Has it really only been four days? It feels like a week already, to be honest. But it's been pretty great so far, even if I feel as loopy as that girl looks.
You know how there are some guys you look at and you're like "Oooh. I bet you he'd be total gentle and kind in the sex."
Yeah, Lleyton is not that guy.
You can always count on some good MaKiri Grit Face when she comes through in a tight three-setter. Always. Couldn't follow it up though, and she's out to Iveta today.
The Petko Dance has gone interpretive, guys.
It's the Australian Open. It's David Nalbandian. It's Lleyton Hewitt. It's Rod Laver Arena. It's the first round. What the fuck did we think was going to happen?
Five hours, five sets, and in the end, 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-1), 9-7 to Nalbandian. It was absolutely scintillating tennis. If not for this match, the Ana/Makarova match would have been the match of the day. But this one had so many jaw dropping, head scratching, face-palming moments that you just couldn't not watch.
The Australian Open has officially started. Hold on to your butts.
The Rally For Relief was a huge success both on and off the court, much the surprise of no-one. On their way to ensuring that Ana will require testing for STDs, the exhibition raised $1.8 million dollars thanks to some very generous and very necessary corporate matching programs. That number will continue to rise over the fortnight, as players will be auctioning off gear, collections will be taken all over the grounds, and more events are surely planned.
People look at my quizzically whenever I tell them I'm a tennis fan. Apparently it seems like a really weird sport to follow with such passion and fervor. Whenever they ask me why I love it, I never say "Oh, I love the game, it's beautiful to watch" or "Rafa Nadal's forehand" or "I just really like the one-on-one competition." That's not to say those statements aren't true, it's just that they aren't the reasons that pop up immediately in my mind.
Nope, I love tennis because of the personalities. I have genuine love and respect for these people as human beings (yes, even Roger). Is that really creepy to say? They're just good people. Is there any other sport that can take the top players in the game, throw them onto a court with mics and a can of tennis balls, and have them, rather spontaneously, put on the tennis equivalent of a Harlem Globetotters show? Sure, basketball exos can be fun, but aren't those more about "Oh, shit, look at what sick skill Kobe has!" as opposed, "Look at Andy Roddick being stupid just because he knows it'll make us laugh."
All the things that I personally love about this sport were on full display on Laver today. It was an absolute pleasure.
The players were in full exhibition mode (well, most of them) and so long as you have Nole and A-Rod around, you know you're in for a good time.
The event started with a team competition with Rafter, Moose, A-Rod, Vika, and Bepa on one team, and Lleyton, Justine, Caro, Ana, and Nole on the other. Caro was a bit of a dud, as evidenced by the fact that Lleyton's kid cried the second she picked him up. Also her dress looked crap. Don't believe me? Ask Judy.
While Nole and A-Rod were the exo stalwarts, pulling out all their usual tricks (A-Rod mocking line judges, Nole doing everything except playing tennis) I think the emerging exo stars of the show were Moose and Ana.
Ana stole the show for the ladies, chatting and giggling into her mic and seemed totally game for all the flirting and innuendo jokes. Her "Novak, get behind me. Well, you know what I mean..." got the biggest guffaw from me. She's come a long way from being the dead silent one at exos (see her appearances at USO Kids Day if you don't know what I'm talking about).
But the point of the match basically involved Moose and Ana hitting to each and making sexy grunts for what felt like a good 5 minutes, and seriously, if you closed your eyes the only conclusion you could come to is that Ana should, in a few weeks, pee on a stick. Because girl, you pregnant with a vampire baby. Everyone needed a moist towelette after that one.
JUST GET NAKED AND DO IT!
Is that a true and genuine smile from my boyfriend?
It must be love.
Next up was Fed and Sam vs. Rafa and Kim. This one was a bit of a letdown after the laughs a minute riot of the first match. There were no antics, just some light, competitive hitting. The players weren't even mic'd up and no one really knows why. But the match was worth it for this and this alone:
If you could please allow me to clear my throat before I add any commentary...*cough*...
You a do your part and donate here.
(Pics: Getty, Reuters)
Look at them! They're so smiley!
And Gael was there, too.
Play starts Wednesday at 11am:
Gael vs. Fer
Lleyton vs. Misha
Berd vs. Kolya
Jurgen vs. Jo.
Keep up with the happenings at Kooyong here.
Pics from the New Year's Eve Hopman Cup Ball have been posted and, as expected, they are glorious.
Laura, her family, and what looks to be a diamond encrusted Snitch.
Lleyton having a good time.
Slava rocking the shit out of her dress. Love the hair, too.
Justine. I think.
LiveStrong bracelet? Check. Skate shoes? Check. No tie? Check.
LET'S GO PARTY!
Nole with the $8000 autographed guitar (by Queen) that he bought as a gift.
Nole rocking some pretty amazing "Stare-Off-Into-The-Distance-Can't-Focus-My-Eyes-ZOMG-Gotta-Pretend-I'm-Not-Shithoused" Face. Cheers to you, Falcon. Well-earned.
(Pics: Hopman Cup site)
This one goes out to you, Hewitts.
So if I'm to understand this correctly, Lleyton and Becs will only reveal their new kid's name if you give them $2. If you give them $2 they will text you the name.
This is dumb for a number of reasons, all of which seem completely obvious.
First, in this technology age, only one person needs to pay that $2. The information will spread like wildfire (to the extent anyone cares, which is a separate point) immediately. Anyone who actually pays this money is clinically brain-dead. Second, y'all would make way more money if you just sold the first baby pictures to some major Aussie tabloid or something. Have we learned nothing from Brangelina? Third, and most importantly, does anyone really care?
I mean, I would pay $2 for a text message giving me news that is so important it keeps me up at night, like whether or not we've found the WMDs, election results, or whether Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal are actually dating.
You know, news that matters.
Because $2 is a lot of money. After a bit of research, I have learned that I could buy the following things for less than $2:
I would sooner drop $2 on any of these things, particularly those Russian lessons with that foxy lady, than on a text message for Baby Hewey #3.
Or the Barbie Accessories. No, the Russian lessons. Wait, nevermind. The button. I want the button.
I know I've already ranted about this on Twitter but I really do wish the seedings for the US and Serbia were swapped so that the US got Belgium in Group A and Serbia got Great Britain in Group B. That would have given us a guaranteed Serena vs. Justine match, which I would actually pay to watch, and Ana vs. Robbie, which would have been fun for no one but me. As it were, the seeding committee, through some "interesting" rationale, put Serbia first, then the US, GB, and Belgium.
And while I'm getting my complain on, I'm still bummed that Sam's playing Brisbane instead. And that it's not Shveddy and Evgeny. Or Gael and Aravane. Or Jo. Or even The Cone!
Oh, Cone. I miss you. Team France really could have done better here.
Overall, those are pretty balaned groups, I'd say. In terms of AO preparation, Andy's got a solid slate of matches lined up with Halpert and Gael, whereas Nole should cruise through his group play. The ladies draw sets up some interesting matches, with Ana vs. Justine, Serena vs. Fran, and Robbie's first bite of the big apple vs. Serena.
Mixed doubles is always the wildcard and more often than not, the decider. And really, can you bet against these two geniuses?
ANYWAY, is it January yet?
Huge comeback win for India, who have finally made it into World Group I by coming back from an 0-2 deficit against Brazil to take the next three matches. Nice wins by Bopanna and Somdev in singles to clinch this one.
Austria was pretty stoked too, bouncing Israel 3-2.
Romania clinched 5-0 over Team Lappenti.
Mardy Fish was the man in Bogota, winning all three of his matches (with a little help from Big John) to take the tie for the Rodless, Bryanless, Americans.
Sod sealed the win over Italy, beating Goth Bols (yes, he still kinda plays tennis) to clinch it today.
Team Techno dusted the South Africans, 5-0.
Rather inexplicably, Team Kazakhstan rolled over the Fedless Swiss, 5-0, to make their first World Group appearance. Make glorious nation, boys.
Meanwhile, the decisive matches in Cairns were rained out. They'll resume play tomorrow with the Roos up 2-1. They'll be without Lleyton though. He sprained his face mugging. Or hurt his wrist in doubles. Either way, he's out for a few weeks.
Petko crashed out of Bad Gastein at the hands of The Cone, who has inexplicably decided to play well this week. Why against Petko, Cone? WHY???
And Kolya kept his streak if failing to win back to back matches since he came back in June. He's out of Stuttgart, losing to Golubev, 64 64. In case you missed it, Kolya is no longer being coached by his brother. He's basically being coached by Irina. So that's working out well.
Oh, and Lleyton lost in Atlanta. But...that's not really all that Debbie Downer, is it?
Aaaaaand we're off!
You can *still* see that horribly offensive fistpump in the dark. Horrible!
And you know there's an issue when people are saying JJ looks better.
It was redemption weekend as Sam the Tank won his third title of the year (only Rafa has more), beating No-Socks 76 75 to claim Queens. That gives Sam a title on all three surfaces this year. Hey, have you heard that Sam's a dark horse at Wimbledon this year? Oh, you haven't? Just wait for it.
Apparently Lleyton read my little jab from yesterday and decided to take it upon himself to rewrite the script. As most of the commentators noted yesterday, this was a prime match for Lleyton to win, as Fed's form has obviously been questioned and his form in Halle leading up to the final wasn't as emphatic as one would expect. So Lleyton took his cue, beating Fed in three sets to stop his streak of 15 straight losses. After the match, Fed blamed his forehand and serve for the loss.
Not that the German crowd cared. They were too busy watching Der Mannschaft TOTALLY EMBARRASS Lleyton's Socceroos in Durban. So everyone wins! Except Fed. Tear.
And in Birmingham the seeds held up, as Nails, who beat Shazz in the semifinals last year, beat her again in the finals this year. And in totally cool, clever, and hilarious form, the two had totally nice things to say to each other after the match:
Last time I checked, a "rivalry" implied that there was at least some form of "competition" between the two players. Now, maybe I'm just being an asshole here (which, let's face it, I am, but that don't mean I'm not right!) but if one player has beaten the other player fifteen straight times over the course of seven years, I'm going to go ahead and say that they are not "in competition" with one another. I have no doubt their matches are hotly contested. But I'm pretty sure Bjorn Phau/Rafa matches are hotly contested, too.
So stop embarrassing Lleyton by throwing around the word "rivalry" willy-nilly, ATP. It's really really not.
Please keep playing well. We need your brand of crazy on a more regular basis.
And I have a whole notebook full of poetry dedicated to you. You're my muse!
Ah. The irony of yellow.
Scuba! Scuba! Scuba!
Embrace your inner Techno.
"This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes."
Posted by C Note on June 01, 2010 in Andy Murray, ATP, Fernando Verdasco, Francesca Schiavone, Jelena Jankovic, Justine Henin, Lleyton Hewitt, Maria Kirilenko, Marion Bartoli, Nadia Petrova, Pic This!, Rafa Nadal, Roland Garros, Serena Williams, The Mighty Fed | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Oh, Cone. I miss you.
More after the jump.
Posted by C Note on May 25, 2010 in Alize Cornet, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Dinara Safina, Jeremy Chardy, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Juan Monaco, Lleyton Hewitt, Maria Sharapova, Marion Bartoli, Pic This!, Rafa Nadal, Roland Garros, Sam Querrey, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Yanina Wickmayer | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)
Shit's about to get real on Twitter.
I seriously don't understand the uproar.
Who the hell dresses up as the villain to one of the best Pixar movies of all time?
And a weak ass villain at that. Dude was a schmuck.
Posted by C Note on January 25, 2010 in ATP, Australian Open, Caroline Wozniacki, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Lleyton Hewitt, Maria Kirilenko, Na Li, Nikolai Davydenko, Novak Djokovic, Pic This!, Sam Stosur, Serena Williams, The Mighty Fed, Venus Williams, Vera Zvonereva, Victoria Azarenka, WTA | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)
Fed owned Lleyton, blahblahblah, played unbelievably, blahblahblah, clearly the frontrunner, blahblahblah, whatever. All I know is that 2 sets in, I fell asleep. It was so boooooooring. And no, it's not about the domination. I thought the Serena match was interesting. This match was just...Fed. Fed doing what Fed does. Snooze. It wasn't anything I hadn't seen before, which is probably an awesome thing for Fed fans.
We were all buckled in for an entertaining rematch of the 2008 late-night epic between Bags and Lawnmower. Unfortunately Baggy's shoulder didn't get the memo. After getting bageled in the first set and looking all out of sorts, Bags through in the towel after getting broken in the second.
And so we must now live with the two-day hype towards futility known as Lleyton vs. Fed.