Archive for the ‘pete sampras’ Category

the all-england hair club for men

April 6, 2011
By Troy Venechanos

A few months ago, Andy Roddick hit what he called one of the best shots of his career. It was a diving save, one in which Roddick smacked a forehand down the line on match point to win a third set tie-breaker against up-and-comer Milos Raonic and capture the Memphis title. And while the web went abuzz with the video of the shot, many viewers weren’t actually watching Roddick’s shot. Instead, they were paying attention to a cap-less Andy, his hat having fallen off in his exertion of effort. And what was there to see? Not much, actually. An almost-bald Andy.Hair loss and tennis go hand and hand. Male pros often play into their mid or late 30s, meaning as they start to lose their hair, it’s left for all the public to see. Andre Agassi freaked out about it so much that he donned a fake hairpiece that had the world fooled. Pete Sampras has been so nonchalant about his after-career hair thinning that he doesn’t even seem to notice.

But we notice – we always notice. TSF has collected the hairdos (and don’ts) from around the tour in what we’re calling “The All-England Club for Men’s Hair Loss,” where styles differ from member to member, but everyone has one thing in common: they’re going – or already are – bald.

TSF GALLERY: The All-England Hair Club for Men

Troy Venechanos has conquered the worlds of junior varsity tennis, tennis internships and tennis photo-blogging. The New York native and TSF contributor hopes to next master “that cool way players can pick up tennis balls using the sides of their feet.” He is a graduate of Northeastern University. TSF vault: Troy Venechanos

bury the hatchet or fuel the flame?

June 29, 2010

It has just been announced that this coming February’s BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden — in 2010 an event contested by Venus, Ana Ivanovic, Kim Clijsters, and Sveta Kuznetsova — will this time feature Agassi, Sampras, Lendl, and McEnroe in a renewal of their classic rivalries.

John and Ivan will play a one-set pro match (first to eight) and the Agassi/Sampras matchup will be a best-of-three. TSF’s curious to see how the latter will pan out, especially in light of Andre’s malfunction at Indian Wells this year. (Hey, if Kournikova and Hingis can kiss and make up, why can’t these two?)

But not to take away from the event’s a noble cause: to bring awareness to our sport through the “Tennis Night in America” initiative, a collaboration between BNP Paribas and the USTA.

Info: For more info about the event, to be held on February 28, 2011, visit tennisshowdown.com.

sunday survey: have andre and pete gone too far?

March 14, 2010

Post your thoughts in the comment section. If you don’t know what we mean, read up, folks. It’s not the most uplifting of stories, but intriguing nonetheless.

(photo via us-opentennis.com)

agassi/sampras: the awkwardness continues

March 14, 2010

Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras continued their awkward war of words at the Hit for Haiti charity event at Indian Wells on Friday. Tennis.com has a transcript version of what went down between the two in an exchange that clearly upset Sampras and saw him (playfully?) bomb a serve at Agassi.

It makes us wonder, though: what is Agassi’s deal? Sampras was playing the exhibition fun role just fine, taking a page out of Novak Djokovic‘s book by imitating Agassi’s pigeon-toed walk. It was Andre, whose book has seen wild success but was outwardly critical of several players, none as much as Sampras, who began the verbal jabs with “I don’t have any money,” referring to Sampras’s supposed poor tipping mentioned in his book.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer stood by helplessly and rather uncomfortably, Rafa saying nothing and just smiling through the whole thing while Federer tried to joke about it – which only seemed to make matters worse.

short balls: evgeni makes friends with richard’s fantasy world

February 23, 2010

It’s Platinum, Baby: The tennis world has long enjoyed the wacky one-liners of Richard Williams, and it seems as though Olympic figure skating silver medalist Evgeni Plushenko is trying to join Williams in the creative-story realm. Plushenko’s web site had its entry image (seen above) stating “Platinum of Vancouver”, taking a jab at his second-place finish last week. Though the site now looks differently upon entry, Yahoo! Sports and other outlets nabbed the image before it was taken down. Now the site reads “What’s Next?” while scrolling over the medals, which links to the 2014 Sochi Olympics web site. Does that mean Evgeni will stick with skating until then? Guess you can never be sure with him.

Sticking to the ice, American speedskater Ryan Bedford was supposedly convinced by older teammates to shave and dye his hair to resemble the American flag. See his ‘do after the jump.

Rights Fighting: University of Maryland wrestler, Hudson Taylor, is a top-ranked grappler in the NCAA. The straight 23-year-old and his wife-to-be are also avid supporters of LGBT issues and support gay marriage. In an interview with OutSports.com, Taylor calls himself a “feminist”. You go, boy.

Candied Britney: Britney Spears, in case you didn’t know from her music video for “Radar”, is a spokeswoman for Candies products.  She offered fans a behind-the-scenes peek at her latest photo shoot for the brand. What do you think? We’re not sure this one is gunna be a winner, y’all…

Martina’s Gallery: The WTA has a great gallery up chronicling the career of Martina Navratilova. Not only do you get a good chunk of information out of the captions, but you get a wonderful view of Martina’s fashions throughout the year. Our favorite is after the cut.

Differences Aside: Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi will put their differences aside in a couple weeks to participate in a “Hit for Haiti” fundraiser at Indian Wells alongside Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Sampras said he would like to “sit down” with Agassi after he was portrayed in poor light in Agassi’s recently-released autobiography.

(more…)

rg2009: no trophies were bitten in the making of this record-tying feat

June 7, 2009

Congrats to Roger Federer for getting that clay monkey off his back; up until this morning, he lacked a mini Coupe des Mousquetaires* in his overflowing trophy case, which put his place among the tennis greats into question. But now that he’s filled that French Open void in his record — with a 6-1, 7-6 (1), 6-4 performance over an overwhelmed (and likely exhausted) Robin Soderling — Federer can play out the rest of his years with a clear mind. He’s achieved pretty much everything: a prolonged stay at the top of the rankings, an Olympic gold (albeit in doubles), and singles trophy from all four majors. (Has he won all of the Masters Series events?). Nothing is stopping him from surpassing Pete Sampras‘s record in bagged Slam titles and becoming the GOAT of his generation. Unfortunately, Roger could also get a boost from his greatest rival, Rafa Nadal, if the Spaniard starts to sputter because of bad equipment; Nadal’s deteriorating knees have forced him out of this year’s Queen’s Club draw and makes a Wimbledon title defense uncertain.

Props to Soderling for his week, btw. Too bad he couldn’t push Federer to four or five sets. But after bulldozing Nadal, Nikolay Davydenko, and Fernando Gonzalez on the way to the final, something had to give. Also, the Swede gave one of the most sincere and gracious speeches I have heard in recent years. For as much as we hear that he’s disliked by other players for gamesmanship and such, he had a very cheery attitude as he received his runner-up platter.

*funny observation by Pierre, who commented on Bodo‘s blog that mentions of the CdM had overtaken terre battue as le mot de l’année

(image via Getty Images)

shoeless in san jose

February 18, 2009

By Nick McCarvel

pete-sampras-sanjose09

Pete Sampras has been going exo-crazy recently (perhaps the coffers are a little emptier around tax season?), making a brief cameo at last week’s SAP Open in San Jose, battling it out with Tommy Haas; the German won 7-6(4), 4-6, 12-10.

During the Sampras avoided any talk of coming out of retirement by talking about every relevant tennis player but himself.

On Roger Federer: “He’s young enough. He’s fresh enough. He’s not 30,” Sampras said. “Having a few years left, I see him doing it. But there are going to be a few guys that are going to push him. It’s just inevitable that he’s going to do it here in the next probably year.”

On Roddick‘s and Blake‘s not being “Rafa” or “Nole” enough to beat Roger: “Andy’s got the power but maybe doesn’t have the athletic ability, and someone like James, who has the athletic ability, but doesn’t have the power… It’s kind of a tough matchup for them, for both those guys.

“Seems like James can stay with Roger. I just think they play similar games and Roger is a little bit better than James at it. And Roddick can overpower Roger at times, but at the same time doesn’t move well enough from the back court to really get into these exchanges, that someone like Djokovic can.”

Video: See Sampras’ SAP Open here, courtesy of Doug Schwartz.

And Pete gave the San Jose crowd a little wardrobe malfunction during his match, ending with a loose shoe on the court. He gave fans one reminiscent moment when losing his shoe on court. This time the ball boy didn’t have to dig in his shorts to rescue the on-court necessity like at Wimbledon ’01.

Choo choo: Sampras went on to Boston and downed John McEnroe to take that city’s Champions Cup title, but not before participating in a mixed doubles match with Anna Kournikova, among others. And in this week’s Regions Morgan Keegan tourney in Memphis, he lost to Lleyton Hewitt 7-5, 6-4.

short balls: maybe tennis should test for valium, sampras feels roger’s woes, help fight a forest fire, etc.

February 12, 2009

Venus on steroids: As part of yesterday’s presser, Venus Williams was asked to comment on the recent controversy surrounding A-Rod‘s use of performance-enhancing drugs:

“Umm, you know, I think tennis is a completely different sport,” she said.

“You have to hold your nerve, and I don’t know if there’s a drug for that.” Brilliant.

Meanwhile, the guys of the ATP are having a hard time adjusting to tour’s new drug testing protocol, being managed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The stringent rules requires anyone in the top 50 to report where they’ll be for one hour a day, making them accessible to drug testers. Miss three pop quizzes in 18 months and you’re slapped with a two-year ban.

Rafael Nadal, among others, has voiced his dislike for the new system, which was adopted in order to keep tennis’ status as an Olympic sport. “They make you feel like a criminal,” he said at the ABN AMRO this week. “Not even my mother knows where I am every day. It is very difficult to know where you are going to be tomorrow especially in a sport like tennis.”

Besides, winning an Olympic medal can’t get you an Aston Martin, right?

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Kick him while he’s down: Don’t put away the Kleenex box just yet, Roger — your former coach, Pete Lungren, is already molding Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov to be better than you. Would you like to talk smack about him, too? But it’s okay, Pete Sampras can feel your pain.

Fanatics can fight fires: Bid on a lot of tennis caps signed by Roger and Rafa — plus a poster signed by all four singles finalists from the 2009 Australian Open — in an auction by Fox Sports Australian that benefits Victorian brushfire victims. Bidding starts Friday; more info here.

BBC’s Wimbledon well dries up: The BBC will tone down its slam-related entertainment in light of the recent economic downturn. Great — the queues at the food stands will be that much longer. (OTB)

paulandjoe-spring09

(OT) Paul & Joe: These three tees from Paul & Joe‘s most recent collection are tickling Mr. Squid’s fancy. Pick ‘em up at asos.com.

sightings in the stands: sampras and federer’s netjets showdown

March 11, 2008

A few celebrities spent their Monday night at the NetJets Showdown at Madison Square Garden.

Robert, Lynettee, Mirka

Roger Federer‘s parents, Robert and Lynettee, sit next to longtime girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec.

Tiger Woods and Elin

Roger’s besty Tiger Woods watches the match with Elin Nordegren.

Rupert Murdoch, Anna Wintour

Heavyweights: Rupert Murdoch and Anna Wintour.

Not shown: Barry Diller, Donald Trump, Ivan Lendl, Stan Smith, John McEnroe, Patrick McEnroe, Chloe Sevigny, etc.

sampras and federer duke it out at the garden

March 11, 2008

Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Billie Jean King

Mano a mono: It’s already in the running for Most Overanalyzed Meaningless Tennis Match in History, but Bonnie D. Ford makes no apologies for chiming in. Roger Federer beat Pete Sampras 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6).

Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, both in Nike

Fashion: We enjoyed the revival of Roger’s tuxedo look (from last year’s U.S. Open), and we were ecstatic that Pete finally came out with a new look. As of Saturday, while playing an exo against Todd Martin in Columbus, he was still wearing a style from 10 months ago.

Tick tock: How appropriate that Roger came out wearing a Rolex (which he has endorsed since 2006). Is he counting down his time at the top?

In case you missed it: Roger’s lackluster play in 2008 (no titles for him so far) was attributed to some food poisoning before Kooyong, and also to mono. He keeps himself relatively injury-free, but you can’t really escape the microscopic things, I guess. (Read a letter from Roger to his fans addressing his illness.)

And perhaps we’re all just suffering from a little too much Roger. (Even fan club prez Anna Wintour was seen with another athlete — gasp! — LeBron James.)

The rest push back: He wasn’t even doing so well with the media, who’ve tried to bait his peers to comment on his observation of Andy Murray‘s game after losing to the Scot in Dubai.

Murray wouldn’t get into it. Nole: “Murray has a great style and talent and knows how to play at any one moment… Roger doesn’t like it when you get a lot of balls back against him.” Nadal:: Murray “is getting very good results with his style and if you are doing well why do you have to change?”

Junior Ore, Dennis Kudla

Warm-up: Jordan and I had a talk the other day about who would be picked to play the warm-up match before the NetJets Showdown. Jordan was hoping Donald Young or someone like that. Instead, the audience got treated to Denis Kudla and Junior Ore. Ore says Marcelo Rios is his idol. That’s pretty awesome; you don’t hear Rios mentioned that much anymore. (Tennis Week via Zoo Tennis)

Pete Sampras - Roger Federer - Press Conference

Another: Here’s a photo from the press conference for the exhibition.

a little note from 4 Times Square…

February 1, 2008

Re: the Roger/Pete NetJets Showdown at Madison Square Garden, we just received a note from someone at Men’s Vogue.

The magazine’s raffling off a VIP package for the March 10 event. It’ll include tickets to the match, entrance for two to an exclusive pre-match MV cocktail party, and two special edition racqets from Wilson. (I’m not sure what the racquets are, but probably [K]Force?)

Link: Sign up for the sweepstakes here.

Non-New Yorkers take note — there’s no mention of airfare or a hotel stay (figures). But you should throw your hat into the ring anyway.

$hort ball$: roger federer edition

February 1, 2008

Roger’s riches: Lots have been said lately about the massive amounts of moolah coming into the coffers of Roger Federer (pat yourselves on the back, Mirka and Tony Godsick!).

SportsBusiness Journal reports that R-Fed and his clothing sponsor, Nike, are extending their relationship for 10 more years. This arrangement could give Roger $13 million a year — one of the most lucrative deals in tennis history. The exact figure for the contract is up in the air because some of the payout could be performance-based.

What exactly is Nike paying for?

“In the U.S., probably less than 2 percent of athletic footwear sales are tennis… K-Swiss is a bigger tennis brand in America than Nike. [Tennis] does get a lot of publicity, a lot of mention in news articles, and a lot more people watch the sport than participate in it. Branding is probably a pretty good part of the deal, particularly in Nike’s European sector, where [tennis] is much more important.”

Huh. I didn’t know that K-Swiss had a bigger share of the market (fyi, I wear K-Swiss shoes for tennis).

Also, the suits are likely acknowledging that the screwed Roger back in 2002, when the agentless Swiss player signed a contract for $1 million a year. “It’s possible some of the money he is acing with the new deal serves in part as an acknowledgment on Nike’s behalf of the semi-free ride they have had with Federer during his rise.”

And Tages-Anzeigers (through Roger expert Rene Stauffer, of course) notes that adidas, Lacoste, and Polo Ralph Lauren all put in bids for Roger. A PRL rep denied the company’s involvement in the situation.

Other bits: According to SBJ, Roger charged $1 million for each of his appearances at the Asian exhibitions last fall. Ka-ching.

MSG is good for you: Another exo between Roger and Pistol Pete has been scheduled, this time for a March date at Madison Square Garden. At least through this seller, it looks like tickets range from $70 (nosebleed) to $16,050 for a pair of front row, dead center, courtside VIP seats. No word on how much Roger is getting paid for this match. Jordan, are you going?

And since we’re on the topic of seats, I don’t know who decided that the sidelines are great — for some reason, those always sell out first, don’t they? I’m all about sitting behind the baseline a few rows up.

roger-federer-hat.jpg

Answered prayers: The powers that be at Nike have finally released a mass-market version of his hat. We first saw Roger with the black version at the 2007 U.S. Open. Buy: The hat is avalable for $20 at Tennis Warehouse. Autographed hats, if that’s your style, might still be available through Roger’s website.

Delusion: The Onion writes up a spoof on Roger’s loss in the Australian Open semis.

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s short balls archive

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just for the record…

January 4, 2008

One of the things that made me chuckle recently: Pete Sampras‘ chest gets its very own listing in our readers’ “who’s hot” survey. I have to admit I agree. (Remember that “Got Milk?” ad?)

If we asked Dick Enberg for his list of hot tennis body parts, I’m sure it’ll include R-Fed‘s toned

short balls: mcenroe and bryan brothers get davis cup spotlight, etc.

November 27, 2007

Coming into his own: It’s been a few years now that Patrick McEnroe has etched his way into tennis history (and not as John McEnroe‘s younger brother). As the U.S. gets ready to face Russia in the 2007 Davis Cup finals (this weekend, in Portland), bone up with this quick profile in USA Today.

bryans-blake-blazers.jpg

Bryan Brothers blogging: Speaking of Davis Cup, the ATP passes the blogging baton to Mike and Bob Bryan for new insight into this weekend’s Davis Cup tie. Bob wrote the inaugural post. What you need to know: the twins went to a Blazers game with James Blake, Mike spent too much money at Whole Foods, Bob is impressed with what he’s seen as of late from the likes of Donald Young and Robbie Ginepri, and can’t wait to pull some pranks on giant (and rookie) John Isner. (ATP)

Pete backs Pete: Year-long touring pro he ain’t, but Pete Sampras‘ serve-and-volley game — played on fast indoor carpet — can still match up with today’s best. (ESPN.com)

boris-becker-poker.jpg

Poker? I hardly knew her!: Newly-single Boris Becker will join Pokerstars as one of their sponsored pros. He’ll participate in the European leg of the Poker Tour at the end of January. (Poker News)

Exhibition ecstasy: The folks at Tennis Channel will air a bunch of exhibitions in their entirety (and for free) through the end of 2007. The schedule is as follows: Monday, Dec. 3, Rafael Nadal vs. Richard Gasquet (first U.S. showing); Tue., Dec. 4, Sampras vs. Federer No. 1; Wed., Dec. 5, Sampras vs. Federer No. 2; Thurs., Dec. 6, Sampras vs. Federer No. 3. In the meantime, you can watch clips (with German commentary) here.

(OT) Opening Ceremony: Quick write-ups in Refinery29 and NYT about Opening Ceremony co-owner Humberto Leon, who, aside from running one of the best boutiques in Los Angeles, is busy ressurecting 90s surf label Maui & Sons.

(Davis Cup photo via ATP; Becker photo via Poker News)

sampras vs. federer: trophy watch + pete goes down swinging

November 26, 2007

The clash of the titans came and went… did anyone really feel it? Pete Sampras and Roger Federer performed in the much-anticipated Asian exhibitions this past week. First in Seoul, where Roger easily won 6-4, 6-3.

sampras-federer-kualalumpur2.jpg

Then there was Kuala Lumpur, where Roger was probably a$ked to act less smug and make it a closer match. The scoreline: 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5).

Couldn’t Nike have given Sampras something from this season to wear on the court? That black/white shirt is almost a year old!

sampras-federer-macau.jpg

And in Macao — where they staged the exhibition at The Venetian, — Sampras finally wins 7-6, 6-4.

A few press conference bits…

Sampras talked to AP/Reuters about his plans to stay retired, and also commented on the state of tennis:

“Serve and volley is extinct,” he said. “In my day, we had some great serve-and-volley players. There was myself, Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, Goran Ivanisevic and others. But with the size of racquets getting bigger, junior players these days are only taught to hit the ball as hard as they can. There are some players who come in, but they are not natural serve-and-volleyers.”

And he knocks all the Federer GOAT talk?

Sampras insists Federer’s opposition falls short of the standard of Rafter, Agassi, Edberg, Becker and Courier, who formed the American’s main challengers when he dominated in the 1990s and early part of this decade. “I had more major winners up against me versus the rising stars behind Roger.” (The Scotsman)

Below (left to right): Macau trophy ceremony, Kuala Lumpur trophy ceremony, Kuala Lumpur Press Conference.

sampras-federer-macau2.jpg sampras-federer-kualalumpur.jpg sampras-federer-kualalumpur3.jpg

(photos by Getty Images)

mishit: sampras and federer doll up for their exos

November 20, 2007

federer - sampras - exhibition

Here’s Pistol Pete and Darth Federer before squaring off at the Super Match VI in Seoul. I love it when a man isn’t afraid to wear fuschia!

Roger, having survived a scare at the TMC Shanghai, is now relaxed and looking forward to breaking more records (and perhaps nabbing gold at the Beijing Olympics) in 2008.

Scoreline: Federer was understandably nervous going up against his idol — and Pete put up a fight — but Roger got over it and won 6-4, 6-3. (A write-up of the match appears here.)

On the boob tube: Tennis Channel (I miss you, “The“!!) will air the Seoul exo on time delay at 7pm ET tonight. The broadcast will also appear on Tennis Channel’s website on Dec. 5.

The parade continues: The two will also play in Kuala Lumpur and at The Venetian in Macao.
federer - sampras - exhibition

For as much as these two were getting paid, couldn’t they have worn more appropriate shoes? Perhaps, like Venus Williams and Maria Kirilenko, all they needed to help the ensemble are elaborate headdresses.

(photo by Getty Images)

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>> sup pete, how r u?: another excerpt from r-fed’s new biography

trophy watch: sampras takes third outback champions title of 2007

October 3, 2007

Pistol Pete hoists yet another ho-hum trophy, but congrats to him for winning his third Outback Champions title this year.

…does it make a sound?

July 31, 2007

If Jim Courier and Pete Sampras play an exhibition but no one sees…

sampras-courier-exhibition.jpg

…does it actually happen? Kenneth in the (212) points out the surprisingly bare stands at the recent Match of the Modern Masters sponsored by Talon Air.

Yikes. Why was no one watching? Perhaps fans just couldn’t take a Thursday off, and instead chose to watch this exhibition online? For Sampras’ sake, let’s hope it’s the latter; he’s got a few more matches slated through the end of the year. It’s too early in his retirement to already be overexposed.

trophy watch: the swiss and swedes got it right + hall of fame

July 16, 2007

While the women of France were busy representing their country in a Fed Cup tie against Italy (alas, they lost), the men were busy in finals; three of the six ATP-ers vying for titles were French: Fabrice Santoro, Nicolas Mahut, and Paul-Henri Mathieu. Félicitacions!

mathieu-swissopen2.jpg

At the Swiss Open orangefest, Mathieu (in adidas) lugs home a piece of rock for beating Andreas Seppi (wearing Fila)…

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… and Santoro won the Hall of Fame Championships over mutton-chopped Mahut. (Mahut had a very good grass season… remember he lost to Andy Roddick in the Queen’s Club final? Here’s his very gracious post-match interview.)

ferrer-swedishopen.jpg

David Ferrer (in Lotto) wins what looks like a deer enveloped in crystal at the Swedish Open. He dropped only three games in his final match against Nicolas Almagro.

See more trophy photos (plus the Hall of Fame induction) after the cut…

if you can’t say anything nice…

July 5, 2007

I’m sure the ATP Tour players are all in love with Pete Sampras right now. In a New York Times article published yesterday, he scoffed at how Wimbledon has unfolded so far this year:

In summary, Sampras doesn’t think much of the grass-court tennis currently being played. He doesn’t sound terribly convinced that he — soon to turn 36, five years after he walked away from tennis after winning his 14th Grand Slam title at the United States Open — couldn’t still get to the net against these guys, put away vintage Pistol Pete volleys.

The “sad” problem, as Sampras sees it, is that players have surrendered to the slower conditions, the stronger rackets, the fear of risk. He has been watching Federer hang on the baseline, toy with lesser players who won’t dare push him the way Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg and Goran Ivanisevic and Patrick Rafter used to chip, charge and challenge Sampras across the 1990s.

Smart move, Pete. Put your mouth where the money is. Now I can’t wait to see you play Federer in those Asian exhibitions this fall.

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>> Tennis Served Fresh’s Wimbledon coverage
>> sup pete how r u?: another excerpt from R-Fed’s new biography


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