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Sunday Brunch 10/04/2009 - 10:00 AM

91186219 Howdy, everyone. With a little help from the gods, Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day here in game-rich Andes, after a week-long forecast of rain. The fall foliage is at it's colorful best, and generally peaks in this neck of the woods on Columbus Day weekend - which is next week.

I'll miss it this year, because Lisa, Luke and I are going to Boston for one of the "Geezerpalooza" weekends that Lisa's college friends organize, whenever seems like a logical or good time for the lot of them to get together. It's a nice tradition, and a great weekend, especially now that so many of her friends also have kids. But in all honesty, the entire concept is a little foreign to me. Unlike my wife, I'm not in regular contact with anybody with whom I went to school - high school or college. Which makes me wonder which way y'all swing on that subject.

For me, it's not a policy, just the way things worked out. And it's not because I live too much in the here and now; I have some good friend whom I've known for ages, but none of them date back to my school years. I seem to be more of the type who forms new relationships as he goes along. Friend relationships are funny; I think there's an inner dynamic that makes them last, or not, and it's got nothing to do with the depth or authenticity of the relationship. Some other, largely automatic factor(s) determine the arc of any given friendship. Maybe the lack of a core group of friends makes it easier to expand your base of friends. This weblog has certainly broadened my pool people I happily call my friends.

Well, maybe that's a good  basis for a Sunday Brunch conversation, maybe not. In either event, there's also some tennis to talk about, what with Gilles Simon in the final at Bangkok and Ana Ivanovic pulling the emergency brake of her career in Beijing, citing an upper-chest respiratory infection. Does anyone else reading the bare-bones AP report get the feeling that there's a little spinning in progress here? What seem like a simple story of a withdrawal due to illness really becomes the story of Ivanovic acknowledging that her year has been dog doo-doo. In a way, it's a fitting end to a year she'd rather forget, and citing a shoulder injury that inhibited her post-Wimbledon performance is another item that suggests that she wants to control the damage.

I don't doubt the authenticity of her complaints,  but it seems pretty clear that Ivanovic has seen the light, and the word it illuminates is "regroup."  Ivanovic won the French Open in 2008, but she's lived in a vale of tears most of the time since then. It's certainly a cruel but not by any means unusual fate; just when a player reaches the top of the mountain, a number of unanticipated factors, ranging from injury to the unexpected pressures that come with the top position kick in. I don't know how you prepare for that,  but it seems to underscore the counter-intuitive theory that you must be very careful not to be too goal-oriented.

Everybody wants to play great, that's a given. But some players seem to focus on achievement to such a high degree that realizing their ambitions leaves them on the edge of the motivational precipice. Or maybe it's the consistency precipice.

If your life's dream is to win Wimbledon, the toughest fate that may befall you is. . . winning Wimbledon. I'm not saying that this is the case for Ivanovic, but there's also no doubt that her fall from the top has been swift and hard enough to make you wonder about her bedrock psychology. If she played great and lost matches, that's one thing. But long before she began to complain of injury, it was fairly obvious that she had a difficult time handling the pressure once she won a major and reached no. 1.

That loss of nerve - for that's exactly what it appears to have been, has been the dominant theme in her struggles, and refusing or failing to face up to the basic problem is a long-term negative. I'd feel better about her future if she had come out somewhere (any help, anyone?) and admitted that the pressures of being the top player simply overwhelmed and crippled her. Trying to rationalize her troubles, or position them as injury-related, only makes it less likely that she'll overcome them. So, while I don't doubt that she's hurt, or that she really wants to regain her former status, I think the road back to the top will have to begin with a look in the mirror. That she has said nothing about failing to adjust to the new, increased demands and expectation she faced as a Grand Slam champion isn't a good sign, for the most overlooked aspect of the champion's mentality is honesty.

And yes, I know it's easy for me to say that. But that doesn't mean it isn't true.

-- Pete


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Posted by Bobby 10/04/2009 at 10:32 AM

Ivanovic's decline is a bit sad because, unlike a few others close to the top, she doesn't lack the weapons to be a #1 player. Unfortunately right now she lacks the confidence. Perhaps she also lacks the ability to swing freely, but I think that's easier to possess on your way up than it is when you're up there -- or on your way down. She seems like a nice person who's good for the game, so I hope she finds what she lost after her FO win.

Pete, interesting point about "the counter-intuitive theory that you must be very careful not to be too goal-oriented." So true. And BTW you're also correct to suggest Ivanovic may have commented on the pressures of being #1. I remember seeing an article where she acknowledged this; I don't have a link handy though. Glad you had a good day yesterday!

Posted by Nic 10/04/2009 at 10:45 AM

I posted this in the other day's DC, so sorry for repeating, but I think it applies.

I see Ana is [taking a break], and really the girl needs it. Her blog sounds like she's had a really difficult year emotionally as well as physically. I can't tell who is 'to blame' for her overtraining. On the one hand I want to blame her team and obviously trainers, but on the other I can understand how she would bring it on herself. Baby Ana wasn't immensely athletic in build, she hardened up a treat, and the titles, ranking and slam came as a result. It's immensely tempting to train harder and harder when things start to go pear shaped, each time raising your own expectations and all the while causing yourself more problems.

Posted by lollipop 10/04/2009 at 11:01 AM

Hello all,

Just wanted to stop by and say congrats to Jackie! Her hubby won a tourney, good for him! :)

Posted by Nic 10/04/2009 at 11:05 AM

Bobby, I think I read the same thing. It might have been an earlier post on her blog that I read via FortyDeuce

http://tinyurl.com/ye4lhov

Steve also detailed some of the pressure Ana has been under

http://tinyurl.com/y8z8256

And I think there is a degree of admission of the mental hurdles she's facing. I don't think a lack of self reflection is something she can be accused of even if the admissions of injury may appear like a cover for these issues. If anything, it's a tendency to spiral deeper and deeper into her own thoughts that seems to me to get her into trouble.

Posted by Jbradhunter 10/04/2009 at 11:06 AM

I know Ana won RG with her new Yonex, but as far as I know she cut her teeth using Wilson. Novak too. I still don't think his Head game has reached the heights his Wilson game did. I wonder if after years of building her game with a Wilson stick, Ana perhaps achieved her success buoyed on the new sensations of a her Yonex racquet ... Then after the initial spike in results, she found herself, her game, and the important "feel" she worked so hard to establish gone

Posted by Samantha elin, supporter of Caro and Justine 10/04/2009 at 11:25 AM

I think Ana made a wise decision in deciding to retire for the season, something is going on that she needs to sort out. Now that Justine and Kim are back, Ana, at least has her slam. Something that will be more difficult for Safina, Janky and Demmy to do now that they are back. Go Caro, Scandinavia's#1, world's#5, USO finalist!

Posted by The Fan Child 10/04/2009 at 11:29 AM

Ana's precipitous decline in the rankings was hard to swallow at first...she's obviously a sweet girl and I think it's challenging for her because she is not only a tennis hero, she's also become somewhat of a sex symbol, with gawkers and paparazzi coming out of the woodwork to photograph and fawn over her.

She seems to have the best intentions, and I get the sense that she it putting everything she has into the sport, but no matter hard she works, she still appears to be mired in a cloubt of self-doubt and indecision on the court.

It's tragic in a way, but it's also beautiful too - tennis is survival of the fittest and you've got nowhere to hide (unless you take the winter off due to an upper respiratory infection).

She's not far from the top, but she'll be farther when she finally does return. Maybe then she'll be obscure/ forgotten enough to stop playing self-conscious tennis and start fighting for points again like a hungry unknown.

It'll be better for Ana when it's not about the sport needing her, but about her needing the sport.

Posted by Raven 10/04/2009 at 11:39 AM

Pete,

Your analysis is spot on. The truth is the truth and she needs to face it. I hope she does! I miss her game and her smile.

Posted by Master Ace 10/04/2009 at 12:37 PM

Sunday ATP Results

Bangkok
Eric Butorac and Rajeev Ram defeated Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Mischa Zverev 7-6(4),6-3
Gilles Simon defeated Viktor Troicki 7-5,6-3

Kuala Lumpur
Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski defeated Igor Kunitsyn and Jaroslav Levinsky 6-2,6-1
Nikolay Davydenko defeated Fernando Verdasco 6-4,7-5

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 10/04/2009 at 12:41 PM

Pete: I also think your analysis is spot on. I have often thought many of your thoughts on Ana and she does need to take that break. I think the pressure ane attention was too much for her to take. However, I do worry that she may never make it back to the top, but I suppose as long as she is happy in life then that is the most important thing for her.

Posted by Andrew Miller 10/04/2009 at 12:50 PM

Eh, maybe Ivanovic should just "pull a Clijsters" and come back in a few years. She will still be super young. Get herself a few responsibilities to handle some of that cash and extra time.

Seriously: now what was the point of Kuznetsova sticking around since 2004? The scoreboard says Kuz. won a slam in 2004 and one in 2009, but nothing in between. So that would signal to me that, yes perhaps it was good to stick around (a la Safin) and win majors every five years, but wouldnt both of those players benefitted from just leaving the game for a year and then coming back?

I think so. I think that Clijsters gets a chance to analyze some trends and then capitalize, and Sharapova probably will too, given that her injuries sidelined her enough to acknowledge that she really has been "off tour" for a lot these past few years.

So why not encourage Ivanovic to leave the game and come back with something when her team has given some strategy to her future? I would encourage it myself, as in:

"Ivanovic - go see what the rest of life offers you. When you're done with that, you will still be a good enough player to come back with some more resolve and nab a grand slam or two."

Honestly, the girl's in Iva Majoli territory, and if she hadnt pulled off that French Open she would be nothing more or less than Natasha Zvereva.

I am coming around to the view that an excellent player (with weapons) has options - they can leave the game and come back, especially when young. The Williams sisters' "selective scheduling" shows nothing more than that: they only play when it counts on their legacy, their doubles play doubles as practice time when they are less sharp on the singles court, and by the time the semifinals come around they are looking like the grand slam champions they are, despite having put in less work than other players.

Players with weapons have options. My advice for Ivanovic is to cut back on the tournaments and play selectively, sharpen those weapons up in terms of the monster forehand and the big serve, and spend money on a good team to keep her physically strong. I hear more these days about Ivanovic's boyfriends than about her tennis playing, so maybe she should elope too - if that's how they do it in Serbia, Ivanovic should go ahead and get that part of her life squared away.

Clijsters did. I dont see why Ivanovic shouldnt.

Posted by Andrew Miller 10/04/2009 at 12:52 PM

Furthermore, shouldnt Marcelo Rios have done the same? Really, if he had done that, would we have seen Marcelo Rios, grand slam champion? rather than Marcelo Rios, unmotivated and tanking complainer?

Posted by Andrew Miller 10/04/2009 at 12:55 PM

I agree with Jbradhunter. I have no clue WHY the Serbs switched racquets, other than the big $ dollar signs on the endorsement deals.

They both played better with Wilson racquets. Since the racquet switch, Djokovic is a worse player. Ivanovic isnt any better with or without the Yonex, but in general I havent seen many players benefit from the drastic switches.

Except Andre Agassi, but I think his customization process when he switched from Prince to Donnay to Head was basically Andre handing over the Prince Graphite and saying, "ok Donnay, study this racquet and make one of these," and then handing the prince racquet to head and saying, "ok Head racquets, make one of these and I will test it out."

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 10/04/2009 at 01:11 PM

"Players with weapons have options."

You make this point twice, Andrew. Is it your belief, then, that a defensive player like JJ or Caro who do not have a big weapon (serve for ex.), would find it difficult to reach the top of the game once again if they were to take an extended leave? Should this style of player stick to playing it out through the good and the bad?

Posted by nyc 10/04/2009 at 01:29 PM

Who would you want to be Safina or Ivanovic? I think I'ld still take Ivanovic's position.

Comparatively, as I reflect on Amelie Mauresmo's career, I can't help but admire her more. She similaryly reached the #1 position w/out a grand slam title, and only having had reached 1 grand slam final ever. But, she got her nerves in check for a year, and had a banner, career defining year.

In any case, I hope that these 2 get their heads right for next year, b/c they are both really fun to watch and both seem like really nice people.

Posted by linex 10/04/2009 at 02:14 PM

Handling the pressure and expectations is not for everyone. Also motivations seems to be a personal issue, and not everyone has the same motivation and ambitions. A Justine Henin had only tennis ambitions, she was not distracted by the money or by off court activities, may be it helped that her looks were not a distraction as they are for an Ivanovic and Sharapova who get too many offers from the endorsement industry. It is up to Ivanovic to decide what makes her happy, the results? Or the money and fame she already has are enough?

Imagine that a Kournikova for example is famous and rich and never won a Grand Slam let alone a WTA singles tournament ... She probably does not care because being famous, and a sex symbol are probably things that satisfy. I am not saying that she would not have liked to be the Hingis of her generation but I am sure that she is more than satisfied with her fate. It is difficult to have everything in life. Fame, beauty, sports results, a family.

Posted by Master Ace 10/04/2009 at 02:18 PM

Jbradhunter and Andrew Miller,
Interesting point about the Serbians winning their Slams with the majority of the work being done with the Wilson racquet. Roger stayed with Wilson and the ATP story is history. Now, it will be interesting to see if Ana and Novak can win big again with Yonex and Head racquets. But, could you not blame them for capitalizing on the income coming their way before the media and marketing go elsewhere.

Pete,
Good subtle point in Ana basically saying that my year was not good.

Posted by linex 10/04/2009 at 02:34 PM

Let me take the chance to congratulate Jackie for Gilles title. I am happy for him as I always enjoyed his game. Here is hope that he has a good indoor season. He needs to defend a bunch of points in Shangai because he arrived to the final in Madrid last year.

I did not attend the Petrobras Challenger tournament today. The tickets for the final that finished few hours ago were sold out. Although it a challenger level tournament, it resembles an ATP 250 in its organization and facilites available to public and players. And the players who participate are not so different in level from the ones taking part in a small touranment like Bucharest the week before. In fact, many of them travelles from Europe to Southamerica and took part in both. Máximo Gonzalez and Pablo Cuevas who plays the petrobras cup in Montevideo next week to cite a few.

Yesterday I was able to attend the semis, while the matches were not great, I was still able to see some good stuff from Gaudio who beat Chela in the second semi, and Zeballos who has a similar game as the Roland garros former champion in the second one.

Today Zeballos beat Gaudio to the dislike of the crowd that was strongly rooting for Gaudio. However, everyone was happy because Gaudio had a good week and Zeballos who will be ranked as high as number fifty something next week, was a deserved champion. Zeballos a 24 year old argie has won like 6 titles in the challenger circuit this year and will play the European indoor tournaments in the next weeks. He has less talent than Gaudio but a decent game that includes a nice one handed backhand and a better serve than the former one.

Posted by linex 10/04/2009 at 02:41 PM

Forgot to say that I watched a fun doubles match between the famous journeyman who got his minute of fame against Roger last year in Montecarlo (Ramirez Hidalgo he still plays with the tshirt wrapped up in one of his arms) and Santiago Ventura against Maximo Gonzalez and Lucas Arnold.

Lucas and Maxi won that semifinal match. Lucas used to play a lot of doubles with Nalbi, he is the best argie in the doubles ranking. I noticed yesterday that what he does best and makes him a good doubles player is his return of serve.

Posted by CL 10/04/2009 at 03:10 PM

Well, to the first question that Pete posed, re which way do we 'swing,'(interesting choice of words.), as far as friends from high school/college - my very best friend has been my very best friend since 7th grade. (That was many many grades and many, many moons ago...). But that is the exception not the rule. I am not in touch with anyone else from high school or college and just see old friends from my home town when I go back there. I don't know why either. I think drift is pretty inevitable. And unless there is some special bond, like between my longtime BFFE, and/or unless you stay in the same town your whole life, I think you do just 'drift.' And so does everyone else.

As for the Ana Chronicles, well, I'm not enough of a follower of the women's game venture much of an informed opinion. Even uninformed though, I would venture that whatever ails Ana is 98.9% mental/emotional.

Posted by Slice-n-Dice 10/04/2009 at 03:15 PM

"That loss of nerve - for that's exactly what it appears to have been, has been the dominant theme in her struggles, and refusing or failing to face up to the basic problem is a long-term negative."

I think, Pete, that this statement of yours could apply to a few of the WTA's stars -- namely, JJ (once ranked #1, she started her slippery slide down the ranks; Safina, same. Who's next? may be the better, or more interesting, question.

Enjoy the geezerpalooza as best you can. I suspect you'd rather spend that time with all the kids who will be present.

As for the friends question... I'm not one to keep a gaggle of friends anyway. Just a small handful of very good, loyal, dependab;le ones is all I need. But I do have one very good friend whom I still communicate with if not see often from when I was no more than 8 years old; two from high school; and two from college say. One of the latter is still a good buddy, even though we had lost touch with each other for several years between graduate/medical school and startoing a career/getting hitched, etc. Then there are the two or three good friends I've made and kept since starting my career/life independent from the institutional teat.

Posted by Cayman Karen 10/04/2009 at 03:34 PM

Good afternoon All. In response to the first question, I unfortunately have not been able to keep in touch with my friends from primary (elementary to you guys in the States), but I still see my high school and college friends. However, my very best BFF is someone I met on my first job in 1985. I actually met her in 1984. She is my son's godmother. Even though we do not speak as much as we would like (she lives in the States and is ailing) whenever we get on the phone it is like we never stopped talking.
As a fan of Ana I have to say that I am not too disappointed that she decided to shut down her season. She has had dismal year and I do believe that it has more to do with her mentality rather than any physical ailments. It would seem to me that the over-training may be a carry over from her "chubby" days as a tennis player when someone or something focused on the fact that she could stand to lose some weight. Perhaps Ana is suffering from one of those disorders (i.e. bulimia or anorexia) which is affecting her all around game. When her game is on it is to be admired, even though I can do without the twirls and fist pumps and adjes.
On the issue of the change in equipment, I think I had opined here earlier in the year that the Serbs seem to be focused more on making as much money out of tennis rather than the accomplishments of tennis. As an amateur player myself even if I switch to a different size ball it affects my game. I can just imagine players who were trained on a specific piece of equipment trying to break in new equipment on the pro tour. Good luck to them.

Posted by Nic 10/04/2009 at 03:49 PM

Funnily, when I first read it as "That loss of serve..." and had to go back a few times to get it right.

Although obviously both are very closely related. Even though Ana's serve has always been faulty and there is the shoulder issue and changes of technique to contend with, her ability to serve has been severely hampered by her lack of confidence. I think this was incredibly evident during her match against Sam Stosure at Wimbledon.

The expression on her face, the amplified adjes and attempts to work herself up revealed as much. It was incredibly painful to watch. By the end she was nearly in tears. It appeared like she was incredibly frustrated by her own self doubts and was trying to overcompensate. Trying to 'fake it until you make it'.

At the same time I remember that match, which was on an outer court, being packed, and a friend of mine I was watching with on TV, bluntly pointed out how much of the crowd was made up of men and how much they were supporting her. I mention that, I guess because I don't necessarily think that Ana is in any way satisfied by her fame and adoring male fans, as perhaps Anna Kournikova can be accused of being.

Perhaps all her protests about a player rather and pretty first are all PR. I don't get that impression. I think struggling against being more than a pretty face, and realising how marketable she has been is an additional pressure she faces.

I believe it's not a matter of lack of motivation that comes having achieved your goals but rather 'trying too hard'.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 10/04/2009 at 03:51 PM

Thanks Pete,

School friendships are a funny thing.I have a great friend from high school we both were each others bridesmaids etc and continue our close relationship to this very day.Even though she dosent live close.Our dream is to take a trip together down the Nile.We kind of made a pact in high school about this trip seeing we both love Ancient History.Well 35 years later we still havent made that trip,though as she said to me the other day."Never say Never"

Posted by Nic 10/04/2009 at 04:07 PM

And also on Ana realising and having spoken about how her own mind games were getting her down this year, in addition to her blog, she mentioned, perhaps jokingly, how she had taken to reading psychology books for a while and that she realised she had to give them up because she had begun to overanalyse herself, to her detriment.

Thanks linex for you updates, it's surprising to me to hear of a challenger level tournament having a final sold out. The support for tennis over there must be tremendous, although I'm sure Gaudio was a major drawcard. South America should really have a Masters level tournament.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 10/04/2009 at 04:07 PM

Peter in regards to Ana and her withdrawl of Beijing I also fead from Fox Sports News here in Australia another factor she also cited was "over training" and not having the necessary recovering time in between.

Scott Byrnes who has been Anna's trainer for years,an Aussie by the way,is no more.After Anna parted company with her coach Scott also parted from Anna's team.

I feel this of course has something to do with the Addidas set up.I also noticed Sven in her box for a couple of matches,though the word was Darren Cahill was also going to assist.Which brings me to my point.Though I can see the attributes in this Addidas group I also see some things which I feel for certain players that dosent work out.

I feel Anna was doing better under Sven as her coach.I have always felt Anna dosent have the "mental ability" in her game.Which I feel is so vital,regardless.She seems at times totally reliant on her team.Then one has to look as this "insane" rule brought in by the WTA allowing on court coaching.This is just Spoon Feeding Players as far as I am concerned.Gee if Plan A dosent work out then dont have a plan B to go to.

Anna after her RG Grand Slam title,to me has been struggling.I realize she also has had injuries.Hey so do other players though.

Her run at the US OPEN said it all for me,she had no idea in that t/breaker.Bad shot selection cost her that match.

Mentally burnt out,is a better word.I feel maybe some time out is the order of the day for Anna.She is still young enough to get herself back on track.

Sometimes the harder you try,the worse you get.

Posted by Nic 10/04/2009 at 04:07 PM

And also on Ana realising and having spoken about how her own mind games were getting her down this year, in addition to her blog, she mentioned, perhaps jokingly, how she had taken to reading psychology books for a while and that she realised she had to give them up because she had begun to overanalyse herself, to her detriment.

Thanks linex for you updates, it's surprising to me to hear of a challenger level tournament having a final sold out. The support for tennis over there must be tremendous, although I'm sure Gaudio was a major drawcard. South America should really have a Masters level tournament.

Posted by Nic 10/04/2009 at 04:08 PM

And also on Ana realising and having spoken about how her own mind games were getting her down this year, in addition to her blog, she mentioned, perhaps jokingly, how she had taken to reading psychology books for a while and that she realised she had to give them up because she had begun to overanalyse herself, to her detriment.

Thanks linex for you updates, it's surprising to me to hear of a challenger level tournament having a final sold out. The support for tennis over there must be tremendous, although I'm sure Gaudio was a major drawcard. South America should really have a Masters level tournament.

Posted by Grad Student 10/04/2009 at 04:13 PM

With tennis in its post-Flushing Meadows funk, I thought I would post something I have been working on. With the decade almost over, I qonswe which men would rank in the decade's top ten. To start the conversation, I decided to add up who performed the best at the slams over the last ten years. I used the points assigned by the ATP: a slam winner netted 2000 points, a finalist received 1200, a semifinalsit 720, and a quarterfinalist 360.

Here are the top twenty slam performers of 2000-2009

19. Albert Costa/Thomas Johansson 3080
18. Patrick Rafter, 3120
17. Tommy Haas, 3240
16. Juan Martin Del Potro, 3440

15. Tim Henman, 3600
14. Fernando Gonzalez, 3720
12. Nicolay Davydenko, Sebestien Grosjean, 4680
11. Gustavo Kuerten, 4720

10. David Nalbandian, 5880
09. Pete Sampras, 7120
08. Juan Carlos Ferrero, 7640
07. Novak Djokovic, 7880
06. Marat Safin, 9280

05. Lleyton Hewitt, 11800
04. Andy Roddick, 12920
03. Andre Agassi, 13440
02. Rafael Nadal, 17280
01. Roger Federer 40080

Posted by Cayman Karen 10/04/2009 at 04:15 PM

@Grad Student - that is a very comprehensive list. Have you done anything similar for the women.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 10/04/2009 at 04:22 PM

I also feel with Gilles win,it just might kick start him again.

I also feel he was struggling for most of the year with his game,then he got that Knee injury.

Knee injuries seem to be the order of the day in the ATP.

Posted by Curtis 10/04/2009 at 04:28 PM

The thing is with Ana, when she won RG and become #1 i the world, all the attention and focus shifted to her. She was supposed to be the next big uperstar in the game after Henin's retirement. She had the game, looks and personality to sell. So she got a lot of media attention. Paparazzi begin following her, Serbian press begin treating her unfairly, and the expectations were too much for her to handle.

To me, Ana is a girl who likes to live a more normal life, be happy and enjoy playing tennis. That was her dream, and it had finally come true. She never wanted to become a celebrity, but by default, was one. She had to adjust and didn't adjust well. She is not a Sharapova or Serena Willaims. Now that is only part of the reason for her down fall, but it is what triggered everything. Maybe not that nobody is expecting anything from her and have given up on her, she will see it as a new opportunity and comes out next year fresh and rebound from this disasterous year. Ana wil be back, if she deals with her mental issues and forget about the bad breaks in the past and move on. he just has to adjust.

Posted by Cayman Karen 10/04/2009 at 04:35 PM

@Curtis, I take the point that you are making in relation to Ana and the media, however, I am not so sure that if she comes back and is flying under the radar that that would be of much help to her as then she may start feeling that my goodness, a year ago I was the toast of the tennis community and now, nada. It is tightrope that this girl is walking and I am hopeful that at some point she finds balance as I think that is missing from her make up. She is either too caught up in her tennis or too caught up in other things. Girl needs to have a talk with Venus Williams. Now there is a balanced player.

Posted by Jenni 10/04/2009 at 04:46 PM

"Trying to rationalize her troubles, or position them as injury-related, only makes it less likely that she'll overcome them."

No more calls, we have a winner.

AM, your post is pretty spot-on as well. That USO tiebreak was just baffling. The most entertaining part was watching the woman in the white sweater and the man in purple just behind her. Such juxtaposition of emotions!

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 10/04/2009 at 04:47 PM

Grad Student: thanks for that list. very interesting!

Posted by Curtis 10/04/2009 at 04:48 PM

@Cayman: I think Ana is already at that stage where as you said, "A year ago I was the toast of the tennis community and now, nada." Tignor's piece in Tennis magazine on how she was playing on the outer courts at Wimbledon this year rather than Center court like last year with all the attention on her illustrates that. What she needs to do is forget about that, not think about how she is fallen from the top and go back to what got her to the top in the 1st place. What I mean by that is start off like she was 18 years old, play in more MM events, and build her way back to the top like she did in the 1st place and all young players have to do. That has to be her mentality. Start all over again and view it that way rather than viewing like, "I have fallen, how do I get back up?"

Posted by Jackie 10/04/2009 at 04:57 PM

Thank you, lollipop! I stayed up to watch - was well worth it. :) Great week for my guy.

Posted by Peg 10/04/2009 at 04:58 PM

Fascinating list, Grad Student. At first I blinked at seeing Roddick, Safin et al ahead of Sampras, but then I remembered the year-range you were using. ...Though, that considered, it's telling that Agassi is in the Top 3 nonetheless. And that Murray isn't on the list yet.

Re: friendships - I'm still in contact with folks from grade school, college, and beyond - though not necessarily the folks I would've predicted. Some people just don't see friendship maintenance as a priority - or, put more positively, some people put more effort into keeping those connections alive. (I've been on both sides of this - I have more energy/time some years than others.)

Posted by Ade 10/04/2009 at 05:06 PM

Too much pressure on the poor girl. I believe a lot of players use "injuries" as excuses for mental issues. Lost of interest, tired of traveling, ect....some even announce retirements for a while until they rest up .....their "mind" mostly......

I believe Justine Henin was one who couldn't handle the pressure of being number 1. She reached number 1, but knew it would be a short ride. So she got out quick.

You quoted: "I'd feel better about her future if she had come out somewhere (any help, anyone?) and admitted that the pressures of being the top player simply overwhelmed and crippled her."

This line would apply to Nadal also. He couldn't handle the pressure of being number 1 either. Now I'm not saying his knees were not hurting, but the comeback he showed at the OPEN wouldn't suggest any knee problems at all. He didn't even have them taped. Then it was his abdominal, but now he's fine! Shouldn't he also have admitted the same?

A most recent example of pressure is Andy Murray's collapse at this year's US OPEN, talk about pressure gettting in your head.

Getting back to Ana, I believe the media made too big a deal out of her good looks and she isn't the type of person who "flaunts" herself. She is a sweet, down to earth, and nice person. The media and some FANS are downright cruel to put so much emphasis on her looks. Just let the poor girl alone to play her game.

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 10/04/2009 at 05:25 PM

Ade, how does it apply to Nadal? After he became No. 1, he won a GS and 3 MS (IW, MC, Rome) before he got hurt. He's always gotten hurt after playing for 6 months. Don't see how being No. 1 had anything to do with it.

As for Ana:

"""
But long before she began to complain of injury, it was fairly obvious that she had a difficult time handling the pressure once she won a major and reached no. 1.
"""

She won RG, and then got hurt before USO, right? Not much time to make an assessment of difficulty handling the pressure.

On the other hand, there's a larger issue about how a top player should deal with injury recovery. Should they take time off, and forget about the ranking? Or, should they play through with potential damage to their confidence.

Personally, I think the worst decision that Federer made was to come back too soon after mono, and play catch up with his conditioning while playing matches. Ate a bagel in RG final, and the rest is history. Rafa has suffered similarly with his knees. The clay season let him continue for a while, but he just got fried mentally by the end of it.

Seems to happen to the best scheduler of all time (Federer) and the worst scheduler of all time (Nadal). Tough decision ;-).

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 10/04/2009 at 05:27 PM

Well I strongly disagree Nadal couldnt Handle being no 1?

Please comparing Anna to Nadal is like Chalk and Cheese

Nadal has The Strongest Mind in the ATP,gee do I have to list matches where the opposition had Match point and he has gone on to win the Match?

As a player any injury takes it toll on your mental attitude,that goes hand in hand

Gee he played the US OPEN with a Ruptured AB Muscle and still made the s/final for the 2nd year in a row???

Yes indeed he is a Mental Midget.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 10/04/2009 at 05:59 PM

Ade writes:

"[Nadal] couldn't handle the pressure of being number 1 either."

Unfortunately, the facts don't support this statement.

If Rafa was having trouble handling said pressure, he wouldn't have begun 2009 by winning 44 or 45 of his first 49 matches.

After that excellent stretch, physical injuries have negatively affected Rafa's ability to either: (1) compete at his top (No. 1) level; or (2) compete at all.

Physical injuries have nothing to do with an alleged inability to handle pressure.

Ade calls into question Rafa's reported abdominal injury and its affect on Rafa's game.

Unless Ade is a medical professional who has had access to Rafa's pertinent medical records, Ade's comments regarding Rafa's physical condition and/or injuries have absolutely no credibility.

Posted by Master Ace 10/04/2009 at 06:05 PM

First round of Beijing and Tokyo for the ATP starts at 11 PM tonight. Beijing for the WTA will finally be completing their first round matches and starting their second round.

WTA notable players to play:
Dinara Safina
Svetlana Kuznetsova
Venus Williams

ATP notable players to play:
Novak Djokovic - Beijing
Ivo Karlovic - Beijing
Gael Monfils - Tokyo

Posted by TennisFan2 (go Red Sox!) 10/04/2009 at 06:08 PM

Aussie M's 5:27 & 5:59:

+1

I don't think anyone can make a claim against Rafa's mental fortitude.

Posted by TennisFan2 (go Red Sox!) 10/04/2009 at 06:11 PM

Master Ace,

Any television coverage of Beijing?

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 10/04/2009 at 06:25 PM

Manuel Just off topic for a moment

great ride by Lorenzo.

Posted by Master Ace 10/04/2009 at 06:36 PM

TennisFan2,
At the moment, I do not see coverage of any tennis.

MLB Playoffs:

AL Central Playoff on Tuesday
Detroit at Minnesota

AL
Detroit or Minnesota at New York
Boston at Los Angeles

NL
St. Louis at Los Angeles
Colorado at Philadelphia

Posted by david 10/04/2009 at 06:40 PM

too bad about Ana she really is a great player and I expect her to be #1 and winning slams again at some point.
maybe she should "retire".lol

anyone know what's up w/ Serena's punishment? is she going to be banned from the next slam?

Posted by Syd 10/04/2009 at 06:43 PM

"I believe Justine Henin was one who couldn't handle the pressure of being number 1. She reached number 1, but knew it would be a short ride. So she got out quick."

I guess 117 weeks at Number One is quick. 61 one of them consecutive, eclipsing Serena's 57. Plus an addtional 44 conssectuive weeks as number one.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 10/04/2009 at 06:44 PM

Some people can never resist a strike against Nadal, can they? No matter who or what the topic of discussion is it, somehow, is applied in a negative way against Nadal.

There is not one iota of truth in the statement that he cannot handle the pressure of being no. 1 - he has already proved that he
can and he will be no. 1 again next year.


Posted by Syd 10/04/2009 at 06:46 PM

Oops, made a mistake there!

Erase that post! Not true at all.

Posted by tommy 10/04/2009 at 06:49 PM

Ivanovic has a strong game, with a good serve. Kuznetsova was going years without a title, then won a 2nd major.

Ivanovic has enough game to win anothermajor, maybe 2 or 3 more. Kuznetsova might win another also.

The problem is for Dementieva and Jankovic, who can't hold their serve when they have to.

Safina, it's hard to tell. I think she's young enough and good enough on clay to win a FO or 2, if her head is right.

Posted by Syd 10/04/2009 at 06:51 PM

Henin's # 1 record

117 weeks in total. too lazy to break it out.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 10/04/2009 at 07:11 PM

Well I am going to look at some Mummys,no that kind

Actually a exhibition on the Pharohs.Seeing I havent made my dream trip up the Nile as yet.Next best thing is to go and have a look lol!

Be back for another nervy game from my no 1 at the moment Safina

No we dont need to go there either lol!

Bye for Now.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 10/04/2009 at 07:19 PM

aussiemarg, 6:25

Stoner had some bad luck, as he broke a footpeg. Missing a footpeg when you're trying to control one of those bikes at racing speeds has to be rather harrowing.

Phillip Island in two weeks. That should be a great series of races.

Meanwhile, the areas around some of the best motorcyle riding roads Northeast of Los Angeles are taking a pounding from fires. Lost some more homes. Hopefully, upcoming weather will help the firefighters control these fires.

Posted by adicecream 10/04/2009 at 07:21 PM

I noticed the doubles champions MA posted earlier: Butorac and (the other) Ram. Yay for Butorac, who came from US DIII tennis. was dumped by Jamie Murray and still can win a tournament.

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 10/04/2009 at 07:21 PM

Elena missed her chance at Wimbledon this year. MP against Serena in the SF, and a good look at a passing shot on that point. Injured Venus in the final. Oh well. Tennis history is littered with missed opportunities.

Posted by TennisFan2 (go Red Sox!) 10/04/2009 at 07:46 PM

Thanks MA!

I am hoping Ana regroups and comes back with a strong run in 2010. The happiest I saw her this year was in the golf photo shoot with Rafa in Miami.

Posted by thebigapple 10/04/2009 at 08:05 PM

Grad,

You numbers for this decade tell quite a story of the sheer excellence of Roger Federer. It also says quite something about Andy Roddick,I was surprised to see he scores so well.

Posted by Ruth 10/04/2009 at 08:07 PM

adicecream: The way Jamie Murray dumped Butorac to pursue more "high profile" doubles partners (when he and Butorac were doing quite well) really galled me. So, I am quite pleased about their (Jamie's and Butorac's) current status on the doubles scene.

Posted by Bhai Mirzai 10/04/2009 at 08:09 PM

Grad Student:

I think it is a nice study --- it is the ranking of a decade though. Hence it is not fair to compare Samprass, who was at the end of his great career, to Federer and Nadal, who are at their peaks; to DelPotro, who is just starting.

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 10/04/2009 at 08:10 PM

Ruth: I too have been a fan of Butorac ever since he was Moyad by JMurray.

Posted by Ruth 10/04/2009 at 08:16 PM

I, for one, am just happy that Ana didn't make a big "retirement" announcement expressing a need to spend more time on real-life pursuits like following and supporting her golf pro boyfriend. :)

I'll accept almost any reason/excuse for a player's taking a leave of absence for the Tour. (I can even understand a person's need to be private about the real reason for his/her temporary or permanent departure from the scene.) Just don't say you're retiring when you're pretty darn sure that you'll be back sooner or later!

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/04/2009 at 09:10 PM

Hiya all

It seems really funny to see a thread titled 'Sunday Brunch' when I have just ate breakfast to start Monday.

Congrats to the Australian junior tennis team they won their final against GB. This is the YC thread isn't it.

With Ana I think she needs to finds something else other than tennis just to make herself relax. Also maybe go it alone and leave mum at home for a bit. Whenever I see pics of Ana's mum overseeing practice I think 'Go Get a Life'.

Posted by skip1515 10/04/2009 at 09:25 PM

It is not my original comment that it's very, very different grabbing at the ankle of the players above you in the rankings than being #1 and having nothing to do but shake off the clutching hands of every Thomasina, Regina, and Harriet who're out for your scalp. (Credit Mr. Brennan for teaching that to me.)

I am not privy to the workings or counsel of the Ivanovic inner circle, but from this distance I have to question the mental preparation she received in her movement up the rankings. I have seen players being groomed for greatness, and witnessed how important it was to teach them what to expect. Was Ivanovic given that benefit? I can't say. But if the goal was to reach #1, and only to reach #1, without any advice as to how life would change once that happened (beyond increased endoresement $), then she was poorly served.

As were Jankovic and Safina, perhaps.

Posted by Master Ace 10/04/2009 at 09:33 PM

Chances are I will be sleep but here is a possible link to Beijing:

http://www.fromsport.com/c-4.html

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/04/2009 at 09:33 PM

Forgot to add I love the beginning of the thread about friends, Pete. My bff is someone I met when I was 8 yrs old and in Grade 3. We drifted apart for a while but now that we are older we have more time to spend together especially during the summer months. She is like my sister and her mother became my surrogate mother when I was growing up. I have friends who all have different interests so if I feel like doing something I always have at least one person who will feel like doing it. At christmas time I am going away with five of them so it will be interesting. If it wasn't for my friends I wouldn't of gotten through last year as I did, so for that I am thankful. A couple of friends have just gone from my life, which made me really upset as even to this day I don't know why, but sometimes people just come into your life for a reason.

Posted by skip1515 10/04/2009 at 09:33 PM

And Pete, I will add that I consider myself lucky to still have friends from when I was a toddler. It's not a prerequisite to a good life, and it's not as if I speak with them every day, or every week, but when someone's known you for that long it imbues the friendship with a tint and familiarity that more recent acquaintances have to work very, very hard to acquire.

Besides which, some of them have been playing tennis with me for over 30 years. I need them around to back up my claims about that backhand in 1983.

And, having read this post to my wife, I am compelled to add that I've known her since I was 16. Compelled and *happy* to add, I should say. :)

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/04/2009 at 09:42 PM

OOP for the China Open. Play starts in 20 mins. MA thanks for the link. I see that Caro loss in the first rd. Boy not much fight in the last set, she got bagelled.

http://www.chinaopen.com.cn/en/2009/schedule.html

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/04/2009 at 09:42 PM

OOP for the China Open. Play starts in 20 mins. MA thanks for the link. I see that Caro loss in the first rd. Boy not much fight in the last set, she got bagelled.

http://www.chinaopen.com.cn/en/2009/schedule.html

Posted by linex 10/04/2009 at 09:47 PM

I had missed the point on friendship from Pete. It seems that I read the post too quickly at first.

In my case, friends are a crucial part of my life. I have 3 friends from nursery, yes since I was 4 years old. I still see them often until today. And then a great group of friends from high school that are also very close to me until today. All these were the friends I made in my home country Uruguay.

I made new friends at work, in my four different jobs, with many of them I am still in touch. And finally I made a lot of friends during my period in the US during my LLM program in Chicago. Most of these friends were international students like me, mainly European and Southamerican. I made excellent american friends during the year I spent in NYC working too.

I guess it is nice to have long time friends because these people are like family, they are always there when you need them, and you do not need to give any explanation to them, they look at you and they know what you are thinking or what you are feeling.

However, it is healthy and enriching to make new friends, sometimes your longtime friends are in a diffent phase of their lives than you, and you need people who daily share common interests with you.

In my experience it is also possible to meet friends at a later stage of your life, and to feel as if you have known them during all you life. It is a matter of chemistry I guess.

Posted by linex 10/04/2009 at 09:50 PM

And I forgot to say that my best friends are these three girls who I met in nursery at the St Andrew´s Shool in Pocitos, Montevideo, Uruguay. The place where I learned to speak in English which is what allows me to interact with all of you.

Posted by linex 10/04/2009 at 09:55 PM

Hi Angel, how are you? I hope that you start the day in good shape.

I am in a bad mood because I lost my sun glasses (I love them because I own them since 1997 when I bought them in a department store in NYC). The worst thing is that the case is here but it is empty, I do not have the slightest idea where I lost them.

I wanted to tell you Angel that today I learned that Cañas will play to exhibitions in november december. The first one in Bs As in Adrogue Tennis Club with Gaudio, Monaco and Acassuso. The second one in San Juan, a province in Argentina, with Nalbandian, and two more, I do not recall who. Elf is playing an exhibition against Gonzo in Rosario a neighbour city to Bs As also in Argentina.

I think that with all your favourites in town you need to switch your vacation plan and come to Argentina in nov december.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/04/2009 at 09:59 PM

linex, hello did you have a nice Sunday. I missed you yesterday but read your post. Glad you had a great time at the tennis. With friends most of the guys who play tennis at a professionnal level have made long life friends, don't know about the ladies though. I read an interview with Canas and he has said if it wasn't for tennis he wouldn't have met Martin nor Zabaleta.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/04/2009 at 10:05 PM

linex If I had the money, I would of seriously consider it. You could of been my tour guide. At least he hasn't retired. I hope he decides to play a bit of the Australian leg over summer. Sorry to hear about losing your sunnies.

Posted by linex 10/04/2009 at 10:05 PM

Angel I wrote a post here today about my exprience in the semis in the Challenger. True that we missed each other earlier today, you must have gone to sleep. But I saw your post at the DC.

Yes many tennis players especially the Spanish and the Argentines have friends on Tour. Zabaleta, Gaudio, Chela, Cañas, Acassuso and some of the doubles players like Martin Garcia, Martin Rodriquez who is Gonzo´s coach are very close. This is seen very clearly in the TV show that Chela and Zabaleta produced Tennis Pro.

The tandilenses are close to each other too. Monaco and Maximo Gonzalez and Delpo for example.

But many of them Delpo and Nalbandian as an example have a group of childhood friends outside from tennis.

Posted by linex 10/04/2009 at 10:09 PM

I guess that if Willy plays these exhibitions (they are advertising both exhibitions on TV now) it means he plans to play a little longer. A pity though that he did not take part of this challenger, I heard he is now in Miami and that he had a wrist injury. But I do not know if his ranking allows him to play the Australian Open directly. I guess he will need to play the quallies.

It would be my pleasure to be your tourist guide if you come over here.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/04/2009 at 10:14 PM

Willy and his bloody wrists. Kind of like Rafa and his knees.

I think that its great that players have friends from their childhood, who are not tennis players.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/04/2009 at 10:36 PM

thanks for the link to Beijing, Angel.

i wanna watch the Nole match, and Dina's as well. so i might have to take my nap now, seeing as Nole plays second on centre court...

hmmm, how far is Argentina fr Perth? you're gonna be in for a wicked long plane ride Angel :) anything for Willy, i guess. i hope you get to go on that trip before Willy retires

Posted by Andrew Miller 10/04/2009 at 10:40 PM

Jelena Jankovic should definitely take time off. She reminds me of Clijsters a bit - she has weapons and one of them is speed - other players will not become faster than Jankovic (some might, few will however).

Posted by Andrew Miller 10/04/2009 at 10:44 PM

so who could come back and remain a tough player? Well look no further than Jelena Dokic at the Oz Open this year - she made it to the QF (lost, but made it there). She just hit harder and played tougher than the new generation - Dokic has weapons. Sorry, but it makes any comeback a lot easier to know that they did it before, so Jankovic, Ivanovic etc. can definitely leave the game and come back.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/04/2009 at 10:54 PM

does anyone have a stream for Beijing?

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/04/2009 at 10:55 PM

I don't think Ana should retire just take a break until the end of the year.

mina - You never know I might just make the trip to BA maybe 2011 would be a more likely prospect. If I didn't get to see Willy play it wouldn't be that bad as there would be other players.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/04/2009 at 10:57 PM

There you go mina, courtesy of MA. That's right it is a public holiday on your side of the country, mine was last week.

http://www.fromsport.com/c-4.html

Posted by linex 10/04/2009 at 11:03 PM

Angel perhaps if the goal is to see Willy, a tennis clinic in Miami in his academy is a better idea. They have clinics for pros and amateurs for what I heard from him when ESPN interviewed him.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/04/2009 at 11:12 PM

linex now you are talking a one on one with him.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/04/2009 at 11:16 PM

In the Athens final Dokic def Daniiliou 62 61 to win her first title of the year.

Posted by Arun 10/04/2009 at 11:24 PM

Hello Guys!

Is there a link for the Beijing Open?
Looks like we can watch the action on the centre court here. http://tinyurl.com/ycmgkx9

But, we need to install some plugin. on that count, even the google translate + live video help isn't helpin me a whole lot.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeee!!!) 10/04/2009 at 11:30 PM

skip1515 - Apparently, before the RG '08 final, Ana's team made a point to NOT tell her that she would be #1 if she won, b/c they didn't want her to feel that extra pressure. I think that says a lot her team's approach (or lack thereof) to helping her handle being #1.

linex - Thx for your match reports all week. Good stuff. You're lucky to have so much good tennis right in your backyard!

Posted by Peg 10/04/2009 at 11:46 PM

*looks at Beijing OOP*

*blinks*

Roddick's playing doubles with Knowles? That could be entertaining...

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/04/2009 at 11:48 PM

Peg

I missed the Roddick and Knowles pairing, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

linex - who in your mind should play dubs for Argentina at DC level.

Posted by Arun 10/04/2009 at 11:48 PM

yeah, Peg. Noticed it. Knowick should have a solid to win the tournament (even in the presence of N/Z and the Bryans).

Posted by Peg 10/04/2009 at 11:54 PM

...and Dlouhy's with Kohlschreiber. That could be entertaining or painful...

Posted by Arun 10/05/2009 at 12:05 AM

I don't think I can figure out how to watch the Beijing Open live.

'Night, all.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 12:27 AM

none of the links work for me either... sigh. thanks anyway

Posted by crazyone 10/05/2009 at 01:09 AM

PEHK breadsticked Ivo. I'm happy, but that's madness.

Posted by crazyone 10/05/2009 at 01:09 AM

PEHK breadsticked Ivo. I'm happy, but that's madness.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/05/2009 at 01:16 AM

I had to go out for a lttle while and see PK has won and Sabine had to withdraw.

Posted by Pspace (Lookin' for Court No. 3) 10/05/2009 at 01:19 AM

LOL. Poor Ivo. I guess he's still hurting from that DC loss to the worm. How do you lose a three set match after serving 27 aces? Surprisingly PEHK was able to control Ivo's second serve points throughout the match. And, even his first serve winning % wasn't that high.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Back onboard the Crazy Elf Train) 10/05/2009 at 01:25 AM

Ok another strange pairing in the dubs. Pico and the Worm, I am going to name them Beauty and the Beast or BATB.

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