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The Lonely Coach (WCC, Day 12) 07/04/2009 - 8:26 AM

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by Pete Bodo

Mornin', everyone, and a fine one it is again.

A few days ago, I had an interesting conversation with Sven Groeneveld, who heads up the novel and productive Adidas group coaching effort. Sven has coached an impressive list of outstanding players, including Mary Pierce, Michael Stich, Nathalie Dechy, Greg Rusedski, Fernando Verdasco and, most recently,  Ana Ivanovic. BTW, Ana is back with the Adidas program after a patchy experience with Craig Kardon (formerly Martina Navratilova's coach). And Darren Cahill has joined Gil Reyes, that other member of team Agassi, on the Adidas coaching roster. Those are Cahill, Reyes and Groeneveld (L to R) in this photo.

It turns out that Sven and our mutual friend, tennis insider Lisa Sommermeier, had both read the on-again, off-again series I started on coaching (it makes me think I ought to continue it), in which I wondered why tennis coaches - who run the gamut from manipulative opportunists with precious little to offer  to distinguished Grand Slam enablers - didn't have some kind of official organization, or registry. I can think of a dozen ways in which an official organization, like the players, tournaments, umpires, and even press already has (and let's not forget that strong organization of teaching pros, the USPTR), would be a welcome addition to the growing infrastructure of our sport.

It turns out that Sven had been thinking along the same lines, and he already has an interactive website that functions as a virtual employment agency for coaches. It's called Orangecoach.com. The big news Sven wanted to share with me is that this is merely Stage 1 of a 2 stage effort - the second part will consist of creating a formal organization or registry of coaches. It will not only help coaches and players find each other, but also give coaches, those lone operators, an organization that will set guidelines, create opportunities (like sponsorship deals), and give coaches the backing of the same kind of official, institutional voice that others can fall back on in times of need.

To pick a simple example, right now any charge of inappropriate behavior of any kind against a coach is simply a "he said, she/he said" affair, and who would want to be the coach in that scenario - especially if it were one of the all too common partnerships of a young female player and an older male coach?  Moreover, the WTA commitment to on-court coaching means that coaches could potentially supplement their income with sponsorship deals on a less haphazard basis. "I was never for the on-court coaching experiment," Sven told me. "But it's here and there's no reason not to take advantage of it."

Largely, though, Sven sees "job security" as the most critical issue for coaches. He points out that coaches come and go randomly, usually at the mercy of the players for whom they work. When that player retires, or moves on, the coach is back at Square One. He or she has no real way beyond networking and personal salesmanship of staying in the game. "Not too many coaches stay in the game for more than five years," Sven said. "I want to try to find a way to enable legitimate coaches to stay in the game. For example, if the player I've coached for three years decides to move on, right now I don't even have access to my workplace - the tournaments. If we had a certification process, the members of our registry could stay in the game and enjoy the same benefits as other tennis professionals."

A registry would also enable the organization to police its membership and even institutionalize the background checks that are a reasonable burden. Sven objected to the heavy-handed way the official game instituted its intrusive background checks in a panicked response to abuse and gambling scandals, but has no problem with the basic concept. "It would be part of a general certification process that would take place in stages," Sven said. "People would know what the system expects and get comfortable with it."

Sven also noted that academies, representation firms, and even manufacturers (like Adidas) have increasingly close ties to coaches, and use them in increasingly inventive and diverse wasy (as scouts, for example). The coaches need to be better informed on everything from the available opportunities to the general task-by-task pay scale.

I think this plan will work, partly because sponsors already have greater grasp of inventive ways to use coaches. The coaches are not only vital to the players on-court success, they're an increasingly significant go-between with other wings of the game, like the media. And a coach is a pipeline to a player. I've learned over time that if you have a good relationship with a player's coach, you're more likely to develop the same with a player.

I hope Sven pulls this off.


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Posted by Ruth 07/04/2009 at 11:03 AM

And, as we all know, the Serena-Elena semi-final (2 hours, 45 minutes) was longer than at least half of the men's 3/5 matches of this past fortnight, Id bet. But, so what? Big deal.

Anyway, enough of that silly topic for today...and on to the doubles! Both matches should be very good, and I hope that they'll show

Posted by evie 07/04/2009 at 11:04 AM

For the record, I wasn't referring to the equal pay argument at all. That's settled business. I just think it'd be great for tennis if women went five sets in the final -- more fun for fans and an opportunity for a fit champion to come back from two sets down.


Posted by Carrie 07/04/2009 at 11:05 AM

Ted Robinson about how Serena looking at the names of on the winners board reminds him of Rafa last year. Sigh- me too Ted, me too.
*I am missing him on the scene and hope he returns soon*

Posted by Sam 07/04/2009 at 11:05 AM

Congratulations to Serena and her fans. That smile on her face during the trophy (okay, dish) presentation said it all about how much this win meant to her. Impressive performance from her - for me, that lob to win the first set tiebreaker was the shot that stands out to me.

Posted by Babe 07/04/2009 at 11:05 AM

olive--it makes it so when that player goes on to win the final--that essentially means that she deserved to win it.

Posted by Samantha Elin(supporter of all things Scandinavian.) 07/04/2009 at 11:06 AM

I always cheer for both of them, but the thing I noticed is that V will contain her joy and comfort Serena. I'm not criticizing Serena, she has earned her celebration, but it would be nice if she could contain her joy for poor V.

Posted by Matt Zemek 07/04/2009 at 11:06 AM

Mike, Jewell:

I GOT IT!

Hewitt over Nalby in the 2002 Wimby final: 1, 3 and 2.

Posted by Mike 07/04/2009 at 11:06 AM

LOL ... thanks, Jewell. Just preparing myself for tomorrow. ;)

Being only 2 or 3 sets, max ... a Women's GS event can end so quickly. Not their fault ... that's the way it is.

Posted by Veruca Salt (360) 07/04/2009 at 11:07 AM

just dropped in to say congrats to serena for winning her 3rd wimbledon and for successfully completing serve rehab!

*snoopy dance*

Posted by avid sports fan aka "Sigh-Rena" 07/04/2009 at 11:07 AM

tennisesq. - I hope so too. She has only Olympic points to defend before USO so if she is able to do well in a couple of premier tournaments she can gain points and should be fine especially since the ones that can pass her also have more points to defend during this same period, I think except Kuzzy so I don't think she can go beyond no. 4 before USO which will mean the earliset she can meet ReRe will still be SF.

Posted by Master Ace 07/04/2009 at 11:08 AM

ATP doubles final b/w Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan vs Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic. Also, the WTA doubles final b/w Serena Williams and Venus Williams vs Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs will be shown on the link below:

http://www.channelsurfing.net/watch-wimbledon-2.html

Bryans and Nestor/Zimonjic on court warming with Greg Rudeski and David Mercer doing the commentary for Star Sports.

Posted by Mike 07/04/2009 at 11:09 AM

LOL ... thanks, Matt. ;)

Posted by olive 07/04/2009 at 11:09 AM

serena is a better server over all, but on grass over the years we have seen venus dominate with her serve. after last years final i believed the sibling thing affecting their ability to play was dead. i am using this as my criteria for my judgment now. by analogy, this would be like federer losing wimbledon to nadal or nadal losing roland garros to fedrer in three sets with a half-baked effort.

Posted by evie 07/04/2009 at 11:09 AM

And wasn't there a Fed-Hewitt USO final with a couple of bagel sets?


Posted by yello fuzzy 07/04/2009 at 11:09 AM

Carrie
I like that Serena is pretty honest about how much winning means to her and also that she is not always the best loser.

pretty interesting , admitting the sore loser label is a sign of maturity for the baby sister

Posted by Babe 07/04/2009 at 11:10 AM

Samantha-for heavens sake--when they win & mute the celebration, they are criticized for that. Serena did the right thing because she should view Venus as just another opponent--it makes it more normal for everybody else. After all when they beat other opponents they are not expected to mute their celebration. The first Wimby title in 6 years--give the girl a break! Especially considering all that she's been through in the last few days.

Posted by olive 07/04/2009 at 11:10 AM

venus dominate on grass with her serve

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars! 07/04/2009 at 11:10 AM

thanks, Carrie and Matt. :)

I guess they're all going to bring up bad memories for someone. :(

Posted by tennisesq. 07/04/2009 at 11:10 AM

avid,
Thanks for that rankings update. It was such a shame last year for Vee and Ree to meet in the QF. Both were playing so well. After Wimbledon, Venus's best chance to win a major is the USO. So, I'll be looking forward to that.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 07/04/2009 at 11:10 AM

Venus very out of sorts today ....commiserations to her and fans.
Congrats to Serena she deserved it today

Posted by NP 07/04/2009 at 11:10 AM

Well, who woulda predicted Lena would play better than Venus against Re. I think we can now agree that Re has the best serve in women's tennis, not Venus. Anyway congrats to Re.

Posted by greenhopper 07/04/2009 at 11:11 AM

The Thai kid comes back to beat the French open champ in 3 sets in her 2nd straight Wimbledon final. What's with Asians and grass courts?

Posted by olive 07/04/2009 at 11:12 AM

both players in a final win their semifinals, so both equally deserve to win the final regardless of the quality of their semifinal matches.

Posted by Sam 07/04/2009 at 11:12 AM

"And wasn't there a Fed-Hewitt USO final with a couple of bagel sets?"

Yes, the 2004 US Open final -- 6-0, 7-6, 6-0

Posted by phillykat 07/04/2009 at 11:14 AM

Just looked at the stats on wimbledon.org. Serena had
25 winners to 12 UFEs
12 aces
0 DF
94% winning pts on her 1st serve
71% winning pts on her 2nd serve
4 of 5 points won at net

Posted by Babe 07/04/2009 at 11:14 AM

What I love most about Serena is that she lets you in. She tells it how it is & to heck with the consequences. I get a little sick of the fony "graciousness" or the cookie-cutter responses. That's what I love most about Roger too--these athletes need to tell the truth.

Posted by Master Ace 07/04/2009 at 11:14 AM

Bob Bryan serving to start the match and holds as Mike hit smash volley winner for a love hold

Daniel and Nenad to serve 0-1

Posted by greenhopper 07/04/2009 at 11:14 AM

Congrats to Serena and her fans. I had a feeling she'd win this year.

Wait, NBC is actually showing the men' doubles final? All of it? No way.

Posted by evie 07/04/2009 at 11:15 AM

Here's a new translation of an article about Rafa's plans:

“Everything has changed for Rafa Nadal after the injury. There has been no choice but to sit down and reconsider, because something wasn´t working. Something had to change or the body will be damaged. So, the way things are and the way Federer is playing, Rafa and his team have decided to change their priorities, not just this season but for the followings. The thought is: “I have already had the number one, well, that’s it. Now I’m more interested in the Grand Slams”. These are the tournaments that bring more glory (and points), so seasons will be planned thinking about them even if that means putting aside the fight for the number one, what makes you compete more smaller tournamentes and makes Rafa’s body to be tired in the big ones.

The number one is complicated. If Federer wins today it will be lost and it will be very difficult to recover, because we must remember that Rafa will soon lose 800 points for the Olympic Games in Beijing. So better to change.

And it starts now. So the player and his team have almost closed the tournament schedule that Rafa will play till the end of the year. While recovering at his summer’s home in Menorca, he and his team have developed the plan, which, as everyone knows, has set the U.S. Open as its primary goal. The spaniard would reappear in Montreal and then Cincinnati, U.S. Open, Bangkok, China, Shanghai, Paris and London Masters. The only question is whether he would be back competing even earlier in some european tournament on clay, not because they want, the doctors and his team, but because he has some crazy desire to play.

The player is resting at home, while continuing to rehabilitate his knee: VCR, strengthening exercises, short wave, ie what he was already doing in Mallorca and London before returning home. In the daily monitoring is Rafa Maymó, his physio, which follows step by step the player’s rehabilitation. Rafa is resting, but he has not gone fishing (he musts get up too early and he does it only in vacations), but he goes out with friends and plays golf occasionally, as all the day it split between the rest and five hours of rehabilitation.”

http://tinyurl.com/n2rorn

Posted by avid sports fan aka "Sigh-Rena" 07/04/2009 at 11:16 AM

tennisesq. - no qualms.

greenhoppe r- oh the Thai girl won already? Her long name always gets me tongue twisted. Good for her!

Oj go Daniel and Nenad! Please defen your title!

Posted by Master Ace 07/04/2009 at 11:16 AM

Nenad Zimonjic serving and they hold at 15.

Bryans to serve 1-all

NBC is a game behind Star Sports.

Posted by tommy 07/04/2009 at 11:17 AM

With one more Wimbledon singles match left, the big tennis story in the US is still the same. NBC destroys the majors they cover.

It's tragic that when a Wimbledon semifinal is going on live, NBC is showing the start of the match on delayed tape.

Posted by arbi 07/04/2009 at 11:17 AM

I guess is futile to expect an exciting match between the sisters anymore. Even when they are playing both at a high level like in the first set there is a lack of emotions and excitement the makes the match feel lifeless. Serena was unplayable today on her serve. Venus was holding up well on her own until the tiebreak. Then in the second set she felt the pressure and couldn't hang in there any longer. It's amazing for a woman to be able to serve like that, which makes the performance of Dementieva the other day, who came so close to winning even more admirable. And please don't compare this match with the one Venus had with Safina. Safina is not even the tenth of the player Serena was today.

Posted by sblily (Meh > Wheeeeeeeee!!!/Vamos Maymo!) 07/04/2009 at 11:17 AM

Mornin' all.

Nice pic! *squeals in a Gil fangirl moment*

Man, it was hard to see Vee holding the RUP trophy, though I can't help but be thrilled for Serena. Hope they kick butt in the dubs!

Posted by phillykat 07/04/2009 at 11:17 AM

Serena took it to Venus. Oh well, like she said, she needs to go out a play great so Vee can go home with a winners trophy in the doubles.

Hi Ruth (are you still here?). No I haven't yet been to any Freedoms matches d/t crazy work schedule don't get to see much live tennis save for the USO. This summer I will hopefully get out to watch a match.

Posted by avid sports fan aka "Sigh-Rena" 07/04/2009 at 11:19 AM

greenhopper - I am watching the doubles on my tv too.

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars! 07/04/2009 at 11:19 AM

evie: thank you so much for that! It sounds like missing Wimbledon has been a wake-up call...hope so.

*hugs Carrie* - me too, on the missing Rafa front. I've enjoyed plenty of this Wimbledon, but, for me, and this is personal, not a slight on the tournament or any other player, without Rafa, it doesn't have the special magic. *shrug*

Posted by TennisFan2 07/04/2009 at 11:19 AM

Serena said it all when she counted the names on winner's wall and said she has some "catching up" to do.

Venus will win it next year and get her 6th! She played a wonderful tournament, dismissing the world's #1 and then tightened up for the final and watched her serve go on vacation. I think Serena's forehand waved to Vee's serve in flight.

Posted by Veruca Salt (360) 07/04/2009 at 11:20 AM

"The thought is: “I have already had the number one, well, that’s it. Now I’m more interested in the Grand Slams”. These are the tournaments that bring more glory (and points), so seasons will be planned thinking about them even if that means putting aside the fight for the number one, what makes you compete more smaller tournamentes and makes Rafa’s body to be tired in the big ones."

that's some good thinking right there. works for raj & the ws.

Posted by Master Ace 07/04/2009 at 11:21 AM

Mike Bryan serving and after Daniel and Nenad rallied from 40-0 to deuce with some good returning. Mike holds assisted by an ace wide on deuce point.

Daniel/Nenad to serve 1-2

Posted by Babe 07/04/2009 at 11:22 AM

Venus's problem was in the way Serena was serving. I think she felt tremendous pressure to keep holding & that ended up hurting her.

Posted by greenhopper 07/04/2009 at 11:22 AM

Listen to JMac people. He says "Nenad Zimonjic is one of the nicest man you'll see in the locker room." yay!

Posted by Master Ace 07/04/2009 at 11:23 AM

Daniel Nestor serving and holds at 15.

Bryans to serve 2-all

Posted by avid sports fan aka "Sigh-Rena" 07/04/2009 at 11:23 AM

"I think Serena's forehand waved to Vee's serve in flight."

TennisFan2 - actually Serena's forehand waved to Vee's serve at the airport when it arrived and Vee's serve departed.

Hmmm... this news about Rafa is good but if that is the case why does he still have Bangkok and China on his schedule. Shouldn't one of them be thrown right out the door? geez Rafa geez!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Ruth 07/04/2009 at 11:24 AM

Americans are participants in both singles finals and both doubles finals. But how many of the championship trophies will they be taking home?

Any guesses?

(I wish Liezel Huber -- relatively new American citizen -- had made it to the mixed doubles final with Jamie Murray.)

Posted by greenhopper 07/04/2009 at 11:24 AM

Speaking of Americans doing well in Wimbledon this year, Jordan Cox will play the boys doubles final, this is a funny report from David Law through twitter:

One funny moment - Roddick instructed Boy's finalist Joshua [sic] Cox (who he was practicing with) to fire serves at a stationary ball in the service box. When Cox missed twice his forfeit was to go to the backboard, turn around bend over and let Roddick serve a 140mph missile at him. Roddick missed. Laughter all round.

Posted by Master Ace 07/04/2009 at 11:26 AM

Bob serving and holds at love. Nenad to serve 2-3

Posted by sblily (Meh > Wheeeeeeeee!!!/Vamos Maymo!) 07/04/2009 at 11:26 AM

just dropped in to say congrats to serena for winning her 3rd wimbledon and for successfully completing serve rehab!
~~~~~

LOL, Veruca! Now, if Vee would only take advantage of the family discount and check herself in! :/

Posted by Susan (lpb) 07/04/2009 at 11:27 AM

Venus presser on espnews.

Posted by Veruca Salt (360) 07/04/2009 at 11:27 AM

"TennisFan2 - actually Serena's forehand waved to Vee's serve at the airport when it arrived and Vee's serve departed."

vee's serve cashed in on serena's forehand's frequent flyer miles.

Posted by tennisesq. 07/04/2009 at 11:28 AM

greenhopper,
I heard the commies mention Jordon Cox. I think in the SF he beat another American 13-11(?) in the third? Wow.

Posted by NP 07/04/2009 at 11:28 AM

"But how many of the championship trophies will they be taking home?"

My CB sez 3. Guess which one won't be coming home.

Posted by greenhopper 07/04/2009 at 11:30 AM

yay for dubs on TV, avid.

Teddy on NBC just said, they're trying to convince/already convinced (?) Sampras to take the 2am connection flight from LA to London. yay!

Posted by tennisesq. 07/04/2009 at 11:30 AM

LOL @ Serena completing serve rehab!

I guess Venus can go in and take her place at the clinic.

Posted by NP 07/04/2009 at 11:31 AM

Pete should come to show 'em who's the real GOAT.

Posted by Tim (2009 Year of Red Rogie ) 07/04/2009 at 11:31 AM

Andy is sending funny, irrelevant, irreverent Twits today, in a way, I wonder if tennis' popularity would relaly be helped if he won, you know, get the US media really into it, with all the story lines at the Open, it should be hot stuff these days...

more sacrilege!

Posted by Master Ace 07/04/2009 at 11:31 AM

Nenad holds at 30. Bryans to serve 3-all.

Match call only on breaks and/or tiebreaks as they are holding consisently.

Posted by Arun 07/04/2009 at 11:33 AM

test

Posted by Master Ace 07/04/2009 at 11:34 AM

Well, I got to go for today and celebrate the 4th of July.

Enjoy the day TWibe...

Posted by greenhopper 07/04/2009 at 11:34 AM

tesq., yeah he beat Devin Britton. Pete wrote an article about him a few days back.

Posted by tennisesq. 07/04/2009 at 11:35 AM

Have fun Master Ace!

Posted by evie 07/04/2009 at 11:36 AM

NBC just said they are going to have Sampras join the commentary tomorrow by phone from L.A. I didn't think he'd make it to London, and can't really blame him.


Posted by sblily (Meh > Wheeeeeeeee!!!/Vamos Maymo!) 07/04/2009 at 11:36 AM

evie - Thx for link to Rafa article. Music to my ears.

Posted by Samantha Elin(supporter of all things Scandinavian.) 07/04/2009 at 11:37 AM

Just saw Venus presser, reporters asking defensive questions when someone already feels bad from a loss.Venus stood up for herself. Ok have a pool party to go to. Everyone enjoy the tennis. Hopefully, the Williamses get the win in the double, might help V. Again V. Williams, USO champion. Ciao dudes!!

Posted by greenhopper 07/04/2009 at 11:37 AM

oh, thanks evie. I guess I'm pretty good at imaging things.

Posted by jewell - Just say no to Fedal wars! 07/04/2009 at 11:37 AM

Bye Master Ace, have a happy celebration!

Posted by avid sports fan aka "Sigh-Rena" 07/04/2009 at 11:38 AM

WTA- ranking points update:

1 Dinara Safina 10521
2 Serena Williams 8858
3 Venus Williams 6617
4 Elena Dementieva 6591
5 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6071
6 Jelena Jankovic 5980

Vee lost 700 points while ReRe gained 700 points. Elena D is behind Vee by just 26 points but she has points to defend during the USO series as well as the Olympic points that will come off while Vee has no points to defend except the Olympic QF points that will come off. So I think Vee may have the edge there to stay at no. 3 if she plays during the USO series. Dinara also has points to defend during the USO series and the Olympic ponts that will come off but she has over 1000 points lead over ReRe and does well in these tournaments so she would probably stay at no. 1 till the USO.

Posted by NP 07/04/2009 at 11:39 AM

MA, the National Mall has yet to beckon and you're already out celebrating? Anyhoo have a good one.

Posted by imjimmy 07/04/2009 at 11:40 AM

""Pete should come to show 'em who's the real GOAT. ""

WORD.

Posted by NP 07/04/2009 at 11:40 AM

Pete oughta come to show 'em who's the real GOAT.

Posted by NP 07/04/2009 at 11:41 AM

imjimmy, I meant Laver. :)

Posted by avid sports fan aka "Sigh-Rena" 07/04/2009 at 11:42 AM

Bye to Master Ace, Samantha and all going out to celebrate July 4th. Have a good one!

greenhopper - I heard that about Pete. Nice! I doubt he is flying with the boys ;-)

Veruca salt - you our serve rehab worked wonders for Serena, we should expand out facility. I think Vee may need it too now ;-)

Posted by NP 07/04/2009 at 11:42 AM

In all seriousness, Pistol Pete, the GOAT on grass!

Posted by avid sports fan aka "Sigh-Rena" 07/04/2009 at 11:42 AM

This doubles first set will probably be decided by just one break or a TB.

Posted by avid sports fan aka "Sigh-Rena" 07/04/2009 at 11:43 AM

greenhopper - LOL @ Nenad being a great guy. He does look like someone to be pals with ;-)

Posted by evie 07/04/2009 at 11:43 AM

From Fed's presser today:

>> Federer has won 18 of the pair’s 20 meetings, but sees his head-to-head advantage as reason for extra vigilance as opposed to complacency. “If I don’t win on Sunday, that record won’t help me! The dream scenario would be like in the 2005 final or the 2003 semi,” said Federer, displaying his famed encyclopaedic memory for past matches.

Yeah, exactly. The record won't mean anything if he loses. Just ask Murray.


Posted by Carrie 07/04/2009 at 11:45 AM

evie- thanks for that article. I am glad to hear that they are going to focus on the big tournaments now. He should not be playing Bangkok though at the end of the year. Is it because he already committed? I wonder/hope/wish that next year we see that they commit to fewer tournaments so he won't have to withdraw from things. If he is not committed he is less likely to play. :)

jewell- yes I feel the same way. I mean- the tournament has been very exciting and I have been happy for a number of players- but for me- there is a little sparkle gone. As I imagine it is for folks whenever their fave/one of their faves is unable to play a tournament.

They have been showing SI covers and I am trying to remember- have the WS ever been on the cover? I may remember something with them in the bead era but it may actually have been on an issue of Tennis magazine.

With this talk of Nenand being nice dude- when I was at Toronto after a practice session he was so fantastic with fans. Chatting with them and talking for a little bit with a tween boy. His eyes are also gorgeous in person. If I recall correctly- topaz with a dark brown/black border. Rowr!

Posted by imjimmy 07/04/2009 at 11:46 AM

NP: Hopefully Pete is not coming to AELTC on Sunday? You know of any new info on that?

Posted by Ruth 07/04/2009 at 11:47 AM

I was hoping that Pete would stick to what seemed to be his reluctance to make the trip to London. I've always hated those times when one record holder (See Hank Aaron, Willie Mays) has to sit around at an event because some athlete MAY break his/her record on a given day. Looks silly. Just wait and congratulate the athlete at some other appropriate time.

NP: Just for you, I'm going to copy below something that one of my fellow Pete Sampras fanatics posted on a forum where a handful of us exiles from the old NYTimes tennis forum sometimes meet to chat. The topic was getting a new name for the GOAT. How about BOAT (best of all time), one said. Then my pal, sgrobin, offered this:

Supreme
And
Masterful
Player of
eRAS

Don't ya love it!

phillykat: If you decide to attend the Freedoms match on July 13 (Serena and Washingtom Kastles with Leander Paes and Rennae Stubbs visiting), be sure to let me know.

Posted by Veruca Salt (360) 07/04/2009 at 11:47 AM

Veruca salt - you our serve rehab worked wonders for Serena, we should expand out facility. I think Vee may need it too now ;-)


@avid-yep. paul henri matheiu just said that venus can share a suite with him.

Posted by avid sports fan aka "Sigh-Rena" 07/04/2009 at 11:49 AM

Carrie - exactly my thought on Rafa playing Bangkok too. If possible he should not even do Beijing China although I think he is doing that to meet the ATP-500 requirement post USO. This is why he bugs me when he says see you next year at all these tournaments. He said that at Rotterdam this year *sigh*

Posted by greenhopper 07/04/2009 at 11:49 AM

Zimonjic fires up a 136 mph 2nd serve ace for 2-1, and Mike serves the first df right after. 3-1, N/Z.

Posted by Tim (2009 Year of Red Rogie ) 07/04/2009 at 11:49 AM

I still dont think Sampras can be the GOAT, with his miserable record at the French... Laver trumps him big time, and so does Fed now, huge hole in the resume there...

Posted by avid sports fan aka "Sigh-Rena" 07/04/2009 at 11:49 AM

Apparently my NBC transmission is games behind the real match as the SB shows. And here I was thinking I was watching *live*

Posted by Rosangel 07/04/2009 at 11:50 AM

Ruth: I was just thinking what a good tournament this has been for Americans for the reasons that you gave: participants in both singles and doubles finals.

As a local (and half a Scot too) I was disappointed at the outcome of yesterday's second semi, but c'est la vie. I wasn't disappointed in the match that was played, though, and I have tons of respect for Roddick. Good luck to your man tomorrow in the final; that was one terrific all-round performance from him yesterday. I don't know that I've ever seen him play better - think he and Larry Stefanki both deserve credit for a sound and well-executed game plan.

Posted by Matt Zemek 07/04/2009 at 11:50 AM

NP:

I do agree that Sampras is the best ever on grass. The best serve in tennis history, the best second serve in tennis history, the best big-point player in tennis history, all of which are magnified on the organic green stuff.

It's all speculation, but if you put Sampras and Fed on grass 10 times, Sampras would win a few more tiebreaks than he'd lose, and that's your ballgame right there.... not by a huge margin, but that's where my money would lie.

On grass.

Posted by evie 07/04/2009 at 11:51 AM

I always thought Borg liked to go to those record tying/breaking matches because he hoped it would add pressure to the event -- that maybe the record wouldn't be tied or broken. Now he just seems to enjoy hanging out at the events. I'm kind of surprised to see Laver here, but it's nice.

Sampras never liked all the hoopla around the GS events, anyway. And for him now, there's nothing *but* the hoopla. It makes sense he's going to remain in L.A.


Posted by Tennis Fan 07/04/2009 at 11:52 AM

kind of surprised that Serena won so easily. What does that say about Dementieva? She could have won the tournament. Don't think that final was all that great. Don't know if the men's final will be any different. It will either be great or Federer will dismantle Roddick.

Safina stays at #1, with a 1,763 point lead on Serena. However, we now enter the part of the season, which as a result of last year's performance, is the reason that Safina is #1. Safina won LA (tier II) and Canada (teir I) and was RU at Olympics (almost equavalent to a tier I). Therefore, Safina has 1,900 points to defend leading up to USO. She would have to win Cincinnati and Canada to defend - a tall order. Serena has only 430 points to defend.

The person with the second highest points to defend this summer? Bartoli - 910
third? Cibulkova - 836
Wozniacki has - 780
Wozniak has - 720
Dementieva - 706
Azarenka - 626

These were the stars of last year in Venus and Serena's virtual no show. Venus and Serena must play more this summer - will see if they show up. Clijsters will also be in the mix. The Serbs seem to be sinking fast.

Should be an interesting summer. Because Olympics are not in the mix this year the USO series does not start until the end of July, so all the top ladies should be rested and ready.

Posted by avid sports fan aka "Sigh-Rena" 07/04/2009 at 11:52 AM

Veruca - LOL! I can see Vee and PHM getting along quite well ;-)

Posted by greenhopper 07/04/2009 at 11:53 AM

dang. Zimonjic misses a bh volley. 5-all. Only fair actually. A df should not decide a TB. Fires up an ace right after. 6-5, N/Z.

Posted by NP 07/04/2009 at 11:56 AM

imjimmy, IIRC Ted Robinson was saying they were gonna try to get Pete on the phone live tomorrow, so I guess he ain't flying.

And yes, Ruth, me likey. BTW Pete is reluctant to make a trip anywhere, not just to London. I guess the kids have something to do with it, but somehow he has always struck me as a homeboy.

Posted by greenhopper 07/04/2009 at 11:57 AM

Zimonjic hits a great bh pass off Mike's serve, he couldn't handle the volley. N/Z take it 9-7 in the 1st set TB.

avid, our TV feed is also way behind. I couldn't wait on the TB, so watched that on the stream MA posted earlier.

Posted by Bobby 07/04/2009 at 11:59 AM

avid sports fan, thanks for the update on the women's points. Interesting!

Posted by greenhopper 07/04/2009 at 12:00 PM

laurarobson5: Congrats to Noppawan for winning the girls! She played really well.. Going to Billy Elliot tonight, any good?

Very sweet of Laura.
Damn you to hell NBC. I could have watched this on WLive.

Posted by NP 07/04/2009 at 12:00 PM

"I do agree that Sampras is the best ever on grass. The best serve in tennis history, the best second serve in tennis history, the best big-point player in tennis history, all of which are magnified on the organic green stuff."

Hear, hear!

Matt, I approve your rampant speculation. Shocking, isn't it?

Posted by lois 07/04/2009 at 12:01 PM

This year Roddick is playing the best I have ever seen him play but when it comes to Roger something always goes wrong. Now what I hope for him this year is that he will play the Best game of his life and play his very best on the most important points (don't break dowm). Last year wether there was a roof or not Rafa was not to be DENIED and that was not only by Roger but for the whole entire field. This year I would like to see the same look in Andy's eyes that Rafa had in his. I know he does not want it thought that "noone can beat Roger but Rafa". Come-on
Andy play your best, Show everybody they are wrong-GO FOR IT.
I wish you all the best.

Posted by avid sports fan aka "Sigh-Rena" 07/04/2009 at 12:01 PM

Tennis Fan - Thanks for the updates. Although I have Dinara at 1663 ahead of ReRe. I dunno if I missed 10 points somewhere. I do think Dinara can defend her points as she is consistent in these tournaments. However, if Vee and ReRe show up the plus sid eis they will gain point too (at least replace poor showing points that can be replaced).

Meanwhile I have a question for you, I still don't understand why ReRe has to have the zero from Charleston in her ranking points since she was injured and did the promo thing. I thought the mandatory zero points rule was for premier mandatory and premier five tournaments.

Posted by Jake 07/04/2009 at 12:02 PM

Rosangel,

Sorry MAndy lost yesterday. He showed the right attitude in his presser yesterday when he said that he'll not let this loss dampen his spirits, and as long as he keeps giving himself opportunities, he'll win a slam one of these days.

Great thinking. He has all the tools, and time is on his side!

Posted by rafadoc 07/04/2009 at 12:06 PM

lois: Great post. Yep-really want to see Andy come out with a good game plan and execute it well like yesterday. I think that the mind set is huge too. I want to see a look of determination and confidence in Andy, much like Rafa had last year. Then, if Fed wins he can go home knowing he did his best, mentally and physically. Vamos A-Rod!

evie: Thanks for the post on Rafa. That is what a lot of his fans are wanting and that just makes good sense. Glad and relieved to hear it!

Posted by Arun 07/04/2009 at 12:06 PM

2 back to back brilliant returns DTL by Mike.

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