Peter Bodo's TennisWorld - Sunday Brunch
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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 Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 05:18 AM

Mina No not really.Its a very demanding one,I can tell you lol!

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 05:19 AM

of course, Pavs Double faults. to dig a 0-40 hole for herself. oopss. broken now. Vee's chance is here and she better take it, Pavs looks like she wants to win this by breaking Vee one last time instead of serving it out. LOL

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 05:22 AM

Pavs has lost her nerve. Vee is back in this match.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 05:25 AM

Serve it out Pavs!!!

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 05:26 AM

Oh my goodness yes. The teeth. Well they aren't teeth anymore are they? Just sanded down stumps with veneers pasted on. *shudders* To me veneers are the acrylic nails of the dental world. (No offence intended, acrylic enthusiasts, I had a bad experience)

I'm not opposed to a bit of cosmetic work if it makes you feel better. But in the recent close up photos you can see the difference between his Hollywood uppers and traditional Tandilese lowers and it just looks really unnatural. I understand being on the road means upkeeping braces is difficult, but I really wish he could have gone for the behind the back braces instead. It takes longer, it may be more painful, but at least you're still working with your real teeth.

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 05:26 AM

Oh la la. Poor Venus! Congrats to Anastasia.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 05:30 AM

hee Nic. i posted on G's blog abt it. i find it jarring to look at a smile that doesn't match, top and bottom halves. also they are too Hollywood white when they dont need to be. he's still pretty to me, but the reconstructed smile is a big change.

they don't really need to shave down the teeth to pegs, only the facial part for veneers, 1mm at the most.

*thanks her lucky stars Rafa is blessed with perfect choppers*

Posted by david 10/05/2009 at 05:31 AM

Venus needs to "retire" she has truly been pathetic all year.
Actually since 2004 she's been awful much more often than she has been good. She just oddly pulls it together for a few tournaments and lucky for her 3 have been at Wimbledon but other than that she has been uninspired and more akin to a top 50-30 player than top 3.

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 05:37 AM

Looks like his upper lip is getting used to accommodating the big pearly whites too - I did read you can get more natural colouring these days. The problem I have with wearing down even 1 mm, is that, well there isn't that much tooth to begin with and doesn't that mean scraping at the enamel, and I assume the tooth won't ever be functional without veneers ever again. There's no going back.

Funnily this reminds me of that crazy day (may few times) when there was much discussion about Fed's plastic surgery on TW.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 05:40 AM

Oh Miss Vee? Major Sigh

I believe that knee in jury is still with her

Congrats to Pavs though well done

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 05:41 AM

Also I am going nuts I am watching a replay of the aussie crickters its their s.final Der!!!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 05:46 AM

Mina Do you have a link to Safina's match please

She is on court now,takes in Major breath!

Posted by avid sports fan 10/05/2009 at 05:49 AM

Hello good people!

It's been a long long week for me and yet another one is about to start *sigh* And worse off my sports teams are not particularly doing well either. The Canucks came from a nearly perfect pre-season to go down in two straight season matches with Luongo just looking like his evil twin in the goal. ManU barely surviving Sunderland (geez I wonder what will happen when we have to play Chelsea) and today I managed to stay awake (it's 2:36 am here) to see Vee go down yet again *sigh* Nastya played well but boy was I embarassed for Vee's serving today. At a point in time it was 22% first serves and considering she has been unable to improve that second serve there was no way she could win this match even with all the fight. 14 DFs, no aces and facing BPs in just about almost every service game is a recipe for disaster. As it is now, Not only will she drop well in raning when Zurich points from last year comes off, she is in danger of not making YEC to defend her maximum winner's point from last year and will then be in danger of going out of the top 8 *sigh*

And as it is now, I'm not even sure I want Serena to become #1 anymore. Dinara should just play well and keep the ranking. I just wish Serena will be off the spotlight *yeah I know almost impossible* and getting no. 1 back will just put her right at the center again *sigh*

But finally one player puts a big smile on my face by winning. Thanks Kuzzie and please don't go all headcasey.

And as for Rafa, if he still has not learned about his scheduling, I just refuse to say anything anymore. He can play not only Rotterdam but he can add Dubai as well and even go to SA to play clay court there for all I care. He just is refusing to learn his leasson *sigh*

Anyways, I will try and force myself to go to sleep now at least get 4 hours of sleep.

Have a good one all and if work load remains as heavy as it has been, my posting will remain sparse.

And lest I forget, I saw Jenn and Cameron's picture and I was just blown away. Just so beautiful and he is just so adorable :)

So this was my reward for staying awake till almost 3 am and now I cannot even sleep *sigh* Office will be a hard task tonight *sigh again*

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 05:52 AM

http://www.fromsport.com/video-88343.html

Posted by avid sports fan 10/05/2009 at 05:52 AM

Here is a link for Dinara's match

http://www.justin.tv/poorsaper/popout/

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 05:56 AM

Avid Hi.

I agree when will Rafa and his team Learn? I give up honestly.

Well Serena will always be Serena hitting some spolt light somewhere lol!

She still to me has the mental capacity to beat anyone on her given day.

Hopefully will will hear your thoughts even though they may be Sparse

Better Sparse than none at all.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 06:07 AM

streams keep on freezing every 3 seconds! just our luck, after waiting for streams to come through for most of the day. figures.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 06:09 AM

god help me

Maria Alvers is the umpire

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 06:16 AM

Safina it might help if you stood nearer the baseline,this isnt clay remember

Gee shades of the US OPEN here

Do you know where the baseline is? its that big line on the court ok.geez

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 06:20 AM

why can't foxtel carry eurosport?! sigh. i guess that's like asking Dina for mental fortitude. oh well, gotta work with what you got.

Posted by Bismarck 10/05/2009 at 06:25 AM

*she is in danger of not making YEC to defend her maximum winner's point from last year*

that´s a very small danger, isn´t it? as long as beijing doesn´t end up with a bepa-JJ final...

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 06:27 AM

Bangs head on Coffee table

Safina?????????????????????????

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 06:27 AM

*hugs Avid*

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 06:31 AM

Dina is hell bent on giving number 1 back to Serena. whatever makes you happy, Coconut.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 06:33 AM

S.Zhang is no 226th in the world and as taken the 1st set against the worlds no 1 7-5

Well done.

Safina stop hitting the crap out of the ball for starters,cause this young lady can certainly hang with you.She is a good counter puncher.

Think.

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 06:36 AM

Sorry AM. I though I was over the Ana issue, but it turns out I'm not.

And considering how much I've been rambling on about it (just be grateful for the change from Fedal and Serenagate) I think I should do the Andrew thing and declare my bias. I'm not a huge Ana fan. I like JJ and Dinara. I respect Masha and Williams sisters even though I don't emotionally connect with them. And I get behind a lot of other players, Sam, Flava Flav, even K Bond.

There's not enough... I dunno, sauciness, imperfection or sheer gritty determination about Ana for me. I find it difficult to connect with her.

The only fault she has which would perhaps qualify is her vulnerability. But this doesn't help me. Because she is, and I know it's cliche and perhaps unfair, too nice, too talented, too girly and pretty and as a result, seemingly too coddled by those around her. Too seemingly willing to be the, eek struggling to get out what I mean here, embodiment or figure which demonstrates the success of those who have around her.

Perhaps it's easier if I just refer to an example. When she won RG, and climbed up to her box, her team stood there waiting for her, these three men, and it felt to me like they were claiming their victory through her.

Obviously every player thanks their team, and these figures play a very important role and deserve some of the credit for their players success. But in this case, it seemed to much, to me they overwhelmed her, and her neediness and reliance on them irked me. Similar things could be said about Dina's reliance on Z but somehow this doesn't bother me as much, maybe because there is a conflict and struggle there and because somehow it feels like it's still about Dina.

(seems likes so is Pete to Champagne Kimmy, is Ana to me :P Sorry Ana lovers, I'm not a hater, I hope I've been fair about Ana in all my other posts.)

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 06:37 AM

Dina has never really been a good point constructor. she needs to stop trying to do a Blake and crush the ball at the first chance...plus that ball toss and serve, it compounds the problem.

add a dash (or a pound) of mental fragility and voila! Dina in the house. er, not for too long though, as this match tells us.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 06:41 AM

Safina just carries too much tension in her body

if she can let that ever go,her tennis flows

I have seen it,though its been sometime now though.pfft.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 06:45 AM

Nic: though i'm not the biggest Ana fan, i do like her and feel like i connect with her but i get the too nice too pretty too talented thing though. She may be your Kim, just as Serena is mine. haha

and that opening game in the second is a capsule of what it's like to watch Dina play: kinda like JJ only more gut wrenching cos you know it's not just some sort of drama, it really is in her head.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 06:48 AM

Well, I think you can dislike a player and still be fair to them, no? In some ways one might be more careful to be fair.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 06:48 AM

Zhang hits with consistency, the kind that disorients Dina. her gs are pretty clean.

pfft. broken. this is exactly what happened in the first set. up a break and then lost it just like that.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 06:50 AM

also, Beijing's music? stuck in 1999. haha. Britney ftw.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 06:53 AM

Beijing has hawkeye, but Tokyo doesn't. shouldn't there some rules for that? cos Tokyo is a Premier.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 06:54 AM

one more post and i get to claim TQ honors. with a match going on. must be some sort of record if i do. haha

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 06:58 AM

so tense. Z must be really annoyed right now.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 06:59 AM

Heaven help Me

You had all the court there with that so called smash and you netted it?

Bangs Head on Coffee Table again

I am now putting big dents in table and I have a small head

Its not worth it

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 06:59 AM

mina: Hawkeye is a very expensive technology. I think the tournament makes a call whether they wanna invest in it.

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 07:00 AM

I believe you can't claim the TQ throne until the 5th consecutive post. And anyway, it's a WTA match, and that doesn't count :P

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 07:01 AM

That poor table. ;-)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 07:03 AM

Safina looks sternly at her coach??

Safina the match is on your racquet ok

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 07:04 AM

Also, it has to be two minutes between each post, I think.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 07:04 AM

RG: yeah i understand how expensive it must be. but for a tourney to lobby to be called a Premier and be able to come up the money, facilities and manpower needed to mount a Premier event, having hawekeye is pretty vital to a prestigious tourney, no? cos they *are* right below the Slams in importance.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 07:09 AM

aw, why rain on my TQ Parade? party poopers.

Dina needs a pro. the kind with a couch. frustrating to watch her, but you know how it is with train wrecks...

Coconut need to stop opening up her bh side to Zhang. her FHs are quite the weapon at the mo.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 07:09 AM

Safina you are skating on very thin ice here

Stop bashing the ball,gee you had a inside out f/hand which was the right shot but could not help yourself and over played the shot

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 07:10 AM

Since Roger has Gwen supporting Roger during slams, which celebrities do you think should be supporting Rafa, Nole, MAndy etc?
Lady Gaga should be in whose box?

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 07:13 AM

Shakira for Rafa. and ColdPlay for MAndy. dunno abt Nole though...

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 07:13 AM

Bismarck: Long time. How have you been?

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 07:15 AM

Safina struggling with her serve. She, Maria and Ana should be sent to a service-focussed boot-camp under Becker, Pete and Krajicek!

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 07:16 AM

Rafa has Shakira and Placido Domingo and is Kate Walsh? Among celebrity fans.
Mandy has Will Farrell.
And Lady Gaga shouldn't be allowed to come to Wimbledon unless she commits to wearing pants. Goodness me, what would the HRHs say?

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 07:16 AM

Goodness me she holds

After just saving 6 breaks points??????????????????????????

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 07:17 AM

Sampras would be frustrated with Dinara within the first 10 minutes. especially with her ball toss.

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 07:17 AM

mina: guess it should be made mandatory for tier-1 tournaments to have hawk-eye, else face demotion to lower tier, or a black flag presented to them or a huge fine.

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 07:18 AM

Fantastic depth there, Safina.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 07:19 AM

RG: that's what i was thinking, that Hawkeye should be made mandatory. or else why institute this huge landscape changing technology to pro tennis if the big tourneys can opt not to have it, right?

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 07:20 AM

They'd probably love it, Nic. :)

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 07:21 AM

hmmm, i thought Boss was playing tonight as well, there seems to be no streams for the ATP...

Posted by Bismarck 10/05/2009 at 07:22 AM

hey rg.nadal! doing fine, thank you. hope all is well with you, too?

lordy, safina is once again playing pathetically. go lil chinese girl who plays her first main draw 2nd round ever!

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 07:22 AM

Nic: correct on Kate Walsh

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 07:23 AM

Bis, read the new Martina Hingis SI interview?

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 07:24 AM

Jewell, I could definitely see Harry get into it, but the Queen Mum would be rolling in her grave :P

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 07:26 AM

Nic: Nole is the one who seems to be lacking in that department.

mina: At this point I think Safina would be glad to have a Hingis serve, at least that was a clever one, if I remember correctly.

Bismarck: I am doing great. Eager to see how Rafa fares in Beijing. Good he has a relatively easy first match against Marcos B.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 07:27 AM

Zhang to serve for the match. well earned

Dinara is fit and healthy, at least physically. she doesn't need to take time off like AI, but she is in desperate need of proper couch time. and those errors. dang girl.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 07:28 AM

Safina you will lose this match as you have just got broken

You need to take a break ASAP

As I said in my post previous,you have just got worse.No need to take it out on your coach cause the problem lies with You and you alone.

You are soo keyed Up,you cannot think anymore in your shot selection.You will lose your no 1 status after losing this match,but hey thats the least of your woes at present.I know you can play much better than this.Though the last tournament and now this one proves to me you need a break.

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 07:30 AM

mina: Hingis interview link, svp. :-)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 07:33 AM

Thanks Safina

You have just broken back

You make anyone take up Smoking,forget about the drugs

Posted by Bismarck 10/05/2009 at 07:34 AM

which one you mean, mina? from when her suspension was over last week or so? if so, yes.

blergh. this prolly goes to three sets now and safina prolly edges out a win. wanted to watch lucie...

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 07:34 AM

Martina interview:
http://tinyurl.com/ycqjuqe

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 07:36 AM

the brainfarts just keep on coming... that was a total sitter, Dinara. pffttt.

Posted by Samantha Elin 10/05/2009 at 07:37 AM

Hingis definetly got a raw deal, I doubt if she's coming back, but it would be nice. Venus WTF, twice in two weeks to a player most people don't know. Caro get better and take a break or you'll burn out like JJ.

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 07:39 AM

mina: Thanks. Hingis' case clearly shows that sometimes circumstances are more powerful than an individual. Huge injustice to her.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 07:41 AM

Ok I refuse to watch a t/break with Safina

Safina you have been feeding this girl all match with pace she is just feeding off it?

Though you cant seem to work it out? can you.pfft.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 07:42 AM

RG: i agree. but i would rather have her stick with her decision to retire and not mount a comeback ala Kim, cos at 29 i don't think she'll be able to pull off much, not that the current field is too talented or whatever for her to take on. just the physical side of it, not very favorable to her.

and Dina is prolly going out in straights. take a rest Coconut, rest and regroup. YEC is coming soon enough.

Posted by Cayman Karen 10/05/2009 at 07:43 AM

Good morning All. OMG I feel like I want to go to China and take Dinara off the court. Girl is about to have a crying fit a la Vera

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 10/05/2009 at 07:45 AM

Sadly I have to go out and face the day...see you all later. :)

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 07:46 AM

the sad part: Dina is losing to players who will promptly lose the next round to a player who is more than likely to be outside the top 30.

she hasn't lost to a top player in a while. they've all been 65 and below since the Open. that's the sadddest part.

Posted by Cayman Karen 10/05/2009 at 07:46 AM

For those who are calling for Venus' retirement, come on now. These women are tired. They have been playing tennis all year. They have dealt with injuries. They have made it far in most of the tournaments that they have played. Give them a break, and that includes Dinara. People keep giving Kim props for coming out of "retirement" and winning a major. Yeah, it helps when you have only played 2 tournaments before.

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 07:48 AM

mina: If Kimiko can, why can't Hingis is what I was thinking...
Also, unlike the Williams', Hingis does not have a long list of other interests. She might wanna come back and play a little. Have a go at the RG title.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 07:48 AM

Karen I believe Venus is still carrying that knee injury

Safina cannot Think straight.She has gotton worse.She needs to take a break ASAP

Posted by Cayman Karen 10/05/2009 at 07:49 AM

Well the crap year for Dinara just rolls along. Oh well. I so do not want Serena to be No.1. Maybe she will be able to deal with, or not.

Posted by Samantha Elin 10/05/2009 at 07:49 AM

Yes David, Vee needs to definetly retire, put a fork in her because she's done based upon a few bad match. If every player retired based on their dry spells, they wouldn't have careers.

Posted by Bismarck 10/05/2009 at 07:50 AM

well done, zhang. first got tight, but then played aggressive to get the final point.

Posted by rg.nadal (http://www.sportingo.com/articles/_12298/) 10/05/2009 at 07:50 AM

Congrats to the winner. Dinara, pls take a break and be back for the YEC.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 07:51 AM

Vee and Dina out the same day. it's like last week all over again.

wonder how the JCF match went. there are zero ATP streams...

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 07:52 AM

Congrats to Zhang you played well and deserved to win

Safina take a break now.I know you can play better than your last 2 tournaments but hey you just lost to a player that is ranked 226th in the world

You are far too tense and hyped up on the court.You dont need another coach either.Cause the problem lies with you.

Posted by mick1303 10/05/2009 at 07:53 AM

Posted by Cayman Karen 10/05/2009 @ 7:46 AM

For those who are calling for Venus' retirement, come on now. These women are tired. They have been playing tennis all year. They have dealt with injuries. They have made it far in most of the tournaments that they have played. Give them a break, and that includes Dinara. People keep giving Kim props for coming out of "retirement" and winning a major. Yeah, it helps when you have only played 2 tournaments before.

============================
Using the same line of reasoning, should we put an asterisk to all recent Serena Slam wins? She basically boycotts all regular WTA events and only cares about Slams.

Posted by Bismarck 10/05/2009 at 07:53 AM

jcf has yet to play, hasn´t he?
next on centre court is lucie-li, followed by jcf-almagro.

Posted by Cayman Karen 10/05/2009 at 07:54 AM

AM, I believe so as well re the knee for Vee. I hope she shuts it down for the rest of the year. Do not even bother to play YEC. I think this Roadmap thing is really hurting the players right now as they seem to have to be able to compete year round. I know that the Roadmap was supposed to help the Tour, but I cannot recall ever seeing so many doubles by players on Tour, and that includes Serena. Granted she has been able to back up the double faults with aces, but Vee serving 14 doubles and not one ace to back it up is to my mind evidence that the women are really falling apart during the latter part of this season. I have also seen it on the men's side as well. I have no idea what the solution is, but something needs to be done, especially to the older women (see Venus) on Tour. They should be able to pick and choose which tournies to play. After all they are still supporting the Tour. Bring back the Gold Exemption Status

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 07:55 AM

Ow. Dina. Ow.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 10/05/2009 at 07:55 AM

'morning folks!

mick1303: another great list. thanks. surprised to see jim courier at no.5 and was surprised rafa was so high until i realized he's been number 2 for a record 4 years. thought becker would be higher. again good to see roddick up there. fun to see these lists.

nic/mina: i haven't seen elf's teeth yet. were his old ones really bad? they were fine, no? Is there an elf fan out there that might post a pic of his new choppers? I still can't believe he did this in a week right after the USO. well, it's his money and maybe his teeth have bugged him all his life. And what's this about fed and plastic surgery? He hasn't had any has he? or mirka for that matter. good girl.

and whoever said safina reminded them of rafa i don't see it at all. safina is a headcase and mental miget on the court. not rafa at all. And i'm kind of proud of rafa for saying in that presser that he can't change his fighting 'aggressive' play. I think it's much harder to change one's style of play than it might seem. how you approach the game comes from within. He can change certain elements like his serve but not the essence of his game.

Posted by Samantha Elin 10/05/2009 at 07:57 AM

I think for Hingis the question is that she's a former world's#1 and a GS champion. Can she get back to that level with the competition in the WTA. I don't think Hingis's game translate into a GS and it hasn't since losing to Graf at 18. The game has changed so much from when she was a GS champion. Will she be satisfied with being less than what she was? I read recently where she admitted that she thought she would have problems being competitive in the current game.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 10/05/2009 at 07:58 AM

this is the time of year when lower ranked players get their 'good wins.' like anastasia over venus. the top players are pooped and the players who routinely get knocked out early at tournaments are much fresher. see gilles simon for example.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 07:59 AM

Karen I fear if this keeps up Venus and Serena will just call it quits.I know they still love the game and they love to compete.Well look at their past and recent victories at their respective ages.

Even the fittest athletes need the time to recover.At this present rate its a wonder we dont see more injuires and Fatigue coming into play.

Posted by Cayman Karen 10/05/2009 at 08:00 AM

@mick1303, that is not particularly true. People keep saying that Serena does not "turn up" for regular Tour events and only competes at the Slams. The point I am trying to make is not to denigrate Kim's victory but to posit a view as to why the top women seem to be playing so much crappy tennis of late. It is not a sign that the women are not skilled etc., but a sign that they may be weary and dealing with all sorts of injuries. As to Serena, ever since she came on Tour she has always played a very limited schedule. She has played and won regular Tour events. However, she is now 28 years old which is old in tennis years. For my money, what she has done is what any 28 year old athlete looking at the sunset and their legacy should do, ensure that you leave a legacy that is strong behind. Is it a bad thing, depends on your perspective. I think I would rather see a fit and strong Serena playing magnificent tennis, than a player who seems to be hobbled by injuries day in and day out, getting beaten by players who will never amount to much (sorry guys). How does that help the Tour? Look at Dinara, I am sure that most of her fans right now were wishing and hoping that she did not play so much tennis. LenaD who is a big fan favourite here has said on many occassions that the reason why she under performs at hte majors is because she has played too many tournies coming in. What is the answer to this dilemma. I think the players should listen to their bodies at all times. If it says play a limited schedule, then that is what you do.

Posted by Nic 10/05/2009 at 08:04 AM

Annie: No I don't think Fed or Mirka have, although there was a poster who kicked up a storm by suggesting it a while ago.
The best place to see the chompers is at Gauloises's blog. It's most clear in the 3rd picture down.
http://tinyurl.com/yae6k8l

And there is also a tribute to his 'old' teeth. I never even thought of them before the new ones were put in.
http://tinyurl.com/y92xe6x

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 08:04 AM

Well I wish Rafa would listen and change his playing schedule

Though however he is hell bent on doing the Same Old,Same Old

Hoestly I give up with him.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 10/05/2009 at 08:08 AM

wow. nic. big difference. thanks for posting those. his old teeth were fine. maybe he could have fixed the fang-like one but to do the whole top is too bad. please elf, don't go hollywood. you wonder if this was his idea or his handlers. again, maybe he's wanted to change them for years and hasn't been able to.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 08:11 AM

Annie: pics are in G's blog, newballs.wordpress.com

anyone who was not in a coma during the last ten years can say that the women's game has changed a lot. not necessarily for the better but it certainly has.

Posted by Cayman Karen 10/05/2009 at 08:13 AM

AM, if Venus and Serena call it quits, I think they will focus more on doubles until retirement. The Roadmap has been especially hard on the top players this year. I am hopeful that when the new season starts and prior to that, that the players will sit down with the WTA and discus the way forward. If the ITF suspends Serena (as is being called for in many circles) I believe that they will retire. I believe that Serenagate has died down somewhat but yesterday on TC they showed the best of 5 worst calls. I had to laugh because Serena made the No.1 on that list. However, there was a Connors call that I thought was really wierd. During a match at the USO when it was played on clay, Connors went across the net and rubbed out a line that was being disputed, and eventually the disputed point was awarded to him. He was only gently reprimanded by the umpire. I thought that was a bit cheeky of Connors. I wonder if today's players had done that what would have been the consequences and what would the media's take on that be. In addition to the call in the Capriati match, I am wondering whether Serena just finally snapped. All those years of bad calls against her, the memory of that particular USO q/f match etc., and the poor girl just snapped.

Posted by mina hearts Rafa... ecstatic for Elf 10/05/2009 at 08:14 AM

if MAndy gets his smile remastered,that would most certainly top Elf's smile makeover. i dunno if it will be for the best though.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Healer of Rafa's Injured Body Parts. 10/05/2009 at 08:16 AM

Gee I hope tennis has changed in the last ten years lol!

Nothing ever remains stat thats for sure

gee the new power head racquets for one.Also the woman are a lot bigger and hit the ball harder in most cases.Maybe a good thing or bad thing.Also they need to be more athletic and strong comes into contention now than ever before.The William sisters in my mind changed a lot,what was happening in the womans game when they came on the scene.

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