Thursday, June 27, 2013
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Monday, June 24, 2013
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Enjoyed the Murray doc. Good to see/hear from his father. Favorite quote: He liked his GQ photo shoot, "Because there was fire in it."— Steve Tignor (@SteveTignor) June 23, 2013
Sir Alex Ferguson on Andy Murray:”Watching Andy I get more worked up, more emotionally involved than I do my own team”— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) June 23, 2013
Great start to the Andy Murray doc on BBC1. I was going to head to bed but this is worth staying up for… #Murray— Clare Balding (@clarebalding) June 23, 2013
Friday, June 21, 2013
So I went looking for the evidence. This is what I found. Awesome! Keep an eye on Stakhovsky. He plays Rogerio Dutra Silva in the first round at Wimbledon and if he makes it through he'll face Roger Federer in round two. Even if he doesn't win, the serve-and-volleyer will be sure to bring the crowd to its feet a few times.
Yesterday I was in FLYING mode @TheBoodles :) Video of some dives will come up today ,don't you worry grass is so soft:)— Sergiy Stakhovsky (@Stako_tennis) June 19, 2013
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Gilbert's is a sentiment that many share, and they have good reasons for that. With Nadal seeded fifth, he could face any of the top four seeds in the quarterfinals. In other words, if you thought it was a travesty that Nadal and Djokovic played their epic five-set nailbiter in the French Open semifinals instead of the finals, then get ready for a possible Djokovic-Nadal quarterfinal at Wimbledon. But, really, is the alternative any better? If the Wimbledon committee would have moved Nadal up to fourth, it would have been forced to move David Ferrer down to fifth. It sounds like a logical--and just?--decision to make, but when you factor in the decision that the seeding protocols have been put in place for a reason, throwing Ferrer, a player who has done everything in his power to be the No. 4 seed, to the wolves might be unjust also. John McEnroe gave his two cents on the same subject in an ESPN conference call yesterday: Q. (Question regarding the men’s seedings and whether they should deviate from current rankings.) JOHN McENROE: "I think they should seed Nadal in the top four. I don’t think anyone would murmur any complaint whatsoever. I think Wimbledon is the only tournament I’m aware of out of the four majors that does change the seedings. I don’t know exactly how they do it. Apparently there’s a formula, a committee, a combination. But clearly he should be one of the top four seeds in my book." Q. Let’s say they don’t. That would obviously have an enormous effect on the other four. JOHN McENROE: "Ferrer is going to be the five seed if he’s not the four seed. Therefore, if he played Nadal in the quarters anyway, it would be like the same old, same old for him, because he’s always had to play one of those four guys in the quarters. If you were to, say, have Nadal play Djokovic in the quarters, possibly Murray or Federer, that would be a big difference, yeah. It would be absolutely wrong for that to happen, in my opinion." Well then, what is wrong and what is right? Roger Federer, just last week at Halle, argued the case for Ferrer, saying, "The problem is if you say 'he’s the No. 5 seed and that’s a joke' then this is completely disrespectful towards Ferrer and I don’t like that. Nadal will shortly be back in the Top 3, that’s for sure. So, it’s not worth making a big fuss about it now. It’s just a question of time." Andy Murray, seeded second this year, doesn't seem to be losing much sleep over Nadal's seeding, even though he could end up having to face Nadal, Federer and Djokovic in consecutive matches to win his first Wimbledon, an unenviable task if there ever was one. Speaking in his BBC Sport column on Monday, Murray said, "As a player you can't get too obsessed about the draw...I'd sign up to be in the quarter-finals against Rafa tomorrow if someone offered me that. You could say if I get through that match, then the semi-final might not be as tough, but if you want to win the biggest tournaments you have to beat the best players in the world. It doesn't really matter where they are in the draw." Wimbledon seeds players based on current ranking and a weighted combination of the two previous year's grass court results. Ferrer, a quarterfinalist at last year's Wimbledon, reached his first Wimbledon quarterfinal in his tenth appearance at the Championships in 2012. He also won a title at a grass court event in the Netherlands last season, further helping his seeding cause. Nadal was seeded third and Ferrer fourth (due to Andy Murray's withdrawal) at the French Open this year, but even after Nadal won his eighth French Open title, he slipped behind Ferrer in the rankings due to the fact that Ferrer reached the final, whereas last year he lost in the semifinals.
just got up and saw the no changes in the seeds top 5,no eye test in that fomula, I will say 100% joke fererrr seeded over Rafa no— Brad Gilbert (@bgtennisnation) June 19, 2013
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Monday, June 17, 2013
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Is the record on Federer's mind right now? He was asked that earlier in the week. Here's what he had to say: Q: You have won 76 titles. Is it an additional motivation to break McEnroe’s record? FEDERER: And then I will have to win another 70 doubles titles (laughs). Of course it’s a motivation but I cannot think of McEnroe’s record before I’ve even played my first point here. That would be wrong. McEnroe has done a lot for the sports on and off the court and as commentator. I hope that I will break his record one day. It could be sooner or later. Odds are that it will happen sooner, but with Lendl at 94 titles and Connors at 109, Federer may have climbed as far as he can on this list...
Friday, June 14, 2013
Monfils was broken to lose the set later in the game, and lost the match, 6-7(4), 3-6, 3-6.
Monfils was called "king of the ill-advised trick shot" by SI.com's Courtney Nguyen on Friday, and it's impossible to deny that. I guess, for Monfils, it's good to be the king of something. But when the sad truth is revealed and it becomes obvious just how committed to winning Monfils is, the whole charade seems a bit like a cop out.
Monfils enthusiasts have been waiting for years for this wildly talented boy to become a man and own up to his talents, but with each new fancy trick shot it becomes more and more apparent that Monfils just simply doesn't want to find out how good he can be. Hence the escapism, and with Monfils, the supply is abundant. The trick shot well never seems to run dry.
In his defense, Monfils is clearly interested in ensuring that fans get their money's worth when they see him play. When you look at it from that perspective, his actions don't seem nearly as egregious.
Anyhow, Haas was asked about it by reporters after the match. Here's his response.
Q: I had just had a verbal fight with Monfils about the weird ball in the match and I told him it’s kind of a lack of respect for the opponent and he totally disagreed. He said the practiced that shot during the training time and it was for him the best way to win the point. What’s your opinion?
HAAS: I mean that’s a way of looking at it. He’s an entertainer as well when he goes out there a lot of the times. He doesn’t need to hit the shot that way. But I think he thought he can win it anyway. It’s his call. I mean it’s strange I haven’t seen it that many times. At the same time I don’t remember how important the score was just of the top of the head, if it’s 40:0 and you do something like this, maybe it’s a good thing but it’s his decision in the end. That’s Gael.
Q: My question is it a lack of respect for the opponent or not?
HAAS: I don’t know if that’s lack of respect. I think he’s more of an entertainer in that sense and he wanted to do something entertaining for the crowd as well and maybe see if he can win that point that way. If he hit the smash well he still could have won the point, especially on grass he’s in control of the point. I don’t think necessarily it’s lack of respect. You saw the crowd sort of really enjoyed it.
Q: And you?
HAAS: To me it was okay. You always try and think of something. Sometimes I think he can do a little bit too much with the crowd or he commentates after many points. That sometimes can be a little bit too much in my eyes. But overall he’s a funny guy, he’s a good entertainer. As long as he can stay focussed that’s the most important thing. I try to stay focussed and not pay too much attention but sometimes that’s not easy. But I don’t think he shows disrespect to the opponent.
Haas ended up coming back to win the match (he'll face Roger Federer in the semis), but LaMonf will definitely generate more hits on YouTube, so maybe he wins in the end?
Thanks to The Changeover for the clip.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
(June 13, 2013)--Roger Federer told reporters that it's not worth it to get worried about where Rafael Nadal is going to end up when the Wimbledon draw gets made next week. "Whether he’s four or five some might get lucky in the draw," Federer said after his victory over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe on Wednesday. "The problem is if you say 'he’s the No. 5 seed and that’s a joke' then this is completely disrespectful towards Ferrer and I don’t like that. Nadal will shortly be back in the Top 3, that’s for sure. So, it’s not worth making a big fuss about it now. It’s just a question of time."
Federer, the defending and seven-time Wimbledon champion, has not won a title since last August, when he defeated Novak Djokovic in the Cincinnati final. Federer won six titles in 2012r, and reached a total of ten finals. He was asked on Wednesday in Halle if he was feeling a sense of urgency about winning a title in 2013, after going o for the season thus far.
"This year, yes. Right now, no," he said.
Federer will face German wild card Mischa Zverev in tomorrow's quarterfinal. If he wins he'll get the winner of tomorrow's tilt between Gael Monfils and Tommy Haas.
Wednesday's win over Stebe pushed Federer's record at the Gerry Weber open to 40-5. The 31-year-old owns five titles and has reached another two finals at Halle.
Yesterday, during her 6-4, 6-3 victory over Great Britain's Heather Watson she had this stroke of genius early in the second set.
And what a great reaction from the Russian, with a huge "Did I just do that?" smile sprouting from ear-to-ear after she hits the winner. She was still smiling after the match, when she tweeted the following:
"@winorloseiwin: Lol. @allak11: "I played some amazing shots" #humble" I hit a tweener! #GiveMeABreak
— Alla Kudryavtseva(@AllaK11) June 12, 2013
|What exactly is Roger Federer wearing here?|
What did the U.S. Open know that the other three don't, or vice-versa?
Is the 5th-set breaker good for tennis or bad for tennis?
What does the athlete want, what do the sponsors want, what to the fans want?
If you look at it from a fan's perspective, the issue is murky. Who wants to see some 9-foot-tall guy rain down aces and then fumble around on return like he's Herman Munster? Still, when we hand over the player's fates to a tiebreaker we limit the amount of possible drama. Suspense builds over time in a match that goes to 16-14 or 12-10, and when we institute the tiebreaker we essentially give up on the match and all others like it, saying, "Oh well, let's get it over with so the network can run a sitcom."
That sucks, but there are other angles to consider. The health of the players is of major consideration in this debate. Wimbledon, Roland Garros and the Australian Open could have their cake and eat it if they opted to play a 5th-set tiebreakers at 10-10 (could be 12-12, you get the point). That way they could give fans the "extra innings" effect while not demanding an athlete to rip his body to shreds in the name of victory.
They'd also appease their sponsors, an overlooked but vitally important part of the equation.
Ending matches in a tiebreaker also makes sense from a player perspective. A guy like John Isner goes to 70-68 in the fifth set and his shoulder needs a 20-week ice-bath after the match? Not good for the player. We've seen it time and time again: Players on their last leg, fighting fatigue, keeling over, looking like they could use an IV. In a game that is ever more physical these days, is it smart to play these marathon matches when there is a clear cut and widely acceptable (see, soccer, the world's most popular sport) alternative?
Should Roger Federer and Andy Roddick have gone ahead and played a tiebreaker at 6-6 in the 2009 Wimbledon final? Opinions vary. They ended up playing 30 games, and while nobody really remembers many of the last 18 games of the final set, we all remember how the drama grew and the energy was frenzied. Partially due to that drama, it is one of the most memorable Grand Slam finals in recent memory.
You could say the same thing about Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka in Australia earlier this year. It was the consensus best match of the year until Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal played their epic semifinal at Roland Garros, which needed extra games in the fifth set as well.
As the Blackhawks and Bruins skated through a grueling 112-plus minutes of hockey-affirming goodness on Wednesday night, tension mounted as well. It made for a great game--an unforgettable game. But it also wreaked havoc on TV and probably caused a few injuries that will end up keeping a few players on pain medications for the next 44 years.
There is drama and there is consequence, and they are both weighing on the scale that will eventually settle this debate.
Which brings me to my next question: We love to live vicariously through the exploits of our athletes, but in the end, are we asking too much from them?
On one hand we love the bloodsport/warrior aspect of a scrum that simply won't end because neither player will budge. On the other hand, we hate to see a guy's shoulder get fried or his abdomen torn, or whatever, as his whole season goes up in smoke.
What is our mission here as a tennis community? Are we looking out for the players or are we looking out for bloodlust?
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
(June 12, 2013)--Gael Monfils upset Milos Raonic in straight sets on Tuesday at Halle and today he whooped up on Jan Hernych to reach the quarterfinals of the Gerry Webber Open. But something isn't quite right with LaMonf, as the Frenchman told reporters today that he was withdrawing his wild card request at Wimbledon, citing personal reasons.
According to Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times, Monfils elected not to elaborate on what those personal problems were. Rothenberg also added that Monfils seemed to be in good spirits in Halle.
Read more about Monfils' decision here and here.
Or, just spend the rest of the day trying to decipher what he meant when he tweeted the following:
Life is a b****,and death is her sister...Things are never boring when it comes to the magical, mystical Gael Monfils...
— Gael Monfils (@Gael_Monfils) June 12, 2013
Monfils will play the winner of tomorrow evening's blockbuster night session tilt in Halle between Ernests Gulbis and Tommy Haas.
***Editor's Note: Twitter user
|Photo: Clive Brunskill|
“Last year I played really well, sometimes better than in 2009, and I started this season really well," Del Potro told reporters. "Now other bad things have come to me. I need to be strong to manage these bad things and to keep trying and working, and be positive all the time.”
Del Potro, who skipped the Portugal Open and the Mutua Madrid Open due to the lingering effects of a virus, has only played two matches since mid-April. Though he's 19-7 for the year, and 2-2 against the top ten, including wins over Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, Del Potro has lost nearly all the momentum he built up over the course of his thrilling run to the Indian Wells final, where he was barely edged out by Rafael Nadal.
He did fly back to Europe to play Rome (he lost in the round of 16 to Benoit Paire) but he then pulled out of the French Open due to the same virus.
Del Potro will face British qualifier Daniel Evans in the round of 16, and could face either Sam Querrey or Lleyton Hewitt in the quarterfinals.
He's also entered in the doubles draw with Marin Cilic. The pair have already reached the second round, taking out Pablo Andujar and Feliciano Lopez of Spain in straight sets.
But he will not exchange naked pics with you. He tweeted the following just to clarify that for his 10,000-plus followers:
I am getting tweets about exchanging naked pics...But I am exchanging only postcards, currency and racquets. Thank you 😜
— Tomáš Berdych (@tomasberdych) June 11, 2013
As SI Beyond the Baseline's Courtney Nguyen points out in this thorough analysis of Berdych's burgeoning Twitter career, the former Wimbledon finalist is far outperforming another popular male tennis player who also recently joined Twitter. "In just six days, Berdych has sent a whopping 200 tweets, including many responses to fans," Nguyen wrote. "By comparison, Roger Federer joined Twitter almost three weeks ago and he’s sent 21 tweets. Maria Sharapova signed up in January and she’s fired off only 234. Jamie Hampton opened an account a few days before Berdych and she has tweeted six times,.."
My finger burns...twitter is making him really hotAs far as Berdych's prodigious tweeting goes, fans of the Czech might want to get in on the action while they can. Berdych doesn't know if he has the energy to keep it up. "I know it’s going to be tough to keep it up, but you never know,” he told reporters in London, where he is playing the aegon Championships this week. . “You never know.”
— Tomáš Berdych (@tomasberdych) June 6, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
|Photo: Clive Brunskill|
Tomic, who was forced to retire from the first round at Roland Garros due to a hamstring injury, said he had only begun practicing late last week after resting the injury for a while.
But Tomic's injury--and his losing streak--are the least of his problems right now. The Aussie's father and longtime coach, who was also accused of hitting his son in Monte Carlo in April during an altercation at a training session, has been banned by the ATP and the French Open, and it appears that Wimbledon will be following suit when the Championships begin in less than two weeks. This is difficult in and of itself, but the residual tension that must exist between Mr. Tomic and his son can't be making things easier on the former Wimbledon quarterfinalist and junior Australian Open champion.
Despite the ban, Tomic's father was allowed to purchase a ticket in London today. He was spotted on the grounds by reporters during Tomic's match, sitting in the second row, then later seen heading for the exits after the match.
According to reports, Wimbledon will also ban Tomic from being credentialed, and rumor has it that they will deny him admittance as a spectator, too. Tomic, who claims he didn't know his father was at the match, told reporters, “Funny you spotted him and I didn’t." He did, however, eat breakfast with him at the hotel in the morning.
In light of the ATP's hard line against Tomic, reinforcements to the World No. 63's coaching staff are also being brought in. The 20-year-old said he'd brought in Eugenio Forchione, Ivan Dimitrijevic and Harry Skinner, but that his father would remain in charge.
Last week, Tomic spoke to the public about his father's arrest for the first time after his first-round loss at Roland Garros, telling reporters that he still loved his dad. “He’s still working with me, he’s still my dad, he’s still my coach, and I love him a lot," he said. "I grew up with him and he knows me better than everyone else.”
Tomic will partner with Lleyton Hewitt on the doubles court on Wednesday.
Great day at queens! Good night. #captaingully twitter.com/deniskudla/sta…The 20-year-old Virginia resident is into the third round at the prestigious grass-court tournament. Kudla's previous career-best win came on the grass at Newport in 2011, when he upset then World No. 60 to reach the Newport quarterfinals. To date, that is Kudla's only ATP quarterfinal appearance.
— deniskudla (@deniskudla) June 11, 2013
|Photo: Donna Vekic Facebook|
Vekic, who became the youngest WTA finalist in six years when she reached the Tashkent final in her first main draw appearance last September, has now won her first two career grass court matches. She defeated Italy's Camila Giorgi in the first round. "My best career win against (WTA 38.) Urszula Radwanska," the World No. 89 wrote on her Facebook page. "Hope you can understand how happy I am. Enjoyed playing on centre court in Birmingham."
Veteran tennis journalist Stuart Fraser took note of the occasion, tweeting:
Out watching the much talked about Donna Vekic. Quite a prospect. Coached by David Felgate. #aegonclassicOthers in attendance echoed his enthusiasm for the youngster:
— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) June 10, 2013
@donnavekic quite a performance today. Got a nice fan club out there today. Well done !! Pleasure watching youVisit Vekic's Facebook page here
— Eggy (@TheBoiledEgg) June 10, 2013
Visit Vekic's WTA profile here