Rafa and (still-not-gay) Richard: I’m always a sap for fan stories like this from the Malaysian exhibition match between Rafa Nadal and the straight Frenchman, Richard Gasquet; and the one with Sampras and Federer:
And now: an unnamed deputy prime minister and his family are so fricking lucky. This unnamed minister had lunch with Nadal and Gasquet. His daughter was sitting NEXT TO GASQUET and discovered he was a shy guy. And Nadal said to her that they had never received such a warm welcome and reception anywhere before! The aforementioned daughter also says that Mirka, the ubiquitous fiance of one Mr. Federer is such a nice lady and they EXCHANGED E-MAILS. Oh, and here’s the biggie: the son of this minister PLAYED WITH FEDERER. He helped Federer warm up for his match and stroked with him. Oh! I only know this because my coach is the coach of said son and daughter.
Is Roger SI worthy?: Journalist (and biographer) Rene Stauffer makes a case for Sports Illustrated to award Roger their “Sportsman of the Year” award. If SI had a worldwide circulation, all of Roger’s feats and records add up. But with the magazine’s readership mainly American, the award’ll probably go to someone like Tom Brady, no?
Roger films UNICEF ad: The World No. 1 continues his philanthropic ways by appearing in a PSA (in Real Audio here) to raise awareness about mother-to-child HIV transmission for UNICEF. (DTL) Other celebs attached to the campaign are Susan Sarandon, Shakira, and David Beckham. UNICEF filmed Roger’s PSA during the 2007 U.S. Open.
Roger and Rafa differ on year-end tennis: Roger would prefer the year-end tourney to be indoors (since all the other surfaces get special treatment via Grand Slams) while Rafa wants the surfaces to change every year. Something tells me he’ll gun for slow, slow clay. (AS.com)