday night. Unintelligible (to me) adorableness ensues!
Loved the awesome teamwork during air hockey. They immediately had a strategy and everything.
Fernando has torn himself from the side of Baby E and is now in Port Aventura for an exhibition. He posed with what I can only assume is Woody Woodpecker, which is kind of meta considering that was the nickname of some Ana's forum posters gave him.
But he was asked about Baby E. As is well documented here, I don't speak Spanish so I have no idea what he's saying. But according to some posters in her forum, this is a rough translation of the article accompanying the video clip:
So get to work, Spanish speakers (Kiki!). Anything else worth mentioning from the video?
UPDATED: The Never Failing Kiki answers the Bat Phone:
This is the same press conference that I saw yesterday in Corazon de Otoño. I'll start out with this one. He said that Ana was one of the best, if not THE best, person he has ever met. That she always had a smile on her face, and that was something that made him feel happier, feel like everything is much better. In this vídeo he also said that if he was not a tennis player, he might not have had the chance to ever meet her. That they went out to dinner with the respective teams, and got along very well.
This new vídeo is from a different part of the press conference (God, spanish reporters can get tiresome with so many private questions!). They don't really show the question, but I believe they ask him to confirm their relationship. He starts out by saying that they only know each other for 3 months, that they still didn't have time to see how everything will go. That people are going too fast with this.. Then he says that when the press published things that Ana had supposedly said, that they were together and that he made her very happy, he imediately asked her about it.. and that she said no. (laughs from everyone at this moment). He continues by saying that she told him she had not said anything at all. There were lots of people asking his agent if they were together, because of them being together in the China Open and Doha. I don't understand what he says at this point (not the spanish, but what he means).. but it's something along the lines that her manager informed people that they had met at the US Open and that they got along very well, and no more info. And then all the press alredy started to say they were together. That they didn't even have time to say they were together, that the press was already confirming it before they could even say anything. That they were asking him something that they still didn't have time to be completely sure of, that both of them like to take things slowly, get to know each other very well first, and as he had said previously, they still didn't have enough time to see how everything will go.
Then the reporters ask him if Rafa introduced them (everything comes down to Rafa!). He laughs and denies it. He then says that they got to know each other because they have the same clothing sponsor and that Ana's coach also coaches him sometimes. And at the US Open, they had a dinner with all the Adidas group. He mentions that he knew her before, but only by saying hi and goodbye. At this dinner they got to know each other better, and from then on they started to talk more and more often.
He is asked about what is the topic of conversation between them, and he says they do talk about tennis, about their careers, that it makes it easier that they are tennis players. But they also talk about life, about everything.. that they are not all day tennis tennis tennis. He says that they have great relations and that they are both very very happy to have met each other.
The last part of the vídeo is about a rumour os a relationship between Feliciano López and a spanish TV host. He says that he thinks Feliciando is single and happy to be single. haha But they should ask him, since he doesn't like to talk about his private life, imagine talking about others.
All together now: THANKS, KIKI!
All together now: THANKS, KIKI!
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?!?
Nice article on Gil Reyes, Andre Agassi's trainer and current trainer for the Adidas Player Development play (you know, the one that supplies Baby E with Sven).
Anyway, check this anecdote out:
Reyes relates that after Agassi left the room, Verdasco turned to him and said, "I need to tell you a story. Growing up in my hometown in Spain, I would go to the mall and I would want to buy all Agassi clothes. And they would say, 'Well, we're sold out -- here's some of the others.' And I would say, 'No, I don't want the others, I want Agassi clothes.' And I would walk away very sad."
"Does he know that?" Reyes asked.
"No, I'm too embarrassed to tell him," Verdasco replied.
"OK, I'll tell him," Reyes said. Agassi was amused and touched to hear the story afterward.
When Verdasco clinched the Davis Cup for Spain last month, Agassi visited Reyes at the gym and waxed enthusiastic about the victory. "He had a big grin, and he says, 'Way to go, Fernando,'" Reyes said. "That's just the way it works. Once you connect, you're part of our family."
Verdasco, already sold on the process, will return to Vegas this month for another stint. (No, girlfriend Ivanovic hasn't also signed up.)
Shit. Now I feel bad for calling him "Dick in a Box". Argh.
Thanks to rafadoc for posting this over at TW.
In a nutshell the video is by a satirical show on Spanish TV that sent a "reporter" to ambush the Armada at the Madrid airport on their way to Argentina. He interviews each of the players by rambling on about Rafa for most of the interview and then give each player three gifts for good luck: (1) a picture of Saint Rafa, (2) a newborn's wrist band so that they don't get lost, and (3) New York Magazine with Rafa on the cover to read on the plane.
And yes, I think I just fell in love with Daveed even more. He was so quick to laugh and go with the joke. And he really is a good looking dude when he's not dripping in sweat and walking like a turtle on the court.
Also, much love for FeLo, who offers to hold the dude's microphone so that he can properly tie the bracelet on.
Great. Now when I google "Ana Ivanovic" I get all these Tabasco articles. Luckily, that's not such a bad thing today.
Some great Davis Cup reading:
I just love the Spanish team. You stay classy, Spain.
Well, holy crap. They did it, they actually did it. Against all odds when pretty much everyone was writing them off, they pulled it out. It wasn't pretty and Lady Luck was on their side, but you know what they say, you make your own luck.
Who would have thought that the heroes of the team that would bring home Spain's first Davis Cup won on foreign soil would be FeLo and Nando? The boys better known for the their looks and their black books (and more than occasional HoYay) sealed this one up for Spain. FeLo with his gutsy win over Elf on Friday, both of them for their doubles win yesterday, and Nando, whose win today avoided a deciding tie between FeLo and Nalby. And let's face it, Nalby would have taken that one.
But boy, it wasn't easy. Because of Elf's leg injury, Mancini subbed in Acasuso and Emilio responded by tapping Nando over Farquaad. I was streaming the match from my hotel room and at the airport and I was one tense mothercrapper. Fer came out of the gate firing on all cylinders and clearly overmatched a very nervous Chucho, taking the first set 64. But then the serving yips (one of the few things he has in common with his girlfriend) hit him and the second and third sets were just ugly. Fer and Chucho broke each other back and forth, and just when one seemed to have the momentum they would go on stretches of gutless play. It really was infuriating.
But Nando righted the ship in the fourth, and as I predicted, Chucho just didn't have anything left in the tank. They guy hadn't played a match in weeks and he was clearly not match fit. By the time the fourth set was over, Chucho was on the Argentine bench begging his abs rubbed down for something, and he was barely there in the deciding fifth set. Nando would eventually win 6-3, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Get ready, Ana. You better start stretching now. Daddy's coming home and he had a pretty big day.
Not enough can be said about the fantastic job Emilio did with this team, especially in contrast with Argentina's Mancini. People will always second guess Argentina's choice of surface (indoor over clay). The supposed infighting within the team, with reports of Fatty being pissed at Elf for going to Shanghai instead of focusing on Davis Cup, allegedly coming to blows with Calleri after their doubles loss, and blowing off the post match presser and getting fined. All this should have been nipped in the bud early. I feel bad for Mancini. He got dealt a shitty hand with the injuries and what not. But a huge part of being a good captain is managing your personnel. I get that Fat Dave wanted this more than anyone, but dude, it's a team competition and you have to be a good teammate. So immature. I hope you enjoy your Twinkies. Just remember, they're food, not feelings.
In contrast, Emilio, much like Patrick McEnroe last year, built a team that put country first. They were true teammates. They liked each other (some might say they *more* than like each other). It was a smart move from him to tell Rafa to stay home. Genius to tap FeLo over Fer in the second rubber against Elf. Nando and Fer clearly took their doubles roles seriously, as they had been entering tournaments all year to hone their teamwork. And then, tapping Nando to face Chucho instead of the slumping Ferrer. So smart.
Unfortunately Emilio announced that he'll be stepping down as Captain after this. So no more hottie McHottie pics of Emilio. Sad face.
This is a hard one for Argentina and their fans to swallow. They came in as such presumptive favorites. But really, their chances pretty much went out the window the minute Elf pulled up lame on Friday. I think the assumption has always been that Spain would taket he doubles tie but Argentina would dominate in singles. So without Elf, it was an uphill battle. I really really really thought they were going to pull it out though. I didn't think Nando had the balls to gut it out against Chooch.
How can you not love Davis Cup? Wheel that big ass trophy out and men transform right before your eyes. Rankings and reputation go out the window. The boys just whip em out and measure.
And today was all about FeLo and Tabasco. Sure, they got a little headcasey in the third set, blowing a 5-1 lead and having to gut out a tiebreaker to take the set. But in the end they got it done, beating Nalby and the useless Calleri 5-7 7-5 7-6 (7-5) 6-3. They're now one win away from clinching the DC. You have to believe this is huge for the Rafa-less Armada. FeLo and Tabasco in particular, given that no one really takes them seriously for their tennis during the year and they are obviously always in Rafa's shadow. A win here would clearly make them national heroes
And how about FeLo? The Pretty One has clearly emerged as the leader of the Armada in Rafa's absence. If he can beat Nalby tomorrow they're going to be erecting beautiful statues of him all over Spain. Then again, knowing his luck, Farquaad will win his rubber first, rending FeLo's rubber meaningless. I don't think FeLo would mind though.
The draw took place this morning. Nalby and Daveed will kick things off in the first match on Friday.
So no Granola and Spains hopes rest on the beautiful shoulders of FeLo. Yeah, if I were Ana, I'd stay home too.
But they sure are pretty.
Videos of the Spanish Armada prepping for the DC Final:
I'm such a sucker for men who wear scarves. I don't know what it is.
So...if I'm reading this article right, and by that I mean if Google Translator is reading it right, Baby E is in fact coming to Argentina for the DC Final. This is what the Translator spits out:
I hope it's true!
Also, I think the article pokes fun at Fernando's hair.
UPDATED: Thanks to Kiki, who found another article reporting that she won't be there. So basically we're back where we started.
Baby E is hanging out in Madrid with Tabasco. Thanks to Kiki for the link. They were caught out catching a Real Madrid match.
Ok, seriously? They're cute.
So Ana's been quoted all around the Spanish media as confirming the relationship and giving new quotes. Rough translation: They went out for the first time at the US Open, they're still dating, "he's a great guy and I'm happy", and "This is all I'm going to say about it at the moment. A girl has to have some mystery."
According to an anonymous commenter, Ana confirmed to a Serbian paper that she and Tabasco have been dating since the US Open. Who knows with he Serbian press though (they've fooled me before).
I don't know why but this news cracks my shit up. So I guess he wasn't putting the moves on her for the first time in Beijing.
So I was out shopping today and my iPod plays "Inside You", which is a "fake" song sung by Russell Brand in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which if you haven't seen, you should. Russell Brand, Paul Rudd, and Jack McBrayer. Enough said.
But I was listening to the song just as I got the email about their confirmed dating history and I started to giggle to myself hysterically because I could totally picture Tabasco singing this song on the guitar and Ana giggling and actually falling for it.
It's like "More Than Words" which I'm sure has gotten more than one douchey dude laid because girls are too stupid to realize that song is about doing it. God I hate that song.
A very nice article by Christopher Clarey for the IHT on our beloved Baby E.
But check this out:
It has been a hot-and-cold year for Ivanovic, who will be 21 on Thursday, but what has not flickered is her ability to treat her interlocutors with respect. That fist clench is hardly to all her opponents' tastes, but there is no menace in her elsewhere, not even when asked to confirm reports that she is dating the Spanish player Fernando Verdasco.
"Um, well, that's kind of my private life," she replied politely. "We have very good relations."
Ana's been linked to a lot of dudes in the past, but she's always responded to questions about them with an emphatic "No."
That, is not an emphatic "No."
PS -- I love that she cannot lie even if she tried.
At least that's what Fed diehards would say. Fed comes home from an encouraging but disappointing result in Madrid to play host to a bunch of boys who want to slay the king. Luckily for Fed his hometown is looking out for him, as he's got a pretty easy walk to the final, with only a potentially tricky, undoubtedly overhyped semi encounter with Big Berd.
The hot Argentines are left to duke it out in the other half. JMDP beat Nalby last week easily and then got his ass handed to him by Fed. Will we see the same result here?
The Muzzard is going to have to celebrate his Madrid win in St. Petersburg, which would actually be pretty awesome except for the fact that the kid doesn't drink. No vodka for you! As expected, Russia wasn't kind to Mr. Andy, as they stacked his quarter of the draw with Ernie Linguine as a possible second round matchup, and Janko as a potential third rounder, and Not So Super Mario as a fourth rounder. Not easy, but you have to think the young kid has more than enough in his tank to capture a back to back title. Good luck to him!
Meanwhile, over in Lyon, American Andy will try to disrupt the French homecoming of Reeshie, Jo, and Gilly. A tough task I think to be an American going into France to dispatch a bunch of Frenchmen, but hey, like we care. That's what makes us American. In addition to Andy, the other non-pastries in the field include The Evil One, Dr. Ivo, Disco Tommy, Querrey California, and Radek. Will Commodus have enough left in the tank to contend here? He's stilly fighting for a spot in Shanghai and with good results over the next few weeks he could make it.
You gotta love the Chinese. They have no problem asking the tough questions. They straight up ask Ana whether she and Fernando are more the friends, and well...she blushes and kind of avoids the question. You can see the video here (you need to use Internet Explorer; click to 1:22).
Arguable whether she was avoiding the question, just saying they were good friends and really meaning that and nothing more, or just being Ana and giggling through a question about boys. But she was definitely blushing. My crack CSI team definitely deduced that one.
(Thanks to Ana's Forums for finding the video; Pic from Mens Tennis Forum)
I've spent the morning watching the awesome Dirty Sexy Money marathon on Soap Network and ogling, i mean, Googling Fernando Verdasco. Here are some fast facts.
He has two sisters, Sara and Ana:
He's hit on Masha's Camilla Belle:
He likes koalas, just like Ana:
He looks like a cross between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lou Diamond Phillips:
And he's allergic to clothes:
So basically he's your typical tennis dude. I don't love him, I don't hate him. He just seems like the type of guy who knows how hot he is, which always rubs me the wrong way. But whatever. He's a hot piece of ass though that's for sure.
All power to ya, Baby E.
I don't like Anando or Nanando. They just don't roll off the tongue (heh, though Nando might...). So I am officially coining Nanadoo, though I doubt this little flirtation will be lasting very long.
But based on these pics from Great Tennis Photos, it looks like Nanadoo may have taken a little trip to the Great Wall:
Here's Ana (and I think that's Scott sitting down on the left and Gavin on the right, and I'm sure Moms is somewhere) and Nando hanging out in what looks like a hotel lobby. And then there's AI wearing the same outfit at the Great Wall later that day (fashion note -- love the purse).
No walls were penetrated during the trip. Heh.