Archive for December 5th, 2007

short balls wednesday

December 5, 2007

hewitt-house.jpg

Hard times with hardcourts: The Age reported that Lleyton Hewitt‘s camp goofed on installing a non-Deco Turf (aka Aussie Open-esque) hardcourt, thus botching Lleyton’s prep plans for his hometown Grand Slam. But Hewitt quickly denied the error, saying he got exactly what he wanted. (Herald Sun)

Bec shuts down: Bec Hewitt does her share of shutting down gossip, too. She’s spoken out against pregnancy rumors… (MSN)

Bec shuts down, pt. 2: …and she chose not to renew her two-year contract with Woman’s Day, the magazine which shelled out more than a million dollars for exclusive rights to baby Mia‘s birth. (Defamer)

Clay: We always gripe about how rain wreaks havoc on tennis play, but no one ever talks about what drought can do to clay courts. Global warming: you win again! (The Age)

Aussie Open heat rule: Speaking of dealing with heat, the Aussie Open eases up on its extreme heat rule. For 2008, once it’s invoked, players need only complete the rest of the set (and not the match, as in years past). (NewstalkZB)

Jelena under the knife: Nose surgery was on Jelena Jankovic‘s agenda recently, with the World No. 3 trying to fix some breathing problems. Perhaps this will put her on the same path as Nole Djokovic, whose post-nose surgery results were significantly improved. Jelena still plans to play a charity event in Belgrade against Ana Ivanovic this Friday. (WTB)

Tennis as an individual sport: Reason #25 that I’m okay not being on a team: If I really need to go, I can always retire from a match. (Deadspin)

Xmas wish list: Aaress at OTB tells Santa what she wants for Christmas. (My faves: “Better multimedia section on the [WTA] Tour website” and getting Venus and Serena to play Indian Wells.)

Roger humbled: SI names Brett Favre (my friend Debbie is excited, I’m sure!) their Sportsman of the Year, leaving Roger Federer out of the picture yet again. R-Fed came close last year (Dwayne Wade? Really?), but not only did he lose out to the Packer, he’s also losing the SOTY endorsement from Jon Wertheim. Bonus: Roger was interviewed by CNN on the day of his last exo with Pete Sampras. Here’s the transcript.

(OT) Shepard Fairey: I ducked into the opening of Shepard Fairey‘s latest show in Los Angeles. Here’s some video of the night, plus my fave section: the album cover wall.

Another Seles comeback?: Monica Seles spoke to Bill Dwyre as press for her upcoming appearance at the Bank of the West Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic (Riviera Country Club in the Palisades). The good news? She wants to be back on the tour in time for Miami. (LAT)

(photo via The Age)

davis cup: cast o’ characters

December 5, 2007

davis-cup-blake.jpg

Okay this is my last Davis Cup post. We can’t end things without talking a little fashion. The Russian team, as expected, showed up in their white/red Bosco Sport warm-ups. And all the guys just wore kits from their sponsors. Everyone stayed white except for Dmitry Tursunov (in bright red Fila) and Mikhail Youzhny (in adidas). And the one mishit was James Blake‘s Nike sweatband. It looked too busy with his Global Power tank.

Some photos of the weekend after the cut…

davis cup bits

December 5, 2007

Davis Cup VIPs: So as not to have an “I don’t know who Althea Gibson is” moment, Patrick McEnroe should make this Pete Bodo post on DC legends required reading for his team. (ESPN)

Bonnie D. Ford: “If you’re an American, you’re not given a lot of room to enjoy this victory. The bubbly is barely out of the bottle before people are demanding to know whether the event is relevant.”

Ego doesn’t rule the day: I’m glad James Blake, who might not be remembered for his Grand Slam success, has found a way to carve out a very satisfying — and memorable — tennis career. (Bloomberg)

Etcetera: SPI: Andy Roddick is one up on Federer now that he has a Davis Cup title. SI: Andy’s feat should make him a Hall of Fame shoo-in. MS2: Team USA hitting partners Ginepri partied hard (see No. 7).

Chris Clarey and Harvey Araton tag team at NYT:

  • How fitting that Bob and Mike Bryan, probably the most successful American tennis players in the last few years, are the ones who clinched the Davis Cup title for Team USA.
  • Patrick McEnroe, unlike his older brother John, figured out how to work with Andy and James.
  • And the guys are carving out their own story in the wake of what Blake calls “the greatest generation probably in the history of the American game.”
  • The USTA is eager to make this win resonate globally. An uphill battle, I say.
  • Davydenko‘s in need of repair, and will spend some time in Thailand during the off-season. Plus this re: the latest round of scandals…

    The sport operates in an expanded and increasingly complex environment, new stars emerging from Eastern Europe, countries with developing economies, and where the potential for underworld growth parallels free-market expansion.

    “It’s true, we are dealing with less-sophisticated areas of the world, and in that context it makes this more difficult,” said Arlen Kantarian, the chief executive of the United States Tennis Association. “But this issue at the end of the day is not Western or Eastern, it’s about honesty and integrity, and it’s worldwide.”

    I hope you were misquoted, Mr. Kantarian, because I think you may have called Russia less sophisticated.

Willammette Week brought us local coverage:

  • They posted lots of video. (Nick, have you seen these?)
  • Portland loved being a rare USTA pit stop.
  • Live-blogging from dead rubbers.
  • How drunk can you get in 45 minutes? Very.
  • “Tennis is like NASCAR — but without asphalt and with more teeth.”
  • Portland is different from Moscow.

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